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Honorary Blogger T.A. Moore: Extract from the First Draft of Dog Days

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Extract from the First Draft of Dog Days

by T.A. Moore

First of all, thank you so much for having me! I’m thrilled to be here with the blog tour for Wolf at the Door, the final book in the Wolf Winter trilogy.

The final book. Wow. I am half-excited and half-maudlin about this. It’s a good book, and a good ending. Or, at least, I think so. Hopefully everyone else will agree. Still, endings. It’s always a bit scary to see them coming.

So, I thought for this final blog tour I’d go back to the beginning and the very first draft of Dog Days with some never before seen extracts.

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Extract from the First Draft of Dog Days by TA Moore

(Author’s Note: Poor Danny. He worked so hard to be human, but wolves always steal the limelight. At least Jack thought he was the most interesting person in a room! I pared this right down for the final version, but I think the idea of Jack holding court so easily to a larger group does work. In the end, though, it just distracted from Jack and Danny a little.)

*****

Sometimes – living amongst humans, pretending he was human 353 days out of the year – Danny was able to shove the stranger aspects of being a shifter to the back of his mind. It wasn’t part of his life, turning into a dog was the weirdest thing he did. For most wolves – urban, integrated, civilised most of the time – it was the weirdest thing they did.

Jack wasn’t urban or civilised. The wolf lay close to his skin, and furside or skinside his eyes were the same. He brought the wild with him – dark and raw and sharp – and he was the stranger side of being a shifter.

With no discussion, the group had ceded the seat at the head of the table to him. Metaphorically as well as literally, attention and conversation eddying around him. He was – not larger than life in the way that people usually meant, just more vivid, more intense. Even when he was slouched down, obviously bored, and poking at gruel with a spoon.

Danny could see tension prickling around the table, people vying with each other to be the one to interest and engage Jack’s attention. His mum had the same talent, this heady presence that made her the preening centre of attention in a club or a jobseekers line. Except she was a candle compared to Jack’s hundred-candle watt floodlight.

‘So you and Danny are old friends?’ Jenny asked, touching his arm. Her fingers traced the angular black lines of ink that banded his forearm. ‘I can’t believe he’s never mentioned you before?’

Jack left his broth – a skin of starch starting to clot on the surface – and took a drink of sour raw whiskey. He was the only one at the table who didn’t squint and hiss at it hitting the back of their throat.

‘Me either,’ he said, glancing down the table at Danny. ‘Maybe he was ashamed of ME, what with him working at the university and all. He was the…’

‘Associate lecturer of History,’ Jenny provided absently. ‘I’m sure that’s not it though, what do you do, Jack?’

‘This and that,’ he shrugged lazily. ‘I get by.’

Jenny giggled and infatuation put colour in her cheeks and light in her eyes. Down the table heads nodded admiringly.

‘Jack of all trades,’ someone said, making everyone chuckle. Paul, a barrel-chested window cleaner, pointed a blunt, swollen-jointed finger at Jack. ‘University of life, am I right?’ he said.

It wasn’t really fair to resent it. Danny hated it when everyone looked at him like he was in charge, and – despite what Jenny thought – he wasn’t in love with her. He still did resent it, the feeling like a bundle of barbed wire jammed into his chest. The idea that he might resent not being the focus of Jack’s attention did occur to him, but he shoved that firmly into an ‘ignore’ box. Lust was bad enough, without ending up lovelorn as a human, his head turned by the presence of a wolf.

He leaned forwards, bracing his elbows on the table.

‘You used to work on your Dad’s estate, didn’t you?’ he said. ‘Up in the hills, with the sheep.’

Jack glanced at him, a sandy brown eyebrow raising. A couple of the people praising him for being hard scrabble flushed and withdrew a little, most of the table just adjusted their expectations to fit.

‘You’re Scottish then?’ Neela asked, lacing her fingers together. Her fingers bruised, scuffed across the knuckles from working with brambles, and her eyes huge and moony. ‘Properly Scottish, I mean, a Highlander.’

She sort of sighed the word. It got her a grin from Jack, his whole body shifting towards her as his attention moved. ‘Sort of,’ he said mildly. ‘We’re blow-ins really, back in the time of the Romans.’

Everyone laughed. Except Danny, who was feeling – perhaps, just a little – sullen, and at the far end of the table, exiled and excluded, a glowering Lee, who was directing his mutterings towards Jack instead of Danny. As if Jack had been the one to split his lip and bruise his face. Apparently he was just a better class of enemy than Danny.

It was so ridiculous to feel slighted by that, the affront to his self-importance actually cooled his temper. He finished his bowl of thin soup and sat back, grabbing a hard-dried apple to chew.

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Honorary Blogger Jenn Moffatt: Unicorn Snot • Part One + Giveaway!

Hi everyone! It’s great to be here for this blog tour. Since my main character works in a very unmagical magic shop, I thought I would give you a glimpse behind the curtain at his pre-story life.

Unicorn Snot • Part One

by Jenn Moffatt

“Dad?” Star Anders let out a heavy sigh when her father set another trio of bowls on the workshop table in the back of the shop. Equinox was closed for the night. Fairy lights and the neon ‘closed’ sign the only illumination from the storefront. It was pitch black through the shop windows in both directions thanks to a simple cantrip that would keep their workings hidden until sunlight hit the windows come morning to break the little spell. She was perched on top of a tall stool, with her sneakered feet tucked behind her. It was only a matter of time until her father made her sit properly, but she still liked to tempt fate. Her hair was pulled into a tight high ponytail, which would hopefully keep it out of the goop they were mixing together. “Dad!” she repeated to get his attention. Under the heavy table there was a bump, a grunt, and a word she’d been told not to use no matter how many times she heard him use it. “Star, love, unless someone is breaking in, could you please not shout when I’m underneath here?” “Sorry. But you didn’t answer. Why are we making this stuff, and what are you looking for?” Her father looked over the edge of the table, the old fluorescent lights reflecting from his slightly curling brown hair. With a sigh of his own, Thomas, shoved a heavy-duty two burner hot plate onto the table and then got to his feet. His back cracked as he reached overhead to plug it into a receptacle near the lights. “I was looking for that. We are making fragrant jelly anti-magic goop and powders that we’ll be applying to mostly everything we sell from now on.” “Is this because of the singing goddess statue Mr. Kensington bought?” Star felt her cheeks warm as the blush spread. “I didn’t mean to make that happen, Dad.” “I know, sweetheart.” He came around the table and kissed the top of her head, or as close as he could with the ponytail. “We both leak magic. We also sell real ingredients for the enlightened customers. But we can’t afford to have the unenlightened and untrained tell the world that we sell statues that sing and dance like Michigan J. Frog.” Thomas set the first burner on the hot plate to high, filled a saucepan with water and set it to boil. Star’s head tilted slightly to the side and her eyebrows rose about her dark brown eyes as if to ask a question. “We can’t use any magic making the Unicorn Snot. We’ve got to do every step the hard, mundane, way. Otherwise we risk contamination,” he said, passing her a pair of latex gloves from the local beauty supply and a facemask from the drug store. “You don’t want to breathe in the secret ingredient either. It might make you sick.” Especially considering Star’s innate powers were stronger than even his mother’s, and she’d been the High Priestess of their coven.

Join us tomorrow at Love Bytes to read the rest of the story! blogger_bee_trans Tour Schedule:

1 Oct: Book Gemz – TA Moore
2 Oct: Paranormal Romance Guild – TA Moore
4 Oct: Boy Meets Boy – Rhys Ford
5 Oct: Reading Reality – Rhys Ford
6 Oct: Blogger Girls – Jenn Moffatt
7 Oct: Love Bytes – Jenn Moffatt
8 Oct: M/M Good Book Reviews – Bru Baker
9 Oct: Twinsie Talk – Bru Baker Continue reading

Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, Honorary Blogger Post, Published in 2020 | Tags: , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Release Blitz: Everything Changes by Melanie Hansen + Excerpt & Giveaway!

Everything Changes by Melanie Hansen

A childhood in foster care taught Carey Everett to hold tight to what he has. Enlisting in the Marines gave him purpose, but a life-threatening injury ended his career—and took his leg. Now fully recovered, Carey’s happier than he’s ever been. He has a fulfilling job, a chosen family and, best of all, a cherished friendship with Jase DeSantis, the platoon medic who saved his life.

Jase knows how to take care of the people he loves. As the oldest of seven, and then a Navy corpsman, it’s what he was born to do. Still, he’s haunted by his actions overseas. Playing music with his band keeps the demons at bay, but it’s a battle he’s starting to lose.

After a week of sun and fun in San Diego, Jase and Carey’s connection takes an unexpected turn. With change comes a new set of challenges. For Jase, it means letting someone else into his deepest pain. For Carey, it’s realizing love doesn’t always equal loss. In order to make their relationship work, they’ll each have to come to terms with their pasts…

…or risk walking away from each other for good.

Available at: Amazon

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Book Review: A Rogue of One’s Own by Evie Dunmore

Reviewed by Ami

Title: A Rogue of One’s Own
Author: Evie Dunmore
Series: A League of Extraordinary Women #2
Hero/Heroine: Lucie & Tristan
Genre: M/F Historical
Length: 444 pages
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: September 1, 2020
Available at: Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: A lady must have money and an army of her own if she is to win a revolution—but first, she must pit her wits against the wiles of an irresistible rogue bent on wrecking her plans…and her heart.

Lady Lucie is fuming. She and her band of Oxford suffragists have finally scraped together enough capital to control one of London’s major publishing houses, with one purpose: to use it in a coup against Parliament. But who could have predicted that the one person standing between her and success is her old nemesis and London’s undisputed lord of sin, Lord Ballentine? Or that he would be willing to hand over the reins for an outrageous price—a night in her bed.

Lucie tempts Tristan like no other woman, burning him up with her fierceness and determination every time they clash. But as their battle of wills and words fans the flames of long-smoldering devotion, the silver-tongued seducer runs the risk of becoming caught in his own snare.

As Lucie tries to out-maneuver Tristan in the boardroom and the bedchamber, she soon discovers there’s truth in what the poets say: all is fair in love and war…
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Categories: 4 Star Ratings, Ami's Reviews, Book Review, Guest Reviewer, M/F, Published in 2020 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Talos by A.G. Carothers: Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

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Exclusive Excerpt from Talos

by A.G. Carothers

Bayne sat on the surprisingly comfortable padded wooden bench in one of the holding rooms below the Colosseum. His two days in the Colosseum were nothing like he had been prepared for. The city wasn’t like he had been told either. He hadn’t seen much of the human slums when they were smuggled in by fellow THRUST members who lived in the city, so he couldn’t attest to the validity of how run down and filthy he was told they were.

The first sight of the Colosseum had taken his breath. It was larger than he had imagined and shone brightly against the modern buildings around it. Bayne had had to crane his neck back to take in the whole structure. Stone statues decorated arches in the upper levels. Bayne had touched an outside column unbelieving that such a structure could exist amongst the steel and glass world around it.

When he’d entered the Colosseum with the other humans who sought out a chance to be transformed into a monster, he expected to be thrown into a cell and wait until they threw them all in the pit for the vamps’ entertainment. Nothing like that happened. They had been screened one by one, and Bayne thought his mission would end there if they discovered what laid in wait in his blood, but they passed him through.

He was then measured and outfitted in leather and iron armor. It wasn’t scale armor or anything fancy like a Roman soldier would wear but he wasn’t half-naked either. He had been told the king—even thinking of him with that title filled Bayne with disgust—was very particular about the authenticity shown in his games. The armor was high quality. He didn’t want to think about the amount of money wasted in just armor and weapons for this place. The armor he wore wasn’t new, but it was in excellent shape. They only had to make some minor adjustments to fit it to his muscular body. Next, he’d chosen his weapons. He’d been trained in several kinds of melee weapons over the years just for this mission.

Bayne went with the classic gladius and round shield. If needed, he could pick up others on the field. After he’d been given his armor and weapons, they showed him to a barracks building next to the Colosseum. He had been surprised it wasn’t under it, but it seemed they didn’t want their prospective new vampires to be shunned from the sun just yet. Like all the buildings in the city he had seen so far, except the Colosseum, it had numerous large windows.

All the cities were built like this, the windows served two main purposes besides looking out of. The first was to protect against UV rays, which the bloodsuckers were vulnerable to, and the second more important reason was to collect energy. After The Fall, a mass infrastructure change took place and over a decade, cities were transformed, small towns were destroyed, and the bulk of humanity was forced to live like cattle awaiting slaughter. Or so he was taught.

What little Bayne had seen of the human slums didn’t look very destitute. So far, he had been treated with respect and, dare he even say—courtesy. He wasn’t pampered by any means, but he had imagined far worse. They had fed them more than one meal and the foods were unlike anything he’d ever had. He was careful not to eat too much of the rich unfamiliar foods. A few had gotten sick the night before from overindulging. Maybe it was the vamp’s way of giving them all a last meal since most would not survive the games.

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Nightway Chant by M.J. Calabrese: Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

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Exclusive Excerpt from Nightway Chant

by M.J. Calabrese

“You are an enigma, Dr. Coulter. Oh, and you can drop the frightened abused spouse act. Like I said, I’ve done some research on you.”

Adam slowly raised his head as a grin formed on his face. Any signs of fear disappeared from Coulter’s eyes. “All right. It was getting a bit tiresome to keep up anyway. So why do you want to kill Eagle?”

“Oh, you know. Revenge. Hate. The usual crap.”

Adam shook his head and smiled, “Don’t bullshit me, Dean.” If he could’ve shrugged, he would’ve. “Tell me the truth. In the long run, you’re going to kill me anyway so who would I tell.” His smile broadened, “Remember the saying, the truth shall set you free.” Adam took a deep breath then stretching his right index finger out, he began to tap the chain holding that wrist. Slowly, rhythmically, he kept tapping. He lowered his voice. Making it deeper and softer. “Come on, Dean, consider me your father confessor. Look at me and tell me.”

Dean stared into Adam’s eyes for a moment before his gaze slipped on up to the one moving finger. He tilted his head. His brain unconsciously focusing on it. Adam’s monotone voice droned on, getting softer and softer. He began to answer Adam’s questions, casting caution to the wind.

“Eagle was my mentor. He was my lover. My protector, in the beginning.” Dean paused; eyes still fixed on that one point above his captive’s head. “Everything I did. I did for him. He understood me. He listened to me. He loved me… until Corporal Javier Duran came along. He was younger and prettier. I tried twice to kill him, but Eagle always got in the way. He protected him. That was when I knew he was going to leave me. He got the kid transferred out of our unit about a month after he got there. I tried to find him, but they made him disappear.”

“Who made him disappear?”

“Eagle and the Colonel. Duran’s the next one on my list. I killed all the others. Mims, Presnell, Torres, Mako, Kinzer, Rayne, Lee. All gone. Told them I would. Told them I would kill them and their families…, and I did.” Dean’s eyes drooped but weren’t quite closed. “Only Eagle, Duran, and the Colonel are left.” Dean’s voice softened as he began to drift off. He heard Adam’s calm voice but couldn’t make out what he was saying. His words trickled over him like a babbling brook. It was soothing and warm as he began to slip beneath the surface of Adam’s words until there was silence. He could feel himself breathing. He could still hear the barely-there tapping, ticking off the seconds. He could hear his captive’s whisper. 

Suddenly a sharp report tore him out of his calm. Pulling his gun from his waistband, he scanned the room, finger on the trigger as his heart rate raced. It took him a moment to realize where he was and who the man hanging in the middle of the room was. Slowly lowering his weapon, he turned back to Coulter with a grin. “Oh, you’re good, Doc. You almost had me, you sneaky bastard.” He raised his gun, pointing it at Adam’s head. “I should kill you for trying to hypnotize me. Too bad you got interrupted by that truck backfiring.”

Adam slyly grinned, “Oh, was that a backfire? How do you know I didn’t finish the job? How do you know I didn’t plant something in your arrogant, fucking brain, asshole? How do you know for sure?”

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Finding Our Love by Amy Tasukada: Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

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Exclusive Excerpt from Finding Our Love

by Amy Tasukada

August

“Come on Detective Pom-Pom,” Iroha cheered.

The animated poodle had five minutes to solve the case of the missing mittens or else little Mew-Mew would be blamed. The poodle walked around a few seconds blowing bubbles through his pipe while the other anthropomorphic characters eagerly waited. After a few moments of recycled bubble blowing artwork Detective Pom-Pom’s large blue eyes grew wide, and he declared he’d solved the case.

Iroha popped the last octopus shaped hotdog in his mouth.

At first, the water-colored style of the characters intrigued Iroha, but the more his art gallery fail the more the Detective Pom-Pom’s mysteries mattered. All of Pom-Pom’s problems could be solved in under a half-hour while the very real problem of Iroha’s growing debt would take months to turn around. If it ever turned around.

Iroha scrapped off a bit of green paint stuck to his long black hair as the credits rolled.

Maybe if his parents allowed him to watch Detective Pom-Pom as a kid instead of shoving colored pencils and blank paper in his face he’d figure out how to solve the mystery of the gallery with no traffic.

The annoying high-pitched theme song for the next show played signaling Iroha need to open the gallery, even if it really didn’t matter. The ribbon cutting had some fanfare, but after people realized his sister, nor any of her art wasn’t there everyone left.

He slumped down the stairs separating his home from the gallery. Then through the rentable studio space no one booked and to the gallery in the front. The lights illumined each piece’s best feature.

He examined each work standing close, standing away, glancing over his shoulder. Each one still knocked him in the heart. Each one from a talented artist who deserved to have their work shown. Each one deserved to have a red sticker on their placard marking the piece as sold.

Three of them withdrew their works since Iroha couldn’t sell them. Soon word would get to the others that he was the only one admiring their art. No one would come by asking to be in show and when Iroha called some leads they’d rejected the offer.

Iroha stepped to a blank patch on the wall. Maybe he should put one of his own paintings there to fill up the space, but leaving it empty would look like someone had bought one.

Who was he trying to fool? No one came into the gallery all week, and the only person who came in the week before asked if she could use the bathroom and left without saying thank you.

Iroha booted opened the office door and clicked through his emails hoping between spam messages someone replied to his offer.

He had to fight. He couldn’t go crawling back to his parents to be his sister’s lacky.

Hours past.

No one came.

And none of Iroha’s emails to other artist received a replied. The only action through the front door was the mail delivery.

Iroha threw the bills on his desk and ripped open the protective plastic of the latest issue of Nihon Art Today came. The thick magazine was filled with art criticism more than glossy pictures and every serious artist bought the bi-annually tome. Even the smallest article people talked about for months.

A sculpture of a girl flying a kite glossed the over. He skimmed the headlines then stopped.

Ichigo Osumi’s Brother Opens Gallery

Iroha groaned low like a rumble of thunder. Always her bother. He almost couldn’t blame them since anything with her name on it sold. He didn’t remember being asked for an interview though.

He flipped to the two-page spread. He hadn’t even earned a picture by himself in the feature. Instead they chose one of him and his sister standing next to her record-breaking auctioned painting. She was thirty-four and he’s turn seventeen that day. His party turned into a double feature that she completely usurped. Still in high school, he was still eager to follow where his parents told him. So he’d followed Ichigo to every event like a dog on a leash.

He shook his head and read. They did it to sell more copies. It wasn’t about his sister but his gallery. It could be the turn he needed to really get it off the ground.

He read.

Iroha showed some promise in his youth. 

His eyes narrowed. He skimmed down.

A gallery covered in the same mediocre art he creates.

A bolt burned a hole in his chest, but he couldn’t stop his gaze from skimming over the words.

Talentless hack

Will always be the disappointment of the Osumi name.

Too bad the apple didn’t fall close to the tree.

Iroha threw the magazine. It knocked against one of the desktop sculptures he made of a popsicle brain.

With such a scathing review no one would come. He failed, again. He might as well crawl back to his parents before getting into more debt. He could hold off for a few months, but after that…

The door chimed. They probably came to mock him. Still, he rubbed his eyes and put on a smile.

“Welcome to ABC gallery,” the last word caught in Iroha’s throat.

The older gentleman before him might’ve looked like forty-something salaryman, but a dark aura floating around him. His smile stretched too large across his face like he never had to ask twice for anything. His swagger as he approached left no doubt in Iroha mind. The man was a yakuza.

Iroha cleared his throat. “Is there anything I can do for you?”

Somehow the smile on the man’s face grew larger. “I have a proposition for you.”

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His Ranch Hand by Deanna Wadsworth: Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

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Exclusive Excerpt from His Ranch Hand

by Deanna Wadsworth

Emboldened and eager, Myron shifted and took a seat across Cade’s lap, straddling him like a stallion.

Cade flinched, eyes widening in surprise. Only taken aback for a moment, he whispered, “What are you doing?”

“Well…?” This bold new position should’ve answered for him. Don’t make me say it out loud, Cade, please.

Despite the risks to his pride, he trusted Cade. If Cade labeled him as a dandy pillow-biter afterward, what did it matter? Myron would’ve already gotten what he wanted. But then, Cade had shown no shame or hesitation when he’d sucked Myron’s cock with no return favor, so why should Myron berate himself over this?

This felt right, deep in his bones, and he was tired of waiting.

Myron rocked in invitation, never looking away from Cade’s face. Cade licked his lips, and he knew then that, yes, Cade understood what he wanted.

And Cade wanted it too.

Big hands found Myron’s hips and pressed him down. With a hiss, Myron felt the hardness beneath him, so close to where he needed it. More than anything, Myron wanted Cade’s cock buried inside him, connecting them. This would be theirs, a special night, a wonderful memory to keep them both warm when their bedrolls were empty and cold.

Without warning, Cade shifted Myron off him, pressing him onto his side so they were facing each other. Myron gasped at the display of strength, moving him as if he weighed nothing. Being at the mercy of such power sent a thrill through him. How much bigger the thrill when Cade fucked him into the grass? The anticipation made him suck in another sharp breath.

“Is your arm okay?” Cade whispered, trailing a big, but oh-so-gentle hand up his arm, pausing at his injury.

Myron smiled indulgently and caressed Cade’s cheek, his beard scratchy and wonderful under his palm. “I can barely feel it.”

“You’ll let me know if it hurts?”

Damn, such tenderness might brand Cade directly onto Myron’s heart if he allowed it—hell, if Cade wasn’t already embedded there already.

“I promise. But I’m fine.” He longed to kiss him, but the sting of Cade’s declaration that kissing was “not for us” held him in check. Instead he whispered, “Please?”

That one word unleashed a torrent. They fumbled for belts, buttons, and cocks.

“I’m so fucking hard,” Myron admitted, reaching for Cade’s cock. He didn’t want to waste a moment. “Need you.”

“It scared me, seeing you go down,” Cade whispered, hands trembling. “But you were amazing. I always like having you on my side in a fight.”

“Me too. Your aim was solid. You were so brave and strong.”

Cade grinned wickedly. “I am strong.

Myron took his fiery cock in hand. “And big.”

They shared knowing, playful grins, and Myron wondered if this might be love.

But it was just sex, right? He’d been lucky in his youth, having both friendship and sex with Douglas, but they’d been infatuated boys, randy as all hell, and it had never felt like this. Myron’s belly stirred when Cade smiled, and his heart skipped when Cade let down his walls. And he loved it when Cade mothered him, whereas any other man would’ve gotten a black eye. Even if they weren’t naked, he simply wanted to be near Cade.

He pushed such rambling ideas away. He’d ponder it all later. Right now the pleasure he’d waited for his whole life was nigh.

“Shirt off,” Cade commanded, sending another shot of passion whizzing through Myron. “Boots too. Everything.”

He struggled to obey. Wide eyed, Cade stared at Myron, once completely bared. His pale, freckled skin glistened in the fire and moonlight. Cade told him that he liked freckles and Myron shivered, loathing yet adoring how much he enjoyed being vulnerable with this man.

Still lying on his side, Cade ran a weathered hand down Myron’s torso and whispered so softly, the words were almost lost in the night, “I’ve denied this… a very long time.”

Tentatively he mimicked Cade’s gentle touch, though Cade remained dressed, only his cock out. “So you’ve never… with anyone else?”

Cade frowned, annoyed with Myron, the question, or himself, he couldn’t guess.

“Of course I have,” Cade whispered, not looking at him. “But I try to control the things I really want, ignore the hunger to… take what I need. I ought to be ashamed. It’s all a sin, but….” He shook his head with a grimace.

Myron bit back a sharp protest at the word sin.

Ever since Pastor Ambrose tried to kiss Myron after Sunday school, he’d come to determine not all preachers were as holy as Mama believed. He’d never read the Good Book all together, just the bits and pieces read to or at him in order to get him to behave. But he had read some Uranian poetry at a whore house in Kansas City about two men being together, so he knew this wasn’t a new phenomenon. Even heard that Frenchmen partook in each other, and in Venice they flaunted their affections right in public.

Might be the only reason to leave the West, to see if such places existed.

He studied Cade, not taking him for the pious sort. “I don’t think this is as wrong as folks say. I’ve seen a horny bull try to mount another bull before. Wouldn’t leave the damn thing alone. Nature, she’s funny. Makes us all different sorts. Me and you are no more wrong than that bull. Or no different than an otter is to a fly. They aren’t the same, but that doesn’t make them wrong.”

Cade’s hand never left Myron’s chest, his fingers on the other swirling delicately over the hair on Myron’s stomach and making his cock ache. “Everything you say sounds easy and natural. But how can you be so sure?”

Adoring this new vulnerable side of his strong cowboy, Myron cupped Cade’s cheek and their eyes met. He needed to assuage his doubts, not just for tonight, but so Cade could learn to accept himself for years to come. “There’s nothing wrong about two people enjoying themselves. We aren’t hurting anybody. That’s how I can be so sure. If it’s wrong, why does it feel so damn right inside here?” He placed a hand over Cade’s heart, hoping the move wouldn’t be too intimate, and make Cade change his mind.

“Maybe…” His heavy lashes drooped and Myron feared nothing more would happen. Both times they’d been together, it had been dark. He wanted to curse the golden light of the fire for exposing Cade and making him ashamed. Of course he wanted to curse whatever made Cade ashamed, and the one doing the shaming too, because from where Myron sat, there wasn’t a damn thing wrong with the cowboy beside him.

“But it is hard to be like this,” Myron admitted, dropping his hand and sitting up. He reached for his shirt and gazed down at Cade still lying on their bedrolls. “Hiding. Having a secret. But secrets are better if you got a friend to share them with. We’re friends, right?”

“Yes.”

“So I suppose we can either be friends who know about the secret, or friends who have a secret together. It’s your choice. But I won’t be ashamed of who I am and what I want, and you shouldn’t be either.” Myron felt odd to be so frank about something that could get a man hanged. But Cade made him more comfortable in his own skin than he’d ever felt with another person. “Now I can get dressed and we can just go back to being ranch hands, if you like. Or you can forget what you’ve been told, accept that men like us aren’t broken or less than any other man. Then you can get undressed and fuck me.”

Damn, did I just say that?

At Myron’s declaration, Cade looked stunned. “You really want me… to do that to you?”

Now Myron was getting pissed, seeing as he was naked as a jaybird and Cade remained dressed, resisting their attraction, even with his cock poking out of his trousers, hard as you please. After everything they’d shared, both physical and verbal, what still held Cade back? Myron had finally found the person and the courage to share this with, and Cade wasn’t responding the way he’d hoped.

And that made him madder than hell.

“Yes, I wanna be fucked.” Myron roughly put his shirt on, wincing when his wound twinged. “And if I’m being honest, I wanna be kissed too. You seemed to like kissing my cock last night, if I remember correctly. Maybe you’d like kissing me if you tried it.”

Goddammit, he shouldn’t have said that, but this was ridiculous. They were grown men. Peculiar ones, some might say, but men nonetheless. He wouldn’t allow Cade and whatever notions other people put in his head make Myron ashamed of who he was and what he needed. Not anymore. He’d come a long way toward accepting his nature completely, even more so recently, and he wouldn’t let Cade take that away. If only Cade could realize while yes, they needed to keep things secret, shame had no place between them when they were alone.

Myron let out a weary sigh, and dropped his hands in his lap. “I see no more sense beating around the bush, Buchanan. Do you want me tonight or not?”

He held his breath and the other man’s stare.

A moment before he gave up, Cade cupped his cheek. Never looking away, Cade pulled him closer. “Yes, I do want you. Have from the moment we met. You’re just so… perfect.”

Before Myron could recover from the beautiful sentiment, Cade gently pulled on his neck. When their lips met, it was feather light, the brush of butterfly wings, but it sent off an explosion within.

Our first kiss

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The B-Side by B. Harmony: Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

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Exclusive Excerpt from The B-Side

by B. Harmony

I turn to leave the bathroom and head back to the kitchen. Nearing the end of the hall, the kitchen in full view, I stop mid-stride. I can feel the side of my mouth lift up. Tyler is in the middle of the kitchen holding a wooden spoon to his mouth while belting out the lyrics along to “I Like Me Better” by Lauv. More than just the karaoke performance, Tyler is dancing, and I can’t peel my eyes off him.

His entire body seems to move in time with the beat as he thrusts his hips back and forth, shaking his ass and raising one arm above his head. It’s as if I’m stuck in a tunnel where all I can see and hear is Tyler’s dancing and the music that now matches the beat of my heart.

It’s not exactly what I would call sexy dance moves, more like he’s just having fun. But the happiness I can see from just the side of his face turns me on all over again.

He switches his hips side to side quickly, crosses his ankles and spins his body in my direction. Wide eyes meet mine as he freezes at my smirk.” He’s wearing skinny jeans and a red shirt that says Gay as Glitter; fitting given the moment I just walked in on. “Uh, yeah, I’ve got nothing.”

“Oh, don’t stop on my account. I was rather enjoying the show. Seems only fair.” I continue on into the kitchen, taking the spoon from him as I pass by.

“How long were you standing there?” he asks. Splotches of red color his face and extend up towards his ears.

“Just the start of the second verse.”

“Oh good, so only half of my shame.”

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Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, LGBT, Published in 2020 | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Honorary Blogger K.L. Hiers: Creating a New Religion + Excerpt & Giveaway!

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Creating a New Religion

by K.L. Hiers

Hello everyone! I hope you’re all staying safe and healthy out there! My name is K.L. “Kat” Hiers, and I love to write. My newest release is called Acsquidentally in Love, and it’s that tried and true story of boy meets tentacle god, boy has to solve murder for tentacle god, and they fall in love.

It’s a fun ride full of magic, mystery, lots of laughs, and yes – scads of tentacle shenanigans. The first time I wrote anything with tentacles was a smutty birthday gift for a dear friend. After that, I was hooked. I wanted to write more, and I knew I had to create some sort of universe in which it was practical for a human being to encounter a creature with tentacles. Aliens are very popular for this genre, but I wanted to do something else.

A lifelong fan of fantasy, I decided to draw on my love mythology to make my own little magical world. I was definitely inspired by H.P. Lovecraft and a film called Cast A Deadly Spell, a noir detective fantasy based on his works. Tentacle gods sounded like a fun idea, and that led me to a most fantastic undertaking and the topic of this post:

Creating a new religion.

There’s a lot to think about when you’re creating a faith, and this wasn’t technically the first time for me. Way back in mortuary school, I took a sociology of religion class. The final project was to take everything we’d learned over the semester to create and classify our own religion. Mine was the Holy Church of the Great Mother Cat, a monotheistic faith who worshipped Hello Kitty and bathing was an elaborate and sacred ritual. It was pretty ridiculous, but it did teach me so much about how to structure a religion.

So, here’s your first task. You need to decide if you’re going to have many gods or one god. There are certainly other aspects to consider with your deity worship, like animism and totemism that are found in Shintoism and Native American religions. For the sake of brevity, we’re going to keep it simple and leave it at polytheism versus monotheism.

If you were a kid like me who loved the Egyptian and Norse mythologies, you’re probably gonna want to do something with multiple gods. From a writing perspective, it gives you options to create more divine characters and you can set up an entire pantheon of deities to play with.

Which brings us to our next task: how to structure the gods. Will there be a leader of your gods like Odin, or will your gods be more loosely organized and informal? Perhaps there is a higher tier of gods who all work together to make big decisions for mankind instead of having a single leader. You could even have gods who rule over separate realms like Hades, Poseidon, and Zeus did. The possibilities are endless, and you can customize your gods as you wish!

It is worth mentioning that if your gods are going to be a big ol’ family with multiple generations, I would highly suggest making a family tree to keep them all organized.

Now that you have your basic structure for all of your gods and goddesses, now it’s time for the fun stuff. You need to decide what kind of worship followers of this religion will practice, do they have any sacred texts or symbols, and what are their afterlife beliefs.

How do followers of your new religion pay tribute to their gods? Do they made animal sacrifices to appease them or have highly ritualized prayers to communicate with them? Do they leave out a bowl of milk before the sun goes down to make that finicky cat god happy? Have fun with it, be creative, and find something that fits the new gods you’ve created.

You should also consider the creation of any significant religious holidays and big life event rituals, such as births, marriages, and deaths. How would the faithful people of your new religion react to these situations? Do they embalm their dead for entombment, burn their bodies in pyres, or do something else entirely?

All of these questions can usually be answered by consulting a sacred text, and that’s the next part of designing our new religion. Most faiths have some sort of text that provide instruction for worship and behavior. These could have been handed down directly by the gods or written by men and women who received the information through visions or direct divine communication. Instead of one text like the Bible, there could be multiple sacred texts.

Or, if you’d like, no text at all! The religious beliefs could have been passed down from generation to generation as stories or poems. Perhaps the founders of your faith don’t have a written language and created an oral tradition to pass on their faith instead. It could all be in song form and holy words have to be sung to avoid offending the gods!

Another important part of a religion is a sacred symbol. Just as Christians have the cross and Hindus the om, what kind of symbol would be sacred to the worshippers of your faith? How would they use it? If they equate their divine with the sun, for example, would they revere sunburst patterns and tattoo them? Would they make a unique geometric shape based on a specific constellation where they believe the gods dwell and embroider it into their clothes? These are just a few ideas, and there’s so much more you could come up with.

Last but not least, the ultimate question – what happens after death? This is a big one because religions are often classified by their end game. You need to choose is your faith going to be cyclic with a traditional pattern of reincarnation or apocalyptic, where there is a defined end – whatever that may be!

Your religion can be whatever you want it to be: silly or serious, weird or traditional, just be sure to have fun with it! I hope this has been helpful if you’re thinking about creating your own unique faith and has given some insight into how I made the religion for the magical world of Acsquidentally In Love – my new release out now!

Thanks so much for having me!

-K.L. “Kat” Hiers 

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