Author Archives: thebloggergirls

Audio Review: Insight by Santino Hassell 

Reviewed by Morgan

Title: Insight
Author: Santino Hassell
Narrator: Greg Boudreaux
Series: The Community #1
Heroes: Nate & Trent
Genre: M/M Paranormal
Length: 8 hrs and 58 mins
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: December 5, 2017
Available at: Riptide Publishing, Amazon & Audible
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: Growing up the outcast in an infamous family of psychics, Nate Black never learned how to control his empath abilities. Then after five years without contact, his estranged twin turns up dead in New York City. The claim of suicide doesn’t ring true, especially when a mysterious vision tells Nate it was murder. Now his long-hated gift is his only tool to investigate. 

Hitching from his tiny Texas town, Nate is picked up by Trent, a gorgeous engineer who thrives on sarcasm and skepticism. The heat that sparks between them is instant and intense, and Nate ends up trusting Trent with his secrets—something he’s never done before. But once they arrive in the city, the secrets multiply when Nate discovers an underground supernatural community, more missing psychics, and frightening information about his own talent.

Nate is left questioning his connection with Trent. Are their feelings real, or are they being propelled by abilities Nate didn’t realize he had? His fear of his power grows, but Nate must overcome it to find his brother’s killer and trust himself with Trent’s heart.
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Categories: 4.5 Star Ratings, Audio Review, LGBT, Published in 2017 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Author Q&A: Charlie Cochrane + Giveaway!

Interview Banner

Two Feet Under began life as a conversation in a car, when my eldest daughter and I got stuck in a traffic jam on the way to an author/reader event. It gained a criminal mastermind as a result of another conversation in the car with her younger sister. It got its background thanks to the popular television series “Time Team” and a setting care of the northern part of Hampshire. The plot came from the author’s twisted imagination, via a lot of checking. And at least one character is based on people I know. You have been warned.  

*****

Please welcome Charlie Cochrane to The Blogger Girls! Tell us a little about yourself, what prompted you to start writing?

I’d describe myself as mad and middle aged. My youngest daughter might put another light on me; as she often says, “It’s amazing you’re not in a home yet, mother.” In terms of writing, I’ve always made up stories in my head, either to amuse me or – later on – to amuse my daughters. Once I actually had some time to sit and write, the transition to putting stories down on a screen and sharing them with other people seemed a natural transition.

How much research do you put into a story?

As much as it needs. You have to make sure – first and foremost – that the central threads of the story work, so that’s the initial research an author has to do. And that’s irrespective of whether the story is historical or contemporary, because readers are more likely to spot a goof in a novel set in the modern day. Once that groundwork is done, I tend to research as I go along – you should see my initial drafts of stories, which are full of notes to self along the lines of, “check this”, “is that word too modern?”, “can you get from A to B on the train without changing lines?” They all get picked up second time through, so although that means I may have to make small changes, I haven’t lost the flow of my writing first time round.

How do you come up with your murder mystery plots? Do you always know the end or do you let the story unfold wherever it goes?

I rarely know the end. I let the story unfold as though I’m reading/watching/listening to it and finding out what is happening as I go along. This may seem chaotic (as will the fact I write scenes in a scattergun approach then piece them together later) but it works for me. As for plot ideas, my daughters are great sources of inspiration. “What about a story where a group of archaeologists are deadly enemies of a group of detectorists?” they say. And I go, “Ooh! Let me just give that a whirl.”

What’s harder for you, naming your characters, coming up with a title or finding the right cover?

The second one. Covers are a doddle because the Riptide artists are so talented. Names are also a doddle because if I’m stuck for one I go on the BBC sports website and trawl through some team listings until I find the right surname, then bung an appropriate forename on it. Titles, however…they’re like sweating blood. I’ve had to be rescued so often by my editors because my working title has been, to use a technical phrase, frankly pants.

And lastly, what book would you recommend for a new to you reader to start with?

If they like mysteries, then “The Best Corpse for the Job” makes a nice, gentle introduction to my writing style. (Also good for readers who like big, daft dogs.) If people prefer romance and/or shorter stories, then “Second Helpings” would be a great place to start. Continue reading

Categories: Author Q&A, Book Promo, Giveaways, LGBT, Published in 2018 | Tags: , , , , | 7 Comments

Book Review: Southernmost Murder by C.S. Poe

Reviewed by Ami

Title: Southernmost Murder
Author: C.S. Poe
Heroes: Aubrey/Jun
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 200 Pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: January 9, 2018
Available at:  Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb:  Aubrey Grant lives in the tropical paradise of Old Town, Key West, has a cute cottage, a sweet moped, and a great job managing the historical property of a former sea captain. With his soon-to-be-boyfriend, hotshot FBI agent Jun Tanaka, visiting for a little R&R, not even Aubrey’s narcolepsy can put a damper on their vacation plans.

But a skeleton in a closet of the Smith Family Historical Home throws a wrench into the works. Despite Aubrey and Jun’s attempts to enjoy some time together, the skeleton’s identity drags them into a mystery with origins over a century in the past. They uncover a tale of long-lost treasure, the pirate king it belonged to, and a modern-day murderer who will stop at nothing to find the hidden riches. If a killer on the loose isn’t enough to keep Aubrey out of the mess, it seems even the restless spirit of Captain Smith is warning him away.

The unlikely partnership of a special agent and historian may be exactly what it takes to crack this mystery wide-open and finally put an old Key West tragedy to rest. But while Aubrey tracks down the X that marks the spot, one wrong move could be his last.
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Categories: 4 Star Ratings, Ami's Reviews, Book Review, LGBT, Published in 2018 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Darkling by Brooklyn Ray: Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

Blogger_Exclusive Excerpt

Exclusive Excerpt from Darkling

by Brooklyn Ray

The loft above St. Maria’s Catholic Church was inhabited by a necromancer. Some people thought it was riddled with bones and corpses. Other witches thought they’d find skulls and black candles and cobwebs if they ventured inside. Most counted on the irony of the situation to mask the urban legend. A few dismissed it, thankful they’d never needed to knock on a necromancer’s door in search of assistance to begin with.

White witches who weren’t versed in dark magic thought it would swallow them whole if they even looked in its direction. But that wasn’t quite the case.

Ryder stood at the top of the steep, narrow staircase in front of a thick wooden door. His fist hovered inches from its surface, but before he mustered enough courage to knock, the door opened.

Jordan Wolfe shared Ryder’s sharp, fine features. Her cheekbones were prominent and her chin pointed. Her dark, sultry eyes were the same shape as his, tear-dropped and sad; sexy in a way that shouldn’t be, but still was. Except Jordan had Wolfe eyes—brown that was almost black, under gold that was almost yellow.

Ryder had his mother’s, Lewellyn eyes. They were canopy-leaf green, vibrant and startling in the light.

His Lewellyn eyes didn’t make him any less Wolfe, though. But no one needed to know that.

“What’re you doing here?” Jordan asked playfully. Her nose scrunched when she grinned, and she wrapped her arm around his shoulders to pull him into a hug. He’d forgotten how alike they sounded, raspy and graceless.

“I can’t come see my sister?” Ryder mumbled.

Jordan’s ashy blonde hair tickled his nose, swaying in loose curls over her shoulders. She smelled like lilies and blood. “You can, but you never do. What’s up? What’s going on?”

Ryder wanted to tell her, but everything lodged painfully in his throat. The reading. Liam. What it meant. If it even meant anything at all. His magic going nuclear more often than he was comfortable with. Him being a necromancer, but not. Him being a Fire witch, but not.

“Hey.” Jordan sounded sad. She brushed her knuckles across his cheeks. “Hey, no, I don’t like this. You feel like…” Her words were lost somewhere between them.

He stepped inside, and she closed the door. The loft was spacious and lulling. Candles were lit on the nightstand and the dresser. Runes and sigils were carved into the vaulted ceiling beams. A white-chalk circle decorated the floor beneath a round window on the far end of the room. No skulls, no rotting bodies, just odd purple plants, a stereo, and a rumpled bed.

Ryder paced back and forth, free to let his magic spark on the tips of his fingers now that he was with someone who understood it. “What happens if I choose to die?”

Jordan gave him space. She stood next to her bed, swathed in a long black dress. A fresh sigil was carved onto her arm. Part of it might’ve matched the one he’d seen on Thalia at the café earlier.

“If I go through with the Wolfe ceremony, if I die and come back, what then?” Ryder asked. He shrugged off his peacoat. It hit the floor, exposing pale, lean arms. His magic went every which way, abandoning the glamour he wore daily on his chest. The scars didn’t bother him, but it didn’t hurt to cover them either.

“God, look at you,” Jordan said, exhaling on the end. “You look wonderful, Ryder.”

“That’s doesn’t answer my question,” he said. He stopped and stared at the ceiling, reining in the grate of his voice. “Thank you, yeah, whatever, but—”

“If you decide to die, you become a necromancer.”

“And what happens to my elemental gifts?”

“I’m not sure. You’re the first Lewellyn-born Wolfe we’ve ever seen.”

The magic writhed against Ryder’s bones. It thrummed under his skin, loud like gunshots inside him. “What would Dad say?”

“You can ask him yourself,” Jordan said, her tone matter-of-fact. “I’m only a year older than you; it’s not like he listens to me more than he listens to you.”

“Yeah, okay, but you’re…” Ryder gestured up and down, from Jordan’s head to her toes. “You. You’re the darling dark daughter.”

Jordan rolled her eyes. “Are you going to tell me what’s really going on?”

“I drew The Magician and The Tower today.” He paused and licked his lips. “Liam pulled The Devil and The Lovers. Something came for us, and it was dark. Wolfe dark.”

“Ancestors make appearances all the time with young alchemists. What’s the problem?”

“We both felt it. I felt it, Liam felt it. We…”

“Tethered.”

“Yes.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, LGBT, Published in 2018 | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Lost in Time by A.L. Lester: Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

Blogger_Exclusive Excerpt

Exclusive Excerpt from Lost in Time

by A.L. Lester

Prologue: 2016

In a quiet room the glow of the surrounding circle of candles gave off a dim warm light.

He sat cross-legged in silence on the floor in front of the silver bowl of water in the center of the circle, palms open, relaxed, hands on his knees. The surface of the water was still. Very carefully, he reached out a hand and picked up the small bottle on the floor next to him. Equally carefully, he tilted it slowly until a single drop fell into the center of the bowl.

It was oily and it spread out quickly over the surface, shimmering darkly. It smelled of cedar and cypress and pine; green depths and rich earthy expectations; still and dark as the forest from which it had come.

He replaced the lid on the bottle and put it back on the floor.

Steadily, he drew in a breath. It was make or break time now. He either gave up and never came back to this, or he pursued the path he’d been following for the last fortnight.

With resolve, he lifted his hands and placed them on the bowl, cupping it. He began, very, very cautiously, to open up his Othersense, breathing in the scent of the oil, aware of the light of the candles falling on his skin in an almost tactile way and letting his focus narrow down to the center of the ring of flame, dismissing everything else as superfluous.

He closed his eyes and pictured Mira, the sense of her.

Dark, strong, beautiful. Headstrong. Driven. Self-centered.

Mercurial. Stubborn.

There. A twist and a push and there it was. A flash, like the edge of a coat or dress disappearing around a corner. A red dress. He rushed after it with his Othersense, grasping, afraid he’d lose it because it was so faint. As he did so he let go of the bowl—it was only a tool to focus anyway—and reached out with hands, as if that would help.

It was faint, faint, faint, and fading. He took a huge breath in, breathed out, and pushed, grabbed for it, caught the trailing edge in his outstretched hand and closed his fingers, both mentally and in reality.

There was a loud bang and shock of cold as the temperature in the room dropped suddenly. All the candles went out at once. He still had his eyes shut but the glow of light on his eyelids was replaced with darkness. He gasped and started coughing as cold, wet air hit his lungs.

Chapter 1: Coming Home, 1918

The empty police office smelled the same. Dusty formality, sweat, exhaustion, and boredom. The sun came in through the high arched windows and turned the dust motes in the air to clouds of golden haze. The dark wooden desks shone and the chairs were in the same positions they had been in four years ago. Even the paperwork piled on the surfaces looked like it hadn’t shifted an inch.

Alec stood for a moment in the open doorway and took it all in, re-acclimatizing. He still felt odd in his civvies, even more so now he was back at work. For four years, ‘work’ had equaled a uniform, webbing, puttees, a Webley revolver on his hip, and a red cap. Now he was in one of his pre-war suits, slightly too small across the shoulders, and an overcoat that smelled of mothballs. He took it off and hung it, with his hat, on the tall umbrella stand by the door.

“Can I help you?” A pleasant, light voice came from behind him as he turned back. A chap leaned in the open doorway on the right of the room, cup and saucer of tea balanced in one hand. He was wearing an immaculately-cut pinstripe suit. Alec immediately felt shabby. He stepped forward, regardless, holding out his hand.

“Good morning. I’m Alastair Carter. The new inspector.”

The other man smiled and moved to put his tea down and clasp Alec’s hand with a warm, firm grip. “Ah, yes, the Super said you’d be starting today. Will Grant. I’m your sergeant. Very pleased to meet you.” He picked his cup up again. “Come and get a cup of tea and I’ll show you around. We’re rather shortstaffed, I’m afraid. There’s just me, Laurence, and Percy. Desperately glad you’ve arrived. We’ve been puttering along, but there’s plenty to get stuck into.”

He busied himself pouring tea from a pot on the desk in the small office he’d emerged from. “I’ve been in here, but I’ll clear out into the main office. It’s the Inspector’s cubbyhole, actually. You were stationed here before?”

“Yes, for a few months. It’s not changed much.” He looked around. Vesper had been the inspector in ‘14. The old man had retired a few months ago, well past the age he should have been pensioned off. During all his time in France Alec had known he’d come back, but he hadn’t thought he’d come straight in again as an inspector. They were desperately undermanned though, Wolsey had said yesterday when he’d gone down to Scotland Yard to see him.

Poplar had always been Alec’s patch even as a uniformed constable and he was happy to be able to slide back into an area he already knew. It was a distance from his house out at Hampstead, but it was interesting, necessary work that included the docks and some poor areas he considered in more urgent need of policing than the richer areas to the west of the City of London. He’d been offered a choice between his old station at Wapping and a new start somewhere further west. Of course, he’d chosen Wapping. Being handed a promotion as well was a pleasant and unexpected surprise.

“No hurry to move out just now,” he said to Grant. “There’s plenty of space for me to settle in around you whilst you shuffle paper. Have you been here long? You weren’t here before the war, were you? I don’t remember you.”

“No, I got a Blighty in ‘15 and came back here after I got on my feet again. After a fashion. I was only just out of uniform, over in Holborn when I joined up, but they needed the men and I was it, so Detective Sergeant Grant it was.” He grimaced ruefully. “We’ve been doing a lot of learning on the job, but we’ve managed. A bigger team is a huge relief. And a boss here on site.” He coughed apologetically, hand over his mouth. “And someone who can run a hundred yards without expiring.” Alec raised a questioning eyebrow.

“Belgian front,” Grant replied, with economy.

“Ah.” That had been bad. Alec had seen the results of several gas attacks himself and it would go with him to the grave. It was only too easy to imagine what Grant had gone through both during and after the event. That poet fellow, Owen, had had it down to a tee.

Alec had come across a pamphlet of poems one day a

week or two ago, kicking round Bloomsbury waiting for the Met to get back in touch with him. Graphic stuff that had made him even more grateful it was all over. He considered of mentioning it to Grant and then thought better of it. He didn’t want to get off on the wrong foot with the man. If he was as competent as he was pleasant, there was the makings of a good team here.

Chapter 2: The Beginning, 1919

He was cold. And it was dark. Damp, cold air pulling in and out of his lungs. He was lying down, crumpled against cold, wet concrete or brick. He struggled to open his eyes as he pressed himself back against the wall, driven by a terror he couldn’t place as something loomed over him and pushed past. His head was fuzzy, banging with pain, and his body felt like one enormous bruise.

Fear finally drove him to get his eyes open and he relaxed a fraction when he saw he was alone in a small alley, lit only by the hazy glare of a street lamp at the junction with a larger street. He tipped his head back in relief and took a moment to orient himself in the relative safety.

He was unharmed, although his head was pounding and his entire body ached like he had run a marathon or been beaten. But he had no memory of either of those things happening. Bile rose in his throat and he barely had time to fall forward on his hands and knees before he vomited, disgustingly and comprehensively until dry heaves were all he had left.

He rested for a moment, head hanging, the drizzle spattering over him, before he gathered the strength to push himself back against the wall.

What had happened? His mind was a blank. He shuddered.

His name was Lew. What was he doing here? How had he got here? His breathing started to reflect his panicky state of mind and he automatically began counting his in-breath, holdbreath, out-breath before he was even conscious of it.

So, his name was Lew, and he knew how to handle himself when he started a panic attack.

Good. That was good. Useful. Because it seemed like a good skill to have at this particular moment in time.

Time. Time…she’d moved through time. That didn’t make sense. Who’d moved through time? He focused on his breathing again, quietly letting the misty rain settle on his upturned, aching face, trying to pack the panic down deep inside.

There wasn’t anything he could get a grip on. Every time

he reached out to a foggy picture in his head, it moved further away. Memory was slippery and twisted, like silk rope, looping round and leading nowhere.

Finally, the buzzing in his head subsided enough for him to clamber to his feet—with the support of the wall at his back— and after catching his breath, he thought to check his pockets.

Wallet, cards, money. Phone. He switched it on whilst he went through the wallet.

Driving license—Lewis Rogers, twenty-six years old, place of residence London, England. Qualified to drive any category vehicle up to a 7.5-ton truck. A debit card for Barclays. No credit cards. The driving license and a dog-eared organ donor card agreed his next of kin was Mrs. P. Rogers of Brighton, relationship—Mother.

In his jeans pocket was four pounds and twenty-seven pence in small change; and in his wallet, fifty quid in two twenties and a tenner, that looked as if they’d come straight out of the cash-point.

That triggered a little flurry of memory. He’d got it out on his way home, as it was getting dark, from the cash-point on the corner of Garter Row. There was a Tesco Metro there and he’d got out sixty quid and spent some of it on a loaf of bread and some milk. The face of the check-out girl came back to him, her dark hair winging across her eyes as she smiled and handed him his change. He’d shoved it in his pocket, along with the receipt.

His phone had booted and he checked it. No signal.

Typical.

It was still drizzling, the kind of fine cloud of almost-mist that drenched through clothes in no time.

He drew a breath and started to scroll down his list of contacts—splinters and flashes of memory coming back to him as he did so. Regan, a tall blond with a curling Celtic tattoo over his right bicep. Mark, a laughing face in a pub somewhere, after rugby. Katie, a tiny frame, hands dancing as she waved them to illustrate her point. Mira, green eyes and a red dress, a low singing voice crooning an old song…

…and with a thump, the weight of memory hit him, like a sock full of sand to the back of his head.

It left him gasping and near to vomiting again, desperately sorting through the shattered splinters of imagery falling into place.

A coherent picture began to emerge as he forced his breath in and out, in and out.

The Border. Capital T. Capital B.

Another chunk of memory fell into place. The Border was a tool he used and a threat he managed. The memory made his entire skin twitch and his hands tingle.

He had been working The Border, he was sure. Looking for what?

Mira. He had been looking for Mira. The mental image of the girl with green eyes and sleek bob popped up again. Mira was lost in the Shadowlands—something had gone wrong while she was Pulling the stuff of The Border to her will. She shouldn’t have been doing it.

The Border was power, contained in a matrix no one he had ever spoken to even pretended to understand—they knew it was power, it was danger, it could be worked with; and it should not be misused for your own ends because there was no knowing what would happen. It could quickly leap out of your control, perhaps for its own purpose, perhaps manipulated by those who lived on the other side.

They didn’t know enough about it to do, safely, more than Pull a little of the stuff of it to repair where it seemed to be thinning and to use it for small Workings to make life a little easier.

And Mira had wanted more. She had found…His memory stuttered again, too much too soon…a book…a book of rituals? A book of spells? His mind revolted against the description, but that was what she’d called it. She hadn’t shown it to him, although he’d seen a few pages of it open on her table after he had broken into her flat to search for her; and he had tried to mimic what she had seemed to have done with it.

She had told him she knew how to use the spells inside it. He’d laughed at her words. His father, the person who had taught him what little he knew, would have scoffed at the word ‘spell.’ He had talked of Pulling and Working. Mira though…She wanted to manipulate the tangible fabric Lew had dedicated his entire existence to balancing, to smoothing, blocking the holes and gaps that appeared. She wanted to use it for her own ends.

Lew had told her to be careful. That his experience, and that of the people who had taught him, had made him fear the consequences of trying to take a lot of power for oneself and form it to one’s own will. But Mira was confident she could handle it. She had wanted the new job so badly she simply hadn’t listened.

Lew had had to break down her door to get in. He had felt the Pull of her Working from his flat a couple of miles away—it had been so visceral, so strong. He’d rushed to her flat as soon as he could, but she was gone. The candles had still been burning. The book was open at a handwritten page; instructions for getting the job or work you wanted.

He had no idea what had happened then. His memory told him he had put all possible wards and guards in place before he undertook his search for her a fortnight later; and he had blocked all the loopholes he could think of that might open up and allow anything to ooze through from behind The Border. He had made his ritual as concise and tightly formed as he possibly could, to give less chance of errors. So, where the hell was he?

* * * *

There was no one else about—the alley was deserted. He made his way slowly toward the entrance and realized he was near the river, probably downstream a bit, where there were still warehouses. That explained why it was so quiet. He put it to his back and started walking toward what he assumed was the north. He could pick up a cab and get home then, and work out what had happened. His Working must have fritzed out somehow—unsurprising given what he’d been trying to do.

The streetlights were out and the clouds and drizzle made it even darker. So much so he didn’t see the two men until they stepped out in front of him. He went to move around them, sluggishly, but they were too quick, grabbing him by his arms and slamming him in to the wall. He fought back in a desultory fashion, but he was still too dizzy to defend himself properly. They took his wallet and left him gasping on the ground again with a final punch to the solar plexus. He still had his phone though, that was something. If only he could get signal. He checked again. Not even a bar to call 999.

Finally there were streetlights and one or two people passed him, giving him a wide berth—he probably had a black eye by now and he knew he was limping. Nowhere looked familiar. He kept walking north-east, toward what should be the center of town.

It was all unfamiliar. A couple of vintage cars passed him. Was there a rally or something going on? He didn’t remember seeing anything advertised. Everyone was well bundled up against the rain, heads down, hurrying to get home or to work. He realized it was starting to get light—dawn was breaking. Shouldn’t it be busier? It wasn’t even a Sunday for it to be this quiet.

Finally, he hit an open newsagent and fumbled in his pocket for some change. Perhaps they’d let him use their phone and he could ring for a cab. As he was standing outside, his eye caught the stack of papers for sale. The headline screamed “Mrs. Astor elected as MP” in large letters. The date at the top read “29 November 1919.”

Slowly, he put his change back in his pocket and stepped back a little. He put his shoulder to the damp wall and breathed quietly, taking in his surroundings in a way he hadn’t before.

The clothes. The cars. The horses. The hats. The hats gave it away. Everyone had a hat. Caps, tall homburgs, the occasional bowler. All the women with different headgear. The hemlines. The boots. Everyone had boots on.

He was starting to attract attention. He felt sick. He stumbled down another side alley and crouched in a deserted doorway and tried to gather his thoughts.

He was sure he was in London. The one or two voices he had heard, muted by the rain, gave it away if nothing else, but he hadn’t yet placed where he was. He put aside how this had happened, he needed to work out how to deal with the consequences. No wonder his phone couldn’t get signal. He got it out of his pocket and turned it off. No point.

His inventory was lacking. Phone. A few coins. The clothes on his back. Nothing else. What the hell was he going to do?

* * * *

In the end, he walked and walked. Getting out of the city seemed like a good idea, rather than being picked up as a vagrant. Sleeping rough and stealing food from bins was a bad way to live. He stole an overcoat from a man in a café. It had had a few coins in the pocket and he was able to afford a bit of food.

He put aside the thought he was now a thief.

His vague idea he would be safer if he got himself out of London and found somewhere to hide, away from people, led him to Harlow, following the main road east out of the city.

Going over the bridge at Harlow he came head to head with a bloke on a motorbike, going too fast around the sharp corner. The biker braked hard and slid sideways on the icy road. The man went headlong into the river, head and neck already at an odd angle from the way he’d hit the road under the fallen machine.

Lew ended up tangled under the bike too. He lay there in a distressed heap, legs trapped, feeling the exhaust burning against his calf. Panting and struggling he failed to push it off him.

* * * *

His memory was jumbled, like a dream. He could remember being tangled with the bike, in the ditch. He was muzzy, couldn’t remember how he got there—a recurring theme in his recent life, he thought ruefully. The bike’s engine had cut out, which was a relief; but it was on top of his leg, which was painful. Then his memories came back with a thud.

He was stuck in 1919 and it was raining. It seemed to always be raining in 1919. He remembered it wasn’t his bike he was stuck under; and then there was a man shouting at him from the road, which seemed odd, as earlier there was only him and the biker; and he was fairly sure, from the way the biker had been hurling toward the water, there would be no shouting from him.

He’d jumped into the ditch to avoid the bike. Good. That made sense of his immediate situation, if not the shouting man.

He could smell petrol, which wasn’t all that great.

The shouting stopped after a while, which was nice. Then the bike was moved, which was initially excruciatingly painful, but much better once it was no longer pressing into his knee.

Then unstoppable hands were patting him down and pulling him to his feet, a relentless shoulder was pushed under his arm, and he was hauled without ceremony up to the road again.

“What happened, did you take the corner too fast?

Coming up there to the bridge is a bit sharp.”

He didn’t answer, fighting to catch his breath against the pain in his leg, and his good Samaritan continued, “No, no, don’t try to talk. We’ve got you. Not a good night to be out in it, at all. On your way back home?” There was a pause for breath and then, “Good grief, man, let’s have a look at that leg.”

Then there were more flashes of memory; the recollection of being pulled into a car and a woman’s voice saying, “That’s it, Mac, he’s in. I’m worried about his leg, let’s get him to Grimes’s and then worry about his ‘cycle. We can send Grimes’s man back for it.”

And the man saying, “Mind his head, he’s smashed it properly.”

Then it all went mercifully dark for a bit.

His next clear recollection was of an old-fashioned doctor’s surgery, where he seemed to be lying on a leather couch. An older man with impressive side-whiskers was bent over his leg. The trousers that had covered the leg had disappeared.

Disturbing, but he passed out again before he could query it.

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Sin & Saint by J.M. Dabney: Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

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Exclusive Excerpt from Sin & Saint

by J.M. Dabney

 

 

As they stared out the window, he felt as unsure as his twin, and it was odd. This was all new, and he didn’t know what to expect. Camden wrapped his arms around them from behind.

“So, what do you think? Did I do okay because you two are awful quiet.”

Sin nudged him, and he darted a glance at his twin. “No one has ever taken us away for a weekend before.”

“You’re a little out of your comfort zone, I should’ve asked, I’m—”

“No, don’t be sorry, it’s perfect and it’s really nice.”

Camden kissed the tops of their heads, and they leaned back into him.

“I know works been a bitch lately, and I’m sorry we haven’t been able to spend a lot of time together. Being stuck out at my place can’t be fun.”

“We love your place,” they said in unison.

“But I haven’t exactly been the best boyfriend or partner whatever you want to call me. I’m new to all this, and I want it to work out.”

“I think I can speak for Saint and myself, we want this to work out too. So, what’s the plan?”

“No plan. Just the three of hanging out. I’m not much of wine drinker, but I thought what the hell. The website said there’s shops nearby. We can drink wine. Just spend time without me having to go to the office. I even left my work phone at home. If an emergency does come up everyone knows how to get in touch.”

“No phone? No midnight calls? Just the three of us?” Saint released Sin’s arm, and they turned to look up at Camden.

“I promise, Wren and the rest of the deputies can handle everything. This weekend is about us.”

It sounded so perfect. Camden’s big hand curled around the back of his neck and Camden lowered his mouth to his. It was instant hard-on every time. He didn’t understand how a simple kiss could turn him on so quickly. Camden’s tongue pushed passed his lips, and he moaned as he lifted onto his toes. He fisted his hands in Camden’s t-shirt. The kiss slowly ended, and then Camden turned to Sin, repeating the actions. A few more quick kisses and Camden stepped back taking their hands.

“Let’s go get our bags and head to the winery for dinner and drinks, then we’ll come back here. How’s that sound.”

He nodded, and like always, Camden didn’t pull away from them. He looked at them like he was proud that they were his. He didn’t worry about what was going on at home. He just wanted to spend time with Camden and Sin. This was his family—the three of them.

 

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Release Day Blitz: Vows Box Set by Addison Albright + Giveaway!

Vows Box Set by Addison Albright

‘Til Death Do Us Part: Henry and Sam Miller-Greene are living the dream, but their worlds are shattered when Henry’s plane crashes and he’s presumed dead. But Henry survives undetected on a remote, small, and insignificant island. Will Sam and Henry’s love be able to survive, as well? When Henry and Sam face an accidental estrangement, and Henry is assumed dead, can their love endure the trials of one’s fight for survival, and the other’s new love interest? When Henry is rescued, will Sam be able to put aside his new love when he reunites with Henry?

From This Day Forward: Henry and Sam are enjoying life after Henry’s rescue. With their nightmare separation behind them, Henry and Sam are anxious to renew both the intensity of their former intimacies — now hampered by having a curious and still apprehensive child sharing their home — and their commitment to one another. Will they be able to move their love forward now that they are together again?

Okay, Then: Sam and Henry’s first date/encounter is mentioned in flashback in ‘Til Death Do Us Part,but this short story fleshes it out. Relive the moment they first connect while on a research trip in Honiara in the Solomon Islands.

To Love and To Cherish: Jilted by his fiancé Sam just weeks before their wedding, Nash Marino’s outlook on life in general, and love in particular, is jaded. Will Nash find love again? Of course he will. Will he go about it in the usual way? Now that’s another story entirely. When Nash’s marriage of convenience scheme is muddied by notions of love after a memory reboot, will their plans go awry, or will Nash’s new outlook on life be just what the doctor ordered?

Box Set’s available at: Amazon

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No Fear by Nora Phoenix: Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

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Exclusive Excerpt from No Fear

by Nora Phoenix

 

 

Indy said, “I know you recently came out as gay, but Aaron, you really need to learn how to do this. You cannot walk up to men you’ve barely met and ask them out. Somebody will take offense and beat the shit out of you.”

Blake stepped in. “They already have, and I’m starting to see why.”

Aaron blushed fiercely. “Can’t blame a guy for trying.”

“Actually, I can,” Indy said. “It’s offensive to be asked out simply because you can tell I’m gay. It reeks of you wanting to lose your gay V-card, and while I’m sure there are guys more than happy to help you out, it doesn’t appeal to me at all. You’re not even close to being my type, as any gay man would’ve been able to tell you, and I’m damn sure I’m not yours, either.”

Indy wasn’t pulling any punches, and Blake almost felt sorry for Aaron. Almost, because Blake’s anger was still bubbling below the surface, and there was no doubt in his mind Aaron needed to hear this. He might not realize it now, but Indy was doing him a massive service. “Why would I not be your type?”

Indy deserved credit for not rolling his eyes at that question. Blake totally would have, no doubt in his mind. “You’ve met Noah, right? That’s my type. Big, strong, bossy as fuck. Which would be your type as well, if I had to hazard a guess.”

Aaron’s face grew even redder. Blake suppressed a chuckle. It looked like Indy’s guess had been spot-on.

“How the f-f-fuck would you know what my type is?” Aaron sputtered, clearly embarrassed as hell. It would have come out a lot stronger if he hadn’t stuttered on the word “fuck.”

Indy merely laughed. “Experience. Now, that’s ‘How to Be Gay 101’ for today. I have a training I want to get back to.”

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Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, LGBT, Published in 2017 | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Honorary Blogger Rhys Ford: Kane & Miki + Giveaway!

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415 Ink: Rebel

by Rhys Ford

Hello and welcome to the 415 Ink: Rebel Blog Tour. I’d like to say I’m Rhys Ford, your host but the truth is, I am merely a stealer of space and time. Their space, your time. BUT I hope I can make it worth your while.

Because dudes, I’ve got a book I want to tell you about.

If you know me at all, you know I have a few tattoos and well, have a hardcore love for art. Skin art to be exact. It’s a difficult medium and well, there’s a culture surrounding it as well. Being a tattoo artist is more than a profession, it truly is a calling, or it is for the great artists, the ones who push at the boundaries of skin and ink and do fantastical things on a living canvas.

The 415 Ink series hopefully will capture a part of that culture and also showcase five foster brothers who have made their own family. Set in San Francisco, I will introduce you to each of the five in a series of books where they find love and in some cases, their true path in life. The first, Rebel, is about Gus, the true middle kid in the bunch, and the man whose love he’d won, lost and hopefully will love again.

As all of my blog tours, I want to present you with something unique at each stop as well as a giveaway. So, for each blog, I will give you a story (or part of a story as I’ve split most into two pieces) about a tattoo… involving a character from one of my series. Check out the blog stop list to get a sneak peek at the characters!

The giveaway? You’ll be entering to win a $20 USD gift certificate to the online retailer of your choice!

Now, onto the tales of tattoos and where you can find Rebel, on sale December 29th through Dreamspinner, Amazon and other fine bookstores.

*****

San Francisco — Kane Morgan and Miki St. John

There were very few times in his life when Miki was by his side as he strolled past the Fisherman’s Wharf sign. That path was usually reserved for Rafe, Sionn and Connor, especially when they were on a run or hitting up the old crab shack for lunch. It seemed odd to have his rangy, too-pretty rock star of a lover walking next to him in bright daylight and not be headed to Finnegan’s.

Even stranger were the stares Miki pulled in as he walked by small crowds of people. He knew Miki was famous. He couldn’t turn on a radio without hearing Miki’s voice rotating through a song list, and there’d been more than a few times when they were out and someone approached cautiously, eager to get Miki’s attention but reluctant to interrupt.

That was when Kane remembered he shared Miki with the world. It wasn’t a bad thing, especially when he watched his prickly lover turn bashful and shy. He could talk music for hours — and had, blowing their reservations at a dinner once — but just like the star Kane wore, Miki had a calling and enthusiastic fans were simply part of it.

Even if Miki hated the attention, he always stopped and listened, smiling when Kane knew he wanted to die a little bit inside when all eyes were on him, and he could see their faces. It’d taken a long time for Kane to understand the difference. Up close and personal was hard but on stage, Miki saw nothing but heard their voices, a chorus chanting back the band’s words, filling in the silence Miki often nursed inside of himself. Performing was a way for Miki to bathe in the music and touch the stars.

“You always stop. You have to stop.” Miki snorted with disgust when Connor innocently suggested the band excused themselves from fan encounters. “They’re the reason we’re up there. Somebody worked at a shitty job so they could see us up on stage. They might have eaten ramen for month for those tickets or even that album. Yeah, they don’t own us but they’ve invested in us. And all I’ve got to invest in them is time so I’m always gonna stop.”

While Kane agreed with the sentiment, today he hoped no one reached out to touch his rock star. Today was a long day coming, a gift he’d promised himself years before. Today was the day he would finally become a Morgan cop.

“It’s shitty the parking structure so far away.” Miki shivered a bit, ducking his head down when the light turned green, and they had to dash across the street through the chilly rain. “’Course I guess I should just be fucking glad there’s a parking structure. Remember when you had to circle around a lot? And we used to have this beat-up old van that was bigger than a Cadillac so we’d have gigs down here at eight but came down to park in the afternoon and feed the meter just so we had a spot.”

“You know, that’s one of my biggest regrets… not seeing you guys play before.” Kane snuck a look at Miki’s pale face, worried that he was setting too hard of a pace for Miki’s blown out knee. “You must have had some really kick ass shows.”

Miki wrinkled his nose as if he’d just been served a large helping of bitter melon stew. “Not back then. I mean there are a lot of places down here that have good music but the ones that hired us were just looking for some background noise while everybody drank. We played covers mostly and there were some nights we drank more than what we were paid but it was fun. Mostly. Sometimes, not so much but that’s what happens when you’re in a band. This is the same place that we went to for Ichi, right? They’ve got a dog named… Earl.” Continue reading

Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, Honorary Blogger Post, LGBT, Published in 2017 | Tags: , , , , , | 66 Comments

Won’t Feel a Thing by C.F. White: Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

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Exclusive Excerpt from Won’t Feel a Thing

by C.F. White

“The first time I ate an oyster, I nearly chucked it back up.” Ollie bit into the luxuriously hot and creamy pizza slice. He tucked it to the side of his mouth to continue talking. “Felt like I was eating snot.”

Jacob laughed, holding a hand up to his lips not to spit his own mouthful of pizza across the room. He had come back to the ward quite quickly, and Ollie had managed to sneak him through into Daisy’s room, with the door firmly shut. The offer of the one slice had made him not immediately back right out. He was hungry, and it was another two hours until his official break. All his patients were asleep, obs up to date, and while he should be catching up on the paperwork, he thought he could use a quick bite.

Sitting at the end of Daisy’s room on the pull-out sofa, Ollie had closed the separating curtain in case anyone peeked in through the blinds. It wasn’t exactly against the rules to bring food into children’s rooms, although it was frowned upon if it wasn’t food from the hospital canteen. It was probably ever so much more frowned upon for Ollie to be eating it with a patient’s parent.

The pizza box lay open on the sofa between them, and Ollie perched on the armrest while Jacob sat on the cushions. Jacob devoured the pizza as if he hadn’t eaten properly in days. Ollie couldn’t blame him. The seafood variety of topping was to die for. But he suspected it was the first time Jacob had allowed such a meal to pass his lips in a while, fear and worry taking over the hunger pangs in his stomach. It made him wonder what sort of person wouldn’t tell their child’s father about their child’s operation.

“I don’t mean to pry,” Ollie started and realized that was the age-old saying for actually, yes I do and I’m so gonna. “But how come you didn’t know about Daisy being here? Did her mother not tell you? The operation would have been booked in for months.”

Jacob swallowed his last piece of pizza and wiped his hands on a paper napkin to rid them of the crumbs and leftover grease. He fell back in the seat and rested his head against the wall, his bright, all-consuming blue eyes on Ollie’s.

“She doesn’t particularly like me anymore.” Jacob admitted. “We don’t really speak. Most of our conversations are conducted through lawyers and the CSA—the child support agency. I used to see Daisy every other weekend, but when she got sick, Becky stopped turning up. I believe she also has a new boyfriend who may be the cause of some of that.”

“I’m sorry,” Ollie replied, now wishing he hadn’t asked. “That must be tough.”

Jacob shook his head against the wall. “I deserve it, I suppose.”

“Nothing merits being shut out of your daughter’s life.” Ollie was surprised at how gallant it came out.

Jacob picked at the skin on his hand. “Perhaps not,” he said. “But I don’t think she really trusts me. Lying to someone for so many years often has that effect.”

Ollie nodded, sympathetic smile on display, and decided to leave that there. It wasn’t his place to know the whole goings-on in the man’s life, even if it did affect his patient.

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Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, LGBT, Published in 2017 | Tags: , , | 4 Comments