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Imperial Twist by Jessamyn Kingley: Exclusive Excerpt!

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Exclusive Excerpt from Imperial Twist

by Jessamyn Kingley

Damian slapped his towel over the bar and walked into his bedroom. Once he got to the closet, he selected a pair of jeans and a T-shirt since he would be relaxing at a ball game. It was a far cry from the tuxedo he’d worn the night before at a networking dinner for Draconis Enterprises. He wasn’t sure if it was necessary for the Emperors to be attending, as they’d long ago handed the company over to executives, but they would do whatever they could for the dragons.

Once his hair was combed, he left the dark decor of his private space to walk into the bright white, teal, black, and green medley that served as the palette for the shared areas of the condo. It made him smile to see the combination of colors that symbolized all of them, even Findlay with his ebony hair and mossy eyes. He jogged down the stairs and found a group of men frowning in the kitchen.

“What are we going to do?” Ellery asked forlornly as he stared at the counter.

“Does it really matter?” Tiri responded, his voice laden with confusion.

Ellery’s black-and-white hair with its gilt beads slapped his cheek as he whipped his head quickly to his best friend. “Of course it matters.”

“What’s going on?” Damian demanded. He tugged his earpiece out of his pocket and slipped it in, sure that something dire was happening, though as the man who ruled security, he should’ve been the first to be told.

“Ask your twin,” Ellery demanded as he aimed a dark look at the man he loved.

Damian was surprised to see so much anger directed at Chrysander; he knew how Ellery adored him. “What happened?”

“I was trying to make you a cup of coffee,” Chrysander told the unimpressed elf-dragon hybrid.

“We need to hurry, or we’re going to be late. Costas and Niko are already on their way,” Tiri complained.

“Well, we sure as heck aren’t going to let Chrys make the coffee. He sucks at it,” Damian grumbled as he strode past the frowning men to the coffeemaker.

“He does not just suck at it; he has broken it,” Ellery snapped.

Damian turned on one heel to face his Emperors. “What do you mean, ‘broken it’? How are we going to live without caffeine?”

“All I did was add the coffee and the water, and the damn thing busted,” Chrysander nearly roared. “Sorry, Tiri, I owe you a dollar.”

“I told everyone you don’t have to pay me for your potty mouths any longer,” Tiri reminded him. He’d arrived at their household from the exceedingly poor Sprite Grove and in order to save his pride at accepting Zane’s money, Ellery had suggested that they each give Tiri a dollar for each curse word they used. All the dukes in their court had readily agreed to pitch in, eager to help the friendly sprite. Unfortunately, Zane had decided to reimburse everyone behind Tiri’s back. When his mate found out, Tiri had demanded Zane stop the program entirely since he now made plenty through his company. No one, however, was willing to end the payments as nothing had changed Tiri’s aversion to foul language.

Zane snorted. “Good luck telling His Majesty not to give you money.”

“I’m not going to argue with you,” Tiri countered as he slapped his hands on his hips. “You guys are going to have to deal with life without your coffee. We need to go. Praxis is going to be mad if we miss his game.”

“I need coffee,” Ellery said dejectedly.

“Come on gang, we’ll find a coffee shop on the way to the field,” Damian decided.

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Like Father, Like Son by Quin Perin: Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

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Exclusive Excerpt from Like Father, Like Son

by Quin Perin

There wasn’t anything worth shit in this fucking place. I didn’t even know where I was going to live next week. I was going to take what I wanted. Take Devon by the balls, probably literally, and have him make me his for the evening. And then maybe I’d steal his money and go pick up something to eat before going home. The usual.

I placed my beer on the bar and closed the remaining distance between us. “Well, there’s a lot I like,” I said. I dragged my fingers over his arm and squeezed his biceps. He was tall but not big. Lean with a narrow waist and broad chest. He wasn’t a bodybuilder, but his arms… they were perfect. “I like strong men who can toss me around the room and pin me to the bed until I’m crying for it.”

Devon’s eyes flashed. That had clearly caught his interest. I smirked. Got ‘im. I probably could have stopped right there, but I kept going. Might as well lay all my cards on the table because when I looked for an older man, I had very specific things I wanted from him. I slipped my fingers lower, tracing across the tattoo on the back of his hand, and tilted my head to the side. “I also have a thing for older men,” I purred, lips almost against his ear. “Wanna be my Daddy for the night?”

His body tensed. Fuck, had I crossed a line? If he wasn’t into it, that was fine. He could find someone else in this half-empty bar, in fucking Ohio, to go home with him. I’d have better luck finding a fuck than he would. That much I was sure of. It was clear he was thinking about what I’d said, but then he shrugged and placed the beer bottle back between his lips. He drained it in no time. “Whatever you want, kid,” he said with a roguish grin.

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The Rivalry by Beth Bolden: Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

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Exclusive Excerpt from The Rivalry

by Beth Bolden

“Sam?” Heath’s voice was impossibly deeper, and sweeter than he remembered. Oh, you’re in deep. So fucking deep you’re never going to dig your way out—even if you tried. Even if you wanted to.

“Yeah, yeah, it’s me. Sam.” Sam cleared his throat. He sounded just as lame as he had in his voicemail, but he’d apparently lost his chill right along with his heart.

“Sam,” Heath said, with so much certainty that even Sam was reassured. He was here, his name was Sam, and Heath had called him back.

“I’m sorry I’m calling so late,” Heath continued, “I just realized what time it must be there. I didn’t get your voicemail until after practice was over.”

“Practice, yes,” Sam babbled. “Not too late.”

“Good,” Heath said.

“I . . .” Sam suddenly didn’t know what to say. Or maybe it wasn’t so much a sudden or unexpected occurrence as it was a terrifying one. Naturally, he said the very worst thing he could. “I’ve missed you.”

There was absolute silence on the other end of the line. Then Heath cleared his throat. “Is that why you’ve discovered a predilection for throwing yourself down mountains and out of airplanes?”

There was nothing Sam wanted more than for Heath to whisper “predilection” in his ear, in that dark, deep honey voice, while he was even deeper inside Sam. “No?” Frankly he couldn’t even remember why he’d started doing it. Probably because Felicity was insane, and he’d decided to recklessly join in her insanity because the first time he’d done it, on a whim, he’d felt a little better, if only for a moment. He’d been able to focus merely on staying alive, and at the time, that had felt like a very good thing.

“You seem unsure.”

Sam was unsure of every single fucking thing at the moment. “Not much is making sense, right now,” Sam admitted.

“Then maybe I can help.” Heath paused. “I actually . . . I told my agent to leave off the idea of bringing you to LA. You’re good where you are. Or if you’re not, there’s lots of better places to be. We’re good here.”

Sam was breathless, the words knocked from his lungs with Heath’s words. Not only had he told his agent to drop the idea, it had never been Heath’s at all. “All good, then?”

“It’s a passing thing. It’ll pass.” Heath sounded as determined as Sam had ever heard him. That was all Sam needed to know to believe that wasn’t true at all. They both knew it, but Heath would never admit it. Suddenly, Sam was blindingly, pointedly angry. If Heath didn’t want him there, then that was the one place Sam intended to be.

“You really don’t need to come here.” Heath paused. His voice hardened. “I don’t want you to come here.”

Sam’s hand shook on his phone. Not from nerves. Not from the unreal arousal he felt whenever he thought about Heath. Not from anticipation. Nope—they were shaking because he didn’t think he’d ever been so pissed off in his entire life. How dare Heath get on the phone and tell him that he didn’t want him there? Sure, he’d told him during the fishing trip that they weren’t friends, but this was more than that. This was a punch straight to the stomach. Sam thought he’d learned to deal with rejection after Dane had left, but apparently not, because this was a whole new breathless, painful revelation.

“I’m sorry you feel that way,” Sam said.

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Honorary Blogger E.J. Russell: The Real Deal + Excerpt!

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The Real Deal

by E.J. Russell

While Silent Sin is about a purely fictional couple who are surrounded by a mostly fictional secondary cast, there are some references to people who lived and worked in Hollywood at the time (although mostly they’re simply mentioned). Some of these names may be familiar to readers—others might not. But because they deserve to be remembered, I’ll introduce you to some of them here.

J. Warren (Jack) Kerrigan

The fan magazines called him “The Great God Kerrigan,” and he was the fledgling film industry’s first bona fide superstar. He was also gay, living in his “Komfy Kerrigan Kottage” with his mother, his lover tucked away downstairs as his “secretary.” His sexuality, of course, was never overtly stated: when confronted with the infamous Marriage Question, his usual response was that he hadn’t yet found a woman who measured up to Mother. He topped the fan magazines’ popularity polls from 1913 through 1916, but then, in May 1917, when a reporter asked him if he was going to join the war, Kerrigan shot his own career in the foot when he said he said no—“… first they should take the great mass of men who aren’t good for anything else…” He went on, unfortunately for him, and the papers picked it up: The Great God Kerrigan thought he was better than everybody else and too good to fight for his country. His popularity never recovered.

William S. (Bill) Hart

Bill Hart was a former Shakespearean stage actor who transitioned to films at the age of 49 and became a star of early film westerns—he’d actually been a friend of Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson and owned Billy the Kid’s six-shooters. His films were grittier and more authentic than the flashier stars like Tom Mix who later supplanted him, and his popularity waned. He retired in 1925 following the lackluster performance of his self-financed film, Tumbleweeds. His damaging public statements about Roscoe Arbuckle’s presumed guilt prompted Buster Keaton (Arbuckle’s best friend) to produce, direct, and star in The Frozen North, a parody of Hart (the premise written by Arbuckle) that presents him as a thief and a bully. Hart didn’t speak to Keaton again for years.

 

Thomas Ince

Thomas Ince, the “Father of the Western,” was associated with over 800 silent westerns in his career—some of them starring Bill Hart. Ince was the first producer to build his own self-contained studio on nearly 19,000 acres in Santa Ynez Canyon between Santa Monica and Malibu. Its official name was the Miller 101 Bison Ranch Studio, but it was generally referred to by its nickname: Inceville. Not only did Inceville contain shooting stages, outdoor sets (and not just for westerns), dressing rooms, production offices, printing labs, and a huge commissary—it was also home to its own stock performing company. Ince leased the entire 101 Ranch and Wild West Show from the Miller brothers and installed the troupe (comprising cowboys, cowgirls, horses, cattle, bison, and an entire Sioux tribe) at the site. Ince’s death is another early Hollywood scandal/mystery: in 1924, when he was just 44, he was taken ill following a party on W.R. Hearst’s private yacht, spawning gossip and rumors that persisted for years. The 2001 movie, The Cat’s Meow, with Cary Elwes as Ince, Edward Herrmann as Hearst, and Kirsten Dunst as Marion Davies, is based on the rumor that Hearst shot Ince, mistaking him for Charlie Chaplin, whom he suspected of having an affair with Davies.

So Hollywood almost didn’t need movies—the lives of film’s early practitioners provided plenty of drama on their own. Continue reading

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Tuning the Guitarist by JS Bright: Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

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Exclusive Excerpt from Tuning the Guitarist

by JS Bright

I turned to find Timothy standing close. His gaze met mine, and I wondered if he too thought the doctor and his man were way too cute. A wave of possessiveness washed over me and the urge to claim Timothy as mine hit hard. But he wasn’t mine, and I had no rights to him.

After work, we dropped the packages at the postal center. Timothy had unwrapped the roast I’d picked up last night and had it sitting in a seasoned broth in the refrigerator. I didn’t know if it would make it better or not, but I trusted him to get it right. After I dropped Timothy at the house, I ran out to do more errands. By the time I made it back, the kitchen smelled glorious.

“The food will be amazing.”

“I hope so,” Timothy said. “I’m already hungry for it.”

“How long do we have?”

Timothy checked the timer. “A little over an hour.”

I took Timothy’s hand and kissed the palm. A shiver skated down Timothy’s body and he sucked in a breath.

“I have a bottle of wine and the weather is nice. How about we sit outside and enjoy the evening and talk?”

Timothy’s cheeks turned pink as he nodded. He didn’t speak much, which might be because of how he’d grown up. If only he could relax more around me, but he’d been through so much. I’d learned over the years that part of helping people to relax was accepting myself. Timothy may not need therapy but talking to someone may help him feel better about his past and about himself.

Timothy carried the wine and the glasses while I grabbed blankets on the way out the door, thinking the wind might get cold the longer we sat outside. We settled in the chairs with Timothy beside me.

Because of my hand, I couldn’t open the wine with a regular corkscrew, so I had a contraption that allowed me to pierce the cork with a needle and then pour the wine without removing the cork. Timothy sat up and watched as I used the device to insert the needle.

“That’s amazing,” Timothy said.

“It is, I’m happy somebody developed this so I can enjoy wine. I threw a fit after the accident. Someone had given me a bottle of wine and I freaked out because I couldn’t even get drunk without asking for help. I hated everything about myself. It was a low time.”

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Release Blitz: Thicker Than Water by Becca Seymour + Excerpt & Giveaway!

Thicker Than Water by Becca Seymour

Outcast operative in the Supernatural Investigation & Crime Bureau (SICB) Callen Blackheath finds himself doing what he does best: defying orders and giving his boss a headache in the thick of an operation he shouldn’t be in. And there’s no way he’s walking away, not when the investigation has become deadly personal.

Needing to protect the only family member he has left, this wolf shifter will do whatever it takes to stop the blood farms and destroy the dangerous drugs the vampires will kill for. But he doesn’t expect Liam “Thatch” Thatcher, the head of a special task force team, to receive a bite that pulls him into the centre of Callen’s world.

Bonded by memories and blood, together they navigate the operation that has wider reaches than they could ever imagine. And when it comes to matters of the heart, Callen knows in order to win, he needs to risk it all.

Available at: Amazon

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Release Blitz: Work-Love Balance by Allison Temple + Giveaway!

Work-Love Balance by Allison Temple

The customer always comes first, but IT consultant Brady Jansen loves to hate Nash O’Hara. Except the fine line between hate and attraction means sometimes Brady can’t help it when he crosses the boundary between professional and personal.

Recently divorced, workaholic Nash knows he’s hard to please. When the smart-mouthed IT consultant he depends on to keep his office running offers a no-commitment hookup, it seems like exactly what he and Brady both need to get through a busy summer at work. No one has to know about their arrangement.

But the more time they spend together, the more secrets they have to keep from the people around them—and from each other. The lies are piling up, until it’s hard to tell who’s fooling whom. If Brady and Nash want to find the balance between work and love, a little honesty will go a long way.

Work-Love Balance is a 70k contemporary MM office romance. It’s hot enough you’ll want to make sure the air conditioning is on in your cubicle, and heartfelt enough you’ll want to smack both characters before the end. HEA guaranteed.

Available at: Amazon

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Soul Weave by A. Nybo: Exclusive Snippet!

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Exclusive Snippet from Soul Weave

by A. Nybo

AWAY FROM the revelers, Aquilon leaned his lower back against a tree. Panic had him bent forward, gasping for breath. Lucien’s closeness had drawn an unbidden response from him, and even as he’d fought to keep from touching him, his fingers had reached out without volition.

For five long years he had managed to keep his desires locked down tight, but the epicene had brought everything roiling to the surface. His smile had sent the love of life singing through Aquilon’s veins, and he feared the singing had already reached his heart.

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Honorary Blogger A.E. Via: Ex Meridian + Excerpt & Giveaway!

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Ex Meridian

by A.E. Via

I want to thank the Girls so so much for having me on again to promote another new release. These girls have been my biggest supporters from the early days and I can’t tell them how much I appreciate it. My MM action/romance novel entitled – Nothing Special VII: EX Meridian – that released on February 24th is already firing up the charts. I’m so excited to bring you the seventh installment in the award-winning, best-selling Nothing Special series. 

I wanted to take this time to thank my amazing cover artist – Jay Aheer of Simply Defined Art – for making me one kickass cover to the next. Each one she does exceeds my expectations.  As an author and avid reader, I’m asked all the time why I put so much work and time into my cover art. I really believe that the escapism experiences starts at the very beginning, at the time of purchase. On that first click. It all starts with the illustration on the front. What else is gonna make a reader, especially one that’s not already familiar with my name, to click on the title. There’s no synopsis to read beside it when you’re scrolling down the list.  

Minimalist covers have never been my thing. That’s okay for some authors but not me. The cover art on my books takes quite a bit of time and Jay never rushes me. She doesn’t stop producing drafts until I feel it’s perfect. She nailed Ex and Meridian in only a few rounds and I couldn’t be happier with this one. I think she really captured the darkness of this installment.

I told Jay that this book needed to be eye-catching and very different from the other six books. I also don’t conform to make the series all uniform. I like spice and variety. Sure, I could’ve just put a handsome man on the front and slapped the title up there, but that wouldn’t accurately portray my MCs or the book. I try to tell a piece of the story with my covers. I’m hoping Ex and Meridian’s cover show just how dramatic, dangerous, evil and sexy his character can possibly be. 

Be sure to follow me on social media, or sign-up for my newsletter to never miss another release. 

Happy Reading! 

xoxoxox

Adrienne V.

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Trust by Aprille Canniff: Exclusive Excerpt!

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Exclusive Excerpt from Trust

by Aprille Canniff

She didn’t know how long she was on the floor for, but she never passed out or relaxed, she couldn’t; she was continuously nudged by a boot, the back of her head grabbed and lifted up, or some part of her body was stepped on. She was tired and getting scared, but she was damned if she would let them know. After what seemed like forever, she was picked up and put on what felt like a folding chair about a foot from where she had been lying.

Her kidnappers grabbed her hair, pulled her head back, and lifted the bag off her face just far enough to take the tape off her mouth. “Yell and you will get hurt, cooperate and you will be let go.” The same voice that held the gun to her head earlier spoke into her ear. She couldn’t pick up an accent indicating where her attackers might be from, and all that she knew at this point was that they were silent, specific, and cold. Every move they made so far was deliberate, and she had no doubt that these people would follow through on any threat they made. She was getting scared. She mentally evaluated her situation—she could not feel her hands, her legs were tied together, she didn’t know where she was, and she was outnumbered at least three to one. If they would just take this damn hood off, I might be able to figure a way out of this.

“What is your name?”

“Jennifer O’Malley.”

“So you like to tell lies, do you?” the unknown voice asked with a hint of anticipation. “Do it.”

The chair was pulled out from under her, and the moment she hit the floor, she felt three punches, all landing in the gut. She was coughing and still trying to suck in air when she was lifted back up and on to the chair.

“What is your name?” Her captor’s voice was like the calm before a storm.

She took a minute to catch her breath and then sat straight up. “You already know, so why don’t you cut the crap and tell me what you want.” She spat out her words with as much venom and calm restraint as she could find.

“It looks like we have a lively one here.” He laughed a controlled laugh before continuing. “Okay then, what is your new sergeant up to these days?”

They are after the sarge? Not a chance in hell am I saying anything. “Who?”

“Sergeant Thomas, the woman who has been training you. What is she teaching you and why?”

She smiled. “I don’t know who or what you are talking about, asshole.”

“You will, little girl, you will. That you can trust me on.” The tape was put back over her mouth, and she was thrown back onto the floor before he even stopped speaking.

What felt like hours later, the only things that had changed were the number of times she was prodded in the ribs by someone’s boot and her temper. Fury replaced fear, and determination replaced doubt. They are not getting anything on the sarge no matter what. The “or what” was the part that she was trying to prepare herself for when she was grabbed again.

Tossed on the chair and tape ripped off again, she was asked, “What is your teacher teaching you?”

This time, she laughed. “Don’t know, I’m not a good student.”

After a short moment’s pause, her captor said, “Drink,” just before what tasted like water was forced into her mouth. “I am not going to poison you. I just want information, and how can I get that if you die of dehydration?” her captor said with a hint of humor in his voice. “Drink.”

She did her best to try and spit it out, but a hand pressed against her mouth, preventing her from being able to. For the next hour, she was made to drink water and asked the same question. “What is she teaching you?” Jen changed her answers from simple laughter to blatant insults. “Well, I think I will just have to come back to her. Are her friends still upstairs?”

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