Excerpts

Yours, Forever After by Beth Bolden: Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

Blogger_Exclusive Excerpt

Exclusive Excerpt from Yours, Forever After

by Beth Bolden

Rory flopped down onto the ground, into much the same position he’d occupied the night before. “I really can’t believe that worked,” he said, grinning. “But as soon as I saw their rings, I knew who they were, and I knew they could be reasoned with.”

“Reasoned with? Asking you to swear an oath on a sword that could bring you a fiery death?” Gray muttered.

“I had to do it,” Rory said.

Except that he hadn’t, and they both knew it.

“I could have done it,” Gray said lowly. “You don’t need my help. What you know is so much more valuable. I lived over this direction when I was a young child, and I’d never heard of that tribe before today.”

Rory gaped at him. “Are you really claiming to be expendable? You?

At Gray’s refusal to answer, Rory stood up and started pacing back and forth in front of the log he’d slept against the night before. Had it only been the night before? It felt like an eternity had already passed since they’d escaped the valley, but it had been barely forty-eight hours.

“You built a farm from nothing. You’re a fighter. You were going to fight those men off; I saw the way you held the sword. You know how to use it much better than I.” Rory paused. “A pretty princeling. Useless. I believe that was your impression before today.”

Gray couldn’t deny it. He also couldn’t deny that his mind had been forever altered by their encounter with the tribe.

“You’re a prince,” Gray said, because he couldn’t quite wrap his thoughts around everything that had changed, so suddenly and so irrevocably. It was easy to condense down all his jumbled feelings into one single fact: Rory was a prince, and he was going to reclaim his throne.

Rory stared incredulously at him. “You don’t think that matters.”

It hadn’t, but somehow, now it did.

Flushing, Gray turned away. “You barely slept before. You should get more sleep now.”

“Stop changing the subject. Were you really going to swear my promise on my sword?” Rory demanded.

Rory’s intelligence had already come in very handy, but now Gray wished he was a little less perceptive. Squaring his shoulders, Gray glanced over at Rory. “It was logical.”

“No,” Rory said with an unbearably attractive decisiveness, “it was all emotional.” Closing the three steps between them, Rory reached out and put a hand on Gray’s chest, right above where his heart beat faster than he’d ever admit. “Try to tell me it wasn’t emotional. I can feel it. Right here.”

Gray could feel it too; his heart, which had been numb and alone for so long, was waking up, the numbness receding. It felt like too much, too soon, but before he could stop Rory and say, that’s plenty close enough, Rory rose up and pressed his lips to Gray’s.

Continue reading

Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, LGBT, Published in 2019 | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Flame and Ash by Morgan Brice: Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

Blogger_Exclusive Excerpt

Exclusive Excerpt from Flame and Ash

by Morgan Brice

After all, Evan thought, what value do I bring to the situation? Six months of training had improved his skills, taught him a few more rote spells, and helped him understand more about the kinds of things that went bump in the night. Despite it all, Evan knew he had a long way to go before he could match Seth’s abilities, and he worried that he could be the weak link that cost Seth his life.

The trip from Pittsburgh to Boone would take most of the day, and while Evan offered to take a turn behind the wheel, he knew that Seth preferred to drive. When he wasn’t chasing down loose ends about the Boone situation on his computer, Evan planned to doze in the passenger seat, but dark dreams woke him more than once, earning him worried glances from Seth.

“Hey.” Seth’s voice roused Evan from his thoughts. “Whatever you’re thinking—let me in. Don’t keep it to yourself.”

“I just don’t want to let you down,” Evan admitted.

“You won’t.”

“You don’t know that.”

“I know that you’ve saved my ass more than once,” Seth replied. “And that was before we spent the last three months doing more training.” He reached out to take Evan’s hand. “I trust you. I believe in you. There’s no one I’d rather have beside me in a fight. And I love you.”

Evan’s throat tightened. “I love you, too. And I want to be here, doing this, with you. It’s just…I’m not really the action hero type.”

Seth chuckled. “And I am?”

“You were in the army. You’re a soldier. So, yeah.”

Seth sighed. “I went into the army to get away from a bad breakup. Not exactly the most noble reason. I did okay, I guess. I was lucky enough to come home. But I knew I wasn’t going to make a career out of it. Some guys, they get in, and they know that’s where they’re supposed to be. It becomes their home and family, like they were born for it.” He shook his head. “It was never that for me.”

“I made okay money, working at the bar.” Evan looked at the road instead of at Seth. “But something was always missing, you know? What I did didn’t really matter. This…” He gestured to mean the two of them, hunting, the search for the witch-disciples. “It makes a difference. Saves lives. Stops a hundred years of killing. It just seems like fate could have picked someone who was better prepared.”

Seth laid his hand on Evan’s thigh, solid and warm. “Hunting doesn’t work like that. You’ve talked to Travis and Brent and Mark. They didn’t train to be a hunter from the time they were kids. They lost people, and it changed them. And from that point on, they learned on the job,” Seth said. “Just like you.”

Evan managed a wan smile. “If this were a TV show, I’d want to skip to the finale, where we ride off into the sunset.”

“I wish we could,” Seth admitted. “But I’m afraid there’s no fast-forward on real life.”

Continue reading

Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, LGBT, Published in 2019 | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Author Q&A: Thea McAlistair + Excerpt & Giveaway!

Interview Banner

Please welcome Thea McAlistair to The Blogger Girls!

When did you write your first story and what was the inspiration for it?

My first story that I remember was a fan fiction of a book about fairies at the age of 10 or so. It was a school assignment, but I don’t remember exactly what the assignment was.
My first non-school related piece was something like a YA take on Lord of the Rings around age 14. It didn’t get past a couple pages but I probably put almost as much planning into it as Tolkien himself would have. Sometimes I think I should go back to it, but I’m pretty sure I can’t get my mind wrapped around young YA.

Do you have a writing schedule or do you just write when you can find the time?

Definitely when I find the time. I work full time (45-50 hours a week), so sometimes I have to get creative. I have, however, found that if I have a clear goal or deadline, even one with no consequences like NaNoWriMo, I’m much more likely to sit down and actually work. No Good Men and its sequel Boiling Over are results of NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNoWriMo, respectively

Briefly describe the writing process. Do you create an outline first?  Do you seek out inspirational pictures, videos or music? Do you just let the words flow and then go back and try and make some sense out it?

I start with characters or maybe a brilliant flash of a scene. I piece it out from there: who are these people? How did they end up in this situation? How will they get out of it? That can usually carry me to a couple thousand words and then I need to dip into the well of music or other fiction to bring back the spark. Sometimes it takes longer than I want.

Where did the desire to write LGBT romance come from?

It didn’t start as a particular desire. I consider No Good Men a mystery first, a romance second. But that’s sort of the thing, isn’t it? There isn’t a “reason” for the characters being LGBTQ any more than there’s a “reason” for real LGBTQ people to exist. It’s time we accepted that.

How much research do you do when writing a story and what are the best sources you’ve found for giving an authentic voice to your characters?

I’m very well educated in history, so I know some basics. If I need a particular fact, Google is very much my friend. And I’m fortunate that there are still some films from the period I write in, so I can listen to the cadence and word choice of characters my characters were supposed to have related to if they were real people. 

What’s harder, naming your characters, creating the title for your book or the cover design process?

The book title was hardest, by far. Trying to capture 65,000 words in just one to five? Insanity. I was very fortunate to work with Raevyn and Natasha at NineStar Press on my cover, and we came up with something really great pretty quickly. Character names have never been hard for me. Because I’m writing historic fiction, I can pull up baby name lists for the appropriate era and ta-da I have 100 names to choose from. 

How do you answer the question “Oh, you’re an author…what do you write?”

I say “historical mysteries.” If pressed further I’ll open that out to “LGBTQ noir-style historic mysteries set in the 1930s.” I get a lot of incredulous stares and polite nodding. Niche genres whooo!

What does your family think of your writing?

Don’t know, they haven’t read it yet haha!

Tell us about your current work in process and what you’ve got planned for the future.

Book 2, Boiling Over, is with NineStar going through the publishing process. I have a draft 0 of Book 3 going and I’ve got ideas for four or five more after that. I can’t let my boys go, it seems.

I dabble in fantasy from time to time, but I haven’t gotten very far with them. Not sure what the issue is, but it is an entirely different process than the mysteries. I guess it’s because with a historical book, you know that there are facts you can look up, and with a mystery, you always know where your endgame is. With a fantasy, literally all bets are off.

Do you have any advice for all the aspiring writers out there?

Make friends with other writers. I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to give up only to have my writer friends buoy me back up. And their help is invaluable for working through issues with the story. Plus they are always open to commiserating with you.

Continue reading

Categories: Author Q&A, Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, LGBT | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Honorary Blogger Rhys Ford: Ivo, 18 • Part Two + Giveaway!

Welcome to the 415 Ink Hellion Tour! My name’s Rhys Ford and thank you for stopping by! First off, thank you to all the blogs who participated in this tour and also, a huge shout out to all of the readers who wanted to hear Ivo’s story. It was great being able to write something about the baby of the 415 Ink crew and well, he probably turned out to be the biggest surprise while writing him. So sit back, grab a bit of Ivo’s past on this tour and I hope you’re ready for his debut on Sept 17th! 

Ivo, 18 • Part Two

by Rhys Ford

The woman was older, maybe in her early thirties, her Hispanic features nearly too strong to be called conventionally pretty but she wore her beauty with an easy confidence, her long black hair pushed back from her face. Fairly tall with long legs, her powerful stride carried her across the cement floor and she came to a stop in front of Ivo, raking a controlled gaze over him.

“You seem kind of young,” she said in a husky contralto. “Are you even old enough to drink?”

“You seem like a cop,” Ivo responded, keeping a smile to himself when her eyes narrowed. “And yeah, I’m licensed to tattoo and Bear would sooner cut off his own fingers then let someone who didn’t know what they were doing ink someone’s skin in his shop. As far as booze goes, less you know, the better. I can promise you I’m sober while I’m operating a tattoo machine.”

She regarded him with another cool look then nodded curtly. “Okay, fair enough. So long as you can operate that thing legally, I guess I can’t complain.”

“Actually, complain now because complaining after I put something permanent on your skin is sure as shit not going to do you any good,” he replied, this time giving in to his grin. “Come on over, have a seat and tell me what you want.”

She settled into the chair easily, looping her legs over the footrest. After rolling up her long sleeved shirt, she dug an old watch out of the pocket of her jeans, holding it up for Ivo to see. “I want a rainbow heart on my wrist but it’s got to be small enough to covered by the watch. Can you do that?”

The watch was ancient, an analog piece made of aged metal with a black dial.  Its hands were long, striped with that odd luminescent paint watchmakers used to make the hands glow in the dark. It seemed to keep good time and when Ivo took it from her, he saw an inscription etched onto the back plate.

“To my dearest George from your wife, Adelaine.” He did some mental calculations on the date. “Your parents?”

“Grandparents. She gave it to him for one of their anniversaries. My brother inherited it when they died.” Her eyes glistened, then were hidden behind her long lashes. When she opened them again, any shimmer he might have seen was gone. “My parents kicked him out when they found out he told them he was gay. He told me to hold onto it. That he’d come back for it.”

“That’s fucked up.” Ivo frowned, pulling up his rolling stool with a hook of his boot into its base. “How long ago was this? You haven’t heard from him since then?”

“Twenty years ago.” Her full mouth lifted into a sardonic quirk when he looked up from examining the watch. “He was a lot older than me. I was seven. He was fifteen. I just made detective and I want something… I want to carry something of his with me. I want to wear that watch but one day, he’s going to come back for it so I’m going to need something … about him to have on me for when he does.”

The watch was large but as tattoos went, he would be able to fit maybe a quarter-sized heart beneath it. Glancing at the flash she’d chosen, Ivo knew he could do better than the plain, striped bands of primary hues. Putting the watch over her wrist, he pulled out one of his Sharpies and plucked its cap off with his teeth then drew a dotted line over where the beveled face would rest on her arm.

Something Bear said constantly dug itself out of the back of his brain, growing teeth and chewing on Ivo’s thoughts. Doesn’t matter how big a piece of ink is or what it’s about, kid, his brother would mutter at him as he inked yet another small daisy chain on a young woman’s ankle, every piece of ink means something to that person and they deserve your respect for getting it.

He got that now. Staring into the cop’s strong face, the pain of losing her brother to time and grasping at fading memories led her to walking into 415 Ink’s doors to look for something permanent to hold onto, so she would forget the young man who’d been forced out of her life. He knew how that felt, knew how that abandonment gouged down deep into a soul. The piece of flash she picked out wasn’t going to be good enough. Not for him. Certainly not for her wandering brother to find his way back to her.

“Okay, here’s the deal,” he said, handing her back her watch. “What you want is okay and I can do that in about twenty minutes and you’ll be happy with it. It’ll look nice. But I’m asking you to trust me here, because even though this thing is small, it means something to you and I want you to have something that’s… special. Let me make it a little bit bigger. It’ll still be tucked under the watch but if I can do just a little bit more, I can blend the colours so it looks like a real rainbow and maybe even emboss it, so it looks like a piece of jewelry on your skin. How does that sound?”

Her smile was bright, nearly as brilliant as the colours he intended to use on her silken gold skin. Nodding, she leaned back and plopped her arm on the rest, wrist side up for him. “That sounds fantastic. I’m in.”

“Awesome. Let me just get my inks ready and we can get started.” He stood up then stopped, holding his hand out to her. “Sorry. Fuck. I didn’t get your name. I’m Ivo and you are going to be my first official tattoo.”

“I’m Dell,” she said, giving him a firm handshake. “And I can’t wait for you to get started.”

Continue reading

Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, Honorary Blogger Post, Published in 2019 | Tags: , , , , | 47 Comments

Dominated But Not Subdued by JP Sayle: Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

Blogger_Exclusive Excerpt

Exclusive Excerpt from Dominated But Not Subdued

by JP Sayle

With his restraint hanging by a thread, he dug his fingernails into his palms while he followed both men into the office. Stepping away from Adam, Carl barely held on to his control. He walked stiffly to the far chair and sat, the leather creaking under his weight. He kept his hands clenched in his lap and looked at Nathan. 

“How the fuck did my boy get in the club without being a member?” he asked, anger lacing his voice. The wary expression Nathan wore made his eyes narrow. Suspicion wormed its way past his anger, but before Nathan could say a word, Adam interrupted. 

“I applied. There’s a form online. And when I completed it, there was an offer to an introduction night, so I asked for an invite,” he offered in a belligerent tone. 

Carl disregarded the loud sigh Nathan released, too busy snarling at Adam, who’d stuck out his chin in defiance. 

“Right, you two, stop it,” Nathan said, giving Carl a hard glare. “Enough. You need to pull your heads out of your arses and try honesty for a change, the pair of you. This is a BDSM club, not a bloody remake of Fantasy Island. Stop pussyfooting about. Tell each other what you want and move the fuck forward.” He walked to the door. 

“Don’t mess this up,” he said and excited the room.

Continue reading

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

Release Blitz: Bitter Heat by Leta Blake + Giveaway!

Bitter Heat by Leta Blake

A pregnant omega trapped in a desperate situation, an unattached alpha with a lot to prove, and an unexpected fall into love that could save them both. 

Kerry Monkburn is contracted to a violent alpha in prison for brutal crimes. Now pregnant with the alpha’s child, he lives high in the mountains, far above the city that once lured him in with promises of a better life. Enduring bitterness and fear, Kerry flirts with putting an end to his life of darkness, but fate intervenes.

Janus Heelies has made mistakes in the past. In an effort to redeem himself, integrity has become the watchword for his future. Training as a nurse under the only doctor willing to take him on, Janus is resolute in his intentions: he will live cleanly in the mountains and avoid all inappropriate affairs. But he doesn’t anticipate the pull that Kerry exercises on his heart and mind.

As the question of Kerry’s future health and safety comes to an explosive head, only the intervention of fate will see these desperate men through to a happy ending.

This gay romance novel by Leta Blake is the third in the Heat of Love universe which began with Slow Heat. It’s 111,000 words, with a strong happy ending and a critically-acclaimed, non-shifter Omegaverse. It features alphas, betas, omegas, male pregnancy, mpreg, heat, and knotting. Content warning for a violent and oppressive society regarding reproductive rights.

Available at: Amazon

Continue reading

Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, LGBT, Published in 2019 | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

The Magician’s Apprentice by J.A. Jaken: Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

Blogger_Exclusive Excerpt

Exclusive Excerpt from The Magician’s Apprentice

by J.A. Jaken

“There’s Teresh.”

Boaen’s voice snapped Jander from his reverie, and he stared across the crowded floor to the far end of the hall, where he caught his first glimpse of the master mage known as Andrei Teresh.

The first thought that crossed his mind was that this couldn’t be the great sorcerer he had come to find, and right on the heels of that was a second thought…stunning. Teresh was a large man, standing head and shoulders above most of the others in the crowd, his strong form draped in a clinging earth-brown robe that looked totally incongruous among the brightly dressed courtiers. His hair was a deep golden brown and thick, cut chin-length at the sides and tied back in a short knob at the base of his neck in a severe style that accentuated the stern lines of his bearded face. His eyes were chips of dark mahogany, cold and hard. The sight of them sent an inexplicable shiver down Jander’s spine.

“I didn’t know he’d be so…so….”

“Fuckable?” Jander glared at his friend with barely contained irritation, and Boaen held up his hands in surrender, laughing. “Okay, okay, I’m sorry.” After the slightest pause, he added, “But he is, isn’t he?”

Boaen’s irreverence notwithstanding, the other man was absolutely right. Jander cleared his throat uncomfortably. “He looks very intimidating.”

“That’s just part of the wizardly mystique.” Boaen spoke with the casual flippancy of one who is well-versed in such matters. “You’ll learn how to do that, too, once you become a mage. It’s all a part of the act. We normal folks are supposed to feel intimidated by your kind.”

Jander was slightly put out by the phrase “your kind” but sensed that his friend meant nothing hurtful by it. Gathering his courage, he handed his wineglass to Boaen and lifted one hand to stroke down Gabrielle’s smooth flank before setting off into the crowd.

The crowd faded to nothing around him as he approached the stately figure of Andrei Teresh. Jander had eyes only for the mage. His heart pounded with nervousness as he drew near, and the magic seemed to whisper in rising excitement around him. Teresh was engaged in a low conversation with one of the guards stationed by the rear door that opened further into the palace, but his eyes moved to Jander as the younger man approached. One elegant eyebrow rose fractionally in silent question.

“Master Teresh,” Jander said, bowing slightly. His heart was hammering in his chest, threatening to choke the breath from his lungs. “I’ve come a long way to find you.”

“Have you?” It wasn’t really a question. There was a note of mild amusement to the voice that made Jander flush darkly.

“Yes. I…I want to be a mage.” The words spilled from him now; he couldn’t stop them if he tried. “I want you to teach me. I have the talent, I know I do. I want to learn. It’s all I’ve ever wanted. Please, sir, I want you to take me on as your apprentice, and train me in the ways of magic.” He paused, breathless, and waited for Teresh’s reply.

The mage was regarding him with a certain degree of amused tolerance. “So you want to be a mage, do you?” His tone was not particularly kind. “I’d guess you were more suited to being someone’s bedservant, wouldn’t you?” The guard behind him smirked rudely.

Jander felt his hands clench at his sides and stared up at the man in open astonishment. “Master Teresh…?”

Teresh nodded towards something over Jander’s shoulder, and Jander turned to see Boaen standing at the periphery of the room, watching the confrontation anxiously. “Go back to your tutor, boy,” Teresh said. “You’ll have to find easier marks than me.”

It was clearly a dismissal. Mustering up what was left of his dignity, Jander turned and walked away, his cheeks flaming. Boaen met him halfway across the floor and clutched at his sleeve fretfully. “What is it? What happened?”

“He said no.” Jander’s voice was frigid. He didn’t know which hurt more—the humiliation he felt or the absolute certainty that he had been treated unfairly. Either way, it stung. “Can we leave now?”

“Just like that? He just turned you down? Why?” Boaen was relentless.

“I’m not sure, but I believe he thinks I’m a whore.” The absolute absurdity of such an assumption made his cheeks flame all the hotter.

Boaen was silent at that. He appeared to be thinking. After a lengthy pause, he said, “So that’s it, then? You’re just going to pack it in and run home with your tail between your legs?”

“What would you have me do, Boaen?”

“Not give up, for one thing. Nothing worthwhile is ever gained on the first try.” He looped one arm around Jander’s shoulders and started weaving a path toward the open front doors. Lowering his voice, he said, “You, my friend, need to learn the fine art of seduction.”

Jander ground to a halt. “What…?”

Boaen laughed. “Figuratively speaking, of course. You can’t expect Teresh to take on just anyone as his apprentice. You have to hunt him a little. Seduce him.”

“And how do you suggest I go about doing that?” Half-sarcastic, half not.

Jander’s questioning gaze was met by a wicked flash of those deep emerald eyes. “Leave that to me, my friend. You just leave that to me.”

Continue reading

Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, LGBT, Published in 2019 | Tags: , , | 9 Comments

Honorary Blogger T.A. Moore: Dead Man Stalking – Prequel Short Story + Giveaway!

Honorary_Blogger_Post

First of all, thank you so much for having me! I’m thrilled to be here with my new urban fantasy Dead Man Stalking. This is the first book in the Blood and Bone series and I am thrilled to put it out there into the world. I was meant to be writing an entirely different book, but then Took and Madoc took up residence in my head and I had to give in and let them have their say.

I had a blast creating this world and these characters, and I hope you enjoy them too. I’ve included a chapter of a prequel short story that you can follow through the blog tour.

blogger_bee_trans

Chapter Five

For a second Luke felt the lust catch between then, sharp and electric, and he was surprised to find himself torn between the urge to lean in and the need to pull away. It wasn’t the sort of decision it should be hard to make.

Then Madoc let the tie slip from his fingers as he stepped back. His expression flicked to thoughtful so sharply that Luke, his throat tight and his nose full of the musk and salt scent of Madoc, wondered if he’d just imagined the tension. He tugged the tie loose so he could swallow as Madoc picked up the file to flick through the dog-eared papers. “You put this together on the plane? And pulled these other files?”

Not exactly. Luke cleared his throat and, without the temptation right in his space, had the good sense to put some space between him and Madoc. Not enough to look like he was in flight, but enough he didn’t taste the vampire when he breathed.

Anakim, the mental correction kicked in from habit. Luke silently cursed it as he picked up his gun and shrugged the shoulder holster on. The weight of the weapon nudged awkwardly against his ribs as he adjusted it. A glance toward the mirror showed it black and deadly against his light blue shirt.. He picked his jacket up from where he’d hung it to air and pulled it on.

If he wanted to fuck a vampire — he deployed the term mentally with sharp annoyance at himself — then he could scratch that itch. It would probably be a bad idea and the schism with his family would, finally, be set in stone, but what was new there?

His boss?

Madoc was hot as hell and, yeah, Luke wanted to crawl under him to see if it would be as good as his imagination thought it would. He wanted to be a BITER too, to prove he’d made all the right choices even when they were hard. End of the day, he could get fucked anywhere but the BITERs were the only game in town.

It really should have made it an easy choice.

“I had already been tracking the other cases,” Luke admitted. “They were unusual, and that interests me. Then I saw the pattern, and that interested me.”

“And you didn’t warn anyone?” Madoc asked curiously. “Tell them that someone else was going to die?”

“Someone else is always going to die,” Luke pointed out. “That’s not much of a warning without a victim, a time, and a motive. I needed more cases.”

“And more corpses?”

“Yes,” Luke admitted. He felt a twinge of guilt for a second as his conscience caught up with his brain. It wasn’t that he forgot his puzzles were people, just that sometimes it seemed less important than the chase. “Unfortunately. They were going to die anyhow, though, and this way it will be useful.”

Madoc looked exasperated, or amused, for a second.

“Make that argument to Kit sometime,” he said. “OK. Kit will stay on the Hunter angle, that makes sense. You find me a compulsion killer, if he’s real.”

Jamie Needham.

The dead boy on the stainless steel slab in the local morgue had a name, a major, and a shell-shocked roommate who’d identified him. Parents too, somewhere in Savannah. The police had gotten in touch with them, but they still thought it was a mistake. One that they’d uncover when they flew in and, with a mixture of pity and relief, explained it was someone else’s son.

Except it wasn’t.

19 years old. It hadn’t taken long for Luke to put together a Cliff Notes biography for him. Jamie hadn’t really had the time for anything else. So far a bad grade in Computer Science 101 that had almost left him on academic suspension was the worst thing that Luke had turned up.

Whatever had made the killer decide that Jamie was the perfect slaughter stand-in, it probably wasn’t that.

“Most people,” the coroner—Pear he’d introduced himself as, with no explanation for whether it was first or second name—remarked as he fished in the wet cavity of Jamie’s opened stomach, “Get squeamish around this bit.”

Luke shrugged. “I’ve a strong stomach,” he said. “And I’ve seen dead bodies before. Anything I don’t want to wait on the autopsy report for?”

Pear shrugged and pulled his gloved hand out empty. He wiped it on a bleached-thin, still stained towel.

“He was dead when they started cutting. So that’s some mercy” Pear said. He grabbed the corpse by one pallid shoulder and lifted it up off the slab to point at a black mark on the freckled back. Low and to the right. Pear poked the spot with a finger. “Looks like he was shot in the back, small calibre. It would have probably punctured his lungs. Death wouldn’t have been immediate, but relatively quick.”

“Probably?”

Pear let the body drop back down onto the table with a meaty slap. “It’s empty. Liver and lights, all gone. Only thing left was the intestines. And between the bugs and the sun, they aren’t in a state to tell us much. Once the tox screen gets back, maybe I’ll have something definite to tell you. Until then? Probably is what you get..”

Now that was where Pear was wrong. He might not have realised it, but he’d given Luke something useful.

Maybe.

“Let me know if there’s anything else,” he said as he turned to leave.

He got halfway to the door when Pear called after him. “There’s one thing.”

Luke turned around. The soles of his boots squeaked on the tiled, scrubbed floor.

“What?”

Pear pulled the video camera down on its flexible neck to focus on Jamie’s hands. The white, loose-skinned digits appeared on the long monitor hung from the ceiling on two brackets. He had bitten fingernails, chewed down to the quick, and faint purple stains around his knuckles.

“He fought his attacker?” Luke asked.

“I doubt it,” Pear said. He swung the camera up to point it at Jamie’s face. There was a split in his lip and more bruises stained over his mouth. “This bruises had time to develop before he was killed. An hour or two, at least. It might have been whoever who killed him—it might have been why they killed him—but it happened before he died.”

Two useful things.

————————

Tomorrow’s installment on Love Bytes! All the blog tour posts will also be linked here: http://tamoorewrites.com/deadmanstalking/

Continue reading

Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, Honorary Blogger Post | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

Release Blitz: Breathe Out Slow by A.D. Lawless + Excerpt & Giveaway!

Breathe Out Slow by A.D. Lawless

When unexpected tragedy strikes, shattering eighteen-year-old Ryan’s idyllic life, he does the only thing he can to stay sane… he slaps on a mask, pretends he’s fine, and takes off for college. Week after week, he drifts through school in a bleak half-life. He doesn’t care about anything, or anyone—least of all himself.

Then Liam Doyle hurtles into his life with easy smiles, effortless caring, and those kind hazel eyes that see straight through him. Liam sees him and wants to stick around anyway.

And that… well, that’s terrifying.

Intensely unforgettable, Breathe Out Slow is a heart-rending journey of loss, bittersweet memories, and two incredible love stories.

Available at: Amazon

Continue reading

Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, LGBT, Published in 2019 | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Honorary Blogger Tanya Chris: Marrying for Money + Excerpt & Giveaway!

Honorary_Blogger_Post

Marrying for Money

a rich guy round-up by Tanya Chris

Mac, one of the two love interests in my new release, Him Improvement, is a millionaire. Not, as he points out to Hailey, a billionaire. He doesn’t have save-the-world money, but he definitely has make-your-world-a-better-place money. 

By the end of the book, Mac’s money has indeed made Hailey’s world a better place, which I think is why so many of us enjoy the billionaire trope. We like to imagine someone coming along and doing for us everything we can’t afford to do ourselves.

On the other hand, marrying for money isn’t romantic. The money should be an unexpected bonus, not the primary point, and the richer partner needs to gain something from the relationship that’s worth more what he’s giving. Otherwise it’s not love.

Here are a few of my favorite examples of the billionaire trope done right.

Spellbound by Allie Therin

This magical book set in 1920s New York features one ragamuffin, one rich politician’s son, and a great cast of supporting characters as Arthur, Rory, and some psychometrics buddies use their special abilities to save New York from imminent disaster.

Arthur is a Batman/James Bond archetype—not just rich, but urbane, polished, handsome, and socially conscious. It’s hard to see what he could be missing, but what he’s missing is what romance novels are all about: that one special someone. And in the end, of course, it’s Rory, the seemingly small and helpless, who plays the crucial role in their mission. 

Rule Breaker by Lily Morton

Lily Morton knows how to do comedy, and Rule Breaker has both the billionaire trope and the boss trope going for it, with a healthy dose of enemies-to-lovers thrown in on the side. We don’t worry about Dylan loving Gabe for his money because we’re too worried about Dylan killing Gabe altogether. And Gabe might deserve it. 

Gabe needs someone like Dylan to bring him down to size and love him for himself, not his millions. If you want to see a hotshot executive get what’s coming to him and have some giggles in the bargain, this is the book for you.

Full Domain by Kindle Alexander

You’d be forgiven for not counting this as a billionaire book despite the hints dropped along the way, because the full truth isn’t revealed until near the end. U.S. Marshall Kreed and computer hacker Aaron (who’s way more than he seems) form a partnership that has nothing to do with money. It mostly has to do with a hate-crimes investigation and a bunch of hot sex. 

The sex scenes are well done, and the plot will keep your attention, but what I really love about this book is the way Kreed offers everything he has to Aaron, not realizing that Aaron already has more than Kreed can imagine. Aaron is Kreed’s top priority. The money reveal, when it comes, means nothing.

The Masterpiece by Bonnie Dee

This My Fair Lady M/M retelling makes its roots obvious when a bet between two members of the nobility leads to one of them taking home a shoe-shine boy with the intention of making him into a gentleman. In the original play on which My Fair Lady is based, Eliza and Dr. Higgins don’t fall in love. Rather, Eliza marries an upper-class slacker named Freddie who she supports with her flower shop earnings. It’s definitely not a romance. 

But Bonnie Dee has given us a romance in The Masterpiece. Arthur and Joe fall in love while Joe is being remade, and in the best billionaire-trope fashion, the aristocratic Arthur gets more out of their arrangement than Joe does. By the end of the book, they’re both living their dreams.

Will & Patrick Wake Up Married by Leta Blake and Alice Griffiths

We know Patrick doesn’t marry Will for his money, because they get married as strangers in a blackout drunk. Besides, Patrick is a renowned surgeon. He’s not exactly hurting for money himself. But Will’s fortune does play a big role in the book, because it’s the reason they can’t get divorced.

Okay, that part of the plot is a little contrived, and like all contrived plot points, it disappears in a puff of smoke when it stops being convenient, but the book is a delight. Will and Patrick are stuck with each other while they figure out how to get divorced without losing access to the money Will uses for charitable purposes. Which makes this the longest, greatest forced-proximity book ever. Strangers become friends, then lovers, then soul mates as Will and Patrick both learn they have something to give as well as something to get.

Merge Ahead by Tanya Chris

I had to throw in a little self-love, because Merge Ahead is classic “rich guy doesn’t know what he’s missing.” Poor (rich) Adam’s life as Chief Financial Officer for a major insurance company is empty before he and Will accidentally stumble into each other. It’s clear to Adam that he’s the one getting more out of their relationship, because Will takes care of him far better than he ever took care of himself.

But Will struggles with what it means to be dating someone so much richer than he is. He loves Adam, but he doesn’t know if he can tolerate being the partner who’s “less than.” The differences in their position and wealth throw up both internal and external obstacles until Will sees for himself just how much he brings to the table.

In Him Improvement, Mac is quick to understand that he wants more than a fling with Hailey but slow to figure out how to make that work. It seems that in order to be with the Bohemian who lives in voluntary squalor, he’ll have to give up his own privilege and luxury. Does Mac find something in Hailey worth more than money? I think you know the answer.

Continue reading

Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, Honorary Blogger Post, Published in 2019 | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment