Excerpts

Darkness Dawns by Zakarrie Clarke: Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

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Exclusive Excerpt from Darkness Dawns

by Zakarrie Clarke

“Oooof…”

“I’m sorry, you okay?” Leo groaned. Quite how he was supposed to extract himself, in the four feet of available space between the bath and sink unit, he knew not, but didn’t really care overmuch.

“Yeah. You could’ve just asked…unless I’ve unleashed a demon and you intend to grab me by the hair and throw me to the floor on a regular basis. Can’t say as I’d be too dis-chuffed, but…”

When Leo spluttered a most indecorous snort, they both burst out laughing; entwined in a heap of body parts, dripping wet hair and damp, crumpled towels. A sodden scenario that did bugger all to dent the dark need crouched deep in the pit of Leo’s belly, raking his skin like claws. The mirth died in his throat, and he snapped his head up, fringe straggling over his face as he crawled onto his hands and knees. He would probably be glowering at Ben from beneath his eyebrows, if only he could see. If only. Fuck if only. He was so weary of those words that a bloody lobotomy had long felt preferable.

‘To be blind is not miserable; not to be able to bear blindness, that is miserable.

Leo knew damn well that he’d dismissed Milton’s words to dwell in a dismal world of ‘if onlys’. A horrifying number of which had focused on things he’d never considered gifts or privileges Before.

The sense of the space around himself.

The very place in which he stood. If he couldn’t reach out and touch something, Leo might be anywhere—from standing in the middle of an airport—to the mortuary. So why bother leaving the house? Let alone drag himself up a bloody mountain to fling his arms to the wind? He might as well just stand in front of a big fan in an empty room. That would suffice. Doing fuck all sufficed just fine, thank you very much, if it ensured he didn’t fall flat on his face and heap further humiliation on his own head.

Something Leo had missed very much, was the changing of the seasons. Not having ventured out a great deal, the only discernible difference between June and January had been having to switch on the heaters. So, why go out? To never see the trees explode in a riot of golds when Autumn weaved its wonderment? To never again be seized by the urge to run through a crisp blanket of untouched snow? To never, ever, be ‘blinded’ by the glint of sunlight off water?

A world of nevers forever scored across Leo’s retinas.

Ever to be trudging alone along a pot-holed, mud-drenched path in an eternal February fog. No day. No night. No twilight to welcome as the dawn of darkness. The passing of time seemed irrelevant, Leo felt as shut off from its significance, as he did from the sighted world.

The depression had always been there—even Before—hovering in a malevolent cloud, eager to engulf him. It had pounced on the blindness like a pack of fucking vultures, pecking at his bones, and Leo hadn’t so much as wafted a hand of dismissal their way.

Being blind had seemed reason enough to wallow in a misery of such magnificence that it had merited a monument in its honour. It was the brick tossed into the murky water from which the rest of his life radiated, like ripples in a pond he would never see again. Ever expanding concentric circles of loss. An abyss of nothingness. He’d been so dead set on obliterating everything that meant something; Leo hadn’t even noticed that he missed things…mattering. No longer.

When he felt Ben brush away the fringe falling over his eyes, Leo shot out a hand to trap his wrist like a manacle. Lifting it to his lips, he swept his tongue along its tender inner skin. Ben’s pulse pounded, strong, true, beneath his fingertips. When he pressed Ben’s arm towards the floor and attempted to straddle his body, Leo’s knee collided with a hip—but the instant, all too familiar rush of frustration was halted by a subtle shift beneath him—as a swift tug on his thigh slid the leg into place. Ben’s wrist was still enclosed in Leo’s right fist, the other palm was planted on the floor, propping him up. He fumbled for—found—Ben’s right shoulder, then followed the length of his arm until he could thread their fingers together. Bending low until his lips touched skin, Leo brushed them across Ben’s cheek until they alighted on a berry ripe bottom lip and trapped it between his teeth. Leo could taste himself, a fact that dragged a godawful groan from his throat as he crushed his mouth down; as demanding as the tongue he darted between Ben’s teeth.

More…Leo suspected that might’ve made a bid for freedom, as he dragged himself out of the kiss. He began to back up, trickling his fingertips down Ben’s torso until they reached the curving ridge of a hip bone. Panic clutched Leo’s throat, as reflexive as his earlier frustration. Was he really about to attempt this? Yes. Yes, he was…

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Release Blitz: Diamond Heart by M.A. Hinkle + Excerpt & Giveaway!

Diamond Heart by M.A. Hinkle

Gareth has a problem. He got expelled. Now he and his twin brother, Morgan, have to start over at an artsy new private school, and it’s all Gareth’s fault. Not to mention Morgan’s crippling social anxiety and Gareth’s resting jerk face aren’t making them any friends, and their father is furious with him. Gareth could live with this, but Morgan’s mad at him too, and Morgan is the only person alive who can make Gareth feel guilty. 

Good thing Gareth has a plan. Cute, bubbly Felix, a student at their new school, has a crush on Morgan, and they both want to act in their school’s production of Midsummer Night’s Dream. Gareth figures it’s the perfect way to help Morgan come out of his shell and set him up with Felix. Then, maybe Morgan will forgive him, and Gareth can go back to not caring about anything or anyone.

But Gareth has another problem. He’s been cast as Oberon, and Felix is Titania. Oh, and Morgan doesn’t like Felix back. And maybe Gareth is enjoying the play and making new friends and having a good time at his new school. And maybe—just maybe—he’s got a crush on Felix. Can Gareth keep up his tough-guy act long enough to repair his relationship with Morgan, or will Felix get caught in the fallout of Gareth’s dumb schemes?

Available at: Amazon

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Release Blitz: Memoirs of a Triangle by Christine Twigg + Excerpt & Giveaway!

Memoirs of a Triangle by Christine Twigg

When Edith instigates a new game with her two best friends, May and Peter, on a warm spring day in 1869, she ignites sexual awakenings that will influence and shape the rest of their lives.

Although Edith lusts for Peter, she is aware that May’s desires are directed toward her, and when their triangular involvement begins to splinter, she leaves her two best friends to begin a career in Boston.

However, even after choosing what they thought was the more stable path, they learn that the past is not so easily left behind.

On their separate, yet connected paths, they find themselves drawn together, experiencing eroticism, love, confusion, trust, and grief throughout the course of their lives.

Available at: Amazon

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The Selkie Prince’s Forbidden Mate by J.J. Masters: Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

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Exclusive Excerpt from The Selkie Prince’s Forbidden Mate

by J.J. Masters

Nic steered his boat out toward the open water of the Atlantic, or what the Selkies called the Great Sea. While it was rough this morning, he welcomed the jarring waves. It reminded him how powerful the ocean could be. It would calm once the winds died down. He had dropped a string of lobster pots on the way out and would be back out tomorrow to pick them up once they had time to “soak.” He had another string he needed to pull this morning, but he also needed to spend some time net fishing, so he could pay some bills once he sold his catch. But before heading back, he would take a head-clearing swim.

Or maybe he’d take his swim first…

He understood exactly what Marlin meant when he said swimming felt like freedom. Nic felt the same way and enjoyed being in the water just as much.

A soothing swim was needed especially after waking this morning to find his bed empty next to him. The prince had snuck out sometime in the early morning hours, though he’d left a note. One that simply read, “Thank you. ~ M.”

Thank you.

For what?

Maybe he should be thanking Marlin instead. He had gone through a gamut of emotions that day a few years ago when he came across Kai and Luca outside of Meesha’s house. Seeing the male he loved with another had been utterly…

Heartbreaking.

Nic had told himself time and time again not to fall in love with Kai. That Nic was only a means to an end when it came to the eldest son of King Solomon. That Kai had traditions he was obligated to follow as a Selkie prince and heir to the throne. But no matter what, he couldn’t help falling for his tall, dark and handsome lover.

He knew Kai would eventually find his omega, his fated mate. But he had hoped Kai would continue to visit him afterward, to continue their relationship whether he had a mate or not. Was that selfish of him to wish that Kai wouldn’t be satisfied with Luca?

Sure.

But he had still hoped.

Though, he should have known better because during their time together, the prince never stayed long in Nic’s bed. Kai didn’t linger, he didn’t spend a lot of time cuddling or talking after sex. He never promised Nic anything.

Still, Nic hated to admit that. He had always wished and dreamed that Kai would say to hell with all his obligations and take Nic as his life-mate.

But that was just plain foolishness. He knew it now. Luca was perfect for Kai, though Nic hated to admit that, as well. He still found it a struggle to be happy for the couple.

Over the years that bitterness dulled, and he’d taken others as lovers, including some hybrids, but none ever compared to Kai. There was something about an alpha Selkie male that scratched Nic’s itch.

Unfortunately, Marlin also knew just where to scratch. It was dangerous getting involved with the younger brother of Kai. He knew in the end he’d end up hurt and disappointed once more. Their spending time together would never result in a happily ever after.

It couldn’t. No, the sons of King Solomon could only bond with their fated mates. Or at least an approved omega the Selkie Seekers presented if their fated mate couldn’t be found.

Nic would never be in either category. So, if he was going to allow Marlin to keep coming to his cabin, to keep spending the night like they had discussed during the many times they had rutted—as Marlin liked to call it— last night, he would have to keep any emotional ties out of it. He would have to keep it “just sex.”

Unfortunately, he wasn’t sure if he could do that.
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Release Blitz: Stranded by Cara Dee + Excerpt!

Stranded by Cara Dee 

Stranded is the second book in The Auctioned Series. Before you read further, you should read Auctioned.

“You have my word, Gray. I will get you off this island, and I will bring you home.” 

It was supposed to be an easy in-and-out job. Nothing Darius Quinn hadn’t done before. But this job had something none of the others did: Gray Nolan.

Like Murphy’s Law advised, anything that could go wrong, would. A mission to save one hometown favorite son was turning into a quest to rescue thirteen traumatized young men against odds so steep, he’d need an oxygen mask to scale them.

Facing new dangers and an uncertain future, Darius keeps Gray close and is soon forced to accept that this has become much more than an assignment. For a man whose reputation was built on being ice-cold under pressure, Darius is beginning to discover how good it feels to burn.

Available at: Amazon

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Release Blitz: The Other Book by Roe Horvat + Excerpt & Giveaway!

The Other Book by Roe Horvat

It was supposed to be just sex… Famous last words.

Tyler doesn’t overthink pleasure and avoids complications. He knows it might be stupid to get involved with his closeted boss, but the temptation is too great. At first, the cold and beautiful Joel Sandstrom seems to loathe Tyler’s guts.

Except one late night at the office, his reasons become clear…and his control breaks.

Every time they touch, Joel’s stony face comes alive, harsh lines smooth out, and for a minute, he looks serene. Happy, even. Just sex – dirty, intense, spectacular sex.

During their covert encounters, Tyler discovers the power he has over the lonesome man, and it’s a heady feeling. What if he could set Joel free and give him peace of mind? When Tyler realizes how much Joel needs him, he doesn’t regret breaking his own rules.

Available at: Amazon

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Honorary Blogger M.D. Neu: What’s Coming Next + Excerpt & Giveaway!

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What’s Coming Next

by M.D. Neu

I want to start by thanking The Blogger Girls for having me here today on my third stop of my Blog Tour for A New World-Contact (Book 1). Considering this is the first book in a planned four book series I thought I would share where I am in the series writing process and what’s coming up next.

Now that Contact has been released, I’ve started working on the edits with my editor for book two, Conviction. Conviction picks up right where Contact ends and I’m thrilled that it will be released so quickly after Contact.  Conviction will hit the stores on March 11, 2019 so you won’t have long to wait for the next installment in the series. The reason Contact and Conviction are going to be released so close together is that the two books were originally planned to be a signal novel. Instead of my amazing publisher, NineStar Press, making me cut the novel down to fit the max word count of 120,000 they agreed to break the book into two parts. Contact comes in right around 70,000 words and Conviction has a word count right about 100,000. The next couple of months should be an exciting time for anyone who loves science fiction.

As planned book three in the series is called Conspiracy and I’m pleased to announce it is complete. I’m working on my final edits now. This novel has not yet been picked up by NineStar Press, but I’m hopeful. Keep your fingers crossed.

Book four, which is yet unnamed, will be the conclusion to the series (at least that is my plan). I have the story partially outlined, but no writing has started. This novel is farther out in the pipeline, but it is being worked on.

With respect to the A New World series, four books is all I have planned at this time, but there are two ideas lingering in the back of my mind. Both are prequels and deal with the Nentraee exclusively. I think the ideas are amazing, but currently they sit on the back burner simmering away.

I have one additional project slated for release this year. The novel is called T.A.D. The Angle of Death and it comes out on June 24, 2019. For now that’s all, however I continue to move forward with new ideas and of course new worlds.

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A World Apart by Mel Gough: Exclusive Excerpt!

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Exclusive Excerpt from A World Apart

by Mel Gough

“Is this Stacy Miller?”

“It is. Who’s asking?”

“Ms. Miller, this is Sergeant Ben Griers, Corinth PD. Did a man by the name of Donnie Saunders have an appointment with you yesterday afternoon?” Ben mentally crossed his fingers that the mention of his rank would suffice to elicit this piece of innocuous information. Legally, he had no leg to stand on, but his experience had taught him that a courteous yet firm manner often got you surprisingly far. 

And his experience held true again. After a moment, the woman on the other end said, “Yes, he did.” 

“And he attended?” 

“Yes.” 

“What time was his appointment?” 

“Three p.m. But we were running late, so I think I started with him around three fifteen.” 

“And how long was he there for?”

“About forty-five minutes. Officer, is Mr. Saunders all right?”

That was a surprising question. In Ben’s experience, state employees had no time or interest to worry about the hundreds of people that passed by their desks every week. But then, here Ben was himself, trying to help Saunders as well with as little delay as possible. Maybe some of us do still care.

“He’s fine. Ma’am, if I were to check your office’s visitor register for yesterday, would the record back up your statement?” 

“It would,” Ms. Miller said composedly. “And you’d find a parking permit in Mr. Saunders’s name as well. We don’t have much space out front, so clients get timed permits for the parking lot at the back.” 

That was more than good enough for Ben. “Thank you for your time, ma’am.”

“You’re welcome, Officer. Have a good day.”

“And you.”

Ben put the phone down, nodded at Lou, and turned his back before the desk clerk could make a comment or ask any questions.

As he walked down the corridor toward the interrogation room, Ben’s mind was on the phone call, even as he told himself that, beyond establishing a suspect’s alibi, what he had just learned was none of his business. But he couldn’t help wondering about it. Why had Saunders gone to the Medicaid office? He didn’t look ill. Of course, there were a dozen possible reasons. A sick family member. An old injury that no insurance would cover. Or even trying to get at some extra state assistance for no good reason at all. None of this was relevant to the case, and as he reached the interrogation room, Ben tried his best to push the thoughts from his mind. 

He opened the door but didn’t rejoin the other two at the table. “Mr. Saunders, your alibi for yesterday afternoon was confirmed by Ms. Miller. You’re free to leave.” 

Jason looked around at Ben, scowling. Ben ignored his partner and kept his eyes on Saunders, who, after a fleeting look of surprise, raised his shackled wrists. “You gonna let me keep them as a souvenir?” 

Surprisingly, he didn’t sound aggrieved. Ben had been prepared for righteous indignation and anger, and wouldn’t have blamed the man for it. But Saunders just sat there, looking tired and defeated. He held his arms out without comment as Jason leaned over with the handcuff keys. Once he was free, Saunders got up and, without a glance at Jason, walked toward the door. When he drew level with Ben, he stopped, eyes on the floor in front of him. 

“Thanks,” he muttered, then strode out of the room. 

Ben glanced after Saunders as the man continued down the hall, shoulders hitched, face averted from the people milling around the lobby. A strange sensation rose up in him. Was it pity? He tried to tell himself that it was only natural to take an interest, feel something, after what Jason had put this man through without a single good reason. 

And for Ben, the whole thing wasn’t over yet. Turning to his partner with a scowl, he asked, “Why were you so sure it was him? You practically had him convicted already.” 

Jason shrugged. “Witness said they saw a dark brown pickup, same as Saunders has. And today, he was just sort of hanging around the gas station on Fullerton. Thought we should check him out.” 

“Did you have anything else to go on? Description of the driver, partial number plate, anything?” 

“Nope.” 

Jason sounded smug, and Ben had to take a deep breath to keep his voice level. “Did he maybe behave in a suspicious manner?” 

“Maybe,” Jason agreed as he got up. In Jason-speak that meant: Just didn’t like the look of the dude. 

Jason sometimes got like this; he was all guts and instinct and reaction. That had its uses in policing, too, and Ben often made excuses for his friend’s hot-headedness, because it came from the right place in his heart. But somehow, this time he couldn’t find an excuse. Maybe it had happened one time too many. Or maybe, because this time Jason’s ire had focused on an innocent party, he’d rubbed Ben the wrong way. 

As he followed Jason out of the room, Ben hissed, “Since this was your party, brother, you can write it up for the captain as well, all right?” This would annoy Jason more than anything. He hated writing reports. 

Without another word, Ben strode down the corridor and out into the parking lot. He needed a moment to calm down or else he might well punch his partner and best friend in the face before the day was done. 

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I Wished For You by Colette Davison: Exclusive Excerpt!

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Exclusive Excerpt from I Wished For You

by Colette Davison

“So…” Seb began.

He opened his mouth to tell them he’d made a mistake and that he was sorry, but the words remained lodged in his throat. They would have been a lie. Instead, he lowered his chin to his chest and shoved a huge spoonful of porridge into his mouth. The consistency was miraculously fine, but it needed something to sweeten it. He waited a couple of beats for either of his friends to speak. When they remained silent, he got up and slipped into the tent, rummaging through the food Connor had packed to find some honey. Connor was nothing if not prepared.

Sitting down again, he squeezed a generous amount into his bowl and then held it out. There was an awkward pause before Connor reached out to take it from him. The distance the chairs were set at meant they both had to half stand so they could reach further. Their fingertips brushed as the bottle was passed between them. Normally, Seb would have barely noticed the contact, but he was suddenly acutely aware of the tingle he felt as their skin and eyes connected. A slight splash of colour warmed Connor’s cheeks, and he looked away abruptly, making Seb feel fucking awful.

It didn’t get any better when Connor silently passed the honey to Matt. A similar thing happened. Seb found himself fixated on the way his friends’ fingers connected at the very tips and the slight pause in the process when that connection happened. When his stare found its way back to Connor’s face, he saw that the colour in his friend’s cheeks had deepened. He was trying to conceal it by keeping his face low, but the blush was a beacon of his discomfort or possibly something else…

Seb shifted in his chair and ate more of the porridge. He brushed his musing off as wishful thinking. He was the only one struggling with how he felt about his friends. They were both probably pissed off that he’d crossed a line. Being drunk was no excuse.

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Release Blitz: Half-Life by Gregory L. Norris + Excerpt & Giveaway!

Half-Life by Gregory L. Norris 

Whitney Abbott travels to the seaside Maine town of Window to begin a new life in his uncle’s home. Robert Abbott is well-to-do and owns several high-end restaurants. Whitney will start at the bottom and work his way up at the flagship. But from the moment Whitney exits his car in the drive of the big, brooding house, he senses the sinister atmosphere surrounding his relations.

His cousin November, princess of the estate, feigns joy at having Whitney in town. And November’s handsome athlete boyfriend, Griffin, is an enigma. Soon after his arrival, Griffin warns Whitney to leave. With nowhere to go—and certain that his attraction to Griffin goes both ways—Whitney is drawn into November’s malevolent plans. Plans that will pit Whitney against dark supernatural forces in order to save both his and Griffin’s lives.

Available at: Amazon

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