Giveaways

Release Blitz: Slow Dances Under an Orange Moon by V.L. Locey & Giveaway!

Slow Dances Under an Orange Moon by V.L. Locey

Can the love they once shared be saved or has the pain of the past eclipsed it?

It’s been twenty years since Kye McLeod left the quaint little mountain town of Spruce Lake, Maine to play professional hockey. He’s had his share of ups and downs, but his choice to hit the big city and not look back has paid off handsomely. The future hall-of-famer is now ready to retire and come out of that dark closet he’s been sequestered in since his first secretive kiss with Davy Aguirre in high school. Now that he’s heading home to keep an eye on his feisty grandfather, there might be the chance to rekindle the flame between him and Davy.

Kye quickly learns that the boy he left behind isn’t the man he’s now knocking heads with. He always imagined grown-up Davy—who now insists on being called David—would be beyond the pain that Kye’s youthful blunder caused him, but now he’s not so sure. When the wildlife conservation officer squares off with the ex-hockey captain their connection is incendiary, and there are more than just fireworks. However, winning back the man he walked away from may not be as easy as he thought…

Available at: Amazon

Continue reading

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

Honorary Blogger Alex Stargazer: Fallen Love + Excerpt & Giveaway!

Honorary_Blogger_Post

Fallen Love

by Alex Stargazer

Hello readers at the Blogger Girls! Today I’m going to talk to you about Fallen Love, my brand new LGBT urban fantasy book. More specifically, I want to discuss the question “What are LGBT books really about?” and “Why do we need LGBT representation in young adult urban fantasy books?”

Before I dive into things, check out the blurb so you can familiarise yourself with what the story is about.

From a successful crowdfunder, Fallen Love comes action-packed with flying cars, dark magic, and fallen angels.

Upperclassman Conall is rich, impeccably dressed, and set for a prestigious career in the Party hierarchy. He doesn’t lack for anything—except, maybe, love.

When he finds Mark, alone, abandoned and hurt, he doesn’t expect one act of kindness to alter the course of his life forever. There is more to Mark than Conall can even dream of. The beautiful, vulnerable boy Conall knows is not human. A dark power lies within Mark. It can make him immortal… but love might be the price.

Discover why readers are calling this book “nothing short of amazing” and “superb”. If you’re a fan of Cassandra Clare or Lauren Kate, you don’t want to miss this.

What readers are saying…

★★★★★ “To say this novel took me by surprise is a total understatement. This story surprised, astounded, and made me so happy that it is right up there with the top ten books I have read this year.” —Sharon, Blogger

★★★★★ “The writing is polished, even compelling in spots. If you’re looking for an entertaining read with ambitious world-building, give it a try.” —KD Edwards, author of the Last Sun (Pyr)

★★★★★ “This book was nothing short of amazing. I loved the characters, the action, it’s safe to say I loved everything about this book. I hope to see more in this series because I’m hooked.” —Ashley Tomlinson, author of Becoming Grim

★★★★★ “The world-building in this book is superb.” —Rion, Goodreads Reviewer.

What exactly is LGBT, anyway?

This question seems simple on the surface, yet think about it more carefully, and you realise there are multiple answers. It used to be that LGBT books were “issue stories”: they dealt with themes of alienation, homophobia, love and family, etc. For a long time, these sorts of stories were extremely depressing; the main character usually died from AIDS.

Sometime in the late 2000s, and particularly after the self-publishing boom facilitated by Amazon and Smashwords (2012 or thereabouts), we began to see a new kind of LGBT book. I say LGBT as a useful catch-all, but really I mean M/M.

These kinds of stories were a breath of fresh air, in a lot of ways. They showed that a romance between two men could be successful, beautiful, and even wondrous. The genre evolved away from issue plots and more towards the usual fare of romance: the characters desire each other but something is standing in the way (work/family/travel/whatever). Or, equally often, the characters themselves stand in the way.

I want to say that M/M books became less angst-driven during this transition. But that’s not really true; the angst became different. Gay romance retains one fundamental problem: it does not appeal to a large enough audience, and the reason is angst. To be frank, most men (of all sexualities) don’t want to read M/M romance because it’s boring.

What we need is another literary revolution. Authors like KD Edwards, Alex R Kahler and J Scott Coatsworth (not to mention yours truly!) are part of a movement to write LGBT books about adventure. I use the word deliberately. Fantasy and science fiction are about adventure—they’re about going on a quest to slay dragons (or befriend them) and venturing into deep space. Thrillers also count as adventure, as do many books for young readers.

Gay romance will continue to exist, like issue-based LGBT stories continue to exist today. But more than anything, what we need to see is fiction that just happens to represent gay characters, rather than fiction that is about a gay relationship.

LGBT Characters in YA, Paranormal and Urban Fantasy

I want to arrive at my ultimate question: how do we apply the principle of representing gay characters through adventure to the genre of YA Paranormal and Urban Fantasy? This is what I set out to do in Fallen Love.

The thing is, these two sub-genres have very particular traditions. Heterosexual books in this category—such as Fallen by Lauren Kate, Hush Hush, and Halo—follow a set formula: the heroine falls in love with a bad boy. They balance teenage angst with worldbuilding and action. I could have written something very similar and swapped out the heroine for a dude. I certainly played with the bad boy character.

The story I actually wrote can’t quite be described in these terms—it’s something else, something unique. The internal conflict works very differently when you have two boys instead of a girl and a boy. A good example is from Cassandra Clare (who is one of my favourite authors, by the way) in her Dark Artifices series. Mark, Kieran and Cristina’s love triangle is something that’s totally distinct from a straight love triangle. The boys don’t have to fight it out, and the girl doesn’t have to choose one of them; they can all be together.

I still think Cassie Clare’s story suffers from a little too much teenage angst, which is something I avoided throughout Fallen Love. If there has to be internal conflict, I want it to be something grittier; there have to be bigger stakes. Power asymmetry, persecution, life and death struggle—that’s what I want to read about.

Don’t get me wrong: angst has its place, especially in books about teenagers. But I believe I can write a better story, with broader appeal, when angst takes a back seat in favour of good old adventure.

What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Continue reading

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

Cat Escort by Melissa E. Costa: Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

Blogger_Exclusive Excerpt

Exclusive Excerpt from Cat Escort

by Melissa E. Costa

Seth and Nao wove through the busy street, talking. Both wore winter clothes. Streetlamps awoke with the onset of the evening. The loud music coming from clubs and bars enhanced the city nightlife, and rushing traffic added to the ambiance. Thankfully the crowds thinned as they reached the park.

Seth loved that he could see his breath in the chilly air.

Nao shivered. “You look like you’re enjoying the cold weather?”

Seth’s smile widened. “And you’re not?”

Nao shook his head. “We cats like a temperate climate, not too hot or cold. The cattery would be nice around this time. There’s a lot of open spaces, for sure, but inside is warm and cozy.” Seth loved the spark of life that entered Nao’s eyes. “We also have awesome hot chocolate.”

“Didn’t think cats could eat chocolate.”

“We’re not that sensitive to it, thankfully. As with everything, we need to moderate ourselves. But we include some wild grass for digestion and a touch of mouse meat for thickness.”

“Meat? In hot chocolate?”

“It’s more like broth, and it’s amazing!”

Seth wrinkled his nose. “I’ll take your word for it.”

“You’d think I would get better winter clothes.” Nao continued to shiver, stuffing his hands into his pockets. “Guess I just hide indoors when this happens.”

Seth took a deep breath for courage. Then he put his arm around Nao’s shoulders and pulled him close. Nao’s startled breath released condensation into the air. Looking over, he smiled and nuzzled into Seth’s neck.

Seth jumped. “Cold! Your nose is freezing!”

“So warm it up,” Nao whispered against his skin. His hot breath left Seth’s neck damp and made him shiver.

Wrapping both arms around Nao’s smaller frame, he tightened his hug. Nao hugged him back, his teeth chattering. “Wanna find a place indoors?” Seth suggested.

Nao nodded. “Although,” he purred. “I’m enjoying you holding me.” His purr was adorable, but Seth craved to hear that whimper-pant of surrender Nao made when Seth had entered him. How had they not had sex since? Then again, they weren’t technically dating. What did dating mean for them anyway? Nao would still be an escort. Would Seth be able to handle that? “You should come with me.”

“Huh?”

“To the cattery, to visit my family.”

“Um…don’t you think it’s early?”

“Early? We’re just friends. Nothing’s too early in a friendship.”

Now that hurt. Seth knew it shouldn’t have. Nao was being practical. There was no way Seth could date an escort. Absolutely not. Then what? He’d forever pester Nao to quit his job? Still, hearing Nao’s words made it sound final like he would never get to call Nao his partner.

“The second Napping Feast is coming up.”

“What’s that? A dinner you nap at?”

Nao smiled. “Close. It’s a day where the entire cattery naps. In-between napping, we have huge feasts. Let me tell you, you’ve never tasted salmon until you’ve had one baked at Napping Feast. The first one happens on Winter Solstice, which we missed. But personally, I think the later Napping Feasts are better.”

“How many of these do you have?”

“Three. From Winter Solstice to Spring Equinox.”

“That’s pretty interesting…but I probably shouldn’t. Am I even welcomed there?”

“Not by everyone, I’m sure. But my mom, aunts, and uncles would be okay with it. Most of my papas too. You being just my friend helps a lot with that. I know the kittens will adore you—”

“What if I don’t just wanna be your friend?” Seth regretted saying that as soon as the words left his mouth.

Nao studied him, and a small smile graced his handsome face. He kissed Seth—a mere touch of skin against skin that ended just as quickly. “I am an escort, Seth. That isn’t something you want your boyfriend to be.”

“Yeah, but…”

“No buts. I won’t quit. This is my job, and I like it. It allows me to stay in the human world. Hate to say it, but I’m not good at anything else.”

“Now that I can’t believe.”

“Believe it or not, it’s true. I can’t even read or write human.”

Seth smirked at that. “You mean English?”

“It’s all the same to me.” Nao’s cheeky smile squinted his eyes.

“You can speak it fine.”

“I have an accent.”

“So? You can do it. That means you can learn to read and write it.”

Nao shook his head. “See, this is why we can’t be together. I really like you, think I love you even, and I don’t wanna put you in a position where you’ll be unhappy.”

Seth let out a sigh. “Yeah, probably, …but that doesn’t stop me from wanting to be with you.”

Nao kissed him again. This time Seth grabbed his shoulders and prevented him from leaving. After all those memories that plagued him, kissing Nao again felt amazing.

“Nao,” he moaned. “I want you.” Seth licked into his mouth. Nao sucked Seth’s lower lip. Then flicked his tongue against Seth’s. They tasted each other as an undertone of heat grew.

A car sped by, flinging mud everywhere. Nao stood closest to the edge, facing away from the road. The splash zone started at his ankles and went up to his middle back. “Seriously?”

“Shit!” Seth went to take off his coat, but Nao held up his hand.

“Pretty much ruined at this point.” He dragged out a frustrated, tired sigh. “I could never get this amount of stain off. Looks like it’s time for Plan B.”

“Plan B? Nao, you’re freezing as it is. You’ll catch your death out here.”

“Do you mind?”

“Mind what?”

Nao didn’t answer the question. Going over to a homeless man, he said, “Would you be interested in taking these clothes off my hands?”

The man looked confused. Then his eyes brightened. “Fancy, huh? Sure.”

“Give these to this fine fellow, will yah, Seth?” Nao went over to Seth. “Will you keep me in your jacket?”

Seth only recognized what Nao planned to do when he started transforming. Then a black cat stood at his feet. He rubbed around Seth’s legs, and Seth got the message. He slung Nao’s purse over his shoulder and gave the clothes to the stranger. Then he put Nao inside his jacket, so his tiny head peeked out.

Continue reading

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

Sticky Fingers by Davidson King: Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

Blogger_Exclusive Excerpt

Exclusive Excerpt from Sticky Fingers

by Davidson King

I found everyone in the dining room polishing crystal. “Hey there, Maddox,” Tomas said. “Gilly’s ordering pizza tonight.”

There was nothing wrong with that. “Great.” I surveyed the pieces of chandeliers, vases, candlesticks, and bowls. “Need help?”

Kyle was wiping one of the baubles but almost dropped it at my offer. “You’re gonna clean?”

Tomas chuckled. “Don’t let the fancy suit fool you, kid. One thing about the boss man you need to know, he won’t ask anyone to do something he’s not prepared to do himself. It’s the Baron family work ethic.”

Kyle’s face softened, and he rewarded me with a gorgeous smile. “Well, then, sit next to me, boss man. I have some baubles you can rub.”

Everyone burst out laughing, but the heated look in Kyle’s eyes made my dick twitch. It was time to throw caution to the wind. I knew my family would approve of him. I always knew they wouldn’t of Nadia, but I was sure of him. I didn’t let our age gap bother me, or the fact he’d be leaving at the end of the summer to go hundreds of miles away. I couldn’t know if we were anything if I didn’t give this everything I had.

I sat next to Kyle, rolled my sleeves up and took the offered rag. When everyone was busy working and talking, I leaned into Kyle and whispered only for him to hear, “I’ll rub anything of yours you’d like.”

That time he did drop the bauble, fortunately it was on his lap. Continue reading

Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, LGBT, Published in 2020 | Tags: , , | 9 Comments

Release Blitz: T.A.G. You’re Heard by A.G. Carothers + Excerpt & Giveaway!

T.A.G. You’re Heard by A.G. Carothers

Hello again, Mr. No here, communications agent for T.A.G. and your inside source to your favorite agents.

Our next file is on Operation Gingersnap and none other than Agent Code name Mr. Kr, aka Connor Foley Turgenev, our snarky and hyperactive computer genius.

Connor gets hit with a blast from the past that he’d thought was long dead. Yoshi and the rest of Upper Management must scramble to save him before his situation turns dire.

In the meantime, will nearly losing Connor push our gentle giant of a Chef, Asbjorn Sternberg, to open himself up to Connor and truly be the Daddy and partner that Connor wants and needs? Or will he let injuries obtained while serving in the Norwegian Army fuel his self doubt?

Find out this and exciting news that might change the face of T.A.G.’s future in this next installment from the archives.

Available at: Amazon

Continue reading

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

Honorary Blogger TA Moore: Feet of Clay • Chapter One + Giveaway!

 First of all, thank you so much for having me! I’m thrilled to be here with my new release Prodigal, the first in the Lost and Found trilogy. Prodigal is set years after the disappearance of a child in Cutter’s Gap left the town, and the people left behind, shattered. In ‘Feet of Clay’ I revisit Cutter’s Gap in the years between Sammy Calloway’s disappearance and the start of Prodigal.

I hope you enjoy it!

Feet of Clay • Chapter One

by TA Moore

Halfway through the nightshift the coffee in the break room tasted like something drained out of a truck’s oil filter. Mac poured himself a cup anyhow. If you added enough sugar, it was fine.

He took a drink and grimaced as the grit scraped the roof of his mouth. Well, it wouldn’t kill him. The writer sat at the table with her equipment laid out fastidiously in front of her. Every now and again she reached to check absently that it was still on.

“I don’t know what you want from me,” Mac said. “Anything I know is public record. If you read Maccabee’s book, then you know as much as me.”

The woman leaned forward and braced her elbows on the table, her hands under her chin.

“I’m not a journalist, Lieutenant MacKenzie” she said. “I’m not a writer, not like Sullivan, either. This is research for an academic paper that I’m working on. It’s about the possible epigenetic impact of this sort of community-experienced trauma on–”

Mac held his hand up. “I get it,” he said. “You’re a professor not a paparazzi. That doesn’t change what I’ve got to say. Everything that happened back then–every decision, every clue, every dead end we slammed face first into–has been dissected a dozen times over. I’m bled out on details, Dr Masterton. Sammy Calloway disappeared. We never found him. What more do you want.”

She rubbed her lip with her knuckle, smudged the toffee brown gloss she’d applied.

“Nothing,” she said. “I’m not a forensic scientist, Lieutenant, or a criminal psychologist. Maybe Cutter’s Gap PD did make a mistake back then, maybe something was missed that you could have used to bring Sammy home. But you didn’t, and that’s what I’m interested in. Not what happened after Sammy was taken, but what’s happened since you gave up on getting him back. That documentary that Netflix made for five year anniversary was called The Boy the Town Forgot, but what I want to know what it’s like to live in that town.”

Mac looked down into his coffee. It was black and vaguely oily, a smear of greasy creamer on top. How many of these cups had he held over the years? When the hunt had been on for Sammy he’d lived on cups of this and not much else. One day his stomach lining was going to have its revenge.

“Yeah,” he said quietly. “Me too.”

There was a pause for a second and then the professor turned the recorder off with a click.

“Your captain told you to talk to me,” she said. Mac’s shoulders tightened and the already sour taste in his mouth thickened. “I need you to want to talk to me, to get other people to talk to me.”

“Can’t the captain do that?”

The professor smiled wryly as she packed her equipment away. “Only to shut me, and because he knew you didn’t want to,” she said. “Think about it. I’m in town for the rest of the week. Let me know if you change your mind. I think you could help me a lot more than you realise. It might help you to.”

She stood up, slung her bag over her shoulder, and offered Mac a neat, unadorned card. He took it and Professor Masterton left, her heels loud on the tiled floor as she headed for the door.

Mac hadn’t been raised with much, but he had manners. He waited until she was gone before he tossed the card in the trash.

He had a job to do and it wasn’t raking over the past.

Continue reading

Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, Honorary Blogger Post, Published in 2020 | Tags: , , , , | 11 Comments

Release Blitz: The Empires of Luxor City by Sasha Hope + Excerpt & Giveaway!

The Empires of Luxor City by Sasha Hope

In the aftermath of his father’s funeral, Dom Wesa, the new Alpha of Luxor City’s Central Empire, stumbles upon an Omega in desperate need of help. The Omega, Lin Vasiliev, wakes to find he’s been taken into Dom’s home to be rehabilitated. Dom thinks the young addict may have information about the illicit drug trade going on in his Empire. He gets Lin sober to question him only to discover that Lin is new in town and ignorant of Luxor’s laws.

Dom and Lin are both suspicious of each other at first for their own reasons, but as that wariness wears away a deep attraction develops between them. Dom dotes on Lin, leaving the once stone-broke Omega bathed in finery he never could have imagined. They start planning for Lin’s upcoming heat, when they will be driven together by their kindling bond and strong compatibility as an Alpha and Omega pair. However, in the midst of their swelling romance, Luxor’s most notorious Alpha reappears sparking a gang war that threatens to turn the entire city into a battleground.

Available at: Amazon

Continue reading

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

Fight For This by Suki Fleet: Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

Blogger_Exclusive Excerpt

Exclusive Excerpt from Fight For This

by Suki Fleet

THE STUMBLE upstairs to Grey’s bed was a delicious blur. Si’s long slinky limbs tangled with Grey’s own, and the warmth of Si’s kisses flared like tiny stars on Grey’s skin. 

A part of him wondered if he’d somehow fallen into one of his fantasies, but the pull in his chest—their connection—told him nothing had ever been realer. 

He could feel what Si wanted, what he needed. Si’s glamour was a sparkling warmth that gusted around them, and made the air shimmer like gold dust. Why had Grey believed being close would hurt Si? His heart had whispered this was right from the beginning—if only he’d listened, trusted. Though wasn’t that just the story of his life?

They fell onto cool bed sheets, the mystery of Grey’s vanished blankets forgotten as Si’s touch, his scent, filled Grey’s head, and they clutched at one another hungrily.

With the curtains still drawn, the room seemed dark but for the breathtaking glow of Si’s skin. His hair against Grey’s white pillows was like fire on snow, his skin like a sunrise. Grey could hardly breathe with how much he wanted to take care of Si, though he knew how much wanting that might cost him. But whatever happened they had this, they had right now, and Grey had no intention of wasting a second. 

The soft sounds of their kissing filled the room, as did their joint moans as Grey slid his fingers under the soft material of Si’s thin top, exposing miles of warm, smooth skin he longed to kiss and lick.

Need, unlike anything Grey had ever felt, seemed to jolt between them as he leaned down and took Si’s nipple in his mouth. 

“Fuck.” Si clung onto him, back arched, strong fingers digging into Grey’s biceps, his erection rubbing urgently against Grey’s stomach.

Grey’s dick couldn’t get any harder. He longed for the simplest of touches, skin on skin would do it. A warm hand palming him through his jeans would probably be enough. Thoughts of fucking, of slick tongues and tight arseholes made his balls ache. The sort of ache he never wanted to go away but couldn’t hold onto. If they didn’t slow it down, he suspected this would be over far too soon.

Continue reading

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

Hold Me Up by Colette Davison: Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

Blogger_Exclusive Excerpt

Exclusive Excerpt from Hold Me Up

by Colette Davison

“When I—” Alex swallowed and seemed to fight with his breathing, but it was still laboured and out of control.

“Breathe,” Reece said. “With me.” He breathed in and out slowly until Alex was able to match him breath for breath.

“When I have a panic attack, it—” Alex licked his lips and then copied Reece’s slow breathing again. “It feels like the sky is falling.”

“Then let me hold it up for you,” Reece said.

“You want to do that?” Alex asked.

“Why wouldn’t I?”

“You could have anyone you wanted. Why waste your time with me?”

Reece frowned. “Because you’re the only guy I’ve ever wanted.” He stopped short of telling Alex he loved him. It was too soon, and he knew Alex would dismiss his words as a memory of their past rather than a product of their present. “Will you let me hold the sky up for you?”

Continue reading

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

Honorary Blogger Rhys Ford: Nothing Else Matters • Part Four + Giveaway!

Hello! And thank you for joining the Back in Black Blog Tour! My name is Rhys Ford and I will be your guide through this serialized short story featuring Cole McGinnis and his trip to the altar. Hit each blog stop for the next bit of the story AND as a special bonus, Greg Tremblay has narrated each “slice of cake” on this wedding tour!

As some of you know, Cole McGinnis is a former LAPD detective who found love again in a romance suspense series called the Cole McGinnis Mysteries or as I call it, the Dirty Series. It is there he meets and falls in love with Kim Jae-Min, a Korean photographer with a few secrets of his own and a tiny black cat with an attitude. I left Cole and Jae in quite a happy place five years ago in Los Angeles with a promise to come back and “reboot” Cole’s life in a mystery series.

(You can find the first series here at Dreamspinner Press, including a special free bonus collection of shorts in both ebook and audiobook format)

If you’ve already met Cole, well then I am happy to announce he’s back and well, while things are a little bit different… and he’s a hair older… his life is still as insanely jam-packed with action and more than few mysteries to figure out. All of the old gang is back along with a few new faces and I hope you all enjoy Back in Black as much as I enjoyed writing it.

And as if Cole wasn’t fun enough to write, Greg Tremblay is back as Cole McGinnis in the upcoming audiobook which is supposed to be out on Feb 13th! If you aren’t a part of my Facebook group or follow me on social media, please be sure to find me to learn about any future stuff. Because 2020 is going to be a hell of a lot of fun.

Giveaway!

As always, there is a giveaway! Please comment, rafflecopter or however this blog chooses to run their giveaway, Please Please enter to win a $25 Gift Certificate to the online store of your choice!

Nothing Else Matters • Part Four

by Rhys Ford

Audio Snippet Link

“Tell me they impounded your truck so it’s here in the holding yard.” I rubbed at my face, the stink of jail sticking to the inside of my nostrils. “Then at least we’d have a ride back to Chinatown.”

Considering I was allegedly on the right side of the law, it was astonishing at how much time I’d spent inside that particular institution. There was a particular smell to incarceration. Not prison which came with its own unique blend of aromas but jail itself, that pit stop between freedom and hard time. It was the slosh bucket of the seven sins, awash with puke, fear and bravado. Packed in tight with little room for long movements, men circled like guppies in a fish tank, watching the top of the water for the net to take them out and any larger shadows edging closer, a sure sign of a predator moving into their midst.

It was good to get out of there although from the sounds of things, Ralph made some really poor life choices he was going to have to live with for a long time. I left him with my contact information, promising him if he was able to shake loose the goat-napping charges, I’d work to help him find his uncle. One of the guys in the cell with us snorted loudly and within a second, a full-scale brawl had me backing down the hallway, eager to follow Scarlet out into the sunlight. Once I was reunited with Bobby, Scarlet dismissed us with a wave of her hand and after asking her driver to bring around the town car, she told us in no uncertain terms what she thought about us landing in trouble.

Every bit of the hard-scrabble young Filipino boy who’d clawed his way out of his own prisons emerged and my back snapped in straight. There was a lot of steel in Scarlet, a survivor who’d learned to love and nurture but there was never any questioning the strength it took to get her to where she was.

“Be there, Cole-ah,” she growled with a rare fierceness, peeling back the layers of sophisticated poise she draped herself in. “Disappoint Jae-Min today and you will spend what little time you have for the rest of your life regretting every crack you make in his heart. I love you — very much — but sometimes, love isn’t enough to save someone. And it won’t save you.”

“Nuna, you know me.” I’d protested, holding my hands up in surrender. Not because I was afraid Scarlet would hurt me but her driver and bodyguard both carried very wicked looking guns under their suit jackets and they’d stiffened up like old hunting hounds catching a whiff of duck in the air. “If zombies bite me and I’m sloughing off pieces of my body, I’ll be there. Nothing is going to keep me from marrying him.”

“Nothing but your lack of common sense,” she muttered, giving Bobby a stabbing glare. “And you, don’t make me regret taking you out of there. You are on borrowed time, dongsaeng, both of you.”

She left us in a chatter of heels, the afternoon sun smearing butter and apricot jam light through the clouds. Her car pulled away from the curb before it dawned on me we were without a vehicle, leading me to pray the cops somehow dragged Bobby’s truck on some magical mystery tour and it was waiting for us in the impound yard like some dancing pony on a side quest.

“No, they didn’t impound my truck so though I don’t want to go back down there, we’ve got to.” Bobby rubbed at his flat stomach, still a bit green around the gills. I’d been kicked in the nuts more than a few times in my life, most of them by Mike my older brother during one of our childhood fights so I knew the residual wave of sick lingering in the back of Bobby’s visceral memories. “Let’s make it fast. You heard what Scarlet said. Our necks are wound out for the axe if we don’t show up on time.”

“Just one problem there, Dawson,” I said with an apologetic grin. “I still have to pick up Jae’s present but if we don’t hustle, the shop’s going to be closed and I’m going to be fucked.”

“Pretty sure there’s only one thing Jae really wants from you for your wedding and that’s to be there.” He smirked, slapping me on the shoulder. “But sure, come on, once more unto the breach, Princess, once more.”

Continue reading

Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, Honorary Blogger Post, Published in 2020 | Tags: , , , , , | 68 Comments