Posts Tagged With: NineStar Press

Dead Wrong by Gillian St. Kevern: Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

Blogger_Exclusive Excerpt

Exclusive Excerpt from Dead Wrong

by Gillian St. Kevern

“Why do these things always come in threes? You never win the lottery three times, do you?” Gunn had steeled himself for entering the yoga studio by lighting a cigarette before he went inside. The tobacco and sulfur scent mingled oddly with the herbal notes of the incense lingering in the room, but even that couldn’t mask the smell dominating the studio—death.

Kenzies snorted. “If our perp sticks to only three we’ll be lucky.” She turned to Nate. “You okay, blossom?”

Nate swallowed. The victim’s eyes were open, and she stared at the ceiling. Her short hair was buzzed on one side and spilled into vibrant green-purple-indigo curls on the other, but while she’d obviously gone to a lot of effort to get the cut, she hadn’t maintained it. Her brown roots were showing.

Why am I focused on her haircut and not her death? Nate felt bile at the back of his throat. The woman was dead, the third victim in this ongoing case. She lay on her back on a runic circle that even to Nate’s untrained eyes looked exactly like those the previous victims had been found on. The two fang marks in her neck stood out against the paleness of her skin like a brand. Just like the others she had been entirely drained of blood.

With a start, Nate realized Kenzies was still waiting for an answer. “Yeah. Uh. Fine.”

“There’s something really suspicious about your reactions,” Gunn remarked conversationally. “I can taste shock, but we’ve already established you don’t know the victim. Has this convinced you that Ben’s responsible?”

Nate gulped. That was it, wasn’t it? If Ben was in Saltaire’s custody, he couldn’t have done this. I need to talk to Godfrey ASAP.

“How long has she been here?” Kenzies asked.

Clay stepped forward. He was far, far too cheerful for anyone who worked with Gunn. “The yoga studio closed at six. Sunset was at 7:02 p.m. The corpse was discovered by the cleaner at—when did you say, Tremaine?”

Tremaine looked up from her inspection of the studio’s supply cupboards. “I got the call at 8:17 p.m. I arrived here ten minutes later.”

Nate was relieved to see that she no longer looked ill. She didn’t even look tired. Having a case to work on was clearly more to her liking than crowd control.

Tremaine cocked an eyebrow at him, and Nate realized he was staring. “I see you got your uniform without problem.”

“Yeah, thanks for dropping it off.” Nate tugged the shirt straight. The new shirt didn’t adhere to his skin. “I feel much more comfortable.” He cast around for a way to change the subject. He didn’t want to remember what had followed the delivery of Nate’s new uniform. Ben snarling as he launched himself at Aki in an entirely unprovoked assault.

Am I sure that Ben isn’t guilty? He has all the killing instinct of a vampireI have to talk to Godfrey. Nate slipped his hand into his pocket, gripping his phone, and took a step backward toward the door.

Gunn spat out smoke. “What are the odds we can’t identify this one either?”

Clay grinned. “Bad news.”

Gunn glared. “Security footage only shows victim?”

“Not even that. It’s a complete blank from the owner leaving to Tremaine arriving. Also, we had the owner in to ID the victim, and she says she’s never seen her before.”

“Do you think they’re doing this just to annoy us?”

Kenzies sniffed. “It would explain the wolfsbane.”

Nate was startled. “You can’t smell anything?”

“I can smell too much. Even despite the best efforts of him”—she jerked her head toward Gunn—“and the goddamn patchouli this place is drowning in, I can barely make out the smell of the rite. And you know how much necromancy stinks!”

Nate did not, but he filed that away for future reference. Evil equals smelly. “And the wolfsbane?”

“Overkill. Then again, the fact they used it at all is a good indication, if one were needed, that our perp is not a wolf.”

“Or a vampire. Don’t they have sensitive noses too?”

Kenzies looked sadly at Nate. Out of respect for Nate’s feelings, she referred to the killer as ‘the perp’ when Nate was in earshot, but he suspected she shared her superior’s views of Ben’s guilt. “I caught a whiff of vampire when we approached the building.”

“We gotta go,” Gunn announced. “Another night, another demonstration scheduled outside the Registry. You’d think people would have better things to do, but there you go. Kenzies, I leave the rest to you.”

Kenzies saluted. “I’m going to sniff around here. Clay, you monitor the Forensics team, and make sure they don’t accidentally set off a necromantic booby trap. Tremaine, take Nate back to the station. I want you to figure out who these victims are.”

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Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, LGBT, Published in 2018 | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Release Blitz: Conjoined at the Soul by Huston Piner + Excerpt & Giveaway!

Conjoined at the Soul by Huston Piner

Randy Clark has just looked in the mirror and figured out he’s gay. So now, all he needs is a boyfriend, and finding one should be easy enough, right? The trouble is Randy has a knack for being attracted to the wrong kind of guy, like the one who hasn’t spoken to him since he told him he had pretty eyes. Then there’s that locker-room jock who’s always putting him down. And new student Kerry Sawyer would be perfect—except for that girlfriend he left behind.

Obviously, when it comes to finding a boyfriend, Randy’s got a lot to learn. So for dating tips, he turns to friends Jeremy Smith and Annie Brock. But although Annie’s more than willing to help him find the right guy, between his own bad luck and her less than helpful advice (date a girl?), things are getting out of control fast. And while Randy struggles with bullies, bigotry, and his own self-doubts, he quickly finds that searching for love can be pitted with embarrassing misunderstandings, humiliating encounters, and hilarious missteps.

All in all, Randy’s sophomore year is shaping up to be one to remember—if he can just live through it.

Available at: Amazon


Excerpt from Conjoined at the Soul


Chapter One: Of Mirrors and Locker Rooms

Today is a day of historic importance. See, I woke up this morning and discovered I’m gay.

I was brushing my teeth, and when I spit out and looked in the mirror, a pointy-nosed, sixteen-year-old with unruly blond hair stared back at me and said, “You, young man, are gay.” 

I know I know I know, it’s not quite that simple. I didn’t just go to bed last night as the straight Randy Clark only to have the gay pixie come and sprinkle fairy dust all over me in my sleep. The truth is, it’s something I’ve kind of seen coming for a couple of years now. It’s like a process: one day you start adding up all the times you’ve caught yourself looking at guys or couldn’t stop thinking about a particular boy, and it just hits you—you’re gay.

It’s a lot to take in. 

Luckily, I have the ride to school to think about it. When the bus stops, I check the time, and it’s running late…again. Three minutes late.

I hate being late.

My best friend, Blake, stumbles on board like a zombie. His head’s drooping, and his shoulders are slumped forward. Yup, it was obviously another late night for Blake Rogers.

I flash him my most saccharine smile and say “Good morning” with my most sarcastic cheeriness.

“Mumm-ning, Randy.” He yawns and is already dozing before his butt even hits the seat next to me. And with that, it’s guaranteed to be a quiet, peaceful ride the rest of the way.

It’s funny, but now that I’ve admitted I’m gay, I’m more at peace with myself than I’ve ever been in my whole life. It feels natural. But it’s kind of scary too. I mean, being gay isn’t exactly the kind of thing you can just announce to the world. Some people would instantly hate you and tell you so, while others would express their opinion with a few well-chosen punches—and I get more than my share of those already. It’s enough to make a guy a little nervous.

And then there’s the problem—the real problem. Something’s missing in my life—something important, something very important. See, a straight guy can look forward to the possibility of getting married, but what about me? Is there someone out there waiting for me? I mean, sure, friends are important in life, but they’re not enough. What I need is a boyfriend, my own special someone to turn me on and send me into sexual orbit. That’s what it’s all about, right?

Blake starts snoring. I elbow him in the side and shake my head. He grumbles, but at least he stops snoring. The guy sitting across the aisle from us snickers.

Blake may be my best friend, but he won’t be the first person I tell I’m gay. It’s not that he’d stop being my friend or anything, it’s just that it’s more urgent for me to find someone I can go to for advice about guys first. Blake likes girls way too much to be of any help on that issue.

For that job, I know exactly who I need: Annie Brock and Jeremy Smith. They’re in my art class. If there are any two people on earth who will be able to help me find a boyfriend, it’s Annie and Jeremy.

I’ve finally made it to fifth period after surviving a typically boring morning, and whatever it was they served for lunch. (They called it spaghetti, but I swear it was wiggling.)

Art. It’s my favorite class, and unlike some of my others, I’m very good at it. I’ve got artistic flair. Our teacher, Mrs. Pilt, is the stereotypical art teacher. She wears smocks of various patterns and colors, and they’re always stained with smears of paint.

The art room reeks of pottery clay, glue, and God knows what else. The walls are lined with shelves and paintings, and there are weird mobiles hanging like Picasso spiders from the ceiling. It’s always noisy, and the radio constantly blasts out the Bee Gees, Dire Straits, and The B-52’s, with a little Chic thrown in for good measure. There are a number of rectangular tables here and there with up to six people at each. Annie, Jeremy, and I sit at the table closest to Mrs. Pilt’s desk. We’re her favorite students.

The great thing about art class is, as long as you stay on task, Mrs. Pilt lets you chat with the people around you. At our table, Annie does most of the talking. I get in a few words every now and then, and Jeremy rarely speaks at all.

We’re starting a new project, and for the moment, even Annie’s quiet while we all consider the charcoal and paper before us. If I’m going to tell them I’m gay and enlist their help, now is my best chance. I’d better act fast.

I open my mouth, but suddenly a lump forms in my throat. I take a deep breath and try again, but my stomach flutters.

What’s wrong with me? Why am I so nervous all of a sudden? Maybe if I ease into the subject?

I clear my throat. “Did you see Andy Gibb on TV this weekend? He’s good-looking.” I manage to say it without stammering.

Annie pulls at a lock of wiry black hair and grunts out one of her peculiar snickers. “Honey, good-looking doesn’t even begin to describe Andy Gibb.”

Annie’s laugh is kind of a cross between a giggle and the sound some people make when they’re blowing their noses. Like Annie herself, it’s unique. She’s outspoken and outlandish, and she doesn’t care who knows it. And she’s definitely got more than her quota of artistic flair. It extends right down to the clothes she wears. For example, today she has on a tangerine and lime-colored disco party dress with three-inch-high clogs.

“Yeah, I really like Andy Gibb,” I say.

Without looking up, Jeremy says, “He’s okay. What other singers do you like, Randy?”

One of the nice things about Jeremy is he’s not only quiet, he gets along with everybody—except for that low-rumble, love-hate thing he and Annie have going on. It’s okay though, because in the three years I’ve known them, they always sit together, and they look out for each other, despite constantly bickering.

“Well, on the male side, I guess I’d have to say Rod Stewart. That Georgie song was just so moving.”

“The one about the gay guy?” Jeremy mumbles, and Annie starts to snicker.

“Yeah, I’m gay.”

So much for easing into the subject.

Annie freezes in mid-snort. Jeremy looks up without raising his head.

“Of course you’re gay, sugar,” Annie says with a chuckle. “But you don’t have to say it so loud.”

I quickly look around, my cheeks burning, but none of the other students are paying us any attention.

Annie’s smile softens. “Now, don’t be embarrassed. I just mean I’ve had my suspicions about you for a while. You dress too well, and you’re always combing your hair. And you even like the Village People.”

“So what? Lots of people like the Village People. What’s that got to do with anything?”

Annie stares at me. “Randy, you do know they’re all gay, don’t you? I mean, you do know what “Y.M.C.A.” is all about?”

“It’s about working out at the Y.M.C.A., of course.”

“It’s about hanging out with all the boys. You get it now?”

Jeremy slowly shakes his head and rolls his eyes.


About Huston Piner

Huston Piner always wanted to be a writer but realized from an early age that learning to read would have to take precedence. A voracious reader, he loves nothing more than a well-told story, a glass of red, and music playing in the background. His writings focus on ordinary gay teenagers and young adults struggling with their orientation in the face of cultural prejudice and the evolving influence of LGBTQA+ rights on society. He and his partner live in a house ruled by three domineering cats in the mid-Atlantic region.

Find out more about Huston on his Facebook and Twitter.



As part of this blog tour, Huston is giving away a $10 NineStar gift card!!! To enter, just click the link below!

Rafflecopter Giveaway

Please be aware that the only way to enter the giveaway is to click the Rafflecopter link above. Any comments on this post will not count towards entering the giveaway unless otherwise stated but are still welcome anyway.

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Categories: Book Promo, Book Review, Excerpts, Giveaways, LGBT, Published in 2018 | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Release Day Blitz: Three’s the Charm by P.A. Friday + Excerpt & Giveaway!

Three’s the Charm by P.A. Friday

James, Laurie, and Al are settling into a surprisingly easy life as a triad. Finally, things seem to be going well for them. But when an unscrupulous journalist takes advantage of Al’s blossoming film career and the men’s unusual relationship to write an exposé article, cracks begin to show. Can the three survive with their love, their careers, and even their sanity intact?

Available at: Amazon


Excerpt from Three’s the Charm

Chapter One


The text was brief and to the point.

I hope you’re behaving yourself. L.

Al glared at his phone, as if it were his boyfriend Laurie himself. Up until that point, he’d been fairly successful at forgetting that he’d been driven to the point of madness the night before by his lovers, who had made him beg and then refused to allow him the satisfaction he was craving. Okay, that ‘forgetting’ bit wasn’t entirely true. He’d managed to deal with the fact that he was absolutely fucking desperate for a wank, or to get off in some form or other. And then bloody Laurie sent that, just reminding him. Rubbing it in.

Al wanted to rub one off, not have things rubbed in. But Laurie, who was not ‘just’ a boyfriend but—when they both chose—his Dominant, had ordered him not to. To wait for this evening. Scowling so hard at his phone that his boss, Fenella, asked him what the matter was (“Nothing”), he sent a one-word reply.


There was silence for an hour. Laurie was probably giving a lecture at the university about filmography or something. Probably doing it well, too—Al had been to a couple of Laurie’s lectures in the past, and he was a good speaker, and knowledgeable. Al should know, as well: he was a prominent short film-maker on a minor level, though it was not a career which allowed him to devote himself to it full-time. Hence the job in the wine shop. During the text silence from his boyfriend, therefore, Al talked to various people about wine, advising them on which bottle might suit them best, and managed to ignore the worst of his frustration. Then the phone buzzed again.

Are you hard? L.

Al seethed. Well, if he hadn’t been before, he was now. He was bloody hard and fucking desperate. Laurie knew it—he knew precisely what he was doing, damn him. Al was tempted not to answer, to just leave Laurie hanging. But on the other hand, Laurie would be in charge once he got home. Provoking him to further teasing was a seriously bad plan. Hating his boyfriend, he sent the same one-word answer.


The ‘fuck you’ wasn’t explicitly written afterwards, but Al was pretty sure Laurie would get that too. Ruffled, he texted James. James, his other boyfriend. Laurie’s boyfriend, too.

Your boyfriend is a fucking sadist.

Al smiled apologetically at Fen, who was looking unimpressed by the amount of texting going on in work time.

“There’s no one needing serving at the moment,” he offered.

She snorted and shook her head. “I suppose you’re texting your many partners,” she said, trying to sound grumpy but not quite managing it.

As far as Fen was concerned—and it was fairly close to the truth—Al slept with pretty much anyone who offered. He certainly had sex with a lot of people, but not only did he live with James and Laurie, he was also in love with them, which made rather a lot of difference. And, he admitted grumpily, the sex was best with them. Partly because Laurie was the best Dom Al had ever come across, and the only one he’d thoroughly trust with the submissive part of himself; and partly because…well, (a) they were both bloody marvellous in bed, and (b) all right, yes, because he was in love with them and it turned out that that did make a difference, just as everyone claimed. Damn them all.

His phone buzzed again.

Needing a wank? J.

Al had the distinct temptation to smash his phone hard against the counter. James was supposed to be showing a bit of sympathy. Which that was not.

Fuck off.

He got another hour, that time. An hour in which to calm down and to think about wine, and talk sensibly to a customer about which white wine might be the optimal choice to go with a nice fish dinner (“What sort of fish?” “Dead,” said the customer, helpfully.)

It was Laurie, again, when the text came.

You’re going to have to beg. L.

Al hated how much that turned him on. How much he wanted to be on his knees to Laurie, pleading to be allowed to come. Hated the visions which were flooding his brain after reading it. Fen was giving him a peculiar look, and he excused himself to the toilet. Not to touch—he knew better than that—but to try to compose himself a bit. He could hardly serve customers with a raging hard-on, and at the moment all he could think about was sex. Fuck. Bloody, fucking Laurie. Fuck. Al pushed a hand firmly (painfully firmly) between his black jeans-clad legs, squeezed his eyes shut, and tried to think about other things. Awful things. Running out of money at the end of the month. Stepping in a deep puddle and getting a trainerful of water. Anything. Anything but the thought of Laurie making him beg. Jesus. Eventually, he knew he’d have to come out or face Fen’s wrath.

“Sorry,” he said apologetically. “Not feeling my best.”

“Hmm.” Fen’s lack of belief would have been mortifying at any other time, but at the moment, Al was too busy trying to deal with his rebellious cock.

You’re hot on your knees. J.

Al hadn’t even heard that text come in. He’d picked up the phone to check the time—to see how long it was before he could go home and persuade his boyfriends (his absolute bastard boyfriends) to allow him to get off. He’d not replied to Laurie’s last text—potentially dangerous in itself, but he was damned if he was going to plead over his phone. Bad enough that he knew bloody well he’d break down and do it in person the first second he saw Laurie; he was not going to humiliate himself in writing as well. And now James, too. James, who knew him too damn well, and knew what a text like that would do.

Thought I told you to fuck off, he wrote.

The response was quick; presumably James was home from work.

Sorry. Thought you asked me to fuck you. Or was that last night? J.

It wasn’t murder if your boyfriends had asked for it, was it? Al had a sudden memory of the previous evening, where he had indeed done as James had suggested. And James had acted like he was going to give in, and then not done so. Fucking tease.

Al gave an involuntary moan, and Fen looked at him, eyebrows raised. “Anything wrong?”

“Told you,” Al said, hoping he wasn’t blushing. “Not feeling great.”

Unexpectedly, she looked sympathetic. “You can head home early if you like?”

Oh, bloody hell, that was worst of all. Laurie and James would rip the piss out of him something chronic if they knew about this. Fen offering to send him home early because he was so ‘unwell’. He’d never live down the fact that he’d been so desperate for them that he hadn’t been able to finish a day’s work.

“No,” he said, knowing his face was definitely red, and quite probably radish-coloured. “I’m fine. Honestly.”

“Okay. Let me know if you need to leave, though, Al. Honestly, you don’t have to suffer.”

Tell that to my boyfriends, Al thought bitterly. Apparently they delighted in making him suffer.

“Thanks,” he said curtly.

Thankfully, they left him alone for his last hour at work. Al was beyond relieved: today had been more of an ordeal than he’d ever had at the wine shop. It wasn’t taxing work, and usually he enjoyed the banter with customers; but today, with the constant erection pushing at his trousers, distracting his attention, making him need things he couldn’t have…it had been horrendous. He was halfway out of the door before the final text came.

Come in, take off your clothes, and kneel by the sofa. L.

Laurie had timed it deliberately for the moment he left work. It left a strangely warm feeling in Al’s chest that Laurie knew to the minute when he would be leaving the shop; he was angry with himself for getting so much pleasure from that thought, but at the same time it was very hot. The texts, he realised, showed that he’d been on Laurie and James’s minds as much as they’d been on his. They wanted him. His cock throbbed hard at the thought.

When he got to the flat, there was no one in the sitting room. Obeying his instructions, he folded his clothes up and knelt naked by the empty sofa. Where were they? What were they doing? As Al got used to the sounds of the house, he realised that Laurie and James were in the kitchen. He could hear voices, and then the sloppy sounds of kisses. The noises got closer, and he glanced up to see that they were in the doorway between the sitting room and the kitchen, arms around each other, frotting up against one another as they kissed passionately. God, they were hot like that. And, Al realised, with frustrated fury, they knew he thought so. This was a show put on entirely for him…well, maybe not ‘entirely’—James and Laurie were shamelessly obsessed with each other at any time—but the fact that they were simulating sex somewhere he could see them and not be part of it… They were deliberately teasing him, even more than they’d been doing all day. A frustrated growl burst from his lips.

James looked over, the faintest smile tracing his lips.

“Al’s home,” he told Laurie, as if it were a surprise.

“Mm-hm?” Laurie sounded supremely uninterested, going back to touching and snogging James as if there was nothing more he wanted from life.

And Al was going to bloody die if he didn’t get any attention soon. His lovers were stripping each other’s clothes off, kissing any part of each other which they could reach as they did so. James’s mouth on Laurie’s nipple, Laurie’s head thrown back in pleasure, a hand behind James’s head, encouraging him. James’s hands busy on Laurie’s trousers as he sucked, pushing them down, exposing Laurie’s hard, heavy, large cock. They were distracted enough that they wouldn’t notice if Al just had a quick touch. He couldn’t bear it any longer. His left arm slid round from its required position behind him to take himself in hand, and he gave the tiniest hiss of relief at the sensation of fingers against his erection. Too quiet for anyone else to hear, you would have thought. Except that Laurie, with some psychic instinct, was suddenly gazing down at Al, a feral expression on his face.

“Oh, no, Al,” he said, his voice dark and measured, his hand slipping from James’s head. “That won’t do at all. Did yesterday teach you nothing about obedience?”

James turned to look at him too, and Al swore under his breath. He was so, so fucked now.


About P.A. Friday

P.A. Friday lives in the UK with one partner, one child, and one cat and has a creeping paranoia that she is obsessed with the number one. The only time when “one” cannot be used to describe her, however, is in her writing: she fails dismally to write one sort of thing and, when not writing erotic romance of all sexualities, may be found writing articles on disability, pagan poetry, or science fiction. She loves wine and red peppers, and loathes coffee and mushrooms.

Find out more about P.A. on her Website, Facebook, Twitter or email her at



As part of this blog tour, P.A. is giving away a $10 NineStar gift card!!! To enter, just click the link below!

Rafflecopter Giveaway

Please be aware that the only way to enter the giveaway is to click the Rafflecopter link above. Any comments on this post will not count towards entering the giveaway unless otherwise stated but are still welcome anyway.

Good luck!

Categories: Book Promo, Book Review, Excerpts, Giveaways, LGBT, Published in 2018 | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Honorary Blogger M.D. Neu: Inspiration + Excerpt & Giveaway!



by M.D. Neu


I want to thank the folks here at The Blogger Girls for having me here to start my Blog Tour for The Calling. With the story being out now for a couple of weeks I’ve been asked how I came up with the idea for this story. I thought I would answer that question here.

I started with my main character, Duncan.  Duncan is an everyman.  He could be your brother, your cousin, your best friend, or he could be that guy you pass every day on your way to the office. He is meant to represent all of us.  It doesn’t matter who you are, or who you love, you should be able to see something of yourself in Duncan. At least that is my hope.

As for the story idea, when I was a kid and even now I love vampires and vampire stories.  I watched and read everything I could about these amazing creatures.  However, the issue I have with these stories was that we were expected to believe that vampires could exist in our modern world.  Given we have cameras in everything and that we are watched 24/7 I wondered how vampires could really be.  How could you have a pack of vampires kill people without anyone ever finding out.  How would social media play into this?  What if someone live streamed a vampire attack and the video went viral?  How would vampires keep their secret?

Now that I had my main character and an idea of my story I needed to come up with a location.  I picked my hometown of San Jose, California, which is the heart of the technology. I thought it would be fun to set the book in a technology hot spot and poke a little fun at other better-known cities. And I really wanted to highlight San Jose and other local towns. I wanted to show people just what an amazing place this area of the country is and why we are so blessed to live here.

With my main character, my setting and my story idea (vampires and witches, which I always felt complimented each other), I started to populate my story and began writing.  I outlined the story and planned my world’s lore. The final product, which I’m hoping people will enjoy is, The Calling. Continue reading

Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, Honorary Blogger Post, Published in 2018 | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Darkling by Brooklyn Ray: Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

Blogger_Exclusive Excerpt

Exclusive Excerpt from Darkling

by Brooklyn Ray

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“And what happens to my elemental gifts?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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









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Get Up by Reece Pine: Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

Blogger_Exclusive Excerpt

Exclusive Excerpt from Get Up

by Reece Pine

I’m alive.


Alone? Where’s NickOh. Guy remembered Nick was a country away, if not a dimension, and probably in someone else’s bed by now. They’d split up a month before. In consolation and maybe correlation, Guy’s mind was working just fine after its flare-out at the hut’s front door. He remembered catching planes and a ride from a middle-of-nowhere Canadian town to the barren fringe of Canadian nowhere, and then staggering through a frozen hell until his life depended on the very person he’d come to rescue.

Guy had been foolishly glad he hadn’t printed out the manuscript that Fairbanks’s owner and director, Huw, emailed him. He recalled reading it at home and thinking all it was fit for was kindling, which was all he had wished for earlier in the snow. The memory of his being cold was hardest of all to get a hold on, possibly because it was traumatic, but probably also because right then he was strangely warm. Hot bath warm. Shared bed warm. Afterglow warm… BecauseI’m naked?

The assumption he was safe fell away, along with the musty blanket covering his chest as he jolted up in bed in a tiny dark room. He was naked and trapped at the mercy of a supernaturally pretty being in the next room, the son of a ghost, who was himself too much of a vivid apparition and just plain too short to have carried Guy in here. He must have been dragged—and drugged? What was in that coffee to make him overheat like that? And why the hell was he naked?

A dim golden glow from beneath the bed spilled across the wooden floor. Guy hung his head over the side of the thin mattress, half expecting fireflies or a chatty French candelabra or anything else fairy-tale-like. Luckily, there were no monsters—instead a cast-iron pan containing a handful of charcoals sat atop a steel tripod beneath the bed’s metal slats. He had to admit its heating properties were a lot more efficient than a hot water bottle and more romantic, too, lending a candlelit glow to the room. Exposed beams overhead made him feel like Pinocchio inside a ribbed belly, and the marbled grays seen through a small window looked like a paused scene on a black-and-white TV.

He crept off the bed, folding the blankets so they were nowhere near the charcoal bowl, and padded on bare feet to the window. Shards of a thermometer glinted on the outside sill, having shattered from the cold. They displayed a temperature locked perpetually high, mocking his earlier trial by tundra.

His breath clouded in the wan light as he layered on clothing from his suitcase, which was propped by the room’s door. A knitted red woolen sweater was folded on a rickety chair. He unfolded it to see a garish Christmas pattern emblazoned on its front, which he wasn’t sure was meant to be ironically ugly or not. Since De Carli’s son had already no doubt seen his cock at attention, which Nick had called the only warm part of Guy, he figured he shouldn’t be vain, but he really didn’t want to wear it, and really hated knowing better than to reject it. He couldn’t help Cam if he collapsed from hypothermia again.

There’s a reason I’m asking you and no one else. Huw’s voice rang in his near-frostbitten ears. Besides the fact you’ll fit right in in the Arctic. You’re ‘castratingly cold,’ after all, according to Nick’s Facebook.

Even after fourteen years’ friendship, dating back to when De Carli’s books began to ruin Guy for all other fiction, Guy’s former college roommate, Huw, remained oblivious to all but superficially expressed emotions, so Guy had grunted to make his displeasure known. “I’m not cold.”

“You’re a bunny wrapped in an enigma, but me and Campbell need your judgmental stare. Well, he might like the bunny part, too.”

“Campbell and I,” Guy had corrected.

“Great, keep that up, editor.” Huw had scratched the air, making quotes around the last word. “Anyway, Campbell’s probably a Popsicle himself out there, so defrost him with all your actual warmth because I need his book okayed. How often do you get a sure thing in publishing? Never, that’s how often, unless you’ve got, like, George R. R. Martin’s kid’s debut.”

“He’s De Carli’s son.” Guy had hated the comparison. De Carli was better.

Fairbanks had spent eight months wrangling Cam’s debut, only to be served an injunction, lodged by his older sister, who claimed the manuscript was stolen from their father’s estate. Huw had only ever communicated with Cam online, and not thought to connect his common real name with the uncommon phenomenon who had been De Carli. No one had. The publishing grapevine hadn’t heard anything since Cam had been institutionalized for suicidal intent for a month after De Carli’s fatal heart attack two years earlier, then disappeared upon release. Remembering that, Huw figured family bickering over probate wasn’t something to spring on him from afar, especially when the injunction was suppression ordered, making its claim more than a little suspicious.

After eagerly—then less eagerly—skimming Cam’s book, Guy had vouched it wasn’t an authentic De Carli. If the kid had desecrated a stolen draft to pass it off as his own work, he’d done too good a job. Unfortunately, Guy’s fanboy opinion wouldn’t make great testimony, and even he conceded the manuscript bore some similarity with De Carli’s, which could be due to their shared tastes or family history…but maybe not. Huw had convinced him to go covertly to uncover proof in the form of drafts, and judge Cam’s authenticity, too.

In one of his very few interviews, De Carli had said, “My son is a simple boy. He wants for nothing.” Journalists interpreted that as meaning homeschooled Cam had special needs, so hadn’t pried. It surprised Guy to learn Cam had earned a doctorate in ecology last year at the age of twenty-two, mostly completed online, and had then assisted with wildlife projects abroad. The few available scientists Huw had tracked down attested Cam was competent, code for nothing else good to say. In other words, he was probably a precocious little…handful.

That and the kid’s current dubious rabbit search didn’t make for a stellar start to his research career, but was nothing compared to what Cam would face if he was found to have plagiarized his father. It’d destroy not just his career writing books, but also science journal articles that were as dry as the wings of his PhD subject, moths. The articles he’d previously cowritten all conformed to academic templates, so there was no comparison with his fiction, no way to tell if he’d forged the latter.

The chance to escape social circles shared with his ex for the time being was icing on the cake. Nick had liked the mystery of Guy’s mask enough to seduce him, then grown quickly bored of its not melting under his hand. The fact that Guy honestly wasn’t mysterious was a secret he seemed cursed to bear. No matter how many times he assured the Nicks of the world that he really was just that calm, it wasn’t enough, and that was about all that made his blood simmer. To be fair, it wasn’t Nick’s fault that all that made Guy’s heart race was analyzing a good book or an interesting person. The chance to meet De Carli’s son, who was himself a shimmering incubus with a shady past, had Guy almost trembling even before he’d hit the cold.

Exhaling deeply, Guy told himself now to chill, almost wringing a smile from himself as he entered the hut’s main room.






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Book Review: Ballerina Dad by Amy Aislin

Reviewed by Nikyta

Title: Ballerina Dad
Author: Amy Aislin
Series: NineStar Press 2017 Holiday
Heroes: Patrick & Lee
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 64 pages
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: December 11, 2017
Available at: Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: Attending his daughter’s holiday dance recital should be easy for pro hockey player Patrick Barnes. Showing up in a tutu, however, wasn’t exactly part of the plan. And yet the holidays get even more interesting when he bumps into Lee, the man he let get away years ago.

Ballet instructor Lee can’t believe who just walked into his studio. He also can’t believe how quickly the flare of attraction between he and Patrick resurfaces, despite the years that have gone by since they last spoke.

Once upon a time, they let opportunities get away. Is it possible they’ll now have the chance to pursue the spark that has come back to life after just one conversation?

Holidays are a time for giving, and neither Patrick nor Lee are about to take this particular gift for granted.
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Categories: 4 Star Ratings, Book Review, LGBT, Nikyta's Reviews, Published in 2017 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Space Mac by Emma Jane: Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

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Exclusive Excerpt from Space Mac

by Emma Jane

Dust tickled his nostrils. He sneezed and woke himself up. Mac took a moment to realise he lay on his side in the dirt, that he was not in Martin’s bed, and that usually when you woke up from a dream you actually left the bloody thing. He scrabbled upright, heart pounding, and retreated to the back of the cage—cage, he was in a fucking cage!

Not a dream.

He was naked, again, the red coat gone. But his hands were free and there was fabric on the ground before him that he snatched up and, once he’d worked out where the arm holes were, put on. It was a white, scratchy, trouser-and-top number that made him feel like a criminal.

“I am not made for burlap!” he yelled, hoping someone somewhere was listening to him. “My skin will not take this shit!”

He hugged his arms around his waist and approached the front of the cage. Metal bars on three sides of him; cold stone wall at the back. The sky above was blue, and the sun beat down as if he was in the Sahara. He knew now though that he wasn’t even on Earth anymore. Aliens walked past the cages—he was in a row of them, most occupied—and nobody paid him a blind bit of attention.

A bang on the bars to his left made him jump out of his skin, and reluctantly, he looked over.

“You look kovan,” the creature said. “But you smell like an oosh dog from one of my planet’s moons. Possibly Steplar—the oosh dogs are particularly rancid on Steplar.”

Mac gazed at her. It was female. She had the body of a woman—light blue fabric draped over all the right curves—but her face was more angular, and she had two great, curved horns coming from her head like those of a ram.

“And you look like a goat,” he told her. “A particularly old goat, who’s all haggard and not even good for a curry.”

She grinned at him and leaned against the bars. “I like you, oosh dog. What are you here for?”

Mac scratched the back of his head and moved a bit closer. “To be honest, I’m not really sure. I don’t even know what’s going on or where I am.”

“Ah, you have been at the tonic? Your frame is small. You should drink less.”

“No, I’m not… I’m not drunk. There was this…thing, this pin…” He stopped and stared wide-eyed at the ground. The pin. He’d dropped the fucking pin! It was probably his key to getting home. For fuck’s sake.

“I see. I am Lenara.” She reached with her hand through the bars, her forefinger extended towards him. He wasn’t entirely sure what the gesture meant, but he had the feeling he’d offend her if he ignored it. Mac took hold of her finger and shook it.

“Mackenzie Jones,” he said, too befuddled to think up a lie. “Human, by the way.”

Lenara withdrew her hand and eyed her finger with a bemused smile on her face.

“Human,” she repeated. “I’ve not heard of your species, I am sorry.”

“Don’t worry about it. I don’t know what you are either. I don’t know what any of these…people…are. I’m…my planet hasn’t ever really done space travel before. You know. Not to anywhere other than, like, Mars or something. Do you know Mars?”

Lenara shook her head, the horns making the movement slow and heavy. “No. My species, the veneks, are from a planet called Nevka. I do not think any of us have heard of Mars.”

“Nevka. Huh. I thought it’d be Venekasia or Veneksta or something. Although, I guess it’d make more sense if humans were from Humania.” Mac frowned to himself. Then he shook his head and looked at Lenara. “I’m from Earth.”

“Do not know it.”

“No.” Mac sighed. “Look. So, I’m in a heap of shit here, and I have no idea what to do or how to get myself out of it—”

“You want out?”

Mac frowned. The way Lenara said it made him instantly suspicious, as if she were about to do something incredibly dodgy or reckless or dangerous. Or all three.

“Yeah,” he said. “I can’t stay here.”

“Good.” She flashed her teeth at him—like human teeth but wider, flatter. “Then we get out. Little human, you watch and be ready.”

He didn’t really know why she called him ‘little,’ as they were pretty much the same height. She was a touch taller, perhaps, and muscled, but he sure as hell didn’t feel little in comparison. He watched as she moved to the front of her cage, plucked something from between her breasts, and threw it out into the crowd.

For a moment, nothing happened. Then came a clack clack call, like that of a magpie, shortly followed by another from across the way. A large animal sprung up from the crowd and flapped its great wings before descending on whatever it was Lenara had thrown. The other creature, which had echoed the first call, also leapt into the air and launched itself in an attack against the first. They reminded Mac of lizards with wings.

Dinosaurs, he thought, watching as they scrapped over the object, flapping and cawing and biting and clawing. People moved quickly aside, shouting and screaming.

Two guards—or police officers, since they wore the same red uniform as the man who’d arrested Mac—jumped into action, calling for order and waving batons.

Mac, distracted by the commotion, had momentarily forgotten about Lenara until the cages shook. When he looked, she lowered her head and rammed the bars between their two cages again and again until the metal buckled and bent, and she squeezed herself into Mac’s space. Before he could say or do anything, she turned and butted the front of his cage until the bars warped enough for her to squeeze herself through. She reached for his hand and pulled him after her.

“Run now,” she told him. “Follow me.”


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Honorary Blogger Sera Trevor: About the Characters + Excerpt & Giveaway!


About the Characters

by Sera Trevor

What’s in a name?

Well, a lot when you’re writing. When I’m writing a book, picking the right name can bring the whole character together. The wrong name, however, can leave me floundering. Sometimes the names come to me immediately, but other characters are more of a challenge.

In Curses, Foiled Again, I knew what to name my vampires right off the bat: Felix, one of my MCs, and his sister, Cat. I wanted my vampires to have a feline quality to them. I love how cats have dual identities—on the one hand, they can be very sleek and elegant, and are very efficient predators. On the other hand, they can also be ridiculous, as a million cat memes can attest to. Felix is named after the famous cartoon cat, and Cat—well, I think that’s self explanatory.

My other MC, John, was a little tougher. I wanted a sensible name that wasn’t very flashy, since John is a stoic person. I also wanted a very English name, to connect him with the centuries old curse that plagues him, which originated in the British colonies in the American colonial period. I think “John” fits the bill.

For John’s best friend, I wanted a Spanish name to reflect her Latina heritage. I have always loved the name “Dolores,” which derives from La Virgen María de los Dolores, which translates to “Virgin Mary of Sorrows.”  I shortened it to “Lo,” partly because “Dolores” feels a little old-fashioned for a young lady, and partly because “Lo” sounds like “low” and more directly hints at the “sorrow” connection. Lo isn’t a particularly sad person, but she’s someone who has faced sorrows in her life and come out stronger for it. Part of her role in the story is to show an alternative to the way John deals with tragedy—which is by shutting down and checking out of his own life. Lo faces things, which makes her healthier.

And finally, my villain, Richard, who had the wrong name for half the time I was writing the story. I called him “Gene” because it has some Old Hollywood connotations to me because of Gene Kelly, and he’s a character with a huge connection to Old Hollywood. But for the life of me, I could not figure his character out! His motivations were very slippery to me, and I spent a lot of time floundering. Finally, I made a list of some famous villains to see if anything jumped out at me. It worked—I picked Shakespeare’s Richard III as his namesake, and from then on out, I understood him completely. To say more would be spoiling things, but needless to say, he is a very tricky person.

I don’t think it’s necessary for authors to always have complex reasons behind the names they choose, but I do think that it’s a great opportunity to add an extra layer of meaning. It might not be something readers pick up on, but for me, having the right names helps shape the story. Continue reading

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Once Upon a Rainbow by Various Authors: Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

Exclusive Excerpt from Morning Star

by Sydney Blackburn

Tariq ducked his head and murmured, “Yes, master.” He understood exactly what his master wanted him to do, even if he did not understand why. Magic had its reasons. Malik was a saahir of great renown and Tariq was fortunate to be his apprentice. One day, he too would know the mysteries of sihr and the healing blessings of barakah.

His unquestioning obedience was rewarded with a careless caress as Malik’s elegantly long fingers brushed through his dark hair, lingering a little too long. Or so Tariq imagined.

His feelings for his master and mentor were wrong. He knew that. Malik, great sorcerer that he was, would be horrified to know the wayward thoughts and unnatural desires of his apprentice.

Tariq was embarrassed when those fingers then moved lightly over his ear, sending a tremor of desire through his slight frame. He resisted the urge to push his head into the touch. His cheeks were burnished with shame when Malik lifted his chin so that they were eye to eye.

“It’s not just about stealing a perfume jar, my boy. It’s about the future. Our future.”

Tariq swallowed as his heart beat a little faster. “Y-yes, master.”

Malik smiled warmly at him and released his chin to take his hand. He slipped a brass ring, still warm, onto Tariq’s finger and then closed both hands over Tariq’s. “This ring holds a spell of finding and returning. It will take you to the treasure room and bring you back safe to me.” He released Tariq’s hands and reached into the folds of his robe again, this time pulling out a small sandglass. “Set this upon your arrival. When the sands run out, the ring shall transport you back here, so waste no time staring at the marvels you may see. You are there for one thing only.”

Tariq reached for it, accidentally brushing Malik’s fingers with his own. Power seemed to spark through him until the ring, loose on his finger, rattled against the sandglass and whatever spell that might have woven vanished.

“The perfume jar that weighs empty. It shall be as you desire, master.”

Tariq collapsed in a heap, coughing and choking and clutching at the thick carpet beneath him as if he might fall off the very floor. The magic of the ring that had transported him had torn him apart and put him together in a rough fashion that left him nauseated and dizzy.

Awareness of the soft wool beneath his cheek helped steady him. Thank goodness it wasn’t dusty. Why had Malik not warned him of the effects of the ring? Perhaps a saahir such as Malik was able to use it without ill effect. Belatedly, he recalled the sandglass and carefully set it on the floor.

The room was cavernous and dimly lit by rays of sun piercing small decorative openings at the top of the thick walls. Tapestries were hung at odd angles. Ornately carved tables and chests filled the room, their surfaces covered with enamelled vases and precious statues. Smaller boxes spilled out jewels that glinted and cast a rainbow of coloured sparks over the smooth sandstone walls. The carpet he’d landed on was but one of several stacked on the floor, golden threads capturing stray beams and winking at him from delicate arabesques.

The sand was falling rapidly. He had no time to admire the many fine riches surrounding him. Where might one store perfume jars in such a room as this…? He turned slowly around, seeking shelves or cabinets. There, to his right, in the corner closest to the great doors most people would use to enter the treasure room, stood a large cabinet with girih-patterned doors.

There were clear, if narrow, paths around the piles of forgotten treasures, and Tariq took care in his haste to find what his master needed. He threw open the doors of the cabinet and saw half a dozen shelves laden with perfume jars of every description: coloured glass, smoothly gleaming metal, glass and silver, glass and gold, bejewelled, or merely intricately filigreed.

Cautiously he picked up one of the vessels. It was a blue globe with a simple silver stopper, and he raised it into the light. It was opaque, and he realized he had no idea what the difference was between a full jar and an empty one. He touched the stopper, hesitating. Malik had told him not to open the one that weighed empty. What if this was the very jar he’d been sent to find? And if it is not, he thought, Malik will be terribly disappointed in me. Continue reading

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