Hello everyone, I’m Mel Pixie’s favourite child and most incredible daughter 😉
Mum is in the hospital at the moment and we aren’t sure when she’ll be released, no it’s nothing to do with COVID-19 (coronavirus) and everything to do with her stomach. The doctors aren’t sure what is wrong as she’s violently vomiting, last week they thought it was a re-occurrence of a stomach bug but tests have come back negative. Now they are doing further tests to see if they can find the cause or narrow it down.
While mum is unavailable I’ll be helping out with MM Good Book Reviews, I’ll be posting the blog tours, book blasts and cover reveals and will be posting the reviews. They won’t be as pretty as when mum does them but please bear with me as I keep the blog going.
Mum will be back as soon as she is able to, she’s very concerned with not letting any authors or readers down and is stressing herself out over it, so here I am 🙂
Well wisher messages are welcome and thank you for your continued support.
John Faimu is an Australian-Samoan police officer who deals with hurt kids every day. He loves what he does, but he’s tired of the grind of shift work, and of trying to find a balance between his job, his family, and the young man who straddles the increasingly blurry line between both.
Caleb Fletcher was the teenager John saved from a cult eight long years ago, and he’s now the young man John wants in ways that neither of them should risk.
Eight years after his rescue, Caleb is still struggling with PTSD and self-harm. John has always been his rock, but now Caleb wants more. Can he convince John to cross a line and love him the way they both crave? And when the monsters from Caleb’s past come back seeking to silence him for good, will John’s love be enough to save him?
The Parable of the Mustard Seed is an mm gay romance featuring hurt/comfort, first times, found family, and angst with a happy ending.
John scrubbed his knuckles over his scalp. He felt more tired now than he had for a long time, and it wasn’t just the shift work. It was Caleb, and this place, and the knowledge that they’d been here before and they would be here again. Different hospitals, different beds, different scratchy blankets and too-cold air conditioning, but all of them stuck in the same old cycle.
Eight years of this.
It wasn’t always this dramatic. Most of the time it didn’t end in a hospital. Most of the time it was increasingly erratic behaviour. It was risk-taking. It was subtle and pervasive, but John knew how to read the signs. He’d talked Caleb down from plenty of metaphorical high places before. Enough to wonder every time if he was only delaying the inevitable. If Darren was, and the psychiatrists and psychologists were, and the pharmacists.
Of course it felt hopeless. It was almost three in the morning and he was sitting in a fucking hospital. Shit always felt dire in the middle of the night.
John reached out and brushed his fingertips against the back of Caleb’s right hand. His skin was cold to the touch, his fingers white and bloodless. Several of his knuckles were grazed. The wounds weren’t fresh.
Darren had said last week that Caleb had punched a wall. Out of nowhere. No warnings signs, no meltdown, just a sudden, furious burst of anger that had broken over him. And afterward, Darren said, when Caleb was sitting on the floor nursing an icepack, he’d refused to talk about it.
Sometimes even Caleb didn’t know what the fuck was happening in his head.
John’s fingertips brushed the wrinkled edge of the tape that held the canula in the back of Caleb’s hand. The plastic tape was dry and rough.
“I bleed and you’re here.”
John straightened and turned his face toward Caleb’s. His face was pale, his lips colourless. Dark circles carved out hollows under his eyes.
“Your dad called me,” John said. “He’s on his way.”
Caleb’s gaze dropped away.
John leaned closer and frowned. “What the fuck are you doing, mate?”
“Bad night.” Caleb pressed his lips into a thin white line.
“Were you clubbing?” John gestured at his clothes: dark jeans, a tight shirt, and—what were the kids calling them these days?—expensive kicks.
Caleb inspected the bandages on his arm. “Yeah.”
“Don’t bullshit me, Caleb.” John was always there to pick up the pieces, but he didn’t coddle Caleb. He never had, not even at the start. “You think I drove all the way here to listen to you lie to me?”
“I was with a guy.” Caleb flinched as he said it.
“Were you safe?”
Caleb’s gaze faltered. “I was with a guy.”
“So you said.” John wondered what reaction Caleb had been expecting. “Were you safe?”
Caleb nodded, turning his face away.
John studied him for a moment, unsure how to react. A part of him was afraid to react at all in case any reaction was an overreaction. Caleb wasn’t coming out as gay—he’d done that at nineteen—but by admitting to a sexual encounter he was coming out in another way: Caleb was coming out as human being who wanted to be touched. A human being with sexual needs. This was a big step. The biggest in a long time. Nobody had expected him to remain celibate forever; nobody thought that was remotely healthy. But fuck, this big step had turned into a hell of a stumble, hadn’t it? Caleb was in freefall.
John reached out and squeezed Caleb’s shoulder. “Did this guy try something? Something you didn’t want to do?”
“No.” Caleb shifted. His worried gaze found John again. “No, it was me, not him.”
“We went to a hotel.” Caleb’s gaze slipped away again. “He said I was a slut.” His voice hitched. “Said I was bad.”
John moved his hand from Caleb’s shoulder to his cheek. Caleb was still so cold. “If you tell me he was being a prick, I’ll track the fucker down.”
“The way he said it, I was supposed to like it. Wasn’t his fault.” Caleb closed his eyes. “I didn’t even mind, not much, not when he was there.”
John sighed. “What happened when he left?”
Caleb shuddered. “When he left, all I could hear in my head was Ethan.”
John tensed, and tried not to let Caleb feel it.
“So loud,” Caleb sighed.
John withdrew his hand. “Look at me.”
Caleb opened his eyes.
“Next time you hear Ethan Gray in your head, you don’t listen to him.” John shook his head. “You call you dad, or your doctor, or you call me, doesn’t matter what time, you call me and I will be there. You understand me?”
Caleb jerked his chin in a nod.
“You don’t cut yourself, Caleb.” John frowned. “You understand me?”
“Okay,” Caleb murmured.
The worst part, John knew, was that Caleb meant it, and would go on meaning it right up until the next time he was holding a blade against his wrists.
You’ll break my heart one day, Caleb Fletcher, I know you will.
John forced a smile. “Okay.”
Caleb sighed and closed his eyes.
John watched him until he fell asleep, then got up and hunted down a blanket.
Lisa likes to tell stories, mostly with hot guys and happily ever afters.
Lisa lives in tropical North Queensland, Australia. She doesn’t know why, because she hates the heat, but she suspects she’s too lazy to move. She spends half her time slaving away as a government minion, and the other half plotting her escape.
She attended university at sixteen, not because she was a child prodigy or anything, but because of a mix-up between international school systems early in life. She studied History and English, neither of them very thoroughly.
She shares her house with too many cats, a dog, a green tree frog that swims in the toilet, and as many possums as can break in every night. This is not how she imagined life as a grown-up.
Lisa has been published since 2012, and was a LAMBDA finalist for her quirky, awkward coming-of-age romance Adulting 101, and a Rainbow Awards finalist for 2019’s Anhaga.
A second chance for romance on a scuba diving vacation plunges Anthony and Walter into deep waters—will they use love’s lifeline or go under alone?
Party guy Anthony Vallen believes in happy endings—just not for himself. He hits Key West for a vacation with friends, ready for some fun in the sun. To his horror, the owner of the local scuba dive shop is Walter Elkins—former scientist, meticulous control freak, and the guy who broke Anthony’s teenaged heart. Anthony throws up his shields with jokes and banter, but Walter draws him in by admiring him and listening to him like no one else has. Despite their painful past, Anthony’s defenses soften and his reasons for shunning romance no longer hold much water. But whether Walter will come on board remains to be seen. Walter has never gotten over brilliant, fun-loving Anthony, but he’s compelled to keep Anthony safe—not just from the ocean depths but from himself.
Soon Anthony and Walter are in over their heads, their love as unstoppable as the hurricane they find themselves in the middle of. To prevent their fears from pulling them under, Anthony needs to get serious—about his worth and his heart’s true desires, and Walter needs to trust—in himself, in fate, and in Anthony.
2nd in Series but can be read as a stand-alone. Second Edition, revised and expanded.
Miles led us onto the boat and murmured to me as we were getting settled, “You guys are getting the special treatment. Walter doesn’t usually run the cruise excursions anymore. I’m kind of surprised he’s doing it.”
“Miles.” Walter frowned at him, jerking his head in a come here gesture.
“Oops. Duty calls.” Miles gave me a wink and went to help Walter with the jibs or sails or lines or whatever.
I tried to relax and get into vacation mode. What had I told Jonathan mere hours before? I wasn’t going to give Walter Elkins one more thought! It was hard to keep that vow, though, with Walter right there, his hunky body on display, muscles bunching and lengthening as he knelt and reached and got things ready with his usual fierce concentration. Though I knew fuck all about sailing, I was willing to bet that Walter’s preparations were being done rigorously, completely, and perfectly. Even Miles had grown serious and attentive, responding to his terse directions as though it was a military operation.
Meanwhile I became aware of something happening in my body. It was the oddest thing. I’m usually a bundle of nerves and on the manic end of the energy scale. But as I watched Walter, my muscles began to loosen, like they were letting down their guard. A memory darted in of Walter, at the end of high school chemistry class, restoring everything to order in his methodical way, me chattering nonstop as I watched him, and all being right with the world. It had felt safe being around Walter. He’d taken care of everything, slowly and patiently. I could be my fluttery self—a butterfly flitting all over—because I knew he would be there when I needed to land.
Suddenly Walter lifted his eyes and gazed right at me. To my horror, I found myself smiling fondly at him, still in the glow of that long-ago time. I was probably making stupid goo-goo eyes too. He went red and dropped something on the deck with a clang.
“Walter! Watch what you’re doing,” scolded Miles with a mock scowl. He laughed, no doubt pleased that the perfect Walter had been shown to be human.
“Sorry,” Walter muttered, reapplying himself to his task.
I sat still, shaken by how easily I’d slipped into rosy Walter memories. What on earth was wrong with me? Safe? Walter was the guy who’d left me not once but twice, and so callously that I’d been protecting myself from love ever since. Screw him!
I tore my gaze away and caught Sophia watching me with a small smile. She leaned forward and whispered, “Anytime you want to tell me what that’s all about, feel free.”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about, doll.”
“Okay. If that’s how you want to play it.” She leaned back and lifted her face to the sun. “Ah. It’s so awesome to be back in the sunshine.”
Marco lounged in his seat, looking fucking stupendous, his arm around Jonathan, who rested his head on Marco’s shoulder. I must have been rattled by Walter’s reappearance, because my walls suddenly cracked. Pain lanced through me, and I stopped kidding myself that I wasn’t pea green with envy. I so was.
I froze for a moment, stunned at myself. Could this be true? Could Anthony the Player be merely the facade, while underneath I wanted what Jonny had? Not that I wanted Marco for myself, but was I pining for a man to hold me like that and let me rest my head on his shoulder? All signs pointed to yes. How embarrassing! And how completely unlikely.
After years of hearing characters chatting away in her head, award-winning author CJane Elliott finally decided to put them on paper and hasn’t looked back since. A psychotherapist by training, CJane writes sexy, passionate LGBTQ romances that explore the human psyche. CJane has traveled all over North America for work and her characters are travelers, too, traveling down into their own depths to find what they need to get to the happy ending.
CJane is bisexual and an ardent supporter of LGBTQ equality. In her spare time, CJane can be found dancing, listening to music, or watching old movies. Her family supports her writing habit by staying out of the way when they see her hunched over, staring intensely at her laptop.
Zero Divergence, noun: no deviation from a course or standard.
After a key piece of evidence goes missing, a suspected serial rapist and killer evades prosecution. More than Royce Locke’s reputation is on the line when his investigation into the failed chain of custody suggests Franco Humphries might’ve had inside help. There’s no one Royce trusts more than Sawyer Key to help him right a wrong and uncover the traitor in their midst, but can they do it before the Savannah Strangler strikes again?
Relentless plus fearless equals flawless. Sawyer and Royce have come full circle—from hostile strangers to best friends and lovers. Neither a sniper’s bullet nor an arsonist’s fire could keep them apart, but what about a psychopath hell-bent on revenge? The stakes are high, and there’s no turning back now because the zero hour is upon them. Tick tock.
Zero Divergence is the conclusion to the best-selling Zero Hour series, which follows Locke and Key’s investigations and evolving relationship. This is a series you MUST read in order. It contains mature language and sexual content intended for adults 18 and older.
Trigger warning: Part of the storyline involves coming to terms with a friend’s suicide, which may be difficult for some people to read.
“Oh my god,” he said as the chocolate cake melted in his mouth. “I need this for every occasion.”
“I’ll bake it once a week if you promise to listen to orders from now on,” Royce said, taking a bite for himself.
Sawyer met Royce’s stormy eyes. “I’ll agree to that if you promise not to give stupid orders.” He opened his mouth like a baby bird, and Royce gave him another bite. It was somehow more delicious than the first.
“No more burning buildings,” Royce groused.
“It wasn’t burning when I ran into it,” Sawyer countered. “You ran into the burning building.” He couldn’t be mad at Royce, because chances were, he’d be dead if Royce hadn’t risked his own life to pull Sawyer out of the inferno.
They stared at one another in a silent battle of wills for a few seconds before a big yawn ruined Sawyer’s fierce expression. “We’ll resume this after I take a power nap.” Smiling, Royce leaned forward to set the plate on the coffee table, but Sawyer stopped him. “But not until after I eat more cake.”
Royce aimed a cocky grin at him. “Got you hooked now.”
“You have no idea.”
Ever since she was a little girl, Aimee Nicole Walker entertained herself with stories that popped into her head. Now she gets paid to tell those stories to other people. She wears many titles—wife, mom, and animal lover are just a few of them. Her absolute favorite title is champion of the happily ever after. Love inspires everything she does, music keeps her sane, and coffee is the magic elixir that fuels her day. I’d love to hear from you
Roman “Quick” Webb is one badass bounty hunter on the crime-filled streets of Atlanta. He’s fearless when it comes to carrying out his dangerous job alongside his longtime best friend and business partner, Duke. However, there is one thing that has begun to cause Quick concern and it’s the dreadful thought of living out the rest of his life alone.
Dr. Cayson Chauncey has been wildly attracted to the big, tattooed hunter for almost a year, ever since he performed the surgery that saved Quick’s best friend’s life. Cayson must’ve mistaken Quick’s gratitude for something more, because the one time he tried to make his desires known, he was harshly rebuffed and left on the man’s doorstep feeling stupid for hitting on an obviously very straight man.
Dr. Chauncey stirred up Quick’s suppressed, most carnal desires from a place deep down inside of him. He’d reacted so badly the first time that now his sexy surgeon wanted nothing to do with him. It was going to take a fair amount of patience and a whole lot of wooing involved as Quick sets out to convince Cayson that he’s worth another chance and that he is the brave lover who Cayson has been looking for.
“Uh-oh.” Duke pointed at Cayson’s retreating back and Quick spun around, his laughter dying fast, replaced with confusion. He wondered where his handsome doctor was rushing off too, and without him. He told Duke to get in the truck, while he jogged up the sidewalk and caught up with Cayson.
Quick hooked Cayson’s arm and spun him around to talk to him. The look he got felt like a slap across his face. Lowering his head, he knew already why Cayson was mad, and decided to let him have it.
“If you are going to humiliate me in my place of business, then I’d prefer you not visit, Roman.” Cayson put one hand on his hip, the other he pointed back towards the ER’s doors. “What was that in there?”
“I wasn’t trying to humiliate you, babe. I was giving the good ole doctor there a dose of his own medicine. I’m sure it was a very hard pill for him to swallow.” Quick rubbed Cayson’s shoulder, inching in closer to him. He lowered his voice, hoping to hurry up and diffuse this bomb before it exploded and got out of hand. “Cays, I sure don’t recall Dr. Joe, or whatever, feeling this bad when he yelled out your secrets to your entire street. Did he even bother to apologize? No. Instead, he treated you like nothing again today.”
“None of that concerns you. That’s my business. Not yours. I didn’t ask you to fix this, Rome. I don’t need you to!” Cayson argued.
“I apologize. It was juvenile and unnecessary. I was only thinking of you, and that makes me do crazy things. It makes me overprotective. Makes me want to right all the wrongs done to you.” Quick chuckled mirthlessly. “I thought you’d want to see him squirm a bit, for a change.”
A.E. Via has been a best-selling author in the beautiful gay romance genre for six years now, but she’s no stranger to MM. She’s been an avid reader of gay lit for over fifteen years before she picked up her laptop to place her own kiss on this genre. She’s also the founder and owner of Via Star Wings Books, having published a couple great new up and coming MM authors.
A.E. has a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Virginia Wesleyan College that she used to start her own paralegal firm after she graduated in 2008. She spent five years preparing and filing bankruptcy petitions for struggling blue collar workers who couldn’t afford to file with a lawyer. It was a rewarding and satisfying career… but another path called to her.
A.E.’s novels embodies everything from hopelessly romantic to adventure, to scandalous. Her stories often include intriguing edges and twists that take readers to new, thought-provoking depths.
She’s recently celebrated her 20th book anniversary, and is kind of known now for her hardcore, play rough and love hard, bad boy, alphas. However, she does like to push herself to step out of her comfort zone, exploring different tropes, but she won’t push herself into a whole other genre. She’s head over heels for gay romance and she has tons of more hot stories to tell.
Be sure to visit Adrienne on her social media pages and subscribe to her newsletter to never miss another release date! Go to A.E. Via’s official websitehttp://authoraevia.com for more detailed information on how to contact her, follow her, or a sneak peek at upcoming work, free reads, VSWB submissions, and where she’ll appear next.
Ean and Matthias have known they’re mates for a while, but Matthias has been unwilling to claim Ean. He believes his past and age-old secrets are too big for Ean to overcome, so instead keeps Ean away by irritating him.
Depressed and no longer able to be near the dragon-shifter, Ean leaves the pack house and, after a night of heavy drinking, makes a life-changing decision that pushes Matthias into action.
As the blood moon draws nearer, the Chevalier Pack is called before a tribunal of paranormal leaders to assess the Alpha’s rumored mysterious abilities. Matthias decides to share his secrets with a little help from Colby. And to top everything off, they face another attack by the McBane Pack, which the Chevalier decide will be the last.
After adjusting the stack of scrolls tucked beneath his arm, Matthias opened the door to the vaults and headed down the stairs. He had no idea what was contained in the newest additions to the horde library, but Sadie had insisted he take them, look through them, and archive them appropriately. The sheer number of scrolls he was carrying guaranteed weeks of sequestered reading, and he was looking forward to it. Matthias often disappeared for days within the vault stacks, and no one cared. He was moody and antisocial at the best of times and preferred his own company to that of other dragons.
At the back of the library, he dropped the scrolls unceremoniously on top of the desk he’d claimed as his, decades ago. Since no one came down to the vaults, no one had challenged his claim. As far as the horde was concerned, the vaults were Matthias’s domain. The soft thump of little feet echoed in the cavernous space, dulled slightly by the papers and leather-bound tomes that filled the shelving. Matthias knew who those steps belonged to, and his disposition lightened a bit. Sadie’s son had a thirst for knowledge that Matthias admired, even if it did mean his quiet sanctuary was invaded on a regular basis by the child.
“What are you doing down here, Luca?”
The fledgling hefted a book that was nearly a third his size, and Matthias recognized it as an old human-written story about a witch. He wasn’t sure it was an appropriate choice for a fledgling of just eight years to read, but he’d learned early on that Luca was not an ordinary little dragon. There was something special about him: something that reminded Matthias of the child he’d raised centuries before.
“Nothing in that book is factual,” Matthias told the boy.
“That’s good, because the witch ate the kids.” Luca winced before turning around and disappearing into the shelving.
“Don’t make me come behind you and straighten up,” Matthias ordered, his voice carrying through the room despite him not raising it the slightest bit.
Twenty entirely-too-quiet minutes passed before Matthias rose from his chair to go check on Luca. He found the book the boy had brought back exactly where it should be, but Luca wasn’t there. Returning to the main aisle, Matthias glanced down each row as he passed until he finally found Luca sitting on the floor with his back against the stone wall with a book opened across his little legs.
“This isn’t a row you’re allowed to be in,” Matthias said, shocking the little boy who was clearly immersed in what he was reading.
Matthias squatted in front of him, closed the book, and willed the panic he felt explode in his chest to not show on his face as he pulled the book from Luca’s grasp. He stood and placed the tome well above the boy’s head. Luca was entirely too curious for his own good.
“But I liked that story,” Luca complained. “It had a dragon married to a wolf, and I didn’t know that could happen, and I want to see what happens next.”
Matthias swallowed thickly. Luca thought he was reading a fictional story, but Matthias knew all too well that the Chevalier family had been real, and he’d be damned if he put the idea of interspecies matings into the head of the horde matriarch’s son. Pushing the memory of his own interspecies mating to the back of his mind—because what did it matter anymore?—he looked down at the fledgling.
He steered the boy into a more appropriate area of the vaults to be explored and then returned to the tome he’d confiscated. Pulling it off the shelf, Matthias thumbed through page after page of his own historical account of the Chevalier, removed the most informative and thereby damaging chapters, and then replaced it on the shelf. Luca was only going to get older, taller, and more curious with age. Matthias wouldn’t risk him finding the book again.
Later that night, after darkness had fallen and the compound had grown silent with slumber, Matthias burned one of the last firsthand accounts of the Chevalier—his own. Why he’d thought it was a good idea to put that horror down on paper, he’d never understand. Youthful folly. All that was left to do was locate and obtain Alietta’s journal, the final remaining written history of the family and subsequent events Matthias had yet to destroy. For now, he was content knowing the only memory of the Chevalier that existed in the Duray Horde was now locked safely away inside his head; a place no amount of childhood curiosity could penetrate.
Kay Doherty is an omnisexual/polysexual who lives in Colorado with her poly-family, Mike, Keri, and Tigz. Her house is overrun with cats and dogs. Family is important to her so there are daily texts, frequent visits to her parents, and constant banter with her brothers. She happily suffers a severe addiction to coffee and Mexican food. She loves to read and write and can easily become consumed by it for hours, much to the dismay of Mike and Keri (Tigz is an enabler). On occasion she can be convinced to venture out into the world of the living despite being annoyed by the sun shining in her face.
Hi guys! We have M.J. Calabrese stopping by today with her new release Mountainway Chant, we have a great exclusive excerpt and a fantastic Kindle Fire 7 and a copy of Mountainway Chant giveaway so check out the post and enter the giveaway! ❤️ ~Mel~
(Coulter & Woodard 02)
Adam Coulter has returned and is coping with the horrific events of sixteen months ago as best he can, but not everyone is happy about it. His best friend and new husband, Detective Eagle Woodard, doesn’t want to speak to him and it’s starting to look like his fifth marriage isn’t going to be anymore successful than his other four.
FBI Agent Rick Kessler and Navajo Reservation Police Lieutenant Carlos Aiello, Eagle’s cousin, have pulled a reluctant Adam into another case. Five bodies discovered at the site of a planned casino, all dressed and painted up as Native American mythological characters offer confusing clues. Are they dealing with another serial killer?
Fighting to stay clean and sober, Adam’s 12 step sponsor is murdered. At first it seems unrelated to what he saw in the desert, but evidence comes to light that says otherwise. Revelations concerning Adam’s past and his father, Richard Coulter’s, connections to the local crime syndicate boss, Nelson Greybill, creates even more chaos.
Can Adam repair the damage he’s done to his relationship with Eagle so he can help him solve this case? Can he win back the only man he’s ever truly loved, or will the demons of his past win the battle for his soul?
PLEASE NOTE: This is the second book in a continuous series. For full enjoyment please read Warrior’s Way before reading Mountainway Chant. Contains murder and mayhem, as well as dealing with an alcohol and drug addiction. If these are triggers for you, please skip this one!
Crow, like all the other scavengers of the desert, had heard Vulture’s call. He had seen their swirling signal high overhead as they reeled and soared on the thermals. The message told of food, newly dead, ready to fill empty stomachs.
Suddenly, a glint of bright light from far below caught Crow’s eye. He blinked as he focused in on the source. Dipping a wing, he dropped toward the light. The green creature moved quickly, almost as quickly as Crow, over the desert floor. It bucked and shimmied as if Cougar was on its heels. Crow drew closer. Cawing his dismay, it was the Shapeshifter, Man, riding within this noisy monster. Crow paced Man’s creation and remembered how Man stole many a meal from Crow and his brethren. Such was the way of Mother Earth. Only the swift and strong survived.
Crow beat his wings hard, putting distance between himself and the Shapeshifter. Crow focused on the dark spot ahead. With any luck, Man would tire and fall behind leaving the spoils to him.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee barreled down the dirt road. Moving way too fast, it kicked sand and gravel high in the hot desert air. Anyone following behind risked serious windshield damage from the flying debris. The man at the wheel of the 1990 green Jeep SUV had the window rolled down all the way. His burnished brown skin dulled in the morning sunlight by a fine, powdery coat of dust. His long, dark hair whipped around his face by the rushing wind. Only once did his left hand leave the steering wheel to pull a strand of hair out of his mouth. His fingers strayed down to unconsciously trace the long, thin scar that blazed a trail from the corner of his upper lip to the top of his cheekbone, marring his otherwise perfect features.
The man raised his middle finger to push his discount store sunglasses up onto the bridge of his nose. Despite the early hour it was already getting hot. By noon, it would be over 100 degrees, a real scorcher for this late in the year. Switching hands on the bucking wheel, he cranked up the volume on the radio. The words to Runnin’ created by the masterful vocalizations of Adam Lambert overrode the noise of the rushing winds. The words of that song were his truth. He’d run all his life. The time to stop was now. Cranking up the volume, the sound nearly drowned out the noise of the already overtaxed engine as Dr. Adam Coulter pressed down harder on the gas pedal.
Detective Eagle Woodard saw a cloud of dust making its zigzag way across this roadless section of desert. The SUVs and trucks nearby circled the crime scene like wagons in days gone by. Their blue lights strobing to mark the place they all gathered. Eagle ran his calloused hand through his short, raven hair before reseating his sweat damp ball cap on his head. He sighed. He had regretted cutting his hair almost as soon as he’d done it. A few weeks ago, too much alcohol and a dose of melancholy had caused him to pick up a pair of scissors. Unfortunately, there was nothing to be done about it now, but to start the arduous task of letting it grow back out.
The older model green Jeep skidded to a halt about 30 feet away, causing a choking cloud of dust to waft over the scene. Eagle raised one eyebrow. Jaw tensing. He barely recognized the man in the SUV. He watched as the man pulled his long, brown hair back into a ponytail, securing it with a black, wrapped-rubber band. An Army surplus, long sleeve shirt covered a khaki colored tank tee. He was surprised to see Adam in such an old vehicle. In the past, Adam wouldn’t’ve been caught dead in anything less than some flashy SUV costing ten times what the late model Jeep cost. The grapevine said a lot of things had changed with his former lover. Rumor had it, he’d lost all his money. Gone were the expensive suits and watches costing over one hundred grand. No more two hundred dollar haircuts. Now he was living in the low rent area of Albuquerque and buying his clothes at thrift stores, and if what he had on was an example, then those rumors might hold some truth. With a smirk, Eagle snorted as he strode toward the dark green Jeep. For a moment, he could almost believe there was a God. It looked like Adam Coulter had finally gotten what he deserved. He had needed something to make him humble. No more silver spoons. No more unlimited bank accounts.
Maria Woodard, Eagle’s mother, told him she’d seen Adam at a local church where they held AA meetings during the day. She said he was quieter, almost shy with her, and sad. That he was very different from the man they knew. She claimed he had cleaned up his act. That he no longer used or drank, but Eagle had seen this pattern repeated over and over in the past. It never lasted very long. He wasn’t looking forward to this meeting, but he knew it was inevitable since the day he’d heard that Adam Coulter had returned.
His husband had disappeared for over a year before returning to Albuquerque, New Mexico. Since his return two months prior, they still hadn’t talked. Adam had tried to contact him repeatedly and Eagle had to give the man props for his persistence with texts and emails. He’d even come to the house one night, pounding on the door, demanding that Eagle open it and talk to him, but he hadn’t. The pain of his lover’s abandonment was still too great. Now they had a crime scene where both would join their skills to solve the murder of the five men lying on the ground in front of him.
The dust covered Jeep’s engine popped and groaned as it tried to cool itself in the growing desert heat. Looking over at the passenger seat, Adam snatched up his iPhone. He was looking at it as he started to open the car door. Suddenly the door slammed back, hitting him hard in the thigh.
Adam jumped. Eyes wide with surprise. “What the fuck?”
Eagle held onto the door, preventing Adam from getting out. “Why are you here? You don’t work for the APD anymore.” The tall, angry man growled.
A deep, familiar voice chimed in behind him. “I asked him to come.” Eagle turned. His cousin, Carlos Aiello, Lieutenant with the Navajo Reservation Police, stepped forward. The two men stood apart, bodies tense, readying for the fight. Their eyes locked on one another, each Alpha male testing the other’s resolve.
Quickly evaluating the situation, Adam sighed, “I think I’ll stay here until you two get done with your pissing contest.” He relaxed back in his seat. One hand rubbing the sore spot on his leg. He knew he had to tread carefully here.
My mother now regrets her fateful words she offered the day I came home from our small town library in Palm Springs, California (yes, I’m a Cali girl) complaining that there were no more books to read. “Then why don’t you write some.”
My father never saw his old Remington portable until I entered college and they gifted me an IBM Selectric. By then I had produced at least two dozen unpublishable novels which make me cringe when I read them today.
I found inspiration in innumerable odd jobs (from migrant work as a Date palm pollinator to the person who cleans the washing machines at the launderette to professional Dominatrix) for stories. After a stint in Rehab for Alcohol and Heroin abuse (so when I write those scenes, I know what I’m talking about), I cleaned up and have stayed that way for 29 years. (Me and Sir Elton, LOL). My gypsy lifestyle gave me a unique perspective on the different people who inhabited the Washington, Oregon, Arizona, California, and New Mexico areas where I have lived.
After 3 very bad marriages to men, I finally figured out what was wrong and fell in love with a woman when I lived in Portland, OR 23 years ago. We’ve been married since 2008 (yes it was legal in California at that time). We now live in Asheville, NC and love the people in this liberal and accepting corner of the mountains of North Carolina.
To learn all about my upcoming releases, news, and specials, please follow or like me at any of the following links!
Spencer Kent gave up on love a long time ago. As a twenty-eight-year-old single father with a fourteen-year-old son, Connor, he knows his appeal to the average gay man is limited, and when you factor in his low self-esteem and tendencies towards rudeness and sarcasm, it might as well be nonexistent. But that’s okay. A man is the last thing Spencer needs or wants.
Tim Ellis’s life is falling apart around him. After four years of hard work at college, he finds himself blacklisted from the career of his dreams by the professor he refused to sleep with and abandoned by the boyfriend he thought he was going to marry. Even though he was lucky enough to land a job at a bakery, he still feels like a failure.
Tim and Spencer’s first meeting is filled with turbulent misunderstanding, but Tim makes a connection with Connor through a Big Brother/Big Sister program, and both men put aside their mutual dislike for his sake. By letting go, they may help each other find their way into a life they never could have imagined.
“What do you want, Jamal?” Spencer Kent asked, not glancing up from his phone as he furiously tapped the screen. Commanders of Warfare 3, a Four Square clone where people built up a character and “conquered” real-world locations, was his latest obsession, and he was so close to reclaiming his rightful spot as the Great General of Laurence Tureaud High School from the little prick who kept taking it away from him. Whoever CaptainSpock77 was, Spencer knew he had to be a student, because he never knocked Spencer off during class. It was always right before school or during sixth period—which he assumed was the bastard’s lunch period—and Spencer was determined that this would be the day he’d vanquish his foe forever.
Still, even with most of his attention focused on glorious conquest, he couldn’t help noting that being able to recognize one of his new students by the sound of their voice six days into the new school year was never a good thing. Spencer once had a dog who’d, according to his parents, gone through three different names before he finally remembered to keep calling him Avery. Personally, he doubted the accuracy of that story, but he’d be the first to admit he was pretty shit at remembering names unless the person in question was a Bringer of Stress.
And, sure enough…
“If I didn’t do the essay, but I still read the story, do I still get credit?”
Spencer stifled his first exasperated sigh of the day. “No, Jamal.” He winced as his commander lost half its health bar. “The whole point of the essay was to show you read the book.”
“But I did read it.”
“And how am I supposed to know that if you didn’t do the essay?”
“You could trust me?”
Spencer didn’t have to look up to know there was a cheeky grin on the kid’s face. He could sense it.
“I could also throw myself in front of a train. Doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.”
A decent number of kids chuckled. “That’s cold, Mr. Kent.” Not as cold as the icy ball of despair that will form in the chest of CaptainSpock77 when I win this battle. “My pops says all this literature stuff is bullshit anyway, and I ain’t never gonna use it in the real world.”
“Language,” Spencer droned. “And your dad’s right. You aren’t ever going to use anything I teach you outside of this class unless you decide to study literature in college. But. You’re still inside my classroom for the rest of the year, and until then, you need to do the work you’re assigned, or you’ll be right back here next year doing the same—son of a bitch!” he finished with a hiss as his commander fainted, and two adorable, blushing anthropomorphic ambulances carried it off on a stretcher.
How the fuck did I lose? I had it!
“Language, Mr. Kent.”
The bell rang, signaling the beginning of first period, and the end of Spencer’s noble crusade to free the school from tyrannical bondage. It took more effort than he’d care to admit to keep from throwing his phone at the wall. Fucking mobile gaming was going to kill him.
What kind of shitty algorithm picks a school as a command center anyway?
Spencer glared up at Jamal. The kid standing in front of his desk was ridiculously tall for a fourteen-year-old, and Spencer was a short man who liked to keep his chair as low to the ground as possible, so some of the intimidation factor was probably lost. Sure enough, there was the cheeky smirk.
“Class,” Spencer called out, not even trying to keep the growl out of his voice. He was pleased to see a few flinches from the more perceptive and easily rattled students. “Be sure to take the time to thank Jamal for the surprise quiz you’re going to be taking today.”
There came a chorus of groans and some scattered “fuck you, Jamal’s” he decided to ignore. Jamal scowled, but Spencer merely raised an eyebrow and pointed at his assigned seat toward the back of the room. “Unless you want a desk closer to me, I suggest you take your seat and get out some paper. I’m thinking this test will take the form of an essay question.” He raised his voice. “Hopefully, the rest of you got some practice writing essays over the weekend.”
His words were met with another louder round of groans. Spencer smiled to himself.
Spreading the misery rarely failed to improve his mood.
Dan lives in Ohio (as people do) with his husband and the most adorable little rescue dog ever. His three favorite things are The Empire Strikes Back, winter, and RPGs. His least favorite thing is pizza. Since the age of twelve, it’s been his dream to write something good enough to get published and, after over a decade of unforgivable procrastination, he actually managed to get it done. Thankfully, what he finally ended up writing turned out much better than the Spider-Man and Eminem fan fiction he wrote in sixth grade. His new dream, which will hopefully take less time to achieve, is to own two Netherland Dwarf bunnies named Bunnedict Thumperbatch and Attila the Bun. You can find Dan onTwitter.
Hurri Cosmo has a new MM paranormal/sci fi romance, book one of “Demon Rising Book One”: “Roman – Demon Rising.”
I belong to a Demon Lord. His name is Roman. He’s tall, strong, has long dark hair, a deep sexy voice and, let me tell you, absolutely f-ing gorgeous. Yep. I even wear his ring. Third finger, left hand.
Except – its’s not a wedding band. Far from it, actually. It simply means I’m his submissive.
Well – it doesn’t really mean that either, although I wish it did.
No. The ring’s function is only to give me “sight”. Being human, once I had it on, I could suddenly see Roman’s stupid lost legions; very nasty scary things that would as soon kill me as look at me. And because I wear the ring, guess what? It’s now my job to recapture all those creatures for him. Yay me, right?
At least I get to be close to Roman… sometimes.
But, to tell you the truth, I was tricked into putting this damn ring on by Cathy, some random woman I met at a park, who unfortunately likes Roman, too. A whole lot. She brazenly flirts with the demon every chance she gets and right in front of me, too. Crap, it pisses me off. In fact, she brags she was the one who found me, got the ring on me and then offered me up to Roman like I was a T-bone steak or something.
Well – honestly – that part’s okay.
However, there’s something else going on. Something big. Because there’s another gorgeous Demon Lord in our little earth realm and he will stop at nothing to capture Roman’s loose legions for himself. Not only that, seems he’s out to catch me, as well.
Huh. My name is Micah and things just got very interesting.
Micah stared at her. What the hell was she thinking he could do? Glancing behind them, having turned down several different corridors, he realized they were completely lost. Even so, the demon/legion/thing from hell was still hot on their trail. Lumbering its thick body up the hall, sliming the walls and floor, the bird lizard bellowed at them, waving its mangy wings, making him cringe. “You want me to fight that? How?”
“I don’t know. You’re the ring wearer. Just… just suck it into the ring.”
As scared as she seemed to have been before, she stood there, hanging onto his arm, refusing to run another inch. Where was this bravery coming from? They needed to get out. He pried her fingers loose. “You fight it. I’m leaving.” Figuring she would follow, Micah turned and ran.
But of course, he had no idea of where he was going. He needed an outside door. Roman had said to get out of the building. Okay. How?
He flew through another set of double doors, amazed there were no codes to enter to open the them, no security or anything. That’s when he thought briefly about the guard at the entrance and the possibility he was being observed on one or more of the monitors. No way he would be able to explain his behavior. He slowed to a stop.
A nurse or doctor stopped beside him. “Can I help you? You look lost.”
“How do I get outside?”
She pointed back from where he had come. “You’re going the wrong way. You need to go back that way. Just follow the signs that say exit.”
“You mean there’s no way out of the building this way?”
“There’s an exit, but it doesn’t lead to the parking lot. It’s simply an area for patients and staff to relax. I’m assuming you want the parking lot.”
There was a scuffle and a hiss behind him. Damn. He knew if he turned he would see it. Did that thing get Cathy? “No. That actually sounds perfect. How do I get there?”
The woman’s expression was suspicious, like maybe she thought he was some escapee from the psych floor, but she indicated farther down the hall. “There’s a set of double doors at the end of this hallway. Go through them and you’ll see a sign for ‘Courtyard’. Follow that hallway and you can’t miss it.” She nodded, dismissing him, and went on her way.
Okay, courtyard. Perfect. He hurried toward the double doors and pushed through them…
and there the damn bird-thing was. Right in front of him.
“What the hell?”
How in the world was it able to get in front of him? But then why wouldn’t it be able to do that? He had no idea how any of this worked. He turned back, intending on reversing his course, maybe try and see what happened to Cathy, he shouldn’t have just abandoned her, but there was another one coming up the hallway right behind him.
“Fuck!” He was trapped. What did he do now?
An arm came around his neck and he was pulled backwards into a small room and the door shut in front of him. The arm wasn’t tight, he could breath, but he struggled mindlessly anyway. “Let me go!”
The arm left him but then a hand came hard and firm over his mouth and someone whispered fiercely in his ear, “Quiet! And be still. They will hear you.”
Hi, my name is Hurri Cosmo and I am a happy ending junkie. I always have been. You can be pretty rest assured everything I write will have one. I am not big on angst. I believe we get enough of that in real life so when I go to read something, to make the real world go away for awhile, I will most likely not chose something that will make me cry.
So I write for those people who, at least occasionally, feel the same way. I’m okay with the fact I will probably never write anything “important” but I guess I will have to see where my imagination takes me. I would love it if you would come along.
Hi guys! We have Kim Fielding and F.E. Feeley Jr. stopping by today with the tour for their upcoming release Hallelujah we have a fantastic guest post, a great excerpt and a brilliant $20 Amazon GC giveaway so check out the post and enter the giveaway! ❤️ ~Mel~
Kim Fielding and F.E. Feeley, Jr.
Can you hear it?
Whispering in the dark.
Secrets only the dark knows.
Joseph Moore, choir director for the First Baptist Church of Lenora, Nebraska, has secrets of his own. Terrible, lonely secrets. One that involves natural human desire. One that calls forth powers he cannot begin to understand. Both with the potential to destroy him and those he loves.
Now the world is changing. The darkness, the shadows, the ghosts, are closing in—and Joseph and his lover, Kevin, are being stalked by a merciless demon, hell-bent on possession.
RV is a good kid, starting his freshman year at the demanding Boston Latin School. Though his genes didn’t give him a lot of good things, they did give him a decent brain. So he’s doing his best to keep up in high school, despite all the additional pressures he’s facing: His immigrant parents, who don’t want him to forget his roots and insist on other rules. Some tough kids at school who bully teachers as well as students. His puny muscles. His mean gym teacher. The Guy Upstairs who doesn’t answer his prayers. And the most confusing fact of all—that he might be gay.
Luckily, RV develops a friendship with Mr. Aniso, his Latin teacher, who is gay and always there to talk to. RV thinks his problems are solved when he starts going out with Carole. But things only get more complicated when RV develops a crush on Bobby, the football player in his class. And to RV’s surprise, Bobby admits he may have gay feelings, too.
Chapter One—Why Can’t Life Be Like Pizza? Why can’t life be like pizza?
I’ve been asking myself the question a lot lately. I love pizza. Pizza makes me feel good. Especially since I discovered Joe’s. Joe’s Pizza is quiet and out of the way and allows me to think. And Joe’s combinations are the best. Pepperoni and onions. Garlic and mushroom. Cheese and chicken. And if you really want that little kick in the old butt: the super jalapeno. Mmmm, good. Gets you going again. And lets you forget all your troubles.
What troubles can a fourteen-year-old guy have? Ha! First of all, I’m not a regular guy, as anyone can guess from my taste in pizza. My parents are immigrants who are trying to make a better life for themselves here in the United States. Besides the usual things American parents worry about, like making money and having their kids do well in school, my parents spend more time worrying about the big things: politics, communism, fascism, global warming, and the fact they and their parents survived violence and jail so I-better-be-grateful-I’m-not-miserable-like-kids-in-other-parts-of-the-world.
Grateful? Ha! As far as I’m concerned, life is pretty miserable already. Instead of thinking about the World Series or Disneyland, I worry about terrorists down the street or the dirty bombs the strange family around the corner might be building.
I don’t know why I worry about everything, but I do. It’s probably in my genes. Other guys have genes that gave them big muscles or hairy chests. I got nerves.
And then there’s my name. RV. Yeah, RV. No, I’m not a camper or anything. RV is short for Arvydas. That’s right. “Are-vee-duh-s.” Mom and Dad say it’s a common name in Lithuania, which is the country in Eastern Europe where my parents were born. A name like that might be fine for Lithuania, but what about the United States? Couldn’t Mom and Dad have named me Joe, or Mike, or even Darryl? My brother, Ray, has a normal name. Why couldn’t they have given me one?
I even look a little weird, I think. Tall and skinny with an uncoordinated walk because of my big feet that get in the way and make me feel like a clod. Oh, yeah. I’ve been getting some zits lately, and I wear glasses since I’m pretty nearsighted. Not a pretty sight, is it? At least the glasses are not too thick. Mom and Dad don’t have a lot of money to spend, but they did fork up the money to get me thin lenses, so I don’t look like a complete zomboid.
What can I do? I try my best, despite it all. I’m lucky because I’ve done well in school, so at least my genes gave me a half-decent brain. Hey, I’m not bragging. It’s just nice to feel good about something when most days I feel pretty much a loser at so many things. When I was in grammar school, there were enough days when I came home from school and cried because some big oaf threatened me, or I got hit in the stomach during my pathetic attempts to play ball during recess.
Mom always tried to comfort me. “Nesirūpink,” she would say. “Esi gabus. Kai užaugsi, visiems nušluostysi nuosis.” We talk Lithuanian at home. Translated, that sentence means, “Don’t worry. You’re smart. When you grow up, you’ll show them.” Actually, not “you’ll show them,” but “you’ll wipe all their noses.” Lithuanians have a funny way of expressing themselves. Not sure I aspire to wiping anyone’s nose when I get older, but that’s what they say.
Whatever. I’m determined to put all that behind me. I’m starting a new life. My new life. Today was the first day of high school. I’m going to Boston Latin School. You have to take an exam to go there, so it’s full of smart kids. Besides smart kids, it has heavy-duty history too. It was founded in 1635, a year before Harvard. They already gave us a speech about that.
And about pressure. The pressure to succeed with all this history breathing down our necks. Pressure, ha! Doesn’t scare me. I know all about pressure. I’ve gotten pressure from cretinous bullies at school. I get it from cretinous Lith a-holes, who Mom and Dad keep pushing me to hang around with because they say it’s important to be part of the immigrant community. And I even get pressure from cretinous jerks in the neighborhood.
Cretinous. A good word. That’s something else about me. I like words. Real words and made-up ones. There’s something cool about them. Yeah, yeah, I know what people would say. You think words are cool? Kid, you’ve got more problems than you thought.
Well, I’m sorry. I do think words are cool. There’s something fun about making them up or learning a new one. Kind of unlocks something in the world. And I like the world despite all my worrying. It can be an okay place sometimes.
Okay, okay, I’m getting off track. I want to write about my first day of school. Mom and Dad gave me this new—well, refurbished, but new to me anyway—computer for getting into Latin school, and they keep after me to make good use of it. So, I’ve decided I’m going to write about my new life. My life away from cretins—Lith, American, or any other kind.
The first person I met at school today was Carole. Carole Higginbottom. She’s in my homeroom. She was sitting in the first row, first seat, and I was sitting right behind her. We started talking. She’s from West Roxbury, too, which is where we live.
West Roxbury is part of Boston. You have to live somewhere in Boston in order to go to Latin school. West Roxbury is a nice neighborhood, for the most part, with houses, trees, grass, and people going to work and coming home. Kind of an all-American place, I guess. We used to live in a different, tougher part of Boston, but Mom and Dad moved away from there because they said the neighborhood was getting too rough. They promised I wouldn’t get beat up so much in West Roxbury. I don’t know. West Roxbury is better, but I still have gotten a few black-and-blue marks with “made in West Roxbury” on them, so as far as I’m concerned it isn’t any perfect place either.
Carole lives in another part of West Roxbury, near Centre Street, which is the main street in the area. People like to hang out there. Mom says that part of West Roxbury is a little dicey. (Mom thinks a lot of neighborhoods are too dicey. Maybe that’s where I get my worrying from.) Anyway, Carole sure doesn’t seem dicey. As a matter of fact, she’s a little goofy. Tall and skinny with red hair, red cheeks, and a million freckles. And she has a really sharp nose that curves up like those special ski slopes you see in the Olympics. But I get the feeling she’s smart. She says she likes science. That’s good because I might need help with science. I’m better with other subjects like history and English.
Our homeroom teacher is Mr. Bologna, Carmine Bologna. He’s a little scary with slicked-back dark hair and even darker eyes that stare at you forever. He looks like he’s part of the organization we’re not supposed to talk about—you know, the scary one from Italy that’s into murder, racketeering, and drugs. Two guys were horsing around in the back of the class and Mr. Bologna came right up to them, said a few words under his breath, and just stared at them. Boy, did they settle down fast. I’m no troublemaker, but I’ll really have to watch myself. Don’t want to deal with the Bologna stare if I can help it.
Today was mostly about walking around, learning about our subjects, and meeting teachers. Besides all the regular subjects, I have to take Latin. I don’t have anything against it per se, but is it really necessary to learn a dead language? And then there’s the teacher, Mr. Aniso. He’s kind of light in his loafers. That’s another new phrase I learned recently. It refers to gay guys, and Mr. Aniso is so gay it hurts. I just hope he can’t tell anything about me. I don’t wave my wrist around the way he does, do I?
Yeah, that’s something else I have to come to terms with. I might be heading in that direction. Yeah, me. I can hardly believe it. Me! Why? It can’t be true, can it? I’ve been praying to God, asking Him not to make me gay, but I don’t think He’s listening. If He exists, that is. Maybe He’s not answering because He doesn’t exist.
I don’t know. People on TV and in books say being gay is okay. Movie stars and rock stars are gay. There are gay mayors and other gay political types. That’s fine for them, but they don’t live with my family. Mom’s a heavy-duty Catholic. Dad’s a macho, “what-me-cry?” kind of guy. And my younger brother, Ray, well, Ray probably doesn’t care one way or another, but he doesn’t count anyway since he hates everybody. And then there are all those Lith immigrants, the community that’s so important to Mom and Dad. Most of them are so Old World and conservative. I don’t think being gay would go down well with them.
Not that I am gay for certain. I’m just saying it’s crossed my mind because…well, because I think about guys sometimes. And I notice them. Notice how they look when they’re coming down the street. Notice their eyes or their hair or the way they move. Just notice them.
Oh, I notice girls, too, but something about guys is different. I can’t put my finger on it, but I think about them as much or maybe more than girls. And I want to be with them. Is that normal? What’s normal anyway? To be honest, I’m so inexperienced. Never dated. Never even kissed anyone. Not like that anyway. No, I’ve spent my time worrying about communism, terrorism, and global warming. Like I said, I’ve always felt a little out of step with the rest of humanity.
Dealing with all this is just too much. To be nervous about things the way I am. To be speaking a language most people haven’t heard of. To have a strange name. To wear glasses and look nerdy. And now I might be gay? It’s all too confusing. I might as well start on antidepressants, or something stronger, right now.
But no. I try to look on the bright side of things. Take Carole for instance. She seems nice and fun, and maybe we’ll be friends. And if she likes me, I can’t be too weird, can I? I guess I’ll find out. I better not think about it. There’s enough to worry about as it is. I just have to take a breath and focus on my homework. Yeah, we got homework already. At least that’s one thing I’m good at. And when I go to Joe’s, well, life’s not so bad, at least while I’m eating my chicken and cheese or super jalapeno slice.
Andy V. Roamer grew up in the Boston area and moved to New York City after college. He worked in book publishing for many years, starting out in the children’s and YA books division and then wearing many other hats. This is his first novel about RV, the teenage son of immigrants from Lithuania in Eastern Europe, as RV tries to negotiate his demanding high school, his budding sexuality, and new relationships. He has written an adult novel, Confessions of a Gay Curmudgeon, under the pen name Andy V. Ambrose. To relax, Andy loves to ride his bike, read, watch foreign and independent movies, and travel.
M/M Romance, New Adult, Friends to Lovers, College Roommates
Release Date: 03.10.20
THEIR WORLD COLLIDED. EVERYTHING CHANGED.
Cam and Jude had been college roommates for two years, fitting into each other’s lives with ease.
That is, until Cam walked in on Jude getting off alone in their shared dorm bathroom.
Everything shifted between the two of them, awakening feelings Cam hadn’t felt for anyone in a long time. Feelings Cam believed had shriveled up after surviving a near fatal car accident to then suffer a disastrous breakup with his first love.
Since then, Cam kept his heart sealed tight in a fortress, keeping himself busy with a lot of mindless hookups and a steadfast refusal to ever commit.
Cam’s life had been predictable. He knew what he wanted.
Until that impromptu mutual orgasm with Jude.
Cam didn’t want a boyfriend, and he certainly didn’t need a relationship.
But he knew one thing he did crave and that was more of Jude Ellison.
Will Cam be able to work through his painful past if Jude offered him a chance at more?
***Give Me A Hand is the first book in the Beyond Desire Series, but is a standalone novel. Each book in the series will feature a different couple, but the couples will show up throughout the series. It is approximately 50,000 words and a New Adult Friends to Lovers romance between two men with explicit language and graphic sex intended for Adults Only.***
Their bodies pressed together, faces a breath apart. Cam noticed the faint flicker of green around Jude’s pupils, and tiny droplets of water from his shower caught in his stubble along his jaw. Cam brushed the fringe off Jude’s forehead and watched, transfixed, as Jude wetted his lips.
Cam loved the way Jude responded; he reveled in Jude’s eyes fluttering shut as Cam’s fingertips grazed down his neck.
“God,” Jude moaned with a sigh, “I’ve been thinking about this all day.”
Cam grabbed a handful of sheet in a tight fist in an effort to ground himself in the dizzying whirlpool he was sinking in. He was floating with desire, and shaky inside from the intensity of it. Cam’s mind warred with wanting it to stop and never letting go.
“Have you?” he murmured against the warmth of Jude’s skin.
Cam leaned down, his lips brushing against Jude’s collarbone. His heart pounded inside of his chest, and he was nervous, but he was excited. Cam hadn’t felt this way about being with someone since high school.
He swallowed hard and placed a small kiss on Jude’s collarbone.
Jude combed his fingers through the hair at the base of Cam’s neck, gripping a handful and jerking Cam’s head up. Cam expelled a sharp moan, and his heart revved into overdrive when Jude’s face grew so close he turned into a blurry mess within Cam’s swimming vision.
“You,” Jude said in a low, commanding voice, “are wearing far too much clothing.”
Cam licked his lips and nodded. “Okay,” he said, leaning back to give himself room. “Right, okay.”
He lifted an arm, and Jude helped pull his shirt off. Jude tossed it to the other side of the room without breaking eye contact with Cam, and lifted a single eyebrow.
“You need to be more naked for what I want to see you do.”
Cam bit down the whine itching in the back of his throat. The roughness of Jude’s voice was doing a million things to Cam’s body, including surging warmth in his chest. There was an old familiarity to that, and a warning bell went off inside of his head.
He swallowed hard and changed his focus.
“Oh yeah?” he teased, hoping his voice didn’t give away his nerves. Cam glided a hand down the front of his chest towards the button of his jeans, and a thrill jolted through him as Jude positioned himself on his elbows. Jude watched with such naked appreciation, Cam had to take several breaths before he could speak again. “And…what is it you want to see?”
About the Author
Gwen Martin lives in Florida where the sun is always shining, the humidity is always high, and Disney is just a hop skip away. When she’s not trying to write one of her million story ideas, she’s usually hanging out with her husband and four cats.
Gwen first started writing at a young age, coming up with stories in class instead of paying attention to the math lesson. Since then she has been exploring her love of writing in various fan communities where she has learned how to cultivate character development and romantic interactions.
She has a strong love affair with cold brew coffee, black cats, and nerding out in various fandoms. When she’s not writing, she’s reading everything she can get her hands on, listening to a lot of lo-fi and making playlists, chilling with her four gatos and obsessing about Pusheen. Because it’s always about Pusheen.
Blurb: The truth is rarely seen on the surface, and getting to it might mean digging deep….
After a devastating accident and a long stay in the hospital, the last thing petroleum engineer Sean Wilkinson wants to deal with is the settlement the oil company tries to force on him. He’ll never be able to work in his field again, his education is all but useless, and his surgeons are pessimistic about whether he’ll ever walk again. He needs someone in his corner, but most lawyers take one look at his tattoo-covered father and turn their backs. It’s just Sean’s luck that the one attorney willing to give him a chance is also the hottest guy he’s ever seen.
As a trial lawyer, Nate Delany has a lot to prove—to his father, the world, and himself. Sean intrigues Nate, and he struggles to reconcile the gifted tattoo artist he can’t stop fantasizing about with the quiet, brilliant engineer. His investigation reveals facts left out of the accident report—including an illicit affair, greedy coworkers, and a vicious corporation that will do anything to protect its bottom line. When Sean’s life is threatened, winning Sean’s case, and his heart, becomes a lot more dangerous.
Review: An intriguing read about Sean and how he copes after an accident leaves him in a wheel chair battling the company he worked for over a settlement. In steps Nate Delaney to negotiate the terms of the settlement.
These two men are not without their struggles in life but they grow closer amid a wide variety of suspicious things going on around them. I found both characters to be interesting. I liked the way they interacted with each other and others.
This story will draw you in and not let go until the very end. I enjoyed this story and it’s characters. Well written with the right amount of mystery and romance.
Blurb: ICraig Rosen thinks he’s pretty happy with his quiet geeky life working in a lab in London and playing Warhammer. But one of his colleagues has other ideas and drags Craig along to an audition at the amateur dramatic society, the Sarky Players, for their Christmas pantomime, Aladdin. Meeting Jason Carter makes Craig think that maybe he’s not as content as he thought.
Jason accepted he’s gay a little later in life than most, but now with an ex-wife and in his late thirties, he’s ready to embrace who he really is. He can’t believe his luck when he meets Craig, and the cute younger man’s patience and gentleness make him the perfect guy to help Jason navigate his new life.
While there’s no denying the attraction between them, it’s not just Jason’s insecurities that might upset their best performance. Craig is convinced that someone as confident as Jason, a corporate lawyer who looks sexy in a suit, could never settle for a man like him. Together they will need to re-write the script to give themselves the happy ending they deserve.
Review: Rebecca Cohen’s series, Treading the Boards, is as fun as the pantomime and plays that amateur theatre group the Sarky Players thrive on so much. While these books may be read as standalones, I do like that we do get to catch up with the previous characters so it would be good to read the previous installments.
In He’s Behind You we get the story of Craig Rosen and Jason Carter. Craig is a post-doctoral research at medical research labs somewhere in London. He’s a quirky guy, who has known who he is for a long time; including the fact that he loves the role playing game, Warhammer. Jason is a corporate lawyer who got married at the age of seventeen after getting his girlfriend pregnant. Now at the ripe old age of thirty-eight he is finally divorced and has made the step to come out of the closet. One aspect of Jason that I love is that he is still great friends with his ex-wife and his two kids are fantastic. These three make really good minor characters. But I am sidetracked, after a chance meeting Jason and Craig meet while auditioning for the Sarky Players.
For me it was way too easy to relate to Craig. Partly because I know people that are similar to him in personality and this also includes me, but mostly because this portrays academia and scientific research and generally life working in a lab with great accuracy. I should know: I’ve done the whole PhD thing and work in a lab. Craig and Jason work really well together, I loved and believed their chemistry.
Blurb: Never promise a life that isn’t yours to give.
New York City is decked out for the holidays, and Special Agent Patrick Collins is looking forward to a reunion with his old team when he gets assigned a new case. A human child is missing, and the changeling left in her place causes a prominent witch family to demand justice from the fae.
Meanwhile, continued harassment from the New York City god pack forces Jonothon de Vere to formally establish his own with Patrick. Doing so will mean a civil war within the werecreature community—a war they risk losing from the start without alliances. Making bargains with the fae is never wise, but Patrick and Jono have nothing to lose when a fae lord comes asking for their help.
The Summer Lady has been kidnapped from the Seelie Court, and if they can find her, Patrick and Jono will cement an alliance with the fae. But the clues to her disappearance are found in Tír na nÓg, and the Otherworld has never been kind to mortals.
Venturing past the veil, Patrick and Jono risk losing territory, time, and their very lives while searching for answers. Because the Queen of Air and Darkness knows they are coming—and the ruler of the Unseelie Court has an offer for them they can’t possibly refuse.
A Crown of Iron & Silver is a 107k word m/m urban fantasy with a gay romantic subplot and a HFN ending. It is a direct sequel to All Souls Near & Nigh. Reading the prior books in the series would be helpful in enjoying this one.
Review: Jono and Patrick are getting even closer as a couple as the series continues. There is no shortage of adventure or action in this edition. A lot happens that throws Patrick and Jono’s lives at stake but also establishes them as a pack.
I loved that the pack was not only wolves. The diversity was welcome as the pack grew.
Patrick’s determination to solve each case was inspiring. I loved everything about this story from the action to the mysteries to everything in between.
The story keeps you on the edge of your seat as each clue is revealed. Fascinating book.
Cade is sticking to normal cases. He swore to it after the hellhound thing, even though Fluffy now comes to the office every day and he’s as good as a puppy—as long as no one threatens his owner, Dacey. But Cade doesn’t want anything to do with all that weird stuff Dacey has brought with him, even though these new cases are bringing in work and money. He’s content to let Fin and Dacey work on them, even if it means he has to follow cheating spouses. Still, he’s more than happy to accept the missing person case when a woman comes in needing help to find her daughter, Sarah.
Fin is working with Dacey on finding a ghost. He’d never thought he’d do anything like this a few months ago, yet here he is, and he loves it. It helps that the vanishing hitchhiker he meets along the way is a nice guy, even though he’s dead. But Fin is worried about Cade, who’s been pushing him away ever since they finally spent the night together. Fin isn’t giving up, even though breaking down Cade’s walls is hard work, but chasing ghosts and a missing girl isn’t making things easy on either of them.
But then their cases intersect, and Cade has to face the truth—maybe he’s looking for a ghost, too.
Review: Charlie runs the office, Cade handles the normal cases where as Dacey and Fin handle all of the supernatural cases. What Cade had not realized was his new case has been connected to theirs. He was hired to find a young girl who went missing after going to the movies. Dacey and Fin are trying to find Sean to help his father give him his peace after death.
Wow Fluffy has taken a nice surprise in his story, he absolutely loves hanging with Cade. Dacey, Fin and Charlie are loving their jobs and hanging with each other. Cade misses hanging with him and he is about to realize why. He is still a grumpy idiot but their relationship is slowly moving forward. He is even started petting Fluffy. Who knew a hellhound was such a puppy at times.
This story is full of adventure, excitement, action, danger and some hot sexy times. It gives me everything I could ask for and so much more. The characters are a blast to read about. The way they are with each other is funny as hell and I love Fluffy. In fact there is not much to not love about this story or the series.
I had a blast reading this and can’t wait to get started on the next book. I can guarantee that this is one of those stories that will be read many times over.
Publisher: JustJoshing Publishing, Inc (30th January 2020)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 4 1/2 Hearts
Blurb: The boys are back in town–for one last adventure!
It’s a good problem to have: more business than they can comfortably handle on their own.
But with resources already overstretched, the last thing former DSS agents and newbie security consultants Will Brandt and Taylor MacAllister need is another client—and the last thing Will needs is for that client to turn out to be an old boyfriend of Taylor’s.
Sure, Will has always known Taylor had a wild past, but he was kind of hoping he’d never have to sit down and have a beer with it. But golden boy Ashe Dekker believes someone is trying to kill him, and Taylor is determined to help, no matter the cost.
It’s a bit of a jolt to have Taylor for once totally disregard his feelings, but Will is equally determined that “the cost” won’t be their relationship—or Taylor’s life.
Review: This is the last book in long running series and the boys certainly go with a bang!
I regretted not rereading previous books, because book throws reader in at the deep end from the beginning. Our heroes are at odds. Outwardly, they should be happy. Their business is finally getting of the ground they are in same place and together. Except a ghost from Taylor’s past seems liable to spoil everything. His old ex asks for his help, and he is resolved to give it, no matter his partner’s justifiable reservations. Their client is lying to them, they are short on manpower, the contract they signed needs to be fulfilled. They are both resenting the other one and the situation they are in, which doesn’t bode well for them: It’s possible that someone is gunning for them.
For most of the book the men are dealing with relationship woes. It was spurred into action by reappearance of Taylor’s ex, but exposes secrets and insecurities they both have, so the ground they are on is seriously rocky. They are trying to plod through trouble and it doesn’t look promising!
Then the villain gets revealed ( and up to this point I was ignoring suspense subplot, so I was shocked at twisty turn My congratulations to the author, definitely wasn’t expecting that). It’s another shake up for Will and Taylor.
It leaves them in bad place, which allows for everything between them which simmered during the book to get out in the open and for them to have happy ending.
It’s a fitting end to interesting series. Loved the book!
Now that my psycho arch enemy Julio is dead, my big plan was to slowly stop taking jobs and wind down into retirement with Dillon. Partly that decision was because my heart’s not in the job anymore, but mostly it’s because I did a dumb thing and fell in love with the guy in 39D. But it’s too late to turn back now, I can’t imagine my life without Dillon in it.
Unfortunately, my good friend Ronin just got grabbed by Julio’s successor. I owe Ronin too much to turn my back on him. I need to get to Germany ASAP and save his ass, like he’s saved mine many times before.
The problem is, Dillon refuses to stay behind. How am I going to rescue my best friend, and keep the love of my life alive too? Dillon’s a civilian. He has no idea the level of violence and danger ahead of us. He doesn’t understand that with him along, the chances of me dying are much higher.
I may not it out alive this time, but one things for sure, Dillon will. I’ll see to that.
Review: Ronin has been abducted and Gianni needed their help. Marc would do anything to get his friend back but had not intended for Dillon to help. They were going to rescue a friend from a crazy ass bitch. However there are traitors among them. The problem is Ronin and Marc are assassins, but Dillon and Gianni are not. So what does an assassin do when their boyfriends want to help.
This is one of those series that you have to read them back to back with no time in between. It just jumps right into the action without any warning. Also these guys might be cute but damn they have more problems then a shrink can get to. Neither one seems to trust the other although they say different. Marc is a complete asshat to Dillon and Gianni. He had called in for some help but all these big bad assassins are missing one small item, a young college age looking delivery driver. The story is jumbled up and I didn’t care for the dual voices in the story. One minute it is Marc talking then the next it is Dillon, and lets face it, it just does not work out the way it should have.
There is a lot of danger and suspense going on but it went to fast. I just could not connect at all with this story and to be honest I could not really stand it. I will say that it is a good story but the way it is told not so much. I will say that it will probably not be read more than once.
Blurb: In deepest space the ruthless Federation lays waste to one rebel colony after another, leaving comrades-in-arms Van Orskey and Tayn Kassik without family, without a home, and without hope.
With nothing left but each other, they run contraband and smuggle fugitives from the safety of their ship, the Cormorant—with the occasional clandestine mission for the rival Coalition thrown in. Their heists have not gone unnoticed, though even the bounty on their heads doesn’t prevent them from being a thorn in the enemy’s side at every opportunity.
Pissing them off? Big mistake.
From the day of his birth Prince Jorvik of Akiak learned duty, wisdom, and honor from his father, leaving him ill-equipped to withstand betrayal by his Federation-puppet uncle. He has no love for the greedy off-worlders who plunder his world’s natural resources and enslave his people. To defeat his foe, he needs the cunning, fearlessness, and touch of treachery only outlaws can offer.
Two off-world mercenaries make unlikely partners in Jorvik’s quest for vengeance, but the more he learns of them, the more common ground he discovers. In each other’s arms they find passion, heat, and maybe, a reason for living—until their common enemy threatens to tear them apart.
To survive, they must take on the corrupt Federation.
A standalone novel based in The Sentinel universe.
You have Tayn and Van who are mercenaries that work for the coalition. But Tayn is confined to the ships circuitry due to his body being destroyed. Jorvik is a prince of sorts who is set to rule after his father which happens much sooner than they planned due to betrayal and the deaths of many people. Jorvik meets Van during the upheaval and escapes to plan his vengeance.
This story had so many interesting twists and turns as well fascinating characters. Jorvik’s home world is wanted by others due to the crystals the planet has. but these are no ordinary crystals. I was spellbound by the way the story unfolded. The many layers to it just blew my mind. It’s a tale about three men battling against the odds to set things right.
I just don’t know what to say without giving away to much about the book. I really hope there will be another one as with the way this one ended it seemed incomplete given some questions went unanswered. Nevertheless it was an intense story with adventure, suspense, action and love.
Blurb: Milt Grabaur has left his life, home, and teaching career in Ohio to start anew. The Summer Winds trailer park in Palm Springs, butted up against the San Jacinto mountain range, seems the perfect place to forget the pain of nursing his beloved husband through Alzheimer’s and seeing him off on his final passage.
Billy Blue is a sexy California surfer type who once dreamed of being a singer but now works at Trader Joe’s and lives in his own trailer at Summer Winds. He’s focused on recovery from the alcoholism that put his dreams on hold.
When his new neighbor moves in, Billy falls for the gray-eyed man. His sadness and loneliness awaken something Billy’s never felt before—real love.
When a summer storm and flash flood jeopardize Milt’s home, Billy comes to the rescue, hoping the two men might get better acquainted… and maybe begin a new romance.
But Milt’s devotion to his late husband is strong, and he worries that acting on his attraction will be a betrayal.
Review: I didn’t really know what to expect with Blue Umbrella Sky by Rick R Reed. Rick R Reed is not unknown author to me, but he is an author that I’ve never really been able to really get into his writing. I never had a problem with his stories or characters, it was just that the various books I had tried in the past I had been unable to really connect to. However, the reason that I wanted to give this book a go was because of the blurb – a colleague of mine lost her mother to early onset Alzheimer’s disease last year, with a similar family history and age to Corky in the book, so I kind of felt some connection to the story already because I had seen my colleague go through this heartbreak.
Milt, who has struggled to move on with his life after his partner died, merely exists in The Summer Winds trailer park in Palm Springs, California. He takes a long journey to healing throughout the course of this book. He deals with the loneliness, wanting to push everyone away when it seems to easiest thing to do, and feeling as though he has nothing left to give emotionally and physically to the world after giving his all to his deceased husband, Corky. Milt’s journey is one of heartache and hope but it something that I felt was representing so well and the depth of the emotions involved was not glossed over.
The man to help heal Milt’s heart is Billy Blue. Billy had big dreams to become a singer, and is hoping to find a place for himself in the world. For now he works at Trader Joe’s and lives in his own trailer at Summer Winds. He’s trying his best to get his life together and get over his problems with alcohol so that he can heal himself. Billy has just as much healing to do as Milt. Two men are neighbours, their trailers parked next to each other. The sadness of Milt calls to Billy, and he seems to see that they could do a lot more healing together than they could apart.
Blue Umbrella Sky is an intense book, which I found myself crying through off and on. Because this includes something I’ve seen distantly in my own life, I think that is why I was able to start and finish this book. I found it difficult due to the intensity but totally worth it. This is about hope and healing and finding new love when one man thought that he would never find his place in the world again.
As to my thoughts on the author, I’m not sure if this book has bumped Rick R Reed from my “mostly avoid” list, but I think I will be open to other books if anything else sparks my interest.