Wednesday, October 18, 2017

New from R.J. Scott: Deacon's Law (Heroes #3)




Cover Design: Meredith Russell

Length: 50,000 words approx.

Heroes Series

A Reason To Stay (Book #1) - Amazon US | Amazon UK
Last Marine Standing (Book #2) - Amazon US | Amazon UK

Blurb

How can you trust the man who tried to kill you?

Undercover cop Deacon Shepherd lost everything trying to maintain his cover - the man he loved and the future he craved. He walked away and never looked back because it was the only way to keep Rafael alive.

The last thing he needs is to be dragged back in that world, but an attempt on Rafael's life is enough to make him risk his heart again.

Rafael 'Rafe' Ramirez wakes up in the hospital, the victim of a hit and run. He’s horrified when the first face he sees is that of the man who betrayed him and left him for dead three years before. Witness protection had stripped Rafe of his family and friends, and now it seems his sacrifice to bring his Uncle to justice was for nothing.

Someone wants Rafe dead, and the only way he can stay alive is to go with the murdering drug dealer who broke his heart. But how can he ever trust Deacon, and how can Deacon protect Rafe without falling in love all over again?


Excerpt

Rafe opened his eyes, attempting to focus on the ceiling above him. He tried to lift his hand, but it felt as if there was lead in his veins, everything heavy and he couldn’t move. They’d told him he was getting better, so what the hell had happened? Had he relapsed? Why was he convinced that they’d taken him somewhere in an ambulance? That he’d leaned against a leather jacket that smelled of sunshine and soap? He blinked until the ceiling finally coalesced into the tiles he was familiar with.

Only there were no tiles.

Instead, the ceiling was a smooth white, and there were no strip lights, just a lampshade in a curious shade of blue. He blinked again. This didn’t make sense.

But when he opened his eyes, nothing had changed. The ceiling was still white, the lampshade blue, and the drapes at the window matched the shade. The drapes. There were drapes at the window. Confusion morphed into panic and he turned his head to the right to get a better feel for where he was and he saw…him.

Sprawled awkwardly in the chair, his head back, long limbs this way and that, clearly too big for the chair, was a specter from a past that wouldn’t leave him alone.

Deacon.

Intense fear sliced into Rafe.

They’d found him, had him strapped to a bed…was it Deacon who’d tracked him down and driven a car at him? He was paralyzed with a fear that made it hard to breathe, and he yanked at his hand, hoping to escape his restraints, only he wasn’t tied down, there was no rope. Instead his hand came up fast and he rolled sideways. Catching himself and coming off the bed, forgetting the fact that his leg was in a cast and toppling sideways, falling with a crash into a cabinet. He flailed but couldn’t stop himself falling, and he knew this was it – this time he was really going to die.

Deacon was up and at his side in an instant, and Rafe wanted to shut his eyes, wanted to block out seeing Deacon’s face again as he died, but he had to watch. He wanted Deacon to see his fear, and maybe that would stop him; maybe he could make Deacon stop and think.

“Shit, Rafe— Craig,” Deacon said, and reached for him, grasping his arms.

Terror became ice inside him, and Rafe stopped fighting; like a deer caught in headlights, he froze.

“What happened?” A second man stood in the doorway, someone Rafe didn’t know – tall, dark and dangerous-looking. Maybe this new arrival could stop Deacon?

“Help me,” Rafe forced out, looking past Deacon, scrambling to stand as the ice melted and he pushed himself to move.

“He woke up, saw me, and fell out of bed,” Deacon said, and the other man came right in. There were two of them, and there was little Rafe could do to get away. There and then, he screwed his eyes shut; nothing was going to save him now.

But there was no pain, no bullet. Instead, the two men helped him to stand, and then he felt the bed at the back of his thighs and they sat him down.

“Are you okay?” Deacon asked. Even with his eyes shut, Rafe recognized his voice. He would never forget the tone of it, or the coldness of the man who’d tried to kill him. He said nothing.

“Open your eyes,” the other man asked.

No.

“Craig? Rafe? My name is Mac. We’re here to help you.”

But fear was choking him and he couldn’t breathe. “No,” he managed between attempts to inhale enough oxygen not to pass out.

“He’s panicking. What the hell did you do, D?”

“Tried to fucking kill him three years ago, remember?”


Author Bio

RJ Scott is the bestselling romance author of over 100 romance books. She writes emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men and women who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn't with family either reading or writing.

The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn't like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.

mailto:rj@rjscott.co.uk
www.rjscott.co.uk/
www.facebook.com/author.rjscott?ref=ts&fref=ts
www.goodreads.com/author/show/3432558.R_J_Scott
twitter.com/Rjscott_author
www.librarything.com/author/scottrj


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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Cover reveal: Reservations by Kindle Alexander

Title: Reservations
Author: Kindle Alexander
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: Coming Soon 
Wildly successful entrepreneur, Thane Walker is stubbornly set in his ways. Adamantly resistant to the shackles of commitment, he’s seen enough unhappy endings to learn the best way to play is by keeping his men on the payroll. 
Levi Silva’s dream of graduating from one of the country’s top medical schools is in his grasp, until news from home changes everything. Now, he’s raising his two teenage brothers and trying to keep everyone’s head above water, emotionally and financially. 
When Levi’s new job puts him in Thane’s path, their chemistry explodes, but their fear of being involved in relationships keeps them apart. Unfortunately, despite the intense desire drawing them together, neither man can move forward until they get past their own…Reservations.
His mouth watered thinking about that vinegar coleslaw, and his stomach growled a little louder. Damn, he was starving. He should go out there and fix himself a plate, but he wouldn’t. That would only open a line of personal communication, and this restaurant had too much of that going on. Everyone but the customers were friends.
Instead of doing that, Thane buckled down and opened an email from Arik Layne. The email was to both him and Chef Ferico. The subject line read, “Whole Foods and HSN, Bitches!!!!” That instantly had Thane smiling. Arik had become a force in his life. The guy didn’t seem to understand the value of hesitancy. Arik was a mover and shaker. Their joint venture of infused olive oils had taken off like lightning. Arik had secured sales on thousands of bottles before manufacturing had started. Now that they had production underway, they were blowing and going like wildfire. All Arik had to do was pick up the phone, and he secured another sale.
Thane scanned the message, reading how Whole Foods planned to add them in a test market now, with mass distribution the beginning of October. That was all great news. Arik had also secured a spot on HSN in November, about two weeks before Thanksgiving. Somehow he’d managed to squeeze them into an already set schedule on foods for the holidays. They’d also be given time on the sales floor. The anticipated sales were around twenty-five thousand bottles.
Wow. Okay.
The last lines on the email made Thane squelch the urge to laugh out loud, not wanting to undermine the stern tone he’d taken with his staff, but, man, Arik was hilarious. He listed ten reasons why he’d be a better choice than Thane to go on the HSN broadcast with Chef Ferico. Every single bullet point ended with “because I really want to sample all the foods made that day.”
Literally, a man after his own heart.
Out of nothing more than the need to make Arik squirm, he decided to tease him. Thane quickly typed how glad he was for Arik’s effort, along with a note that they should at least flip a coin for the TV slot. He chose tails. Grinning, he pushed send as his cell phone began to vibrate in his pocket. With a glance at the screen, he saw Julian’s name and swiped to accept the call.
“Hey,” he said, putting the call on speaker before fishing his Bluetooth out of the computer bag and hooking it around his ear. 
“Hey, yourself. You still coming here?”
“I am. It’ll be a few weeks though. Everything okay?”
“Of course, you know I run a tight ship, but I might have to break protocol.”
Thane began shaking his head no as if Julian could see him.
“I can almost hear you shaking your head no.”
“That’s because that’s what I’m doing. Absolutely no rule breakage, Julian. You do it one time and that opens the door…”
“Hang tight, Papi Chulo. Don’t get all bent. I’m telling you before I do it. That should count.”
The happy place he’d found after reading Arik’s hilarious message was on the fast track to crashing and burning as Thane sat back in his chair and crossed his arms over his chest.
“Why?” he asked, instead of giving Julian the same dressing-down he’d just given this management team on the failures of flouting established protocol.
“Remember that kid I told you about months ago. My PT assistant, the one who got me into free counseling?”
Thane had to really think which was kind of funny. Julian’s care had been grossly expensive. He’d have thought he’d remember someone who’d saved him so much money in free counseling. He shrugged, lifting his brows, giving himself a break. He could vaguely recall the key components. “Maybe…”
“He needs a job.”
“We don’t hire our staff like that, Julian. Remember your training. Your guys…”
“Boss, slow your roll. He’s a med student taking care of his family, and he’s hot as hell. His body alone’ll make the customers very happy. Happy customers equal more money.”
“Is he in your previous line of work?” Thane asked, completely confused and trying to catch up.
“No. I want him for waitstaff at the club. I saw him last night, and he’s losing his job. He’s coming to the club tonight to take a look around. I’ll send his info off for a background check, but I’ll probably put him on the floor as early as tomorrow,” Julian stated matter-of-factly. That was another huge issue he was having with Julian. The guy was a beast at work. He kept sticking his nose in every other manager’s responsibilities, causing all sorts of ill will. Julian was a man on a mission. He governed that club with an iron fist, all to try and repay Thane for the expensive care. “Have you talked with Dave about whether he needs more waitstaff?”
“Dave-the-douchebag quit today. You didn’t hear?” Julian said casually.
“What?” Thane pushed his fingers through his hair. Why was he just now hearing about this?
“Don’t worry. I got this. I’ll fill in until you figure out what to do. I, of course, think you just need to let me handle all personnel…”
“Stop, Julian. First, no one’s hired without passing a background check. I’m not watching anyone go through what you did again. And second, you better stop pissing off all my people. Until I talk to Dave and see if I can get him back, you can handle the waitstaff scheduling, but you aren’t…”
“Equipped to handle personnel issues,” Julian said, finishing his sentence. “Are you getting laid regularly? Because I’m pretty sure you’re not. You need to come on over here and bend me over this desk—”
“We have rules. I’m not having sex on that property, and I better not catch you having sex on that property!” Thane shot out, cutting Julian off. “You’re a very difficult man, Thane Walker,” Julian replied, not missing a beat. “I’d say hard, but I have no way of truly knowing that.”
Best Selling Author Kindle Alexander is an innovative writer, and a genre-crosser who writes classic fantasy, romance, suspense, and erotica in both the male/male and male/female genres. It's always a surprise to see what's coming next!
I live in the suburbs of Dallas where it's true, the only thing bigger than an over active imagination, may be women's hair!
Usually, I try for funny. Humor is a major part of my life - I love to laugh, and it seems to be the thing I do in most situations - regardless of the situation, but jokes are a tricky deal... I don't want to offend anyone and jokes tend to offend. So instead I'm going to tell you about Kindle.
I tragically lost my sixteen year old daughter to a drunk driver. She had just been at home, it was early in the night and I heard the accident happen. I'll never forget that moment. The sirens were immediate and something inside me just knew. I left my house, drove straight to the accident on nothing more than instinct. I got to be there when my little girl died - weirdly, I consider that a true gift from above. She didn't have to be alone.
That time in my life was terrible. It's everything you think it would be times about a billion. I love that kid. I loved being her mother and I loved watching her grow into this incredibly beautiful person, both inside and out. She was such a gift to me. To have it all ripped away so suddenly broke me.
Her name was Kindle. Honest to goodness - it was her name and she died a few weeks before Amazon released their brand new Kindle ereader. She had no idea it was coming out and she would have finally gotten her name on something! Try finding a ruler with the name Kindle on it.. It never happened.
Through the course of that crippling event I was lucky enough to begin to write with a dear friend in the fan fiction world of Facebook. She got me through those dark days with her unwavering support and friendship. There wasn't a time she wasn't there for me. Sometimes together and sometimes by myself, we built a world where Kindle lives and stands for peace, love and harmony. It's its own kind of support group. I know without question I wouldn't be here today without her.
Find out more by visiting www.kindlealexander.com or email me at kindle@kindlealexander.com
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Monday, October 16, 2017

Review & blog tour: Picture Winter by Amy Aislin



Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Cover Design: Melody Pond

Publisher: MLR Press

Length: 47,000 words approx.

Blurb

Do something new today.

Why he looks at his horoscope every day, Elias Hood doesn't know. It's all garbage, and no nickel fortune ever helped him climb all the way up the corporate ladder. He's about to make Vice President. Rocking the boat with "something new" is the last thing on his mind.

But there's this guy.

Ty Green can make friends with a tree and Elias can't help falling for his easy-going vibe and his perfect smile. He's a fellow Capricorn, like Elias, but that's as far as their similarities go. Ty works to live--he doesn't live to work. When Elias takes his horoscope's advice and asks Ty out, both men are in for a shock. But as Elias's walls start to come down, they might just realize that they have more in common than they think. In fact, they might even want the exact same thing.

Who knows? Maybe horoscopes aren't just trash after all.


October 10 - Love Bytes
October 12 - The Novel Approach
October 14 - MM Good Book Reviews
October 17 - Diverse Reader
October 19 - Alpha Book Club

Author Bio

Amy started writing on a rainy day in fourth grade when her class was forced to stay inside for recess. Tales of adventures with her classmates quickly morphed into tales of adventures with the characters in her head. Based in the suburbs of Toronto, Amy is a marketer at a large environmental non-profit in Toronto by day, and a writer by night. Book enthusiast, animal lover and (very) amateur photographer, Amy's interests are many and varied, including travelling, astronomy, ecology, and baking.

Amy loves connecting with readers! You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Twitter or sign up for her infrequent newsletter at www.amyaislin.com/signup


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I found Picture Winter to be a good story, but it will be difficult for me to properly review this story without giving spoilers.

If you have not yet read Picture Winter you should stop reading this review.

That being said, having the main characters jump right into having sex after running into each other three times is not unusual. Sometimes I happens an hour or two after meeting each other. It happens all the time. Having them jump right into a relationship I found happening way to fast.

It felt rushed, which kinda set the pace for some, but not all of the rest of the book.

I did enjoy the character interactions, especially with Ty's family, some of which I couldn't help laugh at. There were times when I wanted to slap Ty and Elias upside their heads or knock them together.

Overall, I liked Picture Winter and give it a 4 our of 5 stars.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

New from Annabelle Jacobs: Bitten By Desire (Regent's Park Pack #3)



Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 78,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Natasha Snow

Regent's Park Pack Series

Bitten By Mistake (Book #1) Amazon US | Amazon UK
Bitten By Design (Book #2) Amazon US | Amazon UK

Blurb

Two lovers from rival packs. Have they come together only to be forced apart?

Alec Knight, a beta in the Regent’s Park pack, guards his heart carefully. Ghosts from his past keep him alone and angry, any hope of a relationship impossible while guilt from the pack wars still haunts him. With the anniversary drawing near, Alec needs a distraction.

As a lowly member of the Primrose Hill pack, Mark Appleton isn’t used to having his alpha’s attention. Lately he’s had more than his fair share, and not for the right reasons. Despite growing suspicions that all is not well, Mark tries hard to do better, but constant criticism leaves him desperate for a stress outlet.

Sex is a good way for shifters to let off steam, and while their packs attack each other with accusations and lies, Alec and Mark work out their frustrations in bed. Pillow talk and shared secrets lead to a closeness neither was expecting, but when pack relations reach an all-time low, any future for them seems out of the question.

If they want to be together, they’ll have to go against their alphas’ wishes—except Alec won’t and Mark can’t.



Excerpt

Mark’s scent might have been lost to him before, but standing this close to him, Alec had no trouble picking it out—a light citrusy undertone to the spicy edge he’d detected earlier with just a hint of the tequila working its way out of his system. Even with the alcohol, he smelled good.

Alec took a deep breath in, not bothering to be subtle about it. Might as well put the offer out there. He wasn’t in the mood for games tonight. Maybe he hadn’t consciously gone in there with the intent of hooking up with Mark, but he liked what he saw. Dark hair and blue-green eyes had always done it for him.

It was a bad idea; the worst one Alec had had in a while probably. But like it had done on the street outside, Mark’s scent stirred Alec’s interest, making his wolf perk up and take notice. He didn’t always get that with people he fucked. When it happened, it boded well for the night ahead.

And it was just sex, right? After Cam’s accusations, Alec couldn’t make relations between their packs any worse. Cam might disagree, but Alec needed to get all this tension out of his system if he was to be any use to his alpha over the next few days. And both he and his wolf had decided on Mark.




Author Bio

Annabelle Jacobs lives in the South West of England with three rowdy children, and two cats. An avid reader of fantasy herself for many years, Annabelle now spends her days writing her own stories. They're usually either fantasy or paranormal fiction, because she loves building worlds filled with magical creatures, and creating stories full of action and adventure. Her characters may have a tough time of it—fighting enemies and adversity—but they always find love in the end.
Twitter – https://twitter.com/AJacobs_fiction
Website – www.annabellejacobs.com
Email – ajacobsfiction@gmail.com
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/ajacobsfiction


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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Book blitz: The Past Comes Home (Ames Bridge #2) by Silvia Violet



Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Cover Design: Meredith Russell

Ames Bridge Series

Down On The Farm (Book #1) Amazon US | Amazon UK

Blurb

Twenty years ago, Paxton Marshall realized he liked boys, in particular his brother’s best friend, Brad. Pax now runs a successful art gallery, but he’s never found anyone who stirs his heart the way Brad did.

Brad Watson is back in town for his twentieth high school reunion. However, the celebration of long-ago days is the last thing on his mind. He’s there for one reason: to finally tell Pax how he feels.

Pax is shocked to learn Brad is not only gay but also interested in him. Dating a man in Ames Bridge isn’t as simple as it sound, though. In order to make a relationship work, both men will have to bolster their courage and alter their expectations.

*This book is an expansion of a previously published short story titled Open to the Past. Over 35,000 words have been added.*



Excerpt

A knock on the shop door drew Pax’s his attention; probably his assistant, Cindy. It wouldn’t be the first time she’d forgotten her key, and no one else would be dropping by this early. Microfiber duster in hand, he twirled his way past the worktables and unpainted pottery pieces.

He sang along with Madonna as he reached for the doorknob, and froze—Brad was grinning at him through the front window.

Heat rushed to Pax’s face. For a moment he contemplated racing over to turn the music off, then walking calmly back to the door as if the last few seconds had never happened. Could he convince Brad his earlier appearance was a hallucination?

Brad placed his hand against the window and peered in. “Is this a bad time? I know I’m really early.”

“Um…no. Just a sec.”

He would open the damn door, talk to Brad, and generally behave like a respectable adult. That’s what would happen.

With a deep breath, he turned the knob and stared, openmouthed, unable to form a single word. Was Brad even more gorgeous than he’d been two years ago? At eighteen he’d been the hottest boy in school, but now with his dirty-blond hair showing hints of gray, he was even better. His T-shirt stretched taut over his biceps, and his jeans fit like they were tailor-made for his muscular thighs. But the thing that made Brad even more desirable now was how relaxed and happy he seemed. In high school he’d always been restless, as though he were uncomfortable in his gorgeous body, despite having it made as far as anyone else could tell. Pax wondered what had changed.

Pax looked up at Brad and realized he’d been caught giving him a blatant once-over while he stood in the doorway. “Um… Where are my manners?” Fled in the face of his insanity? “Come in. That is, if you’d like to.”

“I would.” He smiled, showing off the dimple in his left cheek.

Pax wanted to run his tongue across it. Instead, he made a dramatic show of bowing and sweeping his hand toward the interior. “Enter, sir.”

Brad laughed and stepped inside. Pax shut the door behind him and locked it, hoping Cindy would be late so he’d have time to show Brad the gallery without anyone else there.

“Is it ’80s day?” Brad asked.

Pax needed to accept that he would be blushing the whole time Brad was there. “No, I was just cleaning, and this music motivates me.”

“Let me know if I’m keeping you from something. I woke up early, and I was anxious to see you.”

Anxious to see him? Him? Pax’s knees threatened to give. Was it possible…? No. Just because Pax had spent far too many hours fantasizing about Brad saying he was gay or bi, that didn’t mean it was going to happen.

Author Bio

Silvia Violet writes fun, sexy stories that will leave you smiling and satisfied. She has a thing for characters who are in need of comfort and enjoys helping them surrender to love even when they doubt it exists. Silvia's stories include sizzling contemporaries, paranormals, and historicals. When she needs a break from listening to the voices in her head, she spends time baking, taking long walks, curling up with her favorite books, and spending time with her family.

Newsletter: http://silviaviolet.com/newsletter
Website: http://silviaviolet.com
Facebook: http://facebook.com/silvia.violet
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Following on the heels of her bestselling book "Down On The Farm (Ames Bridge book 1), Silvia Violet delivers yet another engrossing, page-turning look at life in the small town of Ames Bridge, a small town full of gossips and bigotry in the form of homophobia.

I've always disliked that term. Homophobia means fear of homosexuals. While that's probably true in some cases, homohatred is a more accurate term, especially in Ames Bridge.

I like the way the character of Pax was written as a man passionate about his gallery and his artistry. Some of his work is described in such a manner that I would love to visit his gallery and purchase a particular bowl. I also like how the townsfolk credit Pax with bringing artistry into the town, even though they disapprove of him and his lifestyle.

Seemingly the complete opposite of Pax, Brad is portrayed as a confident, self-assured man who has no clue as to the depth of hostility that will come from those he thought were his friends. His reaction when the homohatred smacks him in the face is unexpected.

I also like the fact that several of the characters from Down On The Farm make appearances in The Past Comes Home. That's always a plus in my book.

One of the things I would like to have seen is a discussion of how Rob died. I'm led to believe it was related to some kind of terminal illness. To see Pax and Brad dealing with the situation would add more depth to the characters, I believe.

Definitely 5 out of 5 stars and a must read.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Release blitz: We Met In Death by K.A. Merikan



Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 90,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Natasha Snow

Blurb

“This is not the night you die.”

After years of working for a loan shark, Robert is done with blood and violence. All he has to show for it is a bag of money and a lifetime of regrets. There’s no other way out of his line of work than in a body bag.

So Robert decides to die.


But on the night he chooses to seal his own fate, destiny offers him a chance at redemption. When Robert saves a handsome young escort from a terrible death, he has no idea he is setting in motion much more than one last attempt at proving that inside the hardened shell, he is a decent human being.

Charming, quick-witted, and full of smiles, Nathan is all Robert could dream of. He’s also ready to fall into the arms of his gruff protector. Robert, on the other hand, has never been with a man and will first need to fight his own demons if he is to accept that his whole being wants to make Nathan his.

With his former boss hunting them both, time is ticking, and Robert might just not get the chance to decide before it’s too late. More importantly though, Robert will stop at nothing to protect the man who’s made him feel alive again, the man who is the only thing between him and the abyss.

“I never had to think much about death before, but I did yesterday. I thought I would die. In a hole. Covered with dirt. Suffocate underground. But then you saved me.”


WARNING: This story contains scenes of violence, torture, mentions of suicide, offensive language, morally ambiguous characters, homophobia and homophobic language.


Excerpt

Robert slowly lowered himself next to the man and watched the thick fabric move with the hurried rhythm of his breath. “How much do you owe Vogel?” He’d seen so many people in this position before that in Robert’s mind this guy was somehow melting into a collection of them all.

The fabric pulled close to the stranger’s face, making his nose poke at it. “If anything, he owes me! I did what he asked of me. I don’t belong here. It’s all lies!”

“What does that even mean?” Robert asked and nudged the body. His tongue was dry, and he groaned when he realized the bottle was now out of reach. How could this night have gone off the rails so rapidly?

Nathan went quiet for long moment. “Have you ever seen Spartacus? You know, the gladiator TV show?”

Robert frowned, thrown aback. “Are you drunk?”

“No! No… I’ve been sober for a while now.” To Robert’s surprise, Nathan crawled a bit closer in his direction, so dangerously close to the hole that Robert had to stand in his way. “It’s just that there’s this one gladiator there, and if you’ve seen the show, I was wondering if you thought he was gay or bi. I promise this is going somewhere.”

Robert rubbed his flushed face, kneading the flesh and letting his scruff scratch his palms. “Are you trying to tell me you’re gay? Yeah, because this is very important right now.”

Nathan inhaled a deep breath. “I… it’s just that it’s my only fault here, you know? I mean, if you don’t want anyone to know you’re gay, don’t put your dick in a man, right?”

Robert rolled his eyes and pulled out a switchblade. It was dark, and he wasn’t in the mood to look for the zipper. The sleeping bag would join Robert’s former colleagues under the dirt.

He lost balance, falling to his knees instead of just leaning down. Grabbing a handful of the thick fabric, he tore a hole in the sleeping bag. “You propositioned one of Vogel’s men?”

“No! He was the one doing the propositioning! I stayed at his lakeside villa for a week! I thought we’d have a good thing going, that he liked me. And then he flipped and turned into a murdering psycho!” Big blue eyes looked up at Robert from the opening he just created. Pretty like a doll, but the dry blood marring the pale skin under Nathan’s nose reminded Robert that the young man was most definitely made of flesh and bone. His lips were swollen under the red smear, but that didn’t make Nathan any less attractive. If anything, their plumpness made Robert want to lick, nip, and part them with his fingers. Nathan’s cheekbones were the kind you were more likely to see in a magazine than in real life, and the slight dimples to the sides of his lips suggested he used to smile a lot before whatever got him here.

He was a toy thrown away by someone who got tired of playing with it, but it was hard for Robert to imagine how anyone could toss such a gem into the dirt. If this boy were his, he’d—What? What would he do? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Because Nathan wasn’t the kind of toy Robert was allowed to have. He wasn’t a kid anymore, and his self-control never slipped.

Robert tore the bag with a strong tug to both sides of the cut and offered Nathan his hand. In the blurry light, and looking back into the incredible blue of Nathan’s eyes, it almost felt as if he were the one begging for Nathan’s attention.


K. A. Merikan is the pen name for Kat and Agnes Merikan, a team of writers, who are taken for sisters with surprising regularity. Kat’s the mean sergeant and survival specialist of the duo, never hesitating to kick Agnes’s ass when she’s slacking off. Her memory works like an easy-access catalogue, which allows her to keep up with both book details and social media. Also works as the emergency GPS. Agnes is the Merikan nitpicker, usually found busy with formatting and research. Her attention tends to be scattered, and despite pushing thirty, she needs to apply makeup to buy alcohol. Self-proclaimed queen of the roads.

They love the weird and wonderful, stepping out of the box, and bending stereotypes both in life and books. When you pick up a Merikan book, there’s one thing you can be sure of – it will be full of surprises.
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Sunday, October 8, 2017

Release blitz: Picture Winter by Amy Aislin



Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Cover Design: Melody Pond

Publisher: MLR Press

Length: 47,000 words approx.

Blurb

Do something new today.

Why he looks at his horoscope every day, Elias Hood doesn't know. It's all garbage, and no nickel fortune ever helped him climb all the way up the corporate ladder. He's about to make Vice President. Rocking the boat with "something new" is the last thing on his mind.

But there's this guy.

Ty Green can make friends with a tree and Elias can't help falling for his easy-going vibe and his perfect smile. He's a fellow Capricorn, like Elias, but that's as far as their similarities go. Ty works to live--he doesn't live to work. When Elias takes his horoscope's advice and asks Ty out, both men are in for a shock. But as Elias's walls start to come down, they might just realize that they have more in common than they think. In fact, they might even want the exact same thing.

Who knows? Maybe horoscopes aren't just trash after all.


Excerpt

Two hours later, they hit first a chain grocery store in Guelph—Ty didn’t even have milk to go with his one cereal box—then a small cafe where they had a late brunch.

“Did you know a banana is actually a berry?” Ty asked.

Elias looked at him, wondering what brought on that particular point of conversation.

“Says so right here.” Ty slid his paper placemat—full of random food facts and pictures—closer to Elias. Elias’s placemat had a fill-in-the-dots drawing, a tiny crossword, a word scrambler, a maze, and a spot-the-difference challenge.Clearly the universe was playing a cosmic joke. He’d ended up with the children’s placemat irrespective of the eighteen-year-old lookalike sitting across from him.

“So, it’s really a bananaberry?” Elias asked.

For some reason Ty thought that was hilarious. After dropping the groceries off at Ty’s, they headed to the Starkey Hill Interpretive Trail for some snowshoeing. Of course it took Ty all of five seconds to find his snowshoes and poles, and yet the lube and condoms were still MIA.

But that was fine. They’d stocked up at the store.

Elias brought his camera. It went everywhere with him anyway, but he’d been an idiot yesterday, leaving it in his car all day and then overnight in the cold. He was damn lucky it had turned on this morning.

Landscape and wildlife photography were his passions, but he found himself distracted today by Ty’s perfect face. Even in his ugly, poofy snowman coat he looked good enough to pounce on. He looked like a graceful angel on his snowshoes. By contrast Elias felt like an unbalanced bear. He kept forgetting to widen his stance so that he didn’t step on his snowshoe frame with the other foot.

“What are you doing?”

Elias was on his back in the snow, camera held up to his face as he focused on a blue jay in a leafless tree above him. From below like this, it’d be a really cool shot, the bird’s blue feathers stark against the dull brown tree branches. He could probably submit the photo to CanadaBirds—a sister magazine of CanadaTravels—for consideration. Zooming his lens accordingly and adjusting his manual settings, he tried to keep very still so the bird didn’t get scared and take off. He wanted a bit of a blurry background so he set his f-stop to—

—A nose pinked from the cold appeared in his viewfinder. He was so surprised he hit the shutter-release by accident. And when he saw the image that appeared on his monitor, he couldn’t help but chuckle, sending the blue jay scurrying off.

“What’s so funny?”

Elias turned the camera to show Ty. Ty peered at it, squinted, and said, “I look hot.”

It was a picture of his left nostril and part of his eye. Elias kept laughing.

“Here, take a better one,” Ty said and plopped down in the snow next to Elias.

“Oh, no,” Elias said. “I don’t really get in front of the cam—”

Ty had the picture taken before Elias could finish his sentence. Except none of the settings had been adjusted, so instead of a selfie of the two of them, Elias had a blurry picture of what might have been his own beard or could’ve been the tree trunk behind them.

Ty cracked up.

Elias took a picture of him like that, head thrown back, eyes half-closed, mouth wide, teeth glistening bright as the snow that was also stuck in his hair now. That way he’d have this moment forever and could always look back on it and remember how good it felt to be in that first honeymoon phase of dating someone who felt about Elias the same way Elias felt about him, when everything was wonderful and new and fun.

That carefree laughter was the best kind of kick in the gut. Without thinking twice about it, he moved in on Ty and kissed his still laughing mouth. Ty was still chuckling as he kissed Elias back, mouth cold, tongue warm. It took hardly any prompting from Elias for Ty to roll himself on top of him but Ty’s coat was so slick that he landed on Elias and then slipped off him, landing on Elias’s other side, which only made him laugh harder. His good mood was contagious, and Elias laughed with him until the snow started soaking into his jeans.

“Come on, you goof,” Elias said, getting up with difficulty. Stupid snowshoes. “Let’s head back so we can get out of this cold.”

The wind chill was supposed to drop again overnight, and they could already feel it even though sunset was still three hours away.

“Let’s go winter camping,” Ty said, standing much more nimbly.

What, now?” Never happen.

“No, not now.” Ty headed back onto the trail, in the direction they’d come from. Elias followed. “Next weekend?”

“You have a birthday party next weekend,” Elias reminded him, eyes on his feet so he didn’t trip himself up again. “Plus,” he continued, so that Ty didn’t think he was angling for an invite, “I hate to break it to you...but I don’t camp in winter.”

“Awww, but I wanna go camping with you.”

“Well, I wanna fuck you silly, so let’s go do that instead.”

For the first time since they started snowshoeing an hour and a half ago, Ty fell flat on his face.

Author Bio

Amy started writing on a rainy day in fourth grade when her class was forced to stay inside for recess. Tales of adventures with her classmates quickly morphed into tales of adventures with the characters in her head. Based in the suburbs of Toronto, Amy is a marketer at a large environmental non-profit in Toronto by day, and a writer by night. Book enthusiast, animal lover and (very) amateur photographer, Amy's interests are many and varied, including travelling, astronomy, ecology, and baking.

Amy loves connecting with readers! You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Twitter or sign up for her infrequent newsletter at www.amyaislin.com/signup


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