Big Backlist Weekend with KC Burn & Tara Lain #2giveaways #Romance

Hi Everyone!!!!

Welcome to Big Backlist Weekend! This is a special event I post every month or so where I ask a wonderful author to come and join me in giving away a copy of an ebook from their backlist.

My guest today is my dear friend, KC Burn! I just got to hang out with her at RT and had such a good time. Kc is also a brilliant writer and one of her most popular books ever is North on Drummond. I think you’ll see why.

I’m giving away an ebook copy of Brush With Catastrophe, the second book in the The Aloysius Tales Series. I loved writing this book because it involves a geeky nerd, a favorite type of hero for me, and he’s an artist. Some of my most loved heroes are artists. I studied both painting and collage and love bringing those details to my stories.

Here’s your chance to win one or the other of our books. Just enter on the Rafflecopter below and watch for Big Backlist Weekend with special guests every month.

 

North on Drummond
by K.C. Burn

Blurb: 
Sandy Bottom Bay, Florida – Come for the Haunts, Stay for the Beaches! Drew Drummond might call himself a psychic tarot reader, but he doesn’t believe in the supernatural. The business was left to him by his grandmother, and seemed the best way to rise above the chronic criminal behavior of the Drummond family. Despite his efforts, few of the townspeople consider him a good romantic match. Being gay only makes finding love more difficult. When Cliff Garcia, Drew’s teenaged crush, moves back to town and joins the police force, Drew doesn’t think he has a chance. After all, the skeptical cop considers Drew’s profession on par with professional con men, and Cliff had spent his entire school career feuding with Drew’s volatile brothers. Despite the obstacles, Drew and Cliff begin a fiery relationship. Just when Drew starts to believe they might have a chance, he suffers a head injury and begins having visions of the future. If Drew tells Cliff the truth, he’ll lose the man he’s falling for, but keeping his new ability a secret is no longer an option. If he can’t convince Cliff he’s for real, a murderer will walk free.

Available for purchase at

Kindle | Amazon Paperback | Audible | Nooks | Kobo

Excerpt

 A rapping sound, subtly different than the constant throb in his head, caught Drew’s attention. Was someone knocking at his kitchen door?

“Is anyone here? Drew? Kyle?”

Ah, so Cliff was here. Drew waited a moment, but he didn’t hear Kyle respond.

Drew pulled in a deep breath and forced himself to project his voice. “Come on in. The door’s open.”

Or he assumed it was. When he was home, he didn’t usually lock the door. Not only did he have very little worth stealing, no one in town was that stupid. Despite last night’s fiasco, his brothers were very protective of him, and from the explanations he’d been given, his concussion was a result of that. An accident of timing. Probably a good one, truth be told. Brett Cavanagh with a broken jaw would mean jail time for one or both of his brothers, whereas Drew with a concussion had been able to keep them safe. Although he still suspected there would be some harsh words exchanged next time Cliff came across either of them.

A muffled thump and a squeak told Drew Cliff had placed something heavy on the floor next to the kitchen table.

“Where are you?”

It was a good question. Where was Kyle? How long did it take to get rid of a client?

“In here.” This time Drew’s voice was quieter.

Cliff peered into the bathroom like he was doing a perp check— was that even what it was called? He’d only ever seen it on Law & Order when the cops busted into some suspect’s home; he’d never seen firsthand what happened when any of his relatives had been arrested.

In seconds, the wary cop became the concerned cop as Cliff knelt beside Drew.

“Are you okay? Did you fall? How’s your vision? I can call an ambulance.”

The barrage of questions had Drew blinking in shock, unable to answer any questions fast enough, but he reached out a hand to stop Cliff from pulling out a cell phone.

“I’m fine.” Drew let out a chuckle but stifled it quickly. “I just stopped here to rest a bit in the cool, and then I guess I dozed off.”

“And Kyle left you here like that?” Anger made Cliff scowl, and like a flash of lightning, Drew had his first insight into Cliff the man. One he should have twigged to earlier, but morphine was going to be the scapegoat for a lot of things. Cliff had a temper. Drew didn’t recall seeing signs of it in the teenaged Cliff, nor did he feel at all threatened, but a temper. He’d have to remember that.

“Well, he can’t exactly lift me up.”

Cliff’s scowl eased up not at all. “Then he should have texted me instead of going off God knows where and leaving you here on the floor.”

Another laugh escaped, and this one didn’t feel like knives dancing in his brain, which was a big improvement. “God and I happen to know he’s just in the front room, getting rid of a walk-in client. He’s coming right back.”

“Oh.” This time Cliff’s angry expression faded. “A client. Funny, I guess I never asked what you do for a living.”

Drew had no trouble interpreting the odd grimace on Cliff’s face. He’d seen it more than once. What did a Drummond do for a living aside from lie around drinking beer, or stealing shit and causing trouble?

About The Author

KC Burn has been writing for as long as she can remember and is a sucker for happy endings (of all kinds). After moving from Toronto to Florida for her husband to take a dream job, she discovered a love of gay romance and fulfilled a dream of her own — getting published. After a few years of editing web content by day, and neglecting her supportive, understanding hubby and needy cat at night to write stories about men loving men, she was uprooted yet again and now resides in California. Writing is always fun and rewarding, but writing about her guys is the most fun she’s had in a long time, and she hopes you’ll enjoy them as much as she does.

You can find KC Burn at
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Brush With Catastrophe 
(The Aloysius Tales Series, #2) 

By Tara Lain

 

Blurb:
Sammy Raphael is a crappy witch, and on top of that, he can’t seem to get a boyfriend. Where other supernaturals can bring down lightning and manifest wealth, Sammy can paint. Granted, the “prophetic” paintings he creates at night always come true, but they never predict anything important. Sammy feels like a total loser with a worthless ability.
One night he paints a gorgeous guy who turns out to be his secret crush, the human Ryder, but Ryder’s changed so much he’s almost unrecognizably beautiful. Then Sammy paints an angel who turns out to be a witch. But is that witch also a devil—a devil who can bring down Sammy’s whole community and everyone he loves? And why the hell does Ryder keep changing? Aloysius, the black cat familiar, always backs a winner. So why is he backing Sammy?
This is a 2nd Edition of BRUSH WITH CATASTROPHE
Available for purchase at

Excerpt

 

Sammy looked down into the soup. “That’s the only kind of guy who would ever be interested in me. A cheating rat.”

“Sam, that’s not so.”

His voice shook. “Why the hell do you think he even bothered with me to begin with? What would he want with a stupid loser if he was planning on cheating with half the fucking college?” The tears squeezed out and started to drip down his cheeks.

Ryder put the tray on the dresser and wrapped Sammy in his arms. “You’re not a loser at all. You’re one of the finest people I’ve ever known. You’re kind and funny and so smart. You paint like a master. Even if you do pick strange subject matter sometimes.” Ryder chuckled and nodded toward the painting on Sammy’s easel.

“You saw that?” Sammy snuffled. Maybe if he didn’t move too much Ryder would forget to let him go.

“Hard to miss that painting in a room the size of most closets.”

Pretty embarrassing. But compared to having had your energy drained by a cheating pig and your neck chained by the selfsame bastard while you were blacked out, painting a picture was small potatoes in the shame department.

“Ready to sleep?”

No. “Yeah.” Sammy pulled the pillows out from behind him and lay back down. Al crawled up next to him. His eyelids felt weighted. “Thank you so much for taking care of me. I’ll rest tomorrow, and I should be able to go to school on Monday.”

“Yes, you’ll rest tomorrow, and I’ll see that you do. I’m not going anywhere. I want to make sure that asshole doesn’t come back. I’ll sleep on your couch and be here to take care of you in the morning.”

Sammy shook his head. “No way a human can sleep on that couch. Aloysius won’t even do it. It has lumps the size of Everest. I’ll be fine. Really.”

“Not leaving, so forget about it.”

Sweeter words were never spoken. I don’t want to be alone. He opened his eyes a slit. Ryder gazed down at him. That expression. He remembered it—from the painting. His deep eyes. So soft. So much like love.

A thick fog of exhaustion rolled over Sam, and his eyes wouldn’t stay open. “Sleep in the bed with me and Al. We don’t move much. Sleep here… prommmmissse….”

Giveaway

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Big Backlist Weekend with Amy Lane and Tara Lain #2giveaways #Contemporary #Romance

Hi Everyone!!!!

Welcome to Big Backlist Weekend! This is a special event I post every month or so where I ask a wonderful author to come and join me in giving away a copy of an ebook from their backlist.

My guest today is my dear friend, Amy Lane! Keeping Promise Rock is the first book in the Promises Series and a romance classic. I’m giving away an ebook copy of Knight of Ocean Avenue, the first book in the Love in Laguna Series, and one of my most popular romances.

Here’s your chance to win one or the other of our books. Just enter on the Rafflecopter below and watch for Big Backlist Weekend with special guests every month.

 

Keeping Promise Rock
(Promises #1)
by Amy Lane

Blurb:

Carrick Francis has spent most of his life jumping into trouble with both feet. The only thing saving him from prison or worse is his absolute devotion to Deacon Winters. Deacon was Crick’s sanity and salvation during a miserable, abusive childhood, and Crick would do anything to stay with him forever. So when Deacon’s father dies, Crick puts his college plans on hold to help Deacon as Deacon has helped him.

Deacon’s greatest wish is to see Crick escape his memories and the town they grew up in so Crick can enjoy a shining future. But after two years of growing feelings and temptation, the painfully shy Deacon finally succumbs to Crick’s determined advances and admits he sees himself as part of Crick’s life.

It nearly destroys Deacon when he discovers Crick has been waiting for him to push him away, just like Crick’s family did in the past. When Crick’s knack for volatile decisions lands him far away from home, Deacon is left, shell-shocked and alone, struggling to reforge his heart in a world where love with Crick is a promise, but by no means a certainty.

Available for purchase at
Kindle | Amazon Paperback | Audible | Dreamspinner

Excerpt

 WHEN Carrick was seven years old, his mother dated a Bible-thumping bigot who had taken one look at Carrick’s straight, dark hair, liquid black eyes, and pale skin and subsequently declared that “the little Mex kid could pass for white, so he didn’t reckon it would be too much of a problem raising him right.”

“The little Mex kid” had promptly kicked the fucker in the shins and run out of the house. His mother married Bob Coats anyway, but thank the good Lord, he’d never forced Crick to take his name.

Francis was his mother’s last name—and he liked it. Wasn’t so thrilled with her—especially after she married Bob—but the name sounded good. Sounded a hell of a lot better than “the little Mex kid,” anyway.

They moved to Levee Oaks, which could loosely be termed a “suburb” of Sacramento but wasn’t. Levee Oaks was an odd sort of town—sweet little suburban neighborhoods sat cheek-by-jowl next to horse property. The high school was part of a larger Sacramento district that covered some of the less savory parts of the city, but the grammar schools were all part of an elementary district, and so they behaved like the high school and junior high were on Mars and not worth their consideration. The result was a whole lot of confused junior high students and a high school environment that was known for sending substitute teachers screaming for tequila and a gun permit.

A lot of the residents in Levee Oaks had jobs in the considerably larger city of Sacramento. A lot of the residents didn’t have jobs, period. A whole lot of the residents attended one of the churches that seemed to sit large on every corner. After Carrick lived through his first flood at the age of eight and a half, he’d figured that the churches were there to keep the water back.

After living through another levee break only one year later, Crick figured the churches were not doing their job and were therefore pretty goddamned useless. This was why he started ditching out of Sunday school, which was how he met Deacon.

Ditching out of Sunday school was not as much fun as it sounded. There were no arcades, no movie theaters—hell, there was barely a 7/11 to haunt, and besides, he didn’t have any money, anyway. Mostly what Carrick did, dressed in his threadbare khakis and striped polo shirt, was wander. He’d wander up one narrow road, down one tiny road, and along East Levee Road, and finally, he’d find his way to the levee.

One day, he found his way to the levee and followed it to Deacon’s father’s horse ranch and fell in love.

At first, he thought he was in love with the place, because it was everything his own home was not. The ranch house was big enough (whereas his mother’s house always seemed too small) and painted a whimsical blue, with a nice little patch of lawn and a U-shaped driveway that circled around to the back, where the spread opened up a bit. There was a barn four times the size of the house and two work-out rings, as well as enough sun-browned pasture-land for twenty horses to graze comfortably outside, and enough sun-scorched riding land beyond that so that not all the workouts had to be in the workout rings.

But the house, as nice as it looked, was just a house, so the next thing Crick figured he loved was the horse, because she was—as Deacon said for years—one of the prettiest little fillies he ever did raise. Her movements were liquid-silver, her gait smooth as lube, and her color was a fine, dark chestnut. As Crick grew to love horses he had to agree with Deacon’s assessment—even when he thought that ‘lube’ meant engine grease.

So Crick fell in love with the horse next, but then he found his final love, and that was the boy in the ring, the one guiding that pretty little mare through her paces. His brow knotted in concentration, his face lit with some sort of holy joy—well, he really made the poetry of muscle, sinew, hide, and motion come alive.

Crick looked around and saw that there were a number of folks hanging off the fence of the workout ring, so he wiggled between two kids his own age and stood up on the lowest rail of the fence, the better to look over the top rail and get a better view.

“Isn’t she pretty?” the boy next to him whispered, and Crick looked at the horse and thought of wind.

“Yeah,” he said.

“Deacon says that if they can breed Lucy Star here and produce a stud, The Pulpit will start rolling in money.”

“Deacon?” It sounded grownup but pretty too. In the years that followed, Crick never got tired of hearing Deacon’s name.

The kid—a plain-looking boy with straight brown hair and a rather aggressive brow—nodded to the boy in the ring, and Crick found out what real love was all about.

Deacon Winters had been beautiful his entire life. Crick would never see him acknowledge it, even once, which was fine. Crick could do all the appreciating of Deacon’s beauty all by himself.

The boy in the ring took off his blue ball cap and revealed brown hair streaked blond by the sun, slicked back against his head with sweat and falling across his brow from what had once been a buzz cut on the top of his head. His face was a very square-ish oval—he had a square chin and high cheekbones and a wide forehead, and wide-set green-hazel eyes that were remarkably pretty, even in the glaring sun.

His face and hands were tanned, but his upper arms under his T-shirt were pale, and even at thirteen or fourteen, he was showing long swathes of knotty muscle in his biceps, chest, shoulders, and across his back. His wrist-bones were wide, because he had a bit of growing to do, and his collarbones peeked sharply through his sweat-soaked blue T-shirt.

Deacon had always thought of food last and horses first—one thing among many that had made Carrick love him even more over the years. Even so, the seeds of that love started at that very moment, as Carrick watched those wide, capable hands carry that horse through her paces like a cloud carried water from the sea to the valley.

Carrick couldn’t hardly contain himself, and when he couldn’t hardly contain himself, he never could contain his damned mouth.

“Geez, that’s a pretty horse. Did you breed her yourself? How old is she? Do you get to ride her? Damn, I want to ride her—do you think I could ride her? Are you Deacon? This boy says your name is Deacon and mine’s Carrick. Deacon’s not anything like Carrick, but maybe your name is Irish, like mine. My name is Irish because my mom is Irish, even though my real dad was Mex. But we don’t talk about him, so if I am Irish, and you are too, we could be brothers, right? I wouldn’t mind a brother, because my mom’s pregnant again and it’s another girl…,” and so on. Anything—anything—to get that boy to look up at him, to get him to respond, to get someone that beautiful to notice that Carrick existed.

But Deacon ignored him for the next fifteen minutes. He was working the mare, and that was where his concentration went, and that was all she wrote. The two boys next to Crick shifted on the fence and gave him pitying looks before hopping down and going elsewhere. (Crick found out later that they were clients, waiting for their riding lesson, and they would eventually form the background haze of his miserable adolescence.) Carrick was left there—him, his mouth, and the boy of his dreams.

Finally the workout was done, and Deacon led the mare off for water and a good brushing. He looked up at the little nuisance on the fence and jerked his chin, indicating that Crick should follow him.

“You want to ride?” he asked as Carrick trotted up beside him, and Carrick nodded furiously, for once blessedly silent.

“You want to ride, I’ll teach you after lesson hours. But you gotta help muck out the stables, right?”

Crick thought that sounded fair. Besides, even horseshit sounded better than Sunday school.

“And another thing,” Deacon said, looking down at Crick from what seemed an impressive height. (Crick would grow a good four inches taller, but he didn’t know that.) “Please don’t talk so much. You’ll spook the horses.”

Please don’t. It was as harsh as Deacon ever got. He didn’t talk much—never did. Teachers thought he was stupid until he aced their tests. Riding clients talked at him continuously, trying to get him to break into conversation, but Deacon would blush and turn away. It took Crick years to get him to open his heart and spill it out, and even then didn’t realize how rare it was that Deacon would talk to anyone at all. But all that impressive silence had its perks.

If Crick wanted to know if he’d ever crossed a line, all he had to listen for were those words, please don’t… and he’d subside.

Deacon had that effect on a person.

In fact, Carrick would later reflect that Deacon’s effect on him was about the only thing that kept Crick alive and out of prison during the next eleven years.

That evening, Parish Winters drove Carrick home, Deacon on the other side of him in the big, steel blue Chevy truck. Crick liked Deacon’s dad—he had gray hair, a weathered face, and a sort of sweetness around his smile. Deacon might have had the same sweetness, but he tended to pinch his mouth closed, concentrating all the time.

It didn’t matter—Parish saw the heart of his son, and, in that first night, Crick could tell that he saw the heart of a lonely, angry boy as well.

“I reckon we’ll take the boy on Saturdays and Sundays,” Parish said after Crick’s stepdad had opened the door.

Bob Coats had made noises. “Sunday’s the Lord’s day! Boy belongs—”

“Wandering the levee, looking for trouble? I reckon the Lord would rather we kept him busy, you think?” Parish snorted, and Bob had opened his mouth to argue again, but one up-close-and-personal glare from Deacon’s father had shut him down.

“Now you listen here. This ain’t the first time I’ve seen your kid wandering the roads. You wanted to keep him in church on Sunday, you needed to spend some more time with him every other day.”

“He’s not my kid,” Coats denied hotly. “Little Mex bastard is Mel’s mistake. But we need him to take care of his sister….”

“Well, you’ll have to need him some other days, then,” Parish said, his implacable face a testament to his disgust.

“Why this kid, Winters?” Coats asked snidely. “He’s pretty enough—is that your thing?”

Carrick had looked up as though shot. It was like Bob Coats had seen directly into his heart and made note of the lovely glow that had surrounded it since he’d seen Deacon. But Coats was purely invested in pissing off Deacon’s father, and it worked. Parish grabbed Crick’s stepdad by the front of the sweat-stained T-shirt and shoved him against the door.

“You listen here, you ignorant bastard,” he growled. “My son is a good kid—he gets good grades, he works his ass off—and he don’t ask for nothing but the right to sit a horse. Birthdays, Christmases—that boy’s been neck deep in sweaters, because he doesn’t want a damned thing. Until today. Today he asked me for Carrick to work at The Pulpit two days a week. And since you don’t give a damn about that boy, I’m going to give Deacon what he wants and Crick here what he needs.” Parish punctuated this speech—one of the longest Crick would ever hear him make—with a shove at Bob’s shirt against the door.

“If you want him that bad you can have him!” Coats spat to the side then, and Crick barely missed getting snot in his hair. “But he damned better be here after school to watch the little one for his mom.”

“I will!” Carrick swore fervently. He actually didn’t mind sitting the baby—Bernice, Benny for short, was a sweetheart with a wicked smile. Until he’d talked to Deacon Winters, his two-year-old sister had been about his best friend.

And so it had started. Carrick’s lifelong love affair with horses—and with Deacon Winters—was well on its way.

The next weekend, when Crick was ass-deep in horseshit and still happier than he’d be watching television at home, he asked why. Why’d Deacon put him and his daddy out to rescue Crick from domestic misery?

Deacon had shrugged and grinned at him. His grin was a tight-muscled, sunshine-powerful thing that made Carrick’s stomach fly. “You’re as honest as a horse, Crick. Loud, but honest. That don’t come easy.”

So Crick had a quality—a virtue of sorts. He clung to it. There were some difficult years—some damned rough years, in fact—but Deacon had seen honesty in him, and Crick determined that Deacon would never see anything less.

Which was why, that very same weekend, when Deacon put him on the back of a horse and walked that placid, bombproof gelding around the circle with a gait as soft as a cotton ball on a cloud, Crick had grinned fiercely at his hero and laughed. “Dammit, Deacon, it’s awesome… but I want to go faster!”

Deacon tilted his head back and laughed. “All right, Speedy. Let’s try a canter.”

And Crick held on for dear life. He never realized that from that moment forward, so did Deacon—but Deacon did manage to drop him some hints.

The time Crick got busted for smoking weed under the high school bleachers in the sixth grade, Deacon had dropped a big one.

At Crick’s (panicked, tearful, shameless) begging, the school authorities had called Parish to take him in hand instead of his mom and stepdad, and Deacon had come with him.

If Crick had room for one more request, it would have been that Deacon would never have known about his complete idiocy. The kid who asked him had Deacon’s brown hair and eyes, only a little darker, and grooves in the sides of his cheeks, and he had… had smiled at Crick. Had let him in on the joke. Had copied off his math homework and given him some cookies from his lunch in return. It was as close as Crick would ever get to actual popularity—smoking weed hadn’t seemed like that big a price to pay.

Then he saw the fearsome look on Deacon’s face as Parish’s big blue pick-up drove up, and it had seemed like entirely too high a cost.

Parish had needed to deal with the school authorities—and from what Crick figured out, a whole lot of lying had gone on about how Bob and Melanie Coats would be the first ones to know and how a month’s worth of detention would be impossible for him to serve, since he was helping at The Pulpit to feed his family.

And while Parish was doing that, Deacon was making a month’s worth of detention sound like a dream come true.

“What. In. The. Hell.” It was all he could say. Crick stared at his hero as Deacon struggled with words, with breathing, and with the tremble of temper in his hands as he apparently debated whether to strangle Crick or turn him over his knee.

“I’m sorry, Deacon.” He tried to be stoic. Oh, he really did, but the tears were slipping out, and his nose was starting to run. Screw Brian Carter and his Oreo cookies—he’d trade them all just to have Deacon’s good opinion back.

“Do you know what happens if you smoke weed, get drunk, do stupid shit like this? Do you have any idea?” Crick’s back was to the school wall, and Deacon was looming over him, his fist pulled back and cocked like he was going to hit something. Crick didn’t quail. Bob tanned his hide at least twice a week—Crick could handle pain, and this time he deserved it.

“I’m sorry…. Please don’t say I can’t come over any more. Please let me keep working at The Pulpit….”

Deacon let his fist fly—straight at the wall above Crick’s head. He grunted at the impact, and Crick heard bones crunch, but Deacon just looked down at him, holding his blood-dripping hand and shaking his head.

“That shit can kill you on a horse. Horses don’t know drunk from mean, you don’t know a buzz in your brain from a tree in your head—you do that shit, you can’t come around no more. That shit’ll get you killed!”

Crick looked at the blood on Deacon’s hand and cried harder. Without hardly knowing what he was doing, he rubbed the abused knuckles with his thumb. “I won’t, Deacon. Please. Just… just please don’t be mad at me. Don’t….”

“Why’d you do it?” Deacon asked, shaking off the attention as he always did.

Crick hiccupped and yielded to the one virtue he’d ever been accused of having. “He was nice to me, and I was lonely.”

Deacon dropped his head with a sigh and carefully repositioned his baseball hat with his good hand. “You gotta hold out for the weekends, Crick. Just remember, you got friends and family from Saturday morning to Sunday night. Please don’t make me say you can’t come over. Please.”

Oh, Jesus. Deacon had said “please.”

Parish came out and got them then, and he took his son to the ER at Kaiser in the city without much more than a “Jesus Christ, Deacon—you couldn’t lose your temper on a pillow or something?”

When the hand and wrist had been stitched and set in a cast, he’d taken the boys out for ice cream. There had been no mention of school, detention, or the many reasons drug abuse was bad and horses were good. There was just the three of them, eating ice cream and asking Deacon how he was going to hold the reins with the awkward cast on his hand. Deacon shrugged. “That little gelding’s so sweet, I just gotta think in the right direction. We’ll be all right.”

And they were. Crick’s troubles were by no means over, but following Parish’s and Deacon’s examples, that was his last flirtation with substance abuse. Of course, three days later, after Deacon’s cast had been replaced with the waterproof fiberglass variety, Deacon took Crick on a trail ride along with Deacon’s best friend, wide receiver Jon Levins, and Deacon gave him another reason to never risk losing the best thing in his life.

The Sacramento River could be downright foul in some places, but in Levee Oaks, there were a few tributaries, mostly used for irrigation, that were both deep and clean. One of these ran through the far end of The Pulpit, complete with a big granite rock underneath a couple of oak trees. Deacon called it Promise Rock, and so did Jon, and Crick caught their excitement as they packed up the saddlebags with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, apples, water, and towels.

The ride itself wasn’t long, but it was hot. You didn’t wear your swimming trunks on the back of a horse, and it was already in the nineties, even though it was only May. They didn’t care. Parish and Patrick, The Pulpit’s one permanent employee, were off showing Lucy Star, trying to get up points so Lucy Star’s babies could be sold with a pedigree. Deacon had been slated to show her until he broke his hand, so there were no riding lessons and no football practice and pretty much nothing but mucking out stalls and working the other animals until the damned cast got taken off.

Deacon had asked nicely, and he and Parish figured that taking three horses to the end of the property and back counted as working them. The result amounted to a holiday better than going to the zoo or the movies or anything else that Crick hadn’t been able to do because step-Bob hadn’t wanted to spring for it.

For one thing, Crick got to ride a horse just as far and as fast as he wanted. Ever since his first ride around the little circle, Crick had lived and died for that chance to be free, and the only thing different about this was that there were two other horses in front of him, going mach one with their tails on fire.

It was awesome.

Eventually, they had to slow to a canter, which was probably good, because the muscles in his legs were going to give out—it was hard work holding on to a horse in a gallop, even harder if you were going to ride him, help him with the lifting of your body and the guiding of your legs and hands and stomach. About the time Crick thought he was going to humiliate himself by asking for a sedate walk, the oak trees they were heading for became clearly visible over the scorched fields that Parish mowed once a year for hay.

A little more cantering and they were swinging off the horses and leading them to the sloped bank of the swimming hole for water, and Crick got a good look at the only place in his life he’d ever held sacred.

Promise Rock was nothing really—a stand of rocks above a wide, deep spot in something less than a river and more than a stream. The rocks were surrounded by oak trees, so the place was shady, and they were sentinel oaks, so there were no scorched grasses in their shade. But the air there, in the shade and by the water, was about fifteen degrees cooler than it had been crossing the field, and they were far enough away from the levee and the roads that the only sounds there were the jangle of tack and the boys’ rough, happy breathing now that the ride was done. It was pretty, peaceful, and secret, and for the first time in his life, Crick felt like he was in the center of things. Only this little group of people—and Parish, of course—knew about this swimming hole. There was no trash, no used condoms or soda cups, and no reminders about step-Bob or his little sisters or the classes he hated or the fact that the whole rest of his life seemed to be wrapped up and tied into this crappy little town.

Crick thought that if The Pulpit was his world and Parish was his holy father, then Promise Rock was the church where he’d come to worship.

Deacon had the saddlebags, and he rustled inside them quickly and then threw trunks at Jon and Crick and began to strip off his own clothes to put his on without ceremony.

Crick tried hard not to swallow his tongue.

He’d always known he was in love with Deacon Winters, but he’d figured that was a “normal” kind of emotion that every boy felt for a hero. The boys around him had been talking about girls, and as sixth grade progressed, Crick had assumed he eventually would want to look at them and talk about them too. He had been afraid of that time—because it would mean less of his soul was centered on Deacon—but he assumed it was an age thing and it would pass.

Deacon’s skin was pale—especially next to Jon, who was tanned and blond from days in his parents’ swimming pool—and he had scars from riding and playing ball and one across his stomach from an appendix surgery, so he was not perfect. But oh God and boy howdy, was that boy beautiful. The tight, knotty swathes of muscle he’d seen the first time he’d seen Deacon had massed out a little in the last two years, but he still didn’t eat quite enough. His collarbones stood out vulnerable and delicate from his defined chest, and the hollow between his neck and the slope of his shoulders seemed to be especially tender. He had a flat beauty mark next to his right nipple, and another one low on his collarbone, and Crick tried hard—very hard—not to stare at the same time he was memorizing their positions so he could claim them at some later date. He had to take off his own clothes anyway, or he’d look like a dork, so for a minute that broke his concentration.

He had just skinned off his underwear when Jon said something inconsequential and witty, making Deacon throw back his head and laugh, and Crick looked up instinctively.

Oh God. Deacon was naked, his trunks held out in front of him as he prepared to step in, and Crick got a clear view of him, laughing and nude and beautiful enough to make his heart break.

And his little pecker stood at attention with a rush of blood Crick swore came directly from his brain. He flushed—probably so badly it looked worse than sunburn—and threw on his trunks haphazardly. Without looking at either of the other boys, he gathered his clothes into a knot and dropped them in a little wad up on the rock, then looked up with the most innocence he could muster.

“Can we just jump right on in then?” he asked, and Deacon nodded with a slight smile.

Thank God the water was cold, or Crick might have tried to drown himself in it, just for form.

As Jon and Deacon ran up the rock and leapt in from the height to a shrieking splash in the swimming hole, Crick had time to come to a couple of realizations.

He was never going to start looking at girls.

And he would probably love Deacon Winters truly and deeply for the rest of his entire life, in the way that most men loved their wives.

And someday, because Deacon thought he was honest, he would have to take his balls in one hand and his heart in the other and tell Deacon himself.

But not on this day. On this day, he would laugh and splash with Deacon and Jon. On this day, he would laugh at Jon (who was as extroverted and witty as Deacon was not) and watch Deacon on the sly to see his eyes crinkle and his mouth open wide as he laughed.

On this day, he would listen to the older boys shyly talk about their girlfriends and try very hard not to break his heart over it. They were not flirting with each other—and a phantom girl that Crick could not see did not feel like much of a threat.

On this day, Crick would be happy, and he would be good, and he would strengthen his resolve to behave at school so that Deacon would never again have to see the worst of him, the way his mom and step-Bob did.

He managed to make that resolution stick for three years.

About The Author

Amy Lane has two kids in college, two gradeschoolers in soccer, two cats, and two Chi-who-whats at large. She lives in a crumbling crapmansion with most of the children and a bemused spouse. She also has too damned much yarn, a penchant for action adventure movies, and a need to know that somewhere in all the pain is a story of Wuv, Twu Wuv, which she continues to believe in to this day! She writes fantasy, urban fantasy, and gay romance–and if you accidentally make eye contact, she’ll bore you to tears with why those three genres go together. She’ll also tell you that sacrifices, large and small, are worth the urge to write.

You can find Amy at
Website | Twitter | Amy Lane Anonymous–Facebook Group

Knight Of Ocean Avenue
By Tara Lain

Blurb: 

How can you be twenty-five and not know you’re gay? Billy Ballew runs from that question. A high school dropout, barely able to read until he taught himself, Billy’s life is driven by his need to help support his parents as a construction worker, put his sisters through college, coach his Little League team, and not think about being a three-time loser in the engagement department. Being terrified of taking tests keeps Billy from getting the contractor’s license he so desires, and fear of his mother’s judgement blinds Billy to what could make him truly happy.

Then, in preparation for his sister’s big wedding, Billy meets Shaz—Chase Phillips—a rising star, celebrity stylist who defines the word gay. To Shaz, Billy embodies everything he’s ever wanted—stalwart, honest, brave—but even if Billy turns out to be gay, he could never endure the censure he’d get for being with a queen like Shaz. How can two men with so little in common find a way to be together? Can the Stylist of the Year end up with the Knight of Ocean Avenue?

Available for purchase at

Kindle | Amazon Paperback | Audiobook

 GAGA’S “EDGE of

Glory” played in his ear. Damn. Quit.
He reached out and pawed at the edge
of the coffee table until he finally felt the phone. His fingers found the mute
button and he clicked it. Peace. He tried to roll over. Heavy.

 “Merwaorwr.”

“Mewr.”

Claws dug into his
chest as the weight lifted, then disappeared. “Go back to sleep.” He rolled
over until his face and body were pressed against the back of the couch. Ouch.
His dick hurt. Sleep. Ouch.

Well, damn. Slowly
he rolled onto his back and stared at the ceiling. He glanced to the side.
Clancy and Yerby gazed at him like they could command him with will force alone
to open the tuna. “Hang in there, guys.”

Oh man. Not hung
over. He’d had half a beer. But here he lay fully clothed on his couch, aching
in his bones and feeling like someone had kicked him in the nuts. That would be
him. He’d done it to himself.

He swung his legs
over the side, sat up on the edge of the couch, and dropped his head. Four eyes
stared up at him. “Go open it yourself.”

Three times. He’d
wanked himself into oblivion three times while rewinding that frigging porno.
Was there one line he didn’t engrave in his brain? Every “unh, unh, unh. Fuck
me harder” was emblazoned in his memory. Jesus, Ballew. Yeah, Jesus was the
operative word. But if he was going to hell for jerking off, he’d be taking
every male in the world with him.

Of course, he didn’t
just masturbate; he wanked to gay porn. What the hell is that about? Truth?
He’d been kicked in the teeth so many times by so many women, the idea of
fucking a nice uncomplicated man kind of did it for him. Well, not seriously,
but the theory was attractive. And no, he would not be sharing this revelation
with the guys on the job site.

The bang on his door
about sent him into outer space. Who the hell? Nobody came here. He didn’t
share his address much. No poker with the boys or make-out sessions with the
girls. His place. His. Who was it?

The knocking came
again.

Shit!

He jumped up.
“Yeah?” The cats looked up at his loud voice.

“Billy, it’s Jim.”
The voice came through the door.

Jim. Billy looked
around, grabbed the laptop, closed it tight, and slid it onto the end table.
Lube. Shit. He shoved the open tube into the drawer, then staggered over to the
front door. How much did he smell like sex? Damn, his sweats were halfway to
his knees. He dragged them back up, then opened the door.

 “Hi. Sorry,
overslept.” He ran a hand through his hair.

Jim Carney was a
little older than him and a good guy, if a bit of a hound dog. He grinned.
“Sorry. My truck broke down. I was kind of close to here and remembered your
address. Thought I’d see if I could get a ride.”

“Uh, sure.” He
glanced over his shoulder. It felt strange having somebody here. “Come on in. I
need to feed my cats and take a quick shower, if you want to wait.”

“Sure. Too far to
walk and all uphill.” He stepped in. “You have cats?”

 Billy looked at Jim.
The guy had a tough face with a broken nose that some women liked. “Yeah, I got
two. You like cats?”

“No. Just think it’s
kind of funny that you do.” He smacked Billy’s shoulder. “You crazy cat lady,
you.”

Well, hell. “Make
yourself at home.” Kind of. He walked into the kitchen, the boys behind him,
and scooped out some cat food into both dishes. “Here ya go, guys.” He raised
his voice. “Don’t let feline haters make you feel bad.”

Jim laughed from the
living room. “This is quite a place you have. Jesus, man, what are you, some
closet decorator?”

Billy frowned and
walked into the living room. “No, I just like having a nice place of my own.”

“But you’re so
damned neat.” He was holding a glass globe Billy had found in a yard sale.

“So?” He took the
globe and put it back on the shelf.

“Nothing. No wonder
women like you so much.”

“I’m taking a quick
shower.” He started for the bedroom, stopped and grabbed the laptop, then went
into his room—small with a big bed.

He glanced at his
watch, still ticking on his wrist. Double shit. If he didn’t hurry, they’d both
be late for work. Saturday shifts were good for making extra cash, but not if
he didn’t get there.

 He stepped under the
water. Too cold. Shaved so fast he nicked himself and finally got some clothes
on and hurried back into the living room. Jim sat on the couch holding a book,
the two cats staring at him from across the room. He stared back. Billy laughed.
“Have they got you cornered?”

“Shit, man, those
two are scary. What are they, ninja attack cats?”

Billy sat and pulled
on his work boots. He nodded at the book. “What you got?”

Jim held out the
book. “This is heavy shit, my man.” The copy of Jane Eyre kind of weighed down
his hand.

Billy tried to keep
his brows from scrunching together. “I just like to read. I didn’t get to go to
school too long, so I read, okay?” He didn’t say he read because it was like a
fucking gift to finally be able to do it.

Jim set down the
book and stood up. “You really are different, you know?”

“Thanks a shitload.”

“I don’t mean it
bad. You’re just—not like most of the guys.”

 Man, was he tired of
hearing that.

Giveaway

Rafflecopter Giveaway

Big Backlist Weekend with Jennae Vale and Tara Lain #2giveaways #Historical #paranormalromance

Hi Everyone 

Welcome to Big Backlist Weekend! This is a special event I post every month or so where I ask a wonderful author to come and join me in giving away a copy of an ebook from their backlist.

My guest today is Jennae Vale! A BRIDGE THROUGH TIME is the first book in the The Thistle & Hive Series. If you love sexy highlanders and time travel, then this is the series for you! I’m giving away an ebook copy of SPELL CAT, which is paranormal romance about witches in New York. Since Jennae’s book is historical time travel and my sexy witch is a history teacher who teaches about the witch trials I thought we could pair them up.

Here’s your chance to win one or the other of our books. Just enter on the Rafflecopter below and watch for Big Backlist Weekend with special guests every month.

A Bridge Through Time
(Thistle & Hive Series, Bk #1)
by Jennae Vale

Blurb:
Ashley Moore’s life in San Francisco has hit a few snags, not the least of which involves sightings of a mystery man around every corner. Is she losing her mind or does he really exist? Her search for this grey-eyed stranger leads her to Scotland. There she meets a witch with a secret, a vindictive English knight who is bent on revenge, and she crosses a fog shrouded bridge into the arms of a 16th century Highlander.

Cailin MacBayne is no stranger to beautiful women, but has always managed to stay one step ahead of commitment. That all comes to an end when he meets Ashley. He doesn’t care where this beautiful, yet unusual lass came from, he’s just happy to have found her. Ashley cannot resist the handsome Scot and finds herself falling hopelessly in love. In the process, a secret is revealed, a battle is waged and Ashley must ultimately decide whether to return to her own time or give up her 21st-century life to stay with the love she has found in the past.

Available for purchase at
Kindle | Amazon Paperback | Audible

 

Excerpt

 

“Ashley, love.” Grey Eyes was calling her. “Where are ye? I’m waiting. Hurry.” He held his hand out to her, his eyes telling her something was wrong. She struggled to make her way through the invisible wall which held her back, but no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t get to him, and as usual, he disappeared.

Ashley jolted upright, with her heart pounding in her chest and a sense of urgency she hadn’t felt before. His appearance was different this time. It left her feeling uneasy and anxious. Get a grip; it was just a… a what? What was it and why did it feel so real? Why did she feel such a connection to this man?

As Ashley prepared for her hike, her mind kept returning to the same questions. Could she possibly find him? Or had she gone completely stark, raving mad?This is getting you nowhere, Ashley; you have plans for the day. Besides, she’d have plenty of time to think about it on the hike, and she was anxious to begin. She was experiencing the same urgent pull, which had brought her all the way from California to Glendaloch.

Downstairs, Edna greeted Ashley with her usual exuberance. “Good morning, dear. Would you like something to eat before your hike?”

“I’m not very hungry this morning. I ate too much good food last night.” Ashley smiled and patted her belly.

“Well, I’ve packed you a bag to take with you, and as I promised, there’s plenty in there for you to snack on once you’ve walked off last night’s dinner.”

Ashley had expected a small lunch sack, so she was quite surprised to see a backpack sitting on the front desk instead.

“I know it seems a bit much, but I wanted you to be prepared for anything that might come up,” Edna continued.

Ashley didn’t want to seem ungrateful, so she thanked Edna, grabbed the backpack, and walked to the door, with the older woman

following close behind. When they exited the building, Edna pointed down the street. “Just past the last building down there on the left, is a path that goes out into the countryside. Just stay on it and you won’t get lost.”

“Thank you, I’m excited to start exploring.” Ashley was about to walk away when Edna grabbed her and pulled her into a hug.

“You’re a very special young lady, Ashley.”

Ashley had the distinct impression Edna was saying goodbye to her for the last time. She didn’t know how to respond, so she gave Edna a small wave and headed off towards the edge of town, with a prickle of apprehension running up her spine.

 About The Author

Jennae Vale is a best selling author of romance with a touch of magic. As a history buff from an early age, Jennae often found herself day-dreaming in history class – wondering what it would be like to live in the places and time periods she was learning about. Writing time travel romance has given her an opportunity to take those daydreams and turn them into stories to share with readers everywhere.
Originally from the Boston area, Jennae now lives in the San Francisco Bay area, where some of her characters also reside. When Jennae isn’t writing, she enjoys spending time with her family and her pets, and daydreaming, of course.

 

You can connect with Jennae at
Website | Facebook Page | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon Page |

 

 

Spell Cat
by Tara Lain

Blurb:

When Killian Barth, history professor, meets Blaine Genneau, quantum physicist, they ignite their own big bang. But Killian can’t pursue a physics professor—or a human. As the most powerful male witch in ten generations, Killian must bolster his dying race by reproducing—despite the fact that he’s gay.

Even a fling with Blaine is out of the question, because Killian has been told sex with humans drains his power. But if that’s true, why can young human Jimmy Janx dissolve spoons with the power of his mind? If Killian can sort through the lies he’s been fed, he’ll still face his biggest obstacle — convincing rational scientist Blaine to believe in magic.

With his ancient and powerful cat familiar, Aloysius, on his shoulder, Killian brings the lightning against deceit and greed to save Blaine from danger and prove love is the greatest power of them all.

Available for purchase at
Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo

Excerpt

He looked around and spotted the City Hall building a block away. That’s right; there’s a park there. He walked toward it, moving past the tall buildings and late-afternoon pedestrians. Inside the park, he stopped. Blaine sat on a park bench. Killian just wanted to stare at him. So beautiful. Not that perfect kind of beautiful like Moran. Blaine looked… what? Smart as hell, yes. Free, self-actuating, brave. That was a kind of beauty no picture-perfection could match. Oh gods, I love the way the black-rimmed glasses sit on his high-bridged nose.

Blaine looked up as if he’d felt Killian staring at him. Goal achieved. He looked entranced without benefit of spells.

Killian paused. It wasn’t without benefit of spells. The man was righteously bespelled. He took a breath. But at least he had Blaine for now.

He walked toward Blaine, putting a little extra sway in his walk.

The green eyes shone. “You look beautiful.”

Killian smiled. “Thank you. I wanted to be fitting of your surprise, whatever it may be. You look pretty yummy yourself.” It was true. Blaine was usually very casual, but he’d made an extra effort today. Freshly washed jeans, a white shirt, and a dark sport coat. What was the occasion?

Blaine looked up at Killian’s shoulder. “Hi, Al. Good to see you, buddy.”

“Merwaor.”

Blaine glanced at his watch. Hmm. Was he taking Killian to a show? Maybe he had a restaurant reservation. He patted the bench. “Come sit down.”

Killian sat. Curiosity gnawed. He glanced around the park for a clue. “I hardly ever come here. I forget what a great building the City Hall is.” He looked at Blaine. “Are we going on a tour?”

“Not exactly, but there is another building I want to show you, I hope in a few minutes.” Blaine’s eyes crinkled. He looked like he wanted to laugh.

“What’s going on? What’s the surprise?” Why did he feel anxious? Aloysius began to purr.

Blaine giggled. Giggled? Really? “I’m so bad at secrets.” Al’s purr got louder. Blaine reached in his pocket. Oh, Killian had an odd feeling.

Blaine pulled a box out of his pocket. Oh gods. He couldn’t breathe. Blaine opened the box, revealing the most beautiful antique gold and sapphire ring. He looked up at Killian. “I love you. I know it seems fast, but I think you feel it too. I’d like to walk you over to the marriage license office this afternoon and apply. Will you marry me?”

Killian couldn’t breathe or speak—he just stared at the ring. His life passed before his eyes. Every dream and barely acknowledged wish. Every lonely moment’s ache of longing. It lay there in that box. Tears pushed behind his eyes. He had to say yes. In all his life, no matter how long he lived, there would never be another moment like this. There would never be another Blaine. He looked up. “I can’t.”

A crease pushed between Blaine’s eyebrows. “You told me you weren’t going to marry her.”

“I’m not. Though I haven’t told the family yet.”

“So tell them you’re marrying me instead.”

“I can’t. You’re the most wonderful thing I’ve ever known, and that’s the most beautiful ring on earth. But I can’t.” And that was it. If his heart had one tiny sliver still intact, it broke.

Blaine took Killian’s hand, wringing it tight. “Why? Tell me.”

Killian sighed. So his hope to have this magic in his life just a little longer was over. “Because you don’t love me, really.”

“What the hell?”

“It won’t last, and soon you’ll be glad you dodged this bullet.”

“Bullshit! I’m a grown man, and I know how I feel.” Blaine glanced around at the few passersby and lowered his voice. “How can you believe that idiocy?”

“Because it’s true.” Aloysius bit Killian’s ear. “Ow. Dammit, Al.” He pushed the cat onto the bench.

“At least Al’s on my side.” Blaine took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “Sweetheart, I know you’ve been sheltered and never allowed to explore your feelings for a man. It makes sense that you’d be nervous. Maybe expect me to leave like your father did. But I love you, and I want to be with you for the rest of our lives.”

Killian stared at his hands. “It can’t happen. You won’t love me much longer. Maybe days are all we have left. It’s different for everyone.”

“What’s different? Killian, you’re not making sense.”

It seemed there was only one way to persuade him. He looked up into those confused and beloved green eyes. “The spell is different.”

“What do you mean ‘spell’?”

Killian sat up straight. “I mean the witch’s spell I cast on you to make you love me. And Aloysius helped.” The cat hissed. “Get over it, Al.” He looked back at his hands. The hands Blaine was no longer holding. “The witch’s spell that is right now running out. Though in my defense, I had no idea you would be the target of the spell. If I could have taken it back, had you love me in truth, I would have done it a thousand times. If I could stop being a witch so you could love me, I’d do it in a heartbeat. None of those things are possible, even for me.” He looked up. Blaine—the human—stared at him with wide eyes.

“You’re a witch?”

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Big Backlist Weekend with Tigris Eden and Tara Lain #2giveaways #paranormalromance

 Hi Everyone

Welcome to Big Backlist Weekend! This is a special event I post every month or so where I ask a wonderful author to come and join me in giving away a copy of an ebook from their backlist.

My guest today is Tigris Eden! DIRE CRAVINGS is her upcoming release and the second book in The Arctic Wolves Series! If you love sexy werewolves, this is the series for you! You can learn more about DIRE CRAVINGS here.
I’m giving away an ebook copy of THE PACK OR THE PANTER, the book that brings together my big, handsome, shy, tongue-tied werewolf, Cole, with more than his match, the snarky, independent, solitude loving panther shifter, Paris.

Here’s your chance to win one or the other of our books. Just enter on the Rafflecopter below and watch for Big Backlist Weekend with special guests every month.

 

Arctic Bound
(Arctic Wolves Book 1)
By Tigris Eden

Blurb:
There are secrets in even the smallest of towns…

Nerina Simpson fled the streets of New York City, hoping to find solace outside the small town of Talkeetna, Alaska. Physically scarred from a fire that claimed both her parents, Nerina keeps to herself while she tries to put the darkness of her life behind her.
When a winter storm forces her into town, she collides with Victor Canidae. An arrogant man who makes it no secret that he and everyone else in the town want her to leave.

Headstrong, and refusing to back down, Nerina finds herself in trouble when her two, four legged companions get lost in a storm, landing her in the path of an angry bear hell bent on taking her life. Until a mysterious white wolf comes to her rescue. When she wakes up in a warm cave, the last person she expected to see is Victor.

Stuck in a cave until the storm passes the two decide there is only one way to pass the time, and quickly when you’re getting physical.

***Multicultural Paranormal Romance +18 Light BDSM***

Available for purchase at

Kindle | Amazon Paperback

Excerpt

 Chapter 1

Heat surrounded Nerina on all sides. Everywhere she turned there was smoke. It clouded her vision, suffocated her senses, and burned her lungs. The clothes on her body had long burned away. Chunks of her flesh hung off her arms and legs. Her body pulsed in agonizing pain. In the other room, she could hear her mother and father screaming as the fire blazed around her. Still, Nerina tried to look for a way out, for fresh air. She was determined to reach them. Fire crawled up the sides of the walls like waves rushing to the shoreline. She needed to find the door. Had to.

By the time she found it, the screams had ceased. She was too late; she knew they were gone, but called out to them anyway.

“Mom! Hold on! Dad! I’m coming! I’m coming!”

Reaching up, she grabbed for the knob, the skin from her hand sticking to the metal. Muscle and nerves she thought had long burned off, flared in excruciating pain. With a high-pitched scream, she peeled her hand from the hot metal.

Nerina woke tangled in her sheets. Her bed damp from her body’s perspiration. The nightmare never got better. It had been two years, and she could still smell the smoke, feel the heat of the fire on her skin. She’d lost her entire family that night. Her beautiful mother, Simone; and her father, Roman.

Her father had loved her and her mother. Nerina was the result of her mother’s forbidden relationship with Roman. Simone was an escort, and they were never meant to fall in love. After Nerina was born, they’d been targeted by Roman’s wife and his brother Oscar. It was the consequence of Roman choosing to care for them instead of leaving them destitute. She’d known it would come down to her father making a choice. She’d even understood he’d have to leave at some point. It was one of the reasons she’d taken on additional work with the Mistress when she became of age. Nerina never thought her uncle and her father’s wife would take measures to completely eradicate what they deemed a problem. You should have seen it coming. Her uncle was the main reason she had moved to Alaska. There was a price on her head. It also helped that her uncle loathed the cold climate and would never think to look for her in a place like Talkeetna, Alaska. Population two hundred and one, three if you included her dogs.

Nerina slowly rose from her bed. Demon and Daar lifted their heads to check on her as she limped towards her dresser. Darn leg still hadn’t gained its full mobility. Doctors said it might never.

“I’m all right, guys, heading to the outhouse.”

Both dogs stretched out, bellies flat on their beds as they watched her put on her boots and clothes. She’d only been in Alaska six months. She still wasn’t used to walking outside in the freezing cold to use the bathroom. But this was the only place no one would think to look for her. Talkeetna was about as unwelcoming as anyone could get. She only went to town for supplies, and in the six months she’d lived up on her hill, no one from the community except for Thorn, the town patriarch, and his grandson, Teak had ever come up to say hi or welcome her to town. Besides the Malamute and Alaskan husky, she was alone. Her cozy, one-bedroom, no-indoor-bathroom cabin overlooked the Alaskan range and faced Mt. McKinley. It was a great view, complete with a running creek and a wood-burning stove. Talk about roughing it. The landscape alone was enough to sell her on the place, though; and with it, came Demon and Daar. The previous owner, Mrs. Raines, had decided she’d had enough of long nights and cold winters. She’d packed her bags and moved to Florida.

Both dogs were loyal to the bone, and they welcomed her wholeheartedly. Daar was a massive, grey, white, and black husky with ice-blue eyes. Demon was huge, with black fur and silver eyes. He weighed over one hundred and forty pounds. He was the strangest dog she’d ever seen. In the dark, his eyes seemed to flash amber. Nerina attributed his strange eyes to a trick of the moon’s light. There was no way he was something other than a dog. Although, if she were truly honest with herself, he seemed more wolf-hybrid.

Walking out to the outhouse in the middle of the night had been scary the first couple of months she’d lived in Alaska. She’d moved to Talkeetna during the winter months when the nights were longer and the sun was scarce. The wind nipped at her face as she made her way to the shed. She didn’t need her flashlight. The lights from the Aurora Borealis danced high in the sky. Beautiful green and red outlined the black backdrop, lighting up the night. Nerina smiled as she opened the shed door. She was happy, truly happy with her slice of life.

The townspeople didn’t bother her up on her hill, and she was secluded enough no one could spy on her. And it was always a bit cold, even in the summer months—to a New Yorker, sixty degrees was considered hot—so it gave her a reason to keep her scars covered. No one knew about her past, and no one inquired about her future.

Finished with her business, she made her way back into the cabin where both dogs waited for their breakfast and daily walk. It was still dark and would be for most of the day. The sun only came out for a few hours this time of year. Her breakfast consisted of eggs, bacon, and grits. She served the dogs caribou meat and a can of tuna. The smell of breakfast always reminded her of her mom’s kitchen. A bittersweet memory that gave her comfort.

Snapping out of her haze, Nerina quickly finished her meal. Thorn would be expecting her in town for her monthly round-up of supplies. He preferred she come in early to avoid the townspeople. It wasn’t a matter of safety; it was just easier that way. If she avoided the good folks of Talkeetna, they avoided her; and in turn, Thorn wasn’t as grumpy. She threw on her skullcap and stepped into her snow pants and Keen Targhee waterproof hiking boots before zipping up her hooded parka. She looked like she was going on an Arctic expedition. She may as well have been. It was freezing cold outside. Slipping into her gloves, she whistled for the dogs and headed out into the frigid dark. Even though it was technically seven in the morning, the sun wouldn’t be up for a while.

Nerina knew taking the dogs out would be a strain on her. She couldn’t keep up with them because of her limp, and she wasn’t comfortable attaching the dogs to her sled. But she knew the exercise was good for her. They walked down by the creek behind her cabin, where colorful ice pillars could be seen off in the distance. By the time they made it back to the house, Nerina was exhausted and chilled from the cold air.

Readying the snowmobile for her trip into town, Nerina thought about her upcoming phone call. She only talked to Raven once a month. Each call was a reminder there was a price on her head. The dogs looked on as they stood by her front door.

“Don’t let me forget the wood, Demon, we’re low.”

She spoke to both dogs more and more. A sign she was going crazy, maybe? Most likely.

The people in town weren’t mean to her, but they weren’t particularly friendly either. Occasionally, she’d talk to Thorn’s daughter, Cassandra, who was the owner of the bed and breakfast she’d stayed at during her first visit to town. Nerina was treated fine as a tourist, but the moment she’d decided to stay, people became distant. A small part of her thought it was because she was bi-racial, but Thorn had assured her race had nothing to do with the negative treatment. He’d used the words ‘breed’ and ‘kind.’ If that wasn’t racist, she didn’t know what was.

Nerina was the owner of nine acres of beautiful Alaskan countryside, and Thorn had promised he’d help her add plumbing as well as a workout room. Huge spruce trees bordered her land. Beyond that was a national preserve that was owned by the town. She’d already received a warning to stay off their property. As if she wanted to explore their lands. There were bears in the woods, large wolves, and other carnivorous animals. She wasn’t stupid. The wind picked up as she headed into town. Harsh and cold, it bit into what little skin was exposed. Both dogs followed along effortlessly as they made their way down the hill.

“You know how important this meeting with Sasha and her parents is.” Victor stood from his chair across from his sister, Cassandra, and grunted. She was so dramatic.

“Everything will be fine, Cass.”

“The engagement is not official; you need to ensure everything is perfect. Uniting the Packs is top priority.”

He knew she was right, of course. Fewer males were taking mates. They’d offer up their seed to produce offspring, but that was all. Females were of the same mind. His sister had participated in the breeding program. She refused to take a mate. A hundred years ago, that would not have been tolerated. Now, everyone had choices. Who to bed, who to mate, and, of course, who they could reject.

His father and Sasha’s father, Eric, had arranged his union with the female from the time they could walk. Sasha was twenty-four moons his junior, and to him, she was also immature. The tales of her temper tantrums had reached even his ears. However, she was beautiful, and in perfect breeding condition. No one could argue that fact. Her pale skin and golden hair were more than to his liking. She had a slender frame, and her eyes were the color of wheatgrass. A peculiar color, but intriguing all the same. There were two things Victor was sure of: they would be mated, and she would obey him in all things.

Thorn and Eric had agreed on a spring mating ceremony. All the Packs from Canada and Alaska would be there to witness his union to Sasha. It was his duty to the Pack to ensure that their way of life continued. He would still have to take down his father and Eric in a brutal battle, but they’d agreed it wouldn’t be a death challenge. The wolf in him would try to conquer, showing any onlookers he was not one to be challenged. He had to prove he was able to lead with a strong hand. However, the human in him knew it was the best course of action to show mercy and restraint. Things were different now.

He’d still have bedding rights to all the unmated women in the territories. Sasha was afforded the same courtesy with all unmated males. A throwback from the earlier days, but a practice kept around due to the intense sexual needs of their kind. They could also enact bedding rights on the other if they decided. Which meant Sasha could intervene with him and another female if she so chose, and vice versa.

“I won’t let the family down, Cass.” Victor reiterated. His sister and his mother both wanted the mating between him and Sasha to go off without incident.

“Good to hear,” his father, Thorn, said as he walked in with Victor’s nephew, Teak.

“Hey there, Uncle Vic. What can I do you for?” His nephew held up his hand in a fist and gestured for them to bump knuckles.

“Cass, stop letting the boy watch MTV and those dumbass movies. It’s ruining his brain.”

Cassandra laughed and untied her apron as she made her way over to her son, hugging him fiercely. Teak was twelve moons from becoming a mature adult male. To humans, he looked sixteen. Really, he was twenty-nine.

“It’s not me, brother. He keeps sneaking up to the Simpson place to watch the woman. I told him it was rude, but the boy has a crush.”

The Simpson place? He’d only been gone for six months. Had a lone wolf moved in?

“You mean the Raines place? Did someone new move in?”

“Yeah, she moved in about six months ago while you were away on business.”

This was news to him. Mrs. Raines was the only human they’d allowed in town, so whoever this Simpson lady was, she must be a wolf.

“Demon and Daar?”

“They’re up there with her. Demon refused to leave her side when old Mrs. Raines sold the place to Nerina.”

Nerina? What kind of name was that? No one had even consulted him about possibly moving a stranger into their midst. He was, after all, going to be the new Alpha.

“Father?” Victor questioned.

Thorn grunted.

“It was my choice, son. She’s harmless enough, likes her privacy. And she’s human.”

Human? Seriously, like the town really had time to get acclimated to a new human. It had been bad enough with Mrs. Raines. And she was only accepted because she’d mated Picar, who was from their Pack. Something that wasn’t widely accepted, but exceptions were made all the time. This newcomer could be a problem, or worse, she could be a Hunter. They could appear to be human, and in some cases, were. It was the older Hunters that posed the most threat. There was a good reason the Packs had relocated to Alaska. Hunters didn’t like the cold. But he wasn’t ready to take any chances. Hunters were vampires. Their one true enemy.

“Teak, stay away from the outsider.”

His nephew arched a brow, smiling devilishly.

“Yeah, right, like I could ever ignore her. Nerina Simpson is hot. Like fire in my pants hot.”

Cass hit Teak over the head, making him duck. Victor grinned.

“I don’t care how hot she is, keep away from her. She could be a Hunter.”

Hunters were hell-bent on destroying all Werewolves. It was an ancient war that had killed more than a third of their population. It was also the reason they’d migrated to the New World and up North to harsher climates.

Pack Canidae were the true founders of Talkeetna. His father’s father had founded the town officially in 1919, but the Pack had settled in the area long before there were towns and railroads. His ancestors were originally from Mesopotamia, by way of Egypt. Captured as a boy and recruited into the Secret Order of Anubis, Enil had been forced to drink the god’s blood, changing him forever. There were Hunters then, and there were Hunters now, and Nerina Simpson could very well be one of them.

“Give him a break. Nerina keeps to herself, and Demon hasn’t said anything ill of her.” Cass turned to her son and stood on her toes to kiss the towering male.

“Listen to your uncle, Teak. He’ll soon be Alpha.”

“Yes, Mother. Sorry, Uncle. I’ll keep my distance,” his nephew said, looking down at his feet.

Victor nodded and sat down at the counter, pouring himself a cup of hot chocolate.

 

About The Author

Tigris is a military brat who’s done her fair share of travelling, thanks to her Army father. She’s married to the infamous LL and has three boys. She currently resides in Houston and is actively seeking a book-buddy for the end of the world.

You can connect with Tigris at
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Follow On Amazon 

The Pack or the Panther
(Tales of the Harker Pack Book 1)
By Tara Lain

Blurb: 
Cole Harker, son of an alpha werewolf, is bigger and more powerful than most wolves, tongue-tied in groups, and gay. For twenty-four years, he’s lived to please his family and pack—even letting them promise him in marriage to female werewolf Analiese to secure a pack alliance and help save them from a powerful gangster who wants their land. Then Cole meets Analiese’s half-brother, panther shifter Paris Marketo, and for the first time, Cole wants something for himself.

When Analiese runs off to marry a human, Cole finally has a chance with Paris, but the solitary cat rejects him, the pack, and everything it represents. Then Cole discovers the gangster wants Paris too and won’t rest until he has him. What started as a land dispute turns into World War Wolf! But the bigger fight is the battle between cats and dogs.

Available for purchase at

Kindle | Audible | Amazon Paperback | Dreamspinner Press | Nook | Kobo | iTunes

 

Excerpt

Cole Harker, son of an alpha werewolf, is bigger and more powerful than most wolves, tongue-tied in groups, and gay. For twenty-four years, he’s lived to please his family and pack—even letting them promise him in marriage to female werewolf Analiese to secure a pack alliance and help save them from a powerful gangster who wants their land. Then Cole meets Analiese’s half-brother, panther shifter Paris Marketo, and for the first time, Cole wants something for himself.

 When Analiese runs off to marry a human, Cole finally has a chance with Paris, but the solitary cat rejects him, the pack, and everything it represents. Then Cole discovers the gangster wants Paris too and won’t rest until he has him. What started as a land dispute turns into World War Wolf! But the bigger fight is the battle between cats and dogs.

Cole’s lips turned up just a smidge. “Uh, you look good. I wasn’t expecting to see you.”

“What the fuck?” He threw his hands in the air and collapsed in a wing-back chair. “You came to my show. Of course you expected to see me.”

“Uh, I mean I didn’t expect to see you off stage.”

Paris frowned. What kind of game was this? “What in the hell are you talking about? You came here to get me.”

“No.”

“What do you mean ‘no’?”

“I didn’t come here for you at all. I remembered that you said Eliazer came here to see you, and it was the only place I knew to look for him. That’s why I came.”

“Not for me?” He wanted to scream and he wanted to cry. Which one would win?

“No. You said to leave you alone.”

“You son of a bitch!” Paris leaped out of the chair and hurled himself across the room at Cole with his fingers extended like claws. He hit the wolf like a missile and scratched at his face. “You bastard. You sucked me in and got me involved with your ridiculous pack crap.”

“Wait. Hold on.” Cole wrapped a huge arm around his middle, pulled Paris’s back against his chest, and held him with his feet off the floor. The big, dumb, bastard!

Paris kicked his feet, which was humiliating. “Let me go.”

“And let you scratch me? No way.”

Paris shook his head wildly. Frustration. “Why did you—? Why didn’t you—? Shit!”

“Uh-uh. You’re just a confused kitty.”

He had to stop this. Heat pushed behind his eyes. Damn. What was going on? The words flew out. “You didn’t come for me.”

For a second Cole said nothing. “You said you didn’t want me. Hell, you practically tore down your parents’ office door proving it.”

Paris frowned. “That’s right. I don’t.”

Cole loosened his grip just a little and let Paris’s feet hit the floor, though his strong arms still held Paris’s body tight. It felt way too good. “So why should I come looking for you?”

“Because you want me?”

“What gave you your first clue?” His voice held laughter.

“The nine-inch steel rod sticking in my butt?”

A big hand slid down the front of Paris’s robe. “Oh, like the tentpole I see you’re sporting?”

Cole’s fingers brushed the silk robe aside and closed around Paris’s erection. “Tell me you don’t want me.”

“I don’t.” But his hips were thrusting his cock into Cole’s hand. Liar hips.

Cole pressed tight against Paris’s butt. That big cock nestled between his ass cheeks. More!

Oh hell. He was burning up! He turned in Cole’s loosened embrace and grabbed his face, pushing his mouth hard against those carved lips. He reached down, managed to pull Cole’s zipper past that hard-on from heaven, and stood on tiptoe so he could rub their dicks together.

Cole pulled back, gasping. “I don’t have long. Lindsey is outside waiting for me.”

A low growl trembled past Paris’s lips. Shit, where did that come from?

Cole’s eyes widened. “Linds? He’s just my friend. But Eliazer is out there. I don’t want to put Lindsey in danger.”

Paris heard his own breath, hot and hard. “Fuck me quick. I can’t stand it if you don’t.”

Giveaway

Rafflecopter Giveaway

New Release!! Hearts And Flour by Tara Lain #giveaway @crossdresser

Hi everyone! Welcome and Happy Valentine’s Day! I’m delighted to be celebrating the re-release of my quirky, sexy little Valentine’s story, Hearts and Flour. It’s a special book to me for many reasons (one of my all time fave cats I’ve written) including the fact that my agent says this was the first one of my books she read and she liked it so much she wanted to be my agent. I hope you like it too. Be sure to enter the giveaway. : )

Hearts and Flour
by Tara Lain
 
Blurb:
Can a raw food enthusiast find love with a guy who bakes cupcakes?
When Micah Truveen’s devoted health-food customers start showing up with white flour, Micah wants to chew nails! To make his misery worse, he finds his yoga teacher boyfriend in bed with another guy the day before Valentine’s Day. Micah decides to drown his misery at a friend’s anti-Valentine’s Day orgiastic hookup party—and meets the beautiful Queen, a gorgeous cross-dresser who’s got Southern sugah in his mouth and the right equipment under the dress. But when the hookup turns serious, Micah has to compromise to protect Queen’s secrets from his beloved grandmother. With everything against them, can two hearts rise above the flour?
Second Edition
First Edition published by Etopia Press, January 2013.
Available for purchase at
Excerpts

 

Micah stashed his bike in the shed behind the house. He couldn’t stop chuckling.
Dharmaram would be so happy. Micah fingered the wrapped box in his pocket. The
bracelet that rested inside was pure gold and engraved with abstract shapes the
salesman had told Micah were dolphins. That sold him, of course. It cost a
bundle, but he didn’t care. He loved it. The look on Dharmaram’s face when
Micah gave it to him tomorrow would be worth twice the price. He knew it.
At least he was home early tonight, so maybe they could watch a little TV and snuggle.Tomorrow Micah would start prep on the meal in the early afternoon. He wanted
to blow it out. Candles and flowers. Good china and silver. Well, he didn’t
really have good stuff, but he’d bought a new deep pink tablecloth that would
set off his plain white plates and make them special.
He fit his key in the lock and stepped into the kitchen. Funny, the lights were off.
Dharmaram usually turned on every light in the house when he got home. Maybe
he’d had an extra class to teach this afternoon and hadn’t thought to mention
it.
“Merwaor.”
Micah paused and let Furtwangler step onto his shoulder from the top of the
refrigerator. He scratched the cat’s chin. “Hi, guy. How you feeling?” Like the
glacier for which he was named, at seventeen Furtwangler was slowly
disappearing. One of the only good things to come out of Micah’s time with his
mother, Furtwangler was still a great cat.
Micah turned on the light and slipped his shoes onto the shoe rack. He pulled the
package from his pocket. “Where shall I put this so that our nosy roommate
won’t find it, guy? What do you think?”
“Merwaor.”
Micah glanced up at the high glass-front cabinets in the kitchen. Good thought.
Dharmaram hated to cook, so if he was left alone he’d never open a cabinet.
Just graze in the refrigerator on whatever Micah had left for him.
Holding on to Furtwangler with one hand, Micah stood on tiptoe and opened the top door. He slid the present behind the teapot he used for herb infusions. He really
wanted to give the bracelet to Dharmaram tonight, but he’d force himself to
wait. It would be more special tomorrow.
He walked through the dark dining room into the living room. No lights. He turned on a low TV-viewing light. “Stay here, guy. We’ll watch some TV, okay?”
The cat slithered off his shoulder to the comfortable, cotton-velour-covered couch, and Micah headed down the hall to the bedroom.
“Umpf.” Micah stopped. “Ohhhhh.” Shit, was that Dharmaram? Had he hurt himself doing his damned backward-bending pose again? He took two more steps.
“Oh, oh, oh!”
         What was wrong?
Micah ran the last seven steps and threw open the bedroom door in time to see a
large bare ass in the air and a very big dick shoving its way into the pink
butthole of the guy Micah had just spent five hundred dollars on.

 

He pushed through the swinging kitchen door and found a couple of caterers laughing and gossiping quietly in a corner. Bet they had something to talk about. And there, back to him by the sink, was the woman.
As he looked at her now, Micah realized there was no way she could be a caterer,
unless she owned the company. The red dress was silk and those four-inch
stilettos would have paid his mortgage for a month. She wasn’t real tall. Even
with the shoes, he guessed she’d be a little shorter than his six feet. Very
slim with just a slight rounding at her hips, strong, lean legs, and willowy
arms in the long sleeves. A mane of golden hair fell over her shoulders. The
color looked real but well tended, like it cost a bundle to keep that silken
shine.
Why the hell was he staring at her? Unlike his erstwhile boyfriend, he had no interest in women in any sexual or romantic sense. Never had. But what was she doing
here?
She filled a glass from a spigot of filtered water.
Her head went back, so he assumed she was drinking. Suddenly she turned toward him, and he was staring into brilliant blue eyes. “Did you want some water too?”
Her voice was soft and low. A lilt suggested moonlight and magnolias.
“Uh, sure. Yes. I’d like some.”
She reached into a cabinet like she owned the place, pulled out a glass, and filled
it from the spigot. Micah watched the play of muscles across the low back of
her dress. Then she turned with the water glass extended. Man, what a beauty.
Delicate, sculptured features—wide eyes, soft lips, a pointed chin—all
surrounded by the velvet blanket of smooth gold hair.
Micah stared and… stared. Beautiful face. Beautiful Adam’s apple.
“You’re a guy.”
She… uh…
he smiled. “Of course. Why else would I be here, sugah?” The “why” sounded like
“wha” and the “I” like “ah.”
Micah grinned. “Excellent question. You’re quite convincing as a woman. And very beautiful.” Jesus, his body didn’t care what the guy was. Total turn-on. Who
knew he’d get excited over a cross-dresser?
“Thank you, kind sir. So are you.”
Micah stuck out his hand. “I’m Micah.”
He took it. His skin was so soft Micah could barely feel it except for the warmth that flowed straight to his balls. He smiled. “I’m called Queen.”
“But you’re not a queen, are you? I mean, a drag queen?”
He smiled. Hell, it was practically demure. “No. Just a man who likes to wear
women’s clothes sometimes.”
Micah was out of his depth here, but he felt willing to drown. “Like a transvestite?”
Queen sipped his water. “I prefer to avoid labels. I only get the chance to dress up
occasionally. I’m perfectly happy in men’s clothes as well.”
Micah smiled. “It’s confusing.”
Queen looked up through his lashes, which were darker than his hair. “How so?”
“I’m not usually attracted to women.”
“Ah, but I’m not a woman.”

 

About the Author

Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in LGBT erotic romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her first novel was published in January of 2011 and she’s now somewhere around book 32. Her best-selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Paranormal Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, Best Gay Characters, and Tara has been named Best Writer of the Year in the LRC Awards. In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm. She often does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft.  She lives with her soul-mate husband and her soul-mate dog near the sea in California where she sets a lot of her books.  Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says on her tombstone it will say “Yes”!

 

You can find Tara at Lain

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter Goodreads | PinterestGiveaway

Presented By

Branded by Fire By Danielle Annett. #Paranormal #Shifters #giveaway

Hi. Are you a fan of Urban Fantasy? Check out BRANDED BY FIRE by Danielle Annett! And be sure to enter to win. : )

Branded by Fire
(Blood & Magic Series, #4)
By Danielle Annett


Blurb:

Aria Naveed can’t decide what’s worse–being mate-bonded to Declan Valkenaar, the Alpha of the Pacific Northwest Pack, or owning up to the fact that she’s developing feelings for him.

Her bond to Declan is the one thing keeping her grounded and preventing her new power from destroying everything and everyone around her.

If Aria doesn’t tread carefully, especially where her heart is concerned, she’ll learn the hard way that if you play with fire, you’ll always get burned.

 

Available for purchase at
Excerpt
“Aria,
you’re being unreasonable.” He took a step forward and reached out for me.
I sidestepped away, then put a hand on my forehead when the room began
spinning.
“Unreasonable?”
I ground it, “You asked men within the Pack to court me. You wanted to tie me
to the Pack so you could use me.” I was practically yelling at him now. Maybe I
wasn’t too tired to fight with him after all. This confrontation had been a
long time coming.
“That
was before …” he trailed off.
“Right,”
I scoffed. “Before you bit me and tied me to you. Before you decided
this little mate bond between us somehow made me your soul mate. Now you care
about me as a person, is that it? But before I was just a tool for you to use
and somehow I should be okay with it? I should be flattered that Declan
Valkenaar, Alpha to the Pacific Northwest Pack, has picked me to be his mate?
Is that what you’re telling me?”
I
blinked hard as tears threatened to spill. Dammit, why did he have such an
effect on me? I rubbed the ache in my chest and turned away from him.
He
didn’t say anything for several long minutes.
I
climbed into my bed and tucked myself under the covers as silent tears spilled
down my cheeks.
The
mattress dipped, and Declan slid into the bed beside me.
“Go
away,” I choked out.
He
wrapped his arm around my waist and pulled my back flush against his chest.
“I’m
a bastard.”
“I
know.”
“And
I don’t deserve you.”
“Glad
you’re finally realizing that.”
I
swiped at the tears on my cheeks and tried to pull away from him, but his grip
was iron tight.
“But
I love you.”
I
sucked in a breath. He—what?
I
froze, suddenly unable to form any coherent thoughts or words.
He
didn’t say anything else, just settled in beside me with his arm wrapped
tightly around my body and his legs now tangled with mine. I listened as his
breathing slowly evened out and realized the exact moment when he fell asleep.

 

Declan
told me he loved me. The bond that connected us flared to life at his words,
and I suddenly realized, I believed him.

 

Blood and Magic Series
About The Author

Danielle Annett is a reader, writer, photographer, and the blogger behind Coffee  and Characters. Born in the SF Bay area, she now resides in Spokane, WA, the  primary location for her Blood & Magic series.

Addicted to coffee at an early age, she spends her restless nights putting pen to paper as she tries to get all of the stories out of her head before the dogs wake up the rest of the house and vye for her attention.

You can learn more about Danielle on her website at www.Danielle-Annett.com or follow her on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AuthorDanielleAnnett and on twitter @Danielle_Annett

You can find Danielle at

 

Giveaway

New Release! “Never” by Tara Lain. Blog Tour #Prize #PeterPan

When your dreams come to life, do you fall in love — or send them back to Neverland?

Hi and welcome. It’s my delight to announce the release of my new Pennymaker Tale, Never. If you’re not familiar with The Pennymaker Tales, they are all inspired by the tropes of popular fairy tales and stories. As such, they all stand alone, but they’re united by one continuing character — the mysterious Mr. Pennymaker. Writing a contemporary gay romance based on Peter Pan proved to be a fun and unique challenge. I hope you love it. Be sure to enter to win on the Rafflecopter!

Blog Tour Stops

 

November 3, 2017
My Fiction Nook
Making it Happen

 

November 4, 2017 
Readaholicys Anonymous
November 6, 2017 
Stories That Make You Smile
Bonkers about books

 

November 7, 2017 
Books,Dreams,Life
Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

 

November 8, 2017
Love Bytes
 books are love

 

November 9, 2017 
Bayou Book Junkie
V’s Reads

 

Never
(The Pennymaker Tales, #4)
By Tara Lain

Blurb:
Wendell “Wen” Darling lives in a world of shoulds and musts. Left to care for his brother and sister by his dull drudge of a father and wacko irresponsible mother, he suppresses his creativity, slaving in an ad agency seventy hours a week, letting his no-talent supervisor take the credit.

Then his bosses blow the campaign for their biggest client and Wen gets a chance to shine—but only if he can find the artist who painted a wild, glorious wall of graffiti in the subway. Hiding behind a pillar at 2:00 a.m., Wen comes face-to-face with the scarlet-haired, elven-faced embodiment of his divergent opposite—Peter Panachek, the flighty, live-for-today painter, singer, and leader of the rock group the Lost Boys. Everything Wen takes seriously, Peter laughs off, but opposites attract, even if their kisses always lead to battles. Peter’s devil-may-care persona hides a world of secrets, self-protection, and hidden fears, until the day a drug dealer, Vadon Hooker, threatens everything Wen holds dear. Guided by the mysterious Mr. Pennymaker, Peter has to choose between facing responsibility or burrowing even deeper into Neverland.

Available to order at

 

Excerpts 

 

Peter looked up, stood, and John hurled himself into the air.
Peter caught him, although it knocked him back a step or two. As Wen walked up,
Peter and John were laughing.
Wen said, “Hi.” Duh. Wit to
spare.
Peter gave him an unreadable face. “Hi.”
Peter set John’s feet back on the floor, but John took his hand.
“Thanks, man, for saving me.”
A flicker of some kind of pain whipped across his face. “Wen saved
you. I just screwed things up so you got kidnapped.”
John crossed his arms and frowned. “We’re not back there, are we?
Shit happens, Peter.”
Wen sucked in breath to chastise John for the language and laughed
instead. “Yes, it does. You got John in trouble through no fault of your own,
and he shouldn’t have been running off to Neverland at the crack of dawn
anyway. ” He gave John a look. “Then you got him out of it. Our plan wouldn’t
have worked without you.”
Peter shrugged.
Wen slowly inhaled. Am I
doing this?
“There’s something else. I don’t think we work very well
without you either—John and Michaela and, uh, me. I know you’ve got a lot of
decisions to make, but would you throw that into the mix?” He clenched his
hands together and hoped.
Peter stared at him. “You’re kidding. I’m a ne’er-do-well with no
job and no place to live and a demanding family breathing down my neck. You’re
a head of household with kids to raise and taxes to pay and a job where they
don’t appreciate you that you don’t want to lose. How the hell does that work?”
Wen swallowed. “I can’t believe you just used ‘ne’er-do-well’ in a
sentence.”

 

 

 

He sighed loudly as he pulled a green T-shirt over his head with
his back turned to Tink. The T-shirt was just like the others except it
proclaimed in brilliant sparkles Underthrow
the Overground
. He stared in the wavy mirror on the back of the closet
door. She’s right. Wen upsets me. Why the
fuck can’t I stay away from him?
“Let’s just go play music, okay?”
He retraced his steps out the dressing room door and went to drown
himself in lyrics.
Two hours later he knew it wasn’t working. All he could see was
Wen’s face. John’s face. I don’t want to
see them.
He snorted. I don’t want to
want to see them. That’s different
.
When they took their break, Wen walked off the stage straight into
Mr. Pennymaker. Somehow he’d changed to a black jacket with floral collar and
cuffs. Seriously? And somehow he’d
gotten past the guards to hang out backstage. He pressed his hands together.
“Splendid, Peter.”
“You kidding?” Peter frowned. “I can barely get my head out of my
ass.”
“Yes, but sometimes that’s precisely the view we need.”
Peter spewed a laugh. “What do you want with me, really?”
“Why must I want something?”
“Because people don’t usually bother with people unless they want
things.”
He rubbed his chin with two fingers. “All right. I want you to be
happy.”
“Why me, for God’s sake? You don’t even know me.”
He smiled softly. “I want everyone to be happy, Peter. I just
happen to be speaking with you.”
“Jesus!” Peter wiped a hand over the back of his neck. “You’re too
smart for me, old man.”
“Not at all. I simply want you to be smart for you.”
“What does that look like?”
“Getting your head out of your ass and paying attention to what
you want instead of what you think you should want.” He yawned behind his hand.
“I’m a bit tired, so I’ll say good night. Thank all the Lost Boys for such a
splendid show.”
Mr. Pennymaker turned, walked out through the stage door, and was
gone.
Peter’s mouth hung open. Hit
by a five-foot-one-inch truck.

 

The Pennymaker Tales Series

 

 

Sinders and Ash
(The Pennymaker Tales Series, #1)
by Tara Lain
Available for order at
Kindle | Audible | Nook | Kobo | iTunes | Dreamspinner Press

 

 

(The Pennymaker Tales Series, #2)
by Tara Lain
Available for purchase at

 

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Beauty, Inc.
(The Pennymaker Tales Series, #3) 

 Available for purchase at

 

 

Want to get these lovelies in paperback? 
Sinders and Ash and Beauty, Inc. (Pennymaker Tales)

Available for purchase at
Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About the Author

 

Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in LGBT erotic romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her first novel was published in January of 2011 and she’s now somewhere around book 32. Her best-selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Paranormal Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, Best Gay Characters, and Tara has been named Best Writer of the Year in the LRC Awards. In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm. She often does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft.  She lives with her soul-mate husband and her soul-mate dog near the sea in California where she sets a lot of her books.  Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says on her tombstone it will say “Yes”!

 

You can find Tara at Lain

 

Giveaway

 

Presented By

New Release, Facebook Party & Giveaway: The Watcher by Louise James!

Hi Everyone!
As the saying goes, sharing is caring, so I thought I’d share this debut release from Louise James!! Looks good, right?
Learn more about THE WATCHER below, read an excerpt and enter the giveaway!!
Would love to hear what you think of the excerpt and if you’ve read it, let us know!!

 

A classic struggle between good vs. evil! 

 

The Watcher
(The Ent Chronicles Series, Bk 1)
by Louise James
 
Blurb:
Long ago a powerful coalition of wizards and witches—The Seven—began a quest to recover hallowed grounds in the Earthling Realm. The day had arrived to claim Hailstone Hamlet! A Dark Wizard, Lord Haydron expects no one to survive the destruction, but he was wrong.
An apprentice Healer miraculously survives with no memory of what occurred but, why was she spared?
Unexpectedly, her locket opens as if by magik, and a cheery old woman speaking in a funny accent appears.
“Come for ye have I. Away from here ye must stay.
Troubles come with darkness of night; The Watcher protects and The Lantern lights.”
Ewallea assures her that she will remain by her side as they seek answers. Overwhelmed and injured, Amellea passes out only to wake in the arms of a handsome young man, riding upon the most beautiful creature she had ever seen. The Hunter believes she was spared for a purpose and their destinies are entwined. He pledges to help her locate friends and family.
The feisty beauty and her new companions find themselves on a journey of unexpected adventures to reach an enchanted forest, filled with mischievous fantastical creatures.

 

Available for purchase at

 

Join the Halloween Release Day Party!!
Click here to celebrate the release and have lots fun!

 

Excerpt

 

Chapter Two – Nymph Dreams
      Suddenly,
Amellea was all alone in a dream…or she was hallucinating again, she guessed.
No one was with her in the forest. The night was bright below a starlit sky.
The cool, crisp air was filled with a heady, hypnotic smell from flowers she
could not identify.
Startled, Amellea saw three
lights she thought must be fireflies zoom past her. The lights glowed and
circled around her until they appeared to be a single, large, glowing light. Were
those wings she saw? No, it can’t be.
She’d heard legends about fairies, but she had never seen one.
      “Legends, humph!” Then,
right out of thin air, materialized three beautiful creatures who were no doubt
Fairies, glowing as though a light followed them while casting glitter about
with each step they took. Amellea was face-to-face with real Fairies—three, to
be precise! “Amazing…”
      “Hootie-whooo,
look at you! Sisters, I think she is a beauty, even to rival our Ewa. Well, do
you have anything to say for yourself?” The surly Nymph pranced around Amellea,
inspecting her. Amellea just watched, completely dumbfounded, as the glowing
Fairy addressed her.
      “Lylahbelle,
honestly! Do not taunt the fair maiden. Can’t you see she has been hurt? She’s
had a terrible shock!” Annabelle, the dark-haired Nymph and clearly the oldest
of the three sisters, chided.
      “Merabelle
is not jealous. No, you would not even look at a Halfling sideways, even if he
is Chief Hunter and leader of the RealmWalkers.
Are you Annabelle? This one certainly does enjoy the
comforts of Maleek’s strong arms. He seems to enjoy looking at her, too. Her
hair is the color of sunset and soft as corn silk.”
Lylahbelle continued her
inspection of Amellea, touching her hair. “But…it is very tangled.”
Merabelle sensed explosive
energy radiating off Amellea. The two Nymphs looked at each other, and with a
nod, they grabbed Amellea’s arms, preventing her swing from contacting with
Lylahbelle’s face.
Amellea struggled and could
not free her arms from the delicate but very strong Nymphs. Electric sparks
snapped and crackled around them.
      “Why did
you try to hurt me…you, you, you dirty Earthling?” Lylahbelle thought.  You
will pay dearly for this indiscretion; if not today, very soon.
      “Uh-oh…we
are being summoned.” Annabelle and Merabelle released her arms and stepped
closer to Lylahbelle.
      “I don’t
think I like Fairies at all; you are rude!” Amellea stomped her foot. Annabelle
and Merabelle looked at each other, moving between the adversaries and stepping
closer to Lylahbelle.
      “Uh-oh,
this can’t be good!” Merabelle exclaimed, reaching for her sister. She could
see the volcanic tongue-lashing Lylah had planned to explode on Amellea.
      “We. Are.
Not. Peedie. Folk. Thank. You. Very. Much!” Lylahbelle screamed. “Nymphs are
who we are. I could sing you straight to your death! You silly Earthlings know
nothing of the power we wield.”
      Amellea
straightened her shoulders, rising to her full height, albeit shorter than the
Nymph. “No. I just decided. I don’t like ‘Nymphs,’ if they are as rude as you
are, Lylahbelle! Now you three get out of my ‘dream’ or ‘head’ before
I punch ‘you,’ Lylah, in the face.
You just go wherever you came from before I use some of this electricity
pouring out of my hands and zap you with it!”
Amellea wiggled her fingers,
reaching out toward the Nymph as sparks crackled from the tips. “I hope I have
this Magik gift when I am awake. It might come in handy.”
      “The
Earthlings do not know much about Magik folk. I am sure she meant no harm,
Lylah. Do not continue to provoke her now, because we have work to do. The
Watcher calls, sisters. We must not delay,” Annabelle spoke with authority and
smiled kindly at Amellea.
“We three will receive Ewa’s
ire when she finds out we visited the Earthling’s dreams. She warned us to be
on our best behavior, sisters.” Annabelle reached for her sisters’ hands,
moving a safe distance away from Amellea. The Nymphs rotated in a circle as the
clock hands moved once, then rotated in the opposite direction twice, repeating
the motion faster and faster. With each rotation, the three became smaller and
smaller until they were just tiny glowing dots. Fireflies, just like the first
time Amellea saw the Nymphs.
      “Quick! Hit
her with the dust so she will go back to sleep, thinking this was all a bad
dream. Don’t use too little dust or she will remember us when she wakes!”
cautioned Annabelle, but Lylahbelle smirked and shook her wings vigorously as
the three retreated to see the Watcher.
      “I know
just what to dust her with, sisters! I have the perfect remedy!”
Lylahbelle had no qualms
about using the strongest sleep remedy she knew to take care of Amellea. She
could be the next Sleeping Beauty. Her sisters could not blame her for taking
care of an Earthling slandering her race and attempting to harm her. No matter
if she deserved it. Ewallea would never know, unless her palsy-walsy sister,
Merabelle, spilled the beans.
“My goose is cooked.
Merabelle will spill. I better lay low for a while until this all blows over.”
Lylah had a plan.

<!–[if gte mso 9]>

Normal
0

false
false
false

EN-US
JA
X-NONE

 

 

About The Author
 I am a creative, loquacious Southern artist who has always liked to tell a good story. After I retired as a public and collegiate art educator, I needed to reinvent myself.  Thanks to the encouragement of professionals, friends and family, and God’s amazing grace, I have found a new passion—writing fantasy and paranormal stories.
I have always been a mental traveler, reading books and physically traveling across much of the USA and Canada. I have been actively writing for three years, publishing late in 2017. It is my hope that my novels reach across generations, entertaining multiple audiences. I want my readers to escape through fantasy to mentally travel to other worlds and to find a smile, friend or foe written between the pages of the stories I write. It is my sincere hope you enjoy reading as much as I enjoy writing! –lj
You can connect with Louise James at
Presented by

New Release! HIGH BALLS by Tara Lain and Enter to Win! #new #BallsstotheWall

Sometimes only the wrong guy can bring the 
right happy ever after.

Hi everyone — I’m so thrilled to be able to announce the release of High Balls. As you may know, this is the first entirely new book in the popular Balls to the Wall series since 2013. Volley Balls is mostly new, but this one is a brand new story and set of heroes. I had a blast revisiting my ballsy guys and weaving their lives into the love story of Theodore and Snake. I hope you love it — and be sure to enter to win! HUGS!

Blog Tour Stops

October 4, 2017
MainelyStories
books are love
Books,Dreams,Life

October 5, 2017
Making it Happen
Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews
Readaholics Anonymous

October 6, 2017
V’s Reads
Bookworm Brandee
My Fiction Nook

October 9, 2017
 Love Bytes
Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

October 10, 2017
The Reading Addict
Bayou Book Junkie

High Balls
(Balls To The Wall Series #6 )
by Tara Lain
 
Blurb:
Though only twenty-six, single father Theodore Walters lives with his head in the clouds and his feet firmly planted in reality. At the center of his life is Andy, his seven-year-old son, with whom he shares no DNA, though nobody—including his religious-fanatic in-laws—knows that, and Theodore will do anything to keep them from finding out. Theodore works hard to get his PhD and the tenure and salary that might follow to make a better life for Andy—but the head of his department thinks his dissertation on Jane Austen and romance novels is frivolous.
Theodore’s carefully planned life goes off the rails when he walks into a popular Laguna Beach bar and meets the bartender, “Snake” Erasmo, a pierced and tattooed biker who sends Theodore’s imagination—and libido—soaring. Snake has even more secrets than Theodore and couldn’t be a less “appropriate” match, but he might be the only guy with the skills to show Theodore that happily-ever-after is for real.

Available for purchase at

Kindle | Nook | Kobo | iTunes | Dreamspinner Press

Excerpts

 

A second later in his bedroom, as Theodore stood in his boxer briefs staring at his minimal wardrobe, Andy stuck his head in the door. “Hiya, Dad.”

“Hi.”

“Whatcha doing?”

“Trying to figure out what to wear.”

He wandered in and plopped on the unmade bed. “You got a date?”

“Uh, kind of. I mean, yes.”

“So what kind of guy is he?”

“What do you mean?” Was his son checking his date’s résumé?

“You know, is he, like, really conservative—I don’t mean, like, Republican, I mean, does he wear ties and stuff? Or is he, like, ace?”

“Ace?”

“Uh, like, rad, cool?”

“Definitely cool.”

“Okay.” He flipped on his stomach and pointed toward the closet. “Black jeans.”

Theodore pulled his one good pair from the hanger and slid them on.

“Excellent. Now white shirt.”

“Really? Isn’t that kind of conservative?”

“No, you gotta trust me.”

“Okay.” He shrugged on the shirt. “Do I tuck it in?”

“Of course. Black belt.”

He did as instructed. Had to admit those jeans did show off his ass and the shirt made him look more mature and a bit—well, cool.

“Okay, now take the vest you wear to work.”

“You mean, like, a suit vest?”

“Yeah.”

“Which one? I have two.”

“Let me look.” He hopped to a cross-legged position as Theodore held up his navy blue vest and his tan vest.

“That one.” He pointed toward the tan.

“You sure?” Andy nodded. Hell, humor the kid. I can take it off later. He slid on the vest and—son of a bitch if it didn’t look bitchin’. “Hey, good job, this looks—” He grinned. “—ace.”

“Told ya.”

Theodore sat on the edge of the bed next to his fashion consultant. “I won’t be real late, but go to bed on time for Jillian so you can get up and be smart tomorrow. How’s your homework?” Personally he thought they gave second graders too much, but he didn’t want to have Andy falling behind.

“I’ve got a lot done.”

“Ask Jillian to check it over when you’re finished, okay? If you need me, call me.”

“Sure. Have a good time with the ace.” He flashed his little teeth with the big gap in the middle.

“I will, derp.” He kissed Andy’s nose.

“Dad, nobody says that. Especially not grown-ups.”

“How could someone so hopelessly uncool have such an awesome son?”

“Good question.”

 

 

“Mr. Walters, please explain the methodology of your research.”

And so it began. The words flowed across his tongue—the thousands of questionnaires and over a hundred personal interviews showing the education, expertise, and experience of romance writers, their use and extension of techniques pioneered by Austen and other major literary figures. He discussed tropes and their application in so called “fine” literature as well as genre fiction. Quoting verbatim from scholars he’d interviewed, he showed how many academics dismissed romance fiction purely because of its association with female readers.

Dr. Willamette said, “How large is the romance market, Mr. Walters?” She actually seemed interested.

“It’s a moving target and difficult to pin down due to the vastness and fluidity of the ebook market, but well over a billion dollars, for sure. It’s the largest book market in the world by double over the next genre.”

“Oh my. Wouldn’t it be nice to bring those people more actively into the field of literature? More teachers and more students?” She smiled.

“My point exactly.”

Ashworth sputtered, “You want to bring these illiterate, uncultured old maids and housewives into the literary tent? You must be joking.”

Dr. Willamette’s face fell, and Theodore worked to ungrit his teeth.

Dr. T. tried to keep the tone upbeat, but every time Mr. Karl or Dr. Willamette asked a good question or seemed to show interest in his research, Ashworth would find a way to belittle their opinions. They practically shrank in their seats. The chances they’d stand up to the chairman? Zilch.

Theodore kept fighting, but he felt like a salmon on a dammed-up stream.

Dr. T. said, “Why did you undertake this research, Mr. Walters? What do you feel it contributes to the future of literature?”

Theodore gazed at the carpet for a minute. “When my wife was dying, I would read to her. Classics and current literary fiction felt so cold and helpless in the face of death. Only love prevailed. So I bought a romance novel, just for diversion. I was amazed at the true literary value the book possessed. I tried another and another. Yes, I found bad ones, but then that can be said of any type of literature. Gradually I came to realize that what I’d been taught about romance fiction was bull. Here were truly gifted writers, more of them than in any other type of fiction, toiling away with not only no recognition, but also actual denigration, and still producing exceptional work. I decided to find out why.”

He looked up at each member of the panel, even the sneering Ashworth. “I think if I can encourage or inspire even one of these excellent authors to persevere and have some of their work recognized, my research will have succeeded.”

Dr. T. said, “Thank you, Theodore. I wish to add that the dissertation reader agrees with Mr. Walters. She states that the paper has done more to legitimize one of the most popular forms of world fiction than anything she’s seen. She highly recommends the paper for publication.” He looked down the panel. “If there are no more questions, Mr. Walters can go and we can determine the time for our deliberation.”

Ashworth said, “I have one more. Walters, do you really expect us to take this dissertation seriously?”

Theodore stood. “Yes, sir, I do.” He looked down the table. “Thank you all for your consideration.” He turned and walked from the room with a straight spine.

 

 “Dad?”Snake whispered, “Showtime.” He stood.

Teddy looked up and rose.

Andy rubbed his eyes and his nose. “How come you guys are on the floor?”

Teddy smiled and picked up Andy. “I was just surprised and unhappy when Snake told me what your grandparents did.”

“Yeah.” He snuffled and snuggled into his dad’s shoulder.

Teddy sat on the couch and settled Andy on his lap. Snake started to sit in the chair across from them, but Andy looked up. “Snake? Will you sit by me?”

“Sure, buddy.” He glanced at Teddy, who looked up quickly and then away. Snake sat beside Teddy, who held Andy in his arms. Snake took Andy’s feet.

Teddy started to rock him. “So you know about babies coming from mommies, right?”

“Sure.”

“Moms might have different possible dads around before their baby is born, but after the baby is born, the mom might choose a dad.” He looked at Snake, pleading in his eyes.

Snake picked up the thread. “It could be that the dad the mom chooses isn’t the same dad that actually caused the baby in the first place. But that doesn’t matter.”

“Right.” Teddy kissed Andy’s hair. “You mom chose me, and we got married right away, and I was there the whole time you were in her tummy, and I saw you get born and loved you when you were barely an idea.”

Snake blinked hard. “That guy who came to talk to you might have caused the baby, but then he was gone, and he never married your mom or helped her or saw you born or raised you—or loved you. So guess who your dad is?”

Andy tightened his grip on Teddy. “Daddy is my dad.”

“Ding, ding, ding, ding. Give the prize to Andy Walters!”

Andy was quiet for a minute. “But that guy caused me?”

Teddy’s chest rose and fell. “He might have, sweetheart.”

Andy sat back and stared at Teddy with his brows scrunched over his nose. “You didn’t cause me ’cause you don’t like girls, right?”

Snake bit the inside of his cheek.

Teddy smiled. “Kind of. I actually loved your mom a lot. She was my best friend. And when she told me she was going to have a baby, I said maybe I could be the dad. She loved that idea, and we had such a good time raising you.”

“Wish I remembered her better.”

Snake had to look away or Andy might see the tears pushing out of his eyes.

“She loved you so much. Just like I do.” Teddy hugged him tight.

 

 

The Balls to the Wall Series


Volley Balls
Bk #1

Available to purchase at
Kindle | Nook | Kobo | iTunes | Dreamspinner Press

 


Fire Balls
Bk #2

Available to purchase at
Kindle | Nook | Kobo | iTunes | Dreamspinner Press

 


Beach Balls
Bk #3

Available to purchase at
Kindle | Nook | Kobo | iTunes | Dreamspinner Press

 


FAST Balls
Bk #5

Available to purchase at
Kindle | Nook | Kobo | iTunes | Dreamspinner Press

 

Prefer paperback?
The first and second book are now available in paperback! 

Amazon | B&N

 

About the Author

Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in LGBT erotic romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her first novel was published in January of 2011 and she’s now somewhere around book 32. Her best-selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Paranormal Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, Best Gay Characters, and Tara has been named Best Writer of the Year in the LRC Awards. In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm. She often does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft.  She lives with her soul-mate husband and her soul-mate dog near the sea in California where she sets a lot of her books.  Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says on her tombstone it will say “Yes”!

 You can find Tara at Lain

Giveaway

 

Presented By

 

Big Backlist Weekend with Monica Burns & Tara Lain – 2 Giveaways! #InnocentHeroes

Hi everyone!
Welcome to Big Backlist Weekend! This is a special event I post every month or so where I ask a wonderful author to come and join me in giving away a copy of an ebook from their backlist.

My guest today is Monica Burns! She writes beautiful historical romance …. Monica is giving away a copy of Pleasure Me which is a recent release. This book sounds so great, you guys. I’ve put it on my TBR.

I don’t write historical, but i do have some relatively naive heroes, so let me give away an e-copy of Sinders and Ash. This is the first book in my Pennymaker Tales and a modern retelling of Cinderella. 
Pleasure Me
by Monica Burns

Blurb:

A virgin alpha hero risks everything for the courtesan who steals his heart.

Youth and beauty are a courtesan’s greatest assets. At forty-one, Lady Ruth Attwood appears to have lost both, as her latest lover just abandoned her for a younger mistress. Struggling with the knowledge that she’s no longer considered desirable, she’s uncertain whether to be offended or flattered when a younger man makes her an unusual offer. In need of funds, she agrees. But then she does the unthinkable. She falls in love.

Despite his reputation as a man’s man, Baron Garrick Stratfield has never been with a woman. His physical impairment is such that he knows not even a whore will touch him, and he needs a mistress who’s willing to be kept without sharing his bed. But passion is just a delicious kiss away because his new mistress is wreaking havoc with his senses. Worse yet, someone is not only out to ruin his reputation, but frame him for murder.

Available for purchase at

Kindle | Nook | Kobo | iTunes 

Excerpt

“Are you sure friendship is the only reason you told me the truth? I’m a courtesan, Garrick. Although I do much more than fulfill a man’s sexual needs, my skills in the bedroom are considered excellent.”

“Instruction?” He choked out the word. Sweet Jesus, the woman was offering to tutor him in the art of lovemaking. How in the hell was he supposed to respond to that?

“If not that, then perhaps someone to confide in?” she said in soothing voice. “There must be a reason why you’ve never been with a woman. I am a good listener, when I wish to be.”

“That topic isn’t up for discussion,” he said through clenched teeth, not even smiling at her ironic comment about listening.

“As you wish.”

The heat of her brushed against him as she walked past to sit down at her dressing table. Stunned by her ready acquiescence, he stared at her as she calmly reached for a jar of cream and proceeded to apply the emollient to her hands. Awkward. It was a sensation he’d never liked, and he was feeling extremely awkward right now. He clasped his hands behind his back then drew in a deep breath in an attempt to calm himself.

“You’re going out this evening?” The question only reflected how ill at ease he was. She stopped rubbing her hands and met his gaze in the dressing table mirror.

“I was, but I’ve changed my mind,” she said quietly.

“I see.” A rush of pleasure surged through him. She hadn’t said so, but he was certain he was the reason she’d changed her plans.

“And you? Do you have plans?” In a casual gesture, she shrugged one shoulder out of her robe to rub cream on her skin. He inhaled a sharp breath as he saw the lush curve of her beautiful breast reflected in the mirror.

“No. . . I. . . I wasn’t sure . . .” He swallowed hard as she finished rubbing cream on her shoulder and pulled her robe back up. His breathing eased for a mere fraction of an instant before she repeated the exercise with her other shoulder. A knot developed in his throat, making him cough.

“Are you all right, Garrick?”

She turned quickly to face him, her robe discreetly closed. The concerned look on her face would have eased his discomfort it he hadn’t seen the flash of something far more dangerous in her eyes.

“I’m. . . fine.”

With a shake of his head, he cleared his throat again. She tilted her head in contemplation. In the quiet glow of the gaslight, the movement emphasized the sweet curve of her shoulder and throat. A sense of impending doom swept over him, but he ignored it, unable to take his eyes off of her.

“Do you trust me, Garrick?” The softly spoken question took him by surprise, and he frowned.

“I would not have confided in you otherwise.”

“There’s nothing shameful about your innocence. In fact, I find it quite. . . arousing.”

She turned to pull a long scarf from one of the dressing table’s drawers. When she stood up to face him again, the gentle determination reflected on her face made him tense. In the next instant, the air in his lungs was dragged out of him in one large whoosh as he watched her slowly untie her robe. Bloody hell, why wasn’t he racing toward the door?

“Desire is a pleasurable thing, Garrick.”

Her voice was hypnotic, and he couldn’t take his eyes off her as she trailed one hand across her throat and then downward. The languid movement parted her wrapper as she leisurely brushed her fingertips along the side of her breast. It was an erotic movement that sent heat blasting through him until his palms were damp.

“Let me show you what it’s like to feel that pleasure.” The thin robe hiding her from him slid to the floor with a whisper, and his mouth went dry at the sight. “Let me show you how wonderful it can be between us.”

Why was he still standing here? He should have been at the door by now. He tried to move but couldn’t. If he didn’t do something fast there was no hope for him. His feet remained rooted to the floor as he watched her undo her hair so it fell down over her shoulders. God, she was beautiful. Her eyes closed, the scarf she still held in her hand drifted across the tips of her breast in a way that seemed natural, yet he knew it was deliberate.

“Do you like looking at me, Garrick?” The throaty whisper scraped across his senses.

“Yes,” he rasped.

The scarf fluttered against her skin like a butterfly touching first one delicate curve and then another. Her hands cupped her breasts, and in a move that made it impossible for him to breathe, she circled her fingers around her rigid nipples. With great difficulty, he suppressed the raging need to stride forward and take her into his arms. Instead he forced himself to take a step back from her. It did little to assuage the hunger assaulting his rigid cock. Almost as if she could sense his need, her eyes flickered open, and she stretched out her hand to offer him the scarf.

“Tie me to the bed.” It was a soft command that made him stare at her in astonishment. A sensual, yet gentle, smile curved her mouth. “I want you to be in control of your pleasure.” 

 

About the Author

A bestselling author of spicy historical and paranormal romance, Monica Burns penned her first short romance story at the age of nine when she selected the pseudonym she uses today. Her historical book awards include the 2011 RT BookReviews Reviewers Choice Award and the 2012 Gayle Wilson Heart of Excellence Award for Pleasure Me. She is also the recipient of the prestigious paranormal romance award, the 2011 PRISM Best of the Best award for Assassin’s Heart. From the days when she hid her stories from her sisters to her first completed full-length manuscript, she always believed in her dream despite rejections and setbacks. A workaholic wife and mother, Monica believes it’s possible for the good guy to win if they work hard enough.

You can find Monica at
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest | Instagram | Youtube

Sinders and Ash
By Tara Lain

Blurb: 
Housekeeper Mark Sintorella (Sinders) works diligently at a resort hotel while designing clothes anonymously, hoping to get into fashion school. Then his carefully planned life is upended with the arrival of Ashford Armitage, son of the fifth richest man in America—and the most beautiful guy Mark has ever seen. Ash must find a wife or he’ll lose his grandfather’s inheritance, and he settles on Bitsy Fanderel. But secretly Ash is gay, and the guy who cleans the fireplaces sets his heart ablaze.

Further stirring the pot is the little elf of a man, Carstairs Pennymaker, who has Mark wearing his own designs and masquerading as a girl to impress the fashion investors in the hotel. When the clock strikes twelve, two beautiful princesses line up for the wedding—but one isn’t a woman. Will the slipper fit? Only Mr. Pennymaker knows for sure.

 

Available for purchase at

Kindle Nook | Kobo | iTunes | Audible

Excerpt

The soft knock reminded him of a cue in a bad play. He knew who it was and knew he shouldn’t answer. That insane little man gave him hope when he knew he had no hope. Only hard work. But dammit, he liked Mr. Pennymaker.
He huffed, dragged himself off the bed, cleared the couple of steps to the door, pulled it open, and headed right back to the bed and curled into a ball.
“Helloooo, my boy. How are you this lovely day?” The chirpy voice paused, and Mark peeked at him from his armadillo-like position. Mr. Pennymaker had his hands on his knees and was gazing at Mark. Yes, he was an elf. “Hmm. I gather we are not tip-top?”
Mark shook his head. “No, sir.”
“What seems to be the problem?”
“Don’t really want to talk about it.”
“Might as well. I want to listen.”
He had a point. Mark needed another angle of vision. “I did something very bad.”
The dark suit Pennymaker was wearing today would have been conservative but for the bright pink vest and the gardenia in his buttonhole. He sat on the rickety chair. “Would you like to tell me about it?”
Mark sat up. Would he? There was something about the man. Like he was on Mark’s side no matter what. Mark had never had that feeling… at least not since his mom died. It made no sense. Mr. Pennymaker was a stranger, but there it was. “Well, you see, Richard the Bastard tried to force himself on me, and I was so—”
“Hold on! What happened?”
“Oh, the bastard sous chef finally quit perving on me and decided to do the deed. He didn’t get to hurt me because Armitage—you know, the rich guy—came to my rescue. And now I know I’m going to get fired any minute, and I really need this job, and I don’t know what I’ll do if they give me a bad referral.”
“Now, now, even Herman Marcusi won’t fire a man for avoiding rape.”
“No, you don’t understand. Because I was really upset. See, I had this thing happen and I guess I went into flashbacks or something, but I was pretty messed up, and Armitage tried to help me and, shit, I kissed him.”
The man grinned. “Kissed him?”
“Yeah.” Mark returned to armadillohood.
Mr. Pennymaker’s voice dripped with amusement. “I’m sure you were grateful.”
Didn’t he get it? Mark sat up. “No! I kissed him kissed him, like, with tongue and, you know.”
The grin got bigger. “I’m sure you were very grateful.”
Mark sighed. “Maybe. But I imagine he’s reporting it to Marcusi right now and I’ll be out on my ass by tomorrow.”
“Maybe he enjoyed it.”

 

Hell, he hadn’t thought of that. The guy had seemed shocked, but he hadn’t worked very hard to get away. After all, Mark wasn’t exactly Mighty Joe Young. Still, the look on his face…. “I doubt it. Hell, you can’t do anything good with Sinders and Ash.”

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