Special Guest: Mary Calmes with A Day Makes!

Hi. This is Tara. Thank you for stopping by the blog. I’m on vacation right now — the first longer-than-a-weekend vacay I’ve taken in years that didn’t include writing workshops. While I’m gone, I invited a bunch of my friends — some of your fave authors — to stop by and share their news and new releases. I know you’ll love it. Enjoy. Talk soon. : )

Please welcome author Mary Calmes

 

 

A Day Makes
By Mary Calmes

Blurb: 
First from The Vault

Mob enforcer Ceaton Mercer has killed a lot of people in a lot of different ways—he stashed the last two bodies in a toolshed belonging to a sweetheart marine researcher in an idyllic island community—but he’s really not such a bad guy. Over time he’s found a home of sorts, and he even learns he’s found a place in the hearts of the people he works with… at least enough so that they won’t put a bullet in his head because he’s outlived his usefulness to the boss.

But he never thought he’d find one day could change his life, and he’s about to discover how wrong he is.

Because in a single day, he meets the man who looks to be the one, the love of his life. It’s an improbable idea—a man who deals in death finding love—but it’s like it’s meant to be. That single day gets weirder and troubles pile up, forcing Ceaton to take a hard look at his dreary life and accept that one day can change everything, especially himself. His future might be brighter than he expects—if he can stay alive long enough to find out.

 

Available for purchase at
Dreamspinner | Kindle | Amazon Paperback | Audible | Nook | B&N Paperback | Kobo | iBooks

Excerpt

 

Chapter Two

BEING MOB muscle was probably not a lot of people’s idea of being safe and sound, but for me, it was grounding. There’s comfort in knowing exactly what you’re supposed to be doing at any given moment. It’s what I loved about being in the Marines, the lack of questions. Being on Grigor’s payroll was similar. I knew what to do when I got up, where to go, who to check in with, and that I was to follow up with Grigor if I found any issues.

What started out as me standing in the background, listening, watching, changed over the past eighteen months to me leading. Grigor grew to trust me to get things done without him having to be there with me or me having to check in with him. I was not a guy who needed to be micromanaged, and he appreciated that. Since he traveled almost exclusively with Doran Loncar, who was in charge of his protection, that left me, Pravi, Marko, and Luka Novak to do the things Grigor preferred not to dirty his hands with.

For instance, Grigor didn’t want to talk to the drug pushers. He had no interest in meeting them, handing out the product, or making sure that what was sold and the money that came in balanced. Marko wasn’t terribly patient with that either. I’d been surprised that there was a Russian in Grigor’s inner circle, once I figured out that everyone else was Serbian, and it turned out that Marko was just as amazed by my inclusion.

“How did you start working for Grigor?” I asked Marko one day, drunk enough that I was brave and sober enough to process the answer.

“Grigor and my old boss, they wanted to do business, but there was no trust.”

“Sure.”

“So they switched us, me for him. I would protect Grigor; Grigor’s man Todor, he would protect Bohdan.”

“But?”

He leaned forward on the table, looking at me, and I realized he was sloshed too. “Todor, he was no good, and Bohdan died choking on own blood.”

“What’d you do?”

“I gut Todor and killed man who came after Grigor in the night.”

“Did whoever took over for Bohdan want you back?”

He lifted his brows to indicate the yes. “But already, my loyalty was for Grigor. If I went back—with new boss there, I start at bottom.”

“That sucks.”

“Da.”

I blinked. “How come ‘yes’ is the same in Serbian and Russian?”

He stared at me.

“That’s weird, right?”

He tipped his head back and forth like, maybe.

“We’re bonding, am I right?”

The look I got told me the jury was still out, but that was okay. We were the two odd ducks, the two everyone else gave the side-eye to when they first met us, which, of course, made us closer. He was the one I ended up taking with me whenever I went to talk to club owners, another thing Grigor didn’t like to do.

Collecting protection money on a large scale was something Grigor approved of. Nothing small, no mom-and-pop gas stations, no diners, no quaint little bed and breakfasts. Big dance clubs, lounges, restaurants, and anyone who owned a string of something like car dealerships, food trucks, check-cashing places were fair game. He liked funds rolling in, but again, going to those places, showing his face, was not his bag.

Not that I blamed him. As the head of the Serbian mob in Las Vegas, making deals with drug cartel kingpins was more glamorous than collecting money from pimps, running down leads from guys who stole guns or product from us, or killing people. With me in charge of those efforts, Grigor drew further and further away from anything remotely criminal. And while no one was stupid enough to think that Grigor Jankovic was completely on the up-and-up, he couldn’t be directly tied to anything particularly illegal… at least on paper. The dirt had to be excavated, and since no one could get a warrant to do any digging, he looked really good from the outside.

He made huge real estate deals to buy and sell hotels as well as investments in startups, casinos he had his fingers in, and the stock market. He built a wing in the local children’s hospital that he got to do the ribbon cutting for when it opened. He donated a shit-ton of money to the symphony and got his own private box, and he really enjoyed flipping mansions. Not big houses, but actual mansions that sold in the millions. When he took over a strip mall that turned into an urban renewal project, he couldn’t be seen in public with me and the others anymore. Only his lawyer, his accountant, and Doran were allowed in photographs with him. The rest of us were a little too shady.

When he was invited to a fundraiser for the mayor, I thought Marko was going to choke on his laughter.

“What?” Pravi asked.

“Is so—” Marko looked at me, gesturing with his fingers, searching for the word in English. “How do you say—against what is right?”

“Hypocritical?”

“Da.”

Pravi nodded. “He doesn’t do his own killing.”

“That’s what we’re for,” I told him.

On his way out the following night, before he left in the limousine in his Armani tuxedo with his socialite tobacco heiress girlfriend on his arm, he stopped and passed me a box. I got a pat on the cheek, and then he was gone.

Inside, there was a nickel-plated Armscor Rock Island Armory M1911A1 with pearl grips. It was gorgeous, and just like the one he carried. I was very touched.

“Is pussy gun,” Marko said at dinner later that night after we’d made our runs. Luka Novak, who had joined the crew right before me, still lived at home with his mother, and when we dropped him off—or tried to—she always made sure we had a little something to eat before we went home.

At the moment, she was bustling around the table, having made goulash that smelled like heaven, cheese rolls, and Salcici—sort of a puffed pastry filled with jam—for dessert.

“She’s cooking too much for us,” I told Luka, smiling up at Mrs. Novak as she stopped behind me, put her hands on my face, and then pressed a kiss to my cheek.

“What about my nice nephew, Ceaton. He asked after you last Friday after Mass.”

I whimpered and looked at Luka, who pretended to be very interested in his roll.

“Oh, Ma, the cheese in here is so good.”

She was delighted and flitted off to get him a couple more.

“You should have never told anyone you were gay,” Pravi stated. “It was a mistake. Now all the mothers who have a son who doesn’t want to get married to a woman have their sights set on you.”

“Was mistake,” Marko agreed.

“At least they’re trying to get me laid,” I chimed in. “That’s nice.”

“They’re trying to get you married,” Pravi said, enlightening me. “Which is not so nice.”

The issue was, besides the occasional blind date, I wasn’t seeing anyone at all. There wasn’t time. Much like the other guys, if I had an itch, if the lack of sex went so long that I thought I was going to die, then I’d find some guy willing and able to help me out. I got the occasional fuck, but what I did couldn’t actually be classified as one-night stands because they never took that long.

I’d hooked up with men in bathrooms, in the backseat of cars, in alleys, and very rarely, in their apartments. It made no sense to follow someone all the way home and be leaving fifteen, twenty minutes later. It could have lasted longer, but I just wanted to get off and go. Kissing was a lost art with me; I had no interest, it took so much time. Fucking was about fast and dirty and hot and done.

I tried to want more from people, but no one held my interest at all. I never stopped dead in my tracks, overwhelmed by another person’s beauty or allure. I noticed men, but no one made my whole body go still in anticipation of the next words out of their mouth. I’d never stood transfixed in another person’s glow.

Not that I didn’t want to find a man who made me look at him twice. I had dreams of finding the one, the guy who would care as much about my mind as he did about my body. I had the whole lazy Sunday morning fantasy going on, where making love and talking were spread out through the entire day.

But my reality was guys hanging upside down on meat hooks while Marko carved pieces out of them so their boss or their friends didn’t fuck with Grigor. We had to intimidate and enforce, collect and distribute; it was a full-time job that did not leave a lot of time for dating. What I realized, however, was that despite all that, I was still a romantic at heart. And while it was difficult, surrounded by death, by the solitary existence I led outside of work, I still took every corner wondering if this was the turn that would lead me to the one.

It wouldn’t be easy, with the company I kept.

“You should not be married,” Marko said, interrupting my thoughts. “To leave someone behind to bury you is not kind.”

I shot him what I hoped was a pained look.

He scowled quickly. “Is true.”

“Wouldn’t it be worth it to find love?”

“For who?” He arched an eyebrow at me.

“And is it fair to drag a nice person into this life of guns and death?” Pravi posed. “I say no.”

Both fair points.

Marko tipped his head at the new gun in my holster. “You should not carry that. People will try and take it from you for no good reason. A man who carries that kind of gun has small dick.”

I smiled at him. “Grigor carries the same gun, asshole.”

He shrugged and leaned sideways, lifting a gun from his ankle holster and passing it to me. It was a Sig Sauer P226. “Take this.”

“I don’t need a new gun, M,” I assured him. “I have the one I got originally, and now I have one that’s really fancy.”

“Is too fancy,” he declared, using my word, enunciating it and making it sound stupid. “And this one I give you, I have Osprey silencer that fits it. You need this.”

I glanced over at Pravi, whose mouth was hanging open, and then at Luka, whose eyes were huge and round. I understood why. Marko didn’t hand out firearms to just anyone.

Leaning sideways, I bumped against him and was surprised when he didn’t let me straighten up instantly, instead curling his hand around my cheek and pressing me to his shoulder for a second. I had no idea he was capable of any sort of warmth at all, so really, I was as shocked as the others.

I told Grigor when I saw him the next afternoon how much I loved the gun but that carrying it would bring attention, even under my coat, and that wasn’t a good idea. The idea was to be forgettable, not memorable in any way.

“So the gun is too pretty?”

“Yeah.”

He squinted at me. “It’s the same gun I carry.”

“You seldom carry a gun anymore.”

“True.”

“And when you are strapped, I’m thinking you carry this one to be memorable. Am I right?” I asked, hoping it would make sense to him. I didn’t want to hurt his feelings over the fact that I wasn’t going to use his gift, but Marko was right. It was too flashy for me.

His nod, along with the smirk, made me laugh.

“You are not as easy to forget as you think,” he assured me. “You’re a handsome man, Ceaton Mercer. All the women ask after you.”

I grunted.

“You’re lucky you’re gay, or I’d have to get rid of you.”

“Oh?”

“No man wants to be in competition with his own, and I have enough problems already with Pravi.”

He was right about that. Pravi gave new meaning to the words “smooth operator.” The charm that oozed off that man was lethal. A few times there had been a woman on Grigor’s arm who had watched Pravi with the eyes of a huntress. And even as I thought about the ridiculousness of the conversation, I saw how flat Grigor’s stare had become as he gazed off into the distance.

He didn’t like being second in any area of his life, and that included being the best-looking of us. I hadn’t really considered the idea that his ego would extend to something so small and petty.

“Yeah, but you like your women classy,” I commented, going with the pretext that we were just shooting the shit and that this wasn’t, possibly, a life-and-death discussion for Pravi. “And your boy likes them easy.”

It took a moment, but my words sank in, and he turned and grinned at me. “Yes, that’s true. Pravi has a definite type.”

I snorted out a laugh. “And it ain’t the same as yours. Can you imagine Brooke Collingsworth looking twice at Pravi?”

She was Grigor’s latest socialite, her father worth a cool billion.

“No,” he replied smugly, “she would not.”

I shrugged. “So who cares.”

He nodded and gestured for me to sit with him.

I was about to do as he asked when the door opened and Jaja came rushing into the living room and over to Grigor. She grabbed his hand and told him that something was wrong with Sonya.

Normally Sonya, Jaja’s youngest daughter, called Grigor every Sunday while he was hungover and watching soccer. They had been raised together, and he thought of her as more of a sister than a cousin. Because it was his veg day and the one day a week she didn’t have classes or have to work, always, without fail, they spoke at some time between one and four. Now he looked at the time and saw that it was only three, so he told her not to worry.

“No,” she insisted, her grip on his hand tightening. “A mother knows. I know.”

He stared at his aunt for a moment and then turned to me. “Go check on Sonya.”

“Going now,” I agreed, getting on my phone and calling Pravi. “I’ll call when we get there,” I said to Grigor before I walked out the door.

Luka, Marko, Pravi, and I were on a plane for Boston two hours later.

 

 

About The Author

Mary Calmes believes in romance, happily ever afters, and the faith it takes for her characters to get there. She bleeds coffee, thinks chocolate should be its own food group, and currently lives in Kentucky with a five-pound furry ninja that protects her from baby birds, spiders and the neighbor’s dogs.

 

You can find Mary at

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon 

 

Special Guest: KC Burn with Tea or Consequences!

Hi. This is Tara. Thank you for stopping by the blog. I’m on vacation right now — the first longer-than-a-weekend vacay I’ve taken in years that didn’t include writing workshops. While I’m gone, I invited a bunch of my friends — some of your fave authors — to stop by and share their news and new releases. I know you’ll love it. Enjoy. Talk soon. : )

Please welcome author KC Burn

 

 

Tea or Consequences 
By K.C. Burns

Blurb:
Riley Parker: temp, twink, geek… sleuth?

Maybe Riley isn’t living up to his full potential, but being a temp executive assistant suits him. He’s never bored at work, he’s got friends who let him geek out, and he’s got a carefully crafted twink exterior… which might be getting constrictive now that he’s on the other side of thirty. Life isn’t perfect, but it’s comfortable.

It all unravels when he takes a job working for a tea-obsessed cosmetics queen, the owner of Gautier Cosmetics. During the launch party for a new product, Riley finds his boss dead under suspicious circumstances, and the homicide detective is none other than Tadeo Martin, Riley’s high school obsession who never knew he was alive.

Tad drafts Riley to get the scoop on the inner workings of Gautier, and for Riley, it’s like a drug. His natural inquisitiveness is rewarded with more and more Tad. Unfortunately, his snooping puts him in the running for two other roles: suspect and victim. The killer doesn’t care which.

Available for purchase at

DreamspinnerKindle | Amazon Paperback |  Kobo | Nook | B&N Paperback |iBooks

Excerpt

 

Early Sunday morning Riley rolled out of bed, refreshed and mostly feeling good. He had vague memories of getting up late Saturday afternoon and spending several hours dozing in front of the television before returning to bed. The sleeping pill might have hit him harder than normal, but Riley suspected it was the stress of finding Gabrielle on top of the highly soporific effects of his sleeping pill that had kept him zonked for over twenty-four hours. Giving up a precious weekend day was well worth it, though, because it no longer felt like ants were running through his brain and over his skin.After plucking his phone off the dresser, he turned it on, pleasantly surprised by the lack of “WTF?” texts from his friends. Riley quickly shot off an email about bailing on gaming later that afternoon. For many things in his life, gaming was and had been a welcome distraction, but he’d never be able to concentrate.

Most importantly, he had no messages from his agency. Which meant that until further notice, he would be returning to Gautier Cosmetics. If nothing else, they might need some assistance redistributing Gabrielle’s files and fielding phone calls, keeping the lights on while the family mourned.

Thinking about redistributing files twigged a memory that had completely escaped him when faced with Tad while trying to recover from the shock of finding Gabrielle dead. Before he could enumerate all the reasons he shouldn’t or couldn’t talk to Tad, he retrieved the business card from the pants he’d stuffed into the laundry hamper—and dialed the number.

“Detective Tad Martin.” Tad’s words were alert and brusque, despite the delivery in a voice thick and rough like he’d just woken up.

A delicious shudder shook Riley as he imagined Tad naked in bed, hair mussed, a sheet barely covering sleek hips, and he manfully resisted the urge to palm his cock.

“Hi, it’s Riley Parker?” Riley grimaced. Between the breaking voice—again—and Riley saying his name as though he wasn’t sure who he was, Tad was probably silently laughing on the other end of the line. Embarrassment killed Riley’s burgeoning arousal. “Uh. From Friday. Gabrielle Gautier’s death? I’m sorry I woke you up.”

Tad cleared his throat. “Riley. Yes. It’s fine, you didn’t wake me up.”

Sure he didn’t. But there were more important things at stake.

“I remembered something else. Something unusual—or at least I think it was unusual—happened about a week before Gabrielle died.”

“Okay. Think you can meet me at the Golden Griddle on Carlton in an hour for breakfast?”

Stunned, Riley couldn’t reply. He’d remembered such a tiny tidbit of information, hardly worthy of an in-person meeting, and yet the temptation, however foolish, to see Tad again was irresistible. “Yes, I can do that.”

“See you in an hour.” Tad disconnected the call before Riley could second-guess himself. It wasn’t a date, but his fascination with Tad had already come roaring back when he’d thought he’d successfully buried it and salted the earth over those fruitless feelings.

 

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 connect with KC at
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter

Special Guest: Z.A. Maxfield With All Wheel Drive!

Hi. This is Tara. Thank you for stopping by the blog. I’m on vacation right now — the first longer-than-a-weekend vacay I’ve taken in years that didn’t include writing workshops. While I’m gone, I invited a bunch of my friends — some of your fave authors — to stop by and share their news and new releases. I know you’ll love it. Enjoy. Talk soon. : )

Please welcome author Z.A. Maxfield

 

All Wheel Drive
(Bluewater Bay #18)
By Z.A. Maxfield

Blurb:
Healey Holly is battered, depressed, and looking to go to ground in his childhood home. He wants to rent the garage apartment, but it’s Diego Luz’s place now, and the last thing Diego wants is to share it.

Diego is recovering too—from the accident that put him in a wheelchair and the death of his mother shortly after. The garage apartment is where he’s keeping his mother’s things, and as long as they’re up those stairs and he’s down on the ground, there’s no way he can deal with his loss. And that’s just how he likes it.

Healey believes in science. Diego believes in luck. It will take a blend of both, and some prayer thrown in besides, for these two to learn that it’s the journey and the destination that matter.

Available to purchase at

Kindle | Amazon Paperback | Nook | B&N Paperback |  Kobo | iBooks 

Excerpt

 

 

Chapter 1

Diego

The man at the door was a mess.

Diego’s first look through the peephole showed a sort of monster silhouette—a weirdly shaped humanoid dragging a wheeled duffel bag.

In the porch light’s acrid yellow glow, the very shape of him set off a boogeyman, stranger-danger skin-crawl. Ruthlessly, he suppressed any instinct for self-preservation and opened the door wide, but his visitor was just an ordinary man with a mass of healing facial wounds, one arm in a cast, and the haunted look of a recent combat veteran. Diego didn’t recognize him, but there was nothing to be scared of. Whatever had happened to him was potentially frightening, but he was only a guy.

“Can I help you?”

“I hope so. I called about the room over the garage?”

“And I told you when you called: I’m not renting it out. I need it for storage. How did you even know—”

“I’m still hoping you’ll change your mind. I grew up around here. I remember the family that used to live here, and I feel like—” The man stopped. Gathered himself. “I need a room for a little while, and if you’re only using it for storage . . .”

Sorrow limned what few features Diego could guess at behind the bandages, healing abrasions, and the shiny pink newness of burns. Dude had shaved his hair on the sides but the top was long, the result being a man-bun swirl of wavy brown hair that looked greasy. How was this guy even keeping himself clean? Despair, and something infinitely worse hung around him like a toxic cloud. Hopelessness.

Diego recognized the man’s helpless anxiety and anguish all too well.

“What’s your name?” he asked.

“John Smith.”

Irritated, Diego eyed him sourly. “I take it you ain’t filling out a rental application?”

“Sure. I’ll fill one out.” It was hard to watch a smile crack those dry, scabbed lips, but it was a nice smile. A friendly smile. Dude wasn’t using it very often, obviously. “I’m thinking of taking up fiction writing as a career anyway.”

“You make it so hard to say no.”

Diego started to close the door, but that soft cast shot out, and Diego didn’t have it in him right then to add injury to . . . injury.

“You want to try and convince me some more?” Diego asked sarcastically. “You want to add you’re also a known terrorist carrying small pox?”

“Two thousand cash a month. Six months tops. It’s a room with a toilet, a sink, and a shower, right?”

“How do you know that? How’d you even get my number?”

Dude’s eyes widened. Then narrowed. “Never mind how I know. My Uber driver left me, and I’ll have to walk all the way to the nearest motel. Where is that, anyway?”

“Three thousand,” Diego countered, “and you move whatever shit’s up there down to the garage.”

“Done.” The dude frowned. “Wait. What’s up there?”

Diego shrugged. “Stuff from my mother’s place, probably. I told the company that moved me to put whatever wasn’t marked for immediate use up there. And since I can’t exactly fly up there to take a look around”—he thumped the wheels of his chair—“I don’t give a shit. Haven’t missed a thing, so whatever’s up there can’t be too important. You move it, hand me thirty Benjamins, and we’re good.”

“Yeah?”

Was that relief on his face? Diego didn’t smile back. “Trial basis. For a month.”

“Fine.”

“Too much drinking, drugging, loud sex? Not fine. Loud parties? Not fine. No one better bother me, leave trash around, or even look at me askance. No redneck music. In fact, give me your number.” He took out his phone, opened the contacts, and let his new tenant type it in. “I control all of the music around here, or you can leave right now. I can’t walk up those stairs but I can light the place on fire from below and rebuild. If you piss me off, I’ll shoot you and tell the police you frightened my permanently-seated ass, and we’ll see who they blame.”

“Askance? Is that a thing now?”

Oh, there it was again. That elusive spark of humor. “It’s always been a thing.”

“I’ll be sure not to do it.”

“All right, then. I’ll get you a key.”

“No need.” Dude reached gingerly into the pocket of his leather jacket. He pulled out a fat wad of cash and a Costco card. “That lock’s always been a piece of shit.”

Diego took the cash, counted it out. “This is only two grand.”

“I’ll get you the rest tomorrow. I’m good for it.”

Diego nodded, wheeled backward, and gave the door a shove to shut it. It banged in the dude’s face, but that was partly the wind. Dude couldn’t blame him for the wind, could he?

So. Now he had a tenant for a bit.

He could have said no.

He could have said hell no.

As soon as the dude got a look at his room, he’d probably come back down. If he caused any trouble, Diego could give back the money and boot his ass. If John Smith gave him any attitude, Diego could call the cops. But that would be a lot of bother to go through, when spending the night in a dank-ass garage apartment with no bed, no food, and a single hanging overhead lightbulb was punishment enough.

A quick look at the time told Diego he’d better call it a night. While he went through the motions getting ready for bed, the part of his brain that remembered the haunted look in his new tenant’s eyes—the part of him that recognized and responded to and acknowledged the unfairness of things and the failure of good people to alleviate human suffering in the long run—listened with half an ear for the sound of boxes being shuffled around.

The man couldn’t move things in his condition. He’d have to ask for help, at which point Diego planned to drive him to the nearest bed-and-waffle-buffet motel. Such a thing would probably cost less than the three grand he’d promised Diego anyway, and sure as fuck nobody’d be feeding him here.

Diego definitely did not think about dust or spiders or other critters. He was not imagining a room he’d never even been in but could visualize from realtor’s photos—wood-paneled walls and vinyl flooring in sickly, faded shades of brown and orange and yellow. But he’d never wanted a tenant. He hadn’t sent anyone but the movers up there after he’d come to Bluewater Bay. Hadn’t cleaned the place. Hadn’t advertised it.

It was almost a public service letting the dude get his fill of it. Returning home after a traumatic event might seem like a good thing to a guy like that. There was a lot to be said for nostalgia. But an old childhood hangout wasn’t the place for someone so physically banged-up, and he’d soon realize it.

What he needed was his family. Friends. Tribe. What he was looking for was safety. Diego could tell him that safety was an illusion, but it looked like he’d already gotten the news.

Even as he grew sleepy, Diego kept an ear tuned for unusual noises.

John Smith’d be back if he couldn’t get the door open. He’d knock if sleeping on the floor beat to hell like that was as fucked up as it sounded.

Diego drifted off to sleep wishing he was the type of guy to treat a man’s pride like it wasn’t as important as his body.

 

About The Author

Z. A. Maxfield started writing in 2007 on a dare from her children and never looked back. Pathologically disorganized, and perennially optimistic, she writes as much as she can, reads as much as she dares, and enjoys her time with family and friends. Three things reverberate throughout all her stories: Unconditional love, redemption, and the belief that miracles happen when we least expect them.

If anyone asks her how a wife and mother of four can find time for a writing career, she’ll answer, “It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you give up housework.”

 

Readers can visit ZAM at her
Website |  Facebook | Twitter | InstagramGoodreads | Amazon

Cover Reveal! The Pack or the Panther by Tara Lain

Hi everyone — My apologies if you’ve been trying to get to this Page on my site. We had a Server meltdown! So finally, here is the — Ready! Set! Go! — Cover Reveal for my upcoming release, The Pack or the Panther. I’d love it if you would indicate you are planning to read it on Goodreads! And you can even pre-order the book from Dreamspinner Press! See below. Feel free to share!  LOL

 

The Pack or the Panther
(Tales of the Harker Pack Series)
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.

 

Release Date: 
January 8, 2013
Available for pre-order now at
EXCERPT

Cole took hold of a
branch a few feet from Paris. “Do you think the alliance will stand?” He
shrugged. “Hard to say. I know everyone hopes so, so I hope so too.” Cole
pulled his eyebrows together. “But you don’t really care.”
 
Paris looked up
sharply. “Yes, I care. I care about my parents. They’ve been good to me and I
owe them a lot. I’m a freak by wolf standards, and my father has never abjured
me. I honestly believe he kept me separate for my well-being more than his own.
He acknowledges me as his son even though I remind him of his greatest sorrow.”
 
“Your panther mother.”
He nodded. “And Trixie isn’t a brave female. My existence is difficult for her,
but she’s been nothing but good to me. She had to stand against the combined
disapproval of a lot of other females for me. They didn’t know what I was, but
they knew I was Merced’s first wife’s son. They weren’t kind. She was. I value
her and want the best.”
 
 Cole nodded. If there was one thing he understood,
it was loyalty.
 
“And then there’s you.”
 
Cole glanced up. Look
at that mischievous face. He’d switched from deeply serious to court jester in
one second flat. “What about me?” He grinned.
 
The cat danced around
his tree, unfastening buttons on his shirt with intricate skill. “You want the
alliance and I want you. Isn’t that an Aristotelian principle? If A equals B
and B equals C, then Paris wants Cole to have his alliance so Paris can have
Cole’s big yummy cock in his ass. An ass, I might add, that’s been throbbing
like a voodoo drum since I first looked in your silver eyes, wolfman.” He
whipped off the shirt, leaving his upper body bare.
 
Wow. Even knowing what
was coming, that sight was hard to believe. The cat’s skin glowed in the
moonlight like so much alabaster formed into a work of art. If you liked bulky,
you wouldn’t like Paris. But if the look of a black leopard stealing along a
branch stilled your heart, this sight would do it for you down to the ground.
Not really slim. More like lean, with muscles just where they should be, but as
if they were made of silk rather than stone. Fluid.
 
Paris reached and
grabbed a branch, then pulled himself up one-armed until he leaned over the
wood on his belly. Flip. He circled and came up to sitting, his upper body
glowing and long legs dangling. He spread his arms out for a second as if
balancing on a tightrope. Then he reached in and started to unfasten his belt.
Slowly, he slipped it from his trousers, then swung it over his head until it
caught on an upper branch.
 
 He pulled himself to standing and used one
hand to slowly lower his fly. White showed in the gap. Oh my. Not white
underwear.  White skin. Cole shuddered.
He wasn’t used to this kind of sexy. Hell, who was? This cat was one of a kind. 

 

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 23. Her best­selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary 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 soul­mate husband and her soul­mate dog in Laguna Beach, California, a pretty seaside town 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
               

 

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TaraLain_FastBalls_453Hi — Just a reminder that the Year End Splash Party is going on at The Romance Reviews! Click HERE to see the Page! Today, Tuesday the 5th, F.A.S.T. Balls is one of the Featured Books, and if you visit this site, you get extra points. There are so many great prizes to win including a $100 GC and tons of books. Try out all the games and have fun! The contests go on all month. : )

Just for fun, here’s a hot nibble from the recent bestseller, F.A.S.T. Balls, in case you have been hiding out for the last three months!  LOL The excerpt is rated R.

Excerpt R: F.A.S.T. Balls by Tara Lain; The Gay Fireman and the Homophobe

Available at AMAZON  ARe

Firefighter and surfing champion, Jerry Wallender, looks like a hero to the world, but he can’t see it. He keeps falling for these intellectual guys who end up making him feel dumb and unneeded.  On top of that, Mick Cassidy, super-gorgeous firefighter and total homophobe, makes Jerry’s life miserable with his slurs. Then one day Mick’s nice to Jerry and, at the Firefighter’s Ball, Jerry offers a helping hand and ends up with a hand-job. What the hell is going on?

Mick Cassidy is great with fighting fires and solving math problems but rotten with people. Raised by a gay-hating preacher, Mick’s carefully constructed world of gay bashing starts to crumble when he meets Jerry, the nicest, kindest man he’s ever known.  Mick’s never wanted a woman and can’t stop thinking about sex with Jerry. In fact, he can’t stop doing it. Does that make him gay? And if he’s gay, what happens to his whole life? A hook-up between sweet Jerry and mean Mick might be total disaster — or the smartest idea Jerry ever had.

Jerry patted the sand next to him. “So sit.”

Mick smiled like Jerry had just given him a candy bar. “Thanks.” He turned and leaned against the rock with his long, muscular legs stretched in front of him. “This is nice.”

Jerry glanced at Mick’s pale skin. “Don’t guess you spend too much time at the beach.”

“No. I always forget it’s here.”

Jerry laughed. “What do you do for fun?”

Silence.

He looked over at Mick’s very pink ear.

“Uh, I used to go out to Norco on my days off.”

“To your community?” That was the word he’d used.

“Yeah.”

He picked up some tiny shells from the sand. “Why didn’t you go today? Because of Jezebel?”

“No, I haven’t been going so much lately. They kind of give me the creeps.”

Jerry laughed. “I know how that can be.”

“Where are your folks?”

“Back east.”

Mick grinned. “I never would think of anything eastern about you.”

“I know. Weird, huh?” He tossed the shells. “My folks are bankers.” He laughed. “Maybe as creepy as your preacher father.”

“So how did you get here?”

Man, he didn’t talk about this much. “I didn’t do good in school. I’ve got this reading problem and nobody caught it until I was way far behind because I was good at memorizing stuff when I heard it. My folks were kind of embarrassed by me. A jock who wasn’t real bright. Somebody told me I should be an actor, so I borrowed some money and flew to California. It took me about a week to figure out I wasn’t ever going to be an actor, but it took one minute to know this is where I belong, man. I’ve been here ever since.”

“How old were you when you came?”

“Seventeen.”

“Wow, they let you come that young.”

“Yeah. I didn’t exactly ask. But they were just as glad to be rid of me. I paid back the money in a few months.”

“You mean you didn’t learn to surf until you were seventeen?”

“Yeah, natural athlete they call it. And I didn’t take up firefighting until I was twenty-six. I’m a late bloomer.” He laughed and sighed at the same time.

“But you aren’t dumb.”

That was sweet. “Thanks.”

“No seriously, I’m really smart and I think you’re smarter than me.”

What? “Uh, thanks, Mick.”

He wouldn’t give up. “I’m a genius, they say, but I’m really bad with people. I can’t make friends or anything.” He hunched those big shoulders and stared at the sand. “You’re like a genius with people. Nice and kind and funny.”

She-it. “Kind of you to say so. So you’re a genius?”

“At math. Stuff like that. Nothing that matters.”

Holy crap, why did he keep coming up against these smart people. “Why’d you become a firefighter?”

“It made sense to me. Save people’s lives and their property.”

Jerry nodded. “Me too.”

Quiet. Seagulls. Waves. Ignore the double jerk-off elephant at the beach. Why was Mick here?

“Jerry?”

“Yeah?”

“What we did last night.”

“Yeah.”

“I keep thinking about it.”

“I told you not to worry too much. You got turned on by Jezebel and needed some relief. I was there.” He closed his eyes.

“Not by Jezebel. By you.” His eyes opened

Jerry looked at Mick’s profile. “What do you mean?”

“I was watching you and the other guy dance.”

Ooookay. “I see.” So maybe Mick wasn’t so straight.

“I was thinking how your cocks must be rubbing together. I thought it would feel good.”

Jerry swallowed. “Now you know.”

More staring at the sand. “Yes. It felt great.”

Jerry held his breath.

“Now I’m wondering what it feels like to have a thing, you know, a cock, in your ass.”

He let the breath out slowly. Should he laugh or cry? “Well, the first time it’s really hard to do. You kind of need to stretch the hole so it doesn’t hurt.”

Mick didn’t look up but his ears glowed like a sunset. “That makes sense.”

Waves. Seagulls.

Mick stared at more sand. “Would you like to try it with me sometime?”

***************

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