Jul 24

Release Blitz: Stormy Nights by Jules Jones, Storm Duffy (Excerpt & Giveaway)

Title:  Stormy Nights

Author: Jules Jones, Storm Duffy

Publisher:  NineStar Press

Release Date: 7/24/17

Heat Level: 5 – Erotica

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 45000

Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, contemporary, paranormal, fantasy, mermen, fae, D/s, leather underwear fetish, older men, public sex, cottaging, menage

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Sex and love, lies and truth, shades in between. Happy endings and might-have-beens. Nine tales of these things between men.


Gone Fishing

Mike’s doctor prescribed a few weeks on a lonely beach as a rest cure for a weary mind. But even if the beach is empty, the sea holds more than fish.


Just how far will a man go to understand his partner’s desires? Will he bare all – including all of his skin to the razor blade?

One Size Fits All

Hugh’s everything that Gavin could ask for in a lover. Everything, apart from his taste in underwear. It’s boring. So Gavin decides to rummage through Hugh’s underwear drawer—and what he finds is so interesting that he tries it out for size.

The Fraudster

A forensic accountant’s job offer to a computer fraudster fresh from prison is a second chance for both.

A Sparrow Flies Through

High tech cottaging provides a few moments of light and warmth on a dark cold night.

If I Offered Thee a Bargain

Just one night of your life in exchange for seven years of love. Would you pay the price?
Jack never dreamed that a reluctant trip back to his home town would thrust him into the world of the sidhe. He finds that the legends are true, but the sidhe have changed.

Any Port in a Storm

A spilt coffee at the tram station on a snowy night leads to a table set for three.

Car Wash

Colin had always loved washing the neighbour’s car for pocket money. Rod’s classic car collection was a boy’s dream. And so is Rod, now Colin’s home from university and not a boy any more. Colin’s had a little fantasy about Rod’s vintage Jaguar and her gleaming curves for a while now…


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Meet the Author

Storm Duffy has a number of erotica shorts published under that and other names in a variety of venues, including “The Mammoth Book of Quick and Dirty Erotica”. As Jules Jones, she has written several erotic romance novellas and novels, including the first M/M romance published by Loose Id.

Amongst the 2500 or so books on shelves in her house, there is room for rather a lot of cross-stitch thread and entirely too many balls of wool. There are also more bits of computer kit than is quite reasonable for someone who doesn’t do that for a living. The two microscopes, on the other hand, are entirely in keeping with a career in science.

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Jul 24

Book Blitz: Horatio Slice: Guitar Slayer of the Universe by Oleander Plume

Title:  Horatio Slice: Guitar Slayer of the Universe

Author: Oleander Plume

Publisher: Go Deeper Press

Release Date: 7/24/2017

Heat Level: 5 – Erotica

Pairing: Male/Male, Male/Male Menage

Length: 400

Genre: Erotica, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Humor

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Horatio Slice is NOT dead.

Gunner Wilkes knows a secret. Heartthrob rock star Horatio Slice is not dead. Sure, Gunner may turn heads with his big brain, good looks, and gym-built body, but his mind is on one thing only: returning his all-time favorite rocker and secret fanboy crush to Earth.

Yes, there are VAMPIRE PIRATES

Fame and stardom were starting to wear thin for Horatio Slice, but when he was sucked through a magical portal while on stage at Madison Square Garden into a jail cell in a strange dimension called Merona, his confusion quickly cleared upon meeting his sexy, dark-haired cellmate, a vampire pirate named Snake Vinter, who filled Horatio in about life in the universe, jumping from dimension to dimension, and craftily avoiding the wrath of gnarly-mask-wearing leather queen King Meridian—a guy nobody wants to cross.

The metal ship is named Frances.

And on Snake’s metal ship live eight identical blond Humerians, who proudly display their cocks and assholes in carefully crafted trousers, as well as a wild assortment of untamable, cock-hungry travelers and stowaways. But someone has hacked into Frances’ mainframe, demanding that Snake and crew deliver Horatio Slice to King Meridian, or feel his wrath.

All the zany magical comedy of Mel Brooks, an adventure not dissimilar to Indiana Jones meets Barbarella, and men, men, horny men, of all shapes and sizes, Horatio Slice, Guitar Slayer of the Universe is wild, fun, pornographic fiction for anyone who loves the masculine, the feminine, and all identities in between. Even more so, it’s for cravers—for aficionados—of big, hard, pounding cock, and anyone who can handle laughs that won’t stop coming.


Gunner raced to the machine and squatted in front of the laptop, hands trembling as he typed in an
eight-digit password. A red box popped up this time with the words, Open the portal? Y or N. In four
more minutes, he would tap the Y key again and hope to hell his invention worked. He willed the clock to
move faster while his fingers twitched in eagerness.

At 10:24, Gunner pressed Y, and the room exploded with light and sound.

“Holy fucking shit!”

He dove behind the ramshackle fortress head first, as if sliding into home base, wincing when his
elbow scraped the rug. He scrambled to his knees and poked his head over the top of the couch, barely
comprehending the chaos taking place around him. First, the air sizzled and turned blue. Loud vibrations
caused every object in the room to quake. The clamor grew louder and louder until it evolved into a
thunderous crack that reverberated through his spinal column. Gunner bit down on a knuckle to stifle his
screams of terror when a shimmering circle of light appeared in the ceiling. Right before his eyes, a figure
emerged from the portal. Two bare feet, followed by two bare legs, a pair of balls, and a cock—a gigantic,
hard cock.

“It’s actually working,” Gunner mumbled around the knuckle still wedged between his teeth, “but
where the hell are his clothes?”

Choosing to stay behind the bunker, Gunner rose higher on his knees to get a better view as the rest of
Horatio Slice appeared—intact and alive. Once the top of his head cleared the portal, the circle winked
out, leaving a ring of what appeared to be soot behind.

“Ow!” Horatio said as he hit the mattress. He sat up and rubbed his neck. “That hurt like a

And just like that, Horatio Slice was back—stark naked and kind of pissed off.

Gunner almost lost control of his bladder as he watched the hunk rise to full height. The man was a
glorious six-and-a-half-feet of chiseled muscle and masculine bravado. A seductive snake tattoo wound
over one calf, while another circled his right bicep. Horatio brushed his long, brunette hair out of his eyes
and looked around. “Where the hell am I?” he asked.

“Earth,” Gunner said. “New York State, to be exact.” He couldn’t take his eyes off Horatio’s cock. The rumors were true. Horatio Slice sported a behemoth between his legs, a fully erect behemoth dripping
copious amounts of pre-come. Gunner wondered what Horatio was up to before he fell through the portal.

“No shit? I’m back home,” Horatio said. “Sweet!”

“You’re welcome.”

“Who said that?” Horatio turned toward Gunner.

“Me. I’m a big fan. Really big. I can’t believe you’re here.” Gunner took a breath. “I can’t believe
you’re alive.”

“Of course, I’m alive.” Horatio stepped over a bundle of wires, crossing the six feet that separated
him from Gunner in two, long strides. Smiling, he leaned over the bunker and peered down at Gunner,
who shrunk back in shock. Was the guy checking him out? “Hello, hottie,” Horatio said, his smile
deepening into more of a leer.

While he’d imagined his idol’s homecoming many times, none of those fantasies included Horatio
being naked or staring at him with a throbbing erection and a predatory glint in his eyes. He practically
melted under Horatio’s piercing blue gaze. “Um, hi,” Gunner said as he crawled out on his hands and
knees from behind the sofa. “You made one hell of an entrance.”

“The impact almost shattered my spine,” Horatio said, “but I think I’m okay.”

Gunner took the hand Horatio offered and let the man hoist him to his feet. Instead of flip-floppy,
Horatio’s touch turned Gunner’s stomach into an over-inflated basketball that thumped against his ribs.
The ball bounced faster when he noticed Horatio eyeballing his crotch. Still holding Gunner’s hand,
Horatio pulled him closer and stared into his eyes. “You don’t work for Meridian, do you?”


Go Deeper Press | Kindle | Amazon Print | B&N | Kobo | Inktera


Meet the Author

Oleander Plume lives in Chicago, Illinois, with her husband, two daughters and a pair of obnoxious cats. While she writes in many genres, her favorite is m/m. Or m/m/m. Or m/m/m/m, or … who’s counting, anyway?

Horatio Slice: Guitar Slayer of the Universe (published by Go Deeper Press) is Oleander’s first, full-length novel, but her short stories have appeared in anthologies by Violet Blue, Rachel Kramer Bussel, Shane Allison, Alison Tyler, Neil Plakcy, and F. Leonora Solomon.

Oleander also edited a self-published erotic anthology, titled Chemical [se]X, featuring stories centered around the theme of aphrodisiac chocolates.

For more information, please visit her at poisonpendirtymind.com.


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Jul 23

Blog Tour: Queen Called Bitch: Tales of a Teenage Bitter Ass Homosexual by Waldell Goode (Excerpt & Giveaway)

Title:  Queen Called Bitch: Tales of a Teenage Bitter Ass Homosexual

Author: Waldell Goode

Publisher:  NineStar Press

Release Date: 7/24/17

Heat Level: 1 – No Sex

Pairing: No Romance

Length: 69300

Genre: Memoir, Memoir, Lit, gay, coming of age, African-American, family drama, high school, college, humorous

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A loud-mouth, black, gay teenager struggles to find himself in rural America. After having realized his inability to attend his top-choice school, Waldell Goode embarks on a journey to reevaluate why the grand departure appealed to him in the first place. He learns that as much as he can control his nonexistent love life, there are other factors that aren’t as easily mutable. He comes to terms with his peculiar relationship with his mother, the inevitable heartbreak in store for him no matter how hard he’s tried avoiding it, and the voice of God, in all her beguiling glory.


Queen Called Bitch
Waldell Abraham Goode © 2017
All Rights Reserved

ONE: Ryan Murphy’s a Fucking Liar

I officially begin with this because it is one of the more poignant issues I’ve been dealing with. It’s not that I have anything against Glee. I applaud the nature and success of the series, but I dislike how certain plot points, characters, storylines, and adolescent relationships deviate from realities concurrent with that of the authentic experience of my life. Glee is an excellent series, bringing awareness all across America of certain groups that have been neglected or outcast in a universal school setting. There isn’t any show that has mastered such a feat at the level Glee has, which is why the series remains a phenomenon, reaching and inspiring children all over the world to be themselves and embrace each other’s differences. Unless they’re Asian, in which case they’re promptly reminded to remain silent and take their proper places in the background where they belong; it’s amazing they’re allowed to consider themselves series regulars and not simply extras. I hate what they did with the token Asian character, Tina. They tried making her a more prominent character later in the series, failing miserably.

Reflecting on Glee, I would say their portrayal of high school is fairly accurate minus the students who appear to be better suited for an AARP commercial. I would even say my high school career was somewhat similar to Kurt’s, the token gay character. I was unsure of myself freshman year. I spent my time mostly in solitude, trying to avoid much of the ridicule I received in my eighth grade year. I was involved with the drama team where I met fellow weirdos like myself, I was hiding the fact that I’m gay, and I unwittingly thought no one knew it—despite how blatantly obvious it was, and everyone else must have been previously enlightened.

Sophomore year was even better. People began to know me and who I was, that I wasn’t a predator and spiritually intertwined with Satan. I came out as completely gay that year. Even I wasn’t buying the bisexual nonsense I fed myself and others in years past. I began to dress as I so desired and fully embraced the inner, gayer me. Being involved with the local university’s theater department, I had become acquainted with more degenerates who celebrated abnormality.

Junior year was when I finally came into my own. I led the drama department to a couple of victories as I was cast in the main role, and attended the Governor’s School of Southside Virginia Community College. I enjoyed myself the most that year, even though Governor’s School was stressful as hell and I failed chemistry. Senior year, the focus was on finding money to attend a university or college, and that didn’t happen so I suppose one could consider that a failure, but I considered it an opportunity to fuck around for another semester.

My high school career, one could say, was excellent and probably everything it was supposed to be. A necessary step in my life, but I can’t seem to shake the part about loneliness. For my senior trip at Governor’s School, we went on a boat ride for an hour and a half. In a tiny vessel meant for maybe eight to seat comfortably were crammed fifteen people shoulder to shoulder, stuffing packed lunches into their mouths as the tour guide blabbed on and on about the three foot deep lake that takes twenty minutes to travel from shore to shore. Rounding the trip for the fourth or fifth time, my English teacher, sitting beside me, established conversation as a means to keep me either from sleeping, or hauling my ass overboard. Our discussion grew from her love of animals to my high school experience, to her decades—long marriage with her husband of infinite years, and on to the scandal of her marrying her old high school principal. She asked me the one question everyone in my high school career managed to avoid, ignore, or already know the answer to. It was remarkable. Before that moment, I had never considered it. I wanted to contemplate the depth of my relations, possibly due to a lack of allowing myself to ponder the grim truth of deeply rooted negative dispositions I choose to utilize as defense mechanisms.

She looked me in the eye and leaned in close. “Waldell, are you lonely?” She spoke as if she was asking about the weather.

Although we were gently gliding atop a lake and I had consumed two bottles of water with my complimentary lunch, my mouth ran completely dry.

I took a second, regained the wind that had instantaneously been trounced out of my chest, and replied with a smooth and concrete, “No. I have amazing friends.”

Somehow she knew. I could see it in her eyes. That wasn’t what she was asking. She would clarify, and there would be no way I could playfully avoid its severity or laugh it off as I had become accustomed to doing.

She looked at me with deeper expression now, and asked, “No, but Waldell, are you really lonely?”

I began to look away and pretend to notice an area of the lake I previously hadn’t seen; we circled back for the thousandth time and nothing could’ve been missed. I couldn’t avoid it. I couldn’t make it funny, laugh it off, reference my mother or her alcoholism. I could only be honest with my professor, and in doing so, stop lying to myself. This is the one instance I can recall when lighthearted commentary failed to enter my mind when I needed some sort of comical relief… or relief in general. I looked her in the eye again, and with all the gusto I could find out there on the lake with sixty other people strolling along the pier, going about their day, eating their triangularly shaped cold cuts, I told myself the truth for the first time in four years with a single word.


And here lies my problem with Glee. Kurt is an amazing character. He’s beautiful, funny, witty, he has flaws, and the greatest attribute a creator may accomplish with any character is the fact he’s human. I appreciated that representation of a homosexual teen in mainstream media. Before him, there weren’t many who closely resembled me. Friends and family who were familiar with the show deemed me “black Kurt,” or “Blurt.” I admired him, the character, his weakness and ultimate triumph over an oppressive society. As Oprah taught the world, one of the singular greatest gifts a person in the media can give is lending voice to the voiceless. That was Kurt Hummel, analogous with millions of gay teens all throughout the world, struggling to find themselves against social pressure and bullying. Kurt, portrayed by Golden Globe Award winner Chris Colfer, was a hero in a generation needing one.

I relate to this character. I understand this character; he lives in a small town, I live in small town. He knew he was gay from a very young age, and I remember when I was five and my father told my sisters they were turning me into a faggot. Kurt might as well have been real as far as character development goes. Many people felt or feel as if they know him. My biggest hindrance isn’t Kurt. It’s Kurt and Blaine, the boyfriend he found by transferring to a private magical school for gays only. Where was my Prince Charming, willing to stop the world and sing me thirty-two bars of a romantic cliché written nearly one hundred years ago, warning me of the freezing air outside as a means to keep me inside and eventually sleep with me? Where was my holiday crush, dying to sing a song with me made famous by a legendary songbird and famed homosexual porn star husband? Google Jack Wrangler, your life will be better because of it. I’m happy for the characters. I’m glad that it was as simple as taking a trip to Gay Land, picking out the sweetest model, and driving him back home to live out your days in happy gay bliss while each of you takes turns being more perfect. Kurt and Blaine are so wonderful, they even have sex in a special teenage special gay way, fully clothed, when Kurt loses his virginity.

Truth is, there was no guy willing to sing me anything. There isn’t a school of gays you can attend while testing the waters, trying to sniff out the next Neil Patrick Harris. Chances are if you’re a gay male and you’re from a small town, you won’t get many Prince Charmings knocking down your door, willing to make you feel special. Hell, chances are if you’re a gay kid attending high school in a small town, you’re probably the only gay in the vicinity—the only openly gay one, of course. Where was my romance? The best I’ve gotten was a thirty-eight-year-old on Grindr lusting after a minor’s dirty pictures he never received. I didn’t go to the prom with my boyfriend, I was never sung to or caressed in that way, I don’t know what “I love you” means beyond friendship, my first and last kiss occurred in tenth grade and the next day the boy denied it ever happened. The only time I’ve ever been called attractive was by a straight bi-curious friend who considered me his “experiment” that led absolutely nowhere, and the only date I’ve ever been on was a non-date with a gay guy who just wasn’t interested in me that way. Glee is astonishing, but honestly sometimes even after you’ve had the proper revelations and accepted yourself and others around you, life still hurts.

It’s not Glee’s fault that I don’t have anyone. I take sole responsibility. But I blame them for hope. I, along with the rest of America, cheered for Kurt and Blaine’s first kiss. However, their kiss didn’t make me any less alone. It’s me who still cries in the middle of the night for reasons I “thought” I didn’t know, but in actuality was avoiding. It’s me who lives with the moment my teacher decided to get personal and made me truthful. It’s me who has no one and continually decides to largely suffer in silence. How do you tell a friend, “Hey, I need you” without sounding weak? How do you admit it to yourself without remembering how painful it is? And how do you still believe in love when it has never happened to you?

I falsely call Ryan Murphy a liar, because it has never happened to me. He’s deceitful because he made me forget that characters, while closely resembling real people, are fiction and their stories can have endings that include tremendous declarations of love and overwhelming displays of affection because they’re written in. As a real gay teenager living in a real small town, I have been living the truth of what Glee has to avoid if only for their namesake; there is quite possibly no love story waiting for me.


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Meet the Author

Waldell Goode was born in Halifax, VA and is currently following dreams in Boston, MA.

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7/23    We Three Queens      

7/23    Happily Ever Chapter

7/24    Books,Dreams,Life     

7/24    A. O. Chika Book Blog

7/25    MillsyLovesBooks      

7/25    MM Good Book Reviews      

7/26    Love Bytes      

7/26    Boy Meets Boy Reviews        

7/27    Divine Magazine        


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Jul 23

Blog Tour: Wehr Wolff Castle by B. Bentley Summers (Excerpt & Giveaway)

Title:  Wehr Wolff Castle

Series: The Wehr Wolff Chronicles, Book One

Author: B. Bentley Summers

Publisher:  NineStar Press

Release Date: 7/24/17

Heat Level: 2 – Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 120200

Genre: Paranormal/Horror, WW2, Alternate history, Lit/genre, fantasy/paranormal, horror, war, action, thriller, cisgender, abuse, military, experimentation, shifters, werewolves, spies, scientists

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During the rise of Nazi Germany, Hagen Messer joins the Royal Air Force as an American soldier who specializes in tracking. He’s attached to British commandos and given a seemingly simple mission—to find a captive and destroy a dam—but everything goes awry. Hagen’s plane crashes into Germany’s Wehr Forest and he has to use his extrasensory abilities to track the captive to nearby Wehr Wolff Castle, a secret Nazi base where vile experiments are being conducted.

Hagen and his surviving team members must sneak into the castle and devise a way to destroy the experimental labs creating diabolical creatures. Hagen is horrified to find Nazis and scientists with no scruples, and at the most inconvenient time, he learns that he may be in love with one of his teammates, an Irishman named Liam. In order to protect his love and his friends, Hagen must feign nonchalance amidst pure degeneracy and suspicion. Hagen soon discovers, though, that he is in over his head.

What may not only redeem him, but also save his lover and friends, is a childhood past and a darkness lurking deep inside him, just waiting to be engaged.


Wehr Wolff Castle
B. Bentley Summers © 2017
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One


May 10, 1940

Somewhere over the border of Switzerland & Southern Nazi Germany

The wind whistled through the shattered window and into the airplane’s cabin. The draft had a cold bite, the air a metallic smell. A tremble spasmed through Hagen, and he crossed his arms over his chest and shivered.

On the row of seats facing him, blood spatter spread over the chairs and over the remaining wall. The engine nearest him sputtered.

This time, it’ll surely stop.

He rose from his seat and looked out through a nearby window to the wing. Black smoke poured from the spinning propeller but then cleared, and the engine roared back to life, setting into a steady thrum. He stared past the wing to the mountain range below. The plane passed through a heavy white cloud, and he sat back down in his seat.

One recurrent thought plagued him. If we crash, will it hurt? Breathe. Just breathe.

Raising his hands, he stared once again at the blood that had partially dried on them. Not his, thankfully. He wiped them on his shirt-front, which was soaked with blood, then reached for his forehead and winced as his fingertips dusted his wound.

Shouting from the cockpit drew his attention.

Lt. David sat in the one-man cockpit and turned so he could shout up to the white-haired pilot assistant, Alan Hodges. Hodges stood close to the pilot’s chair, holding onto a map and yelling down.

Someone grabbed Hagen’s knee and shouted at him gruffly. He met Sgt. Collins’s gaze. The man’s short salt-and-pepper stubbled face had specks of blood in it. The large man sat back on his haunches, his belly protruding over his belt. He peered at Hagen’s forehead and nodded with approval.

“Cheers, Kraut, received your first war wound.” Sgt. Collins leaned in and touched Hagen’s paratrooper jacket. “That blood yours?”

Hagen shook his head, licked his lips, and then asked, “We on the right course, Sarge?”

Sgt. Collins cupped his hand to his ear and furrowed his brow.

“Are we on the right course?” Hagen shouted.

Sgt. Collins glanced up at the front of the plane, where Lt. David and Officer Hodges argued, then brought his eyes back to Hagen.

“Have no bloody idea, Kraut. All I know is that I hope we don’t land in Hitler’s front lawn.”

Hagen nodded and clenched his fists. The sergeant shouted something else at him, but Hagen stared over his shoulder at the woman on the other side of the airplane. Roesia. He barely knew her, but it was comforting to see a survivor from the onslaught. So many had died. Her face was pasty white, and she had a vacant stare.

Sgt. Collins snapped his fingers in front of Hagen’s face, gaining his attention once again.

“Bloody hell, you’re completely out of it!” Sgt. Collins said, patting Hagen’s chest and sides, looking for any wounds. “Nothing. You’re lucky, Kraut.”

Sgt. Collins stood, went toward the tail, and yelled down to the lower gun turret. “O’Malley, say something, you Irishman!”

“Me arse is killing me, Sarge!”

A smile formed on Hagen’s face at hearing his friend’s voice.

The sergeant moved toward the tail and yelled up to the upper gun turret. “Kirby, keep your wits about you! If those bandits come at us, you take as many of them as you can.”

Corporal Kirby yelled something unintelligible. Hagen shifted in his seat and stared down as a viscous red fluid ran across the floor. A photograph lay near his foot. Reaching down, he plucked it off the ground—the one of him and his father from a year or so ago. Except half of it was now bloodstained and he could only see himself. He studied the broad-shouldered striking nineteen-year-old with a full-face grin that made him radiant. The picture could easily have been of one of those Hollywood actors, but it was of himself.

He leaned his head against the chair as his teeth chattered and his eyes became impossibly heavy.

Seems like so much has happened since then. But I arrived in England just two days ago? That’s it? Just two days?

A slap of metal caused his gaze to shift to the other side of the plane. A commando by the name of Commander Ford picked up the assault rifles and opened each ammo clip to check the bullets inside. Once satisfied, he laid them on top of a tarp that had turned a dark maroon from the blood-drenched floor. A second commando sat in a seat next to him, twirling a serrated knife in one hand.

The spinning knife mesmerized Hagen and helped him ignore the macabre scene around him.

Yes, it was. Two days ago, I rode into Shoreham Royal Air Force Base.

A freshly trained paratrooper from America with no war experience. While my brother’s mortally wounded body lay in front of me years ago, it was nothing like this.

Memories of the last couple of days reeled through his mind.


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Meet the Author

Bryce is a psychologist, gay author, and the founder of Queer Sense Theory.

Not sure what he wanted to do in life, Bryce spent his 20s exploring different jobs and landed one job in Bangkok, Thailand, which has yet to be topped. Deciding it was time to get a career, Bryce completed his doctorate degree in psychology at the University of Houston. Upon graduation he worked for the Department of Veteran Affairs for six years before becoming a contract psychologist who provides examinations to veterans, helping them get their disability and pension entitlements.

Bryce writes popular fiction genres that fall in the areas of Sci-Fi, Horror, Fantasy, Thriller, Supernatural, Suspense or a blend all of them, and he has a passion for gay fiction. He has self-published several gay fiction short stories and a novel that follow the character, Daemon the Demon Boy. He also published YA Post-Apocalyptic novels, Amen to Rot series as well as The Zombie Squad. The Zombie Squad was a finalist for the 2016 Readers Favorite in YA Horror. Rotville is a self-published Sci-Fi Thriller/ Horror that has been self-published was a finalist for the 2016 US Book News Contest.

He is also the founder of Queer Sense theory which provides a theoretical model on how people form attitudes towards LGBTQ+ individuals and shape one’s gender and sexual orientation identity. The theory looks closely at the interaction between social models, language, and attachment, or human connections, affect one’s feelings and thereby influence attitudes. Queer Sense is currently under review by a literary agency and will hopefully be published soon.

A new middle-grade werewolf book as well as a gay erotic urban fantasy book are in the pre-publishing phase.

Wehr Wolff Castle is the first installment of The Wehr Wolff Chronicles.

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Tour Schedule


7/23    MillsyLovesBooks     

7/23    Bayou Book Junkie   

7/24    Books,Dreams,Life     

7/24    Love Bytes      

7/25    Divine Magazine       

7/25    A. O. Chika Book Blog

7/26    Bonkers about books

7/26    Happily Ever Chapter

7/27    Queer Sci Fi    

7/27    MM Good Book Reviews       


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Jul 17

Blog Tour: Elias by Erin E. Keller (Excerpt & Giveaway)

Title:  Elias

Author: Erin E. Keller

Publisher:  NineStar Press

Release Date: 7/17/17

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 36800

Genre: Contemporary, romance, contemporary, gay, cisgender, explicit, domestic abuse, panic attacks, law enforcement

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After his partner’s death, Thomas Doyle lives a life made of work and late-night sexual encounters with unnamed bodies. It’s a life of solitude that leaves him too much time to think and regret.

Yet, despite everything, he jealously treasures it.

That’s why when Elias Byrne—who comes out of the shadows of Thomas’ nights—suddenly bursts into his everyday life with arrogance, Thomas finds himself fighting against ambivalent feelings—the need to reject the tormented Elias and the strange, inconceivable, and difficult to accept desire to join their solitudes.


Erin E. Keller © 2017
All Rights Reserved

Chapter 1


The regular sound of the windshield wipers and the constant beat of rain on the car roof were the only sounds in the cabin.

Thomas’s hands gripped the steering wheel so tightly that his knuckles were white. He stared down the street while remaining pulled over on a secondary road near his house, one that led toward the police department of Landmeadow. His breath came fast and his heartbeat quickened.

He’d stopped when the first symptoms made him think he was having a heart attack, but he was used to these occurrences by now. He knew it was simply a panic attack. It wasn’t the first time he’d experienced it, but that didn’t mean that when the panic arrived there was anything to do besides trying to limit it. Once the terrible chain reaction started, he just had to find a way to stop it, one way or another.

He hated the condition; he hated his body for not being able to answer to rationality, to being influenced by this nervous short-circuit. There was nothing he could do to stop the flood of bad sensations, the oppressive feeling of death.

He wasn’t dying. In fact, he was quite healthy and young. He took care of himself and didn’t have heart disease. He really wasn’t dying. It was just panic. Bad, suffocating, terrible panic. He wasn’t dying. He only had to breathe. And maybe count. Distract himself.

He tried to take slow breaths, deeply, thinking about taking the pill, but maybe—since he was going to the police station—if he concentrated on the things he had to do, that would be enough. Maybe today, in this corner of South Ireland, there would be a case for him and his colleague. He didn’t hold out too much hope, but no doubt hoping was better than worrying about not having anything to help him emerge from this momentary crisis.

Keeping busy was the only thing he had been able to do since Aiden’s death. Aiden, his partner for ten years. He wasn’t supposed to leave so soon; he wasn’t supposed to leave Thomas alone. It wasn’t how things were supposed to go. They had bought the big house where Thomas was now living to start a B&B. Aiden would have managed it, and they had planned to live there for the rest of their lives. But accidents happen, and a fatal crash had torn from his hands the man with whom he had spent so many years and whose days had ended far too soon.

Two years had passed since that night, but he still felt the desire to close his eyes and give in to his melancholy. And sometimes cry. He often pretended his reality was something different. Daily he searched for the desire to find a new meaning to his life, to break free from the anxiety that had accompanied him since the night he received the news of Aiden’s accident.

In the end, he was lonely in that big house. In spite of the wishes of everyone, including his colleague Anne, he couldn’t follow his former dream of opening a B&B. Who would manage it? He wasn’t at home enough to take care of guests and, actually, the idea of having strangers at home didn’t exactly thrill him. He didn’t feel like being in close contact with people he didn’t know.

But that wasn’t true during those nights made colder by solitude…

Regardless, the house was still beautiful, big and almost empty. White and gray it stood, lonely and silent, in one of the best areas of the village. He loved living there, despite the echo of Aiden’s presence, but sometimes living alone didn’t seem like the best idea. Ghosts whispered and anxieties took over. Maybe it also wasn’t good to stay sitting at his desk at the police station, but work always helped him.

Right then, he just had to reach the office. He had to hope he wouldn’t faint while driving. What if he lost control of the car and wasn’t able to pull over in time?

Those thoughts made him lose his breath again. Thomas got out of the car, letting the rain soak his clothes and wet his face. He lifted his face to the sky and opened his mouth, inhaling and exhaling, reaching his arms out to the sides and stretching his muscles, trying to think about anything but death. He turned around a few times where he stood, continuing to take large mouthfuls of air and water.

Rain dampened his light brown hair and his pale face, sliding past the collar of his shirt and down his chest, leaving cold traces that gave him shivers and distracted him from the oppression he was feeling.

“Perfect. Go away. Come on…” he murmured, loosening his dark tie. He congratulated himself on being able to knot a tie without help from anybody. Which was lucky, because now nobody was the life companion he had chosen for himself here in Landmeadow, where somehow he was playing out a life that no longer felt like his, alone. Thirty-eight years old, county police detective, wealthy family, charming. But lonely.

Lonely in so many ways he didn’t even want to think about. Lonely, more out of choice than need. Which didn’t mean that six-letter word made him feel less empty inside. He’d promised himself not to get close to anybody else, not to let anybody get close enough to be able to hurt him again. Everything was meant to end—everything. Sometimes too early, too violently.

So, he lived his life as if it was made of airtight compartments. There was his job: his current partner and other colleagues. His female colleagues were always smiling at him and hoping to end up with him in some dark corner, as if being suddenly “widowed” could have changed his sexual orientation. There were also his parents, who he rarely spoke with, and the people he was working for. That was the fake stable reality that was his life. And then there were those nights when solitude was so heavy it pushed him to go out and look for a body to share it with for a few hours. A body that, the morning after, would leave the house before it was daylight, because Thomas didn’t want them to stay long enough to warm up the surrounding air.

His career and his job were what he concentrated on the most. He and his self-imposed solitude had found a good rhythm, a kind of pathological balance. And usually everything worked perfectly.

But he was lonely. And he was alone right in this moment too. He was afraid of dying and not having anyone to call.

“What are you doing? Dancing in the rain?”

Thomas jumped and turned in the direction of the voice. A guy, wrapped in a jacket that was too large for him, was staring at him from under the dripping gutter of a house close to where Thomas’s car was parked. He had his arms crossed and his hands under his underarms. His black hair was so long it fell over his eyes. He seemed thin and very young, but from the little Thomas was able to see of his expression, he was anything but innocent or young.

Thomas didn’t know how to answer such a question, nor did he even understand why the guy felt like talking to him.

“No,” he simply answered, then opened the door and quickly got back inside his car. What a fucking question. “Shit,” he swore when he realized he was getting everything wet. He turned back to the sidewalk and noticed the stranger was still looking at him. What did he want? Well, at least the short distraction had helped him to recover better than twirling under the rain.

He passed his hands through his hair, over his face and his short, well-trimmed beard, trying to wipe off as much water as he could. His eyelashes were full of raindrops, and he blinked rapidly.

He heard somebody knocking at the window and turned to the passenger seat, finding the guy from the street staring at him from outside the car. Thomas could see his face better now. He had sharp features, and he seemed to have dark eyes as well as dark hair, even if Thomas couldn’t be sure of what was hidden behind his long wet locks.

Thomas started the car and lowered the window a little, turning off the heating to get rid of the condensation on the windshield.

“What do you want?”

“A ride. Can you give me one?”

Instinctively, Thomas would have said no, but at that moment, he was grateful to the boy who had distracted him from his panic attack. Also, it was pouring rain and he felt bad for him. Thomas nodded and waited for the guy to get in and close the door before speaking again.

“Where do you need to go?”

“Far from here.”

Thomas looked at him, puzzled. “Okay, listen, I’m sorry to let you down, but I only have a ten-minute trip to make, so you won’t get very far with me.”

The guy turned to look at him but didn’t say anything. He moved his hair a little off his face and blinked. Thomas noticed that his hair was as long and wet as his own was.

“Okay, so let’s go for the ten minutes. I’m going where you’re going.”

Thomas wrinkled his nose but didn’t speak and pulled away from the sidewalk, back onto the road. None of their conversation had made any sense, but he was still confused by his anxiety and he didn’t feel like thinking too much about what was happening. He only hoped that, if the guy was a delinquent, he wouldn’t pull out a knife to rob him because even though he was a police officer and armed, Thomas felt like he was on the edge of an abyss. Not that Landmeadow was full of criminals, but you could find bad eggs everywhere, even in a lovely Irish village. His heart contracted in an unpleasant way, and Thomas started tapping nervously on the wheel to push away the bad sensation.

Panic, just go away. Thanks a lot, shit brain.

The trip continued silently. The stranger kept his face stubbornly turned toward the window, and Thomas couldn’t stop himself from wondering who he was, now that he had decided —or almost—that he wasn’t a danger, or looking to assault him, rob, or slice him open. For no particular reason, he felt curious. It also felt strange that this guy was sitting in his car after he’d dealt with his panic attack, asking him for a ride. Now, thinking about it, Thomas could have been dangerous too, for all the guy knew.

Yeah, sure.

“Shouldn’t you be at school?” he asked, trying to lighten the atmosphere, since his last thought had given him another worrying sensation. It was ridiculous that a grown man could be afraid of a teenager, but that strange feeling was really weird. And he wasn’t feeling that good at the moment.

“Why would I be?” the boy answered, turning slightly to look at him.

“I don’t know, you seem…young. Don’t they go at school at your age?”

“At my age? How old do you think I am?”

Thomas shut up and studied him out of the corner of his eye. “Eighteen? Seventeen?”

A sound similar to a woof came from the boy, and Thomas jumped a little, realizing only afterward that it had been a curt laugh.

“I’m twenty-three.”

Thomas turned and observed him better. “Well, it’s impossible to see your face with all that hair and you’re…thin. You look younger.”

A couple seconds passed before the man answered. “Do you usually prefer them bigger? Guess I’m not your type.”

Thomas almost slammed on the brakes in the middle of the street. He swerved a little and felt his blood pumping in his temples.

Who was this man? What did he want from Thomas? Did he know him? How could he? Had he crawled from the hidden night life to mix with Thomas’s life on the surface? What a fucking start to the day!

“Who are you and what do you want from me?” he asked, hoping his voice wouldn’t crack as he looked at the man from the corner of his eye.

The young man shrugged his shoulders. “My name’s Elias. I’ve seen you a few times at the Black Sheep. I followed you. I’ve seen where you live.”

Pulsations at his temples started up violently, in a worrying way.

Oh my god, what if I have a stroke right now?

Elias is a strange name around here.

What has he seen? With who? When?

My temple is pulsing so much.

Count! You are not going to have a stroke.


“What are you? A stalker?” Thomas asked in a harsh voice, keeping a strong grip on the wheel, pushing away the last terrible thought.

Elias smirked. “I don’t know. Is that what you’d call it? I wanted you to notice me.”

What the fuck?

Thomas didn’t know how to respond. He turned back to the guy again, keeping an eye on the road. The humidity in the car made it difficult to breathe, and the rain on his clothes was drying, leaving a bad, sticky sensation. He was used to the weather, and despite everything, he loved it. Still, he deeply hated the feeling of his clothes stuck to his skin.

“I could be your father. Don’t talk bullshit.” It was useless to deny it. The guy knew exactly what he was talking about.

“I don’t care. Don’t you like me?”

Oh God.

“I can’t even see your face. How the fuck can I know if I like you? What do you want me to say? No, you’re twenty-three, Elias. I don’t know who you are and I don’t want to know. Listen, get out please.”

Thomas pulled over on the sidewalk and looked at Elias, but the young man didn’t move.

“Don’t make me get you out of the car by force.”

Elias didn’t move and didn’t speak; he stayed looking at Thomas with eyes as dark as deep abysses. Magnetic abysses like black holes that could suck you in and never let you come back up to the surface.

“Okay, that’s enough.” Thomas got out of the car and spun around. Keeping a hand on his head, he opened the side door and took Elias’s arm to pull him out of the car. “I told you not to push me,” Thomas said, a moment before he found two arms around his neck and a soft wet-from-the-rain mouth pushing against his, a soft tongue searching for his tongue, a thin body pushing against his.

It only lasted for a few seconds, but to Thomas, it seemed like an eternity. If before the violent beating of his heart had been caused by anxiety and neurosis, now it resounded in his chest for a totally different reason.

He pushed Elias away, held him back by the arms, and stared into his eyes, puzzled, shocked, and shaken. For a moment, he was breathless and speechless.

“Are you crazy?” he was able to say after a moment.

Elias licked his lips and remained silent for a while. “I want to see you again.”

Thomas opened his eyes widely. “Do you speak my language or not? No. No. N. O. I don’t know who you are, and I don’t want to know. I don’t want to see you again, okay? Shit, this feels like the Twilight Zone.”

Thomas stopped for another few seconds, maybe waiting for a reaction, maybe to realize it wasn’t a dream or his imagination. Then he turned, got back into the car, and slammed the door before taking off with a screech of the tires, leaving Elias on the sidewalk, looking after him. The fact that Thomas knew Elias was looking at him because he’d checked him out in the rearview mirror didn’t mean anything.


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Meet the Author

Erin is Irish in her heart and soul, and she hopes she’ll move to the Emerald Island one day. She lives with her husband and their cats in a house near a wheat field.

She has been writing for years but admits she is a very undisciplined writer. The problem is that handling a couple of jobs makes it almost impossible to write every day. She loves letting her mind wander through the real world and likes to write contemporary M/M romance, because she loves love. And men.

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7/17    A Book Lover’s Dream Book Blog      

7/17    MillsyLovesBooks      

7/18    Because Two Men Are Better Than One           

7/18    Book Lovers 4Ever    

7/19    Bayou Book Junkie    

7/19    Happily Ever Chapter

7/20    Divine Magazine        

7/20    Kimmers’ Erotic Book Banter           

7/21    Erotica For All

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Jul 17

Blog Tour: Trans Liberty Riot Brigade by L.M. Pierce (Excerpt & Giveaway)

Title:  Trans Liberty Riot Brigade

Series: Trans Liberty Riot Brigade, book 1

Author: L.M. Pierce

Publisher:  NineStar Press

Release Date: 7/17/17

Heat Level: 2 – Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: No Romance

Length: 80800

Genre: science fiction, speculative, alternate reality, intersex, queer, political revolution, drug/alcohol use, oppression, police state, dark, violence, gore, dystopian

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Andi knows being born an intersex “Transgressor” and then choosing to stay that way can have lethal consequences. After all, surgical assignment is mandated by law. But she ain’t going to spend her life hiding from the Society, hooked on Flow, and wanking tourists just to make a few bucks. She’s a member of the Trans Liberty Riot Brigade, an underground faction of Transgressors resisting the government’s war on their illegal genitalia.

But it’s not enough to tag their messages on shithouse walls and sniff down the next high. The government has found their headquarters, decimated their ranks, and they’re crushing the resistance. Though Andi might be nothing but a junktard, she embarks on a desperate dash to stay alive and send a call for help before they’re all killed—or worse, surgically assigned.

Andi, together with Brigade leader Elenbar, must get beyond the communications block preventing all radio transmission, which means crossing the seaboard Wall barricading the United Free States borders. It’s designed to keep enemies out and the citizens in, but amid increasing earthquakes and deadly pursuit, Andi will discover there’s a far more dangerous secret hidden deep within the Wall itself.


Trans Liberty Riot Brigade
L.M. Pierce © 2017
All Rights Reserved

A Sorta Prologue

“Oh yah? Well, fuck off then, you cuck!”

He’s a penny pickle dick anyhow.

I walk into the men’s public shithouse and slam the door behind me. The splintered starburst of mirror glitters under the yellow lights. The reflection’s sportin’ a shaggy haircut like someone’s gone faggin’ buggers with a pair of kitchen shears. My pupils are blown black and wide with the upshot of Flow coursin’ through my veins.

That pickle fucker ripped my shirt.

I examine the ripped collar in the refraction of the broken glass. My hair ain’t too long, ain’t too short. I’m still man enough, should someone, maybe Pickle Fucker, come pokin’ around after me. Though, if I’m real honest, I’m gettin’ sloppy. Just like Elenbar’s always sayin’—keep yer head down, don’t draw eyes ta ya—but it’s a chafe to move through the world as a mere pockmark of who you really are. Yah, I’m still me, though they call me a “she,” but if I keep hackin’ at my hair, I’m gonna look more like the dangerous “Transgressor” news stations are always shriekin’ about. But underneath it all, underneath the shag, that’s what I am.

A Transgressor on a shithouse mission.

On the cracked vid screen in the ceiling there’s some report about us right now—another undercover operation arrestin’ a pack of Transgressors. They don’t wanna get the snip-and-clip, the assignment surgery that’ll turn us from who we are, into what they want us to be. They’re reportin’ two dead already—more to come, if you know news like we do. I shudder, imaginin’ gettin’ my delicates all mangled up by a doc with a blade and a twisted sense of divine providence.

I approach the urinals squattin’ against the far wall. Smell of piss cakes and wankin’ stains waft through the air, a strong reminder of this location’s dual purpose. I peek under the stall doors, but there ain’t no tourist trout loafers tappin’ a signal for a blowie or a pop-off. Though pickle fucker was a bust, I’m still hopin’ to cop some rand coins from a trout. Since I made the long trip and all. Don’t matter, though. There’s other work to be done.

I slip down my pants and jut my pubic bone and mini-man toward one of the white bowl interiors. Urine spurts, and I huff with relief. There ain’t no company to gawk at me, and unlike squattin’ in lady piss stalls, like a good li’l “she,” this is good, it’s good. Feels right somehow.

I zip up, don’t wash, and at the exit, I whip out the chubby marker I carry with me everywhere. The embossed man symbol on the bathroom door gets a scrawled-on miniskirt, a crotch sweeper hardly proper enough for street walkin’. Though after I finish the big circle and the crosshatch over him, li’l man’s got an identity problem, the blessed “he” symbol now one of those dreaded Transgressors. A s/he, they hiss in the not-so-quiet corners of the world. Well, the Society will be along to reassign h/er in short tit order, I’m sure.

I press a kiss on the new Transgressor. It’s a tough thingtryin’ to be alive these days.

I hear a whistle, the chitterin’ bird call of my hip-mate. Waitin’ for me to do what I came here to do. So I scrawl TLRB in big black letters on the door. Somehow it don’t seem enough. So I write “A riot is the language of the unheard” next to it, one of my fav tidbits by a righteous guy. A guy who got gunned down for bein’ the wrong color and bein’ of the wrong mind. The Society don’t like people of the wrong mind. Hey, I know, the message ain’t nothin’ fancy, but the truth don’t have to be. It’s just gotta show up.

The Trans Liberty Riot Brigade was here.

Lover’s Quarrel

“Spare us a Nut, would you?” Pint gropes at my chest, fingers searchin’ for some sign of the familiar rectangular box. His head of orange pubey curls tickles my chin, and his eyes roll loose in their sockets, the corners beet red and weepin’ yellowish slime. A puff of a Nutri-Stick could take the edge off a wicked withdrawal, but I ain’t got any and push him away.

“Jesus, here, fiending like a puckerfucker. Yer an embarrassment.” Elenbar flicks a Nut at Pint’s feet and sweeps back her long red hair.

He drops like a Bridge Street jumper, kneecaps a dull smack against the pavement. Blood seeps through his pants, and he fumbles with the stick, hands shakin’ with the withdrawal fever he’s fightin’. He brings the white tube to his chapped lips and jams the button to activate a smoky flow of vitamins and downer. Helps with the shakes, the fever, the gut punches to come.

Bosco glances up from his readin’ in the corner and shakes his head like he don’t approve of people bein’ alive at all. The whole room’s hot, air thick with chemical sweat and the smell of Pint’s sick body.

Everybody’s quiet, watchin’ Pint squirm and whimper on the ground. The small radio built into the wall of our headquarters mumbles:

“On this day, our Patriot’s Day, we remember those lost in the Great War and those still fighting the Daesh Eye threat overseas. Thankful are we to the Wall protecting our citizenry as we are thankful to the Society who guides us from ruin. Patriot’s Day of holiest remembrance, warriors of the Lord on High. Remember danger lurks not only abroad but within our own homeland. Those who would sow fear among us, the Transgressors who―”

“Turn that shyte off.” Elenbar glares at the green glowin’ light of the radio.

Bosco hops up from his seat and flips the switch to red.

“Faggin’ cucks.” Here I am, sittin’ pretty on the upswing of a warm solid high and good ol’ news from the Society broadcast gotta go bringin’ me down. See, lettin’ it get so bad is amateur shit for crotch sniffers like Pint. “You know, you gotta pace that shit out, stay in control, Pint. Stay on top of it. It’s how they get at us. If the Brigade’s nothin’ but a bunch of junk-tards twitchin’ and blasted off, who’s gonna listen?”

“Andi, just shut yer mawhole fer a pissy pretty second.” Elenbar slaps my dome with the flat of her metal clunker hand and my ears start ringin’. “Weather’s nice ’top that seat ya got? The pickle pricks yer sucking fer that seat? Brigade represents all people, not just the slick and squeaky clean. We’re like this fer a reason, ya know that, so stop talking like ya don’t.” Elenbar’s green eyes spark with rabid rage.

I rub my stingin’ head and eye my shitkickers instead of meetin’ her glare. “Look, I’m just gnawin’ on it. We might be like this for a reason, but we’d howl the Society right down if we weren’t just…” I need to drop it.

“Well, when ya get off and stay off the Flow perma-like, Andi, ya just fucking send me a postcard. I’ll slap yer fruity dicklips on the cover of Brigade: The Softer Side. Yer a junkie like the rest of us. Ya ain’t no better than any of us.” The gravel in her voice hurts more than the slap. “Ya do the marks like I told ya?”

She points her bionic metal finger at the borough map spread on the center table, the corners weighted by beer cans filled with gravel. This cinderblock shack is the headquarter hub of the Trans Liberty Riot Brigade. We just call it the Brick because it looks like nothin’ more than a maintenance shed. Basically is.

“Keepers. I marked up all the west front and the shithouses on the south.”

“Heard ya was hooking on the run. Again.” She flexes her right fist, curlin’ the metal jointed fingers like she’s testin’ it. The bionic arm’s a newly acquired thing and ain’t none of us used to it, especially not Elenbar.

Bosco’s eyes are on me, and I can’t keep the red outta my cheeks. “Just once and didn’t slop up anyhow. Just a tourist trout from outta the neighborhood.”

“Didn’t slop up? Then how ya think I’m hearing it? No hooking on the runs. Not ever, not fer nothing. Don’t care if the president’s begging ya fer a pop-off. Ya were seen, by one of ours, but ya might get remembered by someone else next time.”

“But not this time.” My beatin’ ticker’s takin’ missteps all over the place. I feel woozy.

“No, not this time. But it brings too much heat, attracts all sorts of problems. Ya keep it clean and straight fer the runs. Now, head ta Lover’s Lane with Bosco. He’ll fill ya in as ya go. Fagging twat.” She spits the last words and stalks outta the Brick, her lip wrinkled in a sneer of disgust.

Pint whimpers from his withered crouch on the floor. He tries to rock back on his feet but falls again. Don’t think he’s gonna be able to get up, and no one goes to help him. This ain’t the first and it ain’t gonna be the last time he’s quiverin’ on this floor. Pint’s got the hook worse than most of us combined. Smoke snakes from his mouth like someone’s lit him up from the inside. There are some things a good ol’ Nut can’t fix.

Elenbar likes to think I talk about things I don’t understand, but I do. The come-down off Flow’s some of the worst feelin’s in the world. The tremors start at the edges of your peripheral vision, li’l specks of dark like you’re rubbin’ your eyes too much, but they stick around, get bigger. Soon it’s rumblin’ through the threadlines of your nerves and your stomach clamps on your sack of guts. If you don’t rupture somethin’ internal, you can usually ride it out. But too many of us drag or get dragged to Dr. Chambers, beggin’ for a fixer. Most of the time he does us right, but he comes with a price. If you don’t have the rands to pay, he does accept other kinds of trade. Right and honest maybe, but still a sadist fagger.

Flow also comes in waves, and the nods are comin’ down on me, my body shudderin’ and losin’ some cohesion. I try not to let the fade happen too hard, or I’ll be right next to Pint on the ground. Gotta stay on top. Stay in control.

“Heh. Andi’s going wonky. Dr. Chambers’ll take it outta your ass, for effing sure, you wanker.” Bosco pounds me on the back, jerkin’ me from the pleasant grayspace I’d slipped into.

The weight of the nods dissipates a bit. “Suck a dick duck, ya cuck.”

He smirks, liftin’ his eyepatch to wink at me with the perfectly good blue eye underneath. He’s a faggin’ anglosax dramatic, fancies himself a limey punk-riot pirate. “Knockers. You coming with me to Lover’s Lane or what?”

“Keepers. Let’s get this shit right, though. I ain’t a fan of repeat business.”

Elenbar’s given us our instructions, and we gotta obey like the good soldiers we are. I try to pretend it don’t matter, but a trip to Lover’s Lane always gets at me, clawin’ deep inside my fleshy core where my feelin’ parts must be. I hate every minute, even though I ain’t seen her prowlin’. Every time I gotta go back, the possibility of seein’ her punches me straight in the mawhole. Nah, Lover’s Lane ain’t no love at all.

When we step outta the shack and into the night, I see Elenbar by the chain link, gazin’ at the shoreline of the Anacostia River. The water’s a shade of blotchy underpants, grayish yellow from the repeated wash and piss stains of the world revolvin’ around it. Lights fester on the river’s opposite edge, the shimmerin’ world of the Uppers, filled with people standin’ atop the shit crust of this Slumland the rest of us gotta live in. Elenbar cuts a statuesque silhouette against that distant glow.

Our little pocket of alleyway is littered with trash, knobs of it caught in the honeycomb fence line. You could follow that chain link all the way through the different sections of our quarter, if you wanted. Not that the fence serves any purpose. Rusted-away pockholes mean we could still duck to the water. Not that we would. The water incubates far worse than sewer sludge and dumped bodies, but there, across the rushin’ river, is Elenbar’s past, and I hope, someday, her future.

“Elenbar, you coming with us?” Bosco asks.

She wrinkles her nose at him. “I’ll stay here with Pint. Needs ta get shored up with Dr. Chambers. Apparently, I run a goddamn nappy factory, wiping yer shitty asses.”

“He’ll be all right,” I say.

Elenbar glares at me. “Aye, he will. But what about ya? Don’t fuck it up, Andi.”

Bosco touches my elbow, and together we slink back through the shadows of the alley, swallowed up in the bosom of the Slumland haze.

Back alleyways are transit of choice for scum breathers like us—like me—prowlin’ among the rats, kiddy-diddys, and other junk-tards. For the rest of society, it’s easier to ignore us, pretend we’re not there. We don’t fit into Temperance—the political catchphrase inflamin’ politics like a mutated case of syphilis. And though it smells of jizz wrappers and moldin’ dumpsters back here, I don’t mind the alleys so much. Keeps the questionin’ eyes away. Is she one of them? A Transgressor? A s/he? Why can’t they get h/er off the streets, reassign h/er like the rest?

But there’s more and more of us now. Some of us pass all right, wearin’ proper lady locks and skirts or sportin’ gentlemanly attire if such is our preference. But most of us struggle, eyes followin’ us wherever we go.

Bosco’s ahead, struttin’ to a prick-bustin’ beat pulsin’ out the back end of the Loosey Goosey Club. The back door butts up against the alleyway, and it’s here we come across Lucky Lips.

“Effing effer,” he whispers. Then he cups his mouth and lets out a chitterin’ series of bird calls. The ones we use to signal our hip-mates when we’re runnin’ our tags or an op.

She flinches and whips around like it’s a pinch on the ass. Bosco chuckles and sidles up to her, greetin’ her with a smarmy hug. His callused hands look like grease smears on her white latex dress. Lips’s got a smolderin’ Nut between her teeth, and she grimaces, pullin’ away from him.

“You smell like shyte, per ush.” Disdain strums her vocal cords, and she sounds prettier somehow, lighter and girly. Even her face, she’s already pale as milk, but her skin’s been painted ultra white, with large streaks of blue over her eyes. And her breasts, ones that don’t come natural home-grown, are crammed almost to her chin. I try not to stare. I’ve never seen Lips look this way, with tits like this, and in a dress too.

“Naw, serious now, where you been? Elenbar had the whole Brigade on fire lookin’ for you. Thought you up and drained out on us—you hawking Flow?” he says. His smile’s playful, but she frowns like it ain’t play at all.

Lucky Lips glances up the alleyway and drops her voice.

“Just shut it. I’m not Lips anymore. Name’s Lucy. Now get outta here. I don’t wanna call someone around, but I will if I gotta.” She glances at the backdoor of the club, where a bulgin’ beef steak stands with crossed arms. Watchin’ us.

“What the eff?” Bosco frowns.

“She’s been assigned.” I put a hand on his shoulder.

He wrenches free of me. The rims of his eyes water with horror. The look you get when you realize someone’s fallen beneath the waves and the person you’ve known and loved’s drowned and dead forever.

“Lips. What happened? What the eff happened? Is that what this is?” He grabs her wrist, his mouth a cavernous black gash of rage. Her nipples are hard in the chill clip of night, and he pinches one. “You think this is real? That you can escape what you are?”

“Feck you! Feck you, aye? Tell Elenbar she’s a fool. You all are now! How long can you go on playing at riot? It’s all a joke, ain’t—no, isn’t it? It’s all up someday, isn’t it?” She jerks away, cheeks burnin’ hot. Then she soothes her poofed dome of hair and nods toward the rump roast at the door. He slinks back inside, and she huffs an angry sigh. “Look, they patched me up. Got me off the Flow, and I can earn me some rands in a tight dress and clean hair. It’s not so faggin’ bad after all. Better than scootin’ around, s/he arses in the dirt.” Fury’s brought out her accent, and she sounds like Lips again. The real Lips. But I know, understand real clear, that Lucky Lips is dead.

“S/he? Oh, pardon, like weren’t a season ago you were swinging your pecker ’round the quarter? S/he now—look, Andi, we’re just s/he scumsuckers to Miss Cock Queen of all the Land!” He laughs, lookin’ crazy as he spreads his arms wide, and gestures to the grime of the alley we stand in. A roach sips from a puddle of gutter fly puke. “Society slut, you’re just an effing Society slut. Gonna take that dick along with the poke of the Society stick?” Bosco grabs her arm again, twistin’ hard, and Lucy shrieks, her wrist at a funny angle.

I grab his shoulder, tryin’ to stop him because if he don’t, they’re gonna—

“Citizen, desist! You are in violation of the peace. Release her.”

We all freeze. We are straight, lubed up, and puckerfucked. Bosco lets go immediately, his mouth a pinhole of surprise.

“All right, all right. We got heated, it’s all right.” Bosco raises his hands, palms out.

The clunk-a-junk Security & Citizen Enforcement officer glares, red glowin’ bulbs where fleshy eyeballs would be. Assignin’ security to portable lug nuts I guess makes sense from an Upper’s point of view. No subjectivity, no bias. You can’t bribe a clunker. They stand upright; a coffin-shaped reinforced body of painted steel, hidin’ all the mechanical guts, nuts, and bolts of the system. The head’s a calculatin’ mass of probabilities and policy, enforcement and control. What made sense on an administrative level don’t translate so well to us faggers who gotta live with it. They use human Enforcers in the Uppers. Down here in the Slumland? We got a robotic task force seemingly programmed to fuck us on the regular.

“Yah, he’s right. We’re leavin’ Lucy here and continuin’ on our way.” I say it slow and clear. No misunderstandings. Tryin’ to be cool, easy. But it ain’t gonna fly. Not even a li’l tit bit.

“Ma’am, please resume your normal activities. Sir, please submit to a gender screening,” the clunker buzzes, polite as pie, sinister as fuck.

“Ah. Well, I can’t, things make me gag. I’m liable to throw up all over the place, all over you and the lady—” Bosco’s green eyes meet mine. Ain’t none of us want to be on the radar, gotta stay out of the system as much as possible.

I sprint towards Lover’s Lane while Bosco splits in the other direction. The clunker processes for a second before rollin’ after Bosco. Yah, they roll. Spry motherfuckers have got off-roadin’ equipment, chains, and regular asphalt rollers. Ready to deal with any and all situations.

“Bye, Lucky Lips! Hope you choke on a bucket of dicks!” I shriek over my shoulder, reckless immaturity givin’ me strength and speed. I’m still sprintin’ because clunkers round up quick. No doubt, any moment, they’d descend on our location like cockroaches, infestin’ the dark crevices of our back-alley world.


NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Meet the Author

“Hey, but what if…?”

Music to Lindsay’s ears. She is a graduate from The Evergreen State College and bathes in the sweet liberal waters of the Puget Sound. Or she would, if it wasn’t so polluted. She is a lover of the new and the old, of asking questions and contemplating possibilities. Lindsay’s work is primarily speculative fiction and she is an unapologetic Nerd. She lives with her husband and four fur-babies in Olympia, Washington.

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Tour Schedule

7/17    Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews   

7/18    Divine Magazine       

7/19    Bonkers about books

7/20    A Book Lover’s Dream Book Blog      

7/20    MillsyLovesBooks      

7/20    Happily Ever Chapter

7/21    J. Scott Coatsworth   

7/21    Boy Meets Boy Reviews        

7/21    We Three Queens     


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Jul 10

Blog Tour: Force of Nature by J.K. Hogan (Guest Post & Giveaway)

Title:  Force of Nature

Series: Coming About, #4

Author: J.K. Hogan

Publisher:  Euphoria Press (self)

Release Date: 7/4/17

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 80,000 words

Genre: Romance, contemporary, adventure

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Everyone knows that bonds formed under extreme circumstances never last.

Harbor Patrol officer Neal Hesse has had his life turned upside down by a sudden break-up with his partner of ten years. After sleeping his way through Seattle failed to take his mind off his broken heart, he decides to take a leave of absence from work to find himself again. He hires a professional wilderness guide to take him up into the mountains, so he can get away from everything and live off the grid for a few days.

Travis “Rock” McCreary, ex-Army Ranger turned survivalist, hates doing guided excursions, but it’s his primary source of income while he’s working towards getting his own survival show. Working in such a testosterone-fueled profession has forced him so deep into the closet, he feels like he might never see the light of day again, which makes it even harder to put on a friendly face for his happy, normal clients.

When Rock is hired by clumsy city-boy Neal to take him up into the North Cascades for a survival adventure, his patience and his resolve are tested at every turn. He has to teach Neal to survive in the wilderness while fighting an attraction he can’t allow himself to act on. When their trip doesn’t go as planned, Neal’s getaway turns into a true survival situation, and he and Rock are forced to rely on each other to stay alive. If they make it out of the wilderness, can their newfound connection survive in the real world?


Neal didn’t see how this was supposed to help take his mind off his ex because, as they trudged up the trail mostly in silence, he had nothing but time to think. Time to think about how he’d fallen for and spent years with a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He thought he’d been settled, that Tony was The One, that they had been on their way to growing old together. How wrong he’d been.

When the party reached an overlook at the highest point on the trail, they stopped for a panoramic view of the waterfall. Even Neal had to admit, with the sun streaming into the gorge and casting rainbows from the mist, it was a beautiful sight. It was still hard to drag himself out of his head, though. He knew his friends meant well, and they were right, of course. He needed to get up, get out, get back on the proverbial horse of life. But he didn’t wanna. He wanted to be at home on the couch moping, damn it.

He wished for that even harder when he saw the so-called trail that descended from the overlook to the foot of the falls where hikers could walk around or swim on warm-enough days. This trail was also steps, but natural ones of smooth, flat rock. It was narrow. Very narrow, and the lower part had a thin coat of slime from the water spray and mud. So it was fucking slippery.

When he’d almost made it to the flat riverbed, Neal lost his footing on a slick rock. He barely avoided taking a tumble—probably would’ve cracked his skull open—but he gained his balance again at the last moment. He breathed a sigh of relief when he stepped off that part of the trail. The falls dumped into a wide open part of the gorge, forming a broad pool that was bordered by a large, semicircular bank of river rock. There, day-hikers and tourists spread out on the rocks, picnicking, sunning themselves, or generally just taking in the scenery. Neal’s friends spread out to do their own thing.

Addison stalked off to the tree line with her cell phone, probably trying to get a signal so she could call her girlfriend. Bennett led Rory around the edge of the pond so they could get close to the actual waterfall. He was wearing a chest harness that held his Go-Pro, the action camera he usually kept on his boat. Rich and Paddy sat down on some large rocks and got out their trail snacks. And Nic Valentine, the crazy fucker, was wading in the frigid pool while Justice looked on, shaking his damn head.

Neal shivered just thinking about it. It was the tail-end of summer, so it was still quite warm, but these high lakes and rivers were always brisk, even on the hottest days. He’d been trained to withstand cold water temperatures for marine rescues, but that didn’t mean he had to like it, and he certainly didn’t do it for fun. Turning away from the splashing idiot, Neal looked around at all of the tourists and vacationers. Everyone had phones out, taking pictures, and he was sure they were tweeting and Instagramming like mad whenever they could find a bar or two.

He shook his head, then smirked and took his own phone out. “When in Rome,” he muttered. First, he snapped a picture with the reverse camera of himself with the waterfall in the background. Then he flipped the view so he could get a shot of the gorge. His frame wasn’t wide enough, so he took a few steps back, mindful of the rocks that became more slippery the closer he got to the falls.

His foot slipped and plopped down into water still cold enough to make him gasp, and right at the same time, he backed into something hard. Solid. Something alive. Neal winced when he heard an outraged cry and a splash behind him. Oh, fuck. Had he just…knocked someone into the water? He knew he needed to make sure they weren’t hurt or anything, but damn, he was afraid to turn around…because that had not felt like a small person.

Cautiously, he turned around and looked down, where he saw a man flailing around in the shallows of the pool. Once he got control of his feet, the man sprang up in the perfect kip-up. Neal cringed when he saw that his clothes and trail pack were completely soaking wet. And when he looked at the man’s face, he froze. His brain registered three things almost simultaneously: he looked vaguely familiar, he was very attractive, and he was really fucking mad.

“What the fuck is wrong with you?” the stranger shouted.

He stepped forward so aggressively that Neal backed up, and his right hand went instinctively to his hip, where he would’ve put his hand on the stock of his service weapon—only there was nothing there because he was off duty.

Not wanting to seem like an equal aggressor, he covered the move by sticking his hand in his pocket, hoping to appear non-threatening. This guy was about his age and shorter by a few inches, but he was ripped. He looked rugged and whipcord strong and looked ready to kick some ass in a heartbeat. Neal might’ve been able to take him—he had him on height and weight, but the guy looked like he might be stronger…and a lot meaner. Neal really didn’t want to fight. That was a helluva lot of paperwork.

He held his arms out in front of him, both as a gesture of peace and to stave off an attack if that were to happen. “Man, I am so sorry. I didn’t realize anyone was behind me.”

“Clearly,” he growled, shrugging out of his pack. He unzipped it and started digging through it.

“Again, really sorry. If anything in your pack got damaged, I’ll reimburse you.”

He scowled at me. “This is a waterfall hike. I’m not an idiot. Anything of value is inside a dry bag.”

Neal bristled because the guy was basically calling him and everyone with him an idiot because they hadn’t brought dry bags. They’d just figured they could avoid, you know, falling in the water. Probably should’ve planned better, because if Neal hadn’t knocked into this guy, it would’ve been him in the water. But Neal had been the one to cause the fall, so he tried not to let his attitude get to him. “If you need a towel, I think one of my friends might’ve brought one.”

He sat down on a large, flat rock and pulled off his hiking shoes, probably to let them dry a little in the sun. His socks looked dry, so Neal assumed his footwear was waterproof. That also would’ve been a good idea, since Neal’s right sneaker was soggy as hell from stepping in the water.

The guy shook his head and didn’t make eye contact. “I’ve got more hiking to do. I’ll air-dry. Just try not to drown anyone, will ya?”

Neal’s eyes narrowed, and he fought a valiant battle not to tell the guy to fuck off. Instead, he fell back on his usual façade of charm and reached out a hand. “I’m Neal. Wish it had been under better circumstances, but it’s nice to meet you.”

His mega-watt smile, the one that had gotten him laid all the time when he was with Tony and before, bounced off this angry stranger like he had some kind of nice-guy force field. He glared at the proffered hand until Neal got the hint and put it back in his pocket. Just when he was about to say ‘fuck it’ and walk away, the guy mumbled, “Travis.”

“Pardon?” Neal asked, raising his eyebrows.

“Name’s Travis.”

“Well…Travis. It’s been a pleasure. I’ll get out of your hair.” About maxed out on politeness, Neal turned on his heel and started walking, stumbling slightly on the wet stones.

“Hey, Neal?”

He turned and looked at Travis. “Yeah?”

“You should stick to walking in the park or going to the gym. You don’t belong out here.”

Rage burned in Neal’s gut. He’d apologized profusely, and this guy just wouldn’t let it go. Where the hell did he get off? “The fuck did you say to me? I’ll have you know, I’m a police officer.”

Bennett had obviously picked up on the tone because Neal sensed his partner and Paddy creeping up on his flanks.

Travis’s eyes flicked back and forth between the three men, then he shook his head with a scoffing sound. “I’m just trying to give you some advice. It’s guys like you who come out here and fall down into the ravine because you don’t have the instincts to pay the fuck attention to where you put your feet.”

Neal lunged forward, but Bennett stopped him with a hand on his shoulder. “Nuh-uh. Walk away, Hesse.”


“Nope.” Paddy started pulling him backward.

Travis spoke again, and the sound of his voice grated over Neal’s nerves like sandpaper. “I’m not just trying to be an asshole, although I’d be justified, considering.” He gestured down at his wet clothes. “But seriously, if you want to be all outdoorsy and shit? Get yourself some survival training, because you seem pretty fucking hopeless.”

Neal growled and lunged again, but was stopped by his two strong friends.

“Aaaand we’re done here,” Bennett said, as he and Patrick hauled Neal to the other side of the river where the rest of their group was waiting.

“Come on, just one swing!” Neal shouted over his shoulder. It was just for show because his pride was more bruised than he wanted to let on, but the boys kept a firm grip on him just in case.

Why the fuck did it matter that some asshole stranger thought he was incompetent? But Neal knew the answer to that—because his own boyfriend had as well. Tony had basically unmanned him by suggesting Neal’s career and choices didn’t matter, and now some random guy was telling him he couldn’t even wipe his own ass without help.

Neal seethed quietly all the way back down the trail. He’d never see that crazy fucknut again, but he’d be damned if he’d let the guy be right. So as soon as he got back, he booked himself on a survival excursion with a professional wilderness guide. That’d show that asshole. The one he would never see again.


Euphoria Press (self) | Amazon

Meet the Author

J.K. Hogan has been telling stories for as long as she can remember, beginning with writing cast lists and storylines for her toys growing up. When she finally decided to put pen to paper, magic happened. She is greatly inspired by all kinds of music and often creates a “soundtrack” for her stories as she writes them. J.K. is hoping to one day have a little something for everyone, so she’s branched out from m/f paranormal romance and added m/m contemporary romance. Who knows what’s next?

J.K. resides in North Carolina, where she was born and raised. A true southern girl at heart, she lives in the country with her husband and two sons, a cat, and two champion agility dogs. If she isn’t on the agility field, J.K. can often be found chasing waterfalls in the mountains with her husband, or down in front at a blues concert. In addition to writing, she enjoys training and competing in dog sports, spending time with her large southern family, camping, boating and, of course, reading! For more information, please visit www.jkhogan.com.

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Tour Schedule

7/10    MM Good Book Reviews       

7/11    Bayou Book Junkie    

7/12    The Novel Approach  

7/13    The (Really) Naughty Corner 

7/13    We Three Queens      

7/14    Love Bytes Reviews  


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Jul 10

Blog Tour: Calloway by Thad J. (Excerpt & Giveaway)

Title:  Calloway

Author: Thad J.

Publisher:  NineStar Press

Release Date: July 10, 2017

Heat Level: 2 – Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 75000

Genre: Contemporary, romance, contemporary, family-drama, explicit, gay, bi, cisgender, businessmen, Deep South, good ol’ boys

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Welcome to the Township of Calloway! Home of the world-famous Daddy Cains’ Foods Company, a staple for the local community.

No one knows this better than James (Jimmy) Cain, heir to the family business, and his father’s pride and joy. With his limitless resources and a family that is always there for him, his life could not be more perfect. But that changes when he meets Benjamin Rei.

A determined and intelligent man, Benjamin is a junior acquisitions officers eager to close his first major purchase. His company has set Daddy Cains’ between its crosshairs and will stop at nothing to get it. Although Benjamin has a simple enough task, people and forces outside of his control will test the limits of just how far he is willing to go to make it to the top.


Thad J. © 2017
All Rights Reserved


“I can’t believe it. I just cannot believe that boy would ever do something like that. You’d better stop that lying, Cecily,” Anna-Jean chided. She had known her girlfriend for many years and understood that exaggeration was something she couldn’t help but do.

“Now you know I don’t lie on people, Anna.” Cecily sounded slightly flustered but too excited about her new gossip to take any offense. “I don’t need to. Honey, you’ve spent just as much time as I have running off that poison clan that Daddy Cain made, so don’t tell me you can’t believe.” Cecily flicked her hand.

Anna-Jean just smiled as she turned off the hose after watering her lawn and gestured for Cecily to join her. The two ladies waddled up the stairs to Anna-Jean’s porch with Cecily assisting her girlfriend until the two plopped down into a set of twin rocking chairs.

It was a gorgeous Saturday morning, and the entire neighborhood had noticed. Taking in the sight and squeals of her grandchildren splashing in a small pool, with another doodling small crayon drawings on the sidewalk took her back many decades to a time when she had been doing the same. Spring days like these were always welcomed, and the sweet scent of Anna-Jean’s azalea flowers mixed with the cooling cookies just out of the oven almost made what Cecily had said unfathomable.

“Cecily, I’m not trying to be mean, but it just doesn’t sound right,” Anna-Jean said sincerely. “I know he gets into all kind of trouble, but it’s never anything serious. He’s just a boy. I don’t think he’s older than what, eleven now?”

“Mmhmm…” Cecily grumbled while shaking her head.

“Are you mad at me now?” Anna-Jean teased.

“Oh not at all,” Cecily said. “As old as I am, you know good and well I don’t waste time with being mad at anyone. I’m just disappointed in you is all.”

Anna-Jean went quiet when Cecily didn’t offer anymore but instead took off her glasses and pulled out a small handkerchief to wipe a perfectly clean lens.

Her patience grew thin, and Anna-Jean crossed her arms, waiting for Cecily to elaborate. “Well?”

“Hmm?” she asked innocently. “Well what, sweetheart?”

“Keep me near the cross,” Anna-Jean said. “Cecily, you just said you don’t waste time, so speak plain.”

Cecily stopped cleaning her frames and set them down on the small table in front of their chairs.

“You sound just like that boy’s father.”

“How?” Anna-Jean asked.

“Just listen to yourself, Anna. ‘He’s just a boy.’ ‘He’s so young.’ Making excuses for him.”

Anna-Jean was about to respond but noticed how stern Cecily looked so she let her continue.

“Every year, that boy gets worse and worse. First, it was pulling hair, then it was scaring people with his pranks, and now he’s gone and taken a whole day of school from all of the other kids.”

“Oh stop it, Cecily. No one knows who did it.”

“I do. I caught him and that favorite cousin of his playing hooky out in Mr. Jenkins’s field. Again. And they had poor little Kenneth-George with them. Charles just adopted him into their family and he’s already being taught bad habits.”

“So just because you caught those boys being boys, it’s supposed to mean they were up to no good?” Anna-Jean asked.

“Exactly,” Cecily almost screamed.

Anna-Jean held her gaze and placed a hand over her mouth as she let out a small laugh. She continued to chuckle as Cecily reached up to touch the small strands of hair that had shaken out of place from her outburst and then joined in while pulling her bun back into a presentable fashion.

“Cecily,” she started, trying to appeal to reason. “He’s only eleven. How do you suppose he did it? Made a bunch of those… what? What did you call them?”

“Stink bombs.”

“Stink bombs then.” Anna-Jean laughed that Cecily was even entertaining these thoughts. “And he snuck into every classroom and every office to set them off at just the right time. Just before Daddy Cain had to meet with his principal that morning?”

“I’m not sure how he did it, but I know he did.” Cecily sounded agitated. “Everyone thinks that boy is an angel, but I can see past that cute smile. Someone has to help Daddy Cain raise him right with how busy he is.”

“Well, I obviously wasn’t there, but I wouldn’t put anything past him. That boy is smart as a whip, clever even. And he didn’t get that stuff from anywhere. He made it.”

“How in the world did he—” Anna-Jean stopped short of finishing her question when she noticed the look of disappointment on Cecily’s face. The notions her girlfriend had put forth were absurd, but then so was all gossip. She knew that this was quite likely the highlight of her day, and instead of indulging her, Anna-Jean was dampening her spirits. Instead of trying to find more flaws in Cecily’s reasoning, Anna-Jean simply asked, “How did he make that stuff, hon?”

Cecily picked back up, eager to show off her skills of deduction. “He’s a Cain, Anna.” A perplexed look remained on her face so Cecily happily explained. “What would you do if your father owned a factory?”

“I know one thing I wouldn’t do; worry about the mailman being late with my Social Security check.” Anna-Jean laughed.

“Tell it now,” Cecily bellowed as they high-fived. “But that’s what they do, Anna. Play with all those chemicals and such. Would you be willing to bet he hasn’t learned a thing or two?”

“It’s just vinegar and tomatoes, Cecily…but even they have some dangerous stuff there,” Anna-Jean conceded.

“That’s what I’ve been saying. I don’t know how he got in that building, but I know he didn’t want to go to that meeting. He can make excuses every day and twice on Sunday to Daddy Cain about his teachers but not with a principal.” Cecily huffed and sat back in her chair, nodding to herself that she was correct. “That boy is bad as hell! But ever since he could pick up a pencil, he’s always brought home straight As. That’s how he fools everyone, you see. Believe me, when I talk to that father of his, I’m going to make sure he can’t make any excuses for that boy this time.”

“You are too nosy sometimes. You know that?” Anna-Jean laughed.

“I don’t care.” Cecily had her mouth open to continue when she was interrupted by a surprising question.

“So you figured it out?” a young boy asked from the end of the porch. “Ah shoot. What am I saying? Sure you did!”

The two women looked at one another, not sure what to do. They were talking innocently enough, but there were certain things that they would never want a child to hear. Smiling as warmly as they could, Anna-Jean and Cecily turned their full attention to the now-trio of boys standing there.

“Hey, sweetie,” Anna-Jean said. “Did you finish those chores for me?”

Instead of answering the question, the boys started to move as fast as they could toward her. The first boy climbed up and over the wooden railing to vault up to the porch, which ran the entire length of the house. His slight pigeon-toe not impeding his stride in the slightest. The second child, who couldn’t have been older than five, simply rolled under the railing in the gap that was formed between it and the deck. How he could see with such long bangs in his eyes surprised everyone. The last ran around to the stairs. He looked very much like the first only his stockier frame limited his physical flexibility. However, what he lacked in dexterity was more than made up for with strength. When all three of them reached the ladies, the first of the three spoke again.

“Lemme guess. Tea, right? A slice of lemon for you, Miss Anna, and no ice for you, Miss Sissy.”

The two women once again looked at one another and Anna-Jean figured that the children hadn’t overheard their earlier conversation. Relieved, she just smiled and motioned for him to come closer and then took him by the shoulders.

“Well, aren’t you just sweet. We would love some, but did you finish?”

“Yes, ma’am, we sure did. Cousin Bryan even patched up that hole in your fence so you don’t ever have to worry about those coons tearing up your garden anymore.” James smiled.

Cecily raised an eyebrow but tilted her head with a look of approval. “Well, bless your heart. But hurry on in because the sun is on the move, and Miss Sissy is parched, honey.”

James ran into the home and let the screen door slam shut behind him. Cecily and Anna-Jean started to turn around, but before they did, he came back out and apologized. “Sorry, Miss Anna.” He looked down, ashamed. When Anna-Jean just smiled, he ran back in, taking the time to physically close the door slowly as he tiptoed backward into the house.

“Kenneth-George! Get up here and give Miss Sissy some sugar,” Cecily called to the youngest child.

Kenneth-George almost tripped over his untied laces and baggy overalls as he ran over to jump into her lap.

“Oh you lost another tooth,” Cecily said while trying to push his overgrown and unkempt curls out of his eyes. “When did he get so big, Bryan?”

“Beats the heck out of me,” Bryan said. “I think he’s part weed with how fast he’s shooting up.”

“He sure is growing,” Anna-Jean said. “You spend a lot of time with your cousins, don’t you?”

“Of course I do, ma’am,” Bryan answered without hesitation. “Us Cain boys are like brothers, thick as thieves. And I swear Daddy Cain is the best uncle a kid can ask for.”

Anna-Jean and Cecily just smiled. They didn’t want to pry, but it was nice to know that Bryan had good people in his life, even if they weren’t his immediate family. “Well, good for you boys.”

Cecily appeared ready to speak but not before Bryan changed subjects. “Hey, KG, show ’em that new dance we taught you.”


Kenneth-George jumped out of Cecily’s lap and began entertaining the two ladies. As they watched and clapped on, Bryan looked through the screen door. His accomplice gave him a thumbs-up that his task had been completed, so Bryan knew they would only need to keep up the charade a little while longer. Just as Kenneth-George was finishing his dance, the door behind the women opened.

“Here you go, Miss Sissy. I made it just the way you like.” His smile beamed as he handed her a glass.

“You boys have been working all morning. Are you hungry?” Anna-Jean asked.

“Are we ever—” Bryan began to say but then grimaced at how hard his cousin grabbed his shoulder near his neck. “Actually, we need to hit the road. Uncle Charles said he would pick us up at the store and take us to lunch.”

“I don’t think he will mind, Bryan. Miss Anna just made some cookies. How about you each have one?”

Kenneth-George looked to his big brother, but not even his young pleading eyes could persuade him.

“No thank you, ma’am. Daddy would tan my backside red if I gave KG any more sugar. He’s losing those teeth faster than he’s growing ’em back.” James laughed. “Say, Miss Anna, do you need anything else? Anything from the store? I really do like helping out around your place.” He looked down as if he were embarrassed. “We can get there and be back in no time before Daddy comes to pick us up.”

“That’s okay. Just grab your stuff and run along now,” she said.

When the three returned from the backyard, they loaded up the bright-red Radio Flyer with all their tools. Kenneth-George sat in the wagon, pretending to steer while his cousin pulled him forward and his brother followed closely behind. When they got to the sidewalk, Anna-Jean waved.

“You boys stay out of trouble.”

They all raised their arms and waved back. Just as the children were about to leave, Cecily stopped them when she noticed a small plastic bag that had just fallen to the ground from under the shirt of one of the boys.

“What is that?” Cecily asked angrily.


“Don’t you ‘huh’ me, Jimmy. I asked, what’s that on the ground? By your foot, boy!” Cecily said, growing more furious by the moment.

James just shrugged. “It’s nothing, Miss Sissy. We just can’t throw this away in the trash. It’s dangerous.” He picked up the bag and started to push the wagon from the rear, encouraging Bryan to pull faster.

“Nothing, my tail!” Anna-Jean screamed. “The three of you get back up here right now!”

“Huh? What? Sorry, Miss Anna, I can’t hear you. Been making too many of those bombs with those chemicals and such!” James said, almost at the end of the street. Bryan pulled on while Kenneth-George giddily bounced at the commotion.

“Jimmy! Jimmy Cain, you get back here!” Anna-Jean yelled while walking to the sidewalk. The boys were almost out of sight, but she kept on. “Jimmy, I swear when I tell your father and get my hands on… ugh!” She exhaled in defeat.

With a determined stride, Anna-Jean walked back toward her home to call Charles Cain. Her grandchildren were staring and so were the other parents who were out, but none of it fazed her. As she stepped onto her porch, Cecily intentionally avoided eye contact.

Anna-Jean faced her before entering and said one word, “Don’t!”

Cecily knew how upset she was but couldn’t help saying, “Didn’t I tell you?”


NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Meet the Author

Thad J. is a Orlando native that was born and raised in West Palm Beach, FL. He writes stories that feature gay male characters with a focus on the more lighter aspects of the genre. A Marine veteran, when not writing he bakes professionally in addition to helping to manage a bakery.

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7/10    Boy Meets Boy Reviews         

7/10    Stories That Make You Smile 

7/11    The Novel Approach  

7/11    Divine Magazine        

7/12    Love Bytes Reviews     

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Jul 10

Blog Tour: Daimonion by J.P. Jackson (Excerpt & Giveaway)

Title:  Daimonion

Series: The Apocalypse, Book 1

Author: J.P. Jackson

Publisher:  NineStar Press

Release Date: July 10, 2017

Heat Level: 1 – No Sex

Pairing: No Romance, Male/Male

Length: 93400

Genre: Paranormal Horror, paranormal, horror, demons, apocalypse, gay

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Dati Amon wants to be free from his satyr master and he hates his job—hunting human children who display demon balefire. Every hunt has been successful, except one. A thwarted attempt ended up as a promise to spare the child of a white witch, an indiscretion Dati hopes Master never discovers.

But Master has devilish machinations of his own. He needs human-demon hybrids, the Daimonion, to raise the Dark Lord to the earthly realm. If Master succeeds, he will be immortal and far more powerful.

The child who was spared is now a man, and for the first time in three hundred years, Dati has a reason to escape Master’s chains. To do that, Dati makes some unlikely alliances with an untrained soulless witch, a self-destructive shape shifter, and a deceitful clairvoyant. However, deals with demons rarely go as planned, and the cost is always higher than the original bargain.


J.P. Jackson © 2017
All Rights Reserved

Deal with a Demon


Snow crunched beneath my taloned foot as I searched. My breath hung as fog around my face until the winter wind whipped it away. My padded soles were too tough to feel the iciness, but my mind was frozen numb, ignoring the guilt that came with the job. The drudgery of stalking the city streets was tiresome, and the possibility of attaining success depressed me.

I was just north of the city’s downtown, where all the houses had been built during the war, and their age showed. Master had sent me to search there. Somewhere among these wartime houses, behind the cracked walls and beneath the peeling shingles, there was something that belongs to us.

I hunted a lost child: a dark child.

A thick blanket of grey wrapped the night sky as snowflakes landed atop trashcan lids, cars, and untrimmed hedges. The sight before me felt darkly ethereal. Perhaps it was because of my one scarred and injured eye, or maybe it was the snowstorm, but the night was hazy and blurred. Beams of light from the nearest streetlamp illuminated the snowflakes as if they were hundreds of thousands of falling stars.

Make a wish, I thought to myself. A silly human expression.

I wish I didn’t have to do this. I wish I wasn’t so lonely. I wish to be free.

Silly thoughts. Punishable thoughts.

The winter breeze soothed my skin and tousled the dark curls of my hair, which was just a little too long. I stopped on the corner of the street, just out of reach of the lampost’s exposing brightness.

The snowstorm cocooned the neighbourhood, muffling the city under a layer of pristine, untouched innocence. The fresh snow made me feel comforted and safe.

With the street empty, I shook my wings out, sending a flurry to the ground before draping them back over my shoulder. My wings would look like a cloak to any human who might see me, but then it was late at night, and humans didn’t see well in the dark. Besides, I didn’t really want to be seen by anyone.

I was being cocky. Walking around with my wings exposed was technically against the rules, but my heavy clothes prevented me from tucking them away.

There were rules that must be obeyed. First, no human was to know what I was, or that we existed. Second, Master’s orders were never to be questioned. Third, complete assigned tasks on time, and never, ever displease Master. They were his rules, and I was to follow them, for fear of retribution.

But I did not always obey.

I loved to watch humans: their relationships, the “busyness” of their lives, the drive and passion that sparked creativity and ingenuity, but mostly the kindness in them. Despite what some would say, they were inherently gentle in nature. And I confess I was a little jealous of it all.

But tonight, I didn’t watch. Tonight, I hunted.

Walking down the ragged neighbourhood, the houses all began to blur together with the same small structures and stucco-faced veneers. Massive trees lined the boulevard with branches that reached high like outstretched arms as if to welcome the inclement weather.

I stopped at each structure as I passed by, analysing if only for a brief second to see if the beacon shone through the windows. The glow would be a cold colour, white but tinged in purple, a phosphorescent violet that could only be seen by my kin, the D’Alae. It emanated from all children who possessed latent demon blood. The result of a hybrid mating. Children who were still human and yet, in part, demonic.

We call them the Daimonion.

Hours passed by as I examined each house. And then, one abode, just slightly smaller than the rest but without the obvious need of attention, grabbed my interest.

The demon-light presented itself, glowing in slow pulsations of violet-white light from the furthest window from where I stood. Every time I found this light, my body reacted instinctually and involuntary. I hated my other self, the demon within and the dark violence that surrounded it, but hate wasn’t strong enough to stop the fiend from emerging.

Adrenaline pumped through my veins. Closing my eyes, my head dropped as the change began. There was nothing I could do to stop it. My fangs elongated, my barbed tail stiffened, and my hands morphed from their human shape into the required rakish talons, deadly and sharp, elongated and pointed, with venom beginning to ooze from the base of the nails. Another night, another child ruined by my nocturnal visit.

But you have to do this, Dati. You have to ensure Master is kept happy, I reminded myself, repeating the last sentence like a mantra, trying to justify the gnawing ache in my stomach.

Within seconds, I found myself next to the window where the demon-light beckoned. With a quick push, the old window slid open, and I slipped into the child’s bedroom.

There, beneath a hand-stitched quilt, slept my prey. Such a small boy, with auburn hair surrounded by small stuffed animals. He couldn’t have been more than five years old. Toys littered the room and crystals hung in the window, catching the streetlight and casting prisms all around the room. A small nightlight shone from the corner, its warm yellow glow distorting my shadow across the room into a large ominous silhouette. From the boy, the ebbing radiance glowed fiercely.

I bent over the child and delicately pushed his scruffy hair off of his forehead. Freckles danced across his nose. His breath smelled and tasted of cloying sticky-sweet innocence.

I straightened myself up and stretched out my wings, cramped from the long night’s walk, then held up my clawed demon hand, tensing it. The skin was black, like liquid ink, and the ebony demon flesh flowed up to my elbow where it faded back to pink. Veins of evil persisted up towards the shoulder.

Reaching over, I steadied myself to tear open the skin on the back of the boy’s neck and inject the venom that would unleash the evil hidden within his body. I gently pushed the boy down into the mattress, ensuring there would be no struggle.

Just a hair’s breadth away from making the incision, the cut that would change everything, I stopped. Guilt churned my stomach, making me nauseous, the same way it did for every child before this one.

The bedroom door burst open, and light from the hallway exploded before me. Standing straight and scampering against the wall, I raised a hand to shield my eyes from the blaring light.

A small stout woman with fuzzy slippers and a tatty nightshirt walked into the room and flicked on the boy’s bedroom light, her flat nose and cheeks ruddy with anger. She was furious. How could someone who looked so unassuming appear so fierce, despite the jasmine and vanilla perfume that clung to her clothes?

“Back away from my boy, beast! He is not yours to take.” Her voice was thick with an eastern European accent.

I had broken Master’s most important rule. No human must know what I am. Remorse flooded through me, and my tail went limp as I came to one realization. I would have to kill her.

I lunged forward, faster than her human eyes should have been able to see, but before I was halfway across the room, she raised her hand and, with short, thick, but deft fingers, tossed a piece of paper into the air and spoke.

“Відкрий!” She spoke with specificity and authority. To my ears, it was harsh and unfamiliar. The air around her swirled, causing the flannel night skirt she wore to rustle around her covered feet. Her long hair, plaited, had been disturbed and shanks of dark blonde waved around her head like medusa’s snakes. The piece of paper disintegrated before me, but the symbols and writing from the page hung in the air. With sudden quick movements, the writing encircled me in a spiral.

“Злови!” As she said the foreign word, the hanging writing vibrated with a high-pitched hum. Lines emerged from the tails and stems of the suspended script. Lines weaving and wrapping, growing into long threads.

“Замотай!” With the last word, the letters wound about me. Wrapping me tightly, the strings bound my feet and hands and looped around my torso, lifting me up off of the floor. This woman, in her bunny slippers, wearing threadbare clothes, had me ensnared, and all I could think was how Master was going to be angry with me for getting caught.

I had never met any human who could contain me.

I had no idea what to do.

I was a demon. I would unleash Hell.


NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Meet the Author

J.P. Jackson works as an IT analyst in health care during the day, where if cornered he’d confess to casting spells to ensure clinicians actually use the electronic medical charting system he configures and implements.

At night however, the writing happens, where demons, witches and shape shifters congregate around the kitchen table and general chaos ensues. The insurance company refuses to accept any more claims of ‘acts of the un-god’, and his husband of almost 20 years has very firmly put his foot down on any further wraith summoning’s in the basement. And apparently imps aren’t house-trainable. Occasionally the odd ghost or member of the Fae community stops in for a glass of wine and stories are exchanged. Although the husband doesn’t know it, the two Chihuahuas are in cahoots with the spell casting.

J.P.’s other hobbies include hybridizing African Violets (thanks to grandma), extensive travelling and believe it or not, knitting.

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7/10    The Novel Approach  

7/10    Bayou Book Junkie    

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7/11    Out Of My Head        

7/12    Love Bytes      

7/12    On Top Down Under Book Reviews           

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7/14    Queer Sci Fi    

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Jul 10

Blog Tour: Lying Eyes by Robert Winter

Title:  Lying Eyes

Author: Robert Winter

Publisher:  Robert Winter Books (self-published)

Release Date: July 7, 2017

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 84300

Genre: Romance, Mystery, BDSM

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This bartender’s art lies in more than mixing drinks …

Randy Vaughan is a six-foot-three mass of mysteries to his customers and his friends. Why does a former Secret Service agent now own Mata Hari, a successful piano bar? Where did a muscle daddy get his passion for collecting fine art? If he’s as much a loner as his friends believe, why does he crave weekly sessions at an exclusive leather club? 

Randy’s carefully private life unravels when Jack Fraser, a handsome art historian from England, walks into his bar, anxious to get his hands on a painting Randy owns. The desperation Randy glimpses in whiskey-colored eyes draws him in, as does the desire to submit that he senses beneath Jack’s elegant, driven exterior.

While wrestling with his attraction to Jack, Randy has to deal with a homeless teenager, a break-in at Mata Hari, and Jack’s relentless pursuit of the painting called Sunrise. It becomes clear someone’s lying to Randy. Unless he can figure out who and why, he may miss his chance at the love he’s dreamed about in the hidden places of his heart.

Note: Lying Eyes is a standalone gay romance novel with consensual bondage and a strong happy ending. It contains potential spoilers for Robert Winter’s prior novel, Every Breath You Take.


Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA


Saturday rolled around, and Randy headed to town early to make sure everything was ready for Mata Hari’s busiest evening of the week. Although the bar officially opened at five-thirty, it was rare for anyone to wander in much before seven o’clock. Randy was surprised when the front door opened at six to admit a good-looking man.

The stranger was probably about five foot nine or ten, and wore a three-piece suit that seemed tailored to accentuate a lean build. His dark hair was cut stylishly short on the sides but thick and swept back on the top, and his mustache and full beard were closely trimmed. A brightly colored necktie contrasted with the somber gray of his suit. Randy had trouble assessing the man’s age, but he would go with thirty. European, though—Randy would stake the bar on that guess.

The newcomer contemplated the walls of Mata Hari, passing almost dismissively over the art on display. He studied each piece for no more than a second before moving to the next, but Randy had a distinct impression the man sought something in particular. As he completed his survey, he kept turning and eventually met Randy’s eyes across the bar.

Immediately desire flared in the man’s face as his hungry gaze drifted over Randy’s tight white shirt and up to his face, lingering on his mouth. Shoulders tightened almost imperceptibly as he drew himself to his full height, yet Randy recognized a softening of hard edges. He lazily ran his own eyes to the stranger’s luxurious beard, and he imagined stroking the softness there. He sensed something accommodating. Something potentially submissive, yet more subtle than the wanton displays of obedience and posing he was used to on Mondays at his private club.

Something he would enjoy channeling and rewarding, in the right circumstance.

The man started toward the bar. As he moved, Randy had the odd sense that the suit he wore was ill-fitting, even though it seemed perfectly tailored. A step away from the bar, his face just—closed. That was the only word for it. One instant he was cruising Randy; the next he was stone.

Randy sighed to himself. The guy was probably a closet case on his first night at a gay bar. That usually meant an unsatisfying encounter, even if the newbie didn’t rabbit. In any case, it wasn’t Randy’s thing. He’d had plenty of virgin ass over the years, and preferred his men experienced.

Fine. Nothing for me here. He waited at the bar, vaguely disappointed.

“Sir, good evening.” The man’s accent was English, his words precise and elegant like his hair and his clothes and his beard. Probably from London. Up close, Randy could see his eyes were a deep shade of brown graced with streaks of gold around the pupils that caught the lights over the bar. “I’m looking for a Mr. Randall Vaughan.”

Despite forswearing his immediate attraction to the stranger, that honeyed voice caused Randy to smile slowly and show his teeth. He registered the slight widening of the eyes behind the stranger’s mask as he focused on Randy’s mouth.

“I’m Randy Vaughan. And you are…?”

The man blinked in surprise. “Oh. The Mr. Vaughan I was seeking is an art collector.”

Shit. Just another jerkwad, making assumptions right away. Randy was a big man so he couldn’t possibly be knowledgeable about art, could he? Well, fuck that noise. One more chance.

“I wouldn’t use the term collector, but…” Randy gestured at the walls.

“Quite so,” the man said distantly, and turned to sweep his gaze over the works on the nearest wall. “Neither would I.”

Randy’s back stiffened immediately. The stranger—no, the asshole—turned his attention back to Randy and held out a hand. He seemed oblivious to the fact that he’d just royally pissed Randy off. “My name is Jack Fraser. I’m from the Kensington Museum in London.” Fraser paused as if waiting for Randy to be impressed. “I sent you a letter recently.”

Randy willed himself not to think further about Fraser’s whiskey-colored eyes or the luxuriousness of his beard, and he didn’t take the offered hand. Instead, he wiped a small spill on the counter before him. “You did,” he agreed in a bored tone.

Fraser dropped his hand. “Ah, yes.” A pause. “My secretary didn’t hear from you to set up an appointment.”

“Which was my answer to your request,” Randy said, letting some snarl appear as he met Fraser’s eyes. They were still guarded and closed off, but Randy could see embers burning deep inside. In the right setting, and with proper motivation, he could imagine making those embers flare and ignite in the slender man before him. For the moment, though, the eyes just narrowed in calculation.

Before Fraser could say anything, Randy turned away. “If you’ll excuse me, I have work to do.”

“May I buy a pint?” Fraser asked, desperation shading his smooth accent.

Randy considered calling Malcolm over to deal with it, but stopped in front of the beer taps. He was annoyed at his lingering attraction, and he decided to push back on this prick a bit. “Fine. What’s your pleasure?”

“Guinness. If you have it.”

“Of course you’d drink Guinness.” A little scorn curled Randy’s lip. “Well, the closest beer I have is a stout from Flying Dog.” He let his sneer turn feral. “It’s called Pearl Necklace.” He dropped his eyes to Fraser’s necktie, as if he could picture that very thing replacing the colorful silk.

Fraser blinked nervously. Probably he could picture it too. Maybe he even imagined Randy’s hot jizz splattering his chest and neck as his reward. Well, he shouldn’t have been a condescending shit out of the gate then. Randy waited, one hand on the tap, the other idly scratching his ear to make his bicep flex under his white shirt. Fraser focused on his arm and swallowed audibly.

“That’ll be fine,” he said. “A, uh, Flying Dog then.” Randy drew the pint to set before Fraser on a coaster. He didn’t wait for the man to take a sip or comment, but headed to the other end of the bar to check inventory.

He stayed busy but somehow noticed that Fraser lingered at the bar for several minutes, apparently hoping Randy would come back and let him ask again about the piece Randy had purchased from the Gates Gallery. When Randy deliberately kept his distance, Fraser took his beer (which, Randy was pleased to note, was more than half gone) and wandered around the room to examine more carefully each painting displayed. Sometimes he moved on quickly to the next piece of art. Other times, he gave a slight shake of his head.

Randy’s ears burned, and he considered throwing the guy out. Since he’d opened Mata Hari no one had given him grief about his collection. To be honest, no one had studied it the way Fraser did, but still. Each piece had been acquired because Randy connected to something in it. To have this handsome English stuffed shirt look down his nose offended Randy in a way he couldn’t even articulate. He seethed inside the longer Fraser spent on his dismissive tour of the room.

When Fraser reached a landscape that was hung over a small settee, he gave a distinct snort. He set his empty beer glass on a nearby table and Randy swooped over to pick it up, ostentatiously swiping the wood as if it had left a ring. “Another Pearl Necklace?” he snarled.

“Ah, no. Thank you.” Fraser seemed surprised to find Randy standing so close, though his eyes remained closed off and stony. “But it was a quite nice stout after all. Thank you for the recommendation.”

Randy gestured at the landscape with his chin. “Is that painting offensive to you for some reason? You’re practically laughing at it.”

“What? Oh no, it’s…fine. Competent. It’s the presentation, the arrangement of the art, that I find amusing.”

Randy ran his gaze over the pieces arranged on that wall of the bar. He’d decided where to hang each and every work over a long stretch of time as he’d readied Mata Hari for opening. He revisited the collection frequently and rotated different pieces in and out of prominent positions. Most of his customers were oblivious but Randy took great satisfaction in presenting something unique in the atmosphere of his bar.

“What’s amusing about it?”

“Well, there’s no story, is there?” Fraser answered him.

“What do you mean?”

“Individually each piece is presentable. A few are even intriguing. But see here,” he gestured at the landscape, “this is a nicely executed pastoral, yet it’s positioned between a Japanese scroll and a watercolor of a monarch butterfly. The pieces say nothing about each other, and have no intrinsic relationship.

“But over there,” he indicated the wall opposite, “is a modern landscape. Change the frames to something complementary, place them side by side, and the two landscapes together suggest a conversation in, oh, quite a lot actually. Painting techniques, the subject and tonal changes in works separated by two artistic traditions. You see?”

Randy did see, but he’d be damned if he’d admit it. “Two landscapes here wouldn’t fit,” he said stubbornly.

“Ah. Art as furniture. Of course,” Fraser said with a smirk, and that did it.

“No charge for the Pearl Necklace,” Randy barked. “Since you made the trip for nothing.”

Meet the Author

Robert Winter lives and writes in Provincetown. He is a recovering lawyer who prefers writing about hot men in love much more than drafting a legal brief. He left behind the (allegedly) glamorous world of an international law firm to sit in his home office and dream up ways to torment his characters until they realize they are perfect for each other. When he isn’t writing, Robert likes to cook Indian food and explore new restaurants. He splits his attention between Andy, his partner of sixteen years, and Ling the Adventure Cat, who likes to fly in airplanes and explore the backyard jungle as long as the temperature and humidity are just right.

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7/10    MM Good Book Reviews

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7/13    Love Bytes Reviews

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