About jessicacoultersmith

Award-winning science fiction & paranormal romance author

Wrong by Shelby Morgen #agegap #firstresponders @shelbymorgen @changelingpress

Katie’s got her eye on tall, dark, and hunky, wrapped in black leather and jeans.

Problem. He’s so sinfully sexy, she can’t get a word out in his presence. Not to mention the fact that he looks like he’s barely legal, at best. She needs to get him out of her system.

Michael’s got other ideas. He’s set his sights on improving Katie’s theory of the Big Bang — in more ways than one.

Get it at Changeling Press

Preorder for April 9th at online booksellers

EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2021 Shelby Morgen


Go for it.

No, no, no. Not going to happen.

Come on, Katie. You can do this.

Absolutely not.

Oh my God. He looks even better without the jacket. Look at that body. And why do you think he’s holding the jacket there?

Katie tore her gaze away from the cowboy holding the jacket, firmly deciding not to speculate on what all that black leather might or might not be hiding. “Thank you. I hope you enjoy the book.”

Katie picked at the book cover, trying to contain her agitation. This was her third book signing in as many months, and the third time this cowboy had lined up for her autograph. That couldn’t be a coincidence. Could it?

Stop staring at his crotch.

She averted her eyes, knowing she was blushing furiously. She looked down at the book in her hands — her latest release, Cosmic Theory and The Big Bang — and forced herself to quit thumbing the edge of the flyleaf.

I’d like to show him a big bang.

Oh, that was just wrong. She worked hard at not giggling. Physicists did not giggle. Not at book signings. And not because a handsome stranger stood in her line. Especially not when that sinfully sexy leather clad stranger’d shown up twice before — for the same book — and she’d still not been able to get a single word out of her stupid mouth.

You can do this! Come on, Katie. He’s next up. Say something. Anything! Speak!

She looked up into the most gorgeous set of blue-green eyes she’d ever seen — where were his sunglasses? — and, once again, froze.

“Michael,” he supplied.

What? Why was he telling her his name? Oh, so she could sign the book. Flustered, she reached for her pen — why had she set it down? — and knocked into her water glass. “Shit!” Katie clapped a hand over her mouth.

“Whoops!” Michael grabbed the glass — and the pitcher — just in time.

Michael — she’d already known his name — she never forgot names — had the grace to laugh, just loud enough to cover her indiscretion. Hastily flipping the book open to the title page, she wrote For Michael — you’re a lifesaver! Dr. Catherine Vargen. “Thank you,” she managed out loud.

There. She’d done it. She’d actually spoken to him. On some crazy inspiration, she pulled out one of her promo cards. “I’m giving a lecture at the planetarium tonight,” she offered.

“What are you doing afterward?”

She blinked, twice, looking, she knew, like an insane owl. “Excuse me?”

“Q & A? Group discussion?”

“Oh.” Yes, of course that’s what he’d meant. Idiot. “Yes, I’ll be fielding questions after the lecture.”

“Great. I’ll be there.”

“Thank you!” she repeated lamely as he headed for the register.

Giving her a great view of tight jeans over a really fine looking ass.

Idiot, idiot, idiot. Quit looking! Jail bait. You’ll get yourself arrested!

He couldn’t be that young, could he? No. College student. Had to be at least twenty-one or twenty-two, maybe. Still. Twenty years her junior. Wrong. Just plain wrong.

Yeah, well, all she’d done so far was look. Couldn’t arrest her for that. Not while he had his clothes on, anyway.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shelby Morgen loves writing offbeat tales that defy as many rules as possible.

She likes chocolate with her peanut butter, suspense with her romance, and kink with her sex, and she’s always had a hard time keeping science fiction, fantasy and paranormal from mixing with her kink.

Shelby shares her belief in electronic publishing with her longtime friend and partner, Bill, her husband of nearly four decades.

Release Blitz: The Detective’s Mate by Alexa Piper #paranormalromance #LGBTQ @prowlingpiper @changelingpress @GoIndiMarketing

Title: The Detective’s Mate

Series: Dusk & Dawn #5

Author: Alexa Piper

Publisher: Changeling Press LLC

Release Date: April 2, 2021

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 143

Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Mystery, Thriller/Suspense, murder mystery, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, shapeshifters, werewolves, vampires, dark fantasy

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

Orrin and Gordon come from different worlds: Orrin is a werewolf with the New Amsterdam Police, and Gordon is a vampire who likes the quiet of his morgue. Yet, they decided to be with one another even though Orrin’s vampire was at first afraid to commit.

Now, new complications come barreling at the two when Orrin realizes he will have to step up to become a parent to an orphan shifter, while New Amsterdam has become the haunt of a serial killer who targets mixed supernatural and human couples.

Gordon was slow to realize he loves his werewolf mate, but it takes him even longer to figure out he still has his own demons to deal with. A past hurt has left a scar on his soul. Gordon’s werewolf detective might just be what Gordon needs to heal the scars from his past. The only question is whether geeky Gordon is enough for serious and seriously handsome Orrin.

Together with Maxim, New Amsterdam’s bardic vampire hunter, Orrin and Gordon are on the case to save the city from sinking into fear and panic as more murders challenge the peace. Through turmoil and death, Orrin and Gordon must find a way forward.

NOTE: This book contains scenes of assault and kidnapping that may be triggers for some readers.

Excerpt

Copyright ©2021 Alexa Piper

New Amsterdam Police Station was a nice neoclassical building, and all things considered, it wasn’t a bad place to work. Most of the time, the coffee was even decent.

Orrin had not usually been one to leave the station early, but Bachman, his protégée, was more than capable and didn’t need him holding her hand while she finished her paperwork. Also, Orrin had a hot date at the morgue. He checked the time on his computer, finished one more email, then logged out. Bachman briefly looked up from what she was doing.

“You always look cheery when you are going to see the boyfriend,” she commented, then did a double take and looked straight at him. “Or should I be saying mate?”

Orrin grabbed his bag and stuffed his work tablet into it. “Boyfriend is fine,” Orrin said, because it was, and it also was easier around the station, since most of Orrin’s colleagues weren’t werewolves but were human like Bachman herself. “Also, are you saying I’m usually grumpy-looking, Bachman?”

“Just very, very serious, sir.” She went back to typing. “I think cheery suits you. And I think the mate-slash-boyfriend does as well.”

Orrin couldn’t do anything about the wide grin that threatened to make his cheeks ache. “Well, thanks. I’ll tell Gordon you said hi.”

“Hmm-mmh.” Bachman winked at him as Orrin walked toward the elevators, and even he noticed the spring in his step.

* * *

The worst thing about any morgue was the smell of lingering death. Orrin sniffed the air when he got to the basement hallway in the Forum that housed the forensic labs, though he was hoping to pick up a whiff of Gordon’s dusty rose scent rather than eau de corpse. Yet all he got was vinegar and bleach cleaning solution. Gordon had probably received a fresh batch of New Amsterdam University interns and had set them to cleaning every nook and cranny so they could familiarize themselves with the place.

On the bland-looking wall on the left, a framed, vintage <em>Dracula</em> movie poster added a dose of vampiric cheer in bold print and even bolder colors to the basement labs, and opposite it, Gordon’s office door stood ajar. Orrin peeked around the doorframe to see if Gordon was in there.

<em>What a nice view,</em> Orrin though, watching Gordon hanging a framed piece of artwork, his nimble surgeon’s fingers adjusting the frame this way and that. The view was much helped by the skinny jeans Gordon was wearing. The jeans were a silvery gray, clashing with the raspberry surgical top, but nicely bringing out Gordon’s latest hair color, electric blue that shifted to icy white at the ends. <em>I am very fortunate to have found a mate who looks great in skinny jeans and likes wearing them</em>.

Orrin indulged in a quick fantasy centered on removing said pair of skinny jeans, and in the fantasy, that task was easy, and Orrin’s mate had decided to go commando. Orrin imagined Gordon hard and ready, imagined touching, tasting…

He smothered that fantasy quickly when he felt his own aching physical reaction. Instead, he refocused back on the present: Gordon, tinkering with the frame.

“Hey,” Orrin said.

Gordon jumped, dropped the frame, and cursed as he turned around. “Fucking hell,” he said, his stance relaxing as he saw Orrin. “Make some noise every now and then, will you?”

Orrin chuckled. “Thought I was a living corpse, Doctor?”

“Never,” Gordon said, picking up the frame once more and putting it on its hook with much less fumbling than before. “Those shamble, noisily.” He turned to Orrin again. “And you are sneaky, like a true predator, Detective.”

Orrin walked into Gordon’s office, which smelled of roses, Gordon’s scent. It still had an undertone of morgue, of course. The Lord Helmet cookie jar added the herby flavor of good weed cookies, and all the mint-in-box collectibles came with their own aroma of high-end plastic, but Orrin focused on Gordon. Two more steps, and he was pulling the vampire into his arms and pressing his lips to Gordon’s.

Gordon yielded to being held after a moment, turning fully to Orrin and allowing the werewolf to fuse their mouths and run hands over Gordon’s body, all the way down to his ass.

“Hi,” Orrin said when they broke their kiss.

“Hello, handsome,” Gordon said, and while the vampire wasn’t one to give pet names, Orrin still enjoyed being called handsome, not least because it came out of his mate’s mouth. “Are you here to cuff me and take me away?”

Purchase

Changeling Press LLC | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes

Meet the Author

Alexa Piper writes steamy romance that ranges from light to dark, from straight to queer. She’s also a coffee addict. Alexa loves writing stories that make her readers laugh and fall in love with the characters in them. Connect with Alexa on Facebook or Instagram, follow her on Twitter, and subscribe to her newsletter!

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Bookbub

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Blog Button 2

Book Blitz: Dare to be a Duchess by Sapna Bhog #regencyromance @sapnawrites @BookReviewTours

He’s a powerful duke. She’s his uncle’s ward. They have forever been at war, until one night, one masquerade, and one kiss…

Lara Ramsay is no stranger to scandal. As the orphaned daughter of a British colonel and his beloved Indian wife, whispers follow her everywhere. Not even the protection of the formidable Duke of Wolverton, a man she can’t stand, keeps the gossips at bay.
The audacious Lara has driven Tristan Wentworth, The Duke of Wolverton, to distraction since the day his uncle took her in—and he’s quite certain doing so is her favorite pastime. After catching her and his younger sister at a salacious masquerade, he’s had enough scandal and issues a marriage ultimatum: find a husband within six months or one will be chosen for her.
Unfortunately, no one in the ton appeals to her. Except, perhaps, the duke himself. The battle of wills has only just begun, and when Lara kisses him, their fate is sealed.
Sometimes even the most proper duke needs to break the rules to win the heart of the woman he loves…

Book Links:
Goodreads * Amazon.in * Amazon.com

Dare to be a Duchess 2

Quotes from Dare to be a Duchess:

“Here, right at this moment, I’m giving you an ultimatum: Find someone from the ton to marry in the next six months or I will choose someone for you.” – Duke of Wolverton

“Well then the plan is simple, ‘Divide and Rule.’” – Lara Ramsay

“You’ll be surprised that a gentleman with the best intentions can behave like a rake when faced with temptation.” – Duke of Wolverton

“I think, Wolf, that you go on and on about my undesirability and my unattractiveness as a way to convince yourself more than me. The fact is that you kissed me because I am desirable and I am very attractive indeed.” – Lara Ramsay.

“You know very well that I’m accepted in the ton, albeit grudgingly, thanks only to you. No man wants to marry me, and I don’t want to marry any of those men.” – Lara Ramsay.

Dare to be a Duchess 3

Read an Excerpt from Dare to be a Duchess:

Wolf crossed his arms and glared at Lara. Despite being at fault, she was as unrepentant as ever. Her absolute nonchalance drove him mad, always.

“It is my concern. Getting into trouble is second nature to you, so I’d be lying if I said that it gave me any pleasure to be the one to help you out.” Wolf scowled at her. “Paxton is not a fool. He only has to think closely as to whose identity I would desperately want to protect and then remember your dark hair and he will come up with your name. You truly have no sense at all.”

“Well then you shouldn’t have bothered coming to my aid,” Lara retorted. “I could have handled the situation perfectly well by myself.”

Wolf put his hands on his hips. “And how may I ask would you have done that?”

“I’ve heard that a well planted knee on a delicate part of a man’s anatomy would normally do the trick.”

His eyebrows shot up. “You’re crazy to think that you could have deterred Paxton that easily.”

Lara merely stared at him, her head held high, further fueling his temper.

“What, nothing to say?” he snapped. “Which brings me back to my first question. What in the world are you doing here in this depraved place?”

Lara continued to watch him with those deep blue eyes, her lips set in a mutinous line. Her lack of response irked him even more.

“Answer me,” Wolf demanded, his tone sharp.

She met his gaze head on. “We had no inkling this place would be so bad. And nothing untoward has occurred, so stop shouting at me.”

“Unbelievable,” he growled. “Do you know how bad this place can be for two innocent girls like yourselves? Behind their masks and costumes, the men here have only one thing on their minds when they look at you, and you, as usual, don’t care that you could be completely ruined if discovered, let alone taken advantage of, in this den of vice. You are wild and irresponsible and you give no thought to your actions or the consequences thereof. And you

brought Anne here? Just because you don’t care about your reputation doesn’t mean you can play fast and loose with hers.”

Lara’s eyes blazed with fury. “Anne is not a child. She is a grown woman who has a mind of her own.”

“And that is justification for you to come here?” Wolf countered.

“I, too, have a mind of my own,” she shot back. “And I do not appreciate you telling me what I can and cannot do.”

His nostrils flared. He was the Duke of Wolverton, one of the most powerful men in England. No one defied him. And yet this one woman stood against him at every turn. Why couldn’t she understand the potential danger for her or Anne here?

About the Author:
Sapna Bhog is an author from India who writes contemporary and historical romance novels. As a self-proclaimed die-hard romantic, her books are filled with swoon-worthy heroes and feisty heroines who clash all the time, but do get their happy ever after. Sapna has always surrounded herself with books and when she is not writing she is reading. Originally from Dubai, she now lives in Western India with her husband, kids and a Siberian Husky. Sapna gave up a successful IT career and took a foray into writing and has never looked back since. Her favourite pastimes are reading, writing, traveling and shopping—not necessarily in that order. She loves to hear from readers.

Sapna on the Web:
Twitter * Facebook * Instagram

 

The Black Sea by Dora Esquivel #GayRomance @15VirginiaLee

The Black Sea by Dora Esquivel  

#1ClickHere: ➜ https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08ZL2ZPN2  

Series ➜ Grim and Sinister Delights  

Paranormal M/M Romance  

𝐀𝐁𝐎𝐔𝐓 𝐓𝐇𝐄 𝐁𝐎𝐎𝐊  

ASHAR ABDULLAH LONE  

Ashar is the heir of a wealthy ruthless Turkish mafia family. His uncle, Stelian runs the family business with unrelenting violence and brutality. Ashar is his uncle’s right-hand man and he punishes those who transgress against their empire.  

Fury has been around for over thirteen thousand years. His father, Triton, was the ruler of Atlantis and the Ancient Seas, making his world a cold and calculating place. He is the youngest son to a vast ocean empire, the last of his people, the Atlanteans.  

In Fury’s world, the biggest shark eats the smaller fish. There is no sympathy towards humankind, only disdain, and hostility. One night the prince watches as two humans are tossed overboard from a large freight. One has a scent he can’t understand that pulls him towards the stranger.  

He finds the dying man and must save him. He is amazed by all the scars and wounds the man has and he can’t stop himself from touching the handsome human. This is his mate.  

Fury breaks an ancient vow when mating with Ashar. He will not marry Nereus, known as the sea witch. It was a marriage made by his powerful grandfather, the one and only, Poseidon.  

Impossible for them to resist their attraction to one another. The two men set a series of catastrophic events in motion, that sets mortals and immortals fighting for survival.  

Two men from vastly different worlds collide in a mix of heat, passion, and desire. Throw in ancient curses, marriage vows, tridents, and family drama- will Fury and Ashar survive long enough to fulfill all their most passionate desires?  

Grim and Sinister Delights is a dark romance series based on classic fairy tales and stories. You will find standalone tales of gay romance that range in darkness and kinks. If you dare to take the challenge, read them all to find yourself lost in a classic that you think you know. These stories are for adult readers and may contain morally ambiguous themes.  

ABOUT DORA  

Been on my own since I was 16. I’m a born rebel! I grew up on the border of Texas and Mexico. Had many adventures in the AirForce and traveled the world, but I always kept writing. I have a bunch of journals with full stories that need to be written. I am at a point in my life where I can dedicate myself to my passion writing! The writing Gods won’t leave me alone! When I’m not writing, I enjoy reading, listening to old 80’s music, exercising, taking care of my family, two sons, hubby, mother, and two dogs! Busy full life. My stories are dark, horror-filled, with a mix of tantalizing erotica and gritty sex. I have a wild imagination. I prefer my paranormal beings ruthless and cunning. As I start my writing adventure, I hope you will join me and enjoy reading my books! Any questions, please contact me I would love to hear from you!  

FOLLOW DORA  

Bookbub ➜ https://www.bookbub.com/profile/dora-esquivel  

WEB ➜ https://doraross1971.wixsite.com/mysite  

AMAZON ➜ https://www.amazon.com/Dora-Esquivel/e/B07DPSCWMC  

~~&&~~ HOSTED BY:~~&&~~ BRVL—Book Review Virginia Lee: http://ow.ly/UrNot  

Dawning by Mychael Black #GayRomance #shifters @changelingpress

What is it they say? No good deed goes unpunished?

Ren is on the run. His people have aligned themselves with every known mage cabal in the country to rise up and overrun the world above. As the head of House Daturi, he’d been expected to follow the other Houses and lead his own into war. Except he has no desire to fight — with anyone. Now he has two choices: fall in line or die as a traitor. Neither seems promising.

Arulas is a wolf shapeshifter who prefers to avoid contact with others, no matter the species. He has a cabin deep in the woods, nestled near the border of the Light Fae realm. He doesn’t bother them, and they don’t bother him. Until now, things were quite perfect. Then he finds a half-dead Dark Fae in the middle of nowhere. Not one to leave a man down, Arulas nurses the Dark Fae back to health, only to find himself square in the middle of a damn war.

Available at Changeling Press

Preorder for April 9th at online booksellers

EXCERPT

Rumors swirled among the peasantry that Zerin was under mage influence, but the pompous ass had been itching to get the Houses unified to take over the world above. Ren didn’t agree with such ambitions, and a part of him feared the consequences should Zerin’s war come to fruition.

“Lord Ren, what of House Daturi? Are you prepared?” one of the Council members asked.

Ren had been dreading the question. “I… yes. House Daturi is ready to march with the others,” he lied.

In truth, he didn’t care if House Daturi did or not. He had no intention of sticking around to watch. He’d packed his things a few days ago, what little he could carry, and only waited for the right time to leave. If he was careful, he could get above ground by morning. Of course, the second he was missed, there would be a price on his head the likes of which no Dark Fae had ever seen. They’d lost a few guards, but never anyone of Ren’s status. He had to do it quickly and quietly. He hated leaving his few lovers, but he couldn’t stay here any longer. Not with his sanity intact.

“Very good,” Zerin said from his dais at the front of the Council chamber. “This meeting is adjourned. We will reconvene in the morning to set our plans in motion.”

Dismissed, Ren and the other lords filed out of the chamber. Ren headed back toward the tunnel leading to his own keep, a good distance from House Vakeor. Each House’s territory branched off from House Vakeor’s, some several days’ journey away. Thankfully, House Daturi was only a few hours’ walk. He’d left his guards at his keep, more out of caution than anything else. He’d long since lost any trust in his own people, even those in his House. If Zerin wanted a war, so be it, but the man would have it without Ren’s aid. House Daturi’s followers could do as they pleased.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Myc has been writing professionally since 2005, solo and with Shayne Carmichael. Genres include pretty much anything (no steampunk yet), though Myc is well known for paranormal stories. When not writing, Myc is usually playing PC games, reading, watching Netflix, and spending way too much time on Facebook. Since the question has come up in the past, pronouns are not an issue. Myc is bio-female, mentally male, and 100% genderfluid, so any pronoun works!

Release Blitz: Junior Hero Blues by J.K. Pendragon #YoungAdult #LGBTQ @JKPendragon @GoIndiMarketing @ninestarpress

Title: Junior Hero Blues

Author: J.K. Pendragon

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 03/29/2021

Heat Level: 1 – No Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 58400

Genre: Contemporary YA, LGBTQIA+, Action/adventure, Coming-of-age, Criminals, Enemies/rivals to lovers, Geeks, Humorous, Interracial, Law enforcement, #ownvoices, Superhero, Young adult

Add to Goodreads

Description

Last year, Javier Medina was your average socially awkward gay high schooler with a chip on his shoulder. This year, he’s…well, pretty much the same, but with bonus superpowers, a costume with an ab window to show off his new goods, and a secret identity as the high-flying, wise-cracking superhero Blue Spark.

But being a Junior Hero means that Javier gets all the responsibility and none of the cool gadgets. It’s hard enough working for the Legion of Liberty and fighting against the evil Organization, all while trying to keep on top of school work and suspicious parents. Add in a hunky boyfriend who’s way out of Javier’s league, and an even hunkier villain who keeps appearing every time said boyfriend mysteriously disappears, and Blue Spark is in for one big dollop of teenage angst. All while engaging in some epic superhero action and, oh yeah, an all-out battle to protect Liberty City from the forces of evil.

Welcome to the 100% true and totally unbiased account of life as a teenage superhero.

Excerpt

Junior Hero Blues
J.K. Pendragon © 2021
All Rights Reserved

When I woke up, my mask was lying beside me on the ground, and I felt like my entire head had been squeezed like a pimple.

It took me a few minutes to get my bearings, and by the time I realized the Raven was there with me, she was putting my mask back over my eyes and checking my vitals. Masks have a way of obscuring expressions, but I could see her jaw was tight and her lips were even thinner than usual.

“What happened?” I groaned, my voice raspy. I was starting to get memories back, of the smoke and explosions of the battle, and of him. That bastard smashing my head into a mirror—I raised a hand to my forehead and felt crusted blood through my glove—and then of us fighting, and of a rather unheroic rage that had come over me as we did so. The last thing I remembered was my hands on either side of his head, shooting sonic waves into his ears so hard his eyes were rolling back, and his big meaty hands around my neck, squeezing me into darkness.

“Don’t know.” The Raven’s ambiguously Slavic accent was harsher than normal. “I found you here, with your mask off. Who did it, do you know?”

“Yeah.” I coughed. “Who do you think? Jimmy Black.”

*

I guess I should back up a bit. Jimmy Black was my sworn enemy, if you go for dramatics like that (I totally do), and I’d met him before all this crap with the Organization started. I’d been on a date with Rick Rykov. My first date. Ever, that is, and I was pretty convinced the whole thing was a setup to make fun of me, because that would be typical. But then Rick actually showed up at the café, and we sat there for twenty minutes drinking coffee and discussing our lives like regular people, and there was absolutely no sign of the whole thing being a prank or some plan concocted by him and his friends to humiliate me.

I mean, aside from being gay, Rick was, like, standard bully material. He was a football player, even—six feet of lean teenage muscle and popularity. And I have a theory that being gay in high school just pushes your social standing to an extreme either way. Like, if you’re already popular, and then you come out as gay, you become this amazing, brave individual who inspires change (exhibit A: Rick Rykov). But if you come out as gay, and you’re that weird little Spanish dude who came to America in first grade and couldn’t speak any English, who decided to compensate for that fact by eating a bug in front of his entire class, which was never forgotten, ever, by anyone…

Well, see exhibit B: Javier Medina (that’s me, by the way). Skinny, brown, nerdy. I’m sure you can picture it. That, combined with my family not exactly being wealthy, meant I got picked on a lot in school, even before the bug thing, so I’m a little skittish. Or possibly a lot skittish. You decide.

So anyway, naturally, considering my rather extensive history with bullies, when a superhot, superpopular football player came striding down the hall toward me after class one day, my first instinct was to run away. Unfortunately, Kendall (who apparently has superhearing that I don’t know about) had overheard that Rick was planning on asking me out and grabbed my arm to keep me from escaping. She’s pretty heavyset, and I guess she was using her weight to her advantage, because I was basically rooted to the spot despite having, you know, moderate superstrength.

So then Rick strolled up, cool as you please, and introduced himself. Like, he full-on shook my hand. As if it were a job interview. And then he asked me out, and I was thinking I might be stupid enough to eat a bug, but I sure as hell wasn’t stupid enough to think that Rick Rykov was actually asking me out on a date. So I told him to eff off.

Yeah right. I actually said something along the lines of, “Uhh…you want to go…on a date? With me? Wh… Why?”

And he said, “Because I like you. I think you’re cute, so I thought we could get to know each other a bit better over coffee.”

At this point, I was basically giving myself whiplash looking around trying to see if I was in the process of being ambushed with the eventual intent to stick my head in the toilet. And then I got kind of angry because, like, here I was, busting my butt every single day to save people’s lives and keep the public safe. Screw putting up with this high school bullying crap.

So I decided I would go out with Rick, and if he or any of his buff football friends decided to try to pull one over me, I was just going to spontaneously snap and beat the crap out of them (or at least use my powers to pull some fun tricks with them) and plead temporary insanity to Captain Liberty after the fact.

Rick seemed pleased, and a little surprised I’d agreed. We set a date, and I went fully expecting to be doused with whipped cream, or laughed and jeered at, or at the very least stood up.

But Rick was there, leaning back in one of the little spindly café chairs that looked like it might break under his weight and sipping some frothy drink. When I sat, he shook my hand again, and then we just sort of…started talking.

Which I know isn’t a big deal, because, like, people talk all the time. But not me. I mean, I talk to Kendall, because she’s my best friend and has been forever, and we tell each other everything. I talk to my parents, in Spanish mostly, which is still a bit easier for me, funnily enough (although I’m sure you can tell I have an absolutely superb grasp of the English language). But with everyone else? It’s kind of like the fewer syllables I can use, the better. I mumble my way through life. I just can’t make myself say what I’m thinking most of the time.

So yeah, it was pleasantly surprising to be able to talk to Rick. He asked me questions and waited patiently while I answered them, and then offered information about himself. He lived with his parents in a really nice part of town, although pretty close to me, and had a sister and a cat. And I told him, a bit defensively, that I lived with my parents in a crappy little apartment that didn’t allow pets, and that my dad worked on computers and my mom worked at a gas station so we could have a little extra income. I was all set for Rick to be all judgey or awkward (or worse, feel bad for me) about my poorness, but he didn’t seem to care about that at all. He actually seemed to genuinely want to get to know me.

And then, just when I was starting to relax and believe that this was actually a thing that was happening and I wasn’t going to, you know, die, Rick’s phone rang. He had a sort of awkward conversation and said, looking really let down, “I’m sorry, I’ve got to go to work. Last-minute thing.” Then his face brightened up a bit. “But we should do this again sometime.”

I agreed, and he went off, and I was left sitting there for about ten minutes finishing my coffee and thinking. And then my phone rang too.

I should have figured it out right then and there.

It was the Legion dispatch, about as polite as ever, which is to say one step up from a robot. Actually, scratch that, the Legion AI was way friendlier.

So she was all, “There’s an incident downtown, not far from your location. Can you respond?”

And I figured why not, since I was pretty pumped at that moment, and anyway, it was my job. Like, I got paid for it and everything. So I told her I’d be there in two minutes, and grabbed my bag and headed out.

Now, listen up, because I’m going to let you in on a little secret about switching from your civilian clothes into your superhero getup.

The telephone booth thing?

Utter bullcrap.

I mean, maybe except for old pros like Captain Liberty. I’ve seen him change into his costume so fast it was as if he must have been wearing a tear-away outfit, complete with, like, origami cape and boots in his back pocket. But for the rest of us, it’s three-plus minutes of awkwardly hunching on top of a building—try even finding a telephone booth these days—ripping off your clothes and pulling on the parts of your costume that don’t fit under them, and then you have to try to fit everything, including your shoes, into your backpack. And then you have to look for a place to stash your backpack where it won’t be stolen or crapped on by pigeons or something.

And the Legion really does expect you to respond to a call within only five minutes. I don’t know why they haven’t invented some sort of quick-change technology. Maybe they have, and they just don’t make it available to Junior Heroes.

It’s a complete rip-off being a Junior Hero, by the way. You’re supposed to be only assigned to low-risk stuff, but half the time it’s just as dangerous as anything else anyway, and the rest of the time it’s freaking boring.

Purchase

NineStar Press | Books2Read

Meet the Author

J.K. Pendragon is a Canadian author with a love of all things romantic and fantastical. They first came to the queer fiction community through m/m romance, but soon began to branch off into writing all kinds of queer fiction. As a bisexual and genderqueer person, J.K. is dedicated to producing diverse, entertaining fiction that showcases characters across the rainbow spectrum, and provides queer characters with the happy endings they are so often denied.

J.K. currently resides in British Columbia, Canada with a boyfriend, a cat, and a large collection of artisanal teas that they really need to get around to drinking. They are always happy to chat, and can be reached at jes.k.pendragon@gmail.com.

Twitter | Instagram

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Blog Button 2

BOOK REVIEW: John Carpenter Presents Storm Kids – Sacred Hearts by Steve Niles #graphicnovels #horror #NetGalley

For Chris, Dirk and Shelley, life in their small town has always been quiet. But they have all heard about the Franklin Farm… a place they should never go near. When the three best friends decide to build a tree fort in the woods, they dare each other to go to there in search of wood, and find themselves in a strange world they never expected, setting off a terrible chain of events. In this place, monsters are created, and an ancient evil from an old family curse is rising within their little town. But in all the chaos, they come to learn that not all monsters are bad. Some are special… some are born with a Sacred Heart… From his horrific beginnings, this special Monster was born from a broken pact with evil, and somehow a door to a dark world had been opened. With the help of their new Monstrous friend, the kids try to stop the destructive forces happening all around them, and end the curse once and for all.

Get it at Amazon or Barnes & Noble

MY REVIEW

5 stars!

I admit I wanted to read this because I’m a John Carpenter fan. I loved the artwork and the storyline held my attention from beginning to end. While the story was mostly predictable, there were some unexpected twists that kept me entertained. The artwork alone is enough reason to add this one to my collection. If you’re looking for horror that’s not overly gory, you can’t go wrong with Sacred Hearts. Great for young adults, and adults who are young at heart.

A gripping, fast-paced read with gritty artwork, Sacred Hearts is a must-have for horror fans!

SPOTLIGHT: Goddess of Everything by Paul DeBlassie III #paranormalthriller @pdeblassieii

Goddess of Everything

Paul DeBlassie III

 
Genre: Paranormal Thriller
Publisher: Hallowed Realms Press
Date of Publication: 2.11.20 
ISBN: 978-0-578-81368-4
ASIN: B08R13FQSH
Number of pages: 199
Word Count: 57,900
Cover Artist: Aaron C. Yeagle
 
Tagline: Goddess of Everything is a blood-curdling tale of the affection of one mother for her son and her son’s struggle for truth, freedom, and love.
 
Book Description:
 
In the mystic land of Aztlan del Norte, a realm of supernatural happenings and unexpected turns of fate, psychiatric healer Gabriél de LaTierra encounters appalling evil within the Orphanage of the Holy Innocents. Children disappear for reasons kept secret by Mother Juana de la Cruz, Superior of the Nunnery and the Orphanage.
 
Love for Mother Juana, Gabriél’s widowed mother turned religious superior, clouds her devoted son’s mind. Consuela, Gabriél’s wife, confronts his wall of denial. Torn between love for mother and wife, Gabriél turns inward.
 
It is Consuela who propels Gabriél’s discovery of the nighttime blood sacrifice of children in the desert, a centuries-old ritual that imparts immortality to Mother and her nuns. Gabriél is further enraged by Mother Juana’s vengeful attack on Consuela and her kidnapping of their four-year-old son, Cuauhtémoc. But his actions will determine whether Consuela and Cuauhtémoc live or die, and the fate of Mother Juana de la Cruz.
 
Goddess of Everything is a blood-curdling tale of the affection of one mother for her son and her son’s struggle for truth, freedom, and love.
 

Excerpt

His mother wailed again. Nighttime darkness continued to descend, and the wind stayed its brutal course at Father’s funeral. Mother Juana hadn’t noticed the spirit of a
man cloaked in light beside Gabriél. He wasn’t Gabriél’s father. He was more
than a man; he was everything that Father was and more. Through the corner of
his eyes, Gabriél saw the white-bearded old man. In many ways, in many forms,
I will come. The words were close as heartbeats and breath. He knew if he
turned and looked directly at him, the man would disappear. The light was
intense, like rays of the sun. The old man had something to say.

Suddenly, unclean sounds went into Gabriél’s ears and chest—crackling and squealing voices rising from under the earth and into his body, trying to block out the
lingering presence of the old man and his words. Like a god, the white-bearded
man lifted his right hand, fingers spread. The noise went up from the ground
into his palm, a mighty hand with powerful magic.

Gabriél’s mind became silent as a windless autumn night, magic making him still inside, just like he was when in his bedroom reading alone. The old man was strong and made
what was bad cease. Even as the underworld racket stopped, the graveyard winds
kept up their awful screams.

The quiet of the man and the moment wrapped strong and warm arms around Gabriél. Invisibility stood guard around the old man. Mother could not see him. No one could see him.
He was there only for Gabriél. He bent down beside Gabriél and touched his
shoulder. A crystal clear calm made the shrieking wind and the crying women and
the priest’s strange prayers seem far, far away.

Mother’s red hair blew in the wind like it was on fire. It didn’t scare Gabriél because of
the old man, his warm and solid hands steady on Gabriél’s shoulders. His kind
eyes said he was ten thousand times ten-thousand-years old. His mother’s red
hair and shrieking prayers no longer scared him.

Then the old man spoke, and through Gabriél’s mind sent a message, LISTEN… WHEN THE DAY GOES AWAY AND THE NIGHT COMES, REMEMBER I AM HERE. He touched Gabriél’s heart. LISTEN.

Gabriél’s mother abruptly glanced down at him. He looked into her eyes and knew she
hadn’t heard the old man, but she had a squint in her eyes. Her eyes glowed
red, and the old man’s hands did not move from Gabriél’s shoulders.

Big branches from the cottonwoods cast long moon shadows over the grave. Now they looked like skinny people scratching at each other, cloaking the old man. The wind
picked up its screeching.

Gabriél’s heart pounded like stampeding horses.

Mother squeezed his hand. His fingers tangled together, tips burning with pain. Then she looked away and wailed more loudly than ever.

The old man continued, TELL NO ONE ABOUT ME. I WILL HELP YOU AS A BOY. I WILL HELP YOU AS A MAN. LISTEN. The old man motioned again to Gabriél’s heart and then touched between Gabriél’s eyes, the brow point.

The old man stopped and looked up.

Gabriél caught his mother’s gaze.

She’d seen the old man, pointed at him, and screeched like the evil winds.

Blistering dust and grit blinded Gabriél. He pulled his hand away from his mother and rubbed his eyes and tried to clear them, but when he looked again, squinting, he saw
that the light of the old man had vanished.

His mother was wrapped in a cloud of dust. Out of the cloud came a coyote, foam curling from its mouth. It howled, and an instant later legions of dust devils took over the
landscape and swallowed it in clouds of dust, trash, and tumbleweeds.

Mother reappeared beside him and picked him up. She screeched with a million hateful
voices. His heart beat rapidly, fluttered like a flock of sparrows flying away. Catching his breath was hard.

“The night plays tricks,” his mother seethed, her breath hot and rank.

The winds suddenly ceased. Brown and gray clouds gave way to blackness that closed in and covered the full moon. Spirits of children rose out of their graves. They pointed at Gabriél and his mother. Their hands and fingers grew and reached to grab him, take him away under the earth.

Mother swept her black shawl over Gabriél. She whispered, “I will protect you, mijo.”

They escaped into the jet-black night.

 

About the Author:

Paul DeBlassie III, Ph.D., is a psychologist and award-winning writer living in his native New Mexico, crafting visionary thrillers energized with trickster mischief and natural magic.

https://www.pauldeblassieiii.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pdeblassieiii

https://twitter.com/pdeblassieiii

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56373593-goddess-of-everything

Book Tour: Reckless Dreams by J.R. Whire #paranormalromance @jrwhite84

Reckless Dreams

Stories from the Dream Realm 
Book One
J.R. White
 
Genre: Paranormal/Fantasy Romance
Date of Publication: March 15th, 2021
ASIN: B08X2XMNJ7
Number of pages: 265
Word Count: 54,000
Cover Artist: J.R. White
 
Tagline: Embrace Your Destiny in the Dream Realm
 
Book Description: 
 
The only thing Karlee Bolt has on her mind is her upcoming beach vacation, but her plans are derailed by dark shadows and a knight with a brilliant, bright light. Karlee is suddenly thrown into another realm and into a battle she has no way of fighting.
 
A Watcher by right, DjinnShay Court is a warrior that protects the balance between the realms. When the Dreamweaver is suddenly dropped into his lap, Court must change tactics. No longer a warrior that stands between the realms, he must now lead Karlee through the Dream Realm and show her there’s more to dreams than fantasy.
 
Amazon      Books2Read
 

Excerpt:

Before Karlee could get the next book on the shelf, a loud thunk made
her jump. Spinning around to face the disturbance, she took a slow step
forward. “Hello?” At first only silence answered her and then a distant click
followed by another and then the sound echoed through the disorganized mess.
She took another step, but it wasn’t until the lights illuminated the hallway
clicked off that she realized what the sound was.

Backing away from the approaching darkness, Karlee turned to run. The
clicking of the lights going out behind her grew louder. On the other side of
the basement was the door that led outside and onto the street. She ran faster
as her heart started to race. As the clicking grew louder and closer, she heard
heavy feet hurrying along with it.

The lights directly above Karlee started to shatter. Sparks cascaded
down on her and bounced across the floor. Making a quick turn, she could see
the door just a few yards away, but just as she was closing the distance, she
felt something tug at her hair. Letting out a shriek, she dashed towards the
steps that led away from her tormentor. As one foot touched down on the stair,
the other was yanked out from under her. She crashed into the wooden steps and
felt a cold solid mass wrap itself around her ankle. It began to slither up her
leg and she kicked out, desperately trying to clamber away.

There was nothing but darkness behind Karlee. Even the thing that held
onto her and was scratching at her skin seemed to be made of shadows. She
screamed as she felt the first hard tug. Reaching up, she grabbed the edge of
the top step and held on. Another hard tug jerked her, nearly ripping her away
from the relative safety of the stairs. Just when she thought her leg would be
torn off, the door above her burst open and she was blinded by a brilliant
flash of light shooting through the darkness.

“Be gone, shadow spawn!” a deep voice boomed, and Karlee felt the thick
shadows jerk franticly away. Scrambling up the steps, she saw the shining man
who had saved her and ran straight into his arms. A strong arm wrapped around
her and she found herself tucked against the man’s side.

From beside the stranger, Karlee could see the source of the brilliant
light. It radiated from a small stone he held in the palm of his hand. Beyond
him, she could also see the illuminated darkness left in the library basement.
The light allowed her to see the collection of books and the wreathing shadows
that had chased her. Misshapen human shadows were wriggling in the light as if
it was burning them. Staring at it, she felt fear rake over her, violently
sending her heart into her throat and blocking the scream she couldn’t seem to
conjure.

The man slammed the door, hiding the horrid sight from
Karlee and in one smooth motion, took her hand and turned towards the road. “I
have to get you out of here,” he said as he started to pull her away from the
library and down the sidewalk.


About the Author: 

J. R. White has been telling stories for as long as she can remember. After her marriage in 2008 she found the freedom to dive headfirst into her personal world of fiction. Currently she lives in the Upstate of South Carolina with her family, where she fills her daughter’s head with fairy tales.


https://jrwhite-author.com/

https://twitter.com/jrwhite84

https://amzn.to/386V8mE

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7135923.J_R_White

Release Blitz: First Impressions by C. Koehler #LGBTQ #ContemporaryRomance @christopherink @GoIndiMarketing @ninestarpress

Title: First Impressions

Author: C. Koehler

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 03/29/2021

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 90200

Genre: Contemporary, “LGBTQIA+, Contemporary, romance, gay, family-drama, humorous, comedy of manners, ex-porn star, store clerk, resort hotel, mother/son relationship”

Add to Goodreads

Description

When Henry Hughes and Cameron Jameson meet for the first time at a Coming Out Day party, it’s anything but love at first sight. In fact, it’s an unmitigated disaster, despite a scorching physical attraction.

Henry, whose social anxiety gets the better of him, humiliates Cameron, and when Cameron finds out about Henry’s past in adult films, he assumes he dodged a disease-covered bullet. Yet as Henry runs into Cameron again and again, he realizes he might have misjudged the younger man. He also realizes that Cameron won’t let go of his own initial view and thinks Henry is an unmitigated ass. First impressions are lasting impressions, and Cameron seems to misinterpret all of Henry’s words and deeds.

It’s not until Henry confronts Cameron that Cameron realizes just how wrong he’s been, but he thinks he’s lost his chance. Yet when disaster strikes Cameron and his friends, Henry rides to the rescue. Will Cameron be able to put aside his pride and shame to accept Henry’s help and his heart?

Excerpt

First Impressions
C. Koehler © 2021
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One
Henry Hughes nudged his Tesla Roadster into the second of his assigned parking spots beneath the Capitol Towers, the one in which he’d had a charger installed, praying he didn’t dent or scratch the pricey plaything.

He struggled to leverage his muscular frame out of the door, and finally just climbed out the top. There was no way this would work long-term. He was way over six feet tall and built like a linebacker. Maybe the other space was larger? He’d already noticed his assistant’s more serviceable SUV parked there. He made a note to talk to her about it, but then he realized if he did, she’d relinquish the larger space without a peep, or worse, buy a smaller car. Then he thought about the hassle of moving the charger. It’d be easier to keep climbing out of the top of the car.

The parking was a pain in the ass—and not the good kind—but to keep a place in Sacramento. Since it wasn’t his primary residence, a house with a yard simply wasn’t practical, not even one of the adorable bungalows in the neighborhoods east of downtown. So, there he was with a condo and the adventures in parking.

Even with the occasional headache, Sacramento still beat San Francisco, and it was the only city of any size close to Alpenglow, his spread near Lake Tahoe. What was his alternative, some village of less than fifty people on US-50? Now entering, now leaving!

The door opened at his touch, and he sighed. There could be only one explanation.

Lillian.

She had arrived early to freshen the place up for him.

It was thoughtful and so like her, and so unnecessary. He wasn’t helpless, just an emotional wreck. He lied to himself and pretended the joke was funny.

“Hello?” he called, shutting the door behind him. He walked into the foyer and through the French doors that led to the formal living space beyond. “Lillian?”

“In here, Henry.”

Lillian Desmond rose to shake his hand when Henry entered the room because she was respectful like that. She was tall, a bit shorter than him, at least, and while her face was lined by sun and a storied career in law enforcement and paramilitary groups—the details of which he still found improbable despite vetting them thoroughly—she wore her fifty-odd years lightly. He suspected she could put him on the ground in seconds if she wanted to but was nice enough not to demonstrate it. She kept her graying-blonde hair out of the way in a no-nonsense bun, and that plus the reading glasses perched on her nose made her look like a schoolmarm.

“Welcome home.” Her reading glasses slid down her nose as she looked him in the eye. It made him wonder what he’d done and what the consequences would be.

Henry looked around. “It doesn’t really feel like home. It’s more like a hotel suite I own, which is weird, because Alpenglow doesn’t look this impersonal and it’s actually a hotel. Sort of.”

“And whose fault is that? Maybe you should spend more time down here this fall. You work awfully hard.” Lillian gave him a stern look. “Take some time off.”

“I don’t work any harder than you, and you’ll take time off when you die.” He hated talking about his work habits because they inevitably led to discussions about his personal life. Or the lack thereof. “Who knows. A bit of a break might be nice.”

“There you go.” Lillian herded him away from her paperwork. “Let’s go into the living room. We’ve got some things to go over.”

“The winter schedule and programming?” Henry noted the leather portfolio with the Alpenglow logo on its cover.

Lillian laughed, sweet and musical. “You’re funny. No, we went over that months ago, as you evidently don’t recall. This”—she pulled out the portfolio—“is the material for next spring.”

“I guess there’s no putting it off.” Henry pretended to be reluctant, but he loved Alpenglow like nothing else, built from the ground up out of a moribund ski resort with his own money and tricky financing. It had started just with skiing, but he had added a variety of offerings to make it a desirable year-round destination.

Lillian had been an early part of Henry’s operation and had quickly become integral to it. He’d initially hired her to head his security team, but after her first diffident suggestion that perhaps opening the cross-country trails to local horse-riding camps might improve their nonexistent summer cash flow, he and she had put their heads together to make Alpenglow what it was, even if she wouldn’t accept part ownership. “Alpenglow’s all yours,” she said when he’d tried to sign over an admittedly minority share to her. “You pay me a prince’s ransom, and that’s more than enough.”

So now he sat next to her now on one of the leather sofas while they finalized their spring plans.

Lillian pushed her readers back into position. “I’ve got quite an agenda for us while we’re here, Henry.”

“I can see that.”

“First, routine maintenance issues. As you know, the outdoor swimming pools are showing their age.”

“That they are. Frankly, we’re lucky we got through the summer with them in the shape we did. In retrospect, they should’ve been done last winter.”

“Hindsight’s always twenty-twenty,” Lillian agreed. “Now, in the past, you’ve insisted on keeping one outdoor pool open and heated, but this year…”

Henry leaned back, paying attention with only part of his mind as they ran through basic upkeep issues. They’d done this many times before; only the specific details changed.

“Have you had a chance to look into the décor of the rooms in the south wing, like I asked?”

“Yes, of course, Henry.” Lillian flipped through her notes. “You were right. Those rooms have never been updated, and honestly? They’re not looking that good.”

Henry nodded. “That’s what I thought. I haven’t been able to get into every room, but the ones I checked need help, and soon.”

They should, he thought. They were the first rooms to accommodate guests, back when the south wing was the only wing and he worked the front desk.

“I’ll oversee it myself,” Lillian said. “Now, about—”

He shook his head. “No, I will. We can probably find designers and decorators whose work’ll do in Sacramento, but if we need to go to San Francisco I’m halfway there. Have the schematics for those rooms sent down here via courier, and I’ll start making calls.” Henry thought for a moment. “One other thing…don’t fill my dance card too full. There are people down here I want to see, people I hope will invest in the next phase of Alpenglow.”

Lillian nodded. “I’ve heard a rumor that Darren Jessup from Band of Brothers might be in town for a while. I’ll see what I can find out. Now, the last thing on the list, at least for today, is Camp Snowflake. Will you be taking your usual role?”

Henry frowned. “Of course, why wouldn’t I?”

She looked up from her portfolio. “Just checking. I wasn’t sure how long this hankering of yours for city life would last this time.”

“We’ll see, won’t we? It looks like I’m ready for company again, and despite the smaller size of Sacramento’s gay community, it feels like fewer people here know about my past.”

Lillian put down the portfolio with its list and removed her glasses. “People don’t care about your imagined ex-porn star notoriety as much as you think they do.”

“You’d be surprised what people care about, and thanks to the Internet, it’s still as fresh as yesterday.” Henry laughed without humor. “It’s only been five years or so. Hell, Badass still has most of the films on the website.”

“I know how much it bothers you.” Lillian touched his arm gently.

He appreciated the gesture even if it didn’t make him feel better. Early in their association, she’d taken on the role of mother surrogate. It hadn’t taken him long to figure out that he’d never convince her he could take care of himself, and it was nice to have someone looking out for him.

None of that meant he didn’t want, didn’t long for, didn’t need that someone special to look after him. And for him to look after in return, a real husband and not the string of trophy men his Uncle Benton supported, tagging along behind him like Mary’s little lambs, always bleating for more cash. He sighed and made a mental note to let Uncle Benton know he was in town.

Lillian snapped her portfolio closed, and then hesitated. She gave him a measuring look. “There is one other thing…”

Henry knew that tone. It always led somewhere, usually right into his private life. “Yes?”

“You need to get out more, Henry.” Amazing. She hadn’t even bothered to butter him up first. She held up a hand to hold him off. “I know what you just said about the imagined sins of your past, but you’re never going to meet Mr. Right—hell, Mr. Right Now—if you’re holed up in your pretty prison up by the lake.”

“Alpenglow’s not a prison,” Henry mumbled. He crossed his arms defensively, trying to ward off the truth of her words. On some level he knew he looked like a petulant child, but right then he didn’t care.

Lillian leaned forward and touched the side of his head. It was gentle, almost a caress. “I mean up here, in your mind.”

Henry jumped. That one slipped past his defenses. He tried to laugh it off, but it came out as a strangled gurgle. He coughed to clear his throat. “So…um, what do you have in mind?”

“Well, seeing how it’s early October…”

Henry looked at her expectantly, waiting for the rest.

“Early October, Henry. Ring any bells?”

“Not seeing any connections, Lillian.”

“National Coming Out Day, Henry,” Lillian sighed. Then, quicker than lightning, her hand flashed out and smacked him on the forehead.

“Ouch!” Henry yelped. “What the hell was that for?”

“You’re gay, you big fool. Hell, you made gay porn for years, and you don’t know when National Coming Out Day is?” Lillian shook her head.

“I came out—was outed, thank you very much—years ago.” Henry rubbed where she’d hit him. It still stung.

“My point,” Lillian said, “is that you could show a little gay pride once in a while, considering how much money the gay community’s made you over the years.”

“Technically, they made the money for Badass Productions. I was a contract worker at first,”

“Trivia, Henry. Once you bought into the company all those horny men put cash in your pocket. You’re coming with me so I can introduce you to Sacramento society. There are people you need to meet.”

Wasn’t Sacramento society an oxymoron? “All right.”

Lillian looked at him with suspicion. “That’s it? No argument? No mulish and obstinate resistance?”

“Would it do any good?”

“No.”

“Then…wait a minute.” Henry glared at her through slitted eyes. “If I need to meet these people, why haven’t I met them sooner? We’ve both spent plenty of time here.”

“The time just didn’t seem right.” Lillian wouldn’t meet his eyes.

Interest, but Henry decided not to pursue it. “Why not? I can’t spend all my time on the redesign, and who knows? Maybe I can drum up some business. I do own a high-end resort, after all.”

He made all the right noises, but when it came down to it, Henry didn’t know who people would see when they met him, Henry Hughes or Hugh Jerection, a man and persona he’d long ago come to hate.

Purchase

NineStar Press | Books2Read

Meet the Author

Christopher Koehler always wanted to write, but it wasn’t until his grad school years that he realized writing was how he wanted to spend his life. Long something of a hothouse flower, he’s been lucky to be surrounded by people who encouraged that, especially his long-suffering husband of twenty-nine years and counting.

He loves many genres of fiction and nonfiction, but he’s especially fond of romances, because it’s in them that human emotions and relations, at least most of the ones fit to be discussed publicly, are laid bare.

While writing is his passion and his life, when he’s not doing that, he’s a househusband, at-home dad, and oarsman with a slightly disturbing interest in manners and the other ways people behave badly.

Christopher is approaching the tenth anniversary of publication and has been fortunate to be recognized for his writing, including by the American Library Association, which named Poz a 2016 Recommended Title, and an Honorable Mention for “Transformation,” in Innovation, Volume 6 of Queer Sci Fi’s Flash Fiction Anthology.

Facebook | Twitter

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Blog Button 2