Title: Turtle Bay
Series: Tides of Change, Book Two
Author: John Patrick
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: 06/28/2022
Heat Level: 1 – No Sex
Genre: Historical, LGBTQIA+, gender-bending, cross-dressing, businessman, humor, law enforcement, political, PTSD, Postwar America, sexual discovery
It’s 1947, and New York City is awaiting the construction of the new United Nations building, the FBI is actively pursuing Communists and Soviet spies as the Cold War begins to build, and homosexual men have even more reasons to hide who they are.
Uptight FBI Agent Arthur Mason is so deep in the closet he doesn’t even realize he’s in one. Clueless about his own sexuality, he’s surprised at his reaction to both Hans Schmidt and his twin sister, Ada. Under pressure from work, Mason investigates Hans and his boarders, including the highly suspicious Hank Mannix, a known member of the Communist Party. Though Mason can’t seem to locate Ada, he can’t stop thinking about Hans and keeps going back to visit.
Hans Schmidt is a cross-dressing German immigrant running a boarding house for “a certain type of man,” and he wants nothing to do with Agent Mason and his ill-fitting suits and bad haircut. Until he begins to see Mason more as a man and less as a government official.
Hans enjoys dressing as a woman from time to time, and once his feelings for Arthur begin to change, he realizes he needs to share his Ada persona if they are to have a future together.
Secrets on both sides must be revealed and cherished beliefs challenged if these two men are to find the love and happiness they deserve.
This story can be read on its own; however, characters from book one, Dublin Bay, play a prominent role as secondary characters, so it’s recommended to read that first.
John Patrick © 2022
All Rights Reserved
Even after five years in America, Hans still startled every time the telephone rang—an abrupt, clanging sound insisting on attention. Why couldn’t a country capable of producing an atomic bomb be able to create a more discreet way of letting a person know about an incoming call? He vaguely remembered the phones in Ireland giving a soft chime first, before beginning to ring in earnest, but his time there had been short and chaotic, always one step ahead of capture, so he couldn’t be sure.
He didn’t remember the sound of telephones in Germany at all, even though he knew one hung on the wall in the university’s administration office. He pictured it there next to the corkboard but couldn’t reconstruct its sound.
He hoped the new dial telephone would have a more melodious tone. Assuming the phone company ever got around to swapping out his candlestick model for something more modern as they had been promising for months.
The telephone sat atop the counter in the small reception hallway. Hans swiveled his stool and picked up the entire device, bringing the mouthpiece forward and lifting the receiver close to his ear. He was surprised a call had even come through; most of the operators had gone out on strike.
“Schmidt’s Boarding House, Hans Schmidt speaking.”
“Hans, old boy! It’s Wally, up in Albany.”
“Oh, Wally, so good to hear from you. Is this business or pleasure?”
“Business, I’m afraid. I have a live one for you. And don’t forget I’m still on a party line here.”
That was code for anyone could be listening. Hans appreciated the reminder. The boarding house had its own private line, and he sometimes forgot most people outside the city still used party lines. As if to prove the point, Hans heard muffled soft breathing in the background.
He sighed and glanced at the wall clock, mentally rearranging his calendar for the afternoon. “Hold on.” He placed the transmitter back on the desk, switched the receiver to his left hand, and pulled a pad and pencil out of the drawer. He leaned closer to the mouthpiece so he could still be heard. “A day or two’s notice would make a nice change. But go on.”
“Sorry, there was no advance notice this time. He came right up to the counter and said, ‘One-way ticket to New York City, please, next available bus.’ You’ve got two more hours. I’m certain of this one, Hans. We served together.”
“Oh, were you…?”
“No. Nothing like that,” Wally responded. “But I knew, of course.”
“I understand. Greyhound?” Hans asked.
“Yes, arrives at three thirty.”
That was good news at least. The Greyhound terminal was next to Penn Station, which was only a half-hour walk if he hurried.
“Would you recommend Ada or Hans?”
“Oh, Ada for sure, dear boy. This one seems quite skittish. A direct approach won’t do. He needs to see what’s possible,” Wally replied. “He’s a good kid, Hans. Don’t let him get swallowed up by the Y.”
“Understood, and thanks for the tip. What will he be wearing?”
Wally laughed, and the connection broke up a bit. “Oh, not to worry. You can’t miss him.” Hans heard a click as someone hung up, or perhaps someone else picked up to check if the line was available.
“Will you be coming down yourself anytime soon?” Hans asked. “You absolutely must see David Brooks in Brigadoon. He’s in a kilt most of the time. We could make a weekend of it.”
“That sounds grand! Maybe next month.”
They exchanged a few additional pleasantries and ended the call.
Hans needed at least an hour to get Ada ready, and he was thankful he hadn’t yet put on cologne. He’d planned a shopping trip this afternoon to resupply a few staples—coffee, tea, and biscuits for the ladies’ reception parlor—but that could be rescheduled. But he couldn’t put it off for too long; the ladies did not like to run out of biscuits during their social hour.
As he descended the stairs to Ada’s room on the garden level—a New York euphemism for below ground—he was reminded how much easier things were for men. He wore a simple gray suit with a narrow navy tie, appropriate for all seasons and conservatively bland. Why, a fellow could disappear into any crowd wearing such an outfit.
Ada, though—she had a much tougher go of it. It was spring, technically, but still quite chilly. She’d need something…delightful. Yes, Hans thought, that was the right word. Not too frivolous, but sufficiently feminine to show the world there was still joy in beauty. But she’d also need to wear an outercoat and sensible enough shoes for a bit of a walk. She wouldn’t want to invite scrutiny, but she’d want people to see her and appreciate the effort she’d made.
Hans stepped into Ada’s room and opened the closet. He considered his options. He’d have to use last spring’s coat; he hadn’t had the time or funds to completely reoutfit this season. But it would do the job. It was robin’s-egg blue with a fitted waist rather than a belt. Five oversized white buttons ran down its length. Sadly, American fashion houses continued to insist on outrageously padded shoulders even now, nearly two years after the war’s end.
A thrill ran through Hans as he stood in front of Ada’s closet. It always did, right before the transformation.
He eyed the spring dress he’d bought two weeks ago and knew it would be perfect. He took it out of the closet and laid it flat on the bed. It was a creamy off-white cotton, with a hint of pink. It dropped to midcalf and had a layer of tulle underneath the skirt—an extravagant use of material that would have been unthinkable only a year ago, when rationing and scarcity were just starting to give way. Large red cherries created a pattern, and a back zipper allowed for a smooth, uninterrupted front.
Hans removed his suit and his baggy, shapeless boxers, making a mental note to remember to take the clothes back to his own room, behind the kitchen. He spent the next half hour on underclothing and shapewear, then makeup, and finally a softly curling blonde wig that matched his natural hair color.
Hans was more comfortable dressed as a woman than he was dressed as a man. He always had been; it’s what got him in trouble back in Germany.
Dressed as a woman, Hans absolutely sparkled. His slight frame and delicate features fit Ada better than they fit Hans, and more than once he wondered what it would have been like to have been born as Ada. He’d met men who claimed to actually be women, deep inside, but he didn’t fully grasp that. At the heart of it, Hans liked being a man and being attracted to other men. He just liked dressing and acting like a woman sometimes.
It was enough for him.
The dress itself—the item everyone saw—was the easiest part but for the back zipper, which he managed eventually.
He slipped on square-heeled navy shoes, tied a gauzy pink scarf around his hair as protection against the breeze, and then headed out the door.
Meet the Author
Author John Patrick is a Lambda Literary Award finalist living in the Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts, where he is supported in his writing by his husband and their terrier, who is convinced he could do battle with the bears that come through the woods on occasion (the terrier, that is, not the husband). An introvert, John can often be found doing introverted things like reading or writing, cooking, and thinking deep, contemplative thoughts (his husband might call this napping). He loves to spend time in nature—“forest bathing” is the Japanese term for it—feeling connected with the universe. But he also loathes heat and humidity, bugs of any sort, and unsteady footing in the form of rocks, mud, tree roots, snow, or ice. So his love of nature is tempered—he’s complicated that way.
John and his husband enjoy traveling and have visited over a dozen countries, meeting new people, exploring new cultures, and—most importantly—discovering new foods.
When trust has been broken, it will take a special man to heal the rift and her heart.
Searching for Elsie by Susan Stoker is now live!
Once upon a time, Elsie Ireland thought she’d found the man of her dreams, only to learn her fairytale romance was just another cautionary tale. Beyond a perfect family image, her husband had little interest in Elsie, and even less in their son. Years later, she and nine-year-old Tony have landed in Fallport, Virginia. She’s working two jobs and living in a motel, but Tony has a roof over his head and plenty of love. For Elsie, however, love isn’t in the cards. She doesn’t have the time to spare…or the trust.
After serving his country as a Green Beret, Zeke Calhoun was happy to get out of the military and settle into small-town life as a bar owner. His position with Eagle Point Search and Rescue fulfills his need to serve and provides some of the best friends he’s ever known. He didn’t realize anything was missing until it was right under his nose every day—his sweet, shy waitress, Elsie.
It isn’t easy to convince the independent, gun-shy single mom to let him in, and with memories of his own disastrous marriage still plaguing him, Zeke isn’t fully certain he’s the best bet for a healthy relationship. But one stolen kiss in a heightened moment, and he’s a goner. Vowing that Elsie and Tony’s lives are about to change for the better, Zeke is up for the challenge of proving not all men are like her ex.
A task made significantly more difficult when a complication throws the couple’s fledgling relationship off course—then quickly spirals into a life-or-death situation no one saw coming.
** Searching for Elsie is the second book in the Eagle Point Search & Rescue Series. Each book is a stand-alone, with no cliffhanger endings.
Download today on Amazon, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, Audible, Kobo!
Apple Books: https://apple.co/37ZuwHb
Google Play: https://bit.ly/3QMscoB
Narrated by: CJ Bloom & William Peters
New York Times, USA Today, #1 Amazon Bestseller, and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author, Susan Stoker has a heart as big as the state of Tennessee where she lives, but this all American girl has also spent the last eighteen years living in Missouri, California, Colorado, Indiana, and Texas. She’s married to a retired Army man (and current firefighter/EMT) who now gets to follow her around the country.
She debuted her first series in 2014 and quickly followed that up with the SEAL of Protection Series, which solidified her love of writing and creating stories readers can get lost in.
Connect with Susan
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/423496311135798/
The Single Dad by Marni Mann is now live!
A sexy single dad and nanny romance from USA Today best-selling author Marni Mann …
Most college-aged girls go to Europe to experience their sexual awakening.
All I had to do was come home.
Ford Dalton isn’t the kind of man I’d look at twice—because I can’t stop looking at him at all.
We can’t take our hands off each other in the bar.
Back at his house, it’s our lips.
And in his bed?
There isn’t a single part of us that’s not on fire.
One night would never be long enough for Ford to show me every delicious thing he can do to my body.
But there’s something he’s keeping from me: he’s already met the love of his life.
His daughter, Everly.
And there’s something I’m keeping from him: I just applied for the job of my dreams.
Everly’s new nanny.
There are five stand-alone books in the Dalton Family Series:
The Single Dad
Download today on Amazon, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, Kobo!
Apple Books: https://apple.co/3AY9t1Z
Google Play: https://bit.ly/3HSanAv
Audible: Coming Soon!
Add to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3IZsELF
USA Today best-selling author Marni Mann knew she was going to be a writer since middle school. While other girls her age were daydreaming about teenage pop stars, Marni was fantasizing about penning her first novel. She crafts unique stories that weave together her love of darkness, mystery, passion, and human emotions. A New Englander at heart, she now lives in Sarasota, Florida, with her husband and their yellow Lab. When she’s not nose deep in her laptop, working on her next novel, she’s scouring for chocolate, sipping wine, traveling, or devouring fabulous books.
Connect with Marni
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1597153177180837/
Verve Romance: https://ververomance.com/app/marnimann
Sign up for her newsletter: http://marnismann.com/newsletter/
Historical Fiction, WW1
Date Published: June 28, 2022
During the Great War, in a German-occupied Red Cross hospital in Brussels,
Belgium, there are three British nurses who will risk everything to save the
lives of those in their care. These are the stories of The War Girls.
Saving the Rifleman – British Red Cross nurse Maria Hunt lives in daily
fear that the German soldiers who regularly inspect her hospital will
uncover her secret: she helps wounded British soldiers escape German
Enticing the Spymaster – Judith Goddard is hiding in plain sight. A dual
citizen with family ties to Belgian royalty and the British military, she
works as a Red Cross nurse in a German hospital, learning what she can, ever
fearful her true allegiance will be discovered.
Aiding the Enemy – Rose Culver is in grave danger. For months the Red Cross
hospital head nurse has been aiding Allied soldiers caught behind enemy
lines, helping them flee into neutral Netherlands. It’s only a matter of
time until she’s caught.
The War Girls is composed of three previously published novellas. This is
the first time they have been published in one volume.
Alarm rippled across Maria’s nerves, jerking her attention from the
supply record book she was writing in.
Her teacher, mentor, and matron of the hospital on Rue de la Culture stood
at the window, staring out at the street, her back straight and stiff.
“Rose?” Maria took a step toward her, but Rose’s voice
stopped her before she could take another.
“Please take an inventory of the bandages in the closet on the second
floor.” Her words were spoken with a deliberateness that should have
been reassuring. It wasn’t. The other woman held herself too still,
too rigid. “We’re about to have another friendly
“Germans?” Maria whispered, dread tightening its coils until
she could barely breathe. “Again?”
Regular soldiers didn’t make her too uncomfortable; they appreciated
the nurses who looked after their wounded countrymen, and they knew they
could end up at this hospital and in her care. But the officers were another
thing altogether. They looked at Maria and Rose as if the two of them were
convicted criminals of the worst sort.
As if they were dirty.
“Lord preserve us.” The words slipped out before Maria could
stop them. “When will this madness stop?”
Rose turned then, a rueful smile on her face. “I wish I knew. Go now
and stay out of sight if you can.”
“I’ll be fine. Dr. Geoff is still here. He’s as irritated
with all these inspections as we are. They’re a constant interruption,
and we have little enough time for our work as it is.”
Herman Geoff was a German doctor, but he treated Rose and even Maria with
the utmost respect. His uncle was a high-ranking officer. Very high. As long
as Dr. Geoff supported them, they would most likely remain safe.
If they did nothing to irritate or anger the local German troops. Something
Maria feared she’d already done.
She rushed to the back stairs and climbed them quickly. Rose would be safe.
The second daughter of minor gentry, she had demonstrated time and again her
diplomatic skills were more than up to the task of dealing with arrogant,
suspicious German officers.
Maria had none of those skills or family background.
The second floor was filled with bedrooms, now used as wards for their
patients. There was also a room where the nurses slept—Rose, herself,
two Belgian nurses and one German nurse who worked with them. A closet near
the back stairs had been converted into a storage area for bandages and
other medical supplies.
Perfect for a woman to hide in while waiting for their German visitors to
She opened the door, prepared to enter…
But the closet was already occupied—by a soldier complete with pack,
sidearm and rifle. The weapon wasn’t what snared Maria’s gaze
and held it.
His eyes were green. A brilliant emerald green.
Her breathing stalled as she stood in the doorway and stared into those
wide, pale eyes and at the blood spattered across his face and
His British uniform. In a Belgian hospital full of enemy German
Voices floated up the back stairs a few feet away and she opened her mouth
to caution him.
Before she could utter a warning, before she could blink, his hands reached
out, grabbed her, and yanked her into the closet, pulling the door closed
Fear and shock crushed her throat as she found herself pressed against the
soldier’s body, one of his hands over her mouth, the other a steel
band behind her back.
She couldn’t move and the closet was so dark it might as well have
been a tomb. Blind and restrained, the unfamiliar scents filling her
nostrils took over her senses.
Mud, blood, and man.
Lieutenant John Bennet held the woman in his arms tightly enough to keep
her from crying out, but not enough to harm her.
He’d hoped to find someone to help him, preferably a nurse, but this
wasn’t how he’d anticipated meeting such a woman—staring
into her frightened face then pulling her into a dark closet. He
couldn’t even tell her she was in no danger from him. Any noise would
likely be overheard by the men now standing on the other side of the
He held himself still despite the pain from his wound and the unfamiliar
weight of the woman in his arms. How long had it been since he’d held
anything so soft? Weeks? Months?
He sucked in a breath and the scent of evening flowers filled his head,
driving out all others. His cock stirred in response to the feel of her
curves along his flank. Her chest rose and fell erratically under his arm as
she tried to breathe through what must be a terrifying situation.
Yet there were no tears, no sobs, or cries.
He tore his focus from the delights of her body to consider her movements
for a moment. She’d stopped struggling for the most part and now stood
relatively docile in his arms.
Maybe she realized how dangerous his predicament was. If she was a nurse,
she might feel some sympathy toward him, some care.
Energy surfaced from some unknown well inside him, heating his muscles. He
couldn’t give up hope, not now. He had to find a way out of Belgium, a
way to report what he’d seen. There were more lives at risk than his,
thousands more. Including the nurse in his arms.
A man was giving orders in German in the hallway, from the sound of it,
only a few paces from the closet door. Orders to search the hospital for the
British soldier. Orders to find and detain for questioning the second
British nurse. The woman John no doubt held in his arms.
The woman now in as much danger as he.
Poor girl. It was one thing to tend wounded men in no shape to offer
offensive behavior, but quite another to be taken captive in a dark closet.
He was lucky she hadn’t screamed herself hoarse or fainted.
Somehow, he needed to communicate his lack of intent to harm her.
He’d been told this hospital was a place of safety for British
soldiers caught behind German lines. The last farmer who’d sheltered
him just outside of Brussels told him the matron of this hospital could help
him, had already helped many others like him. She might even be able to
supply fake identity papers and an escape route out of the country.
Warm, soft, and sweet-smelling, the woman in his arms could be the key to
his survival. And what he knew was the key to Britain’s defense.
His spine solidified, transforming into steel.
She didn’t know it, but he was prepared to kill to protect her.
About the Author
Retired medical lab technologist, Julie Rowe writes stories that plunge you
directly into chaos and adrenaline from the first page & don’t let
up until the end.
Praise for Julie Rowe
“Read Julie and you get it all, the suspense, steaming chemistry and
a story that doesn’t let you put it down.” – Ayekah, Goodreads
“I love this authors writing style. She writes balls to wall, edge of
your seat, page turning thrillers.” – Cindy, Goodreads
“This is one of the best books I’ve read this year because of the
complex and dramatic life and death storyline and the sizzling sexual
chemistry.” -Diane, Goodreads
My Review – 4 1/2 stars
Emotional. Heartbreaking. Yet satisfying.
If you love a romance where two broken people come together, you’ll enjoy Trust in Me. The storyline, which starts in the previous book (Dangerously Deceptive), does have darker tones that may bother some readers. So please be cautious if you’re a sensitive reader. This book will take you on a roller coaster ride full of emotion. It will break you apart and put you back together. There will be times you cry. When you’ll laugh. And in the end, you’ll get the happy ending you long for.
*Disclaimer: While I was offered an ARC in exchange for an honest review, I borrowed this title through Kindle Unlimited. The review above is only my opinion.
Liberty Valley Love, Book 6
A Time-Travel, Paranormal Western Romance
Date Published: June 14, 2022
Publisher: Satin Romance
The oldest of the Jamison triplets, hereditary witch and criminal defense
attorney, Astra Jamison knows more about the laws of magick than her two
sisters. She serves the Goddess but believes those who hurt and harm people
who can’t defend themselves should be punished, abhorring it when
innocents suffer. She is always willing to dole out her kind of justice to
anyone who offends her, often sending them to gruesome deaths. When she and
her sisters open a time portal to 1888 Liberty Valley to save two people
from a serial killer, the last thing she expects is to have the wizard she
views as an age-old enemy return, seeking retribution for sins she committed
in the past.
Wizard and healer in more than one life, Rowdy Tall-Deer struggled to
survive when his soul-matched mate arranged his murder time and again,
having rogue shape-shifters attack and eat him alive. Discovering a time
portal that leads to the 21st century and the witch who betrayed him means
making new plans. Does he opt for vengeance or attempt to learn the truth
behind her machinations? Nothing is as it seems when her demon father
becomes involved, determined to continue a war that began eons ago.
Will love finally conquer evil or is history doomed to repeat itself for
their next life?
Other Books in the Liberty Valley Love series:
Liberty Valley Love – “Where no matter what, soulmates find
A Man’s World
Liberty Valley Love, Book 1
Liberty Valley Love, Book 2
The Marshal’s Lady
Liberty Valley Love, Book 3
Liberty Valley Love, Book 4
Trail Through Time
Liberty Valley Love, Book 5
About the Author
Josie Malone lives on the family farm, a riding stable in the Cascade
foothills where she organizes most of the riding programs, teaches
horsemanship, nurses sick horses, holds for the shoer, trains whoever needs
it – four-legged and two-legged. And writes books in her spare time,
Liberty Valley Love, a paranormal western romance series, “where no
matter what, soulmates find each other” and the Baker City Hearts and
Haunts, a paranormal military romance series – “where love is
real and so are the ghosts!”
How Not to Date a Dragon Lord is now available from Changeling Press!
About the Book…
War is coming.
Vissar sends Alita, his Dragon Lord who speaks with his voice, to the village below with orders for the upcoming invasion. Trouble is, Alita would rather burn the village to the ground than speak with any of them.
But orders are orders and Alita, along with her lover, the runaway princess Suli, in tow must venture down to the village. Explosive secrets are bound to be revealed and Alita is forced to deal with her own painful past as a dragon sacrifice.
Meanwhile, the army is advancing, Vissar’s heat is rapidly approaching, his mate Nithe is off finalizing business in the dragon lands, and the idiot Prince Ranid keeps advancing, despite the drama unfolding in his own camp…
Now let’s hear from the author, Stephanie Burke!
How’s it going? I hope you are all doing well. I have been tasked with writing a blog post so fiendishly brilliant that everyone will stop to read and unicorns will invade the earth and everyone would really get down to teaching the world to sing in perfect harmony… and since none of that appears to be happening right now, I’d better just shut up and tell you about my book.
Book Two of the How Not to Date a Dragon trilogy, How Not to Date a Dragon Lord is a story that is very near and dear to my heart. It features a first for me, a lesbian couple where one main protagonist is asexual Domme to a degree and War Master of the Dragon’s Army while her partner is an ex-Princess with an attitude that I find refreshing. To be fair, I loved writing both Alita, the Dragon Lord and Suli, her Princess who rescued herself. Designing both characters was a new experience for me and I relished the chance to write their snappy dialogue as well as creating hot and steamy scenarios where they could explore their sexuality and help center each other for the task that awaits ahead of them.
You see, at the end of book 1, How Not to Date a Dragon, war is iminiante and it is up to our omega Black Dragon Ulvissar and his alpha Red Dragon partner Nithe, to help come up with a plan to protect their castle built deep inside their mountain, the village that keeps trying to sacrifice the women he has been collecting as his horde, and prepare their own army for the fight that is about to happen on their doorstep. But before any of that can happen, the village below has to be prepared as to the reality of what is about to land on their doorsteps. That means Alita, the first sacrifice to survive and bond with Ulvissar, has to return home to the place that had forced her sacrifice generations ago and had become quite successful as the result of the sacrifices of her and the women who were chained and given over to the dragon… even though a sacrifice of women is the last thing that Ulvissar wants or needs. Yes, Alita has to go back to the place that essentially gave up her and the hundreds of women that followed through the centuries as sacrifices to keep the village safe… and now Alita has to help protect them when they couldn’t even take a moment to remember the women they had essentially thought they murdered and who’s blood and death made up the foundation of their success.
How on earth can Alita forgive such a betrayal when even the descendants of her own family fail to remember who she was? And she has to help save these people who have seemingly created a religion out of murdering young women who are not all virgins, not all willing scarifies, and have become the fatted calves to keep their successes growing. It’s good that Princess Suli is trained at diplomacy because as far as Alita is concerned, they can all go to H-E-double-Hockey Sticks on an express pass.
I had fun creating this trilogy within the How Not to Date series because of dragons. Seriously, I am obsessed with dragons. Half of my tattoos are dragons and in my mind, they always were a force of comfort and fierce protection. So when I proposed How Not to Date a Dragon, How Not to Date a Dragon Lord, and the final book of the trilogy, How Not to Date a Dragon Master, I knew I had to pull out all of the stops for my beautiful winged terror lizards. I have written about other dragons before in the past, in the Dragon Stone Trilogy for example, but I never before have I had the chance to create such brilliantly twisted scenarios and tropes in my writing as I have created for this trilogy.
There is the inclusion of the Alpha, Omega, and Beta world and the dragons’ insane anatomy and physiology that I laughed myself nearly into a headache creating. There are strange and comedic travels of an army being led by an idiot prince to start a war that he knows he can’t win but, you know, he needs the glory of battle to quench the flames of passionate anger that fill him at the escape— uh, death of his bride. And then there is the bloodthirsty horde of battle-trained women who are eager to put all of their training to a real test. Did I mention broody omega dragons in heat because my broody omega dragon is in heat and demands that his alpha gives him everything… or else. Trust me, they are not your average alpha/omega couple and if Nithe, the beautiful Red Dragon fails in his duty— I shudder to think of what Ulvissar the Black Dragon will do to him… and I’m the one who wrote the crazy story.
As delightful as it was to create the world that Alita, Suli, Vissar, and Nithe inhabit, they are still not my favorite in the How Not to Date series line-up. I came up with an idea to create a series set in different worlds around a major theme, bad first dates, and it exploded into the award-winning monster that it is today. I first shared this idea with author D Renee Bagby/Zenobia Renquest as we were traveling home from a writer’s convention. The first book, How Not to Date an Alien was all about misconceptions and biases we have and are likely to run across when dating outside of your race or in the first book’s case, your species. I think we both laughed so hard at the idea that I knew that I had to create more funny bits of escapism that lined up with some of the worst first dates imaginable. Before we made it home, I think we outlined about seventy How Not to Date books, and even more were requested… ie demanded with threats of bodily harm… from my beautiful readers whom I would not be here today without the help of. Seriously, a bunch of insane readers decided I should write How Not to Date a Skunk and How Not to Date a Human without any input from me. I was delivered an ultimatum… write these books or we will come up with more outrageous books for you to write. I wrote the books much to my reader’s delight, and peace was restored to the land until they demanded How Not to Date a Centaur but I managed to pull that one off too so the flaming pitchforks didn’t come out.
I have to say, out of all my novellas in the How Not to Date series, my favorite is How Not to Date a Bear. While explaining the plot to D Renee Bagby, she is often instrumental in my foolishness, we laughed ourselves stupid over the plot. What if a bear shifter was accidentally shaved bald by his unknowing mate just before he had to go out and prevent a war between Russian Grizzly bear shifters and their neighbors The Brown bear Shifters who think they are an invading army trying to take over their territory when all they truly want is to live in peace. It may have also something to is with this photo of a bald bear landing in my lap.
See that expression? That is the look that my poor bear wears when he discovered what his mate had done. We laughed ourselves silly over the plot and D Renee liked it so much that she poked and prodded until we came up with How Not to Date a Bear, too… Cougar Boogaloo which was the title in my head but we just stuck with How Not to Date a Bear, Too.
So there you have it, some of my favorite How Not to Date series books and a glimpse at How Not to Date a Dragon Lord. I hope you all take the time to explore these and other titles I have available and that you find as much delight in reading them as I found in writing them.
Love you, Loves!
Stephanie “Flash” Burke
Calliope: I’ve made some bad choices, but this time I was about to make the biggest mistake of my life — all because another mistake had come back to haunt me, putting my adopted sons at risk. In sheer desperation I turned to some bikers on the road for help. One in particular — the man they call Carnage — seems to wrap his mantle of protection around us. What I didn’t know is, his club is home to the twins’ father. Once again, I know I’ll have to pay the consequences for my bad decisions. What can I do if he decides he wants custody of his sons? I’m not sure even Carnage can save us this time.
Carnage: I really do try to steer clear of trouble, but when a frightened woman with two kids flags us down on the road, I can’t leave them to face their fate alone. I know I’m bringing trouble home with us, all the way back to Kentucky and the very heart of my club. One thing’s for sure — I have questions that need answers. I promised Calliope I’ll never let anyone separate her from her boys, and I mean to stand by that promise. There’s no way I’m letting anyone take what’s mine. Carnage isn’t just a name. It’s what follows in my wake when people get in my way.
Get it here >> https://www.changelingpress.com/carnage-bones-mc-11-b-3368
Interview with Marteeka Karland…
BCH: You’ve written a variety of romance genres. Which was the most challenging?
MARTEEKA: Good question! They all present their challenges, but I think the most challenging is probably the MC genre because it can go so many ways. I think I tend to fall in the more “gentle” category of MC in that I can’t make my characters cheat and I sometimes have more lighthearted themes. The hard part is finding the balance.
BCH: Do you ever get writer’s block? How do you handle it?
MARTEEKA: YES!!! YES!!!! A THOUSAND TIMES YES!!! Honestly? I just push through it. I tell myself, “Hey, Bitch! You want money? You gotta do this.” Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But I’ve stopped worrying about it and just keep going. I sometimes end up having to cut a bunch of words/pages/chapters, but I have a regular release each month I have to meet so not getting done is not an option. I don’t always make it on time, but I always make it. No other option for me most months.
BCH: How much of your real life seeps into your stories?
MARTEEKA: All the time to varying degrees. I find parallels in a lot of things. Sometimes its unintentional, others… yeah. VERY intentional. LOL It can be characters or situations.
BCH: When did you know you wanted to be a writer? What made you decide to submit your first book to a publisher?
MARTEEKA: I wanted to be a writer since I was in the 3rd grade. We all had to write a Halloween story. Most of the kids did a paragraph or two… I wrote a page and a half. It was fun. After that, it was a series of unfinished stories, or chapters or partial chapters but I never finished a book. It’s still a struggle sometimes getting to “the end.” But I knew it was what I wanted to do, but I just needed to find a publisher who accepted work in my length book. Once I did, I submitted and never looked back!
BCH: Can you give us a “behind the scenes” peek into your research or thought process while writing Carnage?
MARTEEKA: I came you with the idea on the way to a writing retreat with Changeling. It was a long drive in the interstate and I tend to pair up with “buddies” on the road. You know. So I don’t get a ticket. 🙂 So I thought, what would happen if a woman was in trouble and tried to get the attention of a group of bikers she’d been following for several miles? Would they notice her? Would they help her? How would they help her? And it kind of snowballed from there.
BCH: Do know what book will be next? When will it release?
MARTEEKA: Styx from Salvation’s Bane is my next book. It’s almost done. I’m excited because it brings me back to Appalachia. They are truly the Hatfield’s and McCoys. 🙂
BCH: If there’s one thing you could tell your readers, what would it be?
MARTEEKA: I APPRECIATE YOU MORE THAN I COULD EVER EXPRESS!!!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Erotic romance author by night, emergency room tech/clerk by day, Marteeka Karland works really hard to drive everyone in her life completely and totally nuts. She has been creating stories from her warped imagination since she was in the third grade. Her love of writing blossomed throughout her teenage years until it developed into the totally unorthodox and irreverent style her English teachers tried so hard to rid her of.
(Cyborg Unity, #1)
Publication date: June 21st 2022
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance, Science Fiction
A Beautiful Cyborg
While accompanying his leader on a mission, Odium, an E Model cyborg, hears a distress call over the communication lines. The voice on that message makes his circuits surge with energy and all his systems light up. He has to respond to the mysterious female, would risk his lifespan and the lifespans of everyone on board their ship to protect her.
A Human Female Others Call Beast
Briella gained her nickname due to her flying abilities, her fearlessness, and her scarred countenance. Her verbal-only relationship with the sexy cyborg who answers her distress call is a steamy yet short-lived fantasy. His kind is physically perfect, and she is…not. He will uncover that truth when…if they survive the attack upon her freighter.
Provoking Odium is a STANDALONE Cyborg SciFi Romance set in a dark, gritty, sometimes-violent universe.
It features a human female intent on remaining mysterious, a cyborg warrior determined to uncover her identity, and an enemy seeking to destroy them both before they have the opportunity to meet.
Briella should leave now, before Mohini and Odium met. Seeing the two of them together would tear her soul apart.
But then the doors opened, and the toes of two huge black boots became visible.
She lifted her gaze and her breath caught. That footwear was attached to an equally large male.
Odium was built like the warrior he was. The body armor barely contained his muscular form. Well-maintained weapons decorated the garment. His stance was strong. His hips were narrow. His shoulders were wide.
Desire hit Briella like a missile, almost knocking her over.
She’d researched E Models, had seen some of his kind on Mercury Minor, and she believed she knew what to expect.
But her overly active imagination had fallen far short of envisioning Odium. His hair was the blackest black. His skin was gray. Not one scar marred his countenance. His eyes were dark.
His face. Stars. His face.
All the cyborgs she’d met had been handsome. Odium, however, was Mohini-levels of beautiful. He was that exquisite female’s physical match.
Briella’s desolation escalated. She took a step backward.
Odium’s nostrils flared. He turned his head, gazed directly at her.
She froze in place. That was impossible. There were hundreds of beings stationed between them. He must merely be looking in her direction.
Seeking to test that theory, she shifted to the right.
His gaze tracked her.
Her warrior had somehow located her in the crowd.
Briella’s palms dampened. Her stomach knotted.
Others sought to speak to Odium. He didn’t look at those beings. His focus was on her.
It was heady, exciting, worrisome. She brushed her fingers over her goggles. They were in place, so her eyes were hidden.
He saw her scars. Those couldn’t be concealed.
But he couldn’t view the worst of her disfigurements, the part of her that had evoked fear and hatred in her kind, that made the toughest of warriors avoid her.
She could endure his perusal, could stand her ground and—
Mohini approached Odium.
His gaze flicked toward the female.
Her friend was impossible for any male to ignore. And her cyborg was certainly a male. He vibrated with vitality, with power.
Briella wanted him with every cell in her body.
Mohini appeared as enthralled with Odium. Her eyes glowed with interest. Her lips moved. Her friend’s words were too softly spoken for Briella to hear.
But she could imagine what was being said, and every flirtatious comment, every glance, every movement was a dagger stuck deep into her face. The pain, the torment lashed her again and again.
It was unbearable. Panic filled her. She couldn’t do this, couldn’t stand by passively and watch her friend seduce the male she wanted. That was beyond her capabilities.
She turned away from them and ran.
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USA Today Bestselling author Cynthia Sax is currently writing cyborg and alien romances with high heat levels. These stories are set in a shared dark, gritty, sometimes violent world. There is always a romantic happy ending between the main characters and this happy ending is FOREVER. But everyone else is in danger.
Her stories have been featured in Star Magazine, Real Time With Bill Maher, and numerous best of… top ten lists.
She loves writing fated to mate or instalove romances as this is her personal experience with love. She fell in love with her Dear Wonderful Hubby at first sight and 25 plus years later, they’re still very much in love. This is what she wishes for her characters and for her readers.
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