Guarded Heart by Treva Harte #Action #RomanceBooks #NewRelease #LGBT @changelingpress

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Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Bryan Keller

 

Leo was sure Gene would see the advantages of staying in California — with Leo — once he gets Gene back home. But it looks like Gene’s only here to find out why he’s been threatened, and to make sure his only friend in the state isn’t the one making threats.

Leo knows finding out the truth could leave Gene disillusioned and in danger. It probably doesn’t matter that Leo cares a hell of a lot for the guy. Enough to protect him, find out the truth, and let Gene decide whether to stay or go.

 

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All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2019 Treva Harte

For some reason I’d thought I’d finally got Gene when he agreed to come home to California. I mean, how could you not love California? The beaches, the food, the people, even the damned smog and the occasional earthquake. I couldn’t imagine any place better. But he had the worst plane phobia I’d ever seen on anyone who actually made it onto a plane and stayed there. And motion sickness, I think. And probably just anxiety about every damn thing he was doing on this trip and why he was coming back.

The car ride from the airport had been only marginally better than the plane ride. He wasn’t turning green once we touched ground, but once he got in the rental car Gene took to crossing his arms as if to ward off a threat.

“Sorry, Leo,” he said before he got in the taxi. I wasn’t sure exactly what he was apologizing for. Being a bad traveler? Raising my hopes that once he got here, he’d be happy?

Gradually he stopped talking at all. That wasn’t like him.

I braced myself for the reaction when we entered my condo. Whatever it was, I knew it wouldn’t be what I expected. He never did what I thought he would.

He smiled.

“This isn’t a crappy place.”

“It’s no penthouse, but it’s really near the office.” I’d been lucky to get the one bedroom back when someone needed quick cash. But compared to what Gene used to live in…

I watched him head over to the patio window and look out and then try another angle for the view.

Damn it, this totally didn’t measure up to his mansion in fucking Malibu. That place was exactly what a big star, a star as big as he’d been, was supposed to be in.

A hummingbird. He reminded me of a goddamned hummingbird as he craned his neck and then stepped back. That was his usual style. Colorful, eye-catching, and darting here and there. He didn’t belong in my minimalist place — the nice way of saying I had almost no furniture beyond what was absolutely needed and the walls were painted a boring, neutral light gray. I hadn’t thought much about it until he arrived, looking out of place.

Then again, he hadn’t looked right in his cabin in Maine. That made this place look like a palace. Maybe it was just as well he hadn’t seen where I lived until he’d spent a decade living in a beaten-down shack in the middle of nowhere. Anything would look good after living there.

Damn it. I hadn’t felt self-conscious in years, and I wasn’t going to take up the habit now. “Why don’t you settle in? I need to check my email and make a few calls. Then we can have some tea — I think I have some — and figure out our next moves.” I tried to sound casual. Orders weren’t going to work with Gene, especially a jumpy Gene. But I already knew what needed to be done. We could wrap this up in a few hours at worst if what I thought happened actually had. And if it hadn’t, then what was going on would be a damned unusual event.

“Maybe a shower. I’ve probably sweated my shirt through.” Gene looked faintly embarrassed. “I haven’t been on a plane in a long time. For good reason.”

“Really? I had no idea.”

“Smartass.” Gene grinned and then headed toward the bathroom without asking for directions. It didn’t take much to figure out where it had to be. My condo wasn’t a lot bigger than his cabin.

I fought the sudden drive of lust when I saw that grin and then I had to fight following him into the shower. I had work to do, even though that pull of sex was almost too strong. How the hell did he do that? I usually had more self-control.

I needed that self control as I began to go through the emails I needed to answer. Most of it was routine, thank God, because I began to think about other things — namely, what happened next. Once we wrapped his problem up, then what? How would Gene take a theft from the one person he trusted back here? And what possible reason would we have to see each other afterward?

Not just theft, but attempted murder. Whoever had threatened him had followed through, however badly, by hiring someone who used a teenager to shoot off a BB gun into Gene’s house. A half-assed attempt was still an attempt. The threats, the shooting — I didn’t know why that was supposed to cover up embezzlement, if that was the issue, but lots of thieves didn’t think things out properly.

But the thing was, once we found out it was his agent, Gene would have no reason to ever come back to California. He hated it now. And California was my home.

Why the fuck did I care? It wasn’t like we were long-time lovers. Gene had hired me a second time after we hadn’t seen each other in a decade. Shit, after he’d fired me and disappeared. We’d just barely started to be friendly fuck buddies this time around. So I’d been a little hung up on him for the past few years. More like ten years, but…

“All right. I’m almost feeling human again,” Gene announced, his voice at my elbow as he bent over to see what I was doing. “Let’s hit the tea and discuss things.”

I looked at him all showered, clothed, and perky and I wasn’t thinking about tea. He smiled again, slowly, as he assessed my stare.

“Unless you have a better idea,” he said.

 

More from Treva at Changeling Press …

Treva Harte has always been an overachiever. She also collects things. First it was degrees. First a B.A. in English, then she decided to go back for a Master’s degree. Not content with that, she added a J.D. Since then she’s added a husband, also an attorney, and two children to her collection. She’s continuing her ways as an overachiever, writing her wonderfully offbeat tales of passion and possibilities — in her spare time.

Visit her website at www.trevaharte.com.

 

Technical Difficulties by Emily Carrington #ActionAdventure #PNR #UrbanFantasy #interracial #LGBTQ @CarringtonEmily @changelingpress

Technical Difficulties (Lady Troubles 1)

Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Angela Knight

 

Sonya is straight. She’s also terrified of werewolves. So, when she’s forced to work with a male-to-female transgender wolf, the last thing she expects is to fall in love. But, hey, not so fast. Falling in love with a werewolf means living in her pack, where first-time sex equals mating. For life.

 

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All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2019 Emily Carrington

The dragon had been brutalized. As Medical Technician Sonya Johnson worked over the corpse, she couldn’t miss the signs. The poor dragon-in-human-guise was female. She’d given birth recently. Her distended stomach, open cervix, and other signs all bore witness to this.

Sonya whispered, “I think you were dead when most of these were inflicted.” She’d quickly discovered the cause of death: a crushed skull that had occurred while the dragon was in human form. Now all she wanted was to be done chronicling the postmortem atrocities and see to it that the poor soul had a decent burial.

Sonya smiled just a little. Thinking of any dragon as a “poor soul” was a little like calling a lion a kitty cat. Dragons, like werewolves, she thought with a shudder, were known for taking care of themselves. Both apex predators of the magical world, for slightly different reasons, they were treated with respect and almost obsessive politeness by other magical beings and the few humans unlucky enough to know about their existence.

“Humans like me.” Her smile was gone as she finished cataloging the last injury. Shaking her head, Sonya covered the body with a sheet and left the autopsy room. She locked the door before heading into her office.

All right, so it wasn’t technically “her” office any more than the autopsy room belonged to her. But she thought of both as her property because she spent more time in them than anyone else. That was thanks to the doctoral-level degree she was seeking from SearchLight Academy in Reptilian Magical Creatures: Treatment and Dissection. Unlike those who studied humans, magical creature experts were expected to have a wider knowledge base. The closest comparison Sonya could make was a general-practice physician. And even they weren’t responsible for both the living and the dead.

She had just finished her second year of postgraduate work. It was May. She had a blissful ten weeks off for the summer. Of course, she was still expected to work on her dissertation, so “rest” wasn’t in her vocabulary. But she wouldn’t be attending biweekly meetings with this or that professor to discuss her research. She might even have considered a week away from the city of Tampa, where she worked, and its lesser cousin, the city of St. Petersburg, where she lived. But she hadn’t scheduled any time off because she’d been too fixated on her dissertation to think beyond the next few days.

Someone knocked on the office door. Not closed completely and made of a light pressboard, the door opened a little more. Sonya caught sight of a skirt in a bold print and a tapered shoe. She called, “Come in.”

A woman stepped inside, saying simply “Sorry to disturb you” — and Sonya’s mind went sideways. Not because there was anything particularly wrong with the voice. It was just that she wasn’t used to hearing a slightly male-sounding voice coming out of a woman’s body.

Transgender. That’s what they call themselves. And, on the heels of that, I hate it when someone says “they” about my people so I will not start out by thinking of this person as a part of “they.” She’s dressed as a woman. I’ll call her “her.”

“Um,” she said uncomfortably, “you’re not. Please sit down.”

The transgender person — the woman, Sonya scolded herself — didn’t sit. Neither did she shut the door. “Thanks, but…” She looked briefly discomfited. “I’m Agent Brown. Maxine.”

That surely wasn’t the name you were born with. Oh, shut the fuck up! She doesn’t want you staring, and you will get over yourself.

Sonya realized Maxine was waiting for a response. Her small, delicate and frankly attractive nose was turning slightly red, just like Sonya’s did when she was embarrassed. “I’m sorry,” she said, rising and extending her hand. “I’m Sonya Johnson, one of the medical techs.”

The moment their hands touched, the hair on the back of Sonya’s neck stood up. She pulled back rather quickly. “Um… um…” She looked away from the hand she’d shaken and into eyes that were startling in their beauty. Honey-brown and shadowed by long, thick lashes, they took Sonya’s breath away. She forgot for a moment that her neck was prickling and smiled. “How may I help you?”

Maxine, who had taken a step forward to grip Sonya’s hand, retreated at least that far. “Agent Wellington wants to see you when it’s convenient.” She hesitated before adding, “He’s the head of Werewolf Watch.”

Sonya shivered. She couldn’t help herself. She hated werewolves. They were the craziest, most terrifying — Oh, get ahold of yourself. If you’re being called, you specifically… She met Maxine’s eyes. “You are looking for me, right? Because Jenny Davis could –”

“I’m sorry. He wants you personally.” She really did look empathetic. “If it helps, it will just be him, you, and me in a large conference room.”

Sonya’s particular skills were needed. She specialized in dragons and basilisks. What could she possibly do for a werewolf? Because Wellington had to be a werewolf. Unlike in the Department of Dragons, with which Sonya worked on a regular basis, Werewolf Watch was stuffed to capacity with, well, what else? Werewolves.

Shit. That probably means this woman is a werewolf. She looked directly into Maxine’s eyes, needing to know. “You’re a werewolf too?”

Maxine nodded. “Agent Wellington said to tell you he understands your circumstances, whatever those are, and that he wouldn’t call for you unless it was absolutely necessary. He also promises you can have a large conference room and it will only be the three of us; Agent Wellington, you, and me. We want to make you as comfortable as possible.”

Whatever those are. She doesn’t know. Sonya felt a little better. “Can he give me fifteen minutes to… to…” She glanced down at her report. To finish my work flashed across her mind, but it would take at least two hours to do that.

“I’ll tell him you’ll be up in thirty,” Maxine said gently.

Feeling a little more comforted, Sonya said, “Thank you. I’ll be up soon.”

Maxine left, closing the door behind her. Black, like me. But transgender and werewolf. The three modifiers to the name Agent Maxine Brown hit one right after the other. Sonya sank into her chair and covered her face with her hands. If she was going to have a prayer of working with werewolves…

More from Emily at Changeling Press …

Emily Carrington is a multipublished author of male/male and transgender erotica. Seeking a world made of equality, she created SearchLight to live out her dreams. But even SearchLight has its problems, and Emily is looking forward to working all of these out with a host of characters from dragons and genies to psychic vampires.

Website: http://emilycarrington.com

Blog:http://goodreads.com/author/show/4619715.Emily_Carrington

 

 

Mysti and Starr by Kate Hill #ActionAdventure #PNR #UrbanFantasy #NewRelease @katehillromance

Family magic summons Mysti Wild to her destined mate–
a demon hunting biker with secrets of his own.

 

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Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Bryan Keller

 

A blazing trail only he can see leads demon hunting biker Starr Johanson to his destined mate. A blessing placed on her family’s ancestral land summons Mysti Wild to the cabin where she’ll meet the man fated to share her life.

Each fears the other will be frightened by magic they don’t understand, but they quickly learn to trust each other, because no one can resist the person they were born to love.

 

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EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2019 Kate Hill

New Hampshire, 2019

The road Starr traveled wound along the tree-covered mountains. He had been riding for too long and felt almost lulled by the rhythm of the bike. By the look of the darkening sky, he’d need to find a place to camp soon, but he had a little longer to go. He was almost at his destination.

A flash of lightning in the distance prompted him to give the bike more gas. He finally pulled over and walked the bike down a narrow path into the woods. It didn’t look like a manmade path, but it was meant for him. The drizzling rain had turned into a downpour before he found a place to camp.

It wasn’t the first time he’d been alone in the middle of nowhere. Starr liked being on his own sometimes, but he rarely had time for that luxury.

The woods were nearly dark as night now, except for blinding flashes of lightning. Starr was thoroughly soaked from rain and had been nearly deafened by thunder. Storms always seemed worse in the mountains. He hurried to unpack his meager equipment.

Lightning flashed and a nearby tree crashed to the ground. Starr’s heart pounded and he backed away fast. That was too close for —

Starr slipped and tumbled down a rocky, leaf-strewn decline. For several seconds he could only grunt and try to roll with the fall. He landed on his stomach, the wind momentarily knocked out of him. He tasted blood and spat a mouthful while pushing himself to his hands and knees. From what he could tell, he had cuts and bruises, but no breaks.

Blinded by rain and wind, he glanced around, dazed. He started climbing up the slippery incline, but fell again. Maybe it was an optical illusion, but he thought a path led off to his left. Starr tried to calm his mind and listen for guidance. Instinct told him to try the path, illusion or not, and he had long ago learned to listen to his instincts.

He took a step and his ankle nearly buckled.

Great.

He pushed forward as quickly and carefully as he could with a sprained ankle.
Something too warm for rain trickled down the back of his neck. He swiped it and looked at his bloodstained hand. Rain pelted it, diluting the blood. Dragging his hand along his denim-clad thigh, he limped on.

Squinting through the storm, he noticed a clearing in the distance, surrounding a lake or bay.

“Hey!”

That wasn’t a spirit voice, but human.

“Hey, you! Dude!”

Starr turned and saw a woman approaching. She wore a yellow fisherman-style raincoat and hat that left half her face in shadow.

She approached and Starr hobbled toward her.

“Hi,” he said. When she tilted her amber gaze to his, Starr’s heart skipped a beat.
He smiled faintly.

So she’s why I’m here.

Still staring at him, she swallowed and drew a deep breath through parted lips.
“We’d better get inside before we get struck or something,” she said, glancing around and jumping a bit when sheet lighting illuminated the woods.

“Inside where?” Starr demanded.

“My cabin. This way.” She left at a run and Starr hopped after her. Pain shot through his ankle and up his leg with every step.

The woman turned, looking frustrated, and ran back to him. “Sorry. You’re hurt. The cabin is right up there. Shit!” She jumped again when more lightning struck.

“Go ahead,” he said. “I’ll catch up.”

“Lean on me.” She stepped closer, wedging her firm little body against his and wrapping an arm snugly around his waist. He draped his arm over her shoulder and she said, “Let’s go.”

Hopping on one foot was easier with her to steady him. Before Starr knew it, they’d reached the cabin. It was warm from the fire burning in the living room hearth. To his right was a pantry and kitchen and to his left a wooden staircase leading to a loft.

“Come and sit,” she said, slipping away from him to remove her hat and coat and hang them on a nearby hook. “I’ll get my first aid kit.”

Starr took off his jacket and hung it on another hook before limping to the couch. It was soft and covered with a plaid quilt. Soaked and bleeding as he was, he’d mess it up.

“Why are you still standing?” she asked, approaching with towels and a first aid kit.
She was cute. No makeup. Big amber eyes. A longish nose and lips that he already wanted to kiss. Her dark, curly hair was tied in a loose bun on top of her head.

“I’m wet and bleeding,” Starr said, again reaching for the back of his neck where blood still trickled steadily.

“Which is why you need to sit your butt down. Now.”

She was sort of bossy, and that could be both fun and annoying. Starr did what she told him and asked, “What’s your name?”

It was almost stupid, that he didn’t know her name, but he knew she was meant for him.

“Mysti,” she said, snapping on plastic gloves and standing over him to inspect the back of his head. “And yours?”

“Starr.”

She smiled. “Is that your real name?”

“Yeah, it’s my real name. Is Mysti yours?”

“I wasn’t trying to be a smartass. You have a nasty cut right behind your ear.” Mysti pressed a towel to the spot. “Hold that so I can check out your ankle.”

“It’s probably just a — ah. Fuck!”

She’d yanked his boot off, shooting pain up his leg.

“Sorry,” Mysti said, placing his boot aside and gently touching his ankle. “This is seriously swollen. I’ve got ice. What happened to you?”

He curled his lip in annoyance and embarrassment. “I slipped on wet leaves and rolled down a hill.”

“Other than your ankle, do you think you broke anything or have a concussion?”

“No. I’m fine. Clumsy, that’s all.”

“My truck is parked around back. Do you think you need to go to the ER right now?”

More sheet lighting flashed outside the window across the room.

“Hell no,” he said.

“Okay. When this storm passes I’ll take you to get checked out. Be right back with the ice.” Mysti stood, and Starr glanced after her, noting that she was small but curvy.

Despite being distracted by the storm and his ankle, Starr hadn’t missed how good she’d felt, pressed against him when she’d helped him back to the house.

He was pissed that he’d been injured for their introduction. So much for how he’d imagined them meeting — maybe with him sweeping her off her feet and riding into the sunset with her on the back of his bike.

Sometimes Starr thought his family was right. He was a certifiable dreamer.

That was fine, though. It had gotten him this far.

 

More from Kate at Changeling Press …

Kate Hill (Also writing as Saloni Quinby)

Always a fan of romance and the paranormal, I started writing over twenty years ago. My first story was accepted for publication in 1996. Since then I’ve written over one hundred short stories, novellas and novels. I love to blend genres. I also love horror and a happily ever after, so if you’re looking for romance with witches, aliens, vampires, angels, demons, shapeshifters and more, there’s a good chance you’ll find something to your taste here.

When I’m not writing, I enjoy reading, watching horror and action movies, working out and spending time with my family and pets.  I love hearing from readers, so feel free to leave a comment at my blog or connect with me on Twitter.

Website: http://www.kate-hill.com/

Blog: https://kate-hill.com/blog/

 

 

 

Switcher’s Rhapsody by Kate Steele #futuristic #ActionAdventure #scifi #aliens #alienencounters #LGBT #GayRomance #NewRelease @Kate27Steele @changelingpress

Switcher's Rhapsody

Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Angela Knight

 

Tarl Mengs, navigator of the Starship Brizo, never expected his vacation would end with a near crash landing on a backwater planet like Peldar. Resigned to days of boredom while his shuttle is repaired, an unexpected meeting with a cute and sassy Adarian lands Mengs in a world of trouble. It seems Switcher has stolen a prize from a pack of poachers who will do anything to get it back.

Stranded and on the run, Mengs and Switcher face life threatening danger to save a species on the verge of extinction. And that’s the easy part. Who knew wrestling with a budding relationship would be even harder!

Publisher’s Note: Switcher’s Rhapsody takes place in the same world as Kate Steele’s Gimme Shelter (Set in Stone).

 

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All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2019 Kate Steele

Mengs took another sip of his drink. The liquor was raw and burned its way down Mengs’ throat. Not exactly top-shelf stuff, it still managed to quench his thirst and complement the food, a local meat and root-vegetable dish he’d chosen for his evening meal. His expectations were again exceeded as the food turned out to be just as tasty as something Kyle, the Brizo’s chef and jack-of-all-trades, could cook up.

Upon emerging from Devenes’ front door earlier in the evening, Mengs had noted the increase of activity on the street. It seemed the town was nocturnal in nature. Storefronts down the way, including the game parlor, were lit up, and a lot more pedestrians were visible on the roadways.

The bar, Similfis, was filling up. The atmosphere was laid-back, the lighting mostly murky but brightened here and there by a few stray beams from overhead. The smell of food drifted in from the doorway to the kitchen located behind the bar. It was underscored by the tang of various liquors, the burn of some kind of organic substance being smoked and the subtle mix of natural musk and artificial fragrances emanating from the men and women who came to eat, drink and socialize.

Unhindered by the lack of bright light, Mengs kept careful watch on the action. So far it was peaceful, but when liquor and various beings mixed, trouble could be no further away than the use of one unfortunate word. Music played over a sometimes-scratchy sounding audio system. No live band here and no room for dancers. Similfis provided the basics. Food and drink, with the emphasis on drink. Anyone wanting other entertainment found it elsewhere.

As Mengs finished his meal and polished off his drink he noted one of the two bartenders headed in his direction. The man carried a bottle. The same one he’d poured Mengs’ drink from. When he reached the table, the man pulled out a chair. He tipped the bottle, refilled Mengs’ glass and set the bottle on the table.

Mengs took a sip of his newly poured drink. “Thanks.”

“Welcome. You’re new around here.”

Mengs set his glass down. “Yep.”

“Gulrian.”

“Yep.”

“Name?”

“Mengs.”

“Similfis.”

“Ah. Owner.”

“Yep.”

Mengs studied the man. The native peoples of Peldar were humanoid, or as close to human as made no difference. Similfis appeared to be somewhere in his mid-forties, a strong-built man with a full head of salt-and-pepper hair. His eyes were brown, their expression shrewd. Mengs knew he was being sized up.

“Don’t say much, do you?” Similfis asked.

“I don’t know you.”

“Same here, so fair enough. I’d like to know why you came specifically to my place.”

“Recommendation from one of the Fratkin. Said it was a place where there’d be no trouble and I could leave in one piece.”

“Ah. Reputation is everything. I mean to keep mine.”

“I’ve no intention of interfering with that.”

“Happy to hear it. Enjoy your evening.”

“Thanks.”

A smile played on Mengs’ lips as he watched the man rise from his chair and walk away. He respected a being that took a hands-on approach to business. Similfis was a no-nonsense kinda guy who ran a tight ship. Reminded Mengs of his captain, Zen Ahbramez. Tough and dependable. Mengs leaned back in his chair and relaxed a bit more. Safe bet was nothing untoward would go down here this evening.

As Similfis rounded the end of the bar and took his place behind it, a slim figure ghosted in through the front entrance. Curiosity stirred and Mengs mused. Male? Female? The being kept mostly to the shadows with distance between itself and any other in the bar. Now and then, for only a second or two, it moved close to a patron whose attention was on their companions. He or she drifted in, then slipped away unnoticed.

At one point the being glided through a beam of light. Despite being somewhat hidden by a hood, Mengs caught a glimpse of a fine-boned face. His eyes widened. Male. Adarian. Though there were a few obvious off-worlders here, this was unexpected. What the hell was an Adarian doing on Peldar? Adar was across the galaxy and Adarians, unless they worked a job off-planet, were known for being somewhat insular. Mengs hadn’t noted any ships in orbit, and this young male was dressed like a native.

Though his curiosity was engaged, Mengs forced himself to relax and slump in his chair. If this male were anything like the Brizo’s second-in-command, Serk, he’d be ultra-sensitive to anyone paying him too much mind. Serk claimed his species began their evolution as predators in the jungles of Adar, and no matter how far they were now from their primitive roots, those predatory instincts had remained intact.

Sure enough, the Adarian melted into the shadows and halted his light-footed prowl. Mengs felt the weight of his regard for a brief moment before the Adarian turned away and left the way he came in. Quick, quiet and unremarked.

A slow smile curved Mengs’ lips. Pickpocket. He’d bet his last credit on it. The way the young man drifted from customer to customer, probably taking just a credit chip here and there, not enough to be missed — in, out and gone. Oh yeah. Mengs would bet anything the young Adarian would be counting his take later if he weren’t doing it already. And that thought stole Mengs’ amusement. Why was he here? Why so down-and-out he had to steal to get by?

It was a puzzle Mengs had no pieces he could use to solve. He found unsolvable puzzles annoying. If the opportunity presented itself he just might seek some answers.

 

More from Kate at Changeling Press …

Kate’s love of books started from the moment she read those fateful words: run, Spot, run! It took her awhile to discover that she didn’t have to just read and imagine, but that she could also write stories and so here she is writing romance and loving it. Like chocolate – her ultimate favorite food, with pizza running a close second – writing became addictive. Whether it’s paranormal, contemporary or science fiction about werewolves, otherworldly creatures or the average Joe, she can’t get enough.

As for the everyday details, Kate lives in a turn of the century house located in the midst of Indiana farm country, and is kept company by family, along with demanding dogs, contrary cats and a pair of occasionally sweet, and definitely noisy, lovebirds. When not writing, she reads, is an enthusiastic grower of iris, and a fanatic fan of Japanese manga and anime.

Website: http://www.katesteele.com

 

 

Brewer’s Mark (Devil’s Outlaws MC) by Lynn Burke #ActionAdventure #MCromance #bikerbooks #MafiaRomance @AuthorLynnBurke @changelingpress

Brewer's Mark (Devil's Outlaws MC 4)

Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Bryan Keller

Reagan “Brewer” de Jager might look soft as a teddy bear, but his stint as a sniper in the SEALs hardened him into a lethal killer. The fact that his wife cheated on him while he was deployed makes him unable to trust. Cold hearted and empty, he sets his sights on his next mark — until one look into her eyes slays him.

Ex-CIA agent Nova Smego wasn’t nicknamed Black Widow by her superiors without reason. Underestimated for her petite form, she’s quick with her fists and lethal with a blade or a bullet. She joins a hitmen-for-hire team in the hopes of exacting revenge on the one who ruined her career. When the Outlaws eliminate her team to rescue one of their own, Nova is kept alive — and tied to her captor.

There’s a reason Brewer couldn’t end her, and while she plans her escape, she fears losing her heart to the chemistry sizzling between them. The Outlaws issue Brewer an ultimatum: pull the trigger, or find common ground to trust one another and avoid the Outlaws’ demand for her life.

 

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All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2019 Lynn Burke

Nova

My heart pounded in my ears, but the heightened sound of gunshots from downstairs broke through the muffled thumps of my rushing blood. I yanked open the roof’s trap door and peered into the attic below, my night vision goggles making the cold evening seem like a spring morning teeming with vibrant green.

No life stirred below from what I could see — unlike the unexpected team of three men who had stormed our safe house, it was quiet as mice in a cupboard.
I slid down the ladder, the flesh wound on my arm aching. Adjusting my grip on my rifle, I pointed the barrel at the door and breathed slowly through parted lips.

Shots sounded again, but quieter as though they were in the basement where we kept the girl we’d been hired to hold. The senator who had dished out the cash for us to take care of his “little problem” had arrived a few moments earlier than the man who’d shot me. Another two must have slipped in the front door.

Teeth clenched against the pain in my arm, I wondered again why I hadn’t aimed for the face of the man who had shot at me after taking out our two northern sentries. The bastard had gotten one shot off — enough to make my arm mostly useless.

I eased the attic door open and peered into the farmhouse’s hallway. Light shone from the stairwell around the corner to my right, so I flipped my goggles off and let them slip to the carpeted floor.

Adrenaline coursed through me as I crept forward, and even though I hadn’t gotten off more than a single shot or moved more than twenty feet from my sentry position on the roof, my lungs fought for oxygen.

As an ex-CIA operative, I should have had more control over my nerves. As a battle-hardened bitch, I certainly shouldn’t have allowed my shot at the man slinking up on the house to fly wayward.

Weak.

Lips pursed against disappointment in myself and the stinging pain, I approached the corner. A body whipped around in front of me, a meaty paw grasping my rifle’s barrel before I could swing it up.

Tall — wide shoulders —

I threw a punch to the kidney of the back lit man, putting all my strength behind me, but my fist merely earned a grunt.

The rifle flew from my grasp, and I shot out a combination punch, the third getting caught in the other damn paw of the huge man.

He dropped my gun and I blocked his grab for my injured arm, landing a half assed blow to rock hard abs that bounced my hand back at me.

I dipped as he reached for my free hand, trying like fuck to smash into his sternum with my injured arm.

The fucker snickered. “Got anything else, little girl?”

I growled and punched again, the beast’s body a solid wall of rock I had no chance of conquering.

He grabbed my wrist. “Enough.”

My world flipped, and I found myself face down on the floor, the carpet burning along my cheek as he wrenched my arms behind me. I kicked. Attempted to pull from his grasp — and he sat on my thighs, trapping them between his own. Fuck, he was big.

“Enough,” he snarled again, and zip ties tightened around my wrists. “Second floor clear,” he said, and I closed my eyes, finally stilling at the professionalism his words indicated about the team with him.

Fuck.

Heaving for breath I clenched my eyes shut.

They must have come for the woman locked in the basement. Men with earpieces, men who knew how to use their guns.

Another muffled shot sounded below us, and the man yanked me up, his hold loosening a bit on my good arm as I stood beside him. My back to the light, I peered up at my captor.

Hair, black as night, eyes blue as the summer’s sky…

My heart skipped and my adrenaline spiked again. Hot. No, gorgeous. Tall and solid, just how I used to like my men.

“Let’s go.” He yanked me down the stairs, his hold on my arm keeping me from tumbling down after him.

One of my team members lay sprawled at the bottom of the stairs, hazel eyes overtaken by dilated pupils that stared into whatever the fuck afterlife he’d believed in. I bit back my whimper, all thoughts of my hot-as-fuck captor erased from my mind.

“Sit.” He pointed at the wall beyond my friend’s feet, and I fought back tears and choking fear while doing as told, sliding down along the wall onto my ass while holding his stare.

Footsteps sounded from the kitchen. Another mountain of a man carried the woman from the basement, his hold gentle, his eyes tender while peering down at her. He lifted his gaze to my captor.

“Sniper from the roof,” my gorgeous attacker all but bit the words out.

“Why the fuck is she still alive?” the mountain asked while setting the woman onto her feet.

My captor turned his focus on the windows flanking the front door a few feet away. “Gunner’s here,” he muttered rather than answer his friend.

Headlights glinted across the entryway’s walls, illuminating the interior briefly, allowing me a quick study of the man looming beside me. Blood dripped from his arm from the bullet I’d put in him, splattering onto the hardwood floor, and I grimaced as my arm sent a shot of pain clear to my fingers, as though wanting to share in his.

My scowl deepened even though my insides warmed from the round, hard ass mere inches from my face. Perfect for sinking my teeth into. Perfect for grasping with my heels while he buried his length inside me. I craned my neck upward, taking in his broad shoulders, the muscular neck that disappeared into hair my fingers itched to touch.

Fuck.

 

More from Lynn at Changeling Press …

Lynn Burke is a full time mother, voracious gardener, and scribbler of hot romance stories. A country bumpkin turned Bay Stater, she enjoys her chowdah and Dunkin Donuts when not trying to escape the reality of city life.

Website: https://www.authorlynnburke.com/

Blog: http://authorlynnburke.blogspot.com/

 

 

Gimme Shelter by Kate Steele #Futuristic #scifi #AlienEncounters #LGTBbooks #Gay #shifters @Kate27Steele @changelingpress

Gimme Shelter (Set In Stone Multi-Author 8)

Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Angela Knight

Captive of a violent warrior race, deliberately injured and set adrift to die alone in space, Shanrem De Nebral is rescued by Zen Ahbramez and the crew of the starship Brizo.

For Shanrem, raised to be nothing more than property to be sold to the highest bidder, the freedom, friendship and love he finds aboard the Brizo is more than he ever dreamed of. But even the best of dreams end, and for Shanrem there’s nothing but trouble ahead.

With the near perfection bred into him in ruins, his own people would rather see him dead than returned and the Dukati warrior who owned him wants him back. To keep Shanrem safe and sheltered within his loving embrace, Zen’s strength and resolve will be tested to the limits.

Publisher’s Note: Gimme Shelter (Set in Stone) takes place in the same world as Kate Steele’s Switcher’s Rhapsody

 

Get it TODAY at Changeling Press

or pre-order for August 9th at:

   

 

PRAISE FOR GIMMER SHELTER

“A daring starship captain and an abused ex-slave who thinks of himself as worthless are at the center of some exciting turmoil that enables one to fullfil a long-term promise to himself and the other to find his courage. Their story had me cheering them along as I was enjoying the world, far in the future, these guys live in.”

— Serena Yates, Rainbow Book Reviews

“I loved the overall arc of the story. Ms. Steele does a great job of making me feel very connected to her characters and invested in them. I felt so very much for Shanrem… a great read any one who loves to fall in love should read.”

— 5 Stars from Redz, Redz World Reviews
cooltext315720815145635

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2019 Kate Steele

When the hangar bay doors were again secure, the safety zone doors automatically opened and Zen and Clay headed toward the shuttle. A chime informed them of an incoming transport. Both men paused and looked back as the bioport’s interior doors slid open. A tall man and a slim woman stepped out. Without a word, Clay handed each of them a holstered scorch pistol.

“Dukati shuttlecraft. Latest design too. We salvaging this baby?” Meral Jackson, ship’s engineer, asked as she belted on her weapon. Her hazel eyes twinkled with good-natured avarice. “I’d love to get my hands on her.”

“Why does something so innocuous sound so lewd coming out of your mouth?” Doc’s thin lips were pinched in a grimace as one eyebrow rose.

Jackson grinned. “Can I help it if I admire a shapely hull?”

“Shouldn’t you concentrate on getting the hatch open? Serk’s last report gives the passenger approximately seventeen minutes before the oxygen runs out.”

“Seventeen minutes? Piece of cake. I’ll have it open in less than two.”

Doc’s snort of disbelief brought a speculative gleam to Jackson’s eyes. “Wanna bet?”

“Bet what?”

“Five greens at the next poker game.”

“A hundred and twenty-five credits?”

“You in or out?”

Doc aimed a squinty-eyed scowl at Jackson. “In.”

“Time me.” Jackson turned her attention to the shuttle and dug into her tool pouch, which was perpetually attached to her by a cross-body strap.

Directing a look of sympathy toward the ship’s main medical practitioner, Zen shook his head. “I’m pretty sure you’ve been suckered, Doc.”

“We’ll see.”

As Zen watched, Jackson found whatever she’d been looking for and set to work. Muscles flexed under the smooth tanned skin of her bare arms as she punched a series of keys on the flat, rectangular unit she held in her hand. A slight turn of her head brought her profile into relief and set a few glimmers of light chasing through the strands of her blonde pixie-cut.

Having learned at her father’s knee from the time she was old enough to pick up a sonic wrench, Jackson knew her way around a multitude of ship types and systems. Zen had little doubt the shuttlecraft door would give her any trouble.

From the small unit she held in her hand, a continual series of chirps issued as a cycle of colored light beams played over the closed shuttle hatch. As the seconds passed, one by one each beam turned green.

“Twenty seconds,” Doc warned.

“No worries. It’s… done!” Jackson’s announcement was triumphant as the hatch slowly lifted. Stepping back, she made way as the steps began to lower.

“Damn,” Doc cursed softly. “Don’t you have anything better to do than practice breaking and entering?”

“For your information, nothing broke and no, I don’t. As ship’s engineer I see to it the Brizo performs like a Xanasian courtesan being paid double. Smooth and compliant.”

“You’d know.”

“A girl’s gotta have her fun.” Jackson’s unabashed wink brought a quick grin to Zen’s lips and snort of amusement from Clay.

All four of them quickly sobered as the now fully opened hatch ceased all movement. Zen motioned Jackson and Doc back. Weapons drawn, he and Clay approached the yawning hatch. Touching the small, round and flat metal disc attached to his collar, Zen voiced a soft question. “Serk, any change in the scans?”

“None, Captain. All readings remain within normal parameters. The passenger hasn’t moved. Nothing on long range scanners.”

The shuttle’s inner lights were dim, the interior shadowed, with no sign of the passenger. About to take a step forward, a quick negative motion from Clay stopped Zen in his tracks. Zen gave way and allowed his security officer to precede him. Clay went aft where the last scan placed the shuttle’s passenger. As soon as Clay stepped within the murky interior of the shuttle, Zen lost sight of him.

His own foray into the ship was accomplished without incident and he turned to the fore and the ship’s controls. Each space along the way was examined, between and under seats in case something had remained undetected. Every unoccupied space was clear and the shuttle quiet as a tomb.

Reaching the ship’s controls Zen gave them a quick once over. Except for the blinking lights indicating the failing life support system, everything else seemed in order.

“Captain?”

Zen touched his communications disc. “You find our guest?”

“Yeah. Can you bring up the lights? We need Doc in here on the double and he’s gonna need ’em.”

“Right away.”

Zen called Doc and Jackson in and adjusted the lighting while waiting for Jackson to join him at the controls. “Do a thorough exam on all systems, Jacks,” Zen ordered when she appeared. “Make sure this thing can’t be traced. Something doesn’t seem right here. Why would the life support fail? This shuttle’s so new the paint’s barely dried.”

“I’m on it, Zen.” Jackson seated herself at the controls and began running ship diagnostics.

Leaving Jackson to her work, Zen made his way back to Clay and Doc. The closer he came, the more pungent the scent. The coppery tang assaulting his heightened sense of smell weighed heavy on the still air. Doc was squatting near a body, his med scanner beeping and flashing in a way Zen could tell bode ill. Side-stepping Clay, Zen was able to take in the full picture. He drew in a sharp breath. What once had been a vision was now covered in blood and lay still as death on the deck.

The shuttle’s passenger was male. In contrast to the obsidian darkness of his softly curling hair, his skin was bone white. Sweat dampened bangs adhered to forehead and stuck there. His full lips were slightly parted and his finely chiseled, androgynous features were slack. His almost too-delicate-to-be-male appearance was emphasized by his current condition.

He wore a pair of near-diaphanous pants that hugged his body from the waist down like a second skin. Other than a pair of wide, embossed silver bracelets that encircled his wrists, his upper body was nude. The man lay on his stomach, his back clearly visible, the damage done to it horrendous. Thin strips of skin had been peeled away leaving raw open wounds that had bled profusely before clotting. Rusty spatters of blood had soaked into his pants, as well as the matted curls that touched the back of his neck.

Shock, fury and the raw reminder of a familial tragedy pummeled Zen in equal measure at the sight of such torture being visited on someone who appeared to be little more than a helpless captive. His hatred of the Dukati — something that was branded into his very soul — twisted within him.

 

More from Kate at Changeling Press …

Kate’s love of books started from the moment she read those fateful words: run, Spot, run! It took her awhile to discover that she didn’t have to just read and imagine, but that she could also write stories and so here she is writing romance and loving it. Like chocolate – her ultimate favorite food, with pizza running a close second – writing became addictive. Whether it’s paranormal, contemporary or science fiction about werewolves, otherworldly creatures or the average Joe, she can’t get enough.

As for the everyday details, Kate lives in a turn of the century house located in the midst of Indiana farm country, and is kept company by family, along with demanding dogs, contrary cats and a pair of occasionally sweet, and definitely noisy, lovebirds. When not writing, she reads, is an enthusiastic grower of iris, and a fanatic fan of Japanese manga and anime.

Website: http://www.katesteele.com

 

 

Vasquez and James Vol. 1 by Lou Sylvre #ActionAdventure #GayRomance #NewRelease @Sylvre

Vasquez and James Vol. 1 (Vasquez and James 1)

Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Bryan Keller

 

When badass meets artist, sparks and bullets fly. Blazing romance, chilling suspense, enduring love…

Loving Luki Vasquez: Renowned but reclusive weaver Sonny Bly James masters color, texture, and shape in his tapestries, but when he meets Luki Vasquez, an ex-ATF agent and all-around badass, his heart and desire spin out of control. The heat between them won’t be denied. United by danger, can Sonny and Luki put fear and anger aside, and fight together to save Sonny’s nephew and their own lives?

Delsyn’s Blues: Devastated by loss, Sonny James listens to a voice singing the blues from beyond the grave. Convinced he’s failed in an all-important life task, he tries to shut out Luki Vasquez and love just when he needs him the most. But when Luki finally breaks through Sonny’s fortress of grief, it’s just in time for the newly reunited couple to face a new, violent, escalating danger.

Finding Jackie: When Sonny James asked Luki Vasquez to marry him, Luki’s “yes” was accompanied by a request — a wedding in Hawaii. Months and many trials later, their hilltop island ceremony is poignant and funny, and every bit as beautiful as they’d hoped. The honeymoon is all sex, surfing, and sunshine… until Luki’s sixteen-year-old nephew is kidnapped by a sadistic killer. When it all comes to an ultimate showdown with evil, it’s not only love at stake, but their lives.

 

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EXCEPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2019 Lou Sylvre

Bright clothes, sunburns. Summer had arrived, and Port Clifton was awash in tourists. Since Juan de Fuca Boulevard constituted most of the town, they had nowhere else to go. They chattered and milled about, and Sonny Bly James wasn’t in the mood for chatter or milling because he was worried about his nephew, Delsyn, who always stayed gone for days, but who should have come home by now. Sonny quickened his long-legged strides and slid through the crush, trying to disturb the air as little as possible on the way to his truck.

Then he saw a man.

Which in itself wasn’t unusual, but this man, an islander, maybe Hawaiian, by the look of him, lounged cool and beautiful in loose summer whites, half-sitting on the fender of an ice-blue Mercedes, a strip of sand beach and the blue straits for a backdrop. Dark chestnut curls shining; straight, white teeth softly teasing a lush, plum-red bottom lip. His eyes, startling pale blue against brown skin, roved all over Sonny; the islander made no effort to pretend otherwise, and besides, Sonny could feel them. Their touch trickled over him like ice water, exciting every nerve he had, even those he’d never heard from before.

Which scared Sonny, a recluse by choice — and, he knew, because he’d always managed to be socially… well, clumsy. So, he turned to the weapon that had been his first line of defense since adolescence, when all the reservation had noticed that their star young grass dancer didn’t mind being gay: a smart mouth.

“What are you looking at?”

Even though the islander had responded by looking away, Sonny knew he hadn’t — couldn’t have — intimidated him. The stranger might have been a few inches shorter than him, but judging by his physique, and despite his laid-back manner, Sonny guessed the man could have dropped him with a cold look and a slap. It would have been less of a blow if he had. Instead, he freed his lower lip from his teeth and spoke.

“I beg your pardon.”

Sonny wanted to let a whole raft of words spill out, starting with “I didn’t mean it,” and ending with “so kiss me, now.” But the man’s attention had turned away. A baby in a stroller dropped a floppy brown bear at his feet. The young mother looked frazzled, at her wit’s end, carrying another child and trying to keep a third from making a dash down the boulevard. The islander squatted down — a graceful move — and picked up the bear. Right before Sonny’s eyes, his icy exterior melted, and though he didn’t smile and couldn’t pass for cheerful, he somehow seemed kind. He handed the stuffed creature back to the baby, who seemed to like him. She expressed her gratitude by spouting a number of syllables that all sounded a lot like “da.”

Sonny, angry with himself for blowing his chance to meet this chill but beautiful stranger — who might be trying to hide a kind heart — pretended he hadn’t seen. He turned his faux-stoic shoulder and walked away. A little shaky, perhaps; already sorry. Three strides and he heard a voice, unexpectedly scratchy, even hoarse.

“Hey.”

Sonny turned.

The man took a deep, lovely breath, flashed his cold-fire eyes at Sonny, and said, “I have coffee most mornings at Margie’s. In case you’re interested.”

* * *

Margie’s it was, then, the very next day. Sonny had weighed the wisdom of that, thinking it might be better if he didn’t seem so anxious.

But hell, he thought, I am anxious. Nothing about me is un-anxious.

He took the truck — which his Uncle Melvern had left him when he died a year ago and which functioned as a good luck charm. After he pulled over to the curb a half-block from Margie’s, he forced the clutch to cooperate, wrestled the column shift into first, and shut the engine down. Sort of. It kicked and spluttered, backfired, and groaned to death. He really, really hoped that the man he had come to meet had not heard that. He wanted to make a good impression. He crashed his shoulder into the door to get out, slammed the door twice to shut it, then paused to look in the side-view mirror. Some other person spoke out of his mouth — or at least that’s how it felt.

“Sonny,” it said, “here’s your chance. Don’t blow it.”

Great. A confidence builder.

The wooden sign attached over the arched brick entry said “Margie’s Cup O’ Gold,” but nobody ever called the cafe anything but just plain Margie’s. The elegant door — leaded glass set in oak panels — had been pushed open and held there with a shoe. All that stood between Sonny and whatever fate awaited him inside was a wooden screen door, the old-fashioned kind; it might have been there since the block was built in the 1890’s. He crossed the threshold wearing a smile for Margie, then reached back just in time to stop the screen from slamming behind him. “Hey, Marge,” he said, maybe not quite as loud as usual. He glanced around lazily, as if he weren’t looking for the man he’d come to think of as “the islander.” He didn’t see him. He let out a long breath that he must have been holding, wondering if he felt disappointed or relieved. He walked, casually he hoped, across the expanse of black and white parquet floor.

“Well,” Margie said, hand on hip and scolding in ringing tones. “Hello, Sonny. You’re here awfully early.”

“Margie, usually people don’t give other people a hard time for being early.”

“Shush, Sonny Bly. What do you want? Never mind, I already know. You and your fancy coffees. What’s wrong with a good old-fashioned cuppa, eh? Now that young man that came in a little earlier — real nice-looking fella; I think you’d like him — now he just ordered coffee, black and sweet. There’s a man that knows what he likes, I say.”

She’d nearly finished making the latte by the time she stopped. That was one thing about a conversation with Margie. Sonny never worried about what to say, because he was pretty sure he’d never get a chance to say it. But this time she had him a little dumbfounded. She’d said, “that nice fella,” with a sly glance out of the corner of her eye. Sonny figured she was on to him, but he couldn’t decide whether that was good or bad.

She cleared up those muddy waters as soon as she handed over his latte. “He’s around the corner, dear. The last table. Don’t worry, you look fine.”

Which left Sonny absolutely certain he should have worried more about how he looked.

There he was, the islander. Same skin, same lips, eyes, even hair. Of course. But the rest of him was dressed in a posh business suit, a light gray summer fabric so finely tailored that he might have been born in it. “So why the getup?” Sonny asked.

“Ah,” the stranger remarked. “A way with words.”

He didn’t have to say that. Sonny was already giving his forehead a mental smack. He stared at his coffee for what seemed like, maybe, a hundred and twenty-four years. He’d all but decided to bid an embarrassed farewell and beat a retreat, when the islander spoke.

“I have to go to work in a while,” he said. When Sonny looked up he added, “That’s why the getup.” No smile went with the words, but his eyes danced, like they were laughing — or maybe teasing. He reached halfway across the tile-topped table, holding out his long-fingered, manicured hand.

Sonny stared at it.

The islander said, “I thought maybe introductions would be a good place to start. I’m Luki. Luki Vasquez.”

Embarrassed again, Sonny blushed, which — he knew from experience — made his off-brown skin look purple. But in an act of sheer bravery, he put his own dye-stained and calloused hand out and took hold of Luki’s. Somehow, what felt like gibberish came out sounding like his name. “Sonny James.”

Luki leaned back when the handshake was done, draped his left arm casually over the back of the chair… revealing a bit of leather strap that might be part of a shoulder holster and something sort of gun-shaped half hidden under his jacket.

“Is that what I think it is?”