Release Blitz: Kline Agency by Ana Raine #gayromance @AuthorAnaRaine @GoIndiMarketing

Title: Kline Agency

Series: Kline Agency #5

Author: Ana Raine

Publisher: Changeling Press LLC

Release Date: June 18, 2021

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male, Male/Male Menage

Length: 248

Genre: Romance, Contemporary Romance, Gay, Action Adventure, Multiple Partners

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Synopsis

Manhattan — urban center of metropolitan New York. Home of the Kline Agency, where a young man can earn his fortune — or find his love.

Chilled Champagne: Micah’s job as an escort is to be whatever his client wants him to be. But Daniel won’t stop exploring until he knows all Micah’s dangerous secrets.

Levi: Levi is content in his life as an escort at the Kline Agency — until he meets a new client, Wesley. Can Levi and Wesley escape their haunted pasts and learn to love — and trust — again?

Avery: Avery expects to work as an escort at the Kline Agency long enough to help fund his younger brother’s college tuition. A chance meeting with an artist changes everything. But Milo loses his sponsor, he can no longer afford Avery’s services, and Avery is forced to choose between a relationship with Milo or the rich clients of the Kline Agency.

Next To You: Twins Alexei and Vasily fulfilling fantasies for customers of the Kline Escort Agency. Kane was once Vasily’s lover, though Vasily doesn’t remember, due to a head injury sustained at the hands of the vicious Noch gang. As his memories slowly return, Vasily becomes determined to end their debt to the Noch Gang — a decision that may cost them all more than they’re willing to pay.

Excerpt

Copyright ©2021 Ana Raine
Excerpt from Chilled Champagne

Lance was staring at Micah, his toned arms crossed over broad pectorals. At forty-one, he was still handsome and built. Everyone around the Kline Agency knew he was called Loose because he used to put out for his clients. All of that had changed when he’d met the man who was now his lover.

Micah didn’t often hang out at the Kline Agency offices like some of the others did.

“How did it go?” Lance wrapped his arm around Micah’s still chilled shoulders and led him back to his office.

“Did Mr. Patrick have a complaint?” Micah asked hesitantly.

“Why would you say that?” Lance laughed, his eyebrows shooting upward.

“I wouldn’t put out,” Micah replied. He’d said this so often he barely blushed anymore.

Lance didn’t seem surprised. “I figured as much. All the same, he wants to know when he can see you again.”

“He called back already?”

“Yes. A few minutes ago.”

Micah felt his stomach doing a tug of war. He felt flattered he’d made such an impression, but at the same time, he wasn’t going to change his mind. Painfully, his cock kept captive in his pants reminded him how turned on he was. Flushed, he gathered his thoughts before speaking. “What does my schedule look like this week?”

“You’re open for tomorrow.” Lance glanced at his computer, clicking his mouse. “Then you have an appointment with a Mr. Hart.”

Micah was surprised. “I don’t remember Mr. Hart.”

“He’s new. Requested the most beautiful escort we have.”

Micah covered his laugh with a cough. “Didn’t he bother looking at the website?”

“Sounded like he decided to get an escort last minute,” Lance said, clicking some more. “He didn’t want to take the time to look through pictures.”

One thing Micah loved about The Kline Agency was that while most escort services posted full body shots and bios on their websites, Kline posted only profile shots, no faces. Potential clients had to register first. Full-face pictures only went out to email after Lance ran a background check. Micah couldn’t hide if his picture was blasted all over a high volume website.

Lance sighed. “Get some sleep.”

“Yeah, I’m tired.” Micah unclasped the hair clip. “Is Candace back yet?”

“She’s with her favorite client. But she said you could keep the clip. Something about how that color looks better in dark hair than red.”

Micah nodded, replacing the clip before grabbing his bag. He would change when he got home.

Candace’s hair clip stuck to the side of his head, pressed tightly because he’d worn a knit cap. His gloves had a hole in the right index finger, reminding him he had to buy a new pair before winter came and New York got seriously cold. The Kline Agency office was in a good part of the city. The streetlights were always working at every corner, and the cars lined up were clean without a scratch.

His studio was nice enough, considering how quickly he’d had to move and the funds he’d had available at the time. Unlocking the door, he kicked aside a pile of mail. He recognized letters from his mom, and his ex… they only brought back the terrible decisions he’d made.

Kisaki, a kitten he’d rescued, was waiting, rubbing his head affectionately against Micah’s leg. “Hey baby,” Micah cooed, dropping his bag on the table. “Hungry?” He held Kisaki with one hand while sifting through his cupboard for a fresh can of cat food. “I’m hungry too.”

The scent of wet food had barely hit Micah’s nostrils when he heard his phone buzzing from his bag. “Hello?”

There was a pause before a familiar voice made Micah cringe. “Don’t hang up this time.”

There was no way Micah was staying on the line. Breathing heavily, Micah slid to the floor, pressing the end button before resting on his side, one hand on Kisaki’s back as he lapped up his food. He’d have to get his number changed. Again.

The warm fur beneath his hand and then against his chest made Micah’s throat tighten. He was too tired to stay awake. And he definitely didn’t want to deal with the phone call. His ex was supposed to stay in his past. If he found him now, after four years, Micah was sure his strong resolve would crumble. And what was worse was that Micah didn’t think he’d get so lucky in his next attempt to run away.

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Meet the Author

Ana is still figuring out what she wants to do with her life, although social work seems to be the most likely. Her best friends are a box of chocolate and her kitten who always sit beside her while she writes. When Ana was in high school, she often wrote about the LGBT community, but now her work is less…innocent. Ana enjoys writing anything and everything, including BDSM, dragons, shifters, magic, and more.

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Release Blitz: Finding the Wolf by Mell Eight #paranormalromance #LGBTQ @MellEight @ninestarpress @GoIndiMarketing

Title: Finding the Wolf

Series: The Dragon’s Hoard, Book One

Author: Mell Eight

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 06/14/2021

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 24600

Genre: Paranormal, LGBTQIA+, dragons, werewolves, magic/magic users, interspecies, immortal, royalty, virgin, war

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Description

When Prince Leon disappears, his people turn to the dragons for help. Nyle is the unlucky dragon tasked with finding Leon, a duty he dreads as it forces him into the confounding human world and far away from his collection of pretties.

Locating a missing prince should be a simple matter, but if Nyle has learned anything about humans since being forced among them, it’s that they needlessly complicate everything. When he finally locates the errant prince, however, what Nyle finds is a treasure worth all the complications—and worth protecting at any cost.

Excerpt

Finding the Wolf
Mell Eight © 2021
All Rights Reserved

Nyle walked through the crowded bazaar with an eye on his coin purse. He had heard stories of humans who stole such things and did not wish to be the first of his kind to experience such ill luck.

He also kept an eye on the crowds. He doubted he would locate his quarry on his first foray into the human market, but there were clues he could find by simply being aware.

For example, the way the fishmonger in the corner stall blatantly gripped his meat cleaver as a group of ragged children exited an alleyway and dispersed into the bustle was probably a good indicator. Nyle would keep an eye on those children—they might have something to do with the disappearances of purses—but the man at the fish stall might have some interesting information. Nyle decided to head there first.

Someone jostled Nyle on their way toward a dour woman selling ribbons and beads across the way. He grimaced and held back a growl. They were humans, creatures clearly not versed in the niceties of society, and while their ignorance didn’t excuse them, it did allow Nyle to rationalize not taking the oafs who rudely bumped him to task. He had a job, and giving in to the urge to roar and breathe flames was not conducive to completing his task.

Nyle was dressed like a human. A loose pair of pants and a shirt that laced up the front comprised his costume, and if the fabric was of a tighter weave than the rest of the local class of humans, at least he looked the part.

“I’m searching for a young man,” Nyle said when he reached the wooden stall covered in fish. The fishmonger had known which children to watch. Perhaps he would also know Nyle’s target.

“Yeah?” the man asked. “Well, I haven’t seen any men around today.” He looked straight at Nyle, a male and only one of dozens who frequented the market, as he spoke.

Nyle guessed that was what humans called digging for incentives. His own kind didn’t much care for the art of blackmail.

Nyle reached into his carefully guarded purse and brought out two uncut copper coins, each enough to buy a small fish. He flashed the coins at the man and leaned forward.

“A tall man with very long black hair and blue eyes,” Nyle said as he pressed one coin to the wood surface of the stall.

The coin vanished into a gut-stained hand. “I seen him two days ago,” the man replied, eyes fixed greedily on the coin Nyle still held. “Not since then.”

Nyle set the second coin on the stall, but kept a finger on it. “Any idea where he could have gone? Or who else I could ask?”

The man tensed and kept his gaze fixed on the second coin as if he knew not to look into Nyle’s gold-colored eyes. Nyle slowly dragged the coin away from the man.

“The red-light district,” the man gasped out as if forced, his eyes stuck on the shiny coin. “You ask round there.”

Nyle released the coin, and the copper flashed in the late-morning sun. The fish man’s eyes remained riveted for another second before he shook himself free of the compulsion. The second coin vanished as quickly as the first, and the man looked up and caught Nyle’s eyes.

A mistake, but Nyle would use the fish man’s ignorance to his advantage.

“That boy ain’t right,” the man slurred, caught in the golden shine that filled the eyes of all Nyle’s kind. “Wild,” he continued, spilling everything he knew to the sheen in Nyle’s eyes, “as if a beast were trying to break free and fly away.”

Nyle blinked and looked away as the man sagged behind his booth. Nyle wasn’t feeling in top form either now. Catching someone with his eyes was more effective than using copper, but it cost him so much more magic. Nyle decided to return home for some rest before heading to the red-light district. Besides, he had heard humans preferred the nighttime for such activities.

Nyle didn’t really understand humans, but he was still young and would learn all there was to know eventually.

Purchase

NineStar Press | Books2Read

Meet the Author

When Mell Eight was in high school, she discovered dragons. Beautiful, wondrous creatures that took her on epic adventures both to faraway lands and on journeys of the heart. Mell wanted to create dragons of her own, so she put pen to paper. Mell Eight is now known for her own soaring dragons, as well as for other wonderful characters dancing across the pages of her books. While she mostly writes paranormal or fantasy stories, she has been seen exploring the real world once or twice.

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Release Blitz: The Mayor of Oak Street by Vincent Traughber Meis #agegap #LGBTQ @convince415 @GoIndiMarketing @ninestarpress

Title: The Mayor of Oak Street

Author: Vincent Traughber Meis

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 06/14/2021

Heat Level: 2 – Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 88400

Genre: Contemporary, LGBTQIA+, age-gap, coming-of-age, coming out, college, political, friends to lovers, period piece, reunited

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Description

In the 1960s, Midwestern boy and Boy Scout, Nathan delivers newspapers and mows lawns. Nathan uses his cover to move about yards and sneak into the homes of his neighbors, uncovering their secrets.

In high school, one of the local misfits introduces him to diet pills, which help him overcome his shyness. In an amphetamine high, he meets Cindy, who he hopes will steer him along the “morally straight” path of the Boy Scout Oath he swore to.

Nathan is infatuated with a young doctor down the street, Nicholas (Dr. B), who embodies all the things his mother would love him to be. On one of his secret forays in Dr. B’s house, he hides in a closet and witnesses his idol having sex with man while the wife is out of town. Dr. B’s affair leads to tragedy, forcing the doctor to leave town.
At college in New Orleans, Nathan meets a group of rebels and expands his drug use. Marc, a bisexual Cajun charmer becomes Nathan’s first male sexual experience, but promptly leaves town.

Nathan has a chance encounter with Dr. B, who has moved to New Orleans. Dr. B is in a relationship, but still closeted. Frustrated by Dr. B’s cool reaction, Nathan goes on a six-month binge of amphetamines and anonymous sex. On one night of debauchery, he overdoses and ends up in the emergency ward.

Nathan’s near death rallies Dr. B and Nathan’s other friends to force him into rehab. On the way home from work, Nathan witnesses the gruesome aftermath of the 1973 Up Stairs Lounge fire that devastated the gay population of New Orleans. As a result of the fire, Dr. B’s live-in boyfriend leaves town, freeing Dr. B to explore his feelings for Nathan.

Excerpt

The Mayor of Oak Street
Vincent Traughber Meis © 2021
All Rights Reserved

The Sangamon flows muddy and rank through the corn and soybean fields of central Illinois, giving its name to my city and the lake it fills on the south side before continuing its meander west. One of its tributaries, the even lazier and muddier Harold’s Creek, ran practically up to my back door in its own journey through the woods behind the homes on Oak Street.

The afternoon sun filtered through the tall trees, warming my shoulders as I walked along the creek, imagining building a raft like I had seen my brother and his friends do a few years before. I would ride it down the creek to the Sangamon and into the Illinois, eventually reaching the Mississippi. The Mississippi would take me to New Orleans, a city memorialized in song, literature, and film as a place of wonder. It wasn’t that I needed to run away like Huckleberry Finn. I hadn’t yet learned to hate everything the Sangamon gave its name to. It was a boy’s fantasy brought on by the heat of summer and the mesmerizingly sluggish flow of water.

I heard a branch snap deep in the woods. I often saw hobos from the nearby Wabash Line wandering in the woods, and my mother told me I needed to avoid them, but I sometimes watched them from behind a clump of bushes. My eyes darted around the area and saw nothing. I glanced at my watch. Time to go. For most kids, these were the carefree days of summer, but I had things to do. From the creek, I walked up the hill, through our backyard, and out to the street.

Mrs. Sloan’s heavy oak door hung wide open while a screen kept the swarms of late summer flies and mosquitoes at bay. I put my face to the mesh in what felt like an invasion of her privacy, causing me to tingle from the top of my head down to my big toes.

“Hello? Mrs. Sloan?” I shouted into the dim interior of the hall.

No answer.

I opened the screen door haltingly and stepped inside. The door creaked shut, sounding painful in the silence of the house. I took a step, and then another. My legs shook. I peered to the right into the living room and left into the dining room. A force had taken control of me and pushed me on, my sneakers barely touching the carpet.

I went as far as the kitchen, passing two empty bedrooms on the way. Her purse sat on the yellow chrome Formica kitchen table, the keys to her Oldsmobile right next to it. Out the kitchen window, I searched for her floppy straw hat in the sunny backyard. She was neither in the garden where she often tended her vegetables nor in the lawn chair where she sometimes sat, large sunglasses on her nose and a cocktail in hand. I took note the lawn needed mowing.

Nylons hung over the bathroom shower curtain rod, hypnotically swaying in the breeze from the open window. Though we called her Mrs. Sloan, I had never heard of a Mr. Sloan. My father once complained about entering the bathroom and finding my mother’s nylons drying in plain sight. I wondered if Mrs. Sloan was sad living alone or happy she had the freedom to do what she wanted.

I should have been scared of her coming home and finding me lurking in her house, but a stronger force blocked the fear, a compelling energy moving my mind and body, making me feel impervious to danger. I continued down the hall to the living room, stopping to gaze at each of three framed needlepoint messages: “There’s nothing to fear but fear itself,” “A cheery smile makes life worthwhile,” and “You belong among the wildflowers.”

I had come to Mrs. Sloan’s door in my rounds, collecting for my paper route. She was a month behind in her payments. And I rationalized my invasion of her home out of concern for her welfare. My mother once said she wouldn’t be surprised to find her passed out drunk on the front lawn one day. My brother in high school sometimes came home from a night of drinking with his buddies and would collapse face down on his bed in our shared room without removing his clothes or shoes. One time, he ended up on the floor. Perhaps Mrs. Sloan had fallen like my brother. Perhaps she had fallen asleep in the bath and was at risk of drowning like I had seen on a television program.

I spent a few more minutes in the house before exiting through the front door into the calm and quiet on Oak Street. I continued up the block to do the rest of the collections. That night I drew a floor plan of her home, noting doors and windows. My brother called me a weirdo when the first thing I looked at in the Sunday paper was the page with the floor plan of a new house on the market while he went for the sports section, my father the news, and my mother the book reviews. I also scribbled notes about Mrs. Sloan’s house: the color and shape of her purse, the black-and-white photo of a somber older couple in the living room, the buff-colored nylons, the approximately twelve-inch cross hanging over her bed, and the needlepoint messages.

Before I entered my teenage years, I would know my way in and out of most every house on the block without being discovered. It was the Midwest. It was the ‘60s. Crime happened elsewhere. In addition to delivering papers, I mowed lawns. I could cross barriers, move within fences, and befriend dogs. Access. Getting inside the house was usually the easy part.

Everybody told me my paper route and lawn-mowing jobs would be good experience though I had no idea how much I would learn about myself, about others, about life, the good and the bad. I could assume the face of the upstanding neighborhood boy, appearing at their doors to collect subscription payments, smiling and making small talk while below the surface I was another person, motivated by desires they would never understand.

The second time I entered a home was as spontaneous as the first. It was the Pruitts’. While mowing the front lawn, I noticed Mrs. Pruitt lock the front door, take her two identically dressed little girls by the hand, jump into their Ford station wagon, and drive off. When I got around to the back of the house, I spotted the kitchen door standing open, beckoning me. I turned off the mower so I would hear if the car returned. I went into the kitchen. My mother would die rather than let our kitchen fall into such disorder; the sink filled with dirty dishes, and the kitchen table covered with open schoolbooks and scattered papers.

A half-full milk carton sat on the counter. I opened the fridge and saw a whole shelf of soda pop. I took an orange Crush and drank it as I did a quick tour of the house. Not much interesting. The rest of the house was as messy as the kitchen. I finished the soda outside, threw the bottle in the trashcan, and finished mowing the lawn. Before I went to bed that night, I drew a floor plan of their three-bedroom and put it in a folder with Mrs. Sloan’s.

I thought of these intrusions as accidents, isolated incidents that wouldn’t be repeated. But images of those escapades kept dancing through my head, enticing me to do it again. The rush of danger, the real possibility I might be caught, was like a drug. At the time I was still ignorant about drugs and addictions, but my body clearly knew sensations it wanted to revisit. I managed to stave off my urges for a few months. I turned twelve over the summer, and several of my customers who had heard it was my birthday tacked on a bit extra to their payments.

Lawn-mowing season came to an end as the weather turned cold, and we had our first snowfall. Soon after, I started receiving calls about paper holds for the Thanksgiving holidays. To me, they might as well have been invitations. I prayed it didn’t snow as the soft whiteness would show the hard dirty prints of my boots, a trail of my activities. I had to start thinking about such things: tracks I might leave, who in the neighborhood tended to snoop out their windows, or how often people left doors unlocked, windows open.

I made a point of being friendly with the dogs on my street as I knew my extracurricular activities at houses with animals could be a problem. The Jackmans had a golden retriever. I’d received notice to put their paper on hold for five days, making me guess they weren’t going to leave the dog in the house for that length of time.

When I did my collections the week before Thanksgiving, I casually mentioned to Mrs. Jackman that I had received the hold notice. People loved to give out information they didn’t have to. She revealed they were going to their lake house in Arkansas. Butch was curled up at her feet. He raised his head as she took a ten out of her wallet and gave it to me. She told me to keep the change, and I thanked her profusely while I tore off her receipt.

I reached down to pet the dog. “I guess Butch is going to get a vacation too.”

“Oh, yeah. He loves it down there.”

Bingo, I was in. After our Thanksgiving meal, Dad and my brother watched the football game on TV while Mom cleaned up. I went to my room, saying I was going to read. Nobody thought it was odd. In my family, everybody did pretty much what he or she wanted. Normally, after a Thanksgiving meal, Dad and my brother passed out in front of the TV, and Mom curled up in a chair to read after cleaning up the kitchen. They had all had a lot of wine at dinner, including David, who my parents allowed to drink though he was only sixteen, something about him learning to drink responsibly at home keeping him from being irresponsible when he went out. I wasn’t sure that was working.

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NineStar Press | Books2Read

Meet the Author

Vincent Traughber Meis started writing plays as a child in the Midwest and cajoled his sisters to act in performing them for neighbors. In high school, one of his short stories won a local contest sponsored by the newspaper. After graduating from college, he worked on a number of short stories and began his first novel. In the 1980’s and 90’s he published a number of pieces, mostly travel articles in publications such as, The Advocate, LA Weekly, In Style, and Our World. His travels have inspired his five novels, all set at least partially in foreign countries: Eddie’s Desert Rose (2011), Tio Jorge (2012), and Down in Cuba (2013), Deluge (2016) and Four Calling Burds (2019). Tio Jorge received a Rainbow Award in the category of Bisexual Fiction in 2012. Down in Cuba received two Rainbow Awards in 2013. Recently stories have been published in three collections: WITH:New Gay Fiction, Best Gay Erotica Vol 1 and Best Gay Erotica Vol 4. He lives in San Leandro, CA with his husband.

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Release Blitz: Scorned Gods by Mychael Black #LGBTQ #darkfantasy @changelingpress @GoIndiMarketing

Title: Scorned Gods

Author: Mychael Black

Publisher: Changeling Press LLC

Release Date: June 18, 2021

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male, Male/Male Menage

Length: 154

Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Action Adventure, Dark Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Suspense, Urban Fantasy, Multiple Partners, Multisexual & Pansexual, Rock Star, Vampires

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Synopsis

Music isn’t all that Scorned Gods has to offer.

Iconoclast (Scorned Gods 1): Death metal group Scorned Gods needs a new singer. Firestarter’s former lead singer Jason Summerfield and his lover Julian Kristados are back in the United States, and Jason is itching to get back on stage. What he gets, however, is far more than that — and not all of it is good.

Delirium (Scorned Gods 2): Jason and Julian have acquired a new lover, Scorned Gods’ bassist, Saul. But a cult of vampires is hell-bent on starting a war between mortals and vampires. Its first prime targets are psychic vampires like Jason’s bandmates…

Shackled (Scorned Gods 3): With help from an Abaddon ally, Jason and his bandmates will have to act quickly to stop Harlan Yates. The escaped mortal, Daniel, is the unwilling beacon that can bring destruction upon them all.

Karma’s Brutality (Scorned Gods 4): With their allies from Abaddon, Jason takes the fight directly to Yates. Jason and his bandmates from Scorned Gods are about to discover combat is not for the faint of heart. Not everyone will come out unscathed, but that’s the nature of war.

Publisher’s Note: Scorned Gods (Box Set) contains the previously published novellas Iconoclast, Delirium, Shackled, and Karma’s Brutality.

Excerpt

Scorned Gods (Box Set)
Mychael Black
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2021 Mychael Black
Excerpt from Iconoclast

The door slammed shut, and Saul Calderon glanced at his bandmates. “Well, that was a waste of time. Now what?”

Twins Nicholas and Dana Reid both sighed, though Dana spoke up first. “Good riddance,” she said. “There are other singers — most with more talent than that jackass had. We can find someone.”

“Hopefully in enough time to actually learn the songs,” her brother grumbled.

Saul sat on the stool beside his amp, his bass resting on his lap. “Where do these fuckers come from? You’d think someone who claims to be a ‘big fan’ would actually know our songs.”

“Hell if I know,” Dana said with a shrug. She set her sticks on her snare and redid her fire-engine red ponytail. Although she and Nicholas were twins, they weren’t identical. She looked nothing like her brother. “We need… new blood.”

A shiver snaked its way up Saul’s spine. None of them had fed in a few days, and although they didn’t drink blood, the urge for it occasionally hit. Dana gave him a knowing look. She’d been the one to bring them together years ago. Back then, they’d only sensed kindred spirits who needed energy to survive. The music had been a happy accident. But even among vampires, their kind were pariahs. Rumors ran rampant about the band members’ true natures, though no one knew the exact truth. Sometimes, they tossed in a random blood feeding onstage just to drive the crowd wild, but Saul preferred tantric energy to blood any day.

“Yo, dude!”

Fingers snapped in front of Saul’s face, and he shook his head. Nicholas gave him a quizzical look.

“Sorry. Just… zoned out, I guess,” Saul said. “Dana’s right, though. We need someone new, someone this fucking city hasn’t heard.”

“Good luck with that,” Nicholas said. “That idiot was number… shit, I don’t even remember now.”

“Maybe we’ll get lucky.” Saul wasn’t sure he believed that himself, but it felt good to say, at least. His cell buzzed in his pocket, and he tugged it out to glance at the text message. “Huh.”

“Who is it?” Dana asked.

“Some guy named Jason Summerfield. Says he sang with Firestarter.”

“The pyro band?” Nicholas grinned.

Saul shrugged. “I suppose. I don’t know of any other Firestarter.”

“Didn’t they break up a few years ago?” Dana began packing her things. “I caught one of their shows. If it’s the same guy, he’s fucking good.”

Saul read the text aloud:

My name is Jason Summerfield. I found your ad and am looking for a new band. I just moved to town a few weeks ago, but I fronted Firestarter for several years in Atlanta.

“What have we got to lose?” Nicholas asked as he put away his guitar.

“I’ll set up a time tomorrow then,” Saul said.

While Noah and Dana finished getting their things together, Saul replied to the text.

Hey there. I’ve heard of Firestarter, though I never saw you guys live. I play bass for Scorned Gods. I’d like to meet and chat, see if you’d be a good fit. When’s a good time for you?

A few minutes passed, and Saul walked Dana and Noah to the front door of his loft. Just as he shut the door, his phone buzzed again.

Anytime tonight would be great.

He texted back, How about eight?

Sounds great.

Awesome. I know a cool little coffeehouse downtown called Urban Joe’s. Need directions?

Nah. I can find it. See you then.

Saul grinned. If this guy was as good as Dana claimed, maybe things would work out after all. He grabbed his laptop off the kitchen table and sat down on the couch. A quick Google search yielded photos, mp3 clips, and vids of Firestarter. Saul stared at a promo pic of Jason Summerfield.

“Holy shit, he’s hot.”

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

Meet the Author

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

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Release Blitz: No Flag by Liz Borino #LGBTQ #contemporaryromance @ninestarpress @GoIndiMarketing

Title: No Flag

Series: After Everything, Book One

Author: Liz Borino

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 06/07/2021

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 67100

Genre: Contemporary, LGBTQIA+, contemporary, family-drama, military, war, violence, terrorists, disabilities, amputee, bartender, Dom/sub relationship, domestic discipline, OCD

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Description

Captain Mike Kelley does not ignore his intuition, so when sexy bartender Will Hayes captures his heart, Mike embarks on a mission to win him over to a Domestic Discipline relationship. Will accepts with one caveat: Mike must promise not to renew his army contract.

Mike agrees, until the army invokes the stop-loss military policy to involuntarily extend his commission and send him back overseas, rendering him powerless and threatening everything he and Will have built. Will, left alone to cope with a new café, must rely on the support of old friends who may no longer be trustworthy.

A horrific terrorist attack on Mike’s outpost changes everything, leaving them both at a loss.

Mike awakens in a hospital with a devastating injury and no recollection of the attack. As the only survivor, his memory may be the key to national security. Mike struggles to cope with his injury and Will struggles with his new role in Mike’s life.

For Mike and Will, “No Flag” meant “come home alive.” Will has Mike back rather than a folded flag, but in the aftermath of war, can they rebuild the life they had before?

Excerpt

No Flag
Liz Borino © 2021
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One
The News

July 7, 2012

Bombs exploded on the evening news, one after the other. Body parts flew past the camera. The headline across the bottom of the screen read: “20 Army Intelligence Officers Dead.”

“Early this morning, a bomb exploded in the Army Intelligence building, killing twenty American soldiers from Platoon 518,” the blonde newswoman reported.

Will Kelley squinted as the fuzzy security images played behind the woman’s head, searching through the chaos for reassurance. Nothing. His heart pounded and he tried to swallow but found only dry air in his mouth and throat. The female reporter described the weapons used and structural damage done in vivid detail, which made for sensational television, but failed to answer any questions for the people at home. Victims’ families had to be notified before the media could release their names. So, Blondie would lose her job if she read the list in front of her.

“What the hell are you doing, man? We open in thirty minutes and you’re watching television?” Seth, his roommate, demanded from the doorway of the living room.

“Answered your own question, didn’t you?” Will responded.

“Are you ready?”

“No.” Will did not take his eyes off the screen. “I’ll drive myself.”

“When?”

The report flashed to an increase in allergies in children, so Will switched to another station while typing “Attack on American S2 Building in Afghanistan” into Google. It wouldn’t be that easy though. So, Will tried several more combinations of search terms before finding a video shot by an insurgent involved in the attack. The camera shuddered. Focused on different areas of the chaos. Men ripping clothes off soldiers. Looting. Bodies blown to bits. A man removing computer hard drives. And only one face. On the severed head of Major Evans.

“Will!” Seth jabbed him in the shoulder with a pen. Will forced his eyes away from the computer. “What happened?”

“Mike’s platoon was attacked. Twelve survivors.”

“Shit,” Seth said. “Can you call…?”

Will took a slug from the nearby water bottle. “Who? No one will talk to me. I’m not my husband’s family.”

Seth stared at him for a long moment and said, “I’ll have Casey cover for you.”

Will stood and shook his head. “Why? I can’t do anything here except watch the same videos over and over. May as well see if I can make some money.” He shut his computer and set it on the side table. “Meet you there. I won’t be too late. Promise.” He had to stop himself from scoffing as the meaningless word left his lips.

“Will…” Seth began.

“You wanted me to move, I’m moving! Go. I’ll be there.” He walked toward his bedroom, Seth’s gaze burning into his back. Stopping to throw a glance over his shoulder, he added, “Don’t tell Casey. I can do without her mother-henning me.”

“Will…”

“Please, Seth.”

“Sure.”

“Thanks.” Will climbed the steps and closed his bedroom door. He leaned against the wood cutting him off from the rest of the world. His gaze roamed the four walls decorated with art prints, a whiteboard, and his wedding picture. Will strode over and fingered the golden frame. Behind the glass lay a photograph of Will and Mike in tuxes in the middle of their first dance. Their smiles easily outshone the gold on the frame. Mike had always been handsome with broad, built shoulders and muscular pecs, leading to abs you could grate cheese on.

But none of that stood out to Will, not on their wedding day of the year before. Mike’s blue eyes radiated a strength and hope. Will removed his wedding band to read the promise inscribed: No Flag.

Please keep your promise, Mike, Will thought as he took a deep breath and tore himself away from the picture and the crushing memories it brought. He had a job to do tonight.

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NineStar Press | Books2Read

Meet the Author

Liz Borino has been telling stories of varying truthfulness since she was a child. As an adult, she keeps the fiction on the page. She writes stories of human connection and intimacy, in all their forms. Her books feature flawed men who often risk everything for their love.

When Liz isn’t writing, she’s waking up early to edit, travel, and explore historic prisons and insane asylums—not (usually) all in one day. Liz lives in Philadelphia with her two cats.

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Release Blitz: Love, Blood, and Sanctuary #LGBTQ #paranormalromance @megan_hart @fionazedde @GoIndiMarketing @ninestarpress

Title: Love, Blood, and Sanctuary

Author: Brenda Murphy, Megan Hart, Fiona Zedde

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 06/07/2021

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Female/Female

Length: 95800

Genre: Paranormal, LGBTQIA+, romance, paranormal, BDSM, lesbian, demon, blood magic, D/s relationship, sex club, spirit, witch, hemomancer, Rosh Hashanah, established couple, reunited, demi-goddess

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Description

Haunted? Hunted? When you need a safe place from disaster, heartbreak, or gods trying to break you and drain your blood… come to Sanctuary. It’s New York’s most exclusive club for magical beings and the backdrop of three sexy stories from three award winning authors.

We Choose to Be by Megan Hart
Love is in the air…and the blood. When hemomancer Hadassah meets the woman of her dreams, she has no idea that Yael is actually a blood demon. Is it only the draw of Hadassah’s talents that brings Yael into her bed? Or is there something more. Something that could last. What is love, after all, unless it’s bound by blood?

Sanguine Faith by Brenda Murphy
After a messy break-up leaves Laurel homeless and unemployed, she accepts her great-uncle’s offer of a townhouse and a job. When a seductive spirit trapped in the town house offers Laurel a means of escaping the life her uncle has planned for her, she learns that free does not mean without cost.

Promises Made by Starlight by Fiona Zedde
Abandoned by her wife years before and left devastated, Izzy has recently lost nearly everything else. Her credit is abysmal, she’s underemployed, and her successful best friend treats her like a charity case. But when her wife reappears, breaking her heart all over again, Izzy finds that not everything is as it seems. Blood gods walk the earth, and the one she once welcomed into her bed is back—ready to reclaim what’s hers.

Excerpt

Love, Blood, and Sanctuary
Brenda Murphy, Megan Hart, Fiona Zedde © 2021
All Rights Reserved

From Sanguine Faith

The rap on the car window rattled the glass. Laurel started and slammed her knee into the steering wheel. She cursed softly as she jabbed the window control button. The demon was dressed as a policeman. He wore dark glasses and his beefy hands rested on his thick duty belt nestled between the pepper spray canister and his pistol holster. A slight glow from a pouch near his hip was the only clue to his true identity. Huffing out her frustration at the window’s lack of response, Laurel shoved open the car door.

“You okay?” The officer leaned closer and peered into her face. His feet were squarely inside the circle of salt Laurel had spread around the car the night before.

“Yeah.” Laurel cleared her throat. “I’m okay.”

“You can’t sleep here.” He gestured to the street lined with ancient brownstone townhouses and graffiti covered buildings. “It’s not safe.”

“I’m sorry—” Laurel wiped her hand over her face and squinted at the officer’s name badge. “—Officer Sullivan, is it? I worked a late shift and didn’t feel safe driving anymore. I pulled over here to catch a nap.”

“Stow it. I passed this way last evening, and you were parked here. Your car hasn’t moved.” He leaned closer and removed his sunglasses and slipped them into his shirt pocket. “I know your uncle.”

“Great-uncle.” Laurel stared at his face and inhaled sharply. His eyes were light gray rimmed with red, her image mirrored in their shallow depths. His practiced glare was that of an experienced centurion. Laurel shivered under Sullivan’s gaze, unable to look away from the magical enforcer. He was bound to her clan, sworn to serve and protect. Loyal to a fault, willing to die for the family. Her great-uncle had a legion of centurions, all more than willing to aid and abet his less than legal business dealings.

“Is that so? Why are you here? What do you want?” Laurel pressed her lips together and rolled the hem of her shirt between her fingers.

Officer Sullivan leaned down and spoke softly. “You’re royalty in our world, Laurel. He know you’re sleeping in your car?” His melodious tones seeped into her body as he used the old language, the language of secrets, curses, spells, and death.

Laurel suppressed her shudder. “My roommate kicked me out.” She scrubbed her hand over her face in an attempt to hide the lie. “It was sudden.”

The centurion straightened and pursed his lips. He drummed the fingers of his hand on his holster. “All right, Laurel, if that’s how you want to play it. You need to discuss this with your great-uncle. If you don’t, I will. I don’t want to find you sleeping in your car again.” He tilted his head. “You may not have inherited your family’s abilities but you’re still family. We take care of our own. I can’t spend my nights watching you sleep, keeping watch for the Orions.”

Laurel gripped her keys tightly. Orions. The hunters. So many missing. So many gone in the blink of an eye, their bloodless and mutilated bodies found months or years later. Or worse found still smoldering, their mouths open in voiceless screams. She had taken a chance last night, but after walking in on her girlfriend eyebrows deep between their neighbor’s legs she had stuffed her car full of what it would hold and fled.

“I’ll be safe.” She lifted her shoulders and let them fall, straightening her posture before she settled her hands at nine and three on the steering wheel. “I’ll talk to him today.”

Officer Sullivan stepped back, smearing the salt of the circle she had spread around the car. He pointed at it, lifted his chin, and smirked. “Seriously? It doesn’t work unless you infuse it with energy.”

Laurel inserted the keys into the ignition. “I know.” She looked away from her feeble attempt to protect herself and his smirk. After snapping her seatbelt in place, she waved at him and closed the door. She banged her hand hard on the steering wheel when the telltale click-click-click of a dead battery echoed in the car. “Fuck me.”

Officer Sullivan opened her door. “Come on. I’ll give you a lift.”

Laurel chewed her lip as she looked down at her paint-stained black T-shirt and tatty jeans. “I can’t go like this.”

Officer Sullivan rapped on the top of the car. “Get out. Now. I don’t have all day to deal with you, Laurel. And it’s not worth my life to leave you here with a broken-down car.” He stepped back and crossed his thick arms. “Do I need to assist you in exiting the car?”

Laurel shivered. She had experienced a centurion’s assistance just once and the memory of it still woke her at night. She trembled and wiped her sweaty palms on her jeans. “Let me grab my backpack.”

“Good choice.”

Laurel gathered the few things she didn’t want to leave in the car. After jamming her sketchbook next to her ancient laptop in her bag, she zipped the top closed and grabbed her hooded sweatshirt from the backseat before she exited the car.

“You hungry?”

“I’d really like coffee. I can’t talk to Great-uncle Marcus without some caffeine on board.”

“Come on, I’ll buy you breakfast.”

“Why’d you let me sleep there last night if you were just going to take me to my uncle today?”

“I didn’t want to wake you.”

Laurel glanced at Officer Sullivan walking beside her. “Thank you.”

“No problem. To serve and protect. Even if it’s from yourself.” He held the car door open, and she slid onto the cool leather seat. She settled her backpack between her feet and pulled on her black hooded sweatshirt. The car shifted to the side as Officer Sullivan entered and levered his bulk behind the wheel.

He waited until she had fastened her seatbelt before he started the car. Laurel’s gaze slid over the array of weapons lining the car. Magical weapons clipped into racks side by side with conventional firearms, their soft glow visible to Laurel.

Able to see magic, unable to wield her own power, the last female of a clan stretching back eons, unwilling to assume her role as clan leader and unwilling to produce an heir, Laurel chewed her lip as the car shot forward bringing her closer to her great-uncle’s house.

Laurel shifted in her seat and drummed her fingers on her knees. “You worked for my mom and dad, didn’t you?”

“I did.”

Laurel stared out of the window. A familiar ache settled in her chest. There were some things even magic couldn’t protect you from. The ratty buildings gave way to well-kept streets and high-rise buildings. The sidewalks were crowded with people scurrying to work and school.

“Do you think the humans ever get it? Like, do they know about us? Really get it? Other than the ones we make consorts?”

“Humans see what they want to see. If they ever understood how powerful supernaturals are, they would freak right the fuck out. And try to exterminate us. Again. All of us. Their unwillingness to see and believe is what keeps us safe.” He tapped the pistol on his belt. “And this.”

Laurel shuddered as the car slowed and stopped.

Officer Sullivan turned off the engine and preened in the rearview mirror a moment before he turned his head to face Laurel. “How do you take your coffee?”

“Black. Unless it’s that dark roast crap. Then make it white as a virgin’s wedding dress.”

Officer Sullivan’s loud guffaw exploded in the quiet of the car. “You got it.” He left the car.

Laurel glanced at the tarnished Saint Christopher medal stuck to the car’s headliner and rolled her eyes. A group of humans rushed past, small children and their adults, animated and laughing, their voices muffled by the car window. The gentle ache in her heart blossomed into full-blown longing. Laurel blinked the grit of exhaustion from her eyes, leaned back against the headrest, and rehearsed the story she would spin for her great-uncle, hoping he would listen, knowing he would not.

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NineStar Press | Books2Read

Meet the Authors

Brenda Murphy

Brenda Murphy (she/her) writes erotic romance. Her most recent novel, Double Six, is the 2020 Golden Crown Literary Society winner for Erotic Novels, and Knotted Legacy, the third book in the Rowan House series, made the 2018 The Lesbian Review’s Top 100 Vacation Reads list. You can catch her musings on writing, books, and living with wicked ADHD on her blog Writing While Distracted. She loves sideshows and tattoos and yes, those are her monkeys. When she is not loitering at her local library, she wrangles twins, one dog, and an unrepentant parrot

I hope you enjoy reading this book as much as I enjoyed writing it. For a free short story, information on book signings, appearances, work in progress snippets, previews and sneak-peeks, sign up for my email list at: http://www.brendalmurphy.com/

https://www.facebook.com/brenda.murphy.75
https://www.instagram.com/quinbysideshow

Megan Hart

Megan Hart writes books. Some of them use bad words, but most of the other words are okay. Some of them hit bestseller lists and win awards and some don’t, but that’s the way it goes. She can’t live without music, the internet, or the ocean, but she and soda have achieved an amicable uncoupling. She loathes the feeling of corduroy or velvet, and modern art leaves her cold. She writes a little bit of everything from horror to romance, though she’s best known for writing steamy fiction that sometimes makes you cry.

Website: www.MeganHart.com
https://www.facebook.com/readinbed
https://twitter.com/megan_hart

Fiona Zedde

Fiona Zedde was born under the Jamaican sun but now makes her home in Spain. Since getting the writing bug, she’s published around thirty books and short stories, mostly about black queer romance, including the Lambda Literary Award finalists, Bliss and Every Dark Desire. Her novel Dangerous Pleasures received a Publishers Weekly starred review and was winner of an About.com Readers’ Choice Award for Best Lesbian Novel or Memoir.

At this very second, she’s probably writing another book, and it has 100 percent chance of having queer romance and queer women in it. Her pseudo-healthy obsessions are French pastries, English cars, and Jamaican food.

Website: www.fionazedde.com
http://www.facebook.com/fiona.zedde
http://www.twitter.com/fionazedde

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Release Blitz: Fair Youth by M. Dalto and Laynie Bynum #LGBTQ #contemporaryromance @Laynie_bee @ninestarpress @GoIndiMarketing

Title: Fair Youth

Author: M. Dalto and Laynie Bynum

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 06/07/2021

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Female/Female

Length: 76700

Genre: Contemporary, LGBTQIA+, lesbian, trans, writer, Hollywood, wealthy, retelling

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Description

Billie tried to make a small town life as a doctor’s fiancée work for her, but the dream of trading in Kentucky for the glitz and glamor of LA and selling her screenplays was too strong to fight. Unfortunately, the devil hides behind every corner in the City of Angels and she finds nothing but cockroach infested hotel rooms and broken dreams.

Everything changes when she meets an enigmatic and illustrious fellow writer named Kit. Struck with attraction and intrigue, Billie begins to question not only her dedication to her past life, but also her own sexuality. Kit comes with amazing connections and Billie’s work is getting more recognition than ever, until a powerful studio executive sets his sights on more than just her screenplays. His infatuation could cost Billie her career and, maybe, one of them their lives.

Excerpt

Andy’s shaggy brown hair was still unbrushed and fell into his eyes as he loaded my suitcases in the trunk of his hatchback. “I just don’t understand why you can’t do your writing thing here. People work remotely all the time.”

He slammed the top down with more force than necessary and slid into the driver’s seat, leaning across the center console to close the visor mirror in front of me where I was trying to fix my makeup. It was a constant point of contention between the two of us, but despite the early flight, I didn’t want to arrive in Los Angeles looking like a zombie. Slightly annoyed and overly defiant, I reached in my purse and pulled out a little compact mirror.

“We’ve talked about this, Andy. I need to be where the people are. I need to make connections.” I tried to make my voice as nonconfrontational as possible, but the moment it left my lips, I knew he would take it as condescension.

He started the car and pulled out onto the main road where corn fields flanked us on either side. Tapping his fingers on the steering wheel to an imaginary beat to keep himself calm, he spoke evenly. “Billie, the wedding was supposed to be in a month. What am I supposed to tell everyone?”

I pinched the bridge of my nose and stifled a sigh. “The wedding isn’t off. It’s just delayed until I get back.”

This was the same conversation we had daily for the past month, going over and over the same answers he was fishing for now.

No, it’s not you.

Yes, I will come home.

It’s only for work.

Doing a crappy thing to someone you love was hard, especially when you were well aware how crappy the thing is. Having to postpone the wedding sucked, but staying in that small town, getting married and being tied down to a life of domestic bliss—always wondering about the what-ifs—I couldn’t do it until I at least tried to make my own dreams come true.

Marriage was a fine idea back when we were seventeen and thought forever meant anything past graduation.

It was a great idea when we were eighteen and all of our friends were breaking up with their own high school sweethearts while we were still going strong.

It was the perfect idea last year when, due to a pregnancy scare, we finally decided it was time.

My gut reaction was initially overwhelming happiness at the thought of starting a family, but with each florist appointment, each cake tasting, each dress alteration—I started wondering if I was ready. You didn’t see many struggling screenwriters with babies on their hips, much less ones without any formal education.

I finished my mascara and closed the compact mirror. “I have to do this, Andy.”

“At the cost of leaving behind everyone who loves you, apparently.” His voice was barely a whisper under his breath, but it was still clear over the hum of the car engine and the wind coming through his open window.

Even though he was right, the words cut to the bone. I couldn’t stay any longer. I couldn’t deal with the small-minded people of Avon, Kentucky or their even smaller dreams for one more moment. There were words inside me, and they were clawing to get out into the world. The universes in my mind begged to be put to paper and then to screen. I wanted to be where the action was. The city of angels was going to change my life, or at least that’s what I told myself as he walked me into the airport.

“This is as far as I can go, Bill,” he said as he set my bags down right outside of the first security checkpoint.

I looked up at him, all six-foot-four of him, with an apology in my eyes I could only pray he understood. Pride stopped me from saying all of the things I should have.

I love you.

I’ll miss you.

Please don’t grow to hate me while I’m gone.

Instead, I cracked a smile before wrapping him in a tight embrace. “I’ll call as soon as I land,” I promised into the fabric of his plaid shirt.

He smoothed my wavy hair with one hand while the other pulled me closer into him. “I’ll miss you every moment.”

I broke away. If I stayed, I knew I’d cry, and I was not the kind of person to cry in an airport.

As I grabbed my bags and headed through security, I turned around to look at him one last time. He stood still amongst the crowd of bustling, busy people moving around him, his eyes locked on me.

I blew him a kiss, and through the roar of the background noise, he yelled, “Break a leg, Wilhelmina Shakespeare.”

After hours on the stuffy, cramped flight, the sprawling, massive LAX airport felt like a city unto itself. Shops and restaurants peppered the walls, and it took nearly an hour just to walk out of the exit.

Before I left home, Andy told me to use Uber until I learned how to get around because traffic was hell. I pulled up the app, still unsure how it all worked, and requested a car.

Which I probably should have done earlier, since the wait for the car to arrive left me sitting outside of the airport on top of my drug-store-quality suitcase and staring at the people passing in and out. Bright neon lights started to come on, thanks to the four-hour delay we experienced at my layover in Chicago. Palm trees swayed back and forth among the divided pavement in front of me.

I expected Los Angeles to smell like sea breeze and big dreams, but in reality, it was mostly gas fumes and vapor clouds from a nearby smoking area under the concrete awning.

A red Subaru pulled up in front of me, and the driver rolled down the window. She looked at the phone in her hand and then looked at me. “You don’t look like a Billie.”

I stood up and grabbed my bags. “Well, it’s Wilhelmina on my birth certificate, but most people try to call me Willa when I tell them that.”

She motioned to the back door, and I opened it, sliding in with my bags beside me.

“Strange. Would have thought they would try to call you Willy,” she said as she looked at me in the rearview mirror.

I screwed up my face. “Maybe Willa isn’t that bad after all.”

“So, we’re heading to Pepper Place Hotel?” She turned around in the seat, her eyes looking me up and down, judging me with every cell in her body. “You sure?”

“What’s wrong with Pepper Place? It looked pretty nice online.”

“Oh, sweetie,” she said as she turned around and put the car into drive. “Welcome to Los Angeles. Where the pictures are fake and the people are plastic.”

Purchase

NineStar Press | Books2Read

Meet the Author

M. and Laynie have written both separately and together, and have hit Amazon bestseller rank both ways. M.’s work includes The Empire Series (Two Thousand Years, Mark of the Empress, and the accompanying novellas) published by Parliament House Press, and Cut to the Bone, set to be published by Filles Vertes Publishing in 2021. Laynie’s debut novel, Adeline’s Aria, was published in January with Fire and Ice YA. Together they have published Faust University, included in the Academy of Magic box set by Enchanted Quill Press and Escaping the Grey in the Prison of Supernatural Magic box set. When writing together they combine their strengths to create unique queer characters with sass and backbone in both the contemporary romance and romantic fantasy genres.

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Release Blitz: Bonfire Bright by Alexa Piper #urbanfantasy #LGBTQ @prowlingpiper @GoIndiMarketing

Title: Bonfire Bright

Series: Elvenswood Tales 3

Author: Alexa Piper

Publisher: Changeling Press LLC

Release Date: June 4, 2021

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male/Female (Male/Male interaction)

Length: 136

Genre: Romance, Fantasy, paranormal, urban fantasy, romantic comedy, multiple partners, werewolves, vampires, pansexual & multisexual

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Synopsis

Charlotte “Charlie” Bisset, born to witches but without any magical power whatsoever, is slowly settling into her relationship with medical doctor and vampire Hugo and with Laurette, Elven royalty and passionate baker. While Charlie is reluctant to commit to moving in with her Elf, New Elvenswood is plagued by unnatural vermin attacks.

Hugo is not a possessive vampire, or at least he tries not to be when it comes to his lovers. Yet, his human lover in particular regularly brings out Hugo’s wilder vampire side even if all he wants for her is sweet, fairy-tale love. Odd attacks on unsuspecting people in their city only leave Hugo more unsettled.

Will the Elf Laurette finally get to claim both his lovers publicly as the thruple approaches the next step in their relationship? Will the vermin defeat our heroes in this urban fantasy romantic comedy? Approach the bonfire and find out… if you dare.

Excerpt

New Elvenswood General Hospital quieted during the night, but in Hugo’s experience, no hospital was ever really still. This morning, after another night spent in the OR, the handover during shift change felt calm to Hugo, though. While he filled in his ICU patient’s chart for the team of the next shift, he watched the nurses gossip and stuff their faces with chocolate Easter eggs someone had left at the nurses’ desk.

How is it spring already? Hugo thought, double-checking his prescriptions.

It was only just Midwinter. But of course, the Equinox had come and gone and announced the seasonal shift, and now it was almost Easter, which Hugo saw as the modern catch-all of the traditional spring festivals, and after, it would be Beltane soon.

Generally, as a vampire, Hugo took only a passing interest in seasonal festivities. They marked the passing of time, but with time to spare ahead of him, the festivals were more or less like the hands of a clock, not extraordinary, just steady. However, this year, seeing the chocolate treats in their shiny foil wrappers and the wicker basket full of colored straw and colorful diabetes traps on the nurses’ counter, Hugo felt like an alarm was going off inside him. The sense of an old grandfather clock slowly ticking away time had vanished. His recently changed relationship status had everything to do with that.

Satisfied with his chart after one last check, Hugo walked toward the nurses’ station.

“Oh, good morning, Dr. Glover,” the day nurse said. Hugo had met her a few times, but he still needed to glance at her nametag.

“Nurse Lopez,” he said, handing her the chart. “I’m leaving this one in your capable hands.”

“Ah, a doctor’s handwriting I can actually read,” Lopez swooned, taking the chart and looking it over. Hugo had to agree with her that most younger doctors were not properly trained in cursive.

“Don’t tell me her hands are more capable than mine,” Walters said. He was one of two ICU head nurses. So far as Hugo could tell this was because he managed to bring not just skill but also cheer to the job.

“Never,” Hugo said with a wink. “And by the way, take me off the roster for the Easter weekend, would you?”

“Huh?” Lopez said. “Don’t you always work the holiday shifts?”

Technically true when I was single, Hugo thought. Charlie, born to witches but without inheriting the skill, was not likely to mind much whether he worked or not, but their other lover, Laurette, never passed up any opportunity to celebrate anything, and if Hugo wasn’t there, he’d never hear the end of Laurette’s complaints.

Unless I can convince Charlie to help me convince Laurette to let this celebration go. It was unlikely for the Elf to forego any celebration, however. Hugo knew that all too well.

Then again, while witches focused on the Equinox and on Beltane more, they usually adapted to the surrounding culture to some degree, and New Elvenswood, with its larger-than-average witch population, had Easter fires, complete with the burning of effigies as proxy sacrifices, as well as an Easter egg hunt that was fun for the children and meant to bring prosperity to the grownups who participated.

If she insists, I might be the first vampire in the history of the city to go on an egg hunt with a witch descendant, even if she isn’t a witch. Hugo wasn’t sure whether he wanted to roll his eyes at the idea. He wasn’t sure whether he liked it, running through the woods with Charlie in search of painted eggs, but something about it did seem appealing.

Laurette probably wouldn’t want to come. He lacks the outdoorsy spirit.

Yet, Laurette was willing to do many a thing he didn’t enjoy if it meant pleasing their human lover. The Elf had even — on more than one occasion — interrupted his baking for Charlie. And, while Laurette could be pushy beyond reason, he had so far not pestered Charlie one tiny bit about her failure to come to a decision about moving in with him. Laurette had asked her to do so this past Valentine’s Day among a rain of trickster arrows and a short trip to hell.

“He has a girlfriend now, didn’t you hear?” Walters said, pulling Hugo out of his thoughts.

Lopez looked Hugo up and down.

“Shame,” she said. “You know, I’m into women, but if I’d ever make an exception, they’d better look like you — tall, raven-haired, mysterious, and with those pretty blue, to-die-for eyes.”

Hugo cleared his throat.

“Well, thank you for that… compliment?” he said.

She nodded.

“Yes. Definitely a compliment. So what? Are you settling down? Moving in together?” She wiggled her eyebrows. “Making more adorable –”

“No,” Hugo said. Heavens, if this is what I have to put up with, I feel for every woman who doesn’t want to pump out eggs like the Easter bunny. “But we are spending the weekend together.” He hoped so. He needed to let Charlie know and find out what her plans were. And then, he’d have to navigate whatever extravaganza their Elf had planned.

Elven extravaganza… Hugo sighed, long and deep, and the nurses exchanged a look.

“Sounds like she’s a right handful,” Lopez said. She patted his arm. “I’ve been there, and yes, they are usually the hottest ones.”

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

Meet the Author

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

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads |Instagram | Bookbub

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Release Blitz: Ternary by Kristin L. Stamper #SciFi #LGBTQ @klsmopit @GoIndiMarketing @ninestarpress

Title: Ternary

Author: Kristin L. Stamper

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 05/31/2021

Heat Level: 2 – Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: Male/Male/Female (Male/Male interaction)

Length: 81300

Genre: Science Fiction, LGBTQIA+, sci-fi, AI, scientists, gay, bisexual, MMF, enemies-to-lovers, established couple, reunited, aliens, alien artifact, court trial, mystery, humorous, interracial

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Description

Elora isn’t a robot, but she isn’t human either. She’s an abominable combination of the two, a cyborg. For this offense, she must face judgment in a court of law. There, it will be decided if she’s a person, owed the same rights as any other, or an object, owed no rights at all.

But when a last-ditch effort to demonstrate her humanity backfires, Elora is faced with an element of human nature she always hoped to avoid: love. The consciousness of a dead man is accidentally downloaded into her cybernetic brain, and she becomes infatuated with his still-living husband—whether she wants to or not.

For Elora, making her way in a solar system that fears and hates her has been hard enough. Now, she must do it as an intermediary between lovers while keeping her own heart in check. With the trial fast approaching, and anti-robot protesters demanding her head, Elora can’t afford to get swept up in someone else’s love story.

Excerpt

Ternary
Kristin L. Stamper © 2021
All Rights Reserved

It’s the first taste of freedom I’ve had in weeks. It could also be my last. I march handcuffed down the labyrinthian corridors of the Aidos to be ejected out of an airlock, or have my metal components melted down and recycled into engine parts, or be squashed in a giant garbage disposal. No one’s actually told me where I’m going, but it can’t be anywhere good.

An armored squad of meatheads forced me from my cell without a word. They press the barrels of their rifles into my back to keep me walking. The Aidos was assigned to deliver me to the Minos Justice Station for my trial, but we should have arrived three days ago. Plenty of time to find a dark corner of empty space where they could ditch my body without being noticed. I’d been told my confinement was for my safety as well as everyone else’s but always suspected the scale tipped slightly in favor of everyone else’s. Looks like I was right.

We finally arrive at our destination. The door hisses open…and it isn’t an airlock. It’s a conference room. A massive blank viewscreen hangs behind a shiny circular table. Paul Margot, my lawyer, sits beside it, balancing his chair on its back legs and playing a handheld video game. Not a care in the world. As usual, an expensive suit and tie drape his gangly old body, and he’s combed his scarce hair to the side to hide the bald patches. The smell of peppermint wafts from him, the odor so strong I swear I see a green menthol cloud looming in the air.

A Japanese man stands with his arms crossed on the other side of the screen. He isn’t wearing the black-armored uniform of the guards but rather the stark white with gold trim of the Aidos crew. He has a dashing gentleman sort of look about him, and the decorations on his shoulder suggest he’s high in rank. But despite whatever power he might have, he’s hesitant to approach me—like I’m a live bomb. And it’s not an unfair comparison. During the Great Human-AI War, many robots were exactly that. Humankind nearly went extinct in that war, so I don’t blame him for handling me with caution.

A million questions pop into my mind at once, but I settle for the most pertinent: “What the hell?”

“Well, hello to you too,” Paul says.

“See?” the Japanese officer says to him instead of me. “She made it just fine. Now, I’m going to have to ask you to step out.”

“Actually, I think I’ll stay. No one talks to my client without me present.”

“I’m not interested in the legal matters concerning your client, Mr. Margot.”

“And I’m not interested in whatever secret sciency things you have onboard this ship.” Paul laughs. “But I stay. Go right ahead. She can be a little snippy though. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

I’m so grateful for Paul. I know the things he does are because he wants to win his case, but sometimes I feel like he actually cares about me.

Still. “Is someone going to tell me what’s going on?” I say, louder this time.

“I apologize, Ms. Cussons.” The Japanese officer stares at me with the same stupefied ogle everyone gives me the first time. There’s been a great deal of discussion over what exactly I am—ranging from papers published in scientific journals to angry rants on internet forums—but the term “half-robotic abomination” would seem to apply. I prefer Metal-American. Either way, most people know about Elora Cussons, the illegal cyborg in the news, and when they hear my story, they think of a half-robotic, hideous monster. When they actually see me, it’s never quite what they were picturing. On the outside, I’m a perfectly ordinary, unspoiled, twenty-two-year-old woman from Kauai. My tan skin and long, mud-brown hair are indistinguishable from any of my neighbors’. Although, the red prison jumpsuit isn’t in fashion.

“Do you know who I am?” the man asks after a moment.

“That’s a negative.” I mock his uptight military bearing.

“My name is Hamasaki. I’m captain of the Aidos. I hope you’ve been treated well.”

“Mm-hm, the brig is simply lovely.”

He clears his throat and straightens his blouse. “I’ll get right to the point, Ms. Cussons. Do you know where we are?”

“You should probably assume I don’t know anything. It’ll be easier.”

“Right. Sorry. This is an unusual situation for me too. We’re parked outside of the Great Compass. A member of our crew is head of research here, and he’s gotten himself into some trouble.”

“Wait, the Great Compass?” Paul cuts in. “I thought research on the Compass was shut down. Some guy died or something last year?”

“Yes, someone did. That’s why our people don’t interact with the technology here anymore. It’s observational study only. At least, it’s supposed to be. Turns out, our guy bit off more than he could chew and was injured a few days ago. We were on our way to pick him up and transport him to the medical facilities on the Minos, which is how we got tagged with giving you a lift. Come to find out, it’s a little more complicated than we thought. He’s inside the core of the Compass itself, which is deadly to biological lifeforms. Going in there was how we lost our crewmember last year, and we can’t risk any more losses by sending in a rescue team. We’ve been scratching our heads since we got here, trying to think up solutions, and one of our people thinks she might have something.”

“You want me to do it,” I conclude. It was easy to follow his story to its inevitable end.

“Wait, wait, wait,” Paul practically bellows. “If you’re trying to force my client—”

“No, nothing like that.” Hamasaki reclaims the reins of the conversation. “No one is forcing Ms. Cussons into anything. But with robotic machines being illegal, she’s our best chance. We’ve had experts in medicine, biology, cybernetics, the whole bit reviewing her files, and everyone agrees. Because she’s more mechanical than biological, if there’s ever been a candidate for safe exposure to the Great Compass, it’s her.” He returns his attention to me. “We wouldn’t ask this of you if we didn’t think there was a high chance of success. We’ve already gotten permission from the council handling your case, and they’ve agreed to push your trial back. But of course, you’re free to refuse. What do you say? Want out of your box? Want to be a hero?”

It’s obvious why he’s asking me himself rather than send a lackey. He’s a salesman. He’s charismatic and energetic, and his good looks don’t hurt either. An excited gleam twinkles in his eye, and I can tell he thinks I’m sold.

I can’t wait to disappoint him.

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NineStar Press | Books2Read

Meet the Author

Kristin L. Stamper is a writer of YA and adult science fiction. Her interest in storytelling dates back to her childhood when she brought her ideas to life through play-pretend. Once society had successfully pressured her into knocking that off, writing became her new creative outlet. After high school, she spent seven years as an Information Systems Technician in the US Navy, gaining experience in computers and robotics. Currently, she is the mother of a toddler whose favorite pastime is banging on the keyboard while mommy tries to write.

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Release Blitz: The Dragon Bond by Elizabeth Coldwell #LGBTQ #contemporaryromance @ninestarpress @GoIndiMarketing

Title: The Dragon Bond

Author: Elizabeth Coldwell

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 05/24/2021

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 21800

Genre: Contemporary, LGBTQIA+, estranged couple, holidays, tattoos, tear-jerker, reunited, contemporary m/m romance

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Description

When Trey tells Rainn he’s giving him a very special Christmas gift, he never dreams it will be a tattoo. The matching dragons on their bodies is the sign of a bond never to be broken – at least that’s the plan, until a sudden moment of violence changes everything and Rainn and Trey’s relationship is torn apart.

Returning to his hometown after seven years, Rainn finds that everything is different now, not least where Trey is concerned. Having moved in with his cousin, Marcie, and her husband, Dave, he tries to pick up the threads of his old life as best he can and make the most of the second chance he’s been given.

The holiday season is a time for remembrance and forgiveness for past mistakes, and while volunteering at a Christmas dinner for the homeless, Rainn has an unexpected opportunity to rekindle the bond between himself and Trey.

Excerpt

The Dragon Bond
Elizabeth Coldwell © 2021
All Rights Reserved

December 23, 2009

He would remember this evening for the rest of his life. The strings of colored lights twinkling in the window, the industrial rock playing on the battered old boom box and, most of all, the scratch of the needle as it traced over his shoulder blade.

It hurt, but not in the way he’d been expecting. This was a good pain, not like the time he’d fallen while climbing a tree at the age of six and broken his wrist. That had been agony, and even though the fracture had long since healed, he still recalled how he’d yelled for his mom as he nursed his injured arm. Now, as the tattoo artist continued to work and the machine buzzed, endorphins kicked in and Rainn felt high, the way he did when he ran for miles through the woods surrounding the town.

Still, he couldn’t believe he’d agreed to this. When he and Trey met up, Rainn had expected their usual Friday night out. A couple of beers at O’Malley’s and then a good, hard, bedspring-rattling fuck in Trey’s apartment or Rainn’s bedroom in the home he shared with his mother. Even, if they couldn’t wait until they made it to either of those places, the back seat of Trey’s car. So, when Trey turned to him, blue eyes shining, and said, “I’ve got something special in mind for us. It’s my Christmas present to you,” he hadn’t known what to expect.

As they drove, Trey went on, “You know this is our six-month anniversary, right?”

Rainn nodded. He couldn’t believe the time had passed so quickly since the night he’d looked up from the pool table in the back room of O’Malley’s and seen the tall, dark-haired stranger standing in the doorway, clutching a bottle of Sam Adams. When their eyes met, Rainn had felt an instant connection. He knew it sounded crazy to talk about love at first sight—that didn’t exist outside those soppy Hallmark movies his mom watched—but even then, he’d known this guy was the one.

He hadn’t bothered to finish his game of pool. He’d stuck his cue back in the rack on the wall, walked over to the stranger, and said, “I’ve not seen you in here before.” Not much of a pickup line, but it had worked. Five minutes later, he and Trey had been sitting at one of the bar’s rickety tables, talking and laughing like they’d known each other all their short lives. They’d had their first kiss on the way out to Trey’s cherry-red Nova. They hadn’t stopped kissing, or laughing, since.

“So, you’re taking me for dinner at that fancy French place on Cooper Street?” Rainn asked, pondering the nature of Trey’s surprise. “Or maybe you’ve booked us into that swanky B and B over in Winchester, the one where they bring you breakfast in bed in the morning?”

Trey snorted. “On my wages? You know I’d love to, Rainn, but even with the overtime I’m putting in right now—” Trey had a job in the canning plant on the road out to Winchester, stacking boxes in the delivery warehouse. Hard work had given him a physique Rainn never tired of admiring, with firm biceps and a flat, well-toned belly, but it didn’t pay anywhere near well enough for expensive treats.

“It’s okay, I’m only teasing,” Rainn assured him. “As long as I have you, I’d be happy with a ham and swiss on rye at Dottie’s diner and a night camping out under the stars.”

“Well, it’s the wrong time of year for sleeping under canvas,” Trey pointed out. “There’s snow on the ground, or hadn’t you noticed?”

“When you’re around, I can’t pay attention to anything else but you. So, come on, what’s the surprise?”

“Another minute and we’ll be there. Oh great, looks like there’s a parking spot right outside…” Trey flashed his turn signal and brought the car to a halt.

The part of Prospect they were in had seen better times. Many of the stores on this stretch of Main Street had signs on the windows advertising clearance sales or, in the case of what had been a video rental place, had gone out of business altogether. At first, Rainn couldn’t understand why Trey would bring him here. Was he trying to score drugs for the two of them, or get them both robbed? Then Rainn registered the name on the storefront where they’d parked—Hellheart Ink—and the vivid designs etched on the plate glass window.

“This…is a tattoo parlor.”

“Well, ten out of ten for the deduction work, Sherlock.” Trey grinned and pushed a stray lock of black hair out of his eyes. “Come on. Our appointment’s for seven o’clock sharp, and Hunter doesn’t like to be kept waiting.”

“You booked us…” Rainn sat, trying to process what Trey had said. Hadn’t he once told Trey he hated the fad for tattoos? All those Chinese characters that didn’t mean what their wearer thought they did, and those cheap-looking tramp stamps so many girls had inked just above the crack of their ass… There’s making a bad decision, and then there’s making one that’s bad and permanent. No thank you. “I don’t want to go ahead with this.”

“I know what you said, Rainn, but Hunter’s an artist. And I’ve asked him for a design that means something to us. Something to show how strong the bond between us really is.” Trey placed his hand on Rainn’s and gave his fingers a gentle squeeze. “A good tattoo doesn’t fade, and neither will my love for you.”

Coming from anyone else, the line would have made Rainn throw up in his mouth a little, but he knew Trey to be sincere. “So, this design…”

“We’ll talk about it inside. Hey, you trust me, don’t you?” Trey got out of the car before Rainn could make any other objections. Sighing, and still unsure he was doing the right thing, Rainn unbuckled his seat belt before following Trey inside the store.

Hellheart Ink was brightly lit, with a couch running along one wall where clients could wait for their appointments, and posters showing all manner of tattoo designs, from well-known cartoon characters to elaborate Celtic knots. Rainn tried his best to ignore the faint antiseptic smell of the room and the anxiety churning in his gut.

You trust me, don’t you? Of course, he did. What he and Trey had was special, and he knew his lover wouldn’t do anything to hurt him or make any decision on his behalf that might have unpleasant consequences.

“Hey, how can I help you?” The short, shaven-headed man who greeted them was a walking billboard for his own services. He wore a black tank top that revealed both his arms were tattooed all the way to his shoulders, and his left earlobe was stretched by a silver tunnel piercing. “I’m Hunter.”

“Trey. And this is Rainn.” Trey gestured to Rainn, who uttered a quiet hello. “We have an appointment for seven o’clock.”

“Sure, come through.” As Hunter led them deeper into the shop, Rainn wondered if there was time to change their minds. Does Trey really want to go through with this? Do I?

The back room of the shop contained an industrial black tattooing chair, designed to allow the person being inked to sit in comfort while giving Hunter access to all parts of their body, and padded bench seating along one wall. Trey and Rainn sat, while Hunter picked up a ring binder and set it on the bench beside Trey.

“Before we go any further,” Hunter said, “I need to make sure neither of you is under the influence of drink or drugs right now. If you are, then I’m sorry but, legally, I can’t tattoo you.”

“No, we’re both good,” Trey assured him.

“Great, well, why don’t you take a look through the designs and find something you like?”

“Oh, I already know what we want,” Trey said, surprising Rainn even further. “This one here.” He had flipped through the pages of the binder, and now he pointed to a stylized image of a Chinese dragon in solid black, with long, sinuous curves and a burst of flame issuing from its snout.

“Good choice,” Hunter commented.

Why a dragon? Rainn wanted to ask, but Trey was already outlining the reasons for his choice. “Yeah, I like it because it’s simple but it’s classy, you know? And I read somewhere the dragon is supposed to be the Chinese symbol of good luck and prosperity—and we could all do with a bit of that, right?” He winked at Rainn. “But most important, Rainn and I were both born in 1988, which is the year of the dragon.”

“Is that right?” Rainn had never paid the least attention to horoscopes or fortune-telling or any of that mumbo jumbo. Basing your life around something that might happen simply because you’d been born on a certain day of the year didn’t make any sense to him.

Trey nodded. “And I wanted something special to both of us. To show we have a bond that can’t be broken.”

“Okay, so now we’ve decided on the design, which one of you is going first?” Hunter asked.

“I will.” Rainn hadn’t realized he’d spoken until the words were out. He hadn’t intended on volunteering, but deep down he must have wanted to get this over with.

“Right, if you want to get in the chair and make yourself comfortable.” Hunter started looking through his stencils to find the one he needed; then he turned back to Rainn. “Wait, where did you say you wanted the tattoo again?”

“I didn’t.” Before Trey could make the decision for him, Rainn said, “On my shoulder blade.” That way, if he had any regrets, the tattoo wouldn’t be somewhere he could see it unless he looked in the mirror. More importantly, it wouldn’t alert other people to how foolish he’d been to let Trey talk him into this.

“Sure. And the same for you?” Hunter looked over at Trey.

“Yeah.” Trey smiled at Rainn as he spoke. “Exactly the same.”

Rainn had stripped off his shirt and sat in the chair so that his back faced outward.

“Right, the first thing I’m going to do is clean the area…”

He caught a faint smell of rubbing alcohol before Hunter wiped the skin he was about to tattoo. Then the stencil was applied to his shoulder. Rainn took deep, slow breaths, doing his best to center himself. This would only hurt more if he was tense.

Hunter set rock music playing, the beat heavy and insistent. It did nothing to drown out the high-pitched buzz of the tattoo machine somewhere near Rainn’s ear.

“I’m not going to tell you this isn’t going to hurt,” Hunter said, “but if it gets too much for you at any point, I want you to be sure and let me know.”

The needle bit into his skin, and Rainn swallowed a curse. For a moment, heat flared in his nerve endings, but then it died away, only for the sensation to be repeated a split second later. At first, he didn’t know how he would endure this. Then the pain ebbed and sweetened, and he realized everything was going to be fine. Trey wouldn’t make him face something he couldn’t handle. Like he’d said when they’d walked in, this was all about trust.

Tears pricked Rainn’s eyes, and he swiped them away, hoping Trey hadn’t noticed.

“You okay there, buddy?” Hunter asked, concern clear in his tone. His voice sounded like it came from a long way away. Rainn supposed it wasn’t unusual for people to cry on the tattoo table, but it wasn’t pain making him emotional. It was love for Trey, pure and simple.

“I’m fine,” he muttered and closed his eyes.

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NineStar Press | Books2Read

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Coldwell is a multi-published author and the former editor of the UK edition of Forum magazine, where she was responsible for publishing a number of now very well-known authors for the first time, as well as honing her own writing.

She lives in East London, is a season ticket holder at Rotherham United, and a keen cook. Her recipe for peanut butter brownies is available if you ask nicely… Learn more on Elizabeth’s Website.

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