Release Blitz: The Coup and the Prince by Mell Eight #fantasy #LGBTQ @MellEight @GoIndiMarketing

Title: The Coup and the Prince

Author: Mell Eight

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 05/17/2021

Heat Level: 1 – No Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 19900

Genre: Fantasy, LGBTQIA+, royalty, kidnapping, war, poverty, law enforcement, military, revenge, prostitution

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Description

The coup should have been simple: oust the tyrannical regents and restore the rightful heir to the throne. No one expected the rightful heir to be dead, or for his younger brother to be missing. The search for the missing prince is important, but not as important as putting the destroyed country back together. At least, that’s what Aiden thinks until he stumbles on a terrible crime ring and a pair of beautiful green eyes that might just derail everything he’s been working towards.

Excerpt

The Coup and the Prince
Mell Eight © 2021
All Rights Reserved

One
Aiden

Meetings, meetings, meetings! His whole life was meetings!

Aiden was going to go mad, screaming and hair pulling included, if he had to go to another meeting. As if that weren’t bad enough, after the endless rounds of meetings, he had paperwork. Endless bloody stacks of paperwork. For every piece he finished, another fucking dozen appeared on his desk. He couldn’t escape from it all. He was a frigging soldier, not a paper pusher, and he hated sitting still. His new position as captain of the guard required he attend to his new duties, rather than actually being out in the city where the real work was, but Aiden was thinking of stuffing it all and running away.

In fact, that sounded like a great idea. Fuck them all anyway. He deserved a long weekend off. Aiden slammed his pen down on his desk, glad to have his decision made, and stood with a violent shove of his chair.

“I’m done for the day,” he snapped to his shocked-looking secretary across the room.

Ernest nodded. Aiden had worked with Ernest long enough to know Ernest would have blindly agreed even if Aiden had declared he was off to fuck a duck, but Ernest didn’t mind the damned paperwork, so Aiden kept the kid around anyway.

“It’s after midnight, sir,” Ernest replied softly. “Shall I hold your appointments until tomorrow afternoon?”

Aiden winced at the thought of having any more meetings. “Push them until Monday morning. I should be able to think straight by then.” If he had to go to another meeting any earlier than Monday, he might actually snap and strangle someone.

Ernest nodded in agreement again and quickly made a note in the ledger on his desk before jumping up to help Aiden with his coat.

“What should I tell Major Trell, sir, if he comes calling?” Ernest asked before Aiden could fasten his buttons and get out the door to freedom.

“Tell the old bastard that he should have planned a little better before he threw his coup, and anything that goes wrong in my absence is his fault,” Aiden snapped as he wrenched the door open and slammed it behind him.

A muffled “Yes, sir” sounded from behind the door.

“And take tomorrow off too, Ernest,” Aiden yelled before stomping off.

Aiden didn’t go to his rooms in the castle. He could easily be found there and dragged off to something “vitally important” that Aiden didn’t give a fuck about. He needed to be out there doing, not sitting on his ass.

Before the coup, Aiden had led men. He had been in charge of keeping the city safe, catching criminals and murderers and putting them behind bars so people felt safe at night. He had loved the job and the men and women he had commanded. Trell, the bastard, had promised Aiden he could have his job back after the coup. Hell, that was one of the reasons Aiden had joined with Trell in the first place.

The coup had been a disaster, plain and simple. They had taken power back from the regents, yes, but instead of reinstating the heir like they had originally planned, they were stuck putting the country back together themselves.

Ten years before the coup, the king had started forgetting things. It was only recent edicts, meeting times, and simple things in the beginning, but five years ago, when he forgot the names of his wife and two sons, the physicians declared the king needed to be sequestered for his own safety.

The king’s oldest child was only fifteen at the time, so the council had chosen the grand duke and the queen to act as joint regents on behalf of the heir until he came of age. Given how quickly the councilors chose two people mostly unsuited for the task, Aiden had little doubt they had been bribed. Aiden would have let it go—that was politics after all—except then the council had allowed the regents’ excess to take over.

For the subsequent five years of the regents’ rule, food, goods, and a lot of money had gone into the castle and only bodies had come out. Taxes were raised, and the crown stopped paying for the goods it consumed. Prices for wheat skyrocketed after a late-summer storm wiped out much of one year’s crops, and the crown demanded more instead of helping the people it served.

The last straw for Aiden had been when the city guard had been disbanded. His beloved troops were left penniless and without prospects, as was he for that matter. When Trell approached Aiden, Aiden had been more than happy to lend his influence to the coup.

The queen and the grand duke had been killed in the fighting. The king had survived the coup, somehow. Trell and Aiden had gone to see him once the castle was secured and found a clueless and helpless child in place of the strong man Aiden remembered.

Trell had always planned to reinstate the king’s heir to the throne, not take power himself—which was why he was still considered a major despite the fact he was basically running the country—but when they broke into the heir’s room, they had found him lying in bed, dead. His body had been left where he had been murdered, and when Trell’s soldiers entered the room months later, they found a bloated and decaying mass of nearly indistinguishable flesh. No doubt the regents had claimed he was “indisposed” or something equally indelicate to keep anyone from asking questions, and removing the prince from the picture had also removed anyone who might have had the power to protest the regents’ actions.

The king’s younger son and only other child had never been located, had in fact been missing since the regents took power, which meant the task of putting the city and country back together after five years of mismanagement fell to Trell and Aiden. It also meant that, while the city guard had been reinstated, Aiden couldn’t be there for his troops until everything else had also been cleaned up. Instead, he was stuck with the bloody paperwork.

Still, one night walking the beat would go far to lift his spirits. Aiden couldn’t stop a small smile from stretching his lips at the thought. One night to remind him what he was working so bloody hard to achieve might even reground him. The sooner he finally got through those endless fucking piles of paperwork, the sooner he could return to the job he actually liked.

He did try to keep abreast of some of the cases that were baffling his troops. Ernest put together a weekly report for him, and Aiden always found the time to read it. The most distressing one on the list was the ring of underage prostitutes. Ordinarily it would be easy enough to find the pimp and arrest him and then find safe homes for the kids being abused, but there were mitigating circumstances. No one could actually locate the pimp, for one, and for another, any time one of the kids actually spoke to the guard they were found with their throats slit the next morning.

Aiden wasn’t in uniform, and it had been quite a few years since he had been able to patrol the lower city; maybe his face wouldn’t be recognized. He could easily pretend to be just another man out looking for a suck and a poke.

With his plans firmly in mind, Aiden finished sneaking out of the castle and headed into the city proper. He had a small townhouse where he would change clothes into something more disreputable and then go see what delights the lower city had to offer him.

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: Birthday Presents by Dianne Hartsock #LGBTQ #thriller @diannehartsock @GoIndiMarketing

Title: Birthday Presents

Author: Dianne Hartsock

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 02/08/2021

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 47500

Genre: Horror/Thriller, LGBTQIA+, contemporary, suspense, crime, serial killer, law enforcement, kidnapping

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Description

Crimson loves to dance. He adores watching the pretty boys grind to the frantic beat of the music and picking out his lover for the evening. But more than that, he lives for his birthday, that one day a year he gives into his darker impulses: choosing a young man to lure into the alleyway with promises of sex, then slitting his throat in the midst of their passion and reveling in the hot blood on his hands.

For Tracey Winston, life has become a nightmare. Kidnapped from a nightclub in Boulder, Colorado, brutalized and raped by Crimson, he’s held captive in a cabin in the Rocky Mountains along with sweet Kyle, a young man Crimson keeps chained to his bed and is slowly torturing to death. Though Tracey manages to escape with Kyle’s help, he has to leave Kyle behind in Crimson’s cruel hands.

Detective Gene Mallory has never stopped looking for his brother Kyle, kidnapped from a nightclub seven months previously. The case breaks open when Tracey Winston comes forth at the urging of his new boyfriend, claiming to have knowledge of where Crimson is hiding out. A manhunt begins with Crimson continuously slipping through their net. Lives are on the line, with both Gene and Tracey being targeted by the killer. A traitor in their midst tips Crimson off to their plans.

Crimson’s birthday has come and gone, and he will kill again.

Excerpt

Birthday Presents
Dianne Hartsock © 2021
All Rights Reserved

Prologue
Excitement plucked at Crimson’s nerves, and he licked his lips, his blood surging to the merciless drumbeat. He rolled his hips to the music, an old White Zombie album, the static only adding to the nostalgia. Raising his arms, he pictured the hot body he’d grind against at the club that night, young, slim, rounded ass snug against him. Maybe he’d get his hands under his shirt, a finger in the guy’s pants stroking the wet tip of his cock.

He imagined the breathy moans in the dark alley afterward. The scared whimpers, screams muffled by Crimson’s hand clamped over the gorgeous lips he’d ravaged of their sweetness moments before. He felt the hard knife in his hand and shuddered, envisioning the hot blood pumping over his skin when he slit the vulnerable throat. Fuck, he loved his birthday!

Tossing the comb he’d run over his long hair onto the cluttered vanity, he then trailed fine-boned fingers over his chest and flat stomach. Pert nipples ached to be teased. A secret smile slid over his black-painted lips as he cupped the bulge in his tight jeans. What boy could resist this?

After adding a black tee shirt, he searched the dark eyes in the mirror, pursed his lips. Gloss? Definitely. He knew a certain bouncer at the club who was susceptible to Cherry Kiss. Well, that and Crimson’s mouth on his dick.

He narrowed his lids at the crescent moon scar under his left eye, temper flaring through him. Though healed, the skin was still an angry red. That bitch Tracey…

Crimson willed his hands to unclench. Nothing that a little concealer couldn’t make disappear. A thump sounded on the wall, and a frown marred the perfect features in the mirror. Kyle knew better than to disturb him while he was dressing. His face softened. Kyle. His little gem. How long had they been together? Six months?

The eyes in his reflection widened. That would make Kyle twenty. He’d forgotten they shared a birthday.

“Crimson’s coming, angel,” he murmured and grinned viciously at the name, blood and pain and death. He’d used other aliases in the past, but this was by far his favorite.

With a last glance in the mirror, he left the room and crossed the hall, tapping on Kyle’s door before entering. Kyle lay in the middle of the bed, his pale skin decadent against the red silk sheets. His darling looked lonely. Of course he did, with Tracey’s side of the bed empty. How many times had he stood at the foot of the bed to watch them play together? Or join in, lost in the haze of sweat-slicked skin and hard cocks, lips and tongues and roving fingers, pain and ecstasy.

But yesterday Tracey had left them as if their time together meant nothing, betraying Crimson’s trust. He drew several deep breaths, letting the anger roll through him, then out in an exhale. Tracey was dead to him.

“Did you need me, sweetheart?” he asked as he lay down and gathered Kyle in his arms. His skin felt dry, soft, tight over a sparse skeleton. Crimson could break his bones if he held too tightly.

Kyle’s enormous light blue eyes swam with tears, bright with desperation. So lovely. “You’re leaving again?” he whispered, timid.

“We’ve discussed this. I always go out on my birthday.”

“But if something happens to you…”

“I suppose you’ll die of starvation. No, thirst.” Crimson laughed at the shiver that swept the emaciated body. “Nothing will happen to me. Promise.”

Crimson picked up Kyle’s shackled hand with its long chain bolted to the floor and kissed the palm. He stroked Kyle’s limp cock and watched with satisfaction as it thickened under his touch. “Would you like me to fuck you tonight?”

Kyle nodded, despair in his eyes. Crimson kissed his sweet lips, his heart moved. Kyle had been a wild thing during their first months together. Running his hands over the thin chest, he regretted the scars he’d had to put on the pale flesh before Kyle had broken. He twisted a pale nipple and grew hard at the gasp and shudder from his lover.

He leaned up on an elbow. There was no reason he couldn’t stay and play with Kyle before he left. His cock ached with the thought. No. Denied lust would add a delicious edge to the evening. But still…

Leaning across Kyle to the bedside table, he fingered the silver nipple clamps. His baby loved those. The plug? No, he wanted Kyle nice and tight when he got home. Cursing the time, he gave Kyle a last passionate kiss. “I’ll be home soon.”

Kyle rolled against him, wrapping him in skinny arms. “Don’t go. Stay with me. I’m afraid when you go.”

“Hush, baby. You won’t even know I’m gone.” He kissed Kyle’s damp eyes and licked his tears.

Crimson reluctantly left the bed. Kyle’s pleas tempted him, but he had something to take care of before he could wring pain and pleasure from his lover’s body. He whistled on the way downstairs, pulling on thin black gloves. Grabbing up his keys from the hook by the door, he then stepped into the afternoon sunshine and drew a deep breath of the warm, pine-scented air. It was a twenty-minute drive into town, which left plenty of time for shopping and a meal before the clubs opened. Perfect.

Purchase

NineStar Press | Books2Read

Meet the Author

Dianne is the author of paranormal/suspense, fantasy adventure, m/m romance, the occasional thriller, and anything else that comes to mind. She lives in the beautiful Willamette Valley of Oregon with her incredibly patient husband, who puts up with the endless hours she spends hunched over the keyboard letting her characters play. She says Oregon’s raindrops are the perfect setting in which to write. There’s something about being cooped up in the house with a fire crackling on the hearth and a cup of hot coffee warming her hands, which kindles her imagination.

Currently, Dianne works as a floral designer in a locally-owned gift shop. Which is the perfect job for her. When not writing, she can express herself through the rich colors and textures of flowers and foliage.

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