Release Blitz: Becoming Human by Holly Gray #LGBTQ #UrbanFantasy @HollyGrayAuthor

Title:  Becoming Human

Author: Holly Gray

Publisher:NineStar Press

Release Date: September 21, 2020

Heat Level: 2 – Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: Female/Female

Length: 73800

Genre: Paranormal, LGBTQIA, romance, paranormal, action, urban fantasy, lesbian, animals, bodyguard, interracial, magic, mythical creatures, pets, road trip, slow burn, shifter/animals

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Summary

Jack Whitaker lives a grayscale life. But a violent, yellow-eyed woman; a tea-drinking animal in human form; and a woman in brown with devastating powers of healing have Jack rethinking the boundaries of reality.

Marin, the woman in brown, is supposed to be the most important leader Jack will ever meet. She’s certainly the kindest, so Jack accepts the task of protecting her for a month from a violent duo with a supernatural ability to track their prey.

Jack and Marin travel the country, healing humans and animals, meeting everyday heroes and villains and everyone in-between. Jack isn’t sure if the world is ready for a woman like Marin, let alone whether she is.

Excerpt

Becoming Human

Holly Gray © 2020

All Rights Reserved

“Do you believe in magic?”

Jack didn’t believe in a lot of things: politics, soul mates, religion. Stage magic, all of it. She sure as hell didn’t believe in anything supernatural.

Work, traffic, humidity—those she believed in. Not that she didn’t employ a little whimsy in her life. She liked reading novels, especially a rousing space opera or an angsty, dystopian handwringer. Any piece of fiction penned by Noelle Stevenson, illustrated or digital, enjoyed a prominent place in her leisure time. She loved science fiction movies as social and creative commentary. And the wicked special effects.

Fellow Floridian Carl Hiaasen she found funny and topical. Had she any close friends, she could have discussed some of his biting social commentary.

But believe in any of these fictions, magical or not? Of course not. Jack Whitaker was a rational person. The walls in her tiny apartment, bare of anything but two Firefly posters and a magazine clipping of a black-and-white picture of blues singer and lesbian icon, Gladys Bentley, echoed only her voice, both literally and symbolically. Work as a security guard satisfied without stimulating. On the occasions she felt a tingle for socializing or, heaven forbid, physical touch, she booted up her laptop and binge-watched the latest postapocalyptic series.

Once, she had believed in big ideas like spirituality and a wife and kids. She’d since grown up.

Most of this changed in mid-July on her way home from work at the aquarium in Timuca, a small city in Northern Florida. The day started off as tidily as usual, although traffic seemed a bit less hectic and the day much sultrier than usual.

“Do you believe in magic?”

By the end of the day, when someone with feral memories posed the question to her, she answered differently than she would have just twelve hours prior.

Purchase Links

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Meet the Author

Holly began writing novel-length romances in junior high. She continued scribbling wild tales on her college-ruled notepads till those pesky college and career things got in the way. Finally, after earning her PhD in sociology, Holly gave herself permission to get a life. She has since published four novels, one short story, and several poems. Now a boring academic and a not-entirely-boring political activist, she spends just about all her waking hours doing one or more of the following: teaching, writing, volunteering, protesting, and tending to the whims of her fur masters.

Holly lives in South Dakota with her wife and numerous fur kids.

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Release Blitz: Lighting the Lamp by K.R. Collins#LGBTQ #ContemporaryRomance

Title: Lighting the Lamp

Series: Sophie Fournier, Book Three

Author: K.R. Collins

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: May 25, 2020

Heat Level: 1 – No Sex

Pairing: Female/Female

Length: 100100

Genre: Contemporary Sports, LGBTQIA+, Contemporary, sports, romance, lesbian, bisexual, demisexual, ice hockey, coach, teammates, slow burn

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Synopsis

Entering her third season, Sophie Fournier has almost everything she wants. She’s the captain of the Concord Condors, she’s roommates and linemates with Elsa Nyberg, the elite Swedish winger she’s wanted to play alongside since the Zurich U-Tourney.

There are two major things she’s missing, though. She doesn’t have her next contract lined up, and she still hasn’t won the Maple Cup, hockey’s most coveted prize. If she wins the Cup, she’ll have leverage going into her contract negotiations. And, in case she needed more motivation, this is Benoit Delacroix’s final season as a Concord Condor, and she’s determined he won’t retire without lifting the Cup.

Excerpt

Lighting the Lamp
K.R. Collins © 2020
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One
The 2013 draft in Orlando, Florida marks the third one Sophie’s attended. She made history in 2011 when she was the first woman drafted into the North American Hockey League. Last year, she was given the honor of selecting Elsa Nyberg for her team, the Concord Condors.

This year, Sophie’s responsibilities are fewer, but she’s still here representing the League. Unlike other players, who watch the draft from their couches or receive alerts while on the beach or touring wine country, Sophie is here in a crisp black pantsuit, a red pocket square her only flash of color.

She’s here so the Commissioner can lay a heavy hand on her shoulder and lean in for pictures to prove how progressive his league is, as if one woman among hundreds of men is progress. Well, it is progress, but it isn’t nearly enough.

There will be more women drafted today and tomorrow, and Sophie’s confident at least one of them will play against her this season. She refuses to hope Elsa will keep her promise and make the jump from the Swedish Hockey League to the NAHL this year, but she has high expectations for Alexis Engelking.

The American is slated to be drafted high. Lenny Dernier, infamous for his rants on The National Sports Network, is already wringing his hands over her upcoming inclusion among hockey’s best. Once, forgetting she was mic’d up, Engelking dropped an f-bomb on live television. Dernier accused her of being “a terrible role model for our Canadian children” as if every Canadian who has played the game is an angel.

Indianapolis files on stage to make the first selection of the draft, a long procession of middle to upper-aged white men in suits. The TVs behind the stage show Engelking sit up straighter in her seat as if she’s anticipating her name being called. Her hair is chopped short, jagged angles as sharp as her cheekbones.

A different camera shows Chad Kensington, another American, slumped in his seat. His blond hair is parted to the side and slicked to stay there. His mother elbows him, and he makes a half-hearted attempt to sit up straight.

“Thank you, Orlando, for hosting us today,” Indy’s owner says. The crowd, predictably, cheers. When he thanks the Commissioner, the crowd boos, also predictable. Sophie doesn’t remember the Commissioner facing constant heckling when she was younger, but he’d made himself no friends when the League ground to halt during the 2010-2011 season.

Indy’s owner steps aside so his grandson, a cute kid with chubby cheeks and a Renegades ball cap on his head, can step up to the mic. They have to lower it for him, and the boy checks the cards in his hands before he looks over his shoulder. His grandfather smiles encouragingly. “Um, first overall, the Indianapolis Renegades select Chad Kensington.”

Kensington stands up and shoots the nearest camera a pair of finger guns. His smile is as greasy as his hair. Sophie’s seen enough tape to know he’s talented, but he struts up to the stage as if he thinks the League should be grateful to have him. His suit is too big in the shoulders and too long in the leg as if he expects to grow into it. He’s dwarfed by the men on stage; the only ones he’s taller than are the owner’s two grandkids. He taps the brim of the grandson’s hat. The owner’s granddaughter hides behind the man who Sophie assumes is her father.

Sophie discreetly checks her phone as she waits for all the hoopla to finish. Being at the draft always brings back memories of her own. She wasn’t sure she’d be invited until a few months before and, even once she was there, it wasn’t a guarantee a team would select her. In case being the first woman to try to play in the NAHL wasn’t enough of a barrier, the Commissioner required teams to apply to be co-ed.

The Concord Condors were the only team able to draft her, and she sat in the stands as they made selection after selection, never calling her name. It took two hundred and twenty-four names until hers was called. Instead of being drafted first, or even first round, she was dead last.

She shakes the memory aside as Seattle comes on stage. Sophie quits feeling sorry for herself. Barrett Corderman is the one who deserves her pity as Seattle drafts him. She’s making a name for herself in Concord, pulling her franchise from the depths of the League and turning them into a real contender. Seattle, on the other hand, is where players have their love of hockey sucked out of them.

Indianapolis makes another appearance for the fourth pick, gained in a trade last season. This time, the owner ushers his granddaughter on stage, and Sophie has a good idea of where this is headed. When the girl calls out Alexis Engelking’s name, Sophie allows herself a smile. Engelking marks the fourth woman drafted into the League, and the highest selected of them all. There’s a tightness around Engelking’s eyes as she accepts her jersey as if she felt she deserved to go higher.

Welcome to the club.

*

Concord drafts a defenseman with the first of their first-round picks. With their second, they select Tanner Bechtol. He’s small like Kensington, and his hair falls into his eyes, only for him to shake it back out of his face. He looks overwhelmed by everyone on the stage, and it takes two tries for him to pull his jersey over his head.

It isn’t exactly a promising start, and she expects a lot out of him. This is one of the picks which came from trading their captain, Matty, at the deadline last year. Bechtol stumbles off the stage. He would’ve tripped and face-planted in front of the cameras if Mr. Wilcox didn’t steady him. Sophie keeps her expression tranquil in case anyone is watching her, but inside, she scowls. This is who they gave Matty up for?

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Meet the Author

K.R. Collins went to college in Pennsylvania where she learned to write and fell in love with hockey. When she isn’t working or writing, she watches hockey games and claims it’s for research. You can find K.R. on Twitter.

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Release Blitz: No Parking by Valentine Wheeler #LGBTfiction #interracial

Title: No Parking

Author: Valentine Wheeler

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: February 10, 2020

Heat Level: 2 – Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: Female/Female

Length: 63300

Genre: Contemporary, LGBT, bisexual, asexual, bakery, restaurant, chef, small-town politics, older MCs, interracial, family drama

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Synopsis

When Marianne Windmere’s bakery customers begin complaining that her parking lot is always full, she assumes it must be customers for the new restaurant next door. She’s never met her neighbor, and with the parking lot situation, she has no interest in doing so. But when a snowstorm knocks out the power and traps both women in the building overnight, sparks fly—until the next morning, when the buried argument comes to a head.

Can they find a way to reclaim the magic of that night? And as decades-old secrets about the history of the town and Marianne’s family come to light, can they work together to save both their businesses?

Excerpt

No Parking
Valentine Wheeler © 2020
All Rights Reserved

The travel mug banged against the counter. Marianne jumped. “Jesus, Kevin! I didn’t hear you come in.”

“It’s full again.” Kevin crossed his arms and glared. “The parking lot back there.” He made a show of glancing around the nearly empty bakery, eyes pausing on Zeke in the corner, mug in his hands and laptop open as usual, big red headphones covering his ears. He crossed his arms. “Why do you pay that kid if all he does is ignore you? And the customers?”

“You’re in a mood this morning.” Marianne pushed herself off the stool and grabbed his aluminum coffee mug. Her ex-husband was still an attractive man fifteen years after their divorce, and she couldn’t work up the energy to be annoyed at him for it anymore. “If you want to go next door and complain about the cars, go ahead.” She filled his mug with hazelnut coffee, added an espresso shot, capped it, and handed it back. “It’s not like our customers are beating down the doors for spots right now.”

“I did go next door,” Kevin grumbled, taking the cup. “It wasn’t productive.” Now it was him avoiding her gaze.

The parking lot issue wasn’t a new one—it had been a problem for a few months—and on a busy day Marianne would be filled with a low-level simmering rage as customer after customer complained about it. Still, she wasn’t going to tell Kevin that. Their relationship had improved in the years since their divorce but not quite that much.

“Not productive?” she pressed.

He sipped his coffee to cover the slight flush in his pale cheeks and didn’t answer.

“She threw you out, didn’t she?” Marianne’s estimation of her neighbor and nemesis rose a notch. “You tried to yell at her, and she didn’t take it.”

“I was very polite!”

“Hm.” Marianne put her hands on her hips and considered the man she’d spent nearly twenty-five years married to. He could be charming when he wanted to be—the whole silver fox, sparkling blue eyes and white teeth politician thing—though he never tried it with her anymore. Many women had found him suave and attractive during their marriage and probably still did. But when he wanted something from someone with no interest in what he was peddling? Politeness wasn’t his style. Generally, once charm had failed, he whined worse than any of their three kids had as toddlers. She’d learned that plenty during their marriage, and again during the divorce. “I’m sure you were.”

“I can talk to Bruce and Andrea,” said Kevin. “Just because I’m retired—”

“No need to get the city council involved, Kevin. I’ll handle my own property, thanks.” She glanced at the clock on the wall, its tarnished brass pendulum swinging below the cracked glass. “Aren’t you going to be late for your train?” He was still showing up at transit meetings in the city every other week since he had been appointed to the regional transit board as community representative now that he wasn’t an elected official. Kevin had a habit of holding onto things too tightly and refusing to let them go.

Kevin glanced down at his watch and swore. “Yeah. Shit.” He took another long gulp of coffee and leaned over the counter to kiss Marianne’s cheek. “Thanks. Who knew retirement could be so busy?” He turned to hurry out the door and then stopped and glanced back over his shoulder. “You be good, all right? Don’t work too hard.”

Marianne rolled her eyes and shooed him out with a towel.

Purchase

NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Meet the Author

Valentine is a latecomer to writing, though she’s always been a passionate reader. Through fanfiction she found her way to an incredible community of writers who’ve taught her to love making stories.

When she isn’t writing, she’s making bad puns, yelling about television, or playing with her small child.

Her life’s ambition is to eat the cuisine of every single country. You can find Valentine on Twitter.

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Sigil Fire by Erzabet Biship #FF #Lesfic #succubus #vampires #demons #witches #lesbian #paranormal #fantasy #romantic #suspense #strongfemalelead #alphafemale #buffyfans #lostgirl #succubusheat #tattoo #forbiddenink @ErzabetBishop

Sigil Fire_2000

Sonia is a succubus with one goal: stay off Hell’s radar. But when succubi start to die, including her sometimes lover, Jeannie, she’s drawn into battle between good and evil and a past that isn’t ready to let her go.

Fae is a blood witch turned vampire, running a tattoo parlor and trading her craft for blood. She notices that something isn’t right on the streets of her city. The denizens of Hell are restless.

With the aid of her nest mate, Perry, and his partner, Charley, she races against time before the next victim falls. The killer has a target in his sights, and Sonia might not live to see the dawn.

**Includes First Christmas: A Sigil Fire Holiday Story**

 

BUY LINKS:

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2NKsFWV

Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2RTTAT4

Universal: https://books2read.com/SF1UF

 

EXCERPT:

The dream wrapped around Fae like gossamer silk. It was always the same. The woman’s back was to Fae—shapely curves illuminated against the shadows, the stranger’s face just out view. They were in a dark and winding alley, with the back side of row houses and businesses cluttered with dumpsters and badly repaired fences. The area behind the shops looked ramshackle and smelled worse. A combination of rotting garbage and the reek of something far worse.

A sense of urgency pounded through Fae. She needed to find this woman. Needed to find her now.

Dark demonic wings fluttered in the background, causing the mystery woman to flee. Her skirts whipped up, revealing calves that sucked the air from Fae’s lungs.

An aura of silvery wings hung behind the woman, vanishing as quickly as they appeared. The alleyway grew disjointed—a true setting from a nightmare. The red of her hair was only visible for a moment.

“Help me!” the woman’s sultry voice begged, out of breath and shrill with terror.

Fae’s dream self darted behind her. Shadowy faces and writhing figures moved in the periphery of her vision. She stared straight ahead. She had to focus. To find the woman.

“Wait!” She reached out, but only caught the tendrils of mist that filled the void.

The air chilled as Fae streaked through the fog. A fractured scream echoed in the murky dampness. Seeing anything became more difficult. The swampy odor of decay made Fae gag but still she pressed on. Don’t look. Just move.

Fae panicked. “Where are you?” The need to find the woman was overwhelming. There was something important about her. Even if Fae didn’t know what it was—she had to find the stranger. With her heart racing, Fae kept moving.

“Stop!” A terrible scream rang out in the darkness.

Fae’s pulse thrummed in her throat; her fangs clenched in fear. Where was she? Fae’s footsteps rang hollow as she ran, eyes searching, senses reaching out for any sign of the woman. Around her the buildings changed. Cold concrete walls penned her in. There was only one way to go. Forward.

A dim figure loomed in the distance, barely visible against the mists. Large wings unfolded, the odor of sulfur and dark rotting things made her sour stomach flip once more. The sound of tearing clothes and panicked screams met her ears. Shit.

Fae snarled, racing toward the sound of sobbing. Her boots hit the pavement, puddles of water and filth spraying out as she ran.

There was the mystery woman. Long, red hair draped over the concrete, defiled by the refuse on the ground surrounding her.

A streetlight shone bright in the foggy night air, and Fae was finally able to see the woman’s face around the creature that held the woman prisoner in its grip.

Full, red lips parted in shock as the demon’s fingers tightened around her throat. With her wide eyes brilliant and dark against her ivory complexion, it was clear she was dying. Her gaze met Fae’s, a panicked expression of recognition, and as she looked at her attacker, fear.

Fae stepped forward. “Get off her, asshole,” she hissed, taking another step forward.

The being turned its head, empty eyes staring right into her soul.

“Fae.” Its lips tilted up into a satanic grin and he turned, revealing more of the partially nude woman.

Fae startled and took a step back. “How do you know me?” Her hand felt for a blade at her side. Nothing. Dammit!

Fae would have to try and save the mystery woman with only her strength.

Her fingers brushed the oily feathers of the demon’s wings, intent on pulling it away from the girl, but instead she ended up with nothing.

Dark laughter filled the hollow passage, and in a burst of noxious smoke, the being was gone.

Fae spun on her heel trying to see where it had gone, then moved back and knelt at the woman’s side. “Red.”

“Find me,” the woman whispered, her eyes locking onto Fae’s. A delicate smile drifted across her lips as she, too, began to fade into the mist.

“No!” Fae’s heart twisted in her chest. Just when she had found her, the woman was lost yet again. “No!” Despair clogged her throat.

The shadows of the alley loomed dark as the streetlight fell dim.

***

Fae jerked awake. She lay twisted in the sheets. Her breath came in gasps as the dream faded, leaving her cold and alone in her bed. She had seen the stranger’s face. Finally.

Her dog, Jellybean, whined in the darkness and snuggled in closer, her furry black face burrowing deep under the covers.

“Red,” she whispered. “I’ll find you.”

Staring out the window into the moonless night, Fae listened as the wind whipped the trees outside into a frenzy. Something was coming. But so was she.

About the author:

Erzabet Bishop is a two time USA Today award winning and bestselling author of paranormal and erotic romance. She lives in Houston, Texas and when she isn’t writing about sexy shifters or voluptuous heroines she enjoys playing in local bookstores and watching movies with her husband and furry kids.

 

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https://erzabetwrites.wixsite.com/lesficandlipstick