Book Tour: Heartward by Andrew Grey #LGBT #GayRomance #romancebooks #newrelease

 

 

 

Title: Heartward
Author: Andrew Grey
Series: Standalone
Genre:  M/M
Contemporary Romance/ Gay Romance/ LGTBQA  
Release Date: Nov 12 2019
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Print (1st
Edition)
Blurb/Synopsis:
He doesn’t know that home is where his heart will be….
Firefighter Tyler Banik has seen his share of adventure
while working disaster relief with the Red Cross. But now that he’s adopted
Abey, he’s ready to leave the danger behind and put down roots. That means
returning to his hometown—where the last thing he anticipates is falling for
his high school nemesis.
Alan Pettaprin isn’t the boy he used to be.  As a business owner and council member, he’s
working hard to improve life in Scottville for everyone. Nobody is more
surprised than Alan when Tyler returns, but he’s glad. For him, it’s a chance
to set things right. Little does he guess he and Tyler will find the missing
pieces of themselves in each other. Old rivalries are left in the ashes,
passion burns bright, and the possibility for a future together stretches in
front of them….
But not everyone in town is glad to see Tyler return….

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Book Blitz: Pulse of my Heart by Jessi Noelle #NewRelease #LGBTQ #PTSD #firefighter #GayRomance @JessiGibs

Title: Pulse of My Heart

Series: The Inferno, Book Two

Author: Jessi Noelle

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: November 11, 2019

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 18900

Genre: Contemporary, LGBT, PTSD, firefighters, photojournalist, Irishman, gay, coming out, tear-jerker, hurt-comfort

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Synopsis

Vincent Franklin’s last mistake had a body count. Now, he’s back on the fireline with something to prove to his fellow firefighters and most of all to himself. But when a sexy Irishman with talent and a camera captures him in a weak moment, he puts Vince’s heart at risk.

Still, there’s something about Aidan that attracts Vince and stirs up feelings he would have preferred to leave locked up and untouched in a dark corner of his heart. Then, after he, and the world, believe Aidan is killed in a tragic accident, Vince struggles to find the courage to love again. His chief worry: Does a screw-up like him even deserve to love again?

Excerpt

Pulse of My Heart
Jessi Noelle © 2019
All Rights Reserved

Christmas Eve, 2019
Vince was breathing hard. Sweat beaded on his forehead and rolled downward, catching in his eyebrow as he groaned in pleasure and release.

“Holy shit, Mac,” he said as the twitching slowed, and he melted into the body under him. He nuzzled the ear of his partner and tenderly kissed the spot just below, where the neck melded into that beautiful head.

“Mmm,” his partner purred, hips moving languidly around his trapped member and drawing another gasp of pleasure before releasing him. “Merry Christmas, my darling.”

“Are you my night-before-Christmas present?” he asked. “Because I’m afraid that if I stir any creatures—even a mouse—I’ll find this sugarplum is a vision dancing in my head.” After the loss a year ago, and everything he’d been through since, this felt surreal.

Mac gave him a coy look—the one that tugged sexy-feel threads in his chest—then flipped over beneath him and wrapped arms around his neck, lacing fingers through Vince’s short, butterscotch hair. “Sugarplum, huh? Ah, you do know how to flatter the guy below you who is still slightly incoherent from recent…activities.” He pulled Vince down for a kiss, tongue snaking out to lick the sweat off his lips and making Vince groan a little at the image. He cocked his head, raised his eyebrows, and Vince could feel himself stirring again, hardening against the leg resting on him.

Vince looked down at him with wonder. “What did I do to deserve you? You’re so beautiful, and smart, and everything I’m not.”

“Don’t get it twisted, darling,” he drawled as he framed Vince’s face between his hands, “I’m the lucky guy who snagged the hot firefighter who defines straight-up sexy, pardon the hetero pun.” Mac softly placed his lips on Vince’s, starting at his forehead and working his way slowly, so agonizingly slowly, down.

In a flash of searing heat, Vince’s tenderness was replaced with hunger and need. Mac grinned wickedly at Vince’s growl of lust and flipped him over. He hovered above Vince, teasing, letting his breath fall on the sensitive places he’d found and wringing moans of frustration from the beautiful boy beneath him. When his tongue trailed over the bumps of Vince’s abs, the ticklish spot Mac found there caused him to squirm away. And when Mac’s lips engulfed his manhood, Vince lost the ability to form coherent thought.

Everything dissolved into a blur of touch and taste and pressure and pleasure and friction and feeling.

Merry Christmas, indeed.

Purchase

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

Meet the Author

Jessi Noelle was born in South Mississippi, where she worked as a zookeeper and later as a firefighter. She is transgender with two sons, and currently lives in Nashville, TN.

Through the Inferno is her first novel. She is an alum of the inaugural #DVPit, a twitter event where marginalized authors pitch their books to agents. She is currently working on another book set in the The Inferno universe.

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Tactical Difficulties by Emily Carrington #ActionAdventure #UrbanFantasy #PNR #LGBTQ #interracial #shifters

Tactical Difficulties (Lady Troubles 3)

Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Angela Knight

 

Work and pregnancy are driving Sonya crazy. Her mate’s concern about her well-being isn’t helping because that concern takes the form of overprotectiveness. But when Sonya is kidnapped, she finds strength in herself and her mating bond that she never knew existed.

 

Get it TODAY at Changeling Press

EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2019 Emily Carrington

Maxine stared at her mate. Sonya was lovely, of course, with her cocoa dark skin and cap of short, kinky, beautifully natural hair. Her skin was two or three shades lighter than Maxine’s and her eyes were a breathtaking honey brown. She was even more attractive today because her gaze shone out with triumph.

But how could she feel that way? The LGBTQ psychic werewolves were being discriminated against. Just like always. And this time, it was their own leader who was doing it. And Sonya might be human, not a werewolf like Maxine, but didn’t she understand the plight of her pack family? Her eros, meaning LGBTQ, pack family?

“Tilthos Charles is giving the basilisks permission to overlook us,” she said slowly and rather more loudly than she meant to. “Sonya, don’t you understand that? He’s saying, ‘sure, ignore and belittle a subsection of my people. That’s just fine.’ And you’re sitting there… smiling!”

Sonya’s grin became a smirk. “It sounds like you’re gainsaying the alpha above all alphas.”

Maxine started to speak. “Okay,” she said carefully, “that is what it sounded like. But he’s not here to listen in and…” She shook her head, her braids thumping gently against her shoulders. “What I really don’t get is why you’re happy about it.”

“Because, quite frankly, my dear, it won’t last. The basilisks want to shoot themselves in the foot by not including the most willing participants in their little genetic experiment? When all the packs in North America were polled, it was the eros packs who responded most positively to giving their DNA. All werewolves should respond favorably because learning about basilisk reproduction could conceivably help werewolves carry pups more easily. But if the straight wolves are reluctant because of tradition or secrets or secret traditions? And if the basilisks only want straight DNA?” She laughed. “Let them fuck themselves over.”

Now Maxine saw the joke and she chuckled. Then she asked her beloved, “Will you make love to me?”

Sonya’s eyes widened playfully and her humor was replaced with a devilish look. “How fast can you get undressed?”

It actually took a few minutes because as Maxine removed each article of clothing, shoes and socks, jeans shorts, bikini panties, and skintight T-shirt, Sonya wanted to stroke the newly exposed skin.

Maxine paused dramatically before taking off her bra and fake boobs. Maxine was a transgender wolf, a male to female that would have been called a transwoman if she’d been human. She thought of herself as female, even at the times when her cock ruled her head, because she was not a guy no matter how she’d been born. She’d figured out her transgender self when her name was Maximillian and that little kid had been seven. This had been a good century before the word “transgender” was even in use.

They were at a pause, with Maxine’s fake boobs on the nightstand. Maxine tried to push past the memories, but Sonya had already seen something was up. She’d stopped her striptease and was patting the bed next to her, inviting Maxine to sit.

Feeling foolish, she sat. “I’m sorry. I just… drifted.”

“Tell me?” Sonya offered softly. And she took Maxine’s hands.

Maxine looked down at the beauty of their two skin tones. It was sort of like looking at a wood carving. Somehow majestic even as it was soothing. Also, this time with Sonya was undeniably theirs, something no one could take away.

“I don’t want to waste –” she began.

“Hush. Time with you is never wasted.”

Maxine eased beneath that gentle murmur. “I don’t usually give a shit about my penis and balls,” she said. “And I don’t really now, except that they made you pregnant.”

Sonya waited.

That was one of the things Maxine loved about her. Leaning forward, she kissed her mate, slipping her tongue into Sonya’s warm and welcoming mouth. When she had the strength to go on, she sat back. “I don’t regret our coming pups. Never think it. But I’m feeling sort of guilty for the sperm that took over your body.”

Sonya grinned but she sounded absolutely serious when she said, “I love you for saying so, Maxine. You’re such a woman when you say things like that.” She did laugh then. “And here I thought I wasn’t a lesbian.” She rested a hand on Maxine’s thigh and then ran one finger up the half erect shaft between Maxine’s legs.

Maxine shuddered with pleasure.

“I’m so lucky to have a trans wolf with a female’s heart, a male’s parts, and a warrior’s spirit in my bed. Don’t regret what I’m glad happened.” She colored a little, and then she stood. “Now, will you let me finish stripping for my mate? She’s made me wet and I want to lose my underwear.”

 

More from Emily at Changeling Press …

 

Practical Difficulties by Emily Carrington #PNR #UrbanFantasy #transgender #RomanceBooks #LGBTQ @CarringtonEmily @changelingpress

Practical Difficulties (Lady Troubles 2)

Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Angela Knight

 

Maxine, a trans male-to-female werewolf, is struggling to get beyond her grief over the losses she suffered in her past. Now her mate, Sonya, is pregnant. When Maxine’s ghosts rise to break the new lovers apart, they have more help than they need from her pack.

Sonya’s starting to wonder whether Maxine’s loyalties lie with the wolf pack she’s been with for decades, or with her new mate. It’s beginning to look like sabotage from all quarters. How can a new couple stay together, especially with pups on the way?

 

Get it TODAY at Changeling Press

or Pre-Order for October 18th at retailers

   

 

EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2019 Emily Carrington

Sonya Johnson stared at her clean pad, scowling at its whiteness against the cocoa dark of her thigh and the pale mauve of her panties. Her period should have started four days ago. Granted, she’d stopped taking her birth control after she’d forgotten to take it for three days back in late September. But was it too much to ask that her slip wouldn’t bring on pregnancy? She was a damned doctoral student and working a full-time job.

“Please, God,” she whispered. “Let it just be late. I do not have time for this right now.”

She shivered as a blast of air conditioning rushed across the back of her neck. Maybe it was time to grow her hair out and screw the cuteness of her current kinky-haired bob.

I’m a medical technician. I know enough about the human body to get this message: either stress is delaying my menstrual cycle, or I’m pregnant.

She cursed her mate before she could stop herself.

Sonya sighed, flushed the toilet, and pulled up her panties and shorts. It wasn’t Maxine’s fault, even if she was a trans werewolf and still had a dick. They’d both thought Sonya’s pill would take care of things. They’d briefly discussed using condoms too, but Sonya privately thought at the time that that was overkill. Maxine liked teasing herself with a condom now and then, but as a form of birth control, they were weren’t all that reliable.

They only succeed sixty percent of the time… but maybe I should have banked on that extra sixty percent.

She made an exasperated noise, very quietly.

The only thing that is Maxine’s fault, partially at least, is how infrequently I see her.

She’d long ago stopped tripping over the idea of calling Maxine, a male-to-female transgender werewolf, “she.” Not even thinking of her mate’s cock, as she did often while masturbating, could cause her confusion. Maxine was so utterly female, mind and spirit, that male genitals couldn’t change her essential nature.

Sonya walked into the bedroom she and her mate shared and went to her side of the wall-length closet. She took off the striped shirt she’d been wearing and put on a sweater with a cowl neck. It was a soft orange that complemented her medium brown skin tone and had the added bonus of clinging to her curves in all the right places.

Too bad Maxine isn’t here to appreciate it. She sighed noisily and then covered her mouth and glanced around, almost expecting half a dozen werewolves to pop out of the woodwork and ask her what was wrong. She kept her SearchLight-won shields in place most of the time, and her lips shut almost as much, but she still felt as if the whole darn pack could read her like a book.

Those shields were something she’d picked up at the academy in DC, learning them from the parapsychology teacher. She didn’t use them much at work, at least not when she was relaxed and in her own domain — the medtech department. But with all the psychic powers boasted by the members of her new eros pack, she felt on edge if her mind wasn’t guarded.

Shaking her head, grimacing as she thought of how paranoid she’d gotten over the past two weeks, Sonya headed into the living room to sit at the desk Maxine had bought her as a mating ceremony present back in late September. It was now the first week of October and she did not need to be worrying about pregnancy when her first dissertation defense was happening in less than seven days and she hadn’t seen her mate for more than a few minutes at a time since they consummated their relationship.

And while that was the worst of it, not being with her mate, her third problem was almost as pressing: three of the werewolves in her new pack were openly hostile toward her. Oh, not where Maxine, who outranked all of them, could see, but whenever they caught Sonya alone…

Oh, stop thinking about it all in such negative terms. They’re just pests. And as for Maxine, she sleeps here every night she’s in town, doesn’t she? You’ve made love four times so far. That’s good for two weeks’ worth of living together, isn’t it?

Well, actually, no. Sonya had gotten the impression from listening to her friend, Luke, talk about his early relationship with his husband that sex every day wasn’t uncommon. In fact, the only time her genie and dragon friends hadn’t managed sex at least three or four times a week was when Mark, the dragon half of the pairing, was in crisis.

Was Maxine in crisis?

 

More from Emily at Changeling Press …

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

Website: http://emilycarrington.com

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

 

 

Born a Halfling by M.D. Stewart #bisexual #pansexual #gendernonconforming #PNR #LGBTbooks #DragQueen #RomanceBooks

Born a Halfling (Paranormal B&B 4)

Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Angela Knight

 

Michael: After a troubled childhood and becoming a Marine, I returned from war injured and alone. I found myself again when I discovered Drag. I love being a Queen almost as much as I love the boy I’ve dreamed of since I was a child. Now he needs my help and I’ll fight hell itself to save him.

Te’Garth: My mother is a demon, my dad is an angel, and their love is legendary. I hope to have that kind of passion with Michael, a man I’ve shared dreams with since childhood. But first I need to reverse a forced mating claim, or death will take me from my true love.

Jessie: I met Michael in Afghanistan, and helped the injured Marine heal in body and soul. Together we explored our forbidden desires until he was sent home months later. We lost contact, only to meet again at Chasers, a gay bar, where he’s a Drag Queen and I provide security. I still want him — and the man he’s in love with. But something dangerous is hunting Garth. If I want to save them both, I must overcome my fears. Even if it means risking more than my life…

 

Get it NOW at Changeling Press

or preorder for October 4th at retailers

   

 

EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2019 M.D. Stewart

Michael

I rolled over and hit the alarm. I usually worked until almost dawn and slept until the afternoon, but my boss had wanted me to come in early to help interview some new talent. I’d get today off with pay. I usually didn’t mind, but today I felt so drained I could hardly move. I knew it was from the reoccurring nightmares I’d had last night.

I hated gory horror movies, having lived my own horrors in Afghanistan. But dreaming of huge green-skinned men chasing me? In my nightmare, I could never outrun them and I could never find anywhere to hide. It brought up so many memories of the helplessness and constant fear of combat, and I didn’t want to go there. But last night, the dream had played in a loop every time I’d close my eyes and drift off to sleep.

No more Sushi before bed.

I made a note to call my therapist and get back on the sleeping pills that helped suppress my dreams. I used to enjoy my dreams, when I believed that my Halfling lover was real. I didn’t like where my thoughts were heading, so I dragged myself out of bed.

I stumbled to the bathroom to take a leak and brush my teeth. As I washed my hands, I looked in the mirror. I was dead tired and glad I didn’t have to go to deal with makeup before leaving the house. Fuck it, I didn’t think I’d even shave. I grabbed the tube of hemorrhoid cream and slathered some under my eyes to reduce those dark bags of fatigue.

I brushed my long blond hair, grabbed an elastic band and put it in a sloppy man bun. Strolling into the kitchen, I scratched my stomach and yawned. Thank God for automatic coffee makers: my life-saving brew was waiting for me. I grabbed a mug, filled it and didn’t even wait for it to cool before I took my first sip.

My phone rang, and I spent a few minutes looking for it. I was so tired and pissy, my silk robe got in my way, so I ripped it trying to pull it off. I’d be really fucking mad about it later after the caffeine worked its magic. By the time I grabbed the phone from the floor, I had missed the call. Fuck. I’d call them back after I drank my first cup, maybe even my second. I didn’t have to wait, though, as it rang again. I hit the screen.

“What?” I growled, but it was early. Especially for me. “I’m not done with my first cup of coffee.”

“It’s after ten, so it’s not early. Asshole.” My friend Conner’s voice did little to help my mood.

“Just because I like to fuck assholes doesn’t make me one. Get that straight, dipshit.”

I heard him laugh. “You’re the one who told me to call and make sure you were up. I’ve been up and at work for almost three hours. Motherfucker.”

Our habit of name-calling actually made me want to smile. “I’ll fuck anyone but your mother. Twatwaffle.” I was just full of jokes today.

“God, I hate waking you up. You’re so sarcastic. Has anyone ever told you you’re a bitch?” Conner was laughing, but I could tell he meant it.

“Only every fucking day. That’s why I’m single. No one can put up with me. In the Marines, I had to get up at five in the morning. I don’t have to do that shit anymore, and I like my sleep. Fucking sue me.” I yawned and gulped my coffee.

“Fine. Well, your grumpy ass is up, and I need to get back to work. Stories don’t write themselves. Fuckface.” Conner was the best journalist I’d ever met. He’d started at the Charlotte Observer as an intern in high school and got a job as a reporter his senior year in college.

Conner and I met several years ago when he came to Chasers to interview the staff about our project for Pride. Chasers Charlotte NoDa focused on different community projects annually. Conner’s story made the front page of the Observer’s Lifestyle section. His piece won several journalism awards, including the national Human Interest Writing Ernie Pyle Award.

Conner and I hit it off from the moment we met since he seemed to like my snarky attitude. He was straight, but I didn’t hold that against him, or so I tell him every chance I get.

Unfortunately, this morning, he didn’t appreciate my Herculean effort to not reach through the phone and strangle him. “Whatever, ConMan.” I used my term of affection so he’d know I wasn’t really angry with him. “Have a good day at work. And I have it on good authority that I have a great ass, not that you’ll ever know.” I hit the red button to hang up and dropped the phone on the couch. Draining my mug, I made my way to the coffee pot for another shot of caffeine. I trudged back to the couch and thought about setting the alarm to sleep another fifteen minutes when my phone rang again.

“Son of a bitch.” I grabbed the phone and didn’t even look at the screen before I answered. “Conner, you needle dick, stop calling me. I will kick your ass. You and I both know I can and will do it.”

“I’m sorry. I must have the wrong number.” The female voice in my ear had me cringing.

“Aw, fu… uh, I mean, I’m sorry ma’am. I thought you were a friend of mine.” I sighed as I gulped more coffee.

“Oh, wow. Sounds like a heck of a friendship.” I could hear the amusement in her voice. “I’m the one who’s sorry. I thought I called the phone number someone gave me to get personal security. I may have transposed some numbers.”

“Yeah, that must be it. I’ve never done personal security before. I mean, I could if I weren’t working till four in the morning.” I yawned and stretched again.

“I must have woken you. No wonder you’re upset. I’ll let you go. And I’m so sorry for bothering you.”

“No ma’am, no bother. Have a good day.” I ended the call and decided I had time to drag my happy ass to the shower, even if I wasn’t going to shave. If people didn’t like looking at my morning scruff, fuck ‘em.

The shower did little to improve my mood, but at least I felt more awake. Mostly. I grabbed my large to-go mug and drained the coffee carafe into the spill-free mug and headed out the door.

Grumpy as I was, I loved my house. In San Fran, I’d had a condo in a big sub-division, but here, I could afford a nice home in a nice neighborhood. Nothing fancy, but much nicer than where I grew up.

I looked around at the well-manicured lawns of the houses on my street. I stopped, listening to the children playing in the yards. I never really paid attention to the kids before, since I’d leave for work around eight at night. The bar itself opens at nine and closes at two-thirty, but I always stayed late and made sure the guests made it to their cars safely. I always had to unwind with cheesy ‘80s movies too.

Thus, my early morning bedtime — and why ten a.m. was such an ungodly hour for me to be awake.

As I pulled into Chaser’s parking lot, I was trying to suck the last few drops of coffee from the damn too-small mug. It had to be empty, because, trust me, I can suck the last drops out of anything. Foxy had better have a pot brewed and waiting, or there’d be hell to pay.

Carl Fox might be the manager of the bar and my boss, but I could still kick his ass.
I slammed my car door before making it to the back entrance and stopped by the employee lounge.

“Damn, you look like a hot mess.” Foxy’s voice sounded behind me. His amusement didn’t help my mood.

“Fuck you, Foxy. I’ve only had a few hours of sleep. But your life is spared, since I see the coffee is made.” I poured half the pot into my to-go mug and turned to face my boss.

“You’re a surly, bitter man in the mornings.” He filled his own mug and sipped it and grimaced before he turned his attention back to me.

“It’s a good thing I work nights then, isn’t it?”

He rolled his eyes at my comment and moved in for a hug. I slid my free hand around his shoulders and gave him a tight squeeze before releasing him and gulping down a few more sips of caffeine.

“God, Foxy, you never get better at making this shit. It’s not so hard.” I shook my head but took another drink. “So, how many performers do we have scheduled today?”

“We have a few queens coming in. I have about ten go-go boys scheduled, too, but they’re all dancing at the same time. Then Manny is going to teach them a short routine and see who can pull the moves.” He looked down at his tablet. “I have a part-time bartender scheduled around two and a few bouncers and security guys who will be talking with Dan.”

I was happy to hear about the extra security; maybe I’d get home an hour earlier.
Dan was a mountain of a man who was head of security. He’d been with Chasers from the beginning. The business was starting to gain more ground, and we needed more security to protect the drag performers and go-go boys, and even make sure the clientele got to their cars safely.

I was surprised we’d gained so much new business, especially in a conservative small town in the south. But I was happy too. It showed progress, no matter the current upswing in hate rhetoric.

“Okay, who’s first and when are we going to start?” I chugged from my coffee mug and tried to hide my yawn.

Foxy chuckled and started another pot of coffee. I groaned, wishing I’d thought to do it before he did. My coffee was so much better.

“First appointment in about twenty minutes. Finish your brew. I don’t want you to scare these poor guys before we even get them to sign their contracts.”

 

More from M.D. at Changeling Press…

My vivid imagination combined with my love of reading and sci-fi. As a kid, I spent hours writing stories and poems while listening to my large collection of vinyl record albums.

My goal as an author is to tell stories that help others find enjoyment, or to escape life for a little while. I want the characters in my head to become as real to the reader as they are to me, and I hope they find another heart to settle into. I also want to interact with the people who read my books, because you never know where your next friend will come from.

You can find M.D. at the listed links, and you can also check out her Pinterest.

You can contact M.D. by clicking this link.

Website: https://www.amazon.com/author/mdstewart

Blog: http://www.mdstew.art.blog

 

 

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

2922

Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Bryan Keller

 

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

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

 

Get it TODAY at Changeling Press

or pre-order for September 13th at retailers

 

   

 

cooltext315284667875598

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2019 Treva Harte

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

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

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

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

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

He smiled.

“This isn’t a crappy place.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Really? I had no idea.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

More from Treva at Changeling Press …

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

Visit her website at www.trevaharte.com.

 

Dreams and Lovers (Duet) by Willa Okati #boxset #PNR #GayRomance @willaokati @changelingpress

Dreamers and Lovers (Duet)

Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Bryan Keller

 

What if saying goodbye to all you ever thought you were sure of is only the first part of hello?

Lovers, Dreamers, and Me: Tolliver’s buried his life in taking care of his sister and the bookstore his grandmother left him. That doesn’t leave much time for romance. Sarah, his sister, decides to do a little matchmaking. Only her choice is another man, and Tolliver’s not gay! Noble’s not, either, but he is deeply attracted to Tolliver, and he’s not above using his psychic gifts to draw them together. The road to discovery has more twists and turns — and toys — than even he ever dreamed.

The First Hello: Shawn Tillerman thinks he’s losing his mind. Wary and damaged after a hard life filled with broken promises, he’s been having flashes of lives he didn’t live. He hasn’t told anyone what’s happening to him — he’s too busy keeping his twin sister away from Oxy. If he can sell the house he’s inherited, he can turn their lives around. Or not. Because Raleigh, the compelling stranger who wants their house, swears Shawn’s reliving memories. That he’s the man from Shawn’s dreams. Shawn doesn’t believe Raleigh — but he’s beginning to wish he could.

 

Get it TODAY at Changeling Press

Also Available in Print

 

or Pre-Order at retailers for September 6th

   

 

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All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2019 Willa Okati
Excerpt from Lovers, Dreamers and Me

It wasn’t love at first sight.

Sarah, Tolliver’s kid sister, saw him first. Perched on the Old Curiosity checkout counter doing her homework, she swung her heels and nudged Tolliver with the toe of her sneaker. “Incoming customer.”

Tolliver reluctantly turned away from the page of the old book he’d been halfway through, its faded type and strange serifs tempting him back in. “I got it. Keep working.” He closed the book and lifted his chin in the customer’s direction, his eyes still on the book’s worn leather cover. “Can I help you?”

“Hope so,” the man said, his voice a deep, melodious tenor that shaded toward baritone. “I was told you might have some hard to find tarot decks in stock. There’s one, a local artist — Judy Schuyler. She did an abstract Impressionism set. Do you have that deck?”

“We might have sold hers,” Tolliver said, not really paying attention to the guy and registering no more than a vague impression of height, tousled brown hair, and bare arms. He kept one eye on the flyleaf of the 1891 edition of Great Expectations, pencil poised to sketch his reseller’s price. Amazing. He almost wanted to keep this one for himself.

“Can you check?” The customer was persistent, and patiently unruffled. “Maybe for Sharice Donough, too? She’s not local, but she did a mountain music inspired. There’s a stringed instrument on the front –”

“Right. It was a mandolin, I think?” He’d caught Tolliver’s attention at last. Tolliver reached for an inventory log, still kept on paper for the most part — he was a traditionalist — and started flipping through pages. “I’d swear I remember getting one of those last year. Wait. Do you mean the Wisconsin Sharice or the Montauk Falls Donough?”

Tolliver’s fingers slipped on the light-lead pencil he held and sent it clattering to the floor. “Sorry, let me get that.”

“No problem,” the customer answered, his stance relaxed. “I’m not in a rush.”

Tolliver crouched, scanning the flotsam and jetsam he kept stashed under the old four legged breakfront he used as a checkout counter. “Did you check in the glass cases on the back wall?” he called. “Ha. There you are.” The pencil had come to a stop halfway in, halfway out of the desk’s boundaries.

“Hang on, I think I see it.” The tip of a sneaker, encasing a foot of amazing length, prodded the pencil. “Is this what you’re looking for?”

Tolliver had reached for the pencil at the same time. Together, they sent it skittering across the shop floor.

“I’ve got it,” the customer said, rich amusement lacing his tone. He crouched. “Do you always work this hard for this little?”

“I pay attention to detail,” Tolliver replied, slightly annoyed. He caught a glimpse of long, tapered fingers with solid knuckles snaffling the pencil.

He stood, brushing the layer of dust he’d acquired down there off the knees of his khakis and reached, still not looking, for the pencil. “Thanks.”

“Don’t mention it.” The customer tipped his head to one side and studied Tolliver. Tolliver noticed, sort of, the lionlike amber of his eyes and the generous width of a smile over white teeth. “The Schuyler?”

“Back wall, glass case,” Tolliver said, already drawn back to the Dickens. He ran his fingers reverently over the binding. Ruined from years of handling, but a piece of history all the same. “What you see is what we’ve got. If it’s not there, sorry, you’re out of luck.”

The customer laughed, low and rolling.

Tolliver frowned up at him over the book. “What?”

“It’s nothing.” The customer swung around, loose limbed and graceful, and tossed a casual wave at him.

“No, what?” Tolliver held his pencil point down on the counter. “Share the joke.”

The customer shrugged and half turned, the leonine cast to his features shadowed. “I’d heard the owner of Old Curiosity was cranky, but it was still worth shopping here. You never know what you’re going to find.” His grin was still bright. “Back wall?”

“Back wall,” Tolliver confirmed, frowning. He kept an eye on the customer as the man ambled away, long feet, lengthy stretch of legs, and arms held loosely comfortable at his sides, thumbs tucked into his belt loops.

Weird guy.

So, no. Not love at first sight.

Intrigue, though. That was part of it.

More from Willa at Changeling Press …

Willa Okati is made of many things: imagination, coffee, stray cat hairs, daydreams, more coffee, kitchen experimentation, a passion for winter weather, a little more coffee, and a lifelong love of storytelling. She is definitely one of the quiet ones you have to watch out for.

You can reach Willa at willaokati@gmail.com.

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