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

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Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Bryan Keller

 

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

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

 

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All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2019 Treva Harte

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

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

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

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

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

He smiled.

“This isn’t a crappy place.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Really? I had no idea.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

More from Treva at Changeling Press …

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

Visit her website at www.trevaharte.com.

 

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.

 

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Also Available in Print

 

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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.

Join Willa on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/willa.okati

 

 

 

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

Technical Difficulties (Lady Troubles 1)

Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Angela Knight

 

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

 

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All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2019 Emily Carrington

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More from Emily at Changeling Press …

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

Website: http://emilycarrington.com

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