Release Blitz: Did It All Before by Cynthia Hamill #LGBTQ #contemporaryromance @cynthiawhamill @ninestarpress @GoIndiMarketing

Title: Did It All Before

Author: Cynthia Hamill

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 06/28/2021

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 115800

Genre: Contemporary, LGBTQIA+, contemporary, gay, British, doctor, photojournalist, healing, hurt/comfort, PTSD/Post Traumatic Stress, angst, slow burn, friends to lovers, soulmates

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Description

Award-winning photojournalist Scott Rowe is struggling with the physical injuries and emotional scars caused by the terrorist attack that killed his interpreter, Omran Saleh. A long succession of doctors and surgeons have put his body back together, but to Scott, his mind seems beyond repair. Panic attacks ambush his days, and nightmares haunt his fitful sleep. He can’t bring himself to touch his broken camera, let alone consider returning to work. His only sanctuary is the darkroom, where he can escape the secret he carries surrounding Omran’s death.

Dr Jason Andrews is determined to bring Scott back from the brink. His alternative healing methods are like nothing Scott has ever seen, and at first, Scott feels foolish lying on Jason’s table with hot rocks in his hands or acupuncture needles in his skin. But one thing keeps Scott coming back: the detailed visions that appear like movies in his mind, of himself in other times, cultures, and continents, and Jason himself, whose relentless hope steers them through the storms of Scott’s recovery.

As his health improves, Scott begins to wonder what his visions mean. Are they vivid daydreams, figments of his exhausted mind? And why does he only have these visions when he is with Jason?

Scott hopes the answers will give him a reason to make peace with Omran’s death and begin to truly live again, instead of merely surviving. But what if they also give him a reason to love?

Excerpt

Did It All Before
Cynthia Hamill © 2021
All Rights Reserved

Scott opens his eyes slowly as he steps out of the darkroom. The small lamp on his bedside cabinet provides only a shadowy glow over the flat, and he shuffles toward it with a yawn, finally ready for sleep.

When he’d started renting this place in Camden three years ago, it was meant to be somewhere to crash between jobs, a glorified storage locker with a shower. It’s square and plain, his bed on one side and galley kitchen on the other, decorated only with photos and trinkets from his travels. After the accident, when it became clear he’d be grounded for a few months, he transformed the bathroom by draping a blackout curtain around the door and setting a plank over the bathtub for his chemical trays. There, he can flip on the fan and work for hours, just feet away physically but miles away mentally from his bed, where insomnia and nightmares crowd out any hope of sleep.

His darkroom habit is his only connection to photography these days. He hasn’t picked up his camera since he left the hospital in January; it’s in pieces, after all, his £3,200 digital Canon collecting dust in his cupboard. Scott never did find out who collected it from the scene and sent it along with him in the ambulance. They shouldn’t have bothered; he can’t bring himself to touch the thing, even to throw it out. Instead, he finds solace in the undeveloped film from his 35mm Leica.

Film is reserved for London, family, and home, where there are no publishing deadlines to meet or editors to please. He has compiled quite a collection of undeveloped rolls over the last few years; being home only a day or two at a time had given him a chance to take pictures but not develop them before he’d be on his way again, so his desk drawer holds a grab bag of birthday parties, impromptu picnics, and London day trips. He never knows what will appear on the long strip of film, but he knows what won’t. There will be no Ukraine, no Kabul, no Delhi; no plane crashes, no war zones, no children dying in poverty.

Last night, the roll he processed had turned out to be all Olivia and Thomas, two years ago at Christmas. Scott’s heart clenched pleasantly when the images appeared, remembering how he and his sister had sprinkled jelly babies and crisps in the garden for reindeer food because Thomas thought that’s what they’d like. Tonight, Scott picks out a few frames to print for Olivia, of their mum filling stockings and Thomas’s astonished reaction to his new toy train. He spends time printing the images, making sure the contrast is perfect. His eyes finally get heavy as he places the last few photographs on the drying rack.

The sky is not yet lightening. Scott picks up his phone from the bedside cabinet to check the time. Thursday, the 19th of May, 4:07 a.m. An appointment reminder lights up, and shit, today is his first session with the new guy Dr Coulter wants him to see.

At least the appointment isn’t until two.

After he crosses the day off his calendar with his black Sharpie (he’s up to day one hundred fifty-nine) and sends a quick goodnight message on WhatsApp, Scott arranges himself in bed, flat on his back with his bad arm propped up on pillows. He’ll get a few hours of sleep after all.

Purchase

NineStar Press | Books2Read

Meet the Author

Cynthia’s love of romance began in eighth grade when she chose to read Jane Eyre instead of Huckleberry Finn. Charlotte Brontë, Emily Brontë, and Daphne du Maurier shaped her passion for love stories that feature mysterious plots and unforgettable characters. At thirteen, she couldn’t have imagined a world where books appear on screens at the touch of a button, but decades later, romances of all genres fill her (digital) shelves while her dog-eared, well-loved copy of Jane Eyre still lives on her bedside table.

Cynthia’s art history degree landed her a museum job in New York, but she left the Big Apple when her own love story took her to the prairies of the Midwest. She now lives a stone’s throw from the Mississippi River, and you can find her poring over art books, reading tarot cards, taking nature walks with her family, and reading and writing love stories.

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Release Blitz & Review: Wounded Alpha by Mell Eight #paranormalromance #LGBTQ @GoIndiMarketing @ninestarpress

Title: Wounded Alpha

Author: Mell Eight

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 04/12/2021

Heat Level: 1 – No Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 22100

Genre: Pararnormal, LGBTQIA+, PTSD/post-traumatic stress, hurt/comfort, retired military, recluse, law enforcement, were-animals, werewolves, mental health, soulmates

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Description

While Ryker’s body came back from Afghanistan just fine, his mind didn’t, and his thoughts wander back there in painful flashbacks that have present-time consequences. In order to avoid hurting anyone, Ryker secludes himself in a cabin in the middle of nowhere. Then Officer Chess Medcull shows up with a case of were-animals being tortured and killed in a way similar to how Ryker almost died in the war. In order to stop the murders, Ryker must face the demons in his head, and maybe, just maybe, allow Chess to help. That is, as long as neither is the next victim.

Excerpt

Wounded Alpha
Mell Eight © 2021
All Rights Reserved
Prologue

Ryker’s back wasn’t burning any longer, which brought both relief and terror. He healed quickly, even for a werewolf, and the stinging, sharp pain of the blood and bruising of the whip were definitely something he wanted to end as fast as possible. Except, his captors had some sort of sixth sense for when he had healed enough for the pain to fade, and that was when they returned.

He wasn’t healing as quickly now as in those first few days. His body was emaciated from what must have been a month or two of very little food and almost constant abuse. Ryker’s clothing was completely shredded, the desert camo print more rags than anything resembling his Marine Corps Combat Utility Uniform. The jacket had been taken on day one by his captors, and his white undershirt hadn’t survived the first whipping. The pants had gotten bloodstained immediately, but the shredding hadn’t started until they decided to find out what happened to his healing ability if they stabbed him a couple of times. Those initial rips had spread until only the barest strips of fabric covered his long legs.

And then there was his right wrist. The inch-thick silver band was tight around his wrist and held in place by a heavy padlock that none of his attempts had broken. Werewolf strength would have broken an ordinary lock, but this massive one combined with the immediate effects of silver poisoning kept him trapped. The skin around Ryker’s wrist had bubbled and blistered underneath the touch of silver. His head ached constantly as the silver slowly poisoned his blood, and every time he bled a little more under the hands of his captors, the silver’s fangs dug a little deeper.

A rasping sound came from outside the narrow door that was the only way to get in and out of the small, dirty room. Ryker managed to suppress a whimper of fear, certain that any moment the lock would scrape and his grinning captors would stalk in with some new torture planned.

Except, he suddenly heard yelling, and that was definitely the booming pop of gunfire. He didn’t dare get up to see; this could easily be some new form of torture they had thought up to torment him. The dragging scrape of the lock sounded a moment later, and Ryker was glad he had remained huddled in his corner where they would have to drag him out into the open to get a good chance at him. But it wasn’t one of his captors.

The clean-shaven face and bright eyes were foreign to Afghanistan, and the white smile spoke of access to decent healthcare. That, plus the uniform, told Ryker he was saved.

“Hey,” the soldier said cheerily.

“Hey!”

Ryker blinked, and suddenly he was standing in bright afternoon sunlight, a man wearing a business suit running toward him. The musty, sewage smell of his dark cell faded, replaced with car exhaust and a floral-scented summer breeze.

“Let him go, man!” said the suited man.

Ryker blinked again, and his eyes followed the length of his left arm, down to the wrist and the fingers he had clamped around the throat of a stranger.

The stranger was choking and spluttering, his fingers scrabbling at Ryker’s sleeve and his dark-brown eyes bugging out as his face turned purple. Ryker immediately let go, stepping back from the stranger. This time he knew what had set him off. The stranger had been walking behind him, and his shoe had scraped on the concrete. A sound so similar to that damned cell lock opening and suddenly Ryker was gone.

He couldn’t keep doing this. Ryker looked at the man crumpled on the ground, gasping for air, and knew he had to find another answer. Any time he went out into a crowd, even one as small as the sidewalk in front of the grocery store, was one too many for him.

The stranger wasn’t injured, just scared, so Ryker bent to pick up the plastic bag of groceries he had dropped.

“Sorry,” he said softly before hurrying off. If he made it back to his apartment without having another episode, he would reevaluate his circumstances. He needed to find somewhere he wouldn’t be a threat to anyone else around him, and that meant leaving the city.

Ryker didn’t have a choice.

Purchase

NineStar Press | Books2Read

MY REVIEW – 3 1/2 stars

Lots of action, suspense, and drama packed into this novella…

Alpha wolf, Ryker, came back from war damaged. He avoids people, and the pack, to ensure he won’t accidentally hurt anyone. But Chess, the Wolf who had a crush on him in high school, isn’t ready to give up on him.

Overall, the novella was good. I gave it 3.5 stars because of Ryker’s character. He’s well-written and believable. However, the story is a bit light when it comes to Chess’ character and the relationship between him and Ryker. Even though it’s a novella length story, I think even adding another 1000-2000 words would have been sufficient to thread in enough extra bits to build the relationship between the main characters. The book description pretty much lays out the entire story for you except the ending.

If you’re looking for a quick read that’s high on action with a bit of romance, give Wounded Alpha a try.

*I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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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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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