Dark Reign/Clutch Wars by Mychael Black #multiplepartners #darkfantasy

Marcus’ werewolf pack faces a deadly vampire hell-bent on revenge. And then there’s the dragons…

Dark Reign: Marcus has spent most of his life saving his fellow weres from his ex-lover, vampire Dalton Gray, but after one of his Enforcers slaughter Gray’s guards they’re headed for war. His allies are few in number until unexpected help arrives — but that brings a whole new set of problems, including an injured child. And inside knowledge of Gray’s operations.

Meting out justice to the vampires who attacked his lover is easy for Daniel. Dealing with the fallout from hidden truths coming to light? That’s the hard part.

Clutch Wars: As the last female dragon shifter, Tia’s the only hope for her species’ survival. That means mating, which wouldn’t be problem—if she wanted to be a queen. She doesn’t.

Meanwhile, the Navarro clan is headed for war with a demon force hellbent on wiping them out. Demons don’t play fair, and they force Mason to make hard choices. When the clan is surprised by an ambush, Korin seeks revenge. But what price is he willing to pay?

Publisher’s Note: Dark Reign/Clutch Wars contains the previously published Dark Reign novellas Found, Oathbound, Atonement and Fight or Flight, and the Clutch Wars novellas The Reluctant Queen, Regan’s Folly, Sub Rosa, and Sovereign.

Get the paperback at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09CGFVPFP

Praise for Found

“I’ll happily recommend this book to friends because Mychael Black’s werewolves are darned hot to read about. Where can I find one of my own?”

— 4 Cherries from Tiger Lily, Whipped Cream Reviews

“The love scenes are incredible. Mychael Black has created a fantastic story.”

— 4.5 Nymphs from Chocolate Minx, Literary Nymphs

Praise for Oathbound

“…a superior example of exceptionally sensual lovemaking. Oathbound is an impressive, as well as, incredibly enjoyable saga.”

— Chocolate Minx, Literary Nymphs Reviews

Praise for Atonement

“Mychael Black has created another superb installment to this series. Atonement is an exceedingly enjoyable illustration of dramatic moments, heartwarming characters as well as a happily-ever-after climax.”

— 5 Nymphs from Chocolate Minx, Literary Nymphs Reviews

“Darkly sensual and mysterious, Atonement is a captivating story of redemption. Fast paced, scorching hot, and suspenseful from start to finish…”

— Lisa, Joyfully Reviewed

Praise for Fight or Flight

“Another interesting addition to a very imaginative m/m erotic series that introduces very sensual characters who have survived personal traumas. This is a very sizzling entry…”

— 4 Stars from ELF, Night Owl Reviews

“Mychael Black has created a wonderful, as well as enjoyable, installment to this series. I found Eric to be an especially impressive character.”

— 4 Nymphs from Chocolate Minx, Literary Nymphs Reviews

Praise for The Reluctant Queen

“This is the first of a new series that may be a quickie, but it is one helluva good ride. The reader can enjoy this book in one sitting. Take a load off and enjoy this new series.”

— 5 Stars from Angibabi4, Night Owl Reviews

“Melting hawt manlove is on the menu for this new series from Mychael Black. For dragonshifter lovers, this is a good new series to start reading. It’s fast, furious, and arousing.”

— BookAddict, Manic Reviews

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Myc has been writing professionally since 2005, solo and with Shayne Carmichael. Genres include pretty much anything (no steampunk yet), though Myc is well known for paranormal stories. When not writing, Myc is usually playing PC games, reading, watching Netflix, and spending way too much time on Facebook. Since the question has come up in the past, pronouns are not an issue. Myc is bio-female, mentally male, and 100% genderfluid, so any pronoun works!

Biological Imperative by M.A. Freeman #paranormalromance @writingmaf

Ursula Hofwyn is a botanist more comfortable around plants than people. So nothing makes her happier than to be in the middle of the woods collecting samples. As a bonus, Ursula’s current assignment has taken her into the vicinity of the most intriguing man she has ever met. But all is not well on the mountain. Predators are stalking her — predators who want to discover just how different she is.

Royce Stockard is content hibernating on his mountain away from the stares and judgment of others. Never mind he’s alone and lonely. The only woman to truly pique his interest is the one woman who should be off-limits. Yet, when he finds her on his mountain within his territory, all bets are off. But others are hunting for her, and Royce will have to choose what’s more important — maintaining his lonely existence to keep a secret or saving the woman he loves.

Available Today at Changeling Press

EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2021 M. A. Freeman

Dr. Reginald Gleason sat at the kitchen table with his cold hands wrapped around a mug of hot coffee. He didn’t want to be here. Not in this company and not dealing with this specific science project of The Aleka Group. Not again.

“Do you think she’ll squeal when we catch her?”

Ugh, these Neanderthals were obsessed with nothing but catching the female subject. The only interest they had in the male was if he would be a challenge or not. He had tried to warn them. The female would be the problem. Probably more so than the male. That was always the case with animals.

“Doc, what’s her deal again? She’s some type of egghead?”

Lord, the patience he was having to cultivate on this trip. Reginald turned to the three men standing around the kitchen butchering a deer they had killed earlier.

“Yes, she’s educated. She is a doctor but chooses to focus her talents on botany.”

“A doc like you? A shrink?” Lyle scratched his greasy hair and squinted at Reginald with watery blue eyes.

Reginald took a sip of the god-awful coffee before responding. “No, she is a medical doctor as well as holding a Ph.D. in botany.”

“An egghead.” Blood dripped from the skinning knife onto the floor as one of the other so-called hunters turned his attention to Reginald. “Easy prey.”

Gary was a true psychopath and Reginald was pretty sure he was one of The Aleka Group’s earlier projects. Back when they were doing their experiments on prisoners. He wasn’t sure what kind of psychic or animal Gary was — they had liberally mixed the two before he had come on board — but whatever it was enjoyed the hunt a bit too much. To Gary, they were all killable.

“Maybe, but Dr. Rainier wants her captured alive. His R&D has had a major setback, and he wants to revisit his successes. Your job is to hunt and capture her so we can see how she has progressed in her psychic abilities and how the animal DNA grafted into her when she was a child affected her.”

Gary’s head whipped around to their third member, and a light rumbling growl passed his lips. Phil flinched at the sound and lowered the knife he had been about to use to cut into the meat.

“The male who claims this territory?”

Phil moved away from the counter propped up against the wall, well out of Gary’s reach. Reginald got the impression Phil was going to meet an untimely end if he didn’t stop challenging what was obviously the alpha of the group.
“He is part of the Alpha Eight group, ursine species. The genetics are repressed and inaccessible. For all intents and purposes, neuter within the project.”

The tearing sound of flesh filled the kitchen, and Reginald once again wished he was anywhere but here. He didn’t want any further involvement with this generation of subjects, let alone their mates. Not after his previous encounter. But word had come down from above: if he wanted his funding back, his life back, he was to oversee this operation. In the wilds of nowhere.

Gary’s back was to him, but Reginald could see the empty eyes and the excited grin on his face in the mirror next to the arched kitchen entrance. He was looking forward to this. To the hunt. The kill. Reginald had no doubt Gary had been on death row when The Aleka Group had offered him a deal. Sadly, he doubted Ursula Hofwyn was going to make it out of these woods alive. No matter their orders. No matter the punishment that would befall all of them.

“Right. Tomorrow we will split into teams. The doc and I will begin tracking the female. Lyle and Phil will hunt for the male.” Gary’s meticulous slicing never varied an inch. Slow and steady. “In three days we will meet at the rockslide to plan our attack.”

“Um, I thought I would supervise from here. We have the walkie-talkies, and I have to stay in contact with my superiors.” Reginald took another sip of coffee and inwardly cursed his shaking hands. “I would only slow you down in the field.”

Gary just snorted while those scarred hands never missed a stroke with the knife. “Doc, we need to come to an understanding here. I am in charge. You will do as I tell you, or I’ll bury you in the woods behind this cabin. But before I do that I’ll make you wish you had obeyed like the nice little mouse you are. Tomorrow we will go get a look at this female, and you will tell me everything the boss told you to omit when they sent you out here. Are we clear?”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

M. A. Freeman lives near Wilmington, NC and never makes it to the beach. Any free time is consumed with books, either reading or writing. An avid traveller and self proclaimed geek, trips abroad and to cons such as DragonCon in Atlanta are always on the agenda. Currently working full time in healthcare and attending school to obtain a Master of Library and Information Science degree to compliment the Bachelor’s of Arts in English and Creative Writing.

Stalk the Author: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Release Blitz: The Silver Cage by Ana Raine #gayromance #shifters @changelingpress @AuthorAnaRaine @GoIndiMarketing

Title: The Silver Cage

Series: Restrained #1

Author: Ana Raine

Publisher: Changeling Press LLC

Release Date: July 9, 2021

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 66

Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Thriller/Suspense, Science Fiction, 2nd Chance Romance, Shapeshifters, Werewolves, Action Adventure, Dark Fantasy

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Synopsis

Danny barely remembers who he is, let alone his mate. After being taken from his pack years ago by a group of overzealous hunters, Danny identifies only as “Wolf” — the pet of the pack who helps track down other shifters for the hunters’ sport.

When Danny tracks down a female wolf, he hesitates to help imprison her male companion. At first Danny doesn’t remember this wolf, at least not logically, but his senses are completely overtaken and he’s sure he’s met this Alpha before.

This wolf isn’t just his former Alpha. Jamie is also his mate, and after years of believing Danny dead, Jamie’s not going to let his mate go ever again. Even if it means working together to kill each of the hunters so they can never take their lives again — or come between their mating bond.

Excerpt

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2021 Ana Raine

I followed him silently, not that there was much of a chance to use words in our wolf form. I was beyond surprised I still drew breath, but I wasn’t going to let him in on that.

He was an Alpha. He was born to be a leader the way all Alphas were. Strong, fierce and with a natural desire to protect. As soon as he’d sniffed me, he’d let out a low growl that had me belly-up on the ground. His nose nudged my neck in acceptance, and then he headed toward the woods with nothing more than his Alpha voice in my head telling me to follow.

I knew he could talk to me with more than just basic commands. At least, he could if he were so inclined. I’d always wondered how powerful the boy who should have been my mate would have been had he been given a chance.

The hunters were behind us, but I knew at least a few would stay with Langdon. Langdon Sr. wouldn’t, though. He would want to come after me and bury a bullet in my brain himself.

Until there was blood, my blood, this wouldn’t be over. I whined and pawed the ground and drank more water than I needed in my effort to get the Alpha to release me. A faint thought popped into my mind that if I crawled back and begged for mercy, Langdon wanted me enough to stop my death. Then we’d go live whatever fairy tale he’d drawn up.

At least it was a life where I knew the outcome. This one with the Alpha just reminded me how out of touch I was with my kind. And with myself. Each step I took without feeling a whip against my flesh was a reminder I no longer remembered what it was to be free.

We ran part of the way, farther and farther from the female wolf who had to have been his mate. The little bit of her blood I tasted on my paw from when I brought her down smelled just like him. Why he was bothering to lead me so far away, I had no idea.

Eventually, the darkness overtook even our wolf eyesight, forcing us to retreat to a mostly empty stable. There was an old horse covered in a wool blanket and chewing some hay lazily.

She either had a death wish or wasn’t fazed by creatures of the night seeking shelter in her barn because she barely batted an eye before going back to her dinner.

An entire side of the barn was empty and had enough closure to keep us warm against the chill. I almost expected him to bark at me to go back outside to keep watch while he slept. Even though Alphas were supposed to act in the best interest of their pack, it didn’t always work out that way. And I wasn’t his pack, not really anyway.

I saw his body twist and contort as the sound of bone snapping and muscle stretching filled the silence of the barn. Fur receded as his skin became visible. With a barking cough that morphed from beast to man in a moment, there was now a man standing in front of me. He had his back to me, obviously not worried I would attack him from behind.

I saw his beautiful pale skin had been marred by a Hunter’s blade. I’d been cut enough myself to know how the scars looked when they faded. It had been years since his flesh had found the end of a blade, but it was there, just visible enough in the moonlight.

He was tall, so much taller than me, and I found myself staring at his legs, the curve of his ass. I longed for him to turn around so I could stare at what I was sure would be the most beautiful wolf I’d ever met since my mate was taken from me.

Hair as red as fire was loose around his shoulders, the same color he’d been as a wolf. I found myself feeling utterly insufficient to even be in his presence. My hair, blond and boring in comparison to his fire.

Just as I was thinking of backing out of the stable to give him space, his command stopped me. “Phase to a human.”

And oh, how I wanted to immediately do what he asked. To phase and to converse with him, but there was more than fear that I’d come across as stupid. There was also the fear I wasn’t enough. And I wanted to be.

Purchase

Changeling Press LLC | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes

Meet the Author

Ana is still figuring out what she wants to do with her life, although social work seems to be the most likely. Her best friends are a box of chocolate and her kitten who always sit beside her while she writes. When Ana was in high school, she often wrote about the LGBT community, but now her work is less…innocent. Ana enjoys writing anything and everything, including BDSM, dragons, shifters, magic, and more.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads

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Release Day Blitz: Lightning Woman by Linda Thomas-Sundstrom #NewRelease #WolfShifters #PNR

Lightning Woman

Wolves of the West 
Book One
Linda Thomas-Sundstrom

Genre: Paranormal Shifter Romance
Publisher: GothicScapes
Date of Publication:  June 28, 2021
ASIN: B096PTNWZ5
Number of pages: 282
Word Count:  60,000
Cover Artist: Magnetra

Tagline: Meet the Arizona wolf pack and the ghosts that haunt them.

Book Description:

Are the ghosts of Macy Lyons’ past stronger than the promise of a future with her new lover?

Macy Lyons is a respected member of the wolf pack housed in an old Arizona tourist attraction. Her special Were abilities make her a good scout, and also enable her to see the ghosts that haunt the desert. When those ghosts lead her to a visiting lawman from another state, she must find out why…and if those ghosts have a hand in shaping her future.

Florida detective Logan Carter has chased a criminal all the way from Florida to Arizona, and now can use the help of the secretive wolf pack housed at Desperado to find the crazy werewolf he seeks. But will his attraction to Desperado’s beautiful she-wolf scout be a help or a hindrance to his mission in a landscape so different from his own?


Excerpt:

As Logan studied this female vision that had appeared like a desert spirit borne on the blistering hot wind, he couldn’t help but appreciate her uniqueness. In fact, this representative of the Desperado pack was quite stunning, and radiated enough personal power for her outline to waver.
Pretty and dangerous…
Moonlight slid down each strand of straight black hair that fell to the she-wolf’s waist like sparkling water dripping from the skies. All that hair curtained a narrow body with few noticeable curves and very few wolfish traits, even though she had shape-shifted.
She was tall and slight of frame, with long, shapely legs. Her bare arms were beautifully sculpted with a layer of smooth, lean muscle. One arm bore the swirls of a colorful tattoo Logan couldn’t get a read on from where he stood because his focus kept returning to her face.
A slightly elongated facial structure, shadowed, angular, and with prominent cheekbones, was the real proof of what she was, and made him think this female might be a pure-blooded Were. Under the moonlight, the shadows on her face represented her missing patches of fur, or where fur would have been on any normal werewolf under a full moon. In fact, she bore no fur anywhere that he could see.
Crossing her right eye socket and extending two or three inches beneath it were three stripes of color that could have either been paint or tattoos. White. Black. Green. The effect suggested to Logan she might have Native American roots, though lots of women had unusual tattoos these days.
Damn, though. Maybe she really was some kind of a spirit.



About the Author: 


Linda Thomas-Sundstrom is an award-winning author of 40+ stories in the realms of paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and fantasy. She has been published by Kensington Publishing, HarperCollins/Harlequin Nocturne and Desire lines, and GothicScapes.



The Dream Team – Linda’s Reader Team on Facebook:

Amazon Author Page: https://amzn.to/3pSKqaV 

Follow Linda on Bookbub:

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Nighted by Torri Heat #darkfantasy #paranormalromance @torriheat

Jasper and Ava have made it through every hurdle thrown their way — together. Their relationship is stronger — and hotter — than ever. But now something new and deadly is after Ava. The pair also can’t forget the minor detail that her mother is still missing.

The supernatural world is dangerous, and full of things that go bump in the night. Will they be able to find the monster before the monster finds her?

Available Today at Changeling Press

Preorder for June 18th at online booksellers

Praise for Nighted (Darkling 3)

“I’ve been following Torri’s work from Nyctophilia and with every new piece I become more and more invested. I adore the progression Torri has created between each of her installments in her Darkling Series… I adore her characters even more. [The] romance with Jasper is just absolutely superb. Their dynamic connection and spice is everything.”

— 5 Stars from Jennifer Claire, Goodreads Review

EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2021 Torri Heat

If I thought back really far, I could almost remember my mother telling me a story. About creatures who lived in the woods, and monsters that went bump in the night. Bedtime stories created to scare children. Except I was no longer a child, and I knew better now than to think those stories were made up.

None of this mattered anymore. My mother and I had no relationship left, and this was definitely not the time for a casual discussion on children’s stories. I had bigger things to worry about. The forest I was currently sprinting through full tilt was far from imaginary, although the scene could’ve been from a dream. The dense foliage was thick with new growth, lush like a fairy tale. Bright flowers bloomed in the small gaps of sunlight. The only thing missing was the bird song, preferably from a friendly bluebird Instead, the only thing I heard as I ran was the sound of my own heartbeat.

I wanted to stop and catch my breath, but I couldn’t. He’d find me, and that was a whole world of trouble I didn’t even want to contemplate. So I kept running, my heartbeat keeping time with my silent footsteps.

There were perks to being a Venator, and then there were skills I had worked my ass off to learn. The quiet way I could move through the forest was one of those skills I was most proud of, and my talent was paying off tenfold at the moment. My original plan had been to do a wide circle in the woods, coming out at the far end, which hadn’t been working out for me so far. Venator or not, my stamina wasn’t unlimited. What I needed was a distraction, or some way to let me loop back on myself. I eyed the aging trees as I ran deeper. The thick vines desperately making their way skyward were too new to provide any real support, but they might give me some traction if I could find a tree small enough to find good holds. Just ahead of me I found my target. A tree younger than the rest with some low limbs, but not fully covered in the twining green ropes. Perfect.

I jumped, reaching for the first low limb and pulling myself into the tree. I continued to climb until I was high enough in the leaves that I was unable to be seen but could still hear everything going on below me. Unfortunately, this vantage point also left my vision partially obstructed. I would have to rely on a combination of my senses and hope for the best. I pulled myself as small as I could, straining my ears to hear the sounds beneath my hiding place. I needed to wait until he passed by me, and then I could make my way back out of the woods. Easy. I had outmaneuvered wolves loads of times. My breath and my heart kept an odd melody in my head, and I forced myself to slow down. I needed to listen.

I heard the heavy breathing first. I must have pulled up at the perfect time, because he wasn’t far behind me. I could hear sniffing down the trail I had followed. I pulled my feet even closer to my body, willing my heart to be silent. I had come this far. I could make it a little while longer. I kept count of the seconds, tapping my finger on my tight black shirt. One. Two. Three. There was the swish of a tail in the bushes beneath me. I could see the edges of the damp fur but couldn’t make out the whole body. Holding my breath, I waited to see if he would find my hiding spot or would move on. Four. Five. Six. The fur slowly disappeared, and the sniffing faded out further along the trail. I would give him a couple more minutes, just to make sure, and then I would jump down and move. Seven. Eight. Nine. My hiding spot had been a success. There was no more sign of him. Now I only needed to get back in one piece. I took a deep breath and jumped down.

Ten.

I took a quick look around me, feeling satisfied I hadn’t been found out. I turned on my heel to head back the way I had come, before he noticed I was no longer ahead of him. But before I could move, something snaked out from the left of me and grabbed my wrist. My heart stopped. Shit.

“What gave me away?” My voice sounded a lot braver than I felt. Bravery was a constant work in progress, especially when the supernatural world wasn’t one you were expecting to find yourself living in.

Jasper smirked. “Your scent was all over those vines, Green. You should know better than to climb on the greenery without masking your scent first.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Torri Heat has always loved control. Her mind was blown when she discovered she could control entire worlds through story writing. Throw some steamy romance in there, and it was pretty close to perfection. Torri loves dark heroes who ride off into the sunset on their motorcycles, fierce heroines who can fend for themselves, and a sprinkle of the paranormal to keep things interesting. When she’s not creating alternate realities you can find her managing her three ring circus of kids and animals.  

Find Torri Online: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

New Release: Dire Wolves (paperback) by Shelby Morgen and Lena Austin #paranormalromance #LGBTQ @shelbymorgen @Lena_Austin

Whiteout by Shelby Morgen: Zan gives John a reason to want to live as a man again. But before he can make that kind of promise, he’s got unfinished business to take care of.

Silence by Lena Austin: Noel Miller, a vampire with a few scars of his own, wants to be more than Cam’s sign language interpreter. If only the werewolf will let him into his life — and heart.

White Heat by Shelby Morgen: Heather Grant’s got far too much experience working with stubborn males. She figures it would serve both Alphas right if their pride blows their cover. But someone’s got to salvage the mission.

Available in paperback at Amazon

Praise for Dire Wolves (Box Set)


“…a collection that grabs the reader, takes them on a journey, and ensures some cold showers. Erotic, captivating, and deliciously carnal are how I would describe The Dire Wolves Anthology. It is definitely worth reading, worth adding to one’s reading library, and well worth re-reading.”— 4 Stars from Nikki, Sensuous Reviews  

“This book hooked me from the get go. I just couldn’t put it down. I fell in love with these characters… just a perfect read.” — 5 Stars from Jeanne, Amazon Review

EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2021
Excerpt from Silence by Lena Austin

“Danse Macabre” was a lousy choice for a ring tone, but Detective Cameron Douglas always thought about it when he had the least amount of time to change the ring to something else. The tune was the last he’d ever hear. Cam didn’t know that sad fact, or he’d have changed the ring sooner.

Cam snatched the phone out of his pocket and flipped it open as soon as he saw it was his boss, Lt. Kraynak. “Hey, Mark! You caught me just leaving the mayor’s office.”

“Yeah?” Mark’s voice always sounded nervous, but at that moment, he sounded as squeaky as a girl. Cam always wondered if Mark was as closet gay as Cam himself. “How’d it go?”

Cam sighed. The investigation into the death of the mayor’s secretary, Margaret Lund, was supposed to be kept very quiet and low-key. “We got the blood from her apartment at the lab, looking for DNA. They seem to be consistent with the defensive marks found on her body despite floating around in the St. John’s River for a while. I’ve got a few good leads.” He had to be vague. Cam couldn’t exactly tell his boss he was a werewolf and he’d caught an odd, masculine scent in Margaret’s apartment. He knew any sort of masculine odor didn’t belong in that apartment because Margaret and his mother had been lovers for over twenty years. Not exactly what you want the whole world to know. Mom had been in the closet all her life, and he wasn’t about to out her when she was mourning “Aunt Maggie’s” death. Dad would turn over in his grave, the day care she’d run for fifteen years would close, and her life would be in ruins. What she and Maggie had enjoyed just wasn’t ever going to be public, and that wasn’t admissible evidence anyway.

He could see it now. Him, on the witness stand. “Yes, Your Honor. I’m a werewolf you see, and I sniffed this odor…” He winced, even to himself.

“I don’t like it, Cam. You shouldn’t be on this case. Ms. Lund was your mother’s best friend. You could be called prejudiced in court.” Mark popped another gumball in his mouth. Cam heard it rattle against his teeth before it crackled as he chewed it into oblivion. Mark’d been trying to quit smoking again, and kept a gumball bank on his desk.

“I don’t like it, either, Mark. Where His Honor got the idea I’d be the only detective who could do the job is beyond me.” Cam was in sight of his car at last. The covered parking garage across the street from City Hall was a piece of shit like all the rest of downtown. Half the security cameras didn’t work at the best of times, and the roof leaked whenever it rained. So where was he parked? On the roof. In the rain. Of course. So he was wet. It was Florida. Not like he would melt. He was a werewolf, not a witch, and this wasn’t Hollyweird.

The beep in his ear made him jump, and the caller ID told him it was Mom. “Hey, I’m at my car. Hang on a sec.” Cam flipped over to his mother’s call and sat down on a bench about fifty feet from his car, in the shelter covering the elevator. “Hi, Mom.” He frowned and noticed the hood of his car was slightly ajar. That was odd. He distinctly remembered changing the oil the previous Sunday and slamming the hood closed because he hated working in the hot sun.

He never heard her answer. Hell, he never heard anything except the biggest boom on the planet.

Waking up wasn’t like someone flipped on a light switch. It was more like a lazy Sunday morning when you didn’t have to be anywhere or do anything in particular, so you could roll over and laze in bed. That is, until your bladder or some other bodily need woke you up.

What woke him up was pain. Cam had the worst headache ever, even beyond hangovers and mild concussions from playing rugby. Cam felt like he’d been run over by a semi, too, with a backache from lying in one position too long on top of assorted injuries. Worst of all was the ringing in his ears. Tinnitus, he guessed. Not bad, since Cam had to assume he’d survived that explosion. Hell, he counted himself lucky when he opened his eyes and saw his left leg in bandages, not a cast. If a headache, a bum leg, and a case of tinnitus were all he had to suffer through, Cam was happy.

A nurse peeked in. She saw Cam was awake and smiled at him. Her lips moved, but he couldn’t hear her over the ringing in his ears. She frowned when Cam told her she’d have to speak up, and would she bring him something for the headache and tinnitus? She turned around and walked out without another word. She was back with something she shot into his IV. Whatever it was put him out like a light. Pain, tinnitus, and consciousness all went away at once.

When next Cam could put two words together in a coherent sentence, the clock on the wall and the darkness out the window gave him a clue it was 7:30 PM, not AM. He’d slept away the whole day. Great. Now his ears were sore.

A young man in a lab coat read a book in the corner chair, even though the only light source was the fluorescent above the head of Cam’s bed. The guy’s eyesight must have been superlative. He looked up slowly, and Cam was completely arrested — pardon the pun — by his eyes. They were big, blue and so world-weary Cam wanted to — maybe buy the kid a cup of coffee and give him a sympathetic ear. Then the newcomer smiled, and the world was all sunshine and cheer. The young man tapped on the keyboard of his laptop without taking his gaze off Cam’s face.

Cam moved restlessly under that intense blue gaze that did not in the least match with the smile. Cam opened his mouth to speak, but stopped when the screen on a laptop left on his lap table brightened. He frowned and studied the screen. “Can you read this?” Surprised, Cam nodded without thinking.

The blue-eyed man smiled and nodded. “Good. How’s your tinnitus?” lit up on the screen in a standard IM chat feature of a common website.

“Um… should I answer aloud?” Cam felt suddenly adrift in a strange sea, unsure of himself for the first time since college. Still, he did an internal check, and the buzzing still filled his ears like a thousand crickets on speed. “Yep, still have the crickets.” The realization hit him. “The explosion caused this tinnitus, didn’t it?”

“Yes, Mr. Douglas. Please speak more softly.” The IM kept up easily, and the young man’s hands flew silently but rapidly over the tiny keyboard. Damn, this guy was good.

Oops. Cam wasn’t stupid. He knew that those with hearing issues often spoke too loudly, trying to over-compensate for their loss. He modified his volume. “Um. Sorry.” He clung to the thin thread of hope that the tinnitus was causing his hearing loss, but he knew a bunch of cops who’d neglected ear protection at the shooting range once too often. Tinnitus could be permanent, or worse, the symptom of something much, much worse.

The IM lit up with several lines in rapid succession. “My name is Noel Miller, and I am your ENT therapist.” Now the cheer was gone, and the face serious.

Cam’s heart hammered, and he swallowed to help his suddenly dry mouth. Fear, ice-cold and cruel, raced up his spine. Part of him was grateful he still had painkillers in his system. Deep inside himself, a little kid threw a major temper tantrum, even if he held himself rigidly under control. “I’m deaf, aren’t I?”

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Shelby Morgen

Shelby Morgen loves writing offbeat tales that defy as many rules as possible.

She likes chocolate with her peanut butter, suspense with her romance, and kink with her sex, and she’s always had a hard time keeping science fiction, fantasy and paranormal from mixing with her kink.

Shelby shares her belief in electronic publishing with her longtime friend and partner, Bill, her husband of nearly four decades.

Lena Austin

Someone cursed Lena Austin with “may you have a life so full you’ll have many tales to tell your grandchildren.” Lena’s a “fallen” society wench with a checkered past. She’s been a licensed minister, hairdresser, Realtor, radio DJ, exotic dancer, telephone service tech, live-steel medievalist swordswoman, BDSM Mistress, and investment property manager. Not necessarily in that order. She never finished that degree in marine archaeology, but did learn to scuba — she’s got a lifetime of “Research material!”

Hey, why waste these stories on kids who won’t listen anyway? Writing them down is a nice way to spend her retirement. What? You expected an ex-BDSM Mistress to take up crocheting or something?

Release Blitz: Fang by Ellen Mint #paranormalromance @Totally_Bound

Fang by Ellen Mint

Book 2 in the Coven of Desire series

Genres:

ANGELS AND DEMONS
CONTEMPORARY
EROTIC ROMANCE
MÉNAGE AND MULTIPLE PARTNERS
PARANORMAL
WERESHIFTERS

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Book Description

How can Cal live when the monster remains in the mirror?

Cal is struggling. After his past unraveled into a torment that claimed nearly his whole family, how could he not be? The only good left in his life is Layla, even if she comes with a pain-in-the-haunches incubus. Dealing with Ink is one more problem he’s ignoring, until the werewolf issues he’s refused to face come for him.

A second pack is hunting him and they’re threatening his mother. Cal has no choice but to travel back to Santa Fe and confront them, or lose the last family he has left. While a road trip with Layla sounds nice, Ink has to come along, and the demon keeps driving a growing wedge between Cal and his tenuous grasp on humanity.

Cal, Ink and Layla come face to face with an enemy Cal once believed to be nothing but a myth, his claws and fangs useless against their firepower. What do they want with the witch, werewolf and demon? And, most of all, how can they be stopped?

Reader advisory: This book contains scenes of violence, peril, near death, blood and gore. There are references to a cult, abusive and violent parents, and references to patricide.

Publisher’s Note: Everyone who buys a copy of Fang will receive the short story Snow Print free. Set between the events of Claw and Fang in the Coven of Desire series, Cal’s struggling to overcome the loss in his life is interrupted by a snowman army.

Excerpt

A crack shattered the silence, trying to pry my locked jaws apart. Shadows clipped across the single floodlight above the floorboards.

Diesel, gun oil, salted pork and…old leather. Every scent filled my sinuses and I whimpered.

“Cal…”

No! I spun in the tight space, clamping my filthy fingers onto my brother’s mouth. Even in the muddy crawlspace, I could see his eyes blazing above my palm. Eli’s entire body shivered, his shoulders rising to shield himself from every clip of the boot above our heads.

“We have to keep moving,” Mark spat in my ear. I cringed at the loogie sliding down my face while the eldest brother easily spun on his haunches. Even with his messed-up leg duct-taped to a fence post, he crawled quickly under the floor.

The boards above our heads stopped creaking and the light vanished. Had he gone to bed? This was it. Mom had put me in charge of getting Eli. All we had to do was…

Blinding white punctured the world. The ceiling above us shattered, splintering my heart. A massive hand slammed down right in front of my face. I reached my foot back, prepared to kick and break a finger, when the entire house collapsed over Eli.

Another crack. We all flinched as he took it. Three more lines added to the ones crisscrossing his back. Growls rumbled from Mark, pinned by his mother to stand and watch. I tried to twist away, but my head wouldn’t leave. If I didn’t watch, I could be next.

“Ah!”

A single cry escaped from Eli, and both Mark and I screamed, “No.” If he made a sound, it started all over.

The belt hung against the five-year-old’s back, Eli straining to reach over the apple crate he bent over. Crimson wicked up his burlap cassock. The blood would be left to dry for days as a reminder because the scars weren’t enough.

“This is what happens to disobedient boys,” boomed the voice through my ears, up my feet and into my blood. I tried to spit it out, the scent of him merging into a putrid taste boiling down my throat. Leaning over, I tried to retch it away—diesel, gun oil, salted pork, old leather, and blood. A spray of it erupted from my lips, staining the floorboards of the great room. No one turned to me, no one noticed I was vomiting in front of them.

Every eye gazed upon him. The father. Our great leader into the next stage of existence.

“Cal!”

“Eli…?”

His dirty, matted hair began to lift. As it did, crimson paint dribbled down the sides. “I don’t wanna be here, Cal!”

“I…” Damn it. My gaze plummeted to the floor, tears threatening to burst. Slamming my lids closed so no one could tattle on me for crying, I said, “I’ll get you out of here, Eli. When it’s done, I’ll get you.”

“Forget it.” It wasn’t the soft cry of a kid, but the dead acceptance of an adult. Even with my eyes shut tight, I saw Eli rise from the box. He trampled it down with his foot, shattering the crate we’d all been whipped on. Eli stood tall, stretching far above my head.

“Weak,” the voice of my unending nightmares thundered. “All of you.” His face burned hot like the sun and I could only stare at the black gun extending from his hand. He pointed it at the followers standing in a ring around us.

“The time of the Moon is nigh,” the rotten bastard said. “Destiny, child. Blood.” He aimed his gun at Eli. A flash turned my brother’s head into a wolf’s skull.

“Eli!” I screamed, running for him. But my feet couldn’t get any traction. Every step kept me pinned in place, unable to reach my brother slowly tumbling to the cement ground.

“You cannot escape it, Calvin.” The asshole’s hand clamped to my shoulder and he pressed me down to my knees. I tried to fight it, but my bones were matchsticks against his might. They buckled, my nose pressing into the dirt.

A wind howled through the trees, parting the stricken branches to reveal the yellow-blue light forever beaming down upon us. Itching rippled under my skin, one no amount of scratching would solve.

“Give in,” he chanted almost serenely.

I shook my head, feeling fur and not hair brush against my shoulder. “No,” I declared, the words warping as my gums receded. Pain clawed up the roots of my teeth sharpening to fangs.

“You cannot escape, Calvin.”

Squeezing my eyes tight, I willed the wolf back. My teeth flattened. I patted my head, finding only the shaved hair. Lashing my arm back, I burst from his grip and took two steps forward. “I’m never changing again!” I shouted.

A low chuckle caused me to freeze. My body betrayed me, terror beckoning me to turn. Lucien bent down, half of his skull exposed, the skin ripped like paper, the muscles rotted away. The eyeball in his fleshless socket was milky white. “Child.” A squishy, flapping sound followed his words. Red and purple tubes flapped out of a massive wound in his throat. I wanted to scream, but my mouth drowned with hot liquid.

“You cannot escape your blood.”

Fuck!

I shook awake, my whole body slamming forward to try to escape. Instead of hurling myself off the bed, I almost knocked my teeth into a soft shoulder. Layla’s hair provided cushioning to stop me, and I buried my face in it. I opened my mouth in a rictus and gave all the force of shrieking without letting a single sound escape.

My tongue tasted of copper and salt, of Lucien’s blood that I had ripped from his throat. My brain thundered with the scents of his body, his boots, his instruments of terror. Get out of it. He’s not here. He can never be here.

Burrowing my nose farther into her hair, I pulled in the deepest whiff imaginable. Cereal marshmallows. We’d gotten into a pointless food fight last night and I’d flicked them at her as she laughed. Amber. She’d used my soap to wash her hands and face. Me. The long night I held her safe in my arms. The air right before a thunderstorm struck. Layla.

My body tightened around her as it recognized the fullness of her. And she was stirring. Damn it.

“Cal…?” she croaked. Most of the time her voice was lush and lyrical, but in the morning it sounded more like a smoking frog.

I placed my lips to the nape of her neck, kissing over her curly hair to try to find the skin below. The taste of her replaced the lingering memory of blood. “Sorry to wake you,” I said.

The wolf inside me was restless. No, angry. It wanted vengeance even though we’d already gotten it. I winced and started to slide away. If I stayed in bed, no matter how tempting, it could rip through me. Take over my thoughts and push me to its side. I slid my hand up Layla’s stomach and over her hip, having to abandon her to calm down.

I was fairly certain she’d passed out and I slipped to my feet, when her fingers crested over mine. Through the shadows of the old house, I couldn’t see much, but the silhouette of her breasts tumbling together out from under my blanket almost drove me back in with her.

“Are you okay?” she asked.

No. But I’ve never been okay my whole life. “You stay sleeping.” I bent over and kissed her lips. I wished her taste and touch could chase away all the nightmare, but it clung to me like a filthy sack caked in blood. Rising to my feet, I stumbled out of my room. The wolf inside me howled.

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About the Author

Ellen Mint

Ellen Mint adores the adorkable heroes who charm with their shy smiles and heroines that pack a punch. She recently won the Top Ten Handmaid’s Challenge on Wattpad where hers was chosen by Margaret Atwood. Her books, Undercover Siren and Fever are available at Amazon as well as a short story in the Lucky Between The Sheets anthology. Married, she lives in Nebraska with her dog named after Granny Weatherwax. Her hobbies include gaming, painting, and halloween prop making. The basement is full of skeletons because they ran out of room in the closets.

You can find Ellen at her website here and also on Bookbub.

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Ellen Mint’s Claw Giveaway

Enter for your chance to win romance author Ellen Mint’s Prize Package and get a FREE eBook from the author! Notice: This competition ends on 25th May 2021 at 5pm GMT. Competition hosted by Totally Entwined Group.

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Biological Choice by M.A. Freeman #paranormalromance @writingmaf

Lorelei: Lorelei Sapelo is perfectly content with her life, thank you very much. She has a job she loves, owns her own house, and is fulfilled by being surrounded by books. Home has been what she has created for herself by herself. And, while she may feel a nagging sense of something missing, it doesn’t stop her from creating her idea of a perfect life.

Connor: Connor Dwyer is perfectly happy moving from place to place. Meeting new people, exploring various places, and being content with his own company. The concept of home has been for other people, for families, something he’s never had. And, while others might have that need, he hasn’t worried about stopping long enough to see if it’s something he lacks.

Two lonely hearts on a collision course that will change their lives in unexpected ways. Yet, in the shadows, there are those watching, interested in a bond that shouldn’t exist.

Available today at Changeling Press

Preorder for May 28th at online retailers

EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2021 M.A. Freeman

Lorelei

Mondays were the worst. This one, even more so than usual. Several things were vying for the spot of frustration number one as Lorelei Sapelo reported to her job. First day of classes with demanding, entitled students. Her car had some ominous glowing light on the dash that probably meant an expensive trip to the mechanic. And her favorite fountain pen was missing. She had the vaguest hope it would turn up when she got a chance to turn her office upside down but wouldn’t count on it.

“Hello, Ms. Sapelo.”

Lorelei fought the urge to roll her eyes. His smarmy voice was not attractive at all. The upperclassmen were all the same, but this one was more persistent than most.

“Mr. Jernigan, are you lost? The library is across the quad.” Lorelei’s eyes narrowed slightly. She was in no mood for his stupid come-ons. It wasn’t like the archive was an extension of the library. They were housed in a completely different building. It was tucked out of the way from the main quad thoroughfare.

“Just getting a jump-start on the optional reading list for my Lit class. Thought I’d pop in to see if you have any recommendations.” He moved closer to the counter and leaned against it in what he probably thought was a coy, come-hither manner.

What a pack of lies. Lorelei fought the urge to roll her eyes as she moved farther behind the counter, so not only was it between them but the computer was as well. His pursuit was beginning to verge on harassment, something she would not tolerate. If this continued, she would have to lodge a formal complaint. This was the part of her job she hated — playing babysitter, especially to the ones who did not appreciate the historical culture they held in their hands. Each book, each artifact was a valued piece to be appreciated and treated with respect.

The message chime on her computer interrupted her mental tirade. She had never been happier to hear that annoying tone in her life. It meant she had to work to do which meant Mr. Jernigan had to leave. She didn’t care what the message said. It was going to get her out of this tedious interaction.

She clicked on the alert and frowned as she quickly read the opened window. Well, Lorelei had wanted an excuse for denying Mr. Jernigan access to the archives. Here it was in nice Calibri font. The Kyoko Foundation, her employer, wished to conduct a full audit and inventory.

“I’m sorry, Mr. Jernigan, but the archive is going to be unavailable this semester.” Lorelei looked up. What an ugly expression. Someone didn’t like not getting their way. “It seems the Kyoko Foundation will be conducting an audit and inventory. I’ll be sure to send out the communication email notifying the campus by the end of the day.”

It was plain she wanted him gone. She wasn’t trying to hide it. It must have come across because he stormed out when he didn’t get what he wanted. Pleased, Lorelei returned to the message to read it in more depth. They were sending a representative to perform the audit while she completed a full inventory. Great. Either this rep was going to know nothing of the subjects collected here, or they were going to know too much to interfere with the process she had perfected over the years for acquisitions and loans.

Lorelei glanced back toward her office. She gazed specifically at the stacks of boxes she had been meaning to convert into the new digital system. So much dust. Her allergies were going to go berserk. She could only hope mice hadn’t gotten into those records. She did not like rodents.

Further information provided in the email let her know she had a week to complete the conversion. Doable, if she worked late with a minimum of interruptions. She had to have everything in order considering she was soon taking a short leave for medical reasons.

“Excuse me.”

Lorelei glanced up and was stunned. It was as if the entire world paused. A moment of revelation and acceptance and longing she didn’t even know she was capable of flashed through her. A moment that could be summed up in a single word: mine. All mine, from his pelt of black, grey, white hair like the coat of a wolf to his sun-kissed skin from time outside. Icing on the cake was his lean, hard body encased in a slouchy jacket, button-down shirt, and tailored jeans. All of it, topped off by a pair of ice-blue eyes watching her with the same possessive fervor.

What a crazy thought. It snapped her out of whatever trance she had fallen into. You couldn’t own another human being. Maybe her friends were right — she needed a break. Although it would have to wait until after this audit.

“Yes? May I help you?” Her mind finished the rest of what she wanted to say. Help you take off your dapper jacket? Unbutton your crisp white shirt? Pull those jeans — Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Lorelei blinked a few times and forced her brain off the X-rated track it was on. Jesus, what was wrong with her? He was a fine-looking man who ticked all her boxes, at least for now, but here she was, quivering like a schoolgirl.

He approached the information desk with long strides, while the energy between them seemed to spike the closer he got to her. Never in her life had she felt anything like it. Judging from the slight flush across those high cheekbones and the rapidly dilating pupils of his eyes, he felt it too.

“I’m Connor Dwyer, the new adjunct.” He reached into the inside breast pocket of his jacket. “I believe this is yours. I found it on one of the stone planters in the quad.”

Lorelei gaped at her favorite fountain pen held in his long-fingered hand. “Oh, my God, thank you!”

He handed it over. The brush of his skin was a shock. He was the one. Yet there was something she couldn’t quite put her finger on. Something about him that belied the usual male-female attraction. Something making the attraction much more intense. The urge to get close to him, to touch him, was almost overwhelming. Suspicion made her frown. She thought she might have snatched the pen out of his hand in a somewhat brusque manner.

Connor’s lips curved slightly, obviously not offended. “You’re Lorelei Sapelo, correct? The archivist?”

Lorelei gripped the pen tightly and shivered. He had kept her pen close in the days since he’d found it. She could tell. She could always tell. An invaluable skill…

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

M. A. Freeman lives near Wilmington, NC and never makes it to the beach. Any free time is consumed with books, either reading or writing. An avid traveller and self proclaimed geek, trips abroad and to cons such as DragonCon in Atlanta are always on the agenda. Currently working full time in healthcare and attending school to obtain a Master of Library and Information Science degree to compliment the Bachelor’s of Arts in English and Creative Writing.

Book Blitz: Kaito’s Silence by Emily Carrington #LGBTQ #urbanfantasy @CarringtonEmily @GoIndiMarketing

Title: Kaito’s Silence

Series: ParaSchooled 3

Author: Emily Carrington

Publisher: Changeling Press LLC

Release Date: May 21, 2021

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 74 pages

Genre: Romance, Fantasy, New Adult, pansexual & multisexual, shapeshifters, urban fantasy, werewolves, paranormal romance

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Synopsis

Kaito has always been attracted to werewolves of the opposite gender — until he meets his new sign language tutor, a flamboyant wolf named Stefan.

As Kaito struggles with his own sexuality, Stefan starts to feel like an experiment. Can their love thrive or will Kaito’s indecision push them apart?

Excerpt

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2021 Emily Carrington

Watching the interpreter’s hands make graceful patterns in the air, Kaito had to admit he wasn’t paying a great deal of attention to the speaker. He didn’t know sign language, not yet, but he was thoroughly captivated by the confident hand movements. The interpreter, another werewolf, was attractive in a way that reminded Kaito of a female wolf from back home.

Akira. But it hurt to even think her name. And it hurt even more that they’d progressed past honorifics and used personal names when they were together. She and her whole family had moved here from Japan when Kaito was fifteen and she was fourteen. It had seemed fated, their eventual mating. And now here he was, far from Louisiana where his alpha, his father, had brought the Issei pack.

He became aware that the director’s speech was coming to an end. “… please find your department head.”

All the students in the auditorium rose as one and began filing down to where the professors stood.

Kaito went down to the table assigned to trackers, chastising himself for daydreaming when he needed to pay attention. But halfway there, he was intercepted by a human woman and the interpreter. She signed as she talked. “Are you Kaito?”

He reminded himself that non-Japanese people might not know about the proper way to address someone, by their last name. He nodded slightly and held out his hand.

She shook with him.

So did the interpreter, although he said nothing.

Before Kaito could wonder about that, the woman said, “I’m Lauren Ashbury and this is Stefan Weber.” She pronounced the “w” like a “v” and by that, Kaito assumed the other werewolf was German, or perhaps German American, as he himself was Japanese American.

Ms. Ashbury continued, “Stefan is almost totally deaf.” She kept signing as she talked. “You asked to be placed in the immersion program for sign language. Stefan will assist you with that.”

Kaito wanted to ask how he could learn anything when his instructor couldn’t talk. But that seemed rude, so he simply nodded and smiled. “Thank you,” he said to Stefan, making the one gesture in sign that he knew, which was the right hand touching the mouth and moving outward, palm up. He thought it meant “thank you” or that was what he had picked up from a television show.

Stefan signed something back and Ms. Ashbury said, “He says you’re welcome.”

Stefan went on signing and Ms. Ashbury nodded. Again signing as she spoke, she asked Kaito, “Do you have a cell phone?”

“Yes, ma’am.” It had been an accepted-to-the-academy present from his parents. His father had said he could use it like a computer to study but that he shouldn’t become distracted by social media because that would jeopardize his career. Kaito assumed the older werewolf meant he’d get distracted by all the myriad conversations on the Internet.

Stefan handed him a sheet of paper. On it was a schedule. They would meet every day at eight-thirty, before Kaito’s other classes, which started at ten. Then he saw they were to meet on the weekends too. He didn’t know what to say to that, but perhaps, because it was immersion…

Stefan tapped the top of the paper and Kaito looked where his finger had been. In a very neat hand was written: <em>Here is my cell phone number. Please text me tonight after you are settled. We don’t need to meet until Monday</em>.

Kaito considered this and nodded. Glancing at Ms. Ashbury, he asked, “Can you sign for me?”

“Stefan is pretty good at reading lips.”

Kaito detected a slight frost in her voice and felt himself flush with embarrassment. “I meant no disrespect,” he said to Stefan. “I simply wanted to say thank you for taking me on as a student.” His attention was caught briefly by a flash of pink and he noted that Stefan had an earring, a pink triangle. The symbol tugged at some association from his Human History classes in his pack, but he couldn’t remember just now. He wondered how a werewolf could keep an earring in. Wouldn’t their natural healing process make such a thing impossible?

Stefan smiled and signed again.

“He says you’re welcome.”

Stefan waved and Kaito understood it was a goodbye signal. He waved back.

Stefan and Ms. Ashbury turned away, almost in lock step. The ease of their body language told Kaito they were very familiar with each other.

He wondered for a moment how they had known his name.

Purchase

Changeling Press LLC | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes

Meet the Author

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 | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Bookbub

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Release Blitz: Finding Home by Megan Linden #paranormalromance #LGBTQ @megan_linden @pridepublshing

Finding Home by Megan Linden

Book 6 in the Harrington Hills series

Word Count: 33,036
Book Length: SHORT NOVEL
Pages: 142

Genres:

CONTEMPORARY
EROTIC ROMANCE
GAY
GLBTQI
PARANORMAL
WERESHIFTERS

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Book Description

With a beginning as rocky as their pasts, it’d be easier if they stayed away from each other. They didn’t.

Leo Tomilson has come back to Harrington Hills after a fire that changed his life forever, and all he wants is to be left alone. No longer being a firefighter is something he might learn to live with, but there are days when he doesn’t even feel like a proper werewolf anymore. That cuts deeper than anything else.

Charlie Dewitt is as reliable as they come in Harrington Hills. Ever since he put down roots in this town, he’s never wanted to leave. His brother is here, his pack is here and so is his life. He has everything he needs. Not everything he wants, perhaps, but that’s fine.

Their first meeting is a mess because they clash over a series of misunderstandings. But Charlie is a patient man, Leo sees in him what most people miss and neither of them are good at taking the easy way out, so maybe there’s a chance for…something, after all.

Reader advisory: This book is best read as part of a series but can be read as a standalone. The book contains a scene of public sex.

Excerpt

Leo woke up to the sound of knocking, but he refused to acknowledge whoever it was. They would leave eventually.

He rolled over and put his face into his pillow, but the knocking turned into pounding.

“Open the door, LJ!” Sylvia. Of course. He should’ve known.

“Go away,” he said, loud enough so she could hear him. “I’m sleeping.”

“I don’t care.” She pounded on the door again. “Let me in before somebody calls the cops on me.”

“Ha-ha,” he grumbled but sat up. Given their foster father was the sheriff, the joke had been funny once, but that time had long passed. “Maybe they should.”

“Yeah, yeah, whatever,” Sylvia said through the door, but at least she wasn’t attacking it anymore. She’d probably heard him getting up.

It wasn’t until he was halfway down the hallway that he realized Sylvia wasn’t alone. Damn it. Damn his fucked-up senses and damn his siblings for ambushing him like this first thing in the morning.

Or afternoon, he figured, glancing at the clock near the door.

A big part of him wanted to turn around and go back to sleep, but since he was already out of bed, he might as well get on with it. Sylvia wasn’t going to let up now, anyway.

He opened his door with a “What?” in a matter of greeting and almost closed it a moment later when he saw the small crowd on his porch. Along with his annoying sister were Damien, Luka and Beatrice.

“Hello to you, too, brother,” Sylvia told him and moved forward. When Leo stepped back on instinct, she nodded at him and entered the house. She went to pat his chest, but he sidestepped that in the guise of capitulating and making room for the rest of their little group to come in.

Out of everyone, only Beatrice had the good graces to look vaguely apologetic for the invasion.

“I love what you haven’t done with the place,” Sylvia said as she looked around, but Leo just rolled his eyes. The house was furnished enough to be lived in, and that was what he was doing—living in it. Sure, it had been furnished by a company he’d hired and further accessorized by his mother—their mother—who wanted to make it more ‘homey’, but it was a perfectly fine living space.

Sylvia made it sound like he was living in a shack in the woods.

Which he wouldn’t mind, actually, as long as it had a comfortable bed, but he’d known better than to freak out his family like that. So he’d purchased a house remotely before he’d even moved back to Harrington Hills—and here he was.

Yet his family still found a reason to freak out anyway.

“Give me a minute,” he muttered and went back to the bedroom. He put on a pair of jeans and the first T-shirt he pulled out of his drawer, barely avoiding the temptation to just lie down again. He made a stop in the bathroom without so much as a glance at the mirror then forced himself to return to the living room.

The four of his siblings had sat down on the couch and one of the armchairs, leaving the other empty for him. How nice of them, he thought dryly, and for a second considered ignoring the seat altogether, but finally he sat, putting his hands on the armchair’s sides and resisting the urge to pull his legs up.

“Did you need something?” he asked.

“We needed to talk to you.” Sylvia looked at him then, pointedly, at the rest of their siblings, who nodded.

“We’re worried about you,” Beatrice said, and Leo opened his mouth to tell her there was no need, but Sylvia didn’t let him.

“You haven’t been out on a Full Moon Run since you got here. You’ve skipped all but one of the pack gatherings—”

“Two,” he corrected her. He’d been roped into that second one because he’d bumped into his mother at the store and she’d insisted he help her out, but it still counted, nevertheless.

“Fine, two.” Sylvia seemed to struggle not to roll her eyes—or maybe get up and smack him over the head. Either one or both, really. “In the almost three months since you’ve been back.”

“So what?” He raised his eyebrows. There was no law that said he needed to attend the gatherings. He’d done what was required. He’d gone to see the Alpha once he’d been back and he’d attended one get-together soon after. Then he’d decided to do what he preferred, which was to stay home and not bother with people.

His mood was definitely not suited for interactions with others, which this conversation perfectly conveyed.

“What do you mean, ‘so what’?” Luka frowned. “You’re a part of the pack. We gather as a pack.”

“It’s not mandatory,” he pointed out the obvious, but it looked like it was only obvious to him alone.

“It’s not mandatory to attend every gathering,” Sylvia told him. “It’s unheard of to attend none. And,” she added quickly when he opened his mouth, “yes, I know you attended two, but that’s beside the point.”

“What is your point, then?” Leo dug his hands into the armrests. “I did attend two gatherings, so it’s not like I’ve attended none. I’m not going more because I don’t want to. What’s so bad about that?”

“What’s so bad is our mom, who makes your favorite pie every time the pack gathers at the house because she thinks you’re going to be there,” Damien spoke up and, damn it, he’d always been the best at guilt-tripping.

None of them had ever wanted to disappoint their mom, the woman who had opened her heart and arms for them even before she’d opened her home.

Leo might feel like a monster some days, but he’d never purposefully hurt the most important woman in his life.

“I never promised her I’d come,” he said, but even to his own ears the excuse was a weak one.

“Yeah, because that makes it all better,” Damien muttered.

“You don’t have to promise anything. She’s always going to be waiting, and you know it.” Sylvia sagged in her seat as if she were a balloon that had lost all its air. “Seriously, what did you expect, moving back to Hills?”

He’d been looking for a place to survive. Somewhere to hide in, to forget his old life, forget—

Forget everything.

So he’d returned to the last place he’d felt safe, the place he’d called home long before Chicago. But even here, nothing felt like it once had, because the memories had come back home with him.

He’d been trying to bury them all, but they refused to let go. They kept him up at night, trapped him in his nightmares and suffocated him until he ran, and ran, and ran for miles through the forest surrounding the town—and farther, too. He’d caught himself more than once outside the Harrington Pack grounds.

He’d never run far enough to outrun his head, but sometimes his thoughts had quieted for a while, at least.

He couldn’t do it on the pack runs, not really. Someone would notice he wasn’t shifting or running for pleasure, and he never wanted to have to admit to anyone—his parents, his Alpha, his siblings—that he was running for his life these days.

“LJ?” Sylvia’s voice penetrated his thoughts. It sounded softer than anything she’d said so far today, and when he looked up, he met her worried gaze.

He forced himself to let up his grip on the armrests. At least he hadn’t extended his claws.

“I expected some peace and quiet,” he said after he remembered the last thing she’d said before he’d gotten lost in his head. “I get that you like to gather until there’s a crowd, but crowds are the opposite of what I want.”

“How about we organize a family dinner, then?” Beatrice spoke up and he turned to her. She seemed…sad, and Leo didn’t have to guess why. That had been a part of why he’d stayed away—not wanting his family to worry. “Not the whole pack, just the Tomilsons? We hadn’t had one of those in a while.”

Leo wanted to protest—‘just the Tomilsons’ still meant close to thirty people, including all the significant others and the kids—but he figured it was actually a compromise he could live with. He would sit through the family dinner, make his parents happy and hopefully get his siblings off his back.

“Fine,” he said with a sigh when he saw Sylvia opening her mouth. “Let’s do that.”

Sylvia narrowed her eyes. “Really?”

“Yes, really.” He shot her a glare that hopefully conveyed ‘don’t push your luck’. He got up. “Now, is the intervention over?”

She shook her head but got up as well.

“This wasn’t an intervention,” she said, and the trio on the couch looked from one of them to the other and back, staying silent. “It was a warning. We’ll settle for a family dinner now, but you skip the next after-the-run barbecue and we’ll be back. And that’s going to be an intervention.”

He wondered briefly what she considered the difference between the two but dismissed the thought quickly. He’d worry about it later. Now, he just wanted them out of his house, so he could go back to bed.

Or maybe eat something.

He should probably eat. It had been a while.

“Is that all?” he finally asked, since everyone’s gaze was now stuck on him.

It was the politest ‘get out of my house’ he could come up with, and he hoped it would work, because he truly didn’t want to fight with them. He just wanted to be left alone.

Sylvia looked from him to their siblings on the couch before nodding slowly. “Yes,” she finally said with a nod. “I’ll text you about the family dinner, so don’t pretend you’ve lost your phone or I’ll come here and drag you out myself.”

Leo pushed his suddenly sweaty hands into the pockets of his jeans and forced himself to swallow through his tight throat.

There was no smoke, no fire, no pain.

Sylvia was just being Sylvia.

“Fine,” he said slowly, carefully, making sure his voice would hold. He walked to the door and opened it. “Bye now.”

Beatrice and Luka sighed, Damien rolled his eyes and Sylvia looked like she wanted to say something but closed her mouth and walked out without another word.

Soon, Leo was alone again, with only the fading scent of the pack and his family members lingering in his house.

Maybe he should actually invite his family over one day to make the whole place smell like them?

He snorted to himself. Yeah, right.

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About the Author

Megan Linden

Megan is one of those people who dreamed of being a writer since they were a little kid and then didn’t do anything about it for years. Then as a teenager she was introduced to fandom and… well. She fell head first into it and never looked back. At some point she decided to try writing her own characters in her own stories. And that’s where she is today.

When she’s not writing, Megan works as a psychologist and continues to learn the hard way that she can’t give all her clients their happy ending (she truly believes everyone can save themselves, though). That’s why she makes sure to give it to her characters, always.

She loves TV shows, books, fanworks and pizza (not necessarily in that order). But there’s nothing like getting messages from readers who enjoy her stories, so if you’re not sure it’s okay to contact her—yes, it is.

You can take a look at Megan’s website here. You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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