Release Blitz & Review: Sea Lover by J.K. Pendragon #LGBTQ #paranormalromance @JKPendragon @ninestarpress @GoIndiMarketing

Title: Sea Lover

Author: J.K. Pendragon

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 06/28/2021

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 27300

Genre: Paranormal, LGBTQIA+, MM-trans romance, merman, fisherman, interspecies, fantasy

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Description

Ian is happy with his life in a remote Canadian fishing town, where he has only the sea and his fishing crew for company. People say being alone is terrible, but he’s never had any problems with it.

Then his peaceful life is thrown into upheaval when he finds an injured merman washed up on the shore. With no idea what else to do, Ian takes the merman home and nurses him back to health.

But as he helps S’mika heal, a bond begins to form, and Ian starts to wonder if maybe there is more to life than being alone…

Excerpt

Sea Lover
J.K. Pendragon © 2021
All Rights Reserved

He found the merman on the beach as the sun was setting orange over the horizon and the waves were turning a deep green with foamy, silver tips. The tide was going out, and every time the waves washed over the body lying prone in the surf, they took swirls of dark blood with them.

Ian’s first thought was that it must be a seal, injured and washed up on the beach. He resolved to come back in the morning, drag the thing up to his cottage, and burn it so it didn’t rot and stink to high heaven for the next couple of weeks. But as he got closer, another wave washed in and rolled the figure up and over, so that it was lying on its back. As it rolled, Ian saw a long, spindly arm drop to the side and a mess of shiny, black hair.

He dropped the net and tackle he was carrying and ran, his heavy fishing boots sinking into the sand and catching on the rocks and seaweed as he sprinted towards the figure. He fell to his knees at the man’s side as the waves washed up over his body once more and was distracted for a moment, frantically checking vitals before he glanced over and saw the tail.

Ian sat back on his knees and gave a weak laugh. It had to be a joke. Some very realistic art project that had befallen unfortunate circumstances. But then the figure breathed and convulsed forward, coughing and spitting. Ian stared as the man, or boy—he didn’t look older than twenty—frantically pulled himself over onto his side and pressed his head to the sand, gagging. Then his face tightened, and he made a keening, painful noise, before glancing down at the thick, blubbery, black tail.

Without thinking, Ian lunged forward. “Don’t move,” he said hoarsely, and the boy looked up at him, his dark eyes showing no sign he understood what Ian was saying. His hair and skin were both dark, too, and Ian wondered briefly if the tail was some sort of cultural attire. Or maybe there was a movie filming in the area that he hadn’t heard about? Then he decided that it didn’t matter, because the boy was obviously badly injured, and he needed to get whatever it was off. He reached for his knife at his side and swore when he realised he’d left it in the bag with his tackle.

“Shit. Lie back.” He gently pushed on the boy’s shoulders so he understood. The boy complied, lying back with another whine of pain as Ian moved his hands down his torso, desperately trying to find the place where the brown skin met black pelt. He couldn’t.

“What is this?” he asked, flabbergasted. “How do I get it off?”

He glanced up in time for the boy to make a twisted face. The boy opened his mouth, obviously frustrated, and let out another high-pitched cry, followed by a noise that was halfway between a growl and a bark. Then his head whipped back, and he convulsed again, bringing the full weight of his tail up, and Ian saw the injury—a gash, deep enough to cut through the muscle and possibly tendons. It was difficult to see the depth of the injury, because blood was gushing up out of it as he thrashed.

The blood spattered Ian in the face, and he wiped at it, stunned. This was not normal. Being a fisherman meant he had to be able to handle himself in tense and stressful situations, and usually he was great at it, but this…? This was something else.

“Hey,” he said sharply as the boy writhed on the blood-soaked sand, obviously in terrible pain. “You need to stop moving. You’re only going to make it worse. Do you understand me?”

He didn’t know what he was going to do. He couldn’t possibly carry him, and trying to move him would only make things worse. He had his cell phone on him, but there was absolutely no reception out here. He should go and get help. Get his truck and drive it into town, letting emergency services know. But what would they do with something like this? Ian stared at the limp tail on the sand, blood gushing out of the warm, velvety, and obviously very real tail. His mind was in a fog, and all he could think about were news crews and scientists and Ripley’s Believe It or Not.

The boy was looking up at him now, his eyes glazing over a little.

“I-I’m gonna be back,” Ian stammered, standing jerkily. “Stay here.”

He ran the rest of the way home, not bothering to pick up the net and tackle he’d left on the ground, not letting himself think about anything until he’d jumped up into the seat of the old Chevy pickup and revved the engine. He stared at his wild eyes in the review mirror for a moment, wondering if he was going crazy. Then he put the truck into gear and screeched out of the driveway.

The seal-boy wasn’t moving when he got back. Ian drove the truck up next to him on the beach, tires skidding in the soft sand, and jumped out to check on him. His eyes were shut, the silvery sand coated his face and body, and his skin was cold and clammy. But he was still breathing. Ian got up again, pulling his heavy raincoat off as he lowered the tailgate. Then he went to the boy and wrapped the raincoat around him, moving his arms into position and rolling him onto the coat and into a bundle.

He staggered a little as he lifted. He was strong, but the boy was deadweight, and the tail was ridiculously heavy. The bleeding seemed to have slowed, and Ian hoped it wasn’t because he had bled out completely. He dropped the prone body onto the tailgate and jumped up to roll him onto his back again, checking for vitals. He was still alive, breathing shallowly, but Ian didn’t know if he was going to make it. Normally, he’d apply a tourniquet to the limb, but in this case, that didn’t seem to be an option.

He swore and pulled the tailgate shut, jumping over the side of the truck bed and hurtling himself into the cab. He tried to drive carefully, but he knew it wasn’t going to matter how gentle the ride was if the boy bled out before Ian could get at him with his medical supplies.

The sun had set completely by the time he pulled up to his cottage, and the porch light flicked on as he hurriedly unlocked the door and let himself in, swatting at the mosquitoes buzzing around him. He grabbed at the old striped couch, dragging it around so it could be easily accessed from the door, and then rifled through a cupboard, pulling out the old, dusty first aid kit.

When he got back out to the truck and lowered the tailgate, the boy was awake again, staring at him with glazed, frightened eyes.

“Come on,” said Ian in what he hoped was a gentle voice. He reached out and slid the raincoat forward, hauling the whole bundle up into his arms. The boy groaned, his voice sounding more human now, and distinctly pained, and Ian carried him into the house.

He kicked the door shut behind him and deposited the boy as gently as he could onto the couch. His hands were bloody again—Ian noticed as he fumbled for the light switch, illuminating the room with dusty, orange light that definitely wasn’t bright enough. Next to the couch, there was an old end table with a lamp, and he grabbed for it, fumbling to knock the shade off and set it up next to the tail, which was drooping off the couch and oozing blood onto the hardwood floor.

“Okay,” he said as he reached for the first aid kit. “It’s been a few years since med school. How many…five? I dropped out too.” He gave a hoarse little laugh. The boy was looking down at him through groggy eyes, and Ian knew he didn’t understand a word he was saying. But talking helped. “Not that I have any idea how to patch this up anyway,” he continued, pulling on his gloves hurriedly and opening a package of sterilized wipes. “I was trained to treat humans. And I’m guessing you are not that. This is gonna hurt, by the way.” A morphine drip would be nice. So would a sterile hospital bed. But this was as good as it was going to get.

The boy hissed as Ian wiped the wound clean, and when Ian pulled out a needle and cotton thread, he lifted his arms and tried to sit up.

“No!” said Ian sharply, raising a hand, and the boy sank back down, his eyes wide in a mixture of anger and fear. Ian finished sterilizing the needle and thread and held them out to show him. “I’m going to stitch the wound shut. I need to, okay? Or it’ll keep bleeding.”

The boy didn’t look reassured.

“I’m trying to help you,” said Ian firmly, eyes locked with him. “You need to trust me.”

“Trust me,” repeated the boy, so accurately that, for a moment, Ian thought he must speak English after all. He looked like he was thinking hard, which must have been difficult, considering the amount of pain and blood loss he’d suffered. Then he glanced down at the wound and back at Ian.

Ian took that for permission and started stitching. The boy was quiet as he did it, and Ian was worried he’d fallen asleep again. It was best he stay awake, at least until Ian could get some water into him. But when he glanced up, the boy was staring at him, flinching only slightly as the needle pierced the flesh.

“I’m Ian,” said Ian, touching his hand quickly to his chest. “I-an.”

“Ian,” said the boy, emphasizing the an a little too much. His voice was clear, and surprisingly deep, considering how young he looked. “Sss…” he said, and broke off into a hiss as Ian tightened and tied off the first stitch. “S’mika.”

“Smika?” mumbled Ian, wiping away a trickle of blood and pulling another stitch through.

The boy frowned at him. “S—” He made a glottal stop. “—mika.”

“S’mika,” said Ian, and laughed a little at how ridiculous this was. “What are you, S’mika?”

S’mika rattled off something in a language that Ian was absolutely certain he’d never heard before, but S’mika’s tone suggested he’d said something like “I can’t understand you, dumbass.”

Ian shook his head and continued working, his hands thankfully steady. S’mika groaned and lay back, and Ian quickly tied off the last stitch and moved up to check on him. He was shaking, and the skin around his mouth was dry and crusted white. A hand on his forehead confirmed he was clammy and feverish.

“Damn it,” said Ian, and he stood and rushed to the sink to pour a glass of water. He brought it back to S’mika, who looked at it, confused. “Like this,” said Ian, taking a drink of the water.

After watching carefully, S’mika took the glass in shaky hands and brought it to his lips. He made a face at it, as if it wasn’t acceptable somehow, before downing the whole glass and passing it back to Ian. Ian took it, feeling like he was the one in shock, and went back to bandaging the wound. “We need to elevate your…um, legs,” he said, once he’d finished taping the gauze to the soft pelt. “It’ll help with the blood loss.”

S’mika looked annoyed that he was talking so much, so Ian shut up, and S’mika let him lift his tail gently onto the arm of the couch. He’d never been too up close and personal with a seal, but he was pretty sure this was a seal tail. It was thick and blubbery, ending in two stunted flippers with claws. “I must be high out of my fucking tree,” he muttered. “Maybe I’ll wake up in the morning and this’ll all have been a really weird dream.”

He glanced at S’mika to see that his eyes were closed again, and Ian decided to leave him like that. If he died in the night…well, Ian would deal with that if it came to it. He suddenly felt incredibly tired. He’d been up before dawn and pulled a long day, and although he’d just celebrated his twenty-ninth birthday a month ago, he was starting to feel the wear and tear of hard living in his bones.

“I’m going to bed,” he said, gesturing at the door to the bedroom. “Call me if you need me.”

S’mika just looked at him, eyes heavy, but reassuringly a little more alert. “Ian,” he said, and Ian supposed that meant “Thank you.”

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NineStar Press | Books2Read

Book Review – 4 stars

Sea Lover is a quick, feel-good read.

The beginning was a bit awkward for me, but by the second chapter the author had immersed me in the story. I loved how sweet and innocent S’mika was compared to Ian’s more jaded personality. They were opposites in every way but complimented each other nicely. The way S’mika accepted that Ian was transgender was exactly what Ian needed. To be accepted and loved without conditions.

It was my first time reading anything by this author. I’ll definitely have to check out more if their books.

Sea Lover had a happily-for-now ending that left me feeling warm and fuzzy.

Disclaimer: I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Meet the Author

J.K. Pendragon is a Canadian author with a love of all things romantic and fantastical. They first came to the queer fiction community through m/m romance, but soon began to branch off into writing all kinds of queer fiction. As a bisexual and genderqueer person, J.K. is dedicated to producing diverse, entertaining fiction that showcases characters across the rainbow spectrum, and provides queer characters with the happy endings they are so often denied.

J.K. currently resides in British Columbia, Canada with a boyfriend, a cat, and a large collection of artisanal teas that they really need to get around to drinking. They are always happy to chat, and can be reached at jes.k.pendragon@gmail.com.

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Release Blitz: Weekend Girl by Alex Powell #LGBTQ #contemporaryromance @aa_powell @ninestarpress @GoIndiMarketing

Title: Weekend Girl

Series: Weekend Girl, Book One

Author: Alex Powell

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 06/21/2021

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: M/NB

Length: 57200

Genre: Contemporary, LGBTQIA+, Canada, alloromantic, aromantic, agender, pansexual, genderfluid, college, sexual harassment, manties, cross-dressing, transgender, #ownvoices, new adult

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Description

Ashley Kingston is a genderfluid university student with a major crush on attractive and charming Nolan. He seems just too perfect to be true. What happens when Ash meets Nolan while dressed as both a man, and a woman? And even more confusing, what happens when Nolan seems enamoured of both versions of Ash? A twisty-turny romance filled with fun and shenanigans.

Excerpt

Ashley Kingston sat in the bustling Davie Street cafe staring into his—Wait!

No.

Their cup. Their.

They had managed to misgender themself again, and honestly, it was getting old. Realizing they might not be a cis dude was like trying to find a bra that would fit their frame—sometimes it poked them in places not meant to be poked.

Speaking of bras, Ash had two new ones in their bag on the floor next to their feet. Normally, Ash wouldn’t have gone to a store to purchase clothes not meant for men, but their friend Bei Bei had gotten Ash’s measurements and pretended the bras were for her. One was a perfectly sensible beige number, but the other was fire-engine red, at Bei Bei’s insistence. Ash was nervous about trying them on, even when no one else was around, but what were they to do? Progress was progress.

They glanced over at their friend from the corner of their eye. Bei Bei was on her phone texting someone, running her hand through the short hair on one side of her head. Her undercut was brand spanking new.

Still not used to it? Ash frowned. The two of them were both trying something on for size. Bei Bei said she wanted to be the butchest of butch lesbians. She’d gone into the salon and had all of her long black hair cut off just that morning. Ash had watched as Bei Bei transformed before their eyes. What was it like to have long hair?

Ash ran a hand through their own dark-brown hair and sighed. Maybe one day.

“What are you moping for?” Bei Bei demanded. “We just had shopping therapy. I thought for sure you’d be happier now.”

“I’m not unhappy,” Ash started.

“But you are,” Bei Bei finished.

“I was just thinking—” Ash sighed again. “—what it might be like to have long hair, and I just…” They shrugged.

“Is that all?” Bei Bei said. “We can get you a wig.”

“I’m a starving student! As if I could afford a quality wig!”

“It doesn’t have to be expensive,” Bei Bei said. “I’ll help you find something nice but affordable online.”

“Okay,” Ash said, somewhat mollified. “I guess I was just blowing things out of proportion—again.”

“You really need to chill.” Bei Bei patted their arm. “I know, anxiety sucks.”

“At least my meds are somewhat stable. I have a mate back home who can hardly go outside some days.”

Bei Bei nodded sympathetically. The two sat in silence for a few moments, and Ash took a sip of their now-lukewarm London Fog. They licked a bit of foam off their lip. The world went on by outside the cafe window, and Ash watched from their place perched atop a bar-style stool, elbows resting on the counter running along the inside of the window.

“Ooh,” Bei Bei said. “She’s hot.”

A very tall Black girl with bantu knots and long legs walked by outside. Ash nodded. She was very attractive, and her barely there black shorts hugged her hips. Ash, who had known they were pansexual long before they figured out their gender, considered themself an equal-opportunity lover.

That is, when they even had a lover. Ash struggled to keep relationships, and they could never figure out why. It wasn’t a lack of attraction, and Ash enjoyed dating. But something always made the situation go sour.

The girl stopped for the traffic light on Davie and Granville, and Bei Bei and Ash looked on with interest. A loud group of tourists passed by the window, and when the group cleared, the girl looked back at them. Ash pretended to be very interested in the dregs of their drink.

Of course, Bei Bei kept on staring.

The girl turned and came towards them. Ash didn’t know what to do, so it was lucky their attention was on Bei Bei. The girl came into the cafe, making her way to where Ash and Bei Bei were sitting.

“Can I help you?” the Black girl asked.

Bei Bei’s eyes sparkled. “I’ve lost my phone. Do you mind calling it for me?”

The girl’s mouth twitched. “That the best you got?”

“Not by a long shot,” Bei Bei replied.

Bei Bei and the girl, who eventually introduced herself as Ouma, flirted away beside Ash. Ash pretended they had no idea who Bei Bei was, in spite of the fact she was sitting right there next to them.

Bei Bei kept running her hand through her newly shorn hair and biting her lip in obvious signs of attraction. Ouma was standing beside them with her hip cocked, head tilted. Ash looked at their phone and their Twitter page for a bit, waiting for Bei Bei and Ouma to finish with their flirting.

“Bye,” Ouma said, flashing a wave as she walked out the door.

“Oh my god, you are incorrigible,” said Ash as soon as Ouma was out of earshot.

“Got her number though,” Bei Bei smirked.

Ash rolled their eyes.

“You’ve got game, girl.”

“You just need more confidence, Ash,” Bei Bei said. “You’re plenty attractive to those who like enbies.”

The real problem was that Ash didn’t look non-binary. They looked like a cis guy. That could cause them trouble in the long run.

“I guess?” Ash said with another shrug. “I’m mostly worried that… Well. I’m trans. It’s a thing that gets a lot of people killed in a lot of places, especially when it comes to dating and sex.”

“Truth bomb time, I guess.” Bei Bei scratched the side of her head. “It’s hard enough being an Asian lesbian. Being trans is a whole other thing.”

Ash just nodded, tried to take another drink, and grimaced when they found their cup empty.

“I’d date a trans lesbian,” Bei Bei continued. “I know it doesn’t really make me special or anything. But I know of a ton of TERF lesbians who wouldn’t.”

Ash made a face at the mention of TERFs. They had enough to deal with at university without having to listen to some transphobe calling herself a feminist saying that trans people were gross. They felt gross a lot of the time anyway, but it got worse when people started calling trans people trash. Ash’s anxiety always skyrocketed if they saw people arguing on social media about it.

“I just want to find a person who would accept me for being genderfluid,” Ash said. “I’m always worried that anyone I’m interested in will turn out to be one of those binary sex-pushing assholes.”

It happened sometimes on Twitter. Somebody with a cute profile pic turned out to be awful, and it always made Ash angry, but also ashamed in a strange way. They hated that they felt ashamed sometimes of something like their identity, but it was still there sometimes, throbbing in their chest.

“I get it,” Bei Bei said. “I know you gotta be careful. But don’t shut yourself off completely.”

“I guess,” Ash said. “It’s not like I’m even used to thinking of myself as non-binary in the first place.”

“You have to start somewhere,” Bei Bei said.

Ash acknowledged this with a nod. Bei Bei got up to get another iced caramel macchiato, and Ash stared out the window at the people going by. Things were tough right now, so Ash had to be tougher.

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NineStar Press | Books2Read

Meet the Author

Alex is an author of LGBTQ+ romance. They live in northern Canada where it snows six months of the year. Currently, they are pursuing a PhD in English, but that won’t stop them from writing about space vampires or cyberpunk hackers or whatever else pops into their head. Mostly a SFF writer, Alex sometimes dabbles in other genres including contemporary romance.

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Release Blitz: Fair Youth by M. Dalto and Laynie Bynum #LGBTQ #contemporaryromance @Laynie_bee @ninestarpress @GoIndiMarketing

Title: Fair Youth

Author: M. Dalto and Laynie Bynum

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 06/07/2021

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Female/Female

Length: 76700

Genre: Contemporary, LGBTQIA+, lesbian, trans, writer, Hollywood, wealthy, retelling

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Description

Billie tried to make a small town life as a doctor’s fiancée work for her, but the dream of trading in Kentucky for the glitz and glamor of LA and selling her screenplays was too strong to fight. Unfortunately, the devil hides behind every corner in the City of Angels and she finds nothing but cockroach infested hotel rooms and broken dreams.

Everything changes when she meets an enigmatic and illustrious fellow writer named Kit. Struck with attraction and intrigue, Billie begins to question not only her dedication to her past life, but also her own sexuality. Kit comes with amazing connections and Billie’s work is getting more recognition than ever, until a powerful studio executive sets his sights on more than just her screenplays. His infatuation could cost Billie her career and, maybe, one of them their lives.

Excerpt

Andy’s shaggy brown hair was still unbrushed and fell into his eyes as he loaded my suitcases in the trunk of his hatchback. “I just don’t understand why you can’t do your writing thing here. People work remotely all the time.”

He slammed the top down with more force than necessary and slid into the driver’s seat, leaning across the center console to close the visor mirror in front of me where I was trying to fix my makeup. It was a constant point of contention between the two of us, but despite the early flight, I didn’t want to arrive in Los Angeles looking like a zombie. Slightly annoyed and overly defiant, I reached in my purse and pulled out a little compact mirror.

“We’ve talked about this, Andy. I need to be where the people are. I need to make connections.” I tried to make my voice as nonconfrontational as possible, but the moment it left my lips, I knew he would take it as condescension.

He started the car and pulled out onto the main road where corn fields flanked us on either side. Tapping his fingers on the steering wheel to an imaginary beat to keep himself calm, he spoke evenly. “Billie, the wedding was supposed to be in a month. What am I supposed to tell everyone?”

I pinched the bridge of my nose and stifled a sigh. “The wedding isn’t off. It’s just delayed until I get back.”

This was the same conversation we had daily for the past month, going over and over the same answers he was fishing for now.

No, it’s not you.

Yes, I will come home.

It’s only for work.

Doing a crappy thing to someone you love was hard, especially when you were well aware how crappy the thing is. Having to postpone the wedding sucked, but staying in that small town, getting married and being tied down to a life of domestic bliss—always wondering about the what-ifs—I couldn’t do it until I at least tried to make my own dreams come true.

Marriage was a fine idea back when we were seventeen and thought forever meant anything past graduation.

It was a great idea when we were eighteen and all of our friends were breaking up with their own high school sweethearts while we were still going strong.

It was the perfect idea last year when, due to a pregnancy scare, we finally decided it was time.

My gut reaction was initially overwhelming happiness at the thought of starting a family, but with each florist appointment, each cake tasting, each dress alteration—I started wondering if I was ready. You didn’t see many struggling screenwriters with babies on their hips, much less ones without any formal education.

I finished my mascara and closed the compact mirror. “I have to do this, Andy.”

“At the cost of leaving behind everyone who loves you, apparently.” His voice was barely a whisper under his breath, but it was still clear over the hum of the car engine and the wind coming through his open window.

Even though he was right, the words cut to the bone. I couldn’t stay any longer. I couldn’t deal with the small-minded people of Avon, Kentucky or their even smaller dreams for one more moment. There were words inside me, and they were clawing to get out into the world. The universes in my mind begged to be put to paper and then to screen. I wanted to be where the action was. The city of angels was going to change my life, or at least that’s what I told myself as he walked me into the airport.

“This is as far as I can go, Bill,” he said as he set my bags down right outside of the first security checkpoint.

I looked up at him, all six-foot-four of him, with an apology in my eyes I could only pray he understood. Pride stopped me from saying all of the things I should have.

I love you.

I’ll miss you.

Please don’t grow to hate me while I’m gone.

Instead, I cracked a smile before wrapping him in a tight embrace. “I’ll call as soon as I land,” I promised into the fabric of his plaid shirt.

He smoothed my wavy hair with one hand while the other pulled me closer into him. “I’ll miss you every moment.”

I broke away. If I stayed, I knew I’d cry, and I was not the kind of person to cry in an airport.

As I grabbed my bags and headed through security, I turned around to look at him one last time. He stood still amongst the crowd of bustling, busy people moving around him, his eyes locked on me.

I blew him a kiss, and through the roar of the background noise, he yelled, “Break a leg, Wilhelmina Shakespeare.”

After hours on the stuffy, cramped flight, the sprawling, massive LAX airport felt like a city unto itself. Shops and restaurants peppered the walls, and it took nearly an hour just to walk out of the exit.

Before I left home, Andy told me to use Uber until I learned how to get around because traffic was hell. I pulled up the app, still unsure how it all worked, and requested a car.

Which I probably should have done earlier, since the wait for the car to arrive left me sitting outside of the airport on top of my drug-store-quality suitcase and staring at the people passing in and out. Bright neon lights started to come on, thanks to the four-hour delay we experienced at my layover in Chicago. Palm trees swayed back and forth among the divided pavement in front of me.

I expected Los Angeles to smell like sea breeze and big dreams, but in reality, it was mostly gas fumes and vapor clouds from a nearby smoking area under the concrete awning.

A red Subaru pulled up in front of me, and the driver rolled down the window. She looked at the phone in her hand and then looked at me. “You don’t look like a Billie.”

I stood up and grabbed my bags. “Well, it’s Wilhelmina on my birth certificate, but most people try to call me Willa when I tell them that.”

She motioned to the back door, and I opened it, sliding in with my bags beside me.

“Strange. Would have thought they would try to call you Willy,” she said as she looked at me in the rearview mirror.

I screwed up my face. “Maybe Willa isn’t that bad after all.”

“So, we’re heading to Pepper Place Hotel?” She turned around in the seat, her eyes looking me up and down, judging me with every cell in her body. “You sure?”

“What’s wrong with Pepper Place? It looked pretty nice online.”

“Oh, sweetie,” she said as she turned around and put the car into drive. “Welcome to Los Angeles. Where the pictures are fake and the people are plastic.”

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NineStar Press | Books2Read

Meet the Author

M. and Laynie have written both separately and together, and have hit Amazon bestseller rank both ways. M.’s work includes The Empire Series (Two Thousand Years, Mark of the Empress, and the accompanying novellas) published by Parliament House Press, and Cut to the Bone, set to be published by Filles Vertes Publishing in 2021. Laynie’s debut novel, Adeline’s Aria, was published in January with Fire and Ice YA. Together they have published Faust University, included in the Academy of Magic box set by Enchanted Quill Press and Escaping the Grey in the Prison of Supernatural Magic box set. When writing together they combine their strengths to create unique queer characters with sass and backbone in both the contemporary romance and romantic fantasy genres.

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

Tactical Difficulties (Lady Troubles 3)

Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Angela Knight

 

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

 

Get it TODAY at Changeling Press

EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2019 Emily Carrington

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I don’t want to waste –” she began.

“Hush. Time with you is never wasted.”

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

Sonya waited.

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

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

Maxine shuddered with pleasure.

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

 

More from Emily at Changeling Press …

 

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

Practical Difficulties (Lady Troubles 2)

Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Angela Knight

 

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

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

 

Get it TODAY at Changeling Press

or Pre-Order for October 18th at retailers

   

 

EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2019 Emily Carrington

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

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

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

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

She cursed her mate before she could stop herself.

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

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

She made an exasperated noise, very quietly.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Was Maxine in crisis?

 

More from Emily at Changeling Press …

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

Website: http://emilycarrington.com

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