Thursday, April 27, 2017

TIED TO YOU is here by Riley Hart


This is my favorite book I've written in a while and I'm so excited it's finally here!!



Miles Sorenson prides himself on his brutal honesty. Facts and logic are a hell of a lot easier to deal with than emotions. He’s got his career and a small, close-knit group of friends, and he doesn’t need nor want anything else. The total opposite of Quinn Barker, who doesn’t take life too seriously and thinks a good laugh can cure anything.

When Quinn takes Miles home, it’s supposed to be a one-time deal. Except they really click in the sack and end up spending the weekend together, enjoying each other's bodies as much as their company…to Miles’s dismay. Matters get even more muddled when, months later, they run into each other at the popular West Hollywood bar, Wild Side, and pick up right where they left off.

On the surface, Quinn and Miles are like oil and water, but the draw between them is undeniable. As their lives further entwine, they realize there’s more to their connection than the way they singe the sheets together.

But demons from the past have a way of catching up, and no matter how strong the link is tying Miles and Quinn together, the pressure may be enough to make it snap.

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

iBooks



"I became wholeheartedly involved in the beautiful imperfection that was Miles and Quinn." ~ Sinfully Gay Book Reviews

"All the feels, fun snarky humor, and holy steaming HOTTT!" ~ Jessica Rose

"I was surprised that my Ipad didn't catch fire !!!" ~ Wendy--Dirty Book Obsession

"Tied to You was the 5 star read I didn't see coming but will never forget." ~ Jordan--Alpha Book Club

"Riley builds a world that you want to live in; friends that you want to hang out with." ~ Heather Martin


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Do You Love Shifters? - Dirk Greyson Does!!!


Dirk Greyson, Andrew Grey's alter ego, is releasing the first in a new series, Lost Mate on May 1 and I wanted to share a little about it.  I love shifter stories and this one touched my heart.  How would you feel if you met your mate for 2 weeks when you were twelve, and then didn't see him again?  Always knowing he was out there, but not knowing where he was.  Then once you did find him, what would you give up to keep him?



Wolf shifter Falco Gladstone knew Carter McCloud was his mate when they were in seventh grade, but school and the foster care system tore them apart. Years later, Falco is second in command of his Michigan pack, serving under an uncle who cares more about his own power than the welfare of their people. The alpha orders Falco to marry and produce offspring—but Falco’s already found his mate, and mates are forever.
Carter’s lonely life is turned upside down when he detects a familiar scent on the wind. The mates might have found each other, but their happily ever after is far from guaranteed. Falco’s commitment to Carter puts him at odds with his uncle’s plans, and when one of the alpha’s enforcers starts shadowing the couple, something must be done—something that will either cement their relationship or destroy it once and for all.




Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Writing Favorites from BA, Julia, Kiernan and Sean


Today we answer some age old writing meta!

Series or standalones?

Long novels or short stories?

What's the best review you ever got?

Music, TV or no noise?

HEA or HFN?

BA says: 1. Series. 2. my sweet spot is 55K. 3. This book reads like a Garth Brooks song EEEEEEE! 4. Music. Playlists are my life. 5. HEA all the way. I don't write HFN.

Kiernan says: Standalone, usually, but there are series I adore. Jean Auel's Earth's Children series is one of them. Short stories are my secret vice. Okay, maybe not so secret. I like to read short and write short. One for Changing Jamie from a woman who ran an AIDS organization in Africa, who thanked me for writing the book. Silence! I can't hear the voices in my head unless it's quiet. Either way. Sometimes an hfn just works better. Sometimes the story calls for it.

Sean says: 1. Both? I love doing series, but some characters just want their story and to be done. 2. If you’d asked me 10 years ago I would have said short stories. Now if it’s not a novel, I’d better start with guys who are already together and they need to be watched very carefully. 3. It wasn’t an official review, but I got an email letting me know that my books got the reader through the roughest year of their life. That meant the world to me. 4. I can do all three depending on my mood. 5. My happy place is HEA.

Julia says: Series are so much damn fun! Short stories, though 20-30K novellas are my lifeblood. I had a lady tell me she didn't approve of gay marriage until she read a short I put out, and then she clicked.

Music or TV. I need stimuli.

HEA though more than once I have been accused of HFN and gone, huh?

http://www.seanmichaelwrites.com

Julia’s is http://www.juliatalbot.com

BA’s is http://www.batortuga.com

Kiernan's is www.KiernanKelly.com

Facebook:

Sean -- https://www.facebook.com/SeanMichaelWrites

Julia -- https://www.facebook.com/juliatalbotauthor

BA -- https://www.facebook.com/batortuga

Kiernan -- https://www.facebook.com/kiernan.kelly

Monday, April 24, 2017

Holocaust Remembrance Day by Cardeno C.


I try to live every day being the kind of person they'd be proud of. The kind of person who makes a difference because my grandparents got lucky and they did not. I have the privilege to be here and not a day goes by that I forget who I'm missing. To the family I lost and the family I wasn't fortunate enough to have: I won't forget you.


Cardeno C.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Re-Release! Hard-Ass Is Here by S.C. Wynne


Hello, all!

I have a new re-release that just came out. It was my very first MM romance that was published. Loose
Id was the wonderful publisher that took a chance on me and I'll never forget how exciting that first acceptance was.

It's about two men who work at a financial firm where someone is stealing money.

Amazon US

Amazon UK

EXCERPT:
“So you’ve been spying on us?”

“Yes.” His gaze was inscrutable. “Mostly on you.”

Harry made a choking sound, but I sat still and held Phillip’s gaze.

He was most likely feeling me out. Trying to see if what he was saying made me nervous. What he said didn’t. The way he was watching me and expecting me to be bothered did.

“A big chunk of money is missing. You’d be stupid not to watch me too.” I tried to sound casual. I mean, I wasn’t the thief. I had nothing to be concerned about. Still, I felt like a bug in a petri dish under his intent gaze.

“You’re taking the news quite well.”

“I already assumed we’re all being scrutinized. It’s not a secret that money is missing. I suggested it might be an inside job to my last boss over a month ago,” I answered, as sweat prickled under my collar. I hoped he really wanted to catch the actual thief and wouldn’t just want to use me as a scapegoat so he could wrap things up.

“Yes, you did. It was in his notes.” Watchful silence followed his answer.

“But?”

“You just don’t seem that concerned,” he said. “Money’s disappearing and you seem oddly calm.”

Ha! Calm? I feel like I’m about to have a stroke, boss.

“I’m concerned, of course. Like everyone in the company.” I attempted to stifle my resentment at his accusatory tone. “And for the record I’ve been busting my ass to catch this guy. Guy. Gal. Whoever.”

“Maybe you don’t really want them caught.”

Jesus, he really could be a dick. “Theft retention hasn’t found the leak either.”

“I’m well aware.”

“So why are you busting my balls so hard?”

“It’s connected to the New York account, and I believe that’s your baby?”

He was right. That account was my responsibility. I’d gone over the numbers from the New York account so many times I almost had them memorized. Hell, he’d given me the pleasure of going over them again. But I couldn’t figure out where the money was going, or who was making it disappear.
I sat back on my bar stool. I didn’t say anything right away. I just stared at him, and he stared back. His silence and my inebriated state weren’t a great mix.

“You have nothing to say in your defense? No excuses you think I might buy?” He sounded smug.

Angry heat warmed my face. “No disrespect, but I thought you were trying not to sound like a dick?”

Obvious surprise slid through Phillip’s gaze like a water moccasin, but he hid it quickly.

“Now, Taylor… that’s no way to talk to your new boss.”

I jumped when Harry spoke. I’d forgotten he was still there. He watched me as if I were a car bomb about to explode.

“Appreciate the backup, Harry. But I think I’ve got this.” Phillip’s voice was smooth as cream.

I knew I should apologize for basically calling him a dick, but I couldn’t quite make myself do it. I’d been stressed out about the New York account for months, and he was going to waltz in here, bury me in busywork, and accuse me of being the thief? As far as my drunk ass was concerned, he owed me an apology.

“Why don’t we rewind?” Phillip asked. “Try looking at it from my point of view for just one minute.”

“I don’t happen to have an ivory tower at my disposal.”

His mouth hardened. “A lot of money is missing, Taylor. I’m not just picking on you because you’re a lower pay grade. This is serious.”

“Yeah. I know,” I snapped. “If you think I don’t take this seriously, you’re dead wrong.”

“I’d like to think I am.” He leaned forward, and his leg brushed mine. If he hadn’t been staring at me like I stole the Mona Lisa, I might have acknowledged the jolt of electricity his touch sent through me.

“Trust me, this shit weighs on me day and night,” I muttered.

“You seem like a nice enough fellow.” He touched the rim of his glass.

“But…?”

“But my problem is… it always leads back to you and that damn New York account.”

“So I guess I should just confess, guilty or not, because that would be more convenient for you?”

“That would be easier,” he said.

Smashed as I was, it occurred to me that this was an odd setting to be having this conversation in. If I were the thief, confronting me in a bar would not only be an HR nightmare, but it could be dangerous. He should have pulled me into his office. So he wasn’t sure the thief was me. Maybe he was trying to get a sense of who I was by pushing my buttons when I’d had a few? It seemed risky business to me, but then, I wasn’t a hard-ass like him.

“You know, if I was stealing from the company, this little get-together would be a very bad idea.” I tossed back the rest of my drink.

He laughed, and the sight was a beautiful thing. His entire face lit up, and his greenish-brown eyes sparkled. Even his laugh was amazing, infectious, and husky. Why did he have to be so fucking gorgeous?

“Are they going to find me stuffed in your car trunk?” The idea seemed to amuse him greatly.

Harry’s voice broke in. “Taylor’s not violent. Not… not usually. Just that one time.”

Are you fucking kidding me, Harry? You’re gonna say that in front of my new boss?


My face warmed. “Thanks a lot, Harry.” I gave Harry a look that could have killed, and he jumped up. I’m sure the veins in my neck were bulging from the strain of not lunging across the bar and strangling Harry.

Release date is April 14th!

S.C.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Questions, Questions by Felice Stevens


I'm dusting off the questions and answering some that readers have asked me over the past few months.

1. Pizza or Tacos?
That's a cruel question. It's a toss up.

2. Red wine or white? 
Definitely red. White gives me a headache.

3. Has your family ever read your books? 
Well I know my husband and daughter haven't. My son, probably not, but he likes to check in on my Amazon page he's told me. So who knows. And I know my husband hasn't. He's still trying to figure me out. LOL.

4. Is your mind full of plot bunnies?
Not always. But one book can lead to another, as you know. In my next release, Once Call Away, Noah, the radio show psychologist has a bisexual brother, Jeremy whose boyfriend Blake has inexplicably left him. Why? Where is Blake and why won't he talk to Jeremy?  Perhaps we'll find out.

I am writing a book, with a tentative title I'm not going to reveal just yet, that is Rico and Adam's story. Rico was Gideon's partner from Learning to Love and Adam was the probie firefighter in Beyond the Surface. I never intended to give Adam his story but so many people asked for him, and putting him together with Rico was a no brainer. Be prepared for some major sexy times with those two because they may say they don't want a relationship but they can't keep their hands off each other.

But after One Call Away, my next release is The Shape of You, the story of quiet, overweight Eric and the troubled too-thin artist, Corey. That was a story that just popped up into my head and pushed everything else out of the way until it was written. So I guess the answer is, one never knows where the stories will come from, but they are there waiting to pounce.

Well, that's all I have for this week. Next week's column is release day so I'll have a special excerpt just for you guys!.

Happy Reading and have a great week!



Thursday, April 20, 2017

TIED TO YOU coming next week by Riley Hart


Hello. I'm really excited about the release of TIED TO YOU, on Tuesday, April 25th and I realized I'd never shown the cover here. Well that's going to change today.

This is book two in the Wild Side series and is actually one of my favorite books I've written in a long time. Miles and Quinn stole my heart! They're full of witty banter which is one of my favorite things to write. And it's sexy...really, really sexy. LOL.

Add TIED TO YOU to Goodreads HERE.

Miles Sorenson prides himself on his brutal honesty. Facts and logic are a hell of a lot easier to deal with than emotions. He’s got his career and a small, close-knit group of friends, and he doesn’t need nor want anything else. The total opposite of Quinn Barker, who doesn’t take life too seriously and thinks a good laugh can cure anything.

When Quinn takes Miles home, it’s supposed to be a one-time deal. Except they really click in the sack and end up spending the weekend together, enjoying each others’ bodies as much as their company…to Miles’s dismay. Matters get even more muddled when, months later, they run into each other at the popular West Hollywood bar, Wild Side, and pick up right where they left off.

On the surface, Quinn and Miles are like oil and water, but the draw between them is undeniable. As their lives further entwine, they realize there’s more to their connection than the way they singe the sheets together.

But demons from the past have a way of catching up, and no matter how strong the link is tying Miles and Quinn together, the pressure may be enough to make it snap.


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Excerpts from BA, Julia, Kiernan and Sean


From Sean Michael

from Branded by Flames out now from Carina Press

Chapter One

“For fuck’s sake, man. If you set my yard on fire, I’m gonna kick your ass.”

Shae pulled his welder’s mask up. “Go away. I’m working.” He didn’t really expect that to get Bryan moving, though, so he turned off the torch. “And if you raked the fucking leaves more than once a year it wouldn’t be a goddamned problem.” He steadied himself on the ladder and shot his neighbor a look. Couldn’t Bryan see he was attaching wings here? It was a delicate fucking process. “Besides, I haven’t set a real fire in, uh…ages.”

Bryan stared up at him, hands on his hips. It would have been a more effective look if Bryan hadn’t needed a haircut so badly. “Uh. Two months ago. Rosebush. And you can shove your opinions about the state of my lawn up your ass.”

Shae briefly contemplated lighting the torch again and setting the overlong hair on fire. It would take only a spark or two. This was the problem with having a best friend as his neighbor. He couldn’t get away with anything. “That wasn’t a real fire—more a singeing. Those don’t count.” Besides, you couldn’t weld without at least a little fire. Not to mention he was working on a dragon. They demanded fire. It was a thing.

“I’m serious, asshole. I will single-handedly beat you to death if you’re not careful. Someone could get hurt.”

Like it wouldn’t hurt, getting beaten to death. “Yeah, yeah. I’m busy. On deadline. Shoo.” On deadline and this dragon was being pushy, demanding his attention, insisting he get it done now. He’d barely slept in the last three days. The need to bring the dragon to life was riding him like an addiction.

“Deadline? I thought you were an artist. You artsy-fartsy types don’t do deadlines.” Now Bryan was stalling. Douche bag.

“Artists have deadlines, unlike shitty mechanic deadbeats.” He pulled down his welder’s mask and laid down another line of weld, making sure to cover Bryan with a shower of sparks. He was busy. Working. Making magic out of metal, for fuck’s sake.

Bryan jumped back. “Hey! Asshole! Don’t make me call the fire department.”

Like he had time for a visit from the fire department. Good thing he didn’t believe Bryan was really here for more than just conversation and possibly hoping Shae would have time for a beer while they watched the game on Shae’s brand-new sixty-inch curved TV. “You’re jealous because you don’t have a big torch like mine.” He was building a twelve-foot-tall dragon out of scrap for a ren faire outside Toronto. It rocked the fucking world, if he did say so himself, with its fierce face, its ginormous wings and about five zillion scales.

“My torch is plenty big, thank you very much.” Bryan flipped him off. “I’ll be back after the game with a couple beers.”

“Sounds good. I got a couple steaks, huh?” He could handle a nice red meat injection. And hopefully he’d be done by nightfall. Even if he wasn’t, he’d worked well into the night last night and wasn’t sure he could safely keep going much past suppertime today.

“Perfect. We can roast them on that giant barbecue you’re building.” Bryan cackled and headed back inside his house.

Shae patted the dragon on its mostly welded head. He needed to finish welding on the ruffles. He’d sand them to different textures later. The important thing was getting everything set in place. “Don’t listen to the asshole. He wouldn’t know art if you walked up and bit him in the ass.”

Shae started chuckling softly, as he imagined his dragon biting Bry’s round ass. They’d fucked a couple times, but man, the chemistry was non-fucking-existent and they worked much better as friends. That didn’t mean he couldn’t admire the view as Bryan sashayed his way back to his place.

He shook himself out of his woolgathering. The last thing he needed was to wind up at the ER for self-inflicted burns. They gave out Darwin awards for shit like that. It was easy enough to sink back into the work, to let the dragon-building take him over.

He added scales after he finished with the ruffles. They were going to shine like crazy when he’d polished them. He turned the music up in his headphones, the driving industrial beat the perfect accompaniment to his need to get the dragon finished. It was funny, though. He didn’t remember sirens in this song. Or flashing lights.

He looked up, lifting his mask, trying to figure out what the fuck was going on. Jesus Christ there was a fucking fire truck in front of his place and two fully dressed firefighters coming his way.

Oh, for fuck’s sake. “Hey, guys.” He waved and turned off the torch, biting back the swear words that wanted out. He had a fucking permit and he was goddamned busy. The last thing he needed was yet another interruption.

The taller of the two nodded to him. “Afternoon, sir.”

“Howdy. Let me guess, new neighbors?” Because Shae knew damn well that Bryan wouldn’t call, no matter what he’d said.

“We had a call…” The guy checked out the dragon behind Shae, really looking it over.

Shae watched, scoping the guy out just as closely. There were amazing muscles beneath the heavy gear, and Shae hadn’t seen a face that square and good-looking in quite a while. The guy ran a hand along the dragon’s flank, stroking it like it was real. Shae had to preen at that. He had to.

The firefighter finally turned his attention back to Shae. “We’ll have to see your permit.”

Shae sighed. As soon as he’d seen the fire engine, he’d known this was coming. He hoped they didn’t take any more of his time than they had to, hunky dudes or not. “Just a sec.” He shimmied down the ladder and turned the gas off. “Come on, guys. Into the studio, otherwise known as the garage.”

“You got this, Jake?” the second firefighter asked.

“Yep. You go ahead and talk to the folks who called it in.”

“On it.”

Jake the firefighter turned back to him. The man had green eyes. Like the leaves in spring, just out of the bud. “Lead on.”

“You got it.” Shae pondered storming to the neighbor’s house and educating them about the value of talking to your neighbor before jumping to conclusions, but really, that would make it longer before he could get back to work, and even with the distraction of the hot body in front of him, his fingers itched to be working. “You must be new, too.”

“Transferred in from Guelph. I take it this is a regular thing?” Jake looked around, clearly curious, interested.

“Used to be. Hasn’t been in a long time, though. Five years, give or take?” He’d finally trained everyone in the neighborhood not to panic over a little welding. Or else they’d gotten tired of fruitlessly calling him in.

“Yeah? Why’d you give it up?” Jake lounged against a counter, filling the space. Staring at him, the look almost a physical touch.

“Give what up?” It had been the neighbors who got used to the smoke, the flame, the smell of burning, who’d come to learn he had a permit and wasn’t doing anything illegal.

“Making art. You said it used to be a regular…” Jake laughed, the sound sliding along Shae’s spine. “I got the wrong end of the stick, didn’t I? You meant we haven’t had to come out here in that time.”

“Ah. Yes. That’s exactly what I meant.” He bent over to dig through his file cabinet, searching for the permit.

Jake made a weird noise, something between a cough and a groan.

“You okay, man?” He found it and pulled the folder out, offering it over.

Okay, firemen were hot, no matter where they were.

“Yeah. Just a tickle in my throat.” Jake stepped in closer than was necessary to take the permit from him, seeming to tower over him. And looking at him instead of the permit. At him. This hot, young firefighter. Fuck him raw. And also yum.

Jake finally examined Shae’s permit. “Looks good, man.” Jake took another half step closer and reached past him to put the permit on his workbench. Looking right at him, Jake smiled. “Sorry we bothered you.”

Shae had to swallow twice before he could reply. “No worries. Really. I needed to take a break anyway.” He took a good look, because damn. Stacked to the ceiling, broad shouldered and fine—jack-off material for miles. Of course he would totally tap that. Unless he was reading the signs wrong, all he had to do was say something. And if he was wrong? At least the guy was almost done and his embarrassment would last only a short while.

“I’ve got to get back to the truck.” Jake straightened, looking around. “I’d love to come back and check out more of your art after shift, though. The piece out on the lawn is incredible.”

That’s right. This hot young stud was so into his artwork that Jake wanted to come back and see more. He walked a little taller, knowing that Jake was looking for a reason to sniff around.

“Sure, man. I’m here all night.” Wait, that sounded pervy as hell, didn’t it?

Jake smiled, and the look went straight to Shae’s balls, like they needed another reason to tighten up and ache. “I’ll be back.”

“That’s what they all say.” Oh yeah. Fantasies for days. With him and Jake in the starring roles. Who would have thought it?

“You think I won’t be?” Jake grinned, but the look in his eyes was intense. “I don’t say things I don’t mean.”

“Sure you do. All guys do.” Shae knew damn well people said shit that wasn’t true all the time. To you and about you.

Jake straightened and flexed for him, and even in the full gear, that was a fucking sexy thing. “You’ve been hanging out with the wrong guys.”

“Have I now?” He chuckled softly and caught himself licking his lips, indulging in a little daydream of sucking a well-hung cock, one of those hands in his hair. It had been too long since anyone had been able to handle him that he’d given up thinking anybody would again. In the end, he could always trust himself to get the job done.

“If I’m the first guy you know who tells the truth? Then yeah, you have.” Jake looked him up and down. “We can talk more about that later this evening when I come back.”

So Jake really was going to come over? He’d believe it when it happened. That didn’t mean he wouldn’t encourage Jake, tilt the scales in his favor. “Works for me, man. I’ll be the one with the beer in the backyard.” And if everything Jake said made him want to roll over onto his back and pant like a dog, well, that could be his little secret.

“I like mine cold. The beer that is—I take my men hot.” Jake gave him another look, before he turned and sauntered out.

Shae leaned over, watching that hot ass go the entire length of the house and then the walkway. “Mmm-mmm. Tasty goodness.”

Not that this guy was going to tap him. Not on the first night and maybe not ever. He needed a certain kind of man with a lot of patience and a shitload of control to get him off. Someone who wasn’t a younger Dom. He’d done younger Dom—been there, done that and decided not to pay for the T-shirt. Still, he could pretend he was getting laid by Mr. Hot-As-Fuck-Firefighter, right?

The flashing lights turned off, and the truck slowly trundled down the street, taking the burning-hot firefighter with it.

Focus for work entirely broken, Shae went to get his equipment stored and cleaned up. He didn’t know if Mr. Hottie would be back, but if Jake showed, Shae wanted to be ready.

Buy it here!

From Kiernan Kelly

From the Eye of Ra from Harmony Ink

Eye of Ra by Dakota Chase

Releasing May 16th, 2017

https://www.harmonyinkpress.com/books/the-eye-of-ra-by-dakota-chase-469-b

Blurb: Both Aston and Grant have a talent for finding trouble—it’s what landed them at the Stanton School for Boys—but this time, their mischief might send them to a completely different world.

When they accidentally destroy their teacher’s priceless archeological artifacts, he demands they replace them. And since the teacher in question is Merlin, refusing isn’t an option for the two boys. Thanks to Merlin’s magic, they’re about to become time travelers.

The first piece on their list is the Eye of Ra, a mystical amulet belonging to the young King Tut. Ancient Egypt is nothing like Aston and Grant expected with its war, disease, and lack of modern technology. To survive, they’ll have to befriend King Tut and learn to trust him—and each other. In a primitive world where death and danger wait around every corner, one thing is clear: revisiting history could cost someone their life.

Excerpt:

“Mr. Walsh and Mr. Vaughn? Kindly remain after class. I need to speak with you both.”

My stomach dropped into my sneakers as my fragile new hope died a swift but painful death. I was so screwed. He knew it was us all along and had just been playing with our heads, lulling us into a false sense of security. I was going to spend the next ten to twenty years of my life in the penitentiary with a cellmate named Bubba. I just knew it.

Vaughn and I exchanged a troubled glance and remained in our seats as the rest of the class filed out of the room. A few tossed us looks of sympathy as they left, although I had to wonder if they knew the seriousness of our troubles. They probably just thought we hadn’t done our homework or something. I could only wish it was something that trivial.

When the last student had gone, Ambrosius stood up and walked to the door, closing and locking it.

Locking it? My fear of being arrested was suddenly displaced by a new terror. What if Ambrosius was crazy and had decided killing us would be justified since we’d destroyed his office and his collection? After all, he did keep an office bursting to the seams full of old junk. Or, used to, that is. How much was all that crap we burned up worth, anyway? Thousands? Millions? People had been murdered for a lot less than that.

No, I told myself firmly, don’t be stupid. He’s a teacher, not a serial killer. He’s not going to pull a knife on you or anything.

I hoped.

He walked toward us, the look on his face unreadable, but I was happy to see that he kept both of his hands in plain sight and, unless he planned on beating my head in with the blackboard eraser, there were no weapons anywhere that I could see.

“Gentlemen, as I’m sure you’re well aware, we have a problem to discuss. I’ve pondered long and hard over it for the past couple of days, and I’ve come to a decision. Now, first things first… we all know who is responsible for the fire in my office, don’t we?”

I instantly opened my mouth to deny my involvement, but Ambrosius held up his hand and the lie died on my tongue.

“Please, do not insult my intelligence by trying to convince me of your innocence. We, all three of us, know the truth. The problem we need to discuss is what I should do about it.” His steely blue eyes looked from me to Vaughn and back again. “I could inform Principal Meek and the police that I sent you to my office just before the fire broke out. Such a course of action would no doubt result in your arrest, trial, and subsequent incarceration.”

I felt the blood drain from my face, sure that my worst nightmare was coming true.

“Fortunately for you, I am aware that the fire was an accident. You were arguing, and your tempers got the best of you. That you did not purposely set the fire is the only reason I have not yet gone to the police.”

“H-how did you know?” Vaughn asked, and I could’ve belted him a good one right there. He’d just admitted that, not only was Ambrosius right, that we’d been there, but that we’d been fighting and were the cause of the fire!

“I know many things, young man,” Ambrosius answered, waving the question away. “How I come about my information is none of your concern.” He perched on the edge of the desk in front of us, and folded his hands. Those hands looked ancient; his skin was as thin as tracing paper, and I could see the squiggles of blue veins just beneath the surface. “I know you didn’t mean to set the fire. Had you come to me straightaway, we would not be having this conversation. Accidents can and do happen, but you took the coward’s way out, hoping no one would find out. You have both been in trouble with the law before, several times, from what I understand. You must learn that there is a price we must pay for our actions.”

“I’m really sorry, Professor,” I said. I saw Vaughn nodding his head, and added, “We both are.”

“Being sorry will not replace the artifacts I have lost, nor erase the possibility that someone may have been injured or killed in that fire. That said, since I do believe the damage was the result of an accident, I have decided to give you a choice.”

“A choice?” I asked, exchanging a confused look with Vaughn. He didn’t know where this was headed any more than I did.

“Yes. Accident or no, I must demand either restitution or justice. You can either agree to procure items I lost in the fire, or you can go to jail and serve the sentence for whatever crime the authorities find you guilty of perpetrating.”

Procure the items? I couldn’t afford to buy a bar of soap, never mind any of the uber-expensive things Ambrosius had lost in the fire. Maybe Vaughn’s family had enough cash on hand, but mine didn’t. Heck, my dad was so fed up with me that even if he did have the funds, I doubted he would have paid up.

“I don’t have any money,” I confessed. “My family doesn’t either. I guess I could get an after-school job.” I tried to sound hopeful but failed. If Ambrosius’s collection was worth half of what I suspected, I’d never be able to earn enough to pay him back, not in one lifetime.

“Do you have any idea of the cost of the artifacts destroyed by the fire? They were irreplaceable. Priceless,” Ambrosius said, scowling at me.

“But you just said one of our choices was to replace them!”

“No, I certainly did not. You weren’t listening, Mr. Walsh, which I suspect is business as usual for you. What I said was that you could procure them. There’s a distinct difference.”

“I-I don’t understand.”

“Me, either,” Vaughn put in. He’d been quiet up until then, and I wondered why. Surely Mr. Four-Names-And-A-Rolex’s dad would be able to buy him out of this mess.

“It’s quite simple, really. You will both go back in time to find and procure some of the items I’ve lost. Not all, since it would take many lifetimes to replace everything I lost, but some. Failure to do so will result in a telephone call to the police. The choice is yours, gentlemen.”

“You’re crazy!” I sputtered. “Back in time… what kind of a joke is this?”

“Oh, this is no joke, I assure you. Perhaps I should formally introduce myself. It might make things a bit more clear. You already know me by my surname, Ambrosius,” he said, as a wicked little smile tilted his lips. “My first name is Merlin.”

From Julia Talbot

From Packmate for Hire, releasing today at Amazon, Nook and Evil Plot Bunny!

The bell over the door jangled, and Shon stiffened when three burly guys walked in. They were all gorgeous, one tall, dark and broody, one blond and buff, and one… Uhn. God almighty, one had auburn hair and gray eyes and the best smile.

He gave up on thinking they might be after him when one cuffed another on the shoulder and a scuffle broke out that included noogies and a nuclear wedgie.

That was no group of assassins or bounty hunters.

“You boys!” The blonde lady returned, laughing at their antics. “Rand, you’re acting like a five-year-old. And who is this handsome boy?”

The auburn haired man of amazingtude walked over to her and held out a hand. “Brendan Gray. Pleasure to meet you, ma’am.”

“Leona. I’m Mairi’s second in command.”

“Hi, Leona.” The buff blond guy waved.

“Hi, Tate! You’re also acting like a kid.”

“The Alpha brings it out in me.”

Alpha. Oh, fuck his ass raw. Seriously? He stopped in Nowhere, Colorado and he ran into Pack? What the hell?

“I smell cinnamon rolls,” said tall, dark, and apparently Rand.

“You do. You boys want one?”

“And coffee,” Tate said.

“Addicts, all of you.” Leona laughed and bustled about, collecting coffee cups and plates as the guys settled in a booth, the Tate and Rand guys on one side, sitting very, very close. As in no space between them, hands under the table close.

Huh.

He really only had eyes for the one called Brendan, who looked just his type. Tall, manly, maybe a little lumberjack-sexual with his shaggy hair and three-day beard.

Yeah. He could get up on that and ride.

That was totally his problem, wasn’t it? He found something to get him in trouble wherever he went.

He didn’t need to be looking longingly at someone who was friends with an alpha. That was always, always a bad idea. Definitely trouble with a capital T.

Shon sipped his tea again, letting it calm him.

“So, what’s new, Leona?” Rand asked when she came back with the coffee.

Shon stiffened when she glanced his way, then put his head down in an obvious attempt to keep her mouth shut.

“Oh, well, not much. Mairi burned her hand on the bacon, and Winslow Isley slipped on and fell in his hot tub. He’s sore.”

“I’ll check on him today,” Rand said, sounding very grave all of a sudden, as if he took his job very seriously.

The Tate guy rose from the booth. “Mairi in the back?”

“She is.”

Tate nodded and walked off. The dynamics here were fascinating.

Leona stood and chatted for several minutes with the Alpha and his friend. Shon eavesdropped shamelessly until someone plopped a plate down in front of him which held a sandwich and fries.

“Mairi said your food was ready, so I saved Leona a trip.” The Tate guy stood just at the end of his booth, smiling down at him. “I’m Tate.”

“Uh. Shon. Nice to meet you.”

“You, too. You’re new.”

Small towns. People just seemed to naturally expect to know everyone’s business just because they asked. Shon found that could be inconvenient when you had someone looking for you.

“I am,” Shon agreed as pleasantly as he could. He didn’t elaborate more, though.

“I’m not,” Tate said, his grin turning into a laugh. “Born and raised here, so I can be bored and curious. Sorry.”

“No worries.” He let a smile stretch out on his face. “I’m a writer. Thrillers. I’m just looking to hide out with my laptop.”

“Leona has a sister who rents cabins. Take the one the farthest from the road. It gets the best satellite wi-fi and you don’t hear the trucks and their loud brakes.”

“Thanks.”

“I’ll leave you to it.” Tate wandered off, thank God, and he was able to relax a bit.

The scent of wolf was so strong, it was all he could do not to grow whiskers and a tail.

He dug into his sandwich, the flavors all blending so well. The fries were hot and crispy outside, pillowy inside. The bacon on the club was thick and peppery and he moaned a little.

The best part, oddly enough, was the toast. Buttery and crisp, he thought the unseen Mairi must have griddled it just after she toasted it to soak up some of the amazing grill flavor.

Uhn. Okay, this was definitely all he would need in the way of a restaurant.

“More tea, honey? “Leona asked, stopping by to table touch after she left the assemblage of hotties.

“Please.” She was wolf, too. It was obvious now the alpha was here. Shon rolled his eyes at himself once she left. He sure could pick ‘em

From BA Tortuga

From Best New Artist, on presale at Dreamspinner Press

Kasey Tuffman wiped the sweat off his forehead with one of those ridiculous, pristine white towels they gave you at awards shows when you stepped offstage. Used to be he had a hat to soak up the sweat, but this damned haircut his new stylist had given him wouldn’t work with the old summer straw he preferred.

“Good job, Tuff,” said one of the lackeys from the label, a guy with a three-hundred-dollar pair of shoes, and jeans that came from Italy, for fuck’s sake.

“Thanks.” He was just glad it was over. He’d gone out there and sung his just-released sellout song as the last of the nominees for Best New Artist.

Best New fucking Artist. He might have been in Nashville less than two years, but Kasey “Tuff” Tuffman had been playing music in Texas since he was fourteen. Twenty freaking years ago.

His night was almost over. Alan Kingman was walking out on stage, boots clicking away, to announce the winner of the award Tuff was up for. The man would announce that Chase Ryan had won, and Tuff would make a suitably shocked face before walking offstage and out the back to his waiting limo.

Then he’d go to the house he’d been renting, grab a couple of beers, and get in the pool and soak.

He shifted from foot to foot, trying to look calm but hopeful like his coach had told him to. A media coach. Christ. Every little thing was arranged for you when you had a number one single and album.

“Good evening, ladies and gentleman,” Alan said into the microphone. “Lemme get out my reading glasses so I can see that TV they want me to read.”

All Tuff had to do was push through this shit, and then he could breathe for a few days, focus on making a new album over the winter, get off the road, out of the bus, into the studio.

He wanted to go home for a week or two. See his folks and his sisters. Tuff missed Texas like an amputated limb.

“Anyway, whether you’re an eighteen-year-old with a voice like warm honey or a thirtysomething Texan who’s in touch with a more traditional sound, getting your first number one hit is something to celebrate.”

Shit. That had to be him. In touch with a traditional sound? Well, fuck-a-doodle-doo. That made him sound like a frickin’ elder statesman.

“Like they say in that old Alabama song about the fiddle,” Alan went on, “If you’re gonna play in Texas….” Alan squinted at the TV, then shook his head. “Whatever that says, screw it. And the winner is….” He ripped open the envelope, and the most comical look of shock crossed Alan’s face. “Kasey Tuffman!”

“What?” The word popped out of his mouth, the surprise immediate and real. Tuff’s heart fell right into his gut.

“Well, I’ll be damned.” The label guy gave him a little push. “Go get ’em, tiger.”

It was supposed to be Chase Ryan. Not him.

Not fucking him.

Someone gave him a shove, so Tuff stumbled out on the stage, his new boots too stiff, and a titter passed through the crowd.

Goddamn it. His label rep had told him the deal. This was just a tribute to someone who’d been around as long as him and had just had his first national number one. No stress. Perform and leave. He wasn’t supposed to win anything or have to make a speech and act grateful for a crumb.

Especially not this. Best New fucking Artist, for chrissake. Like he was some wet-behind-the-ears newbie with a shiny guitar or a boy band bro-country kid the studio had plucked from a vocal program at the University of Tennessee.

Alan stepped away from the microphone to hand him the envelope, blocking the little gal who held the huge paperweight he was getting for selling his Red Dirt soul out to Nashville.

“Congratulations, Tuff. Twenty years of touring and sweating for pennies and it only took a new haircut to get you a fancy award.”

He shot Alan a glare. They’d known each other for years, and he was humiliated this had to happen in front of someone he so admired. “You ain’t funny, old man.”

Alan shook his head. “Not meant to be. I let them kill the music, son. Don’t let them do it to you.”

“Never gonna happen.” Except that wasn’t true, was it? Not really. He already felt like a sellout.

The haircut, the sparkly ass skinny jeans, the four-hundred-dollars Lucchese boots—all of that was the trappings of the label. Jesus, he’d bet this award was too. They’d bought him another few weeks at the top of the fucking chart.

Rage spurted through his veins right along with the blood pounding in his temples as a headache kicked in.

He took the award from the blonde with the fake boobs and capped teeth. Wasn’t her fault, so he gave her a strained smile. Then Tuff stepped up to the microphone, his speech crystalizing in his mind in those few seconds.

“Good evenin’, ladies and gentlemen.” Tuff took a deep breath. “I got to say, I never thought any of y’all would ever vote for me. I imagine I’m not the best of anything, and I figure while I am an artist, I sure ain’t new.” He waited for the camera boom to swing around, the hard focus right on him. Then he smiled, a real, Texas-sized smile, holding up the award. “So what do I got to say about this? How about I start with y’all can kiss my….”

Preorder it here!

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Monday, April 17, 2017

Cover of To Touch You by Cardeno C.


Happy Monday! In case you missed my cover reveal this week, this is the gorgeous cover J.K. Hogan made for the last Mates book:


I absolutely love it! The release date is May 4th and this is the blurb:

“His name is Salvatore Rossi. He’s a vampire. And he’s my true mate.”

By not relying on anyone except himself, Salvatore Rossi escaped a dead-end existence and reached the height of corporate success. But just when he has everything he always wanted, fate throws Salvatore a challenge he can’t solve alone and a young wolf shifter comes to his rescue.

Since childhood, Yoram Smith’s family was certain he would grow to become Alpha and save their beloved pack from its slow demise. When the time comes for a new leader, Yoram is forced to juggle his duty to care for a splintering pack with his duty to care for an absent mate, and his own strength suffers.

Being turned into a vampire didn’t alter Salvatore’s life philosophy: if you don’t rely on anyone, nobody can let you down. But when the boy who saved his life becomes a man who needs his help, the icy vampire must find his humanity.


Last but not least, keep an eye on my Twitter and FB between now and that release date. I'm going a big promo push for the Mates books and that'll include giveaways on some awesome blogs.

Have a terrific week.

CC
www.cardenoc.com

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Setting the Mood by Christa Tomlinson




Writing is awesome. It’s also incredibly difficult. It requires you to pull what only exists in your head out and on to the keyboard or page. There are lots of things that help make this process a little easier. A good outline is beneficial. As is a giant mug of coffee. But for me, the most important thing to help me get in the write (get it?) head space is music. 

But not just any music. I have to have songs that match the mood of the scene I’m writing. For example, when I was writing Bad Boys Need Love Too, I listened to a lot of Joan Jett, Peaches and Garbage. Bad Boyfriend by Garbage was actually the inspiration for that story. Those songs all had a raw, gritty feel to them which perfectly matched the roughness of bad boy Gage as he corrupted I mean errr… persuaded Joseph into letting his hair down. The playlist is HERE if you’d like to check it out. 

I also have a list of five go to songs for setting the mood. I pull these out when I need a song that’s proven to get me where I need to be. Or, when I’m too lazy to look for new musical inspiration.

1) Smexy Sexy times:  Stroker Ace by Loveage
2) Rough sexy times: Tainted Love by Marilyn Manson
3) Anger:  Shitlist by L7
4) Heartache: The Scientist covered by Willie Nelson
5) Happy Fun Times: Twerk by Three 6 Mafia



My playlist for An Officer’s Submission was angsty and sexy. Two of my favorite songs for that playlist are from movie soundtracks. I wrote the Shibari scene to Silk Road from Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and Eptesicus from Batman Begins. I loved the way both songs are soft and floaty and airy. They really helped put my head where I could “see” Logan concentrating on binding his submissive and Clay sinking into it until he was rope drunk. Le sigh…



Anyhoo, I’m always on the lookout for new music. Want to help me out with that? Comment below with a song to fit one of my writing mood categories: Smexy times, Rough Sexy Times, Anger, Heartache and Happy Fun Times. One comment/entry per person please. I will randomly select two entrants to win an An Officer’s Submission swag pack. Winners will be chosen next Sunday. Be sure to leave your email or social media contact info in the comments OR turn on the Notify me of replies option so you'll get a notification if you are a winner. You’ll win a signed copy of the book, as well as a book mark and dog tag featuring AOS’s cover art. You know you want it. So hit me with your song recs!

Thanks for reading!

Love,
Christa

Visit my website: www.ChristaTomlinson.com
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Book IV of the Cuffs, Collars and Love series is now available.


Saturday, April 15, 2017

Weirdness In the World by S.C. Wynne


Hi, all!

My last post here was about the new MM Romantic Mystery series I'm starting. The first book deals
with a reality TV show, so maybe that's why I noticed this recent news report about a Reality TV show. Some contestants were hired to live in a remote place in Scotland for a year. But after four episodes, the network canceled the show and didn't bother to mention that fact to the people living in the wild.

These poor people didn't even know Brexit had happened or that Trump was now president in the U.S. They came back to civilization after a year to find out they'd lived under those rough conditions for a show that no longer existed. lol

Thankfully there's been such an uproar the network said it would air the remaining episodes sometime this year. But it makes me wonder if the only reason they agreed to do that was because the news got out. Or maybe I'm just jaded. I can't even imagine going thorough what those people must have gone through only to find out you were doing it for no reason.

What would you do if that happened to you? I know I'd be furious and I'd want compensation for giving up and entire year of my life! I'm curious to see what happens next with this.

S.C.