Thursday, April 19, 2018

Release Day Blitz: Hard to Get by Jaclyn Quinn

Title: Hard to Get
Author: Jaclyn Quinn
Series: Haven's Cove #2
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: April 19, 2018
Cover Design: Cate Ashwood Designs
Summary:
Gabe D’Angelo has it all. Designer clothes, luxury cars, a cool confidence most would envy, and a never-ending supply of money—and men. When he arrived in Haven’s Cove to be there for his best friend, he never imagined he’d end up extending his stay indefinitely. Small town living isn’t so bad after all, and the views are magnificent—especially the view of a sexy, rugged blond. But when that mysterious, brooding man refuses all Gabe’s advances, he is forced to take a step back and truly look at the person he’s become.

Nate Black moved from Boston to Haven’s Cove for his family. He’s missed small town living and the simple, tranquil life that comes with it. What he doesn’t bargain for is the pushy, spoiled playboy who’s set his eyes on Nate as his next conquest. Knowing this man has the potential to crack the foundation of his quiet life, Nate will do everything he can to protect his safe, closed-off world.

Is one man worth loving? Is the other worth the sacrifice? Or is the love they’re searching for not just hard to get but completely out of reach?


Gabe sighed again, rolling his eyes. “My God, did the four of you have a Nate Protection Plan meeting I wasn’t invited to? I assure you, I’m harmless. I’m also pretty sure that Nate is a grown man who doesn’t need protection—unless it’s a condom. Then I fully condone it and will even offer my services in the Sheathing Department.” Gabe winked. “He can thank me later.” He held the beer bottle in the crook of his left arm and patted Jonah’s cheek. “Wish me luck.” Then he walked around Jonah and headed for his target.

Nate didn’t disappoint tonight; that was for sure. The guy made a pair of jeans the sexiest material ever to fit on a man’s strong body. Long legs, strong muscled thighs, unmistakable well-endowed bulge covered in denim. It made Gabe want to get down on his knees and find out what hid beneath the denim—with his tongue. Nate’s broad chest was screaming to be released from the tightly stretched black cotton T-shirt. Tell me the man doesn’t know what he’s doing to me in that outfit?

“You’re staring.” Two plump, well-defined lips uttered the words—none too kindly—and Gabe blinked, snapping out of his stupor.

Shit, was there drool on his chin? He’d been undressing the man with his eyes. “Sorry, bad habit. Another beer?” Gabe held up the bottle to Nate, and as he expected, was quickly shot down.

“No, thanks,” Nate said, obviously irritated, not even looking in Gabe’s direction.

“Tell me, Mr. Black, do you have a problem with all tall, dark, and handsome men, or is it just me who ruffles that blond hair of yours?” Gabe asked. His voice was low and seductive as he moved in a little closer to Nate.

Nate turned his face to look at Gabe and snickered. “Tell me, Mr. D’Angelo, do you have a problem with rejection in general, or is it just the fact that I’m not interested that rubs your conceited ego the wrong way?”

TouchΓ©.

Gabe smiled wickedly and moved a little closer, letting his hot breath caress Nate’s ear as he whispered, “Trust me. There isn’t a wrong way to rub me. When you’re ready to admit you want to, we can make this interesting.”

Nate moved in even closer, the heat from his body making Gabe’s cock dance with glee. Nate’s lips and the scruff of his goatee brushed up against Gabe’s ear, sending a delicious chill down his spine. “Why don’t you hold your breath,” Nate pulled back abruptly, “and see where that gets you.” With a look of disgust, he walked away.

“Well, that went well,” Gabe said to no one in particular. He had to laugh at the situation or he’d explode. If he were smart he’d get over it, realize the man was a waste of time, and find someone more willing to tickle his fancy—and other parts of his anatomy. Hell, he could be back in the city with a man filling him so good by the end of the night.

Too bad he wasn’t a smart man.



Author Bio:
I have been an artist from a very young age. From drawing cartoon characters and evolving into portraits, making jewelry, photography, and now writing. I have an amazing support system in my family and friends and couldn’t be more grateful.

I live in central New Jersey, love summers at the Jersey Shore, rock music, wine, sexy men, and laughing a lot with my amazing friends and family. Sunday dinners at my parents’ house are crazy, hysterical and you can count on a movie quote…or ten…being thrown out. Insults between siblings is how we show our love for each other!

When I’m not creating, you can find me reading books from my favorite authors. I’m a hopeless romantic, starving for passionate characters and always craving that happy ending, whether in reading or in writing my own books.





Hard to Get #2

Hard to Let Go #1

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Release Blitz: Life is a Stevie Wonder Song by VL Locey

Title: Life is a stevie Wonder Song
Author: VL Locey
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: April 16, 2018
Cover Design: Sloan J Designs
Summary:
Authors know that their muse is a fickle creature. Best-selling spy novelist Steven Ramsey has been in a hate-hate relationship with his inspiration for months. When Steven's publisher lays a legal ultimatum upon him, with a rapidly approaching deadline, he knows he must do something to kick-start his creativity or face the unemployment line. His daughter comes up with a possible answer: a summer camp for the creative soul. With nothing to lose, Steven packs up his laptop, phonograph, and beloved record albums and heads from Greenwich Village to the Catskill Mountains.

There, among a horde of college students attending for extra credits, is Declan Pomeroy, a photographer of fey creatures who is twenty-two years younger than Steven. The woods are a magical place, and he quickly finds himself falling under the spell of the free-spirited photographer. Confusion wars with desire as Steven succumbs to the feelings welling up inside. But, sadly, summer camp always must end. Can a man who has just found himself really leave the person that makes his heart sing?


I set my sights on the road. Someone called my name. I would know his singsong voice anywhere. I lifted a hand in greeting, my ugly ape feet glued to this fucking spot in the road. Declan bounded down the two stairs, racing toward me. My heart began to hammer behind my ribs. He ran across his freshly mowed lawn wearing a smile as big as the Catskills. I was not prepared for the leap he made at me. I caught him but just barely. He wrapped his arms and legs around me like some sort of invasive vine. His mouth smashed against mine. My knees grew rubbery as my prick roused in my shorts. I cupped his ass with both hands.

"I am so glad to see you," he purred between kisses.

Someone back on the porch shouted. My grip on his backside lessened and he slid to the ground with a pout. "Come meet the guys. We were just talking about you."

"You kids don’t want an old dinosaur breaking up your good times."

"Just stop." Declan grabbed my wrist and tugged me along in his wake. For being so slender, he was a strong little tugboat. The boys on the porch greeted me warmly. They were incredibly similar in style, which, I guess, reflects on the age. Conformity to the current trends is everything when you're young. Each young man wore cargo shorts, low-cut tank tops, Nikes, sunglasses, and ball caps turned backward. Aside from hair coloring all four, and that included Declan—although his ankle bracelet and pink bandana ascot showed a modicum of individuality—were cookie-cutter young males. I was greeted with "Yo" and "'Sup" after Declan introduced me.

He then steered me to the lone seat, a rough Adirondack chair exactly like the one on my porch. I sat. The guys fell back into their conversation about some video game. Declan sat down beside me, his dark head resting on my knee. I trembled violently inside at the gesture. All my bells and whistles were ringing, and yet these kids didn’t seem to pay any attention to the public display of affection. My hand was shaking when I placed it timidly on Declan’s head. His hair was soft as rabbit fur. He sighed blissfully at the contact. Talk flowed around me but I said little. If one did not know my avocation to be a wordsmith, they would think me mute.

About an hour passed. Declan had not moved an inch. My fingers now dallied with his hair. I had learned a great deal about this camp from simply listening. It was an open camp—obviously, since I had registered— but mostly college students used it to pick up an extra credit if they were in any of the arts programs. They had to write papers and turn them in before the fall semester began. If students from across the country did not fill all the bungalows, then they were offered to authors who couldn’t author anymore.

The troupe of artists, actors, and musicians slowly pushed into their skater shoes and ambled off. I was content to sit here forever, stroking Declan’s hair, but I had a few questions for my obsession.

"Why do you need extra credit?" I asked. A honeybee visited the red flowers in Declan’s clay pot. "Didn’t you graduate? You're twenty-two, that should get you a bachelor's degree in fine arts."

His cheek laid on my bare thigh. I felt his heavy exhalation tickle the yellow hairs on my leg. My fingers continued combing.

"I'm a super senior," he said without lifting his head from my leg.

"Do you get fries with that?"

VL Locey
V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, two dogs, two cats, a flock of assorted domestic fowl, and three Jersey steers.

When not writing spicy romances, she enjoys spending her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in hand. She can also be found online on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and GoodReads.


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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Book Blitz: Five Dares by Eli Easton

Title: Five Dares
Author: Eli Easton
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: April 2, 2018
Cover Design: Natasha Snow
Summary:
Andy Tyler has been the class daredevil since middle school. Over the years, he’s convinced his best friend, Jake Masterson, to perform some dangerous-looking stunts with him. But the dare they attempt on the night of their college graduation goes sideways. The firecrackers explode too soon and both of them end up with badly burned palms.

But hey, nothing gets the “terrible two-o” down for long, and they recuperate in style at Andy’s family cottage in Cape Cod. As the weeks go by, both Andy and Jake grow frustrated over the inability to use their hands for all sorts of daily activities—including getting off. So Andy begins a new series of dares that don’t just cross the friendship line, they obliterate it.

But what might be mere sexual relief to Andy is serious business to Jake, who only recently got over years of secret pining for his straight best friend. Inevitably, the burns heal, summer ends, and hearts are broken. To fix things, Andy will have to face the greatest dare of all.


The first few weeks at the cottage we had good weather and spent most of our time outside. Walter said our burns were coming along well. So far we’d avoided making things worse, which was a miracle. The burns were gnarly looking though, and painful when he rewrapped them.

My palms were the bright red of fresh blood. They looked like they’d been dipped in boiling water, with layers around the edge turning white and loose in spots. My hands alternated between a mild burning and piercing pain that went supernova anytime I accidentally clenched them or bumped them into something. Doing or lifting anything that required any pressure on the skin whatsoever was right out.

So by the time we’d been basking on the Nantucket Sound for two weeks, I was climbing the fucking walls.

“I’ve never been this damn horny in my life,” I complained to Jake, bitterly and sincerely.

It was almost noon, and we were sitting out on the dock like we usually did. It had been great hanging out together. We’d caught up on a lot of stuff we never seemed to get around to talking about during school—his upcoming new life. Harvard. Our mutual friends and exes. We’d told ghost stories. We’d taken long walks and kicked around a soccer ball for hours. We’d played poker on Jake’s tablet and consumed six seasons of The Walking Dead on the big-screen TV. It was nice having undivided Jake time, but I’d reached the point where frustration had me close to tears.

Not tears of boredom either. Sexually frustrated tears.

“Turn page,” Jake responded. He was reading on his Kindle.

“I’m not sure how that would help me get off,” I joked.

Jake snorted, but he didn’t rise to the bait.

I shifted in my chair. I wasn’t kidding. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d gone more than two days without an orgasm. Probably not since I’d figured out the magical wonderland that was my dick when I was eleven years old. I’d had a permanent semi for days now, and my loose, silky gym shorts—worn because I could get them up and down by myself if I scooched against a wall—were doing nothing to disguise it or help it go away.

I moved my bandaged hands onto the arms of the deck chair and looked down at myself. Even looking at my crotch made my dick grow under the silky blue fabric. It was like a hopeful puppy anticipating attention.

In my peripheral vision, I saw Jake glance at it too. He leaned forward in his chair, hunching toward the Kindle, which was propped on a little table in front of him. “Turn page.”

“You did not just read an entire page.” I smirked.

“Shut up, Mr. TMI.” Jake fake-read some more.

But I knew I had his attention. “Have you figured out a way to get off yet? Because I haven’t.”

“No,” he said in a distracted voice. Despite his blasΓ© look, I knew there was no way he was absorbing a single word on that Kindle screen.

“Me neither. I tried humping the bed, but it didn’t work. Fucking mattress is so soft and lumpy.”

“Can you not give me the gory details?” Jake hunched further and stared at the Kindle.

“Rubbing against the tiles in the shower didn’t work. They’re too hard.”

He snorted. “What are you, the Goldilocks of self-love?”

I chuckled. “That’s me. I need something just right.” I used a filthy voice on the last bit.

Jake shifted uneasily but didn’t look at me. “Too bad Amber dumped you. Maybe you could call her and play the poor invalid card. She might be willing to drive down for a conjugal visit.”

“Nah. So not worth the bowing and scraping I’d have to do.”

I gave it a moment, trying to build up my nerve.

I hadn’t been kidding. I’d tried a half-dozen ways to get off, but nothing was working. So I’d put some serious brain power into figuring out a solution. I was good at working around obstacles, but the obvious answer—the thing I really wanted—involved Jake, and I wasn’t sure how he’d react.

Just thinking about it, I plumped up further, causing a definite tent in my shorts. I half expected Jake to tease me, something like, You could poke someone’s eye out with that thing.

But all he said was, “Turn page.”

“So . . . you haven’t gotten off since before the hospital?” I asked.

“No,” Jake said quickly. “And it’s not helping to talk about it, thank you very much. It’s like when you talk about having a tickle in your throat, it makes you want to cough.” His voice was tense. I saw his eyes flicker toward my shorts, though he didn’t turn his head and he continued to pretend to read.

My heart pounded. I felt exposed at the moment, my semi obscene, so I sat up and hunched forward too, elbows on my knees. I watched a ski boat go by. The roar of the motor was loud. I waited until it had passed. Then I swallowed and told myself it didn’t matter. It was no big deal to suggest it. And if he said no, it was no biggie. I could play it off as a joke. But it really didn’t feel that way.

“Speaking of a tickle in your throat . . . I have an idea about how we can get off.”

“You do?” Jake’s tone was fast and curious. Definitely interested.

“Yup.”

“Like what? Gonna have Walter install a Fleshlight in the shower?” He chuckled.

I huffed. “Yeah. You know my dad combs through every one of my credit card statements. No way am I ordering a Fleshlight. Not to mention the fact that I’d have to kill myself after asking Walter to install something like that.”

Walter, our nurse, was in his fifties, white, bald, and pudgy. He had a squeaky-clean fundamentalist thing going on and had mentioned “praying” for us several times. Ix-nay on asking Walter to mount a fuck tube in the shower.

“So what then, Oh Planinator?” Jake sat up from his slouch and looked at me.

Unable to meet his gaze, I studied the water. “Okay, so just hear me out before saying no.”

“Oh shit. You only say that when it’s really whacked.”

“Come on! I’m serious.”

Jake sighed, but I could swear there was a new tension in the air. He was no longer pretending to read his Kindle. He leaned back in his chair and waited. “Go on, then. Spit it out.”

I grinned and turned my head to look at him, raising an eyebrow. “That’s the goal, yeah.”

He kicked my leg lightly with his bare heel. “Just say it.”

“Okay. So. We can’t jerk off, right?” I held up my bandaged hands a little.

“Obviously.”

“Well, have you ever heard of guys who can, you know, suck their own dicks?”

There was a sharp inhale from Jake, but he kept his face blank. “Yeah. I can’t though. Not even a little bit.”

“I know. Me neither. So I thought . . .” Fuck. This was hard to say. Incredibly hard to say. But there was no point in beating around the bush. “Okay. So. What if we sucked each other, like, at the same time, and pretended we were doing ourselves? Sort of self-suck by proxy.”

I’d intended to keep a jokey tone during this, so I could claim I was teasing. But the words started tumbling out, and there was a hollow ringing in my ears. I honestly didn’t have the slightest fucking clue what my tone had been or how it must have sounded to Jake.

Next to me, he went deadly still. He stared down at his knees. There was a little frown behind his brow. He looked worried. Or disturbed. Or both concurrently.

I fought the urge to overexplain or justify. Play it cool. I leaned back in my chair and closed my eyes as if soaking in the sun. “It would get the job done.” I shrugged.

“Did you honestly just ask me to suck you off?” Jake asked in a quiet voice.

“No. That’s not what I said. Don’t go all homophobic on me, bro. Look, we can’t use our hands at all. Fact. If you could suck yourself, you would—right? Fact. But you can’t. I’m in the same boat. So I’m thinking if we were end to end, we could close our eyes and pretend we’re doing ourselves. And we’d get off. And we wouldn’t have to get Walter or anyone else involved. It’s really the best solution.”

Jake was silent again for a long moment. “I’m not doing that.” His voice was firm, grim, like he meant it.

Honestly, I was surprised. And a little hurt.

“Fine,” I said. “It was just a suggestion. You got a better idea? Or do you want the worst case of blue balls ever? Because I’m about to crawl the fucking walls.”

“I’m not doing it,” he repeated adamantly.

“Yeah, I heard you the first time, Jake.”

In my peripheral vision, I could see he was stiff and tense, like he might bolt. But, finally, he relaxed. He leaned forward toward the Kindle. “Turn page,” he said, his voice tight.

“What if I dared you?” I asked, unable to let it go.

“Jesus, Andy, fuck off!” Jake snarled. He got up and stormed toward the cottage. We’d figured out that if we kicked the bottom of the screen door, it would bounce open for a second, long enough to get one foot in. He did this harder than necessary and went inside. I was so shocked, I let him go without a word.

Goddamn it. I’d known it would be risky to bring it up, but some part of me believed Jake would jump at the chance. Or, worst case, brush it off as a joke. I hadn’t expected anger. Jake had never told me to fuck off like that. Not that I could remember.

Shit.

Okay. Bad idea. Abort, abort. But it was too late to take it back.

Author Bio:
Having been, at various times and under different names, a minister’s daughter, a computer programmer, a game designer, an author of paranormal thrillers, a fan-fiction writer, an organic farmer, and a profound sleeper, Eli Easton is happy these days writing love stories.

As an avid reader of such, she is tinkled pink when an author manages to combine literary merit, vast stores of humor, melting hotness, and eye-dabbing sweetness into one story. She promises to strive to achieve most of that most of the time. She currently lives on a farm in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, with her husband, three bulldogs, two cows, a cat, and a potbellied pig. She enjoys reading in all genres and, when she can be pried away from her iPad, hiking and biking.

Eli Easton has published 24 books in m/m romance since 2013. She won the Rainbow Award for Best Contemporary Romance in 2014 (The Mating of Michael) and in 2016 (A Second Harvest). Her Howl at the Moon series of humorous dog shifter romances have become fan favorites and placed in the Rainbow Awards and the Goodreads M/M Group Reader’s Choice awards. She is best known for romances with humor and a lot of heart.


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EMAIL: eli@elieaston.com







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Book Blast: Omega Required by Dessa Lux

Title: Omega Required
Author: Dessa Lux
Genre: M/M Romance, Paranormal
Release Date: April 4, 2018
Cover Design: Morgan Wilcox
Summary:
An alpha werewolf chasing his dream meets an omega fighting for his life in a strictly temporary marriage of convenience...

Alpha werewolf Beau Jeffries has been going it alone ever since he was cast out of his pack as a teenager for trying to help a human and endangering the pack’s secrets during the tumultuous years when the wider world was learning the truth about werewolves. He hasn’t lost his drive to help others, and he’s about to begin a prestigious medical residency--only to learn that, as the first werewolf the program has knowingly accepted, he’ll have to follow special rules, including the one that requires him to be married when he begins his residency.

Omega werewolf Roland Lea is just trying to survive. After escaping the last and worst in a string of abusive relationships that left him scarred and unable to conceive, he’s found safety in a refuge for homeless omegas. But despite the help he’s getting at the refuge, he just keeps getting sicker instead of better, further and further from being able to make it on his own. When he’s offered the opportunity to sign up with a mate-matching agency, he figures he has nothing to lose. No alpha is ever going to want an omega like him.

When Beau sees Roland's profile, he knows at once what's making the omega sick, and he's determined to help. If he can persuade Roland to marry him, he can save Roland's life while Roland helps him get through his residency. But will their hasty partnership be enough to bring them both through what's ahead--and can temporary necessity lead to a forever love?


He did sleep a little, or at least his thoughts drifted into quiet blankness for a while. He came back to himself when the car’s front doors closed, leaving only him and Beau inside. Roland opened his eyes to find Beau’s face closer than he expected.

Close enough to kiss.

His breath caught, and he felt that dangerous little thrill of anticipation, when he should have known better, should have been far past wanting anything like that ever again.

Beau just smiled. “Ready for our wedding day?”

Roland looked toward the window, and beyond it, the uninformative front of the refuge. “They didn’t... plan something, did they? It’s not gonna be, like...”

A tumble of images played through his head, mostly human weddings he’d seen on TV and in movies, elaborate and protracted events that always involved someone being terribly humiliated or disappointed or otherwise reduced to tears.

“I think they know you well enough to know you won’t want anything huge and exhausting,” Beau said quietly. “I suspect there’s going to be cake, though. You think you might be able to eat a little cake?”

Roland bit his lip, and his stomach squirmed uneasily. “Do you have any more of those ginger candies?”

Beau smiled and brought one out of his pocket, unwrapping it before holding the candy to Roland’s lips. He closed his eyes and opened his mouth for it, and the first sharp bite of the ginger made his mouth water alarmingly and his eyes sting. Beau stayed steady at his side, keeping one arm around him all the time, and after another moment Roland said, “I guess we have to get out of the car eventually.”

“Not really where I’d pictured us living for the next few years,” Beau agreed, but he didn’t make any move to get Roland out of the car until Roland picked his head up and twisted toward the door.

When they got inside there wascake, and Susan and Ms. Dawson and Dr. Hanek who ran the refuge and was, as it turned out, both a registered officiant for weddings and a notary public. He had Beau and Roland sign the pre-nup first, getting it notarized and witnessed across several copies.

Which meant Roland had to write his name when he couldn’t read it.

“It’s okay, take your time,” Beau murmured, and laid his finger down on the page. “Right along there. Right above my finger. When you’re ready.”

Roland took a few breaths, trying to make his fingers fit comfortably around the pen, to remember the motions of signing his name. He couldn’t remember when he’d ever done it that meant anything, but it couldn’t be that hard. He’d learned cursive in school. He knew how to write his own name, and that was all it was, really. His own name, in cursive, saying that he agreed to be married to Beau with all these conditions.

He squinted at it when he was done; it looked a little crooked and wobbly, but that seemed to be his name. Roland Lea. He’d done it.

And then he had to do it three more times.

“I’ll put one of these on file here,” Dr. Hanek explained, “and send one to the state Omega Rights Initiative. They hold a lot of these types of documents, just to be on the safe side.”

“Of course,” Beau said easily. “And Roland will have his own copy to keep as well.”

One was duly put into an envelope for him, and Roland held it, along with his birth certificate, while they did the rest of the wedding formalities. It was all so calm and matter of fact, just sitting on a loveseat beside Beau in one of the refuge sitting rooms, with Susan and Ms. Dawson and Dr. Hanek gathered around on other chairs. Roland barely realized the questions he was answering were his wedding vows, even when he automatically responded, “I do.”

But then there was a tiny round of applause, and Roland turned to meet Beau’s eyes.

Beau raised his eyebrows, asking some silent question, and Roland nodded a little, and then—oh, oh—Beau dipped his head and touched his lips to Roland’s, soft and chaste. A kiss. Their first kiss.

They were married.

There was another paper to sign for that, but Beau let Roland sign along his finger again, and his hand didn’t shake any worse than the first four times.

“Excellent. We’ll put the appropriate date on this and send it in tomorrow to be filed, but you are now officially married. Congratulations, both of you.”

“Thanks,” Roland murmured, and then looked up at Beau, who squeezed him a little closer.

“We’ll eat some cake first,” Beau said. “Then we’ll figure out everything else.”

Author Bio:
Dessa Lux is a librarian living in the Midwest, running on Diet Coke and Adderall. She's a geek who loves reading and writing romance, including the fanfic kind, and you can tell her apart from the others of her kind because she does not own a cat.


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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Release Tour: Military Against Zombies by Alathia Paris Morgan

Title: Military Against Zombies
Author: Alathia Paris Morgan
Series: Against Zombies #2
Genre: Paranormal Horror
Release Date: April 13, 2018
Summary:
Brad Jackson is overseas, serving his country, when the zombie sickness hits. The National Guard had been overrun, and the sick are turning into zombies faster than bullets can stop them. Ordered to evacuate to Nashville with his unit, he's only a few hours away from Jackson Mountain, where his wife, Emma, was supposed to go if all hell broke loose. Now, his only motivation is to complete the mission and make it home, but the zombies seem to have other plans for Company D.

Meanwhile, the sickness has spread to the countryside, and former marine, Linc Harris, is torn between the two women he has sworn to protect--his girlfriend, Jessica, and his mother, Mavis. Jessica appears to be safe on the farm, but his mother is trapped in town. A bully is determined to stamp out the zombie sickness by killing all those who are sick. Can Linc save his mother and the town from from the sick before they turn, or a bully kills them?


A few of the troops were starting to cough the closer we got to the States. This always happened when we made the change of atmosphere from east to west.

But the closer we got toward home, the sicker sounding those coughs became. The medics had taken all those that were showing signs of illness and moved them to the back of the plane. Our leaders hung blankets, hoping to avoid the spread of germs in the contained area.

With only about thirty minutes of flying over the water left, a growling sound started coming from the back of the plane.

Screams and grunts erupted from behind the curtain as a blood-covered hand gripped the blanket, pulling it down.

“Buckle in, we’re going to open the cargo door! I repeat, strap yourselves in…” The voice trailed off as everyone tried to grab their guns and strap in at the same time.

A blast of air was sucked out of the plane as the pilot tried to prepare everyone for the difference in air pressure.

I watched in horror as bodies flew out of the cargo door with blood dripping from their teeth. I felt bad for the ones who hadn’t been as sick but were being sucked out of the tail of the plane as well.

When the cargo door closed, I gulped in the fresh air, only to hear more gasping sounds coming from the back of the plane.

Evidently, those who hadn’t been as sick were strapped into their seats and had become the infected dead, but they couldn’t do more than bite the person next to them.

My platoon officer yanked off his restraints, gun in hand, and ran to the back of the plane. Rapid shots followed and all the growling sounds were silenced.

Everyone on the plane watched as he walked around, checking each person and making sure those who were infected were dead.

While hard to watch, I knew it was the right thing to do even though I wasn’t sure if I could have done it myself.

The pilot spoke again. “Due to the growing problem, everyone will have to be inspected before they can leave the area and find a place to shower, eat, and rest up before orders are handed down.”

I groaned on the inside but knew that after what had occurred on the plane, extra precautions were needed.

With the way that things were going, they weren’t going to let us go home to our families. This virus, or one of those things were going to take us out one by one.

Moms Against Zombies #1
Summary:
Emma Jackson is an army wife and new mom with all the uncertainties that come with it… until that fear is pushed in a different direction. Instead of worrying about diapers and feeding schedules, her only objective is to keep her child alive after being chased by a man who looks entirely too dead.

Trish Walsh thought her day was bad when she had to drag all four of her children on an errand, but she rethinks the meaning after what she can only hope was someone dressed up like a zombie beats on her car door. Yet, the bloody mess left behind is anything but reassuring.

Cooper Walsh’s job is top secret. When criminals break in to steal his company’s secrets, he overhears the conspiracy devised to create chaos as a cover-up. Knowing he must do everything in his power to right the wrong, he sets out on a mission.

Surviving long enough to reunite with their families is all that matters. That… and stopping the zombie apocalypse before it destroys them.

Author Bio:
Alathia is known to those around her for having an a long time love affair/obsession with Dr.Pepper, she has asked to be buried with a can so that it never runs out in the after life. Always bossy, she uses her mothering instincts to help others and share awareness of abuse in child and domestic situations.

A B.S. in History and English gave wings to her vivid imagination in book form. A supportive and loving husband has given her the chance to make her dreams a reality. Their three daughters and three dogs keep her busy while writing is a great way for her to wind down and destress.


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Military Against Zombies #2

Moms Against Zombies #1

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Monday, April 16, 2018

Monday's Mysterious Mayhem: The Magician Murders by Josh Lanyon


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I have decided to add another feature to my weekly posts, this one is called Monday's Mysterious Mayhem and will highlight all kinds of suspense/thrillers.  Now this won't appear every Monday, some weeks I'll post the anthology/box sets in Monday's Montage Mantelpiece, others will see Monday Morning's Menu with stories that have a food factor and the recently added Monday's Musical Melody which highlight tales involving a music/dance element and Monday's Memorial Moment featuring tales of historical settings. Eventually I'll also be adding Monday's Mythical Magic with a nod to fantasy/paranormal/supernatural elements.  After all, as the saying goes: variety is the spice of lifeπŸ˜‰

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Summary:
Nothing up his sleeves. Nothing but murder…

Jason West, hot-shot special agent with the FBI’s Art Crime Team, is at the Wyoming home of Behavioral Analysis Unit Chief Sam Kennedy, recuperating from a recent hit-and-run accident, when he’s asked to consult on the theft of a priceless collection of vintage magic posters.

But before Jason can say “presto change-o,” the owner of the art collection turns up murdered in a National Forest.

When the dead man is revealed to be the Kubla Khanjurer, a much-hated part-time magician accused of revealing the highly guarded secrets of professional illusionists, it seems clear this is a simple revenge killing—until Jason realizes an earlier suspicious death at the trendy magic club Top Hat White Rabbit might be part of the same larger and more sinister pattern.


While recovering from a hit-and-run, Agent Jason West spends some unexpected extra alone time with Behavioral Analysis Unit Chief Sam Kennedy.  But the job is never very far away when he's asked to consult the local office with the theft of a priceless collection of vintage magic posters.  As is Jason's luck it leads to more than just theft but will this unexpected assistance strengthen or hamper his and Sam's growing relationship?

I'm going to jump right out of the gate and say "How can you not love Jason West?" I can certainly understand Sam's desire to keep him locked away and safe.  Okay maybe not locked away because with all the possible words you could use to describe Sam Kennedy, monster is not one of them.  Sam's growing feelings for Jason are definitely influencing his actions, he may not be new to his heart ruling the roost, but its certainly been a long time since that organ has been doing the thinking for him.  On the surface these two don't seem like they'd be right for each other but with some time and lots of arguing throughout this series, its become pretty clear that Jason and Sam are actually a perfect fit.  The hemming-and-hawing, back-and-forth, secrets and realizations have finally revealed what the heart wants.  Some might say I've given away a bit of the story with this paragraph but its my opinion that a well written love story isn't in the destination but the journey getting there.  And what a journey it is.

Now as for the mystery part of The Magician Murders, well for that you won't get any insight from me other than to say my thoughts were the same as Agent West's at one point but frankly I'm glad I was wrong.  There is just something about Magician that has a film noir essence about it, maybe its the stolen vintage posters, maybe its the cast of characters, maybe its the growing relationship between Jason and Sam, or maybe its just the amazing and mesmerizing writing style of Josh Lanyon.  Anyone who has read her work before knows that she loves a good mystery but its more than that, she creates characters that you want to know, characters that you want to smother in kindness and some you just want to smother.  It takes talent to take over-the-top personalities and make them seem almost everyday-neighbor-next-door types. Lets face it you won't meet them the next time you run to the store for milk and eggs but you sure would like to.

For those who are wondering if you can start The Art of Murder series with The Magician Murders I'm going to say no.  If you follow my reviews than you know I'm a huge series reader and that I also firmly believe in reading them in order, whether the author writes them that way or not.  If you want to split hairs than you could probably start with Magician as the case is new but you won't understand everything that Jason and Sam have  gone through to get to where they are, it flows better if you start with book one, The Mermaid Murders because there are some carry-overs as for future possibilities(hey don't expect me to reveal any secretsπŸ˜‰).  If this is a new series for you, trust me you will not be disappointed even if three books seem daunting don't worry because once you start they just fly by because you can't put them down.

RATING: 


Chapter One
Rain flicked against the apartment windows in random, off-beat splash and dissolve.

It was sort of soothing, and Jason had not had much sleep the night before, but he could not afford to drift off in the middle of a conference call with his boss.

“If the legendary West charm has failed to convince Ursula Martin to file charges against Fletcher-Durrand, maybe Uncle Sam should take a swing at her,” Karan Kapszukiewicz was saying.

Kapszukiewicz was chief of the Major Theft Unit of the Criminal Investigative Division. She oversaw the Art Crime Team agents from her Washington DC office, which was where she was calling Jason from. Jason was on his cell phone, lying on Sam’s sofa in Sam’s apartment in Stafford, Virginia. The apartment was not far from the training academy where Jason was attending routine in-service refresher training.

“Respectfully, I don’t think that’s the approach we want to take with Martin,” Jason replied. “I think there’s still a good chance she’ll ultimately come through for us, but not if we push her. Her situation is complicated.”

“Isn’t everybody’s?”

Jason waited politely.

Karan sighed. “I had a feeling you’d say that, so…okay. I’ll let you make the call. she’s your complainant. Or was.”

Jason winced. The collapse two months ago of charges against the Fletcher-Durrand art gallery was still painful. He had worked his ass off building a prosecutable case of fraud, grand larceny and forgery—only to have the rug yanked out from under him when his original complainants had agreed to settle out of court with the Durrands.

There had been a hell of a lot more to it than that, of course, but the bottom line was the US Attorney’s Office would not be filing charges against Fletcher-Durrand at this time. Especially since the Durrand most wanted by law enforcement and everyone else seemed to have vanished off the face of the planet.

Not that Jason was so naΓ―ve as to imagine hard work and determination alone ensured the successful prosecution of every case—luck always played a role, and his luck had definitely been out. At least as far as the Durrands were concerned. In other ways…

His gaze traveled to a large Granville Redmond painting of California poppies beneath stormy skies, hanging on the opposite wall.

In other ways, his luck had been very much in, which was how he came to be lying on BAU Chief Sam Kennedy’s sofa waiting for Sam to get home. Two months ago, he’d feared his relationship with Sam had run its blink-and-you-missed-it course, but against the odds, here he was.

“All right,” Karan said more briskly, her attention already moving on to bigger or more winnable cases. “Keep me posted.”

“Will do.”

She was clearly about to ring off, but Jason being one of her protΓ©gΓ©s, Karan asked suddenly, “How’s training? You’re still at Quantico?”

“Yeah. I fly out tomorrow night. Training is…training.”

“Always,” Karan agreed gravely. “Okay. Have a good flight home.” She did hang up then. Her timing was perfect. Jason heard Sam’s key in the front door lock.

He clicked off his cell and rose as the front door swung open. The scent of April showers and faded, but still slightly jarring, aftershave wafted in.

“Hey.”

Sam was a big man and he filled the door frame. Instantly, the quiet, slightly dusty rooms felt alive again. Occupied. The stale, centrally heated air seemed to break apart as though before a gust of pure, cold oxygen.

 “Hi.” Sam looked tired. He always looked tired these days. His short blond hair was wet and dark, the broad shoulders of his tan trench coat splattered with rain drops. He was not exactly handsome—high cheekbones, long nose—hard mouth—but all the pieces fit perfectly in a face that exuded strength, intelligence, and yes, a certain amount of ruthlessness. His blue eyes looked gray—but they warmed at the sight of Jason coming towards him. He dropped his briefcase and took Jason into his arms, kissing him with full and flattering attention.

Sam even tasted tired—too many cups of coffee, too many breath mints, too many conversations about violent death. Jason kissed him back with all his heart, trying to compensate with a sincere welcome home for what had probably been a shitty day.

Not that Sam found a day of murder, rape and abduction as depressing as Jason would. Sam wouldn’t be so very good at his job, if he did.

As always, the softness of Sam’s lips came as surprise. For a guy who was rumored to have a heart of stone, he sure knew his way around a kiss.

They parted lips reluctantly. Sam studied him. “Good day?”

“It is now.”

Sam smiled faintly, glancing around the room, noting Jason’s coffee cup and the files and photos scattered across the coffee table. “This looks industrious.” His pale brows drew together. “It’s hot as hell in here.”

Jason grimaced. “Sorry. I turned the heat up. I was freezing when I got in.”

Sam snorted, nodding at Jason’s jeans and red MOMA t-shirt. “You could always try putting on a sweatshirt. Or even a pair of socks.”

“True, I guess.”

Sam grinned. “You California boys.”

“Known a lot of us, have you?” Jason was rueful. At forty-six, Sam had twelve years and a whole hell of a lot of experience on him.

“Only one worth remembering.” Sam pulled him back in for another, though briefer, kiss.

Jason smiled beneath the pressure of Sam’s firm mouth.

When Sam let Jason go, he said, “Sorry I’m late. Any idea where you want to eat tonight?” He absently tugged at his tie, probably a good indicator of what he’d prefer. Jason too, for that matter.
“We don’t have to go out. Why don’t we eat in?”

Sam considered him. “You’ve only got another day here.”

“I didn’t come for the night life. Well.” Jason winked, but that was just in play. He suspected it was going to be a low-key night. Sam pushed himself too hard. There wasn’t any good reason for it because the world was never going to run out of homicidal maniacs. There was no finish line in this race. “Anyway, it’s not like I don’t get to eat out enough.”

The corner of Sam’s mouth tugged in acknowledgment. “Yeah. But you must’ve noticed there’s nothing to eat in this place.”

Jason shrugged. Sam’s fridge reflected the state of his own—the state of anyone whose job kept them on the road most of the time.

“I did notice. Not a problem. I’ll run out and pick us something up.”

Sam opened his mouth, presumably to object, and Jason said, “You look beat, Sam. Let me take care of dinner.”

“Why, thank you.” There was the faintest edge to Sam’s tone.

He didn’t like being reminded he wasn’t Superman. Jason had learned that over the past ten months. Sam worked hard and played—when he did play, which was rarely—harder. He had the energy and focus of guys half his age, but part of that was sheer willpower.

“You know what I mean.”

Sam grimaced. “I do, unfortunately.”

“So? You must have a favorite Chinese restaurant.” Jason was smiling because he didn’t take Sam’s flickers of irritation all that seriously—and because the first meal they’d shared had been Chinese food.

Ah, memories. They’d pretty much detested each other back then. Which had made the sexual tension that flared instantly between them all the more—and mutually—exasperating.

“Sure. But…”

Sam didn’t finish the thought. Weariness vying with his sense of obligation. Their relationship was such—the nature of their jobs was such—that there was not a lot of time for dating as most of the world understood it.

Jason got it. Anyone in law enforcement got it. But Sam still suffered these occasional bouts of guilt. Or whatever. Sam’s obsession with the job was always going to be a challenge to their relationship. Initially, Jason had figured it had to do with losing Ethan, but for all he knew, Sam had always been like this.

And maybe that single-minded drive had been an issue between Sam and Ethan too. Ethan had been Sam’s boyhood love. They’d grown up together, planned to spend their lives together, but Ethan had been murdered while they were still in college. That was about all Jason knew because Sam was not informative on the topic of Ethan.

“Take out and staying in is actually what I’d prefer,” Jason said.

“Yeah?” Sam scanned his face, then relaxed. “Well, if that’s the case. The China King restaurant on Hope Road is pretty good. Tell me what you want—”

“Nope. You tell me what you want. I’ve been sitting around here for a couple of hours. I need to stretch my legs anyway.”

Sam hesitated. “You sure you don’t mind?”

Jason half closed his eyes, consulting his memory of that first night in Kingsfield. “Hot and sour soup, shrimp with lobster sauce…what else? Steamed rice or fried?”

“Steamed. Good memory,”

“You need it in my line of work.” Jason wiggled his eyebrows, as though he was involved in some nefarious occupation and not just another cop with a fancy title. He hunted around for his shoes, locating them beneath the coffee table. His leather jacket was draped over the autumn colored accent chair in the corner of the room.

He was pretty sure Sam had taken this “apartment home” furnished, because the dΓ©cor had a definite Overstock.com vibe. Comfortable, attractive, generic. Other than the four paintings by Granville Redmond that decorated his living room, office and bedroom walls, the place could have doubled as a very nice hotel suite.

“Hope Road, you said?” He checked his wallet.

“Go north on US-1. It’s less than a mile.” Sam was shrugging out of his raincoat, preparing to get comfortable, and Jason smiled inwardly.

“Got it. I’ll be back in a few.”

“West?”

Jason glanced back. “Mm?”

Sam grinned. “Don’t forget the fortune cookies.”

“Roger that.” Jason touched a finger to his temple in mock salute and stepped outside.

Author Bio:
Bestselling author of over sixty titles of classic Male/Male fiction featuring twisty mystery, kickass adventure and unapologetic man-on-man romance, JOSH LANYON has been called "the Agatha Christie of gay mystery."

Her work has been translated into eleven languages. The FBI thriller Fair Game was the first male/male title to be published by Harlequin Mondadori, the largest romance publisher in Italy. Stranger on the Shore (Harper Collins Italia) was the first M/M title to be published in print. In 2016 Fatal Shadows placed #5 in Japan's annual Boy Love novel list (the first and only title by a foreign author to place on the list).

The Adrien English Series was awarded All Time Favorite Male Male Couple in the 2nd Annual contest held by the Goodreads M/M Group (which has over 22,000 members). Josh is an Eppie Award winner, a four-time Lambda Literary Award finalist for Gay Mystery, and the first ever recipient of the Goodreads Favorite M/M Author Lifetime Achievement award.

Josh is married and they live in Southern California.


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EMAIL: josh.lanyon@sbcglobal.net 



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