Body Language by Tim Bartholomew

Greetings book lovers!

Today I’ve got Body Language by Tim Bartholomew — this is a book we published through Deep Desires Press (my company) and I love this story so much! I really think you’ll love it too!

The sequel, Getting to Grips, comes out early next year, so this is the perfect time to read Body Language.

Keep reading for the blurb, cover, excerpt, and more!


Blurb:

How long can a man escape his past with his virtue intact?

Naïve yet irresistible Andrew Billingham is a private French tutor working in London’s bohemian Pimlico area. When out jogging one day, he collides with the heart-stoppingly gorgeous Bryony. Falling head over heels on top of her, it is love at first sight.

However, Andrew’s life of adventurous love-making is overturned when Bryony’s employers send her abroad for six months. To add to Andrew’s woes, his winsome good looks and trusting nature make him an easy target for sexually unscrupulous foes just waiting for the opportunity to seduce and ambush him.

Ensnared by two predatory and vengeful women—one twenty-five years his senior—Andrew is plunged into a nightmare of unseemly passion, intrigue, and sexual enslavement. Can he come through this ordeal unscathed without losing the love of his life and the erotic bliss he enjoys with her?

Body Language is a 58,000 word erotic comedy, the first in the Slave to Beauty trilogy. If you like your books erotically-charged and fast-paced, then you’ll love Tim Bartholomew’s tender treatment of love and his devastating indictment of lust.

Buy your ebook copy at Amazon now!

Click here for other stores or for paperback!

Body-Language-Tim-Bartholomew-2400

Excerpt:

Scene: lovemaking in Fortnum and Mason’s third floor Gentlemen’s lavatory:

“Sorry I can’t run to a bedroom at The Ritz, my darling,” I pant, “but this is the nearest available love-nest on a chilly Sunday afternoon in spring.”

She seizes my jacket collar, pulls my face down, and kisses me again. “I’m not worried, Andrew.” She begins to unfasten the belt of her raincoat. “Go in and see if the coast’s clear.”

I push open the door and peer inside. High, frosted windows, an Art Deco tiled floor, urinals, and two cubicles; nobody in residence. “Come in quick,” I giggle. Bryony’s hands are flitting over her coat buttons. I lock the cubicle door behind us, my whole body tingling with anticipation. “This is very naughty,” I whisper, fumbling with my own belt.

“Take everything off,” she commands, wide-eyed. “I dare you!”

“Don’t be daft!” My heart is pounding. “What if somebody comes in?”

“We’ll just have to be perfectly still until they go again.” She untucks me and thrusts both hands inside my shirt. “Besides, a typical Fortnum’s customer will be too up his arse to notice! Strip or I’ll whistle for that leather dog!” She pushes my jacket off and tosses it into the corner while I slip kisses under her jaw. Her hand is suddenly back inside my boxers. I gasp as she squeezes me, fingers moving expertly and with exquisite sensitivity amongst my bits and pieces.

Breathless, hardly daring to move, I take her face in both hands. “Kiss me, Andrew,” she sighs, her brown eyes sparkling. “All over. And if you’re good, if you’re very good, I’ll take you­––”

“Oh, Bryony—”

“For a Fortnum’s cream tea.” I suppress a delicious bubble of laughter, breathe her in. My lips explore her cheeks, linger over her mouth and finally seek out that favorite spot of hers behind her left ear. She quivers a little, the scent of her short hair intoxicating me. Her lips find mine once more and, as we kiss, I undo her jeans and reach between her thighs, pressing my hand against the front of her knickers and tilting her hips against me. She is warm with anticipation.

Ignoring the rest of my shirt buttons, I rip the garment over my head while she undoes my trousers. My shoes kicked off, blue chinos dropped to the floor, she crouches at my feet, holding down the front of my boxers and deftly taking the end of my dick between her lips. Her head rocking gently backwards and forwards, she pulls down my underwear and — this is a surreal touch, but she is a girl with standards — helps me off with my socks, one by one. Opening her glorious mouth again, my lover leans back on her haunches and looks me up down, appraising my naked body.

“Mmm, not bad, Andrew. Not bad at all.”

“Why thank you, beautiful. I do my best to give satisfaction.” Oscar Wilde is deeply embedded in my psyche; I feel he would have approved of our passion in so public a place.

Supporting herself on the stiffest thing she can find to hand, she pulls off her own blouse. Extending her arms, she braces herself between the cubicle walls, her long legs bare, hips at a seductive angle, her enticing burgundy lingerie perfectly toning with her pale skin. Such sensuous, perfumed beauty leaves me spellbound, even in a gents’ lavatory at Fortnum’s. At my approach, her body heaves and undulates with excitement. Gently, I let my fingertips glide outwards across her creamy cleavage and under her arms, reaching behind her to release the bra. Free of all constraints, her perfect breasts fall into my hands, warm and heavy. I cup them together, making her sigh by rubbing my thumbs gently across the nipples. “Well, hello again, you two,” I grin. “It’s been too long.”

“It’s been five hours, Andrew.”

“I wasn’t talking to you.”

“Sorry. Should’ve known better than to interrupt such a happy reunion.”

“Quite.” I pass my tongue slowly across first one nipple then the other. “Excuse me while I assume the position.” There is just enough room for me to kneel in front of Bryony. I push my nose once more into her cleavage, submerging myself for a delicious moment in her softness, rolling my face from side to side, kissing and licking between her breasts. The magically smooth warmth of her skin sends tingles of longing down to my toes.

She leans back now against the door and groans faintly as I travel downwards across her abdomen, my tongue tracing a damp line towards her navel. It’s my turn to hook thumbs into knickers, and I pull them firmly down so that she can step out. We are both naked. As each leg lifts, I stroke under her thigh with both hands, molding and massaging as if to memorize this exquisite form, this moment, forever. Unable to resist any longer, I slide my hands slowly around her hips until my little fingers meet under her buttocks. Closing my eyes, I push forward between her legs, tease her with the tip of my tongue. I feel her arcing her back, pressing her pelvic bone into me.

“Stand up,” she whispers. “Let me look at you.” A sudden hint of sadness flickers momentarily behind her eyes. I pause for a second, a dull dread invading me.

“What is it, Bryony?”

“Later, my love,” she smiles, a little too chirpily. “It’ll keep.” She kisses me, her teeth lingering on my lower lip. “Now, what have we here?” With a sudden movement, she cups my balls in one hand and pushes me gently backwards towards the lavatory seat.

“Sit down, gorgeous. It’s time.”

 

….. two pages later

 

“No, please!” I can hardly speak. “Thank you! You’re an absolute angel and––”

I never finish whatever platitude I am about to utter because at this point the gents’ door opens and someone comes bustling in, leather-soled shoes clattering on the tiled floor. Our door is rattled (as am I) before the visitor enters the adjacent cubicle. Coitus interruptus, we hear him slam over the bolt and unzip. A pause, and then the sounds of copious peeing. One shiny brown brogue visible under the partition; we shuffle our feet towards the wall.

“Thank God he’s not settling in for the long haul,” I mouth into Bryony’s slightly pointed, pixie-like ear. She is beginning to giggle, her body jiggling up and down with tiny movements.

“Keep still, you bad girl, or he’ll hear you!”

To my alarm, such concentration on our new neighbor is causing wilt. Although I am pushing myself into her as hard as I can, I take the precaution of pulling out some sheets of paper. My lover is now sniggering uncontrollably and, to cover any audible snorts, I cough twice and hum a snatch of “Oh, What a Wonderful World” which only makes matters worse. I am sweating with embarrassment. Our neighbor has finished peeing and is evidently involved with tucking the oldest member away again. “In your own time, old boy,” I mutter, glaring at the wall. “Off you fuck.”

“Be patient, my handsome,” whispers Bryony. “He’ll bugger off in a minute.” Her tongue slithers eagerly into my ear and begins to trace the internal contours. With a spare hand, she reaches down to fondle my balls again, making the curly black hairs in my loins tingle. A wet finger passes tantalizingly back and forth across my bottom and I feel myself starting to expand and tighten inside her again. “There’s a good boy.” She is smiling with satisfaction. “We didn’t want a disappointing mess, did we?”

We kiss again, half-listening to the man’s final preparations for departure. As his toilet flushes, we slip to the floor and there, crouched upon me, Bryony starts slowly, inexorably to move up and down again, digging her nails into my shoulders. Then, as the door adjacent to us bangs open, she comes in for a third orgasm, this time more vociferously. She is convulsed with laughter and I clap my hand over her mouth. “Bryony! Ssshhhh!”

There’s a sharp rap on the door. Our door. “Who’s in there?” demands an elderly, aristocratic voice. “What the devil’s going on?”

I have no suitable answer ready, but Bryony is undaunted: “Your turn next, old fruit,” she announces in a deep, camp voice. “Pop a pair of crisp fifties by the basin and then hop along outside and wait patiently like a good boy. I’ll be with you directly, just as soon as I’ve satisfied this most demanding of young customers.” She emphasizes her expertise by suddenly poking a finger into my bottom. I emit a yelp.

“Do you mind?” shouts our unseen guest. “You blasted perverts! I’ve a good mind to report you.” We hear him washing his hands and pulling out an extravagant sheaf of paper towels. (There was a time when Fortnum’s supplied neatly folded white flannels.) “Bloody pooftahs. Unbelievable! Should be horse-whipped, the both of you.” He utters a final growl of disapproval before banging the main door behind him. We both burst into snorts of laughter.

“Are we done here, mademoiselle?” I enquire eventually. “Or are you in the market for another couple?”

“Andrew, my handsomest of sex slaves, your work here is done. Except I need to use that loo. And then we might think about dressing again.”

Buy your ebook copy at Amazon now!

Click here for other stores or for paperback!


About the Author:

Tim Bartholomew (www.timbartholomew.co.uk) is both a writer and actor, appearing most famously in TV commercials as Santa Claus for Marks & Spencer (2016) and the benign old Grandpa for Asda in their 2017 Christmas campaign.

Writing under the name Timothy Edward, his first comedy novel with “rude” bits, Lessons in Humiliation, received the following accolade from his old Dad: “Well, you’ve either had an unusual sex life or a very vivid imagination.” In point of fact, the reviewer was right on both counts.

Tim has also recorded the book for Amazon/Audible. At 10 hours 38 minutes, it makes ideal listening for long car journeys or flights. He is looking forward to recording Body Language too.

As they say in theatre programme credits, Tim has appeared on stage and screen for nearly twenty-five years, being cast normally as a benign old buffer, Captain Hook, a drag queen or a mad professor. According to one casting director, “it’s all about your rolling eyeballs, darling.” These days, however, Tim is aware that it’s all about his wrinkles: that lived-in face that earns him money for having fun in exotic locations.

In a varied career, Tim has also been an academic publisher, illustrator, music teacher, a payroll clerk and, in recent decades, a voice coach and Head of Drama at a mad school in Southern England. He draws material for his books from both his professional life, his own improbable experiences and, of course, family holidays.

Under his real name of Tim Baker, the author lives with his wife in Kent, the Garden of England. He is father to three boys and wicked stepfather to another boy and two girls, none of whom is inclined to read his erotic novels. He is an avid amateur photographer of birds—especially those of Trinidad and Tobago where his wife was born and upon whose glorious, secluded beaches Body Language opens and closes.

Twitter: @TimBartholomew5
Facebook: @TimBaker444
Instagram: @timbakerbartholomew

 

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From the Ashes by CM Valencourt

Greetings book lovers! Today I’ve got From The Ashes by CM Valencourt! Read on for the blurb, cover, excerpt, and more!


Blurb:

Hunter and Derek are at a fork in the road…

At their friend Justin’s funeral, once-best-friends Derek and Hunter meet again almost four years after their monumental falling out. Hunter kissed Derek, and Derek freaked out and chose a college on the other side of the country.

If they had a choice, both of them would walk away and never see the other again. Except Justin has given them a mission: an epic road trip to scatter his ashes all over the Midwest, complete with cryptic notes, new friends, and a whole lot of sexual tension. Can Derek and Hunter finish Justin’s road trip without ripping each other’s heads—or clothes—off?

This is a stand-alone 65,000-word novel with an HEA ending.

Buy your copy of From The Ashes at Amazon!

From the Ashes Cover

Excerpt:

“Why are you suddenly okay with having a gay friend now?”

“What?”

“I mean, you obviously didn’t feel comfortable being best friends with someone who was gay. So what changed?”

Derek’s heart hurt. Of course that’s what Hunter thought, that he ran away because the thought of two guys kissing made him angry or grossed him out. Derek himself had thought that was the case for a while, had even tried to convince himself of it for years. It wasn’t the truth, but Hunter had no way to know that.

No wonder he had hated him.

“I never had a problem with you being gay, Hunter. Fuck, I’m sorry it seemed like that. I’m such an idiot.”

Hunter squinted at him. “You didn’t care that I was gay?”

“I don’t think so. Not in the way you think.”

“So I could have brought a boy to prom, had him in all of our prom pictures, told you about how I sucked his dick in the bathroom, and you would have been…?”

Derek could barely breathe. He imagined wearing a black tux to prom while Hunter wore some crazy colored suit, Derek’s tie and pocket square matching his suit so everyone would know they were together. He imagined his mom and dad taking pictures of the two of them on their front staircase, his father giving Hunter a talk about keeping Derek safe. And he imagined Hunter’s hands around his waist, not caring that the whole thing was a little lame, kissing lightly under cheap party lighting.

But that wasn’t the scenario Hunter was proposing. “I would have been…I don’t know.” Hunter raised one eyebrow, and Derek was stumbling. “I just- it was so confusing. I didn’t tell you everything.”

“So tell me now.” Hunter pulled his feet away.

Derek knew he was digging himself further and further in. If he didn’t just explain to Hunter, he was going to lose him again.

“I was upset about the kiss because…” But he couldn’t say it. There was no way it was coming out after all this time.

“You can tell me anything, Dere.”

There it was, the tipping point, everything falling over the edge. “Because I think I might have liked it.”

Derek could tell that, out of everything, that wasn’t what Hunter was expecting him to say. His eyes widened. “Wait, what?”

Derek couldn’t say it again. He shrugged, a weak smile on his face.

“Okay. That’s…new information. So do you think you’re-”

“I don’t know.” Derek tried to control his breathing like he always told Hunter to do, gripped onto the bed sheets to keep himself from running out of the room.

“Have you experimented, then? You’re at an arts school; I have to imagine there’s some guy who’d be down.”

“No.” Derek blushed. “Only the once.”

Hunter’s voice was strong, but Derek noticed his fingers slightly shaking.

“Then what we have here is a hypothesis: Derek Knight might like kissing boys.”

One boy, specifically, Derek thought. His palms were sweating.

“So a hypothesis needs to be falsifiable. How do you feel about kissing girls?”

“It’s…fine.”

Hunter chuckled. “That’s what you said about the beer.”

Derek elbowed him lightly in the ribs.

“But a hypothesis also has to be repeatable,” Hunter continued. It took Derek a few moments to catch up.

“You’d really kiss me again? After all that?”

Hunter smiled. “After everything, I promised myself I wouldn’t kiss any straight boys. But I think you’re currently falling under the LGBTQ umbrella under Questioning.”

His head was buzzing. If Hunter was actually willing to kiss him again, he knew he had to try.

“Okay,” Derek said, barely a whisper.

Hunter seemed to remember the camera, still on in his hand. He turned it off and got up to put it on his bed. When he came back, he was closer, facing Derek. “But only if you want to,” Hunter told him.

In that moment, Derek wanted to be the one to lean in, wanted to crash into Hunter like the lake into the sand. But it was too hard, the chasm between them too dangerous for him to cross.

He couldn’t make himself say it, so instead he nodded. He closed his eyes, waiting for it to come.

Hunter’s lips met his, and instantly it was like they were back in that day in Hunter’s parents’ basement, the continuation of something. Hunter moved slowly at first, letting Derek get a taste of what was happening.

Buy your copy of From The Ashes at Amazon!


About the Author:

C.M. Valencourt is a new m/m romance author. They started devouring queer fiction when they still had to smuggle it into their parents’ Catholic household, and dreamed of writing books about queer people finding love ever since. They like figure skating, ghost hunting shows, and Carly Rae Jepsen. You can find out more about their books and learn about upcoming releases at cmvalencourt.com.

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Yakuza by Lilia Blanc

Greetings book lovers!

Today I want to share with you Yakuza by Lilia Blanc! This book was published by my company, Deep Desires Press. I loooove this book, but because of its sad ending, it’s been getting some rough love.

Take a look below, and keep in mind the sad ending (which is redeemed in the forthcoming sequel), and then click on through to get your copy!


Blurb:

The people of Tawano are used to the yakuza. They know to avoid them, to get off the streets when fights are brewing. At least, most of them do.

When college student Hiroshi makes a fatal mistake, and finds himself held at knifepoint, there’s only one person who can help him: Kazuo, the yakuza who controls Tawano, and the one who started the fight in the first place.

They’re completely different, and as their paths keep crossing, neither of them can understand the other—but it’s clear they’ll have to, or the dangers that follow Kazuo could claim more than just the lives of a few city-folk.

Click here to get your copy!

Yakuza-Lilia-Blanc-2400

Excerpt:

“Anything?”

My right-hand man shook his head. Masao looked over at me from where he stood leaning against the wall of my elaborate office, arms crossed and eyes narrowed. He was disappointed, and most likely in himself. Masao always prided himself in getting the things I asked for without delay or hassle. But, I suppose there were some things that even the ex-assassin couldn’t do. I frowned as I looked away from his piercing hazel stare to the dark wood of my desk.

“Bastards,” I hissed to myself. I leaned back in the large leather chair and eyed the room we were in while I listened. A bookshelf to my right held odds and ends from my father, an old collection I dare not part with. To my left a printer was set up on a separate desk. My computer was to the left on my desk and a black jar holding a handful of pens sat next to it.

“They hide well,” Masao commented. He shoved off the wall and stepped further into the room. He still wore the full black clothing he’d gone out in the night before. I could see the handles of many knives clinging to the vest he wore. Masao sat down, the leather chair he’d chosen creaking as he sank in it and crossed one leg over the other. He tilted his head and gave a heavy sigh. The sway of the single earring in his right ear marked him as my right hand. “Too well and it reminds me of a certain someone we used to know a long time ago,” he added with an irritated groan.

I was afraid of that. I hadn’t wanted to hear it, yet it was being spoken in my private office in Kiyto. “No, that can’t be. I shot him. Watched the ocean wash that bastard away.”

“Ghosts don’t always disappear, Kazuo. Sometimes they have accomplices.”

“Then find this ‘accomplice’!” I snapped at him and he stiffened in the chair briefly. I sighed, regretting losing my temper with him. Masao was the best of my men, I knew he was doing everything in his power to accomplish the order I’d given him.

“I’m doing what I can to do that for you. We’ll find him. Soon.” The sharp edge to his voice added to the determination painted on his face.

“I hope you’re right about that. If I begin to lose too much money, Tawano is going to fall into a depression. Much like the one I fought so hard to bring it out of,” I answered him in a softer tone, hoping to make up for yelling at him.

“We know that. It’s why we’re doing everything we can to figure it out. Trust us, Kazuo. If not your men, then trust me in the least.”

“I do trust you.”

Masao sighed and leaned forward. “Sometimes I wonder if you really do.”

I frowned at him. “Of everyone here who I know would put their life in danger for me, I trust you the most. I know you’ll find this person, whoever they are. And when you do, we’ll deal with them as we’ve dealt with others before.”

Masao nodded and stood up. He gave me a deep bow before he turned to leave the private office. “I’ll give you their head on a silver platter if you wish.”

“I know.”

The door closed, leaving me to brew over my thoughts in silence. Masao would undoubtedly find them; the source of the leak. The one who was channeling a fair amount of money out of Tawano and into an unknown account. I’d been watching the money filter its way toward a number I didn’t recognize for a week now and we weren’t any closer to finding the culprit than we had been at the beginning of the investigation. Not even the police who worked for me could find the source. It was driving me mad.

• • •

Despite having told Masao that I trusted him, it was difficult to sit and just wait. I had to do something, anything. So I left Kiyto and took the hour drive into Tawano city. The downtown area was rather nice to cruise around once I got there. Bustling with people, clean streets, and holding the lowest crime rate; I was proud of my city. And I was determined to keep things the way they were in Tawano. I drove with no particular destination in mind. As I took turn after turn, watching the shops and the people who went about their daily lives, my mind wandered. It had been a handful of years since the streets had seen any dark horrors. In the clutches of a man who was bound and determined to run it to the ground, Tawano had once been the center of all kinds of crime. The death toll was one of the highest in the world and, in addition to that, the city had also been labeled the worst to even dare visit.

It took everything I had to overthrow the asshole who had nearly destroyed it all. Including me. If not for certain events, I was certain I’d have had a hand in the destruction too. If only … Izuya.I clenched the wheel a little too tightly, my knuckles turning white as I waited for the light ahead of me to switch to green. How long had it been? Six … seven years? I couldn’t recall. It wasn’t as if that part of my life was the most vibrant either. The only light that had been in my life at the time was Izuya.

When he found me in the dark alley, rain was pouring down on me. Three men dead because of the hit ordered on them and their blood soaking my clothes. Izuya had come out of nowhere. Instead of being afraid of me, he held his umbrella out over me, covering my body from the rain. Damn his light. His pretty smile. The overly large sweatshirt he wore that his slender fingers barely peeked out of.

Izuya.

A horn blared behind me and I started in the seat. The light was green and for how long I didn’t know because I had been daydreaming. I gunned it, tearing through the intersection while I frowned and glared in my rearview mirror. As if it were the man’s fault I hadn’t been paying attention. After a moment, I sighed and relaxed, slowing down as I cruised the streets. I couldn’t let myself get lost in old times. It wasn’t good for me, or any of the men that worked for me either.

They needed someone strong and unwavering. If I showed any of the opposite, I would be killed. Even Masao wouldn’t be able to stop it. We had far too many enemies. Tawano was a port city, perfect for trade. The ideal hot spot for any yakuza to take control of. And one that I had no intention of giving up. Some might have called me yakuza as well, but I wasn’t the kind of businessman who would destroy his place of operations. I was smarter than that.

And as my thoughts wandered yet again, I passed by another busy section of town. The university was blooming with ripe students. The wealth of the area was easy to see, as was the entirety of my city. Yet here, as I slowly rolled past the park, coffee shop, and library, my heart clenched so hard that I came to a hard stop without realizing it.

“Izuya…” I whispered his name, yet even as I did so I knew it couldn’t be right. It wasn’t right because I knew better. There was no possible way it was him. Yet, the young brunette looked exactly like him. Even his smile. I trembled as I watched the college student talk with his friend as they passed the university, either on their way home or to whatever part time job they held. It took everything I had not to get out of the car and call to him.

I wrenched my gaze away and glared at the street ahead of me. I forced myself to hit the gas and keep moving. Where had that young man come from? I scolded myself for even considering the things that ran through my head. Izuya wasn’t with me anymore and there was nothing I could do about it. I shouldn’t shove off my old affections onto someone else, let alone a complete stranger who had no idea to begin with.

I drove through the streets a little faster that time. It was already well into the late afternoon hours. Instead of heading to the office, I went out of the city and took the long hour drive back to Kiyto. There, at the very least, I could relax somewhat. Without the temptations of the city, or the brunette. I ground my teeth as I drove a little too fast through the streets to get to the highway. I hoped to hell that Masao would have something for me soon. Something else to focus on since I’d thoroughly managed to screw myself over.

Kiyto was a beautiful place — an ancient temple that was built in the wayo style — that I had inherited some years ago. Of course my father would be more than disappointed in how I was utilizing the grounds now. It hadn’t been a place for worship in many decades, even during his time. After overcoming the tyrant who held Tawano in his clutches those years ago, I found Kiyto to be the only sanctuary for myself and those that followed me. It was massive, housing the entirety of my men if they so chose. Currently it only held a small portion of the group, seeing as many had families to go to at the end of their workday.

I pulled into the gravel yard after passing the massive pitch-black gates at the front of the estate. Almost all of the vehicles in the yard were black SUVs large enough to hold a small army of men and powerful enough to rush through the city should it be needed. The only one that was different belonged to Masao. The sharp silver color was a stark contrast to the rest of the fleet of vehicles. And it wasn’t meant for a large group of men to go rolling around in either. Four was its max seating, and with it being only a two door, even that was pushing it.

The supra was his pride and joy. And I was happy to see it sitting in the yard. It told me that he was in Kiyto and probably long before I’d decided to return. I parked my car and got out. Gravel crunched under my shoes as I crossed the massive yard to follow the old bridge that crossed over into the sacred grounds. The rock gardens were immaculately kept, designs woven through the sands in intricate displays that immediately calmed my chaotic mind.

The small creek that flowed beneath the bridge gurgled softly as I passed, the wood creaking under foot. The rails were red and the sides that held it up were black, reflecting the temple that lay ahead of me. The old design recalled a time long past when Japan was still fighting over territories. Red pillars rose up high to hold the curving roof. Black walls gave off a sense of formidable elegance. I followed the path up to the steps of the place I called home.

I passed through the double doors, which were carved with dragons on either side, their jaws coming down as if to engulf the handles. Once inside, I was greeted by a good many voices as the men passed through the halls, busy with their own agendas. I replied as I saw them, not bothering to stop for too long. Masao was there and I had to see if he’d come up with anything for me. We had been dealing with the problem we’d spoken about that morning for weeks now. Masao was good, but I couldn’t help losing hope over the matter.

“I was just about to call you,” Masao said as he exited a room down the hall and caught sight of me.

“I decided to finish early.” I kept walking and he fell into step next to me. “Do you have anything?”

“I do. It’s small, but it might lead to something bigger. You’re not going to like it though.”

I frowned. “I think at this point, anything you tell me is something I’m not going to like.”

“It’s Gin.”

“Gin?”

“He’s the one siphoning the money to that strange account. I don’t know why I didn’t catch it before.”

“Because we weren’t looking on the inside,” I replied, rage starting to seethe as I thought it through. Of course it was Gin, how could I have missed that. As of late he’d been offering a lot of opposition to our decisions. He was the only one to argue with me during meetings on where the group was headed next, what direction we were going to take. I’d ignored him, his reasonings weren’t sound enough to be of any worth. I was seeing my mistake now.

“I got him to agree to a meeting tonight. I didn’t say for what or why. He’d have bolted otherwise.”

“Good. He still might run, but at least we have a start. We’ll interrogate him and get to the bottom of this. He’s been a pain in the ass lately. I wonder who’s bought him out.”

Masao snorted. “Probably some half-wit who thinks they can waltz into Tawano and intimidate us with stealing money. And not even that much.”

“No, just an annoyance really.”

“An annoyance that’s got our attention,” he sighed. “I don’t know. I guess it feels odd. In any case, we’ll deal with Gin and get our hands on the asshole who’s pulling the strings.”

I nodded. “Tonight you said? What time?”

“Around eight. I figured he’d feel better if we met in the city. More witnesses for him.”

I shook my head as I gave Masao a small smirk. “Unfortunately, all of those witnesses are mine and no one will say a damn word should he end up with a bullet through his skull.”

“Well. They might say something, but it’s not a big deal. The cops here know about everything. They won’t listen to a story about the yakuza leader who disposed of a leak.”

“Get ready. We’ll see how it goes tonight. No doubt someone is going to end up with a hole in their body. And it’s not going to be me.”

Click here to get your copy!

 

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Bloodspell by Lily Luchesi

Greetings, book lovers! I’m excited to share an excerpt with you from Bloodspell, written by USA Today bestselling author Lily Luchesi! Read on for the blurb, cover, and excerpt — and be sure to get your copy today!


BloodspellSimonWhip

Blurb:

Bound by an ancient prophecy, freed by love.

Mages have lived by a prophecy that states that once there are two mage houses left, one must kill the other to maintain a magical balance. But the prophecy is disrupted when a new mage is revealed and begins killing everyone in his path.

Simon Moonspell and Tobias Bloodworth, the last two mages of the ancient houses, must put their animosity aside in order to stop this new mage and fulfill the prophecy. However, when their hatred slowly turns to love, can they remain impartial or will they be forced to battle to the death?

AVAILABLE NOW FOR 99c! OR FREE ON KINDLE UNLIMITED!

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Excerpt:

Tobias scoffed, but he was smirking. “Well, there is a first time for everything, isn’t there?”

“Git.”

“Yes, I am, and I own it.” He stood up and stretched his legs. His coat was discarded, and he wore only a pair of black trousers and a white shirt. Simon noticed his nails were polished matte black. It was a nice touch … as was that gorgeous body.

“Once we find the prophecy and see if there is a way to circumvent it, we need to figure out where Thornhill is hiding and eradicate the bastard from existence,” he said with more vehemence than Simon had ever heard from him. “We have spent hundreds of years fulfilling this prophecy, upholding the names of our houses and the standards at which mages have always been held and he — he — ” Tobias trailed off in a huff. “Damn it,” he muttered. “Control, control.”

Simon stood up and walked behind Tobias. He placed a hand on his bony shoulder and said, “Hey, it’s okay. We’re going to kill him; we’ll make him pay for his crimes. I promise.”

Tobias’ skin was warm beneath his shirt and Simon wanted to melt right into him, to hold him from behind and —

Stop it, he scolded himself.  For once my brain makes more sense than my body!

Tobias stood straighter and turned, dislodging Simon’s hand from his shoulder and breaking the moment. “Forgive me. I am not often like this.”

“There’s nothing to forgive. This is a lot of pressure, mate,” Simon said. “We never really discussed it but … if there is no way to change the prophecy…”

“Then one of us must kill the other. Yes, I am familiar with it,” Tobias snapped.

“You don’t want to kill me?” Simon asked, confused. He always assumed that Tobias would relish the chance to kill him and make it hurt after how he’d treated him when they were children.

“No, despite my sour disposition, I am not a particular fan of murder,” he said. “And you? Were you relishing the idea of finally getting rid of the pesky little brat you used to knock over on the playground?”

Simon felt sick. Had he really hurt Tobias so much that those beautiful black eyes were filling with moisture? “No… I — I’m sorry,” he said, head hanging. “I was a stupid kid. I never wanted to hurt you, not really. And I don’t want to kill you.”

“Then let’s do what mages do best, shall we? Create a solution to a magical problem.”

Tobias acted as though he hadn’t just been on the verge of some sort of breakdown as he gave Simon a translator and they began looking for the prophecy again.

It wasn’t until late that night as Simon was starting to fall asleep that he heard Tobias exclaim, “I’ve got it!”

Simon nearly fell out of his chair from the shock. He had never heard the reserved man shout so loudly. “W-what?”

“The prophecy, you imbecile! I found it! And it’s already translated for us.”

“Well? What’s it say?” Simon asked, going to stand at his side. He could feel the heat from his skin, smell an earthy shampoo that was just so … Tobias. It was enough to send his libido into overdrive as if he was a teenager again.

“Here.” Tobias angled the book so that Simon could see.

* * *

“Here we stand with mages uncountable, in the age where magic is new. They will create and make the future, spells all shall use. But one by one the houses must fall; as magic expands, they must recede. Until one day only one house name shall remain of the mighty mages, lasting for eternity in history. On the day that two remain, one must make the deciding blow and concede their name. Only one name can remain. The balance of magic must be maintained, and so it has been said, so shall it be.”

AVAILABLE NOW FOR 99c! OR FREE ON KINDLE UNLIMITED!


About the Author:

Lily Luchesi is the USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of the Paranormal Detectives Series, published by Vamptasy Publishing. She also has short stories included in multiple bestselling anthologies, and a successful dark erotica retelling of Dracula. She is also the editor, curator and contributing author of Vamptasy Publishing’s Damsels of Distress anthology, which celebrates strong female characters in horror and paranormal fiction. She was born in Chicago, Illinois, and now resides in Los Angeles, California. Ever since she was a toddler her mother noticed her tendency for being interested in all things “dark”. At two she became infatuated with vampires and ghosts, and that infatuation turned into a lifestyle. She is also an out member of the LGBT+ community. When she’s not writing, she’s going to rock concerts, getting tattooed, watching the CW, or reading manga. And drinking copious amounts of coffee.

www.facebook.com/LilyLuchesi

http://lilyluchesibooks.wix.com/lilyluchesi

http://amazon.com/author/lilyluchesi

www.twitter.com/LilyLuchesi

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1000888509953193/
(street team)

www.instagram.com/lilyluchesi

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7369101.Lily_Luchesi

https://www.authorgraph.com/authors/LilyLuchesi (have
your e-books autographed!)

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My new young adult novel is out!

I wrote a young adult gay romance! Check it out!

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Gay Love and Other Fairy Tales

Dylan James

Jordan Ortiz decides he can no longer hide who he truly is. He’s gay.  He comes out to his family, then he comes out to everyone, and it goes well. Like, way better than he thought possible. But that’s about where it ends. There aren’t enough out gay kids at school for him to build a queer social life or even consider the possibility of dating. For now, he’s happy to be the gay bestie for his BFF, Hannah.

Benjamin Cooper is the captain of the football team and has known Jordan for almost his whole life. And he has a secret. When they won an award at the science fair in grade nine, Jordan hugged him—and that’s when Ben realized he had feelings for Jordan. As he watches Jordan come out and flower into who he is, he can’t help but feel ashamed—ashamed at what a coward he is compared to Jordan.

When a broken leg and fair-weather friends leave Ben feeling lonely on Christmas break, he spends New Year’s Eve with Jordan, just hanging out in his basement like they used to years ago. But as the countdown to midnight happens and the ball is about to drop, Ben has something else in mind. At the stroke of midnight, he kisses Jordan.

What starts with a surprise kiss leads to a year of shared secrets, hidden love, relationship troubles, and broken hearts. Through it all, one fact holds true—Jordan loves Benjamin and Benjamin loves Jordan. But is that enough to carry them through when Ben wants to stay firmly in the closet, to the very point that this might destroy what hope they have of true love?

Gay Love and Other Fairy Tales is a sweet young adult romance published by Deep Hearts YA.

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New YA gay romance coming soon!

As I’ve mentioned a few times around the internet, I’ve branched into young adult gay romance. These stories have none of the sex, but all of the heat.

My first book under my new YA pen name (Dylan James) is called Gay Love and Other Fairy Tales and it comes out next week on Tuesday September 11!

Heads up — I seem to have a high “cry rate” among readers! More than half the readers so far have reported crying or tearing up during the ending. Can you keep it together?


Blurb:

Jordan Ortiz decides he can no longer hide who he truly is. He’s gay.  He comes out to his family, then he comes out to everyone, and it goes well. Like, way better than he thought possible. But that’s about where it ends. There aren’t enough out gay kids at school for him to build a queer social life or even consider the possibility of dating. For now, he’s happy to be the gay bestie for his BFF, Hannah.

Benjamin Cooper is the captain of the football team and has known Jordan for almost his whole life. And he has a secret. When they won an award at the science fair in grade nine, Jordan hugged him—and that’s when Ben realized he had feelings for Jordan. As he watches Jordan come out and flower into who he is, he can’t help but feel ashamed—ashamed at what a coward he is compared to Jordan.

When a broken leg and fair-weather friends leave Ben feeling lonely on Christmas break, he spends New Year’s Eve with Jordan, just hanging out in his basement like they used to years ago. But as the countdown to midnight happens and the ball is about to drop, Ben has something else in mind. At the stroke of midnight, he kisses Jordan.

What starts with a surprise kiss leads to a year of shared secrets, hidden love, relationship troubles, and broken hearts. Through it all, one fact holds true—Jordan loves Benjamin and Benjamin loves Jordan. But is that enough to carry them through when Ben wants to stay firmly in the closet, to the very point that this might destroy what hope they have of true love?

Pre-order your copy now so you’re the first to read it!

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Excerpt:

Nineteen minutes and thirty seconds.

I can’t keep counting down like this. I’m going to drive myself insane. I’m going to kill the mood if I’m glued to the clock. I hear some rustling beside me and I see that Jordan has pulled out his phone and he’s scrolling through Instagram. He suddenly angles his phone away from me.

“What?” I ask.

He hesitates, then says, “Nikki’s posting pics of her and Winston.”

“I’m not her boyfriend,” I say automatically. I’ve never actually said that to anyone. I’ve always just let people make their own assumptions and I was happy to play along with it. “We were never together.”

“Really?” Jordan asks, raising an eyebrow.

“I make her look good in photos, but I have no interest in her,” I say. I can feel a bead of sweat forming at my temple.

He scoffs. “You put on a good act then.” He goes to her profile and scrolls down until he finds pictures of me and Nikki. Together. Kissing.

“That’s exactly what it is. An act.” My heart is beating so hard it feels like it’s going to punch through my ribs.

He looks at me like he’s assessing me. “She’s gorgeous,” he says. It’s like he’s pushing me, like he knows what I want to say, even though I don’t think he has a clue. “She’s a control freak sometimes, yeah, but she’s gorgeous.”

“Not my type,” I say.

“Oh?” He shuts off his phone and tosses it on the couch between us. “What is your type?”

You. You’re my type. But can I say those words out loud? Hell no. Coward.

Instead, I turn my attention to the TV. Fourteen minutes left.

“I’m still figuring that out,” I say.

He seems to accept that as an answer, or at least accepts that I’m not ready to talk more about it. We silently watch the rest of the countdown and inwardly I’m kicking myself again — way to ruin the mood right before the hug! I’m saving my last mouthful of Bud Light for midnight, so I’m just sitting here idly holding an almost-empty can of beer.

Finally, what seems like ages later, we’re down to less than a minute. Slowly, the energy in the room warms up. I lean forward, like getting closer to the TV is going to somehow make this more exciting. Beside me, Jordan does the same.

“Ten!” he says out loud, joining the cheering people on the screen counting down.

I join in with him. “Nine! Eight! Seven! Six! Five! Four! Three! Two! One! Happy new year!”

I take that final swig of beer, letting the alcohol give me a burst of courage. I stand up and hold my arms out and Jordan stands up and comes into them. I wrap my arms around him, holding him tight.

“Happy new year,” I whisper.

“Happy new year,” he whispers back.

I know I should let go, end this hug, because it’s getting too long — it’s past the limit of how long friends hug. But I don’t want to let go.

I never want to let go.

Jordan feels so right in my arms.

But there’s something I want even more.

I loosen my arms a little bit and he backs up just an inch or two and he looks up at me. His eyes sparkle in the light and I can see a question behind those clear, brown eyes. He knows something is different.

With the alcohol pushing my decisions, I angle my head in and kiss him.

He puts his hands on my chest like he’s ready to push me away, but I keep kissing him, even though he’s not moving his lips, even though he’s as still as a statue. Panic starts to rise in me and I can feel myself starting to shake. Jordan isn’t responding.

Pre-order your copy now so you’re the first to read it!

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Donovan’s by CC Strix

Wyatt is at the top of his game. His restaurant, Donovan’s, is booked out six months in advance and his goals of having the top steakhouse in Las Vegas no longer seem like a dream. Despite his professional success, it’s not enough, because no matter how hard he works, he’s still alone at the end of the day. Wyatt can’t let anyone close. A lesson that’s been drilled into him time and again. There’s too much at stake. One mistake could cost him everything. So, he keeps his head down and stays out of trouble, until a customer drops dead in his dining room and he realizes his past may not be as far behind as he hopes.

Rhonan needs a change. Small towns and small town minds have worn on him. When his granddad calls and says he needs help, they both know it’s the excuse Rhonan needs to make the move from Illinois to Las Vegas. The change of pace and fresh start is just what he needs to find himself. When a guy drops dead at the restaurant Rhonan’s eating at and he overhears something he shouldn’t, his journalist instincts kick in before he can stop himself. Soon, he finds it’s only the beginning of the whirlwind that trails behind the mysterious chef. It may not be quite what Rhonan had in mind when he decided to turn his life upside down, but there’s something about the handsome chef that keeps Rhonan coming back for more.

Buy your copy now or read for free on Kindle Unlimited!

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Excerpt:

Rhonan paid for his drink and tipped the gorgeous blue eyed, black haired, muscles on top of muscles, bartender then turned his head slightly towards the center of the club. The way the club was set up, there were two levels for the bar, but the upper level was quieter, if only marginally, due to the huge open center than revealed the dance floor below. He let his gaze run over the crowd below and his heart kicked in his chest when his gaze landed on those same hazel eyes he’d been trying to chase from his head since Rhonan walked away from them hours before. He had tried to brush off his interest in the chef as a simple curiosity. After all, someone was murdered in his restaurant and a threat was found. Add in the fact Rhonan was having visions about the same man, how could he not be curious? After that brief run in with Wyatt in the parking garage, Rhonan knew his interest ran deeper. It had taken all of Rhonan’s self-control not to get closer to Wyatt as they stood there smoking. His deep timbered voice had soothed Rhonan’s nerves and he had actually considered slipping Wyatt his number before he remembered himself and walked away. He knew it wasn’t something he should pursue at this point. Wyatt would be busy enough at the restaurant and Rhonan had to figure out what the hell he was going to do with his life. There was no sense in starting anything up until he knew if he would even be sticking around. Then again, they could have simply had one night. Apparently they still could.

Rhonan shook his head, trying to rid himself from these thoughts and found Wyatt on the dance floor once more, still staring up in Rhonan’s direction. His heart skipped a beat like it had back in the parking garage when he caught Wyatt staring at him. The chef was definitely going to be bad for Rhonan’s heart at this rate. What was he doing here? Had they closed the restaurant down? Rhonan stopped caring once Wyatt flashed a predatory smile his way. Through a bold move of trying to maintain disinterest, Rhonan turned away from the sexy chef and focused on the bartender instead. He laughed and flirted with the man while he discretely pulled out his phone to check for new information on the restaurant or the investigation, but found nothing other than the standard, ‘police are investigating, business as usual after today’. Rhonan had just slipped his phone back into his pocket when the bartender gasped quietly and took a step back, his eyes pinned on whoever was closing in on Rhonan’s personal space.

“Two of whatever he’s having.”

The rough voice with the slight accent to it, one Rhonan still couldn’t place, sent a shiver racing right down his spine. He leaned his head back without turning around, “You might be sorely disappointed in that, Mr. Palmer. It’s only soda for me tonight, I’m afraid.”

Wyatt leaned down so his lips were close to Rhonan’s ear. “I’m not looking to get drunk. There are plenty of other ways to get a buzz without liquor.”

The bartender quickly returned with two more lime sodas, flashing his megawatt smile as he tried to flirt with both men. Wyatt slapped down a twenty, barely giving the bartender a second glance as he told him to keep the change. His attention never straying from Rhonan, “I was thinking about you. Or rather trying not to think about you. I came here looking for a distraction,” Wyatt leaned in near Rhonan’s ear, again, and dropped his voice, “and imagine my surprise when I found the source of my frustration instead.” He shook his head, “I don’t think it’s a coincidence I ran into you. I think I was drawn here to find you. Maybe I need to try a different way to get you out of my system.”

Wyatt’s body pressed closer to Rhonan’s and Rhonan found himself shifting and pressing his ass back against Wyatt’s groin. Rhonan tipped his head again, bringing his lips dangerously close to Wyatt’s. “That’s funny, I was thinking about you too. Figured you’d be at the restaurant though and I didn’t want to keep stalking you in the garage.”

Wyatt let out a low chuckle, his hot breath fanning Rhonan’s face, “So you admit to stalking me, then? I do believe that’s a crime, Mr. Blackwell.”

Buy your copy now or read for free on Kindle Unlimited!

About the Author:

As a young child, CC would often immerse herself in books, loving the ability to lose herself in the magical worlds. As she grew older, she was no longer content reading about magical worlds and instead started to create her own.

She likes to explore worlds where magic is real and supernatural creatures walk among us. Vampires, angels, demons, were creatures and those with other supernatural abilities have their own challenges but one thing CC tries to remember is they all deserve a little love.

CC holds the firm belief that love has little to do with what’s in a person’s pants and celebrates love in all forms. While she primarily writes M/M,  sometimes the voices decide it’s not always so cut and dry. She gave up pretending she had control of the characters in her head long ago, it makes them all much happier that way.

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