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Louder Than Words by Siryn Sueng

As I’ve mentioned more than once, I’m one of the co-founders and publishers over at Deep Desires Press, a publishing house for erotica and erotic romance.

When we received Siryn Sueng’s submission of Louder Than Words, I immediately knew we had to publish it. I think I feel a certain kinship with the book, perhaps because, like Derrek, I’m a former teacher who crushes on Starbucks baristas. And, like Alex, I have a communication-related disability (Alex can’t speak and I am hard of hearing).

But, most of all, the reason why I knew we had to publish Louder Than Words was because the banter between Derek and Alex is just so effing cute and awkward that I’m grinning the whole time I’m reading it.

You should definitely check out this book!


Blurb:

Derrek is a local teacher in Clearwater, Florida. He frequents a nearby coffee shop before work every morning, where he finds himself enraptured with a young barista, Alex. But Alex never seems to notice him, even when he’s handing Derrek his morning coffee.

After weeks of hiding in his corner under the pretense of working, Derrek finally gains enough courage to ask Alex on a date. He’s crushed when all he gets for an answer is complete silence. He thinks it’s the end, until he finds out that Alex has a disability that has paralyzed his vocal cords.

Sign language is Alex’s way of communication, and it’s something that Derrek knows little to nothing about. With renewed determination, Derrek asks Alex to teach him sign language. Derrek wants to be able to talk to Alex, to tell him how he really feels, and find out if Alex feels the same.

But more than anything, he longs for a relationship that goes deeper than just words alone.

Louder Than Words is an 18,000-word novella.

Purchase your copy:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo | Smashwords

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Excerpt:

I grabbed a bottle of water and went to the register, where the girl met me with a smile. “Candice” was what her name-tag said. I returned her pleasantries and handed her the bottle of water. As she rang up the total, I looked toward the back of the shop where employees were only allowed. I could see shelves filled with boxes but I didn’t see Alex anywhere.

I cleared my throat and got the courage to ask her where he was. “Uh, is Alex here?”

Candice stared for a moment and then laughed. “Oh, yeah. He’s here, in the back, getting more cups. Did you want to talk to him?” She paused and eyed me as if she knew me. Then she grinned. “You’re the guy from this morning, huh?” she said knowingly, catching me off guard. Had Alex told her about that? The thought had my heart tightening and my face burning with embarrassment.

“Y-yeah … about that—”

“Oh, don’t worry. He didn’t tell me much; just that you surprised him with your rather abrupt confession.” Candice interrupted me and gave me a wolfish grin.

I fiddled with my card and frowned at her. “Can I talk to him please?” I felt a little bad for speaking with a sharp tone, but couldn’t help it. I was annoyed that she was teasing me; as if Bryant didn’t do that enough.

She didn’t seem to care, though, as she walked away with her smile still in place. “Alex!” Her voice rang out in the back and I took a quick glance around the shop to make sure I hadn’t gained too much attention. I turned back to the counter as she came back with Alex in tow; quite literally towing him too, her hand wrapped around his wrist and a happy smile on her face.

“Here you go!” she said with such enthusiasm I was sure her and Bryant were related somehow. She presented Alex to me and he stood there in shock, fidgeting as he looked between her and me.

“Uh … hi,” I said and Candice snickered. I glared at her and she shrugged. It seemed to break the ice and Alex smiled.

“If you need a translator, I can do that for you. He doesn’t talk; he signs,” Candice offered.

“Yeah, I saw that earlier. Um … actually that’s why I wanted to talk to you, uh, speak with you? U-um … sorry. I’m not — anyway. I want to learn. I don’t know a single damn thing about signing, other than like A B C and hi.” I smiled like an idiot as I waved “hi” at him.

Alex’s smile grew and he leaned forward, bracing himself against the computer. He ran his tongue across his lips and I caught sight of a silver bar through the middle. Black bracelets laced his right wrist, the sleeves of his black shirt rolled up to his elbows. His lashes were long and thick, accenting his gorgeous green eyes. Alex’s laugh was raspy, the sound just about gone. The loudest part of it was the hard puff of air, followed by the faintest tone of his voice. He shook his head and ran a hand through his hair, pulling the black, sleek strands away from his face and I got a full view of the earrings in his ears; a couple of bars, rings of black and red, a stud, and a pretty, silver cuff.

He was definitely a good-looking man. I pressed on, now that the atmosphere between us wasn’t as tense. I was also distracting myself from that bar in his tongue … damn, was it tantalizing. “So, I was wondering if you could teach me. I’d like to learn.”

Alex played with the end of the black bar that crossed the top of his ear. His smile turned into a playful grin, and if I wasn’t already hooked, I was reeled in then. His hands and fingers weaved in the air forming his answer to me and I stared for a moment, too caught up in his sexy smile to really pay much attention.

“He said that’s fine,” Candice translated for me. “Said he wouldn’t mind teaching you. Especially since that’s not how you say ‘hi’ in sign language.”

Alex looked down, his smile growing, and he laughed again with that sweet soundless rasp, and my chest was tight.


About the Author:

Siryn Sueng is an erotica M/M romance writer. Mostly she writes in the fantasy, paranormal, and even Sci-Fi genres. Louder than Words, though, is her first ever contemporary work. She’s married to her wonderful husband of 13 years, and they have two cute kittens, Anubis and Kida, who drive them crazy almost all the time. Anubis fancies himself the destroyer of the elusive red dot…

Siryn is a lover of games on a wide range of platforms. She plays on the PC, console, and hand-held devices (her 3DS currently). She also plays otome novels on her tablet. Dragon Age, the Fire Emblem series, and the Tale’s series are her favorite games. Japan is where she would love to visit sometime. She’s a huge fan of Japan, including manga and anime. Siryn loves to read, though she’s been writing more than reading as of late. And she has a deep love for dragons. She has a very large collection of dragon statues in her house.

Siryn is also a co-writer with Usagi Kita. Together they write under the name ‘Lilia Blanc’ and have published their first book: King’s Lament.

Follow Siryn Sueng on Twitter: @Siryn_Sueng

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Modern Brides and Modern Grooms — Interview with Author Mark O’Connell

Greetings, readers! Today I’m thrilled to have Mark O’Connell here to talk about his book, Modern Brides and Modern Grooms: A Guide to Planning Straight, Gay, and Other Nontraditional Twenty-First-Century Weddings! First, we’ll start with the cover and blurb, then head on into the interview with Mark!

modern-brides-modern-groomsModern Brides and Modern Grooms

This book is for any couple—same or opposite sex—seeking a personalized wedding that dignifies the relationship and the individual self. No “new normal” here—this guide emboldens you to harness your unique, brazen, queer truth; to be creative; and to plan your wedding your way.

Every fiancé faces the question, how do I become something new without losing myself? Using his own story, author Mark O’Connell reflects on conflicts that arrive during wedding transitions, as well as various other transitions throughout your lives.

As a psychotherapist, O’Connell offers ideas to bridge relational gaps with your partner, family, and friends. As a professional actor, he also offers insight into the ways your wedding is a theatrical production and how this can help you to conceptualize the event, consolidate your efforts, and increase creative collaboration as a couple. This will serve you not only on your big day, but also for the rest of your time together.

Whether we’re straight, gay, or other, weddings inspire us to carve out more fun, freedom, recognition, life space, love space, and connubial space than we’ve ever had before.

Purchase your copy on Amazon. (Paperback edition releases January 3, 2017.)

Interview with Author Mark O’Connell

Tell us about Modern Brides & Modern Grooms.

10689767_10153283136182802_2409827048127737897_nMy guiding question for this book was: Why does anyone get married anymore?   Now that we can all get married in the U.S., and relationships are more gender neutral and equitable than ever before—gay or straight—why do so many of us still choose to get married and to have weddings?

I interviewed a wide variety of couples—of all ages, races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, and religious backgrounds—whose wedding planning journeys were each unique and distinct, but at the same time, at the core they were all after the same thing: to prepare for a life together, not just for a perfect day—with a perfect, white fluffy princess and a frilly cake at the center. And I use those very personal, idiosyncratic journeys to drive much of the book, to help inspire and encourage each individual reader.

I was also interested in how the processes of collaborative communication, negotiation, and creativity that go into wedding planning, help to decide much more than what color napkins are best and where to put the ice sculpture. More significantly the wedding planning process helps couples to practice how they will arrive at every major mutual decision they have to make down the line. (I’m a psychotherapist as well as an author). So unlike most wedding books, Modern Brides & Modern Grooms offers therapeutic advice for improving relationships with one’s partner (same or opposite sex), as well as one’s friends and family. That communication advice is based on my years of clinical experience.  Whether the reader is gay or straight, this book is designed to help him or her to plan a meaningful life together, not just a day.

Modern Brides & Modern Grooms is also the only book on the wedding or marriage shelf that is truly for any DIY wedding planner, male or female, gay or straight (not just brides).

Also, as a trained, professional actor, I offer the reader a perspective on how their wedding is a theatrical event that can effectively reveal their authenticity, and how they can go about achieving that.

And there are lots of TRUE, painfully honest, sometimes hilarious, sometimes cringe-worthy, stories, from my own wedding planning, and from a wide variety other couples, to give the reader a bit of entertaining schadenfreude, and to validate and invigorate readers as they embark on their own unique marital journeys.

Why is there a need for this book? And I see that you say it is for both gay and straight couples – how would a straight couple benefit from a book targeted at same-sex couples?

The very first line of the book is “Marriage equality has arrived, and it’s not just for the gays!”

Marriage equality has liberated us all. We can all now follow the lead of same sex couples who have always favored gender neutrality and equality in our partnerships, and, creative freedom in the celebration of our unions. All couples now have the opportunity to bust out of traditional molds of marriage and weddings.

There was no single wedding or marriage book before this one that addressed how the concept of marriage equality emphasizes our likenesses more than our differences—whether we are gay, straight, or anything else. So I wrote one book to cover all those bases.

I wanted a guide to exist for the various people out there who want to celebrate their unique relationships their own way.  I also wanted to inspire and empower each unique couple to reveal who they are, as opposed to conceal their individuality behind tired social norms.  And I wanted the true stories I shared in the book—mine and many others—to not only help people to navigate their own wedding planning, but also the entire course of their marriages—again, based on my work as a therapist who specializes in identity, family, and relationship conflicts. I also wanted the book to be a good read, to flow, so that people could pick it up and get lost in other people’s true stories to help them make up their own minds about what to do, rather than to be told what to do.

One of the specific motivations for writing this book was the number of straight women friends of mine who had been inspired by my queer wedding, because it modeled for them a way to celebrate their individuality and the specificity of their relationships, eyes wide open and on their own terms, without having to sleepwalk through the steps of misogynistic traditions (like being given away by one man to another).

Also, I wanted to address something that gets missed in even the most modern, progressive, wedding books: wedding planning isn’t just for brides.  

Men (both gay and straight) are more and more interested in helping to plan their own weddings than ever before.  Especially when they are encouraged to think deeply about the specific purpose of the event.  It’s the couples’ day, as a team, not just the bride’s (if there even is a bride).  It’s the couple’s opportunity to tell the story of who they are as a pair.  But unfortunately, most (if not all) of the wedding planning self is still aimed at women exclusively (and straight women at that).  I wanted to expand what was available and to help readers to consider all the rich, meaningful, and fun, things that are at the core of any wedding, none of which have to do with the problematic, age-old, and superficial theme of “here comes the bride.”   I wanted to create a resource that any couple could look to as they co-produce their own personal piece of theater, so that, when the event is performed, they will effectively and meaningfully celebrate the integration of their families with their tribes.

How does a same-sex wedding ceremony differ from a “traditional” wedding ceremony? (I’m reminded of my mom, who got married this past summer. She went very non-traditional with her wedding, almost exactly copying a same-sex wedding she had been to the previous year. Rather than being steeped in centuries of tradition, they instead allowed for freedom, creativity, and inventiveness—and just had fun!)

You answered your own question! Brilliantly.

There is no difference, really. Other than the fact that same sex couples do not have the option to sleepwalk through tired old wedding traditions, because we don’t have any. We are forced to be, as you say, “creative and individualistic, and free” to build our own, unique, events from the ground up.

But, again, as you say, the truth is that more and more straight couples are inspired by their queer peers and are refusing to perform antiquated rituals that hold no personal significance to them—as individuals or as couples—choosing instead to be just as awake, and creative and free in their celebrations, as their gay and lesbian friends and family members. So as time goes by, weddings are becoming more alike than different, no matter the genders or sexual orientations of the spouses to be.

Can you tell us a funny or cute or romantic story about your engagement and/or wedding with your husband?

1507922_10153283244057802_4432941838876914642_nYes! Our entire relationship has been guided by Samuel Beckett’s wise words: “Try again. Fail again. Fail better,” and our wedding was no exception.

We chose a venue near the college where we first met, as awkward sixteen-year-olds. We had been fast friends (he made me laugh!). And one night he told me that he really liked me. And I told him I was *straight* (because it was 1993 and I had NO gay role models, and too much internalized homophobia). So we stopped talking. FAIL.

Then, six years later, after I had the chance to find myself sexually, I saw him on MTV’s The Real World, and heard him talking about an unrequited college love… and decided to write him a redemptive letter (on letterhead with my phone number at the top…) And he called me one night (which was wild, because I was watching him on TV, at that moment—I saw him travelling with his housemates through India as we talked on the phone). And we picked up where we left off, and became the boyfriends we never could have been at sixteen, had he gotten what he wanted. Then, six months later, we were walking, hand-in-hand, in Boston Common, and came across Ellen DeGeneres, playing frisbee with her then girlfriend. And I thought, how auspicious: I should tell him why I wrote that letter. And I said, “Remember when you were talking about me on TV?…” and he was like, “Um… That wasn’t you.” Oof. FAIL AGAIN.

Our good friend, Joy, officiated our wedding and told that story to our guests, emphasizing that Justin was not talking about me on the show. But also that he was…

mj-gaythicAnd getting things wrong turned out to be a theme of our entire wedding. As beautiful as many things were—like Joy’s speech—we also failed, repeatedly, throughout the day, including and especially when we realized, too late!, that we hadn’t prepared for our first dance… FAIL BETTER.

So, after being together for 17 years, I can say there’s definitely something to be said for trying and failing, and failing better, as opposed to hiding behind the illusion of perfection. Failing keeps you connected to other people in an authentic way. And to this day, I find it meaningful that we celebrated that concept at our wedding in a variety of ways.

What is the core message of Modern Brides & Modern Grooms?

That marriage is a personal and independent choice.  That each of us can make that choice with an awake, creative, and free mind; not only when we choose to get engaged or have a wedding, but again and again throughout our lives, every time we reach a major crossroads with our partner—in the form of family planning, or careers, or home-owning, or sex, or artistic goals. Weddings are opportunities to not only celebrate, but to truly prepare us to collaborate on all of those big decisions ahead, no matter who you are or whom you love.

Purchase your copy on Amazon. (Paperback edition releases January 3, 2017.)

Learn more about Modern Brides and Modern Grooms at Mark’s website.

About Mark O’Connell:

0864fdsiMark O’Connell, LCSW, is a New York City-based psychotherapist in private practice, author, and public speaker on issues related to gender, identity, and relationship conflicts.  As an expert on modern relationships and marriage, he is frequently interviewed by popular wedding planning sources such as Brides Magazine, The Knot, and Inside Weddings, and he is an official expert on Marriage.com. He writes for The Huffington Post, PsychologyToday,  Truthdig.com, among other popular sources, and his clinical writing has been published by The Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association.  His website is www.markoconnelltherapist.com.

Twitter: @MarkOTherapist

 

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Settling the Score by Eden Winters (Book Blitz)

settling-the-score-blitz-banner

Greetings book lovers! Today we have a book blitz for Settling the Score by Eden Winters! Read on for the blurb, cover, excerpt, and giveaway!


Blurb:

Outed and dumped on national television by his rising star boyfriend, Joey Nichols must face the bigotry of the locals in his small Southern town alone. His dreams of a happy ever after lie crushed at his feet.

Novelist Troy Steele has an axe to grind against Hollywood heartbreaker types. Transforming Joey into a gorgeous, unobtainable hunk would be payback worthy of Troy’s poison pen. It’s a brilliant way to get back at Joey’s image-obsessed ex-boyfriend and the movie producer who’s mutilating Troy’s novels.

What begins as simple revenge may tangle them together in something far more complicated. Living well may be the best revenge, but Troy and Joey could rewrite that to loving well.

Add to Goodreads

Purchase: Rocky Ridge Books | Amazon | All Romance eBooks

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Excerpt:

The Nichols’ dining room table could easily seat six people if it weren’t covered with business records, homework, and car parts. Instead of clearing it off, the family assembled in the living room, parents on the couch, Joey and his sisters on the floor. Overloaded plates balanced on each lap.

“Hush, it’s starting,” Joey’s mom warned, mostly to thirteen-year-old Stacey.

“Oops! Gotta go!” Stacey disconnected her call and dropped her phone onto the floor.

Joey and Jackie were quiet already, Joey afraid he’d miss something important if he so much as blinked.

Ten years separated him and his twin from Stacey. Mom often joked that it had taken her that long to forget the horrors of giving birth enough to try again.

Dad blamed his cousin’s homebrew.

“Good evening, I’m Evelyn Hugh. Welcome to Hollywood Seen. Tonight’s hottie, err, I mean, hot story”—the show’s hostess began, grin unapologetic—“is a young man who’s got all of Hollywood talking. Riker Sanderson has what it takes to survive in this town: looks, talent, and a legion of screaming fans.”

On cue, the camera focused on the audience, where the legion, mostly young and female, chanted, “Riker! Riker!”

“Sorry to disappoint you girls. Rumor has it that Mr. Sanderson is taken.” Evelyn pouted for the camera. “Or is he? Joining me tonight is none other than Riker Sanderson, star of the action thriller, Something to Die For.”

Taken? Joey swallowed hard. Surely she couldn’t mean…

The camera zoomed out, showing the beautiful man who’d stolen his heart and who’d shared his apartment up until a few months ago. Riker, more muscled thanks to a heavy training routine for the movie, sported gold highlights in his now much shorter hair. He looked downright sinful in tight-fitting T-shirt and jeans.

Joey idly toyed with the silver band on his middle finger, a nervous habit, before noticing its mate missing from Riker’s hand. Maybe he’d taken it off for the movie. It didn’t mean anything. No, nothing at all.

All worries disappeared when Riker slowly raised a simmering gaze to the camera. Something clenched deep in Joey’s insides. Those dark eyes hypnotized him, even if they were on a TV screen and not actually in the room. Bedroom eyes intense enough to cause instant paralysis. How many times had Joey lost himself in them, lying in a sweaty, satisfied tangle with Riker?

“Thank you for joining us,” the bleached-blonde hostess gushed, a woman Big Joe said gave him gout.

“Why does she do that to her hair?” Mom asked. “She’s ruined it.” She added the tried and true statement guaranteed to grant forgiveness for any unkindness spoken by a Southerner: “Bless her heart.”

With her whiney voice and constant fawning, Evelyn Hugh reminded Joey of one of the teenaged fans. “I can call you Riker, can’t I?”

“Sure, if I can call you Evelyn.” Her ordinary name sounded exotic when spoken in Riker’s deep tones. That was his gift. He could make anyone feel like the most important person on the planet just by talking to them. Joey had warmed himself by Riker’s fire on many a cold winter’s night.

“I loved you in the romantic comedy, Trying the Knot, filmed in your home state of Georgia. Although only a minor supporting role, your portrayal of the obnoxious cousin at the wedding turned out to be a real scene-stealer and resulted in your big break, didn’t it?”

Riker hadn’t really wanted the cousin role that required him to wear a fat suit and play a backwoods redneck, even if he’d had to beat out a lot of other hopefuls for the part.

“Well, Evelyn,”—Riker turned puppy dog eyes on the hostess—“I’d originally auditioned for the role of Chuck.”

“The pain-in-the-ass playboy who seduced several bridesmaids? Oh, you’re too sweet to play such a cad.”

“You’re too kind.”

A better-known actor had won the honors of playing asshole Chuck. Riker had stormed around the apartment for days.

Riker smiled like he’d hit the jackpot by missing the role. “Actually, I found the cousin part more intriguing. I mean, it stretched my acting skills to play someone so unlike myself.”

“Oh, please, I’m trying to eat here,” Jackie spat.

Joey flashed her a quick evil eye and went back to watching TV.

What a tantrum Riker had thrown about “playing a hick nobody.” In the end he took the money, and assurances from his agent of appearing with a few big stars being a good career move and a way to get noticed.

But he’d done the part enough justice to bring Hollywood knocking.

“What an amazing experience,” the man of Joey’s dreams replied, though that’s not what he’d called it to friends. “It really helped me grow as an actor.” He’d privately referred to the part as beneath someone of his talent and his own personal hell.

“What’s it like working with powerhouse actress Clair Clancy?”

Joey lost the battle to keep a straight face. He’d gotten more earfuls about “Clair, the air-headed bitch.” She’d only spoken to Riker twice during filming when their roles overlapped.

Onscreen, Riker described her as, “An amazing actress. A true professional.” He waved at the camera. “Congrats on the birth of your little girl, Clair. You’ll be an amazing mother.” This from the man who’d wanted to pass a law making it illegal for the woman to breed. Wow, what a good actor. For a moment even Joey believed him.

“In a real-life Cinderella story, a relatively unknown actor is chosen for the lead role of Mitchell Keller in the biggest film of the year. How’s that working out for you?” Evelyn leaned her head on Riker’s shoulder, eyeing him through batting lashes. How dare she? She needed to back off.

A punch to the shoulder brought Joey back to reality, breathing hard and fingernails digging into the palms of his clenched fists.

“She does that with everybody,” Jackie murmured. “What’s your problem, anyway?”

Joey took a deep breath and let it out slowly, a flush creeping up his cheeks.

After what could have been two years, or more probably, two seconds, Riker answered, “It’s really amazing.”

“Doesn’t he know any adjectives besides amazing?” Stacey cut in. “I mean, really! He’s an actor, he’s supposed to be good with words.” Oops, the last holdout in the family swayed to the “We don’t like Riker” side.

Joey ignored her. He’d show them. Soon he’d be living the good life, basking in the California sun. He and Riker had even talked about getting married.

“…and my producer, Ian Hagan, is amazing,” Riker was saying.

Stacey made an “I told you so” face.

Their mother swatted her arm, nipping in the bud whatever sarcastic remark she’d been about to sling.

Riker plowed on. “He took a huge chance in hiring an unknown for such a major role, and I’m grateful he believes in me. I’ve done everything I can to make sure he doesn’t regret taking a risk. We’ve wrapped up the final scenes. Now it’s in post-production, where they’ll add the Hollywood magic.”

What? Riker said a few hours ago that they were still shooting. Well, maybe they had to reshoot some parts.

“Oh, that’s fabulous.” Evelyn’s fake smile lost its battle to look sincere.

Joey knew how she felt. The standing local rule: Never mention acting around Riker unless you had a least an hour and didn’t mind listening. Folks in town phrased their words very carefully.

“Now, Riker, I know you’ve heard the rumors and seen the pictures posted on the Internet of yourself with someone who is apparently very close to you.”

Joey’s heart pounded and his ears rang. Rumors? Pictures? He peeped over at Jackie, who sat up straighter and put her plate down on the floor.

The smile fled Riker’s face, and he wore the same pleading expression he’d used to get out of cooking. “Yes, I have. For the record, I’d like to state that my personal life isn’t anyone else’s business.”

Oh, shit! What had they found out?

“Breathe, Joey,” Jackie urged.

No matter how he tried, Joey couldn’t, because Evelyn dropped a bomb. “Are you gay?”

Oh, my God! They’d been careful since Riker signed the movie deal. How had anyone suspected? Sure, in a few months maybe, when they were ready. Not now!

Jackie stiffened and Joey held his breath.

“Yes, Evelyn, I am.” Riker sighed, his anguished eyes filling with tears. Joey had never seen anyone who could cry on demand quite so convincingly, not even Stacey. “I’m not ashamed of being a gay American, and I don’t see how my orientation has any bearing on my acting ability.”

“I knew it!” Stacey shrieked. Jackie shushed her. Joey ignored her again.

Evelyn scented blood and went for the throat—her trademark. “The man shown with you in the pictures, is he your boyfriend?”

Man in the pictures? Boyfriend? Surely it couldn’t be… Who the hell were they talking about? If it wouldn’t have given too much away, Joey would have made a mad dash to his parent’s aging computer to find out. Evelyn Hugh moved much too slowly. Stomach too queasy to eat, Joey plopped his uneaten meal down on the coffee table.

Riker sat quietly gazing into the camera and Joey almost heard the wheels turning under that mop of highlighted hair. Finally, his lover became his ex-lover with the casually spoken, “I guess you could say we were in a relationship at the time. Nothing serious. We’ve decided to cool things down while I focus on my career.”

What!? Nothing really serious?! Joey gaped at the screen, a flash fire creeping up his cheeks all the way to his ears. Did Riker mean him? A boulder formed in his throat.

They’d talked about forever. He gasped for breath, unable to turn away from the train wreck of his life unfolding on national television.

“Yes, it’s true.” Riker used the same sorrowful tone the hick cousin had during a big scene in Trying the Knot. “I mean, he’s back home, I’m here. It wouldn’t work out.”

Jackie might have snapped, “Oh, cry me a river!” Joey was too caught up in his own personal drama to know for sure.

He knows I’m watching! He knows I’m seeing this! Why is he coming out now? Why couldn’t he tell the nosy woman it’s none of her damned business?

Riker focused directly on the camera, as if seeking Joey out. “Yeah, we kind of grew out of each other. It’s time to move on.”

“I certainly appreciate your candor, and I’m sure there’s plenty of people around town willing to keep you company.” Evelyn sat up, patting at her hair. “We all look forward to your upcoming movie. It’s sure to be a blockbuster. Thank you for joining us.”

Joey dared not dart out of the room like he wanted to and give too much away. At the moment the family only knew that he’d had a gay roommate. Should he act surprised?

The camera left Riker and zoomed in on the hostess. Joey saw her through a glaze of tears and fears. “Remember that you heard it first on Hollywood Seen.” Her goofy grin dimmed a few watts. “Now, here’s another Hollywood Seen exclusive, the photographs that started it all. Last month they began circling the Internet. Until tonight, spokesmen for Mr. Sanderson firmly denied their authenticity. A pity, really. They made such a handsome couple, don’t you agree?”

Joey’s reality crumbled, replaced by a nightmare. The TV screen filled completely with an image of Riker and himself dancing at the club in Atlanta, Riker’s leg wedged between Joey’s, Joey’s mouth locked to his lover’s neck and his crotch pressed against Riker’s denim-covered thigh.

Oh dear God! He looked like a humping vampire!

The image lasted forever. Enough already, take it down! He’d been stripped naked. Laid bare, all his deepest, darkest secrets exposed.

Calm down, no one can tell it’s you. Maybe they’ll think it’s someone out in Hollywood. That hope dashed to pieces with another picture, probably taken shortly after the first. In it, Joey and Riker both faced the camera. The hostess delivered the killing blow. “Our sources tell us that the man in the picture with Riker Sanderson is Joseph Nichols, Jr., with whom Riker lived in Georgia before moving to California.”

Joey fumbled his cell phone out of his pocket and barely managed to hit the right number. Instead of one of the ever-changing heavy-metal ringtones Riker used, a recorded message stated flatly, “The number you have dialed has been disconnected…”


About the Author:

author-avatarYou will know Eden Winters by her distinctive white plumage and exuberant cry of “Hey, y’all!” in a Southern US drawl so thick it renders even the simplest of words unrecognizable. Watch out, she hugs!

Driven by insatiable curiosity, she possibly holds the world’s record for curriculum changes to the point that she’s never quite earned a degree but is a force to be reckoned with at Trivial Pursuit.

She’s trudged down hallways with police detectives, learned to disarm knife-wielding bad guys, and witnessed the correct way to blow doors off buildings. Her e-mail contains various snippets of forensic wisdom, such as “What would a dead body left in a Mexican drug tunnel look like after six months?” In the process of her adventures she has written sixteen m/m romance novels, has won several Rainbow Awards, was a Lambda Awards Finalist, and lives in terror of authorities showing up at her door to question her Internet searches.

When not putting characters in dangerous situations she’s a mild-mannered business executive, mother, grandmother, vegetarian, and PFLAG activist.

Her natural habitats are airports, coffee shops, and on the backs of motorcycles.

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Giveaway:

Click here to visit Rafflecopter and enter to win ebook copies of Settling the Score and Diversion.

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The Wolves of Daos 5 by Rebecca James (Book Blitz)

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Greetings, readers! Today we have Rebecca James’s new book, The Wolves of Daos 5! Read on for the blurb, cover, excerpt, and giveaway!


Blurb:

Michael has wrestled with anxiety his entire life, and finding out he’s half-werewolf doesn’t help matters. When bond-mate, Quinn, takes Michael to the werewolf colony, Michael finds more surprises in store for him, and some may be more than he can handle.

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Excerpt:

Looking over his shoulder as they walked, Michael saw that the milling crowd that had been gathering at the palace gates now filed in behind them, as though they’d been waiting for Quinn and Michael’s arrival in order to be admitted. Looking ahead, a vast courtyard lay before them with pruned hedges and extensive gardens that had been cut back in preparation for the coming winter. Michael’s heart picked up when he spotted what appeared to be several huge lizards lounging in the inner courtyard near the front of the palace where he and Quinn were not, thankfully, headed.

“Komodo dragons?” Michael asked.

“What? Oh, yes. We brought them here from Indonesia. Very effective deterrents to trespassers.”

“I’ll bet.” Michael stared at the frightening creatures.

“This way,” Quinn said, setting off toward the side, passing through an archway and along an ivy-covered wall where two guards led three chained and naked men headed for a door leading away from the main part of the stone structure. Quinn propelled Michael toward a larger iron door at the far end of the narrow lane. Michael couldn’t help but stare at the men. Were they slaves? They certainly appeared to be, with their dirty appearance and hands and feet manacled and the long chain connecting them one to the other.

“Prisoners,” Quinn said, as though answering Michael’s unasked question. Sometimes he really did seem to read Michael’s mind. “Escor. Scum.”

The corridor leading to the door was narrow and crowded. Quinn wrapped his arm around Michael’s waist and maneuvered them through, while Michael continued to stare at the prisoners. He’d never seen anyone like them; completely hairless, lacking even eyebrows and lashes, with long, slim feet and oddly-shaped heads. Two large werewolves wearing red tangas and brandishing curved sticks urged the prisoners along. As Quinn and Michael passed the line of men, one looked directly at Michael, his silver eyes with dark, vertical pupils reminding Michael of a snake. Michael thought they must be contact lenses—he’d seen some that gave a similar effect. As Michael returned the gaze, quick as lightning, the man’s tongue darted out, thin and forked, touching Michael on the arm at the same time that Atlas yelled and pulled Michael backward until his shoulder hit the opposite wall. Quinn threw himself at the prisoner, his hands around the man’s thick throat.


logoAbout the Author:

Rebecca James writes m/m and m/m/m romance in the contemporary, paranormal, and sci-fi genres. Writing has been her passion since childhood, but it wasn’t until recently that she got up the courage to publish. She lives in the southern United States with her husband and three children.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Email


Giveaway:

Click here to visit Rafflecopter and enter to win an ebook of your choice from Rebecca’s backlist!

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J. Phillip Elwes – Author Interview

My guest on the blog today is erotic author J. Phillip Elwes — he’s here to talk about his new book, Pyewacket, Pyewacket!

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Over the weekend, I had a chance to chat with J. Phillip — here’s our conversation:

Tell us about Pyewacket, Pyewacket.

This is the blurb:

Pyewacket, Pyewacket is a gay erotic, paranormal thriller about nineteen-year-old Grant Webb, who must leave his remote fishing town in northeastern Canada to search for his grandmother reported missing in Vallejo, California. On his first night in town, Grant questions his grip on reality, as he has an otherworldly encounter. When he inadvertently casts a spell to locate his grandmother, he realizes he’s a fledgling warlock. To save his grandmother, he joins other warlocks and witches in an epic battle against an ancient evil, that, at long last, has within its reach its most coveted prize, Grant himself.

I’d also add that it is certainly about magic and sexuality, but even more about the transformative power of love, as Grant discovers his true self on the battlefield.

Sounds super interesting! What was your inspiration for this book?

The story popped into my head in late December, 2015, when I was between gigs and thought I’d be spending the next two weeks working on an entirely different gay erotic story.

Earlier that summer in San Francisco’s Mission District, I’d almost daily walked past street art depicting a boy wearing a gas mask, around which were the words: “I am the beat of a thousand purple butterflies.” I’d slow down to read those words and, even after the art piece had been painted over, kept wondering what it was saying.Purple-Butterlies-Street-Art

Around that same time, I saw photographs taken in the 1850’s of California’s old State Capitol building in Vallejo, a town about 30 miles north of San Francisco. I’ve been to the Vallejo Transit Center in downtown Vallejo, where the enormous building had once stood. A plaque embedded in the sidewalk there marks the building’s former location. I read online that the building burned to the ground under mysterious circumstances in the early morning hours of April 20, 1859.

I thought nothing else of this until the end of 2015, when I was on Tumblr and stumbled upon a fashion spread of male models nearly covered from head to toe in beautiful tattoos. I instantly recalled the mysterious fate of the old State Capitol building and wondered how men like these might be involved. All of my stories–gay erotica and otherwise–center on the pivotal transformation of the main character. I wanted my first novel-length, gay erotic story to be on a grand scale. And, suddenly, I knew how men like these were going to be a part of that story: immortal warlocks battling each other and magical creatures!

The inspiration for how the book itself is written comes from a dream I had years ago. In it, I was watching a crowd of people, then narrating aloud what each person was doing just before I saw my hand writing down on a page in a book what everyone was doing. That might sound like a typical dream for a writer, but that “transitional” imagery has stayed with me. And that is how Grant narrates Pyewacket, Pyewacket.

How does this differ from what you’ve written before?

It’s my first gay erotic story featuring magic, which is one of my great passions. My parents observed when I was quite young that I was obsessed with any movie or TV show featuring magic. I love that the addition of magical elements has the ability to elevate a story to a grand scale. Pyewacket, Pyewacket is certainly about a battle between good and evil magical forces, but it is even more about the search for love and the transformative power of love.

At thirteen chapters, it is my first novel. I enjoyed being with Grant for over half a year to write his story.

I know you have experience in other forms of writing, including screenplay writing–How has this other experience influenced writing gay erotic fiction?

Writing screenplays, which must be formatted in a very particular manner, helped me find my voice as a writer, frankly. Screenplays have a word limit around 10,000 words. They are very visual: you only see and hear what happens in a film. As a screenwriter, I learned to strip away any ornamental aspirations I had as a writer and to hone my style until I could precisely describe what was happening moment by moment, from start to end, to tell a story.

With screenplays, I regularly bumped against that word count of 10,000 words until it dawned on me one day to tell a story in as few words as possible.

I like to think that’s now my writing style with screenplays, my gay erotic stories and everything I write, actually.

Can you give us a glimpse of one of the sexiest scenes in this book?

There are quite a few sexy scenes in Pyewacket, Pyewacket.

You can read here (http://jpelwes.tumblr.com/post/149767992862/pyewacket-pyewacket) on my Tumblr the entire first chapter, in which Grant has his first sexual encounter, which happens to be with the greatest pitcher in the history of professional baseball. In the next chapter, Grant is rescued from an embarrassing situation by a nice fellow. They get to know one another and have a couple of sexy scenes throughout the day. Grant’s encounter with the baseball player has made him wonder if his trip to Vallejo is making him unstable. At the end of his first day in Vallejo, he falls asleep alone in bed at his grandmother’s house. And this happens next:

I awoke later that night to a motorcycle rumbling on York Street.

When I realized it was idling outside the house, I slipped out of bed to peek past the gauzy curtain covering the wide bay window.

My heart skipped a beat, when I spotted directly across the street a man seated on a bike parked in the white circle of a street lamp. I watched him pull off his helmet and look up and down the street, like he was trying to remember something. He had cropped, blond hair, a high forehead, straight nose, and bushy beard. His mustache hid his lips. He strongly resembled the rugged fishermen I enjoyed watching come ashore in Cow Head.

The man turned his head to peer up at me in the window.

Surprised, I took a step back, though I was certain he couldn’t see me.

He again looked up and down the street, switched off his bike, then rose off his seat long enough to dip his hand down the front of his blue jeans to adjust himself.

At that, my cock instantly erected, popping out of the fly of my boxers.

Is everyone horny as fuck in California? I wondered, my heart pounding wildly in my chest. Or is it just Vallejo?

When he looked back up at my window, I giddily pushed aside the curtain before I knew what I was doing. I bent over to slip off my boxers, then straightened up, naked and hard for his viewing pleasure, somehow certain he was as aroused as me.

He squared his shoulders and put his helmet down on the bike’s fuel tank, his eyes never leaving me.

When he gave me an encouraging nod, I lost my mind. I furiously jacked off. I closed my eyes and imagined him sliding off his motorcycle to march across the street and run up the stairs to my bedroom.

His blue eyes never left mine, as he wordlessly stripped out of his clothes to stand naked and rock hard with me. He was a head taller and very muscular. He looked more than twice my age and was hands down the most handsome man I’d stood in the same room with.

He noisily tried to catch his breath, while I ran my hands over his hairy abdomen and chest. His red nipples fully erected under my swirling fingertips. He obligingly flexed his biceps, while I ran my hands over them. I was delighted by his hairy forearms and the coarse thicket of hair in his armpits.

He turned his head to watch over his shoulder, as I walked around him to draw my fingers over the rippling muscles of his back, over the twin globes of his pale ass. I traced my finger along his hairy ass crack to touch his anus a moment before he turned around to face me.

He kneaded my shoulders in his fists and stared into my eyes.

I took him by the testicles, exploring his heavy scrotum with relish, and watched his rigid, uncircumcised cock jounce this way and that. Now most certainly a connoisseur of cock, I had no trouble appreciating the veins crisscrossing his thick shaft, the shapeliness of his very red, very shiny crown. I found his surprisingly large piss slit so appealing, I wanted to lick it to coax out his pre-cum.

I tightened my grip around his testicles at the same time I ran my other hand through his dense, unkempt triangle of pubic hair.

He lowered his hand to make a fist around my throbbing erection at the same time I closed my hand around his member.

We furiously jerked each other off.

As he leaned forward to kiss my lips, I felt the powerful contractions of his orgasm, felt his semen spurt in rapid fire against my belly and chest.

I let out a moan, feeling my load rising fast.

I opened my eyes wide to watch him hunch convulsively over his motorcycle, his chin straining toward his chest, as he pounded his fist against the bike’s handlebar.

“He’s really coming!” I nearly shouted at the bay window, ejaculating while doing my best to catch my load in the palm of my other hand.

I was rocked by one of the most intense orgasms of my life.

Some time later, when the euphoria swirling around my brain had ebbed away, I looked at the pool of semen in my hand, then down at the man now sitting calmly on his motorcycle.

He was staring up at me in the window.

As if reading his mind, I somehow knew he wanted me to come downstairs and open the door. He wanted to march into the foyer and lick my hand clean. He wanted to shuck his jeans and boxers to his knees, so I could lick his load off his genitals. As profoundly as I wanted to taste his sperm, his cock, his scrotum, his butthole, he was ten times more undone by his desire to kiss me, taste my lips, roll his tongue over mine. He wanted to be naked with me in my bed. He wanted to hold me in his arms. He wanted to whisper in my ear about the coven.

Coven? I thought, suddenly reaching for the gauzy curtain, as I shook my head at him. Vallejo is turning out to be crazier than me!

I jerked the curtain across the window, then held my breath, until he slipped on his helmet and started his motorcycle.

I didn’t leave the window until he had turned onto Montgomery Street and disappeared toward Georgia.

I walked down the hallway. I didn’t turn on the bathroom light while I washed my hands.

I then returned to my room, slipped into bed and stared at the decorative medallion where the overhead light dropped from the ceiling. I wondered what connection, if any, the motorcycle rider had in Grandmother’s disappearance. Why had he been idling his bike outside her house? Had a Tarot-card reading gone horribly wrong? Was he her stalker? Her kidnapper? Nothing was making sense, especially my having an intense sexual encounter with him via a crazy-as-hell mind meld. The more I doubted any of it had actually happened, though, the more vividly I recalled every detail of my bizarre psychic connection with him.

I’m losing my mind, I thought, squeezing my member now throbbing in my fist. I again felt the surprising intensity with which he had wanted to be naked with me in my bed, holding me in his arms, as he told me about the coven.

I fell asleep while playing over and over in my mind how earnestly he’d stared into my eyes while kneading my shoulders.

Very sexy! I see you’ve written a few gay erotica books now; how has the process of writing and publishing changed for you over the years?

I wrote by hand my first gay erotic story, then made front and back covers for it and carefully bound it all together with red yarn. I later wrote stories with a word processor that had a tiny viewing screen. Then, at long last, I bought a laptop in the 1990’s, which made writing a snap. I used to write in Word. Now, I prefer writing in a Text file, which is easy to edit, then transfer into whatever formats are required.

I wrote my first gay erotic short stories in the 1980’s and 90’s, when the only outlets for such stories were gay skin magazines and a handful of book publishers. It took time to research how to properly submit stories to each one, then several stamps to mail them off. Weeks and months would pass before I knew if any had been accepted. The payments were typically just okay. And in the decades before the internet, my stories in magazines and books were almost immediately destined for oblivion if I didn’t promote them while submitting new stories to publishers.

The internet has changed everything, of course. My Tumblr and Twitter accounts promote my stories and make me personally available to fans and potential publishers. Sites like Goodreads introduce even more readers to my work. Over the last two years, I’ve self-published four books on Amazon, which is so easy to use, I wish I had started self-publishing ten years ago. I like that I can track in real time how each book is selling, which promotions had an impact, etc. And I enjoy being paid at the end of every month.

I’m curious about the cover for Pyewacket, Pyewacket – can you tell us why you chose a photo of butterfly wings?

For that cover, I chased butterflies around my backyard for several weeks, taking 101 photographs before I had enough images I liked in order to assemble the cover image. Grant is baffled for much of the story by the clouds of orange butterflies that assemble around him. The reader will have to follow Grant’s adventure to discover alongside him, at his darkest hour, why the butterflies appear.

What have you found to be some of the upsides and downsides of self-publishing?

Upsides: I approve the final version of the book; and all of the royalties come to me.

Downsides: I must do all of the promotion, which includes Twitter, Tumblr and reaching out to reviewers on their blogs and at sites like Goodreads; and I approve the final version of the book (which means all the typos are my fault–and which furthermore means I generally revisit a published book at least once for another round of edits). I like that publishers have their own promotional operations set up and their own editors. I dislike that my royalties are much less with publishers than if I self-publish on Amazon.

What’s next for J. Phillip Elwes?

I have in mind an idea that could be the sequel to Pyewacket, Pyewacket, but it’s not yet fully formed.

In the near future, I intend to return to the gay erotic novel I was working on before Pyewacket, Pyewacket suddenly took center stage. That story will bring back many of the characters from my gay erotic stories prior to Pyewacket, Pyewacket, and is told over twenty years from the point of Liam, who is the photographer’s assistant in my gay erotic short story, “Anything But Everything.”

I also plan to write a gay erotic detective series set in Vallejo, California. The main character is Jason Morgan, who is the love interest in my gay erotic short story, “The First of the Month.” More than twenty years have passed since we last saw Jason. He’s now recently widowed and becomes a reluctant detective in the first book as he comes to the aid of friend accused of murder.

These projects are definitely on the burner, though I am finding myself increasingly distracted by photographs of a professional athlete covered in tattoos. I wonder if another novella or novel is about to announce itself.

It was fun talking with you, Cameron. Take care and happy reading!

And thank you for stopping by!

Pyewacket-Pyewacket-by-J-Phillip-Elwes-smallPyewacket, Pyewacket is available on Amazon.com.

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Omarati — Book Blitz

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Today sees two Book Blitzes on the good ol’ blog! The first one is Omarati by DC Juris! Don’t miss the blurb, excerpt, and giveaway below!

 


Blurb:

Everything changed for werewolf Calliph after the Shifter War. Now nothing more than a slave and plaything to human Prince Obyn, Calliph finds himself on the Golden Magus, sailing across the sea with his owner. But fate has something more in mind for Calliph in the form of Ship’s First Mate Mateo—who just happens to be Calliph’s Omarati—his soul mate… and a werecat.

Heartbroken, Calliph knows he can’t stay with Mateo—he is forced to follow wherever Obyn leads. Years later, when an attack at sea lands Mateo in the hands of vicious pirates, the cat discovers that, though time has changed some things, his bond with Calliph is eternal. Previously published by Noble Romance.

Book/Buy Links

Goodreads | Torquere

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Excerpt:

“I see no wheel,” Obyn observed.

Calliph followed Obyn and Captain Ba’Tal up the walkway to the deck of the Golden Magus. His nostrils twitched, catching a hint of something. Crisp and clean, he could have mistaken the smell for simply the sea itself. There were undertones, though—subtle hints of sweat, musk, and the sharp tang of manhood. The scent mingled with his own, blended harmoniously, nearly drawing a growl from his throat. The smell of a mate, another shifter, but not one of his own kind. No. A cat. And no little tabby, either. The pheromone belonged to a panther.

“No,” Ba’Tal said. “These damned elf ships are all controlled by magic nowadays.”

“Yes, well, you still need someone to keep her on course.”

Calliph looked toward the owner of the voice…the owner of that heavenly scent. The most beautiful man he’d ever laid eyes on. He was short—Calliph had a least a foot on him—with a slender, lithe body, and long dark hair. Strong, firm muscles rippled beneath sun-tanned skin.

“That there’d be my First Mate, Mateo,” Ba’Tal said. “This is Obyn and his wolf, Caliph.”

“Calliph is not my wolf.”

Ba’Tal inclined his head in apology. “Begging your pardon, my Prince. I thought the Queen said he was a shifter.”

“He is a shifter.” Obyn looked Calliph up and down, upper lip curled into a sneer. “However, wolf is a term reserved for the free of his kind, and he is not free. He is merely a dog.”

Calliph swallowed down the words he knew he’d regret.

Mateo turned. A dizzying, hot wind swirled around Calliph as his eyes locked with the man’s amber gaze. Time seemed to halt, as the deck seemed to spin in a lazy circle, Calliph in the middle. His head felt heavy and wobbly; his neck and shoulders lacked the strength to support it.

Calliph struggled to make sense of what was happening as a jolt of recognition raced up his spine, even though he’d never met Mateo. His feet seemed to move of their own volition, carrying him forward—answering a call he heard in his heart and felt deep in his bones. Made no sense, yet Calliph kept walking.

“Where do you think you’re going?” Obyn demanded, tugging sharply on Calliph’s leash.

Calliph’s head snapped back and his steps faltered. Obyn. Somehow, he’d actually forgotten about his Master. “To see how it works.” He recovered quickly. “With your permission, I’d like to learn the steering mechanism in the event danger should befall our voyage.”

Obyn’s eyes narrowed and he glanced at Mateo. “Fine. I expect you below deck in an hour.”

Ba’Tal lead Obyn away, and Calliph closed the distance to Mateo. “May I?” He nodded toward the steering column.

“Be my guest.” Mateo guided Calliph’s hand. “Magic controls the orb. Feel that?”

Calliph felt something, but nothing to do with the ship. Mateo’s hand on his burned. He fought against the desire to pull Mateo close and smother him with kisses. “What is it?” he asked, not referring to the mechanism.

“You’re connected. The magic regulates the pitch of the ship. Left and right—back and forth. Keeps the deck level. Simple, really. You just have to get the feel of it.” Mateo pressed his hand down on Calliph’s and moved them both slowly from side to side. “There. See? Just a slow, soft touch.”

Calliph wasn’t interested in the orb—wasn’t even looking at it. Mateo tilted his head toward him, bringing their lips inches apart. Calliph’s mind reeled. Mateo moved closer; his grip tightened, his breathing quickened. He felt it too. Calliph’s gaze dipped to Mateo’s lips, parted ever so slightly. Mateo must’ve licked them a moment ago, because they looked moist. Calliph imagined those lips were soft and warm as well. Oh, so soft and warm. Gods, he wanted to kiss them. Calliph’s cock twitched and hardened and he marveled, almost having forgotten what an erection felt like.

Something nudged Calliph’s leg and he looked down. A tail. Mateo moved his head; his hair shifted, revealing the sharp upward curve of his ears. Cat though he might have been, Mateo’s tail should’ve been nonexistent, and his ears should’ve been human ears. Calliph noticed other things then: the fine dusting of dark fur on the back of Mateo’s hands, the not quite feline but not quite human shape of his nose and his eyes.

“They’re permanent,” Mateo interrupted his perusal, obviously used to being questioned.

“How?” Calliph swallowed hard. He knew of only one explanation.

“Alchemists.” Mateo hung his head.

Calliph snarled, his suspicions confirmed. “It’s nothing to be ashamed of. Can you shift?”

“I can but not for long. The transformation is painful and leaves me exhausted.”

That Mateo shared such a fact with him thrilled Calliph. He gestured between the two of them. “You feel it too?”

Mateo’s face flushed red; he was panting, trembling. “I do. We’re Omarati.”

Omarati. An ancient term. No common translation existed; the best Calliph knew was soul mate. Far beyond that, Omarati were shifters who were created—literally—for each other, drawn together by a bond unbreakable, unending. Animal, age, gender—none of that mattered, for Omarati were compatible by design, made to accept and overlook any flaws in favor of their bond. Their hearts and their souls knew each other already, even if their minds had a bit of catching up to do. A connection like this, as far as Calliph knew, existed between no other beings. Mateo’s small hand slid into his.

“What are we going to do?” Mateo asked.

Calliph ran a finger under his collar. What indeed.


 

Author Bio:

Romance author, sci-fi fan club Captain, cosplayer, reigning Queen of Monkeyland, and random menace. Yep, we’re talking about DC Juris. She’s a cupcake-making, football-watching, rubber-duck-collecting, drag-show loving, full-of-fabulous-with-a-capital-F kinda gal. She’s also an ordained minister and an amateur photographer. She lives in Upstate New York with her husband, three dogs, and three cats. When she’s not writing, you can find her in her favorite chair watching Star Trek and Supernatural repeats on Netflix, or surfing the web for porn. Er…research. Surfing the web for research. She may speak softly but she lives and loves loudly. Just ask the neighbors. ::wink::

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Giveaway:

Click here to visit Rafflecopter and enter to win an ebook copy of Omarati!

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The Butcher, The Baker, The Candlestick Maker — Book Blitz

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Today’s Book Blitz is The Butcher, The Baker, The Candlestick Maker by Rob Rosen! Check out the blurb, excerpt, and giveaway below!


Blurb:

A photography student gets more than he bargains for when he photographs a blond Polish butcher, who he has sex with in the back of the butcher shop; a ginger-haired Irish baker, who he has sex with in the back of the bakery; and a brunette British candlestick maker, who he has sex with in the back of the candle shop. All of the men photographed are in period costume and all have tricks up their sleeves—and, of course, down their pants. In the end, a budding romance evolves between the student and the butcher.

Book/Buy Links 

Torquere

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Excerpt:

I’d always enjoyed photography. Even as a kid, I’d borrow my dad’s Polaroid and take off to shoot the neighborhood. Now in art school, nothing had changed much. If anything, the passion burned brighter. And so it wasn’t by chance that I enrolled in the photography class that semester, but perhaps fate did play a role in what eventually transpired.

My homework assignment that particular day was called, very simply, “trios.” We could use our fertile imaginations to interpret this any way we wanted to. Me, I wanted to go all out—balls to the wall, as it were. In other words, I wanted an A. And so over the weekend, I biked around town, looking for anything that stood out, anything iconic but unusual just the same.

A pizza parlor, perhaps? Mushroom, pepperoni, and anchovy? Too easy, I figured. Street lights, maybe? Red lights, green lights, yellow lights? Too, uh, pedestrian. How about kids, parents, and grandparents, I thought? Well, they said never to work with children or animals. I couldn’t have agreed more. In other words, nix on that idea, as well. Besides, approaching children and asking to take their picture was never a wise idea.

No, I had to dig deeper, find something unexpected but fun to photograph, something no one else in my class was going to come up with. And so I ended up at Old Times, a local mall dedicated to days gone by. Which, to be quite frank, was generally just another way for the stores to charge extra for crap no one needed. Still, I reasoned, my inevitable photographs would be out of the ordinary.

I looked around, my high-end digital camera at the ready. Luckily, I spotted my prey right off the bat, their storefronts side by side by side. The butcher was on the left, the candlestick maker on the right, the baker in the middle.

Iconic—check. Trio—check. It seemed like I was good to go.

“Whoa,” I whispered as I entered the butcher shop, mainly because the butcher was one mighty fine slab of meat. Grade A prime, in fact—and with one hell of a rump roast to boot. He was dressed in 1930s garb, the uniform tight and white, hugging him in all the right places¬. Then again, by the looks of him, he had no wrong ones to begin with. He had on a fancy straw hat, a white bow tie, a white apron, and heavy black shoes. The sleeves of his white button-down were rolled up to reveal meaty forearms covered in a thick blond down.

In truth, we couldn’t have looked more different. He had three inches and a good thirty pounds on me. He was blond to my brunette, blue eyes to my brown. Plus, he was easily seven or eight years older. Still, in my randy imagination, we made a picture-perfect couple. And since I took perfect pictures, I knew of what I spoke. Cart before horse? Fine, so sue me.

Anyway, he smiled when I approached, his teeth as white as his clothes, gleaming and perfect, eyes a dazzling blue. And when he spoke, “Welcome,” it was with a beautiful, trilling Eastern European accent of some kind. Polish, maybe? Slovakian? Fuck if I cared; it was sexy either way. “Can I help you?” he asked, the smile so bright I very nearly put my sunglasses on.

Hell yeah, I thought, but told him instead the reason for my visit: that I wished to film him for my class. He smiled when I was done and said I could take some pictures when the shop closed at six. Then we wouldn’t be interrupted. I gulped when he said it, mainly because those stunning orbs of blue were locked in on me like a meat hook to a side of beef. I thanked him and told him I’d be back at six.

All the above I repeated at shop number two—the same spiel, the inner monologue only slightly different.

The baker was thin and dreamy, with a white chef’s hat and a white button-down shirt, which was opened at the collar to reveal just the slightest hint of ginger chest hair. Over this, he wore a pristine white apron. His eyes sparkled like green emeralds as he nodded my way, his crisp white uniform showing off his physique as he dexterously stocked the shelves with a beautiful array of fresh pastries and cookies. When he spoke, it was with a lilting Irish brogue that made my cock throb in my jeans. In the end, he invited me back first thing in the morning, before he started baking.

All the above I then repeated at shop number three. By then I had my story down pat.

The candlestick maker’s outfit was the most unusual of the three. He wore not a stitch of white. His shirt was a blousy blue, his vest a clover green, his slacks a muddy brown, and his shoes, heels and all, were a midnight black. His smock, which was covered in wax, was also black, to perfectly match his beret. He wasn’t stocky like the butcher nor thin like the baker, but dreamily average in both height and weight. He had brown hair and brown eyes, and spoke—be still my heart, and hard-on—in a posh British accent. I was thankful that he immediately locked up shop, agreeing to pose for me once he finished his work in the back, leaving me in the front to ponder my good fortune.


 

Author Bio:

Rob Rosen (www.therobrosen.com), award-winning author of the novels Sparkle: The Queerest Book You’ll Ever Love, Divas Las Vegas, Hot Lava, Southern Fried, Queerwolf, Vamp, Queens of the Apocalypse, Creature Comfort and Fate, and editor of the anthologies Lust in Time, Men of the Manor, Best Gay Erotica 2015 and Best Gay Erotica of the Year, Volume 1, has had short stories featured in more than 200 anthologies.

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