Release Blitz: Love Blooms by Stephanie Hoyt

Title: Love Blooms

Author: Stephanie Hoyt

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: December 10, 2018

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 61800

Genre: Fantasy, Santa, elves, magic, holiday

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Synopsis

Nico Hamurişi is the one and only son of Santa Claus. All his life, Nico has known he’s expected to fall in love and find lifelong commitment by the Christmas of his thirtieth year—like every other heir before him. But knowing and accepting are vastly different things, and as the final countdown begins, Nico has yet to embrace his fate. His once great enthusiasm for eventually becoming Santa has been dimmed by uncertainty over how the Santa Line will be affected when he marries a man.

With only a year left, will Nico have time to find love and commitment all while learning how magic will transform the family line to accommodate who he is and who he loves?

Excerpt

Love Blooms
Stephanie Hoyt © 2018
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One
The sun hasn’t even begun to brighten the sky when Nico reaches the family estate. He shuts his car’s engine off in front of his childhood home and waits, staring at his watch as the seconds tick by. The hour hand strikes five and snow starts to fall. His father must have made his first delivery right on time. Nico sighs, relief washing over him at having successfully avoided the annual Christmas conversation for the next twenty-something hours. For the moment, no matter how fleeting, he can go inside without bracing himself for confrontation.

The snow falls soft and cold on his face as he walks to the door, and for an instant, Nico thinks it may have been worth coming home earlier to avoid the snowfall. He laughs, short and bitter, as last year’s predelivery family dinner flashes in his mind and he remembers what avoiding the snowfall entails. He’d much rather deal with this cold, wet mess than the disappointment in his father’s eyes at another year passing by without him fulfilling his obligations as heir apparent. If last year was bad, this year will be infinitely worse. His father had been disappointed then, but now with the deadline looming so close, Nico can imagine how his father’s mood will have shifted to something far worse than disappointment.

He wipes his feet on the welcome home mat and opens the door. He takes a deep breath as he steps inside and tries his best not to let this place get the better of him. It stopped being home years ago, but he can do this. He can. Except, the utter lack of even a shred of welcoming quality fills him with dread. This house has been the site of nearly every argument he’s ever had with his father and he knows he’s opened the door to yet another lecture on the expectations and obligations that come along with being the son of Kristoff Hamurişi.

This year won’t be any different, especially since the final year of the countdown begins at midnight. If he’s being realistic, which he hates to do, any discussion of his failings is going to be much more tense than they’ve ever been before. But for now, the lights inside are off, save for the Christmas tree, his father is out for more than a full day’s worth of deliveries, the rest of the house seems to be fast asleep, and Nico can slip upstairs to his childhood bedroom without being noticed.

At least, that’s what he was counting on.

Unfortunately for him, someone had different plans for his arrival. He opens his bedroom door to a lit room and a ball of limbs and hair curled up in the middle of his bed. He sets his suitcase down with a loud thud and the ball moves, revealing the face of Noelle, the youngest of his four older sisters.

“My dear little Santicholas,” she says, words and laughter both swallowed in a yawn. “I can’t believe you thought you could sneak in here unnoticed.”

Nico rolls his eyes. “You know I hate when you call me that.”

She untangles herself and pushes up on the tips of her toes to wrap her arms around Nico in a big, tight hug. “It’s hard to believe you do when you’re smiling so big.”

Nico’s words get muffled by her hair and his own laughter. “Yeah, yeah. I missed you, too.”

She lets him go, shaking her head as he starts to yawn. “You should’ve come home at a decent hour if you wanted to be well rested.”

Nico narrows his eyes. “If it’s such an indecent hour then why are you up?”

Noelle lets out a short huff of air, annoyed. “I wanted you to see a friendly face before…”

Nico closes his eyes. Here it comes. He should have known better than to think he could avoid confrontation, even for a moment, even from his closest friend and sibling. When he opens his eyes again, Noelle’s sitting on the edge of the bed and her face has softened in a way that makes Nico feel worse.

He smiles but it does nothing to wipe the gentle expression off her face; she knows him too well, knows he wears it as a shield.

“You don’t have to pretend with me. I know failing is what worries you.”

“Failure isn’t my concern here, Noelle.” Not entirely true. “I’m worried about what will happen if I don’t fail.” Unbearably true.

Noelle raises her eyebrow, confused, and Nico’s stomach clenches. Am I actually doing this? He plows on before she can interrupt and he loses his nerve. “And I’m angry! I’m so incredibly angry I even need to be concerned by all this shit in the first place. I don’t want to think of heirs and continuing a family legacy and everything else riding on me falling in love when I don’t even know how who I love will affect any of this.”

Noelle blinks, breathing out a barely audible “Oh.”

Nico’s heart skips, his pulse is erratic.

“I’m gay.”

Noelle blinks again, and again, and again, and then, after what feels like an eternity of his stomach turning over in knots, she smiles. “Okay.”

“Okay?”

“Yes, okay.”

She motions for Nico to sit next to her, and he does, knocking his shoulder against hers. “I was expecting a little more than an okay, if I’m being honest.”

Noelle laughs, embarrassed. “I didn’t think I should start quizzing you on if you’re seeing anyone, so okay seemed, well…okay.”

Nico smiles, and this time it’s not a shield. He feels lighter and more at peace in this house than he has in years. It’s such a relief to have finally shared such an important part of himself with such an important person in his life.

“Who all knows?”

Nico doesn’t answer immediately, and Noelle asks, “Oh, am I the only one who knows?”

“No, it’s not exactly a secret. I mean, everyone I know who doesn’t know this family knows. So work and friends from college and yeah. I’m basically out to everyone except the family.”

Noelle appears confused and curious. “Not even Joy? She knows how—”

Nico cuts her off. “No, not even our dear lesbian sister knows. Only you.”

Noelle hums an acknowledgment but doesn’t say anything else for a long while—Nico can tell she’s working through what to say next.

He has an idea of what she might be thinking and supplies an answer, “I haven’t told Mom and Dad because, even though it wasn’t a thing when Joy came out, what if… I mean it’s got to be different when you don’t have to produce an heir.”

Nico can’t keep the disdain out of his voice. For as long as he can remember, the heir has been his biggest concern regarding his father and, in turn, his mother finding out his sexuality. “There’s all this added pressure surrounding me finding someone to love. I know they don’t have a problem with queer people, but what if they have a problem with me being gay. There’s a lot riding on my love life.”

“Okay,” Noelle nods. “Well, yeah. I can’t deny there is a lot of pressure put on you falling in love. But I’ve got your back here. No matter what happens, I’ll help you find out how this affects you being the heir apparent to the Crimson Sleigh.”

Nico bursts out in laughter. “God, shut up. Why do you insist on calling it that?”

Noelle smiles, pleased as can be. “Because it makes you laugh.”

Nico purses his lips, trying to stifle his laughter. “You’re ridiculous, you know?”

“Yes, obviously. But I am also wonderful and magical and dearly beloved by you.”

“I guess.” He draws the word out, teasing, and Noelle shoves him, laughing. “Though I wouldn’t consider magical one of your finer qualities since we all are.”

Noelle crinkles her nose. “If you got it, flaunt it.”

Nico sighs. He wishes he was pleased with the extra magic they have, but it’s different—like everything else—when the full extent of his own powers is contingent on falling in love. “I’d much rather have no magic at all, but that’s probably just me.”

“Yeah, it’s got to be just you.” She pauses, furrowing her brow in thought. “Is it even possible to have no magic, though? Everyone’s got some when it comes down to it, even the Immunes. Magic’s everywhere little bro; it’s a fact of life.”

“I’d gladly trade with anyone who doesn’t have a love stipulation placed on their magic.” He doesn’t mean to sound so wishful, but so much of his life since college has been spent wondering how his life would be if he didn’t have all this extra pressure resting on his shoulders. He’d much rather be gifted with any other sort of magic; no need for the frills of Santahood. “Besides, I’m not much more powerful than anyone but Dad as it is. Since love eludes me.”

Noelle’s eyes light up. “So you’re not seeing anyone?”

Nico shakes his head, chuckling. He can always count on Noelle for poor segues and making him laugh. “Have you been waiting this whole time to ask me?”

“No, of course not; that’d be absurd. But since you’ve brought it back up…”

“I didn’t exactly bring it up.”

Noelle waves her hand, dismissing his words. “Yeah, yeah. But you gave me the perfect opportunity to ask, so.”

“So, what?” Nico knows what she means, but he wants to mess with her, make her work for the answer.

“So”—she draws the word out, her warm brown eyes twinkling with familiar mirth—“are you or are you not seeing anyone?”

“No, not at the moment.”

Noelle seems surprised, and Nico supplies an answer before she can ask, “It’s not necessarily a coincidence I pursued a career in something that affords me the opportunity to travel so much—I’m not entirely sure I want to settle down or fall in love.”

It’s the unfortunate truth of his life, but Noelle’s face falls. She isn’t pleased with the answer.

“Oh, Nico. You can’t deny yourself love because of the things expected of you. That’s not fair to yourself.”

Nico shrugs. He wishes it were that simple, but his obligations are always at the back of his mind, and it only gets worse when he meets a man who has the potential to be something more. Noelle smiles, soft and sympathetic. She gets up and ruffles his hair like she has since they were children; her fingers catch at the end where it’s starting to curl, and she clucks her tongue. It’s annoying and comforting all at the same time, as it always has been, and more of Nico’s tension slips away. Noelle’s always been such a good friend. “Mom will be up soon enough, and the rest of the house won’t be much longer after that.”

Nico yawns and Noelle continues, hand on the door, ready to leave, “The kids missed you last night so you might want to nap and get a story ready for why you didn’t arrive with everyone else because I’m sure they’ll pester you for one. Especially Timmy. Belle says he’s become quite the inquisitive little boy as of late.”

Nico motions for the door. “Will you stop fretting over me and go already. You said I need a nap. So let me nap.”

“Okay, okay. I’m going,” she says, but before she closes the door, she peeks her head back through and says, “I’m going to help you figure this all out, Nico. I promise.”

She shuts the door and Nico, for the first time in a long time, feels calm and relieved and a tad hopeful since he’s told Noelle. She’s right: he shouldn’t deny himself love. There might be a deadline and a world of responsibilities, obligations, and powers that come with being the heir apparent to the sleigh, but at the very least, he can’t let this change what he wants. He can’t let a part of his life he has never had a say in control his happiness.

He wants to fall in love; he wants to settle down; he wants to open his heart and build a life with someone else. And honestly, Nico thinks, as he starts to doze off, Santa be damned if being gay will change any of that.

Purchase

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Meet the Author

Thematically, Stephanie likes magic and spies and magical spies. Aesthetically, she likes glitter and gold and pineapples. She wants to put more soft, sweet bi representation into the world so that people like her teen-self can see themselves in their favorite genres and know that who they are is nothing to be ashamed of.

She currently lives in the Great White North (Wisconsin) with her husband, daughter, and three dogs. The only thing getting her through these Midwest winters is the soothing sound of Tim Riggins saying “Texas forever” and the prospect of one day moving back there.

She loves a good astrology twitter but ultimately only believes in it when her husband calls her stubborn and then her response is: “Well, I am a Taurus.”

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Release Blitz: Holiday Stories from NSP

Books Sold Separately

Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: December 10, 2018

Title: A Very Vampire Christmas
Author: Mark Lesney
Heat Level: 2 – Fade to Black Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 21600
Genre: Paranormal, vampire, romance writer, humor, Wild West, Christmas

Stuck for ideas on what to get his wealthy, blind, vampire lover for Christmas, Kevin comes up with the idea of recovering Danton’s long-lost but much-favored glass eyes from their home in a Wild West museum. But one touch of the eyes and Kevin is swept by his developing clairvoyant powers into a psychic nightmare of the old Wild West the eyes ‘witnessed’ while still in Danton’s head. The journey reveals a gunslinger Sheriff Danton, brings to light the lingering threat of Danton’s violent vampire ex-lover, and ultimately seals a new bond between Kevin and Danton in a Christmas to remember.

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Meet the Author

Mark Lesney is a single gay man of a certain age, living with the obligatory cat. His only fiction credential before “Interview with the Kevin” is a semi-comic steampunk M/M romance novelette, “The Golden Goose,” published in the “Steamed Up” anthology, sadly now out of print.

His non-fiction writing credits, however, are extensive. Currently, he is the managing editor of two medical newspapers, for which he also writes routinely. For over 6 years, his science and history articles appeared monthly in two newsmagazines, for which he was a writer/editor at the American Chemical Society. His credits also include science articles published in Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact. He has a PhD in plant pathology and a second PhD in the history of science.

He has worked as a research scientist and university professor. But his love has always been reading and writing fiction—with science fiction/fantasy, mystery, paranormal romance, and historicals all grappling for his affections. He is now determined to pursue that dream intensely.

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Title: Midnight Angel
Author: Kevin Klehr
Heat Level: 1 – No Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 10500
Genre: Fantasy, angel, new year’s eve, holiday, contemporary

Dinner is overcooked. The guests haven’t arrived.

Luke is sitting alone at his dining table on New Year’s Eve. He was hoping to romance Nathan, one of the people he invited for this intimate evening meal.

As midnight draws closer, it seems an angel, who has magically appeared in Luke’s apartment, is the only person to drink champagne and watch the fireworks with.

But this angel has other ideas. He’s about to grant Luke the New Year’s Eve party he thought he wanted.

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Meet the Author

Kevin lives with his long-term partner, Warren, in their humble apartment (affectionately named Sabrina), in Australia’s own ‘Emerald City,’ Sydney.

From an early age, Kevin had a passion for writing, jotting down stories and plays until it came time to confront puberty. After dealing with pimple creams and facial hair, Kevin didn’t pick up a pen again until he was in his thirties. His handwritten manuscript was being committed to paper when his work commitments changed, giving him no time to write. Concerned, his partner, Warren, secretly passed the notebook to a friend who in turn came back and demanded Kevin finish his story. It wasn’t long before Kevin’s active imagination was let loose again.

His first novel spawned a secondary character named Guy, an insecure gay angel, but many readers argue that he is the star of the Actors and Angels book series. Guy’s popularity surprised the author.

So with his fictional guardian angel guiding him, Kevin hopes to bring more whimsical tales of love, life and friendship to his readers.

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Release Blitz: The Island Angel by Alex Slorra

Title: The Island Angel

Author: Alex Slorra

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: December 10, 2018

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Female/Female

Length: 72900

Genre: Contemporary, Contemporary, thriller, fraud, conspiracy, framed, stranded, Lindisfarne, lesbian

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Synopsis

Jessica was a successful IT Director, but now she is on the run. Accused of fraud and orchestrating her company’s downfall, she travels as far as the island of Lindisfarne in Northumberland before breaking down.

There, an American, Anna Meyer, takes her in and offers kindness without questions. As they become closer, Jessica soon discovers Anna has her own much bigger problems and a past that comes knocking.

Excerpt

The Island Angel
Alex Slorra © 2018
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One
Anna’s eyes were shut tight. She held a coffee cup in both hands below her chin.

It had been a mistake, a huge rotten awful mistake, and now, as some additional sadistic punishment, Anna would have to pay. No, make that two mistakes. First, marrying him, and second, buying an overpriced dump she couldn’t afford to sell.

She remembered a third, signing the divorce papers without really understanding what they had owed on the farm. No, the last wasn’t a mistake. It was the only way out.

Forcing herself to lift her gaze above the rim of her cup, she focused on her mother across the table. Tourist season had not yet started, and they were the only people in the Crown Hotel.

“Honey, sell and come back to the States,” her mother pleaded.

“You know I’m not doing that!” Anna slammed down her cup, before noticing the shock on her mother’s weary face. “I’m sorry.”

Her mum had flown all the way from Michigan after hearing how distressed she’d been on her daily calls home. “Anna, how are you paying the mortgage at the moment?”

Anna leaned back in her seat. “In the divorce, John signed the house over to me with enough money for six months. So, right now, I only have four months left.”

“I don’t understand why you would agree when you don’t have any income. He’s a lawyer, you should’ve asked for a lot more.”

“Mom, I’d expected to get the business going, you know, I told you… And I wanted to see the back of him. But now, I couldn’t even sell up if I wanted to. When I had it valued, the farm was worth thousands less than what we paid for it. And then I found out what we owed. If I sell, after all the costs, there’d be nothing, and I’ll still owe what is on my cards.”

Anna rested her chin on her chest, and her blonde hair fell forward, concealing her eyes. She hated that her marriage had ended. Hated that all her plans to turn the old farm into a business were now broken. Her sanctuary had become a burden.

“Oh, darling, talk to John. Can’t he—?”

“Mom, I’m not talking to him.”

A moment passed before her mother continued. “Why not come back home and wait for prices to go up? They always do, you know.”

“I can’t. I feel safer here. Abbie is safer here.”

Her mother leaned forward. “Just come back. It would be all right. He won’t bother us, I’m sure.”

“He was released last month, you said. And he’s still in Michigan?”

“As far as I know… But enough about that. You know, you could just default on your house payments, and it’ll be repossessed. The banks won’t chase you.”

Anna had considered the idea of going back home, but she couldn’t face it. She knew the fear would return. Especially now he’d been released. She had to keep Abbie safe. But also, the thought of being a barista at twenty-nine, while listening to whispers about her British husband leaving her for a younger woman, made her stomach turn. She’d rather drown in the cold North Sea outside her kitchen window.

She put on a brave smile. “Well, I’ve got four months. Things will improve. Maybe I can make enough from pony trekking this summer.” She didn’t want to worry her mother more than she had, so she didn’t mention she only had one pony and the stable’s roof needed to be repaired. It was another thing she couldn’t afford.

“There you go.” Her mum squeezed her hand. “Darling, do you have a friend here to help you?”

“Yes, a few.” It was a blatant lie, but she couldn’t have her mother concerned that she was alone. The truth was the people here weren’t very friendly. They seemed to stick together in groups as if they might catch the Black Death from someone new. Being the American who had bought a croft on their holy island, she hadn’t been welcomed into the tight-knit community.

Anna reached into her pocket to retrieve her watch and check the time. The strap had broken earlier in the day, and it wasn’t as if she needed it. She had her phone, and there was always a clock somewhere. It was just, since she was sixteen, she’d always worn it. The thought reminded her of her older sister, Emma, and caused tears to well up in her eyes.

She blinked to clear them and forced herself to damp down her emotions before her mother noticed. “I’m sorry Abbie wasn’t here to say goodbye.”

“I understand. The timing wasn’t good,” her mum offered. “It was nice to see her on the weekend. It must cost a lot to have her go to boarding school?”

Anna shook her head. “It’s free. The council pays, it’s the local government. There’s no secondary school on the island and, because of the tides, it’s nearly impossible to cross and get back during a normal school day. So, kids older than ten have to go to the boarding school on the mainland. Right now, there’s only three students from the island who do it, though.”

“She’s happy there?”

“She never says she doesn’t want to go back and she’s picking up an English accent.”

“I noticed.” Her mum chuckled. “She’s becoming an English rose. Emma would be proud.”

Anna didn’t want to disagree. At fourteen, Abbie was more like a thistle than a rose, at least with her anyway. One minute they were fine and having fun, the next they would be at loggerheads. Perhaps, in the holidays, things will be better between us.

Anna remembered why she had looked at her watch and touched her mother’s arm. “It’s time for your bus.”

“I wish I could have stayed longer.” It was her mum’s turn to lie. Anna knew her mother thought England was too cold, as well as expensive and inconvenient.

Anna’s mother got up and took hold of the handle of her cabin bag. “I know you don’t want my help with money, but it’s there if you need it. And do come home. I worry about you and Abbie.”

“I know. But you don’t need to. We’re fine, really.”

Outside, they hugged goodbye. It was still pretty cold for mid-May, and the wind cut through the fibres of Anna’s burgundy all-weather coat. She buried her hands in her pockets and watched as her mother boarded the small bus that would cross the mile-long causeway back to the mainland before the tide covered it.

Anna’s hair was blowing into her eyes. She brushed the wavy strands aside, before bursting into tears and darting back in the direction of her home.

Hurrying through the small village with her head down, she soon left the few buildings of the hamlet behind.

The island was small, only a few miles in both directions. In the winter, no more than a few hundred people braved the North Sea storms. Spring was not much better, with high tides and cold easterly winds from Norway. It was a suffering romantic’s paradise. For Anna, only the suffering part seemed true now. She passed the ruins of the old monastery, said to be the birthplace of Christianity in Britain. Beyond it, waves crashed against the rocky coastline.

She tried to put her predicament into words, but all she could think of was a swimming lesson from her grandfather at his cabin in Michigan. As was the tradition, Grandpa Brent had the job of teaching the younger family members how to swim. Anna had begged her way out of swimming until, at eight years old, her mother insisted she must learn. It was apparently a necessary life skill. So, there she was standing in her newly purchased white-and-pink one-piece at the end of the dock with Grandpa Brent behind her. He was explaining how to move her arms and legs. Looking back, she should have questioned why the man was fully dressed. Next thing she knew, he’d picked her up by her waist and had thrown her off the end of the dock into the lake.

Anna would have drowned if it wasn’t for the end of a bamboo fishing rod the old idiot offered her when she managed to surface. She’d desperately grabbed the thin yellow pole and used it to get back to the dock. Sobbing and hunched over, having literally been fished out of the water, she looked at the person she had trusted and screamed at him before running back into the cabin where her mother and older sister were making lunch. She still hadn’t learned how to swim and, now, she felt like she was underwater again.

On the exposed barren land, she followed a single-track road that hugged the jagged coast until Lindisfarne Castle could be seen on the south-eastern corner of the island. It was perched on a pinnacle, half-hidden by sea mist. Anna found some solace in the old fortress, knowing it had been there for four hundred years, withstanding all that had been thrown at it. But more so, it comforted her knowing people had lived, worked, and survived in its walls. If they could, so could she. She turned down a narrow muddy lane and scampered towards the eighteenth-century farmhouse that was her home.

Purchase

NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Meet the Author

Alex is a lesbian fiction novelist based in the UK. She grew up in Canada and completed a BSc degree in Nova Scotia, before moving back to work in central London. Alex has also lived in the United States and France.

Since a young age, she has consumed a mixture of historical fiction, fantasy, and romance. Alex enjoys music creation, photography, painting, and the guitar, but most of all, things she doesn’t understand. For her, writing is a way to inspire virtues that should happen more often. Follow Alex on Twitter.

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Book Blast: Nova Praetorian by NR Walker

Nova Praetorian
by N.R. Walker

Publication Date: October 24, 2018
BlueHeart Press
Paperback & eBook; 394 Pages

Genre: Historical Romance/LGBT

 

 

Quintus Furius Varus is one of the best lanistas in Rome. Tall and strong in build, fearsome in manner, and sharp of wit, he trains the best gladiators bound for the arenas of Rome. When Senator Servius Augendus seeks personal guards, he attends the Ludus Varus for purchase of the very best. He puts to Quintus an offer he cannot refuse, and Quintus finds himself in Neapolis, contracted as a trainer of guards instead of gladiators.

Kaeso Agorix was taken from his homelands of Iberia and delivered to Rome as a slave. Bought by a senator to be trained as a guard, his fate is handed to the man who would train him. Absent free will, Kaeso knows his life is no longer his own, though he soon realises the gods have favoured him when he learns his new master has a kind heart.

Quintus and Kaeso forge a bond that far exceeds the collar at Kaeso’s neck, and together they discover the senator’s move for promotion has an ulterior motive. Thrown into a world of politics and conspiracy, of keeping enemies close, they move against time to save Rome before traitors and the gods themselves see to their end.

And in doing so, see the dawn of the nova praetorian–the new guard–rise.

“Highest marks for bringing to life a time and place not often tackled these days, the tale told with such authenticity it draws you in and holds you in thrall. Add to that mix a devious plot of traitorous political machinations and characters who will not only warm your heart but command your respect. Nova Praetorian is yet another well-crafted, engrossing tale that kept me up half the night, sighing with pleasure even while chewing my fingernails with anxiety. I highly recommend this read.” – Beach Bum Books

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About the Author

N.R. Walker is an Australian author, who loves her genre of gay romance. She loves writing and spends far too much time doing it, but wouldn’t have it any other way.

She is many things; a mother, a wife, a sister, a writer. She has pretty, pretty boys who she gives them life with words.

She likes it when they do dirty, dirty things…but likes it even more when they fall in love. She used to think having people in her head talking to her was weird, until one day she happened across other writers who told her it was normal.

She’s been writing ever since…

For more information, please visit N.R. Walker’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Book Blast Schedule

Monday, November 26
Passages to the Past

Wednesday, November 28
Pursuing Stacie

Thursday, November 29
Coffee and Ink

Friday, November 30
Hoover Book Reviews

Monday, December 3
CelticLady’s Reviews

Tuesday, December 4
Let Them Read Books

Wednesday, December 5
Donna’s Book Blog

Friday, December 7
Velvet Panic

Monday, December 10
Svetlana’s Reads and Views

Wednesday, December 12
T’s Stuff

Friday, December 14
What Is That Book About

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During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a $40 Amazon Gift Card! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on December 14th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

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Release Blitz: Blood Echo by LE Royal

Title: Blood Echo

Author: L.E. Royal

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: December 3, 2018

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Female/Female

Length: 85600

Genre: Paranormal, Romance, paranormal, vampire, captivity, lesbian, new adult, high school, bonded

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Synopsis

When her abusive father finally goes too far, shy seventeen-year-old Rayne Kennedy finds that her savior is far from an angel. Lost and alone she is completely enraptured by the beautiful but murderous, Scarlett. Taken on an adventure by the vampire’s well-intentioned sister, Rayne is drawn into Vires, a dark and dangerous vampire world, where humans are little more than natural resources to be exploited.

In a society that has been turned upside down while learning to live inside its constraints, Scarlett Pearce may not be much more than a slave to a power-hungry Government and the violent bloodlust that consumes her may be all her own. Before she loses herself in a world unlike anything she has ever known, Rayne needs to find Scarlett and the answers to those questions.

Excerpt

Blood Echo
L.E. Royal © 2018
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One
Blood. There was so much blood. It tasted metallic and sticky as it flooded my mouth. My back was uncomfortably warm, wet, and screaming in agony. A high-pitched sound filled the air, piercing, shaking me to the center of myself. My frantic blue eyes searched through spinning space, looking for him. My father was three steps up our staircase and wasted, drunk on his beloved infusion of cheap apple cider and vodka that smelled like drain cleaner on his breath.

The siren kept on wailing. I searched his eyes, so similar to my own, for any of the fear I felt, anything to signify that he too knew, this time, he really had gone too far. I saw none, and the panic settling over me was ice cold and heavy, crushing down on my chest.

Warm wetness was all around me. Only when the siren stopped, and I sucked in a deep and frantic breath that sent white-hot pain shooting through my torso, did I realize I had been screaming.

Lying there, my body strewn across the entryway of the house where I grew up, I considered that I’d never thought much about death. Bleeding at the bottom of the stairs, my ragingly drunk father staggering toward me to either save me or hurt me more, I wished I had.

At least I might see Mom. That’s what I told myself as the edges of my vision began to bleed, the colors mixing together and fading out. My father’s expressionless face swam into focus as he stared down at me. He almost looked sorry, then he ran the back of his hand across the midnight shadow on his chin and I was drifting away again as he started to shout.

“Stop looking at me that way, Marion! You left…”

The words drifted to my ears like I was hearing them from miles away, through a thick-fogged glass of space, time, and pain.

“You left me! You left us… You left us behind… So don’t you dare…”

I was dragged back to myself, back to the agonizing sting where the cool air hit the gashes in my skin as, with a wet thwack, a glob of my father’s spit landed on my cheek.

He’s going to kill me. The thought spun in my head, a carousel doomed to run endlessly. I tried to find the words to tell him I wasn’t my mother; she’d left us both when her long fight with cancer was finally lost.

This was how I would die, after six years of watching the man who had raised me sink further and further into an abyss of alcohol, emptiness, and violence. The occasional “accidents” had escalated to flat-out beatings, and tonight, I realized it would all come to an end. The minute he had thrown me down the stairs, sending me crashing through the glass door below, it was over.

“Rayne… Marion…” I heard low mumblings in the familiar voice that had come to foster a sick and unnatural fear in me. I told myself the lie I had lived by since my mother’s funeral—my father had died with her. I would remember him for who he was, not the grief-crazed murderer wearing his pajamas.

Tears flooded my eyes. I felt everything, but I couldn’t move. I didn’t want to move. I wanted to sleep and to not hurt anymore, not like this.

Shouting woke me again. I listened to my father’s voice, the click of the front door closing, blowing cold air on the bare skin of my side. My shirt was still wrinkled around my middle from the fall. The words made no sense. The questions floating to me came from a voice I didn’t recognize. His replies were suddenly uncertain. The aggressor was gone, and I opened my eyes just in time to watch him become the victim.

I don’t know where she came from, how she found me, or how she knew the exact right time to walk into my life.

A woman stood in our entryway. Slender and petite, softly waved brunette hair hanging loose around her shoulders, and a form-fitting and deep crimson dress riding dangerously high up her thighs. A smooth leather jacket molded to her small form like a second skin.

I had no time to wonder who she was, but I knew from the minute she appeared like an omen in my darkest moment she was someone.

Dark eyes looked down at me, and I looked back, though I could not prevent my own closing. I shivered against an invisible cold and the action was exhausting. The warm pool I had been lying in was cooling and everything told me to close my eyes. It was curiosity that kept me alive, it was her, and those haunting dark eyes, searching mine, looking down at me so intensely, yet she was unreadable.

I was a captive audience, powerless to look away from her, and I saw it all.

Full lips parted, and I watched in awe and almost complete detachment. The way she moved was animalistic, fingers twisting roughly into my father’s hair—his head yanked right, while hers dipped left. When she turned back to me, letting his body fall to the floor with a heavy thud and pushing it away as if he was a wooden puppet, not a two-hundred-pound man, her lips were marred with blood.

She was beautiful and she was terrible, this killer, my angel of death. I wondered with the last of my strength if she had come to save me or just to take me away. By now, they were the same thing.

Her eyes as she crouched beside me were unforgettable, one brown, one green, though the irises seemed to be alive. The colors swirled, rich and bright, moving like flames, spinning into their own constellations. Suddenly, I was glad this beautiful killer would be the last thing I’d see.

Those strange eyes peered down at me, perfectly shaped eyebrows arched, and I stared back up at her. The only sound breaking the silence was my own rasping, rattling breaths.

This was it. It had all been for nothing, my father, my mother, me… This was the end of the Kennedy family, but somehow, I couldn’t feel sadness. Looking into those swirling eyes, light-headed, I couldn’t feel anything.

I sucked a gurgling breath through my bloodstained lips as I watched my father’s blood drip down her chin. Somehow, I forced out my last words.

“Thank you.”

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Meet the Author

L.E. Royal is a British born fiction writer, living in Texas. She enjoys dark but redeemable characters, and twisted themes. Though she is a fan of happy endings, she would describe most of her work as fractured romance. When she is not writing, she is pursuing her dreams with her multi-champion Arabian show horses, or hanging out with her wife at their small ranch/accidental cat sanctuary.

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Book Blitz: The Escort’s Tale by MJ Edwards

Title: The Escort’s Tale: an MMF Bisexual Romance

Author: M.J. Edwards (pen name for Robert Winter)

Publisher: Snow King Books

Release Date: September 21, 2018

Heat Level: 5 – Erotica

Pairing: Male/Male/Female (Male/Male interaction)

Length: 199 pages

Genre: Romance, Erotica, bi for you

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Synopsis

Do you want to spice up your marriage? Or perhaps you have a cuckold fantasy? Whatever your desire or kink, call JD Pierce.

Under his working name, Jasper has built a solid clientele and reputation. As JD Pierce, high-priced escort, he specializes in bringing bisexual fantasies to life. Sometimes a husband needs to be humiliated. Maybe a couple wants to be naughty and roleplay the seduction of an impressionable boy. Jasper, aka JD, is the man for the job.

When a young woman with a unique problem contacts Jasper, though, he fears he’s out of his depth. Alethia’s husband Nick suffered a spinal cord injury. He has paraplegia. The couple can no longer have conventional sex, and it’s driving a wedge between them. Nick is straight, but Alethia hires Jasper to help them fix things.

Despite his doubts, Jasper throws himself into the challenge. He wants to help sexy Nick reconnect with his beautiful wife. Using imagination and honesty, he unearths hidden fantasies in both of them. What he isn’t prepared for is his attraction to these new clients. The feeling grows quickly from desire to friendship and maybe something more. Will Jasper help Nick and Alethia and then move on? Or will they be the couple to bring to life this escort’s own fantasy?

The Escort’s Tale is a standalone bisexual erotic romance featuring a well-endowed lover-for-hire, a troubled man in a wheelchair, and the determined woman who brings them all together.

Excerpt

Excerpt from The Escort’s Tale, Chapter Two:

“Would you like to tell me how my name came up?” I ask, gauging that Alethia’s ready to discuss it.

She sets down her glass and darts glances left and right. Satisfied no one will overhear, she leans closer and speaks in a quiet, private voice. “Meredith is aware that my husband and I are facing some difficulties in our marriage. I mentioned to her recently over lunch that we’ve been struggling for a solution. She was very, um, detailed about her experiences with you.” Alethia blushes prettily. “And complimentary, as well.”

I smile at the circumspection. “Meredith has been a good client. I’m happy to hear she says nice things, since I don’t exactly ask for Yelp reviews.”

She snorts a little laugh, which I find charmingly awkward on such a chic woman. She puts a hand over her mouth to cover a grin. “I understand why, though that makes it tricky for, um…”

“Yes?” I prompt. “For someone in need of my services to find me?” I wink to show I take it lightly.

Alethia bobs her head in agreement. “I’d think in the internet age there’d be some sort of specialized rating service or booking site.”

There are a few actually, but I choose to avoid those. I don’t like the risk of zealous law enforcement having information about my working name or clientele. Word of mouth has always generated enough business for me anyway.

Since she seems more comfortable now, I dive in. “Why don’t you give me a general idea of what you’re looking for? We can discuss whether I’d be a good fit.”

Alethia inhales sharply and grabs her tea for a quick distraction. I wait her out again as she sips. Eventually, she places the glass back down with a sharp click and takes another glance around. She clasps her hands on the table top, as in prayer. I lean in, close enough to scent a trace of her delicate perfume. The essence of orange blossoms fills the air around her.

“My husband and I have been together for five years, nearly six,” she begins. “Nick has always been an avid rock climber. He played rugby, skied, competed in triathlons. Everything active like that you can think of. Eighteen months ago, he—”

She breaks off for a long moment to look at her entwined hands. Her knuckles gleam white, and I find myself reaching out to cover them with one of my own. She gives a shuddering breath at the touch, but doesn’t pull away.

“During a climb one afternoon on some cliffs, Nick had a bad fall when a handhold crumbled. The accident left him with a spinal cord injury. My husband uses a wheelchair now. He has paraplegia.”

I hear a sympathetic noise come out of me, entirely unplanned. She glances up to meet me eyes so I explain. “I’m sorry. I have a buddy from the Army who suffered an SCI. Rehab helped some, but it’s been a hard road for him.”

Alethia bites her lip and nods slowly. “It’s been…a learning process. Nick is strong-willed, though, and for the most part he’s adapted. We have home health aides to address his needs where he won’t accept my help. Also, we live in an apartment on a single floor that’s been made ready to accommodate his wheelchair.” She looks to where my hand still covers hers. “The problem is our sex life,” she whispers.

Purchase at Amazon

Meet the Author

M.J. Edwards is the pen name for Robert Winter. As Robert, I write primarily gay contemporary romance. M.J. is the alter ego under which I get to explore a more erotic side of romance, with combinations of characters along the LGBTQ spectrum. The stories are light on angst, heavy on sex, and a happy ending for all is my goal.

I love hearing from readers so please feel free to ask questions or make comments. You can email me at mjedwardsauthor@gmail.com or find me on Goodreads.

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Release Blitz: More Holiday Stories from NSP part 2

Title: Family in a Snowstorm
Series: A Snow Globes Romance
Author: Ava Kelly
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: December 3, 2018
Heat Level: 1 – No Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 11000
Genre: Contemporary, contemporary, holiday/Christmas, family drama, children, established couple, sweet, interracial/intercultural

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Synopsis

Last Christmas, Daniel Wu found a place to call home with Jeff and his adopted daughter Abby. A year later, they confirm his place in their family with a surprising and warm gift. However, when Abby’s biological father returns making demands, Daniel’s happiness is threatened.

With the worsening weather, a much more urgent problem arises when Abby goes missing. Will Daniel and Jeff be able to find her before the storm sets in, and will they manage to keep their small family intact?

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NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Meet the Author

Ava Kelly is an engineer with a deep passion for stories. Whether reading, watching, or writing them, Ava has always been surrounded by tales of all genres. Their goal is to bring more stories to life, especially those of friendship and compassion, those dedicated to trope subversion, those that give the void a voice, and those that spawn worlds of their own.

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Title: Little x
Author: Elna Holst
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: December 3, 2018
Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex
Pairing: Female/Female
Length: 12500
Genre: Contemporary, lesbian, Nonbinary, Christmas, holiday

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Synopsis

Malmö, Sweden, 1996

Sofie Andersson is a dyslectic born under the star sign Aries, who drives the local buses for a living. Her hobbies include knitting terrible hats and intermittent lesbianism. This December she is on the point of moving into her first flat of her own, figuring out her place in the world, when an instant attraction to a handsome stranger leads her to question everything she’s taken for granted.

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Meet the Author

Elna Holst writes lesbian erotic fiction, reads Tolstoy and plays contract bridge. A devoted fan of the short story form, her publications include bite-sized textual effusions in anthologies like the longstanding Best Lesbian Erotica series, The New Urge Reader 2 and Rule 34: Weird and Wonderful Fetish Erotica.

She is currently at work on a novel-length project. Follow her on Instagram

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