Release Blitz: Wolf and Holly by Sam Burns

 

Universal Buy Link: books2read.com/WolfAndTheHolly
 
Length: 199 pages
 

Cover Design: Melanie Harlow @ Clause & Effect

 
The Rowan Harbor Cycle Series
 
Book #1 – Blackbird In The Reeds – books2read.com/BlackbirdInTheReeds
 
Blurb
 

Five years ago, Jesse dropped out of college and came home to Rowan Harbor to find safety with his pack. A broken man, he’s been living as though the world is ending—allergic to responsibility and spending most of his nights at the local bar.

But he can’t avoid growing up forever. On the night of his thirtieth birthday party, he finds his childhood friend Isla unconscious, attacked in the middle of their peaceful hometown. The wolf inside him wants to protect its people from the slick-haired, smooth-talking vampire who’s brought trouble to town, and Jesse can’t run from his instincts any longer.

Now that his inner wolf is out of its cage, it’s picked the most inconvenient moment to find its mate. Sean Anderson—recently back from college and much changed from the skinny preteen Jesse once knew—is just what he never knew he needed.

Trigger Warning: discussion of past abuse.

This novel is intended for adult audiences, and contains swearing and sex.

This is the second of nine books in The Rowan Harbor Cycle, not a standalone. It continues where the first book left off. Jesse and Sean will return in book five to continue their story, so this book contains a HFN, not their HEA.

Author Bio

Sam wrote her first fantasy epic with her best friend when she was ten. Like almost any epic fiction written by a ten year old, it was awful. She likes to think she’s improved since then, if only because she has better handwriting now.

If she’s not writing, she’s almost certainly either reading or lost down a wikipedia rabbit hole while pretending to research for a novel.

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Release Blitz: Dead Fall (Dead Things #2) by Meredith Russell

 

 
Length: 66,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Meredith Russell
 
Dead Things Series
 
Dead Things (Book #1) – books2read.com/DeadThingsMR– (CURRENTLY FREE)
 
Blurb



Since the events in Chicago, Devin and Noah dare to believe that a future is possible, and there is hope. For them and humanity.


Noah struggles to find his place at Devin’s side. Stricken with survivor’s guilt and a driving need to make a difference, Noah leaves his lover to investigate the only lead he has to stop the undead. Himself.


Devin has fought to stay sane in a world of horror for too long and his one shining light is Noah. When Noah heads off on some misguided venture to search for answers, Devin knows he can’t bear to be the one left behind again.


They are two men who have nothing, and everything, to lose.

 

 

 
Excerpt
 
Chapter One
 
“Finger off the trigger,” Devin Reid instructed.
Noah rested his index finger on the side of the trigger guard, and stared down the makeshift gun range. He lowered his head, frustrated by his failure to hit all the targets set out for him.
“You just need to relax a little.”
Noah glanced at Devin. “You said to grip it tightly.”
With a nod, Devin said, “I know. But not so hard your hand shakes.” He pushed away from the front of the car, and came to stand beside Noah. “Grip. Ease off slightly.” He squeezed his hand around Noah’s, then relaxed it as he gave his instructions.
Devin’s hand was warm and clammy but Noah didn’t care. A small smile curled the corner of his mouth at Devin’s touch.
Devin’s breath was shaky as he lowered his head.
Things had been strange between the two of them over the last seven weeks. Both of them were figuring out where they fit in the world, and in each other’s lives. They had spent more time together, though Devin remained somewhat distant, not that Noah blamed him. Devin had lost the man he’d loved at the start of the monster-filled nightmare they found themselves in. He understood that Devin struggled with the lack of closure he still felt, despite knowing there was no coming back for Connor. The man Devin had known was dead. But it was about more than Connor. It was about Devin not thinking himself strong enough to go through that kind of loss all over again. To leave himself open to such grief and despair if he got close to Noah only to lose him as well. 
Noah closed his eyes as he felt the warmth of Devin’s breath on his neck. His heart ached as he longed to have Devin close. He remembered the warmth of Devin’s touch, the lines of his body, and the feel of Devin’s skin on his during the night they’d spent together in Chicago.
Chicago. He wondered what had become of the people they’d left behind. Were they safe? Was Chicago still able to offer them protection?
Sometimes he felt guilty that he didn’t care more. It wasn’t as if he knew them, not really. He wasn’t sure he remembered their faces anymore. Them or the people who had died on the journey there.
The journey for a cure. Had anything come from the blood sample they’d taken from him, of the vaccine or biological weapon against the undead they hoped to create?
His blood had saved Devin, had created a serum that could battle the infection, but it wasn’t a true solution. It could happen again, to Devin, to everybody.
Silence fell between them and Noah opened his eyes. Devin was looking at him through his shades, one crooked eyebrow raised above the frames.
“It helps if you keep your eyes open.” Devin smirked and reached down, taking Noah’s other hand in his. “Support your grip with your left.”
“Like this?” Noah waited as Devin checked his hold. He shifted his footing, steadying himself as he battled the frustration over only being able to hit the target two times out of five. “I don’t get why I’m doing this. I managed perfectly fine without a gun before you showed up.”
Has it really only been seven weeks? It feels like longer. A lot had happened since the day Devin had turned up at the Weber family’s farm. Noah remembered the shouting and gunfire, of coming across Devin and his partner, Kerry, desperately fighting off a small group of the undead monsters created by some twisted virus. He hadn’t hesitated when Devin was attacked. Noah had run headlong into the fray, determined he wasn’t going to see anyone die that day.
“Trust me, I know.” Devin frowned as he nudged Noah’s arms higher. “But if you’re going to be out here with me, then I prefer to cover all bases. You should be able to protect yourself in every possible way.” He stopped and peered over the top of his sunglasses. “I want you safe. You may be immune, but you’re not invincible.” He hesitated, then gently turned Noah’s wrist. They both checked the old scars—jagged marks left by the mouths of hungry monsters. “You could easily find yourself in a situation you can’t fight your way out of with just your bare hands.”
Tensing his jaw, Noah inspected Devin’s hand on his arm. Devin had scars of his own. With a breath, Noah focused back on the gun. Devin’s words were sobering. He knew he should be taking the training seriously, but all he could think was that they shouldn’t be wasting ammunition for him to practice, not when the bullets could be better spent by giving them to someone who could already hit their mark.
“Have you been dry firing like I suggested?” Devin leaned in close and looked along the sight of the gun.
Noah nodded. Devin had given him a snap cap to use to practice his aim. Devin was close enough that Noah could feel the beating of his heart when he leaned his chest against Noah’s biceps. Did Devin realize just how distracting it was to have him near?
“Good,” Devin said. He stepped back, nudging Noah to raise his arm higher. “You see the front sight? That’s where I want you to focus.”
Noah didn’t argue the fact he’d already been trying to do that. “Okay,” he agreed with a sigh.
“This is important.” Devin touched Noah’s forearm and waited for Noah to face him. “Please?”
Noah closed his eyes and took a breath. “I just don’t like the idea of wasting ammo.”
Devin shook his head. “What good is ammo if no one’s around to use it?”
He guessed Devin had a point. Noah’s gaze drifted from the gun sight to his forearm and the bite marks. So many people had died in the last year. 
Why am I still alive? What makes me so special?
“If you want another reason why we’re doing this, then it’s about protecting others. Not just yourself.” Devin cleared his throat and stepped back. “Things can go to shit in the blink of an eye. There’s not always time for you to run in and play hero.”
Noah glanced along the range to where five splintered wooden boards were propped up about twenty yards away. He knew Devin was right. Time was critical if there was an attack. He eyed the boards and the crudely painted words in red on some—Zombies grrr, Feed me brains, and Romero was wrong. He wondered who had painted the words. He didn’t figure it for something Devin would have done. There was very little Devin found funny. He eyed the third board. 
Romero was wrong.
He’d seen the original movies, groups of shambling undead somehow catching up to and overpowering characters as they stood and stared, and seemed to scream for a full ten minutes before getting their tasty, soft, internal organs devoured. The reality of the dead rising was a little different, or at least it had been in the beginning. The freakish monsters were hungry and fast, and unnaturally strong. It was only now that some of the first to have turned, after severe decay, showed signs of slowing down and immobility. Could they just outlive the monsters? Hide away until they rotted to nothing more than bones?
“Okay,” he said on a sigh, then set his sights on the center target. He steadied his aim and inhaled. Blinking, he readied himself to release his held breath, but Devin brought up his hand and held it over the gun, halting the practice.
Noah glanced at Devin, who had set his gaze on the horizon. “What?” He narrowed his eyes and scanned the area. “Did you see something?” 
Although the yard the range was set up in was considered clear and secure, there was no guarantee something might not stray into the area and beyond the protective wire mesh of the fence.
“I don’t know. I thought I heard…” Devin thumbed the catch of his holster as he surveyed the area.
The land surrounding the yard was mostly flat and open, ideal for reducing the chances of being caught unaware.
Devin shook his head. “I guess it was nothing.” He didn’t turn away at first, and eyed where the fence met the edge of an abandoned warehouse. “Let’s call it a day, okay?”
“Okay,” Noah agreed. He rubbed his stomach as it made a hungry growl. Hopefully, they would make it back to the prison in time for the afternoon meal. They had traveled several miles from the penitentiary to what could have been described as the middle of nowhere, to ensure the sound of gunfire didn’t draw any of the infected monsters to their door.
Handing Devin the gun, Noah shifted his attention to the building. “This place was cleared, right?”
Devin held the gun at his side. “A few weeks back.” He ran his hand over his unshaven jaw, then removed his shades, hooking them onto the front of his dark T-shirt.
Could anything have gotten in since then?
“The fence was secure. There was no evidence anything had got in or even tried to.” Devin sounded his thoughts. He scanned the yard. “I guess we should check it out.”
“Really?”
Devin quirked an eyebrow. “Really.” He set his silver gaze on Noah.
The intensity of Devin’s stare sent a shiver down Noah’s spine. He would never get over how strange, yet fascinating, Devin’s eyes were. He thought he would miss the clear blue Devin had studied him with when they’d first met, but all he could think about was how grateful he was Devin was here to look at him at all. Devin had been bitten. He’d been dying.
To Noah they were beautiful.
“Okay.” Noah shook away the memories of Chicago, trying to ignore the tightening of his chest. He walked to the car, where he took a red-handled fire ax from the trunk. He balanced the weapon in his hands, accustoming himself to the weight and feel of it. Though he felt uneasy, he knew they couldn’t leave without being sure. Neither he nor Devin would forgive themselves if anybody got hurt because they had dismissed their concerns and walked away.
Together they proceeded to the large warehouse. Clouds slowly drifted across the sky, blotting out the sun and casting a hazy gray glow over the yard. They began their investigation at the corner of the premises, where the fence met the steel shell of the warehouse. Wooden pallets leaned against the side of the building. Old blood stained the light colored wood. 
Devin edged toward the fence and wrapped his fingers in the wire mesh. Arching his neck, he examined the length of the building.
“I don’t see anything,” he stated. “If this place is compromised, it’s not from this side.”
Noah walked across the front of the warehouse. He stopped outside the large metal double doors. Idly, he reached out and pulled on the padlock attached to a chain, which secured the doors. “Should we break it?”
Devin shook his head. “There’s a door round the side.” He pointed to the other end of the steel structure. “Check that first.”
They made their way to the side entrance. Devin stepped forward and examined the broken handle. He tilted his head and looked grim. “There’s blood.” He took a step back.
“Do you think it’s one of them?” Noah tightened his grip on the ax.
“Freaks don’t usually go around smashing locks. But…” He raised his gun and pointed at the dried blood. “If someone was bitten, and sought shelter… They could have turned by now.”
“Okay.” Noah didn’t know what else to say.
Devin hesitated, then edged forward, leaning against the door as he listened. “I don’t hear anything—” A crackle of static and Jack Torres’s voice over the radio startled them both. 
“Devin, you there?”
“Christ.” Devin pressed his hand to his chest and stepped away from the door. He pulled the radio from his belt. “Great timing there, Jack,” he said in a hushed voice
Noah smirked as Devin shot him a despairing look.
“Why are you whispering?” Jack asked.
Devin cleared his throat and moved farther away from the building. “No reason. Just checking something out. Everything okay?”
“Yeah, just wondered if you guys were heading back soon?” Jack sounded edgy.
“Is there a problem?” Devin narrowed his eyes. He glanced at Noah as he talked to Jack.
Quickly, Jack dismissed Devin’s question. “No, no problem. I just need to talk to you about something.”
“You sure?”
“Yeah, yeah. It can wait. Come find me when you get back.”
“Sure. See you in an hour maybe.” Devin secured the radio onto his belt.
“What was that about?” Noah asked.
Devin shrugged and fixed his attention back on the busted lock. “Let’s get this over with, then we can find out.” He held his gun in front of him. With his free hand, he pushed. “Something’s behind it,” he said when the door didn’t budge. “Stay sharp, okay?”
Fear mixed with a rush of adrenaline as Noah flipped the ax over in his hand. He waited as Devin used his weight to shoulder an opening. There was a scraping sound. Whatever had been used to secure the exit was forced across the concrete floor of the warehouse. Eventually, Devin stumbled forward as the barricade fell away with a clatter.
Noah peered over Devin’s shoulder, noting more of the wooden pallets. The building was dimly lit. Sunlight shone through overhead skylights, illuminating dust that hung in the air. They held off entering the building for a moment, waiting to see if the noise drew the interest of anything nonhuman. When nothing came of their, less than subtle, entrance, Devin took the lead and headed inside.
The temperature in the warehouse was cooler than outside, and Noah shuddered as he examined the interior of the building. The space was high, higher than it seemed from the outside, and was filled with rows and rows of empty pallets. He looked at Devin who had stopped a few feet in. Noah examined the ground, noting what Devin had already spotted. There was more blood. Someone had been hurt, but not gravely, if the small amount of blood was anything to go by. Gravity had caused circular spatters where droplets had hit the floor, marking a path toward the front of the warehouse. Devin didn’t say anything and followed the intermittent stains.
The silence was unnerving and Noah checked behind them. Content there was nothing there, he shifted his focus back to Devin and the row of pallets they were following to the front of the warehouse. Devin raised his gun as they neared the end of the aisle, stepping out as he turned the corner. He stopped, seemingly surprised. He glanced at Noah, his expression softening.
Curious, Noah took the corner, catching sight of a woman and a young boy huddled together on the opposite side of the building. Though frightened, they appeared okay.
Devin lowered his gun, and raised his other hand. “We aren’t going to hurt you. Are you injured?”
Noah studied the pair along with Devin. The boy was pale and scared, but there was no obvious sign of injury. 
When neither replied, Devin took a step toward them. “Are you alone?”
Devin’s question was answered with an angry cry and blur of motion from his left. A man lunged at Devin, wielding a crowbar. Devin barely swerved the attack. The metal edge struck him on the shoulder, and unbalanced, he fell with a grunt to the dusty, hard ground.
“Stop,” Noah yelled, putting himself between Devin and the desperate man. He raised the ax, aware there was a second person standing in the shadows. “Look, we’re not here to hurt you.” He shifted his weight as a teenage girl stepped forward. She held a dented aluminum baseball bat in her hand. “Devin? You okay?” Noah kept his gaze fixed on the two people in front of him.
Devin coughed. “Yeah, I’m fine.” He cleared his throat and got to his feet. He rotated his shoulder, then joined Noah in the awkward standoff. He raised his gun and pointed it at the man.
“What do you want?” the man asked. His voice was shaky. He edged closer to the teenage girl, favoring his right foot.
“Are you hurt?” Noah said, drawing everyone’s attention to the poorly wrapped bandage above his left knee.
“It’s nothing.”
“Were you bitten?” Devin nodded toward the man’s leg.
“He wasn’t.” The teenage girl jumped to the man’s defense. Her dark hair had been cropped into a short uneven bob, which formed a rough line along her jaw.
Devin pursed his lips. “He your dad?”
The girl nodded.
“How about we all lower our weapons and figure this out, okay?” Devin glanced at Noah, indicating for him to go first.
Though wary, Noah did as Devin instructed. “Fine.” He loosened his hold, lowering the ax to his side, and stepped back to put space between him and the still-armed father and daughter team.
“Okay?” Devin returned his handgun to its holster. “We didn’t mean to scare you.”
The man glanced at his daughter. “It’s okay, T.” He dropped his weapon, and encouraged his daughter to do the same.
“I’m Devin, and this is Noah. We’re sorry if we scared you.”
Hugging his daughter close, the man said, “Kirk. This is my daughter, Tatum.” He pointed in the direction of the woman and boy, who were still sitting together. “My wife, Marie, and our son, Samuel.”
Devin seemed to relax when the man shared his and his family’s names. He kept his hand at his side. “Have you been here long?”
Kirk blinked rapidly. “A couple of days. My son is sick. We needed somewhere safe.”
“Sick?” Noah eyed the boy. “Sick, how?”
“I don’t know.” Kirk’s shoulders dropped as he gazed at his boy. “He hasn’t eaten properly in days, and when he has, he’s thrown up soon after.”
“I’m sorry,” Devin offered. He settled his sight on Noah. It was clear that he was considering what to do. Since the incident with Corden, they no longer had the luxury of taking people at their word. They had to be sure of who they were letting into the prison, no matter how adamant people were in claiming they were okay, or arguing that their injuries were from anything other than a bite.
The father gave a strained smile at Devin’s voiced sympathy. “It’s been hard. No food, no shelter. Always moving. It’s hit him the worst.”
Each member of the family appeared unkempt, dirty, and tired. Noah sucked on his teeth. These people needed help, help they could offer them. “Devin.”
Devin raised his head. There was doubt in his eyes.
“Please.” They were just people. Scared and exhausted people.
Devin stared at the ground. “How did you hurt your leg?” he asked. “I can help your son, but you have to tell me the truth.”
“On the fence.” Kirk looked from Devin to Noah. “I swear.” He wrapped his hand around his daughter’s. His face seemed brighter almost, as if he had been gifted with something amazing—the fact that maybe there was some hope and goodness left in the world after all.
“And the kid? He’s just sick?”
“Yes.” He nodded emphatically. “You’re part of a group? You have somewhere safe?”
There was a beat before Devin confirmed they did have somewhere. “We can help. We can look at your leg too, stop it from getting infected. But we’ll have to check you over. All of you. Properly. We can’t risk letting anyone who’s been bitten in. You understand, right?”
“We understand. Do what you have to do, but please, help us.”
Kirk’s desperation cut at Noah’s heart. If only it was just the undead monsters they had to deal with, but even now, despite all the horror and bloodshed, they were faced with the uncertainty of one another, of the danger other human beings still posed to them. Who should they trust? And who should they keep at arm’s length? He had fallen foul of people he thought were his friends, his neighbors. Distrust for others was why he had been alone when Devin had found him and why he had wanted to return to the farm, his farm, and be in a place he knew, not with Devin and the others at the prison. It was the reason he had survived for so long. But now, he couldn’t imagine anything else. He was glad Devin had shown up at the farm that day, even though his arrival had flipped everything he’d known on its head.
He had put his trust in Devin.
Noah looked from one family member to the next, then at Devin. They both knew this was the right thing to do. This was the human thing to do.
 

Meredith Russell lives in the heart of England. An avid fan of many story genres, she enjoys nothing less than a happy ending. She believes in heroes and romance and strives to reflect this in her writing. Sharing her imagination and passion for stories and characters is a dream Meredith is excited to turn into reality.

Website/blog: http://www.meredithrussell.co.uk
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/meredithrussellauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MeredithRAuthor
Instagram: http://instagram.com/miss_meredith_r
Email: meredithrussell666@gmail.com

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Blog Tour: The Sound of Silence by Mia Kerick and Raine O’Tierney

 

Title: Sound of Silence
Authors: Mia Kerick and Raine O’Tierney
Release Date: January 23rd 2018
Genre: MM Contemporary Romance

BLURB

Renzy Callen exists on the periphery of life, and not just because of the horrific childhood event that robbed him of the ability to speak. Walling himself off from the rest of the world as a means of protection, he occupies his time with art, music, and an obsession with self-help groups—whether he needs them or not. His isolation protects him, and he’s immune to drama and emotional games… or so he believes. Everything changes when he meets Seven and Morning Moreaux-Maddox, the wealthy, jet-setting siblings who move from a life of sophistication in Europe to humdrum Redcliff Hills, Missouri.

Both Seven and his sister are impossibly beautiful and elegant, like the stars in magazines and high-fashion models on the runway. When Renzy is pulled into their push-and-pull of affection and rejection, he realizes there is more to both haunted Morning and cold, diamond-sharp Seven than meets the eye.

The three teens embark on a quest to learn the reason behind Renzy’s selective mutism, and something more than friendship blossoms between Renzy and Seven. It’s during this trip of a lifetime that the three realize the truth they seek might be found in the sound of silence.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Harmony Ink | iBooks

Find Sound of Silence on Goodreads

EXCERPT

Seven

I don’t go straight to class. First off , I don’t give a shit if I’m late to Physics for the Curious, which actually is the class’s laughable name. More importantly, though, is this: I dropped the ball with Morning last year in Paris, and she’s paid a high price for my lax behavior. I’ve sworn on all things holy and unholy that I will not drop the ball again. Therefore, I’m required to lurk in the hallways when I’m supposed to be in class, sizing up our new environment so that I will be ready to protect her.

This is what I’m doing when I notice him—the very same dark- haired imp I saw running out of the Take Back Our Power meeting. I’m not comfortable with this—catching sight of the same boy two times in one day in such close proximity to my sister. I consider it my duty to study him, to memorize his face, to do what I should have done for Morning last year, at which I failed so miserably.

So I scrutinize each feature as if my plan is to sculpt his face out of clay, with no reference point but my memory. Despite the rage that scorches my eyelids with every goddamned blink, I like what I see.

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About the Authors

Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—a daughter in law school, another in dance school, a third studying at Mia’s alma mater, Boston College, and her lone son still in high school. She writes LGBTQ romance when not editing National Honor Society essays, offering opinions on college and law school applications, helping to create dance bios, and reviewing English papers. Her husband of twenty-four years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about this, as it is a sensitive subject.

Mia focuses her stories on emotional growth in turbulent relationships. As she has a great affinity for the tortured hero, there is, at minimum, one in each book. As a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with tales of said tortured heroes (most of whom happened to strongly resemble lead vocalists of 1980s big-hair bands) and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to Dreamspinner Press and Harmony Ink Press for providing alternate places to stash her stories.

Her books have won a Best YA Lesbian Rainbow Award, a Reader Views’ Book by Book Publicity Literary Award, the Jack Eadon Award for Best Book in Contemporary Drama, an Indie Fab Award, and a Royal Dragonfly Award for Cultural Diversity, among other awards.

Mia is a Progressive, a little bit too obsessed by politics, and cheers for each and every victory in the name of human rights. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.

Contact Mia at miakerick@gmail.com. Visit her website for updates on what is going on in Mia’s world, rants, music, parties, and pictures, and maybe even a little bit of inspiration.

Links: Facebook | Twitter

Raine O’Tierney loves writing about first loves and friendship. She believes the best thing we can do in this life is be kind to one another, and hopes her stories always reflect that. Raine loves encouraging people to write and has been known to repeat the phrase “I believe everyone has a story to tell” endlessly, until she breaks down even the most stubborn non-writer!

Raine lives outside of Kansas City, Missouri, with her husband, fellow M/M author Siôn O’Tierney. When she’s not writing, she’s either playing video games or fighting the good fight for intellectual freedom at her library day job.

Contact her if you’re interested in talking about point-and-click adventure games or about which dachshunds are the best kinds of dachshunds!

Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter 

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Release Blitz: The Station by Keira Andrews

 

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Cover Design: Dar Albert @ Wicked Smart Designs
 
Blurb


Ever since Cambridge-bound Colin Lancaster spied on stable master Patrick Callahan mastering another man, he’s longed for Patrick to do the same to him. When Patrick is caught with his pants down and threatened with death for his crime, Colin speaks up in his defense and confesses his own sinful nature. They’re soon banished to the faraway prison colony of Australia.

Patrick never asked for Colin’s help, and now he’s stuck with the pampered fool. While it’s true that being transported to Australia is a far cry from the luxury Colin is accustomed to, he’s determined to make the best of it and prove himself. Although Patrick learned long ago that love is a fairy tale, he’s inexorably drawn to sweet, optimistic Colin.

From the miserable depths of a prison ship to the vast, untamed Australian outback, Colin and Patrick must rely on each other. Danger lurks everywhere, and when they unexpectedly get the chance to escape to a new life as cowboys, they’ll need each other more than ever.

This historical gay romance from Keira Andrews features an age difference, an eager virgin, hurt/comfort, and of course a happy ending.

Excerpt


Waiting only a moment after knocking, Colin’s mother, Elizabeth, entered his room. Colin glanced over from the window seat. He’d been watching Patrick in the meadow exercising the young colt born several days before. “Yes, Mother?”

Elizabeth was forty-two and quite beautiful, with a regal nose and posture and the same thick, chestnut brown hair as Colin. “You haven’t bathed yet? Guests will be arriving within the hour.”

“I was about to, if you’d leave me to my privacy.”

When he wasn’t studying or walking the grounds, Colin whiled away the hours sitting by his window reading novels of thrilling adventures in faraway lands. Sometimes Patrick would appear in the meadow, training the horses. Colin’s book would lie forgotten on his lap as he watched Patrick at work. He seemed as if he belonged in one of the fictional tales Colin devoured. Colin could easily imagine him with sword in hand.

“Of course, dear. I had Charles press your jacket. It’s hanging there.” She pointed across the room, where, sure enough, his formal wear waited. “Katherine was partial to that one, if I do recall.”

Colin couldn’t hold back a sigh. “Yes.”

“Darling, you gave up on Katherine far too easily. Tonight will be another chance for you to win her hand. You’re quite a catch, you know. Off to Cambridge soon. Katherine will want to ensnare you now.”

“Mother, Katherine Crawford has turned her favor elsewhere. She’s moved on.” So had he. Most definitely.

Elizabeth’s pretty face pinched into a frown. “It’s an honor that the Crawfords are attending this evening. You will be on your best behavior. I don’t know what exactly you did to ruin things with Katherine, but tonight you will do your utmost to undo it.”

“Yes, Mother.” He would attempt no such thing, but Colin had learned years before that arguing with his parents got him nowhere. Soon he’d be at Cambridge and he would be able to make his own decisions. Soon he’d have a new life.

Mollified, Elizabeth closed the door behind her. Flopping down on his bed, Colin thought of Katherine and cringed. It wasn’t until a most ill-fated outing with Katherine Crawford several months ago that Colin had admitted to himself that his interest in Patrick was far from intellectual.

Katherine was a beauty, all glossy blonde hair and moist, pink lips. For some reason Colin couldn’t fathom, she had shown an interest in him at a holiday gathering down the road. The courting had begun soon thereafter, with Colin escorting Katherine on various activities. Unlike William, who railed against the inconveniences of chaperones, Colin was grateful for the matrons’ presence.

He liked Katherine well enough. She was intelligent and kind and pleasing to look at. But Colin knew something was missing. Katherine didn’t set his blood on fire, and he rarely thought of her when she was absent.

The absences were as long as Colin could manage while still maintaining the guise of courting. He was a perfect gentleman at all times with Katherine, which he found a simple feat. William and his school chums all needled him in private and made winking suggestions of what was actually going on between him and Katherine, and Colin let them believe what they wanted.

The Lancasters and Crawfords had both been guests at a country estate for an Easter celebration. Colin’s sister, Rebecca, was delighted. On the ride over, she had chattered constantly about the beautiful Katherine and how she might one day be her sister-in-law. Colin loved his sister dearly but wished she’d find a new interest.

Colin had been fast asleep the first night at the country estate when Katherine crept into his room. Despite his protests about the impropriety, she’d insisted he dress and accompany her for a moonlight stroll. He hadn’t really a choice.

It went badly.

Despite Katherine’s obvious beauty and heaving bosom, Colin had remained utterly uninterested. He’d tried. Truly, he did. Under a large willow tree, Colin had kissed Katherine and caressed her soft skin under her skirt, her hand firm on his wrist, guiding him. He had been unable to get excited, and when she’d reached for him to find him flaccid, Katherine Crawford had had quite enough.

She’d stomped back to her room and avoided Colin for the remainder of the weekend. Colin could hardly meet anyone’s eyes. His family had obviously required an explanation, and he’d had none.

When they returned home after a torturous journey, Colin had jumped from the carriage, eager to be away from his inquiring parents and sister, who’d demanded to know how Colin had made such a mess of things. Colin had almost barreled straight into Patrick, who had come to take the horses. At the sight of him, his lean muscles, his maleness, Colin had been struck with the vivid memories of what he’d witnessed in the stable that day long ago. He had to bite his tongue to stop himself from begging Patrick to take him into some dark corner and have his way with him.

That was what he wanted. He would never want the Katherine Crawfords of the world. No matter how beautiful, how rich, how ideal for a wife. Colin wanted a man. Oh, God, did he want a man.

Can I be of assistance?” Patrick had affected a guileless expression, and Colin had realized he’d been staring dumbly.

Awkward and ready to crawl out of his own skin, Colin had mumbled something and hurried off. All the denials he’d repeated to himself had finally been silenced. He’d locked himself in his room, took himself in hand, and, muffling his face in a pillow as he thought of Patrick, attained the most satisfying release he’d experienced since that day at sixteen years old, hiding in the stable.

Remembering now, Colin stroked himself quickly, careful not to muss himself too much before the party. He thought of Patrick, of his Gaelic lullaby and of his grunts as he’d penetrated the man in the stable years before. As he rubbed himself with one hand, legs spread, Colin caressed his lips with his fingertips, imagining what it would be like to be kissed—really kissed. He didn’t even know if men kissed each other, but he would like to try it.

Sometime later, Colin straightened his navy tie and vest under his dark jacket and peered into the full-length mirror in the corner of his bedroom. His large eyes were a deep brown that matched his hair, and his jaw was narrow. His nose was straight and unremarkable. Katherine had once told him that his smile turned her knees to jelly and his eyes were bottomless pools she could stare into for eternity.

Colin doubted it, somehow.

He decided he looked as presentable as he was able to and went to join the party. Naturally, the first person he saw was Katherine. Dressed to the nines in an ornate, yellow, bell-shaped gown and looking lovely, she was laughing gaily at something William had said. Her hand was placed just so on his arm, and Colin saw the flash of her eyes as she spotted him. She laughed again, even louder.

Colin felt like laughing himself. If she only knew. Before he could do anything, Rebecca towed him into the drawing room, her voice low and urgent, grip firm. “Honestly, I don’t know what William is thinking. You mustn’t pay them any mind, Colin. Are you very upset?” Her pretty face, very much like their mother’s, creased with worry.

Shaking his head, Colin kissed his dear sister’s cheek. “I won’t give it another thought. William is welcome to her. Perhaps Father will take some solace if the family is connected to the Crawfords in the end.”

Rebecca, fourteen and very dramatic, hugged him tightly. “Oh, Colin. You’re ever so brave.”

Biting back his mirth, Colin thanked her and pointed her toward her newly arriving friends from down the road. He made his rounds of the soiree, shaking hands and making polite conversation. Dinner was served, and Colin listened to a neighbor tell him about what a wonderful time he’d have at Cambridge. Colin hoped it would be true. The one thing dampening his excitement about finally getting away from home was that he’d also be leaving Patrick behind.

As he spooned his custard, Colin brooded. He knew it was deeply foolish, since the strange affection and desire he had for Patrick was certainly one-sided. He’d only been a child when they were friends. Even if by some miracle Patrick desired him now that he was grown, would Colin really have the nerve to lie with another man? His trousers tightened at the notion, and he was glad for the napkin across his lap.

After dinner, Colin endured the ladies’ singing and gentlemen’s card games. Unable to shake Patrick from his mind as the night wore on, he found himself walking to the stable, unable to stay away. He was almost there when a cry came up. A man burst out from the large wooden doors and fled across the meadow, barely visible in the darkness. In the lantern light from the stable, Patrick tumbled outside, followed by two men Colin recognized as shopkeepers in the next county. Brothers named Harris, he thought.

Colin realized he was running and skidded to a halt just as one of the brothers landed a vicious kick to Patrick’s ribs. “Stop!” Colin shoved the man aside. Blood already streamed from Patrick’s nose and mouth.

The man ignored Colin as if he were naught but a fly, and kicked Patrick again. “Unnatural piece of filth!”

Several other guests who heard the melee drew near. The other Harris brother called out to them. “We need the inspector. A crime’s been committed here.”

“What crime?” Colin demanded.

The man spit at the ground where Patrick lay beaten. “Buggery.”

The world tilted on its axis, and Colin’s stomach churned. He realized Patrick’s breeches were loose, and that the man he’d seen fleeing must have been…

Suddenly Colin’s father was there. In the lantern light, Colin could see the rage on his father’s face, and it chilled him. Edward was short and stout, yet an imposing presence. He issued a terse command to the Harris brothers to follow him and bring Patrick.

Patrick was dragged around the back of the manor house, a growing number of curious guests following. Several women were told to go back to the party, and the servants watched with wide eyes as the brothers hauled Patrick through the kitchen. Inside Edward’s study, a group of men gathered. Patrick was deposited on his knees in the middle of the room as Colin crowded inside with the others. They were soon joined by Colin’s mother.

“What’s going on?” she hissed to her husband. “There are whispers everywhere.”

Edward barely spared her a glance. “This is no place for a woman. An ungodly crime has been committed. Go see to the other guests and tell them everything is fine. We don’t want this getting out.”

“I’m not going anywhere. Tell me what’s happened!” Elizabeth’s cheeks flamed.

The man who’d kicked Patrick spoke. “My wife is feeling ill, so my brother and I went to the stable to ask for our carriage to be brought round.”

“Ill? Not from the food?” Elizabeth appeared horrified.

“For God’s sake, woman, forget the food!” A vein in Edward’s temple throbbed, and Colin feared his father might explode with rage.

“Where’s the other one?” Colin glanced behind him, surprised to hear William’s voice. Apparently the whispers were indeed spreading.

One of the Harris brothers answered. “Gone. I think it was the Nelsons’ carriage driver. Quick bastard, we couldn’t catch him. This one was still tangled up in his breeches. Caught him dead to rights.”

“No need to get the courts involved. Take him out back and hang him from his bollocks,” said one of the other guests.

There was a murmur of agreement, and Edward seemed to seriously be considering it. Colin’s panic increased exponentially as the tension simmered. Many of those present had long been into their cups, and a reckless air swirled through the room. He looked to Patrick, who knelt silently, blood dripping down his face, his hands now bound behind his back. Colin hadn’t seen who restrained him.

“Kill him,” agreed one of the Harrises. To Patrick, he said, “Wouldn’t you rather be put out of your misery now than rot in a jail cell knowing you’re going to the gallows? We’d be doing you a favor.”

The murmur of assent grew frighteningly loud. “Should have expected it from an Irishman,” someone shouted.

“Hang ’im! Save the courts some time and money.” The bookkeeper from the local village reached for Patrick, attempting to haul him to his feet as other men cried their agreement.

“No!” When all eyes turned to him, Colin realized he’d spoken aloud. “No. You can’t kill him.” He thought of that day six years before, when Patrick had raced after him and plucked him from the fleeing stallion. His heart hammered as it had that day.

Edward’s eyes narrowed. “Colin, the punishment for buggery is death. It’s what he deserves. This man—if you can call an animal a man—is a degenerate criminal.”

“Then so am I!”

Silence gripped the room in an instant, as if everyone held their breath collectively. Elizabeth went pale. “Colin, you have no idea what you’re saying.” She pulled his arm, urging him toward the door. “I’m sorry, everyone; he’s had far too much brandy this evening. He isn’t himself.”

Colin yanked his arm away. “No, Mother. I know what I’m saying.” He swallowed, his throat dry and thick. “I am myself.” Perhaps for the first time.

A shocked William spoke up, his eyes wide. “Colin, this is madness!”

Edward simply stared, stunned into silence for the first time in Colin’s memory. Elizabeth pulled at him again, but Colin shook free. “If you will kill this man for his crime, then you’ll have to kill me too. Shall you take me outside and string me up?”

“What in God’s name are you doing?” Patrick spoke for the first time, and all eyes turned to where he knelt. He stared at Colin with dazed astonishment.

The sound of Patrick’s voice seemed to spur Edward out of his daze. Edward turned a murderous gaze on Patrick. “If you’ve laid a finger on my son, I swear—”

“I’d sooner bed a horse,” Patrick sneered.

“And probably has!” a voice called out.

Colin felt a ridiculous stab of pain at Patrick’s words.

Patrick went on. “Sir, your son is clearly not in his right mind.”

William’s father, John, a lawyer, spoke next. He was tall and distinguished, the opposite of his brother, Edward. He seemed to be the only calm person left in the room. “Colin, are you saying you’ve committed acts of buggery?”

“Yes.” Even if it wasn’t true, Colin couldn’t let them kill Patrick. At least not tonight, not if he could help it.

Elizabeth shrieked and collapsed into a chair. “Oh, my son. What have you done? It can’t be true!”

“I’m sorry, Mother. They’ll have to kill us both.”

“Don’t listen to him! For God’s sake!” Patrick tried to stand but was shoved back down by Edward, whose face flamed with rage.

John spoke up. “No one’s killing anyone.” He turned to the Harris brothers. “Did you witness the act?”

One of them laughed tersely. “Didn’t have to. They heard us coming, and the other one was off and running. But we saw and heard enough to know what was going on.”

John pondered this, and everyone waited. He seemed to have quietly taken control of the proceedings, for which Colin was grateful. He hoped Patrick wouldn’t be harmed any further for the moment.

“No concrete evidence. None in regards to Colin either,” John said after a lengthy pause.

“Because it’s not true!” Elizabeth cried.

John ignored her and turned to Edward. “I have some friends in the magistrate’s office who should be able to help. I’ll go speak to George Crawford and get him on our side. But too many people have heard Colin’s confession. Something must be done.”

Edward nodded grimly, not looking at Colin. He pointed to Patrick. “We’ll keep this one locked in the pantry for the night. Colin will be in his room with a guard placed outside. William, take him upstairs.”

The shock of his actions slowly settling in, Colin didn’t resist as William led him away. They opened the door to the study to find the hallway crowded with party guests. Katherine was among them, her delicate face transformed into a hard mask. “Fiend!” She dashed down the hall, weeping.

Accusing eyes glared from all sides, and William led Colin to the servants’ back stairway, sparing him the spectacle of being marched up the grand staircase. In his room, Colin tried to speak. “Will, I…”

William raised a hand. “Don’t.” He shook his head sadly, his expression deeply wounded. “I don’t understand. I’ve always thought of you as a dear friend. A brother. Now I feel I’ve never known you at all.” He turned his back, closing the door behind him. A moment later, Colin heard the key turn in the lock, and his life as he knew it was over.


Author Bio

After writing for years yet never really finding the right inspiration, Keira discovered her voice in gay romance, which has become a passion. She writes contemporary, historical, fantasy, and paranormal fiction and — although she loves delicious angst along the way — Keira firmly believes in happy endings. For as Oscar Wilde once said:

“The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what fiction means.”

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Blog Tour: Bleeding Like Me by Riley Parks

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Title: Bleeding Like Me
Author: Riley Parks
Release Date: November 21st 2017
Genre: MM Contemporary Dark Romance
Published by: Boroughs Publishing
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BLURB
Being gay in their neighborhood is perilous. Being gay in a street gang is unheard of. Being gay and in love with a man in a rival gang is a death wish. Through drug addiction, brutality, and seemingly endless peril, they remain; finding stability within each other that shouldn’t exist in their volatile world.

BEAUTIFUL CONTRADICTION

He didn’t paint people; the curves of their bodies and angles of their faces never interested him as much as cityscapes. The circumstances of his life had compelled him to create new worlds that he could get lost in rather than reflect the features of the people he ran from. He constructed buildings from their foundations, making them taller and stronger than he was. He adorned the edifices with countless windows, always left open or cracked so hope could pour in and fears could seep out. Tree lined streets reminded him how to breathe, pumping oxygen through the atmosphere, off the canvas, and into his lungs.
He didn’t paint people until the day he no longer desired the anonymity of his cities. The streets didn’t feel like his escape anymore, not like him. Cerulean skies gave way to pale blue eyes and bus routes to pink pouts. Evan didn’t paint people until he painted Jackson.
Find Bleeding Like Me on Goodreads
Buy Links: Boroughs | Amazon US | Amazon UK | iBooks | B&N | Kobo | Smashwords
EXCERPT
He’d never been to Humboldt Park before, but he heard it had a pretty good scene. When he was unaffiliated, he could get away with going to the gay spots on the South Side, but now that he was with the KKz, he had to be more careful. He disembarked and walked the short distance to the big rock where guys supposedly met. Sitting down on a bench, he pulled out a cigarette he had bummed off Luis and watched as a couple of queens made a connection and disappeared into the wooded area a few feet behind the boulder. He let the filter rest between his lips as he leaned back to stare up at the moon. It was a waxing crescent that barely glowed against the black expanse of the sky, making the already poorly lit park even darker.
He peered down at a man who took a seat on the bench next to him. They sat quietly, Evan’s head still thrown back and the guy smoking his cigarette as if he hadn’t just propositioned him.
“Nice night,” Evan threw out as if he was telling the moon rather than the guy beside him.
“Are you looking to chitchat or are you trying to fuck?” When Evan finally dropped his head, he noticed that the guy was peering at him with raised eyebrows. They stared for a moment, and without a doubt, a spark arced between them.
“Depends what you’re into I guess,” Evan replied, noticing that the man had a perfectly plump pout. He wanted to see what those lips looked like wrapped around his cock. “I’m not going to bend over.”
“Wouldn’t want you to,” the guy replied with a sniff, blue eyes dropping to momentarily study the grass before returning to Evan’s.
“That right?” he questioned, moderately surprised. Mr. Ready To Hook Up seemed to be tough as fuck, with his sleeve tattoos and muscular biceps that were perfectly displayed in his gray sleeveless shirt. Evan knew it was a stereotype that men who exclusively took cock were soft, but in his experience, more often than not, they had been. He’d fucked a variety of guys, and there was always some negotiating between him and a dude who was versatile. This hot motherfucker was clearly a power bottom, a fact that had Evan’s cock standing up to take notice.
“Need me to spell it out for you, Daywalker?” he huffed, eyebrows raised in challenge.
Evan shook his head and self-consciously ran his fingers through his red hair. “So you want to go—” he began.
The guy interrupted by saying, “Show me what you got.”
Without wasting another second, Evan tossed his cigarette to the ground and unzipped the fly of his jeans, arching his back enough to shimmy them, along with his boxer briefs, down his thighs so his hard cock could spring out. Instinctively, he moved a hand down to the shaft and started to pump it.
Blue eyes observed every stroke as full lips smacked subconsciously. “Yeah, I want to fuck,” the guy stated, seemingly impressed by what Evan was working with. Wordlessly, the hot-as-shit motherfucker stood up and started walking, leaving Evan scrambling to get his pants up so he could follow.
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About the Author
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Riley has always loved to write, believing that life has the possibility to be its most beautiful when it’s portrayed on the pages of a book. Feeling the need to create and liberate in the midst of the political landscape, Riley writes novels that focus on LGBTQ protagonists, wanting to honor a community that deserves better representation depicting lives, loves and triumphs in all facets of fiction.
Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
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Blog Tour: Won’t Feel A Thing by CF White

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Title: Won’t Feel a Thing
Author: C.F. White
Series: St. Cross #1
Release Date: December 19th 2017
Genre: Contemporary MM Romance

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It takes more than a doctor to mend a broken heart.

Ollie Warne is fresh out of nursing school and working his dream job as a pediatric cardiology nurse at St Cross Children’s Hospital, London. He wants to start the new year free of personal heartache after his track record of falling for the wrong man–his New Year’s resolution is to live a life of carefree liaisons from now on.

He immediately meets Jacob, father of one of Ollie’s patients and a man harboring more guilt and past demons than even Ollie, which is saying something…

Their growing attraction makes it hard for Ollie to keep his distance, but he has to. Not only do the ethics of his profession demand it, but Ollie is entangled with another man–a predatory doctor who has a huge personal and professional stake in Ollie’s life.

Ollie risks more than his job by getting involved with a patient’s father–and much more than just the success of his New Year’s resolution, something that was supposed to ensure that, this time, he won’t feel a thing.

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EXCERPT

“You want my opinion?”

“Yes.”

“My honest opinion?”

“Yes,” Ollie repeated. “Please.”

“Brutal honest opinion?”

“Yes. ”

“Even if you don’t like it?”

“Even if I never want to talk to you again.” Ollie took a sharp slurp through the straw of his smoothie and winced, his glasses tipping to the end of his nose. “Until tonight, anyway.”

“Then leave well alone.”

Ollie sighed. He sucked up another mouthful of his daily fruit and veg intake, flicked back his blond hair that had lost its vigor after a twelve-hour night shift, and glanced away from Taya’s wide brown oval eyes. The eyes that signified she meant every damn word. Bitch.

“Told you.”

Taya freed her dark, waist-length hair from its curled bun and stroked it over one shoulder. She wrapped the band around her slender, dark-skinned wrist, then sipped her dainty cup of pink hot chocolate. The blue edges of her lips, caused by the freezing weather, were subsiding back to their usual reddish tinge with each guzzle of the pink cream and rainbow of chocolate candies scattered over her ridiculous, sickly concoction.

She hadn’t even an offered a spoonful to him. Twelve hours straight on night shift clearly meant she needed the sugar all to herself.

“He’s not worth your time, your worry, or your respect.” She clanged the cup down onto the glass surface of the table, pulled her winter trench coat over the scrubs she hadn’t bothered to change out of, and reached for her packet of menthol slims.

“Neither are they.” Ollie pointed to the cigarettes.

Taya glared across the table. She unhooked the top of the packet, took one of the white sticks between her teeth, and lit it with her pink lighter. Blowing the smoke into the freezing cold air, she waved her hand.

“We all have our vices, Oliver.”

Ollie stuck his middle finger up. He slapped it back down and shoved it into his jacket pocket. It was freezing, and Taya had to bloody sit outside the corner coffee shop in order to smoke her way out of the trying night shift. She was right. Everyone needed their vices, especially with what he and Taya did for a living. He sighed.

“I think he needs patience.”

“He’s got plenty of those.” Taya pointed her two fingers clutching the death stick at Ollie.

“Har fricking har. Patience with a c.”

“He’s a c all right.” Taya took another drag. At Ollie’s glare, she sighed and rested her elbow on the table top. “What? He is.”

“I think you may be the only female in the entire hospital who doesn’t like him.”

Ollie slurped the dregs of his raspberry-ripple smoothie and shivered. He should have gone for a hot drink, but it was hard enough to sleep during the day as it was. Caffeine would only make it infinitely more difficult.

“That’s because I know him,” Taya replied.

“Urgh. Not you too?”

“Ew.” Taya grimaced around her cigarette. “No, thank you.”

Ollie leaned back in the chair. He waved a hand to waft away the smoke drifting into his face. To give her some credit, Taya was trying to blow it out of the side of her mouth to avoid him, but the icy-cold January breeze from the earlier sleet downpour blew it straight back. Ollie zipped up his puffer jacket, folded his arms, and jiggled on the cold metal chair.

“You nearly done?” He nodded to the half-full cup of violently pink chocolate. Taya blew another puff of smoke into the air, stubbed out the remains of her cigarette, and downed the rest of her drink, leaving a foam mustache on her top lip. She licked it away. “Yeah. Home to bed, miss the snowfall, back at eight. You?”

They scraped back their chairs, and Ollie tucked a five-pound note under the ashtray for the servers. Anyone willing to come outside and serve drinks in this weather should most definitely get tips, even if his measly nurse’s wages were probably far less than those of the coffee baristas working this part of London.

“I should go see my dad,” he replied.

Taya linked her arm in with his, curling her slender fingers around his quilted sleeve. Checking both ways along the crossroads lined by independent boutiques, high- class restaurants, unconventional cafes, and health-food shops, she steered him across, narrowly missing a black cab speeding over the miniroundabout. The glass-enclosed bus stop’s bench overflowed with waiting passengers, so he stood, waiting, jiggling on his freezing toes within his inappropriate-for-the-weather slip-on loafers, and checked the time on the electric board for when the next bus was due.

“How’s he doing?” Taya asked.

“Good days and bad days.” Ollie sighed. “Keeps calling me Tilly.”

Taya tried to hold in the chuckle but failed miserably. Ollie didn’t mind so much. A good sense of humor was always best in these situations, not to mention their line of work. He pulled Taya in closer. It was fricking freezing, and snowflakes fell from the overcast sky. How would he get back to work later that night? London came to a standstill if even one flake hit any mode of public transport. Him living in the other end of the city—the cheap end—would make it all the more difficult to travel across town.

On occasions, where there wasn’t a downfall, he would have cycled in. But that was out of the question with the ice on the roads. And the fact he hadn’t woken up in his own bed last night. Ollie shuddered at the memory.

“Right.” Ollie bounced to keep warm while awaiting the number 252. “It’s January. So that means New Year’s resolutions. What’s yours?”

“Quit smoking.”

“Good luck.” Ollie meant it.

Taya stuck out her tongue.

“Well, we both know mine—”

“Which you broke last night.” Taya was a bitch like that.

“I don’t believe New Year’s resolutions should start until the second week of January.” Ollie rubbed his hands together, digging Taya’s arm into his side, and wondered why he hadn’t thought to bring gloves. Ah, yes, he hadn’t had any where he’d been before his shift started. He wasn’t allowed to leave any trace of his existence there.

“Riiight, ” Taya said. “So that means from today, you’ll be steering clear of arsehole men?” “Sadly, no. Unfortunately, I will no doubt encounter many of them in my time without realizing until it’s too late.”

“Amen.” Taya saluted.

Ollie wasn’t sure what the salute was about. But he wasn’t particularly religious, so maybe that was how it was done in church these days? Or temples, considering Taya’s family were Hindu. “So what is your resolution, then?”

“No baggage,” Ollie replied.

“Baggage?”

“Yep,” Ollie confirmed.

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January 1st
Tangents and Tissues
Stories that Make You Smile
Hoards Jumble
Love Unchained Book reviews
Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews
January 2nd
The Blogger Girls
Socially Awkward Book Nerd
MJs Book blog and Reviews
My Fiction Nook
January 3rd
Momma Says: To Read or Not to Read
Loving Without Limits
Books Laid Bare Boys
Louise Lyons
The Novel Approach
Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
January 4th
Happily Ever Chapter
Drops of Ink
Divine Magazine
Making It Happen

 

 

About the Author

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Brought up in the relatively small town in Hertfordshire, I managed to do what most other residents of the town try and fail. Leave.

Going off to study at a West London University, I realised there was a whole city out there just waiting to be discovered, so much like Dick Whittington before, I never made it back home and still endlessly searches for the streets paved with gold; slowly coming to the realisation that it is mostly paved with chewing gum. And the odd bit of graffiti. And those little circles of yellow spray paint where the council point out the pot holes to someone who is supposedly meant to fix them instead of stare at them endlessly whilst holding a polystyrene foam cup of watered down coffee.

Eventually I moved from West to East along that vast District Line, and settled for pie and mash, cockles and winkles, and a bit of Knees Up Mother Brown to live in the East End of London; securing a job, creating a life, a home, a family.

Having worked in Higher Education for the most proportion of my adult life, a life-altering experience brought pen back to paper, having written stories as a child but never having the confidence to show them to the world. Now embarking on this writing malarkey, I cannot stop. So strap in, it’s a bumpy ride from here on in.

Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Hitting Black Ice: New cover and now on KU

New cover by A. Jones (pixel) for my first published novel!  The rights have reverted back to me, and I managed to tackle formatting, learning Kindle Create, and getting the book into the KU program with a little hand holding from Genna Donaghy and Kate Lowell. Thanks, you guys.

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Blurb:

ER physician’s assistant Hunter guards his heart carefully, but that doesn’t stop him from falling for Shawn, the front desk clerk.  He keeps his distance from relationships for a reason, but just can’t help himself when it comes to Shawn.

Shawn is on the run from the law and love to protect himself and anyone else involved. One man is dead because of him, and his life now is simple and easily thrown into a bag at any hint of danger. Until he meets Hunter, and he no longer wants to run.

Forced into a hostage situation, buried passion explodes in the aftermath, and sex in the supply closet brings their hearts back to life. Tentatively, step by step they begin to explore a relationship together until the past catches up with Shawn.

FBI agent Nick Truman has finally found his man, but when Shawn escapes, he focuses his attention on Hunter. Shawn returns, even though it means sacrificing himself to save Hunter from the man who framed him for murder.