Release Blitz: The Betas: Rene by AC Katt

When attending a wedding, Frank Ferone is introduced to René DuBois, a violet eyed stranger.

 

Title: The Betas: Rene

Series: Werewolves of Manhattan Series Book 9 – Can be read as standalone

Release Date: July 21, 2017

Publisher: MLR Press

Categories: Paranormal/shifter/erotica

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35647794-the-betas—rene

When attending a wedding, Frank Ferone is introduced to René DuBois, a violet eyed stranger. René has a secret to hide but can’t overlook that he’s met his mate. René starts to romance Frankie and soon Frankie falls in love. But how is he going to react when René tells Frankie he is loup garou. Werewolves? Really?

MLR Press: https://www.mlrbooks.com/ShowBook.php?book=ACK_RENE

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Betas-Rene-Werewolves-Manhattan-Book-ebook/dp/B073ZGXKR

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Betas-Rene-Werewolves-Manhattan-Book-ebook/dp/B073ZGXKR

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/d/Betas-Rene-Werewolves-Manhattan-Book-ebook/B073ZGXKRY

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/Betas-Rene-Werewolves-Manhattan-Book-ebook/dp/B073ZGXKRY

https://www.goodreads.com/series/140445-werewolves-of-manhattan

 

Frankie sat on the edge of a serge wing chair upholstered in the blue of the sofa pattern. He hadn’t noticed it before, but René had splashes of a rich burgundy in pillow accents placed around the room. “Thank you for being there for me. Have I told you that I love you? There must be something to this Mate thing.” He glanced over at René, whose face was set in a grim line. He had to phone Dante.

“Okay, I call him.” Frankie inwardly quaked. In the past ten years, he had grumbled, but he never outright defied Dante. Dante told him ten years, but Frankie was scared to death he wouldn’t let him go. His stepfather could be a very bad man under the right circumstances. He’d witnessed what had happened to Sal and Apuso. Don Ferone didn’t like to be crossed. His stomach knotted, Frankie dialed the number.

“Ferone residence, to whom am I speaking?” It was obvious that Dante had come home from work because Carmen would let the phone ring until his poor mother had to answer it.

“Carmen, this is Frankie, may I speak to my stepfather?”

“I’ll see if he’s available.” He heard shuffling in the background.

“I’ve been expecting your call.” That was his stepfather. Frankie immediately got angry, almost on autopilot. None of the niceties for Frankie, not even a hello.

“I told Mom I would talk to you. Consider this my notice, and I’m on vacation for the next week. As of Monday, I’ll be working for Mr. La Marche.” Frankie steeled his voice. I can do this.

“You’re going to work with more of your kind?” Frankie could feel René’s gaze on him. He didn’t want to make eye contact with his fiancé. Frankie was afraid he’d see pity, and the one thing Frankie couldn’t stand was someone’s pity, especially from his new fiancé. Anger, even with disgust, was preferable, and God knows Dante had stared at him with disgust often enough, but he couldn’t abide pity.

“I want to be who I am, an out and proud gay man.” Frankie’s voice sounded firm to his ears. Good, it’s not shaking. I’m standing my ground.

“You have my name…”

Frankie didn’t even let him finish. “I’ll change it back to Fitzgerald or take my husband’s name.”

Dante sighed. “Frankie, are you sure you want to do this? La Marche’s army is as large if not larger than mine. I don’t know what kind of jig they’re running, but they’re no more on the up and up than I am. I work with them because I have to, not because I want to.” Dante took a deep breath to continue. Frankie cut him off.

“Dante, you promised me ten years ago, that if I gave you ten years, you’d let me go. I told Mr. La Marche that you were a man of your word. That you’d let me go because you made a promise. I’m asking you to keep that promise.” Silence greeted him on the other end of the line.

“You won’t abandon your mother? She loves you.” Dante pulled out his ace.

“I promised that I’d come to see her tomorrow and bring René. I’d never abandon Mom. Just because I don’t work for you doesn’t mean I’m abandoning her.”

“Is that his name—René. Sounds like a girl.” Dante gave Frankie a half-hearted jeer. It was at that moment he knew he’d won.

“No, it’s French. It means reborn.” That’s how I’ve felt since I met him, reborn.

“You can keep my name. You may work for La Marche, but you’re still my son. Your mother wants you to be happy, and she said she hadn’t heard you as happy as you were when you talked to her today since Francis died. Believe it or not, I want you to be happy, too. I wanted to leave you the business because you’d run it better than Junior. Your mother and I have spoiled him, and he’s feckless. When I retire, I’ll turn it over to one of the boys I sent to Columbia. Your mother said you suggested that.” Dante was trying for his mother’s sake. The Alpha was right when he told him to enlist her. It was time he gave a little.

“Dad…Dante, you should retire soon, before something happens. You have enough money for the three of you to live very full lives. I handled your investments, I know.”

“That’s the first time you’ve ever called me Dad. I didn’t mean to alienate you over the gay thing. I thought that you’d grow out of it, but today, your mother did a search on the computer, arthritic fingers and all.” Here he threw in a little guilt. They thought Jewish mothers were the only ones who dealt in guilt. Anyone who’s had an Italian father could tell you that the Italians give the Jews a run for their money

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Coming Soon! His Dark Reflection

Heart and Haven #3 from Loose Id: Nick Truman’s story…man-515518_1920

Nick had his car keys out and hit the fob for one of the last cars in the parking garage. He’d just left a session with the techs who’d investigated Alex Crow’s electronics and found nothing suspicious, to his surprise and relief. Nick had really thought he was guilty of being a part of his uncle’s murder, but had also started to like the kid.

The elevator doors opened and Dale Markham stepped out, looking around. Nick had never liked him—just a gut thing. He was a good agent, but something slimy shifted in his eyes at times, like a shadow behind a mask.

So Nick didn’t call out, just nodded when their eyes met, and opened the trunk to put his briefcase away. When he shut it, Dale was standing next to his car, smiling.

“Agent Markham?” A warning buzzed in his head—something off in Markham’s gaze.

“Hey, Nick.” The man put a hand to the inner pocket of his coat and drew out a thick envelope. “A friend needs a favor on the Vargas kid’s case.”

“I don’t take bribes, Dale,” he said as loud as he could in case Dale wore a wire. “What the hell are you thinking?”

“Hold on, there. I told him you’d say no.” Dale pocketed the envelope with a sly grin and pulled out a box from another pocket. “No one’s listening, and the security cameras are disabled. Open this.”

Nick put out his hand, temper rising, and Dale dropped the box onto his palm. Nick took the cover off. He stared in shock at the pale gray finger, naked in the loose plastic wrap except for purple nail polish smeared with blood.

“Look familiar? Look closer,” Dale urged him.

Nick rolled the finger slightly. His sister Jordan had a tattoo of the marriage equality sign on the ring finger of her left hand in support of her brother and sister. Recognition blinded him for the moment, a veil of terror over his eyes. Nick took a step toward Dale, who stepped back. Two men detached from the shadows where they’d been lurking and flanked Dale.

“What have you done, you bastards?” Nick shouted, his voice echoing around the empty parking garage. He reined in his anger and terror, shaking with the effort. “Where is she?”

(unedited version–photocredit: Pixabay)

New Release Blitz: All In by A.T. Brennan

All In banner

Title: All In
Author: A.T. Brennan
Series: Den Boys #1
Release Date: July 11th 2017
Genre: MM Erotic Contemporary Romance

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BLURB

“I learned a long time ago that nothing is free, not even help.” ~ Blaze

Almost getting killed in a gay bashing should have been one of the worst moments of my life, but with everything I’ve been through, it was just another day, except for the gorgeous man who stepped in to save me. There is something about Galen that draws me in and makes me want know him, and the more time I spend with him, the more I feel free to be myself. Galen doesn’t seem to know what he wants, but I’m a man who stays true to himself, and Galen seems to be someone worth taking a chance on.

“Then you happened and all you have to do is touch me and I lose myself.” ~ Galen

I never thought I’d stumble on an attempted murder, but that’s exactly what happened one night while I was trying to get home. After chasing away the assailants and helping the enigmatic young victim home I tried to put the incident out of my mind, but I couldn’t get him out of my head. I might not have ever thought about being with a man before, but the more time I spend with Blaze, the more I learn about who I really am. Blaze has scars that run deep, but as he opens up to me I find myself questioning everything I thought I wanted, and wondering if I’m a good enough man to give him what he needs.

Purchase: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Available on Kindle Unlimited

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EXCERPT

Blaze

The alarm on my phone was going off and I’d reached up to silence it while half asleep. That move had sent a wave of pain through my body that was so sharp it felt like a cinder block had been dropped on me.

It took me almost thirty seconds to get myself close enough to the phone to silence the alarm, and then a full minute to sit up.

My entire body hurt from my ankles to the tips of my fingers. I felt like death warmed over, but I had to get up.

Last night had been buckets of fucked up, and not just because I’d almost had my head stomped.

Getting jumped sucked, almost getting killed was sobering, but it was meeting Galen that had my head spinning.

Who would have thought my Good Samaritan would be the hottest man I’d ever seen, and he’d been nice.

I had no idea why he’d wanted to help me, why he’d insisted on taking care of me. Other than my makeshift family at the bar no one had ever shown me that kind of concern, and it was a little unnerving.

The weirdest part was how he hadn’t wanted anything in return, and he’d actually given me his card and offered his legal services for free. What the actual fuck? Nothing was free, but he was straight so I was guessing he didn’t want the type of repayment that was normally demanded from me.

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About the Author

AT Brennan Profile

A.T. Brennan, who also writes under the name Mandie Mills, is a romance and erotica author. A native of Ottawa, Canada, she enjoys picking up and moving from city to city every few years. A former member of the Canadian Armed Forces, current entrepreneur and freelance writer, she enjoys spending her days working on her many projects and her nights writing and not getting enough sleep. Currently she lives on Canada’s East Coast with her family, both two- and four-legged. She enjoys collecting books and exploring the different sides of romance and romantic expression in her works.

Links: Website | Facebook | Facebook Group | Twitter | Amazon

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FLASH FICTION: Fife And Drum by Heloise West

FIFE AND DRUM

by Heloise West

Jonathon Locke jogged down the middle of the lane that lay between the tents. Row upon row of gently billowing white canvas met his eye along this lane and the ones parallel. It was damnably hot, and he pulled the sweat-soaked linen cravat away from the skin of his throat. The breezes made the leaves in the trees above dance, dappling him with bright spots of sun. The wool of his uniform, despite the layer of linen beneath, pressed against his skin in an uncomfortably close embrace.

From afar he’d heard the drum roll calling the units together before the battle—he hated being late, but there had been a long and lingering goodbye to see him off. He grinned. The cravat hid more than the tender portions of his neck. Anxiety struck him as he ran onto the green where the fife and drum corps practiced the music that would accompany the march to the battlefield and stir them on to engage the enemy. At the moment, they sounded like someone was strangling birds and other woodland creatures. It was all in play, for he knew them to be tuneful and joyful when the moment came

Here it was midsummer, and they’d finally gathered again to join the fighting. Whatever the outcome, he had to do well. Eyes were upon him. Loving eyes, but Jonathon Locke must come through today.

The thought almost made him break into a run. That would never do. He came to a stop and adjusted his spectacles when they began to slide down his nose.

Running his finger along the inside of the linen material to pull it away from his throat again, he resisted the urge to rip it off as every stitch had been made with love. Jonathon reshouldered the musket as he stood with the others in the shade of ancient oaks and maple, the sun blazing beyond the green canopy as they waited for the call to action. Some talked softly, anxiously, and others swaggered and postured and passed comment on what they would to do to the lobsterbacks if they caught them. Tar-and-feathering was popular. The smell of woodsmoke, rum, and tobacco surrounded him, comforted him, and drove him nearer to the heart of why he was here in the bug-infested woods at midsummer dressed in wool, a French Charleville over his shoulder. He double-double checked the twists of powder in his shot bag, brushed invisible dirt from his white linen breeches, and adjusted the brown with red trim regimental coat at the sleeves and shoulder, though the fit was perfect and authentic.

His heart pounded with excitement as the sergeant ordered them to line up for inspection. Jonathon glanced past the military hustle—the cannon and fusiliers, the fife and drum corps, the other units drilling and drilling on the green. Beyond them, the civilians were gathering to watch the battle. Jonathon strained to catch a glimpse of the familiar, and unfamiliar, face, but they were too far away. He began to worry that something had happened to the man he was growing to love, and the boy, his son, he had yet to meet. The holiday traffic would be dense around the battle site— he’d run into the beginnings of it trying to get here. Had Brian changed his mind, decided Jonathan’s abiding passion was too violent for his young son? For Brian himself?

Not many understood this love of history that went so deep, he acted the part of a man who had once lived and breathed the battle they were about to re-enact. A tailor named Jonathon Locke who had survived this battle and many others. This connection to history, to Locke, and his story had become so deeply ingrained in him, he was Locke, and Locke was him. At least at this moment and during the long hours he’d spent bent over the table stitching his period clothing by hand, so immersed in ruminations about daily life in colonial America, a fire flickered on the hearth at the corner of his eye, waiting for the return of a loved one.

Some of his students were here, drawn by his stories and curiosity, and he’d endured their teasing about “going native.” It wasn’t the first time he’d heard that.

After his wife, Robin Locke, had died in childbirth leaving Jonathon a son to bring him constant regret at her passing, his journals had mentioned a friendship with a Scots-Indian man, a scout for the Continental army. An abiding friendship, Locke had written, ardent, one that had lasted through the long New England winters, short and poignant summers, the years of the war, and the aftermath. Leaving and coming home again. The diary was in poor shape—water stained, worn, and whole pages missing. He hoped for other volumes, and if this one had survived the centuries, might others as well?

“….woolgathering, Locke?”

“Ye-no, sergeant. My apologies.”

“Yer gaiter’s unbuckled.”

“I’m sure it is, sir.” He didn’t look down. He’d only fallen for that once, and it wasn’t in the script, just a cornball joke to ease the tension.

“Here they come!”

The drums roared to life as the British troops marched in perfect formation onto the green. The commanders shouted the documented lines at one another, as they did every year. The battle commenced, and he was Locke again, rushing into the noise and crush of battle.

~*^*~

John limped back to his tent–he’d slipped on the grass after the battle and landed hard on his left knee. For the rest of the day, workshops every hour, covering all aspects of colonial military life, went on. Once he sat in his camp chair, he’d be sewing and talking about his life as Jonathon Locke. Brian and his son were supposed to meet him there, but when he arrived, only his drama students were there, excited about the battle. They’d set up his tent and handled his equipment with familiar hands. A rack of his handmade clothing was on display. He could have had a place on Sutler Lane, selling clothing and taking orders, but that wasn’t Jonathon Locke. He was both soldier and tailor, and his journal mentioned helping to stitch men back together, too.

Where were Brian and Jeff?

Two small families arrived for the workshop and he began talking, answering their questions as Jonathon would, never breaking character. He dreamed of Jonathon and Rory Mac Gillivray, especially during war season…

Brian must think I’m crazy. Obsessed with two men who might or might not have been lovers during the Revolutionary War. That’s why he wasn’t here. Brian had given him a sweet send off this morning, but it was obvious his thoughts were elsewhere. Maybe it was his son, yet maybe it was how to say goodbye. Brian the former soldier must think all this a stupid and expensive game. It might be, but for a gay drama teacher with a primary document like the diary, it was all the more poignant that marriage equality was the law of the land now. At the last minute, he’d embroidered a rainbow heart into the tail of his regimental coat, as loving colonial wives had to remind their soldier husbands of their affection.

“Professor, wake up! He’s here!” Jane whispered as she gave him a poke in the back. She sometimes played Robin Locke. “You are so lucky.”

“Ror–Brian! Where have you–oh my God, you did it!”

Brian had outfitted both himself and his son in tricorn hats and somewhat ratty brown suede, fringed jackets. Boy and man had a swath of plaid around their hips, just as Rory Mac Gillivray had worn. The fake Indian beads added to the somewhat appalling, and touching, ensembles. John jumped up to hug Brian, who whispered in his ear, “I want to be your Rory, Jonathon.”

He couldn’t wait to begin stitching their lives together.

 

IMAGES  PHOTO CREDIT:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/196939820/gay-pride-rainbow-flag-heart-embroidered

https://presidentgeorgewashington.wordpress.com/2010/03/12/typical-american-continental-army-revolutionary-war-soldier-uniform/

 

Aesthetica Creative Writing Annual 2017

Creative Writing Annual

2017 Edition

The Aesthetica Creative Writing Annual returns with a selection of extraordinary short fiction and poetry to spark the literary imagination. The winners and finalists of the Aesthetica Creative Writing Award represent a broad selection of the very best in established and promising international talent. The featured compositions invoke a rich array of imagery and concepts that illuminate daily life. This inspirational collection combines longevity with innovation – a book that will stay with the reader, whilst offering new perspectives on the world and our place within it.

Contains the story Escaping the Inescapable by Jag:

Mohammed is a Syrian refugee seeking sanctuary in Europe. Too afraid to request asylum on the basis of his sexuality, he drifts from country to country. But memories of Adnan torment him, and he has to confront his past before he can find peace.

Buy Links:

http://www.aestheticamagazine.com/buy/creative-writing-anthology-2017/

About Jag:

Jag lives in Yorkshire, England. Physically and mentally disabled, with little formal education, they have taught themselves creative writing. They are editing their first novel and starting to write another. They are queer and explore that in their work, along with all forms of intersectional diversity.