Happy Release Day! Engineering Love by Jackie Nacht

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Title: Engineering Love
Author: Jackie Nacht

Publisher: Rainbow Ninja Press

Release Date:
Early Download at Rainbow Ninja Press – 5 October 2016
Third Party Pre Order – 12 October 2016
General Release – 19 October 2016

Word Count: 20,802

Links:

Rainbow Ninja Press – http://www.rainbowninjapress.com/engineering-love
Rainbow Ninja Press – EU Customers – https://payhip.com/b/uDr2

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32324708-engineering-love

Categories: M/M Romance, Gay Fiction, New Adult

Rafflecopter: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Rafflecopter Prize: Engineering Love (PDF)

Author Bio:

Short, sexy and sweet—where a little love goes a long way.

That’s the best way to describe Jackie Nacht’s stories. I was introduced to M/M Romance through my sister, Stephani, and read it for years. Then, I thought it was time to put my own stories on paper. I began writing short and sweet stories that ended with a happily ever after…and sometimes more than one, in the case of my YA Fork in the Road series, which has interactive endings.

Thinking back to my own book addiction, where there were many nights I stayed up way too late so I could read just one more chapter—yeah, right—I decided to write short romances for young adults as well as adults. Hopefully, they will give high school and college students, or working men and women something they can read during their lunch hour, in between classes or just when they want to briefly get away from the daily stresses of everyday life.

Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jackie.nacht
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JackieNacht
Website: www.jackienacht.com
Blog: www.jackienacht.com
Email: jackie.nacht@yahoo.com

Blurb:

When north meets south, sparks fly.

Adrian is a student from a northern college transferring to Georgia Tech. Used to seeing snowmobiles outnumbering the cars on campus, Adrian finds himself living in a state hotter than hell and feeling completely lost in the heart of Atlanta. A chance encounter introduces him to Davis who Adrian knows is trouble, but can’t help falling for.

Davis is the picture of big man on campus and oozes with confidence, at least until he meets Adrian.  Something about Adrian has Davis’s usual charm flying out of the window and everything goes from smooth to hell as Davis tries to make Adrian his own.

Between awkward dates, second-degree burns, study sessions, and snow, the two stumble their way into a relationship neither had planned. Will Davis give up the bachelor life to take a chance at a relationship with Adrian, or will he walk away from something special just to stick to his original plan?

Excerpt:

Ten minutes until kickoff and it was like every person in the student body had showed up. Adrian was squished next to Mark and a girl wearing glitter tattoos on her cheeks. She and her friend were taking selfies, and somehow, Adrian got tugged into one.

“What’s your name?” the girl hollered.

He leaned in, yelling, “Adrian.”

“Mara.” She smiled over at him.

“Mara!” a guy called from behind them, then he landed on Adrian’s back.

“Careful, Davis!” Mara yelled.

Bending over from the weight of the guy, Adrian would have face-planted into the person in front of him if it hadn’t been for Mark grabbing his shirt. The fucking game hadn’t started, and he was about to be on the injury list. And Adrian wasn’t even playing in the game!

“Whoa, whoa, whoa.” The guy on his back grabbed him and wrapped an arm around Adrian’s chest.

The person in front of him turned with a scowl on his face before he smirked at the man behind him and raised his hand. “Davis!”

Hands clapped over his head, and the damn bull in the china shop behind him still had his arm around Adrian.

The two chatted above him, and Adrian glanced over at Mark who was rolling his eyes. “That’s Davis.”

Oh yeah, because that explained everything. It’s Davis so it’s natural to start chatting it up with Adrian snuggled right in. Boundaries, people, boundaries. Apparently, tackle-boy Davis seemed to know everyone since people all around shouted his name. Adrian felt Davis’s deep chuckle and wondered why the hell he was still being held by him.

Adrian turned and glanced over his shoulder, then kind of wished he hadn’t. Davis was laughing while talking to the guy Adrian almost fell into before. Davis was hot… like hotter than Atlanta. Black hair and a five o’clock shadow around a strong jaw. Built enough to belong on the football field and damn, and he had light ice-blue eyes. Adrian had an urge to reach out and touch Davis’s face to make sure he was fucking real. The only thing that detracted from the model-perfect looks was a small scar on his bottom lip, which Adrian thought was sexy as hell. The white line bisected plump full lips, which made Adrian want to kiss it. And he shouldn’t be thinking that.

With a small twist of his arm, Adrian was free of Davis. He glanced back at him.

“Don’t trample the newb, Davis,” Luke hollered from down the row.

Davis’s blue eyes glinted in the noonday sun, and a crooked smile appeared on his face. Adrian felt like prey in the presence of a predator, trapped by a sea of fifty-five thousand people.

Blog Tour and Giveaway: With or Without You by Zane Riley

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Author Name: Zane Riley

Book Name: With or Without You

Sequel to ‘Go Your Own Way’

Should be read in order to appreciate the books

Release Date: July 21, 2016

Blurb:

In the much-anticipated sequel to Go Your Own Way, high school seniors Lennox McAvoy and Will Osborne pick up right where they left off—navigating the tumultuous waters of a new relationship and dealing with Will’s disapproving father.

When a violent incident forces Lennox to give up his independent ways, he must come to terms with his past just as Will is grappling with his future. As Will’s college plans become reality, will Lennox have the courage to go after the opportunities he doesn’t think he deserves?

Pages or Words: 348 pages

Categories: Contemporary, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, New Adult

Excerpt:

The band room was empty when he pushed the door open, but the piano was set up like it was almost every afternoon these days. Only Mr. Robinette and a music stand littered with sheet music was absent.

“Hello?”

The silence struck Lennox as odd, but as he sat down he also realized how strange it was to announce himself. So much had changed since the first time he’d snuck in here to play on his own. Now he was auditioning for some college he still couldn’t fathom.

To make Will happy. And maybe a little bit for himself.

“Ah, I wondered if you were going to show up.”

Mr. Robinette was behind him, the door to his office now wide open. He’d taken off his tie and undone a few buttons on his shirt like he did most afternoons when they practiced.

“You just want to play it through a few times or mess around with something else?”

Lennox took a seat at the piano, but didn’t both opening his bag. He’d memorized the piece he was playing by Valentine’s Day and now, almost two weeks later, he could write it out measure for measure on blank sheet music. But playing it was becoming repetitive. For two hours, three times a week, almost nonstop with the same four pages and nothing else.

“I’d rather try something new. That piece is getting a little old.”

Mr. Robinette smiled and pulled a chair up beside him. “I had a nightmare the other night and it was the theme song while I ran around a haunted house Scooby Doo style.”

“You didn’t catch a ride in the Mystery Machine, did you? I’ve always wanted that van.”

“I’ve got a lunch box version of it. It doesn’t fit much though because it’s too narrow. Anyway, play what you want. I’ll be here until about four-thirty, so it’s all yours.”

As Mr. Robinette returned to his office, Lennox pulled what had become his music notebook out of his bag and opened it to the latest page. He’d taken to composing during class when he should have been taking notes, especially calculus where he had no reason to pay attention anyway.

The latest page was a tune he’d come up with while the other kids had been tapping their pencils and erasing answers. Every moment of his life carried a rhythm, a melody, and an emotion he could create with, and his notebook was becoming a testament to that. He played through everything he’d jotted down over the past few days, but after several rounds he kept coming back to one. It was a piano version he’d tried—and mostly failed—to create of one of the songs Will had played on a loop a few weeks ago.

“I’m getting ready to lock up!”

Mr. Robinette’s voice carried out of the office and into the band room. A few minutes and several jingles of Mr. Robinette’s keys later, the office door was shut and Lennox was closing the cover on the keys.

“That last piece you were playing, was it a cover?”

Lennox shrugged as they headed for the door.

“It was supposed to be. Didn’t sound much like the song.”

“Well, the others did. They were all really good, even the ones that weren’t covers.”

“Uh, thanks.”

Lennox watched him at the door to the parking lot for a moment. He’d been a great help over the last month—all year if Lennox was honest. Mr. Robinette had believed in him in his own way since school had begun, and thanks to him he had a decent shot at this audition.

“Thanks for… all of this. I actually feel like—just thanks.”

Mr. Robinette gave him a genuine smile and patted him on the shoulder.

“You’re very welcome. Let me know how it goes when you get back, okay? I’m rooting for you. Got all of my fingers and limbs crossed. You deserve the chance. Don’t doubt that or yourself.”

“I-I won’t.”

It was funny to have so many people believing in him after so long. Happiness was a strange feeling as well. Until he’d let Will into his life he couldn’t remember how to capture such a feeling in his chest and keep it there.

Buy the book:

INTERVIEW WITH ZANE RILEY

Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Zane Riley author of With or Without You.

Hi Zane, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.

Hi! I’m Zane, and I’m a queer transgender writer from northern Virginia. Currently, I’m in the process of packing up to move to Washington state, so I’m pretty busy at the moment, but also very excited. I’ve been writing since I was a little kid, although I didn’t get truly serious about it until college when I switched my major to Creative Writing.

With or Without You is my second novel and a sequel to my first. It continues Will and Lennox’s story as they finish up their senior year of high school. As they begin to learn how to navigate their growing relationship, Will plans for his future in college while Lennox struggles to accept that his future is more than surviving until the next day. They each begin to forge their own paths only to realize that the futures they each want may lead them away from each other.

Tell us your writing goals for this year.

About a dozen ideas come to mind when I think about my writing goals for this year, but the main one is to get back into my groove of writing daily. Most of my year so far has been devoted to deciding to move across the country, packing my stuff up, figuring out what to keep and what to give away. Then I started a new job that allowed me to travel out to Washington state and stay with friends while my roommate and I looked for an apartment in the area. It’s been a hectic time, especially while going through the editing for my second book. Almost all of my writing notebooks are buried in one box or another in Virginia, and I’ve been back and forth from coast to coast all spring.

So, firstly, I’d just really like to get settled so I can find all my notebooks again and figure out what I’d like to work on. I want to get back into my habit of writing daily, because I’ve found it to be a great habit to keep. Everything I write might not always be fantastic or something I’ll keep, but the same is true for various sports practices or sketches an artist draws throughout the week. Some practices are better than others. Sometimes you scrape your knees up instead of scoring goals. It’s continuing to work at your craft that makes you better—makes you more aware of your weaknesses and strengths and how to wield those.

Once I’ve got that groove back, and I’m settled out in Washington state, I’d really like to focus on two ideas I have that move beyond my Go Your Own Way series, which should be finished sometime next year. That was my biggest goal for this year. To start branching out beyond this series and looking forward to what comes next in my writing career.

Both ideas feature a transgender main character, which I think will be a large focus of my writing in the years to come. As a transgender man, it’d be wonderful to see more characters who are like myself. To see trans characters who exist to do more than talk about their gender or dysphoria would be great, too; to feel less like background noise and more like normalcy.

Meet the author:

Zane Riley is a transgender writer who wrote his first work of fan fiction in the fourth grade. He is a recent transplant to Vancouver, Washington where he spends his time watching long distance baseball games, hiking, and exploring the musical depths of the internet. His first novel, Go Your Own Way, was published by Interlude Press in 2015.

Where to find the author:

Facebook Author Page: facebook.com/ZaneNebula

Twitter: @ZaneNebula

Other: https://www.goodreads.com/Zane-Riley

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28764212-with-or-without-you

Publisher: Interlude Press

Cover Artist: Colleen M. Good


Tour Dates & Stops:

21-Jul: Parker Williams, Unquietly Me, Louise Lyons, Joyfully Jay, Velvet Panic

22-Jul: Bayou Book Junkie, Sinfully Addicted to All Male Romance, Outrageous Heroes

25-Jul: Havan Fellows, Gay Media Reviews, Nephy Hart, Happily Ever Chapter

26-Jul: Oh My Shelves, Kirsty Loves Books, Dawn’s Reading Nook

27-Jul: MM Book Escape, My Fiction Nook, Prism Book Alliance

28-Jul: MM Good Book Reviews, Book Lovers 4Ever, Open Skye Book Reviews, BFD Book Blog

29-Jul: Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Inked Rainbow Reads, Boys on the Brink Reviews

1-Aug: Alpha Book Club, Love Bytes

2-Aug: Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Butterfly-O-Meter

3-Aug: V’s Reads, Molly Lolly
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Blog Tour, Giveaway, and Interview: Set Me Free by Kitty Stephens

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Author Name: Kitty Stephens

Book Name: Set Me Free

Release Date: June 9, 2016

Blurb:

When an affluent college-bound boy falls for a young artist, he must choose between the life that’s been mapped out for him and the chance at true love.

Pages or Words: 63,000 words

Categories: Contemporary, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance

Excerpt:

They found a secluded spot to sit off the main drag and scarfed down pieces of pizza and people-watched. Aaron had been full of nerves earlier, but Lucky put him at ease. He had that way about him.

“I’ve got a few minutes left,” Lucky said when they finished their food.

They got up, sipping at their drinks as they made their way through the crowd back toward Lucky’s booth. It was now or never. He had to ask, had to get the words out, or miss his shot.

“Can I ask you something?” Lucky spoke up before Aaron could. Maybe Lucky would… Aaron held his breath, nodding. “It might sound weird.”

“Sure,” Aaron replied, his heart beating a little faster. He had no idea what was coming now; what could Lucky possibly want from him? A kiss?

“Can you take your picture for me?”

Aaron blinked at him. Lucky tilted his head off to one side and Aaron turned his head the same direction. His gaze landed on a photo booth, realization sinking in. His mouth fell open, unsure what to say. It was a little weird because they barely knew each other, but also flattering.

“I’d really like to draw you again.” Lucky seemed slightly embarrassed. “I mean, I could take pictures on my phone if that’s better for you, but that seemed creepier somehow.”

Aaron couldn’t help the chuckle that escaped at Lucky’s words, even as the idea of Lucky drawing him again and again left him breathless. “Um,” he managed to get out, glancing around at the crowd. A familiar blonde head caught his eye and he nearly choked.

Was Lyn at the carnival? Wasn’t she supposed to be with their mothers?

Aaron pulled Lucky by the hand into the photo booth and slid the curtain shut.

Lucky slid money into the slot as they sat down. His breath caught as Lucky’s hands touched his face gently. “Like this,” Lucky whispered, turning his head to the side. The camera flashed. Lucky’s fingers turned his head to the front, pulling away just in time for the camera to go off again. Once again, Lucky’s fingers turned his head to the side, only now he was facing Lucky, staring deeply into his eyes.

Aaron tried not to hyperventilate as he held Lucky’s gaze. The camera flashed for the last time but neither of them moved.

“Go out with me?” Aaron suddenly blurted out. He had to do something or he might do something even more insane, like kiss Lucky. Aaron so wasn’t ready for that yet. Lucky’s eyes widened and he smiled.

“Sure,” Lucky drawled after a moment. “When?”

Buy the book:

Interlude Press: http://store.interludepress.com/collections/set-me-free-by-kitty-stephens

Book Depository: (will update if it lists prior to release)

Meet the author:

Kitty Stephens’ writing aspirations date back to her childhood, when she and her brother would make up stories about characters in their favorite books. She eventually started writing stories in online fan communities, and majored in English at Ohio State University. She lives in Ohio with her husband and son. Set Me Free is her first novel.

Get to know the author on tumblr at @kittystephenswrites and on Twitter at @KittyStephensWr

INTERVIEW WITH KITTY STEPHENS

Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Kitty Stephens, author of Set Me Free.

 

Hi Kitty, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.

My name Kitty Stephens. I currently reside in Ohio, with my husband, my son, and our three guinea pigs. I’ve been an avid reader since I was very young and started writing when I was around nine or ten. Once I had internet access, I became active in fan communities and started posting my work on various fan sites. Set Me Free is my first book.

  • What’s the best line you ever wrote? “Either you’re a liar or a coward.”

 

  • Do you listen to music while writing? If so, what kind? I do. It’s a must for me when I’m writing, it helps block everything else out so I can focus. The kind of music varies on what I’m writing. If I’m writing angsty scenes, then I tend to go for Florence and the Machine. If it’s happier scenes, it might be Broadway or movie soundtracks.

 

  • If your book were made into a movie, what actors would you like to see star? This took me a few minutes. Grant Gustin, possibly, for Aaron. Corbin Bleu for Lucky. Diana Agron for Lynn.

 

  • What genres do you write in? I tend to stay in the young adult romance genre. I genuinely enjoy writing books about real issues teens and young adults face on a daily basis. I wish more books like that had been written when I was a teen.

 

  • Where and when do you prefer to write? I tend to write when I’m at home, either in my room or on the couch. I don’t really have a specific time I write – usually whenever I have a few minutes! As long as I can focus and lose myself in the story.

Where to find the author:

Twitter: @KittyStephensWr

Tumblr: kittystephenswrites.tumblr.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KittyStephensWrites?fref=ts

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28764318-set-me-free

Publisher: Interlude Press

Cover Artist: C.B. Messer


Tour Dates & Stops:

9-Jun

Happily Ever Chapter, Boys on the Brink Reviews, Book Lovers 4Ever, Havan Fellows

10-Jun

Oh My Shelves, Bonkers About Books, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

13-Jun

Two Chicks Obsessed With Books and Eye Candy, Unquietly Me, A.M. Leibowitz

14-Jun

BFD Book Blog, Velvet Panic, My Fiction Nook

15-Jun

Anna Butler Fiction, Three Books Over The Rainbow, MM Good Book Reviews

16-Jun

Making It Happen, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Open Skye Book Reviews

17-Jun

The Novel Approach, V’s Reads, Prism Book Alliance

20-Jun

Up All Night, Read All Day, Bayou Book Junkie

21-Jun

Nephy Hart, Love Bytes

22-Jun

Alpha Book Club, Molly Lolly, Divine Magazine

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Book Blast and Giveaway: Pib’s Dragon by Beany Sparks

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Title: Pib’s Dragon
Author: Beany Sparks
Part of a series? If yes, can it be read as a standalone? Yes and yes
Series Title: Twisted Fairy Tales
Number in Series: #1
Publisher: Rainbow Ninja Press
Release Date:
Early Download at Rainbow Ninja Press – 27th May
Third Party Pre Order – 3rd June
General Release – 10th June
Word Count: 21,699
Links:
Rainbow Ninja Press
Rainbow Ninja Press – EU Customers

Goodreads
Categories: M/M Romance, Gay Fiction, Paranormal, Humor
Rafflecopter:
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Blurb:
A dragon is about to find out what happens when a cat discovers his cave of shiny treasures.

After nine years, Pib is finally free from his contract with the newly wed prince. Slipping out in the middle of the night to avoid getting stuck in another contract, Pib shifts into his cat and makes his way home to the little village he foolishly left, hoping his best friend Wil still lives there.
Dray is bored. His services as a princess-guarding dragon are no longer needed and even his gold and jewels are unable to cheer him up. His mood changes quickly when he catches someone in his treasure cave, and it starts a series of events that change his life forever.
When the two finally meet, sparks fly, but Dray will have to move quickly if he’s to save his cat after Pib gets kidnapped.

Excerpt:
Prologue
Pib snuck into the darkened room, tiptoeing quietly so as not to wake the newly crowned prince Geraint and his princess. Looking around, he both thanked and cursed his shifter senses. While he was grateful he could see inside the room, the smell of sex throughout the air was something he could have done without.
Reaching the desk on the far side of the room, he paused and glanced at the couple. Once he was satisfied they were still asleep, he eased open the cover and found what he was after—his freedom. After nine long years as the bastard’s slave, the letter freeing him from servitude almost brought tears to his eyes. Carefully folding it and placing it in his inside pocket, Pib gently shut the desk and tiptoed back toward the bedroom door, leaving the room as silently as he’d entered.
He knew there was only a limited window of opportunity for him to make his escape. Even though the pompous bastard had made a production of signing the form and granting him his freedom, Pib knew it was all for show. If he didn’t escape now, Geraint would get him alone and force him to sign another contract and then make some sort of bogus announcement about how Pib wanted to stay.
Pib snorted, unable to help himself. Luckily there was no one else around the castle at this time of the night, though even if there was, Pib didn’t care. He was leaving, and no one was going to stop him. Anyone who tried would have a close encounter with his knife, or his claws, he wasn’t picky.
“Hey, Pib, where are you off to in the middle of the night?” asked the guard at the front door of the castle. Pib never bothered learning their names or getting friendly with them, especially since Geraint could force him to kill any of them at a moment’s notice. He’d learned that it didn’t pay for him to form any attachments with those surrounding Geraint.
“Getting an early start on my retirement,” Pib replied, smirking at the man while he continued to stroll toward the exit.
“Sorry, Pib, but I have to check. Do you have a signed letter from Prince Geraint?” The guard shifted from foot to foot, showing his unease.
Pib stopped in front of him and forced a smile. “Of course,” he said, carefully extracting the letter and handing it over to the guard.
He waited, watching the guard closely as he read the letter. One wrong move and Pib was going to gut him. Nothing could happen to that letter.
“Looks good,” the guard said, handing the letter back to Pib. “It’ll sure be different without you around, but all the best. And, uh, don’t take this the wrong way, but I hope I don’t see you again.”
Returning the letter to his pocket, Pib looked up and smiled a real smile at the man. He wanted to laugh when the guard’s face paled as he caught sight of Pib’s canines, but restrained himself. “Don’t worry, I hope never to see you again either.”
With that, Pib walked out of the castle and made his way through the sleeping village. Pulling his hood up, he used the dark material to blend into the surroundings. He wasn’t taking any chances that Geraint wouldn’t wake up any moment and send guards running after him. After all, Pib was practically friends with all of the skeletons in Geraint’s closet.
Pib reached the edge of the village and paused. After nine long years, he was finally free of Geraint, his orders, and most importantly, his shackle. The magical cuff that had decorated his right ankle for nine years had been removed after Geraint had signed his release. The cuff was the only thing ensuring Pib’s obedience, and finally, it was gone.
Taking a deep breath, Pib stepped over the invisible boundary line and felt the remaining enchantments shatter and disappear, leaving him standing as his true self for the first time in years. Reaching inside, he called out his inner cat to come out and play, and in seconds, his clothes disappeared and he was standing on all fours in his serval form. Stretching, he threw one last glance back at the castle and the village before slinking away into the trees, using the natural camouflage to shield him as he made his way toward the start of his new life.

rainbowninjapress

Book Blast and Giveaway: Alexei’s Mouse by A.C. Katt

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Author Name: A.C. Katt

Book Name: Alexei’s Mouse

Series: Werewolves of Manhattan

Book: Five 

Release Date: May 20, 2016

Blurb:  

Alexei Davidoff suffered three years in a Russian labor camp where he was tortured and defiled daily. Alexei knows suffering on an intimate basis. He’s rescued by Armand and Etienne members of the North American Council of werewolves. His household came with him from Russia and all of them are worried that Alexei will go back and challenge both the government and the Russian First.

Then early one morning Alexei goes jogging in Central Park in an effort to get back his strength to fight the Russian First. He finds a prostitute on a park bench covered in newspaper and not moving. Bearing in mind his recent ordeal Alexei decides to help the boy. He lifts up the newspaper and finds a needle hanging out of his arm. The boy is dying of an overdose and he’s Alexei’s Mate. 

Pages or Words: 64,118 

Categories: Contemporary, Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Paranormal, Romance, Wolf Shifters

Excerpt:

Moscow,

February

Four years ago

 Ominous dark gray clouds rolled in. Snow came down as small ice pellets that cut like glass shards on the skin. They swirled around the mourners as they stood over the twin coffins. A northeast wind blew over the loup garou cemetery outside of Moscow. It cut through the thickest coats and scarves. Alexei Davidoff shivered in his beaver coat and hat. His Enforcers lowered the bodies of his former Chief Beta and his Beta’s Mate into the ground. Newly joined, they were dead for the crime of being gay and holding hands in a public square in Moscow.

“This cannot stand. There has to be an answer to this, someone has to stand up against these thugs.” Alexei moved his platinum hair off his face. His navy blue eyes flashed both anguish and resolve.

“The perpetrators were human, one of the government’s army of gay bashers, Alpha. There is nothing we can do. We cannot harm a human, and the government gives us no recourse to law.” The Beta shook his head.

“When is the next protest?” Alexei paced across the icy ground in front of the graves.

“Tomorrow at noon, in the square,” Vasily Yudin, Alexei’s new Chief Beta said reluctantly.

“I will be there.” Alexei watched Vasily’s expression. His body folded in on itself in resignation. Alexei knew Vasily realized it was useless to argue. He saw that his Alpha had made up his mind. Alexei could tell his Betas were scheming to mitigate the damage.

“We’ll go with you, Alpha.” Vasily gestured to Grigory and the six Enforcers in the funeral party.

“No, I will go alone.” Alexei clenched his fists and set his jaw in defiance.

“Alpha, it’s dangerous. We can’t let you go alone. If the FSB picks you up, there is no guarantee that the council will be able to negotiate your release. Please, both Grigory and I think you should let us and the Enforcers go with you, or you should stay at home. The FSB under the current president is worse than the KGB that preceded them. Peter and Sasha wouldn’t have wanted you to put yourself in danger. There is no helping them now.”

“I cannot let this go unanswered, Vasily. The man who did this wasn’t even arrested despite the fact that I reported the assault. I must protest to the authorities. We have an obligation to try to right this wrong. He was one of mine, one of my household, my personal staff. I am responsible.”

“But, Alpha, we can’t let you go alone into a dangerous situation,” Grigory persisted. “We would be shirking our duty as your Betas if we let you go alone.”

Alexei Ivanovich Davidoff straightened his spine and spat. “I will lose no one else to the government. As your Alpha, I am ordering you to stay away.”

“Alpha,” Vasily got on his knees in supplication.

Alexei put up his hand to silence his Beta. “I will hear no more of this. I will lead the demonstration tomorrow.”

Vasily and Grigory hung their heads in defeat.

* * *

March

Three Years Later 

“I don’t think I can make it,” Alexei said as he attempted to walk out the front gate of the gulag to the waiting car.

“Let Grigory and I help to hold you up.” Vasily and Grigory each put an arm under one of his shoulders and half-walked, half-carried him to the car.

They strapped him in the back and Grigory spent the twelve hours it took to get to the dacha trying to hold his Alpha up so he wouldn’t fall where he sat.

When Vasily and Grigory finally got him into the dacha, Vasily’s mouth hung open in shock when he took off his Alpha’s coat. Their six foot six, two-hundred-pound Alpha weighed less than one hundred forty pounds.

“What did they do to you?” Vasily asked, tears pouring down his face.

“I was caged most of the time I spent in the gulag. They tortured, beat, and defiled me daily, all because I’m gay and dared to report Sasha’s and Peter’s deaths, and point to who was responsible.”

“They call it prison now, Alpha.”

Alexei sighed wearily, “In modern Russia, they call it a prison. But I’ve been alive long enough to remember Stalin, Khrushchev, and Brezhnev’s slave labor camps. They can change the name but it’s still the gulag to me.”

“Alpha, you need to make the change. It will erase your scars and after you’ve changed a number of times, your injuries. It will take a while. Your injuries are severe.” Grigory helped Alexei into a roughhewn chair.

“I can’t change. I don’t have the strength.” Alexei put his head in his hands.

“Katya, Boris, something to eat for the Alpha, right away.” Katya ran to the kitchen and brought back some borscht.

“Finish this, Alpha. You have to eat constantly so your stomach can extend again.”

Grigory and Vasily knelt in front of their Alpha. Vasily spoke, “We’ve been pleading with the First for three years. The council finally negotiated your early release on the condition that you emigrate once you recover. We took the liberty of contacting Alpha Daurensbourg, from Saskatchewan and the Central US…”

“I am aware of Etienne Daurensbourg. He is a friend.”

“The council arranged for your emigration and that of your household. Alpha Daurensbourg will receive you in New York and already purchased a seven-floor townhouse and nine two-bedroom apartments for our people in New York City. Grigory, I, and our Enforcers will emigrate with you along with Boris and Katya.”

“But I have no funds, and you have families here. There I will no longer be an Alpha. I won’t be able to care for you.”

“You are our Alpha,” Vasily said with a stubbornness he had not shown to Alexei before. Alexei narrowed his eyes.

Alexei didn’t fight the emigration, only their participation. Vasily continued, “That’s the beauty of this course of action. Alpha La Farge, who was the North America’s Second, is no longer an Alpha. He is an Omega scrubbing Siberian toilets and can’t make the change. They sent him here eighteen months ago to die in disgrace for kidnapping The Alpha Mate. You have blood right to his territory in Colorado. Alpha La Marche has it now. I know he finds the packs fractious because he has no blood tie and they want one of their own. I’ve made inquiries. He’ll give it to you and you can become Second in North America.”

“I don’t want to be Second, Third, or Fourth for that matter. I can’t save the world. I learned that lesson the hard way. I will see my old friend Etienne Daurensbourg and maybe he can help me find a place to go. I have no funds…”

“Excuse me for the interruption, Alpha, but you do,” Vasily said with some satisfaction.

“As your factotum, Boris handled your funds. He put all of your accounts overseas as soon as the government started its campaign against homosexuals, only leaving enough rubles in Russia for operating expenses. As soon as they arrested you, he liquidated the rest of your investments and wired the funds to our London banker who in turn, had them sent them to The North American Alpha for safekeeping. Alpha La Marche reinvested everything. The American Stock Market has done very well. You are worth ten times what you were before and it’s all protected from the Russian government.”

“We bought first-class tickets to New York flying Air France on a nonstop flight to JFK where Alpha Daurensbourg will meet our party. Alpha Daurensbourg would have sent his jet, but the Russian government refused entry. However, Alpha Daurensbourg obtained green cards for the whole household. It’s all arranged for as soon as you are able to travel,” Grigory added.

It took until November for Alexei to regain his health and put on enough weight to have the strength to make the change that would take away the scars from the constant whippings. He still had some internal bruising that would only go away with time. Alexei needed rest, food, and a place to recover. But, even many transformations couldn’t take away the psychological damage the gulag caused, the malaise of the soul. For that, Vasily thought his Alpha needed a miracle. As soon as Alexei could bring out his wolf, Vasily and Grigory had their Alpha and his party on a plane to America. It was right before Yule.

* * *

At Alpha Daurensbourg’s urging, Armand La Marche, the Chief Alpha of North America, gave Alpha Alexei Ivanovich Davidoff the territory of Colorado and a seat as Fifth on the Loup Garou Council of North America.

“You were Second in Russia, Fifth is an insult,” Vasily complained.

“No, it’s not. I’m grateful. I’m tired of tilting at Russian windmills. I need time to gather my strength and clear my mind. I have a place waiting for me at Garou as the officer in charge of Research and Development once I’ve fully regained my health.”

“You’re entitled to…” Grigory sputtered.

“I’m entitled to nothing. I was born in Russia. My mother was a citizen of the United States. She never filed for American citizenship for me when I was born. It was too long ago. I’d have to forge papers and with my accent, they would know I’m Russian which in the current climate, is not a good thing. I have a green card. I can become an American. For once, I’m going to be able to do the job I trained for. I have degrees in three kinds of sciences. Research and Development is where I belong.” Alexei sighed. “I don’t want anything else.”

“Your status…”

“If you are upset about the reduction in my status, go work for the new Russian Second.” Alexei’s face turned hard.

Vasily bowed his head in supplication baring his neck. “No, Alpha, we’re yours. Whatever you decide to do, we will go with you. I just wanted you to have options.”

“I’m taking an option. I’ll be Fifth and grateful for the consideration. I’ll leave the politics to Armand. Obviously, he’s better at it than we are. Although there has been some resentment, miraculously gay bashing is now a hate crime in the United States, against federal law, and gay marriage has become legal.”

Buy the book:
http://www.mlrbooks.com/ShowBook.php?book=ACKMOUSE

 

Meet the author:

AC Katt was born in New York City’s Greenwich Village. She remembers sitting at the fountain in Washington Square Park listening to folk music while they passed the hat.  At nine, her parents dragged her to New Jersey where she grew up, married and raised four children and became a voracious reader of romantic fiction. At one time she owned over two thousand novels, until she and her husband took themselves and the cat to New Mexico for their health and its great beauty.

Now, most of AC’s books are electronic (although she still keeps six bookcases of hardcovers), so she never has to give away another book. AC is a late bloomer, however, she claims to have found her niche writing LGBT romance.

She hangs out at ACKatt.com and ackattsjournal.com; where she keeps her blog.  To get snippets of new releases and Works in Progress subscribe to AC Katt’s Kattery by sending an e-mail to mlhansel@gmail.com.

 

Where to find the author:

 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AC-Katt-62628106022/?fref=ts

Twitter: @ackatt

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/ackatt/

Website: www.ackatt.com

Blog: www.ackattsjournal.com 

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2893673.A_C_Katt

Publisher: MLR Press

Cover Artist: Lex Valentine


Tour Dates & Stops:

Parker Williams, Divine Magazine, Bayou Book Junkie, Making It Happen, Open Skye Book Reviews, 3 Chicks After Dark, Dawn’s Reading Nook, The Jena Wade, Ogitchida Book Blog, Nephy Hart, BFD Book Blog, V’s Reads, Outrageous Heroes, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Molly Lolly, Oh My Shelves, Happily Ever Chapter, Alpha Book Club, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Velvet Panic, MM Good Book Reviews, Gay Media Reviews

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