Sunday, September 29, 2019

Read a #teaser from guest author @LJLongo 's new release #paranormalromance Freeing the Witch @evernightpub

I’ve written the entire Heart of the Mountain series to prove to my partner and roommate that I can write more than super dark m/m fantasies. So, if they’ve had to listen to me complain for six months about shy people in love, it’s their fault. The challenge was to take an Enemies to Lovers and explore it with genuinely sweet people. Watching this witch and wolf learn to love not just each other but themselves has made this one of my favorite stories (and probably my best to date).


Emaula Whispel thought she’d be happy if she could live outside her mother’s magical stone tower, but when Emaula starts working as a chef at her friend's trading post, she becomes smitten with Porter, her co-cook. Now Emuala’s magic is obsessed with possessing this quiet, charming wolf, and the budding witch has to fight to control her powers and her lust, to prevent her new friend from becoming her accidental victim.

Porter was created to serve witches by opening doors into their dreams, and he is neither surprised by nor afraid of Emaula’s magic. What startles him is that this powerful witch genuinely seems to care for something as lowly as a wolf. Now all Porter has to do is prove his love for her is not an enchantment, before her mother takes away everything Emaula holds dear.


Evernight Publishing


 Read a teaser:

Time was strange in the dreams. Minutes could be hours. Hours could pass in seconds.

And somewhere someone was trying to reach him. Someone wanted him and had taken measures to have him. Was is the little girl? The Munawn’s daughter. She’d be all grown-up now and remember him fondly. She must have extraordinary power to reach him.

A light came on under a door, hemming the edges with a low purple light and filling the room with that melancholic tint. The one who had shaved her hair and wore black gemstones that glowed purple. Porter knew her name, but he refused to think it. He wanted nothing to do with them. He had been turned out. He wasn’t allowed to think of them anymore. He didn’t have too.

The door creaked open, and Porter winced. Whether he wanted them or not, one of them was coming through. He didn’t have much choice. Or at least, he wouldn’t when he saw her.

The light poured into the room, flooded it with the scents of spring, vanilla, and lavender and bluebells. Intoxicating, lulling. The smell of a beautiful woman who wanted him. The fragrance of an herb sachet dropped into cold water on a hot day and stirred.

“Oh, Emaula.” Porter hadn’t smelled any magic in the tea he’d sipped as a sign of good faith. Just like him to misread a person and get bespelled. He wished Sock had come down with him. Sock wouldn’t make that mistake.

Porter struggled against the weight of her dream world and lifted himself slowly on one arm. She hadn’t fully opened the door, yet. Was just peering through, shyly.

Emaula was not a woman; she was the moon. The shadows of the world curled around and concealed half her face, leaving only the paleness around her starlight blue eyes and the soft darkness of the purple light.

Now was the time to stop her. To say something mean. To beg her to stop. To remind her of her oath. Or to … to—

Emaula divested the darkness. Unveiled her lovely face. Freed her hair, such a fine pale gold that it shone in this dream world, illuminated her thin pink lips. Porter had forgotten how beautiful the witches could be. How the sight of them stole breath, sanity, free will.

The woman could swear there was no harm in her. How could he be harmed by her? When now all he ever wanted in the world was her.

She met his gaze and smiled timidly. She stepped into the sea of sheets and pillows, delicately moving through the luxurious silks toward his body. The black silk wound around him shimmered under the radiance of her body. His stiff cock suffocated and strained under the sleek material.

The witch would get what she wanted. He had enough experience with witches to know they always did. These women could be cruel. They could be unbelievably kind, as well. And he honestly didn’t know which was worse.

He did know there was no point in defying her. No point in not taking what pleasure he could. No point in being mean to the mistress. Had that been one of The Munawn’s mantras? Or another wolf’s good advice?

Emaula knelt beside him in the bed, her hands modestly on her knees, her eyes big and earnest. “Porter, is this all right?”

He didn’t understand.

Was she asking permission? No witch did that. Had to be a trick.

He wasn’t sure what she was so embarrassed about, but she was damned cute when she was. She twisted her hands through the sheets as if she had to keep herself from touching him. “Is … is this all right?”

Was it all right? What the hell kind of question was that for a witch to ask a wolf? He wasn’t going to upset her by saying no.

The witch stroked his thigh through the sheet. His cock, already damningly stiff, pulsed at the nearness of her hand. That ought to answer her question.

He didn’t even think he wanted to say no, but how could he know the truth here? When she controlled the world? When just watching her come into the room had reduced him to nothing but a hard cock and the inner monologue of a scared puppy?

“Porter. Will you say something, please?”


L.J. is a queer author, a feminist, and a geek with an MFA in writing Popular Fiction. L.J. has an annoying tendency to ship everyone, disappear if no-one is supervising, and struggles with everything except making up stories.

Find L.J. online:


Facebook: @L.J.Longo713

Twitter: LJLongo

Friday, September 27, 2019

Out now #fantasy #scifi from @WinterBLawrence Read an excerpt, enter the #giveaway

YA Action Adventure Fantasy | Science Fiction | LitRPG
Publisher: Fire & Ice Young Adult Books
Date Published: August 27, 2019

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Gwen Nielson is a gamer and she’s damn proud of it. Her mother may be a former beauty queen and her kid sister may participate in every pageant the state of Colorado has to offer, but Gwen is content to stay at home and play on her Xbox. To her, life isn’t about fashion and make-up; it’s about making a difference and keeping a low profile. And while most of the girls at her high school hang out at the local country club vying for the popular boys’ attention, Gwen is cool with having a boyfriend she’s never met. Pete is a fellow online gamer who lives in California. He’s funny and sweet, and his father owns a gaming company, which is an added bonus because Gwen gets to test out new games before they’re released to the public.

When Pete mails a new game for her to beta test, Gwen patiently awaits its arrival, but the package is never delivered. To make matters worse, when she calls to let Pete know, she discovers that he’s at the hospital after succumbing to a mysterious illness. Hours later, an ambulance arrives next door because her neighbor’s youngest son, Ben, suddenly becomes ill too. His parents and doctors aren’t sure why he has slipped into a coma, but when Gwen finds her opened package in Ben’s bedroom, she begins to suspect that the game is responsible for both of the boys’ eerily similar conditions.

Even to Gwen, the idea of a game making people sick sounds absurd, so she decides to test her theory before going to her parents. Unfortunately, her neighbor’s older brother, Ryan, insists on checking out the game with her. That’s when they discover that the disc isn’t a game at all—it’s actually a portal to a high-tech government simulator named Eve 2.0 who’s programmed to trap players until they can complete all of the timed objectives.

With her top-notched gaming skills, Gwen is a formidable opponent, but she quickly begins to realize that playing a game versus living it is a lot harder than she ever imagined. And as the objectives become more difficult and the four kids are forced to work as a team, Gwen concedes that she may not be as good as she needs to be, which just might end up costing her not only her own life, but Pete, Ryan, and Ben’s too.

Read an excerpt:
Chapter 1
The Mysterious Facets of Love

Castle Rock, Colorado, is one of those quintessential, small-town suburbs just outside of Denver. I grew up in Texas, but, for the most part, I love it here. The natural beauty of the surrounding mountain ranges and nearby lakes has always appealed to me, and I’m a fan of winter; the colder the better. I’m not much of a people person though, so I tend to avoid the kids at school, and when I’m at work, I’m pretty quiet too. I’m definitely not one for gossip either, though at random times my curiosity tends to get the best of me, especially where Ryan Nelson is concerned. He’s my sorta kinda ex-boyfriend, so I know I shouldn’t care, but when I hear one of the receptionists mention his name, I stop in my tracks.
I shift the little Chihuahua I’m carrying into my other arm, pretending that he’s frightened by the other dogs in the waiting room, then I continue along at a snail’s pace.
“My daughter said it was just a minor accident,” Dolores says, and then, I guess for good measure, makes the sign of the cross. “And she said that no one else was injured, and thankfully Ryan seems to be pulling through just fine.”
Dolores and the other receptionist, Rose-Marie, lean closer to the monitor and examine a bunch of elaborately decorated get-well bouquets, balloons, and stuffed animals.
“I’m glad he’s okay,” Rose-Marie says in her usual motherly tone. “He’s a sweet boy.”
Yeah, right, I think with a snort. Ryan Nelson is a jerk, but I’m usually the only one who thinks so. Everyone else in town loves him and his family. Not that I have anything against his parents or his little brother. I mean, they’re practically like family since my mother and his mother are good friends, and his dad and little brother are actually pretty awesome. Ryan is the problem, at least according to my estimation, so instead of offering to contribute money to his bouquet, which I’d do under any other circumstance, I pretend that I wasn’t just eavesdropping and hurry outside to walk the Chihuahua. Then, for the rest of my shift, I hide in the back, brushing a couple of the dogs and tidying up some kennels while I wait to punch out.
When I finally get home, everything looks normal. Our rustic-styled house is decked to the gills with American flags for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend and the new wrought-iron fence that was put around the patio to protect my mother’s prized roses from the deer has been painted white. In our driveway, Mom’s shiny new Range Rover is pulled up so that the driver’s side door is positioned perfectly so she can hurry along our petunia-lined walkway without worrying about trailing any grass or mud into her beloved new toy.
It all looks so perfect, which is what Mom always strives for, regardless of the turmoil that usually ensues within those walls. I just so happen to know that all is not well in the Nielson home tonight though—or, well, you know, even more off than usual since I overheard the ladies at the front desk say that Ryan’s little brother was staying with us until his parents got home from the hospital. For most people, babysitting an eight-year-old kid isn’t a big deal; I mean, they tend to be pretty self-sufficient at that age, but my mother isn’t most people. She’s a former Miss Texas USA beauty queen and was a legendary member of the Texas Tech Grand Championship Cheer Squad. She also has a degree in Theatre Arts, so she knows how to be dramatic on a grand scale.
As I stare at my house from the safe confines of my car, I wonder how she’s handling the situation. She’s undoubtedly in some state of panic, though which particular type of drama I’m unsure, but she’s always frantic and fussing about something, so I prepare myself for the worst. I make my way to the front door and push it open. Ben is sitting in one of the foyer chairs, his expression a lot more forlorn than I had anticipated. Before I can ask him if Ryan is really okay though, my mother and my little sister scramble into the foyer. They’re clearly ready to go somewhere, and by the looks of my sister’s bedazzled flip-flops and running suit, that can only mean one place. Are they seriously still trying to make it to Elizabeth’s tanning appointment? As if reading my mind, my mother’s icy glare meets my disapproving one and we stare at each other for a lingering moment before I look away.
“We’ll be home soon,” Mom announces as she pulls a Jimmy Choo pump onto her foot.
I look down at my scuffed Converse to hide my disgust. I mean, I get that Ryan had only broken a leg, but my mother and his mother are good friends. Shouldn’t she be at the hospital by her friend’s side? More importantly—or maybe beside the point—is that Elizabeth has participated in at least one pageant per month for her entire life, so she’s already tanned and has her fill of trophies. Couldn’t they just miss this one? Of course not, I think with an eye roll and a bit of chill, since I can still vividly recall all of the pageants I had been forced to participate in until I had put my foot down.
“The lasagna’s in the oven,” Mom says as she slings her Coach purse crosswise. “Are you listening to me, Guinevere?” she snaps, her tone oozing with impatience.
I give a curt nod and swallow down another snort.
“Stick the garlic bread in when your father gets home,” she orders as she reaches for her keys. “Be back later.”
Mom pulls the door open and disappears down the porch steps. My sister grabs her matching Coach purse and struts behind, like a dutiful puppy. “Bye, guys,” Elizabeth says, then she looks at Ben. “Tell Ryan I said to feel better.”
When Ben nods, she gives another little wave and hurries outside to catch up to Mom. I stare at the empty doorway for a moment before I close it. Then I turn and give Ben a good once-over. “How are you doing, champ?”
He just shrugs then looks at his feet, which is a very un-Ben-like thing to do.
Worried, since I’ve never seen him so despondent before, I walk over to ruffle his hair but stop short when, at nearly six-feet, I realize that I’m towering over him. I decide to kneel instead. After placing my hand over one of his, I ask, “Is Ryan really okay?” Though it comes off sounding a bit robotic since I don’t want to sound too eager to hear his response.
Ben shrugs again. “I think so…” But he doesn’t sound so sure. He looks away, his blue eyes glistening. “I talked to Mom though, and she said he is.”
Ryan and I haven’t been on good terms for years, but I genuinely care about Ben and I hate to see him sad, so I offer up the one thing I know will cheer him up. “How’s about you play a few games on my Station X while I get cleaned up? I just bought a new controller with a fan, and a new edition of Grand Theft Auto just came in from yesterday.” That seems to perk him up, but not entirely. “Listen, I know you aren’t usually allowed to play violent video games,” I offer with a couple of air quotes, “but it can be our little secret.”
A smile slowly spreads across his mouth, and then he gives me one of those classic “Nelson” winks. His older brother had started doing that a couple of years back. When Ryan does it, my knees go weak. When Ben does it, I get annoyed.
“So GTA?” I ask again, my tone intentionally light because I refuse to let my frustration toward Ryan influence my relationship with Ben.
“Sure!” he says, the last of the worry slipping off his face.
As we climb the stairs to my room, he asks how I’m doing. I skip over school stuff, since it’s my least favorite part of the day, and I tell him about the adorable puppies we treated at the vet clinic and the six kittens that someone brought in for adoption. Ben listens adoringly and then tells me about his day, the fifth grade seemingly more exciting than the twelfth, at least for him, I guess.
After getting him settled in with GTA, I head for the bathroom. By the time I’m done showering and getting a load of laundry going, Ben has officially made himself at home. He’s as snug as a bug in my Ace Bayou X-Rocker, the champion of all gaming chairs, so I stroll to the bed and plop onto it.
“Some guy with the gamer tag Peter the Rad keeps inviting you to a private chat,” Ben announces without looking my way.
“Oh,” I say, though I’m not too surprised. I’m usually invited to a bunch of stuff the moment I power up my Station X console. A private chat is a little different though, since it’s only between two gamers. That happens often too, which is funny because in the real world I’m pretty introverted. In the virtual world though, I’m pretty well known.
“So this Peter the Rad guy…” Ben starts, his attention still focused on the TV, “is he your boyfriend or something?”
“Oh…umm…” For some reason, that question makes me squirm. “I guess so.”
Ben glances at me with an odd emotion brewing in his eyes. “Does he go to school with you and Ryan?” he asks, trying to sound nonchalant, but when he looks at me again, I can see the same annoyed concern that Ryan is infamous for throwing my way.
I shake my head, not at all thrilled that with every passing day, Ben is turning more and more into his brother. “Pete lives in California,” I say as I pull my backpack closer, intent on grabbing my cell phone so I don’t have to interrupt his game. “He finished high school last year and works for his dad now.”
Ben goes back to looking at the television. “How can he be your boyfriend if he lives in California?”
That’s a good question, and one I avoid answering while I pull up my text messages. Is Pete really my boyfriend? We’ve played together online for over a year now and we talk every day, sometimes two or three times, depending on our schedules. And for the past six months, we’ve made it a nightly ritual to video chat. It’s definitely safe to say that we’ve invested some time with each other, but we’ve never officially met, and even though I throw around the B-word a lot, Ben makes a valid point. I’m in Colorado. Pete’s in California. So, does it really matter that Pete is like the tech-gaming yin to my yang when I have no plans of going to California and my mother absolutely refuses to allow Pete to come to Castle Rock?
“He sent another request,” Ben informs me.
I glance at the television a second before the pop-up message disappears. “I’ll be right back,” I say, holding up my phone so he knows why I’m leaving him alone again. “Can I get you anything from downstairs?”
He looks at me with wide eyes. Then he relaxes and smiles. “Why Guinevere Theodora Nielson,” he says, imitating my mother’s haughty tone to perfection, “how many times have I told you that food is forbidden outside of the kitchen!”
I burst out laughing even though it’s pretty pathetic that just about everyone in Castle Rock knows how neurotic my mother can be.
“Well, now, Benjamin,” I counter, trying my best to impersonate Ashley’s squeaky voice, “your father and I have talked it over and we just don’t think that those gory, violent games are appropriate for a boy your age.”
Ben cackles.
I wink at him. “How’s about I check on the lasagna and make my phone call, then I’ll bring up a soda. Sound good?”
He pulls my huge, plushy footrest closer. After snuggling farther into my gaming chair and crossing his feet at the ankles, he nods. “Oh, yeah.”
Jeez. The boy is seriously morphing into a mini-clone of his brother, which wouldn’t be a problem if I still liked him. “I’ll be right back,” I say, glad to have an excuse to leave.
As I walk toward the staircase, I dial Pete’s number—one of the few I actually have memorized. He usually answers pretty quickly, so after the fifth ring, I shift my phone around to make sure I didn’t accidentally misdial. I got the number right though, which must mean he got busy. I shift the phone again, this time to end the call, but right before I hit the button, Pete answers.
“Hey, babe!” he shouts breathlessly.
“Hey!” I actually fumble the phone before I get it back to my ear. “Are you okay?”
“Yeah, yeah, I’m awesome.” He takes a deep breath and exhales loudly. “But first, how are you? How was my Teddy Bear’s day?”
I smile at the term of endearment since it’s nice to have someone respect my wish to be called by my middle name rather than by my heinous first name. “It was decent for a Thursday,” I say with a shrug. “Then I got home and it went to crap.”
“Doesn’t it always?” He chuckles. “You wanna talk about it?”
“Nah, it was just the same old, same old. How goes life in sunny California?”
“It was another day in paradise, baby. Well, almost, anyway,” he laughs. “With Dad on his honeymoon, I thought I was in the clear to soak up some lunchtime sun, but someone must have ratted me out because Dad’s V.P. called to rip me a new one.”
I chuckle. “Surfs up?”
“Hell yeah, babe. The waves were too kick-ass to pass up. You sure you don’t want to come to college out here? I promise you’ll love it.”
“I’m sure I would, but you know it’s been my lifelong dream to go to Dad and Gramps’s alma mater.” Out of habit, I make the customary Texas Tech “Guns Up” hand gesture. “And it wouldn’t be right to turn down my scholarship—”
“I told you I’d pay your tuition. It’ll come straight from the Peter Sampson Foundation.”
I chuckle. “There’s no such thing as the Peter Sampson Foundation, and—”
“But that’s the joy of being a gazillionaire. I can start one and you could be my first philanthropic deed—”
“I don’t think so.” Ugh. I hate when he tries to use his money to impress me. “And don’t you dare suggest that you’ll convince your dad to pull some strings at that scholarship organization his company offers, because I wouldn’t feel right taking money from him either.” I gallop the rest of the way down the stairs and stop by the bay window in the living room. After pulling back the drapes, I admire the view of the distant snow-capped mountains. “You should come to Colorado before I leave,” I suggest.
“No way, babe. I love you, but I’m so not down with hanging out in landlocked USA.”
“It isn’t that bad here, and this time of year, the lakes are pretty awesome—”
A huge crash from above startles me. I look at the ceiling and then panic when Ben starts running along the hallway, his footsteps reverberating through the house, sounding more Yeti-like than eight-year-old kid-like. “Ben?” I hurry over to the staircase. “Are you okay?”
“They’re home!” he shouts as he rounds the corner and rips down the stairs.
“Slow down, champ!” I order.
“But they’re home!” he repeats as he shoves past me and yanks the front door open.
Without skipping a beat, he sails over the porch steps and runs out of sight.
I hurry after him but stop short when I see Ashley’s Tahoe pulling into their driveway. Wow. The kid must have supersonic hearing because my bedroom is on the back half of the house, or maybe he really was that worried. I mean, he and Ryan are ridiculously close even though there’s a ten-year-age difference between them, which is actually pretty sweet.
“Everything okay?” Pete asks.
“Oh.” I had totally forgotten he was on the line. “Sorry. Yes. My neighbor’s son was in a car accident so I was babysitting his little brother until they got back from the hospital.”
“Who? The jerk who likes spreading vicious rumors about you?” He snorts. “That neighbor?”
“Ah…” For some reason, I’ve never told Pete that Ryan and I used to date. I’m not sure why, especially since I’ve told him just about everything else there is to know about me, but with Ryan…I don’t know. I mentioned the rumors he started freshman year, but I never told him that I used to really like him…maybe even loved—
“Teddy Bear?” Pete hedges.
“Sorry…yes, that neighbor.”
“Sounds like karma came back around to bite him in the butt.” He chuckles. “But how’d you end up babysitting? I thought today was your vet day?”
“Yeah, but when I got home, Mom asked me to take over. Not that I minded,” I add absently, since I’m suddenly transfixed as Ben reaches for the back door. The instant I get a clear view of Ryan, my heart skips a few beats. It’s a reaction I wish I could change, but even with a knee brace on his right leg and a cast on his left leg, the guy looks like he should be on the cover of a magazine.
“Does that mean your forced-babysitting gig is officially over now?” Pete asks.
“Oh.” Jeez. I keep forgetting he’s on the line. Before I can apologize for spacing out again, my father pulls into our driveway. “It is,” I tell Pete, “but my dad just got home. Mind if I catch up with him over dinner and then finish up my laundry before we video chat?”
“Yeah, of course, but try to make it sooner than later. I’m dying to show you the stuff for the game.”
My heart skips a few more beats, but in a different way this time. “You got it?” I ask eagerly as thoughts of beta testing his father’s top-secret game dance in my head. “I thought you said he had it under some pretty tight security.”
Pete laughs. “Oh, he did, but I was still able to hack through the system and get into the lab. I already overnighted your copy with the gear. It should get there tomorrow afternoon.”
“Gear?” My ears perk up yet again. “What kind of gear?”
“I’m not entirely sure. There’s a memo claiming that the virtual-reality goggles and the haptic gloves are for some little kids’ game, but I’m not buying it, not with all the effort Dad put into keeping me out.” He pauses then sighs. “I’ll mess with them later. After I get done dealing with Mom.”
I grimace, since I know she hasn’t been taking the wedding news well. “Oh…how’s she holding up? Still in denial?”
“I wish,” he mutters. “Now she’s just pissed, which is ten times worse.” He sighs again. “Think you’ll be free by nine?”
“Yeah…” I glance at my watch and nod, “that sounds good.”
“Cool. I’ll catch you later then. PTR signing off. I love you, Teddy Bear.”
PTR signing off—short for Peter the Rad—is the message he always uses when he ends one of his videos on his gaming channel or when he logs out of his Station X. The “I love you thing” is relatively new though, and it always makes me squirm.
“Ditto,” I finally say, since I still haven’t mustered the nerve to repeat those three little words back to him. I end the call just as my father gets out of his car.
“Hey, kiddo,” he says cheerfully.
His jovial tone makes my stomach tie up in knots though. I slide my phone into my back pocket and give him a thorough once-over. His tie is loosened and his hair is disheveled, which usually means something is bothering him. When he gets close enough, I reach for his briefcase. “Bad day?” I inquire even though I already know the answer.
He slings his arm over my shoulder, which is always a little funny to me since he’s a few inches shorter than me. “Yeah. I lost a patient this morning, but he came in pretty banged up.”
“Oh.” I never know what to say to that. “Sorry, Dad.”
“It’s okay.” He releases a long breath. “Just part of the job.”
We walk toward the house in silence, but just before we climb the porch steps, I stop to glance across our yards. Ryan’s father, Mark, is helping Ryan into a wheelchair. “Was your patient in the same car accident as Ryan?” I inquire, hoping to get some insider knowledge without coming right out and asking if Ryan is really okay.
“No. That was totally unrelated.” He glances toward the Nelsons. “Actually, in Ryan’s case, there technically wasn’t an accident. He and a couple of his friends thought it would be cool to car-surf after school. When Ryan’s turn came up, he fell off the hood and fractured his left leg and bruised his right knee pretty badly.”
“Well,” I say just as Ryan plops into his seat, “I guess that explains the wheelchair.”
“Yeah, and the cast and the knee brace,” Dad adds. “Did I mention that Mark and Ashley had me paged when they got to the hospital?”
As I shift my attention back to my father, I narrow my eyes. “Did they?”
“Yeah, and after I assured them that Dr. Aries had diagnosed everything properly, I hung around until Ryan was discharged.” Dad gives me a sideways glance. “He and I had a nice little chat while we waited…”
From past experience, I can only assume that they talked about me. It’s something that Ryan does with both of my parents, which is beyond irritating. I mean, I get that we’ve been neighbors for four years and that my parents and his parents are good friends, but I hate the fact that he always tries to get Mom and Dad to relay information to me.
“He mentioned that he’s going to need help carrying his books to class and wanted to know if you’d be willing to lend a hand.”
My stupid, stupid, stupid heart skips a few more beats. I look across our lawns just as Ryan waves. Jerk, I think to myself as I cross my arms over my chest.
“Teddy,” Dad continues in that annoying forgive-and-forget tone of his, “I completely understand why you’re so cautious where Ryan is concerned, but in his defense, he’s really gone out of his way to make amends—”
Just then, and seemingly at the perfect time to disprove my father’s little theory, Carly Tannen’s hot pink Mustang revs so loudly my bones quake. As she pulls into the Nelson’s driveway and then hurries out of her convertible with all of the fanfare expected of the head cheerleader, my body tenses painfully. I whip around before I have to endure watching anymore and my father has enough sense to follow along in silence. It isn’t until we’re both in the kitchen, me slamming my way through the room as I get the garlic bread in the oven, that Dad finally speaks up again.
“You’ll never guess what I found today,” he says, his tenor intentionally light. “I ran into the supermarket to grab lunch and I found Silent Movie in a bin by the register.” He pulls the movie out of his briefcase and holds it up for me to inspect.
“That’s awesome!” I manage to say enthusiastically despite my suddenly somber mood. I take the DVD out of Dad’s hand, probably a bit too roughly, and admire the artwork on the cover. “Seriously, Dad, this is great. Now our Mel Brooks collection is complete.”
“Yeah, that definitely made my day too.” He stares off into the distance, his mind probably fixating on his now-deceased patient. After another second, he shakes his head and looks at me with eager hopefulness illuminating his eyes. “Do you have homework tonight?”
“No, but…” I take in his disheveled appearance and decide that Pete and his new game will have to wait a little while longer. “Did you want to watch it while we eat?”
For the first time, Dad genuinely smiles. “Yeah. That sounds like a plan, kiddo.” He heads toward the foyer. “I’ll just go and get cleaned up while we wait on the garlic bread.”
“Yeah, okay.” I consider saying something else to try and cheer us both up, but I figure that if anyone can make us forget about our crappy days, it’s Mel Brooks.

About the Author 

Winter lives in the moment and loves nothing more than being surrounded by her family, her fur-babies, and a ton of great reads! When she doesn't have her nose stuck in a book, she's usually thinking up far away, fantastical worlds or she's cooking up a storm in the kitchen!

Because of her love for all things literary, Winter pursued a Master of Arts degree in English Literature and Creative Writing. Professionally, she is a manuscript editor and, in her spare time, she enjoys hosting author spotlights, posting book reviews, and teaching creative writing workshops.

In her private time, she is an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, and paranormal romances, and one day she hopes to inspire young readers in the same way her favorite authors continue to inspire her today.

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Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Nothing like this has ever happened to me before. It's a fluke. #romanticcomedy #giveaway #booktour @ryanringbloom

The Whiskey Series
Date Published: September 1st 2019

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Four books. Four whiskey-fueled romances.

Dick: Nothing like this has ever happened to me before. It's a fluke. Too much whiskey. Believe me when I say, it will NEVER happen again.

I’m trying not to take it personally. Sh*t happens. It’s not a reflection on me. He claims it was too much whiskey. A one time occurrence. And I believe him.

But then why the hell does it happen a second time?

Chick: Nothing like this has ever happened to me before. It's a fluke. Too much whiskey. Believe me when I say, it will NEVER happen again.

I’m trying not to take it personally. Sh*t happens. It was a blind date. She drank too much whiskey. I hope it wasn’t a reflection on me.

Okay, so the first date didn't work out. But what happens when the second one doesn’t either?

Trick: Everything usually goes my way. Life’s good. But after a bad breakup, a few problems emerge that I need help fixing.

He has problems all right. Sure, I’ll help. Just because I’m unlucky in love doesn’t mean the next girl should be too.

But maybe those problems aren’t so bad after all?

Flick: Everything usually goes my way. Life’s good. But after a bad breakup, a big secret unfolds that no one can ever know.

She has a secret all right. Sure, I’ll keep it. Just because we can’t tell anyone doesn’t mean we can't make it work.

But maybe some secrets do need to come out?

*F/F Romance

About the Author

Hi, I’m Ryan Ringbloom, a Jersey girl who doesn’t write Alphas. I couldn’t if I tried. Social Media stresses me the frick out, yet I can’t seem to walk away from it. I love to binge watch TV. I think cats are awesome. I’m obsessed with coffee and Fireball. But never together. I am counting down the days until self-driving cars are the norm. And if there is ever a zombie apocalypse, I won’t even try to run. I will let the first one I see eat my brain and get it over with.

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Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Out Now!—Hard Pressed by Queenie Black (@queenieblackwr1) #newrelease #BDSM #EroticRomance #HEA #spanking @evernightpub

Master Lucien has one night at Club Hard.
One night…to show bodyguard Rose Dainty that he can be the Dom she needs,
One night…to show her that submitting to him doesn’t make her weak, that true submission requires strength and trust.
Will pushing Rose to her limits prove to her she can trust him with her body and heart, and can she let go of her deepest fears long enough to enjoy her surrender?
They both have everything to prove and everything to lose.
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Author bio:
I’ve always loved writing and I won my first prize for a short story when I was still at primary school. I’m an avid reader of romance and erotic romance and can usually be found with my nose in a book. The dynamics and sheer variety of human relationships fascinate me, and this is what I like to explore in my writing. I live in North Yorkshire with my husband and cat where I enjoy running and Tai Chi.

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I mounted the six shallow steps and faced the double front doors. Twin carriage lights cast a soft gleam over the brass plaque with its discrete lettering:

Club Hard

Private Members Only

I desperately wanted to run back down the steps, leap into my car, and drive home, but if I did, nothing would change, and I’d go back to dividing my time between working out, Candy Crush Saga, and the occasional night out with my friends. I might miss out on learning something about myself, something that could make a difference in my sex life. Worse, I might miss a chance at love.

I stayed, my feet rooted to the floor, but the insides of my hands were so damp, my finger slipped on the brass bell, setting off a short, discordant jangling. I winced as I rang it again properly this time. That certainly wouldn’t endear me to anyone.

Shifting from foot to foot, trying to keep the blood circulating in my toes, I looked around. Behind me, the gravel drive snaked away to a discreet carpark, and trees and shrubs created shadows within shadows. Autumn had finally reached London and in this exclusive part of it, crisp, clean air and earthy leaf mulch replaced the smell of fast food and exhaust.

I shifted again, starting to get irritated. If you were going to demand a woman wear nothing but a skirt that barely covered her butt, and a top that was little more than a bit of elastic bandage—on me it was ridiculous, if I sneezed, I’d pop out over the top—then you should damn well open the door promptly. Now, despite wearing my warmest coat over the absurd ensemble, there was a distinct draught zipping under my hem and freezing my exposed butt cheeks.

I lifted my finger to stab the bell again, and the door swung open.

Bloody hell. A real butler. I was no stranger to mansions with staff. Working as a bodyguard meant I saw the inside of a lot of wealthy homes, but so far, a liveried butler was a new one to me.

“Can I help you?”

I cleared my throat, wondering if there was any etiquette for addressing a butler, aware that my finger was still lurking in the vicinity of his eye. “Umm, I’m, ah, it’s Ms. Dainty. To see Mr. Dufort. I’m expected.”

He waved me through into a large marble-floored hall with a fire burning at one side. A wide, elegant staircase at the back curved away to the upper floors.

“I’ll inform Mr. Dufort that you’re here, if you’d like to take a seat.” He indicated a collection of sofas and easy chairs huddled as if for warmth around the fireplace. I made a beeline for the heat.

“May I take your coat?”

I crossed my arms tightly. No way was I exposing my scantily clad self. “Ah, thanks, but I’m a bit cold.”

“I see my guest has arrived, Henry.”

I turned away from the fire to see Lucien Dufort crossing the hall toward me. The floor seemed to drop a few inches and I had to grab the back of a chair to steady myself as his delicious, rich chocolate voice with its faint French accent wound around me, setting my heart hammering.

A tall, elegant man, he moved toward me with predatory intent, covering the floor in loose, confident strides, but it was his eyes that held my gaze, dark eyes, sharp with intelligence and power. He wasn’t a handsome man. His narrow-bladed Gallic nose, inherited from his mother, was slightly overlarge for that, but his lips were sensual, and the mix of tenderness and lust in his expression as he looked at me sent electric tingles charging down my spine.

“Rose, welcome to Club Hard.” He lifted my hand and pressed a kiss to the back of it, his tongue flickering into the little hollow between my two smallest fingers, mimicking the act of sex. Normally, that would be an instant turn-off, but when Lucien did it, everything inside me melted. I tugged my hand free and shoved it into my coat pocket. This was bad. We hadn’t even started yet and my hormones were doing a happy dance.

“Your coat, ma petite.”

I undid the buttons reluctantly and he stripped it off my shoulders, giving it to Henry before indicating my feet. “Barefoot, please.”

I obeyed, steadying myself with one hand on Lucien’s forearm. I could have rested it there all day, enjoying the feel of thick bone and the flex of hard muscles, but I quickly unzipped my boots and gave them to Henry, who took them as solemnly as if I was handing him the crown jewels for safekeeping. He disappeared, taking my things with him, and I stood shivering, waiting for Lucien to say or do something. I shouldn’t have felt vulnerable. I fought with this amount of flesh on display, so it shouldn’t have bothered me, yet insecurity and apprehension crept hand-in-hand up my spine. “Lucien?”

He cupped my chin, his palm warm and sure, his thumb stroking my cheekbone in a gesture I found calming. “Tonight, you will address me as Monsieur, or Sir.” His words sank deep inside me, reaching a place I wasn’t aware existed. A place I didn’t want to believe existed. I stepped back, dislodging his hand.

Lucien’s cheek creased in amusement. “So, ma belle perle, the challenge begins. Are you ready?”

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