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#BRVL AUTHOR PROMO — The Island: The Hunted (The Cowboy Gangster / The Base crossover series Book 3)


 

 

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The Island: The Hunted (The Cowboy Gangster / The Base crossover series Book 3)

https://www.amazon.com/Island-Hunted-Cowboy-Gangster-crossover-ebook/dp/B09H58CGQ8

**BOOK 3 OF 3**

The gangsters and the men from The Base join forces to pinpoint the location of their missing loved ones. Their search takes them into the bowels of the dark web, exposing a nightmare that ultimately leads the two clans to an island composed of hellish imaginations… and terrifying revelations.

Once on the island, the men must navigate the deadly territory without detection—while learning to work together and overcoming their differences… which proves a difficult task among men of action who are barely holding it together.

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Three Coins by Kimberly Sullivan

Three Coins
Kimberly Sullivan
Publication date: October 22nd 2021
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Women’s Fiction

One Eternal City. Three women. Three wishes. Three coins.

Emma, an American expat living in Rome for twenty years, can’t count on her ex-husband to help out with the kids when things get tough. Dario Rinaldi, famed plastic surgeon to the stars, is too busy gallivanting around Europe with young women to take an interest in his family.

Beautiful Tiffany, born and bred in Iowa, is desperate to get a spot as a dancer on an Italian television show. But is she willing to do whatever it takes to make her dreams of TV stardom come true?

Annarita, from an Italian-American family in Yonkers, teaches English to over-privileged Italians and regularly has her heart trampled by boyfriends all wrong for her. As her mother is always quick to point out, nothing has gone right for her since she moved to Italy. And she isn’t getting any younger, either.

Emma, Tiffany and Annarita all meet up by chance at a 1950s movie night while on a restorative holiday at a beach resort off-season. The triumphs and hardships of these three very different women become intertwined as they form an unlikely friendship and work to better their messy lives.

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EXCERPT:

The corners of Headmistress Green’s lips tilted upwards, but her stern grey eyes remained unconvinced. “I’m pleased to hear that. Too often, divorce can lead to decreased involvement by one of the parents. But in these cases, it’s our experience that two parents working in partnership can turn a situation like this around.”

She stood, signaling the end of the meeting. Emma scrambled to her feet.

“I hope to hand Chiara her diploma on graduation day. Don’t hesitate to call me if you or Doctor Rinaldi have any concerns you wish to discuss.”

Just shake hands with the woman and make it to the door without crying.

She followed Mrs. Green to the door, her Prada heels clicking with each uncertain step. She blinked rapidly, a desperate attempt to stave off the tears. She offered a weak smile to Mrs. Green at the door, and another to the receptionist, before exiting the office and walking out of the building.

The fresh air calmed her. It was a glorious autumn day, unseasonably sunny and warm for mid-October. The tourists were still wandering around the city’s historical center in shorts and tank-tops, wondering at the tropical temperatures compared to Stockholm, or London, or Hamburg. Usually, Emma was pleased to visit this campus, with its lush green yard and rolling hills, always finding it hard to believe this peaceful countryside was still, technically, a part of Rome. But today being on campus afforded her no pleasure.

She hurried down the hill to the entrance gate as fast as her fashionable but impractical heels would carry her. Please don’t let me bump into Chiara or the twins. She kept her head low, as if that could mask her identity should her children cross her path on campus, on their way to lunch or gym class.

“Emma! Why, it’s been ages!” A voice rang out when she’d nearly reached the school gate.

Emma turned on her heel to see a woman she knew had been one of Dario’s patients on more than one occasion. Her nose had been redone, her lips plumped, and cheek implants strained against artificially tight flesh.

“Margherita! What a pleasant surprise.” Emma stepped forward and kissed the woman on each silicone cheek. “It’s been ages. My fault. I need to contact you to see when I can help out with PTO activities. Isn’t the international luncheon coming up?”

Margherita waved her hand, attempting a smile on skin that was no longer elastic. “Oh, that. We all do what we can. I know how hard it’s been for you, what with …” she lowered her voice. “The divorce.”

The horrified expression accompanying her words would have been equally suitable for “your drug conviction” or “the mafia killings you ordered.”

Divorce was surprisingly rare at the Fairmont School, as Emma was quickly learning. “Oh, it’s fine. I forget about it half the time.” Dragon Lady didn’t need to know the truth.

Margherita sighed. “But still, so tragic. I always thought you were such a perfect couple. Although, I must admit,” she chuckled. “I never would have pegged you for a plastic surgeon’s wife. Although that was always part of Dario’s charm. He’s known for creating perfection on his patients, but never demanding it from his own wife.”

A steady throbbing began behind Emma’s right temple. “I’m over it, really. Thank you for your concern.”

“I’m sure you are, my dear. Especially if Dario could … sweeten the pot, shall we say, with his departure. It’s important we hold them to their financial obligations, eh?” She winked. “But still, it’s a shame for Chiara. Lucrezia tells me how upset she is, how she always complains the divorce ruined her life.” She shook her head. “You know how dramatic teenagers can be.” Margherita stood, expectantly, her head tilted.

Emma silently counted to five. “Thanks for your concern. It was tough for Chiara at first, but I think she’s starting to accept it.”

Margherita’s lips formed a dainty little ‘o’. “That’s not what I heard. But I’m always behind on these things. How nice that everything is going swimmingly, and I’ve been misinformed.” There was a hard glint in her eyes. “Let’s be in touch for the international luncheon. Bye, Emma dear.” With quick kisses on the cheek, she turned on her heels and made her way up the slope to the school.

Emma watched the receding figure, her head still spinning. A double whammy of Mrs. Green and Margherita. Surely, things couldn’t get any worse.

Author Bio:

I write the women’s fiction stories I love to read, both contemporary and historic tales of women and the rich lives they lead along their journeys of self-discovery. A lifetime admirer and longtime resident of Italy, I’m often guilty of sneaking the bel paese into my stories.

Website / Goodreads / Twitter / Instagram


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Baby, It’s Hot Outside: A Christmas Down Under 

Baby, It’s Hot Outside: A Christmas Down Under
Publication date: October 31st 2021
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Holiday, Romance

Baby it’s Hot Outside – A Christmas Down Under
Seasonal Summer Multi-Author Novella Collection

100% pure SUMMER Christmas.

Come Down Under for a hot and steamy SUMMER festive season.

Escape those winter blues with 12 summer Christmas novellas.

A fabulous collection of sexy Down Under summer Christmas romances. Hot sun and hotter men, friends to lovers, reunion stories and more. Come visit a world of hot, sultry kisses and long, lazy days in the sun. It’s Christmas Down Under and just another day at the beach!

Join USA Today bestselling author, Bronwen Evans with ten of her fellow Australasian authors. Warm your heart, and maybe a little bit more, too, with 11 never before published sexy novellas of Down Under lovin ’in the Christmas sun. Only 11 – aren’t there 12? There are! The 12th story is a collaboration between the 11 authors in this boxed set. Each author is writing a chapter of THE WEEK BEFORE CHRISTMAS.

  • Twelve standalone novellas (never before published)
  • 99c Pre-Order Price rising to $4.99 week of release
  • Only available until the end of January 2022 – get your copy today!

We are running a contest for this box set. You can win a Kindle Fire HD and a collection of stories…

Twelve perfect indulgences to get you in the Christmas spirit:

ANNA FOXKIRK – The Worst Noelle
ANNIE SEATON – Her Christmas Star
BRONWEN EVANS – Fast Track To Love

JACQUELINE LEE – Unrequited Love

JAYNE KINGSLEY – Twelve Days Of Christmas

KENDRA DELUGAR – Something In The Water
KRIS PEARSON – Summer Santa
MEGAN MAYFAIR – The Season For Second Chances
RAY COLLET – Home For Christmas
SOFIA GREY – A Christmas Retreat (Falling For The Colonel’s Daughter)
SUSANNE BELLAMY – Red Dirt Christmas
COLLABORATION – The Week Before Christmas – A collaborative novella with a chapter from each of the authors in this box set. We will be running a fabulous contest of guess who wrote what chapter!

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

SNEAK PEEK:

The Week Before Christmas – All authors in the box set….

Ryan had been a vet for a while now. He’d thought he’d seen it all when it came to the mayhem animals could create. It turned out these puppies, even at eight weeks old, were advanced players in the game of chaos.

Oscar’s spaceship themed bean bag had met its match with puppy teeth, and the filling was now scattered all over the wooden dining room floor. Shelby’s row of pot plants along the hearth of the disused fireplace in the lounge had also definitely come off second best after their puppy encounter, with dirt tipped all over the carpet.

Shelby extracted one puppy from behind the television where it had been happily chewing on cable. Holding the squirming bundle close to her chest, she walked back to the laundry.

He was scanning the room to locate the other offenders when one trotted in from the hallway carrying something in its mouth.

“What have you got there, little buddy?” He caught the puppy and gently pried the plastic object out of its mouth. His brow furrowed. What was it? One of Oscar’s toys? It was the shape of a dolphin but appeared to be battery operated. He pressed the button and the tip of the dolphin’s snout suddenly vibrated.

Oh shit. He suddenly realized exactly what the object was.

He raised his gaze to Shelby, who’d just come back into the room and was staring at the object in his hand. He couldn’t help letting a chuckle escape at her expression. It was an exact mirror of her face when he and Paul had convinced her to watch Nightmare on Elm Street when they were teenagers.

She closed the distance between them and all but snatched it out of his hand.

“It was a gag gift from Amanda,” she said.

His chuckles had simmered down to a smirk, but there was no way he could wipe that off his face right now. “Sure it was.”

God, she was beautiful even when she was embarrassed. Cheeks flushed, the blush spreading down her neck, turning her creamy skin a light pink.

“They must have got into the storage boxes in my wardrobe,” she said as she retreated down the hallway.

“I’d disinfect that if I were you,” he called after her, still not able to disguise the amusement in his voice.

So, that had been mildly hilarious. Was it really a gag gift that she’d held on to? Or something she used to enjoy herself on a lonely night?

Okay, he wasn’t going to let his imagination drift too far down this line. It wouldn’t be good for his sanity. Or the tightness of his pants.

Shelby, coming back into the room with a cloth, trod on some of the tiny balls—now coated with oil—from Oscar’s bean bag, and started to slip.

And then he was on his feet, catching Shelby just as she stumbled, his arms bracing her shoulders as her hands flew to his waist to help her regain her balance.

For a few seconds, they both breathed hard, still clinging to each other.

She glanced up at him, making no attempt to retreat from his arms. “Thank you.”

“No problem.” He couldn’t tear his eyes away from hers. Their gazes remained locked tight.

Kiss her. Kiss her. Kiss her. A voice rose in his mind. He couldn’t tell from what part of him the voice was loudest.

What part of him wanted Shelby the most? The part that wanted to take care of her, love her, be a dad to Oscar, protect her from anything bad that could ever happen…



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Sea of Love

Title: Sea of Love

Author: Nic Starr

Publisher: Independently Published

Cover Artist: Covers by Jo

Release Date: 10/20/2021

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 45,000 words

Genre: Romance

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Description

The cruise of a lifetime. A reality TV show about romance. Falling in love is inevitable. Evan Williams is the type of guy to stick by his friends, especially when they’ve been hurt and need a favour. And if that favour involves the cruise of a lifetime, then how can he say no? Even when it means pretending to be a devoted boyfriend to Amber and having their fake relationship play out on a reality TV show for all the world to see. Realising his boyfriend is a conceited jerk and dumping him doesn’t stop Harry Bishop from winding up as one half of a supposedly loved-up couple on the Sea of Love TV show. And if that’s not bad enough, he’s faced with temptation in the form of Evan, the perfect blend of boy-next-door-meets-sexy-stud he once crushed on. It’s going to be a long two weeks. Two weeks of competitions, challenges, and confrontations. They’re here to take out the Sea of Love title—just not with each other—and there can only be one winner. But it turns out that true love isn’t about winning a contest; the real prize comes when you follow your heart. Sea of Love is a feel-good romance featuring hidden attraction, fake relationships, and friends-to-lovers.

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Meet the Author

Nic Starr lives in Australia where she tries to squeeze as much into her busy life as possible. Balancing the demands of a corporate career with raising a family and writing can be challenging but she wouldn’t give it up for the world. Always a reader, the lure of m/m romance was strong and she devoured hundreds of wonderful m/m romance books before eventually realising she had some stories of her own that needed to be told! When not writing or reading, she loves to spend time with her family–an understanding husband and two beautiful daughters–and is often found indulging in her love of cooking and planning her dream home in the country.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram

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Sea & Ash by Heather C. Myers

Sea & Ash
Heather C. Myers
Publication date: October 21st 2021
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Seventeen year old Hannah Walker can tell when people are lying and she hates it. This magic has been with her since she was born and no one has taught her a thing about it or why she has it in the first place. The only thing she knows is that if it’s discovered, she will be put to death. Not even being the second daughter of Port Ankura’s manager will save her from the strict laws put forth by the regency concerning magic.

When Hannah’s best friend is found brutally murdered, Hannah vows to solve who committed such a vicious act no matter what the cost. She enlists the help of businessman Adrian Blood, a man as wicked as he is handsome, in hopes to use his vast resources to find the killer. He owes her a debt after she saved his life and exposed her magic to him in the process. They strike a bargain: help her find out what happened to her friend and she’ll use her powers to tell him who wants to kill him.

Clues begin to pile up, hinting that the murderer isn’t a man at all, but a Blood Mage. Blood Mages are thought to be stories that scare wicked children into compliance. They live on their ships during the day and terrorize land at night, feeding on blood of the innocent to survive.

As they chase down leads and sneak into the morgue in order to inspect the body, Hannah starts to feel things for Adrian she shouldn’t. Not only is Adrian dangerous, but there’s something she can’t quite put her finger on. More than that, Hannah knows Adrian is keeping a secret from her. Can she learn to trust him anyway, even knowing that whatever Adrian is hiding might be the key to everything?

SEA & ASH has the dark paranormal mystery of the STALKING JACK THE RIPPER COLLECTION by Kerri Maniscalo, and the forbidden romance of FROM BLOOD AND ASH by Jennifer L. Armentrout. It is the first in a trilogy.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

“Tell me, are you afraid of me?”

“Do I have reason to be?”

A tense silence grew between us, but not because he was angry or upset. If anything, he seemed intrigued by my response.

“You saved my life tonight.” He took a step back from me and turned, arms still crossed over his chest.

“I did,” I said.

“Why?” He whipped around, eyes narrowed. All playfulness had left him. He was intense in his severity.

“Why did I save your life?” What sort of question was that? “I don’t understand. Did I do something wrong?”

“What makes you think you’ve done anything wrong?” he asked.

We were going back and forth with these questions that didn’t clarify anything. It was almost as though we were in a battle of wits—something that did not impress me. I placed my hands on my hips and tapped my foot.

“I’m sorry, am I keeping you from an important appointment?” Adrian asked, stepping back from the window to look back at me. His eyes were guarded now; it was difficult to read him. I was surprised I was able to discern any sort of emotion on his face before. “I thought you were here to see me specifically.”

“I am.”

“Then why do you seem aggravated by a simple question?”

“I don’t understand it,” I repeated. “Why would you question me saving your life? Should I not have done it in the first place?”

“I ask because I’m trying to understand your motives. Nothing in this life is free. Nothing is genuine. What do you want from me?”

“I ask of nothing from you,” I said, offended that he would even say such a thing. “I merely reacted. I saw—”

“Perhaps your feminine intuition detected something was amiss from your seat at the bar,” he mused, stepping towards me again. Instead of waiting for him to corner me, I began to move around the small room. “You overheard the conversation and grew nosy. The door was cracked open. Pepper hadn’t completely closed it—something she will atone for once I’m through with you.”

I stopped my pacing. “Through with me?” I asked.

“I apologize, have I offended you? Do you think I honestly believe you’re here to meet with me about money discrepancies?”

“Judging from your near-death experience, I can assure you that yes, I am.” I was surprised by how strong my voice sounded. “You were interrogating someone regarding just that, to the point that you were going to die over it. I’m not sure what further proof you need.”

“It surprises me that Reginald Walker cares about my money loss,” Adrian said, not

bothering to mask his bitterness. He walked over to the weapon on the floor, picked it up, and regarded it thoughtfully before placing it in a drawer in one of the side tables.

“You are under my father’s protection,” I said. This was obvious to me. Surely he had the wherewithal to understand this as well? “If some trespasses against you, they trespass against him. He would want to right the wrong done to you because it represents a wrong done to him as well.”

Adrian started to laugh, a low sound void of any amusement. It sent a chill through my body, and I turned away from him, fixing my eyes on the window.

“I’m sorry, is something funny to you?” I asked.

I should not care one way or the other about what he thought of me and whatever amused him. However, I could not help it. I missed my chance at meeting with Marcella and wound up saving his life by mere chance. I did not expect a thank-you, and I most certainly did not do it for his gratitude or for him to owe me some sort of debt. It felt as though he was now toying with me and I did not have the patience for it, even if he believed he charmed me.

Goodness, this man is so annoying.

“Actually, yes.” He stopped his laughing to regard me once again. “If you think your father cares about me and frivolous discrepancies, you are sorely mistaken. I hate to be the bearer of bad news regarding your father, since it’s clear the two of you are close, but your father only cares about one thing: profit. If another business that doesn’t fall under nepotism rises, he will crush my business before I can figure out who is betraying me. I would not be surprised if your father is paying someone to betray me in order to take me down from the inside.”

Author Bio:

Full disclosure: I am an acquired taste. I’m a typical blonde Orange County suburbanite who says ‘like’ more than necessary, laughs loud and probably obnoxiously, and loves to dance in the rain. I’m a 28 year old college graduate with more than a few tricks up my sleeve, and I also happen to be a pretty big Ducks fan. Oh, and I’m a writer. Like, for real.

I don’t speak in third person (normally) nor do I wear glasses (except when I’m feeling particularly mischievous). I’m lucky to have found my soul mate at the ripe old age of 22, even though he frustrates me on purpose to get a reaction out of me. We live near Disneyland, have two rambunctious female puppies, and have two beautiful girls. He has two amazing boys, and has gotten me hooked on Smallville, watching soccer (okay, okay FOOTBALL – FC Barcelona, baby!), and Cancun Juice.

Goodreads / Instagram / Facebook


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I’m Not Your Enemy by Cara Dee 

I’m Not Your Enemy
Cara Dee
(Enemy, #2)
Publication date: October 21st 2021
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Family | Book 2 of 2 | Lovers to Enemies | Enemies to…
The line between love and hate has never been so thin, and Blake and Sebastian return in this sequel with bottled-up hurt that somehow just brings them even closer.

Sebastian was right. I was a coward. I ran my closeted tail all the way back to Georgia. Once I got there, I had no place left to hide. My life imploded. But when I was welcome nowhere, I still had to go somewhere.

I could barely look my sister in the eye, facing Sebastian didn’t even exist on my radar, and I was prepared for my brother-in-law’s protective hostility. I just didn’t have a choice. For once in my life, I wanted redemption. I wanted to belong somewhere, and I was ready to work for it.

Sebastian was the exception—hard no. I might have screwed up royally, but he wasn’t so damn innocent. He’d hurt me too, and he better not push me. In fact, it was best we avoided each other altogether.

So it didn’t make a lick of sense for me to seek him out to provoke a reaction.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

It was still weird for me to be part of a family dinner where no one said grace. It’d been the rule for as long as I’d lived. If dinner was among family and you sat at a table, someone said grace.

Fuckin ’heathens up here.

I removed my ball cap and left it on my lap.

“Momma, can we live in an RV?” Teddy asked.

“You think we have too much space at home?” Soph smirked.

Teddy grinned sheepishly. “No, but we could go anywhere!”

I chuckled and grabbed myself a Coke.

“Where would all your toys go?” Dylan asked.

Teddy hadn’t considered that. “Maybe in my room at Bastian’s house?”

Sebastian shot him a little grin but didn’t say anything. He was usually so vocal. Now, because I was here, shit was weird. He hadn’t looked my way once. Not a glance as far as I knew.

Isabella was getting fussy in Dylan’s arms, and Soph said she couldn’t put off feeding her any longer. She excused herself to head inside and nurse the little one.

“Don’t step on Oppy and Percy, please,” I said.

“Oh! I wanna see them, Uncle Blake!” Teddy pleaded and almost knocked back his chair when he stood up. As if I could deny him. “Momma, I go with you.” He grabbed a new pizza slice and tumbled toward Soph.

Dylan turned a perturbed look Soph’s way. “You’re leaving me with those two?” He just didn’t know how to whisper.

Soph thought that was hilarious and just giggled in response. Then she disappeared into the trailer with the kids, and the tension automatically turned awkward and agitated. The latter came from Sebastian, because without Teddy around, he didn’t have to pretend.

“Are you gonna fucking eat or what?” Sebastian asked irritably.

I glanced at Dylan, who was in the middle of finishing a slice, and it dawned on me that the question was for me.

“Huh?” I managed. Wow, he was talking to me.

Sebastian flicked me an impatient look. “You’ve lost weight, and you’re not eating. Are you sick or just dumber than you look?”

“This is nice,” Dylan said. “We should do this more often.”

I furrowed my brow and wondered what the hell Sebastian’s problem was. Okay, I could venture a guess, but if he wanted to avoid me, avoid talking to me, he didn’t have to worry about what I ate.

“I don’t know what you’re talkin ’about—I haven’t lost any weight.”

“Dumber than you look, then. Because yeah, you have.” He tossed a crust into one of the boxes and leaned back, his posture and expression saying he was letting it go. He didn’t wanna talk anymore.

“So how are the Pugs doing, Blake?” Dylan interjected. “Or was it Bulldogs?”

I slid my stare to Dylan instead and let some humor seep in. Bless him. “You don’t have to run interference, buddy. When Sebastian’s ready to hash things out like a real man, these passive-aggressive little bitch fits will be history.”

“Boy, there’s nothing passive about my aggression,” Sebastian laughed. “Unlike that snide remark you just offered.”

“What was that, baby? Yeah, I’ll be right there.” Dylan abruptly left his seat and fled inside.

Christ. We knew how to clear a room. Or a patio.

“We might as well get this out of the way so we can move on,” Sebastian told me, and I lifted a brow, admittedly curious. “Soph told me you were building them a house, and it goes without saying that I will be here to help out whenever I can. But as far as I’m concerned, there’s no reason you and I gotta talk. We’ll act civil around Teddy, and then—” He shrugged. “I’ll just wait until you run back into your closet in Georgia again.”

Nice speech. He had it all figured out, huh?

“All right.” I nodded with a dip of my chin. “I take it you’re not interested in an apology for leaving the way I did.”

He smiled faintly, a humorless twist of his lips that left me a few degrees colder. “No, you can save your excuses for someone who gives a rat’s ass.”

“Got it,” I replied tightly.


Author Bio:

I’m often awkwardly silent or, if the topic interests me, a chronic rambler. In other words, I can discuss writing forever and ever. Fiction, in particular. The love story—while a huge draw and constantly present—is secondary for me, because there’s so much more to writing romance fiction than just making two (or more) people fall in love and have hot sex.

There’s a world to build, characters to develop, interests to create, and a topic or two to research thoroughly.

Every book is a challenge for me, an opportunity to learn something new, and a puzzle to piece together. I want my characters to come to life, and the only way I know to do that is to give them substance—passions, history, goals, quirks, and strong opinions—and to let them evolve.

I want my men and women to be relatable. That means allowing room for everyday problems and, for lack of a better word, flaws. My characters will never be perfect.

Wait…this was supposed to be about me, not my writing.

I’m a writey person who loves to write. Always wanderlusting, twitterpating, kinking, cooking, baking, and geeking. There’s time for hockey and family, too. But mostly, I just love to write.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook Page / Facebook Group / Twitter / Instagram / Bookbub / Newsletter


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The Earl of Callander’s Secret Bride

The Earl of Callander’s Secret Bride by Raven McAllan & Cassie O’Brien

Book 1 in the The Scots and the Sassenachs series

Word Count: 42,810 Book Length: SHORT NOVEL Pages: 165 Heat Rating: Sizzling Sexometer: 2

Genres:

HISTORICAL ROMANCE

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Book Description

A treasonable letter. Attempted blackmail. Can a secret marriage save the day? Duncan, the Earl of Callander, loves his beautiful neighbour Lady Cairstine McColl but has held back from proposing until she has enjoyed her debut in Edinburgh. However, matters are taken out of his control when Cairstine discovers a plot to blackmail her father with her hand in marriage demanded as the ransom price. A daring plan is hatched. To protect Cairstine, she and Duncan will wed under Scottish law, then travel to England incognito to find and destroy a letter that could see her father accused of treason and the family ruined. But all is not straightforward once they arrive in Corbridge. They must hide the passion they feel for each other from the blackmailer, and worse, there may not be just one blackmailer, but two.

Excerpt

Lady Cairstine McColl knew it was wrong to slip out from her family home unnoticed and go for a long tramp across the hills. Nevertheless, after the news her papa had just imparted, she’d had to get away. It was that or completely lose her temper. Shout, scream and be the termagant she didn’t want to be. She acknowledged it had been a close-run thing. Hence her escape. A pity she couldn’t escape the future as easily. How could he? She skirted the three large boulders that edged the head of the loch and jumped over the burn that flowed into it with a gurgle as it danced across the stony bottom. In winter, when it was in full spate, she would have had no chance. Now in June, when the nights were short and daylight hours long, the weather was sometimes drier and the burn no more than a trickle. Cairstine strode up the slopes to where the forest began, her boots giving her purchase on the slippery rocks. It might not have rained recently, but these slopes were always damp and covered in moss. As she walked, she mulled over her papa’s words. How, how could he? He had promised her in marriage to an Englishman. An Englishman! Whom she had never met. How draconian. And how undoubtedly, in this so-called enlightened age, unacceptable. Surely she should at least have met the man and decided if this marriage of convenience was for her? Sadly, her papa had been unmoved by her pleas. He’d simply told her she would leave for England in five days’ time. England. Who on earth would want to go there? And to a place called Corbridge? Not even London, or Carlisle. Until she’d studied a book of maps in the library she’d had no idea where Corbridge was. Evidently between Newcastle and Carlisle. A market town, near the site of the wall built in Roman times to keep the Scots out of England. What a pity it was no longer used for the same purpose. That would have meant there was no way she could have been forced to head south. According to a pamphlet she’d found on the desk—it seemed her papa had been investigating—this Corbridge was a pretty well set-up place with lots of new and imposing buildings sitting side by side with older, equally as imposing ones. She couldn’t have cared less. It wouldn’t matter what it was like, it was not home. George Armstrong, she thought in disgust. An Armstrong. One of those murdering, thieving Border Reivers of old who had thought nothing of riding from England into Scotland to steal the cattle of good honest Scotsmen—and women. The family names of the marauding bands were still notorious enough to put the fear of God into anyone who lived within a day’s ride of the border even in these modern times. Cairstine had been raised on stories of Scots venturing as far as Yorkshire, and the English to Edinburgh. All in retaliation for some real or imagined wrongdoing. You had to be thankful such days were over—but that made her papa’s demands even harder to fathom. Worse though than the raids—if it was possible for anything to be worse—Armstrong was a Sassenach with, he was said to boast, not one jot of Scottish blood in him. Where was the common ground? Why, oh why had her papa thought she’d be happy married to one of them? If he had thought at all. These last couple of weeks he’d been preoccupied, less likely to chat or ask what she had been doing, and never sharing his day with her. Not at all the man she had adored for so many years. How could he? Is he demented? When the name of her prospective husband was enough to put fear into even the bravest of people… She was no different. She shuddered and gathered her breath for the final steep few yards to her favourite place on the estate. The lookout. Where in times gone by a sentry would have been placed to keep guard for enemies. Now she was the only one who ever went there. Or so she’d imagined. Head down, deep in thought, she ploughed into a tree. A very human tree, which swayed before it steadied again. She scowled. Of all the people it could be it had to be Duncan Callander. Her neighbour, her…her what? She had no idea except that he was the one man who made her skin tighten in an arousing way and made her wonder…what if? A child of the countryside, she was no stranger to the way animals mated and had on more than one occasion caught sight of a man and a woman in the undergrowth, the lady’s skirts kilted around her waist, his trews around his ankles. It wasn’t something she’d contemplated doing herself though—until recently. “Where’s where the enemy? Who do I have to shoot?” Duncan grabbed her arm with one hand to rescue her from falling on her rump, put his other hand to his forehead and scanned the area with an extravagant movement. “Pistol or bow and arrow?” Cairstine giggled. Trust Duncan to cheer her up. “The culprit is too far to reach with either,” she said glumly as she smoothed her skirts down and remembered what had sent her to the lookout in a rush. “In England, at a place called Corbridge.” “Corbridge?” he said as he dropped his hand from his face. The confusion in his eyes mirrored the incredulous tone of his voice. “Why in hades Corbridge? What the hell’s going on?” Cairstine sighed. “Hell just about sums it up. My papa says I am to marry the black-hearted devil that is George Armstrong.” Duncan’s jaw clenched as she said the name. George Armstrong of Corbridge…the bastard! Not that he had ever met the man, but the fame—or infamy—of the Armstrong family was well known and noted in the annals of history. Around a hundred years earlier they had been given a baronetcy—under somewhat suspicious circumstances—and they revelled in their reputation. Blood raced through his veins at the thought of Cairstine in the clutches of such a man. She stood close enough to kiss, her lips mere inches from his own. Another part of his anatomy stirred deep within his trews with an emotion other than anger. The heady scent of her teased his nostrils and he sniffed the air. Violets, he decided—sweet and seductively entrancing like the lady herself. He dropped his hands to his sides against an urge to sweep her into his arms and assure her he would not allow the marriage to take place. He was powerless to prevent it—Cairstine’s father’s title being higher ranked in the natural order than his own. What was he, as an earl compared to a duke? Instead he concentrated on not curling his hands into fists and asked with a calmness he didn’t feel, “When and where is this event to take place?” Cairstine gazed at him, a question written in her eyes as if she sensed the power of the emotions running through his body. “I leave for Corbridge in five days. Oh, Duncan, something is wrong, and I have no idea what it could be. I have asked Papa to explain his decision, but all he says it I have to do this thing. Why?” She whirled around and her skirts followed her, giving him a tantalizing glimpse of a well-turned ankle visible above her half boot. How he wished it showed more. Callander, get your mind out of the gutters. “What on earth could be going on?” Cairstine asked in a plaintive tone that hit him hard. “Duncan, I’m at my wit’s end. I cannot move him.” Duncan nodded, his mind busy with possible plans, and he turned to one side, needing time to think of ways and means to execute them as well as considering the likely consequences. “Stay strong. I’m off to check my snares and have a think. Don’t worry, I will see you again before you go. Can you be here at the same time tomorrow?” Cairstine nodded. “I will make sure I am.” Duncan nodded. “Until then.” He spun on his heels and set off in the direction of his manor a mile or so distant on the opposite hill, his thoughts in a whirl. What in hades is her father up to? To date, the Duke of Glenard, known as Lord Nathaniel McColl in these parts, had been a loving and somewhat protective father to his only daughter. He strode on. The smell of pine resin carried on the warmth of the June breeze replaced the scent of violets in his nose, but Duncan hardly noticed as he began to gather his thoughts. A rescue plan was needed, one that would absolve Cairstine from all blame so as not to leave her in her parent’s bad graces. Or give any hint of collusion between the two of them. She should not guess his part in it, to allow her to answer with perfect honesty if questioned later by her father. A bold idea occurred and he quickened his pace while contemplating the prospects and pitfalls of it. A disguise would be required so she didn’t immediately recognise him. It would ruin everything if she inadvertently gave his identity away to anyone with her. Plus, he needed to decide on a place of safety for her to pass the time until his plan achieved its aim.

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About the Authors

Raven McAllan

After 30 plus years in Scotland, Raven now lives near the east Yorkshire coast, with her long-suffering husband, who is used to rescuing the dinner, when she gets immersed in her writing, keeping her coffee pot warm and making sure the wine is chilled. With a new home to decorate and a garden to plan, she’s never short of things to do, but writing is always at the top of her list. Her other hobbies include walking along the coast and spotting the wildlife, reading, researching, cros stitch and trying not to drop stitches as she endeavours to knit. Being left-handed, and knitting right-handed, that’s not always easy. She loves hearing from her readers, either via her website, by email or social media.

Cassie O’Brien

I love: Being with family and friends. Writing and having the freedom to do so now child four of four has passed her driving test and is off to uni later this year. I Like: Any excuse to throw a party. Any excuse to open a bottle of fizz. Shoes in vast quantities – the higher the heel the better. Ambitions: To write many more books. To own a pair of Louboutin’s. To never go near an iron or a hoover again. You can find Cassie on Facebook and follow her on Twitter: @cassieo_author

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LaPetite Mort

La Petite Mort by Pelaam

Book 4 in the The Devil’s in the Details series

General Release Date: 19th October 2021

Word Count: 45,548 Book Length: SHORT NOVEL Pages: 195

Genres:

ANGELS AND DEMONS CONTEMPORARY EROTIC ROMANCE GAY GLBTQI HORROR MÉNAGE AND MULTIPLE PARTNERS PARANORMAL

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Book Description

The little death… Sometimes you never wake up. When Samael, an incubus-possessed witch, escapes Garen and Luke, leaving not just another victim but also one of their own injured in the process, Garen is determined to track down the demon. Its trail vanishes when it leaves New Zealand, only to be eventually picked up again by a team working in the UK. Invited to assist them, Garen and Luke travel to England to meet the other team of investigators—Emery, his husband Alex and their friend Kadin. They also meet an unusual and unofficial team member, Grim. The incubus has gone to ground in the country home of Steven Huntleigh, rich playboy and president of the Hellfire Club. Emery, Luke and Kadin infiltrate the club and Kadin risks flirting with the incubus. When the time comes to battle the demon, will the team be able to resist its lure—or will they become additional victims of its insatiable appetite?

Excerpt

From his vantage point at the back of the room, Luke watched Garen as his husband paced back and forth, gesticulating sharply and trying to get the woman across the table to engage with him. But, far from cooperating, she looked increasingly more irritated. Luke stifled his sigh, knowing that the sound would only annoy her further. It’s not like I’m surprised. Melani-Leigh Waru-Richards was a socialite—rich, attractive, at least superficially, and used to others doing what she wanted, not vice versa. Her reputation had preceded her—arrogant, spoiled, demanding and downright rude. But she’s also one of our three prime candidates for dying at the hands of a demon or demonic entity on the night of the upcoming full moon. With Thomas’ approval, Garen had brought her to their headquarters where he and Luke were hoping to persuade her of the danger and have her agree to protective care until the moon waned. The full moon is just two nights away. As much as she’s proving to be a stupid, stubborn fool, I still don’t want her to be another victim. “We wouldn’t be wasting your time, our time or anyone else’s if we didn’t believe the threat was very real, Ms. Waru-Richards.” Garen stopped pacing, slammed his hands down on the table and leaned toward the woman. It was a tactic that had worked many times in the past, but not with Melani-Leigh, who pursed her lips tightly and glowered at him before rising slowly from her seat. “Inspector Morloc—” “The name is Warnock.” Garen growled the words and Luke quickly went to his husband’s side, laying a hand at the small of his back, wanting to defuse the situation. Now that he was closer to the woman, he could see why she’d been described as a ‘plastic princess’. Although her face appeared wrinkle-free, her hands told another story. Luke already knew her hair owed more to extensions than natural tresses. False eyelashes, fake tan, synthetic nails, artificial hair and silicone breasts. But for someone who’s in her late forties, from a distance she could pass as still in her twenties. “All we’re asking you to do is to allow us to put you somewhere safe for the duration of the full moon. It’s just for a couple of nights.” Luke turned on all his persuasive powers, but Melani-Leigh simply folded her arms, her posture ramrod straight. “You don’t even know for sure that I’m even in any danger, do you? Well, do you?” She looked from Luke to Garen then back at Luke. “Exactly as I thought. No, you don’t. You don’t know anything.” “We know two people have already died, and we’d like to prevent a third.” Garen drew himself to his full height and glared down at Melani-Leigh. “If we could be more specific, we would be,” Luke added as he rubbed soothing circles on Garen’s back. “I have two very important functions to attend.” Melani-Leigh flicked at imaginary dust on her designer jacket sleeve. “Both involve charities that I personally sponsor—and not only am I expected to be there, I shall be. There will be top celebrities in attendance. Look… I’m no fool. I have a hand-selected team of expert security personnel who will be with me at all times. I can assure you that I won’t dismiss your concerns, but they won’t stop my life, either. No one but those closest to me, or most trusted, are permitted anywhere near me. I take it that this…creature doesn’t attack in full view of hundreds of witnesses.” “No, but—” Garen started, and Luke winced as Melani-Leigh held up a perfectly manicured hand. “No. You said it yourself. I will invite no strangers into my home. I’ll even salt the doors and windows and burn sage.” She cocked an eyebrow at Luke. “See? I’m aware of protections.” “There’s nothing we can say to persuade you otherwise?” Luke asked. We can hardly threaten to lock her up if she won’t accept our help, and it is possible that she isn’t the intended victim. “No. And if I thought I was in danger I’d have already done something about it. In my position, I have to be mindful of stalkers, overzealous fans, potential thieves and would-be kidnappers. Tell you what…” Melani-Leigh reached into the Gucci purse that she’d set on the table and drew out two gold-embossed invitations. “I’ll have you added to the guest list, Inspector.” She scribbled quickly on each card. “There we are, Inspector Warnock and guest. You can keep an eye on things right through the evening.” “Thank you.” Garen accepted the invitations, passing them straight to Luke without as much as a glance. “We won’t keep you. There’s nothing more to be said.” “Look… I appreciate you have a job to do, but believe me, my security is second to none. I pay for them to be the best.” Melani-Leigh hooked the purse over her wrist and sauntered to the door. “See you on Friday night.” Without a backward glance, she left the room, the door closing softly behind her. For a moment there was silence in the room and Luke finally allowed himself the heavy sigh he’d previously banked. “Fucking arrogant idiot.” Garen snapped out the words, his expression a mix of irritation and concern. “‘I pay for them to be the best’.” “I suppose we could have shown her the desiccated corpses we have.” Luke sat on the edge of the table. “But she’d have probably put in a complaint against us. At least we can be on hand.” Luke fanned the invites and Garen snorted. “But we can’t have a protective circle or a backup team ready to support us.” “No.” Luke ran his hand through his hair. “Or can we?” “What?” Garen turned to face Luke. “How?” “If Thomas will throw his weight behind us, I’m sure that we can arrange with the hotel manager to allow us to have a room where we can set up a protective circle…just as a precaution. She was right in one respect. Neither of the victims were attacked in the open. One was in bed, and the other was sprawled across a kitchen table.” “And both were naked.” Garen cocked his head. “Which suggests to me that sex may be involved. We couldn’t tell anything useful from the bodies. They were far too desiccated. “Which could point toward a succubus or an incubus.” Luke sighed. “One that doesn’t care whether its victims are male or female. So many ifs, buts and maybes. We need to narrow down the search for ‘what’. Then we may find the ‘who’.” “No signs of forced entry. Nothing out of place or missing. In both instances the victim’s friends even described them as very happy.” Garen rubbed his chin. “No. There was another phrase.” “A new lease on life.” Luke snapped his fingers. “Yes.” Garen nodded slowly. “That’s it. Over the past few weeks, they’d had a new lease on life—almost identical in both cases.” “Then I suggest we find a few close friends of Melani-Leigh’s and see if she’s having a new lease on life. If so, then she’s the one we’ll target, and I’ll organize teams for the others.” “Perfect.” Luke pecked a kiss to Garen’s cheek. “And I’ll make sure we have protections and spells for dealing with an incubus or a succubus.” “Take care out there. Keep in touch. I’ll see you later. Come back here when you’ve got what you need.” Garen pulled Luke into a tight hug, and Luke wrapped his arms around his husband’s waist. “I will.” Luke tilted his head and Garen gave him the kiss he craved. For a moment Luke lost himself in the feel, taste and scent of his husband. Reluctantly he slowly eased back. “I won’t be too long.” “Good. By the time you return, I’ll have the teams organized and get Thomas to deal with the hotel hosting our potential victim.” “Get schematics. We can map the place out and ensure we have everything covered.” Luke grinned up at Garen. “If the demonic force strikes there, we’ll have enough protections in place to deal with it.” “Will do.” Garen gave a curt nod, then spun Luke around, swatting his ass to make him move forward. “Let’s get this started. I’ll feel happier when you’re back here.’ “I won’t be long.” Luke set off at a trot. The sooner I get going, the sooner I’ll be back.

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About the Author

Pelaam

Living in clean, green New Zealand, Pelaam is a multi-published author of gay romance and erotica. When not working at writing, Pelaam likes to indulge in her other passions of cookery and wine appreciation.

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Something Else

Title: Something Else

Author: Alicia Thompson

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 10/19/2021

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 72400

Genre: Contemporary, LGBTQIA+, romance, lit, contemporary, farmer, doctor, gay, bisexual, Australian outback, accident, slow burn, friends to lovers, questioning, tearjerker, out for you

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Description

When his father died, David Mulkerin gave up teaching in Sydney to come home and run the family farm in western NSW. He is driven by personal demons and family tragedy to see it through, despite his love of teaching and the ongoing drought and debt. When David meets the new local doctor Martin James, there is a meeting of minds and dark pasts. Martin is intrigued by David’s closed demeanour and makes an effort to reach him. They strike up a friendship, able to understand the pain in each other’s past. When David discovers that Martin is gay, he feels duped and betrayed, but the revelation forces him to confront what it means to love someone and how sometimes we don’t get to choose.

Excerpt

Something Else Alicia Thompson © 2021 All Rights Reserved He’d felt the pull, but there was no pain. Yet. Only the livid blood running through his fingers, dropping to the ground like seed. Grabbing his wrist, he ran back to the cab of the ute, found a rag in the glove box, clutched it in his hand. The fleshy part of his palm just below the thumb was beginning to throb. He walked back to where the cows were chewing the hay he’d torn apart. Shaking out that last biscuit with his good hand, he found the culprit. A jagged piece of fencing wire. Bastard. Better him than one of his cows. By the time he’d driven through three sets of gates and juggled numerous gear changes, the pain was like a blade pushing through his palm to his wrist. He consoled himself that in his own experience the smallest wounds often hurt the most. He ransacked the cupboard under the bathroom sink and found cotton wool and a roll of bandages. No Dettol. Reefing everything out onto the floor, he found a small can of antiseptic spray rolling around the back of the shelf. It was rusted and useless. Still clutching the dirty rag in his hand, he headed out to the kitchen. He wasn’t much into hard spirits, so the ancient cooking brandy used for his mum’s Christmas cakes would have to do. Back in the bathroom he slowly pulled away the rag. It grabbed where it had stuck to the wound and fresh carmine welled up through the rusty-brown muck. He turned on the tap and before he had time to think about what was coming, thrust his hand under. It was times like this he realised how limited his repertoire of swear words actually was. Catching him once, his mother had said, “That’s a lovely conjugation, dear, now take it outside before I belt you round the head.” He could now see the extent of the damage: a gutter of open flesh, torn to a long triangle at the end, black in its depths. He glanced at the brandy bottle. Shit. He hugged it to him and unscrewed the lid. He was about to pour it when he chickened out and took a big slug instead. Then another. Gritting his teeth, he poured the rest into his hand. Fang lay where he’d been left, staring through the screen door on the front verandah, his head on his paws, his ears pricked. The tan dots above his eyes gave him a perpetually surprised look. An anguished howl roared down the hallway. He lifted his head and waited.

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Meet the Author

Alicia Thompson grew up on a farm in country NSW. She has a Masters in Creative Writing from UTS along with some financial and accounting qualifications. She has worked as a bookkeeper, photographer, editor, adventure tour leader in the Middle East and China, business analyst, writing teacher and general herder of cats. Her published work includes numerous book reviews, travel articles, and short stories. She lives and works in Sydney. More can be found on her website http://www.aliciathompson.com.au.

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