Book Tour

Neighborhood Watch

Neighborhood Watch

by Kevin Patrick Kenealy

Genre: Thriller

“Superb characters headline this chilling, slow-burn crime tale,” Kirkus Reviews

“Thoroughly enjoyable with just the right amount of suspense.” – Readers Favorite

“This gripping story of a sinister small-town secret will keep you on the edge of your seat! It’s completely unforgettable.” – Reedsy

When the Caseys move into affluent Ridgeport, Ill. in search of a better life for their newborn Scott, they are surprised to find a book entitled, Ridgeport Welcomes You: Procedures and Guidelines for Happy Living. The book is full of rules and ordinances that citizens must abide by in order to live in their happy neighborhood. Although mom Loretta Casey is hesitant to live by Ridgeport’s strict rules, all that changes when she meets her neighbor Sue Ellen Norris.

Sue Ellen serves on the Neighborhood Watch Committee, overseeing the safety of the town, and Loretta becomes engrossed in Sue Ellen’s addictive personality. But as Loretta’s son Scott and Sue Ellen’s son Matt grow, they discover that Ridgeport is not as perfect as their moms make it out to be. As Scott and Matt form their band of friends, their journeys into the neighborhood woods prove to be much more than just a place of refuge.

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Kevin Patrick Kenealy is in his seventh-year teaching AP Literature, English, and Journalism to high school students. Before that, he wrote for Chicagoland newspapers, where he had the privilege to interview several famous people including Barack Obama, former Illinois governors Jim Edgar, Rod Blagojevich, and Pat Quinn. He also has published two books of poetry, 20 Something and Faith Journey, and the horror novel, Life and Death.

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Release Tour

Drifting

Drifting by J Calamy

Book 1 in the Diving In series

Word Count: 45,970 Book Length: SHORT NOVEL Pages: 188

Genres:

CONTEMPORARY EROTIC ROMANCE GAY GLBTQI

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Book Description

  Two men starting over, and the discovery that could shatter their worlds. Artist and antiquities expert Cole Hadley is in a good place. Assistant Cultural Attaché to the US Embassy, Cairo, he’s over his divorce, rebuilding his confidence after years of fat-shaming and misery and checking off the first of his bucket-list items, SCUBA diving in the Red Sea. Hank Ashton, bearded, built, the best—and meanest—divemaster on the Sea, is stranded in the dying town of Al’Shahin. He owes a local gangster a pile of money and is stuck teaching basic classes at a failing hotel to pay the debt, the dream of his own dive shop slipping further away every year. Cole’s joy and wonder at Hank’s world cracks his carefully constructed shell, forcing him to realize how lucky he is. In turn, Hank’s lust for Cole’s body and care for his happiness go miles toward healing Cole’s bruised heart. Their shared passion for the marvels of the undersea world spills over into a sizzling affair…one they both know has an expiration date. Until, in exploring the sea, they make the discovery of the century, one that could change both their lives. But their very different plans reveal just how little they know each other. Cole and Hank have to decide exactly what’s important to them and be brave enough to get it, if they’re to have any hope of resurfacing together. Reader advisory: This book contains mentions of bullying including fat-shaming and homophobia, as well as reference to gangster activities.

Excerpt

It wasn’t fair to be this cold on the shores of the Sahara. Despite the broiling heat trying to claw its way through the cracks under the doors, the air conditioning of the Hotel Grande Al’Shahin was arctic, setting Cole’s teeth chattering and chilling his clammy shirt to his back. Hugging himself, he didn’t catch the concierge’s spiel. “I’m sorry, what?” “Our pool has a dance show every night at six o’clock.” She pressed a stack of brochures into Cole’s hands then glanced at his belly…again. He managed not to tug at his shirt this time as her voice dropped into a conspiratorial murmur. “We have the best in-house gym, and the spa has an amazing detox wrap. Takes inches off. Incredible results.” How delightful. Cole couldn’t muster a single response, his mind clicking like a car with a dead battery. None of his canned responses, perfected over the last two years, were coming. Only his therapist’s “You don’t always have to educate people. Sometimes it’s okay to ignore them.” “I’m more interested in diving lessons,” Cole said, trying not to clench his teeth. “But thank you.” Her face went blank, but not before assuming a brief look of incredulity that didn’t help with the teeth clenching at all. “Diving? We have a full-service dive shop,” she said. “They do intro classes every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and twice on Saturday. If you…know how to swim?” “Sounds great,” Cole said, sliding away. That was enough BS for one day. The flight from Cairo had been short but brutal—he didn’t need this on top. Despite his grand-sounding title—and the State Department loved titles—as the Assistant Cultural Attaché to the United States Embassy, Cairo, Cole had flown in a middle seat. On the return flight I’m upgrading. Never letting the morale office book me a flight again. He’d pretended to be asleep to avoid seeing the faces of his row-mates. Legs and arms clenched tight, seatbelt cutting his hips despite the extension, Cole had barely breathed the whole flight. The heat and salt marsh air of Al’Shahin had slapped him the moment he’d staggered off the plane onto the shimmering tarmac. Clean air, to be sure, but also hot. Broiling, unbelievably hot. And humid! Trapped against the Sinai, Al’Shahin stewed in the evaporation off the Red Sea. Less than a year in Egypt, and he thought he had mastered the heat. Humidity had not even occurred to him. Neither had freezing to death in a hotel lobby. It was eleven a.m., and he was exhausted. A backhanded insult about his weight wasn’t the welcome he’d imagined. Three years ago, he would have broken down in tears. A year ago, he would have given her a lecture. But present-day Cole shrugged it off, making for the doors. They always mean well, don’t they? And maybe I’ll get the fucking wrap anyway. Maybe I wanted to before she even said anything. So there. He took a deep breath before pushing out onto the patio. The heat clawed him with greedy fingers, sun blazing cheerfully away overhead. Three steps, and he could feel the heat in his mouth. Five, and he could sense it through the soles of his shoes. The back of his neck burned, and he looked around, trying to shake off the feeling of being watched. Stared at. You are being paranoid. It’s just the heat. The pool shimmered, a mirage of blue. Darker sunglasses, they were first on the shopping list. Christ, and he thought Cairo was hot? Still feeling eyes on him, he tried to walk quickly but not too quickly, ignoring the rattle of his suitcase wheels over the pebbled walk. The sweat on his lower back itched. A shower. A shower and a nap then I can reassess. Hands slick, he bobbled his phone, dropped it and his sunglasses both. Someone laughed. Cole flinched, even as his brain registered the sound was happy, flirtatious laughter. Not look at that loser laughter. “You are not a loser,” he muttered, gripping his phone and straightening his sunglasses. He gave his shirt a sharp tug over his belly. “You have never been a loser. Those were Donnie’s words.” He hadn’t needed that mantra in a while. Cairo was…good. Busy, interesting, professionally validating and really fricking good. Living in a cramped Cairo apartment? Not so much. But who cared? It was Cairo! The geography and antiquities nerd dream. But now here he was, thinking of his ex, feeling eyes watching him, hurt and slipping into intrusive thoughts. Why? Just because people were laughing? “All right, all right, quit messing around,” a rough voice barked out, making Cole fumble his phone again. The happy laughter cut off in a chorus of groans. “I don’t care how tired you are! You clean your gear, then you can relax.” A small building squatted on the far side of the pool, with a thatch roof and an open central arcade, shaded and tiled in blue. The dive shop. The sign over the opening was faded, a shark curled dimly under the Grande logo. One of the million old pickup trucks littering Africa was backed up to the arcade, and a group of young people passed equipment back and forth like hurrying ants. The bark belonged to a tall, scowling man standing in the bed of the truck with his hands on his hips and glaring straight at Cole from behind a pair of mirrored aviators. Tanned from the sun, with wide shoulders, he wore a wetsuit unzipped to the waist and hanging around his legs. He had a shaved head and short scruffy beard, brown heavily threaded with gray. The harsh lines of his face made art deco angles with his jaw as he shouted at the divers scrambling around the truck. Whoever this pissed-off jerk thought he was, he was staring at Cole. Taking a slow deep-oven-hot breath, Cole straightened his sunglasses, glancing back over out of the corner of his eye. His championship record of making a fool of himself in front of hot straight men made him cautious, but he didn’t miss the way the guy in the truck glanced his way again. Busted. “It ain’t complicated, doll.” The divemaster sneered at a pretty blonde girl with her hands on her hips. “You rinse the salt off your gear, you hang it up, and then you can eat.” What an absolute dick. Cole knew trouble when he saw it. Hopefully that guy wouldn’t be the divemaster for Cole’s certification. Cole was in no mood. He kept walking. His room was one in a long row of little villas. Did a one-bedroom with en-suite count as a villa? The brochure certainly said it did. And for Cole, who only intended to use the room to sleep after days of adventure, it was pure luxury. A quick walk-through revealed air conditioning, a huge bed piled high with blue pillows and a tiny bathroom. Bright and cheerful, it was certainly bigger than his airless shoebox in Cairo. The back door opened onto a small limestone courtyard, high walled and full of plants. The back of the house blocked the blazing sun. Stepping onto the tiles, Cole gave a whoop of joy, seeing an outdoor shower, the showerhead as big as a tennis racket. Cole had no trouble ignoring the rust and the slightly crooked pipes. He turned on the water and after some screeching rattles, it gushed a monsoon. Cole needed no further prompting. He stripped right there, laying his clothes on the shelf by the towels and toiletries. “Heaven.” The blue sky, the reaching plants, the patter of water on the stones… Cole took the first relaxed breath of his leave. Shampooing absently, he realized the sound that had been in the background wasn’t air-con—it was the sea! I’m here! I’m on the Red Sea! The Sinai! Six years in that dank basement office at Smithsonian, trying to get a Foreign Service posting, and now I’m on the Red Sea! So why was he so jittery? Letting the water flow over him, cooling his sweat-itch skin, he took a moment to assess. Why had the hotel clerk bothered him so much? To the point that he’d nearly had an anxiety attack by the pool? “I am tired as hell,” he said. “I worked like crazy to be able to take a whole two weeks.” Not enough sleep. What else? “I’m hungry. I missed dinner, and only had airplane coffee.” It made more sense when he thought in those terms. His therapist always insisted he run through basic logistics as a first step to challenging negative thoughts. Hungry, dehydrated, sleep deprived, not enough time outside—these were all things that had to be taken care of before he could work on emotions. “Three triggers at least didn’t help.” Flying was always difficult for him. Then the clerk. Then the mean-faced guy staring at him. His reactions put into perspective, he could finally loosen his shoulders. Relief and gratitude, those glorious balms, filled him as he took three breaths in then gave a long slow exhale, over and over, rocking side to side under the water. Better. Much better. Running soapy hands over himself felt taboo under the open sky. He gave a brief thought to the big scuba instructor by the pool. He was hot and probably wasn’t staring. Thinking about Donnie threw me off. Three years, give or take, since the divorce, and Cole sometimes went a whole month without thinking about his ex. This seemed like the perfect place to continue that trend. “I am about to cross something off my bucket list. This is going to be the best vacation of my life, and I am sure as shit not letting him spoil even a minute of it.” Him could be Donnie or could be the mean-faced divemaster. Either way. Under the blue sky with the sea calling? Cole’s spirits soared. This trip was about adventure, and he was not wasting any of it. After a bottle of water and a protein bar from his bag, Cole didn’t need a nap. He was ready to explore. He threw on clean clothes and, grabbing a hat this time, headed back out to the patio. He wanted to see the water. A whole year in country before his first vacation, he hadn’t seen the Red Sea since he’d arrived in Cairo. He tucked his dive paperwork into his back pocket. Since his path took him by the dive shop, he would sign up while he was there. Adventure was calling! A cascade of wide sandstone steps led to the sea. Umbrellas and chairs dotted the beach in neat rows, broken up by a large bar with a thatch roof. A jetty divided the beach and led straight out into the blue. Nearer shore were a mix of reef and sandy stretches where people could swim and snorkel. Could swim. But were not currently swimming. Only one couple used the chaises. A family peered at the reef from the end of the jetty, their voices echoing off the stone walls. The rest of the sandy spar was deserted. Even up on the pool deck, there were only a handful of people. A man sunbathed with an armed bodyguard standing discreetly apart, watching everyone, though there was no one to watch besides some college kids and an elderly couple. Tinny music played over speakers mounted to the dusty palm trees. It echoed strangely, cheerful in the near silence. The Regional Security Chief had warned him about this. “You’ll get a great deal—you can stay in a really big resort for the cost of those little places a couple years ago. They’re in a hard patch. Arab Spring, then the terrorist attacks a couple of years ago, and the economy tanking—there is a lot less business. It’s a great time to go. But I worry about those guys. Tourism is everything and that coast is a gem.” The Chief had been right. Spread out before Cole was a perfect deep blue sea, surrounded by red and brown mountains dropping all the way down into the water. The waves were small, crashing against the reef rather than the moon sliver of sand. Overhead, a wavering dome of white-blue barely tinged to pink as the sun arced to the mountains behind him. Cole did a slow turn, wonder bubbling up. The resort was an oasis of carefully cultivated green cupped in the barren hills, dotted with clean rows of white buildings, his own little villa among them. A gem. Was this much happiness possible? Physiologically speaking? Would he burst into flames? He had a sense that just out of his peripheral vision, or maybe just beyond his fingertips, was a new stage of his life. If he turned, or reached for it, it would disappear. It danced on the tip of his tongue. Laura said I needed to fill my well. Despite the torrent of jokes that followed about what he could fill his well with, she’d had a point. I’ll never paint again if I don’t slow down. That might be what he was feeling, the itch in his fingers, the change standing just behind him. Maybe it was a muse. The headlong rush into the foreign service was done. He was settled. It was time to breathe. To be still long enough for his muse to find him.

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About the Author

J Calamy

J Calamy is a queer, disabled veteran and foreign service wonk who spends a good part of the year bouncing down dirt roads in the back of range rovers with men with guns. Coffee, romance novels, and embassy scuttlebutt are her last remaining vices. Check out J Calamy’s website here.

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Release Tour

Returning for You

Title: Returning to You

Author: Gwen Tolios

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 06/21/2022

Heat Level: 2 – Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: Female/Female

Length: 64500

Genre: Contemporary, LGBTQIA+, romance, contemporary, family-drama, bisexual, biromantic, aromantic, asexual, influencer, forced outing, father/daughter relationship, mother/daughter relationship, workplace harassment, dementia, fake-dating

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Description

Monica’s relationship with her father is falling apart, made more obvious when her return to Madison after years aboard results in him throwing her out of the house. Lisa Carson, her BFF and old college roommate, takes her in. Turns out Lisa has her own issues with her parents – they’re pushing her to date despite her lack of desire. So when Monica joins a Carson family dinner, she lies and says it’s starting a relationship with Lisa that brought her back to America. Lisa goes along with the rouse – it gets her parents off her back and it’s only until Monica repairs her relation-ship with her father and moves out. What Monica failed to take into account however is that crush she had on Lisa in college? Yeah, that didn’t go away.

Excerpt

Returning to You Gwen Tolios © 2022 All Rights Reserved Lack of Communication The bustle and urgency of O’Hare Airport calmed Monica’s nerves as she stepped off the plane. Colder-than-wanted air conditioning, people sitting on the floor next to outlets, automated announcements, and large blue signs. After five years of almost constant traveling, bus stations, train stations, and airports were familiar enough to be second homes. Ay Dios, it’d be nice to not jump around for a bit. From October through December, she’d be home and nestling into her childhood pillows. She took a deep breath, pushing aside her rising anxiety, and made her way to baggage claim. As much as she knew she had to come, the thought of spending the next three months with her father made Monica bite the inside of her lip. Their past five calls had ended with him yelling at her. For the past year, their relationship had been on edge, and she hated it. So she came home to fix it. Waiting for her bags, she logged into the airport Wi-Fi. WhatsApp filled with messages from friends wishing her a safe flight. She typed landed!, then flipped to Instagram. She recorded a short video, complete with an ear-popping yawn, to inform her followers her flight had been screaming baby free. A soft thunk turned Monica’s attention to the now-appearing luggage. Ten minutes later, she pushed a trolley out the door with one hand and called her father on the other. Eric Ubach picked up on the first ring. “Hey, Globetrotter. Almost there.” Monica sighed. He’d answered with her childhood nickname. That had to be a good sign, right? “¡Hola, Papi! I’m by the D door.” “You remember the car?” Monica rattled off the license plate and Eric laughed. “How you remember things like that, I wish I knew. See you in a bit, mija.” “Okay, Papi.” She hung up and took a deep breath of Chicago air, the cold burning her lungs compared to the Mediterranean warmth she’d left. He hadn’t raised his voice. He sounded happy throughout their entire, though brief, conversation. Coming back had been a good choice. They’d spent too long apart for being each other’s only family. A red Saturn Astra caught her eye, as did the tall, dirty-blond man cramped behind the wheel. Monica waved to get her father’s attention. Eric waved back and cut to the curb. They went into action—opening doors, throwing in suitcases, exchanging brief hugs—to a soundtrack of horns and traffic guards shouting at cars to move. Within minutes, Monica plopped into the passenger seat, grinning. She held up her hands to the car’s heat vent and rubbed her hands together. Eric patted her thigh and started driving. “How was the flight?” Monica filled him in, from her mad dash to the gate to the small rivalry she developed with a username on the in-flight trivia game. The conversation made Monica feel younger. Younger than twenty-seven, or twenty-one, or even eighteen. She slipped back to middle school, safe and warm in the car as her father drove her home from school and asked about her day. She must have fallen asleep during the two-hour trip to Madison because the next thing she knew her dad was shaking her shoulder in the garage. “Come on, Globetrotter. Up to bed. Gotta sleep off that jet lag.” Monica groaned. “I want to take a shower first. Get the travel dust off.” “You remember where the towels are?” “I used to live here, Papi. I doubt it changed too much.” They lugged her bags into her bedroom. It looked just like she left it heading off to college: high school posters on the walls, the bookshelf full of Baby-sitters Club books, the nest of pillows and stuffed animals on her bed. She grabbed her stuff and headed to the bathroom. Ah, American showers. She’d gotten used to older European showers, showerheads above drains with a small lip made of tile to contain water if she was lucky. Now, she relished standing in a basin and not having to worry about water all over the floor or keeping her elbows in. Monica hummed to herself, lathering her hair, when Eric burst through the door. “Papi!” she shrieked. “¡Lárgate!” “Just getting something,” he said, opening the medicine cabinet. Before the shampoo dripped into Monica’s eyes, her dad grabbed whatever he needed and left. The door clicked shut. Ay Dios! Who cared if the glass was frosted? Her dad should never have come in! Fuming, she scurried to the door, locked it, and stepped back under the spray. Warm from embarrassment and the steam, Monica quickly finished. Before heading to her room, she took a detour to lean over the railing at the top of her stairs. She heard her father in the kitchen, and as much as she wanted to scold him—it’s not like he hadn’t known she was showering—she couldn’t imagine facing him without blushing scarlet. “In case you need anything else from the bathroom,” she called down the stairs, “I’m out.” She hoped her indignation was obvious, but the apology she expected never came. She debated demanding one, but that seemed petty. Plus, who wanted to draw out mutual embarrassment? Monica crawled into bed. Lying under the sheets, she browsed Instagram and responded to comments. Keeping an active profile kept her followers engaged, which in return increased the likelihood of brands wanting to pay her for a bit of publicity. She never imagined using her business degree more for her side hustle than her day job as customer support for a travel agency, but oh well. She got a ping from Lisa on WhatsApp. Lisa: Ah! You’re in America again! How was the flight? Monica: long, but okay Monica: what’d you do today? Lisa: Did some work, then had a lunch date. Monica: Oo, la la. anything happen? Lisa: He was cute, but not cute enough. Monica: hahaha Lisa: We still doing brunch Sunday? Monica: yeah Monica stared at the screen for a moment, wondering if it was worth the fuss of bringing up her dad’s earlier behavior. Probably not, she decided. It’d been awkward, not something she’d ever expect considering how courteous he’d been when she was a teen, but not malicious. For the majority of the past nine years, Eric had been living alone. He simply had to readjust to sharing the house. And relearn manners? Monica shook her head. People made mistakes, and there were worse ones than barging into an in-use bathroom. No use going all reality-TV-drama over it. She texted Lisa good night and slipped her eye mask over her eyes.

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Meet the Author

Gwen Tolios is an ace author who after traveling and time abroad settled in Chicago. She lives with a cat who refuses to cuddle and spends the weekends chugging coffee and typing words.

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Book Tour

Queen of Hearts

Title: Queen of Hearts

Series: From Sappho, with Love, Book One

Author: Elna Holst

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 06/21/2022

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Female/Female

Length: 18400

Genre: Contemporary, LGBTQIA+, island holiday romance, family drama, bridge tournament, student, nightclub singer (performance arts), sexual awakening, age gap

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Description

In the summer of 1972, twenty-one-year-old university undergrad Annette Thornton, aka Thorny Netty, finds herself on a coerced holiday with her younger sister Fiona, expected to spend two long sweltering weeks babysitting said sister on the island of Gran Canaria. To say she’s peeved would be an understatement. But when she catches a glimpse of a stranger on a balcony, impulses long buried begin to surface—impulses that sorely put Thorny Netty’s much-touted self-possession to the test. From Sappho, with Love is a new series of standalone stories held together by a common theme: a chain of postcards sent from sapphic travellers across space and time.

Excerpt

Peering out across the glittering Atlantic, Annette Thornton—or Thorny Netty, as she had been called since childhood—forced herself to quit chewing her biro and return it, with the stamped and addressed postcard, to her drawstring bag. She had noticed a postbox outside a tourist shop on their short walk from the hotel to the beach and had made a mental note to post her card when she made her way back. Which would be shortly. Even though she knew the only reason their elderly parents had finally caved in and permitted Fiona Thornton, their youngest daughter, aka Fin, to go off on a package holiday to the Canary Islands was that she would be in the company, or rather, under the supervision of her dependable older sister, Netty couldn’t be expected to spend every waking minute of her day babysitting her nineteen-year-old sister. It was exhausting. They had landed at the aeropuerto two days ago and been at each other’s throats constantly since. Originally, Fin had wanted to go on this trip with Vicky-something-or-other, the latest in a long procession of best pals, a bar-hopper and pleasure-seeker to match Fiona’s own ‘fun-loving’ lifestyle. Netty, for her part, hadn’t wanted to go at all. Fin expected Netty to be grateful, as she was the one who paid for both their tickets out of her Mancunian ice-cream parlour waitress’s salary. As far as Thorny Netty was concerned, Fiona owed her, and then some, for agreeing to come and thereby making this whole escapade possible in the first place. “You’re a bloody bore, you know that? You always were, and you always will be.” Tears had been glistening in Fin’s much-too-pretty baby blues as she passed her judgement—tears of anger, mainly, but of hurt as well, Netty had to admit to herself as she went back in her mind to the scene of last night when she had point-blank refused to go to another club, or bar, or—God help her—disco. Sighing, Netty brushed the itchy, sticky sand off her irritated skin. She was sweating like a pig. She was annoyed, uncomfortable, sore-eyed, and sleep-deprived. She was not enjoying herself. And she still had twelve days to go. Hoisting her bag onto her shoulder, Netty stood and scanned the area of the beach for a certain eye-catching shade of peroxide blonde, coupled with a petite yet shapely form in a shockingly revealing spaghetti-strapped bikini. How Fiona had sneaked that particular enhancement to her outrageous travel wardrobe past their mother was beyond Netty. But—as she was well aware—her sister had her ways. “Fin!” she hollered as she spotted her, deep in conversation with a particularly tan and well-oiled specimen of young, ultra-masculine male. Netty swore under her breath. Trust Fiona. Wherever she bloody well went. Her baby sister glanced over her shoulder at her but made no move to break away from her new, already fawning admirer. Netty thrust her feet into her sandals and placed the straw hat she had snapped up at a roadside market stall on her head. “I’m going back to the hotel,” she shouted. “See you back there for lunch, yeah?” Fin rolled her eyes and waved her away. Mr Macho grinned—spitefully, lasciviously? From this distance, Netty couldn’t tell. She’d had it, though. Kicking at a mound of sand—an infantile gesture, she realised even as she was doing it—she turned and traced her way back to the non-descript block of concrete, the third in a row of dizzyingly similar edifices, that was their base for the upcoming two weeks. Fin could suit herself. See if Thorny Netty cared.

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Meet the Author

Often quirky, always queer, Elna Holst is an unapologetic genre-bender who writes anything from stories of sapphic lust and love to the odd existentialist horror piece, reads Tolstoy, and plays contract bridge. Find her on Instagram or Goodreads.

Website | Goodreads | Instagram

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The Laughbox by Julia Kent

The Laughbox
Julia Kent
Publication date: June 21st 2022
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Contemporary, Romance

The Laughbox contains SIX full-length novels so you can start all of New York Times bestselling romantic comedy author Julia Kent’s series, plus get an ALL NEW NOVELLA you can’t find anywhere else.

Get a taste of billionaires, small towns, rock stars, office romance, secret bosses, second chances, first crushes, enemies-to-lovers, friends-to-lovers, and so much more.

Each series is wildly different from the others, with varying heat levels, different hijinks, but always, always – a heartwarming world you want to live in, with heroes who make you swoon and heroines who make you laugh – and cheer on in their quests for happily-ever-after endings.

This boxed set includes:

Shopping for a Billionaire (a New York Times bestseller)

Fluffy (a USA Today bestseller)

Love You Wrong

Random Acts of Crazy (a New York Times bestseller)

In Your Dreams

Maliciously Obedient (a USA Today bestseller)

and an ALL NEW novella, Shopping for a Billionaire’s Anniversary, featuring Declan and Shannon from Shopping for a Billionaire, as they celebrate their anniversary with affection, heat, and a hilarious set of awkward mishaps that still manage to be conquered by love.

Sink into seven fun stories that leave you with all the feels, loads of laughs, and strange looks from people around you as you read, giggle, and fall in love.

Note: each of these are series starters. Some are standalones (Fluffy), others end with the main characters together but with more books in the series as I follow their relationship (Shopping for a Billionaire, Random Acts of Crazy), others are prequels (Love You Wrong, In Your Dreams), while Maliciously Obedient has a cliffhanger. Full, up-front transparency for readers.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play

SPECIAL RELEASE PRICE: 2.99 until 6/26 when price goes up to 9.99!

EXCERPT:

Declan

Here.” My executive assistant, Dave, shoves a perfectly wrapped present at me, with a card and a small envelope. We’re in my office, the sun shining on this beautiful spring day, and I am finishing up work before taking a vacation.

Yes–vacation. It’s for one night, but it counts.

“What’s this?”

“Your anniversary gift for Shannon.”

The note card is blank.

He notices me noticing this and his face sours, the corners of his mouth dropping in scorn, pulling his beard down so he looks like an angry leprechaun.

“I draw the line at writing sweet nothings to your wife and signing your name, even if my rendition of your signature is far superior to your own,” he says dryly, reaching down to square a pile of papers on my desk.

“My signature is my signature. No one can best it, Dave.”

He just snorts.

I shake the box lightly. “What’s in here?”

“Leather.”

Leather?

“Ninth-year anniversary gift. Leather is flexible and represents durability.”

“I am well aware of what leather represents. What does it have to do with my marriage?”

He snorts again.

I frown and ask, “Just leather? What is it, a wallet?”

“No! Of course not. The traditional gemstone for ninth anniversaries is lapis. I had a jewelry artist set chunks of lapis in gold, then stitch them onto a leather cuff bracelet.” Dave holds his phone up to me, showing a picture of the piece.

“That’s incredible.”

A short sigh of contentment, then a clipped, “You’re welcome” is how Dave takes a compliment. He doesn’t feed off praise.

He feeds off his own hypercompetence. If efficiency were a drug, Dave would be Al Pacino on Scarface, covered in the fine white powder of his own brutal excellence.

“The lighthouse is reserved for the evening?” I inquire, reaching for my briefcase.

“Yes. Your suit’s in the car already.” Dave eyes me. “Where will you change?”

I’m wearing jeans, hiking boots, and a Lacoste polo shirt, all Shannon’s favorites. The dark green shirt is a nod to my eyes, which she has spent almost a decade raving about.


Author Bio:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Julia Kent writes romantic comedy with an edge. Since 2013, she has sold more than 2 million books, with 4 New York Times bestsellers and more than 21 appearances on the USA Today bestseller list. Her books have been translated into French, German, and Italian, with more titles releasing in the future.

From billionaires to BBWs to new adult rock stars, Julia finds a sensual, goofy joy in every contemporary romance she writes. Unlike Shannon from Shopping for a Billionaire, she did not meet her husband after dropping her phone in a men’s room toilet (and he isn’t a billionaire she met in a romantic comedy).

She lives in New England with her husband and three children where she is the only person in the household with the gene required to change empty toilet paper rolls.

She loves to hear from her readers by email at julia@jkentauthor.com, on Twitter @jkentauthor, on Facebook at @jkentauthor, and on Instagram @jkentauthor. Visit her at http://jkentauthor.com

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Newsletter / Instagram / Bookbub / Amazon


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Book Blitz

Maddie Bloom & the Fae Academy by Emily Jenkins

Maddie Bloom & the Fae Academy
Emily Jenkins
Publication date: June 21st 2022
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

Welcome to Fae Academy, where if the Sluagh Sidhe lurking in the woods doesn’t get you, the homework just might…

Maddie Bloom is dreading sophomore year. Not only is her mom’s mysterious illness getting worse, but it’s also a brand-new year of her longtime bully to look forward to. Because who doesn’t love getting swirlies in the newly renovated girls ’bathroom? But then the accident happens. The one where she’s escaping said bully and accidentally summons a magical portal that drops her right into the foyer of a literal castle.

That’s when the big reveals start…

  1. Faeries exist.
  2. Maddie is half-fae. Which is how she ended up in Figstern’s Academy for Excellence, aka Fae Academy.
  3. And Maddie’s uncontrolled magic? It’s slowly poisoning her mom.

When she’s given the chance to stay and learn to control her gifts to save her mom, the choice is clear. But Maddie’s not exactly welcome at Fae Academy. Bullies exist even in the magical world, and don’t get her started on the vindictive hobgoblin or the disgraced prince of the Autumn Court.

Still, not all is what it seems at Fae Academy. And the more Maddie digs, the more secrets she uncovers. Secrets that could threaten her life, her mother’s life, and the future of the fae world itself.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

I flipped onto my back, spitting mulch from my mouth. I was seconds from pushing myself into a sitting position when the ground vibrated beneath me, courtesy of Sam’s rapidly approaching footsteps. Her bloodlust rippled through the air; that’s how excited she was to have me where she wanted me.

Get up! My inner voice yelled at me.

I listened, but instantly regretted it. Sharp pain shot through my torso from the impact of the fall, and my stomach lurched as Samantha leered down at me. She was way too close for comfort – to where I could distinguish freckles from blemishes.

I swallowed, heat rising to my face. I had a feeling my life was about to flash before my eyes.

But before I could reflect on the short, uneventful fifteen years that I’d walked this Earth, I saw a flash out of the corner of my eye.

I turned my head sideways, and a strange warmth spread over my body, engulfing me from head to toe.

To my left, the air was… shimmering.

I blinked. Once, twice, a third time, but it was still there. A twinkling, transparent curtain swaying in mid-air and luring me in. Calling for me. I’m not exaggerating, either.

I swear it was chanting my name repeatedly.

Meanwhile, in front of me, Sam was preparing to pounce like a predator.

Without thinking, without understanding what was going on, I dodged, rolling toward the strange, glistening air to my left. And somehow, the space swallowed me whole, swooping me out of the playground and away from Sam’s clutches just as she reached out to make good on her promise to make me pay for forcing her to run.

I caught one last glimpse of her stunned face.

And then she disappeared from my view.

Or was it me who disappeared?

Whatever the case, the world as I, Maddie Bloom, knew it, was gone.


Author Bio:

Hi, my name is Emily Jenkins. I’m a high school student and wrestle, and I also happen to be the USA National East Coast Jr Teen! After writing a children’s book about bullying in 2020 (Wrestling Girl Takes Down Bullies), I was inspired to keep creating stories—which is how the Maddie Bloom series was born.

In my free time, I love collecting socks, cooking, and sewing clothes for my dog.

He tears them up. It sort of breaks my heart. I sew more.

Yep, it’s a vicious cycle. 😀

Wanna keep up with my updates?

Sign up for my newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/h3oXtL


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Book Blitz

Weaver by Tish Thawer

Weaver
Tish Thawer
Published by: Amber Leaf Publishing
Publication date: June 21st 2022
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance

He walked out of my dream, identifying himself only as the Weaver. In a black cloak, with eyes like stars, there was a shimmer to the way he moved. He was beautiful … Ethereal. And I was going to make him mine.

****

Alone for most of her life, Milly is determined to make the man of her dreams a reality. Using her hereditary magic, she sets out on a lifelong quest, entering a world of shadows and secrets. Little does she know, to possess his heart, she’ll have to give away her own … for the only way to love a Dream Weaver is to become his Queen of Nightmares.

****

The choice between love and magic is a dangerous thing.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

DARKNESS SURROUNDED ME AS I OPENED MY eyes, its emptiness clinging to me like a second skin. A shiver rattled my bones as my feet hit the cold planks of my cottage’s hardwood floor. Smoothing my nightgown straight, I walked to my altar, ready for my next attempt.

It had been two days since my last dream, and all I could remember was that I didn’t want it to end. I tried to force myself back to sleep—back to him. Dark, sparkling eyes from beneath his hood were all I could remember before being ripped awake without warning. Now I was desperate to get back. There was something about him I needed to learn. Something magical calling to my witch’s soul.

My last batch of skullcap, rosemary, and mugwort sat cold in my mortar. This time, an added pinch of passionflower should stop my mental chatter. I needed to focus if I was going to make this work.

Three times before, I’d seen him shimmering in the distance, watching me from afar. The most recent dream I recalled was like a fairy tale. With glistening castles and lush forests surrounding me, it was full of mythical creatures who let me frolic alongside them without a care in the world. I spotted him standing behind a stone outbuilding, staring and monitoring my every move.

The dream before that took place in a desert where I lived a fabulous life as the close friend of an important sheik. There he’d been huddled behind a spice cart in the market, but I could still feel his eyes upon me.

Regardless of my dream’s location, my watcher was always there. Unfortunately, my last dream had been yanked away, leaving me with a complete void. Something had changed, and I was determined to find out what.


Author Bio:

#1 Bestseller in Historical Fiction
Top 100 Bestselling in Paid Kindle Store
Best Cover Award Winner
Readers’ Choice Award Winner
Best Fantasy/Sci-Fi Novel Winner (x2)

Author Tish Thawer writes young adult fantasy and paranormal fiction. From her first paranormal cartoon, Isis, to the Twilight phenomenon, myth, magic, and superpowers have always held a special place in her heart.

Best known for her Witches of BlackBrook series, Tish’s detailed world-building and magic-laced stories have been compared to Nora Roberts, Sam Cheever, and Charlaine Harris.

Tish’s books have been featured in British Glamour and Elle Magazines. Tish has worked as a computer consultant, photographer, and graphic designer, and has bylines as a columnist for Gliterary Girl media, RT Magazine, and Literary Lunes Magazine. She currently resides in Missouri with her husband and three wonderful children, and operates Amber Leaf Designs, an online custom swag retail store.

You can find out more about Tish and her all titles by visiting: http://www.TishThawer.com and subscribing to her newsletter at http://www.tishthawer.com/subscribe

You can also find Tish on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/AuthorTishThawer

A common FAQ: “How do you pronounce her last name?”

Answer: Think “Bower” or “Thow-er”. It’s Persian!

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Newletter / Bookbub


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