Raging Inferno


New Release from Janine Infante Bosco – Author!



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¸.•´✶Raging Inferno.•´✶

by Janine Infante Bosco

Publication Date: September 7, 2018

#RagingInferno #LightItUp #NewRelease #JimmyCasale #AHeroInTheBedroom

Genres: Adult, Erotic, Contemporary Romance.

.•´✶Get Yours Today!¸.•´✶

Raging Inferno

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Cover Designer: JB’s Cover Obsession Design

Models:  Al Spinelli

Photographer: Kristen Noel Photography



Jimmy Casale


Seventeen years on the job, I still remember my first day like it was yesterday. I fixed my probie patch to my uniform, strapped on my gear and ran to catch the Staten Island Ferry, making my way to the burning towers. My boots pounded the pavement of lower Manhattan as the dire need to save lives pulsated through my veins.

It was a day I became a hero.

Throughout my career, I often thought about the man I saved that day. I wondered about his life. If he had eventually married and had a family of his own. I never expected to find the answers.

Meeting her was a twist of fate.

Lying to her was my choice.

But falling in love with her was beyond my control.


* Previously published as a novella in the Burn Me Anthology, Jimmy and Melissa’s story concludes in this full-length version of Raging Inferno. *


***NOTE: Contains explicit sexual situations, violence, offensive language, and mature topics. Not recommended for people under the age of 18***



Janine Infante Bosco lives in New York City, she has always loved reading and writing. When she was thirteen, she began to write her own stories and her passion for writing took off as the years went on. At eighteen, she even wrote a full screenplay with dreams of one day becoming a member of the Screen Actors Guild.

Janine writes emotionally charged novels with an emphasis on family bonds, strong-willed female characters, and alpha male men who will do anything for the women they love. She loves to interact with fans and fellow avid romance readers like herself.

She is proud of her success as an author and the friendships she’s made in the book community but her greatest accomplishment to date would be her two sons Joseph and Paul.


Website: http://www.janineinfantebosco.com/

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New release from Jason Collins!

✫★✫★ CHASNG HEAT ✫★✫★


Yes, he’s straight. But who can blame me for lusting after a hunky firefighter?
I never meant to set fire to my bar, I swear. Lucky for me, it meant I got to meet Jackson. As far as rugged firemen go, this one is a mystery. He’s got a level head on his shoulders, and those shoulders are the kind I want to drape my legs around and never let go.
Except I can’t fall for Jackson, no matter how sexy, brooding, and ripped he is. Not because I don’t like firefighters (as if). Because I’m sure Jackson is straight.
I mean, I’m pretty sure.
But where there’s smoke, there’s sometimes fire. And if I didn’t know better, I’d think Jackson is burning white-hot for me. But that doesn’t change the fact that he’s not into guys. He probably has a gorgeous girlfriend and zero interest in clumsy gay bartenders.


I carry plenty of guys out of fires, but Chase is the first one I don’t want to put down.
Nonetheless, I have to stay focused. It takes hard work and relentless dedication to keep myself at the level of physical fitness required to do my job. I don’t have time for a hot fling, and I definitely don’t have time to question my attraction to another man.
Still, I can’t stop thinking about him. I can’t help myself.
Adorably clumsy and sexy as hell, Chase is a mystery.
He says he wants to thank me for rescuing him from the fire. I know how he can thank me alright. His lips on mine, our bodies pressed together… That’s what I want from Chase.
It doesn’t help that my boss at the firehouse seems to think I’m perfect for his daughter. She’s friendly, but the spark just isn’t there.
She’s not my type. Chase is.
This is the first time I don’t want to put out the fire…I want to let the flames grow.

The Glue by K Webster


The Glue by K Webster is LIVE!


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I’m a fixer.  A lover.  Always searching for the right fit.

And I come up empty every time.

My desires are unusual.

I don’t feel whole until I’m in the middle, holding it all together.

Which makes having a romantic relationship really difficult. 


Until them.

Two people.  An unraveling marriage.  Love on the rocks.

And they want me.

To put them back together again.


Problem is, once they’re fixed, where does that leave me?

I sure as hell hope I stick like glue.


***This story is MMF.***


About the Author

K Webster is the author of dozens romance books in many different genres including contemporary romance, historical romance, paranormal romance, and erotic romance. When not spending time with her husband of twelve years and two adorable children, she’s active on social media connecting with her readers.


Her other passions besides writing include reading and graphic design. K can always be found in front of her computer chasing her next idea and taking action. She looks forward to the day when she will see one of her titles on the big screen.


Website: http://authorkwebster.com/

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thumbnail_Flirting with Forever Cover

#NewRelease #ContemporaryRomance
I’ve waited years for the perfect girl, yet she was right in front of me all along.
My best friend, Natalie, has been by my side through everything. Leaning on my shoulder, borrowing my sweatshirts…and making my pants too tight when she flashes me that sassy smile that drives me crazy.
But she has no idea about that last part. She doesn’t have a clue I’ve felt this way about her for years. 
Until one night after too many cocktails, we fall into bed together.
I’m flirting with my forever…she just doesn’t know it yet. 


Grab this hot new release in paperback or e-book!

Fairytales can bite…
To look to the future, sometimes you have to unearth the secrets of the past.
Snow longs to find a true love of her own, but when her father returns from war with a new bride, her carefully planned out life slips through her fingers. Her new stepmother, the Queen, harbors a dangerous secret. One malicious kiss sends Snow tumbling into a sinister landscape of dark desires and a new manifestation that can save her or destroy everything she’s ever held dear.
Darkness can hide the most sultry of nights.
Gideon and his men guard the king, but even they can’t protect him from his murderous new bride. When the castle falls prey to the Queen’s ire, they find themselves under the spell of the moon. Can they harness their new reality to protect the newest target of the Queen’s wrath, or will they once again be victims of her unholy power play?
#paperback #book #reverseharem #whychoose #paranormalromance #fairytale #snow #wolves #shifters #pre-order #kindle #bookishlove #bookgasm #eroticfairytale #romance #bookishdelights #booklife #reading #readinglife #booktopia #snowwhite #darkforest #magic #witches #wickedread 


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The new Queen stood in front of the fireplace, her hand on the ties of her gown. She flicked her hair over her shoulder and smiled, knowing the King’s gaze followed her every move. It had taken her years to reach this place, to claim the blood-right her sister had stolen from her so many years ago. The King watched her with lust in his eyes, no different than any other man. All it had taken was some small manipulations and a lost battle for her to come to be in just the right place for him to save her.
He was a fool, but then she expected that. A pair of breasts and the opening between her legs would give her everything, but first she would take her time. Her body lush with the essence of her victims, she tempted him, and he had succumbed. Now all that was left was to share herself with the man who would be her future. For a few mere hours.
“Do you find me attractive, husband?” She loosed a tie and the dress fell further down, revealing more of her pale flesh, until it slipped from her lithe form, pooling into a heap of discarded fabric on the chamber floor. She edged closer to him, letting the glow of the fire outline her body in the dimly lit room.
“Come here.” He jerked her forward so she landed hard against his chest. Crushing her lips against his own, he fumbled with the opening of his breeches, taking out his cock. A chill blast of air slid through the room, and he shuddered against her.
“Is that your wedding gift to me then?” She pressed her lips to his and wrapped her hand around his shaft. “This hard pike?” She manipulated him back against the bed, knowing full well the power she held in the palm of her hand. She squeezed his shaft and brutally released him, shoving him back.
The surprised expression flitting across his features quickly changed to anger. He laid there, his member exposed. “You dare.”
She climbed on the bed, rubbing her breasts and body up over his legs until she reached his cock once more. Wrapping her fingers around it, she smiled as he moaned, all but moldable clay in her hands.
“I dare much, highness.” She mounted him and impaled herself on his cock, taking great joy in the gasp that sprang from her husband’s lips. “This night is only the beginning.” Her nipples tightened against the chill of the room, but with each thrust of her hips, she grew warmer, and her magic stronger.
“You…” He tried to rise, but she slammed him back down, grinding herself into the root of his cock. “Ugh!” The King groaned, his eyes fluttering as his body toiled, twisted in the confines of the spell she’d wrapped around him.
“Yes. I am all that you desire, in this life or the next. Spill for me, my King. I have need of your soul.” She ground into him, rubbing her breasts against his chest and kissed him, her teeth catching on his lip, drawing blood.
“Oh yes. Fuck me harder.” She rode him. Deeper and deeper, her tendrils of power sank into his body until the slack look on his face betrayed his vanquished spirit.
“Foul bitch. I’ll kill you.” But the words rang hollow as his strength poured into her.
She laughed, her pussy tightening around his cock as she pounded him into the bedding. 
“Everything you have. Everything you desire, my King. It shall be mine.” She leaned down and gave his lip another vicious bite at the same time she lifted her body from his, only to slam down hard on his length once more. “I’ll take what should have been mine long ago.”
He came with a shout, his hot seed jetting inside of her, then slumped down against the bed sheets never to rise again, jaw slack, his head lolling to one side.
The Queen rose from his body, letting it fall where it may. She sauntered to the trunks that held her belongings, running her hands over the tops of several. “There you are.” Pressing a hidden lever, she opened it to reveal an overlarge mirror set in a gilt frame. She stood in front of it, the mirror revealing her lush curves and now even tighter skin. The cool chill of frost crept across the chamber wall and her lips curved up in a diabolical smile.
Beautiful. There was no one to compare with her. No one at all. Her red hair fell to her thighs and she ran her hands along her concave stomach and shapely breasts.


“Now, let’s see who is the fairest in the land.” The mirror panned to a young woman with long dark hair and plentiful curves. She saw her sister in the girl and her rage knew no bounds. “I should have ended your life on that night in the wood, the same as I ended your mother’s.”
About the author:
Erzabet Bishop is a USA Today Bestselling and award-winning author of paranormal and erotic romance. She lives in Houston, Texas and when she isn’t writing about sexy shifters or voluptuous heroines she enjoys playing in local bookstores and watching movies with her husband and furry kids.
Follow her on Twitter @erzabetbishop


Out in the Deep

Title: Out in the Deep

Series: Out in College

Author: Lane Hayes

Publisher: Lane Hayes

Release Date: August 29

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 41K

Genre: Romance, New Adult, Bisexual, College romance, Water Polo, Coming out

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Derek Vaughn is a little too serious. He’s a type A control personality with a penchant for order and a love of water polo. But he’s determined to enjoy his last year of college. The real world with a serious job and big expectations can wait for a few months. He’s going soak up every minute on campus with his friends and teammates before he moves on. The only possible kink in his plan is the new guy on the team… also known as his nemesis.

Gabe Chadwick has big Olympic dreams. His transfer between Southern California universities has nothing to do with scholastics. The degree is his backup plan. He’s not there to party or make friends. And he certainly isn’t going to announce his sexuality. But he can’t deny there’s something special about the uptight team captain. However, when an unwitting friendship and mutual attraction collide, both will have to decide if this is the real thing or if they’re about to lose it all in the deep.


Maybe I just needed a good night’s sleep. It had been a long day. And a weird one. I could never have dreamed up a scenario featuring Gabe Chadwick in my house after this morning. But here he was.

I gave him a thorough once-over as he walked into the kitchen. And again, the first thing that crossed my mind was, “Wow, he’s really fucking hot.”

“Nice place.”

“Thanks. Do you want some water or something?” I asked, awkwardly pointing at the fridge.

“No, thanks. I’ve had enough tonight,” Gabe replied with a laugh.

I should have said good-bye then and escorted him to the door, but I had a strong desire to keep him talking and maybe dispel the weird admiring thoughts going through my brain. Yes, Gabe was a good-looking guy, but I shouldn’t be fixating on his long eyelashes and the way the kitchen light framed him in a halo of sorts. I couldn’t let him go until my brainwaves returned to normal, and he was the same annoyingly smart and talented opponent I’d played against occasionally for years. The thing was, I didn’t really know him and at that moment, I wanted to.

“Where do you live?” I asked.

“About fifteen minutes away. I scored an apartment by campus. I have one roommate. Brent’s a volleyball player. We might get a third to cut expenses, but I don’t want to share a room, so that’ll be up to him.”

“Sharing a room gets old fast. Evan and I knew we wanted to live together, but I’d probably smother him in his sleep if I had to listen to him snoring every night a few feet away from me,” I said in a lame-ass effort to keep him talking.

Gabe chuckled. “That would be rough. Evan seems like a cool guy. Is he as neat as you? This house is spotless.”

“No, that’s all me. I can’t help it. I have a thing about order. Evan’s a slob. You should see his room. At least he tries in shared spaces. I don’t bug him about his unmade bed, scattered clothes, and random dishes he leaves on his nightstand as long as he keeps the bathroom and kitchen tidy. He’s been on the receiving end of a couple of classic Vaughn meltdowns,” I said with a self-deprecating shrug.

“A Vaughn meltdown,” Gabe repeated. “That must be a version of what I experienced this morning when you tried to drown me.”

“Fuck off.” I laughed, then looked away quickly when a rush of heat flooded my cheeks. Oh, my God. Please don’t let me blush. Not now. He’ll know something’s wrong with me.

Gabe stepped closer to me and cocked his head. “Are you blushing?”


“I don’t blush.”

“Whatever you say.” He winked and gave me a mischievous smile that turned me inside out.

This couldn’t be happening.

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Meet the Author


Lane Hayes is finally doing what she loves best. Writing! An avid reader from an early age, Lane has always been drawn to romance novels. She truly believes there is nothing more inspiring than a well-told love story with beautifully written characters. Lane discovered the M/M genre a fews ago and was instantly hooked. She is the bestselling author of the Better Than, Right and Wrong, A Kind of Stories and Leaning Into series. Lane’s novels placed first in the 2016 and 2017 Rainbow Awards. She loves travel, chocolate, and wine (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband in an empty nest.

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Oslo Spies

thumbnail_Oslo Spies E-Book.jpg

Historical Fiction Date Published: 9-1-2018 Amazon –   https://amzn.to/2BOPIir

Norway is a destroyed country at the end of World War II. After a relentless German occupation, Norwegians have lost more than imports and exports, everyday goods and services, communications and social events. Norway lost more than 10,000 men and women in the resistance as well as in slave labor and concentration camps scattered throughout Europe. Norway lost hundreds of teachers and religious leaders who died resisting Vidkun Quisling, the head of the Norwegian Nazi Party. Quisling’s demands for Nazi indoctrination to be taught in schools and churches forced teachers and pastors to quit their posts and work underground. Perhaps worst of all, Norwegian children were deprived of their childhoods, a most precious commodity.
It seems a horrendous assignment for Phyllis Bowden, a young woman in military intelligence assigned to the Office of the Military Attache in the American Embassy in Oslo. Her official tasks include intelligence duties and finding families of lost loved ones. These duties, as tough as they may be, pale when she’s faced with something that occurs outside the office. One night Phyllis finds a runaway child in a café bathroom one night, a little girl labeled a quisling because her Norwegian mother married a German officer. A contentious purge has overtaken the country and quislings are not to be tolerated. But the girl has been tortured and abused by the time Phyllis finds her. She’s faced with the conflict of doing the right thing or doing what the government dictates. Either way could have international complications.
Meanwhile the love of her life, Joe Schneider, an Mi5 agent, has disappeared in Romania while on assignment and it’s a race to find out what’s happened to him. Between nerve-wracking tasks in her job, trying to decide the fate of the little girl and being heartbroken over Joe’s disappearance, Phyllis is in for the struggle of her young life and intelligence career.


More Perfect

Title: More Perfect

Author: Daniel Janaka

Publisher: NineStar Press, LLC

Release Date: August 27, 2018

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 59900

Genre: Contemporary, contemporary, reunited, drug/alcohol use, infidelity

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Jimmy has already grown used to being alone in his mid-twenties. One failed attempt at romance after another has left him both weary and defiantly independent. That is, until Luke stumbles into his life, flashing his adorably crooked smile and wielding his boyish charm. Jimmy stands no chance against the boy of his dreams.

All seems picture perfect, but as the dust settles and the reality of day-to-day life takes over, Jimmy’s happily ever after begins to suffocate. Differences arise and disagreements become the norm as Jimmy and Luke navigate the sometimes-troubling waters of early adulthood.


More Perfect

Daniel Janaka © 2018

All Rights Reserved

Chapter One

“I never do this right. It’s like every time is the first time for me.”

Jimmy struggled to quiet his shaking hands as Luke took a drag from the bowl, resting his free hand on the steering wheel. Jimmy had fantasized about being close to him for weeks, but the confidence he’d so naturally possessed in his daydreams was nowhere to be found, all the charisma and charm replaced instead with a resounding fear that shot through him like an electric charge of restlessness. His leg fidgeted, bobbing up and down to its own chaotic rhythm. His whole body trembled.

“It’s freezing in here,” he noted, hoping to hide his nerves behind the chill.

“Sorry, it takes a while for the heat to warm up.” Luke reached for the air vent and adjusted its direction, guiding it toward Jimmy. “That should help.”

Luke pulled another waft of smoke deep into his lungs, holding it in for a few seconds before gently releasing it into the air. Jimmy watched out of the corner of his eye, trying not to stare but unable to look away. Luke’s adorably lanky arms remained suspended for a moment as he emptied his lungs. His skin was pale, his nostrils highlighted by a soft pink glow. His shaggy hair crowned his boyish frame, an unorchestrated mound of waves and curls.

The streetlight above flickered, struggling to illuminate the quaint Brooklyn neighborhood, abnormally free of any distraction. No pedestrians, no traffic, none of the usual late-night clamor. The hybrid cinema-bar was only a block ahead. Its sign shone in the distance as Jimmy peered through the dirty windshield.

A group of rowdy men exited, interrupting the silence with their laughter as one man pulled out a cigarette before passing the pack along. The twenty-minute intermission between screenings provided a welcome opportunity to grab a smoke, use the bathroom, or be alone with a dangerously captivating new friend.

It had been a challenge to quiet his overactive mind while trapped in the dark theater—sitting so close, feeling the accidental graze of Luke’s arm against his own. He had been forced to keep his eyes fixed on the screen ahead as he struggled to absorb the subtitles that fired off one after another while his mind ran in circles, left only to imagine those puffy eyes surrounded by soft dark circles like remnants of a constant lack of sleep. When the first film had reached its finale—the score rising in an unnecessarily epic crescendo—the lights slowly rose, illuminating the sparsely filled space.

Jimmy hid a yawn as Luke leaned in and whispered, “I don’t want to sound like a freak, so of course no pressure, but I have some pot in my car if you want to smoke a little before the next one. It might be more fun to watch it with a buzz.”

It didn’t exactly fit the construct of what Jimmy had in mind for the evening, but the warmth of Luke’s breath as it grazed against his ear thwarted any desire to refuse. It had, however, been some time since his last encounter with the unpredictable herb. He grew concerned about what he might do or say while stoned, fearful that the smallest dent in his armor of coolness could send Luke running back to Jersey.

Jimmy took the pipe, silently commanding his hands to cease their incessant shaking. His fingers grazed Luke’s in the exchange.

“Just pull it in, and let it sit in your lungs for a while before you let it out.” Luke reached over and took Jimmy’s hand, guiding it around the pipe in the right direction. His fingers were long and slender but knotted at the knuckles; his fingernails short and frayed, jagged around the edges. He placed Jimmy’s thumb over the small hole at the side of the pipe. “You’ve got to cover the hole when you pull in at first,” he explained.

Jimmy willingly took instruction, delighted to be touched. He pulled in a small, apprehensive drag and waited for a moment, holding the smoke in his lungs as he had been instructed to do. He glanced over at Luke who to his surprise was smiling in approval. Jimmy smiled back as he admired Luke’s childlike expression, more a grin than a smile whereby only the left side of his mouth was raised. There was something sinister about it, devious even, but charming. Steadily, Jimmy exhaled.

“There you go,” Luke exclaimed. “You got it.”

Jimmy smiled and flicked the lighter again, already a pro. He pulled in another drag, this one bigger.

“Now we’re talking,” cheered Luke.

A ball of fire barreled down Jimmy’s throat, scorching the terrain as it made its way to his lungs and filled them beyond capacity. He hurried to exhale but began coughing, his insides erupting as heavy clouds of smoke burst out. He heaved for air between attacks, desperately trying to regain composure.

“It’s—I took—oh, man.” His eyes filled to the brim.

Luke chuckled and placed a caring hand on Jimmy’s shoulder, holding back his amusement while he offered support.

The coughs grew fainter and the outburst subsided. Jimmy’s breathing returned to normal. He dried his eyes and sat upright, eager to recover. His head was lighter. Time began to crawl. He passed the bowl back to Luke who received it with another half smile before the glass vessel met his mouth. Luke cradled it with only the tips of his long, delicate fingers. His rosy lips puckered as he released another effortless stream of smoke. He moved with such precision, his methodical gestures casting a spell on Jimmy as he imagined Luke’s moist lips pressed against his own, pot-flavored saliva mixing.

Luke turned to Jimmy, catching him midstare.

Jimmy looked away, gearing his attention ahead.

Silence lay awkwardly suspended between the two. Jimmy’s leg sprang into action, bobbing up and down chaotically as he struggled to come up with something to say, anything to distract from his embarrassment. It was his dead dog, Sneakers, who entered his mind at that particular moment, becoming the topic of his incomprehensible rant. He anxiously traversed the subject, hoping that as long as he continued he might find a point, some meaningful way of making the story relevant.

Luke charged forward.

He pounced without warning, catching Jimmy off guard, a dangling word about Sneakers still struggling to escape, quashed by Luke’s eager lips. Jimmy sat frozen, suspended in a state of shock as his lips acquiesced. His eyes remained wide open. He glanced around to assess the situation in hopes of regaining consciousness. Luke’s eyes were sealed shut. Jimmy closed his.

Luke grabbed Jimmy’s face, pulling him closer. Jimmy kissed harder, adding his tongue to the mix in hopes of returning to his body and ending the sudden, ill-timed fit of numbness. Luke accepted, offering his tongue as well. It twirled around Jimmy’s, slithering in and out of his mouth with skill. The haze was lifting. Jimmy reached over, trying to touch Luke’s face, but Luke’s arms created an impenetrable barrier. He settled for his elbows before eventually resting his hands on Luke’s thigh. Jimmy caressed Luke’s leg as a rush of excitement filled him. Blood charged through his body. His senses now on

overdrive, he could finally taste the boy attached to him, feel his moistness. He lunged forward, pushing Luke back into his seat. His hands were now free to roam as they pleased. He ran them up and down Luke’s torso, traversing his stomach and chest until resting on Luke’s face. Luke moaned softly. Jimmy leaned in farther, pressing closer, wincing in pain as the center console stabbed into his side, but continued on his mission to devour him.

Luke pushed forward, sending Jimmy crashing into the steering wheel.

The horn burst into action.

Their mouths broke apart as they surrendered to laughter, the tips of their noses still touching. Jimmy peered behind and noticed the men near the theater staring. He peeled away.

“I guess we should get going?” Jimmy suggested.

“I guess,” Luke replied as he wiped the sides of his mouth clean. “Don’t want to miss the next one.”

Jimmy’s heart pounded as he exited the car, flattening his shirt and rearranging his hair.

Luke approached, offering his hand.

Jimmy placed his hand in Luke’s, quieting his enthusiasm as best he could as they began down the sidewalk. Their fingers locked together as a sense of ease washed over him. There was no concern for the group of men watching as they approached. He no longer worried about being awkward or unprepared. The chatter of his overactive mind had quieted.

They entered the theater, still joined together, and took seats in the back row.

“More privacy back here,” Luke said with a wink.

Jimmy smiled brightly, unable to contain his excitement as the lights dimmed.


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Meet the Author


Daniel has always had a love for storytelling. Originally from New York City, he moved with his family at a young age to South Florida, and received his B.A. in Studio Art and Film from the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. After graduating, he returned to New York where his love affair with the Capital of the World continued. In 2007 he relocated to Los Angeles, California where he now resides. Daniel received his M.F.A. from the American Film Institute Conservatory. He works in post production in the film and television industry, but spends most of his free time reading and writing.

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On Andross Station By #JCLong

Title: On Andross Station

Author: J.C. Long

Publisher: NineStar Press, LLC

Release Date: August 27, 2018

Heat Level: 2 – Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 37000

Genre: Science Fiction, science fiction, adventure, romance, gay

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Hikaru Adachi has come to Andross Station to discover what happened to colleague and fellow Inquisitor Katya. Thane, a tracer, has arrived at the station seeking a bounty on Galen Horn, one of the Unity of Planets’ most wanted men. They will find their paths cross as their interests intersect, and soon they are on a hunt that is more dangerous than they know, for Horn has enlisted some dangerous allies, including one from Thane’s past. If Thane and Hikaru together can’t bring Horn down, he will set in motion a plot that will see the entire station destroyed in an attack of massive proportions.


On Andross Station

J.C. Long © 2018

All Rights Reserved


One second the café was calm, the next it exploded into chaos. Tables flew and chairs tipped and slid over the floor as people scrambled away from sudden gunfire. Only one person at the café seemed to

maintain her calm. She dropped behind the table she sat at, taking shelter from the bullets. The shooter moved with purpose, seeming to seek an angle to make her his next victim, but she was not going to be so easily caught off-guard. She drew her legs back and then slammed them into the table as hard as she could. The table, made of some sort of ultra-light plasteel material, soared, slamming into the gunman’s knees. The woman jumped to her feet, efficiently disarming the shooter before pistol-whipping him with his own gun. With a harried look, she walked away from the café.

“Rewind image five seconds.” The hologram projector obeyed Hikaru Adachi’s command, playing back to the moment right after the woman disarmed and incapacitated the gunman and looked toward the camera. “Freeze image.” The image’s movement halted. Hikaru squinted, focusing on the woman’s face.

This was the last moment recorded of Katya—no other camera in the station caught sight of her. It was as if she walked out of the frame and then disappeared. No matter how many times he combed through the security footage, he couldn’t find a single sign of her again.

“Vi, time to arrival at Andross Station?”

“We will be arriving in just under two standard hours,” answered the “voice” of his personal VI, which he called Vi. It was a generic voice, free of any identifying inflection, the same sort of VI used throughout the Unity of Planets for ease of communication. The voice was easy for those not accustomed to speaking Terran—not too fast, not too slow. Only Hikaru could hear it, its “voice” processed directly to his brain.

Hikaru rolled his head, trying to release tension in his neck. “Reaccess information regarding Katya’s current assignment.”

“Note that access to some of the information is listed as restricted,” the AI informed him, as it did each time he asked to access it. “Most recent updates to assignment were made twenty-nine standard hours ago.”

That time significance was not lost on Hikaru, even though it was probably lost on the VI. She’d received an update on her assignment an hour before the shooting at the café. It was unlikely to be a coincidence.

He examined the material on a secure personal access point, as was proper protocol. It didn’t do much to alleviate his confusion. According to the files, Katya was assigned to Andross Station to monitor what might be a hotspot for subversive activity—not much surprising; Katya was, like Hikaru, an Inquisitor, enacting the will of the Unity of Planets as they were ordered. Inquisitors often found themselves in the role of watchdogs, keeping an eye on pockets of discontent that might boil over into open rebellion. The assignment was classified level two—which meant discontent was high, and in certain conditions might spill over into violence.

Twenty-nine hours ago, it was upgraded to a level four—danger imminent. After that, everything was sealed. When given the assignment to investigate Katya’s disappearance, Hikaru was granted a temporary higher security clearance, which gave him access to one more piece of information, and it was probably the most critical piece he could get: approximately thirty-one hours ago, the Unity learned that Galen Horn, a notorious terrorist and murderer, was on his way to Andross Station. Two hours later, the threat level was upped, and an hour after that, Katya was gone.

Hikaru didn’t believe in coincidences. Galen Horn was somehow related to Katya’s disappearance. If the connection was there, he’d find it. He was one of the best; it was why they sent him.

Hikaru disconnected the data stream with a sigh, sat back in the chair, and stared at the bulkhead of the small fast-cruiser all Inquisitors used to convey themselves to their missions. He’d set out from Engiminon VI with little notice very late in the night; when an assignment came, you didn’t wait until morning; you boarded the cruiser and set off. Once on board, he opted to review all the material he could relating to the assignment, foregoing sleep. Now he was too close to his destination for sleep to be a valid option.

Instead he would spend the time remaining in his transit to reinforce his psychic walls. Being a telepath was difficult, but it was most challenging on a space station or vessel. People crammed into contained areas while recycled air swept through, carrying the emotional vibrations of every passenger with it. If given the choice, Hikaru would never go to space stations, never make a transit on a crowded ship. But he was an Inquisitor, and he didn’t have the luxury of choice.

He sat on the bed cross-legged and then closed his eyes in preparation for the mental exercises to come.

He spoke aloud to Vi. “Has the station’s security been notified of my arrival?”

“Affirmative. Their head of security will meet you at the docking bay.”

“Thanks, Vi.” Inquisitors and local security or police forces never got along well; the security teams didn’t take kindly to an “outsider” stepping on their toes and taking over. Not that it mattered, in the end. Inquisitors had the authority, and Inquisitors did not work with other forces. The security team would just have to take a step back. They wouldn’t like it, but what they liked wasn’t of great concern to Hikaru.

“Notify me when we begin docking procedures,” Hikaru instructed Vi. With a deep breath, he began building his mental walls, visualizing impenetrable steel panels falling into place one by one, until he was encased in a psychic Fabergé egg. Something told him he was going to need them on Andross Station.


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Meet the Author


J.C. Long is an American expat living in Japan, though he’s also lived stints in Seoul, South Korea—no, he’s not an army brat; he’s an English teacher. He is also quite passionate about Welsh corgis and is convinced that anyone who does not like them is evil incarnate. His dramatic streak comes from his life-long involvement in theater. After living in several countries aside from the United States J. C. is convinced that love is love, no matter where you are, and is determined to write stories that demonstrate exactly that. J. C. Long’s favorite things in the world are pictures of corgis, writing and Korean food (not in that order…okay, in that order). J. C. spends his time not writing thinking about writing, coming up with new characters, attending Big Bang concerts and wishing he was writing. The best way to get him to write faster is to motivate him with corgi pictures. Yes, that is a veiled hint.

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