Tag Archives: Established Couple

Release Blitz: Stoker & Bash: The Death Under the Dark Arches by Selina Kray

Death Under The Dark Arches | Selina Kray

Stoker & Bash #3

Banner

Release Date: October 26th, 2020

Universal Link

Add to Goodreads

READ MY REVIEW

Stoker & Bash 3 HIGHRES

Blurb

Sing a song of sixpence

A stage full of fright

One two-faced blackbird

Won’t last the night

When a phantom presence lures Hieronymus Bash into a deadly game, threatening to kill one of the players at his beloved Gaiety Theater each day until famed actor Horace Beastly returns to the stage, London’s premier consulting detective is on the case. The trouble? Horace Beastly is Hiero’s alter ego and the true object of this murderous obsession. When the current star of the show is struck down, Hiero has no choice but to risk everything by stealing back the spotlight.

After a golden summer together, DI Tim Stoker would do everything in his power to protect the man he loves from this fanatic and the predatory press. But a specter from his own past proves an unexpected, and perhaps fatal, distraction.

Scheming prima donnas, grudge-fuelled critics, and an axe-wielding theater ghost are all out for blood. Will Hiero and Tim unmask this menace before the final curtain call, or are they past the point of no return?

Teaser 1

Excerpt

The man who entered might not have been a king, but no noble in Hiero’s acquaintance possessed half his presence or suavity. Hiero immediately recognized a creature of like habits: his manners meticulous, his grooming soigné, his dress haute couture, his bearing leonine. His silver mane had been sculpted into a pompadour that would have turned Napoleon green. The force of his magnetism bulked up his withy frame and gained him a foot in height. Hiero nearly swooned over the blade-sharp edges of his sideburns and the curlicued tips of his moustache. Before him stood a one-man shrine to the Byronic ideal.

Hiero despised him on principle. He vowed that this man, this titan of fashion and class, would be kept far, far away from his Kip.

“Please forgive my sudden arrival,” the Vicomte said. “Events have conspired such that I had no choice but to seek out your counsel and, I hope, your services.”

“It is my honor to receive you, monsieur.” Hiero gestured toward a pair of wingback chairs before the hearth. “Please.”

The Vicomte inhaled a deep breath. “Are you an amateur de théâtre, Monsieur Bash?”

“I enjoy the occasional sortie, yes. The same as any man of culture.”

“For me it has always been a grand passion. It began when I, like most young men, played escort to my mother. From there a fire took hold, and I have burned ever since. This led me to purchase the original Théâtre de la Gaîté—”

“Ah! On the Boulevard du Crime.” Hiero smiled. “What a pity they demolished it.”

“A tragedy of the highest order. And one from which we are still recovering.”

“I believe you were among the few to move house?”

“Oui, to rue Papin. But we struggled to recapture the magic. And so, two years ago, the cochons I invested with voted to turn managerial duties over to Monsieur Offenbach.”

Hiero fought not to let his feathers ruffle on the Vicomte’s behalf. “A similar case to the management shift at our own Gaiety.”

“And with this you have divined the very event that brought me across the Channel. The current owner of The Gaiety, Monsieur Gerry Tumnus, hastily assembled a skeleton troupe. Through an acquaintance I discovered that he had a theater without a company, and since I had a company without a theater, a deal was struck. The grand opening of our first double bill, a Don Juan burlesque and the melodrama Abelard and Heloise, was to occur this very evening.”

“How delightful,” Hiero said. “But I’m not clear on what role you mean for me to play?”

“For a month we have been settling into our new home. The troubles began almost at once. A mislaid prop. A ruined backdrop. One of our crew tripped on a suddenly wet floor and cracked his head. Several rehearsals delayed because furniture was glued to the storage room walls. Nuisances, at first. A period of adjustment to a new stage, I thought. Or perhaps the petty revenge of the few from the original company who had stayed on.”

“Or someone who does not care for foreigners.”

“Précisément.” Croÿ-Roeulx sighed. “Childish, but not unforeseeable. But then the rumors started among my own actors. A shadow, they claimed, pursuing them through the backstage. Strange gifts. The sensation of being watched, even when they were alone in their dressing rooms.” A slithery sense of dread coiled around Hiero’s spine. “I thought it nonsense, but the incidents kept piling up. Everyone in the company was buzzing, distracted, missing cues, dropping lines. And then today…”

Hiero felt his stomach drop. “Today?”

“A murder. Our leading man.”

Start The Series

Series Image

https://getbook.at/StokerBashSeries

About the Author

selina author

Selina Kray is the nom de plume of an author and English editor. Professionally she has covered all the artsy-fartsy bases, having worked in a bookstore, at a cinema, in children’s television, and in television distribution, up to her latest incarnation as a subtitle editor and grammar nerd (though she may have always been a grammar nerd).

A self-proclaimed geek and pop culture junkie who sometimes manages to pry herself away from the review sites and gossip blogs to write fiction of her own, she is a voracious consumer of art with both a capital and lowercase A.
Selina’s aim is to write genre-spanning romances with intricate plots, complex characters, and lots of heart.

Whether she has achieved this goal is for you, gentle readers, to decide. At present she is hard at work on future novels at home in Montreal, Quebec, with her wee corgi serving as both foot warmer and in-house critic.

If you’re interested in receiving Selina’s newsletter and being the first to know when new books are released, plus getting sneak peeks at upcoming novels, please sign up at her website.

Social Media

Twitter: @selinakray

Email: selinakray@hotmail.ca

Website: www.selinakray.net

Goodreads: Selina Kray

Facebook: Selina Kray or 23 Berkeley Square Group

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Stoker & Bash’s third mystery, Selina is giving away a full e-set of Stoker & Bash (3 books) and 2 e-copies of Stoker & Bash: The Death Under the Dark Arches

A Rafflecopter Giveaway

grr-tours-promo

IG Sized Out Now

Blog Tour: Full Balance by Brigham Vaughn

Full Balance | Brigham Vaughn

The Peachtree Series #3

Blog Tour

Publisher: Two Peninsulas Press

Cover Artist: Brigham Vaughn

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 108,000 words

Buy Links:

Available on Kindle Unlimited

Universal Link

Add to Goodreads

Full Balance eBook Cover

Blurb

Love doesn’t always look like you expect.

Russ Bishop and Stephen Parker have settled into wedded bliss.

They’ve moved into a spacious new condo, found professional success, and their connection in the bedroom is as sizzling as ever.

Neither of them ever expected to become parents but when their volunteer work at the Open Doors Shelter makes them realize how many LGBTQ youth are in desperate need of a home, they begin to reconsider.

After a snarky teenager named Austin comes into their lives, their future together will never be the same.

INSTAGRAM 3

Excerpt

Russ let out a contented sigh.

“I swear it just gets better with time,” Stephen said.

Russ kissed him. “Me too. I had no idea married sex would be so good. If I did, I might have been more eager to get married when I was younger.”

Stephen chuckled.

“This is going to change, won’t it?”

Stephen slipped an arm around his waist, pulling him even closer as he studied his face. Russ’s expression was soft but there was a little edge of worry in his gaze.

“It will,” Stephen said, knowing he was talking about how becoming parents would change their sex life. He ran his thumb across Russ’s cheek. “We’ll have additional responsibilities and stressors. Much less privacy. But it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It’ll be tougher but that doesn’t mean we can’t find some benefits along the way.”

“Like what?” Russ gave him a curious, inquisitive look.

“Like … it may bring us even closer.” He took Russ’s hand and brought his palm to his lips. “It may deepen our relationship further.”

“I like that.” Russ pulled him closer.

“I think going into this with our eyes wide open is our best chance of success. We need our relationship to stay solid so we can give whoever we bring into our lives the best, most stable home we can. Which means working together to solve problems.”

“Agreed,” Russ said.

“No running away.”

Russ gave him a wry grin. “Got it.”

“Hey that’s not just a reminder for you,” Stephen said gently. “I’ve pushed you away at times too. And I think this will probably bring up a lot of baggage we both have about the ways we were raised.”

“True.” Russ’s expression turned serious.

“So we can’t let that overwhelm us. Or come between us.”

“Absolutely.” Russ hesitated. “Are you excited about this at all though?”

“About the idea of becoming parents? Yeah, I am,” Stephen said. “I remember how satisfying it was to see Evan grow into himself and he was an adult and only with us for a month and a half. The idea of being able to watch that growth over years in someone who needs it even more … well that’s a challenge I never expected to take on. But I am excited about it.”

“Me too.” Russ grinned. “I am really looking forward to calling my sister and telling her she’ll be Aunt Addie.”

Stephen chuckled. “I look forward to that as well. Jeremy is going to be shocked. That should be fun.”

“We have a lot to look forward to, don’t we?”

“We do.” Russ pulled him in for a kiss and Stephen went willingly. “Thank you for making this a very happy Valentine’s Day.”

“You know, if someone had asked me five years ago how I’d feel about making the person I’m married to a father, I would have kindly assured them they were very, very confused,” Stephen said drily.

Russ’s laugh was loud and genuine. “I would imagine.”

“And yet …” Stephen couldn’t quite finish the thought. His heart was too full.

Russ smiled as if he understood. So Stephen leaned in to kiss him again. They had the whole night ahead of them to celebrate this happiness. Why not take the time while they had it?

Their lives were about to change in a very big way.

About the Author

Brigham Vaughn Pic

Brigham Vaughn is on the adventure of a lifetime as a full-time author. She devours books at an alarming rate and hasn’t let her short arms and long torso stop her from doing yoga. She makes a killer key lime pie, hates green peppers, and loves wine tasting tours.

A collector of vintage Nancy Drew books and green glassware, she enjoys poking around in antique shops and refinishing thrift store furniture. An avid photographer, she dreams of traveling the world and she can’t wait to discover everything else life has to offer her.

Her books range from short stories to novellas to novels. They explore gay, bisexual, lesbian, and polyamorous romance in contemporary settings.

Social Media

Blog | Facebook Author Page | TwitterNewsletter sign-up | Instagram | Pinterest | BookBub

Giveaway

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win  a $20 Amazon gift card.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

Follow the tour and check out the other blog posts and reviews here

INSTAGRAM 1

Utterly inspired theatrical melodramatic mystery from Selina

Stoker & Bash 3 HIGHRESThe Death Under the Dark Arches by Selina Kray

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Starts with a bang and the thrills never stop!

Definitely my favourite in the series. This investigation has all the best bits out of the three so far – from its Phantom of the Opera inspired plot line, to the seedy underbelly of Victorian London, to S&B cementing their relationship.

The Prologue isn’t a Prologue as such, it’s a sneak peek further into the book, which usually drives me nuts when it’s a contemporary romance, as it gives away an element of the relationship.

However, here it’s used as a very clever “flash forward” to a pivotal moment in the narrative which acts more as a trompe l’oeil for the brain than the eyes, as all is not what it seems.

The actual plot is inspired by the best gothic melodrama, taking its cues from the mysterious theatre ghost and a devious enemy who not only hides in the shadows, but taunts at our erstwhile heroes in the hopes of luring Hiero’s alter ego back to the stage.

This one’s also quite violent and a fair bit gruesome, so bear that in mind as you set off reading, it’s a no holds barred exploration of the lengths someone insane would go to for revenge.

I absolutely LOVED it and couldn’t put it down from the moment I started reading until I finished it approaching midnight.

The usual crew are all out in force too and my heart broke a wee bit for one of them, no spoilers being revealed here, but it also rejoiced because Kip and Hiero are stronger than ever and this one’s just as steamy as the previous two!

Their bond is tested though, not only because of the nature of the case, but because of their disparate personalities and a sense of dread hangs over the whole investigation.

It all comes to a hugely dramatic final 25% which, in the best mystery/suspense tradition, has action galore as well as revelation after revelation, twisty plot turns and gasps of shock as the gang becomes embroiled in a fight for their lives under the Adelphi Arches, a cesspit of depravity near the banks of the Thames.

So, hopefully enough excitement for you to pick up this most brilliant series, without me spoiling any of the skilfully woven elements of surprise which Selina is so absolutely perfect at.

This series is right up there for me as among the best detective/melodramatic homages, and I cannot wait for book four because I bet there’s going to be tears before bedtime for me with that one!

And, as ever, the cover by the wonderful Tiferet Designs, is fabulous and, as I noticed, Kip now appears more flame haired than on the last two 😉

If I had a slight nitpick, and it’s totally me being pedantic, I wish the spellings for this London-set book had followed English not American, we have Us in our Colour and we drink Whisky not Whiskey (unless it’s Irish) but that’s a minor point and it never really spoils the book.

#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review

View all my reviews

« Older Entries