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Blog Tour: The Southern Magicks by Ashton K. Rose

The Southern Magicks | Ashton K. Rose

The Southern Magicks #1

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Release Date: August 24th, 2022

Cover Artist: Fantasy & Coffee Design

Word Count: 80,000

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Blurb

How do you prove your innocence when you don’t even remember whether you did it or not?

After a demon attack reveals Dexter’s secret – that his Gran taught him magic – the twenty-three-year-old librarian is forced to work for the local magical law enforcement agency in order to prove his loyalty, and hopefully save his grandmother from execution.

However, when someone tries to frame him for crimes he doesn’t remember committing, Dexter realizes he’ll have to start an investigation of his own. Joined by his beloved husband Eli, their best friend June, and his journalist cousin Kat, he desperately tries to prove his innocence…which is kind of difficult when gaps in his memory make him doubt everything he thinks he knows about himself.

The race against time begins. Can Dexter and his team uncover the criminals weaving the web of guilt around him before it’s too late, or is he going to lose everything and everyone he cares about?

Warnings: Assault, violent imagery, panic attack on page, police brutality

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Excerpt

Chapter 1, Scene 1:

I knew Nora Rowe had died in her home without anyone telling me.

I unlocked the door and my stomach dropped as I took in the sight of the small dim living room of her kit home, filled with books and old newspapers. The acrid smell of cigarettes and wood fire smoke filled my nose as I weaved my way through the stacks. Mismatched flatpack bookshelves that warped under the strain of thousands of books lined the walls. Her living room held no other furniture apart from an old TV and a worn leather armchair—the carpet covered by stained, threadbare rugs.

I flicked the first light switch I saw twice.

Why had I expected the power to work?

I walked over to the windows and pushed the dust-caked lace curtains aside.

My eyes watered as the sun poured into the room.

In the kitchen, the doors of the cupboards hung open. The only things left behind were a few cheap plastic items scattered across the scratched lino.

I stepped on a plastic cup on the floor. I wobbled on my feet for a few sick seconds before I grabbed the counter to steady myself. The sharp aluminium edge bit into the skin of my hand.

This place was a death trap!

She had over twenty library books I had to separate from the donations. My legs shook as I walked to the shelves closest to the door.

I ignored the erratic beating of my heart and the part of my brain telling me to run and pulled out my keys to flick the small key chain light on. I placed it between my teeth and examined the spines for library tags.

When the light hit the grimy glass of a small photo frame on the shelf, I saw something move behind me. I kept my eyes fixed on the glass and used my thumb to clear a spot of dust.

If it hadn’t moved, I could have ignored the human-shaped shadow reflected in the glass.

As a kid, I’d been hassled about seeing things and having an overactive imagination. When I was seven, Gran told me the truth. I shared her secret ability to see ghosts.

I turned to look at the woman who sat in the armchair.

This Nora was a couple of years older than the one who celebrated her birthday in the photo. Her gaze focused on the TV, which would have been new the year Queen Elizabeth was coronated.

I kept my gaze locked on her, blinking one eye at a time.

I slowed my breath and took a careful step backwards to the door. The back of my calf hit something that drove several points of pain into my skin.

The stack of books I knocked over sliced through my composure just as easily as it did the silence in the room,  the hard covers and spines slapping against each other as they hit the floor.

“What the fuck are you doing in my house?” Nora stood and turned to face me.

I knew I’d given the game away when I jumped out of my skin and almost dropped my keys.

I made a noise like a dying rat.

She knew I could hear her.

The first thing Gran had taught me was not to let a ghost realise you could sense them. It was dangerous—a trigger for the ire of a vengeful spirit.

“I’m sorry,” I said. “Your son gave us the key.”

“Worthless piece of shit. Letting strangers into my house. He stole my grandma’s dinner set for drug money before my body was cold. I saw him put it in his car before he called someone to deal with the mess.”

“I’ll just be going now.”

“Actually, I’ll be going.”

I felt a sharp pain in my chest.

I tried to breathe, but my lungs refused to move.

I couldn’t breathe!

The edge of my vision went black as I gasped for air. I fell flat on my front. I was so focused on trying to breathe, I almost missed the presence pushing at the back of my mind. It started small, a hint of a suggestion. The temptation to give in grew. This was her body. I was nothing but a figment of her imagination. Dexter wasn’t real. Nothing more than a thought exercise to see what it’d be like to be a man her grandson’s age. With each second, it pressed harder, and the urge to give in grew.

Forget.

It would be easy to give in and never have another worry again. All the pain and pressure of life could vanish if I relaxed and let her take control.

No!

I shivered as I tried to move my arms to push myself onto my hands and knees. I focused on the door. It was only a short crawl. I had to do it. For a second, my vision went entirely black.

No!

I gathered all the strength I had and screamed. The remaining air expelled from my lungs. I took a sharp breath. I moved my stiff arms and pushed myself onto my hands and knees.

I was Dexter; I was real, and this was my body. Nothing would take that away from me.

I closed my eyes and pushed back the ghost. I wrapped a mental net around the invasive presence in my mind and forced it back through the hole where it had entered. A hole it had dug in a part of my mind I didn’t even know existed.

One arm forwards, one leg forwards, and breathe.

Move. Breathe. Move. Breathe.

I made it to the threshold and pulled the door open. I slid headfirst down the concrete stairs to lie on my back.

The pressure in my mind slowly vanished as I fell.

I opened my eyes.

Pale blue sky, almost cloudless

My eyes watered from the bright light.

The perfect day was oblivious to my plight. The mid-autumn day was hardly different from late summer. I could’ve laid there for hours, but the hot concrete felt like it was melting the skin off my back where my shirt had ridden up. I rolled onto the dead grass beside the cracked front path.

Sweat ran into my eyes as I sat up. I squeezed my eyes shut to clear my vision.

I could still feel the cold air wafting from the open door. I had to shut it. Mrs Gregory was looking for any excuse to fire me. I stood and walked to the threshold.

All I had to do was grab the handle, pull it closed, remove my hand from the handle and step back.

One quick movement.

I could do it.

As I stared, my eyes adjusted to the dim. She stood just inside, her hard eyes focused on me.

She smiled.

I stepped forwards and grabbed the door handle. Her hand shot out towards my arm.

Her pale, icy fingers clamped around my left wrist. I tightened the grip of my right hand around the door handle. I tucked my chin to my chest and threw myself backwards down the stairs, using the weight of my body to swing the door closed. My shirt ripped as I fell backwards; the sleeve stayed in her hand as my arm slipped free.

The air expelled from my lungs as I hit the ground.

I lay on my back and my lungs refused to work. Fixed to the spot in terror, I gasped for air as my body refused to perform. A function that was usually thoughtless had become my only thought, the pinpoint the world had narrowed to.

There was a dizzy relief as I breathed again, and after a few minutes I slowly stood.

Blood ran down my exposed arm, the only part of my body that had hit the thin concrete path.

Ghosts could touch me! Physically hurt me!

I closed my eyes and concentrated on my breathing, forcing back the panic attack that bubbled in the back of my mind. I knew about the possession, but the touch? Why hadn’t Gran told me? I needed to call Gran, but I knew she couldn’t help me. She hadn’t talked to me about magic since her accident when I was seventeen.

I suspected the accident was magic-related, but she’d kept silent about it.

She’d looked at me sceptically any time I’d mentioned magic afterwards, as though I spoke of childish whimsy and needed to grow up.

So I had.

I’d left Dunn and become a librarian, a nice stable job for a responsible young man who liked books.

A normal young man who had resigned himself to a life of pretending he couldn’t see the dead.

I’d somehow ended up with nowhere else to turn and ended up back in this town.

Now Gran was in America with Aunt Myrtle, so it was hard to get help.

I drove back to the library to pretend I’d been out for my lunch break.

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About The Author

AUTHOR PIC - The Southern Magicks - Ashton K. Rose

Ashton K. Rose (They/Them) is a Queer author who writes Australian paranormal, urban fantasy and mystery fiction filled with LGBTQIA+ characters.

Ashton currently lives in sunny Queensland able to enjoy the best of the Australian bush and beach. Ashton spent their first fourteen years being raised on a remote farm shaped around the remains of an old mining town. Surrounded by the skeletons of past lives and their matching ghost stories, Ashton developed a love for fantasy, horror, and dark fairy tales from a young age.

Carrying a love of ghost stories into adulthood Ashton started writing novels about magic, vampires and ghosts. Ashton decided to set The Southern Magicks in a world heavily inspired by the backdrop of the Australia bush/beach and the speculative fiction Ashton has consumed over a lifetime.

Social Media

Website: https://www.geekaflame.com/

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Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/geek_aflame/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/21982765.Ashton_K_Rose

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/author/ashtonkrose

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Giveaway

Ashton is giving away a $20 Amazon gift card with this tour 

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Release Tour: Come From Behind by Ariella Zoelle

Come From Behind | Ariella Zoelle

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Release Date: January 13th, 2023

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Blurb

Is it possible that Tavish’s fender-bender on a snowy day will lead to him getting romantically rear-ended?

Having a car accident turn into a meet-cute? That definitely wasn’t how I saw my day going.

Because as soon as I collide into the back bumper of a fancy German SUV that costs more than a year of my college tuition, I’m pretty sure my life is over. Nightmares of getting yelled at and sued for what little I’m worth flash before my eyes.

But I somehow lucked out by hitting the nicest guy in Wintervale. Leith is more concerned about me being okay than the state of his ride. Having a stranger care more about my well-being than my last two exes combined has me blubbering in a way that merits getting called “kid” by the older man.

Instead of leaving me for dead on the side of the road like I deserve, Leith is my knight in shining armor who comes to my rescue—albeit on a slightly banged-up white stallion after our little run-in.

If the wreck wasn’t enough incentive for us to get together, the cosmic universe practically shoves me into his arms when we get snowed in, with nothing else to do besides getting to know each other.

Maybe if I’m lucky, he’ll be the one “rear-ending” me in bed tonight.

Come from Behind is a Suite Dreams series standalone side story novella. It’s a super sexy, incredibly swoony, age gap, forced proximity, no angst romance set in the small town of Wintervale that is as sweet and funny as it is hot and steamy.

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Excerpt

Chapter 2: Tavish Hartigan

How was it possible that I had rear-ended a Mercedes driver twice, and he was comforting me? He had wrapped me up in his coat and strong embrace, offering me warmth and sanctuary as I embarrassed myself by sobbing like a scared little kid. I shamelessly clung to him as I cried, never wanting to let go of the man who dwarfed me with his larger frame. For some strange reason, I felt safe in his arms as he murmured words of reassurance to me that I soaked up.

When my tears had quieted to sniffles, he guided me to gaze up at him without letting me go. “I’m Leith Dennison. What’s your name?”

“Tavish Hartigan.” I sniffled as I gazed up at him with wide eyes. He looked like a dashing Prince Charming in the snow with his dazzling smile, brown hair, and green eyes. “Why aren’t you mad at me?”

His smile was so gentle and reassuring that it eased some of my panic. “Like I said, the roads are shit right now. Accidents happen. It’s just a car.” He stroked my hair like I was a beloved pet. “I know a guy who can fix it for cheap, and if it needs replaced, my brother will give me a steep discount since he owns a Mercedes dealership. Insurance will cover the cost either way, so it’s not worth being upset about.”

“You’re not rich?” I regretted the question as soon as it was out of my mouth, but the sound of his laughter filled my soul with warmth.

“Not even a little.” He continued chuckling. “I’m a self-employed book cover designer who drives for Ryde part-time. If my brother owned a Honda dealership, I’d be driving one of those instead of a Mercedes.”

Hearing that driving was part of his job made me feel awful. “But you won’t be able to work until your car is fixed because of me!”

“It’s not that big of a deal. Working as a Ryde driver isn’t my primary source of income. It’s more the thing I do to pick up some extra spending money and get out of the house to enjoy human interaction whenever I’m bored. A few days off while they repair the car won’t impact my ability to pay my bills. With the roads being so bad, I wouldn’t be working as a driver, anyway.”

I sagged with relief. “Then I guess it’ll just be my parents who want to kill me for wrecking the car.”

“Trust me. The only thing your parents will care about is that the car did its job of keeping you safe. As long as you’re okay, they won’t care if it’s totaled. Vehicles can be replaced. You can’t.”

Now that I had calmed down, I saw the wisdom in his words. I had a close relationship with my folks, so he was right about them being more worried about my safety than the car. Without thinking, I buried my face against his chest as I hugged him tighter. His sandalwood cologne was masculine, comforting, and arousing, all at the same time. I wanted to wrap myself up in him like a blanket and never let go. “Thank you. I’m sorry for freaking out.”

“Don’t worry about it. You’re fine.” He held me closer as he rested his chin on top of my head. I had never been happier to be so short. It was wrong of me to soak up his kindness and comfort after I had rear-ended him twice. However, months of being single after getting out of a toxic relationship left me greedy. It was a nice preview of what having a strong, older boyfriend would be like. And I loved it.

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About the Author

Arielle Zoelle

Ariella Zoelle adores steamy, funny, swoony romances where couples are allowed to just be happy. She writes low angst stories full of heat, humor, and heart. But sometimes she’s in the mood for something with a bit more angst and drama. If you are too, check out her A.F. Zoelle books.

For real time updates on her writing progress, please join her Facebook group for exclusive teasers or follow her on Twitter or Instagram. You can also sign up for her newsletter to gain access to bonus chapters, previews of upcoming books, exclusive visual guides, and more.

Social Media

Website: https://www.ariellazoelle.com/

Newsletter: https://www.ariellazoelle.com/newsletter

Amazon Author Profile: https://amzn.to/3zzxJWg

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Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/amazingafzoelle/

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/extraafzoelle

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AriellaZoelle

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ariellazoelle/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/ariellazoelle

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/ariella-zoelle

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Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Come From Behind, Ariella is giving you a chance to win e-copies of the three interconnected reads; Come From Behind, Friend or Mistlefoe & Snowbody Like You

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Release Blitz: Felix by RJ Scott & Meredith Russell

Felix | RJ Scott & Meredith Russell

Boyfriend For Hire #4

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Release Date: December 14th, 2022

Universal Link: https://rjscott.co.uk/read-felix

Length: 43,000 words

Cover Design: Meredith Russell

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/63317743-felix

READ MY REVIEW

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Blurb

Hiring a fake boyfriend for a school reunion seems to be the only solution, but love was never part of the equation.

Felix has enough on his plate looking out for his parents, let alone agreeing to being hired for a date with the friend of a friend. His instant attraction to the scatter-brained scientist has him making impulsive decisions he hopes he won’t regret. But, somehow, he’s agreeing to more dates, and more time with sexy Ethan and his non-stop talking. When stolen wintry kisses turn to love, and Christmas works its magic, Felix knows he’s losing his heart.

The science of chemistry makes more sense to Ethan than connecting with potential boyfriends, and he’s wary of romance. Unsettled by a string of failed hookups, he knows it’s on him when everything goes wrong and he can’t help but wonder what has made him this way. His friend Jared says that Ethan needs to close metaphorical doors on past hurts—whatever that means—and that the school reunion might just be step one. Determined to show himself as confident and happy, he hires Felix to be his date for the night, but a kiss to make up for the one he missed at prom, and abruptly, it’s not the past that is consuming his thoughts.

Now all Felix has to do is show Ethan that it’s okay to love and be loved in return, and that chemistry can lead to a happily ever after.

Fake Boyfriends Series

All books available in Kindle Unlimited

Series Goodreads Link

Darcy – rjscott.co.uk/Read-Darcy

Kaden – rjscott.co.uk/Read-Kaden

Gideon – rjscott.co.uk/Read-Gideon

Jared – rjscott.co.uk/Read-Jared

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Excerpt

“So what is it you wanted to talk about?” He clasped his hands together.

Jared shrugged. “It’s nothing much. It’s just a small, tiny favor.”

“What kind of favor?”

“Like I said. Small.” He held up his hand, his index finger and thumb close to each other. “The thing is”—This is going to be something I don’t like, isn’t it?—“Ethan is going to his school reunion next week.”

Felix narrowed his eyes. “Uh huh?”

“I am,” Ethan stated. “With a plus-one.”

Am I supposed to care? He vaguely remembered Jared telling tales of his roommate’s numerous boyfriends and the ridiculous antics he got up to. Felix’s favorite story ended with a purple-dyed police officer. He didn’t know who Ethan was dating now, but good for him if it was going well.

“And you’re telling me this because?”

“Well…” Ethan bit his lower lip, rolling his eyes upward as he seemed to process his words before speaking. There was something more sexy than cute about the way he tugged on his soft pink lips with his teeth. 

He should stop doing that—he’ll end up bruising them, and they’re too pretty to be bruised.

Unless it’s me kissing them and… the fuck?

“The thing is Ethan’s plus-one kind of did him dirty.” Jared answered for him. “Ethan got dumped. Again,” he added straight-faced.

“I dumped him,” Ethan said in a strained voice.

Jared met Felix’s eyes and shook his head. “He didn’t,” he mouthed.

Felix snorted a laugh, but his smile faded as the favor Jared had in mind hit him front and center. “No,” he said.

“I’ve said nothing,” Jared said, blinking with all the innocence he could muster.

Felix ran his hand back through his bangs. “I know what you’re going to ask, and the answer is no.” He leaned back, side-eyeing Ethan. “Why don’t you ask Caleb? He’ll take anything you can throw at him.”

“Well, of course I tried him first, but he’s already booked. But we all know you’re the best person for the job, and you owe me one.”

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About The Authors

RJ Scott logo

RJ Scott, author of M/M romance.

Writing love stories with a happy ever after – cowboys, heroes, family, hockey, single dads, bodyguards

USA Today bestselling author RJ Scott has written over one hundred romance books. Emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, single dads, hockey players, millionaires, princes, bodyguards, Navy SEALs, soldiers, doctors, paramedics, firefighters, cops, and the men who get mixed up in their lives, always with a happy ever after.

She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn’t with family either reading or writing. The last time she had a week’s break from writing, she didn’t like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a box of chocolates she couldn’t defeat.

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Website |  Newsletter |  Email   | BookBub | Amazon | Pinterest | Goodreads | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook Reader Group | Facebook Author Page |  BingeBooks | TikTok  | YouTube |  MeWe |  Facebook MM Hockey Romance Group

meredithRussell

Meredith Russell lives in the heart of England. An avid fan of many story genres, she enjoys nothing less than a happy ending. She believes in heroes and romance and strives to reflect this in her writing.

Sharing her imagination and passion for stories and characters is a dream Meredith is excited to turn into reality.

Social Media

Website | Facebook Twitter Instagram | Email

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