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Blog Tour: The Werewolf And His Boy by Warren Rochelle

The Werewolf And His Boy | Warren Rochelle

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Publisher: JMS Books

Release Date: August 26th, 2020

Length: 87,837

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COVER - The Werewolf and His Boy

Blurb

Their leap of faith could unleash magic—or plunge them into darkness.

Henry Thorn has worked at Larkin’s since graduating high school. He likes it—especially when he can use his secret skill of hiding inside shadows so his boss can’t find them. Without that talent, he would never had survived growing up different.

When a hire enters the store, Henry’s other latent talent kicks in. He can smell an emotional response even before he lays eyes on the redhead.

Jamey Currey came out, and his conservative parents promptly kicked him out. He, too, is different—he senses Henry’s attraction the moment they met. The first time they kiss, torrential rains fall from skies split by lightning.

Their kiss also awakens the Watchers, diabolical hunters who will stop at nothing—even extermination—to keep magic suppressed. With the help of a friendly coven of friendly witches, the boys embark on a quest to discover an ancient key to restoring magic to the world, and to understand mysteries of their own hearts.

The question is, will this quest cost them their lives?

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Excerpt

Jamey screamed. Henry’s heart turned over.

Dr. Melloy grabbed a long, carved oaken staff from a corner and stood very still for a moment. “My books, almost all my books, are in this house, and some of these are my mother’s, my grandmother’s,” she whispered, clearly in pain. “Let’s go,” she said, sighing heavily as she threw the heavy zipped bag over her shoulder and ran for the door. Henry hugged his duffel and blanket to his chest and ran after her. He wanted to tell her thank you, thank you, for saving him and Jamey, and that she was one of the coolest — no, the coolest person he had ever met. She had been so nice to him ever since he had moved in and he wasn’t sure he really knew why. I‘ll thank her. When things calm down I will definitely thank her.

Up the stairs, down the hall, in and out of pools of light from this lamp, the other, the overhead, the front door, and down and Jamey stood holding onto the car door.

They looked up.

No stars. No moon. Shadows, winged, darker and blacker than any shadows around them. The lead one keened, high and sharp.

“Watchers,” Dr. Melloy said. Behind the creatures were the beginnings of a storm. Lightning snapped and forked, striking the professor’s house and setting the roof ablaze. Fire came down the roof, down the gutter pipes, the brick wall, over the windows, into the bushes growing against the house and into the pine-straw-covered yard that crackled, snapped, into flame.

“Jamey, Henry, get behind me, now,” Dr. Melloy shouted as the Watchers hovered just above the thicket of cedars that screened the house from the street. They screeched and keened, throwing themselves against some invisible wall between them and the witch and the two naked boys.

Jamey hooked one arm around Henry’s neck, and then he hopped as Henry half-carried him to stand behind the witch. Thunder, loud, close. Lighting struck the house again. Muttering, Dr. Melloy thrust her staff upward and light poured out of it as she threw out a fine, gauzy, sparkling net that spread out and over and above them, shimmering against the darkness. Something shattered, and grey and white chunks of dying light fell into the cedars and the gravel and hard earth of the driveway.

“Dammit! They broke the first ring of wards!” Dr. Melloy yelled over what now seemed like constant thunder and the roar of the fire. The wind tore at the flames, throwing bits and pieces into the air and the now-burning cedars. Flames and heat pushed against the net that glowed between them and the burning house and yard and trees.

“What are we going to do? Henry? Where’d he go?” Jamey yelled back, then stopped. Henry squeezed the arm around his neck with one hand, Jamey’s waist with the other. Henry seemed to be flickering in and out of sight, the way he had done in Larkin’s. Jamey could see the flames through Henry.

Henry looked at his hands, his feet: they were invisible. He shuddered, flickered on and off. “We wait just a few minutes more — oh, werewolves do that — camouflage, on and off. Henry, try to calm down.”

“Wait?” Henry said, his voice trembling. He could feel and smell Jamey’s fear and his own fear. Calm down?

“There are two more rings of wards and this shield-net, and all three have to be breached for those Watchers to get to us. We just have to hold on for a few more minutes. If only the moon were full,” she added. “I’d have a lot more power to draw on. Can’t be helped.”

Something shattered. Chunks of light, this time, gold, fell again. A third shattering followed right behind the second, green chunks of light. Thunder. Lightning. Wind, bits of fire in the air, fire engulfing the house, the trees.

“Get right behind me. Get close.”

The Watchers were right on the other side of the shield-net. They pushed, keened, ripped. The shield quivered. Bits fell.

A siren, another, and then another. The Watchers screamed.

“Finally,” Dr. Melloy muttered.

“The fire department can stop these things?” Henry asked as he helped Jamey get as close to her as they could, their bodies bumping against hers.

“Watchers fear disclosure more than anything. Nothing attracts attention like a fire truck. And it looks like everybody in the neighborhood is out in the street. They could ignore the first few, but not this mob.”

More thunder. The sirens were getting closer. The heat of the burning house and trees pressed against the shield-net. Sweat dripped down Henry’s face, his back. His eyes burned from the salt, even as he tried to wipe it away with his free hand. With his other hand he held on tight to Jamey. Henry could feel Jamey’s sweat on his bare skin; he knew if he licked Jamey’s skin, he would taste salt. The Watchers charged against the net, and ripped, their claws caught in its shimmer and sparkle, frantic to beat the coming fire trucks.

“Get in the car. They’re almost here.”

Henry shoved Jamey into the backseat and crawled in after him and jerked the door closed. Dr. Melloy threw out one last layer of net, this time over the car, and slammed her door closed just as the sirens slowed down. Heavy tires crunched on gravel. He heard water hit fire as one truck started with the burning trees. With the Watchers screaming in the air above them, Dr. Melloy stepped on the gas, barreled down the driveway, hung a left onto Three Chopt, and drove through the crowd. Then she really floored it.

About The Author

Warren Rochelle lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, and has just retired from teaching English at the University of Mary Washington.

His short fiction and poetry have been published in such journals and anthologies as Icarus, North Carolina Literary Review, Forbidden Lines, Aboriginal Science Fiction, Collective Fallout, Queer Fish 2, Empty Oaks, Quantum Fairy Tales, Migration, The Silver Gryphon, Jaelle Her Book, Colonnades, and Graffiti, as well as the Asheville Poetry Review, GW Magazine, Crucible, The Charlotte Poetry Review, and Romance and Beyond.

His short story, “The Golden Boy,” was a finalist for the 2004 Spectrum Award for Short Fiction. His short story “Mirrors,” was just published in Under A Green Rose, a queering romance anthology, from Cuil Press. “The Latest Thing,” a flash fiction story, is in the Queer Sci Fi anthology, Innovation.

Rochelle is also the author of four novels: The Wild Boy (2001), Harvest of Changelings (2007), and The Called (2010), all published by Golden Gryphon Press, and The Werewolf and His Boy, published by Samhain Publishing in September 2016. The Werewolf and His Boy was re-released from JMS Books in August 2020. The Wicked Stepbrother and Other Stories is forthcoming from JMS Books in late September 2020.

Social Media

Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/warren.rochelle

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/warrenwriter/

Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/WarrenRochelle

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/38355.Warren_Rochelle

Giveaway

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

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Blog Tour: Romeo X Julien by Mary Dumas and Bettina Kurkoski

Romeo X Julien | Mary Dumas and Bettina Kurkoski

BANNER 2 - Romeo X Julien

Release Date: August 1st, 2020

Word Count: 242 pages

Cover Artist: Bettina Kurkoski

Buy Links:

Amazon US | Amazon UK

COVER - Romeo X Julien

Blurb

Romeo Montague has always been a little awkward. His cousin, Benny, doesn’t help, often tossing him into situations unprepared; like dragging him to a Renaissance Faire in the middle of Wine Country.

Julien Capulet, a respected festival promoter, has his own quirks. While dealing with his crazy parents and goofy gay uncles, he holds out hope of meeting the one who’ll see past all the frills.

Romeo X Julien is a sexy homage to Will Shakespeare, with more comedy than tragedy. Entertaining and tender, it shows how the course of true love may never be smooth, and that the LGBTQ community has come a long way in a short time.

Excerpt

EXCERPT GRAPHIC - Romeo X Julien

About The Authors

AUTHOR PIC - Romeo X Julien - Mary Dumas

Co-creators, Mary Dumas and Bettina Kurkoski, have been fixtures on the Comic Con circuit since 2003. Mary was on staff for a number of convention groups, while Bettina was the artist in residence for those organizations.

In 2015 this friendship became a partnership in creating the comic series, RomeoXJulien. Following this comic creation lead them to Artists Alley in many Fan Conventions for the next five years. In 2019, with the finish of the story they decided to give the comics a bright new life in full color as a graphic novel.

Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/mary.dumas50

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008094378358

Giveaway

Mary is giving away a $10 Amazon gift card with this tour. For a chance to win, enter via Rafflecopter:

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Release Blitz: Taking Stock by A. L. Lester

Taking Stock | A. L. Lester

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Publisher: JMS Books

Release Date: September 19th, 2020

Length: 40,000 words

Buy Link: https://allester.co.uk/takingstock/

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54349483-taking-stock

takingstock

Blurb

It’s 1972.

Fifteen years ago, teenage Laurie Henshaw came to live at Webber’s Farm with his elderly uncle and settled in to the farming life. Now, age thirty-two, he has a stroke in the middle of working on the farm. As he recovers, he has to come to terms with the fact that some of his new limitations are permanent and he’s never going to be as active as he used to be. Will he be able to accept the helping hands his friends extend to him?

With twenty successful years in the City behind him, Phil McManus is hiding in the country after his boyfriend set him up to take the fall for an insider trading deal at his London stockbroking firm. There’s not enough evidence to prosecute anyone, but not enough to clear him either. He can’t bear the idea of continuing his old stagnating life in the city, or going back to his job now everyone knows he’s gay.

Thrown together in a small country village, can Phil and Laurie forge a new life that suits the two of them and the makeshift family that gathers round them? Or are they too tied up in their own shortcomings to recognise what they have?

A 1970s historical gay romance peripheral to the Lost in Time universe. Stand alone, not paranormal. #OwnVoices for chronic disability. Set on Webber’s Farm, fifty years after Inheritance of Shadows.

We have a special deleted scene exclusive for our blog which you can read here

“He’s going to be a handful,” Patsy Walker said to her friend Sally Beelock as she filled the tea-pot. “You’ll have trouble with him.”

Sally pulled a face. “You don’t need to tell me that,” she said. “He’s already talking about coming home and the stupid idiot can’t even stand up without help yet.”

“He’s improving though, yes?” Patsy asked.

“Yes, definitely. And it’s only been a week. They say that he needs to keep trying to move everything, his arm, his fingers, his leg, and the more he does that the more it’ll help.” She sighed. “They don’t know if it’ll all come back properly, but they say there’s a good chance.”

Patsy passed her a mug of tea and sat down opposite her at the kitchen table where she could see in to the shop. There weren’t any customers at the moment, but the early autumn day was warm and  she had the outside door propped open as usual, which meant the bell wouldn’t ring if anyone came in.

“How are you managing?” she asked Sally. “It must have been a shock. He’s only what, thirty?”

“Thirty-three,” Sally said absently. “Yes. I thought it was curtains for him to be honest, Pat. Jimmy came down to get me at Carsters once  the ambulance had gone. He didn’t tell me much, just said I should get into the hospital. Apparently he was unconscious, pretty much.”

Patsy patted her hand. “Well, he’s going to be fine, love. You’ll see. Look at Roger Chedzoy. He had a stroke four years ago and you’d never really know to look at him now.”

“He’s sixty-three though,” Sally said. “I mean, there’s never a good age, is there? But Laurie’s so young.”

Patsy nodded. “And that means he’s got more fight in him and he’ll get over it quickly. You’ll see.”

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Excerpt

Phil found his feet turning up the lane toward Webber’s Farm a couple of days after his meeting with Laurie Henshaw almost without thought. He had got in to the habit of walking regularly early on in his sojourn in the cottage. Some days he took sandwiches in the knapsack he’d bought and just went up the footpath at the top of the lane and headed off into the winter woods. It was quiet and peaceful and he found that if he could get in to a swinging rhythm, one foot in front of the other, the swirl of anger and betrayal that seemed to accompany him like a cloud quieted, gradually draining down in to the earth as he walked.

Today though, rather than his feet taking him up the hill in to the burgeoning spring, they took him down toward the farm. Henshaw…Laurie…had grabbed his interest in a way that nobody had for months. The man had been on his last legs sitting in the Post Office and his frustration with himself had been obvious. Phil had enjoyed coaxing a smile out of him. Sitting in the farmhouse kitchen with the quiet warmth of the Rayburn at his back, he’d spoken more about his personal life to a complete stranger than he had opened up to anyone since that awful day when Adrian had got him out of the police station.

It would only be neighbourly to pop in and see if he was all right. That’s what people did in the country, didn’t they? Phil had been here months now, apart from a brief visit to Aunt Mary over Christmas and New Year, and if he was going to be here much longer he should probably make an effort to get to know people properly.

That made him pause for thought. Was he going to be here much longer?

He didn’t know.

He walked through the farmyard cautiously. He knew enough to go to the back door, not the front. The two sheepdogs who had cursorily examined him earlier in the week shot out of the open porch and circled round, barking and wagging cheerfully. No need to knock, then. He did, regardless. And called out “Anyone home?”

“In here,” Laurie’s voice answered, distantly. “Come in, whoever you are!”

He stepped in to the porch, past a downstairs bathroom and through the scullery with its stone-flagged floor, and pushed the door into the kitchen fully open.

Laurie was washing up. His stick was hooked on the drainer and he was resting against the sink with one hip. He turned as Phil came in, propping the final plate on the pile beside the soapy water and reaching for the tea-towel flung over his shoulder to dry his hands.

“Mr McManus! Phil, I mean,” he corrected himself, “what can I do for you?”

Phil paused. He hadn’t got this far in his head. He had just…walked.

“Erm. I was just passing?” he tried. His voice lifted at the end, in a question.

“You were?” Laurie looked at him, one side of his mouth twisted up in a little smile. Or was that the side affected by the stroke? He didn’t know. Didn’t matter, anyway.

“Yes. I was.” He made his voice firmer. “Sally is at my place this morning, so I thought you might let me hide here.”

“Only if you’ll let me retreat to your place when she’s cross with me,” Laurie replied. “Although that will probably mean I have to move in, at least for the moment.” He pulled a face.

“Have you upset her?”

“No. Yes. Sort of….” He turned toward the Rayburn and dragged the kettle on to the hotplate. “She wasn’t very happy about me over-doing it the other day. Patsy told tales on me.”

“Ah. Yes, I can see that. She obviously cares about you a great deal. She talks about you all the time when she comes up to do the cottage.” He paused. “Have you been together long?”

Laurie choked and dropped one of the tea-cups he was moving from the drainer to the table. He fumbled for it and at the same time Phil stooped to catch it. They both missed and it smashed on the stone floor into a thousand tiny pieces. “Shit!” Laurie said, trying stifle his coughing. “That was one of the good ones, too.”

He bent to pick up the pieces, still choking and Phil said, “Stop it, you bloody fool, let me. It’s everywhere.” He put his hands on Laurie’s shoulders and pushed him upward from his bent position and then back and down, in to one of the kitchen chairs. Laurie’s leg gave as he sat and he made the final descent with an unglamorous wobble.

 He was still coughing. “Sally!” he got out, around between coughs. “Bloody hell!”

“Where’s the dustpan?” Phil asked, ignoring him.

Laurie gestured to the cupboard under the sink. “Under there.”

It was the work of moments to sweep it all up, on his knees at Laurie’s feet. Thankfully it had been empty. He rested back on his heels with with full dustpan. “Where does it go?”

“Put it in one of the flower-pots on the window-sill,” Laurie said, gesturing. “I’ll stick in the bottom of a pot for drainage when I plant the new ones up.”

Phil nodded and got to his feet. He lurched as he did so and steadied himself on Laurie’s knee as he rose. Warm, he thought. The man smelled nice. A mixture of soap and fresh air and woodsmoke. “Ooops,” he said, pushing himself upright. “Sorry.”

Laurie grinned at him as they briefly made eye contact. Something flickered in his eyes. “Not a problem,” he said. He pointed at the window-sill behind the sink. “Knock those dead chives in the middle pot out the window in to the yard.” He grinned again, but it was a different sort of smile this time, with slightly too many teeth. “I can’t really balance to water them properly at the moment anyway.”

Phil opened the window and emptied the dead plants outside ad then tipped the pieces of crockery in as instructed. He replaced the dustpan under the sink and stood up and leaned against it, crossing his arms. “Doesn’t Sally help with that sort of thing?” he asked, looking down at the other man.

“No. Yes. Sometimes.” Laurie wouldn’t meet his eye and started to stand. “Sit down, let me get a new cup.”

Phil put his hand back on his shoulder and gently but firmly pushed him back down on to the chair. “What do you mean?” he asked, in a voice that matched his grip, “No-yes-sometimes covers all the wickets.” He removed his hand and turned round to collect another cup and saucer, moving past Laurie to put it on the table beside him and then reaching to pull the kettle off the Rayburn and put both tea-leaves and the boiling water in the teapot.

He brought the teapot over and put it on the cork table-mat in the middle of the table before opening the pantry door and rummaging in the fridge for the milk-jug. Laurie sat and let him, watching him slightly warily.

As Phil sat down and folded his arms again, waiting for the tea to brew, Laurie muttered, “I told her not to do it.”

“You told her not to do it?” Phil repeated. “Ah, I see.” And he did, in a way. He wouldn’t be in Laurie’s shoes for anything.

Laurie worked his thumb over and over one of the whorls of wood in the table-top. It was smoothed from long use. “I hate it, Phil,” he said in a low voice. “I hate not being able to do all the simple things. It makes me feel useless, having them all run round after me.”

“You’d rather let the plants die than accept help?”

Laurie bit his lip and continued to worry at the knot in the table. “It sounds daft when you put it like that,” he said.

Phil didn’t say anything.

“Okay, I know it’s daft.” He looked up and met Phil’s eyes, his own anguished. “But I hate it,” he said, vehemently. “I hate it, Phil.”

About The Author

authorheadshot

Writer of queer, paranormal, historical, romantic suspense. Lives in the South West of England with Mr AL, two children, a badly behaved dachshund, a terrifying cat and some hens.

Likes gardening but doesn’t really have time or energy. Not musical. Doesn’t much like telly. Non-binary. Chronically disabled. Has tedious fits.

Social Media

https://lnk.bio/gjD5

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