Tag Archives: Humour

Release Blitz: Demon’s Wish by Xenia Melzer

Demon’s Wish | Xenia Melzer

Demon Mates #1

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Release Date: January 5th, 2021

Length: 53,035 / 201 pages

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Series Link: https://www.firstforromance.com/series/demon-mates

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Blurb

Finding love is hard—especially when you’re a demon and your potential mate is your sacrifice…

Sammy is content with running his bookshop and leading a book club consisting solely of paranormal creatures. Despite the persistence of his friends, he has resolved himself to a life without romance, since he doesn’t think anybody could find him and his tendency to spill useless knowledge whenever he gets nervous attractive.

Dresalantion is a demon prince and slightly—make that majorly—annoyed when somebody persistently tries to summon him. He finally decides to show up and put the fear of Dresalantion into his summoners but finds himself rescuing their sacrifice instead.

Sammy intrigues him from the get-go, and when Dre realizes that Sammy can get him the manga he’s been hunting for months—not to mention that he refuses a wish he offered him—the sexy demon decides to get to know this fascinating man better. Much better.

Reader advisory: This book contains scenes of kidnapping and an attempted human sacrifice.

Excerpt

“Is everybody set?”

Sammy looked around the group of people gathered in his bookstore. It was Wednesday, which meant there would be a book club meeting after closing hours. Their little group met at least twice every month to discuss books and interesting topics related to books, and Sammy loved it. It had formed half a year after he had opened his shop, Sammy’s Book Corner, and the participants had become something like a family to him, which he desperately needed after his parents had died five years before. He gazed around to make sure everybody had their stash of cookies—this time provided by Mavis and Maribell, the two witches—along with their favorite drink.

The delicious smell of freshly baked cookies mixed with the aroma of two hazelnut toffee lattes, the sharper tang of two Chai teas—heavy on the cinnamon—and his own hot chocolate before the familiar background scent of books, both old and new, made him once again congratulate himself on buying the fancy coffeemaker and establishing the little lounging area across from his cash counter. The members of their book club were seated on the four old couches around two low tables, getting comfortable.

Sammy was especially proud of this setup, since he had found all the furniture at flea markets and had given them each a do-over. The whiskey-colored leather couch hadn’t been much work. Just cleaning and treating the leather with a special balm had made the piece shine again. It now smelled faintly of beeswax, something that made Sammy crave a peppermint tea with honey every time he sat on it. The two chaises had required more effort. He had upholstered them and given them each a new cloth as well. Now customers could sit down on the colors of the rainbow to read their latest purchase. The last item was a lounger whose frame he had painted in pink then sprinkled with golden glitter for good measure. A turquoise throw made the piece stand out. One of the tables was covered in dots of various sizes and colors, and the other one had wall tattoos of Drogon and Smaug looking at each other on a black background.

Sammy was the first to admit that his artistic talent was closer to what a six-year old could produce than the fine artistry people with a real gift made, but he had done a good job with the furniture and his shop. Perhaps it was because he loved his little haven of books so much that it brought out the best in him. Except for the laptop in his office and the coffeemaker, nothing in the shop was new. Most everything had come from flea markets and garage sales, making for an interesting and charming mix of styles. Sammy had dedicated quite some time matching his books with the furniture. His antiques were stacked in open wardrobes that matched their age—or came close to it. The fantasy and science fiction books lived on shelves from IKEA, which he had sprayed silver. The romance books had found their home in old wooden wine crates that were clustered around the shop in small stacks of six to ten. Comics and manga were stashed in big boxes he had built from panoplies and painted in different hues of blue. The shop was Sammy’s idea of home, a feeling that seemed to convey itself, because most of his customers were regulars and loved hanging out in the place.

Sammy looked at his fellow book club members and adopted family and felt a brief shudder when he remembered their last meeting, where Amber the banshee had insisted on providing the baked goods. She might be four hundred years old, but just like every other banshee in the world, her baking skills were those of a blind man who had to find his way in a kitchen with both arms tied behind his back. Nonexistent. According to Emilia, the vampire in their group, this had something to do with their magic, which allowed them to pinpoint the exact time of death for every person. Apparently, the mixture of being able to look into the future without upsetting the balance of time and still warning people of their impending end didn’t go well with any kind of cooking. As to why exactly that was, Emilia couldn’t—or wouldn’t—tell. As the only human in a group of paranormals, Sammy had gotten used to not knowing everything. There was too much going on and he had learned soon after stepping into this world that ignorance truly was bliss in many cases where paranormals were involved. He would have preferred to know about Amber’s anti-talent in the kitchen, though, before he’d accepted her offer to bring snacks.

Per group vote, Amber had been banned from ever bringing sweets to the meetings again, even though Jon, the zombie living in the cellar under the bookshop, had later confessed to Sammy that the stone-hard lumps weren’t that bad, once one managed to get through the crust—the burnt, black crust that may or may not once have been sugar. Sammy swallowed hard. Just remembering the taste made his stomach revolt. And he hadn’t even been able to get to the core of the—he tried to find a fitting word for the deadly pieces of ballistic bakery and finally settled for ‘pastries’. Declan and Troy, the two werewolf alphas, as well as Emilia, had sharper teeth and more strength in their jaws, yet the looks on their faces when the crust gave way had been disturbing, to put it mildly.

“I don’t see what’s so different about these,” Amber declared with a pout while holding up a perfectly shaped chocolate chip cookie. Her pixie cut with the neon green hair went well with the huge, sapphire-green earrings, the thick golden chain with various amulets dangling from her neck, the five leather bracelets with Celtic runes etched into them and the approximately twelve rings she was wearing on her fingers. Compared to her jewelry, her outfit was plain—black skinny jeans, black sneakers and a black shirt with a sparkling unicorn on it, declaring Eat My Stardust, Suckers.

“The difference, my dear Amber, is that these cookies can be eaten without costing you a tooth. I’m so sorry to break this to you, but your baking skills are what I imagine Terry Pratchett had in mind when he created dwarf bread.”

Declan put one of the cookies in his mouth, munched on it with an expression of pure bliss on his ridiculously handsome face and gulped it down. He and Troy, who wasn’t there on that day due to business, looked like everybody’s wet dream. They were tall and had angular faces with chiseled jaws and sharp cheekbones, broad shoulders, slim hips, long, muscular legs and hair so thick and healthy that Sammy knew women would murder for it. Apparently, the good looks were part of the genetic makeup of shifters, but Sammy still found it almost offensive how perfect Declan and Troy were. Like two sides of a coin, one dark and dangerous, the other blond and…well, dangerous, they were a constant temptation for women and men alike. When they’d first joined the book club, Sammy had had some disturbingly hot dreams about threesomes with them and it had taken him almost four months until he had been able to put them firmly in the ‘friend zone’. It had helped—once they’d felt comfortable enough to relax during the meetings—to see their true selves. Because, no matter how perfect their looks were, the two werewolves were almost annoyingly arrogant and overconfident, as was typical for alphas—or so Sammy had been told by Jon. Their saving grace was a great sense of humor and their unusual choice of favorite book—Pride and Prejudice. After they had confessed this, nobody in their little circle was able to take them too seriously anymore, because how could somebody who loved the perfect book be a bad person? The posturing was just that—a façade to frighten potential enemies away—and the paranormal world was full of those.

“Dwarf bread?” Amber lifted one of her meticulously plucked eyebrows, a hint of steel in her voice.

“Don’t take it to heart, dear. If you want, you can come over and maybe we can teach you how to get them right.”

Maribell smiled at Amber and patted her hand. The witch looked like a nice, elderly lady with her flower-print dress, the square handbag and the perfectly coiffed bun at the back of her head. Her thick black hair was infused with gray strands, and around her almond-shaped eyes—a heritage from her Asian father—laugh lines softened her features. Sammy knew better, though. Maribell reminded him of his first-grade teacher, Mrs. Smithson, who had been able to shut unruly pupils up with one stern look. Those who inspired her displeasure quickly learned that there was nothing worse than the wrath of a teacher provoked…except for the wrath of witches. And with Mavis and Maribell, the first lesson was also the last.

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About the Author

Xenia Melzer was born and raised in a small village in the South of Bavaria. As one of nature’s true chocoholics, she’s always in search of the perfect chocolate experience. So far, she’s had about a dozen truly remarkable ones. Despite having been in close proximity to the mountains all her life, she has never understood why so many people think snow sports are fun. There are neither chocolate nor horses involved and it’s cold by definition, so where’s the sense? She does not like beer either and has never been to the Oktoberfest – no quality chocolate there.

Even though her mind is preoccupied with various stories most of the time, Xenia has managed to get through school and university with surprisingly good grades. Right after school she met her one true love who showed her that reality is capable of producing some truly amazing love stories itself.

While she was having her two children, she started writing down the most persistent stories in her head as a way of relieving mommy-related stress symptoms. As it turned out, the stress-relief has now become a source of the same, albeit a positive one.

When she’s not writing, she translates the stories of other authors into German, enjoys riding and running, spending time with her kids, and dancing with her husband. If you want to contact her, please visit either her website, or write her an email.

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Giveaway

Enter to win signed/personalised copies of books 1 & 2 in the Club Whisper series and a $5.00 First For Romance Gift Code!

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Notice: This competition ends on 13th January 2021 at 5pm GMT. Competition hosted by Totally Entwined Group.

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Release Blitz: Merry Measure by Lily Morton

Merry Measure | Lily Morton

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Release Date: December 2nd, 2020

Cover Design: Natasha Snow

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Blurb

Arlo Wright’s introduction to his sexuality came when he saw his older brother’s best friend, Jack Cooper, in his sweaty football kit. Unfortunately, he didn’t have long to enjoy the revelation because he promptly knocked himself out on a table.

Relations between them have never really moved on from that auspicious beginning. Arlo is still clumsy, and Jack is still as handsome and unobtainable as ever.

However, things look like they’re starting to change when Arlo finds himself sharing a room with Jack while on holiday in Amsterdam at Christmas. Will the festive spirit finally move them towards each other, or is Arlo just banging his head against a wall this time?

From bestselling author, Lily Morton comes a warm romantic comedy set in chilly Amsterdam.

Teaser 1

Excerpt

He laughs and makes his way out of the coffee shop, the crowd obligingly parting for him like he’s Jesus with a bread roll.

I follow him, attempting not to ogle the gorgeous swell of his bum in his jeans. It’s a losing battle and one I’ve fought since I was eleven and eating soup in the kitchen of my family home. Young Arlo had looked up and seen a vision at the door—Jack in sweaty football gear that clung to his fifteen-year-old body like glue. And then Young Arlo had promptly had several revelations about his sexuality. He’d had to shelve thinking about them for a few hours, however, because he inhaled a crouton and, while choking, fell over and knocked himself out on the kitchen table.

Not my finest moment, but looking back, not my worst either.

That summer, I spent several months following Jack and my brother around, much to my brother’s mystification, as we were at that point in our relationship where he frequently wanted to batter me. I ceased my youthful pursuit of Jack when two things happened. The first was that my brother threatened to pull off my arms and legs slowly and then tell mum, if I didn’t stop following him and impeding his wooing of his crush at the time. The second was that Jack got himself a girlfriend—Samantha Hampson. I’d wallowed in misery for at least a month, and then my natural optimism surfaced, telling me that he’d notice me soon and that Samantha was a total ho and unworthy of my beloved.

He never did notice me, of course. Samantha went the way of many of his girlfriends, and then, after he came out as bisexual, his boyfriends. They were all perfect-looking, and they dated exclusively and generally looked like something from toothpaste commercials. But invariably something went wrong, and they’d vanish, only to be replaced by the next perfect specimen.

I curl my lips at the thought of his latest one. Steven, who is spectacularly good-looking but also a complete twat. He’s cold and deeply possessive of Jack’s time, but Jack never seems to notice. My stomach roils a little at the thought that Steven has lasted longer than anyone else. Maybe this is it. They’ll get married and settle down and raise children or penguins, or whatever people in perfect relationships do.

Not that I’d know. My love life is as scatty as my timekeeping, and my partners have all largely become the stuff of family legends—hilarious stories to be related at family parties to newcomers, like the time my boyfriend from university got stupendously drunk and refused to talk to anyone apart from our family dog. After a full weekend of deep and meaningful chats, Fee-Fee looked like she was glad to see the back of us when we went back to uni.

I don’t think I ever expected Jack to look at me, though. I’m his best friend’s little brother. The nuisance whose knees he patched up after a fall and who he tried to teach how to fish until he had to give up when I fell in the river. He’d never look at disastrous me.

Unfortunately, even with this knowledge, I’ve never been able to completely shelve my youthful infatuation. Maybe because it was first love—intensely painful when it happens to you, like slamming your head into a kitchen table, but bits of it linger in lines on your heart. Maybe it’s also because he’s a genuinely lovely person, inside and out. He’s kind and thoughtful and clever and has never talked down to me.

Teaser 3

About The Author

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Lily writes contemporary romance novels, and specialises in hot love stories with a good dose of humour.

Lily lives in sunny England with her husband and two children, all of whom claim that they haven’t had a proper conversation with her since she bought her first Kindle.

She has spent her life with her head full of daydreams and decided one day to just sit down and start writing about them. In the process she discovered that she actually loved writing, because how else could she get to spend her time with hot, funny men!

She loves chocolate and Baileys and the best of all creations – chocolate Baileys! Her lifetime’s ambition is to have a bath in peace without being shouted by one of her family.

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To celebrate Lily’s new release, we are giving you a chance to win your choice of any book from Lily’s backlist.

Three winners will be chosen!

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Blog Tour: Love Directions by A.F. Zoelle

Love Directions | A.F. Zoelle

A Good Bad Idea Story #5

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Blurb

Elias Forthwright

Can a chance meeting lead to true love? I sure hope so, because I’m falling hard and fast for North. I’m normally too shy to be attracted to a playful flirt like him, but he’s full of surprises that bring out the best in me. Even though we’re nothing alike, he’s everything I never knew I needed.

Maybe it’s silly to feel like the cosmic universe conspired to bring us together, but North makes me want to believe in the impossible. After all, it would be stupid to run away from love when all signs point to him being the one, right?

North Easton

To say I’ve lived a strange life is a massive understatement. I’m used to weird things being the norm, but even I never expected to fall in love with a sweetheart the first time I meet him. Elias makes me feel all warm and gooey inside like a hot brownie. If I get lucky, maybe he’ll want a bite. And if I’m really lucky, he’ll want to come back for seconds, thirds, fourths, and forever.

I know we just met, but is it too soon to plan for a lifetime of canoodling with Elias? Shockingly, I don’t mean that as a euphemism for once.

Love Directions is the fifth book in the Good Bad Idea series. This novel features a shy/flirt, instalove, opposites attract romance. Full of cute sweetness and sexy fun, every story ends with a satisfying HEA and no cliffhangers. Each book can be read as a standalone or as part of the series in order.

Teaser 1

Excerpt

North shook my hand as he introduced himself, sending currents zinging through me as we touched. “I’m North Easton. Nice to meet you, Elias.”

That was quite an interesting name. “North Easton?”

“Yeah, and my twin is West Easton. There isn’t a joke about that we haven’t heard.” He grinned, even though he was probably sick of everyone having the same response. “If you think that’s bad, my mom has a cat called Woof. My theory is she’s overcompensating for being named Linda.”

He said it with a straight face, but I couldn’t believe him. “You’re joking, right?”

“I wish I was. When she was a kid, she had a Chihuahua named Meow.”

It was so absurd I had to laugh. “Now you’re just messing with me.”

North pulled out his phone and opened his group text with his mother and sister. He scrolled up a bit to a picture of a very regal-looking gray Siamese cat wearing a gold crown and white fur-lined purple velvet cloak. The texts under it made me snicker.

Mom: King Woof requests your presence at dinner.

West: Kings don’t make requests; they command.

Mom: Fine, he commands you to stop being a smart-ass.

North: Good luck with that. Does Lord Woofie have a specific time in mind?

The conversation was so delightfully weird. “I bet her next cat’s name is Mouse.”

“You’re probably right. That’s absolutely her sense of humor.”

I raised my drink in a toast. “Congratulations, you’re officially the most interesting person I know now.”

“I’m honored.” He clinked his glass against mine. “So, what’s this I hear about me being your stranger?”

As he drank his cocktail while watching me, I found myself tongue-tied. Thankfully, Red answered for me. “His horoscope said he would meet a stranger that would change his life today. It also suggested that he should be open to the possibility of love, hint hint. Mine said I should play Cupid, so this seems like the perfect trifecta to make magic happen.”

It was embarrassing having my horoscope habit being revealed. I hurried to justify my interest. “Horoscopes were my mom’s thing.”

North studied me, his gaze piercing through me as if he could see all my secrets somehow. I felt exposed but remained silent as I waited for him to respond. He took another sip before he shocked me. “You must be a Virgo.”

I blinked at him in disbelief. “How could you tell?”

His cryptic smile did funny things to my heart. “I’m magic.”

“If you’re so magical, what am I?” Red challenged.

“Oh, you’re definitely a Taurus. There’s no question about that.”

His accuracy was uncanny, further intriguing me. “Why do you know that?”

“I told you: I’m magic.” He stated it with so much confidence, I almost believed him. Who was this guy?

Teaser 4

About The Author

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Under constant siege from persistent plot bunnies, A.F. Zoelle enjoys humoring them by writing about gorgeous men being in love. Her contemporary romances are full of witty banter, sexy fun, and lovable smart-asses.

She’s left academia behind for a new adventure, which will hopefully include adopting Ragdoll cats of her own someday soon.

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Giveaway

To celebrate the exciting release of Love Directions, we are giving away 2 e-sets of the A Good Bad Idea Series so far

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