Tag Archives: new release blitz

New Release Blitz: Chaser by Rick R. Reed

Chaser | Rick R. Reed

Chaser #1

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Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: February 24, 2020

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 67,500

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Blurb

Caden DeSarro is what they call a chubby chaser. He likes his guys with a few extra pounds on them. So when he meets Kevin Dodge in a bar bathroom, he can’t help but stare. As far as Caden is concerned, Kevin is physically perfect: a stocky, bearded blond. But Caden gets tongue-tied and misses his chance.

When Caden runs into Kevin one night on the el train, he figures it’s fate offering him a second shot. Caden manages to get invited back to Kevin’s place for a one-night stand that turns into the kind of relationship he’s dreamed about.

But the course of true love never runs smoothly—Kevin and Caden’s romance is no exception. When Caden returns from a few weeks away on business, Kevin surprises him with a new and “improved” body—one that fits Caden’s shallow friend Bobby’s ideal, but not Caden’s. Caden doesn’t know what to do, and his hesitation is just the opportunity Bobby was looking for.

Excerpt

Chaser
Rick R. Reed © 2020
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One

“I like fat men.”

“You like big butts?”

“I cannot lie.”

Caden and his therapist laughed together over the song reference, both old enough to remember Sir Mix-A-Lot’s 1992 rap hit “Baby Got Back.” Camille D’Amico reined in her laughter abruptly, pushing her tortoiseshell glasses back up on her nose and fussing with her frizzy halo of brown hair. She adopted a serious expression. “So you’re attracted to heavier men. Is that a problem?”

“Not really a problem, I guess. It’s just that I wonder why. I mean, look at me.”

Caden stood up, turned around slowly, and sat back down in the comfortable overstuffed chair facing Camille. He knew what he was displaying—a very trim, tight five-foot-eleven frame upon which not even an ounce of fat rested. In the dictionary, if one looked up the word “lean,” there was Caden’s picture, the perfect illustration. He rubbed his hands over his black buzz cut and then brought one hand down to the stubble of his just-coming-in beard. Not only was he very fit, he was a very handsome thirty-year-old man.

“What?” Camille asked. “You think you’re too good for a guy with a few extra pounds on his frame? Think you’re slumming if you take a walk on the fat side?”

Caden shook his head and put up his palms in self-defense. “No, no, that’s not it at all. I don’t think I’m better, not by any stretch. I’m just wondering why, lately especially, I’ve been drawn to heavier men.”

“Is this something new for you?”

“Not really, but it’s only something I’ve been acting on in the past few months. I have this friend, Bobby, who I usually go out with and he’s, well, he can be kind of superficial…” Caden’s voice trailed off as he thought of his gorgeous friend, who looked a lot like the porn star, Dawson, with a trim build, cut abs, closely shorn auburn hair, and luminous gray eyes. The difference between Bobby and Dawson was that Bobby was much choosier than Dawson, although perhaps no less promiscuous—no mean feat when one considered one of Dawson’s films was entitled Dawson’s 50-Load Weekend. Anyway, this session was supposed to be about Caden, not Bobby. “And he always gives me a hard time about wanting to meet, as I said, heavier men.”

“And this Bobby’s opinion is important to you?”

“He’s my best friend.”

“Important enough that you would alter going after what you really want for him?”

Camille’s question stopped him short. He’d never really thought of it that way. Why did it matter what Bobby thought? So what if he didn’t approve of the bearded redhead he met online and invited over last week? And what business was it of Bobby’s if he liked to peruse the profiles at footballplayerbuild.com?

Obviously, it bothered him enough to bring it up here today with Camille, whom he had been seeing for the past three weeks. His visits to her were his thirtieth birthday present to himself. He hoped to figure out why, at age thirty, he had yet to find a relationship that lasted more than three dates.

He had begun wondering if there was something intrinsically wrong with him. He was a good catch—at least that’s what his mother told him—but on paper, he did look good. No one could argue with that. He was handsome, having inherited his mother’s Sicilian olive complexion, black hair, and eyes that ranged from amber to green. His nose was strong, patrician, some might say (his mom again, anyway). He wasn’t a bodybuilder, but years of running four to six miles four to six days a week, along with summertime lakefront bike rides, had given him a good, solid build.

And it wasn’t just in the looks department where he thought he had a lot to offer. He had a good head on his shoulders. That he got from his late father, who had been a fully tenured professor of English literature at Northwestern University in Evanston before passing away unexpectedly one morning in the bathroom of a heart attack. That same head on his shoulders had given him, if not a stellar job, a solidly respectable and reliable one as a copywriter at a medical association in downtown Chicago. He had been there since graduating from Northwestern nine years ago, starting out as an editorial assistant on one of their trade journals.

So why did he feel the need to try to apply the same standards Bobby applied to his own dates, standards that could be summed up by Bobby with the initials FG, which stood for “fucking gorgeous”? If a man was not FG, so Bobby’s rationale went, he was not worth fucking.

Sometimes Caden wondered why he had Bobby as a best friend. But he could be hilarious at times, and he could be a lot of fun. Caden on his own in a bar was a wallflower, but with Bobby, some of his charm and charisma, the devil-may-care attitude, rubbed off on Caden.

Plus, going out with Bobby usually meant he would hook up with one of Bobby’s FG prospects’ fucking gorgeous friends. Because, as Bobby always said, “The hot ones travel in packs.”

Caden shook his head and looked at the therapist, who was sitting patiently, waiting. “What did you ask me again?”

“I asked you if Bobby’s opinion was more important to you than getting what you want.” Camille cocked her head.

“No, no, of course not.” He answered too quickly.

“You know,” Camille said, “I’m like what’s in your own head. There’s no need in here to try and come up with what you think is the right answer. No need to censor yourself. Do I need to remind you there’s no judgment here?”

“No.”

“So, I won’t ask you about Bobby’s opinion again, but I do want you to think about your answer.”

“Why?”

“Because you brought up your attraction to heavy men for a reason.” Camille shrugged. “It doesn’t matter so much what the reason is, so much as it matters what you think about it. Look, people are attracted to other people for all sorts of reasons, and there’s no right or wrong way to be attracted. Take my mother—please!” Camille laughed. “Ever since my father passed away a few years ago, she’s been all about younger men. And I am not talking forties and fifties here. I’m talking about much younger, your age, Caden, and even in their twenties. Mom’s sixty, but she’s a knockout.”

“Cougar?” Caden asked.

“Use that word around her and you might get your eyes scratched out. Anyway, my point is that it’s what she likes, and even though I did question it at first, especially when she was having me meet guys who were younger than I was, it wasn’t my call to make. Attraction is subjective—totally.”

“You’re right.”

Camille laughed. “I’m not looking for affirmation. I just want to understand why you chose to bring up this particular attraction with your therapist.”

And Caden realized he’d like to know the reason himself. If he could only get a handle on it, a love handle, if you will. He shook his head, censoring his inner Kathy Griffin.

The therapy session failed to illuminate the rationale for Caden’s attraction, and he left Camille’s office with homework not on why he was attracted to heavy guys, but why he felt that mattered.

It didn’t matter, did it?

RickRReed-524x749

About the Author

Real Men. True Love.

Rick R. Reed draws inspiration from the lives of gay men to craft stories that quicken the heartbeat, engage emotions, and keep the pages turning. Although he dabbles in horror, dark suspense, and comedy, his attention always returns to the power of love.

He’s the award-winning and bestselling author of more than fifty works of published fiction and is forever at work on yet another book. Lambda Literary has called him: “A writer that doesn’t disappoint…”

Rick lives in Palm Springs, CA, with his beloved husband, Bruce, and their fierce Chihuahua/Shiba Inu mix, Kodi.

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New Release Blitz: Tricks and Bids by Jacqueline Grey

Tricks and Bids | Jacqueline Grey

Suit of Harte’s #1

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Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: February 17, 2020

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 20,300

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Blurb

When Michael Nole propositions Dillon Spade outside a BDSM club one evening, all he is looking for is a potential client and a little kink. He gets much more than he bargained for.

As a prostitute, Michael enjoys sex but keeps an emotional distance between himself and the men he sleeps with. His priority is to keep himself safe, but after a night in Dillon’s bed, he finds the line between enjoyment and occupation blurring.

Dillon hasn’t taken another man home since his previous lover passed away six years ago, but there is something about Michael that calls to his inner Dominant in a way he cannot resist. His instincts want to claim the boy even as he reminds himself that he is only paying Michael for temporary company.

Their relationship may have started as a business transaction, but it’s difficult to remain professional when breaking all the rules.

Excerpt

Tricks and Bids
Jacqueline Grey © 2020
All Rights Reserved

“Hey. Wanna play?”

Dillon glanced up to find a young man leaning against the hood of his car. At Dillon’s pointed look, he took a step back, so he no longer touched the automobile.

“What gave you the impression I want company?”

“You obviously didn’t find what you were looking for in there” came the reply with a nod back at Harte, the BDSM club Dillon had just exited. “If you had, you wouldn’t be leaving this early.”

“And you think you’re what I want?”

The boy shrugged.

Dillon peered at him. He appeared to be in his midtwenties, fit and tight in the way Dillon remembered being before he’d hit thirty-three. He was shorter than Dillon with dark-brown hair long enough to grip: two things Dillon liked in a submissive. There was something familiar about him as well. If Dillon wasn’t mistaken, he’d seen him heading into a nearby motel a few times and never with the same “date.”

“Are you a prostitute?” Dillon asked.

The blunt question evoked an expression of surprise, but it rapidly morphed into a smooth smile. “‘Prostitute’ sounds like a job. It’s more of a hobby.”

“One you get paid for.”

“It’s a good hobby.”

Dillon cracked a smile. “How much do you charge?”

“Depends on what you want to do.”

That was reasonable enough, and if he’d been waiting outside Harte, he must know to expect kink and charge for it accordingly. “Are you clean?”

“Yes, and condoms are necessary and at your expense.”

“Expense? That sounds like a job term to me,” Dillon teased.

He considered his options. The boy was right. He hadn’t found what he was searching for in the club, and he held no illusions he ever would. Even after six years, he couldn’t help comparing every submissive he came across to the lover he’d lost. Harte called him a stubborn old goat, but the thought of building a relationship from scratch exhausted him. It was so hard to find someone whose rhythms and tastes fit with his own. Granted, the club was designed for negotiation and mutually desired play, but that was for the scenes that took place there. What about the rest of the time?

Dillon didn’t want a casual play partner. That did nothing more for him than scratch an itch that would return in no time. He wanted someone he could build a life with. He wasn’t going to find that with a prostitute, but something about the stranger brought forth yearnings Dillon hadn’t felt in years. He could take the boy home with him, indulge in what he wanted in his own territory and under his own rules. It would be a purchased illusion, but it beat going home alone and sleeping in an empty bed.

“Come on,” he said, pulling his car door open and unlocking the other side. “We’ll talk details when we get to my place.”

“Your place? Don’t you mean a hotel?”

“My place,” repeated Dillon. “I don’t do quick fucks.”

About the Author

Jacqueline Grey currently lives on an island on the east coast of the United States. She spends her time outside her day job juggling her many interests which include reading, writing and drinking tea. She loves MM romance, usually focusing on stories that include BDSM themes to one degree or another.

Jacqueline has always been driven by characters. She loves a good plot, but it’s the characters that pull her into a story. She loves romance and believes everyone has a right to be happy. She enjoys seeing her characters find that happiness for themselves.

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New Release Blitz: Behind the Sun, Above the Moon Anthology

Behind the Sun, Above the Moon Anthology   | Multiple Authors

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Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: February 17, 2020

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: M/NB, F/NB

Length: 91,300

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Blurb

A Queer anthology inspired by magic and the cosmos, a vast and beautiful place where planets, stars, comets—entire galaxies, even—live without borders, specifications or binaries.

Stories span science fiction, science fantasy, contemporary, fabulism and magical realism, and celebrate Non-binary and Transgender characters.

twice-spent comet
On an isolated asteroid, Fer serves out their sentence with a found family of ramshackle criminals. Life takes an exciting turn when they befriend Ophelia, a beautiful humanoid creature with a tail like a comet.

From Dusk to Dying Sun
Jay Morrison almost believes the rumors of magic and mischief haunting the US-50. But their partner, Luis Inoa, has made a career guarding the dusty Nevada trails. According to him, the only scary things on the highway are the silences, until a group of tourists break open the sun and disappear into a fiery blaze.

Lost/Found
When Hollis Griffin, a lonely sex worker living in Venice Beach, forms an unlikely friendship with a fallen star, she begins to face the truth about her life, her past, and what the future holds.

Awry with Dandelions
For thirty seconds every night, a disembodied specter named Mette visits with Orin who has long since written the ghost woman off as a recurring dream. But when Mette suggests meeting in real life, Orin’s inner world turns out to be more substantial than imaginary, and xie embarks on a journey to discover the truth of Mette and their strange connection.

The Far Touch
A long-standing coven of witches trek to their sacred space and accidentally discover life on another planet when their Solstice celebration interferes with a lone practitioner.

Ink and Stars
Locked in a contract to steal their ex-lovers ship, Chaz Neoma comes face to face with consequences, lost partnership, and the chance at a future, after discovering they aren’t the last Weaver in the universe.

Horologium
In the far reaches of the Horologium Supercluster, an astronaux is stranded alone on a long-distance astral ship where they’re visited by three apparitions, telling stories of ancestors who traveled space before them. Coeie must decide whether to follow the ghosts of the past, or forge their own path through the cosmos.

Death Marked
As chief security officer in the Lunar Guard, Enzi is in charge of the security for their sister’s coming of age ceremony. A fragile relationship with their family doesn’t make keeping Ulsa safe any easier, and neither does a group of pesky drones or a hidden plot to overthrow their sister’s place in the family.

Weave the Dark, Weave the Light
On a crisp night, Ari, a supposed elemental witch, meets Jonathan Aster, a powerful being they desperately want to understand. As they explore an intense, intimate and passionate relationship, Ari unearths long-hidden mysteries about themself and their magic.

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New Release Blitz: IM by Rick R. Reed

IM | Rick R. Reed

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Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: February 10, 2020

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: No Romance, Male/Male

Length: 91,600

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IM-f500

Blurb

One by one, he’s killing them. Lurking in the digital underworld of Men4HookUpNow.com, he lures, seduces, charms, reaching out through instant messages to the unwary. They invite him over. He’s just another trick. Harmless. They’re dead wrong.

When the first bloody body surfaces, openly gay Chicago Police Department detective Ed Comparetto is called in to investigate. Sickened by the butchered mess of one of his brothers left on display in a bathtub, he seeks relief outside where the young man who discovered the body waits to tell him the story of how he found his friend. But who is this witness…and did he play a bigger part in the murder than he’s letting on?

Comparetto is on a journey to discover the truth, a truth that he needs to discover before he loses his career, his boyfriend, his sanity…his life.

Because in this killer’s world, IM doesn’t stand for instant message…it stands for instant murder.

WARNINGS: Graphic depictions of violence and mutilation, murder, pedophilia, scene of underage rape.

Excerpt

IM
Rick R. Reed © 2020
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One
When Tony logged on to the Men4HookUpNow website, he didn’t know this would be the last time he would type in his screen name and password, the last time he would scroll through thumbnail-sized pictures of men in various states of undress, or the last time he would read an instant message.

Tony didn’t know that logging on to Men4HookUpNow.com would be one of the last things he would do.

Ever.

The simple blue-and-white instant message box was a blank canvas, containing only a list of provocative screen names: musclestud, pnpjock, pozpup4u… And any one of these screen names could spring to life by sending Tony an instant message or, as everyone called them, an IM. Anyone could arrive within its simple frame: a college football player, a construction worker, a truck driver, or just a man in tight jeans and engineer boots.

There was a pinging sound, and a message appeared on the screen. Tony leaned forward to see who had come to call.

And whoosh, a real man came through cyberspace, delivered like a gift. The box held only one word, “Hi,” yet Tony felt its author could see through his monitor, see him there in his living room wearing only a pair of boxer shorts, see the porno playing on his TV screen.

“Come on, man,” Tony whispered, fingers poised above the keyboard. “Hi? Can’t you do better than that?” He wanted someone with a bit more personality this languid August night, so he hit the Delete key and banished the guy into limbo, where someone else might take his “Hi” with a little more encouragement. Tony began a scroll through the “Available Now” guys, reading the inane descriptions (“Let this hot, beefy muscle boy serve you. I’m six two, red hair, green eyes, former All-American football player;” “Aggressive bottom looking for well-endowed top men. I’m into just about everything except for scat, and I know how to take orders;” “Looking to party with a hot stud;” “Straight-appearing and acting;” “Negative… UB2”) and stopping if one of the thumbnails caught his eye, especially if the guy had the courage to show his face.

Tony idly stroked himself as the images paraded past. He asked himself why he was bothering with going online. For Christ’s sake, here it was, Saturday night. Couldn’t he throw on some jeans and head down to Halsted Street? At least in a bar, he would know for sure what the guy looked like if they decided to hook up, rather than seeing a cock shot and hoping the guy had a nice face or trusting a face pic a decade old. This way, all he had to work with was exaggeration, living in a world where “stocky” and “football-player build” meant fat, where thirty-eight-year-olds tried to pass as twenty-nine, where any bald guy could lay claim to looking like Bruce Willis, where average meant so hideous you might as well hide under a rock.

The instant message box popped up.

“Hey, what’s up?”

Well, at least better than “Hi.”

Tony keyed in: “Just real horny. Looking to hook up.” If the horny part weren’t so true, Tony wouldn’t have been able to keep himself from laughing. Trying to put a macho façade on his typed words, trying to make himself sound like he had an eighth-grade education made him feel idiotic. A queer Stanley Kowalski.

“Know what you mean, dude.”

So the guy was playing the macho game with him.

“So, man, what do you look like?”

“Twenty-four. Black. Blue. Nice lean muscular build, work out about three or four times a week. Nicely defined pecs. Good tan. Hairy chest. Eight inches cut, real thick. You?”

Tony felt himself transported. It was like the guy got into his head, reading the ingredients for his perfect fantasy man. His dick started to rise with anticipation, and he found his hand moving up and down the length of it, almost of its own accord. He clicked on the guy’s screen name on the instant messenger list, jock4play, and was disappointed to see no pictures in his profile. Still, if the description was accurate… Tony typed in: “Yeah, I’m twenty-eight. I’ve got dark blond hair, green eyes, moustache, goatee. Smooth swimmer’s build. Work out a lot too. Um. Got about seven, cut, shaved balls. Check out my pics.”

“You a top or bottom?” There wasn’t even a pause, so Tony wondered if the guy had bothered to look.

“Pretty open. I like it all. Very versatile. How about you? What are you into?”

“I’m a top, dude. Lookin’ for a good bottom boy.”

“I can do that.”

“Yeah?”

“Sure. Whereabouts are you, man?”

“North Side.”

“Yeah, me too. I’m in Rogers Park, Touhy and Ashland.”

“I’m not too far from you.”

Tony swallowed his common sense as the image of his fantasy man took over. “You wanna come over?”

“You like to party?”

“Yeah.” Tony loved little more than getting high and getting down. “Tina’s here.” Tony eyed the little glass pipe, its bottom crusted with black residue and white powder. His nerves—right along with his libido—were in overdrive.

“Poppers?”

“Got ’em.”

“Hmmm. I could be interested.”

Tony looked briefly at the TV, where a hairy-chested drill sergeant had a lithe blond “private” bent over his desk. He wanted to get things moving, so he typed: “You wanna call me?”

“Sure. Number?”

“My cell is 555-7654. Call me right back. Okay?” Was that too pushy? Many times they never bothered to call. Many times they said they would show up and never did. But once in a while, it all came together.

His cell chirped. He flipped it open. “Hey.”

“What’s goin’ on, dude?”

“God, I just need some dick. You interested in hookin’ up, man?”

“The sooner the better.”

“Got somethin’ to write with?” And Tony got busy, giving precise directions to his apartment.

Precise directions to a stranger.

After he hung up, Tony felt flushed, a deep burning radiating from chest to face. His heart pounded as if he had just done a big hit of poppers. God, the guy sounded incredible! He suddenly knew why he was doing this as opposed to going out to a bar. When the site worked, it worked. There was no bullshit, no game playing. No eye contact for an hour, no fumbling for something to say and then sounding like a dork. When it worked with the site, it was simply two lusting men getting together and pleasuring each other. They didn’t need to say a word. Then why not a bathhouse? Tony asked himself, wandering around the apartment, folding up newspapers and throwing magazines in the wicker basket he stored them in. He remembered Man Universe and the last time he was there. It was okay, he guessed; there wasn’t the usual amount of bullshit. He thought with a grin of the open doors and the guys lying within, naked on their stomachs, the white moons of their asses a focal point, the bottles of lube and poppers on the little tables beside the beds. But the bathhouse lacked one thing the Men4HookUpNow offered: the element of surprise. Having someone show up after making an online connection, there was always that breathless moment when you opened the door to see what you were getting. Even if you had seen photos, it was always a crapshoot. A grab bag. And that’s what made it so exciting. The gamble made the rewards all the sweeter. And, hey, if you lost one time, you just said “Sorry,” closed the door, and got back online.

There was no shortage of hot guys online.

Or at least adequate ones.

Tony glanced at himself as he passed the mirror in his dining room, grateful he had worked out earlier in the day, grateful for the fact that he never had to exaggerate. His blond hair was buzzed, and his muscles had good definition. His lips were slightly pouty, giving his face an aura of innocence defiled… Details in his face combined to form a very pleasing contradiction: sleazy and at the same time babyish, childlike.

Tony never lacked for admirers.

And sometimes he wished he did. He thought of him, the asshole who was always around, the one who, after three dates, couldn’t handle his request to be just friends.

But think of that another time! A party was coming up. And Tony wanted to make sure this party was of the all-night variety.

He headed for the kitchen to take the poppers out of the freezer. He held the little brown glass bottle up to the light and shook it. It was about at the halfway point, certainly enough to see him through the evening.

In the bedroom, he placed a couple of towels on the nightstand, along with a bottle of Wet. At the portable CD player, he put in Delirium—great fuck music—and he made sure the votive candles were adequate enough to burn for the hours he planned on taking with this guy, if he was as good as he sounded.

Tony turned to the mirror once more, running his hand through the blond spikes, making them stand on end. He flexed his biceps and was pleased at the image the mirror threw back.

He reached in his dresser drawer, pulled out his metal cock ring, and slid it over his dick and balls. He strapped a metal band with studs around his right arm “Perfect,” he whispered to his grinning reflection.

Blood pounded in his ears. A line of sweat formed at his hairline and under his arms.

He couldn’t wait.

The buzzer sounded.

Tony walked slowly to the intercom box in the front hallway, not wanting to appear too eager. Desperation was never pretty.

It sounded once more before he placed his hand on the Talk button. “Yeah?”

“It’s your buddy from online.”

Tony pressed the button marked Door and then the one marked Listen so he could hear the guy coming in. He hoped he wouldn’t be disappointed.

It was hard to tell, but the guy’s voice didn’t sound quite as deep as he thought it had when the guy called his cell. Perhaps the intercom was just distorting his voice a bit.

But there was something else. No, it couldn’t be…but the voice had a familiar cast to it. Tony wondered when the day would come when he ran into someone he knew from Men4HookUpNow.

Perhaps the day was today.

But the familiarity of the voice didn’t have pleasant associations.

Imagination. Tony, bud, you’re imagining things.

Anyway, there was no time to think about that now, not with the guy tapping on his door.

Tony peered through the peephole.

And saw nothing.

He didn’t like that. But the guy was probably standing to the left or right of the hole, that’s all. Good sense deserted Tony, usurped by lust.

He opened the door, and the color drained from his face. “What the hell are you doing here?”

RickRReed-524x749

About the Author

Real Men. True Love.

Rick R. Reed draws inspiration from the lives of gay men to craft stories that quicken the heartbeat, engage emotions, and keep the pages turning. Although he dabbles in horror, dark suspense, and comedy, his attention always returns to the power of love.

He’s the award-winning and bestselling author of more than fifty works of published fiction and is forever at work on yet another book. Lambda Literary has called him: “A writer that doesn’t disappoint…”

You can find him at http://www.rickrreedreality.blogspot.com. Rick lives in Palm Springs, CA, with his beloved husband, Bruce, and their fierce Chihuahua/Shiba Inu mix, Kodi.

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New Release Blitz: No Parking by Valentine Wheeler

No Parking | Valentine Wheeler

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Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: February 10, 2020

Heat Level: 2 – Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: Female/Female

Length: 63,300

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Blurb

When Marianne Windmere’s bakery customers begin complaining that her parking lot is always full, she assumes it must be customers for the new restaurant next door. She’s never met her neighbor, and with the parking lot situation, she has no interest in doing so.

But when a snowstorm knocks out the power and traps both women in the building overnight, sparks fly—until the next morning, when the buried argument comes to a head.

Can they find a way to reclaim the magic of that night? And as decades-old secrets about the history of the town and Marianne’s family come to light, can they work together to save both their businesses?

Excerpt

No Parking
Valentine Wheeler © 2020
All Rights Reserved

The travel mug banged against the counter. Marianne jumped. “Jesus, Kevin! I didn’t hear you come in.”

“It’s full again.” Kevin crossed his arms and glared. “The parking lot back there.” He made a show of glancing around the nearly empty bakery, eyes pausing on Zeke in the corner, mug in his hands and laptop open as usual, big red headphones covering his ears. He crossed his arms. “Why do you pay that kid if all he does is ignore you? And the customers?”

“You’re in a mood this morning.” Marianne pushed herself off the stool and grabbed his aluminum coffee mug. Her ex-husband was still an attractive man fifteen years after their divorce, and she couldn’t work up the energy to be annoyed at him for it anymore. “If you want to go next door and complain about the cars, go ahead.” She filled his mug with hazelnut coffee, added an espresso shot, capped it, and handed it back. “It’s not like our customers are beating down the doors for spots right now.”

“I did go next door,” Kevin grumbled, taking the cup. “It wasn’t productive.” Now it was him avoiding her gaze.

The parking lot issue wasn’t a new one—it had been a problem for a few months—and on a busy day Marianne would be filled with a low-level simmering rage as customer after customer complained about it. Still, she wasn’t going to tell Kevin that. Their relationship had improved in the years since their divorce but not quite that much.

“Not productive?” she pressed.

He sipped his coffee to cover the slight flush in his pale cheeks and didn’t answer.

“She threw you out, didn’t she?” Marianne’s estimation of her neighbor and nemesis rose a notch. “You tried to yell at her, and she didn’t take it.”

“I was very polite!”

“Hm.” Marianne put her hands on her hips and considered the man she’d spent nearly twenty-five years married to. He could be charming when he wanted to be—the whole silver fox, sparkling blue eyes and white teeth politician thing—though he never tried it with her anymore. Many women had found him suave and attractive during their marriage and probably still did. But when he wanted something from someone with no interest in what he was peddling? Politeness wasn’t his style. Generally, once charm had failed, he whined worse than any of their three kids had as toddlers. She’d learned that plenty during their marriage, and again during the divorce. “I’m sure you were.”

“I can talk to Bruce and Andrea,” said Kevin. “Just because I’m retired—”

“No need to get the city council involved, Kevin. I’ll handle my own property, thanks.” She glanced at the clock on the wall, its tarnished brass pendulum swinging below the cracked glass. “Aren’t you going to be late for your train?” He was still showing up at transit meetings in the city every other week since he had been appointed to the regional transit board as community representative now that he wasn’t an elected official. Kevin had a habit of holding onto things too tightly and refusing to let them go.

Kevin glanced down at his watch and swore. “Yeah. Shit.” He took another long gulp of coffee and leaned over the counter to kiss Marianne’s cheek. “Thanks. Who knew retirement could be so busy?” He turned to hurry out the door and then stopped and glanced back over his shoulder. “You be good, all right? Don’t work too hard.”

Marianne rolled her eyes and shooed him out with a towel.

About the Author

Valentine is a latecomer to writing, though she’s always been a passionate reader. Through fanfiction she found her way to an incredible community of writers who’ve taught her to love making stories.

When she isn’t writing, she’s making bad puns, yelling about television, or playing with her small child.

Her life’s ambition is to eat the cuisine of every single country. You can find Valentine on Twitter.

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New Release Blitz: A Touch of Danger by Elaine White

A Touch of Danger | Elaine White

Surviving Vihaan #1

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Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: February 10, 2020

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 66,400

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Blurb

Drew’s life sucks. Saving money to escape his homophobic family is one thing, but his only paying gig at the moment is playing his father’s “only gay in the village” plus-one to every LGBT friendly business event.

Then his brother comes up with a plan. Sheffield needs someone to go undercover for his police investigation. Drew has all the qualifications: he’s gay, he has experience with exotic animals, and he’s college-aged. And he’s easily bought.

Going undercover to solve the mystery of a college campus smuggling ring was never in his plans. Neither was hot, perfect, house captain Rylee. The inside jokes about cats, animal prints, and talk of a place called Vihaan that forbids same-sex relationships, are just the tip of the suspicious iceberg.

Little does Drew know that he’s about to expose more than an illegal smuggling operation. The truth could be more lethal than he could imagine. And, despite it all, it might be his own secret past that kills him before the truth can be unveiled.

Excerpt

A Touch of Danger
Elaine White © 2020
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One
“Care to run it by me again?” Drew rubbed his jaw, trying to stifle his laughter while his brother prowled the small office.

“We think they’re smuggling exotic animals,” Sheffield explained, with a drawn-out sigh.

“Through a fraternity house?”

“Yes.” His brother glared, as though he was the crazy one for questioning this “case” he’d been asked to consult on.

Drew took a slow, steady breath and asked, “You know this, how?” He was trying not to sound judgemental, but he wasn’t buying this story. What the hell would a bunch of fraternity brothers want with exotic animals? He paused…the idea conjured uncomfortable images. He hoped there was no “bear pit” with the animals or dubious sexual practices. He had a weak stomach and didn’t want any part of that kind of investigation.

Still, his brother was the big bad cop in the family. Drew was the runt; the unworthy second son. Abandoned to do whatever he wanted with his life because he was already a disappointment. There wasn’t much he could do to lower his position in the family. But he was no cop, no action man, and no Sherlock Holmes. He knew nothing about solving a case or how to look for evidence of “foul play”. And he was allergic to certain animals.

“We’ve had reports of wild animals on the grounds. When we sent an officer to investigate, he was attacked by a large cat. When we tried to run the names and identities of those living in the house, we came up with nothing. These people don’t exist,” Sheffield explained, shaking his head as he paced the length of the tiny room. “We sent in another man, undercover, to grab whatever DNA he could get his hands on. What he brought back…well, the hair came back feline. Exotic cats—a panther, a lion, and a cheetah.” Now Drew was getting the heebie-jeebies. He wasn’t sure he wanted anything to do with exotic cats. He wasn’t allergic to cats, which meant he would need to try harder to wiggle out of this. “I’m not a cop.” And this was getting weirder by the second.

“No, which will work for us. The last few cops we’ve sent in undercover have been caught quickly. These guys are smart and professional.” The heavy stare Sheffield levelled made Drew want to shrink. But he wasn’t a five-year-old anymore. “You are a college kid looking for somewhere to belong. It will be tough. They’re private and secretive. They barely socialise outside their group of friends, and they don’t date outside the house.”

“Seriously?” Raising his hands, Drew asked for a pause as he considered those words. This job went beyond weird and into the downright kinky. “You mean—”

Sheffield nodded, a grin spreading across his lips. “They’re gay, bi or trans. They call themselves the LGBT House of Acceptance,” he revealed. Arching an amused eyebrow while pretending not to find it hilarious.

“Nice name,” Drew scoffed, knowing what Sheffield was implying.

“This isn’t anything to laugh about. These guys are serious illegal traders, and we need to shut them down,” he argued. The growl could have been funny if it wasn’t for the fact he was being used.

“Let me get this straight, brother of mine. You suggested me for this because I’m gay, right?” he asked, getting straight to the point.

“It helps.”

“Yeah. You! It won’t help me much.”

Sheffield waved off his concerns and sneered in his usual dismissive manner. “You’re a hermit. This will be good for you,” he claimed. Drew knew he didn’t give a shit whether it was good for him. Sheffield was like their dad—he thought being gay was a choice Drew made when he turned sixteen and came out to the family. A choice made to piss off everyone and gain attention because the almighty big brother had been accepted into the Police Academy. Fuck them. He wasn’t as narcissistic as his family.

“I happen to like being a hermit.”

“Will you do it? Because I need to tell my supervisor, and then we need to fit you for a wire. You’ll be going in tonight.” Sheffield stopped his pacing to level Drew with an intimidating stare which hadn’t worked since he was ten.

Nothing like short notice.

“No wire,” he decided.

“Excuse me?” He growled—fucking growled!—and Drew wanted badly to do a fist pump, in victory.

“You said these guys are smart? Professional? They’ll spot a wire. They’ll probably cavity search me,” he teased, wiggling his eyebrows. Sheffield was practically pimping his brother out to criminals. Not like he’d turn down a good frisking if the company was good-looking. “Let me handle it. I’ll get your evidence and report back in a week. This Saturday.”

Hell, he was being paid. He’d dress in a monkey suit and do the hula if they asked. Maybe he could use the cash to get out of this shit hole?

Sheffield raked both hands through his short dark hair. “The boss won’t like this,” he complained, in a quiet, unsure voice.

Rising from his seat, Drew tried hard not to smile. “Yeah, well he’s not done a great job so far, has he? We’ll try it my way, and, if it doesn’t work, we’ll do it your way,” he offered.

He was going to get what he could out of this. Out of this town and well away from his family. Sheffield was bearable in small doses, but the rest of his family were vipers snapping at his heels. Each one determined to ignore and berate him when he needed them. Ready to jump on board and use him for their own means when they needed a boost.

Doing this, for a bit of cash, was like when he’d attended an LGBT fundraiser with his dad a year ago, in return for a year’s worth of college tuition. As long as it got him away from his family, he had no dignity and no pride.

Not a shred.

About the Author

Elaine White is the author of multi-genre MM romance, celebrating ‘love is love’ and offering diversity in both genre and character within her stories.

Growing up in a small town and fighting cancer in her early teens taught her that life is short and dreams should be pursued. She lives vicariously through her independent, and often hellion characters, exploring all possibilities within the romantic universe.

The Winner of two Watty Awards – Collector’s Dream (An Unpredictable Life) and Hidden Gem (Faithfully) – and an Honourable Mention in 2016’s Rainbow Awards (A Royal Craving) Elaine is a self-professed geek, reading addict, and a romantic at heart.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

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New Release Blitz: To The Flame by A. E. Ross

To The Flame | A. E. Ross

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Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: February 3, 2020

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: M/NB

Length: 20,900

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Blurb

Seattle boy Emerson Oakley is about to find that the strangest thing about his first year at West Virginia’s Vance University isn’t the neighbor in the next dorm over, who ghosts him after one kiss. It’s the fact that he keeps having his life saved by a stranger who seems to know about each accident before it happens.

Morrie Crisp, whose moth-person powers finally emerged at the most inconvenient time, is just trying to figure out how to deal with their crush on the boy next door, and all the different ways they’ve seen him die.

As Emerson tries to get to the bottom of who his pre-cog savior could be, his relationship with Morrie becomes extra complicated as their undeniable attraction to one another becomes a liability to both. Even as Morrie struggles to keep Emerson safe, Emerson is intent on igniting the fire between them, into which Morrie is naturally drawn.

What is a reasonable response to falling in love when the world itself is without reason? Unfortunately, neither one of them has any idea.

Excerpt

To the Flame
A.E. Ross © 2020
All Rights Reserved

Emerson

October 7th, 2019

With the sound of the school radio’s late-night show in his ears, Emerson Oakley pulled his wool-lined jacket more tightly around his broad frame and threw dirty looks at any shadows he passed, mean-mugging at would-be creatures waiting out there in the dark. Overhead, the campus clock chimed midnight, its toll reaching long and deep into the West Virginia night. Emerson clutched a stack of textbooks tightly under one arm, his free hand gripping the strap of his rucksack. By October, the school’s grounds had become a world of swirling fog. Frost was just beginning to lick at the blades of grass sitting neatly in between the cobbled walkways. The paths crisscrossed campus like a foursquare game. Just last month they had been full of hacky-sacking upperclassmen.

As a born and bred Seattle boy, Emerson was used to the sparkling mist that filled Puget Sound in spring, but the autumn weather in Appalachia was a different phenomenon altogether. It hung low, filling his nose and throat with damp cold as he made his way back to his dorm beneath flicking streetlights. His fingers were beginning to numb just a few steps in.

A loud crack rang out behind Emerson, causing him to jump a couple inches in surprise before turning around to see dazzling colors light up the sky. Some freshmen were letting off fireworks, probably to celebrate their newfound freedom to make bad decisions. The illegal rainbow starbursts snapped and popped in the sky over the astronomy building.

After reaching into his pocket, Emerson turned up the volume on his phone, letting the pop-punk singer’s smooth voice drown out any more unwanted jumpscare fodder. The song began to fade out as he crossed out of the quad and into the parking lot. His dorm was just on the other side of the empty gray stretch of pavement, and he could already see the golden glow from his next-door-neighbor’s room. He couldn’t hear the pounding bass that they loved to blast from morning to night, but he’d be in range soon enough. There was a reason he spent every night studying in the library instead of his dorm room. He didn’t know too much about the kid next door, but there were two things he knew for sure: they went by Morrie, and they fucking loved EDM turned up to 11.

“You’re listening to WVUX 69.1, The Voice of Vance. That was local band Rubric with their latest hit, ‘Risk Reward.’” The late-night host jumped in with perfect timing, his tone smooth as silk. As he continued with a recap of the week’s news, something flickered at the edge of Emerson’s vision. As he snapped his neck to the right, his breath caught in his throat. For a split second, he was certain he saw a dark shape on the roof of the nearest dorm building. The three-story brick building, Gryphon House, happened to be one of the earliest built on campus and was probably haunted, or at least that’s what the orientation tour guide had said. Of course, the guide was a bored junior, so he easily could have been making it up. Emerson was sure he had glimpsed…something. The large dark shape with flickering edges, host to two glowing red orbs that, ideally, were not eyes—or were eyes the better option?

Biting his chapped lip, Emerson turned away and kept walking, trying to focus on the words coming from his earbuds. “So, if you want to use the pool, you’re just going to have to wait until it’s been emptied and disinfected…for your own good. Oh, and one more thing—Emerson Oakley, watch your step,” the voice said just before another indie-punk hit began to play, coming in strong with the snare.

Emerson jerked his head up so hard his neck wrenched painfully. Scanning the empty parking lot, he took two nervous steps back. Just then, another colorful crack rent the sky above him, followed by a low whistle. It was the sound of a snapped power line slicing through the air and landing half-submerged in the puddle where he had been standing one second earlier.

Eyes wide, Emerson put a hand to his chest, a tight rush of anxiety beginning to cloud his brain in a familiar way. Music still pounding in his ears, he stared at the small sparks coming off the black wire. If he hadn’t taken those two steps back, he’d be fried. Panic rising in his throat, he let his logical pre-med brain take over and called campus security to let them know about the potential danger before continuing on to his dorm. This time, the music in his ears was drowned out by his own heartbeat as he swiped his key card and hustled up the stairs to the third floor.

Once he got into his room, the thump of his chest was drowned out by the heavy bass of Morrie’s EDM playlist. He basically knew the track listing by heart at this point. In a way, it was a comfort as he tried to get a grip on what had just happened. It was strange enough to get a cryptic warning from the college radio station, but he was certain that the warning had come seconds before the fireworks had actually hit the power line, assuming that was what had caused it to snap and swing into the puddle at his feet. How they could have called that shot, he had no idea. Emerson was pretty sure that the radio station was on the other side of campus.

He wriggled out of his heavy coat and flannel then stripped down to a sweat-soaked tee and gray boxer-briefs. It was hard not to think about what had just happened. He could have been deep-fried, his body burnt up and smelling like the hot dogs that the power company used to electrocute as an elementary school safety demonstration. Emerson ran his hands over his whole body just to make sure it was still there. He had always been barrel-chested with a soft, round stomach. Okay, he could admit he had a bit of an apple bottom as well, but he loved his body. If he had gotten his body fried up in a freak firework accident…well, he’d be dead and pretty upset about it. Sitting down on his worn forest-green patchwork quilt, he tried to sync his breathing to the rave beats from next door the way he’d learned in therapy.

Inhale.

Hold.

Exhale.

Hold.

He lay back on his bed and repeated that routine for several minutes until the fight-or-flight feeling flowed out of him and a reasonable calm remained. After grabbing his towel and toiletries, Emerson slipped out his door and down the hall to the bathroom. He did his best thinking in the shower, and boy, did he need a second to decompress.

The most important thing about the dorm bathroom was not to focus on the floor. If you did, it was over. All kinds of weird shit got caught in the grout that lined the beige tiles between cleanings, and it was honestly better if you could just keep your head on a swivel and ignore it altogether.

The second-most-important thing about the dorm bathroom was not to focus on anybody else either. To be fair, that had been Emerson’s modus operandi in every shared shower room he’d ever used: junior-high gym class, JV football, the YMCA pool. But it was especially vital now that he was in a university with all-gender facilities. He was proud of Vance Uni for living in the twenty-first century, and the last thing he wanted to do was make anyone feel weird or unwanted. That said, the scene was deserted, so he turned the water on as hot as it could go and divested himself of his earthly garments. The good burn of too-hot water relaxed his shoulder muscles, despite the shitty water pressure.

With a clear head, he convinced himself that there was surely a reasonable explanation for the DJ’s timely omen. Though, even if there was, it still didn’t do anything to ease his mind about the strange shape atop Gryphon House, which was still stuck in his mind.

After fluffing his hair dry and slinging a towel around his waist, Emerson made his way back down the hall to his room, just in time to cross paths with the Ghost of Electronica. Morrie was trying to unlock their door with a slice of pizza in one hand and a two-liter of soda wedged under their armpit. Emerson walked past and avoided glancing directly at Morrie, feeling irritated that they left their music playing even when they weren’t in the dang room. Or at least, that’s what he told himself. Certainly, his animosity for Morrie was all about the volume of their music and absolutely not about the way they:

1. Wore those tight black skinny jeans with the knee-baring holes, and
2. Hadn’t spoken to him once since that kiss during Orientation Week.

Obviously, neither of those things factored into the equation at all, and it was definitely not true that either of those two things ever made it harder to sleep than the pounding of a drum machine.

About the Author

A.E. Ross lives in Vancouver, B.C. with one very grumpy raincloud of a cat. When not writing fiction, they can be found producing and story-editing children’s cartoons, as well as producing & hosting podcasts like The XX Files Podcast.

Their other works have appeared on Cartoon Network, Disney Channel and Netflix (and have been widely panned by 12-year-olds on 4Chan) but the projects they are most passionate about feature LGBTQIA+ characters across a variety genres.

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