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Blog Tour: The Demon Lord of California by Bennu Bright

The Demon Lord of California | Bennu Bright

Infinity 8 #1

BANNER2 - The Demon Lord of CaliforniaRelease Date: January 3rd, 2023

Word Count: 114,000

Universal Link

Liminal Fiction | QueerRomance Ink

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COVER - The Demon Lord of California

Blurb

A Slow Burn Meet Cute!

Baker. Wizard. God of Space and Time. Cupcake enthusiast. How long will it take to fan the flames and enrage this gentle phoenix? Start counting.

What’s a wounded and lonely little cinnamon roll to do? Stripped of his psychic powers, Calico Winghorse flees his homeworld and travels to 19th century Earth via his inter-dimensional portal. As a mixed-blood phoenix trapped in human form, he opens a bakery in the San Francisco Bay Area and quietly nurses his wounds. But the unique method of his arrival draws the unwanted attention of Infinity Corporation.

Representing this angelic-run company is Agustin Chavez de la Cruz, the Demon Lord of California. Even though Agustin is IC’s heir, he finds himself demoted from his duties to concentrate on his new assignment: take absolute control of Calico’s portal.

But Calico refuses to sell at any price. He is also very busy ensuring that the good people of the city are getting their fill of baked goods.

Before Agustin can formulate a more gracious avenue of acquiring the gateway, the demanding head of IC interferes, further complicating matters. So as negotiations stumble along, Calico and Agustin come to realize they both want more than a stuffy business arrangement.

However, due to Calico’s injuries, the portal remains vulnerable to the darker forces that want it at any cost. Agustin will have to push both his angelic heritage, as well as his own psychic powers to the very limits to heal this sweet baker, who is also the portal world’s God of Space and Time.

The Demon Lord of California is the first book of an LGBTQ+ paranormal-fantasy series. You won’t want to miss a first love found, hidden worlds, and a recovering workaholic grasping at his second chance. All centered around the control of an otherworldly portal. So curl up with your favorite beverage, and hang out with Cal and Gus for a while. You’ll be happy you did!

This second edition has been significantly expanded and the author name has been revised.

Warnings: Mature readers. Robbery and assault. Mentioned sexual harassment/assault. Mental abuse from a parent. Fire, burning, burning alive. Possibly implied prostitution, and suicide (by fire).

MEME1 - The Demon Lord of California

Excerpt

“Please,” Calico called out, hands waving at chest-level. “Please, wait.”

The raucous noise of the motorcar’s engine ceased. The gentleman stepped down from the vehicle. “You wished to speak to me? Is it about the order? I can reduce the amount of—”

“Oh, no, no,” Calico hurried to reassure. “My brothers and I are most capable, and we will have no difficulty filling and delivering your baked goods. On time. I…” He could do this. He had to do this. His loneliness would drive him mad before the curse could ever eat him into a permanent demise.

Perhaps it would be easier if they did not have the driver as an audience. Calico extended a hand to show his customer the way to the small strip of greenery next to the bakery. He could not be sure exactly what his intentions would entail, by waylaying a most important customer in this manner. It was indecent. Immoral. But Calico felt if he did not, he would lose something, or a moment, that was so dire, he would die.

He would die anyway… Calico bit his lip.

It was well and good his gentleman customer seemed to be interested in his most unusual inquiry. So that provided additional courage. Which came as a surprise.

In the heart of this little park next door to the bakery, his customer artfully arranged himself on the bench beneath the gaslight pole. Sitting straight and tall. Sophistication and elegance radiating just as strongly as the furnace of his elemental aura.

The haziness cast from the street lamp created a most wonderful island against the coming twilight. It strangely made this rendezvous cozier. That alone bolstered Calico’s courage another notch.

When the gentleman looked up at him expectedly with those mismatched eyes, Calico felt mesmerized. Say something, he demanded of himself. Something witty and clever, so he will think me just as gentlemanly and important.

His customer appeared to be fighting the smile on his lips before clearing his throat. He turned his head—just for a second, before facing him again, expression polite.

Say something, Calico pushed himself. He is waiting. He will think me daft and even more unsound than I already am. Alright then. Here I go.

“We are both fire elementals.” The clumsy inquiry had Calico’s cheeks heating in embarrassment. He bent his head at his failure.

“One moment,” the gentleman said. He collected a small item anchored into his top hat and held it up. A blue gem embedded into a silver clip glowed, and the light circled around them like a curtain. Returning the jewel to its place on that magnificent hat, this man languidly leaned against the backrest and angled himself more in his direction.

Calico felt encouraged to pursue a friendly connection, but this intriguing magic had to be investigated. “What was that?”

“A spell my company uses. We call it the Curtain. It keeps our dealings private and unseen from the mundanes—ah, the general non-magical populations, I mean. Usually the humans.”

“That is most ingenious magic,” he exclaimed, leaning in. “I wonder how it compares to my Mirror Bubble?”

There was that smile again, most gentle, and prompting. “You wished to speak of magic? Or something more?”

“Ah, my apologies. Not magic. Will you show it to me?” Calico asked, knowing himself too eager. He tried not to wring his hands and appear desperate.

His customer’s brows rose high, and Calico knew it was in utter surprise, and perhaps curiosity. “Show you… what?” The question was somewhat wary with a touch of amusement.

“Your elemental flame. You see, I too, am—er was once gifted with the flame. I am a phoenix, you see.”

The man blinked. “A phoenix without a flame?”

Calico felt himself turn pink, and put a sheepish hand against the back of his head. “It is a most embarrassing admission,” he rushed. “I did not plan on being so forward. I apol—”

There was a quiet whoosh. Another small circle of light rose, and Calico sensed the heat instantly. There, dancing calmly inches above the gentleman’s gloved palm, was a tear-shaped flame. Flickering in shades of orange, reds, and yellows and blues. And… and yes. White.

He sucked in a breath and suddenly couldn’t breathe. It had been so long since he’d seen such a flame. Curling, writhing in all its glory. Since he was cut off from his ability, Maars did not use his out of sympathy. At least in a sensory view.

Calico swallowed the hitch in his breath. How could this gentleman carry so many colors within? Was he that powerful?

“You’re shaking, Mr. Scrivens.” The flame disappeared, and there was a steadying hand at his shoulder. “Are you well? Perhaps you should sit down.”

Calico touched that hand, as if to anchor it in place. “Yes, yes, I should.” The wooden bench was chilly against his rump. “It-it is quite cold this evening. May I see it again?”

The request was granted. Calico just stared at the dancing shapes. Wishing. Forever longing.

A few seconds passed before the gentleman spoke. “How long has it been since you were unable to create?”

Create. It was an elemental term Calico had heard bandied about as he eavesdropped upon conversations among the local wizard shops. The question sent warm tingles and shivers of fire down his spine.

Staring at the flame so snug and content curling about the gentleman’s gloved fingertips, Calico suddenly found himself saying, “Sixteen months, two days, seventeen hours and 26 and a half seconds.”

The gentleman cocked his head to the side. He lowered his hand, and the summoned fire faded. “That’s quite precise.”

Indeed! He should not be able to access any of his psychic powers. “I am the God of Space and Time,” Calico said offhandedly.

There was a pause that almost became awkward. “Well, yes. About that. Mr. Scrivens, while we are here, alone, I’d like to take the opportunity to discuss your delivery further.”

“Oh, yes,” Calico replied with renewed energy. “What is it? Would you like to add my famous cupcakes to the order? It is no trouble.”

“N-no. That’s not it. Well, the baked goods are for a recruitment campaign.”

“Recruitment?”

“Yes. My company has need of your skills.”

Calico paused before he made a silly fish out of himself. As much as his mind was centered upon his magic, what if this man merely wanted an extra baker on his payroll, and not a wizard? He had to allow the man to formally extend the offer.

MEME3 - The Demon Lord of California

About The Author

AUTHOR LOGO - The Demon Lord of California - Bennu Bright

Hi! I’m Bennu Bright. Fantasy and paranormal tales have always felt like home. And I’ve always adored getting into the gritty details of a character’s goals and relationships. With my newfound zest for the craft of writing, my work has joined the ranks of romance and the romantic.

Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, I spend my days nose to the keyboard, or attempting to revive an ancient passion for drawing.

Social Media

Website: https://www.bennubright.com

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/AForgeOfPhoenix

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BennuBright

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

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

Liminal Fiction (LimFic.com): https://www.limfic.com/mbm-book-author/bennu-bright/

QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/bennu-bright/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Bennu-Bright/e/B0B763J8Z2

Giveaway

Win a $20 Amazon gift card with this tour.

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Blog Tour: The Shackles That Hold Us by Michele Notaro

The Shackles That Hold Us | Michele Notaro

The Magi Accounts #2

BANNER1 - The Shackles That Hold Us

Release Date: June 7th, 2022

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

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COVER - The Shackles That Hold Us

Blurb

As if crushin’ on a shifter wasn’t bad enough, I had to go and date one.

A mage and a shifter walk into a bar… No, that’s the whole joke.

Magi and shifters don’t mix, and yet I find myself in a relationship with Cosmo, a lion shifter. And on top of that, Cosmo, and all his pride members, consider my brothers and me to be a part of their pride. Three magi in a shifter pride. Who would’ve ever thought?

Navigating our connection while trying to figure out what’s going on in the world isn’t easy. Trusting that Cosmo means forever when he says it? Even harder. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned since meeting the Ono-Nais, it’s that taking a risk with my heart will be worth it to be a part of their lives.

The Shackles That Hold Us is a 113K novel and the second book in the MM urban fantasy series, The Magi Accounts. It’s recommended to read the series in order because it has an ongoing storyline.

*Intended for adults only. Trigger Warnings: Violence, torture, mentions of past abuse, mentions of past sexual assault (nothing on-page), claustrophobia (you can skip chapter nine if you’re worried about this one).

MEME1 - The Shackles That Hold Us

Excerpt

Sure enough, a minute later, I heard Cosmo bounding up the stairs. I knew it was him because of the way the bond around my heart reacted. The door burst open with way more force than necessary, and Cos rushed to me, dropping to his knees beside the bed and pulling me into a hug.

His arms were around my neck—avoiding my sensitive back—so I wrapped mine around his waist and realized he was shaking.

“Hey, what’s wrong?” I whispered.

He tucked his face into the side of my neck and shook his head.

“Talk to me, honey.” I made a disgusted face at the endearment that accidentally came out of my mouth. But I didn’t take it back—progress.

“Nothing’s wrong.”

“Sure doesn’t seem that way to me.”

He sighed, nuzzled into me, and breathed deeply. “I needed to see you.”

“Okay…”

“I’ve been… uh, worried.”

“Why? Did something happen at work?”

“No. I’ve just been worried… about you.”

“Oh.”

He waited a beat. “That all you have to say?”

“Uh, yeah. Not sure what else there is to say.” I shrugged against him, then winced from my skin. Goddess, how long was it going to be sore?

“You could try making me feel better.”

“How?”

“By admitting you missed me, too.”

I rolled my eyes. “Fine. I might’ve missed you a teeny tiny bit. Like so miniscule it was hardly noticeable.”

He snorted. “Prickhole.”

I smiled and rubbed his back, then turned my face toward him so I spoke for his ears only since I knew Jude and River were eavesdropping. “I did miss you, you know.”

“Really?”

“Yeah, Cos, really.” I waited a few seconds. “You make the best pillow, and you’re so warm that I’ve been freezing since you left.”

He barked out a small laugh. “I can always count on you to keep me humble.”

I snorted, then gripped him tighter and tucked my face farther into him. “I do miss you when we’re apart, kitty cat.”

A small rumble started vibrating his chest, and I smiled as I sighed. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw River and Jude walk out of the room, but I didn’t pay them any attention, not when I had a sweet and sexy lion in my arms.

Cos leaned back and captured my mouth with his, kissing me as tenderly as he held me, and I let him. Sometimes his gentleness was almost painful in its sweetness, but it was a hurt I wanted to feel.

His tongue caressed mine, taking its time and exploring my mouth like we had all the time in the world. It made my heart race and my chest warm and my belly fill with a thousand butterflies all at the same time.

When he broke the kiss, he nudged my nose with his, smiling when I opened my eyes, and he whispered, “Hi.”

I blinked a few times, staring at those golden eyes. “Hi.”

He pressed a lingering kiss to my lips before meeting my gaze again. “How are you feeling?”

“I’m fine.”

“Really? Or is this one of those times when you’re acting like you’re okay even though you’re not?”

I scowled at him. “I said I’m fine, which means I’m fine.”

He gave me another peck.

About The Author

AUTHOR LOGO - The Shackles That Hold Us - Michele Notaro

Michele is married to an awesome guy that puts up with her and all the burnt dinners she makes—hey, sometimes characters are a bit distracting, and who doesn’t plot when they’re supposed to be cooking?

They live together in Baltimore, Maryland with two little monsters, three-legged and four-legged fiends, and a little old man (aka their two sons, their two cats, and their senior dog). She hopes to rescue another cat soon, and if her hubby wouldn’t kill her, she’d get more than one… and maybe a few more dogs as well.

She loves creating worlds filled with lots of love, chosen family, and of course, magic, but she also likes making the characters fight for that happy ending. She hopes to one day write all the stories in her head—even if there are too many to count!

Social Media

Website: https://michelenotaro.com/

Facebook Personal: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100013432570194

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/author.notaro/

Instagram: https://instagram.com/michelenotaro.author

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2yBe2RD

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Michele-Notaro/e/B01NBK83H9

Giveaway

Michele is giving away a $20 Amazon Gift Card with this tour

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Release Blitz: In Step by Jay Hogan

In Step | Jay Hogan

Painted Bay #3

InStep-release

Release Date: February 10th, 2022

Universal Link: https://readerlinks.com/l/2002327

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58931220-in-step

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Blurb

When hearts collide on the dance floor.

Karma. You reap what you sow, and KANE MARTIN isn’t looking for forgiveness.

But the arrival of ABE TYLER in Painted Bay has Kane dreaming of the impossible. The sexy, silver fox choreographer is determined to pull Kane out from the shadows, but Abe’s career isn’t about to shift to Painted Bay, and Kane’s life is in neat little boxes for a reason.

A past he isn’t proud of.

A family he’s walked away from.

A job he doesn’t deserve.

A secret he’s ashamed of.

But life’s dance can make for unexpected partners, and learning to trust and keep up with the footwork is the name of the game.

Two steps forward, one step back.

It takes two to tango.

Trigger Warning: Contains references to past abuse and bullying.

Catch up with the whole series here: https://readerlinks.com/l/2094148

IS 1 Abe Tyler2

Excerpt

The pattering rain grew heavy on the iron roof and my thoughts ran to the beautiful guy I’d glimpsed in the window above the garage the night before. His name was Kane, apparently. He worked with Fox and Leroy and rented the bedsit, and I wondered why Judah had made no mention of him when he’d given me a rundown on virtually the entire town.

Even in the gloom and lit only by the reflected porch light, Kane’s stunning good looks and shoulder-length sun-bleached locks belonged on the cover of a surfing magazine, not manning a boat on a mussel farm. Just the memory had my cock thickening in my hand. Nope. I dropped it with a groan. Way too creepy since I was surely gonna have to talk to the guy at some point.

Get a life, Abraham.

The click of claws on wood made their way up the hall and a black nose pushed my door open. I scooted back and patted the bed. “Come on, gorgeous.”

Mack pushed through and jumped on the bed, quickly settling in a big lump behind my knees. Prue followed soon after, curling her small feline body into a ball between Mack’s front paws.

“So that’s how it’s going to be, huh?” I scratched Mack behind the ears. “Why do I sense I’m being played here? Are you normally allowed on the bed?”

They both ignored me.

“Okay, you get a free pass this time, but I’m taking it under advisement. One word from your daddies and this is all over. Now move over, you’re hogging the blankets and there’s a dirty paw print on my damn sheet. I th—” I jumped at the loud knock on the front door right outside my bedroom.

At this hour? I got up on one elbow to peek through the window. Huh. Surfer boy himself. But with no answering footsteps from Leroy and Fox’s bedroom, I figured they were still . . . occupied.

“Guess I’m it.” I threw back the covers and bounced out of bed, shivering with the sudden wash of cold over my bed-warm skin. “Shit.” I glanced down at my black briefs, then briefly considered my still-unpacked bag before pulling the spare blanket around my waist instead and hotfooting it to the front door. The glacial blast when I hauled it open almost knocked me sideways and instantly pebbled my skin.

“Damn, that’s cold.” I fumbled the blanket up under my armpits but not before I noticed Kane’s eyes bug out of their sockets. “Sorry.” I motioned back down the hall. “It’s just me. Leroy and Fox are . . .” I snorted in amusement. “Well, they’re likely having a lot more fun than either of us and getting a damn sight warmer in the process. How can I help you? It’s Kane, right?”

Kane nodded, still staring at my naked chest, and for some ridiculous reason, my cheeks warmed. Oh, for fuck’s sake. I was far too old and comfortable in my own skin for that rubbish. I danced for a living and there wasn’t a square inch of my skin that hadn’t come under intense scrutiny at one time or another. Age might’ve frayed me around the edges a bit—I wasn’t as tight or streamlined as I used to be—but I didn’t suck for a forty-two-year-old who was pushing middle age and with a perilous fondness for pasta.

“Kane? Hello?” I sucked in a breath laced with a strong hit of ocean salt.

“Um.” He licked his lips and his gaze shot up as if suddenly aware he’d been staring, and I got a good look at his eyes for the first time. They were the clearest, deepest blue, like those tropical lagoons you drooled over in tourist brochures. Although that’s where the similarity ended as they jackrabbited nervously across my face, making me wonder what the hell I’d done to unnerve the guy.

“I, um, came to drop off the food,” he muttered, still not meeting my eyes. “For Mack.” He dropped the weighty bag of dog food on the deck at my feet, pulled up the waistband of his jeans, and turned to leave.

“Wait.” My hand shot out. “We haven’t met. I’m Abe Tyler. I’m staying with Leroy and Fox while I help Judah out with his class recital.”

Kane stared at my hand for a second like it might bite him, and his grasp when it came was cool, dry, and very short. “Hi. I’m Kane Martin.” He blushed prettily. “But then . . . you obviously know that.” Once again, those magnetic-blue eyes flitted away, and I realised Kane was older than the whole surfer vibe indicated—closer to thirty than twenty.

“Yeah, Leroy mentioned your name and that you worked with them. It was you at the window last night, right?” I inclined my head toward the bedsit, prolonging an unnecessary conversation that was turning me into a human popsicle. But the man in front of me was as gorgeous as I remembered, and a man’s balls worked strange magic on his brain that way. “We, ah, waved.” I bit back a smile and he blushed. He fucking blushed.

Kane tugged at his jeans, then glanced up at the bedsit and sighed. “Sorry about that. I didn’t mean to be nosy—” He hesitated and the flush deepened. “Yeah, total lie. It’s a small town, you know?” He dropped his gaze and scuffed the sole of his boot on the old plank deck worn smooth with age.

I chuckled. “I get it. I came from a small town too.” I willed him to look at me, wanting another moment with those cobalt eyes and the cut-glass cheekbones with a spray of freckles like someone had thrown chocolate hail and only a few had stuck—a darkly sweet and all-too-inviting constellation.

“Really?” He finally met my gaze. “I thought you hailed from Wellington?”

I shook my head. “We moved to Wellington when I was eight. But I was actually born in Reefton on the South Island. You don’t get much more small-town New Zealand than that. Couldn’t wait to leave, to be honest.”

His lips quirked up, soft and red and . . . fuck me, I wanted nothing more than to kiss them. They were the only soft thing about Kane. Like his cheekbones and the hollow beneath them, everything else seemed a little too sharp, a little too thin, a little too . . . hungry. Like the tips of his shoulders that poked through his sweater and the outline of his clavicle at its neck. The bulky knit hung loose on a narrow frame over a pair of jeans that seemed perilously close to falling from his hips, judging by the number of times he hauled them up. I felt the ridiculous urge to sit him down and feed some meat onto those bones.

About The Author

jay hogan logan

Heart, Humour, & Keepin’ It Real

Jay is a 2020 Lambda Literary Award Finalist in Gay Romance and her book Off Balance was the 2021 New Zealand Romance Book of the Year. She is a New Zealand author writing mm romance and romantic suspense, primarily set in New Zealand.

She writes character driven romances with lots of humour, a good dose of reality and a splash of angst. She’s travelled extensively, lived in many countries, and in a past life she was a critical care nurse, nurse educator and counsellor.

Jay is owned by a huge Maine Coon cat and a gorgeous Cocker Spaniel

Find Jay in all the places: https://www.jayhoganauthor.com/landingpage

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