Tag Archives: PTSD

Complex and beautifully phrased romance

grounded-t-kostova-customdesign-jayaheer2016-smallpreviewGrounded by Teodora Kostova

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Teodora Kostova has an incredible talent for putting you into the heads of her characters and making you feel all their emotions.

She also manages to pass a subtle commentary on just how we treat our military veterans, home and abroad, and also on the futility of a war that no one can remember the justification for.

Greg’s experiences as an RAF pilot are expertly drawn out, placing the reader in the heat and destruction of the conflict in Afghanistan. We also live through the emotionally draining effects of being the one left at home.

With so many family members and friends in the various branches of the UK’s military, I could relate to this a lot. It’s an ordeal being the person serving’s rock, especially when dealing with crises of your own.

I think it was perhaps a tad overlong, Shane’s many moments of introspection could have been reduced a bit but, overall, there was so much other excellent story building, I let it ride.

I preferred this to Cookies in the end, but it was a close call. Greg and Shane just shaded it with the super cute epilogue.

View all my Goodreads reviews

New Release Blitz: Scarred by Mia Kerick

Scarred | Mia Kerick

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Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: December 31, 2018

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 68,500

Genre: Contemporary, contemporary, PTSD, dissociative disorder, stalking, kidnapping, homophobia, family issues

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NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

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Synopsis

Even in paradise, beautiful faces can hide scarred souls.

ONE tropical island.

Placida Island’s gentle ocean breezes and rolling surf beckon to those who wish to reside in remote tropical serenity.

TWO men living in self-imposed exile.

Wearing twisted ropes of mutilated skin on his back and carrying devastating damage in his soul from severe childhood abuse, Matthew North lives alone in a rustic cabin on the shore, avoiding human contact.

~

Gender fluidity his perceived “crime” against family and friends, Vedie Wilson flees his childhood home so he can freely express his identity.

THREE persecutors seeking their warped view of justice.

Vedie’s past refuses to stay in the faraway city he left behind when family members, intent on forcing him to change, threaten the precious peace he’s found.

TOO MANY scars to count.

Their beautiful faces masking deeply scarred souls, Matt and Vedie live in hiding from the world and each other.

Can they unite and embrace each other’s painful pasts, leaving the scars behind, to find love?

Excerpt

Vedie

By ten, I’m sweaty as a deckhand from bussing tables on the beach, and I’m sorely in need of a brew or six. But seeing as I’ve got no cash to burn, I’m gonna have to leave my coworkers—who’re revving up over by the tiki bar—to their night of hard partying. I grab my leopard-print backpack from the hook on the back wall of the bar and head to the men’s room to turn into the other me.

And just as I figured, Joey’s waiting on me there. “You gonna come party with us tonight, sweet Vedie?”

“No can do, Joey, much as I want to.” Safe inside a stall, I pull off my sweaty green The Only Tiki Hut on Placida Island work T-shirt. As soon as I replace it with a dark red, stretchy lace off-the-shoulder number, I can breathe easy. Next, I strip off my khaki shorts and yank on my favorite black velvet pair. Even though I’ve gotta ride my bike home, I kick my high-tops into my backpack and slide on a pair of jeweled flip-flops. After taking a quick piss, I head out of the stall and plant my ass in front of the mirror beside Joey, who’s standing there like he’s got nothing better to do than count the drips of water leaking from the faucet.

“Lookin’ good, pretty Miss Vedie…mmmhmm…”

No matter if I’m dressed like a dude or a lady, Joey always stares at me like I’m a juicy bowl of strawberry shortcake—he licks his lips, and I know he wants to take himself a nice big bite of a flavor he can’t get at home. Then he slaps his hand hard against my thigh, and creepy-slow, it climbs my leg. It’s headed for my ass cheek, or my name ain’t Vedie Wilson.

“Hands out of the cookie jar, Joey, my man.” I don’t appreciate it when any dude gropes me without asking for permission first. But the sad truth is I’m never gonna want Joey’s hands on me. While he gawks, I pull a shimmery hairband out of my bag and wrap it around my head to hold the damp dreads off my face. “Got yourself a sweet tooth, looks like, Joey. You’d be wise to get your ass home to your sweet wife, not that you asked me for no words of wisdom.”

“Not gonna even think about goin’ home ’til I had me some fun,” Joey replies, jamming his hand in his pocket—probably to keep it from curving around my ass.

When I bend to rinse the sweat off my face, he stays quiet and doesn’t goose me. Maybe this time he heard what I told him about getting his ass home to Mrs. Joey. But more likely he’s checking out my butt.

“Baybeee…uh-huh…mmmhmm…nice ass you got there in them sweet little shorts…”

I sigh real loud, “I’ve got some shit to do here, big dawg, so if that’s all you wanted.” The only way to get this guy to take a hike is to tell him point-blank that he’s gotta head on out. “Catch ya on the flip side.”

He leans in so close his scratchy beard brushes my neck, and I shiver in the bad way. He takes a deep sniff—I guess he likes the smell of sweaty dude—and then finally bails. And right about now, I sorely wish the tiki hut restaurant had one of those one-person anything goes restrooms—for a dude, a lady, or whoever you feel like at the moment—but at least now I’m finally alone in the men’s room.

I pull out my makeup bag and quickly powder my nose so it doesn’t shine in the moonlight, and I glide a deep shade of maroon over my lips. But I take the time to be an artist with my eyeliner and mascara because I figure eyes oughta say something.

When I look good enough that I’d wanna do me if I got hot for ladies, I figure I’m looking good enough for public viewing. And my new perfume smells like the freedom I’ve got down here on Placida Island—coconuts and wildflowers and the ocean and honey. I spray it on heavy all over my neck and chest.

As I saunter out of the men’s room, I don’t miss that it’s funny how I went in here looking all-dude, but coming out, you could mistake me for a lady. Ha! More like a red-hot, sexy mama—smooth and silky everywhere except for the four-day beard.

I’m a guy, though, even when I’m dressed this fine. And in my opinion—not that anybody gives two shits what I think—the combo of smooth legs and a stubbly chin says, in your face, assholes! I don’t have to choose how I show myself to the world anymore.

Meet the Author

Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—one in law school, another at a dance conservatory, a third studying at Mia’s alma mater, Boston College, and her lone son still in high school.

She has published more than twenty books of LGBTQ romance when not editing National Honor Society essays, offering opinions on college and law school applications, helping to create dance bios, and reviewing English papers. Her husband of twenty-five years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about this, as it is a sensitive subject.

Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled young people and their relationships. She has a great affinity for the tortured hero in literature, and as a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with tales of tortured heroes and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to NineStar Press for providing her with an alternate place to stash her stories.

Her books have been featured in Kirkus Reviews magazine, and have won Rainbow Awards for Best Transgender Contemporary Romance and Best YA Lesbian Fiction, a Reader Views’ Book by Book Publicity Literary Award, the Jack Eadon Award for Best Book in Contemporary Drama, an Indie Fab Award, and a Royal Dragonfly Award for Cultural Diversity, among other awards.

Mia Kerick is a social liberal and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of human rights. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.

Contact Mia at miakerick@gmail.com or visit to see what is going on in Mia’s world.

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Release Blitz: Teach Me To Touch You by Joshua Landon

Teach Me To Touch You | Joshua Landon

Teach Me #1

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Genre/s: Gay Romance

Length: 27,000 words approx. /100 pages

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Release Date: December 23, 2018

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Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

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Blurb

When Austin’s father deserts his young family, he leaves Austin and his sister to struggle with poverty and neglect at home and bullying at school. When Austin’s first girlfriend kisses him in high school, his PTSD flashback to childhood abuse scares his girlfriend away.

A Marine at eighteen, Austin returns home after four years with his PTSD aggravated by nightmares of war. He fears he’ll never have a sex life.

Daniel, a psychiatric technician with a speciality in PTSD, helps Austin readjust to civilian life. Over months of work together, trust grows between them along with an attraction they hide from each other since Austin is straight and Daniel is gay.

A gifted healer, Daniel believes a sexual relationship between them could harm Austin, though Austin is anxious to learn to touch again. But when their visits are scheduled to end, both men must deeply examine their concerns and untangle their desires for the future.

Excerpt

Austin

I was seven when my dad left for work in the morning and never came back. My sister Julie was six.

It was a bad year, the first truly awful year. Not that the years before had been ideal, with my parents snapping at each other over each little affront, but at least they’d both been part of my life. And with either parent alone, I’d felt like a normal kid. It wasn’t entirely self-deceptive—it was all I knew.

But the day my dad pushed my mom against the wall, cocking back one huge fist to strike her, I ran to push myself between them.

“No, Dad, don’t!” I’d cried.

He’d looked at me, lowered his fist, and never spoke another word to me.

In the morning, he was gone.

At first, the dad-sized hole inside me seemed about to swallow me up. I was sure I’d die like the baby bird I’d found in the yard early that spring. I’d given it water and worms in a shoebox with crumpled toilet paper for warmth, but it wouldn’t eat or drink and grew steadily weaker. When it quit moving altogether, my mother stroked my hair, soothing me in a whisper

“Its tiny heart quit beating, Tintin. Baby birds are too small to survive without their parents. But you gave it the best care you could. Its death isn’t your fault.”

I buried the bird in the back corner of our Mountlake Terrace yard without fanfare, digging its grave in the frozen ground with icy fingers that held a bent teaspoon.

Despite my mother’s insistence that I wasn’t to blame, I knew the truth. I’d failed the bird just as I had failed my father.


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About the Author

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A fanboy of books, theater, and cinema and a supporter of the LGBT+ community, Joshua Landon lives in the greenbelt and park-filled community of Lynnwood, Washington not far from Seattle, Edmonds and Everett—a great location to experience the outdoors, music and the arts.

He recently authored the three Teach Me novellas, a romance about two young men: a troubled Marine and a talented healer. They will become available for order through Amazon online in multiple countries, releasing between December 23, 2018 and February 2019.

When not writing, Landon enjoys building stage sets, bungee jumping, river rafting, and watching films from all eras. He shares his bookshelf-lined home with a middle-aged tomcat, and his backyard fills seasonally with wild rabbits.

Author Links

Instagram: Joshua Landon

RELEASE BLITZ SCHEDULE

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Review Tour: A Solder’s Wish by N.R. Walker

A Solder’s Wish | N.R. Walker

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Buy Links:

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 55,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Meredith Russell

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Blurb

The year is 1969…

Gary Fairchild is proud to be a hippie college student, and he protests the Vietnam War because he believes in love and peace. To him, it isn’t just a counterculture movement—it’s a way of life. When tickets to the Aquarium Exposition—3 Days of Peace & Music, or Woodstock, as it was better known, go on sale, there’s no way he isn’t going.

Richard Ronsman is a sheltered farm boy who lives in the shadow of his overbearing father. He’s hidden his darkest secret to earn his father’s love, but nothing is ever good enough—not even volunteering for the Vietnam War. And with just a few days left before he’s deployed, he’s invited by a striking hippie to join him at a music festival.

Three days of music, drugs, rain, mud, and love forged a bond between these two very different men that would shape the rest of their lives. They share dreams and fears, and when Richard is shipped off to war, they share letters and love. For Richard’s first Christmas home, he is gifted a special angel ornament that just might make a soldier’s wish come true.

This story is one of seven stories which can all be read and enjoyed in any order.

The Christmas Angel Series

In 1750, a master woodcarver poured all his unrequited love, passion, and longing into his masterpiece—a gorgeous Christmas angel for his beloved’s tree. When the man he loved tossed the angel away without a second thought, a miracle happened. The angel was found by another who brought the woodcarver True Love.

Since then, the angel has been passed down, sold, lost and found, but its magic remains. Read the romances inspired by (and perhaps nudged along by) the Christmas angel through the years.

Whether it’s 1700s England (Eli Easton’s Christmas Angel), the 1880’s New York (Kim Fielding’s Summerfield’s Angel), the turn-of-the-century (Jordan L. Hawk’s Magician’s Angel), World War II (L.A. Witt’s Christmas Homecoming), Vietnam-era (N.R. Walker’s Soldier’s Wish), the 1990’s (Anyta Sunday’s Shrewd Angel), or 2018 (RJ Scott’s Christmas Prince), the Christmas angel has a way of landing on the trees of lonely men who need its blessing for a very Merry Christmas and forever HEA.

Christmas Angel – Eli Easton – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Summerfield’s Angel – Kim Fielding – Amazon US | Amazon UK
The Magician’s Angel – Jordan L. Hawk – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Christmas Homecoming – L.A. Witt – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Shrewd Angel – Anyta Sunday – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Christmas Prince – RJ Scott- Amazon US | Amazon UK

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Dec 2 – Boulevard des PassionsGay Book Reviews, Dec 4 – Lelyana’s Reviews, Dec 6 – Cupcakes & BookshelvesMegan’s Media Melange, Dec 8 – Xtreme DelusionsMy Fiction Nook, Dec 10 – Mirrigold: Mutterings & MusingsScattered Thoughts & Rogue WordsSexy Erotic XcitingOpen SkyeThe Secret Of KoRainbow Book Reviews, Dec 12 – Bookaholic & Kindle, Dec 14 – Making It HappenMM Good Book Reviews, Dec 17 – Momma Says: To Read Or Not To ReadLillian FrancisWicked ReadsTwo Chicks Obsessed, Dec 19 – Drops Of InkKimmers Erotic Book BanterBayou Book JunkieAmy’s MM Romance Reviews, Dec 21 – Bonkers About BooksBook Corner Reviews

Author Bio

N.R. Walker is an Australian author, who loves her genre of gay romance. She loves writing and spends far too much time doing it, but wouldn’t have it any other way.

She is many things; a mother, a wife, a sister, a writer. She has pretty, pretty boys who she gives them life with words.

She likes it when they do dirty, dirty things…but likes it even more when they fall in love. She used to think having people in her head talking to her was weird, until one day she happened across other writers who told her it was normal.

She’s been writing ever since…

 


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Release Blitz: A Solder’s Wish by N.R. Walker

A Solder’s Wish | N.R. Walker

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Buy Links:

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 55,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Meredith Russell

A Soldier_s Wish 400.jpg
Blurb

The year is 1969…

Gary Fairchild is proud to be a hippie college student, and he protests the Vietnam War because he believes in love and peace. To him, it isn’t just a counterculture movement—it’s a way of life. When tickets to the Aquarium Exposition—3 Days of Peace & Music, or Woodstock, as it was better known, go on sale, there’s no way he isn’t going.

Richard Ronsman is a sheltered farm boy who lives in the shadow of his overbearing father. He’s hidden his darkest secret to earn his father’s love, but nothing is ever good enough—not even volunteering for the Vietnam War. And with just a few days left before he’s deployed, he’s invited by a striking hippie to join him at a music festival.

Three days of music, drugs, rain, mud, and love forged a bond between these two very different men that would shape the rest of their lives. They share dreams and fears, and when Richard is shipped off to war, they share letters and love. For Richard’s first Christmas home, he is gifted a special angel ornament that just might make a soldier’s wish come true.

This story is one of seven stories which can all be read and enjoyed in any order.

The Christmas Angel Series

In 1750, a master woodcarver poured all his unrequited love, passion, and longing into his masterpiece—a gorgeous Christmas angel for his beloved’s tree. When the man he loved tossed the angel away without a second thought, a miracle happened. The angel was found by another who brought the woodcarver True Love.

Since then, the angel has been passed down, sold, lost and found, but its magic remains. Read the romances inspired by (and perhaps nudged along by) the Christmas angel through the years.

Whether it’s 1700s England (Eli Easton’s Christmas Angel), the 1880’s New York (Kim Fielding’s Summerfield’s Angel), the turn-of-the-century (Jordan L. Hawk’s Magician’s Angel), World War II (L.A. Witt’s Christmas Homecoming), Vietnam-era (N.R. Walker’s Soldier’s Wish), the 1990’s (Anyta Sunday’s Shrewd Angel), or 2018 (RJ Scott’s Christmas Prince), the Christmas angel has a way of landing on the trees of lonely men who need its blessing for a very Merry Christmas and forever HEA.

Christmas Angel – Eli Easton – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Summerfield’s Angel – Kim Fielding – Amazon US | Amazon UK
The Magician’s Angel – Jordan L. Hawk – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Christmas Homecoming – L.A. Witt – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Shrewd Angel – Anyta Sunday – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Christmas Prince – RJ Scott- Amazon US | Amazon UK

Author Bio

N.R. Walker is an Australian author, who loves her genre of gay romance. She loves writing and spends far too much time doing it, but wouldn’t have it any other way.

She is many things; a mother, a wife, a sister, a writer. She has pretty, pretty boys who she gives them life with words.

She likes it when they do dirty, dirty things…but likes it even more when they fall in love. She used to think having people in her head talking to her was weird, until one day she happened across other writers who told her it was normal.

She’s been writing ever since…

 


Giveaway

Copy of seven books promo

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Review Tour: His To Save by Ari McKay

 

His To Save | Ari McKay

Candy Cane Club #2

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Buy Links:

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2yIf9xc

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2yIf9xc

Length: 60,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Dianne @ Lyrical Lines

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Blurb

He’s the perfect sub — gorgeous, responsive, and yet aloof, and every Dom at the Candy Cane fantasizes about claiming the sub who calls himself Saiph.

Nick Tierney sees through the facade of utter submission Saiph projects, and his instincts tell him Saiph has some complicated issues. He would love to help Saiph, but his desire seems hopeless in the face of Saiph’s adamant refusal to do a scene with any of the gay male Doms. Then Saiph offers himself up at the Candy Cane’s charity auction, and Nick seizes the opportunity to claim Saiph for himself, if only for a single night.

The chemistry between them is electrifying in its intensity, but Nick also comes away convinced Saiph needs help. Can he convince Saiph to take a chance and let down his guard enough for Nick to discover a way to help him heal? Or will Nick’s rapidly deepening feelings drive Saiph away for good?

Candy Cane Club Series

Book #1 – His To Serve – Amazon US | Amazon UK

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October 15 – Reading In Sarah’s Corner, MM Midnight CafeBike Book ReviewsOctober 17 – Kaidans SeductionOctober 19 – Mirrigold: Mutterings & MusingsWicked Faerie’s Tales & ReviewsV’s ReadsGay Media ReviewsOctober 22 – My Book Filled LifeOctober 24 – Making It HappenSexy Erotic XcitingWicked ReadsLove Unchained Book ReviewsOctober 26 – MM Good Book ReviewsBayou Book JunkieBooksLaidBareBoysBook Review By Virginia LeeMomma Says: To Read or Not To Read

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Ari McKay is the professional pseudonym for Arionrhod and McKay, who have been writing together for over a decade. Their collaborations encompass a wide variety of romance genres, including contemporary, fantasy, science fiction, gothic, and action/adventure.

Their work includes the Blood Bathory series of paranormal novels, the Herc’s Mercs series, as well as two historical Westerns: Heart of Stone and Finding Forgiveness. When not writing, they can often be found scheming over costume designs or binge-watching TV shows together.

Arionrhod is a systems engineer by day who is eagerly looking forward to (hopefully) becoming a full-time writer in the not-too-distant future. Now that she is an empty-nester, she has turned her attentions to finding the perfect piece of land to build a fortress in preparation for the zombie apocalypse, and baking (and eating) far too many cakes.

McKay is an English teacher who has been writing for one reason or another most of her life. She also enjoys knitting, reading, cooking, and playing video games. She has been known to knit in public. Given she has the survival skills of a gnat, she’s relying on Arionrhod to help her survive the zombie apocalypse.

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Release Blitz: Boy Shattered by Eli Easton

 

Boy Shattered | Eli Easton

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 85,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Tiferet Design

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Blurb

 

Brian

You’ll make it out of here, Brian. I swear.

I had everything—school quarterback, popular with girls, and my dad was proud of me. I told myself it didn’t matter no one knew the real me. And then I nearly died. Landon saved my life. He’s the bravest guy I know. He came out a few years ago, proud and fierce, and he ran into gunfire to help others.

Me, I’m a mess. Can’t even stand to be in a room with the curtains open. But here’s the thing about losing it all: You get a chance to start over and be someone new.

Only how can I move on when the two shooters who attacked our school were never caught? And why do I feel like I’m still in the crosshairs?

Landon

Will you kiss me?

When I came across Brian Marshall, the hottest guy in school, dying on the cafeteria floor, I did what anyone would do. I tried to save him. His request surprised me, but I figured he needed comfort, so I kissed him on the forehead. When he survived and came back to school, he was broken in body and mind.

He still needed me, and soon we were unlikely besties. But what I saw at school that day woke me up. I want to demand action on gun control, lead protests, raise my fist. I’ll tear the world down if I have to.

And if I can get the man of my dreams and save the world at the same time? I’ll take it. Only I didn’t understand that the horror at Jefferson Waller High wasn’t over.

 

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About Eli

Having been, at various times and under different names, a minister’s daughter, a computer programmer, a game designer, the author of paranormal mysteries, a fan fiction writer, and organic farmer, Eli has been an MM romance author since 2013. She has over 30 books published.

Eli has loved romance since her teens and she particular admires writers who can combine literary merit, genuine humor, melting hotness, and eye-dabbing sweetness into one story. She promises to strive to achieve most of that most of the time. She currently lives on a farm in Pennsylvania with her husband, bulldogs, cows, a cat, and lots of groundhogs.

In romance, Eli is best known for her Christmas stories because she’s a total Christmas sap. These include “Blame it on the Mistletoe”, “Unwrapping Hank” and “Merry Christmas, Mr Miggles”. Her “Howl at the Moon” series of paranormal romances featuring the town of Mad Creek and its dog-shifters has been popular with readers. And her series of Amish-themed romances, Men of Lancaster County, has won genre awards.

In 2018 Eli hopes to do more of the same, assuming they reschedule the apocalypse.

Her website is www.elieaston.com

You can email her at eli@elieaston.com

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