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Release Tour: Pole Position by Kristian Parker

Pole Position | Kristian Parker

Queens Crescent #2

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Blurb

Charles Worthington was once the best driver in Formula One…until the lifestyle took over. Now, fresh out of rehab, he’s ready to take back his crown. Then he meets new teammate and handsome Brazilian, Luis Salvatore.

Despite being a famous womaniser, Charles has always had an eye for an attractive male. This time it’s different—Luis has the most profound effect on him. Being sober changes everything.

But in Formula One, teammates are also rivals and Luis’ contract is up for renewal. Only the number one podium will do.

Bitter rivalry and animal lust are an explosive combination. Will this get them both to the chequered flag?

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Excerpt

As they dashed into the cavernous chrome offices of South Tel Formula One, a party of three waited for them at reception. None of them looked very happy.

“Jesus Christ,” Charles said, under his breath. “We did it in thirty-five. They look like I’m a day late.”

He straightened his collar and slowed his walk down.

“Meera,” he said.

“You’re late.”

Meera Jakhar, the CEO with a formidable reputation. A stunning woman in her mid-forties, she had risen like a rocket.

“I’m so sorry.” Charles panted. “London traffic.”

He flashed his dazzling smile. Meera appraised him for a second before turning to a stern man to her left. A man Charles knew only too well.

“Barnaby,” Charles said, sticking out his hand. “So good to see you again.”

Barnaby Weber was the Team Principal of South Tel Formula One. He could make or break Charles’ career. Whilst he had brokered the finer points of their deal, he had made it clear in the press that he didn’t fully support the move. It made things awkward to say the least.

It had also made Charles regret losing his manager. Another entry on a long list of stupid things he had to make up for.

“Charles,” Barnaby said, with a poker face.

“And I’m Miriam.” A flustered young woman with platinum-blonde hair and a clipboard said. They all looked at her. “I’m Mrs Jakhar’s assistant.”

She had gone a funny shade of beetroot.

“Very pleased to meet you,” Charles said.

This only served to make her blush all the more.

“Shall we go?” Meera said.

Miriam dashed over to press the elevator call button.

“You need to make some changes down here,” Will said.

Meera stared as if noticing him for the first time. “I’m sorry?”

Will pointed to two huge photographs dominating the reception area. One of the outgoing, Clarence Dupont, and the other of Charles’ new teammate, Luis Salvatore.

All part of the elite group of racing car drivers, their paths had crossed many times. Formula One was a small world. He didn’t care about Dupont. A life in Formula Two beckoned for him after a disastrous season.

As for Salvatore, Charles couldn’t take his eyes from the image. He might have spectacular boyish good looks, but everyone knew Luis to be the dullest person in motorsport. He had never attended a function or been spotted in a trendy bar.

“Dupont,” Will said, bringing Charles firmly back to earth. “I would have thought you’d have taken him down by now.”

Charles wanted to slap him. “I’m sorry, Mrs Jakhar,” he said. “My brother hasn’t been house trained yet.”

“It’s Meera,” she answered him. “We have a photo shoot arranged for you and Luis tomorrow. I trust that will be in order.”

Mercifully the elevator arrived, and Charles allowed himself to be ushered inside. “There’s really no rush,” he said as genially as possible. “I’m just happy to be here.”

The glass elevator swept them up through a central column to the offices proper.

“Wow, Meera,” Will said. “You have quite an operation here.”

“I think perhaps you will stick with Mrs Jakhar,” she said, before glancing at Charles. He detected the trace of a glint in her eye. “There has to be a line.”

Charles could barely contain his amusement as Will looked fit to burst.

Before the air got thicker than a mud bath, the elevator pinged, signalling they had made it to the top floor.
“Come,” Meera commanded.

Once more he followed in her slipstream as she swept along the corridor. He noted how everyone stood up a little straighter. Even though she absolutely terrified him, he found himself drawn to her.

The boardroom was packed. Meera made a point of introducing him to everyone, and all the while, Barnaby hovered on the edge. He was making Charles nervous.

Luckily, he’d met some of the people during the negotiations, so he made a beeline for them. There were also a good few people new to him. He’d have to spend time forging relationships. That came naturally to Charles—he never had a problem finding something in common with people.

Will had taken a seat at the back next to Miriam. He nodded and gave Charles a thumbs-up. Charles nodded back. His brother could be an insufferable twat at times but it grounded Charles to have him there.

“I didn’t think you would be up to this.”

Charles turned to find Barnaby next to him again. “I think you’ve made that clear.” Charles smiled. “I will prove you wrong.”

“That’s what Meera said,” Barnaby replied.

If the ultimate boss believed in him, that made Charles feel slightly more secure.

“Anyway,” Barnaby continued. “Come with me.”

He led him towards a cluster of people over by the window. The crowd parted and there was Luis Salvatore…

Although he didn’t look like the scrawny kid who had started becoming a real threat in Charles’ last season. He had buffed up and had a brand-new haircut which framed his tan face. His body filled a white T-shirt and jeans perfectly. Even his skin glowed in a way Charles had never noticed before.

In other words, Luis Salvatore had started to earn serious money.

“Luis,” Charles said, shaking his hand. “Good to see you again. I’m very excited to be working together.”

Luis gave him a kilowatt beam of a smile. Charles made a mental note to book in for more teeth whitening treatment. It seemed to be a big thing at South Tel.

“Charles,” Luis replied. “I’m sure you will settle in very well.”

He was stunning. Charles hadn’t missed out in the looks department. But Luis’ beauty seemed to radiate from within. Even so, he had a wariness in his eyes which confused Charles.

“I hope we’re ready for some wins,” Charles said, glancing at Barnaby.

“Absolutely.” Luis grinned.

Charles was at a loss of what to say next. Thankfully, Meera gave him a way out as she took her place at the head of the table. Everyone found seats and when she sat, they all did.

“Right, let’s get going,” she said, steepling her fingers. “Firstly, I would like to formally welcome Charles Worthington to our little family.”

A ripple of comment swept around the room. To Charles’ relief, most people seemed friendly except for a young man next to Luis. Charles clocked his sour glare immediately.

As all eyes were on Charles, he realised a few words were in order. “Thank you, Meera,” he said. “Most of you will know I’m no stranger to being the new kid on the block.”

A few people chuckled. Charles had driven for all the teams in the top five. He had become known as “One Contract Worthington” in the media for his penchant for change.

“And I have no doubt you will know why I missed last season. The press covered it enough.”

Shots of him being driven to rehab haunted him to this day.

“I’m not going to stand in front of you and pretend I haven’t had my problems. I am fully appreciative of the gamble you are all taking on me. I look forward to repaying your kindness on the track.”

A couple of people clapped, which made him feel more foolish than complete silence would have.

“I don’t have to tell you that a fourth finish last season is not good enough,” Meera said. “Dupont’s disastrous performance meant that the work fell to Luis.”

She appraised the young driver like a lioness viewing her favourite cub. “With two top class drivers, number one is the only goal this year,” she continued. “Now let’s get down to business.”

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About the Author

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I have written for as long as I could write. In fact, before, when I would dictate to my auntie. I love to read, and I love to create worlds and characters.

I live in the English countryside. When I’m not writing, I like to get out there and think through the next scenario I’m going to throw my characters into.

Inspiration can be found anywhere, on a train, in a restaurant or in an office. I am always in search of the next character to find love in one of my stories. In a world of apps and online dating, it is important to remember love can be found when you least expect it.

Social Media

www.kristianparker.com

https://www.facebook.com/groups/kristiansworld

https://www.facebook.com/kparkerwriter

https://www.instagram.com/kparkerwriter/

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Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Pole Position, Kristian is giving away a signed Paperback.

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Release Blitz: Textual Connections by Becca Jackson

Textual Connections | Becca Jackson

Love in No Man’s Land Series #1

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Release Date: January 16th, 2023

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Blurb

Mal

I thought I was good with my life in No Man’s Land. Truth be told, I was, until I messaged Bear.

What started as an online debate about coffee vs wine, has become something so much more, it doesn’t even matter that I don’t know his real name and have never seen his face. My daughter doesn’t agree.

She wants me to find someone “real” before she leaves for college, so when the neighbor’s hot brother rolls into town, she’s less than subtle about my single status.

Bobby is a free spirit, man in every town, according to his sister, but that’s not really him. He’s fun, adventurous, kind, and he’s a fantastic flirt, so when the similarities between Bear and Bobby start to align I can hardly believe my luck.

Can my online crush really be the guy next door?

Bear

I never wanted to come back to Nomanland, traveling the world is everything to me, but the money has almost run out and I’m in desperate need of a sponsor that doesn’t make me cringe.

My sister thinks I’m crazy for not wanting to settle down, and when I told her about chatting online with Mal she basically gave me the whole catfish creeper tv-special warning and begged me not to try to meet him for real.

Not that Mal would want to come to Nomanland. I can’t see what this small town has to offer anyone, that is until Michael takes it upon himself to show me the beauty of this town I’d chosen to forget.

Michael owns the local café, he’s a fan of puns, is an amazing dad and loves travel, though he’s never actually been anywhere… just like Mal.

I tell myself I must be crazy, because if Michael really is Mal, how long has he known? Was Meg right? Did I come back to Nomanland just to get my heart broken, or could Mal really be the happy beginning I never knew I needed?

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Excerpt

Sneak Peek – Chapter One:

Mal

And that’s why you never take directions from a man wearing a coconut on his head.

– Unfiltered Earth.

I stare at the screen, but no matter how many times I read his latest post I have no idea what to comment. I open another tab, do a quick search for coffee puns, and find one that doesn’t completely suck.

Now, do I post it publicly, or in a private message? The first time I messaged Bear, I’d thought I was sending a private message. Little did I know, my long rant about how coffee is better than wine was posted publicly under an image he posted of a wine glass.

Ooops?

It gained a lot of comments back from other followers, and luckily, he thought it was hilarious, shooting me a private message afterward to thank me for the boost in engagement.

I still don’t understand how there can be so many social media platforms. I’ve only just wrapped my head around Facebook and Instagram and now Jess is Tweeting and Tiktoking and Discording. I shudder thinking about it. It’s not that I can’t use technology, I’m only in my forties, it’s that I’m not really interested in it. I don’t want a million ways to share everything about myself with the world, and I don’t see the need to replace my phone just because a new shinier version is available when the old one works just fine. Or works well enough for phone calls, at least, which is what a phone is for right?

Jess barrels down the stairs, rounds the banister in a leap, and lands beside me. “Hey, Dad. What are you still doing up?”

Do I tell her instead of doing the books for the café, I’d spent the last half hour on my laptop rereading the latest Instagram post from the man I’m crushing on? Really, I spent most of that time trying to figure out what to comment back.

“Did Unfiltered Earth post again? It’s been a week, right? That’s forever for him. Is he okay?” She leans over my shoulder to check out the post for herself.

“He was given bad directions to a local waterfall and spent three days lost in the jungle before an old woman and her goat found him.”

“Oh my god, you can’t make this stuff up it’s that good. Did he get to see the waterfall?”

“Really, Jess?”

“What? You would think after three days he would have at least found it himself on accident. So, did he?”

I scroll up to the top of the post to a photo of Bear’s hand holding a makeshift leaf cup, toasting a brilliant waterfall. This is one of the reasons I love using my laptop for anything internet, Bear’s images are amazing on the larger screen. It totally has nothing to do with the images on my phone only loading twenty percent of the time.

“See? Told you,” she says then heads for the kitchen.

I quickly click the account name then hit the message button and send Every latte thing is going to bean all right.

I should close the computer and head to bed. I have to be up at six to roast coffee beans before the café opens at eight, but I can’t pull myself away from the messages. It never takes Bear long to reply. Not anymore. And a few minutes later the three little dots appear. I hold my breath. It’s crazy. If someone had told me a year ago that I would be staying up late, hoping to read a message from an almost stranger who I’d never even seen, I would have made them a double shot and told them to wake themselves up.

But here I am. Three blinking little dots holding my complete attention. Bear isn’t even his real name. I don’t know his real name. It isn’t on his Instagram anywhere and a few Google searches resulted in nothing either.

Having only ever seen his beefy arms in his photos, and his posts about his adventures and survival, I made a joke about him being the unfiltered Bear Grylls and he changed his handle to it in our private chat a few days later.

BEAR: Did you like the cup? I think I did okay, given the fact I’d slept out in the open for three nights and the third was next to that waterfall. Fun story—I’d pulled a stack of large leaves off a tree to lay on so I could sleep close to the falls because the ground there is mostly rock. Little did I know the leaves attracted some small variety of sugar ants and I woke up covered in the tiny fucks. They didn’t bite, but those things got into some interesting places.

A laugh escapes me and I cover my mouth, imagining the places he means and wishing his photos showed more than his right hand. A few months back, his whole right arm made it into the shot. The slightest peek of a blurred tattoo on his shoulder did too. It was the most I’d seen of him, and I’ll tell you, seeing his entire toned arm stretched out over a canyon, a glass of red wine in his hand, was way hotter than I would have ever thought it could be. From what I can tell, he isn’t body builder huge, but the vein that popped from his bicep made me want to see more.

I lean back in my chair and glance toward where Jess disappeared into the kitchen. It isn’t that I’m hiding my chats with Bear; Jess is the one who showed me how to private message instead of posting on the feed or whatever it’s called. But our chats at some point have become more… personal. He knows more about me than most of my friends. Like how I’m freaking out completely about Jess going off to college at the end of the year. She couldn’t know that. She’d try to make it better—or worse—she’d stay.

I quickly type my reply.

MAL: I thought the leaf cup was particularly inspired. Maybe I should start calling you MacGyver? How did you get rid of the ants?

BEAR: Ha. Please. I got more skills than Dick. Waterfalls are colder than you’d think. You see all these movies of lovers going at it under a waterfall and think, that would be hot as fuck, but not this waterfall. I swear there must be a glacier on top of this thing chilling the water to just above freezing. My cock and balls never retreated so fast in my life. I won’t go into details about how I coaxed them back out.

I choke back my laugh. How do I respond to that?

I turned off my activity status so he can’t know I’m still active in the chat, but he will know I’ve seen his message. Hopefully, he just thinks I’ve gone to bed. I should be in bed. But now all I can think about is the cold water dripping off his muscled arms, and him trying to warm himself back up. There are plenty of non-sexual ways he could be referring to, but my mind isn’t going there. My mind wants to wander to the ways he coaxes his balls back out.

I should really go to bed.

The microwave dings and I close the lid of the computer just as Jess appears with two mugs of hot chocolate.

“Don’t stay up chatting all night with your friends, you’ve got a busy day tomorrow,” she jokes, placing a mug down on the coffee table in front of me before kissing my head and heading back to her room.

Oh, how the tables have turned.

I grab the mug and the computer and do the same, hoping by the time I get to my room I’ll know what the heck to reply with. I decide to keep it simple.

MAL: Sounds like my average Friday night here in No Man’s Land. I swear it’s been a year since my last date.

What I call No Man’s Land, is actually Normanland, a tiny town west of Knox County. Seventeen years ago, it seemed like a nice, quiet place to raise Jess. Over the years it’s grown into a thriving tourist spot perfect for romantic escapes and destination weddings. I’m not complaining. The tourist trade is what saved my beans all those years ago. When the craft shop closed beside the small bakery cafe I half own, my business partner and I bought it for a steal, opened up the wall, and bam. Bigger footprint, bigger business, bigger bank.

BEAR: It’s been a while for me too, and not just because I’ve been lost in a jungle. Where are the hot, half-naked men those tribal documentaries promised?

MAL: No idea, but if you find them, send them to No Man’s Land. I’ll show them a real friendly welcome.

BEAR: How friendly are we talking?

MAL: It’s been a reeeeeally long time.

BEAR: So where is this No Man’s Land you speak of? I might make a detour and see this really friendly welcome for myself.

I sit up, almost spilling my hot chocolate over the keypad. Is he serious? We’ve joked before about meeting up or chatting for real, but not for this. The image of his muscled arms wrapping around me and his rough hands trailing from my chest down to my cock has my dick twitching.

MAL: One day I’ll tell you where I live and then you’ll have no excuse not to visit.

I follow up with a quick second message ending with my usual coffee pun meaning chat later.

MAL: I’m off to bed, chai latte.

Then I close the browser and head to the shower to relieve the ache in my balls.

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About the Author

Becca Jackson Logo

Becca Jackson is the author of mm romance stories that deliver heart, heat, and happily ever afters for some totally adorkable and fabulous guys.

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Giveaway

To celebrate the debut release of Textual Connections, Becca is giving away a hardcover special edition cover of the release.

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Release Blitz: Third Time Lucky by Aurora Crane

Third Time Lucky | Aurora Crane

A Chain Reaction Spin-Off

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Release Date: January 28th, 2023

Cover Artist: Cormar Covers

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 80,000 words

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Blurb

Trust didn’t always go both ways, and Grady Donehue learned that the hard way. He hadn’t learned better after the first betrayal, but he wasn’t going to make the same mistake a third time. Striking up a strange friendship with the equally strange—and straight—soldier, Lake, who had sunshine in his eyes? Grady could do that. He could even handle helping Lake figure out he might not be so straight after all, in a very hands-on way. But falling in love? No, thanks.

Lake McKenna has spent his whole life absolutely confident in who he is and what he wants. Even when the picture-perfect future he’d always envisioned seemed further away than ever, none of his plans included another man. But the more time Lake spends with his new friend: grumpy and sneaky-sexy detective, Grady, the more he thinks that maybe what he really needs is something different to what he always imagined.

Neither man was prepared for the other, but Lake is nothing if not flexible. Doubt isn’t part of his make-up. He knows how much more incredible they could be together; if only Grady could see it too. Grady has to decide if Lake is worth risking his heart again, and whether he’s brave enough to see if it really is third time lucky.

Third Time Lucky is an 80,000-word MM romance. It is a bi-awakening, friends to lovers romance with low angst and high feels. It is set in the Chain Reaction universe but can be read as a standalone.

Third Time Lucky Teaser #1

Excerpt

“Is there a reason you don’t like your house?” Grady asked.

It was a fair question, since they hadn’t spent a lot of time in the last few months at Lake’s, even though they’d spent so many evenings together.

Lake didn’t answer at first, staring out at the dozens of people milling about like ants with a purpose. “It’s empty,” he said quietly. “I bought it when my grandpa died about ten years ago, from my half of the inheritance. There was a lot of space for a family, and a pool, and a big yard for a dog. I fixed it up using money I got from a really long deployment.” He stared down at his hands. “I guess I thought it would be filled by now.” He couldn’t quite smother the feeling of failure when he thought about all the personal accomplishments that he hadn’t ticked off yet. As though his life were nothing more than a checklist that he had to work his way down. He knew that wasn’t right, but it slithered in there, anyway.

“It’s okay to not have found the person you want to make a family with yet,” Grady said softly. “Sometimes it takes longer than we’d like, but when it’s right, you’ll know.”

“I would never have pegged you for such a romantic.”

“Don’t tell anyone. And stop trying to dodge.”

Lake sighed. He knew, logically, that Grady was right. And he had dated a few people over those years that he’d thought maybe, but nothing had ever panned out. “It just feels big when I’m there by myself. Even with the TV on the silence gets to me. I like your house.” He shrugged. “It’s small, and cosy, and it has you in it.” He didn’t know if that admission was allowed, or what it even meant, when it felt like so much more than he could find the words for.

“Lake…”

“I know we haven’t known each other long, but friendships are like that sometimes, aren’t they? I like being around you.”

Grady didn’t respond and Lake awkwardly fiddled with the beaded and leather bracelets around his wrist.

“Do you have food at your house?” Grady asked, eventually. That hadn’t been what Lake had expected him to say. He’d been bracing himself for rejection. Lake had gotten too clingy, wanted to spend too much time with him, and it was time to part ways. Lake would have understood. He knew that he was a lot to handle and sometimes he figured the only reason Felix and Zach had stuck around so long was that they’d had so long to get used to it.

“I guess it depends on what you mean by food?” Lake replied. “Why?”

“Because I like your house, Lake,” Grady said patiently. “And you shouldn’t have to feel like you can’t be there.”

“I—what? You like my house?”

“Well, yeah. It’s big, and it’s inviting, and it has you in it.” He paused and then turned to Lake with a grin that had Lake’s mouth going dry. “And it has more than one bed. Just in case.”

“All of my spare beds are being fumigated,” Lake said, hoping he didn’t sound as desperate as he felt. He didn’t give a fuck if it was weird; he liked waking up next to Grady, liked how big Grady was and how much space he took up on the mattress, the heat that radiated off him in waves. There was no mistaking he wasn’t alone when Grady was with him.

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About the Author

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Aurora Crane is an Australian author with a particular love for books featuring poly relationships. You can always find a healthy serving of banter, snark and heat in her books, along with impossible men falling in love, even if sometimes it takes them a little while to get there!

She has an appreciation for men in suits and frequently spreads that love in the Facebook group she shares with her muse, fellow Aussie, and co-writer Briar Kearney.

When not in the writing cave—a rarity to see this author out of her natural habitat—she can be found playing video games, building Lego sets, or hanging out with her fiancé and their menagerie of animals.

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Win one of three ebooks from the author’s backlist

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