Tag Archives: shifters

This is a skilled and epic paranormal historical with a sense of foreboding

GentlemanWolf_300Gentleman Wolf by Joanna Chambers

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Joanna Chambers can do no wrong when it comes to historical romance as far as I’m concerned.

Now she’s added a paranormal twist to her latest Edinburgh set series and it is an epic tale of mystery, heartache, adventure, and suspense with a seriously nasty villain and a stunning cast of characters.

Edinburgh at the start of the New Town development in the second half of the 1700s is where we find ourselves in this book and, as ever, Joanna’s skill in writing places brings Auld Reekie to life wonderfully as much a character as the humans.

The push and pull between our hero Lindsay and his bond mate Drew was both delicious and frustrating but wholly within the characters of both men and fitting to the time period.

There is a hint of menace and foreboding which lingers throughout the narrative and it works perfectly alongside the narrow streets, closes and tenements that the action takes place in.

I am at once in love with and aggrieved by Drew and Lindsay, their relationship and how things developed.

Also, the ending was something I did not see coming in the way it played out.

I’d had an inkling something was going to go down, and I’m not going to be offering up any hints or spoilers, but the shock wasn’t quite what I was expecting at all.

I adored Francis, Whynn and Marguerite even though they’ve only had a short walk on the pages of this novel, and I can’t wait to find out more of their backstories.

The book’s not even out yet but I need to know what happens next!

#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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Cover Reveal: A Crown Of Iron & Silver by Hailey Turner

A Crown Of Iron & Silver | Hailey Turner

Soulbound III

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Release Date (Print & Ebook):  September 10, 2019

Length (Print & Ebook): 107,043

All buy links or pre-order links:  https://haileyturner.com/a-crown-of-iron-silver-03/

 Blurb

Never promise a life that isn’t yours to give.

New York City is decked out for the holidays, and Special Agent Patrick Collins is looking forward to a reunion with his old team when he gets assigned a new case. A human child is missing, and the changeling left in her place causes a prominent witch family to demand justice from the fae.

Meanwhile, continued harassment from the New York City god pack forces Jonothon de Vere to formally establish his own with Patrick. Doing so will mean a civil war within the werecreature community—a war they risk losing from the start without alliances. Making bargains with the fae is never wise, but Patrick and Jono have nothing to lose when a fae lord comes asking for their help.

The Summer Lady has been kidnapped from the Seelie Court, and if they can find her, Patrick and Jono will cement an alliance with the fae. But the clues to her disappearance are found in Tír na nÓg, and the Otherworld has never been kind to mortals.

Venturing past the veil, Patrick and Jono risk losing territory, time, and their very lives while searching for answers. Because the Queen of Air and Darkness knows they are coming—and the ruler of the Unseelie Court has an offer for them they can’t possibly refuse.

A Crown of Iron & Silver is a 107k word MM urban fantasy with a gay romantic subplot and a HFN ending. It is a direct sequel to All Souls Near & Nigh. Reading the first book in the series would be helpful in enjoying this one.

Exclusive Excerpt

“Come on. Let’s go to bed.”

Patrick led him back into their bedroom, ignoring Jono’s huff of laughter when Patrick pushed him onto the bed. He shrugged out of his own jacket and stripped out of his sweater, tossing it aside. His dog tags were warm from body heat, even if he couldn’t feel where they rested on his scarred chest.

Jono watched Patrick undress the rest of the way, methodically getting rid of his weapons and clothes. He crawled onto the bed, pushing at Jono’s shoulders until he was lying down, with Patrick straddling his hips. Long fingers curled around his dog tags, tugging at the chain to pull him into a kiss that went from lazy to deep in the span of seconds.

Warm hands gripped Patrick’s hips, thumbs pressing against bone. Patrick bit down gently on Jono’s bottom lip before pulling away, dragging his mouth over the stubble along Jono’s jaw, to his throat.

“They drew first blood, and I don’t like that it was yours,” Patrick murmured against the skin stretched taut over Jono’s pulse.

He could feel it when Jono swallowed, and he tried his hardest to suck a bruise against Jono’s throat.

“Better mine than yours.”

“Fuck that.”

About the Author

Hailey

Hailey Turner is a big city girl who spoils her cats rotten and has a demanding day job that she loves, but not as much as she loves writing. She’s been writing since she was a young child and enjoys reading almost as much as creating a new story. Hailey loves stories with lots of action, gritty relationships, and an eventual HEA that satisfies the heart.

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Website:  www.haileyturner.com

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Release Blitz: Eminently Elf by Jessamyn Kingley

Eminently Elf | Jessamyn Kingley

D’Vaire #13

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Cover Artist: LJ Anderson of Mayhem Cover Creations

Release Date: July 25, 2019

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Buy Links:

Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07RTMVZ5M/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/No-Ordinary-Drakeling-DVaire-Book-ebook/dp/B07RTMVZ5M

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Blurb

Even for a legend, victory has a price.

Emperors Chrysander and Ellery Draconis are in love and looking toward the future. Ellery is the first hybrid to survive a dragon shift, becoming a legend. Chrysander couldn’t be happier with his elf dragon, and for the first time he is truly savoring life.

Despite the demands of their schedules as the leaders of the Council of Sorcery and Shifters, the pair have also managed to find balance. But not everyone is happy to see the leader of the dragons with a half-elven mate.

As the two go about their daily business, those sworn to protect them work tirelessly each day to ensure the safety of their emperors. They lived through the horror of the previous rulers being murdered and are all too aware of the dangers that lie in wait. Nothing is left to chance, but regardless of their dedication, not even they can prevent evil from rising from the mists.

On a seemingly ordinary day, an unexpected attack shocks everyone. A matebond is taken to the brink and the limits of magic are tested as the strongest forces unite to try to repair the damage.

It will take time, patience, and perseverance for good to prevail. Chrysander and Ellery will once again overcome the odds and emerge victorious, but in the end, nothing will ever be the same.

Excerpt

Ellery tugged the linen top of his pajamas over his head and crawled into bed. There was noise from the sitting room that told him Chrysander wasn’t ready to join him yet. With a shrug, Ellery picked up the tablet on the nightstand and went through the notes Zane sent him regarding the next vote in the Main Assembly Hall. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Chrysander stalk into the room and keep going until he’d shut himself into the bathroom.

When he emerged several minutes later, he still had a loose pair of black pants on that he’d donned when they got upstairs.

“Are you all packed?” Chrysander asked as he climbed up onto the mattress and crawled over Ellery.

Setting his tablet aside, Ellery smiled at the handsome dragon as he got closer to him. “Yes, I think so. It is so strange to think of moving into a hotel tomorrow.”

Chrysander kissed him and settled his weight comfortably over Ellery. “Damian’s probably going to stay up all night memorizing the floor plans. He’s not going to be happy until we get back here and the condo is finished.”

“He has been very pleased that he and your brothers are in charge of the security features in this place.”

“And that we gave them carte blanche. It kind of scares me how much technology Damian is going to put in this place. I don’t want to have to do a retinal scan to use the bathroom.”

Ellery slid his hands into Chrysander’s thick hair. “That would be inconvenient.”

“We’re going to have to wrestle more control from Wesley. He can’t skip informing our security about things like having a giant-ass buffet at the back of an enormous throne room, blocking the main doors.”

Ellery didn’t want to talk about Wesley. The truth was, he could hardly stand the office assistant, and he would bet all Tiri’s swear word money that the feeling was mutual. “He has been too comfortable in his role, perhaps.”

“He does a good job. He just needs to be reminded of the rules. I was so damn busy before that I truly had no choice but to pass a lot of things off to him. Our schedule’s lighter now, and the royal family should be making these decisions.”

“Other than the food fiasco, I thought the ceremony went well.”

“Poor Tiri looked terrified.”

“He gets nervous that he will disrespect Zane in some way.”

Chrysander lifted an incredulous brow. “How could he ever do that?”

“I have no clue. He is amazing, and he loves Zane very much.”

“I should tell you something.”

“What’s that?”

“I love someone very much as well.”

Ellery eagerly accepted Chrysander’s kiss. “That is interesting. Is it anyone I know?”

“You might’ve heard of him.”

Lifting his chin so Chrysander could better nibble Ellery’s neck, he tried to keep the thread of their conversation going while his body hummed with the desire that always rested just below his skin for his other half. “Can you be more specific?”

After leaving a trail of soft kisses over his jaw, Chrysander tongued the two earrings Fate left in Ellery’s ear after they were mated, which always drove him wild inside. “He’s an elf.”

Ellery wasn’t sure why everyone insisted on focusing on that part of him first, but his dick was hard, and he wasn’t going to get into a disagreement with Chrysander over it. “Just an elf?”

Pushing his hands under Ellery’s tunic, Chrysander slid his palm over the muscles of his belly. “No, he’s a hybrid.”

“That is certainly interesting,” Ellery managed as Chrysander toyed with one nipple.

“They say dragon mixes die at their first shift, but not my mate.”

Ellery spread his legs and bent his knees, cradling Chrysander’s hips between them. The thick length of Chrysander’s cock bumped into his and caused him to let out a moan. “I may have heard of him.”

“He’s the most beautiful dragon in the world.”

Clutching Chrysander’s short locks tighter, the dragon brought his lips close enough to taste. Ellery dipped his tongue in, and their mouths were way too busy for words as he undulated against Chrysander, suddenly desperate for any kind of friction.

About the Author

Jessamyn Kingley lives in Nevada where she begs the men in her head to tell her their amazing stories which she dutifully writes it all down in what has become a small mountain of notebooks. She falls in love with each couple and swears whatever book she wrote last is her absolute favorite.

Jessamyn is married and working toward remembering to start the dishwasher without being distracted by the scent of the magical detergent. For personal enjoyment, she aids in cat rescue while slashing and gashing her way through mobs in various MMORPGs. Caffeine is her very best friend and is only cast aside briefly for the sin better known as BBQ potato chips.

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Review Tour: How To Run With The Wolves by Eli Easton

How To Run With The Wolves | Eli Easton

Howl At The Moon #5

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Buy Links:

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Universal Link

Exclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited

Cover Design: Reese Dante

READ MY REVIEW

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Blurb

Zeus loves his job on the Mad Creek Search & Rescue team, and his inner Saint Bernard is finally being used to his full potential.

When he sees a mysterious and wild-looking quickened—a dog shifter—at an earthquake site in Alaska, Zeus is compelled to investigate. Zeus falls hard for the primal beauty of Timo and of Alaska itself. Both call to his deep canine soul. But the Qimmig pack’s laws are as harsh as the Alaskan winters, and Timo is out of his reach.

Timo’s pack of dog shifters left their Inuit village generations ago and have lived wild ever since. Not trusting the “one-skinned,” and with their numbers dwindling, the Qimmig are on the verge of extinction.

Timo is shocked to discover a whole group of “two-skinned” working as a rescue team, and he is particularly fascinated by Zeus, a gentle giant. He senses what Zeus feels for him… but it’s forbidden.

Can Mad Creek save this lost quickened clan? Perhaps—if they can learn how to run with the wolves.

Howl At The Moon Series

How To Howl At The Moon (Book #1) Amazon US | Amazon UK

How To Walk Like A Man (Book #2) Amazon US | Amazon UK

How To Wish Upon A Star (Book #3) Amazon US | Amazon UK

How To Save A Life (Book #4) – Amazon US | Amazon UK

Exclusive Excerpt

Chapter 1 – Fault Line

August

Anchorage, Alaska

Zeus

“All right, guys. Remember: stay in your section and stay with your partner. No matter what. And make sure your radios are on so I can contact you. Check them. Are they on right now?”

Zeus knew his radio was on, but he obeyed Matt and checked it anyway, as did the other eight quickened in the Mad Creek Search and Rescue team. Yup, the red light was illuminated.

“Mine is on!” Sammy called out with barely suppressed excitement. Other voices rang out too. The team was eager to get moving, Zeus included. His skin itched with the need to run, sniff, find.

But their team commander, Matt, didn’t release them just yet. He had his hands on his hips and was giving them all a stern look. His glower was all for show, Zeus knew. You could see the pride behind it, wanting to break out. Matt was a good leader. He was a full-blooded human, so he was less likely to get distracted by the job than the rest of them, and he knew just how to coordinate with the other human relief crews at a disaster site. And if people thought the Mad Creek group was weird, Matt dealt with it somehow, keeping the secret of the quickened, well, secret.

“All right, team.” Matt clapped Sammy on the back. “Go save some lives!”

They scattered, everyone running. They looked like orange confetti, Zeus thought, with everyone wearing the Search and Rescue uniform—heavy neon orange canvas pants, orange T-shirts, black heavy-duty hiking boots, and small gray vest and packs with first aid gear and tools. Blood pumped hard in Zeus’s veins. Since joining Mad Creek Search and Rescue, Zeus and the team had been deployed three times, once to a flood and twice to help with wildfires. And even in his brief stint with the group, Zeus had found a sense of purpose and usefulness he’d never felt before.

He was born for this! And it felt incredible to let that part of him operate to its potential.

Zeus and his partner, Sammy, headed into the section Matt had assigned them. From their command post in Delaney Park, they ran north on G Street. They had the area from 3rd to 9th streets to the north and south and H to C streets west to east. Some of the street signs were down or hidden in rubble, but Zeus could still see the map in his mind, and he knew where to go.

The 7.5 earthquake had hit near Anchorage eight hours ago. It had struck just after nine in the morning when the downtown buildings and streets had been full of people. Since then, the city had been rocked by several large aftershocks. Roads were cracked and split apart, becoming stairsteps. Shattered glass was everywhere from windows that exploded under the pressure of buckling walls. Rubble made haphazard mounds that spilled into the street. Tall brick buildings had gaping holes that looked like missing teeth, and a couple had lost their heads entirely. The landscape was uneven, a building here and there in ruins while others stood tall and straight, unaffected or missing only a few panes of glass. And there were so many smells! There were dangerous smells like oil and smoke and sad ones like blood and fear and even death.

For a moment, Zeus hesitated, looking down G Street. Where to start? He wanted to go everywhere at once. A loud siren pierced the air, hurting Zeus’s sensitive ears, but he was too focused on the job to care.

Sammy stepped up beside him and pointed to a field of rubble on the right between two taller buildings. Big cement slabs stuck up and jagged ends of rebar were exposed like broken bones. A triangular slab stood into front of the pile, one pointed end buried in the asphalt as if it were a memorial statue. “Look, Zeus! I bet that was a parking garage. And I bet people are trapped in there. Let’s see if we can help.”

“Okay!” Zeus agreed, and the two of them ran toward the rubble. His blood sang in his ears. Find them, find them, find them.

They scrambled over cement and dust. Zeus could smell people here, people trapped under the collapsed parking garage—one, two, at least four people. The scent drew a mind map in his head of where they were located, how deep, how far from him in 3D. He sniffed around and around, moving in a circle, skin thrumming, every sense on alert. Yes, here, and here, far down.

Zeus pointed and rattled off his finds, interpreting the scent-pictures for Sammy, giving him distances and head count. Sammy wrote numbers on the little flags, planted them where Zeus said, and relayed the news to Matt over the radio. There were two older people, a man and a woman together, probably in a car. There was blood with them, but not much, and their heartbeats were strong. They calm one another, Zeus thought, an idea that entered his head and flittered away again with so much to smell and others to help. 

A short distance away, he found two bodies both ten feet down. Near them he detected the faint smell of old urine, like you might find in a stairwell. Face sad, Sammy set a black flag with a “2” written on it.

Zeus sniffed around the perimeter he’d set for himself, three times, four, to be sure he’d caught everything, that the little flags matched the map in his head.

Sammy signed off the radio call. “Matt’s gonna let the fire department know. They’ll bring the big machines. It’s so sad. The ones who are alive, are they scared? I bet they’re scared.” He took a crowbar from his tool belt and banged on a piece of rebar sticking from the cement near the yellow “2” flag. “We’re here! We’re here and we will come for you! Don’t be afraid!”

Don’t be afraid. The words echoed in Zeus’s head. Don’t be afraid.

“Oh, those poor people. I wish we could dig! I wish we could dig right now! Are you sure they’re too far down?” Sammy leaned down close to a flag to sniff and listen.

Zeus just grunted. He was sure.

He loved many things about the Mad Creek Search and Rescue team.

He loved that everyone on the team—except for team-leader Matt—was a quickened and thus had a dog’s keener sense of smell and hearing and doggie instincts.

He loved that his teammates had boundless energy and enthusiasm.

He loved their compassion and can-do attitudes. They never got cranky and they never complained. Zeus had been born quickened, but he’d worked with many humans over the years, so he appreciated those traits.

He loved the sense of pack he was developing with his S-and-R brothers and sisters. The Mad Creek Search and Rescue team was made up of Sammy, a young chocolate lab, Goldy, a pretty and bouncy golden retriever in her twenties, a middle-aged German shepherd named Bacon, a somber young bloodhound named Watson, and a tough pit bull named Lola Blue who was thick and stocky with a square face, small gold eyes, grayish brown skin, and short hair the same amazing shade of blue-gray as her dog fur. Georgia and Roscoe, both mixed breeds, rounded out the team. Matt was the only human in the group. All together there were nine of them.

In short, Zeus loved this job. If Mad Creek had become too crowded to take, the S-and-R crew was small enough for Zeus to bear. Even if he sometimes felt he would never really be one of the Mad Creek quickened.

Zeus continued, picking his way over the rubble, scrambling on his hands and feet when the way got rough. The heavy steel-toed boots on his big arched feet enabled him to step anywhere, testing each foot-place for stability before settling his considerable weight on it. Despite his large size, he felt light and nimble with the adrenaline coursing through his veins.

He had Sammy place several more yellow flags. And then….

“Here!” he told Sammy, huffing the rich scent. “There’s a man buried right here. We can get this one. He’s not far down at all.”

Sammy sniffed the ground, his face lighting up. “He’s alive.”

“He’s alive,” Zeus agreed. He went down on his knees and began to dig with both gloved hands.

A scree hill of gravel and powdered cement had landed here, next to a fallen piece of wall. Zeus’s hands were faster than his tools for small material like this, and his heavy gloves were nearly as good protection as the thick pads of his paws in his dog form. Sammy joined in, and the two of them scooped out the loose material and pulled away small chunks of cement and metal, finally clearing a hole under the piece of wall.

The hole was dark for a moment as the cloud of debris settled. Then fingers reached up. They were a man’s fingers, rough-hewn and covered with gray dust.

“Hello,” came a voice, then a cough. “H-hello? Are you there? Help me, please?” His voice had an accent Zeus had never heard before.

“Hello!” Sammy called out, his voice happy. “Yes, we’re here to help you. Are you hurt?”

More coughing. “Oh, thank fuck. I’ve felt better. I think I’m okay, but I would like to get out now.”

“We’ll get you out. Don’t worry!” Sammy enthused, while Zeus examined the situation. They had to be careful, because they didn’t want to cause the rubble to collapse. But the piece of wall on top of the hole felt stable when Zeus tested it. It wasn’t going anywhere. With some more digging—the man helped from inside with his bare hands—they managed to enlarge the hole. Sammy shone his light inside and they saw the man’s face. He was a young man, maybe in his twenties, and he had skin deeply tanned by the sun, eyes with a slight epicanthic fold, black hair covered in dust, and a lop-sided grin. Zeus thought he might be Inuit.

Sammy passed the man a bottle of water, and he unscrewed it and drank it thirstily, water making tracks in the dirt down his blue T-shirt.

Zeus sat back on his heels. The man was not badly hurt. He and Sammy could pull him out and send him on to the hospital. Then they could keep working. There was so much work to do. So many more to find! And hopefully they’d find more survivors, like this one, maybe even more they could dig out on their own. It was so satisfying to see them climb out of the earth like newborns, to know he had saved a life. Zeus would never tire of it in a million years.

As he waited for the man to finish drinking, Zeus’s gaze scanned ahead over the field of rubble. They could probably scramble over most of it and….

And that was when Zeus saw him.

About thirty feet away, standing on the flat roof of a small building, was a man.

The sun was behind him, his form outlined in the glowing light. He was average in height but taut and whip lean in faded, low-slung jeans, wide belt, and a short-sleeved T-shirt that was molded to his muscles. His brown hair gleamed red where it was struck by the sun and was incredibly thick, straight, and long, falling to his waist. Strands floated around him in the cold breeze. His eyes looked pale, though it was hard to tell from this distance.

Zeus sniffed, catching the barest tease of a new scent. It broke through the cloying, heavy aroma of dust and oil and smoke as though someone had opened a window in a stale house. The new scent was fresh, like the wind off a glacier, and there was something wild in it, too, wild and free, like deer or elk or… or…

Wolves?

Zeus couldn’t see the man’s face very well, backlit as he was, but something about him took Zeus’s breath away. His posture was agile and proud. And he was staring at Zeus. Right at him. His body was rigid, and Zeus could swear he was scenting him too.

Why the sight should strike him so deeply, Zeus didn’t know. But the man didn’t look like a rescue worker. He didn’t look like an office worker. He didn’t look like anything Zeus had ever seen before. He seemed to be a mirage, like something pulled up from the buried depths of Zeus’s own mind.

There was a grunt and a scramble next to him. Zeus turned to see the Inuit man dusting off his shirt.

“Are you okay?” he asked.

“You have blood on your pants,” Sammy said worriedly. “Is your leg hurt? You can lean on me.”

The man shook his leg and stomped his foot twice. “Nah, I’m good. Just a scratch.”

Zeus looked back to where he’d seen the strange man—but he was gone. There was nothing there now but an empty roof and the bright glare of the afternoon sun.

“Did you see him?” Zeus asked Sammy and the rescued man. He pointed at the roof. “There was a man. Right there.”

Sammy looked confused. “Huh? I didn’t see anyone, Zeus.”

But the dark-skinned man grimaced, his face knowing. “Qimmig,” he muttered.

“What?”

The man coughed, then wiped his mouth. “It’s a tribe. They’re around. They work on the big buildings. Construction, you know? Hey, thank you guys for finding me. My name’s Aput. You saved my life, dudes!”

Aput gave Sammy a hug, which Sammy was happy to reciprocate. Then Aput turned to Zeus, his arms held wide. Zeus wasn’t much of a hugger with strangers, but the man’s grin was infectious, so Zeus hugged him too.

“I have a wife and three little ones back in my village. They’ll want very much to thank you! Man, I thought I was going to die in there.” He wiped a hand across his sweaty brow, smearing dirt. And despite all his brave words, his hand was shaking.

Well, of course it was. It would be terrifying to be buried for—Zeus checked his watch—nearly seven hours since the earthquake struck.

“We’re so happy you’re alive!” said Sammy. “Are you sure you don’t need to sit down and rest?”

But Zeus was anxious to keep moving, anxious to find more people to help, maybe anxious to see that Qimmig again too. “There’s first aid and food and water at the convention center. Do you know how to get there?”

“Yeah, I do. Hey, where are you guys from?” He looked at Sammy curiously, then up at Zeus. “Not Alaskan, huh?”

“Nope, we’re from Mad Creek!” said Sammy proudly. “That’s in California. We’re the Mad Creek Search and Rescue.” Sammy turned around and pointed to his back where the name was printed in black on the bright orange T-shirt. “I’m Sammy and this is Zeus.”

“Well, Sammy and Zeus. I’ll look for you again. Okay?”

“Okay!” Sammy said. “Be careful walking to the first aid station. Watch out for glass! You wouldn’t want to fall on your ass. Ha ha.”

Man, Sammy’s jokes. Zeus didn’t find them funny, but in this case, he was pretty sure he wasn’t the only one. He moved ahead, shutting out everything but the rubble under his feet.

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About the Author

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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 Easton has been a m/m 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.

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Release Blitz: How To Run With The Wolves by Eli Easton

How To Run With The Wolves | Eli Easton

Howl At The Moon #5

RBBANNER-64.jpg

Buy Links:

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Universal Link

Exclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited

Cover Design: Reese Dante

HowToRunWithTheWolves-600x900.jpg

Blurb

Zeus loves his job on the Mad Creek Search & Rescue team, and his inner Saint Bernard is finally being used to his full potential.

When he sees a mysterious and wild-looking quickened—a dog shifter—at an earthquake site in Alaska, Zeus is compelled to investigate. Zeus falls hard for the primal beauty of Timo and of Alaska itself. Both call to his deep canine soul. But the Qimmig pack’s laws are as harsh as the Alaskan winters, and Timo is out of his reach.

Timo’s pack of dog shifters left their Inuit village generations ago and have lived wild ever since. Not trusting the “one-skinned,” and with their numbers dwindling, the Qimmig are on the verge of extinction.

Timo is shocked to discover a whole group of “two-skinned” working as a rescue team, and he is particularly fascinated by Zeus, a gentle giant. He senses what Zeus feels for him… but it’s forbidden.

Can Mad Creek save this lost quickened clan? Perhaps—if they can learn how to run with the wolves.

Howl At The Moon Series

How To Howl At The Moon (Book #1) Amazon US | Amazon UK

How To Walk Like A Man (Book #2) Amazon US | Amazon UK

How To Wish Upon A Star (Book #3) Amazon US | Amazon UK

How To Save A Life (Book #4) – Amazon US | Amazon UK

Exclusive Excerpt

Chapter 1 – Fault Line

August

Anchorage, Alaska

Zeus

“All right, guys. Remember: stay in your section and stay with your partner. No matter what. And make sure your radios are on so I can contact you. Check them. Are they on right now?”

Zeus knew his radio was on, but he obeyed Matt and checked it anyway, as did the other eight quickened in the Mad Creek Search and Rescue team. Yup, the red light was illuminated.

“Mine is on!” Sammy called out with barely suppressed excitement. Other voices rang out too. The team was eager to get moving, Zeus included. His skin itched with the need to run, sniff, find.

But their team commander, Matt, didn’t release them just yet. He had his hands on his hips and was giving them all a stern look. His glower was all for show, Zeus knew. You could see the pride behind it, wanting to break out. Matt was a good leader. He was a full-blooded human, so he was less likely to get distracted by the job than the rest of them, and he knew just how to coordinate with the other human relief crews at a disaster site. And if people thought the Mad Creek group was weird, Matt dealt with it somehow, keeping the secret of the quickened, well, secret.

“All right, team.” Matt clapped Sammy on the back. “Go save some lives!”

They scattered, everyone running. They looked like orange confetti, Zeus thought, with everyone wearing the Search and Rescue uniform—heavy neon orange canvas pants, orange T-shirts, black heavy-duty hiking boots, and small gray vest and packs with first aid gear and tools. Blood pumped hard in Zeus’s veins. Since joining Mad Creek Search and Rescue, Zeus and the team had been deployed three times, once to a flood and twice to help with wildfires. And even in his brief stint with the group, Zeus had found a sense of purpose and usefulness he’d never felt before.

He was born for this! And it felt incredible to let that part of him operate to its potential.

Zeus and his partner, Sammy, headed into the section Matt had assigned them. From their command post in Delaney Park, they ran north on G Street. They had the area from 3rd to 9th streets to the north and south and H to C streets west to east. Some of the street signs were down or hidden in rubble, but Zeus could still see the map in his mind, and he knew where to go.

The 7.5 earthquake had hit near Anchorage eight hours ago. It had struck just after nine in the morning when the downtown buildings and streets had been full of people. Since then, the city had been rocked by several large aftershocks. Roads were cracked and split apart, becoming stairsteps. Shattered glass was everywhere from windows that exploded under the pressure of buckling walls. Rubble made haphazard mounds that spilled into the street. Tall brick buildings had gaping holes that looked like missing teeth, and a couple had lost their heads entirely. The landscape was uneven, a building here and there in ruins while others stood tall and straight, unaffected or missing only a few panes of glass. And there were so many smells! There were dangerous smells like oil and smoke and sad ones like blood and fear and even death.

For a moment, Zeus hesitated, looking down G Street. Where to start? He wanted to go everywhere at once. A loud siren pierced the air, hurting Zeus’s sensitive ears, but he was too focused on the job to care.

Sammy stepped up beside him and pointed to a field of rubble on the right between two taller buildings. Big cement slabs stuck up and jagged ends of rebar were exposed like broken bones. A triangular slab stood into front of the pile, one pointed end buried in the asphalt as if it were a memorial statue. “Look, Zeus! I bet that was a parking garage. And I bet people are trapped in there. Let’s see if we can help.”

“Okay!” Zeus agreed, and the two of them ran toward the rubble. His blood sang in his ears. Find them, find them, find them.

They scrambled over cement and dust. Zeus could smell people here, people trapped under the collapsed parking garage—one, two, at least four people. The scent drew a mind map in his head of where they were located, how deep, how far from him in 3D. He sniffed around and around, moving in a circle, skin thrumming, every sense on alert. Yes, here, and here, far down.

Zeus pointed and rattled off his finds, interpreting the scent-pictures for Sammy, giving him distances and head count. Sammy wrote numbers on the little flags, planted them where Zeus said, and relayed the news to Matt over the radio. There were two older people, a man and a woman together, probably in a car. There was blood with them, but not much, and their heartbeats were strong. They calm one another, Zeus thought, an idea that entered his head and flittered away again with so much to smell and others to help. 

A short distance away, he found two bodies both ten feet down. Near them he detected the faint smell of old urine, like you might find in a stairwell. Face sad, Sammy set a black flag with a “2” written on it.

Zeus sniffed around the perimeter he’d set for himself, three times, four, to be sure he’d caught everything, that the little flags matched the map in his head.

Sammy signed off the radio call. “Matt’s gonna let the fire department know. They’ll bring the big machines. It’s so sad. The ones who are alive, are they scared? I bet they’re scared.” He took a crowbar from his tool belt and banged on a piece of rebar sticking from the cement near the yellow “2” flag. “We’re here! We’re here and we will come for you! Don’t be afraid!”

Don’t be afraid. The words echoed in Zeus’s head. Don’t be afraid.

“Oh, those poor people. I wish we could dig! I wish we could dig right now! Are you sure they’re too far down?” Sammy leaned down close to a flag to sniff and listen.

Zeus just grunted. He was sure.

He loved many things about the Mad Creek Search and Rescue team.

He loved that everyone on the team—except for team-leader Matt—was a quickened and thus had a dog’s keener sense of smell and hearing and doggie instincts.

He loved that his teammates had boundless energy and enthusiasm.

He loved their compassion and can-do attitudes. They never got cranky and they never complained. Zeus had been born quickened, but he’d worked with many humans over the years, so he appreciated those traits.

He loved the sense of pack he was developing with his S-and-R brothers and sisters. The Mad Creek Search and Rescue team was made up of Sammy, a young chocolate lab, Goldy, a pretty and bouncy golden retriever in her twenties, a middle-aged German shepherd named Bacon, a somber young bloodhound named Watson, and a tough pit bull named Lola Blue who was thick and stocky with a square face, small gold eyes, grayish brown skin, and short hair the same amazing shade of blue-gray as her dog fur. Georgia and Roscoe, both mixed breeds, rounded out the team. Matt was the only human in the group. All together there were nine of them.

In short, Zeus loved this job. If Mad Creek had become too crowded to take, the S-and-R crew was small enough for Zeus to bear. Even if he sometimes felt he would never really be one of the Mad Creek quickened.

Zeus continued, picking his way over the rubble, scrambling on his hands and feet when the way got rough. The heavy steel-toed boots on his big arched feet enabled him to step anywhere, testing each foot-place for stability before settling his considerable weight on it. Despite his large size, he felt light and nimble with the adrenaline coursing through his veins.

He had Sammy place several more yellow flags. And then….

“Here!” he told Sammy, huffing the rich scent. “There’s a man buried right here. We can get this one. He’s not far down at all.”

Sammy sniffed the ground, his face lighting up. “He’s alive.”

“He’s alive,” Zeus agreed. He went down on his knees and began to dig with both gloved hands.

A scree hill of gravel and powdered cement had landed here, next to a fallen piece of wall. Zeus’s hands were faster than his tools for small material like this, and his heavy gloves were nearly as good protection as the thick pads of his paws in his dog form. Sammy joined in, and the two of them scooped out the loose material and pulled away small chunks of cement and metal, finally clearing a hole under the piece of wall.

The hole was dark for a moment as the cloud of debris settled. Then fingers reached up. They were a man’s fingers, rough-hewn and covered with gray dust.

“Hello,” came a voice, then a cough. “H-hello? Are you there? Help me, please?” His voice had an accent Zeus had never heard before.

“Hello!” Sammy called out, his voice happy. “Yes, we’re here to help you. Are you hurt?”

More coughing. “Oh, thank fuck. I’ve felt better. I think I’m okay, but I would like to get out now.”

“We’ll get you out. Don’t worry!” Sammy enthused, while Zeus examined the situation. They had to be careful, because they didn’t want to cause the rubble to collapse. But the piece of wall on top of the hole felt stable when Zeus tested it. It wasn’t going anywhere. With some more digging—the man helped from inside with his bare hands—they managed to enlarge the hole. Sammy shone his light inside and they saw the man’s face. He was a young man, maybe in his twenties, and he had skin deeply tanned by the sun, eyes with a slight epicanthic fold, black hair covered in dust, and a lop-sided grin. Zeus thought he might be Inuit.

Sammy passed the man a bottle of water, and he unscrewed it and drank it thirstily, water making tracks in the dirt down his blue T-shirt.

Zeus sat back on his heels. The man was not badly hurt. He and Sammy could pull him out and send him on to the hospital. Then they could keep working. There was so much work to do. So many more to find! And hopefully they’d find more survivors, like this one, maybe even more they could dig out on their own. It was so satisfying to see them climb out of the earth like newborns, to know he had saved a life. Zeus would never tire of it in a million years.

As he waited for the man to finish drinking, Zeus’s gaze scanned ahead over the field of rubble. They could probably scramble over most of it and….

And that was when Zeus saw him.

About thirty feet away, standing on the flat roof of a small building, was a man.

The sun was behind him, his form outlined in the glowing light. He was average in height but taut and whip lean in faded, low-slung jeans, wide belt, and a short-sleeved T-shirt that was molded to his muscles. His brown hair gleamed red where it was struck by the sun and was incredibly thick, straight, and long, falling to his waist. Strands floated around him in the cold breeze. His eyes looked pale, though it was hard to tell from this distance.

Zeus sniffed, catching the barest tease of a new scent. It broke through the cloying, heavy aroma of dust and oil and smoke as though someone had opened a window in a stale house. The new scent was fresh, like the wind off a glacier, and there was something wild in it, too, wild and free, like deer or elk or… or…

Wolves?

Zeus couldn’t see the man’s face very well, backlit as he was, but something about him took Zeus’s breath away. His posture was agile and proud. And he was staring at Zeus. Right at him. His body was rigid, and Zeus could swear he was scenting him too.

Why the sight should strike him so deeply, Zeus didn’t know. But the man didn’t look like a rescue worker. He didn’t look like an office worker. He didn’t look like anything Zeus had ever seen before. He seemed to be a mirage, like something pulled up from the buried depths of Zeus’s own mind.

There was a grunt and a scramble next to him. Zeus turned to see the Inuit man dusting off his shirt.

“Are you okay?” he asked.

“You have blood on your pants,” Sammy said worriedly. “Is your leg hurt? You can lean on me.”

The man shook his leg and stomped his foot twice. “Nah, I’m good. Just a scratch.”

Zeus looked back to where he’d seen the strange man—but he was gone. There was nothing there now but an empty roof and the bright glare of the afternoon sun.

“Did you see him?” Zeus asked Sammy and the rescued man. He pointed at the roof. “There was a man. Right there.”

Sammy looked confused. “Huh? I didn’t see anyone, Zeus.”

But the dark-skinned man grimaced, his face knowing. “Qimmig,” he muttered.

“What?”

The man coughed, then wiped his mouth. “It’s a tribe. They’re around. They work on the big buildings. Construction, you know? Hey, thank you guys for finding me. My name’s Aput. You saved my life, dudes!”

Aput gave Sammy a hug, which Sammy was happy to reciprocate. Then Aput turned to Zeus, his arms held wide. Zeus wasn’t much of a hugger with strangers, but the man’s grin was infectious, so Zeus hugged him too.

“I have a wife and three little ones back in my village. They’ll want very much to thank you! Man, I thought I was going to die in there.” He wiped a hand across his sweaty brow, smearing dirt. And despite all his brave words, his hand was shaking.

Well, of course it was. It would be terrifying to be buried for—Zeus checked his watch—nearly seven hours since the earthquake struck.

“We’re so happy you’re alive!” said Sammy. “Are you sure you don’t need to sit down and rest?”

But Zeus was anxious to keep moving, anxious to find more people to help, maybe anxious to see that Qimmig again too. “There’s first aid and food and water at the convention center. Do you know how to get there?”

“Yeah, I do. Hey, where are you guys from?” He looked at Sammy curiously, then up at Zeus. “Not Alaskan, huh?”

“Nope, we’re from Mad Creek!” said Sammy proudly. “That’s in California. We’re the Mad Creek Search and Rescue.” Sammy turned around and pointed to his back where the name was printed in black on the bright orange T-shirt. “I’m Sammy and this is Zeus.”

“Well, Sammy and Zeus. I’ll look for you again. Okay?”

“Okay!” Sammy said. “Be careful walking to the first aid station. Watch out for glass! You wouldn’t want to fall on your ass. Ha ha.”

Man, Sammy’s jokes. Zeus didn’t find them funny, but in this case, he was pretty sure he wasn’t the only one. He moved ahead, shutting out everything but the rubble under his feet.

About the Author

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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 Easton has been a m/m 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.

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Review Tour: Salmon and the Hazel by Sam Burns

Salmon and the Hazel | Sam Burns

Rowan Harbor Cycle #8

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Buy Links:

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Exclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited

Length: 43,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Melanie Farlow @ Clause & Effect

READ MY REVIEW

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Blurb

Jesse’s only priority in life is protecting the people he loves, so he’s determined to see Rowan Harbor’s wards rebuilt. There’s just one problem: they’re missing an ingredient that can’t be ordered online.

Jesse volunteers to search for the missing component in the realm of the fae, but his boyfriend, Sean, isn’t letting him go alone. The town has an enemy among the fae, so they’ll need to keep a low profile. Along their way, they find unexpected allies, surprising enemies, and a whole host of problems.

The journey is a test of their endurance, but also of their relationship and their faith in each other. Can they find what they need and get back home in one piece in time for the summer solstice?

The Rowan Harbor Cycle Series

Book #1 – Blackbird in the Reeds – Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book #2 – Wolf and the Holly – Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book #3 – Fox and Birch – Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book #4 – Hawk In The Rowan – Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book #5 – Stag and the Ashe – Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book #6 – Adder and Willow – Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book #6.5 – In Any Light – Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book #7 – Eagle In The Hawthorn – Amazon US | Amazon UK

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About The Author

Sam Burns wrote her first fantasy epic with her best friend when she was ten. Like almost any epic fiction written by a ten-year-old, it was awful. She likes to think she’s improved since then, if only because she has better handwriting now.

If she’s not writing, she’s almost certainly either reading or lost down a Wikipedia rabbit hole while pretending to research for a novel.

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Cover Reveal: Eminently Elf by Jessamyn Kingley

Eminently Elf | Jessamyn Kingley

D’Vaire #13

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Cover Artist: LJ Anderson of Mayhem Cover Creations

Release Date: July 25, 2019

Heat Rating: 3 flames

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Blurb

Even for a legend, victory has a price.

Emperors Chrysander and Ellery Draconis are in love and looking toward the future. Ellery is the first hybrid to survive a dragon shift, becoming a legend. Chrysander couldn’t be happier with his elf dragon, and for the first time he is truly savoring life.

Despite the demands of their schedules as the leaders of the Council of Sorcery and Shifters, the pair have also managed to find balance. But not everyone is happy to see the leader of the dragons with a half-elven mate.

As the two go about their daily business, those sworn to protect them work tirelessly each day to ensure the safety of their emperors. They lived through the horror of the previous rulers being murdered and are all too aware of the dangers that lie in wait. Nothing is left to chance, but regardless of their dedication, not even they can prevent evil from rising from the mists.

On a seemingly ordinary day, an unexpected attack shocks everyone. A matebond is taken to the brink and the limits of magic are tested as the strongest forces unite to try to repair the damage.

It will take time, patience, and perseverance for good to prevail. Chrysander and Ellery will once again overcome the odds and emerge victorious, but in the end, nothing will ever be the same.

About the Author

Jessamyn Kingley lives in Nevada where she begs the men in her head to tell her their amazing stories which she dutifully writes it all down in what has become a small mountain of notebooks. She falls in love with each couple and swears whatever book she wrote last is her absolute favorite.

Jessamyn is married and working toward remembering to start the dishwasher without being distracted by the scent of the magical detergent. For personal enjoyment, she aids in cat rescue while slashing and gashing her way through mobs in various MMORPGs. Caffeine is her very best friend and is only cast aside briefly for the sin better known as BBQ potato chips.

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