Tag Archives: thriller

Blog Tour: Stitches and Sepsis by Liz Faraim

Stitches and Sepsis | Liz Faraim

Vivian Chastain #2

BANNER1 - Stitches and Sepsis

Release Date: April 26th, 2021

Publisher: Nine Star Press

Word Count: 77,254

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

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Blurb

Adrenaline addicted veteran, Vivian Chastain, confronts the man who has been following her for days, only to find he has a message of dire consequence for her. Spurred into action by his news, she barrels head on into a tumultuous and violent series of events. Stoic and stubborn, Vivian lands in the hospital, fighting for her life.

During Vivian’s lengthy recovery, her partner is released from jail and the two reconnect, stoking up the flames of their toxic union all while Vivian dives into a blossoming relationship with a new love interest who offers fulfillment and love, if only Vivian can figure out how to allow it all in.

Still on the mend, she learns that the coast is not clear as former threats return and continue to endanger her. While she cannot rest easy; friends, her work crew, and customers at the night club where she tends bar provide her with much needed fun, comradery, and support.

Vivian wrestles with her temper, her penchant for physical violence, and her overwhelming emotional baggage. Struggles from within and without threaten her existence, and in the moment when death is just a breath away, Vivian’s brother shows up and changes everything.

Warnings: This book contains sexually explicit content which is only suitable for mature readers, graphic violence, self-harm, references to PTSD, domestic abuse, animal abuse, homophobic slurs, sexual assault (reference to past), death of a secondary character.

Excerpt

“Show time,” I said and pushed open the massive wooden door at the nightclub where I worked, switching into the role of confident bartender. I swaggered in and was nearly bowled over by the bassline of Ciara’s “1, 2, Step” as it blared out of the speakers, rumbling in my chest. Buck, dressed in a perfectly starched security uniform, gave me a nod from her lectern in the narrow foyer. A line of women chatted excitedly as they waited for their turn at the lectern to pay the cover charge and get their hand stamp.

“Excuse me,” I said as I squeezed past another cluster of women who were dancing and laughing animatedly. I hugged my tip bucket close to my chest so I didn’t accidently graze any of them. They shifted to make room for me to pass, and one of them growled playfully. The growl was followed by someone grabbing my ass firmly. I didn’t turn or even acknowledge the grope. Outside of work I would have shut that shit down, but here there was a certain amount of physicality to the job, albeit usually consensual. I knew damn well that later that night I’d strip off my beater and have women doing body shots off me, for a sizeable tip, of course, so I let it go and continued making my way through the crowd to my station at the front bar.

Tick, the DJ, transitioned to “Candy Shop” by 50 Cent. The crowd funneled out of the front bar to the dance floor in the back, which gave me a quick break in the rush to relieve the bartender going off shift, count out my drawer, and set up the station the way I liked it.

Jen, my barback, bounced up next to me with a big grin on her face. The unmistakable smell of weed wafted off her and I chuckled. She swung her long wallet chain around her finger and bumped hips with me.

“Coyote Ugly, baby!” she said over the music. I nodded and gave her a big grin. Coyote Ugly nights were always raucous fun, which meant big tips. We counted on tips to survive, so Sunday night shifts were not to be missed. Jen slid an American Spirit cigarette behind her ear and winked a twinkling, bloodshot hazel eye at me. A customer stepped up to my station. I gave Jen a pat on the back and stepped up to the bar to get to work.

The night built up in intensity as the crowd grew thick and the music got louder. Things peaked when Sheila, our boss, strutted along the top of the bar in heels, a fedora, thong and bra. She used Everclear to set the bar trough on fire, which whipped the women into a frenzy.

Once Sheila’s performance was over, I helped her down and she waded into the crowd, hugging friends and talking to customers. Sly hands slipped dollar bills into her thong and bra as she passed by.

Despite being a chilly February night, it was hot and humid inside the club because of the crush of dancing bodies. Sweating, I shed my beater so I was down to my sports bra. Removing my shirt was always lucrative because it drew more customers to my side of the bar.

A woman in a silver sequined cocktail dress, hair and makeup on point, stepped up to my station and tried to talk to me over the noise. I leaned across the bar toward her and cupped my hand to my ear to signal that I hadn’t heard her. She smiled and drew in a breath. Before she could speak, the smile turned to a grimace and her hand shot out, clamping down on my wrist. Her manicured nails dug so deeply into my flesh her nails snapped and broke through my skin. My arm flared with pain, but I didn’t pull away because I knew something was wrong. Her eyes bulged and she froze, mouth agape. Concerned, I reached out and placed my other hand on her shoulder.

“Are you okay?”

Her hand went limp on my arm and she dropped to the floor like a sack of rocks, knocking two other people down with her. There was a moment of relief as her nails slid out of my arm, but the relief was quickly followed by the stinging sensation of open wounds and blood ran down my hand. I leaned over the bar and peered down at the woman. She was seizing violently. The people around her all stepped back, cleared a small circle around her. I sprang over the bar and began pushing people farther away from her.

“Buck!” I shouted over the music. “Buck!” I got up on my toes and looked toward Buck’s lectern. She was craning her neck in my direction and I waved her over urgently. Buck immediately began making her way through the crush of the crowd. People responded quickly when they saw her security uniform and shuffled out of the way.

About The Author

Liz has a full plate between balancing a day job, parenting, writing, and finding some semblance of a social life. In past lives she has been a soldier, a bartender, a shoe salesperson, an assistant museum curator, and even a driving instructor. She focuses her writing on strong, queer, female leads who don’t back down.

Liz transplanted to California from New York over thirty years ago, and now lives in the East Bay. She enjoys exploring nature with her wife and son.

Pronouns: She/Her

Social Media

Website: https://www.lizfaraim.com

Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/elizabeth.loud.16/

Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/liz.faraim.9/

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/FaraimLiz

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20769735.Liz_Faraim

QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/liz-faraim/

Giveaway

Liz is giving away a $20 Amazon gift card with this tour:

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Release Blitz: Wounded Air by Rick R. Reed

Wounded Air | Rick R. Reed

RB Banner Wounded Air

Release Date: May 3rd, 2021

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Blurb

Rick and Ernie found the perfect apartment on Chicago’s West Side. Before they’re settled, Rick begins having all-too-real disturbing “dreams.” Each time, an emaciated young man with sad brown eyes appears, terrifying and obsessing him.

From their next-door neighbor, Paula, Rick learns about Karl and Tommy, who lived there before them. Tommy’s mysterious disappearance pains her. When she shares a photo of her with Tommy and Karl, Rick is shocked and troubled. Tommy is the man who appears to him in his dreams.

The ghostly visitations compel Rick to uncover the truth about Tommy’s disappearance. It’s a quest that will lead him to Karl, Tommy’s lover, who may know more about Tommy’s disappearance than he’s telling, and a confrontation with a restless spirit who wants only to—finally—rest in peace.

Teaser 1 Wounded Air

Excerpt

In this scene, our hero, Rick, yearns for an unusual apartment he’s seen a million times from the Chicago L train he takes to work every day. But now, there’s something different—the apartment is available.

I never imagined my dream would come true.

But it did. And in a funny way, what drove me to this particular apartment led to a lot of dreams coming true.

But dreams can turn to nightmares in the space of a single breath.

Fate stepped in one day and changed everything—past, present, and future—when I rounded the bend of the L tracks and my glass-walled apartment came into view.

On that day, there was a change, a difference of two words.

Hanging as though suspended in midair was one of those black-and-red signs one can buy at the hardware store. The sign proclaimed: FOR RENT. Below the bright red letters was a white rectangle with a phone number written in black marker.

Oh my god. It’s coming true. This place will be gone by the afternoon! I can’t let anyone else have it.

I dug inside my messenger bag, groping for paper and pen to jot down the number. I’d call the moment I got to work, already feeling like I was racing against some imaginary clock hanging just above my head. Such a unique place wouldn’t be on the market for long. Hell, someone else might have already snatched it up.

I wasn’t fast enough to write the number. Of course, I wasn’t. The train had stopped for only a minute, two at the most, long enough to let a few folks off and a whole bunch on. There was a lot of chatter, the huffing of the train, the pneumatic hiss of the doors closing, and the garbled announcement for the next stop.

The apartment—and the FOR RENT sign—sailed by as it always did, and the phone number along with it. I turned in my seat, straining to try to see the number from this distance, even though I knew it was a stupid and impossible move.

I knew, as sure as anything, if I waited until the next day, with my pen poised and ready over a pad of paper, the sign would have vanished. Someone else would take possession of what I felt, in a weird and possessive way, was rightfully mine.

There was only one thing to do.

I tried to be patient despite my thundering heart, waiting until we neared the next station. I leapt up and edged my way through the crowd toward the doors. When they slid open, I stepped out and stood on the platform, giddy with my own impulsiveness. This wasn’t like me. I was usually a planner, every decision carefully considered before moving forward—or not.

Impulsive was something other people did.

On the platform, I paused for a moment, watching the southbound Brown Line train as it continued its journey toward the Loop. In the distance, the skyscrapers of downtown rose. A breeze rustled my hair. Autumn was definitely present, even though the sun peeked out through scattered clouds, drifting downward in illuminated shafts, like a religious painting. There was an undercurrent of chill that, at the time, I attributed to nothing more than the changing of seasons.

But now I wonder—was the chill an omen, foreboding? Was fate trying to tell me to get back on the next train and get to work like the safe and dependable guy I was? After all, I had a home and in it was a man I loved, a man to whom I hadn’t even whispered a word about wanting to move.

It was late autumn in Chicago and the day had all the portents of the coming winter. Gray, low-hanging clouds amassed near the horizon, some of them so dark they verged on black.

In the short time I stood there, the weather made a dramatic change, which, if you’ve ever visited Chicago, you know isn’t unusual. “Don’t like the weather?” Self-proclaimed wits were fond of saying about the Windy City. “Stick around for a few minutes, and it’ll change.”

The little sun there was vanished, beating a hasty retreat behind a bank of fast-moving and bruised clouds. Drizzle hung in the air. A needling, cold mist crept into my bones, making me shiver. This was worse than a downpour because it seemed like no matter how much one bundled up against it, the cold seeped into one’s bones, making it nearly impossible to get warm. The wind, which blew off the lake two miles east, picked up, running at a breakneck pace, westward bound, down Irving Park Road. I watched from the platform as the people below rushed to get out of the inclement weather, their umbrellas turning inside out. The wind ripped the last of fall’s leaves from their branches.

In spite of the weather, I made my way along the old wooden L platform to its northern end so I could stand directly in front of the object of my desire.

It was the first time I’d actually seen it up close. And now it almost looked unreal, as though it were a movie location dreamed up by the guy who did the set for Hitchcock’s Rear Window. My current view had that same urban, surreal feel, that same voyeuristic quality.

Looking back, I wondered if it also had that same air of menace Hitchcock was so noted for.

Teaser 2 Wounded Air

About The Author

RickRReed-524x749

Real Men. True Love. Rick R. Reed is an award-winning and bestselling author of more than fifty works of published fiction. He is a Lambda Literary Award finalist. Entertainment Weekly has described his work as “heartrending and sensitive.” Lambda Literary has called him: “A writer that doesn’t disappoint…” Rick lives in Palm Springs, CA, with his husband, Bruce, and their fierce Chihuahua/Shiba Inu mix, Kodi.

Social Media

www.rickrreedreality.blogspot.com

www.twitter.com/rickrreed

www.facebook.com/rickrreedbooks

https://www.instagram.com/rickrreed/

https://www.amazon.com/Rick-R-Reed/e/B000AP5H2G

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/rick-r-reed

Teaser 3 Wounded Air

Giveaway

To celebrate Rick’s new Release, we are giving away 3 e-copies of Wounded Air

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Release Blitz: The Night Of by Tal Bauer

The Night Of | Tal Bauer

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Release Date: February 24th, 2021

Cover: Creative Paramita

Universal Link: mybook.to/TheNightOf

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/57141284-the-night-of

READ MY REVIEW

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Blurb

You’ve heard this story before: a guy supposedly kills himself, but his best friend can’t accept it. He calls in an investigator he knows to take a second look, certain there’s more going on.

I’m the investigator. Secret Service Agent Sean Avery. The guy who called me? My ex, Vice President Jonathan Sharp. And the guy he doesn’t believe put a bullet in his brain?

That was President Steven Baker.

The deeper I dig, the more things fall apart. I’ve got a dead president inside a locked room. A hidden note. A secret gun. A missing CIA officer.

And no one I can trust.

Now Jonathan’s in the crosshairs, and if I don’t figure out what really happened that night at Camp David, the love of my life might be the next president to die.

***This M/M romantic suspense features smoldering forbidden love and a May/December second chance romance that ignites your pages.

Content Warning: This book discusses suicide/ideation.

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About The Author

Tal Bauer is an author of gay romantic suspense/thriller novels.

The world needs more gay heroes, gay love stories, and powerful women kicking ass. I try to write those stories. With a background ranging from law enforcement to humanitarian aid, my stories are global in scope and with diverse characters in all roles.

My goal is to help normalize gay characters as action heroes and to bring to life strong, dynamic, holistic women in all of my novels.

Social Media

https://www.facebook.com/talbauerauthor

https://www.instagram.com/talbauerwrites

https://www.bookbub.com/profile/tal-bauer

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