Tag Archives: war

Book Blast: Earnest Ink by Alex Hall

Earnest Ink | Alex Hall

EARNEST INK

Publisher: Nine Star Press

Published: October 14, 2019

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

Heat Rating: 1 flame

Length: 72,100 words/244 pages

It is a standalone book

Buy Links

NineStar Press | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Smashwords | B&N | Kobo

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Blurb

While twenty-year-old FTM Hemingway is making an excellent living as a tattoo artist in a near-future version of Hell’s Kitchen, the rest of the country is splintered and struggling in the wake of a war gone on for too long.

Technology has collapsed, borders rise and fall overnight, and magic has awakened without rhyme, reason, or rule, turning average unwitting citizens into wielders of strange and specific strands of magic.

Hemingway’s particular brand of magic has made him a household name. Not only is he a talented artist, but his work comes to life. Literally.

When NYC’s most infamous serial killer—the East River Ripper—abducts Hemingway’s best friend, Grace, he has only days to save her. Hemingway teams up with his stoic cop roommate to hunt for the killer and rescue Grace before she becomes the Ripper’s latest victim.

But as the duo chase clues to the serial killer’s identity, Hemingway begins to fear the magic he and the Ripper share might eventually corrupt him too.

Excerpt

Earnest Ink

Alex Hall © 2019

All Rights Reserved

I work without speaking because that’s the way I prefer it. The vibration of my machine, the softer buzz of the fluorescent lights overhead, the tap of my foot on the pedal—it’s the best music in the world.

When I hit a ticklish spot, the girl I’m working on gasps, jolting in my chair.

“Don’t move,” I say. And then, with a salesman’s false cheer: “Almost done!”

The girl is sweating down the crook of her neck. She’s got silver glitter paint on her eyelids and cheeks, a new fashion trend I just can’t quite get behind. Under my lights the mix of perspiration and makeup looks like a blurry constellation.

She wanted a bee inked onto her collarbone, one of those tiny honeybees you find on good tequila bottles. Easily done, and she met the cash requirement. She’s eager, nervous, and breathing in and out in little puffs.

I can’t remember her name, but that’s fine. Customer relations is Eric’s job.

There’s another kid leaning over my glass counter, watching eagerly as I work. “Does it hurt?” he asks. “When the magic happens?”

The bee’s fat yellow thorax wriggles from side to side as it begins to wake, fighting the pressure of my needle, hungry for life.

“It looks like it hurts,” the kid says. I ignore him.

One minute more and—thanks to my peculiar magic—this bee will fly free.

I’m perched on a swivel stool, a wet paper towel in my hand to wipe away ink. It’s too hot in my studio, even with the industrial fans whirling overhead and the door propped wide open. Evening light slants in through the door and the north-facing, floor-to-ceiling window panes that look out onto West Forty-Sixth. It’s muggy, too warm for New York in October, and all of Hell’s Kitchen is wilting, including my client.

“What does it feel like?” the kid demands. He’s leaving greasy fingerprints on the surface of the glass as he strains to get a better look at what I’m doing. I study him out the corner of my eye, wiping sweat off my nose with the back of my wrist before it drips on my customer. He looks like one of the street punks who have taken to running in packs near the cruise terminals, sleeping in old, abandoned cargo containers and panhandling up and down the marina.

He’s skinny and tall, hair dyed an unsettling violet and styled into spikes all over his head. He’s got a silver ring in his septum and more hoops in his ears; his eyelashes are coated with purple mascara to match his hair. Green glitter paint sparkles on his lids. His T-shirt and jeans are torn and dirty, and he’s got a pack of black-market cigarettes rolled into one sleeve against his upper arm.

About the Author

Sarah Remy/Alex Hall is a nonbinary, animal-loving, proud gamer Geek.

Their work can be found in a variety of cool places, including HarperVoyager, EDGE and NineStar Press.

Social Media

Blog/Website | Twitter: @sarahremywrites

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

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Release Blitz: Whatever it Takes by Barbara Elsborg

Whatever it Takes | Barbara Elsborg

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Release Date: 02/12/19

Length: 123,000

Universal Link:

Mybook.to/whateverittakes

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 Blurb

War in Syria has devastated Zain’s country, destroyed his family and broken his heart. When there is nothing left to stay for, he journeys to England, determined to follow in his father’s footsteps and train as a doctor in London.

He might be a refugee with no money, no friends and no qualifications but he still has his dreams and he’ll do whatever it takes to ensure his future turns out to be the one he wants.

Roman is a world away from the naïve Russian boy who lost everything, one devastating day. Now he’s a fixer for a wealthy Russian, keeping the guy’s business dealings away from the attention of the British authorities. Roman is balanced on a moral tightrope which grows more unsteady by the day. The last thing he needs is to become emotionally involved with a young Syrian, especially when he can’t afford to trust anyone.

A chance discovery in Roman’s car by Zain sets off a violent chain reaction and Zain is thrown into a world that threatens not just his dreams but his life. Roman has difficult decisions to make.

He’s determined to do whatever it takes to keep Zain safe. But lingering shadows from their pasts as well as prominent figures from Roman’s present need to be eliminated if they’re to have a chance together.

As lies and danger escalate, are they doomed before they’ve even begun?

Extract

Zain made a slight detour on the way back to the hotel, bought a portion of chips and ate them as he walked. Tomorrow he needed to find a job and a place to live. Not needed to. Had to. The place to live first and he’d lie about having a job. He’d use his savings for a deposit and rent. Once he was in his room, he’d have a long hot shower because there was no bath, curl up in bed, watch TV, and pretend the last few days hadn’t happened.

He unlocked the hotel room door, pushed it open and gaped when he saw Roman lying on his bed.

“Did you install a tracking device up my arse?” Zain asked.

Roman laughed and pushed to his feet. “How are you feeling?”

“Worried. Microchip under my skin, then?”

“No.”

“Don’t tell me I left a trail of breadcrumbs. That would have been very clumsy.”

Zain forced himself not to back off when Roman walked over to him.

“I followed you this morning,” Roman said. “I’d come to see if you were okay and saw you getting into a car. Once I knew you were in a hotel, I thought you’d be fine but…”

“But what?” Zain’s back hit the wall.

Roman stood right in front of him. Zain could smell his shower gel. Something hot, spicy. Why do I want him so much?

“You’re in danger.”

About The Author

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Barbara Elsborg lives in Kent in the south of England. She always wanted to be a spy, but having confessed to everyone without them even resorting to torture, she decided it was not for her. Volcanology scorched her feet. A morbid fear of sharks put paid to marine biology. So instead, she spent several years successfully selling cyanide.

After dragging up two rotten, ungrateful children and frustrating her sexy, devoted, wonderful husband (who can now stop twisting her arm) she finally has time to conduct an affair with an electrifying plugged-in male, her laptop.

She loves hearing from readers and can be contacted at barbaraelsborg@gmail.com If you’d like to hear about future releases please ask to be put on her mailing list.

Social Media

Website – https://www.barbaraelsborg.com/

Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Barbara-Elsborg/

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2856948.Barbara_Elsborg

Twitter – https://twitter.com/BarbaraElsborg?lang=en

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/barbara.elsborg