Friday, May 20, 2022

Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway: NO SURRENDER by Morgan Brice (Badlands #5)

No Surrender: Badlands Book 5

An MM Psychic Detective Romance Adventure 

by Morgan Brice

Publisher: Darkwind Press

Cover Artist: Natania Barron

Release Date: April 22, 2022

Genres: Urban fantasy MM paranormal romance, psychic detective

Tropes: Hurt/comfort, established relationship, evolving relationship, learning to trust, grumpy-sunshine, cold case, ghosts helping/interfering, lots of magic, wedding planning

Themes: Found family, loyalty, not keeping secrets, dealing with unresolved issues, putting the past to rest

Heat Rating: 4 flames  

Length: 224 pages

It is a standalone book in the Badlands series and does not end on a cliffhanger.

Goodreads

Buy Links

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK  |  Kobo  |   Nook 

Cold cases, hot leads, a psychic psychopath, a copycat killer, cursed objects, the trial of the century--and wedding plans.

Blurb 

Psychic medium Simon Kincaide and sexy homicide detective Vic D'Amato met hunting a supernatural serial killer. Since then, Simon has become a police consultant on cases involving the paranormal, and Vic has gotten over his doubts about Simon's abilities being real. Along the way, they fell in love and got engaged. But it seems like the danger never ends.

Now, the first case Simon and Vic worked together comes back to haunt them as the killer goes to court and all hell breaks loose. The killer has a crazy fan setting curses on key players in the upcoming trial. Ghosts from an old cold case suggest that someone got away with murder. And a supernatural creature attracted to fear and death is using the Grand Strand as its feeding ground. Simon and Vic feel like they’re waging a war on all fronts, but with the stakes so high, there can be No Surrender!

No Surrender is a fast-paced thrill ride MM paranormal romance packed with supernatural suspense, haunted tourist attractions, monsters, visions, hot sex, hurt/comfort, loyal friends, wedding planning, found family, ghosts galore, dark magic, and an evolving, established romantic relationship with all the feels.

No Surrender is Book 5 in the Badlands series but can be read as a standalone.

Excerpt

“Since when do serial killers get fan mail?” Homicide detective Vic D’Amato fumed. “How f*cked up is that?”

“They don’t just get fan letters; they get marriage proposals,” his partner Ross Hamilton replied, shaking his head in disbelief. “I don’t get it, but that doesn’t stop it from being true.”

Vic took a slug of coffee from his stained mug and barely kept from grimacing at the bitter taste. Hospitals and police precincts always made the worst java. “I guess it’s like the people who follow all the true-crime podcasts. We get paid to be hip-deep in the worst humanity has to offer, but doing it for fun? People are weird.”

“You’ve been a cop for how long, and you’re just figuring that out now?” Ross teased.

Vic shrugged. “Every time I think that I’ve lowered my expectations too far, reality says—‘Here, hold my beer.’”

“Yeah, well. I’m right there with you on this one.” Ross chuck‐ led. “Have you heard whether you and Simon will have to testify at the trial?”

“Pretty certain. Of all the charges, Fischer shooting Simon is the most ironclad, with plenty of witnesses,” Vic replied. “I’m not in any hurry to be part of the media circus, but I don’t see a way to avoid it.”

“Lucky you—the Slitter trial is shaping up to be the biggest deal Myrtle Beach has had in a long time.”

Vic grew up in a family of cops back in Pittsburgh. For generations, D’Amatos had been proud to serve. His father, brothers, and other relatives were still on the force up north while his sister was studying criminology. But an encounter with something supernatural Vic couldn’t explain had made him unwelcome with the Pittsburgh police. Vic had relocated, started over in Myrtle Beach—and met the love of his life.

“I don’t want to put Simon through what happened the last time,” Vic confided.

“Not sure you’re going to have much choice about it.” Ross finished his coffee and set the cup aside. “The closer we get to the trial date, the more reporters will be angling for a scoop. I’m surprised there haven’t been some camped out in front of the store already.”

“I suspect Simon boosted the wardings against nuisance as well as malice. I tried talking him into going down to Charleston to spend some time with his cousin, but he flat-out refused to leave me here alone during the run-up to the trial.”

“Alone—with me and the captain and the rest of the depart‐ ment, plus a squad of lawyers and witnesses?” Ross joked.

“And not one of you with any magic, in a trial where the killer used spells to help him get away with murder,” Vic answered. “Simon doesn’t want to be in the spotlight—or the crosshairs—but if it comes to that, I don’t doubt he and his friends will come up with ways to protect us.”

Simon Kincaide, Vic’s fiancé, ran Grand Strand Ghost Tours. The boardwalk shop also offered psychic readings and séances, showcasing Simon’s abilities as a psychic medium as well as his knowledge of the spooky side of local history and his background as a former folklore and mythology professor.

When an impasse in the hunt for the Strand Slitter brought the investigation to a standstill more than a year ago, Vic tamped down on his deep skepticism about the paranormal and asked for Simon’s help as a psychic. Their first encounters with each other were prickly, and Vic accepted much of the blame for that since he had doubted Simon’s abilities and hated needing his help.

Simon turned out to be the real deal, and his visions plus the ability to communicate with the ghosts of the Slitter’s victims cracked the case—nearly costing Simon his life. In the year since then, Simon became an official police consultant, working cases with Vic and Ross when a supernatural connection seemed likely. Vic and Simon fell in love and now had a wedding to plan.

Carra's Review

It’s always a pleasure to return to Vic and Simon for another round of paranormal intrigue.  This time around, they’re waiting on the trial from the Slitter case from the first book of the series, but there are strange things happening that seem to be tied to the case, possibly putting it in jeopardy.  Everyone involved in the case has become a target, so it’s a race to figure out what’s going on.


To complicate things, there is also a set of cold cases from the eighties brought to their attention that may be tied to what’s happening…and you know that means more ghostly contacts to keep things interesting.  We’re also treated to an appearance by Simon’s own ghost relative, Dante, to try and help with the cold cases.


As I’ve come to expect from this author and this series, there’s enough going on to keep you on your toes and guessing through much of the story.  I did feel like the resolutions to the different aspects going on felt a little rushed this time in the last quarter of the book, like things were jumping quickly from one thing to another so to me it seemed more tell than show, but I still enjoyed the reveals as they happened.


A fun bonus was the wedding planning for Vic and Simon…I kinda hope to get an invite as it sounds like it’s going to be a great time ;-)


No Surrender was a strong 4-star read for me, and added a nice twist to the series by revisiting their first case.  While you probably could read this one on its own, my recommendation would be to read the series in order for a more complete background on the prior events and a better feel for the fierce connection between the two main characters.


About the Author

Morgan Brice is the romance pen name of bestselling author Gail Z. Martin. Morgan writes urban fantasy male/male paranormal romance, with plenty of action, adventure and supernatural thrills to go with the happily ever after. Gail writes epic fantasy and urban fantasy, and together with co-author hubby Larry N. Martin, steampunk and comedic horror, all of which have less romance, more explosions. Characters from her Gail books make frequent appearances in secondary roles in her Morgan books, and vice versa.

On the rare occasions Morgan isn’t writing, she’s either reading, cooking, or spoiling two very pampered dogs.

Series include Witchbane, Badlands, Treasure Trail, Kings of the Mountain and Fox Hollow. Watch for more in these series, plus new series coming soon!

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Thursday, May 19, 2022

New Release-Excerpt & Giveaway: SWEET TO THE CORE by Amy Aislin (Lighthouse Bay #3)

Sweet to the Core

Author and Publisher: Amy Aislin

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

Release Date: May 17, 2022

Genre: Contemporary m/m romance

Tropes: Friends to lovers, cousin’s BFF, small town, forced proximity, mini age gap (5 years)

Length: 64 000 words/ 250 pages

Heat Rating: 3 flames     

It is book three in the Lighthouse Bay trilogy, but it can be read as a standalone and does not end on a cliffhanger.

Goodreads

Buy Links

AMAZON  |  APPLE  |   B&N  |  KOBO

Blurb

Dev has pined for his cousin's best friend for years, but no matter how hard he wishes, Clark sees him as nothing but a friend. And it's as a friend that Clark comes to him for help.

Clark’s father is on the brink of losing his house and the fastest way to make a quick buck is to win the $10,000 prize in the inaugural Sweet to the Core apple baking contest. Only problem? He's never baked anything that hasn’t come out of a box.

But Dev has. As a baker, he’s Clark’s best chance.

For the first time, Dev has something Clark wants. Only problem? Dev needs the prize for himself. The only thing he wants—besides Clark—is to buy the local lighthouse where he last spent time with his parents before they died.

Working together means opening a lot more than a barrel of apples, though. They may have found the recipe to love.

But will Dev have to give up the only connection he has left to his parents in order to have it? Or will Clark let his father down? They can't both have everything.

Or can they?

 Excerpt 

“I wanted to talk to you about Sweet to the Core.”

“I already told you I’m not entering.”

“What if you had a partner and entered as a team?”

Dev swirled the beer in his bottle. “Why would I do that? I work alone.”

“As they say, two heads are better than one.”

“No, thanks.”

“Don’t you want to know who it is?”

“Are they an expert in baking with apples?”

“Uh . . . no,” Clark said. “They’re not really an expert in baking . . . anything. Except homemade pasta. And c*ck croissants.”

“Then again, I ask, why would I want to do that?” Why would he split ten grand with someone who couldn’t actively contribute? “Wait.” An expert in making homemade pasta? C*ck croissants? “You want to compete?”

Clark crossed his arms and squinted against the sun. “I looked the rules up online. That social media component? It’s all about documenting your journey through the competition. Whoever gets the most cumulative likes at the end gets a thousand bucks, six months of free advertising, and web design consultation.”

“Yes, I know all this. That’s why I’m not competing. I don’t have time for all the social stuff.”

“Right. That’s where I come in.”

Dev regarded him through narrowed eyes. What universe had he been dropped into that Clark wanted to partner with him for a baking contest? There wasn’t a single part of that sentence that made sense. “Explain.”

“What if I take care of the social media stuff?” Sitting forward, Clark braced both elbows on his knees and regarded him. “Whenever you’re doing contest-related stuff, I’ll tag along, take photos, and post them with a catchy caption. Easy. I’ll have everyone eating out of the palm of your hand. Which leaves you free for the baking. If we win, we split the prize fifty-fifty.”

Dev pursed his lips. Fuck, it was tempting. So very, very tempting. Half the prize would speed up his timeline for acquiring the lighthouse and light keeper’s cottage by months. He could be out of Holland and Zach’s hair that much faster. Within the year if the one-story cottage could be renovated quickly.

The prospect of spending all that time with Clark, though . . . Dev both dreaded it and ached for it desperately.

“Why?” he asked. “Why would you do this? There’s a lot of prep that goes into this kind of thing. It’s not about submitting my bake and hoping for the best. There are two rounds of—”

“Judging. I remember.”

“It’s not just that,” Dev stressed, trying to drive the point home that this wasn’t something that would take an hour of Clark’s life before he went on his merry way. “Whatever I enter in the contest needs to be test-baked several times to ensure it’s as perfect as it can be. That means I need to check my personal inventory to determine if I have enough ingredients to cover multiple bakes. If it’s not, I need to buy some—flour, baking powder, whatever. And this is an apple baking contest, which means going apple picking to select the best apples. I also need to research other countywide contests to see what kinds of bakes have won. Granted, I’ll be doing all of this in the evenings after the bakery has closed, so if we do team up, it won’t interfere with your job. But it’s still going to take up a lot of your time in the next four weeks. This isn’t one of your hookups; there’s a time commitment involved.”

Clark opened his mouth to speak. Snapped it closed, brow furrowing. “You seem to have a very low opinion of my character.”

About the Author 

Amy’s lived with her head in the clouds since she first picked up a book as a child, and being fluent in two languages means she’s read a lot of books! She first picked up a pen on a rainy day in fourth grade when her class had to stay inside for recess. Tales of treasure hunts with her classmates eventually morphed into love stories between men, and she’s been writing ever since. She writes evenings and weekends—or whenever she isn’t at her full-time day job saving the planet at Canada’s largest environmental non-profit.

An unapologetic introvert, Amy reads too much and socializes too little, with no regrets. She loves connecting with readers. Join her Facebook Group to stay up-to-date on upcoming releases and for access to early teasers, find her on Instagram, or sign up for her infrequent newsletter.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2022

New Release-Excerpt & Giveaway: COLLAR ME by Colette Davison (My Kinky Housemate #3)

Collar Me

(My Kinky Housemate Book Three)

Author and Publisher: Colette Davison

Cover Artist: Covers by Jo

Release Date: May 17, 2022

Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance

Tropes: Puppy play, friends to lovers, small amount of hurt/comfort

Heat Rating:  4 flames

Length: 72 000 words

It can be read as a standalone but is better read as part of the series.

The book does not end on a cliffhanger.

Goodreads

Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited

Universal Link  |  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

Will losing my trainer lead me to what my heart desires—a collar and Preston?

Blurb

I’ve found the perfect place to live in London thanks to the My Kinky Housemate app. It’s close to work and my housemates don’t mind me de-stressing from my job as a nurse by being a playful puppy. Life is good until my puppy trainer finds a girlfriend leaving me high and dry.

A flippant comment leads to an offer from Preston, the housemate I’ve got a mile high crush on. I thought my attraction wasn’t mutual until he proves me wrong while being my temporary trainer for a puppy show. 

Preston has never been into pet play before, but it seems he’ll make an exception for me. As our relationship flourishes and strengthens with him as my new trainer, someone in the puppy community sets out to destroy my reputation.

Can Preston help me resolve the situation before I get driven out of the community that brings me joy?

Collar Me is an MM puppy play romance with housemates that become lovers, handcuffs, a fantasy toy, a jealous puppy and lots and lots of snuggles. It’s the third book in the My Kinky Housemate Series and, while it can be enjoyed as a standalone, it’s better to read it after Sugar Bunny and Plaything.

Excerpt 

Realising our first training session will be more about me training Preston than the other way around, I decide not to put on my puppy gear. Instead, I go downstairs in my pyjama bottoms, with my house ears and kneepads on.

It’s a weird time of day. If I’m on a day shift, I’d have been up and out of the house before anyone else is awake. I’m usually fast asleep if I’m on a night shift or on my days off. I’ve never been awake and in the house at seven in the morning. Beau and Fraser are in the kitchen, talking and laughing as they eat breakfast together. After waving good morning to them, I go to the sitting room.

Preston is waiting for me. He’s dressed for work in smart black trousers, a pale blue shirt, and a navy tie with white polka dots. I pause for a second or two to appreciate how handsome he looks.

“Morning,” he says. “I did some reading online last night, but I’m still not sure what I’m doing. Go easy on me, okay?”

I grin. “I figured. That’s why I’m not planning on going into puppy space.”

“You’re not?”

“Nope. We can talk through some basics, maybe practice doing a couple of simple commands. How does that sound?”

“Great.” He clears his throat and reaches for a bag. “Apparently, a trainer is allowed to give their puppy a collar.”

I tilt my head and let out a confused ‘ruff’.

Preston opens the bag and takes out a purple nylon collar. “I hope it fits.”

“When did you…?” I shake my head.

“Does the headshake mean you won’t wear it?” Preston looks visibly disappointed. “I’m sorry. I thought—”

I wave my hands to stop him from talking. “No, no, no. I’m confused, that’s all. When did you get that?”

“Does it matter?”

I press my hand to my stomach, which is fluttering ridiculously. “Yes,” I whisper. “It does.”

About the Author

Colette’s personal love story began at university, where she met her future husband. An evening of flirting, in the shadow of Lancaster castle, eventually led to a fairytale wedding. She’s enjoying her own ‘happy ever after’ in the north of England with her husband, two beautiful children and her writing.

Social Media Links

Blog/Website  |   Facebook Page   |  Facebook Group: Colette’s Cosy Corner

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New Release: THE STEAM ROOM by Olivia Monroe - Includes Giveaway!

The Steam Room

Author and Publisher: Olivia Monroe

Release Date: May 1, 2022

Genre: Contemporary Erotica M/M Romance

Length:  36 000 words/ 118 pages

Heat Rating: 5 flames     

It is a standalone story and does not end on a cliffhanger.

Goodreads

Buy Links Available in Kindle Unlimited  

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

Can Kit convince Griffin that he is worth his time and effort? Or will Griffin find Kit is no different from the last five men he has dated?

Blurb

Griffin Marks is bitter and jaded after breaking up with another cheating boyfriend. All he wants is someone to appreciate his passion for landscaping and love him for who he is without cheating on him. Is being faithful so tricky?

When Kit Smithfield joins Griffin in the club’s steam room, he opens a door that neither of them can close again. The problem is that Kit’s never been with a man before, and the last thing Griffin wants is to get involved with someone who isn’t sure what he wants.

Can Kit convince Griffin that he is worth his time and effort? Or will Griffin find Kit is no different from the last five men he has dated?

About the Author

Growing up in LA, Olivia always had a keen imagination and a talent for writing stories. Even from her early years, she hoped to see her name on a book cover and share her tales with others one day.

After gaining her degree in Creative Writing, she traded the warm weather of LA for colder and wetter winters in NYC. There she met her husband Michael, with whom she has a daughter, Emma, and son, Danny.

Olivia is a self-proclaimed romantic, which has helped bless her with a career writing steamy, contemporary romance novels. She admits that much of her inspiration comes from people watching in corner café's and observing couples strolling through local parks.

Beyond writing, Olivia loves to indulge in red wine and dark chocolate but can't stand onions of any kind. After a long day, you can find her relaxing in a warm bubble bath or blowing off steam through dance.

In the future, she hopes to buy a cottage in Southern France where she can continue to write steamy romance novels, with her faithful golden retriever, Roberto, lazily sleeping at her feet.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

New Release-Excerpt: TONGUES by Clancy Nacht & Thursday Euclid

Tongues

by Clancy Nacht & Thursday Euclid

Publisher: Eine Kleine Press

Cover Artist: Clancy Nacht

Release Date: May 17, 2022

Genre: LGBTQ+ horror fiction, Lovecraftian horror

Tropes: Forced proximity, fate

Themes: Saving the world, Interracial mc, black mc, lgbt, horror, adult, cosmic horror, occult horror, paranormal suspense, occult fiction

Heat Rating: 5 flames

Length:  51 000 words/170 pages

It a standalone story and does not end on a cliffhanger, but a HFN.

Buy Links - Available in Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

Cosmically tormented FBI linguist investigates famous actor's unspeakable past and discovers an eldritch power the government seeks to exploit  

Blurb

Cosmically tormented FBI linguist Ekon is the only one B-list heartthrob Chris will talk to about the Farm, a horrifying cult of which he's the only known survivor. As they bond over mysterious pasts and their unsettling attraction, Ekon discovers an eldritch power his government bosses would love to exploit, one that could spell the end of everything.

While there are queer and romantic elements, this is a horror novel.


Content Warning: Violence, gore, horror, mentions of CSA

Excerpt 

In a black, Fed-issued SUV, Ekon pulled up outside Daimon’s luxury apartment at the appointed hour. A trickle of sweat snaked down Ekon’s spine in LA’s abundant spring warmth, turning cold as he headed through the air-conditioned lobby to the elevator. Though it should’ve been a bustling, well-secured complex, there didn’t seem to be a soul around.

Palming his badge, he strode down a long, empty, gray-walled hallway and knocked at Daimon’s door.

“Mr. Daimon, it’s Agent Adams with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. We have an appointment?”

There was nothing, not a sound on the other side. Was Daimon even at home? Was anyone?

Then Ekon heard it: The eerie rustle of the nameless language. Born not of wind or whistling pipes, it emanated this time from the corridor’s buzzy fluorescent bulbs as if presaging the coming of something unutterable.

Without even the sound of a loosed deadbolt, the door yawned open, and a familiar young white man stood before Ekon. He was damp, naked but for the towel clinging precariously around his hips, and in excellent physical shape.

The world went silent, as if muted by the force of Daimon’s presence. There was only the fluorescents’ unholy rustling and a high-pitched, constant scream like the aftermath of a high-powered gunshot.

Then Daimon smiled.

Ambient noise returned with crippling ferocity: Traffic outside the complex, neighbors within, as painfully intense as if they were all trapped inside Ekon’s skull. Even his heartbeat deafened him, a muffled thudding in his inner ears one instant per second.

The young man tilted his head, wet hair dripping onto his shoulder. His eyes—a bright blue even more piercing than on television—scanned Ekon slowly up and down with careful sensuousness that left Ekon feeling undressed.

Then Daimon blinked slowly, like a happy cat, and turned sideways to allow Ekon in.

“They sent you alone?”

Why did he sound so amused?

About the Authors 

Together, Texans and platonic life partners Thursday Euclid and Clancy Nacht write queer novels that span genres, with intense romances and a seamless shared narrative voice.

They published their first co-written novel, the m/m rock star romance Black Gold, in 2010, and now have over a decade of award-winning collaborations under their exquisite belts. Recent titles include the twisted romance His Fake Prison Daddy and the Phisher King series, in which an uptight federal agent and a bratty hacker go from enemies to lovers while solving a hate crime.

Though Elder Millennial trans man Thursday and Gen X gender outlaw Clancy live three hours apart, they are inseparable. Their friendship is a perfect example of the Grumpy/Sunshine trope, which makes Thursday very happy. Clancy thinks it’s all right.

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