Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Recent Release-Excerpt: WAYWARD STRIPPER by JB Buell

Wayward Stripper 

by JB Buell 

Publisher: JMS Books 

Release Date: August 19, 2023 

Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance, Omegaverse 

Tropes: Omegaverse, Male Strippers, Alpha/Alpha, Friends to Lovers, Meet Cute

Themes: Finding love, Strippers, Trans Man, Trans Character

Heat Rating: 5 flames  

Length: 25 659 words 

It is a standalone story and does not end on a cliffhanger. It’s a Happy Ending. 


Buy Links

JMS Books  |  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

Jake is a stripper on the run 


Jake is a stripper on the run, in need of a new job. He happens to find one in New York City, at a club called The Apollo Lounge. That's where he meets another stripper named Tristan who's tall and gorgeous, and also a really nice guy.

They hit it off almost immediately, but Jake is unsure about starting something new. He's had it rough and is wary about opening up, but maybe with Tristan his luck has finally changed.


Note: may contain sexually explicit scenes of a homoerotic nature.

"This place looks great," he said, and he meant that. "I hope it works out for me. I'd love to dance here."

"Great!" Tristan looked thrilled. "I'm sure you'll do fine. Shall we get you started? I just need to go through the dancing rules with you, and the extras, and then you're all set. You want a table dance demo, or are you good?"

Jake made a little noise of surprise, unable to hold it back. A demo? Really? He was about to get a dance from this hunk?

"Sure," he said, adding, "A demo would be great."

"Okay." Tristan got his phone out and started some music, something slow and sexy, setting it on the table. "So, pretend you're a customer," Tristan said, getting to his feet. "I'm your dancer, and you'll have to use your imagination that I'm in my underwear."

Jake suppressed a smile. "Right." He opened his legs to give Tristan room to stand close, one leg either side of his knee. Tristan started by holding onto the back of his chair and caging Jake in with his thick, muscled arms. He leaned in just enough that Jake caught a hint of his alpha scent.

"So a table dance for downstairs is one full song," Tristan said, all casual as he began dancing, slowly undulating his body to the beat. "Depends on the length, of course."

"Mm-hmm," Jake replied, eyes glued to Tristan's slim hips. He was watching for technique and style, yes, but he couldn't help notice how great Tristan was at dancing, too. Clearly he knew what he was doing, and he had a fantastic body.

"No touching in the downstairs lounge," Tristan went on, dipping his crotch low and almost rubbing it over Jake's thigh, just shy of touching. "Tease as much as you want, but it's a no contact dance."

Jake nodded. "And in this room?"

Tristan caught his eye with a grin. "Well, up here it's kinda do whatever you want, short of full sex. It's up to the dancer how far you wanna go. In the private booths, that is."

"Not out here on the floor?" Jake joked.

Tristan laughed lightly. "No, just mild touching out here. There's one camera on the main floor here for the stage area, but none in the booths. If the customers want any scenting or necking, it has to be in the booths because it can get messy real quick."

"Sure," Jake agreed. "Sounds reasonable."

Tristan smiled at him as he leaned in closer, tilting his head so his nose was between Jake's neck and shoulder, and Jake had the same access to Tristan's neck. He couldn't help inhaling, just a little. Tristan smelled good: a strong and clean alpha scent. Just the sort of enticing smell Jake would expect from a young, fit alpha who looked after his body.

"Your hair smells good," Tristan said, then pulled back to grin in amusement. "That wasn't part of the dance, sorry."

Jake smiled. "It's the conditioner. But thanks."

"So, where was I," Tristan joked with a laugh. "Alright, so, obviously do a lot of scenting in the dance, the omegas really like that."

Jake liked it too, but he kept quiet and nodded along.

"They wanna feel like you're super into them," Tristan went on, "like you wanna claim them and mate. That's the impression you need to give off. Sometimes I grab the back of their chairs like this..." He demonstrated by gripping the chair's back and shaking it a little, tensing his arms so the muscles bunched as he leaned in and looked Jake in the eye.

Jake was starting to feel aroused himself at the display of alpha manliness. Like he wouldn't mind so much if Tristan threw him down for real and played a bit rough. Jake would be into it for sure.

He couldn't afford to get a crush, though. Not with a colleague. Jake made himself nod politely, treating this as business, nothing more.

"Thanks," he said, when Tristan got off his lap. "That seems straightforward enough."

"If you got any questions tonight," Tristan said, giving Jake a friendly smile, "just ask me. I'll be on the floor and I'll help out with whatever you need."

He was just too sweet, Jake thought.

About the Author 

J.B. Buell is a non-binary writer (they/them) of m/m romance and gay rom com stories. They are a cat person, and can’t decide if they’re more of a coffee or tea person but is quite happy to drink both.

Social Media Links

Blog/Website  |   Twitter

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Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Cover Reveal: JUSTICE by Kindle Alexander (Tattoos and Ties #4)

Series: Tattoos and Ties Series
by Kindle Alexander
Genre: MM Romance/Romantic Suspense
Release Date: September 12, 2023
Cover Design: Reese Dante

The toughest journeys lead to the most amazing adventures… Let’s ride.

Special Agent Cash Ryan broke the cardinal rule of undercover work: he fell hard for his federal informant. The sexy, hardheaded, foul-mouthed outlaw biker who regularly takes matters into his own hands, leaving Cash scrambling to pick up the pieces.

Anarchy is more than a way of life for Devin Fox, it’s fused into his DNA. When he agrees to help Cash, he knows his special brand of chaos is the only way to get the answers they seek. And his attraction to the secret agent makes keeping them both alive more important by the day.

As the facts of the operation begin to unfold, they fight both sides to find the truth. When a shift in balance emerges, will they be able to tip the scales of justice in their favor or will they be buried under all the chaos?

The final installment in the Tattoos and Ties series, Justice is a suspenseful motorcycle club romance with strong male leads. If you like sexy alpha males who take on the world for the one they love and intriguing storylines with many twists and turns, give Justice a try.

Monday, August 28, 2023

New Release-Review & Excerpt: CURIOUS by Leslie McAdam (IOU #4)

Curious RT Banner

By Leslie McAdam

Curious Cover

IOU, Book 4

I’m desperately attracted to my husband.

Which wouldn’t be a problem, except he’s straight.

What happened is, my longtime crush/hero got badly injured saving me from my evil ex-boyfriend. When I found out he (my hero, not my ex) didn’t have health insurance, I did the logical thing: I proposed. To my surprise, he said yes.

I knew that Camden wasn’t interested in me like that. This deal was always meant to be temporary—just until he healed and could get his own insurance and I found a place to stay, since I’m not moving back in with my ex. No feelings involved.

Except Cam kissed me at our wedding ceremony, and ever since, we can’t seem to stop kissing. He says he’s curious what sex with a man would be like, but I don’t want to be another straight guy’s experiment.

Still, Cam is so kind and beautiful, with his dark eyes and tousled curls shoved into a backward baseball cap. His patience makes me want to throw out all my carefully crafted rules. And don’t get me started on how his first instinct is to protect me …

But I’m scared if I open my heart, I’m going to get hurt. Again.

Can I risk telling Cam how I feel before our deal ends? Or should I let him go and lose the best (fake) relationship I’ve ever had?

Curious is a stand-alone contemporary M/M romance novel with a marriage of convenience and bisexual awakening. It features Shelby, a receptionist who’s never met a vision board he didn’t like; Camden, an internet-famous contractor; and a hasty wedding for medical insurance reasons. Happy ever after guaranteed.

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Curious Teaser 2

Curious Teaser 3


Everyone in the room is looking at us, just the way we were looking at the couples before us.

I regulate my breathing. My ankle hurts, but I set that pain to the side. My cheeks are burning, and my hands are trembling. I’m glad my brother is here. I’ve set my crutches down and taken hold of Shelby’s hands. They’re clammy, and I’m trying to warm them up. They’re also steadying me.

But then he looks up at me with those liquid brown eyes, and my chest feels light. My pulse races, and my mouth goes dry.

After asking us a few more questions, the clerk begins the ceremony. “Do you, Camden, take this man, Shelby, to be your lawfully wedded husband, in sickness and in health, for richer and for poorer, to have and to hold from this day forward until death do you part?”

“I do.” I say, and I squeeze Shelby’s hands. He gives me a small, genuine smile.

“Do you, Shelby, take this man, Camden—”

Holy ____, I’m getting married. I don’t know why it took this long for it to sink in. Something about that fact makes me giddy, and I want to burst out laughing, but I rein it in. Shelby says, “I do,” and I let out the biggest breath. Part of me—the part still traumatized by Leah—worried that he’d say no. I want to hug him for saying yes. For not humiliating me.

“You may exchange rings, if you have them.”

“Oh. Right.” I pull the two bands out of my pocket, and my fingers tremble all over again.

Reaching over, I again take Shelby’s soft, tan hand in my work-roughened one, and my jitters vanish when he looks up at me, an expression of wonder on his face, his eyes brimming with tears. He swallows, and I want to hug him or something.

Instead, I place my ring on his finger.

It looks good there, and this possessive feeling—that Shelby is mine—rushes through me, even if our situation is temporary.

For now, at least, he is mine.

Shelby slips my ring onto my finger. I’m not used to wearing jewelry, but it feels right. Like it’s always been there. And I like being able to give Shelby some stability … for now.

We hold hands, and I can’t tell if he’s supporting me while my ankle is busted, or I’m supporting him on this wild adventure. Maybe we’re supporting each other.

“… and you may kiss your husband,” the clerk says, and I have to keep from doing a double take.

Of course, I knew this was a standard part of the ceremony. Heck, I just watched a couple go through this exact process. And I have no problem kissing Shelby—even in front of an audience—but, like actually being married, the reality of it hadn’t gone through my brain.

Curious Teaser 1

Carra's Review

Marriage of convenience with a bisexual awakening?  Yep, that's what caught my eye as well.

Camden is a wonderful guy, selfless and protective, thoughtful and sweet.  Shelby has had a not-so-great dating life, particularly his last boyfriend before Camden steps into the picture.  The unconventional way they end up married is already expected, though it is very obvious that this is being used as a mechanism to bring these two together; to me it felt very transactional.

The two of them do fall into a easy partnership, and there is almost no angst to speak of once Camden’s initial defense of Shelby at the start of the story is past.  There are some hints that Shelby’s ex might stir up trouble later, but overall if you’re looking for a mostly effortless pairing, you’ll find that here.

Even as Camden is exploring his previously non-existent attraction to men with Shelby, and Shelby continually goes through his many reasons of why it’s not a good idea, we all know where this is eventually headed—you won’t be disappointed on that part.  I did get a bit frustrated with Shelby towards the end where it felt like he was pushing Camden to not stay regardless of how Camden was telling him he wanted to.  Shelby’s self esteem is definitely something he needs to work on, as even with every indication otherwise he still must not think he’s deserving.

I’m a little on the fence with this one, but it was still an overall good read and is coming in at 3.5 stars for me.  If these tropes are your jam though, you’ll want to check this one out.  I’ll note that this is the first book I’ve read from this author, and while it is part of a series I had no problem reading it as a standalone.  The supporting characters are a great group, and I am interested in finding out their stories.

Curious Tagline

Leslie McAdam's Pic

About the Author:

USA Today bestselling author Leslie McAdam is a California girl who loves romance and well-defined abs. She lives in a drafty old farmhouse on a small orange tree farm in Southern California with her husband and two children. Leslie's first published book, The Sun and the Moon, won a 2015 Watty, which is the world's largest online writing competition. She's gone on to receive additional literary awards and has been featured in multiple publications, including Her books have been Top 100 Bestsellers on both Amazon and Apple Books. Leslie is employed by day but spends her nights writing about the men of your fantasies.

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Thursday, August 24, 2023

Recent Release-Excerpt: THE FIREFLY by Laury A. Egan

The Firefly

by  Laury A. Egan

Publisher:  Spectrum Books

Cover Artist: Design by Laury A. Egan with assistance by Andrew May and Vicki DeVico

Release Date: August 12, 2023

Genres: F/F Romance and portrait of a teenager, age 14, through adulthood, age 40.

Tropes:  teenage lovers separated

Themes: Solitariness of a creative girl/woman, sexual orientation confusion in the 60s, pressure to conform to social expectations

Heat rating: 3 flames

Length:   74 000 words/ 304 pages

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


Buy Links - Available in Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

A Romance by a Lake; a Life Searching for a Teenage Lover


1964: A dark summer night on a still black lake. A lantern is lit at the end of a dock. A blond girl in white appears and begins to dance, her body illuminated like the fireflies surrounding her. A second girl emerges from a house and is beckoned forward. The two meet, swim, and then kiss. Thus begins an ethereal romance and a young woman’s journey into adulthood.

Robin Bennet, age fourteen, has been accidentally abandoned at a lakeside rental house in the Pocono Mountains. Her parents were arguing, and each believed the other had remained with Robin. Alone, Robin discovers that someone has been sleeping in the house and is now stealing vodka and snacks. A fifteen-year-old boy, Kieran, the intruder, appears and invites himself to dinner. Robin is charmed by him, especially when she learns he is the brother of the beautiful girl who magically appeared on the dock the night before. After Kieran leaves, the “Firefly” returns, lights the lantern, and circles around it until Robin joins her. The two swim and make love on the beach. When Robin awakens, the Firefly—Stella—has disappeared, and Robin’s mother arrives, announcing they will return to New Jersey immediately because she is divorcing Robin’s father. Frantic, Robin tries to find Stella, a search that continues while Robin builds a career as an architect in Manhattan, fails in marriage, and struggles with her sexual identity. 


[Robin’s parents have left her alone in a rented lake house, each thinking the other would remain. The year is 1964, Robin is 14, and has just drunk some wine.] Robin shuddered awake. She shook her head, which felt on the verge of aching, and lifted her gaze toward the lake. To her amazement, the lantern was lit on the dock. Standing by it was the Firefly, dressed in white, her blond hair bright against the darkness of the water and the forested hill beyond. 

Robin rubbed her eyes. She must be having drunken hallucinations, but when she looked again, the beautiful vision remained. Excitement shot through her, and she lurched to her feet, descended the stairs with the bottle of wine, and walked down the grassy hill to the path, afraid to blink and lose sight of the enchanting image that lay before her. As she stepped onto the dock, the Firefly circled the lantern and offered her hands in invitation, her long fingers sweeping through the air with elegant fluidity. It appeared the girl was smiling, but perhaps this was what Robin hoped. 

She made her way carefully. Some of the boards were uneven, and she didn’t trust her steadiness after drinking so much. Her ears also seemed filled with a pulsing sound, or was that the loud beating of her heart? Nearing the girl, Robin knew the figure was Stella because of the strong resemblance to Kieran—the same yellow hair, slender build, neat features, and gracefulness. But Stella was more magnetic, more enchanting. Instantly, the dinner with Kieran was forgotten. This moment was all present, all now. 

Dazed, Robin stopped and stared at this beautiful apparition, one she struggled to believe was real. Almost afraid of breaking the silence with words, she whispered, “Hello.”

“Hello,” the girl replied.


“Yes. Robin?”


The water lapped against the dock pilings, and a bird called from a distant tree. Above, the dark sky shrouded them in an illuminated enclosure. 

They smiled at each other.

Robin inched closer, reveling in the sensuous figure before her. Stella had blue eyes. Perhaps a paler shade than Kieran’s or maybe the lantern’s glittering reflections were creating the appearance of translucence. Her skin was unblemished, smooth, and creamy. The fragrance of Jean Naté floated in the air. 

“I hoped you’d return,” Robin said. 

“I’m glad. I waited until Kieran left.” Her expression was amused, flirtatious.

Robin sighed. “I don’t think the dinner went well. I mean, the meal was fine, but Kieran is hard to understand.”

Stella laughed. “He’s perfected the fine art of being secretive.”

“And you? Are you the same?”

“Yes, I suppose so. You’ll have to find out.”

This sounded like a teasing challenge. “I will,” she answered in kind. “Would you like some wine?” 

Stella accepted the bottle, drank, and wiped her mouth. Her lips were perfectly cut, pink, and alluring. 

“Thank you.” She handed the wine back to Robin, who took a swallow. “Good. Now, it’s a warm night, Robin. We should swim, don’t you think?” 

Without waiting for a response, Stella began undressing. Underneath her blouse, against her tanned skin, a lacy white bra was revealed. Robin noticed that Stella’s breasts appeared to be larger than hers, but Stella was two years older.

When Stella leaned down to unbuckle her sandals, Robin unbuttoned her own shirt, overcome with shyness. Although she showered with girls after gym class, Robin had never exposed herself like this. She fixed her eyes on Stella, who had dropped her pants and stepped clear. The girl was slightly taller than Robin, with legs and arms that were lean and strong. Clad only in cotton underpants and a bra, Stella gave her a captivating smile, turned, and dove neatly off the dock. For what seemed like a minute, she stayed underwater until she resurfaced about fifteen feet away. Stella brushed back her short hair and watched as Robin took off her slacks and sandals and executed a clean entrance into the black water. Rising near Stella, the two swam closer to each other and kept upright by paddling their arms.

Robin felt a wave of dizziness pass over her. Because of the wine or because of the nearness to this radiant being? She waited for the girl to speak, to act. Instead, Stella laughed, the sound reminding Robin of wind chimes blowing in a light breeze.

About the Author

Laury A. Egan is the author of eleven novels: The FireflyOnce, Upon an IslandDoublecrossedThe SwimmerFabulous! An Opera BuffaThe Outcast OracleTurnaboutWave in D MinorThe Ungodly HourA Bittersweet TaleThe Outcast Oracle; and Jenny Kidd as well as a collection, Fog and Other Stories. Four limited-edition poetry volumes have been published: Snow, Shadows, a StrangerBeneath the Lion’s PawThe Sea & Beyond; and Presence & Absence. Eighty-five of her stories and poems have appeared in literary journals. She lives on the northern coast of New Jersey.

Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter

Instagram  |   LinkedIn  |  Poets & Writers   

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Wednesday, August 23, 2023

New Release-Excerpt & Giveaway: FRENCH FANCY by Lily Morton (The Model Agency #2)

French Fancy Banner

French Fancy
By Lily Morton

French Fancy Cover

The Model Agency, Book 2

Pip Simmonds is the twinkiest twink in London. He’s loud, proud, and packed to the brim with sass. But when he’s laid low by illness, even his hotpants lose their sparkle and his worried boss sends him to the South of France to recuperate in his holiday home.

Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat is beautiful, and the periwinkle-blue villa is luxurious, but the real draw for Pip is the villa’s other resident—his boss’s younger brother, Olivier Durand.

Olivier owns a perfume empire and has spent his whole life running from any other form of commitment. He’s worldly, carefree, wild, and the perfect choice for a holiday fling.

Drawn together by proximity, the two men become lovers and friends and then something more. Something special. But will their special bond hold true after summer’s end, when they both must return to their real lives?

This is the second book in the bestselling Model Agency series, but it can be read as a standalone.

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Add to Goodreads



A brilliant idea occurs to me. “And you’d better go now because the owner is here. He’s inside.”

I still can’t see his face, but somehow, I know he’s amused. My impression is confirmed when he says, “Really?” with a great deal of lively scepticism.

“Oh yes.” I shift from one foot to the other rather awkwardly. I’m used to being naked in front of men, but more pleasurable things are usually on the agenda. “He’s my lover, and he’s gone to make drinks. Then he’ll be out here, and there’ll be hell to play.”

“Oh, dear. That does sound worrying. Is he dangerous?”

His beautiful French accent lingers on the last word, and I’m lost for a second. Then I rally.

“Oh, very,” I say airily. “He’ll kill anyone who looks twice at me.”

“He must be a very busy man.”

The compliment disarms me. “Oh well, of course,” I say, regaining my composure. “Thank you. You’re quite right, stranger who is not an axe man.”

“I am definitely not that. I don’t think I could fit an axe in my shorts’ pockets, no?”

“You’d be surprised. I’ve met a few men who’ve got enough room down there to stock the contents of B and Q,” I say unthinkingly.

He throws his head back, laughing. It’s a very attractive sound. 

“You should go,” I say wistfully. This is the most exciting thing that’s happened to me since my ex shagged me in a glass lift.

“Ah, because your lover will emerge soon, yes?” 

I nod. 

“And your lover is?” he asks.

“Oh.” My thoughts immediately spin towards the enigmatic brother of my boss. “He’s Olivier Durand.” 


I raise my eyebrow. “He’s insanely possessive of me.” I wave a hand down my body. “And who can blame him?”


I narrow my eyes. “I can’t help feeling you don’t believe me, stranger danger.”

He steps forward, and a torch sheds light on his face. I stiffen. It’s a face I last saw in a photo in the kitchen—the picture that showed him smiling with my boss’s arm over his shoulders. 

“Sh*t,” I say morosely.

Olivier Durand chuckles, his eyes dancing. “I do believe you. You are incredibly convincing, but now I am in a quandary.”

“Sounds painful.”

So painful, because I’m afraid I will now have to visit a doctor.”

“Why?” I ask faintly.

“For my memory loss, of course. Here was I thinking myself a hale, fairly hearty, and very single young man, when pouf, I am the victim of amnesia and cannot remember the name of my beautiful young lover. And after that, I shall have to get my shotgun ready to begin shooting your many suitors in a fit of insane rage.”

“Oh dear.”

He starts to laugh again. “It is Pip, yes?”

I put my hands on my hips. “Who else?”


Enter the Giveaway:

To celebrate the release of French Fancy, we are giving you a chance to win your choice of any book from Lily’s backlist! Three winners will be chosen!

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Check out Book 1 of The Model Agency with The Sunny Side

The Sunny Side

Jonas Durand is successful, rich, and controlled. He owns a prestigious modelling agency and has the world at his fingertips, but a turbulent childhood has taught him to be focused and never deviate from a plan.

Dean Jacobs threatens that stance. He’s one of the world’s most sought-after supermodels, but he’s also laidback and lighthearted and free in a way that Jonas has never quite managed.

Dean has always been interested in Jonas and has never made any secret of his admiration, but from the beginning, Jonas put him in a neat little box labelled, “Don’t touch,” turned the key, and never looked back.

However, the universe seems determined to thwart Jonas’s plans. Over the course of one hot summer, the two men come together, and Jonas’s well-ordered life becomes something a whole lot wilder.

Moving from the glamorous worlds of London and Paris Fashion Weeks to the sleepy South of France, Jonas finds himself liberating partridges, chasing his supermodel, and falling in love.

From bestselling author, Lily Morton, comes a romantic comedy set in the fast-paced and snarky world of modelling. This is the first book in the Model Agency series.

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About the Author

Lily is a bestselling gay romance author. She writes love stories filled with heat and humour.

She lives in sunny England with her husband and two children, all of whom claim that they haven't had a proper conversation with her since she got her Kindle.

Lily has spent her life with her head full of daydreams, and decided one day to just sit down and start writing about them. In the process she discovered that she actually loved writing, because how else would she get to spend her time with hot and funny men?

She loves chocolate and Baileys and the best of all creations - Chocolate Baileys.

Connect with Lily:
Facebook | Lily's Snark Squad Facebook Group
Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest
Website | Newsletter
Amazon Page | Goodreads | BookBub


Tuesday, August 22, 2023

New Release-Excerpt & Giveaway: COLD DAY DAWNING by Thom Collins (Jagged Shores #4)

Cold Day Dawning

(Jagged Shores #4)

by Thom Collins

Publisher: Pride Publishing 

Release Date: August 22, 2023

Genres:  Contemporary MM romance, thriller, suspense 

Tropes: Small town romance 

Themes: Family, rivalry, revenge, overcoming PTSD

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 63 223 words

Although it can be read as a stand-alone, this book is best read as part of a series.

It does not end on a cliffhanger.


Buy Links

Universal Link

Available from Amazon, Pride Publishing,

First For Romance, B&N, and Kobo

Danger comes in the cold of morning


It should be the perfect weekend away. Dalton Caine makes the long journey to Nyemouth to attend a party hosted by his sister. Catherine is estranged from most of the family, but Dalton feels the time has come to build bridges between them. Things don’t turn out how he wants, however, when Catherine gives him a cold reception at the party. But the evening is not a complete waste of time when he meets local photographer Antoni.

Following a near-fatal attack six months earlier, Antoni has struggled with his physical and mental recovery. Catherine’s party is the first time he has been out at night since then, and he’s ready for an early exit when he meets Dalton. The stranger is warm, friendly and incredibly handsome. When Antoni overcomes his reservations and accepts a drink at Dalton’s hotel, it could be the start of something new for them both.

Despite the joy of fresh romance, things soon take a darker turn. The morning after the party, Catherine’s boyfriend reports her missing. Dalton isn’t initially concerned. Catherine has disappeared of her own will before, and he’s more interested in getting to know Antoni, but the men soon find themselves at the centre of a twisted mystery, one that puts both of their lives at risk.

Reader advisory: This book contains violence, murder, PTSD, memories of a child in danger and mental illness. Although it can be read as a stand-alone, this book is best read as part of a series.


A few moments later, a door on the right opened and a man stepped out. He caught Dalton’s attention straight away. Dressed in jeans, a black T-shirt and a dark overshirt, the man looked nothing like the pretentious people he’d encountered so far this evening. He was also very handsome, which didn’t hurt. He was naturally good-looking, with brown hair, slightly wavy on the top and cut short at the back and sides where it was starting to turn grey. He had a serious-looking face, and Dalton’s initial impression was of something quite sad about his eyes and downturned mouth.

“Hi,” Dalton said cheerfully, hoping the guy wouldn’t turn out to be like all the other guests.

“Hello.” The man didn’t return the smile, but seemingly noticing Dalton’s interest in the photographs, he came closer. “Do you like them?”

There was a trace of an accent there. Dalton couldn’t quite place it. Eastern European, he guessed.

“Very much,” he replied. “They’re remarkable. I’ve never seen Catherine like this before.”

The man looked between Dalton and photographs. “I’m glad you like them. I took all of these.”

Up close, he was even better looking than his first appearance. His eyes were dark grey and there was stubble on his square jaw, also flecked with grey.

“Wow,” Dalton said. “They are sensational…really.”

At last, his mouth turned upwards into the smallest suggestion of a smile.

“Thank you.” He held out his hand. “My name is Antoni.”

Dalton accepted the handshake. The party had finally improved.

About the Author 

Thom Collins is the author of Closer by Morning, North Point and the Anthem Trilogy. His love of page turning thrillers began at an early age when his mother caught him reading the latest Jackie Collins book and confiscated it, sparking a life-long love of raunchy novels.

Thom has lived in the North East of England his whole life. He grew up in Northumberland and now lives in County Durham with his husband and two cats. He loves all kinds of genre fiction, especially bonk-busters, thrillers, romance and horror. He is also a cookery book addict with far too many titles cluttering his shelves. When not writing he can be found in the kitchen trying out new recipes. He’s a keen traveler but with a fear of flying that gets worse with age, but in 2013 he realized cruising is the best way to see the world.

Check out his website for news updates and a free ebook, The Night.

Twitter: @thomwolf  |  Instagram  |  Newsletter Sign-up


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one of five ebook copies of Cold Day Dawning.

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Sunday, August 20, 2023

Book Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway: DIONYSUS IN WISCONSIN by E.H. Lupton (Wisconsin Gothic #1)

Dionysus in Wisconsin 

(Wisconsin Gothic, Book 1)

by E. H. Lupton

Publisher: Winnowing Fan Press

Cover Artist: E. H. Lupton

Release Date: May 26, 2023

Genres: Urban fantasy/historical M/M romance

Tropes: Living Aphrodisiac, Turning into a God, Offing the Offspring, In Love with the Mark, Occult Detective, Don't Go in the Woods, Prophesies Rhyme, Killing the God, A+ Parenting, Metamorphoses

Themes: self-acceptance, overcoming family history, mystical library communion

Heat Rating: 3–3.5 flames 

Length: 78 000 words/ 350 pages in paperback

The story ends with a lovely HEA.

Book 2 is due in early 2024.


Buy Links

Universal Link  |  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK  |  Kobo Plus


A graduate student and an archivist work together to fight a god.

Fall, 1969. Ulysses Lenkov should be working on his dissertation. Instead, he's developing an unlucrative sideline in helping ghosts and hapless magic users. But when his clients start leaving town suddenly—or turning up dead—he starts to worry there's something afoot that’s worse than an unavenged death or incipient insanity. His investigation begins with the last word on everyone's lips before they vanish: the mysterious Dionysus.

Sam Sterling is an archivist who recently moved back to Madison to be closer to the family he's not too sure he likes. But his peaceful days of teaching library students, creating finding aids, and community theater come to an end when the magnetic, mistrustful Ulysses turns up with a warning. There's a god coming, and it looks like it's coming for Sam.

Soon the two are helping each other through demon attacks, discovering the unsavory history of Sam's family, and falling in love as they race to find a solution. But as the year draws to a close, they'll face a deadly showdown as they try to save Sam—and the city itself.


“What did you want with it, anyway? There’s nothing of value in there. Just books. I would have let you look at any of them if you’d asked.”

Ulysses took a deliberate step closer, and Sam found himself retreating until he fetched up against the metal of the door. “Would you have, though? If I’d come to you and said I needed to investigate why the spirit of the stacks seems interested in you?” Ulysses took another step forward. They were standing far closer than people generally did, and it was both thrilling and terrifying. “Because a lot of people might find a request like that peculiar.”

Sam’s mouth went dry. They were practically chest to chest now. “I—Yes!” he said, and tried to pull himself up to his full height. “I don’t know what any of that means.”

Ulysses nodded. “Then this is going to be weird for you,” he muttered, voice rough and practically in Sam’s ear, and grabbed him. He opened the lock and pushed Sam through the door before he could protest.

On his desk were a white candle and a small, heart-shaped piece of blond wood that held a pencil in a vertical position. Beneath it was a sheet of typing paper, blank except for a cursive letter D in the center of the page. “What’s all this?”

“The inconclusive results of last night’s experiments,” Ulysses said. He grappled with the chair for a moment and then shoved it out into the corridor, shutting the cage’s door between it and them. There was just barely enough room for both of them standing up. This was going to be hideously embarrassing if anyone came along and caught them.

Ulysses, heedless, was lighting the candle with a Zippo. “The building seemed to have something to say to you in the elevator. Maybe it just needs more time to build up to a real psychic discharge, but we can’t wait that long.” He grinned again, eyes wide. “So I thought I’d bring it what it wants, and see if that helps.”

“You—what exactly do you do, Mr. Lenkov?”

“I’m a human lightning rod.” He reached up and grasped Sam very gently by the chin, turning his face to the candle. “Look. Be silent and breathe. Think about the flame.”

The other man’s taut body was pressed right up against Sam’s back, his left arm wrapped around Sam’s waist, and the candle flame was definitely not where Sam’s thoughts were heading. His face still tingled where he’d been touched. “Lenkov,” he said uneasily, “Ulysses. Are you okay? Are you—”

“No drugs, if that’s what you’re trying so delicately to ask. I never touch the stuff. Now hush.”

For some reason he wasn’t entirely clear on, Sam hushed. The man’s tone of voice seemed to demand compliance. At first all he could feel was the rush of blood through his veins, most of it headed southward. But after a while, his head started to clear. He could feel Ulysses breathing behind him and the movement of air through the study cages, smell the paper and Ulysses’s piney cologne and the slightly acrid candle. It wasn’t that his body stopped responding with arousal, but rather that for what felt like a few increasingly long moments he was conscious of all of it, and the linoleum beneath his feet, the rush of water through the pipes of the building. The loud clicks as the motion sensors turned the lights out, one row at a time. Still they stood in their tiny puddle of candle light.

Then, suddenly, the temperature dropped. Sam opened his eyes wide, afraid to say anything lest he break the spell, but also more generally terrified. He twisted slightly, but Ulysses’s grip was unforgiving. The other man leaned forward, murmuring something almost inaudible in a calming tone, and Sam gave up. Whatever was going to happen, he’d have a front-row seat for it. His breath hissed out, steaming.

Ulysses reached out and grabbed Sam’s right hand with his. “Using your left hand,” he whispered, “touch the planchette. Whenever you’re ready.”

Sam wanted to ask how he’d know when he was ready, but as their skin connected he felt a tension building in the room. It reminded him, abruptly, of the churning green clouds before a thunderstorm. The tension was in him, too, somehow, like anxiety but not quite, a nauseating squirming thing hiding there behind his breastbone. He closed his eyes and let it build for another minute, until it reached a level he couldn’t stand anymore.

He touched the planchette and felt it jerk to life as something ran through Ulysses and through him and somehow grounded itself in the paper. It was a little like the peculiar relief offered by a sneeze or an orgasm or taking off a pair of painful shoes, and a little like a static shock turned up to eleven. He might have shouted.

A moment later, Ulysses reached around him and pinched out the candle flame. Sam leaned dumbly against the wall, trying to catch his breath, and Ulysses turned on the overhead light, swung the door open, and carefully pushed Sam down into the chair.

“Sorry about that,” Ulysses said, sounding entirely unaffected. He picked up the page from beneath the planchette and frowned at it. Sam looked at the little stylus, which gave a desultory wriggle and was still.

Carra's Review

For a first full-length novel, I’d say this author has done a smashing job!  My curiosity was already piqued with the title since I love mythology, but the further into the book I got, the more totally enraptured I became.  Yes, there are some romantic elements, but the focus here is more on the magic—and the fact that the god Dionysus is coming for Sam.  By the way, this book has a great title; I mean sure…why not Wisconsin for the return of a god?

Magic is known in this world, which is a parallel of our own circa 1969.  Sam doesn’t know much about magic, and he goes about his days buried in collections in the archives.  Ulysses on the other hand has magical abilities and it’s just a daily fact of life for him and his family.  The odd happenings around town keep pointing him towards Sam, and thus starts the unraveling of the mystery of what—or who—is coming for him.  Their romance develops along the way, but doesn’t overshadow the magical and mythological elements.

What I loved about this story was that it was something unique for me, I don’t recall reading anything in this type of setting with these elements of magic and mythology.  It was intriguing and the author did an excellent job of continually holding my attention.  I was absorbed in the magic and mystery, with the romance being a nice side arc.

I’m definitely keeping this author on my radar, and knowing this is the first book in a series has me eagerly waiting for more.  Dionysus in Wisconsin was a 4.5-star read for me, and I absolutely recommend this to any reader of urban fantasy, magic/paranormal, or even just M/M romance in a historical setting. 

About the Author

E.H. Lupton (she/they) lives in Madison, WI with her family. She is the author of the novella The Joy of Fishes (Battered Suitcase Press, 2013/2015). Her poems have been published in a number of journals, including Paranoid TreePoet Lore300 Days of Sun, and House of Zolo's Journal of Speculative Literature. She is also one half of the duo behind the hit podcast Ask a Medievalist. In her free time, she enjoys running long distances and art.

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