#BlogTour: Migration, QSF’s 5th Annual #FlashFiction Anthology by multiple authors #LGBTQ #SciFi #Fantasy #Paranormal #contest

Please welcome to Moonbeams over Atlanta, the return of the annual Queer Sci Fi’s (5th) Flash Fiction Anthology published today in eBook or Paperback. For the fifth year in a row, I have a story published in it. *smile* Note the chance to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway below.

Migration

Queer Sci Fi has just released the annual QSF Flash Fiction anthology. This year, the theme is “Migration.”

MI-GRA-TION (noun)

1) Seasonal movement of animals from one region to another.

2) Movement of people to a new area or country in order to find work or better living conditions.

3) Movement from one part of something to another.

Three definitions to inspire writers around the world and an unlimited number of possible stories to tell. Here are 120 of our favorites.

Migration features 300 word speculative flash fiction stories from across the rainbow spectrum, from the minds of the writers of Queer Sci Fi.

Other Worlds Ink | Amazon | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | QueeRomance Ink | Goodreads


Giveaway

Queer Sci Fi is giving away a $20 gift Amazon certificate with this tour – enter via Rafflecopter for a chance to win:

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Excerpt

Migration meme

Each year, hundreds of writers send in stories for the Queer Sci Fi flash fiction anthology. Here are the opening lines from some of the stories chosen for the 2019 edition – Migration:

“Darkness has substance. It is tangible; different shades within the black, sounds, a taste. It is accompanied by self-awareness of time and thoughts, even when other senses fail.” —Hope for Charity, by Robyn Walker

“The sky has been screaming for five straight days when the shrimps come to take us away. They’ve been boxing up the others and hauling them off. Now they’re here for us, soaking wet, dragging cords and crates behind them.” —Shrimpanzee, Sionnain Bailey

“Allister always had faultless hair. He’d comb and gel it to perfection while gazing in the mirror. One day a pair of eyes stared back.” —Zulu Finds a Home, by Kevin Klehr

“On her sister’s wedding day Ari noticed that one of her ears had migrated to her hand. It was right after her high school crush, Emily, arrived with Cousin Matt.” —Playing It By Ear, Aidee Ladnier

“The wound was fatal. Their vessel wouldn’t live much longer. This is what came from leaving loose ends. Frantically they sought out a new vessel to migrate to. “ —The Essence, by L.M. Brown

“That night, we were sitting in the bed of her daddy’s old pickup truck and the radio was playing the best song. We had a pack of cigarettes between us and her hand was almost touching mine. The wheat field was silver in the moonlight. When they came, we weren’t surprised, just disappointed that our time was up already.” —Our Song, by Lauren Ring

“Willow said she was my wife, but I knew it wasn’t her, not the right her, anyway. Sure she looked like her with olive skin and bright pink hair. She even smelled of mango flowers, just like I remembered, but there was something about her smile that was slightly off, something about when she said she loved me that didn’t sit well in my old heart.” — They Said It Would Be Her, by Elizabeth Andre

“Agnes is eight when she first sees the river. Cutting its way through town, the only thing she knows not coated in coal dust. She sticks her toes in, comes home with wet socks and a secret. See, the river hadn’t been there yesterday.” —Stream of Consciousness, by Ziggy Schutz

“Terry twirled in her green synthsilk dress, looked at her reflection, liked what she saw. She felt good in her own skin, for maybe the first time.” —Altball, by RE Andeen

“The thing was in the corner. It had come through the window and had slid down the wall. Scratch went the sound. The noise of a hundred nails clawing at the wood. Nails of white bone. Alex pulled the sheets up quickly, covering every inch of skin and hair in a warm darkness.” —Whose Nightmare, by Jamie Bonomi


Author Bio

AUTHORBIO

A hundred and twenty authors are included in Migration:

  • Butterflies, by A O’Donovan
  • The Return, by A.M. Leibowitz
  • A New Spring, by Aaron Silver
  • Universal Quota, by Abby Bartle
  • The Call of Home, by Adrienne Wilder
  • Starfall, by Adrik Kemp
  • Playing it By Ear, by Aidee Ladnier
  • Rabbit, by Amanda Thomas
  • That Does Not Love…, by Andi Deacon
  • Inborn, by Andrea Speed
  • Saving Ostakis, by Angelica Primm
  • A Dawn Wish, by Antonia Aquilante
  • Diaspora, by Ariel E. James
  • Transmigration, by Ashby Danvers
  • Across the Mirror, by Ava Kelly
  • Between, by BE Allatt
  • The Speck, by Bey Deckard
  • The King of the Mountain Cometh, by Bob Goddard
  • Before and After, by C. A. Chesse
  • Home, by C.A. McDonald
  • Too Much Tech, by C.L. Mannarino
  • Ze Who Walks Into the Future, by Carey Ford Compton
  • The Gate, by Carol Holland March
  • Our Last Light Skip, by Chloe Spencer
  • Passage, by Christine Taylor-Butler
  • The Perils of Pick-Up Lines, by Colton Aalto
  • Parched, by Crysta K. Coburn
  • Changeling Dreams, by Damian Serbu
  • Destinations, by Dave Creek
  • Another Job, Another Planet, by David Viner
  • Thiefmaster Rosalind’s Apprentice, by Devon Widmer
  • A Weight Off Their Shoulders, by Diane Morrison
  • Once a Year, by Dianne Hartsock
  • Mettle, by Die BoothForever Bound, by E.W. Murks
  • They Said It Would Be Her, by Elizabeth Andre
  • Til Death Do Us Part, by Elizabeth Anglin
  • Little One, by Eloreen Moon
  • GBFN, by Emilia Agrafojo
  • The Long Distance Thing, by Ether Nepenthes
  • Call My People Home, by Evelyn Benvie
  • Jace vs. the Incubi, by Eytan Bernstein
  • A New Tradition, by Foster Bridget Cassidy
  • The Curious Cabinet, by Ginger Streusel
  • Ready, by Hank Edwards
  • The Albatrosses, by Harry F. Rey
  • A Boy’s Shadow, by Helen De Cruz
  • Portrait of a Lady, by Isobel Granby
  • Beam That Is In, by J. Comer
  • The Hunt, by J. R. Frontera
  • Repeating History, by J. Summerset
  • Neil’s Journey, by J.P. Bowie
  • Homeward Bound, by J.S. Garner
  • Whose Nightmare?, by Jamie Bonomi
  • A Moment of Bravery, by Jessie Pinkham
  • Laetus, by Jet Lupin
  • Where You Go, I’ll Follow, by Joe Baumann
  • Ambrose Out of Ash, by Jonathan Fesmire
  • Shooting Modes, by Joshua Darrow
  • TerrorForm, by Juam Jocom
  • The Curse, by Jude Reid
  • Throwing Eggs, by K E Olukoya
  • Fly, by Kayleigh Sky
  • The Keep, by KC Burn
  • Zulu Finds a Home, by Kevin Klehr
  • The Risks and Advantages of Data Migration, by Kim Fielding
  • Irreversible, by kim gryphon
  • Looner, by Krishan Coupland
  • The Essence, by L.M. Brown
  • Our Song, by Lauren Ring
  • O Human Child, by Lisa Hamill
  • Goodbye Marghretta, by Lou Sylvre
  • Choices, by LV Lloyd
  • Endangered Species, by M Joseph Murphy
  • Planet Retro, Unplugged, by M. X. Kelly
  • Elemental, by M.D. Grimm
  • To Wish on a Love Knot, by Margaret McGaffey Fisk
  • Firebirds, by Marita M. Connor
  • Breeding Season, by Mary Newman
  • Kooks at Home, by Matt McHugh
  • Spring, by Mere Rain
  • Into the South, by Mindy Leana Shuman
  • Not How We Planned It, by Minerva Cerridwen
  • What Is Left Behind, by Monique Cuillerier
  • How Far Would You Go for the One You Love?, by Nathan Alling Long
  • Innocence, by Nathaniel Taff
  • Heart and Soul, by Nils Odlund
  • Tides, by Patricia Scott
  • Killer Queen, by Paula McGrath
  • Genesis, by Pelaam
  • If Pigs Could Fly, by Penelope Friday
  • Click, by R R Angell
  • Be Kind to Strangers, by Raina Lorring
  • Altball, by RE Andeen
  • Far From Home, by Riley S. Keene
  • Hope for Charity, by Robyn Walker
  • Night Comes to the Bea Arthur, by Rory Ni Coileáin
  • MIG Ration, by S R Jones
  • Going Back, by Sacchi Green
  • World Behind and Home Ahead, by Sara Testarossa
  • The Call of the Suet, by Sarah Hadley Brook
  • Research & Development, by Shaina Phillips
  • Into the Void, by Shannon Brady
  • The Silkie’s Dance, by Shannon West
  • Seal Hunt, by Shirley Meier
  • Shrimpanzee FIRST IN BOOK, by Sionnain Bailey
  • The Woman With No Name, by Siri Paulson
  • Memories of Clay, by Spencer Mann
  • Simulacrum, by Steve Carr
  • The Experience, by Steve Fuson
  • Flight, by Steven Harper
  • Birds of New Atlantis, by Stewart C Baker
  • Lurching Forward, by Sydney Blackburn
  • Spores of Retribution, by Tray Ellis
  • Skin Hunger, by Treasure Nguyen
  • Elvira, by Trevor Barton
  • Ever After, by Warren Rochelle
  • Into the Light, by Wart Hill
  • Dryads, by X Marduk
  • Stream of Consciousness, by Ziggy Schutz

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Blog Tour #1: The Player’s Protege (A Campus Connection Story) by CJane Elliott #LGBT #MM #NewAdult #Romance #Comtemporary #Rafflecopter

 

Hi, everyone! Thanks to Eloreen for having me on her blog today to talk about my new release, The Player’s Protégé. This is the second story in the Campus Connections series and features Jerry, the cynical best friend of Eric from The Kinsey Scale, and Arlo, a sweet, inexperienced guy for whom Jerry becomes a mentor.

This is blog post #1 in The Player’s Protégé blog tour, so why don’t we start at the beginning with some of Jerry and Arlo’s childhood memories?

I’m interviewing each one separately, because they aren’t together yet.

JERRY

Tell me some of your best childhood memories.

Jerry: My childhood was basically utter crap. I was a flaming queen, even as a boy, but I grew up in the middle of Texas and my dad was a macho oil man. So you can imagine how my being gay went over with him and all the other homophobes around. But you were asking for good memories. Mom taught me how to sew when I was in the sixth grade. I fell in love with fabrics and fashion and creating costumes. Mom’s sewing room was my safe haven.

How about one of your worst childhood memories?

Jerry: Did the “utter crap” remark pique your interest? I was the target of mean and toxic boys insecure in their own masculinity from first grade on. I never made any secret of my feminine side—I couldn’t, because it was just me. I fought back with snarky remarks that mostly went over their heads and when the bullying turned physical I could usually outrun them. One time I didn’t. After they beat me up, I vowed I’d never let anyone get to me like that again—physically, emotionally, or any other way. And I haven’t.

 

ARLO

Tell me some of your best childhood memories.

Arlo: Growing up on the dairy farm was mostly real fun. We worked hard but we all got along. I have fond memories of my mother’s Mexican cooking. A favorite memory is when I discovered Tae Kwon Do. A martial arts studio opened up in Lancaster and my parents enrolled me in a class. I watched these guys and gals in white robes and bare feet doing these amazing moves and I was hooked. I’ve been doing Tae Kwon Do ever since.

How about one of your worst childhood memories?

Arlo: My dad getting sick. He has MS which was diagnosed when I was around seven. I still remember seeing him in pain and having to be in bed or a wheelchair at times. It was so hard because Dad had always been Superman in my eyes. He could do anything. To see him helpless, felled by this disease, really shattered my comfortable world. Luckily, the disease has periods of remission fairly frequently. But my dad having to deal with a chronic illness shaped me. My friends call me a caregiver. I guess I am.

 

Thanks for stopping by on The Player’s Protégé blog tour. If you want to follow along as Arlo and Jerry’s story progresses, check my website at http://cjaneelliott.com/the-players-protege-release-and-blog-tour/ for a schedule of all the tour dates and more chances to win.

 

Title: The Player’s Protege

Series: A Campus Connections Story

Author: CJane Elliott

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Release Date: 6/7/19

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 93 pages

Genre: Romance, New Adult, contemporary, college, coming of age

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Synopsis

When his friends bet cynical Jerry that he can’t turn sweet Arlo into a player, Jerry might win the bet but lose his heart.

College senior Jerry Helstrom survived a gay childhood in Texas by being fierce and fabulous. At school he’s known as a player and has kept his heart so guarded that he’s forgotten he has one. When his friends bet him he can’t teach inexperienced Arlo Barnes to become a stud like him, Jerry takes on the challenge and quickly finds himself drawn to his enticing trainee.

Arlo kicks butt as a Tae Kwon Do black belt, but his sexual game is lacking. He’s been dumped by his only boyfriend and needs help getting himself out there. Enter Jerry Helstrom, player extraordinaire and happy to provide Arlo with some hands-on coaching. Jerry encourages Arlo to ask for what he wants in sex and in life, something Arlo struggles with. The struggle deepens when Arlo discovers that what he truly wants is the seemingly unattainable Jerry Helstrom.

Jerry can teach Arlo to play the field, but can Arlo teach Jerry to play for keeps?

Excerpt

After Arlo left, Tyrone blew out an exasperated breath. “Why’d ya have to be so mean, boo?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Eric laughed. “Jerry’s mean to everyone at first. Right, Will?”

“I never noticed,” Will drawled.

“You wouldn’t.” Eric leaned in for a kiss. “But believe me, he had you down as a boring sports jock.”

“Hot, though,” Jerry murmured. “That won you points right away. And the fact that you were driving Eric crazy was entertaining.”

“For you.” Eric glared at Jerry.

Will put his hand over Eric’s. “Yeah. Eric was driving me crazy too. Blue balls city, man.”

“Oh my.” Jerry put his chin in his hands and widened his eyes. “I always wondered how y’all managed to beat off with the other one right there. Do tell.”

Tyrone held up his hand. “Guys, guys, can we have this conversation another time? Y’all need to help me talk Jerry into mentoring Arlo.”

“Mentoring him in what?” Eric raised laughing eyes to Jerry. “Although I can think of several areas.”

<em>I miss you</em>. It came out of nowhere. He and Eric had been thick as thieves all through college. Once they sorted out that they weren’t meant to be boyfriends, they’d remained best friends and shared countless late-night conversations in this very restaurant. Most of them this year had been about Eric’s seemingly hopeless crush on Will. But all of that had come to a halt now that Eric and Will were lovers. Not that Will would mind if Eric and Jerry continued their habit of hanging out in Alekos. At least Jerry didn’t think he would. But Will and Eric were currently wrapped up in their own romantic world.

Jerry shook his head and focused in on what Tyrone was saying.

“… and since Jake dumped him on his ass after cheating on him, Arlo’s been moping around. We were talking, and he was telling me that he needed some advice about getting out there. Jake was the only guy he’s ever dated, and he needs help in figuring out the hookup scene.”

“That guy? Wants to dive into Grindr?” Eric shook his head. “I can’t see it.”

“Well, that’s what he tells me,” said Tyrone. “And who better to teach him but our Jerry here? Gay stud extraordinaire.”

“You called me a stallion before. Make up your mind.”

Will smirked. “Given the look on your face, Jerry, I’d say the odds of you performing this service are nil to none.”

“Ah, but Jerry owes me, and I’m calling in the favor. Right, boo?”

“Owes you for what?” Eric asked.

“For hooking him up with Ted. Too bad they were together for, like, two seconds.”

Jerry huffed. “I never meant it to be a thing. Although our little affair did have its moments. But still, the answer is no. Think of something else for me to do.”

“Yeah, Tyrone. No fair assigning Jerry an impossible task.”

Jerry narrowed his eyes at Eric. “Impossible? I never said that.”

“Well, I’m saying it. That guy Arlo? You’ll never turn him into a player. He’s a one-man type. I can spot it a mile away.” Eric hugged Will. “This guy’s the same.”

“True.” Will gave Eric a slow smile. “I’m not complainin’.”

“You all are truly over the top. But you’re wrong, Eric. I’m sure I could transform Arlo into a player if I put my mind to it.”

“Wanna bet?”

Eric’s clear disbelief goaded Jerry into rashness. “Sure. What do you want to bet me?”

Tyrone clapped his hands. “I knew you’d do it.”

“Hmm.” Eric tapped his fingers on the table with a thoughtful air. “If you turn Arlo into a player, I’ll do your laundry for a week.”

“Please. You’d mix the fabrics, turn my whites pink, and shrink my favorite shirt.” Inspiration struck. “How about, if I win, you tear yourself away from Will there and commit to regular late-night Alekos runs with me? Plus one cage dance at Club Risque?”

“Okay. And if I win, you do my and Will’s laundry for a week, plus make us cool costumes for Pride.”

“Deal.” Jerry extended his hand, and Eric shook it. If Eric thought he could win this bet, he was seriously underestimating Jerry’s abilities.

Purchase

Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes | Google Books

Meet the Author

After years of hearing characters chatting away in her head, CJane Elliott finally decided to put them on paper and hasn’t looked back since. A psychotherapist by training, CJane enjoys writing sexy, passionate stories that also explore the human psyche. CJane has traveled all over North America for work, and her characters are travelers too, traveling into their own depths to find what they need to get to the happy ending.

CJane is an ardent supporter of LGBTQ equality and is particularly fond of coming-out stories. In her spare time, CJane can be found dancing, listening to music, or watching old movies. Her family supports her writing habit by staying out of the way when they see her hunched over, staring intently at her laptop.

CJane is the author of the award-winning Serpentine Series, New Adult contemporary novels set at the University of Virginia. Serpentine Walls was a 2014 Rainbow Awards finalist, Aidan’s Journey was a 2015 EPIC Awards finalist, and Sex, Love, and Videogames won first place in the New Adult category in the 2016 Swirl Awards and first place in Contemporary Fiction in the 2017 EPIC eBook Awards. All the Way to Shore was Runner Up for Best Bisexual Novel in the 2017 Rainbow Awards.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | eMail | Instagram

Tour Schedule

6/7 ~ Moonbeams Over Atlanta

6/8 ~ Gay Book Reviews

6/9 ~ Stories That Make You Smile

6/10 ~ Love Bytes

6/11 ~ MM Goodbook Reviews

6/12 ~ Bayou Book Junkie

6/13 ~ Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

6/14 ~ My Fiction Nook

6/15 ~ BFD Book Blog

6/16 ~ Drops of Ink

Giveaway

Enter the Rafflecopter for a chance to win a signed paperback copy of one of my novels.

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Head over to J. Scott Coatsworth for an #AuthorSpotlight #Together

I had an interview with my friend J. Scott Coatsworth. You have until January 5th to enter my giveaway for two ebooks of Together.

https://www.jscottcoatsworth.com/author-spotlight-eloreen-moon/

Eloreen

#Blitz Yield by Mickie B. Ashling #LGBTQ #BDSM #Erotica #Rafflecopter

Title: Yield

Series: Bay Area Professionals #5

Author: Mickie B. Ashling

Publisher: Mickie B. Ashling

Release Date: 11/13/2018

Heat Level: 5 – Erotica

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 275 words

Genre: Erotica, BDSM

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Synopsis

Yield
A Sequel to Forged in Trust
Bay Area Professionals #5

A promising encounter takes a dark turn.

Captain Sami Soros and Father Jay Blackstone cross paths at a major European hub. When systems shut down due to a cyber-attack, flights are delayed and the resulting chaos is unprecedented.

After having served three tours in Afghanistan, recently discharged Sami struggles with his new civilian status. Emotionally depleted, and dangerously edgy, he views most of his fellowmen with utter contempt.

Jay is returning to his parish in San Francisco after a month-long retreat meant to shore up a crumbling vocation. All vestiges of spirituality melt away when he sets eyes on Sami.

They begin a clandestine affair fueled by a shared addiction to extreme forms of BDSM. Their relationship goes off the rails, and Jay reaches out to Rino Duran, a former seminarian. With the help of Dr. Ethan Marshall, Rino’s full-time Dom, the established couple attempt to separate truth from lies to give Jay and Sami a shot at happiness.

This novel can be read as a standalone.

Excerpt

Chapter 1

February 2018

Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport is crowded on any given day, but the scene unfolding when I walked off the Jetway into the arrival area was absolute pandemonium. Twelve hours ago, the computer running the intricate network of arrivals and departures at this gigantic European hub—ranked third busiest in number of total passengers per year—had been hacked. The domino effect of delayed or canceled flights resulted in a maelstrom of missed connections, lost baggage, and queue upon queue of clueless passengers looking for solutions. Weddings, honeymoons, funerals, river cruises, bus tours, reunions, and once-in-a-lifetime business opportunities were too important to be derailed by a bunch of dark-web bandits. Normally efficient and accommodating personnel were inundated with impossible requests, and tempers were pushed to the limit.

I’d expected a two-hour layover before catching my flight back to San Francisco via Chicago, but my trip from northern Spain had been delayed by an unexpected snowstorm. The result was catastrophic in terms of connections, and I was one among thousands trying to find my way home. There was no point in browbeating anyone for better results as my angry voice would fall on deaf ears.

According to the giant monitors advising weary travelers of time and gate changes, my flight was supposed to board at Gate F6. The seats were all taken when I arrived at my destination, and a quick scan of the adjoining gates revealed more of the same. I’d end up on the floor for an undetermined amount of time unless the airline brought in more chairs.

As I considered my next move, my attention was drawn to a guy dressed from head to toe in unadulterated black. His face and hands were deeply bronzed, incongruous amidst the throng of pasty winter complexions. Squint lines radiated from wide-set eyes, and a thin scar sliced through one dark winged eyebrow. The resulting asymmetry changed the stranger from model perfect to dangerously attractive.

The month I’d recently spent at the Sanctuary of Loyola in Azpeitia, Spain, the ancestral home of St. Ignatius, had been an inspirational setting meant to reaffirm my faith and strengthen my resolve to stay the course. A great waste of time, I thought bitterly, all the while checking out the stranger’s physical attributes. When he met my gaze, my stomach clenched, and I quickly looked away, hyperaware of my thundering heartbeat.

Most sensible men would have turned their backs when confronted with temptation, but I was at my most vulnerable. Daring another look, I found him digging through his pea-green duffel. Along with his puffy jacket, the bag was taking up the adjoining seat, which could be mine for the taking. Resolved to correct the immediate problem, I stomped his way with determination. Some sixth sense must have alerted him because he lifted his head and tracked my progress with hawklike intensity.

I pointed at the spot occupied by his possessions, expecting an immediate response. Instead, his grayish-green eyes narrowed with suspicion. When I didn’t move, he clenched his jaw, gathered up his things, and dropped them on the floor by his feet.

“Thank you,” I murmured, settling on the molded plastic chair.

He ignored me.

The buzz cut, laced boots, duffel, and edgy demeanor screamed military, but the turtleneck and cargo pants gave nothing away. He wore no distinguishing pins to indicate if he was one of ours or a member of some foreign entity. Trying to ascertain more was impossible while he continued to treat me like I was an interloper. While other passengers twitched in discomfort and fiddled with electronic devices, my stranger sat with his arms and legs crossed and scanned the crowd with a predatory stare. I wasn’t qualified to judge, but I got a strong feeling he’d be a formidable fighter if pushed.

His silence was oppressive, and under normal circumstances, I would have attempted a conversation. People usually responded favorably to a cleric, but my dark shirt and white collar were packed away, replaced by more practical winter wear. A thermal undershirt, flannel top, fleece-lined jeans, and sturdy hiking boots had served me well while I tramped the snow-covered pathways in the Basque country. It also worked as a disguise, allowing me to forget I was a priest in crisis with unfinished business back home in San Francisco.

An announcement came through the loudspeaker in Dutch, followed by the same in English, French, and Spanish. There would be another two-hour delay, and free vouchers were offered to anyone interested in a light snack until we were allowed to board.

“Someone will snatch my seat if I leave,” the stranger commented irritably.

“I’ll make sure it doesn’t happen if you’ll get me something to eat.”

He glared at me. “How can I be sure you won’t run off with my things?”

Incredulous, I asked, “Do I look like a hardened criminal?”

“You look like you lost your herd somewhere in the Alps.”

“I’ve been called a shepherd on occasion.”

“Can I trust you?” he asked skeptically.

“I’m more interested in black coffee and a sandwich than whatever treasures you might have in your duffel.”

“I’ll hunt you down if you’re lying,” he warned menacingly. “Is there anything you dislike by way of food?”

I shook my head.

“Allergies?”

“No.”

“I’ll be back shortly.”

I admired his retreating figure as he walked away. Easily over six feet, he was prepossessing, drawing the eyes of men and women alike as he picked his way through the crowd.

Questioning my ethics was understandable, considering our circumstances, but it set me to thinking about my past. All my life, I’d been judged by my DNA, which, by all accounts, left much to be desired. The man who’d given me life was a masterful liar, and my mother wasn’t equipped to deal with his manipulative personality. She was seduced, impregnated, and subsequently rushed to the altar by her indignant parents. Predictably, Jack Underwood took off when I was three, packing enough clothes for a short business trip. He never returned, and from then on, it was only a question of time before my grandparents convinced my mother to get rid of me.

I was dispatched to an orphanage in another state where I cried myself to sleep each night. The people in charge offered no explanation, but assured me I wouldn’t be there long. Blond and blue-eyed children were always scooped up first. Within months, I was adopted by the Blackstone family, who changed my name from Jack Jr. to Justin. And thus began my second incarnation.

Purchase at Amazon

Meet the Author

Mickie B. Ashling is the pseudonym of a multifaceted woman who is a product of her upbringing in multiple cultures, having lived in Japan, the Philippines, Spain, and the Middle East. Fluent in three languages, she’s a citizen of the world and an interesting mixture of East and West. A little bit of this and a lot of that have brought a unique touch to her literary voice she could never learn from textbooks.

By the time Mickie discovered her talent for writing, real life got in the way, and the business of raising four sons took priority. With the advent of e-publishing—and the inevitable emptying nest—dreams of becoming a published writer were resurrected and she’s never looked back.

She stumbled into the world of men who love men in 2002 and continues to draw inspiration from their ongoing struggle to find equality and happiness in this oftentimes skewed and intolerant world. Her award-winning novels have been called “gut wrenching, daring, and thought provoking.” She admits to being an angst queen and making her men work damn hard for their happy endings.

Mickie currently resides in a suburb outside Chicago.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | eMail | Instagram | Blog

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#Blitz Leaning into a Wish by Lane Hayes and Nick J. Russo (Leaning Into 05) #Audio #LGBTQ #Romance #Rafflecopter

Title: Leaning Into a Wish

Series: Leaning Into #5

Author: Lane Hayes

Narrator: Nick J. Russo

Publisher: Lane Hayes

Original Release Date: November 22, 2017

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 3 Hours, 29 Minutes

Genre: Romance, Holiday, Bisexual, Humor, Winery, Working Relationship

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Synopsis

Ryan Haskell loves everything about the wine business. He’s fortunate to work at one of the most prestigious wineries in Napa Valley doing something he enjoys with the people who are like family to him. But he could do without the good-natured intern slash former jock with the wicked grin who always seems to be in the way. Ryan isn’t sure why the new guy is under his skin when everyone else loves him. Thankfully he’ll be gone after the holidays.

Danny Meyers can’t believe his luck when he lands an internship at Conrad Winery. It’s the perfect temporary gig to wrap up his graduate studies. He’s left his dreams of tennis stardom on the court to focus on a new career and a new life. However, he didn’t count on the spark of attraction he feels for his prickly co-worker. When their tentative friendship blossoms into something more than either man counted on, they may have to change direction and lean into a holiday wish.

Excerpt

A vacuum-like static rang in my ears. It wasn’t until Danny nudged my arm that the typical raucous bar noises filtered through again. And when he scooted his barstool back a foot or two and raised his hand to flag down a server, everything seemed to return to normal. Sort of.

“Gin and tonic for my friend and I’ll have another martini, please. Thanks.” Danny tipped back the last of his drink then handed it over before twisting to face me. “So other than being out twenty-five bucks and possibly having an awkward conversation at work on Monday, that didn’t go so bad.”

“I—I don’t get it. What just happened?”

“We agreed to let Geordie win the bet, remember?”

“Sure, but how did I get stuck here with you?”

Danny snorted. “We’ve already established that you like me. Stop being an uptight fuddy-duddy.”

“A fuddy—? You’re…” I gritted my teeth and tried to think of a stinging insult to fit the situation. “Annoying.”

Lame. And the “That’s the best you’ve got?” twinkle in Danny’s eye told me he agreed with me. I was about to let him have it when the waiter stopped to deliver our drinks. When we were alone again, I leaned into him and kicked his shin for good measure.

“Ow. Relax, Ry. I still want to kiss you, you know.” He popped the speared olive from his martini into his mouth. “With tongue.”

“You’re reading way too much into a stick of spearmint gum, honey. Don’t flatter yourself. It was a joke,” I huffed derisively.

“It doesn’t have to be.”

“Are you fucking nuts? I’m not kissing you,” I announced primly.

“You want to though. Admit it,” he teased.

I blew out an exaggerated breath, sucked down half my cocktail, and slid off my barstool. “I’m outta here. See you Monday.”

Danny grabbed my belt loop and yanked me to his side. “You didn’t let me finish. I was about to say…”

“Yes?” I prompted with a rolling hand gesture.

“I want it too.”

We stared at each other for a heated moment. I had no clue what he was thinking, but it seemed weird to ask for clarification. When the growing tension went on a beat too long, I wanted out. “See ya, Danny boy.”

I pushed my way through the crowd and gulped for air when I finally reached the sidewalk. I didn’t dare stop to enjoy the refreshing autumn breeze. If I wanted to avoid any further confrontation, I had to boogie. Danny was the type of guy who liked having the last word, and that wasn’t happening on my watch. I fished my keys from my pocket and power-walked toward the parking lot behind the bar.

“Ryan!”

I ignored him and picked up my pace. I spotted my car and clicked my fob to unlock the door. Danny called my name again. I could tell from the sound of his footsteps behind me that he was closing in quickly. I had to hurry or—

Too late. A hand on my elbow yanked me sideways.

“What the fuck is your problem?” I fumed, pushing his chest to no avail.

He moved into my space until his nose was less than an inch from mine. He was too big and imposing, and the look in his eyes was straight-up dangerous.

My dick twitched in my jeans. Of course it did. I had a bad habit of coveting what I couldn’t have and getting turned on by the chase. My past was littered with embarrassing short-term affairs or crushes on guys like Wes and Finn. Men I admired but never had a real shot with. I didn’t want to add Danny to that list because against my better judgment…I liked him. Really liked him.

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Meet the Author

Lane Hayes is grateful to finally be doing what she loves best. Writing full-time! It’s no secret Lane loves a good romance novel. An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to well-told love story with beautifully written characters. These days she prefers the leading roles to both be men. Lane discovered the M/M genre a few years ago and was instantly hooked. Her debut novel was a 2013 Rainbow Award finalist and subsequent books have received Honorable Mentions, and were winners in the 2016 Rainbow Awards. She loves red wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband in a newly empty nest.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Meet the Narrator

Nick is an award winning narrator with a fan following for his work in fiction, specifically in the romance genre. His performances in two of Amy Lane’s books, Beneath the Stain and Christmas Kitsch, made him the recipient of Sinfully M/M Book Review’s Narrator of the Year – 2015. When he’s not in the booth, Nick enjoys spending time with his wife, Jessica, and kids, (aka their beagle Frank and cat Stella), drumming in his cover band, exploring rural back roads with his wife on his motorcycle, or being enthralled in a tabletop role playing game with his friends.

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#Blitz The Kinsey Scale by CJane Elliott (Campus Connections 01) #LGBT #NewAdult #Contemporary #NewRelease #Rafflecopter

Title: The Kinsey Scale

Series: Campus Connections Book 1

Author: CJane Elliott

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Release Date: 11/9/18

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 89 pages

Genre: Romance, New Adult, contemporary, friends to lovers, college

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Synopsis

Life is good for Eric Brown. He’s a senior theater major, an RA for a freshman dorm, and has a great circle of friends. Single since sophomore year, Eric isn’t looking for love. But then Will Butler—fellow senior, co-RA, and the cutest guy Eric’s ever seen—walks into his dorm. Will has a girlfriend he sees off campus—a minor disappointment that becomes a major problem when a housing shortage causes Will and Eric to become roommates, and Eric is forced to witness Will’s hotness day in and day out. For protection, Eric asks Jerry, his ex-boyfriend, to pretend they’re still together. Jerry warns him it’s a stupid idea, but he reluctantly agrees.

Too bad it won’t save Eric from losing his heart.

Will Butler has never believed in himself. His dysfunctional family saw to that. Although Will has loved music since childhood, he’s never seriously considered pursuing it, and the person he’s dating doesn’t encourage him. Then he and Eric Brown become roommates, and everything changes. Eric believes in Will and his talent. He’s also gorgeous and playful and fast becoming Will’s best friend. And that’s not good, because Will is hiding some big things, not only from Eric, but from himself.

Excerpt

“So how’s it going with Hottie the Roommate?” Jerry asked. He lounged in the armchair at the coffee shop and took a languid sip of his latte.

“Fine.” Eric made a face. “We stay out of each other’s way. It sucks, but nothing we can do about it now.”

“I’m surprised you haven’t taken advantage of the situation.” Jerry arched his eyebrow.

“He’s straight. He has a girlfriend who doesn’t go here. I guess he sees her on the weekends. I don’t know. We don’t talk about that.”

“Don’t talk? Oh honey, that doesn’t sound like you at all. What’s up with that?”

“I don’t know. Shut up.”

“Touchy, touchy. God. You’re not usually this grumpy. Maybe you should look at changing this RA thing, because it sounds like it’s causing you stress.”

Eric shifted in his chair and sipped his latte. Jerry knew him too well. He was grumpy lately, but it wasn’t the RA thing. He enjoyed being an RA and counseling the kids. He and Will functioned well as an RA team, seeming to know instinctively when one of them would do better than the other in handling a situation, and then debriefing about it later. They talked about stuff really easily, and laughed a lot, having discovered they shared the same kind of crazy humor. And Will composed his own songs, which Eric thought was totally cool. He loved lying on his bed listening to Will play his guitar and sing.

“Yeah, it’s not that bad. We get along great, actually.”

And it wasn’t true that they never talked about Will’s girlfriend. Her name was Jessie, and Will sometimes mentioned her in passing, but Eric never pressed for details. In fact he had a strange reluctance to regale Will with his own sexual escapades, the way he always had in the past with friends or roommates. It was a weird thing, almost like a force field or something. They both shut up whenever the conversation veered too close to sex or relationships.

And then having to look at Will every day, with his bedhead when he woke up and his naked chest when he came out of the bathroom in his sleep pants, or when his face was animated and he threw back his head and laughed at something Eric said and…. God. No wonder he was grumpy.

“Let’s go out tonight. You need to dance and get laid.” Jerry’s voice brought him back.

“Okay.” It was Friday, so Will would be out of the room, thank God. Maybe Eric would even get lucky and bring someone back with him tonight… or go to their place, given the shitty dorm beds. He yawned, all of a sudden weary.

“Oh yes.” Jerry peered at him critically. “We’ve got to get you back to your perky self, my dear. I’m getting you another latte, for starters.”

Purchase

Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes | Google

Meet the Author

After years of hearing characters chatting away in her head, CJane Elliott finally decided to put them on paper and hasn’t looked back since. A psychotherapist by training, CJane enjoys writing sexy, passionate stories that also explore the human psyche. CJane has traveled all over North America for work and her characters are travelers, too, traveling down into their own depths to find what they need to get to the happy ending.

CJane is an ardent supporter of LGBTQ equality and is particularly fond of coming-out stories. In her spare time, CJane can be found dancing, listening to music, or watching old movies. Her family supports her writing habit by staying out of the way when they see her hunched over, staring intensely at her laptop.

CJane is the author of the award-winning Serpentine Series, New Adult contemporary novels set at the University of Virginia. Serpentine Walls was a 2014 Rainbow Awards finalist, Aidan’s Journey was a 2015 EPIC Awards finalist, and Sex, Love, and Videogames won first place in the New Adult category in the 2016 Swirl Awards and first place in Contemporary Fiction in the 2017 EPIC eBook Awards.

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#Blitz #TrexOrTreat by @taralain #ReleaseDay #Halloween #ContemporaryRomance #LGBT

A special treat just for you on this Halloween!! 

The Shy Professor’s Sexy Halloween Surprise!

Trex or Treat
by Tara Lain
 
Blurb:
Josh Harris is all dad all the time. A busy college professor and devoted single father, Josh tries to be happy with only his son for company. But then Bradley “Trex” Trexler moves in across the street with his stepbrother, Bogo, and takes advantage of their empty home, making it into a haunted house for Halloween.
Josh’s son, Ernie, can’t wait to go, so Josh dresses up like a movie cowboy and saunters over. It’ll be the best Halloween of Ernie’s life, but there’s another sharpshooter roaming the dark corridors, and this one might have a special treat for Josh….
Second Edition
First Edition published by Etopia Press in Halloween Heat (IV anthology), October 2012.
Available for purchase at
Excerpt

 

A voice drawled, “I’m not sure there’s room for two gunslingers in this town.”
Josh slowly raised his head. Doc Holliday, aka Trex, stood at the other end of the
hall. Black hat, dark three-piece suit, a gun at his side, and a delicate
handkerchief tinged with blood that was the clue to the character—Holliday had
died of TB. The western garb fit perfectly on that tall, athletic body. The
real Holliday never looked so good. Josh wanted to drool.
Josh smiled, but Trex didn’t break character, his gaze resting steady and dangerous
on Josh’s face. Okay, two could play. Josh scowled like a man who gazed into
the sun all day and chewed the stump of cigar in his mouth. He rested a hand on
his toy six-shooter. “You want to try me?” The words were out. What did I just
say?
Trex/Holliday sauntered toward him, spurs jingling. He came face-to-face with Josh and
cracked a hint of a smile. “Show me what you got.”
He’d called his bluff. “Uh, oh, I….”
Trex reached up and slowly took the unlit stogy from Josh’s teeth. He slipped a hand
around Josh’s neck and—holy crap!—he pressed a hot mouth over Josh’s lips with
a hint of warm tongue. Their hats bumped and Josh’s fell backward. He grabbed
for it, their teeth knocked together, their noses squashed, and Trex pulled
back, laughing. “I guess we know that cowboys didn’t spontaneously seduce each
other. Too much shit to get in the way.”
Josh knew his eyes were wide, and he was having trouble keeping his breath even. “Doing a
little cowboy experimentation, are we?” He reached down, grabbed his hat from
the floor, and put it back on.
Trex waved a hand down Josh’s body. “Hey, you come in oozing cowboy charisma, you gotta
expect some admiration.”

About the Author
Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in LGBT romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her best-selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Erotic Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance,  Best Gay Characters, and more. Readers often call her books “sweet,” even with all that hawt sex, because Tara believes in love and her books deliver on happily-ever-after. In addition to writing dozens and dozens of romance novels,  Tara also owns an advertising and public relations firm. Her love of creating book titles comes from years of manifesting ad headlines for everything from analytical instruments to semiconductors. She does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft. Together with her soulmate husband and her soulmate Dog, she recently realized a vision to live where there were a lot more trees and a lot fewer cars by moving to Ashland, Oregon. She hasn’t stopped smiling since.

You can find Tara at Lain

 

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#Blitz The Art of Hero Worship by Mia Kerick #NewRelease #LGBTQ #Contemporary #Romance #NewAdult #Violence

Title: The Art of Hero Worship

Author: Mia Kerick

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: October 29, 2018

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 51500

Genre: contemporary, bisexual, new adult, college, self-discovery, crime/school shooting, PTSD/disability, grieving/depression, family drama, violence, stalking

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Synopsis

College junior Liam Norcross is a hero. He willingly, even eagerly, risks his life to save a stranger as a murderous, deranged shooter moves methodically through the darkened theater on the Batcheldor College campus, randomly killing innocent men, women, and children.

The stranger he saves is college freshman Jason Tripp. Jase loses everything in the shooting: his girlfriend, who dies on the floor beside him, and his grip on emotional security. He struggles to regain a sense of safety in the world, finally leaving college to seek refuge in his hometown.

An inexplicable bond forms between the two men in the chaos and horror of the theater, and Liam fights to bring Jase back to the world he ran away from. When Jase returns to school, they’re drawn together as soulmates, and soon Liam and Jase fall into a turbulent romantic relationship. However, the rocky path to love cannot be smoothed until Jase rescues his hero in return by delving into his shady past and solving the mystery of Liam’s compulsion to be everybody’s savior.

Excerpt

The Art of Hero Worship
Mia Kerick © 2018
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One
Pop-pop-pop…

At this point, he’s in the back of the theater, and the shooting hasn’t slowed down at all. Gunshots ring out steadily in the shadowy darkness…always in sets of three, letting me know where he is. I’m scared…so fucking scared…but not too scared to wonder what I did to deserve this special little slice of hell.

And I’m frozen…I can’t even move enough to swallow my spit. I know what I have to do—I have to search for Ginny, but I can’t since I’m frozen solid, like a leg of lamb in a walk-in freezer.

Pop-pop-pop…pop-pop-pop…

“I’ve been shot! Oh, sweet Jesus, I’ve been shot!”

Earsplitting blasts of sound—one, two, three. The gunshots have a life and a plan—no, a mission—all their own, to maim and kill by ripping through the flesh of everyone in this theater. I’m panting and sweating and wishing to God I knew how to pray because I’d so pray right now.

And as suddenly as it started, the shooting stops. Is it over? With the utmost caution, I exhale the breath I’ve been hanging on to so jealously…as if part of me fears I’ll never get the chance to take another. But one more wary breath moves in and out, and I know I have to get hold of myself so I can find her. Because it’s over now… yes, I think maybe it’s ov—

Pop-pop-pop…

Life-sucking and blood-spattering and gurgle-inducing, evenly spaced sets of three that are becoming so horribly predictable. I brace myself for the impact because I just know the next pop is going to come with excruciating pain that explodes in my head or my back or, if I’m lucky, my ass. Or, if I’m not so lucky, in all three places, one right after another.

This isn’t happening. It can’t be happening.

Is nineteen too old to want my mommy?

“Get down! Get on the floor!” Somebody yells. Too late for that warning. I’m already flat on the floor in the narrow space between the rows of seats; my head is bleeding all over the arm it’s resting on… My left arm? My right arm? Somebody else’s arm? Not so sure. Not so sure it matters.

“Don’t shoot me—please don’t—”

Pop-pop-pop…

“Put the gun down! Put it do-o-own!”

Pop-pop-pop…

I belly crawl forward a few inches and reach around in search of Ginny’s hand, but when I pat the floor all I can feel is a pool of blood that wasn’t there the last time I checked, and then there’s this cooling mound of flesh in its center.

“I don’t know what to do…” These words escape on a single breath followed by a few sharp coughs from an elderly man.

Pop-pop-pop…pop-pop-pop…

Annoying cough…forever suppressed.

Right after the second round of shots, when everybody had started rushing around, all frenzied and scrambling, I’d lost track of Ginny… In fact, I’d lost track of everything. Maybe because it had suddenly sunk into my stunned brain that this place was now a death chamber. My death chamber.

It seems as if so much time has passed since the first bullet whizzed past my right ear…that for a month or a year—or for my entire lifetime—I’ve been waiting for the gunshots to stop. But a tiny voice inside my head suggests that I’ve been in this living hell for less than five minutes, at most.

Pop-pop-pop…

Right after the shooting started, but before I lost Ginny, I caught a glimpse of the gunman’s silhouette against the bright stage. He’d seemed huge in his dark baggy clothing. He towered over the audience, or maybe it just seemed that way because he was pointing a long gun at us. I recognized the shooter from seeing him around campus. And when I saw his face profiled in the light—the bulging forehead, prominent nose, and receding chin—a name had sped through my brain, but soon the name was as lost to me as my girlfriend’s lax hand.

Pop-pop-pop…

The gunman doesn’t say a word; his weapon does the talking. And the deafening popping sounds are closer again, like the gun has something it wants to say to me personally…something like, “You’re gonna die today, Jason.”

“I’m gonna push on your back really hard, and I want you to squeeze as much of your body underneath the chairs as you can, got it?” The voice seems to come from a million miles away, but it’s coming from right behind me. On top of me, really. I feel his breath on the back of my neck.

Pop-pop-pop…pop-pop-pop…

“Are we going to die?” I’m not sure if I ask this or if it comes from the lips of the little old lady who’d been sitting on the other side of Ginny at the start of the play. The old lady who told us she’d come to the Harrison Theater to see her granddaughter play Ophelia in the Shakespeare in the Spring Performance Series, not to die in a hail of bullets. I know that Ginny didn’t ask the question, though. She’s been silent since the second volley of gunshots when her head slumped over unnaturally onto my shoulder, and by instinct, I’d pulled her to the floor.

Batcheldor College’s small theater has been called “an acoustic gem,” and right now, it’s ringing with the erratic sounds of screaming and moaning and crying and shouting and shooting. But most impressive is the resounding silence of the gunman, which speaks louder than words, or gunshots, ever could.

All in all, it’s noisy and confusing and crazy…the Beatles’ tune “Helter Skelter” comes to mind. This is not how I want to die. Mostly because I don’t want to die!

The guy on my back is poking a single finger into the blood on my head, then twisting in such a way that I think he’s reaching to his back…like maybe he’s smearing my blood there. I’m distracted from his action by the squealing of the fire alarm, and I find my blurry mind wondering if, in addition to the problem of a crazed gunman, we also have a fire to put out.

Would I prefer my death be a result of hungry flames or a hail of bullets?

“We’re gonna survive; just stay still. Completely still. ’Kay?” I feel the pressure on my back that he promised me, and even though it hurts to have my belly pushed into the metal rungs at the base of the seats in front of us, I feel strangely safe. He speaks into my ear. “Play dead, dude.”

Pop-pop-pop…

No, I’m not even remotely safe. But thankfully, I play dead far better than my dog Goliath did when I tried to teach him that trick at the age of seven.

The shots are already earsplitting, and growing louder, as the shooter’s heading our way. I’m so fucking scared I tremble as if I’m having a seizure, and I promised the guy lying on top of me that I’d stay still. I concentrate on taking short shallow breaths, one after another, in my effort to stop shaking. To stay frozen—the way my heart has been since I pulled Ginny to the floor and promptly let go of her hand so I could curl up into a tight fetal ball.

Somebody near me sits up, scrambles to his knees, and impulsively crawls toward the far aisle.

Pop-pop-pop…

“Bang, bang…you’re dead.” The voice comes from directly above me; it’s blank and monotone and controlled. The snicker that follows is chilling. I want nothing more than to throw the big guy off my back and run like hell toward the double doors, but I just keep on going with the short, shallow breaths and stay as still as I’ve ever been in my life. The guy on top of me is totally exposed; I can’t move because if I do, I’ll cheat him out of his life, for sure. Which is so not cool when he’s trying to save mine.

I smell blood. Never noticed the smell of blood before. It reminds me of Grandma’s penny collection…if it got spilled onto the sticky floor of the theater. The scent of old copper is everywhere like wet pennies strewn all around me on the floor.

Pop-pop-pop…

Shooter’s practically on top of us now. Don’t move…don’t move…don’t move…

“Dear God, help me!” This request seems to catch the shooter’s attention, and he turns around and steps away from us. I curse myself for feeling as relieved as I do.

Pop-pop-pop…

We wait and it seems like forever. We wait as voices beg and plead and pray and he shuts them up with bullets. We wait as the sound of shots moves to the front left near the exit, where I figure he’s shooting at anyone who tries to get out through the double doors.

And then, for a second, it’s quiet.

“Now…” The big guy whispers, but the sound seems to blast into my left ear. “We have to make our move now.” Before I agree, the heaviness of his body lifts and I feel cold and exposed. “This is our chance to get outta here…”

His hand is attached to the back of my wrist, clutching me so hard I’ll have fingerprint bruises for a week…if I live so long.

“Come on! Get up!”

“Ginny…” I whisper back. “I can’t leave Ginny.”

He reaches out to touch the flesh mound in the center of the pool of blood and whispers firmly, “Ginny’s already gone.” He releases my wrist just long enough to adjust his grip. “I worked here last year. I know how to get away. Come on…”

He pulls me to my knees and drags me. Ginny. I only think her name this time because I’m literally too petrified to speak. We crawl like two sneaky toddlers through the narrow alley between the rows of seats and then down the outside aisle, over a couple of bodies—small ones, kids’ bodies that are way too still and cool—and to a trapdoor at the base of the stage. It’s a small gray square in the wall. I never noticed it before, and I’ve been to the Harrison Theater at least five times this year to see Ginny’s roommate perform. The guy beside me pulls out a pocketknife and fiddles silently with the screws holding the little door in place.

Pop-pop-pop…

The thin slab of metal covering the small door drops to the floor and contributes a new sound to the quieting chaos. It clangs in such a way that nobody left alive in the theater could miss it.

“Where do you think you’re going?” The gunman has stopped shooting, and I hear the heavy stomping of combat boots coming toward us, down the aisle. Not running…just walking in swift, determined steps. My guardian angel grabs me and stuffs me through the opening in the base of the stage. I land on my chin in a pile of music stands. My helper isn’t far behind in squeezing his bulky frame through the small square in the wall. We’ve landed in some type of a cluttered crawl space, maybe the orchestra pit, and I struggle to make my way through the music stands in the pitch-blackness. When we’re halfway through the mess of metal, crawling through unruly stacks of folding chairs, the overhead light in the pit flicks on.

“What’s going on in the theater, you guys? It’s mega-loud in there.” A clueless college girl’s voice. I can’t see her clearly because the sudden bright light stings my eyes, making me squint.

“Get out of here, lady—just run for it!” shouts my guardian angel. We can’t run yet because we’re still trapped in a dense forest of metal.

“I see you two… I see you.” The shooter’s voice is deadly calm. “And I think I know you.”

Pop-pop-pop…

For some reason, he doesn’t climb into the orchestra pit to come after us but pushes the gun through the opening and pulls the trigger three times. Bullets ricochet off the metal chairs and stands. Again I freeze, not sure which way to go. I’m grabbed fiercely by my right forearm and dragged over the remainder of the chairs to the door.

I expect more shooting, but there’s none. Instead, that cold, creepy voice increases in volume, to assure us, “Don’t worry, I’ll find you.”

We take to our feet and start to run. Soon we’re holding hands in a narrow hallway…running for the back of the building…and then we’re outside in the breezy darkness, still clinging to each other. We sprint through the muddy grass in the direction of the parking lot.

And we stop at an old model, cherry-red muscle car—a Dodge Charger.

“Get in!” His voice is husky as he opens the passenger door, pushes me inside, and quickly shuts it. Then he scrambles over the hood to get to the driver’s side. He flings the door wide open and jumps into the seat, not gracefully, but with more speed than I could ever have imagined was possible for a guy his size. Adrenaline counts for a lot… And soon we’re driving off the college grounds, out of the supposed safety of the “Batcheldor College Bubble,” and into the real world.

Purchase

NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Meet the Author

Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—one in law school, another at a dance conservatory, a third studying at Mia’s alma mater, Boston College, and her lone son still in high school. She has published more than twenty books of LGBTQ romance when not editing National Honor Society essays, offering opinions on college and law school applications, helping to create dance bios, and reviewing English papers. Her husband of twenty-five years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about this, as it is a sensitive subject.

Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled young people and their relationships. She has a great affinity for the tortured hero in literature, and as a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with tales of tortured heroes and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to NineStar Press for providing her with an alternate place to stash her stories.

Her books have been featured in Kirkus Reviews magazine, and have won Rainbow Awards for Best Transgender Contemporary Romance and Best YA Lesbian Fiction, a Reader Views’ Book by Book Publicity Literary Award, the Jack Eadon Award for Best Book in Contemporary Drama, an Indie Fab Award, and a Royal Dragonfly Award for Cultural Diversity, among other awards.

Mia Kerick is a social liberal and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of human rights. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology. Contact Mia at miakerick@gmail.com or visit at http://www.miakerickya.com to see what is going on in Mia’s world.

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I’m Published! Thrice! Three Anthologies by Multiple Authors #PreOrder #PersonsOfColor #Romance #LGBT #NewRelease #GAEmergingWriters #SciFi #Fantasy

*•.¸(`*•.¸(`*•.¸★¸.•*´)¸.•*´)¸.•*´
*****Beautiful Skin: A People of Color Anthology*****
¸.•*´(¸.•*´(¸.•*´★`*•.¸)`*•.¸)`*•.¸

 

So, Amazon came through and provided a preorder link. Really fast. See link below the Preorder image. In addition, I got notified that Z Publishing House released the Georgia Emerging Writers Anthology I mentioned earlier this year. That link is below the cover for it. 😀 It’s a paperback so it’s a bit more expensive but you get to see all kinds of other stories. They are all short, less than 1250 words each. While building this post (over the course of several hours because of other things), I found out that a third anthology recently released that has my 300 word flash fiction in it. Impact: Queer Sci Fi’s Fifth Annual Flash Fiction Contest. Whoa. Things just real, really fast. 🙂

So, readers. I’m an officially published author with multiple publications under my belt. How did that happen? A lot of work. Thank you Emmy, the POC FB Group, J. Scott Coatsworth

Release date: 8/23/18

Buy Links: Books2Read: Amazon | Smile Amazon

There will be a Paperback version for those that want a physical copy. I’ll update when that is live.

Add this wonderfully diverse anthology to your Goodreads TBR list today, because you won’t want to miss it when it releases!!

Link to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41067383-beautiful-skin

If you are a blogger or supporter (you don’t have to have a blog to join), please sign up at our Release Blitz form below:

https://goo.gl/forms/cLFVvbqchEPmJ28B2

A few days before the release date, you will get an email with a kit for the Blitz

And thank you! Continue on to see the second anthology. 😉

 

*•.¸(`*•.¸(`*•.¸★¸.•*´)¸.•*´)¸.•*´
*****Georgia Emerging Writers: An Anthology of Fiction*****
¸.•*´(¸.•*´(¸.•*´★`*•.¸)`*•.¸)`*•.¸

 

So, I was invited to join this anthology by the publisher, Z Publishing House, way back in May. I was able to pick and submit 5 options, on my birthday no less. A month later, they’d picked one! The Lotto Ticket was a submission I did to a Fantasy and Science Fiction Flash Fiction contest that would turn your 500 word submission into a podcast. Well, I didn’t make it past the first round, and it had been languishing since. I did a few edits but basically left it the way it was written and near the 500 words. I liked the story a lot for being so short. This is a paperback but you do get to see other emerging writers from the lovely state of Georgia that I call home. They run the gamut of stories, and not just LGBTQ or even romance. I think you will like it.

 

Buy Links: Amazon | Smile Amazon | Z Publishing House

About Z Publishing House: 

Having begun as a blog in the fall of 2015, Z Publishing, LLC, soon transitioned into book publishing. This transition came in response to the major problem currently plaguing the publishing world: For writers, finding new readers can be tremendously difficult, and for readers, finding new talented authors with whom they identify is like searching for a needle in a haystack. With Z Publishing, no longer will anyone have to go about this process alone. By producing anthologies of multiple authors rather than single-author volumes, Z Publishing hopes to foster a community of readers and writers, bringing all sides of the industry closer together.

You can follow the growth of Z Publishing on Facebook here!

Website: https://www.zpublishinghouse.com/

 

*•.¸(`*•.¸(`*•.¸★¸.•*´)¸.•*´)¸.•*´
*****Impact: Queer Sci Fi’s Fifth Annual Flash Fiction Contest*****
¸.•*´(¸.•*´(¸.•*´★`*•.¸)`*•.¸)`*•.¸

 

And now for the third anthology that I just found out released July 26, 2018. It’s the Queer Sci Fi’s 5th annual Flash Fiction contest that I a contribution for the 4th year in a row. 🙂 I’m very proud of that. Without further adieu, here is Impact!

 

Buy Links: Amazon KindleBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboAngus & RobertsonGoodreads

Series Title: Queer Sci Fi’s Annual Flash Fiction Contest

Position (Number) in Series: 4

Necessary to Read Previous Books: No

Other Books in Series Available for Review?: Yes

 

Warnings: This book contains 110 stories of 300 words or less each.

 

Book Blurb:

IM * PACT

(noun)

 

1) One object colliding with another

2) An impinging of something upon something else

3) An influence or effect on something or someone

4) The force of a new idea, concept, technology or ideology

Four definitions to inspire writers around the world, and an unlimited number of possible stories to tell, but only 110 made the final cut.

A difficult choice to be made. An object hurtling recklessly through space. A new invention that will change the world. So many things can impact a life, a society, or a planet.

Impact features 300 word speculative fiction ficlets from across the queer spectrum from the minds of the writers of Queer Sci Fi.

Welcome to Impact.

 

Series Blurb:

It’s hard to tell a story in just 300 words. Each year we ask writers to take the challenge, turning in stories across the queer spectrum. The rules are simple. Write a complete sci fi, fantasy, paranormal or horror story, include LGBTIQA characters, and do it all with just 300 carefully chosen words.

 

Excerpt (Non-Exclusive):

 Since this book is composed of stories of no more than 300 words, we can’t really do a standard excerpt, so we’re offering you the teaser first lines from a number of stories.

“She’d needed new oil. She felt her joints grow stiff, her muscles grow tight, her follicles thickening. If she didn’t get fresh quarts soon, people she passed would start calling her sir, asking, Where’s your gun?” —Crossville Station, by Nathan Alling Long

“The mallet’s impact on the hard, bright disk shattered the silence in the talking chamber. The resulting deep tone reverberated through the vault, through Saskia, as she fidgeted beside her lover.” —Settled, by Aidee Ladnier

“This is how the world ends, or so they say. From where I’m standing, it simply looks like a rolling darkness as distant lights flicker and die.” —Visitors, by LJ Phillips

“’What have you done?’ The mechanical eyes came to rest on his face, the droning beep sounding loud in the small room.” —Identity and Change, by Jo Tannah

“’Once upon a world, we were the same,’ he said, lifting my hand to his lips; the ground shaking beneath us.” —Impact, by Jack Ladd

“I been a tinker and soothsayer long enough to know this country’s at the cusp of war. They stir up hate easy as breath. And, oh, it pains my soul to see it. “ —Impact of Intervention, by Patricia Scott

“All lives begin with a messy impact of some kind. The crash of zygotes and gametes. Splats of silica gel between cybernetic synapses. Two women slam into each other carrying full cups of coffee.” —Quintessence, by E.M. Hammill

“If I venture far enough into the house, I’ll find my closet.” —The Closet, by K.S. Trenten

“It touched Ligaya when she was a child. Or she touched it. A half-glimpsed shape under her bed.” Mas Mabuti An Answang, by Foster Bridget Cassidy

“Jam zipped down the neon track, feather-light in low gravity. She rocketed forward, a glowing haze in her starred helmet, and shot past the pack. “Space Jammer!” echoed as she neared the line. Time to rack up the points.” —First Bout: Andromedolls Vs. Crotch Rockets, by Ginger Streusel

About Queer Sci Fi:

At Queer Sci Fi, we’re building a community of sci fi, fantasy, paranormal and horror writers and readers who want a little rainbow in their speculative fiction. We run a great discussion group on Facebook, a twitter feed, and have a website full of useful materials, news, and announcements for readers and writers of queer speculative fiction.

WebsiteFacebook Discussion Group | Facebook PageTwitter

Nectar and Ambrosia (Amaranthine Inheritance 1) by E. M. Hamill #Giveaway #MF #MM #UrbanFantasy #Mythical #NewRelease #LGBT

Title:  Nectar and Ambrosia
Series: Amaranthine Inheritance #1
Author: E.M. Hamill
Publisher:  Star Bard Books
Release Date: June 30, 2018
Heat Level: 1 – No Sex
Pairing: Male/Female, Male/Male
Length: 81576
Genre: Fantasy, urban/mythical

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Synopsis

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Callie, a Classics major, flees home to
protect her family from a monster straight out of mythology.  Visions lead her to Nectar and Ambrosia: the
weirdest pub on Earth, where inter-dimensional travelers with attention seeking
issues get drunk in between the A-list celebrity lives they create. They can’t
pretend to be gods anymore—not since a treaty with the current Supreme Deity promising
they won’t intervene in human affairs.
The Doorkeeper of this threshold,
Florian, rides herd on the rowdy Amaranthine and offers her shelter and a job.
Callie likes the lonely, mysterious bartender more than she should. For
Florian, her presence is a ray of light in the gray monotony of his sentence
behind the bar, but he keeps a cautious distance—the truth of how he became
Doorkeeper could change Callie’s perception of him forever.
When angels show up for a war council
over Zeus’s irrational mutters about a comeback, Callie has uncontrolled
visions of an apocalypse.  Ex-gods
realize she’s the first Oracle Priestess in generations. All Callie wanted was
keep her parents safe, and now it seems she must sacrifice her future to keep
the rest of humanity safe, too. Ambrosia could be the key to harnessing her
visions— or it could cost her life.
War is coming. The threshold between
worlds has never been more fragile. Callie must discover who is pulling Zeus’s
strings and avert the final battle—before the immortal vying to become the next
Supreme Deity kills her first.

 

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Callie turned away, trying to decide if
Florian and all his clientele were delusional or if it was some kind of big
role-playing game for rich people. Folks could have a thing about dressing up
in furry animal costumes. She supposed they could pretend to be gods and
goddesses too. If it was a mythology RPG, they weren’t concerned with the
classical part, except for the guy she saw yesterday afternoon. She was
relieved to have a rational explanation for the horns.
Something moved outside the glass front
door. Her heart seized in momentary panic. What if the monster still lurked out
there?
Strange, visible turbulence seemed to
ripple the panes. Callie squeezed her eyes shut to clear her sight and prayed
it wasn’t the aura of an oncoming seizure. Cool relief extinguished the rising
sparks of panic as the effect dissipated.
The door opened and revealed a
spiky-haired, punk rock kid years too young to be in any bar. Callie was forced
to squint in order see him clearly as he strode in, his outlines strangely
blurred and soft. Sullen teenaged fluidity rolled in every line of his body. He
surveyed the bar, narrow kohl-ringed eyes settling on the heavily intoxicated
Zeus. A sneer comprised of equal parts contempt and satisfaction flickered over
his mouth.
“There he is, the great king of the
gods,” he muttered. He moved toward the bar, a glare of disdain sweeping
over the other patrons. His eyes widened in appreciation as they passed over
Callie, a little smirk growing as his gaze lingered too long on the front of
her college t-shirt.
Despite her confusion on how he’d
arrived, she gave him a thin smile and a cool nod, crossing her arms over her
chest. He stopped short, an expression of shock on his face. Then a quick,
sunny grin took over. His blurry outlines sharpened as he drew closer and she
relaxed her squinted eyes, no longer struggling to focus on him. She decided it
was a trick of the neon-tinted lights hanging in garish advertisement on the
walls of the bar.
“My, my, my. Who have we
here?” His voice, thick with Cockney vowels, dipped to an intimate tone as
he approached. His body language changed to something more unsettlingly mature.
He was older than he appeared. “Who do you belong to?”
“I’m Callie. I don’t belong to
anybody, but I work for Florian,” she corrected him politely. “Can I
get you something?”
“Well, for starters, tequila.”
He smirked suggestively. “And your undivided attention.”
Callie resisted the urge to roll her
eyes. No matter where she worked, the pickup lines were the same.
“I’m sorry, I’m busy working. I’ll
ask Florian for your tequila. On the rocks, or a shot?”
“On the rocks, love.”
“I’ll need to see some ID
first.”
“You are new
here, aren’t you?” He flipped two fingers out, a driver’s license between
them.  She took it. No stranger to fake
ID’s, this one appeared to be real, and passed him as twenty-one. Still…
“John Smith, huh?”
He captured Callie’s fingers as she
returned the license and kissed the back of her hand in old-fashioned
courtliness, sea-colored eyes glinting in mischief. An odd, visceral twinge
from her early warning system made her startle as his lips touched her skin.
Goose bumps flecked her arms. A totally alien sensation overwhelmed her senses:
it was as if something crawled off her skin toward his mouth. She shivered in
response and tried to pull her hand away. His grin widened as he tightened his
grip, apparently delighted by her discomfiture.
“Oh, ho. That’s a lovely surprise.
Don’t mind me. I’m incorrigible. Call me Puck.” He scribed an expansive
circular gesture with his free hand. “Welcome to the watering hole of the
damned bored.”
Callie forced a smile. “Thank you.
Now, if you’ll let go of my hand, I’ll get your drink.”
Puck made a mocking bow over her hand
and released it, smirking again as he backed away, still admiring her in
undisguised interest. Between them, a well-dressed man stepped directly into Callie’s
path. He swerved with a graceful spin and apologized as Callie’s sneakers
squeaked to an abrupt halt on the concrete floor.
“Sorry, hon. Good evening, gods and
goddesses!”
“Herm!” came a shouted group
greeting from the room at large.
“And fairies,” the man
belatedly added, nodding at the punk rocker.
Puck offered him an extended middle
finger and a dangerous smile. Callie’s mouth fell open, recognizing the
Armani-suited guy from the previous afternoon.
“Jeeze, homophobic much?” she
muttered.
“Trust me love, I am all fairy and
he is far from homophobic. Sexual orientation has nothing to do with him being
a prick.” Puck glared at the man’s back with undisguised hatred before
another lightning-quick mood change and a devilish grin took over. “Make that
tequila a double.” He winked at her, eyes making another head to toe rake
of her body before he disappeared into the clump of huge Scandinavian-looking,
Corona-swilling dart players.
Callie’s hair still prickled on the back
of her neck even after Puck left, and she rubbed it, troubled. She turned back
to the room, stopped short, and stared. More customers sat at tables and in the
shadows of the booths, each group just a little stranger than the last. None of
them used the door.
And the Armani guy—he’d stepped into her
path. Right out of the air.
Something intensely freaky was happening
that she couldn’t rationalize away, no matter how hard she tried.
Was Florian telling the truth?
Instead of fear, a deep, visceral
excitement flip-flopped in her abdomen, butterflies on steroids.
She never pinpointed exactly when wonder
began to crowd out her reservations. Rushing between the cooler and the tables,
she caught snatches of conversation and shouted greetings when others appeared.
Having to bite back questions when she delivered their beverages replaced the
urge to roll her eyes. She fought to keep a professional demeanor rather than
fangirl all over herself when Florian introduced the Armani guy to her as
Hermes. Hermes! One of her favorite characters in Greek mythology.
Three hours into the shift, she took a
quick bathroom break. Her back against the door, Callie put her hands over her
mouth and muffled something that sounded suspiciously like a shriek. Whether it
was fear or excitement, she couldn’t quite say. Her breath came fast and short
until she got dizzy. She spun the tap on the sink and the shock of cold water
on her face helped bring her back down.
“What the hell, Callie? Are you
really going to believe this?” she muttered to herself in the mirror. She
grabbed a paper towel to blot the moisture away and waded back out into the
crowded bar.

 

Purchase

Star Bard Books | Amazon Kindle | Amazon Paperback |Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes

Meet the Author

Elisabeth “E.M.” Hamill is a nurse by day, unabashed geek, chocoholic, sci fi and fantasy novelist by nights, weekends, and wherever she can steal quality time with her laptop. She lives with her family, a dog, and a cat in the wilds of eastern suburban Kansas, where they fend off flying monkey attacks and prep for the zombie apocalypse.

 

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