Tag Archives: release day!

Release- Spell of the Werewolf by J.R. Loveless

Title: Spell of the Werewolf
Author: J.R. Loveless
Cover by TL Bland
Release Date: May 29, 2020
Word Count: 34k+
Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Enemies to Lovers
Keywords: werewolves, unexpected attraction, enemies to lovers, hybrid werewolf, human, immortality, cursed, sword fights, hunters, monsters, creatures, horror

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Buy Link: at Amazon here.

————
Blurb:
Two centuries ago, Justin was turned against his will into a werewolf – a mindless, angry beast three nights a month. Ever since, he has done everything he can to atone for the blood on his hands, even going so far as to hunt his own kind. The burden of carrying on is heavy and unforgiving, and he’s reached the point of not caring if he lives or dies.

Vincent is a hybrid, half-werewolf and half-human, spending his days, and nights, hunting werewolves. Vincent may be half-monster, but he lives and breathes by his human half. Hunting werewolves and taking down as many of the creatures as possible is all he can see.

A chance meeting changes everything. A deal struck between them, a threat to humanity, and their mutual attraction combined brings them together in an explosive way. Vincent has found the one who can break down the walls around his heart – will he now be able to carry through on his promise to end Justin’s torment, or will Justin live to see another moonrise?

Excerpt:
The crunching of bones breaking and mending echoed off the cement walls and metal cage surrounding him, while his gasps of pain mingled with the excruciating change until Justin lay there a panting, trembling mess. He curled into a fetal position, staring at the bars and wondering how much longer he could continue to live through the unbearable transformation. Every full moon he became a monster with no thought of anything except feasting on flesh, human or otherwise. He’d lock himself in a steel cage lined with silver in the basement of whatever house they were renting to stop himself from hurting anyone on the three nights he couldn’t control himself.

“You’re back to normal, I see.” A low voice came through the darkness.

Justin closed his eyes against the brightness of the light flicked on and Kara, his best friend and caretaker, stepped toward the cage with keys in hand. She unlocked the door, then the chains, and helped him to his feet. After handing him his clothing, she went back upstairs without another word. Kara was the only person in his life who knew about the beast inside of him. She’d been a loyal friend and his only family for the last ten years. But before her, he’d spent almost two hundred years on his own, merely surviving.

Despite his outward appearance of an eighteen-year-old young man, he’d actually lived for two hundred and eighteen years. He stood at an even six foot with a wiry, lean build, which never changed no matter what he ate or how much he exercised. Black hair, as dark as a moonless night, just brushed his shoulders when he didn’t keep it tied back. Most humans found it hard to stare into his eerily light blue eyes. Maybe because they could sense the evil lurking beneath the surface, or perhaps they could see the creature pacing inside him, waiting for the nights it could be free.

In the time since his life changed forever, he’d seen many wonderful and horrible things: the invention of trains, cars, and airplanes, wars, slavery, death, and blood. The only cure he knew of to end his torment was either death or to kill the one who’d bitten him. His desperate search led him here, to Japan, where he spent every waking hour not working trying to find word of the bastard’s whereabouts.

Justin made his way upstairs to the kitchen and found Kara cooking breakfast on the old stove in the house they’d rented. He watched her as she moved about the tiny kitchen. Petite at five-foot-two, she had beautiful auburn hair that hung down her back to her hourglass waist. She kept it in a ponytail most of the time. Bright green eyes complimented the light dusting of freckles across her nose. He cared for her a great deal, even loved her in his own way, but he knew it wasn’t the kind of love she wanted from him.

Thirty-five now, she’d found him ten years ago lying in the bushes in her backyard the morning after a full moon. He’d had large wounds all over his body from a fight he’d been in with another werewolf in the area. She’d tended his injuries and taken care of him until he’d regained consciousness. When he’d awakened, she’d demanded the story from him; she said it was either that or she’d call the police. So he’d told her everything, his past and the monster hiding beneath his flesh. They’d been together ever since, moving from place to place in search of the one who could break his curse. They both worked odd jobs during the day to support them as they moved from city to city and country to country. It’d been her idea to build the cage lined with silver and secure it to the ground wherever they were.

Setting a plate on the table for him and another for herself, she slid into one of the chairs. “You were overly anxious last night. More so than usual.”

Justin looked at her and then away. He picked up his fork but didn’t begin eating immediately. “I don’t remember anything, you know that, Kara. Maybe there’s another werewolf close by.”

There were many malevolent creatures in the world that humans remained unaware of, or they chose to ignore the obvious signs, writing off anything unexplained as animal attacks. Mostly, his kind stayed away from one another unless they felt threatened. “Tonight’s the last full moon, for this month at least. I don’t know how much longer I can take this, Kara. I want it to be over.”

Kara studied him for a long moment before replying, “We’ll find him, Justin. You just need to have patience.”

“How much more patience can I have, Kara?” Justin snapped. “It’s been two hundred years. Another hundred and I’ll go insane!”

She looked at him sadly but didn’t say anything. They sat in silence for the remainder of breakfast. Justin barely touched the scrambled eggs, attempting a bite or two to appease Kara, but he couldn’t stomach the idea of eating. He knew she meant well, and she couldn’t really understand why he wanted to die, but her words only served to reinforce why he couldn’t continue to live like this.

After breakfast, Kara washed the dishes and then grabbed her purse. “I’m on my way to work. I’ll be back before the sun sets to lock you in.”

He watched her leave, staying at the table even after she’d gone. The night he’d been bitten played in his head like a mini movie, almost as if it were someone else’s reality. It was 1802, and he’d been out drinking at a local tavern, celebrating the birth of his best friend’s baby. When the owner finally kicked them out at two in the morning, he started toward home, weaving along the street in his drunkenness. Most people were tucked in their beds asleep. No noises could be heard other than the odd stray cat in the alley garbage bins or the lone bark of a dog in the far off distance. A loud crashing sound echoed off the cobblestones and in between buildings just before a large heavy weight slammed into him. He flew through the air, landing with a thud on the unforgiving street.

He realized a huge animal, something akin to a wild dog, lay on top of him, pinning him to the ground. Before he could react, the animal sank his teeth into his shoulder. Justin remembered screaming in pain as blood poured from the torn flesh. He heard a gunshot as someone came running down the street, yelling to scare off the dog. The animal let go and ran off, leaving him lying in a pool of his own blood.

The man who’d saved him had taken Justin to his home and rung the doctor. The doctor stitched him up and bandaged his wound. Justin returned to his own home the next day and went about his normal life. The wound healed in a miraculously short amount of time, and he’d begun to notice strange things happening to his body in the following weeks. He found himself abnormally attracted to the scent of blood, and he could smell things from several hundred feet away. His eye sight and hearing grew sharper, and his strength increased three fold.

The first full moon came a little over three weeks after he’d been bitten. He was out chopping firewood for his parents when it started. He thanked God every day since then that he hadn’t been home when it happened. He remembered dropping to his knees as a sudden pain gripped his entire body. His screams of anguish filled the forest behind his home; the snapping of his bones breaking was the only thing louder than his cries. Hair sprouted along his hands and arms; his jaw elongated into a snout. He could still feel the terror he’d felt during his first change. He lost consciousness afterward or so he’d thought. He figured out the next morning that when he became the monster inside, he lost all control of his awareness and the beast took over.

The only thing he remembered was waking up covered in blood the next morning. He’d vomited at the grisly sight beside him. A mutilated body of a man lay near him. He couldn’t even identify the face of the man, to know who he’d been, because his face had been torn to shreds and then gnawed on by some great animal. He’d gone to the nearby river to wash the blood away the best he could and made his way slowly toward home, where he’d snuck into his room to pack some of his things. He left a note for his parents telling them he was sorry, but he could no longer stay with them. They weren’t safe with him. He’d saddled his horse and left for good.

He’d been running ever since. The only person he’d gotten close to in the last two hundred years was Kara. Even after ten years he still feared for her safety, but she never let him take off alone no matter how many times he tried.

Bio:
J.R. Loveless began her adventure in writing romance at the young age of twelve. Her foray into creating her own worlds and telling her characters’ life stories was triggered by her own love of reading. She currently resides in South Florida with her dog and two cats, volunteers for an animal rescue in her spare time, and works as a manager for a financial lending institute. Someday she hopes to begin writing as a full-time career and bringing more of her ideas to life.

Her journey into gay romance began in 2005 when she began posting her original fiction on a forum for feedback and readers’ pleasure. In 2010, a good friend urged her to submit to a publishing company, and the day she received the acceptance and contract was the best day of her life. Since then, she has been noted to be one of the most purchased audio books after Fifty Shades of Grey on Audiobook.com, received best gay romantic fiction for Touch Me Gently in the 2011 TLA Gaybies, and even received an award for Chasing Seth in 2012.

J.R. adores her fans and loves hearing from them.

Website: http://www.jrloveless.com
Blog: http://www.jrloveless.com/blog
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorjrloveless
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jrloveless
Amazon: http://amazon.com/author/jrloveless

Release Day -No Sacrifice by Grace R. Duncan


No one gets to live your life but you.

Out now at Amazon and on Kindle Unlimited!


 
You can find No Sacrifice here.
 

About No Sacrifice:

Patrick has taken his acting talents from high school all the way to a role in a major television show. But as the show progresses, his life of absolute certainties crumbles when he finds himself reacting to the kisses of his male costar. He refuses to accept it, reminding himself he’s happily married to a woman and has a sweet son, Avery. So, straight. Right?

One night he goes to drink his worries away and meets the gorgeous Chance Dillon. After too many drinks, Patrick spills his problems to Chance, who helps him realize he’s probably bisexual, and the new understanding helps him sleep better. It turns out Chance is a sound technician on the same set, and the two become fast friends.

Their friendship grows, Patrick’s marriage ends, and he returns from his family’s home in Hawai’i with Avery who captures Chance’s heart. Patrick and Chance’s romance blossoms, giving both dreams of a life together as a family of three. When Patrick is outed by the press to his unaccepting mother, he pushes Chance away to spare him the mess Patrick’s life has become. By the time he realizes his mistake, it may be too late.
 
About the author:

noh8Grace Duncan grew up with a wild imagination. She told stories from an early age – many of which got her into trouble. Eventually, she learned to channel that imagination into less troublesome areas, including fanfiction, which is what has led her to writing male/male erotica.

As someone who loves to travel and see new places, Grace has lived all over the United States. She has currently set up camp in East Texas with her husband and children – both the human and furry kind.

As one of those rare creatures who loves research, Grace can get lost for hours on the internet, reading up on any number of strange and different topics. She can also be found writing fanfiction, reading fantasy, crime, suspense, romance and other erotica or even dabbling in art.

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New Release-Ghosts, Gangsters and Garland

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My latest is now out. Check it out. I had a lot of fun with this one. It’s set in my old stomping grounds.

Blurb
Zia, Dolores and Kane all possess the magic to fight monsters but all they want now is a nice Christmas break. Partners in life and at work as monster-slayers for a group known as the Clipeum, they’ve been risking life and limb keeping humanity safe. They’ve won their hard-earned vacation their boss has set up for them: a week in a small hotel in upper Wisconsin. Their boss mentioned in passing it used to be a gangster retreat in the heyday of prohibition.

Married for some time, Zia and Dolores were surprised to have Kane in their life, first at work and now in their hearts. They’re looking forward to their first holiday today as a threesome and the ladies can’t wait to see their first pagan Yule celebration with Kane. All they want is some quiet relaxation. What they get is something entirely different.

Gangster ghosts, would-be witches, over-enthusiastic children, animated snowmen and a century old former gangster moll who has a little spark still in her add up to a not-so-restful Christmas. Zia, Dolores and Kane trade comfy clothing and relaxation for spellcasting and ghost wrangling. Still they might just be able to rescue themselves a Merry Yule from all the chaos.

When Holidays Attack

Release Date: December 10, 2019

Word Count: 20,000

Editor: Jude Dunn

Cover Artist: Catherine Dair

Buy Links

Mischief Corner Press

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New Release- Double Six by Brenda Murphy


Title: Double Six
Series: Rowan House, Book Five
Author: Brenda Murphy
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: November 18, 2019
Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex
Pairing: Female/Female, Female/Female Menage
Length: 63500
Genre: Contemporary, LGBT, Contemporary, romance, BDSM, interracial, ménage, switch, edge play, knife play, pain play, extortion, kidnapping, Oslo, Norway, Isle of Skye

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Synopsis

Elaine MacLeod, the most feared and revered Mistress of Rowan House, is frustrated. Overworked, still hurt and angry over the departure of her long-term lover, she refuses to admit Rowan House needs another Mistress to accommodate their guests. Unconvinced anyone will be able to meet her high standards, Elaine grudgingly agrees to audition the sole applicant, Petra Grendhal.

Robin Broadacre would do anything for the woman who rescued her from certain death at the hands of her previous employers. When she volunteers to assist Petra with her audition, Elaine is forced to reckon with her desire for Robin. Drawn to Petra’s fiery strength and icy demeanor as well Robin’s devotion, Elaine finds herself torn between her passion for both women. When Petra disappears on a trip to Oslo, Elaine and Robin’s search leads them to menaces from Robin’s past and a fight for their lives.

Excerpt

Double Six
Brenda Murphy © 2019
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One
“Are you sure this is what we need?” Elaine lowered the hairbrush and shifted her gaze to Martha’s face, reflected in the dressing table mirror.

Martha quirked her mouth. “We’ve been over this. Just give her a chance. You can’t keep up with our client requests.”

Elaine tossed the brush on the top of the dressing table. “Because you and Lucia don’t help.” She swept her titian hair back and up into a high ponytail.

Martha handed her an elastic. “We’re not having this argument again. Lucia and I are finished with that side of the business. We can’t keep putting people off or they’ll find other houses to visit.

Elaine knotted a hunter-green ribbon in her hair. “Oh please. Like they could find anyone like me. Or what we offer here.” She shoved away from the vanity and turned to face her sister. “Fine. We’ll see how she handles herself. But the timing sucks.”

Martha placed her hands on her sister’s shoulders. “We had to work with the dates she gave us. Lucia thinks she’d be a good fit. We’ve had our trip planned for a long time. We trust you to make a good decision.

Alone. Again. “I’m not worried about making a wrong decision. Who’ll sub for her? Benita and Fallon are on holiday. No one else likes heavy pain play.”

Martha grinned wickedly at Elaine. “Maybe you could give it a go?”

Elaine rolled her eyes at her sister. “The switch gene is not in me. Go on, go on your holiday. I’ll figure it out.” Somehow. Damn, I miss Roxy.

Lucia and Myfanwy stood next to the car, their breath visible as they chatted in the frosty gray morning. Millie loaded the last of their luggage into the trunk and closed the lid gently. Martha placed her hand on Elaine’s forearm. “You have our itinerary. We can return if it’s an emergency”—she straightened to her full height and squared her shoulders—“but we are not to be disturbed unless it is.”

Elaine rolled her eyes at her sister. “Yes, sister dear, goddess forbid I interrupt your honeymoon. Like you haven’t already had one. I won’t bother you.” She let the devil show in her eyes. “I expect you’ll be tied up.”

Martha settled her fedora on her head. “I’m not going to waste my time replying to that, and please for the love of all that’s good, try to get along with Petra. We don’t have any other candidates.”

“So we should settle?” Elaine placed her hand on her hip.

“No one is saying settle. What I am saying is do not make a snap judgment. Or piss her off so much she leaves.”

Elaine shrugged. “If she can’t stand the heat…”

“Martha, we need to leave now.” Lucia spoke over Elaine, her voice a soft command. “I’m sure Elaine and Petra will sort things.”

“See, even your Miss agrees.” Elaine smirked at Martha.

Martha smiled at Elaine, not giving her the argument she craved. “Try it some time. You might find you like it.”

“Ha. A cold day in hell. Go now or you’ll miss the ferry.”

Martha gave Elaine a quick hard hug before she hurried down the steps to the car.

Purchase

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Meet the Author

Brenda Murphy writes short fiction and novels. She loves tattoos and sideshows, and yes, those are her monkeys. When she is not swilling gallons of hot tea and writing, she wrangles two kids, two dogs, and one unrepentant parrot. She writes about life, books, and writing on her blog Writing While Distracted.

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New Release! – Complex Dimensions by Brenda Murphy

Title: Complex Dimensions

Series: A Rowan House Novel

Author: Brenda Murphy

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: September 23, 2019

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Female/Female

Length: 65100

Genre: Contemporary, LGBT, Contemporary, BDSM, lesbian, interracial, ex-convict, chauffeur, D/s, butch, sex toys

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Synopsis

Sick of living in her parent’s basement and encountering her ex-girlfriend on a regular basis, former graduate student Veronica Fletcher signs on to manage the stable for Rowan House, Skye’s most exclusive resort for women. After arriving at Rowan house Veronica’s vow to remain celibate is tested when she meets Millie Reid.

Sexy, sweet, and funny, Millie is the woman of Veronica’s dreams. Or is she? When Millie’s past threatens their future together, Veronica is faced with a choice she doesn’t want to make. The butterfly effect has never been more personal.

Excerpt

Complex Dimensions
Brenda Murphy © 2019
All Rights Reserved

Veronica followed her mom through the grocery, navigating the phalanx of Saturday afternoon shoppers. Her thoughts wandered as she trailed behind her mother as she maneuvered their overloaded cart around people staring at the overcrowded shelves, children straying from their parents, and the occasional mobility scooter.

“Ronnie, would you go back and pick up another can of tomato paste? I need two for my sauce. I’m so out of step since they rearranged the store. I don’t understand why…”

Not ready to listen to her mom go on about the changes in the store layout for what must be the hundredth time since she had been released, Veronica interrupted her. “Relax, Mom, I got it.”

She turned and jogged back two aisles and caught sight of a familiar face. Dee stood at the far end of the aisle, her arm draped around the shoulders of Veronica’s ex-friend, Paige. A toddler, her round face and dark brown eyes so much like Dee’s she could have been a clone, sat in the basket of the cart in front of them. Paige pressed a kiss to Dee’s cheek.

Say hello. Don’t act invisible. Get over yourself. So, she’s here with Paige and their baby. Should be me. Should have been us. She looked away and gathered herself. Say something. Be a grown-up. Congratulate them. She looks happy.

Veronica walked down the aisle toward the women, working hard to keep a smile plastered on her face. She lifted her hand in greeting. Dee glanced up and made brief eye contact before a frown crossed her face. She turned her head away from Veronica. Paige looked past Dee and shot Veronica a challenging glare before she pushed their shopping cart briskly away. Fuck. No mistaking the message. She’s moved on. Let it go. She stopped and shoved her hands in her pockets to keep from balling them into fists. She turned away, walked to the main aisle, and followed the overhead labels until she reached the canned vegetable aisle.

She stood in the center of the aisle and groaned inwardly as she studied the shelves. Why do they need twelve different kinds of paste? Damn it. Where the hell is the Bella tomato paste? Mom will flip if it’s not the right brand.

A short woman dressed in a bright red T-shirt and jeans stepped up on the bottom shelf of the section. She extended her arm, her fingers straining shy of the can of tomato sauce she was trying to reach.

Veronica stepped closer. “Hey, let me…” The shelf rocked and teetered. The sharp sound of metal scraping made the hairs on Veronica’s arm stand up as the shelf tilted toward the woman.

“Watch out!” Veronica grabbed the woman around the waist and tugged her out of the way as the entire section of heavy metal shelving crashed to the floor. Cans of vegetables slid off the shelves and filled the aisle. A dented can of stewed tomatoes rolled past her shoe as cans continued to randomly slide from the twisted metal shelves.

“Are you okay?” Veronica let go of the woman’s waist. Other shoppers crowded around them, drawn by the noise.

A store employee arrived. Red faced and wheezing, he pointed to the avalanche of cans. “Is anyone under there?”

“No. I don’t think so.” Veronica leaned away from the stale smell of cigarettes and sweat wafting from the employee.

The woman stared at Veronica, her eyes wide. “You…I would have been under there. I would have…” Her cheeks grew pink. “Thank you.” She ducked her head, pushed through the crowd, and fled.

More store employees showed up and blocked the aisle with warning signs and yellow tape. The crowd filtered away. Veronica stepped back from the chaos.

The dull edge of the can she was still holding dug into her palm. What if my mom hadn’t needed another can of tomato paste? What if Dee had wanted to chat? What if I hadn’t noticed the shelf shift? We both would’ve been under there. A minute. A second. So much can change in a moment. Butterfly effect. Chaos Theory on display.

“Ronnie?” Her mother’s hand squeezed her arm. She turned and stared down the aisle, her lips pressed together in a thin line. “Good Lord, look at that. You’d have been crushed.”

Veronica held up the can in her hand and grinned at her mom. “Got the tomato paste.”

Her mother quirked her mouth, “All right, joker, let’s get the rest of the groceries before anything else falls down.”

Purchase

NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble

Meet the Author

Brenda Murphy writes short fiction and novels. She loves tattoos and sideshows, and yes, those are her monkeys. When she is not swilling gallons of hot tea and writing, she wrangles two kids, two dogs, and one unrepentant parrot. She writes about life, books, and writing on her blog Writing While Distracted.

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New Release! No Good Men by Thea McAlistair

Title: No Good Men

Series: The Caro Mysteries, Book One

Author: Thea McAlistair

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: September 16, 2019

Heat Level: 2 – Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 65100

Genre: Historical, LGBT, 1930s, Age gap, Historical, Gay, Dark, Mystery, Anxiety

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Synopsis

In 1934, almost everyone struggles to pay the rent, and Alex Dawson is no exception. To support his writing habit, he moonlights with his mentor Donnie as a bodyguard for the mayor. It’s dull work, until the night a handsome, golden-eyed stranger catches his eye–and both his boss and his mentor are killed when his back is turned.

Jobless and emotionally adrift, Alex vows to find the murderer before the corrupt police can pin the blame on him. But he soon discovers he’s in over his head. The golden-eyed stranger turns out to be a mob boss’s cousin, and a suspicious stack of money in Donnie’s dresser leads Alex to discover that his mentor and the mayor were involved in something more crooked than fundraising dinners and campaign speeches. As the death count rises amid corruption, mob politics, and anarchist plots, Alex realizes that the murders aren’t political or even business. This is the work of a spree killer, and Alex and his new boyfriend are the only ones who can stop them.

Excerpt

No Good Men
Thea McAlistair © 2019
All Rights Reserved

Mob money could buy a lot, but apparently it couldn’t buy taste. Every single architectural detail of the Ostia struck me as garish: from the chandeliers dripping crystals to the thick wooden accent panels to the gold-painted cherubs carved into the tops of the columns. But my opinion didn’t matter; I was just hired muscle.

The club had opened the previous December—about two seconds after booze turned legal again—and attracted all sorts of upper-class clientele, including my boss, Mayor Roy Carlisle. They called him the White Knight of Westwick, and he ran on the rather ironic platform of driving various ne’er-do-wells out of the city. But again, not my business. My job was to hover just behind him in case something terrible happened. Nothing ever happened though, no crazed attackers or falling pianos. The worst crisis I’d run into in the ten or so months I’d been working for him was a freak rainstorm at a garden party, and I had to hold my jacket over his wife Emma’s head to protect her hair.

Still, it was a dollar a night to stand around, and that was more than other people were getting. The Depression had wiped everyone out, including me. If I hadn’t taken up bodyguarding, I would’ve been thrown out of my room in the boardinghouse faster than I could say eviction. Writing pulp stories wasn’t a lucrative day job, and even less so at the beginning of a career.

Which was why, despite my thoughts on the decor, I was pleased to be at the Ostia. Everyone said they had the best acts in town, and I couldn’t disagree. That night they opened with a pretty, button-nosed redhead. She was French, or at least she had a good enough grip of the language to sing in it. I didn’t know what she was singing about, but it sounded sultry enough as she made eyes at our table.

Carlisle lapped it up, ignorant or indifferent to Emma turning bright pink beside him. She didn’t say anything though. Maybe she’d taken a lesson from other political wives and learned to swallow her pride or risk becoming divorced and destitute. Not that she didn’t deserve to be proud. She was still pretty at thirty-five—ten years Carlisle’s junior—blonde and delicate with huge blue eyes.

She must have gotten her looks from her mother, because her father had the smashed face of a bulldog and towered over even my own six feet. Seated to his daughter’s left that night, Marc Logan also stewed in silence, his hand alternately crumpling the napkins and patting Emma reassuringly on the knee. His own blue eyes, the haunting color of old ice, bored a hole into the side of Carlisle’s head.

Their dinner guest for the evening, Mrs. Green, likewise noticed his glare and apparently decided the best course of action was distraction. “Emma dear, did you see what Miss Kepler was wearing the other night at the Peterson soiree?” she tittered as she coiled the chain for her hanging glasses around a finger.

“Hmm?” Emma turned her head just enough to keep her husband in her peripheral vision. “I’m sorry; what were you saying about the Kepler girl?”

“Her dress!” exclaimed Mrs. Green. “It was scandalous! So low-cut. Anyone would have thought she was selling herself. Her father should never have let her out of the house like that. Don’t you agree, Mr. Logan?”

Logan blinked slowly, no doubt trying to come to terms with the dullness of a conversation centered on someone else’s clothing. “While I have to agree that she was… improperly dressed for the occasion, it is quite difficult for a man to say no to his daughter once she’s gotten her mind wrapped around something.” He glanced at Emma, who smiled weakly.

Mrs. Green continued along the thread of scandalous attire, but I let my attention slip back to Carlisle. Oblivious to the rest of his table, he continued to stare at the French singer. While such behavior wasn’t unusual for him, that night it was so obvious that even I was becoming uncomfortable. I glanced at my watch and suppressed a groan. It was only half-past ten. Donnie wouldn’t be around for another hour and a half.

“Are you feeling all right, Mr. Dawson?”

My attention snapped to Emma. “Yes, ma’am,” I answered, hoping she hadn’t noticed my boredom.

Her mouth quirked like she was in on some joke I didn’t know the punchline to, but she said nothing else. Instead she turned to her father, placed a hand on his shoulder, and whispered something in his ear. He grunted in response. Carlisle didn’t notice the exchange, or maybe didn’t care. Mrs. Green kept nattering away.

The song stopped, and the French girl took a bow. We all clapped, Carlisle too enthusiastically, and Emma barely at all. The girl swept off the stage to a table off the wing for a break, and she was replaced by a dark-haired woman with too much makeup. The new woman sang with a rough alto voice, occasionally throwing appraising looks at Carlisle, though he didn’t return them. Once the French girl left, his attention had returned to the food. The rest of the table did the same.

With my charges occupied, I took the chance to look over the room again. Nothing out of the ordinary. Diners, waiters, a glossy bar at the back. The maître-de waving through a man who had just entered… I realized I knew the man weaving his way between tables. Donnie was terribly noticeable with a thick, out-of-fashion beard and pocket-watch chain draped across his waistcoat. I looked at my own watch again. It was only eleven.

Purchase

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Meet the Author

Thea McAlistair is the pseudonym of an otherwise terribly boring office worker from New Jersey. She studied archaeology, anthropology, history, architecture, and public policy, but none of those panned out, so she decided to go back to an early love – writing. She can often be found muttering to herself about her latest draft at completely inappropriate times.

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New Release ! Time Turns by C.B. Lewis

Title: Time Turns
Series: Out of Time, Book Four
Author: C.B. Lewis
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: September 16, 2019
Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 123500
Genre: Science Fiction, LGBT, science fiction, gay, transgender, British, anxiety attacks, time travel, super nerdy Scottish genius

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Synopsis

As a consultant analyst for the most technologically advanced firms in the country, Danny Ferguson knows he’s seen a lot of crazy stuff, but nothing comes close to his newest position at the Temporal Research Institute, the world’s foremost time travel organisation.

The corrupted piece of code Ferguson found on the TRI’s closed network is a serious concern for Lysander O’Donohue, the director of the TRI. Unable to trust his own people—any one of whom might be the source—he’s forced to put all his trust in Danny to solve the mystery of the corrupt code and find the identity of the enemy within.

But when an unexpected temporal gate opens, a straightforward code analysis becomes something a lot more complicated.

Excerpt

Time Turns
C.B. Lewis © 2019
All Rights Reserved

They said the veins of Danny Ferguson ran with coffee.

He told them to sod off as he downed his second espresso.

Cassandra snickered as she poured some milk into her own cup of tea. “Well, when you over-caffeinate and give yourself a heart attack and die, don’t come crying to me.”

“Ha!” Danny struck a dramatic pose, gazing into the distance. “I’m immortal!”

“You’re a knob,” Shiv said with a snort.

Danny ran his finger around the inside of his cup, catching the dregs, and licked them off. “Jealousy doesn’t suit you, Shiv.” He rinsed out the cup and set it down to dry. “Catch you at lunch.”

“One day,” Cassandra called after him as he headed towards the canteen door, “you’ll take your full tea break like a normal human being.”

Danny spun around. “And one day, you’ll beat my stats and get my bonus!” he called back and then widened his eyes in mock shock. “And one day, pigs’ll fly!”

“Knob!” Shiv repeated.

Danny grinned as he headed out into the hall.

The caffeine had kicked in already, giving him a nice buzz. He didn’t need it, but sometimes, a jump-start didn’t hurt when he was stuck on monitoring all day. It was the dullest part of the job, but he could hardly be on coding every day. It was only fair to give everyone else a chance to catch up.

He’d been working with IDD—International Digital Development—for nearly a decade, straight out of his PhD. They needed people with a good eye for coding and anomalies and had gotten his attention with a stupidly high salary that had exceeded all expectations.

Still, they couldn’t say he wasn’t amazing at his job.

He stopped at the door and waited for the scan to sweep his face, then held his fingertips over the sensor, tapping the pattern for the week. The door slid open, and he wandered into the sprawling office he shared with three other coders.

“What’d I miss?”

Ravi glanced up through the projection in front of him, raising his eyebrows. “In the ten minutes you were gone?”

“Rav farted,” Ekaterina said, pausing her own screen. “So much excitement.”

Ravi rolled his eyes at her. “Nothing. You missed nothing.”

Danny wasn’t surprised.

Monitoring could be bloody tedious. His quad had the week’s rotation on monitoring: a full day’s shift of sitting and auditing code for external clients, assessing for glitches and anomalies overlooked by the computers. Sometimes, there could be minor problems. Once in a while, it was a bug that could—if left alone—start a chain reaction and break everything. Mostly, it meant sitting on your arse all day, admiring the amazingly complex codes some of their clients had come up with.

He settled in his seat, reclining the chair back as far as he could.

The chair had been one of his greatest triumphs.

When he started working at IDD, he had one of the usual workstations with a standard ergonomic monstrosity of a seat—the ‘in’ thing for any office. Maybe they were scientifically good for you, but Danny hated it. He’d end up on his feet all day, pacing as he scanned the code, and, apparently, distracting people.

He had to sit, his manager had insisted because everyone else needed to concentrate too. Danny had agreed, and he’d ordered a better chair, paid for by himself. The fact that he chose the biggest, comfiest reclining armchair in the building was a minor technicality.

His boss had hit the roof about it, but Danny cheerfully argued the semantics. It ensured he worked his best; his numbers had shot up since he’d gotten it; no one was being distracted; and he’d paid for it out of his own pocket, so no harm done. He ended up winning the right to keep the chair.

Thus began a long and glorious rivalry with his line manager.

He pulled the projection of his latest project up in front of him, wrapped it around the front of the chair, and set it scrolling. This particular vast batch came from some anonymous external client. He’d worked with their stuff before. Once you were familiar with a particular style of code, you didn’t easily forget it.

Sometimes, they were told who the clients were.

Most of the time, they were left in the dark.

They could make guesses, but it was anyone’s money because unless some big news story broke as a result of something they’d uncovered, the likelihood of finding out the client’s identity fell somewhere between slim and nil.

Danny put on some Rachmaninoff in his headphones and settled back to focus on the code whirling around him. Beautiful, complex, and intricate with layer upon layer folded into it, whoever had written it had to be doing some incredibly hi-tech stuff.

Purchase Links

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Meet the Author

C.B. Lewis is small, Scottish and writes pretty much anywhere, any time. She loves to travel and tends to bring home at least four new plot bunnies from every trip she goes on. She’s very excited to continue the adventures of the Out of Time series.

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