Now Available: Loose Ends by Jeff Erno

Loose Ends
Author: Jeff Erno
Genre: Mystery and Detective; Gay romance
Imprint: Ai Press
Length: Novel
Price: 3.99 USD

Cover art: Louca Matheo

Buy from: Amazon Kindle|BN Nook|Kobo Books|Google Play

Homicide detective Tucker Brown hasn’t always made the right decisions, but one thing about his life he’ll never regret is his son Jaydin. While at the hospital for his four-year-old’s tonsillectomy, he encounters Jaydin’s nurse, Ivan Ramsey. Tucker is taken aback, however, when he discovers he’s been assigned to investigate the potential murder of Ivan’s mother.

Ivan Ramsey is a pediatric nurse, and he loves his job more than life. Raised in a devoutly religious family, he’s not yet out to a lot of people, but on the very night he chooses to come out to his mother, she dies tragically in a house fire. Devastated by the news, Ivan all but falls to pieces, and to make matters worse, a cocky, know-it-all police detective shows up asking nosy questions. The cop implies his mother’s death might not have been an accident and even infers a family member might be responsible.

Tucker and Ivan at first clash. Their strikingly different personalities are oil and water, but soon they begin to work together to determine the real cause of Ivan’s mother’s death. In the process, sparks begin to fly and a romance ignites. Ivan falls hard, not only for the sexy detective but also his adorable son.Tucker, equally smitten, has made some discoveries he can’t yet reveal to his lover. There are so many loose ends and unanswered questions for both of them, and when the truth finally comes out, it just might tear them apart.

Excerpt:

For the next week, Ivan functioned on auto-pilot. There was so much to do, so many things Ivan’s father needed help navigating. Although his parents had already made final arrangements, they still had to plan the funeral. Ivan had to pull himself together and be strong for his dad’s sake. He’d had his moment, his complete breakdown. His mother, of all people, would want him to remain stoic going forward. She’d expect him to face tragedy with a degree of dignity. She’d always concerned herself with appearances, and the last thing she’d want would be for her son to lose it in public.

He allowed himself to go numb and suppress his intense emotions. It was the only strategy that allowed him to greet and thank so many people who’d reached out to the family with expressions of condolence.

With his parents being so active in the church, the entire congregation seemed to be involved in the memorial. For the most part, the church ladies were very sweet, and they all had very kind words for Ivan and his family. They also had no concept of moderation, at least when it came to food. They not only prepared massive quantities of casseroles, sandwiches, salads, and desserts for the memorial, but they delivered equally as much food to Brandon’s house.

And after the closed-casket service and the interment, Ivan’s father faced a mountain of paperwork. They had death certificates to obtain, creditors to contact, insurance companies to notify. The home owner’s insurance was the worst. His father had lost everything, and they had to try to compile an inventory and determine replacement costs on every item. That process would have been painful enough in and of itself, but the death of his mother made it all the worse. Every detail—every physical item lost—was tied to a memory.

As horrific as the process was, Ivan felt a twisted sense of appreciation for all the busy work. It allowed him to remain focused upon his mom. The obvious challenges they faced during their time of transition at the very least gave Ivan pause, allowed him to think about how complex life was and how many people were touched by the life of one individual. Had she simply been buried and forgotten, had life just gone on as normal, Ivan wasn’t sure he’d have been able to cope. He welcomed the turmoil and chaos and viewed them as proof that his mother’s life had mattered.

But when a police detective showed up, and a member of the media cornered Ivan, Brandon, and their father one morning at a restaurant, asking questions about how Mrs. Ramsey had died, Ivan became concerned. And annoyed.

“What was she talking about?” Ivan sat across from his father at the local diner. Ivan turned to his brother. “That reporter, what did she mean? It was a fire. An accident.”

“Apparently, they’re not sure it was an accident.” Brandon took a sip of his water.

“Of course it was an accident.” Ivan stared directly at his father. “And why’d that detective contact me? He wants me to meet him for an interview.”

David Ramsey leaned back, straightening his posture in the chair as he scrubbed a hand across his face. “I didn’t want to tell you everything yet… I mean, until I knew for sure. But there was an autopsy conducted. Routine, really. And the fire was determined not to be the cause of death.”

“What?” Ivan leaned forward, elbows on the table. “What the hell, Dad? What are you saying?”

His father looked at him sternly, perhaps in response to Ivan’s language. He took a deep breath.

“Sorry, I didn’t tell you because…It was just too much to deal with.”

“Dad, how did she die then?” Brandon’s tone was more measured.

“Apparently she was shot.”

“Shot!” Ivan and Brandon spoke in unison.

“The police think someone killed your mother and then set the fire to try covering it up.”

“No!” Ivan shook his head. “This is crazy. Why? Why would someone do that?”

“That’s why they want to talk to all of us,” Brandon surmised. “They want to find out which one of us had a motive to kill our own mother.”

David raised one hand. “Now just a minute. Hold on, and quit…” He took a deep breath. “Try not to get emotional about this. The police are just doing their job. They know someone killed your mother, and they have to question everyone. Of course, they’re going to start with us first. Once we are eliminated as suspects—“

“Suspects?” Ivan nearly shouted. “Why would someone kill my mother? And why on earth would they ever suspect Brandon or me…or you.” He stared at his father.

“Well, of course we didn’t kill your mother. It had to have been a burglary or something. Someone broke into the house. Lord knows why. We have no idea what, if anything, they took. It’s not like we can take an inventory at this point. But whoever did it probably killed your mom to keep her from identifying them.”

“And to get away,” Brandon added.

“Right.” David looked into Ivan’s eyes as he reached across the table and placed one hand on his son’s wrist. “The police are just doing their job. Just cooperate with them, because we want more than anyone for this monster to be caught. The sooner they clear our family, the sooner they can find the killer.”

Ivan again felt as if he’d been body-slammed. The news was unfathomable. It sounded like an episode of Forensic Files or NCIS. This shit didn’t happen in real life. Not to him and his family.
After lunch, Ivan excused himself, saying he needed to head back to his apartment. When he got to his car he retrieved a business card from his pocket that Detective Viviano had left him. “This is my partner’s card. He’s leading the investigation. Detective Brown.” Ivan stared at the card, trying to recall why the name sounded so familiar. He dialed the number.

“Detective Brown.”

“Hello, this is Ivan Ramsey. Your partner left me your card and said I needed to contact you.”

“Oh yes. Hello, Ivan. Thanks for returning my call. I just need to talk to you about—“

“About who killed my mother.”

“Yes, I’m so sorry for your loss.”

“Look, I don’t appreciate your insinuations. I know you think someone in our family did it, but that’s utter bullshit.”

“No, I don’t assume anything like that.”

“And don’t you think my father has enough to deal with at a time like this? Shouldn’t you be out looking for the murderer instead of harassing us? We’re the victims here.”

“I want to catch the murderer more than anything, but in order to do that, I need your cooperation. Like I said, I’m sorry. I wish there was some other way.”

“I’ll come in right now for your interview.”

“That would be wonderful. Or I could meet you somewhere.”

“I’ll come to the police station. I’ll answer your questions, but then I want this to be over with. I want you to catch my mother’s killer and quit wasting time.”

“That’s the plan.”

“Good!” Ivan ended the call.

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Posted in Available Books, Jeff Erno, Mystery/Romantic Suspense, Novel length | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Now Available: Peridot Dreams (A Wizard in Waikiki, Book 2) by A.J. Llewellyn

Peridot Dreams
Author: A.J. Llewellyn
Series: A Wizard in Waikiki Book Two
Previous Book: A Wizard in Waikiki
Genre: Gay Romance
Imprint: Ai Press
Length: Novella
eISBN: 978-1-937796-66-2
Price: 2.99 USD

Buy from Amazon Kindle|BN Nook|Kobo|Google Play

Cover art: Les Byerley

Tall, dark, magical and ready for a lifetime commitment…or is he? When Kono is transported back to ancient Hawaii, his lover from that time has been waiting for him. Konu must clear the confusion in his heart. Jason in the present or Loho?

Ancient Tahitian wizard Konu has settled into daily life in Waikiki, Hawaii. Entrusted with a sacred mission to bring healing and hope to the islands, he begins to grieve his past more and more. Ripped away five hundred years ago from his lover, Loho, he has found a new relationship with Jason, who runs a local homeless shelter. But things are not easy. Jason is stressed, busy and not easy to connect with.

Things take a strange turn when Konu finds himself in old Waikiki as it was five hundred years ago. There is Loho waiting for him. Konu wants nothing more than to be in his lover’s arms, but he loves Jason, too. Then a young girl vanishes, having followed Konu into the mystical realm. Her disappearance causes a great spiritual catastrophe only Konu can avert, but how does he get back inside those beautiful, brilliant, peridot dreams?

Publisher’s note: Peridot Dreams was previously published. It has been edited for re-release with Ai Press.

Excerpt:

It made Konu feel sad sometimes that the one thing he wanted in this life, apart from Jason, was his horse and he had nowhere to keep him.

“Mingo and I have already filed a case with the state. Oh, God, Konu. You drive me crazy.”
“Is that good or bad?”

“Both. I fucking want you all the time.”

“That’s good.” Konu reached out for a plum from the koa wood bowl on the table. “I want you all the time, too.”

“Don’t start. When you look at me…” Jason shook his head. “I’ve got stress this morning, babe.”

“If I sucked your cock you’d feel better.”

“No!” Jason shrieked. “If you do that I’ll never leave this house.”

Konu stared at him. “I would find that delightful.”

Jason ran a hand through his hair. “Not now, babe. God…”

Konu watched the way Jason fielded the phone calls and text messages.

He waited until Jason stopped talking. “Mingo McCloud thinks I have a very good case for…what does he call it?”

“Immigration asylum.”

“Right.”

Jason said nothing. He poured more coffee.

“When I have this, when I have this… formality, will you marry me?”

“We’ll discuss it.” Jason was busy tapping text messages into his phone. It hurt Konu that Jason wouldn’t say yes. He didn’t know what else to say. He went for the truth.

“Is the I.D. the only reason you won’t say yes?”

Jason smiled again. “One of them. Listen, I’m crazy about you, but this five hundred years old schtick is a little freaky. Then there’s what you did to Lionel.”

“I didn’t do anything to Lionel.”

“You told him he was going to die.”

“And I was right. If he hadn’t been to a doctor he would never have known how deadly the tumor is. I could have fixed it, but he didn’t want me to.”

Suddenly, Konu was enjoying his coffee a whole lot less. Why was Jason so angry with him?

“You have this gift and it’s wonderful…” Jason let out a ragged sigh. “You just have to learn how to be more…circumspect in the modern world.”

“What is circumspect? Does that have anything to do with your cut penis?”

Jason laughed. “No, you Neanderthal, it doesn’t. It means you should be a little more cautious… be a little less honest with people.”

“Why?”

Jason leaned on the table with both elbows. “Talking to you is like talking to a kid.”

“Listen, things are confusing for me, too,” Konu said. “This new world is weird. Flushing toilets…buses, cars, hair dyes, perfumes. Pants that have zippers. Now these I totally dislike.”

“You dislike zippers? Why?”

“Because I fumble with them and I want so badly to be able to suck your cock.”

“Dear God,” Jason said, putting his face in his hands. “And you’ve got to stop saying stuff like that in front of people.”

“Why?”

“Because it’s too much. This is private information.”

This confused Konu who had been taught honesty in all things. “Okay,” he said, trying to find a compromise. ”I can work on that, but it doesn’t mean I don’t want to suck your cock.”
Jason gave him a solemn look. “Glad to hear it.”

“See, there are things I dislike about the modern world but do I blame you?” Konu lifted his hands, as if in surrender. “No, I don’t. So you shouldn’t blame me for coming from a different time and times.”

“Fair enough.” Jason drained his coffee. “I have to drive over to Ewa Beach before sunrise. I have Child Protective Services meeting me there for a surprise dawn raid on the new families.”

“Okay.” Konu was desperate. He didn’t want to part for the day without some hope of marriage with Jason. “Mingo McCloud’s getting married,” he said.

“Yes, sweetheart, I know. But he and Francois have been together a long time and besides, they have Francois’ son living with them. That’s a different situation.”

“How long should we be together before we get married?”

“I don’t know.” Jason sounded exasperated. “I have to jump into the shower and get ready. If you promise to be good and not get naughty, we can shower together.”

“If I must.” Konu’s face must have reflected the misery he felt. Jason moved out of his seat and came to him. Konu pulled the man onto his lap and kissed him. Jason squirmed at first, but with Konu’s hand tugging gently on Jason’s cock, it was evidently hard for Jason to keep up his stern expression. He began to gasp.

Konu’s cock hardened against his lover’s wonderful ass cheeks and he would have loved to fuck him, but he decided sucking Jason’s cock would relieve some of his stress and send him out the door with a smile on his face.

He picked Jason up and propped him on the kitchen table, Jason’s knees hugging Konu’s head. His legs and ass opened up to Konu who began with a long slow lick across Jason’s ass cheeks, along his ass crack and to his balls, which for some reason Jason always shaved. Konu wasn’t sure it was a bad thing since it made the ball sac look so huge. He tugged with gentle lips on first one ball, then the other. He moved back to Jason’s ass which smelled and tasted of Konu. They had, after all, been making love all night.

Jason started to make a racket.

“Oh, my God,” he said over and over, leaning back, feeding his balls and ass to Konu, who knew Jason’s body so well now that he knew the right moment to pull back and find another sensitive spot to pleasure. He licked along Jason’s inner thighs, his lover jerking underneath him. Jason suddenly grabbed Konu’s head and shoved his cock into his mouth. Konu could hardly breathe the way Jason was humping him, but he didn’t care. Jason was close to coming. He worked on breathing each time he came back up as he sucked Jason’s huge, rigid shaft and plunged back down again.

He decided to make his lover wait. Jason went berserk, hollering when Konu picked him up and carried him down the hallway into the bathroom.

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Now Available: In Her Wildest Dreams by Sedonia Guillone

In Her Wildest Dreams
Author: Sedonia Guillone
Genre: Paranormal, Contemporary Romance
Length: Novella
Price: 1.99 USD

Cover art: Louca Matheo

Buy from Amazon Kindle|BN Nook|Kobo|Google Play

A gorgeous naked man haunts Ellie Morgan’s dreams. He comes to her bed, wanting to touch and kiss her, but she always wakes up before anything happens. When her life gives her heartbreak, she flees to her ancestral farm in Maine, the home her grandfather left her. However, when she gets there, she finds her dream man living in her house. Not only is he real, but he’s claiming that the house belongs to him!

Zachary Abrams doesn’t understand why this sexy blonde took one look at him and fainted in his driveway, but he’s determined to find out. As he and Ellie begin to unravel the mysterious thread that brought them together, the answers they find are beyond what either of them could have imagined. A bond, formed in the distant past, before either of them was born, decided that they were each other’s destiny…

Excerpt:

Elizabeth watched the half-naked man standing in her bedroom doorway. His white robe was loosely belted, and she could see the outline of his chest, delicious hillocks of muscle with a dusting of silky dark hair.

She could not speak, only stare as he stepped into the room, wearing an expression in which she could see his hunger for her.

“Hi, Ellie.” His voice was a seductive whisper. He stopped at her bedside, looking down at her. “I’ll give you everything you need.”

Ellie’s heart pounded. Her body came alive with desire, falling open, like a flower.

He undid the belt of his robe, revealing a god-like body, a carved sculpture, like those Greek athletes she’d lusted after in museums.

This couldn’t be possible, this incredible man, wanting her, bending over her, bringing his face close to hers. She could feel his body heat, caressing her, shimmering through her, with the promise of her every fantasy fulfilled. She closed her eyes, waiting for his kiss…

Ellie sat bolt upright, awakened by the grinding of gears and roaring motor of the weekly garbage truck on her street. She rubbed her eyes as she realized she’d been dreaming. Her body still pulsed with desire, desire unfulfilled.

Disappointment flooded her that Darren wasn’t there. She loved cuddling with him in the morning, but he’d gone home last night, saying he had to be up early for an important meeting.

She sighed and pushed the covers back, her sadness coming over her as it did each morning, when she thought of her grandfather’s funeral. It had only been two weeks ago, and she just couldn’t find the energy to do her work. The reading of the will was today. If it weren’t for that, she wasn’t sure she’d get up at all.

She forced herself to rise from the bed and put on her robe, listening to the loud beeping sound of the garbage truck backing up toward the curb.

I’ve got to get a grip. She trudged to the bathroom to splash cold water on her face.

Staring at her reflection in the mirror, she remembered her dream. The thought sent a frisson of pleasure through her body. The man, whoever he was (probably someone she’d seen in a magazine or billboard somewhere) was gorgeous. He’d had dark hair, chocolate eyes and a really sexy smile. Replaying that scene in her mind seemed to take the edge off her grief, a welcome relief after losing one of the people she’d loved most in her life.

Ellie patted her face dry with a hand towel. She tightened the belt on her robe and went to the kitchen to make breakfast for herself and her brother, Paul. As she went down the hallway, she found herself wondering how the dream would have unfolded if the truck outside hadn’t woken her.
* * * *
The sadness that had gripped Ellie earlier this morning returned in full force as she sat in the lawyer’s office. She gripped the plush leather arms of the chair as Jack Burnham’s voice droned in the back of her attention. She kept her gaze fixed on the blue sky and the sun’s reflection on the windows of the nearby John Hancock building. Paul’s hand closed over hers.

Ellis Morgan had left Paul the lobster trawler and left Ellie the farmhouse with its thirty-two acres of land, quarter mile of oceanfront, blueberry barrens and tillable field. He wanted both his grandchildren to have a source of income and security. Moreover, he had arranged for all the payments of homeowner’s insurance and property taxes to be paid through the lawyer’s office so that Ellie would not have to worry about it. He left Ellie’s father his retirement account and his stocks and bonds. Before she knew it, the reading had ended, and they were rising from their chairs.

Ellie was picking up her purse when she felt a hand on her shoulder. Jack Burnham, the lawyer who had handled the estate, was smiling at her. “Ellie, can I speak with you a moment?”
She furrowed her brow. “Of course.”
The lawyer guided her to the side as her father and brother filed out of the office, signaling that they’d wait for her outside. The older man cleared his throat. “I just wanted to tell you something, Miss Morgan.”
“Yes?”
“Your grandfather was definitely of sound mind and body when he formulated this will.”
Ellie raised her eyebrows questioningly. “I knew that. I saw him nearly every day until he passed on. He was always lucid.”
Burnham nodded. “Yes. I know. I just wanted to make sure you knew.”
“Is there something you’re not telling me?”
The man sighed. “No. There’s nothing I can tell you.” He patted her shoulder. “You have my condolences. Your grandfather spoke highly of you.”
Ellie nodded. “Thank you, Mr. Burnham. Excuse me, though, my family’s waiting for me.”
“Of course.” He stepped aside and waved her to the door.
Ellie smiled briefly and walked out, trying to shrug off the strange feeling left by her interaction with the lawyer. Oh well, she thought, he was just trying to be nice.

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Now Available: Barely Undercover (Kaz and Damien, Book 2) by Sedonia Guillone

Barely Undercover
Author: Sedonia Guillone
Series: Kaz and Damien, Book 2
Genre: Gay Romance, Mystery and Detective
Length: Novella
Price: 1.99 USD

Publisher’s content warning: frequent graphic sex scenes, M/M, anal, light bondage

Buy from Amazon Kindle|BN Nook|Kobo|Google Play

Cover art: Louca Matheo

Four blue ribbons from Romance Junkies! ~ BARELY UNDERCOVER by Sedonia Guillone is a fun and suspenseful m/m romance. Sedonia Guillone is one of my favorite authors, and this novella did not disappoint. ` Christina, Romance Junkies Reviewer

Kaz has been a jerk. Afraid to tell his long time lover about a health concern, instead, he makes a bunch of excuses about going undercover and makes himself rather scarce. When a case forces him to turn to Damien for help, he knows he finally needs to tell his lover the truth. Damien knows the love of his life wouldn’t just run out on him. Something is wrong. Even though he’s pissed, he wants his man back and when Kaz shows up to ask for help, Damien is determined to get the truth out of him, even if it means restraining him (in a sexy way) until he comes clean!

Publisher’s note: This book was previously published at Ellora’s Cave in 2007.

Excerpt:

Chapter One
Boston, Massachusetts

“Finally, dammit.” Kaz pressed the search warrant between his fingertips.

His informant had come through and the judge had supported Kaz’s affidavit of probable cause. As if there were any question that two indirect purchases made by Collins on the premises of Club Moritz would constitute probable cause. According to what Collins was able to glean, there was supposedly a shipment being stored in the club. In that case, Brady was using the Moritz to store and sell millions of dollars worth of cocaine and Kaz needed to take him down before he made the area unsafe.

Kaz could practically taste the end of this investigation. After six months of painstaking work, time and money spent on Collins—a former male prostitute with a record who was willing to trade information to escape arrest—a bust was within reach.

Well, almost. There was one little obstacle.

Kaz carefully folded the warrant and slipped it into his jacket pocket. He sat at his desk, the open case folder spread before him. The question remained of what was the most effective way to infiltrate the club and search for the stash without alerting Brady to a police presence.

Deep in thought, Kaz tapped his pen against his forehead while the phones and murmured voices droned on in the background of District A-1, Drug Control Unit of the Boston Police Department. There were several possible ways to infiltrate Club Moritz, but he had to pick the one that was the least risky both to the club’s patrons and to himself.

Club Moritz was a high-end gay nightclub famed for the hottest male strippers and dancers to show skin…lots of skin. Kaz had been to the place a few times in his younger years—not that thirty-eight was that old—and had met Damien there.

Well, met was not exactly the right word. Fallen head-over-heels, too-deep-to-get-out kind of love was more the way he’d put it. One glance up at that stage had done it. The show had just started and Damien writhed and slunk his way on. Of course, all the guys up there had been hot, but Kaz had gotten an instant hard-on watching Damien. Something about the guy, his sleek, muscular body, the delicious trail of chestnut hair down the center of his tight abs, that perfect ass and…well…killer green eyes, had made Kaz an instant love slave.

Kaz bit down on the end of his pen. He sighed and shifted in his seat. Don’t go there. Thinking of Damien was the only thing that ever distracted him from his usual bulldog way of grasping a case and working on it obsessively to the finish. Just picturing the guy in his mind made Kaz’s cock tingle.

After several more moments of considering, Kaz decided that undercover was definitely the correct track. He sketched a quick list of possibilities and went down the line. He could pose as a buyer, make a couple of direct purchases and then raid the place. No. He scratched that off the list. Cocaine and guns always went together. The club was on Tremont Street, a busy area and Kaz refused to jeopardize the lives of innocent bystanders who could get caught in possible crossfire.

Next possibility. Have his insider make some indirect purchases and try to find out where the stuff was stored. Then, when Kaz had enough evidence built up, stage a raid. Kaz scratched that one off too. It was too risky and too complicated to get an informant that involved in this particular case. One bad move and Brady and his goons would clear the place of every kilo before Kaz had a chance to set foot in there. All of Kaz’s work would be gone and he’d have to start again from square one.

Next choice. Bartender? He scratched it right off. He only knew how to make a few drinks and to learn enough about cocktail making to look natural would take time and energy he didn’t have.
Bouncer. Scratch. The position would familiarize him with the faces going into the place but wouldn’t allow him enough time inside to search.

That left…stripper.

Kaz raked a hand through his hair. That he could do. He was athletic enough and had the muscular build needed to be considered attractive enough to show it off. And, with a little coaching, he could learn the moves that would make him a convincing stripper.

His heartbeat sped up a bit and butterflies kicked up in his gut. There was only one person he knew of who could teach him in a pinch how to be a male stripper.

Yeah, and that same one person came with a big problem.

Damien Royce hated his guts.

Kaz sighed again. He went to scratch the word stripper off his list and paused, pen hovering above the paper. His mind flickered over the other possibilities again. Each one came up sorely lacking. Stripper was the only one that really worked.

He had no choice. He had to move as quickly as possible and search the place before Brady had a chance to move his inventory elsewhere.

Kaz’s stomach tightened and he checked his watch. If Damien still taught English at the University of Massachusetts Boston campus, he was probably in class right now. Barely a few minutes’ drive away. Kaz sighed again and rose heavily from his desk. He’d have to take a chance that Damien loved him enough to hear him out.

Posted in Available Books, BDSM, Mystery/Romantic Suspense, Sedonia Guillone | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Now Available: A Man for Michael by Sedonia Guillone (Interracial Gay Romance, Sports)

A Man for Michael
Author: Sedonia Guillone
Genre: M/M romance, gay romance, sports romance
Imprint: Ai Press
Length: Novella
Price: 1.99 USD

Cover art: Louca Matheo

Buy from: Amazon Kindle|BN Nook|Kobo|Google Play

One look gave him the courage to fight for his life…

Cory Chow has grown up in the dark, violent world of the underground fight cages, defeating men much larger than himself, night after night, year after year. As the slave of a dangerous London gangster who trapped him as a child, Cory has known nothing else. Yet his soul craves light, love and affection. Now on a grand tour of the underground fight world of the United States, he doesn’t see any other way out than throwing a fight and getting himself killed. Until… a look from a handsome stranger on the sidelines gives him a ray of hope. He has one slim chance to dare it all: escape or death. A risk Cory is willing to take for his freedom and a chance at love…

Excerpt:

Finally, after the last guy had been knocked unconscious and lay in a heap, blood running down his face, Donnie made a show of signaling his two runners to come out and drag the defeated fighter out of the pit-cage. Someone stomped their foot near the pit and soon the entire club filled with the roaring clamor of stomping feet and shouts of “Chow now! Chow now! Chow now!”

Like a benevolent master, Donnie held up his hand and nodded. Immediately, the chant gave way to cheers, hooting and clapping. In spite of everything Mike felt about this place, he had to admit his own blood had heated, his heartbeat quickening with the telltale anticipation of a good fight, not to mention his intrigue at Noodle’s description of the Chow. In fact, it was this Bruce Lee image of some gorgeous guy, muscles flexing as he leaped and kicked, that had really convinced Mike to come. Well, that and the fact that Noodle’s ass was on the line because he’d been to the loan sharks again.

Without another word, Donnie pointed to the entryway of the pit-cage and a runner pulled the gate back.

The crowd went wild and Mike’s body was pressed hard against the chain link sides. He succumbed to the weight against him and watched the first fighter come in, a beefy guy wearing nothing but tight studded leather in straps around his body. He was bald and wore a competitive scowl, which showed large rows of white teeth gleaming in the lights. A mixed round of cheers and boos followed this guy whose name he couldn’t remember from the tickets, caught up as he was by his own anticipation of seeing the Chow.

Leather Guy moved in a tight, beastlike circle of the pit, obviously trying to rouse support from the crowd. However, the cheers grew suddenly deafening and Mike knew why. Straining to see the gate through the lunge of bodies, Mike saw the star of the evening emerge at the pit entrance and caught his breath.

So unexpected was Mike’s physical response that he began to shiver.

The videos hadn’t lied. The Chow looked to be about five-foot-eight or so, his dark hair shorn almost to his scalp. Even through the press of the crowd, Mike could see the guy’s physical beauty emanating like a light. His skin, the color of roasted almonds, offset the sleekness of his muscles. His torso tapered into a V-shape and his shoulders were surprisingly broad for his stature. His hairless pecs were round and hard, the dark gold skin and brown nipples gleaming under the lights.

His face was a beautiful mask of intensity, and he stared at his opponent from large almond-shaped eyes. His full lips were parted, his breathing hard, his hands clenched in fists at his sides. Below he wore a pair of ratty-looking baggy pants and black slip-on shoes, the kind that guys wore in kung-fu films.

Mike’s heartbeat rose and something inside told him it wasn’t from anticipation of the fight. He found his gaze riveted on the Chow’s face, to the intensity blazing in his large eyes. Sweat erupted on Mike’s body that wasn’t only from the hot press of the crowd. The sensation of arousal curled in his groin and his cock twitched and started to harden.

That’s when he saw it.

A collar like a bulldog would wear, its shiny spikes glinting in the lights, was fastened around the Chow’s neck. Okay, Mike would have dismissed such an article as a gimmick. But then he saw the collar was attached to a leash, the other end of it held by a large goon, also in an expensive suit. No doubt that suit had also been bought by the Chow’s sweat and blood.

A sick feeling rose in the pit of Mike’s stomach at the sight of the leash, the bile churning in sharp contrast to the unexpected fanning of desire in his entire body. He swallowed hard, the roar of the crowd around fading to the background in his consciousness. It was just like a scene in a movie the way he blocked out the chaos and bloodlust around him to concentrate his attention solely on the Chow.

In the next moment, the goon holding the leash reached out and unclipped it. Before Mike could blink, the Chow bounded into the ring and leapt through the air. His hard, powerful body sailed in defiance of gravity, and one kung-fu shoe-clad foot pounded into his opponent’s beefy chest.
Leather Man staggered back, his mouth open in a stunned expression. He hit the chain link wall and growled. After a moment he gathered himself and charged the Chow. The Chow twisted and turned, avoiding the large body hurtling toward him and took a running jump. He ricocheted off the chain link wall and delivered another sharp kick.

Once again, Leather Man staggered back. To the galoot’s credit, he put up a lengthy, exciting fight. But the Chow’s punches, flying kicks and chops finally did him in. One last kick from the Chow left Leather Man in a heap in the center of the pit. The crowd’s thundering practically made the earth shake.

Donnie lumbered into the pit and held one of the Chow’s rippling arms up in the air to another rousing thunder of hurrahs. He turned the Chow this way and that, and Mike was captured by the sight of the Chow’s chest heaving from the adrenaline of the fight. Sweat gleamed off the Chow’s smooth, cut muscles, seizing Mike with the most wicked desire to lick the salty moisture right off the Chow’s skin.

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Now Available: Baggage by Jeff Erno (Interracial Gay Romance)

Baggage
Author: Jeff Erno
Genre: Gay romance
Imprint: Ai Press
Length: Novel
Price: 3.99 USD

Cover art: Louca Matheo

Buy from: Amazon Kindle|BN Nook|Kobo|Google Play

Another tender romance about the healing power of love by Jeff Erno, one of the best loved authors of gay fiction.

At thirty-eight years of age, Chandler finds himself single and caring for his brother Raymond, who suffers numerous health problems.

Mired in grief from the multiple deaths of close family members, he recedes into himself, crippled with anxiety and obsessive-compulsive tendencies.

Early one morning Chandler’s life is flipped on its end when he encounters his neighbor, twenty-five year old Marcus.

Nothing about a relationship with this young man makes sense. For one thing, Marcus is… well… YOUNG. He’s also biracial and has all kinds of tattooed muscles!

The streetwise Marcus introduces Chandler to an entirely different lifestyle, pulling the would-be hermit from his shell, albeit kicking and screaming. But how long can such a relationship last, and what about Raymond? Chandler fears a guy like Marcus, seemingly perfect in every way, won’t be able to truly accept Chandler with all his baggage.

An unexpected bombshell detonates and Chandler learns some unsavory details about Marcus, who he really is, and what he’s done in the past.

Finally, it’s Chandler who must decide if he can accept Marcus’ baggage.

Excerpt:

Four editing jobs waited for him, and if he worked non-stop, he’d be lucky to knock off one of them by late evening. He’d also promised to take Raymond shopping, and his nearly overflowing laundry hamper demanded his attention. If he didn’t take time out to fix lunch and dinner, Raymond would undoubtedly try mastering the kitchen on his own again.
He needed to remember batteries when they went to the store. Had to check the smoke alarms.
Suddenly Chandler realized his thoughts had carried him out of the present, and he was staring across the street, looking directly at the single-wide trailer adjacent to his corner lot. A young man, perhaps just a teen, hurried down the steps toward a car parked in the drive next to the trailer. Chandler had lived in the park for eight years and still didn’t know any of his neighbors, but for the most part he recognized them as familiars. Not this kid, though.
Had Chandler seen him before, he definitely would’ve remembered. The dim light of the early morning didn’t exactly help him focus, but the guy’s white, ribbed tank top—what some called a “wifebeater”—fit his trim physique like a glove. The style of his short, black hair made Chandler wonder if the young man was African American. Latino, perhaps. Hard to tell in the dim light.
The kid turned as he opened the car door and looked in Chandler’s direction. Chandler quickly averted his gaze, hoping he hadn’t been caught staring. Seconds later, he heard the engine trying to turn over. Didn’t sound promising, the slow churning. He must have a dead battery or alternator, or maybe it was the starter. Chandler didn’t know a whole lot about auto mechanics. That had been Daniel’s forte.
After multiple tries, the churning sound stopped altogether, only to start up again a few seconds later. Chandler didn’t want to just sit there staring, so he crushed out his cigarette and carried his coffee mug back inside for a refill. He listened intently, hoping the neighbor would achieve success and get his engine to turn over, but it certainly didn’t sound like the car was going to start. When the sound finally stopped and Chandler heard the slamming of a car door, he stepped over to his front door and peered through the screen. The kid rushed around his car and scurried up the porch steps inside.
Chandler had already smoked his two cigarettes. He should just close the door and go take a shower. He needed to get started on his manuscript so he could get as much as possible done before Raymond woke up again. There really wasn’t anything he could do to help the kid next door anyway. In all likelihood, a young guy like that wouldn’t want someone like Chandler interfering with his business.
He reached down for the doorknob at the exact moment he heard shouting. Chandler froze.
The sound came from across the street, carried in the clear morning to his doorstep, but he couldn’t make out what was being said. Two voices yelling at each other. The sounds had to be from across the street, from the young neighbor’s trailer. Chandler took a step back and placed his coffee cup on a nearby bureau. He leaned toward the door, listening for more shouting. He didn’t want to look through the door in case the neighbors glanced over and saw him watching. Another slamming door. Silence.
Whatever had happened must be over. The fighting had stopped. Sounded like someone had exited the trailer, slamming the door behind them. Maybe it was the kid. Maybe he’d decided to try once more with the car, or maybe he’d gotten someone inside to come help him. Cautiously Chandler moved closer to the door.
BAM! BAM! BAM!
Startled, Chandler jumped, his arms and shoulders twitching reflexively. He raised his head and gaped out the window. The neighbor boy… or wait, not boy… young man, stood before him.
“Uh, uh… ” Chandler stuttered, hands still trembling slightly as he tried to push open the screen. “Can I, um, help you?”
“Sir, I’m real sorry to bother you, but, well, I saw you sitting here a couple minutes ago, and, um… well, I hate to ask but I don’t know what else to do. I’m, like, kind of in a real bind, man. I’m….”
Chandler pushed open the door a few inches and took a step out onto the porch. The young man—definitely biracial—took a step back to afford Chandler space but kept talking.
“I’m starting a new job today, down at the steel mill. You know where that is? It’s like seven miles from here, and I gotta be there in like twenty minutes. My car… you heard my car, right?”
Chandler nodded.
“I can’t get it to start.”
“I, um….” Chandler took a deep breath, then exhaled. “I’m sorry.” He felt his shoulders sag, embarrassed. “I don’t even have jumper cables, and I’m not really much of a mechanic.”
“No, no. That’s cool. That’s totally cool. It’s my brother’s car anyway. He’ll have to fix it when he drags his lazy butt out of bed. I just need a ride. Sir, I’ll pay you. I swear. I mean, not today. I don’t have it today, but I’ll give you whatever. Like twenty bucks or whatever you want, soon as I get paid. I promise.”
“Oh.” Chandler looked into Sexy Tank Top’s big brown eyes, and it felt as if a piece of his own heart was melting. “Um… yeah, sure. I… uh… I, um, I’m not even dressed. Let me put on some pants.”
“You don’t gotta get out of the car.”
Chandler looked down at himself. He couldn’t possibly go out somewhere like this, not in his pajamas. Not in public. “It will just take a second—”
“Please!”
Chandler opened his mouth once more to speak, but then stopped. He nodded. “Okay. Sure. It’s no problem. I can do it… don’t got to get out of the car. Keys. I need my keys.”
He spun around to grab hold of the door handle and quickly pulled it open. A little too quickly. It banged into his head.
“Dude! You okay?” Sexy Tank Top’s hand gripped Chandler’s shoulder.

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Now Available: Surviving Elite High: The Next Generation – Senior Year!

Surviving Elite High: The Next Generation – Senior Year
Author: John H. Ames
Series: Surviving Elite High, Book Five
Genre: YA, Young Adult Romance, LGBT YA Romance, MM Romance,
Length: Novel
Price: 4.99 USD

Buy from Amazon Kindle|BN Nook|Kobo Books Coming soon to Google Play!

Cover art: Louca Matheo

Hit YA LGBT author, John H. Ames continues the series that has garnered adoring fans from every corner of the world!

The Fifth Book in the Surviving Elite High Saga! In Book 4, Surviving Elite High: The Next Generation years into the future after the first Surviving Elite High saga, Robbie Carroll, a teen with a mysterious past he still hasn’t remembered, was adopted by John and Nick, the now wildly successful loving couple from Books One, Two and Three, are the perfect parents, giving Robbie an amazing life: a cool and handsome brother, a beautiful sister, incredible friends and the perfect boyfriend. What more could he want? His life was perfect. Until Senior Year…

…When ghosts of the past come out to haunt Robbie and Tim, the man he loves, endangering them. Life plummets from its sunny highs to a shadowy realm where danger lurks around every corner, ready to spring at any moment. Four years at Elite High are about to culminate amidst shockwaves.

Senior Year promises to answer the questions that left readers hanging at the end of Surviving Elite High Who is this dangerous stalker and what does he want with Robbie? Was this man a shadow of his past? Will this man take away from him the happiness that took him years to find? Or will someone else rise to threaten Robbie’s life and the life of the man he loves? Find out now!

Excerpt:

“What are you doing?” Abby burst into his room. Knocking wasn’t in her skill set.

Robbie closed his journal. “Writing. But I’m done now. What you up to?”

“Got here about two hours ago.” Abby came over and dropped onto the bed beside him. “And I wanted to see what you were up to since you’ve been so quiet.”

“You got here two hours ago?” Where had Abby been? Had she been with Nicky again? Or Lily? He highly doubted it since Lily left very early with Oliver to pick up her grandparents at the airport. “Where have you been?”

“Listening to music with Nicky.”

Robbie took a deep breath. She had been with Nicky yet again. All summer long, they had spent a lot of time together. She had spent more time with Nicky than with him. What was going on between them? Should something be going on with them? Were they secretly dating or something? Would Abby do something like that to Taylor? Her best friend?

“You want to hit the mall?” Abby asked, cleaning up one of her fingernails with the other. “You can visit Tim while we shop.”

“We?”

“Yeah, Nicky and my fine ass.”

Once again, they were leaving him behind, but at least this time, he was going to be with Tim while they ran around the mall like two crazy idiots.

“Sure.” Robbie stood up and went to his walk-in closet. He took off his shirt and found a fresh one. As he put it on, he addressed Abby. “You heard anything about Taylor lately?”

“No I haven’t. In reality, I haven’t talked to her in days now. How is she?”

“Good.” Robbie put on his shoes. “She’s living the California life.”

“I’m happy for her. She’s moved on already and that’s good.”

“Yeah. I’m still hoping they get back together though.”

“Why?”

“Because they love each other.” Robbie walked out of his closet and found her sitting up, staring at him.

“And how do you know that?” Abby stood, folding her arms. She looked almost insulted.

“Maybe, they’ve both moved on to better things.”

“Who’s better than Taylor for Nicky?”

Abby sighed. “Come on. Let’s go before Nicky comes in here and drags us out. You know how much he loves waiting.”

Robbie rolled his eyes. “He’s so impatient! Like seriously, who would put up with him?”

“He does have a nice dick. That’s more than enough reason for me.” Abby held his hand and dragged him toward the door.

Robbie laughed, holding his stomach. “I saw his video online the other day.” They walked down the hallway that led into the kitchen and the living room. “It was there for a few minutes and then it was gone.”

“Is Uncle Nick still working on getting it offline?”

“Yeah. He has a whole team working on it, but people keep posting it. It goes up for a few minutes and then disappears into thin air.”

“Where are you two going?” John asked as they appeared from down the hallway. He was busily stirring something in a large pot. Their summer party was a few hours away and John still had a lot to cook.

Robbie knew better by now not to offer to help. John was a perfectionist and he needed to do everything himself in order to feel that everything was going as planned.

“We’re going with Nicky to the mall. Where’s Nick?”

“In his office. Have fun and please be back before four. I can assure you everything will be ready by then.” He stopped what he was doing and started to take out a few ingredients from the double door refrigerator. “I’m not panicking yet.”

“He’s so panicking,” Abby whispered into Robbie’s ear. “We will, Uncle John!” Abby pulled Robbie to the front door. “Let’s go and leave him be. You know how he gets when he’s cooking. He doesn’t want anyone around.”

Robbie chuckled. John was simply being John. Outside, they found Nicky in his car, waiting for them. He smiled with Abby and waved at Robbie. Smiled? He almost beamed after she appeared from the front door. What was going on between them? Why was Nicky staring at her that way?

“Took you long,” Nicky grumbled the second Robbie jumped in the backseat and Abby slid in next to him. “What were you doing? Painting your nails?”

“No, I wasn’t, you jackass.”

“I was talking to Robbie.” Nicky started his car. “Not you.”

Abby giggled, punching Nicky on his right biceps. “You’ve got to understand, Nicky, he was getting pretty for Tim.”

Robbie rolled his eyes. They were definitely at it again. “Why are you guys always picking on me all of a sudden? What did I do?”

“Nothing.” Nicky drove toward the front gate. “We just got nothing better to do than pick on you, Little Bro.”

“Clearly.”

“Stop picking on him, Dicky Head.”

“You’re always picking on him.”

“No, I’m not! You always start it.”

“No, I don’t!” Nicky drove toward the center of town.

“God kill me!” Robbie stared into the heavens above.

Nicky and Abby bellowed with laughter. She reached for the stereo and the car’s speakers exploded with a Bon Jovi song. They started singing their hearts out and completely ignored him. It wasn’t until they arrived at the mall that Nicky opened the door for him and acknowledged his presence. “You want to head to Juicy Shakes? Or want to drop by Tim first?”

Robbie was slightly upset with him and Abby as well. He had no idea why they started picking on him all of a sudden. “I’ll head to Tim’s store while you guys go about your business.”

“You sure? I’ll treat you to that Kiwi Blast you love so much.”

Robbie ignored her. “It’s okay. I want to be alone with Tim, too.”

Too. That was the perfect word to end his sentence. Nicky and Abby glanced at each other, looking a little uneasy. He needed to let them know he was on to them.

“Okay. If anything, call me, Little Brother.”

“Will do, Big Brother.” Robbie turned around and walked away.

They were definitely dating! Those two bastards were a couple. He had no doubt about it now. But why would they hide it from him? Who were they hiding from? His answer came to him almost instantly. Taylor. Did Taylor know that her best friend was dating her ex-boyfriend? Or was she in the dark like he had been? Now he understood why they picked on him all summer long. They wanted to bully his ass away so that they could spend some quality time together. How could he have been so stupid?

Robbie made a turn and headed down a set of stairs that led to Johnny’s Sports World. Suddenly, he froze, breathing heavily. Every hair on his body stood on end while his legs quivered. For a second, he saw him, the stranger in his dreams, but this time he wasn’t a vision. He was real as the day and night. The man looked extremely different in real life. He had large bags under his eyes, uncombed hair and a long bushy beard. His cold dead eyes, however, still sent shivers up and down Robbie’s spine. They were filled with lust, desire and hate. Could it really be him? Was he real? Robbie rubbed his eyes and focused on the stranger again who had now completely evaporated into thin air.

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Now Available: Speedy Rewards by Jeff Erno

Speedy Rewards
Series: Working Class Series
Number in series: Book One
Author: Jeff Erno
Genre: Gay Romance; Gay Fiction
Imprint: Ai Press
Length: Novel
Price: 4.99 USD

Flame rating: 4 Flames for highly explicit frequent sex scenes.

Cover art: Jay Aheer, Covers By Design

Buy from Amazon Kindle|Bn Nook|Kobo books|Google Play

Phil Mitchell pours his heart and soul into his job as manager of Speedy Mart, a local convenience store. He loves his work and he loves his fellow employees, but when it comes to his personal life, Phil is lonely and depressed and still pining for his long-departed ex.

He embarks upon the week from hell where anything that can go wrong does. It begins with a truck crashing into his outdoor sign and only goes downhill from there.

Add an asshole homophobic boss hell bent on seeing him fired and Phil realizes he needs to put into place a plan to save himself and his job.

First step in his plan… do something about his love life.

Meanwhile, Ezra, one of Phil’s team members, is dealing with his own roller coaster ride of a week.

As is Brandon, the local cop…

And Mark, the homophobic boss…

Perhaps, with a little… luck, the next week will be better.

Publisher’s note: This title was previously published at Wayward Ink.

Excerpt:

Chapter One
Phil

PHIL GLANCED down at the digital clock on his dashboard to confirm the time, 5:18 a.m., as he shifted into reverse and backed out of his driveway. He left for work at the same time every day and had done so for years. He pulled into his parking space, the same one he chose each and every day, at 5:25.

He then made his way into the store, first glancing at the gas pumps and outside displays to make sure everything was stocked and functioning properly. The Speedy Mart price ID sign, fully illuminated, seemed to be in working order. Once inside the building, he walked his store, checking each aisle to make sure there were no “holes”, empty spaces created by items that had gone out of stock. He fronted and faced a couple of sections that had been missed by the second- and third-shift employees. He then checked his coolers, ensuring they were functioning properly at the correct temperatures. He checked the floors, the bathrooms, the displays. Finally, he made his way into the office and picked up his clipboard, checking for notes that his assistant managers sometimes left him from previous shifts.

The morning crew arrived at six, and at least one of them was already in the building. Janine, by force of habit or sheer anal retentiveness, was as predictable as Phil in her routine. She showed up for her shift at least twenty minutes early every day. His other first-shift employees, Tiesha, Doreen, and David, were lucky to make it within the seven-minute grace period after their scheduled clock-in time.
“Morning, Ezra,” Phil said, nodding to his third-shift cashier as he walked past the front desk. “Store looks good today.” Phil smiled.

“Thanks!” Ezra said, grinning broadly. The twenty-two-year-old college student had worked for Phil for about four months and had proven himself quite competent. He tossed his head slightly to the left, flipping a shock of blond hair from his eye. Ezra had a cute face and a stellar smile, but his dark eyeliner and array of provocative tattoos suggested he was anything but the boy next door. Still, he possessed the perfect personality for dealing with middle-of-the-night customers, mostly drunks who stumbled in after the bars closed.

Phil’s convenience store did a kickass morning business. Within the first hour of his day, the store would fill with commuters and the registers would be rocking non-stop. Travelers on their way to work would stop for their morning coffee and breakfast sandwiches, fueling their cars and purchasing their smokes, munchies, and beverages for the day.

As he slipped back into his office and removed his lightweight jacket, hanging it on the same peg he used every day, he took a deep breath. Today, being Monday, would be extremely busy, and he’d be running his ass off until at least four p.m. That’s when he’d leave the store for the day, if he were lucky. More likely, though, he’d be here until five or six in the evening. The morning would consist of an onslaught of non-stop customers for the first four hours. After which, he’d then face a pile of banking responsibilities and bookkeeping paperwork. He’d have to write the following week’s work schedule, go through about fifty company emails, and check in a half dozen vendor deliveries which would arrive in the later part of the morning. Additionally, he’d count every pack of cigarettes in his store, as he was required to do each and every day. He’d inventory the three dozen books of lottery tickets on display at the check stands, along with the twenty-to-thirty unopened books in his safe. He’d audit all his cash, then prepare a supply order. Writing the order would consume at least two hours of his time, and he’d have to somehow manage to squeeze it in between the breaks and lunches of his employees.

In the afternoon, after all deliveries had been received and posted, he’d spend two to three hours in his walk-in cooler, filling the rows of soda pop and juice that had been depleted since the previous day. He’d spend a good hour or two outside his store, sweeping the lot and arranging his displays, and in addition to all of this, he’d undoubtedly find himself on the phone at least two or three times with his boss, the district manager.

“Phil, the register’s froze,” Janine said as she popped her head into his office.

“Seriously?” He shook his head and sighed. “Shit.”

“Welcome to Monday,” she replied, beaming a brilliant, sarcastic smile.

He followed her out of the office to the check stand. The register to which she referred was the first of four.
“Did you try the other two?” he asked, aware that the fourth register was currently still being used by Ezra.

“I always use this register,” she said, crossing her arms over her chest. “I don’t wanna be clear down there on the end.”

“Okay, I’ll sign on the end register under my numbers. You can run it while I get this one fixed; then you can move back over.”

“All right,” she said, pursing her lips.

Phil looked up at the line of customers already forming. They stood there glaring at him, obviously impatient and not wanting to wait even a few seconds. Why were people in such a damn hurry to get to work anyway?

He walked over to the far register and signed it on for Janine. Quickly he counted the drawer contents then stepped back so Janine could take over. He told Ezra not to begin closing out his shift until he had the broken register fixed, so at least he’d have two functioning registers operating to deal with the line of customers.
Rebooting the register wasn’t rocket science. He simply had to tilt back the monitor, locate the reset button underneath, and then wait for it to restart. While doing so, he checked all the cords to make sure everything remained securely plugged in, and by the time the register came back up, he noticed David had finally arrived.

“David, take over for Janine. You can run on my numbers until Ezra gets his register closed out. This register’s ready for Janine.”

“I’ll just take that register,” David said.

Janine turned from her customer and glared at him. “No way!”

“I want Janine on this register,” Phil said. He knew David really didn’t care which register he was on. He just liked jerking Janine’s chain. Everyone knew how bunched up she got about her routine, and the other employees sometimes deliberately goaded her by challenging her OCD. “Just do it, David. I’m not in the mood to argue,” Phil intoned.

At one time Phil had held high hopes for David. Surely the kid would quickly advance beyond his cashier position into management. He seemed bright and motivated when he first started, but after a few months, it all went to shit. Now he didn’t seem to care one way or the other, and Phil seriously doubted he’d stay with the company for long. This was just a job to him, a paycheck, and Phil really couldn’t blame him. Even if he did advance in the company, he’d never get to a point where he made a truly livable wage.

And therein lay the perpetual challenge Phil faced. He constantly battled staffing issues because it was difficult to find motivated employees willing to work long term for such low wages. In a retail environment, cashiering positions were considered entry level, and they paid little more than minimum wage. That kind of salary was not enough for anyone to live on, and most employees quickly grew discouraged. They got tired of working their butts off for a company that never rewarded them, and on top of everything, they also faced a barrage of often hostile, ungrateful customers who tended to look down their noses at the menial laborers.

Doreen and Tiesha breezed through the door next, sailing past Phil on their way to the time clock. Tiesha, the food steward, would man the coffee bar and restock breakfast sandwiches and roller-grill items. Though trained on register, she primarily focused on food and beverage and only operated the till during emergency situations like massive rushes or to cover for another employee’s break. She stood by the time clock tying up her apron when Margo stepped out of the back room.

“Girl, get a move on,” she said, one hand on her hip. “I got sandwiches getting cold.” Margo, the other food steward, worked in the back kitchen area, and had been slaving away for the previous hour preparing the breakfast offerings.

Tiesha waved her hand dismissively. “Fuck that,” she said. “Brianna kept me up all night, cryin’ with a earache.”

“Aww,” Margo said. “Poor baby, you got any drops?”

She nodded. “Yeah, took her to the free clinic yesterday and they gave us some drops, but they ain’t workin’ yet. She’s okay now, though. My ma’s at the house.”

“Do you need the day off?” Phil said, interjecting himself into the conversation.

She shook her head. “I need the money, and Ma knows how to take care of her.”

“Well, if you change your mind, I’ll put Doreen on food today and give you the day off.”

“No, no… I’m fine.”

“Doreen, you can take the open register,” Phil said. “Ezra’s closing down now.”

Phil had worked with a variety of employees over the course of the previous ten years at the store. Though confident he had a fairly stable staff, he knew in this business nothing lasted forever. The majority of retail service workers did not remain at one job for exceptionally long periods. He had a couple employees who’d worked for him more than five years, but most were lucky to remain employed with the company over a year.

People who made a living from paycheck to paycheck, hand to mouth, generally felt dissatisfied. Often they didn’t know exactly who to blame for their situation—the company, their boss, the customers, or themselves. They just realized there had to be more to life than working a thankless job and collecting a meager paycheck.

As Tiesha sauntered out to the coffee bar and began brewing some fresh pots of java, Phil watched her turn to smile at the customer who’d just walked through the door. One of the regulars, the tall, muscular African-American dressed in hip-hop fashion complete with a cap resting slightly askew atop his head, nodded to Tiesha and grinned. “Too damn early,” he mumbled.

“I hear that. You workin’ this early?”

“Else you know I won’t be outta bed, girl. Course I’m workin. Sucks… till now.” He stepped back and looked her up and down in an obvious manner.

“Get outa here,” she said, waving her hand at him. “I got me a man.”

“But you ain’t got this.” He held his arms out and pointed to himself.

“Pfft.” She rolled her eyes and turned away from him as he continued to stare at her booty.

“Buenos dias. ¿Como está, mi amigo?” Phil turned to greet the customer who’d just approached the counter.

“Bien, bien. ¿Y usted?”

Phil had learned conversational Spanish expressly for the purpose of communicating with the Latino customer base in his store. He began with an online software and studied for three years to get to a point where he could actually converse. The Latino customers, most of them drywallers and landscapers who frequented his business every morning, seemed to respect his efforts and often went out of their way to talk to him.

If he were completely honest with himself, he’d admit that he felt flattered, especially when a guy as hot as Humberto showed interest in him. He wasn’t delusional, though. He knew the young Latin stud had zero designs on him. Phil wasn’t young and hot, and the Latino construction worker probably wasn’t even gay.

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New Release! Barely Covered by Sedonia Guillone (#MMRom, #Mystery)

Barely Covered
Kaz and Damien, Book One
Genre: Mystery and Detective, Gay Romance, Gay fiction
Imprint: Ai Press
Length: Novel
Price: 2.99

Cover art: Louca Matheo

Buy from: Amazon Kindle | BN Nook | Kobo Books | Google Play

Boston homicide detective, Frank Kazaminsky does not want to stand around alone in a gay strip club . . . that is, until the next act comes onstage. Damien is the hottest guy Kaz has ever laid eyes on and he watches, completely mesmerized, as Damien strips down to a scanty G-string.

Unfortunately Kaz isn’t the only one who lusts after Damien’s luscious body. Another man wants Damien, whether Damien is willing or not, and Kaz must come to the rescue. Damien finds in Kaz the first person who’s ever protected him . . . and Damien has needed protecting in the past, desperately. The attraction between them is mutual and flares into lustful, delicious passion.

When Damien’s attacker turns up dead, Kaz must find the killer quickly. Otherwise Damien will go from being the love of Kaz’s life to the top of his list of suspects.

Publisher’s note: This book was previously published at Ellora’s Cave.

Coffee Time Romance Reviews Recommended Read
Sedonia Guillone once again showcases her amazing talent with Barely Covered. Damian is a wonderfully developed character that Sedonia makes all too human to the reader and clearly shows that being a stripper is more than the sum of their job. The investigation into the would be rapist and ultimate victim is conducted wonderfully and it is so very hot that Kaz puts his career on the line for the stripper he only spent one night with. Frank is a hero truly worthy of praise. Barely Covered should be savored; it is as delicious as the finest wine.
Delane
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More

Excerpt:

Chapter One
Boston, Massachusetts, thirteen years ago

Where was that jerk?

Kaz looked at his watch. Forty minutes was long enough to wait in a smoke-filled, noisy corner of this gay strip club Steve had talked him into as a meeting place. Pretty ballsy, especially knowing Kaz was leery of being here.
It wouldn’t look good for one of Boston’s finest to be ogling nearly naked men writhing their hips and asses onstage, even on his own time.

Kaz pulled his beeper from his pocket. It was Steve. Finally.
Fighting his way through the crowd, he found a pay-phone by the men’s room. Setting his drink down on top of the phone, he dialed. The sound of the club was muted a bit, so he could hear when Steve picked up on the second ring.

“Hello?”

“Steve, where the hell are you? Are you all right?” Kaz plugged his other ear so he could hear over the crowd.

“Oh Kaz! Damn. Sorry. I…got tied up. You know how it is.” Steve sounded a bit sarcastic and Kaz swore he could hear another guy in the background asking who Steve was talking to. In any case, the message was clear—the casual thing they had wasn’t working and Steve was trying his fortune with someone new, someone who wanted the real thing. The guy was passive-aggressive that way, Kaz had learned in recent months.

Anger surged hot but then Kaz took a deep breath. Maybe he couldn’t completely blame Steve. Steve wanted to be more important to Kaz than Kaz’s career—or at least as important. But with the bad press the Boston Police Department had been getting lately over its “failure” to bring in murderers, being a detective in the BPD homicide unit took more hours than he had to give. “Yeah,” he said finally, “I know how it is.”

Steve paused. The guy in the background called to him again. “Just a second,” Steve told the stranger then, “Kaz, is that it?”

Kaz exhaled. The impulse rose to leave and go to him, but then it faded. No sense in stringing Steve along. He could be a jerk sometimes, but he didn’t deserve to be hurt. “Yeah. I’m sorry.”
Another pause. “If you say so. Bye, Kaz.”

“Bye.” He hung up the receiver and picked up his glass. It hurt to have disappointed Steve, but better now than when they had a place together, two dogs and a joint bank account. To break off with him then would be just plain cruel.

Time to go. He went on duty at five the next morning, so better just to get home. Making his way back out to the main part of the club, he looked toward the entrance and huffed. The place was so mobbed it would take an hour just to get to the damn door.

“And now, gentlemen,” the announcer said over the cheering crowd gathered in front of the dance platform, “pure hard-on material is coming onto the stage in two seconds. Get ready to drool, guys, and give a warm welcome to…Damien!”

The crowd went wild, arms raised, practically rushing the stage. The sinewy, erotically driven beat of Berlin’s Sex started playing and colored lights blinked rapidly from one side of the platform to the other, making a light show in the center of the stage.

The press of the crowd forced Kaz back toward the wall. Oh well. He decided not to jostle his way out and instead leaned against the sidewall, avoiding the crush of horny guys waving bills. This Damien guy seemed pretty popular, having roused the biggest cheers of the night so far. With an eye to the stage, Kaz took a sip of his Perrier, his cop instincts having told him to remain sober from the second he’d walked into the place. Club Moritz might be Boston’s premier gay strip club, brawny bouncers and all, but there was a feeling here Kaz didn’t like. Something smarmy that had nothing to do with…

The spotlight panned to the far side of the stage where one arm appeared from the dark shadows. The mere sight roused another round of cheers, whoops and hollers. Kaz sipped his mineral water again. Theatrics had never impressed him.

“Come on! Get the hell out here!” someone nearby shouted.

Kaz’s gaze jerked to the owner of the voice, a big blond steroid monster in jeans and a t-shirt, drunk off his ass. Probably high too. Kaz had seen his type not make it into the police academy. Too much pumping iron mixed with steroid injections had drained all the blood from his brain. Kaz was big too, but being brawny didn’t mean a guy had to be a shithead. Had Kaz not been off-duty, he would have gone over there and questioned him in suspicion of being under the influence.

More cheers drew Kaz’s attention back to the stage. This Damien guy was in full view now.

Whoa. Kaz’s heart lurched. He lifted away from the wall and stared at the man, gaze glued to a strip of sinewy chest and abs just visible between the flaps of a billowy white shirt. Sweat gleamed on Damien’s skin and on the soft hairs glinting on his pecs. Kaz swallowed hard and he gaped openly at the treasure trail funneling down the center of Damien’s abs.

Damien moved then, flipping his head back. That drew Kaz’s look back up. Shaggy hair, the color hard to discern under the multicolored lights, framed Damien’s chiseled face. Damien wore a big sexy smile and his large eyes flashed with promise. Wow, those were some eyes, heavy-lidded yet full of life.

That wasn’t all, Kaz noticed, scanning the guy’s face as Damien drew closer to his side of the stage. Damien’s face was movie star perfection—softly sculpted lips, straight nose with one small bump, gleaming white teeth, right down to a tantalizing cleft in his perfect chin. As he danced across the stage and turned his back, his body-hugging black pants, shiny and smooth, set off his hard round ass so perfectly it almost appeared they were painted on. When he slunk back around to face the audience, those shiny pants did the same for that perfectly outlined package in front.

Hot damn. Kaz’s mouth watered. If Damien was supposed to make a guy drool and want to fit that cock in his mouth, he succeeded.

The beat of the song thumped through the air, made the ground vibrate, a backdrop to the jeers and catcalls of the nearly all-male audience. Damien danced back toward the middle where he halted center stage, took hold of either side of his shirt and yanked it open.

That tiny move earned another round of testosterone-filled yells. Kaz could only stare, frozen, as Damien slipped one arm of the shirt partway down, exposing a muscled shoulder. In time to the music, he wound his hips and then his upper body, making the shirt fall open just enough to reveal a coin-sized nipple.
Hot blood pumped through Kaz’s chest and gut, right down into his cock. He’d been watching hot guys strip up there for the last half-hour or so, but this Damien guy…

“Get those fucking pants off!” ’Roid monster’s drunken jeer sounded over the rest of the crowd.

What a frigging douche bag. For some strange reason, Kaz found himself hoping Damien hadn’t heard the lewd remark.
If Damien heard the guy, he gave no indication. He was busy teasing the crowd, whipping them into a froth. Slowly, sensuously he lowered the other arm of his shirt, exposing both shoulders, his chest and part of his chiseled abs. All the while those slim hips never stopped winding.

Kaz blinked. When he opened his eyes, Damien’s shirt was off his torso and flying into the crowd, into a sea of reaching hands where it disappeared. Kaz salivated some more, wishing he’d caught the shirt. The urge to press it to his face and breathe in Damien’s scent seized him.

Shit! What the hell was going on with him? Since when did he want to smell a guy he’d never met?
There wasn’t time to wonder about it. Damien’s entire upper body showed now. The spotlight overtook the multihued lights, giving Kaz a glimpse of Damien’s real coloring—hair, a rich chestnut, skin tanned, nipples the color of warm cinnamon. And eyes… Damien turned and wound his way downstage again, in Kaz’s direction, making Kaz especially grateful for his hawklike eyesight…eyes—a rich shade of green.
The guy was magnificent.

Kaz’s heartbeat sped up and heat simmered between his t-shirt and skin. Even the blond ’roid monster’s lewd yelling close by faded into the background as Damien continued to dance.
Hands locked behind his head, Damien ground his hips in sensual circles, turning front and back, driving his audience to a pitch. Dollar bills cascaded through the air, showering the stage like paper rain.
Damien’s face broke into a wide, dazzling grin. He halted, both hands on one side of his waist.
The crowd roared.

Kaz gulped. Damien was working open his pants from the side. The black material hid a zipper that…inch by inch Kaz could see ran the length of Damien’s leg.

Slowly, torturously in time to the sinuous beat of the music, Damien lowered the zipper.

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Now Available: She Belongs To Them Both by Sedonia Guillone

She Belongs to Them Both
Author: Sedonia Guillone
Genre: Menage; M/F/M; Paranormal; Shapeshifters; Werewolves
Imprint: Ai Press
Length: Super novel
Price: 2.99 USD

Cover art: Louca Matheo

eBook page count: 185

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Two werewolves are her chosen mates for life!

A paranormal romance that will take you from Boston’s legendary Chinatown to Beijing to the plains of Tibet…

Since he was bitten three years ago on the plains of Tibet, Jie Sing has fought back the ravening beast inside him. His attempts are unsuccessful until the stars lead him to the woman destined to be his mate, half a world away in Boston’s Chinatown. Fighting a deadly rival to keep her, Jie finds that in Megan’s arms, their passion keeps the beast at bay. Then Jie receives an urgent call summoning him back to China. Jie’s ex-wife in Beijing has accused Jie of attacking her in the street and had him arrested. But that’s impossible, seeing as he’s in America with Meg! Who is this “twin”—and why does Meg need to make love to both of them?

Publisher’s note: This book was previously published at Ellora’s Cave Publishing under the title, Kiss of the Werewolves.

Excerpt:

Only then did she become aware again of their surroundings. The motors hummed and vibrated through the small space, reminding her they were in the plane lavatory. She couldn’t help smiling to herself. Before Jie, something this wonderful, this erotic would never have happened to her.

Finally, when they were rested, they maneuvered in the tiny space, worked around each other to do up their clothing. Once dressed, Jie took her in his arms again and nuzzled her hair. “Now,” he said softly, “we should both try to get some sleep.” His hand slipped into her hair, cradling her head. “As soon as we get to the hotel and settle in, I have to contact Su Lin.”

Meg sighed. “I know.” She wished she could just enjoy the languorous aftermath of their lovemaking without the specter of meeting Jie’s ex-wife hovering. She was tempted to ask Jie to just let it go, not to bother defending himself. But she knew how guilty he felt and how important it was that he was cleared of Su Lin’s accusation.

She let her thoughts wander to the stranger whom Su Lin thought was Jie. A strange tingle shimmered down her spine. Who was this man who looked so much like Jie that Su Lin thought he was her ex-husband? As a woman, she felt she would know Jie anywhere, even if he’d changed physically and she hadn’t seen him in a long time. She had taken Jie into her body and heart. He was imprinted on her very soul, as no doubt, he was on Su Lin’s. That thought made jealousy simmer deep in her gut, relieved only by Jie’s tender adoration.

Jealousy aside, the truth remained. There was something strange going on—though it couldn’t possibly be more bizarre than the fact that the man she loved changed from a man into a wolf-like beast at every full moon. They would obviously have to see this mysterious stranger and Jie would need to identify him while they were in Beijing in order to prove to Su Lin and to the authorities that he had been in the United States at the time of the stranger’s arrest.

“What are you thinking, Meg?” Jie’s gentle tenor cut through her musings.

She looked at him. Guilt snaked through her for all her private thoughts. She searched her heart for the words she really wanted to say. Now was no time to express fear and jealousy. “I was thinking how much I want everything to work out.”

He rested his hands on her shoulders and nodded. “Me too,” he murmured.

Jie left the lavatory first and she followed him after washing her face and smoothing and repinning her mussed hair. Then she went out and took her seat next to Jie, trying to get some rest with her hand laced in his.

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