Now Available: Ghostflower (Banpaia, Book 2) by A.J. Llewellyn and D. J. Manly

Ghostflower
Authors: A.J. Llewellyn, D.J. Manly
Series: Banpaia, Book 2
Genre: M/M Romance; Vampire; Dark Fantasy
Length: Novella
Price: 2.99 USD

Cover art: Louca Matheo

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

Feng and Russell have made a life together in LA’s Chinatown, except that Feng has no memory of the centuries-old vampire, the imperious, mysterious Banpaia, who abducted then returned them and dozens of other men to their everyday lives.

Feng had fallen in love with Banpaia, who also fell in love with Feng, only to allow the man he’d chosen to be his life mate to return to earth and try to live a human existence. As Feng’s happiness and very life force ebb away each day, Russell is growing stronger. He remembers the great vampire and uses his memories to great manga. Time may be growing short for an increasingly despondent Feng unless he can remember his one true love and go to him willingly, before the next Halloween…

Chapter One

The dream always started the same way. He saw himself as a little boy, standing on the lapping shorefront of a beach as waves crashed around his ankles. Even in dream, he could feel the deep chill of the foamy water as a little girl beside him blew bubbles into the air. Holding his toy sword aloft, Feng Li ran through the water, chasing the bubbles and hacking them in two, breaking the shimmering shells of rainbows the perfect spheres had formed. The first night he’d dreamed it, he awoke in tears, wondering who the little girl was. His feelings for her, his desire to connect had been the closest he’d come to feeling anything in months.

Now he knew she was his cousin. He longed to touch and talk to her. He needed to know why they had been separated…only now the dream kept going. The bubbles he burst left tears. Tears of blood. They fell on his cheeks. He heard voices whispering.

Remember.

He waits for you.

Who waited for him? He loved Russell, his best friend turned lover, but since the strange incident of Halloween almost a year ago, he’d felt so disconnected and isolated from everyone else. He, Russell, and several friends of theirs had all vanished into another realm. When he returned, he could see and taste, think and feel, but he was invisible to others. Especially, his abusive parents. It had scared him at first and even now he didn’t fully understand because he’d slowly regained his ability to communicate, to be seen and heard. It didn’t feel so good, though.

It didn’t feel right.

“Aren’t you happy? Russell always asked him. “Isn’t it just great to be alive?”

Not really. At the age of twenty-three, Feng hovered between misery and apathy, but never let it show. He caught glimpses of another time and place. A man…

When Feng thought of him, his heart filled with joy, inexplicable wholeness that kept him buoyant for days. He turned in his sleep, aware of Russell’s even breathing beside him. Good. He was asleep.

Feng returned to the dream, seeing drops of blood falling from the bubbles his cousin had blown and he had destroyed. The blood fell on his cheeks and down to his feet.

Feet. He suddenly became aware of dancing feet. A row of women in beautiful, long, pale green dresses with over-sized sleeves began dancing and singing in front of him. Their moves were so graceful but so often extended it looked as if they might be marionettes on the verge of falling. The music was whimsical, their steps entrancing when he caught glimpses of them under the sweep of their gowns.

His gaze flew up into the face of a beautiful young woman. He knew her. And she knew him. With each swirl of her long sleeves, she aged before his eyes.

Mrs. Wei!

Who was Mrs. Wei? He searched his memory. It was just there. Just out of reach. He knew she was dead. He knew he missed her. He begged her not to leave him. For the second time in three nights, his heart, his feelings of love were coming back to him. He knew he missed Mrs. Wei dreadfully.

And then he remembered, he’d found her dead body. In life, she’d been a famous ta ge dancer as a young woman. Then she’d aged. Her movements as he watched were graceful and gorgeous. She was no longer in pain. She charmed and touched him. But how did he know her?

The woman and all those around her formed a pattern like petals, their skirts billowing with slashes of crimson as they danced in small, tight circles. They sang like angels.

Angels!

Remember!

Mrs. Wei stepped forward. “You must return to him. You must remember. You must go back. His sacrifice is too great. You must return when the ghost flower blossoms.”

“No!” he yelled as one by one, the women popped and disappeared, small rainbows on his soul. He heard their voices still singing in perfect harmony. Tears ran down his cheeks. Don’t leave me. Tell me what to remember! He longed to shout this out, but the words stuck like dry rice in his throat.

He awoke suddenly, realizing this song was on the radio. Disappointment shook his bones. She had been real. She had loved him. He was certain of that. And what the heck was a ghost flower?

Warm hands moved over his belly and chest. Russell. He’d been so closed to the man for weeks now. He tried not to stiffen as Russell kissed the back of Feng’s neck, nuzzling him. He tried to relax. He loved Russell, really he did, but it had morphed into a different kind of love.

Halloween was only days away. He wondered what had happened to Ki, the man he’d had a crush on until he met…met…whom had he met? He drew a blank.

Russell was hard and obviously excited because he was humping Feng’s ass cheeks now, his glistening cock head beating an insistent tattoo against Feng’s crack. Feng didn’t want to sigh and bit down on the urge, in spite of his feelings of restlessness. He was surprised how wet Russell was, his cock leaking before they’d even started.

Giving the guy head was less intrusive than taking him up the ass. In the past, Feng had loved getting fucked. The sounds and smells of early morning sex inflamed his soul, giving heat to his dormant fantasies.

That’s what it was! How could he have forgotten? His mind had dried up since his return. It was a desert of the soul. No dreams, no idyll. He could give Russell what he wanted in exchange for information. Feng turned around swiftly, one eye on the time. Six-forty in the morning. The red lanterns of LA’s Chinatown which swung high outside their windows were still alight, giving Feng a sense of comfort. There was something about them he knew he should remember.

He just didn’t know what.

Sex would be over in fifteen minutes. Russell always took very cold showers with salt-soap and birch branches for exactly three minutes each morning. Then he walked over the cobblestone path to the old Chinatown Square to the comic book store he’d taken over almost as soon as they’d returned from their strange sojourn a year ago.

In decades past, it had been a ginseng store and the smell still permeated the old quarter. Sometimes, Russell pretended their journey to the other side never happened. Sometimes, he remembered a lot more than he cared to admit. Feng knew this because Russell, who’d longed to be a manga artist had caved in to the god of money and worked a ‘necessary’ job instead of following his passion.

Once he came back, he pursued his art, literally. He’d started producing graphic novels that were frankly, very weird. In them, Russell seemed to pine for a place, some…sanctuary. Hey, maybe they weren’t so different after all. Russell’s comics were about Russell, a boy, who lived in a fantasy world.

He once told Feng that his inspiration had been Feng himself. But Feng couldn’t remember being in a fantasy world. Ever. And he remembered nothing of his life before he died.

Died? What made him think that? The idea didn’t panic him…it just seemed…unreal. And of course, it was. Except that lately Russel’s comic books reflected more and more glimmers of what had happened to them in their adventures on what Feng had begun to think of as the other side.

He moved around so his mouth captured Russell’s cock in one, long, fluid motion. Gazing up to watch his lover through his half closed eyes, Feng saw the look of surprise on Russell’s face. Feng had been so disinterested for weeks and now, he knew, Russell was ecstatic.

“Oh, baby,” he said, threading his hands through Feng’s hair.

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Posted in AJ Llewellyn, Available Books, D.J. Manly, Vampire | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Now Available: Banpaia (M/M, Vampire) by A.J. Llewellyn and D.J. Manly

Banpaia
Authors: A.J. Llewellyn, D.J. Manly
Series: Banpaia, Book 1
Genre: M/M romance; paranormal, vampire, dark fantasy
Length: Novella
Price: 2.99 USD

Cover art: Louca Matheo

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

A sensuous m/m vampire tale by two of the hottest names in the LGBT Romance genre!

Chinatown, Los Angeles. Young men are disappearing from their beds, sometimes vanishing as they cross the street with friends. The few witnesses who actually report a strange, mystical creature soon suffer memory lapses and die.

Yet the young men all return, one by one. They seem the same, but they are different. Strange things are happening all over Chinatown, as if an odd mist enshrouds it. None of the men who disappeared can say what happened to them.

Late at night, however, this legion of men, in love and lust with the one they call Banpaia, reach out for one another in the frenzy of their need. For Feng Li, a suicidal young man who feels he was saved by the legendary, centuries-old Japanese vampire, yearns for only him. For him, there can be only one to claim his body and his heart.

Publisher’s note: This title has been previously released at eXtasy Books and Mojocastle Press.

Excerpt:

Chapter One

Feng took his time finishing his second cup of coffee at the Korean café on Sixth Street before checking into work for the night shift at the dreary Cedar House hotel. It was late October and LA’s weather was still hot. Too damned hot with Halloween only a week away. Not only did the locals say it presaged an earthquake, but it also felt wrong. Very wrong, when the mysterious fog enveloped the whole downtown neighborhood each night.

It was almost five p.m., the sun starting to set. He’d been here two hours. Anything to avoiding being home.

The café was warm, but a slight breeze blew in as the front door opened and three guys walked in. The waitress came from the kitchen with a fresh tray of pastries for the counter display. Feng detected the smell of fresh go mo bang, the peanut butter-flavored bread he adored. No time. And…big inward sigh…he shouldn’t spend the money.

Feng caught a glimpse of a certain gleaming dark head in the doorway, but the guy wasn’t looking at him. Ki was pointing at the sticky buns, laughing with his friends.

Damn. He had to show up right now. Feng hated having to leave. He felt safe here. His evening desk clerk position at the Cedar was the worst job he’d ever had, but he needed it. His dad was still out of work and his mom was drinking heavily. He made sure his head was bent to his ever-present notebook as the three men walked from the front door into the café. He heard movement as they settled beside him at the next table.
Feng stayed very quiet, pen in hand, doodling.

“So, anyway…they say he just disappeared,” the first voice said.
Feng tried to place it. He knew the three guys beside him on sight, but they never invited him to join them, even the nights they all sang karaoke in the upstairs Shelter Room in Little Tokyo. Only one of them ever acknowledged him and that was only after they sang. Sometimes they sang back to back, wowing the crowds. Ki was Japanese and Feng was certain that was the problem. Old country rivalries between the Japanese and Chinese had taken root here in California. The Koreans had it worse. The Japanese street gangs picked on the Koreans. But not this crowd. In this café, they all blended and got along…on the surface.

Ki’s family lived way down in San Pedro, but Ki had recently moved up here to Little Tokyo. He wanted to be an actor and singer.

Feng closed his eyes, squeezing his pen a little harder. Each little detail he gleaned about Ki was hard-earned and won, like little nuggets of gold after a long day panning for the stuff. He had such a fierce crush on Ki. He liked everything about him; the man’s smooth, milky-colored skin, his long, dark hair, his absolutely spectacular voice.

“What do you mean disappeared?” another voice asked.

“They were crossing the street. They stepped off a curb. Joby says he heard a car stop but didn’t look because they were crossing legally. By the time he got to the other side, Vince was gone.”

There was a moment of hushed silence.

“Nah…I don’t believe it.” This came from Ki. Feng recognized his cadence. He’d had a crush on the guy for six months now, so he was used to the ache, but today, it hurt.

Today it hurt worse than ever because Feng’s mom had disappeared the night before and both he and his dad had been secretly relieved.

Maybe the mysterious vampire would take her, too…only most people didn’t believe in the vampire. Feng did. He heard the whispers, felt the tremor of fear. He’d prayed once or twice for the vampire to claim him. He liked hot, young guys. Maybe Feng wasn’t hot enough. He cradled his cup between both hands. One more sip and he had to be on his way.

“Joby says Vince’s family is frantic,” the first voice said again.

“Vince disappeared in broad daylight!”

Sixteen men had vanished so far. Most disappeared from their bedrooms, one from a crowded elevator and now…this Vince guy.

“Nah, I don’t believe it,” Ki said again. “Somebody’s trying to spook everyone because it’s almost Halloween.”

Feng had heard this plausible story before, but the vanishings started a few weeks ago. The first one was right here in Little Tokyo, or J-Town, as most people called it. The vampire had crossed the invisible demarcation zones between J-Town, Koreatown and Chinatown. Feng lived in Chinatown on Hill Street, above the seafood dim sum café that could never get better than a C rating from the Health Department and was frequently shut down for code violations.

He’d slept many nights with his window open hoping for abduction. Hoping he took the mystery vampire’s fancy. Nah, Ki was right. Vampires weren’t real. His mother’s explanation of kinky sex abductions or maybe even secret organ harvesting made more sense, except…where were the bodies?

“Look, he’s listening,” One of the voices said.

Are they talking about me?

This shocked Feng. He longed to turn and look at them, maybe say, boo!, but didn’t hurry his movements. Even as he felt the weight of the stares on his back and shoulders, he took his time.

“Nah,” the second guy at the table said. Feng wished it had been Ki who’d said it.

He left a buck under his coffee cup, shoving his journal into his backpack. He heard the conversation at the next table resume as soon as he started to walk away. He fully breathed again once he was out of the café. Feng could smell human urine now, but then they were almost at Skid Row here. Vagrants didn’t care where they peed. He stood outside, trying to imagine how it would feel if you crossed the road with your best friend thinking everything was okay, only to get to the other side and find he’d vanished into thin air. Freaky, man.

Feng checked the time on his cell phone as he crossed the street. Three minutes to five. The Cedar House stood in a semi-decrepit pocket on the edge of J-Town, right at the crossroads of the downtown Toy District. He liked the many Korean cafes lining Sixth Street, just two blocks from the rundown hotel on Fourth. For a shabby looking, four-story building slapped up against Skid Row, it surprised him how many Chinese tourists came there each month.
Some had sure been sold a bill of goods by their tour promoter. Others were students whose friends back home had fond memories of the Cedar and its cantankerous manager, Mrs. Wei. He bit his lip. He shouldn’t call her cantankerous. She was a sweet old thing but lately she was in so much pain from her sciatica she sometimes took it out on Feng.

The truth was the elderly Chinese woman was kinder to him than even his own mother. He blushed with shame thinking about the call he and his father had received from the Commerce casino in the early hours of the morning. Having been banned for life from gambling there, his mom had shown up drunk and caused a scene. She was now at home, sleeping it off. He wondered who had it worse, him or his dad. As he rounded the last corner and opened the door to The Cedar House, he decided his dad had it much, much worse. His mom when she was drunk was bad. Mom hung-over was a friggin’ nightmare.

Mrs. Wei greeted him with a wide smile and an old-worldly tilt of her head. She might have been the proprietress of a high-class joint, the way she greeted him and their guests. Guests! Man, some of them were total losers.

He was right on time. He never liked to give up more time to the Cedar than he had to. She buzzed him behind the oak and glass door into the office enclosure. He checked the books. Six new guests. He recognized three of the names. They got a lot of repeat business here. It wasn’t that their services were so fantastic. It was that the hotel’s close proximity to many homeless shelters made this a second home to many abuse victims.

New laws passed by California’s governor no longer gave long term housing to men and women residing in shelters. Every thirty days, these long-term homeless had to leave their shelters and find someplace else to stay for a week. During that time, they had to reapply for their emergency housing and with Mrs. Wei’s help on the computer, they left again, safe from the streets or abusive spouses to wait out another month in secrecy.

It broke his heart to see Angie Montoya’s name on the register. She and her eleven-year old son, Antonio, had fled her abusive husband. It had taken some resilience on her part considering he’d beaten and tortured her, knocking out all her teeth. Now with the state’s help, she was taking computer courses and would soon be eligible for permanent housing which she would subsidize with her new income, once she landed a job.

People like Angie and the unsuspecting travelers who’d been duped into booking at the Cedar were the ones who got under Feng’s skin. He worried about them. They were like a second skin he couldn’t shed.

“Here, Feng, I have a little gift for you,” Mrs. Wei said.

She handed him a red envelope. It was an especially pretty one with a golden dragon and the red lanterns so popular in Chinatown.

He turned it over in his hands. “A lisee? For me?”
She smiled. “I know it’s your birthday in a couple of days. I’m giving this to you now.”

“Oh, but—“

She knew. The new Dragon Ball manga would be coming out at midnight and he’d coveted it. Wow…he’d missed the last few issues. He could maybe even buy back copies.

Mrs. Wei shook a finger at him. “This is for you. Hide it from your mother. And under no circumstances are you to pay any bills with it. Understood?”

He stared at the envelope, feeling its thickness. Tears stung his eyes. Even as he felt the need to protest, he felt the wind blowing away from those sails. He traced the fire-breathing dragon with his fingertips. She’d found him the perfect envelope.

“I want you to believe in hope,” she said. “Hope is all we have in this world, Feng.”

I’m going to be twenty-two, he realized. Twenty-two, but I feel like forty-two.
“Thank you, Mrs. Wei.” He felt humbled by her generosity and her compassion. He didn’t open the lisee. He didn’t care how much was in it. Her thoughtfulness really counted with him. She was right, though. As much as he loved the envelope, which was a tradition in the Chinese culture, if his mom went through his stuff, which she regularly did, and she saw the lisee, she would know somebody had given him money.

She would demand it, claiming bills needed to be paid, when he was the one who paid all the bills. His beautiful gift would be swallowed up by a poker machine as soon as his mom got her hands on it.

He kept the envelope on him all evening. He kept touching it in his jacket pocket. Mrs. Wei must have known how much it meant, because he caught her smiling at him a couple of times.

At six p.m. Mrs. Wei was supposed to leave but still she stayed, fussing over guests, worrying about little details. It was what made her a great manager, but she needed to take a break. Feng wished her cherished and adored daughter would spend more time with her. Instead, he frequently heard Mrs. Wei saying, “No, problem, I understand,” when her daughter called to cancel their evening plans.

“What are you going to do with your evening?” he asked.

She smiled at him.

“Are you going to trip the light fantastic and go dancing with some fancy man?”

She laughed. “Trip is right. I’m so tired, I’d fall over fast.”

Mrs. Wei had been a celebrated ta ge dancer in her day. Now, she hobbled. It was amazing how much she achieved on an average day, even when she was in pain. He’d once found footage of her, strangely enough, on YouTube, in an old competition. She’d been as surprised as he, to see how beautiful she had been when she was young. Her feet had mesmerized him. He’d never seen actual ta ge dancing before and the ancient Chinese art of step-dancing had been lyrical, beautiful to watch.

“Get going,” he said now, keeping his voice gentle.

“You trying to get rid of me?” she feigned a scowl. The truth was, he knew, she liked the show of attention that Feng gave her.

“Before I leave,” she said, holding up a crooked finger, “there is some food I couldn’t quite finish, so please eat it so the food doesn’t spoil.”

He swallowed over a lump in his throat. He knew he was skinny and he was certain she could see into his soul and know how long it had been since his mom had cooked an actual meal. He kept his gaze lowered, afraid he would cry when she showed him the covered bowl of homemade miso soup with healthy chunks of char sui pork, basil and a whole egg. On a plate beside it were two oranges she would have bought when she picked up fresh offerings to be left on the business altar in honor of the gods.
And to his joy, there was a small, fresh, unsliced loaf of peanut butter-flavored bread from a Korean bakery.

Mrs. Wei never overdid her food offerings so as not to embarrass her young employee. He knew that. She left enough that would get him through the night, but not enough to offend Feng’s family honor.

“Thank you,” he said. None of the food would last very long. He’d really enjoy the meal tonight.

She picked up her things. It was their understanding, and his promise to Mrs. Wei’s daughter that his mom would always leave before dark and with him watching her as she got into her car wedged between garbage bins at the back of the building. Hers was the only vehicle allowed back there.

He helped her outside, aware of the strange, heavy mist already rolling over the neighborhood.

“Don’t put your brights on,” he reminded her. “It will make it harder to see. Please call me when you get home.”

He hugged her thin body and he felt her comforting pats on the back.
She gazed at him as she started the engine. She paused, waiting for him to go back inside. He waved from the back door, knowing she hated to leave the front desk unattended, even for these brief moments.

Feng locked and double-bolted the back door, the chill from the mist making him shiver.

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Now Available: Next Time I Fall by Jeff Erno

Next Time I Fall
Author: Jeff Erno
Genre: M/M Romance; Gay Romance
Length: Novel
Price: 3.99 USD

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

Cover art: Louca Matheo

Eric Daniels has a habit of falling for unattainable men. For the past two years he’s pined for a man younger than him who has no interest in a relationship and just wants to use him. When Eric suddenly finds himself alone and again jilted, he swears it will never happen again. Then he meets Steve. Steve Warren has recently started his job as associate pastor of the local Baptist church. While canvassing the neighborhood to promote the church’s vacation Bible school program, he encounters a man who sticks in his memory. Though he doesn’t catch his name, he recalls the man’s black Labrador retriever, Drake.

Steve has a dog of his own, a boxer named Felix. And when they bump into each other again, not only do the dogs hit it off, but so do the humans. A friendship begins. Steve suddenly finds himself facing the harshest reality he’s ever endured. He’s been aware of his attraction to men for a long time, but his religion teaches homosexuality is an abomination. How can he reconcile his feelings for Eric with his faith? If he comes out as gay, what will it do to his career, his family, and his church? But he can’t go on forever using his religion as a shield to hide behind. Living a lie is bearing false witness, so he must find a way to be true to his faith while following his heart. Is there any way to move forward without hurting a lot of people he loves?

Excerpt:

Chapter One

Eric heard the rapid tapping of Drake’s nails on the tile before he’d even managed to push the door all the way open. Happy-faced panting and a lightning-fast tail wag confirmed that Drake was thrilled to see his master had returned.

“Did you miss me, Drake?” Eric’s tone, slightly lilted, betrayed the heaviness in his chest. He took a couple steps and placed the grocery bag he was carrying on the counter, then reached down to pet his four-legged friend. “Well, he’s gone,” Eric whispered as he lowered himself to a squatting position, all the while stroking Drake’s forehead right between his ears. He reached up with his other hand and cupped the Labrador’s face. One thing about Drake that Eric loved was that he always, even when sad, seemed to be smiling. Eric sighed then kissed his pooch on the head and rose to his feet.

He snatched the grocery bag from the counter and walked to the kitchen, Drake shadowing him.

“Yes, I got you a treat…and yes, I know you want to go outside.”

Drake’s tail wagged even more furiously as he began his prance of anticipation. Certain words, like “treat” and “outside” triggered this response, and seeing the dog’s glee somewhat assuaged the dull ache Eric felt inside him. Did Drake even realize that Max was gone for good, that he wouldn’t be coming back? To Drake, every time he was left alone, he probably feared he’d never see his owner again. At least, that’s how he acted whenever Eric returned. The dog got so excited, you’d have thought Eric had been gone a couple of months rather than just a few minutes or hours.

Eric now understood how Drake felt. He had no idea if Max would be gone a few days, a few years, or forever. Eric might never see the younger man again for all he knew. Then again, what right did Eric have to hold him back? It wasn’t like they were a couple or anything, not officially. Max had been his roommate of sorts for the past two and a half years. Eric took the kid in when he was more-or-less homeless, rented him a room. Well, that’s what they told people, but Eric never made an issue of the money. Max had seemed to always forget to pay. He’d certainly forgotten more often than he’d remembered, and it didn’t really matter to Eric. He never really needed the money. To be honest, he needed Max more than he needed the cash.

But that’s just how Max was. He wasn’t like Eric who’d been at the same job for the past nine years. Max worked here and there, never at one place for very long. He was an artist, and very gifted, but he hadn’t quite figured out how to apply himself in a way that would net him a reliable source of income. He did some projects on commission. He sold a piece every now and then, or he got hired to paint a mural or the side of a building for a business. For a while he’d worked painting logos on company trucks and vans, but he was just too much of a free spirit to answer to a boss. He liked to work when he wanted to work.

The couple of times Max got “real” jobs were worst of all. He took an hourly wage job at a convenience store and was fired after his first two weeks. He didn’t seem too concerned about reporting to work at his scheduled time, and the manager seemed even less concerned about letting him go. Pretty much the same thing happened when he tried fast food. That didn’t last even as long as the gas station job.

When Max announced he’d met someone online and was leaving for California in a month, Eric wasn’t at first sure he was serious. Ever the dreamer, Max talked about a lot of things he wanted to do. He changed his mind constantly, never focused on one thing for too long, so probably his big plans to start a new life would fizzle in a few days. Eric decided not to bring it up, pretend Max had never mentioned it, and a week before his planned departure, it seemed as if he had. But when Eric stepped into the basement to do a load of laundry that Friday morning, he noticed Max’s easel was gone. All the art supplies that he usually left strewn across the rec room had been gathered and packed in Max’s satchel.

Eric hightailed up the stairs to the main floor then continued on to the second floor where the bedrooms were located. He stopped in front of Max’s door to catch his breath before knocking.

“Hey man, what’s up?” Max lay stretched out on full-sized bed, legs crossed at the ankles. He removed a set of headphones as Eric pushed the door open.

“Hey.” Eric smiled. He glanced around the room, and his eyes fell on two suitcases in the corner. “Uh…so I guess you’re still planning to, um…to head out to Cali?”

Max returned his smile, his own broader, conveying his genuine enthusiasm. “Yeah. Monday’s the big day.”

“I didn’t really think you’d go through with it. I mean, Well…I was…uh…”

“Thought I’d flake out again, huh?” Max laughed as he shook his head to flick hair off his face. He reached up and raked his fingers through the straight, blond strands in a gesture that had always gotten to Eric. His mannerisms, masculine in a surfer-dude sort of way, were also slightly effeminate, just soft enough to be sexy. Everything about the way he carried himself affected Eric, and he couldn’t exactly explain why.

“No. Of course I didn’t think you’d flake out. I just…well, I was hoping you might change your mind. I’m gonna miss you.”

Max’s broad smile faded to a sincere, pleasant expression where the corners of his mouth just slightly curled. He patted the mattress with his palm. “If you want, I’ll let you give me head one last time…for old time’s sake.”

The rapid tapping of Drake’s nails on the kitchen tile pulled Eric from his reverie. He shook his head and reached into the box of dog biscuits for a treat. “Alright, alright. Here you go.” He held out a dog biscuit to his Lab who quickly devoured it. Eric stepped into the utility room and removed Drake’s leash from the hook where it was hanging. Drake rushed to the front door, his rear end jiggling back and forth as his tail whipped about lickety split.

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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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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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