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.

Posted in Available Books, Jeff Erno, Novel length | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

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

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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Now Available: Surviving Elite High: The Next Generation by John H. Ames

200x300Surviving Elite High: The Next Generation
John H. Ames
Series: Surviving Elite High
Genre: Young Adult, LGBT, Gay Romance
Imprint: Ai Press
Length: 74908 words, Novel
eISBN: 978-1-937796-12-9
Price: 4.99 USD
Release Date: October 7, 2016
Word count: 74908
PDF page count: 172

Cover art: Louca Matheo

Buy e-book from: Amazon Kindle|AllRomance Ebooks|BN Nook|Kobo|Google Play

Flame rating: 2 Flames – infrequent, light love scenes, mildly graphic
Trade paperback available at Amazon
Print ISBN: 978-1539181781
Price: 12.99 USD

Surviving Elite High fans, the wait is over! More romance, drama and mystery are unfolding at Elite High before the back-to-school bell has even rung!

Seventeen year old, blond-hair, blue-eyed and adorable Robbie Carroll, orphaned at a young age and mysteriously never adopted, has finally found his dream family. Nick Hawking and John Ames, now married, wealthy, and powerful, make Robbie their son, defying the young man’s past- one that Robbie himself has no memory of- that has scared all other prospective parents away. Now, Robbie has great parents and a hot brother, Nicky and beautiful sister, Lily, who take him into their midst and make him part of their tight circle of friends who all go to Elite High.

One of those friends is Tim Mercer, a gorgeous football player at Elite High. Tim’s dark looks and simmering eyes capture Robbie’s heart at first sight. But Robbie can’t be sure that Tim feels the same way, or even if he’s gay too. Moreover, even if Tim is available, there are some people around him who don’t want Robbie to get close to him, and will go to ANY lengths to keep him away. Why? What do they want with Tim? What is the secret that Tim is harboring? And who is that strange man in Robbie’s visions, who haunts his life and his dreams? Find out here!

Excerpt:

“You sleeping, boy?” he asked, his voice hoarse and manly. It wasn’t Nick, John or even Nicky. If it wasn’t them, then who could it be? “Mommy’s asleep and it’s time for us to have some fun. Play another round of mommy and daddy.”

Panic shot through every inch of Robbie’s body, rendering him weak and nauseous. Deep in his heart, he knew that he was in grave danger and needed to get away from him and fast. Before he could do anything, the man removed the thin cover sheltering his body and ran his hands all over his legs. His touch was ice cold, rough, and treacherous. Something about him made Robbie sick and too shocked to move. His body erupted in goose bumps while a sinking feeling buried itself inside his stomach. Who was he and what did he want?

Robbie was about to scream when something weird happened. The man’s touch became warm, gentle, and comforting. The mysterious man covered Robbie’s body with his and Robbie’s heart stopped, feet going completely cold. It wasn’t a stranger or an evil presence. It was Nicky.

“What—?

“Shhh!” Nicky placed a soft finger over his lips. “I know you want me as much as I want you.”
Robbie’s heart started pounding hard against his chest while his body shivered in delight. Nicky’s hands traced every inch of his body as his lips locked on his neck, tasting his skin. Robbie moaned in pleasure as his member became hard and stiff. Was this real? Or was it all just a dream? Nicky grunted loudly and began to hump and rub his hips against him.

“Oh, Nicky!” Robbie screamed as he felt the pressure of Nicky’s body against his.

All of a sudden, a loud buzzing sound rang in his ears and he sat up. The morning rays welcomed him with their radiant glow, disturbing his vision. It was already morning and everything had been just a beautiful dream. However, the buzzing sound still continued and he looked around for the source of all of the commotion. It was his iPhone and Nicky’s name flashed repeatedly on the screen. He waved his hand over the device and answered, happily. “Hey! What’s up?”

“Get up lazy!” Nicky replied.

“I’m up!” Robbie rubbed his eyes. “What time is it?”

“Almost eleven.”

“Wow!” Robbie glanced outside. “I overslept.”

“That’s cool. I was just making sure you were up.”

“Oh, okay.” Robbie scratched his head, confused. Why would he?

“See you soon.” Nicky hung up on him.

Soon? Robbie stared at his phone. Someone knocked on the door and Robbie stood up. Was it Nicky? Maybe it was! He combed his hair with his hands and cleaned his face with the silky covers of his bed. After taking a deep breath, he answered, casually. “Come in.”

“Rise and shine!” John announced as he opened the door and stepped inside.

It was only John, but he was still very happy to see him.

“I sent Nicky to check if you were up, but his lazy ass won’t leave the couch.”

Robbie laughed. “That’s why he called me?”

“Yeah.” John sat on the edge of the bed. “I want you to clean up, put on something nice and have breakfast with us. After that, we’re going shopping for a few things you might need.”

“You really don’t—”

“Nope!” John lifted a hand out to him. “I won’t take no for an answer. Remember, you’re my son now.”

Robbie’s heart skipped a few beats. It felt so good to hear someone saying those words. “Okay, John. Thank you.”

“Good.” John stood up, heading straight for the door. “Hurry up! We’re waiting on you.”

Posted in Available Books, John H. Ames, Novel length, Young Adult | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Now available: Acts of Passion by Sedonia Guillone

100x300ActsofPassionActs of Passion (A Jack Cade/Michael di Santo Novel of Suspense)
BestsellerIcon100X100
NightOwlReviews
Author: Sedonia Guillone
Genre: LGBT; Gay Romance; Mystery and Detective; Romantic Suspense
Length: Novel
eISBN: 978-1-937796-13-6
Price: 2.99 USD
Print: ISBN13: 978-1523246526|Price: 10.99 USD

Buy from Amazon|BN Nook|Kobo|Google Play|AllRomance Ebooks

When a man is found in his apartment, appearing to have committed hara kiri with a samurai sword, Boston Homicide Detective Jack Cade suspects more is going on than what it appears. The department’s criminal profiler has left and a new guy is taking his place. At first, Cade is skeptical of Dr. Michael Di Santo. Di Santo seems so absent-minded and too neurotic to be effective. But he is brilliant and hot and Cade finds himself falling hard and fast, both in lust and in love. The attraction is mutual, although Michael’s past demons haunt him, keeping him from getting too close. Together, they begin to unravel Michael’s emotional knots even as they close in on a killer, another brilliant, wily person whose sights are now set on Michael.

Publisher’s note: This title was previously published at Ellora’s Cave. It now contains a previously deleted scene for reprint with Ai Press.

Excerpt:

Studying the front area of the building, he wandered down the flower box lined stone walk of the apartment building and turned to face it. Crime lab workers and patrol officers moved around on either side of the yellow crime tape, keeping the building cordoned off until Jack gave instructions to clear out and retain only the apartment as the crime scene.

Jack stepped aside to let someone go past him and bump! Smacked into something.

He turned. “Excuse me, I’m—” Or rather, he’d bumped into someone.

The man was adjusting the glasses Jack had apparently knocked off his face. “You’re in a crime scene,” Jack said.

“Yes, I know.” Almond-shaped brown eyes seemed to study Jack from behind round lenses. He looked Asian, yet sort of…not Asian at the same time. His dark brown hair was styled in a conventional way, parted on the side in short layers. The crumpled navy suit he wore, complete with diagonally striped tie against a light blue dress shirt made him appear as if his mother had dressed him for a spelling bee at school even though he was probably about Jack’s age. Forty.

Jack blinked. He was taking absolutely too long to find out who this man was. Then light dawned. Of course. “Dr. Di Santo?”

“Detective Cade?”

“That’s me. Hope I didn’t break your glasses.”

Di Santo touched them on each side as if to check. “No, they’re fine.”

Jack watched the man’s hands as he gingerly adjusted the frames. Nicely shaped fingers. Clean, trimmed nails. “Sorry I bumped you that way.”

“No problem.” Di Santo cleared his throat. “I hope I can be of help to you.”

Jack started. “Me too. This way.” He led Di Santo into the building and up to the apartment. “As I told you on the phone, I’m not so sure this was a suicide.” He let Di Santo precede him into the apartment and followed him, observing the way the slim man took in the surroundings on his way over to the victim.

Jack explained his suspicions and then let the man work. For what seemed a long time, Di Santo wandered about then stood in the center of the room, his gaze on the coffee table. His hand disappeared into his jacket pocket and pulled something out, which he popped into his mouth.

Jack watched him. Watched the man’s cheek bulge on the side while he sucked on whatever it was in his mouth, his gaze intent on the coffee table and victim. He then approached Jack and Jack heard the click of hard candy against the guy’s teeth. Finally Di Santo turned and knelt by the body.

Jack saw the professor’s eyes widen, especially on the hilt of the knife. “What is it?”

Di Santo seemed to ignore his question, staring at the knife. “Were his hands on the hilt of the knife or over his face when you found him?”

“Over his face.”

“Okay. Please open the robe so I can see the wound,” he said to Murphy.

Murphy did as he asked and Di Santo gazed for what seemed five straight minutes at the vicious cross-shaped cut in the centre of the wound.

“Jumonji giri,” he said, nearly in a whisper.

“What?” Jack looked between the knife wound and Di Santo.

The hot-yet-nerdy man was still staring down, seeming to ignore him. The candy in his mouth clicked several times against his teeth.

“Dr. Di Santo?”

Michael Di Santo looked up, his eyes seemingly far away yet intent at the same time. “What kind of movies did this man watch?”

Cover art: Louca Matheo
Jacket design: Les Byerley

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Now Available: Surviving Elite High by John H. Ames!

SurvivingEliteHS26Surviving Elite High
Author John H. Ames
Genre: M/M; Young Adult; GLBT
Length: Novel
Series: Surviving Elite High, Book One
eISBN: 978-1-937796-53-2
MSRP: 7.99
You Pay: 4.99

Print ISBN: 978-1-937796-43-3
MSRP: 15.99
You pay: 12.99

Cover art: Les Byerley

Buy from: Amazon Kindle|BN Nook|AllRomance Ebooks|Google Play

John Henry Ames is a sixteen-year-old boy from a small New Jersey town. Humble, shy and studious, John lives as an outcast in the shadows of an elite high school where he is tormented by two psychopathic bullies. Just when he is on the verge of dropping out of school due to overdue payments, a teacher enrolls him as a tutor in a program where he meets the school’s star quarterback and hero, Nick Anthony Hawking.

Nick needs John’s help to pass and graduate high school. As John becomes closer to the jock, he develops a strong affection towards him even though Nick has a reputation for sleeping around with a lot of women. Nick becomes his friend and protector in school. Their growing friendship helps to bring out the best in each of them and as they grow closer, John begins to wonder…and hope…that maybe Nick’s studly activity is a front for something else. He hopes to get much closer to Nick.

When unspeakable tragedies threaten the school…and John’s life…John and Nick have a chance to discover what they really mean to each other. But high school is a hard place to be yourself. Will Nick and John follow their own hearts or return to the safety of their own shadows?
Surviving Elite High is a breathtaking saga that illustrates a flourishing same-sex love, family, and friendship.

Excerpt:

Chapter One

My knees shook. I don’t really know why I was so nervous that morning. I had walked down these same corridors before, but this was my first time here as a junior. I stood looking down the main hallway as the world slowly passed me by, and feeling as if I was completely invisible to everyone. I hugged myself for comfort, then took my first step and froze again. With my heart pounding hard against my chest, a stupid knot developed inside my stomach. I hated the feeling of uncertainty and distress brought upon me by them. I glanced around, trying my best to spot Madison or Kitty, but I was completely alone among all the commotion happening around me. I lowered my head and continued with my excruciating journey toward class. Out of nowhere, two shadows blocked my way. I looked up and came face to face with my two tormentors, the reasons for my anxiety: Jacob Ashmore and Matthew Ward, better known as the basketball jocks.

“Hello, little guy,” Jacob drawled, leering down at me. He stood six inches taller than me and was strong as a bull. “Did you miss me?”

I stumbled backward, trying to put distance between us.

“Where are you going, bitch?” Matthew barked, grabbing me by the collar of my shirt. He pulled me in and lifted me into the air, making my feet swing from side to side. “Talk to me, old friend.”

“I…I was—”

“Shut the fuck up, fag!”

“Let’s give him the welcoming,” Jacob suggested with a grin.

Oh, no, not the welcoming. Anything but the welcoming. I knew what they wanted to do. They were going to throw me inside the huge trash can behind the school and make me face the humiliation.

“Put him down!” shouted a familiar voice. We all turned to look. It was one of my best friends, Kitty Scott, and, boy, was I happy to see her pointing at them. Her red hair was visible from a mile away, and her black eyes seemed demonic. I thanked God that I was safe now. Matthew gazed at her with a smirk, knowing that Kitty would explode and make a big scene out of the way he treated me. He unwillingly let me go, and I fell flat on my ass. There was no time to waste. I ran to Kitty’s side before they changed their minds.

“See you soon, pussy,” Matthew added. He and Jacob turned around and walked away down another hallway. When they were out of sight, I turned to Kitty, who was all steamed up. Her freckles seemed to have spread to an angry red. A scowl soon developed on her face. “Why do you let those assholes treat you like that?”

“Geez, Kitty. They’re bigger and stronger than me, you know. Plus, they’re jocks.”

“I thought they’d stopped bullying you.” Kitty led me down the crowded hallway.

“So did I. Besides, two against one is an unfair fight, especially against me. Have you looked at me lately?”

Kitty stopped in front of her locker and opened the small compartment before glancing at me from head to toe. I wasn’t small. Five feet and seven inches was a reasonable height. I was too skinny, though. I didn’t have any muscles, and she wanted me to fight those two giants. Was Kitty insane?

“I know, but you’ve got to stand up to them. Madison and I can’t be with you every single second of the day. They bullied you around for two whole years, and it has to stop now, Johnny Boy!” Kitty slammed the door closed.

“I know,” I murmured as I spotted Madison behind her. “Hello, Madison!”

“Hello, my two best friends in the whole wide world,” Madison answered, standing beside us and showing off her vibrant smile. Madison Adams’ black hair complemented her porcelain skin and sultry dark eyes. The chick was hot, and she was one of my best friends as well. After scanning our worried faces, her smile disappeared. “What happened? I thought you’d be excited to see this slut?”

That was Madison, all right. She knew how to sum things up in one sentence.

“Jacob and Matthew,” mumbled Kitty, walking down the hallway.

Madison embraced me with one arm, and we immediately dashed after Kitty. While we tried to catch up with her, Madison turned to me. “Are they still bullying you?”

“Ye—”

“Yes, they are!” Kitty had stopped walking and was waiting for us a few feet away. When we reached her side, she began walking next to me. As usual, I was in the middle of the two. “Those good-for-nothing jerks.”

“I thought they’d stopped bothering you, Johnny Boy.” Madison added.

“Yes, for the summer.”

“Consider yourself lucky. Who wouldn’t want to get roughed up by two hot jocks?”

“Me, for one, Madison,” I answered. We walked into English class, and I sat in the first chair of the first row. Kitty sat beside me, and Madison sat behind her. This was our usual seating arrangement for all our classes.

They turned to me, and Madison continued. “Don’t worry, just stick with one of us and you’ll be fine.”

“I know, but we still have gym, and I’ve got to change with them.”

“That’s hot! Take some pictures for me.”

Kitty rolled her eyes when she heard Madison’s request. “Sorry, kiddo, we can only do so much. You’ve got to stand up to them.”

“I’m dead meat! Why does this school have to stress sports so much? Four years of mandatory physical education is just crazy. Why in the world would they do that?”

“Blame the Children Against Obesity Association. No more sugar in this school, as if we need to lose weight. We’re perfect,” Madison answered.

“Yeah, soon they’ll start to sell sugar like crack,” Kitty added, high-fiving Madison.

The girls giggled their little hearts out. I missed them so much. All of a sudden, the door opened and a young man stepped inside. It was Nicholas Anthony Hawking, also known as Nick Wild Hawk, captain of the Elite Hawks. Girls had nicknamed him Nick Wild Fuck because of his promiscuous nature. He was six feet tall with light tan skin, short dirty blond hair, and crystal baby blue eyes. The guy was dreamy or walking sex. Well, that’s what Madison always said. Nick was the most popular jock in school, the school’s star quarterback, and athlete extraordinaire. He was as perfect as they came.

“I want to have his babies.” Madison stated while Nick walked to the back of the class to sit down with his friends.

“Why does he always have to walk in like that? As if he’s some type of god or something? He wasn’t like that a few years ago,” Kitty replied.

“He is a god. Look at him, Kit. The guy’s hot,” Madison answered her question.
“And a stupid jock,” I added irritably.

“I know that you hate jocks, but Nick is F-I-N-E! Look at the package between his legs. It looks like the perfect Christmas present to me.”

“I agree with John. He’s a jock and a huge dick.”

“Yeah, I bet he is,” Madison smirked. Kitty and I rolled our eyes to the back of our heads. Madison was something else. “Don’t get me wrong, Johnny Boy, all jocks are assholes, but this one is fine.”

“Why don’t you say that in front of his girlfriend then?”

“Are they still dating?” Kitty asked us.

“Yes, they are, that lucky bitch,” Madison replied.

Everyone knew that Allison and Nick were a couple. They were crazy for each other, or so it seemed. Allison was the head cheerleader and last year’s student body vice-president. Nick was, not surprisingly, last year’s president. Everyone knew they had won because of their tremendous popularity and extreme wealth. They disgusted me.

“People like Nick and Allison make me sick.”

“Us, too,” Kitty answered with Madison nodding to her statement.

I took a deep breath. I was being unfair to Nick and Allison just because of Matthew and Jacob. “I just hate that I’ve got to endure two more years of mandatory physical education.”

“Stand up to those stupid pricks, then,” Madison told me. “We don’t want them to bully you anymore.”

I agreed with her. I needed to do something, but what could I do? It was my word against the word of two rich kids. I was doomed. That moment, the door opened once more, and Mrs. Carter, our new English teacher, walked in with a huge smile from cheek to cheek on her face. She quickly introduced herself, putting an end to our conversation and my conflicting thoughts.

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Disponible en español: Eternamente Audaz por Jeff Erno

Eternamente Audaz23Eternamente Audaz
Autor: Jeff Erno
Serie: Eternamente Vampiro
Libro anterior: Eternamente Joven
Género: Romance gay, Juvenil, M/M, Romance paranormal, Vampiros
Extensión: Novela
eISBN: 978-1-937796-93-8
Índice de clasificación: 3 Llamas
Precio: 4.99 USD

Portada: Les Byerley

Comprar de: Amazon US|Amazon ES|Amazon MX|AllRomance Ebooks|BN Nook|Google Play

La saga Eternamente Vampiro continúa…

A raíz de la indescriptible masacre, Robbie y Colt han escapado a las tierras salvajes de Alaska para hacer frente a su futuro inmortal. Las cosas no son tan seguras para sus enemigos jurados, Dylan e Issa, los soldados Matarianos juraron cazarles y matarlos.

Dylan está a punto de comenzar su primera cacería de vampiros y quiere que Issa sea su compañero, pero Issa está mucho más preocupado por encontrar a su hermano y rastrear al chico rubio que casi muere en el campo de batalla. Todo el elenco del primer libro se reúne en esta emocionante continuación de su historia, junto con una serie de nuevas caras —amigos y enemigos— cuyas vidas se entrelazan de alguna manera, y se cruzan en sus esfuerzos para luchar contra el mal y alcanzar su propia felicidad. Humanos, cambiaformas, caminantes diurnos y vampiros de sangre pura se enfrentan entre sí con la orientación de tres hermanas enigmáticas —una ménade, una nigromante, y una bruja humana la tercera—. Giros argumentales y sorpresas marcan los caminos de estos personajes diversos, siempre audaces en su afán por aferrarse a todo lo que aprecian.

Extracto:

Capítulo Uno

Se despertó gritando, como había hecho casi cada vez que intentaba dormir. Las vívidas imágenes se reproducían en su cabeza como un rollo de película. Implacables gráficas pesadillas, o más precisamente, flashbacks. La doctora dijo que sufría de estrés postraumático, pero ella no sabía ni la mitad.

Los medios locales habían cubierto la historia, etiquetándola como un extraño ataque de lobos en el que dieciocho campistas habían muerto y otras dos docenas resultaron heridos. Issa sabía la verdad. Todos la sabían, todos los testigos. Había habido un ataque de lobo, de acuerdo, pero esos no eran lobos ordinarios. Y a raíz de la confrontación, habían dejado una carnicería como nada que Issa pudiera haber imaginado. Había partes del cuerpo esparcidas por todas partes, de tal forma, que muchas de las víctimas no eran ni siquiera reconocibles.

Peor que estas imágenes horribles eran los recuerdos de Issa de los asesinatos de vampiros. Pensó que había estado preparado. Había aprendido todas las lecciones, había completado horas de prácticas de tiro al blanco, e incluso había visto vídeos gráficos. Claro, sabía que sería sangriento, y sabía que desgarrar el corazón de un vampiro de su pecho no era trabajo para aprensivos. Sin embargo, no había nada que pudiera haberlo preparado para verlo en vivo y en directo.

Si algo sabía con certeza, era el hecho de que él no estaba hecho para el trabajo. No tenía ningún deseo de ver otra vez lo que había presenciado esa noche, y definitivamente no era un asesino de vampiros.

La onda expansiva de conmoción se había trasmitido a través de la comunidad Matariana cuando el rumor de la tragedia se extendió rápidamente. Se había convocado una reunión de emergencia para evaluar las pérdidas y para discutir una adecuada respuesta. La devastación afectaba a todas las familias Matarianas, pero más significativamente a los que habían perdido a un ser querido joven.

Issa conocía a todas las víctimas. Habían sido sus compañeros de clase. Sus compañeros de clase de dieciséis años. El campamento de instrucción militar era un rito Matariano de iniciación, uno con el que cada niño Matariano estaba ilusionado. Esta coyuntura crucial proporcionaba la transición de las fantasías juveniles de asesinos de vampiros a la realidad del trabajo real de campo. La finalización de la formación militar culminaba con una ceremonia de graduación, seguida de las asignaciones de las primeras cacerías de los cadetes.

Pero no había habido ninguna ceremonia este año. En lugar de ello, toda la comunidad se reunió para un enorme servicio conmemorativo. Incluso los asesinatos de vampiros logrados con éxito, normalmente una causa de gran fiesta, no habían compensado las trágicas pérdidas.

—Es una guerra —dijo el padre de Issa con calma—, y la gente muere en las guerras.

—Niños, Ibrahim. No eran más que niños —señaló su madre.

Tristemente, Issa conocía a muchos en la comunidad que compartían los sentimientos de su padre. Más que hacerles vacilar e incitarles a contemplar los asesinatos sin sentido, la tragedia les había enfurecido y les hizo aún más sanguinarios. Hablar de venganza ya corría como la pólvora, y ahora un nuevo enemigo se había añadido a la lista. Los Matarianos no solo luchaban contra los vampiros, sino también con los hombres lobo.

Las muertes de los compañeros de hermandad de Issa pesaban sobre su corazón, sin embargo, él no anhelaba venganza. De hecho, no culpaba a los vampiros ni a los lobos. Sabía por qué habían venido. Se encontraban en una misión de rescate, estaban allí para liberar a los prisioneros que los Matarianos estaban cruelmente torturando. Cuando fueron asaltados por un ejército de cadetes listos para la batalla, ellos respondieron, y se perdieron muchas vidas.

Y la tragedia había acontecido en ambos sentidos. Al menos cuatro desde el otro lado habían sido heridos de muerte, un lobo, dos vampiros, y un humano. Issa había oído los jubilosos aplausos de sus compañeros guerreros Matarianos cuando los dos vampiros fueron eliminados, y el recuerdo le ponía enfermo. Brendan y Richard eran pareja, y se habían amado mucho. Habían permanecido juntos durante años —por lo menos décadas, si no siglos—.

Para Issa, su relación no parecía tan diferente a lo que él compartía con Dylan. De acuerdo con las enseñanzas Matarianas, los vampiros eran monstruos chupasangres, ni siquiera humanos, y la mayoría de las personas no pensaban que fueran en realidad ni siquiera capaces de amar. Impulsados únicamente por su hambre, las relaciones personales les eran secundarias. En la mayoría de los casos, eran criaturas solitarias que existían solo con el propósito de alimentarse. Máquinas de matar, y nada más.

Pero Issa descubrió lo contrario. Lo sabía por su conversación con Brendan, porque había visto cómo Richard había reaccionado cuando se reunió con su amante. Y había sido testigo de una conexión similar entre el vampiro de aspecto juvenil y el humano —el pequeño chico rubio—. Jesús, no parecía mayor que los cadetes. ¿Era Robbie?

El vampiro estaba enamorado del chico. Issa solo podía especular sobre lo que había sido de ellos. Tal vez habían llegado a un lugar seguro al final, pero si fuera así, eso implicaría que Robbie había sido convertido. Seguramente no habría sobrevivido a una flecha atravesada en el corazón.

Issa no quería saberlo. No podía soportar la posibilidad de que el chico, obviamente enamorado, se hubiera sacrificado por su amante. E incluso si de alguna manera se había salvado, no quería pensar en lo que eso significaría. Serían objetivos. Blancos fáciles. El ejército Matariano ya estaba planeando una guerra total, un ataque masivo y tajante como represalia. Estaban decididos a erradicar a todos los vampiros del mundo entero, de una vez por todas.

Pero los ancianos ni siquiera sabían toda la historia. Solo Dylan e Issa eran conscientes de todo lo que había sucedido esa noche. Eran los únicos Matarianos en ser testigos de la presencia de Raoul y Shadi.

—No puedes contarlo —había declarado Issa—. Si se enteran, les buscarán y matarán a mi hermano.

—Issa, él ya no es tu hermano. —Dylan trató de razonar con él—. Es un vampiro de sangre pura. Ni siquiera es humano, y no tiene ninguna lealtad a ti o a tu familia.

—¿Y si fuera tu hermano?

Dylan dio un paso atrás, y luego asintió lentamente. Issa sabía la intimidad que compartía Dylan con su hermano Taylor. Nunca le daría la espalda a su propia carne y sangre, sin importar las circunstancias. Por último, suspiró. —Está bien, no lo contaré. Pero esto tiene que terminar aquí. Desde este punto en adelante, Shadi ya no existe. Por lo que a nosotros respecta, se ha ido para siempre.

Issa estuvo de acuerdo, pero no verbalizó una respuesta. Nunca podría hacer tal promesa, ni siquiera a Dylan. Shadi era su hermano, e Issa no podía fingir que estaba muerto. Aunque tal vez no fuera posible de inmediato, un día encontraría a su hermano y tendrían su encuentro. Mientras tanto, tenía que hallar una manera de perdonarse a sí mismo por todo lo que había sucedido. De alguna manera tenía que hacer que las pesadillas se detuvieran para poder seguir con su vida, y para poder concentrarse en su futuro con Dylan.

Mientras yacía solo en su cuarto a oscuras, pensó en estas cosas y se quedó mirando fijamente al techo. —Te encontraré de nuevo, Shadi —susurró.

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