Marked

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Book Title: Marked
Author: J. Jay Barrett
Publisher: Self-Published/ VPJ Publishing
Cover Artist: J. Jay Barrett
Genre/s: LGBT Urban Adventure, Fantasy/Romance
Heat Rating: 3 flames
Length: approx 70 500 words/206 pages
Release Date: February 20, 2018
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Blurb

Never interfere. Those were his orders, and for centuries he stood by them, faithfully serving those that had given him his charge. Until one fateful night, while hunting, the young vampire stumbles upon a handsome, young stranger. Within minutes, Holden finds his peaceful existence thrown into a tailspin. Soon, it’s a race against time to save the human that he just can’t seem to get out of his head.

 
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Excerpt

Chapter One

When Holden opened his eyes, the only light in the room was the orange glow of the sodium street lamps sifting between the wooden blinds from the grid of city streets, forty-four stories below, and the pale blue light of his alarm clock. The colors combined to give his stark white walls a purplish tint. The clock read 10:32.

Shit. He had overslept.

The sun had set hours before, which meant he’d wasted good, prime hunting time. If he didn’t hurry, all he’d be left with would be drunks, junkies or the homeless. None of which appealed to him. Most of them would probably taste sour and would offer very little in terms of nutritional value, their blood tainted with so many chemicals.

Before he slid out from beneath his satin sheets, he quickly scanned his local armada of Ismeros for any sign of trouble throughout the city. He had about fifty or so Ismeros of his own posted around Chicago. Various members of the High Council probably had another sixty or seventy. They lived their normal, day-to-day lives, yet kept a close watch for him during the day while he slept. He offered them protection from the terrors that the world provided, while they provided him with information and food.

Truth be told, had anything serious happened that day, the psychic connection he held with his Ismeros would have woken him from even the deepest sleep. It was part of a vampire’s long-evolved self-preservation mechanism, an army to protect him while he was most vulnerable, while he slept. While the need for an army of Ismeros had long since faded, the tradition of keeping them had not. The simple fact that he’d overslept was a sign that all was peaceful in the city. At any rate, it was still something he did every evening when he awoke, just to be sure.

It had been decades since anything tempestuous had happened in his domain. The last Strigoi to invade Chicago had been John Wayne Gacy. His reign of terror had lasted far too long. It had taken the Council years to catch up with and dispose of the rogue vampire. They would have caught up with him much sooner had human law enforcement not gotten in their way. The thought of the long-executed Strigoi still made Holden rage inside.

That bastard had killed one of Holden’s favorite Ismeros, Lukas, back in the 1970s. That boy had fucked like a champ and tasted like heaven, dipped in amazing and served with a side of remarkable. It still made Holden sad to think about. After all, it was because of Holden that boy had learned to trust vampires, which ultimately lead him to his untimely death. Holden still felt partially to blame and like a failure for not being able to save him.

“Should I just order takeout? Or should I go pick something up?” Holden said out loud to his empty room as he climbed from the warmth of his bed, scanning a mental list of Ismeros again, this time searching for any willing blood donors, who lived happened to live nearby, that might pique his interest. It was Monday. Which meant the bars and clubs would be relatively quiet in the area, yet none of his Ismeros were catching his attention.

He always did what he could to avoid the any of the Council’s Ismeros, never fully trusting them. Their loyalty lay with the Council, not with him. So, he always thought of them as spies despite working for the same team. “I’ll pick something up,” he decided out loud to an empty room.

He moved to the window, pulling up the generic blinds, which released a cloud of dust and looked out the city grid below. The orange shimmer flooded the room, illuminating his naked body in the window. He really loved this new apartment; it was too bad he wouldn’t be able to stay long. The Council forced him to move frequently, more so because they thought it was best, not because he wanted to. It was an attempt to not to draw any unwanted attention from a nosey human. Human neighbors tended to notice when the twenty-something next door always remained a twenty-something.

Holden had learned that lesson quickly in the years following the Great Chicago Fire. A neighbor had accused him of being a witch, which made for an exciting few weeks. In a stroke of luck, she’d ended up dying of cholera a short while later, and the attention quickly dwindled.

That age had been a bit more superstitious than today’s society, but the Council insisted he not take any chances, so every few years he moved to a different part of the city. He had found this apartment a few months prior. Its location on a penthouse floor of a high rise on Lake Shore Drive had definite perks. Lincoln Park, the lakefront playground that stretched from downtown to the far north side, was directly across the boulevard-turned-freeway, and it offered plenty of dark areas for hunting, chock full of potential meals. Joggers, bikers, various riff-raff, late-night walkers… to a Vampire, it was like an international buffet. Each and every one of them ripe for the picking, with the park affording all the necessary discretion to do so. It was quite dark; all the trees muted the copper glow from the city streets on one side and on the other, a hundred mile stretch of the black, open waters of Lake Michigan. He almost always hunted his breakfast here, granted, it was usually a few hours earlier.

Another option was to try his luck in the local bars and nightclubs that the neighboring Boystown and Wrigleyville had to offer. Being a Monday the only people at the bars and clubs around 4 am, his dinner hour, would be the hardcore drunks. And that much alcohol neither helped with how they tasted nor with how well they’d perform in the bedroom, both of which were equally important to a vampire. Tonight, he decided, he would exercise his third option, he would find an Ismeros to bring over for dinner, but breakfast he was going to be an excellent old-fashioned hunt.

His naked form crossed the room into the ensuite bathroom, and he turned on the shower. Steam quickly fogged up the enclosure, which was entirely made out of frameless-glass. He climbed into the black marble interior and let the hot water spray over his skin and muscles washing away any trace of his early morning romp with last night’s dinner.

The hot water soothed as it poured over his body. He massaged both of his shoulders with his hands. All of his muscles ached and burned. They cried out to be fed, burning for fuel. Every muscle fiber in his body was silently screaming out for food, having long burned off the meal from his tryst the night prior. Reminding him that it had been almost eighteen hours since he’d eaten. Jacob? Jake? John? Joe? He couldn’t remember. Johann? He had tasted Swedish, or maybe Finnish; it was hard to tell here in the New World. Everyone was a little bit of everything these days. Whatever he was, it was nothing spectacular, neither in taste nor his ability to perform in the bedroom. The boy had wound up being rather prudish and shy in bed, which was what Holden had expected from a boy who agreed to come home with him less than thirty minutes after they’d met.

Sundays had historically been very easy. The boys of East Lakeview were always eager for one last weekend rendezvous before they had to go back to the monotony of the workweek. Most them begging for his phone number before he sent them on their way, always remembering the incredible fuck, never remembering him feeding on them. He was still happy to oblige. A vampire was always on the lookout for new Ismeros, sex, and food available at his every beck and call, but it was rare that they ever actually called. Sure, he’d sometimes get a text message, but in truth, the sleek iPhone that he’d bought at the insistence of his live-in Ismeros, Marie, rarely left where it was neatly docked on his desk in the living room. He had no real use for the thing, anyone he truly cared for, he was directly linked to, with a natural, psychic link. By the time he would see the text message, the boys usually had moved on to the next best thing, and that suited this vampire just fine.

He emerged from the shower, wrapping his toned vampire body in only a plain white towel. The terrycloth fabric hung low from his waist, showing off his well-defined abdominal muscles and giving off just the slightest hint of well-groomed hair that it hid beneath its rough surface, as he walked into the living room. Marie was there, folding the solid black, Egyptian cotton sheets from his feeding room. He kept a second room strictly for feeding and fucking, having long ago been taught that you don’t bring your food into the bed that you sleep in. Things, of course, could always end up getting a little bit messy, with the inevitable exchange of body fluids.

“You slept late tonight,” she said, giving him a sharp look of concern, “Are you feeling okay?”

“I wish you’d woken me,’ he smiled. “But, yeah, I feel fine,” he said with a shrug of confidence. He was a vampire, and vampires never got sick. “Have you ever known me, or any vampire for that matter, to feel sick? I’m not sure, maybe my dinner date wore me out last night,” He smiled, remembering how attractive the boy had been. His name had definitely been Johann. “Speaking of, did you see him out?” Holden’s voice had long ago become very Americanized, losing almost all traces of its European roots.

“He left shortly after he awoke this morning,” she said, “looking just as confused as the rest of them. I’m not sure how you do it…” She chuckled.

“Talent,” he said coyly, a smirk spreading across his porcelain skin. “I learned from the best.” He, of course, was referring to his Sire, Damek. The elder vampire was nearly a thousand years old and had personally groomed Holden to be in the position that he was, Watcher for the High Council of Vampires.

“I find it hard to believe that you aren’t the best,” she flirted, “I seem to remember you being the best.” Her New Orleans accent was still discernable after all these years and always served her well in the art of flattery.

They, of course, had a very long history, at least in human terms, dating back to the late 1960s. He’d found her, homeless on the streets, ravaged by a rogue vampire, who had briefly passed through town. Having run away from an abusive home in Louisiana, she had nowhere to go, so he’d taken her in, raised her first as a foster child, then as a lover, but now she’d out-aged him, and things had come full circle. She loved him, Holden could tell, but not as a lover as she had in her youth, but more maternally. He felt a pang of remorse deep inside his heart. Holden had stolen her youth, taken her life and any hope she had ever had for a family. Next, he would steal her golden years. He shook his head to clear the thought away.

“I think I’m going to the get dressed and head to the park for some breakfast,” he said. “No strange late-night visitors tonight, I promise.”

“Good, then maybe tomorrow I will be able to sleep in,” she said with a nod and a joking smile, returning to the pile of linens at her feet. “Take your phone, please.”

He, of course, heard her request, it was the same request she gave him every night but like most things’ humans said to him, he didn’t give it a whole lot of thought. He dropped his towel into the empty laundry basket next to her feet, turned and his naked form walked back towards his room to get dressed.

About the Author

Jay Barrett lives in Chicago with his husband. A writer in the evening, he’s a flight attendant by day and an avid runner. Marked is his first novel.

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Becoming D’Vaire

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Book Title: Becoming D’Vaire (D’Vaire, Book 11)

Author: Jessamyn Kingley

Cover Artist: LJ Anderson, Mayhem Cover Creations

Genre/s: M/M Urban Fantasy Romance

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Release Date: March 14, 2019

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Blurb

High Arcanist Delaney D’Vaire is the world’s only dark wizard, something that has alienated him from his people since birth. Orphaned as a child, he is shuffled around until the Prism Wizard sees his potential, steps in, and enrolls him in school. Though he never truly feels like he belongs, Delaney excels. Graduating at sixteen, he applies to a unique sanctuary, and his life forever changes when he is accepted. Delaney has the family he’s always wanted; surrounded by love and support, he’s grown into a young man, giving everything to help the people who still scorn him, though he continues to doubt himself. All he needs now is his mate, but Delaney is skeptical that even Fate could come up with his perfect match.

Vampyr Lord Grigori Volkov is the genius of his family. Numbers line up in his head, and he loses sight of the world around him. At fourteen, young Grigori creates a nearly synthetic version of blood to sustain his people, saving countless lives. Content to remain out of the spotlight, his involvement is kept from the general public. Since then, Grigori has spent most of his time alone in his lab, learning all he can and pushing his limits. At twenty-six, Grigori is content with his solitude and doesn’t believe Fate has him in her sights.

When the High Arcanist and the Vampyr Lord appear at the same event, they are stunned to find that Fate indeed has a plan for them. Reeling from their discovery, the mates set upon the task of getting to know each other. It does not take them long to find common ground, but as Delaney and Grigori build their life together, old foes will test them and their entire family. The path Fate has laid out for them is not simple, but they must be strong enough to trust in each other and stand together rather than alone to learn what it truly means to become D’Vaire.

Excerpt

Hours later, Grigori was deeply troubled by his desire to ensure Delaney’s life included everything he wanted. He’d teleported to D’Vaire after sharing a lovely meal with his family where he filled them in on the details of his upcoming ceremony. Grigori was greeted with an enthusiastic kiss from Delaney, then found a cuddly familiar on his shoulder.
However, his pretty mood popped like a bubble when they started talking. He was thrilled to be handed one of the new D’Vaire stones, but it was the subject currently being discussed he would do without given the opportunity.
“Is Dre’Kariston sure he wants to wait to shadow walk? He could move it up a day instead,” Grigori tossed out, treading carefully as he rubbed a hand over Delaney’s leg. The wizard was sprawled out over him on the couch. They’d ditched their shoes, and his initial intention was to get them undressed, but that was not anywhere on his radar now. He hated to think of Delaney on the other side of the veil for any reason at all.
“Yeah, another day isn’t going to matter. Besides, it gives us more time to fine-tune our plans for how we’re going to root Carvallius there.”
“This is something you really want to do?”
Delaney nodded with a smile. “Absolutely. It’s so cool. It’s one of the perks of being a dark caster. I’m lucky enough to have a powerful enough necromancer who can take more than one person with him when he crosses.”
“This is safe?”
Delaney’s grin disappeared. “Shit, you’re worried. Dre’Kariston said Somerly was shitting bricks over him going again. We talked about this before, and you seemed okay with it. I don’t want to make this a thing between us. If it bothers you, I can stay here. I mean, they’ll tell me all about it, and I’m just going to explore. They don’t need me to be there for any of this.”
The wizard’s willingness to drop his idea of going made Grigori feel small and awful. “No, I think you should go. I’m nervous but not like sweating-profusely-going-to-faint-any-minute crazy. I trust you, and I trust the Arch Lich.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yeah, I can’t keep you from doing things because it’s not something I’d want to do or because I’m scared. This is something you want, so I think you should go. Somerly and I will just hold each other tight until our men return from their trip.”
“You might be careful embracing him too snugly. Dre’Kariston’s got a lot of power, he might flatten you.”
“Well, then I hope you like it on the other side of the veil, because he’ll send us both there, and I won’t have you saying ‘Oh, for fate’s sake, Grigori, now we’re fucking dead and this place sucks.’ ”
“I won’t. I’ll start out by reminding you that you missed our first date, and you got yourself killed by cuddling the fuck out of Somerly.”
Grigori kissed his welcoming mouth. “I only cuddle the fuck out of you.”
“Then we just might be safe. You sure you don’t want me to skip it?”
“I want you to go. Well, no…that’s a lie. I don’t want you to go. I want you to stay here with me but I’ll get over it, because that’s selfish. You’ll only be gone for a little while, then you’ll have this amazing experience to tell me about.”
“It’ll be okay, I promise.”
“Just like when I drink from you the first time.”

About the Author

Jessamyn Kingley lives in Nevada where she begs the men in her head to tell her their amazing stories which she dutifully writes it all down in what has become a small mountain of notebooks. She falls in love with each couple and swears whatever book she wrote last is her absolute favorite.

Jessamyn is married and working toward remembering to start the dishwasher without being distracted by the scent of the magical detergent. For personal enjoyment, she aids in cat rescue while slashing and gashing her way through mobs in various MMORPGs. Caffeine is her very best friend and is only cast aside briefly for the sin better known as BBQ potato chips.

Visit her website and follow her on Facebook. She loves to engage with readers there.

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Series Review Tour

SERIES REVIEW TOUR

This series is about dragons who want nothing more than to live in peace, but refuse to be subjugated. In war there’s also love, and love is blind. Love doesn’t care about gender, race, species (in this case), or sexuality.

 

BOOK 1 of 3

Book Title: SYN Consulting: Dragon War Chronicles Book One

Author: A.G. Carothers

Publisher: A.G. Carothers

Cover Artist: Angsty G

Genre/s: LGBT Urban Fantasy

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 69 000 words/ 263 pages

Release Date: August 17, 2018

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Blurb

Continue to hide or help save the very kin she’s hidden from?

Welcome to SYN Consulting, the top business strategy consulting firm in Europe, home to a motley crew whose leader has a life changing secret. CEO, Danica Lestrange, is the first female dragon born in the last 800 years. Hidden from the rest of her kin and raised in the human world, she built a life that she would defend until her death.

A devious plan is unearthed while working on a new business deal that could plunge the dragons into another war with the humans. The humans may have forgotten the last dragon-human war, but the dragons have not. Will the war reveal this hidden world to the humans, or will the clans come together to defeat their enemies and maintain their anonymity?

Danica must gather her allies and help the very dragons she’s hidden from her whole life. She can only hope that she’ll be strong enough to protect her chosen family.

This is the first book in a new series about dragons who want nothing more than to live in peace, but refuse to be subjugated. In war there’s also love, and love is blind. Love doesn’t care about gender, race, species (in this case), or sexuality.

Warning: This book contains explicit sexual content between consenting adults. The sexual scenes are MM, MF, and MMF. There are romantic relationships depicted that are MM. There is also a high level of explicit language, snark, kink, and possibly bad puns and fart jokes.

This book does end in a cliffhanger. Secrets Revealed: Dragon War Chronicles Book Two is Available Now!

 

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Excerpt

Matthew finished the last bit of his sandwich as he stood up going over to a wall of glass that overlaid the actual wall. The glass was one large computer interface, much like most of the glass in the building from the table they were eating on to elevator walls, to all the glass panel monitors of various sizes. Matt tapped on the panel bringing up several windows and enlarging them so that everyone could see. He pulled a photo of Kollin Olsen and moved it to the center.

He reached back, grabbing his bottle of water. Swallowing a mouthful, he cleared his throat and started his report. “I finished my preliminary research into KleanTech and Global Gas. You’ll never believe who Kollin Olsen is.” Danica was completely occupied with a large mouthful of her sandwich and gestured for him to continue. “He’s the next alpha to the Norwegian Dragon Clan, son of none other than Hafthór Ormsson, making him Jǫkull Ormsson, The Glacier himself.”

“Fuck!” Danica thought, looking over at Xander, who could hear her thought clearly.

“Fuck is right,” he answered out loud.

Danica took another bite of her sandwich and looked around the table at the family she had created, mulling over that bombshell. Matt, thankfully, let her take her time and waited silently while she came to terms with that disturbing news.

These SLIPs who stood by her, supported her, and loved her were, for the lack of a better word, her pack as motley as they were. They were hers to protect as much as they protected her. She thought about that as she continued to eat. Xander placed a hand on her thigh and squeezed it reassuringly. If she took this job, she risked exposure of what she was. With that, she risked not just her life, but all of their lives.

 

BOOK 2 of 3

Book Title: Secrets Revealed: Dragon War Chronicles Book Two

Author: A.G. Carothers

Publisher: A.G. Carothers

Cover Artist: Angsty G

Genre/s: LGBT Fantasy

Length: 53 000 words/194 pages

Release Date: November 2, 2018

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Blurb

Last time on Dragon War Chronicles, we left our heroes fighting for their lives in the midst of battle…

Kollin races against time to get samples of the weapon used in Canada to their lab in Oslo. Kenshin races to get Danica back home in time to save her, Aiden and Xander. Danica’s allies start to converge in Toulouse in aide and help to prepare for what may come.

Will Kollin be able to help save Danica, Aiden, and Xander before all is lost? Will Matt be able to track down who’s responsible for a new weapon that threatens them all? What will happen when Danica’s biggest secret is revealed?

Secrets are revealed that will change the future for all dragon and SLIP kind alike.

Warning: This book contains explicit sexual situations that are MM, MF, and MMMF. There are romantic relationships displayed that are MM and some depictions of loving and consensual BDSM relationships. There are also bad puns, a game of tag with an invisible dragon, and lions, jaguars, and bears. Oh my!

 

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Excerpt

Kenshin relaxed back against the hull of the plane again after ending the call with Kollin.This time yesterday everything was fine. How did things get this fucked up, this quickly? Kenshin closed his eyes, and exhaustion started to seep in. The noise of the cargo plane dimmed inhis mind with each breath he took.

“I remember when I first met her.” JP’s voice cut through his attempt at meditation and Kenshin’s eyes flew open. JP continued, “She looked no older than fifteen. I thought for sure she was using a fake passport to get into La Trésor. She wouldn’t stand down though. She looked up at me, and even though she had an American passport, she spoke in fluent French, which I didn’t expect. But I also didn’t expect her to stand her ground when I tried to get her to move and go home.”

Kenshin was tempted to stop him from telling his story, to shout out that he’s being stupid for talking like that. Telling stories like that is something you do when you’re talking of the dead and DAMN IT! She wasn’t dead yet.

“Cool as a cucumber she looked me in the eye and demanded to speak to the owner. Even the threat of the Gendarmerie didn’t sway her, and she didn’t try to bribe her way in like most would have. That right there was why I finally made the call up to Olivier. And you know what she did when she finally came face to face with him?”

Kenshin turned his head towards JP. The packmates closest to them were all looking at JP completely enraptured by his tale. Kenshin didn’t know what happened, so he was curious.

JP smiled and gave a little laugh at the memory. “She didn’t do what you’d expect someone to do. She didn’t yell or demand he fire me. No, not Dani. She said, and I’ll never forget this. She said, Whatever you’re paying him, double it and put him in charge. She went on to tell him how the other bouncers didn’t look twice at her because they were too busy looking at her tits. She said it just like that too. She didn’t back down then to get what she wanted, and she’s not going to do that now. She’s strong, our Dani. She’s never backed down from a challenge, and she won’t back down from this. We have to have faith because we all know she’d have it in us.”

Claps and cheers went up around Kenshin, and he smiled probably for the first time that morning. JP was right, and Kenshin needed to keep in mind how strong she really was. Listening to him made Kenshin think about his own first time with her. He knew when he saw this arrogant kid stride into his father’s office in Kyoto, dressed the way she normally does that he just might have a way out from under his father. That he could finally be free for the first time in over two-hundred years. And make no mistake at a fraction of his age, she was a kid, and he had just spent the last sixty years helping his father build Nakamura Industries. But there was something about her, and her business proposal to his father was solid, a little crazy, but solid.

The plane quieted down as everyone settled in for the long flight home. Faith. He had faith in her all those years ago and he’d not waiver now. JP was right. Strength, determination, stubbornness. These were the things that made up their dragon. They were the things that would see her to the other side of this in one piece. Kenshin closed his eyes again and sleep finally took him now that his mind was settled.

 

BOOK 3 of 3 – NEW RELEASE

Book Title: First Strike: Dragon War Chronicles Book 3

Author: A.G. Carothers

Publisher: A.G. Carothers

Cover Artist: Angsty G

Genre/s: LGBT Fantasy

Length: approx. 58 000 words/230 pages

Release Date: March 8, 2019

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Blurb

Previously on Dragon War Chronicles, our heroes recovered and were preparing to take the fight to a still unknown enemy. Meanwhile, startling breeding experiments were revealed.

Three sites are discovered in Russia that could hold all the answers they’ve been looking for. Three strike teams are assembled led by Xander, Kollin, and Tyler. Three simultaneous attacks are combined to make one devastating first strike against their hidden enemies.

What horrors will they discover? What plans will be revealed? Why is a member of the Dragon Council showing up on Danica’s doorstep with ultimatums?

Find out in the next exciting installment of Dragon War Chronicles.

Warning: This book contains explicit sexual contact between consenting adults. There are romantic, BDSM, and purely sexual relations shown that are MM and MF. There is also high sexual tension and alpha male posturing that will make you laugh and roll your eyes along with plenty of snark and definite teasing of dwarf-like dragons.

 

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Excerpt

Aiden and Lukas were able to leave Danica’s flat right after dinner. She told everyone to go and have fun before she curled up on her couch with Bastien to watch movies. Aiden led Lukas out the office door and down to the river. He’d never been out with his Master like this, and all he wanted was to take a walk holding hands. So, they did.

As they came closer to the bridge, Aiden stopped. He pointed to some bushes that were growing against the wall. “This is where I found Bastien. He was such a small pup. His fur was matted, and he was so skinny. I knew right away he was one of us.” Lukas squeezed his hand gently. “It took me forever to coax him out and let me touch him. He was so scared. You know we still don’t know what happened to his pack or where he came from? He says he doesn’t remember, but we think he just really doesn’t want to talk about it.”

Lukas listened to Aiden ramble patiently as always. “You’ve raised him well, Aiden. He’s a fine young praeses. He’s smart and has learned a lot from everyone around him.” Lukas pulled him close and wrapped an arm around his waist.

Aiden wrapped his arms around Lukas’ neck. He was only slightly taller than Aiden, and he was slimmer, but they fit together perfectly. “That first year with Bastien was the hardest. He had nightmares almost every night. Danica would sit with him and read him stories until he fell back asleep. He’d curl up on her lap refusing to shift out of his wolf form.”

“I remember when you brought him for the first time to the pack lands for a run. That was the first time I really saw you. You were so patient with him. We only had a few pups around his age at the time, and he didn’t want to go near them, but you finally got him to play with them. That was the first time I saw you as a wolf too, and you stole my breath away.” Aiden blushed at Lukas’ praise. Lukas leaned down and nipped at Aiden’s ear. “I wanted you so much starting that day. You know you’ve been my pup for almost ten years now?”

Lukas’ deep, low voice sent shivers down Aiden’s spine as he nodded. “Yes, Master.”

“I have many plans for us, now that we don’t have to hide anymore.” One of Lukas’ hands traveled lower and cupped Aiden’s ass. Aiden whimpered softly.

 

About the Author

 

A.G. Carothers is actually a dragon very cleverly disguised as a human. They are a non-binary author of LGBTQIA Romance and Urban Fantasy, who enjoys writing original and entertaining stories. They are very excited to share the worlds they’ve created with you.


A.G. currently lives in Tennessee with their platonic life partner, who is not a dragon. They yearn to live back in Europe and will some day. In their spare time they are addicted to losing themselves in the lovely worlds created by other authors

A.G. is committed to writing the stories they see in their head without restrictions. Love is blind and doesn’t see gender, race, or sexuality.

 

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The Rising

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Book Title: The Rising (Badlands, Book 2)

Author: Morgan Brice

Cover Artist: Natania Barron

Genre/s: Urban Fantasy, MM paranormal romance

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Release Date: February 13, 2019

Can be read as a standalone

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Blurb

A big storm is brewing, there’s a killer on the loose, and the ghosts of Myrtle Beach are restless. Psychic medium Simon Kincaide and his sexy cop boyfriend, homicide detective Vic D’Amato have their hands full helping the Grand Strand brace for rough surf, driving rain and high winds as a winter storm roars toward shore.

Everyone’s on edge, and rumors are rampant about sightings of Blackcoat Benny, a ghostly omen of danger, and worse, the Gallows Nine, the spirits of nine infamous criminals hanged back in the 1700s, a harbinger of disaster. Rough tides wash the wreck of an old pirate ship into shallow waters, high winds threaten to damage an old mansion with a dark past, and the citizens of the beach town hunker down to ride out the storm.

As the skies grow dark and the sea turns wild, several men from prominent local families end up dead under suspicious circumstances. Simon’s premonition confirms Vic’s gut feeling—the killing is just getting started. As Simon tries to reach out to the spirits of the murdered men to help the investigation, he’s attacked by malicious ghosts that don’t want anyone getting in the way of their long-overdue vengeance.

With the storm hammering the coast, and new victims piling up, Simon is certain that the sins and secrets of the past are coming due, and that the murders have a supernatural link. Vic and Simon race to stop the murders against an unholy deadline, but as they battle rising tides and risen ghosts, can they save the intended victims without getting trapped themselves.

Trigger Warning: Mentions of suicide (not main characters)

Excerpt

Grand Strand Ghost Tours didn’t just arise from Simon’s passion for myth, legend, and folklore; it was rooted in his abilities as a psychic medium. Sure, the ghost tours were largely entertainment, but Simon also gave private psychic readings and conducted séances by appointment. Along with the books he wrote about ghosts and the speaking engagements he provided for local organizations, Simon had managed to create a thriving business. He leaned against the railing, enjoying a moment of contentment.

Or maybe, the calm before the storm, a little voice in the back of his mind warned.

His phone buzzed, and Simon pulled it from his pocket and smiled. “Hey. Miss me?”

“Always.” Homicide lieutenant Vic D’Amato’s voice was a husky rumble. “I just wanted to check what time you finish up tonight. Figured it was my turn to pick up dinner.” The tone in Vic’s voice promised far more than food, and Simon felt the anticipation go right to his dick.

“I should be finished around seven. It’s off-season, so no tours on Mondays. You have a busy day lined up?” Simon asked as he started walking toward his favorite coffee shop.

“Not yet, and I’m hoping it stays that way,” Vic replied. “It’s never a good thing when we’re busy.”

“Let me know if you hear anything official about the storm. I’ve heard six different forecasts, and I haven’t even gotten coffee yet.”

“Sure thing—but don’t expect anything dependable yet. We’re too far out.”

Simon knew how changeable forecasts could be so close to the ocean. Still, Myrtle Beach had barely gotten back on its feet after the last hurricane, so the news of another severe winter storm—hurricane or not—had everyone on edge.

“Be careful out there,” Simon said, letting his voice drop to a growl. “I love you.”

“Love you, too. Stay out of trouble.”

Despite the forecasts, Simon couldn’t help feeling a spring in his step after talking with Vic. They’d been together for less than a year, but Simon was finding it more and more difficult to remember what life was like before meeting his handsome homicide cop. Vic had officially moved into Simon’s retro blue bungalow after the holidays, and while they were still working out their new living situation, Simon had never been happier.”

“The boardwalk might not be busy, but Le Mizzenmast, Simon’s favorite coffee shop, was always bustling. The locals called it Le Miz, not to be confused with the musical. The building had previously been a pirate-themed attraction, and when Tracey Cullen took over, she couldn’t afford to remodel, so she just incorporated the pirate decor into her theme and went with it.

“Hi, Simon!” Tracey called with a wave from behind the register. “You want the usual?” When Simon nodded, Tracey turned to her barista. “One Dread Pirate Roberts and a mocha please!”

Simon took his place in line, remembering how he and Vic had met right here, waiting for coffee. Simon had taken one look at Vic’s muscled body, his dark brown eyes, and the ink on his arms and felt an instant attraction. After all these months and several hair-raising adventures, the magnetism had only gotten stronger. Being in love felt wonderful, and Simon resolved to enjoy every minute of it.”

Excerpt From: Morgan Brice. The Rising: A Badlands Novel.

About the Author

Morgan Brice is the romance pen name of bestselling author Gail Z. Martin. Morgan writes urban fantasy male/male paranormal romance, with plenty of action, adventure and supernatural thrills to go with the happily ever after. Gail writes epic fantasy and urban fantasy, and together with co-author hubby Larry N. Martin, steampunk and comedic horror, all of which have less romance, more explosions. Characters from her Gail books make frequent appearances in secondary roles in her Morgan books, and vice versa.

On the rare occasions Morgan isn’t writing, she’s either reading, cooking, or spoiling two very pampered dogs.

Other books include Witchbane, Burn, Dark Rivers, and Badlands. Watch for more in these series, plus new series coming soon!

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Becoming D’Vaire

COVER REVEAL

Book Title: Becoming D’Vaire (D’Vaire, Book 11)

Author: Jessamyn Kingley

Cover Artist: LJ Anderson, Mayhem Cover Creations

Genre/s: M/M Urban Fantasy Romance

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Release Date: March 14, 2019

 

Tagline

There is nothing ordinary about finding where you belong.

Blurb

High Arcanist Delaney D’Vaire is the world’s only dark wizard, something that has alienated him from his people since birth. Orphaned as a child, he is shuffled around until the Prism Wizard sees his potential, steps in, and enrolls him in school. Though he never truly feels like he belongs, Delaney excels. Graduating at sixteen, he applies to a unique sanctuary, and his life forever changes when he is accepted. Delaney has the family he’s always wanted; surrounded by love and support, he’s grown into a young man, giving everything to help the people who still scorn him, though he continues to doubt himself. All he needs now is his mate, but Delaney is skeptical that even Fate could come up with his perfect match.

Vampyr Lord Grigori Volkov is the genius of his family. Numbers line up in his head, and he loses sight of the world around him. At fourteen, young Grigori creates a nearly synthetic version of blood to sustain his people, saving countless lives. Content to remain out of the spotlight, his involvement is kept from the general public. Since then, Grigori has spent most of his time alone in his lab, learning all he can and pushing his limits. At twenty-six, Grigori is content with his solitude and doesn’t believe Fate has him in her sights.

When the High Arcanist and the Vampyr Lord appear at the same event, they are stunned to find that Fate indeed has a plan for them. Reeling from their discovery, the mates set upon the task of getting to know each other. It does not take them long to find common ground, but as Delaney and Grigori build their life together, old foes will test them and their entire family. The path Fate has laid out for them is not simple, but they must be strong enough to trust in each other and stand together rather than alone to learn what it truly means to become D’Vaire.

About the Author

Jessamyn Kingley lives in Nevada where she begs the men in her head to tell her their amazing stories which she dutifully writes it all down in what has become a small mountain of notebooks. She falls in love with each couple and swears whatever book she wrote last is her absolute favorite.

Jessamyn is married and working toward remembering to start the dishwasher without being distracted by the scent of the magical detergent. For personal enjoyment, she aids in cat rescue while slashing and gashing her way through mobs in various MMORPGs. Caffeine is her very best friend and is only cast aside briefly for the sin better known as BBQ potato chips.

Visit her website and follow her on Facebook. She loves to engage with readers there.

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The Bitching Tree

The Bitching Tree

by Scott Hungerford

An urban fantasy novel about a very small crow.

Available on Amazon Kindle for $3.99

Set in the modern-day world of the Corax Chronicles, The Bitching Tree is a story about a very small crow named Cobb.  A crow that loves to fly, he lives in Seattle as a member of the great flock that congregates around the majestic Bitching Tree. Serving both as a site of governance and a place to cast grievances, the tree is the center of Seattle crow society – and also a potent source of nature’s primal magic.

But when news arrives that an ancient enemy named the Red Crow is coming to claim the tree for his own, Cobb is given the task of journeying all the way from Seattle to Cordova, Alaska, in order to meet his new mentor and undergo the training he will need to both protect his flock and keep the Bitching Tree from falling into the hands of evil. But the quest will require Cobb to maintain a delicate balance between the crow he is – and the hero he needs to become.

Opening Pages of ‘The Bitching Tree’

Dawn rises over the Seattle skyline, painting rose over gray at the beginning of an early October morning. Bands of color warm the sky, spreading out across the sleeping city, warming cold brick and chilled metal with the first rays of day.

Hungry, desperately so, he keeps moving along the edge of the rooftop, ticking his way alongside the gutters, scraping along the tar paper, occasionally stopping to check out a glistening tidbit or morsel stuck in the old metal edges. Hunched shoulders, bent back, intent eyes—a wriggling bug becomes another tasty, crunchy snack. It doesn’t satisfy his hunger, but it’s an early morning start. Other crows taw and fly by in the distance, on their way to meeting points and secret breakfast spots they keep to themselves. By the sound of their calls they’re nobody he knows, but they’re kin nonetheless.

Hopping down, he makes an outstretched landing on the edge of an open garbage dumpster below, then conducts a hurried, quick series of motions along the rim, trying to mimic grace, balance, and dexterity. But just as he’s about to reach the center, without fluttering or flailing even once, he slip-slides off the slick metal. Instead of falling in, he falls out—and makes a hard landing on the pavement five feet below, a crash hard enough to clack his teeth, rattle his bones, and leave him sitting sprawl-legged on the sidewalk with pebbles and grit stinging his palms.

“Fuck!” he yells at the world, at the rose color already starting to fade out of the morning sky. Hungry and wet and exhausted, he’s tired of being tall, of everything being so out of proportion, so giant, so skewed. He knows that after the long trip on foot up the hill from the University he’s almost to his roost. It’s just up there in the square of glass and concrete situated above the alley, in the place his body knows deep down as his home.

He. He calls home.

“Fuck!” he yells again, frustrated, dragging it out, making his displeasure known. A dirty gray gull on the wing, feathers ruffling with the sound of its passage, flies over the alley and steadfastly ignores his plight. His eyes follow the scavenger to make sure it isn’t going to circle around and pick a fight. When he is sure that the gull is gone, the man looks back at the ladder that led up to the roof of the three-story tenement—the accursed ladder that got him nowhere but standing above where he lived, and most certainly not within it!

Reaching into his jacket pocket, he pulls out the ring of metal bits, shiny and jagged. He remembers the fluid feeling of key in lock, of long appendages wrapping around a protrusion and clenching hard to open the portal wide. Getting up from the concrete, regretting the pain in his tailbone, he limps around the building to the glass entry at the front. He fumbles with the ring of puzzles until he finds the one he thinks he needs.

Following the man’s memories, he manages to insert the metal bit and deceive the door into opening for him. Once inside, he intuitively sprints up the carpeted stairs and down the hallway to his own scratched white door, number fourteen, as if he’s running for his life.

This door yields for him as well. Inside, it’s warm and safe. He knows he’s alone, in a small number of rooms with nowhere to hide anyone but him. After a lifetime under open sky and living at the roosting bridge by the University, the empty, low-ceilinged set of chambers seems impossibly vast and impossibly cramped all at the same time. Pictures, drawn with lead and charcoal and chalk, are displayed on the walls, showing people and places from all around the city. The bed is a mess. Clothes are scattered across the floor and the laundry basket is full to overflowing. The sink is filled with dishes that stink. The bag in the plastic bin beneath the sink smells of metal and spoil.

Taking off his coat, he drops it on the floor by the edge of the bed. Struggling, he manages to wrest off his shoes without untying the laces, mostly by standing on the heels and shoving down with his misshapen feet with all his might. When he is barefoot he feels better, he feels—

—like his mind is breaking. Wriggling, naked white toes instead of talons. His beautiful feathers are gone and his face is ripped apart, delicate beak replaced with brittle teeth that feel like they would break if he accidentally chewed a stone. Panicked, his body reacts, and he flees by instinct into the tiled room off the hallway. Presented with a low bowl of water and an empty knee-high basin partly protected by a hanging sheet of plastic, he chooses the latter to vomit and splatter into, not wanting to foul any water he might need to drink later. He messily throws up all of the bits and bugs he’s eaten since it happened last night at dusk. He is shocked at the fluid feel of his body giving up precious sustenance so easily.

When the spasms cease and he has the strength to stand again, he rises and washes his face in the sink. Cold water numbs his fingers and the skin of his face. He looks up, and that’s when he sees himself for the first time. Ridiculous rounded ears and brown hair and slight nose, the curve of his jaw and the strange hollow depression resting between his nose and mouth. He touches the weird spot, the inversion, marveling at its distinction, its lack of purpose, even as his wide brown eyes dart back and forth between his hands and the mirror, trying to make sense of his reflection’s naked truth.

Eyelashes are ridiculous, he decides, then looks away, unable to take the shame of his visage. No one would recognize him now, no one he knew and loved. He is a human now, with feet and hands and a history. He is a crow, too, lost in this skyscraper of a body, looking out through twin round-lensed windows at the ground far below, without wings to carry him and prevent him from falling. Just useless hands and elbows and knees, a featherless automaton that moves and repeats and remembers without being told.

Drying his face on a towel, he staggers into the kitchen looking for something to clear the taste of sorrow out of his strangely shaped mouth.

On the countertop he finds bread, a whole dark loaf of it, filled with cracked bits of grain and seeds. Stunned, never having seen such a cornucopia unguarded before, he messily tears open the plastic bag and lets the pieces of bread fall and tumble to the floor. Dropping to his knees, he begins to eat, cramming in mouthful after mouthful with both hands, ripping at the soft fabric of the food, stunned at the taste of freshness and softness that fills every bite. He resists the nearly primal urge to call out, to alert other crows to what he’s found so they can share the meal and safety in numbers together, proof from jays and gulls and whatever other thieves are nearby. But he manages to keep silent, to keep his mouth stuffed with bread, preserving the prize all to himself.

When he’s had his fill, when most of the loaf is gone, he lays down among the torn, yeasty remainders to make sure that no other crow gets his feast. There, half tucked beneath the sink, his head resting on a fallen hand towel, he looks at the art-covered refrigerator. He looks up at the early morning clouds moving slowly outside the window and feels a strange calm coming over him.

He remembers himself for a moment, from back when he had feathers instead of fingers. Amid all the noise and words and images that are in constant tumult within the human mind, he grasps a fleeting memory of why he is here in the human world, lost and alone. Of how it all started for him yesterday morning beneath the canopy of the Bitching Tree, a great sprawling oak with branches reaching high enough to meet the sky.

Protected by Old Thom, the sacred tree is the center of every crow’s world for three days’ flight in every direction. It is where the flocks that live throughout the vast human city come to argue disputes and serve justice upon one another with all the authority the tree offers. The old oak is the heart, their sanctum, the shared place where the old power rises up to aid those who seek wisdom or waking dreams within its sheltering branches.

But he knows the Red Crow is coming. He knows their most ancient enemy is coming to claim the Bitching Tree as its own, with a winged army big enough to blot out the sky. That is why he is here now, in this body. He must find the two-in-one who will teach him to fight. Not just as a crow, but as a man, before all he knows is lost to war and death.

But as terrifying as this knowledge is, he is exhausted. He lets himself fade into sleep, gently, bit by bit, until he makes himself dream of interlaced branches and the smell of warm feathers. But that soon changes and fades as the sacred tree vanishes from beneath him, from around him. Then he is gliding silently down into the unknowable darkness, with only the cold, wailing wind beneath his wings.

About the Author

Hello, there! My name is Scott Hungerford, and I’ve worked as a professional game designer and storyteller over the last twenty+ years of my career.  While by day I currently work as a virtual reality game designer on game apps for medical therapy and training, by night I’m an urban fantasy novelist, an improvisational piano player, and a board and card game designer who just likes to build neat stuff for other folks to enjoy.

Beyond writing tons of short stories, novellas, novels, and all manner of game-related stuff, I’ve worked as a professional game designer and storyteller for the twenty-five+ years I’ve worked in the game industry, even running story for brands like Magic: the Gathering and Mage Knight. Through the course of my career I’ve worked on more than thirty published computer game titles, written for more than fifty board/card/RPG products, and have touched the lives of more than ten million people with my creativity!

While I’ve been publishing books since 2013, the first few fantasy novels I launched on Amazon are pulled down for the moment, as I want to do some rewrites and let my new book editor take a crack at them. But back in the day The Fire Cage landed #1 in Amazon’s YA Steampunk category, Goblin Girl landed #3 in Amazon’s YA Fairy Tales, and Wish landed in Amazon’s Top 20 Sword and Sorcery. With the recent success of Crossroads in August 2018, hitting #2 on Amazon’s Urban Fantasy lists, I’m really looking forward to seeing how my current series is going to play out over the next twelve months!

Care to follow?

You can follow me on Facebook on my author page at @ScottHungerfordAuthor, or use the following link to jump directly to my page: https://bit.ly/2DaOITm

I accept invites to my author page all the time – but know because of Facebook’s policy, I don’t mix my personal page and my business page at all. So, if you want to see information about my books, sign up on my author page, as I rarely post anything about the books on my personal page to make sure Facebook doesn’t get cranky with me!

Also, if you want to know a little more about who I am professionally, or read the occasional essays I post, you can also check out my full presence on LinkedIn at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/scotthungerford/

 

 

The Vampire’s Mark

Title: The Vampire’s Mark
Author: Rachel Jonas
Genre: Upper YA/NA Paranormal Romance | Urban Fantasy | Reverse Harem Romance | Vampire Romance
Cover Designer: Najla Qamber of Najla Qamber Designs
Publication Date: December 26th, 2018
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR

 

Blurb:
Four blood-sucking princes. A beautiful anarchist. One dangerous mistake.
To the vampires who dominate each quadrant of the Lydian Dynasty, I’m only known as “Blackbird”—a masked vigilante who, at nineteen, is already public enemy number one.
To what’s left of humanity, I’ve been called a superhero, a title I neither welcome nor deserve. My only objective is to offer the enslaved what was stolen from us …
Freedom.
However, a failed plan lands me in the last place I imagined, at the mercy of all four Dynasty princes—Julian, Levi, Roman, and Silas. They’re monsters, each with a heart rumored to be as cold as his icy skin. And what’s worse, thanks to the slip-up, my fate is suddenly theirs to decide.
It’s up to them whether I’ll swing from the gallows, and I’ve given them every reason to sentence me to such a fate. Yet, I felt something unexplainable when our paths first crossed.
Something that gives me hope.
We should be one another’s worst nightmare. Only, I’m beginning to wonder if, somehow … these four princes might be my saving grace.
Buy Links:
Hey! I’m Rachel, a Michigan native with a passion for writing. I have several young adult releases on my schedule. Those releases will be within the genres of paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and dystopian fiction, so I hope you stick with me and check out my future work!
Aside from the many hours spent happily pecking away at my keyboard, I’m a wife, mother of three, an avid reader, and a gamer with a penchant for all things Sims. There will always be a keyboard at my fingertips and I look forward to the words that will flow from them for many years to come. As a self-proclaimed nerd, there’s not a more satisfying career choice I could have made. Happy reading!
Author Links:
Buy Links:
“Interesting … A prince adored by the public, avoids them every chance he gets.”
In my peripheral, I caught the glint of white teeth when he smiled.
“Will that be the headline for your next article?”
My mouth curved up despite my best efforts to stop it. “I suppose if I had any interest in writing about you, it could be.”
“Ouch.” He chuffed a short laugh as his hands left the banister and slipped inside his pockets.
“I meant what I said about my being here having nothing to do with you,” I reminded him, hearing the flirty undertones I didn’t mean to let slip when adding a coy, “Your Highness”.
A breath hitched in my throat when he turned, facing me full-on. I refused to do the same.
“Is it bad I wish that weren’t true?” he asked. “That I wish you had come here for me?”
The question left me speechless. To keep from letting him see how he affected me, I tried distracting myself by naming the different flowers I could spot from here.
… Hydrangeas.
… Lilacs.
“I’m not usually so forward, but … you’re beautiful in this light, with the moon high and clear,” he stated boldly. “Although, I imagine I’d say the same even if we were standing in a storm.”
… Roses.
… Lilies.
I was suddenly aware of soft music floating to this terrace through the open doors of the one below, from the gala where Julian had just whisked me away. His formidable body moved closer and I stared when a hand was extended toward me.
“May I have this dance?”
 
 

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