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October 7, 2016
sidlove

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Release Day Blitz: Surviving Elite High – The Next Generation by John H. Ames

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AboutTheBook

1400x2100TITLE: Surviving Elite High: The Next Generation

AUTHOR: John H. Ames

COVER ARTIST: Louca Matheo

LENGTH: 74,908 words

RELEASE DATE: October 7, 2016

BLURB: 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

Robbie looked away, no doubt his cheeks were bright red. The door swung open again and Allison stepped inside with two teens that appeared his age. The girl on Allison’s left was beautiful, too beautiful to even describe. Her long golden blonde hair hung over her shoulders and her eyes were like two crystal blue diamonds that shone brighter than the stars. She was the spitting image of her father, Nick, but what took his breath away was the guy standing on Allison’s right. He was a few inches taller than him and drop dead gorgeous. He had tanned skin that seemed to glow, the perfect body hidden behind his tight clothes, light brown hair that waved from side to side, and the purest hazel eyes that Robbie had ever seen. They were simply too mesmerizing to be real.

“There you are!” John approached them, placing an arm around them, and gently pushed them forward. “Robbie, this is Lily and Nicky.”

BuyLinks

Amazon US

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AuthorBio

Juan H. Alvarado was born in El Salvador C.A. He currently lives in Belize and began writing in 2008. He posted some of his work on an internet website, and after receiving positive feedback, he completed several full-length novels under his pen name, John Henry Ames. His first completed novel is Surviving Elite High. The story chronicles the life of a gay sixteen-year-old boy as he makes his way through life as an outcast in the shadows of an elite high school where he is tormented by two psychopathic bullies. His passions are writing, reading and spending time with the ones he loves.

||  Website & Blog  ||  Facebook  ||  Twitter  ||  Goodreads  ||

October 3, 2016
sidlove

2 comments

BLOG TOUR: Dinner at Jack’s by Rick R. Reed

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AboutTheBookdinner-at-jacks-fsTITLE: Dinner at Jack’s

AUTHOR: Rick R. Reed

PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press

COVER ARTIST: Reese Dante

LENGTH: 220 Pages

RELEASE DATE: October 3, 2016

BLURB: Personal chef Beau St. Clair, recently divorced from his cheating husband, has returned to the small Ohio River town where he grew up to lick his wounds. Jack Rogers lives with his mother Maisie in that same small town, angry at and frightened of the world. Jack has a gap in his memory that hides something he dares not face, and he’s probably suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Maisie, seeking relief from her housebound and often surly son, hires Beau to cook for Jack, hoping the change might help bring Jack, once a handsome and vibrant attorney, back to his former self. But can a new face and comfort food compensate for the terror lurking in Jack’s past?

Slowly, the two men begin a dance of revelation and healing. Food and compassion build a bridge between Beau and Jack, a bridge that might lead to love.

But will Jack’s demons allow it? Jack’s history harbors secrets that could just as easily rip them apart as bring them together.
Excerpt

 

Maisie quickly gained back some of her composure. She smiled. “Are you ready for something good?”

Jack didn’t answer, not because he couldn’t speak but because he knew if he did, what would come out would be mean-spirited, sarcastic, a way of pushing them both away. And for just this moment, this day, he was fighting mightily against those impulses.

He simply looked over at his mom and allowed his lip to curl up in just one corner to indicate a smile.

Beau came in behind her, holding the white melamine tray he’d grown so used to these past few years as Maisie brought him most of his meals on it. He flattened himself against the headboard as the smells danced across the room to linger under his nose. He breathed in, and their rich, savory notes—garlic, black pepper, Parmesan cheese—ignited something, threw a switch in his brain.

The food not only smelled delicious in an almost transportive way but smelled familiar. Again, Jack couldn’t pinpoint why. Neither could he deny he’d smelled this particular arrangement of aromas at some time in his past—and the association was good. He grasped for it, trying to catch the memory dancing just out of reach in his fevered brain, but he couldn’t catch hold of it. He couldn’t hold it, as it were, in mental hands so he could lift it up, examine it, and place it appropriately in his memory. No, all the smells inspired was a vague nostalgia, as delightful as it was frustrating.

Beau neared the bed. He set the tray down not on Jack’s lap, but next to him.

“I have a feeling you’re going to love this,” Beau said softly, staring into Jack’s eyes.

Jack allowed himself, for only a second or two, to stare back, noticing the rich green of Beau’s eyes, which were the color of moss. He tore his gaze away. Something told him it wasn’t right to stare into another man’s eyes that way. There was something shameful in it.

Instead he looked down at the tray. On it was a white bowl filled with little pillows of pasta he remembered were called gnocchi. They glistened with olive oil, dotted here and there with flakes of red pepper. The tang of the cheese, although barely visible on the pasta, rose up to Jack’s nostrils to remind him it was there. Next to the pasta was a plate upon which was piled a mound of greens, it too glistening with a light dressing. Jack could smell the lemon in it, acidic, tangy, making his mouth water.

He gripped his fists together so tightly he could see his knuckles whiten in his mind’s eye. A sudden urge, powerful, rose up, to push the tray very gently, and while smiling all the while—off the edge of the bed.

No! Why did he want to do such a thing?

He couldn’t bring himself to say anything, especially not anything like “This smells amazing” or “Oh my God, this looks so good.” But he could fight the impulse to fling the food, a gift really, to the floor. Or at least he thought he could….

He looked at Beau, then away quickly, to level a glance at his mother, who was all expectancy and hope. Her hands were clasped together, almost as though she were praying. And maybe she was.

Staring down at the tray at last, he lifted it up and onto his lap. He grabbed the paper towel on its surface and tucked it into his collar. Finally he lifted the bowl up and took in a gnocchi.

The flavors danced, truly danced, on his tongue, an explosion of savory heat. He closed his eyes and reveled in how this simple bite of food transported him, made him one with his body in delight… and again, weirdly, nostalgia. He forced the latter away and continued eating, without realizing right away he was also keeping his eyes closed.

When it dawned on him that he was sitting there, gobbling his food down with his eyes shut, his eyelids snapped up. His mother hovered over him, shifting her weight from one foot to the other. Beau stood in the background, wearing a subtle but visible smile of triumph.

Those two ignited a tiny flame of rage within Jack. He glared at them. “Do you think a guy could eat in privacy?” he asked.

“Of course,” Beau said. He grabbed Maisie’s hand and led her from the room. They closed the door softly behind themselves.

And Jack found himself eating every bite. And wanting more….

Damn Beau!

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Dreamspinner Press

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All Romance eBooks

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AuthorBio

 

authorpic

Rick R. Reed is all about exploring the romantic entanglements of gay men in contemporary, realistic settings. While his stories often contain elements of suspense, mystery and the paranormal, his focus ultimately returns to the power of love.

He is the author of dozens of published novels, novellas, and short stories. He is a three-time EPIC eBook Award winner (for Caregiver, Orientation and The Blue Moon Cafe). He is also a Rainbow Award Winner for both Caregiver and Raining Men. Lambda Literary Review has called him, “a writer that doesn’t disappoint.”

Rick lives in Seattle with his husband and a very spoiled Boston terrier. He is forever “at work on another novel.”

:: Website :: Blog :: Facebook Page :: Twitter :: Google+ :: Bookbub ::

You can also email Rick at – rickrreedbooks@gmail.com

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TourSchedule

October 3: Diverse Reader

October 4: The Novel Approach

October 5: MM Good Book Reviews

October 6: Bayou Book Junkie

October 7: Joyfully Jay

October 10: Prism Book Alliance

October 11: Love Bytes Reviews

October 12: Sinfully Gay Romance Book Reviews

 

July 18, 2016
sidlove

1 comment

BLOG TOUR: Evasive Maneuvers by Lynn Michaels

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AboutTheBook

Evasive_Maneuvers_Michaels_FSTITLE: Evasive Maneuvers

AUTHOR: Lynn Michaels

COVER ARTIST: Jay Aheer

LENGTH: 58,500 words

RELEASE DATE: July 16, 2016

BLURB: Campbell Fain has been rebelling against his father, refusing to grow up for so long, he’s not sure what his life really means anymore. When he meets the man that makes his heart melt, he lies to impress him. Unfortunately, facing the truth may turn out to be the least of his problems when he’s forced to come face to face with the sins of his father.

He was the quarterback in high school, all American sweetheart and solid guy, but Stone Medlock is just figuring out his life. When he meets Campbell Fain, it turns his world around and he just might be falling hard for the rebellious punk, but will he still be able to support and trust Campbell when the lies come out?

Will Campbell’s lies tear them apart before they even begin? Will they find the love behind the lies?
Excerpt

Stone pulled his jeans all the way off, dropping them to the floor along with his sexy briefs. I couldn’t help notice how manly they were; everything about Stone was manly. If I hadn’t met him at a gay club, I never would have thought he batted for my team, but every bit of me was so happy he did. It never hurt to have out jocks on the team! He smelled masculine too. Some of that could have been his products that I could smell on myself too, but some of it was just his own natural, earthy scent that I couldn’t get enough of.

As I stared at him, waiting for more, his face shifted to something a little less sexy. His brows pressed down, making him appear unhappy or concerned.

“What?”

“Campbell. Listen. I need to know what else you lied about.”

I chuckled, nervously. “What?” Why the hell did he bring this shit up now, especially when I thought we’d gotten past it?

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Smashwords

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AuthorBio

Lynn Michaels lives and writes in Tampa, Florida where the sun is hot and the Sangria is cold. Lynn is the newest addition to Rubicon Fiction, and she loves reading and writing about hot men in love.  She writes paranormal and contemporary MM Romance

:: Website :: Facebook Page :: Amazon Page ::

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TourSchedule

July 18: Love Bytes Reviews :: Drops of Ink

July 19: Bayou Book Junkie :: Wicked Faeries Tales & Reviews

July 20: Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words :: Rick R. Reed :: Nessa’s Book Reviews

July 21: The Purple Rose Tea House :: Alpha Book Club

July 22: BFD Book Blog :: Open Skye Book Reviews :: MM Book Escape

 

July 18, 2016
sidlove

5 comments

BLOG TOUR: Complexity by Harper Miller

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AboutTheBook

Complexity CoverTITLE: Complexity

SERIES: Kinky Connect Chronicles

AUTHOR: Harper Miller

COVER ARTIST: Taria Reed Digital Artist

LENGTH: 140 Pages

RELEASE DATE: July 8, 2016

BLURB: Fairy tale endings weren’t made for people like me. Happy for now usually ain’t in the cards, either.

The dents on my wall from where my headboard kept knockin’ against the same spot was the first clue that I needed to calm my ass down. At the rate I was racking up notches and plowing through hookups, I wasn’t ever gonna find nothing real. Guess I kinda jinxed myself. I created my circumstances. You can’t get what you want if you keep falling back into the same pattern of bad habits. But then things changed. I stumbled onto somethin’ I never in a million years expected to happen. You gotta understand, I’m never the guy who wins. It was supposed to be just sex, but that shifty, rhyming and scheming bastard, Cupid, pulled a fast one.

I may have changed some stuff to protect a couple of people. But before you go believing the tabloids, make sure you understand that you’re gettin’ the lowdown straight from the source.

I needed to get this off my chest and it’s only fair that you at least get my side of it all. At some point, I might regret telling you any of this, but for now, you need to know.

*Disclaimer* This is a novella. Not a short story, novelette, or novel. This tale features an M/M pairing. If gay erotica/erotic romance is not your cup of tea and you are offended by same-sex relationships or crass language, you should bypass this story. Content is intended for a mature audience, 18+.

Complexity is the fourth installment in The Kinky Connect Chronicles. The Kinky Connect Chronicles are short erotic stories/novelettes all wrapped up in neat little bows. These stories are standalones. No cliffhangers in the lot!
Excerpt

Could we be more different? Him: famous, rich white dude. Me: Latino entrepreneur who stocked up on ramen noodles and peanut butter when Key Food had a sale. This dude was so beyond my scope but he didn’t act any differently than a hookup I would’ve scored downtown at one of the gay bars in Chelsea.

Honestly, I didn’t know if me taking this shit with Christopher to the next level was a good thing or a bad thing. I held my own. I had my own business and made money legitimately doing shit I loved. Some days were a struggle, and I fell on hard times every now and again, but I woke up with a sense of purpose. Maybe I was overthinking things. I knew this was just about sex, but I couldn’t help but wonder if I was some sort of pity fuck or if Chris had a Latino fetish. He seemed genuinely attracted to me, but you know, there’s always somebody on the web lookin’ to get their rocks off with that token piece of ass.

I needed to stop with the assumptions and just take the moment for what it was, because an opportunity like this wouldn’t ever happen again.

Stayin’ in my head was gonna fuck everything up, so I focused on the twinkling lights near the waterfront seventeen stories down. “Good, I don’t bareback either. If rubbers aren’t required, we ain’t fuckin’. Seems like it’s a little too late to be having this discussion, but I’m clean. I get tested every six weeks. Got a copy of my results in my wallet if you wanna see.”

He raised an eyebrow. “Every six weeks? Sleep around a lot?”

I laughed, pulling off my polo. “I like sex. I like safe sex. I like to be certain I stay safe, so if that means gettin’ tested more often, I’m cool with that.”

BuyLinks

Amazon US

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Kobo Store

AuthorBio

Harper Miller is a thirty-something native New Yorker. She’s traveled the world and lived in a variety of places but always finds her way back to the Big Apple. A lackluster love life leaves time to explore new interests, for Harper it is writing. The Sweetest Taboo: An Unconventional Romance is her debut novel. In her mind, the perfect Alpha male possesses intellect, humor, and a kinky streak that rivals the size of California.

When she isn’t writing, Harper utilizes her graduate degree in the field of medical research. She enjoys fitness-related activities, drinking copious amounts of wine and going on bad dates.

|| Facebook || Twitter || Instagram || Google+ ||

For regular updates on upcoming books and more by Harper Miller, sign up to her Newsletter

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July 18: Louise Lyons :: TTC Books and More

July 19: Diverse Reader :: Author Dean Frech

July 20: MM Good Book Reviews

July 21: Bayou Book Junkie :: Drops of Ink

July 22: Gay Book Reviews :: Daydream Believer Book

June 7, 2016
sidlove

no comments

BLOG TOUR: A Kind Of Romance by Lane Hayes

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AboutTheBookKindofRomance[A]FSTITLE: A Kind of Romance

SERIES: A Kind of Story

AUTHOR: Lane Hayes

COVER ARTIST: Aaron Anderson

LENGTH: 82,963 words

RELEASE DATE: June 06, 2016

BLURB: Zeke Gulden is a ruthless Wall Street exec. His hard-edged, no-nonsense attitude has served him well in the cutthroat business world, but less so in his personal life. When he finds out his ex-boyfriend cheated on him with a coworker, Zeke can’t let go—not until he finds a way to get even. However, his meddlesome father has other ideas. The new hire at the family-owned bagel store is somewhat colorful, but his dad is sure he’s the perfect man for Zeke.

Benny Ruggieri is a fiercely proud New Yorker who dreams of making it big as a costume designer in the theater. In the meantime, he’s working two part-time jobs in the food biz. When his new boss sets him up with his successful son, Benny has zero expectations. If nothing else, he figures he can entertain himself by making the uptight businessman squirm. Instead, the two become unlikely friends with an inexplicable attraction they can’t ignore. Benny might be the one to help Zeke set aside his quest for revenge, if he’s willing to let go and forgive what he can’t forget… and give in to an unexpected kind of romance.
Excerpt

 

THEY SAID you could remember exactly where you were and what you were doing when a life-altering event took place. I could do better than that. I could tell you the date and time too. May 9, 7:04 a.m…. It was a Monday. Of course. I was standing in my kitchen, cradling a cup of coffee while reading the news on my iPad when my cell phone rang. I didn’t think twice about it. It rang all the fucking time. The setting was almost always on vibrate, but last night I’d changed it, thinking I didn’t want to miss Taylor’s call in case he decided to come by. He didn’t call. And he didn’t come over. I didn’t really think he would, but when we ran into each other at the farmers’ market in Union Square Sunday morning, I’d foolishly hoped he might. That was our spot. It seemed like providence. A sign of some sort telling us we should stop this nonsense and get back together immediately. True, Taylor had confessed he’d been cheating on me with one of my coworkers for the past six months, but… still.

The second round of incessant ringing served as a reminder I was a complete moron for wanting him back. And when I saw the name displayed on my cell, I knew the caller would agree wholeheartedly.

“Mornin’, Pops.”

“Ezekiel?”

I didn’t recognize the voice on the line. It was masculine but a little high-pitched. Definitely not Dad. Whoever he was, he was calling from my father’s phone. My heart slammed against my chest in a wave of instant panic.

“Just Zeke, actually. You’re calling from my father’s phone. Is he oka—?”

“He fell and hit his head. We called 9-1-1. The paramedics said it looked like a superficial wound, but there was blood everywhere and—They’re taking him to Mount Sinai on First. I’m following now with William. Filipe doesn’t speak much English, so Rand is staying to help mind the store and—”

“Whoa! Hang on. Where was he?” It was a stupid question. However, I felt nauseated from the unexpected adrenaline rush and was struggling to catch up and make sense of this conversation.

“At Bowery Bagels,” the caller replied with a heavy sigh. “I’m so sorry. I—I don’t know what else to say. I’m sure he’s fine, but—I’ll meet you in the emergency room.”

“Wait! Who are you?” I asked, staring into the open great room of my condo in a trancelike state.

I noted the sun’s reflection on the shiny dark hardwood floors and the way the tiny flecks of dust sparkled like fairy dust in the air. But I felt as though I were in a vacuum. Sound was muffled, and the light was suddenly too bright. I pushed away from the island and moved with purpose toward my bedroom, forgetting I’d been waiting for a response until the caller spoke again.

“Benny.”

BuyLinks

Dreamspinner Press

Amazon US

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All Romance eBooks

Barnes & Noble

Kobo Store

AuthorBio

Lane Hayes is grateful to finally be doing what she loves best. Writing full time! It’s no secret Lane loves a good romance novel. An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to a well-told love story with beautifully written characters. These days she prefers the leading roles both be men! Lane discovered the M/M genre a few years ago and was instantly hooked. Her first novel was a finalist in the 2013 Rainbow Awards and her third received an Honorable Mention in the 2014 Rainbow Awards. She loves travel, chocolate, and wine (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband and the coolest yellow lab ever in an almost empty nest.

||  Blog  ||  Facebook  ||  Twitter  ||  Email  ||

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TourSchedule

June 7

TTC Books and More

Carly’s Book Reviews

Rick R. Reed

Drops of Ink

My Fiction Nook

June 9

Cia’s Stories

MM Book Escape

Gay Book Reviews

Prism Book Alliance

June 14

Wicked Faeries Tales And Reviews

Love Bytes Reviews

Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

June 16

Bayou Book Junkie

Diverse Reader

The Purple Rose Tea House

Joyfully Jay

June 21

Alpha Book Club

Molly Lolly: Reader, Reviewer, Lover of Words

MM Good Book Reviews

June 23

Man2ManTastic

The Novel Approach

 

May 3, 2016
sidlove

4 comments

BLOG TOUR: Locked by Anyta Sunday

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AboutTheBook

Locked-fTITLE: Locked

SERIES: Telluric Realm #1

AUTHOR: Anyta Sunday

COVER ARTIST: Natasha Snow

LENGTH: 98,000 words

RELEASE DATE: April 26, 2016

BLURB: A curse threatens the Winter Kingdom.

A brother is turned to ice.

A rebel uprising is on the horizon.

Marble-maker Rye Cunnings is at the center of it all—and doesn’t know it.

He doesn’t know he’s the lost summer prince. Doesn’t know his blood can unlock Winter’s curse. Doesn’t know why the marbles he makes flutter with magic. All he thinks is that he’s crazy. That he sees things others don’t, like dragons and strange markings on his skin.

But when a dark dragon snatches away Rye’s only friend Milo, he is forced to face the crazy in his life and figure out a way to bring Milo back.

Help comes in the form of Cerdic Leit, a warrior who finds Rye to take him “home” to the Telluric Realm and their kind. All Rye has to do is follow him into Gatreau, the gateway to the four Telluric kingdoms, and all his questions will be answered.

In the hopes of saving Milo, Rye steps into this new and dangerous world. A world where he learns of the Tellurics and their Hansian foes. A world that is swept up in a bitter battle of justice and hate.

And a world that won’t let Rye leave again.
Excerpt

Rye Cunnings shivered and hoofed it down the cobblestone road, fixed on the slice of his marble store ahead. This was just another morning. Just another morning.

A drizzly dawn fingered through the low-hanging mist creeping along Bristol’s narrow streets. Lamppost lights flickered and blinked out, sucking their murky reflections from deep puddles. Rain hit Rye’s neck and face and the palm he pressed against his chest. The drops snaked down his sleeve and mixed with the blood at his wrist. It tingled, and Rye dabbed his cuff over the cut—a circle intersected with twelve loops.

A cut that he’d gouged out with his keys, following the shimmery pattern that had marked his skin for as long as he could remember.

Mist lurked over the Marvel Marbles store sign, thickening over the tattoo parlor and barber cushioning it on either side.

Inside was safe. He just needed to get inside.

He jogged over the road for the bright blue door beckoning him home. Each step jarred through his body to his aching head. He just needed to touch one of the marbles he made.

Key in his good hand, he sank it into the lock and twisted until the bar snapped back.

A figure prowled out from the shelter of the parlor entrance.

Rye choked back a gasp, then let out a relieved laugh. Milo. Just Milo.

“Stealthy as a cat, you are.”

“Purrrrrr.”

Milo smirked and slunk to his side, raindrops weaving through day-old stubble to the cleft in his chin. He studied Rye and lifted an eyebrow. “And where’ve you been?”

Doesn’t matter. Get inside!

Rye feigned nonchalance. “A walk.” A drug-induced, crazy person one. “Just a walk.”

He beckoned Milo inside, but he tilted his chin skyward and let the rain fall on his face. A small smile played at his lips. “And a mighty good morning for one. Fresh, today is. Invigorating. Where’d ya go?”

Where? Where he always regained consciousness: the local cemetery at the church ruin. Every week the same time, the same place, and always surrounded by a sea of daisies. “Just . . . about.”

Clouds rippled, growing darker. Rye sucked in sharply, grabbed Milo’s arm and steered him inside. He shut the door and sank back against the glass.

Milo strutted through the store, running fingers over jars of comets, cat’s eyes, peacocks and milky ways. Hundreds of jars filled the shelves on his walls. Sparklers, corkscrews, aces. Hundreds of colors glittered without light. Aquamarine, butterscotch yellow, magenta, and every shade in between.

Rye caught his breath and let the colors calm him. In a couple of hours the grandfather clock tucked between shelves would chime nine and kids would press their noses to the window and fog the glass as they took in the wonder of his store. The day would whip by with smiles and laughter. Then it’ll be sundown again, thank God.

Milo faced him, casting a look at his mud-crusted jeans. Rye tucked his bloodstained sleeve behind him. “You look like regurgitated hell, pudding.”

“And you wonder why I never let you into my bed.”

“You couldn’t handle me, love.”

Rye gripped the wooden “shut” sign as he peered through the rain-splotched glass to the sky. Milo came to his side, staring out the window with him.

“A bad sign, huh?”

Rye startled. “What?

“The weather. Means less customers, right?”

“Customers. Right.” His head pounded, his teeth ached. A marble. He needed one now. He shifted away from the windows but Milo planted a forearm on his shoulder.

“You seem on edge, Rye. Lock up for the morning. We’ll go out.”

Out? He shook his head. “Not today.”

A dark shape darted behind the gaps in the clouds. A shiver scuttled down Rye’s spine and he stepped back. Milo moved with him, oblivious to the danger that lurked out there.

“I need to make marbles,” Rye croaked.

“What you need is a day off, friend.”

“Haven’t made a marble in two days.”

“We could go to the carnival, hop on the Ferris wheel. Might even see above these clouds today.”

“How about some green tea?”

Milo pulled away, and Rye scampered across the store to his special marbles behind the counter.

“All right,” Milo said. “I’m going to be a bloody wanker and just say it: you don’t have a social life, mate. You never party. No one visits.”

“I’ve plenty of—”

“Customers don’t count.” Milo skulked closer. “Far as I can see, I’m the only friend you have. And that makes you one hell of a poor bastard.”

A sharp pang shot up Rye’s temple and he hissed, and scanned the middle shelf. He withdrew the largest jar, uncorked it, and dunked his fingers into the mass of silver swirls. Relief fingered up his arms, soothing the pain in his head and the ache from Milo’s advice.

He pocketed a marble.

Over the counter, Milo pointed at Rye’s bloodstained sleeve. “What happened, then?”

Rye resisted the urge to stare at his wrist. The cut never stayed long, would be nothing but faintly-scarred lines by now. Opening the door to his kitchen and marble-making workshop, he threw a hurried lie over his shoulder.

“It’s nothing. Had a raspberry smoothie.”

In the kitchen nook before his workshop, Rye picked up a half-filled pot of tea. Behind him came the clacking of boots, then a hand clamped over his shoulder, urging him around. Cold tea spilled out of the nozzle to the floor between them.

“What are you—?”

Milo pushed up Rye’s sleeve and revealed the circular scar, traced with dry blood. “How exactly did you have that raspberry smoothie?”

“Y-you wouldn’t understand.”

“Don’t underestimate me, I have vast, comprehendy abilities.”

Rye’s throat was tight. “I’m crazy, Milo. Certifiable.” He lifted the pot. “Green tea?”

Milo gently drew his black-painted nails around and over the mark. “You and green bloody tea.” He pulled Rye’s sleeve down. “I’ll have a cuppa.”

With a shaky hand, Rye poured them both a cup. Milo pinched his nose, downed his tea, and set the cup in the sink. “Ugh.”

Rye sipped his, then put it down. It didn’t settle his churning stomach.

“Now make me a marble, friend,” Milo said with a wink, and took out the pendant hanging under his shirt. “One with a bit of me in it.” He snapped off a thin corner and handed Rye the tiny wedge.

Rye stared at the piece on his palm. So small, so horribly scratched, and yet it warmed his entire hand. He clamped his fingers over it.

“Got any cash?”

“Put it on my tab.”

“I love it when I do work and no one pays me.” He moved into his workshop and Milo followed behind. “Reminds me of my last foster home.”

“Said so dryly. That’s exactly why I like you.” Milo flung himself on the stained brown couch at the flank of the room and slipped his hands behind his head. “I’ll lie here and share my woeful problems while you warm your glory hole. God, I love marbling.”

Rye tossed a fiber blanket at him. “I work with a torch.”

“Go on then, light up. Make magic.”

Swallowing, Rye glanced at Milo, who stared at the ceiling with half-lidded eyes. Make magic. He’d thought the same thing himself a thousand times. The way his marbles soothed his anxiety, or seemed to open locked doors, or throbbed warmly in his grip like they held secrets of who he was—what he was.

“I don’t make magic,” Rye said carefully.

Milo turned his head, waggling his brows. “Marvel me, then. Make me a nicer set of balls than I already have. Or better yet, make a marble that solves all my problems.”

“Such as cockiness?”

“Don’t go messing with anything starting with cock. All else is fair play.”

“Your assery it is then.”

Milo snorted.

“Entertain me with these oh-so woeful problems.” Make me forget mine.

“I’m too smart for my own good,” Milo said with a smirk. “And it’s going to cost me.”

“So dramatic.”

Milo looked pointedly toward Rye’s wrist.

“Point taken,” Rye said.

Milo’s phone rang and he swung off the couch. “You get to making that marble,” he said, ducking through the door. “I’ll be back.”

Rye took a sparkly gold glass rod from the jars on the shelf, bumping the small velvet pouch of marble monstrosities at the end. They’d been Milo’s attempts at marbling, pockmarked and pitiful. Yet he’d not brought himself to throw them away. They called to him with a magic of their own, the magic of a hundred shared laughs between them. Laughs that had been few-and-far-between before Milo had come into his life a year ago.

Rye set the melting glass next to the wedge of pendant. What style did Milo want? Did he wish his marble to glitter? To glow? To be dotted with silver?

He listened for Milo and was met with nothing but the creaking of his store door. Where had Milo gone to take his call? Rye shuffled to the kitchen. Empty. He checked the store.

“Milo?”

A breeze swept through the room. The front door was partially open and rain was pooling at the floor. Had Milo taken his call outside? Or had he left, like sometimes he did, without so much as a goodbye?

At the store window, Rye looked outside. The cloud had thickened. It hung low over shop roofs and gutters, only a few feet above the three umbrella-toting pedestrians huddled at the bus stop. Milo was strutting down the middle of the street toward the store, ash blond and soaked.

Rye waved.

The cloud burst, plumes pelting toward the ground, and a large winged body swooped down the street toward them.

Dragon.

Rye’s heart seized in his chest; he jerked his bloodied arm across his face and peered at the beast again, at its long snout, horns, and black scales, the arrowhead tail snaking behind it, whipping up gusts. The dragon dipped and umbrellas jerked, inverting into black poppies. Their owners laughed.

Rye ached to be one of those men, ignorant of the terror flying over them, of the dragon stretching its forelegs, clawed talons aimed at—

Milo!

Rye tried to shout but his voice was lost in the tight clutch of his throat.

The dragon whipped past the window. Wind surged and the door banged against the wall shelves, smashing a jar, glass shards and red marbles raining to the floor.

Rye shrank back into the shadows, shaking as the dragon snatched his friend and lifted into the clouds. Words echoed in his head, soft, placating…

Shhh. He won’t get you.

BuyLinks

Amazon US

Amazon UK

AuthorBio

A born and raised New Zealander from Wellington, I’ve been exploring the literary world since I started reading Roald Dahl as a kid. Stories have been piling up in my head ever since. Fast forward to my mid-twenties and jump a few countries (Germany, America, and back again), I started to put them to paper.

My genre of choice is romance, both adult and YA, gay and straight. You can take a closer look at my books, available as e-books for download in many formats!

When I’m not pushing my characters deeper into adventure, I chase my son around the house and fight my two comical cats for the desk chair.

Since 2014, I’m also part of CritShop Literary Services, specializing in writing workshops and editorial services for LGBT fiction.

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Winner’s Prize: E-copy of Locked

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TourSchedule

May 3: MM Good Book Reviews

May 4: Author J Scott Coatsworth

May 5: The Land of Make Believe

May 6: Bayou Book Junkie

May 9: Loving Without Limits

May 10: Cia’s Stories

May 11: Louise Lyons

May 12: The Purple Rose Tea House

May 13: Unquietly Me

May 16: Alpha Book Club

May 17: The Novel Approach :: Hearts on Fire

May 18: Molly Lolly: Reader, Reviewer, Lover of Words :: Drops of Ink

May 19: Love Bytes Reviews

May 20: MM Book Escape

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May 2, 2016
sidlove

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Website Reveal – Anyta Sunday

Anyta Sunday reveals her new website!

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locked.anytasunday.com

The Telluric people live in the four hidden kingdoms: Summer, Winter, Spring and Autumn, tasked with keeping Earth’s seasons in balance.
Forced into hiding during the crusades, their lore burned to ashes alongside many loved ones, the Tellurics work their magic unremembered by our world.
Through generations of secrecy, knowledge of their world has withered, with few warriors venturing outside the kingdoms to procure elements needed for their survival.

This website is a companion to the Telluric Realm trilogy, delving more into the history, society, and magic of the Telluric peoples.

 

Locked Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/Locked-Telluric-Realm-Book-1-ebook/dp/B01DX3EAZQ/

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With an interactive map, you can get an idea where scenes are set. The map has markers that lead you to more details about places referenced in the book.

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Character pages summarize the main cast of Locked. And a timeline keeps important events in chronological perspective.