Getting Past the BAD MAGIC–Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway!

BannerTemplate-6Hi there! Today I’m so excited to share an exclusive excerpt for a fantasy M/M romance form Evelyn Elliot. BAD MAGIC is the first book in her Spell Slave series, and certainly looks intriguing!

I’ll admit, I was *supposed* to post a different excerpt, but it was a randy sex scene, and my blog is PG-13, so….sorry! If you want a bit more risque read, check out the excerpt I could have shared on The Novel Approach.

Also, enter to win your own copy of BAD MAGIC below!

BadMagicFSAbout the book:
Morality is relative. At least that’s what young sorcerer Regis Teller convinces himself. He’s done what he must to survive: working for a witch since he was nine, helping her throw the kingdom into anarchy, and taking his only comfort in her mysterious son, Crow. And soon, Regis is going to commit his first murder.

A do-gooder named Jonathan White has information the witch needs, and it’s Regis’s job to get that information and slit Jonathan’s throat. But then Regis actually meets Jonathan. And Jonathan is perfect—a hero with a passion for justice and little regard for civility.

Lucky for Regis, Jonathan has a weakness for attractive men. Lucky for Jonathan, Regis is fast developing a conscience and a heart. But for Regis, keeping both of them alive at their adventure’s end means breaking a magical oath and surviving his ruthless boss—all without telling Jonathan the truth. Falling in love is never easy, especially when everyone involved is lying through their teeth.

This tasty bit…

They stopped at dusk. Regis set about making a fire to stave off the cold, Jonathan vanished wordlessly. Regis didn’t bother to ask where he was going.

As soon as Jonathan left, Jonathan’s dragon friend—Chartreuse—slunk over. What did you do to Jonathan?

“What did I do? He kissed me.”

Kissed you, hm? She sat on her haunches. That’s one of those pre-mating rituals, isn’t it? You don’t smell like you mated.

“I rejected him.”

Truly? Disbelief colored her voice. Regis frowned at her. Well, it’s nothing personal, but…. Jonathan is skilled. Protective. Fierce. You are small, ill-tempered, and easily bruised. You’re not going to find a better mate.

“Oh, stop. You’re just angry I rejected your precious hatchling.”

How dare you. Flirting with him for weeks, then shattering his hopes. I have a question for you, Regis. What drives you to such sadism? Do you simply enjoy ripping out hearts?

“Oh, shut up.” He kicked a rock. “If I’m such an awful person, I did the right thing, pushing him away.”

Well, do it more nicely, Chartreuse said. He won’t talk to me.

He was saved from further debate by the reappearance of Jonathan. Empty-handed, Jonathan stopped at the edge of the campsite and looked at Chartreuse with an expression that neither confirmed nor denied that he had heard any part of their conversation.

Chartreuse could “speak” to only one person at a time, if she so chose. Regis remembered this from their time on the river. Had Jonathan heard the whole conversation or only half? Had he heard anything at all?

“No game tonight?” Regis asked. Jonathan shook his head. Chartreuse curled around him, her back facing Regis. Cold, irritated, and hungry, Regis lay down close to the fire. He wished he could share body heat with Jonathan like they had before, but likely the attempt would get him a black eye.

After a few minutes, he remembered something. “Hey,” he said, sitting up. He untied Jonathan’s sword from his pack. Jonathan gave him no attention. Irritated, Regis laid the sword next to Chartreuse. Shivering, he retreated to his side of the fire.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

He awoke in a pile of warmth. A cloak lay over him. Thick, expensive, heavy with fur trimmings. The cloth was blue bordered with gold. Jonathan’s cloak.

He glanced at Jonathan, who poured water on the campfire, extinguishing the last embers. Was the cloak a peace offering? Regis wrapped it about his shoulders and hugged it close. It smelled like sword oil and leather.

Jonathan relaxed after that but remained silent as a corpse.

Sometimes, Regis caught him looking from the corners of his eyes.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

The next day, Chartreuse spoke to him again. Jonathan says I should apologize to you.

The man in question was out of earshot. “So?” Regis said. “Are you going to?”

I suppose, she said heavily. You’re not so bad for a human creature. I still think this quarrel of yours is ridiculous, but it’s just as much Jonathan’s fault as yours. Besides, something has been bothering me. I must ask. Why did you fertilize two females at once during that human mating dance? To increase your chances of producing offspring?

Regis made a face. “Gods, no.”

I thought not. Well, aren’t you worried? What if you come back in a year or two and find a hatchling with gray eyes and a surly face?

Someone really ought to tell her that humans didn’t hatch from eggs. That person was not going to be Regis. “No worries. There’s this herb called childsbane. Any man who chews it becomes sterile for a few days. I had some last night. It’s a pretty common practice.”

But why did the two females want to share? There were other males available.

He shrugged. “Some people like that sort of thing.”

Are all Tyrians so promiscuous?

He was surprised. “Promiscuous?”

I take it this kind of behavior is common, then.

“I’m not promiscuous,” he said. “I generally sleep with the same person, it’s just that he’s not around right now. And even if I was, so what? It’s not like he cares. I’m not ashamed of it. If he wanted me to stop sleeping around, I would. Gods know he’s fucking every barmaid from here to the Frozen Wastes.” He kicked the grass. “Do dragons only have one mate forever?”

Chartreuse sniffed. Dragons form prides. We females band together, select one superior male mate, and produce offspring with him. Is mating with both sexes common among humans?

“Pretty common, yeah. I hear they’ve got some weird taboos elsewhere.”

Chartreuse hummed to herself. The noise was bloodcurdling. The humans where Jonathan is from don’t use childsbane. Perhaps it does not grow in cold climates.

He shrugged. “Probably. It would explain why they’re so uptight about sex. I mean, if they can’t sleep together without producing children, then of course they associate sex with pregnancy. Of course they think men sleeping with men is unnatural. Of course.”

I have a counter-theory, Chartreuse said.

Regis perked up. “Oh?”

Tyrians are whores.

“You’re a dick,” he said, and went back to ignoring her.

This one sounds absolutely fun. I do know that it’s got some serious naughty bits, too. Yay!!

Interested? You can find BAD MAGIC on Goodreads, Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and AllRomance.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win a copy of BAD MAGIC for yourself!
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

About the Author:
At first glance, Evelyn Elliott seems like a perfectly normal person. Do not be deceived. Her hobbies include watching grisly horror movies, torturing her characters, and tending to her flower garden. She enjoys long walks on the beach and collecting the souls of small children. Whenever she reads a book, she always roots for the villain.

Avoid her at all costs. Certainly do not find her on Facebook or befriend her Goodreads. You have better things to do.

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Out Now! THE SARRAN SENATOR–Excerpt and Giveaway!

BannerTemplate-4Hi there! Getting the word out on a new book in the M/M, menage/poly sci-fi Sarrans series from A.C. Katt. THE SARRAN SENATOR looks to be an intense read.

Catch an excerpt and enter the giveaway for a four-book Sarrans set below.

The_Sarran_Senator_400x600About the book:
The Sarrans return home from Earth in triumph, having gained many new Earthen fems, coffee, chocolate, and cats.

Senator Samuel Johnson joins his grandson Michael, his daughter Sara, and her WarriorPair on Sarran. To his delighted surprise, he bonds irrevocably with Tarin, one of Sarran’s top engineers. Tarin had been bonded before and thought he would never experience a bond again, yet Sam’s love gives him a new lease on life. Now they only hope the Goddess has a fem for them.

Then the Sarran Elders host a mixer for Sarran warriors to meet the Earthen fems. Margaret Mary O’Neil, Meg to her friends, is a talented woman who fled to Sarran like so many Earth women looking for a new life. When she meets Sam and Tarin, her life changes forever.

But while things are looking up for the Sarrans, with new babies being born and WarriorPairs settling down, their enemy the Zyptz are relentless in their efforts to wipe them out. When the Zyptz attack both Sarran and Earth, the mutual dependence between the two becomes ever more evident.

How about a little taste?

::We will need to get our promise rings and Asta glasses, but we can decide where to live and get our rings and glasses later. Right now I want you under me.:: Tarin pushed Sam’s shoulders down into the softness of the couch pillows. Sam turned on his side so they faced each other.

::I foolishly didn’t bother to ask, although I should have consulted Mark, but now that I’ve taken the vial, does my equipment work the same way?::

::Yes and no. Externally you will see the slick that pours from under your foreskin. This enables one of us to penetrate the other and our fem without pain when we bond. Internally, there will be a type of a tube, a Secondary Sperm Valve that connects your channel to the seminal vesicle in your partner. When a Sarran Warrior receives sperm from his bonded, it opens the valve. The sperm goes through the valve to connect to the seminal vesicle where they mix with the sperm of your bonded. It is only when they mix that we can impregnate our fem. Our offspring are born with half of our fem’s DNA and one-quarter of each of ours. After we form the bond with our fem, we may make penetrative love with her or without her, as the Triad chooses.::

::I feel foolish asking for such basic information. I had the whole voyage to research this aspect of Sarran physiology. I was concentrating on helping Michael adjust to Sara’s Warriors.::

::You did the right thing, my fox. From the holos you showed me, Michael had reason to be wary.::

::Now I feel like a pre-pubescent offspring in health class, not knowing how my body is supposed to function.:: Sam blushed. ::How do I please you?::

::All the ways you’d please yourself without penetration. Let me show you.:: Tarin sat up, got off the couch, and knelt in front of Sam, removing the boots Mark and Juraens had fabricated for him on board the Brightstar. Tarin kissed the inside of Sam’s knee. Sam moaned. He never knew he had a hot spot there.

Tarin removed his own boots and then attacked Sam’s flightsuit. The one-piece garment came off quickly, giving Tarin access to Sam’s body.

Sam looked at his lover in appreciation. “You have a beautiful, hard form. I love your wavy blonde hair and blue eyes. You are everything I ever looked for in a man. If I had met you before Mary, I doubt I would have joined the army. I’d have become a college professor and lived in a house very much like this with you always at my side.”

Sam ran his palm down Tarin’s side from his shoulder to the curve of his ass. “Beautiful … I can’t believe how lucky I am and it seems even our dreams are in alignment.”

Tarin blushed. ::I keep in shape because any Sarran Warrior can be called to battle at any time. You were in governance, how did you train? You have a hard and well-made body, my fox.::

::In the Senate Gym. I exercised and had a trainer. If I were going to be the President, I had to be in the best shape I’d ever been in my life. The job is debilitating. Although the United States is only one country on Earth, the President of the United States carries the weight of the world on his shoulders because we act as the planet’s police and are the only major power left on Earth. Russia and China have the land mass and China has population, but the United States still has the upper hand in weaponry. We, like the Sarrans, also have fierce Warriors.::

::Being on council is much the same as you describe the presidency. The Elders aged quickly during the war and later when the Zyptz took our fems, the Elders bore the brunt of finding a solution. Our population is dangerously low, a mere twenty-thousand WarriorPairs. If you add the unbonded Warriors and offspring, it is another ten thousand. We need all of these bebes our fems are carrying and we must keep them safe.::

::You have too much open land to police properly. What you need is a type of radar that lets the government know immediately if the atmosphere has been breached, or better still, something that shields the planet from all but our own vessels.::

“I’ve been working on that project with Bron. It’s almost ready.”

Sam was about to speak and Tarin put a finger on his lips. ::My fox, I want to know everything about you. We could talk until dawntine but right now, I want to love you. We’re naked and wanting. Can we make love?::

Sam smiled and kissed his bonded’s eyes. “I was counting on it.”

Interested? You can find THE SARRAN SENATOR on Amazon and JMS Books.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win the four-book Sarrans series set from author AC Katt.

Good luck and keep reading my friends!

About the Author:
AC Katt was born in New York City’s Greenwich Village. She remembers sitting at the fountain in Washington Square Park listening to folk music while they passed the hat. At nine, her parents dragged her to New Jersey where she grew up, married and raised four children and became a voracious reader of romantic fiction. At one time she owned over two thousand novels, until she and her husband took themselves and the cat to New Mexico for their health and its great beauty.

Now, most of AC’s books are electronic (although she still keeps six bookcases of hardcovers), so she never has to give away another book. AC is a late bloomer, however, she claims to have found her niche writing LGBT romance.

She hangs out at ACKatt.com and ackattsjournal.com; where she keeps her blog. To get snippets of new releases and Works in Progress subscribe to AC Katt’s Kattery by sending an e-mail to mlhansel@gmail.com.

You can reach AC online on her website, blog, Facebook, twitter, and Pinterest.

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Trying to Create SOMETHING FROM NOTHING–Excerpt and Giveaway!

BannerTemplate-3Hi there! Today I’m sharing a peek at a new book and fantasy M/M romance series from Nicky James. SOMETHING FROM NOTHING sounds like a suspense-filled read.

Catch the excerpt and enter the book giveaway below.

Nicole-James-customDesign-JayAheer2016-ebook-smallpreviewAbout the book:
With an impending war breathing down his neck and an ornery group of councilmen trying to keep him on track, accidental and unlikely King, Alistair Ellesmere, struggles to find a balance between being young, having fun, and ruling his realm his way.

Alistair befriends Brandon, one of his prodigy new recruits, whose smart-ass personality drives him to the brink of insanity when he shows him up at every turn. Through an unexpected bit of witty manipulation, Alistair finds himself drawn down a forbidden path where he shares more than just a similar past with this man. Terrified at the idea of loving another man, but unable to tear himself away, Alistair is faced with the trials of secrecy, jealousy and the law.

How about a little taste?

His dark blond hair falls in waves in front of his eyes, covering them again. I want to see those eyes. Need to see those eyes. He is no longer the scrawny kid who stood before me last spring. He has been working with Corban on strength training, as I suggested a while ago, and is showing much progress. His shirt is pulled tight over his newly developing muscles and my eyes move over his body, taking in his stunning appearance. My breath hitches in my throat as though I have forgotten how to breathe, which is ridiculous since I’ve been doing it all my life without a problem until now.

Ka-Thump, Ka-thump, Ka-thump.

It had started out as a challenge. Did I have the balls to match Brandon’s crazy antics? I thought so, but then, I ran away. Something happened that night to make me run and I have buried it deep, refusing to see it. Refusing to admit it. But it is there, undeniably there, and now as I stand before this man, heart ready to jump out of my chest, I know why. What Brandon suggested is crazy. It’s insane and was completely unexpected, but…It excites me, sends a thrill sparking through my body.

Bloody hell. I’m losing it. This is nuts.

Brandon risked a lot that night. The man all out admitted how he felt about me and I’m standing here, right now, because I need to know, as twisted and confusing as it is, if I feel the same.

Interested? You can find SOMETHING FROM NOTHING on Goodreads and Amazon.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win an ebook of SOMETHING FROM NOTHING.
Good luck and keep reading my friends.

About the Author:
I live in the small town of Petrolia, Ontario, Canada and I am a mother to a wonderful teenage boy (didn’t think those words could be typed together…surprise) and wife to a truly supportive and understanding husband, who thankfully doesn’t think I’m crazy.

I have always had two profound dreams in life. To fall back hundreds of years in time and live in a simpler world, not bogged down by technology and to write novels. Since only one of these was a possibility I decided to make the other come alive on paper.

I write mm romance novels that take place in fantastical medieval type settings and love to use the challenges of the times to give my stories and characters life.

You can find Nicky online on her blog, Goodreads, Facebook, and twitter.

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Cephalopod Coffeehouse March 2016–KINGS RISING-A Review

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Hi there! Welcome one and all to the Cephalopod Coffeehouse, a cozy gathering of book lovers, meeting to discuss their thoughts regarding the tomes they enjoyed most over the previous month. Pull up a chair, order your cappuccino and join in the fun.

This month I’m so excited to share the final book in the Captive Prince trilogy from C. S. Pacat. As you know I fell into the rabbit hole on this series, binge reading the books in hours apiece. KINGS RISING was no less stunning than the first two books. Catch my reviews for CAPTIVE PRINCE and PRINCE’S GAMBIT so you can get better oriented to this captivating fantasy/political thriller that has a dash of M/M romance.

Kings Rising (Captive Prince, #3)About the book:
Damianos of Akielos has returned.
His identity now revealed, Damen must face his master Prince Laurent as Damianos of Akielos, the man Laurent has sworn to kill.

On the brink of a momentous battle, the future of both their countries hangs in the balance. In the south, Kastor’s forces are massing. In the north, the Regent’s armies are mobilising for war. Damen’s only hope of reclaiming his throne is to fight together with Laurent against their usurpers.

Forced into an uneasy alliance the two princes journey deep into Akielos, where they face their most dangerous opposition yet. But even if the fragile trust they have built survives the revelation of Damen’s identity – can it stand against the Regent’s final, deadly play for the throne?

My Review:
You absolutely must read this series. Oh, wait. You must read it in order. When you read it, that is. Because you must read it. I had never heard of the author, but what began as whispers in the M/M community soon became a resounding gong of praise for the books that were once an internet phenomenon but are now traditionally published.

For those who haven’t read any of the books, crown Prince of Akielos, Damianos, was captured by his elder half-brother’s guard, chained and sent as a sexual slave to Crown Prince of Vere, Laurent, under the pseudonym “Damen”. Vere and Akielos have had a truce since Damianos struck down Laurent’s elder brother in battle, and Laurent swears he will kill Damianos. Damen must keep his identity hidden to preserve his life, escape, and claim his throne, now that his father has died. That’s rather difficult because Laurent–while he wants little to do with Damen–is unwilling to release him. Further, Laurent is in imminent peril. His uncle, the Regent king, seems to want to remain on the throne and is willing to sacrifice Laurent in border patrol in order to cement his own reign.

As the book opens, Damen’s true name has been revealed in the company of Akielian troops and he takes control of a fort, prepares to battle the Regent’s army and command his smaller garrison win against awful odds. His commanders believe that Laurent is using him, and their worry is great considering the unconscionable issue of Damen, their king, being a slave to a prince–no matter how frigid all believe Laurent to be. Will Laurent try to kill Damen now that he knows his identity? It’s a real fear that Damen suffers–especially as the months of living together and campaigning have brought a particular closeness to Damen and Laurent–one that Damen is loathe to sever. One that endangers Damen’s alliances with his own generals, and causes the Veretians to balk, as well.

It was an amazing set of political gymnastics keeping the combined forces of Veretians and Akielians together, and just when it seems they will win back their thrones the full treachery of both Damen’s brother and the Regent of Vere becomes known. I wasn’t shocked, as I fully expected those revelations–due to excellent foreshadowing–but the manner of revelation springs yet another trap that threaten both Damen and Laurent with execution. The machinations were amazing, and kept the pace incredibly taut. Further, the love story between Damen and Laurent is not easy. They must work at it, and build it, just as with their alliances. It is a quiet affair, because there is so much scrutiny, and yet it is packed with sexual tension, longing, loss and satisfaction. That said, it’s not terrifyingly graphic, so those who are not fans of same-sex pairing do not need to shun the books. In the whole three-book series, I bet there are less than 10 pages of actual sex (that’s 1% of the page volume…)

As a series, this is one I’d enjoy again and again. The storytelling is superb, and the resolution is hopeful and mostly happy.

Interested? You can find KINGS RISING on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and in retail booksellers/libraries all over.

Thanks for popping in my friends! Be sure to hop over to my fellow book reviewers and see which are the best books they’ve read this month.

The Plot Thickens–PRINCE’S GAMBIT-A Review

Hi there! I’m really excited to share a review for the second volume of C.S. Pacat’s Captured Prince trilogy. PRINCE’S GAMBIT is a fantastic sequel that had no hope of slowing down. You know how much I loved CAPTIVE PRINCE, well, this book’s BETTER!!!

Prince's Gambit (Captive Prince, #2)About the book
With their countries on the brink of war, Damen and his new master, Prince Laurent, must exchange the intrigues of the palace for the sweeping might of the battlefield as they travel to the border to avert a lethal plot.

Forced to hide his identity, Damen finds himself increasingly drawn to the dangerous, charismatic Laurent. But as the fledgling trust between the two men deepens, the truth of secrets from both their pasts is poised to deal them the crowning death blow…

My Review:
This is the second book in a fantasy M/M series that needs to be read in order.

Damen, who is also Prince Damianos of Akelios, was captured and sold into sexual slavery followed by a coup masterminded by his elder half-brother. Damen now slave to the Crown Prince of Vere, Laurent, must hide his identity in order to stay alive. Laurent’s most fervent wish is to kill the Akelians, and is particularly frustrated that Prince Damianos, who killed his elder brother Auguste, died before Laurent could claim his vengeance. Damen’s fervent hope is to return to Akelios and regain his throne, striking down his brother.

At age 20, Laurent is months from gaining his own throne from his uncle, the Regent king, who has served for the past seven years. Laurent’s not interested in his slave Damen, except to torture him, at first. They have reached a rapprochement in the first book, as Damen convinced Laurent that he can help him survive the treacherous Akelios-Vere border patrol the Regent king has pressed Laurent into performing.

Laurent wants to live. Damen knows that keeping Laurent alive will prevent war between Vere and Akelios. Damen knows that Akelios will fall if war erupts, divided in loyalty as it has been by his brother’s ascendancy. Damen is a born leader, having been proven a top commander and combatant in the wars against Vere. Laurent knows that Damen is strong and has a quick mind, but no one will follow the orders of a slave. That said, the commander of Laurent’s troops–a rag-tag batch of mercenaries–is a pawn to the Regent who’s likely been told to maintain disorder, enabling a poor defense for the Prince. Laurent fully expects that he will never see the crown, if his uncle has any say in the matter.

As with the previous book, the plot is rife with cunning and duplicity. Laurent must stay three steps ahead of his uncle’s schemes, and he seems to do so. Damen, against his better instincts, advises Laurent admirably. He knows that he can slip off across the border and regain favor with his own people, but the entanglements the Regent has put in motion threaten to destabilize the entire region, and will undoubtedly cause war.

Damen trains Laurent’s troops, under the guise of another officer, as well as becomes the ultimate protector of Laurent–who engages in espionage more than once. Damen’s internal conflicts are many and fierce. Laurent is his sworn enemy, and would kill him if her knew his identity. Yet, their close quarters raises feelings of respect and admiration for the man that had brutally punished him previously. Also, the more that Damen is placed in battle, the more that his adversaries begin to see he is not a pleasure slave. He is a battle-hardened warrior, and resembles greatly the lost prince–threatening his anonymity.

I absolutely loved this story. The twists and turns are astounding. Laurent will stop at nothing to keep his life, and land, from war, even fighting his own lords to destroy the Regent’s influence. The Regent is just as duplicitous, and has the might of the land on his side. Laurent, Damen and their troops are often outnumbered, and usually out-matched, and yet they persevere due to Damen’s martial acumen and Laurent’s bravado. I could not turn the pages fast enough.

The book series is a M/M romance, and we do see the elements build here. The first book: no intimacy. This book, some intimacy. Laurent is called the Ice Prince for good reason. (I’m betting that he hasn’t had a “lover” in many years because he’s a molestation survivor.) That said, the long hours of travel, training, strategy and escape have welded Laurent and Damen together. Damen wants to escape and is simultaneously drawn to Laurent, not entirely out of duty. The print edition has a bonus chapter that really gets into the nitty-gritty of their intimacy. #Love

Still, it’s a very, very small part of this story. Expect so much more.

The book, as part of a larger series, ends on a cliffhanger. The third book, Kings Rise, will decide who survives. My money’s on Damen and Laurent. And not only as kings who share a border. I’m thinking these two will share a royal bedchamber as equals, too.

Interested? You can find PRINCE’S GAMBIT on Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

About the Author:
C.S. Pacat is a Melbourne writer. Her first series the Captive Prince trilogy began its life as an original web serial. Self-published in 2013 to critical and commercial success and acclaim, the Captive Prince trilogy was acquired by Penguin, and will be published worldwide in 2015.

You can find Ms. Pacat on her website, Facebook and twitter.

Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!

Crime Most Foul–CAPTIVE PRINCE-A Review

Hi there! Today I’m catching up with the whirlwind that is C.S. Pacat. Her CAPTIVE PRINCE trilogy began as a net sensation and is now a three-book M/M fantasy romance adventure that is a bestseller. I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole on these books, and cannot be more grateful. Fantastic fiction. Let us press on!

Captive Prince (Captive Prince, #1)About the book:
“This was Vere, voluptuous and decadent, country of honeyed poison”

Damen is a warrior hero to his people, and the truthful heir to the throne of Akielos, but when his half brother seizes power, Damen is captured, stripped of his identity and sent to serve the prince of an enemy nation as a pleasure slave.

Beautiful, manipulative and deadly, his new master Prince Laurent epitomizes the worst of the court at Vere. But in the lethal political web of the Veretian court, nothing is as it seems, and when Damen finds himself caught up in a play for the throne, he must work together with Laurent to survive and save his country.

For Damen, there is just one rule: never, ever reveal his true identity. Because the one man Damen needs is the one man who has more reason to hate him than anyone else…

My Review:
This is a fantastic read. It’s not a M/M romance, per se, but the beginning of one, perhaps.

The action begins with Prince Damianos of Akelios being captured, stripped and bound as a pleasure slave to Prince Laurent of Vere. Akelios and Vere are enemy nations under a tentative truce since their last war 6 years ago. The decisive battle in this war was the one where both the king and first born son were killed, and Damianos had bested the prince in hand to hand combat on the field. Prince Laurent, only 13 at the time, was too young to take the crown and Vere has been held by the Regent king, Laurent’s pedophilic and profiteering uncle. “Damen” as Damianos is dubbed, has been made a particular gift for Laurent–who at 20 years of age is ten months shy of his coronation–by Damen’s half-brother who has unlawfully assumed control of Akelios. See, everyone thinks Damianos has died, tragically, allowing the crown to fall to the usurper.

This is a taut political drama with plenty of intrigue. Laurent wants nothing to do with Damen. He hates all Akelians due to the loss of his father and brother in battle with them. He also hates his uncle, which this reader suspects has something to do with the Regent king’s sexual proclivities and Laurent’s own frigidity.

This is not a romance. Damen is smart enough to understand that his life hangs in a very dangerous balance. Were any of the Veretians to learn his identity he’d be killed. In the meantime, Laurent spares little thought to brutalizing Damen. There is a wary respect that develops as Damen makes requests that confuse and intrigue Laurent, particularly regarding the disposition of two dozen Akelian pleasure slaves that languish in Vere. True to the insight of Tsun Su, one can expect that Laurent knows his life is also in a precarious position. Ten months remain until he takes the throne and it seems his uncle has played a very deep game to cement his further rule.

This book is titled Volume One, and is part of a richly-written series. It ends with Damen and Laurent at a rapprochement. Laurent needs soldiers who will defend him against his uncle’s schemes, and Damen knows that Laurent staying alive is the only thing keeping Vere from waging war on a divided Akelios. Keep you enemies closer, indeed.

Interested? You can find CAPTIVE PRINCE on Goodreads, Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

About the Author:
C.S. Pacat is a Melbourne writer. Her first series the Captive Prince trilogy began its life as an original web serial. Self-published in 2013 to critical and commercial success and acclaim, the Captive Prince trilogy was acquired by Penguin, and will be published worldwide in 2015.

You can find Ms. Pacat on her website, Facebook and twitter.

Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!

THE SHINING ONES–Excerpt and Giveaway!

SO-BannerTemplateHi there! I’m spreading the word about an alt-historical, fantasy M/M romance novella from Dusk Peterson. I’ve not read any of the books in this series, but it sounds intriguing.

Check out the excerpt below and get in on the giveaway!

shiningones6x9About the book:

“He was skilled by now at making innocuous remarks in the presence of the Shining Ones. Nobody had even guessed that he knew what they were.”

The Eternal Dungeon is filled with prisoners who shine like the sun.

No one knows this except Barrett Boyd, a guard notorious for having survived a disciplinary punishment that should have killed him. He is also notorious for his rebellion against the authorities of the royal prison. At a pivotal time in the Eternal Dungeon’s history, when abusive practices of the past may finally be abolished, Barrett finds himself drawn to the mystery of a younger guard, Clifford Crofford, who claims that he and Barrett are love-mates.

Barrett has no memory of this. He has no memory of anything before his punishment. What does the past matter, compared to Barrett’s determination to protect the prisoners? But Barrett cannot ignore his bond with Clifford, and the closer that Barrett comes to Clifford, the more the danger arises that Clifford will question Barrett’s sanity. . . .

This novelette (miniature novel) of disability and love can be read on its own or as a side story in The Eternal Dungeon, an award-winning speculative fiction series set in a nineteenth-century prison where the psychologists wield whips.

The Eternal Dungeon series is part of Turn-of-the-Century Toughs, a cycle of alternate history series (Dark Light, Waterman, Life Prison, Commando, Michael’s House, and The Eternal Dungeon) about disreputable men on the margins of society, and the men and women who care for them. Set between the 1880s and the 1910s, the novels and stories take place in an alternative version of America that was settled by inhabitants of the Old World in ancient times. One of the series in the cycle, Waterman, combines elements of the 1910s with retrofuturistic imagery from the 1960s.

A little taste…

“I don’t want you to mistake why you’re here.”

Clifford quickly shook his head. “No, sir. I know you’re not inviting me into your bed. But we can be work partners, can’t we? To be able to work with you again – to help you fight to protect the prisoners against abuse . . .” He took a deep breath and said more steadily, “I want that more than anything else in my life.”

It would have been easier if he could have told Clifford the truth. If he could have said, “Everyone believes that my brain was changed, and it’s true. Ever since this dungeon’s High Seeker nearly beat me to death for shielding a prisoner against his cruelty, I’ve seen the prisoners here in a way that no one else sees them. I’ve seen the light that shines within them, as bright as a sun. I’ve seen how wondrous they are, and how fragile at the same time. I’ve dedicated my life to serving them in the only way I know how. . . . And I am dedicated to you as well. You are the only one, besides the prisoners, who shines with that deep, bold light. I am your servant, now and forever. I’ll give you anything that I can – anything that will please you. Anything but the love of a love-mate, for if I touched you for more than a few seconds, I would die of the exquisite pain.'”

He had always possessed enough sense not to say that to Clifford or anyone else. Always, from the first few weeks of his awakening.

Interested? You can find THE SHINING ONES on Goodreads, Amazon, and the Author’s store.

****GIVEAWAY****

Clink on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win an e-copy of THE SHINING ONES.

Good luck and keep reading my friends!

About the Author:

Honored in the Rainbow Awards, Dusk Peterson writes historical speculative fiction: alternate history, historical fantasy, and retrofuture science fiction, including lgbtq novels, original slash, and other types of diverse fiction. Suspense plays an important role in many of the tales; the conflict in those tales is both external and internal. Peterson’s stories are often placed in dark settings, such as prisons or wartime locations. The mood of the stories, however, is not one of unrelieved gloominess; romance, friendship, family affection, and faithful service are recurring themes. Visit duskpeterson.com for e-books and free fiction.

You can find Dusk online on her website, Facebook, twitter, Goodreads and Tumblr.

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Happy Book Birthday THE FORGOTTEN MOUNTAIN–Review & Giveaway

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Hi there! Today I am sharing the love of a new release from Heather Lyons. THE FORGOTTEN MOUNTAIN is a contemporary fantasy, which has it’s roots deep in literature. I really enjoyed THE HIDDEN LIBRARY, where I came to love Alice (from Wonderland) and Finn (from Huckleberry Finn) and how they endeavor to protect the literary worlds that exist behind books from psychopathic killers who seek to destroy them. It was such a wild and fascinating plot idea that I was hooked from the start. And the next book in the series releases today!!!

The Forgotten Mountain (The Collectors' Society, #3)About the book:
After years spent in Wonderland, Alice Reeve learned the impossible was quite possible after all. She thought she left such fantastical realities behind when she finally returned to England.

Now Alice has become a member of the clandestine Collectors’ Society, and the impossible has found her again in the form of an elusive villain set on erasing entire worlds. As she and the rest of the Society race to bring this mysterious murderer to justice, the fight becomes painfully personal.

Lives are being lost. Loved ones are shattered or irrevocably altered. Each step closer Alice gets to the shadowy man she hunts, the more secrets she unravels, only to reveal chilling truths. If she wants to win this war and save millions of lives, Alice must once more embrace the impossible and make the unimaginable, imaginable.

Sometimes, the rabbit hole leads to terrifying places.

My Review:
This is the third book in a series, and should be read in order.

At the end of the last book, Alice and Mary Lennox (of The Secret Garden) are on the hunt for their loves: Finn (of Huckleberry Finn) and Victor (son of Dr. Frankenstein), adopted brothers who may have perished when the book world in which they were chasing known killer Sweeney Todd was destroyed. Against all odds, Alice believes Finn to be alive; she has lost love before, and regained it with Finn. She will stop at nothing to find him, and, if that means breaking and entering, well, she luckily has renowned thief The Artful Dodger on her side.

Unfortunately, finding Finn doesn’t bring her much relief–because he’s been enchanted and will likely die if she cannot find the 13th Wise Woman, from Grimm’s Fairytales, to undo the curse. This entire series is an incredibly creative literary enterprise. I adore Alice, who is single-minded of purpose, and a kickass heroine. She’s all grown up from her first trip to Wonderland, now an exiled queen whose loved-and-lost story is all the more powerful because she chose political peace over personal comfort. She tells the bulk of this story, and her pain and courage is plain.

The main objective of all Alice’s travels is to locate Gabe Pfeffer, or Lygari, or his much older name, The Pied Piper. Trouble is, there’s trouble every step of the way. Like most of the Brothers Grimm’s works, this is not a light-hearted fable. Nope, it’s a dark tale that includes vengeance, lies, enchantment and a teeny bit of sex. I’m kinda frustrated by the end…because I MUST know what happens next, and, alas, it’s a kicker cliffhanger, IMHO. I don’t want to spoil the book, so I’m ending this review here. If you think you’ll like creative literary fantasy with a vengeful queen who will do absolutely anything to save her prince, this book is for you.

Interested? You can find THE FORGOTTEN MOUNTAIN on Goodreads, Amazon (US and UK), Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and iBooks.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click the Rafflecopter link below for your chance to win a cool charm bracelet and signed paperback!
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Good luck and keep reading my friends!

About the Author:
Heather LyonsAbout the author:
Heather Lyons writes epic, heartfelt love stories and has always had a thing for words. In addition to writing, she’s also been an archaeologist and a teacher. She and her husband and children live in sunny Southern California and are currently working their way through every cupcakery she can find.

Catch Heather on her website, Goodreads, twitter and Facebook.

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Tough Love With the SACRATI–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing my review for the newly-released M/M fantasy novel SACRATI by Kate Sherwood. I really loved her contemporary M/M romance, MARK OF CAIN, and was eager to see how Ms. Sherwood wrote fantasy. I stepped into a richly-textured world of war and strategy, with a delicious slow burning romance.

SacratiAbout the book:
As an elite Sacrati fighter in the mighty Torian military, Theos is blessed with a city full of women who want to bear his children, and a barracks full of men proud to fight at his side and share his bed. He has everything he needs—until he captures Finnvid on a raid.

Finnvid is on a secret mission to prevent the Torian invasion of his homeland Elkat. Being enslaved by Torian soldiers wasn’t in his plans. Neither is his horrified fascination with the casual promiscuity of the Sacrati warriors. Men should not lie with other men—and he should not be so intrigued when they do. He definitely should not be most intrigued by the leader of the soldiers who captured him and plan to invade his home.

For Theos, everything would have been easier if the infuriating, lying, bewildering Elkati had never come into his life, but he can’t stay away. When betrayal and treachery threaten both their nations, they must work together to stop a war that could destroy their homes forever—even as they begin to question everything they’re fighting for.

My Review:
4.5 stars for this intriguing M/M fantasy romance.

Theos is a Sacrati, the fiercest of warriors in the Torian army. Torian society is communal–the men fight and conquer new lands, and protect the women and children who live within sheltered cities in a collection of valleys in this world. Men and women do not marry in Torian society, they meet rarely for procreation, but otherwise are separate. The prized warriors, like Theos, have many invitations to copulate with women, to produce offspring, but most of the time, the men are game to take care of their sexual needs with their comrades (as do the women!).

As a sacrati, Theos is above a lot of the menial army business. His warlord, however, has been acting mighty shady. Under Theos’ command, a band of Elkati men are captured well within the Torian borde. It is clear they were attempting to return to neighboring Elkat valley, but Theos knows the value of a good captive–his men will all get a cut for selling them as slaves. And, Theos has the right, as commander, to choose a slave of his own from the captured. Not that he plans to, however. Keeping a slave is expensive and he would do better to claim the slave’s selling price for himself.

Only, it doesn’t go that way. The leader of the Elkati, a fair man called Finnvid, is a healer and a scholar. Theos is especially wary of the strange way his warlord watches Finnvid, and desires him. His suspicions are further augmented when the warlord is enraged by Theos’ decision to keep Finnvid, rather than let him be transported through a mountain pass for sale at the onset of winter. Finnvid is not like the men Theos knows. He is verbally opposed to the idea of men having sex with each other–in Elkat such a thing is despised. Moreover, Elkati have monogamous marriages, and this seemingly random copulation within Torian society is as foreign to him as Chinese is to me. It turn out that Theos has 46 children, with more than a dozen women in the city–and more on the way. Finnvid = Mind Blown.

Still, Finnvid is a secret keeper of the highest order, and the most significant is his BROTHER is the Elkati King. Returning him to Elkat is imperative, but there are so many secrets and lies, that the politics is nearly as dangerous as the winter mountain passage.

There are double crosses, and double standards and murder most foul. Throughout, Finnvid must come to terms with the most hated part of himself–the part that desires men sexually, and Theos in particular. I was fully engaged in this fantastic world. I felt like I was taking icy steps through the snowy mountains, or sweating in the ice huts and soaping up in the bath house. All the secondary characters are beautifully detailed, having real experiences that impact the story. The political machinations were fascinating, and I really found myself drawn into the story–hoping that Finnvid and Theos would find themselves alive, and together, when the final page came.

While this is not a traditional romance, and not even a traditional ‘slave’ romance, there is a constant expectation that Finnvid and Theos will work things out between them. In the meantime, I was rather relieved with how decent Theos was–he had no dearth of sex partners, and he never forced Finnvid to become one of them. They spend a significant amount of time together, and the rapport that develops is quite natural feeling, as are the experiences of regret and loss when they are separated. Still, I had to laugh at how stubborn they both were.

The book ended in such a way that I don’t anticipate a sequel, but man! I’d like to see how all change in Torian society shakes out…

Interested? You can find SACRATI on Goodreads, Riptide Books, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. I received a copy of this book via NetGalley.

About the Author:
Kate Sherwood started writing about the same time she got back on a horse after almost twenty years away from riding. She’d like to think she was too young for it to be a midlife crisis, but apparently she was ready for some changes!

Kate grew up near Toronto, Ontario (Canada) and went to school in Montreal, then Vancouver. But for the last decade or so she’s been a country girl. Sure, she misses some of the conveniences of the city, but living close to nature makes up for those lacks. She’s living in Ontario’s “cottage country”–other people save up their time and come to spend their vacations in her neighborhood, but she gets to live there all year round!

Since her first book was published in 2010, she’s kept herself busy with novels, novellas, and short stories in almost all the sub-genres of m/m romance. Contemporary, suspense, scifi or fantasy–the settings are just the backdrop for her characters to answer the important questions. How much can they share, and what do they need to keep? Can they bring themselves to trust someone, after being disappointed so many times? Are they brave enough to take a chance on love?

Kate’s books balance drama with humor, angst with optimism. They feature strong, damaged men who fight themselves harder than they fight anyone else. And, wherever possible, there are animals: horses, dogs, cats ferrets, squirrels… sometimes it’s easier to bond with a non-human, and most of Kate’s men need all the help they can get.

After five years of writing, Kate is still learning, still stretching herself, and still enjoying what she does. She’s looking forward to sharing a lot more stories in the future.

You can catch up with Kate online on her website, Facebook, and twitter.

Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!

Swooning for VIXEN’S VALOR–Blog Tour and Giveaway

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Hello all! Thank you so much for joining me on another stop of the Vixen’s Valor Blog Tour celebrating the release of Vixen’s Valor, the third book in the North Pole City Tales series. And thank you to my lovely host for having me. On the last stop we talked about the Rein Dears–Mayor Kringle’s handsome ace pilots. Two of those Rein Dears have caught the eye and heart of a couple of Frost monarchs. It would seem those imposing winter spirits are rather hotblooded.

The Frost monarchy has been around since the beginning. No one even knows how old the Frost King is despite his youthful appearance. He could easily pass for Jack’s older brother rather than father, though his eyes are near black in color instead of the Frost family signature silver. They share their imposing stature and natural grumpiness, as well blustering temper. The King lost his queen back when the Frost War broke out. At the time, Jack was attending Clause College with Rudy, and that day Jack lost his heart to the ice. The King was devastated, but he was able to keep himself from losing his heart to the ice as his son had. He had a kingdom in mourning and a war to bring to an end. Two hundred years have passed and he King still mourns his loss, most often than not confining himself to his icy palace with only the staff to keep him company. The king isn’t the most sociable of elves.

Vale FrostMalachi Frost, the king’s brother and most trusted chancellor is far less blustering. He lost his wife during the birth of their twin sons Vale and Hollis. Vale has his father’s temperament. He can be imposing when he needs to be, especially when it concerns commanding their kingdom’s army, but he tends to be sweet and kind, often smiling. Hollis has taken after his cousin and uncle. He’s grumpy and has no trouble speaking his mind. There is no one in the kingdom who doesn’t fear the Frost monarchy.

Back during the war when Jack lost his heart to the ice, Rudy was able to save him. Their love bloomed from there and they have been together since. As imposing and frightening as Jack can be, no one can touch his heart or spread warmth through him like his sweet Christmas elf. When Rudy once again rushed to Jack’s aid in The Heart of Frost, Vale found himself smitten by the cheeky Vixen Rein Dear. He sees something Vixen that no one else–not even Vixen sees, and he’s hopeful that Vixen will give him a chance. But don’t let Vale’s sweet nature fool you. Beneath the impeccable uniform is a fiery winter spirit with the power to command snow and ice. Vale may not be as powerful as his cousin or uncle, but he’s still a spirit elf. He’s also very prim, proper, and shy. Perhaps Vixen is just the sort of elf to stir the embers inside the timid lieutenant.

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VixensValour200Vixen’s Valor (North Pole City Tales: Book Three)
Genre: M/M romance, Fantasy, Humor, Christmas
Length: Novella 82 pages
Published: December 3rd, 2014
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 9781632165183

Story Summary

Rein Dear is a prestigious title, accompanied by admiration, devotion, and celebrity status, all of which one saucy Vixen thrives on. Alas, Vixen’s only concerned with having fun, unlike his stuffy and sensible best friend, Rudy Rein Dear, who Vixen has always been jealous of. Aside from being chosen by Mayor Kringle to be Captain the Rein Dear Squadron, Rudy’s managed to snag himself a prince, even if that prince is the dangerous and imposing Jack Frost.

All’s not lost for Vixen though. He discovers Jack’s cousin Vale has a soft spot for him. Vale Frost might not be a dashing prince, but he’s the next best thing: a decorated Lieutenant for the Toy Soldier Army, and a member of the Frost monarchy.

Determined to get what Vixen feels he deserves, he sets off on a mission to ensnare the kind-hearted lieutenant. But Vixen’s selfish ways are sure to lead to disaster, and it’ll take more than a little courage to set things right.

Out now at

Dreampisnner Press eBook | Amazon | All Romance eBooks

Alert! All novellas, including the North Pole City books, are discounted 25% through December 13th over at DREAMSPINNER!

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Read the first chapter here

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

baublesccMy Review:

This is the third book of the North Pole City Tales series. Click these titles for the reviews on book 1, Mending Noel, and book 2, Heart of Frost.  Vixen’s Valor is a M/M romance featuring Rudy Rein Dear’s BFF, Vixen, and Jack Frost’s cousin, Vale Frost.

Vixen has craved affection and adulation his entire life. Abandoned young, he was adopted and loved, until his new parents conceived their own elfling and Vixen was again forgotten. Vixen is a bit of a tart, eager to have his merry way with any and all Toy Solidiers who’d buy his drink. He envies his friend Rudy, because Rudy has the heart of Jack, the Prince of Frost. Well, catching Vale Frost’s eye is *nearly* as good. Right?

Vale Frost is a soft-spoken man, despite being a Lieutenant in the Toy Soldier army and cousin to the Prince. He carries a fiery passion for vivacious Vixen, and hopes to demonstrate how eager he is to not only have Vixen as a partner, but to build a real love together.

Their time together is nothing like Vixen has ever experienced, or had hoped to have; no man has been so kind, loving and considerate with him before. Despite his brashness, Vixen has a very tender heart, and Vale’s earnest love is winning his way deep into Vixen’s affections.

Well, until the espionage and punishment ensue, that is.

Poor Vixen, and poorer Vale. They get caught up in something neither had anticipated, but it affords Vixen the opportunity to show exactly what he’s made of, and he just might win back Vale’s affection–if he isn’t turned into an elf-cicle, first.

I adored this tender romance and the interplay of all the characters from previous books in the series. Vixen’s initially gold-digging intentions are swiftly derailed by the force of pure love. *swoon*

And, this book features some enchanting elf-loving, too! 4.5 Stars.

About the Author

CCochet100Charlie Cochet is an author by day and artist by night. Always quick to succumb to the whispers of her wayward muse, no star is out of reach when following her passion. From Historical to Fantasy, Contemporary to Science Fiction, there’s bound to be plenty of mischief for her heroes to find themselves in, and plenty of romance, too!

Currently residing in South Florida, Charlie looks forward to migrating to a land where the weather includes seasons other than hot, hotter, and boy, it’s hot! When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading, drawing, or watching movies. She runs on coffee, thrives on music, and loves to hear from readers.

Website | Facebook | Facebook Author Page | Twitter | Goodreads | Tumblr | Instagram | Pinterest | THIRDS HQ | Newsletter
Email: charlie@charliecochet.com

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Other books in the series

MendingNoel200 HeartofFrost[The]200

Mending Noel: Book 1
The Heart of Frost: Book 2

Mending Noel also available in audiobook. All books can be read as standalone but for maximum enjoyment, it’s recommended they be read in order as characters appear in previous books.

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Tour stops

1st Dec – Prism Book Alliance
3rd Dec – Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews
4th Dec – MM Good Books Reviews
5th Dec – Hearts on Fire Reviews
10th Dec – V’s Reads
11th Dec – The Novel Approach

Other Events

Dec 9th – Twitter Takeover

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