Release Blitz: Apple Boy by Isobel Starling out NOW!

New Release OUT NOW!!

Book Title:  Apple Boy (The Quiet Work #1)

Author: Isobel Starling

Publisher: Decent Fellows Press

Cover Artist: Valentine Pascadian (Lennel)

Genre/s:  Fantasy, M/M Romance

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length:103 600 words/ 556 pages

Release Date:  February 15, 2019

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Blurb

After a traumatic event, Winter Aeling finds himself destitute and penniless in the backwater town of Mallowick.  He needs to travel to the city of Serein and impart grave news that will bring war to the Empire, but without a horse, money, and with not a soul willing to help him, he has no choice but to line up with the common folk seeking paid work on the harvest.  

As wagons roll into the market square and farmers choose day laborers, Winter is singled out for abuse by a brute of a farmer.  The only man who stands up for him is the farmer’s beguiling son, Adam, and on locking eyes with the swarthy young man Winter feels the immediate spark of attraction.

Winter soon realizes there is a reason he has been drawn to Blackdown Farm.  The farmer possesses a precious item that was stolen long ago from Winter’s family, and he determines to retrieve it.  He also cannot take his eyes off the farmer’s son, and as the young man opens up Winter can’t help wondering if Adam is just kind or his kind!

Excerpt

“Apple Boy” by Isobel Starling

CHAPTER 1

MARKET SQUARE

“You boy, aye, YOU.  Ain’t never seen ye round ‘ere before,” The farmer directed his bellow at me.  

It was sunrise, and at last, I’d found the courage to step out of my hiding place and join the common laborers who gathered in Mallowick market square.  We were waiting for the farmers’ carts to come by and choose their day workers.  I’d watched this ritual each morning for the past three days, peeking out from shadowed doorways, or while crouching behind barrels.  

It was harvest time, and it appeared to be routine for peasants to walk from the surrounding hamlets before dawn and assemble in the square to seek work on the farms.  There was wheat, barley, root vegetables, and tree fruits to be gathered before the weather turned. I was informed by a ruddy looking fellow in the tavern that anyone could get work on the harvest, and so, with my pride cut to ribbons and my pockets empty, I’d stepped out of the safety of my hiding place and joined the commoners.

“Does ye wants work or no’?  Look at me when I’m talkin’ to ye.  What’s yer name?” The burley farmer roared.  I looked up, stunned to be singled out from among all of these strapping men and hardy looking women, for I felt invisible.  Four carts had already passed and taken their pick of the young, strong peasants, but none of those farmers gave me a second glance.  I should have known something was afoot, for when this particular wagon turned up the women in the square shrank back into doorways, and men sidled away to lean against buildings.  On the side of the wagon, writ-large in bold off-white letters were the words BLACKDOWN FARM. There were around thirty of us left on view, like cattle.

I had never partaken in manual labor or any kind of work before.  I was a gentleman and far more familiar with spending my days relaxing, reading, attending social events in the city, or taking a horse for a gallop in the country.  But my life had changed since I’d become stranded here in the Pasturelands provincial town of Mallowick two weeks earlier.  Now I was living on my wits.  Each day was a fight for my life, and I’d sold all of my fine belongings, intending to pay for passage on the stagecoach from Mallowick to the city of Serein.  But I had not thought things through, and it did not happen that way.  My body’s needs took precedent. I’d become so ravenous, and therefore the meager coin I’d gathered from selling my finery was spent on what I could afford—basic rough barley bread and ale, just enough to stave off the gnawing pangs of hunger in my belly each day.  Now, I had no belongings, and the money was all but gone. I was no thief, and the only thing I had left to sell was my body. Looking like a wretch, I did not believe I could earn even a copper that way! Before I left on my travels, I was warned that the province of Erias had strict rules about men bedding other men and I did not want to tempt fate.  I was at a loss—hard labor or starvation were the only choices available to me. Gods, if my father could see how far I’d fallen in such a short time, he would be thoroughly ashamed.  I was living hand-to-mouth, and if I dared to seek out my reflection and observe my disreputable state of dress, I was sure I would see I was no longer a gentleman at all.

I assured myself that all would be well as soon as I could get to the city of Serein.  There I would attend my father’s depository and obtain funds from his account—as had been arranged, and then, I could find my way to my uncle’s residence and attend to a much grimmer business.  

So, with no other choice, I was here, standing in Mallowick market square with a bunch of rough-looking fellows and ruddy-faced women with just the ragged clothes I stood in to my name.  I wondered if my visage had taken on the same gaunt, starved, haunted look some of them wore.

“WELL?”  The farmer roared.

“Leave him be Pa; I think he’s a mute.  P… p… please don’t—” A swarthy young man urged, stepping to the farmers’ side.  The man appeared to be in his early twenties, with broad angular shoulders, slim hips, and wavy jaw-length hair that longingly reminded me of Montestein tea.  When the morning sunlight broke through the clouds and caressed him, the strands of his hair revealed all the shades of autumn.  It was beautiful.  His eyes were bright emerald green, and his skin bore the wind-burned tan of a man who spent his days working the land.  I met his gaze for a second that seemed to stop time, and I felt a flutter of longing erupt in my gut. I found myself mesmerized by him.  He appeared a little embarrassed, for himself or for me, I wasn’t quite sure. The farmer turned to his son.

“Shut that filthy mouth o’ yours, apple boy!” he spat.  His large meaty hands twitched.  He sneered and glared at his son in such a wicked way I knew it should have been followed up by a sharp slap.  I worried that the young man would endure further public humiliation at the hands of his father, but the farmer moved his disdainful glare back to me.  I shuddered with fear. I had a feeling that he was saving his son’s punishment for later—away from the prying eyes of the townsfolk. I did not like that thought, not one bit.  I did not know why the farmer was drawn to me, but he sized me up with a sweeping glance of consideration, then wrinkled his nose as if he’d sniffed a revolting stench—I hadn’t bathed in two weeks, so maybe I did smell a tad ripe!

“Is ye a mute?”

I shook my head.  I would say, if anything, I was deeply traumatized by the unfortunate circumstance I’d found myself in, but no, I was certainly not a mute.  I just wasn’t used to a lowly man speaking to me so roughly. Generally, men who dared to address me knew their betters and behaved appropriately.  But here in Mallowick, in the province of Erias, I was no better than a beggar on the street.  There was no one I could call on for favors, no one who, on hearing my family name, would loan me coin for the stagecoach or a horse to ride to the city and send word to my father.  

When I’d first arrived in Mallowick, telling the truth of my station had gotten me dragged down an alley where my finger and earrings were stolen, and I’d received a beating.  This farmer from Blackdown Farm had no idea who I was, and I would not make the same mistake again.

I took a breath and stepped out of line.  “Master Irwin Harding, sir. You may call me Win.”  I winced at hearing my own soft, well-spoken voice, with my accent, the clipped tongue of Thorn.  I had not used my real name and wished I had not used my true voice either.  The fact that I was the son of the Duke of Thorn meant nothing here.  Thorn was west of Erias, on the other side of the Silua Montis Mountain range, and I doubted any of these illiterate souls in Mallowick knew anything other than that folklore passed around by storytellers.

The farmer stepped to stand in front of me.  He was a big, bulky bastard of a man and stank of stale sweat and baccy.  He had a grizzled podgy face and thick dark hair shot with strands of silver pulled into an untidy tail.  The tension grew between us, and I worried I’d spoken out of turn. I looked down and watched my bare, filthy feet as if they held endless fascination.  I’d seen men like him before. He had hands like shovels, and I’m sure they’d done damage in their time. My father would have used a man like him well, probably as muscle to intimidate the city folk while the Royal Chancellor did the rounds collecting taxes.  

Afraid and sweating with anxiety, I glanced up and away, unable to look at the farmer directly and meet his fierce piggy eyes.  Instead, I looked left and caught the eye of his son. I felt another flutter of attraction. I was grateful for it because it dampened my fear a little.  The glance the farmers’ son sent me back was sheepish, apologetic. He shrugged and put a finger to his lips, signaling for me to hush. I’m sure now he knew what was coming.

Master, is it?”  The farmer gave a raspy malevolent chuckle.  “Well, well, well aren’t ye an uppity little scrote.  Such a pretty voice an’ all. Have your balls dropped yet, lad?”  

The townsmen men standing around me shuffled on their feet and snickered uncomfortably.  I could tell from the tentative laughter they were afraid of this man too. My chest tightened with fury, and I felt the flare of heat rush to color my cheeks.  If in Thorn I would have put this fellow in his place, but as directed by the farmers’ handsome son, I held my tongue.  

I dared to look up as the farmer scratched his grizzled chin and consider me.  It was then I saw it. A chill iced my bones. On his chubby right index finger, he wore a gold ring set with a large red gemstone that I was aghast to see held the intaglio engraving of a rose thorn—my family’s seal.  How had this disgusting Pasturelands farmer come upon my family’s ring?  Anger curdled my gut, but I forced myself to focus and fixed my features so as not to alert the man to what I was looking at.  That ring was more precious than I could say. It was not set with any common gemstone, oh no, the setting was Star-fall.  The legend was that mortal tools could not cut the rich-red Star-fall stone.  The gemstone was shaped by sorcery, and the power that carved into the gem was stored inside it as if the Star-fall was a reservoir for the magic.  It was illegal for any other than the Twin Kings of Osia to own Star-fall.  The king’s men had scoured the Empire to remove all traces of the priceless gem from common and aristocratic hands and possessing it was a death sentence.  Did this ruffian have any idea what he wore?

Not getting a rise from me, the farmer stepped yet closer and found out for himself if my balls had dropped.  He reached for my privates and squeezed.

Ahh, ye got some big stones de’re al’right, boy,” he said with a filthy sneer.

“Done any labourin’ before, lad?”  My eyes watered.  I shook my head and winced as the pressure on my most sensitive parts rose.  I wanted to shout and push him away, punch him in that bristly pug face. I’d trained in hand-to-hand combat and swordplay, but that was of little use to me now that I had no sword and was cast as naught but a commoner myself.  I stood frozen to the spot with fear, my cock, and balls in the hand of this brutish man. I was sure that clutching my nethers was not the best way to test if I would be a good apple picker.  

The farmer let go, stepped back, and looked me over again like he was sizing up a prize pig.  I wanted to keel over, hold my sensitive parts and howl, but, with my eyes watering, I kept my back ramrod straight and looked past the farmer, using his son’s regretful, pretty green eyes as my focus.  

I appeared to be a boy, but I am nineteen and about to make my majority.  I have a tall, willowy frame, and little muscle to show for my near twenty summers.  Weeks before, I was clothed in the silken garb of a lordling, but all I wore now were my stinky silk britches and a once-white linen shirt.  I’d even had to sell my fine leather boots. My flaxen hair hung loosely to my shoulders and was bedraggled. My mother had always told me my hair shone like a golden halo.  I guessed that was no longer the case. I had not seen my reflection in two weeks so I could only imagine how frightful I appeared to onlookers. My circumstance was terrible, but I refused to let it defeat me.  I was a son of Thorn, I was a gentleman, damn it, and I was prepared to do whatever it took to do to find my way to my destination and seek justice for all the ill-luck that had befallen me.  

“Right, scrote, up on the wagon,” the farmer declared.  “We can always do wit a few extra scurrier’s fer the windfalls.”

I had no idea what that actually meant, but strangely relieved to be selected, I nodded subserviently and then, ducking my head to avoid the farmers’ glare, I scurried to the wagon where I surreptitiously gave my aching intimate parts a gentle rub.  

I’d heard from a fellow in the tavern that harvesting wheat at Robinswood Farm was backbreaking, as was digging root vegetables at Windy Oakes Farm.  He advised that apple picking was easy work and if I could get employment at Weatherby’s or Blackdown Farm, they paid good coin.  He said the mistress at Blackdown was particularly well-liked and always gave laborers a bread and cheese luncheon with last season’s cider.  I was so hungry that bread and cheese sounded like a banquet. The fellow had neglected to tell me that the farmer was a brute!

The farmers’ son met me by the wagon and offered to help me aboard.  For a moment, from the look of consideration in his eyes, I thought he could see past the disheveled state of me to the gentleman I’d once been.  But that was ridiculous. The farmers’ son hopped up onto the back of the wagon with dexterous athleticism, and then offered me his hands. I took them without a thought.  His warm touch and the strength in those work-roughened fingers twisted my gut into uncomfortable knots. He fixed my gaze as he gripped both of my hands and tugged me up as easily as if he were lifting feather down.  He pulled me closed and pressed me to his hard chest.

“Don’t back chat him or it’ll be the worst fer you,” he whispered the warning to my ear.  Alarmed, I eased back from him and cautiously met his eye for a split second. In the look he gave me I saw that the warning was well-meant.  Bewildered, I nodded in thanks and understanding. I had no idea why this stranger was looking out for me, but the fact he was warmed my heart.  I choked back a tear. No one had looked out for me over these past weeks, and I had been so terribly lonely. I’d learned some hard life lessons on this leg of my journey, and I’d come to understand that here my title was irrelevant, and without money I was suddenly invisible; therefore small kindnesses meant more than I could say.

My adventure into the provinces had been made to appease my father for my supposed ‘lack of direction.’  I’d become bored with my easy life in Thorn, and not intending to marry; I’d told my father that in-light of my upcoming twentieth Bloomsday I wanted to tour the Empire.  If I were to one-day become Duke of Thorn, I needed to know a little of the politics of each province and so, pleased with my initiative and happy to be rid of me for a while, he’d set me on my way.  I’d toured the provinces of Terria, Corvay, and Reuss and then continued to the province of Osia, spending time in the capital city Altea, at the court of the Twin Kings, Kristoff, and Fabian Von Harte.  With this journey to Erias, I was to have the full set of provinces under my belt.  But fate was not on my side.

On benches affixed to either side of the farmers’ wagon sat fourteen men morosely staring at their bare, filthy feet, not a word of chatter between them.  They each owned a small pack of belongings and a wrapped blanket that each had stowed beneath the bench. At this moment they were better-off than me, for I did not even have a blanket to my name.  There was space for me and five more, totaling twenty men. The farmer chose from the remaining laborers with less consideration than I had been afforded.

“Right…  I’ll take Allin, Jed, Arthur, Bartram, and Matty, that’ll do me fer the week,” he hollered decisively.

The week?  I thought I’d promised myself for a hard day’s labor?  But then again, I considered the harvesters who were sitting in the wagon, and yes, they appeared to have prepared for an overnight stay.  Confused, I sat down as the other laborers were pulled up onto the wagon by their comrades, and then we shuffled along the benches until we were all seated.  I noticed the shoulders of the remaining men in the market square sag a little in apparent relief as if some mighty weight had lifted from them. I didn’t understand it.  I thought they’d wanted to work?

The farmers’ son clambered over into the front of the wagon.  His father climbed on, the man’s bulk shaking the timbers of the rickety wagon as he settled on the bench beside him.  The son handed his father the ribbons, which the farmer greedily snatched up, and then with a fearsome bellow of “Geddup” and a thunderous whip crack, the large mottled grey workhorse began its cumbersome trot down the main street and onto the dusty road to Blackdown Farm.

About the Author

Isobel Starling spent most of her twenty-year professional career making art in Ireland.  She relocated to the UK and, faced with the dreaded artist’s creative block, Isobel started to write and found she loved writing more than making art.

Isobel is currently working on her nineteenth book.  

“As You Wish” (Shatterproof Bond#1) narrated by Gary Furlong won the Audiobook Reviewer Award for Romance 2018.  It is the first M/M Romance audiobook to win a mainstream audiobook award.

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Decent Fellows Press

New Release & Giveaway by Roe Horvat

 

Buy Links: Amazon USAmazon UK Exclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited
 
Length: 42,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design:
 
Publisher: Beaten Track Publishing
 
Blurb
 

It was supposed to be just sex… Famous last words.

Tyler doesn’t overthink pleasure and avoids complications. He knows it might be stupid to get involved with his closeted boss, but the temptation is too great. At first, the cold and beautiful Joel Sandstrom seems to loathe Tyler’s guts.

Except one late night at the office, his reasons become clear…and his control breaks.

Every time they touch, Joel’s stony face comes alive, harsh lines smooth out, and for a minute, he looks serene. Happy, even. Just sex – dirty, intense, spectacular sex.

During their covert encounters, Tyler discovers the power he has over the lonesome man, and it’s a heady feeling. What if he could set Joel free and give him peace of mind? When Tyler realizes how much Joel needs him, he doesn’t regret breaking his own rules.

Excerpt

(warning: adult language, but no explicit scenes)

Thursday was a long day.

I messaged Christoffer to say I wouldn’t be able to make it this weekend because my boss was a slave-driving ass.

At least it’s a good-looking ass, Christoffer replied.

Tina knocked on my booth at half past eleven.

“Tyler? Joel says he wants you in the conference room at one for the meeting with Mercury.”

I scowled, my mood getting worse by the second. “He could have emailed me, messaged me, or come down here to tell me himself. You’re not his secretary.”

Tina rolled her eyes. “Calm down, Avenger. I bumped into Joel in the kitchen. He mentioned you might need to be there. I told him I’d let you know.”

It took a me a while, but in the end, I had to admit I had no comeback to something so…normal. Damn it. He didn’t even give me valid reasons to hate on him.

“I’ll be there,” I mumbled, turning back to my screen.

“He’s a good guy, Tyler. Cut him some slack,” Tina said.

“Me?” I pivoted on my chair to face her. Joel was the one being a jerk. And he was the boss! How was I supposed to cut him slack?

“You know what I mean,” Tina threw over her shoulder, walking away toward her desk.

“What?” I called after her, but she didn’t reply.

Two hours later, I parked my butt in the conference room, opposite Joel. He was looking at his laptop screen intently, not acknowledging me. He never talked to me unless he absolutely had to.

“Nice tie. Matches the ice in your chest,” I commented.

“They will be here in three minutes. Please behave,” Joel said evenly, still not lifting his gaze from the laptop.

“You don’t like it when I behave,” I told him, leaning back.

His eyes flashed to me for an instant, and his lip twitched. Otherwise, expression Number One: immaculate control and contained rage. “Tyler, can you act professionally for ninety minutes?” he hissed.

That was it. How come I was suddenly the unprofessional one?

“How’s your throat today, Joel? Sore?” I asked loudly just as the door creaked open.

Joel sucked in a breath and clenched his jaw. Red stain crept up his neck, but he stood gracefully and offered his hand to the forty-something woman who entered the room. A tall young man in a lovely dark-blue suit followed her. He had high cheekbones and porcelain skin, and he blushed fiercely when he saw me. Nice. I made sure to smile at him when we shook hands. His eyelids fluttered. Matt, who held the door for the Mercury people, gave us a tight greeting and closed it.

We sat, and my attention shifted from the young beauty back to my boss. Joel’s stare became glacial. I smirked. This was going to be fun.

It wasn’t fun. At all. Their requirements were unspecific, their expectations exaggerated, and the pretty boy was a pretentious jerk. I suffered through the hour and a half trying not to let them know they had only wasted my time.

Joel accompanied the Mercury people to the hall and shook hands with both. I tried to slip past them back to my soundproof sanctuary, intent on closing myself in there for the rest of the day. I hated client meetings with a passion—even when they involved pretty young things. But Joel called after me, ruining my escape.

“Tyler? Can you wait in the conference room? It will only take a minute.”

I let out my frustration by making the face of a backstabbed warrior, and slowly turned around.

Back in the conference room, I sat down on the same chair, which was still warm from my butt. Hopefully, Joel would only want to go through the details of the meeting and then I could go hide again.

He stepped inside and closed the door.

“I have a request,” he began slowly. He stayed by the door, as far from me as possible.

I leaned forward and supported my chin in my palm, waiting.

“I can’t let the situation get out of hand,” Joel continued, suspiciously vague. “I have some serious private matters going on right now. I hope you will understand and help me to…handle this gracefully. I can’t afford any added complications.”

Oh, it was that kind of a request!

“Joel, I told you, I won’t out you. I’m not a complete shit,” I said with disgust. What the hell did he think of me?

Joel flashed me a disturbed look. “No, I know that. I only need us to…stop being personal.”

“You mean you won’t suck my dick anymore, boss?”

He had the grace to wince, yet he didn’t reply.

 
Author Bio
 

Queer fiction author Roe Horvat was born in the post-communist wasteland of former Czechoslovakia. Equipped with a dark sense of sarcasm, Roe traveled Europe and finally settled in Sweden. He came out as transgender in 2017 and has been fabulous since. He loves Jane Austen, Douglas Adams, bad action movies, stand-up comedy, pale ale, and daiquiri, with equal passion. When not hiding in the studio doing graphics, he can be found trolling cafés in Gothenburg, writing, and people-watching.

More about the author:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/roe.horvat.98
Twitter: @roehorvat
Website: roehorvat.com
Publisher: http://www.beatentrackpublishing.com/?n1=authors&id=107

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Forged Alliances Release Blitz

Forged Alliances by Katherine McIntyre out NOW!

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Sierra and Dax’s alliance is already rocky. He’s a cocky wiseass, and she doesn’t put up with bullshit. So, when a mating bond appears between them, it threatens to send them both running.

Sierra Kanoska fought hard for her position as wolf alpha of the Red Rock pack, and intruders in her territory receive the full brunt of what her claws, fangs and smarts can accomplish. So, when Dax Williams, de facto alpha of the Silver Springs pack, pays an unwelcome visit, Sierra’s ready to toss him out. However, the pack elders sabotaged Dax’s fight for alpha against his brother, driving him from his lands. Sierra hates underhanded crap like that, so she agrees on an alliance.

As they work together, she witnesses an alpha who wants to do right by his pack, not just a cocky wiseass. Their growing attraction blazes hot, but the moment she and Dax lock lips, a mating bond emerges. Sierra sure as hell isn’t ready to share that intimate connection with a stranger and the thought of forever sends Dax running.

Before they can talk, the Tribe commanding the East Coast shifters arrives to settle the dispute. Dax and his brother’s punishment for their pack’s civil war is a free-for-all on their lands. Not only does he have to defeat his brother, but any challenger in the region. Despite Dax and Sierra’s initial resistance, his wily charm relaxes her control-freak tendencies while her steadfast support bolsters his strength. Yet every new opponent places their newfound relationship under siege—one misstep, one wrong blow in the ring, and Dax could leave in a bodybag.

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Excerpt:

Sierra was spoiling for a fight.

She slammed into the Beaver Tavern’s door shoulder first, amber light spilling on her, and the scent of tobacco threading through the air when she entered. Wooden planks creaked under her boots from her tread as she quick-stepped to the oaken bar on the opposite side. Three things lit her match without fail—abusive assholes, idiots who didn’t use their turn signals and unannounced shifters moving in on her territory.

Inside, her beast snapped at its confines, begging her to shift, to take to the woods and keep running, never turning back. Except leaving wasn’t an option, not since she’d become alpha of the Red Rock pack years ago. Sounds of the bar in full swing washed over her, from the shouts and laughs of the regulars to the clunks of heavy pint glasses hitting the tables.

“Sierra, what’s up your ass?” Jeremiah called over from a table as a lazy smile reached his hazel eyes. Her Red Rock pack filled the whole bar, since humans kept their distance from predominantly shifter areas, and in this part of Pennsylvania few would come strolling in.

She flipped him the middle finger. “Shut it, Streaky,” she called back, garnering a couple of laughs from the pack. After Jer had gotten caught buck-ass naked, stumbling out of at least three different tents at the last Fourth of July party, the nickname had stuck. Sierra beelined to where Raven operated the taps, dispensing dew to this loud and crazy lot. Sierra’s body brimmed with unspent tension. Fight, fight, fight pounded through her, an untamable urge, and her wolf prowled inside her, restless. As alpha, her rank heightened her tether to the beast, already one step away from primal.

“Shot of whiskey,” she growled, needing to regain control. Needing the reset before she engaged with her pack. Raven blinked at her, those deep-set eyes warm and welcoming as she reached for the bottle of Jack. Strands of the bartender’s thick black hair drifted over her shoulder as she passed the drink over.

“Boss, go for the whole thing,” she said with an amused smile. The bottle hit the counter with a thump, reminding Sierra of the massive inventory piling up in the back. The day she’d won the title of alpha, she’d also earned herself ownership of this dive.

“Thanks,” she muttered before unscrewing the cap and taking a swig. The amber liquid sloshed around the bottle, burning once the whiskey hit her lips. She soaked in the bliss, in the five-second distraction from the territorial urges pushing her toward an aggression-fueled pissing contest. Her skin prickled, hackles raised from her earlier run—from the note that had turned this day from sunshine-speckled to hellish.

She sucked down another swig, the burn of alcohol spreading through her before she returned the bottle to the counter. One deep breath, then two, and she started to feel normal again. The beast snarled but backed down. Sierra plopped onto one of the worn leather stools and leaned forward, elbows digging into the polished oak counter. Her tank top was glued to her chest and her thick obsidian locks plastered to her cheeks and her neck. The sweltering heat that swept the region wasn’t helping her mood in the slightest.

A hand snaked out in front of Sierra to tug the bottle away as the seat beside her creaked.

“Need to go a couple of rounds?” Finn asked, his dark eyes dancing with amusement at her barely contained rage. “Whatever’s got your wolf snapping is hitting the rest of us too. I’m assuming a summer squall’s brewing.” The beta of her pack dominated the stool, tall, with the lithe muscle of an MMA fighter—fitting, since he taught kickboxing classes six days a week. He’d been her sparring partner for years, and even as a teenager, the bastard had played dirty, sand in the eyes and all.

“Storm’s ready to touch down,” Sierra muttered, slumping onto the counter. When it came to her pack, she made calls without hesitation—every member from the eldest to the littles had complaints, problems to solve or disputes and fights she managed. However, this problem was in a whole different category. “We’ve got new neighbors, and they’re of the pain-in-my-ass variety.”

“Neighbors like us?” Finn asked, beckoning Raven. She sauntered over, eyebrow lifted at being summoned that way. He tilted his head toward the taps, and she rolled her eyes before pouring him a pint. Sierra withheld her smirk, entertained by watching big dominant guys like Finn getting sassed back. All those powerful wolves didn’t make dating easy though, especially being alpha. As much as the guys liked to talk the talk of handling a woman more dominant than them, few could walk the walk. She swallowed age-old bitterness of the lesson she’d learned the hard way.

Before she could respond to Finn, the door of the bar creaked open, drawing her attention.

She hadn’t even turned around before her wolf started yanking at the chain, begging to come out. The scent hit her nose at once, not the familiar one of her Red Rock pack, but this unfamiliar one that brushed her fur the wrong way. Claws pricked out from her nails before she could stop herself, and she wasn’t the only one. A low growl emerged beside her as Finn picked up the foreign scent.

“Mislabeled the sign,” a cocky voice called from the door. “Should read ‘Doggie Daycare’ with the number of pups packed into this place.” The man’s eyes twinkled at his less-than-funny joke, and an amused grin spread on his face. He walked in with a graceful stride, the liquidity of his movements betraying his kind, as if a cat could ever disguise its nature. Chairs squeaked as folks leaped up, teeth bared and claws out as her Red Rocks prepared to rush the intruder. A blonde chick and a long-limbed toothpick of a guy strode in behind him with similar refinement to their movements.

Sierra barely controlled herself as she forced her claws back into place. Out of everyone, she had to rein in her beast because she carried the responsibility of an entire pack on her shoulders. “You’d figure with so many pups under one roof, a kitty cat wouldn’t be stupid enough to wander in.”

“Oh, you know, curiosity and all that.” His white teeth gleamed against his tanned skin. “You folks give the warmest welcomes to newcomers.”

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Author Information:

Strong women. Strong words.

Katherine McIntyre is a feisty chick with a big attitude despite her short stature. She writes stories featuring snarky women, ragtag crews, and men with bad attitudes—high chance for a passionate speech thrown into the mix. As an eternal geek and tomboy who’s always stepped to her own beat, she’s made it her mission to write stories that represent the broad spectrum of people out there, from different cultures and races to all varieties of men and women. Easily distracted by cats and sugar.

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Release Blitz & Giveaway for From the Ashes by C.M. Valencourt out NOW!

 

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK – Exclusive to Amazon in Kindle Unlimited
 
Length: 65,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: James @ Go On Write
 
Blurb
 

Hunter and Derek are at a fork in the road…

At their friend Justin’s funeral, once-best-friends Derek and Hunter meet again almost four years after their monumental falling out. Hunter kissed Derek, and Derek freaked out and chose a college on the other side of the country.

If they had a choice, both of them would walk away and never see the other again. Except Justin has given them a mission: an epic road trip to scatter his ashes all over the Midwest, complete with cryptic notes, new friends, and a whole lot of sexual tension. Can Derek and Hunter finish Justin’s road trip without ripping each other’s heads—or clothes—off?

Author Bio
C.M. Valencourt is a new m/m romance author. They started devouring queer fiction when they still had to smuggle it into their parents’ Catholic household, and dreamed of writing books about queer people finding love ever since. They like figure skating, ghost hunting shows, and Carly Rae Jepsen. You can find out more about their books and learn about upcoming releases at cmvalencourt.com.

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Lone Wolf Release Blitz + Giveaway

Lone Wolf by Anna Martin out NOW!

 
Length: 70,000 words approx.
 
 
Cover Design: Garrett Leigh @ Black Jazz Design
 
Blurb

Jackson Lewis isn’t a typical werewolf. He isolates himself in a small town outside Spokane and dedicates himself to making his business—Lone Wolf Brewery—a success. If it leaves him little time for romance, he’s okay with that. His soul mate could be out there somewhere, but he isn’t actively looking.

So he’s in for quite the shock when he literally bumps into his soul mate—Leo Gallagher, an adorable, nerdy, vibrant music therapist who’s Jackson’s polar opposite.

But he’s human. And a man.

Jackson is straight—or at least he’s always assumed so. Though he can’t deny his attraction to Leo, it’s a lot for both of them to deal with.

While Jackson and Leo figure out what their future might hold, they face prejudice from both the human and werewolf communities—including a group of fanatics willing to kill to show humans and werewolves don’t belong together.

Author Bio
Anna Martin is from a picturesque seaside village in the southwest of England and now lives in the Bristol, a city that embraces her love for the arts. After spending most of her childhood making up stories, she studied English literature at university before attempting to turn her hand as a professional writer.

Apart from being physically dependent on her laptop, Anna is enthusiastic about writing and producing local grassroots theater (especially at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where she can be found every summer), going to visit friends in other countries, and reading anything that’s put under her nose.

Anna claims her entire career is due to the love, support, prereading, and creative ass kicking provided by her best friend Jennifer. Jennifer refuses to accept responsibility for anything Anna has written.

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