June Giveaway

Giveaway!

Giveaway time! If you haven’t been around long (welcome!), I had this idea at the beginning of the year that I would celebrate my book birthdays. Every month, I pick a winner who gets an ebook copy of the books that were published during the month previous years. So this month we’re looking at Knickers in a Twist, Blood on Sand, Dazzle Me, Jaeger’s Lost and Found, and Elevator Pitch. 

Knickers in a Twist was the first thing I ever published. It was written for the Don’t Read in the Closet event that the Goodreads M/M Romance Group hosted. That was back in 2014, and then in 2015’s event, I wrote Blood on Sand. These are both free stories, and should I share excerpts and blurbs for them too this would turn into a very long post, so I’m just gonna leave links here if anyone should want to grab them. 

books2read.com/Knickers

books2read.com/BloodOnSand

Onto the books that aren’t free but that you have a chance to get. 

How does it work? 

I’ve set up a Kingsumo giveaway, so to enter you hop on over here, and type in your email. You’re not subscribing to any email list by doing so, so worry not. Then in a week, Kingsumo will draw a random winner, and I’ll be in touch with that person. Easy! 

The books 

Dazzle Me was just re-published, but I’m going with the old date. It was written for an anthology called Summer Bigger Than Others from Beaten Track Publishing which is an anthology of short summer stories. I seldom write summer stories, I’m working on getting better at it, but autumn and winter are so much nicer LOL. It’s a ‘one of those days’ kind of story. 

Jaeger’s Lost and Found was the first story I wrote for JMS Books, and it’s a favourite of mine – here we’re really talking dark and grey. It’s raining all the time and Jaeger is a finder with social anxiety who can’t find shit. He lives in an old dusty bookstore. It’s all thunder and smattering rain. I have considered turning it into a series. We’ll see. 

Then we have Elevator Pitch which is another favourite. It’s a short story about a bat shifter with claustrophobia and a bear shifter caught in an elevator. It’s cute. Just writing this makes me smile 😀

Excerpt:

dazzleme

The smell of the plane had my stomach in knots. How did they always manage to make it smell like that inside the air cabin? It was odourless and yet it had a tinge of disinfectant to it.

You want the window seat?” Santino’s eyes were filled with concern as he watched me over his shoulder. Window seat or the seat one step closer to the middle of the row—I could hardly see that it mattered. “It’ll be fine, Tommy-boy.”

I growled. He knew not to call me ‘Tommy-boy’—never ever when other people could hear.

We’ll be there in no time. Let’s see if they have a content filter on their Wi-Fi. Maybe we can watch something fitting for our tastes.” He gave a wicked smile and wiggled his brows.

Quiet.” I glanced around the cramped plane. It was huge, but still cramped with all the people squeezing themselves into their seats. “Pick your seat and keep your mouth shut.”

Oh, you’re letting me choose?” He squealed like a schoolgirl and waved his hands, making more than one person turn around and gawk at us. My lips stretch into something that probably was closer to a parody of a smile than a real one, but it was all I could muster at the time.

It’ll be okay, love,” he whispered and patted my arm, the corner of his mouth quirking. “Sit by the window. Maybe the view will take your mind off things.” I wanted to scoff, but it wouldn’t do any good, so I sat down at the same time as he slumped in the seat next to me. He leaned toward me. “It’ll be all right, I promise. I’ll save you from all the big bad co-travellers.”

I’m not worried about the travellers.” My jaw ached from all the clamping I’d been doing.

Argh, I wanted to save you, be your knight in shining armour and all of that.”

I caught the annoyed glare the traveller next to Santino sent in our direction and shook my head. I knew he was trying to distract me, but the rapid beating of my heart made it impossible for me to indulge him. Why the hell had I agreed to this? Why did I have it in my mind that I needed to propose on our anniversary? Three hundred and sixty-five days a year, and I had to propose on the twenty-second of June.

I tapped my foot. I hated when people tapped their feet. The roar of the engines rumbled through the plane, and I grasped the armrests. I hated that sound. My fingers clutched the grey plastic in a bruising grip. I was an embarrassment to all mechanics, but I couldn’t help it. Cars were one thing, planes entirely another. As my knuckles turned white, I closed my eyes. I tried to ignore the roar of the engines, pretended I couldn’t smell that distinct air-cabin odour, tried not to see the blue seats on the inside of my eyelids. I concentrated on my breathing. In and out. In and out. I’m in a car, a beautiful car. In and out. In and out.

I sensed the plane turning, knew it meant that we were out on the airstrip. Soon the plane would start to go faster, and faster, until it lost contact with the ground. I’m in a car.

Hot air ghosted over my ear. “Let’s join the mile-high club.”

Excerpt:

Thunder and rain at Jaeger's Lost & Found

Gael watched Archie’s face slip back into the blank mask, but as he looked at his eyes, he realized they weren’t as expressionless as he’d first thought. Sure, all signs of frowns, smiles, winces, and smirks were ironed out, but his eyes—his eyes were telling him he was an idiot. He hunched his shoulders. It was true.

“Shall we go?”

Edie got up on tiptoe and kissed Archie’s cheek but instead of Archie returning it as Gael expected him to, he spluttered and pushed her away. “Keep your germs to yourself. Snake.”

The forked tongue poked out between her lips.

“You’re not married?”

Edie barked a laugh, Archie paled. It made Gael chuckle simply watching him.

“Okay, off you go.” Edie pushed at Archie. “Do you have a car, Mr. Murray?”

Gael shook his head.

“Take mine.” She tossed him the keys. “I expect it back in perfect condition, and no snacking on Archie.”

“Why not? He looks tasty.” He wouldn’t drink from Archie, it would be unprofessional to bite someone he’d hired, though he would be lying if he said he wasn’t a little curious about what a finder tasted like.

“He’s likely to vomit all over you if you try it.” Edie flashed her fangs again. “He’s squeamish.”

He is right here.”

“I promise not to eat you.” Before he could stop himself, he added, “Unless you beg me to.”

Archie didn’t respond, didn’t move a muscle in his handsome face. Gael tried not to frown, but damn it, was a blush too much to ask for?

Clutching a black coat, Archie took a step toward the door, backed up two, blew out a breath, and slid forward about half a step. The air filled with the scent of fear and Gael glanced at Edie. What the fuck was this?

“The car is parked around the corner.” She gestured for Gael to go. He hesitated. Archie’s heart was beating hard enough to hurt his ears. Shit, they didn’t have time for this. They’d already wasted a good chunk sitting around here chatting.

“I…eh…I’ll wait there.” He nodded at Edie and strode out into the chilly night. He didn’t bother moving at human speed. There was no one around to watch him, so why should he endure the rain longer than needed?

There was one car parked around the corner, one. The rusty old Volvo had been dark blue at some point. Gael sighed, but since it beeped to life from the key, it had to be Edie’s. He yanked the door open and slid in on the driver’s seat.

Lightning flashed behind his eyes and pain exploded in his brain. He curled his fingers around the steering wheel and hissed. He would die in a fucking Volvo.

Slowly, all too slowly, the pain ebbed away, and he became aware of a shadow creeping around the corner of the building. Back pressed against the wall, fingers tracing every brick, Archie took one step after another. A sloth would’ve made faster progress. Edie came jogging, grabbed Archie’s arm, and shoved him toward the car. Opening the door, she pushed him inside.

“Sometimes he needs a little help. He’s usually fine once he’s in the car.” She pursed her lips and shielded her face from the rain. “If he yells for you to stop, stop.” She slammed the door shut and ran back around the corner.

Gael got them moving, only glancing at Archie every other second or so.

“Are you agoraphobic?”

“No.”

Gael took a turn out on the freeway leading away from the city. “I think you are.”

Archie didn’t answer.

“I’m Gael.”

No response.

Gael drummed the wheel. “So…you’ve known Edie long?”

Archie gave him a blank stare and Gael rubbed his neck. Damn, this was uncomfortable.

elevator pitch

A panting young man was standing in the middle of the lobby. His dark hair was pointing in every possible direction, and not in an artfully styled way. His jeans were paint-stained and tattered, his black shirt had a T-Rex tangled up in Christmas lights and the text Tree Rex in large block letters despite it being April. His black-rimmed glasses sat askew on his nose. He was on the thin side, shorter than Bjorn, but most people were.

Bjorn grinned, but then a pack of wolves pushed through the door, and the grin died a quick death. What were they doing in a bear hotel? It didn’t matter if they were low ranking and only in their twenties, they should know not to set foot in a bear establishment uninvited.

The man made a shrieking sound before diving for the shrinking opening into the elevator. Bjorn braced himself for the impact. The wolf in the lead reached for the man and would’ve caught him if he hadn’t looked up at Bjorn. The moment Bjorn allowed his bear to peek through his eyes, the wolf dropped his arm.

By some miracle, the human—he had to be human, Bjorn had never met a shifter with glasses—managed to squeeze himself through and only brush up against Bjorn’s arm for the briefest second.

The wolf took a step closer, his eyes locked on the man, and the naked hatred on his face shocked Bjorn.

Fucking fag.”

Bjorn rolled his eyes. So he liked dick, why did every fucking shifter in this city have a problem with that? The door finally slid all the way closed, hiding him and the panting human from the world.

Friends of yours?” Bjorn sought eye contact without success. Instead of his breathing evening out, it became more and more frantic. The scent of paint, panic, and coffee overtook the small elevator.

Easy, man.”

Wide, frantic eyes snapped to Bjorn’s. Yeah, definitely panic there.

Hey, slow your breathing. You got away from them, you’re safe.”

The eyes, if possible, got wider. “Bear.” He could hardly make out the word between the breaths, but when he did, he frowned. How could he know?

The light flickered and the elevator came to an abrupt stop. Bjorn groaned. They stood still between floors.

Everything went black.

The man made a keening sound and a wave of magic washed over Bjorn. What the fuck? The sound of clothes hitting the floor made him roar. He’d assumed the man was human.

Fur exploded out of his body as his bones and muscles changed form. What could he be? Spider? Fear clouded Bjorn’s mind. Snake? His clothes tore, the seams fighting to hold everything together as the fabric shredded.

Bjorn hit the wall, tried to sidestep and hit the other wall. Something shattered under his paw—glasses. He winced and his behind hit the door. As a bear, he had excellent night vision, but the elevator was pitch black. He couldn’t see the man anywhere.

Taking a deep breath, he willed himself to change back into human shape. It didn’t happen. Something bounced against the ceiling and Bjorn tried to duck, but the elevator was too damn small for him not to hit the walls with every little motion.

A clicking, high-pitched sound bounced off the walls and Bjorn flinched. Bat? It was the sound of a bat, right? Bats couldn’t kill bears, could they?

He took a nice, deep breath and slowly his body responded to his demand, and changed back to human shape.

Come on, man, change back.”

Nothing happened except the flapping and bouncing.

dazzleme

Tom and Santino’s anniversary is coming up, and Tom has a plan. He’s going to show Santino how much he means to him. The night will be magical.

Tom’s plan did not include a trip to Thailand. He doesn’t do aeroplanes, doesn’t do tropical climate, and he doesn’t do spas. Yet he finds himself without a stitch of clothing on a spa table, with a man he’s never met before while Santino is away on a business meeting.

This was not how it was supposed to go. Tom will do his best to live through the day so they can celebrate their anniversary when they get back to the hotel, but If Santino wanted him smooth and sparkly, couldn’t he have told him instead of booking him an appointment?

Jaeger's Lost & Found

Jaeger’s Lost & Found is the only finder shop to be had on the whole of the west coast. The problem is, Archibald Jaeger, the last of the Jaeger line, seems to be defective. A result of too many generations of crossbreeding with humans. But Jaegers are finders, and there’s nothing to be done about it.

Gael Murray has lost his connections. A vampire can’t survive without the energy exchange he has with the members of his coven through mental links. And, as of this morning, they’ve all vanished. Gael will die if he doesn’t reinstate his connections through a blood exchange. And his only hope to find the other members of his coven is to hire a finder.

Even a terrible finder is better than no finder at all.

Together they set out to save Gael’s life, but what was an already difficult task becomes nearly insurmountable. And Archie, who can never find what he’s looking for, finds himself falling in love with a man he’ll be hard pressed to save.

elevator pitch

Bjorn Ritter only wants one thing – to live his life away from nosey, demanding bears. That’s easier said than done when you’re the son of the female running the Bayside Bear Community. Cecil Baxter might be a bat, but he grew up away from shifter communities and he’s doing his best to continue to keep his distance. Shifters aren’t an accepting bunch and Cecil has never fit the norm.

Already facing a dreaded meeting with his mother, the last thing Bjorn needs is a stranger using his elevator to escape a pack of werewolves. And Cecil, whose day just seems to be getting worse and worse, could really do without the added stress of finding himself trapped in an elevator with a huge bear shifter.

Still, what could go wrong in three minutes?

Enter the giveaway here!

May Giveaway

Giveaway!

New month, new giveaway! I’m so glad I made a plan for these posts before January 1st – before I decided to move all my books to JMS. I have a spread in my bullet journal where I’ve written down the titles of the books published each month. Thank you, past me. With all the re-releases now, I wouldn’t have a clue which book belonged where LOL 

If you haven’t been following the blog, I’ve decided to do a giveaway each month this year where I give away an ebook copy of the books published during the month previous years. 

How does it work? 

Last month we did comments, but this month I’ve set up a Kingsumo giveaway. So hop on over here and sign up. You will NOT be added to any email lists by doing so. If you want to get my monthly newsletter, click on the Acronym picture to the right if you’re on a computer, if you’re on your phone, you’ll find it below the post. 

May 8th is the last day to enter, and on the morning of May 9th, Kingsumo will pick a random winner. 

The Books: 

In May we have two books – Falling Through and Crazy Joe 

Falling Through is one of the pulled ones and not available anywhere at the moment. I still have the book files, though, so worry not. It’s been a long time since I wrote this. It’s a ghost story. Larry is trapped in an apartment, he can’t leave it, and through the years there have been some terrible tenants sharing his space, but now Travis lives there. Larry loves watching Travis, too bad Travis can’t see him.    

I love the idea behind Larry and Travis, and it’s one of the stories I haven’t sent to JMS Books yet because I plan to expand it. We’ll see if I get there – so many stories, so little time 🙂 

Crazy Joe – the voice in my head says ‘aww’ LOL It’s not an overly cute story, but it’s dear to me. Jonas was bullied in school, and while Abe never was mean to him, he belonged to the group of jocks who were. It’s been sixteen years and Jonas loves his life, but one trip to the grocery store and there he is – Abe Cooper. Abe in his grocery store. Then Abe is at his work. Then in his office… 

Excerpt:

Falling Through

The buzz from the TV in the living room reached him as he ran his hand over his hair; it seemed to be in order. Travis didn’t often have the time to watch TV. He was always working. Larry didn’t get it. He worked, and worked, and worked, and yet he always fretted over money.

Larry walked towards the noise. He longed to spend some time with Travis, even though Travis couldn’t see him, or hear him…or touch him. Larry wanted to feel the heat from Travis’s body, wanted to see his chestnut hair all messy because Larry had threaded his fingers through it. He wanted to feel those lips against his own, see Travis’s almost grey eyes light up with desire.

It would never happen, though.

Larry shuddered as he remembered the hand going through his chest earlier today, or, at least, he hoped it still was the same day. He hated when he got the time mixed up. Instead of thinking about the Nothingness, he let his thoughts wander back to Travis. What would it be like if his hands didn’t go right through him?

He rolled his shoulders and fixed the collar on his leather jacket before he went into the living room.

His steps faltered at the sight of Travis furiously wiping tears off his face. They’d lived together for two years now, and not once had Travis cried. There had been times when Larry might have shed a tear or two if he’d been in Travis’s shoes, but Travis hadn’t.

He hovered by the sofa. Oh, this is awkward. Should he sit down next to Travis? Larry had never been good at comforting people, and being invisible hadn’t helped him develop the skill. Maybe he should check the kitchen instead, give Travis a moment to collect himself.

Larry huffed. How the hell would he know he needed to collect himself? It wasn’t as if he was aware of Larry’s presence.

He made it halfway through the room, the kitchen door clear in view, when something banged and shattered right next to his head. Larry ducked—silly, since whatever Travis had flung through the air had already hit the previously scarred wall. The soft yellow colour on it had been lovely a few years ago—maybe ten…Larry had a hard time remembering—but since then, there had been several tenants.

A shard from Travis’s coffee cup skidded over the floor and came to a stop right where Larry intended to put his foot. A few brown drops trickled down the paintwork—yet more evidence of a life lived inside these walls. Larry sighed. He tried not to let the melancholia get a grip on him, but after sixty years of staring at the same walls, he sometimes wondered why he still was here.

Decades without anything to do, without any goals or challenges, without someone to talk to. He’d talked plenty over the years, but he never got any response.

Travis was resting his head in his hands, and against his better judgement, Larry went over. He threw himself on the sofa and put his feet on the table, the black-and-white brogues still as polished as they’d been that day so long ago when everything had changed. Larry figured he was one of the best-looking eighty-year-olds alive—or whatever he was.

“So, what’s going on?” He put his arms behind his head and stretched out on the sofa. He picked the pack of cigarettes out of his pocket and shook one out. It always soothed him to feel a cigarette resting on his lips. He couldn’t light it, couldn’t taste it, but the motion was comforting. “Rough day at work? Because, let me tell you, my day wasn’t a picnic, either. You don’t fool around in the Nothingness.” He tsked and shook his head. “You wouldn’t last a day, kid.”

Then he eyed Travis. He probably was a little older than Larry had been when he’d died, but Travis couldn’t hear him, so he couldn’t oppose the kid comment, anyway. And, come to think about it, Larry was old enough to be his grandfather even if he didn’t look it or feel it. Time passed was simply that; Larry hadn’t aged, he couldn’t even say he’d changed his way of thinking over the years, though it was hard to know, of course.

“So, anything good on TV today? We could grab a beer and watch a movie.” Larry laughed. If only he could have a beer.

He glanced in Travis’s direction and almost choked on the air he’d breathed in.

Travis watched him. His brow softly creased as if his red-rimmed eyes strained to see. It looked like he was trying to figure something out. Scary how he looked Larry straight in the eye. Larry didn’t move, he hardly dared to blink, but then he lifted his hand and waved it in front of Travis’s eyes.

Excerpt:

Crazy Joe

After pouring the coffee in a thermos cup, he splashed in some milk and then headed for the door. Dairy, coffee, and cocoa were all bad for the environment, and Jonas prided himself in making good choices for his food, but no man was perfect, and coffee without milk was just plain coffee while coffee with milk was magic. Everyone needed a little magic, and he needed to get to school, needed to sit by his desk with a pile of essays and hearing the familiar chatter and shuffling feet around him. It was his life now—colleagues, students, and coffee.

He needed nothing else.

It was a fifteen-minute walk to the school. He kept his pace slow so he could sip on his coffee in peace. The smooth, warm surface of the cup soothed him.

Good Morning, Mr. Raghnall.”

Morning, Ava.” Jonas nodded at the shy girl who’d be in his class in the afternoon and continued his walk.

Mr. Jonas!” Jonas winced as Dylan came jogging toward him. Damn it! He’d stopped wincing at school jackets a long time ago. “Is it true there’s a new gym teacher?”

New gym teacher? Ms. Sanders had left them for a school in Whiteport—shudder—three weeks ago, and they’d all helped cover gym class since. Jonas had stayed in the main building and made his classes theoretical. “I haven’t heard anything.”

There had been a staff meeting he’d missed because he’d been in another meeting with a parent of a girl in the ninth grade, but surely someone would’ve informed him if there was a new teacher.

Oh…” Dylan’s shoulders slumped. “I heard someone say there would be.”

I’m sure Principal Wright will hire someone soon.” Though getting anyone to apply for a job here wasn’t easy. Northfield was a small town, the school tiny compared to most high schools, and the salaries offered were lower than in the bigger cities. That was life in the countryside, but Jonas wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Yeah… See you later, Mr. Jonas.” Dylan jogged ahead to meet up with a group of guys dressed in similar school jackets. They were all on the football team. Jonas tried really hard not to hold it against them. Most of them were good guys, teenage boys as a group, though… Sighing, he shook his head. One run-in with his past shouldn’t upset his calm this way. He was a grownup, a teacher… a role model.

Walking in through the main entrance, he waved at the school caretaker as he changed a light bulb, and slipped into the office he shared with three other teachers—two now since Ms. Sanders had moved.

The room smelled of coffee and paper. Jonas took a deep breath and allowed his shoulders to drop. This was what he did, this was where he belonged.

Did you hear?” Sara Nelson, a fellow language teacher and his best friend, stormed into the room, dumped her bag on her desk, and sat on her chair.

About?”

The hot guy.” She wiggled her eyebrows and laughed.

Jonas rolled his eyes but smiled at her. “Who did whom and did you guys go out without me? Since when am I not invited?” There wasn’t anywhere to go in Northfield, but the cafe served alcohol, so pizza and a beer was a possibility. They usually met up once every other week or so—Sara, Gabriel Gonzalez, and him—to share a glass and talk some shit. Sometimes other teachers tagged along, but mostly it was just the three of them.

Oh, no.” She leaned in closer and lowered her voice. “Apparently some guy called Wright, practically begging for a job—”

Ah, Jonas, Sara.” Principal Wright filled the doorway, his thinning gray hair neatly combed, and his suit immaculate. Robert Wright had been the principal at the school for as long as Jonas had worked there. He was a quiet man who kept to himself and seldom needed to assert his authority. “I want you to meet our new coworker, Abe Cooper.” Wright stepped aside and gestured for Abe to enter.

The room spun around Jonas, but no matter how much he prayed he’d wake up at home in his bed and realize this was just a dream, he remained seated by his desk. Sara’s mouth was moving, and Abe was smiling and shaking her hand, but Jonas couldn’t hear what they were saying.

Abruptly, he stood. Everyone turned to look at him. Wright frowned, Sara had her eyebrows raised, and Abe took a small step in his direction, preparing to offer his hand.

I have to go.” Jonas squeezed himself past Abe without looking at him and stumbled out into the corridor.

This was not happening.

Nausea curled in his stomach, and he hurried into the bathroom to splash some water on his face. How long he stood there he didn’t know, but for some unknown reason, he couldn’t let go of the sink.

Enter the giveaway here! The winner will be drawn on May 9th.

Crazy Joe

Abe Cooper is starting over. For fifteen years he’s lived the life that was expected of him, but not anymore. He’s packed up his things, bought himself a cabin in Northfield, and managed to secure a job at the local high school teaching gym and coaching the football team. But his new beginning didn’t include running into Crazy Joe on his first trip to the grocery store.

Jonas Raghnall has everything he needs — good friends and a job he loves. He’s worked hard to get over what happened sixteen years ago, but one run-in with his past and all the memories come flooding back. Seeing Abe Cooper, The Abe Cooper, sets everything out of balance.

Abe had pictured a fresh start with no ties to his past, but now that Jonas is there, he wants nothing more than to be close to the man who had butterflies filling his belly when he was in high school. Jonas doesn’t want to come face to face with his past, but if he sees Abe every day, it’s not really meeting up with your past, is it? It’s more like a date with your future.

Falling Through

Travis is running himself ragged. He’s trying to keep two jobs just to pay his rent. If he has to flirt with some creepy old women at the pub to get a little extra tip money then so be it. One day, he’ll have someone special waiting for him when he gets back home from work, or is that too much to ask? Right now isn’t the best of times to get a boyfriend anyway since Travis is going mad, but one day… Every so often, Travis gets the feeling of not being alone, and sometimes, he sees things. But he tries to stay positive; maybe there’s a strapping young fella waiting for him in the looney bin.

Larry’s existence was dead boring until Travis moved in. Now he spends his time watching Travis, fantasising about touching him, kissing him… Their movie nights would be a bit cosier if Travis knew he was there, but sometimes, you have to settle for what you can get. As far as roommates go, Travis is the best Larry has ever had, and it isn’t Travis’s fault he can’t see Larry – no one has been able to since the day he died.

When Travis loses one of his jobs, both he and Larry fear for their future. Larry can’t imagine being without Travis, and Travis is desperate to find a way to pay his bills. While Travis searches for a solution to his money problems Larry has to decide if he’s willing to risk existence as he knows it for a chance of a better life.

April Giveaway

Giveaway!April isn’t only the month when we’re celebrating Easter and my birthday LOL, it’s also the birthday of two of my books – Black Bird and The Lords of Lettuce. And since you can’t read The Lords of Lettuce without having read The Maddest of Men, I’ll throw that in too.

If you’re new to the blog, I’ve had some new followers lately – welcome, I’m so glad you’re here 😀 – you might have missed it, but this year, I’m running a giveaway at the beginning of each month. The giveaway is of those of my books that’s been released in that month previous years.

Since I’m in the middle of giving most of my books new release dates, we might do this again next year LOL.

How does it work?

Last month, I did a kingsumo giveaway, but this month I think I’ll draw a random winner from the comments. What’s your favourite mythical creature? Answer in the comments.

The Books

Black Bird is about a man on the run. He’s not on the run from anyone, but he’s a caladrius healer and can’t stay in a city once he’s healed someone in it. The caladrius bird comes from a Roman myth of a snow-white bird being able to heal someone by taking that person’s sickness into itself. We have Arlo, a human caladrius bird who can’t be close to anyone, who runs into a werewolf. The werewolf, Nash, recognises Arlo as his mate and can’t be apart from him. So one who can’t be apart and one who can’t be close.

The Maddest of Men and The Lords of Lettuce is about Grayham who is a living polygraph. He can sense the moment someone is lying. And then we have Creed who is an undercover agent who, of course, lies to Grayham. This takes place in a dystopian future and is pretty bloody at times.

Excerpt:

black bird

A large chai latte to go, please.” 

Arlo looked up at the man on the other side of the counter, then he looked up some more. He had to be at least six-three, maybe more, and with broader shoulders than could be considered normal. A sizzle skidded over Arlo’s skin, immobilizing him. When he breathed out, a whimper wanted to follow. 

There was something wild about the man, something larger than the body could contain. Arlo glanced at the door, wondering about the measurements of it and how he could’ve walked in here without Arlo noticing. 

For once Holly went quiet as a mouse. 

Coming right up.” Arlo smiled, winked, and gave himself a mental slap. Winked? He’d winked at the giant. When had he gotten that stupid? Perhaps this would be the one town he’d have to leave because he pissed off the wrong people instead of having sucked someone’s darkness into him—it would be a first. 

His hands shook as he prepared the drink, his heart pounding, and heat coursed through his body. 

Why on earth had he winked, he wasn’t one to wink at people. He never winked at people. Avoidance was of the utmost importance. The longer he could live in a place without forming any ties to anyone, the longer it took before he filled up on tar. 

Here you go.” He put the paper cup on the counter without looking at the man and gestured for him to put his credit card in the card reader and punch in his code before wiping his sweaty palm on the apron. 

You’re new here?” The deep voice made Arlo tingle, and that was bad. He shouldn’t tingle. A giant, who didn’t look to be of the gentle kind and probably was ten years his senior, shouldn’t have his heart speeding just by asking a question. 

He’d have to get another job, preferably in another town. He thought of his cute little red house and sighed. 

Only trying it out.” He glanced at the man whose dark eyes studied him with far too much interest and Arlo bit his lip. The man’s eyes widened a fraction. 

Yeah?” There was a smile in his voice, but Arlo didn’t check to see if there was one on his face as well. Instead, he looked at the screen to make sure the buy went through and when it did, he moved back toward Holly. 

Yep, I think I’ll keep looking.” 

The silence stretched, but Arlo resisted the urge to see if the man was still there. 

Then I think I will too.” The husky tone made Arlo’s gaze snap up. 

The man had already turned around and was leaving the coffee shop in determined strides. Arlo’s heart thudded in his throat, and he had to stop himself from calling out. Was he leaving already? Yes, he was leaving, and it was good because Arlo didn’t flirt with customers. Arlo didn’t flirt with anyone. 

Excerpt:

The Maddest of Men

Stepping a little closer to the woman, he tilted the tray ever so slightly. “One more perhaps?” He smiled and tried to be discreet in watching as the inquisitor bent down to whisper something in Hovda’s ear. 

“Thank you. Could I get a glass of champagne too?” 

Creed gritted his teeth. He was obviously not the champagne guy, and he was about to enlighten her when the inquisitor stepped away from the lounge. A few more steps and he would be right between Creed and the bar. “I’ll see what I can do, ma’am.” 

He straightened his back and channelled his inner waiter. With an air of nonchalance, he neared the man. Milky white skin, bright red corkscrew curls Creed wanted to pull only to see them bounce back—an evil man shouldn’t look like that. “May I tempt you with some salmon, sir?” Creed tried for flirty but holy shit that hair was distracting. Could someone so angelic looking be the feared inquisitor? 

Deep blue eyes bore into his. “I’m good, thanks.” His voice had a slight rasp to it as if those had been the first words he’d uttered today. Where the shiver travelling up Creed’s back came from, he didn’t know. 

“I’m sure you are.” He winked, not knowing if it was the right direction to take but hoping the intent gaze meant interest. “Champagne maybe? I’m heading to the bar to get some for the lady over there.” He nodded towards the woman who stood glaring at him. 

The man grunted dismissively and turned to leave. Creeds heart sped up as he realised he was about to lose his chance. A thousand things he could say to grab the man’s attention flitted through his mind, but not one seemed right. 

“Hey, Grayham! A word.” A mean-looking man dressed in black jeans and t-shirt walked towards them. Creed tried not to stare, but he was far from the only one who forgot all about manners. In a sea of fancy suits and evening gowns, ratty t-shirts and heavily tattooed arms stood out. 

Creed went through every name he could remember from the files as he made his way to the bar. Cipriani, Lou Cipriani, Creed was almost sure of it. The man’s hair was jet black, his eyes glowing green, and he possessed an air of power despite his wiry frame. Creed looked at his right hand, and sure enough, the ring and little finger were missing. 

He grabbed two glasses of champagne instead of a tray—if someone noticed he’d sort it later. Glancing over his shoulder to make sure the men were still talking, he zigzagged over to the woman. “Enjoy, ma’am.” 

She rolled her eyes but grabbed the glass. “Do you have a death wish?” 

“Not particularly, why?” Creed smiled, but his heart hammered. Does she know anything? 

“Flirting with Grayham.” 

Creed stopped moving. “You know him?” 

She snorted and tossed her long brown hair—not a natural brown—over her naked shoulder. “Only Cham knows him.” 

Cham? Could she be one of Hovda’s girls? He couldn’t see her working the streets, but prostitution came in many shapes and forms. “Why?” Creed had a pretty good idea why. Who’d want to get friendly with the torturer, right? It surprised him that he hoped the bureau’s information would be faulty.  

Grayham, if that was his name, didn’t look anything like he’d imagined a torturer should look. Those full lips should smile soft smiles, and there was nothing scary about bouncy curls. His eyes, though… They didn’t frighten Creed. They didn’t have a crazy shine to them, but they were emotionless, guarded. 

The woman shrugged. “People who talk to him disappear.” Huh? Right, why no one knew him. Creed should continue to speak to her, few were as willing to share information, but he could see Cipriani getting ready to leave. 

“I’m going to go give him his champagne before he slips away.” 

Mhm.” She downed half the glass in one swallow as Creed left. 

He came up next to the two men right before Cipriani started to turn. “Your champagne, sir.” He held the glass out for Grayham to take; he didn’t. Instead, he narrowed his eyes and gave Creed a look intense enough to make him squirm—Creed did not squirm. Okay, he totally squirmed. 

“Did you do anything with it?” His voice was still raspy. 

“No, of course not.” 

For a heartbeat or two Grayham stared at him, then he reached for the glass with his left hand. Creed cursed mentally and tried to push the glass towards his right. Grayham dropped his left and grabbed the glass with his right. “Thank you.” 

Perfect. Creed hovered with his hand over Grayham’s wrist waiting for his scanner to gather the information that should be there. 

Nothing. 

Fuck! 

The winner will be announced on the 9th. Leave a comment about what your favourite mythical creature is below to enter the draw!

black birdAfter seven years of being on the move, Arlo Barman wants nothing more than a place to call home. But unbeknownst to him, Arlo is a caladrius healer, so staying in one place has never been an option. The compulsion to separate himself from those he’s healed is all-consuming and leaves him little choice but to pack up yet again.
Nash Silver is the only werewolf in his small coastal town. Living undetected in a human world is imperative for his kind, and he and his small circle of friends—a vampire and a psychic—have done so for decades. But Nash’s anonymous existence is jeopardized when a man with an enticing scent moves into town. From the moment Nash lays eyes on the stranger, nothing is more important than being close to him. Not even guarding his secret.
Arlo isn’t interested in a relationship or even a date, his past has taught him nothing good comes from it, but the rather pushy local popping up everywhere he goes has his heart somersaulting. If his heart is somersaulting or not doesn’t matter, because when Nash gets injured, Arlo is the only one who can save him.
Having used his powers, Arlo has to leave Nash and the cozy town he wanted to make his home, but can Nash survive being separated from his mate?

The Maddest of Men

Is lying to a living polygraph really a good idea?

To prove his loyalty to Cham Hovda, one of the local drug lords, Grayham is willing to do anything—and he does. He helps Cham run his empire by finding out the truth by any possible means. It’s not as hard as it may seem, all he has to do is ask the right questions, and his internal polygraph will tell him if someone is lying or not. And when they lie—well he deals with that too. Life as an inquisitor can get quite lonely, not that Grayham plans on doing anything about it. It would kill him to have to off a lover.

Creed is a retrieving agent on a mission. He is to infiltrate one of Carona’s drug organisations to get to the inquisitor. Rumour states the man with the fiery red curls has supernatural powers; it also says anyone coming close to him disappears. Creed has no idea how he’s going to make it out alive or why his supervisor sent him in without backup. But, when an opening to work as a waiter at one of the drug lord’s parties presents itself Creed sets to work.

In a world where people compensate for the years of bombings and starvation with clinic bought physical perfection a man with crooked teeth and mismatching eyes stands out. Grayham notices the waiter watching him straight away. If he’s there to harm Cham, he’ll deal with it. Creed knows he must get his hands on the inquisitor so when he is invited to the man’s flat he agrees to come even though he knows it might be the last thing he’ll ever do.

The Lords of Lettuce

Old tunnels, lurking threats, and a race against time.

Creed wants his happily ever after with Grayham. They’ve faked his death and it should be as simple as that, right? But before his body double has had time to cool, there’s a knock on the door, and it looks like he and Grayham’s troubles are just getting started.

For reasons no one understands, a young boy has come to ask their help. He isn’t a normal boy, he’s a meta, able to see mere moments into the future, and to see how every action alters that future. He knows men are out to get him, he also knows Creed’s friend is in danger.

Grayham does not want to hunt for some wayward agent. He couldn’t care less if the agents of The Bureau of Whatever killed each other off, but then there is this look on Creed’s face, and he knows he’ll do everything he can to make him smile again. Being around Creed has made him soft, and it’s a weakness he can’t afford. But weakness or not, he’ll do anything for Creed.

Together Grayham and Creed set out to find Sal Minotti before it’s too late. They search the city of Carona, but he’s nowhere to be found, sadly that can’t be said about the gang members from the eastern side.