The Boyfriend Cruise by DeAnna Wadsworth

The Boyfriend Cruise Tour BannerTitle: The Boyfriend Cruise

Series: A Pride of the Caribbean Vacation

Author: Deanna Wadsworth

Genre: M/M Romance

Release Date: December 25, 2018

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42182914-the-boyfriend-cruise

Blurb:

The Pride of the Caribbean is a cruise ship unlike any other. Paranormals working onboard the enchanted ship hide in plain sight, under the benevolent protection of a demigod captain and his fairy husband.

And this is a shipboard romance unlike any other.

Josh Gilbert’s well-meaning family booked a gay-friendly cruise for Christmas in order to find Josh a steady boyfriend. Hoping to escape the constant parade of bachelors—and the collapsible fishing rod dangling mistletoe his mom keeps in her purse—Josh takes solace in a growing friendship with the ship’s photographer, Nathan. Though Josh is falling for Nathan, he worries it will never be more than a shipboard fling.

Nathan recently became aware of his incubus heritage, and has finally learned how to control his demon side. But Josh has awaken more than just the demon’s need for orgasms–Josh has awaken Nathan’s heart. What’s developing between them is the real thing, but can Josh ever accept Nathan’s promiscuous past… and love a sex demon?

Amid lush tropical settings, family hilarity, holiday costume parties, sexy snorkeling adventures, gingerbread martinis, and mythical creatures, will Josh get his Christmas wish and find true love?

Buy Links:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2GA58cP

Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/2EJrFSP

Google Play: https://bit.ly/2rTFTbi

iTunes: https://apple.co/2Cu6YIf

Kobo: https://bit.ly/2R6PyJR

Dreamspinner: https://bit.ly/2T7wacH

What Others Are Saying:

DiverseReader – “Deanna Wadsworth’s storytelling of The Boyfriend Cruise, is a heartfelt tale of love that sees what’s inside of the person and less of what’s on the outside.”

Amazon Review – “I enjoyed a lot of the book. The plot was easy to follow, it was well written, funny and dynamic.”

OMGReads – “Cute story about all sorts of beings who call the cruise ship home. Throw in a little Christmas and the book was fun to read.”

Author Bio:

Deanna Wadsworth might be a bestselling erotica author, but she leads a pretty vanilla life in Ohio with her wonderful husband and a couple adorable cocker spaniels. She has been spinning tales and penning stories since childhood, and her first erotic novella was published in 2010. She has served multiple board positions at her local RWA chapter and is the current President 2017 for Rainbow Romance Writers of America. When she isn’t writing books or brainstorming with friends, you can find her making people gorgeous in a beauty salon. She loves music and dancing, and can often be seen hanging out on the sandbar in the muddy Maumee River or chilling with her hubby and a cocktail in their basement bar. In between all that fun, Deanna cherishes the quiet times when she can let her wildly active imagination have the full run of her mind. Her fascination with people and the interworkings of their relationships have always inspired her to write romance with spice and love without boundaries.

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You can also find her young adult alter ego, K.D. Worth FacebookTwitter

Buy Deanna’s books at Dreamspinner Press, Decadent Publishing or at any reputable eBook seller like Amazon

Social Media Links:

Website: http://deannawadsworth.com

Facebook Profile: https://www.facebook.com/deanna.wadsworth.9

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/deannawadsworthauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DeannaWadsworth

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/deannawadsworth/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4264579.Deanna_Wadsworth

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/deannawads/

Amazon Author Central: http://.www.amazon.com/author/deannawadsworth

BoyfriendCruise[The]FS_v1 (1) (1)Excerpt:

Chapter One

Day One, At Sea

THE WARM Florida sunshine bathed Josh Gilbert, and he turned his face into it as he walked up the cruise ship gangway, rolling luggage in tow. His weather app said the temps back home in Indiana would reach a balmy fifteen degrees.

Josh still couldn’t believe Mom and Dad had surprised their family—and Josh’s best friend—with a Caribbean cruise for Christmas.

Falling in line behind his older brother, Luke, and his wife, Ramona, the Gilbert clan hauled suitcases and bags of holiday presents onto their new home for the week—the Pride of the Caribbean.

Dwarfed somewhat by the giant cruise liners docked beside them in the Port of Miami, the elegantly appointed Pride made a grand first impression when they entered the lobby behind a slew of other passengers.

“Check out this place,” Luke said, craning his neck, eyes wide.

In awe, they all took in the plush red carpets, crystal chandeliers, and the sleek gold-and-glass banister of the impressive grand staircase. A colossal Christmas tree sat proudly on the first landing, a set of stairs branching to either side and draped in glittering garlands. The tree glistened with white twinkling lights, bows, seashells, and large glass ornaments that, when they caught the light just right, seemed to flicker and dance.

How much did Dad shell out for this trip? Josh wondered.

“Dang, this ship is da bomb,” Aaron muttered in Josh’s ear.

Pleasantly stunned, Josh glanced up at his tall BFF. “No doubt,” he agreed, and then he flinched at something unexpected.

In front of him, two men held hands, chatting with excitement about the cruise.

Though it made Josh happy to see—and more than a tad jealous—openly gay couples in public still surprised him.

If only Josh could ever have something like that in his life.

“Have you figured it out, Josh?” Mom asked, gesturing toward a different couple boarding the ship—two women holding hands.

Puzzle pieces began to fit together, creating a picture Josh wasn’t sure he liked. He narrowed his eyes at his mother. “What’s going on?”

Mom twirled a brown curl around one finger, grinning. Curvy and short—he’d inherited that from her along with the brown hair and eyes—she looked ready to burst.

But Josh’s sister-in-law exploded first.

“It’s a gay cruise!” Ramona cried.

Josh shook his head. “What?”

“We’re gonna find you a boyfriend for Christmas!” Clare announced.

Josh whirled on his sister. “What did you say, Clare?”

She clutched her hands to her ample chest, her curvy figure promising the same weight struggle Mom and Josh suffered. “That we’re gonna find you a boyfriend for Christmas,” his little sister repeated. “This cruise line is gay-friendly, which means there should be plenty of guys for you to have a shipboard romance. Isn’t that great?”

Dad and Luke squirmed, as if caught in the women’s schemes too, or perhaps they feared Josh’s response. Dad was an aged version of his eldest son, as tall and lean as the rest of the family was short and round.

“It’ll be fun, Josh,” Luke assured him, shifting from foot to foot. “No pressure.”

“Yes, pressure,” Ramona insisted, slapping her husband on the arm, her white teeth as dazzling against her brown skin as her white sundress. “He’s getting on board single, but he’s not leaving that way.”

Aaron laughed, and Josh glared at him.

“And I have just the trick,” Mom said, rummaging in her giant purse.

Unable to believe his ears, Josh frowned at Dad. “Were you in on this?”

Before Dad could answer, a stranger stepped in front of Josh. Middle-aged and overly tanned, he wore a lecherous grin.

“What’s this?” the stranger asked. “Mistletoe?”

Then shocking Josh into a stupor, the man kissed him right on the lips.

“What the—” Josh recoiled.

“Name’s Brian,” the guy said, still grinning. “Find me later for a dance.”

Then he slipped into the crowd of passengers.

“What the heck?” Josh spun to face Mom.

Grinning like a fiend, she had a children’s fishing rod in her hand, and rather than a worm dangling from the hook, she’d hung a clump of mistletoe.

“What are you doing?” he cried, too stunned to be as angry as he should’ve been.

“Getting you a man,” Mom said, her face serious now.

Josh set his rolling suitcase on all four wheels and then crossed his arms to glare at her. “You are certifiable, you know that?”

“Certifiably the best matchmaker you know,” she quipped. “Ask Clare and Luke how good I am.”

Luke threw an arm around his pretty wife, and they shared a loving kiss. “Luckiest man in the whole world that Mom introduced me to her tennis coach.” After six years of marriage—sans kids, though not for lack of trying—Luke and Ramona were living the high-end life with their goldendoodle, Fred.

Patting Josh on the shoulder, Clare sighed. “Seriously, dude, you should let Mom pick a guy for you. She has the gift.” Clare’s husband, William, was the son of a lady in Mom’s bunco group. They were married last Valentine’s Day.

“No,” Josh declared, waving his hand in a sweeping gesture of finality. He couldn’t argue against Mom’s success thus far, but Mom would not be how he found his first real boyfriend.

“You can find me a boyfriend, Mrs. G.” Aaron took the fishing rod from her and waggled it over his own head. “Mistletoe, boys!”

Sure enough, Josh’s attractive friend soon had a line of four guys waiting to kiss him. Josh’s face flamed with embarrassment when the third guy added some tongue action and a grope on the ass, which Aaron didn’t seem to find offensive at all.

Josh would die a million deaths if some guy kissed him like that in public—especially in front of his family.

Mom laughed and took back her fishing pole. “You don’t need any help,” she told Aaron, who was still whispering something in bachelor number three’s ear.

Josh pointed at his mother. “Keep that thing away from me.”

“You’re such a party pooper,” she scolded.

“That’s enough,” Dad decided. “Let’s find our rooms.”

As the Gilbert clan moved forward, much to Josh’s further horror, Ramona announced, “Single hot gay guy coming through!”

“Ramona,” Josh hissed, face on fire.

“It’s my job to take pictures of all the single hot guys on this cruise ship,” a sultry voice said from off to the left.

Josh jumped and turned, shocked by the camera pointed at him.

Click.

The lens lowered, and the hottest man Josh had ever laid eyes on was grinning at him.

Tanned, blond, and straight off a Ralph Lauren yacht, the man wore white pants, a navy jacket, and a red ascot. He was tall, lean, and broad in the shoulders, with green eyes a man could get lost in and a face like Adonis himself!

“Uh…?”

“Nathan Bradshaw, shipboard photographer,” the man introduced himself, his blond hair glistening in the sparkling lights of the chandelier.

Or maybe Josh just imagined it glistened. The guy was startling to look at.

Nathan extended a well-manicured hand. “Welcome aboard the Pride.”

“Uh…?”

“This is Josh,” Ramona piped up, bodily pushing him closer to the handsome stranger.

A warm hand, soft but firm, took hold of Josh’s.

“He’s single,” Clare said.

“Is that so?” Nathan drawled, shaking Josh’s hand and not letting go. “Well, so am I, Josh. It’s very nice to meet you.”

“Yeah, um… you too, Nathan.” That’s when clarity came to Josh’s stunned brain. He scowled at his meddling family. “You guys, just stop,” he hissed, dropping the man’s hand like a house afire.

Clare’s big brown eyes widened innocently. “What?”

Nathan chuckled, and Josh’s face heated further—if such a thing were possible.

“Everybody needs a cheering section,” Nathan said. Then he gestured to the whole Gilbert clan. “Everybody, get closer. Let’s immortalize the moment you began the best vacation of your life.”

Josh squished between Clare and Ramona, while Dad, Aaron, and Luke took the back and Mom the far left. Josh somehow managed to say “cheese” along with everyone else while Nathan snapped a few pics.

Nathan looked at his display. “Perfect. Now, let’s get one of each couple.”

“We’re a couple.” Ramona pointed at Luke, then Mom and Dad. “And so are they. Those three are all flying solo.”

“So you said.” Nathan eyed Josh with a sideways grin that could almost be described as predatory.

Josh’s cheeks warmed, and he couldn’t smile. I must be losing my mind. This is all some sort of twisted dream. Please wake up. Wake up!

But nothing happened, except Aaron and Clare posing on either side of him and Nathan raising the camera again.

“C’mon, smile for the camera,” Nathan prompted, and somehow Josh managed to suck in his gut and smile.

Looking only at Josh, Nathan stepped toward them. “The pictures will be displayed on the viewing screens near the purser’s desk at 7:00 p.m. tonight. They’re available for purchase anytime during the cruise.” He leaned in close and whispered, “But just a tip, they go on sale the last day, so keep track of the numbers for the ones you want.” Not leaning out of Josh’s personal space, Nathan winked at him. “Just don’t tell anybody or it might get me fired.”

Josh swallowed, nervous all of a sudden with how close Nathan had gotten and how delicious his cologne smelled. Like honey or something else equally warm and inviting. Josh couldn’t quite place it, but he liked it. Before he could get another chance to identify the alluring fragrance, the gorgeous photographer had slipped back into the crowd, smiling and flirting with the next group of passengers.

For a hot second, Josh had imagined Nathan was actually flirting with him, but he quickly pushed such thoughts away.

It’s his job to flirt. Get over yourself!

“He was handsome,” Mom said.

He flinched at her hovering behind him, and then he frowned at her. “So is Brad Pitt. Doesn’t mean he wants me.”

She scoffed. “Oh, if Brad Pitt ever saw this face, he’d switch teams, for sure.”

And then, to Josh’s horror, she pinched both of his cheeks.

Hating it when she did that, but grateful she didn’t add her usual “just look at these chipmunk cheeks,” Josh wriggled out of her grasp. “Don’t pull on my skin. You’ll give me wrinkles.”

She scoffed again. “You’re only twenty-seven. What do you know about wrinkles?”

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” Aaron chimed.

Yeah, it was bad enough that at twenty-seven Josh had never had a real boyfriend. The last thing he needed was premature wrinkling. His family was already going to make him prematurely gray.

“C’mon,” Dad said. “I’m tired after all the driving. Let’s get to our rooms and get settled. I think there’s a manhattan somewhere on this ship with my name on it.”

Several crewmembers with tablets mingled in the crowd, giving directions to staterooms. Dad made a beeline toward a man in a Santa hat, holding a tablet, who stood beside a distinguished-looking fellow in a captain’s uniform.

“Welcome aboard,” the man with the tablet said. Though he looked almost Mom and Dad’s age, his tanned skin was flawless and his hair a rich brown. “I’m Raoul, your purser, and this is Captain Leonides.”

“Welcome aboard,” the captain said, with a tip of his hat. He was quite handsome, in an exotic Mediterranean sort of way, with the faintest hint of gray at his temples. Definitely looked competent to captain their ship, a man born to be at sea.

I might die of embarrassment, but at least not from shipwreck.

“Thank you,” Dad said, and everyone else repeated similar greetings. “We’re the Gilbert family. I believe we have four rooms booked.”

Raoul swiped a few times and tapped on his tablet. “Yes, the Gilberts. You are in cabins F1, 2, 3, and 4, on the Fiesta deck. Very nice accommodations you’ve chosen. Some of our finest suites, each with ocean views and balconies.”

“Balconies?” Luke cried, sliding down his shades, his brown eyes wide. “How much money did you spend on this, Dad?”

Dad raised a hand. “You know it’s rude to ask that. This is your Christmas present, and I want us all to have a great time. I even got us the unlimited drink package.”

“Woo-hoo, margaritas, here I come,” Aaron declared, raising his hand for a high five from Clare, which she returned after a slight frown.

“You guys better have a great time,” Mom said. “Because none of you are getting birthday gifts from us this year.”

Josh laughed. Dad had an overly generous spirit, but Mom kept a tight rein on the family purse strings. She might have married a renowned heart surgeon, but she never forgot the trailer she was born and raised in. She passed along the value of money to all of her children—well, maybe not to Clare. As the youngest and the only girl, Clare was more than spoiled. Dad had bailed her out of credit card debt twice that Josh knew of.

“No birthday present for me? Mrs. G, that’s just cruel,” Aaron cried.

She patted his cheek rather than pinching it, Josh noted. “Oh, well, maybe for you.”

“That’s fair,” Clare muttered to Josh, and he wisely said nothing.

Clare might be spoiled and bad with money, but Josh adored her. And since her husband was currently in Afghanistan fighting for their freedoms and she would be spending her first Christmas as a married woman without him, he kept the comment to himself that she shouldn’t worry. Daddy’s girl always got a present.

A large, stoic bellman loaded their suitcases, gift bags, and wrapped presents onto a trolley, grunting a “No” when Dad tried to help. Raoul gave him instructions to deliver their things to the suites, and the man lumbered toward an elevator.

Raoul snapped his fingers, and as if out of nowhere, a very petite woman with a bright smile and a pink streak in her hair appeared.

Aaron jumped back and put his hands to his chest. “You just came out of nowhere, didn’t you?”

“I’m little,” she quipped.

“Penelope dear, please show the Gilbert family to their suites,” Raoul told her.

She grinned impishly. “Right this way, family,” she said in a cheery voice. All but floating up the grand staircase with her hands at the small of her back, Penelope led them to their rooms.

“Have you sailed with us before?” Penelope asked Dad, gazing up at him with big doe eyes she batted coquettishly.

“No, first time.” Dad smiled down at her, seeming smitten with how cute and tiny she was.

“Isn’t she adorable?” Mom whispered to Josh.

“Yeah, sure, I guess,” he said. For a flash, Josh thought Penelope frowned at him, but the change in her face happened so quick he probably imagined it.

Penelope was very pretty, but her long eyelashes were as fake as the pink streak in her blonde hair. The glitter across her brow and eyelids might’ve been unprofessional, but this was a gay-friendly cruise. He wondered if she was on the rainbow, but couldn’t be sure with the way she giggled so flirtatiously with Dad.

“Here is the first suite,” Penelope announced, pausing outside F1. She studied Josh and Aaron. “I pick this one for you two.”

“Um, okay,” Josh said, figuring it was her attempt at being cute and the rooms were assigned.

The act worked on Dad and Luke, if the way they tilted their heads and smiled at her were any indicator—as if they couldn’t decide if she was real or not. Regardless, Luke had better stop staring or his feisty wife would smack him one.

But when Penelope opened the first room, all their eyes went straight to the spacious suite and dazzling view.

Josh gasped.

“Holy ocean view, Batman,” Aaron exclaimed.

The room was gorgeous, not cramped like the cruise he went on for spring break in college. They each had a double bed, and there was a sitting area with a couch, a door that probably led to the bathroom, and sliding doors that opened to a balcony, which currently faced the Port of Miami. Towels folded into wreaths with soaps for ornaments and big red bows lay on each bed. A pretty Christmas tree with blown-glass ornaments that seemed to glisten and dance in the light was perched on the table between the beds. Mirrored closet doors visually doubled the space, and much to Josh’s surprise, their luggage had already arrived.

“Wow” was all Josh could say.

Dad and Mom grinned, and rubbernecking behind them, his siblings had eyes as wide as their mouths.

“Have fun, boys,” Penelope sang.

Josh pulled out his wallet to tip Penelope, but Dad raised a hand. “No, no, save your money for souvenirs.”

“Thanks, Dad.”

Aaron went up and hugged first Mom, then Dad. “Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. G. Can you adopt me?”

Mom laughed. “I think we did that a long time ago.”

“Moving this way, family,” Penelope announced. “Let’s see which of you get the next room.” Then she flitted away, the rest of the Gilberts following and her voice fading like tinkling sleigh bells as their suite door shut.

Once alone, Josh and Aaron exchanged looks.

“This is going to be the best vacation ever,” Aaron declared.

Josh put his hands on his hips. “Fess up. Did you know Mom and Dad booked a gay-friendly cruise to find me a boyfriend?”

Aaron waved him off. “Why are you looking a gift horse in the mouth?” He was tall, fit, and had the prettiest dark curls and blue eyes—which was why he never had a problem scoring a date.

“I’m not.”

“You are.” He made a beeline to the balcony door and slid it open, filling the suite with warm, salty air. “And yes, I knew it was gay-friendly, and the girls have this notion that you’ll have a shipboard romance and fall in love. Maybe you will, maybe you won’t. All I know is that you’re the luckiest SOB on earth to have a family who would pick a gay cruise line just for you. And your mom even booked us all mani-pedis this afternoon. Your dad and Luke are getting massages. Bet they’re hoping that little pink pixie, Penelope, is the massage therapist.” He snorted at his own joke, obviously noting the same thing Josh did about the way Dad and Luke had been enraptured with the woman.

Chagrined by Aaron’s speech, Josh shuffled his feet, studying his sandals. He knew he was lucky. Aaron’s family would never go on a ship like this. Especially his father. The man could barely look at Aaron sometimes. His mom and brother were never cruel, but Josh always sensed they weren’t sure how to take the flamboyant Aaron. Sometimes, if Aaron had too much to drink, he’d cry or bitch about them, saying he felt more love from Josh’s family than his own.

Evidenced by the coin Dad put out for this trip, the Gilberts viewed Aaron as family too.

“Yeah, I know I sound ungrateful—”

“You do.”

“But I hope they don’t run around the ship looking for a man for me. That will be so humiliating. And that mistletoe fishing pole? What the heck?”

“That mistletoe got me a hot date for the Christmas costume party tonight. And your family means well,” Aaron said, leaning on the railing and tipping his face up to the sun.

Not a fan of heights, Josh popped his head out onto the balcony. “Nice view. I won’t be sitting out here.”

“Why not?”

“Haven’t you heard about all the people who fall off cruise ships?”

Aaron scoffed. “Only jealous husbands push their wives overboard. That would never happen on a gay ship.”

Josh chuckled but wisely stepped inside. “Promise me you won’t go on the balcony after we’ve been drinking, ’kay?”

“Okay, worrywart, as long as you promise to let loose. Have fun.” Aaron gave Josh a shimmy. “This is a cruise custom designed for us!”

“Okay, I promise to have fun.”

“Ground rules.” Aaron sprawled out on the bed closest to the balcony, lacing his fingers behind his head. “If the Do Not Disturb is on the door, we won’t interrupt any hookups. Any overnighters, we have to okay with the other, that way one of us can sleep in Clare’s room.”

“Okay.” Josh laughed, doubting very much he’d have an overnight guest.

“And no fucking in each other’s bed,” Aaron added. “I love you, but even I have standards.”

“I’m fine with whatever,” Josh said. “We both know you’re the only one who’s going to be hooking up in this room. I should probably just move my stuff into Clare’s room right now.”

“You don’t know that. You could meet the man of your dreams.”

Josh scoffed, his mind revisiting a pair of green eyes and golden hair sparkling in the sunlight…. Nope, never gonna happen. “Yeah, like I’m gonna meet the man of my dreams.”

“You never know what could happen.”

“I’m too fat.”

“No, you’re not. I know how hard you’ve been trying to lose weight. You look amazing.”

“I could stand to lose another twenty pounds.”

“Don’t,” Aaron scolded. “I hate it when you get down on yourself.”

“It’s just the truth.”

“Says you. Just try and chill out for once. Don’t worry about your waistline or whatever rules you’ve made up in your head. Just go out there and have fun. Who knows? Maybe something magical will happen.”

As he unpacked, listening to Aaron list all the activities and excursions the ship offered, Josh knew he could be a stick in the mud. Well, in comparison to Aaron, anyway. But he’d been looking forward to a relaxing vacation with no computers, deadlines, or spreadsheets, and no worries. He didn’t even have to worry about any homophobes on this trip.

His thoughts alighted again on the cute photographer, Nathan.

Maybe this boyfriend cruise might not be so bad.

His family loved him enough to pick this ship, and honestly, until this moment, a shipboard romance hadn’t been an option. He hadn’t been on board half an hour and he’d already been kissed once—even if he wasn’t pleased with Mom about it.

This ship was full of potential for a guy like Josh.

Aaron was right. Josh needed to let loose this week. He’d waited his entire life to find romance, so if a chance presented itself, he should not squander the opportunity.

Even if that meant his family embarrassing him all over the Caribbean.

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Saturday Spotlight – Moonlight & Moet by Madison Michael

M&M Free bannerMoonlight & Moet

B&B Billionaire Romance Series (Book 2)

by Madison Michael

♥♥ FREE For a Limited Time ♥♥

December 26th – December 29th

Moonlight & Moet Amazon Buy Link: https://amzn.to/2DDXQm9

M&M MMAbout Moonlight & Moet:

Can the Hottest Man Around Melt this Ice Queen’s Heart?

When her husband publicly cheats on her, Leigh Dobbs trades her humiliating reputation as an ice queen and a hometown that shuns her for the unknown of rural North Carolina. Taking over a small bed and breakfast, Leigh sets out to restore it, her dignity and her life. Excited at the prospect of adding more rooms and a full-service restaurant, Leigh’s big plans encounter the brick wall that is Caleb Rausch. Sparks fly even as Caleb votes no on the planning commission, crushing Leigh’s dreams.

Handsome powerhouse Caleb Rausch is a man on a mission, expanding his huge corporation without encroaching on the small town where it resides. His commitment to his products, employees and historic preservation are unwavering. What’s lacking is his commitment to one woman. Caleb is the most eligible bachelor in three states, dating celebrities, and models, but never settling down. Until now.

Even as Caleb forces Leigh’s expansion plans on hold, the couple moves full-steam-ahead on their relationship, unable to resist the mutual attraction. So why, after a steamy night together, does Caleb disappear for weeks? Has Leigh put her heart out there again, just to be played?

Will the magic of a moonlit night be enough to kindle their love or will Caleb’s constant disappearing act prevent him from melting this ice queen’s heart?

Moonlight & Moet Amazon Buy Link: https://amzn.to/2DDXQm9

Gigantic Christmas Giveaway♥♥ Gigantic Christmas Giveaway ♥♥

December 24th – December 31st

https://books.bookfunnel.com/giganticchristmasgiveaway/kpae1z50ua

Including:

Bewildered & Studmuffin

By Madison Michael

madison michael author photoAbout the Author:

Madison Michael is an indie publisher, blogger and the author of the Beguiling Bachelor Series as well as the novella Desire & Dessert, from her sizzling B&B Billionaire Bachelor series.

A Chicago native and hopeless romantic, Maddy was raised on Chicago culture, fairy tales, great literature, and swashbuckling movies. Maddy employs that history, writing steamy contemporary romance novels set against the sumptuous backdrop of Chicago’s elite society.

After receiving a BA in Journalism from the University of Illinois and an MBA from Loyola University of Chicago, Madison abandoned her writing to find her way in the corporate business world. Daughter of a librarian, it was inevitable that she would return to the world of books.

Maddy writes from high above Chicago where she can stare at its gorgeous skyline or the shores of Lake Michigan surrounded by feline assistants. When she is not writing,, Maddy can be found lost in a book, fighting for the rights of the mentally iil or dining on Chicago’s famous cuisine. Hot dogs and pizza, anyone?

Social Links:

Website: madisonmichael.net

Madison’s Blog: madisonmichael.net/category/maddys-blog

Maddy’s Romance Madness: madisonmichael.net/category/mrm/

Maddy’s Tours and Treats: madisonmichael.net/category/tours-and-treats/

Facebook: facebook.com/madisonmichaelromance

Twitter: twitter.com/madisonmichael_

Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/Madison-Michael/e/B01EVUGG6G/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1


Reviews by Crystal button

Saturday Spotlight – One of a Kind Christmas by Lexi Post

LP OOAKC bannerOne of a Kind Christmas
A Christmas Carol Book #4
By Lexi Post

Lexi has a $25 Gift Card to giveaway during the tour. Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Remember you may enter every day for your chance to win. You may find the tour locations here https://goo.gl/sPP5CV.

FullofLife medAbout One of a Kind Christmas:
For her to love him, he must face a spirit, an archangel…and himself.

The spirit of Cameron Douglas has totally screwed-up…again. Now, he has to fix his mess in one night with the help of his best friend and somehow encourage his widow to move on.

Holly Douglas is anguished that this is the last Christmas she’ll be visited by her late husband, Cameron. For three years he’s sent her the spirits of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, and they‘ve helped her cope with her loss. But now all that ends, and she doesn’t understand why he must push her away.

Ethan Stewart has been in love with Holly since Cameron’s death, but she isolated herself from everyone, including him. Then something changed, and he was welcomed back as her friend. But he wants more— to love her openly, and most of all to make her happy again. Though he loved his best friend like a brother and will do anything for Holly, as he’s pulled into the spirit world, he discovers the price they must pay for their chance at forever…and it just might be too high.

Releases Day December 5, 2018
Buy Links for One of a Kind Christmas:
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2TukRfU

B&N:  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/one-of-a-kind-christmas-lexi-post/1129901071?ean=2940161606766

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1442733578

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/one-of-a-kind-christmas

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/One-Kind-Christmas-Carol-Book-ebook/dp/B07KK2LFHN/

Amazon AU:  https://www.amazon.com.au/One-Kind-Christmas-Carol-Book-ebook/dp/B07KK2LFHN/

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/One-Kind-Christmas-Carol-Book-ebook/dp/B07KK2LFHN

LexiPost_OneOfAKindChristmas_600x900.jpgExcerpt:

He closed his eyes and took a deep breath before opening them. “I miss Cam. It was as if we were two parts of the same soul. I lived vicariously through him even while I worried constantly about him. It was one of the reasons I was constantly warning him to be careful. I was afraid to lose him.”

Ethan looked away and rubbed the back of his neck. “And then I did.”

She felt as if her heart were breaking all over again, not for her but for Ethan. He was so good to her. He even loved her. And she… “Ethan, I understand.”

His gaze returned to hers. Though she couldn’t see his face clearly, the limited light reflected off the sheen in his eyes.

She placed her hand on his cheek and rising on her toes brushed her lips across his in a feather-light kiss. She only meant to give comfort, but a spark of something else hit her heart.

She remained there, her lips close to his but not touching, wanting more but afraid to ask.

Ethan remained absolutely still, his breath mixing with her own.

He loved her but would never push her. It wasn’t his nature. She could walk away right now, but to what?

Nothing.

She stared at his mouth in the dim light. She wanted to live again. She wanted to feel again. Tilting her head, she pressed her lips more firmly against his, moving her hand down his stubbled jaw and behind his neck to pull him closer.

Ethan’s lips opened, and she slipped her tongue between them.

As his arms came around her, it was like waking from a dream. A slow burn flowed through her veins as he took control of the kiss and explored her mouth with his tongue. It was an unhurried exploration and heat built in her belly. When he pulled back to lick the underside of her top lip, she took her first deep breath. As she exhaled, tingles spread throughout her body.

He kissed the corners of her mouth before leaning his forehead against her own. “Ye catch my blood on fire, lass.”

Other Books in the Series:

A Christmas Carol Book 1, Pleasures of Christmas Past is on sale for only $.99!
Jessica is assigned a hot, Scottish mentor who confuses her heart. But will he protect her soul?

Buy Links for Pleasures of Christmas Past:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2DxWFDU

B&N: http://bit.ly/1jICy8T

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1026485012

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/pleasures-of-christmas-past

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/Pleasures-Christmas-Past-Carol-Book-ebook/dp/B013EVYRV4/

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.com.au/Pleasures-Christmas-Past-Carol-Book-ebook/dp/B013EVYRV4/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pleasures-Christmas-Past-Carol-Book-ebook/dp/B013EVYRV4

Desires of Christmas Present (A Christmas Carol Book 2)
Sometimes not knowing is better…for everyone.
Desires of Christmas Present Amazon Buy Link: https://amzn.to/2DxtbpE

Temptations of Christmas Future (A Christmas Carol Book 3)
He set out to prove the future was far worse than she imagined. Now he wished it wasn’t.
Temptations of Christmas Future Amazon Buy Link: https://amzn.to/2Q9s71L

Lexi Post head shotAbout the Author:
Lexi Post is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of romance inspired by the classics. She spent years in higher education taking and teaching courses about the classical literature she loved. From Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “The Masque of the Red Death” to Tolstoy’s War and Peace, she’s read, studied, and taught wonderful classics.

But Lexi’s first love is romance novels so she married her two first loves, romance, and the classics. From hot paranormals to sizzling cowboys to hunks from out of this world, Lexi provides a sensuous experience with a “whole lotta story.”

Lexi is living her own happily ever after with her husband and her cat in Florida. She makes her own ice cream every weekend, loves bright colors, and you will never see her without a hat.

Lexi’s Social Links:

Website: http://www.lexipostbooks.com/

Lexi Post Updates: https://app.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/c1w1g3

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lexipostbooks

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LexiPost

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lexipostbooks/

Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/1IEL2cc

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/lexi-post

D2D: http://books2read.com/author/lexi-post/subscribe/1/16171/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/goodreadscomLexiPost

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lexipostbooks/

Blog: http://www.happilyeverafterthoughts.com/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/lexipost77/

Email: lexi@lexipostbooks.com

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Saturday Spotlight – The Christmas Ballet by Constance Bretes

TCB CB BannerThe Christmas Ballet

By Constance Bretes

Constance has 2 $10 gift certificates to Paparazzi Accessories to giveaway during the tour. Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Remember you may enter every day for your chance to win one of the prize packages. You may find the tour locations here https://goo.gl/taJJDH.

About The Christmas Ballet:

Laura Hemmingway cut herself off from men and her family when the man she loved married her sister. She moved across the country and was doing just fine until she received a devastating call to return to New York. She had to face the death of her sister, her sister’s little girl, Maria, and Maria’s father, Stefan—the man she had once loved. She figured she would pay her respects and leave as soon as possible. She never anticipated on the beautiful little girl stealing her heart. And she never expected that seeing Stefan again after twelve years would stir up old feelings.

Stefan’s life was complete. He had a successful career as an attorney, a beautiful wife, and an adorable six-year-old daughter. Although he and his wife had been married in name only for the past several years, he cared for her deeply. Then her unexpected death brought him face-to-face with his former lover, and the guilt he’d carried for years.

Stefan is still in love with Laura and wants to give her everything she deserves. He and Maria are racing against time to convince Laura to stay with them in New York.

Can a little girl’s love, and the true magic of Christmas, help Stefan convince Laura to stay and give their relationship another chance?

Content Warning: contains some sexual content

Genre – Contemporary Romance

Heat Level – Hot

TheChristmasBallet_MediumExcerpt from The Christmas Ballet:

He smiled as he thought about the look on her face when he’d stroked her. Maybe she was more interested in him than she either believed or cared to be.

Then he thought of something. “One more thing, Laura,” he called out to her, and she stopped at the door and turned around.

“On the nineteenth, the law firm is hosting the annual Christmas party. It’s quite grand and lasts all evening long.”

“You want me to be sure to be available to babysit Maria,” Laura said.

“No. I want you to plan to come with me.”

“What?”

“Remember that beautiful, green, velvet dress we saw at Macy’s? I want you to get that dress, and the accessories to go with it, and attend the party with me.”

“Stefan, really. You know I don’t go to those types of events, and I don’t wear those kinds of clothes. I’m not comfortable with either of those things.”

“You need to get comfortable.” He smiled.

“This is not a part of a job for the nanny and teacher. It’s out of the range of the job description. You need to get Ginger to go with you. I’m not going.” She gave him a defiant look.

“Laura, I want to take you to this event. I’m not taking no for an answer. I will arrange for Rhonda to take you shopping to help you get what you need. You will charge all the purchases to a credit card I will give you that’s for your use only. This is the first of many social parties you will be attending.”

He watched her as she clenched her hands into fists and released them.

“Who do you think you will get to care for Maria on these…occasions?”

“Usually Lillian is available.”

“Stefan, it’s my job to care for Maria, not be your date to your parties. I don’t like being told what I will or won’t do. I don’t like social parties, and I don’t like wearing expensive clothes. It’s not me, and you’re not going to change me.”

“I don’t want to change you. I want you to attend an event by my side. It won’t hurt you to have some beautiful clothing to show your feminine side. I want the world to see the beauty I see. Be glad I want to show you off. Some men might decide they don’t want others to see what they see.”

“Flattery doesn’t work with me. You can tell me what to do as far as Maria is concerned, but my personal life is off limits to you.”

“That’s good to know. At least I know you won’t get carried away and escape my grasp by someone making flattering remarks to you. Your personal life interests me.”

“Stefan, you just don’t get it. I am not going to this party,” she said, enunciating each word slowly and carefully. “Besides, your mother would be horrified to see me walk in with you.” Her face hardened as she stared at him.

“Look at it this way—you’d be doing me a big favor.”

“How?” She raised an eyebrow.

“I’m not interested in the other women that come to this social party looking for an eligible bachelor. With you on my arm, it would send a clear message to all the others that I’m taken.”

“God, you’re impossible. Ginger is more than capable of providing you that kind of service.”

“I don’t want Ginger. You have the grace, quiet beauty, and finesse I want in a date, and I will not take no for an answer. After Maria’s recital, you and Rhonda will set a shopping date. And one more thing. When you get your hair done, I’d like you to wear it down.” He smiled at her.

“This is not going to happen.” She put her hands on her hips and glared at him.

“It will. I’ll just have Maria work on you.” He eyed her.

“What?”

Stefan grinned. “You heard me. You’d never turn down anything from Maria.”

“Grrrr.” She growled and stomped up the stairs.

He laced his hands and put them behind his head. Oh yeah, it’ll be a night she’ll never forget.

About the Author:CB Author Photo

Constance Bretes is an author of contemporary romance and suspense. Her romance books are often set in different parts of the country, but her favorite site is Montana. She retired from the State of Michigan after 38-plus years of service and now writes and researches full time. She is married to her best friend and has recently moved from Montana to Alabama. Her hobbies include basket weaving, sapphire digging, and checking out old ghost towns.

Constance’s Social Links:

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Keeping Faith by Beverley Oakley

KF BO BannerKeeping Faith

Fair Cyprians of London Series (Book 3)

By Beverley Oakley

Beverley has a print copy of Her Gilded Prison to giveaway during the tour. Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Remember you may enter every day for your chance to win a print copy of Her Gilded Prison. You may find the tour locations here.

Keeping Faith bannerAbout Keeping Faith:

“My beautiful Revenge.”

Four years ago, Faith’s mysterious benefactress falsely accused her of stealing and deposited her in Madame Chambon’s exclusive brothel.

There, Faith was to learn how to entrance London’s noble gentlemen with her learning in philosophy, politics, and art.

Her body was to be saved for the greatest enticement of all: revenge.

Faith doesn’t care what she has to do. She lives only to fulfill a bargain that will set her free.

But when Faith is recruited as the muse of a talented, sensitive painter whose victory in a prestigious art competition turns them both into celebrities overnight, she discovers the reasons behind her mission are very different from what she’d been led to believe.

Now she is complicit in something dark and dangerous while riches, adulation, and freedom are hers for the taking.

But what value are these if her heart has become a slave to the man she is required to destroy?

keeping-faith-e-readerExcerpt: Chapter One

“What did you learn last night?”

“A gentleman must always believe he knows best.”

Confident that her answer was pleasing, Faith reached across the table to help herself to a macaroon but a sharp slap across the back of the hand stopped her progress by the silver teapot.

Her smile of feigned contrition was rewarded with a raised eyebrow from Madame Chambon. Not an invitation to partake of a macaroon, unfortunately. The table laden with eclairs and petit fours in Madame’s private sitting room was merely for show.

“Greedy girl, Faith! You can eat at the Dorchester tomorrow and I daresay you won’t even spare a thought for the other girls who are justified in being somewhat jealous of your cossetted life.” Madame sniffed as she patted one of the grizzled, orange curls of her elaborate coiffure. Faith suspected a squirrel’s pelt had made its contribution. “I’m sure they wonder every day why you never have to stir yourself – or anyone else, for that matter – to get your fine clothes or a roof over your head.” Madame Chambon piled three macaroons onto her already laden plate before making a sweeping gesture that encompassed the furnishings of her surprisingly decorous private sitting room with its gold tasseled green velvet curtains and flock wallpaper. “What have you told them, Faith? About why you are here, I mean?”

Faith’s stomach rumbled as she gazed from the prints of the famous artists that lined the walls to the fine fare in front of her, ordered from Fortnum and Mason. These monthly sessions in table manners were supposed to give Faith the practice she needed to deport herself like a lady when eating in public. However, under Madame’s guardianship, Faith never actually got to try the specialties.

“Answer me, Faith. In all the three years that you’ve been here, you’ve had to do precisely nothing to justify your existence. Surely the girls have questioned you? I have my own version of the truth for them, as you know, but I’d be interested to hear what you have to say.”

Faith didn’t answer. She already knew how lucky she was, but Madame was not ready to drop the subject, despite having just crammed an entire chocolate éclair into her mouth. Faith just managed to make out the muffled words, “Every night you lie peacefully in your bed while the other girls have to earn their livings.”

Lying peacefully in her bed was not how Faith would describe the restfulness of her slumber. She was kept awake every night by the grunts and cries of ecstasy that penetrated the thin walls of her attic chamber.

Still, she’d finally learned when it was wise to respond meekly, so she bowed her head and stared at her neat kid gloves while dreaming of the delicacies Mrs. Gedge would order for them when Faith really was dining with her at the Dorchester Hotel the following afternoon. The Sacher Torte Mrs. Gedge had ummed and aahed over before finally choosing the baked Alaska from the sweets trolley last month still haunted her. However, since part of Faith’s tutoring included how to win over reluctant gentleman ‘and make them wild with wanting’ which is how Madame phrased it, then surely Faith could persuade her American benefactress to order the Austrian chocolate specialty?

She was so busy rehearsing her words for tomorrow that she almost missed Madame’s prophetic and appalling statement.

“Well, Faith, the time has come for you to start earning your way, now.”

Faith brought her head up in shock. Was Madame teasing? When it appeared not, she gripped the table edge as she struggled for composure. For so long she’d known the reckoning would come. Yes, and with three years preparing for it, she’d believed she could meet it head-on with the necessary fortitude.

But there’d been no warning.

She began to shake, biting into her bottom lip and clasping her hands in her lap to try and keep secret the manifestations of her terror from Madame who’d only be spurred onto gloating and make her suffer even more.

“Mrs. Gedge reported last month that she wasn’t entirely happy you were ready for what she has in store for you when she took you to tea, Faith.” Madame chewed noisily, unperturbed, it seemed, by the crumbs that landed on her gaudy vermillion skirts.

Faith didn’t suggest that Mrs. Gedge’s dissatisfaction was perhaps the fault of Faith’s tutor – the one sitting in front of her – who knew nothing about deporting herself as a lady.

With a dainty gesture using only her forefingers, Madame Chambon raised her plate and licked at the crumbs that had not been dislodged before saying, “Fortunately, Lady Vernon is recovered at last from her long indisposition and has agreed to forget your rudeness to her from six months ago. In fact, she’ll be here shortly. Yes, she’ll soon have you passing the scrutiny of the most discerning duchess.” Madame gobbled down another macaroon with as much finesse as the dogs Faith’s father used to goad into fighting each other after they’d fought over the scraps from the scrubbed wooden table at the farm. Not that there’d been many scraps with ten children to feed.

“Should we not have waited for Lady Vernon?” Faith suggested, daringly. But she had to say something to stop herself from launching into a volley of querulous questions about exactly what form this ‘having to earn her own way’ might take.

Madame Chambon pushed aside an untouched plate of bread and butter to reach for another chocolate éclair and sighed. “There was just so much food on the table it seemed unnecessary to wait if her ladyship was going to be late. Ah! And here she is.” Madame’s orange painted mouth turned up at a knock on the door. “Shoulders back, Faith! And make sure you don’t talk with your mouth full.”

Since this was not a danger, Faith supposed there might be some compensation in having to face her former nemesis who surely must subscribe to the belief that learning table manners required one having to eat.

Madame threw her arms wide in a welcome as the door opened to admit the new arrival. “Good evening, Lady Vernon. We’re so glad you’ve recovered from your chest ailment,” she gushed. “A good rest has done you the world of good. Why you look ten years younger. Just as you do every time I see you, in fact. And we’re indeed humbled that you’ve consented to return.” Madame simpered at the elderly woman, dressed all in black who looked, Faith thought, even more wraith-like than usual as she pinned up the veil of her bonnet and took the seat at the table proffered by Madame who went on, “I’m sure you’ll feel even better once you’ve heard Faith’s heartfelt apology.”

Faith blushed under the scrutiny of the two pairs of expectant, unforgiving eyes, and glanced longingly at the remaining macaroon.

Yes, there were times when it was worth being abject. She mightn’t mean what she said, but if the last three years under Madame Chambon’s roof had taught her one thing, it was how to sound heartfelt and sincere when she felt anything but.

“I’m sorry for my rude comments about…” Faith hesitated. Perhaps it was best not to stir up old memories. While it must be perfectly obvious to anyone who met Lady Vernon as to why an earl’s daughter could remain a spinster into her sixtieth year, it hadn’t been in anyone’s interest – Faith’s least of all, it turned out – for Faith to have gone into quite such specific and extensive detail regarding her thoughts on the likely reasons. “I behaved like a child, though it’s such a long time ago, now, I can barely remember what was going through my head at the time. I was only seventeen and, in those days, prone to losing my temper but now I’m eighteen and, thanks to all your efforts in teaching me how to act like a lady, Lady Vernon, I’m so far from the rude and impulsive young thing I was before, you’d not recognise me today. Thanks to your thorough tutelage, I am determined that I will never speak out of turn, to you, or anyone. Indeed, I have changed! I truly believe that confronted by a table of delicacies like this, for example, I would certainly not embarrass you or Mrs. Gedge or any lovely young man or his mother who might take me out to tea by any show of greediness or lack of restraint.”

Lady Vernon’s eyes remained fixed firmly on Faith for the duration of this speech with no indication of how forgiving or otherwise she might prove to be.

After a long silence, she spoke. “Restraint?” She sniffed. “Restraint is the most important requirement of any young lady, Faith. I’ve told you this many times, so I’m glad it’s a lesson you claim to have finally learned.”

With her eyes fixed on Faith, she reached towards the remaining macaroon that sat lonely on its plate just in front of them both, her long-fingered hand hovering just above. “Please pass that to me, Faith. I can’t seem to reach it.”

Wordlessly, Faith complied, schooling her features into impassivity while she railed inside, I hate you! I hate you! as she watched Lady Vernon transport the coconut confection to her thin, bloodless lips.

“Delicious,” Lady Vernon murmured. “In fact, I believe it is the best macaroon I have ever tasted? You must surely agree, Faith, since the plate is now empty.”

She looked pointedly at the two remaining crumbs that clung to the edge of the fine china as if to imply that Faith had eaten the rest. Then she indicated the plate of bread and butter near Madame Chambon. “Please eat, Faith. Madame Chambon and I have a leisurely afternoon at our disposal. She and I will partake of the remaining chocolate eclairs –” Her pointed chin wobbled slightly, whether from the suppression of mirth or the swallowing of bile, Faith could only guess, “while you make good work of the bread and butter with all the ladylike restraint you’re so anxious to prove.”

beverley-eikli-author-pic-copyBeverley Oakley’s Bio:

Debutantes, widows and the occasional courtesan test society’s boundaries in Beverley Oakley’s wicked, passionate historical romances dripping with scandal, intrigue, and suspense.

 

Her Fair Cyprians of London series is about a group of determined and clever courtesans at a high-class Soho brothel who use their wit and beauty to avenge past betrayals – and who find lasting love along the way.

 

How can there be a happily ever after? is a question many a reviewer has asked before admitting to being delighted and satisfied by the unexpected plot twists and surprise endings – just like in Beverley’s own life. You can read more on her website.

 

Beverley’s Social Links:

 

Website: http://www.beverleyoakley.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorBeverleyOakley/

Pinterest: https://au.pinterest.com/beverleyeikli/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BeverleyOakley

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/5989577.Beverley_Oakley

 

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AuThursday- Gabriele Russo

Incoherent Gods Blog BannerPlease welcome Gabriele Russo to The Clog Blog.  Welcome, Gabriele!

Hi, thank you for having me.

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I’m a Québécoise, born in Quebec City. When I was thirteen, I went to an English boarding school. I had to learn how to write the language on my own, which I did through books. Despite my love of reading, I didn’t start writing until my thirties. Oh, I tried a few times, but nothing more than a few pages ever came of it. In my twenties, I went to live in Strasbourg, where I did my Bachelor’s degree in History, with minors in Archeology and History of the Religions. I came back to Quebec, thinking I would continue my studies in International Relations, but the Political Science classes had me running out of there screaming “We’re all doomed!” So I started to work in the hospitality industry instead, and eventually ended up owning two restaurants – which wasn’t great for my sanity either… I sold my shares in them, wrote my first novel, then went back to University to learn how to write, and got my Master’s in Literary Studies, with a concentration in literary creation (the MFA doesn’t exist yet in French universities).

How do you make time to write?

It can be hard sometimes, even without a full-time day job. Like right now, I have a 50000-word unfinished first draft lying around my computer, and with traveling, visitors, promoting Incoherent Gods, I haven’t had a chance to write a word in two months. To be frank, I haven’t even tried making time, because I know I would be too distracted. When my life is quieter, I simply set aside the morning for writing, staying away from social media until I’m done writing the amount of words I set as an objective (usually 1.5 to 2K).

Do you ever get writer’s Block?

Not really. Sure, some days are harder than others; you have to force it a little. When that doesn’t work, I go back, tinker with what’s already written, add a paragraph there – often it gives me ideas, and I usually end up quite close to my objective. And if really nothing is coming out after 2 hours, I just let go, hope it’ll be better the next day.

How did you deal with Rejection Letters if you received any?

If you know a published fiction writer that has never received a rejection letter, then I hate them a little… It sucks, every single one breaks your heart, but you deal. You write NO on the cue card, and you send another query (after tweaking it, ideally), or you rewrite the book or even another one. If you can’t deal with rejection, don’t go into the arts, because after rejection comes criticism, which can be just as bad.

Can you tell us your story of getting, “The call”?

Actually, as good things come in pairs, I sort of had to make “the call”. Fiery Seas had had my manuscript for a couple of weeks when someone else I had queried requested it. I asked him to wait, which he was happy to do, but I also told Fiery Seas that someone else was interested and could they please give me an answer soon. I think they answered the next day offering a contract for three books. Right before Christmas – that was a very merry Christmas.

What genre are your books?

Fantasy. More specifically, I like to say they are satirical fantasy. Which I guess is comic Fantasy, but the humor is a little darker. You can find out more on a blog I wrote recently: https://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/17138796-what-the-is-satirical-fantasy

I’ve also recently come across the expression “New Weird”, and I guess that could also apply, as well as Mythic and Paranormal.

What draws you to this genre?

I like that the humor has meaning, that it can be hidden and hard to catch, in opposition to waving it your face obvious. I also enjoy the fact that I can point out things I find ridiculous about our world (and there’s a lot of those), and by letting the setting and the story imply the criticism in a usually comic way, avoid ruffling too many feathers.  

Do you have any advice for Aspiring Writers?

Don’t?

All kidding aside, if I had known then what I know now… Ok, maybe I would have done it anyway. My first advice would be to make sure this is really what you want to do: are you ready to invest the necessary efforts, time, and money? (For classes and other learning opportunities – I’m not in favor of paying to get published; there are too many scams out there to be certain of what you will be getting in return.) It took exactly 8 years, 4 drafts, 3 years at university before my first novel was published (and I’m Canadian, so those three years did not cost me a quarter of what they would cost in the US).

Second advice: do not go in this thinking you’re going to be the next J.K. Rowling and make a ton of money. 99% of authors don’t make enough to live on. Third: be very careful of scams. Sorry to insist on this, but it’s really the worst thing about the publishing world today, and the sharks cover all aspects of the process: writing, editing, representation, publishing and promotion. Every time something requires you to shell out money, examine it very, very carefully – if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. And if you’re still not sure, go to Absolute Write and/or Writer Beware.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

Like most authors today, pretty much everywhere. Here are the links:

https://www.russogabriele.com

https://twitter.com/lugabirusso

https://www.facebook.com/GabrieleRussoLGJR/

https://www.amazon.com/Gabriele-Russo/e/B01NCPNOPT

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16180981.Gabriele_Russo

https://www.instagram.com/lugabirusso/

Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?

Sure, here’s one from the chapter EVIL QUEENS in which the soul of Queen Louhi, having been pushed out of her body by the witch Chiloe, takes residence in Hercules’s:

Jupiter transincarnated a third time, materializing close to the coast, west of the kennels. And there was Hercules, lying unconscious in the middle of the path leading to the sea.

He rushed over the yard that separated them, fell to his knees beside the body and put his ear to the still chest.

His grandson’s heart was beating. Faint but regular. Jupiter raised his head and just as he was about to tap Hercules’s cheeks, he saw it: he’d been bitten. Louhi! Or rather, that Chiloe witch!

He wanted to scream. If he ever got his hands on…

On whom?

Hercules’s eyes fluttered, interrupting the frustrating train of thought.

“Sonny? Sonny? Are you okay?”

The eyes opened. Something was wrong.

Oh, they were the right color and all, but SOMETHING was wrong. This wasn’t his grandson. Was he now a vampire drone?

“Hello, Jupiter.”
Well, that was weird.

“Louhi?” He grabbed Hercules’s collar. “What the hells are you doing in my grandson? Get out!”

“It’s not that simple. And anyway, don’t worry, he’s still in here.” A shadow lifted from the eyes. “Hi, Pappy. It’s okay. It’s just until we find her body and push the witch out. You know I have to help her any way I can.”

Letting go of the collar, Jupiter hit the ground with his fist. “It’s not right. It’s just… not right! How is it even possible?”

A thin veil of cynicism that comes with great age obscured the eyes as Louhi came back to the fore. “When a vampire drinks from a human without killing them, it creates a spiritual link. All the stronger if said human has drunk back, even if it’s only a few drops. You often hear of what happens to the humans, but it also affects the vampire. Or actually, the vampire’s soul. Which is why I feel the connection, but Chiloe doesn’t. This link creates a… I guess you could call it an awareness, but it’s so much more. Anyway, it’s why most vampires end up killing their drones: the pockets of mind-numbing emptiness quickly become unbearable.”

“My grandson’s your drone?” Jupiter grabbed the collar again.

“No,” said Louhi’s unruffled voice. “He’s protected from that by his immortal genes. His danger is of becoming. Now the link, the link happens in all cases of blood transfer, although it does fade after a while if the victim turns.”

“Fine! He’s not your drone! What is he then? A puppet? A Djinny lamp? A-a-a…”

“Jupiter! He gave me permission.”
     “Oh, I bet he did. You know how much he—”

“Pappy!” A fleeting light, now gone. Jupiter saw that if Louhi hadn’t known before, she certainly knew now. And was not a little confused about it.

“Jupiter, my soul can’t find its way back to my body. Skuld cut my bonds to it. It’s really the only way.”

With a deep breath, he stood and brushed his knees. It wasn’t her fault. But oh, how his fists itched! Soon he would need to punch someone, or something.

Instead, he held out his hand, helping Hercules/Louhi up.

“Jupiter, this is a major advantage. I know my body’s weaknesses. She can’t control my soul anymore because the bond to my body has been cut, so the poison doesn’t affect me now.”

“And what if we don’t find her? Or what if we need to destroy your body to destroy her?”

“I doubt it will come to that. A vampire’s body is very hard to destroy, much harder than a god’s. But here’s my promise: whatever happens, I will leave your grandson’s body in less than twenty-four hours… No Hercules, if I stay any longer, there is too great a risk of our personalities melding.”

Jupiter repressed the urge to slap his grandson silly. “Louhi, you swear? On your immortal soul?”

“I do.”
“Okay, then. Let’s find that witch. But how?”
“Hercules said something distracted her, that it’s probably why he’s still alive.”

“Ba’al was going to her lair, to get her body and whatever else he could lay his hands on. I think he was also hoping he’d find you her. This is getting confusing.”

“Maybe she felt him, or he triggered an alarm. Do you know where the lair is? He might need help.”

“Against you? No offense Herc Louhi, but Ba’al is a titan. They’re not all quick on the uptake I grant you – I mean, I was able to trick my father quite easily if that gives you an idea – but they’re strong like you wouldn’t believe.”

“Yes, Ba’al is strong, but have you ever seen him hurt anyone? I know it’s not that he can’t, he just won’t. Add to that the fact that Chiloe is wearing my body.”

“Yeah, I get what you’re saying. The kid said she lived on one of the southern isla

“Shhhh,” said Hercules in his own voice.

He laid his hand on Jupiter’s shoulder and listened attentively for a moment before whispering: “I hear a boat. Let’s hide, maybe it’s her.”

They crouched behind a bush, keeping the path and the beach in view.

“And if it is?” asked Jupiter. “What do we do?”

“I don’t know,” said Louhi. “For now, let’s focus on not losing track of her.”

 

AuThursday – Seelie Kay

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Seeliekay author photo (1)Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I am a former attorney and journalist who turned to writing after I found myself a single mom with a toddler. Opening my own marketing/pr consultancy turned out to be the perfect choice. After I was diagnosed with MS, I cut back to freelance writing. I began writing romance about two years ago literally on a whim. My son had graduated from high school and was learning how to fly from the nest, so it was time to do something I had longed to do, write books.

How do you make time to write?

I balance my time between making money and writing books! Seriously, I need to eat and I barely make enough money as an author to keep me in Cheetos!  So much of what I do earn goes into promotion because I am so new to the book world. When I am not writing romance, I ghostwrite and edit books for others, mostly other lawyers. As for making time, writing is just something I do. I don’t really think about it, it has always been part of me,

What genre are your books?

I write a broad range of romance, from the erotic to the sweet. However, Snatching Dianna is my first foray into romantic suspense. And yes, it does have just a touch of erotic romance, primarily because the main characters are ones I had written about in my series, Kinky Briefs.

What draws you to this genre?

I am drawn to romance because I believe love is there for anyone who wants, even someone like me. Everyone in search of love has bought into the fantasy and that is not always a bad thing. I am drawn to romantic suspense simply because I am fascinated by mysteries and puzzles. I like to take complicated situations and discover the way out. I have identified with Emma Peel (The Avengers) since I was a kid and you will find part of her in each of my female leads.

What are your current projects?

The second book in the Feisty Lawyers series, Infamy, is due out on my birthday, January 4. I also have a stocking stuffer set for release in December called The President’s Daughter. In addition, I am working on the third book in the Feist Lawyers series called, Cult.

Here’s the blurb for Infamy:

Infamy. An evil or wicked act. Terrorists bent on revenge have found a way to make planes disappear from the sky, without a trace. And when one winds up buried in a Wisconsin cornfield, it’s a race against time to rescue the passengers from certain death.

International law attorneys Sheikh Harun Ali and Marianne Benson Ali are united not only in their love for each other but also by their commitment to fight for the victims of terrorism. Together, they sue terrorist groups to compensate the victims of their violence, raiding terrorists’ coffers and destroying their ability to fund evil acts. Now, the terrorists are targeting them. A mysterious missive draws Harun to the Amazon, where a man claiming to be his brother warns him of a plot against the United States. The Alis enlist the assistance of their neighbors, agent Cade Matthews, who works in black ops, and his wife, former agent and Constitutional Law Professor Janet MacLaughlin, as well as two recent law school graduates, to discover the truth. After two planes disappear and an attempted school shooting is aborted, these feisty lawyers are pushed to the wall, desperate to find a plane that has been buried in an unknown corn field, the passengers still on board. The terrorists’ hatred for the Alis is absolute—they are the people who once left their organization bankrupt and broken—but they hate America more.  However, their fiendish games are only a beginning. They are seeking a much bigger prize. One that could destroy a nation, and possibly, the world. An act that will live in infamy.

Here’s the blurb for The President’s Daughter:

Be careful what you wish for because it just might send your life into a tailspin from which you may not recover.

When presidential candidate Jamisen Powell meets volunteer Sarah Lee Pearson, he is shocked to discover her eyes mirror his own. But Sarah was raised by two loving parents and has no questions about her heritage. Instead, after their death, she merely longs to find an extended family. She becomes convinced that Powell could be a distant relative. Powell, on the other hand, has spent twenty-five long years haunted by the memory of a daughter kidnapped from her bed. He suspects Sarah could be his long-lost daughter. As both launch separate covert searches for the truth, Sarah is found by the estranged parents of the man who raised her. Suddenly, the truth will no longer set her free. It could destroy the happy memories of her childhood. Hang on to your seat, and more importantly, hang on to your heart, as one woman discovers the true meaning of family.

Are you an Introvert or Extravert? How does this affect your work?

I am naturally shy, but once I start talking, I do not shut up! I literally shut off my phone when I write, because I could talk on the phone all day.

What is your writing Kryptonite?

When I am in the zone, nothing else exists for me. I write until I get everything out of my head. Sometimes I write for 10 hours without eating, drinking, speaking, or moving from the computer.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

If you believe you can write and you have a story to tell, just do it. It’s doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. All that matters is what you believe.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

Author links:

www.seeliekay.com

www.seeliekay.blogspot.com

Twitter: @SeelieKay https://twitter.com/SeelieKay

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/seelie.kay.77

Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Seelie-Kay/e/B074RDRWNZ/

Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?

download (2)From Snatching Dianna:

“After what seemed like hours in the sweltering van, it lurched to a stop.

Dianna heard a man bark orders. A door to the van opened and someone pulled the rope from her feet, then removed her hood. She took a deep breath.  A man grabbed her by the arm, forced to her feet, and pulled her from the van. Dianna stumbled when she hit the ground. The stones were hot and her feet were covered by athletic socks, no shoes. Show no weakness.

Dianna immediately surveyed her surroundings. It was still night, but she was in a well-lit courtyard. A large stone mansion stood in front of her. She looked to her right, then her left. The courtyard was enclosed by a large stone fence, at least eight feet high. A fortress. Fortunately, Dianna was a rock-climber. She could rappel over the fence with the right equipment. All she would need was something to serve as a pick, maybe a rope. A knife, a screwdriver, even a fork. Keep your eyes and ears open. Be ready.

A large black man, dressed in a white suit and a maroon turban, walked out of the front door and down the stairs. He stopped and flashed a malevolent smile. He flung his arms wide and in a cultured baritone boomed, “Welcome to paradise, ladies. I hope you enjoy your stay.”

Some of the guards laughed.

“Crikey,” Tillie muttered. “Sounds like a blasted genie.”

Dianna glanced sideways and for the first time, got a look at her new friend. She was tall and thin, her body well defined. She looked strong and aware, almost fierce. Her eyes seemed to be studying the place, taking everything in. She showed no fear. Instead, she seemed interested. Something was off. Tillie did not act like a victim as the others did. She was not cowed. Was she a cop? Or like Dianna, someone who would not permit themselves to be broken?

There was only one thing of which Dianna was certain. She had found a friend. A useful one.”