Tag Archives: lgbtq

New Podcast Episode is Live! Episode 14: Pride Month Celebration!

Guest Blog Post and Blog Tour Blast For Author M.D. Grimm’s “Sapphire: Home and Abroad” with OWI Blog Tours

Hi everyone! Thank you for joining me today. I hope you’ll give author M.D. Grimm a warm welcome as we hear some fantastic insight into the development of “Sapphire: Home and Abroad”.


Good day lovely readers! Thank you for joining me. I am M.D. Grimm and I am here to promote my newest release, “Sapphire: Home and Abroad.” This is the latest entry in The Stones of Power. I am overjoyed and relieved to finally release a new book in this series. After re-publishing back titles, I can now work on new projects. So, if you like magic, surly, anti-hero mages (wizards), and a fun setting with quirky supporting characters, this series might be for you!

So… Morgorth. He’s a difficult character, isn’t he? I don’t think I quite knew what I was getting into when I wrote the first book over ten years ago. I have an affinity for dark and/or damaged characters. Their journey and trials as they become better people is something I never grow tired of either writing or reading. One of the worst things in the world is for a writer to be bored with a character and/or a story. And when it comes to series, I strive to have a character(s) that needs to overcome something as they evolve over the course of several books. If I’m not interested in their journey, then why would anyone else be?

“Ruby: Lost and Found” was the third book I ever published. It presented Morgorth in a time of his life where he was bored with being a villain. He’d embraced the label after his peers, fellow mages, decided he simply had to be one because of his birthright: being the seventh son of a seventh son, which they determined meant he was to be the Destroyer of their world. It is said that we often create our own monsters, and in this case, it was true. Morgorth became what his peers already thought he was. However, when Aishe crashes into his life, the desire to be something different awakens within him. In my opinion, he becomes an anti-hero. Or, as he would say, a dark mage. He’s not out to wreak havoc on the world but he’s certainly not going to play by the rules, either.

My initial goal for this series was to challenge myself to write an anti-hero. I’m not quite sure if I succeeded or not, but I can’t argue with the result. Morgorth is wonderfully flawed, his struggles are real, and his desire to be worthy of his mate, Aishe, pushes him into uncomfortable situations and makes his choices harder. What I love most about Morgorth is his refusal to surrender. Despite the abuse he survived as a child, the hatred from most of his peers, and the struggle with his own internal demons, he continues to fight. The closest he came to defeat was in the previous book, “Lapis Lazuli: Forgotten and Remembered,” but even then, even without Aishe kicking his butt into gear, I don’t doubt that after a bit of time in self-pity, he’d roll up his sleeves and start fighting again. It’s one of the things I love most about him: he continues to get up every time he’s knocked down.

Due to the abuse from his father, Morgorth has always carried a deep-seated rage inside him. Unfortunately, it led him to unleashing his pain on innocents until he made a promise to his mentor that he would stop perpetuating the cycle of abuse. Morgorth has grown a lot from book one to book eight, but the core of him hasn’t changed. He still carries the rage, only now he channels it into protecting those he loves. He still has a darkness inside him, a thirst to hurt others, and yet again, he targets it at other villains and in defense. I find that the hardest balance to strike with such a complex character is letting them evolve without changing who they are at their deepest core. I didn’t want Morgorth to lose his edge. I didn’t want it to seem as if he simply flicked off his past trauma and that it no longer affected him. That is unrealistic and an insult to folks who live with trauma. However, he did find the tools and the support to work through his trauma and to use his rage for good instead of evil.

And how did he do that? By finding a mate who accepted all of him. With Aishe, he found the motivation and the reason to work on himself. That’s what I love most about their partnership—they make each other better and stronger. 

The Stones of Power 1-8 are available for purchase at Amazon (also in print!) and Smashwords. I have a newsletter that I send out monthly with all the goodies you can expect in the future. That’s the best way to find out about my current and future projects.

For fans of the Saga of the Bold People series, I just finished the first draft of “Resistance,” book 3. I hope to release it October 2022, so keep your eyes peeled for that! I am also booked (pun intended) solid this year, working on the next shifter book, the next Stones of Power book, a couple single titles, and the next On Wings Saga book. Wish me luck!

More information on my catalog can be found at my website.

I hope you stay safe and healthy, and may dragons guard your dreams,

M.D. Grimm

Sapphire: Home and Abroad

M.D. Grimm has a new MM fantasy book out, Stones of Power book 8: Sapphire: Home and Abroad.

The Dark Mage, Lord Morgorth, and Aishe of the Ravena Tribe, are to become bondmates.

Morgorth is equal parts nervous and excited. He wants to unite with Aishe in the sacred dialen ceremony, to proclaim their devotion to the world, to show everyone that Aishe is his equal and deserving of respect. After all they’ve survived together, why shouldn’t they make the cosmic promise before friends and family? But duty must often come before pleasure. When Morgorth’s estranged mentor, Master Ulezander, comes to him with a time-sensitive mission involving a major stone of power, Morgorth has little choice but to acquiesce.

Aishe knows his mate struggles with the revelation of his true destiny, after a lifetime of defining himself as the future Destroyer of Karishian. All he can do is reassure Morgorth that being the Savior is a far better fate for both of them. But as Morgorth and Aishe leap through worlds and dimensions in pursuit of a stone of power, more pieces to the puzzle of Morgorth’s destiny are revealed. And they form an image of sacrifice and tragedy.

The dark cloud of an ancient enemy looms ever closer, and the path to becoming the Savior might prove more monstrous than that of the Destroyer.

About the Series:

Lord Morgorth is a dark mage on the planet Karishian. His peers consider him a villain, but there is more to him than they choose to understand. Cursed by a dark destiny and tormented by painful memories of the past, Morgorth struggles to find his place in the world. Far from innocent, Morgorth has teetered between embracing his destiny and fighting against it his entire life. A decision that is made easier when Aishe comes into his life. Aishe is a creature of the forest, a warrior and healer. He has the moral compass that Morgorth needs, and Morgorth gives Aishe the companionship he craves. Together, they forge ahead, weathering the storms and fighting the enemies fate puts into their paths.

However, their greatest enemy is not a living being, but gemstones infused with deadly power. They are addictive, seductive, and completely treacherous. Morgorth hates them and is determined to find and imprison all of them. But he soon realizes they are keys to a greater power. He learns his destiny is not all he thought it was. And an even greater enemy stirs in the darkness. Enter the world of “The Stones of Power.”

Universal Buy Link


Excerpt

Sapphire Home and Abroad meme

Morgorth stepped forward and stretched out his arms. He murmured a series of words under his breath and an opaque pinprick of light appeared. I stepped a bit closer, fascinated. The pinprick grew into a swirling, pulsing liquid silver gateway. It was beautiful and ominous. It made no sound, and yet gave off pressure that I felt against my body, and the hair on my arms stood on end.

The few trees bordering the clearing creaked and groaned as they bent away from the portal. I didn’t hear anything—not birds or squirrels, not deer. Nothing was near us, and the poor, stationary trees were doing their best to also get away.

Morgorth fisted his hands and widened his stance, still muttering. His skin glowed, and I silently shifted to his side. His eyes were a burning amber, his expression set in stubborn determination and intense concentration. Sweat slid down his face. The portal pulsed a bit faster, the beat knocking against my ribs. What was he doing?

Then the silver gained a bluish color before darkening to mossy green. Morgorth grunted and lowered his hands, though his magick still glowed.

“Take my hand,” he said in a stiff, strained voice. “And hold on tight, to both me and your bow.”

I swallowed hard and took a deep breath. I clung to my bow as I took his outstretched hand and pressed to his side. His skin was hot to the touch but not burning.

“What can I expect?” I asked.

“Discomfort and weirdness,” he said with a hint of a smile. “Just don’t let go.”

“Never.”

Then Morgorth ran and yanked me with him. We dove into the portal without hesitation, and he was right about the discomfort and weirdness. It wasn’t the emptiness of teleportation nor the whiplash of magickal speed. Morgorth charged through the swirling green, dragging me along. The green slipped over my skin and hair like cold putty and tried to capture my feet in its murk. It seemed to last forever but I was certain it was only a moment or two. Then we were somewhere else.

I caught my breath and stumbled forward, still clinging to Morgorth. He didn’t let go either, his magick still at the surface. He took a cloudy crystal from one of the many pouches at his waist and bent to place it at the base of the portal.

This time, I heard his word of magick.

“Lelleknau.”

Words of magick were supposed to be nonsensical, something each mage created for themselves. It was personal, each new word linked to a spell and used for nothing else. It took both words and hand flourishes for a mage to cast a spell or secure an enchantment. It was different for magick healers like myself. It wasn’t so much magickhealers used, it was our life essence, gifting a part of ourselves to our patients. Give too much and it could kill us. The missing part of our essence would replenish over time, faster if we were happy and balanced.

To open a portal and redirect it was remarkably heavy magick, and my mate never ceased to leave me in awe of his abilities and his continual growth in both strength and intelligence.

“Will the crystal leave the portal open?” I asked.

He nodded. “Only on this side, though. We don’t want anyone or anything following us.”

“I doubt any of Vorgoroth’s creatures want to follow.”

Morgorth shrugged and straightened. “I don’t want to take the chance. And I wasn’t just thinking of my minions.”

He was thinking of our guests. Probably about Lyli.

I sighed. Yes, that girl was fearless and far too curious for her own good. And wherever Lyli went, Olyvre wouldn’t be far behind. Then Elissya would also come.

“This will also prevent any of the creatures here of getting inside. The crystal is also a shield.”

“Clever.”

“Draining,” he said with a sheepish grin. His magick settled into his core, causing his eyes and skin to lose their glow. “It won’t hold for long. In and out, no sightseeing.”

I snorted and glanced at our surroundings. “I don’t think that will be a problem.”

A thick, dense jungle surrounded us, and I was only now noticing the oppressive heat. My skin broke out in sweat and my clothes soon stuck to me in the most uncomfortable way. I exhaled sharply and let go of Morgorth to wipe at my brow.

“Aye, in and out, please.”

Morgorth grimaced as well and readjusted the bag.

“I hope you can track the bloody thing.”

“I don’t sense magick like on Karishian so it shouldn’t be a problem to open my third eye and spot the box. And if for some reason that doesn’t work, I can always try to meditate and find its aura and track it back to its location.”

“Wouldn’t the box shield the stone’s power?”

“Its power but not its signature. According to Melondia, the box doesn’t have enough layers to truly block it. Think about the layers of Geheimnis. A mage could use their third eye but not spot the stones I have in the tower because the barriers are too thick.”

I nodded, and he closed his eyes. This place did feel… empty. Magick was everywhere in Karishian, in the land, the water, in the creatures. In the sky and in the clouds, and in the sun. In the air itself. I didn’t like it here. I shuddered and fingered my bow. The familiar texture of the wood soothed me just enough to unclench my muscles.

I kept an eye on our surroundings as Morgorth once again called to his magick.


Author Bio

M.D. Grimm Logo

M.D. Grimm has wanted to write stories since second grade (kind of young to make life decisions, but whatever) and nothing has changed since then (well, plenty of things actually, but not that!). Thankfully, she has indulgent parents who let her dream, but also made sure she understood she’d need a steady job to pay the bills (they never let her forget it!).

After graduating from the University of Oregon and majoring in English, (let’s be honest: useless degree, what else was she going to do with it?) she started on her writing career and couldn’t be happier.

Working by day and writing by night (or any spare time she can carve out), she enjoys embarking on romantic quests and daring adventures (living vicariously, you could say) and creating characters that always triumph against the villain, (or else what’s the point?) finding their soul mate in the process.

Author Website: http://www.mdgrimmwrites.com/

Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001710645622

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4574220.M_D_Grimm

Author Liminal Fiction (LimFic.com): https://www.limfic.com/mbm-book-author/m-d-grimm/

Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/m-d-grimm/

Author Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/M.D.-Grimm/e/B00I0KZMY6/

Other Worlds Ink logo

In the Midst of Magic by Christian Cura Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A woman mourning the death of her brother finds herself forced to embrace her gifts when an old foe breaks out of prison to destroy her life in author Christian Cura’s “In the Midst of Magic”.

Advertisements

The Synopsis

Meet Kara Hartman, a photojournalist who is hiding her magic from the world. Traumatized by her brother’s death, she wants nothing more to do with magic. But just when she thought she could neglect her gift, it becomes apparent that the universe has other plans for Kara. When she discovers that an old foe has broken out of prison, hellbent on destroying her new life, Kara has no choice but to embrace the only power that can stop her.

The Review

This was a powerful story. The author did an amazing job of finding the right ratio of fantasy-driven world-building and emotional and captivating character development. The mythos and action of this narrative keep readers engaged from the start, showing the dangers and threats that keep the protagonists working to stop the destruction of all they hold dear. 

I was so fascinated by the character growth and perspectives from which this story was told. The theme of loss played heavily into this narrative for so many of the characters, from the way loss drives us to retreat from the world, while others are driven to take their pain out on others, and so much more. Getting to see the perspectives of so many different characters made the story feel so much more vibrant and alive on the page, and added to the depth of the emotional journey that this story provided the characters. 

The Verdict

Heartfelt, magical, and entertaining, author Christian Cura’s “In the Midst of Magic” is a must-read LGBTQ Fantasy read! The themes and emotional character growth that developed throughout this narrative will connect readers to the story greatly, while the action and twists and turns this narrative takes will have readers eager for more from this incredible author. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

Advertisements

About the Author

Christian Cura is a new author who just recently published his debut novel Dreams of Fire. Ever since he read Lord of the Rings as a teenager, it has been his dream to write and publish a novel of his own. His favorite authors include J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, and Robert Jordan.

Christian lives in Northern Virginia where he lifts weights and creates artwork. He is a Gryffindor, an Earth-bender, and a loyal follower of Optimus Prime. When he is not writing, he can be found drawing or getting beaten up at his MMA gym.

https://www.authorchriscura.com/

Salad on the Side (Real Werewolves Don’t Eat Meat Book 1) by Karenna Croft Review 

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A mutual attraction between two neighbors turns into a life-altering stroke of fate as a lifelong vegan finds himself part of a pack of werewolves in author Karenna Croft’s “Salad on the Side”, the first book in the Real Werewolves Don’t Eat Meat” series. 

Advertisements

The Synopsis

Since moving to Boston, Kyle Slidell has met only a few of his neighbors, including Tobias Rogan. Kyle is very interested in Tobias and is ecstatic to learn that Tobias wants him to. But his neighbors have a secret: They’re werewolves, and Tobias is the pack Alpha. When one of the wolves attacks Kyle in the neighborhood garden one night, Kyle learns the truth in a hurry. Now he’s a werewolf too-and since he’s vegan, he refuses to eat meat. With Tobias’s help and love, Kyle must adjust to his new life and protect himself and his friends from a neighboring pack.

The Review

This was such a fun and compelling LGBTQ-driven supernatural romance. The fast pace of the narrative immediately thrusts readers into the action of this supernatural world. The classic werewolf lore comes into play quickly, taking great care to honor the legacy of the mythos while also delving deeper into the pack mentality that is often associated with werewolves. From the Alpha mythos and how they assert themselves as the head of the pack to the connection, wolves make with their “mates”, made this story is so fascinating to behold.

However, the character growth and LGBTQ themes were the driving force of the narrative. The headed, passionate, and adult romance scenes played out heavily, and fans of M/M romance will absolutely love the development of these two protagonists as they grow together and develop in their own ways. Tobias’s struggle to publicly accept his sexuality paired with Kyle’s struggle with accepting love itself really balanced out their journey together and the narrow line that werewolf culture brings to the question of LGBTQ romance as a whole was unique to see play out, being accepted by their human sides and yet viewed as some sort of “weakness” in the werewolf power/hierarchy. The author’s handling of that storyline was robust and really mirrored our own society’s struggles to normalize and accept love in all its forms.

The Verdict

Heated, engaging, and thrilling, author Karenna Croft’s “Salad on the Side” is the perfect first novel in the Real Werewolves Don’t Eat Meat series and a brilliant LGBTQ-driven supernatural romance novel. The wit and humor the dialogue brings the two protagonists in their relationship and the balance of action and politics within the werewolf power system made this story so engaging. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

Advertisements
Salad on the Side - Karenna Colcroft

Karenna Colcroft has a new MM paranormal romance out, Real Werewolves Don’t Eat Meat book 1: Salad on the Side. And there’s a giveaway!

Since moving to Boston, Kyle Slidell has met only a few of his neighbors, including Tobias Rogan. Kyle is very interested in Tobias, and is ecstatic to learn that Tobias wants him, too.

But his neighbors have a secret: They’re a werewolf pack, and Tobias is their Alpha. When one of the wolves attacks Kyle, he learns the truth in a hurry–and in the most painful way. Now he’s a werewolf too, and as a vegan is at war with his wolf aspect, who craves meat.

With Tobias’s help and love, Kyle must adjust to his new life. But can he protect the pack and his lover from a werewolf seeking revenge against Tobias?

Warnings: References to sexual assault.

This is a rerelease.

Get it On Amazon


Giveaway

Karenna is giving away a $20 Amazon gift card with this tour:

a Rafflecopter giveawayhttps://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d47238/?


Excerpt

No! Oh, God, anything but this!

That was the first conscious thought I’d had since the wolf had bitten down. I didn’t know what it meant at first.

Then I opened my eyes. Nothing looked right. Everything around me appeared flat and muted. I definitely wasn’t in the garden anymore, but since I couldn’t see things properly, I couldn’t tell where I was. Inside, somewhere. Not my apartment. I was lying on a floor; that much I could tell.

When I tried to stand, my legs didn’t want to cooperate. Then I caught a glimpse of my foot.

It was covered in fur.

Shit. Wolf bite. Wolves didn’t live in Boston.

Maybe werewolves did. Even though as far as I knew those didn’t exist.

I tried to see my body. Fur, check. Pretty off-white color, or at least I would have thought it was pretty if it didn’t cover me. Snout protruding out far enough to see, check. Four paws with claws sticking out from the end of each… finger? Toe? Didn’t know what to call them. Check, anyway.

Shit.

At least my head moved the way I wanted it to. I glanced around, trying to gain some sense of place. This time, I spotted two humans crouching nearby. One of them was Tobias. Even as a wolf, I recognized the regret and sadness in his expression.

Tobias was there, and that meant he knew what had happened to me. My brain refused to go any farther than that.

The other human… After a second, I recognized her too. The hair color gave it away, perfectly matching the color of the fur on the wolf that bit me.

Fucking Melia. She eyed me with a contemptuous smirk which vanished quickly when Tobias glanced at her over his shoulder. He turned back to me, and Melia glowered. “He should be dead.”

“Fortunately for you, he isn’t,” Tobias snapped. “I thought you’d learned better control than this, Melia. Clearly I overestimated you.”

Melia bowed her head. “I’ll do better in the future. He could have died.”

As a wolf, tone of voice wasn’t quite as obvious to me as it was when I was human. But something in the way Melia spoke caught my attention. She meant what she’d said. I should have been dead, because that had been her intention. Maybe I was wrong, but the fury and contempt in her eyes confirmed it.

I snarled and tried to stand, but I couldn’t quite figure out how to get those four legs under me. Tobias raised his hands and took a couple steps toward me. “Kyle, easy,” he said softly. “We aren’t going to hurt you.”

“I didn’t mean for this to happen,” Melia said. “Tobias, I didn’t mean—”

“Shut up, Melia,” Tobias ordered without taking his eyes off me. “You’re here to see the results of your poor control, not to make apologies. I don’t think Kyle will accept your apology easily.”

I managed to move my head in something resembling a nod. Fuck if I’d ever forgive the bitch! It hadn’t been my fault I’d wandered into the path of a frigging werewolf. Like I’d even known there would be a wolf in the garden. It wasn’t the sort of thing people usually considered when going out to pick strawberries. “Oh, I’d better be careful; there might be a werewolf out there.” Right. Not outside horror movies.

Hopefully they’d figure out soon how to change me back so I could get things ready for my dinner with Tobias the next night. I’d be sorely pissed if that had to be put on hold.

The next night. Except I didn’t think it was “next” anymore. I had no clue how long I’d been unconscious. The sunlight streaming through the window beside me pretty clearly told me that it wasn’t night any longer. But if it wasn’t night, why was I still a wolf? Didn’t werewolves only shift when it was dark?

I blinked at Tobias and he caught the question. “It’s your first shift, Kyle. You changed while you were out cold and it’s going to take your body and mind a little while to coordinate so you’ll go back to human. That’s how it works for all of us our first time. And we can shift whenever we want.”

All of us. Now I couldn’t prevent myself from grasping the truth. The truth Tobias and Mrs. Frelich had been so damned determined to keep from me. Tobias was one of the wolves. And he’d probably made sure none of the other neighbors would ever see anything he didn’t want them to. Tobias, the man I lusted after, was a fucking werewolf. I didn’t even know what to think about that.

“You have to eat something, Kyle,” Tobias said. He crouched low to look me in the eye. “You’ve been unconscious for three days, since Melia attacked you. You don’t know how sorry I am about this. I wanted to protect you from it.”

Even in my current form, my heart and a couple other things responded to his words. He did care about me. Maybe at our dinner he would have admitted all this to me. Though I certainly understood why he’d been reluctant. Without seeing it for myself, I probably wouldn’t have believed him.

He might have told me the truth, though, and if I’d believed him, if I hadn’t thrown him out, who knew where things might have ended up? I knew where I would have wanted them to end, whether Tobias was a werewolf or not.


Author Bio

Karenna Colcroft lives just north of Boston, Massachusetts, and has been in love with the city since childhood, though she has yet to encounter any werewolves, vampires, or other paranormal beings in her travels. At least none that she knows of. Though since in her non-writing life, under another name, she offers services as a channel and energy healing practitioner, it could be said that she herself is a paranormal being. The jury’s still out on that.

Karenna is a polyamorous, nonbinary human who splits time between the home she shares with her husband and the one she shares with her committed partner. She also has two adult children and a bonus son, three grandchildren, and two and a half cats. (Half in terms of time the cat lives with her, not in terms of the cat itself…)

Author Website: http://www.karennacolcroft.com

Author Facebook (Personal): http://www.facebook.com/riverlightbearer

Author Facebook (Author Page): http://www.facebook.com/KarennaColcroft

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Karenna-Colcroft/e/B0031HAOUK

Other Worlds Ink logo

Restrained Desires (Rehoboth Pact Book 3) by Katherine McIntyre Review 

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

An attempt to convince her family she is in a committed relationship leads a woman on a heated road of passion and romance when the fake relationship she has with a straight woman turns into something more in author Katherine McIntyre’s “Restrained Desires”, the third book in the Rehoboth Pact series.

Advertisements

The Synopsis

One rule: don’t fall for your best friend’s straight sister. Especially not when she’s pretending to be your fake girlfriend.

Chelsea Moore is officially divorced from her asshole husband, and after wasting her early twenties putting up with his shit, she’s burning to get out there and play the field—especially a certain kinkier side he made her feel like garbage about.

Kyle Walker’s terrified to put herself out there. According to her mother, she doesn’t have the looks to hook anyone, but what makes it worse is that her dating history falls in line. However, when her family tries to claim she’s not really a lesbian, she tells them she’s bringing her girlfriend to Christmas. Only problem? She doesn’t have one.

In comes sexy, newly divorced, and straight Chelsea Moore to the rescue—her best friend Aubrey’s little sister. She’s doing Kyle a favor—like any friend would—except Kyle’s half in love with her from the moment they start hanging out. All too soon those lines begin to blur—lingering touches, flirting, kissing…. And when they connect on kink and begin hooking up, that’s when Kyle knows she’s screwed.

Chelsea might have Aubrey to protect her heart, but Kyle could lose both her best friend and the only woman who’s made her feel like she’s worth more. 

The Review

This was such an emotional and heated LGBTQ-driven romance! The author perfectly captured the raw intensity and passion with which these two protagonists came together. The complexities of sexuality are greatly explored in this narrative, with Chelsea’s exploration and eventual romance with Kyle showcasing that things aren’t always so black and white as they may appear. The narrative was evenly paced and the holiday setting will make this the perfect read for romance fans come the holidays this year. 

The character development was so crucial and perfectly written in this book. The protagonists came from such different walks of life, and yet their struggle to be seen and heard was a truly powerful theme that united them both. The struggle for Chelsea to accept this part of herself she never realized was residing just under the surface was something many people could relate to, but it was Kyle who felt truly relatable, as the struggle to accept compliments and see herself the way others do is something so many of us can identify with, and how it impacts romance was so fascinating. 

The Verdict

Heated, engaging, and emotional, author Katherine McIntyre’s “Restrained Desires” is a must-read LGBTQ Romance of 2022! One of my top reads of the year so far, this novel truly does an amazing job of presenting a narrative that is both entertaining and adult-oriented without sacrificing the emotional strides these characters make or the connection readers will have with these protagonists. The connection to the previous entries in the series will be a plus with fans of characters like Aubrey, and the heartfelt delivery of this romance will have fans rooting for the protagonists to make it. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

Advertisements
Restrained Desires

Katherine McIntyre has a new FF contemporary romance out: Restrained Desires.

One rule: don’t fall for your best friend’s straight sister. Especially not when she’s pretending to be your fake girlfriend.

Chelsea Moore is officially divorced from her asshole husband, and after wasting her early twenties putting up with his shit, she’s burning to get out there and play the field—especially a certain kinkier side he made her feel like garbage about.

Kyle Walker’s terrified to put herself out there. According to her mother, she doesn’t have the looks to hook anyone, but what makes it worse is that her dating history falls in line. However, when her family tries to claim she’s not really a lesbian, she tells them she’s bringing her girlfriend to Christmas. Only problem? She doesn’t have one.

In comes sexy, newly divorced, and straight Chelsea Moore to the rescue—her best friend Aubrey’s little sister. She’s doing Kyle a favor—like any friend would—except Kyle’s half in love with her from the moment they start hanging out. All too soon those lines begin to blur—lingering touches, flirting, kissing…. And when they connect on kink and begin hooking up, that’s when Kyle knows she’s screwed.

Chelsea might have Aubrey to protect her heart, but Kyle could lose both her best friend and the only woman who’s made her feel like she’s worth more.

Amazon | Universal Buy Link | Goodreads


Giveaway

Katherine is giving away a $10 Amazon gift card with this tour:

a Rafflecopter giveawayhttps://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d47236/?


Excerpt

Restrained Desires Meme

“So, care to explain how I ended up here?” Chelsea asked, leaning against the counter. “Everything got a bit hazy after I jumped onstage to do amateur burlesque.”

Kyle ducked her head, the blush lighting up her cheeks. “Yeah, no one managed to top your performance.” The tension in the air between them thickened, and Chelsea cocked her head in curiosity. Before she could ask anything, Kyle continued. “Then we all proceeded to drink. A lot. And when Aubs was ready to ship you home, you told her if you got in a car you’d hurl. Then you explained that we were having a sleepover, since I lived right up the street.”

Chelsea snorted. “Yeah, sounds about right. I’m sure my sister went apoplectic.”

“I got a stern talking to, but that was about it,” Kyle said, bringing the laden plates over to the small two-seater stationed in her kitchen. “And then I got you into the bed, and I took the couch.”

Christ, this woman. She’d never met someone as genuinely caring as Ky, and she wouldn’t again. Her brows drew together. “Wait, why’d you get the talking to?”

Kyle arched a brow, a blush spreading to her entire face. “Because we’re both single women, and she seemed to think I’d try to jump you in the middle of the night or convert you to the gay.”

“That ever-contagious gay.” Chelsea rolled her eyes. “Aubrey’s one to talk. Besides, I’d way rather wake up in bed next to you than half of the guys at the bar last night.”

Until the words escaped her mouth, she didn’t realize how suggestive they sounded. Right, that was going to go over great, flaunting herself in front of her sister’s best friend. Not like the woman wasn’t hot as fuck, especially all relaxed like this in her own environment. Kyle glanced away, letting out a slow breath. Chelsea’s heart sped a little faster, probably from the coffee kicking in.

“Better dive into breakfast before it gets cold,” Ky muttered, as if she wasn’t trying to divert the conversation. “Cold eggs just taste like scrambled rubber.”

Chels snagged a slice of bacon and began to chew, enjoying the salty flavors exploding on her tongue. When she added the buttered toast to the mix, she almost let out a groan. Breakfast might be simple to fix up, but this was cooked to perfection. The yolk of the sunny-side up eggs split, running across her plate, and she dipped the pieces of toast into it. The breakfast and coffee started to invigorate her, as if she wasn’t roadkill in the wake of bad decisions.

Still, she refused to count her divorce as one. Marrying Noah, yes, that had been a grievous error on her part, but leaving him had been her best choice, even if Dad had been disgruntled about the whole thing the past few months.

“Did you have fun last night?” Chelsea asked, curious to have some of the blanks filled in. The outing had been necessary, a chance for her to let loose and declare her freedom to the world. “Sorry if me crashing here vag-blocked you or anything.” She scratched her wild waves, more than aware she looked like a train wreck right now.

“Please. Me?” Ky responded, shaking her head. “Do I look like the type who’s bringing home girls every night? Maybe like the type who owns a thousand dogs, but I don’t play the field like that. I had a blast, mostly because you were so trashed it kept Aubs and Sky from trying to hook me up with any single lady they found at the bar.”

“What would be so bad about that?” Chelsea asked, taking a sip of her black coffee. She’d known Kyle for years but never got a chance to talk with her one-on-one like this.

“If we could skip past the awkward introductions where I say something horrifying, nothing. But I’m the least charming person in the tristate area, and I’ve scared more women away in the first five minutes than I can count.”

“No fucking way,” Chels said, shaking her head. She took a minute to wipe under her eyes, realizing her makeup probably streaked everywhere. “Sorry, I didn’t even look in the mirror. I probably look horrible.”

Kyle shook her head. “Nah, you’re gorgeous.” Her voice was so soft when she said those words in an earnest tone that made Chelsea melt.

“Wait, you’re telling me women walk away from this?” she asked, circling her finger around as she pointed at Kyle. “Between the genuine grin of yours that would make hardened criminals weak in the knees and the way you put the people around you at ease, you’re a freaking catch.”

“I’m going to hope the earth swallows me up in the next five seconds so I don’t die from embarrassment,” Kyle said, taking a bite from her bacon all while avoiding Chelsea’s eyes.

Kyle’s tendency to dodge compliments and downplay herself never struck her before, but while talking one-on-one like this, she noticed immediately.

Kyle swallowed her bacon and glanced back up. “Most women don’t seem to agree. Whenever I meet someone new, rational conversation escapes my brain, and I end up telling them they’ve got great sternocleidomastoid muscles or ask if free will is real or just an illusion.”

Chelsea pursed her lips. Disbelief coursed through her. How had no one found those questions charming? Everything about Kyle Walker was endearingly cute. Maybe her sister had the right idea after all. After Noah, the idea of hopping into bed with another guy made her gut roil.


Author Bio

Katherine McIntyre

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

Author Website: http://www.katherine-mcintyre.com

Author Facebook (Author Page): http://www.facebook.com/kmcintyreauthor

Author Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/pixierants

Author Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/authorkmcintyre

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6473654.Katherine_McIntyre

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Katherine-McIntyre/e/B00J8U4VNU

Other Worlds Ink logo

Walks with Spirits by Edale Lane Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Two women separated by honor and duty must find their way through life, hoping the spirits will bring them together in love in author Edale Lane’s “Walks with Spirits”.

Advertisements

The Synopsis

Bound by love, separated by a tragic mistake; can two Indigenous women realize their happy ending?

Long ago, in an age of mysticism, Walks with Spirits, a two-spirit woman, perceives voices whispering on the wind and they empower her with the gift of calling animals. But who she truly wishes to call to her side is her childhood friend, Laughing Brook.

Daughter of a shaman and an herbalist-midwife, Laughing Brook holds a prominent place in her society and bears the responsibilities it entails. She is training to be a healer like her mother, but her most compelling desire is to spend her life with Walks with Spirits.

When a misunderstanding crushes their dreams of happiness, both women must learn to face the trials that await them in a land where danger lurks behind every tree and honor means more than life. Will the spirits intervene on their behalf, or are they fated never to manifest their visions of love?

Walks with Spirits is a historical fantasy set in an ancient time. Packed with Native American themes, heart-touching imagery, and an epic love story, Walks with Spirits will immerse you in an inspiring view of life. 

The Review

This was a truly beautiful story. The author’s ability to balance the heartfelt LGBTQ romance of this novel with the culture and history of the Indigenous people of the North American continent was superb, and the added elements of fantasy-driven narrative based upon the mythos and belief systems of the Indigenous people added both depths to the cast of characters and a fantastic amount of world-building. 

The heart of this narrative fell to the two amazing protagonists and one of the strongest LGBTQ romances I’ve read this year so far, Walks with Spirits and Laughing Brook. The tension and pain these two women deal with as Laughing Brook is forced to marry a man she doesn’t love, and Walks with Spirits have to hold back her love in order to be a friend to Laughing Brooks through the years, was so emotional to behold. What I loved was the marriage of the mysticism and cultural importance of nature and its relationship to the universe as a whole with the LGBTQ themes and what true love means was amazing to read and see come to life on the page. 

The Verdict

Heartfelt, engaging, and thought-provoking, author Edale Lane’s “Walks with Spirits” is a must-read novel of 2022! The amazing LGBTQ themes found in the narrative, from the two protagonists’ enduring love story to the dual-gender identity Walking with Spirits shared and how it related to her having both her soul and the soul of another dwelling within her in this fantasy world was so moving to read, and the juxtaposition of the modern-day conflicts many people still endure when confronted with sexual identity struggles and the impact it has on one’s life and family against the historical and cultural setting of the narrative made this a remarkable story. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

Advertisements
Walks With Spirits - Edale Lane

Edale Lane has a new FF historical romance out: Walks With Spirits. And there’s a giveaway!

Bound by love, separated by circumstances; can two women realize their happy ending?

In a time when people believed everything had a spirit, there was a two-spirit woman who chose the life of a hunter. Human beings live in the physical world, while spirits dwell in the land beyond; Walks with Spirits inhabits both.

Daughter of a shaman and an herbalist-midwife, Laughing Brook holds a prominent place in her society. She is training to be a healer like her mother, but her one wish is to spend her life with Walks with Spirits.

When a misunderstanding crushes their dreams of happiness, both women must learn to face the trials that await them in a land where danger lurks behind every tree and honor means more than life. Will the spirits intervene on their behalf, or are they fated never to manifest their visions of love?

Walks with Spirits is a historical fantasy set in an ancient time. Packed with Native American themes, heart-touching imagery, and an epic love story, Walks with Spirits will immerse you in an inspiring view of life.

Get It At Amazon


Giveaway

Edale is giving away a $20 Amazon gift card with this tour:

a Rafflecopter giveawayhttps://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d47234/?


Excerpt

Walks with Spirits Meme

From Chapter Two of Walks with Spirits

A movement at the front door drew Brook’s attention and in an instant her face lit up and her heart swelled. A tall woman wearing men’s clothing strode in, her head held high, and the energy in the chamber danced. Even Thunder Warrior did not seem so dull.

“That is Walks with Spirits,” he said with a gesture. “She is an odd woman of Nutaula who is coming on the hunt with us tomorrow. The Old Ones and shaman speak of her like she is special, but she can’t do anything that I can’t do. I feel uncomfortable around people of two spirits, don’t you?”

Brook’s smile had become a glow. “That is my Mepoose, my best friend. We grew up together in this house before she moved to your village.”

Thunder Warrior shifted positions and pushed back his free-flowing long hair. “I mean, she is well respected among our community. We are taught it is a blessing from the Creator to be born with two spirits,” he fidgeted. “It is merely something I don’t understand.”

Brook wrenched her gaze from Spirits long enough to study her male guest, a bemused expression on her face. When she said nothing, he continued to explain himself.

“I am a physical man,” he said with a tap to his muscled chest, “who lives in a physical world. I do not put my trust in spirits and legends. My spear, my bow, and the strength of my arm protect me from danger. Many men say one is well served to steer clear of spirits, lest you offend one. They say she talks to them every day.”

As Brook returned her oval eyes to follow Spirits across the room, her heartbeat raced and she sensed a tingle running through her being. “She does,” she affirmed.

She watched Spirits approach the hearth closest to the door where she stopped beside the spot where an old man with a cane sat on a cedar box up close to the fire, a beaver fur cape wrapped around his shoulders. He had deep lines in his leathery face, long gray hair bound by a plain leather band, and one leg stretched out awkwardly to catch the heat. Since Thunder Warrior had stopped talking, she could overhear their exchange.

“It is good to see you, Growling Bear,” Spirits greeted.

He spared her a glance and grunted. “Is it, now? If it were so, maybe you would come around more often.” He pulled his cape tighter and stared into the flames with a sour look on his etched face.

“You know I moved to be with my relatives in Nutaula,” she replied pleasantly. “But all morning I have been praying to the spirits that you will help me out.”

This time he raised suspicious eyes to her, hooded under scrunched brows. “Is that so?”

“It is. You see, I have been so blessed with good fortune that I have caught more game than I know what to do with. I am hoping you can take these two rabbits off my hands.” She extended the better pair toward him.

Growling Bear scowled and lowered his gaze to hands as gnarled as thick, aged vines. “What do I want with those scrawny, worthless rabbits?”

Spirits shrugged. “See, the thing is, I can only offer you the meat. I need the skins for a project I’m working on, so I’d have to skin them before I give them to you. I know they are rather puny, but they are fresh and there is only you to eat them.” She let out a disappointed sigh. “If you don’t take them, I’ll have to toss them to the village dogs, and they may fight over them. I hate it when the dogs fight over food, but… I simply have too much fresh game to keep them.”

Thunder Warrior spun to Brook in outrage. “What is he talking about? Those are fat, fine rabbits. Why is that grouchy old man so ungrateful? He does nothing but sit about and complain. When I am chief, I will not allow anyone like him to live in my longhouse. How can Black Bear tolerate him?”

Brook waited a moment to answer him as she listened to Growling Bear’s reply.

He shifted on his box and rubbed a hand across his knee. “I suppose I could take them if it is going to cause you distress for me to refuse. Maybe Falling Rain can throw them in a pot with some vegetables.”

Spirits smiled. “I will bring them back in a few minutes when I have skinned and cleaned them. Many thanks to you, Growling Bear. You have done me a great service.”

“I do not understand that woman!” Thunder Warrior declared. “He insults her and she thanks him.”

Brook turned to her guest while Spirits made her way slowly around the plank-house greeting everyone. “Do you not know who that old man is?”

“A leach who lives off the charity of others,” he stated in derision.

“No.” Brook explained in gentle and compassionate tones. “Growling Bear was once a great hunter. He feared neither man nor beast. He brought in scores of fish and killed five bears along with countless deer, elk, beaver, and other game. When he married, a reunion was held in his honor and he was Worthy and esteemed.”

“What happened to him then?” Thunder Warrior considered her words with reserved curiosity.

“One falling leaves time, long before I was born, he was on a hunting party in the mountains and they must have wandered too close to where the sasquatch lived. A sasquatch hurled a boulder that started a landslide on the mountain and Growling Bear was caught up in it. When the dust settled, the others found him near the bottom under a pile of rocks. They made a litter and rushed him back to Paupeck for the healer and shaman to help.” In an aside, Brook added, “This was before Black Bear and Rainbow held those titles, but who knows if they could have done better. The healer straightened and set his leg with splints, but it was broken in many places. He was very fortunate to have lived through the ordeal at all.”


Author Bio

Edale Lane

Edale Lane is an award-winning author (Rainbow Awards, Imaginarium Awards, Lesfic Bard Awards) who is realizing her dream of being a full-time writer. She is the alter-ego of author Melodie Romeo, (Tribute in Blood, Terror in Time, and others) who founded Past and Prologue Press. Both identities are qualified to write historical fiction by virtue of an MA in History and 24 years spent as a teacher, along with skill and dedication regarding research.

A native of Vicksburg, MS, Edale (or Melodie) is also a musician who loves animals, gardening, and nature. After driving an 18-wheeler cross-country for eight years, she now lives with her partner in beautiful Chilliwack, B.C. Canada.

Author Website: https://pastandprologuepress.lpages.co/

Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/melodie.romeo/

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/Pastandprologuepress/

Author Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/EdaleLane

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/edale_lane/

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15264354.Edale_Lane

Author Liminal Fiction (LimFic.com): https://www.limfic.com/mbm-book-author/edale-land/

Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/edale-land/

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Edale-Lane/e/B07GRFPDRZ/

Other Worlds Ink logo

Red Dot by Mike Karpa Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

In a world where people automatically make the right decision, one young man finds himself compelled to follow his artistic pursuits and his love interests, in author Mike Karpa’s “Red Dot”. 

Advertisements

The Synopsis

After the disaster of global warming, the world has gotten its act together. People are positive, sensible and creating a better future and a just present. So, in a world where everyone makes good decisions, what could possibly go wrong?

Well, other people. Twenty-something gay man Mardy dreams of becoming a full-time machine-tool artist. He brims with ideas, puts in the hours, has a solid circle of artist buddies—and forbidden friendships with artificial intelligences, the virtual slaves he works alongside of in his day job. But he’s always coming in second to an irritatingly successful rival. When he meets the rival’s twin, unexpected consequences drive Mardy to pursue not only his artistic passions but also love. And just possibly make the world a better place in the process.

The Review

This was such a beautifully constructed sci-fi world the author has crafted. The way they were able to bring about this post-dystopian world was so refreshing and unique, exploring a somewhat more hopeful future that sees environmental disasters conquered and technological wonders an everyday part of life. The emotional depth of a novel of this caliber that delves into the morality and heart of what an AI is or can be in life, and whether they can develop the same level of consciousness that humanity has, was absolutely outstanding and kept the reader both hopeful and teary throughout the read.

The character development of this narrative was stupendous. The LGBTQ representation that could be found throughout the entirety of this cast of characters was phenomenal to see and more relevant to the world we live in. This backstory for many of the characters, including protagonist Mardy himself, was perfect to mirror the themes and atmosphere that the AI conversation crafted naturally, making this such an exciting read. 

The Verdict

Mind-blowing, thought-provoking, and emotionally investing, author Mike Karpa’s “Red Dot” is a must-read post-dystopian and sci-fi read! The fantastic character growth and rich and futuristic setting made this a captivating story, while the mix of romance and sci-fi morality themes made this one of those novels that readers won’t be able to put down. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

Red Dot - Mike Karpa

Mike Karpa has a new MM sci-fi romance out, The Dot Trilogy book 1: Red Dot. And there’s a giveaway!

After the disaster of global warming, the world has gotten its act together. People are positive, sensible, and intent on creating a better future and a just present. And it’s working! So, in a world where everyone makes good decisions, what could possibly go wrong?

Well, other people. Mardy is a 26-year old gay man who dreams of being a full-time machine-tool artist. He brims with ideas, puts in the hours, and has a solid circle of friends—both fellow artists and the artificial intelligences he works with. But he’s always coming in second to another machine-tool artist at his makerspace. He’s dealing with that, thanks to the highly effective psychotherapy of the future, but then he meets his irritatingly successful rival’s twin—and falls for him hard. Consequences ensue, and fast, driving Mardy not just to pursue his artistic dreams, but to try to liberate his AI friends from servitude, and find love in the process.

About the Trilogy:

Powered by art, the search for true love leads to freedom for enslaved AIs.

Publisher | Amazon


Giveaway

Mike is giving away a $20 Amazon gift card with this tour:

a Rafflecopter giveawayhttps://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d47230/?


Excerpt

Red Dot meme

Chapter 1

Mardy’s ExMail delivery jet was vectoring in fast on San Francisco.

“Coming in a little hot, don’t you think?” he said to the plane.

“It’s fine, Mardy,” the plane replied.

Mardy gripped the open side-portal of the plane. Hoverdown would normally have engaged by that point, but there was little at the moment to distinguish their trajectory from a kamikaze run at his apartment building rooftop.

“Plane?” Mardy asked, panicking a wee bit. They were plummeting. Mardy clamped his lips against the wind. He wanted to make the designstation time he’d booked for the evening, but as much as he wanted to be a full-time machine tool artist, he’d prefer not to die in the attempt.

One hundred feet, fifty feet. Twenty.

The plane hit its thrusters hard, sending Mardy sprawling out of the portal. He managed a shoulder roll onto the hot concrete roof, ending in a crouch. His heart pounded as the impact of his landing reverberated through his bones.

His plane floated above the roof. “See you tomorrow, Mardy.”

Mardy stood. Did he detect a smirk in the plane’s voice? It maintained its hover, wheels retracted. Was it waiting for Mardy’s reaction?

“See you tomorrow,” Mardy mumbled, shaken, sweating, and not just from the sun beating down on them.

The plane waggled its wings ever so slightly. It was laughing, Mardy was sure of it. Mardy waved slowly as the plane left for who knew where. The official story was that all the delivery jets were operated by a central AI, a single intelligence. But Mardy had sensed differences between planes almost from day one and found it harder and harder to pretend he didn’t. And this plane, a jokester, was his favorite. It knew Mardy was light on his feet, able to handle the abrupt braking. It was playing with him. Mardy wanted to give it a name.

Phil.

The name popped into Mardy’s mind, unbidden. Which felt more alarming than the idea of plunging to earth through an open portal, because naming AIs was illegal—not just technically illegal, but illegal enough to land you in jail.

Mardy caught the beautifully air-conditioned elevator down the thirty-three flights to ground level, legs tired from a full day on the job, and hoofed it one block down Mission Street to WorkShop Downtown SF, sweat now dribbling from him despite the near-dusk hour. The batteries of the personal cooler strapped to his chest must have filled up from harvesting his body heat as he’d raced through his workday.

Mardy pushed through the WorkShop front door. He planned to spend an all-nighter polishing his latest machine-tooled design. It was nearly ready to submit for the salon, the competitive exhibition WorkShop held every month. Salons had only one slot per discipline and he had never been selected, but this was the month he would finally beat out their resident star, Smith Hunt. Mardy could feel it: this month, he would be the salon’s chosen machine tool artist.

He dropped his satchel next to his designstation, already feeling the hours of slogging to come.

His design was a whirligig, one of the middle genres of machine tool art. He’d been working so far in gizmos, the very bottom rung of the genres, but having failed every single month he’d competed, he’d decided more ambition was called for. His whirligig was essentially a mobile cooling fan intended to track the person it was paired with, walking after its target on tiny legs to provide continuous cooling. The best part? When the person settled, their whirligig would dance a cha-cha. It naturally wouldn’t be as convenient or effective as the personal cooling units everyone wore to survive their globally warmed world, but it would be adorable.

His best friend, Cat, a plastic surgery artist, hurried over to Mardy’s designstation, their bushy black hair bouncing. “We’re heading over to Uncle Mix for drinks.” They were dressed in work clothes—sweatshirt and jeans—except that their jeans had a starscape of Milky Way and crescent moon splashed in yellow against the dark blue denim, likely the work of one of the resident fabrics artists.

Mardy shook his head. “I haven’t finished my entry.” Plus, he really wanted to do more than design it. He wanted to build this sucker, an expensive, full realization. And on his pilot’s salary, he couldn’t afford another night out. A minimum-wage job like ExMail pilot was enough for a tidy supplement to universal basic income, but it left little room for art.

Cat bent over to look at his screen. “Show me,” they said.

“I want it to be a surprise.”

“I already know it’s a whirligig. You’ve been dropping hints for a solid month.”

“Are you submitting?” Mardy asked.

Cat cocked their head at him. “Think a question will distract me?”

Mardy chuckled. “Okay, not subtle. But your plastic surgery is so great. I really want you to submit a routine. Use me as your blank.”

Cat gave him a skeptical look.

Ever since Cat’s controversial near-triumph at Vegas Regionals last year, their plastic surgery performance recordings had gotten astonishing view metrics. Now everybody wanted to be in a Cat performance. But Mardy had shied away, despite Cat’s repeated requests and flattering remarks about his bone structure. Mardy trusted Cat’s ability to restore his face and/or other body parts afterwards, but he was afraid of knives. He’d only volunteered now to avoid showing Cat his design. But he’d said it, and if he’d said it, he’d do it.

“Done. And just to warn you, I submitted an hour ago,” Cat said.

“I’m not scared.” Mardy tried to hide a gulp of terror. “In bocca al lupo.” Over the last decade, the Italian phrase—in the mouth of the wolf—had thoroughly supplanted the nonsensical break a leg, part of a global migration of slang, as verbal fashions swarmed over the face of the planet like birds on the move.

Cat ran a finger down Mardy’s jawline, the plans for imagined cuts bubbling behind their eyes.


Author Bio

Mike Karpa

Mike was once a woodworker in a makerspace and knows how semiconductors are made. His novels hop around between genres, dabbling in scifi (Red Dot), romance (Red Dot again), suspense (Criminals), and forthcoming in 2022, a snarky comedy of manners set in New York and Arkansas and a YA novel about five puppies in search of a dog rumored to be their dad. Eventually, a behemoth about love, war and espionage in India in the 1960s (Between Countries) will see the light of day as well.

His goal these days is to write novels for queer audiences that are entertaining rather than esoteric, upbeat rather than angsty. His more recent shorter fiction, memoir and nonfiction (some in the more angsty vein) can be found in Tin House, Foglifter, Tahoma Literary Review, Oyster River Pages and other magazines.

Mike has roots in Texas and Estonia, and has lived in California, Michigan and Ohio, not to mention eight years in Asia in the early part of his life. Now he lives in San Francisco with his husband and dog in a house soon to be celebrating its 130th birthday. Red Dot is Mike’s second book, after Criminals (2021), and is the first in a planned trilogy.

Author Website: https://mikekarpa.com

Author Facebook (Publishing): https://www.facebook.com/mumblerspress

Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/mike.karpa/

Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/mumblerspress

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mumblerspress/

Author Liminal Fiction (LimFic.com): https://www.limfic.com/mbm-book-author/mike-karpa/

Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/mike-karpa/

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Mike-Karpa/e/B09GTNWKVY

 

Other Worlds Ink logo

COVER REVEAL: Anticipated Angel by Laura Navarre

Anticipated Angel - Laura Navarre

Laura Navarre has a new erotic MM sci-fi romance coming out in April – Anticipated Angel (Prequel to the Astral Heat Romance) – and we have the cover reveal. And there’s a giveaway!

On an alien world that crucifies men for prohibited desires, two boyhood best friends risk the ultimate punishment to explore a forbidden passion.

Nero: He’s the most intimidating guy at our intergalactic next-gen leaders’ camp, and his psycho galactic tyrant of a dad has a crucifixion fetish. Our two races are deadly enemies, but Dex was my boyhood best friend. Suddenly this summer, he’s all grown up—and suddenly he can’t seem to stop staring at me. I don’t know whether to be afraid that it’s all a figment of my telepathic imagination…or that every dangerous desire we’re forbidden to acknowledge is searingly real.

Dex: I’m one combat-to-the-death away from the imperial command I’ve devoted my life to achieve. All I need to do is keep my dick in my pants. Besides, Ben Nero’s my oathsworn brother. Not to mention the most gorgeous, most maddeningly unattainable, most sought-after guy at leaders’ camp. There’s no way he’d ever look twice at a buttoned-tight, hyper-competitive, compulsive overachiever like me.

Until the night I blundered in on Nero in the shower. Which was a total catastrophic mistake. Because now I’ve seen what he looks like naked…now I’ve heard the way he sounds when he’s moaning my name…how in blazes do I keep him at arms’ length? Because my father crucifies men for loving men.

Which means letting Ben Nero in close, the way I’m burning to do, means risking the ultimate punishment.

For both of us.

Anticipated Angel is a steamy, angsty, friends-to-lovers MM new adult sci fi romance novella and the standalone prequel to the award-winning Astral Heat Romance Series.

Amazon | Universal Buy Link

About the Series:

The Astral Heat Romance Series is a steamy, angsty, enemies-to-lovers MMMF poly sci fi action romance series with M/M. Perfect for fans of Tymber Dalton, Kathryn Moon, Ariana Nash, and Pippa DaCosta. Here’s what early reviewers are saying about this category bestselling LGBTQ+ sci fi erotic romance series:

“Fast-paced, erotic, and brutal.” – Library Journal

“Intense and incendiary! This is hot stuff not for the faint of heart.” – Viragos Reading Odyssey

“This book just grabs and doesn’t let go….One of the steamiest books I’ve ever read.” – Amazon reviewer

“Astronomically out of this world action suspense drama, topped off with XXX sizzle! …Hang on to your space helmet, this is one wild ride!” – Goodreads reviewer

“This swashbuckling reverse harem Roman Empire in space saga turns up the heat to incendiary…a pulse racing read…Fabulous fun! I loved it!” – Alicia on Amazon and Goodreads

This award-winning series has notched contest wins in the RWA Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal On the Far Side Contest (speculative romance) and the 2021 Chesapeake Romance Writers’ Rudy Contest (erotic romance).

The Astral Heat Romance Series contains explicit M/M, M/F, and MMMF encounters.


Giveaway

Laura is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card with this reveal:

a Rafflecopter giveawayhttps://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d47225/?


Excerpt

Anticipated Angel meme

Still damp and dripping under the tunic and breeches he’d dragged over his desperately aroused body, breathless and panting from pounding through the jungle after his frenzied best friend, Ben Nero stood on the step outside Dex’s dormitory cabin and glared at the locked door.

Dex never locked his door. They’d been coming and going from each other’s dorms day and night for three summers straight.

Sure, Dex was arrogant, aggressive, pigheaded, surly, introverted, hypercompetitive, a compulsive overachiever. The golden boy at leaders’ camp. In other words, a typical Mogadon.

Nero had hated him on sight. Until everything changed.

Since the night Dex waded into battle to defend him, Nero had been secretly crushing on the guy.

Now—this summer—their final summer when they both gained their majority and left leaders’ camp behind forever, the sexual dynamic between them had torqued so much tighter. Their unspoken chemistry had condensed into an alchemical compound so volatile it was practically pyrophoric. With Dex grown into something between a deadly predator and a tawny god, Nero knew his secret summer crush stood in acute danger of developing into a connection fathoms deeper.

And far more lethal to his guarded heart.

But given Dex’s inherited battery of hang-ups and all that sexual baggage his best friend was carting around, the state of his heart was one secret Nero fully intended to keep.

Until tonight. Cat’s out of the cave now. Of all the possible, gods-cursed times for Dex to show up for a late-night shower…

For at least the twentieth time, he cursed his own rotten timing. Wryly he admitted the inferno of heat glowing in his chest and scorching his face had less to do with exertion than sheer embarrassment.

No use pretending it didn’t happen. Dex has been pushing me away all summer. What he just saw me doing while I moaned his name will probably finish the job and end our friendship for good.

Especially with their rival planets poised on the brink of war. Nero huffed out a breath harsh with frustration.

The next time I encounter Dex Draven after summer camp will probably be in deep space at the wrong end of a solar cannon.

Grimly Nero jabbed a finger at the entry button—for the third farking time. The chime caroled away like his whole world wasn’t imploding around him. Beyond that door, his psychic senses whispered, Dex was pacing his cabin’s spartan confines, wearing a path in the silica floor.

Staring at his own locked door, heart slamming against his sternum like a meteor bombardment. If he didn’t open it…if he didn’t answer…

Nero shoved a mental barrier between them to give the guy a little privacy as a basic matter of telepath ethics. Same way he’d been doing all summer. Fighting like hell to do the decent thing and respect his best friend’s boundaries and stay out of his head.

Now he scowled at the stubborn silence but held tight to his temper.

“Dex?” He pitched his voice to carry. “Let me in. We need to talk. Anyway, you, uh, left your blaster in the shower house.”

The silence stretched between them. A silence tighter than a pressurized airlock, shredded by the shrill scream of a hunting panther. Intuition told him the critter was on the prowl, hunting for blood and savage with hunger. If the cat tracked him to Dex’s doorstep, Nero would have to defend himself. Not with Dex’s blaster, which he’d buckled around his own hips, but with the psi fire he was learning to channel as he honed his rapidly expanding arsenal of psychic powers.

Doggedly he pounded on the door. “Come on, Dex. I know you’re in there. I could feel you fulminating halfway down the path. Open up.”

“No bloody talking. I’m not in the mood.” Dex’s muffled voice sounded surly. And more than a little desperate. “For gods’ sake, Ben, it’s after midnight. Go away.”

Nero squared his shoulders and hardened his voice. “Open this door or I’ll open it for you.”

Violet sparks flared at his fingertips. Fiercely he reeled in the billowing surge of psi fire sizzling through his channels before he lost control and blew Dex’s door through the opposite wall. Tonight he wanted to talk to Dex, not fight him. And a full-out assault would only trigger all those primitive Mogadon instincts Dex was always striving to suppress.

Apparently some god with a fondness for bisexual adolescent telepaths decided to take pity on Nero’s awkward dilemma and whisper a word of reason in Dex’s ear. With a chirp, the maglock released and the door swung wide.

“Finally.” Pushing out a breath, Nero strode into the moonlit darkness. “What the hells, Dex…”

His words stuttered to a stop.

In the narrow confines of the shadowy cabin whose angles and corners he knew by heart, Dex stood silhouetted against the viewport. Wearing nothing but an insubstantial pair of sleeping trousers that clung to his supple hips and spectacular ass.

The light of Paragon’s three moons limned his broad shoulders and corded back and bulging triceps in a way that made Nero burn to sink his teeth in and just nibble his way down the guy’s body. Starlight flamed in Dex’s cropped golden hair and caressed the sun-bronzed skin Nero longed to trace with his tongue.

Nero sucked in a hit of oxygen to clear his damn head and felt his senses spin. He was already half-drunk on lotus pollen, a seductive sweetness like spicy sugar tickling the back of his throat. Now his head was reeling with the potent kick of Dex’s scent—that heady whiff of pheromones Mogadon males exuded that telegraphed aggression, territoriality, or arousal.

Nero ached to know which of those stimuli was driving Dex tonight.

Ferociously he fought back the temptation to shove aside his inconvenient ethics, peek inside Dex’s brain, and find out for himself. And screw his farking ethics and screw his best friend’s privacy.


Author Bio

Laura Navarre

A long time ago in a galaxy far away, Laura Navarre was an award-winning dark historical romance author for Harlequin, while her diabolical twin Nikki Navarre wrote sexy spy romance. In a daring bid to escape a global pandemic, armed only with an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction and a professional background in weapons of mass destruction, Laura voyaged through a wormhole to an alternate universe where she crafts turbocharged, epic, hyper-erotic poly science fiction romance starring three sexy bi heroes, one seriously kickass heroine, and plenty of sizzling outer space action.

Interstellar Angel is a steamy, angsty, enemies-to-lovers MMMF poly sci fi action romance and your gateway to the Astral Heat universe, where Star Wars meets 50 Shades by way of The Hunger Games. Outer space adventure just got a whole lot hotter!

Author Website: https://www.LauraNavarreSciFi.com

Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.Facebook.com/LauraNavarreAuthor

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.Facebook.com/LauraNavarreInterstellarRomance

Author Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/LauraNavarre

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/LauraNavarreAuthor

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/LauraNavarre

Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/laura-navarre/

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Laura-Navarre/e/B004NG6CTK/

Other Worlds Ink logo

Blood Bound (Youkai Bloodlines Book 3) by Courtney Maguire Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A heartbreaking breakup between two immortals sends one on a quest to find comfort and warmth among humanity while the other struggles to keep the peace between their people and those they’ve made peace with in author Courtney Maguire’s “Blood Bound”, the third book in the Youkai Bloodlines series.

Advertisements

The Synopsis

Two hundred years can strain even the seemingly eternal love of the youkai.

When Hideyoshi’s coldness drives them apart, Hiro finds comfort in his friendship with Takanori, a vociferous human man he met at a ramen shop and can’t seem to keep away from.. Everything Hiro had to fight for from Hideyoshi, Takanori gives freely, making it all too easy to turn away from his responsibilities–and Hideyoshi–in favor of something sweeter.

But while Hiro is off playing human, danger is brewing among the Youkai. Hideyoshi, still reeling from his breakup with Hiro, struggles to uphold the promise they made to the Hunter leader, Kyo, but the Youkai’s loyalty has been challenged by Hiro’s abrupt disappearance. With Hunters literally banging at the door, Hide must find a way to bring Hiro home or risk igniting the war they’ve spent the last two hundred years trying to prevent.

Content Warnings: graphic violence, terminal illness, depictions of grief and depression/mental illness, suicidal actions

The Review

As a relative newcomer to the series, I appreciated that the author did such a fantastic job of crafting a well-balanced narrative both for newcomers like myself and longtime fans of the series. The mythology and world-building the author did with the Youkai and the Hunters and the conflict that had brought them to this tumultuous point was amazing to dive into, for it gave a whole new mythological journey to the typical “vampire” story. 

The two things that stood out to me were the character growth these protagonists had and the attention to detail the author gave the inclusion of Japanese culture and history. The emphasis on the psychological and spiritual nature of who the Youkai are and their struggle to maintain their humanity gave weight and emotional pull to the character’s arcs, and made readers invested more into their personal developments over the narrative. Meanwhile, the author really did a fantastic job of conveying the emotions and heartbreak that comes with grief and loss, and really brought that raw pain to the pages early on, examining what the pain of loss is like for those who will always outlive those who surround them daily.

The Verdict

A masterful, entertaining, and incredible read, author Courtney Maguire’s “Blood Bound” is a must-read LGBTQ+ Fantasy novel. The attention to detail in the character’s backgrounds and sexuality perfectly mirrored the attention to detail surrounding Japanese culture and mythology and elevated the emotional undercurrent of themes surrounding grief and loss in this supernatural fantasy world the author has crafted. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

Advertisements
Blood Bound cover reveal - Courtney Maguire

Courtney Maguire has a new MM paranormal historical romance out, Youkai Bloodlines book 3: Blood Bound. And there’s a giveaway!

Two hundred years can strain even the seemingly eternal love of the youkai.

When Hideyoshi’s coldness drives them apart, Hiro finds comfort in his friendship with Takanori, a vociferous human man he met at a ramen shop and can’t seem to keep away from.. Everything Hiro had to fight for from Hideyoshi, Takanori gives freely, making it all too easy to turn away from his responsibilities–and Hideyoshi–in favor of something sweeter.

But while Hiro is off playing human, danger is brewing among the Youkai. Hideyoshi, still reeling from his breakup with Hiro, struggles to uphold the promise they made to the Hunter leader, Kyo, but the Youkai’s loyalty has been challenged by Hiro’s abrupt disappearance. With Hunters literally banging at the door, Hide must find a way to bring Hiro home or risk igniting the war they’ve spent the last two hundred years trying to prevent.

Warning: graphic violence, terminal illness, depictions of grief and depression/mental illness, suicidal actions

Publisher | Amazon | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Universal Buy Link | Goodreads

Art Card Meme


Giveaway

Courtney is giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Card with this tour:

a Rafflecopter giveawayhttps://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d47222/?

Excerpt

Blood Bound Meme

Chapter 1: Trainwreck

Spring 2004

You can live a hundred lifetimes and the world will still surprise you, hit you like a high-speed train and drag you along the rails before dumping you off a thousand miles from where you started. Sometimes, the ride isn’t as violent as all that. Sometimes, it feels like a vacation, an escape, like falling in love. But, the end of the line is always the same—a broken, bloody mess far from home.

Sitting on a hard cobblestone path in my two-day-old funeral suit, I stared at a pillar of granite with his name on it, a fifth of Jack in my gut and my soul shattered into a million pieces. Aikawa Takanori—the name of the train that hit me.

A broad shadow fell over me and I closed my eyes against it. I knew who it was, knew the sound of his steps, the way the air trembled in his presence. Sakurai Hideyoshi. He sat down beside me on the stone path without a word, so close our shoulders touched. Over two hundred years had passed since the day we met, and his nearness still made my skin prickle. His fingers brushed against mine as he slipped the nearly empty bottle of whiskey out of my hands and raised it to his own lips.

“You knew it would end this way,” he said, his voice low and cold. Not a judgement or an accusation, just a statement of fact.

“If you’re here to lecture me, you can save it,” I said, snatching the bottle back out of his hand.

There was something shocking about seeing him again, sitting there like an inkblot on my vision. The same solid frame, the same dark features, sharp as cut granite and just as immovable. How much time had I spent pounding myself against that hardness, like the ocean against a rocky cliff, trying to break it away? Now I observed him as if from a distance. Something bitter pushed up against my grief, but there was no room for it, so it settled back into my gut. He had been my home before Takanori, but now he was almost unrecognizable. He hadn’t changed, of course. I was the one who was different.

“How long since you’ve drank something besides whiskey?”

“Not since—” I broke off, my eyes darting to the gravestone. My hands trembled as I took a long pull off the whiskey bottle. It could have been hours or years, every second since that day stretched into an eternity.

“Come with me,” he said, pulling himself gracefully to his feet. I didn’t move. “Hiro.”

“I can’t,” I choked. I struggled to breathe around the ball of grief wedged in my throat. He was here for a reason. He wanted something and I couldn’t give it to him. “I’m not…ready…”

“He’s dead. It doesn’t matter if you’re ready,” he barked. The words were sharp, the edge of a blade iced over, and they cut deep.

He grabbed the collar of my jacket and yanked me to my feet. Without even waiting for me to catch my balance, he turned and stomped off down the path. It had been this way since the day we met, Hideyoshi plodding ahead without looking back, so confident I would follow. I found it comforting somehow, like nothing had ever broken between us. We would always be Hideyoshi and Hiro. The shape of his back would never change. He would never get sick and die.

I ran my hand over Taka’s name on the granite and felt my heart tugged in two different directions. Another train had come, this one promising to take me back to somewhere familiar, but part of me was afraid. What if I got there and found it wasn’t my home at all anymore, but just another strange place that would leave me even more broken?

But, Hideyoshi was right. Taka was dead, the home I could have had here reduced to ashes. I had nowhere else to go.

My chest constricted and I cursed under my breath as I ran to catch up to Hideyoshi, falling in step just a few paces behind. The sun was setting as we exited the cemetery and darkness fell quickly over the narrow streets of Tokyo. Neon signs lit up one by one with an electric pop as we passed, the early evening crowds already taking their places in the izakayas that lined the street and disappearing into basement bars. Hideyoshi led me all the way to Ikebukuro and the busy streets surrounding Sunshine City. Wires hung like spider webs overhead, feeding power to the garish artificial light. Loud music and cigarette smoke filled the streets and the smell of sweaty bodies started a scratching under my skin that had me gritting my teeth.

He stopped in the most crowded part of the busy street and looked over his shoulder at me for the first time. My gut clenched. I knew what he wanted. I scowled and shook my head, but he simply pinned me with those needle-sharp eyes that didn’t take no for an answer until I relented.

His silent command: Sing.

I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. The scratching under my skin intensified and the sounds of the city died away as something else rose to the surface, something dark and dangerous. When my eyes opened again, the electric lights paled behind the glare of human life, every movement leaving a streaky after image in blue and white. My pulse sped and my mouth watered. I pulled in a deep breath and my voice rose from the depths with an old song, something traditional that took me back to a different Tokyo, and despite its terrible purpose, it warmed me. My heart swam in it, cleansed its wounds in it.


Author Bio

Courtney Maguire

Courtney Maguire is a University of Texas graduate from Corpus Christi, Texas. Drawn to Austin by a voracious appetite for music, she spent most of her young adult life in dark, divey venues nursing a love for the sublimely weird. A self-proclaimed fangirl with a press pass, she combined her love of music and writing as the primary contributor for Japanese music and culture blog, Project: Lixx, interviewing Japanese rock and roll icons and providing live event coverage for appearances across the country.

Author Website: https://www.courtneymaguirewrites.com/

Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/courtney.maguire.37

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/CourtneyMaguireWrites

Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/PretentiousAho

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/courtneymaguirewrites/

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19774498.Courtney_Maguire

Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/courtney-maguire/

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/~/e/B082S34S7W

Other Worlds Ink logo