To my readers who have been patiently waiting for updates for different series, thank you for your continuing patience. I know some of your favorites get books out to you more often, and I haven't. Between my EDJ and being a single mom, I have had my hands full for the past couple years. It's made it hard to get my creative juices flowing after some really long work days. I love my boys and would hate to give them any less than what they deserve.
Things are turning around, bit by bit. I was stuck on Jordan's Accidental Adoption for a long while. The story wasn't going how I planned it. I had to take a step back. Then life took over.
The good news is the first draft of Jordan's Accidental Adoption was finished while COVID19 shut down the NT. I'm working through developmental edits now—ugh, the slog! After I get through those *crosses fingers for THIS weekend* it's off to get line edits and such.
We have 17 November 2020 set aside for its release! In case you forgot, say hello to Nicor—my gamer hellhound.
Jordan's Accidental Adoption
Away from home on a hunt in less familiar territory, Nicor gets hit by the unexpected—his mate. Changing course for the hellhounds of Australia in unexpected ways.
The hunt is on for the merpeople kidnapping young women and making them disappear without a trace. Each dead end leads to more frustration, making Nicor feel the weight of each missing woman more and more. The police want answers the hellhounds can’t give. A break in the case sends Nicor and his packmates to Sydney—away from home and on less familiar territory. When Nicor and the other hellhounds think they’ve cornered their suspects, an unexpected enemy surfaces and causes mayhem for the hounds—leaving a wounded Nicor behind.
Out and about with friends, Jordan stumbles on an unforeseen complication in his long life—his mate. How could a hellhound be his mate? Weren’t they natural enemies? Jordan knows how other Sups view his kind. To make matters even more problematic, the hound has been hurt and doesn’t seem to remember that he’s a demon from Hell or has a human half. Jordan knows he can’t just walk away, so he takes the hellhound back home to his refuge and studio.
One fateful encounter after a gallery showing changes both their worlds forever. The amnesiac hellhound adopts Jordan as his human. Only problem is Jordan isn’t human, and he’s not sure his mate will accept all of him when the hound’s memory returns.
When Sups go bump in the night, the hounds bump back.
Isn't Nicor gorgeous? I can't wait to share him and Jordan with you. These boys gave me some trouble, but they got it together in the end! ;)
It's actually what comes before. :D Remember this? A one-off set in the US that I was working on forever ago? As Fire Rains Down almost done!
MCB has set aside 27 October 2020 for its release.
As fire rains down from out-of-control forest fires, Luke finds a hurt but powerful Demi-God in its wake. Those kinds of shifters should only exist in legend and more importantly, is the powerful shifter friend or foe?
Forest fires around California have got everyone working overtime. Between Luke's volunteer rescue efforts as the fires rage and his keeping up with regular police duties in his sleepy hometown of Half Moon Bay, he's barely had time to eat, let alone catch some shut-eye. It doesn't help that some out-of-towners have been pressing locals to sell up because they want to turn the little oasis into a hopping tourist destination.
Half Moon Bay is a place of sanctuary for shifters like Luke, with most of the town being descended from one kind or another. It's an open secret among the locals. One they're willing to fight to protect.
But the newest flames cutting a path toward town rage hotter and fiercer than normal forest fires. Something isn't right. Finding an overpowered elk shifter in the forest as it burns down around him and Luke causes more confusion—everyone knows those kinds of shifters exist only in legend—and the questions just keep jumping the firebreaks, especially when a dark presence falls on the town and their homes start burning too.
So what does everyone think? Exciting? I can't wait for you to meet Luke and Ollie. (American English, why did I think it was smart to set a book in the US again?)
Okay, so really, what's next?
That's a good question. I recently made some goals for myself, and I hope I can live up to them. I have plans. Scary.
Even if my two almost ready releases don't quite make the exact days, they will be released this year. No doubt about it. The rest, well... here's the semi-short version.
I'll be releasing the first three Smokey Mountain Bear books in audio starting around the holidays. :D There is a reason for this, but let's look at the lovely audio covers done by Catherine Dair.
Why now, Toni? It's my goal to release two novellas and two novels each year going forward. Hopefully I can meet that. Because it's my goal to start finishing up some series next couple years.
The first will be my Smokey Mountain Bear sleuth. It's also the next book I'm working on after Jordan wraps up. There are two more books in the series and these stories a fun little bit-size pieces of PNR fluff that I love. It's time to wrap these boys up in bows and give them away. It's my goal to release the final novella Christmas time next year.
The other two series I'm looking to finish are The Atherton Pack and Hounds of the Hunt. They won't get finished next year, but I want a book in each out. These books have turned into longer novels for me, and the hounds take some special planning since they fight the bad Sups. Between Smokey Mountain Bears and two more in each of those series, that matches my own goal of two novellas and two novels in a year.
If all goes according to plan, that would mean The Atherton Pack and Hounds of the Hunt will finish up in 2022. My wolves only have two more books while my hounds have three.
All of these will be getting audio releases as well—for as long as you guys want me writing, I will. I am grateful for all the support you have given me all these years.
Once my bears, wolves and hounds—oh my! finish up, I'm taking a look at what series I will wrap up next, and which to dust off the shelves. Yes, I haven't forgotten my books that haven't been re-released. I have plans after all. (No, Max, I haven't forgotten you. Plans, I said.)
The Borillian Twist's first book has been sitting out there all by its lonesome and sorely needs some love, just like my boys. Ah, how I miss my one sci-fi mpreg series. Wouldn't everyone love to see where I go with that? I also have my Fear series—my lone contemp series. I haven't quite decided what I want to do but I have idea. Then there's my shelved series--Tassie Wolves, The Thompson Agency, and Hot Encounters.
There is a reason I haven't put these back out. I didn't want to just publish them and leave them hanging. Life has been in the way. I have to find a balance between my books and my life. So, I've been sitting on them until I've got more books in the series to give to you guys. It seems only fair that when I release them again that I give you more of them. ;)
Hopefully my plans will work themselves out. Just like with the upcoming year, I will be rotating which series I work on, trying to finish what I have out there first then moving onto the spin-offs or working in the next series on rotation.
Wish me luck!
This year has been full of challenges, so I wanted to bring a little humour to its close. That was where the conception for Holiday Hijinks happened. To bring some joy and laughter into everyone's homes this Christmas. We have Adze and Archie trying to get away from the pack and relaxing, but of course, for Adze, things never seem to go the way he plans.
The new Hounds book is already available at my publisher, Mischief Corner Books, and at Amazon. I will share the links as they come up so watch my twitter and/or Facebook accounts. Print will be coming a bit later.
From my family to yours, I hope you have the very best Christmas... and no demon stowaways in your baggage. Even Adze had trouble with that one.
I know it's been some time since I've made an update. I do try to keep the website up to date, but I know an actual announcement now and again is helpful.
This year has had its up and downs for me. It was exciting to have the newly rebuilt Hounds of the Hunt taking the world by storm — and having Joel Leslie voice my boys was beyond thrilling. And it was also exciting to have my Atherton Pack break into the translations market with RB picking up the series and translating them into French.
My personal life has had its fill this year, which has affected my creative output. The EDJ has needed a lot of my time, and being a single mum, so has the child due to various circumstances. Between the two my creative output hit a wall.
Things are changing and looking up. I have a Christmas story, Holiday Hijinks that is a more light-hearted affair, with the hellhounds coming out next month, and the juices are flowing, so I am going to dig right into Nicor's story next. The hang-ups there have been unkinked and I'm looking forward to bringing everyone more stories from my hellhound universe.
I am also NZ to attend Wham Bam Author Jam! this month, and it always excites me when I get to met my readers. I hope to see as many of you there as I can! And to leave you with a goody, here is the cover of the next Hounds of the Hunt book (cover art by the fabulous Lou Harper).
This year the holidays seem to be rubbing Archie the wrong way. He can't stand that damn happy music blasting in the stores and all over the radio. The decorations went up far too early—and don't even get Archie started on how cheery everyone is.
Seeing the holidays cause Archie to slip back into a depression, Adze decides to take matters into his own hands. The one thing his mate has always wanted is to see the Tudor houses in England. Besides, it’s the perfect time to escape the humdrum heat in Melbourne. Adze can’t think of anything better than curling up in front of a roaring fire with his mate while snow falls outside.
Of course, life would never be that easy. Baby demon stowaways and Christmas Krampuses hell-bent on doing good leave the pair wondering just where things went wrong.
New in Print!
Welcome to the All Cocks & No Bull blog hop where you can check out some great MM books by some truly talented Gay romance/fiction authors.
Make sure you visit each author to check out their latest releases and go in the various draws for some pretty awesome giveaways.
Coming January 13th - A Bears Bear - Book 3 in the Smokey Mountain Bears series.
"Matthew," Christian said, his voice low and deep. The power in it sent shivers down Matthew's spine.
"Yes?" he squeaked. Matthew cleared his throat before trying again. "Yes?" This time his voice only shook a little.
Christian smiled knowingly at him. "I was wondering if you and I could have a word in private?"
Private? What the hell had he done? Matthew racked his brain, trying to think of anything he might have forgotten recently that might have angered or annoyed his Alpha. He couldn't come up with anything.
"Sure." Matthew stood and closed the lid to the ice chest. Christian placed his hand on Matthew's shoulder, leading him inside. Matthew looked around fanatically for someone to stop them, but no one seemed to be paying them the slightest bit of attention. He swallowed the lump in his throat and resigned himself to his fate, whatever it might be.
Christian led Matthew to his office. Matthew had never had cause to be in this room before. The mahogany desk with matching wood and leather chairs sat pride of place in the center of the room, and off to one side was a bookcase filled with books. Matthew could see several of them had Christian's mate's name on them—Vincent Marsden.
"Take a seat," Christian said as he closed the door behind them. The Alpha was acting strangely, especially when he checked the hall just before the door closed. Christian walked over to where Matthew was sitting. Instead of taking a seat behind the desk as Matthew would have expected, Christian hiked a leg and leaned against the edge of the desk just to the side of him.
"Thank you for taking a minute to speak with me."
"Anything you need, Alpha." Matthew nodded. His hands were already sweating. Matthew rubbed them back and forth on his pants, hoping to dry them.
"There's no reason to be nervous," Christian assured him, chuckling lightly. "You've done nothing wrong."
Matthew nodded as he sighed in relief.
"I know we don't know each other very well," Christian started and Matthew nodded again. "However, you've known my younger brother for years."
"I have. He's a good guy."
"He is. Can be a pain in the ass sometimes, but I love him nonetheless." Christian chuckled.
Matthew was too nervous to do anything more than smile.
"Anyway, I happened to overhear a conversation you had earlier on the phone."
Matthew swallowed and fisted the denim of his jeans in his hands. Would Christian stop him from going on vacation? Was there a sleuth in Chicago? Did he need to notify them of his travel plans?
"Yes?" he asked quietly.
"You're planning to travel to Chicago, is that correct?"
Matthew nodded slowly.
Matthew furrowed his brows. Why on earth would Christian think his travel plans were excellent? "I don't understand."
"I was wondering if you wouldn't mind doing me a favor."
"A favor? Me?"
Christian nodded. "I'm trying to go through the sleuth, one by one, and get to know everyone as the Alpha. But Bobby trusts you. And I was hoping I could too."
Trust me? To do what? Matthew went back to rubbing his hands on his pants. If he could comfortably put them in his pockets sitting down, he would have, but he couldn't.
When Matthew didn't say anything, Christian smiled kindly at him and continued. "I have an item that I plan on purchasing that I don't feel comfortable with the postal system handling. I was wondering if you wouldn't mind picking it up while you're in Chicago and bringing it back for me."
Matthew's mind raced. What exactly was his new Alpha into? Surely it wouldn't be anything illegal; drugs and guns were just a couple of the things that popped into his mind. Matthew shook his head. There was no way Christian would put a member of his sleuth in danger like that, but he couldn't help but ask.
"I won't get into trouble for doing this, will I?"
"No." Christian laughed. "Although if Vinnie finds out, he might have a few words to say to you.
"Vincent?" Why would Christian's mate want to talk to him if he did this?
"The item in question is from Tiffany's," Christian said, raising his brow.
Matthew's eyes widened as everything suddenly made sense. Oh wow! "Yes," he blurted. "Yes, sure, okay, I would be honored. Anything you need."
Christian chuckled, placed a hand on his shoulder, and squeezed. "Thank you. You can understand why I don't want an item such as this being posted or even couriered to me."
"I can. I'm touched that you trust me to collect it and deliver it into your hands."
"You're of my sleuth. I would trust you with my life."
Matthew's eyes teared up at the absolute sincerity he felt from his Alpha. No one before had ever had so much faith in him.
"Thank you. I won't let you down."
"I didn't think you would. When do you travel?"
Matthew informed Christian of his plans so far and told him that he'd let him know as soon as things were more concrete.
"Great. I'll organize everything from my end and send the details you'll need to collect the item on my behalf. You'll require some form of identification I'm sure."
"Yeah, won't be a problem."
"I heard you're planning on going to the Bears game while you're there."
Had Christian overheard his entire conversation? "Yeah, my friend got us a couple of tickets."
"That's great. I have a friend from college, Hudson Rose. I'll give him a call and see if he can meet you and your friend after the game. Show you around a little."
Matthew's heart skipped a beat, and his mouth hung open in astonishment. "Hud-Hudson Rose?" Matthew spluttered. Surely Christian couldn't be talking about whom Matthew thought. "The Hudson Rose? Defensive tackle for the Chicago Bears Hudson Rose?"
Christian's smile was indulgent. "One and the same."
Matthew thought he might faint. Hudson Rose was one of the best defensive tackles in the league. The Bears had managed to hold on to him for the last three years, and Matthew had heard Hudson had just signed another three-year deal with the club worth more money than Matthew could contemplate spending in several lifetimes. The fact that the man was also hot as fuck and regularly graced the pages of the top eligible bachelors in the country had his mouth going dry at the mere prospect of meeting Hudson.
"Really?" His voice squeaked. Matthew needed to see someone about that.
"Yes, I'll give him a call tomorrow, see if he can spare an hour or two after the game."
Matthew nodded, not sure what else to do. His brain had just about shut down. How was he supposed to concentrate with Hudson Rose hanging over his head?
They chatted for another couple of minutes, ironing out a few details, and then Christian stood. "I don't have to tell you this is to be kept on the DL?"
"Not at all, he won't hear about it from me."
"Great, now I think it's time we rejoin the party. Grab another beer and get something to eat before there's nothing left." Christian walked to the door, Matthew following along behind him.
They managed to slip back outside without drawing attention to themselves. Matthew headed back to the ice chest and pulled out the beers he needed. He found his group still standing on the lawn, all four of them laughing uproariously.
Bobby looked at him and grabbed a beer. "What took you so long, man? A person could die of thirst waiting for you."
"Yeah, sorry." Matthew handed out the other beers, then opened his own and took a long swig. His afternoon certainly hadn't gone as he'd expected.
He looked forward to the announcement between his Alpha and his mate. Matthew was happy with the small part that he was able to play in making Christian's wishes come true.
Now if only he could find someone of his own to spend the rest of his life with. Matthew sighed and turned his attention back to the group, smiling at the story Clayton was retelling. For now, he was happy right where he was.
Simply leave a comment along with your email address to go in the draw to win any item from the Mischief Corner Books Redbubble store to the value of $25USD.
You can have a look at all the awesome items for sale here:
My publisher, Mischief Corner Books, is in the process of branching out into foreign translations and Audio (I'm so excited about this). I've been very lucky. Unexpected Mate, Holland Brothers book 1 is the first Audio to be released. I love the job Narrator Dominic M McCartney did on bringing my boys to life.
To celebrate this momentous occasion I'm giving two people the chance to win a free cope of the Unexpected Mate Audio book. Simply Comment and let me know who your favourite narrator is and which book you love listening to.
I'll announce the winners on Sunday.
As I mentioned the other day on Facebook A Bear in the woods has been taken off the shelves. Don't worry if you're yet to get a copy, it will be back out on the 20th June. ABITW has undergone a couple of changes as an anniversary gift, one of which is the stunning facelift. Thanks go to the very talented Catherine Dair who has kindly agreed to create the covers for all the stories in my Smokey Mountain Bear series... I absolutely love what she did with this cover. Vinnie is just perfect and poor Christian is passed out cold.
Today, May 17, is the international Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia. I'm proud to take part in the Hop today to try and bring a little awareness to this awesome campaign.
You can visit the Official site of the movement here: http://dayagainsthomophobia.org
and the Hop site here: http://hopagainsthomophobia.blogspot.com.au
I wanted to touch briefly on the subject of gay marriage. As most of you know I'm an Aussie. I'm proud to be Australian, I love my country and the people in it. I also believe that every person deserves the right to marry the one they love. It shouldn't matter what form the couples come in M/F, M/M, F/F, or what gender the individuals started their life as. Love is Love.
Currently here in Australia it is illegal for anyone but a man and a woman to marry. The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) in October 2013 passed legislation in their parliament allowing gays to marry in the ACT. The was a historic moment for out country. The first marriages were performed on December 7th. However, on December 12 the federal parliament butted in. With the help of our illustrious leader they took the matter to the high court and a unanimous vote found that the ACT's Same sex marriage act was inconsistent with the federal marriage act.
It is believed that if change is to happen it can't take place on a state level, instead it's one that will have to be decided in federal parliament.
What I want to know is why isn't our federal ministers listening to their voters.
In a Galaxy research poll conducted between 2009-2012 the following was found:
64% of Australians support marriage equality.
76% of Coalition voters want our PM (Abbott) to allow a conscience vote on the subject.
81% of young Australians between 18-24 support marriage equality.
Hopefully with these figures and more, showing the resounding support of the Australian public for marriage equality for all, the government will pull their heads out of their asses and finally step into the twenty first century.
You can find out more about Marriage Equality in Australia here: http://www.australianmarriageequality.org/
Today I'm giving away a signed paperback of one of my books and an e-book copy of any of my backlist. As well as these prizes you'll also have the chance to with a Catherine Dair Skip & Pip T-Shirt, Freddy MacKay signed paperback and e-book, Angel Martinez T-Shirt and e-book, $15 Amazon gift card from MCB and 2 paperback MCB Anthologies. Enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win.
Below is a list of all the amazing people (Authors, publishers, artists, bloggers, reviewers) who are taking place in the Hop. Be sure to stop by their blogs and check out their posts.
So It's been a while since I've used my blog. *slaps wrist* Sorry.
Corey, Book 3 in my Atherton Pack series is releasing tomorrow. With the release of Corey he marks the end of my long journey to re release all my works after the debacle that was Silver Publishing. Now that all my works have been re released everything else you will get from me this year will be NEW!!! YAY. I can't wait to start working on continuing many of my series'.
But for Now we have the last re release. Corey underwent some major re writes and expansion of roughly 13k. It took me a while to work my way through Corey, but I got there in the end.
So for now here's an excerpt for you to tide you over until tomorrow's release.
Corey Jones has always maintained he didn't want a mate. After falling for his college professor and having his heart broken, he vowed to never go there again. Now, his decision to remain single is put to the test when he meets his Alpha's new personal assistant, Ethan Davies, and discovers the man is his mate.
After growing up in the foster care system all Ethan ever wanted was a home and someone to love him. He's overjoyed that his recent move has brought him to his mate. Ethan's happiness soon turns to devastation when Corey walks away from him and their bond.
Ethan is forced to walk a fine line between respecting his mate's wishes and refusing to give up on the one thing he's wanted his entire life. With Ethan's determination, an interfering brother, and pack members too interested in his personal life, Corey may not stand a chance.
A knock on his office door brought Ethan back to what he was supposed to be doing.
“Come in,” he called out.
Tommy opened the door and took a couple of steps into the room. He stood with both hands protectively holding his stomach, as if he expected something bad to happen to his baby at any minute. Tommy looked down at his watch, then pointedly at Ethan.
“It’s six o’clock on a Monday evening. Why in the world are you still working?”
Ethan looked at the clock on his computer screen and sure enough, the damn thing flashed 6:01 pm. He glanced back at Tommy and smiled sheepishly.
“Got lost in the work I was doing, didn’t even realize how late it was.”
“Well, it’s time to stop. Tonight’s poker night and it’s our turn to host, which means you need to get out of this office and clean up a little before everyone starts arriving. Ben will want to introduce you to some of his mates.” That knowing glint was back in Tommy’s eyes again.
“What aren’t you telling me?” he asked, staring at the Alpha mate.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Tommy replied with a huff and turned to leave.
Ethan didn’t miss the huge grin that broke out on the guy’s face, though.
“You better get a move on. Wouldn’t want to be late or anything.” Tommy chuckled as if he’d said something funny and then flounced—well, at least that’s what Ethan assumed the man had been trying to pull off—from the room and left Ethan staring at a now empty doorway.
Shaking his head at Tommy’s behaviour, Ethan turned back to his computer. He silently wondered if the man was always like this or whether the pregnancy caused his weirdness.
He’d been on the job for an entire week now. Being Ben’s personal assistant and helping the Alpha to manage all the packs across the country was an interesting job, Ethan looked forward to work every day.
The day after he’d interviewed for the position, Ethan had flown home to Newcastle and packed his things. It had taken Ethan a month to pack up his apartment, serve out his notice at his job, put his house up for sale, and have everything moved to Atherton. All he’d wanted the entire time he was in Newcastle was to get back to Atherton and start his new role.
Making the decision to apply for the job had been easy, but Ethan never thought in a million years that he would actually get it. Deciding to accept and move halfway across the country was one of the scariest things he’d ever had to do. Seeing as how Ethan had grown up a child of the foster care system, he’d seen some pretty scary shit in his life.
Ben had been nice enough to pay for his belongings to go into storage until he found a place to live. Ethan had tried to argue that it wasn’t necessary, but Ben wouldn’t take no for an answer. Ethan had just planned to find a place and have his stuff shipped there so he could unpack when he arrived, but both Ben and Tommy had talked him out of it. Their main argument had been that he really needed to inspect the property personally, as he didn’t want to be stuck in a place he hated because he’d signed the contract sight unseen.
Ethan had reluctantly agreed, and for the last week he’d been searching for something that was within his price range and suited his needs. He didn’t have a great deal of stuff.
Ben had been more than kind to him and offered Ethan the use of one of his spare rooms until he found somewhere more permanent. The knowing grin Ben and Tommy both sported when they discussed it annoyed Ethan slightly. It was obvious the pair was keeping something from him, but for the life of him, Ethan couldn’t think what it might be.
After the way Tommy had acted when they’d first met, Ethan had been surprised the man was all right with him being in such close proximity to Ben any more than he absolutely had to. Tommy had been ready to rip his throat out when Ethan had walked out of Ben’s office after his initial interview. Something had changed dramatically since then, but whatever it was, Ethan had been kept in the dark about it.
Ethan could remember something else he’d been kept in the dark over. He’d been shocked as shit when Ben had explained to him about the ability for male wolves to fall pregnant. If it wasn’t for the fact that Tommy was the size of a bloody house when Ethan had returned to Atherton, he would probably still think the Pennaeth Alpha a little crazy.
There was no doubt about it, though; Tommy was pregnant. This was obvious, not just by the basketball-sized lump in his belly but by everything else that went along with pregnancy.
Tommy had the widest-ranging mood swings Ethan had ever seen. Ethan chuckled as he remembered one instance the previous Friday when he had been in Ben’s office discussing one of the South Australian packs and Tommy had walked in and started stripping off his clothes. Ethan had been too shocked to move and had watched as Tommy sat in his mate’s lap and had started to ravage the man.
Just when Ethan had gotten his senses back and stood to leave, Tommy had burst out into tears and started to hit Ben weakly in the chest. Ben tried to soothe his emotional mate, and Ethan had bolted, wanting out of there as fast as possible.
Ethan knew seeing the Alpha mate like this wasn’t exactly ideal, but it gave Ethan a great deal of insight into what a relationship based on love and friendship looked like. He’d never had anything even remotely close to what the Alpha pair had, but God, Ethan wanted it badly.
He didn’t know if he wanted the kids, the swollen feet, mood swings, and weird-ass cravings at all times of the day or night, but the love of a man who stood by him, no matter what? Yeah, he wanted that.
Now he just had to find his mate, and the chances of that happening here in Atherton were probably not that high. Ethan was only twenty-four, but after an entire life with no one to love him, Ethan was ready for more. He figured after he stuck it out here for a couple of years working for Ben, then he could move on and start his search for the man fated to be his and, with his mate, finally get the comforts of home he hadn’t had since his parents died.
Ethan shook his head and looked at his watch. If he didn’t get a move on, Tommy would kill him. He saved the files he was working on, then shut down the computer. Ethan tidied everything on the desk in preparation for coming back tomorrow morning, then closed the office door behind him and headed to his room.
As he walked across the hall, he heard the doorbell chime and swore softly. The last thing he wanted to do was be late. Ben and Tommy had explained about their poker nights to him, and he’d been invited along to last week’s, which had been held at one of Ben’s friend’s houses. Seeing as how Ethan had only arrived late the night before after several long days of driving and was starting the new job the next day, he’d begged off, stating all he wanted to do was collapse on his bed and sleep for a week.
Now, though, he didn’t have any excuses, and both Ben and Tommy were expecting him downstairs. To tell the truth, Ethan was kind of looking forward to meeting some new people. He’d met several over the course of the last week as pack members came for meetings with Ben on different subjects. He’d also spoken with a great number on the phone, but it was always nice to put a face to the name.
Apparently, the guys downstairs were Ben’s closest friends. Ethan would meet the rest of the pack at the next group get-together, which was scheduled in a few weeks—on the night of the full moon. He’d just missed the last one.
Ethan was couldn't wait to run with the pack. He had been on a couple of little solo jaunts since he’d been here, but there was supposed to be no better feeling than running with your pack.
Pre Order Links:
The talented Lexi Ander is visiting with me today and has graciously agreed to give away a free e-book copy of her latest release Keeping Faith to a lucky commenter.
I want to thank Toni for hosting me on her blog. :-) She was a godsend when life overwhelmed me and I realized that I hadn't made plans for my November release. Thank you for being an angel, Toni!!
Keeping Faith was released on November 28th. It's the sequel to the free story, Playing for Keeps. The Unshakable series started small. I noticed a story prompt at the GoodReads M/M Romance group's annual Don't Write In The Closet event. The author of the picture prompt wanted a story about an established relationship between three young men. The picture was what made me stop and read the request and I really liked the idea.
Most ménage a trios stories are about the beginning of the relationship where the characters meet and fall in love. Awesome… but what happens next? How do they handle life events? What trials do they run into? How is the way they live different than that of a two person relationship? The story may have a happily-ever-after ending, but do they really have sixty years of bliss or do they travel the same bumpy road the rest of us do?
Playing For Keeps, the story of AJ, Trent, and Brock, began two years into their relationship. They were young men in the last year of college. So far they'd hid their relationship but someone was threatening to expose them. What would be the cost if others became aware of their unconventional relationship? It's a sweet novella about the strength of their love and commitment… and I thought when I finished that would be it. No mas.
It's strange how the enthusiasm of readers and comments like "this needs to have a sequel" will spark ideas in me. Why did I think I was finished with the guys? I typically don't write contemporary stories. Fantasy/Sci-Fi is where I'm most comfortable but I couldn't pass up the challenge of the plot because I love polyamorous stories regardless of the setting.
As a reader, I need more to the plot than relationship issues and sexual tension. This is why I don't write contemporary stories. I love puzzles and antiheros and heart-stopping action/adventure and humor. I didn't know if I could write more about AJ, Trent, and Brock. What more did they have to tell me. What issues did they have to face after the end of Playing For Keeps? What was their lives like? *drums fingers on the desk*
In the first book Trent's father, William Harte, makes demands of Trent followed by threats. I only hinted at things that William didn't want to go public. He was tangled up in some nasty, dangerous business that wouldn't have any good consequences. That situation was what I brought over into Keeping Faith. Even though the story is set in the holiday season and the guys are going about their own seasonal traditions, the actions of Trent's father darken their doorway. As my editor put it, "The story was—darker? Edgier?—than I expected…"
But Keeping Faith isn't only about the sins of the father being visited up on the son. I included all my favorite things: puzzles, an antihero, heart-stopping moments, heartache, humor, the excitement of the season, and a view of the life AJ, Trent, and Brock are building together. It's about needing to believe—to keep faith—in something when logic warns that the outcome won't lead to a happy ending.
Happy Holidays and thank you for dropping by! I hope you enjoy the exclusive excerpt.
Side Note: If you haven't read Playing For Keeps, it is a free read that you can find on Fireborn's website or over at All Romance (ARe). I would suggest reading it first before jumping into Keeping Faith.
Today's excerpt is from the prologue which introduces some new characters but also gives you an idea of how much trouble Trent's father is in. If you follow this (very short) blog tour, each day there will be a new excerpt tailored to the blog post.
Trent, Brock, and AJ are excited to spend Christmas together in their new home but secrets and dark dealings by Trent's estranged father interrupt their plans. Brock is kidnapped and Trent and AJ scramble to find a way to get Brock back before it is too late.
Several months after Trent Harte was drafted into the NFL, he, AJ Barnes, and Brock Everette are settling into their new home in Miami. Christmas is approaching and they are excited to share another holiday season with each other. Unbeknownst to them, William Harte, Trent's estranged father double-crossed a deadly adversary and then disappeared. To draw William out of hiding, Trent becomes a target. In a horrible twist of fate, the kidnappers grab Brock instead leaving AJ and Trent scrambling to find a way get Brock back. Detectives believe Trent is responsible, and with each passing hour the likelihood of Brock returning home alive dwindles.
Brock traded his safety to ensure his lovers were out of harm's way. He would do it again even knowing he'd end up captured and restrained in a part of town that no one in their right mind would willingly go. The kidnappers are terrifying, but Brock is a fighter, holding onto hope with both hands. He must decide to either wait to be rescued or find a way to escape. Stuck between the wills of a ruthless assassin and an insane mob thug, something needs to happen soon or he'll never see Trent and AJ again.
Paul held out a manicured hand to her. Sammy forced her feet to move, loathing to touch him, even if only briefly.
Once her palm slid against his, he pulled her down into his lap. "I already explained last night it wasn't your fault. William Harte will pay for what he made me do." He ran a knuckle under the covered bruise on her cheek.
His cell phone rang and after glancing at the name on the screen he answered. "Your status?"
Sammy wanted to move from his lap but his firm grip on her hip told her to stay. He would tell her when he wanted her to get up.
"What do you mean he hasn't touched his accounts? Harte is a pampered elitist. He doesn't know the meaning of going without. He must have other accounts you haven't discovered. Dig deeper, I want the man found!"
She scanned the desk. A silver five by seven framed photo of Paul's elegant wife, Patricia, sat next to the computer monitor. At first Sammy had been guilt ridden when she discovered Paul was married, until she met Paul's wife. Patricia came from an influential family in Europe. For two weeks every year, Patricia came to the States to visit with Paul. On one such visit, Patricia had walked into Sammy's suite of rooms in a flourish of expensive silk and designer accessories. She appraised Sammy as if she were an item up for auction. "You're a pert one, aren't you? As always, Paul, your taste is impeccable." With a pat on the cheek, Patricia accepted Paul's proffered elbow, the two leaving Sammy standing in the middle of the room in stunned silence.
Paul hung up the phone with an angry growl.
"Sweetheart, I'm going to miss my plane."
Sammy refrained from trying to wiggle away. Patience was the key when dealing with Paul.
"I won't be joining you in Miami with this unfinished business with Harte. You will cut your trip short and be back here on Christmas Eve." Paul stroked her thigh, his fingers stopping at the edge of the dress's hem.
"Of course," she replied as if it were already a given.
Paul patted her leg, the signal for her to rise. Dutifully she leaned forward to give him a kiss. He caught her chin. "Not now, you're wearing lipstick and I'll never get all of it off." He grasped her chin and turned her head where he pecked her on the cheek. "Now, go."
Sammy moved from his lap and adjusted her skirt so it fell properly. "I'll call you when I arrive," she promised. Not that she would be returning.
Paul grunted in acknowledgement. He had already mentally dismissed her, the manila folder opened once more. Before she could cross the room again, the oak door opened and a man only known as The Gentleman, Gent for short, entered the room. He paused upon seeing Sammy. Her steps faltered. Of all the people to run into before leaving.
She was one of a handful of people who knew Gent's name and his relationship to Paul. Sammy never ever let on she knew their secret for it was something they closely guarded. She doubted she'd live long if they suspected she knew Paul's personal assassin was his sister's only child, Aldrich.
Sammy's heart pounded in her chest. Even knowing what she did, she couldn't bring herself to dislike him too much. Aldrich had always been kind and courteous. She'd heard the rumors he was dangerous, bits of conversation here and there hinting at the viciousness of Paul's "dog". Maybe she'd spent too much time living in this world of ambiguous morals, black deeds, and cutthroat business. When she looked at Aldrich she didn't see the monster others claimed him to be. She guessed him to be around her age of twenty-seven but she couldn't be sure. She found she'd miss seeing him even if he sometimes scared the hell out of her. Not because of what people said about him but because of everyone who associated with Paul, Aldrich was the only one who could possibly discover her true identity and why she had become Paul's mistress.
"Samantha, I'm glad I caught you before you left."
She held out both of her hands, a ritual since she’d first met him four years ago. A head taller than her, he bent at the waist slightly to kiss the backs of both of her hands. A lock of wiry dark brown hair fell to cover one of his crystal blue eyes as the soft hair of his close-cropped beard brushed her knuckles. She held her breath as his thumb brushed the cuff of her sleeve, barely revealing a purple bruise. He stared for a second before his lips brushed the discolored skin, his thumb covering up the blemish as he straightened. Whereas Paul wore a dark blue pinstripe three-piece suit, Aldrich wore a tan Gucci jacket and vest, with a plaid button-up shirt and a blue and red striped tie. His white trousers were rolled up at the ankle to reveal he wore no socks with his two-tone brown and white wingtips. Paul detested his nephew's choice of clothing and she suspected Aldrich dressed this way to annoy Paul.
Those light blue eyes pinned her when he pressed a small slip of paper into her palm. "This place won't be the same without you around. You do bring a ray of sunshine to this tomb."
"Quit flirting with Samantha, she needs to catch a plane and doesn't have time to dawdle with you." Paul sighed in exasperation.
Aldrich squinted slightly as the back of his knuckles grazed her sore cheek under the hidden bruise. For a breath, his eyes turned to ice and just as quickly the look disappeared. She couldn't stop the shiver crawling up her spine.
"I won't keep you. Have a safe trip." His low voice held a hint of warmth Sammy dared not analyze.
"It was nice seeing you," she replied before leaving the room. The butler stood in the foyer and opened the door for her. The Mercedes waited at the bottom of the steps, with her bodyguard holding open the rear door. Gracefully she slid onto the buttery soft leather seat. She didn't dare glance at the note until she sat on the plane.
"Don't come back" was written in an elegant hand along with a bank name and an account number. She tucked the slip of paper into her purse, swallowing down the nausea that threatened her suddenly delicate stomach.
Publisher: Firborn Publishing, LLC
Tentative Release Date: November 28th, 2014
Genre: Action/Adventure, ADVISORY- Contains moderate violence, Category Length Novel, Comedy/Humor, Contemporary, Family Drama, Happy Ending, HEAT, Holiday-Winter, Male/Male, Ménage, Mystery/Suspense, Part of Series, Romance
Heat Level: 3 Flames
Barns & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/keeping-faith-lexi-ander/1120832891?ean=2940150073036
Are (All Romance): https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-keepingfaith-1689373-145.html
Playing For Keeps Blurb:
College running back, Trent Harte, has been living with his lovers, AJ Barnes and Brock Everett, for two years. Caught in a compromising position, rumors abound. It's hard enough to be an openly gay football player, but gossip and snide comments only add to his stress. Threats against his partners causes Trent to wonder if he should step back from the relationship.
AJ and Brock know there is something wrong when Trent begins to pull away. A call from Trent's father only adds to his distress. AJ and Brock refuse to let him shoulder the responsibility alone and they call for help. Will Trent find the strength to withstand the pressure and hold on to those he loves? Or will AJ and Brock be too late to convince Trent that they are playing for keeps?
The (very short) Tour Schedule:
12/1 – Toni Griffin's blog (http://www.tonigriffin.net/blog)
12/2 – Hearts On Fire Reviews (http://heartsonfirereviews.com/)
12/3 – Angel Martinez's blog (http://angelmartinezauthor.weebly.com/)
12/4 – World of Diversity Fiction (http://www.wodfreview.com/)
12/5 – Lexi Ander's blog (I know, this is like cheating!) (http://lexiander.blogspot.com/)
Lexi has always been an avid reader, and at a young age started reading (secretly) her mother’s romances (the ones she was told not to touch). She was the only teenager she knew of who would be grounded from reading. Later, with a pencil and a note book, she wrote her own stories and shared them with friends because she loved to see their reactions. A Texas transplant, Lexi now kicks her boots up in the Midwest with her Yankee husband and her eighty-pound puppies named after vacuum cleaners.
Web site: http://www.lexiander.com
GRL is officially over for yet another year, and I'm sad. I've been looking forward to attending for so long now, that it just doesn't seem like there was enough time... The conference seemed to fly by. Now everyone is looking toward next year, which will be held in San Diego. It's a little too soon to tell whether or not I will be able to attend in 2015, I can tell you that I want to, finances and family situations willing.
So I thought I would share with you some of my pics and highlights from the conference.
So that's the hotel... There wasn't a single straight line anywhere and the rooms weren't square, however, I loved it. The food could have been nicer, but that's about the only thing I would improve.
I was so excited when I officially registered and picked up my GRL packet... Look... that's me... OMG
As for the people that attended GRL. HOLY COW... I've never met a nicer bunch of people anywhere. Everyone went out of their way to make you feel welcome and comfortable. There were a lot of newbies at this GRL, just like me and not once did I feel left out or overwhelmed by things.
I had several fan girl moments when I was able to meet my favourite authors. I unfortunately didn't get a pic with them all. Charlie Cochet and Andrew Grey being two of them. Here's a couple of the pics I did get.
I attended several of the panels. The author Spotlights with the RJ Scott, Amber Kell and Stephanie Hecht where they discussed flawed heros was a lot of fun. As was the Mary Calmes, Poppy Dennison and Lynn Lorenz panel where the topic of choice was once close to my heart. Shifters. I also attended a Reading where Silvia Violet, JP Barnaby and Zahra Owens read from their works.
I had a great deal of fun interacting with not only other writers but with the readers as well. It's still a little mind boggling for me when readers would come up to me and tell me they loved my books. They were all so wonderful, and it was great finally being able to put faces to names.
The swag room and the Author signing for me were a great deal of fun. Having that time to chat with the readers and discuss your books was incredible. The entire thing was very surreal to me.
It was wonderful to be able to meet my eXtasy publishers, Tina Haveman & Jay Austin. I had a great time.
I want to send a big shout out to all the hubbies that attended. RJ's Hubby, Mr Amber Kell, Silvia Violet's Hubby Brent & Christy Thomas's hubby ET. It was fabulous that you all came and it was awesome seeing some of you again and meeting others for the first time.
All in all I had an absolute blast. Do I wish the conference went for longer, yes. I ad such an amazing time I didn't want it to end. Was it worth the expense of flying from Australia to the United States? You betcha. Would I do it again? In a heart beat.
A big thank you goes out to Carol Lynn, Ethan Day, Reese Dante, Teresa Emil and the other organisers of this fantastic event. I have nothing to really compare it with, but I thought you did an amazing job and I can't wait to come back and attend a future GRL.
Thanks to all the readers who came up to me and talked about my books. And a big thank you to the other Authors who let me go all fan girl on them.
Toni Griffin lives in Darwin, the smallest of Australia's capital cities. Born