Friday, May 29, 2015

One of these hexenbiests needs to go... and I don't mean Adelaide

Well, the series finale of Grimm has taken place, and what an interesting season it's been, although I admit to missing Trubel for most of it. **SPOILERS AHEAD***

Long oblivious to the world around him, this season saw Sergeant Wu enlightened as to the truth about Wesen and become a part of the team. An enthusiastic part, now that he no longer thinks he's crazy because of the things he's seen.

Captain Reynard had issues of his own to deal with. Shot and almost killed last season - I take that
back, he did die, and his mother brought him back - now he is suffering from the strangest flashbacks, where his healed wounds inexplicably bleed, and he wakes to find himself in strange places with no knowledge of how he got there. Turns out that when he died, he crossed paths with the spirit of Jack the Ripper, which possessed him and caused him to start murdering whores in Portland. Luckily, Rosalee and Monroe figured out how to save the captain and vanquish his alter-Cockney self.

Adelaide has not had an easy time of it herself. She discovers she's pregnant again - with Nick's child! And she's still being used by the Royals, even as she works to recover her stolen child. I, for one, think they were totally in the wrong to kidnap the child, and place her with Nick's mother. Judging by past performance, I don't think much of her as a mother. I'm sorry, but she abandoned Nick, for whatever reason, and I don't like her. Didn't like her. Yes, past tense.

The royals used Juliette to lure her to Nick's  house, and then t hey decapitated her and presented her head to Nick in a box, on the same night that Trubel returns.

And now here we come to the crux of the matter, what for me was the ruin of this season - the situation with Juliett. As you might recall, because of the potion used to change her into Adelaide so Nick would become a Grimm once more, Juliette became a Hexenbiest. The gang do everything they can to help her, but when they concoct a formula for her to drink, which will allow her to control the hexenbiest within, she destroys it, declaring she likes who she is. Suddenly, she's becomes Miss In-Your-Face, Miss Loose Britches, and Miss Super Bitch, all tied up in one loosely wrapped bundle. She tries to kill Adelaide, esp after she finds out she's carrying Nick's baby. She acts like a ho in bars and gets off on using her power. She treats Nick and all his friends like shit, and even moves in temporarily with Captain Renard (shades of the past!)

One of the worst things she does, besides getting Nick's mom killed, is she goes to the trailer and torches it, losing them valuable reference material and weapons.

This change in Juliette is both upsetting and bizarre... and totally inexplicable. Why are they doing this? It doesn't even make sense. Granted, she was never my favorite character before, but now I loathe her. I even like Adelaide better, and I never liked her. Not that I want Nick and Adelaide to get together, but they should at least get along, they're having a baby.

I hate what they've done to Juliette, and to be honest, I'm beyond tired of it. She really crossed a line when she torched the trailer, and then setting up Nick's mom and working with the royals to kidnap the child.... that was beyond reprehensible. I don't see how she can come back from that, or how Nick can possibly forgive her. I don't think she really wants to be forgiven. All I ask is that she die horribly and quickly next season, and please, take the Royals with her. I'm tired of them too.

Guess only time will tell.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Wednesday Briefs: Don't Look Back #47 (9.4)

Happy Hump Day! Doesn't seem like it should be Wednesday already! Guess that's what a three day weekend does for you lol If it's Wednesday, then it must be time for some flash fiction from the Wednesday Briefers. Every week, we present our best flash fiction, between 500 and 1000 words, inspired by one of our prompts, for your enjoyment!

In last week's Don't Look Back, Marshall and Lee brought their feelings for one another out into the open, but Lee swore there would be nothing happening between them before Marshall turned eighteen. He feels like that will never happen! Don't forget to see what the other Briefers are up to. Their links follow my tale. Enjoy!

Don't Look Back #47 (9.4)

Marshall felt as though he would never turn eighteen.

Now that their desires were out in the open, a certain aura of sensuality swirled around them, like lightning before a storm. The lightest of touches, accidental or not, was electric. An innocent remark became a sexually charged double entendre.

They still slept together, despite Lee’s threats to move Marshall back to the other bedroom. But Marshall realized he didn’t mean it, and the one time he actually tried, the nightmare returned. So that put an end to that.

The sexual tension between them did reach the point where Lee invested in sleep pants for each of them. He said wearing them wasn’t exactly what he preferred, but he could handle the feel of the flannel a lot better than he could the feel of Marshall’s bare ass, and the pants were a lot less torture. Although Marshall pouted about it at first, he was secretly thrilled to know he had that sort of an effect on Lee. It almost made up for having to use his own hand to get off, rather than Lee’s.

While he waited to turn of age, Marshall took advantage of being on the Internet to do even more research. Besides looking into different positions and assorted toys, he found sites with information about doms and subs and their relationship. He recognized Lee was his dom, and he was happy with that. He loved Lee’s disciplines, and looked forwarding to escalating them when he was old enough.

But sex wasn’t the only thing on Marshall’s mind. Lee made sure Marshall kept up with his studies, and promised when he came of age, Lee would make him a partner in the business he considered theirs. Marshall already worked for Lee, writing programs and developing software, and his talents had been utilized by various gaming companies, who thought the world of him and didn’t care how old he was.

From about the age of seventeen on, though, the waiting seemed to get even worse. And although Lee swore they couldn’t do anything, no matter how much they wanted to, they began to kiss more and more. They enjoyed long necking sessions on the couch, which started out as watching TV, although Lee put the kibosh on kissing in bed. Nothing more than a goodnight kiss. He said it was just too great a temptation, so Marshall had to be satisfied with what he could get in other parts of the house. Which was still pretty good. He would never forget the day he got his first French kiss.

One night, Roy came over unexpectedly, bringing along a twelve pack of beer. They sat in the family room and swapped stories about their day. At one point, Roy was about to get up to get another longneck from the fridge, when his phone rang.

“I’ll get the beer, Roy,” Lee volunteered.  Roy nodded his thanks and answered the call, as Lee left the room.

Marshall was feeling particularly wound up, sitting so close to Lee and unable to touch him, but suddenly he saw his opportunity, and he went for it.

Knowing Roy was tied up on the phone, Marshall slipped into the kitchen right after Lee, who was just nudging the fridge door closed with his hip, two bottles in his hand. Lee arched his brows in question. “Want another one?” He let Marshall drink with him, at home. Texas law allowed minors to drink under the supervision of their parents.

“No, want this,” Marshall murmured before he planted his lips on Lee’s, backing him against the fridge. Lee didn’t exactly fight back, probably caught by surprise at Marshall’s unexpected maneuver, and for a few moments, they were content to press their lips together, moaning softly.

The sound of a throat clearing took them both by surprise. Roy stood in the doorway, phone in hand. Lee straightened, and Marshall hastily stepped away from him, sure his face had just turned twenty shades of red.

“Sorry, guys, I need to take a raincheck. I just gotta call I have to take. Probably nothing, but I need to check it out. You know how that is.”

“Roy, let me explain—” Lee began. Marshall fidgeted uncomfortably. He wanted to stand beside Lee, and stand up for him. He sure as hell wasn’t ashamed of their feelings. But he was unsure what the sheriff might be thinking, or what he might do. Marshall was afraid Roy might not want to continue their friendship after seeing what he saw, and he knew that would be a real loss to both him and Lee.

“You don’t owe me any explanation.” Roy raised his free hand, and looked directly into Lee’s eyes, then Marshall’s. “I think I’ve gotten to know you two better than anyone these past few years, especially you, Lee.  I’ve seen what you’ve gone through, what you’ve endured just to be together. You know, I’m not exactly blind either. I can see how you feel about each other.  And I’m sure not going to be the one who condemns you for your love. I say more power to you.”

Marshall exhaled in relief.  Lee set both bottles on the counter behind him, then slid his arm about Marshall’s waist and pulled him close. “I appreciate that, Roy. We both do. Come back, and we’ll finish those beers.”

“Will do. I’ll just see myself out. See y’all later.” He nodded to them, then turned and left the kitchen.
Marshall burrowed into Lee’s shoulder, trembling slightly. He’d been really afraid Roy would hate them, and here he was all understanding and nothing but nice. He felt like they’d just dodged a huge bullet.

Lee held him without speaking for a few moments. When he cleared his throat, Marshall looked up. “See? Everything’s okay. He’s cool with us.”

“Yeah, he is,” Lee agreed. “But it won’t always be so easy. Not everyone is going to understand.”

 “Fuck them,” Marshall whispered. “That’s their problem.”

to be continued

Now go visit the other Briefers and see what's up with them!

Monday, May 25, 2015

The Following is over - or is it?

I just watched the two hour series finale of The Following. I know it was canceled at Fox, but it's being shopped around. It remains to be seen, therefore, if it's over or not. Let's assume not, for the sake of discussion, and think about what we are left with at the end of the finale.

**SPOILERS AHEAD** In my last post on this subject, I played with the idea that Joe Carroll did not die as supposed. And guess what? Nothing in this episode has proven me wrong! I have to admit finding out who the mole in the FBI was came as a bit of a shock. For just a moment, I wondered if I was wrong, and she was the brains behind it all, but then no.... I realized she wasn't.

I think I became really suspicious when the mysterious person who wanted Ryan Hardy said to take him alive, much to Theo's chagrin. That really got me to thinking. Who would want Ryan alive? Who but Joe? And when they began to speak of this person as "he", my suspicions were only confirmed.

After Ryan fell off the bridge into the turbulent water below, I knew he could not be dead, because if he was, how could they shop the show to anyone? With Ryan and Joe both allegedly dead, there is no show. So that was a given, and sure enough that hunch panned out when he showed up at the hospital, at Lisa Campbell's bedside, where she whispered the name of the man into Ryan's ear.

I have no doubt that she whispered Joe's name. So when the show returns - if it returns - we have that to deal with, as well as the issue of Ryan's unborn child, and his struggle with his alcoholism, and trying to get back into Gwen's good graces so he can be part of the child's life. Did Theo live or die? That we don't know. Daisy is gone, and since Mark died earlier, that is the end of the Grey psycho story arc.

Now, there is another situation that was never dealt with, and one that should not be pushed under the rug. Max betrayed Tom Reyes with Mike, and he found out because of the laptop they found which was being used to watch Max, unbeknownst to her. He kept the laptop and kept spying on her, after seeing the footage of her and Mike in bed, feeling horribly betrayed, justifiably so. But his actions grew out of control, and he killed an FBI agent, and he ended up dead himself. His knowledge of what he saw should come out. Then will Max and Mike feel guilty? They should. I suspect Max will, and maybe this will tear them apart at least temporarily. But it just needs to come out.

So, those are my ideas. I still maintain that without Joe alive, the series will fizzle and die. I saw the list of possible spin-offs, and I have to say I'm not interested in any of them. All I want is Ryan and Joe. It's what I signed on for.

Now we wait and see.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Cronin's Keys II (Cronin's Key #2) Review

Cronin’s Key II (Cronin’s Key #2)   

Author: NR Walker
Publisher: self-published
American release date: May 22, 2015
Format/Genre/Length: E-book/M/M Fantasy Romance/195pages
Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

Alec MacAidan’s life has greatly changed. Once a detective with the NYPD, now he’s hiding from them and keeping a low profile, ever since he seemingly winked out of existence on their video cameras. Along with Cronin. His vampire lover. His fated one.

Alec is human, and yet more than human and, to paraphrase Shakespeare, “shalt be what he is promised”. He’s defeated the vampires of Egypt. But if he thinks he can rest on his laurels now, he has another think coming.

There are other vampires looming on the horizon. Of course there are! And they have motives for wanting Alec; his blood seems to be the key. Curiously, although Cronin has bitten Alec multiple times during sex, he’s not turned. Why is that? He’s fated to be turned, to live an eternal life with Cronin, but how? They go to listen to a seer named Jorge, who is a vampire child. But his words are more cryptic than enlightening. Do they have time to figure out what he’s telling them? Or will Alec’s time run out?

I enjoyed the first book in this series, and I enjoyed the second one even more. We see more of the bond between Cronin and Alec, and learn more about Cronin and his past life. Their relationship grows and develops, entwining between them. I envy them such a relationship! Everyone should have such a love in their lives. The sex scenes are hot, even hotter than the first book. I like Cronin’s fellow vampires. She fleshes them out well. And we see more of Alec’s father, Kole, and learn more of his past.

Fast-paced and entertaining, hot and riveting, this is a must-read book. But you have to read the first book, as this is not stand-alone. I highly recommend this for your tbr pile.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

My Sexy Saturday: When Will I Be Loved

This week's theme fits perfectly with my upcoming release, as you can tell by looking at the title. 'When Will I Be Loved was a Linda Ronstadt song, and it also characterizes Miller's search for the man who is meant for him, assuming he even exists.

In this excerpt, Holt has sent flowers to Miller, and asked Miller to call him.

Miller was in imminent danger of coming undone. He swallowed, took a deep breath, and tried to keep his voice from jumping an octave. “Good morning... Holt.”

“I was hoping you’d call.”

“Me too. I mean, of course. I mean, I’m sorry to take so long. I’d have called sooner, but...” Damn, he could barely string two coherent words together today. Let’s try this again.

“I understand entirely. You’re at work, you’re busy...” Holt’s soothing voice, rather than calming Miller, poured oil on the flames of his desire. He shifted uncomfortably in his chair, grateful he was alone at reception for the moment. Although it would be a while before he attempted to stand.

“The flowers are beautiful, thank you very much .I didn’t expect them. They’re... they’re simply beautiful.” He probably has no idea what they mean.

“They mean love at first sight,” Holt murmured. “Each shade has its own meaning. I chose those for a reason.”

Damn. He does know.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Virtual Book Tour: Cronin's Key II

Author Name: N.R. Walker

Book Name: Cronin’s Key II

Release Date: May 22, 2015

History isn’t always what it seems.
With the battle of Egypt behind them, Alec and Cronin are enjoying the thrill of new love. Though fate doesn’t wait long before throwing them back into the world of weird.
They know Alec’s blood is special, though its true purpose still eludes them. And given Alec’s inability to be changed into a vampire, Cronin is free to drink from him at will. But the ramifications of drinking such powerful blood starts a ripple effect.
With the help of Jorge, a disturbing vampire-child with the gift of foresight, Alec and Cronin face a new kind of war. This time their investigations lead them to the borders of China and Mongolia—but it’s not what lies in the pits beneath that worries Alec.
It’s the creator behind it all.
In the underground depths of China, amidst a war with the Terracotta Army, they will find out just what the Key is, and what Alec means to the vampire world.

Pages or Words: 59,300 words

Categories: Fantasy, M/M Romance, Paranormal, Science Fiction


Alec sat on the sofa with his feet on the coffee table reading the New York Times on an iPad. He’d look up every so often at the apartment, at Cronin’s walls of memorabilia, smiling at the antiques shelved there, then at the vampire beside him.
“What’s so funny?” Cronin asked. He didn’t even look up from the Chinese newspaper he was reading, though a smile played at his lips.
“I was just looking over all your relics,” Alec explained. Cronin had told him about most of the artifacts he’d collected, and despite their conversations starting with good intentions, they usually ended up in the bedroom. Or on the sofa, or on the floor, or over the dining table. “I mean, those antiques are pretty cool, but you’re my favorite.”
Cronin looked up at Alec then. “Your favorite antique?”
“Well.” Alec’s grin widened. “You are a 744 vintage. I think you qualify.”
Cronin smiled, amused. “And you’re a what?”
Alec imitated the guy from Antiques Roadshow. “A contemporary piece, 1980s Americana. Perfect condition, well-endowed.”
Cronin laughed at that. “You’re bored.”
“Ugh.” Alec groaned and let his head fall back on the sofa. “So bored.”
He’d spent the last eight weeks holed up in Cronin’s lavish New York City apartment. His days, which were now fully nighttime hours, consisted of a workout regime—Cronin had installed gym equipment in the cinema room to curb Alec’s boredom—hours of foreplay and sex, the occasional movie on Netflix, and reading and researching vampire histories. He rarely left the apartment.
The view was spectacular, and if he wanted something—anything—he could simply order it, pay for it with Cronin’s black credit card, and have it delivered. But he was still confined to quarters. Meaning he was still wanted by NYPD, his former colleagues no less, though the hype had died down.
The fact that his and Cronin’s disappearing acts, which had been caught on CCTV—once in his department’s office area and once in the department’s stores facility—had been leaked on YouTube, meant Alec’s relatively quiet and unnoticed disappearance had gone global.
The footage went viral, making news headlines around the world and him an internet sensation. Some called it a hoax and disregarded what was just too impossible to understand, and others called it what it was.
Quantum leaping.
Cronin’s ability to appear anywhere in the world—or leaping as they called it—was, in Alec’s opinion, the best talent a vampire could have. And it was awesome. Not that they really went anywhere these last eight weeks.
It still wasn’t a great idea for Alec to be seen in public, and Cronin couldn’t go out in the sunlight. That limited their outings to faraway places, wherever it was night.
Alec sighed and went over to the shelves lined with Cronin’s memorabilia. He had wanted to know about all the items Cronin thought important enough to collect over the last twelve hundred years. As a vampire, Cronin had seen things Alec couldn’t begin to imagine, and he wanted to know as much as he could. He’d asked about most of them, but went to one display that held three items he’d not gotten to yet. Alec put his hand out, almost touching the artifact. “Can I touch it?”
Cronin now stood beside him. “Of course,” he answered with a smile.
Alec carefully picked up the small, crudely glazed bottle, admiring it as he turned it in his hands. It was whitish-brown and looked like a child had made it in school art class “What about this one?”
“That is a Mayan poison bottle.”
Alec blinked. “Oh.” He changed how he was holding it, as though it would now bite.
Cronin smiled. “The year was 821. Jodis and I went there and were ill-received. Can’t imagine why.”
Alec laughed and rolled his eyes. “No, I can’t imagine why either.”
“A witch-doctor offered us a drink,” Cronin said, nodding toward the bottle. “Courteous fellow.”
“Well, it would have been rude to refuse,” Alec added sarcastically.
“Yes, quite.” Cronin said, amused. “In the end, he drank it himself rather than see his end with one of us.”
“And this one?” Alec picked up what looked like a bone knife.
“Ah, that’s a Peruvian weaver’s bone wand.”
“Of course it is.”
Cronin chuckled. “It’s from 1288. An old woman stabbed me with it.”
Alec’s mouth fell open. “She what?”
“She stabbed me, only barely.” Cronin was still smiling. “Eiji and Jodis thought it funny that an elderly human woman could do such a thing. She was no taller than four foot.”
“I hope you killed her.”
Cronin barked out a laugh. “Uh, no. Her heart gave out before I had the chance.”
Alec turned back to the shelves and picked up a long metal pin with a jeweled end. It looked expensive. “And this?”
“That is a seventeenth century French shawl pin,” Cronin said, almost wistfully. “A man tried to stab me with it. I believe it belonged to his wife.”
“What is it with you and being stabbed?”
Cronin sniffed indignantly. “It must be my charming personality.”
Alec snorted. “If by charming personality you mean vampire about to kill them, then yes, I think so too.” But the truth was, Alec knew from years of police work that stabbing was an intimate crime; the offender was well within the other person’s personal space. He frowned. “I don’t like the idea of you being close enough to bite someone else. Or that you have your mouth on their skin… or your teeth.”
Cronin took the shawl pin from Alec and put it back on the shelf. “It doesn’t bother you that I kill people, only that I have my lips on them when I bite them?”
Alec looked to the floor and nodded. “You get close, you touch them, you put your lips on them,” he said. He knew he was pouting, but he couldn’t seem to stop. “It’s not fair.”
Cronin put his finger under Alec’s chin and lifted his face so he could see his eyes. “It is not the same.”
“I know,” Alec said petulantly. He knew he was being unreasonable. He craned his neck, exposing it to Cronin. Alec knew there were vampire puncture wounds marking his skin, and he loved them. He wore them with pride. “I like it when your lips are on my neck, when you bite me. When you drink from me.”
Cronin leaned in and ran his nose along the bite wounds. “Do I not take enough from you?”
“Never,” Alec whispered.
Cronin licked the two bruised hole marks, making Alec shiver. “Do I not bite you enough?”
“Never.” Alec was getting dizzy with want. He had to remind himself to breathe. He leaned against Cronin, feeling the strength and warmth of him from his thighs to his neck. He was already getting hard. “It will never be enough.”
Cronin kissed Alec’s neck once more but pulled away. “I can’t keep feeding from you. It can’t be good for you.”
Alec chuckled. “It is really good for me.”
This time Cronin laughed, a purr rumbled through his chest. “You test my restraint, yet again. Please know, Alec, I’m not opposed to such a notion. Though the hours spent in bed this morning may suggest you need a rest. Just because I can bite you without changing you, doesn’t mean you are unaffected.”
Alec groaned. They’d found out after the battle in Egypt that Cronin could bite Alec and not change him into a vampire. It opened a whole world of questions, but more than that, it meant they could have sex while Alec was human. And yes, as much as he wanted Cronin to take him, fuck him, and bite him, his human body needed recuperation. The intense sexual pleasure and slight blood loss took its toll when it was for hours at a time. So as much as he didn’t like it, he knew Cronin was right.
But Cronin also had a warped sense of time. Living for twelve hundred years would do that, Alec conceded. So while Cronin was patient and content to sit and read or research for hours upon hours, Alec was restless for something else beyond that, some sense of normalcy. He was used to police work, and now he sat around doing a whole lot of nothing. Even though he’d left normal behind the day he’d met Cronin, the vampire he was fated to, he was still a twenty-nine-year-old man. He needed to do something human. He grinned at Cronin. “Come on, let’s go out.”
Cronin quirked an eyebrow. “Where to?”
“A club somewhere.”
“I meant in which city.”
“Oh.” Alec was thinking some nightclub in the Meatpacking District would do. He didn’t think he’d ever get used to being able to leap to any country he chose. He grinned. “Well, it’s night time in Europe. I’ve always wanted to go to London.”
Cronin smiled. “I know just the place.”
* * * *
It took Alec a second to get his bearings. Leaving a warm and well-lit apartment and landing in a cold, dark alley in the time it took to blink was disorienting. He was used to the pain of leaping now. The feeling of being pixelated and shredded at the cellular level was expected, but he knew it was only momentary.
The cold air blasted him regardless, and he shivered against Cronin. Cronin took his hand and led him down the alley, out onto the street.
Alec noticed the cars first. The steering wheel was on the wrong side of the car, the cars were on the wrong side of the road. He looked down the neon-lit street, hearing the foreign accents around him as they passed Londoners having a night out. It made him grin.
Cronin walked up to a nightclub door, ignoring the waiting line-up of hopefuls. The bouncers gave him a nod, and Cronin pulled Alec through the doors with him. “Known around here, I take it?”
Cronin looked over his shoulder and smiled at him, giving Alec a glimpse of his vampire fangs. “This establishment is owned by a friend.”
Okay then. A vampire nightclub. Alec had no clue what he was walking into, yet he felt no fear. He was with Cronin, after all.
Cronin was an elder of the US East Coast, well-known and well-respected. A healthy dose of well feared didn’t hurt his reputation either.
The room was packed and pumping, the floor filled with dancers and drinkers. It was dark inside like most nightclubs Alec had been in, but he could still see that most of the people inside were human. They seemed blissfully ignorant of the company they kept. Alec guessed it kept in line with the vampire law of anonymity, though he did wonder how many of these unknowing humans wouldn’t see morning.
As if Cronin could read his mind, he leaned in close and whispered over the loud music, “No one can be harmed here. It would bring too much attention to the owners. It is simply a business owned by one of our kind.” Cronin pulled back, his dark eyes black, his normally rust colored hair tinted blue from the neon light above. “Drink?”
Alec nodded and Cronin led the way to the bar. Cronin stared for a beat too long at some guy who was leaning against the bar by himself before he nodded and called him by name. “Lars.”
Alec wanted to ask what was up with Lars—he was obviously a vampire—but before he had the chance, a voice came from behind them. “Cronin.”
Cronin smiled before he’d even turned around. “Kennard.”
Alec recognized the man as the elder of the London coven. He’d spoken to him via a video call when they were planning their attack in Egypt two months ago. Kennard was young in human years, no more than twenty. He was shorter than Alec imagined, with a slim build outlined by his fitted jacket with the collar upturned, perfectly styled blond hair, pale skin, and pink lips. He was boyish in looks, but there was a ferociousness lurking under the innocent fa├žade. Alec thought that was what made him even more frightening.
“And Alec!” Kennard said, his eyes lighting up delightedly. He took Alec’s hand. “An absolute pleasure to meet you in person.”
Cronin made a point of looking at Kennard’s hand on Alec’s and feigned a snarl. It was hardly menacing, considering he did it with a smile.
“Oh, hush,” Kennard waved Cronin off. “You’ve been hiding him away for weeks now.” Kennard smiled up at Alec.  Kennard’s flair and inflection reminded Alec of an over-acted Shakespeare play, and given Kennard was indeed a London elder, Alec wondered how far wrong he was on when exactly Kennard was human. “So, the hero of Egypt? No wonder you’re fated to Cronin. Only someone rather remarkable would be a match for him.”
Alec wasn’t sure what to make of Kennard. “Um….”
Cronin laughed and took Alec’s hand out of Kennard’s. “Ignore him. He’s an insatiable flirt,” he said, smiling warmly at his English friend. “But yes, Alec was very brave and clever.”
“You forgot handsome and good in bed,” Alec added.
Cronin blushed and Kennard clapped his hands as he laughed. “Oh, how I like you.” Then Kennard gave the barman a nod, “Get my friend here whatever he wants.”
Alec ordered a scotch and lime water, rather thankful he didn’t have to pay, because the only money he had was American dollars.
They followed Kennard through the crowd, up a few stairs, to a booth on a platform. It was clearly Kennard’s table, where he could sit and watch over his club. It also gave them privacy to speak freely without fear of being overheard by human ears. When they were seated, Kennard was still smiling at Alec. “So, the key is still human,” he said. “I have to say Cronin, I’m surprised.”
“Yeah well, about that,” Alec said, sipping his drink. “I can’t be changed. Not for the lack of trying.” He craned his neck slightly so his jacket slid down his neck, knowing Kennard would see the bite marks.
Kennard’s eyes shot to Cronin’s, and he sucked back a breath. “What is the meaning of this?”
“We don’t know,” Cronin said, his arm sliding protectively around Alec’s shoulders. “His blood is… special. It’s what made him the key to defeating Keket in Egypt—he resurrected a mummified vampire with his blood alone,” Cronin said. “Though our seer says his work is not yet done.”
Kennard’s eyes narrowed, but he shook it off and schooled his features with a smile. He looked again at Alec’s neck. “Well, if any one of us were fortunate enough to have the best of both worlds, Cronin, it would be you.”
Alec finished his drink, Kennard waved his hand, and not a moment later another full drink was on the table. “Thank you,” Alec said. “And thank you for helping us in Egypt. I’m glad I got to thank you in person.”
“It is I who should be thanking you,” Kennard said. “It’s not every day we get to meet and talk with a key.”
Alec was beginning to hate that word.
Maybe he wouldn’t hate it so much if he knew what it fucking meant.
Kennard was still obviously shocked. “Yet you can bite him and he remains human?”
Alec swore he heard a rush of whispers from the edges of the crowd. The vampires in the club clearly heard what Kennard said. Cronin let out a low growl. Kennard raised a hand dismissively and the whispers stopped. Cronin’s growl lowered but took a while to fade completely.
Kennard laughed. “Maybe we shouldn’t talk about biting here, no?”
Cronin’s reply was low and final. “No.”
Kennard changed the subject of conversation. “How’s Eiji? Is he getting better?”
“All but healed,” Cronin answered. Word had spread quickly that Eiji had survived exposure to sunlight in saving Alec’s life. “He and Jodis are in Japan while he convalesces.”
Alec finished his drink, and a third appeared in front of him. He was already a little buzzed, so he sipped his next drink and scanned the floor while Cronin and Kennard talked of vampire matters. It was all rather political, and Alec was too busy checking out the dance floor to pay any attention. He wasn’t one to dance often, but in the end, it got the better of him. Alec downed his drink and stood up. “I’m gonna hit the dance floor,” he said.
Cronin started to object, naturally, but Kennard put his hand on Cronin’s arm. “Ah, Cronin,” Alec heard Kennard say. “Let him dance while we talk business. No need for the three of us to be bored senseless.”
Not caring they had company, Alec leaned down and kissed Cronin soundly before going back down the stairs and making his way through a sea of people. They were a mix of men and women, and from the lingering, knowing looks by some of them, Alec knew they were a solid mix of human and vampire.
Alec didn’t care. He let his head fall back and closed his eyes, feeling the bass of the music in his chest. It felt good to be doing something so normal, so human. He knew Cronin never took his eyes off him, and once upon a time that would’ve annoyed Alec. He’d have forbidden such possessive behavior, but now he reveled in it. He craved being owned by Cronin, as much as Cronin longed to be owned by him.
Being fated was a beautiful thing.
Alec couldn’t believe he’d once tried to rebuke the idea.
A warm body pressed a little too close, making Alec open his eyes. He knew it had to be some human—no vampire in the club would be stupid enough to approach another vampire’s mate, and Cronin’s mate no less. It was a guy who smiled at him, but before he could even speak, Cronin was in between them, staring at the now-pale human man until he backed away.
Alec pulled himself against Cronin’s ass and laughed. “Jealousy looks good on you.”
“We must leave,” Cronin said.
“He didn’t mean anything by it,” Alec started to say.
But Cronin had Alec’s hand and was leading him to what Alec realized was the back way to the fire escape. “No, we must go. Now.”
Alec knew from Cronin’s tone something was wrong. He tried to clear his head. “What happened?”
“It’s not what has happened,” Cronin said as he pushed through the back door into an alley where Kennard stood waiting. “It’s what’s going to happen.”

Alec had no sooner stepped into the alley, than Cronin looked around and checked that the three of them were alone. He put his arm around Alec, pulled him close, put his hand on Kennard’s shoulder, and they leapt.

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About the author:

N.R. Walker is an Australian author, who loves her genre of gay romance. She loves writing and spends far too much time doing it, but wouldn't have it any other way. She is many things; a mother, a wife, a sister, a writer. She has pretty, pretty boys who live in her head, who don't let her sleep at night unless she gives them life with words. She likes it when they do dirty, dirty things...but likes it even more when they fall in love. She used to think having people in her head talking to her was weird, until one day she happened across other writers who told her it was normal. She's been writing ever since...

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Publisher: N.R. Walker
Cover Artist: Sara York

Tour Dates & Stops: May 22, 2015

Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy of ‘Cronin’s Key’

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(Look for my review, coming soon!)

Cover Reveal: The PInch of the Game

Author Name: Charley Descoteaux

Book Name: The Pinch of the Game

Release Date: June 24, 2015

Being a witch doesn’t mean one can beat the devil forever.

Jeffrey Overton, unemployed IT professional turned poker player, pushes his luck once too often and runs afoul of the host of an illegal card club. The man sent to escort Jeffrey to a “meeting” about his supernatural winning streak arrives at Jeffrey’s crappy North Portland apartment, lock-picking tools in hand and a charm to block Jeffrey’s magick.

Head muscle for said host, Mike Wells, is a Daisy from Daisyville. He isn’t a witch. What he lacks in magickal talent he makes up for in brawn, so he doesn’t expect the guy he’s after to overpower him. But once Mike renders Jeffrey helpless, he’d rather seduce him than bring him in.

Jeffrey and Michael ditch the “meeting” and end up hunting some of the same people they ran from, trying to get Jeffrey back into his own body. And that’s only part of the adventure. The pair travel halfway across the country on the quietest road trip in history and find missing people, empire-building witches, and maybe even the families they’d both thought lost to them.

Pages or Words:

Categories: Contemporary, Gay fictions, M/M Romance, Mystery, Paranormal, Romance

If Sal had sent someone after me, a short trip up to Seattle might be a good idea, maybe even BC. That called for some new clothes, so I grabbed my battered gym bag—my quick escape kit—and was almost home free when the kitchen door burst open. It would’ve been dumb to turn off the light when the goomba first went to work on the lock—I can’t see any better in the dark than your average Daisy, not when I’m blocked. Once that massive body filled the doorway, I wished I had. Wished I’d done something.
He hesitated, barely a moment, and I bolted for the front door. He grabbed me before I made it out of the kitchen and pinned both of my arms to my sides. It wouldn’t work, I knew that, but I still tried to burn his hands. All I needed was enough time to—fuck, is he laughing?
“Give it up, pretty boy. You’re blocked.”
The big man pushed me against the wall face-first and pulled both hands behind my back.
“Hey, wait a sec, big guy. Let’s talk about this. I can—”
He pushed me flat against the wall, and the rest of that sentence disappeared in the rush of air he squeezed from my lungs. I couldn’t help being turned on, even though pain and domination usually aren’t my thing. Neither are bears, but underneath the padding he felt nice and solid, leaning full against me. He tightened a plastic zip tie around my wrists with shaking hands. And then he held me there.

About the author:

Charley Descoteaux has always heard voices. She was relieved to learn they were fictional characters, and started writing when they insisted daydreaming just wasn’t good enough. In exchange, they’ve agreed to let her sleep once in a while. Charley grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area during a drought, and found her true home in the soggy Pacific Northwest. She has survived earthquakes, tornadoes, and floods, but couldn’t make it through one day without stories.

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Facebook Author Page:

Goodreads Link:
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: AngstyG

Tour Dates & Stops: May 22, 2015

Rafflecopter Prize: $10 gift card and backlist book of choice
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