Whiskey and Moonshine and Bait will be $2.99 for the entire month of November. Code Name Jack Rabbit will be $2.99 until November 19, 2021.
All three books are available in KU!
The price changes have already gone through, so grab your copies today!
Happy Halloween Snippetters! This week my snippet is from Code Name Jack Rabbit which is on sale for $2.99!
Forge darted forward and put one arm across Declan’s chest but did not attempt to force him into releasing Kai. “He can completely shift, and so can I. Do you have any idea what happens when a werewolf bonds with a vampire? Let me tell you. The full moon is very close, and he”—Forge nodded at Lucas—“gets very big and scary. And Declan? He gets downright sketchy and unpredictable.”
“What the hell is wrong with you people?”
Ori growled and tried to push past Blair and Lucas, but Lucas changed enough to force him back.
“Do you really want to challenge three vampires and a werewolf when two of those vampires can fully shift?” Blair asked.
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My Tuesday Teaser is from Jewel Cave!
People traveled. Not Dylan, though. He told Clint everything he did, but how did he know about Fern’s foot and the bush? Clint searched everything he’d posted and the few mentions of her injury didn’t include the details Dylan brought up. Maybe there was some discussion in the e-mails Clint had deleted, a way to deflect Dylan’s inquiries about the pictures he’d sent Clint. He couldn’t remember.
Both dogs jumped up and barked, running closer to the front door. Clint held his breath, then slumped back into his chair and relaxed when he realized the noise was simply mail being pushed into the slot beside the door. The outer cover was metal and it often banged and clanked, announcing mail delivery.
“Now you’re just being paranoid, Bishop.”
Something thunked, and then there was another soft sound of metal against metal. Clint stood slowly. Both dogs had turned their attention from the front door to the direction of the side door. They stood, ears forward, tails barely moving.
“Lock the goddamn doors.”
Griff’s voice, exasperated and concerned all at once, was a firm command in Clint’s head.
He’d locked the side storm door after letting the dogs back in, leaving the main door open to let light in. Or had he? Clint took a few deep breaths; he was definitely letting his imagination run rampant. There were no screens in the storm door, and the lock was pretty heavy. As Griff had pointed out, breaking through would at least make noise.
That was, if Clint had locked it.
Phoenix blew out a loud breath, and Fern inched back toward Clint and paced a few times in front of him.
“Griff? If you’re trying to scare me to remind me to lock the doors, it worked. Cut it out.” Clint tried to make his voice deep and dangerous. He did not succeed. On impulse, he reached down and hit Record on the voice recorder Griff kept there to charge.
Clint took a few steps closer to the french doors. Phoenix stood in the middle of the living room, ruff and tail puffed out. He didn’t make a sound, but his attention was riveted to the kitchen and side door.
Where is my phone? He’d had it in the kitchen while he made coffee. The goddamn phone’s still on the counter.
All at once jumbled thoughts began charging through Clint’s head. Dogs don’t act like that with someone they know. That was followed by things Griff had told him over the years: “Don’t let on to an intruder there are guns in the house.” “Lamps, keys, even a pen is a good weapon.” “Cooperate.” “If you have the chance, take it and run.” “Look them in the eye.” “Don’t let anyone get you into a vehicle if you can help it.” “Make noise.”
There's only a few days left to get Jewel Cave for $2.99.
Sale ends October 31, 2021.
Julie Bozza has a new queer weird western book out: Writ in Blood. And there's a giveaway!
Courage. Honor. Loyalty. All fine things, but they’ve led John Ringo to kill a man. He was raised right and he knows he’s not a murderer, but otherwise he’s a mystery even to himself. Doc Holliday claims to have some insights, but Doc is too devoted to Wyatt Earp to spare much attention for the man who’s already lost his soul.
Which leaves Johnny Ringo prey to the distractions of a demon. Imaginary or not, if this creature abandons him, too, then surely his sanity is forfeit – and what will his life be worth then?
This Queer Weird West novel follows these three along the complex trails that lead into and out of Tombstone, Arizona in 1881.
Julie is giving away an Amazon gift card with this tour:
“And baths,” Doc Holliday was saying, standing tall in the center of their hotel room. “We are in desperate need of baths, and I apologize if you are already aware of that fact. Can you arrange that for us, my dear?”
“Of course, sir,” the girl replied, apparently awed by all this to-do. Holliday was behaving as if he were royalty. “The bathing room’s down the hall on the right, sir. There’s some water heating already, but if you can wait half an hour, sir, there’ll be plenty for both of you, and I’ll build the fire up. I can bring the pot of coffee you wanted right away.”
“Half an hour it is, then,” he declared, handing her a generous gratuity and ushering her out the door. Holliday turned to John. “What do you think, pilgrim? A fine room, considering its surroundings. Though I do believe this town will prove quite a rich lode. I can smell money in the air, and fools waiting to part with it.”
John let his saddlebags drop to the floor, looked around him at the lace curtains, at the porcelain jug and bowl standing before the mirror. At the wide bed with green padded silken spread. Everything looked fragile and ridiculously expensive and dangerously seductive. “And you reckon they won’t care about us both in the same bed?”
“Of course not, people do it all the time. There is a distinct shortage of beds out here in the West, especially in new towns such as this. We were lucky this room was available.”
“I guess I always figured if they said I’d have to share a room they were politely telling me to get lost.” It felt foolish now, having taken umbrage at something that was apparently quite accepted.
Holliday, in the midst of unpacking, cast a look at John. “Are you really one of those half-wild people who rarely visit a town?”
“No, but… maybe I’m more myself out there,” John said, indicating the world stretching beyond the outcropping of humanity. “This is... small –”
“I don’t find it so.”
“– and my earnings have been pretty irregular lately.”
“Don’t fret about that,” the man murmured.
“Who the hell are you, Holliday?” John demanded. “Is this your world? Because you sure seemed comfortable out in the wilderness last night.”
“You like that about me, that I belong in both?” He waited until John shrugged, then continued, “Well, if you do, why don’t you learn to belong here as well, and then you can like yourself for it, too. Share the luxury with me, Johnny. As you said, I shared the darkness with you last night.” The man smiled, walked over to stand before John, reached up to run a hand back through John’s hair. “There’s a handsome face hiding behind that long hair and the trail-dirt, I’ve already worked that out. Now, take your clothes off, pilgrim, and bathe with me. I want to see what those rags hide.” He leaned in close and whispered, “I’m sure you’re quite beautiful naked.” There was a knock at the door – and Holliday stole a kiss from John’s mouth.
John pushed the man away, glaring fury. Holliday let the girl in, and John waited impatiently as she arranged a tray of coffee and cups and a whole lot of unnecessary fixings, waited as Holliday chattered inanely with her. “You’re crazy,” John said once they were finally alone again. The man just laughed, at ease. In fact, it seemed he was enjoying himself immensely. “Are you always like this?” John asked, wondering how long he could suffer it.
“Oh yes,” Holliday said airily. “Well, actually I suppose I’m in unusually high spirits. I promised myself, for these couple of months, complete abandonment. And you do seem to be the kind of fellow I can completely abandon myself to...”
“Don’t talk like that, maybe people can hear us. And – what you did before she came in – if she caught us we’d get run out of town, if they didn’t hang us first.”
“Now there’s an ambition: to be so absolutely debauched we get thrown out of every town we visit. What’s the matter, pilgrim? With your reputation, you must be used to finding yourself unwelcome.”
“Yes, but for gunfights, not for something like that.”
“You don’t care about them, do you? Surely it doesn’t matter to you what they think.”
“No, but it’s personal, it’s private.” Under Holliday’s interested gaze John shrugged again, uncomfortable.
Smart enough to change the subject at last, Holliday headed for the coffee and began pouring two cups. “How do you want it, pilgrim? Let me guess... you like it just as it is. Now, I like coffee with cream and sugar – though they only have milk here, I’m afraid – but that’s too civilized for you, isn’t it?”
“Yes,” he said. Holliday brought one of the cups over, and John eyed it dubiously. The thing looked so delicate it might shatter in his hands, though of course it looked quite safe in Holliday’s fine fingers.
“Take it, pilgrim. It’s either this lovely little cup, or drink straight from the pot.” Holliday laughed. “But you would, wouldn’t you? Don’t let me give you ideas.”
John quickly swallowed the coffee, felt the heat of it spread through his chest and the strength of it clear his head. He poured himself another cup, then sat cross-legged on the floor, pointedly ignoring the chair opposite the one Holliday sat in – avoiding even the rugs. The wooden floorboards, though polished, were the most natural part of the room.
They sat in silence for a while, finishing the pot of coffee between them. Then Holliday asked, “Where were you from before Texas? You don’t speak like a Texan.”
“California before that. We traveled west from Missouri. Before that, Indiana.”
“And before that?”
“My family?” John shrugged – but such things had mattered in Mason County, when it was the newer German immigrants versus the longer-settled Americans. “The Dutch part of Belgium, if you go back far enough, but that never made no difference to me.”
“I see…” was the response. However, Holliday didn’t ponder on it long. Instead he sat up as if about to stand, saying, “Let’s inspect the bathing room. I haven’t felt clean for a couple of weeks now, and tonight I want to make the best possible impression.” Perhaps he saw John’s reluctance, for he said, “I suppose from the look of you, my dear, that your ablutions involve jumping in a river once a year whether you need it or not. But would you indulge me? I like that you are so vivid to all five of my senses, that you assault me so thoroughly, but I’d like to see your handsomeness as well as your wildness.”
“Don’t call me ‘dear’,” John said sullenly. “I’m not made for words like that. I don’t know what you want from me, Holliday, but I’m not your dear.”
“We just fuck, yes, and keep each other company between our amorous bouts. But don’t mind me if I treat you affectionately.” The man confided, “Most of the time, I promise you I don’t mean a word of it.”
Ordinary people are extraordinary. We can all aspire to decency, generosity, respect, honesty – and the power of love (all kinds of love!) can help us grow into our best selves.
I write stories about ‘ordinary’ people finding their answers in themselves and each other. I write about friends and lovers, and the families we create for ourselves. I explore the depth and the meaning, the fun and the possibilities, in ‘everyday’ experiences and relationships. I believe that embodying these things is how we can live our lives more fully.
Creative works help us each find our own clarity and our own joy. Readers bring their hearts and souls to reading, just as authors bring their hearts and souls to writing – and together we make a whole.
And that’s me! Julie Bozza. Quirky. Queer. Sincere.
Author Website: https://juliebozza.com/
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My snippet this week is from Run for the Roses.
As he drove, Val spent more than his usual amount of time glancing in the rearview mirror. It didn’t appear any particular car was following him. Still Val couldn’t relax. In fact, the closer he got to the airport, the more Val’s stomach twisted in knots. He wasn’t sure if it was sheer excitement at seeing Wyatt again after a few days or apprehension that he’d have to admit someone might be watching him.
The airport was its usual mess of travelers, and Val was happy he’d left right after work, even if it did mean he was going to be several hours early. With the truck parked, Val found a place to wait and sent Wyatt a text telling him where he was.
At long last Wyatt’s plane landed. Val waited impatiently for Wyatt and couldn’t keep the silly grin off his face when Wyatt finally walked toward Val. Wyatt strode up to Val, took his hand and, holding it low by his hip, pulled Val close.
“It’s good to see you,” Val said in a hushed voice.
Wyatt urged Val forward and nodded at the exit. “Are you parked there?”
“Hmm, it’s going to be even better to feel you.” Wyatt gave Val’s hand another squeeze, then put his palm flat between Val’s shoulder blades for a few paces as they walked, before letting his hand drop to his side. “Is everything all right?” He asked as they approached Val’s truck.
“It is now.”
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How far is too far to go to save someone you love?
Brandon Lynch is magical. He’s a scintilla, wielder of electricity and is in love with a werewolf—or maybe he’s just in love with the idea of loving a werewolf?
Raul Fierro is a bounty hunter and a werewolf. He knows he loves Brandon. He’s made a promise to always protect Brandon and will carry out that promise at all costs.
When Brandon and Raul go head to head with human traffickers, Brandon’s morals are stretched to their limits. Will Raul keeping his promise tear them apart?
Raul continued to stare at Brandon until he dropped his gaze to the floor. Leaning close to Brandon, Raul whispered in his ear, “Get in the van, lock the door and don’t open it unless it’s me.” He pressed the keys into Brandon’s palm and whispered, “Dealing with criminals is what I do. Trust me.”
Brandon pulled his lower lip between his teeth and bit down before curling his fingers around the keys. “I do… trust you, that is.”
Raul nudged Brandon into the van. “Good. If I’m not back in ten get out of here and call Tad and Janey, tell them I need help. Fahim can have them here in minutes.”
“You know I can—”
“Ever been in a bar fight?”
Brandon shook his head no.
“Elbowed another player in a game of pickup? Shoved someone?” Raul paused, and Brandon shook his head again. “Kicked a kid on the playground?”
“Sometimes the best defense is being able to throw a punch.” Raul winked. “Stay in the van.” He gently closed the door before stripping off the rest of his clothes, leaving them in a pile next to the vehicle.
It was a common misconception that werewolves looked and acted like actual wolves when transformed. Where the term werewolf even came from Raul had no idea, though he knew it was used as far back as there was written history. He’d seen photographs of cave drawings depicting werewolves and humans—magical or otherwise—jinn and any number of other types of so-called mythical or supernatural beings he interacted with daily. None of this was new.
35 books by 35 different authors: A.D. Ellis, Annabelle Jacobs, Anne Barwell, BA Tortuga, Becca Seymour, Beth Laycock, BL Maxwell, Charley Descoteaux, Clare London, E.J. Russell, Edie Montreux, Elizabeth Noble, Emma Jaye, Garrett Leigh, H.L Day, Irene Preston & Liv Rancourt, Jackie Keswick, Jay Northcote, K-lee Klein, Kaje Harper, Kasia Bacon, Leta Blake, Lillian Francis, Meredith Spies, Minerva Howe, N.R. Walker, Nora Phoenix, Rebecca Cohen, Rhys Lawless, RJ Scott, Roan Parrish,
Talia Carmichael, V.L. Locey, Victoria Sue
Check out this collection HERE.
This week's Tuesday Teaser is from For the Long Run.
Deciding he had plenty of time to work out that problem starting tomorrow, Eric yawned and pulled into his drive, happy to be home. Getting his clothes off quickly, he draped them over a chair. He’d deal with his laundry tomorrow. Right now he was plain worn out and fighting off a dull headache. Stretching, he headed to the bathroom and turned on the shower, happy to get under the hot spray of water.
Wandering through the house, he collected something to drink, a magazine, and his phone, checking for messages. There were none. Settling on his bed to read for a bit and unwind so he could sleep, Eric couldn’t help smiling at the thought of poor Jay having fallen asleep all sticky and itchy from dried sweat and cum.
Or worse, forced to sit politely and have a conversation with his parents.
He’d make sure to make it all up to the kid tomorrow and put a bright, happy smile on Jay’s face.
He fanned through the magazine a few times, getting little more out of it than the breeze the pages moving created. When he realized he wasn’t really focusing on anything in particular, not even the pictures, he dropped the magazine onto his night table, drained his glass, and switched off the light. Shimmying under the sheet and blankets, Eric got as comfortable as possible, refusing to dwell too much on the fact he was a little bit lonely. It was only one night, and he was a grown-up; he should be able to cope much better.
The obnoxious cop-show theme ringtone Jay had put on his phone blared. Sighing and smiling, Eric rolled over and grabbed the phone, wondering why Jay got the cop-show ringtone and not him. “Hey, buddy,” he yawned out. “I just about gave up on you tonight.”
Jay’s soft, wet “Eric” had him sitting up, turning on the light, and any smart-ass comment died before it got out of his mouth.
“Jay, are you okay? What’s wrong?”
“I… God, my dad, he….”
“He what?” Eric shouted, picturing Jay’s cringe and immediately feeling guilty. He was suddenly frustrated and afraid some harm had come to Jay.
“Don’t yell, I’ve had enough of that crap for one night,” Jay snapped, though his voice was a low, raspy whisper.
Throwing the blankets off, Eric swung around until he was sitting on the edge of the bed. “I’m coming to get you. Are you at home?”
“Eric, no. Don’t come here. I—I just wanted to hear your voice. My dad went ballistic over the locks to the house, like I should be grounded or some stupid shit. He’s an asshole. My mom told me they split up, and she moved to an apartment almost six months ago. Which, according to him, is my fault too.”
“Don’t be absurd, of course it wasn’t your fault.” Eric ran his free hand through his hair and took a few deep breaths. Jay’s words were coming too fast, slightly slurred and unsteady. “Did he hurt you? I want you to come here if you don’t want me there, but you’re not staying alone with him right now. Your mother needs to be out of there too.” Images of too many domestic violence victims—adults, children, men, women, gay, straight—that Eric had seen over the years thundered through his head.
For the Long Run is available in eBook, paperback
and is in Kindle Unlimited.
My snippet this week is from Gone Away!
Staying low to the ground, Mason moved quickly back to Riece’s side. Closing his eyes and sighing with relief, Riece reached out, took Mason’s hand, and gave it a squeeze. When he tried to let go, Mason’s grip intensified, and he pulled Riece closer to him and brushed his lips over Riece’s forehead.
“We’re going to survive. Both of us. Together. Don’t think anything else, even for a second,” Mason whispered.
Riece nodded. “I know.”
“Did they take your water purifier?”
“No. They searched me and my bag and left me everything except the locator beacon.” Riece studied Mason for a few seconds. “I guess they wanted us to have some supplies to survive longer.”
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Warren Rochelle has a new queer SFF anthology out: To Bring Him Home and Other Tales. And there's a giveaway!
We all need a place to call home, a place where we belong, and are safe, and loved. For the lovers in these stories, finding home is easier said than done. Quests must be taken; dragons must be slain. Rocket launchers need to be dodged. Sometimes one might have to outrun the Wild Hunt, and sometimes they have to reimagine and recreate home. But these lovers do find homes, homes in each other’s hearts.
Warren is giving away an Amazon gift card with this tour:
He found his mother in her bathroom, lying on the bathmat by the tub, like a discarded hotel towel, white and crumpled. Fletcher knelt down and touched her bruised face, tenderly traced the hand prints on her skin. Cold. He then pressed his fingers against the veins in her neck. No pulse. Wishing he could cry for her, he put the same fingers under her nose. No breath, Dead. Emptied. He picked up her arm and it flopped as if boneless, She was wearing her bathrobe. He pulled it close, to hide her body.
Fletcher knew where to look, upstairs, behind the locked attic door. Through the door he could hear what he had come to call Paul’s favorite music, soft, far away, with harps and wind chimes, and what sounded like the wind, and the rain, storms. and voices singing in a strange language he had never been able to identify. The music sort of reminded him of the wind chimes on Sam’s porch. Of course.
He tried the knob. This time the door was unlocked.
“Fletcher. You’re awake. I knew you’d come up here,” his stepfather said in his cold and dark voice. He sat at a desk facing a door frame standing in the middle of the attic. Inside the door frame: darkness. Around it, Fletcher could see the rest of the attic: the shelves, the file cabinets, the odd boxes. The skylight was open, mid-day sun streamed in. Even so, the room was cold, a cold that was coming through the door, as if blown by some faraway wind. Paul’s black staff leaned against the door frame. He closed a little carved box on his desk and the music stopped.
“What did you do with Sam? Where is he? Where are his parents?” Fletcher asked, shivering and hugging himself against the cold.
“Where they belong,” Paul said, leaning back in his chair. “The dreams have escaped for millennia—even before Her Majesty came to power—into human minds. Fairy tales, myths, story upon story. A few times, the different peoples and creatures slipped through—what was it your hero said?—‘there were many chinks or chasms between worlds in old times’?—yes, I’ve read all those stories, too; they were useful to me. That was before Her Majesty. So, there are people like you and your mother, fey-touched, gifted with Sight that lets you see through glamour. Very useful to people like me.”
Fletcher swallowed the scream in his throat, knowing he had to listen, to understand, not to let this man get to him, break him into tears. “Where is Sam? What kind of a person are you?”
“I told you: There. You can call it Narnia if you like, or what did Tolkien call it? Never mind. The Celts came up with many other names, such as Tir n’Og, the Blessed Isles. Words and sounds can be dreamt, too; echoes can linger. She can’t stop the dreams of what once was, of once upon a time—slow them down, but not stop them. But Her Majesty can and must stop those who escape her winter,” Paul said, as he sorted what looked like rolls of parchment, stuffing some back into tubes, into different parts of his desk. “I am a bounty hunter, a tracker, and you, my dear Fletcher, and your mother, are my canaries.”
My dreams. I dreamed of the neighbor, I dreamed of Sam. Now I know where his music comes from.
“They hadn’t planned on Sam falling in love and having sex quite just yet, which shattered the weak child’s glamour—and I smelled him on you, his magic,” Paul said, his words dripping disdain and scorn.
Paul shrugged and Fletcher hated him for it. “I needed her energy to open the gate—I was running a little low. A few days from now, no problem. You want him back?”
Fletcher slowly and carefully nodded his head.
“You think you’re in love. Fletcher! What do you know about love—who have you ever loved or who’s loved you? And when he asked for you, at the moment of peril, you pulled back. Don’t be a fool: you’re not in love.”
“My father loved me; I loved him. My mother—before you used her for food. Sam loves me.”
“Then go get him. Into Faerie. No happy elves, no dancing fauns, no chatty mice, no heroes with magic swords. No performing Lion, just Her Majesty’s winter. No English
children. Your boyfriend’s there, Fletcher. Or you could stay here and help me—starting with finding that sanctuary. Do you know how old I am? Her Majesty rewards her faithful: I am two hundred and thirteen of your years old. I have anything I want.”
I want Sam. “Live that long, be like you? No. I love Sam.”
“You’ve known him a week and you’re in love. That really is a fairy tale. You just think you do,” Paul said, dismissing Fletcher’s feelings with a flip of his hand. “You can have any boy you want, any way you want—like I said, Her Majesty rewards her faithful. Besides, you’re a coward,” Paul added, laughing.
Fletcher knew that Paul would never understand, could never understand, that even the uncertainty was enough, that the brightness in his heart, the geodes in his pocket, were enough, even if the week had been just the promise of what would come. Could have come. Might come. Maybe he was a coward. He certainly was afraid, and very good at being afraid. But life had found him, and being afraid didn’t mean he couldn’t go through that dark gate.
“Find yourself another canary,” Fletcher said and before Paul could stop him, ran across the room, through the door frame, into the dark, into the fairy tale.
Warren Rochelle lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, and has just retired from teaching English at the University of Mary Washington. His short fiction and poetry have been published in such journals and anthologies as Icarus, North Carolina Literary Review, Forbidden Lines, Aboriginal Science Fiction, Collective Fallout, Queer Fish 2, Empty Oaks, Quantum Fairy Tales, Migration, The Silver Gryphon, Jaelle Her Book, Colonnades, and Graffiti, as well as the Asheville Poetry Review, GW Magazine, Crucible, The Charlotte Poetry Review, Romance and Beyond, Migration, and Innovation.
Rochelle is the author of four novels: The Wild Boy (2001), Harvest of Changelings (2007), and The Called (2010), all published by Golden Gryphon Press, and The Werewolf and His Boy, published by Samhain Publishing in September 2016. The Werewolf and His Boy was re-released from JMS Books in August 2020. His first short story collection, The Wicked Stepbrother and Other Stories, was published by JMS Books in September 2020.
Both The Werewolf and His Boy and The Wicked Stepbrother and Other Stories, received strong reviews from blog tours in November 2020.
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