PRE-ORDER: SCENES FROM ADELAIDE ROAD BY HELENA STONE

Blurb:

Can a young man find the courage he never knew he had when faced with losing everything he holds dear?

A few months before his final exams in secondary school, nineteen-year-old Lennart Kelly discovers he’s inherited a house on Adelaide Road in Dublin from a grandfather he never knew. Having been ignored, bullied and abused for as long as he can remember, Lennart can’t wait to leave behind his father and the small town he grew up in. Moving away as soon as he finishes his exams doesn’t cure his deep-rooted insecurities though.

Meeting twenty-three-year-old Aidan Cassidy in a gay club on his second night in Dublin, scares Lennart. Used to being ignored and ridiculed, he doesn’t trust the attention he receives and can’t believe a man like Aidan could possibly be interested in him. It takes infinite patience and understanding from Aidan to slowly coax Lennart out of his shell.

But the past refuses to stay where it belongs and Lennart’s father is determined to take the house in Dublin off his son by whatever means necessary. Just when Lennart is learning to trust and embrace life, a violent attack threatens everything he holds dear. Suddenly Lennart is in danger of losing his house, the man he’s grown to love and maybe even his life. If Lennart wants to protect Aidan and safeguard his future, he’ll have to find the courage he never knew he had.

General Release Date: 1st December 2015

Available for pre-order now from Pride Publishing

 

EARLY DOWNLOAD: NOT EVERY TIME BY ALEXA MILNE

Blurb:

What would you give up for love?

Raziel Slade and Jack Hastings have been best friends since Raz saved Jack’s life twelve years ago. Jack has spent years searching for the perfect woman with the help of his wingman, Raz, the man he thinks of as his guardian angel. At a company Christmas party, the world Jack thought he knew turns on its axis, and feelings he didn’t know he had punch him right between the eyes. Can Jack learn to see his friend in an entirely different way?

Openly gay, Raz loves his best friend and has given up more than Jack will ever know to be with him, but he’s never dared to tell Jack how he truly feels, or to reveal his true identity. For twelve years, he has waited in the wings.

Now, with Jack’s sudden epiphany, can these two best friends work out if they have a future together?

General Release Date: 15th December 2015

Available for early download at Pride Publishing

EARLY DOWNLOAD: LIVE FOR THE DAY BY SARAH MASTERS

Blurb:

Loving your best friend is easy. Telling him you do…well, that’s the hard part.

Michael and Steven grew up together—just them, no girls allowed. They’d always planned to join the military, but when it came time to sign up, Michael couldn’t do it. For years, Michael has worried every time Steven is out in the desert, risking his life to serve and protect. He dreads the day Steven won’t come home.

Steven has been through a dreadful ordeal on duty, and while in the hospital, he’s had time to think about what’s important in life. He misses Michael—needs to get back home to be with him—and he has something he wishes to say, something he’s held inside as far back as he can remember…

When the two men reunite, revelations are the name of the game. There is no question they’ve always loved each other, but now that they have the chance to express that love, will they?

Available now for early download from Pride Publishing

NEW RELEASE: ENDURING NIGHT BY JOHN WILTSHIRE

Blurb:

The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting. Nikolas has always liked art.

You’d have thought that Ben and Nikolas would have learnt that their romantic holidays inevitably end up as disasters. A short break on the polar ice sees them trapped in a nightmare of murder and deceit. Neither of them, however, foresees the long-term impact that endless winter has on their relationship. They return with a metaphorical darkness that threatens everything they have created together. Desperate and fearing for Nikolas’s life, Ben makes a bargain with a surprising ally. For the first time, Nikolas meets an enemy more powerful than he is. But fortunately, not as sneaky…

Available now from MLR PressAmazon.comAmazon.co.uk and ARe

NEW RELEASE: IN DEEP BY ADAM FITZROY

Blurb:

Arriving on a remote Scottish island to investigate an unexplained death, Ted Harris finds himself entangled in the life of the community – and becomes attracted to Athol, his enigmatic landlord. Soon they’re working together, depending on each other for survival in perilous circumstances, and slowly unravelling the mystery. Will they ever figure out exactly how and why Kieran Parnes died and who was responsible for his death, and what will it do to the island – and to the tentative beginnings of their relationship – if they tell anybody what they know?

Excerpt:

As we crossed the island and I spotted the occasional distant croft or dogged tractor gleaming against the sky, it was easy enough to lose myself in my thoughts; I’d hoped to be a bit more observant right from the start and to hit the ground running, but actually I was tired. It had been quite a journey from Aberdeen to Kirkwall on the overnight ferry, and I had to admit that I wasn’t getting any younger. Maybe I should just cut myself a bit of slack for today, get a good night’s sleep and start fresh in the morning – assuming a good night’s sleep was to be had in the only B&B on the island with a room to offer me, of course.

When the Range Rover stopped outside an unprepossessing stone cottage, it was immediately obvious why the images on the island website had only shown the sitting-room and a couple of the guest rooms; this house was definitely no looker, and it was overdue a serious amount of external maintenance. As if it wasn’t ugly enough already, there was a fenced enclosure running up one side and across the back of the property with a locked gate and a sign reading ‘Calor Gas Sales and Service’. That hadn’t been mentioned in the advertising material either.

“Is this it?”

“This is it.” The engine was switched off.

Oh well; I’d booked it and now I’d have to stay here. Maybe when I was planning this trip I should have given a bit more thought to getting a room in Kirkwall and coming over on the ferry a day at a time – although though that would have been very much more expensive, both in terms of money and in time. “So what do I owe you?” I asked the driver; there wasn’t a meter in the vehicle.

“Fifteen pounds. But don’t worry, I’ll add it to your bill.”

“I’m sorry?”

“Your bill. When you leave.” And that was when the penny dropped that the driver had got out of the car – not, as I thought, to open the door for me, but taking the keys from the ignition, unfastening a gate in the lichen-covered wall and reaching towards the front door.

“Hang on, then, are you … ?” Following him up the path, I was trying to recalibrate my expectations; it would make sense, I thought, if the old salt’s son drove the taxi and regularly ferried people in his dad’s direction; that wouldn’t be a bad racket to be in at all.

“I’m Athol Grey.” The driver’s mouth twisted as though he was expecting a negative response. “You’re staying in my house.”

The mature and competent islander of my imagination vanished in an instant. I was left staring open-mouthed at a long-faced intellectual type with an air of disdain, who looked as if he’d be more at home at the controls of some all-singing all-dancing computer gizmo than engaged in any form of manual labour. Culture shock didn’t even begin to cover my reaction, which probably accounted for the next thing to come out of my mouth.

“Oh, for fuck’s sake – then you’re my landlord?!”

I regretted it immediately.

“I am, although I’d appreciate you moderating your language while you’re on my property.”

“Right. Yes. Sorry.” It was a long time since anyone had spoken to me in quite that tone of voice, but now I came to think of it weren’t they all ‘Wee Frees’ or something in the islands? I had an idea I wouldn’t be able to buy alcohol on a Sunday, for example, and probably not much of anything else. I was half-expecting the inside of the place to be all poker-work texts, with dismal Biblical pictures and a vinegar-faced landlady who’d object to incomers and Sassenachs on principle, but as soon as I stepped into the house it was obvious the website hadn’t lied; it was warm, clean and bright – although small and far from luxurious – and in the sitting-room there was a large-screen TV with a stack of DVDs beside it, so clearly I wouldn’t be required to forego twenty-first century living for the duration. There was also, in a basket beside the wood-burning stove, a grubby-looking Cairn terrier that could hardly be bothered to lift its head.

“That’s Sparky,” said Grey. “He’s twelve, and he spends most of his time asleep. You don’t mind dogs, do you?”

“Not a bit. Hello, Sparky, how are you?”

The dog managed to open one sleepy eye, but that was the extent of his reaction.

“He’d be out of his basket quick enough if you’d brought him anything to eat.” Grey dropped his car keys into a wooden bowl. “Speaking of which, would you like a cup of tea?”

“Thanks, yes, I would.” I hadn’t had much breakfast in Kirkwall; I’ve been on plenty of Jumbo jets and Airbuses in my time, but the thought of travelling on a tiny island-hopper with no aisle and no toilet had made me too nervous to eat much – and, as I watched the ground slip beneath us when we took off, I was grateful I’d stuck to the toast and fruit juice. Not that I wasn’t hungry now, though. “Actually, I don’t suppose you’ve got any food about the place? I reckon I could eat a horse!”

“Well – not a horse, anyway.” It was the first glimmer of anything that might have been humour; at close quarters, Athol Grey’s face seemed set in a permanently miserable expression as though nothing good could ever be expected to happen to him – and in fact he bore more than a passing resemblance to Eeyore. “D’you just want a snack, or would you rather have an early lunch? I’ve got some raisin scones, or I can defrost a burger if you like.”

“Raisin scones sound brilliant, thanks. Mind if I use the bathroom first?”

“Sure. I’ll put the kettle on, and then I’ll show you to your room.”

Available now at Manifold PressAmazon.comAmazon.co.uk and ARe

NEW RELEASE: FIRST BY KC WELLS

Blurb:

It’s taken Tommy Newsome a while to get his head around being gay.

Growing up in a small town in Georgia hasn’t prepared him for the more liberal life of a student at the university in Athens. Add to that the teachings of his parents and his church, and you have one shy young man who feels out of his depth. Working on his daddy’s farm hasn’t given him any chance of a social life, certainly not one like the clubs of Atlanta have on offer. Not that Tommy feels comfortable when he gets tosample it—Momma’s lectures still ring loudly inside his head.

All that changes when he goes to his first gay bar and sets eyes on Mike Scott.

When Mike’s not behind the bar at Woofs, he’s busy with his life as adult entertainer Scott Masters. Twenty years in the industry and the times, they are a-changing. Mike’s not had much luck in the relationship department, but as his mom is fond of telling him, you keep fishing in the same pond, you’re gonna reel in the same kind of fish. Maybe it’s time for a change.

Excerpt:

TOMMY NEWSOME regarded the exterior of Jungle, his stomach clenched. “I’m not so sure ’bout this, Ben.” The place looked huge, and judging by the number of guys going in there, it was going to be packed. He could already hear the steady pulse of disco music, and that was enough to make his heart beat out a military tattoo in his chest. Dancing… gay guys…. Hell, this was way out of his comfort zone.

 

His roommate laughed. “Don’t tell me you wanna chicken out already? I swear, you must’ve spent your entire first year sitting in your room every night.” He peered intently at Tommy. “Geez. I’m right, aren’t I?”

 

Tommy knew his cheeks were burning. His throat tightened, and the words wouldn’t come.

 

Ben’s laughter died, and he moved closer. “Look, it’s just a club, okay?” He patted Tommy’s arm. “And don’t think for a moment that I don’t know what’s going on in that head of yours. You’re thinking ’bout what your momma would say.”

 

Shit. Tommy’s stomach did a slow roll. “No,” he protested weakly, but he knew it was a lie. Momma’s voice was sounding off in his head, all right. Loud and clear.

 

Ben’s expression grew serious. “Well, your momma isn’t here, and all we’re talking ’bout is spending a night dancing.” His eyes sparkled, and there was a hint of a grin. “Loud disco music and cute boys—what’s not to like about that?”

 

Tommy shook his head. He’d known Benson Cardiff Wellington III since that day back in October of last year when Ben had struck up a conversation in their dorm. There was no way Tommy would’ve had the nerve to make the first move. Ben was everything he wasn’t. Ben’s upper-class upbringing was evident in his clothes and his manner, so far removed from Tommy’s humble origins that they might as well have been born on different planets. Once he’d gotten to know Ben a little, it was clear there were other things about him that were outside of Tommy’s sphere of experience. When Ben had revealed he was bisexual, Tommy had been stunned into silence. As far as he knew, no one in Americus was bi. They wouldn’t dare.

 

“Are we going in or what?”

 

Tommy sighed. Ben had no idea how difficult this was for him. Places like the Jungle were “the Devil’s playground” according to his parents. It wasn’t easy to go against everything he’d been taught his whole life. His momma had always lectured him on the evils of dancing and alcohol. Heaven knew what she’d say about a gay club—his ears would probably bleed after her pontificating.

 

“I promise you, God is not gonna send down a bolt of lightning to smite you the minute you set foot inside, okay?”

 

Ben’s words were laced with humor, but Tommy knew his roommate well enough to know they were uttered with kindness.

 

Enough procrastinating. “Okay.” Tommy took a deep breath and stepped through the door into the lion’s den, Ben leading the way.

 

It wasn’t quite what he’d imagined—it was much, much worse.

 

Music thrummed through the floor, and Tommy hated it. The lighting was low, with colored lights that played over the club’s occupants. Oh yeah—add to that the sight of all those guys, some half dressed, for God’s sake, pressed together on the dance floor. And there were so freakin’ many of them! The place was the size of a warehouse inside, and everywhere he looked, there were bodies: tight T-shirts, bare chests, so much skin on display.

 

“Isn’t this great?” Ben beamed at him.

 

“Yeah,” Tommy lied. It was so far from great it was unreal, but he didn’t want to let Ben down. It had been Ben’s idea to come to the Jungle, and Tommy hadn’t been able to say no. Part of him had been dying of curiosity of course, but now that he was there? Yeah, he’d had enough already.

 

Ben waved to a group of guys on the dance floor who waved back immediately, beckoning him to join them with wide smiles. Ben turned to Tommy. “How ’bout you get us a drink from the bar? I’ll have a bottle of water, okay?” And with that he thrust a rolled up magazine into Tommy’s hand and plunged into the crowd, which swallowed him up in a sea of flesh.

 

Tommy stared at him in astonishment, left standing at the edge of the dancing and feeling more out of place than ever. He didn’t give the small magazine in his hand a second glance but looked around, located the bar, and joined the throng of clubbers who stood waiting to be served. Damn, this place was loud. Tommy had never even heard such music ’til he’d come to college. There’d been nothing like that played on the radio at home, that was for sure. He hadn’t stayed in his room that first year because he’d been feeling antisocial—he just couldn’t cope with the culture shock.

 

Finally he got their drinks and retreated to a corner as far away from the bar and the dance floor as he could get. His senses were overloaded. He sipped his Cherry Coke and tried to relax, but it so wasn’t happening. This just wasn’t him. He watched as Ben cavorted on the dance floor, surrounded by beautiful boys—lean, smooth, and flexible. In spite of his heightened nervous state, Tommy smiled to himself. Ben was in his element.

 

The circular was still in his hand, along with Ben’s bottle of water. Tommy placed his drink and the bottle on the ledge that ran along the wall, and unrolled the circular, glancing at the front cover in surprise at the images of Atlanta Pride. It was a free gay magazine, David Atlanta. Curious, he leafed through it. It seemed innocuous enough: articles and ads for gay businesses in Atlanta. Tommy took his time; he’d never read a gay publication before. He stared at the photos, heart pounding. Suddenly everything seemed that little bit more real. He took a moment to breathe, trying to inject a bit of calm.

 

I’m really in a gay club. He’d fantasized enough about stepping out of his tight little closet. Actually doing it was scary as hell. But he’d done it. He’d finally done it. The thought brought a shiver to his spine, and he quickly gulped some more Cherry Coke before going back to his perusal of the magazine. When he got to the section advertising gay bars, he scanned the page. He stared at the ad for a gay sports bar, Woofs, within spitting distance of his present location. A gay sports bar?

 

His heart raced. He couldn’t walk into a gay bar alone—could he? The mere thought made him break out in a cold sweat, yet that didn’t stop the tingle of anticipation that trickled up and down his back. Do it. Justdo it. Don’t even think about it.

 

“God, you look like you’re having a heart attack. Is it that bad here?” Ben’s wry chuckle brought him swiftly into the present. “I wondered where you’d gotten to. What you doing hiding out over here?” He grabbed the bottle of water next to Tommy’s glass on the ledge and downed half of it in long swallows.

 

Tommy held up the magazine. “Thought I might go see what this place is like,” he said, more calmly than he felt. Inside he was a mess.

 

Ben arched his eyebrows. “Well, good for you, Tommy! Want me to come with, to hold your hand?” He winked.

 

Tommy laughed, the sound false to his ears. “Nah, I’ll be okay.” He was a big boy; he could handle it. Then he had to smile. He was a very big boy.

 

Ben nodded in approval. “Well, you got your ID, right?” Tommy nodded. “Then don’t get too drunk—you’ve got the truck, remember?” He glanced at Tommy’s glass and grinned. “But I guess I don’t have to worry ’bout that, huh?”

 

Shit. Tommy had clean forgotten about that. “How you gonna get back to your place?”

 

Ben waved his hand. “Hey, don’t you go worrying your head about me. I’m sure I’ll manage. And you got a key, right? Besides, who knows where my night will end—or in whose bed.” He waggled his eyebrows. “There’s this one dude over by the bar who is seriously hung.” Ben licked his lips.

 

Heat bloomed in Tommy’s face. He so didn’t want to go there. It was bad enough that he knew Ben went through guys—and girls—like a starving man who’d just come off a strict diet. He didn’t need any images of Ben cluttering up his head. Where was brain bleach when you needed it?

 

“Have a good night.” He patted Ben on the arm and made his way through the tightly packed crowd toward the main door. Once outside he breathed deeply.

 

C’mon, pull yourself together. He took a moment to collect himself and then headed in the direction of his truck. Woofs was only a short drive away. He drove up Piedmont Road, his heart still doing a dance behind his ribs. It had taken him his entire first year at the University of Georgia just to catch up with the rest of his classmates in terms of fitting in. Talk about a fish out of water. Tommy wasn’t sure he’d changed that much from the farm boy who’d arrived just over a year ago, so green, so innocent.

 

Not so innocent now, he mused as he pulled up outside the bar. He took his worn baseball cap from his jacket pocket and put it on. Inside he could hear roars and cheers. There was obviously a game on TV. He stood on the threshold, hands clenched tightly at his sides, knees feeling decidedly wobbly. How long he remained there he had no idea, but the sound of a truck pulling up beside his forced him into action. He pressed his hand against the white door, pushed, and then he was inside.

 

The bar was full of guys standing around little tables or at the bar, and there were several TV screens on the walls. His first thought was that he’d made a mistake. Everyone looked… ordinary, just guys hanging out, watching a football game, yelling at the screens and cheering. He edged his way through the crowded bar that was laid out in a U shape until he got to the far side where there were booths, all occupied. Miraculously, there was an empty stool at the end of the bar near the tabletop video games, and he slid onto it, pulse racing as he looked around. No one gave him a second glance, and he took the opportunity to take in his surroundings, his heartbeat returning to normal.

 

There were three bartenders, one of whom was circulating, taking and delivering orders, and chatting with other customers. One bartender in particular made Tommy’s heart pound a bit harder. He was maybe in his late thirties or early forties, about five nine, and wide across the chest, his upper arms thick with muscle. His hair was cut short, almost a buzz cut, and he had a beard, a little gray showing there. Glasses didn’t hide a pair of blue eyes that were intense, even at a distance. Just looking at him made Tommy’s dick hard.

 

“Hey, you gonna order or what?”

 

With a start, Tommy pulled himself back from his reverie and looked up at the bartender standing in front of him. He was tall, with a Mohawk and tattoos everywhere, a bruiser of a guy with rainbow-colored ear gauges.

 

The bartender smirked. “You back with us?”

 

Tommy’s cheeks were on fire. “A Cherry Coke, please.”

 

One eyebrow lifted. “A Cherry Coke.” He peered at Tommy. “You got ID, honey?” He gave him a flirtatious wink.

 

Nodding, Tommy reached into his pocket for his wallet and handed over the fake ID Ben had procured for him. He tried to keep calm. This was the first time he’d had occasion to use it. He held himself still and kept his eyes on the TV screen, ignoring the bartender while he inspected the card with a smile. When it was handed back to him, Tommy had to fight hard to hide his relief, even though it was plain the bartender’s perusal had been more playful than serious.

 

“Sorry, hon, but you know how fierce they are in this town about underage drinking. I have to askeveryone,” he said with an exaggerated sigh. “I’m sure you’re used to it by now.”

 

“Sure,” Tommy lied, nodding, like this really wasn’t his first time in a bar.

 

“One Cherry Coke, coming up.” The bartender gave him a nod and grabbed a glass. Tommy sagged onto the stool and breathed more evenly. He could deal with this.

 

Until he watched the gorgeous bartender lean across the bar and kiss the customer in front of him squarely on the mouth, then go back to his task of pouring out a beer, grinning, like kissing a guy was nothing out of the ordinary.

 

Shit shit shit…. Just like that, Tommy’s heart was doing its little dance all over again.

 

Then he began to notice things. The guy near the bar who had his arm around another guy’s waist. The third bartender, shorter than the other two and nowhere near as muscular, whose manner was a good deal more effeminate. More guys with their arms around each other. Kisses, just pecks on the cheeks or lips, but yeah, there was definitely kissing going on. He’d been too out of it at the club to notice if there’d been any of that going on, but at such close quarters, it was hard to miss.

 

That was when it really hit home. Tommy was in a gay bar.

 

“Here you go.” The Mohawk guy was back, placing a paper napkin and a tall glass of Cherry Coke in front of him. “You wanna pay for it or set up a tab?”

 

Tommy fumbled clumsily with his wallet, all thumbs, taking out three dollars and handing them over. Mohawk guy nodded and went over to the till. Tommy sipped at the drink, loaded with ice, letting its coolness take away some of the heat from his face. He pulled the cap bill over his eyes and leaned on the bar, observing his fellow customers. More than once his gaze drifted back to the bespectacled bartender, who was laughing and joking with his customers. Now and again he’d raise his eyes to watch the game, joining in the roars and groans of those around him.

 

Who was he trying to kid? Tommy couldn’t take his eyes off him. The man was sex on legs: those muscles, those eyes, that sexy beard…. Then he caught Tommy looking and flashed him a quick grin and a wink.

 

The hair stood up on the back of Tommy’s neck, and his breathing quickened. He felt light-headed, shivery, and hot, all at the same time. What made it worse? The bartender noticed. That grin widened and those intense eyes sparkled.

 

“Hey, Mike, can you check the pump for Blue Moon?” Mohawk guy said to Mr. Sex on Legs. Glugging noises issued from the tap as beer spattered into the glass he was trying to fill.

 

“Sure thing.” Mike gave Tommy a last glance before disappearing behind the bar. Tommy breathed in deeply and took a long swig of Cherry Coke. His physical reaction to Mike had been… powerful, not something he’d ever experienced before. He was still trembling, for God’s sake.

 

Well, if I’d had any doubts about me bein’ gay, that sure blew them all to hell. There’d been no mistaking the lump of stone behind his jeans zipper or the tingle in his balls. Not that he was gonna do anything: Tommy was more than content to sit in the bar ’til they closed, sipping Cherry Coke and enjoying the view.

 

Yeah, acknowledging he was gay was one thing—doing anything with that knowledge was something else entirely. And Tommy wasn’t ready to go down that road just yet. In fact, not for a long while yet.

Available now from Dreamspinner (and in paperback!), Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk and ARe

NEW RELEASE: TO LOVE A TRAITOR BY JL MERROW

Blurb:

Wounds of the heart take the longest to heal.

When solicitor’s clerk George Johnson moves into a rented London room in the winter of 1920, it’s with a secret goal: to find out if his fellow lodger, Matthew Connaught, is the wartime traitor who cost George’s adored older brother his life.

Yet as he gets to know Matthew—an irrepressibly cheerful ad man whose missing arm hasn’t dimmed his smile—George begins to lose sight of his mission.

As Matthew’s advances become ever harder to resist, George tries to convince himself his brother’s death was just the luck of the draw, and to forget he’s hiding a secret of his own. His true identity—and an act of conscience that shamed his family.

But as their mutual attraction grows, so does George’s desperation to know the truth about what happened that day in Ypres. If only to prove Matthew innocent—even if it means losing the man he’s come to love.

This is a novel-length expansion of previously published novella.

Available now from SamhainAmazon.comAmazon.co.uk and ARe