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Monday, May 10, 2021

Author: Sasha Hope

Title: Between Empires and Continents

Series: A Luxor City Novel

Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 55300

Genre

Contemporary, LGBTQIA+, Romance, futuristic, 

urban fantasy, gay, bisexual, Alpha/omega dynamic, 

cruise ship, traveling in disguise, bodyguard, arranged marriage

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 10th May 2021

Description

Luxor City, a once lawless metropolis on the brink of civil war, is now at peace, but even in lighter times there are always shadows. In the technicolor streets of the Southern Empire, Junsu Sun, the Alpha heir to one of Luxor City’s great crime families, busies himself by dealing with a blacklisted group known as the Underground.

After taking down one of the Underground’s notorious leaders, Junsu assumes he’ll be given time to rest and recuperate, but his mother, Alpha Xijuan Sun, has a new mission for him, involving a luxury cruise and a new mate, Omega Kaito Yamaguchi, of the powerful Yamaguchi family. Ever the dutiful son, Junsu obeys his orders as if it were any other mission, but this sort of engagement isn’t exactly the type of thing he’s used to and Kaito Yamaguchi certainly isn’t the sort of Omega he’s used to either.

Kaito is impatient, impassable, and impossible. He’s a spoiled Omega who is pissed off that his family have reorganized his life and thrust him into this arranged mating with some Luxor City Alpha he’s never met before. Kaito hasn’t even seen a picture of Junsu Sun, a fact that Junsu uses to his advantage.

Faced with a week spent trapped on a luxury cruise with a rude, bratty Omega who doesn’t even know who he is, Junsu decides to play a little trick on his future mate. But just how far will he let things go and where is the line between a little trick and a painful deception?

Meanwhile, other secrets floating between empires and continents are about to spill out onto the deck.

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Excerpt

Between Empires and Continents
Sasha Hope © 2021
All Rights Reserved

The Southern Empire glittered like a neon jewel at the tip of the vast island metropolis that was Luxor City, offering visitors and locals alike a chance to live another life. Between the intersections of technicolor streets, every threshold was another opportunity to experience the height of southern entertainment and luxury. The South’s booming city center was a shining district renowned for its fine dining and nightlife. People from all over the world sailed for weeks just to pay a visit. But, as is the trouble in all cities, dark corners filled space among the shadows cast by dazzling lights.

Junsu Sun was proud of the Empire he would one day inherit. Recent increases in corruption were no surprise in a city founded largely on the drug trade between Luxor and the Second Continent. Still, Junsu wasn’t pleased to find out just how deep the opium-coated rabbit hole went. The underground world that had been built up in the back alleys between skyscrapers both enraged and fascinated him to no end.

Since the unification of Luxor City and the newfound peace between the island’s three territories—North, Central, and South—Junsu had been on a quest to know more about his Empire and the inner workings of their expansive business. As the sole heir to Xijuan Sun, the aging Alpha of the Southern Empire, he was starting to feel the weight of duty falling more and more heavily upon his shoulders. Despite only occupying the southern tip of Luxor City, the territory his family’s Empire encompassed was vast and densely populated.

Junsu had no idea what went down in some of the red-light hotspots dotting the city’s entertainment district, but over the past few weeks he’d been carefully slipping into the inner circles of some of the city’s most notorious gangsters, learning more and more about the Southern underbelly, what the Sun family and their allies simply called the Underground.

This was how he found himself sitting around a table playing Mah-jongg with a group of Alphas his mother would have killed as soon as she’d looked at them. These were members of the Underground, people whose fidelity to the Sun family was always in question. They stepped around rules and edicts to run their shady district nightclubs off the grid.

This evening, however, they were all sitting together glowering at Mah-jongg tiles with knowing black eyes.

Four Alphas were seated as is required in Mah-jongg, one person per side of a perfectly square table: North, South, East and West. Junsu occupied the East seat. He leaned into a soft chair with its back to a large loading bay door. Though prominent industrial pieces of architecture were blatantly scattered about the Underground hideout, there was a luxury apparent in the chic den only the highest rollers could afford. Eccentric art pieces decorated the walls and were often lit with neon beams, adding ambience to the eclectic atmosphere.

Junsu hadn’t been expecting this Underground gang to literally be inside an underground venue, but he found something vaguely amusing about their headquarters. In the darkness, dull violet lights illuminated the faces of gamblers and socialites. Their smirking features glowed in an ominous manner. The exposed piping above their table rattled and hissed, probably taking on the tide water from the nearby shoreline. The noise was almost drowned out by the pounding music coming from the club on the floor above.

Junsu stared down at his onyx and jade Mah-jongg tiles, running his thumb over one of the gold-painted engravings marking it. He smiled at his latest pick and flipped his pieces down onto the table, showing off the winning hand.

“My game again,” he uttered before reaching a lazy hand over to his drink. He hid a smirk around the rim of his glass as the rest of the Alphas at the table groaned.

Junsu, the newcomer, had won his third game in a row.

“You know, Sun. It’s only polite to let your elders win sometimes,” the middle-aged man at the West side of the table grunted around the end of a newly lit cigarette. He was the Underground’s leader, an Alpha called Naoto Kim. His wrinkled features were drawn up in a smirk, visibly amused by Junsu’s luck even while his eyes were narrowed with a hint of suspicion.

Junsu could see it, but he simply chuckled and moved his tiles back into the center of the table. He was lucky to have secured this meeting with Naoto Kim, but he wasn’t about to lose on purpose just to stroke the other Alpha’s ego.

“My mother is a good teacher,” Junsu murmured as he drew a hand over the tiles, mixing them about over the velvet-covered tabletop. In contrast to this venue, his mother had a few high-tech tables back in the casino capable of shuffling themselves. Her tables moved the tiles into a mechanical repository under the green velvet before restacking and dealing them out in neat piles. Naoto’s club was a little passé, but Junsu was polite enough not to mention it.

Naoto’s lazy gaze traced Junsu’s hand as it moved over the tiles while he shuffled. With gritted teeth, he laughed to himself before taking a long drag off his cigarette. Smoke billowed from between his lips, momentarily obscuring his glaring eyes.

“I bet you regret inviting the Sun kid over for playtime now. Hey, Seijin?” Tae, the man on the North side of the table, said to the man at the South.

Seijin didn’t look too happy. As a younger member of the gang, his pockets weren’t anywhere near as loaded as his fellows’ and Junsu had practically emptied them out.

Junsu had met Seijin through a contact who’d infiltrated the Underground. Buddying up to the young Alpha had been a cinch. After a few meetups, money had exchanged hands and Junsu eventually convinced Seijin to let him in on one of their Mah-jongg games to give him a chance to meet with Naoto Kim. Junsu had a particular interest in the Underground membership and their trade. They were an up-and-coming group and, despite the conflict between the Underground and the Sun family, Junsu had paid great attention to their business.

“Look, Junsu didn’t come here to play Mah-jongg. All right, Tae?” Seijin snapped back. “He’s not just here to fleece me.”

“Seijin’s right,” Junsu said with a nod. He tossed a few tiles across the table with an absent flick of the wrist. “I didn’t come here to play. I came for business.”

Naoto stared at him, still glaring down the end of his cigarette. “Not sure if we need your mother’s business,” he muttered in response.

“Not hers. Mine,” Junsu replied curtly.

Purchase

NineStar Press | Books2Read

Meet the Author

Sasha Hope is a lover of story, art and design based in Canada. As a writer and an artist, she enjoys having the opportunity to create new characters and build new worlds for readers to explore. Having studied linguistics and a myriad of languages from a young age, she is passionate about including characters of different backgrounds in her work. Whether the setting is fantasy or reality, she believes that a diverse cast with diverse languages and cultures is a wonderful thing.

Crafting stories that embrace MM romance and erotica is her modus operandi. When she is not creating new worlds she is travelling this one looking for inspiration or enjoying her career in the videogame industry.

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Friday, May 07, 2021

 

Author: Stephanie Burke

Title: The Coven

Series: Gargoyles' Song #1

Heat Level: 4 - Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 302 pages

Genre

Romance, Fantasy, Mystery, Science Fiction, 

paranormal romance, pansexual & multisexual, multiple partners, 

murder mystery, alien encounters, action adventure

Publisher: Changeling Press LLC

Release Date: 7th May 2021

Synopsis

Cyprus Reid is an enigma who courts the spotlight while carefully maintaining her mystique, intriguing legions of fans with her stylistic lyrics and a voice that brings many to tears. Even more intriguing than her all-male entourage is the fact that people are dying to get to her… literally. 

To ex-Navy SEAL-turned-government intelligence operative Jason Giles, Cyprus is either a victim of an elaborate conspiracy, or the most fiendish killer since Jack the Ripper. Sure, the victims had shady pasts and shared a connection to a strange incident at Mount McKinley some fifty years ago, but that doesn't mean they deserved to die, seemingly drained of life while engaged in acts of wanton carnality.

Jason is sent to discover the truth, but what he finds is more seductive, more intriguing, more enticing than a mere boy in a dress. What Jason finds is the existence of The Coven. And once they discover you, there is no going back.

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Excerpt

All rights reserved. 

Copyright ©2021 

Stephanie Burke 

“Ms. Reid? Over here!”


“Ms. Reid, you are looking perfect tonight. Look this way, please!”


“Ms. Reid! You are an inspiration! I love you!”


“Ms. Reid! Ms. Reid! You are a goddess!”


“You are a dirty tramp, and you seduce men into worshiping you, you nasty slut!”


“You stole my husband, you bitch!”


“I hope you rot in hell!”


And Cyprus, as usual, ignored it all.


The flashing bulbs temporarily blinded her, but she ignored the minor inconvenience as well, as she moved with her customary style and grace down the wrinkled red carpet that had been rolled out for her visit.


She turned and flashed one last mysterious smile at the gathered crowd, both the hateful and the adoring fans, and silently made her way into the safety of the hotel.


“Ms. Reid?” She looked up at the oh-so-proper, British-accented voice, realizing absently that it was the hotel manager.


She paused, giving the short, balding man her full attention, noting how he flushed a little at her scrutiny.


The doors behind them closed with a <em>whoosh</em>, muting the noise and shouts of the crowd, though bulbs continued to flash as paparazzi desperately tried to get that winning shot of one of the world’s most beautiful and renowned vocalists.


“Um.” He cleared his throat, tugging at his collar as he shifted from foot to foot, more like an adolescent than a grown man. “Security has been tightened on your floor as you requested. Also, you are the only occupant of the twenty-seventh floor, though we can easily accommodate you and your entourage in the penthouse suite.”


“Thank you and that will be all,” a tall, long-haired man spoke, towering over both the manager and Cyprus. “Though we appreciate the hospitality you and your staff have provided thus far, Ms. Reid does not prefer the penthouse or any of the presidential suites. The twenty-seventh floor is perfect for our needs.”


The manager froze, staring at the man as if suddenly noticing his presence and that the sheer aura surrounding Cyprus had rendered the world blind to anyone else around her.


But then, that was part of her mystery.


Cyprus Reid never traveled with fewer than five men, five painfully handsome, dominating men.


How anyone could ever <em>not </em>notice them was a complete mystery, but usually they managed the neat theatrical trick of fading into the background. Once they decided to be seen, however, a blind man couldn’t miss them.


Each stood over six feet tall -- five perfectly formed men, each unique and differently beautiful in his own way, who made it a point to surround and protect Ms. Reid from any and all activities that could be considered dangerous, especially keeping any unsavory fanatics at bay.


The one who spoke to him -- Unus, he had discovered -- the one with long, dark hair, appeared to be the spokesman for the rest of the group. If there was anything to be settled, this one was the one to do it.


He stood before the manager, his perfectly cut Savile Row suit doing nothing to hide the raw masculinity and barely leashed savagery that seemed to glow from his eyes.


The other four, all mystery men of different ethnic backgrounds and styles, moved in closer, alert to any trouble that might develop.


“V-v-very g-good, s-sir,” the manager stuttered, growing nervous now that all that male power was directed toward him. He reached into his pocket, then took a quick step back as all the men moved forward, hiding Cyprus behind a wall of muscle.


“It’s just the electronic key card,” he quickly explained, sweating under his collar as if suddenly fearing for his very life. “Just the key. No one else besides our head of security has a copy.”


“Your head of security?” the man asked, leaning forward, getting closer so that the manager could make out small, very fine tribal tattooing along his hairline, down in front of his ears, and down into the collar of his shirt.


“Jason Giles,” the manager explained. “Very good, comes highly recommended. He is securing the twenty-seventh floor as we speak. Ms. Reid’s safety is our chief concern.”


A slim, dusky hand reached between the two of them, halting any movement the tall man might have made and pulling him back into line.


“Very good.”


He conceded to the smaller female whose hand now rested on his arm, nodding once. “Ms. Reid is exhausted…”


“Oh, excuse me!” The manager snapped back into host mode and hastily directed the small party to the private elevators. “These only stop at executive floors, like the twenty-seventh,” he explained, while placing the card against a small scanner.


The doors immediately opened, and he quickly ushered them inside. The men immediately surrounded Cyprus protectively. Within seconds, they were whisked to the proper floor, and all exited into the plushly carpeted, brightly lit hall.


“As requested, Ms. Reid’s room is in the center. The rooms on either side of her are prepared for occupancy and can be accessed only though the interior doors that are in Ms. Reid’s main suite. All others are closed off and locked, both electronically and by physical means. This floor is as safe as Fort Knox.”


That said, he led them to a door where another man, one with nearly white-blond hair, stood at attention.


Instantly, the men were once again on high alert, their bodies tensing as they formed a barrier between Cyprus and the unknown man.


“This is Jason Giles,” the manager introduced. “He is head of security, hired exclusively for your safety during this visit.”


“An honor.” Jason spoke softly, his eyes going to the odd collection of men who surrounded the artist.


“We thank you.” The long-haired spokesman for the group eyed the strange male carefully. “But your services, though appreciated, are not needed.”


There was steel in that voice only a dead man could miss. The undercurrents flowed strongly and were rife with testosterone.


“Be that as it may,” Jason replied, “I remain your first line of defense. If something gets out of hand, I will do my best to quell it before it even makes it this far. And if you have any issues, no matter how minor, be sure to let me know. Any extra security is a must. We all have to protect the beauteous Ms. Reid,” he added, with barely veiled sarcasm.


“If you think --” the now disgruntled leader of apparent party-toy men began, but a slim hand pressing against his arm stopped him again.


Huffing and visibly fighting to control himself, the man nodded and stepped aside.


And Jason got his first glimpse of the real-life Cyprus Reid.



Purchase

Changeling Press LLC | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Meet the Author

Stephanie is a USA Today Best Selling, multi published, multi award-winning author, Master Costumer, handicapped, wife and mother of two. 

From sex-shifting, shape-shifting dragons to undersea worlds, sexually confused elemental Fey and homo-erotic mysteries, all the way to pastel-challenged urban sprites, Stephanie has done it all, and hopes to do more. 

Stephanie is an orator on her favorite subjects of writing and world-building, a sometime teacher when you feed her enough tea and donuts, an anime nut, a costumer, and a frequent guest of various sci-fi and writing cons where she can be found leading panel discussions or researching varied legends and theories to improve her writing skills. 

Stephanie is known for her love of the outrageous, strong female characters, believable worlds, male characters filled with depth, and multi-cultural stories that make the reader sit up and take notice.

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