Calling His Bluff by B.A. Tortuga

Excerpt:

The sheets were drenched, the world a violent place filled with tremors and waves of

agony. Patrick twisted, trying to drive himself up, away from the sea of bites that covered his

skin. He groaned when skeletal hands reached up from the depths to pull him back down. No. He

wouldn’t go back.

“Bébé. Bébé, you are a fighter, aren’t you? So strong.” The voice was soft, melodic,

welcome. It had a lilt to it that pleased him, soothed him.

“Sing to me?” That voice could draw him up.

“Oh, bébé. I haven’t been asked that in a long, long time.”

“Please.” He couldn’t see the face that went with the voice but he knew it. Hot golden

brown eyes, a strong jaw, wicked mouth. Hair like a raven’s wing. It made promises of things

that were simply phantasms, but the sounds… Oh. The voice began to sing, a simple French

lullaby, but so sweet. His tortured brain held onto the song, the melody a salve.

The grasping, bony hands clawing at him withdrew, and a kinder, warmer pair of hands

began stroking his skin with a cool, wet cloth.

“It will be better soon, bébé. Mark my words.”

“They’re trying to drown me. I won’t let them.” Not when he could stay here. “Don’t

stop.”

“You are safe from drowning, mark my words.”

“Am I?” He laughed, but the sound was dry as dust.

“I swear to you, by all I hold holy.”

Patrick opened his eyes, relieved to see the face matched his memory, blurry as it was.

“You’re Mister Remy.”

“Very good.”

“I don’t feel well. I feel awful and guilty somehow.” He felt as if he’d gone and done

something wicked and evil.

“Guilt is not for men like us, bébé. Let it be gone and you will feel better.” Remy stroked

the cool cloth over his burning skin again.

“Is it so easy?”

“No, but then again, it doesn’t need to be difficult, either.” The cloth disappeared, and

Remy held a glass of water to his lips. “If you practice, it becomes easier.”

The cool water eased him, splashed deep in his belly. He breathed deep for the first time

since he’d awakened. “Better.”

“It is.”

The cloths were changed, the cool rags making him gasp. He clenched and unclenched

his hands, trying to adjust.

“I know, bébé. I went through just this before I left San Francisco. Unlike you, I did it to

myself, no?”

“Why? Why would you?”

“I was feeling guilt. You see? Totally useless emotion.”

“Indeed. Guilt is…” He had so many reasons for it—Henry, Caroline, his father’s eternal

disappointment.

“We’ll work on it together. After you heal.”

“Soon? How long can this linger?”

“Not long.” Remy smiled, one hand resting on Patrick’s chest. “Not as strong as you are.”

A tingle made his muscles twitch and he pulled away from the wicked thoughts the dark

hand on his chest drew forth.

“Did I hurt?” Remy asked, concern clear.

“No. No.” No, that was a comfort, down deeper than skin.

“Ah, good.” Remy began to hum again, that voice smoothing over every rough nerve.

The peace made him blink, made his eyelids heavy. All he did now was sleep and dream,

but he was so tired. Remy was there watching over him.

“Be at ease, bébé.”

“You help.” The words popped out, and he tried not to worry about saying them.

“Good. I want to, hmm?”

“Thank you.” He blinked again and again, but couldn’t focus, so he finally let his lashes

fall since they were so heavy.

“Easy. Easy, bébé. Breathe.”

“Stay with me.” He shouldn’t ask, but he did. He needed Remy with him.

 


Calling His Bluff
Club Raven
Book One
B.A. Tortuga
Genre: Gay paranormal romance
Publisher: All Romance eBooks
Date of Publication:  1/1/2017
ISBN: 978-1-945193-92-7
Word Count: 50000
Cover Artist: Erin Dameron Hill         
Book Description:
Patrick’s loss is Remy’s gain.
A Club Raven Novel
After his twin dies in battle, it’s Patrick Daniels’ duty to marry his brother’s fiancée. Too bad he can’t make himself do it, and in his distress, he manifests a psychic talent that’s stronger than the tornadoes in his native East Texas. Then a mysterious man from a place called Club Raven steps in and sweeps Patrick off to the booming East Coast city of Baltimore.
Club Raven veteran Remy Blanchard sees Patrick and knows, even though Patrick is very ill, that this is the challenge he’s been waiting for. He nurses Patrick back to health, and begins to teach Patrick to control his talent. His methods might be unconventional, and Patrick might be new to the kinds of sexual games Remy knows best, but the two of them find something in each other that might be just as magical as the gentleman’s club where they meet.
About the Author:
Texan to the bone and an unrepentant Daddy’s Girl, BA Tortuga spends her days with her basset hounds, getting tattooed, texting her sisters, and eating Mexican food. When she’s not doing that, she’s writing. She spends her days off watching rodeo, knitting, and surfing Pinterest in the name of research. BA’s personal saviors include her wife, Julia Talbot, her best friend, Sean Michael, and coffee. Lots of coffee. Really good coffee.
Having written everything from fist-fighting rednecks to hard-core cowboys to werewolves, BA does her damnedest to tell the stories of her heart, which was raised in Northeast Texas, but has heard the call of the high desert and lives in the Sandias. With books ranging from hard-hitting GLBT romance, to fiery menages, to the most traditional of love stories, BA refuses to be pigeon-holed by anyone but the voices in her head.
For more information on other books by B.A., visit her official website:

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Luminous Dreams by Alexa Piper

 
 
 

Luminous Dreams

Alexa Piper
 
Genre: Paranormal Erotica
 
Publisher: World Weaver Press
 
Date of Publication:  December 13, 2016
 
ISBN: 978-0-9977888-5-3
ASIN: B01M7UBG0H
 
Number of pages: 140
Word Count: 40,000
 
Book Description:
 
Relax, close your eyes . . . and dream. Nine tales, nine sensual dreams of enchantment, wanderlust and lovers’ longings, of searching and finding; these dreams tell of birds of fire, curses that lie like bridges between night and day, and hunger for sweet seduction.
 
About the Author:
 
Alexa Piper enjoys writing, romance, and the paranormal. This said, becoming a paranormal romance writer seemed perfectly reasonable, but for Alexa, it is more than that; it’s fun. Alexa’s work has appeared in the anthologies Demons, Imps, and Incubi and The Naughty List. Luminous Dreams is Alexa’s first collection, and she hopes her readers will have as much fun reading it as she had writing it. Check out Alexa’s online home (alexapiper.com) for all things related to her writing and be sure to follow her on Twitter @prowlingpiper.

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Book Spotlight: The Devil’s Necktie by John Lansing (#giveaway)

 

Jack Bertolino stood on the balcony of his loft in Marina del Rey, tending a dry-aged New York steak on his prized possession, a top-of- the-line Weber gas grill. He didn’t miss winter, not one little bit. Here he was manning the barbecue in his new uniform, a black T-shirt and jeans, while his cousins were chasing heart attacks shoveling snow off their Staten Island driveways. That image never ceased to put a smile on his face. That and the salty ocean breeze that floated in over the marina.

Jack nursed a glass of cabernet and watched the long line of bright white FedEx trucks return home from their final deliveries and park in neat rows in the lot next to his building. It sure beat the sight of patrol cars jammed onto the sidewalk in front of a precinct house.

Early evening was Jack’s favorite time of day. The sun was just starting to paint the clouds a muted orange. From his fourth-floor vantage point, Jack could see a string of jumbo jets in the distance, silently making their final approach to LAX. Stacked eight planes deep, their slim silver bodies glinted in the setting sun.

For the first time in Jack Bertolino’s life, he felt at ease.

His cell phone chirped, snapping him out of his reverie. He tossed some Japanese eggplant onto the grill, closed the lid, and checked his cell phone screen for the name of the caller.

“Hello.”

“How’s my Italian stallion?”

“Mia . . . ,” he said instantly, his tone neutral, giving away nothing.

“All the planets are aligned, Jack. It’s time for you to man up and make an honest woman out of me.”

Jack couldn’t help but smile. Mia’s throaty voice and light Colombian accent had the power to make a grown man weep. More important, it could make a bad man give up his secrets.

He hadn’t really been surprised when he received her text. He knew it was only a matter of time. Payback’s a bitch.

“What can I do for you, Mia?”

“It’s what I can do for you, papi. My lips . . . they’re still magic.” “I love it when you talk dirty.”

“Only for love or money.”

Although Jack was enjoying the back and forth, he was no longer in the business. “Why are you calling, Mia?”

Mia dropped her act as well. “We need to talk.”

“It’s not a good time,” Jack said as he opened the lid of the grill and pressed his fork against the steak, checking for doneness.

“Face-to-face, Jack.” “I’m not in New York.”

“That’s why I’m in Los Angeles.”

Jack didn’t reply right away. He did a quick analysis of how Mia could know he was living in L.A., what kind of trouble she might be in, what kind of blowback he was going to suffer just from having this conversation. He came to the instantaneous conclusion that however this new wrinkle in his life played out, it would definitely have an impact on his newly found state of bliss.

Mia answered some of his unspoken questions. “I’m still connected, Jack, and you’re still on the radar screen. There are certain people-who will remain nameless, because I’m not on your payroll anymore-who are not convinced you’re out of the game.”

“I’m happily retired,” Jack fired back, wondering if his response sounded forced, wondering why he cared.

“And happily divorced?”

Jack didn’t respond. His private life was none of Mia’s business. He had strict rules when dealing with confidential informants, a line in the sand he never crossed.

But Mia had the kind of beauty that could make a man contemplate leaving his wife, his job, and his kids. Jack had never taken the bait, but had to admit he’d been tempted.

Mia was one of the best CIs in the business, and she and Jack had done groundbreaking work together. With the help of Mia and DEA agent Kenny Ortega, Jack and the team of NYPD narco-rangers he headed up had put away a heavy hitter in the cocaine trade.

Manuel Alvarez was the head of a Colombian drug cell that had been importing a thousand keys of coke into Florida on a weekly basis, and the poison was dripping into New York City. Jack and his group had put away a major cartel scumbag, and Mia had gotten rich.

The feds had a financial equation in place  when  dealing  with CIs. The greater the quantity of drugs an informant was responsible for delivering, the more money it was worth to the United States government. They were happy to give to get. Mia did very well for herself at great personal risk. Informants had a short shelf life. Once a major domo got busted, the cartels worked very hard to discover where the “sickness” had come from. If your name ended up on the short list, you turned up dead.

Jack had made a promise to Mia that if things ever got too hot to handle, he would do whatever he could to help her out of the jam.

Mia was turning in her chit.

“Meet with me in an hour, after I get settled in.” “I’m about to have dinner, Mia.”

“Vista Haven Road, 3468. You owe me, Jack.” “It was a two-way street,” he reminded her. “And I don’t want it turning into a dead end.”

Jack was about to protest, but she clicked off. He turned back to his grill, but now he was unsettled. Mia had always been a cool customer, but there was an edge of panic in her voice. Jack let out an irritated groan. He shut off the grill with a hard snap. He wouldn’t be able to eat anyway until he found out what the hell was wrong.

The San Diego Freeway was a more direct route to the house where Mia was staying, but Jack liked the way Beverly Glen snaked up the hillside to Mulholland Drive. Eclectic homes lined the tight canyon and his sterling gray Mustang GT convertible held fast to the winding road. Out here he felt as if he was in the country in the middle of the city.

Jack hung a right onto Longbow and felt a touch of vertigo as he made the sharp winding descent, leaning on his brakes most of the way. Two blocks down, he made a left onto Vista Haven. The street was thick with Beemers, Lexuses, and Mercedes. Someone must be having a party. Jack discovered it was the house next door to Mia’s when the Mustang’s British GPS voice informed him that he had arrived at his destination on the right.

The single-story midcentury modern home had an Asian feel. It was set back from the street, allowing Jack to pull onto the paver-lined driveway. He swung a one-eighty, so that his car was facing the street. Old habits, he thought.

Jack knocked on the large black-lacquered door and waited. He knocked again and waited, wondering if the GPS could have gotten it wrong and he was now standing foolishly in front of the wrong house. He could hear screams from next door as the partiers dove into their pool, followed by splashes, laughter, and the loud barking of the family’s dogs. The music was rowdy, and even though a thick hedge separated the two properties, it did little to dampen the sound.

Jack was about to use his cell phone when the door opened and slender arms pulled him inside.

In the shadowed hallway Jack stared at Mia, taking in the changes she’d made to her physical appearance since the last time he had seen her. He was at a loss for words. Breathtaking would have worked. Her striking blue eyes, offset by her now darkened hair, were stunning. Her skin was perfect, her scent intoxicating.

Mia was saying words of welcome to Jack in Spanish, but he wasn’t listening. He stood there mesmerized by Mia’s pearl pendant earrings, which swayed gracefully as she tilted her head to look up at him with those killer eyes that crinkled slightly as she smiled. She was self- possessed, and aging well. Jack didn’t know if it was her scent or the sway of her pendant earrings, but he was falling under her spell.

Mia kept talking as Jack’s eyes moved from her eyes to her earrings, back and forth, guided by the hypnotic lilt of her voice and the tilt of her head. Jack could almost hear himself saying, “No fucking way,” as she stepped in closer, but he chose silence. Twenty-five years of discipline and resolve and lines in the sand disappeared as if they were an afterthought.

Mia folded into Jack’s arms and he lifted her easily off the polished hardwood floor. As he held her close, he could feel her heart beating wildly. It reminded him of an injured sparrow he had cupped in his hands as a young boy. He realized that his heart now matched hers, beat for beat, as if an electric current was passing from Mia’s body into his, then from Mia’s lips to his.

Jack carried her down the hallway and into the bedroom. The duvet cover had been pulled back, as if Mia had foreseen the outcome of his visit. Jack didn’t care. He felt good, damn good.

They never broke eye contact as they undressed each other. The sound of laughter filtered through the screen door, but Jack didn’t hear.

He unclasped Mia’s sheer lace bra and his lips found the pink swell of her breast. The slight friction of his teeth played over her taut skin, eliciting a ragged exhale of breath.

Jack gently laid Mia’s head on the silk pillow, kissed the side of her neck, lingering to take in her scent, and then moved slowly down the valley between her perfect breasts. Mia grabbed his hair and guided him lower.

Her stomach quivered and her hips rose slightly as Jack traced her sex with his lips. Their eyes locked as he parted her with his tongue. Her moan was deep, haunted, and then hungry.

She rolled Jack onto his back and mounted him, rhythmically tightening and rocking.

He closed his eyes and calmed his breathing, wanting to prolong the feeling, prolong the perfect moment. He sat up, wrapped his arms around her smooth back, and pulled her tighter against him, slipping deeper inside. Then the lovers dissolved into a fury of flesh and lips.

 

The Devil’s Necktie

John Lansing
 
Genre: Crime/Thriller
 
Publisher: Gallery Books, Simon&Schuster/Karen Hunter Publishing
 
ISBN: 10:1451698348
ASIN: BOO7Z40FOY
 
Number of pages: 384
Word Count: 89,520
 
Amazon      Simon and Schuster    Barnes and Noble
                            
Book Description:
 
A Sizzling thriller for fans of James Patterson and Patricia Cornwell. An exciting tour into the real-life world of cops, crime, and murder. Retired inspector Jack Bertolino had strict rules when dealing with confidential informants. But Mia had the kind of beauty that could make a grown man contemplate leaving his wife, his job, and his kids. After a passionate night together, Mia is found murdered – and Jack is the lead suspect. Facing threats from the LAPD, the 18th Street Angels, and a Columbian drug cartel, Jack delves deeper into the seedy world of drug dealers and murderers and discovers that the top players knew Mia personally. And now Jack is torn between fearing for his life and seeking revenge for his slain lover…either way, the body count will rise.
 

Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkyDF7KNdJ8

About the Author :
 
John Lansing started his career as an actor in New York City. He spent a year at the Royale Theatre playing the lead in the Broadway production of “Grease.”
 
He then landed a co-starring role in George Lucas’ “More American Graffiti,” and guest-starred on numerous television shows.
 
During his fifteen-year writing career, Lansing wrote and produced “Walker Texas Ranger,” co-wrote two CBS Movies of the Week, and he also co-executive produced the ABC series “Scoundrels.” John’s first book was “Good Cop, Bad Money,” a true crime tome with former NYPD Inspector Glen Morisano.
 
The Devil’s Necktie is his first novel.
 
A native of Long Island, John now resides in Los Angeles.
 
http://www.john-lansing.com/
 
 
https://twitter.com/DevilsNecktie
 
 

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