Book Blitz & Excerpt: Teddy’s Truth + Giveaway

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Teddy’s Truth by KD Ellis

General Release Date: 12th January 2021

Word Count: 92,509
Book Length: SUPER NOVEL
Pages: 357
Genres: ACTION AND ADVENTURE, CONTEMPORARY, CRIME, EROTIC ROMANCE, GAY, GLBTQI, MEN IN UNIFORM, THRILLERS AND SUSPENSE, TRANSGENDER

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Book Description

 

Teddy De Luca thought being born into the wrong body was the worst thing that had ever happened to him. Then he met Julian…

All Teddy De Luca wants is for his outside to match his inside—so badly that he takes a loan from a Mexican cartel. It’s not like he can borrow the money from his alcoholic mother. She got him into this mess in the first place when she poured his savings into bottles of Jack. He figures he’ll get his operation, pick up a second job, then pay the debt off quickly and put it all behind him. When the cartel raises the stakes, his plan falls apart and he’s left with a mounting debt and no way out.

Ian Romero is a second generation Hispanic-American whose only goal is to live the American dream—finish college, find the perfect partner and settle down. His inappropriate crush on his brother’s best friend isn’t going to stop him. But when his troubled brother becomes another victim of the local cartel, his plans change. He can’t save his brother, but he can get his revenge.

After years apart, Teddy’s and Ian’s paths cross again, neither expecting the passion between them to re-ignite even hotter than before. Can Ian forgive Teddy’s role in his brother’s death to become the Daddy the younger man needs—or is their relationship destined to fail again?

Reader advisory: This book contains scenes of violence, rape, and a live burial. There are BDSM elements including Daddy kink and mild power play. There are scenes of loan-sharking, blackmail, torture, public sex, parental neglect and domestic violence.

Excerpt

Teddy tugged at the hem of his overlarge sweatshirt then discreetly scratched beneath the band of his sticky sports bra. As far as he was concerned, breasts were disgusting lumps of fat that hoarded sweat, bounced like painful beanbags on his chest when he was busy catching a football and strained the front of any button-down he tried to wear. He couldn’t understand why boys were so obsessed with them. He personally couldn’t wait to get the damn things cut off.

Hormone therapy had deepened his voice and given him a shadow of patchy fuzz on his jaw. Clippers had sheared him of his blond hair and his mother’s Italian heritage had blessed him with broad shoulders and narrow hips.

It was unfortunate that it had also cursed him with breasts that not even puberty blockers had been able to thwart.

He wished he could blame her awful time-management skills on their heritage as well, but he knew better. The fault lay with either Jack or John—the bottle or the boyfriend, whichever she was currently in bed with.

He’d been sitting on the hard, concrete steps of the high school for almost an hour. It wasn’t like he could call her. His cell was out of minutes, and hers was probably dead on the nightstand.

Just as the final school bus trundled back onto the parking lot and Teddy was about to give up on waiting, someone stepped up beside him, casting him in shadow.

“Stay there,” Teddy ordered, craning his head back until he could grin at his best friend. “Perfect. Be my sun block.”

Shiloh, still in his leotard, laughed and nudged Teddy’s hip with his shoe. “If you don’t think I shine brighter than the sun, then clearly I’m not wearing enough glitter.”

“Shine as bright as you want, but just keep standing there. Fuck, it’s hot!” Teddy gripped his collar and tugged at it repeatedly, trying to stir a breeze. All it ended up doing was wafting the stench of boob sweat up into his face.

“Well, duh, it’s ninety degrees—and you’re in a sweater.” Shiloh rolled his eyes and dropped onto the curb beside him. “And it’s not even pink.”

Teddy opened his mouth, his usual response dancing on his tongue—that boys don’t wear pink—but he swallowed it. Shiloh was currently in a hot pink leotard and pink Chucks.

Instead, Teddy shrugged and glared down at his baggy jeans and boring blue sweater. “You know why.” It was hard enough getting people to call him Teddy instead of Thea. Or, worse, Theodora.

“I’m going to make you a shirt. It’s going to be pink and fabulous. It’s going to say, ‘Call Me Teddy’. And it’s going to be in glitter.” Shiloh threw an imaginary handful into the air, then fell back to lie on the sidewalk, his arms flung out.

“With your handwriting, they’d probably think you wrote ‘Daddy’.” Teddy dropped back to use Shiloh’s arm as a pillow.

Shiloh shifted but didn’t pull away. He just rolled onto his side, his blond hair flopping into his eyes. He left his arm beneath Teddy’s head, bringing their faces close enough that their noses nearly touched. “It’s not that bad. Besides, you’re clearly not a Daddy.”

Teddy rolled his eyes. Ever since he’d borrowed Shiloh’s laptop to finish up his college application essays—and forgotten to clear his search history after falling down the rabbit hole of kinky porn—Shiloh’s teasing had been less than subtle. Teddy refused to be embarrassed, though, especially since the only reason he’d stumbled onto that website in the first place was because Shiloh had left three separate bookmarks for it.

It reinforced everything Teddy knew about their relationship. They were destined to be the bestest of friends—but nothing more. They were both too attracted to the same type of man—tall, dark and dangerous.

Still, knowing his friend was into the same kinks that he was didn’t mean they needed to talk about it. He ignored the leading comment and switched back to the far safer topic of handwriting. “Remember when Mr. Carmine thought you wrote an essay on Storage Wars?”

“Hey, Mr. Carmine also thought you wrote an essay about Quasimodo.”

“I did write him an essay about Quasimodo. Well, really about how the novel by Victor Hugo helped raise the money needed to restore the cathedral, and—” Teddy felt the beginnings of a spiel on gothic architecture creeping up.

Shiloh interrupted, “Yeah, buttresses…a rose window. I remember. I still think the gargoyles are creepy.”

“You said buttresses,” Teddy snickered, shoving Shiloh’s shoulder.

“Teddy, can I touch your buttress?”

“Your hand can stay far away from my buttress, fuck you very much.”

“It’s like a butt fortress. I just want to invade your buttress! Why are you so mean to me?” Shiloh rolled onto his back and kicked his feet against the sidewalk like an angry toddler, except for the smile on his face.

“No, it’s impregnable!” Teddy stuck out his tongue.

“Well, duh, you’re a boy. Of course you’re impregnable.”

“Something tells me you don’t know what that word means.”

Immediately, Shiloh rattled off the definition. “Impregnable. Unable to be captured or broken into. Also, unable to be defeated or destroyed. But you have to admit that it sounds an awful lot like it means you can’t make babies.”

“And thank God for that,” Teddy shivered at the thought of being responsible for a little, squalling, helpless baby. “I might miss wearing pink, but I won’t miss that.”

Teddy froze at the accidental admission. His therapist had told him that it was normal, that gender was a spectrum and that just because he still liked feminine things didn’t make his desire to transition less valid. Still, it was the first time he’d admitted it to anyone except his therapist.

Shiloh sat up slightly to face him better. “You can still wear pink. You can wear whatever the fuck you want.” Shiloh’s voice hardened. “And if anyone bothers you about it, I’ll cover their lockers in gay porn. Just say the word.”

“The poor football players won’t know what to do with themselves. Think of all the spontaneous erections.” The few he’d dated had been far more interested in his ass than a straight guy probably should be—not that he’d obliged, since he refused to be anyone’s dirty little secret.

Shiloh sighed. “It would be a beautiful gift to all of us.”

A black Mercedes pulled up to the curb, barely parking before the driver was leaning on the horn.

“Impatient bastard,” Shiloh grumbled. “I don’t know why he’s in a hurry. He gets paid by the hour.”

“Well, that stick is so far up his ass it has to be uncomfortable sitting down.” Teddy sat up and straightened his sweatshirt. The Becketts’ driver was a homophobic dick. He didn’t understand how the man hadn’t been fired yet.

Shiloh pushed himself to his feet. “I bet he has hemorrhoids. That’s probably where he rushes off to every night.”

“Ew. You picture him rubbing cream on his ass?” Teddy teased.

Shiloh gagged, shoving Teddy to the side. “Gross. You’re such a dick. I don’t know why I hang out with you.”

“Because you love me.”

The Mercedes blared its horn again, a demanding series of honks that only ended when Shiloh threw a hand up in acknowledgment. “I gotta go. Do you have a ride?”

Teddy shrugged. “Yeah. She must just be running late or something. I’m sure she’ll be here soon.” He knew she wouldn’t be, but he’d rather walk than listen to the driver sling slurs. He didn’t understand how Shiloh dealt with it.

Shiloh hesitated on the bottom step, looking like he wanted to say something, but all he did was give a small nod and say, “Okay. See you Monday?”

“Yeah, see you.”

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About the Author

KD Ellis

KD Ellis is a professional cat wrangler by day, and an author by night. She moved from a small town to an even smaller village to live with her husband and wife and their two children. She loves reading—anything with men loving men. She writes queer romance in between working her two jobs and cuddling her pets—all six of them, which confuses the turtle.

Giveaway

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KD Ellis’s Teddy’s Truth

KD ELLIS IS GIVING AWAY THIS FABULOUS PRIZE TO ONE LUCKY WINNER. ENTER HERE FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN THIS FABULOUS GOODY BAG AND A $5.00 FIRST FOR ROMANCE GIFT CODE! Notice: This competition ends on 20th January 2021 at 5pm GMT. Competition hosted by Totally Entwined Group.


Book Blitz & Excerpt: Lost in L.A. + Giveaway

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Lost in L.A.

by Amy Craig

Heat Rating: Simmering
Sexometer: 2
Word Count: 91,876
Book Length: SUPER NOVEL
Pages: 353
Genres: CONTEMPORARY, CHICK LIT, EROTIC ROMANCE

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She agreed to a fake relationship to shield her feelings, but their rules don’t address his secrets or the magnitude of what they can build together.

Wylie’s beachside yoga classes feel like the California dream, but when an eviction notice sends her scrambling for a new place to live, she realizes that life on the streets isn’t for the faint of heart.

She strikes a promotion deal with a food truck vendor named Nolan, but an impromptu kiss proves she wants more than a side of fries from the man. He asks her out, but she demurs, knowing she can’t handle a relationship right now. When her SUV gets towed, Nolan helps her recover the vehicle and proves his heart of gold by renting her a room in the plush compound he calls home.

Faced with a bevy of overachieving new roommates, Wylie tries her best to impress the neighborhood elites. When an elderly couple stops by unannounced, she takes her act a step too far and pretends she’s Nolan’s girlfriend. When he asks her to play along to help him close the deal on a commercial kitchen, she agrees to mask her feelings, but their rules don’t address his secrets or the magnitude of what they can build together.

Reader advisory: This book deals with homelessness. There is a scene of attempted mugging, a gunshot injury, references to suicide, an implied abusive relationship and a brief scene of sexual harassment.

Excerpt

Wylie stood in the shadowed hallway of the two-bedroom apartment, her fist clenched as she brainstormed ways to fight an eviction notice.

Dottie, her roommate, was texting her from the security of the bathroom.

Couldn’t she face me? After four months of cohabitation, Wylie knew very little about the woman. She mostly found it funny when the overpaid nanny confiscated candy from her sugar-restricted charges, retreated to the bathroom and savored the contraband where no one could see her. Today, Wylie struggled to find humor in the situation. Breathing through her frustration, she released her fist and sank to the floor. “The wrappers in the trashcan give you away,” she whispered. “We both know what you’re doing in there.”

She looked down the hallway and focused on the living room couch where Dottie’s orange-and-white cat luxuriated on the corduroy fabric, as smug as its owner. White mini-blinds cast stripes of sunlight on the room’s beige carpet, valance drapes and dusty brass fixtures. As a native of Santa Monica, Wylie understood that the furnished apartment on Montana Avenue and Fifth Street relied on its location to attract tenants. The nineteen-hundred dollars a month sublease let her walk to the beach where she taught yoga, but the cat paid nothing for his sunlit pleasure. Maybe I’ll take you with me. I could hold you for ransom until Dottie adds me to the lease.

The cat yawned.

You’re right. You’re not worth the trouble.

Steam seeped beneath the bathroom door, as nebulous as her counterarguments and self-doubts. Ignoring the tacky feel of the semi-gloss paint, she leaned against the bathroom door and pulled her fingers through her long blonde hair. This is what I get for being too trusting and naïve. I should have put my name on the lease. I should have known better than to get myself into this mess. I could find Dottie a boyfriend. A girlfriend. Whatever. Threaten to reveal her undocumented cat. Light her bed on fire. She laughed and released her hair to cover her mouth. Shit, that wasn’t appropriate.

She rapped on the bathroom door. “Dottie! Let’s talk about this situation like grown women. I’m this close to finishing two-hundred hours of professional certification and landing a full-time job with benefits. What am I supposed to do now? Live on the streets?”

Her ostensible roommate remained silent.

“There has to be another alternative.”

The faucet ran as Dottie added hot water to her tub, ignoring their shared utility costs and the environmental impacts of her two-hour bath. “What’s done is done. Cousin’s in and you’re out.”

Wylie exhaled, finding it impossible to reason with a woman who lacked the courage to face her. “This isn’t right. Don’t you have to give me some notice or something? Don’t you even feel bad about what you’re doing?”

“Not really.”

She hung her head. It doesn’t matter if she stays in that bathtub until the floor caves in. Her name’s on the lease and she calls the shots.

“I know I promised you a year—”

Wylie’s hope soared.

“But we all thought my cousin would fail her semester at UC and have to repeat it. Maybe, like, twice. Now that she’s graduated, she’s decided to come to Los Angeles to pursue her acting career.” The plastic snap of a toiletry bottle echoed in the tiled room. “My aunt called and told me this morning. What am I supposed to do?”

“Tell your mom you already have a roommate? One who’s never been late paying rent?” She considered kicking down the door and upending the bubble bath all over Dottie’s head. “A roommate who changes the litter box for the cat you’re not even supposed to have in the apartment!”

“Leave Snickerdoodle alone.”

Wylie eyed the cat. “I love animals.”

The cat stood, repositioned himself and presented his ass to Wylie.

Wylie stared at the bathroom door. “This is bad karma!”

“Sorry, kid.”

“Your cousin will never make it to her auditions on time.” Her words sped up and she stood, hoping her hard-won native logic could override the aspirations of a wannabe actress. “Your cousin needs to live in one of the San Fernando Valley neighborhoods. The Central and Eastside neighborhoods would be even better if she’s looking for a deal.”

“She’s a trust-fund kid.”

“She might decide this apartment isn’t a good fit. I don’t want you to end up with zero roommates. Maybe she could sleep on the couch for a while.” Water sloshed on the other side of the door and Wylie crossed her fingers, hoping her magnanimous offer cloaked her desperation.

“That’s the thing. My cousin wants the second bedroom. My aunt already wired me six months of rent.”

Of course she did. Wylie bit her lip and decided to play her final card. “I guess I could take the couch.”

The bathwater stilled.

Wylie clung to a moment of hope.

“You’d still have to pay me the same rent.”

The counteroffer hit Wylie like a rogue wave. Her eyes widened and she slapped the door in disbelief. “You can’t charge me the same amount you’re charging for a bedroom.”

“Why not? My name’s on the lease. We’re not friends, Wylie. Take it or leave it.”

She opened her mouth to accept a month on Dottie’s fur-strewn couch.

The other woman pulled the plug on the bathwater. “You know what? Scratch that. I don’t want to put up with three women sharing one tiny bathroom. It’s not like we’re desperate.”

Tears streamed down Wylie’s cheeks as she hung her head and let her hair shield her face. The draining water sucked away the last bit of her hope. Right now, I’m the definition of desperate. She cleared her throat, determined to retain her pride. “How long do I have until your cousin shows up? Like, a week?”

“She’ll be here in the morning.”

Wylie stared at the bathroom door. “Are you serious?”

“Honestly, I thought you’d be gone by now.”

She wiped away her tears. “Funny. I’m still here.”

“You should probably leave tonight and make a clean break.”

Laughter bubbled up in Wylie’s throat, displacing her desperation. “This is not helping me out. This is, like, the definition of not helping me out.”

“I guess you can stay the night. I’ll use your deposit to pay for a cleaning service.”

“You’re funny, Dottie. Fucking hilarious.”

The woman remained silent for a minute. “Sorry, kid.”

Wylie retreated to a bedroom full of mismatched furniture and cursed her stupidity. She shoved her clothes into her duffel bag, folded a set of sheets and crammed them on top of her clothes. People have done more with less.

Dottie emerged from the bathroom wearing a towel and a hair turban straight from the archives of the home shopping channel. She tossed an envelope of cash on the bare mattress. “Here’s your deposit. I hope everything works out.”

Wylie stared at the clumsy script bearing her name, Wylie Winidad. The sight of the familiar envelope brought tears to her eyes and she shook her head, realizing Dottie had never felt the need to deposit her hard-earned cash. “Thanks, I guess.”

The woman nodded and retreated without saying another word.

Wylie picked up the envelope of money and shoved it into her purse while she considered her predicament. Why do bad things happen to good people? I’ve done everything right since my parents left town. How am I going to scrape together the money I need for a deposit on my own place? I need to figure out a way to take care of myself, but there’s no wau I’m calling my parents. Most of the people I know have moved away and like…grown up.

She thought of her mom and dad ensconced in an Oregon complex full of California refugees. ‘They’ll be the hardest years of your life,’ her mother had said, boxing up a lifetime of dishes and serving pieces. ‘You’re only twenty-six years old. Instead of fending for yourself, why don’t you tag along with us?’

‘Because I belong here.’

‘Oh, honey, you’ll always belong with us.’

Wylie blinked away the sting of tears. ‘Thanks, Mom.’

The next day, her parents had driven up the coast in a rental truck full of furniture and left her in Santa Monica with a wardrobe of frayed designer jeans, a jumble of high-priced loungewear and the athletic gear she needed to host her beachside classes.

She’d gotten drunk with Natalia to celebrate her independence. Clinking glasses, they’d toasted having everything they needed. Most of their sporadic interactions involved yoga classes and cocktails, but Wylie knew her best friend would let her crash for a few days if she happened to be in town. Unfortunately, the spunky yoga enthusiast worked as a studio scout and her social media feed showed her scouting battle sites on the Horn of Africa. Who would let me in? Nobody. I have nobody left in this town.

She wheezed as the reality of her situation set in. The muscles in her airways tightened and stress impeded her breathing. Now is not the time for an asthma attack. She focused on calming her rapid inhalations, but the muscles in her neck and chest tightened as panic set in. The pain of the clenching muscles echoed through her body. Doubling over, she scrambled for the rescue inhaler in her purse and dumped out the contents of the bag. The metallic inhaler caught her eyes. She pumped the cartridge, slumped to the floor and waited for the rush of the short-acting bronchodilator to relieve her systems. What would I do without my medicine?

Twenty minutes later, her breathing slowed and she wondered when the misery of this day would end. Trusting her heart rate to remain stable, she struggled to her feet and hefted her duffel bag, testing her strength against an upset stomach and shaky limbs. I can do this.

Dottie sat on the couch in a pair of pajamas, her turban in place while she watched a cooking show with the cat.

I’m surprised she’s not hiding in her room.

The cooking show went to commercials.

Dottie looked up. “Do you need any help with your stuff?”

Oh, so now you’re helpful? Wylie shook her head, dropped the first duffel bag by the front door and returned to the bedroom to grab the second one. She straightened her spine as she walked between her former roommate and a television chef demonstrating how to make pasta. “Adios, Snickerdoodle. It’s been swell.”

The cat’s eyes remained closed.

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About the Author

Amy Craig

Amy Craig lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana USA with her family and a small menagerie of pets. She writes women’s fiction and contemporary romances with intelligent and empathetic heroines. She can’t always vouch for the men. She has worked as an engineer, project manager, and incompetent waitress. In her spare time, she plays tennis and expands her husband’s honey-do list.

Find Amy at her website, on Amazon and follow her at BookBub.

Giveaway

Enter to win a fabulous gift package and a $5.00 First For Romance Gift Code!

Amy Craig’s Lost in L.A.

AMY CRAIG IS GIVING AWAY THIS FABULOUS PRIZE TO ONE LUCKY WINNER. ENTER HERE FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN A LOVELY GIFT PACKAGE AND A $5.00 FIRST FOR ROMANCE GIFT CODE! Notice: This competition ends on 20th January 2021 at 5pm GMT. Competition hosted by Totally Entwined Group.

Book Blitz & Excerpt: Demon’s Wish + Giveaway

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Demon’s Wish
by Xenia Melzer
Book 1 in the Demon Mates series
General Release Date: 5th January 2021
Format: EBOOK
ISBN: 978-1-83943-091-6
Word Count: 53,035
Language: English
Book Length: NOVEL
Pages: 201

Genres:

ANGELS AND DEMONS
COMEDY AND HUMOUR
CONTEMPORARY
EROTIC ROMANCE
GAY
GLBTQI
PARANORMAL

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Book Description

Finding love is hard—especially when you’re a demon and your potential mate is your sacrifice…

Sammy is content with running his bookshop and leading a book club consisting solely of paranormal creatures. Despite the persistence of his friends, he has resolved himself to a life without romance, since he doesn’t think anybody could find him and his tendency to spill useless knowledge whenever he gets nervous attractive.

Dresalantion is a demon prince and slightly—make that majorly—annoyed when somebody persistently tries to summon him. He finally decides to show up and put the fear of Dresalantion into his summoners but finds himself rescuing their sacrifice instead.

Sammy intrigues him from the get-go, and when Dre realizes that Sammy can get him the manga he’s been hunting for months—not to mention that he refuses a wish he offered him—the sexy demon decides to get to know this fascinating man better. Much better.

Reader advisory: This book contans scenes of kidnapping and an attempted human sacrifice.

Excerpt

“Is everybody set?”

Sammy looked around the group of people gathered in his bookstore. It was Wednesday, which meant there would be a book club meeting after closing hours. Their little group met at least twice every month to discuss books and interesting topics related to books, and Sammy loved it. It had formed half a year after he had opened his shop, Sammy’s Book Corner, and the participants had become something like a family to him, which he desperately needed after his parents had died five years before. He gazed around to make sure everybody had their stash of cookies—this time provided by Mavis and Maribell, the two witches—along with their favorite drink.

The delicious smell of freshly baked cookies mixed with the aroma of two hazelnut toffee lattes, the sharper tang of two Chai teas—heavy on the cinnamon—and his own hot chocolate before the familiar background scent of books, both old and new, made him once again congratulate himself on buying the fancy coffeemaker and establishing the little lounging area across from his cash counter. The members of their book club were seated on the four old couches around two low tables, getting comfortable.

Sammy was especially proud of this setup, since he had found all the furniture at flea markets and had given them each a do-over. The whiskey-colored leather couch hadn’t been much work. Just cleaning and treating the leather with a special balm had made the piece shine again. It now smelled faintly of beeswax, something that made Sammy crave a peppermint tea with honey every time he sat on it. The two chaises had required more effort. He had upholstered them and given them each a new cloth as well. Now customers could sit down on the colors of the rainbow to read their latest purchase. The last item was a lounger whose frame he had painted in pink then sprinkled with golden glitter for good measure. A turquoise throw made the piece stand out. One of the tables was covered in dots of various sizes and colors, and the other one had wall tattoos of Drogon and Smaug looking at each other on a black background.

Sammy was the first to admit that his artistic talent was closer to what a six-year old could produce than the fine artistry people with a real gift made, but he had done a good job with the furniture and his shop. Perhaps it was because he loved his little haven of books so much that it brought out the best in him. Except for the laptop in his office and the coffeemaker, nothing in the shop was new. Most everything had come from flea markets and garage sales, making for an interesting and charming mix of styles. Sammy had dedicated quite some time matching his books with the furniture. His antiques were stacked in open wardrobes that matched their age—or came close to it. The fantasy and science fiction books lived on shelves from IKEA, which he had sprayed silver. The romance books had found their home in old wooden wine crates that were clustered around the shop in small stacks of six to ten. Comics and manga were stashed in big boxes he had built from panoplies and painted in different hues of blue. The shop was Sammy’s idea of home, a feeling that seemed to convey itself, because most of his customers were regulars and loved hanging out in the place.

Sammy looked at his fellow book club members and adopted family and felt a brief shudder when he remembered their last meeting, where Amber the banshee had insisted on providing the baked goods. She might be four hundred years old, but just like every other banshee in the world, her baking skills were those of a blind man who had to find his way in a kitchen with both arms tied behind his back. Nonexistent. According to Emilia, the vampire in their group, this had something to do with their magic, which allowed them to pinpoint the exact time of death for every person. Apparently, the mixture of being able to look into the future without upsetting the balance of time and still warning people of their impending end didn’t go well with any kind of cooking. As to why exactly that was, Emilia couldn’t—or wouldn’t—tell. As the only human in a group of paranormals, Sammy had gotten used to not knowing everything. There was too much going on and he had learned soon after stepping into this world that ignorance truly was bliss in many cases where paranormals were involved. He would have preferred to know about Amber’s anti-talent in the kitchen, though, before he’d accepted her offer to bring snacks.

Per group vote, Amber had been banned from ever bringing sweets to the meetings again, even though Jon, the zombie living in the cellar under the bookshop, had later confessed to Sammy that the stone-hard lumps weren’t that bad, once one managed to get through the crust—the burnt, black crust that may or may not once have been sugar. Sammy swallowed hard. Just remembering the taste made his stomach revolt. And he hadn’t even been able to get to the core of the—he tried to find a fitting word for the deadly pieces of ballistic bakery and finally settled for ‘pastries’. Declan and Troy, the two werewolf alphas, as well as Emilia, had sharper teeth and more strength in their jaws, yet the looks on their faces when the crust gave way had been disturbing, to put it mildly.

“I don’t see what’s so different about these,” Amber declared with a pout while holding up a perfectly shaped chocolate chip cookie. Her pixie cut with the neon green hair went well with the huge, sapphire-green earrings, the thick golden chain with various amulets dangling from her neck, the five leather bracelets with Celtic runes etched into them and the approximately twelve rings she was wearing on her fingers. Compared to her jewelry, her outfit was plain—black skinny jeans, black sneakers and a black shirt with a sparkling unicorn on it, declaring Eat My Stardust, Suckers.

“The difference, my dear Amber, is that these cookies can be eaten without costing you a tooth. I’m so sorry to break this to you, but your baking skills are what I imagine Terry Pratchett had in mind when he created dwarf bread.”

Declan put one of the cookies in his mouth, munched on it with an expression of pure bliss on his ridiculously handsome face and gulped it down. He and Troy, who wasn’t there on that day due to business, looked like everybody’s wet dream. They were tall and had angular faces with chiseled jaws and sharp cheekbones, broad shoulders, slim hips, long, muscular legs and hair so thick and healthy that Sammy knew women would murder for it. Apparently, the good looks were part of the genetic makeup of shifters, but Sammy still found it almost offensive how perfect Declan and Troy were. Like two sides of a coin, one dark and dangerous, the other blond and…well, dangerous, they were a constant temptation for women and men alike. When they’d first joined the book club, Sammy had had some disturbingly hot dreams about threesomes with them and it had taken him almost four months until he had been able to put them firmly in the ‘friend zone’. It had helped—once they’d felt comfortable enough to relax during the meetings—to see their true selves. Because, no matter how perfect their looks were, the two werewolves were almost annoyingly arrogant and overconfident, as was typical for alphas—or so Sammy had been told by Jon. Their saving grace was a great sense of humor and their unusual choice of favorite book—Pride and Prejudice. After they had confessed this, nobody in their little circle was able to take them too seriously anymore, because how could somebody who loved the perfect book be a bad person? The posturing was just that—a façade to frighten potential enemies away—and the paranormal world was full of those.

“Dwarf bread?” Amber lifted one of her meticulously plucked eyebrows, a hint of steel in her voice.

“Don’t take it to heart, dear. If you want, you can come over and maybe we can teach you how to get them right.”

Maribell smiled at Amber and patted her hand. The witch looked like a nice, elderly lady with her flower-print dress, the square handbag and the perfectly coiffed bun at the back of her head. Her thick black hair was infused with gray strands, and around her almond-shaped eyes—a heritage from her Asian father—laugh lines softened her features. Sammy knew better, though. Maribell reminded him of his first-grade teacher, Mrs. Smithson, who had been able to shut unruly pupils up with one stern look. Those who inspired her displeasure quickly learned that there was nothing worse than the wrath of a teacher provoked…except for the wrath of witches. And with Mavis and Maribell, the first lesson was also the last.

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About the Author

Xenia Melzer

Xenia Melzer was born and raised in a small village in the South of Bavaria. As one of nature’s true chocoholics, she’s always in search of the perfect chocolate experience. So far, she’s had about a dozen truly remarkable ones. Despite having been in close proximity to the mountains all her life, she has never understood why so many people think snow sports are fun. There are neither chocolate nor horses involved and it’s cold by definition, so where’s the sense? She does not like beer either and has never been to the Oktoberfest – no quality chocolate there.

Even though her mind is preoccupied with various stories most of the time, Xenia has managed to get through school and university with surprisingly good grades. Right after school she met her one true love who showed her that reality is capable of producing some truly amazing love stories itself.

While she was having her two children, she started writing down the most persistent stories in her head as a way of relieving mommy-related stress symptoms. As it turned out, the stress-relief has now become a source of the same, albeit a positive one.

When she’s not writing, she translates the stories of other authors into German, enjoys riding and running, spending time with her kids, and dancing with her husband. If you want to contact her, please visit either her website, or write her an email.

Giveaway

Enter to win signed/personalized copies of books 1 & 2 in the Club Whisper series and a $5.00 First For Romance Gift Code!

Xenia Melzer’s Demon’s Wish Giveaway

XENIA MELZER IS GIVING AWAY THIS FABULOUS PRIZE TO ONE LUCKY WINNER. ENTER HERE FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN SIGNED/PERSONALIZED COPIES OF BOOKS 1 & 2 IN THE CLUB WHISPER SERIES AND A $5.00 FIRST FOR ROMANCE GIFT CODE! Notice: This competition ends on 13th January 2021 at 5pm GMT. Competition hosted by Totally Entwined Group.


Note: You can go here, to See Sadie Read to see my review.

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