Valentine’s month celebrations at Diverse Reader

A whole month of featured romance books, PLUS a prize draw for free books!!
What could be a better celebration?!
Bookmark the site and follow the posts all this month 


And featuring this week – my popular Valentine’s release HIDDEN HEARTS;

Accident-prone Ethan has a dating history that reads like a disaster movie script. Strong and silent Kel can’t seem to master the necessary small-talk on a proper date. When they both get signed up anonymously for a Valentines’s night event—”for those with an adventurous spirit but an open diary”—they never imagined they’d be matched. They never imagined the romantic sparks would fly. To be honest, they never imagined they’d survive the week.
A catalogue of disasters dogs the footsteps of their blossoming romance, including a coffee date with food allergies as an added extra, an intimate dinner that strays too close for comfort to chopped chillies, and a sensual massage with hot wax candles that threatens to alert the local fire brigade.
But if they can hold tight to their sweet, surprising, yet single-minded attraction – they might just survive this Valentine’s Day with something very special to look forward to.

 

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New release – Hidden Hearts


HIDDEN HEARTS – Bad Valentine 3
Releases Feb 1 and now on pre-order
Details, Blurb, the Other Titles, and an Exclusive Excerpt

On pre-order today, available at Amazon and in Kindle Unlimited:

BLURB: Accident-prone Ethan has a dating history that reads like a disaster movie script. Strong and silent Kel can’t seem to master the necessary small-talk on a proper date. When they both get signed up anonymously for a Valentines’s night event—”for those with an adventurous spirit but an open diary”—they never imagined they’d be matched. They never imagined the romantic sparks would fly. To be honest, they never imagined they’d survive the week.

A catalogue of disasters dogs the footsteps of their blossoming romance, including a coffee date with food allergies as an added extra, an intimate dinner that strays too close for comfort to chopped chillies, and a sensual massage with hot wax candles that threatens to alert the local fire brigade.

But if they can hold tight to their sweet, surprising, yet single-minded attraction – they might just survive this Valentine’s Day with something very special to look forward to.

BAD VALENTINE is the brand new series of lighthearted Valentine’s Day shorts by four different authors, each story written with the same opening line: Nothing good ever came of a Valentine. FIND LINKS TO ALL THE STORIES HERE.

Hidden Hearts by Clare London (Contemporary MM Romantic Comedy, 15k words) Ethan’s dating history is one long catastrophe, until a mis-matched Valentines date with Kel brings the hope of new love. That’s assuming the romance survives a few more disasters!
Love Magic by Jesi Lea Ryan (Paranormal MM Romance, 10k words) The day I met Derrick while playing my violin in the Park was magical. Unfortunately, love and magic don’t always mix.
Quill Me Now by Jordan Castillo Price (Paranormal MM Romantic Comedy, 25k words) Dixon Penn’s family wasn’t terribly shocked when he announced he was gay. But they were devastated to find out he’s the only one without the gift of Spellcraft.
Temporary Dad by Dev Bentham (Contemporary MM Romance, 22k words) A one night stand that should have started a love story and the stupid lie that got in the way. Add a disruptive seven-year-old and mayhem ensues. For Nick and Dylan, there are plenty of twists on the road to happy ever after

***HIDDEN HEARTS : EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT***

Ethan glanced over at table eleven, as he’d been directed to.

Oh my god.

Ethan’s last few boyfriends had all been very much like him. Reserved, modestly dressed, with an office job. The guy at table eleven was… something else.

He was really big. Huge shoulders. Fabulously straining pecs. Wasn’t that shirt way too small for him? Ethan reckoned he’d be at least four inches taller, too. The red scarf looked tiny around that neck. A thick but smartly clipped beard and moustache. Large hands, resting flat on the table. Very calm, very still. Very large hands.

And. Oh my God, again. Were those tattoos?

Ethan felt a bit faint. He took a clumsy step forward, knocked into a table and sent a chair and all the cutlery flying. He took a full minute apologising to the waitress who came to help, and when he stepped away, he winced as he felt the little vase and flowers crunch to pieces under his boot.

The man had stood, facing Ethan’s approach. He was probably a good six inches taller than Ethan. It was totally inappropriate, but Ethan had a sudden, vivid image of being scooped up by that thick arm and pressed against that big body. Hard.

“Hi. Kel,” the man said. His eyes were very bright, alert.

“Hi. I’m Ethan. This is bloody ridiculous, isn’t it? I mean, this whole set up. I don’t expect you imagined you’d get stuck with a skinny, boring accountant.” Whose voice was that, rambling on? Jesus, it was his.

“Are you?”

The guy was watching Ethan’s mouth. Was he deaf, maybe? Ethan had learned sign language at one time when he had a hearing-impaired friend at university, but he wasn’t sure he could remember much more than the alphabet and the sign for bullshit. Yeah. Also totally inappropriate. “Well. I’m skinny, at least.” Ethan smiled ruefully.

Kel’s beard crinkled at the edges of his mouth when he grinned. “Lovely smile,” he said.

“Oh. Thank you,” Ethan replied. He felt himself blush. And smiled again.

Kel pulled out a chair and Ethan stared at it for a moment until he realised it was so he could sit down. What good manners. He sat on the edge while the waiter brought them water and a small bowl of nachos.

“Have some,” Kel said.

Ethan wasn’t sure if it was a question or an order, but he was bloody hungry and the nachos smelled great. So much better than a bowl of nuts, which he usually had to avoid because of his occasional reaction, or those pretzel things that he once chipped a tooth on, or crisps that got stuck in clumps on his soft palate and made him cough. He hadn’t eaten all afternoon, because he’d been too nervous about tonight, and too angry with Pips at signing him up for something he knew nothing about.

“Me too,” Kel said.

Ethan flinched. From the amused look on Kel’s face… “I said that aloud?”

Kel smiled. “No problem.” He reached over and pulled a couple of nachos off the plate, dragging a long, delicious string of cheese with them.

Ethan pushed embarrassment aside and all but fought Kel for the rest of the bowl’s contents. He chatted about anything and everything whenever the table fell silent, which was most of the time, though Kel seemed content to listen.

When they both grabbed for the last chip, Kel lifted his hands away and sat back. “Yours. Good to find someone who likes his food as much as I do.” He watched Ethan chewing away as if he had all the time in the world, smiling with a gentle twist of his mouth all the time. It was very sexy.

“Sorry.” Ethan swallowed the last strands hurriedly. “I mustn’t talk with my mouth full.” He’d sprayed crumbs and spittle all over a date’s face before now in his rush to be both fed and charming. “This would be a poor date then, wouldn’t it?”

Kel shrugged, but for the first time he looked uncomfortable. “Honestly? I’m a poor date on my own. I don’t talk enough.”

Ethan waited for more elaboration but it never came. “Well, talking’s not everything. My flatmate says I can talk enough for two. Or maybe five.” He laughed nervously.

To his surprise, Kel laughed too. “I like that. You know a lot of things. And you don’t expect me to chat a lot about myself.”

Ethan snorted. “That’s my problem, not yours. I’m going to confess up front, I actually know nothing about F1 motorsports. My flatmate lied on my profile.”

Kel looked bemused. “I watch every championship, but I wouldn’t expect you to as well.”

“But I think that’s why we’ve been paired. By shared hobbies.”

Kel nodded slowly, realisation dawning on his face. “You in international finance?”

Ethan blinked at the bizarre question. “Hardly. I am an accountant, though. Ah!” The penny dropped. “That’s what was on your profile?”

Kel nodded. “My sister-in-law’s fault. It’s also a lie.”

Far from feeling cheated, Ethan felt tremendously relieved. “Pips also put ‘gourmet food lover’ on mine. I love eating, as you can see, but that’s as far as my involvement goes. I can barely scramble an egg.” Well, he could cook basic dishes, but Pips said they invented smoke alarms as a timer for Ethan’s cooking, considering how often he set off the one in the flat.

“I cook.” Kel didn’t expand on that but a flash of pride lit up his eyes, in a sudden burst of warmth. “But I don’t read poetry.”

“Poetry…? Oh, another of your sister-in-law’s economic use of the truth.” Ethan chuckled. “I read a lot, but romantic fiction, mainly.”

Kel’s mouth twisted in that lovely lopsided grin. “Car magazines, in my case. I run my own garage.”

“That’s fascinating.”

Kel raised his eyebrows. “Only if you like cars.”

Ethan burst into laughter. “I suppose so. But it’s exciting that you have your own business. I’d like to know more about that, whatever you want to tell me.”

Kel looked disbelieving, but his eyes sparkled with pleasure in the reflection of the table candle. The same candle that Ethan had nearly upended when he reached for the menu, until Kel moved it out of harm’s way without further comment or tease. Now he haltingly explained a few of the things he did at the garage, what his customers needed. Which cars were his favourites to work on. How he maintained the fleet of many small delivery businesses.

Ethan watched his animated expression, his slow but deep smiles of pride, his hands as they carefully sketched out several mechanical processes. He took the time to explain things to Ethan without assuming Ethan understood anything to start with, yet without patronising him. It was very refreshing, and Ethan was astonished at how captivated he was.

That was why he knew he had more to confess….

Goldilocks and the Bear – Amazon Bestseller!

Well, well. well! Please allow me one more excited squee, because this is (still) very exciting for me: GOLDILOCKS AND THE BEAR just earned me an Amazon BestSeller orange banner, as #1 on the LGBT One-Hour Short Reads chart.

THANKS to everyone who’s bought, read, reviewed, recommended, talked about it – I’m immensely grateful. It’s a BIG treat for me to share it with the readers, as it was BIG fun to write LOL.

Please take a look if you think you’d like it, it’s at a very reasonable price, and also in KU. And if you leave a review??!!! I’d be even MORE excited!

 


GOLDILOCKS AND THE BEAR

BLURB: One week, two men, three Christmas trees. And hopefully a fairytale romance.

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT:
We both turned to stare at the tree behind him. The lower half, including the thick trunk, had come easily over the doorstep, but at some stage the netting that kept it in place had torn, and the branches had sprung free. They stretched either side of the doorway, at their full extent, and inside the café. One side reached half way up the open door, now pressed flat against the wall, and the other side had upended two chairs at a front table. Behind them, still on the pavement outside, the branches from further up the tree had mushroomed out like the upper half of an egg timer—with the café doorway as the squeezed middle. It was a magnificent tree: its needles shone a bright, clean green. The trunk was sturdy, copper-toned wood. The whole thing reeked of health and beauty and Christmas spirit.

And it was crushed up in my café’s doorframe until I was afraid the old wood would split asunder. I may even have heard it creak in protest.

The man-bear shook his head and shoved the delivery note back into his pocket. “Looks like they directed me to the wrong shop.”

“Well, obviously, because I never ordered it—”

“In fact,” Molly broke in. “Gil hasn’t ordered a tree at all this year.”

“No tree at all?” The giant man looked momentarily disconcerted—or was that disapproving? “You don’t like Christmas?”

“I like it well enough,” I muttered. “But as you can see, there’s little enough space here.” I could only afford this small unit on the outskirts of a small Essex shopping mall. It was last Christmas’ gift to myself, the best I could do when Paulie, my partner—in business and romance—had scarpered with most of my savings to set up a bar in Ibiza. Without me, in either capacity. But life has to go on, right? I just downsized my dreams from our swish supper club venue to my small local café. After installing the counter and display cases, and covering two of the other walls with bookshelves for the romance novels I loved to read and share with customers, there wasn’t much room left for tables and chairs, let alone ambitious decorations.

Over the giant’s left shoulder, I could see old Mr. Brooke hopping from one foot to another as he peered into the shop past the branches. He was a creature of habit, and he always had his caramel latte at this time of the afternoon. If he could get into the café, that was. Behind me, a half-dozen members of the Women’s Institute Book Club stirred restlessly, and two pre-school boys had wriggled out of their mothers’ clutches and were gleefully stabbing a pile of paper napkins with a stray pine stalk.

“So. Anyway. You have to do something about this!” My voice seemed to be higher than usual.

He shrugged, his grin now rueful. “Not a lot I can do, at the moment. It’s well and truly stuck.” He tugged on the trunk as if to convince me further and, yes, I definitely heard the doorframe creak. “Should have realised the measurements didn’t add up. All I can do is apologise and arrange to have someone come and cut it out as soon as possible.” He rummaged in the pocket of his jeans and pulled out his phone. His fingers darted over the keys as fast as any teenager, sending a quick message. My gaze was still fixed on the backs of his hands—strong, with more than a smattering of dark hair over the lower digits—when I realised what he’d said.

“But it can’t stay there! My customers can’t get out—”

“I can open the back door,” Molly offered helpfully, or not, as the case may be.

“—and no one can get in, either. This is Christmas week, with all the passing trade from shoppers. I have a full schedule of seasonal events, and those new snowflake cupcakes on offer!”

The man’s pupils dilated. “There are cupcakes?”

For God’s sake. Again. Was no one taking this crisis seriously?

“We could cut the branches off right now,” said a voice at my ear. Mrs. Potter from the Book Club had crept up beside me without me realising: no taller than five foot, no heavier than eight stone, and seventy-two last birthday. But the gleam in her eyes was worthy of a Steven King character at his most manic. “Do you have a chainsaw in the café, Gil?”

“No, I bloody don’t!”

The giant was grinning at me, though he’d taken a cautious step away from Mrs. P. “Please don’t worry, ma’am. Leave it to a professional. A guy from the garden centre is on his way with the right tools.”

“The right tools are always useful.” Mrs. Potter gave a snort. When I snapped my gaze to her, she waggled her eyebrows and winked at me. Winked! What on earth was that all about? She knew, of course, I was gay and, yes, I had occasionally dated a customer, though it wasn’t like I shared my social diary—sparse as it was—with all and sundry. But this guy was just doing his job, wasn’t he? This poor guy… this poor, buff, guy… this poor, buff, strong, hairy, handsome bear of a guy…

A passing jab in the ribs from Mrs. P on her way back to the Book Club table, and I started to wonder if I’d been wise to add more gay romance titles in with the historical bodice rippers…….

Welcome to authors’ spooky mayhem…

Join me today as I drop in on some of the authors with me in the best-selling erotic MMM anthology:

Myths, Moons & Mayhem

Paranormal Gay Menage and Erotic Romance
BUY: Kindle | Paperback

Myths, moons, and mayhem make the perfect threesome—and so do the men in this anthology.

Enjoy nine erotic stories of paranormal ménages a trois fueled by lust and magic, where mystical forces collide with the everyday world and even monsters have their own demons to conquer.

 


The Secret of the Golden Cup by Rebecca Buchanan—A classics professor finds himself at the center of a magical war. With an unfairly attractive student and a campus janitor as his only allies, can he stave off the forces of evil?

Rebecca: I have a confession to make: I read smut. A lot of smut. I also write smut, though I haven’t published very much of it.

That changed with the release of Myths, Moons, and Mayhem. A new anthology from Sexy Little Pages, it contains nine paranormal menage romances ranging from the ghostly to the magical to the — well — mythic.

When the submissions call for MMM popped up, I knew that I wanted to send in something … I just wasn’t sure what to write. I knew at least one of the characters would be Pagan, a practitioner of a pre-Christian religion. The question was, which tradition? So many to choose from! I debated and dithered and plotted for a week, jotting down and then rejecting various ideas. Luciferian witches? Lithuanian nobles fighting off Crusaders? A priest of Ra finding adventure and happiness with two Roman soldiers? Fae worldwalkers seeking treasure and romance as they move between parallel worlds?

All of those ideas sounded awesome, but I was working against a word limit and time constraints. I finally settled on a story based on ancient Cretan spirituality. “The Secret of the Golden Cup” centers around three men: Grover Benson, an introverted professor of linguistics; and Dominic Hartley and Steffan Dunbar, a married couple who are secretly magic users and devotees of the ancient Goddesses of Crete. When Grover discovers a long lost Minoan cup, he unwittingly becomes the focus of malevolent forces … who are determined to have Grover and the cup for themselves.

Sound fun?

Rebecca posts at http://witchesandpagans.com/pagan-culture-blogs/bookmusings.html.


When The Big Moon Shines by Carl Redlum—A college student is intent on hunting down the man who turned him into a werewolf. But his mouthwatering neighbors keep getting in the way.

Carl: When I first saw a call for gay werewolf romance, I thought, “clearly I must drop everything right now and write.”

Werewolves are my favorite monsters. They make visceral the dichotomy present inside of us all–between the good people we wish to be, and the beasts we know that we can become. With that in mind, I feel a good werewolf story must explore that dichotomy.

Supernatural romance joins the carnal to the fantastical. What better way to do that than with werewolves? And what could be more human than the urge to find a pack to call your own?

But, to be honest, I’m not sure how well my story fits with the rest. For a romance story, it’s not very . . . romantic. Perhaps there’s a reason werewolves aren’t as popular as ghosts and vampires. Their stories can’t avoid the painful mess of transformation.


Careful What You Wish For by Elizabeth Coldwell—Josh dreams of meeting Mr. Right, so his roommate offers help with a love spell. Neither man is prepared for what happens when the spell begins to work.

Elizabeth: Every author has stories they don’t feel got enough love the first time around, and Careful What You Wish For was one of those. It had been published as part of another paranormal collection but had been out of print for a few years before the submission call for Myths Moons and Mayhem came out. I couldn’t believe how well it fitted with the theme, although it’s been revised and expanded slightly for this new anthology.

The book’s editor, Dale Cameron Lowry, was looking for gay ménage stories with a paranormal theme, featuring three or more characters. The resulting book has a fabulous selection of humans and otherworldly beings getting it on, from ghosts to vampires to aliens. In Careful What You Wish For, the threesome involves two ordinary men and a third being that they spirit into existence from the dust in the atmosphere around them.

Josh has a crush on his roommate, Aaron, but as Aaron has been in a string of relationships for as long as Josh as known him, he doesn’t think he stands a chance. Aaron wants to help Josh meet someone, and he suggests a love spell which is designed to do exactly that. It will bring the man who’s perfect for Josh into his life, and though Josh is sceptical about this (as I think a lot of people would be), it works. However, when Josh’s ideal lover appears, it comes as a shock to both him and Aaron. Though if you want to know who the third person in their ménage is, you’ll have to read the story…

Elizabeth Coldwell’s blog | Goodreads 


Celyn’s Tale by Rhidian Brenig Jones—A young Welsh farmer is haunted by visions of his future lover, only to discover that the lover is not one, but two—and not exactly human, either.

Rhidian: This anthology gave me the perfect opportunity to write a story that brought together some of my favourite themes: hot threesomes; the mythos of Wales; and the past. Although I do write contemporary stories, I prefer to linger in the past. As long as writers don’t make clanging errors-research is so vital- we have such freedom to imagine and invent. Some of my published work features fourteenth century monks, eighteenth century pirates and nineteenth century vampire hunters. Brilliant fun! I adapted the Welsh myth of the Tylwyth Teg, the fair folk, to my own purpose in order to come up with something different. I’m Welsh, so I like to introduce Welsh elements where I can so that readers in far flung places (cough: the USA) might find out a little more about my lovely country. And its sexy men!
 

Myths, Moons, and (Clare’s particular) Mayhem


As part of the release tour for Myths, Moons, and Mayhem we’ve been interviewing ourselves – and here am I, over at Rebecca Buchanan’s blog, with my answers to her Fast Five questions. 

Find out why I’m fascinated by ghosts – and what I want to do about it! – and where Mayhem happens around me at home. There’s even the hint of mystery around a No. 7 London double decker bus :).

The anthology’s doing really well – many thanks to all who’ve bought it / reviewed it / talked about it / supported the authors! XX

Myths, Moons, and Mayhem – new goodies!

FIRSTLY: *BIG* excitement for me because I love Jeff and Will so much *anyway*, but they’re featuring MYTHS, MOONS, AND MAYHEM on their latest podcast at Jeff and Will’s Big Gay Fiction Podcast. (What d’you mean you didn’t know about that hugely entertaining podcast?? Go join up at once :D). The review is around 15 minutes into the podcast, but make sure to listen to the rest – there’s news, reviews, interviews, and info on the upcoming GRL event, and it’s just lovely to *be there* with Jeff and Will x.

SECONDLY: The anthology Editor, Dale Cameron Lowry, is offering a fabulous bunch of fiction as prizes to celebrate the Myths, Moons, and Mayhem release. Follow this link to join in the draw.

More MMM feature posts are on their way over the next week or so! 

 

My New Release: Myths, Moons, and Mayhem

New release TODAY, a sexy MMM anthology including my new story INSIDE MAN.


Myths, Moons & Mayhem

Paranormal Gay Menage and Erotic Romance
BUY: Kindle | Paperback

Myths, moons, and mayhem make the perfect threesome—and so do the men in this anthology.

Enjoy nine erotic stories of paranormal ménages a trois fueled by lust and magic, where mystical forces collide with the everyday world and even monsters have their own demons to conquer.

A werewolf gets a lust-fueled lesson on fitting in with the pack, a professor unlocks ancient secrets and two men’s hearts, and a pair of supernaturals find themselves at the erotic mercy of a remarkable human. Ghosts, fairies, aliens, and mere mortals test the boundaries of their desires, creating magic of their own.

Penned by favorite authors such as Rob Rosen and Clare London, as well as by newcomers to the genre, Myths, Moons & Mayhem is an eclectic mix of paranormal lust and polymythic beings that will spark your fantasies and fuel your bonfires.

Inside Man by Clare London—At a London pub, a tear in the veil between the dead and living opens up new possibilities for a ghost who could only ever watch the men he desired, but never touch.

The Secret of the Golden Cup by Rebecca Buchanan—A classics professor finds himself at the center of a magical war. With an unfairly attractive student and a campus janitor as his only allies, can he stave off the forces of evil?

When The Big Moon Shines by Carl Redlum—A college student is intent on hunting down the man who turned him into a werewolf. But his mouthwatering neighbors keep getting in the way.

Careful What You Wish For by Elizabeth Coldwell—Josh dreams of meeting Mr. Right, so his roommate offers help with a love spell. Neither man is prepared for what happens when the spell begins to work.

The Cave by Dale Cameron Lowry—Losing sleep to the sounds of his tent-neighbors’ nightly lovemaking has nature photographer Ethan at his wit’s end. What kind of magic can convince the two men he should join them?

The Endless Knot by Morgan Elektra—The fiery romance between a vampire and a werewolf threatens to burn itself to the ground until a human teaches them to temper the flame.

Squatchin’ by Greg Kosebjorn—Two Bigfoot hunters get more than they bargained for when they set out on an overnight camping trip to trail the legendary beast.

Celyn’s Tale by Rhidian Brenig Jones—A young Welsh farmer is haunted by visions of his future lover, only to discover that the lover is not one, but two—and not exactly human, either.

Close Encounter of the Three-way Kind by Rob Rosen—In this quirky comedy, aliens arrive from another galaxy, but they’re more interested in consensual exploration than invasion. Alien probing never felt so good!


 

About the Editor

Dale Cameron Lowry’s number one goal in life is getting the cat to stop eating dish towels; number two is to write things that bring people joy. Dale is the author of Falling Hard: Stories of Men in Love and a contributor to more than a dozen anthologies. Find out more at dalecameronlowry.com.