Monday, April 11, 2016

Monday's Montage Mantlepiece: Unconventional in San Diego


Summary:
Fate’s Bridge by Carol Lynne 
Is it possible for a soul to be reborn inside another?

What would you do if you discovered someone harboring a soul you recognized as one from a deceased loved one? For vampire Roman Gschwind, the scenario becomes a reality when he meets Bodi Rain.

Unfortunately, it soon becomes clear that Roman must share Bodi with another vampire if he has any chance of rekindling the love that he’d lost so long ago.

Coming in Third by Amber Kell
Love sometimes comes in threes.

With his mother plotting to have him wed, Niall decides to sneak out of the fae palace and fulfill one of his greatest fantasies. At the Unconventional bar, he finds a pair of lion shifters looking to spice up their love life. Unable to resist the strong attraction between them, Niall lets the persuasive pair take him home.

Jovan and Luka have been searching for their third for years. When Niall stumbles into the bar, their shifter instincts tell them the innocent fae could be their long sought mate. After a sensual night together, they’re certain the beautiful man was fated to be theirs.

His guards fetch him from the shifters’ bed and Niall is taken away from the pair. Upset about Niall’s return to the palace and a possible arranged marriage, the lion shifters battle to decide their future—should they go and fetch their mate or let it only be the one-night stand Niall promised them?

Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of M/M/M mΓ©nage.

The Unicorn Said Yes by T.A. Chase
When an innocent human virgin meets the king of the unicorn herd, it’s not just legends that come true.

Ivan Brusilov goes to Unconventional to get a drink and let off some steam. Little does he realize he’ll be meeting his destiny when he walks in.

Carney Ferguson goes to the paranormal bar to celebrate his twenty-fifth birthday. Maybe he’s looking for some fun as well, considering he’s still a virgin. He doesn’t like admitting it, but when he meets Ivan, he discovers that being a virgin can bring opportunities that being experienced might not.

As the unicorn king and the virgin begin to fall in love, there are darker forces working behind the scenes to take advantage of the unicorn legends for their own evil purpose. Neither Ivan nor Carney are safe alone, but together, they just might be strong enough to keep Ivan alive.

Blood on the Moon by Jambrea Jo Jones
Be careful what you wish for, especially when you’re a witch.

Montague Ramey wanted something to happen in his life. He thought when he found out he was a witch that his life would become more exciting, but it was the same thing every day. His coven was nice and boring, as was his job with the television station anchoring the news. The only excitement he got was going to the local bar, but there weren’t very many men who wanted to play. That was, until the moon turned red and his life changed.

After Kishar Nichelson’s motorcycle stalled on the highway with no traffic in sight, he stumbled into a small town around midnight, the red moon guiding his way. On the run and weak, Kishar needed to figure out where he was and who was after him before lack of sex killed him.

Can a witch and an incubus solve the mystery before one of them dies? The blood on the moon wasn’t the only thing they had to worry about. Meddling family, close calls with death and a missing witch are enough to keep anyone busy, but can Kishar and Montague still find time for love?

A Sliver of Sunset by Devon Rhodes
From one-night stand to nurse and patient—is it crazy to expect more?

Angelo has somehow developed leukemia—the only paranormal ever known to do so—and the doctors are mystified as to the cause. The cure requires him to repress his shifter side with a chemical inhibitor and be entirely human while he goes through chemotherapy, which contributes to some interesting situations he never would have foreseen—things like ‘misplacing’ his favorite bar, Unconventional, and getting picked up by a human without realizing it’s his mate.

Dominic can’t believe his luck when bravely striking up a conversation with the hottest guy he’s ever seen leads to the best sex he’s ever had. When he wakes up—no surprise—Angelo is gone. A week later, he’s shocked when he walks in to meet a new oncology patient to find Angelo fighting for his life and dependent upon his care.

Will their timing ever improve, or will Angelo’s time run out before they get a chance?


Fate's Bridge
Roman Gschwind lifted the glass of merlot to his lips as he watched the patrons of the seaside bar revel in their full-moon madness. He’d decided a week earlier that Unconventional was not only aptly named, but the strangest club he’d ever visited.

“Another?”

Roman glanced at his youngest brother, Alexi. Why a vampire with Alexi’s lineage would tend bar for a living was beyond reasoning. Their maker, Aldric Gschwind, was one of the oldest and most powerful vampires in existence. Alexi, like Roman, had amassed a great fortune over the centuries, but unlike Roman, Alexi had turned his back on the money and position that came with being one of only five sons of Aldric. They weren’t a biological family, but Aldric had forever tied them together by gifting them with renewed life as vampires. So, even though Alexi wasn’t technically his brother, in the eyes of other vampires they were both sons of Aldric.

“Roman! Do you want another?” Alexi asked again.

Before Roman could answer, someone slammed against his shoulder. He slowly rose off the stool and turned to face the rude wolf shifter who’d dared touch him.

Alexi jumped over the bar and pushed himself between Roman and the shifter. “He didn’t mean it,” he said in an attempt to soothe Roman’s outrage. “He’s drunk.” He squeezed Roman’s shoulders. “There’s no challenge in taking him on.”

“Get rid of him before I drain him,” Roman growled. He brushed Alexi’s hands off him before taking his seat.

For two weeks he’d bided his time, sipping wine and watching humans and paranormals come and go from the bar, all in an effort to see the surfer that Alexi claimed was Julian reincarnate. It had been nearly one hundred and sixty-three years since he’d last held the only man he’d ever loved, and the mere thought of Julian roaming the beaches of California had prompted Roman to drop everything and fly from his home in New York City to San Diego.

Roman was thrumming his fingers on the bar when Alexi returned. “Tell me again.”

Alexi sighed. “Like I’ve said a hundred times before, I was working the bar when a group of surfers wandered in. The smallest of the group came up and ordered two pitchers of beer and five glasses.” He leaned his forearms on the bar, putting himself closer to Roman. “It was him. His hair was blonder and his skin darker from the sun, but I’m telling you, I’d recognize those amber eyes anywhere, and when he smiled, he had the same dimples as Julian.”

Roman swept his hand in the air behind him. “So, why hasn’t he returned?”

Alexi shook his head. “I don’t know. I did notice someone bothering him last time he was in. Maybe that’s the reason he’s staying away.”

“Who?” Roman stared into the bar’s mirror at the people crowded together behind him.

“I don’t know his name. He was a vamp, but not a regular customer.” Alexi tapped Roman’s empty glass. “Another?”

Roman pursed his lips. “No.” The wine at Unconventional was suitable for their patrons, but Roman was accustomed to much better. “Tell me if you see the vamp again, and get his name.” Whether or not the young surfer was a reincarnation of Julian, it was against their laws to harass humans.

Coming in Third
“Do you think he’ll cooperate?”

Niall stopped. He pressed his body flat against the wall at the sound of his uncle’s voice. He’d planned to go clubbing, confident everyone had already left for the night. Normally by this time they were all off at social events or, as Niall privately called them, ‘sucking up to the queen parties’.

Crap.

“He’ll do what I want. It’s time for him to marry. I’ve even made a list for him to choose from.” His mother’s tone pierced icy shards of disdain through his skin.

“What if he doesn’t like your choices?” his uncle persisted, ever the sly voice of innuendo and scandal. There were weasel shifters less sneaky than Niall’s Uncle Virnen, and none as mean.

“Then I’ll persuade him.” They laughed together, two partners pleased to crush others in their pursuit of common goals.

Niall’s stomach gurgled and swirled in protest as he pulled his magic around him. The hair on his arms and neck rose, reacting to both the dangerous situation and his escapist magic. He raced past the doorway, breath held and nerves clenched to the edge of pain. A single drop of sweat slid down his hairline and worked a straight path down his nose. He twitched.

Fuck.

The rumble of voices concocting evil plans followed him down the hall. He didn’t need to hear any more. He’d known his days were numbered. Mother had planned Niall’s life since she’d first strategized how he should learn to walk. She also choreographed his whippings when she thought he’d twitched a pinky out of line.

Now they’d come up with a way to hold him in the painful, steel bear trap of marriage. Before he could say no, they’d have him shackled and bound. He had no futile belief they’d truly give him any say about anything. They might present him with the illusion of a choice, but reality wouldn’t match the pretty fiction they created to get him to go along.

Tonight he would take control. For once he’d stop letting others run his life and do something for himself. Tomorrow they’d drag him back to his broken life but tonight was his. He’d be caught and punished, but they’d whip him even if he did nothing. His mother’s guards relished the taste of his pain and the marks on his body. More than one had licked at him while he dangled from magic draining manacles, dripping out his life force.

His own guards had broken him out of his last captivity and more than a few of his mother’s guards had met with an unhappy accident.

Burying his past horrors deep, Niall swiped a set of keys from the rack in the garage. The red convertible suited his mood tonight.

Although the queen’s guards saw him leave the estate, no one moved to intervene. His mother must not have sent out word to keep him confined. For once, his luck ran true.

Niall lowered the convertible’s hood. The breeze whipped around him, ruffling his hair and granting him an unprecedented wave of freedom.

What if I just keep driving?

The Unicorn Said Yes
Passing under the neon sign that read ‘Unconventional’, Ivan sighed as he stepped into the bar. As much as he loved his herd, he enjoyed the nights he could go out and not worry about them. His brothers were keeping an eye on the ladies and their children so Ivan could go have a drink or two.

“Hey there, Ivan. Good to see you,” Wilma, the owner of Unconventional, called out from where she stood behind the wooden bar. “You want the usual?”

“Yes please, Wilma.” He got there just as a shot glass of vodka slid down the smooth surface to him. It was followed closely by a bottle of Corona. Ivan snatched both before they could fall off the edge. He saluted her with the vodka then drank it.

He enjoyed the slight burn as it went down and hit his stomach. After taking a sip of his beer, he glanced around to see who else had decided to come for a drink. Ivan saw Angelo and started to walk over to say hi when the most intriguing scent hit him.

Being a unicorn shifter, Ivan would be the first to admit he wasn’t extra sensitive to smells. He was much more a ‘line of sight’ kind of creature, but there was something about this scent that made him hard and took his attention from everything else around him.

Inhaling again, he followed the fragrance through the crowd to one of the corner booths. Ivan spotted the young man sitting there, elbows braced on the table while he stared down at his drink. There was sadness in the tilt of his head and pain in the lift of his shoulders.

“What did that drink do to make you look like that?” he asked as he stopped next to the booth.

The man jerked, almost knocking his drink over. Ivan caught it before it fell off. He set it back in front of the guy.

“I’m Ivan Brusilov. May I sit?” He motioned to the spot next to the enthralling human.

“Umm…sure. I guess.”

He could tell, even through the scent that drew him to the man, that he was human, which was strange to see at a paranormal bar. After dropping down onto the leather bench, he fought the urge to bury his face in the crook of the man’s neck. Fuck! He’d never wanted to do that before.

“Your name is?”

“Oh sorry. I’m Carney Ferguson.” Carney held out his hand for Ivan to shake. “You’re Russian.”

“My family came from Russia,” he admitted. Just because Carney was at Unconventional didn’t mean he knew about paranormals, so Ivan wasn’t about to say he’d brought his herd over after the Bolsheviks had taken over the country. No need for him to know how old Ivan really was. “You sound like your family is Irish.”

Carney smiled slightly. “My father’s side is. My mom’s French.”

Ivan grinned back. “An interesting blending of cultures. I’m all Russian. My parents met back in the old country. Are you here to drown your sorrows—whatever those may be?”

“No. Well, yes. I was going to, but I’ve never drunk before, and after taking a sip of this whiskey, I’ve figured out I don’t like it.” Carney frowned. “I’m not a very good Irishman if I don’t like liquor.”

“I don’t know. I would think you’d hate to be a stereotype,” Ivan teased.

Laughing, Carney nodded. “You’re right. I should probably head home then. My family will wonder where I’ve been.”

Allowing his instinct to override his usual reticent tendencies, he reached out to rest his hand on Carney’s arm. “Please stay. I’ll get you a soda or water. I’d like to hear what kind of sorrows a good-looking man like you would have to drown.”

The blush staining Carney’s cheeks fascinated Ivan. Everything about the man spoke of innocence. Yet Ivan didn’t know how any person—human or paranormal—could still be pure in this modern age.

Touching Carney’s warm skin sent a shot of electricity through him to Ivan’s cock.

Could it be? Is Carney truly a virgin in every sense of the word?

Blood on the Moon
Montague Ramey left the bar Unconventional after beating his friend Ivan Brusilov in a game of pool. He had no idea why he put up with the unicorn. Ivan persisted on calling him Monty no matter how many times Montague insisted that was not his name. Of course, he’d have no excitement if he didn’t have Ivan in his life. Playing pool with his friend was about all the excitement he’d have that week. Maybe he should have had another glass of wine before he left for home. It wasn’t like he was driving. And his house wasn’t that far from the bar. No matter, he had a bottle at home he could dip into. He didn’t have to work at the television station on Saturday. It was his weekend to…do nothing.

God, his life was boring.

It was midnight, the witching hour. He laughed at himself. His coven probably wouldn’t find it funny, but it was made up of a bunch of older ladies who were set in their ways. It was the only coven around, so he made do. His adoptive parents, being fully human, had done what they could to embrace his magical powers. It had come as a surprise when puberty had hit and his body had gone crazy. His parents had searched for a coven close to home, and when they’d found the group of older women, the coven had been happy to take him on as a prodigy.

Once he’d been accepted, his parents had moved to be even closer so he could seek assistance when he had questions about his powers. Puberty was a bitch, and he’d needed the help.

Montague had been fresh blood for the coven, who all had daughters and granddaughters they wanted to marry off to a magical being. It was a small community and they were happy to have him. At first, it had done nothing for his social life—he was introduced to the eligible women—but once the coven had found out he was gay, they’d started looking for a good man for him.

Luckily, there weren’t many gay men around for them to throw his way. He’d joined when he was fifteen, so that could have been very embarrassing and traumatized him for life. They meant well. He knew that.

After his parents died, Montague had taken over the cottage he’d grown up in. It settled his soul, being in the home his mom and dad had loved so much. Sometimes he could feel them surrounding him. One of the perks of being magical.

Montague looked up at the moon and stopped walking. Blood on the moon. That was bad. Very, very bad. Something was about to happen and it wasn’t going to be good. The hair on the back of his neck stood on end. Montague needed to get home—he’d rather read about the results of the blood moon than be involved in it. He was up for adventure, but he wasn’t crazy. He hurried his pace, making sure to keep an eye on his surroundings.

The best thing for a witch to do was batten down the hatches and wait the night out. Maybe put out some protective spells or something to keep the bad away from them. Being magical drew the attention of the universe, be it good or bad. He should contact the others in his coven, but right now he needed the safety of his home. His coven was probably all asleep by now anyway, so he’d check in tomorrow to make sure they were okay.

Montague all but ran to his little cottage, wasting no more time being outside than he had to. He fumbled with the keys. He would blame it on the drink even if he hadn’t had much—it was more fear than anything else. He’d lost his adoptive parents on a night with a blood moon. His heart ached thinking about not being able to help them on the day they’d died.

A Sliver of Sunset
Angelo took one last long look at the incoming waves then reached for inner strength as he rose from the sand and turned his back. It would be a long time until he felt the embrace of the sea again…if ever. It would about kill him to see the ocean every day and not dive into its cool, welcoming embrace.

Yeah, and it’ll definitely kill me if I do.

Although the last thing he wanted to do was laugh, he snorted. Life was really bizarre sometimes.

“You okay?” His sister Nezetta was hovering as usual. He’d told her he’d be okay going to the doctor by himself this morning, but she’d shown up while it was still dark to go for one last swim together. They’d made sure to come out of the water well before dawn then sat on the beach until it was time to go.

“No. But I will be once I get this inhibitor crap over with.” And the chemo to follow.

They began walking down the Pacific Beach boardwalk, dodging the occasional early morning runner or cyclist, passing a few sleeping homeless people who hadn’t been chased off.

“You want some coffee?” Angelo checked his phone. “Kono’s should be open by now.”

“What I want is for you to stop pretending that this is just some ordinary day.” Nezetta’s voice rose, but rather than angry, she sounded scared.

It was very rare that ocean shifters ever became sick, which is why he’d gotten to such an advanced stage of leukemia before it had been diagnosed. He’d lost weight, fought fatigue and made excuse after excuse for how rundown he felt. It had been so gradual that he’d forgotten that, as a paranormal, he shouldn’t be feeling any of those things.

Angelo stopped and took his sister into his arms. “I’m not pretending. You know I’m not the woe-is-me type. I’m just trying to enjoy the last couple of hours before everything goes…into unknown territory. ’Kay?”

She blew out a huge sigh. “I just wish I’d known how bad things were getting with you earlier. I mean…” Shaking her head, she didn’t bother to continue what they’d both gone over hundreds of times, it seemed.

They started walking again. “Yeah, well. Who knew, right? I’m the only one of us I know who’s even been sick, much less with something that could kill me. But hey, you know I’ve always been different.”

“You’re not that special. Get over yourself, Angel.” It was forced, but Angelo appreciated her effort at banter.

The truth was, she alone had noticed his low energy and change in behavior, but had told him later that she’d chalked it up to Angelo being lazy.

Then he’d come down with pneumonia.

Pneumonia! Like some old, fragile human.

He’d gone to a doctor who treated wereshifters, and she’d treated his illness but, concerned with his overall health, she’d sent a blood sample to a para-friendly lab for a CBC—complete blood count.

Everyone had been incredulous about the pneumonia, but the bigger shock was still to come. The blood test results had proven that his illness wasn’t a random fluke, that his people weren’t immune to human diseases after all. After taking into account the typical differences between normal blood and para blood, it was still impossible to argue with the diagnosis—one of the worst types of leukemia, affecting white and red blood cells as well as platelets.

He’d struggled and finally kicked the lingering pneumonia, but in a few short weeks, his numbers had worsened. The aggressive cancer called for an equally aggressive chemotherapy treatment. But given his shifter side, it would only work if he accepted a course of inhibitors to keep him human for the duration.

Which meant his swim this morning would be his last one for a long time.

Author Bios:
Jambrea Jo Jones
Jambrea wanted to be the youngest romance author published, but life impeded the dreams. She put her writing aside and went to college briefly, then enlisted in the Air Force. After serving in the military, she returned home to Indiana to start her family. A few years later, she discovered yahoo groups and book reviews. There was no turning back. She was bit by the writing bug.

She enjoys spending time with her son when not writing and loves to receive reader feedback. She’s addicted to the internet so feel free to email her anytime.

Carol Lynne
An avid reader for years, one day Carol Lynne decided to write her own brand of erotic romance. Carol juggles between being a full-time mother and a full-time writer. These days, you can usually find Carol either cleaning jelly out of the carpet or nestled in her favourite chair writing steamy love scenes.

Devon Rhodes
From top dog in business to out-of-control mom, I've been at home raising my girls for over a decade. And during that time, I've rediscovered--quite accidentally--the art of romance, specifically erotic romance. One day my muse whispered an idea in my ear, and I sat down at the laptop to try to do it justice. As they say, the rest is history!

Amber Kell
Amber Kell has made a career out of daydreaming. It has been a lifelong habit she practices diligently as shown by her complete lack of focus on anything not related to her fantasy world building.

When she told her husband what she wanted to do with her life he told her to go have fun.

During those seconds she isn't writing she remembers she has children who humor her with games of 'what if' and let her drag them to foreign lands to gather inspiration. Her youngest confided in her that he wants to write because he longs for a website and an author name—two things apparently necessary to be a proper writer.

Despite her husband's insistence she doesn't drink enough to be a true literary genius she continues to spin stories of people falling happily in love and staying that way.

She is thwarted during the day by a traffic jam of cats on the stairway and a puppy who insists on walks, but she bravely perseveres..

She also writes under the name Mikela Q. Chase.

TA Chase
There is beauty in every kind of love, so why not live a life without boundaries? Experiencing everything the world offers fascinates me and writing about the things that make each of us unique is how I share those insights. I live in the Midwest with a wonderful partner of thirteen years. When not writing, I’m watching movies, reading and living life to the fullest.


Jambrea Jo Jones
FACEBOOK  /  TWITTER  /  WEBSITE  /  ARe
AMAZON  /  KOBO  /  GOOGLE PLAY
EMAIL: binojo2@yahoo.com

Carol Lynne
FACEBOOK  /  TWITTER  /  WEBSITE  /  KOBO
GOOGLE PLAY  /   AUDIBLE  /  AMAZON
PRIDE PUBLISHING  /  B&N  /  ARe  /  GOODREADS
EMAIL: carollynne@carollynne.info

Devon Rhodes
FACEBOOK  /  TWITTER  /  WEBSITE  /  BLOG
GOOGLE+  /  GOOGLE PLAY  /  ARe
EMAIL: devonrhodes@hotmail.com

Amber Kell
FACEBOOK  /  TWITTER  /  BLOG  /  KOBO
SMASHWORDS  /  EXTASY  /  AMAZON  /  ARe
B&N  /  DREAMSPINNER  /   GOODREADS
EMAIL: amberkellwrites@gmail.com

TA Chase
TWITTER  /  WEBSITE  /  ARe  /  B&N
KOBO  /  GOOGLE PLAY  /  iTUNES
EMAIL: chase.ta@gmail.com



AMAZON US  /  AMAZON UK  /  B&N
KOBO  /  iTUNES  /  GOODREADS TBR