Red Dirt Heart Imago… Say What????

Yes, you read that correctly.  A SURPRISE RELEASE!!!

Red Dirt Heart Imago is a thing! It’s an 18K word short story of when red dirt hearts and butterflies collide ❤

And look at this gorgeous cover!!!

BLURB:

When Charlie Sutton’s neighbour Greg is notified by the Queensland government that they intend to run a pipeline through his property, Charlie vows to help him fight it. Then Travis remembers seeing butterflies at the creek near their joining fence line – the same butterflies they couldn’t find in any Australian butterfly book. Hopeful this might be their only chance to stop the development, they seek the help of a specialist.

Lawson Brighton-Gale receives an email request to identify a butterfly in the Outback, only to discover it’s not an Australian butterfly at all. But that’s not all he discovers. The name on the request is familiar to Jack. An old friend from his university days, who also happened to be his old friend with benefits, Charlie Sutton.

Years ago, two out-of-towners met at the University of Sydney. Both studying environmental sciences, both hundreds of miles from home, and both finding their worlds open to new experiences, they fell into bed together. Meeting again after all this time, in front of Lawson and Travis, won’t be awkward at all, right?

Lawson and Jack’s trip to Sutton Station certainly doesn’t go to plan, and what they take back to Tasmania isn’t just butterflies, but a cocoon of possibilities.

A Red Dirt Heart and Imago crossover ~ The story of when red dirt and butterflies collide.

BUYLINKS:

Amazon

Smashwords

Payhip

B&N, iBooks, Kobo to follow asap!

Good Afternoon Thursday! Say what?

So sorry I missed my usual Good Morning Monday post. I was travelling and have been feeling a bit under the weather since I got home. But I come bearing news…

Red Dirt Heart 2 is now available on Audio!!  You can find it on Audible HERE

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I’m super excited about this one. Joel Leslie, the narrator, does such a fabulous job. He really captures Charlie and Travis beautifully.  ❤   I’ll be running an audio book tour soon! More news on that when it comes to hand.


In other news, The Weight of it All is now currently on sale for .99c at Amazon!  I’m running a Bookbub deal to coincide with the books’ return to Kindle Unlimited. So if you haven’t read it, now is the time to grab it!! I’ll post links to the Bookbub when I have them!

TheWeightOfItAll Cover 200x300


In translation news, Red Dirt Heart is now available in French!  When I first wrote these boys, I had no idea my words would reach so many people around the world. I’m very touched that Charlie and Travis’ story is adored by so many ❤  You can find it at Amazon or with MXM Bookmark Publishing.

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You can also grab the Italian version of Red Dirt Heart 2 at Amazon or Triskell

 

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I have it on good authority that the German version of RDH2 isn’t too far away. And the French version of Cronin’s Key II should be out soon too!

To recap, Perfect Catch, has been sitting at #1 in 2-hour short reads on Amazon for a few days now. I’m so thrilled that people have loved Troy and Cal’s story. ❤

A quick writing update: Imago is now with my editor!  It ended up being 45K words long, and is super sweet. I’ll be doing a cover reveal soon, and telling a little story on what happens when you write a book and you’re telling a friend the basic plot line, and she says it sounds familiar and you soon realise you might have just unknowingly copied a book released a few years ago. *sigh*  Crises averted though, so no need to panic. LOL

Release day of Imago is set for February 21st 🙂

And I’ve started the sequel!  Woooooot!!  Lawson and Jack are just so adorable. Can’t wait for you all to meet them.

I also won a lot of awards at the Goodreads M/M readers choice awards!!

The Weight Of It All won Best Contemporary for 2016!

Red Dirt Heart Christmas won Best Short Story for 2016!

The Weight Of It All was third for Best Book of the Year!

The Weight Of It All won second for Best Humour of 2016!

Spencer Cohen Book Three won third for Best Performance Artist (incl Tattooists)

The Weight Of It All won third in Best Friends To Lovers of 2016!

It Was Always You won second in Best Anthology of 2016!

Thank you to all who nominated me and voted for me! 

Until next time…

Perfect Catch Release!

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Perfect Catch was released last year in the It Was Always You anthology with the M/M Daily Grind authors. It’s now being released as a single short story!

I’m trying something new with this release. This book will be available for purchase on Payhip, for non-Amazon readers, before it goes exclusive to KU.

Payhip dates:  Jan 5th – 9th only.

Amazon dates:  Jan 10th.

So, if you can’t/won’t buy from Amazon, this is your only chance to grab it.  It can be found HERE at Payhip.

Click on cover to buy at Payhip.
Click on cover to buy at Payhip.

For those who don’t know, Payhip works as a store front for readers to buy directly from the author. It’s super easy to use, and you get the file directly.  You can then send to your kindle or save on your computer, in ePub, mobi, or PDF format. Easy peasy 🙂

Perfect Catch will be removed from Payhip on the 9th January to be exclusive to Amazon Kindle Unlimited on the 10th.  Please note, this is a re-release from the anthology and no additional content has been added.

Blurb:

Calvin Lynch and Troy Hoffman have been best mates since they were fourteen years old. They’re both hard-working tradesmen, both love weekends away fishing, both gay, but have never been single at the same time. Until now.

What is supposed to be a weekend away fishing with a group of mates, changes at the last minute when friends bail out in an attempt to give Cal and Troy some alone time.

With more than just hooks on the line, can these two see what’s been right in front of them the whole time?

The Perfect Catch is a short story about falling for your best friend hook, line, and sinker.

Good Morning Monday! Twas two busy weeks before Christmas…

Good Morning Monday pic

Two busy weeks before Christmas… OMG this year has really flown.  I will do a recap on 2016 in the next couple of weeks, but for now all I will say is I’m kinda glad it’s almost over… It’s been a SUPER busy week, and the next two will be even more so. *sigh*

My kids finish school this week. Aussie kids are winding down their school year and getting ready for summer break. It’s six weeks of “Muuuum, I’m bored. What can I do?”  I’m looking forward to the sleep-ins, I will admit, but not to the constant interruptions. Working from home is awesome in so many ways, except during school holidays LOL.  I can foresee a lot of hours spent at the local library …   And for the record, whenever my kids tell me they have nothing to do (as they put down their iPhones and step over the PS4 and XBoxOne, ignore the dog, and their bikes and sports gear) I give them housework chores to do. This usually insures two things:  One, they do some housework that I’ve put off doing because I hate it. And Two, they don’t complain to me again.  It’s a win/win   🙂

Okay, so for some news on the writing front…

Switched, all 74K words of it, is with my editor. I’m still shooting for a release date of Dec 27th, but this is tentative.  My poor editor has been unwell, so basically Switched will release when it’s ready.  I’d love for it to be before the year ends, but I can’t guarantee it.

Perfect Catch, my 20K short story which was part of the It Was Always You anthology with the other awesome M/M Daily Grind authors will also be out as a separate release in early January.

I have an awesome cover for it, made by the very talented Sara York 🙂

nrwalkerperfectcatchmedium

The Blurb:

Calvin Lynch and Troy Hoffman have been best mates since they were fourteen years old. They’re both hard-working tradesmen, both love weekends away fishing, both gay, but have never been single at the same time. Until now.

What is supposed to be a weekend away fishing with a group of mates, changes at the last minute when friends bail out in an attempt to give Cal and Troy some alone time.

With more than just hooks on the line, can these two see what’s been right in front of them the whole time?

The Perfect Catch is a short story about falling for your best friend hook, line, and sinker.

Please Note:  Perfect Catch will be exclusive to Amazon for 90 days upon release. It is currently available at all retail sites as part of the anthology. You can grab it now from iBooks ~ Amazon ~ Kobo

The N.R. Walker Starter Pack also went live!!!!  I’m super excited about this. A collection of five of my books (Red Dirt Heart, Cronin’s Key, Sixty Five Hours, Spencer Cohen Book One, and Blind Faith) in the one book for new-to-me readers, or those who might be new to the m/m genre can grab five best-selling books at a bargain price!

nrwalkerstarterpackstack

You can grab it at Amazon 🙂

And finally, instead of having a break and resting my poor sore hand/wrist, I’ve dived straight into a new WIP.  It was an idea that came from nowhere and it wasn’t even on my schedule to write, but the idea and the characters wouldn’t go away.  So I did the only thing I can do to shut them up, and that’s to write them down.  I’m only 5K words into it but I have a title and a cover already, which I’m keeping it under wraps for now. I don’t want to jinx the story – it’s flowing really well – and I feel if I do a show-and-tell too early, the characters will stop talking.  All I will say, is that it’s Australian based, will be approximately 30K words long (I think) and will be fluff and smut 🙂  I envisage a release date sometime in February 🙂

Okay, told you it was a busy one…   Until next week.

The Weight Of It All is now LIVE!!

TheWeightOfItAll Cover 200x300

I CAN’T WAIT FOR YOU TO MEET HENRY AND REED!!

TWOIA is now live and available on Amazon/KU!  *twirls*  I’m soooooo relieved to have this book out in the world. Now I can concentrate on this US trip that I’m so overwhelmingly not prepared for…   LOL

BUY LINKS:

Universal:  http://mybook.to/TheWeightOfItAll

US:  https://www.amazon.com/Weight-All-N-R-Walker-ebook/dp/B01LYGV7HD

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Weight-All-N-R-Walker-ebook/dp/B01LYGV7HD

DE: https://www.amazon.de/Weight-All-N-R-Walker-ebook/dp/B01LYGV7HD

AUS:  https://www.amazon.com.au/Weight-All-N-R-Walker-ebook/dp/B01LYGV7HD

CAN: https://www.amazon.ca/Weight-All-N-R-Walker-ebook/dp/B01LYGV7HD

Spencer Cohen: #1 in 6 Countries on Release Day

OMG guys.

No seriously, OMG.

So this post is basically shameless gloating, but I am so excited, I had to blog about it! Spencer Cohen, Book One has landed at #1 in six countries on release day!

By anyone’s standard, that’s pretty f**cking cool! 😀

Here are some pretty little screenshots ❤

No. 1 in US pic 19.02.16
USA
No. 1 in US 19.02.16
US
Australia
Australia
No. 1 in CA 19.02.16
Canada
No. 1 in CA ranking 19.02.16
Canada
No. 1 in DE pic 19.02.16
Germany
No. 1 in DE 19.02.16
Germany
No. 1 in FR pic 19.02.16
France
No. 1 in FR 19.02.16
France
No. 1 in UK pic 19.02.16
UK
No. 1 in UK 19.02.16
UK

They’re all so pretty, huh?  🙂

These rankings are fleeting and will probably be gone in a day (or an hour LOL) and I never EVER take for granted that people will buy and read my books. I am grateful for every person who does, and so incredibly humbled. ❤

I’m also soooo happy that everyone seems to love Spencer as much as I do.

And for those who are dying to get your hands on Book 2… only four weeks to go!

Woohoo! Red Dirt Christmas is live today

Red Dirt Christmas is live!!

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BUYLINKS: Amazon | AllRomance eBooks | Smashwords

BLURB:

Travis had been here at Sutton Station for just over a year. We were technically engaged, not that we’d told anyone. He was happy just knowin’  I’d said yes, and I had some head-clearin’ stuff to work through. Knowing I was good enough for Trav was one thing, but knowing if I was good enough to be a husband and father was somethin’ else entirely.

Life at Sutton Station had never been better. Business was strong, Trudy and Bacon’s little baby, Gracie, was a few weeks old now and as cute as a button, Ma’s health was good, and my relationship with Laura and Sam was in a pretty good place. And Travis? Well, life with him was still all kinds of perfect.

But, to Travis’s dismay, Christmas at the Station was just another day. Another day of getting up before the sun, feeding animals, fixin’ what needed fixin’, and checking water troughs all while tryin’ to keep out of the blistering heat.

And this year weren’t much different. Only that it was Travis’s first Sutton Station Christmas. The fact we didn’t go all out with decorations and celebrations baffled him, and if I was bein’ truthful, it disappointed him too.

Which was why I had to make it a special kind of Christmas…

There are also some author notes at the beginning of the story, which I will post here for a heads up.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR:

This book uses Australian English spelling and grammar. There will be words like brumbies (wild horses) Macca’s (McDonald’s) and a serious lack of g’s on most ing words. There are also run-on hyphenated sentences. It’s just how Charlie speaks.

Christmas backgrounds. Christmas decor on the white wooden background.

TIMELINE ACKNOWLEDGMENT:

Anyone familiar with the Red Dirt Heart series, will know it spans the seasons. In RDH1 when Travis arrives, it’s summer, RDH2 is autumn/winter, RDH3 is spring and RDH4, being Trav’s pov, is back to summer and spans another year. Christmas in Australia is in summer, so according to the actual timeline of the series, Travis’ first Christmas falls between RDH3 and RDH4, though it is not mentioned.

So, like a small snippet of something that didn’t technically happen, this Christmas story is of Travis’ first Christmas at Sutton Station, therefore falls between books 3 and 4. They’re not married, there’s no Milly.

A small reminder of where the storyline was up to… Travis has asked Charlie to marry him, but they’ve not told anyone yet. Trudy and Bacon have just had their first baby, Gracie, and Nugget still steals every scene he’s in.

Enjoy.

 

New Release: The Lines of Marsden 3: You Make Me Die In Pieces by N.J. Nielsen

NJNYMDIP

 

BUY LINK

BLURB

What would you do if the past changed everything you ever thought you were?

Everything Michael Marsden has ever believed about himself is about to come crashing down around his ears. The life he never wanted is never going to let him go. How can he deal with the future when the past changes everything?

When Doyle’s memories come back, they discover the past isn’t always about what you remember. Sometimes, some people live the same life over. What happens when he realises the cycle has to end?

With help from their family and friends, Michael and Doyle are faced with an uncertain future in the fight to regain a sense of self. With each new revelation of what was, Venetia and her followers are knocking on the door and threatening war. She’s crazier than ever and hell-bent on revenge.

Will what happened in their past be enough to save their future?

EXCERPT

Chapter One

The Fun Never Ends

For once in his life, Michael Marsden would’ve liked to have woken up when everything was absolutely perfect and he wasn’t in some sort of mortal fucking danger. Burning fury rocketed through him with the force of a lightning strike at the way his day was beginning. On the upside of this whole fucked up situation, this wake-up call had kicked his adrenaline up a notch or three. With a burst of his gifted vampiric speed, he rolled to the side of the bed and dropped to the hard floor as his attacker attempted to permanently remove his head from where it rested on his shoulders.

Not gonna happen. Well, not today at least.

There was no doubt in Michael’s mind Venetia was the one behind this current state of being attacked at the arse-crack of dawn. No one else hated him this much. Except for maybe Heather, but honestly he hadn’t been home enough lately to piss her off. Venetia and her rapidly growing band of idiotic followers were starting to become a big fat pain in his arse. The closer Michael got to actually finding a cure for Doyle’s memory loss, the more interference Venetia threw his way. Everything would be okay if the bitch played fair. The only problem was Venetia didn’t believe in fair.

The truth was Venetia was pissed at him for more reasons than he was able to take the time to count right now, and he was starting to lose track of why she actually wanted him dead. Her intentions seemed to change with each passing day. Michael supposed it really didn’t matter why she hated him, yet he knew her three main motives were: One: he was the mirror image of Benj. Two: when she had orchestrated to have Gypsy taken, Michael had gone in and taken her right back. And three: when she’d had Doyle kidnapped and tortured, Michael had once again walked in and reclaimed what was his. Mind you, the bitch did get the last laugh in taking Doyle’s memories of Michael while leaving everything else intact. Her actions only filled Michael with the desire to fulfil his ultimate goal of seeing her dead.

Michael lay on the floor wondering why the hell it was taking so long for his attacker to get on with the job. His assailant seemed to stop and listen, as if trying to gauge what Michael’s next move was going to be. The fucker probably didn’t even know how good of a fighter he was. The fact was, he’d had to shut down his pacifist tendencies and harden the fuck up ever since the night long ago when he’d woken up as a vampire and had his existence changed forever. To this day, he still both loved and despised Christian for turning him. He’d completely forgiven him, but it’d still pained him to find out his vampirism was because he resembled Benj so much, even if Christian hadn’t understood why. For a short time in the beginning, he’d loved deeply and hurt greatly when Christian had regained some of his lost memories and the truth had come out.

He also had come to realise Venetia was taking out her hatred for Benj on him, mainly because she couldn’t get close enough to Benj to harm him. The rumour was at some stage in a distant lifetime, Venetia had loved Benj with her whole being-if such a feat was even possible. Michael very much doubted it, because the bitch had a heart of ice and was twice as cold. The real problem for Venetia was Benj was in love with her brother, Christian. Michael knew she would never forgive Benj for choosing Christian over her.

Somebody should tell her to build a fucking bridge and get over herself.

Not that she would listen.

Also, Venetia was apparently jealous that Christian had been the one in their family to be blessed, or cursed-depending on which way a person looked at it. He had inherited the power of a Drarcaine which ran in the Kincaid lineage. Venetia wanted the magic for herself, and now with her fucked up logic she had gotten it into her head the only way to take said abilities was to kill both Christian and her father, Varnoskulos. Michael couldn’t allow either death to occur. Especially as the whole magic of being a Drarcaine had somehow given him and Christian the same fucking soul to share. Fucked up was an understatement in their strange relationship, especially now as they weren’t even together. Not that it mattered, seeing as Christian had always truly belonged with Benj. Weirdly, the upside of their bond meant Michael and Christian also powered each other up. On the other hand, the downside was if one of them died, so would the other. Yeah, reality was so not fun.

Christ on a cracker, if his guy didn’t hurry the fuck up Michael was going to die of old age before he started his attack. As an eerie silence filled the room around him, Michael had to wonder if his would-be assassin had disappeared or something. Not that Michael was stupid enough to move to find out. Venetia might be a calculating bitch, but more often than not these lackeys she sent after him were dumber than a box of rocks. He actually relished the breather, the moron above him was probably waiting on Michael to do something. Michael was more than willing to wait the prick out. Having fought so many opponents before he was easily going to defeat this idiot as well.

As he lay there, Michael’s mind wandered to Doyle Kerwin. Michael believed wholeheartedly he truly belonged to his consort. The major setback with Doyle’s memory loss was he no longer even knew he and Michael had once been something more than friends. Even now, the ‘friends’ thing was a bit of a stretch. With each passing day, Doyle seemed to like him less and less. At first, Doyle had accepted what the rest of the extended family-who he did remember-had told him about being Michael’s consort, yet lately even those memories seemed to be fading from his mind. In the end, Michael had to come to terms with the fact that he probably wasn’t meant to be happy.

Hence the reason why he now went on so many missions.

 

ABOUT NJ

NJ needs to write like she needs to breathe. It’s an addiction she never intends to find a cure for. When you don’t find NJ arguing with Vlad, her muse, or writing about the wonderful men in her stories, you’ll find her reading work by other authors she greatly admires. NJ lives on five acres situated in the SE of Qld, Australia with her family who all encourage her writing career (even if she does occasionally call them by her character’s names), and her variety of pets. NJ thinks anyone who takes the time to read her stuff is totally awesome, and wants to thank you all.

FIND NJ HERE

My Blog (where you hear about everything) * WordPress (mainly book related) * Goodreads * Face Book * Facebook Author Page * Twitter * Linked in * Google+

 

New Release: He’s Behind You by Rebecca Cohen

He’s Behind You by Rebecca Cohen

Buylink: Dreamspinner | All Romance | Amazon

Head over to UK Gay Romance for a giveaway of He’s Behind You.

 

 

 

Blurb: A Treading the Boards Novella

It’s panto season for the Sarky Players, an amateur dramatics society based in Greenwich, South London. With the traditional Christmas play around the corner, it’s time to get ready for more larger than life performances—on and off stage.

While Craig Rosen is happy with his quiet life playing Warhammer and working in a university lab, a new colleague thinks he needs more excitement and drags Craig along to an audition for the Christmas pantomime, Aladdin.

Corporate lawyer Jason Carter accepted he’s gay a little later in life than most, but now divorced and in his late thirties, he’s ready to embrace who he really is. He can’t believe his luck when he runs into Craig at the audition and the cute younger man agrees to help him navigate his new life. There’s no doubting the attraction between Craig and Jason, but with Craig’s insecurities and Jason still finding his way, they’ll need to make sure they don’t veer off script.

Treading the Boards Series

Overly Dramatic

Summer Season

Bio and Links:

Rebecca Cohen is a Brit abroad. Having swapped the Thames for the Rhine, she has left London behind and now lives with her husband and baby son in Basel, Switzerland. She can often be found with a pen in one hand and a cup of Darjeeling in the other.

Blog: http://rebeccacohenwrites.wordpress.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/R_Cohen_writes

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rebecca.cohen.710

DSP author page: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=55_462

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Rebecca-Cohen/e/B007UEFIXS/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Excerpt:Chapter One

THE LAB door banged open. Craig flinched and failed to maintain a grip on the bottle of buffer he was holding. He swore loudly as it hit the floor, smashed, and sent glass flying everywhere.

“Oh shit. Sorry, Craig,” said Stuart, the new postdoc who’d burst into the lab. “I’ll help you clear it up.”

Craig grabbed a roll of blue paper towels. “There’s a dustpan and brush under the sink.”

Stuart trotted off, and Craig removed his samples from the benchtop centrifuge and returned them to the fridge. The accident sorted his dilemma of whether he’d run one more gel before the weekend.

Stuart collected up the glass, and Craig mopped up the liquid. “Make sure you use the right bin or Kevin will kill you,” Craig said.

“Kevin?”

“Our research assistant. He’s on holiday this week, but you’ll meet him Monday, and trust me, you don’t want to risk Kevin’s ire by slightly disturbing his extraordinarily complicated system.”

Stuart threw away the last of the glass. “You ready? You’re still coming out, right?”

“Yeah, give me a minute to sort out my bench, and I’m good to go.”

Craig wiped down his bench and tidied away his pipettes, liking to leave everything just right to put him in the best frame of mind on Monday morning.

He’d originally hoped to use his experiment as an excuse not to go to the impromptu evening out Stuart had suggested, but now he had no reason or inclination to remain at work. Friday night in Central London was something he usually avoided, preferring to wind down from the week by playing one of the online games he followed or going somewhere a little farther out of the city center, somewhere the clientele were less likely to be of the rich-suited-knob variety.

Several other members of the lab stood chatting in the corridor as Craig and Stuart emerged. Craig zipped up his light jacket, looped his messenger bag across his chest, and awaited instructions. The lab often went out for drinks, but Trish, another of the experienced postdocs, had given up on trying to get Craig out on a regular basis. Unfortunately Stuart had been more insistent, and his gaydar was much better tuned than most.

“Where we going?”

“We thought Jerusalem,” Stuart said, herding their colleagues in the general direction of the exit.

“Which one’s that?”

“I’d think that working here you’d have known the local area better.”

Considering Craig had worked at the Medical Research Centre labs in Bloomsbury for over four years, Stuart had a point. “I studied in a different bit of London. But working for University College doesn’t make me want to rub shoulders with the undergrads during term time. Some of them don’t have an off switch.”

Stuart nudged him with his shoulder. “Well, aren’t you the gregarious one. Cheer up, Craig. It’s just a few beers. I’ve not asked for your firstborn or your Warhammer 40,000: Collector’s Edition Mini Rulebook.”

“Ha-bloody-ha. I’m perfectly happy, thank you.” Typical that Stuart was one of the cool geeks. He had picked up on Craig’s throwaway comments about Star Trek that had gone over everyone else’s head, and had already worked out Craig’s favorite places in Nerd-dom. “I just don’t know this bit of town.”

They headed down a set of steps to an underground bar called Jerusalem, which Craig supposed could’ve been a lot worse—it only vaguely reminded him of a bomb shelter. Stuart clapped him on the back. “My round.”

“No, let me. You won’t have been paid yet, and I know what it’s like to survive the gap between PhD and postdoc.”

Stuart shook his head. “No, I’m good. My partner’s not exactly short of cash, and he’s already at the bar.”

Craig looked at the bar. Stuart pointed out a blond guy, and Craig thought he was more than gorgeous, beautiful even. Stuart wasn’t exactly bad on the eye, and the two of them together would be striking. Craig blinked away the image of Stuart and his partner entwined. He really needed a boyfriend if his overactive imagination was providing him with flashes of his colleagues. “Oh, well, I’ll have a lager. Whatever’s on tap is fine.”

Trish grabbed Craig’s arm as Stuart went off to the bar. “We’ve got a table, but we’re short a seat. You’ll need to find a stool.”

She must have reapplied her perfume before leaving, because the strong waft that assaulted Craig made his eyes water. “Will do.”

Her ponytail swinging behind her, Trish dragged Katy, the newish PhD student, away with her to where the rest of the lab had bagged a table. Despite the bar being busy, Craig spotted a free stool a few tables away. A group of four had a spare seat, although they were using it as a bag stand. Craig pointed to it. “Would you mind if I took this?”

A young red-haired woman grabbed her bag and smiled. The guy sitting opposite her smirked, looked Craig up and down, and licked his lips. “Oh, for someone as adorable as you, I think we can allow it. It might cost you, though.”

“Si, stop teasing,” said the redhead with a sigh. “Sorry about him. One too many margaritas,” she said to Craig. “Please take it.”

Si winked at him, and Craig thought it best to avoid him for the rest of the evening. The guy had a cocky manner. He was attractive and knew it, with his shiny black hair and chiseled chin. The way he presented himself—designer suit and expensive haircut—made Craig think he wasn’t used to taking no for an answer. The sooner Craig legged it, the better.

“Thanks.”

Craig hurried away, but not before he heard the redhead say, “Si, can’t you behave for once? You don’t even know he’s gay.”

“Of course he is, Di. Geeky and gay. My favorite for a bit of fun—always so desperate.”

Craig tried not to let the words hurt, but it was hard to ignore the truth. He carried the stool over to the table, refusing to dwell on his pathetic love life. Even the geeks he’d dated had moved on to someone better, to guys who weren’t as socially awkward or boring as Craig, once the shine of his Warhammer status waned.

Stuart had arrived at the table with his boyfriend, who he introduced as Ryan, and Craig squeezed into the gap left between Trish and Stuart toward the end of the table.

Small talk was not one of his best skills, but he forced himself to make an effort. “So you’ve survived the first week. No plans to run screaming for the hills?”

“Can I reserve judgment until the end of the month? It’s taken most of the week to get access to the university computer systems and get my staff pass.”

“You’re doing well,” said Trish. “But you should double-check with Senate House that they’ve got your bank details right. They messed up mine, and I nearly couldn’t pay my rent that first month.”

Ryan laughed and nudged Stuart. “You’ll have to be extra nice to your landlord if that happens.”

“I told you I had a nonmonetary payment scheme worked out for emergencies, but you weren’t interested.” Stuart blew a raspberry at Ryan. “Apart from being rich, attractive, and normally a nice guy, I have no idea why I put up with you.”

Craig couldn’t help but be envious. Stuart had mentioned they hadn’t been together long, but a whirlwind romance had escalated into more. They made a lovely couple, and Craig wished he had someone waiting for him at home after a long day in the lab.

Before he knew it, they were ready for the fourth round. Stuart and Ryan were great company, so for once Craig wasn’t itching to go home. Ryan had even somehow managed to convince him to come along to an open audition at the amateur dramatics group they belonged to. Once Ryan learned Craig lived in Deptford, only a couple of stops away on the Docklands Light Railway, he wouldn’t let Craig refuse. Maybe it would be good for him to have a social life outside his computer and gaming meetups. He got to his feet at the call for the next round. “My turn.”

“You need a hand?” asked Trish.

“Nah, I’ll get a tray.”

The queue for the bar was several people deep, and Craig checked his phone while waiting to be served. He had a few game notifications and an offer from his credit card company, but nothing of any consequence. At least reading his e-mail meant he didn’t accidently make eye contact with anyone.

Once he’d been served, he realized he didn’t have room for all the drinks on the tray and would have to come back for his pint.

“I’ll keep an eye on it for you,” offered the guy standing next to him, who, Craig realized too late, was Si from the table where he’d got his stool. Si grinned.

Craig had a sudden thought that he should be wearing a red riding hood. “Er, thanks.”

“My pleasure.” Si winked at him.

Craig scurried away with the tray of drinks, intending to come back to grab his pint and return to the table again as fast as possible.

The bar had cleared a bit by the time he went to retrieve his pint. He hoped Si would have collected his own drink and pissed off back to his friends, but no such luck.

“There you are. I was beginning to think you weren’t coming back.”

Craig reached out to pick up his pint, but Si took hold of his arm. “I hope you aren’t rushing off.”

“I need to get back to my friends.”

“I’m sure they can cope for a little while without you.”

Craig tried to shrug off Si’s hand. “I need to go.”

“Oh, come on, we can have a little fun. What do you say to me letting you suck my cock?”

“What?” He aimed for outraged, but it came out more like a deranged squawk.

“You’re gagging for it. I can smell the desperation. I bet you can’t even remember the last time you got laid. Here I am, offering you a simply wonderful opportunity.”

Craig could tell Si was the wrong side of sober, and he tried to dislodge Si’s hand. “Let go of me.”

“Feisty!” Si swayed a little and grabbed Craig’s arm harder.

“Look, Dick For Brains, the guy’s not interested, so fuck off to whatever sewer you crawled out of.” A hand reached from behind Craig and pulled Si’s hand away. “Piss off and leave him alone.”

Craig turned to see a man—at best guess, in his late thirties with dark brown hair and a square jaw. He was dashing in a knight-in-shining-armor way, although dressed in a suit with his shirt collar open, rather than chain mail. Craig supposed he should be incensed another man thought he needed rescuing, but he was far too relieved to be upset.

Si scowled. “Who the fuck are you?”

“Someone with a black belt in judo who doesn’t like arseholes picking on people in bars.”

Si snorted. “Fancy a piece yourself, I bet. You can have the dorky thing. No loss.”

Craig watched Si stagger off before turning back to his savior. “Thanks.”

“Sorry. I wouldn’t normally butt in, but you looked like you needed a bit of support.”

“I’m not very good with conflict.” Craig reached out and claimed his pint. “He’d have got bored eventually, most people do, but I’m glad you helped.”

“I’m pretty sure he’ll find a willing body if he can stay standing long enough. He’s lucky he didn’t try it on with someone who’d take offense.”

“I am a bit offended. Strange men don’t usually assume I’ll suck their cock on demand.”

“I didn’t mean that. I mean some guys wouldn’t like being hit on by another man. They’d have punched him into next week.”

Craig didn’t think he’d have the balls to hit someone, but it wasn’t Si’s sex that had been the issue. “Being hit on was a problem, not him being a guy.”

“You are gay, then?”

Craig thought it an odd question to ask someone you didn’t know. He took a sip of his pint before answering. “Yes….”

“Sorry, you must think me a complete twat. I’m new to all this.”

“All this?”

The man chuckled and rubbed the back of his neck, an impossibly endearing action that had Craig’s imagination running away with itself. “Yeah. Let’s say I’m late to the game and still figuring out the rules.”

“I’m not sure I know the rules any better. In fact, you could say I’m pretty rubbish at most games that aren’t coded in C++.”

“Eh?”

“That was a bit geeky. It’s computer code. Well, one of them, and of course it depends on the game and the platform.”

“Right.”

A wave of awkwardness swept through him as Craig realized he’d geeked out in front of a rather sexy older man. Still, the encounter would keep his right hand busy for a while, as long as he left before he could embarrass himself further. “I should get back to my friends.”

“Yeah, I’d better go myself. I needed a beer after the day I’ve had.”

“Least it’s the weekend.” Craig gave him a quirky little smile that was meant to say good-bye but probably made him look like a worried poodle. “Thanks again for your help.”

“Anytime.”

End Street Book 5: The Case of the Purple Pearl by Amber Kell and RJ Scott

End Street 5 600

End Street Book 5: The Case of the Purple Pearl by Amber Kell and RJ Scott

Buylinks here when available: http://rjscottauthor.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/the-case-of-purple-pearl-end-street-5.html

Blurb: After failing in a quest to win the Fae Queen’s approval, Halstein is locked in a world of stone. Forced to remain a gargoyle he spends his days on Sam’s desk pining for his lost love.

Prince Idris’s lover went missing and was presumed dead. Alone, Idris lives a life away from court, starved of energy but unwilling to sleep in the room he once shared with his beloved.

Can Sam and Bob save these fated lovers before it’s too late? And will Bob’s ultimate sacrifice be enough to free Hal from his prison?

Volume 1 – Books 1 & 2

Book 1 – The Case of the Cupid Curse 
Book 2 – The Case of the Wicked Wolf

Volume 2 – Books 3 & 4

Book 3 – The Case of the Dragon’s Dilemma 
Book 4 – The Case of the Sinful Santa 

Excerpt:

Chapter One
“What are you doing?”

Sam sighed. This was the fifth time today their visiting gargoyle had asked him that. Three weeks had passed since it had decided to stay at the house and wait for Sam to find it a master. And those three weeks had lasted a very long time.

“Taxes,” Sam muttered. The same answer he’d given every single time he’d been asked.

“I don’t like math,” the little gargoyle said. He waddled across Sam’s desk, leaving small muddy footprints on a neatly filled-in form. Sam couldn’t even muster the energy to get angry.

“Are you going to tell me your name yet?” Sam asked. He placed his pen on the desk and leaned back with a stretch, eying the small gargoyle against the hulking monstrosity that sat immobile on the corner of his desk. They were so dissimilar, in size and expression.

“You know I can only tell my master.”

“I can’t keep calling you the little gargoyle. I’m going to have to give you a name.”

The little gargoyle turned in a circle to face Sam, then squatted into a pose with his mouth open in a snarl. It looked pretty mean, and Sam edged back.

“What’s wrong?” he asked.

The gargoyle’s expression changed back to the one he usually had; that of a dopey baby.

“Nothing, I was just giving you my fierce face so you can give me the right name. I’m not having you calling me Sunshine or Cutie. I want something strong like Zephariel Angel of Vengeance.”

Sam couldn’t help the snort of laughter, then immediately felt guilty when the gargoyle’s expression fell. “Sorry,” he apologized. “It’s just, uhm, that name is taken. How about Leo, like a lion, a brave, strong lion.”

The gargoyle tilted his head in contemplation, then nodded. “Leo, I like Leo. I’m done with you now. You already have a gargoyle. I’m going to find my true master.”

That decided, he jumped down off the desk and waddled over to the door, sidestepping awkwardly when Smudge slunk in with intent in every step. In a leap, Smudge was up on the desk, sitting right on the tax forms and staring straight into Sam’s face.

“What are you doing?” Smudge asked telepathically.

“Taxes,” Sam answered. He didn’t add a sigh this time.

“You should be tracking down what kind of other your uncle’s pet gargoyle is.”

Leo, the newly named visiting gargoyle, had declared that the old paperweight on Sam’s desk that looked like a gargoyle, walked like a gargoyle, and was stone like a gargoyle, wasn’t actually a gargoyle at all, but other.

“Where do you suggest I start? And why can’t you tell what it is, oh powerful familiar.” Sam couldn’t help the sarcasm. Smudge was capable of putting souls back in bodies and using heavy magic, but he couldn’t track down what kind of paranormal had been transformed into an ancient crumbling gargoyle paperweight?

“I’ll forget you said that,” Smudge said condescendingly. “I’ve been busy.”

“With what?” Sam asked. Privately he thought Smudge spent too much time cleaning himself with his paws up in the air and his tongue—

“I can hear you,” Smudge warned. “And who else do you think can keep your attic spider infestation at bay?”

Sam shuddered. He didn’t like small spiders at best, let alone the giant ones Smudge had suggested lived only a few floors up. “Good work,” Sam praised. “And as to our paperweight friend here—” Sam tapped the solid stone thing on the head with a stapler. “—I’ve put out a request to everyone I know as to who may be missing someone. I used the ParaGoogle to see if anyone knows anything. Not sure what else I can do at this stage.”

Smudge gave a feline version of a huff, deliberately washed himself on the desk for a good five minutes, then disappeared out of the room. Sam shook off the fur that had fallen on his paperwork. This needed to be done and, unless he finished it soon, he’d have the authorities fining him all over the place.

A knock on his office door jerked Sam from his sad contemplation of the bills he had to pay. Although he’d earned some money recently and he owned the building where he worked and lived, the flow of money going out far exceeded the money rushing into his pockets.

Taxes were a bitch.

Giveaway

Competition to win $15 Amazon/Are giftcard, and 2 further prizes of RJ Scott e-books – closes 6th December at 00:01 GMT (London)

DIRECT LINK:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/f922301b63/

About RJ

RJ Scott has been writing since age six, when she was made to stay in at lunchtime for an infraction involving cookies. She was told to write a story and two sides of paper about a trapped princess later, a lover of writing was born.

As an avid reader herself, she can be found reading anything from thrillers to sci-fi to horror. However, her first real true love will always be the world of romance where she takes cowboys, bodyguards, firemen and billionaires (to name a few) and writes dramatic and romantic stories of love and passion between these men.

With over seventy titles to her name and counting, she is the author of the award winning book, The Christmas Throwaway. She is also known for the Texas series charting the lives of Riley and Jack, and the Sanctuary series following the work of the Sanctuary Foundation and the people it protects.

Her goal is to write stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, that hint of a happily ever after.

rj@rjscott.co.uk

www.rjscott.co.uk/

https://twitter.com/Rjscott_author

www.facebook.com/author.rjscott

www.librarything.com/author/scottrj

www.tumblr.com/blog/rjscott  (some NSFW (not safe for work) photos)

www.pinterest.com/rjscottauthor/

About Amber Kell:

Amber Kell is one of those quiet people they always tell you to watch out for. She lives in Dallas with her husband, two sons, and one extremely stupid dog.

amberkellwrites@gmail.com

http://www.amberkellbooks.com/
https://amberkell.wordpress.com/

https://www.facebook.com/amber.kell.7