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Of Magic and Scales, 3

As if having a powerful druid and a goddess for parents doesn't suck enough, throwing a vengeful god into the fray certainly doesn't do Aiden any favors.


Aiden Mercer's summer has been interesting—if by interesting you mean life-threatening and heartbreaking that is. With fall fast approaching, he’s looking for a quiet time in the arms of his boyfriend, Naël, the handsome merman.


Alas, life never quite goes the way you plan it, does it? Unless Aiden finds a way to stop the wicked god Baburaj and his mother, Jhanvi from achieving their devilish goals, pain and destruction will hover over him like a starving vulture.


In the third and final book in the Of Magic & Scales series, the familiar cast of zany but lovable characters is back, and they are bringing reinforcements for what promises to be an epic and sexy ending. Join Aiden, Naël, and their circle of magical friends in their final adventure. **No magical creatures were harmed in the writing of this book**




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Special Release Excerpt

“Will you stop that?” Fouchard’s whisper reached my ears in a sudden blow of hot air. “Pay attention.”


Attention had never been one of my fortes. I’d sat there for the past twenty minutes, listening to the buzz of people talking, an undercurrent of excitement in everyone’s tone. I tried. I really, really tried to be still and feel as excited as everyone else was—including my mate. When we first arrived at the theater, I was in stitches. Hard to believe that after more than two years of living in Portugal this was the first time I was attending a play. I’d gone to clubs pre-Fouchard, and a couple movies, but had never set foot in a theater to enjoy a stage performance of any kind. Which was strange, because I had been very active in DC, even going as far as having season tickets to the Kennedy Center for performances that ranged from simple plays to operas.


Sitting there at that small, intimate theater house made me itchy though. Maybe it was because my Portuguese was still pretty rudimentary. Maybe it was the crowded space, or the fact that I was a different man than the one I had known—and not loved—a few months back.


“Why is it taking so long?” I asked, miffed that my boyfriend had brushed my hand away from his upper thigh. I was restless and when that happened, I could think of only one thing: how I could make my merrow scream out in ecstasy. Okay, so maybe this was not the time or place for that, but you couldn’t blame a man for trying. It was a totally altruistic desire, or at least that’s what I told myself when my mate practically hissed at me. “I’m bored, Naël.”


Fouchard sicced his hooded brown eyes on mine, a warning in his posture. “What are you, Aiden? A child?” He might sound angry, but I knew him well enough by then that I could see the slight twitch of his lips, the precursor of all-out laughter. “It will start soon.” Before he even finished the sentence, the lights flickered and the universal trois coups hammering from behind the curtains announced the beginning of the play. “See, here we go. Can you stay still for once and enjoy this play?”


I sighed, deeply exaggerating the level of my discontent with the whole thing. “What are we even watching?” I whispered, casually leaning against him.


“Shhhh.” All righty then. He wasn’t going to indulge me this time.


I slid further down my seat and got ready to at least attempt to pay attention to the performance. Hopefully the actors would speak slowly so I could understand what was happening. I could always take a nap, I guessed. My long legs didn’t allow me to slide as far as I would like without entangling my feet with the woman sitting in front of me, so I crossed them instead. My boyfriend surprised me by reaching for my hand and lacing his fingers through mine.


That was more like it.


the Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Of Fire & Bone, Natalia is giving a lucky winner the chance to win an $10 Amazon Voucher!

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Of Magic & Scales on Sale for 99 cents: Universal Link

Get Book 2; Of Scales & Fire: Universal Link


the Author

Natalina wrote her first romance in collaboration with her best friend at the age of 13. Since then she has ventured into other genres, but romance is first and foremost in almost everything she writes.


After earning a degree in tourism and foreign languages, she worked as a tourist guide in her native Portugal for a short time before moving to the United States. She lived in three continents and a few islands, and her knack for languages and linguistics led her to a master’s degree in education. She lives in Virginia where she has taught English as a Second Language to elementary school children for more years than she cares to admit.


Natalina doesn’t believe you can have too many books or too much coffee. Art and dance make her happy and she is pretty sure she could survive on lobster and bananas alone. When she is not writing or stressing over lesson plans, she shares her life with her husband and two adult sons.


Connect with Natalina: Website: https://natalinareis.com/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authornatalinareis Twitter: https://twitter.com/TichaB Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14883335.Natalina_Reis Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Natalina-Reis/e/B01ADQ9FJW Newsletter sign up: https://natalinareis.com/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/reisnatalina/ Reader’s Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/215263965917134/ BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/natalina-reis AllAuthor: https://allauthor.com/author/natalinareis/






Dante Mathers has forced himself to go out with girls in the past and he does it again when he's approached by the beautiful Serena one day on campus, desperate to prove to himself that he's "normal." But when he loses a drinking contest and is dared to go to the next campus LGBTQ meeting by his best friend, he’s not sure how to handle it. Sure, he could blow it off, but something nagging at the back of his mind compels him to go anyway. After all, his secret first crush was a boy in high school. But is he really forcing himself to go, or is he finally starting to be honest with himself? No need to overthink this, Dante tells himself. It'll be get in, get out. No need to talk to anyone. Easy, right?


Then he meets Sven. Sexy, toned, wearing a leather jacket with spiked up bleach-blond hair, Sven's bad-boy flare sticks out on campus and catches Dante's eye. But there's more to Sven than his punkish looks, and Dante's about to find out all the sultry little details.




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Excerpt

She was the most stunning woman I’d ever seen, with skin as white and smooth as a fresh blanket of snow and hair that reminded me of rivers made of the finest silk. Deep, dark rivers the color of a raven’s wings.


​She carried herself like a proud lioness—the most regal of the pride, the leader of the hunts on the African plain and the one the other females all revered for her strength and grace. An air of majesty radiated from her as she sat on the stone edge of the fountain in the campus square. Poise practically oozed from her when she crossed her legs and brushed straight her dress.


​It was a rich plum purple, her dress. She was wearing a matching shrug with a maize-colored shirt underneath—very classy looking. Silver hoops dangled from her ears, catching the sunlight and sparkling when she ran her hand through her hair. She had large shoulders for a girl, but it didn’t make her look odd. It suited her in a strange way.


​I’d never seen her on campus before. New enrollee? I wanted to ask, but for some reason I found her entirely unapproachable. Maybe it was because I couldn’t see her eyes—covered by sunglasses—so I wasn’t sure what kind of mood she was in today. With my luck she was having her monthly gift, and the last thing she wanted was to be approached by some strange guy and asked a bunch of small-talk questions.


​What would I talk with her about in depth anyway? Sure I found her pretty, but what could a gem like her and a plain guy like me have in common?


​In my pocket, my phone beeped twice. Shit, I was going to be late for a meeting if I didn’t hurry. I looked up to find the coal-haired woman, but she’d disappeared from her seat at the fountain. I shrugged, not too crestfallen. I’d lost my chance, but let’s face it—I wouldn’t have taken it.


​I started off toward the student union. My phone beeped again, and I stopped dead in my tracks. I suddenly remembered exactly where I was going, and a cold sweat formed on the back of my neck. Maybe I should have approached that girl, because between talking with her and going to this meeting, I wasn’t sure which was scarier.


* * * * *


​ “I’m Mandy, and I’m bi.”


​“My name’s Cole, and I identify as gay.”


​“Terry, and if you can’t tell I’m gay, you need your brain checked, okay?”


The people in the room chuckled, and then everybody’s gaze fell on me.


​“Uh…” I coughed. My throat felt like it was filled with sand, and I struggled with my next words, “I’m Dante.” That’s it, just Dante. Now move along…


​Fortunately, when he realized I wasn’t going to say any more, the man next to me piped up with his introduction.


​I whistled a sigh of relief. When I got out of this frigging trust circle, I was going to wring Greg’s scrawny neck!


​I felt like a huge asshole sitting in this circle of ten people in a secluded underground room of the student union. They were here because they wanted to share with other people like them, to hang out and not be judged. Well, I wasn’t judging by any means, but the only reason I’d found my way to this LGBTQ meeting was because I’d lost a bet and my friend was still immature enough to find this kind of thing amusing.


​The guy next to me nudged me in the shoulder, and I nearly flew ten feet out of my chair. I looked around the room. Introductions seemed to be over, and now everyone was just talking.


​“You’re a fourth year, right?” he asked. His voice was smooth and rich. It reminded me of syrup, or tree sap.


​“Fifth.” I swallowed. “I’m only finishing up electives this semester. I already have a job in my field.”


​“Ah, must be nice.” He threw back his head over the edge of his chair and sighed. “In this little town it’s hard to find an internship close to home. I’ve been going through hell trying.” He grinned. “What’d you study?”


​“Physical therapy.”


​“Ah, that explains it. There are so many old folks and people who work with their backs around here. You’ll be in business for a long while yet. Or did you have plans to leave town?”


​Part of me wondered if this was the kind of small talk I’d thought about making with that girl before. This guy was a hell of a lot better at it than I would’ve been. But whatever his motives, I didn’t mind. Greg was the only close friend I had on campus, and he hated talking about school life and work. The change of topic from girls and clubbing was refreshing.


​“Nah, not leaving.” I shook my head. “Born and raised here in the country and no plan to leave. I stick to my roots.”


He nodded. “I feel the same.” He held out his hand to me. “James.”


​“Dante.” I took his hand warmly.


​“So…” James leaned back in his chair and gestured at the whole of the room. “I haven’t seen you at one of these before.”


​“Um…”


​“Hey, it’s cool if you don’t wanna talk about it. Just making an observation. No pressure.”


​It certainly didn’t feel like no pressure to me, but maybe it was the overwhelming guilt that made my stomach ache like it was tangled in knots. I wasn’t going to lie—I’d been curious in the past, but nothing ever came of it. Then again, I’d never had a girlfriend either, which was why Greg had thought this would be so hilarious. I found men and women attractive in their own way, but that hardly made me gay or bisexual. Damn, if Greg knew how much stress this was really causing me inside, he’d probably look at me like I’d grown another head.


​“Terry over there…” James set a hand on my shoulder and pointed to the guy who’d introduced himself earlier. “Biggest flamer in the whole damn school, and proud of it. You’ll see him at every drag show, and he’ll probably win. Sets the rest of the competition on edge, I tell ya.” He chuckled and pointed to another guy sitting three seats to my left. “The guy with the lumberjack beard is Carl. He’s quiet, not too wild. You two would probably get along.”


​“Why are you telling me all this?”


​James laughed. “Because you’re new, and I can tell you’re the shy type. Just put yourself out there. Nobody here bites…” He winked. “Often. Ah, I just noticed Seven is missing. Bummer. Not surprised, though. He’s a shy guy, too. He’d be the perfect one for you to talk to. Better than me.”


​“Seven?” What kind of a name was that?


​“Ha-ha, I know. Weird name, right? His name’s actually Sven. They accidentally added the extra E on his campus ID card his first year, friggin’ idiots. He’s been Seven ever since. Cute guy. Pretty platinum-blond hair. I’d kill to have skin as smooth and clear as his.”


​I tried not to put too much interest in James’s words as he prattled on about Sven, or Seven. But even though I felt uncomfortable, the last thing I wanted to seem was rude. This guy had put himself out there to make me feel better, even though I didn’t deserve it. I couldn’t just ignore him because he wanted to talk about…other dudes.


​So with as much of a polite smile as I could muster, I asked, “Is Seven your boyfriend?”


​James’s eyes widened. “Seven? Hell no!” He slapped me hard on the back and doubled over laughing.


​I stared at him in complete confusion, and I knew it was showing on my face. What the hell was so funny? I glanced around. No one else was listening to us, so I couldn’t tell if there was some joke I’d missed or what.


​“Sorry, sorry.” James straightened. “Dunno why I found that so funny. Nah, Seven and I have just been friends since high school. Seven isn’t even gay as far as I know. He cleans up around the student union for extra cash. Lots of clubs meet down here, so he’s here a lot picking up cups that miss the trash and junk like that. He told me he was scheduled for cleaning today. Must still be in another wing.” He sighed, almost like he was disappointed by Seven’s absence.


​“I see…” I paused and looked around the room again, trying not to attract anyone’s attention. “So, um,” I mumbled to James. “Is this all that happens here? People just split off into their groups and talk?”


​“Nah. We have these meetings twice a semester for people who, you know, need a place to go. New people, like you.” James smiled warmly. “Sometimes we have movie night, or game night, or just get together to hang out at clubs or on campus. I can give you the campus Facebook page if you want to know when events are scheduled?”


​“No, that’s okay.”


​“Come on. Get yourself out there, newbie. You got a phone?”


​“Hey!” He practically fondled all of me to get my cell phone, which was unfortunately tucked into my back pocket. He got to it though, much to my dismay. I shuddered as he slid his hand down against my ass and slipped the phone from my pocket.


​He started it up and opened a blank note. “There.” He typed a URL onto the note page, saved it, and pressed the phone into my palm. “Show up to something sometime, will ya? Even Seven comes to movie nights once in a while, and getting him out of his house is like pulling teeth.”


There was no way in good conscience I could go to any of those events. I was there on a stupid dare. Thank God my phone beeped at that moment.


​“Sorry, I’ve got class.” I snatched my backpack up from where I’d set it on the floor next to my chair.


​“Oh, okay. Have a good one, Dante.” James smiled and waved as I bolted out of the room. “Come to an event!”


​It was a shame I couldn’t. Really it was. James was one of the nicest guys I’d met on campus. Not that I’d put myself out there to many people. James was right—I was a shy guy. I thought of that pretty girl again and sighed. I looked back at the meeting room door. Too bad. I could use more friends like James.



Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Lucky Seven, Eryn is giving away 3 e-copies of Lucky Seven!

Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win!

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the author

I could copy-paste my biography from other websites, but that's boring so instead here's some fun facts about me:


​- I own 2 crested geckos and an axolotl. What's an axolotl? You know Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon? His design is based off one. Basically it looks like a cross between a tadpole and a wingless dragon. And they're dumb. Very dumb. But cute!


- I have an unhealthy obsession with video games. I am an avid PC gamer, and can be found up most nights on World of Warcraft. I'm the first to admit I have a problem. For the Alliance!


​- I could probably drop a fourth of my body-weight if I stopped drinking soda, but I won't. I'm letting myself have this one.


​- If I had a quarter for every time I swore, I'd probably be able to retire.


​- I don't know how I started writing M/M Romance, but if I had to blame anyone it'd be my best friend for getting me hooked on Yaoi in high school. You know who your are; you did this.


Connect with Eryn: Website: https://www.eleschbooks.com Facebook Profile: https://www.facebook.com/author.elesch Facebook Group Signup - https://www.facebook.com/groups/elesch Instagram Follow - https://www.instagram.com/e_l_esch/ Bookbub Follow - https://www.bookbub.com/profile/e-l-esch Goodreads Follow - https://www.goodreads.com/e-l-esc Amazon Follow - https://amazon.com/author/elesch




A Never Just Friends Novel, 3

LEON When I’m looking for a hook up, I want three things: Big, thick, and rough. So it doesn’t make sense that I can't get my new hire out of my head. He's a tiny guy with big ideas ... and he's my apprentice which means he's completely off limits. But he’s already under my skin. And for the first time with any guy, I don’t think I can hold my own against him. Physically, yes. Emotionally, no. Auggie makes me weak.


AUGGIE Growing up, I always wanted to go into the family business and follow in Dad’s footsteps. Until in my senior year of high school when he told me to find a new dream. No one would let a small, clumsy guy like me on a construction site. And after trying and failing for years, I was starting to believe him. Then LJ Constructions calls me for an interview and when I meet Leon, he becomes my new dream. He's hot as hell, self made, and instead of putting me down, he sees what I’ve always seen in myself. But I’m not dumb enough to throw away this one chance at my dream job, not even for him. Not even if I really, really want to.


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Excerpt

Auggie flags down the bartender as I slide into the free stool and turn my attention to the man sitting next to me. He’s all big eyes and flushed cheeks, and when he turns his overeager attention back on me, I immediately soften toward him.


“You okay after today?” I find myself asking. I’d been prepared to ignore what happened, but I genuinely want to know.


His stare drops to the bar top. “Yeah, just one of those things, right?”


My bullshit sensors are in overload again. “Right.”


“Besides, plenty more fish in the sea …”


“I think that refers to dating.”


“Don’t see why it can’t apply here.”


Okay, he’s got me there. “True.”


When the drinks arrive, he nudges mine toward me and props his chin in his hand. “Did I stain your floor?”


“Nah. Nothing a little sanding won’t fix. Seriously, don’t worry about it.”


He watches me for a moment. “Since I’ll probably never see you again after tonight, can I tell you something?”


“Shoot.”


“I’m a total screwup,” he says on a sigh. “That’s why Dad won’t hire me and why I don’t have any references. The few places who have hired me haven’t kept me around for long, and none of them are anyone I want a potential employer talking to.”


“I kinda got the, ah, clumsy impression.”


“What could have given you that idea?” His tone is flat, even as he looks mortified.


I can’t help it—I start to laugh. “Is that how all your interviews go?”


“Only the good ones.”


“Poor Auggie.”


For some reason, the disappointment on his face melts away. “I know, feel sorry for me.”


“Nah, something tells me you’ll be okay.”


“Well, you were literally my last hope, so I’ll have to be okay doing something else with my life.”


“Oh yeah, like what?”


“Maybe I’ll take up sculpting. And be a, umm, sculp…tist?”


“I think they’re called artists.”


“Are they?”


I snort. “I don’t know. But you should probably figure it out before you print business cards.”


“I guess it’s back to the drawing board.”


I sip my drink quietly for a moment. “What do you want in a job?”


“Something physical, or at least varied. My attention span is way too short for sitting at a desk all day. Preferably outdoors.”


“What about … fisherman?”


“Gross.”


“Sports coach?”


“As well as clumsy, I’m exceptionally uncoordinated. Next!”


“Umm … miner? Logger?”


“You’re terrible at this.”


“Remind me which of us has a job.” I keep my voice kind so I don’t bring him down again.


Auggie orders two shots, and I’m not about to turn down free Jäger. We both throw them back, and I watch Auggie cringe through his.


“It’s no use. At this point, I should cut my losses and go into porn.”


I choke on my drink because that’s the last thing I was expecting an innocent-looking guy like Auggie to say. His eyes are starting to look a bit glassy and unfocused though, so I guess the alcohol is talking. “There’s a market for everything, I suppose.”


“Hey!” He gives me a little nudge. “I’ll have you know I’m quite confident in what I have.”


And even if Auggie isn’t my type, I’m red-blooded enough to recognize he’s sexy as hell in a twink kinda way. “Send me your OnlyFans and I’ll show my support.”


“Why?” He leans a little closer and wets his pink bottom lip. “I could give you a free show tonight.”



the Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Getting Friendly, Saxon is giving away a $25 voucher!

Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win!

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the author

Saxon James is an author from Australia who's obsessed with writing queer characters. She has a range of books from YA to adult and they all have one thing in common: swoony, sweet love.


When not writing, Saxon exists on a diet of coffee and chocolate while putting her KU subscription to the test.


Connect with Saxon: Facebook page: www.facebook.com/pg/thesaxonjames/ Facebook group: www.facebook.com/groups/saxonssweethearts/ Bookbub: www.bookbub.com/profile/saxon-james Amazon: www.amazon.com/Saxon-James/e/B082TP7BR7 Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/19404191.Saxon_James Instagram: www.instagram.com/saxonjameswrites/



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