What Are AmberPax™ Collections?

Simply put, AmberPax™ Collections are groups of five stories centered around a specific theme. Each story within an AmberPax™ is released individually, on the same day as the others, and can be purchased separately, but these five stories can also be purchased as a single unit (the full AmberPax™) at a discount, currently 25%. Generally, an AmberPax™ is similar to an "anthology" of stories, but instead of the titles being released in only a single volume (file), they are also available individually. These AmberPax™ Collections are sold exclusively through our website and only in electronic format.

THIS BLOG is for news about the Pax Collections - follow it to keep up with releases, find early news of the upcoming collections, and share Pax fun and chat with the authors!

All Amber Paxes can be bought at Amber Quill HERE.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Shattered by Fate - Inspired by History by A.J. Llewellyn

When I was a teenager growing up in Sydney, Australia, reality sucked for me. Back then, like most kids my own age, the transistor radio (memba those??) was more important than TV and books were more important than anything.

I spent every free period and lunch break I had sitting in the school library stacks my trannie (yes, they were trannies) secreted in my pencil case. I was mad about John Paul Young and Sherbet and kept my pencil case clapped to my ear as I listened to those dreamy lovey-dovey songs and read romance novels set in long-ago times in faraway places.

My passion was historical romances, in particular Victoria Holt. I didn't care for her work under the names of Jean Plaidy, Philippa Carr, or even her own. As Victoria Holt, she just did it for me. Her Gothic romances always featured a damsel in real distress, not some fruit loop whining about a hangnail. There was tension, mystery, darkness, romance, sexual tension, darkness…

Well, you get the idea.

My favorite books were early Holts such as On the Night of the Seventh Moon

In it, a young British girl goes to school in Germany, a remote place on the edge of the Bavarian forest. She hears lots of legends about the spooky forest. She's not supposed to go there but of course, she does. She gets lost, of course, but is rescued by the handsome mysterious prince of the castle on the other side of the forest.

She charms him. Of course.

He almost seduces her, but refrains.

Years later, long after she has graduated, she returns to the forest and almost believing she imagined that one night with him, she encounters the prince again. This time she is a woman and their romance is swift and passionate. They get married and she is the happiest she's ever been in her life. 

When she awakens the next morning however, she is told by the castle housekeeper that there is no prince. There was no marriage. 

Was it real? Did she dream it?

Or is something more sinister afoot?

This simple but dramatic premise leads to one of the most exciting historical romances I've ever read. I won't give away the dénouement here, but let me just say that there is a reason that On the Night of the Seventh Moon is consistently at the top of readers' favorite Gothic Romances, half a century after it was first published.

Shattered by Fate, part of the Amber Allure Gothics Galore Collection, was inspired by the original premise, but dovetails completely after that. First of all the characters are two gay men, the action is contemporary, and the story is set in beautiful Buenos Aires.

This is my mash note to an author whose passion inspired my own. Here is a synopsis:

Elvis Summers and his writing partner Holt have scored a fantastic gig—spending two months in romantic Buenos Aires while researching their old TV idol, Guy Williams, famous for playing Zorro and the futuristic, perfect father in Lost in Space.

What made Williams fall so deeply in love with Argentina that he gave up his acting career to move there in the mid 70s?

For years, the actor remained an icon as Zorro in Argentina, even though he died alone and under mysterious circumstances in his apartment in the lush neighborhood of Recoleta. As Elvis and Holt retrace the actor's footsteps, history and gothic romance seep into their souls. 

Elvis meets a hot local named Joaquin, a man with his own secrets and apparent fears. Elvis falls hard and fast for the sexy porteño, but after scorching nights of passion, Joaquin inexplicably vanishes. Elvis desperately searches for him even as Holt tries to convince him that Joaquin was obviously not interested, and that residents of Joaquin's apartment building claim no such man exists.

Feeling the ghost of Guy Williams accompanying him on his sometimes-frightening search, Elvis is determined to find the man he came to adore. Or will he, like TV's Zorro, find himself shattered by fate?

For more information, a hot excerpt and/or purchase, please click this link:

Aloha oe,



Shattered by Fate by A.J. Llewellyn is now available at Amber Allure.

If you'd like the chance to win the entire pax collection, just leave a comment on today's post. On Saturday, a winner will be picked at random from all the comments made this week on the blog. Comment on all, and that's multiple chances to win!

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Hunting Down the Back Story for My Soul He Seeks by Darcy Abriel

Brainstorming for this story started with word association. No, back up, it didn’t start there. It began with the image of a man. Hispanic, gypsy. What did he do? What’s in his soul? And so I dug deeper. Music is in his soul. What kind of music? There was no other answer. Flamenco. In researching, one line resonated with me, and with Ravol. Flamenco is at the very heart of the gitano culture with strong roots in Andalusia. And thus Ravol Nova was born.

Ravol possesses a dark and mysterious history. Rumors about his relationship, and the murder of his lover, Francesco, haunt him unceasingly. For me, this past came to life through a video on Youtube.

A duel of guitars in a sense. But for my story the duel started between a young Flamenco guitarist and a Flamenco dancer. What better inspiration could I find for the dancer than this Youtube video:

Joaquin Cortes. Wow. Perfect. I had the passion and the pain of my backstory.

The foundation of Ravol’s dark haunting, is the murder of his passionate lover, Francesco, that has colored his life so deeply. But there was more, a lot more, because as I got into writing the story, I realized Ravol actually was a descendent of a lost gypsy tribe, the Zhalazti, which has its roots in Babylonian origins. (My story, “Run to Ground”, provides the foundation for the Zhalazti in more detail.)  And thus there is magic– a special magic he must harness and use in an effort to bring peace to his life. And he will use any means to find that peace. To that end, he acquires a special musical instrument. Enter, the young, auction house researcher, Byron Shepley, who has a very dark and somewhat disturbing history with the mansion Ravol now lives in. And it is on a dark and stormy night these two men will finally meet.

These fictional facts represent the foundation of “My Soul He Seeks,” as both Ravol and Byron, in seeking resolution to their past histories, may discover a light of love shining through the darkness shading each of their souls, even though there is nothing remotely simple about the attraction they soon share.

“My Soul He Seeks” is a story of redemption and resolution in many ways. It is also about sacrifice and revenge.

One last little tidbit about this story. I needed to name my town...something special. Ternekill wasn’t just something I pulled from my black hat and pasted into the story. I starting researching names. I thought about the town and the story and the people.  The word “terne” I discovered is a Delaware Native American word for...wolf. What better name could I choose? Especially with Ravol’s history as descending from the werewolf clan, the Zhalazti? Having grown up in central New York near the Catskills, I finished off the name of the town with the word, “kill.” Two meanings, one the obvious–to murder, or kill. The other goes back to the roots of the area, and the early settlers of New York – the Dutch. Kill refers to a river or a creek. Kille, meaning riverbed or channel. Thus, the town’s name of Ternekill. There is reference in the story to a dark spot in Ternekill history regarding the Ternekill Creek.

Did I mention I love creating backstory?

“My Soul He Seeks,” part of the “Gothics Galore” AmberPax collection, available this month at Amber Allure.


My Soul He Seeks by Darcy Abriel is now available at Amber Allure.

If you'd like the chance to win the entire pax collection, just leave a comment on today's post. On Saturday, a winner will be picked at random from all the comments made this week on the blog. Comment on all, and that's multiple chances to win!

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Do you believe that houses can be haunted? by D.J. Manly

When I wrote this story for the Gothic Pax, I wanted to pay tribute to a couple of themes within Gothic literature. I was thinking of the books Dracula and Jane Eyre and how when I was at University in Montreal, the huge, old sprawling mansions of Westmount made me recall those stories. 

I used an actual haunted house as the setting for this story, a story that is as tragic as it is beautiful. The story is told through the eyes of Jamie, who has just entered adulthood and is in the throws of discovering who he is and what he wants out of life. He is a lonely soul in his own way which leads him to the journey he takes in this house. 

This house in question is pictured below. Apparently it is lit up every night, all night long, and pictures taken of it have shown a mysterious figure standing at the window. Do you believe that houses can be haunted? If you don’t, you might change your mind after reading this story. 


Mist in the Night by D.J. Manly is now available at Amber Allure.

If you'd like the chance to win the entire pax collection, just leave a comment on today's post. On Saturday, a winner will be picked at random from all the comments made this week on the blog. Comment on all, and that's multiple chances to win!

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Dark and Stormy by Deirdre O'Dare

Perhaps because of my ancestry, a lot of Irish and Welsh in there, I am fascinated by the country of Wales and the Cymric branch of the Celtic people. The Arthurian legends are deeply rooted in that region and many of us have read some of the modern adaptations of those marvelous legends by Marion Zimmer Bradley and a number of others. There is something rather ‘gothic’ too about the country which is very rugged for the most part.  Although it is not high desert, which is my main and favored milieu, the mountains even though they are not vast like the Rockies and the Sierras, intrigue me. The rough and rugged coast line is also appealing. Spooky old mansions, castles and manor houses abound –or so it seems. 

When I started writing Dark and Stormy, a very long time ago, it was mostly an exercise in creating a mood and the leading character was a young woman. The beginning scene with the carriage and the mysterious dark rider was all I’d done. Then along came a Gothic PAX and voila, I already had the start of a story! All I had to do was change the gender of the genteel young person fallen onto hard times and then get him to start talking to me! Yes, that’s where all my tales come from—a character who appears out of the ether and usually demands that I listen and take dictation as he or she relates their story to me. 

So, Martin FitzHugh wandered into my cluttered brain and offered his tale. The children came next and the tragedy to add the dark and mysterious plot line. I kept it almost totally in Martin’s point of view—it really was his story. Somehow Dylan never wanted to speak to me. He remained a somewhat enigmatic and reserved individual—not quite the classic Gothic hero but close. Keeping him both attractive and basically a good man but also a bit remote totally met Martin’s views of him so that’s what I abided by.

Research—oh my! Now I know why I do not write a lot of historicals (except westerns which I grew up on the fringes of anyway) although I do love history and read a lot of historical novels, both romances and regular historical fiction. It was my major in college, after all (and a damn poor specialty in which to find a job, by the way!)  I also really abhor finding errors or anachronisms when I am reading so I do try to avoid them in my writing. But without the sharp attention of my wonderful editor, I would have made an awful one!!

I knew better, dang it!  No, a second son cannot become the title-holder if the firstborn has an heir when he dies, even if said heir is a minor. Serious oops and I did a lot of scrounging on the internet to work this all out. I now know more about the British peerage than I ever expected to so I suppose I should plan to do another tale or two in the Regency/Victorian/Edwardian or similar eras.  Do you think?

As I read over the descriptions of the five stories in this PAX, I did another oops. We do not consult with each other much when we sign up for and work on our contributions for each PAX. Maybe great minds run on parallel tracks (titter) or else Gothic and tutor just kind of go together! At any rate, there are two ‘tutor’ tales and in both a child that is mute. Sorry about that coincidence but I feel certain they are very different since one take place in Wales and the other in New Orleans and I know Lynn and I do not write with anything like the same voice and style. 

For my next PAX story, I am going back to at least semi-contemporary and a subject or setting with which I am familiar enough not to have to scour the internet for facts. It’s about trains and photography. For more on that and for a photo of Welsh mountains, you will have to visit my blog—www.deirdredares.blogspot.com


Dark and Stormy by Deirdre O'Dare is now available at Amber Allure.

If you'd like the chance to win the entire pax collection, just leave a comment on today's post. On Saturday, a winner will be picked at random from all the comments made this week on the blog. Comment on all, and that's multiple chances to win!

Monday, 22 July 2013

Coliseum Square by Lynn Lorenz

So if you know me at all you know one thing about me - I was born and raised in New Orleans. So when the Amber Allure PAX came up with the theme "Gothic", I had to jump on it. New Orleans is "et up" with Gothic, from the houses, to the people, to the very mists rising from the river. And for me, there was one small island of homes in New Orleans that screamed Gothic to me - the houses lining Coliseum Square. I'm not sure how Trace Zaber (Renaissance man and cover artist extraordinaire) managed to find the very house I thought of when describing the DuCote mansion, but he did. 

So I knew where I had to set my story the moment I saw "Gothic PAX" on the signup sheet. And I knew I wanted to revisit the old trope of the governess who comes to the mansion and falls for the handsome, yet mysterious master of the house - only with my own gay twist on it.

And so, Coliseum Square is my offering. It's out now, from Amber Quill Press - Amber Allure, part of the 5 book PAX, along with authors, Deidre O'Dare, D.J. Manly, A.J. Llewellyn, and Darcy Abriel, all fabulous authors, and it's on sale for the first week for 35% off!!

I grew up reading Gothic stories in my neighborhood library, The Nix. That's right, in Nola, even the libraries have names. And mine was glorious, what a library should be, all wood floor, ceilings about twenty feet high, long ceiling fans to stir the hot summer air, and tall shelves of books. I remember the wooden card catalog, pulling out the deep drawers and hunting through the little cards for the next book to read. The check-out desk wrapped around on corner of the building, and in my youth, it seemed enormous. And the librarians? Women who knew everything about every author and book. They were my idols.

Long after I grew up and moved away, I went back to Nola and it just so happened The Nix was celebrating a birthday. So I dropped in. Can you imagine my amazement when one of the old librarians remembered me as a kid? Of course, I spent just about every day in the summer there, reading all the books I could get my hands on. I only had to walk about six blocks to get to it, so nothing stopped me. I'd go to the Nix, then take my books down the street and get a hot fudge sundae at the Schweghartz's drug store ice cream counter. (It was summer, remember?) Or I'd go out of my way and hit the Plum Street snowball stand a few blocks away for an orchid crème vanilla snowball (lovely gray lavender color).

As a teen, going to the library was part of my life - and reading Gothics and mysteries and semi-romances ate up a large part of my summers. I'd get my books home, and curl up on the huge glider sofa we had on the screened in front porch, and dive into a book.

From Daphne Du Maurier's Rebecca, Shirley Jackson's We Have Always Lived in the Castle, and every single Mary Stewart book, I immersed myself in their worlds. Little did I know I was surrounded by my own Gothic world - New Orleans, its homes, people, and its atmosphere? And who knew when decades later (don't worry about how many) I put all of that into my books. My Hearts of New Orleans stories at Amber Allure are a testament to my love for my hometown and the gay men who inhabit it from the past to the present.

I hope you'll join me there. Take a trip with me to New Orleans. Ride a riverboat, rock along the streetcar tracks, or rumble over the cobblestones in a horse drawn wagon, but however you travel, come with me. Lots to see and do. And lots to eat. It's N'awlin's, dawlin'.

Lynn's books can be found at her publisher, or at Amazon. 


Follow her on Twitter @lynnlorenz and on Facebook Lynn Lorenz


Coliseum Square by Lynn Lorenz is now available at Amber Allure.

If you'd like the chance to win the entire pax collection, just leave a comment on today's post. On Saturday, a winner will be picked at random from all the comments made this week on the blog. Comment on all, and that's multiple chances to win!

Sunday, 21 July 2013


Visit the links to take advantage of our

Special Price

Gothics Galore

An AmberPax™ Collection of
Gay Romance 
by Various Authors 
Genre: Gay (M/M) Gothic Romance 
Cover Copyright ©2012 by Trace Edward Zaber
Included in this collection of erotic romance...
(For more information on each title, or to purchase separately, click on the book covers below!)

Coliseum Square
Coliseum Square
by Lynn Lorenz
Dark and Stormy
Dark and Stormy
by Deirdre O'Dare
Mist in the Night
Mist in the Night
by D.J. Manly
My Soul He Seeks
My Soul He Seeks
by Darcy Abriel
Extended Amber Kiss
Shattered by Fate
Shattered by Fate
by A.J. Llewellyn
Extended Novella

In conjunction with our newest release, we will be having a giveaway! Starting tomorrow, leave a comment on any post made during the week (7/22-7/26), and you'll be eligible to win the entire pax collection. A winner will be picked at random on Saturday from all comments received.

Friday, 19 July 2013

Shattered by Fate by A.J. Llewellyn

Elvis Summers and his writing partner Holt have scored a fantastic gig—spending two months in romantic Buenos Aires while researching their old TV idol, Guy Williams, famous for playing Zorro and the futuristic, perfect father in Lost in Space.

What made Williams fall so deeply in love with Argentina that he gave up his acting career to move there in the mid 70s?

For years, the actor remained an icon as Zorro in Argentina, even though he died alone and under mysterious circumstances in his apartment in the lush neighborhood of Recoleta. As Elvis and Holt retrace the actor's footsteps, history and gothic romance seep into their souls. Elvis meets a hot local named Joaquin, a man with his own secrets and apparent fears. Elvis falls hard and fast for the sexy porteño, but after scorching nights of passion, Joaquin inexplicably vanishes.

Elvis desperately searches for him even as Holt tries to convince him that Joaquin was obviously not interested, and that residents of Joaquin's apartment building claim no such man exists.

Feeling the ghost of Guy Williams accompanying him on his sometimes-frightening search, Elvis is determined to find the man he came to adore. Or will he, like TV's Zorro, find himself shattered by fate?

Genres: Gay/Gothic/Mystery/Detective/The Arts/BDSM (Light)/Interracial/Multicultural
Heat Level: 3
Length: Extended Novella (39k words) 

Read a short excerpt...

...The building looked bedraggled. No question about that.

Not exactly the romantic spot of one’s dreams, but then it depended on what you were looking for. Joaquin seduced me with his heavy Argentine accent yet very good English. His dark eyes and wide smile made him look like a little kid at times. He seemed sweet one moment, intense the next.

Then he had this way of running his forefinger against my arm or chin, a look of such concentration in his eyes it took my breath away. It was as though he had to touch me. He kept asking questions. At first, he’d asked Holt who’d responded, but I was used to that. Holt was a lot more outgoing than I. We’d been college friends, the only two closeted gay men on campus. We’d discussed the idea of hooking up so many times it soon lost its allure and we became friends.

Now, at the age of thirty, we were both still single but had scored the job opportunity of a lifetime.

I could get used to this stuff. The Fernet made me feel giddy, brilliant, beautiful. I wasn’t bad looking. Some might have said handsome with dark hair, a preppy look and a propensity to wear out a smile, especially when large crowds petrified me.

Holt was blond, blue-eyed and handsome. I always told people he looked like Robert Redford minus the bad skin. I had the kind of hair hairdressers like to call mouse brown and big brown eyes that made me look and feel like a sad puppy dog.

Or, a mouse dog.

Holt shook his head as he caught my eye. “Big day tomorrow,” he said. “We need to hit the sack.”

I wasn’t ready to turn my back on the best bit of action I’d had in months. He’d struck out with two guys who’d gone off to maul each other in the Dark Room. They’d invited him but he’d declined with the chilling words, “No, thanks, I like all my body parts exactly where they are.”

They’d stared at him.

I’d stared at him.

We knew Buenos Aires had its dangerous spots but I didn’t think that a make-out room in a gay dance club would be the location of choice for involuntary, live organ harvesting.

He nursed his vodka shot and fumed.

“Let’s dance,” Joaquin said and licked my ear. Holy cat!

Ugh. Dancing wasn’t my thing. I tried to ignore the little voice in my brain from my teenage years that said, “how a man dances is an indication of what he’s like in the sack.”

However, I was feeling pretty relaxed and gave my walk a bit of a swagger as we pushed ourselves away from the bar. My cock did the Macarena in my pants as I walked, not quite straight, into his arms on the only available square inch of dance floor.

I felt a strong flash of guilt as I gazed across the room at Holt. He ran a hand through his hair, then I saw a dark-haired guy sidle up to him. They began to talk. I was certain I saw a smile there. Maybe his mood would improve.

Joaquin’s mouth swooped over mine, surprising me. Man, he was a damned good kisser. My whole body reacted to his passionate embrace. He commanded all my attention and seemed to come alive as our lips and tongues met. Joaquin sighed into my mouth, closing his eyes. His hands roamed over my body.

Though the beat of the music was fast, he kept me in his arms. He rocked me, his ass moving sensuously yet in time to the music. I was getting harder, my body alive with desire, but also, astonishingly, some actual style.

People gave us envious looks. This wasn’t dirty dancing. It was fucking filthy dancing. I panted as he dipped me, then brought me back up again. I didn’t know how, but we danced like we’d been doing it for years. He barely took his hands off me and, emboldened, I put mine on his gorgeous ass and felt his cock stiffen against mine.

We traded deep gazes.

God, I wanted him... 

Thursday, 18 July 2013

My Soul He Seeks by Darcy Abriel

In Ternekill, Terne House was said to be haunted. Auction house researcher Byron Shepley knew that all too well because he’d broken into the then-vacant, ominous mansion when he was sixteen, and he’d never forgotten the chilling experience. Or perhaps it was the house that never forgot him. Now, the old estate is no longer vacant, and on this night, the delivery of an expansive instrument has Byron returning once more. Will the house let him leave this time?

Ravol Nova appeared in Ternekill and took up residence at the Terne House two years ago. Once a well-known guitarist, Ravol formerly played his music for no one but his lover, the flamenco dancer Francisco Caspar, until the man died a horrible death at the hands of an unknown killer. Ravol, now a recluse with a dark, mysterious past, came to Terne House for a specific purpose, and has been waiting a long time.

On a dark and stormy night, one man may trade his soul for passion, while another may find the redemption he’s been seeking for so very long. What dangers await these two men when they finally unite and come face-to-face with destiny? 

Genres: Gay/Contemporary/Gothic/The Arts/Paranormal/Ghosts/Hauntings/BDSM (Light)
Heat Level: 3
Length: Extended Amber Kiss (15k words) 

Read a short excerpt...

...I turned to look at the stained glass walls. They glowed as brightly from this side of the glass as they did from the hallway. On this side of the panels the red glass seemed to shine far more intensely than the other colors. And those lofty, powerful angels with their black eyes, appeared to glare down at me.

“Ramon says these panels came from your home in Spain.”

“Yes, they did. I had them shipped here. Heinrich put me in touch with someone who could restore them to their former beauty. He did an excellent job. I was very pleased.”

I couldn’t help myself, perhaps it was the historian in me, or just that I needed to distance myself from Ravol. The man’s personality was strong enough to make anyone’s head spin. I stood and walked over to one of the panels, staring up at the black-winged angel with the glowing sword. I reached out to trace the silvered lead, zigzagging my index finger along the channel. “Beautiful work,” I murmured. “Sixteenth century?”

“Fourteenth,” he said from right behind me. I never heard him cross the room. “I understand you were a history major in college.”

“Yes,” was about all I could manage. I wanted to turn around, but I didn’t dare. I knew if I did, I’d do something I shouldn’t.

“And you were on soccer scholarship.”

“Yes. Until I busted up my knee.” Just then said knee began to throb. “I-I—”

“Tell me,” he said softly. “It must have been a great disappointment to you to lose the scholarship. Things like that change us. We set a path for our life and then suddenly everything alters. Just that quickly.”

Then slowly I did turn to face him. He was a tall man. And he was a beautifully dangerous man with a strange, sad and bloody history.

“You’ve faced loss,” I said. “A lot worse than my knee injury. But we recover, don’t we?”

His expression told me little. I stared at his mouth, his sculpted lips. They looked too perfect. His eyes kept me mesmerized. Kept me from moving away. I saw the flash of pain come into his expression. It flitted quickly and then the look of anguish was gone as fast as it had appeared.

“Yes, I have known loss.”

“I’m sorry. Maybe I shouldn’t have said anything,” I said.

“It was a long time ago,” he murmured, even as he lifted a hand to cup my jaw. His thumb, long and shapely, caressed my bottom lip. I caught my breath and tried to steady myself. The man was intoxicating. Was he really making love to me? We’d only just met and yet—and yet, his touch seemed familiar to me. I welcomed it. And I didn’t want to leave.

Someone cleared his throat. The realization that someone else had entered the room broke the trance. Ravol dropped his hand away and stepped back. The shock of sudden disconnection had me reeling just for a moment. The ghostly sensation of his touch still warmed my jaw as I watched him turn to Ramon.

He didn’t seem embarrassed by being caught flirting with me. Maybe they weren’t lovers after all. Maybe they were just a man and his servant. I found myself hoping that was the case.

“What is it, Ramon?”

“The river has taken the bridge out. I just heard it on the news. And they say the power has gone out in town. There’s some concern about flooding and they’ve put the town on alert to evacuate. Mr. Shepley won’t be able to leave tonight...” 

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Mist in the Night by D.J. Manly

Jamie’s on the brink of rebelling against everything in this life when, on one fateful evening, he’s invited to spend time in what’s thought to be a haunted house near the university campus. His roommate and another guy, totally “out” and ready to play, want Jamie to join them for some sexy fun.

Intrigued by the idea of exploring his sexuality, Jamie follows the two men into the old gothic mansion on the hill, once a place of decadence and torture. But could there still be echoes of the past lingering there?

Jamie’s about to discover much more than his sexual preferences on a night of terror he won’t ever forget. 

Genres: Gay/Gothic/Dark Fantasy/Vampire/Paranormal/Ghosts/Hauntings/BDSM (Light)/Ménage (M/M/M)/Group Sex 
Heat Level: 3
Length: Novella (19k words) 

Read a short excerpt...

...Wow, gay sex and breaking the law all in one night. “It’s where, this house?”

“Westmount, a few blocks from here in a quiet neighborhood. House was built about 150 years ago. It was a dancing school for a while, then a theater. Some rich family owns it. They seem to always be renovating it and no one lives there.”

“Why do people think it’s haunted?”

“Paranormal society on campus filmed some stuff…think they see ghosts, grey mist rising from the place. It’s ridiculous. I watched the video. It looks like a fake. I called them on it and they offered us three hundred bucks to stay the entire night. They think we’ll cave before morning.”

“Did anyone try it before?”

“Those guys said some people had tried it, and no one has ever collected the money.”

“They say why people left before morning?” Jamie asked curiously.

“They didn’t go into it. Just got spooked, I guess, let their imagination run away with them.”

“I don’t believe in ghosts anyway.” I laughed. “And if you guys want to go off and…you know…do your thing while we’re there, I’m cool with that.”

“Unless you want to join us,” Sam said from the door, holding up the wine bottle.

I blushed all over.

“Sam, take it easy on him, he’s a virgin,” Jacob scolded.

I felt embarrassed but how could I argue? I was a virgin. Hell, I hadn’t even kissed a guy on the mouth before. I quickly got dressed in jeans, a sweater and a jacket, then bundled my keys, sleeping bag, and a long, narrow flashlight into a duffle bag. It was hellishly cold for early April, but the sky was clear. We could see our breath as we walked up Sherbrooke Street, shivering. It was odd to see so few cars drive by but then I was rarely on the streets at this time of night.

A guy met us at the corner. He handed Jacob a camera. “You gotta keep this running all night. That’s the deal. There’s a clock on it. We’ll know if you go chicken.”

Jacob took the camera. “Got it.”

“Who’s this?” The camera guy asked curiously.

“Friend of ours,” Sam said. “Name’s Jamie. Jamie, this is Brian.”

I nodded at him.

“Cool. Well, guys. See you. Or not.” He made a spooky sound, laughed and strolled away.

Jacob and Sam laughed. I just stared at him as he walked away. “Creepy guy,” I muttered.

We pressed on.

“Hey,” Sam said, chuckling, as we got to the corner, “we could film ourselves and really give them something to watch in the morning.”

Jacob thought that hilarious and he and Sam laughed for some time until they reached the right cross street. Jacob checked the street name. “This is it!”

We all turned the corner and stopped, gawking at the house at the top of the street sitting on a steep hill. It was huge, with numerous windows, and made of stone with a long pathway of steps leading to the front door. The house stood off from the others, alone and deserted.

Something about it gave me the chills. I told myself it was all the work-up about ghosts and such. It was just an empty house, one that easily could have served in some horror film.

“How are we going to get in?” Jacob asked Sam.

“Leave that to me,” he said, forging ahead.

Jacob looked at me. “You sure you want to do this, Jamie? You can go back. We won’t hold it against you.”

“Only if you don’t want me along.”

“No, come on,” he urged.

We followed Sam up the sloped sidewalk, passing the other luxurious old houses on the way, all of which stood in darkness. As we pressed on, I looked up at the house again and, for a moment, my breath caught. I was sure I saw a figure in the upstairs window watching our approach... 

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Dark and Stormy by Deirdre O'Dare

Gently reared Martin FitzHugh finds himself adrift without means when his uncle goes bankrupt from gambling debts. Martin seeks a livelihood by taking a post as tutor to the young children of an earl on a remote Welsh estate. Arriving on a dark and stormy night that sets the tone for his whole adventure, he falls into intrigue, mystery and powerful new loves—for the three traumatized children and their enigmatic guardian.

Dylan Davis was called back from military service in South Africa after his elder brother supposedly found his wife with another man, killing the pair, then himself. Now, Dylan has to assume the title of earl as well as care for his nieces and nephew. He hires a young man, sight unseen, to become their tutor while he sets out to uncover the roots of the scandalous tragedy that tore apart his family. Both matters reveal surprising results, however...some tragic and some delightful...

Genres: Gay/Historical/Gothic
Heat Level: 2
Length: Novella (21k words) 

Read a short excerpt...

...During the busy days, he managed to keep his thoughts on the children, their lessons and the activities he continued to devise to both educate and entertain them. It was at night when Dylan’s amazing words kept returning to taunt and tantalize him. Was it even possible he’d heard and interpreted correctly? More and more, he found himself struggling to fall asleep, only to waken in a state of arousal, which made further sleep impossible. At last he began to get up and wander around the parts of the house he knew, hoping to walk off some of his tension.

His soft house shoes made little sound as he strode along, down the corridor past the library and the schoolroom and, into an area he knew less well. A slight sound caught his attention. Was that a footstep or someone bumping against one of the decorative pedestals that occupied niches along most of the halls? He sucked in a fast breath, thoughts turning at once to the possibility Dylan’s ill-intentioned half-brother might be wandering around the house.

Then he heard a similar sound again. Well, if it’s that miscreant Merlan, I shall catch him! He edged into a recessed doorway and waited. He tried to breathe as silently as possible and hoped his racing heartbeat was not audible. The faint sounds became louder and clearer. He tensed, waiting to spring when the unseen person passed him.

It seemed forever, yet only a few seconds elapsed before a shadowy figure approached, looming large and dark in the dimly lit corridor. As the man drew even with him, Martin lunged, trying a half-recalled move from school soccer days to knock the other off his feet.

Although the other man was taller, it proved not to be a huge advantage when he was taken by surprise. He gave a muffled, “Whuff,” as the impact of Martin’s shoulder against his side drove him off balance. They fell together. Martin soon realized he was going to be outmaneuvered. The man he’d tackled was quick, agile and very strong!

They rolled together, grappling and struggling, until the taller man managed to pin Martin beneath him.



Mutual recognition came simultaneously.

“What in the name of God were you doing? You gave me quite a start!”

“I’m sorry,” Martin managed. “I couldn’t sleep and decided to walk off a bit of my restlessness—worry about the children and all, you know. When I heard someone moving around, my first thought was of Merlan. If it was he, I was going to catch him red-handed!”

Dylan laughed. “I was thinking much the same. Before you slammed into me, that is. I’ve regained my old military habit of light sleep in recent days. I get up to investigate any sound, even any hunch something might be amiss. Although I didn’t hear you, I did sense a presence. I wasn’t quite alert enough, though. You almost had me.”

“Until your military training kicked in! I knew at once I’d miscalculated if I thought to keep you down, even before I realized who I’d tackled.”

All at once they both fell silent, aware of each other in a keen and arousing way. Their two bodies now intimately close, entwined as they had wrestled for supremacy before recognition set in. Martin could feel the hard ridge of Dylan’s cock against his thigh, while his own had grown stiff, aching and insistent as well. Adrenaline, he knew, made a powerful aphrodisiac. He was super-charged with it and his recent dreams and imaginings heightened the effect. Every cell of his body seemed awake, aware and suffused with raw sexual energy.

One of Dylan’s hands reached to twine fingers into Martin’s hair, which had grown a bit longer than he once wore it. Dylan twisted, though not enough to hurt, although with demand and clear intent. At the pressure, Martin found his face turned close to Dylan’s before the other man’s mouth crushed against his. He gave a strangled gasp, parting his lips enough to allow Dylan’s tongue to slide between them and into Martin’s mouth. The touch, both invasive and erotic, felt like liquid flame. He kissed back with every iota of his being...

Monday, 15 July 2013

Coliseum Square by Lynn Lorenz

When Mark Madison accepts a position as tutor in New Orleans, he does so to run away from his past. Yet he never once believed the house on Coliseum Square would actually hold the key to his future.

Royal DuCote, the wealthy owner of the house and father to a son named Luc, is dark, sexy, and haunted. Ever since the death of his wife and Luc's mother, nothing has been the same. Luc refuses to speak or let Royal near him, and putting Luc in school is out of the question, so he hires a tutor for his son. But when he meets Mark Madison, he's instantly attracted to the younger man.

As tensions build between the Mark and Royal, Luc's affliction becomes a mystery Mark wants to solve. But will what Mark discovers destroy all that is left of the DuCote family? 

Genres: Gay/Historical/Gothic
Heat Level: 3
Length: Novella (29k words) 

Read a short excerpt...

...The wide foyer had dark wood floors and equally dark paneling running to the ceiling, and I felt as if I were in a cave. On the wall hung a large oval mirror, the glass reflecting my face in the light coming through the frosted glass transom over the door. On either side of it, unlit gas sconces made of brass stood guard.

I glanced at my trunk. Best to leave it here until I spoke to monsieur. I doubted the old man could carry it up to my room. Taking a few steps forward, I wondered if I should call out for the old man, but he’d never introduced himself.

What name would I call?

I moved down the dimly lit hall, past a wide staircase leading to the second floor, each tread covered in a thick carpet of burgundy and deep green floral print. Continuing in the direction I’d last seen the old man, I passing several closed doors until I reached a set of pocket doors, slid open far enough to let someone pass.

Peering in, I spotted the old man, and exhaled. The library. More dark paneling and bookcases reaching to the high ceilings. Books filled the shelves and a deep blue Aubusson carpet was centered in the middle of the room, an elaborate chaise anchoring one end.

“Excuse me?” I pushed the door open wider on its tracks and stepped inside.

He looked up at me, his eyebrows raised. “Ah. You.” He stood behind a large carved desk.

“Yes. Me.” Should I reintroduce myself? Perhaps the man was past his prime, kept on merely as some kindness for long years of service.

“Wait here. The master will be down shortly.” He stepped away from the desk, but returned to it to drop a handful of letters on it. After, he pointed to a chair opposite the desk, and left.

I sat, placing my hat on my lap, and folding my hands together to keep them from shaking. Breathed in and out in measured time, counting off the seconds from one to five as I gathered my thoughts and my nerve.

I refused to let fear overtake them and pushed away the idea Monsieur DuCote had discovered my duplicity and my crime and was, at this moment, sending the old man for the police.

To have come so far only to be caught on the edge of my escape, on the edge of redemption, was unthinkable.

Behind the desk, facing out into the library, hung the portrait of an exquisite woman. Posed as a Greek goddess sitting on a carved bench, her blonde hair curled around her head framing lovely blue eyes gazing out from the painting, and full pink lips hinting at a smile.

The late Madame DuCote?

Breathtaking. She must have slain many a man in her time. I could appreciate her beauty for what it was, an ideal, but her visage did not move me, not inside, not deep in my core.

Here is what damned me. Why couldn’t I find her exciting? Or any woman?

My hands tightened together as I struggled with my fears and my weakness.

“Mr. Madison. At last.” A deep voice addressed me, sending a shiver of awareness through me, and I jumped to my feet. I clutched my hat, my heart in my throat.

Monsieur DuCote stood framed in the doorway. His dark hair fell to his wide shoulders, and piercing brown eyes took me in. He was perhaps the most handsome man I’d ever seen.

“Yes.” I cleared my throat of its sudden fullness. “Monsieur DuCote. Pleased to meet you. At last.”

He cocked his head at me, his expression serious and sober. In his hard gaze, I knew I’d been found lacking.

I gathered my courage and advanced, hand out in greeting. “I’m sorry for not sending word, but I arrived last night and wanted to come as soon as possible.”

He stepped forward and took my hand, his long fingers closing around mine. Never before had I felt a rush of arousal like this and I cursed my weakness.

“Think nothing of it, Mr. Madison.” His gaze locked with mine and rendered me immobile, as if I were a rat charmed by a snake.

And I knew I’d not run from my death, but straight into its arms... 

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

New Reviews

New reviews for recent pax releases!

At Rainbow Reviews, Serena Yates calls Mr. Wolfe by A.J. Llewellyn "just plain fun," recommending it for readers who enjoy stories "about the supernatural that are somewhat unusual."

Aria of the Eclipse by Vivien Dean got 4.75 stars from Melanie at Joyfully Jay, who said it was "magical, conceptually stirring, and still full of romance."

Pixie at MM Good Book Reviews gave Truth or Lie by Lynn Lorenz 3.5 stars, saying that it was "a really sweet cute story that had some really touching sweet moments."

Something Rich and Strange by Helen Louise Caroll got 4.5 kisses from Susan at Top 2 Bottom Reviews, who calls it "fascinating" and "a solid good story."