Monday, August 10, 2020

Rafe was his only reality -- #MFRWsteam #MFRWOrg #MFRWAuthor #MMRomance #Giveaway

The H-Gene Cover
Welcome to the Marketing for Romance Authors Steam Hop, a monthly celebration of red hot romance. Today I have an X-rated MM excerpt from my recently released gay scifi romance The H-Gene.

When a gay plague spread to heterosexuals, killing millions and sparking brutal anti-gay riots, the Guardians rounded up men who tested positive for the homogene, including seventeen year old Dylan Moore, and imprisoned them in remote quarantine centers like desolate Camp Malheur.

Camp guard Rafe Cowell is H-negative. He figures the lust he feels watching prisoner 3218 masturbate on the surveillance cameras must be due to his loneliness and isolation. When he finally meets the prisoner, he discovers that Dylan is brilliant, brave, sexy as hell — and claims to be in love with Rafe. Despite his qualms, Rafe finds he can't resist the other man's charm. By the time Dylan asks for his help in escaping, Rafe cares too much for Dylan to refuse.

Dylan's plan goes awry and Rafe comes to his rescue. Soon they're both fugitives, hiding in the Plague-ravaged city of Sanfran. In this excerpt, they have gained entrance to a ruined bathhouse in the Castro exclusion zone that serves as the secret headquarters of Queer Resistance, hoping to get some assistance in fleeing to safety. The head of QR isn’t available, so they’re forced to wait.

 

Excerpt

Here.” He handed each of them a folded, dingy-looking towel and a key, then pointed down a dimly lit corridor. “Locker room’s at the end of the hall. Baths are in the basement, massage on the second floor. I’ll come find you when he gets back.” Dylan didn’t expect the grin that twitched at the man’s thin mouth. “Have fun.”

Wait a minute…” Rafe tried to return the towel.

Dylan grabbed his hand and pulled him down the hall. “Thanks,” he called back. “We really appreciate it.”

Rafe struggled to extricate his hand from Dylan’s grip. “Stop,” he hissed. “No way I’m getting naked in front of a bunch of queers.”

Oh, really? Do you want to go back outside, then? Well, go ahead.” Dylan was suddenly furious. How could he love such a damned homophobe? “Maybe that copter wasn’t looking for us after all. Anyway, you’re not queer. You don’t have to worry. You can explain it all. How you were tricked into helping some Plague-infected perv escape quarantine. It wasn’t your fault, was it? Sneaky little fag must have drugged you or something. You’re straight as Uncle Ike, right?”

Dylan…”

Dylan snatched Rafe’s towel. The key clattered to the tiled floor. “Better get out of here while you can, man,” he taunted. “Before some nasty queer swallows your cock or grabs your ass!”

Rafe crouched to pick up the key. Dylan watched his thigh muscles flex and shift under the denim of his jeans. His anger fled as quickly as it had appeared.

I’m sorry, Dyl.” Rafe reached out to enfold Dylan in his arms. “You’re right to be pissed off.”

Dylan nuzzled into the other man’s armpit. The musky scent of Rafe’s sweat had him hard in two breaths.

I’m just as queer as you are, I guess. Never mind my genes. But you gotta understand…” Dylan felt the shudder that shook his lover’s frame. “I’ve never been in a place like this.”

Dylan rubbed his swollen cock against Rafe’s fly and was pleased to feel the response. “Don’t worry, baby. I’ll take care of you.”

The locker room was empty. Dylan was glad for Rafe’s sake. They stripped and fastened their towels around their waists. Dylan was hard as concrete, but Rafe seemed too preoccupied to notice.

Let’s go downstairs,” Dylan said. Hand in hand they made their way along a corridor lined with closed doors. Grunts and moans issued from behind some of them. Rafe gripped his hand more tightly. At the same time, the towel wrapped around the black man’s hips revealed a distinct bulge at the crotch.

A rickety staircase led to the basement. Here, in a tiled maze of passages, the sex was far more public. One man pinned his partner to the wall, wrists captured overhead, jerking himself off while plundering his companion’s mouth. Another couple, one man deeply tanned, the other pale, writhed on a bench in one of the alcoves, hips pumping in synchrony. Further down, they encountered two burly biker types sharing a slight, bookish-looking man with a dark ponytail. Their victim bent over a stool, with one cock buried in his ass and another in his drooling mouth. Bold tattoos rippled over the bikers’ muscular backs as they pounded into him. The bliss on the younger man’s face made it clear that he was a willing participant in the scene.

Dylan glanced at Rafe, checking his reaction to this raunchiness. The black man’s full lips were parted in a pant. His eyes simmered with lust. His erection distorted the towel, a wet spot growing at the tip. Grinning, Dylan unknotted his own towel and swung it around his neck. His cock arched towards the ceiling, eager for action.

He caught and held Rafe’s eyes. Don’t be afraid, he broadcast to his lover. I’m here. The other man seemed to get the message. Slowly, without breaking the visual connection, he unwrapped his hips and set his massive erection free.

Dylan was suddenly dizzy with need. He sank to his knees, mouth open to receive the glorious hardness waving in front of his face. Rafe, however, pulled him back to his feet.

Not here,” he said. He half dragged Dylan through an open doorway into a vast, empty room that smelled faintly of chlorine. The rectangular depression in the center was an old swimming pool, empty now save for an algae-scummed puddle at the deep end. Rafe settled on the ledge that ran along the wall and spread his legs wide. His dick reared up like a snake, the single eye charming Dylan into a motionless trance.

Suck me,” Rafe commanded. Dylan didn’t need a second invitation. In two seconds, he was kneeling between those corded thighs.

Ignoring the chill, slimy tile under his knees, he leaned forward and swallowed Rafe to the very root. He buried his nose in Rafe’s wiry pubes. The rich man-musk drowned out the smells of mold and rotting wood. The spongy knob prodded his palate. He drew back, sucking hard and wringing a groan of appreciation from Rafe. “Your mouth is so damn hot,” the black man moaned as Dylan slithered his tongue along the silky shaft, then engulfed it once more. “Oh, God! Yes!”

Usually Rafe took control, fucking Dylan’s mouth with the same ferocity he lavished on his ass.

This time, though, he let Dylan do the work of pleasing him. Dylan played with the fat log of flesh, alternating between teasing his lover and devouring him. He pursed his lips over the bulb, tongued the weeping slit, flicked at the sensitive frenulum, until Rafe was begging for more. Then he plunged down, turning on the suction, immersing his lover in wet heat.

Finally, Rafe couldn’t hold back. He seized Dylan’s head, holding him fast. His blunt fingers clutched handfuls of Dylan’s hair as he drove his cock down the other man’s throat. The slight pain made Dylan’s own prick even harder. He relaxed, opening himself to everything Rafe gave him.

He forgot about the camp. He forgot about Hammer. He completely forgot where he was. Rafe was his only reality—hardness and heat filling his mouth, salt and bitterness on his tongue, ripe sweat in his nostrils, smooth ebony skin rippling in front of his half-closed eyes.

Rafe was close. Dylan knew the signs now—the little twitches under the silken skin, the way the man’s impossibly huge cock swelled even further. Come for me, baby, he thought. Just a taste of your cum and I’ll be there too.

He reached down to cradle Rafe’s balls. They were tight, trembling in his palm. Yes, that’s right, baby. Come.

His own arousal hummed in the background. His cock throbbed, jerking in sympathy with Rafe’s thrusts. Right now, Rafe’s pleasure was more important than his own.

* * *

You can buy this dramatic, intense romance at all the usual outlets. Or you can leave me a comment with your email. I will randomly choose one commenter to receive a free ebook copy of this full-length novel.

Buy Links

Kinky Literature https://www.kinkyliterature.com/book/7233-the-hgene-after-the-plague-book-1/

Amazon UShttps://www.amazon.com/dp/B08CVNK6NL

Amazon UKhttps://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08CVNK6NL

Smashwordshttps://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1032512

Barnes and Noblehttps://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-h-gene-lisabet-sarai/1137338272?ean=2940164186050

Kobohttps://www.kobo.com/th/en/ebook/the-h-gene

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54529211-the-h-gene

* * *

Be sure to sample the steamy posts from the other authors participating in today’s hop!



Sunday, August 9, 2020

Scandals and Desire - @AdrianaKraft #EroticRomance #Menage #MFRWAuthor

Through the Lens cover
 

By Adriana Kraft (Guest Blogger)

Does your family history contain scandal? Ours does, as recently as my mother’s grandfather, who was born a bastard in an era when that status carried far more stigma than now. His mother – a logger’s daughter who served as a camp cook – was shunned and shamed for much of her life.

On the other side, my husband’s grandfather was a bigamist. A threshing crew foreman in the early 1900s, he married and had children in Missouri, then married again in Kansas. My husband’s grandmother divorced him when she learned of the other family; their son, my husband’s father, was ten years old.

We blessed—or perhaps cursed—our Through the Lens heroine with elements of these scandals. Naturally, she’s heard some of the stories. Through the Lens chronicles her struggle with these long-forgotten roots. Will she claim them, or run the other way?

Blurb

Prairie roots can be deceptive. Will Ellen Jeffers cling to the sedate past that’s familiar, or will she embrace a different version of her history—one that includes tragedy, scandal, fortitude, and freedom?

It’s 2002, and South Dakota third grade teacher Ellen Jeffers has signed up for a photography summer course and assistantship at an art academy in Minneapolis. Thirty-three, divorced for nearly a decade from her college boyfriend, she’s not seeking major change. She just hopes the course will enhance her teaching skills and her resume.

Aaron Brewster comes from privilege, and he has used that status to flaunt his family’s values and carve out a successful career as a photographer specializing in black and white erotic portraiture. Has he ever loved? His love is for beauty, sensuality, eroticism. His new uptight teaching assistant will never fit that vision. Should he send her packing? For reasons he cannot fathom, he takes her on as a challenge.

Aaron’s frontal assault shocks Ellen, but it also triggers something deep inside she’s never been willing to acknowledge. Is her beloved prairie a safe refuge, or will it become a crucible for transformation? The choice is not merely Ellen’s.

Buy Links

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Through-Lens-Adriana-Kraft-ebook/dp/B08BZXMNNW/

Barnes & Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/through-the-lens-adriana-kraft/1137261501?ean=2940164557683

Kobo https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/through-the-lens-5

Extasy https://www.extasybooks.com/978-1-4874-2955-3-through-the-lens/

Add on GoodReads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54475455-through-the-lens


Excerpt

Tina never spoke a word. She half perched on the stool and raised her arms above her head with a fan in each hand, then held that pose and pouted at the class.

Remember to look through your cameras,” Aaron said. “This isn’t a strip show.”

Ellen gasped and ducked behind her camera. By the time she had Tina in focus, Tina had placed the fans in one hand by her side, and her other hand was tucked in under her robe, probably covering a breast. Ellen swallowed as she heard cameras clicking around her. Tina smiled at her as she snapped a picture.

Ellen tried to breathe as Tina worked through a series of poses showing leg, lifting her long black hair above her head, sliding a hand suggestively under the robe and up a thigh.

Tina’s eyes sparkled. She stuck her tongue out at the group before turning to face away from them. Slowly the robe slid down to her waist. Tina held that pose as cameras clicked, and then the robe fell to the floor.

Ellen inhaled sharply as Tina bent over the stool, showing off a tight rump and sculpted thighs and legs. Before she could focus, Tina had moved a fan to shield her butt from view. There was a groan from the class.

Sometimes subtle is more erotic,” Aaron pointed out. “And sometimes not.”

Tina turned around to face the group with the fan hiding her loins. Her long hair hid one breast. The other stood free and open to view. Its nipple stood at attention. Tina teased it with a strand of hair.

Ellen focused her lens on the nipple until it nearly filled her viewfinder.

Goodness,” she muttered under her breath. It was as if the nipple winked at her. It was still tightening. Did that fleshy nodule know it had her entire attention? She clicked off several shots. Her own nipples were straining.

You doing okay?”

She didn’t trust herself to take her attention off the camera to look at Aaron.


Reviews and Endorsements for Adriana Kraft Books

Wow, what an incredible book! Not only is The Merry Widow a gripping, romantic suspense but the heat level is hotter than Death Valley… The ending took me by surprise and I was a little sad to see it end. I grew attached to the characters and wanted to stay in their world a little bit longer. The Merry Widow will be on my keeper shelf and one I will be re-reading again and again. Highly recommend! N. N. Light

 

Their romance is hot in all the right places…If you love romance with more than two people, you’re going to love this book! Seducing Cat is a must read! The TBR Pile

 

Filled with warmth, blazing hot sex, well-developed characters and an interesting plot…not for the faint of heart.  If you are looking for an interesting story filled with scorching hot erotica, author Adriana Kraft's novel Vegas Gambler is the book for you. Romance Junkies


Ms. Kraft has a gift for pleasing the reader with vivid imagery and erotic language. Fasten your seat belts – Cherry Tune-Up is one hot ride that you don’t want to miss. Romance Junkies


Definitely recommended The Reunion sizzled as two incredibly sexy women and one gorgeous guy form a super hot triad, eventually. These three are by far and away the best smoldering trio I have read about. Oh, bring on more of this, but read this one first!  Rainbow Reviews


About Adriana Kraft


When it’s Time to Heat Things Up

Award winning author Adriana Kraft is a married couple writing Sizzling Romantic Suspense and Erotic Romance for Two, Three, or More. Whether readers open our romantic suspense or our erotic romance, they can expect characters they care about, hot sex scenes, and a compelling story. Our suspense stories deliver one man, one woman, danger and intrigue. Our erotic romance is edgier and nearly always includes ménage or polyamory, sometimes with two women and a man, sometimes with two (or more) couples. We write our Erotic Romance stories to entertain, of course, but most of all we write them because we believe in happy endings for all who fall in love, whatever their gender, sexual orientation or numerical combination.

Social Media Links

Website: https://adrianakraft.com

Blog: https://www.adrianakraft.com/blog

Newsletter: free download of our erotic romance novella Cherry Tune-Up for signing up.

Twitter https://twitter.com/AdrianaKraft

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/adriana.kraft.5

FaceBook Fan Page https://www.facebook.com/AdrianaKraftAuthor

Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/author/adrianakraft

GoodReads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1578571.Adriana_Kraft

Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/adrianakraft5/

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/kraftadriana/

BookBub https://www.bookbub.com/authors/adriana-kraft


GIVEAWAY!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

Friday, August 7, 2020

Three Graces - #Spirituality #Philosophy #Freedom

The Three Graces

The Three Graces:
Aglaea (personifying Radiance), Euphrosyne (Joy), and Thalia (Flowering)

By Antonio Canova, CC BY-SA 2.5, Link

 

Some words are so rich in meaning that they can communicate, in a handful of syllables, what might otherwise take paragraphs or pages.

One such word, for me, is “grace”.

Just saying the word to myself - “grace” - lifts me up, makes me feel light, energized, illuminated.

Grace reminds me of the days when I was a dancer, before my flexibility fell victim to age and arthritis. The drum, the cymbals, the oud and the clarinet spoke to me in a private language that bypassed my intellect to directly animate my body. They coaxed me to move in subtle and beautiful ways that belied my normal clumsiness. Being in my body in this way was a rare gift for someone like me, so accustomed to living in her head. My finger fluttered, my hips wove evocative figure-eights, my back bowed until my hair brushed the floor. I'd never believed in my own grace until those days, when, for a few blissful minutes, the music set me free from my mind.

 

Another sort of grace is “grace under fire”. When chaos strikes and danger looms, when the bad guys look like they're winning, when all seems lost, there's a special sort of courage that lets us face the darkness with equanimity and calm. Grace under fire isn't a foolish pretense that everything is fine; rather, it's the strength to recognize dire circumstances yet still not succumb to hopelessness and despair.

My character Dylan, in The H-Gene, demonstrates grace under fire. Interned for seven years in a bleak prison camp just because he is gay, he never gives up his determination to escape. In the worst of circumstances, he is still plotting, planning and calculating, focusing all his resources on overcoming the obstacles that stand between him and freedom. He doesn’t panic; he doesn’t complain. He simply does what needs to be done.

Grace under fire means more than just being tough. It's a question of attitude, a willingness to bend without breaking. Grace under fire is a characteristic to which I aspire, though I've been fortunate that my experience has offered relatively few occasions when it was necessary.

Then there is spiritual or divine grace: “For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” (John 1:16) I am not conventionally religious, but I know about this sort of grace: happy coincidence, unexpected blessings, sweet serendipity. The ten dollar bill you discover in your pocket, when you're short on subway fare. A phone call from an old friend on one of those nights when you're feeling alone and sorry for yourself. Finding your house keys in the wrong compartment of your purse, after you thought you'd lost them. Picking up a random used book which turns out to be a masterpiece. A flawless blue sky and a summer breeze rustling leaves so vibrantly green that they glow, or a ripe, full moon against a black backdrop, close enough to touch. A favorite song playing on the radio that makes you forget you're stuck in traffic.

Image by NikolayFrolochkin from Pixabay
 

This sort of grace does not need to be earned – only accepted. The trick is to recognize it.

Physical grace – emotional grace – spiritual grace – it occurs to me that these are perhaps just different facets of the same truth, a fundamental rightness that words can reflect but never completely capture.


Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Romance from the Gilded Age - #MFRWHooks #MFRWAuthor #HistoricalRomance

Challenge to Him cover

Welcome to another Book Hooks blog hop! Today I have a bit from my historical erotic romance Challenge to Him. Hope you enjoy it! And please do visit the other authors joining today’s Book Hooks!

Blurb

All the wealth in the world can’t buy willing surrender.

Andrew MacIntyre, heir to a vast empire of railroads, mines and mills, is the second or third richest man in America, and by far the most eligible bachelor among the society folk summering in Newport, Rhode Island. His mother has filled their opulent mansion with marriageable daughters of bankers and industrialists, but Andrew knows none of these callow young women can satisfy his perverse sexual needs. No respectable girl would ever consent to being bound and beaten, to serving and obeying him the way he craves. His money gives him the freedom to purchase anything except his heart’s desire—a submissive partner to share his life.

Independent, progressive and well-educated, labour activist Olivia Alcott has dedicated herself to improving the lot of the workers who toil in the factories that have made Andrew and his class so wealthy. The strike she organises triggers a confrontation between her and the handsome billionaire. Although their disparate backgrounds and values make them natural foes, something stronger draws them to one another—an intuitive recognition of complementary fantasies. Andrew offers Olivia a bargain—better working conditions for the mill staff, in return for a weekend of her unquestioning obedience. Olivia will help him deflect the attentions of the potential mates assembled by his mother, as well as providing more intimate services. Given Olivia’s origins, a more enduring relationship appears impossible—but Andrew is not the sort to give up something he wants.


Excerpt

Doubts assailed her, though, as her back ached and the blisters on her feet stung. Had she done the right thing, coming here and stirring up these women’s aspirations? Would it do any good? Greed ruled the modern world. Profit was all that mattered. Human beings were expendable, just cogs in the great industrial machine that was America. If one component failed, it could be replaced. Meanwhile, the masters of the new century grew ever richer.

She could have been at home, reading in her father’s shady garden with a glass of iced lemon at her side, or walking with her sister under the spreading elms of the Common. Indeed, if the strike failed, she could return to her safe and comfortable life in Amherst—become a teacher like her parents, or an author like her brother Will.

These women around her, though, didn’t have those options. For them, this was a matter of survival.

Mademoiselle Olivia!” A skinny girl raced up the street that led to the riverside mill, stirring clouds of dust. “Il vient! He is coming!”

The sputtering racket of an internal combustion engine drowned out the girl’s excited voice. The crowd parted like the Red Sea for a boxy vehicle of shiny black, with silvery headlamps like extruded eyes. The noisy Studebaker rolled to a stop in front of the strikers, who stopped in their tracks like everyone else to stare at it.

The door creaked open. A tall man unfolded himself from the somewhat cramped interior, snatched off his hat and goggles and tossed them into the vehicle. He strode towards the massed strikers, his fists clenched at his sides.

Where is she? Where’s your damned leader?”

The newspapers generally described Andrew MacIntyre as handsome. The epithet did not do him justice. As he stormed towards her, Olivia was struck with a sense of physical power and keen intelligence. He had wavy red-gold hair, a high forehead, a square chin, a determined mouth. His eyes were hazel, deep set under brows darker than his hair. Those eyes drilled into her, fierce and compelling. The women around her shrank backwards in alarm. Olivia steeled herself, holding her ground and fighting the urge to grovel at his feet. Instead of retreating, she took a step forward, holding out her hand.

Mr Andrew MacIntyre, I presume?” She marvelled at the steadiness of her voice, the cool neutral tone.

Damned right. And you are…?”

Olivia Alcott.” She pulled herself up to her full height and forced herself to meet his gaze. She saw anger simmering there, but behind his irritation there was something else, something that intrigued and thrilled her. Something that she might be able to use to further her goals. Olivia Alcott recognised lust when she saw it.

He towered over her by at least a head. Though his body was hidden by his loose touring coat, his decisive, economical movements suggested he was lean and athletic. For a moment he hesitated, staring at her proffered hand. When he finally accepted it, his firm grip confirmed her impression of strength. His palm felt warm and dry against hers. She suddenly wished that she were not so sticky and dishevelled. When he released her, a momentary lightness swept through her, as though she might float away.

And can I assume that you are the instigator and cause of this illegal strike, Miss Alcott?” He seemed flustered, less confident than she would have expected. Her spirits rose.

Instigator? Perhaps. But not the cause.” Sweat trickled from her hairline, down into her eyes. She wiped it away with the back of her hand.

Here.” He surprised her by offering a crisp handkerchief of fine linen, of a white so pure it almost seemed to shine with its own light. The initials ‘AM’ were embroidered in the corner, in golden thread. A faint scent of lavender reached her nostrils.

Why, thank you!” The square of cloth was far more effective than her hand. When she’d mopped the perspiration from her face, she held out the swatch of now-damp fabric. “Here you are.”

He waved dismissively. “Keep it. I’ve got dozens more. Let’s get back to the matter at hand.”

How much did this handkerchief cost, Mr MacIntyre?”

I have no idea. My secretary handles my personal expenses.”

It’s imported linen, I suspect. Belgian, perhaps?”

Maybe. I don’t know. Look, Miss Alcott…”

And the monogram looks like real gold. Is it?”

Honestly, what does that have to do with anything?”

Olivia tucked the handkerchief into her bodice, noting that MacIntyre’s eyes followed the movement. Indeed he didn’t try to hide his survey of her figure, rude as it was. Another tremor of strangeness fluttered in her belly.

I’m no expert—I don’t have anything so fine myself—but I’d estimate that each of the dozens of handkerchiefs like this that you possess cost at least ten dollars.”

Ah—really I don’t know—perhaps. Something in that vicinity.”

That’s about two weeks of salary for one of these women who work here in your factory.”

What? What are you talking about?”

The cause of the strike, Mr MacIntyre. You asked about the cause of the strike. These poor women—your employees, sir, to whom you have a certain responsibility—generally make five dollars a week. They’d have to work for two weeks—twelve days, twelve hours per day—to afford one of your handkerchiefs. Do you think this is just?”


Buy Links

Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Challenge-Him-Lisabet-Sarai-ebook/dp/B00F633SEQ

Totally Bound:

https://www.totallybound.com/book/challenge-to-him



Monday, August 3, 2020

Review Tuesday: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil #Savannah #Murder #ReviewTuesday

Midnight cover

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt

Vintage Books, 1995

When it comes to my reading life (which is a significant part of my life overall), I frequently rely on literary serendipity. True, my “want to read” list on Goodreads rivals my “read” list in length, but it’s rather rare that I deliberately go out and buy a specific book. Far more often, I’ll stroll through a second hand bookstore, waiting to be grabbed by a cover, a title or a first paragraph.

About a month ago, I was fortunate to be snagged by Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, which turned out to be one of the most insightful and entertaining books I’ve read in quite some time.

John Berendt’s “non-fiction novel” was hugely popular when it was first released in the mid-nineties. I’d heard the title, but aside from a vague notion that it was set somewhere in the American South, knew nothing about it. In fact, I’ve never read anything quite like this book. The author, a veteran journalist from New York City, visits the quirky, historic city of Savannah, Georgia, and falls under its distinctive spell. As fascinated by the people who inhabit its graceful mansions as by the ghosts interred in atmospheric Bonaventure Cemetery, Berendt relocates to Savannah, where he immerses himself in the city’s customs, rituals and intrigues.

His book introduces us to the colorful, often contradictory figures who populate the elegant squares for which the town is famous: white-haired Southern belle Mary Harty, who brings the author to the cemetery for cocktails; charming ne’er-do-well lawyer Joe Odom, expert at occupying fancy houses that don’t belong to him, making money off tourist tours, and throwing outrageous parties; Emma Kelly, the lady of six thousand songs, who crisscrosses Georgia daily, playing free piano for anyone who needs music, be it for a wedding, a church service, or a bar; Minerva the conjure-lady, who casts spells and communes with the dead, trying to convince her deceased witch-doctor husband to give her a winning lottery number; and my favorite, the Lady Chablis, a gorgeous, mouthy drag queen who calls herself the Empress of Savannah.

The centerpiece of the plot – if a non-fiction book can be said to have such a thing – is the never-ending saga of Jim Williams’ trial for murder. Williams, a wealthy antique dealer who owns one of Savannah’s most celebrated mansions, is accused of having murdered his violent, volatile young lover Danny Hansford, a self-styled “walking streak of sex”. William’s repeated trials (four of them!), full of forensic incompetence and dirty dealing, provide a structure for the book. However, Berendt takes frequent detours, telling everyone else’s stories along the way. Some tales are ludicrous, others pitiable. Along the way we learn a bit about Savannah’s history, geography, internecine conflicts and race relations. By the time I’d finished the book, I felt as though I’d lived in the town, as though I’d recognize the characters if they passed me on the street.

One of the most remarkable aspects of the book is Berendt’s apparent ability to elicit trust and confidences from everyone he meets. As a Yankee and an outsider, he should have been treated with suspicion or at least reticence, but in fact he finds that everyone wants to share Savannah’s glories and shames. Jim Williams and Minerva take him on a midnight visit to the graveyard, to gather dirt for her conjuring on Jim’s behalf. Black beauty Chablis relies on him to be her “white chauffeur”. Feuding preservationists on both sides insist on airing the town’s dirty laundry. He even gets invited to the Black debutantes’ ball, a highly ritualized affair established by Savannah’s Black community leaders as a counterpoint to the lavish all-white Cotillion.

Somehow Berendt managed to keep a low-profile, fly-on-the-wall persona for nearly seven years, which allowed him to get to know Savannah’s unique society in surprising depth. Then, with equal skill, he has shared the city’s remarkable presence with his readers, spinning real-world personalities and events into an account easily as compelling as any fiction.

I was sorry when I finished Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. I wanted to go back.

Get yourself a copy and you’ll see what I mean.




Take a taste of Hasty – Sizzling new #RomCom from Julia Kent (@jkentauthor)


Hasty cover
About Hasty

I never thought my perp walk would lead to true love.

Then again, I never thought I’d be arrested on RICO charges and hauled away in zip ties on camera for the world to see, minutes after closing the most amazing deal of my career.

And all of it in front of my biggest rival, billionaire wunderkind Ian McRory.

I am broke.

I am disgraced.

I am alone.

I am a sucker.

But the worst part? I have to go back to my hometown and live in my bedroom filled with relics from my childhood.

Lisa Frank never made me so mad before.

Just when I needed a rescue, I got one — in the form of help from my biggest rival.

He can’t bring back my money.

He certainly can’t bring back my reputation or my pride.

But there’s one thing he can bring back to me.

A sense of hope.

Maybe even love.

Ian sees something in me no one else does, and he’s relentless about making me see it, too. As we grow closer, I’m starting to see that while my entire life used to be a lie, the truth is staring me in the present — and it’s a truth I like very, very much, hot eyes and gorgeous smile and all.

But I have to be careful.

I can’t be too —

That’s right.

Hasty.

The final book in the USA Today bestselling Do-Over Series (Fluffy, Perky, Feisty), as Mallory's sister, Hastings "Hasty" Monahan gets her turn at a happily ever after that starts off with an arrest.

Hers.

Other Standalone Books in the Series

Little Miss Perfect (FREE)

Fluffy

Perky

Feisty





Excerpt

Ian keeps chasing me, though. Why? And why does the fact that he won't let up thrill me?

That's the part I hate. The thrill. The zing of arousal that shoots through me every time that jerkface–who isn't a jerk–does this. He's pursuing me and I don't understand it, but I do like it.

More than I want to admit.

The fight inside me feels like layers of muscles in my abs are in a tug-of-war. Ian McCrory represents everything I fought to achieve in my old life. Self-made billionaire. Liked by everyone. Admired by even more.

Respected for his hardcore negotiating skills.

And droolingly handsome.

He was my nemesis. My enemy. The guy who sniped deals, and who I sniped from. We were adversaries, but he flipped the script, didn't he? Coming to my rescue. Aiding me in a time of need.

I don't want to need him.

And I especially don't need to want him.

I stare at the phone. Just as my finger goes to the Power button to turn it off again, three dots appear.

One dinner. Indulge me?

I go into my contacts, and I block him.

He just proved me right.

Taking help from people means you're obligated.

And no matter how sweet the currency he's dangling, I don't like owing him.

I don't like owing anyone.

Burke turned my entire life into one big debt.

But my body isn't available as collateral.

And neither is my heart.



Buy Links

Amazon (all countries): https://geni.us/HastyAMZsm







Audiobook narrated by Erin Mallon – Coming Soon

About the Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Julia Kent writes romantic comedy with an edge. Since 2013, she has sold more than 2 million books, with 4 New York Times bestsellers and more than 19 appearances on the USA Today bestseller list. Her books have been translated into French and German, with more titles releasing in 2020 and beyond.

From billionaires to BBWs to new adult rock stars, Julia finds a sensual, goofy joy in every contemporary romance she writes. Unlike Shannon from Shopping for a Billionaire, she did not meet her husband after dropping her phone in a men's room toilet (and he isn't a billionaire she met in a romantic comedy).

She lives in New England with her husband and three children where she is the only person in the household with the gene required to change empty toilet paper rolls.

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