Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Monday Books from Pablo Michaels, Carrie Aarons, R.G. Emanuelle, & Eva Pohler





YELLOW SILK DREAMS series

by 

Pablo Michaels

Jack and the Magical Beanstalk

  Official genre of book: Adult fairy tale, gay erotica


In this adult fairy tale young, awkward, young Jack sells their prize cow Pearly White for magical beans to a strange man in a red bikini. Little does Jack’s mother, Lorene, know that the beans grow into a giant, magical beanstalk, high above the clouds? 

Jack ascends the beanstalk to a land where a Giant Slave serves his larger Master, Jack begs Slave for food to satisfy his hunger from his long journey. But Jack finds Master hoarding treasures. 

Attempting to escape the wrath of Master and Slave with the treasures, Jack encounters a handsome, engaging normal sized human man. Sam lives with others that live naturally without clothing deep in the forest. As Jack ages he becomes a handsome man, just like his father, attracting many men, including the two farmhands, Zeke and Adam. 

Even though Jack has enabled the farm to prosper with the treasures he stole from Master and is met with increasing danger, he climbs the magical beanstalk again and again to find more treasures and pursue Sam.



“Good morning, Jack. You’re a young, handsome lad,” the strange man greeted him.

“Good morning, sir.” Jack wondered how the man knew his name.

“And where might you be going with that fine cow?”

“I’m off to market to sell her,” Jack answered.

“Ah, but you must be a smart and cunning young man,” the strange man offered. “You look like the intelligent sort to sell cows. Can you tell me how many beans make five?”

“Oh, sir, that is too easy. It is five. You have one bean in each hand, one in your mouth, one in the crack of your butt, and one in your crotch.”

“Oh, you are right. You are truly gifted and have smarts. You will go far, my handsome young man. The beans are magical. I dare say I would trade you my five magic beans for your cow.” There was a twitch in the strange man’s crotch.

“But I would be a fool to trade Pearly White for your beans.” Jack laughed lightly. He was amused by the twitching under the man’s bikini. He liked the man, especially the way he was entertaining him, but knew better than to trade his cow for just the beans.




Blood, Sweat and Black Leather

Official genre of book: Gay paranormal romance



Damien Liebermann has failed at love continuously, even after attempting to resurrect his latest relationship with David Wilder. He despises his aging appearance, gray hair on his chest, sideburns and mustache. Despite the spread of a new incurable disease, AIDS, he tries to move on, searching for a new man to love. He has moved back to his parent’s house after they were killed in an automobile accident. But Gabriel Tivoli, a man he pursued several years before, appears magically, walking on the top of the fence and jumping to the deck next to Damien. Gabriel’s appears young compared to Damien’s, despite their same age. During a powerful storm, Gabriel promises to restore Damien’s youthful appearance and give him eternal love. Infatuated with Gabriel again and the magic surrounding him, Damien fails to recognize Gabriel’s paranormal powers, when he comes through his window and bites him on his neck, indulging in a taste of his blood. Can he trust a man who rejected him before? And why does Gabriel disappear before dawn every day? Why does he have to meet Gabriel in the nearby cemetery at midnight on Halloween, especially at the peak of the dangerous storm raging outside?



A bolt of fire struck a nearby headstone, the pounding roar echoing through the canyon. Jumping in fright, he looked above, viewing a perfect, orange, full moon illuminating his surroundings. He glanced at the flowers on the graves, all wilting, except those on the Tivoli family plot.

Damien called out, “Gabriel, are you part of this family tree lying in these graves?”
The clouds covered the glow of the moon, the winds picked up velocity, and the rain became heavy again. He inhaled the scent of hormones he recognized from sexual encounters with men from his past. Another gust of wind almost blew him off the bench, even though he held tightly to the marble seat. The rain poured down; he sensed something spectacular ready to boil the blood in his veins. Feeling weak, he closed his eyes momentarily.

Awakening, he saw Gabriel standing nearly naked, clothed only in a scant leather thong, his dick bulging big and hard beneath the pouch. Towering over him, those brilliant green eyes radiated intense fire. Gabriel dripped with rain, illuminated by an aura of desire. His black hair lay over his shoulders, glistening wet and shiny.

“I want you here… tonight.” Gabriel commanded.

“I want you too, but I’m weak. I can’t move to touch you.”

“That frequently happens once you’ve become one of us. I’ll restore your strength.”



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Affairs of Men's Hearts

  Official genre of book: Gay romance



Short stories of wishful thinking male to male romances of sexual infatuation with male buddies, to testing the lustful waters with other men to find the right man to love, to gay marriage, of men attempting to build on their love in a longtime relationship.

Growing Up in My Hometown is a story about a man’s feelings of spontaneity with expressing his sexual freedom. Three high school senior boys are on a fishing trip. Billie has a crush on Lewis. Jay is the buffer to keep Billie’s fantasies in check. Billie struggles to express his true feelings towards Lewis, in the process of admitting his true sexual feelings for other men. What happens when they go skinny dipping?

In Then and Now, a man compares his two true loves, his high school infatuation, Barry, and Timothy, his longtime companion. On a ski trip, Billie and Barry, drinking Rainer Ale by the wood burning stove in their underwear, express their male bondage. Will Barry allow Billie to express all his feelings?

In the Slumber Party, Benjie Fallon finds himself at a high school senior slumber party with kids younger than he, while serving as a chaperone for his neighbor. Benjie, recovering from his first relationship with another man, is seeking the chance to love again. He never thought that two younger men would find him as a good sponsor to act out on their sexual fantasies.

In Pagan Knights of Cambria Nights, Glenn and Billie are on their honeymoon with their dog Bradley in a seaside resort that has all the makings of romance until another gay couple, Gilbert and Jorge, accuse them of stealing Bradley. Making love on the beach at night under a near full moon, strolls along the beach, fine dining and shopping, Glenn relaxes, always attempting to seduce Billie while Billie seeks for peace in his life, all complicated by Gilbert and Jorge and their accusations. What happens when Glenn and Billie discover a body on the beach?


Jay’s skill exceeded mine, having the talent my father would treasure if Jay were his son. Jay led the way down a dirt road shaded by pines, firs, and oaks. A small spring, feeding a roadside culvert, resembled a brook. The water lay still, quite shallow, and was inhabited with tadpoles and a few water skippers.

Looking at each other, Lewis and I had the same scheming idea simultaneously. While Jay stomped ahead Lewis pointed at the water and shouted, “Did you see the size of that fish?”

“He’s huge,” I yelled.

“Don’t let this one get away!”

Jay, naive, for an eighteen-year-old boy, could always be counted upon to be the victim of a prank, accepting the others teases. He ran, his hand clinging to his fishing pole. He cast his fly, quickly, to land the big one.

After a few minutes repeated casting, he asked, “Which way did he go?”

Lewis and I relented. We confessed our prank, busting out laughing to the point of crying. Jay soon caught on to our escapade.



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Pablo Michaels disguised himself as a shy, friendly heterosexual during his adolescence, fantasizing other males. Falling in love with another man his first year in college, he followed this man to another university to maintain their platonic love, while he continued in his in studies. When he had his first sexual encounter with another man, just before turning twenty-one, he exploded into gay life with lust and rage. He attempted to live his new life naturally, seeking love, ignoring the statistics of the books he read on homosexuality in high school, and proving what he had read was wrong.

Pablo Michaels is a gay man who writes gay romantic genre fiction from a gay man’s perspective. He is driven to educate and enlighten readers with the true beauty of love between men. He has published several books over the span of the last five years. He has found a new home to publish his stories with Yellow Silk Dreams, a publisher composed of a coop of authors. He grew up in a working class family that taught him the values of hard work, regardless of the profession, and helped him acquire a diverse education. The family motto is “People can take everything away from you. But they never can take away your education.” He is legally married to his soulmate, a man he has lived with for twenty years.

Pablo Michaels was born in the story, “Raging Silence”, which is included in the book, “This Beautiful Escape”. The silence raging in Pablo Michaels was his inherit sexual orientation, suppressed in his adolescent years. Through years of struggles he finds peace in his current life with his legal husband, a partnership of 20 years.

He wrote poetry and stories since third grade. When he turned twenty-one, he moved to San Francisco to work and write, experiencing more of gay life. In the 1980's he wrote every chance he had, trying and failing miserably at publishing mainstream fiction. He published his first story, Reunion on the Trail, in 1986 in a literary magazine When the Mockingbird Sings.

After writing plays, short stories, poetry, and two novels, he began writing gay genre stories, feeling he had more knowledge and experience with gay lifestyle. Trying to publish, he went to a library seminar hosted by two published authors. Inspired by the gay writer, Scott Kemble he connected with him on the internet site for The San Francisco Bay Area Literary Arts Newsletter and Review, which published four of Pablo's short stories.

Constantly, writing since 2004, he published his first e-book, Pagan Knights of Cambria, with Life of Riley Productions in London. Soon a mainstream story, When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again Hooray, published also. In 2012 Pablo self-published his first novel, Catnip, Rosemary, Rage and Time, combining mystery and humor in a gay, erotic romance. He continues to write more episodes in his next novel, The Deer in the Forest The plot spreads over several decades, about a man's attempts to adapt to the world he lives, all with love, heartache, history and survival at no cost.

His latest article, Why Gay Men Retire to Palm Springs, was just published in the very popular SimplySxy.com online magazine. You can read the insightful article here. http://simplysxy.com/articles/2015/06/08/why-gay-men-retire-to-palm-springs/ Pablo retired from gardening and landscaping to devote his energy to write fiction. As a gay man he wishes to promote his writing gay genre fiction to help others understand the necessity for equal rights for LGBT people and comprehend that love between a man and a man, people of the same sex, is as natural as love between a man and a woman. Throughout his lifetime he has experienced the long battle of achieving acceptance. He has searched for a committed relationship with another man. He has loved his partner for twenty years. They were legally married in front of Harvey Milk's bust in the rotunda of San Francisco City Hall by a judge, in 2008. Although their marriage remained legal after the passage of Proposition 8, they continued to work to repeal DOMA and Prop. 8. Throughout his life he has attempted to live and practice peace as a process for living.

His published books include the book, Blood, Sweat and Black Leather, a gay paranormal romance, published by Yellow Silk Dreams in January 2015. Affairs of Men’s Hearts, published in May 2015 by Yellow Silk Dreams is an anthology of four stories connected by the themes of gay men seeking love with another man, from wishful thinking male to male romance to gay marriage. His latest book, Jack and the Magical Beanstalk is an adult version with a gay twist of the fairytale classic, Jack and the Beanstalk, published in December 2015 by Yellow Silk Dreams. He has rewritten his first novel, Catnip. Rosemary, Rage and Time, and its prequel, Learning to Love Again, both soon to be published. He is currently working on the sequel to Jack and the Magical Beanstalk. The working title is Climbing Another Magical Beanstalk.

Tami 1



Title: Kissed by Reality
Author: Carrie Aarons
Genre: Contemporary Romance
 Release Date: April 11, 2016



Blurb

Falling in love is hard. Falling in love on national television is impossible. Right? 

Leighton Aldridge did not sign up to meet her soulmate. She signed up for the lights, camera and action. So when the Hollywood-native ends up with the wounded war veteran and a ring on her finger, it's a surprise to everyone. What isn't a surprise is the way she breaks Finn Wyatt's heart, or the massively public breakup that follows. But a year later she's back, ready for another round on the reality TV show that brought them together. She knows he was the real thing, and she's ready to fight for him. 

Finn is the new Mr. Right. The country's favorite single guy, and the object of 25 women's affections. But when his ex-fiance steps onto set and back into the limelight, he wishes he never agreed to another season. Leighton shattered his heart for the world to see, and he's not ready to face that reality. Can Leighton convince him, and America, that she's the one? Or will her future with Finn only consist of 15 more minutes of fame?





Purchase Links

AMAZON US / UK





Author Bio

Author of romance novels such as the Over the Fence series and Red Card, Carrie Aarons writes sexy, swoony and sarcastic characters who won't get out of her head until she puts them down on a page.

Carrie Aarons has wanted to be an author since the first time she opened a book, and can't describe what it feels like to be able to write love stories as an actual career. She loves spinning tales that include dapper men, women with attitude, and the occasional hunky athlete.

When she isn't in what her husband calls a "writing coma," Carrie Aarons is freeing-up her jampacked DVR, trying to become the next HGTV star as she DIYs her very first house, and planning her next travel adventure. She lives on the east coast with her husband whom she loves dearly for supporting her crazy dreams and putting up with her sassy, extroverted ways.


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COVER REVEAL
Have a Bite ( The Vampires of Brooklyn Chronicles) by R.G. Emanuelle

Book Title: Have a Bite ( The Vampires of Brooklyn Chronicles) 
Author: R.G. Emanuelle 
Genre: Paranormal/Urban Fantasy 
Release Date: May 13, 2016 
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions

book blurb

The world of vampires is, by nature, one of darkness, secrecy, and covertness. Vampires are invincible. No one can hurt them. Except vampire hunters.

Delphine Bouchard is a celebrity chef and owner of a world-renowned restaurant in Brooklyn, NY, where the chic and bespoke crowd mingle with neighborhood denizens. She enjoys fame, money, and women, and lives life by her own rules. She also happens to be a vampire.

Del’s life and the local vampire community are rocked when a vampire hunter begins picking them off, and Del has reason to believe that she might be next. Del is also being watched and criticized by the vampire hive council and persecuted by a coven of witches, who are the enforcers of behavior for the supernatural set. In the midst of all this turmoil, Del meets and unexpectedly falls hard for Jocelyn, who she soon discovers is holding back a disturbing secret. Del must decide whether or not to put aside her feelings of betrayal and pursue the relationship.

Meanwhile, when a food critic with a grudge sets out to ruin her business and reputation, Del has to protect her staff and restaurant. But the situation spirals out of control when a human shows up dead, her restaurant is sabotaged, and Jocelyn is threatened. Del must save her business, protect her loved ones, and find out who the vampire killer is before she is the next victim.

Set against a backdrop of elaborate meals and passionate cooking, Have a Bite is book one in the novella series The Vampires of Brooklyn Chronicles. The world of vampires and hunters meets the world of restaurants, foodies, and celebrity chefs—a recipe for paranormal mystery seasoned with suspense, peppered with romance, and flavored with a dash of humor.
excerpt

Flames shot up, threatening to set the ceiling ablaze. Metal against metal sounded a rhythm as white-coated women and men dashed around in a mad panic, trying to keep everything to an organized chaos. Papers fluttered as they passed between hands, water splashed as used utensils landed in the sink, and more than a few collisions nearly resulted in people being sent to the hospital with head injuries or stab wounds.

The crew shouted out what they needed as the orders kept coming in at regular clips, and finished plates went out with the kind of speed that comes with experience.

“Lamb rack, fire up!”

“How long on the potatoes Dauphinoise?

“I need more sorrel!”

Delphine expedited, checking the plates before they went out of the kitchen to the patrons. “Pay attention, people. The plates are getting sloppy.”

Nervous glances from the crew went in Delphine’s direction. No one wanted to piss off the boss. Ramona, the sous chef, eyeballed the other cookson the line,as she as tossedcaramelized onions in a pan.

One by one, waitstaffrushed in and out andshouted out customers’ orders, cutting through the kitchen noise.

“I need one gluten-free manicotti, pronto.”

“Two roast chicken, sauce on the side.”

“One pork paillard, no mushrooms! One duck, no garlic!”

“Please, make sure I have that porterhouse black and blue!”

“I need a refire on thiswagyu. Customer wants it rare, not mooing!”

“We got an Elaine Benes!”

The Seinfeld reference, the staff’s code for someone requesting a big salad, which was not on the menu, always made Del chuckle.

Tracy, the head server came bustling in and handed Del two more tickets. “Eight salmon, all day!” Del shouted.

“Eight? Shit,” said Ramona. “We’re running low on the salmon.”

“All right, don’t panic.” Delphine ran into the walk-in to check on the inventory. She re-emerged and pressed the button on the intercomthat went to the offices. “Ophelia, go out and assess the room. How many people look like they haven’t ordered yet?”

“Okay,” came the crackled response from her restaurant manager.

“Gluten-free manicotti at the pass!” the pasta cook shouted a few moments later.

Ramona reached into an oven and pulled out a sheet pan of thin, ruddy beet chips. “Hot behind!” She quickly walked behind the others with the pan in her hands and set it down on a work table just as Ophelia came into the kitchen.

“Chef, it looks like a few more guests came in. But according to Mariel, most of the people invited are here. Maybe a few more are going to come.”

“Okay, thanks,” Delphinereplied. To her kitchen crew she said, “Let’s pump it out, guys. We’re heading into the home stretch.”

Ramona, back at her station, lifted the lid off a pot, pulled what looked like a clean spoon from the arm pocket of her jacket, and dipped it into the pot. From where she stood, Delphine could see that it was the chestnut-celery root bisque, recently added to the menu to accompany the Arctic char in a ramekin. With a satisfied look, she replaced the lid and wiped her hands. “Fire up the char!” she called out.

Del loved the rhythm and energy of a kitchen, especially hers. Every sense was engaged, every single day. The sounds of pots and pans hitting the burners, utensils scraping against stainless steel, oil sizzling, smoke spitting, and voices and music from the dining room filled the kitchen. With minimal banter, the staff performed their duties, chopping, roasting, braising, frying, boiling, steaming, or otherwise preparing what they were responsible for.

It was all magic. The smell of the kitchen—an intoxicating blend of spices, roasting meats, vegetables being transformed into nectarous edible jewels, and sauces stirred into a magical essence. The intense reds of paprika and cayenne, the glitter of sea salt, the gray fog of smoke rising from a hot pan, or the swirling verdant green of cilantro being puréed for salsa verde. The sensation of flour sifting through your fingers, or the ache in your knuckles after shucking dozens of oysters. The slow burn on your skin after chopping chiles. Or the numbness of your fingertips after rinsing lettuce in ice-cold water. She almost missed the last two—they were pleasurable pains.

She thrived on it all and couldn’t imagine doing anything else. She’d fought against the efforts over the years to take her restaurants down by egotistical reviewers, jealous competitors, and others with more personal agendas, and she always came back strong. And she knew that her crew felt the same way, particularly here at Vie Sang. But nights like this were trying.

Sasha Ziegler, the Grammy-winning singer, had booked the entire restaurant for three hundred guests and requested that the menu, in its entirety, remain available throughout the night as guests came and went and ate at their leisure. This was in addition to the hors d’oeuvres and cocktails that the celebrity had ordered. For the amount of money Delphine was charging, she’d agreed. But in exchange, she and her staff had hell to pay. Just managing the extra seating was a nightmare.

Tracy came rushing back in. “Where’s my tofu teriyaki? I needed it yesterday.”

Delphine looked toward Leslie, who was handling the vegetarian and vegan meals. Leslie was new and had to build up her pace. “Leslie, speed it up. Let’s get that tofu up. I want to see it at the pass in three. Please.”

“Yes, Chef!” Leslie swiftly moved around her station and began squirting soy sauce and rice vinegar from squeeze bottles into a bowl.

The roar of flames hit Del’s ears and she looked toward the grill station. The grillardin, the grill cook, jumped back suddenly as another huge burst of flame shot up. A skillet slammed against the wall, sending pan sauce splattering across the floor and wall. The cook fell to the floor screaming, his hand on his face.

Delphine ran to him. “Stu! Are you all right? Let me see your face.” As she kneeled down beside him, Ramona ran to the grill and salted the blazing burner until it was doused.

Stu writhed on the floor while Delphine tried to move his hand from his face. The other cooks looked on with worried expressions, but continued to cook. Stopping for any amount of time would be disastrous.

Ophelia came running in. “Holy shit! What happened?” She dropped to her knees near Stu’s head.

“Get me the first aid kit,” Delphine said, with a hand on Ophelia’s forearm.

Ophelia jumped up and returned in seconds with the kit. Delphine opened it up and pulled out the burn ointment. “Somebody get me a glove.” A latex glove appeared near her face, although who had proffered it, she didn’t know. She grabbed it and smeared some ointment on Stu’s cheek, which seemed to have taken the brunt of the fiery assault.

Stu cringed with the touch. “Ow! Ow!”

“Shit,” she muttered. “I should have had that stove looked at. Do you want to go to the ER?”

Stu stopped squirming and began to sit up. “No. I’m okay. It just hurt for a few minutes. But I’m fine.” His cheek was a mottled, angry crimson, a bit swollen, and already blistering in one spot.

“Are you sure?”

“Yeah.”

Delphine helped him get up and step back to the stove, where he paused briefly to take a few deep breaths. He lowered his head, seemingly to regroup and calm the beat of his heart, which must have been racing. He checked the food on the other burners and plucked a clean pan from the wall to replace the one he’d dropped.

Ophelia looked stricken and stood frozen. “Ophelia. You okay?” Delphine asked.

“Um, yeah. That was just…God.”

“I know.” Delphine sighed heavily. “Listen, get back out there and see what’s happening, okay?”

“Yeah, okay.” Ophelia made her way toward the door, a lingering gaze on Stu’s back.

Delphine grabbed her apron and tied it on. Things were getting out of control, and she needed to jump into the fray to help. “Ramona, get over here and expedite. I’m going in.”

Ramona stepped up to the front of the kitchen, where the dishes came to rest on the counter—the “pass”—just before being transported out to the dining room by the waitstaff.

“Okay, listen up, everybody,” Delphine said, “We’re in the weeds here, but we’re going to get through this. I just want everyone to take a deep breath and relax. Don’t stop, just relax.”

The pace and intensity remained high as the orders kept coming in. Unlike the usual controllable private party, this was a free-for-all.

To make things more stressful, the Council had also taken this opportunity to spy on her. She spotted a few agents among the partygoers. They were enjoying themselves, but observed everything. Tough job.

By one a.m., the food orders had stopped coming in. Del wiped her hands on her towel and stepped outside of the kitchen for a breather, taking the opportunity to assess the dining room.

The partiers were having a great time, if the cacophony of laughter, chatter, and clinking glasses were any indication. Sasha Ziegler held court at the center table and smiled brightly as people stooped next to her to take selfies with her. Despite the insanity, there was a pleasant hum throughout the restaurant that told Del people were enjoying the food. She could always tell when a crowd of people didn’t like what she’d offered up that night—there would be a pall that would pervade the air. Not that it happened often.

She was enjoying her usual game of spotting the insecure sycophant or the nose-in-the-air celebrity who feigned boredom when something made her stop. On the left side of the room was a gorgeous woman in a black halter cocktail dress, her dark hair slicked back, holding a martini glass. The golden flecks of salt and shards of caramel that adorned the rim of the glass told Del that it was one of her bartender’s signature salted-caramel martinis. The woman’s neckline plunged low and Del found herself staring at the flesh peeking out of the material. She looked up and discovered the woman looking back at her. Too busy to get involved in the art of seduction, she returned to the kitchen.

On her way there, she noticed a man with his back turned toward her. Nothing really stood out about him, but that was precisely why she noticed him. He didn’t seem to fit in with the ultrachic, bespoke celeb crowd. He wore baggy-in-the-butt, faded-looking slacks, a wrinkled half-tucked shirt, and a well-worn denim jacket that looked as if it could use a good washing. He stooped slightly, as if life had beaten him down. It was then that she realized that he actually had a small hump on his back. He stood alone and very still, as if afraid to turn around. The only part of him that moved was his thumb, which rubbed nervously over what Del could see was a lighter, an old-school kind with a flip-top.

Del’s hackles stood up. Although she couldn’t see his face, he seemed familiar somehow. She was about to move into the crowd to try and find out who he was, when Ramona stuck her head out of the kitchen.

“Chef, we’re gonna start breaking down the stations,” Ramona said. “Chantel’s almost ready to roll out dessert.”

Dell nodded and went back into the kitchen, taking one last look at the man. He turned his head slightly, then quickly turned it back, as if surreptitiouslychecking to see who was behind him.

Del went to the basement kitchen to check on her pastry chef, Chantel, who was calmly slicing her opera cake. With agonizing precision, she positioned a long, sharp knife over the cake and sliced straight down, apparently using some imaginary guides to cut down the length of the twenty-four-inch, seven-layer cake. Delphine waited until Chantel had finished the slice and had pulled the knife out of the sheet, bits of almond sponge cake, coffee buttercream, and chocolate ganache clinging to the razor-sharp blade.

“Hey, Chantel.”

Chantel looked up and smiled. “Hey. How’s it going up there? I heard you got in the weeds.”

“Yeah, but we got through it. It’s almost over. How’s it going down here?”

Chantel’s face was coated in sweat. “Fine. Everything’s ready. God, I hope we don’t run out of anything.” Finished with cutting, she gazed one more time at her creation, then put her knife into a stainless steel hotel pan filled with water.

“Don’t worry.” Delphine looked at the list hanging on the refrigerator with the desserts and quantities. “I think you made plenty.How did the sugar cage turn out this time?” She referred to one aspect of Chantel’s latest signature dessert that she had been trying to perfect, a complicated affair that also featured chocolate foam, white chocolate-covered rose petals, and caramel-pistachio brittle.

Chantel smiled bashfully. “Really good.”

Del smiled as well and patted Chantel on the back.

Upstairs, the bustling continued but was slowing down. Her garde-manger, who handled appetizers and salads, was standing with her back against her work station, hands perched on the counter. The bussers were coming in with tubs of dirty dishes, as Chantel turned the corner of the staircase with a sheet pan of plated opera cake. The crew oohed and aahed at the plates of perfectly cut slices, a squirt of cappuccino cream atop each and flanked on one side by a rectangular piece of chocolate with a white design on it, along with a pool of vanilla sauce, dotted with raspberry coulis.

After the servers had served all the guests, the crew each got a piece of cake as well—the throwaways—and toasted each other with their forks.

“Thank you for working so hard tonight, guys,” Del said. “I really appreciate it.” They all beamed before taking huge bites of their cake.

When the partiers had left and the kitchen was cleaned up, the crew began filing out, all ready to meet up at one of their favorite post-dinner hangouts. A beer at three in the morning helped take the edge off a crazy dinner service.

“Night, Boss.” Chantel was the last one to leave.

“Thanks, Chantel. Good work tonight.”

Chantel chuckled. “Did you expect anything else?”

“No.” Chantel was an artist, which was why Delphine had hired her, and probably what had enticed her when they’d had their brief fling. That and her smooth, dark skin and startlingly blue eyes, the legacy of her African-Dutch-Curaçaoan heritage. The clincher was her accent, a sensuous combination of Dutch, Spanish, and African languages. Delphine had made her whisper things in her native Papiamento during the night, when the best thing they could think to do was explore each other’s bodies.

“You are perfection,” Delphine said.

Chantel smiled. “You always were bright.” After a moment, she added, “It was a rough night. Are you all right?”

“Yes, I’m fine. Go on home.”

“All right. Good night, then.” She put a reassuring hand on Del’s shoulder as she walked past her.

When Chantel was out the door, Delphine locked up, went into her office and grabbed her jacket. Everything else could wait until tomorrow. As she shrugged on the jacket, she remembered the strange man at the party. Unfortunately, it was too late to ask anyone about him. Damn. She shut out the lights and walked out the back door to the small parking lot.

It had been a brutally hot day for Brooklyn. But that heat had given way to a cool evening with a breeze coming off the Upper New York Bay and down the East River. When she was human, she would have shivered on a night like this.

Right next to the door was her Kawasaki Cruiser. About to settle herself on the motorcycle’s seat, she stopped.

She smelled it right away. The heady aroma of desire, need, and surrender filled the air, and she knew it was close. But she waited until the source chose to reveal itself. A woman stepped out of the shadows and into the floodlight of the parking lot. She approached the doorway where Del stood.

“Do you desire anything, madam?”

Delphine turned to face the woman. She was young, maybe about twenty-five, slender, with blond hair down to her shoulders and edged with blue. Her skin was pale, and her eyes halfopen with the promise of seduction. This was nothing new for Delphine. Many pretty young things had waited for her outside the restaurant, ready to offer themselves to her. They were like groupies.

Delphine moved a little closer. “What’s your name?”

“Roxanne,” the young woman responded, taking a deep breath, obviously so that her bosom would rise closer to Delphine’s face. Delphine obliged her with a direct stare down herlow-cut blouse, which Delphine was sure had been selected just for the purpose. “Well, Roxanne, I do find myself in need of a little something.”
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New York native R.G. Emanuelle spent more than 20 years as an editor, writer, and typesetter. When she was child, a neighbor called her a vampire because she only came out after dark, so it’s fitting that she writes about creatures of the night, which includes her first novel, Twice Bitten. She is co-editor of the Lambda Literary Finalist anthology All You Can Eat: A Buffet of Lesbian Erotica & Romance, and the Golden Crown winner Unwrap These Presents, as well as Skulls and Crossbones: Tales of Women Pirates. She is also a culinary school graduate, which is what inspired her to write her romantic novella, Add Spice to Taste, and Have a Bite, the first of The Vampires of Brooklyn Chronicles novella series. Her short stories can be found in numerous anthologies.

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The Gatekeeper's Bride:
 A Prequel to The Gatekeeper's Saga


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ABOUT THE BOOK

Unrest brews among gods and mortals alike when Hades makes a deal with the Fates to end his loneliness in the Underworld. But when Persephone proposes to conspire with him in a plot against Demeter, things get out of hand. Soon, the war among the gods is as critical as the one playing out among the Achaeans and Trojans on Earth. 

Find out the truth of how Hades and Persephone met and fell in love and the impact it had on the rest of the pantheon during these tumultuous times. Learn how their children--Hypnos, Thanatos, Megaera, Tisiphone, Alecto, and Melinoe--came into being. Discover why they were assigned their respective duties as Sleep, Death, the Furies, and the goddess of ghosts. Find out the real reason why the Olympians possessed such profound disdain for these Underworld gods. 

This prequel to The Gatekeeper's Saga is more than a retelling of the Persephone myth. Many more of the ancient myths are woven together to reveal the conflict, tension, and relationships among the gods in one of the most beloved pantheons in human history. The Gatekeeper's Bride can be read before or after The Gatekeeper's Saga, but readers might find more enjoyment from it after having met the characters by reading the saga first.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Eva is a wife and mother of three living in San Antonio, Texas. She earned her B.A. in English from Trinity University, her M.A. in English from St. Mary’s University, and her Ph.D. in English from Texas Tech University. She wrote her dissertation on narrative strategies, in which she analyzed the use of voice, point of view, character, plot, and other narrative devices used in twentieth-century British and American literature, informed by narratologists such as Tsvetan Todorov, Gerard Genette, Vladimir Propp, Seymour Chatman, Wayne Booth, and James Phelan. She also took as many classes in creative writing as was allowed at every university she attended and had the honor of studying under Robert Flynn, Nan Cuba, and Walt McDonald.
She currently writes fiction for teens and adults and teaches writing and literature at the University of Texas at San Antonio. For years she was a den leader and cub master for her sons in Boy Scouts and a troop leader for her daughter in Girl Scouts. She loved those years, but they are behind her, leaving her with more time to read and write.
She’s also an avid reader. Her favorite authors are Tracy Chevalier, Ann Patchett, J.K. Rowling, J. R.R. Tolkien, Suzanne Collins, and Stephanie Meyer. She’s also read everything by Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulkner, and other literary giants whom she also loves. She’s read single books she adores by authors like Elizabeth Wein, Diane Setterfield, Philippa Gregory, and Katherine Stockett. And her favorite book of all time, though she never read anything else by her, is Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver.
Her books include The Gatekeeper’s SagaThe Purgatorium SeriesThe Vampires of Athens Series, and The Mystery Book Collection.

You can keep in touch with Eva by email at eva@evapohler.com.
She’s also part of an amazing hub for authors and readers called Indie-Visible: Defending Literary Justice for All.




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