If at the end of the treasure hunt there will be still unmatched excerpts the giveaway will go to the one who matched more books.
The books are:
A Hunted Man by Jaime Reese
A Kingdom Lost by Barbara Ann Wright
A Place for Cliff by Talon ps
A Special Kind of Folk by Barry Brennessel
About Face by VK Powell
Ancient House of Cards by Bryan T. Clark
Another Healing by M. Raiya
Antidote by Jack L. Pyke
Because of Jade by Lou Sylvre
Beloved Pilgrim by Christopher Hawthorne Moss
Better Than Friends by Lane Hayes
Bird of Paradise by G.J. Paterson
Bite of the Recluse by Azalea Moone & Anais Morgan
Bonds of Denial by Lynda Aicher
Brokenhearted by Cate Ashwood
Camellia by Caitlin Ricci & Cari Z.
Carnal Sacraments by Perry Brass
Caught! By JL Merrow
Chasing the Dragon by Kate Sherwood
Chip off the Ice Block Murder by Jessie Chandler
Clean Slate by Andrea Bramhall
Corruption by Eden Winters
Desire at Dawn by Fiona Zedde
Dirty Beautiful Words by Brooklyn Brayl
Dissonance by Shira Anthony
Dudek by Taylor James
Educating Simon by Robin Reardon
Fight by Kelly Wyre
Filthy Acquisitions by Edmond Manning
Firestorm by Rory Ni Coileain
Forever Hold His Peace by Rebecca Cohen
Forgive Us by Lynn Kelling
Fractured by Mickie B. Ashling
Freak Camp: Posts From a Previously Normal Girl by Jessica V. Barnett
FutureDyke by Lea Daley
Games Boys Play by Zoe X. Rider
Gathering Storm by Alexa Land
Gin & Jazz 1- 4 (4 novellas: Hollywood Bound, Razzle Dazzle, Tarnished Glitter and Starring Role) by Morticia Knight
Girls Don't Hit by Geonn Cannon
Great Pleasures by Edward Southgate
Greg Honey by Russ Gregory
Happy Independence Day by Michael Rupured
Hard Pressed by Sharon Maria Bidwell
Hell & High Water (THIRDS, Book #1) by Charlie Cochet
Highfell Grimoires by Langley Hyde
His Fair Lady by Kimberly Gardner
Hoaley Inexplicable by Declan Sands
How Still My Love by Diane Marina
Hungry for Love by Rick R. Reed
If I Die Before I Wake by Liz McMullen
If We Shadows by D.E. Atwood
Ink & Flowers by J.K. Pendragon
It's Like This by Anne O'Gleadra
Lab Rat's Love by Ana J. Phoenix
Lesbian Crushes at School: A Diary on Growing Up Gay in the Eighties by Natasha Holme
Let the Lover Be by Sheree L. Greer
Like Jazz by Heather Blackmore
Love and Salvage: Loving Emmett by Mathew Ortiz
Love Is A Stranger by John Wiltshire
Love You Forever by Amelia Bishop
Lovers and Liars by Paul Alan Fahey
Mark of Cain by Kate Sherwood
Masquerade by Joy Lynn Fielding
Measure of Peace by Caethes Faron
Mirage by Tia Fielding
More Than Everything by Cardeno C.
Motel. Pool. By Kim Fielding
Murder and the Hurdy Gurdy Girl by Kate McLachlan
Murder on the Mountain by Jamie Fessenden
My Brother's Lover by Lynn Kelling
Nightingale by Andrea Bramhall
No Angel by Clare London
Omorphi by C. Kennedy
On Archimedes Street by Jefferson Parrish
Paradise at Main and Elm by Barry Brennessel
Paris Connection by J.P. Bowie
Passage by Evey Brett
Pick Up the Pieces by Tinnean
Piper by Leona Carver
Rapture, Sins of the Sinners by Fran Heckrotte & A.C. Henley
Rarely Pure and Never Simple by Angel Martinez
Rasputin's Kiss by L.M. Somerton
Rest Home Runaways by Clifford Henderson
Resurrection Man by K.Z. Snow
Return of an Impetuous Pilot by Kate McLachlan
Rocky Mountain Freedom by Vivian Arend
Running Through A Dark Place by Michael J. Bowler
Saving Liam by DP Denman
Serpentine Walls by CJane Elliott
Shades of Sepia by Anne Barwell
Shameful Desires 3: Unbound by P.J. Proud
Shirewode by J Tullos Hennig
Silent by Sara Alva
Slide by Garrett Leigh
Something Like Spring by Jay Bell
Splinters by Thorny Sterling
Stitch by Eli Easton, Sue Brown, Jamie Fessenden & Kim Fielding
Summerville by H.L. Sudler
The 42nd Street Jerking-off Club by Mykola Dementiuk
The Calm Before by Neena Jaydon
The Dead Past by Kate Aaron
The Empath by Jody Klaire
The Engineered Throne by Megan Derr
The Family We Make by Kaje Harper
The Genealogy of Understanding by Daniel M. Jaffe
The House on Hancock Hill by Indra Vaughn
The Last Conception by Gabriel Constans
The Line by J.D. Horn
The Mating of Michael by Eli Easton
The Memory of Blood & Lotuses by E.E. Ottoman
The Opera House by Hans M. Hirschi
The River Within by Baxter Clare Trautman
The Seventh Pleiade by Andrew J. Peters
The Thief Taker by William Holden
This Is Not a Love Story by Suki Fleet
Tournament of Shadows by S.A. Meade
True Stories Too: People and Places From My Past by Felice Picano
Turnbull House by Jess Faraday
Zenith by Arshad Ahsanuddin
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Today excerpts are:
I woke up so hungover I wanted to shoot myself. My head pounded, there was a sour taste in my mouth, and my stomach kept trying to project itself out of my throat. Sometime during the time we’d spent at the Bee’s Knees, I’d switched from strawberry daiquiris to 7&7s to Jamaican Dust. How many drinks had I had?
I managed to stagger into the kitchen.
Paul was pouring himself a cup of coffee. “Jesus, you look awful!”
“Don’t mock the afflicted.” I groaned and sat at the breakfast bar. “Even my eyelashes hurt! Why did you let me drink so much?”
“But you were having such a good time.” He laughed at my glower but was kind enough to muffle his laugh when I winced at the sound. “Sweets, the only way to get that glass out of your hand would have been to break your fingers.”
I folded my arms on the bar and buried my head in them. “Next time, I give you permission to break my fingers. That has to be less painful than my head right now.”
“There, there, little buckaroo.”
“Bastard. And how come you aren’t in the same shape as I am?”
“We ate more than you. And around midnight Spike and I switched to Coke. Everyone thought we were drinking Cuba Libres and didn’t bust our chops.” He put a couple of ibuprofen in front of me, and a glass of orange juice.
“You could have told me.” I downed the pills and the juice, and for a second wasn’t sure if they’d stay down. When it seemed they would, I sighed in relief and asked, “Where is our little ray of sunshine, anyway?”
“He’s out on a ‘date.’”
I groaned again. “I can’t see anyone today. I’m calling in sick.”
“We don’t have sick days, Sweets.”
“Fine. Then I’m calling in dead.”
When Father Joseph returned, it was almost two o’clock. Sebastian was aware of a wave of calmness that came over him minutes before the senior priest returned.
“Father Morales, can I see you in my office!” Father Joseph called out as he took his seat behind his desk.
Sebastian picked up his water and joined the priest in his office, shutting the door behind him.
“I’m not going to beat around the bush, Sebastian. You know that Lucille and I met this morning,” he announced as he stared into Sebastian’s eyes without breaking contact.
“Okay, I’m listening,” Sebastian tensely replied.
“So, based on your reaction, I trust you are not going to sit there and attempt to deny the fact that you are having a sexual relationship with Ian Stephens?”
“No, I’m not going to deny it,” Sebastian replied.
His face as cold as ice, Father Joseph asked, “How long has this been going on?”
“About nine months. It started soon after I arrived. Prior to that, I had never broken my celibacy.” Sebastian could tell by the look on Father Joseph’s face that the visual image of two men was more than he wanted to bear. “If it means anything, my relationship with Mr. Stephens is not just sexual. It is more than that; there is love between us.”
“I don’t want to hear the details. I have already gone to see the Bishop and informed him of our situation.” Father Joseph pulled out a single sheet of paper from his top drawer. On the paper, Sebastian saw one word: Reassignment.
Father Joseph lowered his voice. “The Bishop has reassigned you effective immediately. You are to report to his office in Denver by morning and will be working under the guidance of the Monsignor. You are a young priest, and the church sees the value in that. You can move past all this nonsense.”
The word nonsense struck a nerve with Sebastian. “And if I don’t go? If I choose to stay here?” Sebastian asked.
“It is not an option. I am not asking you. You will go! You will leave immediately!” Father Joseph snapped.
Although he’d been a soft-spoken man his entire life, he had never taken to anyone being nasty toward him. He stared at Father Joseph and again asked, “And if I don’t go?”
“You took a vow of celibacy!” Father Joseph shouted as he slammed his fist down on his desk. “How dare you bring this in to my parish?”
“How dare I, you ask? Can I not ask you the same! Do you not think the rest of us don’t know what has been going on here?” Sebastian demanded.
“What are you implying?” Father Joseph asked, his tone changing. “You better be real careful, son, how you answer that!”
“Do you want me to say it? I am not afraid of you! I answer to one man! It is my Lord and Savior—who, by the way, is well aware of your relationship with the late Mrs. Peterson!”
Father Joseph jumped to his feet. “You have no proof of that!” he yelled.
Looking right into the older priest’s eyes, Sebastian refused to back down. “I need no proof. You are not on trial here, but you do answer to the same God as I—and need I remind you that he knows the truth? Do you not realize that when you asked me to preside over her funeral I already knew she had been your mistress for the last ten years? Of course, how could you possibly do the service? You were a grieving man! You want the truth, then let us both speak the truth!” Sebastian was inches from Father Joseph’s face and could feel the heat flaring from the old man’s nostrils.
Father Joseph collapsed back into his chair, taking in a deep breath. His face now red and sweat on his forehead, he sat quietly in his chair for several seconds before calmly asking, “Does anyone else know of your relationship?”
“I will not answer that. I will not let this be a witch hunt so you may clean house. Scrub it clean so no trace of this dirty little secret remains in your house,” Sebastian bellowed.
After a short pause, Sebastian announced, “I will be gone by nightfall. But the truth will remain.”
“Promised the twins I’d take them down to the London Dungeon, so yeah, it’ll have to be an early start.”
“Ah. I have a feeling that’ll be right up their street. Lots of blood and gore, from what I’ve heard.” I frowned as we walked through into the kitchen. “It’s an odd phrase, that, when you think about it, isn’t it? Gore being a synonym for blood. It rather fails to add anything to the meaning.”
“Yeah, I s’pose not, now you mention it. Like hale and hearty.”
“Fine and dandy.” I filled the kettle and switched it on.
“Be all and end all,” Sean suggested.
I got out two mugs. “Belt and braces... No, wait, that one doesn’t fit, does it?”
He smiled. “You know, I was surprised to see you’re a belt man. I’d have put money on you wearing braces.”
“Not recommended when you’re a teacher, I’m afraid. Children do so love to snap them.” Coffee, coffee, where did I keep the coffee? Oh yes—in the cupboard above the kettle.
“They’re not the only ones.” Sean leaned in close, one eyebrow slightly raised. “So if you’ve got some hiding in your wardrobe... Braces, that is, not kids.”
I swallowed. “S-several pairs. Um. You remember how we decided this was a date?”
“Yeah?” Sean murmured, his face very close to mine.
“Well, I, er...” Thinking to hell with it, I closed the remaining gap and kissed him.
It was delicious. His lips were firm and yielding in just the right combination, and he tasted of red wine and devilry. His arms slid around my hips, pulling me close to him, and I realised too late I was still holding the mugs in one hand and a jar of coffee in the other. Cursing inwardly, I wrapped my arms around him as best I could, hoping the loud clinking noise that ensued didn’t mean I’d just broken something.
Sean pulled back from the kiss, laughing. “You want to maybe put some stuff down?”
“Possibly,” I conceded, and gave the mugs a quick once-over as I put them on the counter. “I’ll have the chipped one,” I said ruefully.
“Whatever. I’m not bothered,” he said, pulling me close again. This time I was able to reciprocate in kind. I let my hands roam over Sean’s shoulders, their form frustratingly masked by the leather jacket he still wore. His mouth found mine, and this time, his tongue entered my mouth, questing and challenging.
“Here they are,” said Mary Parker, giving Thad his glasses as she came through the door and handing Philip a gift, wrapped in white paper and topped with a silver bow. “For the graduate.” She hugged Philip and kissed his cheek. “How’s my little brother?”
“Delighted to see you, as always.” Philip placed the package on the table with several envelopes. “Where’s your husband?”
“He’s coming.” She poked her head out the door. “Hurry up, Alex, we’re letting out the air-conditioning!”
A bespectacled man stumbled into the apartment behind her, juggling a thick brown briefcase and half a dozen short, square boxes. He glanced at Philip, and one of the boxes fell to the floor. “I brought the slides from our trip to Italy.”
“Wonderful!” Philip retrieved the fallen box. “Why don’t you set that up in Harold’s bedroom? I’ll send anyone back who wants to see.”
A disappointed Alex headed down the hall. “But I was thinking....”
“Yes, Alex, I know.” Philip frowned. “But remember how awful everything looked on that dark green living room wall?”
He gave Philip a sheepish nod.
“I think you’ll be much happier with the white walls in the bedroom,” Mary said. “Thad, run along with your father and get everything set up before Harold and George get here.” She hooked Philip’s elbow with her hand and whispered, “Well done.”
“Avoiding another grand viewing of the slides from your trip has become a priority of late,” Philip said, pulling a monogrammed handkerchief from his pocket to wipe his brow.
She laughed. “You’ve only seen them three, maybe four times. What about me?”
“I’m sure we’ll treasure them, years from now.” Philip returned the folded handkerchief to his pocket and steered her to the kitchen. “Lieutenant White, err, I mean Shirley, allow me to introduce my sister, Mary Parker.”
Shirley stood and extended her hand. “Pleasure to meet you!”
Mary grasped Shirley’s hand in both of hers and smiled. “I feel like I know you! Nice to finally meet the woman Philip wrote so much about in his letters.”
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