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:
The outside of the dish was blackened by heat. The inside was crusted with the scorched remains of some liquid. St. Andrews came over and took the fragment gingerly between two gloved fingertips. He held it up into the dim light of the lantern then turned to me.
“If it was, it would have been too small for production on the scale of what goes on in this factory.”
“Which is exactly what we should be looking for, if Goddard, Lothar and Backer were working on some chemical process. They’d work on a small scale until they had it right.”
St. Andrews nodded appreciatively. “That’s true. Let’s find the rest of it, then.” While he picked through the piles, I scraped a fingernail over the surface of the bowl, scratching a line through a black, crystalline residue. “There’s something burnt onto here.”
“Don’t touch it,” St. Andrews called over his shoulder. I quickly wiped my fingers on my coat. Suddenly he stopped and stared at something in the mess, practically quivering like a retriever. “What’s this?” He snaked a long arm toward the debris and carefully teased out several pieces of glass held together by a paper label. “Ac2O,” he read.
“What the devil is that?”
“I don’t know. I’m no chemist. From the size of the label, I’d say at one point there was a lot of it, though.”
Another crash from above. A creak.
“Could be the building settling,” St. Andrews said.
A ranger pointed out the accessible trail into the lower meadows. They went up the trail for a quarter mile or so. There was a slight incline, and Michael teased James about taking it easy by using the electric chair, so James leaned back, put one arm over the backrest, and drove with his other thumb like he was cruising in some big-ass old car.
“You’re just begging for me to get in your lap, you know,” Michael said coyly. Flirting, it was called. Damned if it wasn’t.
“The motor is only certified for five pounds more than me,” James deadpanned.
“So I have to be very careful whilst grocery shopping. Or bowling.”
Michael just laughed.
They found a good spot, and James watched as Michael unzipped the ponderously pregnant backpack he carried and took out a blanket, spread it, and then removed a couple of paper-wrapped sandwiches and a few small bags of Sunchips and cans of soda.
“I wanted to bring wine, but I’m honestly such a lightweight. I figured driving down the mountain sloshed was not a good idea.”
“I appreciate that. I always hoped that when my time came, I could die in battle.” James rolled the chair as close to the blanket as he could and looked at it—and suddenly felt a bit ill. He could crawl out of the chair onto the ground. But it wouldn’t be graceful or pretty. He wondered if he could get away with staying in the chair.
“Can I give you a hand?” Michael asked.
“I’m stronger than I look.” Michael leaned over the chair and put his hands on the arms. Inches away, he stared into James’s eyes.
James’s protests, which were about to come out fast and furious, disintegrated on his tongue. Fuck. Michael’s baby browns reached right down inside him and flipped the switch on his inner furnace, just like that. Whoosh.
“Besides, I am a nurse,” Michael said. He made a funny face, crossing his eyes and sticking out his tongue, which immediately took the sting out of it. James laughed despite himself.
“Uh… I… suppose?”
James sounded exactly as hesitant as he meant to, but Michael ignored that. In a flash, he ran his hands under James’s arms and around his back and pulled James up. For a brief moment, James was on his feet, chest to chest with Michael, feeling the solid warmth of him against his front. He was taller than Michael by several inches, and Michael’s gaze seemed to be fixed on his lips. Michael hesitated a few seconds longer than he should have, long enough to make heat flush James’s body, but then he turned and lowered James gently to the blanket and released him.
At another time in life, Lucky might have climbed the biker like a tree for how well he filled out his leather. Now, the chaps merely reminded Lucky of Bo. The biker dug another jacket and helmet from his saddle bags and didn’t say a word as he offered them to Lucky. Get on a bike with a stranger? Lucky’s withering glare didn’t melt the face shield’s tint, and earned him a shrug from the stranger. Yeah, being watched. Another fucking test to pass. Better to risk his life in the hands of a jackass than blow a case.
The jacket fit perfectly, and the temperature rose the moment Lucky zipped the padded leather closed. Next came the helmet. A few more weeks, and they wouldn’t need leather to keep warm, but April had been unseasonably cool in Georgia this year. The biker climbed back on the beast, straightened up, kicked the stand back against the bike, and turned his helmeted head toward Lucky while firing the engine. Damn, I’d love to drive this thing. According to Jameson, an undercover agent should always take his or her own vehicle, but if pressed, should at least insist on driving and never relinquish control. But hell, if Lucky owned that bike, he wouldn’t give up the keys either. He braced a hand against the seat and climbed behind the driver, making sure to leave distance between them. Shoving his groin against a stranger’s backside wasn’t an option.
No sooner did he prop his feet on the foot pegs than the bike shot across the parking lot. Lucky grabbed the firm body in front of him. The driver patted his leg with a gloved hand and he let go. Don’t go getting too friendly on me now, dude.
They leaned into a curve, the bike, biker, and Lucky in perfect accord. Fighting the natural motion might get them both killed, and many times Lucky’d nearly lost control of his old dirt bike by a squirming brother on the backseat, struggling against gravity’s pull. A few more curves, and he relaxed. Whoever drove handled the bike well.
He leaned back to enjoy the view. Pastureland whipped by, a riot of greens, pinks, and blues from wildflowers. The scent of fresh mown hay hung heavy in the air. They left 441 for back roads. Athens lay the other way. Either they weren’t going to Athens, or the driver had another agenda.
The asshole got to ride one hell of a bike, and probably never did an honest day’s work. Might as well make him earn his keep. Lucky leaned up, putting his mouth near the driver’s ear. He launched into a song his Grandma used to sing about a singing cowboy, complete with lots of off-key yodeling. The driver didn’t even flinch, merely reached down and turned on a stereo. Country music blasted from front-mounted speakers. Lucky sang louder, the driver turned the volume up until Lucky couldn’t hear his own voice.
He collapsed against the backrest and folded his arms across his chest. Spoilsport.
Twenty minutes into their ride, the biker leaned back into the V of Lucky’s thighs. What the hell? The backrest cut off any escape. Next, a hand reached down and squeezed Lucky’s thigh. Oh, hell-the-fuck-no. Lucky wrapped his fingers around the hand and tugged, only to find his fingers enmeshed in black leather. He jerked his hand, but the biker held fast. He leaned up to growl into the driver’s ear, “Let go of my fucking hand.” The bike hit a bump, bringing Lucky’s nose into the warmth of the biker’s neck. He inhaled the clean, fresh scent he’d only smelled one other place. Oh, dear God. With the cupped palm of his free hand he reached down past the top of the biker’s chaps to cradle the ample swell of a bubble butt.
Bo’s fingers tightened on Lucky’s, dragging them down to the tiny flaw responsible for the chaps being reduced to Lucky’s price range over a year ago. His first gift to Bo. He buried his nose in Bo’s neck, whiffing in the comforting scent of his lover.
Rian groaned, turning his face to the mattress and groping about for a pillow to cover his head with. Jet lag was a right sac-twister, and no mistake. If you could call it jet lag when there had been no aircraft involved, only an obscenely hot man who hauled you off into another world and turned the one you thought was your birthright on its head.
I’m no Fae. I know who I am. Who my people are. He didn’t have to close his eyes to see his father, or at least his father as he’d been in years past, aged early by his years in Long Kesh prison and what he’d seen there, but still with a ready smile for the girl he’d loved beyond reason and the son he’d cherished. Or his mother, her heart broken from losing her husband, his body ravaged by the blanket protest and hunger strike from which he’d never fully recovered, and then losing her only child, bitter and vengeful, to the streets of Belfast. Small wonder she’d gone off to the convent in Ardoyne, and taken the veil. Perhaps if he’d been able to find the same solace in the cloth, a similar strength, his own life would have been something else entirely.
But there was no going back to those days of simple faith and love of family. No wishful thinking, either. He’d known he was a foundling, his parents had told him as soon as he was old enough to take proper care of the ring they had found with him, tucked into his swaddling clothes. The knowing had frightened him at first; he’d had nightmares of shadowy figures coming to take him back, and of Ma and Da hauling him down the street by the arm, looking for the one who’d left him so they could give him back. He woke from those dreams sobbing, but always in the arms of his Ma, or his Da, or both, held and rocked and loved and reassured. You’re the child of our hearts, Ma had sung, like a lullaby. Over and over, until the melody of the words had found its way into his own heart.
But he’d watched them both die, Da collapsed on the kitchen floor and Ma gone from the cancer, and now he was of no one’s heart. Not even human.
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