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:
Approaching Tony’s romantically inspired apartment, one could imagine daydreaming through meadows and mist-streaked forests, the sort Beethoven might have walked through, pausing to jot down fortepiano sonatas. But Jeffrey, an American originally from Alabama, in the Deep South, was definitely not German, but sent to Germany to be the head of an international consortium of design consultants. World business had made the planet one neighborhoody kind of place, where all the good neighbors could get along if they acted nice enough, and spoke an almost identical language of Production, Media, Marketing, and Sales. Successful Germans of the polite classes engaged in a fluid mixture of English and German, with some Hindi, Arabic, and even Mandarin thrown in, as well as many old French and Italian phrases that once upon a time quickly confirmed one’s place and sophistication in “the great world.”
Jeffrey was at home in this sort of köstlich neighborhood, knowing full well that no one could confirm their sophistication like the Germans when sophisticated, or be as boorish when they were not.
Tony rang him in when Jeffrey’s troubled face appeared on the security system. The eyes of pivoting cameras followed him up the front quietly carpeted stairs to his therapist’s beige and gray apartment in which the only bright colors came from flowers such as a tasteful arrangement of daffodils or tulips. Sometimes there were more exuberant displays of flowering cherry or quince in the heavy antique crystal vase Tony kept in the waiting room, which was also his living room. Tony’s was a warm, protective setting that seemed yearningly reminiscent of old Teutonic knighthood and those once-patrician, outdated Germanic analyses of the Psyche, all watched over presently by the gaze of the system that pretended to bless it, since Tony was a specialist working for them through a highly-tiered government health plan, fed by a global consumer economy which Jeffrey Cooper, as one of its stars, stoked.
Tony was in his late-forties, square-jawed and nicely boned, but he looked as if he were edging into the vicinity of Jeffrey’s actual age. He smoked, like many Germans, and, without ever mentioning it, drank a lot. He wore a plain gray tunic outfit that, except for its super-immaculate cleanliness, made him look like he should have been working under cars. He had a small beard and a tanned face with big teeth. He’d once been married and he and Elsie, his ex, had a daughter who was now twenty-two.
“How are you?” Tony asked Jeffrey seriously, after they were both seated in another, smaller cozy room that was his office. “Can I get you something to drink? Maybe some tea? I have some infusions that might work for you.”
“Water, please. A man hit me on the pubtran platform today.”
Tony stopped in icy mid-pour. “He what?”
“He grabbed me and hit me.”
Tony paused, his hand suspended, holding Jeffrey’s glass.
Jeffrey, still shaking, looked away from him.
“Any idea why?”
Alana rolled her onto her stomach and smacked her playfully on the ass. “Get going. Someone’s at my door.” She jerked on a pair of sweats and a T-shirt and hurriedly left the bedroom. “I’m coming,” she yelled as another round of pounding began. She threw open the door to see Jennifer grinning at her. “Stop the pounding already!”
“Anyone I know?” Jennifer asked as she entered the living room of the apartment. “By the way, you smell loudly of sex.”
“Loudly?” Alana asked with the lift of a brow.
“Loudly.” She nodded. “As in, you scream of it. Anyone within a yard will be able to smell it on you.”
“Yeah, okay. Let me take a quick shower.” She passed her latest bed partner on her way to the bathroom and was pleased to note she was dressed. She gave her a quick kiss and another pat on the ass. “It was great. See you around?”
The words were casual. Fuck and duck, indeed. That was exactly her motto. When she emerged from the shower scant minutes later, she was dressed and ready for practice.
“She was sexy,” Jennifer said as they headed for her car.
“Yeah. Sexy,” Alana agreed.
“And a screamer,” Jennifer continued with a laugh. “Man, Dude, you sure can pick ’em.”
“Yeah.” Alana laughed with her. “You never know which ones will do that, do you?”
“I think you have a knack for it,” Jennifer teased. “I could hear this one all the way through the door. Your neighbors must be highly entertained. Either that or extremely pissed off.”
“I think the women are entertained.” Alana wiggled her eyebrows comically. “The men are pissed off. It makes them look inferior.”
“God, you are such an ego maniac!”
“Well, when was the last time you heard anybody scream in any of the apartments near you?”
“You have a point.” Jennifer nodded with a grin.
FROM THE way I jolted awake with the impression of going over a cliff in a car, I figured I must’ve slept for a while. Through the blinds, slices of sharp sunlight fell onto the white covers, hurting my puffy eyes.
The house had that stillness that made me think I was all alone. On my way down the stairs, still as cold as the inside of deep-fried ice cream, I checked my phone. No messages and half a battery, and since I had no idea when I’d be charging it, I didn’t dare waste any more of its life checking e-mails.
The French doors slid open when I stepped into the kitchen, and in came Henry, hair plastered to his face. He shrugged off his jacket and kicked off his boots and pushed two fingers into his eye sockets like they hurt.
“You all right?” I asked, going over and closing the door behind him.
“Yeah. I should’ve worn my sunglasses, though.”
“Oh my God,” I said, grabbing his arm and perching him on one of the barstools by the island.
“Are you snow blind?” I ripped a few pieces of paper towel off the roll that stood on the counter and wet them, quickly returning to Henry. “Stop rubbing at them.” I batted his hand away and gently pressed the cold compress to his eyes.
“I don’t think so, no. I wasn’t out there that long. It’s just a little painful.”
“Well, I went skiing for a weekend when I was in Italy, and one of my buddies got it. He was in excruciating pain for like, three days. I think you should go lie down in the dark for a bit.” One hand resting on Henry’s jaw to keep his head steady, I turned the compress over.
“You went to Europe?” Henry asked. He was smiling up at me even though his eyes were covered. To my shame, I couldn’t look away from the curve of his mouth, the way his top lip dipped in a gently sloping cupid’s bow. He hadn’t shaved, and that stubble would feel....
I cleared my throat. “Yes, for a few months after college. I went to a couple of countries, but I spent most of my time in France. What were you doing outside, anyway?”
“Digging a path for Pat.” I tutted and nearly dropped the paper towel when Henry put his hand over the one I still held to his jaw. “I’m not snow blind, Jay, although I appreciate the concern.”
Not knowing what to do or say, I lifted the paper towel off his eyes. They were slightly bloodshot, and Henry blinked at me, eyelashes clumped together with moisture. He didn’t move the hand that covered mine, and my thumb acquired a life of its own, gently stroking along and then against the grain of his stubble. Was I going crazy? Was this happening?
“I have to let Pat out,” Henry said softly, eyes crinkling at the corners.
“Let me,” I managed, slipping my hand from underneath his.
The old dog lifted himself up with a complaining grumble and ambled over to the doors when I called him. Because I didn’t have the courage to look at Henry, who still sat on his barstool, I watched Pat walk down the ramp covering the steps to the yard and follow the trail Henry had dug out for him. When Henry appeared behind me, I nearly banged my forehead on the glass door.
“I’m going to dry his feet,” he explained when Pat came back. I stepped aside. Silently I witnessed how, with great care, murmuring gentling things, Henry dried all four of Pat’s paws and then tucked a blanket around him in the bed. When he saw me watching, Henry self-consciously said, “His joints ache when it’s this cold.”
“You have to be kidding. You’re telling me you can take one look at someone and based on what they’re wearing, you know how they like it in the bedroom?” His expression now was incredulous.
“Didn’t you suggest the same thing when you made fun of my khakis?” I countered. The lawyer in me loved the chagrined expression on his face. Score one for the defense.
“Fine. You’re right. I did and I apologize. For all I know you might have a sex swing in your bedroom and a hankering for getting tied up. With or without your khakis on.”
“Ha fucking ha.”
Jack chuckled and nudged me playfully in the side. “I’m just messin’ with you. I’m sorry I laughed.” He choked and muttered “not really” loud enough for me to know he was still teasing me but I let it slide.
“Enlighten me. I don’t understand why anyone would want to wear leather. It’s sweaty and uncomfortable.”
“To each his own. This isn’t a sex club or sex bar though and if you look closely, you’ll see that not everyone is wearing leather nor are they all gym rats. See...” Jack pointed to a group of skinny guys dressed in jeans standing around a pool table. “...and not that I paid too much attention, but the guys behind us with their tongues down each other’s throats aren’t wearing leather either. I think, my friend, it is safe to suggest you walked in here with pre-conceived notions. What else do you think you know?”
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