Today I’m thrilled to share the cover for the first book in L. J. Hamlin’s latest series – Jack Long and the Demon Deal!
This story features a gay man as a main character with another bi/pan man opposite him. Several main characters deal with PTSD and there is a nonbinary side character. It is an erotic romance, so I hope you enjoy it!
Without further ado, here’s the cover of Jack Long and the Demon Deal!
Jack Long and the Demon Deal contains explicit content and graphic violence, but I’m sure it’ll be a great novel! You can see that for yourself in the excerpt below or preorder Jack Long and the Demon Deal now from published Less Than Three Press!
Excerpt of Jack Long and the Demon Deal:
Jack prepared her drink. “Know any spells to bring in wealth?”
“None that’ll be what you need, but I do have a suggestion. It’s not something to be taken on lightly though.” Kim took their drink and swirled the plastic stirrer through the liquid. They looked very serious and kept their voice low.
“One second.” Jack had to leave to serve someone quickly, but Kim was still waiting for him when he was finished.
“I was never much of a believer, not before I knew you, so shoot. What is it that you think I should try?” Jack asked. He trusted them. If anyone was a real mystic, it was Kim Joy.
“Your life needs more balance, right?” Kim asked seriously .
“I guess my family could use a little more light. This baby is the first miracle in a while, but I’m scared giving up music will kill part of Kris,” Jack admitted.
Kim noded. “You need to summon a balance demon and make a deal.”
“A balance demon?” Jack was a bit in over his head. He’d seen Kim Joy do small things, blessings that charged the air, small healings. He’d started lighting the candles she suggested and keeping crystals, but demons? He didn’t even know they were real.
“It’s not for the faint of heart. You have to be willing to make whatever deal is offered. I’ve talked with demons before, and word is balance demons are the least dark, but still far from light. They can be trusted though, not like tricksters. Their word is their bond,” Kim Joy explained in hushed tones. Jack felt out of his depth, but he trusted Kim, and he was willing to try just about anything.
“How do I summon one?” Jack asked.
“You need to go to a deconsecrated church ground, like the one on Bishops hill, in the hour before dawn. Knock three times on the door and say ‘I seek balance,’ then light a candle and wait for the candle to go out. When it goes out, the demon will appear.” Kim Joy said it as if it were simple.
“I get off close to dawn. I could go tonight, but I don’t have a candle in my car. ” Jack wanted to act soon. If this failed, which he was almost certain it would, he still needed time to find a way to help Kris.
“I have some in my bag. A white candle would be best.” Kim Joy patted their colorful, large bag.
“Is this something an amateur should mess with alone?” Jack asked, wanting to be sure. He’d warded his apartment against evil, little things like that, but summoning a demon was leaping forward about a dozen steps in the witch path.
“Most people I would advise against any dealings with demon’s, but Jack, you have the purest spirit I have ever encountered, and that will work in your favor. And like I have told you before, you could be a very powerful witch with practice.” Kim Joy’s eyes shone in the dim bar light. Anyone else standing before him, apart from maybe Kris and Cherry, he would have assumed they were trying to trick him somehow, that there was some kind of gain in it for them. But Kim Joy was made of goodness, and Jack trusted them.
“Can I borrow a candle, please?” Jack asked, mind made up.
“Of course. Here, take it now. I’m not staying much longer. One more quick dance and home for me. I need to charge some moon water. You’re lucky it’s a full moon. The veil is thinner tonight,” Kim Joy said brightly as they opened their large bag and passed over a large tea light.
“Do you have a ride home?” Jack asked, worried about them getting home safely.
“A circle member is coming to pick me up, a trusted friend. Don’t you worry, Jack Long. Besides, you should know by now a person would be a fool to cross a witch,” Kim Joy said with a wicked smile, reading his concern easily, as they always did.
“Just because I know you can defend yourself from a lot, doesn’t mean I want you put in a situation where you have to do so,” Jack told them, firmly putting the candle into his loose work pants pocket.
Kim Joy smiled. “You’re a doll, Jack, but I’m fine. Let me know how it goes.”
“I will.” Jack patted his pocket. Kim Joy took their drink to go dance, and Jack focused on the rest of his shift.
Kim Joy left not long after, waving from the doorway before they went out into the night. Kris and his band played a few more songs while Jack restocked and cleaned the bar and served drinks. The band said goodbye to the crowd and got a good cheer. Then they broke down their equipment and loaded it into a van outside. Kris came to say goodnight, and Jack put on a well practiced mask he hardly ever used with Kris. He didn’t want his big brother knowing he had plans to help. Kris wouldn’t approve. He wasn’t a big believer in witchcraft and thought the unknown should be left well enough alone.
“Good set.” Jack smiled.
“Yeah. I haven’t told them yet about leaving. Can’t quite find the words,” Kris said sadly.
“It’ll work out. I promise,” Jack said firmly.
“You okay to drive home? You look tired. I can come back and get you?” Kris offered.
“I’m cool. Lot of gas left in my tank before I need sleep to refuel.” Jack grinned. He was tired, but he wouldn’t tell that to Kris. Kris worried enough about Jack working late at the bar as it was.
“If you say so. Cherry wants you over for lunch Sunday. Friends welcome, or a date. Her words, not mine. I know how hard it is for you to date in a small town like this,” Kris chuckled.
Cherry was always worrying about Jack being single, not just because she was a big believer in true love, but because she knew him. He wanted a relationship, but wouldn’t date just to not be alone, and that would be what he would be doing if he dated any of the few gay people he knew of in town. They were mostly good people, but he had no spark with them, even the two he’d slept with.
“I’ll be there for lunch, most likely alone. Please tell her no match making this time.” Jack groaned. Cherry had a habit of inviting him to events with gay men in the hopes he’d find love. It was often awkward, especially in the cases where he’d rejected the person before.
“I promise to try, but she has her own mind. You know that, ” Kris pointed out, jingling his keys in his hand in the way he always did when he was ready to leave.
“Yep. See you Sunday, Bro, or are you playing tomorrow?” Jack asked.
“Playing tomorrow. Early slot like you. Just found out outside. Someone cancelled. Your boss was not pleased, so watch out. He might still be in a mood. Keep your head if he is. No losing your job,” Kris warned him.
“I know how to deal with him. Go on; get home. You need to sleep, too.” Jack waved Kris away. His boss, Greg, was a little volatile at times, kind of a shit boss, to be honest, but this he was the only person who would offer Jack a job after he’d come out as gay.
“See you tomorrow, kid.” Kris smiled faintly.