Monthly Archives: October 2014

3.5 stars for Valkyrie: Return of the Asgard by Erik Schubach @ErikSchubach #FF #Scifi

Valkyrie Chronicles - Return of the Asgard - Cover

Title: Valkyrie: Return of the Asgard
Author Name: Erik Schubach
Publication Date & Length: July 14, 2013 — 224 pgs

Synopsis

The Valkyrie Kara stood alone against the Ragnarok horde on Earth to ensure that the Asgard race and Valhalla could escape. For five thousand years she has fought and evaded the Ragnarok race on Earth, just waiting for her people to return.

A human woman, Kate, joins her fight against the invading race, showing as much conviction and valor as any Valkyrie. Their friendship quickly becomes something more as they hold the line on Earth in battle to herald the return of the Asgard.

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AuthorInterview

  • Can you describe in detail what your writing environment is like?

My work environment is pretty simple. I just have a computer desk in my bedroom. I have a daylight light shining down on my desktop, that is supposed to be healthy for you. I like to say that my morning commute consists of sitting up in bead, yawning, stretching, then taking three steps to sit at my computer. The desktop is cluttered with notes and various electronic gadgets.

  • Is there one of your characters that you relate to (from any of your works)? Why?

I feel I relate to every character I write, but one in particular, Kylee from Syncopated Rhythm I feel I relate to the most since a lot of her personality and things she does in the book are straight from my life.

  • If you couldn’t be an author, what would you do instead?

Well since I can’t be an astronaut or a unicorn wrangler, I’d say a curator at a vintage tech museum.

  • Is there anything that you learned during the writing process that you wish you had known before hand?

I wish I had known how easy it is to publish. The only thing that stopped me from writing before was the daunting task of getting a book published. It seemed so daunting. But when I actually sat down to attempt it, I followed the rabbit down the hole. It was a little confusing at first glance, but after I published my first title and looked back on things, it was so easy. Now I just see the publishing process as just the last step of writing, no more difficult than remembering to save my document as I write.

  • Is there anything that you wish you could change about your book now that it is out?

There are always things that I want to change about my books after I publish them. However I have learned that I will never be satisfied with my stories, and that if I kept tweaking them until they were “perfect” I’d never release a single book.

For the Valkyrie Chronicles: Return of the Asgard, the one thing that bothers me about the book was how quickly Kate accepted that Kara was a Valkyries and how quickly they were drawn together. I wish I had drawn that out another chapter or two but I was so lost in world building that I wasn’t sure how much I needed to put into that part.

  • How do you come up with new ideas for your story?

I’m always thinking about things and I love asking “What if?”. Whenever I learn an interesting fact about myths and legends, I like to ask that question. What if the Asgard race were not gods, but just an advanced civilization?

For my romance stories in the Music of the Soul series, I like to start with miscommunication since that is always the downfall of any relationship. I like to toy with what people view as weaknesses or disabilities and turn those into my character’s greatest strengths. The overall message I convey with that series is that your scars make you beautiful.

  • What’s next for you as a writer?

I unfortunately have over thirty stories planned out in my head, seriously. So for the foreseeable future I will be trying to bring those stories to life.

I will also be actively perusing releasing my stories in as many formats as possible, to target different segments of the reading populace. I am currently working on having all of my books produced as audiobooks and even having comic book adaptations of some of my SciFi and Paranormal books produced.

  • Where do you live? Do you think this influences how or what you write?

I live inside of a State Park near Spokane, Washington. Besides the proximity to Seattle (a 4 hour drive), where most of my books take place, it doesn’t really affect my stories.

  • What is your favorite genre outside of the one you write in? Why?

Hmmm… I’d have to say steampunk. It is such a targeted audience and the rules to what separates steampunk from normal scifi are nebulous but somehow concrete at the same time. I really enjoy the alternate progression of science and engineering in the genre. Besides, who doesn’t like an armor clad dirigible or two in a book?

  • Do you have any vices? Shoes, coffee, shopping…etc?

Pepsi, chocolate eclairs, all things platypus, saying ain’t… all kinds of fun!

Review

ThreeandHalfStars

I loved this book. It was a great mix of sci-fi and the real world. I’ll admit, I did expect it to be a bit heavier into the sci-fi when I picked it up, but I wasn’t disappointed. The plot stole the show and took the book to great heights. From the beginning to the end, this book held my interest. If I was rating this book on plot and story line alone, it would be 4.5 stars. It loses half a star for being rough in the beginning. There’s a lot of information happening very quickly and feels quite like an information dump for a few chapters.

The characters in this novel really do come to life, and their romance is invigorating and enticing. I also thought it was interesting how such a sexually free people are not into touching. It’s seems the opposite of what one would think. There is no question of multiple partners, same sex relationships, or sex for fun, yet the culture itself demands they are reserved to the point of not touching beyond hands and forearms. It’s an interesting dynamic that I’m still processing.

However, I struggled with reading it. This book should not have taken me long, but I had to keep putting it down because of the lack of editing. Each sentence had grammatical errors in it, including switches between present and past tense almost constantly. It was difficult to push through the bad editing to the story. I really wish the editing was better because this might just hit close to the top of list of favorite books.

I look forward to reading more from this author and to see any improvements he has in future novels. I recommend this book for anyone who has a love of sci-fi, mythology, and legends of our history.

3.5 stars

~AJ

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AuthorBio

I got my start writing romance novels by accident. I have always been drawn to strong female characters in books, like Honor Harrington. And I also believe that there is a lack of LGBT characters in media. So one day I came up with a story idea that combines the two… two days later I completed the manuscript for Music of the Soul.

My writing style may not be the most professional nor grammatically correct, but I never profess to be an English major, just a person that wants to share a story. I maintain that my primary language is sarcasm.

Each of my books features strong likeable female characters that are flawed. I think that flaws and emotional or physical scars make us human and give us more character than simply conforming to some “social norm”.

I have also started a SciFi series, The Valkyrie Chronicles which features a Valkyrie, Kara, who was left behind on Earth five thousand years ago to help the Asgard race escape the onslaught of the Ragnarok horde. With the aid of a human, Kate, she holds the line in battle to herald the return of the Asgard!

If you like magic, paranormal romance and witches, then my new series Fracture might tickle your fancy. In the first book Fracture: Divergence, Alex King must stop magic from destroying reality. The problem is that Alex must solve the case in parallel universes where in one Alex is male and female in the other.

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Filed under 3.5 Stars, AJ, Author Interview, F/F, Review

5 Stars for Damian’s Discipline (Collars & Cuffs #5) by K.C. Wells & Parker Williams – #MM #Romance @ParkerWAuthor @IslandTalesPres

DamiansDisciplineFS

Title: Damian’s Discipline (Collars & Cuffs #5)
Author Name: K.C. Wells & Parker Williams
Publication Date & Length: October 24, 2014 – 240 pgs

Synopsis

The man who pimped Jeff may be in prison, but Jeff is still living the nightmare, selling himself to men and relying on pills to manage. Then he meets Scott, a young American man who could easily have been where Jeff is now. Scott’s friends extend a helping hand to Jeff, and he grabs it.

Leo and Thomas bring Jeff to stay with Dom Damian Barnett until they can find him someplace more long-term. Still grieving from losing his sub to cancer two years before, Damian agrees to help. But when he glimpses the extent of the damage, Damian wants to do more than offer his guestroom. Jeff is not a submissive, but Damian can see he desperately needs structure in his life. It’s up to Damian to find an answer.

He never expects that what he discovers will change both their lives.

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Paperback: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5605

Review

I feel a little bit like I came in during the middle of the story, as I believe this is one in a series, but despite that, Williams was able to develop each character well enough that I felt they each played a crucial role in the story.
Despite not knowing too much about Curtis, I want to hurt this character with a passion! I like how the whole community knows about this despicable person and they rally around those he abused. I also really dislike Eric and even though he plays an important role, I still really hate him.
Jeff is a boy when he comes to Damian when he’s found on the streets. Jeff has a troubled, traumatic past and when Damian offers to help him, it takes Jeff a few tries to understand that Damian is not the same type of person that Jeff was used to dealing with. Damian has also suffered, and with that came a period of sadness – somehow feeling a little lost. Damian is immediately drawn to try to protect Jeff and even though he only knows a little of Jeff’s past, Damian’s willingness to help is both emotional and commendable. I also loved that Jeff was able to feel comfortable enough with his therapist and with Damian to trust them to not judge him despite his past. Even though there was self doubt on Jeff’s part, Damian was always there to reassure Jeff – to affirm that Damian was there for him.
Damian and Jeff were perfect! Williams did a great job at developing their trust – their bond. I liked that this was not the traditional BDSM story. It was one more about the development of the relationship between Jeff and Damian. Due to the traumas in Jeff’s past, a traditional BDSM relationship would have been even more traumatic. Therefore, Damian develops a similar relationship that allows Jeff to truly learn to trust, love and heal.
I liked that their physical relationship was not over the top. It was full of love and compassion, a tenderness that is sometimes lost in stories.  Williams was able to convey the emotion behind their relationship for me really well. I felt their trust, love and knew that they completed each other in a way that neither thought was possible.
The side characters in this story were lovable. Even though I wish I knew more of their relationships, I assume that they each have or will have their own stories. I liked how there was this whole community of men willing to help those who needed them. The support system for both Damian and Jeff helped both of them come to the realization that they could heal each other.
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Excerpt

Damian

I LOVED it when it was evening and all was quiet and peaceful. No traffic noise intruded into the house, and in the lounge, the only sound was the slow ticking of the clock on the mantelpiece. Give me a mechanical clock any day. Not that I had anything against more modern timepieces, but there was something soothing about the sound. The clock had been my grandmother’s, and I took loving care of it, making sure it was oiled and wound. Right then my evening was perfect: the tick of the clock, a glass of Cabernet on the table next to me, and a worn, hardcover Sherlock Holmes novel in my hands. I’d lost count of how many times I’d read The Hound of the Baskervilles, but re-reading a favorite book was a warm, comforting experience. The wine created a warm glow inside me. I took another sip.

And then my phone rang.

The temptation to ignore its clamoring call was huge. I was happy, comfortable, and anyone ringing me at home during the evening had to want something. All my friends knew my routines, especially since Oliver…. I closed my eyes. I could almost hear that edge of amusement in his voice. “You going to answer that, Sir?” And yes, I could see the gleam in his eye as he awaited my reaction, tense in nervous anticipation. Brat loved pushing my buttons. With a sigh, I picked up the call.

“Damian? It’s Leo. We need your help.”

I placed the wine on the table. “What can I do for you?” My interest was piqued immediately. It had been quite a while since the co-owner of my BDSM club had called me at home.

“Sorry to disturb you, but you were the first person I could think of. We have a boy. He’s nineteen, and he needs help.”

AuthorBio

K.C. Wells:

Born and raised in the north-west of England, K.C.Wells always loved writing. Words were important. Full stop. However, when childhood gave way to adulthood, the writing ceased, as life got in the way.

K.C. discovered erotic fiction in 2009, where the purchase of a ménage storyline led to the startling discovery that reading about men in love was damn hot. In 2012, arriving at a really low point in life led to the desperate need to do something creative. An even bigger discovery waited in the wings – writing about men in love was even hotter…

K.C. now writes full-time and is loving every minute of her new career.

The laptop still has no idea of what hit it… it only knows that it wants a rest, please. And it now has to get used to the idea that where K.C goes, it goes.

Parker Williams:

Parker Williams began to write as a teen, but never showed his work to anyone. As he grew older, he drifted away from writing, but his love of the written word moved him to reading. A chance encounter with an author changed the course of his life as she encouraged him to never give up on a dream. With the help of some amazing friends, he rediscovered the joy of writing, thanks to a community of writers who have become his family.

Parker firmly believes in love, but is also of the opinion that anything worth having requires work and sacrifice (plus a little hurt and angst, too). The course of love is never a smooth one, and Happily Ever After always has a price tag.

SocialLinks

K.C. Wells:

K.C. can be reached via email (k.c.wells@btinternet.com), on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/KCWellsWorld), on Twitter (@IslandTalesPres or through comments at the K.C.Wells website (www.kcwellsworld.com ) K.C. loves to hear from readers.

Parker Williams:

Website: http://www.parkerwilliamsauthor.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ParkerWAuthor
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/parker.williams.75641
E-mail: parker@parkerwilliamsauthor.com

 

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4.5 and 5 Stars for Say Something by BA Tortuga – @batortuga #MM #Romance

SaySomethingFS

Title: Say Something
Author Name: BA Tortuga
Publication Date & Length: September 29, 2014 – 226pgs

Synopsis

Jenson has loved Mike his whole life, but he has never known how to tell Mike how he feels. After high school Mike leaves for college and his Hollywood dream, while cowboy Jenson stays behind in their small East Texas hometown. Neither man knows what to say to go beyond friendship, even though they come together through all of the best and worst times of their lives. The most amazing moments keep bringing them back together, but through huge love and terrible loss, sickness and health, their timing never seems right to take their relationship to the next level. When the universe gives them one final chance, Jenson must overcome his fear and say the most important something before it’s too late.

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Review

FiveStars

All I can start out by saying is WOW!  Loved this book. It had one of the most moving stories about being in love.
The story was so touching I  didn’t expect to cry, but every time I picked it up to read, I found myself crying.
Every time I had to stop reading,  I was always thinking about what could possibly happen next.
The author did a wonderful job with the characters, all the pain, sickness, and love that Jensen and Mike went through, was so much for two people, but their love held them together as friends.  Finally they get that one chance, but will they take it, no spoilers, you need to read it!
Wanted to keep reading about Mike and Jensen but the book was done, so wish there was more!!
Sherry
FourandHalfStars

This was a book that drew me in right from page one. The two main characters, Jensen and Mike, have an intense relationship, and the book spans two decades in their lives as they navigate what it means to be adults and how to remain in each other’s lives.

Both men are complex, full of insecurities and each with their own challenges that have, in a way, stalled their growing up. I liked the unusual nature of their relationship. This is neither a portrait of a long-term couple nor a falling-in-love story, though it has elements of both.

I will admit the direction the story took was not at all what I was expecting, and I loved it. Without giving too much away, I’ll just say the way these two men finally found their stride was unusual and wonderful, and it had me sighing with delight by the end of the book.

There is plenty of hot sex in this one, so be prepared. It’s more intense and aggressive than steamy or sensual, with a distinctly raw quality to it. It fit the characters and the story well, and I never felt as though the sex was gratuitous because of its importance to the storyline.

The one negative was that it was often hard to follow conversations and know who was speaking. This was partly due to formatting in the e-book copy, but not entirely. I wish the author had used more dialogue tags to make things more clear. It was enough that I was frequently distracted and brought out of the story because I was trying to figure out who was talking.

Other than that, I loved it and look forward to reading Ms. Tortuga’s other books.

~Amy

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Teaser

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AuthorInterview

  • What motivated you to start writing?

I can’t remember ever wanting to be anything else. Ever. I have been a creative professional, whether it be writing or design or illustration, my entire career.

  • Who or what is your biggest inspiration for writing?

My wife, Julia, and my best friend, Sean, are my constant support and inspiration. I couldn’t do it without them. Also, all the cowboys I grew up with.

  • What is your writing environment? (Where do you write, what do you do to prepare right before you start writing)

I have two spaces – one is my office, which I share with Julia. I have a huge roll top desk where I do my official writing work. It’s filled with nooks and crannies and crayons to sketch with. Then we have a writing space in the sun room which looks out onto the mountains with comfy couches and overstuffed ottomans

  • What is the hardest part of a book for you? Any particular scene(s)?

The angst. I hate writing the sad parts, which is ironic given that Say Something has those incredible emotional highs and lows. I’m one of those writers that sobs along with the characters and my heart breaks with theirs.

  • If you only could write in one genre, what would it be? And if you couldn’t write in that genre what genre would you pick next?

Oh, I’m a romance writer, to the bone, but if I had to write something else, I’d write horror novels. That was my first love and still my favorite read.

  • If you could spend a day with one author, who would it be and why?
  • What do you like to see in book reviews? What makes a review better than other ones to you?

I don’t read my own reviews – if they’re terrible, they wreck my confidence. My wife reads them and, she lets me know if there’s something I need to work on or if there’s something I did right. I appreciate reviews that are fair, whether good or bad.

  • If you could give one tip to new writers, what would it be?

Write every day, whether or not you’re in the mood. If you’re not writing, you should be reading.

  • How do you make hard decisions with your books? Like the title of the book or some of the characters actions?

I know this sounds like a cop-out, but I talk to my wife. If I’m stuck, I talk to J. If I’m worried, I talk to J. Even if she doesn’t fix it, she knows the questions to ask so that I can get back on trac

  • If you could only use 4 words to describe yourself, what would they be?

Luckiest old broad ever.

Excerpt

“So, this guy, he’s the one?” Ricky leaned over the edge of the bed, head dangling down.

“That kills brain cells, man.” Mike looked at himself in the mirror, working the thick pancake makeup to make the scar less noticeable.

“Uh-huh. So does green, and we smoke that. The scar is hot, honey. Leave it alone.”

Mike grunted. “He’s only ever seen it with stitches.”

“He’s, like, a real cowboy?”

“Uh-huh. We’ve been together forever. I just… I can’t believe he’s coming.” Really coming, here.

Jenson. Finally. Mike touched up his eyeliner, and looked at himself again. Maybe glasses….

“You’re such a big queen.” Ricky laughed, waving at him upside down.

“You’re just jealous that I’m not your big queen.”

“Nah. You’re too toppy.” Ricky cackled, and Mike had to laugh. Everyone knew Rick would bottom up for anyone.

“Oh yeah. I’m a big bad leather daddy.” He turned and flexed, playing happily. Ricky was going to be a model. Hell, the guy was already working. Him, though, he still wanted to act.

He thought he could. His profs said he had talent. He just had his damned face to overcome.

The phone rang, and he spun around. “Oh God. Do you think it’s him?”

AuthorBio

Texan to the bone and an unrepentant Daddy’s Girl, BA Tortuga spends her days with her basset hounds, getting tattooed, texting her sisters, and eating Mexican food. When she’s not doing that, she’s writing. She spends her days off watching rodeo, knitting and surfing porn sites in the name of research. BA’s personal saviors include her wife (still amazing to say that), Julia Talbot, her best friend, Sean Michael, and coffee. Lots of coffee. Really good coffee.

Having written everything from fist-fighting rednecks to hard-core cowboys to werewolves, BA does her damnedest to tell the stories of her heart, which was raised in Northeast Texas, but has gone to the high desert mountains and fallen in love. With books ranging from hard- hitting GLBT romance, to fiery menages, to the most traditional of love stories, BA refuses to be pigeon-holed by anyone but the voices in her head.

SocialLinks

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/batortuga
Twitter: @batortuga
Author’s Website: http://www.batortuga.com/
Author’s Website: http://batortuga.blogspot.com/
Author’s GoodRead Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/538830.B_A_Tortuga

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5 Stars for Aidan’s Journey by CJane Elliot @CJaneElliot #MM #romance

AidansJourney_postcard_front_DSPSM

Title: Aidan’s Journey
Author Name: CJane Elliot
Publication Date & Length:  Oct 15, 2014 — 448 pgs

Synopsis

The star of the University of Virginia theater department, Aidan Emery is lusted after and admired for living out and proud. He uses his talent and good looks to his advantage and never sleeps with the same guy twice. But his glamorous patina has been carefully honed to hide the pain he carries inside.

Aidan wasn’t always such a player. He starts college naively romantic, hungry for the attention he can’t get from his workaholic father and mentally ill mother. Unfortunately, that leaves him ripe pickings for predatory professor Rodney Montgomery. Rodney’s flattering regard seduces Aidan into a dysfunctional relationship that destroys his innocence.

Life looks up for Aidan when he finally breaks free of Rodney’s pull and moves to New York City to make it as an actor. Meeting sweet fellow actor Patrick Jaymes seems like the start of a fairy tale. But before Aidan can rebuild his life into happily ever after, family secrets.

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AuthorInterview

What is the attraction of those who are living “out and proud”? Why are they so attractive?

 

Hello, and thanks for having me on your blog to talk about Aidan’s Journey. As the blurb about the book says, “Aidan Emery is lusted after and admired for living out and proud.” I like your question about why this quality of “living out and proud” makes people so attractive. To me, “out and proud” is a quality that goes beyond being honest about one’s sexual orientation.

 

Let me give a real-life example. Adam Lambert is one of my main muses. He’s openly gay, immensely talented, and one handsome mofo. I laughed when one reviewer of Aidan’s Journey said Aidan reminded her of him, because Aidan’s looks, talent, and performer persona are based on Adam. (Aidan’s inner demons are all his own, though.)

 

Back to “out and proud.” If you’ve never heard of Adam Lambert, do yourself a favor and find the Youtube of him singing “Satisfaction” in one of his first solo performances on American Idol. The guy is outrageous, fearless, over the top, with a voice that can only be described as incredible. He woke up everyone in that room.

 

So “out and proud” goes beyond claiming one’s sexual orientation. It’s about being fully oneself and damn the consequences. That quality makes people attractive, whether they’re straight, gay, male, or female. When people live out and proud, it inspires the rest of us to stop playing it so safe.

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ReviewFiveStars

I was hooked from the first sentences. Aidan’s Journey is funny and sweet and captivating. And long. Epically long. A real commitment. But worth it.
I got swept away by Aidan’s college years, the story of a hot young stud (but sympathetic! The best kind!) sucked into an affair with his college professor, a hot sexy Brit (the worst kind!).
Aidan’s journey becomes more compelling as it goes through each epoch, as I grow to love and understand each character. I became more than hooked; I became breathless.
I chose this story initially because it was about actors, and it does take a while to give the actor’s perspective, but it finally arrives. New York and its Off-Off-Broadway flair and tortured souls and real truths all comes out.
Aidan’s Journey was a fun, energetic joy that makes me believe the genre is capable of great things.
C.E. Case

Teaser

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AuthorBio

After years of hearing characters chatting away in her head, CJane Elliott finally decided to put them on paper and hasn’t looked back since. A psychotherapist by training, CJane enjoys writing sexy, passionate stories that also explore the human psyche. CJane has traveled all over North America for work and her characters are travelers, too, traveling down into their own depths to find what they need to get to the happy ending.

CJane is an ardent supporter of gay equality and is particularly fond of coming out stories.

In her spare time, CJane can be found dancing, listening to music, or watching old movies. Her husband and son support her writing habit by staying out of the way when they see her hunched over, staring intensely at her laptop.

SocialLinks

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cjane.elliott
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CJaneElliott
Author’s Website: http://www.cjaneelliott.com
Author’s Email: cjaneelliott@gmail.com

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Filed under 5 Star, C. E. Case, LGBT Category, M/M, Review

Cover Reveal: Hook, Line & Sinker by Piper Vaughn #MM #Romance

HookLine&SinkerFS

Title: Hook, Line & Sinker
Author Name: Piper Vaughn
Publication Date: November 19, 2014

Synopsis

When they were teens, Castor McCormick was the bane of Blake Kowalski’s existence. Their mutual animosity led to summers filled with rivalry. Now, nearly two decades later, Cas is moving back into the neighborhood to live in his grandmother’s old house. Blake tells himself he isn’t interested in seeing how snarky little Cas grew up, but when his mother dupes him into visiting his former nemesis, he finds out “pretty” can evolve into “sexy as hell” on the right man.

Cas didn’t think he wanted to see Blake again. No one has ever pushed his buttons like the arrogant boy he remembers from their youth. Turns out, the adult version of Blake still gets him hot under the collar—and everywhere else. With Blake on leave from work to nurse an injured leg and Cas taking time to move and unpack, they form a tentative friendship that turns into a sexual affair neither man can deny. But when Cas’s job sends him out of state to deal with a difficult client, their new relationship will be tested, and if they fail, Blake’s broken leg might not be the only thing to end up scarred

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Excerpt

Blake’s mother didn’t live on a busy street, but being summer, the kids were out in full force. The occasional shout or burst of laughter broke the monotonous silence. And then there were the comings and goings of a certain new neighbor whom Blake had absolutely no interest in watching, even if he found his gaze frequently straying in that direction. He’d caught glimpses of the moving truck over the weekend, along with a dark blue Prius, which made him snort. No doubt the driver of a hybrid would hate his gas-guzzling Ford F-150. For some reason, it seemed fitting. He could picture the old Cas growing up into the tree-hugging, granola type.

Idly, he let himself wonder what the adult Cas might be like. When they’d first met as teenagers, the kid had reminded Blake of a scrappy little Irish chimney sweep, minus the accent. The pale skin, the freckles, that mop of messy dark hair. Put him in a newsboy cap and some wool trousers, and he could’ve been an extra in Oliver Twist. Blake had constantly ragged on him about it too. That is, until the following year, when postpuberty Cas showed up. Gone was the scrawny, gangly limbed half-pint from the previous summer. In his place stood a boy with the lithe, wiry body of a distance runner and a face like something out of a goddamn Botticelli painting. Only his smartass mouth had stopped Blake from falling to his knees in worship—though it certainly hadn’t prevented a wet dream or three.

Blake couldn’t lie. His mother’s mentions of Castor had made him curious despite himself. But he didn’t intend on giving in to her badgering about going over there. What the hell would he even say? Welcome to the neighborhood? Here’s a fruit basket. Let’s be friends? He could only imagine Cas slamming the door in his face in response. Blake chuckled and shook his head. Not going to happen. Not in a million years. No matter how much his mother pestered him.

AuthorBio

Piper Vaughn wrote her first love story at eleven and never looked back. Since then, she’s known that writing in some form was exactly what she wanted to do. A reader at the core, Piper loves nothing more than getting lost in a great book—fantasy, young adult, romance, she loves them all (and has a two thousand book library to prove it!). She grew up in Chicago, in an ethnically diverse neighborhood, and loves to put faces and characters of every ethnicity in her stories, so her fictional worlds are as colorful as the real one. Above all, she believes that everyone needs a little true love in their life…even if it’s only in a book.

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4.5 and 5 Stars for All Fired Up by Morticia Knight – @MorticiaKnight #MM Romance #Thriller

allfiredup_800

Title: All Fired Up (Sin City Uniforms #1)
Author Name: Morticia Knight
Publication Date & Length: September 5, 2014 – 160 pgs

Synopsis

Officer Shawn Everly patrols the Strip. Fireman Trent Marshall saves him when danger strikes. But it’s uncertain whether Trent can save himself from getting his heart broken by Shawn.

The party never ends on the Las Vegas strip, but neither does the danger. Officer Everly is new to the beat, having recently relocated to Vegas from Los Angeles. Foot patrol on The Strip is a demanding assignment because he’s up close and personal with the public. But what he’d really like to do is get up close and personal with Station 32’s hunky fireman, Trent Marshall.

Trent has been a fireman for over ten years and is dedicated to his job. He’s built tough and is a no-nonsense man of few words. At a local blood drive, Trent meets the handsome new officer on foot patrol, but won’t let himself get too close. He’s lost love before when his policeman lover was killed in the line of fire.

During an emergency, Trent’s over-protective instincts kick in when he believes Shawn is in harm’s way. He ends up embarrassing and angering Shawn in front of their fellow officers, which seems as though it will end any hope of Trent having a chance with the young man he can’t push from his mind.

Shawn can’t decide whether he wants to punch or kiss Trent. Kissing wins. Once they spend some time together away from the stresses of their jobs, they find that they’re not just compatible—they’re combustible.

But Trent can’t seem to accept that there are hazards that come with working in law enforcement. Right as they’re discovering how much they mean to one another, the danger escalates on The Strip. The underground vigilante group, The Citizens Against Immorality, have raised the stakes. Will Shawn and Trent be their next targets?

Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of violence and the use of sex toys. It is best read in sequence as part of a series but can be read as a standalone

The deep growl of Trent’s voice is all it takes to get Shawn turned on.

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Review

FourandHalfStars

I truly enjoyed this story. Both characters, Trent and Shawn are strong, but each in their own way. Trent is a more dominant character and Shawn, while the more submissive character, holds strength that Tent is unable to deny.

It was a fairly believable story which made reading it that much more enjoyable. While their attraction was immediate, Trent, having been hurt in the past was hesitant to allow his heart to make his decisions.Shawn wasn’t as hesitant, but was a little baffled as to why his attraction to Trent was so strong, so quickly.

Shawn was an observant, dedicated police officer who caught the eye of hunky Trent. During a routine night, Shawn becomes entangled and in need of some help, which Trent is all to willing to do. But, Trent is struggling with his desire for Shawn and runs away. It is no secret that each of these men are gay – they were unwilling to keep that from their co-workers, which I really liked. Knight was great at portraying the confusion that Shawn felt towards Trent, and Trent’s inner struggle with what had happened in his past relationship.

I thought it was great that she had Trent seek professional help. It is sometimes a taboo subject that a strong, dominant character seek help for PTSD or any other mental health issue, but this really enhanced the story. I enjoyed how the story became about their relationship and less about the “bad guy” they were all trying to catch. While the bad guy did get their time, I didn’t think that Knight over did that story line, which was good.

There were just a few editorial issues and formatting issues, but overall, a great story. I would love a story on Lee!

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FiveStars

My first book by Morticia Knight and I can safely say I REALLY hope it isn’t my last!!

Officer & Fireman.. Two of my favorite professions.. Hey, they look hot in uniform. That being said. There is SO much more to this story than that.

Shawn, our manly and sexy police officer, is a Las Vegas Police Officer that works foot patrol on the Strip.

Trent, the studly and HOT fireman, admires him from afar but always runs off leaving mixed signals behind.

After being on a few calls together then end up with Trent embarrassing Shawn, things end up taking a turn for the serious between the two.  Too bad Trent is carrying around nightmares from his past. Both men have a horrible relationship with their families who were homophobic and have no one else around them to rely upon, except one close friend each.

While the relationship is going on there is also another awesome plot going on as well that keeps the pages turning to find out where that is going as well as what is happening with the two men.

I was slightly disappointed in how fast the story wrapped up in a way. While I think the relationship part was nicely wrapped up and was amazing. The other part was great, until the rapid ending which was sad, but I loved the rest of the story so I’m still giving it five stars.

~Renee

Excerpt

Shawn exhaled slowly, the talk of his brother forming a knot in his stomach the way it always did. It was a reminder that he really was all alone in the world.

Trent stood then moved to kneel beside his chair. He took one of Shawn’s hands and sandwiched it between his own.

“They obviously don’t realize what they’re missing by not having you in their lives.”

Trent caressed him, his strokes strong and assured. Comforting.

A surprising wave of emotion rose up in him and for a disconcerting moment, he thought he might tear up. He swallowed around the lump in his throat to tamp it down. He needed Trent to take him away from the ugly thoughts their conversation had brought up.

“Take me to bed?”

Without answering, Trent rose then gently tugged on Shawn’s hand, encouraging him to follow. The last thing Shawn needed was encouragement to go with Trent, but he liked the sensation of feeling wanted. Once they were inside his bedroom, Trent yanked Shawn to him, and any reserve they may have had left between each other was stripped away. They used their hands, lips and tongues frantically on one another. Even as they peeled off their minimal clothing, they remained in contact as much as possible.

Heavy breathing and urgent groans filled the air and Shawn remembered what Trent had asked him earlier – asked if he wanted to bottom for him. Even though he usually bottomed, the idea of Trent covering him with his strong, muscled body and driving into him with his generous length made him shudder. He whimpered.

The floor seemed to fall away and he realized he was in Trent’s arms again. It was crazy how much he liked it. After all that had happened between them, he’d been sure that he would have fought being carried. After being tossed on the bed, Trent loomed over him, staring down at him.

“Gonna make you feel so good.”

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Teaser

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AuthorBio

M/M and M/M/F Erotic Romance author Morticia Knight enjoys a good saucy tale – after all, who doesn’t? Since she loves several genres, you may find your heroes in a contemporary, historical, paranormal or sci-fi setting. One of her passions is bringing people’s fantasies to life on the page, because life is too short for even one boring moment. Her stories are volcanic in heat, deep in emotion, and sprinkled with doses of humor.

When not indulging in her obsession for books, she loves the outdoors, film and music. The Pacific Northwest is the ideal spot to enjoy both hiking and beachcombing. Once upon a time she was the singer in an indie rock band that toured the West Coast and charted on U.S. college radio. She now resides on the northern coast of Oregon, where the constant rain and fog remind her of visits to family in England and Scotland when she was a child.

She is currently working on the Sin City Uniforms Series and a BDSM spin-off to the Gin & Jazz series entitled The Hampton Road Club. A follow-up to Bryan and Aubrey’s story in Rockin’ the Alternative will be available in 2015.

AuthorInterview

  • What motivated you to start writing?

I think it had to do with me not having siblings close to my age when I was a kid. Plus, both of my parents worked long hours, so I spent a lot of time alone. I would entertain myself for hours making up stories that I drew pictures to. I don’t do any drawing any more – just the stories!

  • Who or what is your biggest inspiration for writing?

Hot men. (I’m only sort of joking) When I discovered erotic romance then discovered gay erotic romance? Yee gads. That’s pretty much all I want to do with my time anymore.

There’s nothing more exhilarating for me than having the opportunity to create worlds and characters. That in and of itself is an inspiration.

  • What is your writing environment? (Where do you write, what do you do to prepare right before you start writing)

The only thing I really need is a laptop of some sort and some music and headphones. I’ve had a lot of upheaval in my life this past year and I’ve had to learn to ‘write on the go’. I wrote a major sex scene for Rockin’ the Alternative on an airplane going cross country. I was on an aisle seat with a 17 inch screen and I imagine at least one person got an eyeful *ahem*.

Ideally, I’d like to redo my workspace in the coming year. I need to make it a bit more user friendly. Right now there are hundreds of scraps of papers with ideas on them strewn about. It’s rather ridiculous – but I’ll be writing full time in the New Year, so reorganizing has topped the resolution list already.

  • What is the hardest part of a book for you? Any particular scene(s)?

The beginning! Seriously – that empty page staring at you, mocking. It’s a killer. Once I hit 10K for a novel length, everything starts to flow together.

  • If you only could write in one genre, what would it be? And if you couldn’t write in that genre what genre would you pick next?

M/M Erotic romance in any genre. But if I had to pick only one, it would be Dystopian. Love it!

  • If you could spend a day with one author, who would it be and why?

Sean Michael. He’s one of the few authors I consistently read because the emotions in his books are so raw and intense. He’s also one of the few authors who can write insta-love – that doesn’t involve a shifter – where I buy into it one hundred percent. I love that.

  • What do you like to see in book reviews? What makes a review better than other ones to you?

A true understanding of the characters and the journey they go through during the course of the story. With that said, just as it’s true in real life – not every reader is going to fall in love with those characters, and that’s okay. I’ve had plenty of reviews where one reader was starry-eyed and obsessively in love with a character and another reader wished that same character would fall off a cliff and get run over by a bus. We all have different tastes.

To me, a good review is one where I can tell that the reader really put some thought into how they felt about a book – be that negative or positive.

  • If you could give one tip to new writers, what would it be?

I always say the same thing. Write, and write some more. Just keep going and whipping your craft into shape. The only way you can do that is to practice!

  • How do you make hard decisions with your books? Like the title of the book or some of the characters actions?

I hate coming up with titles. Every once in a while, the publisher will step in and say, ‘Uh, yeah. No. We won’t be using that title.’ They’re always right!

In terms of other things, I sometimes talk it out with friends to get their reaction. For instance, when I purposely wrote a ‘gay for you’ themed story, I proposed a scenario to a straight male friend to get his reaction. Perhaps it was the booze, but he pondered my idea and agreed that it was a plausible situation. Sometimes, I’ve used instances from my own life to lend credence to my character’s actions. My personal experiences are a never-ending source of fodder for my books!

  • If you could only use 4 words to describe yourself, what would they be?

Let’s see, exhausted comes to mind…

How about…driven, passionate, sarcastic and crazy 😉

SocialLinks

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/morticia.knight
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MorticiaKnight
Author’s GoodRead Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5252602.Morticia_Knight

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4 Stars for Foundation of Trust by A.M. Arthur – #MM #MMRomance

Foundation of Trust

Title: Foundations of Trust
Author Name: A.M. Arthur
Publication Date & Length: October 21, 2014 – 239 pgs

Synopsis

Not everyone gets a second chance with their first love.

Cost of Repairs, Book 5

David Weller thought he had it all—a loving partner who gave him a ring, a steady job he didn’t hate, and so much hope for the future. But in the wake of a devastating diagnosis, everything he thought was solid and real lay in pieces at his feet.

Four years later, he’s still sifting through the rubble of his life. His catering partnership occupies his days, while his nights are filled with dangerous sexual hookups and very bad decisions. Then the last person he ever expected to see again walks back into his life.

Owen Hart’s single biggest regret is the way he was forced to leave David behind—no explanations, no chance to make it right. Until now. Finally free of eight years of lies, Owen’s back for the only man he’s ever loved.

An incendiary encounter in a club proves that time hasn’t weakened their physical connection, but David’s wounds run deeper than Owen’s deception. And if David can’t first forgive, Owen doesn’t have a second chance in hell.

Warning: This book contains an Australian transplant with a head full of secrets, a party planner with enough baggage to sink a battleship, and a surly teenager who just wants them both to get over themselves.

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Review

FourStars

A. M. Arthur wrote a great story about second chances in love and in life. The characters were David, Owen and Michael, Owen’s son. Despite having created a beautiful life together, David and Owen’s relationship is left in shambles when Michael and Owen must pick up and leave David behind.
The story really begins when Owen returns with Michael, in search of David, once again. I enjoyed where the story began, because the reader was given a glimpse in to how David’s life was going at the time. Despite having some recent success in his party planning/catering business, David is still missing something in his life. He had past hurts that cut him deep and dealing with those feelings was not going so well for him.
Owen has dragged poor Michael all around in his attempt to keep his child safe from past mistakes. Michael is a typical teenager, who has been moved around quite a bit. His attitude towards his father is what you would expect of a normal teenager, but his overwhelming love and protectiveness of his father is heart warming too. Michael stands up for his family in a way that most teenagers would cower at. I really enjoyed reading Michael’s character and watching his development.
The story has a somewhat strange spin off of a less than important side story. I am unsure if this was to create some angst within the story that does not involve David and Owen’s feelings, but rather to show protectiveness within the relationship. I don’t quite know how I feel about this story twist – it kind of adds to the story – it allows for the author to show the protective streak in both Owen and Michael, on behalf of David, but otherwise, I am not sure it really adds to the story. I believe the author was already bringing the characters back together in a much more cohesive manner and then, it seems like they decided to throw this twist in, in the hope that it would end the story quickly rather than continue on the started path of bringing David and Owen together based on love, forgiveness and family.
David and Owen meet again, but must overcome some monumental hurdles in order to have their second chance at love. Forgiving both themselves and each other is probably the most difficult things they must deal with. I really enjoyed the story, despite the strange twist.
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ThreeStar

I have to admit, I didn’t particularly enjoy this book. I thought it started off strong, and I was interested to see why the relationship between David and Owen ended and how they would rebuild it. I thought it was an interesting and fresh take on the subject, and I did like that it wasn’t easily resolved as a misunderstanding. Unfortunately, for me, it was all downhill from there.

The first problem I had was that Owen kept reminding us–at least once per chapter–that he’s gay. It annoyed me for two reasons. One, everyone he told already knew, and it wasn’t necessary to rehash it. Second, the author established his being gay in a way that puts me off. She set him up as potentially bisexual, but then had him “discover” that he’s really gay. The problem is, it never actually appeared that way. He referenced being attracted to women; never showed any interest in any men other than David; David was his “catalyst” to being gay; and Owen even seemed somewhat repulsed by the idea of being with any other men. Yet he keeps talking about how gay he is. It came across as Owen trying to convince the readers while not really being convinced himself, and it made it look like the author was trying to avoid the “messiness” of a bisexual character. I see that as lazy writing, used for the sake of having a “coming out” story rather than one about a relationship.

My second problem was all the women in the story. With one exception (David’s friend Lindy), the women were either dead or shrews or both. It upsets me greatly that a woman would write a story with such poor examples of womanhood. I would rather have seen no women at all than have all of them be horrible people with largely no redeeming qualities.

Third, I felt that a lot of the plot was contrived and some of the events just didn’t make sense other than as filler. There was a subplot towards the end that didn’t have any bearing on the rest of the story. There were a couple of prior things that occurred in the story, and I thought this subplot might be connected. As it turned out, it wasn’t at all, and it seemed almost silly. It looked more like just a way to say, “Hey, how can we screw up an important day for these guys?”

The one thing I did like was the relationship between Owen and David. If that could have carried the whole book, it would have been much better. The way they resolved things and the discovery of David’s demons were fantastic and very strong writing. However, the tropes in the rest of the narrative were not necessary to the relationship at all. The same story could have been written with Owen as bisexual or as established gay; the coming out part was so minimal it was unnecessary. The women could have been more varied and nuanced; the two women who were “bad” but also instrumental to the plot were sufficient.

I have no doubt someone will love this book, but that someone was not me.

I give it 3 stars.

~Amy

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AuthorBio

No stranger to the writing world, A.M. Arthur has been creating stories in her head since she was a child and scribbling them down nearly as long. She credits an early fascination with male friendships and “bromance” (and “The Young Riders”) with her later discovery of and subsequent affair with m/m romance stories. When not writing, she can be found in her kitchen, pretending she’s an amateur chef and trying to not poison herself or others with her cuisine experiments. You can contact her at AM_Arthur(at)yahoo(dot)com

SocialLinks

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/AM-Arthur/491929737588757
Author’s Website: http://amarthur.blogspot.com.au/

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