Tag Archives: Young Adult

5 Star and 3 Star Review for Caught Inside (Boys on the Brink #1) by Jamie Deacon #MM #YoungAdult @JamieDeacon82

CoverTitle: Caught Inside (Boys on the Brink #1)
Author Name & Publisher: Jamie Deacon (Beaten Track Publishing)
Publication Date & Length: September 29, 2016 – 320 pgs

Synopsis

Luke believes he has his life figured out…and then he meets Theo.

It should have been simple—a summer spent with his girlfriend Zara at her family’s holiday cottage in Cornwall. Seventeen-year-old Luke Savage jumps at the chance, envisioning endless hours of sunbathing on the private beach and riding the waves on his beloved surfboard. He isn’t interested in love. Though his rugged good looks and lazy charm mean he can have his pick of girls, he has no intention of falling for anyone.

Nothing prepares Luke for his reaction to Theo, the sensitive Oxford undergraduate who is Zara’s cousin and closest friend. All at once, he is plunged along a path of desire and discovery that has him questioning everything he thought he knew about himself. No one, especially Zara, must find out; what he and Theo have is too new, too fragile. But as the deceit spirals beyond their control, people are bound to get hurt, Luke most of all.

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Review

ThreeStar

I find it difficult to love a book when I find myself disliking the characters more and more as the story progresses. This story starts with a simple mismatched romance between working class Luke and his wealthy girlfriend Zara. And slowly, as characters are added and poor decisions seem to multiply, we see the absolute worst of each character.

I enjoyed the chemistry between Luke and Theo but I hated the exaggerated class divide and Giles’ snobbery. I really never understood the reasons for Giles’ aggressive behaviour and I really didn’t understand how Theo and Zara allowed it in their home. Adding cheating and secrets and lies just made these characters more difficult to like. I felt the ending exploded and then fizzled before limping to a rather unsatisfying conclusion – it just didn’t work for me.

As this descended into angst and drama, I struggled to finish it. I am awarding three stars because this is a young adult story and fans of Hollyoaks and other teen soaps will probably enjoy this much more than I did.

Sarah

FiveStars

This was a great read about the hardships that some young adults may go through when they realize what their sexuality is.

Luke is 17 and has a girlfriend that he is content with, Zara. For summer break Zara invites Luke to join her and her cousin at her parents beach cottage for he summer. Luke is all for the surfing and spending some time with Zara.

Just like any good book there is a twist. When Luke meets Theo, feelings he has try to banish from his mind start to arise. As hard as he tries to deny he is attracted to Theo, he no longer can when Theo kisses him. From that moment on Luke knows that he can no longer deny his attraction and he no longer wants to try too.

Luke and Theo come to the understanding that they will keep things under raps for a while but it keeps getting harder and harder to hide the truth. Especially since Zara really wants to make things work with Luke and Luke really wants things in the open about him and Theo.

Things finally come to a crashing hault and everyone is hurt in the mix.

This book was a great read. It is the perfect example of the struggles that some may face when they come to the realization that they can no longer deny who they are. It is also the perfect example of how some people may be caught in the cross fire and end up hurt. I think that Jamie Deacon did an amazing job with this book and did all the characters justice by making the book so close to reality.

Great read!!!!

Tosha

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5 Stars and 4 Stars for The Night Screams by Devon McCormack #MM #Romance @devon_mccormack

CoverTitle: The Night Screams
Author Name & Publisher: Devon McCormack (Harmony  Ink Press)
Publication Date & Length: July 28, 2016 – 220 pgs

Synopsis

Running naked through the woods, Cal flees the sadistic man who abducted and tortured him. When he stumbles upon a convenience store, he breaks in to steal food. A young store clerk, Jake, confronts him, and they get into a fight that ends with Cal being knocked unconscious. He wakes in the home of Jake’s Uncle Gary, the owner of the convenience store. Realizing Cal needs help, Gary tries to communicate with him, but despite Cal’s efforts, he can’t bring himself to speak. Instead, he writes down his experiences. Horrified by the perverse cruelty Cal endured, Gary takes him to the police, who track down his tormentor.

Abandoned by his parents before his abduction, Cal doesn’t have anywhere to go, so Gary and his wife eagerly welcome him into their home. He feels fortunate to be with such caring people—something he’s never had before. Despite their help, he still can’t find his voice, and he wonders if he ever will. And Jake certainly isn’t making things any easier. It’s clear he doesn’t want Cal to be part of their family. But the more Cal gets to know him, the more he realizes Jake might be the very person who can heal the deep wounds left by his horrifying past.

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Review

FourStarsTriggers: Gay bashing, death, loss, cancer

This was a great story.  It had love, loss, acceptance and learning.

Cal and Jake have a strained relationship at the beginning.  It’s somewhat difficult to tell if it’s jealousy or attraction.

I really like how Gary and Luce were able to take in both boys and offer them something that they were all needing – family.

I loved Gary.  He was funny, the steady sense in this family who, at it’s core is full of love and acceptance.  He knows that his wife has some learning to do but I love how he handles it.

Luce is a wonderful person who just has some catching up to do.

I felt that this story was more about Luce and her learning to accept than it was about Cal and Jake.  However, their story was one of learning how to have a relationship, learning to love themselves and each other.

AvidReader

FiveStars

The Night Screams is poignant and moving. I highly recommend this to anyone looking for an emotional suspense story with romance.

This is a gritty and engaging book. The characters are well developed and easy to love. The romance is realistic, and I’m glad that it’s not sexually explicit. I feel it fits the story better this way.

This story addresses not only the extreme abuse that Cal endured but also social and family issues faced by many LGBTQ teens. Cal’s journey is frightening and heartbreaking at times, but there are also hopeful and heartwarming moments.

Overall, I loved this book! There were a few little plot points that nagged at me through the story. The plot twist that resolved these issues solidified the 5th star in my rating.

Amanda

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4.5 Star Review for Trailer Trash by Marie Sexton #MM #YA @MarieSexton

CoverTitle: Trailer Trash
Author Name & Publisher: Marie Sexton (Riptide Publishing)
Publication Date & Length: March 21, 2016 – 240 pgs

Synopsis

It’s 1986, and what should have been the greatest summer of Nate Bradford’s life goes sour when his parents suddenly divorce. Now, instead of spending his senior year in his hometown of Austin, Texas, he’s living with his father in Warren, Wyoming, population 2,833 (and Nate thinks that might be a generous estimate). There’s no swimming pool, no tennis team, no mall—not even any MTV. The entire school’s smaller than his graduating class back home, and in a town where the top teen pastimes are sex and drugs, Nate just doesn’t fit in.

Then Nate meets Cody Lawrence. Cody’s dirt-poor, from a broken family, and definitely lives on the wrong side of the tracks. Nate’s dad says Cody’s bad news. The other kids say he’s trash. But Nate knows Cody’s a good kid who’s been dealt a lousy hand. In fact, he’s beginning to think his feelings for Cody go beyond friendship.

Admitting he might be gay is hard enough, but between small-town prejudices and the growing AIDS epidemic dominating the headlines, a town like Warren, Wyoming, is no place for two young men to fall in love.

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Review
FourandHalfStars

This is my first book by Marie Sexton, and I will definitely be back for more!Trailer Trash is an emotional roller-coaster that is intelligent, romantic and heart-wrenching.

This is a well-researched and gritty portrayal of the social climate faced by young gay men in the ’80s. It also explores uncomfortable truths about living in extreme poverty. And it’s a reminder of growing up without the conveniences we take for granted today of having relatively anonymous access to important information.

Cody and Nate are very well-developed and lovable characters. Their relationship is rocky but also endearing and hopeful. Cody’s mom is my favorite supporting character in the book. Her story is heartbreaking, but she is a proud and loving mother.

I have one small complaint with this story. I feel the first third is a bit slower than it needs to be. But once it picks up, it’s fantastic!

I highly recommend this for someone looking for a realistic and intelligent romance and coming of age story.

*I received an unedited copy, and my review assumes that the errors will be corrected prior to publication. I received a free copy of this book to read for Inked Rainbow Reads in exchange for an honest review.*

Amanda

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New Release: 4 Star Review for The Star Host (Broken Moon #1) by F.T. Lukens (Author Interview) #MM #YA @ftlukens

Star Host 1600px (web smashwords)

Title: The Star Host (Broken Moon #1)
Author Name & Publisher: F.T. Lukens (Duet Books)
Publication Date & Length: March 3, 2016 – 258 pgs

Synopsis

Ren grew up listening to his mother tell stories about the Star Hosts – a mythical group of people possessed by the power of the stars. The stories were the most exciting part of Ren’s life, and he often dreamed about leaving his backwater planet and finding his place among the neighboring drifts. When Ren is captured by soldiers and taken from his home, he must remain inconspicuous while plotting his escape. It’s a challenge since the general of the Baron’s army is convinced Ren is something out of one of his mother’s stories.

He finds companionship in the occupant of the cell next to his, a drifter named Asher. A member of the Phoenix Corps, Asher is mysterious, charming, and exactly the person Ren needs to anchor him as his sudden technopathic ability threatens to consume him. Ren doesn’t mean to become attached, but after a daring escape, a trek across the planet, and an eventful ride on a merchant ship, Asher is the only thing that reminds Ren of home. Together, they must warn the drifts of the Baron’s plans, master Ren’s growing power, and try to save their friends while navigating the growing attraction between them.

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Review

FourStars

I love a good sci-fi/fantasy MM, and FT Lukens was pretty good at drawing me into the story. So we have Ren, your typical cliche boy who wants to leave his planet for bigger and better things and finds out that he can actually control electricity…or maybe has the ability to control techno weapons/machines/ships/etc. Though it’s cliche, the intro was pretty interesting with the kidnappings of children.
In the evil lair, he meets Asher. I liked Asher, but I just wish there was more romantic scenes between these two characters. That’s why it’s a 4. There were parts where it dragged, but it didn’t make me lose interest. I wanted to find out if Ren and Asher gets together, if Ren controls his ability. It was actually a pretty awesome ability.
Is there a part 2? I’d read it. 🙂
Cookie

Excerpt

Once at the hangar, Ren broke away from the two guards and entered the lancer, walking up the stairs, irritation a heavy feeling in his chest.

“Reporting for work,” Ren said, his tone heavily laced with annoyance.

Janus popped up from a console she had been working under, goggles on her face, gray hair sticking up everywhere. “You!” she snapped. “I told you not to come back.”

Ren rolled his eyes. “It’s not my choice. I don’t want to be here anymore than you want me here.”

“Where are your guards? I told the dumb one not to bring you back, Abiathar’s orders be damned. I don’t want your kind working on these ships.”

She poked a finger hard into Ren’s chest and he staggered back, and rubbed his hand over the spot.

“What the stars do you mean by my kind?”

Her eyes grew comically large behind the goggles. “You don’t know?” She laughed, bordering on hysterical. “You’re more dangerous than I thought. You can’t try to control it if you don’t even know what you are.”

Ren frowned. His tolerance for the cryptic nonsense everyone had spouted since he arrived was gone. He took a step toward the hull and Janus stiffened.

“Don’t,” she barked.

“Don’t what? Touch it? What will happen, huh?”

Her face paled and her chest heaved with panicked breaths. “You don’t know what you’re capable of.”

Ren laughed. “I’m capable of nothing. I’m a duster, planet-born with very limited experience with tech. You have no reason to be frightened of me.”

He moved closer to the hull, hand outstretched, fingers splayed.

She whimpered. “Please, don’t.”

Ren slammed his hand against the hull, his fingertips leaving greasy marks on the shiny surface. As he predicted, nothing happened.

He turned back to Janus. “See? Nothing–”

His word tangled in his throat, cut off, because suddenly, Ren was consumed with power, rushing from his toes to his fingertips. A blue tint clouded his vision, and his body suffused with golden warmth.

And then he was floating amongst the wires, connected to the ship, to the energy source, to everything.

The lancer pulsed under his skin, tangling in his veins, its systems integrated with his senses.

It was freeing and frightening.

His consciousness raced along the circuits and he could fix it. He could fix everything. He found the tangle of wires in the artificial gravity system and bypassed it. He found the broken circuits in the air recyclers and with a pulse of power, refurbished them. He saw the static in the com system, a physical entity, and he cleared it away with a brush of his metaphysical hand.

The longer Ren floated through the ship, the less connected he was to his physical body. And if he thought about it, he didn’t need his body. Why would he need his body? He was free here. He moved around with ease, the wires and the systems his route, and the more he pushed, the more he felt the other ships too. They were nearby, on the edge of his perception, and he could go to those, he could jump to the other ones and repair them too.

He could.

He could.

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4 Stars for Haffling (Haffling #1) by Caleb James #M/M #YoungAdult

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Title: Haffling  (Haffling #1)
Author Name & Publisher: Caleb James (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: July 11th 2013- 274 pages

Synopsis

A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title

All sixteen-year-old Alex Nevus wants is to be two years older and become his sister Alice’s legal guardian. That, and he’d like his first kiss, preferably with Jerod Haynes, the straight boy with the beautiful girlfriend and the perfect life. Sadly, wanting something and getting it are very different. Strapped with a mentally ill mother, Alex fears for his own sanity. Having a fairy on his shoulder only he can see doesn’t help, and his mom’s schizophrenia places him and Alice in constant jeopardy of being carted back into foster care.

When Alex’s mother goes missing, everything falls apart. Frantic, he tracks her to a remote corner of Manhattan and is transported to another dimension—the land of the Unsee, the realm of the Fey. There he finds his mother held captive by the power-mad Queen May and learns he is half-human and half-fey—a Haffling.

As Alex’s human world is being destroyed, the Unsee is being devoured by a ravenous mist. Fey is vanishing, and May needs to cross into the human world. She needs something only Alex can provide, and she will stop at nothing to possess it… to possess him.

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Review

fourstars

This book made me feel a gambit of emotions. At first the story was really good and I loved it, then I got frustrated cause I was confused, I wanted to stop reading it but I just couldn’t, I like this book now, I couldn’t stop reading it, then it got better and then I was surprised due to twists in the story.

The concept of the story is great. I love stories about fairies and mortals who are half fey or something. That’s what drew me to this book.

The beginning of the book starts out great. I’m understanding it and it really draws me in. After Alex enters the park it gets complicated and confusing. I was wishing for an explanation of what was happening. After this, the story goes back and forth between understanding what was happening and being confused. About halfway through the book, that levels out and I’m understanding it and it gets smoother and better. A few surprises arise, but they are good. The ending I had a problem with, though.

Also, the cast of characters are wonderful and well developed.

Overall, the story is really great and written in such a way that it’s like I’m watching a movie. The confusing bits are a little bit difficult, but if you press in and continue the wrinkles press out and it becomes smooth.

Ariel

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5 Stars for The Midnight Gardener (The Town of Superstition #1) by R.G. Thomas #MM #YoungAdult

1.5

Title: The Midnight Gardener (The Town of Superstition #1)
Author Name & Publisher: R.G. Thomas (Harmony Ink Press)
Publication Date & Length: November 12, 2015 – 123 pgs

Synopsis

At fifteen, Thaddeus Cane has moved thirty-two times with his father. Each time he’s displaced without explanation, Thaddeus loses any friends he’s made. The name of their latest town is Superstition, but it seems normal enough, with one exception.

Thaddeus’s bedroom window gives him a view into the beautiful gardens next door. Every night after dark, an attractive guy around Thaddeus’s age appears to tend the plants. When Thaddeus visits his neighbor, he discovers not only how deep his interest in the other man runs, but also that Teofil, the midnight gardener, isn’t human. He’s a garden gnome, a revelation that will lead to more secrets coming to light and an adventure unlike anything Thaddeus ever imagined

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Review

FiveStars

This book was amazing. I love the story. A great first book to a series that I can’t wait to read.

As the main character in the book said this is like an American Harry Potter story without the wand. This book is full of magic and mystery, an angry beast and strange neighbors with magical “fireflies”.

The budding romance and relationship between Thaddeus and Teofil is sweet and wonderful and can’t wait to see where it leads

I highly recommend this book. It was great. The author writes so wonderfully painting each scene that makes you feel like you are there. If you like YA m/m stories with magic and mystery that includes quests then this is a book you will love.

Ariel

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New Release: Onwaachige the Dreamer (The Two-spirit Chronicles #3) by Jay Jordan Hawke #MM #YoungAdult @jayjordanhawke

Onwaachige-1

Title: Onwaachige the Dreamer (The Two-spirit Chronicles #3)
Author Name & Publisher: Jay Jordan Hawke (Harmony Ink)
Publication Date & Length: December 17, 2015 – 200 pgs

Synopsis

What would you do for the boy you loved? What if to save him you had to abandon him forever?

Fourteen-year-old Joshua Ishkoday faces an impossible decision as a terrifying dream sets him upon a thrilling and treacherous journey of self-exploration through the dangerous vastness of the Wisconsin northwoods. There, along with his best friends, Mokwa and Little Deer, Joshua summons the power to confront his greatest fears. To do so, all he has to do is trust in his dreams. Unfortunately, Joshua discovers that his dreams have been deceiving him thanks to the intrusion of strange creatures. For out in the middle of the forest dwell the enigmatic Memegwesi, bizarre manitous who have a special plan for Joshua. Joshua soon realizes that he has three monsters to battle: the extraordinary creatures haunting his dreams, the dangerous torrential storm brewing in the northwoods, and finally, the greatest demon of all—his homophobic mother.

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Excerpt

But the village lake was also the source of Joshua’s greatest pain. It was where he had his naming ceremony, the very same night his mother tore him from the reservation.

As he arrived at the lake, he looked around and could still see the charred remains of the woodpiles from the campfire that had illuminated his ceremony. For a moment, he could see the flames still flickering as they shot glowing embers upward, touching the sky, preparing to announce his identity to the manitous, to the cosmos. Then it had all been ruined as his mother stepped in and committed a terrible affront to everything that he was, to everything that he was becoming.

Joshua sat down by the lake and let the stream of thoughts and emotions come and go. He soaked them in, holding each in a mental spotlight, then releasing it in preparation for the next in line. But as confusing and painful as his thoughts were for him right now, he took solace in the fact that he was home once again and the way that made him feel was anything but confusing. As he gazed at the light mist floating silently across the early morning lake, he felt an overwhelming sense of serenity, as though the manitous were reassuring him that everything was going to be okay. Maybe they were right. And that little moment of peace was what was so magical, so miraculous about this place.

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New Release: Go Ask Alice by Anne Key #FF #UrbanFantasy

goaskalice1400

Title: Go Ask Alice
Author Name & Publisher: Anne Key (Torquere Books)
Publication Date & Length: December 2, 2015 – 35, 000 words

Synopsis

Alice is in trouble.

Big trouble. Her girlfriend, Cat, is dead, Alice just got out of the hospital, and everything is falling apart. The girls bought a bag of pills from a dealer and took them to Cat’s house to LARP their game, Underneath. The plan is to take one pill after another until the vampires come for them.

Problem is, the vampires didn’t come, the ambulance did.

As soon as she gets home, Alice runs away to attend Cat’s funeral and meets Leveret, Cat’s cousin, and that’s when she falls down the rabbit hole.

From shrinking and growing, from a monster in a hospital to a haunted toy store, from a nightclub filled with vampires to a Ren Faire with the most unnerving Mad Hatter and a game where ninja ballerinas beat people to death with sticks – Alice’s trip follows the heart of the Alice in Wonderland story, if not the letter.

On the way Alice has to make a number of decisions – is she sane? Is she dead? Is she willing to sacrifice everything for someone else or does she exercise self-preservation even if that means losing the girl she loves?

Excerpt

I can’t believe this is happening to me. I mean seriously, what the hell? I’ve fallen all the way down the rabbit hole, crashed down and smashed the fucking mushroom, killed the caterpillar and broken all the china.

This is still my bedroom, you know? Nothing’s changed in it over the last five days. I still have posters of The Cure—yes, I’m aware that they’re all old—hanging on my walls, which are still painted black with snail trails of glitter nail polish on them. I still have my little bed, my desk that used to be my grandma’s. I keep looking around the room, waiting for the floor to open up.

It doesn’t.

I had never thought that we would be in this position, me and Cat. She said that she wanted to become a vampire, see what it was like to commit suicide, but I didn’t believe she meant it. I mean, I heard what she said and I knew that it could be dangerous, maybe, but I didn’t think it was going to be like this.

I never thought it was going to be like this.

We said we were going to try to become vampires, to push at the veil, to see what would happen. To see if the stories about the Elders coming to fetch the ones brave enough to knock at death’s door were true at all. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. We said we were going to do it together, that we were going to take pills, and I… I swear, I swear by all I hold holy, that I didn’t think she was actually going to die. I didn’t know that was even an option. I thought this was like another role-playing game, one that was just the two of us. Maybe some sort of weird illusion or something. I don’t know. I mean, fuck.

We dressed up as Isolde and Morrigan, the characters we play when we game The Elders, because those are the best costumes, you know? Black and lace and long, with corsets—not cheap ones, real ones. We both asked for them for Christmas last year. We got a bunch of pills off this dude that all the kids go to in school, this big guy from the football team, and then we sat down in Cat’s attic room, slipped into character, and we started taking the pills, one at a time. I took a blue one first. I remember taking it because it seemed so light, like the sky. Maybe if I’d started with the green one, or red one, or a pink one—but I didn’t. I didn’t start that way. I just took the blue pill.

God, it sounds so old school Matrix somehow. Do you want to take the red pill or the blue pill? I have to admit I liked the way the blue pill tasted so I took another one, but that was it.

That was the whole thing. Cat took a couple of things and started ranting about eternity and God and how we were going to be together forever and, me? I fell asleep.

When I woke up Cat was gone. And by gone I don’t mean disappeared or turned into a vampire or left me there alone or anything good.

I mean she was dead.

Like swollen up and gross and… I don’t know. I freaked out a little. She smelled bad and there was puke everywhere and then her mom was there and screaming and the cops came. I didn’t do anything but sleep for twelve hours, and no one believes me, not even now.

I mean come on. We were playing around. We were being Gothy; we were being drama llamas for Christ’s sake. I never once thought it would be real.

I thought we’d get high and fucked up and see things. I thought it would be like when we decided to slit our wrists together and ended up with Cat throwing up at the sight of blood and both of us stealing a couple of beers from the fridge in Mom’s basement. I didn’t even need a bandage, for god‘s sake.

But no, here I am. I’ve still got a hospital bracelet around my wrist that I cannot bring myself to cut off. I’ve lost my best friend. And I can hear Mom on the phone to Dad.

“Rick, you have to come get Alice,” she says, and she’s crying—not little tears either, but hitching, gulping sounds that prove to me that I’ve really hurt her, like genuinely. “No. No, I don’t understand why she did it. She swears it was a stupid joke, one of her games, but it doesn’t matter. That other little girl ended up dead, and her parents are going to kill our baby!”

Her parents.

Like Mom had never even met Penny and Marshall. Like she didn’t know Cat’s fucking name. Like Mom and Jeff hadn’t gone over to their house and had a bottle of wine, fondue—did people even eat fondue anymore? For god‘s sake, I thought fondue was something hippies did—and now it’s been four days and it’s like they never even knew each other. Like they believed that I would hurt Catherine.

I never wanted to hurt anyone. I wanted to get high and be edgy.

When did suicide pacts actually fucking work? They didn’t. Even Romeo and Juliet fucked them up. And we… we weren’t supposed to die. Live forever, sure. Not die.

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5 and 3 Stars for New Release: Seven Tears at High Tide by C.B. Lee (AUTHOR INTERVIEW) #MM #YA #shifter @author_cblee

Seven Tears 1600px COVER-Front

Title: Seven Tears at High Tide
Author Name & Publisher: C.B. Lee (Duet/Interlude)
Publication Date & Length: October 15, 2015 – 234 pgs

Synopsis

Kevin Luong walks to the ocean’s edge with a broken heart. Remembering a legend his mother told him, he lets seven tears fall into the sea. “I just want one summer—one summer to be happy and in love.” Instead, he finds himself saving a mysterious boy from the Pacific—a boy who later shows up on his doorstep professing his love. What he doesn’t know is that Morgan is a selkie, drawn to answer Kevin’s wish. As they grow close, Morgan is caught between the dangers of the human world and his legacy in the selkie community to which he must return at summer’s end.

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Review

FiveStars

Kevin Luong ia a heartbroken, sixteen-year-old boy facing a summer of loneliness. Morgan is, well, a seal. A selkie, really. He hears Kevin’s wish cast to the sea, and answers it. Summer ensues.
I loved their story, and cried in parts, and was glad to see a young adult story with interesting conflicts, rather than the same old stuff. This story is really just two kids facing their last days of innocence, and about loving families.
C.B. excels at world-building. She creates a layered and deep mythos without ever explaining things in detail and cluttering up the story. A hint here, a mention there, and the entire Sea comes alive. Fantasy writers should read this, instead of trying to get me to memorize a bunch of names I’ve never heard before…anyway, past, present, and future are all represented elegantly.
My one small issue is that Kevin Luong never faces any internal struggle of his own. He gets to be perfect and be loved without offering Morgan a true partnership in return. He’s not perfect, though. But I quibble. He’s just a kid, and he’s easy to like.
Like shifter YA? Come read the best.
~ C. E. Case
ThreeStar

So, this is a young adult book about Kevin, a 16 year old suffering from a broken heart cause some guy he fell for wasn’t the prince charming he thought him to be, and made a wish that was granted.
What first drew me to the story was the description about the sea granting wishes. Cry seven tears at the right moment and make a wish…I’m tempted to go to the beach lol This was a sweet romance between Kevin and Morgan, the selkie sent by the sea to make Kevin happy.
The author did a good job with writing teen angst without being over the top with it, and being lonely, wanting to be accepted. I liked how Kevin was Asian. I don’t see a lot of mm books with Asian main characters. However, this is totally pure fantasy. Morgan wasn’t very convincing as human. Idk, the writing was odd in some places and i had to put the book down a couple of times. I’d recommend this to those just starting to read MM.
~Cookie

Excerpt

They wander into the house, wipe their wet feet on the welcome mat, climb up the stairs and giggle as they pass Ann’s bedroom. She’s dancing with her headphones on, oblivious to the open door, swaying to the beat.

In Kevin’s bedroom, he quickly scrounges up some clean shirts and shorts. “Here, you can wear this,” he says, handing an outfit to Morgan and then ducking into his bathroom to change.

He peels off the wetsuit and hangs it up in his shower, then leans his surfboard carefully against the wall, eyeing the crack. He’ll have to fix it tomorrow.

When he returns, Morgan is holding onto the wet board shorts, wearing the outfit Kevin gave him. He looks curiously at the rock collection prominently displayed on Kevin’s bookshelf.

“These are beautiful,” he says.

“Here, I’ll take that,” Kevin says, holding out his hand for the bedraggled board shorts to hang in his shower. He’s certain now that they’re the ones from the lifeguard’s lost and found.

Kevin’s starting to worry that Morgan doesn’t have any other clothes, but he doesn’t know how to bring it up. Money can be a touchy subject.

Morgan holds Kevin’s favorite specimen, a piece of green olivine on basalt. Kevin once almost convinced Ann it was an avocado roll—it certainly looks like one, bright green speckled with sesame seeds, wrapped in dark seaweed.

“That’s from Mexico. My family went on vacation to Baja last year, and I got that out of an old volcano.” He tries his best to describe the sweltering heat and the excitement of finding geodes and cracking them open with a hammer. Morgan listens in rapt silence as Kevin talks about the find and tilts the olivine so it catches the light. He sets it back in its spot behind its label, slowly so as not to disturb the other specimens, and Kevin is quietly pleased with Morgan’s careful appreciation.

“I changed my mind,” Kevin blurts out.

“About what?”

“I do want this to be a date. For us, to do that,” he says, blushing. “I like you. A lot.”

Morgan’s face breaks into a bright, happy smile.

“And what do we do differently, for this to be a date?”

Kevin can feel the heat on his cheeks. “We can hold hands, if you like. Um, or kiss, if you want to. But we don’t have to do anything you don’t want to. I’m fine just hanging out and watching a movie with you.”

Morgan tilts his head and steps closer. “I want to,” he says, not specifying what, but Kevin knows immediately.

It’s just the quickest brush of lips, but Kevin feels it all the way to his toes. A warm curl of excitement blooms throughout his body, and Morgan’s mouth is warm and wet against his. It’s not like any kiss he’s had, chaste and sweet and over in a second, and yet his heart is still pounding after Morgan leans back. He’s close enough for Kevin to be able to count the eyelashes dark against his cheek.

Morgan ducks his head and asks, “Was that okay?”

Kevin’s a little dazed, but he finds his voice. “Yeah. Yeah, that was great.”

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New Release: Lodestones by Naomi MacKenzie (AUTHOR INTERVIEW) #MM #YoungAdult @_Naomimackenzie

Lodestones 1600px COVER-Front

Title: Lodestone
Author Name & Publisher: Naomi MacKenzie (Duet Books, The YA imprint of Interlude Press)
Publication Date & Length: September 8, 2015 – 226 pgs

Synopsis

On the eve of a new school year, several groups of college students cross paths as they seek out a secret end-of-summer lake party—including Robin and Charlie, two inseparable friends who discover of the course of the twenty-four hours that their relationship is something much deeper than simple friendship.

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Excerpt

Larry holds up the flyer to study the map Florence drew. Barry is leaning to look at it, too, when it’s ripped from between Larry’s fingers.

A greasy man in a campus security uniform stands over them with a pinched expression. His faded nametag reads: Ron Anderchuk. “Another one,” he all but growls. “Where in heck did you get this, boys?”

Barry tries his best to look innocent. Which isn’t all that hard, since he knows nothing.

“Found it on the ground,” Larry lies.

“Uh-huh, uh-huh,” the security guy says. “Extra trouble for littering.” He glares hard at the paper for nearly a minute before looking back at them. “You do know parties like this are illegal, don’t ya, boys? And frowned upon by this here establishment.” He raps his knuckles on the table. “I think it best you stick around here this weekend. That would be best, don’t ya agree?” He widens his beady eyes while he waits for their assent.

Barry looks to Larry. Seeing him nodding, he mimics the gesture.

The security officer’s answering grunt sounds disbelieving. He mutters as he walks away; the flyer with their map is gripped in his fist.

“What are we—”

Larry holds up his hand, stopping Barry’s question in its tracks. “Not to worry; I have a photographic memory. I’ve got the map in here.” He taps a fingertip against his temple.

“Even after all of that? And we do have another problem, if Florence is to be believed.”

Larry hums and strokes his chin. He picks up Barry’s tray and they walk to the windows. The orientation officers are indeed spread across the entire expanse outside, handing out pamphlets and organizing games of lawn bowling and oversized croquet. The entrance to the student parking lot is completely blocked.

Barry should throw in the towel, admit defeat and convince Larry to do the same. And he would, if not for one thing. The one detail that has roped him into the excitement over the lake festivities fully and completely is Kate Zimmermann, captain of the Dicaroon Seadogs field hockey team. Barry was looking through the school’s website while Larry was plotting behind him and he caught sight of her picture. He informed Barry that she was one of the girls who was carrying the van’s bench seat into her dorm room and invited him to the party early that morning.

Barry is in love with Kate Zimmermann. He has been since seeing her on the Dicaroon University website the previous summer. Well, he’s in love with the image of her and her red hair and blue eyes and adorable freckles that are so voluminous that they connect on her face. He has dreamed of red-haired kids calling him Daddy and hitting balls with sticks. Possibly. And she’s throwing the party, so even if Barry will never get up the nerve to speak to her should he live for a thousand years, he has to go. For his future dream-wife.

“Well, then,” Larry says. He sets Barry’s lunch tray down on the bussing station and rubs his hands together. “I guess we are in need of a foolproof plan.”

“A stratagem,” Barry says. He feels immediately foolish for being such a huge dork.

But then Larry grins at him. “Ooh, yes, I like that. A stratagem.”

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