A Sammy Review: Thunder Snow by Owen Keehnen

Rating: 2 stars out of 5

ThunderSnow_100dpi_cvrJim Franklin lives a life in the closet. With no real connections, he seems to drift as the wind blows him. Where he ends up this time is at Windsor college. He’s got a girlfriend and friends, and while life may not be all butterflies and roses, it’s good enough.

A romantic literature class places Jim and Glenn Martin in each others paths. Glenn is a live-in boyfriend of a rich man. He came from nothing, and now he’ll do anything to hold on to what he’s got.

Snowy nights and alcohol bring them together, but could they also drive them apart?

For the longest time I had trouble distinguishing between a showing narrative and telling one, but this story is the perfect example of full-fledged telling.  Actual dialogue is rare and discussions are often summarized. To make matters worse, there’s no clear point of view, and the story lacks heart.

Within the first few pages I was bored. I didn’t get to know any of the characters, they were all just kind of there. In the end, I didn’t really care what happened to them, but that didn’t stop me from being taken aback with the final chapters. Could the way this ended be more realistic? Absolutely – but the fact is that, like everything else, it was glossed over so easily and without much thought, that it had no effect other than to irritate me.

There was a point in the story where I felt like I was reading the script of a bad soap opera, and I’m sad to say that that’s the impression this book left on me.

So why two stars? Well, there’s a few reasons. The cover art by Wilde City Press is great. It fits the story and was what lured me into reading it in the first place. Secondly, the author must’ve put some effort into the story, even if it didn’t connect with me. And finally, I truly believe that the author has potential. There were some words put together that were lovely, and if you read the bio, it sounds like maybe this author is better placed in a different type of writing – something that isn’t gay fiction for the current M/M fan base. Still, I thank the author for writing the story, and applaud their effort.

Cover artist:  Wilde City Press.  Just lovely, see comments above.

Sales Links:  Wilde City Press      ARe         amazon             Thunder Snow

Book Details:

Published by Wilde City Press

Release date: 29 October 2014
ISBN: 978-1-925180-58-9
Category: Gay Romance, Erotic, Romantic
Number of words: 15,000
Formats available: ebook only

A MelanieM Review: The Oracle’s Golem (The Oracle #3) by Mell Eight

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Cover - The Oracles FlameOnce Golem was the proud Dragon of the Earth.  Then the Oracle’s plans for him left him broken and despairing.  In his pain and rage, he left the society he was born into, melding in all ways, including physically, with the mountain they live on. And there the Golem hid deep within its recesses, paying little notice to the passing of years or the actions of the people he came from.

Then one day a child falls asleep in his lap …

That child is Lichen, the gifted problem child of the Earth Caste and he is followed Marl, a lowly Earth caste member who is chosen to look after Lichen and keep him out of trouble.  Marl came out of his testing with only brown dirt and a seed on his back, instead of the more impressive and powerful designs that would have boosted his status and gifts.  Marl has been content to garden and use the gifts he has in gentle ways, including looking after a lonely, intelligent child easily bored with his lessons.

Prodded by the attentions of Lichen and Marl, Golem slowly returns to human form and awareness of the struggles of the people around him.  When the truth of Golem is revealed,  it just might make Marl choose between his duty or the person he has come to love: Oracle or Golem?

Once more Mell Eight has delivered an enchanting fairy tale in The Oracle series, an imaginative and wholly captivating universe.  The Oracle’s Golem is a prequel (in a manner) to The Oracle’s Flame (The Oracle #1)  and The Oracle’s Hatchling (The Oracle #2) as the events that take place in this tale start off in the years preceding those stories.  In fact, Golem is the prime figure in the main drama of The Oracle’s Hatchling, something that the reader will easily recognize early on.

Every part of Mell Eight’s enchanting universe is fascinating and fully developed to include rich details and layers of mythology.  Four castes of Elementals, and which caste you belong to is decided at a ritual testing ruled over by the Oracle.  Where a person falls within the  Caste they are ordained for is revealed by a  tattoo or pattern that appears on their back, much like a tattoo.  Only these tattoos change and come to life.  At the pinnacle of each Caste is a Dragon, whether it be the Dragon of Fire (first story), the Dragon of Ether (second story), the Dragon of Water (still to come) and the Dragon of Earth which is featured here.  Then the levels (and people) drop in status and power and are given names accordingly.

Here is another brilliant element of this author’s universe, the names.  The name corresponds to a element of each person’s caste.  All Earth caste members have names that come from the Earth.  Marl’s name (he is a lowly caste member)  describes the clay and calcium deposits that fertilize soil.  Lichen?  That’s a composite of a number of organisms and has many uses so, yes, high on the scale.  I love how inventive this author is when it comes to naming the characters.  And then there is those fascinating patterns that appear on the back proclaiming each person’s gift and future.  Poor Marl…only a field of brown dirt and a seed, a pattern that makes all the others looks down on him with distain or ignore him all together.  If you find yourself a tad gleeful with anticipation when pondering that design, then this is the book for you.    There are so many layers of meaning to be uncovered and appreciated here.  This is a fairy tale universe for all who love champions, worlds in peril, and unexpected heroes.

Mell Eight’s narrative will draw you in completely into this world and Golem’s pain.  You can almost feel the weight of the earth on top of him as he sits, so a part of the mountain that his appearance is that of stone and soil, just another boulder for a lonely, bored child would use to climb and sit on when escaping his lessons.   Which is exactly how Lichen finds him.   We move from past to present and back again easily, sliding through the years and memories of the characters.

I really have only two issues with this story.  One, it felt that the ending came a little too quickly, and secondly, that rushed feeling made it feel a tad incomplete.  I could have wished for a chapter wherein it seemed like only pages, a slight flaw in my opinion.  But the world and stories Mell Eight has created for The Oracle series is far too rich and complex to let such a small issue pull it down.

You could read these stories out of order but you might find yourself saying things like “pirates? where did the pirates come from?”.  That won’t happen if you read them in the order the author has written and released them.  I love this series and eagerly await the next installment.  Pick them all up today, including The Oracle’s Golem.  It’s the perfect present to give yourself for the holidays.

Cover artist London Burden does a great job of branding this series with the stylized dragons on the covers.  Love it.

Sales Links:   Less Than Three Press  (preorder now)            All Romance (ARe)      links to come      amazon             buy it here

Book Details:

ebook
Expected publication: January 21st 2015 by Less Than Three Press
original titleThe Oracle’s Golem
ISBN139781620045152
edition languageEnglish
seriesThe Oracle #3

Book in The Oracle series:

A MelanieM Review: Otter Madness by Winnie Jerome

Rating: 3 stars out of 5:

All I Want For Christmas Otter MaddnessOtter shifter Bryon is not happy.  His terrible boss wants him to work on Christmas and his mage boyfriend has been distant and uncommunicative lately.  What is an wereotter to do?  Get in trouble, that’s what.  When Byron goes snooping around his boyfriend’s workshop, he accidentally unleashes a second Bryon.  Now with two Bryons on the loose, can his boyfriend Lucas handle two mischievous, highly-sexed shifters just in time for Christmas?

Uh…wow.  Otter Madness is a perfect title for this wild concoction of a holiday story.  It contains nothing less than two wereotters ( should I say one were otter and one wereotter doppleganger), a homophobic boss, a mage boyfriend who is also a Dom, and quite a bit of bdsm toys and kinky sex scenes.  Mix that all together in 27 pages and you end up with a wild mess of a Christmas tale with some very funny elements, some sexy kinky bits and some things that are just so discordant that the story goes awry.

For me the best scenes in this story are the ones with Bryon in his otter form.  Jerome manages to convey the playfulness, the joy, and willy-nilly scatteredness of an otter in motion during these scenes.  But for every scene that reveals just how great it must be to be an otter rolling about in the towels, Jerome then gives us something to shudder at. A homophobic boss who is so unpleasant (calling Bryon and his boyfriend the “f” word and more) that you wonder why Bryon still wants to be employed there. . It’s just such an ugly segment, ok that whole restaurant segment is awful, that I can’t begin to understand why it was included.

Then there is the Bryon on Bryon sex, the D/s relationship between Bryon (and eventually Bryon) and Lucas, that  D/s relationship that never quite works because you don’t get enough of the personalities behind it to make it viable.  Otters are smart, playful, inventive, and high energy.  Submissive?  What is it about Bryon that makes that a part of his emotional makeup?  We haven’t a clue, especially when the second Bryon shows up and doesn’t quite seem to have the same personality even though they are supposed to be identical.  The story just continues on its messy way, dilly dallying over the kinky sex through a story that never quite comes to an end.

A wereotter is a terrible shifter to waste.  The mere creation of such a wonderful shifter elevated this story to a 3 star rating.  It’s antics, in his human form, kept it there.  It’s the holidays.  If any of the above appeal to you, then this is the story for you.  Other than that, treat it as the otter madness it is.

Torquere Holiday Sip generic cover is used, the artist is not given credit in this release.

Sales: Torquere Books        All Romance        amazon             buy it here

Book Details:

ebook, 27 pages
Published December 11th 2013 by Torquere Press (first published December 10th 2013)

On Tour with “The Marine” by John Simpson and Robert Cummings

MarineBanner300x250

Book Name: The Marine
Author Name: John Simpson and Robert Cummings

Author Bios:

John Simpson

John Simpson is a Vietnam Era Veteran, former Police Officer of the Year, a Federal Agent, a Federal Magistrate, an armed bodyguard to Saudi Royalty, a senior Federal Government executive, and recipient of awards from the Vice President of the United States and the Secretary of Treasury. He has just been hired by an international film production company to become a main script writer, and will start soon on a television series.


John feels that for too long fiction writers neglected gay men. John writes entertaining, enjoyable, and enthralling fiction centered on the lives and lifestyles of gay men. John allows his readers to see life through gay men’s’ eyes. And just like real life, John’s characters have active and exciting sex lives. John calls on his broad personal and professional experience in writing gay romance. John is author of numerous full length novels available through Dreamspinner Press and several short stories in Alyson Books anthologies.  His first book, Murder Most Gay, is based on the murder of a gay man in Orlando, Florida in 1980, which he investigated along with many others, as an intern from UCF in the legal program. The Orange County State’s Attorney’s Office utilized his prior experience as a police officer in many ways, including proving a suicide was in fact a homicide.


John lives with his partner of 39 years who he legally married in 2008, and their three Scottish Terriers. John is highly involved with the Church, specifically seeking to repair rifts between Christendom and the gay community. John graduated from the University of Central Florida in 1981, and received an S.T.L. in 1995.


John wishes to extend a very special thanks to his many female readers. He appreciates and loves the fact women enjoy male/male erotica, and he thanks you for your past and continued support. He hopes to never disappoint you, and always leave you wanting more!


John now has a total of over 40 full length novels in print as well as another 20 novellas and short stories!

Author Contact:

Email: John Simpson: Johnsimpsonbooks@hotmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/johnsimpsonbooks
Website:  http://johnsimpsonbooks.com/

Robert Cummings:

Robert Cummings lives in Pennsylvania with his partner and their black lab mix dog. Robert is an Iraqi freedom veteran with a seventeen-year law enforcement career. He enjoys the outdoors, family, and travel.

Author Contact:

Email Robert Cummings at robert.cummings1976@gmail.com
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/robert.cummings.330

Publisher: Cool Beans P & Ethe-marine-for-KindleSM
Cover Artist: A.J. Corza

Sales Links:  Cool Beans P & E       amazon       All Romance eBooks (ARe)

The Marine Blurb:

Two young men, David Stauffer and Matthew Kendricks, meet while processing into the Marine Corps for Basic Training. David is immediately attracted to the red haired, Matthew. As their training begins, David pursues Matthew to find out if the attraction is mutual. To his great pleasure, David learns that his attentions are not unwelcomed, but rather feared. Matthew, unlike David isn’t as comfortable with his fellow trainees finding out he’s gay.

As training progresses David proves himself to be superior to the other trainees. As a reward, he is given a short, on post leave and is allowed to take Matthew with him. This allows them a chance to explore each other’s bodies, rather than just glimpses in the showers.

From that moment the spark between the two burns hot and sets the stage for what is to come. When training ends, questions about their futures arise. Both men are forced to make decisions that will impact their futures, and potentially out them to the entire Marine Corps.

Categories: Erotica, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Military

The Marine Excerpt:

David and Matthew were drawn to each other like magnets. This was one of the few times they could lay on top of each other without anyone commenting on it. The tight green shirt pressed against David’s lean chest, Matthew licked his lips as they squared off to attack.

“You go first,” Matthew insisted.

David charged at Matthew full speed, the boy attempted to grab David’s wrist but was unsuccessful. David did not want to humiliate the Matthew in front of anyone so he stopped and backed up. He laid his hand on top of Matthew’s and placed the clammy hand where it needed to be for a successful hip throw.

Matthews’s shorts began to bulge out in the front, “Flip me.”

“You didn’t do yours yet,” David said confused.

“Flip me now, I’m getting hard,” Matthew whispered into David’s ear.

David smiled and grabbed the red head’s wrist. He flipped him onto the mat and leaned down to help him up. David pulled Matthew up. While he dusted his back off he slightly brushed his hand against Matthews tight little bubble butt.

“You’re not helping,” Matthew protested.

A drill instructor came over to them, “What in the ever loving world are you two doing? I better see more flipping and less jawing, do you get me!”

“Sir, Yes Sir!” they replied in unison.


Pages: 30,816 words, 112 pages

MarineBadgeTour Dates/Stops:
30-Oct the Twins: Talon ps & Princess so
6-Nov Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings
6-Nov Fallen Angel Reviews
6-Nov Up All Night, Read All Day
13-Nov Fallen Angel Reviews
13-Nov Inked Rainbow Reads
13-Nov Regular Guys, Hot Romance
20-Nov Wake Up Your Wild Side
20-Nov MM Good Book Reviews
20-Nov Cate Ashwood
27-Nov Velvet Panic
27-Nov BFD Book Blog
4-Dec The Blogger Girls
4-Dec Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents
4-Dec Molly Lolly
11-Dec Queer Town Abbey
11-Dec Multitasking Mommas
11-Dec Emotion in Motion
11-Dec Love Bytes
18-Dec Amanda C. Stone
18-Dec Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words
18-Dec Cathy Brockman Romances
18-Dec Crystal’s Many Reviewers

Contest: Enter to win Rafflecopter Prize: One of two e-book copies. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Use the Rafflecopter link provided to enter and for all additional contest details.

Rafflecopter Code:
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Barb, A Zany Old Lady Review:The Merchant of Death (Playing the Fool #2) by Lisa Henry & J.A. Rock

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

The merchant of Death coverA continuation of the story started in “Two Gentlemen from Altona”, this story is even better. There’s more humor, more angst, more drama, more complexity in the connections between Henry and Mac and most importantly, more romance.

The story opens with Henry reuniting with his twin sister, Viola, a young woman who suffered brain damage in her teens when she attempted to remove a violent man from Henry’s bed, thinking he was hurting Henry. When he flung her against a wall, she struck her head and nearly died. She didn’t understand what had been happening, but Henry did. He was allowing his mother’s boyfriend to have sex with him for the money the man promised his mother. Because he failed to keep quiet and that caused Viola to investigate, Henry blames himself for her injury. Now with a reduced mental capacity and the inability to care for herself, she’s been confined to a “care home” ever since, at a cost of over $5,000 a month— a cost paid by Henry through whatever means he can find. When Mac ultimately learns a bit more of this story, his attraction to Henry and his admiration of Henry’s inner strength grow exponentially.

Viola claims that a “bad angel” has killed her good friend Mr. Crowley at the home and begs Henry to find the angel and send it away. When Henry investigates, dressed as Viola, It satisfies not only his need to have a viable disguise to get into the facility, but his own inner desire to dress as a female. He finds evidence to suggest that the director and a volunteer have been conspiring to get some patients’ wills changed to their benefit and that Mr. Crowley may have been a victim of this death benefit scam.

In the meantime, Mac has been missing Henry, wondering where he could have gone after Mac had been shot, and he sets out to find him. After all, Henry is his missing witness in the arrest of a known gangster. Mac has also been under pressure by investigators into the brutal force supposedly used when that gangster and others in the past have been arrested by Mac. In addition, there are rumors that Mac may be a drug user and he may be implicated in the recent death of a police informant. He’s happy to take sick leave and just go to find Henry. When he tracks Henry’s sister, Viola, to the care home, imagine his surprise to find that it’s Henry, not Viola, who is in residence there. And when Henry explains his reasons for being there, Mac doesn’t know whether to kiss him or kill him for getting involved in another crazy scheme.

Mac is determined to get behind the façade of Henry Page to the real man, Sebastian Hanes, within. We see glimpses every once in a while, and Henry himself is now struggling to keep Sebastian contained. He’s never put his trust in anyone other than Viola, but he senses that Ryan “Mac” McGuiness is so very different from anyone else that Mac will protect his fragile inner child and keep him safe amid the shitstorm his life has become.

From this point on, Henry gets in deeper trouble at the care home, Mac gets in deeper trouble at work, and neither is aware that there are common threads between them in the form of certain people who have been negative influences in both their lives.

I love the way the authors are taking their time with this romance and the dynamic between Henry and Mac is outstanding. At times humorous, or poignantly romantic, their dynamic is often irritating or filled with sexual tension. And when the two finally do get together, with Henry in the guise of a female, it’s over-the-top, explosively hot. The storyline and subplots are complex and so intricately woven that I’m looking forward to the conclusion of the series so that I can view the finished product as a whole. I suspect that this is going to become one of my all-time favorite series.

Of course, this book does not end on a final conclusive note, but the promise of the next installment is much clearer in this book than in the last and I liked the way the authors left this couple. I’m definitely going to be first in line for the next book.

Cover Art by L.C. Chase depicts a partially full syringe indicating either the drug addiction of Henry’s good friend, Remy, or something far more nefarious. It’s cute and fits with the cover of the previous story.

Sales Links:  available for pre-order at Riptide Publishing now     Other links to follow

Book Details:

ebook, 205 pages
Expected publication: February 2nd 2015 by Riptide Publishing
ISBN139781626492219
edition languageEnglish
url http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/merchant-of-death
seriesPlaying the Fool #2

A MelanieM Review: Altered States (Altered States, #0.5) by Laura Harner

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Altered STates coverNew Orleans Police Detective Sam Garrett is having a bad day.  Sam can’t stand working with partners, yet he’s been assigned an aggravating, hot, and most-likely-straight partner, Travis Boudreaux,.  Travis pushes all his buttoms, including the one that says Sam finds Travis seriously attractive, not good when the man in question is straight.

When Sam and Travis are assigned to investigate a string of gay-bashings turned deadly in the French Quarter, the last thing Sam expects is that Travis plans to use him as bait. The worst part? They’ve got no back-up because the rest of the city is preoccupied by another series of killings — the victims drained of blood.

It should be a simple thing to close this case…but this is New Orleans where the deadly, the mystical, and the unknown can combine in lethal ways as Sam and Travis are about to find out.

Altered States started out as a story prompt in the Goodreads M/M Romance’s Love is Always Write, Don’t Read in the Closet Events.  But Altered States was to be a springboard to an addictively absorbing new series from Laura Harner and T.A. Webb.  It all starts with the wonderful creation of New Orleans Police Detective Sam Garrett.  Sam is gay, biracial, and physically slight, or should that be wiry.   He’s complex and not terribly popular down at the Precinct, which is a mixture of characters, not all of which are exactly upstanding representations of the law.

Adding to his woes of too many hours, not enough sleep, and aggravation at work is the fact that Sam has been assigned a new partner.  Travis Boudreaux is more of an enigma, a question mark of a persona that looms larger at the shocking end.  The case they are assigned too is horrific in nature.  Young gay men are being tortured and killed and its up to them to stop it.

Harner and Webb weave a fascinating tale of wary men, unacknowledged appetites, and murder.  Then they overlay it all with a touch of the supernatural when victims in another salacious crime spree start turning up dead, drained entirely of their blood.   It’s a great plot, and that twist at the end is shocking.  I loved it!  So you will.

The kicker comes at the beginning of the next story that really starts this series, Deep Blues Goodbye (Altered States #1).  That one?  Oh my!  This series is like a bowl of bon bons, once you start in on them, they are so delicious and rich that you won’t be able to stop.  I quite happily read my way through all three available stories and am now anxiously waiting for the next.

Altered States is one of my highly recommended reads as is the series.  Grab it up, along with all the others and drop yourself in the New Orleans world of crime, passion, and the supernatural!

Cover Art by Laura Harner.  Dark, kind of noirish.  Perfect!

Sales Links:     All Romance (ARe) (free)         amazon             get it here

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 41 pages
Published May 27th 2012 by Hot Corner Press
ASINB0086Y9MM4
series  Altered States

Books in the Altered States Series:

  • Altered States (Altered States, #0.5)
  • Deep Blues Goodbye (Altered States #1) by L.E. Harner, T.A. Webb
  • Deadly Shades of Gold (Altered States, #2) by L.E. Harner, T.A. Webb

 

A Mika Review: Loveblood by M.J. O’Shea

Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title

Loveblood coverMax Appleton and his mother Celia are on the run, hiding from an abusive father and husband who’s also a notoriously bad pack leader. When Max hit puberty and it became obvious he’d never make an alpha wolf, his father turned the brunt of his anger toward his inferior son and his beta wolf wife for producing him. Max and Celia find sanctuary in a garden cottage at Holly Court, the sprawling estate where Celia’s oldest friend lives with her pack alpha husband, three daughters, and teenaged son Jonah.

Jonah Spellman has what seems like the perfect life. His family is close, his dad is respected by their whole pack, and he’s been groomed to take over for as long as he can remember. Everything is set, his whole life planned, and Jonah works hard to be exactly what everyone expects. He’s under enough pressure without a runaway from a bad pack complicating his life. 

When two teenaged werewolves from very different worlds meet one snowy January day, both of their worlds get turned inside out. From the moment they meet, nothing will be the same for Jonah or Max ever again.

I’m usually selective when it comes to reading YA books. They tend to be a little “young” for me.  I gave this one a chance based on it being a paranormal book. It wasn’t the best or the worst really. I think it was relatively sweet, maybe too much. I did like the paranormal aspect. I liked the heat and rut themes as well. I would really have enjoyed it if it would have been an mpreg book. I do think it was instant love, and I was fairly okay with that. I did find myself rolling my eyes a lot, but I tend to do those during YA books.

Max was definitely a fierce little wolf. His mother decided to move them down to Portland after years of abuse. They end up at Celia’s best friend from her home pack estate. Instantly there’s a connection between Max and Jonah. Jonah who is the son and future alpha of Holly Court’s pack. In the beginning Jonah seems like a nerd or a closed off kid. Well that changes quickly with the introduction of his future mate.

It was cute, all the cuddling, and closeness so quickly. Max and Jonah relationship started quickly. Max was so enthralled with Jonah that he forgot about school starting. He forgot about other people, a new school and everything else. Jonah was so wrapped up in Max he forgot about Zoe. His girlfriend, future mate who he was blood-bonded with since childhood. It wouldn’t be High School without bullies, frenemies, chosen sides, and unrequited love typical YA books.

There is a ton of jealously, lust, betrayal, fondling, and a plethora of more emotions. I did think that it was too “pat” of Jonah’s parents to be against Jonah being bonded to him because of pack disorder. Of course we had to have the fall out of Max and his mother’s urgent departure from their home pack. They brought the cliché destruction.

In the end I do feel like for a YA book it was good. It was rather fairy tale-ish because of the love surrounding Jonah and Max. Certain things were left unsaid for me. I can say if YA isn’t your thing then bypass this. I’m on the fence with YA generally but I did enjoy it. I liked the acceptance of certain things between the main characters. I liked that it wasn’t your typical YA High School bullying, I do think it was nice to see the parents have a huge impact on the boys. Would I recommend this? Certainly to YA audiences, people that like the cuteness theme level. It was fluffy, I did enjoy it though

Cover Art by M.J. O’Shea. I actually liked the cover based on it being about wolf shifters and running through the forest.

Sales Link:   Dreamspinner Press eBook & Paperback         All Romance eBook      amazon               buy it here

Book Details:
eBook, 256 pages
Published August 7th, 2014 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 9781632162427
Edition Language: English

Get Caught Up In Posy Roberts’ Tangled Mind Romance (book tour and contest)

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Book Name: Tangled Mind
Author Name: Posy Roberts

Author Interview:

How do you come up with the titles?

OMG, I hate titles!!! I didn’t used to. In my online publishing days, the title was often what started the whole story, but somewhere along the way, I lost that gift. Now, most of my books start off as something stupid. My most recent draft is literally called Frankie, the main character. How original! My young adult title didn’t come to me until I brainstormed with another person and she got me unstuck. Tangled Mind started off as Iceberg. I even considered Frozen until that movie came out and ruined that one for me. Then I tried out many horrendous titles and submitted the manuscript with one of those. I’m too embarrassed to even tell you what it was. In the end, I usually find a decent title, but not without going through a few obsessive days where that is all I can either think or talk about. My best friend, husband, and kid hate those days.
Is there a message in your novella that you want readers to grasp?

Facing our own demons must happen before we can truly thrive in a relationship. If we ignore our personal issues, we are bound to keep repeating the same mistakes or date the same type of person until we find a way to face and overcome our demons. I like to think this is nature’s way of giving us a chance to fix the past, even if it needs to be with a new person rather than the original one.
How much of the book is realistic?

All of it. There are millions of people, like Beck, living in codependent relationship all over the world or struggling to recover from them. Many don’t even know they’re in them. This story stems from drug use, but that’s not the only way someone gets into an enmeshed relationship where they give up parts (or all) of themselves to keep the peace, to make life run smoother, and all at the detriment of self. Tangled Mind is Beck’s story of healing.

Author Bio:

Posy Roberts writes about romantic male love. Whether her characters are family men, drag queens, or lonely men searching for connections, they all find a home in her stories.

Posy is married to a man who makes sure she doesn’t forget to eat or sleep; her daughter, a budding author and dedicated Whovian, helps her come up with character names. When Posy’s not writing, she enjoys crafting, hiking, and singing spontaneously about the mundane, just to make normal seem more interesting.

Author Contact:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/posy.roberts.3
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/posyroberts11
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/757618490928296/
Twitter:    https://twitter.com/PosyRoberts
Pinterest:  http://www.pinterest.com/posyroberts/
Tumblr:     http://posyroberts.tumblr.com
Instagram: http://instagram.com/posy_roberts

Publisher: Dreamspinner PressTangledMindFS
Cover Artist: Maria Fanning
Sales Links:   Dreamspinner Press  amazon

Tangled Minds Blurb:

For years Beck Lund has taken care of his volatile boyfriend Brady, always putting Brady’s needs above his own and walking on eggshells to keep the peace. After Brady overdoses on heroin, his death devastates Beck. Thankfully his best friend, Timothy Kallis, finds him the help he needs. Beck slowly starts to recover and moves in with Timothy to get back on his feet, but he’s oblivious that Timothy is secretly nursing romantic affection for him.

Beck focuses on his own healing for the first time in his life. After months of challenging his codependent tendencies and learning how to stand up for himself, Beck finally starts to trust his gut and hopes to one day love again. Timothy is patient throughout, taking care of Beck in ways no one ever has. But if Beck can’t recognize Timothy’s affection for him, it might be too late for them to move beyond friendship.

Categories: Bisexual, Contemporary, Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance

Excerpt:

Before I had a chance to shut the front door, the sound of Brady choking on his own vomit pierced my eardrums. I was in our bedroom within seconds to witness him take what ended up being his last breath. Immediately I rolled him to his side to help him clear his airway. He flopped onto his back.

Abdominal thrusts. I slapped his face and shouted his name.

9-1-1.

I followed the directions the dispatcher gave me on speakerphone, putting my effort into every motion as tears ran down my face.

“The paramedics are on their way. Do you hear the sirens yet?”

“Yes,” I said as I used my full weight to come down on Brady’s torso, trying to dislodge whatever particle had stopped all air from moving in and out of his lungs.

Nothing helped. He just stared up at me with glazed-over eyes and refused to breathe.

“Goddammit. Don’t you dare leave me like this!”

I blankly watched as the paramedics swarmed into the bedroom, shooing me away so they could assess Brady’s condition, and I saw the grim looks on their faces when they realized what had really happened. The frenzied activity ceased, and their demeanor changed the second they found the syringe, spoon, and lighter.

Words: 24,000

TMBadgeTour Dates/Tour Stops:

 17-Dec

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Cate Ashwood

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18-Dec

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Hearts on Fire

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19-Dec

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The Novel Approach

Regular Guys, Hot Romance

22-Dec

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Molly Lolly

Sinfully Sexy

23-Dec

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24-Dec

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25-Dec

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Parker Williams

26-Dec

Emotion in Motion

29-Dec

Book Reviews and More by Kathy

Queer Town Abbey

30-Dec

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31-Dec

Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings

3 Chicks After Dark

Velvet Pani

 

 

Contest: Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy of ‘Tangled Minds’, must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

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Journey Into Courage with Jay Jordan Hawke’s A Scout Is Brave (book tour and contest)

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Book Name: A Scout is Brave
Goodreads Link
Author Name: Jay Jordan Hawke

Author Bio:

Jay Jordan Hawke holds a bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. in history, as well as a second master’s in Outdoor Education. He loves everything sci-fi, especially Star Trek, and hopes to be on the first starship out of here. In the meantime, he teaches at a college prep school and anxiously awaits the day when he can write full time.

In addition to all things sci-fi, his hobbies include camping, reading, running, and writing. He has lived in several Midwestern states and currently resides in Indiana. Ugh – get me out of here!

Author Contact:

https://www.facebook.com/jay.hawke

https://www.facebook.com/JayJordanHawke

https://www.twitter.com/@JayJordanHawke

Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Cover Artist: Anne CainScoutIsBrave

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press eBook & Paperback   amazon

A Scout Is Brave Blurb:

In the months following the brutal murder of Matthew Shepard, fourteen-year-old Joshua, a half Native American boy, is new to a Boy Scout troop and spending a week camping in northern Wisconsin. The weaker kids in the troop soon realize Joshua is not afraid to stand up to the troop’s ruthless bullies. Joshua’s bravery and kindness is infectious, and the bullied Scouts quickly find their own inner strength.

Joshua, however, is plagued by self-doubt as he realizes he has feelings for Cody, the son of the troop’s harsh and puritanical Scoutmaster. The two discover they have more in common than Scouting as they share their deepest secrets and develop a close friendship. That friendship faces its greatest challenge as the homophobic bullies claim a “faggot” has “infected” their troop. As if struggling to come to terms with his sexuality while dealing with hatred and bigotry isn’t enough, Joshua discovers the camp holds another dark mystery, one that will make him summon all his courage and learn for the first time what it truly means to be brave.

A Scout Is Brave Exclusive Excerpt:

 

WARNING: Intense excerpt.

Tommy Drapos stood helpless before his fellow Boy Scouts. They had cornered him against a tree and took turns taunting him with words like “faggot” and “queer.”

“Hey, here’s your best friend,” one boy teased, holding up a long, thick stick.

The other boys simply laughed.

“Yeah, I bet you really miss it!” another boy shouted.

Little Tommy Drapos’s eyes lit up in fear as he realized what they were going to do. He cried out for mercy.

“Please stop,” he whimpered between his sniffs in a barely audible voice.

His cries for mercy accomplished nothing.

“Hey, can’t you see how sad he is?” the boy with the stick said to his crowd of friends. “I think he really misses his friend.”

“Give it to him!” another boy shouted.

“Yeah, give it to him!” the crowd collectively agreed.

Two boys stepped toward Tommy’s cowering body. They grabbed his arms, and Tommy cried out.

“Stop it! Please, stop it!”

Some boys in the crowd repeated Tommy’s words with a babyish tone, furthering Tommy’s humiliation. “Top it, pwease top it,” they taunted.

A third boy approached the panic-stricken boy. He grabbed Tommy’s pants and yanked them down. The crowd laughed. Tommy knew what they were going to do, and he was helpless to stop them.

Categories: Contemporary, Gay Fiction, Young Adult, Paranormal

Pages: 180 pages

ASiBBadgeTour Dates/Stops:

15-Dec

LeAnn’s Book Reviews

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16-Dec

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Kimi-Chan

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17-Dec

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BFD Book Blog

18-Dec

EE Montgomery

Because Two Men Are Better Than One

Fallen Angel Reviews

19-Dec

Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings

Up All Night, Read All Day

MM Good Book Reviews

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy of ‘A Scout is Brave’. Use the link below for all contest details and entry form. This is a YA novel, so the age rule does not apply.

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A MelanieM Review: The Boy with the Painful Tattoo (Holmes & Moriarity #3) by Josh Lanyon

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

The Boy with the Painful Tattoo coverStill dealing with the fallout from their recent investigation and murder,  mystery author Christopher “Kit” Holmes decided to overcome his misgivings and move in with his lover and fellow mystery writer, Julian Xavier “JX” Moriarity, a decision that has precipitated a move to San Francisco and a new house.  What could go wrong?

Well, almost everything.  With boxes still piled all around them, JX heads off to the Murder at Midtown conference, leaving Kit to ponder on the wisdom of this latest move…relationship and house.  Still, nothing  prepares Kit for the dead body under the Styrofoam beads in the crate that should have contained his old and treasured china.

Packing will have to wait while more mysteries pop up to solve along with dead bodies.  Who is the dead man?  Why is he in Kit and JX’s crate?  And importantly, what happened to Kit’s china?

I have been waiting for another book in the Holmes & Moriarity series since December 2010 when I finished the marvelous story, All She Wrote (Holmes & Moriarity #2).  The aftermath of the murders and events of that novel were nothing short of earthshattering. And that story left me wonderfing what would happen next…to both our main characters as well as their relationship.  Now, four years later I finally have my answer with The Boy With The Painful Tattoo (Holmes & Moriarity #3). Well, sort of, and I couldn’t be happier.

I said “sort of” because as any fan of Josh Lanyon’s and his stories know, nothing is ever a sure thing or an absolutely happy resolution with his characters or their relationships.  Whether it is Adrien English and his lover, the tormented, closeted Jake Riordan (who make guest appearances here), or Kit Holmes and JX Moriarity, the foundation on which their lives and relationships is built lies on shaky ground, a terrain where you almost expect to see the fissures and cracks that habitually appear to threaten their relationship, sanity, and in some cases, their lives.  Also well known to us fans is that the source for some of these ruptures and interruptions spring from and are self inflicted by the complex, introspective and wounded men that Josh Lanyon writes so well.

We live in the mind of Kit Holmes in this series and what a mind that is!  Highly intelligent, questioning, somewhat quarrelsome, and introspective, Kit’s emotionally and mentally scattered when we jump into their new life and home on Chestnut Lane.  His decision, prompted by the awful events in the last book, to move in with JX has seen him give up his home in Southern California to move with all his treasured belongings to San Francisco where JX can be close to his ex wife and nephew (long story, read the books).  And at every step and moment we know (as we are listening into his internal monologue) that Kit constantly questions whether he has done the right thing, if their relationship will work out, and how will they juggle the changing dynamics that the reversal in their career fortunes is introducing into their partnership.  There is so much stuff crammed into that brilliant skull that it would be exhausting for all trying to untangle it if it wasn’t also so marvelously entertaining.  And wouldn’t Kit just hate that!

I adore Kit in all his difficult, brooding glory but I have also fallen in love with  JX, a  man with his own “quieter” set of issues and problems.  JX is an author whose career is on the rise just as Kit’s popularity as an author and mystery genre is falling out of favor.  But whereas Kit’s wears his foibles and somewhat contentious nature like a well fitted suit, JX’s flaws and complexities are far more subtle, needing a major crash, explosion or even murder to bring them out into the open.  The juxtaposition of these two strong personalities as they struggle to maintain a relationship or investigation makes this series and this book always absorbing and highly addictive.

How can you not love a man whose just had the best, most explosive sex of his life,, and then spends the next moments pondering (internally of course) what’s wrong with it, them and himself?  All while still in bed, naked and sweaty?  If, as Socrates says “an unexamined life is not worth living”, then Kit Holmes is living life to the fullest!

And there are more joys to be found with this latest installment of Holmes & Moriarity.  Their move onto Chestnut Lane has brought them a curious neighbor with the wonderful name of Emmaline Bloodworth.  Any one with a familiarity of British cozies should be rubbing their hands together in anticipation.  Here is our (and Kit’s) first introduction to her:

I saw a small person of indeterminate sex, dressed in baggy clothes. At first glance it appeared that one of the garden gnomes from next door had come to life. And had something to say about it.

“Good morning!” the gnome greeted me. She had one of those fluting, high voices that brought to mind Sunday school teachers and curators at the most macabre exhibits at the Tower of London. A voice like an ice pick through your left eye socket. “Welcome to the neighborhood. So sorry to disturb you on your first morning, but the movers must have broken one of the sprinkler heads along your front walk.”

“Oh. Uh…okay.”

As I seemed to be missing the point, she said kindly, “Water is shooting up like a geyser out there. There’s a drought going on, you know.”

She was probably in her sixties, but unlike my former mentor Anna Hitchcock, no effort here had been made to stave off the ravages of time. Not that she looked ravaged. Beneath the wide brim of her hat I could just make out twinkling blue eyes in a round and rosy face.

And yes, she has a cat which just happens to resemble in name and appearance the feline that figures so largely in Kit’s mystery novels.  Another mystery to solve?  I hope so.

And then there is Inspector Ishwar “Izzie” Jones, SFPD and JX’s former partner, Rachel Ving or Ving the Merciless as Kit’s agent is known who wants Kit to write Swedish type mysteries, JX’s ex wife and former sister in law Nina and Gage, her son and his nephew (really, you must read the first two stories).  The Boy with the Painful Tattoo is chock full of the most wonderful characters and intriguing situations you could hope for, especially in ones that act as secondary storylines along side the primary ones of murder most foul and a relationship still looking to find solid ground, albeit temporarily.

Yes, I loved this book, yes, I adore this series and I think any lover of mysteries (M/M or otherwise) will as well.  Combine a terrific mystery with two believable and charismatic men trying to balance lives, love, and careers and you have author whose series and main characters should be on everyone’s Must Have, Must Read lists.   I can’t wait to see what happens next in the lives of Holmes & Moriarity but if you are new to this couple, start with the first mystery where they are reunited in Somebody Killed His Editor (Holmes & Moriarity #1).  Continue onto All She Wrote (Holmes & Moriarity, #2), before arriving here at The Boy with the Painful Tattoo (Holmes & Moriarity, #3).  If you’ve been good or perhaps very, very naughty and good, you might find them in your eReader stocking!

I love Josh Lanyon and this story is just another reason why he should be on everyone’s top list of authors whose stories you must have.  Consider The Boy With The Painful Tattoo one of my Highly Recommneded Reads!

Cover art by L.C. Chase.  Love the cover.  It has that sort of Noir feel to it of the older mystery novel covers. Great job.

Sales Links:  Josh Lanyon        All Romance (ARe)         amazon                  buy it here

Book Details:

ebook, 228 pages
Published October 5th 2014 by Just Joshin (first published October 3rd 2014)
original titleThe Boy with the Painful Tattoo
ISBN139781937909376
edition languageEnglish
seriesHolmes & Moriarity #3

Books in the  Holmes & Moriarity series in the order they were written and should be read to understand the timeline of events and relationship history:

Somebody Killed His Editor (Holmes & Moriarity #1)
All She Wrote (Holmes & Moriarity, #2)
The Boy with the Painful Tattoo (Holmes & Moriarity, #3)

 

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