Back from GRL and Chicago Today and The Week Ahead at Scattered Thoughts

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airplane-flying-through-cloudsSo I am still in the air, coming back from Chicago!  So it will be short and sweet today.  I will bring you all up to speed next week as I expect to be busy apologizing to the pups for being away later on and catching up on my zzzzz’s and  home stuff.

Winner Announcement:  From Rachel Haimowitz: Congrats to vitajex, the winner of the signed paperbacks!

Without further ado, here is the week ahead at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words…

Monday, October 20:

  • Riptide Publishing’s Billionaire with Benefits Tour and Contest
  • N.R. Walker’s Red Dirt Heart Book Tour and Contest
  • A MelanieM Review: Merry Christmas, Josh by Andrea Speed

Tuesday, October 21:

  • Jude Dunn’s One Thing Leads Book Tour and Contest
  • A MelanieM Review:  DMZ by Andrea Speed

Wednesday,  October 22:

  • Piper Vaughn’s “Hook, Line and Sinker” Cover Reveal (contest)
  • Double book blast: Jackie Nacht ‘A Bittersweet Haunting’ and ‘Zombie Run’‏ (contest)
  • “Stand by You” and “Foundation of Trust” Author: AM Arthur Book Tour and Contest
  • A MelanieM Review:  Stand by You by A.M. Arthur

Thursday, October 23:

  • Sean Michael’s “Bruised” Tour
  • A Barb, the Zany Old Lady Review:  Anchored by Rachel Haimowitz
  • A MelanieM Review:  Say Something by BA Tortuga

Friday, October 24:

  • Heat – RJ Scott & Chris Quinton’s Book Tour and Contest
  • Author Spotlight:  Zee Kensington on Finally Home (contest)
  • CjElliot’s “Aidan’s Journey” Book Tour and Contest
  • A MelanieM Review:  Brothers in Arms (Broken Road Cafe #2) by TA Webb

Saturday, October 25:

  • In Our Author Spotlight:  Ashley Ladd
  • A MelanieM Review:  Spaghetti Western by E.M. Lynley

 

Review: Acting Out (Calm and Chaos #1) by Sharon Maria Bidwell

Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Acting Out coverNicholas Sandford and Alexander Lasseter were friends for years before their mutual agent  partnered them in a film that would bring them success as actors and link them together in the public’s memory as the best of friends.  When renown director Robert King sends them a script that is almost guaranteed to give them the roles of their lives, only one of them is eager to accept.  The problem is that the script calls for Nick and Alex to  play friends who become lovers during the course of the film, including nudity and sex scenes.

Alex has always known that he was attracted to men but has kept that side of himself hidden from Nick.  Nick has always thought of himself as straight, although his dates with women are few and the number of relationships he has had is zero.  But to act in this film, Nick faces the condemnation of his family, his own fear of taking a role he wants dearly and the fact that if he turns down this role, Alex will go on to other films without him, leaving Nick and their friendship behind.

When Nick and Alex agree to act in the film, everything between them starts to change with just one kiss.  As fantasy turns into reality, Nick must face his own fears about his sexuality and come to an acceptance about himself as well as Alex in order for the men to move forward with their careers and romance.

Short review?  A stultifying well written story that follows two friends journey through endless self examination of their sexuality, their roles in their friendship to a final acceptance of their homosexualityp and love.  That’s the cliff notes review, the succinct version of what is to follow.  Oh that the author had done the same for her story.

Everything about this story should have made me feel so much stronger about the plot and characters than I actually do.  The plot is a terrific one…in theory.  It’s really one man’s introspective journey to self awareness and acceptance of his sexuality through the course of a film role and with help with his best friend/love interest.  It should be painful, dramatic, and finally fulfilling, yet this story is none of those things. Instead it feels drawn out, verbose, of only middling tension with characters that never rise to the reality and drama of the roles they are filming.

The first hint of issues with Acting Out arrives with Nick Standford,  The story starts out in Nick’s pov and immediately the reader is plunged into an almost endless stream of thoughts from Nick about his conflicting feelings about the role he is being asked to play, his friendship with Alex, thoughts about his family, Alex’s sister, the swan in the river….on and on it goes and we haven’t even reached page 4.  Just the appearance of Nick on a page means that a full blown dithering inner monologue is sure to follow.  How can a reader even begin to care about a character if even reading that character’s thoughts feels like a walk through a bog?  Here is Nick waiting for Alex to appear:

 The only good thing was their mutual agent, Alana Reynolds, wouldn’t be here. She of the overlong and straight blonde hair hanging like a curtain, swaying, seductive, invariably irritating Nick to hell. Whenever she looked at Alex, gone was the unsettling stare Nick paid her so well to use while representing him. Nick saw nothing hard, cold, or business-like when she skimmed that large frame. He’d never known Alana to gawk at anyone with a less than analytical eye, and the realisation that she did otherwise left him torn between gratitude not to be the object of her scrutiny and belligerence because she paid Alex such close attention. Around Alex, her expression came close to an open display of desire. For some reason, Nick didn’t like it.

He didn’t want to know whether Alex had seduced Alana, or she him. He was doubtful the two were having sex; still, he disliked the possibility. He could imagine those perfect bodies locking together too easily, but he tried not to. Imagining Alana naked was one thing, but considering what an attractive couple they made struck him as disturbing. Women could look at other women to say they were appealing, even beautiful. Men didn’t do that. They called each other “fit,” and it was too easy to gaze at Alex and see an extremely fit man, indeed. He didn’t feel comfortable admiring Alex; he never had, even though he had a case of justifiable envy. Those broad shoulders and muscular build, the square jaw and disarming grin… Nick swallowed, wanting an antacid. He touched his tie, fingered his lapel, and looked around, wondering if they’d have such a thing on the premises. Probably against Health and Safety. He should have been even more gracious to the serving girl, who would have no doubt given him anything he wanted.

That is one of Nick’s shorter moments, most of them are actually quite protracted in every way you can imagine. Alex Lassiter is a little better.  Alex is already comfortable with his sexuality although not out because of his profession.  He is one of those actors that get the action/suspense roles that command large sum salaries and huge box office returns unlike Nick who gets the lanky, brainy geeky roles.  The point of view switches back and forth between Alex and Nick, but honestly neither character comes across as realistic or particularly memorable. Nick constantly frets about his thoughts and emotions toward Alex and the film roles they are to play and the reader should be right there with him emotionally as he works through his inner conflicts.  Instead, the writing and descriptions, although well written and with a certain style, don’t even begin to bring an element of real passion and pain into the equation.  We just don’t get any real measure of  angst or mental anguish, just a mention of emotional discomfort and irritation.

One thing stood out for me in this very serious story and that is the lack of humor.  A touch of humor, self depreciating or otherwise can lift a scene up, enlivening it along with the characters.  And that element is missing along with any real drama or emotional highlights.   Or should I say emotional highlights that feel like emotional highlights.

From beginning to end neither the characters or the narrative serve to involve the reader emotionally in this story.  I can’t decide whether it is the constant musings on their sexuality and the possibilities of sexual attraction or the inner arguments as well as monologues that continue ad infinitum that serve to distance the reader from these characters.  But what ever the source, the reader will find themselves disconnected from this story and the men through the very same emotional channels which should be engaging their attention and that is such a shame as the story had real promise.  A promise it never delivered.

The Calm and Chaos part of the title is derived from two acting roles the men played in a film, their first together.  Colin Calm Cameron and Chandler Chaos Chance, two detectives, partners as well as friends.  That film and those roles sounded far more interesting than Acting Out, which is the first in a series.  For myself, I am leaving this series at the first book.  If you are a fan of this author, than you might consider reading this story, otherwise I would give it a pass.

Cover Design: Kelly Shorten is very nondescript, it could be for any story, not just this one.

Book Details:

ebook, 75,000 word count
Published June 8th 2012 by Musa Publishing

Review: Burning Ashes by H. Lewis-Foster

Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Burning Ashes coverAustralian cricketer Nat Seddon is one of the world’s best bowlers. He is also gay and out to his team mates.  His life revolves around cricket, his sex life around casual hookups and friends with benefits.  Until he sees Scott Alverley, England’s promising new batsman.  On the last day of his team’s “Ashes” tour of England, Nat spies golden Scott Alverley across the field and is instantly smitten.  But the young man plays for his old “enemy” and Nat doesn’t even know if Scott is gay.

Scott Alverley is a son of privilege.  A true golden boy in coloring and heritage, all Scott has ever wanted is to  play cricket and be accepted for who he is.   Years of boarding school have taught Scott to keep his sexuality a carefully guarded secret until he meets Nat Seddon.  Nat is everything Scott has ever dreamed of but what is a young virgin to do when he meets the experienced man of his dreams?

Scott and Nat’s attraction to each other proves to  be something far deeper, a real love each man expects to last.  But Nat and Scott play for teams separated by more than an ocean.  Constantly pulled apart by schedules and geographical residences, Nat and Scott try to make the best of it all.  Until they can’t.  What will give in the tournament of love?  Who will be the victor and win the cup of Ashes?  Can they both come out on top in the contest for love?

You don’t have to be a fan of cricket or even knowledgeable about the game to enjoy the love story at the heart of Burning Ashes.  It’s a very sweet love story that has its foundation on the playing field of cricket and crosses continents in its tale of love and the pursuit of a relationship that will stretch over the years.  H. Lewis-Foster has created a very wholesome and mostly angst free tale of gay love on and off the cricket field, a game that Robin Williams describes as “baseball on valium”.  So its probably a good thing, especially for American readers, that an understanding of cricket and those that play it isn’t necessary in order to make sense of this story.  True that Scott and Nat are batsman but as long as you can relate to men whose lives revolve around a sport, both as players and as men who deeply love the game they are involved in, then that aspect of Burning Ashes becomes real.

I have to admit I still don’t understand the title even after having read the book anymore than I understand cricket.  I loved the author’s descriptions of England and Australia right down to the way the two cultures feel about the weather and the heat.  It seems all very authentic, including the affection Lewis-Foster feels for the two countries and their outlook on sports, which is a good thing considering the story will track over both continents as the men travel with their cricket teams to various matches and tournaments.

My only real issue with the story is not the game but the relationship that is built between Scott and Nat.  Considering the age of the men, the relationship and their almost courtly parade towards love comes across as almost Pollyanna in tone and mildness.  They meet, fall in love, separate, miss each other, come back together, make love and tell each other how much they missed each other.  It’s all very ordinary and sweet, everything you might expect in a tale of a first love that becomes a final one.  It never becomes cloying but it also never climbs above the middling sweetness either.  It takes a certain writer to  elevate a story that is kind, sweet, and even toned into a book that makes even the most  mundane of events dramatic and vivid in description.  This is not that author or book.

If all you are looking for in a story is a lovely, sweet romance of no real depth or angst, then Burning Ashes is the book for you.  It is a  nice way to spend the day.  But if you are looking for memorable characters, sweeping storylines, and a compelling romance, then this will disappoint in every way.  Consider this recommended with reservations.

Cover art by Leah Kaye Suttle.  It’s a lovely cover and a good match for the story inside.

H. Lewis-Foster (0101-01-01T00:00:00+00:00). Burning Ashes (Kindle Location 11). Dreamspinner Press. Kindle Edition.

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages
Published October 11th 2013 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1627981977 (ISBN13: 9781627981972)
edition language English

On Tour with Raine O’Tierney’s ‘Most Beautiful Words’‏ (book tour and contest)

ABeautifulWordsBanner300x2502

Raine O’Tierney is back today.  We sat her down an author “quickie”( interview, of course).  Check out the excerpt and blurb.  And don’t forget to enter the contest at the end.

Book Name: Most Beautiful Words
Author Name: Raine O’Tierney

Author Interview “Quickie”

Q:   What’s the best tongue twister you know (without looking it up)?

Raine:  A cherry stem. Wait, what did you mean? ;)

Q:   Can you sing the Big Mac jingle?

Raine:  I just tried and I failed epically, but I’ll have you know that my husband was trying to pantomime it for me so I didn’t look like a total nerd who didn’t know the Big Mac song.

Q:  Would you rather be a famous writer with money, or a relatively unknown writer whose book will change one persons life forever?

Raine:  I have always, from my early days as a writer many years ago, wanted to write a story that would change someone’s life, a book that would win a Newberry, and a novel that would be taught in high school English. But… man, some money would be nice too!!

—Full Author Interview:

• Your concept for this story is a poignant one, you might even call it bittersweet.  How did this story come about?

It started as a little story I told my husband as we were cleaning the kitchen together one day. Couldn’t have been more than a few sentences at most, but we both got a little choked up at the end. Never had a snippet of idea bring tears to my eyes. When NaNoWriMo 2012 rolled around and I was trying to figure out what to write, hubs reminded me of that snippet. Most Beautiful Words poured out of me in 13 days and took a year to revise.

• Do you believe in an afterlife?

I do because if I didn’t, I’d be so sad. I want to believe there’s more after this and I like to imagine it’s a place we design ourselves—all our happiness together in one space.

• Who would you want waiting for you in the Hereafter if it exists?

My Paw-Paw, who I dedicated Most Beautiful Words to… I’d like to think he’s very proud of me. He was the most amazing man.

• Who would you be waiting for?

This is a very interesting question—I think I would wait for those I had wronged, so that we could meet again in the afterlife and hug without the shackles of resentment. Sometimes there’s no making amends in this life, as hard as you try, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to reconnect in the future.

• Why frame out your story in this manner?

I developed Autumn as the Storykeeper first, but I didn’t want this beautiful, vibrant, loving young lady to be just the Storykeeper. I wanted to show her and her life as much as I showed the love that Roy and Tommy shared. That created the first two POVs. I don’t think it would have been as powerful, though, without the Valley as a third concept. In some ways it was easy to write this way, and in other ways it was like French braiding…which I am not great at. ^_~ I think it turned out well!

• Which of your characters evolved first?

Autumn and Tommy evolved together, which was really a cool chars-development concept since they’re related.

• What would your afterlife look like?

Just like Burmecia from Final Fantasy IX. And if you’re not a super nerd and don’t know what that is, it would rain all the time in my afterlife.

• Do you believe that love transcends everything?

I think that it can if it’s used right. I don’t think idle love transcends everything. I think lionhearted love can transcend, even if it doesn’t seem like it in the moment.

• First story you read as a child that has impacted your writing as an adult
Behind the Attic Wall by Sylvia Cassedy

• Your favorite comfort story that you pick up when you are looking for that comfort read or old friend.

Every few years, I go back to Hogwarts! I’ll get all the books on audio and listen to Jim Dale for days, reliving the magic and the adventure of Harry Potter.

• What is next up for Raine O’Tierney?

I have two releases in December: X-Mas Cake (A Modern Fairytale) from Beaten Track Publishing and Bowl Full of Cherries from Dreamspinner Press, then in January the M/M romance I wrote with my husband, Alchemy Ever After comes out from Dreamspinner Press, and finally in March, my YA I’ll Always Miss You is released from Harmony Ink. In the meantime, writing writing and more writing!s

Thanks so much, Raine for the great interview!

Thanks

Author Bio:

Called “Queen of the Sweetness” (well, two or three people said it anyway!) Raine O’Tierney loves writing sweet stories about first loves, first times, fidelity, forever-endings and…friskiness?

Raine O’Tierney lives outside of Kansas City with her husband, fellow Dreamspinner Press author, Siôn O’Tierney. When she’s not writing, she’s either asleep, or fighting the good fight for intellectual freedom at her library day job. Raine believes the best thing we can do in life is be kind to one another, and she enjoys encouraging fellow writers. Writing for 20+ years (with the last 10 spent on M/M) Raine changes sub-genres to suit her mood and believes all good stories end sweetly. Contact her if you’re interested in talking about point-and-click adventure games or about which dachshunds are the best kinds of dachshunds!

Author Contact:

Raineotierney.com | Dreamspinner Press Author Page | The Hat Party (LGBT Author Interviews!)
Facebook Fan Page | Twitter

 

Cover Artist: Brooke AlbrechtMostBeautifulWords_final
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press eBook     Dreamspinner Press Paperback

All Romance eBooks    Barnes and Noble

Most Beautiful Words Blurb:

Twelve-year-old Autumn’s world is shattered when her beloved Great-Pop, Tommy Johnson, suffers a stroke that leaves him comatose. With everyone around her resigning themselves to the inevitable, Autumn is the only one not willing to give up. She and Great-Pop have more secret stories to share with each other, after all. More stories about Roy McMillan—the great love of Tommy’s life whom he lost fifty years ago.

Autumn struggles to keep Great-Pop on this side of death’s door. But how can she compete with the beautiful and mysterious Valley—a place of surreal magic where the sun never fully sets? Especially when there’s someone familiar in the Valley who will do everything he can to keep Great-Pop from returning to her.

Most Beautiful Words Excerpt:

But Rook had no interest in waiting for permission. He’d come forward, snaking his arms around Toren’s sheet-covered waist and pulling him hard against his body. “It’s just a kiss,” Rook breathed before he put his lips against Toren’s. Should he protest? Had he protested? Toren couldn’t remember. In that moment there was nothing but Rook’s firm lips, gently teasing his own apart. Toren kissed back, tasting the other man, sucking at his bottom lip. Rook’s mouth was intoxicating, and quite suddenly, Toren forgot why he’d ever resisted. He liked kissing Rook. But after only an appetizer’s worth of his mouth, Rook pulled away. The sensation of their mouths pressed together lingered, and Toren was dumb with the moment. Lost on it. Uncertain what they’d even been talking about.

“Do you remember me now?” Rook asked.

“Mmn,” Toren agreed, warmth lingering on his lips. “Rook.”

Silence was his reply. The arms around his waist fell away, leaving him feeling cold.

Toren slowly opened his eyes to find he was standing alone, clutching his sheet, as Rook walked away from him toward the staircase.


Tour Dates/Stops:

ABeautifulWordsBadge2October 10: Angel Martinez, My Fiction Nook, Up All Night, Read All Day
October 13: Amanda C. Stone, Decadent Delights
October 14: Jade Crystal, Nephylim
October 15: LeAnn’s Book Reviews, Velvet Panic
October 16: Full Moon Dreaming, Dawn’s Reading Nook
October 17: Wake Up Your Wild Side, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words
October 20: Parker Williams, Inked Rainbow Reads
October 21: Cate Ashwood, Love Bytes, Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves
October 22: Regular Guys, Hot Romance, Emotion in Motion
October 23: EE Montgomery, MM Good Book Reviews
October 24: Iyana Jenna, Prism Book Alliance

 

 

Contest: Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Use the Rafflecopter link below to enter the contest and for all additional contest details.

Rafflecopter Code: a Rafflecopter giveaway

A MelanieM Review: Changing Tide by D.P. Denman

Rating: 2 stars out of 5

Changing Tide coverPhotographer David sails into Vancouver Island harbor looking to shoot Orca whales for a photograph book he has in mind and not much else.  David’s 30 ft sailboat, Wanderer, is all the home he wants or needs. Then David hires Capt. Jack Lewis’ charter boat for a  whale watching trip and everything changes.  David’s anguished past has kept him from any sort of permanence, whether it is of a location or of the heart.  David’s recent history is that of transience, always on the road or water as the case maybe.  It’s his way of protecting himself and his heart from any additional pain and commitment.   But meeting Jack Lewis and getting a taste of a relationship is making inroads into his heart and scaring him senseless.

When Jack Lewis looked into the eyes of the man who wanted to charter his boat, he was lost.  David is gorgeous, mysterious, but the pain Jack also sees reflected back to him makes him want to take David into his arms and never let him go. Jack has had his fill of casual sexual relationships and hookups, especially in the case of Emerson, a young man who trades sex for status and perhaps money.   David is everything that Emerson is not, David is older, fascinating, and as a freelance  photojournalist, independent.  Before he is aware that it is happening, Jack is falling for David and soon wants much more than perhaps David is capable of giving.

The unexpected relationship between Jack and David moves into dangerous waters as Emerson’s emotions and jealously spiral out of control  combine with David’s fears of commitment and permanence. The emotions build until an explosion born of unresolved relationships and expectations shatter the bonds that holds all the men together.

Sometimes when you read a book, all the good elements you find in a story will be overwhelmed by the issues and outright problem  areas also to be found at that same time.  Unfortunately, that is the case with Changing Tide by D.P. Denman.  In fact there are so many issues to be found within this story that I am going to start with the aspects I liked and enjoyed the most.

I loved the location.  Denman does Vancouver Island proud by portraying the climate, landscape and natural marvels in such a way that I wanted to grab a plane, then charter a boat myself to see the wonders that Vancouver Island and the surrounding seas have to offer.  This includes the majesty, and magic of whale watching.  Even if I was not a naturalist, the passages where Jack spoke in awe of his experiences with Orcas would have reached me emotionally.  Here is an excerpt:

“So tell me about these killer whales,” he shifted the conversation in a not so subtle new direction.

“I bet you’ve seen a lot of them over the years.”

“Quite a few. We’re getting to be old friends,” Jack smiled into his mug.

“Does any particular sighting stand out or do they all just flow together?”

“Some stand out, usually because of people’s reaction. A lot of them burst into tears at the sight of an orca.”

“Scared?”

“Amazed. It can be a bit awe-inspiring if you’re not used to it. Hell, it can be awe inspiring even if you are.”

“Nothing like Sea World, huh?”

“Not even a little. They don’t look like much when you see them out of context.

They’re just another fin in a tank.” The look on his face and the tone in his voice reflected the same awe he tried to describe.

That describes in a nutshell some of the highlights and problems with this story.  It starts out well but somewhere around the middle it goes awry. Orcas are pretty amazing no matter how or where you see them (in my opinion) but he is saying that they are just another fin in a tank in captivity while his “voice is reflecting” awe?  Something got lost there.  And the following description of the encounter displays the same missed opportunity by the author.  Its almost right but something in the writing is out of kilter.

“I was out in my old boat, a 30-footer. I killed the engine a few yards out of the straight, right in the middle of the water so we wouldn’t miss anything. Half the group was on the aft deck. A few of us were crouched at the bow and I saw this fin come up out of the water a few yards away. I knew it was going to be close so we called everyone up to the bow. The next thing I know I’m watching this animal as big as a semi come up from the deep almost right under us. The bastard broke the surface close enough to look me in the eye and suddenly all I could see was killer whale.”

An experienced captain is in a 30 ft boat with passengers.  A huge orca’s fin breaks the surface of the water only a few yards away.  And he calls the people over to the side? That makes no sense, and ruins Jack’s credibility as a native and experienced boat captain.  But that is probably my mildest complaint with this story.  We are still getting some wonderful descriptions of how it feels to be on the water, and in Denman’s hand, I defy anyone not to want to make Vancouver Island a vacation destination for any future travel plans.

The author also appears to be familiar with sailboats and her description of David’s small living area aboard the Wanderer felt authentic enough to make me a little claustrophobic.  The same goes for Jack’s gorgeous house that faces the Sound.  I would love to see that one too.  Actually I would love to live there.  From the descriptions of the views seen from inside the bedroom, that would have me moving in a heartbeat.

But this is not a travelogue, nor a real estate brochure.  Nor even a finished product. And that brings me back to the issues and problem areas I spoke of earlier.

First would be the editing and format.  My copy starts out with the first chapter mislabeled as the Epilogue.  Now aside from the fact that an epilogue is found at the back of the book, an epilogue usually shows some sort of closure for the main characters or aspect of the story and this is not a epilogue in any way.  It is merely a mislabeled chapter 1, not even a prologue.   These items (and others) were easily corrected problems and I am flummoxed that they were left in.  I hope it is due to a lack of experience and assistance but the book as received is not something I would expect a reader to pay money for.  It is not polished in any way other than a nice cover.

Then there is the issues of characterization.  My mildest complaint again is that the author shows little continuity starting with the fact that two of her characters have last names and one of her main characters, David, does not.  Either all of them should have complete names or leave it on first names only for everyone in the book.  There’s Crystal, David, Kathy, Cindy and Brett.  Then there is Jack Lewis and Emerson Reid.  Yes, it’s a small issue but descriptive of the bigger ones to be found with the characters and the narrative.

David is probably the only character I enjoyed as he also seemed the most fleshed out.  His back history combined with his present situation seemed realistic   He earns our sympathy and affection.  Then there are all the others, primarily Jack and Emerson.  It seemed as though the author had two personas for each of them and couldn’t decide on which was the one they wanted to use.  So Denman used both.  Jack is an enabling jerk, a selfish and lazy, he is shallow and self deceiving. Jack is also thoughtful, respectful of others, and too kind for his own good. And for me Jack is also finally unlikable.  Then there is Emerson, a 23 year old of murky background and obvious mental and emotional issues.  No one knows Emerson’s true back history so the idea is planted that he is both a gold digger as well as someone also so emotionally unstable that he lives in a fantasy world.  Every one appears to know that something is really wrong with Emerson but no one suggests that he gets help.

Then Denman combines these two somewhat distasteful personas into a convoluted relationship and the story bogs down under its own issues.  At times Jack is supposedly so sexually attracted to Emerson that he can’t stay away, having sex with him even after declaring his affections lie elsewhere.  At other times Jack is treating Emerson like an annoying vagrant dog, petting him, giving out scraps then shutting the door on him.  The author’s treatment of Emerson is no better.  Emerson screeches like a “drama queen”, begs, pouts, shouts , lies and acts hurt.  The reader is left unsure as to what they should be feeling about Emerson.  Should it be pity or irritation or something more? And it’s not like these are realistic, layered characterizations but rather small distinct shallow ones that are constantly deviating from one scene to the next, as slippery as a fish out of water.  And these two characters have the same scene over and over again throughout the story.  This is a typical exchange between the two men:

Emerson pushed the door closed, wrapped arms around him and tried to kiss him. He grabbed his arms and pulled him right back off.

“We need to talk.”

“We can talk later. Fucking first,” Emerson tried to squirm out of his grip.

“This isn’t one of those visits,” his tone got Emerson’s attention.

“What’s wrong?”

“Nothing’s wrong, exactly. I just think you and I have reached a point where it’s time to end this.”

Emerson blinked back at him and the eager expression slid to a pensive scowl. “What?”

“It’s obvious you want something I’m not willing to give so I think it’s better if we stop seeing each other.”

“Who says I want something else?”

At some point you move on.”

“Why?” Emerson looked stricken.

“Because that’s how it works. Come on, Em, you know I’ve wanted out of this for a while. It’s just time,” he reached out to caress his arm and Emerson pulled out of reach.

“We don’t fit.”

29 Changing Tide DP Denman

“We’ve been fitting just fine until now,” he snapped, stricken turning to anger. “It’s because of him, isn’t it?”

“Who?”

“Don’t play dumb with me, Jack. That tall drink of whore you were with the other night.”

“It doesn’t have anything to do with him. Besides, you and I have never been exclusive. Just because someone else shows up doesn’t mean I have to choose between you.”

Emerson reached out to slap him and he caught his wrist before the hand made contact.

“That’s not news to you so don’t pretend it’s any kind of insult.” “Let go of me,” Emerson snatched his hand back.

“It doesn’t matter,” he shook his head. “The point is we’ve been at this too long. Casual doesn’t last forever, right?

Now this scene goes on for another page or two. More dialog of exactly the same thing until Jack finally leaves  but not before telling Emerson that he likes him and touching his cheek in a lover like manner, totally negating everything that Jack said prior.  Talk about mixed messages and not just from Jack, but the author too.   Then take this sad, irritating, and confused scene and repeat it in some form numerous times throughout the story.  I said in some form because sometimes Jack stays and they have sex, then the same dialog picks up from there. There is no growth shown, no real change in how the men act or feel, just a repetition of the above back and forth argument and enabling behavior.  Trust me when I said the exasperation sets in around the halfway point and never actually goes away.

And in between this never ending argument and emotional stalemate, Jack and David are trying to have a relationship that comes with its own issues as well.

So in between lovely descriptive scenes of Vancouver Island and water, the reader is forced to wade through pages of confused characterizations, dense dialog and what might have been a terrific little plot in another author’s hands.  However, in Changing Tide the negatives ends up overpowering all the positive aspects. The writing is uneven, the narrative dense and repetitive and the format is rough and unprofessional.

And that’s so sad and unnecessary.

Given an editor, great or otherwise, with a ruthless, objective idea on how to write fiction, this story and this review might have been all together different.  As it, I have to tell you to give it a pass.

Book Details:

I have none.  Although the author’s website states that it will be released October 4th, although I am told it is scheduled for the 11th for publication, book facts such as page numbers, word counts, ISBN numbers are all missing.

A MelanieM Review: Fire and Light by Berengaria Brown

Rating: 2.5 stars ouf of 5 stars

Fire and Light coverSeveral years after the divorce, Hugh’s ex-wife decides that she doesn’t want her son and gives Hugh full custody.   Hugh loves his son and finds this a wonderful turn of events, even if it means he has to rearrange his life.  With 6 year old Orion living with him, Hugh and his son are adjusting to life as a family when a chance encounter with a man named Quigley changes all their lives forever.

This is a short story about a romance that starts in an equally small amount of time.  Hugh has just gotten custody of his son from his ex-wife.  She is in a new relationship and her boyfriend does not want Orion around.  Quigley is a man on a 2-week vacation.  All three meet cute in a surf shop and bond over board shorts and goggles.  In that 2 week time frame, the men fall in love and decide to be a family, along with Orion.  Orion adjusts beautifully.  Everyone is happy. The end.

That’s the story.  Short, sweet and has no character building, no foundation on which to build a realistic love story and certainly no depth.What it does have is loads of sex scenes, with a smattering of story.  It’s fluffy with some lovely scenes between Hugh and his son.  That is really the best part of Fire and Light, the father-son relationship.  Of course, that is also the component that makes the acceptance of a stranger and the instant family kind of creepy.

If Berengaria Brown is a must read author for you, then go ahead and pick this up.  But for the rest of us, I would give this a pass.

Book Details:
ebook, 2nd Edition, 57 pages
Published June 19th 2013 by Torquere Press (first published June 16th 2011)
ISBN 1610404882 (ISBN13: 9781610404884)
edition language English

A MelanieM Review: A Taste for Poison (Memory of Scorpions #3) by Aleksandr Voinov

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Even a king gets stung when he reaches for a scorpion.

ATasteForPoison_200x300Once the leader of the band of mercenaries known as the Scorpions, Adrastes is now King and a changed man.  Ruler of two countries, along with his sister/wife, King Adrastes has just survived an assassination, just barely.  In poor health and still recovering, Adrastes trusts no one and is determined to find the assassin and make the individual pay.  Wary of everyone now, including allies and friends, King Adrastes prepares his kingdom for war against the only kingdom and ruler outside his control, the Elder of Vededrin.  But not everyone supports Adrastes, including the man who loved and rescued him, Kendras.

Kendras, former lover to Adrastes and leader of the Scorpions, no longer blindly supports his king.  He’s watched Adrastes change and the orders from the King are making him uneasy and reluctant to obey.  And to go to war with Adrastes against Vededrin just might mean the end of the Scorpions for all time.  And replacing Adrastes in Kendras’ bed and heart is Graukar, newly appointed general to the king, an event the King is not happy with.  Kendras must figure out how to balance responsibilities and loyalties in a world gone increasingly complex and grey.  And quickly before someone he loves is injured.

As Kendras tries to work through his thoughts and feelings, a new threat arises to King Adrastes rule.  An anonymous outrider wearing a mask calling himself Death foments rebellion in the mountains, aided by a prophecy that promises he’ll stop the Black King.   Ordered to find and kill the man called Death, Kendras leaves feeling unsettled, uncertain and sure of only one thing…his love for Graukar.

From the moment I read the first book in this series, Scorpion (Memory of Scorpions #1), I knew that Kendras and the Scorpions would lead me on a remarkable journey.    It’s been a brutal, raw, and violent saga and one of the best in its genre.  The life of a mercenary is a hard and savage one, unsparring in the injuries and deaths that come as part of the profession.  Only the loyalty to each other and the tight rules and rich history of the Scorpions, make this band of soldiers a family.  Voinov’s saga begins with Kendras, his entrance into the Scorpions, his scant memories of his childhood, and the heartbreak and pain of finding and then losing Adrastes, not to another lover, but to the kingship itself.  Told from Kendras’ point of view, the character grows from a soldier with a single minded focus and goal to one floundering amongst the political seas at court.   It’s a mesmerizing and arduous scramble as Kendras rises up the social scale, pulled along by Adrastes, whether he wants to go or not.  Kendras must grow as a character and Voinov delivers that mental and emotional growth in spurts that come with despair along with great joy.

A Taste of Poison (Memory of Scorpions #3)  finds Adrastes suffering the effects of an assassination attempt, one that profoundly changes the King’s outlook on those around him and accelerates his goal of expanding his rule to all three kingdoms.  The man who rules is not the man Kendras followed and loved.  That dichotomy is cause for depression, and uncertainty, along troubling thoughts of disloyalty  is adding to unrest among the Scorpions and Kendras.  Voinov has made Kendras a man of honor and depth and to see and feel him floundering and pulled by this faction and that both enriches this story and ups the suspense for the welfare of all involved.

Everything is heightened here in A Taste of Poison.  Goals, loyalties, love, trust…the bar is now so high and the repercussions of any deviation or conflict are swift, exacting, and devastating.  Voinov reveals more of Kendras’ past, unknown even to Kendras  Also revealed are hidden alliances, and schemes to depose one ruler or another.  There are no black and white sides, only grey as Kendras has been slow to learn.  And with every startling exposition and shattering event, we are pulled deeper into the lives of all the Scorpions and their leader, Kendras.

Voinov has delivered a saga rich in character development, alive with action and battle sequences, and complete with the horrors that love and jealousy can and does inflict on all involved.  Aleksandr Voinov has said that the quote from Leo Tolstoy: “The best stories don’t come from “good vs. bad” but “good vs. good.” helped shape not only the characters of  Adrastes and Kendras but the stories themselves.  Only a tilt of the prism or a slight change of perspective will make either character “good” or “evil”.  Is it evil for Adrastes to want to solidify the 3 warring kingdoms into one for the betterment of all?  At what price is that not acceptable?  Is Kendras’s feelings and actions betrayal or loyalty?  Whose goals are the ones that should be honored by personal sacrifice and love?  That Voinov is able to bring all facets to life in each of these strong personalities is not only a marvelous achievement but makes this a series worth reading and remembering.

The Memory of Scorpions series is astonishingly inventive, beautifully crafted and fiercely passionate. From the bloody sands of battle to the lethal layers and complex rituals of court, Alexandr Voinov brings his world and characters to life word by word, page by page using vivid imagery and an attention to detail that leaves no construct of person or kingdom feeling shallow or undone.  Just masterful.

I don’t know if this is the end of the Scorpions.  Voinov is silent about future stories.  I hope not.  There is so much here I still need to know.  The Black King still lives…if the prophecy is correct, who will bring him down?  What is ahead and possible for Kendras and the Scorpions?  This amazing story and series begs the questions.  Hopefully Aleksandr Voinov will answer.  Meanwhile, pick up this wondrous series and get acquainted with some of the most powerful and engaging characters around.  One of Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words “must reads” and highly recommended stories of 2014.

Cover art by Reese Dante.  Love that cover, powerful and perfect image that speaks to the story within.

Sales Links:   Riptide Publishing    All Romance eBooks (ARe)     Amazon      A Taste of Poison

Book Details:

alternative world, gritty fantasy, warrior mercenaries

ebook, 265 pages
Expected publication: October 13th 2014 by Riptide Publishing
ISBN139781626491557
edition languageEnglish
urlhttp://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/a-taste-for-poison
seriesMemory of Scorpions #3

Books in the Memory of Scorpions series in the order they were written and should be read:

Scorpion (Memory of Scorpions, #1)
Lying with Scorpions (Memory of Scorpions, #2)
A Taste for Poison (Memory of Scorpions, #3)

Scorpion coverLying with Scorpions coverATasteForPoison_200x300

Enter the Addictive World of the Scorpions! On Tour with Aleksandr Voinov’s A Taste of Poison

ATasteForPoison_TourBanner

♢♢♢♢♢♢♢♢♢♢♢♢♢♢

One of my favorite series from Aleksandr Voinov is the addicting and dangerous universe of the Memory of Scorpions series , an ancient mercenary band of brothers (and sister) with a history as rich as the kings they work for.  Now comes the latest installment, and hopefully not the last, A Taste of Poison (Scorpions #3) by Aleksandr Voinov.   You can follow Aleksandr Voinov on tour with all the dates here.  For now, let’s focus in on Aleksandr Voinov on his Scorpions:

 

“Good versus Good”

Hi, I’m Aleksandr Voinov, and I’m happy to talk about my newest release. Thank you for the invitation!

I recently stumbled over this quote from Leo Tolstoy:

“The best stories don’t come from “good vs. bad” but “good vs. good.”

It struck home for me, because while some writing courses tell you that you need a “villain” (in m/m, it’s the “evil ex”), and the more villainous the villain, the more tension we get. I think it’s bollocks, to use a lovely British term. Even if we have an almost cartoonish level of over-simplification, in, say, Star Wars (I love Star Wars), the much more interesting evil guy is Darth Vader. (Palpatine is more “cartoon evil”) Why? Because he used to be “good” and Luke believes passionately that Darth Vader, his father, can be redeemed. And it’s amazing, because that levels the playing field – while Luke is still in training, Darth Vader is seen as “just evil”. Once Luke comes into his power, he gets almost literally hamstrung (arm-strung?) by the revelation that Darth Vader is his father, and the decision to get him back to the good side. It’s very difficult fighting a duel against somebody you want to save/redeem, especially when that somebody seems absolutely set on destroying or breaking you.

What a conflict.

So often we do have the villain with the redeeming feature (“He only wants to bring peace to the galaxy”). But studying real-life evil, I’m usually struck by how some of the evillest men ever fully accepted they were doing “bad things”, but they usually did it not out of lust for destruction, but because they were looking for a higher good. The evil they did was seen as a “price worth paying”. In short, they were twisted idealists. Some stated that the “work” (read: atrocities) wasn’t pleasant, but they sacrificed themselves, their sanity, their peace, their souls, to do it. And that’s really disturbing. “Personal sacrifice” is actually a virtue.

I have zero doubt that Adrastes in the Memory of Scorpions series considers himself the “good guy”, and Kendras is being bothersome, dishonest, disloyal, and also in league with mutinous soldiers. Apart from the obvious jealousy with regards to Kendras and Graukar, Adrastes is driven by the need/desire to rebuild the empire, to end internal wars, to be strong against outside invaders, and to have peace and prosperity. And if he has to kill, torture and wage war for that noble end – well, he’s good at it, and there would be much worse people to do it. Less competent, less decisive, less thorough. He truly believes he’s doing the right thing. And we’ve seen him as the charismatic, self-sacrificing leader who looks after his men. Regardless of what he does later, we know he’s not “evil”. He’s very possibly not “good”, he’s just human. Like they all are. We buy more into Kendras’s version of the story because we never hear the story of the other characters, but chances are, if we did, we’d buy their version and consider Kendras “evil” or “wrong”.

And that’s really where I’m coming from. I can’t do sparkly shiny heroes versus dark and twisted evil guys, because I don’t believe that’s how it happens in real life. I can have characters cross the line (arguably, once Adrastes begins assassinating political enemies and using his father’s intimidation tactics, that’s where he crosses the line), but even in fantasy, which is full of dark gods and demons and tyrants and whatnot, I just don’t believe in that model of the world.

For me, pitting idealists with strong values against each other is far more fun, so I can root for all of them. It keeps me engaged and happy as an author, and I hope it has the same effect on readers.

 Title: A Taste of Poison (Memory of Scorpions #3) by Aleksandr VoinovATasteForPoison_200x300
Publisher:  Riptide Publishing
Cover Artist:  Reese Dante
Page Count:  260 pages

 

A Taste of Poison Blurb:

ATasteForPoison_200x300Even a king gets stung when he reaches for a scorpion.

After barely surviving an assassination attempt, King Adrastes is a changed man—one who mistrusts even his allies and friends. He readies his empire for war against an enigmatic enemy, the Elder of Vededrin, but not everyone approves. While courtiers dare only to whisper dissent, an outrider called Death foments rebellion in the mountains, aided by a prophecy that promises he’ll stop the Black King.

Kendras—former lover to Adrastes and leader of the Scorpions—is sent with his elite mercenary force to bring Death to justice. But when Kendras learns who’s hiding behind the mask, he must choose between his lover Graukar, newly-appointed general to the king—and King Adrastes himself.

With no man to call master, the Scorpions could flee the danger and intrigue. But Kendras cannot abandon the man he once loved—or the man he’s growing to love—without first uncovering the real threat to the Empire.

- See more at: http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/a-taste-for-poison#sthash.n5Pu5nYZ.dpuf

A Taste of Poison Excerpt

(read more at A Taste of Poison Excerpt page at Riptide Publishing)

Chapter 1

“Officer, Lady Nhala wishes to see you.”

Kendras had barely sunk into the hot bathwater to wash the sweat and dirt off when Runner stepped into the room. He groaned and ducked his head underwater, scraping over his scalp with both hands, then emerged again, blowing out a breath.

“How urgent?”

“She looked like it was a pressing matter.” Runner walked over to the stool next to the bath and picked up a linen towel, unfolded it, and offered it to Kendras. Her ironic expression forbade any comment that she wasn’t a bath slave and he could dry himself. Kendras crumpled his washcloth into a ball and ran it over his chest, belly, armpits, and groin. No leisurely soak to loosen up his tired muscles, then. Duty was calling. He tossed the cloth into the water and stood.

She enveloped him in the towel, and he reached for a corner of it to dry his face and head before he stepped out of the bathtub. “Get me my boots and leathers.”

“At once, Officer.” She turned and walked off.

Kendras rubbed his skin dry and was almost finished before Runner returned. He tossed the towel over the rim of the tub and began to dress. “Let her in.”

He was just pulling on his boots when Nhala appeared in the doorway. He felt her gaze linger for a moment on his bare chest, then she straightened almost as if standing at attention. “Officer.”

“My lady.” He closed the top of his leathers and began tightening the straps and laces. “I’m at your service.”

She stepped further into the room and glanced over her shoulder back into the barracks, checking for witnesses, no doubt. “We are all called to war council. Immediately.”

Kendras bit down on a groan. After a long, hot day on the training yard, and before any food, standing for hours in his heavy plate armor while generals bickered over the best strategy to achieve a victory wasn’t a prospect he relished. He much preferred when the plan was set and the only issue left was when to act. “Who’s issued the call?”

“The king.”

“The king’s—”

More dead than alive. Maybe dead.

 

- See more at Riptide Publishing’s A Taste of Poison page.

Memory of Scorpions stories in the order they were written and should be read:

Scorpion (Memory of Scorpions, #1)
Lying with Scorpions (Memory of Scorpions, #2)
A Taste for Poison (Memory of Scorpions, #3)

Lying with Scorpions coverScorpion coverATasteForPoison_200x300

 

Barb, the Zany Old Lady Review: Counterpunch (Belonging #2) by Aleksandr Voinov

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Counterpunch Riptide CoverBrooklyn was deemed responsible for the death of a young woman in his law enforcement job but instead of getting a manslaughter charge, he was sentenced to life as a slave. And since he was always into boxing as a sport, his new owners put him into boxing for profit in the slave prizefighting circuit. And he’s damn good–so good that he comes to the attention of wealthy boxing fan, Nathaniel Bishop. Bishop buys his services post-match one night, services that are always available for the right price, and Brooklyn preps himself for the usual—stud service for some wealthy client who wants to make use of all that extra testosterone after a match.

What he gets is not “the usual”. Nathaniel wants him all right, but he wants his acceptance more than he wants to dominate Brooklyn in sex. He slowly works his way into Brooklyn’s life, instilling confidence in the boxer, and hope for his freedom. Nathaniel is a lawyer and he believes that he can get Brooklyn free. He points out all the areas where he feels that Brooklyn was made a scapegoat and shouldn’t have been sentenced to slavery. He even manages to get Brooklyn away from his current trainer and into a training regimen with a new trainer and sparring partners who are worthy of working with the boxer who will one day be the champion on the slave circuit. It’s during these months of training that Brooklyn and Nathaniel become closer, and though Brooklyn finds it hard to verbalize his love for Nathaniel, they do love each other, and that stokes Brooklyn’s hope for a brighter future even higher.

Circumstances come to a head, however, when the boxer Brooklyn fights for the gold belt dies as the result of the knockout Brooklyn hands him. When Brooklyn tries to get away, he’s sent back to his original trainer and security handler, both of whom now feel they have an excuse to be even more brutal to him. And what happens to Nathaniel? He’s missing from Brooklyn’s life, gone without a trace, leaving Brooklyn wondering why he left himself open to feeling something for another person when he knows his case is so hopeless.

I love Voinov’s work. The characters are so tough, their circumstances so darkly depressing, yet their spirit remains strong. This is an excellent example of the author’s skills in bringing a character to life. I felt so sad for Brooklyn, watching what he was going through in his slavery, yet still keeping his sense of self. And the ending was so complex, yet simple, so heartbreaking, yet full of hope for Brooklyn’s future. I can’t recommend this story highly enough. If you like a dark, gritty alt universe story with a hero who’s flawed, this is the one for you.

Cover Art by Tami Santarossa – The drawn cover depicts the principal character in a relaxed stance looking out the window at the world beyond. Though it does symbolize his lack of freedom, I would prefer something either darker, like a character with a bloody cut above his eye, or in the process of throwing a punch in a boxing scene. This cover doesn’t express the explosive and dark world within.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing     All Romance eBook (ARe)   <a href=” Amazon       Counterpunch

 

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages
Published September 15th 2014 by Riptide Publishing (first published November 2nd 2011)
ISBN139781626492080
edition languageEnglish
urlhttp://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/counterpunch
seriesBelonging #2

 

Is There a “Wicked Defense” in Your Future? On Tour with Talia Carmichael!

TaliaCarmichael_WickedDefense_BlogTour_WebBanner_final

Welcome, Talia Carmichael!  Talia is here talking about her inspiration, her writing, and her latest release, Wicked Defense! Check out Talia Carmichael’s latest release, Wicked Defense (Bonds of Justice #4)!

 

Living It by Talia Carmichael

When I write a book I get emotionally invested in what happens. I basically live it and doing so takes a lot out of me, as I experience what my characters do. When I write I become very intimate with my characters. I know every intimate little secret. The good, in between, bad and those that brings them to their knees. They wreck you and make you drop. The memories of things that shape a character into being who they are. That guides what they do and react to each situation. Not every moment of a characters life makes it to a page, if it did it would be an unending book. :) But to write my characters and make their reactions genuine they have to become real people to me. I’m a voyeur living in their lives and I don’t just get to live the good stuff. I get to live those awful things.

In Wicked Defense (Bonds of Justice, #4) my latest release, my main characters have to deal with someone trying to kill their partner. Spencer is a policeTaliaCarmichael_WickedDefense_BlogTour_600x315_final detective and he knows he has a job to do but he is personally invested in Craig. That makes it more overwhelming for him—emotionally, spiritually and physically. Through the book I already knew what eventually what was coming. The big reveal of why Craig is being hunted and the repercussions of that. I ached for Craig knowing it was coming and what would happen. When it happened I raged with him and wept. With Craig and Spencer as they had to handle what happened. I lived it with them and it was a rollercoaster of emotions.

Wicked Defense (Bonds of Justice, #4) isn’t angst filled because I’m not very good at it. My book was emotional to me because I knew everything my characters experienced before it happened in the book. How it affected them both and where it would lead. As I read through my book, I was going through all the same emotions as my characters. Each time I read my book it has the same impact on me.

Now Wicked Defense (Bonds of Justice, #4) is out. My characters are out in the world for others to experience like I did as I wrote them. You will take the adventure with them and go along with them as they work toward their happy ever after. Enjoy taking their journey to happy ever with them and you too will be living it.

Blurb for Wicked Defense

wickeddefense_US_800This is book four in the Bonds of Justice series.

When life brings you something unexpected, it creates the most interesting adventure…

Spencer West never would have come to an art show if not for one of his best friends. The pieces he sees are powerful and when a man strikes up a conversation asking his opinion, he gives it. Craig Scott—the artist—has been watching him all night. Spencer’s curiosity is piqued by this laid-back man who evokes such strong emotions in his art and just by being in his presence. Their conversation makes Spencer even more intrigued and he promises to get to know Craig better. Yet the circumstance of their next meeting makes Spencer realise he already cares too much. Someone wants Craig dead. Now invested in Craig emotionally and professionally, Spencer sees there is so much more beneath the surface of who Craig is. If only he can convince Craig to lie low… From what he has seen of the man, he isn’t one to listen.

Craig Scott spots the most intriguing man who seems out of place, and after their conversation, Craig knows he wants to see more of the sexy, brawny man. Nothing will get in his way—not some pesky attempt on his life or everyone wanting to protect him. He wants to make Spencer his—body, heart and soul. Spencer wants seduction and Craig is more than willing to tempt all the senses. As for the danger he is in, Craig will not hide from it but will meet it head on and kick the shit out of it.

Spencer has his hands full trying to protect Craig—who makes him feel all sorts of things—and he will use a wicked defense to keep him safe.

Reader Advisory: This book is best read in sequence as part of a series.

Like the sound of Wicked Defense? Buy it here!

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Talia Carmichael Bio

Talia Carmichael is a romantic who believes that family; no matter if it is by blood or those you choose as family, is integral to who you are. She is an author who writes sexy stories in a variety of genres. She believes in creating stories that encompass all that falling in love or lust entails, from the highs of that first blush of attraction to the lows of not knowing if you can make your coming together as a couple work, and then finally to the acceptance of the reality of making a life together. It’s all about the journey.

Among her books you’ll find contemporary, futuristic, fantasy, and paranormal settings with M/M themes that will have a happily-ever-after. Her books are passionate, intense, and real… to fill the craving.

TaliaCarmichael_WickedDefense_BlogTour_BlogDates_finalCheck out more about Talia at :

 

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