October 2014 – Summary of Reviews and Best Covers of the Month

It’s once again time to look back over the month’s reviews and best covers of October 2014.  So many great books and authors to choose from, so many covers to love.  Check them all out, add to your Must Have, Must Read list and, as always, happy reading!

October 2014 Book Review Summary

*Key:Lag_BaOmer_bonfire
STRW S series
C contemporary
F-fantasy
SF-science fiction
PN-paranormal
SP-supernatural
H-historical
HR-horror
N-Nonfiction
YA-young adult

Rating Scale: 1 to 5, 5 stars is outstanding

5 Star Rating:

A Taste of Poison (Memory of Scorpions #3) by Aleksandr Voinov, STRWFS (MelanieM Review)
Last Marine Standing by RJ Scott, STRWCS (MelanieM Review)
Red Dirt Heart 1 by N. R. Walker STRWCS (MelanieM Review)
Red Dirt Heart 2 by N. R. Walker STRWCS (MelanieM Review)
Red Dirt Heart 3 by N. R. Walker STRWCS (MelanieM Review)
The Broken Road Cafe by T. A. Webb, STRWCS (MelanieM Review)
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman, STRWC (An Aurora YA Review)

4 to 4.75 Star Rating:

A Heart for Robbie by J. P. Barnaby (4.5) STRWC (PaulB Review)
A Taste of Copper by Elin Gregory, (4.75) STRWH (MelanieM Review)
Accidental Contact and Other Mahu Investigations ()Mahu #7.5) by Neil S. Plakcy, (4.5) STRWCS (MelanieM Review)
Anchored by Rachel Haimowitz, (4.5) STRWSFS (A Barb Review)
Ben Raphael’s All-Star Virgins by K.Z. Snow (4) STRWC (Sammy Review)
Brothers in Arms (The Broken Road Cafe #2) by T.A. Webb. (4.75) STRWCS (MelanieM Review)
Counterpunch (Belonging #2) by Aleksandr Voinov, (4) STRWSFS (A Barb Review)
Cutting Out by Meredith Shayne, (4.5) STRWCS (MelanieM Review)
Dead Things by Meredith Russell (4) STRWH (MelanieM Review)
Death Gets A Boyfriend by Sophie Bonaste (4) STRWF (PaulB Review)
Foundation of Trust (Cost of Repairs #5) by A. M. Arthur, (4) STRWCS (MelanieM Review)
Hidden Gem by Lissa Kasey (4.75) STRWSF (MelanieM Review)
Phoenix Heart (Stolen Elements #1) by A.L. Wilson, (4.5) STRWSNS, (PaulB Review)
Spaghetti Western by E.M. Lynley (4) STRWCS (MelanieM Review)
Stand By You by A. M. Arthur (4.25) STRWCS (MelanieM Review)
The Trouble with Elves by Therese Woodson (audio book version) (4) STRWFH (A Barb Review)

3 to 3.75 Star Rating:

Acting Out (Calm and Chaos #1) by Sharon Maria Bidwell (3) STRWCS (MelanieM Review)
Burning Ashes by H. Lewis Foster (3.5) STRWC (MelanieM Review)
Confetti, Cake & Confessions by K. C. Wells STRWC (MelanieM Review)
DMZ by Andrea Speed, (3) STRWC (MelanieM Review)
His Sleeping Beau by Jess Buffett (3.5) STRWF (PaulB Review)
Merry Christmas, Josh by Andrea Speed (3.75) STRWSNHS (MelanieM Review)
Midsummer Baker by Megan Derr (3.5) STRWFS (MelanieM Review)
Midsummer Law by Megan Derr (3.5) STRWFS (MelanieM Review)

2 to 2.75 Star Rating:

Changing Tide by D. P. Denman (2) STRWC (MelanieM Review)
Fire and Light by Berengaria Brown (2.5) STRWC (MelanieM Review)
Grumble Monkey and the Department Store Elf by B. G. Thomas *audiobook* Barb Review (2.5) STRWFH

Best Covers of July 2014

 

A Heart for Robbie coverTaste of copper 400x600ATasteForPoison_200x300Accidental Contact and Other cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Heart for Robbie, cover art by Angsty G
A Taste of Copper by Elin Gregory, cover artist Meredith Russell
A Taste of Poison (Memory of Scorpions #3) by Aleksandr Voinov, cover artist Reese Dante
Accidental Contact and Other Mahu Investigations ()Mahu #7.5) by Neil S. Plakcy, Kris Jacen artist

 

All Star Virgins coverCutting Out coverDMZhiddengem_final03

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ben Raphael’s All-Star Virgins by K.Z. Snow, Cover artist Maria Fanning
Cutting Out by Meredith Shayne, Mumson Designs artist
DMZ by Andrea Speed, cover artist L. C.Chase
Hidden Gem, cover artist Shobana Appavu

 

Spaghetti Western coverThe Ocean at the End of the Lane cover
Spaghetti Western by E.M. Lynley, cover artist L.C. Chase
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman, unknown artist

A MelanieM Review: Confetti, Cake & Confessions by K.C. Wells

Rating: 3.25 stars out of 5

Confetti, Cake and Confessions jpgIt’s been eight years since Tony Porter and Marc Powell moved into the same house and joined their families when their single parents moved in together. When Tony’s mother Marie and Marc’s father Dennis decide to finally get married, it should be a reason to celebrate and make merry.  But there’s an unknown problem.  Tony and his feelings for his step brother Marc.  Tony moved out of the house as soon as he recognized the feelings growing for Marc and now he is facing having to spend 2 weeks at home, in Marc’s constant presence, and he’s not sure how he is going to handle it.

Marc too is coming home from college and he has no idea that Tony has been in love with him since Marc was sixteen.  Their parents are depending upon the boys to make this time a special family celebration, and need them to help make it the best time for all.  But high emotions, secrets, and confusion have a way of coming out and two weeks is just long enough for that to happen.  Weddings are a time for confetti, cake, and, just maybe a few confessions.

The description and cover for K.C. Well’s story Confetti, Cake, & Confessions give the impression this is a frothy, fun story of misunderstandings and romance but I’m not sure that’s the story the readers get.   True, there are plenty of misunderstandings and romance here but the atmosphere is definitely not one of fun or froth!

Did I enjoy it?  Definitely many elements of it.  It’s very well written and the characters and their behavior are so fitting for young men of that age.  I recognized the truth of K.C. Wells’ characters.  The angst and confusion that occurs over some of the drama and “complications” that arise felt so familiar because I have had children just that age. Teens, or those just twenty, when all the emotions and feelings and obstacles loom so large, unmanageable, and  occasionally forbidding.   All that conveys beautifully within the story and yes, it does make Tony and Marc both understandably real and vulnerable.  However, it also felt frustratingly long and overcomplicated.  I know at points I just wanted to poke them and say “communication does wonders”.  That frame of mind does not readily give into the romance that is supposed to be taking place.  Realistic?  Yes.  Romantic?  No.  At least for me.

What did I think was so well done?  The self examination and doubt that comes with the road to acceptance and understanding of a young man’s sexuality. That plays out beautifully here.  At times, painful, confusing, a barrel of mixed up emotions that have to be figured out before any growth or movement can take place within the characters all felt absolutely believable.

There are other aspects of this story that other readers might have issue with.  The first being that Tony and Marc are step brothers.  This is not a case of incest as the young men are not related, not even by marriage until the end.  But those readers who look at the most strict definition of family will be bothered by the close familial ties.  That didn’t bother me.  Marc and Tony had only lived together for eight years, not all of their lives and Marc’s dad is still alive.  What else might  bother some readers?  The age of Marc and Tony.  Again, while not quite Romeo and Juliet’s age, I found this aspect of the plot to be spot on.  Remember when you first started having feelings for someone else?  Fifteen and sixteen isn’t unusual to start thinking about sexuality and who you are attracted to.  K.C. Wells does a wonderful job of treating this element with sensitivity and restraint.

I think it all came down to the ending that felt a little unrealistic for me.  It felt rushed and perhaps too simple for all that went before to have it so easily resolved.  Then again, others may be cheering and thinking that’s the best part of Confetti, Cake & Confessions.  This story can go so many ways with so many different types of readers, depending upon their outlook on family and age, that it is hard to predict where its audience lies.   Some readers will adore this story, others not so much.   To those fans of K.C. Wells, I think you will enjoy this.  For all other readers, think about the story content and decide for yourself.

Cover art by Meredith Russell, whose lovely design and models make you want to reach out and grab up this story.

Sales Links:        All Romance eBooks  (ARe)       amazon   Confetti, Cake & Confessions

 Book Details:

ebook, 180 pages
Published September 29th 2014 by Island Tales press
edition languageEnglish
urlhttps://www.facebook.com/IslandTalesPress

On Tour with Garrett Leigh and her latest release Heart (contest)

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Check out the latest release from Garrett Leigh, Heart.  Read the blurb and excerpt and don’t forget to enter the  contest at the end!

Book Name: Heart
Goodreads Link
Author Name: Garrett Leigh

Author Bio:

Garrett Leigh is a British writer and book designer, currently working for Dreamspinner Press, Loose Id, Riptide Publishing, and Black Jazz Press. Her protagonists will always be tortured, crippled, broken, and deeply flawed. Throw in a tale of enduring true love, some stubbly facial hair, and a bunch of tattoos, and you’ve got yourself a Garrett special.

When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible. That, and dreaming up new ways to torture her characters. Garrett believes in happy endings; she just likes to make her boys work for it.

Garrett also works as a freelance cover artist for various publishing houses and independent authors under the pseudonym G.D. Leigh. For cover art info, please visit blackjazzpress.com

HEARTTheFinal_edited-1Heart by Garrett Leigh
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: G.D. Leigh (Blackjazzpress.com)

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press  amazon US   amazon UK   amazon CA

Heart Blurb:

Cornish pastry chef Seb Wright dreads the summer tourist season. The cash injection to his artisan fudge pantry is more than welcome, the extra work, less so. Then one summer, a shadowy Good Samaritan catches his eye. Irish Traveller Dex is bewitching, a beautiful sullen enigma who turns Seb’s world upside down until he disappears in the night, vanishing like a mystical summer rain.

Twelve months later Dex is in the midst of a dark storm. A slave to his master, ‘Uncle’ Braden, he spends his days cleaning caravans and his nights working in Braden’s other businesses. His short summer with Seb seems a lifetime ago. Lost in the savage violence of the murky underworld, he doesn’t dare dream he’ll ever find his way back, until one night, a brutal crime opens the door for a chance escape. A new life beckons, old faces emerge, and immersed in the heady vibe of London’s East End, new love begins to heal his fractured heart.

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

Heart Excerpt:

SEB TOOK a drink of his beer and set it down again with undue care. “You can’t read, can you?”

“Can.”

“I don’t believe you.”

Dex slid off his stool and shoved his hands into his pockets. He wasn’t sure what he’d expected when Seb had ambushed him, but it wasn’t this. So what if he couldn’t bloody read? It wasn’t like he’d ever been to school to learn.

Seb caught his arm. “Don’t go, Dex. I’m sorry, okay? I won’t tell anyone. I promise.”

Seb’s hand engulfed Dex’s wrist, his touch as charged and heated as it had ever been. Dex felt his resolve melting, ebbing away until it was all he could do to fall back onto the bar stool. “I can read some,” he said mutinously. “I can read numbers, and names. Knew the name of your shop, didn’t I?”

“Can you write?”

“Never tried.” Dex looked down. Lying to Seb felt all wrong. He’d heard the name of Seb’s shop on the street, and the only name he could read was his own.

Seb was silent for a moment, then without warning, Dex felt his fingers brush through his shower-damp hair. “It really is brown. I thought it was just wet.”

Dex fought for the strength to shy away from the soft gesture, but nothing happened. “The bleach grew out.”

“It was dyed?”

“Couldn’t you tell?” Dex had forgotten his brief stint as a blond was all Seb had ever known of him.

“No, not at all. You look totally different now. Not sure I would’ve recognized you without the scowl. You just about shocked the shit of me. I… I thought I’d never see you again.”

Pages: 204
HeartBadgeTour Dates: October 31, 2014

Tour Stops:
Parker WilliamsRainbow Gold ReviewsInked Rainbow ReadsMM Good Book Reviews
Cate AshwoodBFD Book Blog, My Fiction Nook3 Chicks After DarkFoxylutely Book Reviews
Smoocher’s VoiceCarly’s Book ReviewsBoy Meets Boy ReviewsWicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews
Hearts on FireFallen Angel ReviewsThe Blogger GirlsLove BytesScattered Thoughts & Rogue Words
Andrew Q. Gordon

 

Contest:  Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy of ‘Heart’.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Use the link provided for the entry form and for all additional contest details.
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Barb, a Zany Old Lady, Review: The Trouble With Elves by Therese Woodson ~ Audiobook narrated by Ryan Kennard Burke

The Trouble With Elves by Therese Woodson ~ Audiobook narrated by Ryan Kennard Burkeaudiobook clipart bw

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

The Trouble with Elves coverCal Martin manages the sporting goods store that happens to be directly across from the Christmas Village in the mall—the dreaded Christmas Village where Santa and his elves cause children to scream and cry and run around with very sticky candy-cane fingers. Cal should adapt “Grinch” as his nickname because he not only hates the whole scene, but he despises listening to the continuous loop of boring old Christmas music.

Cal was once a promising athlete, heading to college on a scholarship when he blew his knee out. Now he lives with his younger brother Brock who has a job in the food court so that they can commute and commiserate together. None of his employees are aware that he’s gay so when he spots a very sexy elf, one who would be able to grant all of Cal’s wishes, his employees, in particular nosy Mia, think he’s drooling over the cute female elf. As it happens, the elves are twins, and Mia knows them.

Unfortunately, due to a major misunderstanding, when Mia works her magic and gets Alex over to his store to meet him, it turns out that Alex is the female elf. Cal wants to be with Zander, her twin. Cal is astounded that their parents named one of them Alexandra and one Alexander. No wonder there was a misunderstanding! The problem is that Cal is so shy and awkward, he can’t find the words to straighten the situation out.

One misunderstanding leads to another until Cal finally realizes that he has to man up and just tell Zander outright that he’s interested in him, not his sister. Of course, it’s never simple, and it’s fun listening to this audiobook rendition of this very entertaining story. Ryan Kennard Burke does a great job with the youthful voices of Cal and Zander and even with singing the traditional Christmas songs which seem to be chapter headings. For a short story, it packs a lot of punch with humor, angst, and romance all sharing equal time.

I would recommend the audiobook to anyone who enjoys listening to their m/m romance and to those who want to enjoy a cute Christmas story with a sweet HEA.

Cover Art by Catt Ford is a very bright holiday green showing MC Zander’s guitar and elf hat. It’s nice and attractive and fits the short story well.

Note: A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2013 Advent Calendar package “Heartwarming”.

Sales Links (audio)   Dreamspinner Press     Amazon         The Trouble with Elves   iTunes    Audible

Book Details:

Audio book, Narrator Ryan Kennard Burke

Amazon
Length 1:54:00
ebook, 78 pages
Published December 1st 2013 by Dreamspinner Press (first published November 30th 2013)
ISBN 1627985948 (ISBN13: 9781627985949)
edition languageEnglish
seriesHeartwarming

Visit into the Romantic World of Iyana Jenna’s Love’s Home (tour and contest)

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Book Name: Love’s Home
Author Name: Iyana Jenna

Author Bio:

Iyana writes M/M short stories and novellas. Her works have been published by Evernight Publishing, JMS Books, Books to Go Now, Torquere Press, Bitten Press, Leap of Faith Publishing, Breathless Press, and Alfie Dog Fiction.

Iyana lives in Jakarta, a city famous for its traffic jams, a lot of cars and motorcycles, and people selling stuff on the roads. You can spend two hours on the road going to a place you can reach in half an hour in a normal situation. Thanks to the traffic jams, though, Iyana can come up with a lot of stories, mostly shorties, as she prefers to spend the time during her trips writing into her cell phone rather than sleeping.

Another thing Iyana loves is kitties. Right now she has three of them. Their names are Cil, Horus, and Betsy, and one kitten. When she doesn’t write, she plays with them, or they would play with her when she writes.

Author Contacts:

Loves_Home_400-ProofPublisher: JMS Books
Cover Artist: Written Ink Designs | http://written-ink.com

Sales Links: Amazon US   
Amazon UK   JMS Books

Love’s Home Blurb:

Sometimes you need a break, to get away somewhere, but in the end you always return to a place you call home. The saying goes, “Home is where the heart is.” It doesn’t matter if it’s big or small, pretty or shabby, what matters is it’s your Love’s Home.

This collection features five of Iyana Jenna’s best-selling gay contemporary romance stories. A homeless PA finds a home in an actor’s life. An abduction almost steals a man from his loving boyfriend. A love triangle nearly ruins everything. A sex slave is rescued by an unlikely savior. A young man discovers a new home after he loses everything.

Contains the stories:
• A Home for Jesse
• A Single Black Rose
• Misunderstandings
• Will and Pleasure
• Ya Like That?

Categories:

Love’s Home Excerpt:

A Home for Jesse

This ain’t so bad. Jesse pats his laden backpack. He stretches himself on the bench and lowers his head onto the bag, grimacing at the bumps pressing against his head and neck. Awesome. He is going to have major cricks and headaches come morning. That is if he’s not suffering from early signs of pneumonia.

Jesse shifts and grunts and finally gives up. He sits up, takes off his jacket, and spreads it over his front before he lies down again. Moving a bit again to find the most comfortable position, he thinks, Fuck, now my shorts are stuck in the crack of my ass. Jesse reaches down and pulls them free — ah, that’s better.

He takes a deep breath. So he’s a bum now, is he? His ma would be heartbroken if she knew. She could blame him for being such a hard head and insisting on having his own way. Jesse stares blankly at the leaves swaying on treetops, at the shadows of the swings dancing in the dark, at the stars blinking mockingly down at him. At least the fact that they are up there means that the sky is cloudless and Jesse doesn’t need to worry about the possibility of rain tonight. Getting soaked when the only place he has to sleep is this park would be a pain in the ass, not to mention hazardous to his health. Jesse also hopes no cops will come patrolling tonight.

Weary to the bone, Jesse curls both hands under the side of his face and gives in to slumber.

 

Pages: 268 pages

LHBadgeTour Dates: October 30th

Tour Stops:
Parker WilliamsRainbow Gold Reviews. BFD Book BlogQueer Town Abbey,  Inked Rainbow Reads,  Full Moon Dreaming,  Multitasking Mommas,  Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews,  Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words,  MM Good Book Reviews,  Lee Brazil,  Cate Ashwood,  Havan Fellows,  Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings,  Love Bytes3 Chicks After Dark.The Hat Party.Velvet Panic

Contest: Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: One print copy of Love’s Home. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Use the Rafflecopter link provided for the entry form and for all additional contest details.

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A MelanieM Review: Red Dirt Heart 3 by N. R. Walker

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Red Dirt Heart3Life for Charlie Sutton has never been better.  With Travis by his side now on a permanent visa, Charlie feels that there is nothing he can’t do.  Run his multi-million dollars station,  finish his degree and even become a member of the local ranch board.  But things change quickly and before Charlie knows it he is dealing with Ma’s failing health, issues among his staff and  Travis’ latest rescue, a wombat baby named Nuggat!

Still, Charlie knows that with Travis’ love and support, he can manage anything.  But then Charlie’s calm and stability is shattered in two heartbreaking moments.  A revelation from Charlie’s past makes him question everything he knows about his life.  And Travis receives bad news from home.  News that makes him leave for the States.  A pivotal moment in the life of Charlie Sutton has arrived and how he deals with it  will either throw everything he has gained away or give him finally the future he has always wanted.

Red Dirt Heart 3 continues and deepens the story of the Sutton Station and its owner, Charley Sutton, as he adjusts to all the foundation shaking changes that have occurred in his life.  From the solitary son of an embittered, albeit successful rancher on the largest station in the Northern Territory, Charlie’s life dramatically changed with the arrival of Travis, the international exchange agronomist, who arrived to research and experience first hand life on the Australian desert. With the harsh conditions and by develop strategies that would work both in Texas where Travis came from and in arid stressful conditions of the Sutton Station, Travis hoped to make an impact but never envisioned that his heart would be stolen by the land and Charlie Sutton.

What a lovely, complicated character we have in Charlie Sutton. By making it his voice that we hear as the story unfolds, his ruminations, confused thoughts and feelings about every aspect of his life and the farm makes him our intimate companion, one who we become heavily invested in.  Add to that the impeccable created of Travis Craig and we have a team to root for and love.  Travis is a charming and layered a character as you will meet, clearly Charlie’s equal in complexity while maintaining an open heart and outlook that Charlie needs in his life.   Walker slowly reels us into their romance over the first 2 stories as neither man anticipated falling deeply in love, especially the quiet, and closeted Charlie.  Loving Travis has meant that Charlie has had to take a hard look at his father’s bigoted legacy which had become an ingrained part of Charlie’s inner voice, one that made Charlie think he would never be good enough to take his father’s place and have someone to love and love him back.  Between a mother who deserted them both and a stringent, harsh father, Charlie’s life became one of self isolation and work.  Then Travis arrived and everything changed…almost.  What made the first stories so deep and real was the growth that had to happen inside Charlie.  All the ground swells of emotions, arguments, and hard self introspection that Charlie had to go through was not only believable but we were in his head as each new decision and change happened and sometimes fought against.

N. R. Walker has the ability to bring the Sutton Station to life as we read.  It becomes lively, loud, and intimate the deeper we delve into the story and these characters lives.   And while Charlie loves and needs to have Travis there with him at home, Charlie’s inner voices have only quoted but not gone away.  That strong, judgmental voice of his father’s is still, unconsciously or not,  impacting Charlie’s outlook still. He fears what the other ranchers/farmers will think if they find out charlie is gay and in love with another man.  Will he be ostracized our outcast by his peer, his father’s peers and the businesses the Sutoon station depends on?  I love that N. R. Walker’s  capacity to make all these frustrating aspects of self acceptance and character growth work superbly within her story.  It makes her characters so human and relatable.

Am I obsessed with this series and group of characters?  Why yes, I am.  Each new book brings about a deepened saga, full of heart, red dirt, and the enormous capacity of people when hit with life shaking revelations, bullying, new life changing relationships, love, and even loss, who then continue on to make something better out of their lives, for themselves and the others they care for.  This is a series I have already found myself returning to again, rereading the stories in preparation for the next.

If you have not made the acquaintance of this remarkable author and series, run, don’t walk, to the nearest computer and grab up Red Dirt Heart 1, then proceed briskly to Red Dirt Heart 2, and then here at Red Dirt Heart 3.  There will be a Red Dirt Heart 4 and possibly 5.  I love the simplicity in naming the series, it has certainly made it easy for me to remember the title of each book!  I also have several interviews with N. R. Walker, about her writing and this series.  You can find them here and here.

At the end of the year Red Dirt Heart and N. R. Walker will be at the top of Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Best of 2014 lists.  Don’t wait until then to start your journey into the harsh, beautiful land of Australia’s Northern Territory and the men who live and love there!  Happy Reading.

Cover art by Sara York, who does a lovely job branding the series but still giving each book a distinct look.

Sales Links:     All Romance eBooks       amazon     Red Dirt Heart 3

Book Details:

Please note: This book is set in Australia, using Australian English and lingo.

ebook, 287 pages
Published October 17th 2014
edition languageEnglish
seriesRed Dirt #3

On Tour with Lila Bruce and The Scent of Jasmine (book tour and contest)

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Book Name: The Scent of Jasmine
Goodreads Link
Author Name: Lila Bruce

Author Bio:

Lila Bruce lives in the North Georgia Mountains, where the air is sweet and the summers are hot. When not writing, she spends her time adding to her ever-growing pack of basset hounds and dreaming of being able one day to leave behind her evil day job.

Author Contact:
Publisher:
Cover Artist:

Sales Links:  amazon

The Scent of Jasmine Blurb:TheScentofJasmine - LilaBruce

Four years ago Jessica Taylor thought she was ready to leave small town living behind and headed West. Now she’s back in Cedar Creek, a little older, a lot wiser, and ready to live the quiet life for a while. 

It’s been eight months since her fiancée walked out and shattered Grace Donnelly’s dreams of a happily ever after. Her friends tell her it’s time to start living again, but the breakup with Emma was still just too raw for Grace to wash her hands and move on. 

After a chance meeting at her brother’s bakery, Jessica finds herself unable to get Grace off of mind. She’s sure she feels an attraction from Grace as well, but will Jessica be able to convince Grace to stop living in the past and take a chance on a future together with her…

Categories: Contemporary, Lesbian Romance

The Scent of Jasmine Excerpt:

Jessica Taylor stood there grinning, a slight dusting of flour decorating the bridge of her nose. She held a rack of cinnamon rolls at chest level, drawing Grace’s gaze to the slender woman’s chest, the white t-shirt and bright green apron seeming to accentuate the fullness of her breasts. She had long, dark hair that was tied back into a pony tail. And her eyes…her eyes seemed to dance as they stared at Grace from other the display case.

Holy hell, she is fucking gorgeous.

Grace opened her mouth to respond but looking at the other woman’s emerald eyes, could suddenly think of nothing but purple dildos. Mortified, she just stood there, saying nothing.

Keeping her gaze on Grace, Jessica slid the rack of cinnamon rolls into the case.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to embarrass you.”

Grace flushed briefly and the shook her head. “Oh no, that’s ok, you just startled me, that’s all. I didn’t hear you come out from the back.”

“So how would you like it?” the woman drawled. Gone was the nerdy teenager with wire-rimmed glasses. This woman looked more like she had just stepped off the runway rather than out of a kitchen.

Grace shook her head and blinked at her. “Um, I…um, excuse me?”

“Your cinnamon roll. Would you like it in a box or bag?”

“Oh. A box please,” she said quickly. “And I need sex…I mean six! I need six cinnamon rolls,” Grace added, reddening as she spoke.

Oh my word, I have got to get out of here, she thought to herself.

Words: 16,930
SoJBadgeTour Dates: October 29, 2014
Tour Stops:  
Parker WilliamsCate AshwoodInked Rainbow Reads, The Hat PartyFull Moon Dreaming
Scattered Thoughts & Rogue WordsPrism Book AllianceMy Fiction NookRegular Guys, Hot Romance
Michael MandrakeVelvet PanicFallen Angel ReviewsQueer Town AbbeyElisa – My Reviews and Ramblings
Hearts on Fire

 

Contest:  Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: E-Book copy of ‘The Scent of Jasmine’.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Use the link provided for the entry form and for all additional contest details.

Rafflecopter Code:
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Mount Up with Silvia Violet’s Shifting Hearts (Wild R Farm 6) Book Tour and Contest

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Check out Silvia Violet’s latest release in her series Wild R Farm, Shifting Hearts.  Read the blurb, check out the excerpt and don’t forget to enter the contest provided below!

Book Name: Shifting Hearts (Wild R Farm 6)
Goodreads Page
Author Name: Silvia Violet

Author Bio:

Silvia Violet writes erotic romance in a variety of genres including paranormal, contemporary, sci fi, and historical. She can be found haunting coffee shops looking for the darkest, strongest cup of coffee she can find. Once equipped with the needed fuel, she can happily sit for hours pounding away at her laptop. Silvia typically leaves home disguised as a suburban stay-at-home-mom, and other coffee shop patrons tend to ask her hilarious questions like “Do you write children’s books?” She loves watching the looks on their faces when they learn what she’s actually up to. When not writing, Silvia enjoys baking sinfully delicious treats, exploring new styles of cooking, and reading to her incorrigible offspring.

Author Contact:

For a list of Silvia’s available titles visit Silvia Violet’s website!

Wild R 6 400x600Publisher: Silvia Violet Books
Cover Artist: Meredith Russell

Sales LInks: Amazon    All Romance eBooks  Smashwords

Shifting Hearts Blurb:

After experiencing what happens when someone you love walks away and never looks back, Brandon decided love was for fools. Then he spent a summer with Zach. He struggled against feelings that grew every time he and Zach were together, telling himself they were just having a fling. When Zach confessed his love one hot summer night, Brandon panicked. He scoffed at Zach and made sure he walked away first.

Three years later, their paths cross again when Zach becomes the vet at Wild R Farm where Brandon works. Brandon realizes his feelings haven’t changed, but Zach treats Brandon with scorn despite Brandon’s every attempt to show Zach he’s no longer the self-centered man he used to be. When a night out ends with Brandon driving Zach home, confessions are made on both sides, and hope begins to build in Brandon’s heart.

Categories: Contemporary, M/M Romance, Paranormal, Romance, Western/Cowboy

Shifting Hearts Excerpt:

Brandon settled his and Zach’s tabs and managed to get Zach to his truck without incident. “Did you drive here?”

“Nope, Martin picked me up.”

Brandon snorted again. Fucking Martin. The two of them together was so not going to happen.

Zach giggled. “I’ve always loved it when you go all ferocious stallion.”

Oh fuck. “Just get in the truck, Zach.” Brandon helped him step up and maneuver himself into the passenger seat.

“It’s fucking wrong.“ Zach said as he laid his head back on the seat.

“What is?”

“That you’re so fucking hot.”

No. No, no, no. This was not happening. “Just close your eyes and stop talking. You’ll be better off that way.” Maybe he’d pass out and then Brandon’s dick could stop reacting to his soft words and beautiful eyes and everything that made him the only man Brandon really wanted.

“No, I’ll forget it all. Best thing about being drunk. I might as well say what I want because who will care later.”

“I will.”

“Nah, you never did. That’s what makes it so unfair.”

Brandon rubbed his forehead, trying to ward off a massive headache. “You’re wrong about that. I—”

“What? You didn’t mean to look at me like I was a bug you wanted to squash when I said I loved you?”

“You’re drunk. Really fucking drunk, and I’d be an idiot to say anything now. More of an idiot than I already have been and—”

“Fuck, you’re babbling.” Zach looked extremely amused.

Brandon scowled at him. “Nope, it’s your imagination”

“It’s not.”

“Yeah, it is”

Zach grinned. “You could kiss me to shut me up.”

SHBadgeTour Dates/Stops:

October 27: Rainbow Gold Reviews, Angel Martinez, Michael Mandrake, My Fiction Nook
October 28: Cate Ashwood, Cathy Brockman Romances, Amanda C. Stone, Love Bytes
October 29: Multitasking Mommas, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Fallen Angel Reviews, Kimi-Chan, BFD Book Blog
October 30: Prism Book Alliance, Tara Lain, Inked Rainbow Reads
October 31: MM Good Book Reviews, Parker Williams, Jade Crystal

Contest: Enter to Win a Rafflecopter Prize: $15 ARe eBooks gift card. 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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A PaulB Review: Phoenix Heart (Stolen Elements #1) by A.L. Wilson

Rating 4.5 out of 5 stars

Phoenix Heart coverAs Cyrus and Lorenz prepare to celebrate 70 years together, the vampire and his German doctor mate are recruited by a wizard and his talking koala to help prevent a demonic takeover of the earth. As they build their team, they must confront issues from the distant past and present dangers that could destroy their long relationship.

In the dying days of World War II, Cyrus the vampire sets about freeing the victims of German atrocities as the Allied forces close in. At one such laboratory, he meets Dr. Lorenz Meissner, the stereotypical blond German. Afraid of what would happen to him if captured, the doctor asks the vampire to end him. Cyrus, a diminutive African, is smitten by the doctor and tells him to come with him. As the bombs fall, Lorenz is injured. Cyrus gives Lorenz some of his blood to help heal the doctor so they both can escape.

Cyrus and Lorenz spend the next 70 years trying to right wrongs they find. From slave traders to mysterious deaths, they lend support where they can. As they investigate the latest death, they meet a deaf wizard who says Cyrus needs to lead a group of heroes to face a demon intent on destroying the world. In order to do this, Cyrus and his group must find the last remaining phoenix and free one of the original vampires who has been captured by minions of Astaroth, the demon intent on ruling the world. Astaroth also happens to be the grandmother of Lorenz’s lab assistant. During this time, Lorenz’s ability begins to manifest itself.

Spoilers alert: More

Enter the Fantasy World of Alexis Duran and To Catch A Threeve (book tour and contest)

ThreeveBanner300x250

Alexis Duran is here today! Check out our interview, read the blurb and excerpt and don’t forget to enter the contest at the end of the post!  Happy Reading.

So I was lucky enough to catch Alexis Duran and have her answer a few questions for me.  Here is the fascinating look at Alexis Duran!

Q: I love the title To Catch a Threeve.  Where did that come from?

AD: This is one of those times a title just popped into my head. After I’d come up with the threeves and the plot unfolded in my head, it struck me as perfect (and pretty darn clever, I must say).

Q:Threeve?  Is that something you created or took from established folklore?

AD: Threeves arose out of my own twisted imagination. I love to create my own mythos, especially when the classic ones don’t quite fit my literary needs. If you’re interested in reading more about threeves, I’m writing a blog post on the topic for Rainbow Gold Reviews. It will come out on November 4.

Q: Fantasy is obviously a favorite trope.  Have you always loved fantasy stories?

AD: Yes!

Q: When did your love of fantasy start?

AD: From the first time my mom read my sister and I a fairy tale at bedtime. Going to the drive-in to watch a Disney movie was my idea of pure heaven.

Q: Were you a prolific reader as a child and did you have a favorite story or book that has had a lasting impact on you as an adult and a writer?

AD: Oh, yes. I was that kid, the one with her nose always deeply buried in a book. I think my early outlook, as a story spinner and as a human being, was deeply influenced by the classic fairy tales; Hans Christian Anderson, The Brothers Grimm, The Arabian Nights, plus a rather scary big book of folk tales our German grandmother sent us. I think that book might have sent me down the path of dark fantasy.

Q: Fantasy or urban fantasy?  How do you define them?

AD: There’s no either/ or here for me. I love them both. Fantasy, what you might call classic fantasy, takes place in another world or an earth-like setting in a different time. Usually the author makes use of well-known mythical creatures like elves and fairies, but not always. Urban fantasy happens in the here and now, in worlds similar to this one but with magic. Urban fantasy tends to break the “rules” more often, which can be exciting.

Q: Do you have a favorite fantasy author you read?

AD: I tend to have favorite books rather than authors, but a big favorite is Neil Gaiman. Neverworld is one of my all time BBE’s (Best Book Ever). I also absolutely adored Jonathon Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke. New (to me) writers I’ve recently discovered and plan on stalking are Astrid Amara and Rhys Ford.

Q: Why fantasy?  Why does that resonate with you?

AD: Possibility. Potential. Power. As a kid I deeply believed in magic. As an adult, I strive to recreate that feeling of wonder in my stories. I love the idea of a vast mysterious power source that can save us or destroy us, depending on how we choose to use it.

Q: Favorite fantasy universe if you have one?

AD: Ursula LeGuin’s Earthsea. How can I not have mentioned Ursula under favorite authors? Tolkien’s Middle Earth, of course. A bit astray of the fantasy genre is Tom Robbins. He creates magic-tinged worlds I just don’t want to leave.

Q: Old school elf or new mythology elf?  Do you draw from one or both?

AD: Totally depends on the story. My tendency is to start with the with the classic model, then tweak accordingly.

Q: What’s next for Alexis Duran?

AD:I’m mere days away from finishing the next book in the Masters and Mages series, currently titled Blood of Salar. That’s Classic Fantasy. And then I have an Urban Fantasy called Dark Heart nearly completed that I hope my publisher will love as much as I do. My problem is too many ideas, never the opposite. I hope to finish several stories during NaNoWriMo.

Thank you, Alexis Duran, for the great interview and for definitely adding to my TBR pile! And I couldn’t agree with you more about Astrid Amara and Rhys Ford!

 

Book Name: To Catch A Threeve
Author Name: Alexis Duran

Author Bio:

Alexis Duran was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. At the University of Oregon, her fascination with people and relationships led her to major in Sociology, but her main love has always been creative writing. She’s worked in museums, fashion, finance and film production. Her favorite job so far was Administrative Assistant in a haunted Victorian Mansion.

She’s had several short stories published in the mystery, horror and literary genres and is the author of the Masters and Mages erotic fantasy series. Her fiction has won several awards including the Rupert Hughes Award from the Maui Writers Conference. She lives with one dog and four and half cats. She is currently working on the next Masters and Mages novella and several other erotic novellas.

Author Contact:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/alexis.duran.18294
Twitter:  http://twitter.com/AlexisSDuran

Publisher: Loose IDTo Catch a Threeve_coverin
Cover Artist: Fiona Jayde

Sales Links:  Loose id     amazon

To Catch a Threeve Blurb:

Axel Blackwood catches a thief and is astounded to see that he closely resembles Liam Alloway, the love he lost seven years ago in an attack by the evil woodland folk known as threeves. Axel suspects he’s fallen prey to dark magic, but can’t help becoming infatuated with his prisoner. He’s overwhelmed with the hope that he can at last bring his lost lover home, despite everything that warns him it’s all a diabolical trick. 

Bryn Darrow, the half-threeve, half human orphan sent to trick Axel and rob him of much more than a simple gem finds himself equally as fascinated with his handsome human captor and the lure of someplace to call home, but he knows deep down that the constable is in love with a dangerous illusion. When he’s commanded by the threeves to murder Axel and steal a witch’s powerful grimoire, he’s forced to decide between the only family he’s ever known and the one person who might rescue him from a life of isolation and pain.

Will Axel and Bryn be forced into a deadly confrontation before they can discover the truth?

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

To Catch a Threeve Excerpt:

“What are you, Bryn Darrow?” Axel asked.

“Wish I knew,” Bryn answered, shaking his head and chuckling. “You can go on pretending I’m this Liam person if you want.”

“If you ever try to act like Liam again, I’ll let Drummond lop your head off. He’s itching to, you know.”

“You started it,” Bryn snapped. “And now you’re getting friendly again.”

Axel jerked his hands away from Bryn’s back as if he’d been burned. “I’m looking for your clan sign. Why’d you remove it?”

“Looking with your fingers instead of your eyes? Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mind it.” Bryn looked over his shoulder with that annoying, delectable smile. Only the memory of being spelled senseless stopped Axel from resuming his exploration of Bryn’s skin, kissing his neck, pushing him down into the grass—


Pages: 43,000 words/135 pages

ThreeveBadgeTour Dates: October 28, 2014

Tour Stops:  Parker Williams,  My Fiction Nook,  Prism Book Alliance,  Multitasking Mommas,  Inked Rainbow Reads
Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words,  Cate Ashwood,  Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews,  Rainbow Gold Reviews,  Love Bytes,Andrew Q. GordonThe Hat Party,  Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents,  MM Good Book Reviews.  Jade Crystal,
It’s Raining Men,  Michael Mandrake,  Fallen Angel Reviews,  3 Chicks After Dark

 

Contest:  Enter to win Rafflecopter Prize: $10 Loose ID gift card.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Use the Rafflecopter link below for the entry and for all additional contest details.

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