A Lila Release Day Review: Making Waves (Wrench Wars #4) by Marie Sexton

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

making-waves-by-marie-sextonBest friends since they were teenagers, Ward Kent and Dean Zimmerman work together at Reggie’s garage, where the reality show Wrench Wars is filmed. Outside of work, Dean is a notorious player, and as far as he’s concerned, Ward’s the best wingman ever. Little does he know, Ward is much more interested in the gentlemen than the ladies.

Then Dean’s younger brother, Ash, comes to work at the garage. Ash may be seven years younger, but he’s had a crush on Ward for years, and he’s not shy about going after what he wants.

Admitting his best friend and his brother are gay is one thing. Seeing them together? That’s a bit more than Dean can take, and he’s about to force Ward to make a decision: lose his best friend and his job, or give up Ash forever.

Making Waves is a simple, low-angst end story to the Wrench Wars series. It gives us a small peek into the lives of previous main characters without losing focus on Ash’s and Ward’s story. It can be read as a stand-alone too. This is also the last book by Marie Sexton for quite some time, according to her hiatus announcement; with the exemption of some translations of previous books.

Before Ash’s and Ward’s love story, there was Dean’s and Ward’s bromance. Dean’s Ash older brother and Ward’s best friend. They met at an early age, and Dean was Ward’s sounding board as he grew up in the Foster care system. Ash was there too, but as a spectator; the typical little brother trying to be included in all their plans.

Moving forward eight years, and Ash comes to town to work at Reggie’s garage. Ward’s attraction to him is immediate, but he tries to stay away. Ash’s crush and advances didn’t make it easy on him, and in the end, Ward has to choose between his feelings for Ash and his friendship with Dean.

Ash’s and Ward’s relationship is steamy and uncomplicated. If it weren’t for Dean, we could say it was picture perfect. They’ve great chemistry and a developing friendship. All the decisions they took were to spare Dean’s feelings, and it isn’t until they’re forced to deal with the elephant in the room that they decided to put their relationship above all.

The overall story was good, but not great. Time skipped ahead, and we only get a one or two paragraph explanation of what had happened. I didn’t see a real connection between the MCs and the resolution felt a bit rushed and perhaps, forced. They only get a HFN that seems more like a temporary solution than the start of a HEA.

Definitely, a short story to read when looking for a quick read to fill the gap between two longer books.

The last cover in the series matched the simplistic look of the previous ones designed by Garrett Leigh.

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Book Details:

ebook, 76 pages
Published: September 29, 2016, by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 1634774604 (ISBN13: 9781634774604)
Edition Language: English

Series: Wrench Wars
Book #1: Last Mechanic Standing
Book #2: Normal Enough
Book #3: Wrenches, Regrets, And Reality Checks
Book #4: Making Waves

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Kinky Sprinkles by L.A. Witt

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

kinkysprinkles_600x900-1Joel has finally walked away from his abusive ex and is ready to meet new people. But that isn’t easy for a guy who’s shy, self-conscious, and struggling with his body image.

Andre has wanted Joel since the first time he laid eyes on him, and finally Joel is single. But Andre is a Dom and a sadist, and Joel is unapologetically vanilla. There’s no happy medium—either Andre reins in the kinky side that took him years to accept, or Joel grits his teeth and subjects himself to kinks that aren’t his thing. No matter who bends, someone’s going to be unhappy.

They agree to walk away, but they keep circling back to each other. Though their kinks might not line up, the chemistry between them sizzles and the emotional connection keeps getting deeper. But none of that will get them anywhere if they can’t find some kind of middle ground in the bedroom.

I enjoyed this story, though it was rather short. Or at least it seemed that way, since I devoured it in less than a day. But that is also the crux of what I didn’t like and why I gave this under four stars. It was too short. I didn’t feel that Joel, the formerly abused sub who has vowed never to participate in a club scene again, and Andre, the sexy Dom who has the hots for Joel, had enough time to fully develop a relationship. 

They have explosively hot sex (It is, after all, LA Witt!) and each time they hook up, they have regrets and part ways, planning to separate for good.  On the third such “accidental” falling into bed in lust together night, Joel admits he doesn’t mind a few kinky sprinkles in his vanilla sex and brings out his cuffs and his blindfold.  Self-proclaimed sadist Andre is okay with that.  Apparently, it’s just enough kink for him to enjoy the sex more than previously.  But again, both men are left with trying to find a solution.  Both are interested in a relationship together and yet neither wants to compromise or give up all they have achieved in self-awareness.  It’s at the end of this night that Joel proposes a compromise that should provide Andre with his sadism and also keep Joel safe from participation.  I won’t say what that is here, but it did surprise me. All right, being honest, it shocked me.  And to be super honest, I didn’t like it.  But it did provide something that each of the MCs agreed on, and the story ended on that note.

So I can’t give it a full four stars because it felt as if the relationship development was short-changed in the story, and it also felt as if we’re left hanging, wondering how this will all work out.  On the other hand, for what we see of these guys, I did like them, individually and as a couple, so I’m hoping we’re going to find out what happens in the future after there’s been time for the kink and the vanilla to mix it up a bit.  Lovers of this author’s work should like this one.  And if you’re new to this author, by all means pick this up if you like a little kink to top off your vanilla sex scenes. 

Cover art by G.D. Leigh is perfect for the story.

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Book Details:

ebook, 152 pages
Published September 26th 2016 by Riptide Publishing
Original TitleKinky Sprinkles
ISBN139781626494978
Edition LanguageEnglish

An Alisa Release Day Review: From the Get Go by Sean Michael

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

from-the-get-go-2106When easygoing Texas artist Dakin McBride makes his way to Ottawa, Canada, for a showing, he meets Jeff Tamrin, the fastidious manager of the Sussex Gallery. Despite coming from different worlds and being opposites in almost every way, the attraction is immediate, and soon Dakin and Jeff negotiate their own brand of diplomatic relations, forgetting all about art or seeing the sights the city has to offer. They get wrapped up in the moment, each of them intrigued by what he feels for the other.

 

The more they get to know each other, the more they like what they see. Dakin has a life to go back to in Texas, though, and Jeff has his own in Canada. Is there any way for their budding romance to survive the thousands of miles separating them? The relationship seems doomed, but at the same time, it feels too right to give up without a fight.

 

This was a fun quick read.  I have greatly enjoyed Sean Michael’s books in the past and this one was no different.  Jeff and Dakin feel an immediate attraction to each other upon meeting and decide to act upon it even though their time together is limited.

 

Jeff falls for Dakin pretty hard and quickly when Dakin is in town for the gallery show.  They can’t stand the idea of being parted, so Dakin invites Jeff to come and visit him in Texas when the show is over.  Both of the characters fall hard and fast, but decide to live in the moment until they actually see an end of their time together.  I adored both character’s they were so sweet to each other and also their family around them.  They worked hard to integrate their lives together, which was wonderful to see.

 

Cover art by LC Chase is perfect and I love it.

 

 

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Book Details:

ebook, 86 pages

Published: 2nd Edition, September 28, 2016 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 9781634770859

Edition Language: English

One Pulse Anthology and a Interview with Jon Keys, author of A Single Night

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one-pulse-anthology

One Pulse (A Dreamspinner Press Anthology)

Release Date September 17
Purchase Links

Stories drive life. Sometimes life is good; sometimes life is bad. But it’s the nature of our community that in the aftermath of an act of hatred, we respond with love. Because darkness cannot exist in the presence of light. Cruelty cannot stand against compassion. Negativity will never overcome hope.

To show our support for those affected by the Orlando shooting, our authors, editors, artists, and staff have volunteered their talents to create this anthology. All proceeds will be donated to LGBT organizations in central Florida. Join us as we celebrate the triumph of love over every obstacle.

Jon Keys—A Single Night
Alicia Nordwell—About Best Friends & Boyfriends
Mickie B. Ashling—Adíos
M.T. Aspen —Asking for Trouble
M.A. Church—Chasing Tyme
Caitlin Ricci—Coming Out
George Seaton—Cucurrucucú
Jayce Ellis—Dance
Bree Cariad—Everyday Miracles
Chrissy Munder—Everything I Need
Ellis Carrington—For the First Time
Felicitas Ivey—Get Me to the Church Town Hall on Time
John Amory—Happy Pride
Grace R. Duncan—Hope
John Goode—Let Them Eat Cake
J. C. Long—Magical Boys Just Wanna Have Fun
Elizabeth Noble—Magicicada
Renee Stevens—More Than a Pact
Troy Storm—One Big Happy… Bunch
Connie Bailey—One Heart at a Time
Dev Bentham—Perfection
Andrea Speed—Pride
Laura Lascarso—Pull
Lila Leigh Hunter—Raffled Kiss
Emery C. Walters—Ranch Dressing
C.C. Dado—Read My Lips
Sera Kane—The Stag’s Bane
KC Burn—The Tithe
Vicktor Alexander—The Wooing of the Marqués de Sierra de Outes
Edmond Manning—They Danced

~~~

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is proud to help host Dreamspinner Press’s release week for its One Pulse Anthology, a collection of stories written in the aftermath of the horror of the shootings in Orlando.  Here today, is Jon Keys, author of the wonderful Obsidian series and the story, A Single Night. Welcome, Jon, to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.

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A Single Night by Jon Keys from the One Pulse Anthology

Interview

  • Where do you normally draw your inspiration for a book from?  A memory, a myth, a place or journey, or something far more personal?Good question! For me it can be from almost anything: a random comment; a location I’ve never been to before, or a familiar one I revisit. I’ve written a few stories based on fairy tales. Many of the contemporary novels begin as a “what if” story. For example, a novel I’m writing now is built from the question of what would happen if a college professor fell for his mechanic. From there I’ve added twists and turns to take it beyond the obvious.
  • Are you a planner or a pantzer when writing a story? And  why?Both. I start out planning the important elements of the novel. Lately I’ve been mapping stories out to get their flow. But once I begin writing, all kinds of twists and turns happen that I hadn’t foreseen. When they do I usually let them run their course.
  • Contemporary, supernatural, fantasy, or science fiction narratives or something else?  Does any genre draw you more than another when writing it or reading it and why does it do so?Well the reading side is easier, so lets start there. Science fiction and fantasy are big time favorites. I enjoy the peek at another world or another time. All of those situations appeal to me as a reader. So far as other genre that are in the mix; some murder mysteries will fall in from time to time. I enjoy solving the puzzles and figuring out the who done it. Contemporary is also in the combination. Nothing scratches an itch sometimes quite like a good love story. But even then I want to know about their life, where they live and other background. I guess that element comes through on both my reading and writing. I want them to have a feeling of place.Writing follows some of the same lines of thought, but the emphasis has been different. Most of my writing has focused around contemporary, or at least the first handful of stories was firmly rooted in the here and now. They also had a strong rural/cowboy flavor to them.  But over the last several stories the focus is on fantasy. Whether it was the retelling of a classic fairy tale or the worlds of high fantasy, I’ve found writing these created worlds very satisfying. I love creating worlds and the animals and people who populate them. But in my next novel set to be released early in 2017 I’m back firmly in the contemporary world, telling cowboy stories again. I seem to have somewhat of a split writing personality!
  • If you had a character you’ve written you would write differently now at this time in your writing career, who would it be and why?The characters I’d probably want most to redo would be some of the antagonists, particularly Peter’s ex from Home Grown. He’d be much more multilayered now, more ominous. Yeah, he would be the character I could change more than most others.
  • Can an author have favorites among their characters and do you have them?Sure! I think authors can definitely have favorites. Some characters come out with so much personality and personal growth that you can’t help but cheer them on and want them to win. Terja from Obsidian Sun was one of those. He grew and changed so much through the course of the books.
  • If you were to be stranded on a small demi-planet, island, or god forbid LaGuardia in a snowstorm, what books would you take to read or authors on your comfort list?Oh jeez, I always go back to these later and can think of a dozen more. My test of a good read is how many times I’ve reread them. Some authors who have made it on my reread list: Anne McCaffrey’s Pern, Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar world, Allen Dean Foster, and for humor I love Robert Aspirin; the MYTH series, Phule’s Company and the Dragon Series. Yeah, that would be the short list, at least for now.
  • How early in your life did you begin writing?.I’m not one of the child prodigies I’m afraid. I never considered writing until a few years ago and I thought, “I can do that” and gave it a try. Now? Well it’s become quite an addiction for me.
  • Were you an early reader or were you read to and what childhood books had an impact on you as a child that you remember to this day and why?I read a lot of books, but don’t remember too many of the early ones. Actually the oldest book that I remember was Mother Goose. I had people read that book to me until I could ‘read’ the book out loud. Oddly enough the novel I remember from elementary school was Farmer Boy and yes, I was an adult before I realized it was part of the Little House on the Prairie series. But I could identify with Alfonzo. Later I found more science fiction and fantasy books. Of course I had the classic collection of all the comic books I could afford. I’d never heard of a graphic novel in those days.
  • If you were writing your life as a romance novel, what would the title be?Oh wow, hard question. I agonize over titles. I really like for them to work on a number of levels. Maybe “Here we go again.”

Blurb:

The aftermath of tragedy calls for more than just physical healing, but Devon and Logan may find it with family—and with each other.

Author Bio

Jon Keys’ earliest memories revolve around books; with the first ones he can recall reading himself being “The Warlord of Mars” and anything with Tarzan. (The local library wasn’t particularly up to date.) But as puberty set in he started sneaking his mother’s romance magazines and added the world of romance and erotica to his mix of science fiction, fantasy, Native American, westerns and comic books.

A voracious reader for almost half a century, Jon has only recently begun creating his own flights of fiction for the entertainment of others. Born in the Southwest and now living in the Midwest, Jon has worked as a ranch hand, teacher, computer tech, roughneck, designer, retail clerk, welder, artist, and, yes, pool boy; with interests ranging from kayaking and hunting to painting and cooking, he draws from a wide range of life experiences to create written works that draw the reader in and wrap them in a good story.

Buy links:

eBook: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/one-pulse-7577-b

Social Media:

Excerpt:

Logan couldn’t help but notice Devon’s limp was more pronounced than normal. The wear and tear on his husband was visible tonight when Devon grabbed the back of the sofa. His fingers dug into the thick padding as he sighed.

“Sit down, please. I’ll call Michelle and Doug and reschedule. They’ll understand,” Logan said.

“I’m fine. Watch.” Devon winked at Logan, then vaulted over the back of the heavy piece of furniture to land with a bounce on the dense cushions.

A slight rattle and a stifled groan of pain made Logan cringe. “Would you behave, Devon! You’ll mess something up.”

Devon wrapped his meaty arms around Logan and worked to pull him on top. But Logan grabbed his face and planted a kiss on his forehead.

“Knock it off. It’s your sister who’s on her way,” Logan said.

But Devon ignored the protest, pulled Logan close, and pressed their lips together. The tingle in the pit of Logan’s stomach was the same he’d gotten the night they met. In the years since, it had only gotten stronger. Logan took a deep breath and filled his senses with Devon’s masculine scent, letting himself melt against the muscular chest and feel safe. His thoughts became fuzzy and his crotch tight as their closeness sent delicious jolts through Logan. He realized this wasn’t going like it should when they had guests arriving. Logan pushed away, wet his lips, and grinned.

“I have to cook supper before they get here. Go change into something comfortable. And hang up your dress clothes, because I’m the one who has to iron your crap.”

When Devon made an attempt to stand and his breath hissed through his teeth. Logan stepped over to help, but Devon waved him away. “When I can’t get my fat ass off the sofa, I’ll let you know.”

Logan rolled his eyes but stepped back. The effort took several tries before Devon stood. He shot Logan a wink and a smile. “See, told you I didn’t need help.”

Logan’s lips formed a tight line, and he started toward the kitchen. “You’re a stubborn jackass. Now go change.” He pulled out ingredients for dinner and within a few minutes had food strewn across the counters. He had the ingredients for the first course ready when Devon reappeared, still wearing his clothes from work.

“What do you want me to do?” Devon asked.

Logan glanced over and sighed. “Just once you could listen. Sit. Rest. They’ll want to play games until late.”

“I’ll help. I can make a pasta dish.”

Logan studied him for a minute before lifting an eyebrow. “Yeah, pasta would be good. What did you have in mind?”

Devon smirked as he made his way to the refrigerator while Logan worked on getting the entrée ready. He was preparing steaks and fresh vegetables from their garden for grilling. Logan spread them over two trays, seasoned them, and then coated everything with good olive oil they’d discovered on their trip to Italy. It was one of the little indulgences they allowed themselves. Devon was still working his way through the contents of the fridge when Logan stepped out onto their patio to get the grill ready.

While it heated, he looked around the yard and enjoyed the spring flowers he and Devon cared for with meticulous attention. They’d remodeled the deck last year and put in a Jacuzzi. He’d paid for it as part of Devon’s fortieth birthday gift. But he’d also hoped it would help keep the scar tissue on Devon’s leg a little more flexible. Whether it did or didn’t, they enjoyed having the little oasis to escape into each evening. Devon’s job as a victims’ advocate became stressful at times, and Logan wanted him to have a place to unwind.

Logan turned his attention to the barbecue, decided everything was fine, and slipped into the house. He glanced over at Devon and froze. A second later, he started laughing.

Devon turned to him and lifted an eyebrow. “Something wrong?”

“Nope. Not at all. I was just wondering if you’d left anything in the fridge.”

“You questioning my ability to make pasta salad?”

Logan held up both hands in surrender. “No, no. Nothing like that.”

Devon turned to his cutting board and diced peppers with the chef knife Logan bought him last Christmas. The mix of ingredients was unique, but Devon seemed satisfied with his hoard, so Logan didn’t care. No one’s crying, no one’s bleeding, then it isn’t a big deal. They worked together in the kitchen with practiced ease. Logan decided to make shot glass desserts for a treat. Devon was putting his salad in the fridge as Logan sprinkled pecans into the last dessert glass.

Devon was up to something; he was smirking too much over making pasta salad. Logan waited a minute before checking to see what was happening. He wasn’t surprised to discover the source of Devon’s amusement about the dish he’d made.

He frowned at the penis-shaped pasta filling the bowl. “Really? Another porn pasta creation? And for your sister?”

By this time Devon was cackling. “She’ll think it’s great, and Doug will turn a nice shade of red. It’ll all be good.”

Logan sighed and glanced at his watch. “Fine, keep your cock pasta. Your sister will be here soon. We need to shower.” He looked at Devon and lifted one brow. “And taking off your tie doesn’t mean you got relaxed.” Logan stood with an expression he hoped looked appropriately stern.

“If you ask me if I need help, I swear I’ll beat you with a wet noodle.”

Logan chuckled and waved him away. “Go shower. I’ll set the table. If you behave, I’ll come wash your back.”

“If you put out later, maybe I’ll let you,” Devon said with a laugh.

Coffee Sip and Book Break with DC Juris’s short story, Star’s Embrace (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title:  Star’s Embrace

Series: Alpha/Omega Verse #4

Author: DC Juris

Publisher: Torquere Press

Release Date: August 17, 2016

Heat Level: 5 – Erotica

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 7,200 Words

Genre: Romance, Science Fiction, Aliens, Alien/Human

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Synopsis

Maltinian Ambassador Jedryn Parvone is forbidden fruit to a simple Human ship Captain like Jacob Meryl. But when a mission puts them in close quarters once again, will Jacob continue to bury his feelings? Not if Jedryn has anything to say about it.

Excerpt

Jacob answered the door buzzer a little under three hours later—he’d had just enough time to shower and look presentable. Clad in a floor-length, shimmering red robe that clung to his hips unmercifully, his long, thick hair done up into a bun with a colorful feather sticking out, Jedryn walked toward him with the graceful ease only a Maltinian possessed. Jedryn’s face lit up in a wide, sweet smile, and Jacob felt his guts tremble in response.

Jedryn brushed his lips gently across his cheek. “I have missed you,” he whispered.

Jacobs’s stomach did flip-flops. Jedryn was forbidden fruit of the highest order. The man’s father had never warmed to Jacob; probably never would. For Jedryn to mate without his father’s consent would mark Jedryn as a c’entrath.  A nasty slur among Maltinians, the closest Human equivalent was something slightly worse than whore.

He brushed his sweaty palms on his pants for the hundredth time, and took a deep breath. He had never been anxious around anyone, but something about Jedryn rattled his nerves. Aside from being the most physically beautiful man he had ever encountered, Jedryn was also the kindest, the purest of heart. He doubted the alien carried a mean bone in his body. Far too good for the likes of him.

“Is there anything to eat?” Jedryn asked, stepping back. “I am famished.”

Jacob nodded, at last taking in the pallor of his skin and the dark almost purple, circles under his bright blue, almond-shaped eyes. He took Jedryn’s hand and led him to the small kitchen area, gestured for him to sit at the table. They would have to discuss the mission, but for a while maybe he could keep the topics to more mundane things. “How’s your sire?”

“You do not need to avoid the subject of the slaves.”

“I’m not avoiding anything. I’m being polite.” Jacob shrugged. “I hear he’s making progress with the Disputed Space talks.”

Jedryn groaned. “If there exists a more stubborn race than the Bortors, I have never heard of them. Do you know their delegate fought my sire at every turn?”

“Perhaps she doesn’t want peace.” Jacob poured a glass of amara juice and slid it across the table. He turned and fished out a bowl from the cupboard. “Salad or stew?”

Jedryn downed several sips of juice. “Salad, please. I think she does want peace,” he said, getting back to the conversation. “She is just…stubborn.” Jedryn folded his arms on top of the table and rested his chin on them. “How have you been?”

“I’ve kept busy.” He tossed a few leafy greens into the bowl—Jedryn didn’t like anything else in his salad—dribbled some flavored oil over them, and handed off the bowl. He joined Jedryn at the table with a sigh.

Jedryn sat up and picked at the food, frowning, his forehead knit together. “This is lovely, Jacob. Thank you.”

Jacob blinked several times, taken aback, as always, by the sincerity and warmth in Jedryn’s expression and tone. Two things the universe no longer had enough of. He recovered quickly, somehow remembering to breathe. “Anyone can make a salad.”

“Still, it is nice. I so rarely get to eat Human food, and I do prefer it so much to the bland cuisine of my home world.”

“Perhaps when I retire I should start a cooking school on your planet, eh?”

Jedryn laughed, a musical sound that sent shivers up and down Jacob’s spine. “You would either do extremely well or extremely poorly.”

And for a moment, just a tiny, shivering moment, Jacob let himself imagine it. Perhaps he would share a cozy little home with Jedryn on Maltinia. He pictured it, standing at the door of their house, gazing out at the fields and mountains beyond, at the stationary clouds—big and fluffy in that picturesque way that defied reality, as if he had stepped into a painting. Shadows of those same clouds would cover half the mountains, the trees below them cast in a hue of deep green.

They’d have the sort of life poets wrote about, minstrels sang of, and artists loved to capture on canvas. The sort of life that could make a man believe in the perfection of his world—a world with only beauty and peace. The sort of life that could make a man feel as though he truly belonged—not just to any one thing—but to everything: the trees, the water, the air, the soil. The sort of life that could make a man feel complete and want for nothing.

Any man except him, that was.

He slid his gaze to the window, to the stars beyond, longing to be out among them. He missed the familiar quirks of his ship, the camaraderie of his crew, and the adrenaline-pumping excitement of their escapades. The domesticity of vacation didn’t sit well with him, but after their last mission—after he’d narrowly escaped capture by the Koralens and managed barely to save his ship and crew— he’d felt they’d all been owed a little time off.

Jedryn finished the last few bites of his salad, then gave a shy smile and lowered his gaze to the table. “When I was here last, they had made great advancements with the hydroponics. Do you think there is anything new to show me this time?”

He could show Jedryn something, all right. “As a matter of fact, I know there is. Come.” He stood and offered his hand.

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Torquere Press

Star's Embrace SquareMeet the Author

Romance author, sci-fi fan club Captain, cosplayer, reigning Queen of Monkeyland, and random menace. Yep, we’re talking about DC Juris. She’s a cupcake-making, football-watching, rubber-duck-collecting, drag-show loving, full-of-fabulous-with-a-capital-F kinda gal. She’s also an ordained minister and an amateur photographer. She lives in Upstate New York with her husband, three dogs, and three cats. When she’s not writing, you can find her in her favorite chair watching Star Trek and Supernatural repeats on Netflix, or surfing the web for porn. Er…research. Surfing the web for research. She may speak softly but she lives and loves loudly. Just ask the neighbors. ::wink::

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Sean McKissack’s ‘To Be a Different Someone’ Book Blitz and Giveaway

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Title:  To Be A Different Someone

Author: Sean McKissack

Publisher: Torquere Press

Release Date: August 17, 2016

Heat Level: 1 – No Sex

Pairing: Male/Female

Length: 53,000 Words

Genre: Romance, Young Adult,

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Synopsis

James Kane could be summed up in one word: loser. He silently lived as a ghost amongst his parents and he had zero friends at school…unless you count his cousin who had to defend him against the abusive Matt Tracker.

When his parents divorce, James moves to Montana and stays with his grandmother, where he makes an extreme adjustment to his life-becoming a different someone named Jennifer. The transition comes with frightening issues Jennifer never thought of. After two years of recovery, she returns to her old high school to start over but she meets up with her past tormenter and gets caught in a web of secrets as she finds herself falling in love.

Her conscious gets the best of her as she tries to be truthful to Matt about who she once was, but will he accept her as his girlfriend, Jennifer, when she was once his punching bag, James?

Excerpt

“Do I need to blame this on your father?”
“If I had a penny for every time I heard that…”
“James.”
“I’m not James, I’m Jennifer. I have it on m’license, birth certificate and my school enrollment. Do I have to show you the rest of me to prove it?”
“No, that’s not necessary.”
“It’s not new. I am who I’ve always been”
“No, you used to be named James.”
“I also used to be ‘this close’ to slitting my wrists.”
“I think you need to leave.”

Purchase

Torquere Press

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Meet the Author

Sean McKissack’s ability to view the world around him and find a story and truth enables him to prepare the stage in a reader’s mind for a heart-felt life cinema. His writings epitomize the good and the bad in life, the joys and the pain, culminating in the coming of age and wisdom.

Sean hails from Southaven, Mississippi and he’s always thinking of new stories to write while looking for that perfect cup of coffee.

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A Caryn Review: Out of My Mind (Browerton University #3) by A.J. Truman

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Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

out-of-my-mindMac is a college freshman who has been hiding his sexuality pretty much all through high school, but decides to start college out and proud, and has high hopes for dating.  Gideon is the first man he meets that he thinks might be interested, but after one kiss, Gideon basically runs away screaming, leaving Mac scarred for life.

Fast forward 2 years later, and Gideon has broken up with his girlfriend, but is stuck with the apartment.  Mac is in a similar situation having broken up with his boyfriend and is without housing.  Although they both remember the disastrous first meeting, and Gideon is still a little afraid that “the gay” will rub off on him, they move in together because they have no other options.

With that setup, the men are now clear to develop and act on their attraction.  Of course, Gideon is gay, but he’s hidden it so deep he doesn’t even acknowledge it to himself.  As the story progresses, it becomes clear why Gideon does this to himself, and we also find out about Mac’s history that leads to his own hang-ups.  Their path to a relationship is full of ups and downs, fueled of course by the usual lack of communication.

I think there was a lot to like about the book.  The Jewish humor, with the stereotypical Jewish mother and the magic of matzo ball soup, was especially entertaining.  Big Bird was hysterical (and you’ll have to read the book to know what that’s all about!)  The secondary characters were interesting, and supported the story and the MCs.  But overall, there were too many negatives, and while I was reading I found myself focusing on them instead of the story.  The point of view alternates between the two men, which became very confusing and periodically I would have to back up a sentence or two to figure out who was doing/saying what to whom.  There were character inconsistencies:  in the first chapter Mac seems to be the geek with OCD, but later on Gideon is.  Gideon is the excellent dancer, then Mac is.  From one sentence to the next Gideon drops his girlfriend but then she drops him.  They decide to have sex without a condom because they don’t have one, and then it appears in the scene.  All questions and conflicts are solved with sex.  There were a few points where there was some real drama and conflict (when extended families get involved), and I thought “Oh, it’s finally getting good!” but then it would devolve into the resolution via sex again.  I think with some tighter editing, the book could have been much better, because it certainly had potential.

Least favorite quote:

“Mac yanked him into a kiss that dared to suck his lips off”

Ugh.  Not sexy.

Cover art is cute.

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Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 300 pages
Published September 19th 2016 by A.J. Truman
ASINB01KSL0Y0G
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesBrowerton University #3

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Places in Time (Time Is Eternity) by Cardeno C. and John Solo (Narrator)

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Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

places-in-time-audiobookThis audiobook was very short but managed to pack a lot of the back story of the many years that best friends Ethan Baker and Jude Harrison have spent together by using a twist on A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.

Ethan is a famous, award-winning actor, considered to be the “Sexiest Man Alive” and Jude is an extremely talented, but equally introverted, musician who prefers to stay well out of the limelight as he supports his friend’s career.

What Ethan learns late one night, as he’s on his way to Jude’s house, is the extent of just how much support Jude has given him over the years. It also finally dawns on him just how much Jude loves him and how much he loves Jude.

I enjoyed the way the author intertwined their lives together, allowing enough leeway for Ethan to be clueless while we readers were seeing what was really happening.  I also enjoyed the Dickens-like twist to the story.  And the narration of John Solo added to my enjoyment as he gave each of the characters a distinct voice. 

What I didn’t enjoy as much was the quick jump to anal sex by someone who didn’t realize he was in love with a man until a few hours before.  It just didn’t feel right. In fact, this is one of those stories that would have benefited from a fade to black sex scene.  And for someone who normally enjoys this writer’s way with words in the bedroom, that’s saying a lot.  She does hot and sizzling very well, but in this case, it didn’t click for me. 

However, if you are looking for a pleasant way to spend your day, by all means pick this one up. 

Cover art is eye catching and warm.

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Audiobook Details:

Audible Audio, Length: 1 hr and 41 mins
Published June 27th 2016 by The Romance Authors, LLC (first published May 31st 2012)
ASINB01HIJ0F78
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesTime Is Eternity

A MelanieM Review: Dragon Dilemma (Supernatural Consultant #3) by Mell Eight

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Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

dragon-dilemma-by-mell-eightDane doesn’t get along with his parents. He hasn’t spoken with his mother in years and he’s never met his father. Somehow his mother finds out about Mercury and the kits anyway, and it’s difficult to throw one’s mother out when she happens to be a powerful, dangerous witch.

She isn’t the only uninvited guest either, and these ones are even less likely to take no for an answer—and much more likely to leave everyone dead if they don’t get what they want.

Mell Eight’s Dragon family and its growing pains and mysteries is back in Dragon Dilemma, the third  in the Supernatural Consultant series.  Half god/half..well we aren’t exactly sure Dane (Dragon Consultant), his spouse Mercury, an investigative agent and their adopted group of dragon kits have had another  year of relative peace but that comes to an end when a letter from  Dane’s mother arrives, the powerful Isle Crone.  She’s come to make the acquaintance of her “grand kids” and her son in law and Dane is filled with trepidation.

But also arriving fast behind her is another mystery, one that will be another thread in the long running underplot, that of who has been kidnapping and experimenting on dragons and their kits?

I have always loved how Mell Eight has contrasted the family element here with the horrific scientific experimental one.  One light-hearted and full of love, the other dark and full of nightmares.  In Dragon Dilemma, the story is more heavily family oriented and I’m just fine with that.  I love the family dynamics here.  The children’s powers and personalities continue to grow and manifest themselves in various ways, whether its through daily chores or confronting evil at its worst.  So does  Dane’ and Mercury’s happy partnership/marriage.  It strengthens, surviving even the appearance of Dane’s imperious and powerful mother.

With each new story, the author adds to her world building, the circle of associates and friends that surround Dane, Mercury and their kits, and the bigger mystery of the evil behind the abduction and experimentation on the dragon children.  Eight both satisfies our needs to rediscover and enjoy meeting this family again but prods us towards the next in the series with a curiosity born a little out of fear for some of our favorite characters.  Its a perfect balancing act and one she accomplishes in a fairly  quick read.

Love dragons? Wizards, magic, and a big old mystery, romance and more?  Grab up the Supernatural Consultant series by Mell Eight.  Start at the beginning and work your way through.  I’m on my way to book four, Dragon Detective (Supernatural Consultant #4).  Watch for that review shortly. I highly recommend them all.

**
Cover  art by Alisha Akeju has elements from the story on it and matches with the others from the series.

Sales Links

Less Than Three Press

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Book Details:

ebook, 88 pages
Published June 1st 2016 by Less Than Three Press

A Free Dreamer Review: Stygian by Santino Hassell

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

StygianJeremy has been isolated and adrift since the death of his brother. Most people just see him as the skinny emo kid who wears eyeliner and plays drums. No one gets him. Nobody tries. He thought the indie rock band Stygian would become his anchor, but—lost in their own problems—they’re far from the family he sought.

Still, hoping to get close to Kennedy, the band’s enigmatic guitarist, he follows Stygian to northern Louisiana for a summer retreat. They had planned to spend six weeks focusing on new music but things go awry as soon as they arrive at the long-deserted Caroway mansion. Tempers flare, sexual tension boils over into frustration, and Jeremy turns away from the band to find a friend in his eerily beautiful landlord Hunter Caroway.

Kennedy suspects there’s something off about the creepy mansion and its mysterious owners, but Jeremy thinks he’s finally found somewhere he fits. It isn’t until Kennedy forces the Caroway’s secrets into the light that Jeremy realizes belonging sometimes comes with a price.

I mostly decided to read this book because of the gorgeous cover. It immediately grabbed my attention and I just had to know what kind of story it hides.

And the story did not disappoint. I absolutely loved “Stygian” and pretty much inhaled it. This was one of the books I would have finished in one sitting, if RL hadn’t intruded.

I don’t think I have the words to do this brilliant book justice, so I’m going to keep my review short.

The story had a very creepy feel to it. I’d say this is more horror than fantasy, or at least very dark fantasy, with a dash of romance (also dark!) and some sizzling UST thrown in. The horror part was very subtle. There were no overly gruesome events, it was just an overall impression of wrong. The building of the atmosphere was done brilliantly.

The members of the band aren’t easily likeable. The mood within the band is poisonous, full of hate and desperation. They fight almost constantly, leaving Jeremy the odd one out more often than not. Jeremy’s mental health hasn’t been all that stable since the suicide of his older brother and the noxious mood within the band isn’t helping. Neither is his unrequited crush on Kennedy.

The plot was full of unexpected twists and turns. I never knew what was going to come next and I most definitely wasn’t bored. It had me addicted after a few sentences and even when I wasn’t reading, I was constantly thinking about the book.

Long story short: “Stygian” is one big mindfuck. Read it. It’s utterly brilliant.

Personally, I can’t wait for the promised sequel. And I absolutely have to find out if the author’s other books are equally brilliant.

The cover by Damonza is what made me want to read this book in the first place. I thought it looked great even before reading the book. Now I think it’s a truly brilliant because it represents the book perfectly. This is one of the best covers I’ve ever seen.

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Book details:

ebook, 204 pages
Published October 26th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 163476501X (ISBN13: 9781634765015)
Edition LanguageEnglish
settingLogansport, Louisiana (United States)