A MelanieM Review: Midsummer Baker (Midsummer #4) by Megan Derr

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

A sweet baker with spicy taste…

midsummerbaker400Marcell is Midsummer’s baker. While he works for his aunt in the family bakery, he’s the one with the magic baker’s touch.  A good and quiet lad, Marcel is hiding secrets  of the past and of the heart. Those of the past are known only to himself and two others reviled by the citizens of Midsummer.  Marcell’s life has not been without pain wether it was the loss of his parents or the bullying he encountered at school but the truth is about to come out and no one is prepared for the consequences.

The Withers Boys, Boyd and Tye Withers, are faerie half-brothers,  Their faerie mother died, leaving them when they were in their late teens but really she had abandoned them much earlier drowning herself in booze.  Known for their green thumbs and ability to always be in trouble, the Withers Boys have their own secrets to hide.

A stolen hideaway, a dark night, and  evil on the prowl.  What happens when all the hidden secrets are exposed?  Will Marcell find a happiness he never thought would be his?

Midsummer Baker is probably my third favorite of the Midsummer stories to date.  More a series of vinaigrettes than a cohesive tale, it still brings plenty of surprising layers and heart to this tale of love in the most unlikely of places. Each chapter represents a slice from Marcell’s life.  From these, we are able to build a picture of a sweet child who was the target not only of bullies at school, but someone worse.   Now grown, Marcell has harbored not only the secrets from his past but a hidden love that he feels will never be returned.  Marcell is such a sweet character it is easy to connect with him and his dreams.

The Withers Boys now have names.  Before Midsummer  Baker, they only appeared as references to mischief makers often in trouble with the law and various members of the community.  Now we get their painful back story, and they become not pests to be avoided but teenagers and young adults with a poignant sad story of their own.   Unexpectedly, there is a hidden connection to Marcell and the drama and romance takes off.  I wish we had more of Tye and Boyd.  They are great characters that deserve a  longer and deeper in scope story than this one.

There is publisher note included at the bottom that contains spoilers to the story.  It references the type and variety of love story found here.  I didn’t find it offensive but others might.  If anything other than a strict M/M squicks your bonnet, then you just might want to check out the note below.  Otherwise, I liked the story, love the series and want to see Megan Derr what happens next when Derr returns to Midsummer once more.

Categories: Free Read Gay Paranormal Poly Urban Fantasy

 

Cover art by Megan Derr.  Love the cover.

Sales Links:     Less Than Three Press       Amazon          Midsummer Baker  ($0.99)

Book Details:

Editors note:  Contains stepbrother incest and threesomes

free ebook, 18 pages at Less Than Three Press
Published July 19th 2011 by Less Than Three Press (first published August 29th 2010)
original titleMidsummer Baker
ISBN139781936202843
edition languageEnglish
seriesMidsummer #4

Midsummer Series in order they were written and should be read (available in print, ebook and audio):

Midsummer Moon
Midsummer Curse
Midsummer Law
Midsummer Baker
Midsummer Days (Print collection of all stories)

A Paul B Review: A Heart for Robbie by J.P. Barnaby

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Rating 4.5 out of 5 stars

A Heart for Robbie coverCelebrated gay author Julian Holmes writes young adult books where his heroes face demons, spirits and other things that go bump in the night. Those are nothing compared to the problems he faces when his newborn son Robbie is diagnosed with a serious heart defect. Julian must now navigate the health system for a possible cure for his son. When he meets Simon Phelps, the hospital insurance coordinator, Julian might find someone who will help complete his new family. But this new relationship could possible hurt as much as help Robbie in his fight for life.

During the delivery of his son by surrogate and best friend Erin, Julian Holmes is worried when his son does not immediately cry after his birth. The doctors rush the child to the NCIU and arrange for transport to St. Mary’s Children’s Hospital in downtown Chicago for more exams. Once there, the doctors diagnose Robbie with a serious heart defect that will only be corrected with a heart transplant. Without it, Julian would lose his son around his first birthday.

At St. Mary’s, Julian meets the hospital transplant team, which includes doctors, social workers, psychologist and Simon Phelps, the insurance coordinator. Whereas Julian is out and proud, Simon is deep in the closet. He is afraid of the reaction from his deeply religious mother and the youth center where he volunteers. He agrees to have dinner with his parents and potential dates that his mother has set up for him from her church.

After taking Robbie back to the hospital, Julian runs into Simon in the cafeteria. As they talk about what has happened in the last couple of months, Simon asks Julian what if it was scary to be out. Julian answer sometimes but Robbie’s health problems are actually scarier. After lunch, Simon receives and email from Julian what it is like to be deep in the closet.

Later, Julian takes Robbie in for a test. When Robbie codes, Julian is a wreck. Once Robbie is stabilized, Simon offers to take Julian to get something to eat and then drive him home. At the restaurant, Julian has a bit to drink to help drown his sorrows. Simon offers Julian a place to crash for the night. While there, their passion for each other takes over and they enjoy a night of love making. In the morning, they decide to try to pursue a relationship but keep it quiet as it would be against hospital regulations for Simon to be involved with a patient’s father.

As Simon grows closer to Julian and Robbie, he finds himself spending more and more time with them. A couple of months after the start of their relationship, Robbie is having trouble breathing and is rushed by ambulance to the hospital. The next day, as Simon is comforting Julian in a conference room, the head of the transplant team catches them, resulting in Simon’s dismissal and threatening to take Robbie off the transplant list. The two manage to convince the doctor to leave Robbie on the list while the state auditor conducts an investigation to see if anything illegal had occurred.

After that incident, a gay newspaper finds out about the relationship. The youth center asks Simon not to come back. As the information is about to get out to the mainstream press soon, Simon decides to tell his parents about himself. As expected, his mother does not take it well but his father is tired of losing his children due to her actions and tells Simon that he will work on his mother. Julian provides support for Simon during this time. Simon decides that he has his family, whether or not his parents are part of it or not.

Just shy of Robbie turning five months, Julian gets the call that a heart is available. As he informs his family, Julian is glad that Simon no longer has to hide his support for him. While the operation runs longer than expected, all appears to be fine. When some post operational complications show up, Julian wonders if it was all worth the effort. With a change in medicine, the doctors inform Julian that the prognosis is good for Robbie.

J.P. Barnaby has crafted a great novel with A Heart for Robbie. It starts with a prologue which is a passage from one of Julian’s books. This serves as an introduction to Liam and Clay, the heroes of the “Black Heart” series. These characters appear throughout A Heart for Robbie as manifestations of Julian’s hopes and fears. As Julian’s relationship with Simon grows, his need to consult with his characters lessens.

While I was a little disappointed that Julian and Simon’s first night together was brought about by a night out drinking, it was totally understandable. Julian needed to let go of his worries for a night and thus his night of drinking. The way the relationship was built was well done. I could feel Simon, who never thought about children of his own, fall in love with Robbie and his father. The fact that they had to keep the relationship quiet due to Simon’s work and being in the closet was understandable. The actions the two took during this time made sense.

The cover art by AngstyG might seem strange for a gay romance novel but was well done in the context of the story. The big teddy bear (Julian) holding the injured teddy bear (Robbie) just tugs at your heartstrings. The injured teddy bear in fact makes an appearance in the story.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press ebook  Paperback       All Romance ebooks (ARe)   Amazon    A Heart for Robbie

Book Details:

Ebook, 216 pages
Published July 10, 2014 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 978-1-63216-067-6
Edition language English

Get Fired Up with Morticia Knight’s Sin City Uniforms Book !, All Fired Up (tour and contest)

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Book Name: All Fired Up (Sin City Uniforms #1)
Goodreads Link
Author Name: Morticia Knight

Author Bio:

M/M and M/M/F Erotic Romance author Morticia Knight enjoys a good saucy tale – after all, who doesn’t? Since she loves several genres, you may find your heroes in a contemporary, historical, paranormal or sci-fi setting. One of her passions is bringing people’s fantasies to life on the page, because life is too short for even one boring moment. Her stories are volcanic in heat, deep in emotion, and sprinkled with doses of humor.

When not indulging in her obsession for books, she loves the outdoors, film and music. The Pacific Northwest is the ideal spot to enjoy both hiking and beachcombing. Once upon a time she was the singer in an indie rock band that toured the West Coast and charted on U.S. college radio. She now resides on the northern coast of Oregon, where the constant rain and fog remind her of visits to family in England and Scotland when she was a child.

She is currently working on the Sin City Uniforms Series and a BDSM spin-off to the Gin & Jazz series entitled The Hampton Road Club. A follow-up to Bryan and Aubrey’s story in Rockin’ the Alternative will be available in 2015.

Author Contact:
https://www.facebook.com/#!/morticia.knight
https://twitter.com/MorticiaKnight

Publisher: Totally Bound
Cover Artist: Posh Gosh
Sales Links: https://www.totallybound.com/all-fired-up

All Fired Up Blurb:

allfiredup_800Officer Shawn Everly patrols the Strip and one night, fireman Trent Marshall saves him when danger strikes. But it’s still uncertain whether Trent can save himself from getting his heart broken by Shawn.

The party never ends on the Las Vegas strip but neither does the danger. Officer Everly is new to the beat, having recently relocated to Vegas from Los Angeles. Foot patrol on the Strip is a demanding assignment because he’s up close and personal with the public. But what he’d really like to do is get up close and personal with Station 32’s hunky fireman, Trent Marshall.
Trent has been a fireman for over ten years and is dedicated to his job. He’s built tough and is a no-nonsense man of few words. At a local blood drive, Trent meets the handsome new officer on foot patrol but won’t let himself get too close. He’s lost love before when his policeman lover was killed in the line of fire.

During an emergency, Trent’s over-protective instincts kick in when he believes Shawn is in harm’s way. He ends up embarrassing and angering Shawn in front of their fellow officers, which seems as though it will end any hope of Trent having a chance with the young man he can’t push from his mind. Shawn can’t decide whether he wants to punch or kiss Trent. Kissing wins. Once they spend some time together away from the stresses of their jobs, they find that they’re not just compatible—they’re combustible.
But Trent can’t seem to accept that there are hazards that come with working in law enforcement. Right as they’re discovering how much they mean to one another, the danger escalates on the Strip. The underground vigilante group, The Citizens Against Immorality, have raised the stakes. Will Shawn and Trent be their next targets?

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

All Fired Up Excerpt:

“Oh shit! He hasn’t come back up yet!”

One of the onlookers pointed in the direction of where the swimmer had been only seconds before. All that remained were small ripples on the surface of the water.

Goddammit.

Moving quickly, Shawn tore off his duty belt, frantically toeing off his shoes as he did. Before Vicki had the opportunity to register what was happening, Shawn thrust the equipment at her. To her credit, she wordlessly grabbed it. He boosted himself over the banister and dropped into the water—it wasn’t deep enough at the banks for him to dive safely, only about four feet. But it was fucking cold, much more so than he’d expected. Shawn gritted his teeth and swam desperately toward the dark shape floating just below the surface of the lake. He was soaking wet but his mouth was dry. His heart beat wildly as he propelled himself forward.

By the time he reached the victim, he was no longer able to touch the bottom at all. He turned the man over, wrapping his arm around his chest, keeping his head above water. Shawn’s muscles burned with the stress of hauling the limp weight of the unconscious drunk to safety through the frigid waters, and from swimming using only one arm to pull them both along.
Taking in big gulps of air, he noted that several emergency vehicles had arrived. He could barely make out the yellow engine that he was certain would be from nearby Station 32. There were additional police units, the red truck of Las Vegas Fire and Rescue, as well as at least one ambulance.

The drunk woke with a start, choking and gasping, fighting Shawn’s attempts to save his life. Shawn was pulled under – he’d barely had a chance to take a breath. His feet hit the bottom and Shawn propelled both of them back up out of the water. It was only a few seconds before he was dragged under again. Weakening, Shawn tried once more, but he barely broke the surface. Right as he sucked in a breath, he was yanked down and he took in more water than air.

Oh shit. Might be drowning.

Tour Dates/Tour Stops:
October 6: Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words
October 7: Rainbow Gold Reviews, The Novel Approach
October 8: Sinfully Sexy, The Hat Party
October 9: Cathy Brockman Romances
October 10: All I Want and More Books, Guilty Indulgence Book Club
October 13: Andrew Q. Gordon
October 14: Fallen Angel Reviews, Hearts on Fire
October 15: Jade Crystal
October 16: Boy Meets Boy Reviews, Because Two Men Are Better Than One
October 17: Regular Guys, Hot Romance, Butterfly-O-Meter
October 20: Prism Book Alliance
October 21: Multitasking Mommas, Dawn’s Reading Nook
October 22: Inked Rainbow Reads
October 23: Tara Lain
October 24: Carly’s Book Reviews, MM Good Book Reviews, Up All Night, Read All Day
October 27: Wake Up Your Wild Side, Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings, Amanda C. Stone
October 28: Queer Town Abbey, Kimi-Chan
October 29: My Fiction Nook
October 30: Cate Ashwood
October 31: Foxylutely Book Reviews, Love Bytes

Contest: Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card + Signed copy of All Fired Up. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Use the Rafflecopter link provided to enter and for additional contest details.

 Contest Scavenger Hunt Secret fact from Fired Up:
1. Firefighter Trent Marshall has a thing for cops, but he’s afraid of losing another lover in the line of fire.

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Cover Reveal for Unicorns and Rainbow Poop by Sam Kadence (contest)

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Need a little wonder in your life?  Check out the new cover for  Sam Kadence’s Unicorns and Rainbow Poop!  There is an excerpt to read and a contest to enter! Now on to  our cover reveal…

Book Name: Unicorns and Rainbow Poop
Author Name: Sam Kadence

Author Bio:

Sam Kadence has always dreamed about being someone else, somewhere else. With very little musical talent, Sam decided the only way to make those dreams come true was to try everything from cosplay at the local anime conventions to writing novels about pretending to run away to become a musician.

Sam has a Bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing, sells textbooks for a living, enjoys taking photographs of Asian Ball Joint Dolls to tell more stories, and has eclectic taste in music from J-pop to rock and country. All of which finds its way into the books eventually.

Author Contact:

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008292783586&fref=ts&ref=br_tf
https://www.facebook.com/SamKadence
@parisbvamp

10722326_10204675409863614_1859204750_oPublisher: Harmony Ink Press
Cover Artist:  Aaron Anderson
Sales Links for Dreamspinner Press:  eBook    Paperback

Unicorns and Rainbow Poop Blurb:

Ex-boyband member Dane Karlson is struggling to overcome an eating disorder and a body dismorphic disorder. His fall through a glass table puts him in rehab and on the road to recovery. Then a friend dies. When depression causes him to lose ground, he calls for the only person he trusts–former bandmate Tommy. But Tommy doesn’t know how to help. He begs his friend Sebastian “Bas” Axelrod to aid them through the emotional struggle.

Bas, an openly gay high school student who’s recently lost his grandmother, is trying to survive his last few months of school before escaping to Stanford. Having just lost the only person in his family to care for him, he is victim to the cruelty of the others. His younger brother bullies him, and his parents are suing him for his gran’s inheritance. When Tommy calls, Bas can’t help but run to his side.

Together Dane and Bas find a middle ground, supporting each other through the lows, dancing together during the highs. They build friendships and plan for the prom and graduation, thinking positively as long as they are together.

Categories: YA, Contemporary, m/m

Unicorns and Rainbow Poop Excerpt:

“So I was thinking since you and I both care about Tommy, we have something in common. See, Tommy is stressed, and I thought we could do something nice for him.”

Dane sat but glared at the man suspiciously. “What sort of nice thing?”

Bas motioned to the bags. “We’re going to make him cookies.”

Dane gulped. “I don’t like food.”

“You won’t be eating it. Tommy will. He canceled a class to come here. Did he tell you? He was taking a theater class at the community college back in Minnesota. Had to withdraw to be here. And with college, you know that means giving up any money paid. Not that money matters much to you guys. Though as young as you all are, I hope you’re well invested.”

Bas shrugged at him and began taking things out of the bags. Flour, eggs, sugar—both white and brown—food coloring, butter, vanilla, and lemons.

“I didn’t know,” Dane said quietly. He’d thought Tommy would be the least affected by his problems. Of course he’d been wrong about that too. Couldn’t he do anything right? “I don’t know anything about cooking.”

“That’s okay. I got this recipe online. It’s pretty easy. We’re making unicorn poop cookies.”

“What?”

“They are sugar cookies with food coloring in them to make them all rainbow-like. Unicorns are good luck and all that. Supposed to be the embodiment of goodness and purity.” Bas picked up his tablet, tapped the screen, and flipped it so Dane could see. The cookies really did look like a big pile of rainbow poop.

“Looks tasty,” Dane grumbled.

“We shall see, right? Think you can measure for me?” He pulled out a couple of cookie sheets and turned on one of the many ovens. “I got permission to use the kitchen here, but we can’t get too rowdy or they’ll kick me out.” He winked at Dane. “I’m pretty sure the orderlies outside are to make sure I’m not burning the place down.”

Dane got up and moved around the counter to stare at the list of ingredients. Bas plugged in a big mixer and took the mixing bowl out of it, bringing it to the counter for them to fill.

“This is really for Tommy?”

“Sure. We can send some to Ru and Adam too if you’d like. I heard they are only an hour or so away.”

“I don’t want Ru to know I’m here,” Dane said immediately. He didn’t need to mess up anyone else’s life.

“No worries. We need tell them nothing other than that they are from you.”

RainbowBadgeTour Dates: October 6, 2014

Tour Stops: Parker Williams, Andrew Q. Gordon, Amanda C. Stone, Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves, BFD Book Blog, My Fiction Nook, The Hat Party, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Foxylutely Book Reviews, MM Good Book Reviews, Cathy Brockman Romances, Fallen Angel Reviews, Rebecca Cohen Writes, The Blogger Girls, Cate Ashwood, A_TiffyFit’s Reading Corner, Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings, Boy Meets Boy Reviews, Smoocher’s Voice, Will Parkinson, Love Bytes, Multitasking Mommas, Twinsie Talk, Iyana Jenna

Contest: Rafflecopter Prize: $20 Amazon 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.

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