On Tour with D.T. Peterson and Seduction in Red (tour and contest)

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D.T. Peterson is here to talk about writing, inspiration, and Seduction in Red.  Read the excerpt and blurb! Don’t forget to enter the contest for the free ebook at the end of the post.

My Interview with D. T. Peterson

1. What was the inspiration behind Seduction in Red?

I wanted Seduction In Red to not be The Cove, my first book. Whereas my first novel was about conforming and keeping your emotions and feelings hidden, I wanted to this work to outrageously open. Times and attitude have changed immensely since i was growing up. Seduction In Red was in part inspired by today’s youth and their willingness to express openly who they are and how they feel.

2. What came first, the title or the plot?

I enjoy writing to plot foremost. Usually I decide on a title once I’m well into writing the story. I want the title to convey a sense of the work, or hint its possible outcome.

3. Philadelphia is a fascinating city. Do you use that as your location?

While Philadelphia is a great place, it is not depicted in the book. There are several locations which are local to the area. I am drawn to smaller, intimate settings.

4. Favorite childhood book that had the greatest impact on you as a child and as a writer?

I can’t say that any one book or author stand out as being particularly earth shattering. I’ve always been drawn to mystery and science fiction.

5. Favorite comfort food, and favorite comfort read?

Eating is something I do when I’m hungry, I can’t say I do it for comfort. I do have a few favorites..steak ,lobster, crab legs. A good old fashioned meal brings back memories of the past in some sense. I’m a political junkie, so I tend to read about current events. I find science incredibly interesting as well, it is after all the key to our future.

6. Is contemporary fiction your favorite trope to write in?

Yes, It is. I enjoy writing about present day events, the conflicts and the emotions which shape our daily lives. I believe it is the journey, our passions and struggles, which define us as a person and a society.

7. As a writer, do you plan out your stories start to finish or see where the characters take you once the process starts?

Generally, I have a beginning and an end in mind, although the ending is subject to change. I know the characters I want to portray, the mood of the story. Beyond that, things tend to develop as the story progresses.

8. What’s next for D.t. Peterson?

I’m currently working on my 3rd book, Illusions In The Mist, a story about a transgendered cybil of sorts.

 

Along with a blurb and excerpt, D.T. Peterson has a contest for all to enter.  Check it out below!

front coverSMBook Name: Seduction in Red
Author Name: D.t. Peterson

Author Bio:

D.t. Peterson lives in the suburbs of Philadelphia. He enjoys traveling, and being outdoors. His hobbies include canoeing, hiking, whitewater rafting, and furniture making. His debut novel was The Cove.

Author Contact:

Title Seduction in Red by D. t. Peterson
Publisher: Self-published
Cover Artist: Jared Rackler

Sales Links:  Amazon

Seduction in Red Blurb:

Trevor is young, rich and single; completely open and out about who he is, unwilling to hide it from anyone. Cody is shy and inexperienced, exploring the desires he secretly craves to fulfill for the first time. Unknowingly, they venture down a path which neither of them could have ever imagined.

Seduction in Red Excerpt:

“I’m Trevor,” he said smiling broadly, stretching out his hand.

“Hi, I’m Cody,” I said shaking his hand.

He held my hand longer than I was used to and I gazed at the rings on his fingers and the bracelets on his wrists.

“How did you know what I was drinking?”

“I noticed you as soon as you walked in,” he said, seductively, smiling.

“Noticed me?”

“Yeah, I’ve never seen you before. You must be new.”

“Oh,” I half smiled back, “I’ve never been here before. It’s my first time.”

“Thought so,” he continued, in between swigging on his beer and checking me out.

“Huh?” I replied, leaning closer towards him, unable to hear him above the music.

“C’mon,” he shouted above the blaring disco music as he grabbed the beer bottles off of the bar, “follow me.”

He led me around the dance floor, to the back of the club where it was less noisy.

“Here,” he said sitting down, closely, next to me at a table, “This is better.”

“It is, I can hear you now.” I agreed.

“You’re really cute,” he started, “but you look really young. How old are you?”

“Just turned twenty one,” I stated proudly.

“Sweet,” he said grinning deviously, “but you look younger…”

“I get that a lot…” I replied.

“It’s cool, I’m twenty three. Not too old for you is it?”

“No idea yet,” I replied nervously.

“Can I ask you something?”

“Yeah,” I replied.

“Have you done anything yet?”

“Done anything?”

“Yeah, you known, been with another guy?”

“Oh, no. Not yet.”

“Hot. But you want to?”

“I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately.”

“Guess that’s why you’re here,” he chuckled.

“Yeah, I suppose so, I’m curious…”

“How about you?” I asked.

“Me?” he said proudly, “I’ve been out awhile. Can’t ya tell?”

I could actually. He had an air of confidence about him, secure in knowing who he was, not caring about what anyone else thought. He had long blonde hair and stunning blue eyes. He was almost androgynous looking. I couldn’t help but not look at him as I had followed him from the bar, gazing at his lean and slender body.

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


Tour Dates/Tour Stops:

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October 13: MM Good Book Reviews
October 14: The Hat Party
October 15: Michael Mandrake
October 16: Love Bytes
October 17: It’s Raining Men
October 20: Fallen Angel Reviews
October 21: Prism Book Alliance
October 22: Havan Fellows
October 23: Amanda C. Stone
October 24: Iyana Jenna
October 27: Cate Ashwood
October 28: Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words
October 29: Inked Rainbow Reads
October 30: BFD Book Blog
October 31: Parker Williams, Kimi-Chan
November 3: Regular Guys, Hot Romance
November 4: Queer Town Abbey
November 5: Multitasking Mommas
November 6: Wicked Faeries Reviews
November 7: Jade CrystalRainbow Gold Reviews

 

Contest:  Rafflecopter Prize: E-book copy of ‘Seduction in Red’.  Use the Raffelcopter link to enter and for all  additional contest details.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Contest prizes provided by outside source.

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A MelanieM Review: Accidental Contact and Other Mahu Investigations (Mahu #7.5) by Neil S. Plakcy

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Sex, mayhem and justice in the Aloha State as openly gay Honolulu homicide detective tracks murderers, missing people & a dog with unusual appetites.

Accidental Contact and Other coverOpenly gay Honolulu homicide detective Kimo Kanapa’aka has had a long and storied career with the Honolulu PD in the Aloha State of Hawaii.  In this selection of ten short investigations in the Aloha State, Kimo goes from rookie officer to seasoned homicide detective in a range of cases from a hearse carrying more than bodies and a psychic with some surprising information for Kimo and his partner.

A wonderful introduction to the rich cultures of the Hawaiian populace as seen through the eyes of its complicated native son.  The stories are captivating, sometimes humorous and always richly layered.  A must for all lovers of detectives on the hunt and mysteries waiting to be solved.

I first discovered Neil Plakcy and his Hawaiian detective, Kimo Kanapa’aka, towards the end of the Mahu series with the novel Natural Predators (Mahu #7). That book was such a revelation.  Plakcy had created in Kimo Kanapa’aka a richly nuanced, highly complex character, one steeped in his family and Hawaiian culture.  Coming in at the seventh  story,  I had missed out on all the character and relationship growth that had taken place prior so that Kimo, his domestic partner, and, foster son could have an established and happy home life.  But the novel had enough glimpses into past stories to let the reader know that the climb to such a contented arrangement has been fraught with pain, difficulties, and a few partings.  That alluring back history was enough to send me racing back to the beginning to see  how it all began and meet Kimo at the start of his career.

Accidental Contact and Other Mahu Investigations allows a reader new to the Mahu series a chance to dip into the life and cases of Kimo and his department at various stages of his life and career.  As the blurb informs “from murderers to missing babies to a shaggy dog with an unusual appetite, openly gay Honolulu homicide detective Kimo Kanapa’aka has his hands full…” with cases both extraordinary and colorful.  But what really sets this detective apart from his counterparts is Plakcy’s ability to bring all aspects of the myriad Hawaiian cultures to life via vivid imagery and a use of colloquialisms and dialects, slang and tonal flow of the voices that swim in that great pot of peoples, traditions, lore, and even societal  prejudices known as Hawaii.

I can get lost in the conversations alone  that Plakcy lays out for his characters. It can sound like music, all soft and flowing with all those 5 vowels and 7 consonants that make up the Hawaiian alphabet, yet what they are actually conveying can be painful and harsh.  Such a dichotomy originates and flows from the land itself.  The author makes the reader see and feel the real Hawaii, not just those postcard beaches and Diamond Head scenes so familiar from travelogues everywhere.  From the ghettos and dark streets teaming with characters as unforgettable as the cases they appear in to the hillsides where the huge and diverse Kanapa’aka family reside, this author takes us on a journey limited only by the natural boundaries of the islands.  And no matter where the destination, or level of society, Plakcy imbues his characters so throughly with all the flaws and human dimension that all levels feel authentic and believable.  Even the criminals here  have their own language with which they impart their own rules and lawlessness yet still remained tied in their own way to their families and cultures.

Accidental Contact and Other Mahu Investigations gets its name from a most memorable excuse an offender offers up to Kimo and his partner during an investigation.   I won’t spoil the reference for you all, its just one of the many delights to be found here.  Normally with a collection, I rate the stories but I can’t do that with this collection.  Each brought its own groups of surprises and memorable moments.  Some ended abruptly just as shaggy dog stories should, others continue to the final satisfactory ending you would hope for.  The end result of them all is to send me once more back to that first story and being my journey with Kimo all over again.

When I think of fine regional voices, the ones that pull you immediately into a culture and region, Neil Plakcy jumps immediately to mind.  His Mahu series should be on everyone’s list of Must Have, Must Read stories and series.  And Kimo Kanapa’aka rates just as highly among the detectives I have come to know and love.    Let this collection be a quick introduction to this marvelous series and author.  And then let it guide you back to all the other fine stories and a romance and love affair to savor.  I highly recommend them all.

 

Cover art by Kris Jacen.  I love the cultural feel of this cover.  Works perfectly for this collection of stories.

Sales Links:  MLR Press     All Romance eBooks (ARe)   amazon    Accidental Contact

Book Details:

ebook
Published August 22nd 2014 by MLR Press
ISBN13MLR1020130286
seriesMahu #7.5

Books in the Mahu series in the order they were written and should be read for character and relationship growth and timelines:

  •  Mahu (Mahu #1)
  • Mahu Surfer (Mahu #2)
    Mahu Fire (Mahu #3)
    Mahu Vice (Mahu Vice #4)
    Mahu Blood (Mahu #5)
  • Zero Break (Mahu #6)
  • Mahu Men: Mysterious and Erotic Stories (Mahu #6.5)
  • Natural Predators (Mahu #7)
    Accidental Contact and Other Mahu Investigations

On Tour with Belinda McBride’s An Uncommon Whore 3: Prince of Faith (contest)

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Check out Belinda McBride’s latest release in her An Uncommon Whore series, A Prince of Faith.  Excerpt and contest can be found below.

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Now let’s get up close and personal with Belinda McBride…

STRW:  A Prince of Faith is the 3 book in An Uncommon Whore series? Can it be read as a stand alone or must the series be read in the order they were written to understand this story and characters?

Belinda:  Yes, Prince of Faith is the third book in the Uncommon Whore series. It can be read as a stand-alone, but to get the most enjoyment out of the book, I’d suggest reading it as part of the series.

STRW:   When writing a novel, do you know in advance if it is to be a series or stand alone?  Or can it change along the way?

Belinda:  Generally I know when I’m going to be doing a series, especially when the world building is fairly extensive. Sometimes I’ve written a stand-alone story and realized along the way that there’s really more to the story than I’m telling in that first book. That was the case with An Uncommon Whore. It was meant to be a short novel and as I finished the book I realized that Helios and Griffin had a very deep story to tell, so one book was clearly not going to be enough.

STRW:  Some authors have said the characters “speak” to them. Do yours do that? Or are they planned out along with the stories?

Belinda:  Sometimes characters do really “pop” and take on a life of their own. I do fairly extensive character development on paper, but there are characters (like Helios) who seem to spring intact from my brain with a voice and personality of their own. April Bleu in Blacque/Bleu was another of those characters; she had no place in the outline of the book. She just rolled into town on a motorcycle and was too awesome to send away!

STRW: I love your vampire and werewolf stories as well as your fantasy. Do you have a favorite genre to write in?

Belinda:  I really enjoy science fiction and space opera. For some reason, I just love the limitless potential of the genre, as well as the action that is inherent to it. But since I’ve been known to send my werewolves into space, I have a hard time picking favorites! LOL!

STRW:   How many books to you have planned for this series or is it open ended?

Belinda:  The Uncommon series is really part of a large sci fi universe I call Coalition. It includes The Bacchi and Belle Starr. While I do plan to end the Uncommon series at book 4, I have no doubt Helios and Griffin will be back in some capacity. I’d also like to do stories for some of the supporting characters that appear in their books.

STRW:  What comes first universe or characters? Do you feel you have to have a world to put them down in or do you have a romance in mind first and then create everything around it?

Belinda:  You know, that really varies. Sometimes I have a scenario or a feeling that captures my imagination. I’ll write a few lines and tuck them away in a file. For example I wanted to write a vampire with insomnia. That’s where Oliver Bleu came from. Griffin Hawke was in my file as a “…one eyed, one balled rapscallion” who was escorting a princess to her castle. I also want to write a book about a bunch of misfits on a spaceship. Once I started playing with that idea, I started harvesting damaged characters from some of the other books I’d written. Other times, I have a very strong idea of the story before I start writing. Blacque and Bleu was completely plotted before I started the book.

STRW:. Will you return to the world of Blaque and Bleu anytime soon? Or are you done with that universe and characters?

Belinda:  I plan one more m/m story in that universe and then will turn to a m/m/f trilogy featuring the women who have appeared in the series. I haven’t finished with Oliver and Lukas, but their story will probably play out as a sub-plot in Dane’s story, but I’m also considering a novella for them. Frankly, I’ll probably always play around in Arcada, there are some great characters lurking on the sidelines.

STRW:   What childhood book or story had the greatest impact on you as a child and writer today?

Belinda:  That’s a tough question because I learned to read really, really early and once I started reading, I read copiously and well beyond my age level. I think the book/s that most affected me as a child and continue to influence me as an adult are Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy and Georgette Heyer’s Black Sheep. The Tolkien books opened my eyes to fantasy and made me realize I wasn’t the only one having these off dreams and imaginings. And Black Sheep introduced me to romance, dark anti-heroes and tough as nails heroines.

STRW:  What’s next for Belinda McBride?

Belinda McBride:  Lots, actually! I’m currently working on a Doms of Dark Haven/Truckee Wolves cross-over featuring Destiny: the sometimes intrepid and often naked receptionist from Dark Haven. I’m throwing her to the wolves. LOL! I’m also playing with a few different series ideas, some with cowboys, Frenchmen and more science fiction. I’m also developing another Belle Starr story. So lots on the drawing board!

STRW:  Thank you, Belinda, for the great interview.  I know fans of your series are lining up to see what’s in store for their favorite characters next. Now check out a Prince of Faith and don’t forget to enter the contest!

Book Name: An UncommonWhore 3: Prince of Faith
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22931220-prince-of-faith
Author Name: Belinda McBride

Author Bio:

Belinda is an award-winning, top selling author of erotic romance, speculative fiction and LGBTQ romance. She lives in far Northern California with her family and a pack of Siberian Huskies.

A graduate of CSU Chico, she managed to attend the notorious party school without once getting drunk, arrested or appearing in a “Girls Gone Wild” video. Her main focus of study was classical and archival history, cultural anthropology and theatre arts.

After several years in the workforce. Belinda purchased a laptop computer and from there, knew that her childhood dream of being an author would come to life.

Belinda’s books are available at all the typical distributors as well as on the publisher’s homepages.

Author Contact:

@Belinda_McBride

BM_UW3_princeoffaith_coverin_1Title:  A Prince of Faith (An Uncommon Whore #3) by Belinda McBride
Publisher: Loose ID
Cover Artist: PL Nunn

Sales Links:   Loose id

A Prince of Faith Blurb:

Held captive in a whorehouse, Markus Dayspring wakes every morning with a thirst for revenge, and collapses every night with a prayer for strength. He lives on in spite of deadly addictions and a crippling, shameful secret. When he’s rescued by a man from his past, his reawakened love threatens to crush his damaged soul.

Caius also has a secret, one that could ultimately kill him. But his vow to rescue Markus is stronger than guilt, fear and even his loyalty to King Helios. Too many have died because of Caius and rescuing the missing prince might allow him to sleep without nightmares.

Old habits are hard to break and new pain threatens their growing love. Yet one gleaming ray of hope continues to guide them to safety, even in the face of an unexpected violation of trust. With the stakes growing higher by the hour, Markus and Caius must learn to have faith before they can heal and face the future together.

Categories: Fantasy, M/M Romance, Romance, Science Fiction

A Prince of Faith Excerpt:

PoFBadgeTemplateTour Dates/Stops:
10/21: Rainbow Gold Reviews, Sinfully Sexy
10/22: Multitasking Mommas, Kimi-Chan
10/23: Prism Book Alliance, Cathy Brockman Romances
10/24: Hearts on Fire, SA McAuley
10/27: Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Tara Lain
10/28: Wake Up Your Wild Side, Dawn’s Reading Nook, Carly’s Book Reviews
10/29: Jade Crystal, EE Montgomery
10/30: Amanda C. Stone, The Novel Approach
10/31: The Hat Party, Romance the Night
11/3: MM Good Book Reviews, The Blogger Girls, Fallen Angel Reviews
11/4: Love Bytes, Angel Martinez

 

 

Contest:  Rafflecopter Prize: 2 prizes: 1 – A cover art poster, and 2 – 2 e-books (An Uncommon Whore and When I Fall).  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Use the Rafflecopter link below for the entry form and for all additional contest details.

 

Rafflecopter Code: a Rafflecopter giveaway

A History of Halloween as Samhain (All Hallows Eve) Approaches and the Week Ahead at Scattered Thoughts

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Happy Samhain!

 

October 31st is almost upon us. Known by many names, this time of year is celebrated by people all over the world and in far different ways than we might imagine.  A little history first.  Known first as Samhain (pronounced Sa win or sow en depending upon which Celtic dialect you use), it is an ancient Celtic festival celebrated from sunset on October 31 to sunset on November 1. This date  falls about halfway between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice. The festival marks the end of summer and fall (harvest season) and the beginning of winter, the darker, colder half of the year.

During Samhain, people bring their livestock down from the upper grazing pastures.  Now was the time of separating the animals, choosing which to keep as breeding stock and which to choose for slaughter for winter. Households take careful stock of their pantries and food supplies in order to prepare for the long, cold weather ahead. Unlike the Gaelic festival of Beltane, which celebrates life and growth, Samhain honors the darker side of things.  These months are considered a “liminal” time of the year, passing from the abundance of summer into the darkness and harsh times of the winter. It is also thought to be the time of the year when the walls between our world and the next plane of existence thin and the spirits can reach out to the living.Lag_BaOmer_bonfire

It is believed that the deceased spirits would return to the homes and places they knew, seeking comfort and sometimes revenge.  In order to appease these spirits, people would place a dinner plate at their table and/or bowls of food or treats by their front door. People took special care not to offend any wandering spirits, and if they left their homes they would disguise themselves with masks and costumes to avoid recognition. Eventually the tables were turned, and the masked citizens started imitating the spirits they once feared by going door-to-door demanding treats and threatening to perform mischief of their own.

Into this celebration came large bonfires,  lit to keep away bad spirits and even act as an imitation sun.  The bones from  freshly slaughtered animals were tossed into the fires known as “bone-fires”, which eventually became bonfires.  People carried part of the bone-fires with them by placing a hot coal inside a hollowed-out turnip, potato or beet.  Yes, that’s where our jack ‘o lanterns came from.   According to lore and historian Hannah Kincaid*:

The lanterns were frequently carved with creepy faces to represent and scare away the wandering spirits. The term “jack-o’-lantern” comes from an old Irish myth about a man nicknamed “Stingy Jack.” According to lore, the drunkard Stingy Jack tricked the devil into never condemning him to Hell. When Jack died, however, God wouldn’t allow such an unsavory soul into heaven, either, so Jack was sentenced to eternally wander the Earth with nothing but a coal nestled inside a hollowed-out-turnip for light. The Irish referred to Stingy Jack’s Jack-o'-Lantern_2003-10-31ghost as “Jack of the Lantern,” which eventually became “jack-o’-lantern” as we know it today.

So how did Samhain become Halloween?  Blame it on the Church…the Catholic church that is.  Here is the best explanation courtesy of Hannah Kincaid again:

The term “Halloween” is a result of Catholic interference with Samhain in the year 609. All Saints Day is a Roman Catholic holiday that honors and remembers all Christian saints both known and unknown. Pope Gregory IV decided to officially move the date of All Saints Day to November 1, the same day as Samhain. All Saints Day is also called “All Hallows” because “hallowed” means sanctified or holy (for those of you who know The Our Father prayer, think of the part “hallowed be thy name.”) The evening before All Hallows was a popular time to celebrate, so the term “All Hallows’ Eve” was used quite a bit. Eventually the term All Hallows’ Eve morphed into Halloween as we know it, and along the way it snatched up and mingled with many of the Samhain traditions that had already been happening for thousands of years.

The history of Samhain reminds us that we once celebrated holidays because of a shared human connection that resonated with the Earth’s cycles — the weather, the moon, the harvest — instead of a celebration of consumerism or heroic dominance.*

 

So how do you intend to spend this All Hallows Eve?  Masked, costumed, ready to explore into the night and see what spirits are afoot?  Or will you be staying home, listening for the sound of footsteps big and small, the sound of giggling and howls upon the night air?   Do you have your candy ready or will there be a trick or two in store for those who venture near?  Me and mine will light a candle or two, keep the wee doggies inside safe and warm, and have the goodies ready to share for those who visit.  Happy Samhain, everyone!raven and moon

Now for the Week Ahead at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words:

Monday, October 27:

  • Belinda McBride’s Prince of Faith Book Tour and Contest
  • A MelanieM Review:  Accidental Contact and Other Mahu Investigations (Mahu #7.5)
    by Neil S. Plakcy

Tuesday, October 28:

  • D.T. Peterson’s Seduction in Red Book Tour and Contest
  • Alexis Duran’s To Catch a Threeve Book Tour and Contest
  • A PaulB Review: Phoenix Heart (Stolen Elements #1) by A.L. Wilson
  • A MelanieM Review: Cutting Out by Meredith Shayne

Wednesday, October 29:

  • Silvia Violet’s Shifting Hearts Book Tour and Contest
  • Lila Bruce’s The Scent of Jasmine Book Tour and Contest
  • A MelanieM Review:  Red Dirt Heart 3 by N. R. Walker

Thursday, October 30:

  • John Simpson and Robert Cummings’ The Marine Book Tour and Contest
  • Iyana Jenna’s Love’s Home Book Tour and Contest
  • A Barb, the Zany, Old Lady Review:  The Trouble with Elves by Theresa Woodson

Friday, October 31 (Happy Halloween):

  • Garrett Leigh’s Heart Book Tour and Contest
  • A MelanieM Review:  Confetti, Cake, and Confessions by KC Wells
  • October 2014 Summary of Reviews and Best Covers of the Month

Saturday, November 1:

  • An Aurora YA Review:  The Key to Behliseth by Lou Hoffmann

 

*references Hannah Kincaid,  History of Halloween (history.com), Telegraph uk

 

A MelanieM Review: Spaghetti Western (Delectable #5) by E.M. Lynley

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Spaghetti Western coverCordon-Blue trained pastry chef Riley Emerson arrives in Aspen, Colorado for a summer season as a pastry chef in a famous local restaurant.  His boyfriend had gone ahead months earlier and arranged for an apartment for both of them.  Only when Riley got into town he found that his boyfriend had gotten into far more than just renting an apartment, his boyfriend had also found another boyfriend as well.  Furious, heartbroken and desperate, Riley takes the advice of a local diner operator and signs on to be the chef at a guest ranch that operates just outside of town, the Rocking Z Ranch.

Cattle rancher Colby Zane spots a drunken newcomer getting in over his head at Aspen’s Club Rawhide, a raunchy, gay bar outside of Aspen.  A quick and timely rescue sees Colby and the man spending the night at Colby’s hotel…with nothing happening except some sleep.  The next morning the dude was gone and Colby was left getting the supplies he needed before heading back to the ranch.

Neither man expects to see the other again.  Until Riley shows up as the new chef at the Rocking Z, hired by Colby’s aunt.  A tentative peace turns progressively warmer as their initial attractions flares back to life.  But there are other problems waiting in store for them both.  The Rocking Z is having financial problems and  outside investor, Fitz Wellington, is more than willing to cause problems and raise issues where he pleases, including coming between new lovers.  The race is on to save the Rocking Z but the Riley and Colby still be together at the end?

What an endearing story!  Spaghetti Western is the only story I have read in the Delectable series by E.M. Lynley, but its works just fine as a stand alone novel.  However that being said, I enjoyed the characters, plot, and yes, fantastic recipes, so much that I intend to look at reading the other stories in the series as well.

Spaghetti Western turns on that most delectable of plot devices, two characters, obviously meant for each other, have a chance meeting, connect only to part, and then finds themselves reunited under the most unlikely of places.  In Spaghetti Western, Lynley has chosen Aspen, Colorado and the surrounding ranches as her setting for this engaging love story.  It’s a great choice for a location and makes the connection between Riley and Colby realistic and believable.

Told from alternating points of view, we first meet Riley Emerson,of a wealthy, distant family, more recently of the Cordon – Bleu in Paris, France.  Graduated, he is on his way to Aspen to meet up with his boyfriend who he meet in France and start working as a pastry chef in a famous local bistro.  Too bad the boyfriend who went ahead to settle them into the town before starting their jobs together, found other entertainment instead.  Arriving early, Riley surprised his boyfriend and another men otherwise engaged . End result? Riley found himself sans boyfriend, apartment, and job in one swoop of Fate.  Right away we are on Riley’s side,  We have seen how decent and lovable Riley is and this event finds us firmly committed to Riley and his search for something better.

That “something better” comes in the form of Colby Zane and his family, along with the Rocking Z ranch they all work on.  Lynley gives us a real feel for the life lived on a working ranch, and a guest ranch at that.  Whether it is preparing food for that has to be upscale and beautifully plated for the guests while also having to be nutritious and substantive for the workers as well, the ups and downs of ranching, and endless financial juggling that goes on is all here to be experienced through Lynley’s characters and situations.   I loved the chuck wagon scenes and those that take place in and around the barns.  All are equally full of substance as they are of fanciful romantic notions and a hope for a meaningful future for two lovely men.

I loved the character of Riley, Colby and his aunt, and many more.  Only the Fitz came across as a bit cartoonish, albeit a total villain.  But all the others were characters I enjoyed spending time with and would look forward to meeting again and again.

What else here is not to be missed?  That would be the scenes of cooking and the recipes at the end.  There are quite a few I tried to my delight and several still to be tasted.  All will be added to my recipe box for future dinners and special moments.  Don’t miss out on a single one.  How I love it when a story doubles as a romance and a cookbook.  Be still my heart!

If you love romance, cowboys, and chefs and recipes to die for, well then, I have  a marvelous story for you.  Spaghetti Western has oodles of heart, in a recipe of love packed full of just the right ingredients for a heartfelt ,heartwarming romance you won’t want to put down.   Pick it up and enjoy your journey to Aspen and love!

Cover art by L.C. Chase.  Just adorable. Loved it.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner eBook & Print     All Romance eBook (ARe)  amazon   Spaghetti Western

Book Details:

ebook, 1st, 220 pages
Published September 17th 2014 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781632161352
edition languageEnglish
seriesDelectable #5
charactersRiley Emerson, Colby Zane
settingAspen, Colorado (United States)
Rocking Z Ranch, Colorado

Books in the Delectible Series are:

Brand New Flavor (Delectable, #1)
Lighting the Way Home (Delectable, #2)
An Intoxicating Crush (Delectable, #3)
Gingerbread Palace (Delectable #4)
Spaghetti Western (Delectable #5)

 

A MelanieM Review: Brothers in Arms (The Broken Road Cafe #2) by T.A. Webb

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Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

Brothers In Arms coverDaniel O’Leary fled his high powered life in Atlanta, exchanging it for ownership of the The Broken Road Cafe in Blue Ridge, a life he hoped would be simpler,honest, in all ways easier on the soul and emotions.  But life has a way of playing with your expectations.  Instead Daniel met Chief of Police Nick Oliver, a closeted, complex man and fell in love.  As did Nick.  Daniel also found his life filling up with new friends, neighbors, and town folk determined to pull him into the close knit soceity of small town life even as his connections to Atlanta refused to let him go.

Now Daniel finds himself immersed in the lives of those around him and finds that life in Blue Ridge is every bit as full of complexities, pain, and bullying as life in Atlanta.  One of The Broken Road’s high school employees is  being harassed by the local school bullies and his vulnerability  pulls at Dan’s heart while leaving him at odds as to what to do about it.  Nick’s semi-closeted status is starting to cause further issues between them and someone from Dan’s past in Atlanta arrives to cause more pain and heartache.

But there is an even bigger danger lurking, one that will change everyones life forever.  The Broken Road Cafe is supposed to be a new life for Daniel O’Leary but what happens when his old one won’t let him go?

The Broken Road Cafe charmed me with its plot and myriad cast of inviting characters.  I loved the premise and the relocation to a small town that felt so similar in culture and mannerisms to the places my  relatives grew up and still reside to this day in Georgia.  Now with Brothers in Arms, the author widens his lens to include more of the townspeople and places than we have visited before.

Small town, Georgia is a place that T.A. Webb knows intimately and that knowledge allows Webb to usher his readers into the minds and community of Blue Ridge, Georgia.  Whether it is the wonderful mayor or the bigoted hard-nosed high school football coach, these people feel as believable as they do familiar.  Outside Daniel O’Leary is slowly finding his way into the life of Blue Ridge, one he accessed by buying the town’s favorite eating spot, The Broken Road Cafe.   Whether it is through the people that come there to dine or the employees who work for Dan, the pull of a closely knit community is having its effect upon Daniel.

In this story, bullying at the high school level is having an impact upon one of Daniel’s most vulnerable employees.  Webb’s blunt, factual treatment of this issue serves to highlight all the victims of bullying, not just the direct target themselves.  It also points out just how difficult it is to stop the bullying at its origin, especially when it occurs on the playing field of high school sports.  This is a heartrending aspect of this story, and if you find yourself sniffling at the pain caused by the bullying and the aftermath felt by the victim, well, you aren’t alone.

Daniel’s new love, Nick Oliver, is still closeted to most and having issues coming out.  And Nick’s wavering is  having ripple effects in all his relationships, not just with Daniel.  Serious issues continues to pile up at an alarming rate and Nick is the first to wonder if he is able to handle them all.

T.A. Webb has a multitude of plot threads running throughout Brothers in Arms.  From the intimate messiness of relationships to the broader scope of business and family, the author weaves the past events and characters together with all the new ones for a complex, suspenseful and totally surprising wonder of a story.   It is hard to comment to  much on the plot and events as each could contribute to a spoiler alert for all the twists and turns Webb has in store for everyone here.

I really didn’t see that ending coming,  I don’t think you will either.  Sigh.

No matter.  Still, I want more.  More of Blue Ridge, more of The Broken Road Cafe, and all the people who pass through its doors.  Here’s hoping for a long and lovely run.  If you are already on board with this series, pick this up now and continue the tale of Daniel O’Leary’s new life in Blue Ridge.  If you are new to this series, start at The Broken Road Cafe to see how it all began.  Both are among Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words highly recommended reads!

 Cover Art by Laura Harner.  Sexy cover  and great job of branding the  series, but I wish there was more to it than the torso.

Sales Links:   All Romance eBook         amazon        Brothers In Arms

Book Details:

ebook, 150 pages
Published July 24th 2014 by A Bear on Books
ISBN139781311991799
edition languageEnglish
seriesThe Broken Road Cafe #

Take a Trip with Cjane Elliot and Aidan’s Journey (Book tour and contest)

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Cjane Elliot is back today with her latest release, Aidan’s Journey.  I am happy to say she brought an excerpt to read and a contest to enter.  Don’t forget to do both!  Now on to Aidan’s Journey…

Book Name: Aidan’s Journey
Author Name: Cjane Elliott

Thank you, Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words, for hosting me today. I’m so excited to be on your blog for the release of my second novel, Aidan’s Journey. Aidan’s Journey is a stand-alone novel that is part of The Serpentine Series, contemporary stories that feature characters who attend the University of Virginia. The series started with my first novel and 2014 Rainbow Awards finalist, Serpentine Walls, although the books can be read in any order.

Many people who read Serpentine Walls were drawn to the character of Aidan, the glamorous 4th-year student who the main character Pete has a giant crush on. Aidan is a theater star who seems to have it all: looks, talent, and charm. He’s also a player who never leaves a party without a guy, but he’s not as free as he appears.

When I first wrote Aidan’s character in my initial drafts of the novel Serpentine Walls, he was a charming cad who slept with guys right and left and had something going on with the sleazy Professor R. But as I continued to write, Aidan’s character got more and more dimensional and I could see he had a heart and a lot of pain under that gleaming surface. I started to wonder why he was the way he was and what had led him to be involved with Professor R. Being a therapist by profession, I’m fascinated with people’s psychology and what drives them. I also wanted to explore how Aidan could heal himself and get to his own happy ending. And that was the inspiration for Aidan’s Journey.

In Aidan’s Journey, Aidan tells his story, from his lonely childhood to his falling into a dysfunctional relationship as a naïve 1st-year student with the worldly Professor R, to his becoming “the manwhore of U.Va.”, to his breaking away from Professor R to move to New York after he graduates. Aidan thinks he’s finally free, but he discovers that it takes more than a physical move to leave his demons behind.

In the words of Buckaroo Banzai: “No matter where you go, there you are.”

In the end, Aidan realizes he must journey down into his own psyche to heal himself and set himself free from the past. It’s not easy, but the rewards of this final journey are sweet and he gets the happy ending that he deserves.

Author Bio: After years of hearing characters chatting away in her head, CJane Elliott finally decided to put them on paper and hasn’t looked back since. A psychotherapist by training, CJane enjoys writing sexy, passionate stories that also explore the human psyche. CJane has traveled all over North America for work and her characters are travelers, too, traveling down into their own depths to find what they need to get to the happy ending.

CJane is an ardent supporter of gay equality and is particularly fond of coming out stories.

In her spare time, CJane can be found dancing, listening to music, or watching old movies. Her husband and son support her writing habit by staying out of the way when they see her hunched over, staring intensely at her laptop.

Title Aidan’s Journey by Cjane ElliotAidansJourney_postcard_front_DSPSM
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press eBook      Dreamspinner Press Paperback

Aidan’s Journey Blurb:

The star of the University of Virginia theater department, Aidan Emery is lusted after and admired for living out and proud. He uses his talent and good looks to his advantage and never sleeps with the same guy twice. But his glamorous patina has been carefully honed to hide the pain he carries inside.

Aidan wasn’t always such a player. He starts college naively romantic, hungry for the attention he can’t get from his workaholic father and mentally ill mother. Unfortunately, that leaves him ripe pickings for predatory professor Rodney Montgomery. Rodney’s flattering regard seduces Aidan into a dysfunctional relationship that destroys his innocence.

Life looks up for Aidan when he finally breaks free of Rodney’s pull and moves to New York City to make it as an actor. Meeting sweet fellow actor Patrick Jaymes seems like the start of a fairy tale. But before Aidan can rebuild his life into happily ever after, family secrets rip him wide open, leaving him easy prey when Rodney decides he’s not willing to let Aidan go.

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

Pages: 326

Aidan’s Journey Excerpt:

Every good story begins with a journey. Mine started on a June day in 2011 as the Amtrak train pulled out of Union Station in Washington, DC. Lee and I were bound for New York City, ready to dazzle ’em all with our acting and singing chops. Look out, Broadway, here come Aidan Emery and Lee Dunlap, the stars of the U.Va. drama department! Jazz hands!

I was leaving my family home—which I’d recently been kicked out of by my father. I was also leaving behind a long-term, toxic relationship. Yes! I felt pretty fucking victorious sitting on that train, talking and laughing with Lee. I’d done it! Left my past behind! Right? I was sure, with all the surety of a twenty-one-year-old, that my dragons had been slain and New York City was where the gold awaited.

Not so fast there, bucko, I want to tell myself now. You’ll get to the gold, but you have many more hard roads to travel before you arrive. Oh, but don’t despair—there is a Prince Charming at the end of it all.

AJBadgeTour Dates/Stops:

October 14: Love Bytes
October 15: Amanda C. Stone
October 16: MM Good Book Reviews
October 17: Wicked Faeries Reviews
October 20: Tara Lain, Michael Mandrake
October 21: Parker Williams, Multitasking Mommas
October 22: Cate Ashwood
October 23: Inked Rainbow Reads, It’s Raining Men
October 24: Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words
October 27: Rebecca Cohen Writes, BFD Book Blog, Smoocher’s Voice
October 28: Prism Book Alliance, Jade Crystal

 

 

Contest: Rafflecopter Prize: eBook of one of my previous titles, including novel Serpentine Walls, or novellas.  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:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

In Our Author Spotlight: Zee Kensington and her latest release, Finally Home (contest)

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Zee Kensington in the Author Spotlight!

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Zee Kensington is here today to talk about her two releases at Dreamspinner Press, Krung Thep, City of Angels, and its sequel, Finally Home.  These stories are favorites of mine, combining international cuisine, travel, and romance.  I had a chance to ask Zee about the inspiration for these stories, her favorite food and much, much more.

To go along with this wonderful interview, there is a contest to enter as well.  To enter to win an eBook copy of Finally Home, leave  a comment, include maybe a favorite city you have traveled to or a favorite food you have discovered while you traveled (or just plain love to eat).  Make sure you have an email address included where you can be contacted if chosen.  Must be  over 18 years of age or older to enter.  Contest ends 11/01/2014.

Now on to our interview…

Chatting with Author Zee Kensington on Writing, Food, and Inspiration

STRW:  Why Thailand?  What was it about the Thai culture and land that drew you to travel there and then incorporate it into this series?

Zee:  Visiting Thailand happened largely by chance, actually! My husband and I have a friend who goes to Thailand annually with his family, and he’d been inviting us to join them for years. In the summer of 2011 my husband and I were finally able to take him up on his offer, thanks to a lucky congruence of time and money.

I didn’t know much about Thailand before that trip, honestly, beyond their cuisine. I learned so much while I was there! I loved the laid-back attitude of the Thai people and the melting pot of cultures one sees in Bangkok. I was also intrigued by the incredible juxtapositions at every turn: humble Buddhist temples and gleaming mega-malls on the same street, the delicious smells of cooking food carried on these horrible diesel-traffic breezes, rickety tuk-tuks chugging alongside luxury cars.

STRW:  It is said that food is a path to a person’s outlook on life, a cultural foray into a people, and a life’s passion.  You write about the Thai food from the street vendors on with such passion, has culinary exploration been a passion for you as well as Christopher’s?

Zee:  Very much so. I see food as a gateway into culture that (most) everyone can access. You may not be able to speak the same language, or share the same religious beliefs, but you can still enjoy the same meal. I love reading culinary magazines like Saveur (which was the inspiration for International Savor, the magazine Chris writes for), not only for the recipes and photography, but for the glimpses into other cultures and customs. Its like traveling without leaving my living room.

STRW:    I loved that we got to see some of the East LA food scene as well.  How did you find balancing the food with the romance and serious exploration of the repercussions of coming out of the closet?

Zee:  It was actually quite natural for me. Sharing food is such a bonding experience, you learn a lot about a person based on what—and how—they eat. Chris and Marco’s relationship has been built one meal at a time. At first it’s because of Chris’s job as a culinary writer, but it becomes a passion they both share as Marco grows more adventurous in his culinary explorations.

Food is also important when it comes to family. It’s ritual, be it a quiet breakfast or a big, awkward “meet the parents” dinner with your new partner. It’s natural that heavy personal matters will be discussed over a plate of chicken and waffles with your sibling, or that a slice of rainbow cake can mean more than just dessert.

STRW:   I loved the balance between the two main characters families, each a challenge in their own way.  Was one family easier to write than another?  Which one?

Zee:  Marco’s was a little easier to write, mostly because his background closely mirrors my own suburban, southern Californian upbringing. However, my mother isn’t an overbearing busy-body like Marco’s! I actually have a similar relationship to my parents as Marco does with his father—friendly and open—which influenced my portrayal of their (usually) easy rapport. I also have only one sibling, a younger brother, which was an inspiration with writing Marco’s big sister, Angela. I know what it’s like to help a little brother through a rough patch, that combination of deep love and mild exasperation that only an older sibling can feel.

STRW:    We got a taste of Mexico, a growing portrait of New York City, and one of Los Angeles.  Where do you anticipate taking this story and series next?  Or will there be another story?

Zee:  I definitely think there’ll be more Traveler and the Tourist stories down the line. Though Chris is a seasoned traveler, Marco has just started to explore the world. He’s going to want to see it all. I’ve conceived of some ideas of them visiting Europe—primarily Italy, where half of Marco’s family is from—though there will also be some adventures closer to home. New York City can be like a whole other planet to a suburban SoCal kid!

STRW:    Clearly your travels played into the birth of these stories.  Where else did your inspiration come from?

Zee:  My friends and family are a huge inspiration for me. Not only for my characters, but for the experiences they’ve lived through. I’m also heavily inspired by all sorts of other stories—films, books, comics, games—and turn to them sometimes when I’m working on projects. John Burdett’s Royal Thai Detective series (particularly Bangkok 8) and Thai films such as Bangkok Love Story and Ong-Bak helped refresh my memories of Thailand and gave me perspective on things I may not have experienced firsthand.

STRW:   Where would you want to travel next?

Zee:  I’ve always wanted to visit the United Kingdom and Ireland. I have many family roots there, and I would love to see the “land of my forefathers.” I’ve also never seen a real castle before, and as a big fantasy geek, it would be amazing step inside of one! Oh, and have a real English pasty, too!

STRW:  What childhood book had the greatest impact on you as a child and as an adult writer?

Zee:  Oh my, so many to choose from! I was a voracious reader as a kid, everything from Judy Blume to the Babysitter’s Club. I have to say, though, that Jane Yolen’s The Mermaid’s Three Wisdoms stuck with me the most. Not only for the bittersweet tale or the gorgeous pencil illustrations, but for the rich way mermaid culture and biology were portrayed. No shell bras or singing crabs here!

As an adult and a writer…gosh, this is hard! I have to pick one? OK, I’m going to cheat and say The Joe Pitt Casebooks by Charlie Huston. It’s gritty, it’s scary, it’s sexy…everything I want in my vampire noir. As a reader, I love the characters and how they grow, and as a writer, I love how Huston took familiar vampire tropes and turned them on their ear. Also, how the geography and culture of New York City influence the story. His writing really showed me the importance of place in a story, how it can be its own character at times.

STRW:  What’s next for Zee Kensington?

Zee:  Isn’t that the million dollar question? I have some writing projects in the works—including a steamy BDSM ménage novel–but right now my biggest project is raising my son. He’s almost two, and more than a handful! I’m kind of playing it by ear right now, as my writing time is pretty limited.

STRW:  One final question for y0u.  A book can have the same effect on a person as comfort food.  What would be your comfort read and favorite comfort food?

Zee:  Oooh, good question! My comfort read is actually a comic book series, Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman. It’s not exactly cheerful, but it’s such a rich story, and speaks to the heart of me as a writer. I always discover new things, or interpret it differently since I’m in a different place in my life than the last time I read it. It’s kind of my constant.

As for comfort food, it has to be homemade cookies. Soft ones–not crunchy–with lots of chocolate chips. They can be peanut butter or oatmeal or old-fashioned Toll House, but they have to have those chocolate chips! With a glass of milk, of course.

Thanks so much for having me here today, Melanie! I had a wonderful time!

STRW:  Thanks, Zee, for the great interview. Now let’s check out the Traveler and the Tourist  books.  These definitely below on all readers TBR list!

Finally Home
By Zee Kensington
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist:  Paul Richmond

Release Date: August 29, 2014
Length: 206 pages
ISBN:
eBook: 978-1-62798-907-7, Paperback: 978-1-62798-906-0
Genre categories: contemporary, M/M, erotic, romance

 Finally Home Blurb

Finally Home coverAfter one night in Bangkok turned into ten days trekking together, novice backpacker Marco and seasoned travel writer Chris parted ways thinking they’d never see each other again. Three months later, Marco still can’t forget the greatest adventure of his life—or the gorgeous guy he shared it with. Too afraid to come out to his family, Marco is suffocating in his suburban Southern California life, until Chris announces he’s coming to LA.

Chris has spent the past four years wandering alone, rebuilding himself from the ashes of a failed journalism career. He arrives in Los Angeles eager to eat, write, and resume the sexy, casual fun he had enjoyed with Marco. But when Chris finds his friend is a terrified closet-case at home, he’s determined to help Marco confront his fears.

Priorities change when Chris’s father suffers a stroke, and Chris rushes to New York City to face a harsh homecoming with the family he abandoned. When Marco defies his parents to be at Chris’s side, Chris begins to realize there may be more to their relationship than just work and play, and that Marco may be the one to show Chris what it means to finally be home.

Purchasing Links:  Dreamspinner Press eBook  Dreamspinner Press paperback
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Also available 
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Prequel to Finally Home
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release
Cover artist:  Paul Richmond
Date: September 22, 2014 (original release date February 2012)
Length: 44 pages
ISBN: eBook: 978-1-63216-829-0

Genre categories: contemporary, erotic, gay, M/M, romance

Krung Thep, City of Angels Blurb

Marco finds himself in over his head when he chooses Bangkok—Krung Thep to the locals—as his first solo travel destination. Luckily, seasoned travel journalist Chris takes Marco under his wing. Over one whirlwind day, the two Americans realize they have more in common than their homeland. Chris’s role changes from tour guide to mentor as he encourages Marco to embrace his budding identity as a gay man, and their camaraderie blossoms into romance. However, their newly forged connection is threatened by Chris’s career obligations—and unwillingness to change his solitary ways.

1st Edition appeared in Two Tickets to Paradise anthology published by Dreamspinner Press, February 2012.
Available as a FREE download:  http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5607

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Author Biography:

Zee Kensington discovered a passion for writing erotica in her freshman year of college, and has been crafting sweet and sexy stories ever since. Inspired by her years working and playing in San Francisco’s LGBT community, she is especially drawn to tales that explore the joys and challenges of queer identities.

An almost-native Californian and a card-carrying geek, she currently lives in the SF Bay Area with her husband and toddler. When she’s not writing or catching up on her sleep she enjoys watching films, playing video games, experimenting in her kitchen, and dreaming of the day her son is old enough to travel the world with her.

Author Links

Go Into the Fire with Chris Quinton & RJ Scott’s latest release, Heat! (book tour and contest)

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 RJ Scott and Chris Quinton stopped by today with their latest story, Heat, for all of you to check out.  Read the synopsis, and the excerpt! And don’t forget to enter the contest!  Need a little more romance in your life?  Then turn up the Heat with RJ Scott and Chris Quinton!

Heat by Chris Quinton & RJ Scott

Available from Love Lane Books, Amazon and All Romance EBooks

http://lovelanebooks.blogspot.com/2014/10/heat-quinton-scott.html

The Book

Serving up passion, family, love and hate, with a side order of arson.

Lewis has lost nearly everything, and now it seems that Devon is here to take the last thing he has left – working in his beloved restaurant, Laurels. But when an arsonist threatens everything Lewis loves, he realizes sometimes everyone has their ghosts, and he discovers an unexpected ally who is prepared to risk everything for him.

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Set in the small cathedral city of Salisbury, Master Chef Lewis Mandineau no longer owns the Laurels, the restaurant that had been in his family for generations. Betrayed and robbed by an ex-lover, he’s had to sell to Carnegie Enterprises, an American corporation. That isn’t all Lewis has to contend with. Rachel, his beloved younger sister has been left severely hurt by the car crash that killed their parents, and taking care of her has to be his priority.

Enter Devon Trelawney III, sent to assess the viability of the restaurant and its staff. Devon knows all about family tradition. But he also knows sentiment has no place in business matters, and the Laurels’ potential is swamped by the debts it has accrued. Devon is a hardheaded businessman, first and foremost, but Lewis and Rachel test his resolve in different ways. Soon Devon is forced to admit that what seems like an impossible love can sometimes become something very real.

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Author Bios

RJ Scott has been writing since age six, when she was made to stay in at lunchtime for an infraction involving cookies. She was told to write a story and two sides of paper about a trapped princess later, a lover of writing was born.

As an avid reader herself, she can be found reading anything from thrillers to sci-fi to horror. However, her first real true love will always be the world of romance where she takes cowboys, bodyguards, firemen and billionaires (to name a few) and writes dramatic and romantic stories of love and passion between these men.

With nearly seventy titles to her name and counting, she is the author of the award winning book, The Christmas Throwaway. She is also known for the Texas series charting the lives of Riley and Jack, and the Sanctuary series following the work of the Sanctuary Foundation and the people it protects.

Her goal is to write stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, that hint of a happily ever after.

Chris Quinton started creating stories not long after she mastered joined-up writing, somewhat to the bemusement of her parents and her English teachers. But she received plenty of encouragement. Her dad gave her an already old Everest typewriter when she was ten, and it was probably the best gift she’d ever received – until the inventions of the home-computer and the worldwide web.

Chris’s reading and writing interests range from historical, mystery, and paranormal, to science-fiction and fantasy, writing mostly in the male/male genre. She refuses to be pigeon-holed and intends to uphold the long and honourable tradition of the Eccentric Brit to the best of her ability. In her spare time [hah!] she reads, embroiders, quilts and knits. Over the years she has been a stable lad [briefly] in a local racing stable and stud, a part-time and unpaid amateur archaeologist, a civilian clerk at her local police station and a 15th century re-enactor.

She lives in a small and ancient city in the south-west of the United Kingdom, sharing her usually chaotic home with an extended family, three dogs, a frilled dragon [lizard] and sundry goldfish and tropicals.

ExcerptHeat 400x600

He’d seen photos of Lewis, but nothing had prepared Devon for the shock of seeing a gorgeous guy on his knees in front of him, let alone that he had what could easily have been blood splashed across his chef’s whites.

Cochineal. Okay, that spread of red had been the first thing he’d seen, but then he’d noticed the blue eyes, the short brown hair frosted with blond. He wasn’t sure if the scruff on the man’s face was designer stubble or he’d missed shaving for a few days, but it looked good on him. But Devon wasn’t here to drool over the staff. He had work to do, and he couldn’t afford to let one of his migraines push him to his knees. Not caring if he looked like a complete idiot, he pulled sunglasses from his pocket and slid them on to cover his eyes. He saw the questioning expression on the chef’s face but didn’t offer comment. Let him think what he wanted—it wasn’t as if Devon had the mental capacity to care at the moment.

His head was already a mess of history and facts about the place, and he sure as hell wasn’t going to remember Tudor this and Jacobean that. Something about folding doors or ceilings or something. None of it had sunk in. It was enough that he had been able to focus on table arrangement. Even that had the band of hurt tightening.

Blinking at the disturbance collecting in his vision, he attempted to focus on the office itself. The medium-sized room was a haven of normality, apart from the TV and DVD player in one corner and the easy chair in front of it. What the hell?

Before he could be offered one of the regular chairs in front of the desk, he strode around it and sat in the executive chair. It was a simple reinforcement of what Devon was in this equation, one he employed in every situation like this. He wasn’t here to be friends, he was here to see if his father’s acquisition could be streamlined enough to turn a decent profit. And if not, how disposal could be handled. That was all.

Competition: Must be 18 years of age or older to enter in the US.  Contest is open world wide.

  • Win a $15 gift card and free e-books, 24 October – 7 November
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A MelanieM Review: A Taste Of Copper by Elin Gregory

Standard

Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5 (rounded up to 5)

 

Your master has the field for today, but his name, whatever it might be, is without honour.

Taste of copper 400x600Sir Maheris Schade, the Black Knight, has been charged with guarding a strategic bridge that leads into his Master’s kingdom.  His orders?  To allow no one to pass over the bridge.  It doesn’t matter that recent horrific events have made his Master, the Count of Tancred,  the most hated man in all the land.  All that matters to Sir Schade is duty and honor.  Many times the Black Knight has been challenged and each time he has bested his opponent.  And the toll of that constant fighting is showing on his body and soul.

At the Black Knight’s side, his squire Olivier.  Olivier has had other Masters but none has he loved like he loves Maheris Schade.  Olivier only wished that the Black Knight showed any interest in returning his love.  Instead Olivier has settled for a gruff Master/Squire relationship with occasional benefits on the side.

But everything is about to change.  The King and his men are approaching the bridge and they intend to cross.  As the army approaches, an intriguing archer arrives first to upset their status quo and leave Olivier questioning not only his Master’s resolve but their relationship as well.

I first encountered the author, Elin Gregory, when I read her splendid book On A Lee Shore, another historical romance.  So I was delighted to see another story from Gregory, this time set in the Middle Ages.   A story of approximately 58 pages, it takes place over the course of three momentous days.

Sir Maharis Schade, with Olivier at his side, has been holding the bridge against an onslaught of knights as war wages in the lands around him.  Gregory drops us into the action as the constant battling and lack of resources is wearing the Black Knight and Olivier down.  Their armor, tents, and clothing are  showing the wear and tear of their circumstances.  The worn, oft-repaired state of their equipment is also starting to  reflect their mental, emotional and physical status as well.  Down to just the two of them, Elin Gregory makes us feel every bit of the weariness and exhaustion that is starting to overtake them.

In concise, detailed descriptions, Elin Gregory’s narrative uses the perilous situation, the depth of their honor, and the terminology of the times to bring these men vividly to life.   This is not the expected  romance per se but it exists, subtly at first.  Then the thread of love weaves itself through the story in a manner both dramatic and poignant.  There are  several scenes in A Taste of Copper that will make you weep.   The weight of honor and duty upon a chivalrous man has never been so heavy.  That it is born by two makes it doubly heartrending and affective.

The author builds the drama and suspense in just the right increments, allowing the readers to learn to like, then love, finally able to comprehend  and root for the complex relationship that exists not just between the Black Knight and Olivier but Hywel the archer and his love.  Looking back, I find it hard to believe that all the events and the emotions and actions they engendered took place in only three days.  But that timeline restriction works beautifully to build the sense of alarm and resignation as the King and his men approach.  That sense of urgency, along with regret, run like the warp and weft of a tapestry the author is weaving in A Taste of Copper.

At first, I wanted more from this story.  Then I realized that while I want more of these characters amidst the aftermath of their battle and war,  I wanted it to come in a sequel, not as additional length to this story.  I would love to see Elin Gregory revisit these characters and their relationship but if I only get them in this story, then I am content.  A Taste of Copper is a small bit of literary perfection.  It is a historical slice of two mens lives that happens to contain far more emotion and depth than is first seen at first read of the page.  I can see this will be one of my favorite historical reads of the year.  If you are a lover of historical stories and romance, put A Taste of Copper on your must read list today.

Cover Artist:  Meredith Russell. Gorgeous cover, worthy of the wonderful tale within.  One of my favorite covers.

Sales Links:   Love Lane Books    All Romance eBooks    amazon      A Taste of Copper

Book Details:

ebook, 26,900 words, approx. 58 pages
Published September 26th 2014 by Love Lane Books Limited
(first published September 24th 2014)
Love Lane Books