A MelanieM Review: Cold Day in Hell (In From the Cold #5) (Pulp Friction 2014 #18) by Lee Brazil

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Rating:  5 stars out of 5

 You’ve got to kiss a lot of frogs… 

Cold Day In Hell coverCannon Malloy has been through hell and back, from the horrific events in Atlanta to the loss of his career as a surgeon in that aftermath.  But moving to Arizona has changed him.  Mountain Shadows campground has given Cannon not only a new family of friends, but a man he has come to love like no other, Finn Lorensson.   But recently Finn has been acting remote and secretive.  Just when Cannon is ready for the final commitment for them both.

Finn Lorensson is in trouble.  His big heart and concern for Cannon allowed him to make some poor judgements that have put himself and his relationship in danger.  But what is he to do?  All he wants is a future with Cannon but now that seems to be in jeopardy.  One thing Finn realizes is that it will be a cold day in hell when he lets the man he loves walk away.  Now if only he had a solution for their problems…

Here we are, Cold Day in Hell – Story 5 (or 18 depending upon how you are counting), and the stakes have never been higher for  both of  our remarkable main characters.  It has taken two series, with more heartache and pain than any character should go through,  to get Cannon Malloy to this point in his life.  Lee Brazil has taken us on a journey that saw the reader disliking Cannon because of his treatment of Chance (PF2013) of Chance’s Are, then slowly bring about this character’s evolution. Cannon has grown from  a self centered story irritant to a complex man finally coming out of the closet and into his personality.  It has been a rough and tumble sort of metamorphosis that involved a psychotic killer, a Dom, a lot of regret and finally a move to Flagstaff, AZ.   And every painful step forward that this complex, intelligent man has taken moved the reader closer to him as an individual and a part of the Cannon/Finn coupledom,

If you had told me I would end up loving Cannon Mallow after my initial impressions, well, let’s just say my disbelief would have been huge! But Lee Brazil has skillfully made this progression of feelings towards Cannon resolve itself into one of compassion for and understanding of  a man in transition at a later point in his life.  We now “get” Cannon, his issues and the road he had to travel to become the man that Finn Lorensson loves today.  And that was partially made possible by the marvelous character of Finn Lorensson himself.  What a noble (overly so), self sacrificing (yes too much), hugely brilliant Viking of a man!  Brazil has constructed a man you want to jump because of his brain and body, and then smack upside the head because of his actions.  Is  Finn believable?  Absolutely, which makes it both hilariouis and frustrating when the actions run counter to those the readers want to happen.  And sometimes that behavior turns the  story dark and scary.

Pulling the pieces of  their various pasts back into the picture and their relationship is a large element of this story.  Cannon’s children, Finn’s past actions…it all needs to come out and coalesce  for Cannon and Finn to have a future together.  How Lee Brazil does that is both the charm and the terror of this story.  What a dichotomy!  Cannon’s grown children need to see the man their father has become and the life he has made for himself in Arizona.  Finn needs to resolve the mounting problems  he created, out of the best intentions of course, that now threaten everything he loves and has worked for.  Family and threat to family, loving relationships balanced by those that were never meant to happen. And while we (and our heartstrings) are zigging and zagging along the many plot twists Brazil has in store for us, the siren song of Cannon and Finn’s love has never been stronger.  It is that ocean swell that carries us and the men along to that final story and, hopefully, their HEA.

Yes, one more group story to go.  Just one.  One to tie up all the loose ends (and there are many).  Bring all the lovers, their famlies together for a resolution we can cheer for because we have so much invested in these characters and their stories.   So look forward to December and in the meantime, if you are already along on this journey, get prepared by reading Cold Day in Hell by Lee Brazil.  It’s a heartgrabber, just like the men it revolves around.  If you are new to the series,  back, back, I say!  Go to the beginning and start there with this series and all the rest.  Don’t miss out on a story, not one.

Cold Day in Hell takes it’s place among the top stories/series of the year for Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.  See you back here in December for the finale!   Happy Reading.

Cover art by Laura Harner.  These covers are wonderful.  The artist does a great job branding the series with the logo and the model works for the character.

Sales Links:    All Romance eBooks    amazon   Cold Day in Hell

Book Details:

ebook, 51 pages
Published October 1st 2014 by Lime Time Press (first published September 30th 2014)
ISBN13LBRZL0201441
edition languageEnglish
seriesPulp Friction 2014 #18, In From

 

About Pulp Friction 2014
Laura Harner ~ Lee Brazil ~ Havan Fellows ~ T.A. Webb
The Pulp Friction 2014 Collection. Four authors. Four Series. Twenty books. One fiery finale. Spend a year with an eclectic group of strangers brought together through circumstances, as they are tested by life, and emerge as more than friends.
The strongest bonds are forged by fire, cooled in air, smoothed by water, grounded in earth.

Although each series can stand alone, we believe reading the books in the order they are released will increase your enjoyment.  The Pulp Friction 2014 series in the order they were written and should be read to understand the characters, events and plot:

Round One:
Firestorm (Fighting Fire: 1)by Laura Harner
Cold Snap (In From the Cold: 1) by Lee Brazil
Blown Away (Whispering Winds: 1) by Havan Fellows
Higher Ground (Earthquake: 1) by TA Webb

Round Two:
Controlled Burn (Fighting Fire #2) by Laura Harner
Cold Comfort (In From the Cold #2) by Lee Brazil
Blown Kisses (Whispering Winds #2) by Havan Fellows
Moving Earth (Earthquake #2) by TA Webb

Round Three:
Backburn (Fighting Fire #3) by Laura Harner
Cold Feet (In From the Cold #3) by Lee Brazil
Blown Hard (Whispering Winds #3) by Havan Fellows
Tremors (Earthquake #3) by T.A. Webb

Round Four:
Flare-up (Fighting Fire #4) by Laura Harner
Out In The Cold (In From the Cold #4) by Lee Brazil
Blown Chance (Whispering Winds #4) by Havan Fellows
Aftershocks (Earthquake #4) by T.A. Webb

Round Five: 
Radiant Burn (Fighting Fire #5) by Laura Harner
Cold Day in Hell (In From the Cold #5) by Lee Brazil
Final Blow (Whispering Winds #5) by Havan Fellows
Terra Firma (Earthquake #5) by T.A. Webb

Sixth Book Series Finale Written by all the Authors coming in December.

Side Stories or Interludes:

Taking Chances by Lee Brazil (a In From the Cold story)
Wicked Winds (Whispering Winds 3.5) by Havan Fellows – bonus book, Whispering Winds
Frankie’s Knight (Elemental Connections: IV) (Earthquake #3.5)
Kismet & Cartwheels – bonus book, Fighting Fire

A MelanieM Review: The Best Corpse for the Job by Charlie Cochrane

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Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

Best Corpse for the Job cover

Tea and sympathy have never been so deadly.

The private school of Lindenshaw St Crispin’ has long lost the luster it once had.  Once a sought after place of high education, it has now sild slowly into the ranks of lesser schools and its dwindling enrollment reflects that.  But the governors want a return to its glorious days and to do that they need to hire a new Head Master or Head Teacher as the title is now called.  Among those chosen for the selection panel is schoolteacher Adam Matthews.  All Adam wants is to chose the best person for the children and go home to his quiet life at the end of the day.  But when one of the applicants is found strangled in the school, everyone looks to be a suspect, even Adam himself.

Inspector Robin Bright isn’t thrilled to be back at St. Crispin’s. the scene of the crime and his old alma mater.  The school and its grounds,  as well some of the old staff that still remember him, bring back old painful memories Robin would rather stay forgotten.  The one bright spot is one that he shouldn’t be thinking about? That would be the handsome and kind schoolteacher, Adam Matthews.

 

All the secrets of Lindenshaw St. Crispin’s start to surface as another body is discovered.  As the stakes get higher and the murderer becomes more desperate, Adam and Robin have to decide who they can trust and rely on, even deciding if that includes each other.  The complications rise up and the race is on to find the killer before Adam and even Robin himself are targeted.

If you look up the definition of Cosy Mystery in the dictionary, it includes this statement ”

“Cozies are mystery novels typically set in English country houses, villages, or other benign environments. Cozies feature very little violence, aside for the murder, and few gory details. The term arose from the relatively genteel settings, the common use of amateur sleuths as protagonists, and the fact that all loose ends are tied up and the villain caught and punished by the novel’s conclusion.”

To that I will add, the Cozy Mystery is a popular trope found in all forms of media, from Agatha Christie, the grande dame of Cozies to Murder, She Wrote.  It has a timeless appeal with its small town settings and the intimacy found between all the various townspeople… victims, murderers, suspects alike.  It lacks the brutality and rawness of other mysteries, concerning itself with the amateur sleuth and their ability to reason.  Small wonder that Charlie Cochrane, that marvelous author of stories composed of civilities, history, and relationships has written a cozy to delight us all.

The Best Corpse for the Job brings us into the small English village of Stanebridge and a school in decline.  Lindenshaw St. Crispin’s is a school mired in its past.  And its teachers, well, most of them, realize that to survive it needs a new Headteacher (formerly known as Headmaster) and direction to pull it into the present.  A panel is chosen to decide who is the best candidate for the job and then hire that person.  So deceptively simple a decision and yet so fraught full of politics, personality clashes, and ambition that you know it will go wrong right from the start.  And it does, deliciously so.

Cochrane brings us into the civilized halls and playing  fields of this most austere establishment, letting us feel our way through the aged paneled hallways, noting the deep history of the school while subtly highlighting the wear, tear, and worn nature that its lowered status has caused.  Through Cochrane’s descriptions one doesn’t have to had stepped foot in such a school to feel the atmosphere of stress, age, and years of children of all ages trooping in and out have wrought upon St. Crispin’s.  It’s all marvelously there, a perfect setting for murder most foul.

Adam Matthews, a kind and caring teacher who prefers to keep his homosexuality quiet from some of the more bigoted members of the staff, is such an attractive main character.   His geniality, his concern for his students and the future of the school make him immediately likable.  We get his concerns and we adore the way in which he appreciates his life, from the school to his small house, complete with enormous Newfoundland called Campbell.  He’s the perfect amateur Cozy sleuth and he acquits himself handsomely here from start to finish.

More complex, definitely more brooding, Inspector Robin Bright has a painful history that is deeply rooted in the very school that is the scene of the crime.  And this crime has brought up all the old hurtful memories and issues that Robin thought he had put in the past.  Again, Cochrane makes us feel the bitterness and anger Robin has carried with him all these years and it’s a stark contrast to Adam and the type of teacher he represents. Robin too is someone the reader will care about greatly.

And at the heart of this story is the crime and murderer who remains hidden for most of the story.  It’s a twisty little mystery, one that the reader will enjoy puzzling out along with Robin and Adam, as the scares, clues, and suspense ratchets up the stakes for all.  Is there a heart thumper or two?  Why, yes, there is and it makes the ending all the more enjoyable.

I hope that there are further mysteries ahead for Robin and Adam, they make quite the team.  And Charlie Cochrane’s ability to bring the gentility, intimacy, and sometimes deadly village goings on to life makes her a Cozy Mystery author to write home about.   Consider The Best Corpse for the Job, and its author, Charlie Cochrane both among Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words highly recommended reads.

Cover Artist: L.C. Chase.  I have to admit to being disappointed in the cover.  Too modern for a Cozy, it missed so many opportunities to highlight the story and the mystery it involves.  It looks more like a modern office than ancient private school.

Sales Links:  Riptide Press (available for pre order)   All Romance eBooks   Amazon – all links to follow

Book Details:

ebook, 298 pages
Expected publication: November 24th 2014 by Riptide Publishing
original titleThe Best Corpse for the Job
ISBN139781626491571
edition languageEnglish
urlhttp://riptidepublishing.com/title

Step Into The Fire with L.M. Brown’s Between Heaven and Hell (book tour)

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L.M. Brown’s stopped by today to share a little insight into the characters of L.M. Brown’s latest release, Between Heaven & Hell.  Don’t forget to check out the blurb as well.

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Who’s in charge here?

by L. M. Brown

Does anyone else have a problem with characters who seem to have a mind of their own? I’m not talking about characters who are forthright, opinionated or dominating, though there are plenty of those flying around too.

What I’m talking about today is those characters who have no regard for my carefully outlined plots whatsoever. Characters like my merman, Kyle, who refused to pine away for the lover who betrayed him, and simply took a little time before moving on with his life.

Or, characters like those in my most recent release, who decided that no matter what I had planned for them, they were going to go their own way and I was going to just hang on for the ride.

The Heavenly Sins trilogy, as well as starting out as a short story – which is a whole other issue I have where the words won’t stop coming – was meant to be the story of a mortal man who finds himself torn between an angel and a demon, two powerful supernatural beings who are both determined to make him theirs.

Instead what I ended up with is a three part trilogy and an all male ménage.LMBrown_BetweenHeavenandHell _BlogTour_600x315_final

So, who do I blame for that?

Well, first of all, let’s take a look at Tristan. The mortal third of the threesome is not someone who generally invites more than one man into his bed at a time. Yet he finds he has a bit of a greedy streak when a certain angel by the name of Mac suggests both he and Alastor, a demon, begin a relationship with him.

But perhaps he Tristan isn’t the one to blame, after all Mac is the one who suggested the idea in the first place. Angels spread love, but Mac takes it to a whole new level.

Then there’s Alastor, a demon with the power to manipulate the mind. If ever a character had power over an author, I think it would be this one. As soon as he stepped onto the page I had a feeling I was going to lose control of the story.

The spark between Mac and Alastor was there right from the start. With so much attraction simmering away for centuries, it was only a matter of time before they stopped fighting over Tristan and instead concentrated their efforts on fighting their growing feelings for each other. You can probably tell from the fact this is a ménage that they didn’t fight too hard.

My control over the story was lost the moment Mac and Alastor met. I just didn’t know it at the time.

Each scene I wrote took me a little farther away from the outline I had carefully crafted. Every glance between Alastor and Mac, every word spoken, and every touch sent them down their new path.

In a remarkably short space of time Mac and Alastor were breaking all the rules as they and Tristan cemented their relationship and became a fully functioning ménage.

No matter how much you try to plan, no matter how many notes you make, or outlines you labour over, as soon as you give a character voice you are in their hands.

I have learnt to give my characters free rein to do what they please. Forcing a character down a path they don’t want is much like herding cats, a rather pointless exercise.

I generally find working this way means I have a better (and in the case of the Heavenly Sins trilogy – a far hotter) story at the end compared to what I envisaged at the beginning of the journey. I hope you will agree.

Blurb for Between Heaven and Hell, book one in the Heavenly Sins trilogy:

betweenheavenandhell_800When an angel and a demon fall for the same mortal man there is only one solution…share him.

Halloween night at the Inferno club always draws a crowd. When Tristan spots a stunningly gorgeous man dressed as a demon across the dance floor he sets out to draw his attention, little realising he has already gained the notice of another. The demon disappears into the throng of revellers, but with the heavenly handsome Machidiel in his arms, Tristan doesn’t mind.

Even though Mac warns him they can never have more than a one-night stand, Tristan longs to see the man who gave him the best sexual experience of his life again.

One year later, Tristan opens his door to find Alastor, the demon from the Inferno, who claims they have a date tonight.
Alastor may be the one man who can make Tristan forget Mac. Little does he realise Mac isn’t as far from his reach as he believes. When Mac reappears he has a proposition for Tristan and Alastor, one that means breaking rules and potentially getting him stripped of his wings.

A ménage formed between an angel, a demon, and a human means the sex is hotter than hell itself, but only time will tell if the relationship they have forged together is made in Heaven or Hell.

Like the sound of Between Heaven and Hell? Buy it here at Totally Bound!

Categories: m/m/m menage, supernatural, totally hot, totally bound.

 

About LM Brown:

I live in England, in a quaint little village that time doesn’t seem to have touched. No, wait a minute—that’s the retirement biography. Right now I am in England in a medium sized town that no one has ever heard of, so I won’t bore you with the details.

Keeping me company are numerous sexy men. I just wish that they weren’t all inside my head.

I love hearing from readers so don’t be shy.

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