A MelanieM Review: Darach’s Cariad (The Fire Trilogy #2) by R.J. Scott

Standard

Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

Darach's Cariad coverWhere once there were three who were as close as brothers, now there is only one who remains in the land.  Darach Gravenor is a keeper of blue Fire. He is alone in his world because one of them, Eoin, died consumed by his amber fire.  Kian, the second of them has fled to Earth, forever out of reach. All Darach can think of is to follow Kian to the Other World now that Darach is older and able to rescue his friend.  But to accomplish this impossible mission, Darach needs help and from the one people he has always been told were horrors unto themselves and banned from his city.  But Darach knows that a Cariad has crept into their city and been captured.  Now all he has to do is rescue the Cariad and get him to help Darach travel to the Other World.

Ceithin Morgan’s brother Trystan was a wielder of the amber fire, and that was reason alone for someone to kidnap and kill  his beloved brother.  Ceithin seeks answers and revenge upon those who killed Trystan,  answers he believes he can find within the forbidden city.  Ceithin is a member of the Cariad, a nomadic tribe still connected to the old magic.  Captured and tortured for his  power, the last thing he expects is to be rescued by Darach.

Both men are on a mission to find theirs to their lost brothers.  Unexpectedly, their journey and missions find themselves bound them to each other in a way neither could have predicted.  Then they come upon some shocking information, and the search that will bring them both to the Other World and Kian.  Soon it’s not just one world but two worlds that need saving….

Darach’s Cariad is the second story in The Fire Trilogy by RJ Scott.  Scott continues to build her universe and complicated mythology needed for her Fire lore and trilogy structure.  There are three fire powers. Green fire which has the qualities of nature, nuture, and protection.  Blue Fire which gives its user the power over water, and finally Gold or Amber Fire, the rarest, most powerful of them all.  Amber fire is used to rule.  But those born with amber fire are few and they have a tendency to disappear shortly after coming into their powers, a mystery that acts as another primary plot thread throughout all the stories.

I loved the world building here.  We start back on Earth (the Other World) with Regan and Kian from the first story in the trilogy, Kian’s Hunter.  Immediately we know that things and Kian’s health have gotten worse.  For those readers not familiar with the first story, this chapter provides enough information on their story and a tantalizing glimpse into the relationship between Regan and Kian.  From there we are transported back to the City, the ruling Council, and the dungeons with its one despairing occupant.  I loved all the various storylines, layered one on top of the other, and soon, to flow into one central plot that will pull all three books together, along with their characters.

Scott skillfully builds her larger trilogy leitmotif, first in small clues and facts scattered throughout the first part of the story, then gathering momentum as the characters themselves start to pool all their knowledge to arrive at a horrific and shocking revelation.  It helps immensely that we are drawn to the complex characters as much as the characters are mesmerized by each other.  Darach is a wonderful combination of youthful confidence and need.  We get his measure and strength immediately and love him for it.  Ceithin Morgan on the other hand is full of arrogance and pain, a member of the Cariad, a gypsy like clan that are the keepers of the old magic and gateway to the Other World.  The Cariad are as fascinating a tribe as all the other engrossing elements that Scott has created here.  The fire of attraction that ignites between them is hot and sexy and layered over with uncertainty.

There is so much information as to the world building and lore that it can sometimes confuse a reader unfamiliar with Kian’s Hunter, but never once will a little confusion make you want to put this story down.  No, instead, once you have reached the end of this story, the only frustration will be at not having the final story to delve into.  This trilogy is addicting and with the resolution just out of reach by the end of Darach’s Cariad, the reader will be left grasping at the clues and revelations that point to a rich, explosive final story.  Don’t be surprised to find yourself heading back to the first story, Kian’s Hunter and begin the journey all over again while you wait for the final book to arrive.

If you are a lover of fantasy and romance, if the idea of different worlds or realms connected to each other by magical portals grab your imagination, this is the series for you.  You can read Darach’s Cariad out of order but the trilogy is far richer if read in the order they were written.  This is definitely a fantasy must read for all.

Cover artist: Meredith Russell.  The fantasy element is minimal, with just a trace of fire at his hands.  I could wish for a little more of the fantastical worlds that Scott has built for us.

Sales Links:  Love Lane Books    All Romance (ARe)       amazon                 buy it here

Book Details:

ebook, 133 pages
Published November 7th 2014 by Love Lane Books (first published January 1st 2011)
edition languageEnglish
url http://rjscottauthor.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/new-cover-art-fire-trilogy.html
seriesThe Fire Trilogy #2

Books in The Fire Trilogy in the order they were written and should be read:

Kian’s Hunter (Fire, #1)
Darach (The Fire Trilogy #2)
Eoin (The Fire Trilogy #3)

 

The stories were previously published at Silver Publishing, but have been revised prior to their re release.

Barb, A Zany Old Lady Review : Hell on Wheels (Bluewater Bay #3) by Z.A. Maxfield

Standard

Rating: 5 stars out of 5BWBlogo_Web

Hell On Wheels coverI am totally hooked on this Bluewater Bay series! Each book is better than the previous one, and that’s saying a lot, considering the amazing list of authors Riptide has engaged for this series. In this story, Spencer Kepler-Constantine comes to Bluewater Bay to renew his recurring role in the Wolf’s Landing television series being shot in the town. He arrives on the heels of the sensational breaking news that his husband of six months, Peter Kepler-Constantine, has impregnated a famous Hollywood actress and left him for her. To make matters worse, his rental Mercedes has broken down outside of town.

Nash Holly is out riding his Ducati, enjoying the speed and the feel of the breeze along the Washington coast when he comes upon the parked car. Aside from nearly crashing into it, he’s intrigued by what it’s doing there. Nash happens to be the manager of his dad’s auto repair shop, a shop that specializes in foreign cars so he decides to step up and offer assistance. One look at Spencer and he’s lost in those gorgeous gray eyes. Convincing Spencer that he’s not a maniac, Spencer invites him in out of the rain and while sitting together, waiting for the tow truck Spencer had called, the two find themselves immediately attracted. Nash decides to help the uptight guy relax with a quick handjob. Thinking no more of it, he takes off when the tow truck driver arrives.

To make a long story short, the attraction between the two men develops further, and during the time that Spencer is in town filming, it escalates. But it’s more than just sex for both of them, and despite the fact that Spencer is estranged from his husband, Nash and Spencer create a safe space for each other while the beginnings of a relationship form without them even trying.

During this same time, other events in Nash’s life seem destined to throw him into upheaval. First, he finds out his widowed father has been seeing someone, and it’s getting serious. Then, his sixteen-year-old sister, Shelby, who has been wheelchair-bound since she was three, decides that she wants to exert her independence by applying to the Students Abroad Program. It’s bad enough that his twin is away at college and Nash already feels the hole in his life, now Nash finds it harder to cope with the fact that both his father and his sister don’t seem to need him anymore, and taking care of them has been his primary purpose for years. How can a caretaker exist without someone to take care of?

When Peter pulls a spectacular stunt to get Spencer back during Spencer’s late night television interview, Nash happens to be watching. He’s disgusted by Peter’s grandstanding, but he also knows in his gut that Spencer is going to allow him back into his life. Just what Nash needed—one more hole to fill.

The author gives us a wonderful wrap-up to this story and provides Nash with a perfect HEA. But before we get there, we get to know a man with so much character, so much life, that I became immersed in his story and invested in his future happiness. I loved Spencer as well, but my emotional investment was with Nash. And somewhere around the 75% mark in the story, it occurred to me that the feelings I was having were the same feelings I experienced when I read “St. Nacho’s” for the first time. I was left with that same warm emotional attachment to the character as I was in that original story, one that I read nearly three years ago. I haven’t felt that with any of Ms. Maxfield’s other works since then, and I’m so happy to have found it again because she was one of the authors who originally hooked me on this genre.

I highly recommend this series to lovers of M/M romance. Each author is uniquely talented and brings a new perspective to the series. This one is perfect for those who enjoy a hero with a heart of gold. As Spencer put it when describing Nash’s role in his life: “You’re necessary because you make my heart lighter and my mind clearer and my work meaningful, as long as I get to come home to you at the end of the day.” Aww, what more could I ask for than that?

Buy this book. You won’t be sorry. Oh, and it’s not necessary to read the others in the series. Each can be read as a standalone, though you’d be missing out on a great series.

The very nice cover art by L.C. Chase depicts the two young men who are the MCs in the story.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing     All Romance (ARe)        amazon         Buy It Here

Book Details:

book, 225 pages
Published December 1st 2014 by Riptide Publishing (first published November 29th 2014)
original titleHell on Wheels (A Bluewater Bay Story)
ISBN139781626491724
edition languageEnglish
url http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/hell-on-wheels
seriesBluewater Bay #3

 

Bluewater Bay Series-written by different authors:

Starstruck (Bluewater Bay #1) by L.A. Witt
There’s Something About Ari (Bluewater Bay #2) by L.B. Gregg
Hell on Wheels (Bluewater Bay #3) by Z.A. Maxfield
Lone Wolf (Bluewater Bay #4) by Aleksandr Voinov
The Burnt Toast B&B (Bluewater Bay #5) by Heidi Belleau

 

It’s “Hell On Wheels” when Z.A. Maxfield Goes To Bluewater Bay! (Book tour and contest)

Standard

HellOnWheels_TourBanner

Z.A. Maxfield is here with Hell On Wheels, the latest Bluewater Bay story and one of Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Must Read Stories!BWBlogo_Web

Check it out below and don’t forget to enter the contests Z.A. Maxfield has for all of you to enter. Hell On Wheels coverWelcome, Z.A. Maxfield.

****************************

 

 

Many, many thanks to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for inviting me to be here today to share my latest book release, Hell On Wheels.

While I was writing this book, one of the things that struck me was how much I enjoy writing characters who don’t do what one expects them to do. I think this goes back to my love of the screwball comedies of the thirties, to actors and actresses like Cary Grant, Carole Lombard, William Powell and Myrna Loy.

The dialogue was snappy. The comebacks often sarcastic and witty, and there’s sophistication, even in films like Duck Soup, which has more physical humor than I normally care for. I wanted to be Rosalind Russell in His Girl Friday. I wanted to be Barbara Stanwyck The Lady Eve.

Here’s my list of top five screwball comedies, the ones I found most memorable, and the ones that color my perception to this day. I’m not numbering them because ‘sniff” I love them all and I’d hate to pick a favorite.

It Happened One Night – what is not to love about this. Between Clark Gable’s manly chin and Claudette Colbert’s legs, nothing can go wrong here. Add the road trip realities of hitchhiking with crazies and bad motels and toss in some of the best dialogue ever, and well. DO not miss out on a classic.
The Thin Man – William Powell and Myrna Loy drink their way through a mystery. With a dog. Because Myrna Loy’s face when she says “Nicky, Darling.”
His Girl Friday – Yes. Santa Clause. There really was Rosalind Russell. And she wasn’t just a pretty face. She’s funny and acerbic in this film, and held every bit of cinematic ground against handsome scene-stealer Cary Grant. And she wore a dumbass hat.
Bringing Up Baby – Cary Grant again, with Katherine Hepburn this time, and a leopard named Baby. That’s right. I said a leopard. Comedy is serious business.
My Man Godfrey – Special because its social message is timeless. Carole Lombard is simply radiant in this film and William Powell is handsome and sarcastic. These films set the gold standard of romantic and class comedy for the time in which they were filmed.

Many of these gems are available on Netflix. Check them out today!

My Blog Tour giveaway plan is as follows:

1. Comment here for the chance to win an ebook. My assistant William will randomly pick a winner for each blog I visit, and that person will win an ebook of their choice from my backlist.

2. For the Hell On Wheels Tour Rafflecopter giveaway, I will be awarding one lucky reader with a 25.00 gift certificate for Amazon. The giveaway will conclude at midnight on December 8th, at which time we’ll choose a winner.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

3. There are many ways to enter, and some can be done more than once. Give yourself lots of chances to win by following along the blog tour and commenting.

Here’s the book’s official blurb:Hell On Wheels cover

Nash is the reliable one in the Holly family, the guy everyone counts on to keep things going. His genius twin brother is off at university, so Nash runs the family’s auto repair business and cares for his partially-paralyzed little sister while his crackpot father invents. His life seems mapped out for the foreseeable future, however much that might chafe.

So when Wolf’s Landing actor Spencer Kepler-Constantine lands in his life, Nash is ready for a diversion. Spencer is in the middle of a very painful, very public divorce and isn’t ready for a relationship—not that Nash wants one. But they both need a friend, especially one with benefits.

As they grow closer, Nash starts to see his family in a whole new light. Do they really need him so badly? Or does he simply need to be needed? Then Spencer’s ex reappears with a grand romantic gesture, and Nash has to figure out what he wants—and how to get it—before Spencer’s gone for good.

– Check out more about Hell On Wheels at Riptide Publishing’s  page.

About the Author

Z. A. Maxfield started writing in 2007 on a dare from her children and never looked back. Pathologically disorganized, and perennially optimistic, she writes as much as she can, reads as much as she dares, and enjoys her time with family and friends. Three things reverberate throughout all her stories: Unconditional love, redemption, and the belief that miracles happen when we least expect them.

If anyone asks her how a wife and mother of four can find time for a writing career, she’ll answer, “It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you give up housework.”

Readers can visit ZAM at her website, Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr.

In Our Book Spotlight: Finding Matt by JD Ruskin (book tour and contest)

Standard

FMBanner300x250

Book Name: Finding Matt
Goodreads Link
Author Name: JD Ruskin

Author Bio:

JD Ruskin writes character-driven romance stories about complex men from a variety of backgrounds. JD is greatly influenced by her time in the Midwest, from the bustling streets of Chicago to the cornfields of rural Illinois. She enjoys writing stories with juicy plots, memorable characters, and smoking hot encounters.

JD’s first novel, When One Door Opens, was a finalist in the Rainbow Award and the winner of 2014 Epic E-book award. When not writing, she has a passion for traveling, photography, and graphic design.

Author Contact:

FindingMatt_final coverPublisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Brooke Albrecht

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press

Finding Matt Blurb:

When six-year-old Matt Wilson and his Shih Tzu, Pixie, step out of the Stanton Community Hospital and disappear, his desperate parents convince Jaron Greenberg, a local pet psychic, to aid the police in the search. Jaron specializes in finding lost kitties and fixing problem pooches. He isn’t prepared for a case with so much at stake. And as soon as he starts, the abilities he’s had since childhood begin changing and growing in unexpected ways.

Paulo Silva is a veteran detective new to the small town of Stanton. As the low man on the totem pole at Stanton PD, he isn’t happy when the chief assigns him to babysit the pet psychic instead of actively working the missing child case. As Jaron uncovers clues, Paulo starts to wonder if he might be the real thing. Or maybe it’s just his testosterone reacting to what he’s sure is mutual attraction.
Categories: M/M Romance, Paranormal

Finding Matt Excerpt:

T

HE HYSTERICAL yapping of a dog could be heard through the thin walls separating the small office from the main business area. It must be bath time for the Pomeranian. Resisting the urge to sigh, Jaron Greenberg gave his prospective client what he hoped was a reassuring smile. “I’m sorry about the noise. Most dogs love getting the full spa treatment at Pampered Pooches, but a few are nervous about getting their paws wet.” A chorus of barks joined the Pomeranian in doggy solidarity.

The old woman’s eyes widened behind her thick glasses as Jaron’s Newfoundland poked his massive head up to see what the racket was all about. The dog’s thick black coat and calm demeanor meant more often than not he blended in as he sprawled half-underneath the desk on the black tiled floor.

“Don’t worry,” Jaron said, scratching Bear’s ears. “He’s a furry ball of mush.”

Mrs. Reynolds smiled politely but clutched her leather purse to her flower-covered bosom. It was hard to blame her. Bear really was a bear of a dog. A hundred and sixty pound teddy bear.

Trailer: http://youtu.be/AEM3NUT9Ylc?list=UUEAV4tm3pRzf4QpxGk8hljA

To Embed on website

FMBadgePages: 230
Tour Dates: December 5th

Tour Stops: 

Parker Williams, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Inked Rainbow Reads, Wake Up Your Wild Side, BFD Book Blog, Tara Lain, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Amanda C. Stone, Molly Lolly, MM Good Book Reviews, Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, BFD Book Blog, The Blogger Girls, My Fiction Nook, Fallen Angel Reviews, Cate Ashwood, Sinfully Sexy, Queer Town Abbey, Jade Crystal, LeAnn’s Book Reviews

 

Contest: Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: One of three e-copies of Finding Matt.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Use the Rafflecopter link provided for the entry form and for all additional contest details.
Rafflecopter Code: a Rafflecopter giveaway