A Sammy Review: Thunder Snow by Owen Keehnen

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Rating: 2 stars out of 5

ThunderSnow_100dpi_cvrJim Franklin lives a life in the closet. With no real connections, he seems to drift as the wind blows him. Where he ends up this time is at Windsor college. He’s got a girlfriend and friends, and while life may not be all butterflies and roses, it’s good enough.

A romantic literature class places Jim and Glenn Martin in each others paths. Glenn is a live-in boyfriend of a rich man. He came from nothing, and now he’ll do anything to hold on to what he’s got.

Snowy nights and alcohol bring them together, but could they also drive them apart?

For the longest time I had trouble distinguishing between a showing narrative and telling one, but this story is the perfect example of full-fledged telling.  Actual dialogue is rare and discussions are often summarized. To make matters worse, there’s no clear point of view, and the story lacks heart.

Within the first few pages I was bored. I didn’t get to know any of the characters, they were all just kind of there. In the end, I didn’t really care what happened to them, but that didn’t stop me from being taken aback with the final chapters. Could the way this ended be more realistic? Absolutely – but the fact is that, like everything else, it was glossed over so easily and without much thought, that it had no effect other than to irritate me.

There was a point in the story where I felt like I was reading the script of a bad soap opera, and I’m sad to say that that’s the impression this book left on me.

So why two stars? Well, there’s a few reasons. The cover art by Wilde City Press is great. It fits the story and was what lured me into reading it in the first place. Secondly, the author must’ve put some effort into the story, even if it didn’t connect with me. And finally, I truly believe that the author has potential. There were some words put together that were lovely, and if you read the bio, it sounds like maybe this author is better placed in a different type of writing – something that isn’t gay fiction for the current M/M fan base. Still, I thank the author for writing the story, and applaud their effort.

Cover artist:  Wilde City Press.  Just lovely, see comments above.

Sales Links:  Wilde City Press      ARe         amazon             Thunder Snow

Book Details:

Published by Wilde City Press

Release date: 29 October 2014
ISBN: 978-1-925180-58-9
Category: Gay Romance, Erotic, Romantic
Number of words: 15,000
Formats available: ebook only

A MelanieM Review: The Oracle’s Golem (The Oracle #3) by Mell Eight

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Cover - The Oracles FlameOnce Golem was the proud Dragon of the Earth.  Then the Oracle’s plans for him left him broken and despairing.  In his pain and rage, he left the society he was born into, melding in all ways, including physically, with the mountain they live on. And there the Golem hid deep within its recesses, paying little notice to the passing of years or the actions of the people he came from.

Then one day a child falls asleep in his lap …

That child is Lichen, the gifted problem child of the Earth Caste and he is followed Marl, a lowly Earth caste member who is chosen to look after Lichen and keep him out of trouble.  Marl came out of his testing with only brown dirt and a seed on his back, instead of the more impressive and powerful designs that would have boosted his status and gifts.  Marl has been content to garden and use the gifts he has in gentle ways, including looking after a lonely, intelligent child easily bored with his lessons.

Prodded by the attentions of Lichen and Marl, Golem slowly returns to human form and awareness of the struggles of the people around him.  When the truth of Golem is revealed,  it just might make Marl choose between his duty or the person he has come to love: Oracle or Golem?

Once more Mell Eight has delivered an enchanting fairy tale in The Oracle series, an imaginative and wholly captivating universe.  The Oracle’s Golem is a prequel (in a manner) to The Oracle’s Flame (The Oracle #1)  and The Oracle’s Hatchling (The Oracle #2) as the events that take place in this tale start off in the years preceding those stories.  In fact, Golem is the prime figure in the main drama of The Oracle’s Hatchling, something that the reader will easily recognize early on.

Every part of Mell Eight’s enchanting universe is fascinating and fully developed to include rich details and layers of mythology.  Four castes of Elementals, and which caste you belong to is decided at a ritual testing ruled over by the Oracle.  Where a person falls within the  Caste they are ordained for is revealed by a  tattoo or pattern that appears on their back, much like a tattoo.  Only these tattoos change and come to life.  At the pinnacle of each Caste is a Dragon, whether it be the Dragon of Fire (first story), the Dragon of Ether (second story), the Dragon of Water (still to come) and the Dragon of Earth which is featured here.  Then the levels (and people) drop in status and power and are given names accordingly.

Here is another brilliant element of this author’s universe, the names.  The name corresponds to a element of each person’s caste.  All Earth caste members have names that come from the Earth.  Marl’s name (he is a lowly caste member)  describes the clay and calcium deposits that fertilize soil.  Lichen?  That’s a composite of a number of organisms and has many uses so, yes, high on the scale.  I love how inventive this author is when it comes to naming the characters.  And then there is those fascinating patterns that appear on the back proclaiming each person’s gift and future.  Poor Marl…only a field of brown dirt and a seed, a pattern that makes all the others looks down on him with distain or ignore him all together.  If you find yourself a tad gleeful with anticipation when pondering that design, then this is the book for you.    There are so many layers of meaning to be uncovered and appreciated here.  This is a fairy tale universe for all who love champions, worlds in peril, and unexpected heroes.

Mell Eight’s narrative will draw you in completely into this world and Golem’s pain.  You can almost feel the weight of the earth on top of him as he sits, so a part of the mountain that his appearance is that of stone and soil, just another boulder for a lonely, bored child would use to climb and sit on when escaping his lessons.   Which is exactly how Lichen finds him.   We move from past to present and back again easily, sliding through the years and memories of the characters.

I really have only two issues with this story.  One, it felt that the ending came a little too quickly, and secondly, that rushed feeling made it feel a tad incomplete.  I could have wished for a chapter wherein it seemed like only pages, a slight flaw in my opinion.  But the world and stories Mell Eight has created for The Oracle series is far too rich and complex to let such a small issue pull it down.

You could read these stories out of order but you might find yourself saying things like “pirates? where did the pirates come from?”.  That won’t happen if you read them in the order the author has written and released them.  I love this series and eagerly await the next installment.  Pick them all up today, including The Oracle’s Golem.  It’s the perfect present to give yourself for the holidays.

Cover artist London Burden does a great job of branding this series with the stylized dragons on the covers.  Love it.

Sales Links:   Less Than Three Press  (preorder now)            All Romance (ARe)      links to come      amazon             buy it here

Book Details:

ebook
Expected publication: January 21st 2015 by Less Than Three Press
original titleThe Oracle’s Golem
ISBN139781620045152
edition languageEnglish
seriesThe Oracle #3

Book in The Oracle series:

A MelanieM Review: Otter Madness by Winnie Jerome

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5:

All I Want For Christmas Otter MaddnessOtter shifter Bryon is not happy.  His terrible boss wants him to work on Christmas and his mage boyfriend has been distant and uncommunicative lately.  What is an wereotter to do?  Get in trouble, that’s what.  When Byron goes snooping around his boyfriend’s workshop, he accidentally unleashes a second Bryon.  Now with two Bryons on the loose, can his boyfriend Lucas handle two mischievous, highly-sexed shifters just in time for Christmas?

Uh…wow.  Otter Madness is a perfect title for this wild concoction of a holiday story.  It contains nothing less than two wereotters ( should I say one were otter and one wereotter doppleganger), a homophobic boss, a mage boyfriend who is also a Dom, and quite a bit of bdsm toys and kinky sex scenes.  Mix that all together in 27 pages and you end up with a wild mess of a Christmas tale with some very funny elements, some sexy kinky bits and some things that are just so discordant that the story goes awry.

For me the best scenes in this story are the ones with Bryon in his otter form.  Jerome manages to convey the playfulness, the joy, and willy-nilly scatteredness of an otter in motion during these scenes.  But for every scene that reveals just how great it must be to be an otter rolling about in the towels, Jerome then gives us something to shudder at. A homophobic boss who is so unpleasant (calling Bryon and his boyfriend the “f” word and more) that you wonder why Bryon still wants to be employed there. . It’s just such an ugly segment, ok that whole restaurant segment is awful, that I can’t begin to understand why it was included.

Then there is the Bryon on Bryon sex, the D/s relationship between Bryon (and eventually Bryon) and Lucas, that  D/s relationship that never quite works because you don’t get enough of the personalities behind it to make it viable.  Otters are smart, playful, inventive, and high energy.  Submissive?  What is it about Bryon that makes that a part of his emotional makeup?  We haven’t a clue, especially when the second Bryon shows up and doesn’t quite seem to have the same personality even though they are supposed to be identical.  The story just continues on its messy way, dilly dallying over the kinky sex through a story that never quite comes to an end.

A wereotter is a terrible shifter to waste.  The mere creation of such a wonderful shifter elevated this story to a 3 star rating.  It’s antics, in his human form, kept it there.  It’s the holidays.  If any of the above appeal to you, then this is the story for you.  Other than that, treat it as the otter madness it is.

Torquere Holiday Sip generic cover is used, the artist is not given credit in this release.

Sales: Torquere Books        All Romance        amazon             buy it here

Book Details:

ebook, 27 pages
Published December 11th 2013 by Torquere Press (first published December 10th 2013)

On Tour with “The Marine” by John Simpson and Robert Cummings

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MarineBanner300x250

Book Name: The Marine
Author Name: John Simpson and Robert Cummings

Author Bios:

John Simpson

John Simpson is a Vietnam Era Veteran, former Police Officer of the Year, a Federal Agent, a Federal Magistrate, an armed bodyguard to Saudi Royalty, a senior Federal Government executive, and recipient of awards from the Vice President of the United States and the Secretary of Treasury. He has just been hired by an international film production company to become a main script writer, and will start soon on a television series.


John feels that for too long fiction writers neglected gay men. John writes entertaining, enjoyable, and enthralling fiction centered on the lives and lifestyles of gay men. John allows his readers to see life through gay men’s’ eyes. And just like real life, John’s characters have active and exciting sex lives. John calls on his broad personal and professional experience in writing gay romance. John is author of numerous full length novels available through Dreamspinner Press and several short stories in Alyson Books anthologies.  His first book, Murder Most Gay, is based on the murder of a gay man in Orlando, Florida in 1980, which he investigated along with many others, as an intern from UCF in the legal program. The Orange County State’s Attorney’s Office utilized his prior experience as a police officer in many ways, including proving a suicide was in fact a homicide.


John lives with his partner of 39 years who he legally married in 2008, and their three Scottish Terriers. John is highly involved with the Church, specifically seeking to repair rifts between Christendom and the gay community. John graduated from the University of Central Florida in 1981, and received an S.T.L. in 1995.


John wishes to extend a very special thanks to his many female readers. He appreciates and loves the fact women enjoy male/male erotica, and he thanks you for your past and continued support. He hopes to never disappoint you, and always leave you wanting more!


John now has a total of over 40 full length novels in print as well as another 20 novellas and short stories!

Author Contact:

Email: John Simpson: Johnsimpsonbooks@hotmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/johnsimpsonbooks
Website:  http://johnsimpsonbooks.com/

Robert Cummings:

Robert Cummings lives in Pennsylvania with his partner and their black lab mix dog. Robert is an Iraqi freedom veteran with a seventeen-year law enforcement career. He enjoys the outdoors, family, and travel.

Author Contact:

Email Robert Cummings at robert.cummings1976@gmail.com
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/robert.cummings.330

Publisher: Cool Beans P & Ethe-marine-for-KindleSM
Cover Artist: A.J. Corza

Sales Links:  Cool Beans P & E       amazon       All Romance eBooks (ARe)

The Marine Blurb:

Two young men, David Stauffer and Matthew Kendricks, meet while processing into the Marine Corps for Basic Training. David is immediately attracted to the red haired, Matthew. As their training begins, David pursues Matthew to find out if the attraction is mutual. To his great pleasure, David learns that his attentions are not unwelcomed, but rather feared. Matthew, unlike David isn’t as comfortable with his fellow trainees finding out he’s gay.

As training progresses David proves himself to be superior to the other trainees. As a reward, he is given a short, on post leave and is allowed to take Matthew with him. This allows them a chance to explore each other’s bodies, rather than just glimpses in the showers.

From that moment the spark between the two burns hot and sets the stage for what is to come. When training ends, questions about their futures arise. Both men are forced to make decisions that will impact their futures, and potentially out them to the entire Marine Corps.

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

The Marine Excerpt:

David and Matthew were drawn to each other like magnets. This was one of the few times they could lay on top of each other without anyone commenting on it. The tight green shirt pressed against David’s lean chest, Matthew licked his lips as they squared off to attack.

“You go first,” Matthew insisted.

David charged at Matthew full speed, the boy attempted to grab David’s wrist but was unsuccessful. David did not want to humiliate the Matthew in front of anyone so he stopped and backed up. He laid his hand on top of Matthew’s and placed the clammy hand where it needed to be for a successful hip throw.

Matthews’s shorts began to bulge out in the front, “Flip me.”

“You didn’t do yours yet,” David said confused.

“Flip me now, I’m getting hard,” Matthew whispered into David’s ear.

David smiled and grabbed the red head’s wrist. He flipped him onto the mat and leaned down to help him up. David pulled Matthew up. While he dusted his back off he slightly brushed his hand against Matthews tight little bubble butt.

“You’re not helping,” Matthew protested.

A drill instructor came over to them, “What in the ever loving world are you two doing? I better see more flipping and less jawing, do you get me!”

“Sir, Yes Sir!” they replied in unison.


Pages: 30,816 words, 112 pages

MarineBadgeTour Dates/Stops:
30-Oct the Twins: Talon ps & Princess so
6-Nov Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings
6-Nov Fallen Angel Reviews
6-Nov Up All Night, Read All Day
13-Nov Fallen Angel Reviews
13-Nov Inked Rainbow Reads
13-Nov Regular Guys, Hot Romance
20-Nov Wake Up Your Wild Side
20-Nov MM Good Book Reviews
20-Nov Cate Ashwood
27-Nov Velvet Panic
27-Nov BFD Book Blog
4-Dec The Blogger Girls
4-Dec Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents
4-Dec Molly Lolly
11-Dec Queer Town Abbey
11-Dec Multitasking Mommas
11-Dec Emotion in Motion
11-Dec Love Bytes
18-Dec Amanda C. Stone
18-Dec Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words
18-Dec Cathy Brockman Romances
18-Dec Crystal’s Many Reviewers

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