A Mika Review: In Too Deep by Kate Sherwood

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5:

 

In Too Deep coverAt first glance, Cade and Aiden hardly seem like a match made in heaven. Their worlds couldn’t be further apart. Cade is quiet, serious, and determined to succeed; Aiden’s a party-loving frat boy. Cade comes from a rough home and worked hard to get the scholarships that make it possible for him to attend college; Aiden’s had it all thrown in his lap by supportive, kind, and wealthy parents. Cade wants nothing to do with Aiden, but from the moment they meet, Aiden is determined to find a way to bring their different worlds together. 

Aiden manages to persuade Cade he’s a decent guy, and a tentative friendship becomes much more. But a trip to Aiden’s family cottage puts Cade in the path of a ghost from his past, and a dark secret he never expected to face again. Cade did what he had to do to escape his dead-end life, but now he sees he didn’t leave it as far behind him as he thought.

First off, it needs a really good proofreading. That’s first, besides the grammar issue this is one of the best Kate Sherwood books IMO. I truly loved these two. It was definitely angst filled all throughout the story. Both boys were truly lovable. I think I heart Aiden, because he was so persistent in what he wanted. He didn’t take no for an answer, and yes it was times that he should have walked away and forgot about Cade, but I understand wanting to love that 1 person who inspires you to be a better person. Aiden was very brazen to keep going after someone who seemed so stand offish from the beginning. I liked Cade, I hate what he had to go through as a child and young man, but I applaud him for never giving up. His adolescence was super hard, but it didn’t deter him from wanting to be a better human being.

Once again we see people who have children, but can’t stay safe enough to raise them. I know a ton of people probably would have DNF the book because of the attraction seemed so one-sided, but the introvert that Cade was needed someone to fight for him. Cade needed someone to care enough to break him out of his comfort zones, and I loved that about Aiden. Aiden is super nice, comforting, he’s sweetheart. I didn’t see a mean bone in his body, I liked that he stood up for Cade in front of his mom. I even adored him for not apologizing for being fortunate in his life to never have to want.

I knew reading this there was something that Cade was hiding about himself, and the big reveal was realistic, things like this happen in every day life. I liked how the author wrote the scenes after everything came to play out. I do wish we had some epilogue to see how they are a year later. I really enjoyed reading this book. I recommend this book to all angst readers, and people who like HFN or HEA, people are fight for their great true loves!

Cover Artist Christy Caughie created this cover, I don’t quite know if I pictured Aiden as a blond even though Cade referred to him as the”golden boy”. I do think boy guys were represented well, and it fits with the story.

Sales Links:   Dreamspinner Press  eBook & Paperback           All Romance (ARe)        Amazon     Buy It here

Book Details:

ebook, 234 pages
Published December 1st 2014 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781632161253
edition languageEnglish

A Sammy Review: Rival Within by S.J.D. Peterson

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

 

“Sometimes it’s those unexpected storms that pop up out of nowhere that leave you the most satisfied after they pass.” Ben looked up at Tom with hooded lids. “Wouldn’t you agree, Officer?”

Tom pulled Ben’s keys from his pocket and handed them to Ben. “And sometimes they leave the most destruction,” Tom said coldly and opened the door.

Rival Within coverThomas Webber takes his vows in life seriously. He’s a proud officer of the law, a loving father, and he provides for his wife. He also vowed a long time ago to resist a temptation that resides deep within himself. That all changes one night when he comes across William Benjamin Parker, a stranded traveler with a hard edge and an irresistible edge.

When a storm hits the small town, the two are left stranded beneath the police station. It’s too much for Tom to resist, and finally he breaks down and gives into the desires he’s been hiding for so long.

But it’s the 1950s, and being gay only gets you ostracized or worse. And Tom’s got a family and a life to live.

Can these two weather the storm, both within each other and out in the world?

He wasn’t afraid of the new storm rolling in. The one that had blown through in the form of William Parker had already caused Tom’s complete destruction.

I was so excited for this. A new S.J.D. Peterson and a story line that sounded oh so promising. I literally couldn’t wait to read it… so I didn’t.

And I’m very sad to say that it was a big let down for me on many fronts. The first chapter was your usual character building one, in which we get to know Tom and the pressures he faces as a father, husband, and officer who has a secret. After that, the book went right into the storm and I found it to be completely unrealistic and all too sudden for me. It really felt off. For example, Ben strips down in the cell and is wearing just a towel when the storm hits. Uh… what? And then a bottle of oil magically appears when it is needed, and again, I was left to ask “what?”

Another issue I had is that the title is Rival Within – which implies that someone’s greatest rival is their inner demons, in this case, that would be Tom’s inner demons. This held up for a few chapters, and then suddenly, Tom was at peace with himself following an impromptu blow job (a hot one, but still). He’d spent his entire life building this hatred up, and for it to crumble so easily felt like it wasn’t doing the story justice. It was just too easy. With the ending, I was also a bit angered at how easily <spoiler>.

Finally, this is meant to be a historical novel. It’s set in Tennessee in 1952. I love historicals. They have a way of transporting you to a different time and place when done right. In this case, it could’ve been any year, even present, in any small town across the United States. I sensed when the author was trying to pull in bits of history, but it didn’t really work. The small town thing still exists, and this didn’t transport me anywhere beyond middle-of-nowhere United States. At one point, a character even puts a camera in his pocket. Granted, I’m not an expert of the 1950s, but I have a hard time imaging a camera that fits in ones pocket.

This book tries to tackle a lot of pretty deep topics. For one, it has an obvious theme of adultery, which you can tell just from the blurb. But it also has a really heavy amount of religion to it, which I expected, but if you’re someone who is uncomfortable with organized religions in your story, this really won’t be for you. It also has a bit of post WWII issues for a returning soldier, and then out of nowhere comes pedophilia – see spoiler for more on this. A character (not main) is caught with an underage boy. In order to blackmail him, they have another underage boy perform a sexual act with him and take pictures. It’s not really in detail, but if you’re triggered by even the idea, I wanted to let you know it exists. There is also some of what I would consider heavy alcohol use, bordering on abuse. It’s not framed that way in the story, and it could very well be the time frame, but it did stick out to me.

So that’s all of my bones to pick with the story, but it did have positives. I enjoyed Marna and how she was depicted. I expected one thing and got a complete other, and I was happy with that. I also think it had a lot of potential in general with the plot, it just didn’t come through. As a whole, it was flat.

I will not give up on S.J.D Peterson, though. One of my favorites are by Peterson, this just wasn’t one of them.

The cover art by Anna Sikorska is pretty nice. I think Anna really hit the right note with the grunge aspect, and I appreciate the use of font. It’s simple but the blurring works for the story. The problem is that there’s a heavy area around the left eye that stands out, and not in the best of ways. Furthermore, I thought this was meant to be Ben, but Ben is known to have a scar across his face – something notably missing from the cover.

Sales Links:   Dreamspinner Press  eBook & Paperback              All Romance (ARe)             Amazon       buy it here

Book Details:

ebook
Expected publication: December 29th 2014 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781632164254
edition languageEnglish

On Tour with L.M. Somerton’s Investigating Love Series (book tour and contest)

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Book Name: Investigating Love (series)
Individual titles are: Rasputin’s Kiss, Evil’s Embrace, Tarot’s Touch
Author Name: L M Somerton

Author Bio:

L M lives in a small village in the English countryside, surrounded by rolling hills, cows and sheep. She started writing to fill time between jobs and is now firmly and unashamedly addicted.

She loves the English weather, especially the rain, and adores a thunderstorm. She loves good food, warm company and a crackling fire. She’s fascinated by the psychology of relationships, especially between men, and her stories contain some subtle (and not so subtle) leanings towards BDSM.

Publisher: Totally Bound
Cover Artist: Emmy Ellis

Sales Links:    Totally Bound            Amazon

 Individual Book Blurbs:

SERIES:

Being thrown together in extreme circumstances is not the best foundation for a relationship. Alex and Conor must juggle the demands of their jobs as police detectives with their personal lives. With Alex as demanding in the bedroom as he is at work, will Conor be able to accept that submission is not weakness. Finding out will be the most important investigation of their lives.

Rasputin’s Kiss:rasputinskiss_800

What if the last thing you felt was the kiss of a knife?

Rasputin’s kiss is lethal. He’s a ghost—killing and disappearing into the night. With few leads and four bodies on his conscience, Detective Inspector Alex Courtney and his team are running on empty and it’s only a matter of time before Rasputin strikes again.

When Alex recruits a young detective to play the part of his boyfriend and provide a tempting target for a killer, he knows he is taking a huge risk. He doesn’t expect Conor Trethuan to be a perfect potential submissive. When their mutual attraction becomes more, Alex has to face the conflict between his possessive instincts and the need to push his young lover into danger.

Investigating their feelings has to come second to investigating the case. There’s no time to decide if what they feel for each other is real. With Rasputin closing in, they may not live to find out.

Evil’s Embrace:evilsembrace_320

Never underestimate the power of obsession.

After the trauma of the Rasputin case, Detective Inspector Alex Courtney and his boyfriend, Detective Constable Conor Trethuan, are in desperate need of a holiday.

The peace and tranquillity of Cornwall can’t eradicate Conor’s nightmares, though, and the unbearable prospect of losing Alex drives him to confess feelings that he isn’t sure are reciprocated. Alex responds in the best way he knows how—by issuing orders and claiming Conor’s body as well as his heart.

Prematurely recalled to work, they are thrown into a dangerous trafficking case focused on a leather bar with a hardcore reputation, Spikes. Conor is sent in undercover, not knowing that he is only a decoy. When Alex learns that the motivation behind his team’s involvement in the case might not be as straightforward as it seems, he realises that his actions might jeopardise not just their relationship, but Conor’s life, too. A shadowy figure from Conor’s past is about to step into the light.

Tarot’s Touch:tarotstouch_800

Can truth be found in the cards?

DI Alex Courtney and his lover, DC Conor Trethuan are under enormous pressure as their team investigates an arson case and a murder.

It soon becomes apparent that the two cases are linked and the race is on to find a vicious killer. A tarot card is left with the first victim and the detectives are left to interpret the clues it provides. When Conor receives a note from the killer making reference to another card, the whole team is shaken. Their worst fears are realized when a second body is discovered, along with another tarot card.

Conor suspects he has been followed, then a hit and run leaves him injured. Alex wants nothing more than to wrap his lover up in cotton wool and protect him from the world. But is Conor the killer’s target or just a pawn in a much more sinister game? As the clues come together it seems that the motive for murder might be revenge.

Exclusive Excerpt:

They walked in companionable silence to a small Italian restaurant just around the corner from the station and sat at a table next to the window. The whole place was a cliché, with red and white checked tablecloths, candles in old Chianti bottles coated with solidified drips of wax and laminated menus that had seen better days. The atmosphere was warm and friendly, though, and the whole place smelt of herbs and spices.

A short, rotund man bustled over and greeted Alex like a long-lost member of his family. After effusive introductions that seemed to include most of the staff and half the customers in the restaurant, fresh bread with aromatic olive oil was left to tide them over while their food was prepared. Alex ordered for both of them, watching Conor as he did. The overt act of dominance made Conor smile wryly. He wondered if Alex had expected him to be annoyed. A brief look of satisfaction crossed Alex’s face and that gave Conor his answer. Conor dipped a piece of warm bread in oil and held it to his mouth, allowing the slick liquid to spread across his lips. He took a bite then slowly ran his tongue over his lower lip, chasing a stray drop of oil. Alex’s eyes widened and a hint of colour bloomed on his cheeks. Conor smiled innocently.

I think I have a wolf in sheep’s clothing here, Alex thought to himself. Well, an enthusiastic pup anyway. He could imagine smearing that oil in all kinds of interesting places. It was a delight to watch Conor eat. He twirled his linguine expertly, complimented the chef politely and smiled shyly at the waitress who couldn’t take her eyes off him. He didn’t encourage her any more, though, and Alex was secretly pleased about that. He bristled at the sight of other people casting flirtatious looks at Conor. Unfortunately that seemed to happen when anyone noticed him. Conor drew admiring glances from every woman in the place, and jealous ones from the men they were with. Alex wanted to growl at them, make it clear that Conor was not available, and maybe put a paper bag over Conor’s head so that everyone would stop lusting after him.
Categories: Contemporary, M/M Romance, BDSM, Mystery, Crime Drama

Excerpt: 

Tour Dates/Stops:

Tour Dates/Stops:
January 2
The Hat Party
BFD Book Blog

January 5
Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
Carly’s Book Reviews

January 6
Cathy Brockman Romances
Full Moon Dreaming

January 7
MM Good Book Reviews
Fallen Angel Reviews

January 8
Three Chicks After Dark
Molly Lolly

January 9
Cate Ashwood
Love Bytes

January 12
Parker Williams
Prism Book Alliance

January 13
Velvet Panic
Rebecca Cohen Writes

January 14
Amanda C. Stone
Queer Town Abbey

January 15
Crystal’s Many Reviewers

Contest:  Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: Full set of ‘Investigating Love’ e-books
Use the link below to enter the contest, Must be 18 years of age or older to enter and win.

Rafflecopter Code:
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Down Under Author Showcase – N.J. Nielsen

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STRW down Under Banner sm Hearts

 

N.J. Nielsen

Meet N.J.  Nielsen

N J. Nielsen is the author of many series and novels (listed below).

To get to know N.J. Nielsen a little better, she agreed to an interview. Look for her guest post below and the Down Under Scavenger Hunt question and clue found somewhere within.

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Author Bio 1

NJ needs to write like she needs to breathe. It’s an addiction that she never intends to find a cure for. When you don’t find NJ arguing with Vlad, her muse or writing about the wonderful men in her stories, you’ll find her reading work by other authors she greatly admires. NJ lives in the SE of Qld, Australia with her family who all encourage her writing career even if she does occasionally call them by her character’s names. NJ thinks that anyone taking the time to read her stuff is totally awesome.

Author Contacts

Contact/Follow N.J. Nielsen at:

Website: http://normanielsen.blogspot.com/
Blog: http://normanielsen.blogspot.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/NJ-Nielsen/793520884042153
Twitter: NJNielsen1
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/njnielsen
Linkin: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/n-j-nielsen/34/1a9/9ba
Google +: https://plus.google.com/u/0/108478475874292907770/posts

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Author Books Stories Down Under1 copy

(MLR) TB 1- Angels on Top(MLR) TB 2- Hunting for Clay(MLR) TB 3 Dancing With DemonsWhen Souls Collide cover

Author’s Books, Series, and Stories:Available at MLRPress

EXPERIMENTALS
2013—Blessed With A Curse (fey/demon/human)
2015—Running Into Zero Tolerance (fey/demon/human)
(This Book is waiting to hear about contract)

LANCASTER’S WAY
2011—When Souls Collide (cowboy set in USA/Father’s Day)
2014—A Different Way Of Seeing (cowboy set in USA)

SONS OF EVENMORE
2013—The Crimson Grimoire (paranormal)
2014—Blood To Blood (paranormal)

THE LINES OF MARSDEN
2011—Rules Are Meant To Be Broken (paranormal)
2014—Living In Shadows (paranormal)
2015—You Make Me Die In Pieces (paranormal)
(This book is waiting to hear about contract)

TOOWOOMBA BOYS
2010—Angels On Top (contemporary)
2011—Hunting For Clay (contemporary)
2014—Dancing With Demons (contemporary)

SINGLES
2012—Christmastime At Papa Lee’s (contemporary/holiday)
2013—Bush Bashin’ (contemporary/Australia Day)
2015—Storming Love: Flash Flood—Adrian & Lockie (contemporary) Coming in April

Available at Totally Bound Publishing
THE CONNELLY CHRONICLES
2014—Family Connections (contemporary)

Available at Fireborn Publishing
MOON RUNNERS
2014—Heart-mate, Mine! (paranormal)

THE DIAMOND ROSE
Gateway To Kalethia (paranormal)
(This book is subbed and waiting to hear about contract)
Available at GOODREADS
FREE READS
2010—Shadows on the Heart (paranormal)
2013—By The Way (contemporary)
2014—Trying Not To Love You (contemporary)

Genre(s):
I added the info above

Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Gay And Lesbian

(MLR) LW 2 A Different Way of Seeing(MLR) SOE 2 -Blood To Blood(GR) MOT 1- Shadows on the Heart(FP) MR 2 - Heart-mate, Mine![1]

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Contests and Giveaways:

1. Today’s Giveaway (thank you,N.J. Nielsen) is an eBook copy of any of her stories from her backlist. Enter using this Rafflecopter link here. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

2. Down Under Scavenger Hunt – find Question or “Word”. Collect all the words/clues from each author and submit the list in writing no later than midnight on February 1st. Make sure you include an email address where you can be reached. Prizes will be given to 5 people selected, from 1st place to 5th! Happy Hunting.

N.J. Nielsen’s  Scavenger Hunt Question: Q: What is the name of my muse who keeps track of everything inside of my head?Find the answer somewhere on this post!

 

Author Qand A

******************************************Now on to our Interview with N.J. Nielsen….

Q• When did you start writing?

I started writing when I was 12 years old so a very long time ago. Though my first attempt at getting published was back in 2010 when I wrote my free story for GoodReads—don’t read in the closet. My contribution was Shadows On The Heart. Then not long after Angels on Top, and then The Lines of Marsden 1: Rules are Meant to be Broken

Q• Were you a reader as a child?

Yes—my favourite book was called Beautiful Girl by Elisabeth Ogilvie. In fact I still have it.

Q• What books as a child has the most impact on you?

Paul Zindel’s: The Pigman.

Q• Did that impression carry over into adulthood when you started writing?

It always made me want to try my hand at writing YA—I totally suck at it and it frustrates me to no end.

Q• Where do you draw inspiration from?

I get my inspiration from song lyrics… people I see in the street… family—they are always a good source for borrowing antics from.

Q• Favorite genres to write in and why?

Paranormal—because I can make stuff up… I know everyone has a thought as to what a species should be like, but I like throwing people for a loop or having a species so out of character…plus less reference checking and research.

Q• Title or characters or plot?

Which comes first? Title—I’m not a plotter and I hate writing blurbs & synopsis.

Q• Do you have a favorite character that you have written?

Doyle Kerwin from The Lines of Marsden… I don’t know why I like him so much—all I know is that I changed my whole story to make him on of the main characters in books 2-6 in that series.

Q• Favorite quote (doesn’t matter the source).

I can only please one person a day… Today is not your day & tomorrow isn’t looking good either.

Q• Favorite book/story you have read as an adult.

David Eddings his two series that revolve around the character Sparhawk (1) The Elenium, (2) The Tamuli.

Q• Do you have a certain regimen that you follow as a writer?

None I sit down and write whatever falls out of my head that day—sometimes I even surprise myself.

Q• What inspired you to write your first book?

Bored out of my brains and an overprotective mother who hated me going far from home (my dad had just died). My first planned published works TLOM my daughter was in hospital more than not (she has ITP) we were again bored and she got me to write her a vampire story. So Michael Marsden was born… in case you’re wondering Gypsy Marsden is totally based on my daughter.

Q• Do you have a specific writing style?

I usually work on three or more books at the same time so I don’t get bored and just write whichever one I feel like on any particular day.

Q• What’s the hardest part of writing your books?

Writing the synopsis for subbing – I suck at them.

Q• If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your first book?

Good God yes, I would so make Doyle the main guy right from the get go… I just didn’t realise how good he was until I started writing book two.

Q• If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor or has the biggest influence on you?

Carol Lynne—I asked her to read the first version of TLOM and she did and was great in talking publishers with me… she might not know it, but it’s true… If I could aspire to write like someone other than Carol it would be David Eddings.

Q• What book are you reading now?

At the moment I’m reading the entire works of Lynn Hagen.

Q• How do you think books written from authors in Australia or New Zealand differ in style, language, and culture?

To be honest I think we are more laid back as a people and our writing reflects that… sometimes I have to explain to my editors why I need to keep a certain phrase or word (especially if it’s slang).

Q• My first impression of AUS/NZ was from stories and novels like Colleen McCullough’s The Thorn Birds or Nevil Shute’s A Town Like Alice as well as from movies like The Man from Snowy River, The Dish, Rabbit Proof Fence, Strictly Ballroom, and yes, Crocodile Dundee!  There are so many out there.  What is your favorite AUS/NZ stories and favorite Australian/New Zealand movies?

A Town Like Alice. I remember watching that over and over when it came out. And another favourite is Pricilla Queen of The Desert.

Q• If you were a tour guide, what would you like a visitor to see and what impression would you want them to take away with them when they leave?

I personally would tell them to go to Port Arthur I’ve only been once but loved it. Actually Tassie (Tasmania) as a whole was a pretty awesome place to tour. So many beautiful sights and interesting places like The Penguin MarketsGunns Plains CavesThe Nut.

Q• What’s your favorite spot to visit in your own country? And what makes it so special to you?

Melbourne… I don’t know why I like it… it could be the shopping.

Q• What are your current projects?

I’m finishing off the 3rd book in TLOM: You Make Me Die In Pieces.

Q• What’s next up for you?

The Connelly Chronicles 2: Beautiful Goodbyes… also Sons of Evenmore 3: Fear The Scarlet Moon… Moon Runners 2: I Won’t Let You Go… Lancatser’s Way 3: Pre-Loved.

Down Under Day 5: N. J. Nielsen, AUS/NZ Fun Facts and Contest Info

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Welcome to Day 5 of STRW Down Under Author Showcase.  Our Featured Author today is N. J. Nielsen, a prolific author of multiple series and stand alone romances.  Make sure you visit her page, check out her bio and books. And don’t forget to enter her giveaway contest and search out the Scavenger Hunt word of the Day.

Australian Fun of the Day:

Uluru (Ayers Rock):
Uluru is one of the largest rocks in the world as well as one of Australia’s best known natural formations is located in Central Australia.  It is also a place of great spiritual signifigance to the aboriginal peoples of Australia and visitors have have to abide by new regulations to protect the site.

ayers rock

 

New Zealand Fact of the Day:

2 National Anthems:New Zealand is one of only three countries that have two official (and of equal standing) national Anthems. The first is God Save the Queen (the English National Anthem) and the other is God Defend New Zealand. The other two countries with two anthems are Denmark and Canada which both have a Royal Anthem and a State anthem

New Zealand 1

 Don’t forget to visit our Down Under Author Showcase Page for all the authors participating and their scheduled dates.  And be sure to enter Bottom Drawer Publications contest found there as well.