A Sammy Review: Spartan Love (Spartan Love #1) by Kayla Jameth

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Rating: 3.5  stars out of 5

With a final sigh of satisfaction, he ran his hand over the smooth surface and placed the bowl on the ground. His small act of creation was in no way comparable to what the gods had achieved, but it still gave him satisfaction and a sense of pleasure.

A Spartan Love-finalAndreas lost his father to a kryptes when he was a small child, and his mother to illness just four years ago. Now he lives alone, toiling the land he lives on with only the company of the animals and the occasional neighbor.

Being a helot, certain rules apply – like not being inside after the sun sets. Darkness brings kryptes, young warriors who are given permission to slay the helots. It’s dangerous, and one night, Andreas barely escapes.

But that kryptes enters his home, takes his food… and out of need for something more, friendship – a companion, Andreas begins to leave food, an offering to the kryptes.

As the days go on, Andreas boldness grows, and one day, he invites the kryptes in, and Theron isn’t quite like the bloodthirsty stories he’s heard, like the kryptes who slaughtered his father.

But a man loving a man is forbidden in Sparta, not to mention a helot and a kryptes are as different in status as one can get. But some things are just impossible to resist.

He’d thought the warrior fearless, but maybe there were things even a warrior had to fear.

Kayla Jameth does a superb job of bringing the ancient world of warriors, slaves, and gods to life. It is clear from the very beginning that a great deal of research went into this book, and that’s very deliberately laid out for the reader.

Some may find it difficult to get through the different words, but a glossary at the end proves to be most helpful and a great reference point throughout the book – and for a history geek like me, just plain fun to read anyways.

I really enjoyed the setting and the characters, but I think I wanted to see even more of Theron’s personality. I got a very good grasp of Andreas, but not quite so with Theron. I missed hearing more about his warrior instincts that were literally beat into him. On that same line of characters, I so loved the personality given to Ictis and Pan.

Still, I had some problems. Around the 40% mark or so, it began to drag, and drag, and drag some more. It became monotonous to me. Their internal battles felt like they were repeated a bit too much, and I was ready to move on, and then when we did, I felt like I just kept getting more of Andreas and his daily activities, which is fine, but it just wasn’t very… lively. Even when Theron initially gets sick, things didn’t really pick up for me, except when Apollo became involved. (Speaking of Apollo, I loved the element that the Gods brought to this. It was a bit fantasy, but treated as real – as it is real in this place in time. It was really nice.)

I was waiting for something more to happen, and I kept waiting, and it never did. This story is incomplete, a cliffhanger in my eyes. It sort of just stops and leaves a lot of questions and things unexplored. For example, Andreas never tells Theron about what happened to his father, which I felt was pretty important.

This is listed as a series, but it ended almost more like a serial fiction to me. I checked the authors site and it mentioned that the next book follows not only Andreas and Theron but also Coridan, and I really hope it isn’t made into a threesome. It’d just muddle a perfectly complicated relationship that the story is just beginning to depict.

But nevertheless, I look forward to seeing their journey continue, and I am hoping for a bit more action in the upcoming books. We’ve got a very solid foundation of how their lives are, now I’m hoping to see things take off and the plot grow.

The cover art by Catt Ford is fitting. The red cloak is a signature in the story and for kryptes in general, so I’m glad that it is depicted here. I just wonder if the men on the cover appear a bit too old for Theron and Andreas.

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

Book Details:

ebook, 210 pages
Published December 8th 2014 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781632162670
edition languageEnglish
seriesSpartan Love #1, Apollo’s Men #2

Down Under Showcase Author: Michelle Rae

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Down Under Showcase Author of the Day

Michelle Rae pic

Meet Michelle Rae

Michelle Rae is the author of  Time for Destiny, and other stories listed below.

To get to know Michelle Rae a little better, he agreed to an interview. Look for the interview below and the Down Under Scavenger Hunt word found somewhere within.

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Author Bio 1

Michelle Rae lives in lovely Adelaide, South Australia. She began writing fan fiction for her son in 2007, which led to bigger and better things. Writing LGBT stories became her passion after discovering the genre in 2008. Determined to write her greatest story, Michelle dedicates endless hours hoping to achieve this dream. In her spare time, Michelle likes to drink tea, eat peppermint chocolate and keep the last of her sanity intact.

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Author Contacts
Contacts/Follow Michelle Rae at :

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5764348.Michelle_Rae

Website http://www.moralfortitude.com

Tumblr https://www.tumblr.com/blog/michelleraewriter

Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/michelleraewriter

Google + https://plus.google.com/u/0/+MichelleRae-Writer

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Author Books Stories Down Under1 copy

Your Books:

Time for Destiny by Michelle Rae:

Time for Destiny coverWhen Daniel Wilson, oldest of five children in a troubled family, joined the military, he expected to see combat in Iraq. But it comes as quite a shock when a Rupee minted a century and a half ago transports him to that dangerous time in war-torn colonial India. After he meets and falls in love with Vir during his visit to 1857, he faces the greatest challenge of his life. He knows he may ultimately lose Vir because he belongs in a different time. Still, he wants desperately to keep his love alive despite threats of violence from both wars.

 Book Details:

ebook, 198 pages
Published August 22nd 2014 by Dreamspinner Press (first published November 1st 2011)
ISBN139781627988049
edition languageEnglish
url http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com

 

Genre(s): Gay romance / fantasy

 

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Contests and Giveaways:

1. Today’s Giveaway (thank you, Michelle Rae) is an ebook copy of Time For Destiny. Enter using this Rafflecopter link here. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

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2. Down Under Scavenger Hunt – find Michelle Rae’s Hunt “Word” in bold green. Collect all the words 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.

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Author Qand A

Q.  When did you start writing?

I started writing in 2008. Firstly fan fiction stories for my son and later moved onto writing gay romance when I discovered the genre.

Q. Were you a reader as a child?

I love reading as a child and often our neighbours would give me book to reads.

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

There was this one story that had a huge impact on me and for so long I couldn’t remember who wrote it and what it was called. I’ve asked my family and friends, as well, often posting it on social media to see if anyone can help me. I know it was about a boy, who had to use a door, when the portal broke. It was only recently I finally found this story and had the pleasure of reading it again. When I did, I remembered why I loved it so much. The story was – It’s such a beautiful day by Isaac Asimov.

 

Q. Where do you draw inspiration from?

Everyday things I see and here. My newest stories I’m writing was inspired by a webcomic called The Young Protectors.

Q. Favorite genres to write in and why?

I mostly write romance but recently I’ve been writing fantasy / adventure – where friendships are the most important relationship.

Q. Title or characters or plot?  Which comes first?

The plot is always born first, followed by the characters. I often have problems finding the right title and tend to find it comes to me after I’ve started writing my story.

 

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

It’s that you can’t, it’s that you haven’t tried – not sure if it’s quoted anywhere but I tell this to my son often – it’s my favorite.

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

Can I say Harry Potter, I was addicted to them for a long time.

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

I plot everything out on paper first. Write character profiles and the structure of my story. Once I have the layout of my story, I write it.

Q. What inspired you to write your first book?

I wanted a way to express myself and have something that was about me. When I started writing stories for my son, his joy from them inspired me to grow.

Q. Do you have a specific writing style?

Write fast – spend months editing.

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

Editing – it’s at this time I realise just how bad my writing can be and it takes a lot of work for me to go back and make the story work.

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

No at all. Every story I have written, I love.

 

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?

How can you go past Priscilla, Queen of the Dessert – my all time favourite Australian movie. [note; its one of mine as well, blame poor memory that its missing above!]

 

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

Our national parks. Our gum trees are so tall and beautiful. The wildlife is everywhere, the birds break the silence with their amazing calls. The sound of the leaves in the wind. Adelaide is a beautiful, quiet city and one I love living in.

Q. What are your current projects?

The Sphere is my current story and one I wrote for National Novel Writers Month 2014. It’s a sci-fi/fantasy about a young women who becomes the personal assistant to a female supervillain.

Q. What’s next up for you?

I’m working on getting one of my older stories – Cat Got Your Tongue – out as a paperback. With the amount of editing I’ve been doing the last few months I surprised myself I was able to write a new story.

 

 

 

Down Under Day 7: Author Michelle Rae, AUS and NZ Facts and Contest Info

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Today’s Down Under Author is Michelle Rae.  Check out Michelle Rae’s books, bio, and giveaway.  And don’t forget to find the Scavenger Hunt word of the Day.

Have you been to New Zealand or Australia?  We are looking for stories, pictures and memories to post for the rest of this month!

 

 

kiwi and NZ countryDown Under Interesting Facts:AUS flag over country

 

Australia Facts of the Day:

Two facts actually because I couldn’t decide (much like Sydney and Melbourne) which to post:

1.)  Canberra was selected as the capital because Sydney and Melbourne could not stop arguing which city should be the capital of Australia.  

CanberraCanberra is the capital city of Australia. With a population of 381,488, it is Australia’s largest inland city and the eighth-largest city overall. The city is located at the northern end of the Australian Capital Territory, 280 km south-west of Sydney…

Population: 381,488 (2013)
Area: 314.36 sq miles (814.20 km²)

 

 

2.) Australians refer to English people as Pome (Pomes plural?), which is actually the acronym for Prisoners of Mother England.

 

New Zealand Interesting Fact of the Day:

Where Have All The Sheep Gone?baby sheep

From the early 1980s, when NZ was home to over 70 million sheep, the population has declined to around 31 million (2013 data). This means the oft-quoted statistic, that NZ has 20 sheep for each human, is wrong! Nowadays it’s only about 7 to 1. This decline hasn’t stopped NZ from cornering 50% of all international trade in sheepmeat.

Unlike the human population, the majority of New Zealand’s sheep are based on the South Island, where there are more than 20 sheep for every human! The decline in the number of sheep has been caused by increasing dairy cattle numbers.

On Tour with Karen Stivali’s Moment of Impact (book tour and contest)

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Book Name: Moment of Impact (Book one in the Moments in Time series)
Goodreads Link
Author Name: Karen Stivali

Author Bio:

Karen Stivali is a prolific writer, compulsive baker and chocoholic with a penchant for books, movies and fictional British men. Karen is a multiple award-winning author of contemporary romance. She writes novels about love…like real life, only hotter.

 

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist:  Anna Sikorska

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press          All Romance (ARe)

Main Author pages:    Amazon   B&N

Blurb:1MomentofImpactCover-KarenStivali

Outside Collin Fitzpatrick’s dorm room is a dangerous place. Beyond his door the students of his small, conservative college think he’s straight, as does his Catholic family who’d disown him if they learned the truth. Inside, he’s safe with his incredibly sexy roommate Tanner D’Amico. Their room makes a perfect place to hide away and fall in love. The moment they cross the line from roommates to lovers, Collin becomes caught between their heavenly passionate encounters and the hellish reality that someone might find out and destroy everything. Tanner’s not used to being so confined, and wants to show the world how much he loves Collin. But Collin’s not sure he’s ready for the impact stepping outside will make.

Excerpt from MOMENT OF IMPACT (Book 1 of the Moments In Time Series by Karen Stivali)

Don’t blow this. Not now. Not when he’s right here. So close. So… Forcing myself to move, I reached out and clutched at his shoulder. His skin was smooth, warm. I pressed my fingers into his flesh with enough force, he flinched. His gaze darted to mine, wary.

Swallowing hard, I willed myself to maintain eye contact. “I didn’t think I wanted that, until I met you.”

Tanner’s gaze raced back and forth between my hand, which was still gripping his shoulder, and my eyes, which felt like they were about to bulge out of my skull. I couldn’t blink. Couldn’t breathe. Couldn’t think.

Do something. Say something.

Then his mouth crashed into mine.

I like kissing. I always have. Even though I wasn’t super into any of the girls I’d been with, kissing was the one thing I still enjoyed. Warm mouths, wet tongues, moving together. It felt good. I seriously thought I’d done some decent kissing in my life.

I was wrong. Tanner’s mouth on mine for one fucking second proved to me that what I’d done before might have looked like kissing, might have felt like kissing, but was like the frozen french bread pizza version of kissing. Nothing like the real thing.

Nothing like this.

His tongue swept into my mouth, hot and velvety. His hand gripped the back of my neck, tugging me upright. Everything fell away. Disappeared. The whole world was this one kiss. I could have drowned in it and died happy.

Tanner pulled away, breathing hard, his forehead pressed to mine. The room spun like a carnival ride.

“You okay?”

His voice sounded lower than usual. Deep and gravelly. I gave a shaky nod, and he tipped his head back, looking at me.

“You sure?”

“Yeah.” My heart beat double time as I realized he still had his hands on me. And he was still naked. And I was probably harder than I’d ever been in my entire life. Jesus.

“We can stop.”

“No.” That wasn’t what I wanted. Not at all. “I just… I mean… we’re roommates. What if this doesn’t work out?”

Tanner’s lips pulled into a grin so sexy my brain turned to oatmeal. He rubbed the back of my neck. “So, one kiss and you’re already thinking about what happens if we break up?”

I shook my head. “I don’t know.”

“Let’s see how we feel after another kiss.”
Pages or Words: 125 pages

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Tour Dates: January 7, 2015

Tour Stops: Parker Williams, Fallen Angel Reviews, BFD Book Blog, Molly Lolly, Amanda C. Stone, MM Good Book Reviews, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Wake Up Your Wild Side, Bayou Book Junkie, Velvet Panic, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Jade Crystal, Iyana Jenna, Love Bytes,Queer Town Abbey, Christy Loves 2 Read

Contest: Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: $20 Amazon Gift Card. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Use the link provided to enter and for all additional contest details.

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Cover Reveal for Jess Buffett “Always Been You” (book tour and Contest)

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Book Name: Always Been You
Book one of a series
Release Date
Goodreads Link
Author Name: Jess Buffett

Author Bio:

Jess Buffett was born and raised in New South Wales, Australia. She is a mum of two, married to her high school sweetheart. 

Jess is a hopeless romantic who is a huge fan of M/M and M/F romance with a happy ending—anything with hunky men in all their glory, whether they be Shifters, Vampires, Cowboys, or the boy next door. 

A caffeine addict who shamefully can’t make a decent cup of coffee to save her life, Jess believes in soul mates, happily ever afters, and in love at first sight, but that sometimes people need a second or a third for the brain to catch up.

Where you can find Jess:

Website:  

Twitter
Facebook Author Page
Friend on Facebook

Publisher: Reckless Lovers PressAlwaysBeenYouSM
Cover Artist: Jess Buffett

Sales Links: Keep an eye on her website – http://jessbuffett.wordpress.com for details

Blurb:

After recovering from a shooting that took the lives of his best friends, Seth Hall returns to his hometown for the first time in eleven years with his two children in tow. Intent on setting up a happy, stable life for them, he vows not to allow his past to intervene with their future. That is until Jared, the boy who had broken his heart all those years ago, returns to his life a full grown man who knows exactly what he wants…Seth.

Jared Stewart thought he had lost his only chance to be with Seth after a series of misunderstandings and mistakes. When Seth finally comes home and back into Jared’s life, Jared vows to do anything it takes to keep him there. However, while Jared and Seth grow closer, they discover that not everyone is so happy for them.

Will they be finally able to make a life for themselves together? Or will they be torn apart again, by people they thought they could trust?

Categories: Contemporary, M/M Romance

Excerpt:

Seth was practically screaming in the other man’s face by this point. He couldn’t believe the guys nerve. Out the corner of his eye Sal made an appearance, but hesitated in the doorway, obviously unsure as to whether or not he should interrupt.

Lightning fast, Jared grabbed his wrist, using it to pull a struggling Seth closer until they were flat up against each other. He leaned in close to Seth, whispering into his ear. “Let’s get a few things straight. I have never felt sorry for you. I did not choose a school far away from you until you told me to. Everything we discussed stayed between us, and I would never have freaked over kissing you. And I’ll be damned if I let you run away from me again.”

Seth’s eyes widened at the same time Jared crushed their lips together, searing him right down to his toes. Jared’s arms became steel bands, and they held him tight. Dear god! He did not see this coming.

Pages or Words: 60,000 words


Tour Dates: January 7th, 2015

Tour Stops: Parker Williams, The Hat Party, Molly Lolly, BFD Book Blog, Inked Rainbow Reads, Bayou Book Junkie, Hearts on Fire, Carly’s Book Reviews, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Cate Ashwood, Love Bytes, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Kristy’s Brain Food, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Sinfully Sexy, Iyana Jenna, Elin Gregory, Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings, MM Good Book Reviews, Andrew Q. Gordon, Velvet Panic, 3 Chicks After Dark

Wake Up Your Wild Side, Lee Brazil, Queer Town Abbey, Foxylutely Book Reviews

Contest: Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy of ‘Always Been You’ and a $10 Gift Card

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