A Stella Review: Drive Your Truck by Julia Talbot

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Rating:  3 stars out of 5

Drive Your TruckHome on compassionate leave for his brother’s funeral, Navy SEAL Garrison Matthews needs to blow off a lot of stress and grief before he returns to active duty. In honor of his brother, he takes Bettie, the brothers’ souped-up vintage truck, out for a spin. A bit of an adrenaline junkie, Garrison has no problem finding trouble. This time trouble’s named Walt, and he happens to be Garrison’s sister-in-law’s brother.

Neither man expects their fun to amount to anything else, but after an injury sends Garrison home for good, he turns to Walt, hoping to start a new life. Walt is a closeted sheriff’s deputy, and while he adores Garrison, he isn’t sure he’s ready to come out… or for such a big commitment. Being fresh out of the service isn’t easy on Garrison either. To find their happy ending, Walt and Garrison must overcome their trust issues and get ready to settle down together

Drive Your Truck is pretty simple story, not too angsty but unfortunately to me not sweet at all. Reading the blurb, I liked the premises of it, so I was enthusiastic when I started reading it. Sadly some things didn’t work for me.

Gar and Walt hooking up on the wake for Gar’s brother was the first thing I didn’t like in this book. I’d be so pained to losing my brother, I honestly couldn’t think about sex. I didn’t see the act as a way to forget for just a moment a deep grief. It came to me as a shallow scene.

And going on in the story, this feeling of levity is a steady point in the book. I couldn’t feel emotions, between Gar and Walt, neither in the second characters. The author made me wait till the end to see Gar and Walt really into each other, making plans for a future together. I’d have liked to have that kind of emotions from the start. Moreover, I didn’t appreciate the author’s choice at the end of the book. Spoiler-  click here to view.

I’m still wondering about the title. Ok, Gar and Brandon bought a cherry red 1966 Ford pickup when Gar was seventeen. They called it Bettie and Brandon fixed it whenever he could. The author showed us some scenes where Gar took Bettie for a ride while looking for adrenaline and a way to ease the stress. Still I don’t think the title fits the story. Maybe I missed something.

I have a word for this book: craving. Drive Your Truck left me craving for more. More background about the characters, more moments between Gar and Walt, more scenes with the second characters, more sweetness, more hot sex and more courage.

It seems I didn’t enjoy this book, it isn’t true. I gave it three stars because I liked the story, but it didn’t live up my expectations. I heard great things about Julia Talbot. I think I simply chose the wrong book to start reading her works. I’ll definitely check her books, I’m sure I’ll find the one to love.

Cover Artist Brooke Albrecht.
The cover was eye catching to me, absolutely well done, it fits the title but as I said earlier, in my opinion not the story

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press    All Romance (ARe)    Amazon   Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, 130 pages
Expected publication: January 28th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781632163981
edition languageEnglish
url http://www.juliatalbot.com

 

A Sammy Review: Take the Long Way Home by J.A. Rock

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

“I think TV and movies have taught us all to make this production out of how we’re damaged goods and no one will ever love us. You know what you are? You’re a human being. You have good days and bad days. All your feelings are normal. And if the people you’re around now don’t treat you right, you’ll have opportunities to go other places and meet other people.”

Take The Long Way Home coverDresden Marich is going through the world, observing, listening, and very carefully interacting. He’s not your typical boy, doesn’t fit any bill for the kid who suffered childhood trauma, who went through a great loss, or who failed out of school because he just didn’t care. Those things all have stereotypes, and he fits none of them.

Maybe he’s a little broken, maybe a lot, but that’s okay. Or so Caleb Harview tells him. A chance meeting brings them together, and through their time Dresden begins to learn a lot – not simply about himself or the world, but about the intricacies of human life. But there’s still so much more out there, and running is so easy. He’ll have to decide where he wants to be and where he wants to go.

I think he feels all the right things. I think the world is so full of people who are scared and alone, and maybe that guy who tried to save me from being kidnapped is right—nobody helps. So I’ll change that. I’ll love harder and make a fool of myself. I’ll try to be braver, because nobody just floats through life. We all get banged up. I’m going to find the right person to show what’s under the skin, how deep the scars go. Because there’s no way being wounded should be a lonely business.

Have you ever maybe watched one of those shows on HGTV, where people are touring a house that’s old, with these little details of a life lived, and a small arch that has so much character, and the people sigh and smile and say “how charming” – despite the possible mold in the bathroom, the cracks running down the walls, or the water stain from a rainstorm twenty years before? That’s kind of how I’d describe this book – surprisingly charming.

For a lot of the book I was very uncomfortable. As a social worker, I find myself especially attuned to certain things, and this entire book screamed at me. A lot of Dresden’s thoughts were disconnected, jumbled at times, and occasionally shockingly morbid. It made me ache, wish I could just soothe some of the constant chaos in his head. But then I grew to appreciate it, because if there’s one thing is it, it’s honest. And perhaps it’s partially that honesty that made me so damned uncomfortable.

Take the Long Way Home approaches sensitive subjects and throws the idea of being politically correct completely out the window. It dares to push the lines that we as a society has built and make you question things you never even thought of before. Even if you read it and hated it, I can’t see you not wondering for even just a moment “why?” – why does he think that? Why does that happen? Who could do that? Do people really think like that?

But what I don’t understand is, where were we going, the two of us? Because maybe I loved him. But it’s hard to imagine him feeling that way about someone like me. Although, if you limited who you could love to people who weren’t broken, you’d never love anyone. Or you’d love an idea of a person. It takes nothing to say you love someone. But it takes a stupid kind of courage to actually do it.

This book is so different from any other thing I’ve ever read. As I said before, Dresden’s thoughts come across as disconnected at times, and for some that could make the reading feel choppy. But for me, once I connected with the character, once I began to really move with him and feel with him, it all made so much more sense.

The characters are deep and flawed, and I appreciate how well thought out they are. You didn’t just have Baby Kate to have her, she played a role. And even those who weren’t actually in the book, but who were remembered, such as Dresden’s father, had such a life.

So this story is a little twisted, brutally honest, deep when you don’t want it to be, and daring. It’s not for everyone, but I can say it’s one of those books you just have to read for yourself.

Unfortunately, I am not a fan of the cover art by Dar Albert. The models look plastic and fake and I’d actually prefer the cover without them even on it. It has a nice base, but that’s all lost with the models.

Sales Links:   Loose Id             All Romance (ARe)              Amazon   Buy it Here

Book Details:

ebook, 225 pages
Published January 20th 2015 by Loose Id LLC
original titleTake the Long Way Home
ISBN139781623005436
edition languageEnglish

Lights, Camera, Cupid! Back To Bluewater Bay on Valentine’s Day (contest)

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Its Valentine’s Day at Bluewater Bay!

Thanks for joining us on this tour! Check out the great Valentine’s Day stories from Bluewater Bay and comment to win a Valentine’s gift basket sent to you or a Valentine!

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Lights, Camera, Cupid! (A Bluewater Bay Valentine’s Day Anthology)

Cupid is visiting Bluewater Bay, and he’s leaving chaos in his wake.

Nothing’s been the same in this sleepy little logging town since Hollywood came to shoot the hit TV show Wolf’s Landing—especially Valentine’s Day.

In L.A. Witt’s Just Another Day, beloved actors Levi Pritchard and Carter Samuels have an announcement for their fans, while in Z.A. Maxfield’s I’ll Be There, actor Spencer Kepler and his boyfriend Nash Holly brave a blizzard and a fan convention to spend their first February the 14th together.WolfsLanding_transparent

Of course, it’s not just TV stars celebrating the day. In Anne Tenino’s Helping Hand, an aspiring artist eager to escape Bluewater Bay decides he just might have a reason to stay: lust-inspiring logger Gabriel Savage. In S.E. Jakes’s No Easy Way, a local teacher reconnects with an old lover working security on the film set. And in Amy Lane’s Nascha, a Bluewater Bay elder recalls how his own unconventional family used to celebrate the holiday.

Real life may be nothing like TV, but when Cupid comes to town, there’s plenty of romance and drama to go around.

Sales Link:  Buy It here at Riptide Publishing.
About Bluewater Bay

Welcome to Bluewater Bay! This quiet little logging town on Washington state’s Olympic Peninsula has been stagnating for decades, on the verge of ghost town status. Until a television crew moves in to film Wolf’s Landing, a soon-to-be cult hit based on the wildly successful shifter novels penned by local author Hunter Easton.

Wolf’s Landing’s success spawns everything from merchandise to movie talks, and Bluewater Bay explodes into a mecca for fans and tourists alike. The locals still aren’t quite sure what to make of all this—the town is rejuvenated, but at what cost? And the Hollywood-based production crew is out of their element in this small, mossy seaside locale. Needless to say, sparks fly.

This collaborative story world is brought to you by ten award-winning, best-selling LGBTQ romance authors: L.A. Witt, L.B. Gregg, Z.A. Maxfield, Aleksandr Voinov, Heidi Belleau, Rachel Haimowitz, Anne Tenino, Amy Lane, SE Jakes, and G.B. Gordon. Each contemporary novel stands alone, but all are built around the town and the people of Bluewater Bay and the Wolf’s Landing media empire.

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Contest/Giveaway

Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing for a Valentine’s gift basket sent to you or a Valentine! We’ll send anywhere local delivery is available (and offer a $40 store credit in the event that delivery is not available in your country.) The winner will pick the type of basket they want (either fruit, flowers, or candy/snacks) and we’ll send your basket out!

In Our Book Spotlight: A New Man by P. D. Singer (book tour and contest)

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A New Man by P. D. Singer
Release Date: February 9, 2015
Goodreads Link

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ANMRC

 P.D. Singer Bio:

P.D. Singer lives in Colorado with her slightly bemused husband, two rowdy teenage boys, and thirty pounds of cats. She’s a big believer in research, first-hand if possible, so the reader can be quite certain Pam has skied down a mountain face-first, been stepped on by rodeo horses, acquired a potato burn or two, and will never, ever, write a novel that includes sky-diving.

When not writing, playing her fiddle, or skiing, she can be found with a book in hand.

Contact/Follow P.D. Singer at:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pd.singer.9
Facebook Author Page
Twitter: https://twitter.com/PD_Singer
Blog: http://PDSinger.com

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Reese Dante

Sales Links:   Dreamspinner PressNewMan[A]FS

About A New Man…

Senior year of college is for studying, partying, and having fun before getting serious about life. Instead, Chad’s days are filled with headaches and exhaustion, and his fencing skills are getting worse with practice, not better. Then there’s his nonexistent love life, full of girls he’s shunted to the friend zone. Is he asexual? Gay?

Grad student Warren Douglas could be out clubbing, but his roommate is better company, even without kisses. He’s torn up watching Chad suffer, gobbling ibuprofen and coming home early on Friday nights. If Chad weren’t straight, Warren would keep him up past midnight. They’re great as friends.

Benefits might answer Chad’s questions.

A brief encounter with lab rats reveals Chad’s illness—he needs surgery, STAT, and can’t rely on his dysfunctional parents for medical decisions. Warren’s both trustworthy and likely to get overruled—unless they’re married. “You can throw me back later,” Warren says, and he may throw himself back after his husband turns out moody and hard to get along with, no matter how much fun his new sex drive is. Surgery turns Chad into a new man, all right…

…but Warren fell in love with the old one.

Categories: Contemporary

A New Man Excerpt:

On his feet now, Chad looked a little shaky. For a silent moment he stood, though it wasn’t clear whether he was forcing his body to behave or thinking.

“Uh. You’re a scientist…” Why did Chad make that sound like a question? Unless it was part of his medicine head. “I need some data.”

Oh. Oh!

Warren didn’t flinch or pull away when Chad leaned in. Both his hands rested on Warren’s upper arms, which didn’t keep him from lurching forward so fast Warren thought he’d get hit in the face. But no, he stopped short and came in slow for the last inch. Eyes open and questioning, he met Warren’s mouth in a smooth, gentle kiss. Lips not quite parted, he brushed against Warren, searching, not demanding.

What had gotten into him? Warren kissed back, not too startled to respond in kind, adding nothing that might frighten Chad away. He wouldn’t lift his arms, he wouldn’t offer tongue, but he would meet Chad’s mouth for as long as he was offered it. He had to tip his face up slightly and fight to stay in place when he wanted nothing more than to step forward into Chad’s arms, to plaster himself against that inviting chest, and thrust his tongue into the depths of Chad’s mouth.

Chad’s eyes were blue drowning to black, his pupils dilated widely. Questions, but not fear, dwelled behind his irises, questions that Warren wanted to answer for him. Yes, you like this, yes, you want more, yes, you want it with me. Yes.

Pages or Words: 276 pages

ANMBadgeTour Dates: February 9, 2015

Tour Stops:

Parker Williams, Bike Book Reviews, My Fiction Nook, Kimi-Chan, Inked Rainbow Reads, Prism Book Alliance, Molly Lolly, Bayou Book Junkie, BFD Book Blog, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Kristy’s Brain Food, Cate Ashwood, Fallen Angel Reviews, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Queer Town Abbey, MM Good Book Reviews, Wicked Wolves and Dreaming Dragons, Inked Rainbow Reads, Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings, Kristy’s Brain Food, Because Two Men Are Better Than One, Nic Starr, Velvet Panic, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Nephylim, Multitasking Mommas, Elin Gregory

 

Contest: Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: 1 copy of ‘A New Man’ plus one copy from P.D. Singer’s backlist. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

 

 

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Need An Anthology to Love? Well, Love is a Mess Has the Stories for You! (contest)

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Time to Focus on Anthologies!

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Title: Love Is A Mess (a Supposed Crimes anthology)
Release Date: January 3, 2015

Author Names/Stories:

  • Viral Valentine by L. M. Perrin
    When a Valentine’s Day prank goes badly, Paige’s guilt won’t let her watch the victim walk away without a proper apology.
  • Date Blind by Geonn Cannon
    A woman discovers the worst possible blind date scenario when her date turns out to be someone who bullied her in high school.
  • The Politician and the Pilot by Amber Kinsey
    A politician and a pilot make a steamy connection on Valentine’s Day.
  • Bar Tryst by Rachael Orman
    After her roommate blackmailed her into going to an Anti-Valentine’s day party, Vanessa decided to make the best of it especially when the bartender shared that she was looking to have a good time too.
  • Quarter Life: Energy Feed by Adrian J. Smith
    With strange creatures in her path, Faye is determined to get the information she wants no matter the cost.
  • Property of Cupid by Eva Lefoy
    Will an ancient Greek god give up half his powers to love a mere human? Or will Cupid loose his golden arrow, letting Jeremy fall in love with another man?
  • Private Dance by A. M. Leibowitz
    With Alex’s sexy boyfriend, Phin, gone for three weeks, there’s only one option: let his best friend’s kids lead him on a treasure hunt through town to find his Valentine’s gift waiting for him to unwrap.
  • The Last Mitzvah by Michael DuPuy
    One man seeks salvation over love, death, and ice cream.

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About the authors:

A. M. Leibowitz is a spouse, parent, feminist, and book-lover falling somewhere on the Geek-Nerd Spectrum. She keeps warm through the long, cold western New York winters by writing romantic plot twists and happy-for-now endings. In between noveling and editing, she blogs coffee-fueled, quirky commentary on faith, culture, writing, and her family at amleibowitz.com.

Adrian J. Smith, aka AJ, loves to write women, and specifically women who are strong, independent and fall in love with other women. She claims bisexuality but is probably closer to omnisexual. She’s a go with the flow type of person. She loves writing urban fantasy and creatures and powers of all different kinds. She also loves writing women in uniform, because let’s face it, a woman in uniform has an irresistible draw. Most of her stories have a romantic element, but if you want action, drama, plot with a hint of romance, she’s the author for you. Find her at adrianjsmith.wordpress.com.

Amber Kinsey is a part-time federal employee, full-time geek, and occasional writer. She lives in a suburb of Nashville, TN with her three cats: one is the light of her life; the other two are just little stinkers.

Eva Lefoy writes and reads all kinds of romance, and is a certified Trekkie. She’s also terribly addicted to chocolate, tea, and hiking. One of these days, she’ll figure out the meaning of life, quit her job, and go travel the galaxy. Until then, she’s writing down all her dirty thoughts for the sake of future explorers. You can find her blog at writery.wordpress.com.

Geonn Cannon is the author of On the Air, Gemini, World on Fire, The Following Sea, Tilting at Windmills, Only Flame and Air, Confused by Shadows, Chasing Dragons, What Matter Wounds?, Silence Out Loud, the Riley Parra series, Railroad Spine, Gunfire Echoes, the Underdogs series, Girls Don’t Hit, and The Rise and Fall of Radiation Canary. He also wrote an official tie-in novel for Stargate SG-1 titled “Two Roads” and contributed a Stargate Atlantis story to the “Far Horizons” anthology. An archive of free stories can be found at geonncannon.com. When he’s not writing, he’s asleep.

L. M. Perrin is an English major who writes fiction to break up the monotony of analyzing novels. She lives in Leelanau County, also known as Michigan’s pinky finger, with her dog and the occasional stray cat, and in her opinion there is nothing wrong with spending a night binging on Netflix and pizza. This is her first published piece.

Michael DuPuy, while not investigating epistemological dead ends, cultivates a greater understanding of the folly of man most often by recreating as many of such folly’s as possible through no intent of his own. Michael turned to writing as a method of perhaps extending his sanity and to justify his coffee consumption. If anything this tactic has backfired.

Rachael Orman: Mother by day. Writer by night. I spend a majority of my day with my children and reading while my nights are filled with the sound of the keyboard as I work on my next work. 

I have written in F/F, F/F/M, F/F/F and then of course F/M genres…. So, beware, I do not always have the most ‘traditional’ scenes. And one day I will venture into M/M, just have to find the time. 

I love to try new things and learn from every piece of work I write. I’ll write just about anything once to learn from it. I’ve even ventured out of my normal erotica genre into Monster Erotica. Doubt you’ll find me writing anything not erotic as you can barely get me to even read something out of that category, but then again, you never know what I might try next.

About the Publisher:
Supposed Crimes, LLC publishes fiction and poetry primarily featuring lesbian characters and themes. The focus is on genre fiction–Westerns, Science Fiction, Horror, Action–rather than just romance. That’s how we set ourselves apart from our competitors. Our characters happen to love women and kick ass.

“Supposed crimes” refers to the idea that homosexuality is outlawed, and that our authors are being subversive by writing. As times change this becomes more tongue-in-cheek, but can still apply broadly to our culture. Christians writing lesbians and men writing lesbians are also subversive ideas in this industry, and we promote people bending the rules.

Publisher: Supposed Crimes, LLC
Cover Artist: C.E. Case
Categories: LGBT fiction, Romance, Gay Romance, Lesbian Romance
Pages or Words: 35,000 words, 119 pages
Tour Dates: February 9, 2015

Tour Stops: Parker Williams, Rebecca Cohen Writes, MM Good Book Reviews, Fallen Angel Reviews, Molly Lolly, Kristy’s Brain Food, BFD Book Blog, Cate Ashwood, Wake Up Your Wild Side, Wicked Wolves and Dreaming Dragons, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, The Hat Party, Velvet Panic, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Kimi-Chan, Carly’s Book Reviews

 

Contest: Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy of ‘Love Is A Mess’. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

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