A MelanieM Review: Deadly Shades of Gold (Altered States #2) by L.E. Harner, and T.A. Webb


Rating: 4 stars out of 5

“Wolf or vamp? Decide. It has to be now.”

Deadly Shades of Gold coverA life altering decision made in seconds. For those were the last words Sam Garrett ever heard—as a human. And as something other than human, his career as a cop was over.

Travis Boudreaux knows exactly how Sam feels, its an all too familiar situation. But as Travis and Sam are about to find out… when some doors close, the golden window of opportunity opens. Crimes against supernaturals require a new and different approach, and once the Feds show up, the Odd Squad isn’t the only law enforcement game in town.

With paranormal crimes flourishing and  a revenge-seeking vampire creating deadly havoc, the new federal agent-in-charge is on a recruiting mission—and he’s more than ready to fight fire with fire. What do you get when you mix old friends, new enemies, and a license to kill?

Pure dynamite.

Warning: This is an erotic urban fantasy. In this series the vampires don’t sparkle, werewolves kill, and the men sometimes have sex. With each other.

Alrighty then!  With Deadly Shades of Gold, the romance of Sam and Travis is about to be well…something hot and wonderful.  As well as totally unexpected.  I loved this story wholeheartedly.  It made me want to do a few high fives and “hell to the yeah’s”!  To recap briefly, Sam and Travis were partners on the force and soon to be partners in love when a vampire attacked Travis and killed him.  But Travis didn’t stay dead for long and his return (on the day of his funeral), revealed to the world that vampires and other supernatural beings were real and living along side of them.  Surprise!  And quite, naturally it split up Sam and Travis to go their separate ways.

In Deep Blues Goodbye, Sam became the focus of two warring supernatural groups and the end result was a life altering decision (not to be revealed here).  The choice made is startling as is the effects it has on Sam, his career, and all those around him.   It also brings Travis back into his life and that’s where this story takes flight for me more once more.  I love this two together.  Apart, its bittersweet but together? They become dynamic and compelling.  It doesn’t matter whether they are human or supernatural, Harner and Webb have created a romance that feels powerful and real, a connection that jumps off the page and into your heart.  This story starts them on the path back to each other and something more as it picks up from that moment.

I love how believable the authors made the characters adjustment to their new status.  There’s plenty of confusion and pain to go around, second guessing and indecision often rules the day.  The process of accepting and adjusting to being a supernatural takes time and we watch it happen as Sam works his way through this tumultuous period. More plot threads are revealed, including perhaps, a motive or two from the head villain himself.  Unknown histories are starting to surface and more supernatural politics combine with romance for another superb installment in this series.  I think this is my favorite so far.

I highly recommend this series.  I love the world building, its layered and complicated, just like the characters themselves.  I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Cover art by Laura Harner.  Love this cover, wish there was more branding to the series.

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

Book Details:

ebook, 134 pages
Published February 19th 2013 by Hot Corner Press
edition languageEnglish
seriesAltered States #2
charactersSam Garrett (Altered States), Travis Boudreaux

Books in the Altered States Series in the order they should be read:
• Altered States (Altered States, #0.5)
• Deep Blues Goodbye (Altered States, #1)
• Deadly Shades of Gold (Altered States, #2)
• Free Falling Crimson (Altered States, #3)


Book Spotlight: Other Freedom by Catherine L. Byrne (interview and contest)


someotherfreedom72 (2)

Some Other Freedom by Catherine L. Byrne
Release Date: February 15, 2015

STRW In The Spotlight Header


Author Catherine L. Byrne is here with her latest story, Other Freedom.  We have a Q & A with Catherine, along with excerpts and a contest for you all to enter.  Check it all out below…


STRW Author Bio and Contacts
Catherine L Byrne amused herself writing as a hobby for some years until she had her daughter, but becoming a mum made her realise she now had a purpose and time was limited, so she must get on with writing seriously.
The winter of 2009 was severe and as she and her family live in a small village, they were house bound by unusually deep snow for southern England. So she settled down in her office (i.e. the corner of her bedroom) and began her first book, which was published in 2010.
She hasn’t stopped writing since, generally on the theme of forbidden or unrequited love, and often including erotic scenes.

Where to find the author:
Website : https://catherinelbyrne.wordpress.com/
Facebook Author Page
Twitter: https://twitter.com/catherinelbyrne

Publisher: eXtasy Books
Cover Artist:  Latrisha Waters,

Sales Links: Extasy Books  Amazon

STRW Author BookSynopsis

Ambitious teacher Anthony, who is firmly in the closet, works at a very conservative school, carefully living up to expectations in order to further his career.

After drinking too much at a wedding, however, he meets a gorgeous man and can’t resist having a passionate liaison with him.
Weeks later, Anthony is engaged to his girlfriend, but then his secret lover turns up at school as the new teacher in his department…


Categories: Contemporary, Fiction, Gay Fiction, Humor, M/M Romance, Romance

STRW Spotlight Book Excerpt

“Here’s your drink, mate,” he said to Anthony, as if asking him a question. Anthony smiled at the Australian accent, and the waiter gave him a subtle wink, making him quickly look away as the man gave Francesca her Daiquiri.

“Shall we eat here too?” said Francesca. “Could we have a menu please?” She smiled, fluttering her eyelashes at the waiter, who smiled back, showing a gold tooth.

“Of course, I’ll get it.” He strode out, reminding Anthony of Blondie at the wedding. How would it feel if this Australian lay on top of him on the huge hotel office desk? He turned back again to his girlfriend. His proper, steady girlfriend.

Lunging to kiss her, his lips hit her cheek, and she twisted her head so their mouths could meet, but he moved the wrong way and kissed her hair. His hand slipped on the arm of her chair and he fell forwards onto her shoulder. A sudden gust of wind, carrying the rotting, fishy smell from the tide going out, forced him to stifle a cough.

“Here you go.” The Australian accent conveyed a hint of amusement as the couple untangled themselves and sat up.
Pages or Words: 51,189


Tour Dates: March 4, 2015

Tour Stops:

Parker Williams, MM Good Book Reviews, Molly Lolly, Bayou Book Junkie, Inked Rainbow Reads, BFD Book Blog, Foxylutely Book Reviews, Love Bytes, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Cate Ashwood, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Fallen Angel Reviews, Nic Starr, It’s Raining Men, Michael Mandrake


STRW Spotlight Contest Header


Contest: Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy of the book. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Rafflecopter link and prizes provided by Pride Promotions.

Rafflecopter Code:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

In Our Author Spotlight: Alexis Woods on Baseball, Writing, and Opening Day! (author interview/Contest)



STRW In The Spotlight Header

Up Close and Personal With Author Alexis Woods!

Opening Day cover

Alexis Woods has stopped by today to talk about her latest story Opening Day, baseball and writing.   As part of her guest post, we are hosting a  giveaway of Opening Day!  For all the details, see the contest section below.

Q and A With Alexis Woods!

Q. Baseball, America’s sport, and a wonderful place for a romance. Why include it in your story?

All of my stories have a backdrop or theme, and I have always loved the use of innuendo – baseball is just perfect with all of its lovely little terms: pitching, catching, wood, and, of course, all the “bases.” It was a lot of fun writing this story and trying to work in as many of the terms as I could.

Q. What was the inspiration behind your story and characters?

Ace and Darren were easy to write as they mirrored real life. I’m a pharmacist, just like Darren, and my husband is a front-store supervisor for a well-known pharmacy chain. The proverbial “they” always say write what you know. I grew up playing softball and my husband is from New England, big Red Sox fan, and got me hooked, watching them avidly in the mid-90’s.

Q. Do you include a brownie recipe as well? What is your favorite brownie to eat?

I didn’t, but I’ll share my favorite here. I make what I call my Rocky Road Brownies: Take any box mix that you like and add an additional 1 cup each of mini-marshmallows, chocolate chips and white chocolate chips to the recipe. It’ll need an extra ten minutes baking time, but they are absolutely delicious. Super moist.

Q. Were you a voracious reader as a child?

Always. I had to read before bed, late at night, under the covers, flashlight in hand. Now I’ve got a stocked e-reader, white words on a black background and I’m golden.

Q. What childhood books and authors had the great impact on you and has that carried over into adulthood?

This is a tough question, but I’d have to say Mercedes Lackey. She is one of the few authors that I have read so many her books. I love her world-building, the Heralds of Valdemar being my favorite. She also gave me my first exposure to M/M, but it was almost another dozen years before I truly discovered the genre.

Q. Favorite genre to read and write in?

I was a hard-core fantasy reader for a long, long time, especially anything with battle and military scenes. Up until 2011, I was eating up the children’s and teen fantasy fiction. I absolutely love the Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan and all of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson stories, but I got caught up in the 50 Shades phenomenon and then paranormal romance, eventually finding my way to the Goodreads M/M Romance Group. Hooked ever since, their Don’t Read in the Closet event is what finally got me writing. Haven’t looked back since.

Q Vulnerability in a character is a great way to grab onto a reader’s heart. Does that come into play when creating a character or does the character “appear” sort of fully formed?

My character’s are never fully formed until they start talking to me. Every time I sit down to write, they whisper the things they want to say and do. Putting actions (and their voice) into words takes time, but I strive to make it true-to-life.

Q. Title or story…which comes first

The story line first, but the title quickly follows. The working title usually holds through to the finale, with maybe a minor tweak. The cover comes last, although I usually get ideas from the story about what I want, they raely become reality. Not that I’m complaining, the finished product (assembled by fellow author and cover-composer, Shayla Mist) for both Opening Day, and its sequel, Evading Exodus, are stunning.

Q. What’s next for Alexis Woods?

That’s easy. Evading Exodus, as I mentioned above as the sequel to Opening Day will be available at the beginning of April.

Religion often plays a marked role in my stories, although not in an overbearing way. If you’re a member of Goodreads and kept up with Love’s Landscapes, I’ve got an unpublishable story there about two twin Jewish boys, and last winter I wrote Lion’s Hero, for the Boughs of Evergreen Anthology about an Angel and a Jewish man coming together during Chanukah. April marks the start of Passover and is the backdrop for Evading Exodus. This story is a bit longer at 16k and is told from Darren’s point of view. Darren, or Dare, as Ace comes to call him, worries about their relationship when an old friend of Ace’s arrives in town, and it just so happens that that old friend is also one of Darren’s exes. Friends and family join together, braving the plagues of Exodus, riding out the waves of miscommunication and discomfort, understanding and pleasure to brave their future together.
Following Evading Exodus, will be Ultimate Summer, book three of the series, to be released at the beginning of summer. It’s focused on two new characters, but Ace and Dare make a cameo appearance.

I’ve got at least two other short stories planned, and I am currently working on what I hope will be a novel length M/M/M romance backdropped on solving a cold-case murder.

STRW Author Bio and Contacts

About Alexis Woods...

Alexis Woods is the pen name of Alexis of Woods End, mundanely known as Alicia Mattson. You can find my reviews and book lists here.

I’m an: Author/Anachronist, Beta, Coffee Lover, Daughter/Dancer, Friend/Fighter, Jewish, Khazar, Lover/Leader, Mother/Medieval, Novice, Opinionated, Pharmacist, Romantic/Reenactor, Sister/Scout, Traveler, Visionary, Wife

Always an avid reader and colorful dreamer, it was only a matter of time before taking pen to paper, oftentimes literally. A firm believer in every song tells a story and every story has a song, I sing under my breath, tap my toes and swing my hips, much to the delight of my co-workers and friends. I freely admit that becoming a romance author is the best mid-life crisis a girl could ever have.

You can contact/follow Alexis Woods at:

If you’re another Author, I’d love to connect with you on Facebook.

Opening Day (Southern Jersey Shores #1) by Alexis Woods

Opening Day cover

STRW Author BookSynopsis

When pharmacy manager, Aaron Lark, known to his best friends as Ace, is dumped by his latest boyfriend, he decides to step back from the dating scene. What he doesn’t expect is for the blue-eyed pharmacist, Darren Goldman, to step into, and rock, his world. Bonding over beer, brownies and baseball, Ace and Darren play a game where hopefully both end up crossing home plate as winners.

STRW Spotlight Contest Header

To enter to win a eBook copy of Opening Day by Alexis Woods, leave a comment below about baseball and romance, or any combination thereof.  Use the link provided for all contest details. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Sales Links:    Beaten Track Publishing      All Romance (ARe)     Amazon        Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, 48 pages
Expected publication: March 1st 2015 by Beaten Track Publishing
edition languageEnglish
series Southern Jersey Shores #1

In the Spotlight: Baby, Think it Over by Hurri Cosmo


STRW In The Spotlight HeaderBaby, Think it Over by Hurri Cosmo
Tour Date March 4th

Baby, Think it Over Cover


Hurri Cosmo is here today with Baby, Think it Over.  We have an exclusive excerpt for all our readers.  Enjoy!

STRW Spotlight Book Excerpt

Exclusive Excerpt

The guard at the gate simply waved Tarell’s car through, since the Alans lived here in the same neighborhood as Rand.

Tarell wanted to stop and ask if the guard had seen Kedon come here and, if so, when, but he didn’t want to take the time. He cursed the time it was taking already, even knowing Kedon had most likely gotten to Rand’s only minutes earlier.

What could have happened in a few minutes?


He knew what Rand was after. He wanted the same thing as Tarell…Kedon.

Rand was, in fact, the reason Tarell had taken the initiative to pursue Kedon sooner than he’d planned to. He’d wanted to wait until he and Kedon were both were away at college. That’s why he’d made sure he’d gotten them into the same one.

But with Rand’s advances becoming more heated every day, Tarell had decided to forge ahead. The thing was, now that he’d spent the past two weeks with Kedon, Tarell’s feelings for him were even stronger than he’d ever expected. Yes, he burned for Kedon’s body, burned for his lips and those perfect nubs just right for nibbling. And, oh yes, he loved the inside of Kedon’s white, warm thighs that begged to be licked all the way up to Kedon’s beautiful balls. Tarell imagined getting one, then the other, fully in his mouth, tasting the muskiness of Kedon’s sweat and lust as he slowly milked Kedon’s cock, squeezing pre-cum from the tip so he could lick that up, too. Oh, Kedon’s hard shaft. How Tarell wanted to pull it into his mouth and suck up one side, then down the other, holding Kedon’s hips still as he swallowed him whole.

He knew that was what Rand wanted, too.

But Tarell now wanted not only to take Kedon’s body, he wanted Kedon’s affection. He wanted Kedon to trust him, in everything, from finances to stability to safety. He wanted to hear Kedon’s laugh, see his smiles. He wanted to hear his voice when he talked about totally random things, and watch Kedon’s ass when he walked. He wanted Kedon all to himself. He didn’t share well, never had, but this was totally different. He had wanted to get into Kedon’s pants for a long time, and when the fake baby project had come up in class, it had been too perfect of an opportunity to pass up. Especially with Rand stalking Kedon and making his interest all too obvious.

But in the short time Kedon and he had been alone together, Tarell had seen a side of himself he didn’t know existed. He found he liked himself when he was around Kedon. Not that he hadn’t liked himself before he had gotten to know Kedon, but he’d realized that life was more than just being an Alan. He’d realized that a possible life with Kedon was much more important than even being an Alan.

All his life the Alan name had gone before him, breaking through barriers and opening doors. Being part of a family that could influence nearly everything around them had been a foundation for him, a solid base to stand on. He had never questioned it before. But now? Now Kedon filled Tarell’s every thought, his very being. What did Kedon think, what would he say, how would he react? Those were the questions that were influential now, and it had changed everything for Tarell.

Being an Alan was powerful, but it paled in comparison to how Tarell felt about Kedon.
And now Kedon was in trouble.

Yes, Tarell wanted to be Kedon’s first. But more importantly, he wanted Kedon to make that choice. In Rand’s hands that was not going to happen.

BOOK TRAILERS:  http://youtu.be/RF0xCkE9BZA

Baby, Think it Over Banner

PUBLISHER: Amber Allure Publishing
RELEASE DATE: March 1, 2015

STRW Author BookSynopsis
Kedon can’t wait to go on the three week break from school. His parents are off on a vacation for two of them and he’s going to have the entire house all to himself. Except he forgot about a school project. One that would be half of his science grade, a grade he needs in order to graduate. The project? The class needs to “partner up” and take a baby home. 

Luckily, it’s only one of those computerized things, and Kedon’s convinced it’s not really a physiological exercise in “The Effects of a Child on a Young Couple”. He thinks it’s a not so veiled attempt at sex education; as in scaring the hell out of the seniors into not having any. Thing is, most of the seniors are already eighteen years old. It’s going to fall pretty much on deaf ears.

And to top it off the great Tarell Alan has decided Kedon is going to be his “wife” for the project. But Kedon’s not worried. Tarell did it to prove a point. He isn’t really going to spend the whole three weeks helping Kedon to take care of a baby. Especially one that seems to cry all the time.

But Kedon turns out to be wrong. Now Kedon is on his feet constantly, walking a colicky baby and running from a horny daddy! What’s a boy to do?

Book Links:
Amber Allure

STRW Author Bio and Contacts
Hurri Cosmo lives in Minnesota where she holds tight to the idea that there, where it’s cold a good part of the year, she won’t age as fast. Yep, she avoids the truth as much as she avoids mirrors. But one of the reasons she loves writing is reality doesn’t always offer up a “happily ever after” and being able to take control of that is a powerful lure. Being a happy ending junkie, writing just makes them easier to find. Oh, she doesn’t mind “real life” and she does try to at least keep it in mind when she writes her stories, but she truly loves creating a wonderful couple, knowing they will fall in love and have their HEA. Every – single – time. And, of course, that is exactly the reason she loves reading this genre, too. Give her a glass of red wine, some dark chocolate, and her computer, whether she is reading or writing, and she will entertain herself for hours. The fact she actually gets paid to do it is Snickers bars on the frosting on the cake.

Links to my sites:
Website: http://hurricosmo.webs.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OfficialHurriCosmo
Blog: http://hurricosmo.blogspot.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/?lang=en
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6466687.Hurri_Cosmo

In the Moment with Karen Stivali and Moment of Truth


Title: Moment of Truth (Book 2 of the Moments In Time Series) by Karen Stivali

MomentofTruth cover


Collin expected to spend another summer fixing cars and working at the college pizzeria. Instead, heís living in a beach house on Fire Island, waiting tables at a hip seaside restaurant and, for the first time since he and Tanner got together, they can publicly be known as boyfriends. Being ìoutî takes some getting used to, but with the help of new and old friends, Collin is happier than he ever imagined. And more in love. But newfound freedom brings unexpected challenges, and when friends get flirty, old insecurities arise. Moments of doubt and jealousy threaten their happiness, and Collin and Tanner must confront the truth or risk losing it all.

Author: Karen Stivali
Length: 33.000 words / 140 pages (novella)
Genre: New Adult, contemporary romance, gay romance, M/M
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Buy Moment of Impact

About the author

Karen Stivali is a prolific writer, compulsive baker and chocoholic with a penchant for books, movies, and fictional British men. Sheís also the multiple award-winning author of contemporary and erotic romances. Her lifelong fascination with people has led her to careers ranging from hand-drawn animator, to party planner, to marriage and family counselor, but writing has always been her passion. Karen enjoys nothing more than following her characters on their journey toward love. Whether the couples are m/f or m/m, itís guaranteed that Karenís novels are filled with food, friendship, love, and smoking hot sexóall the best things in life.

When Karen isnít writing (and often when she is), she can be found on Twitter attempting witty banter and detailing the antics of her fruit-loving cat, BadKitteh. She loves to hear from readers (and other writers), so donít hesitate to contact/follow/like her at:

Havenít read book 1 yet? Itís on sale for 99 cents until March 7th!

Moment of Impact

Outside Collin Fitzpatrickís dorm room is a dangerous place. Beyond his door the students of his small, conservative college think heís straight, as does his Catholic family whoíd disown him if they learned the truth. Inside, heís safe with his incredibly sexy roommate Tanner DíAmico. 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. Tannerís not used to being so confined, and wants to show the world how much he loves Collin. But Collinís not sure heís ready for the impact stepping outside will make.


Buy Moment of Impact

Links to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words reviews for Moment of Truth and Moment of Impact!

Moment of Impact

Moment of Truth