A MelanieM Review: Chance at Trust (Chance at Life Trilogy, #1) by Havan Fellows

Standard

Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5:

ChanceatTrust400x600The strength to walk away from an abusive long-term relationship proves Em is a survivor. But surviving isn’t necessarily living, and Em has created a life on a plateau of his own making, not even entertaining the idea of a new boyfriend. When he shows interest in a very sexy barista, his best friend sees a chance to open Em’s eyes to the possibilities in life.

Penn couldn’t help his double and triple take when the sexy man walked into his mother’s coffee shop. Priding himself on always remaining calm and collected in all situations, Penn is surprised by the strength of his attraction for this stranger. When the stranger’s loud-mouthed friend proposes a way for Penn to see Em again, he takes it.

While Em comes with baggage—his eyes tell a story of pain and distrust—Penn isn’t one to shy away from a challenge, especially when his heart is so quickly getting tied up in the equation, and he’s prepared to break through Em’s walls and give him a chance to trust.

Chance at Trust, the first story in a trilogy by Havan Fellows, starts with an introduction to Embry, Em, a character whose background of abuse and present state of emotions becomes the pivotal point on how readers will react to this story.  Em has left, with the help of his closest friend Joss, a deeply abusive relationship.  The abuse was not physical but inflicted verbally with deep, vicious impact continually throughout that relationship.  It was controlling, belittling, and it tore away Em’s feelings of self worth and confidence over a long period of time.  Unable to leave on his own power, it took his best friend pulling him from the apartment before he could get out.  Not a good sign by any means but definitely a realistic element.

When you start with a shattered man and introduce a relationship, that is often a problematic feature and I will admit, it was with me too.  I constantly wanted to see Em back with a worthwhile therapist working out his issues and trauma rather than seeing him stepping into a new relationship with all his wounds still open.  That said, Penn is such a lovely character, one defined by his gentle awareness and positive attitude that I pushed my concerns towards the back of my mind when reading the story…most of the time.

Joss, Em’s best friend, is that force of nature, whose dynamic personality pushes until the desired results are achieved.  I liked Joss as a character, goodness knows I have met people just like him in my life but combined with a friend still in recovery over a man who abused him, I did wonder at a friend who sort of acted to control events in Em’s life, albeit for totally different reasons.  This didn’t spoil the story for me but stuck, poking at me, in the back of my mind as I read along.  Would it bother you in the same way?  Not sure.

Penn, a barista, treats the idea of a relationship with Em with all the serious consideration it deserves.  He (and the author) recognize that Em is in recovery and that it will take time and a gentle approach to get him to trust again.  I loved that aspect of this story.  Penn is a layered character whose personality will pull you into the story if Em’s wounded nature pushes you away.  And together they represent the possibility of a wonderful future if they can maneuver through all the obstacles, emotional and otherwise, in their path.  I loved that tone of the story too.

Chance at Trust has no resolution, which as it should be since its the first in the trilogy.  Much of the story and growth for the characters is still to come.  Perhaps that’s why I wish the author had waited a little longer for the sexual aspect of this story to heat up.  It just seemed a little fast to me given Em’s past and mental state. And Penn’s recognition of the same.

It was these quibbles that brought the rating below 4 stars and the remaining stories when read as a whole could bring it up again.  Either way I can’t wait to see what is in store for Penn and Em (and Joss).  I will be waiting for the rest of the Trilogy to arrive.

Are wounded characters a pull for you?  Especially those with a chance for happiness and love before them?  Pick up Chance at Trust now or wait until the trilogy is finished, and see if romance and love gives Em another chance at happiness.

 Cover art by Laura Harner.  Not a favorite Harner cover.  I felt it could have been a little more dynamic, less elements to crowd the cover design.

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

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 60 pages
Published April 6th 2015 by Appleton Publishing Avenue
ASINB00VS2ZD0G
edition language English

A BJ Review: Just a Bit Twisted (Straight Guys #1) by Alessandra Hazard

Standard

Rating:  4.5 stars out of 5

just a bit twisted coverProfessor Derek Rutledge is hated and feared by all of his students. Strict, reserved and ruthless, he doesn’t tolerate mistakes and has little patience for his students.

Shawn Wyatt is a twenty-year-old struggling to provide for his younger sisters after the death of their parents. On the verge of losing his scholarship, Shawn becomes desperate enough to go to Professor Rutledge.

Everyone says Rutledge doesn’t have a heart. Everyone says he’s a ruthless bastard. Shawn finds out that everyone is right.

He strikes a deal with Rutledge, but unexpectedly, the deal turns into something so much more.

Something all-consuming and addictive.

Something neither of them wants

Shawn Wyatt’s attending college on a scholarship that he’s about to lose if his grades don’t improve. Losing his scholarship will jeopardize not only his future, but that of the younger sister he’s caring for after his parent’s death. In desperation, he turns to the most feared and hated professor on the campus to plead his case. A strict and uncompromising authoritarian, Professor Derek Rutledge offers no wiggle room to students when it comes to grades and goofing off. That is, until Shawn wiggles right in under his defenses. When Rutledge makes Shawn a deal he cannot refuse, it isn’t long before it turns into something far more complex.

This author excels at creating heat and sexual tension. A steamy hot, well-written and enjoyable read. While I didn’t love like the characters in this story as much as those in the first of the series (Straight Boy #.5), I did feel they were nuanced and interesting.

It took a bit of reading between the lines before I came to grudgingly accept Professor Rutledge and his arrogant surliness. And I say accept because I never did grow to like him exactly. I wanted him to show me the chinks in his closed-off armor, but he never really did. The tiny glimmers of what lay under his surly surface weren’t quite enough. I’d have liked more. Shawn and the twins were great. And a highlight of the story for me was scenes where Xavier and Sage from the first book stepped in. Love those two. I’m also quite intrigued by Shawn’s quirky friend Christian who will take center stage in the next book of the series. 

While I found the relationship development between Derek and Shawn a bit hard to swallow (especially how it began), I was quite willing to overlook that in the whole scheme of the story because… well, it was hot as hell.

It all just somehow fits. Just a bit twisted, and just a whole hella hot.

Cover Artist ? When I first looked at the cover, I found it quite unappealing. But looking back at it AFTER reading the book, I’m totally on board with it, because that scowling cover model rather embodies the surly Professor Rutledge. It fits.

Sales Links:     Amazon             Buy It Here
Book Details:

ebook, 160 pages
Published December 4th 2014 by Alessandra Hazard
edition languageEnglish
seriesStraight Guys #1

In the Spotlight: Jordan L. Hawk, her release “Hoarfrost” and the Whyborne & Griffin series (author interview and giveaway)

Standard

Hoarfrost cover

Hoarfrost (Whyborne & Griffin #6)
by Jordan L. Hawk

Sales Links:   All Romance (ARe)       Amazon      

STRW In The Spotlight Header

 

Our  Q and A with Jordan L. Hawk, on her  Whyborne & Griffin series and much more…

Do you see children in Whyborne & Griffin’s future?

Griffin would be a fabulous father from day one, and love every minute of it. Whyborne would have no idea what to do with a baby, but once it started talking he would probably be okay. Given the time period, I don’t see any children of their own as feasible, but that’s not to say they wouldn’t be amazing godfathers to any friends of theirs who happen to procreate at some point. *shifty eyes*

How do you figure out between the two whose story is it time to tell?

A lot of it has to do with where the characters are in their relationships with each other and themselves. Widdershins was very much Whyborne’s story to kick things off, and Threshold was critical in negotiating the parameters of Whyborne and Griffin’s relationship so that they could move forward. So it felt natural to have Stormhaven focus largely on Griffin’s issues, since we’d already tackled some of Whyborne’s, and then Necropolis is about Whyborne’s relationship with Christine. Of course during all of this Whyborne’s character arc has been ticking along, so Bloodline mirrors Widdershins in some ways, in that it’s about Whyborne deciding who he’s going to be.

In Hoarfrost we’re very much back to “this is Griffin’s story” just as Stormhaven was. He has deep issues with family, both in the reality of what his family is and what he dreams of it being, and it was definitely time to tackle those. I’d go on, but I don’t want to give too much away! 😀

How many books do you see in this series?

My criteria for a series is twofold: 1) there’s more story to tell (and I want to tell it) and 2) readers want to read it. At this point, I’ve ideas through book 9. Which does not mean 9 is the limit, only that’s what I have a solid plot for. After that, we’ll see!

Do you ever see yourself writing a modern/contemporary male male romance novel? If so, when would it be out?

Well, I already write contemporary paranormal with my SPECTR series and Hainted. As far as pure contemporary romance without paranormal elements, I don’t see myself ever writing it. My first love will always be for the fantastic, and it’s deeply engrained in everything I write.

Will Whyborne & Griffin ever cross paths with Henry & Vincent?

Alas, they live in two completely universes, so no. And I think Whyborne had his fill of ghost hunters when he and Griffin encountered KJ Charles’s Simon and Robert in “Remnant.” 😉

STRW Author BookSynopsis

Hoarfrost(Whyborne & Griffin: Book 6) 
Previous Book: Bloodline

Sorcerer Percival Endicott Whyborne and his husband Griffin Flaherty have enjoyed an unprecedented stretch of peace andHoarfrost cover quiet. Unfortunately, the calm is shattered by the arrival of a package from Griffin’s brother Jack, who has uncovered a strange artifact while digging for gold in Alaska. The discovery of a previously unknown civilization could revive the career of their friend Dr. Christine Putnam—or it might kill them all, if the hints of dark sorcery surrounding the find are true.

With Christine and her fiancé Iskander, Whyborne and Griffin must journey to the farthest reaches of the arctic to stop an ancient evil from claiming the life of Griffin’s brother. But in the rough mining camp of Hoarfrost, secrets fly as thickly as the snow, and Whyborne isn’t the only sorcerer drawn by the rumors of magic. Amidst a wilderness of ice and stone, Griffin must either face his greatest fear—or lose everyone he loves.

Find Mika’s STRW Review Here.

Book Details:

ebook, 274 pages
Published April 21st 2015 by Jordan L. Hawk
original title Hoarfrost
ISBN139781941230114
edition languageEnglish
url http://jordanlhawk.com/books/whyborne-griffin/
seriesWhyborne & Griffin #6
charactersGriffin Flaherty, Percival Endicott Whyborne

 

The Whyborne & Griffin series:
Widdershins (Book 1)
Threshold (Book 2)
Stormhaven (Book 3)
Necropolis (Book 4)
Bloodline (Book 5)
Hoarfrost (Book 6)

Eidolon (A Whyborne & Griffin short story)
Remnant (A Whyborne & Griffin/Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal short story) – written with KJ Charles
Carousel (A Whyborne & Griffin short story) – in the Another Place in Time anthology

STRW Author Bio and Contacts

About Jordan L. Hawk…

Jordan L. Hawk grew up in the wilds of North Carolina, where she was raised on stories of haints and mountain magic by her bootlegging granny and single mother. After using a silver knife in the light of a full moon to summon her true love, she turned her talents to spinning tales. She weaves together couples who need to fall in love, then throws in some evil sorcerers and undead just to make sure they want it bad enough. In Jordan’s world, love might conquer all, but it just as easily could end up in the grave.Jordan L. Hawk image

Find/follow Jordan L. Hawk at:

STRW Spotlight Contest Header

 Enter to win an eBook of your choice from Jordan L. Hawk’s back library.  To enter to win, leave a comment with your email address below and use the link provided for more contest options.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Giveaway provided by the author.

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

It’s A Series Spotlight! Storming Love: Flood from MLR Press! (6 authors, 1 giveaway)

Standard

StormingLoveFlood_base

 Storming Love: Flood 6 Book Collection from MLR Press!

Storming Love: Flood Authors: NJ Nielsen, Jenn Dease, Jambrea Jo Jones,

AC Katt, Pelaam, Cherie Noel

STRW In The Spotlight Header

Winter has left, however slowly, and Spring is upon us!  With it can come torrential rains and the accompanying floods.  MLR Press has a new collection with love, romance and wild weather once more at its heart!  This time its floods.  Check out all the authors, titles, couples and details below.    Now grab an oar and let’s start paddling!

Banner300x250

 

Storming Love: Flood Couples names:
NJ Nielsen: Adrian and Lockie
Jenn Dease: Bridge and Doug
Jambrea Jo Jones: Pete and McKenzie
AC Katt: Derrick and Steven
Pelaam: Euan and Gregg
Cherie Noel: Patric and Sam

A note from Jambrea Jo Jones on Pete and McKenzie,her Storming Love: Flood Couple!

Thank you for letting me stop by the site!

I’m part of the Storming Love series MLR Press is doing. I’m taking on the disaster that is known as the flood.

We have our fair share of floods in Indiana. I remember one really bad one when I was younger. I’m pretty sure it made national news.

Watching the national news and seeing cars floating in the street because someone didn’t pay attention to floor warnings has me shaking my heads, but I can see how it can happen. You think you’ve got a car that can take a little bit of water then it starts gushing in and you’re stuck. Which happens to my poor hero, McKenzie. You can find out what happens when you read the book.

Please leave a comment for your chance at an ebook copy of my story from Storming Love, Pete & McKenzie.

Jambrea_Jo_JonesBlurb:

McKenzie Hallowell was born and bred in Copper Creek. He knew what could happen during flash flood season, but that didn’t stop him from driving through water during a storm. Almost dying might be the best thing that ever happened to him.

Pete Compton moved to town five years ago to take over a feed store. He’d been crushing on McKenzie Hallowell almost from the start. A flash flood brings them together, but will it also bring them love?
Again, thanks for letting me stop by!

STRW Author BookSynopsis

Release dates and Blurb(s):

April 3
STORMING LOVE: FLOOD – Adrian & Lockie by N.J. Nielsen: 30,270 wordsN.J._Nielsen
Adrian Clarke knows his life is a hot mess. This is only one of the reasons he boards a plane and flies halfway around the world—so he can escape everything that’s determined to see him break. Lockie Rivers has worked his whole life on Tenderfoot Downs. After his boss died, Lockie remained as caretaker for the new owner—a man who’d never even set foot on the place. When circumstances bring them face to face, a flash flood comes along to threaten their very existence. Can virtual strangers work together to save their home, their hearts, and find their own slice of heaven?

April 10
STORMING LOVE: FLOOD – Bridge & Doug by Jenn Dease: 22,400 wordsJenn_Dease
Fourth generation lawman, Bridge Bridgerton, has never seen Copper Creek, Texas, flood before. Doug Jones is a lifeguard stopping in Copper Creek to look after his grandfather’s house. Together, they help rescue some of the residents trapped in the rising water. And together, they feel an attraction for each other that gets stronger day by day. But, will they be able to stay together once the water goes down?

 

April 17
STORMING LOVE: FLOOD – Pete & McKenzie by Jambrea Jo Jones: 10,300 wordsJambrea_Jo_Jones
McKenzie Hallowell was born and bred in Copper Creek. He knew what could happen during flash flood season, but that didn’t stop him from driving through water during a storm. Almost dying might be the best thing that ever happened to him.
Pete Compton moved to town five years ago to take over a feed store. He’d been crushing on McKenzie Hallowell almost from the start. A flash flood brings them together, but will it also bring them love?

 

April 24
STORMING LOVE: FLOOD – Steven & Derrick by A.C. Katt: 13,102 wordsA.C.Katt
When a flash flood strikes, Steven stays behind at school to find a little girl who hid from the storm. His lover, Derrick, comes to rescue them both but can only get Josie out. Will Derrick be able to get back to the elementary school in time to get Steven or will he lose him to the raging flood waters?

 

May 1
STORMING LOVE: FLOOD – Euan & Gregg by Pelaam: 21,527 wordsPelaam
Euan looks forward to spending time with his best friend, and unrequited love, Gregg. But Gregg has a confession himself, he isn’t the straight jock Euan thinks. When the truth emerges, Euan learns of a side to his friend’s life he never imagined.
Just as they find out the truth Mother Nature unleashes her fury and they’re trapped on a mountain during the flood.
Even if they weather nature’s storm, there is still a more personal fury to be faced.

May 8
STORMING LOVE: FLOOD – Patric & Sam by Cherie Noel: 17,515 wordsSamPatric_CherieHall_StormingFlood
Patric Carselowey stole Samuel Touchet-Smith’s heart six years ago in an incendiary act of passion. Then he disappeared, joining the Army without a word. When he returned, treating Sam like stranger, he broke Sam’s heart. Now Sam’s meddling Maman and sister have booked him a hiking tour with Patric as the guide. Caught in the unexpected storm, will Sam’s wounded heart be healed during their race to safety or crushed once and for all by lingering misunderstandings and lost memories?

Publisher: MLR Press
Cover Artist: Kris Jacen
Categories: Contemporary, Gay Fiction, Romance, Western/Cowboy (Please note that not all books will contain all elements.)

STRW Spotlight Book Excerpt

Sales Links:  Storming Love: Flood at MLR Books

Patric and Sam by Cherie Noel
Chapter One

Sam’s first indication that the damnable duo of Céleste and Delphine Touchet-Smith were plotting about his love life—again—came during Sunday dinner. The twin terrors of Copper Creek, Texas, a.k.a. his beloved maman and mostly tolerated sister, couldn’t go more than six months without interfering in les affaires de coeur, or if you wanted it in plain English, matters of the heart. Sam’s heart to be precise. They called it trying to get him settled. He called it a damned lot of tom-foolery. Seeing as Maman and Del were well into their eighth month without any shenanigans, Sam let himself get a touch too comfortable. He couldn’t help it. He liked the lack of what his maman called—and good Lord did the woman ever lay on the French accent thick as anything when she said it—eligible bachelors showing up out of the blue for Sunday dinner. He really should have seen it coming, though.
Sadly, he didn’t. Instead he tumbled through the weather beaten door of the hundred year old farmhouse where he’d grown up with only seconds to spare—if he was lucky—before his maman decided he was late. Lord help him if that happened, because then she’d start to think up ways to punish his “lack of proper decorum”. His mind firmly fixed on the delicious meal in his immediate future, Sam hot-footed it into the house blind as a new kitten and innocent as a fluffy little baby chick. With his mind more on squeaking in under the wire than being alert to signs and symptoms of meddling, he was ripe for their not-so-subtle machinations.
His wind-milling arms and rubber-chicken legs were half excessive speed on the well waxed floorboards of the front hall, half pure nerves, and one hundred percent Sam. He thanked his lucky stars he wasn’t in Del’s line of sight when he came in, because that would have been fuel for her to heap on the bonfires of their lovingly antagonistic sibling rivalry. She got plenty of mileage out of his clumsiness as it was. His whole life had been plagued by the same trademark lack of grace–it happened anytime he got too nervous. Today’s occurrence made perfect sense in light of his late arrival and the possible revocation of all beignet and crawfish étouffée privileges for a full week. Sam whimpered at the thought.
While enduring a longer span of time than seven days without Maman’s famous étouffée caused severe mood swings, more than three days without beignets might well be a death sentence. That was Sam’s philosophy on the matter and he saw no reason to ever risk such a dire outcome. So he zipped out of his Jeep, sprinted across the front porch, and then yes, tumbled through the front door with no thought to who or what might be on the other side.
Maman and Del’s chattering voices flowed from the kitchen, echoing back and forth down the hall. Paying them all his attention, he tripped over Cletus, otherwise known as Cletus the Lazy, Maman’s old brindle mess of long legs, floppy ears and slobber. Maman insisted he was an example of canine perfection. If you asked Sam the mutt was far from achieving the pinnacle of dogdom. In point of fact, the disreputable lump spent ninety percent of his time masquerading as a throw rug in the front hall—directly in the path of anyone coming in the door. Therein lay the problem. The dog too, or Sam might have gotten all the facts quicker and hightailed it out of Maman’s front door before he got caught in her matchmaking scheme.
All Sam knew in the moment was that he was sweating like a whore in church and praying Maman was in a good mood. Then, he swore he heard Del saying his name with intent as stepped forward to shut the front door. He tip-toed along like a ninja or a spy—at least in his mind—but was foiled by Cletus. The mange infested throw rug yelped out a piteous aaaarrrhhh—oooo—wee and followed that up with a snuffle-whuffle and the doggy sad-side-eye. All sounds from the kitchen ceased. A weighty beat of silence passed, and then Sam’s maman called out. Her dulcet tones dripped false innocence as they echoed along the passageway. Good Christ, he really should have known.
“Samuel, cher, we’re just finishing up in the kitchen. You go on mon fils, wash up now. We be through to the dining room in a moment.”
Sam rolled his eyes. “Maman, we ain’t in de Louisiana bayou no more. You gotta use English. Proper American-style English. I know you speak it, what with all the times you done tanned my backside for not speaking proper when I was in school.”
A choked off snort followed by a thwapping sound came from the kitchen. Then the amusing melody of his sister’s indignation. “Maman, you didn’t have to smack me with the spatula. You got to admit, Sam talking his personal proper Texas-American style language is pretty damn funny.”
Another thwap echoed down the hall. Sam snickered. Del yelped, louder than Cletus had, and then Sam’s maman was talking. Her tone, all edge of the bayou Creole haughty with a dash of pure southern belle temper made it clear he’d gone and stepped in a heap of trouble. Between her conciliatory tone, the lack of reprimand for stepping on Cletus, and her handling of Del, the handwriting was on the wall. It was too late for him to escape altogether, but he stood a fair chance of mitigating the damage if he could figure out what the heck those two half-crazy bayou belles were plotting. Waiting in silence should push one of them to fill the void. Maman’s long, soft vowels and deliberate Parisian-style French warned him. Whatever they were planning, he was gonna be madder than a twice baited bull.
“Ah, we-el, mon fils, je suis tres desole. No matter. I will do my best to speak only the finest King’s English, no?”
Delphine appeared around the edge of the kitchen door before Maman stopped speaking. Her soft brown eyes huge in her little heart-shaped face, she hissed at him. Waving her hands back and forth like angry birds picking at a scarecrow, she advanced.
“Oh my gosh. Sam, I swear Maman dropped you on your head every day you was a boy! Lock up your lips tout de suite before Maman kicks us both out without supper. Just think about it. No more homemade beignets, no crawfish étouffée…and a whole week long to wait for another chance at them.”
Narrowing his eyes, Sam sniffed and pointed at his sister. “I can make my own red beans and rice, little cat, so put your claws away. And…ah, hell, get out of the way so I can go apologize to Maman.”
His vain attempt to camouflage the utter terror of going so long without Maman’s beignets only caused his sister to smile, flip the long tail of her braid over her shoulder, and murmur as she sashayed around him. “Suck up.”
Sam grunted. “You’re damn skippy I am, cher. Ain’t a body on Earth can cook like Maman…I plan on staying in her good graces forever.”
Del laughed, just like he knew she would. Warmth spread through his chest. Sisters. Shaking his head, Sam curled one side of his mouth up and flicked the end of her braid. He never got tired of being able to predict how she would react. Chuckling quietly, Sam ambled through the kitchen door. Spreading his arms, hanging his head and gazing up through his lashes, he gave his best little boy grin. “Sorry Maman. I didn’t mean no disrespect.”
Céleste tossed a small kitchen towel over one shoulder. “Hmmpf.”
Sam snuggled up to her, bending down to hug her tight. “Je suis tres desole, Mamam. Ne soyez pas en colère contre moi.”
Laughing, Céleste pushed him toward the dining room doorway. “Delphine is right. You are a suck up. You sit down, cher. I still be serving crawfish étouffée, you terrible boy. Non, non, you were late getting here, Sam, and you think I did not notice? On second thought, you get right back up. Go help your sister set the table if you want to earn your way back into my good graces.”
They waited until he was stuffed fuller than a suckling pig destined for the table before dropping the bomb. When Del met his eyes directly, and Maman cleared her throat twice in a row, Sam froze in place. Del’s smile wobbled ever so slightly as she began to speak.
“Now, Sam, we done paid already, and there’s no refunds possible.”
Eyes closed to mere slits, Sam waited her out.
“The thing is, you been working too hard. Everybody says so. And wel—”
Maman folded her napkin with small, neat motions, and Sam dropped his head forward to rest his forehead in the palms of both hands. “Just tell me what the two of you have cooked up besides the delicious étouffée I done just ate too much of?”
Del turned beseeching eyes toward Maman. The elder Touchet-Smith woman at least had the grace to get a splash of red in both cheeks. “Samuel, cher, we done booked you a little hiking trip. With Carselowey Tours. You work so hard taking care of us, ever since your père et grand-père, ah, father and grandfather passed. We just wanted to say thank you.”
Sam choked, coughed, and sprayed a mouthful of étouffée across the table, missing Delphine by inches. The bright smile Maman wore as she spoke dimmed. She and Delphine both stared down at their plates. Del grimaced.
“Oh, Sam, it was such a good deal, but because we booked so close to the departure date they can’t offer a refund. Well, except in case of death or extreme medical emergency. And I’m pretty sure bull-headed refusal to take a vacation don’t count.”
Closing both eyes, Sam sucked in a steadying breath before giving in as gracefully as he could.
“Ah. I guess that clears up the issue of what to do with my vacation days this year. When do I leave?”
Delphine cornered him in the front hall after he’d made his farewells to Maman and before he made good on his bid for freedom. Wrapping a strand of her curly brown hair around one finger, she plunked her back against the front door and pressed both little palms against the center of his chest. “Listen, you hard head—I been hearing some things. I want you to promise me to go on this trip. I know you got some kinda powerful dislike for Patric Carselowey, but Maman put down a heap of money she had put by for something else just so’s you could take some time away from that store. I—just you promise to go, you hear me? Go. And maybe find out if there might have been some reason he did whatever made you come all over fulla hate for him so quick. Can you do that for me, cher?”
Sam glared down at Del. “You so fulla yourself. One day somebody going to throw a little magic your way bayou girl, and we see how you like that.”
Del huffed out a breath. “I never!”
“Ha. I’m going on this trip. For Maman. But you? Best admire those eyebrows while you still got them.” Sam backed away as he spoke, knowing Del would do the same thing as always in three-two-one…
“I’m gonna tell Maman you threatening my eyebrows again!” she screeched and lunged toward him. Sam dodged around her, jerked the front door open and ran like the wind. He laughed his fool head off all the way to his Jeep, too.

STRW Author Bio and Contacts

  • About the authors:
    NJ Nielsen: 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.
    Jenn Dease: Jenn Dease is a Chef with a reading and writing addiction. The six bookcases in her bedroom are proof of this. She was born and raised in Pittsburgh with one of those families that have four generations in a four block radius. The Redheads, or her sisters, are the best things in her life. When they want to be.
    Jambrea Jo Jones: Jambrea wanted to be the youngest romance author published, but life impeded the dreams. She put her writing aside and went to college briefly, then enlisted in the Air Force. After serving in the military, she returned home to Indiana to start her family. A few years later, she discovered yahoo groups and book reviews. There was no turning back. She was bit by the writing bug.
    She enjoys spending time with her son when not writing and loves to receive reader feedback. She’s addicted to the internet so feel free to email her anytime.
  • AC Katt: She lives in New Mexico with her husband and new cat who, just as she does loves paper and words. She got a late start to her writing career but is now in a writing frenzy. Go figure!
  • Pelaam: Living in clean, green New Zealand Pelaam is a multi-published author of m/m romance and erotica. She’s loved writing since childhood and to become an author is a cherished dream come true. She grew up reading fairy tales and watching science fiction, horror and fantasy. When not writing she can be found indulging in her other passions of cookery and wine appreciation.
    Cherie Noel: Cherie’s been in love with words since before she drew breath, and doesn’t see that ever changing. She write stories, full stop. Sometimes there’s music with them, sometimes they’re poems, and lately, to her great delight, a plethora of M/M fiction and erotic romance. Yum. Smexy man to the second…or third power…now that’s the kinda math Cherie can get behind!!

The hair curls or frizzes as it will, the eyes are green and tend to look in two different directions—no, really—and the rest is subject to change. You know the guy who didn’t know if he was a butterfly dreaming he was a man or a man dreaming he was a butterfly? Yeah, that’s Cherie, but substitute drag queen for butterfly and wacky, wild ex-Army chick for man.

Where to find the authors:

On Goodreads:

NJ Nielsen: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5042080.N_J_Nielsen
Jambrea Jo Jones: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2856938.Jambrea_Jo_Jones
Pelaam: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4425974.Pelaam
Cherie Noel: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4874967.Cherie_Noel

Facebook:
NJ Nielsen: https://www.facebook.com/norma.nielsen.9
Jenn Dease: https://www.facebook.com/Jenn.Dease.5
Jambrea Jo Jones: https://www.facebook.com/JambreaJoJones
AC Katt: http://www.facebook.com/ackatt
Pelaam: https://www.facebook.com/pamela.pelaamone
Cherie Noel: https://www.facebook.com/CherieNoel

Facebook Author Page:
NJ Nielsen:https://www.facebook.com/pages/NJ-Nielsen/793520884042153?ref=bookmarks
Jambrea Jo Jones: https://www.facebook.com/groups/565548900226323/
Pelaam: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pelaam/1467778320131583?ref=hl
Cherie Noel: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cherie-Noel/253662497986298

Twitter:
NJ Nielsen: @NJNielsen1 https://twitter.com/NJNielsen1
Jenn Dease: @momsdesk1 https://twitter.com/momsdesk1
Jambrea Jo Jones: https://twitter.com/Jambrea @jambrea
AC Katt: https://twitter.com/ackatt @ackatt
Cherie Noel: https://twitter.com/authornoel

Pinterest:
Jambrea Jo Jones: https://www.pinterest.com/jambrea/
AC Katt: : https://www.pinterest.com/ackatt/
Cherie Noel: https://www.pinterest.com/authorcnoel/
Other:
NJ Nielsen: Blogger: http://normanielsen.blogspot.com.au/ WordPress: https://nielsennj.wordpress.com/ Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/profile/public-profile-settings?trk=prof-0-ovw-public_profile-secondary Google +: https://plus.google.com/u/0/108478475874292907770/posts
Jenn Dease: WordPress: http://www.jenndease.com
Jambrea Jo Jones: http://www.jambrea.com
AC Katt: http://www.ackatt.com http://www.ackattsjournal.com
Cherie Noel: Blogger: http://talesfromthewritingcave.blogspot.com/ Website: http://www.cherienoel.com/
Linked In: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/cherie-noel/46/b2/52/

BannerTemplate

Tour Dates & Stops:Parker Williams, Inked Rainbow Reads, MM Good Book Reviews, Bayou Book Junkie, Bike Book Reviews, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Carly’s Book Reviews, Tara Lain, BFD Book Blog, Hearts on Fire, Velvet Panic, Cate Ashwood, Charley Descoteaux, Chris McHart, The Hat Party, Up All Night, Read All Day, It’s Raining Men, Michael Mandrake

 

 STRW Spotlight Contest Header

Contest: Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: $50 Gift Card. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Prizes and links provided by the publisher, authors, and Pride Promotions.

PLUS……Each author is also giving away a small gift at each blog stop. Either some small bits of swag, an eBook copy of their food story, or something from their backlist.   Leave a comment and an email address where you can be reached!

Rafflecopter Code:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

In the Spotlight: Freeing His Mercenary (Mercenary in Love #3) by Vanessa Sims (interview, excerpt and giveaway)

Standard

Freeing His Mercenary Cover

Freeing His Mercenary (Mercenary in Love #3) by Vanessa Sims

STRW In The Spotlight Header
M/M Contemporary Romance Novella
Book Release Date: April 15th, 2015

Freeing his Mercenary Teaser corrected

Our Mini Q and A with Vanessa Sims…

The inspiration behind the characters and plot?

You know I never really thought about what inspired a character for me. I know I try to make them likable and a down to earth. I can’t really say if I hit the mark with all of my characters, but I hope I do with majority of them.

For Freeing His Mercenary I tried for heartbroken with Christian. I mean everybody has had their heartbroken once or twice in their life and if they haven’t that is awesome. Rick was a little more complicated. For him he needed to be confused but still have a little personality. I ‘m not sure if he came off that way, but I tried really hard for him to be that way. (If that makes sense at all.) For Elliot, I wanted him to be the sassy one. The one that just didn’t really care what Christian thought of him.

I hope that’s what you meant by inspiration.

For the plot, I try to think of something that is believable with a little twist to it. Or something I would find funny and I hope like heck I hit the mark.

STRW Author BookSynopsis

 

What would you do if the man you loved woke up and didn’t remember you?

Christian Storm was your normal kick ass bad boy, until his best friend admitted to having feelings for him. One the heel of Rick’s confession, Christian gets his act together, and starts a relationship with Rick.The case they’re working on together goes sour at the end and Rick is taken.

After a few days Rick is found broken and battered. When he wakes up in the hospital, Rick doesn’t know who he or anyone else is.

Now Christian has to find the man responsible for Rick’s abduction and attack before he strikes again. With his mind preoccupied with finding Logan, will Christian be able to convince Rick that they are deeply in love with each other? Or will Christian lose everything he holds dear?

Mercenary Extra Banner

Notes: Freeing His Mercenary is the continuation of Taming His Mercenary.
Buy Links:  Amazon

STRW Spotlight Book Excerpt

Fuck they found him and it was all Christian’s fault. If he hadn’t come, Elliot would have been long gone.

“Go to your room,” Christian ordered.

“What the hell? I know how to take care of myself.” Maybe not against trained killers, but it was the principle of everything.

As he glared at Christian, something hit the wall behind his head. There was a slight sting making Elliot touch his ear, only to have the tips of his fingers come back bloody. One second he was staring at the blood on his fingers, the next his body was being pulled to the floor. The weight of Christian’s much heavier frame covering his as their assailant shot off a few more rounds.

“I’m going to distract him. I want you to crawl to the other side of the room, closer to the kitchen.” Christian whispered into his ear, and if his treacherous body didn’t pick that moment to go all soft and buttery, as if Christian were whispering sweet nothings into his ear and not trying to save his life. What the hell is wrong with me?

Putting that question to the back of his mind, Elliot started to low crawl to the other side of the room as Christian lifted up to return fire. As he settled behind the loveseat, he realized he was trapped because someone had just broken in through the kitchen door.

“Oh, fuck.”

Not giving himself time to think, Elliot stood up and charged the man that came through the door, tackling him to the floor. Sitting on the man’s chest, he delivered a right hook to the man’s jaw, knocking him unconscious. Scrambling off the man, Elliot quickly grabbed the discarded gun. Elliot wanted to take a break to give his heart time to slow down before it beat out of his chest. Before he could put that plan to action, he swung around with the gun pointed at the man that just entered the kitchen.

“Stop right fucking there!”

“Whoa. There’s no need to be hostile.”

“What the fuck? You came here to kill me and I’m the one that’s hostile?”

“Hardly. Christian come get your guard dog.”

At Christian’s name, Elliot realized that it had gone quiet in the living room. What the hell is going on? Was Christian okay? Why the hell did that matter?

“Killian when did you get here?” Elliot nearly jumped out of his skin at Christian’s words directly behind him.

“Not too long ago. There were two others out there waiting to get in. I took care of them.” Killian stated before looking pointedly at Elliot. “Are you going to tell him to put the gun down or am I going to have to take it from him?”

“Elliot, he’s good.” Christian stated calmly.

He wasn’t so sure about that, no matter how velvety soft Christian’s voice sounded in his ear. They could be waiting for him to let his guard down so they could kidnap him to get the information on Logan they needed. He could probably take one of them, but not both. Before he could tell Christian how not good he was, the gun was taken from him. He looked at Killian with shock and awe.

“I really don’ like guns pointed at me.” He said to Elliot, then looked over his shoulder. “I take it he had nothing to do with Rick’s condition?”

STRW Author Bio and Contacts

I live in Texas but originally I am from Trenton, NJ. When I graduated from high school, I joined the military. Yay me. I did three years with one tour to Iraq. I am happily married because seriously would put that they are unhappy. I have three kids. No pets, they scare me. I am currently a stay at home mom and I love to read! A lot.

Where to find the author:
Website: http://vanessasimsbooks.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/VanessaSims18
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vsims2014
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Vanessa-Sims/e/B00KCWTA16
Goodreads
Instagram: https://instagram.com/vanessa.sims/

STRW Spotlight Contest Header

Contest:  Enter to win the following giveaway. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Link and prizes provided by the author.

Rafflecopter: All three books in the Mercenary in Love series and a $10 GC Amazon/B&N

Rafflecopter Code:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Individual Blog Giveaway: One copy of Freeing His Mercenary. Leave a comment to be entered as well as an email address where you can be reached.

Special Mercenary Series Notes:

Vanessa also would like to let people know that His Mercenary will be free after April 15 th!

His Mercenary CoverHis Mercenary by Vanessa L. Sims
About His Mercenary:
Chase Black and his team are Mercenaries who go after Human Traffickers.
Working a case for the FBI, Chase meets special agent Cameron Allen.
Special Agent Cameron Allen has been with the FBI for five years.
Being an openly gay man in the agency is not easy, but he does his job well.
Chase and Cameron team up to find Angelo Marini, who has escaped from FBI custody. Working close together, Chase and Cameron can’t fight their attraction for each other, even if they wanted to.
What happens when a Mercenary and FBI agent come together to find a wanted fugitive and fall in love in the process?

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22663866-his-mercenary
Buy Links: Amazon • B&N • ARe • Smashwords • Kobo • iTunes

Taming His MercenaryTaming His Mercenary Cover
Synopsis:
When a missing persons case turns into a race to save a woman from human traffickers, Christian Storm and Rick North must not only deal with the increasingly dangerous situation, but also the stormy emotions building between them.

Coworkers and best friends, Rick and Christian have always worked together seamlessly, but that is beginning to change. Rick has been denying his true feelings for Christian for years, but has finally been pushed to his breaking point. He decides it’s time to either move forward with Christian or move on.

Christian’s a one-night-stand kind of guy who lives for fun and has no interest in a serious relationship. When Rick lays his feelings on the line one night, Christian doesn’t know what to do. He’s never thought of Rick as anything more than a friend, and is terrified that no matter how he responds to Rick’s revelation their friendship will never be the same.

When the criminals they are chasing bring the fight to their doorstep one of their own is captured. Christian and Rick must put aside their emotions and work together like never before in order to stay one step ahead of the danger that threatens their very lives.

With so much on the line, will Rick and Christian be able to give love a chance, or are the odds against them stacked too high?

Warning: This book is intended for a mature audience.
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23310921-taming-his-mercenary
Buy Links: Amazon • B&N • ARe • Smashwords • Kobo • iTunes

Book Announcements: RJ Scott’s Guarding Morgan – Translation and Audio Editions

Standard

 

Sanctuary 1 Guarding Morgan

Book News! Guarding Morgan Now Available in

French and Italian translations and audiobook

About Guarding Morgan, the first in the Sanctuary series by RJ Scott:

Morgan Drake witnesses a murder in an alleyway. He is the only person who can give evidence in prosecuting the cop responsible for the crime. When the FBI safe house where he’s being held is compromised, he follows the instructions of his agent in charge and runs.

Nik Valentinov works for Sanctuary, a foundation that offers witness protection when FBI security is questionable.

When Morgan’s handler sends him to Nik for safety, neither Morgan nor Nik could imagine that two weeks alone in a cabin in the woods could start something more. Something way more than just trying to keep Morgan alive. Something that makes their heart race more than danger…… Love.

Where To Find It:

Sanctuary Series (a Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Rec’d Series):

About RJ Scott

RJ Scott has been writing since age six, when she was made to stay in at lunchtime for an infraction involving cookies. She was told to write a story and two sides of paper about a trapped princess later, a lover of writing was born.

As an avid reader herself, she can be found reading anything from thrillers to sci-fi to horror. However, her first real true love will always be the world of romance where she takes cowboys, bodyguards, firemen and billionaires (to name a few) and writes dramatic and romantic stories of love and passion between these men.

With over seventy titles to her name and counting, she is the author of the award winning book, The Christmas Throwaway. She is also known for the Texas series charting the lives of Riley and Jack, and the Sanctuary series following the work of the Sanctuary Foundation and the people it protects.

Her goal is to write stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, that hint of a happily ever after.

Contact/follow RJ Scott at: