A MelanieM Review: Velocity (Flight HA1710 #2) by Sara York

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Velocity coverThe crash of Flight HA1710 brings life into focus for Phil Stewart. Before meeting Davin Tierney, love seemed only a myth to Phil, but one night in New York City changed everything, giving him something he didn’t even know existed. But Phil wasn’t comfortable saying I love you. During the crash, Davin suffers a brain injury, leaving him in a coma. Phil wonders how love can be so cruel to give him Davin and then take him away so suddenly.

Davin never intended to give Phil a second look, but Phil broke through barriers and made amazing overtures before stalling on the word love. The crash changes everything, and he’s no longer willing to play it safe, but can Phil actually change from the playboy Davin first met?

Velocity by Sara York is the second in the airline disaster series HA1710 from a group of writers.  Six authors are telling the stories of six couples deeply impacted by this tragedy because they were on the plane when it went down or because they were closely connected to it.  The idea behind this series is a moving and emotional one.  Book one, Retrograde by RJ Scott, kicked off the series with a terrific installment from the surviving pilot’s POV.  Now comes Sara York’s Velocity and we’re caught up in the aftermath from the perspective of a couple that were passengers on the flight who survived the crash…just.

The couple, Phil Stewart and Davin Tierney, are flying to Chicago from their home in Ireland in order for Davin to meet Phil’s mother, who’s health has left her unable to travel.  Phil is taking their 6-month  relationship to the next level and this indicates just how serious he is about David and their future together.  Then the plane crashes shortly after takeoff.

The story opens a day after the crash.  Phil is hospitalized with his injuries and desperate to find out what happened to Davin.  Its one frantic, pain filled scene after another and its Phil’s  anguish and uncertainty that pulls us into their story.  We understand his panic and frustration with the hospital personnel, and the lack of information available since the crash is still so fresh.  I thought this was actually the best section of the story.  Its impact is immediate and  deeply felt.

Interspersed with scenes from the present day activities and Phil’s attempts to find Davin, we get flashbacks to the night when player Phil first encounters Davin leaving a club in Chicago.  Their first connection is electric and it changes their lives in an instant.  That is especially true for Phil, who is a “love them and leave them” sort of individual.  These scenes worked too.  I believed in Phil and Davin’s bond and Phil’s surprise at the strength of his own feelings.

For the majority of Velocity, I found the story and the couple realistic and believable.  Their  plight was moving,  and the situation around them had the authentic feel of the aftermath of a catastrophe.  But then something almost indefinable  occurs and the story and their relationship (or perhaps more realistically my interest in their relationship) started to wain.  The narrative becomes a bit jumbled as the men try to pick up their lives again.

York only partially addresses the mental and emotional state of those who have just survived a tragedy of  such enormous measure, the impact upon them felt fleeting and unbelievable.   There is one scene that appears with an emotional explosion that lifts the ennui that has settled over the plot, which would be fine (and authentic) except the author has laid no foundation for it previously in her story.  It comes out of nowhere and disappears just as quickly.  And the fact that this element was a fascinating turn of events (one of the better ones), left this reader feeling frustrated at its promise and loss.

Velocity is a sweet story that had the potential of a terrific one, the promise of which dribbles away as the story moves to its conclusion.  Still, I’m happy  to  have made Phil and Davin’s acquaintance and look forward to the next story in the series, Flashbulb by Clare London.  We meet up with Rory Kendrick from RJ Scott’s story, Retrograde, in a moving scene at the hospital and I hope that’s an element we will have in each story as the investigation of the crash and the impact on peoples lives moves forward.   I really like this series and can’t wait to see where the stories and characters go next.

If you love reading  sweet M/M romance with a hint of angst, this story is for you.

Cover art by Meredith Russell is amazing.  I love the way the artist has branded the series and yet still keep each cover individual in design.  Great job.

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

Book Details:

ebook
Published June 19th 2015 by Smashwords Edition
ISBN139781310523052
seriesFlight HA1710 #2

Series Promo banner

Flight HA1710 series

6 authors, 6 primary works

When Flight HA1710 crashes killing seven people the after effects are too many to think on. But how does the crash change people’s lives? From the pilot to the guy who missed the plane we chart the stories of those whose lives were impacted by the crash.

  • Retrograde (Flight HA1710 #1) by R.J. Scott
  • Velocity (Flight HA1710 #2) by Sara York
  • Flashbulb (Flight HA1710 #3) by Clare London
  • Fallout (Flight HA1710 #4) by Meredith Russell
  • Aviophobia (Flight HA1710, #5) by Serena Yates
  • Fracture (Flight HA1710 #6) by Amber Kell

Barb, A Zany Old Lady Review: Helping Hand by Jay Northcote

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Wanking with a mate isn’t gay—as long as you keep your hands to yourself.

Helping Hand_FINALJez Fielding and James MacKenzie—Big Mac to his mates—are in their second year at uni. After partying too hard last year, they make a pact to rein themselves in. While their housemates are out drinking every weekend, Jez and Mac stay in to save cash and focus on their studies.

When Jez suggests watching some porn together, he isn’t expecting Mac to agree to it. One thing leads to another, and soon their arrangement becomes hands-on rather than hands-off. But falling for your straight friend can only end badly, unless there’s a chance he might feel the same.

A double whammy GFY story, this is the story of Jez and Mac, two flatmates struggling through their second year of uni together and giving each other a helping hand in more than just homework.

Jez Fielding overextended himself monetarily in his first year of school and not only found himself flat broke, but also with a huge mountain of debt. His wealthy parents refuse to bail him out; instead, helping him set up a budget so that he can get his schoolwork done, work part time, and start to climb out of debt. He’s very serious about proving himself to them so he makes a commitment to stay home unless there’s a special occasion like a birthday to celebrate.

Joining him in staying home is his buddy, and fellow flatmate, James MacKenzie, aka Mac. Mac nearly failed out of school his first year, and since his father hadn’t wanted him to go college but wanted him to work in his business, Mac has to pull his grades up this year or he won’t have the financial assistance to continue. Mac is only too happy to stay home with Jez while their friends party, and the bonus is that Jez shows him some helpful shortcuts for preparing his essays and helps him study for tests and exams.

The guys always get their work done, but one weekend, they decide to watch porn together then one thing leads to another, and they find themselves jerking off in front of each other. Neither will admit it, but their eyes stray to the other’s groin frequently and both seem to like what they see.

When the opportunity comes up (no pun intended) for Jez to give Mac a blowjob, Mac doesn’t resist, and the guys move to a new stage. Further stages occur as they discover mutual hand jobs, kissing, frottage, and finally full penetration. But the thing is that it’s not casual for Jez anymore. He’s in way over his head because his feelings are involved, and he’s unsure of Mac. And that’s exactly when they are discovered, and everything begins to fall apart.

Will they get back together? Can they ever be a forever couple or will Mac want Jez to be his “dirty little secret” for life? It’s well worth reading this wonderful GFY to find out.

I really enjoyed this story. It had just the right amount of sweetness and angst, stirred together with some great, hot, sexy times. I recommend it to those who enjoy GFY and double GFY.

Cover art by Garrett Leigh is a black-and-white photo showing the bare upper torso of a reclining, dark-haired man with the right amount of five o’clock shadow and looking ready for anything or anyone who comes along.

Sales Links:  Amazon UK | Amazon US | Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook
Published June 26th 2015 by Jaybird Press (first published June 24th 2015)
original titleHelping Hand
edition languageEnglish

A Mika Review: Toy with Me (BFP: The Secrets Collection) by Annabelle Jacobs

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Toy With Me coverAaron is hiding something in his drawers—but that’s not his only secret.

When he moves in with his new housemates, Aaron intends to tell them about his sexuality from the outset. But a large pink item of a personal nature, given as a joke, scuppers his plans and he misses his chance.

Fellow housemate Rob is out and proud. He guesses Aaron is gay, and when he finds Aaron’s other secret concealed in his sock drawer, he takes it upon himself to help Aaron out with a little sexual experimentation.

I really enjoyed this novella. This was the perfect combination of roommates coming together. The writing was great, and the cast of characters were enjoyable as well. It was funny, charming, and a very sweet read. I really enjoyed Rob & Aaron. I would love for a continuation of their story. 

I liked Aaron’s vulnerability, and Rob had this protective streak a mile when it came to Aaron. The TENSION between the two was palpable. You can feel the angst on the page. It was so worth it. When they finally got together it was so HOT. I really liked this. It was a good introduction for me to this author’s style. I’m looking forward to reading more of her work.

Cover Art by ? I rather liked the cover. I thought it was very much Rob with his good looks, and kind heart. It was cute, and I thought it kept up with the series as the other covers.

Sales Links:  |  Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details: 

Published June 19th 2015 by Blanket Fort Press (first published June 17th 2015)
original titleToy With Me
edition languageEnglish
seriesBFP: The Secrets Collection

The Secrets Collection:

 

 

Love at Its Most Scrumptious with Devil’s Food At Dusk by M.J. O’Shea and Anna Martin (interview and giveaway)

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AboutTheBook

DevilsFoodAtDuskFS

Title: Devil’s Food At Dusk

Authors: M.J. O’Shea and Anna Martin

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: L.C. Chase

Length: 200 Pages

Release Date: June 22, 2015

A Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with the Authors!

Q. What gave you all the idea for a series focused around food and the chefs behind the recipes?

I’ll let Anna speak for her side, but we both brought recipes that we make and our families make into all of the books. For example, the apple cake in Macarons at Midnight is an old family recipe of mine. I think, after that the recipes had to match the story they were in. — MJ

Anna – I just do what MJ tells me to do.
Joke!
MJ actually came to me with the concept of a three book series all about food and chefs, set in some iconic locations around America. I was immediately hooked! I love baking, I think it satisfies the same need as writing fulfils – to create something that other people enjoy.

Q. How many books do you all have planned for the series?

Three is it! It was always planned to be a … threesome? LOL. — MJ

Q. Did a particular chef or recipe inspire this series or story?

Not for me. I wanted to make these chefs their own characters. I personally was inspired by locations. Those were chosen before the actual characters came to life. A quirky upscale bakery in Manhattan, a cut throat reality baking show to go with LA, and a beautiful crumbling vintage cafe in the French Quarter. From there, the chefs and bakers who belonged in those places came to life. —MJ

Anna – for the second book (Souffles at Sunrise) in particular we structured the story around the challenges, so for me it was really fun to come up with the ideas for what the chefs would be doing each week. And then when we had those ideas (chocolate week, jell-o week, trifle week) figuring out how each of our characters would interpret that theme. I think I learned a lot about Chase and Kai based on the choices they made for each challenge. It really helped shaped my idea of who they were as people.

Q. What’s your favorite dessert?

This is probably going to sound really lame, but my favorite dessert is really either baked peaches or apples or raw blueberries with unsweetened whipped cream. I used to love fruit pie with whipped cream, but I’m not a fan of gluten-free crust. — MJ

Anna – GIVE ME CHOCOLATE OR GIVE ME DEATH.

Q. Favorite chef or baker if you have one?

I do love Jamie Oliver and I’ve been watching Giada and Barefoot Contessa for years:) — MJ

Anna – I’ve gotta say Gordon Ramsay. I love it when he gets all shouty and sweary. But the best part about him is when you see him working with kids – he’s actually a big teddy bear at heart. He just shouts at people who are being dipshits and should know better.

Q. When you think of a sexy dinner or food, what jumps to mind?

Hmmmm, probably something that requires people to do something rather than just sit back, like fondue. Especially the chocolate or caramel part — MJ

Anna – I think anything that requires cooking together is inherently romantic. I love the process of preparing food and making dinner with your partner makes it more special. That, or eating out where someone else can wash the dishes at the end 😉

Q. What is your ultimate romantic dinner.

Hmmm…I think something simple, homey, and really delicious. Something that won’t take a lot of fiddling. Make it ahead of time, leave it to simmer and then you’re ready to talk and hang out with your date instead of running back and forth to the kitchen. And of course dessert has to include whipped cream 🙂 — MJ

Anna – ultimate romantic dinner? ULTIMATE?
It’s a quiet evening on a deserted California beach. The sun is slowly setting, turning the sky beautiful shades of pink and orange and purple. A freshly popped, perfectly chilled bottle of Prosecco (I don’t like champagne that much) fizzes at his elbow. There’s a picnic of food we made ourselves earlier in the afternoon and we talk and laugh and talk and argue and talk until it’s all chilly and I have to sit on his lap to warm up.
Then Chris Evans (Captain America himself) hands me one of those Gu chocolate desserts and I’m going to fade to black here right now because no-one needs to know what comes next 😉

http://mjoshea.com

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Blurb: Joe Fitzgerald hates New Orleans, but he’s stuck there until he convinces one stubborn local family to sell Lumière, the crumbling French Quarter restaurant they’ve owned for generations. The place is a wreck, and it’s hemorrhaging money. Joe figures he’s their best chance for survival.

Remy Babineaux despises Pineapple Joe’s and everything the chain stands for. He refuses to let Lumière become some tacky corporate tourist trap. Theme drinks and plastic beads in his restaurant? Yeah, right. Over his dead, rotting corpse. The last thing Remy wants is a meeting with the restaurant chain’s representative, but his father agreed to at least listen to the proposal. There’s nothing Remy can do about it.

Remy figures an anonymous hookup is exactly what he needs to decompress. When he ends up across the table from his fling the next morning, real sparks fly. Joe refuses to give up his prime location; Remy refuses to give up his legacy. It’s war, and they’re both determined to win at any cost. Neither of them counted on falling in love.

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Dawn always seemed to come a little later in the French Quarter, molasses-sweet and slow, still soft but with hints of the sticky heat to come. It spread, languorous, over the weathered painted walls and wrought-iron railings, crooked cobbly streets, and leaded glass windows that had seen hundreds of years of people passing by. Morning was quiet. Peaceful. Mellow.

Remy Babineaux had lived in the city all his life, in the same house on the same street covered by the same winding, purple-flowered bougainvillea vines and creeping ivy, but still, sometimes, in the pink blush of an unhurried morning, he was struck with just how much he loved it. How much he never wanted to live anywhere else.

He pulled his tired body out of bed in the barely there brush of light and stretched. He hadn’t slept much the night before—five hours at most—and he felt every one of his very busy, thirty years in his creaky muscles and sore back. It had been easier to get up with the morning sun when he was nineteen. To a point. Truthfully, Remy hadn’t ever been a morning person. He’d always preferred sleeping in to experiencing the unusual stillness that came in the Babineaux household hours before brothers and sisters, mother and father, and one rather eccentric grandmother started shouting and laughing and singing—and usually all at once. But he had to admit the morning was beautiful. And even if it wasn’t, he had fish to buy.

Next time I’m making Andre go so I can sleep in.

Remy knew that wasn’t true. He trusted his little brother with his life, but with the fish selection? Never. Nobody but him had had the coveted job of fish selection since he was a teenager. He pulled on a threadbare white henley and a pair of khakis that he didn’t mind getting fish juice on. Then Remy tugged his wavy hair into a thick, high bun, slipped into a pair of shoes, and was out the door. Time to greet the day with rack after rack of amazing, delicious, smelly fish.

Thursdays were usually the best day at the fish market. It was one of those things that had no logical explanation but a long history of somehow working out that way. The market was open three days a week, and he usually liked to make it to two of them, but Thursdays were for some unknown reason when the magic seemed to happen. He liked to get there early for the pick of the catfish, local trout, and sweet, tender gulf shrimp. Wandering through the fragrant stalls, which should be unpleasant but somehow smelled of home and happiness, was something of a Zen experience for him. One of the highlights of his week.

The market was crowded and loud, even in the bare light of early morning. Chefs and restaurant owners haggled with fishermen who’d become their friends over the years, laughed at well-worn jokes, argued the same arguments like a dance that had been practiced over time and perfected. The fish market was a tradition, and his city was nothing if not steeped in traditions.

Remy spent a few minutes soaking it all in, checking out what was new and interesting and delicious before he got down to business. It was important, he thought, to experience things, and not just go through his day completing tasks. His food was better if his feelings for the moment seeped into the dish. Made life better too if you asked him. His little sister, Grace, gave him shit for his “stop to smell the roses” way of looking at things. She was only fourteen, in a race to grow up and become something. Someday she’d understand that the becoming part was just as important as the getting there.

He stopped at a stand and stared down at piles of glossy pearly gray shrimp, barely touched with hints of blush pink. He’d steam them perhaps, on a base of pasta with clams and roasted vegetables, a little garlic, some cumin, cayenne, local butter, and a ton of French thyme. Remy could nearly taste the sauce exploding in his mouth—butter broth and seasonings and sweet, firm shrimp. Yes.

“Twenty pounds, Remy?”

“Hmm? Oh yes. Sure thing, Renee.” His favorite shrimp dealer knew him well. He could easily go through that much on a weeknight. Four times that on a busy weekend. Remy signed off on the purchase order. The shrimp would be delivered to his cafe, Lumiere, in a few hours with the rest of his purchases, just in time for him to start cooking.

Remy worked his way through the crawfish and catfish, the mussels and clams, smelling and sampling, weighing and ordering. It was his ritual. He never rushed it.

When Remy was nearly ready to call it a morning and head back home, his phone buzzed with a text from Andre, his little brother and one very pushy sous chef.

Don’t forget my halibut.

Remy made a face. The halibut at the fish market was good, but it was shipped all the way from the north Pacific on ice. He’d far rather use local catches to make his spin on traditional dishes, but sometimes Andre got his way. The halibut and chips was one of those times. Andre had tried it, fallen in love, and decided it should be a regular menu item at Lumiere, after a lot of protesting from Remy. It had become popular with the customers, much to Remy’s annoyance. He was even more annoyed by the fact that he liked it himself—especially with Andre’s signature tangy tartar sauce. Most of the time he pretended he didn’t, but Andre knew better and liked to flip him all sorts of shit for it.

I’m getting your damn halibut. Go back to bed.

All he got in return was a winky face and a string of fish emojis. Remy chuckled. Child.

BuyLinks

DREAMSPINNER PRESS (eBook)

DREAMSPINNER PRESS (Paperback)

AMAZON US

AMAZON UK

ALL ROMANCE eBOOKS

BARNES & NOBLES

KOBO

GOOGLE PLAY

AboutTheAuthor

Author PicI’m Mj O’Shea 🙂 I grew up, and still live, in sunny Washington state and while I love to visit other places, I can’t imagine calling anywhere else home.

I spent my childhood writing stories. Sometime in my early teens, the stories turned to romance. Most of those were about me, my friends, and our favorite movie and pop stars. Hopefully, I’ve come a long way since then.

When I’m not writing, I love to play the piano, dance, cook, paint pictures, and of course read! I like sparkly girly girl things, own at least twenty different colored headbands, and I have two little dogs who sit with me when I write. Sometimes they comes up with ideas for me too…when they’re not busy napping.

***

AnnaMartin_APicAnna Martin is from a picturesque seaside village in the south west of England. After spending most of her childhood making up stories, she studied English Literature at university before attempting to turn her hand as a professional writer.

Apart from being physically dependent on her laptop, she is enthusiastic about writing and producing local grassroots theatre (especially at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where she can be found every summer), travelling, learning to play the ukulele, and Ben & Jerry’s New York Super Fudge Chunk.

Although her most recent work is in the LGBT romance genre, in the past Anna has worked on a variety of different projects including short stories, drabbles, flash fiction, fan fiction, plays for both children and adults, and poetry. She has written novels in the Teen or Young Adult genre, Romance and Fantasy novels.

Anna is, by her own admission, almost unhealthily obsessed with books. The library she has amassed is both large and diverse; “My favourite books,” she says, “are ‘The Moonstone’ by Wilkie Collins, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ by Harper Lee and ‘Oryx and Crake’ by Margaret Atwood.” She also owns multiple copies of Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park books and re-reads the Harry Potter novels with almost startling regularity.

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Winner’s Prize: $20 Amazon Gift Card.

2 Runners up win: An e-copy from either MJ O’Shea’s or Anna Martin’s Backlist.

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TourSchedule

June 22:

Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents

My Fiction Nook

June 23:

Drops of Ink

June 24:

Love Bytes Reviews

June 25:

Wicked Faeries Tales & Reviews

Molly Lolly: Reader, Reviewer, Lover of Words

June 26:

Because Two Men Are Better Than One

June 29:

Diverse Reader

Sid Love Writes

June 30:

Gay.Guy.Reading And Friends

Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

July 1:

Man2ManTastic

JP Barnaby

July 2:

Bayou Book Junkie

July 3:

Nessa’s Book Reviews

Elisa – My reviews and Ramblings

July 6:

BFD Book Blog

Evelyn Shepherd

July 7:

MM Good Book Reviews

July 8:

Multitasking Mommas Book Reviews

Books N Pearls

July 9:

Rainbow Gold Reviews

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July 10:

A Celebration of Books

Prism Book Alliance

A Paul B Review: Despite the Odds (Odds Are #1) by Chris T. Kat

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Two men face different challenges in their lives. Can the two of them find a happy life together despite the odds?

Despite the Odds coverMichael Campbell struggles to get by in life. Unable to keep a job for more than a few weeks, Michael thinks he has screwed up his latest effort to keep a job by being late for work once again. His boss is on the verge of firing Michael but relents. Michael must stay late to make up for the time that he missed that morning. Near lunchtime, Michael points out what appears to be a drunk walking near the school property where he is currently working.

Joshua Stone struggles to get by in life. Born with cerebral palsy, Joshua has a hard time moving around. Unable to drive, Joshua uses a tricycle to get to where he needs to go. However, whenever he is tired, Josh’s movements are even more labored than they normally are. He gets upset when one of the construction workers thinks he is drunk.

After school Joshua is having troubles getting to his trike so that he can go home. The construction worker who he thought was a jerk apologizes for any offense he caused earlier for not knowing of his condition. Michael then offers to give Joshua a ride home as he sees Joshua is clearly struggling just moving, much less trying to pedal a bike home.

During the drive home, the two men begin to learn about the other. Joshua cannot believe that this hunk might be flirting with him. Michael learns about Joshua’s condition and the struggles he must live through. After Michael leaves, Joshua realizes that Michael has driven off with his backpack. With no way to contact Michael, how will he get it back?

I enjoyed this book and the main characters a lot. Both have questions going into the relationship. Michael is not sure that a disabled person could be gay. Joshua cannot believe someone as good looking as Michael could be interested in someone as damaged as he is. The romance grows just like any other with a couple of limitations due to Joshua’s disability. This is another sweet story from the author. At the end of the book, the author gives a preview of the sequel called “Against All Odds.”

The cover art by Valerie Tibbs shows our two protagonists above a bridge or park. The images convey what I would think our two men would look like.

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

Book Details:
ebook, 114 pages
Published June 3rd 2015 by Dreamspinner Press LLC
original titleDespite the Odds
ISBN139781634760263
edition languageEnglish
series: Odds Are #1

A BJ Review: Gremlin’s Last Run (Guardians of the Pattern #2) by Jaye McKenna

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Rating:  4.75 stars out of 5

Gremlin's Last Run coverCaptain Rhys Tyler is so sensitive to the feelings and pain of others that it’s impossible to be around them without drugs. A simple human touch can send him into a seizure. As the Captain and sole crew of the Gremlin, he hauls cargo through the emptiness of interstellar space. His ship, left to him by his deceased uncle, is all that’s allowing him to survive… and now the Gremlin is coming to the end of her useful life.

Alek McKinnon is a Federation agent whose latest mission has gone terribly wrong. He’s managed to escape after being kidnapped and used for illegal psi experimentation, but the after effects have left him psi crippled, in pain, and with very limited options available to get home and report to his superiors.

Alek stows away aboard the Gremlin and is surprised when the Captain turns out to be another psion, a powerful empath that has no idea what he is. As the two men struggle to keep themselves (and each other) alive, they form a bond much deeper than either had expected.

This story grabbed me by the throat from page one and would NOT let me go, something I cannot honestly say about very many books. The pacing is outstanding, enough so that it was hard for me to put it down.

Alek and Rhys are nuanced, real, and vividly alive. I’d already met Alek in a prior book, and I adored Rhys from the start. When faced with a stowaway, Rhys’s initial response was to either send him into space or return him to the authorities, but one look at the man’s face as he pleas for his help chances his mind. Not enough that he isn’t still careful though. When Alek discovers that Rhys is an psion and explains it to him, offering him a way to finally live a more normal life, Rhys understandably doesn’t immediately believe him, which I’d expect from his background. But as they work together to help each other, the development of the feelings and trust between them seems natural and right. I adored Rhys. He grew so much, going from being almost suicidal due to his lonely and hopeless existence, to learning to trust and love. And I adored his voice in this story.

By the way, for those who find series in which many people who know each other are gay to be unrealistic, then please read this book. Because yeah, there are a large number of gays in this particular organization, but this author tells you exactly why in a totally believable way that I just adored.

This series continues to draw me deeper and deeper into a fascinating world and the characters that populate it. I’ve read other series that concentrate on one couple in each book with nearly the entire focus being on the main couple and others just cameos, but that isn’t the case in this series. In each book, I’m getting to know new guys, but there are also the old favorites that are still growing and changing. No little snippets thrown in just as an update here. It’s a richly interwoven world where everyone we keep seeing nuances of character revealed that we didn’t see before.

For example, I enjoyed book one, but Kyn was quite an asshat at times and hard for me to love. In this book, I can see the growth in him that has come from accepting himself as he is and also from being in a stable loving relationship over the few years since the prior book. And Luka… wow, he has matured and is now a teacher who is a far cry from that frightened lost boy. Yet he’s the same in all the ways that make him uniquely him. Two of my favorite characters have yet to have their own story, and I can’t wait. One of them was a very bad boy in this book, which gave me some grief, but only intrigues me more. I adore anti-heroes and cannot wait to see the world through his eyes.

The cover shows Rhys on the Gremlin and does a good job of setting the tone of the story.

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

Book Details:
ebook, 299 pages
Published October 20th 2014 by Mythe Weaver Press (first published October 19th 2014)
ISBN139781311912886
edition languageEnglish
seriesGuardians of the Pattern #2.0

Guardians of the Pattern series

4 works, 4 primary works

Guardians of the Pattern is a science fiction series in which the line between science and magic blurs. In the galaxy-spanning Federation, psions are still fighting for basic human rights. Some worlds adopt a live-and-let-live policy, but on others, psions are hunted down and murdered because the public fears their psychic talents. When ancient weapons of mass destruction are unearthed on a planet populated by primitive nomads who still believe in magic, psions may be the Federation’s only hope for survival.

Can the people of these two very different cultures come together to prevent disaster? Or will the Federation’s hunger for power trigger a psionic chain-reaction that has the potential to threaten all of humanity?

Guardians of the Pattern Series:

  • Facing the Mirror (Guardians of the Pattern  0.5)
  • Psi Hunter (Guardians of the Pattern, #1)
  • Gremlin’s Last Run (Guardians of the Pattern #2.0)
  • Ghost in the Mythe (Guardians of the Pattern, #3.0)

 

Love gets a Second Chance with Brick by Brick by Cate Ashwood and L.J. LaBarthe (excerpt and contest)

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Brick by Brick by Cate Ashwood & L.J. LaBarthe
Release Date: June 29, 2015

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Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Bree Archer

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Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press eBook and Paperback

 

STRW Author BookSynopsis

They say that time heals all wounds, but losing Parley, his one true love, left Zach with a hole in his heart that no one else can fill. After forty-eight blissful hours alone together as teens in an abandoned house, Parley disappeared. Parley is what he is, and the pray-away-the-gay camp his parents ship him to won’t change that. However, finding the balance between accepting his true nature and not losing his family means tough sacrifices.

Sixteen years later, Zach is thunderstruck when Parley stands on the front doorstep of his house—the house that had been their refuge, which Zach restored. But Parley isn’t alone, and Zach wonders if he’s found Parley only to lose him a second time. If they can overcome the terrors of the past and the situation of the present, maybe they can build a new relationship just as Zach rebuilt the house—brick by brick.

Pages or Words: 62,000 words

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

STRW Spotlight Book Excerpt

ZACH FELT as if he was floating. He’d been planning this escape for weeks, but now that it was actually happening, it didn’t seem real. He chanced a quick look at Parley as they merged onto the highway. What could possibly be better than running away with his best friend?

He’d had his doubts that Parley would actually come with him. After being turned down the first time, Zach had prepared himself for disappointment, but now they were leaving together and Zach couldn’t have been happier.

“Where should we go?” Zach asked. He had some vague ideas in mind, but he wanted his friend’s input more than anything.

“I don’t know. Somewhere we can’t be found?” Zach was right on board with that.

“That’s a good idea. We’ll go for a bit on this highway, then we’ll exit and take some back roads, maybe head toward the interior.”

Parley dropped his head back against the seat. “Perfect.” After a time, he said, “I still can’t believe we’re doing this.”

“I still can’t believe you came with me,” Zach countered.

“I can’t either. I must be insane.”

“Or brilliant. It’s usually a fine line,” Zach teased.

“My parents are going to have an absolute meltdown once they’ve found out what I’ve done. They’re going to be so upset.”

Parley’s voice was quiet, barely above a whisper. Zach had seen him like this once before when he’d thought he’d lost his weird CTR ring with the spinner chain in the band.

“It’ll all be okay.” Zach tried to soothe him, to bring him back to the present, and rested a gentle hand on Parley’s knee. “Everyone flies from the nest sooner or later. We just did it in an unconventional way. I really do think this is what’s best, though, for both of us.”

Zach’s reassurance seemed to work. Parley blinked slowly a few times and then a somewhat disheartened smile crept onto his face. “I know, but my family is just… different.”

 

 

STRW Author Bio and Contacts

About L.J. LaBarthe:

L.J. LaBarthe is a French-Australian woman, who was born during the Witching Hour, just after midnight. From this auspicious beginning, she went on to write a prize-winning short story about Humpty Dumpty wearing an Aussie hat complete with corks dangling from it when she was six years old. From there, she wrote for her high school yearbook, her university newspaper, and, from her early teens to her twenties, produced a fanzine about the local punk rock music scene. She loves music of all kinds and was once a classical pianist; she loves languages and speaks French and English and a teeny-tiny smattering of Mandarin Chinese, which she hopes to relearn properly very soon. She enjoys TV, film, travel, cooking, eating out, abandoned places, urbex, history, and researching.

L.J. loves to read complicated plots and hopes to do complex plot lines justice in her own writing. She writes paranormal, historical, urban fantasy, and contemporary Australian stories, usually m/m romance and featuring m/m erotica. She has won a Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention and another award for Best Historical Gay Novel.

L.J. lives in the city of Adelaide, and is owned by her cat.

Where to find L.J LaBarthe:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lj.labarthe.9
Twitter: @brbsiberia
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/dreadpiratestar/
Other: http://misslj_author.livejournal.com/
Other: http://www.ljlabarthe.com/
Other: https://instagram.com/ljstar239/
Other: http://dreadpiratestarkiller.tumblr.com/

About Cate Ashwood:

Cate Ashwood wrote her very first story in a hot-pink binder when she was in the second grade and found her passion for writing. Her first successful foray into romance writing came five years later when she wrote her best friend, who was experiencing a case of unrequited love, her own happily ever after.

Cate’s life has taken a number of different and adventurous roads. She now lives a stone’s throw from the ocean, just outside of Vancouver, British Columbia with her husband, her little boy, and their two cats. Her life is filled with family and friends, travel, and, of course, books.

Where to find Cate Ashwood:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cate.ashwood
Facebook Author Page:
Twitter: @cateashwood
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/cateashwood/
Instagram: https://instagram.com/cateashwood/

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Tour Dates & Stops:

Parker Williams, Dawn’s Reading Nook, BFD Book Blog, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Divine Magazine, Andrew Q. Gordon, Bayou Book Junkie, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Bike Book Reviews, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, My Fiction Nook, Kimi-Chan, The Fuzzy, Fluffy World of Chris T. Kat, Rainbow Gold Reviews, Havan Fellows, Prism Book Alliance, MM Good Book Reviews, Chris McHart, Inked Rainbow Reads, Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies, Oh My, Full Moon Dreaming, Mikky’s World of Books, Charley Descoteaux, Molly Lolly, Because Two Men Are Better Than One, Iyana Jenna, 3 Chicks After Dark, Happily Ever Chapter, Two Chicks Obsessed With Books and Eye Candy

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Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: An e-copy of ‘Brick by Brick’. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Link and prizes provided by the authors and Pride Promotions.

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Can Love Spell Disaster or HEA? Check out The Pinch of the Game by Charley Descoteaux for the Answer (exclusive excerpt and giveaway)

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The Pinch of the Game by Charley Descoteaux
Release Date: June 24, 2015

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Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: AngstyG

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Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press

STRW Author BookSynopsis

Being a witch doesn’t mean one can beat the devil forever.

Jeffrey Overton, unemployed IT professional turned poker player, pushes his luck once too often and runs afoul of the host of an illegal card club. The man sent to escort Jeffrey to a “meeting” about his supernatural winning streak arrives at Jeffrey’s crappy North Portland apartment, lock-picking tools in hand and a charm to block Jeffrey’s magick.

Head muscle for said host, Mike Wells, is a Daisy from Daisyville. He isn’t a witch. What he lacks in magickal talent he makes up for in brawn, so he doesn’t expect the guy he’s after to overpower him. But once Mike renders Jeffrey helpless, he’d rather seduce him than bring him in.

Jeffrey and Michael ditch the “meeting” and end up hunting some of the same people they ran from, trying to get Jeffrey back into his own body. And that’s only part of the adventure. The pair travel halfway across the country on the quietest road trip in history and find missing people, empire-building witches, and maybe even the families they’d both thought lost to them.

Pages or Words: 35,000 words

Categories: Contemporary, Gay fictions, M/M Romance, Mystery, Paranormal, Romance

STRW Spotlight Book Excerpt

Thank you for hosting me and my guys!

Last week four lovely blogs hosted excerpts from Jeffrey’s point of view. This week, it’s Michael’s turn. The Pinch of the Game is a Romance, but it’s also an adventure story. With magick and mayhem—my favorite kind!

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By the time we were three hours out, I wasn’t sure if I’d strangle Jeff with my hands or my cock. The guy talked nonstop and thought he was damned clever. We made Pendleton and I couldn’t take it anymore and pulled off.

“Are we there yet?”

I tried to growl at him—heard it’s intimidating. He kept grinning. And he didn’t stop when I pulled into a Motel 6 parking lot and killed the engine. He made a soft purring noise when I reached over, and for a heartbeat I hesitated. But then I grabbed both of his thumbs, slipped a tie around his wrists, and zipped it tight.

“Hey!”

“It’s for your own good. Just sit here and be quiet. I’ll be right back.”

I didn’t expect him to still be there, but he hadn’t even tried to escape. I grabbed his bag from the trunk and tossed a long-sleeved shirt over his arms to hide the tie. Unlikely anyone would notice, but I wasn’t looking to make any more new friends. In fact during the drive I’d seriously questioned my sanity and hadn’t heard a reasonable answer yet. What the hell was I doing? Sure, I’d thought about quitting, getting another kind of job, but seriously—how the hell was this going to end?

Bloody, is how.

 

STRW Author Bio and Contacts

Charley Descoteaux has always heard voices. She was relieved to learn they were fictional characters, and started writing when they insisted daydreaming just wasn’t good enough. In exchange, they’ve agreed to let her sleep once in a while. Charley grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area during a drought, and found her true home in the soggy Pacific Northwest. She has survived earthquakes, tornadoes, and floods, but couldn’t make it through one day without stories.

Where to find the author:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/charley.descoteaux.3
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/CharleyDescoteauxAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CharleyDescote
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/charleydescote/
Blog: http://cdescoteauxwrites.com/blog/
Goodreads: http://tinyurl.com/aqe7g7r
Email: c.descoteauxwrites@gmail.com

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Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: $10 gift card and backlist book of choice.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Link and prizes provided by Pride Promotions and the author.

Rafflecopter Code:
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Tour Dates & Stops:
24-Jun
Divine Magazine
Rainbow Gold Reviews

25-Jun
Bayou Book Junkie

26-Jun
Sinfully Addicted to All Male Romance

29-Jun
Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

30-Jun
Molly Lolly

1-Jul
Love Bytes

2-Jul
Inked Rainbow Reads

3-Jul
Multitasking Mommas

6-Jul
Havan Fellows

7-Jul
3 Chicks After Dark
The Blogger Girls

Its Release Day for Alina Popsecu’s Strength To Let Go! New Shifter Series! (excerpt)

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Title: Strength to Let Go

Series: Tales of the Werewolf Tribes, Book One

Author: Alina Popescu

Genre: gay romance, paranormal, werewolves, paranormal romance, supernatural

Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing

Release Date: July 7th, 2015

Synopsis

After being abandoned by his mates, Shiki Kirishima, beta of the Dragons of the Fang werewolf tribe, returns to his home in Tokyo.

Crippled by grief, Shiki decides to end it all by going into the territory of the Siberian Killers tribe and challenging them to a battle to the death.

His death.

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Ganzorig, beta of the Siberian Killers, however, sees the potentially disastrous consequences of having Shiki die in battle.

Instead, he saves him.

Having suffered loss himself, Ganz takes it upon himself to help Shiki deal with his pain.

Blake, Shikiís best friend since childhood, is as determined to show him there is life after a wolfís ultimate loss.

Could there also be something ëmoreí for them after friendship?

Book Trailer

Pre-order Links

Donít miss the Tickle Me Pink sale on the Wayward Ink Publishing site ñ 25% off all list prices.

WIP: http://www.waywardinkpublishing.com/product/strength-to-let-go-by-alina-popescu/

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-strengthtoletgo-1840807-145.html

Excerpt

When I got to my apartment, I wasnít feeling any better. I was restless and hurting and angry as fuck and their mixed scents in my place werenít doing me any favors. I fumbled with the backpack I had dropped on the floor of my living room, trying to find my phone. I was greeted by a dozen or more messages from Vicks, one of my twinís mates. Since she had mated my brother she had this weird connection to me too and could feel whenever I was experiencing strong emotions for an extended period. I assumed everything that had happened since yesterday would qualify for that. I sent a quick ìIíll be fineî type of reply to stop her from harassing me and went through my contacts.

Even if I hadnít called that particular number in a couple of months, it was still at the top of my favorites list. He was my best friend since childhood, so it made sense Iíd call him more than anyone else. It just hit me then that Iíd been so lost in my own life, I barely had time to catch up with him or my family unless something critical was going on. I pressed the call button and plastered the phone to my ear, pacing around the room as it rang a few times.

ìCome on, Blake, fucking pick up!î I hung up and tried again. I really needed to talk to my best friend right now. It rang twice and went straight to voicemail. Hearing Blakeís voice brought tears to my eyes and something snapped inside of me.

ìBlake, I wish youíd have picked up the phone.î I laughed softly, shaking my head. ìItís funny, I think this is the first time I call you and you donít pick up. Either wayÖ thanks for being my friend, chibi. IÖ I donítÖ.î I lowered the hand that was holding my phone and let my head fall back, taking a few deep breaths. ìBlakey, tell everyone I love them andÖ yeah, those who know me, really know me, will understand. Sayonara, chibi-tan.î

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I hung up and let the rage take over. I turned around at impossible speed and threw the phone with a loud roar. It hit the wall and shattered into a million pieces. I was crying. I knew because I could feel the heaves and tears, but the crushing pain was battling with the anger taking over my mind. I had lost my soul and my reason to live when Iíd lost Kieran and Kayden. What was left of me was nothing more than the warrior inside. A true samurai would not waste away, waiting for death to claim him at the end of a miserable life. Heíd die in battle, an honorable death his final legacy.

My twin, Shishou, my co-beta, Ren, my sister, even BlakeÖ theyíd get it, theyíd explain it properly to my children. They probably wonít understand, just like I hadnít when my parents had left us. I prayed that unlike their father, they would never get to a point in life where theyíd understand this decision of mine. It meant theyíd go through a world of pain and that was the last thing I wanted for Ryuu and Kimmie.

I took off everything but my jeans. No point in having anything else on. Werewolf rules were sometimes mind-boggling. You could shift into your wolf and back, and you always kept one item of clothing. The picks were random and you might be left in nothing but your underwear. Or keep a tight top and nothing else to cover your lower body. It was wise to choose your own clothes for the occasion. I then promptly flashed to the weapons room in the Alpha mansion, right in front of the wall display of my fatherís katana. I kneeled before it, my legs spread, and then bowed deeply. Getting up, I closed the small distance between me and my objective and removed the katana. I glanced at the wakizashi he always used to wear with his katana. Double sword, traditional samurai sign. I decided Iíd use them both, just as he had in his final battle. I unsheathed the two blades and adjusted my grip. With a final bow, I flashed out.

When I took form at my destination, a small shiver coursed through my body. It was pretty cold out here. Well, northern mountains in Mongolia werenít known for their excessive heat in the middle of autumn.

I had chosen Siberian Killer territory, the fastest way to pick a fight with other werewolves. The one rule they had was any shifter that stepped foot on their territory would be killed. Here I was, standing tall, all focused, muscles bulging under the strain and excitement of an impending battle, taunting whoever was nearby.

About the author

Writer, traveler, and coffee addict, ALINA POPESCU has been in love with books all her life. She started writing when she was ten and she has always been drawn to sci-fi, fantasy, and the supernatural realm. Born and raised in Romania, she finds her inspiration in books of all genres, in movies, and the occasional manga comic book. She is a proud geek who needs her fast Internet and gadgets more than she needs air.

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Social Links

Site & Blog: http://alina-popescu.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/alina_popescu

Instagram: http://instagram.com/alinapopescuwriter

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/alina-popescu

Google+:  https://www.google.com/+AlinaPopescu

Amazon:  http://amazon.com/author/alinapopescu

Its Official! Marriage Equality is Here! This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Whew!  What a day it was yesterday!  My Twitter and FB blew up with happiness and excitement as soon as SCOTUS came out with their historic ruling.  Even the White House got into the act with a new look!  The White House was lit rainbow colors on Friday, June 26, in celebration of the Supreme Court ruling that allows same-sex marriage across the US. The 14 states in which such marriages remained illegal, in the South and Midwest, must now lift their bans. The court’s 5-4 ruling (hell yeah!) is the culmination of decades of campaigning by gay-rights activists.   Yesterday, the hopes, dreams, and wishes came true for so many across the nation and we celebrated in our hearts, if not in the streets…dancing with joy!  And the media went crazy too!

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People changed with pictures to reflect this historic ruling and  fireworks and incredible memes were everywhere.  Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi made the happiest of vids for Vine, (really don’t miss out on that one), George Takei, and it just kept coming in heartstopping wave after wave…and yes, the tears flowed copiously.

This is truly a Gay Pride Month to end all Pride Months!  2015!  A toast and a cheer for Equality for All.  Now finally is can just be Marriage-not gay marriage or straight marriage…just marriage.  Hell to the Yes!

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This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Sunday, June 28

  • Its Official! Marriage Equality is Here! This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, June 29:

  • The Pinch of the Game by Charley Descoteaux tour and contest
  • Cate Ashwood & L.J. LaBarthe ‘Brick by Brick’ book blast and giveaway
  • A Paul B Review: Despite the Odds by Chris T. Kat
  • A BJ Review: Gremlin’s Last Run (Guardians of the Pattern #2) by Jaye McKenna

Tuesday, June 30:

  • Devil’s Food at Dusk by MJ O’Shea and Anna Martin‏ Release Tour and Giveaway
  • A Mika Review: Toy with Me by Annabelle Jacobs
  • A MelanieM Review: Velocity by Sara York
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Helping Hand by Jay Northcote

Wednesday, July 1:

  • Lessons for Idle Tongues by Charlie Cochrane Tour and Giveaway
  • Get Your Kink on With K.C. Wells ‘Make Me Soar’ (Collars and Cuffs #6) Tour and Contest
  • In the Book Spotlight: Annabelle Jacobs ‘A Casual Thing’ (excerpt and giveaway)
  • A MelanieM Review: Lessons for Idle Tongues by Charlie Cochrane
  • A MelanieM Review:  Bulldust by d.j. brumb

Thursday, July 2:

  •  A Closer Look at Lissa Kasey ‘Model Citizen’ (excerpt and giveaway)
  • ‘University of Southern Georgia: Davy & Tony’ by Heath Greenfield (contest)
  • Be Dazzled by E.M. Lynley’s 24-Karat Conspiracy (excerpt and contest)
  • Ashavan Donovan ‘Andrew’s Prayer’ book blast and giveaway
  • A MelanieM Review: Cherish the Land (Lang Downs #5) by Ariel Tachna
  • Best Books of June 2015

Friday, July 3:

  • Ada Maria Soto ‘Empty Nests’ Keep Me In Mind Tour and contest
  • A STRW Exclusive:  Eli Easton Interviews Her Audiobook Narrator (interview and contest)
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review; How To Howl at the Moon by Eli Easton (audio book)
  • A Mika Review:  Wild Pitch by Sloan Johnson
  • A MelanieM Review: The Pinch of the Game by Charley Descoteaux

Saturday, July 4th (Happy Independence Day to the USA):

  • Best Covers of June 2015

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