There’s a New LGBTQIA Press In Town! Welcome to NineStar Press (Launch & Competition)

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There’s a new LGBTQIA Press in town.  NineStar Press is no open for business…early!  Check them out and enter their fabulous contest for 52 free  books!

Welcome to NineStar Press!

“We’re so thrilled now to let you know that the full NineStar Press website is live! You can check it out here: http://www.ninestarpress.com . We hope it appeals to you, and that you find our brand something you’d be happy to promote in future. We really love how it’s turned out, and we can’t wait until our big launch in November so we can start bringing our books to readers!

And speaking of readers, we’ve just opened a competition for one lucky reader to win free NineStar Press books for a year: http://ninestarpress.com/competition/ . One free book a week, every week, for a whole year — 52 free books!

You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr to keep up to date on the new releases and authors at NineStar Press!  Or just sign up for our newsletter email!

Many thanks, NineStar Press”

A Paul B Review: Needing Noel (Moon Pack #14) by Amber Kell

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars                   ★★★★

Needing Noel coverNoel lost his first mate and their daughter to a fire more than ten years ago.  Will he be able to accept his second mate after such a devastating loss?

Noel Thistleborn has spent the last few years as personal assistant to the king of the fae.  He tries to keep busy to help him forget about the fire that killed both his mate and their daughter.  As part of his duties, he must organize the dragon-mating ball that is being put on by King Kylen.  While he would prefer not to attend the ball itself, Kylen has ordered all single fae must show up.  Kylen gives a concession to Noel in that he can make a brief appearance before he may leave for the night.

Hartmut (Hart) has had a crush on the dragon leader for a number of years.  However, Rhaegar has recently met his mates, a fae and a wolf shifter.  Now he wants the same kind of unconditional love that he sees his friend has.  He hopes that the upcoming ball being held by the fae king to help dragons find their mates will produce some positive results.

When Hart arrives at the ball, his dragon smells something wonderful and indicates to Hart that his mate is in the area.   He tracks Noel down and tells him that he believes Noel is his mate.  Noel tells Hart that he has already had a mate and he does not want another one.  When Hart explains that unlike fae, dragons may only get one mate and that he just wants to get to know Noel better, Noel agrees to a dinner date.  However, having been initially turned down by Noel, Hart wonders if it is even worth the bother.

As the party is winding down, Rhaeger informs Noel that while Hart is a dragon, he has a soft heart.  Just as he is ready to leave, Noel is confronted by his former brother-in-law and is told that the fire almost ten years ago was not what it may seem.  Could either his first mate or his daughter still be alive?  How will Noel convince Hart that he does truly want him while finding answers to questions his brother-in-law put forth?

This fourteenth book in the Moon Pack delivers, as have previous books.  I have enjoyed how Ms. Kell has expanded the universe in the series.  This has allowed her flexibility to keep the series continuing to great success.  The one issue I did have with the book was the epilogue.  While it does further the overall Moon Pack storyline of Anthony becoming a full fledge god grandson of Zeus, the three characters in the epilogue appeared no where else in the book except for brief mentions by the main characters in the story.  Those who have not been reading the series might not know what to make of seemingly extra material.

The cover design by Meredith Russell is simply stunning.  The top half of the cover has our two protagonists shirtless standing in some room.  The bottom half shows Hart’s dragon either landing or about to take off with his wings fully extended beside the fae castle.

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

Book Details:

Ebook:  84 pages
Published:  July 17, 2015 by Amber Kell Books
ASIN:  B011YXUIVC
Edition:  English
Series:  Moon Pack

  • Attracting Anthony (Moon Pack #1)
  • Baiting Ben (Moon Pack #2)
  • Courting Calvin (Moon Pack #3)
  • Denying Dare (Moon Pack #4)
  • Enticing Elliott (Moon Pack #5)
  • Finding Ferro (Moon Pack #6)
  • Getting Gabe (Moon Pack #7)
  • Hunting Henry (Moon Pack #8)
  • Inflaming Inno (Moon Pack #9)
  • Judging Jager (Moon Pack #10)
  • Keeping Kylen (Moon Pack #11)
  • Loving Leif (Moon Pack #12)
  • Marking Mikel (Moon Pack #13)
  • Needing Noel (Moon Pack #14)

A Stella Review: Crossing Borders (Crossing Borders #1) by Z.A. Maxfield

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Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

Two dudes walk into a bookstore…

Crossing Borders coverTristan knows he’s got issues. His latest ex-girlfriend knows it too. He can’t blame her for dumping him—even though she gets her brother to do it for her. Since he can’t stop staring at said brother’s package, he figures it’s about time to put a label on those issues. He likes guys.

He heads to a local bookstore with what he’s sure is a foolproof plan to find someone to show him what he’s been missing. But who should crash his little adventure? Officer Michael Truax, who gave him a really expensive ticket back in high school for skateboarding without a helmet.

Michael has been trying to catch Tristan for years…to give him a second ticket. Suddenly faced with “Sparky”, all grown up and looking to get laid, Michael’s protective instinct kicks in—and presents him with an opportunity that’s hard to resist. After all, the kid must know what he’s getting into, so why not? 

But when a man with a plan connects with a man with a hunger, the result is nothing short of explosive.

Crossing Borders is the first book written by the talented ZA Maxfield in the 2007 and the first published work. This second edition by Samhain pub is not so different from the first one. I liked the author’s note at the start of the book, she was right, it was fun to see how things has changed in almost 10 years.

I didn’t read the first edition and I can tell you why. Honestly I didn’t like the old cover, at all. I know I’m a totally cover whore so I couldn’t pass the book anymore when I saw the amazing new one made  by Kanaxa. It’s simply beautiful or better, HE is beautiful. And I’m not going to talk about freckles or red hair, my truest weaknesses.

It was a while when I didn’t read a ZAM’s book, I forgot how well she can writes and creates amazing characters. And how hot too her stories are! I loved the chemistry between Tristan and Michael, or as they call each other, Sparky and Officer Helmet. Crossing Borders went straight to my fave shelf. It has everything I want in a story. First of all well defined characters. Tristan and Michael were perfect, their story was, i don’t know how to say better, almost dissected and told us in detail, just how a real relationship would have developed. They were adorable in their bickering, in their loveable loving.

The story was sweet too and if you have read other reviews I wrote you know I need my books to be sugary (this one just a little bit). There were some really hilarious parts, that lightened it even more. Moreover I enjoyed the second characters too a lot, especially their moms, supportive, caring and loving.

The age difference, which I love in my books, wasn’t so huge as I was expecting. Considering Tristan is so young, just 19 years old, it could have been more evident but I didn’t feel it at all.

What I loved more in the story was the feeling of belonging I got from the MCs even when they weren’t full aware of it yet. It kept me from put the book down for a minute.

There was some drama but no angst in the book; the only thing that bothered me a little was the part just before the ending, it ruffled something that was too smooth to upset to me, I could have done without easily. That’s why I haven’t give Crossing Borders a full five stars rating but it’s there, I am just being a nit picker! So highly recommended.

COVER ART by Kanaxa.I already said it was this cover that pushed me to finally read Crossing Borders but I want to add that I love her art style, especially in some m/m series she’s working on, like The Plumber’s Mate or The Shamwell Tales by JL Merrow, or the Love Lessons by Heidi Cullinan but most of all the Bend or Break by Amy Jo Cousins. I find them clean but always fitting the stories in their simplicity.\

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

BOOK DETAILS

Published August 4th 2015 by Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Kindle Edition, 271 pages
ASIN B00YE202W6
Edition Language English

previously published story, 2nd edition

A MelanieM Review: Obsidian Sun by Jon Keys

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Rating:  4.5 stars out of 5

Differences must be put aside when vengeance becomes all-consuming.

ObsidianSunFSAnan, a spellweaver of the Talac people, returns from a hunting trip to find his village decimated, his mate dead, and everyone else captured by Varas slavers. The sole survivor is Terja, a young man without the velvet that covers most Talac, marking him as a spellspinner. Since Talac magic requires both a weaver and a spinner, Anan and Terja must move beyond their ingrained mistrust. All that remains is revenge and a desperate plan to rescue their tribesmen before they are sold to Varas pleasure houses. A goal Anan and Terja are willing to die for.

With the blessing of the Talac gods, they discover new and surprising ways to complement each other’s power. But as they race through terrain full of enemies and dangerous creatures to reach their people before they pass into Varas lands, they must take drastic steps to face the overwhelming odds against them. Understanding their connection might be their only hope.

What a wonderful debut novel from Jon Keys!  The story was imaginative, heartbreaking, layered and beautifully developed.  What a high mark to hit with your first book.  But first a sentence or two about the power of a book cover.  You see, it was that amazing Paul Richmond cover that caught my eye and made me want to  read the blurb.  Those eyes combined with the presence of skin marks and a web?  Mysterious and compelling.  I had to know more.  What I found matched that powerful  cover in every way.

Obsidian Sun by Jon Keys is a story told from multiple points of view (one of the only issues I have with the story).  We start with Anan, a spellweaver of the Talac people coming home from a hunt to carnage.   Anan’s village  has been raided by the Varas people, the dwellings burned, the people horribly murdered except for those younger members taken for the slavery trade and for their velvet skin.  Yes furred skin.  The Talac, a semi-nomadic tribe, is a clan of furred individuals, with the exception of the hairless spellspinners.  That marked velvet covering of their bodes makes them prized not only as sex slaves (it seems the Varas are addicted to sex with them) but they are skinned as well, various colors like golden velvet prized above all others.  These facts reveal themselves slowly as Anan goes about the gruesome and heartbreaking business of checking the bodies and readying himself for the “release  ritual”.  But he’s not the only one left alive, there is one more person hidden away . Terja, a young spellbinder.  Together they do what they know is required to release the souls of the dead and swear vengeance on the Varas traders.

Keys’ descriptions of Anan and Terja’s final sweep of their village and the scenes that follow are haunting, poignant, carrying a deep emotional impact that will stay with the reader.  Yes, it had me in tears. It also serves to bring us immediately into this amazing world and the cultures of the people that live there.

There are at least two distinct cultures at war here…that we know of.  But the one we immersed in completely, at first,  is that of the Talac people.  The Talac have several strata of tribes that make up the whole, that includes the Kuri tribes that follow the kuri animals much like some western American Indian tribes did the buffalo.  The author weaves many Native American tools and beliefs here into his story.  In one  scene, Anan and Terja cook a stew using the Eastern Woodland Indian method of putting a hot rock inside the  stew to cook from within inside of sitting a pot on the fire, handy when using bark containers inside of pottery.  Bark is lightweight and easy to transport, not so much a heavy clay pot, something very important if you are a nomadic tribe.  The use of native resources by Anan and Terja also echo the ways indigenous peoples all over the world use the land and animals around them.  Its an element that flows through this story and it gives their universe both a familiar yet alien feel to it.  This layering gives Obsidian Sun a realistic aspect to it that helps connect us to it and the characters.

That also brings us to spiders.  I love spiders, all of them.  Here the similarities also arise between spiders and the Talac.  You can divide spiders into 2 types of carapace types.  One is furred, some gorgeously so (like tarantulas and jumping spiders, which have all the colors of the rainbow and more patterns than you can imagine). Other’s have a hairless carapace that shines as though its been shellacked. Most orb weavers are of this type.  That mimics the two skin types of the Talac.  But it goes further with the Talac gods, and the  Twined Beings, First Weaver and First Spinner, avatars to the Gods.  They appear as  humongous  spiders.  Spiders and weaving form the weft and warp of this story.  From the religious rituals and cultures myths Jon Keys creates and then uses throughout his story to the weapons  and fighting styles,  Keys’ imagination and ability to translate those ideas into emotionally laden,  action packed scenes and storylines is stunning.  So is his love of and ability to use natural history to enliven and deepen his plot and characters.  Nothing is left to chance, even the spider silk is used much like the silk worms are here, right down to the technique required.  Really, its just amazing how well Keys meshes known natural history with his own creations.

There is a growing romance between Anan and Terja, brought on by need and circumstances that becomes something deeper and spiritual (and incredibly sexy).  Their hunt for vengeance is suspenseful,  and heart stopping, especially when they are in peril.

But there are other characters involved and that brings me to my only issue here.  There is far too many points of view.  Different characters , some of the kidnapped Kuri, others of slaves in residence, voice their perspectives of the action and their captivity.  This format of multiple povs only serves to take the momentum away from the developing relationship between Terja and Anan and cuts the reader off from the anticipation and suspense of the ongoing hunts for the traders and the slaves.  I understand why Jon Keys wanted us to see the “captives” side but there are other ways of establishing the terror they are undergoing while giving us the information he wanted to impart about the Varas people.  Too many voices muddy the narrative and that happened here.

Multiple perspectives aside, this is a powerful, layered saga, one I hope will continue.  The ending is a HFN, leaving so many options for a sequel to go forward.  I certainly hope that Jon Keys is already hard at work to give us one.

Obsidian Sun (a solstice event much like our solar eclipse) is a must read novel by Jon Keys!  If you love fantasy, mythology, natural history and imaginative world building combined with sex, love and adventure, then this is a story for you.  I  can’t wait to see what Jon Keys has in store for us next, hopefully a sequel!  Fingers crossed.

Cover art by Paul Richmond.  One of my favorite covers of the month, perhaps even the year.  This cover clearly demonstrates the power of a cover to entice you into reading a story by a picture alone.  Perfection.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press eBook & Paperback | All Romance |Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages
Published July 10th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN13 9781634762922

Its Fantasy and Romance with Surrounded by Crimson (Sumeria’s Sons #4) by Lexi Ander (excerpt and giveaway)

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Surrounded by Crimson (Sumeria’s Sons #4) by Lexi Ander
Release Date: July 1, 2015

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Goodreads Link
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Cover Artist: Londen Burden

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Sales Link:   Less Than Three Press | Amazon

 

STRW Author BookSynopsis

Tristan has agreed to bond with Ushna but there is still much to do and returning to Tribe Enkidu puts everyone on edge. Tristan is being stalked like prey all the while fighting depression as he mourns the loss of Nikita and enduring a battle of wills with the Elder Council over his birthright. The pleading of his adoptive daughter only adds still more stress to the situation.

Stumbling onto a secret prison while searching for Ushna leads Tristan to risk everything to free a lost God. But breaking the tie to his Flame has more repercussions than Tristan knew and the assistance of a forgotten Goddess and a centuries old lover may not be enough to save him.

Pages or Words: 48,000 words

Categories: M/M Romance, Menage/Poly, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy

STRW Spotlight Book Excerpt

Ushna was out of the car and greeting his parents before I unbuckled the seatbelt. Hami wasn’t as tall as his son but he was wide, very wide, barrel-chested with a set of deltoids on him the size of small children. His dark hair was cut above the ears and I’d never seen the man without at least three days growth of facial hair. It looked good on him. That kind of scruff made me resemble a bum.

Donya was tall and lean, one of those women who had a natural sway when she walked. Her blue-black hair fell to her waist in thick glossy waves. Her skin was a deep almond, darker than her husband’s or son’s, and her bright, emerald-green eyes were large and expressive.

They both greeted Ushna with festive exuberance, and why not? I’d kept him away from them for a very long time. I observed them for a moment over the hood of the SUV. Hami picked his son up in a bear hug, laughing loud and boisterous. Donya took his face between her palms as she gazed deeply into his bi-colored eyes—eyes that were forever changed by me. At that thought, I wondered how they truly perceived me. My stomach rolled with anxiety-induced queasiness.

With all the grace of someone my size, I made my way into the house, leaving Ushna to his family reunion. I had hoped we wouldn’t see them until after the children were born. I’d entered the home stretch of my pregnancy. Even with the ring of illusion, I had a hard time hiding my condition. Early in my pregnancy, Gregori had fashioned a ring of magic, creating the illusion that hid my continually growing stomach and constructed a normal appearance.

A pregnant male wasn’t something we wanted to explain to humans. With the looming threat of assassination, if my identity was discovered, we thought it best to continue to keep my birthright a secret until after the children were born. So I’d continue to wear the illusion even though the ring wasn’t much help now. The giveaway was in the walk and the way I stood. People could see there was something different by how I held my body and it couldn’t be helped. I was able to hurry, in spurts, and then I lumbered like an elephant—very National Geographic.

Neesie followed me into the kitchen. She was dressed differently than what I’d become accustomed to. Gone were the combat boots, black jeans, and white tees. She wore a pale blue silk blouse, a pinstriped pencil skirt, and knee-high black stiletto boots. She appeared fierce in a whole new way.

“Why didn’t you wait and greet Ushna’s parents?” she asked.

With a plate in hand, I inspected the cold cuts tray that sat on the kitchen counter. I was starved and wanted something quick to eat before everyone came in. When I didn’t answer Neesie, she took the plate from me and started placing fresh vegetables on it.

“I thought I’d give them some time to catch up,” I finally replied. It wasn’t a complete lie. “They haven’t had their son to themselves in quite some time. They don’t need me hanging out in the background.”

Neesie pinned me with her golden-brown gaze. “That is such bullshit and you know it. What’s the real issue?”

I quirked a smile at her. “You know I love ya?”

“Yes, and you’re the one who called me for dating advice because you suck at subtle. Your ‘hey moron, get your hands off my sister’ ranked right up there.”

“I can’t help it if Mr. Octopus Arms was oblivious to his audience.”

“Go ahead and keep playing that song because I know you still refer to him as Lonnie Fucking-Fowler. Before you walked into the house, your face turned green and you practically sprinted in here.”

“Ahh, stampede!” I gave mock crowd screams. Neesie was not impressed.

“Spill, jackass.” She shoved a full plate into my hands and a chair under my ass. Neesie glared at me but her expression was filled with concern.

“Fine, you tyrant. I wanted to make a good impression. I wanted to be able to show them that I am a strong partner and worthy of their son’s love and devotion. But right now I’m huge, and miserable, and swollen, and hungry. Why did you give me carrots? You know I hate carrots. You’re trying to torture me, aren’t you? I’m an elephant, not a rabbit. I get like peanuts or something, not Bugs Bunny hand-me-downs.” I threw the carrot at my cackling sister. The woman was not remorseful.

“Tristan.”

I threw another carrot at Neesie before turning to see who called for me. I swallowed a curse as I faced Donya. She stood in the doorway, her large green eyes soft and liquid as she searched my expression.

“Ma’am?” Embarrassingly, my voice cracked like I was fourteen years old.

“How can we not be proud of you, son?” Donya crossed the room in a smooth glide and gently took me in her arms. “We’ve always been proud of you, Tristan, don’t ever believe differently.” Tentatively I embraced her in return and ignored Neesie’s sniffles.

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STRW Author Bio and Contacts

Lexi has always been an avid reader, and at a young age started reading (secretly) her mother’s romances (the ones she was told not to touch). She was the only teenager she knew of who would be grounded from reading. Later, with a pencil and a note book, she wrote her own stories and shared them with friends because she loved to see their reactions. A Texas transplant, Lexi now kicks her boots up in the Midwest with her Yankee husband and her eighty-pound puppies named after vacuum cleaners.

Where to find the author:
Web site: http://www.lexiander.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lexi.ander.9
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/LexiAnder1
Blog: http://lexiander.blogspot.com/
E-mail: lexi.ander.author@gmail.com

 

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Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Link and Prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions. Enter to win the Rafflecopter Prizes:
• Prize offered: $20 Amazon Gift card, $20 All Romance Gift card, hard copy of Surrounded by Crimson, swag (pens, bookmarks)
• $20 All Romance Gift card, hard copy of Surrounded by Crimson, swag (pens, bookmarks)
• hard copy of Surrounded by Crimson, swag (pens, bookmarks)
• e-book copy of Surrounded by Crimson
• e-book copy of Surrounded by Crimson

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