A MelanieM Review: The Articles of Release (The Release Series #2) by B.A. Tortuga


Rating: 4 stars out of 5

The Articles of Release coverJust released from the military, wounded warrior Eric Tremaine is trying to put his life back together like the doctors reassembled his shattered leg. He’s a man with no home, since his Louisiana family rejected him, so Eric winds up in Texas with his old Army buddy, Adam Winchester, and his lover, Sage.

When Eric decides to stop sitting on his ass feeling sorry for himself, he is introduced to trainer Troy Daniels, who lost both his legs in a teenage accident. Troy knows what it’s like to feel as if your body is your enemy. While Eric and Troy have a bumpy start, they soon find enough common ground to make a friendship, if not more. But taking it to the next level means finding out what they have to offer each other, and the world, before they can trust that the love they find together won’t cause more pain than pleasure.

Each of the books in BA Tortuga’s new Release series deals with a character grappling with a torturous reentry into society.  The first novel, The Terms of Release, has Sage Redding dealing with being a ex-con returning to the small town that condemned him to close to 10 years of hard time in a state penitentiary at the age of 18.  And for a crime that may not have been his fault.  In that story, Tortuga bluntly describes the discrimination ex-cons face upon release, the terms of said release and the accompanying difficulties of losing so much of your life away from the “main culture” that you can feel alone and adrift once you are back trying to find your way inside a community once more.  That same thread is picked up again in The Articles of Release, book two in The Release series.

Making the argument (and proving it) that there are more ways of separating a person from society and community, here its injured vet Eric Tremaine who is coming out of the army, trying to adjust to a new status and situation he never wanted or thought would happen.  A explosion and severe body trauma ended Eric’s military career, leaving him full of rage, pain, and no direction to his life.  A Cajun (a familiar and well loved region for Tortuga) bereft of family, their choice, Eric turns to the only person he can think of, Win Winchester (The Terms of Release), an old Army buddy.

When BA Tortuga is clicking on all cylinders with her writing, as she is here with this series, she not only creates these unbelievably realistic tough, wounded men, but makes us pull for them in their recovery by ushering us intimately into their thoughts and feelings.  Doesn’t matter whether its their out of control “just throw shit” anger or feeling so helpless that they need to break down and sob, either way we are there with them 100 percent of the way because BA Tortuga has made them flesh and blood and vulnerable.

When Eric seeks the help and support of Win, he also gets Sage’s as well.  Sage is still undergoing therapy for the operations needed in the aftermath of the events in The Terms of Release.  Sage proves not only a sounding board for Eric but a curiosity of a man and relationship mentor.  Sage is also his introduction to trainer Troy Daniels.  Troy is a double amputee with a need to prove himself and everything sexy Eric finds in a man.

That’s four dynamic characters, although towards the end Win spends most of the time traveling so its down to Sage, Eric and Troy. No this is not a m/m/m.  Its strictly friendship between the two couples which I appreciated. All three have been through horrific ordeals and hard times, and primarily in the case of Eric and Troy,  still working their way through their physical and emotional issues.  Again BA Tortuga handles their problems and the manner in which their pain and avoidance issues manifests itself authentically, sometimes with humor, sometimes with frustration and rage.  Whatever the situation, my attachment to these men and their relationships is so deep that my attention never wavered. These four characters form such a strong foundation for this story that I could really have kept reading for another 100 to 200 hundred pages at least.

I love The Articles of Release.  I got Sage and Win from the first story and a wonderful new couple in Eric and Troy.  This story has so many layers  to it.  The wounded veteran adjusting to his new civilian life and physical restrictions, the double amputee growing up and dealing with his need to prove himself in risky situations, that being a amputee doesn’t end your sex life, along with Sage and Win’s new life, so many defining moments for each character and for the story itself.

I highly recommend this story and the series to date.  I  certainly hope BA Tortuga intends to continue it.   She’s really onto something here and I hope to see what the next book in the series might bring.

Cover art by Bree Archer.  I like the cover, yes its another torso, but at least it has the appropriate military garb and background.

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

Book Details:

ebook, 220 pages
Expected publication: September 4th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
edition languageEnglish
seriesThe Release Series #2

The Release Series Books:

A Jeri Review: The Windup (The Rainbow League #1) by Kate McMurray


Rating: 3 stars out of 5

the Windup coverIan ran screaming from New York City upon graduating from high school. A job offer too good to turn down has brought him back, but he plans to leave as soon as the job is up. In the meantime he lets an old friend talk him into joining the Rainbow League, New York’s LGBT amateur baseball league. Baseball turns out to be a great outlet for his anxiety, and not only because sexy teammate Ty has caught his eye.

Ty is like a duck on a pond—calm and laid-back on the surface, a churning mess underneath. In Ian, he’s found someone with whom he feels comfortable enough to share some of what’s going on beneath the surface. The only catch is that Ian is dead set on leaving the city as soon as he can. Ty works up a plan to convince Ian that New York is, in fact, the greatest city in the world. But when Ian receives an offer for a job overseas, Ty needs a new plan: convince Ian that home is where Ty is.

Generally, when a book is about the main character reluctantly returning to his hometown, it is usually some Midwestern or southern small town. Not in The Windup. Ian left Brooklyn as soon as he was able. His job takes him all over the country and around the world. So when his next assignment is in NYC, he doesn’t want to take it, but he knows it is only for a year or two before he moves on.

A high school friend convinces Ian to join The Rainbow League, an LGBT summer baseball league. Most join for the hook ups, some join for the game, but Ian joins to meet other people. Naturally, he is immediately drawn to the league “slut” Ty.

Ty and Ian slowly get to know each other, but they both hold back knowing that Ian is only in NYC for a short time. Ty still sees the magic that is NYC since he was born and raised in Texas. So he wants to convince Ian to stay in the city- and with him.

I loved how, that even though they both had emotional walls up, they did slowly let each other in. Neither one was a jerk- which I have seen time and again as a defense mechanism- they were each just guarded. Watching Ty’s romantic streak come out and letting his reputation as the team slut disappear was refreshing.

The sex was hot, the romance was sweet and the baseball was fun! I’ve read a lot of pro baseball books, this is my first with a league for fun and I loved it.

The cover by Aaron Anderson is a beautiful combination of NYC as an urban back drop and (I’m guessing) Ian as a bit of a loner. It really illustrates the overall book

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

Book Details:

ebook, 214 pages
Published April 24th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
original title The Windup
ISBN13 9781632169686
edition language English

A BJ Review: Charmed and Dangerous: Ten Tales of Gay Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy – authors Jordan Castillo Price, Rhys Ford, Ginn Hale, KJ Charles, Nicole Kimberling, Jordan L. Hawk, Astrid Amara, Andrea Speed, Lou Harper, Charlie Cochet


Charmed and DangerousTake a cauldron full of magic, add a pinch of humor, a dash of snark and a huge dollop of m/m goodness, and what do you get? Charmed and Dangerous: Ten Tales of Gay Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy. This all-new collection is packed with arcane action and intrigue, and every story will whisk you away to a fantastical world where the hero finds his prince and the paranormal investigator always gets his man.

Overall Rating:  4.25 stars out of 5

Tales of magic in some of its many forms with, according to the intro, a theme of sympathetic monsters. Well, hell, doesn’t that play right into my love for a good anti-hero! Plus when I saw the lineup of authors on this one, my mouth just about fell open. What a line up! I’m so on board to read this one. Please note that a few of the stories hook into a series and doubtless you will enjoy them those few more if you’re familiar with the series. One of them was a series I’d read, but the other, unfortunately, I was not at all familiar with as it’s a new to me author. Therefore, I discussed that one but did not rate it as I didn’t feel I had the background to do it justice.

The stories are listed in the order in which they appear in the anthology rather than by rating.

Dim Sum Asylum by Rhys Ford – 3.5 stars
Half-fae Detective Roku MacCormick works Arcane Crimes in San Francisco’s Chinatown. He’s cleared for duty after shooting his last partner and back on the job with a new case and a new partner. Trent Leonard, isn’t at all what he’d expected.

I own some books by this author that I’ve not gotten around to reading, but after this I definitely will soon. Because she can tear up the page.

Rich with description and detail, and since I’ve actually lived in San Francisco for a while, that was pretty cool for me. It starts with a rip-roaring chase scene through the streets of Chinatown complete with dragons and mermen, but despite the action I found the story hard to sink into. I felt lost, like I’d been thrown into the middle of an action movie with nothing to hold on to or maybe like jumping into part two of a series when I’d missed the beginning–it was jarring and confusing. Chapter two did clear up a lot of things and bring me more smoothly into the world and story, but the overall fast pace continued and it was hard for me to connect with the characters until closer to the end. That said, the imagery, imagination and details are amazing and vibrant. And the sex was smoking. If you like a kick ass story that goes from zero to sixty in five seconds flat with a flaming hot sex chaser, this story is for you!

Swift and the Black Dog by Ginn Hale – 3.75 stars 
The wizard Jack Swift became a national hero when he killed a tyrant and won the revolution. They even made movies about him! But now it seems like someone in the new government wants him dead.

Well-written, superb imagery. So wizards aren’t well accepted; they’re mostly considered trouble. And gay men are scorned as well. That, and living with his past, makes life hard for Jack despite his hero status.

First few chapters, the author did three things. One: The beginning of this story was slow to pull me in—until suddenly it grabbed me by the throat. Two: I didn’t like Jack much—and then it was made vividly clear that neither did he. Three: In one paragraph, one sentence really, I suddenly hated Peter with a fiery passion that put me completely in Jack’s corner yelling, “Kill the bastard, Jack. Kill him NOW!” Except that would be real hard considering… ah, well… no spoilers.

There’s a romance here, but it’s neither sexy nor sweet. Mostly this story is an eloquent, twisted tale of betrayal and revenge.

A Queer Trade by KJ Charles – 4 stars
Apprentice magician Crispin Tredarloe returns to London to find his master dead and some of the papers he’d written spells upon sold. Some of those spells might mean death so he sets out to get them back. Waste paper seller Ned Hall can’t resist Crispin, but can the two find the papers and prevent a disaster?

Well-written with a beginning that pulled me into it quickly. I enjoyed that it was written from both character’s POV as it gave me a connection to them both. Two likable main characters, but Ned especially for sticking by Crispin as he did. There was chemistry and some lovely hot, sexy bits between them. Nice plot that picked up speed as it went along with a satisfying resolution.

However, I should mention that this story did have parts that rather grossed me out. So warning, possible high ICK factor here, depending on what pushes your ick buttons, of course. *shudder*

Magically Delicious by Nicole Kimberling – 4 stars
Attacks against NIAD agents aren’t Keith Curry’s department–until his transmogrified goblin boyfriend, Gunther, is the target. Keith begins working the case even though that means pissing off powerful mages, crossing leprechaun picket lines, and braving dinner with goblin parents.

This one was so much fun. Mages, goblins, leprechauns, and pixies, oh my! The beginning just sucked me in immediately. Such interesting characters that I wanted to know all about them. Love the mage pistol and well, heck, this was just a super imaginative story. I figured out where the pixie dust had come from long before it came out, but it was still a fun ride getting to the bottom of exactly why and how. Gunther’s goblin family were great fun. The pixies and leprechauns (esp. Carrot Beard) were hilarious. But most of all, I adored Gunther the transmogrified goblin and would love to read more about him and Keith’s relationship, how they came to be together and definitely more in depth sexy bits please.

Everyone’s Afraid of Clowns by Jordan Castillo Price – 3.75 stars
Psychic medium Victor Bayne can spot a ghost any day of the year, but Halloween holds some special surprises. Victor and Jacob are on their way to a Halloween party, when Victor remembers something from his past. His psych-groupie boyfriend Jacob coaxes him to the location of the old spirit sighting, but they can’t ghost hunt without enduring a cheesy “haunted house” that’s even more disturbing than they realize.

Within the bowls of an old theatre, the guys encounter far more than just a ghost clown needing to cross over. As always between these two, any excuse for a sexy encounter is taken and the heat level between them is as hot as ever.

Well-written with ghost exhibitionism, glitter and goo, painted pumpkins and lots of spooky imagery. I’ve always found clowns and fun houses to be extremely creepy, but I do love this series. Victor and Jake are so darn hot together—wherever they are.

The Thirteenth Hex by Jordan L. Hawk – 5 stars
Dominic Kopecky is a Metropolitan Witch Police fanboy who failed the magic aptitude tests when he was young. He’d dreamed of working at MWP with witches and their familiars who take the form of birds, toads, and cats. But his lack of magic led him to become the next best thing—a hexman who does the grunt work of using ink, paper and gemstones to create spells that witches later activate with their magic. But hexes were an exact science and a badly done one could turn very deadly when activated.

When the beautiful unbonded crow familiar, Rook, seeks Dominic’s help investigating murder by hex Dominic isn’t sure why. He’s not a witch, the case has already been closed, and someone seems willing to kill to keep it that way.

I loved this one right from the start. Well-written, well-paced, intriguing characters, and a very unusual world set up. I thought it was funny that the familiar was a crow and Dominic’s last name was KoPECKy. Made me laugh. As did some of lines like ‘keep your beak out of it’ and a bunch of others. A lovely sweet romance, some nice heat, and a fun story. Overall, it just hit all the right notes for me.

The Soldati Prince by Charlie Cochet – 5 stars
Riley Murrough is a barista cleaning up after a day’s work when he’s suddenly being chased by demons, and rescued by tigers, one of which transforms into a huge man covered in tribal tattoos. If that wasn’t bad enough, he’s told that he bears the mark of a shapeshifter and whisked off to a magical realm.

Well-written story told from both Riley’s and Khalon’s POV, this story started off a bit confusing for me but very soon that changed and it sucked me in. At first witty, snarky fun with some really interesting side characters, but then things begin to shift. Within a chapter, there was a sweet romance that made me swoon and events that had me in tears and I completely loved Khalon and Riley. I really want to read more about this world and especially about the side characters Toka and Rayner as well. Loved those guys, too. The way Khalon and Rayner (best friends) bickered rocked. And the ending line was perfect Riley!

This was my first read by this author and will definitely not be my last, I really enjoyed her writing style.

One Hex Too Many by Lou Harper – 4.25 stars
Veteran detective Mike Mulligan is an expert on violent occult crimes at the Extramundane Crimes Division. Most of his fellow officers consider him cursed because of how many partners he’s lost and refuse to partner with him. Detective Hugh Fox is a rookie, eager to partner up and prove himself. However, Mulligan is accustomed to flying solo and not used to trusting a partner with his life. Not helped when one of the first things out of Fox’s mouth is to point out to Mulligan that he’s not gay.

Communicating via the bathroom mirror. Rogue hacker wizards=wackers (love that). A flamboyant blond desk clerk who can change sex at will uses glamour and charm spells on everyone in the force regularly as exposure training. All that in the first few pages let know right away that this was going to be a fun ride.

The duo is assigned to track a killer using dark magic—an offense at the top of the list of Prohibited Practices. Despite having gotten off to a rough start, I liked how Mulligan treated Fox from the get go. He seemed such a natural at training for a guy who hadn’t wanted a partner. Considerate of not making him look bad by correcting in front of others even when he was a trainee for instance. Early on a semi-drunken kiss motivated by a big red bed after the two of them had sung some off-note Karaoke made things a bit awkward—and yeah, that’s the kind of fun that ensues. The pace of their relationship development is fairly slow, which I liked, but I wanted to see/feel more heat. I enjoyed this new to me author’s writing style, quick paced, witty and fun, but with close attention to details of world building as well as the mystery elements. I would love a story about Leslie.

Josh of the Damned vs. the Bathroom of Doom by Andrea Speed 
It’s a boring night at the Quik-Mart for Josh and his friend Doug. Until a vampire with a grudge—and the most adorable backup ever—crashes the store. Can Josh survive the Bathroom of Doom?

A new to me author and I’m not familiar with this series, so right off that put me at a bit of a disadvantage going into this. Overall well-written story, but I was rather lost some of the time and for that reason, I am not going to assign this story an individual star rating. Honestly this story squicked me out, including how Josh described and thought about things—I’m pretty sure this had to do with my total lack of background reference on him to go on, but I have to be honest and say that Josh and Doug didn’t appeal to me. The Medusa bracelet was cool. I think fans of this series will enjoy this well-written quirky story. It just wasn’t for me.

The Trouble With Hexes by Astrid Amara – 5 stars
P.I. Tim Keller has a problem. And the only person who can solve it is his ex-boyfriend, Vincent, whose job as a hexbreaker was the reason they broke up. It’s hard admitting he was wrong, especially when coughing up organs. But there’s a missing person to find, a hexmaker to hunt down, and a romance to repair before Tim breathes his last.

Wow, this one grabbed me by the throat. With a death grip. Tim broke up with Vincent, a tattoo artist, six months ago because he didn’t believe in the mumbo jumbo he’d started working with in his spare time and couldn’t stomach the danger it put him in. Conversely, Vincent made more effort to hide what he was doing than to explain and show it to Tim right up until the blow up at the end.

A few months later, Tim began to sicken and when doctors found no cure he had to face the truth he’d sensed all along… he’d been hexed. He shows up on Vincent’s doorstep a mere shadow of the man he’d been, suddenly having no choice but to believe in what he’d scoffed at. But even if Vincent wants to help him, it turns out that breaking a withering hex is no easy matter.

The writing in this last and lengthiest story is excellent as is the pacing. The characters are well-drawn and sucked me right into their life and world. Plenty of heat, some “aww” moments, and some parts that made me teary. And even a sweet little dog. What more could I want? My favorite of this anthology—for me, an excellent example of saving the best for last.

Cover is both hot and intriguing, it also most definitely says paranormal to me and made me want to check this book out upon first sight.

Sales Links:  JCP Books |  Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

Expected publication: August 25th 2015 by JCP Books LLC
original title Charmed and Dangerous: Ten Tales of Gay Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy
edition language English

In the Book Spotlight: Classic
 (Rainbow Connection
 #3) by Lynn Townsend



 (Rainbow Connection
 #3) by Lynn Townsend
Release Date: September 2, 2015

STRW In The Spotlight Header

Goodreads Link  –  Add it to your bookshelf
Publisher: Torquere Press
Cover Artist: BSClay


Sales Links:  Torquere Books

STRW Author BookSynopsis

Beau Watkins and Vin Reyes have mended their differences, but that doesn’t mean that everything is back the way it was. When Beau’s teenage niece shows up with her son in tow, Beau is thrown unexpectedly into a world of adult responsibilities and adult decisions, all of which could have disastrous consequences. Reconciliation with his family is complicated by an overseas internship with a predatory business woman.

Vin still struggles with his alcoholism, with finding his place in a world after college, and establishing relationships with his newfound father and sister. The last puzzle piece of Vin’s mysterious past is clicked into place when he comes face-to-face with his mother’s ex-fiance. His relationship with Beau has never been stronger… until an unexpected email threatens to topple everything they’ve build together.

Pages or Words: 69,900 words

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

STRW Spotlight Book Excerpt

Beau grabbed a bottle of water out of the fridge and tossed it in his gym bag. Outside, David laid on the horn.
“Coming,” Beau muttered to the empty room. Vin was off touring yet another one of his grandfather’s facilities in the endless, looping discussion about what he was going to do with his life.Beau locked the door behind himself, and skipped most of the bottom half of the stairs with a one-handed rail-jump. He waved to the Escalade, knowing David would see him behind the tinted windows. Beau felt a flutter of pleasurable nerves in his gut; it had been a while since he’d gone out dancing–avoiding the bars was in Vin’s best interests for the time being–and he really needed a workout. David had suggested a trip to the gym, where he’d teach Beau some of the basics in kick-boxing.
Beau just reached the door when someone grabbed his shoulder. He dropped his bag, whirling, heart in his throat, breathing hard. He knocked the offending limb aside. The passenger side door of the Escalade flew open and David slid out, gun already in hand.
“Back away from Mr. Watkins, sir,” David advised, his voice low and firm.
“I am Mr. Watkins,” the man said, confused. “Beau?”
“Lee?” Beau’s legs almost gave out from under him and he leaned hard against the side of the SUV, feeling the black painted metal heating his skin. “Jesus Christ.”
“Are you all right, sir?” David didn’t look away from his target, his gun still trained on Beau’s older brother.
“Parking lot,” Beau said. David knew about his panic attacks. David had been there when Vin found Beau, beaten and bloody, on the asphalt, two years ago.
“Back. Up.” David slid the rest of the way out of the vehicle. “I consider you a threatening individual.”
“My God, David,” Beau said. David wasn’t wearing his typical three-piece suit, probably the first time Beau had ever seen him dressed casually, in black sweatpants and a white tank top, his gun holster buckled to his chest like some sort of kinky lingerie. Beau’d always suspected the raw strength underneath the tailored coats, but he’d never actually seen it. David was cut from a block of wood, hard muscles overlaid with tanned skin, marred here and there by scars, one of which could have been caused by nothing less than a bullet wound. “Lee is my brother.”
“Which does not negate the need to protect you from him, sir,” David said. “I’ve heard about his letters. Not only that, but I saw Mr. Reyes’s throat after spring break. This is a dangerous individual.”
“I kinda dislocated his shoulder for that,” Beau admitted. “Seriously, David, put the gun away and put on a shirt, you’re makin’ me horny.”
“Yah, you’re cute, kid, but not that cute.” David gave Lee a particularly fierce look. “I am very fond of your brother. I will shoot you if I even think you’re about to do something stupid. Are we crystal on this?”
“Yeah, clear, man,” Lee said. He took a cautious step backward. “I just wanna talk to him. I’m not here to pick a fight.”
Beau nodded. “Right. We’ll go talk on the steps,” he said.
Lee waited until they were out of earshot. “What the hell is that guy’s problem?”
“David and Vin saved my life a few years back,” Beau said. “I think David takes it personally that he wasn’t there to keep Contreras from beating the shit out of me. And you did try to crush Vin’s throat.” Beau’s legs were still wobbly and he collapsed onto the stairs gratefully.
“Whatever, man.”
It was barely worth the effort to glare at Lee. “What are you doing here? What do you want? How the hell did you even find our place?” Beau leaned his head against the brick wall. He would probably kill someone for a cigarette, but he was trying to quit–again–and didn’t currently have any on him.
“I got the address from Sheila, down at the post office. I asked her where Momma was sending all your packages.”
“Well, that’s just a little bit creepy,” Beau said. Not that it wasn’t typical; small towns did not hold with big federal laws about privacy. It wasn’t private, between kin, and half the town was related to most of the other half. “Sit down, Lee. My head already hurts.”
Lee dropped onto the porch, leaning his weight back on one arm. He looked older. There was no better word for it. His usually needs-a-haircut curls were gone, close clipped in an almost military style, and he’d finally shaved off the soul patch under his lip. Lee wore a button down shirt and jeans. Near his knee, there was a red smear of something that might have been dried jelly.
“How have you been, kid?” Lee asked.
“Are we being nice? Is that what we’re doing here? Nice? After… well, after everything?”
“I didn’t think you’d listen to me if I called.” Lee raked a hand over his scalp, his wedding ring glinting in the sun.
“I suppose you think I’m being unreasonable, all things considered?” Beau asked.
“Look, I’m sorry about the letters,” Lee said.
“Don’t apologize to me about them.” Beau snorted. “I didn’t read ’em after the first two. Broke my hand on the wall wishin’ it was your skull. Ann-Marie read them for me, to see if you’d stopped being an ass. Haven’t gotten one in a while. Something change in your life?”

STRW Author Bio and Contacts

Lynn Townsend is a geek, a dreamer and an inveterate punster. When not reading, writing, or editing, she can usually be found drinking coffee or killing video game villains. Lynn’s interests include filk music, romance novels, octopuses, and movies with more FX than plot.

Where to find the author:
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/LynnTownsendwriter
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tisfan
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/kthicks3/
Other: http://paidbytheweird.blogspot.com/
Other: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/tisfan


Tour Dates & Stops:

Parker Williams, Happily Ever Chapter, Bayou Book Junkie, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, MM Good Book Reviews, My Fiction Nook, BFD Book Blog, Inked Rainbow Reads, Molly Lolly, Velvet Panic, Jessie G. Books, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves, Divine Magazine, Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies, Oh My


STRW Spotlight Contest Header

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: Trilogy of books, Roll, Blues and Classic. Link and prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.
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Love a Geek in Love? Check out ‘Beware of Geeks Bearing Gifts by Charlie Cochet (excerpt, contest and character profile)




  • BewareOfGeeksFSTitle: Beware of Geeks Bearing Gifts
  • Author: Charlie Cochet
  • Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
  • Cover Artist: Anne Cain
  • Length: 86 pages
  • Release Date: August 19, 2015

Blurb: Julian “Quinn” Quinetro, a gruff, tough Miami SWAT officer, has been injured on the job, and all he’s looking for is a little peace and quiet to recover—difficult to achieve with his large Cuban family. An adventure in picking up his prescriptions puts him in the path of his geeky, brownie-baking neighbor, Spencer Morgan. Spencer sweeps into Quinn’s life like a tropical storm of sunshine and rainbows. Not surprisingly, it’s chaos at first sight. Quinn’s in need of a little tender loving care, and Spencer decides he’s just the man for the job. Their very different lives might clash, but they might also find some common ground—and maybe more.

Need more?  Meet Spencer!  Here is Spencer’s very own Character Profile!  Maybe we should show this to Quinn? Nah! That’s just way too easy!

BGBG Spencer Character Profile - ScatteredThoughts


“This is sad, man. What is it with you and brownies?”

“These aren’t just any brownies,” Spencer stated proudly as he removed his latest batch of baked chocolate decadence from the oven. “These are Nutella caramel brownies with nuts, made from scratch. These are orgasm-in-your-mouth brownies.”

“Not really sure what to think about that,” Danny muttered, eyeing the brownies dubiously. “Seriously, dude. The only orgasm you should be chasing is the one waiting next door. This is your perfect chance! He’s defenseless.” Danny reached for a brownie, but Spencer slapped his hand away before he could pilfer one.

“I have to spread the Nutella and top them with walnuts. Also, I don’t know what I find more disturbing: that you think I should take advantage of the poor guy in his defenseless state, or that you believe the only way I’ve got a shot is to take advantage of him in his defenseless state.” He stopped and turned to his pouting best friend. “And FYI, defenseless is what babies and puppies are, not huge-ass mountain men in possession of heavy artillery. I ran into him once, literally, and it’s like he’s made out of fucking granite. He’s got an eight-pack. An eight-pack.”

Spencer had never seen an eight-pack outside of cyberspace. Until his sexy neighbor, he’d questioned their existence, much like Bigfoot. The sighting had taken place one morning on his way to get groceries. Quinn had been on his way to their gated community’s pool, sporting nothing but low-riding swim trunks and flip-flops. He’d stepped into the elevator next to Spencer, and the heat outside had nothing on the heat that had spread through Spencer’s body. Luckily Quinn had been too busy texting to notice Spencer’s Human Torch impression.

“I have… I don’t even know what this is.” Spencer lifted up the hem of his apron and the Hulk T-shirt underneath with a frown. He ran his finger down a groove along his torso as he sucked his stomach in. “Does this look like muscle definition to you?”

Danny reached over to pat Spencer’s pale belly. “Looks like you need to stop baking brownies. And get some sun, man. Look at you. You’re not even white. You’re like, transparent.”

“That’s harsh.” Spencer lowered his clothes. “I don’t tan like you. I burn. You couldn’t lie to me? Besides, what am I supposed to say to him? ‘Hi, remember me? I’m the guy who’s been living next door to you for the past year. We pass each other in the hall every day, take the elevator together, have parking spaces next to each other, have mailboxes next to each other, do laundry in the same room together, and shop at the same supermarket. No? That’s okay. Excuse me while I die of embarrassment.’” Spencer walked around the kitchen counter and flopped down into a chair, waiting for the brownies to cool. “The guy doesn’t know I exist. He’s freakin’ Miami SWAT. He’s probably an overbearing, misogynistic asshole with a giant ego, anyway.”

Danny took a seat next to him, his expression filled with concern. “You don’t know that. Besides, since when do you judge people?”

Spencer narrowed his eyes at his friend. “No one likes a smartass.”

“Says the guy who got a ticket for mouthing off to a police officer.”

“I wasn’t mouthing off. I was being witty and adorable. The guy just had no sense of humor. Besides, I was nowhere near that fire hydrant. He was clearly behind on his quota. Bet that wouldn’t have happened to Quinn.” Was he pouting? Oh God, he was. Danny was right; he was sad.

“Probably because he’s SWAT and can park his ginormous truck wherever the hell he wants.” Danny went to the glass doors of the balcony overlooking the parking spaces and started laughing.


“You know how they say dogs look like their owners? I wonder if the same applies to cars.”

Spencer joined Danny at the window, letting out a low groan. His tiny yellow Fiat gleamed cheerfully beside Quinn’s monster black Chevy Silverado. “It looks like a sunspot.”


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AuthorPicCharlie Cochet is an author by day and artist by night. Always quick to succumb to the whispers of her wayward muse, no star is out of reach when following her passion. From adventurous agents and sexy shifters, to society gentlemen and hardboiled detectives, there’s bound to be plenty of mischief for her heroes to find themselves in, and plenty of romance, too!

Currently residing in Central Florida, Charlie is at the beck and call of a rascally Doxiepoo bent on world domination. When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading, drawing, or watching movies. She runs on coffee, thrives on music, and loves to hear from readers.

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Cover Reveal for Lane Hayes’ Better Than Safe (A Better Than series novel) (contest)



Lane Hayes reveals the beautiful cover art for the
next book in her BETTER THAN series
It releases on September 25, 2015, published by Dreamspinner Press.

Paul Fallon is a fashion advertising guru. He’s a genius at dealing with difficult editors, art directors, and designers alike. He thrives on the chaotic atmosphere and constant challenges. But in his personal life, he’s hoping for peace and stability. Settling down with a nice doctor or lawyer sounds perfect. Anyone but an artist. He’s been there, done that, and he doesn’t want to relive the heartache.

Seth Landau is a model, occasional guitarist, and aspiring painter. He’s quirky, flighty, and wise beyond his years. Life has taught him some tough lessons, then given him opportunities he never dreamed of. He’s learned to appreciate the fragility of life and to express it in his work. Seth’s flare for the absurd combined with a supple mind and a beautiful body are too alluring for Paul to ignore. Against his best intentions, Paul is drawn to the younger man whose particular brand of crazy challenges Paul to accept that things aren’t always as they seem. Sometimes taking a chance is better than being safe.

Art by Aaron Anderson


He was gorgeous, albeit a bit daft, but the truth was I had a thing for beautiful crazy people
Read more exclusive excerpts on –
Lane Hayes is grateful to finally be doing what she loves best. Writing full time!
It’s no secret Lane loves a good romance novel. An avid reader from an early
age, she has always been drawn to a well-told love story with beautifully
written characters. These days she prefers the leading roles both be men! Lane
discovered the M/M genre a few years ago and was instantly hooked. Her first
novel was a finalist in the 2013 Rainbow Awards and her third received an
Honorable Mention in the 2014 Rainbow Awards. She loves travel, chocolate, and
wine (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her
amazing husband and the coolest yellow lab ever in an almost empty nest.
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Winner’s Prize: $10 Amazon Gift Card. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Link and prizes provided by the author and Creative Minds Promotions.