A Paul B Review: Zach (Gillham Pack, #2) by Catherine Lievens

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Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Zach coverZach desperately wants to be with his mate Kameron.  However, his sister’s husband is forcing him to stay away or else Ella will be hurt.  Will Zach be able to help not only his sister but also himself?

Kameron has been Alpha of the Gillham pack for six months.  He has felt a pull towards fellow pack member Zach for well over a year.  The only problem is that Zach does not smell like his mate.  Disappointed that the tell tale sign is not there, Kameron still spends all the time he can with Zach.  When he decides three months into his Alpha tenure that he wants Zack as his mate despite not being fated mates, Zach disappears on him.  Hurt by his disappearance, Kameron tries to move on by leading his pack.

Having known Kameron was his mate for seven years has been hard on Zach.  He first realized that Kam was his mate when he was fourteen, too young to do anything about it.  However, in order to protect Zach from their previous Alpha Erskine, his parents obtain some pills that mask Zach scent to Kam.  After Kam has defeated Erskine in an alpha challenge, Zach’s hopes of getting together with Kam are dashed when his brother in law Stan threatens both his sister Ella and Kam if he doesn’t come live with them to take over the household chores from a pregnant Ella.

However, that does not prevent Zach from sneaking over to the alpha house to catch glimpses of his should be mate.

After Kam and his friends rescue both Zach and Ella from Stan’s house, Zach explains the whole situation to Kam.  Kam insists that the injured Zach recovers in the alpha suite.  As the two renew their friendship and move toward a relationship, Zach decides his role is to be alpha mate.  However, one of the former inner circle members who had been abusing pack members slips apprehension.  Tom goes to the alpha house to look through the office files when Zach surprises him.  Tom subdues the injured man and takes off.  When Kam returns from interrogating the prisoners they do have finds Zach gone with no sign of a struggle, he isn’t sure what happened.  Was Zach kidnapped or did he run away again like the last time?

This is the follow up to Xavier in the Gilliam Pack series.  This is a good follow up to the story that was hinted at in the last book.  The reasons for Zach being so elusive in the first book are fully explained here.  The major theme of the book is misplaced distrust of one’s mate.  Zach does not trust Kam to help him out of his situation.  Kam does not trust Zach not to run away again, which caused a delay in his rescue.  The scene stealer in this book is the elephant screw shifter that was rescued from the labs.

The cover art by Latrisha Waters shows a well-built torso with a wolf looking out in front of him.  It’s a fairly standard cover for a shifter story.

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

Book details

Ebook, 116 pages
Edition:  English
ISBN: 978-1-4874-0387-4
Published:  July 15, 2015 by Extasy Books

Series:  Gillham Pack

  • Xavier (Gillham Pack #1)
  • Zach (Gillham Pack #2)
  • Craig (Gillham Pak #3)

A Jeri Review: The Long Slide Home (The Rainbow League #3) by Kate McMurray

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

The Long Slide Home coverNate and Carlos have been the best of friends since their childhood playing baseball together in the Bronx. For the last few years, Nate’s been in love with Carlos, though he’s never acted on it, and Carlos has never given any indication that he returns Nate’s feelings. Nate has finally given up, determined to move on and find someone else, especially now that Carlos has shacked up with his boyfriend Aiden.

Carlos doesn’t understand why Nate has suddenly gotten weird, acting cold and distant at team practice for the Rainbow League. But if that’s how things are going to be, Carlos is done trying to figure Nate out. But then Aiden starts to show he might not be the man Carlos thought he was, and Carlos needs his best friend’s support. Worse, he starts to realize his feelings for Nate might not be limited to friendship. But in the aftermath of his relationship with Aiden, and with Nate having problems of his own, the timing is all wrong to make a real relationship work. As emotions run high, both have hard time figuring out what is real and what is just convenient.

Sometimes it takes something to open your eyes to the possibilities. For Nate, it was watching Carlos dating Aidan.

Nate and Carlos have been friends since they were kids. Growing up in the same neighborhood of the Bronx, their mutual love of the Yankees and baseball in general, and Nate practically growing up in Carlos’ Puerto Rican family since he only had a single working mother.

They played on the same team in the league and were both out of the closet. Everyone assumed they were together until Carlos started dating Aidan.

Nate is losing his chance to have Carlos as his own- but he is also losing his friendship with Carlos. He never hangs out after games with his friends, he leaves directly after practice and doesn’t say much to anyone. Until he shows up at Nate’s door with a bruise on his face.

Watching these two navigate through their friendship to something more was really beautiful. They struggle to find the balance between friends and lovers, while navigating baseball, Carlos’ huge family and a rebound situation. You just want to cheer for them to make it through.

Cover art by Aaron Anderson who did the covers for the first two stories as well.I loved having both main characters on the cover of the book, which again, follows the same art as the previous two.

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

Book Details:

ebook, 204 pages
Published August 14th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press LLC
original title The Long Slide Home
ISBN139781632169723
edition language English
Books in the Rainbow League Series are:

Think Love and Videogames Clash? Check Out Sex, Love, and Videogames (Serpentine Series #3)
 by CJane Elliott (author interview, excerpt and giveaway)

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SexLoveVideogamesFS

Sex, Love, and Videogames (Serpentine Series #3)
 by CJane Elliott
Release Date: August 21, 2015

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase

Where can you buy the book?  Dreamspinner Press | All Romance (ARe)

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My Author Interview with CJ Elliott

Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing CJane Elliott, author of Sex, Love, and Videogames.

Hi CJane, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.

Hi there. Thanks so much for having me on your blog today to talk about my newest book, Sex, Love, and Videogames, the third novel in the Serpentine Series. Each book is a standalone but the series has recurring characters. Sex, Love, and Videogames is the story of Jed Carter, who we first met in Serpentine Walls, and Charlie Ambrose, a new character to the series.

• Do you buy a book because of the cover, the blurb, or something else?

I’m influenced by the cover. I might pause at a cover that draws me in, then read the blurb. If the author isn’t known to me, I base my purchase mostly on the blurb and whether the story sounds interesting. I tend to buy women authors and I like stories about relationships. I will also buy a book based on recommendations from other authors or friends.

• What does ‘romance’ mean to you?

Romance means hope. It means that falling in love is possible and so is having your happily ever after. In my books, the characters often have to grow and change before they’re able to allow love in, but that’s what makes it satisfying when they finally get there.

• What are your current projects?

I’m about to begin the editing phase on my next Dreamspinner release, which is a follow-up story to my novella Wild and Precious. We find out what happens to Cody Bellstrom as he travels on a train out West. The story is called There You Are and will be published in December or January.

I submitted a story for the Dreamspinner holiday anthology this year, Home Is Where the Christmas Trees Are, and will hear whether or not they accepted it in September. *fingers crossed*

I’m planning my next novella in the Wild and Precious universe and the fourth novel in the Serpentine Series for publication in 2016.

But Dreamspinner had to go and add their new line: Dreamspun Desires, which is Harlequin-style romances featuring all the traditional tropes! Now I have to write something for that too!
• What is the most difficult part of writing for you?

Getting started. I brainstorm ideas, make an outline, and dither around before I start the actual writing. But once I’ve gotten the first chapter written, I’m on a roll.

• Tell us something about yourself that would surprise people.

I’m a licensed clinical social worker and I work for a Hospice in my day job. Far from being an “evil day job” I truly love the work I do.

Now about Sex, Love, and Videogames

SexLoveVideogamesFS

Blurb

Shy guy Jed Carter has always felt invisible next to his charismatic older brother, Kent. Kent’s master plan for Jed is simple: University of Virginia, business, sports, and ladies’ man. None of it is Jed, except for playing on the rugby team, which he joins in defiance of soccer-loving Kent. Jed comes out in his sophomore year and starts seeing Pete, an attractive junior, who uses him for sex and videogames. Jed wants more—in life and in love—and starts making his own plans. First on the list: getting to know Charlie, the handsome guy working at the local videogame arcade.

Charlie Ambrose has always felt like an oddball, and not just for his tendency to stutter. Being gay sets him apart from his African-American community, and as a “townie,” he doesn’t fit in with the college crowd. Charlie’s inspiration is his cousin, Morocco, who’s transgender and doesn’t give a fig about fitting in. Art is Charlie’s passion, and when a local videogame designer discovers him, Charlie’s living a dream. The only thing he’s missing is love. But the last person Charlie expects to find it with is a cute, white U.Va. rugby player named Jed.

Pages or Words: 264 pages
Categories: Contemporary, Gay fiction, M/M Romance, New adult, *Trans, Interracial

Excerpt

“Okay, warm up laps!” Beau led the rugby team in a slow circuit around the perimeter of Mad Bowl. After a few laps, he stopped and had them do stretching exercises.
The other team did their warming up, and when they moved to take positions, Jed noticed a pair of people standing on the sidelines. His breathing stopped for a second. Charlie stood, hands in his pockets, shifting from foot to foot, while Morocco, a vision in a pink track suit, set up a camp chair (apt name, that) and sat down. Morocco saw Jed looking and waved. Charlie turned and gave a small wave himself, and Jed waved back, heart beating faster.
“Who’re they?” Bud asked, squinting over at them.
“Um, Charlie’s a guy who works at Lucky’s. In the gaming area. And the other is his cousin.”
“Hmm. Townies?”
“Yep.”
“She’s cute.”
“Um, well, about that….” Jed cut himself off because the referee blew the whistle. Time to play ball and hope he did well in front of those two.
The game proved the usual testosterone-fest, with lots of grunting and body contact. When Jed scored some points, Morocco produced pom poms that matched her outfit and waved them wildly.
At the break, Jed ran over to them for a minute to say hi—fuck what the rest of the team thought.
“Jed, child, my word!” Morocco fanned her chest. “Y’all are such manly men! Rugby is going to be my new obsession, I just know it!”
“I like it. My mom never let me play contact sports in high school, so I kinda love ramming into people.” Jed felt his cheeks flame at what he had said. Crap-a-doodle.
But Morocco laughed and Charlie faked a cough so he could smile behind his fist.
“So, hey, thanks for coming. I gotta go back now.”
Charlie nodded as Morocco said, “We’ll see you after the game.” She picked up her pom poms. “Wa-hoo-wa!”
When the team huddled before the second half, a homophobe named Welburn said with a sneer, “Who are those freaks on the sidelines?”
Another guy laughed. “Yeah. I thought all the he-shes lived in San Francisco.”
“What’re you talking about?” Bud peered over toward Charlie and Morocco. “That girl?”
Welburn spit on the ground. “That girl is no she. She’s a he. What the hell are they doing here?”
Beau raised his voice. “Hey, concentrate, guys. We need to win this game.”
Jed held up a hand to stop Beau from continuing. “Before we do that, you all need to know that those are some friends of mine. So shut your fucking faces before I shut them for you.” He leveled a lethal glare at Welburn and his compatriot.
Fueled by his anger, Jed played an amazing second half, and the team pulled out a victory on the strength of his points alone. After their team high five, he trotted over to Charlie and Morocco. Charlie smiled broadly while Morocco jumped up and down. “Jed, Jed, Jed! Wa-hoo-wa! Thass right!”
“Okay, okay.” Jed couldn’t help laughing at Morocco’s outrageous enthusiasm. “Thanks for coming to the game.”
“It was fun. I’m glad we came.” Charlie took a step back, seemingly surprised to have gotten two stutter-free sentences out.
“I’m glad too.” They gazed tentatively at each other, and Morocco suddenly got busy folding up the camp chair.

 

About the Author

After years of hearing characters chatting away in her head, CJane Elliott finally decided to put them on paper and hasn’t looked back since. A psychotherapist by training, CJane enjoys writing sexy, passionate stories that also explore the human psyche. CJane has traveled all over North America for work and her characters are travelers, too, traveling down into their own depths to find what they need to get to the happy ending.
CJane is an ardent supporter of LGBTQ equality and is particularly fond of coming out stories.
In her spare time, CJane can be found dancing, listening to music, or watching old movies. Her husband and son support her writing habit by staying out of the way when they see her hunched over, staring intensely at her laptop.

Where to find the author:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cjane.elliott
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CJaneElliott
E-mail: cjaneelliott@gmail.com
Website: http://www.cjaneelliott.com

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Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy of any Serpentine Series book.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Link and prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.
Rafflecopter Code:
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Tour Dates & Stops:
21-Aug

Boys on the Brink Reviews: http://www.boysonthebrink.com/blog-tour-and-giveaway-sex-love-and-videogames-by-cjane-elliott/

Divine Magazine: http://divinemagazine.net/book-stuff/sex-love-and-videogames-by-cjane-elliott-keep-me-in-mind-tour

Jessie G. Books: http://jessiegbooks.com/blog-tour-sex-love-and-videogames-by-cjane-elliott/

Bayou Book Junkie: http://bayoubookjunkie.blogspot.com/2015/08/keep-me-in-mind-mm-sex-love-and.html

28-Aug Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Happily Ever Chapter

4-Sep Amanda C. Stone, MM Good Book Reviews

11-Sep V’s Reads, Bike Book Reviews, The Novel Approach

18-Sep Hearts on Fire, Love Bytes

25-Sep The Jena Wade, My Fiction Nook

2-Oct Inked Rainbow Reads, BFD Book Blog

9-Oct Prism Book Alliance, Molly Lolly, Velvet Panic

 

 

WillPride

A Barb, A Zany Old Lady Review: Lead Me Not by Ann Gallagher

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Lead Me Not coverIsaac Morris strongly believes in spreading the word of the Lord as he firmly and loudly protests homosexuality at rallies organized by his church at any and all LGBTQ pride gatherings. Following in the footsteps of his father, the leader of the church which has a zero tolerance for that type of sexual deviant Sodomizer, he and his brothers are being groomed to take over the flock when, and if, his father retires. At one such protest, a gay man challenges him to prove that being homosexual is a choice. Stunned, Isaac begins to think through the possibilities of proving that one can choose to be homosexual and one can choose to come back to the Lord and be heterosexual again.

His twin sister, Ruth, encourages him and helps him to convince their father and older brothers that their plan is sound. Their nephew Griffin has been struggling with being gay and is due to be sent to a special camp as a last resort to save him. His father, Isaac’s brother John, supports the project in the hope that it will help Griffin see that he can become “normal” through a conscious decision to change. Ruth, a film major, and Isaac, a recently divorced man, have nothing to lose by setting up a house in Seattle to film a documentary while Isaac infiltrates the gay community to prove being gay is a choice. Motivated by the knowledge that he is helping Griffin and others like him, Isaac stifles his nausea at having to do this project. Focusing on the hope that he can help lead those sinners back to God, they move forward with their plan.

His first foray into attempting a hookup ends up with him being bashed in the alley behind the bar, CapitalOUT. Colton, one of the bartenders, accompanies the bouncers as they head into the alley to break up the fight and rescue the guy. It’s Colton who treats Isaac’s wounds and extends the hand of comfort, healing, and friendship to Isaac. And it’s Colton, whom Isaac turns to when he decides he needs some guidance before attempting this again. Colton is a sweet, quiet, confidant man who conveys a soft-spoken attitude and acceptance of the Lord’s way in most everything he does. Colton volunteers all his spare time at his church, a church which welcomes and supports LGBTQ members and provides a youth center for those teens who have been abandoned by their families.

Pastor Mike once saved Colton from the same fate, and Colton is firm about giving back to the church which saved his life. Over time, Isaac finally acknowledges that the church is based on love and respect for all who seek the Lord, and he has lengthy discussions and debates with the pastor about the sections of the Bible his father uses as a basis for his hatred of homosexuality. Pastor Mike shows Isaac a different interpretation and suggests that Isaac’s father is using the Bible for his own means to spread hatred, rather than love. (To clarify here, no one knows who Isaac’s father actually is.)

Isaac also discovers that he has feelings for Colton, feelings he never felt for his wife, and feelings which scare him. How can he come to care for a man? Is he really gay? Can he possibly go back when this film production is done? And can he break the heart of the wonderful man he’s come to care for? The decision is taken from his hands when his brothers discover his confidential video of his private thoughts about each situation he’s been thrown in. They also discover that he works now as a bartender at CaptialOUT, and they come storming in to pull him away— but not before revealing his secret to Colton— a secret which clearly devastates Colton and tears the couple apart before they ever have a chance to commit to each other.

This is an absolutely wonderful story. It’s long, and non-explicit, but that seems of little importance as it clearly shows the depth of love two men can have for each other. This story is not so much about the sexual attraction as it is about other things that attract one person to another. The beauty of the soul of a man, his goodness shining through, the buildup of trust between two people and yes, even the butterflies in the tummy when their gazes meet across a room.

What happens to Isaac and Colton and how the issues are resolved is both fascinating and engaging and I quickly reached the point where I didn’t want to put the book down. I highly recommend this story to all lovers of M/M romance, and especially to those who struggle with the arguments related to religion and homosexuality and the “word of God” in the Bible. I found the story quite educational and enlightening without feeling as if I were sitting at the foot of a preacher and being spoon-fed Bible studies. This story is also great because it can be shared with family members who prefer to read non-explicit romances or those who may be considered too young to read such stories. I can summarize by saying that when I finished the book, I was stunned by the powerful message and the depth of feeling conveyed to readers. Don’t hesitate to read this one.

~~~~~
Cover Art by L.C. Chase depicts two men, representing the MCs, standing against a background of a crowd of protesters holding up homophobic placards.

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

Book Details:

ebook, 415 pages
Expected publication: August 24th 2015 by Riptide Publishing
original title Lead Me Not
ISBN 1626492778 (ISBN13: 9781626492776)
edition language English
settingSeattle, Washington (United States)

Coffee Break Highlight: Ann Gallagher on Lead Me Not and Future Projects for Her and Her Alter Egos! (guest post and giveaway)

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Lead Me Not cover

Lead Me Not by Ann Gallagher
Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Cover Artist:  L. C. Chase
Sales Link:  Riptide Publishing

LeadMeNot_TourBanner

 

Welcome to the Riptide Publishing/Ann Gallagher blog tour for Lead Me Not!

Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing for a choice for a choice of two eBooks off my backlist (including books written as L.A. Witt and Lauren Gallagher, excluding Lead Me Not) and a $10 Riptide Publishing store credit. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on August 29. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. Entries. Don’t forget to leave your email so we can contact you if you win!  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Prizes provided by Riptide Publishing and the author.

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So what’s next for Ann Gallagher & Co?

Lead Me Not prompted me to add a new pen name to my ever-growing roster. (I swear, I’m stopping at five. I do not need more. Please, please, no more…) So now that Ann Gallagher has one book out there, what’s next?

I honestly don’t know much more I’ll be writing in the Christian/inspirational genre (I simply haven’t come up with any additional ideas, though that’s not to say they won’t happen down the line), but I also don’t want Ann to be a one trick pony. So, chances are, she will be required to wear multiple hats just like my other names. This name will most likely be LGBTQ, focusing on sweet romances (not limited to Christian romances) and Young Adult.

And yes, I am expanding into YA next year. I have two YA romances in the works, and a third YA book that likely won’t be a romance.

Speaking of my herd of pen names, here’s what’s next for everyone else:

L.A. Witt is the busiest of the bunch. What He Left Behind (an erotic menage from Samhain Publishing) just came out, and Running With Scissors (a rock star romance) will be out on August 31st. Also in the offing, Rain Shadow (a new Bluewater Bay book) this fall, followed by If The Seas Catch Fire (erotic suspense with Mafia shenanigans) in November, and a kinky office romance called Not Safe For Work in December. And there are several co-written projects which will be announced as they’re completed.

Lauren Gallagher has a hetero release in October called The Virgin Cowboy Billionaire’s Secret Baby (yes, really), and a bisexual ménage called The Best Laid Plans, which is due out in February. Also in the works is Stuck Landing, the first lesbian book in the Bluewater Bay series.

Diana Fyre is working on two horror novels, which will be announced sometime in 2016.
And finally, Lori A. Witt is working on Mythos, a non-romance science fiction novel; a dystopian spec-fic story; and a sequel to The Tide of War.

There are a few other projects going on that will be announced in 2016, so stay tuned!

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Lead Me Not cover

Blurb

Isaac Morris has devoted his life to preaching against the sin of homosexuality. But when his sister proposes a documentary to demonstrate once and for all that it’s a choice—with Isaac choosing to be gay as proof—he balks. Until he learns his nephew is headed down that perverted path. Isaac will do anything to convince the teenager he can choose to be straight . . . including his sister’s film.

When Isaac’s first foray into the gay lifestyle ends with a homophobic beating, he’s saved and cared for by Colton Roberts, a gentle, compassionate bartender with a cross around his neck. Colton challenges every one of Isaac’s deeply held beliefs about gay men. He was kicked out by homophobic parents, saved from the streets by a kind pastor, and is now a devout Christian. Colton’s sexuality has cost him dearly, but it also brought him to God.

As the two grow closer, everything Isaac knows about homosexuality, his faith, and himself is called into question. And if he’s been wrong all along, what does that mean for his ministry, his soul, his struggling nephew—and the man he never meant to love?

Lead Me Not is available August 24th from Riptide Publishing.

   About the Author and her many Identities!

Ann Gallagher is the slightly more civilized alter ego of  L.A. Witt,   Lauren Gallagher, and Lori A. Witt. So she tells herself, anyway. When she isn’t wreaking havoc on Spain with her husband and trusty two-headed Brahma bull, she writes romances just like her wilder counterparts, but without all the heat. She is also far too mature to get involved in the petty battle between L.A. and Lauren, but she’s seriously going to get even with Lori for a certain incident that shall not be discussed publicly.

Connect with Ann:

  • Website:  \n _blankhttp://loriawitt.com
  • Author Blog:   \n _blankhttp://gallagherwitt.blogspot.com
  • Personal Blog:   \n _blankhttp://navywifeadventures.blogspot.
  • Twitter: @GallagherWitt
  • Facebook:  http://facebook.com//L-A-Witt-MM-Fiction

[Our Barb the Zany Old Lady 5 Star Review follows]