A MelanieM Review: Tequila Mockingbird (Sinners #3) by Rhys Ford

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Tequila Mockingbird coverLieutenant Connor Morgan of SFPD’s SWAT division wasn’t looking for love. Especially not in a man. His life plan didn’t include one Forest Ackerman, a brown-eyed, blond drummer who’s as sexy as he is trouble. His family depends on him to be like his father, a solid pillar of strength who’ll one day lead the Morgan clan.

No, Connor has everything worked out—a career in law enforcement, a nice house, and a family. Instead, he finds a murdered man while on a drug raid and loses his heart comforting the man’s adopted son. It wasn’t like he’d never thought about men — it’s just loving one doesn’t fit into his plans.

Forest Ackerman certainly doesn’t need to be lusting after a straight cop, even if Connor Morgan is everywhere he looks, especially after Frank’s death. He’s just talked himself out of lusting for the brawny cop when his coffee shop becomes a war zone and Connor Morgan steps in to save him.

Whoever killed his father seems intent on Forest joining him in the afterlife. As the killer moves closer to achieving his goal, Forest tangles with Connor Morgan and is left wondering what he’ll lose first—his life or his heart.

Rhys Ford teased her readers with a pivotal scene from Tequila Mockingbird towards the end of Whiskey and Wry.  The scene was apparently an old one at the Morgan house, one that occurred multiple times over the years. Donal waits in the library for one of his children to tell him what’s been tearing at them emotionally so they can go over it together to solve the problem.  Only this time, the child is an adult Connor, the eldest who has followed in his father’s  footsteps who has an emotional bombshell for his Da.  He, Connor, the straight one, is in love with the gay victim of his latest case and he doesn’t know what to do.

Having that little emotional explosion (and Donal’s heartfelt reaction to it, how I love that character) firmly in our heads, the reader is ready for Tequila Mockingbird to start.  Of course, it does with a blast! From there the narrative roars to life with the ferocity of those magnificent Detroit muscle cars, and often with  as much subtlety.

I’m ok with all of that.  Because the engine driving this story is Connor Morgan.  He’s such a impressive figure, not quite as elemental, “henge-like” as Donal, but close. In Tequila Mockingbird, Connor retains all those qualities, yet Ford lets the fractures start to show that imbue him with the vulnerability we need to connect with him.  Those fractures come with his meeting with Forest Ackerman,  son of the victim of his case. And we see that scene again, from Connor’s perspective, this time with all the facts of the case and how he met Forest.

Normally, I have a hard time with “instant love”.  Very few authors out there have been able to make me  believe in their romances that include this feature.  Some have, true.  This is one of them.  And again, its comes back to Connor Morgan.  That character is so solid (as is my belief in him) that if he says he’s in love, ok, got it.  He’s in love.  With Forest Ackerman, that’s such a wounded soul that having found a safe haven for his heart (and body) in Connor, that case is made as well, albeit a little more cynically.  Plus there’s Brigid who’s finally found a son in law who needs her. How I love Brigid too.

I thought the murder/mystery was a tad on the weaker side this time.  For me, it didn’t have the strong power of the motives that the others did or the depth of the previous villains.  It also doesn’t help that when you compare Forest to Miki and Damien, he suffers by comparison. He’s just a little too sweet.

Still, the heart of this story is Connor, finding himself, moving past what he conceived his role to be in the family,  accepting his homosexuality and his love for Forest. Connor drives this story all the way to the end.  His family, that incredible, can’t begin to get enough of them Morgans, they are the frame work, and the love of Forest  and the man himself, well, that’s the fuel.  Put it all, together and it adds up to to one wild ride of a story, taken at high speed, and one to be savored once its over.

Plus there is some very hot, hot, hot, first time gay sex scenes to burn up the pages.

But now three of the four band spots are filled. One to go.  I hate coming to the end of a series I love.  Next up, the series finale, Sloe Ride (Sinners, #4).  We have one final band member to find, one space to fill.

Until that happens, I highly recommend this story and the entire series. The Morgan men and the wounded musicians they love are highly addictive, their stories fueled by high octane music, murder and hard won love. Once you start, you can’t put these books down.  I’m only sorry that I’m seeing the end of the road for this series in sight.  The Morgan Clan and this band should keep on living, loving, solving crimes, wailing on…singing, guitar strumming, and drum pounding for as long as Rhys Ford can write.  I wonder if she takes bribes?

Cover art by Reece Notley does a good job of branding the cover, but no model could really live up to my idea of Connor.  The one standing in for Forest is fine.

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

Book Details:

ebook, 250 pages
Published June 27th 2014 by Dreamspinner Press (first published June 26th 2014)

A Stella Audiobook Review: Going Up by Amy Lane, Paul Woodson (Narrator)

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Rating: 3,5 stars out of 5

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Going Up Audiobook CoverEvery dreary day, Zach Driscoll takes the elevator from the penthouse apartment of his father’s building to his coldly charmed life where being a union lawyer instead of a corporate lawyer is an act of rebellion. Every day, that is, until the day the elevator breaks and Sean Mallory practically runs into his arms.

Substitute teacher Sean Mallory is everything Zach is not—poor, happy, and goofily charming. With a disarming smile and a penchant for drama, Sean laughs his way into Zach’s heart one elevator ride at a time. Zach would love to get to know Sean better, but first he needs the courage to leave his ivory tower and face a relationship that doesn’t end at the “Ding!”

Going Up is the lovely story of Zach and Sean, two beautiful men so different from each other in every little thing and just for this so complementary in their relationship, as in every heartwarming book like this one. It was romantic, cute and sweet. I couldn’t have asked better from Amy Lane.

I appreciated it wasn’t one of those insta-love stories I often read, the romance was slow paced and I so enjoyed the MCs’ conversations, their numerous “elevator times” that brough them each time a little more together. A drama-free, light and quick story that caught my attention from the start. You can always count on Amy Lane for some good laughs (if you like me stay away from all those tearjerker books she writes) and this book, with all its positive feelings, was a winner. When I rethink about it, I soon have a smile on my face.  And the Rapunzel fairytale in my mind. It left me with almost a magical vibe. Well done!

I liked the narration by Paul Woodson, I’m not sure but my research says Going Up is his first MM audio. I think he did great. It was always understandable (essential quality to my WIP English) and he made me smile a lot, a perfect match for Amy’s writing.

Cover art by Aaron Anderson. I love it! It’s clean, simple and so fitting.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press  |  Audible |  Amazon

BOOK DETAILS

Published February 27th 2014 by Dreamspinner Press LLC
Audiobook, 2 hours and 39 minutes
Edition Language English
Narrator Paul Woodson

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Empty Nests (Nested Hearts #1) by Ada Maria Soto

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Empty Nests coverThis is a sweet, slow burn romance between two men in their thirties, one a workaholic CFO of a tech company, and the other a man who’s been a father for more than half his life and has never enjoyed a relationship with a man, even though he’s always known he was gay.

Gabe Juarez is a gorgeous, Mexican-American, wealthy, and charming CFO who’s just been named most eligible bachelor for five years in a row. The problem is that he’s been out since he turned sixteen and no one seems willing to acknowledge he prefers men, or at least no one among the female vultures who salivate over him as potential husband material. But even if Gabe could find time in his busy schedule to devote to dating, the thought doesn’t really appeal to him, especially not after he was burned three years ago by a man who turned out to be the worst gold-digger of all.

When James Mason was fourteen he was caught kissing a boy, so he had sex with a girl in his class who said she was on the pill. Problem was she was only on it two days, so he found himself a father at fifteen. When he found out his girlfriend’s parents had arranged a shady adoption behind his back, he sued for custody and won. He managed to finish high school, parent Derek, work part time, go to a community college, and eventually take a position in the IT department at Berkley. He’s now the head of the tech support department and still working on a tight budget to pay the bills and save money for Derek’s college education.

When these two finally find time to get together, it’s sweet and simple, with just a few lunch dates at first, progressing to more intimate time together later. And when Gabe finds out James is a gay virgin, he’s willing to slow down as much as James needs. But can these two very different men really find a way to make a relationship work? Can Gabe in his high tech, jet-set world really settle down with James in his very simple, very plain lifestyle? And would Gabe want to take on Derek, James’s now seventeen-year-old son and fierce protector?

I loved this story not only for the story content but for the way it was written. The author clearly captured the social differences which impacted the dynamics between the MCs, as well as the loving and respectful father-son relationship between James and Derek. Gabe’s business partners and their families provided a great deal of unwanted advice to the workaholic bachelor, but their emotional support and concern for him came through loud and clear. The sweet, slow buildup of the romance, the even slower introduction of sexual experiences to the relationship, and the bond building between the men by the end of the story all made the story so much better than I had anticipated.

By the time I got to the end, I was fully invested in this couple and rooting for a happy ending. Unfortunately, the story is to be continued, so all I got was a HFN, but thankfully, it was that and not an angst-filled cliffhanger. I definitely plan to continue with their saga when the next book is released, and I certainly recommend this one to those who love slow burn M/M romances. Well-written, with engaging characters—both MCs and secondary— and a variety of social situations to which most of us can relate. Don’t miss your chance to read this one.

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Cover Art by Paul Richmond features the back end view of two cars: the first a bright blue new model Tesla and the second a bright yellow old Volvo sporting bumper stickers: I love Little League; Baseball Dad; My Child is an Honor Roll Student; etc. These cars symbolize the MCs: the wealthy playboy Gabe Juarez, and the thirty-two-year-old single father of a teen, Paul Mason. The cars are the perfect representation of the differences between the two men featured in the story.

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

Book Details:

ebook, 214 pages
Published June 12th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781632169945
series Nested Hearts #1

Time to Heat Things up with H.C. Brown Science Fiction Thriller ‘Stalked’ (excerpt and giveaway)

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Stalked by H.C. Brown
Release Date: September 24, 215

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Momentum, Pan Macmillan

Sales Links:  Amazon | Kobo | Google play | Barnes & Noble

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Blurb

Who’s more dangerous – a stripper, an assassin, or a serial killer?
The Stripper Ripper is stalking the streets of New York City, preying on male strippers, and the press is making mincemeat of a helpless police force.

In desperation, the police refer the serial killer’s case to the Slayers, a team of enhanced, undercover super soldiers. The commander of the Slayers puts his team on the streets to watch over the Ripper’s favorite targets.

One of these targets is Micah, a twink stripper and a desirable sub. Micah’s baby sitter is one of the newest members of the Slayers, Sorren, as cold-blooded an assassin as they come, and the last person you’d expect to harbor feelings for his charge.

True to form, Sorren is as surprised as anyone at his new infatuation, but Micah is hiding something. Will Micah learn to trust his protector, or is he destined to be the next victim on the Stripper Ripper’s list?

Pages or Words: 68,000 words

Categories: BDSM, Contemporary, Crime Fiction, Erotica, Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance, Science Fiction, Thriller

Excerpt: Stalked by H.C. Brown

Chapter 1
Club Surrender, New York
As the commander of the Slayers, Delano Briggs had his hands full controlling a unit of nano-enhanced super soldiers in a constant state of pissed. He leaned back in his office chair, glaring at the brooding form of Sorren, and cleared his throat. The six-seven hunk of muscle-bound “don’t fuck with me nasty” stared right back, unblinking.
Although Sorren had accepted his new duties without question and his professionalism was faultless, he couldn’t put a finger on the underlying uneasiness he had for him. The stripper named Snake from the leather club, Pinkies, had been under Sorren’s surveillance for ten days and nothing had occurred. The man standing before him folded thick arms across his broad chest and glared at him with intimidating menace. He would have to come down heavy to keep this alpha with cybernetic enhancements in line. “Report.”
Sorren placed both large hands on the table and pushed a long straight nose one inch from Delano’s face.
“How long do you expect me to remain sane on butterfly duty?”
“I said report, soldier.” Delano pushed to his feet then noticed Rhys, his second in command, move into the room and take a defensive stance.
Sure, Sorren was a loose cannon, but then nobody walked away from capture by Middle Eastern extremists without repercussions. His captors had not been able to brainwash him or retrieve any information by torture. His nanos had kept his secrets safe and his body in peak condition, but Sorren was suffering from three years of pent-up crazy. The nano enhancements did that to a man left alone with only his palm for company. Delano lifted his chin and repeated the order. To his relief, Sorren straightened and narrowed his unusual blue gaze.
“Nothing to report. The butterfly does his act then goes home. Guys hang around him looking for a little action but as far as I can tell, he isn’t interested. Although, he is a nervous little shit. On stage, the club bills him as Snake but his friends call him Micah, which fits him but it’s not the name you gave me. I think he is hiding his past.” He jerked a thumb over one shoulder toward Rhys. “Tell your boy to stand down unless he wants me to drag his ass downstairs to my dungeon.” He smirked. “I need a heavy scene, sending me to watch strippers every night makes me overheat – ah, sir.”
“I don’t do switch play and if I did you’re certainly not my type.” Rhys grabbed Sorren’s arm and spun him around to face him. “Why don’t you go and fuck your butterfly, then you won’t be loitering outside his apartment with a hard-on all night.”
Sorren’s wide mouth twitched at one corner then curled into a sadistic smile.
“Have you seen my five-feet-two eyes of blue?” He grasped his package. “I’d break him in half. Nah, you’ll do just fine, but just so you don’t get your panties in a twist later, you should know, I don’t do cool-down cuddles.”
“I’m bonded to Dylan and you fucking know it, but if you wanna fight, I’d be happy to grind your face into the floor anytime. Here we fight by Slayer rules, which, as you are the new kid in town, means no rules, asshole.”
Before Delano blinked, Sorren had locked one hand around Rhys’s throat.
“I like no rules just fine. Do I get to fuck you when I win?”
In a flash, Rhys cupped Sorren’s balls in his bionic hand and the color drained from the new recruit’s face.
“Wanna play?” Rhys grinned in a flash of perfect white teeth.
Delano rounded the table. Both these men could take him apart before taking their next breath and Rhys could crush an Mk.16 in one hand without taking a breath. “Stand down.” He moved closer and, standing shoulders braced and feet apart, dropped his voice to a menacing whisper, a method he employed to get his men’s full attention. “Rhys have you lost your fucking mind?”
“Nah, just teaching pretty boy here how we play in my yard.” Rhys dropped his hand and wiped it on his jeans in a repulsed gesture. “I can’t believe you trust him to guard the strippers, he’s not safe on the outside without a leash.”
“Sit down, both of you.” Delano leaned one hip on his desk and glared at them. “We run a club and the strippers who work here are good for business. These murders are bringing all strip joints under scrutiny and I’m sure you both understand why we don’t want eyes on Club Surrender. It would put the entire unit in danger. The cops have zip on the Stripper Ripper, no DNA, no witnesses, so we’ll have to find him and deal out justice, Slayer style.” He glared at Sorren. “This means surveillance and I’ve assigned a man to every local stripper that fits the victims’ profile.” He glanced at Rhys. “Small, young looking, with dark hair. From the images we were able to intercept from the local PD database it would seem the Stripper Ripper has a taste for twinks.”
Rhys grimaced. “Fuck, that covers fifty percent of the guys who work here and Jay but somehow I don’t think the fucking Stripper Ripper will be a problem for him.” He chuckled. “I guess we could throw him out as bait?”
Delano shook his head. “Not a chance in hell. Jay might be sixty percent cyborg but I’m not risking anyone until I know who we’re dealing with.” He jerked his chin toward Sorren. “The murderer is smart, very smart. It’s possible he could be a kinetic Black Ops rogue, one of Sorren’s old unit or similar. We don’t have numbers on the soldiers the government nano enhanced but we are aware of at least twenty enhanced Marines on the government’s ‘kill on sight’ hit list.”
“If they are from my unit then they’re some nasty SOBs. I can’t imagine anyone capable of catching them. I just hope they linked up and are doing much the same as you are here.” Sorren grinned. “My men are very different from your guys, although Rhys here comes close. Taking into account your unit’s compassion and adherence to the Special Ops code even though they screwed you makes me believe they added something special in the way of crazy to the nanos they shot into my guys.”
“Maybe, your blood work came back pretty fucked up. Kurt is still running tests. We all have anger management and sex-drive problems but they enhanced yours tenfold.” Delano shrugged. “It’s just as well we have Kurt as our doctor. He was on the first nano experimental team. Although, he has no idea why you carry different levels of enhancement. To date you are the only man we know of, apart from Jay, who can use mindspeak over a long distance.”
“Why didn’t Kurt ask me about mindspeak during the debriefing? Fuck! He wanted to know how many times I shit a day.” Sorren’s lips quirked into a smile. “The mindspeak distancing is a technique much the same as the one used to shield personal thoughts and easily taught. I do hope you’ve kept our mindspeak ability ‘need to know’ and the enhanced soldiers’ little weapon against Uncle Sam is still safe?” Sorren gave an exasperated sigh. “FYI, sex is used as a cooling system. Haven’t you worked that out yet?” He rolled his broad shoulders. “They didn’t enhance my anger but they did modify my brain chemistry.” His attention drifted to Rhys then back to him. “You see, I don’t have a conscience. They turned me into a psychopath – in other words when I kill I don’t give a fuck. No flashbacks, no regrets.” He rubbed his chin. “They tossed the Slayers on the trash pile because you fucking care and having feelings puts everyone in the unit in danger. The doc who treated me said it was a weakness in your nanos the government couldn’t afford.” He pointed at his face and grimaced. “The bionic eyes, well they needed soldiers who could switch from daylight to infrared without night vision goggles and with the ability to record missions.” He snorted. “I was beaming a vid straight to Black Ops the entire two fucking years I spent in prison. I had no rights because Uncle Sam didn’t classify me as human. I was one of many information-collecting drones.” He gave a cynical bark of laughter. “I’m surprised you found me, let alone got me out.”
Delano met Rhys’s incredulous stare and connected in secure mindspeak. “Fuck, just how many units are out there?”
“Sorren has been to hell and back.” Rhys grimaced. “I’m not surprised he’s crazy, but I don’t believe for one minute he has no feelings. The way he cares for the wellbeing of the stripper he’s watching tells me there is a man inside, not a machine. But I don’t like him, he is an arrogant SOB.”
Delano cleared his throat and made a conscious effort to pull back on the interrogation. “Bret, the electronics expert, picked up your transmission and we put boots on the ground. Once we got you out of that hellhole, he took over your video link and faked your execution.” He dropped back into his chair. “Don’t look so surprised. Everything in the Slayers is ‘need to know’ until you gain full clearance.” He met Sorren’s disturbing electric blue gaze. The man’s pupils moved like the lens of a camera, constantly adjusting in a circular motion.
“Need to know?” Sorren snorted. “I’m just like you, man. I’ve been here almost a year. It’s about time you started to trust me.”
“Right now, I don’t know if you’re working undercover and although we’ve destroyed all your military tracking devices, we can’t stop you communicating by mindspeak.” Delano glared at him. “And you will refer to me as ‘sir,’ do you understand, soldier?”
“What you ‘need to know’ is I’m not doing this yes, sir, no sir, three fucking bags full shit any longer. I’m not a Marine or part of some pseudo military service under your command.”
“Yeah, well actually you agreed to join the Slayers and I didn’t force you to wear our mark.” Delano indicated to the tattoo of a dollar sign on Sorren’s wrist. “We gave you a new identity, a job, and a place to stay. Not to mention all the ass you need to keep cool.” He lifted his chin and glared at him. “Right now it looks like I made a big mistake taking you into our confidence. I admire a man’s grit but I sure as hell want to keep control of my unit. Most of us are Black Ops, Green Berets or mercenaries and prefer a degree of leadership from me. I’m not running a fucking Sunday school.” He scowled at the arrogant man. “You do know Bret has devised a program to decommission you? He can take away your special vision, slow your implants, wipe your memory, and make you almost human again. That’s the only way you leave here alive, soldier.”
Delano didn’t miss Sorren’s shudder of disgust. He stared at him, waiting for a reply, and it was like watching the cogs of an old clock grind into gear. Sure, Sorren had been alone for a long time and no doubt his art of conversation had become a little rusty but he’d had long enough to adjust. He would give him time to consider the situation because he wanted to keep this man in his unit. He’d yet to see a better specimen of nano enhancement and the doctors in the complex would learn a great deal from his advanced technology.
Sorren was magnificent and he could see why he carried the handle “The Reaper” during his call of duty. He’d selected the moody Adonis for stripper duty in an effort to calm him down. Sorren was a loner. He’d taken his edge-play domination to extremes with the house subs and sure wasn’t looking for a cozy relationship. Rhys had nicknamed him “Shadow Man” because they rarely saw him in daylight. Sorren stalked the gloom like a phantom of menace. In fact, the man might just as well hang a sign around his neck with the message, “I hate everybody” printed in bright red letters. The only time he’d seen him crack any semblance of a smile was after winning an arm wrestle with Adryck.
He rolled his shoulders. “Well?”
A crack of thunder rolled in the distance as if it had come straight from the flash of disgust on Sorren’s face.
“Your decommission threats won’t work on me. I have a failsafe reboot on my system. You’ll have to decapitate me to take me down.” Sorren straightened and his menacing look flicked over him dismissively. “I understand you integrated the Fury boys into the unit without making them jump through hoops and yet, I am one of you, military – not the fucking enemy. I agreed to do butterfly duty because I want to catch a murderer not because I plan to inform on the Slayers. If I’d wanted to betray our kind I would have contacted my commander the fucking day I arrived and neither you nor your cybernetic boy would have been able to stop me.” Sorren pushed to his feet. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m late. The stripper you assigned me to protect is due to walk home alone in twenty minutes and it is twenty-two minutes to his gig.”
Delano stood and waved him toward the door. “Sure, we’ll talk again in the morning. Do you have a med kit in the car – just in case?”
Sorren gave him a curt nod and slipped out the door. He moved like a ghost, not one sound from his boots echoed on the tiled floor.
“What new intel do we have on the murders to date?” Rhys drummed his fingers on the arm of the chair. “I know they’re bloody but there must be something the cops haven’t disclosed. What has Bret dug up?”
“Nothing, the murderer is a phantom, he drops out of nowhere, strikes and vanishes. You mentioned bloody, yeah, but how does a man rip someone apart and not leave one footprint or one drop of blood?” Delano moved around his desk and sat down.
“Maybe he’s a vampire.” Rhys gave him a speculative look. “Hey, crazy scientists made us didn’t they? How do we know they didn’t experiment on cross-species DNA as well and now some guys can change into bats and fly away?”
“Scent.” Delano placed the heel of one shit kicker on his desk and tipped back his chair. “I’ve visited all the crime scenes. I would have smelled a giant bat and picked up the pheromones of anyone remotely like us. No, I’m pretty sure the Stripper Ripper is one sick human.”

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About the Author

H.C. Brown is a multi-published, bestselling, award-winning author of Historical, Paranormal, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, BDSM, Time Travel, Action Adventure, Suspense, and Contemporary Romance.
In 2015, she was delighted to be named Luminosity Publishing’s Bestselling Author of 2014.
In 2015, Highlander in the Mist was placed 3rd in Historical and Rock ‘n’ Leather was placed 3rd GLBT in the Easychair Bookshop Competition.
In 2011, she was delighted to receive nominations in three categories in the 2011 CAPA Awards: Favorite Author, Best GLBT Romance, and Best Science Fiction Romance.
She was nominated for Best Historical M/M in the 2013, Goodreads Book of Year Awards.
H.C writes about strong alpha male heroes and girl next door heroines in complex settings, and all her stories have happy endings.
H.C. welcomes feedback from her readers.

Where to find the author:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/heather.brown.169
Facebook Author Page
Twitter: @HCBrownauthor
WEB: http://www.hcbrown-author.com
Blog: http://www.hcbrownauthoroferoticromance.blogspot.com.au/


Tour Dates & Stops: September 24, 2015


Parker Williams, Bayou Book Junkie, Havan Fellows, Jessie G. Books, The Hat Party, TTC Books and More, Bike Book Reviews, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Prism Book Alliance, Just Love Romance, Inked Rainbow Reads, 3 Chicks After Dark, Two Chicks Obsessed With Books and Eye Candy, BFD Book Blog, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies, Oh My, Happily Ever Chapter, The Fuzzy, Fluffy World of Chris T. Kat, Wake Up Your Wild Side, Iyana Jenna, Mikky’s World of Books, Foxylutely Book Reviews, Dawn’s Reading Nook, VS Reads, MM Good Book Reviews, Velvet Panic, Molly Lolly, Amanda C. Stone, Bookaholic Confessions, Boy Meets Boy Reviews, Divine Magazine

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Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: PDF Copy of ‘Stalked’ by H.C. Brown. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Link and prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.
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Coffee Sip & Book Break: Please Understand by Fai Marie Dawson (author interview, excerpt and giveaway)

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Please Understand by Fai Marie Dawson
Release Date: July 30, 2015

Goodreads Link 
Publisher: MLR Press
Cover Artist: Melody Pond

Buy the book:  MLR Books  |  Amazon

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Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Fai Marie Dawson, author of Please Understand. Hi Fai, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.

  • Talk to us about your characters in this book. What makes them unique?

Fox is a bookstore owner in an eclectic part of Seattle. He is a frustrating character however, because although he appears to be self-assured, he struggles to place durable boundaries with his mother.

Gloria is Fox’s mother, and she will do anything to maintain top billing in his life. Lie? Cheat? Manipulate? You bet!

Audrey is beautiful, and Fox is attracted to her immediately. Their relationship blossoms until she has to return to Montana to care for her elderly parents.

Tommie, Audrey’s twin brother appears on the scene and creates havoc in Fox’s orderly life. Damaged in many ways, Tommie struggles to heal the parts that are broken.

Mrs. Jones, the fairy godmother of the story, aims to protect them all. Can she save herself?
The element that keeps these characters unique is that each has a weakness they struggle to conceal. That conflict intensifies throughout the story.

• What was one of the most surprising things you learned in getting your book from start to publish?

I had never worked with a professional editor before, and discovered it was a very positive experience! The staff at MLR is great to work with. They provided excellent feedback and suggestions, patiently led me through the complicated process and treated me respectfully.

• Have you ever gone to a convention? If so, how was it? If not, do you think it’s something you’d like to do in the future?

Yes, I’ve attended a few conventions, and really enjoyed it. The classes they offered were incredibly valuable and the experience opens up opportunities of networking. Some of them offer pitching sessions with agents and publishers. That is how I met and got my contract with MLR. I love to talk about my characters, so the sessions were fun. And yes, I have plans to attend another in September.

• Would you like to be a full-time writer?

Yes! Although I am not currently working outside the home, I have until now considered myself a part-time writer. With two projects in hand this fall, I plan on adjusting my writing time to six hours a day, and I’m looking forward to it.

• Design the ultimate pizza.

The perfect pizza! I start with a crust made from sourdough. On that, I place a generous layer of homemade sauce: tomatoes, sautéed garlic and onions, basil and oregano cooked down until smooth and thick. I cover that with layers of pepperoni, shredded cheddar cheese, sliced onions, shredded mozzarella, green peppers, olives and mushroom slices. Cover that with shredded Parmesan cheese. Bake. When done, I add slices of cold tomatoes on top. Yum!

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Blurb

To keep his mother off his back, Fox struggles to live life as a straight man. Following his failed marriage, he thinks he’s found a piece of heaven when he meets Audrey, a sexy dark-haired beauty. When he’s introduced to her twin brother, his life turns upside down. Mrs. Jones, a regular shopper at Fox’s quaint neighborhood bookstore, steps in to referee the fall-out. Can Fox maintain relationships with both Audrey and her brother? Can a late night train chase bring Fox closer to the one he loves? How far will Fox’s mother go to keep her son tight in her clutches?

Pages or Words: 239 pages/82,000 words

Categories: Bisexual, Contemporary, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance, *Trans

Excerpt

It was shortly after lunch on Friday that Mrs. Jones came in. Although she had shown such tenderness to Audrey, I was still in fear and awe of this woman. To me she was curt and demanding. I still dreaded Fridays on account of her. Today she barged through the door: middle aged, shaped like a tank, with a formidable purse that I suspected she could brandish as a weapon if she so chose. I shamefully admit that I hid, shaking, in the back room. I remained hidden behind the door as I watched through the space under the hinge.
She marched straight over to Tommie, who was innocently concentrating in his chair, bent over his laptop. He didn’t stand a chance.
“You, there!”
Tommie looked up and scanned the shop. Not finding me, he sacrificed himself for the greater cause.
“Yes?”
“Tommie?”
He said something I couldn’t hear then he looked around the shop again, I supposed in a vain hope that I might come rescue him. I saw him take a deep breath, preparing himself for the inevitable. Poor man didn’t have a clue what he was up against. I knew I should come out of hiding, but so help me, I didn’t have the strength. I had been dealing with her on my own every Friday for over a year, and my morbid curiosity wanted to see what she could do to someone else.
“What can I help you with, Ms. ––?
“Mrs. Jones.” She said it decisively and firmly. No question about it, she was Mrs. Jones. Like no other, she stood like a rock.
He nodded and snapped his laptop shut. “What can I help you with, Mrs. Jones?” When he stood, her eyes scanned down his body like a CT scan, slowly taking in and savoring every inch carefully.
He carried his laptop and set it on the shelf under the front counter. Mrs. Jones took in the view from behind, her head tilted thoughtfully.
I remained silent. This was getting interesting. I was seeing a side of Mrs. Jones I hadn’t known existed. I was anxious to see if Tommie could handle her.
“Well,” she said a bit breathlessly. “Tommie, your jeans are a bit tight.” He turned slowly, but her eyes settled on his mid­section, centering on the zipper of his jeans.
“My eyes are up here, Mrs. Jones.”
“Totally inappropriate!” But her eyes still wandered appreciatively over Tommie’s landscape.
“Very well, Mrs. Jones,” I saw him smile pleasantly then ask, “But may I help you find something?”
I didn’t hear what she said, but to my dismay, he led her to the closet where my adult books were stashed. I almost came out to prevent the disaster that I anticipated, but instead of indignation, within moments they returned to the front desk, and I watched as he rang up her purchases. She had chosen several books.
“I hope you enjoy these, Mrs. Jones.”
“You’ve been most helpful, Tommie, not like that naughty Fox that you work for.”
She waved goodbye happily and blew him a kiss as she went out the door, her purchases held tightly to her ample chest.
“Coward!” I assumed he was talking to me, although he didn’t look up.

About The Author

Meet Fai Dawson:
Fai Dawson lives in a small town thirty miles northeast of Seattle Washington in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains with her beloved wife, Becky. Together, they work on restoring their 110-year-old Victorian home. She spends her days writing, blogging and walking Moxie, their Newfie-Chow through the rainy streets of town. Pepe, a brave and proud tuxedo cat is her muse, ever mindful of providing inspiration for her next project. Although she has filled countless journals in her life, she began writing seriously in 2009 as a way to deal with anxiety. She is currently working on her next manuscript.

Where to find Fai Dawson:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fai.dawson
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/faimariedawson?fref=ts
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Faidrah
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/faimarie/
Instagram: https://instagram.com/faidrah/

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Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: TBD, must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Link and prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.
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Tour Dates & Stops:
31-Aug MM Good Book Reviews
1-Sep Inked Rainbow Reads
2-Sep Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies, Oh My
3-Sep Iyana Jenna
4-Sep Molly Lolly

7-Sep Jessie G. Books

8-Sep Love Bytes

9-Sep Mikky’s World of Books

10-Sep Divine Magazine

11-Sep Nephylim

14-Sep Prism Book Alliance

15-Sep LeAnn’s Book Reviews

16-Sep BFD Book Blog, Two Chicks Obsessed With Books and Eye Candy

17-Sep Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies, Oh My:

18-Sep My Fiction Nook

21-Sep Kimi-Chan, Happily Ever Chapter

22-Sep Bayou Book Junkie

23-Sep Hearts on Fire

24-Sep Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

25-Sep Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

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