A MelanieM Review: A Solitary Man by Aisling Mancy and Shira Anthony

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5  ★★★★★

ASolitaryMan-400x600Sparks fly when Chance meets tall, sexy Xav at a Wilmington bar and they have the hottest one-nighter of their lives. But Chance doesn’t do repeats, Xav seems detached, and they go their separate ways without a word. Later, when closeted Assistant District Attorney C. Evan “Chance” Fairchild meets Dare’s Landing’s newest deputy sheriff, Xavier “Xav” Constantine, Evan isn’t only wary. He’s irritated as hell.

Xavier is a former FBI agent turned deputy sheriff who is hot on the trail of a South American child prostitution ring. Evan is fighting to put an end to rampant cocaine trafficking and chafing under the thumb of an election-hungry boss. When someone tries to kill the eleven-year-old witness who holds the key to both their investigations, they’re forced to work together as they put their lives on the line to protect him. As Chance and Xav collide in the heat of a sweltering North Carolina summer, dodging bullets and chasing bad guys isn’t the only action going on.

A Solitary Man by Aisling Mancy and Shira Anthony tackles one of the most heartrending and horrific subjects imaginable, that of child trafficking and child abuse and does so with depth, heart, and compassion.  At times, a story so difficult to read that I often found myself in tears having to put my Kindle down, these authors have combined their talents to bring forth a story so powerful and timely that I’m shocked they haven’t combined their forces before now.

The vehicle of advocacy for these abused and often murdered children is a intense story, starting with one driven man, Xavier “Xav” Constantine.  A FBI agent working the child prostitution rings, an undercover job gone horrifically wrong sees Xav resign, following a sickening trail of lost children to North Carolina and a Deputy Sheriff’s job.  Already present in the small town of Dare’s Landing is closeted Assistant District Attorney C. Evan “Chance” Fairchild, a man  so haunted by his own past that its imprisoned him in his present.

Mancy and Anthony takes these two disparate, intense men and gives them a raw, gritty feel to make them vividly, fully alive.  One is already willingly shouldering the yoke of advocacy for these missing, abused and most likely murdered children to the extent that nothing else really exists for him.  Sex is quick and meaningless, relationships nonexistent.   The other?  Hiding behind his own nightmares and denials.  And what huge denials they are. Because of their careful crafting of these characters, these men,  instead of judging them , we really understand the fear, the anger, whatever emotion they may be feeling and the foundation from which each man is coming from, even without the full history.

Their relationship is slow to come and perhaps this really isn’t a romance novel, nor should it be considering the content and subject matter.  Its definitely not the main thread here in the narrative. So if that’s the book you are looking for, a total romance, than this is probably not the novel for you.  Like everything else about A Solitary Man, their strides towards each other is hard work, fraught with missed steps, miscommunications, and fear.  That they are able to go forward in the end is both courageous and rewarding.  That alone is reason to read this story, even if the romance isn’t the main storyline.

Its the abused  children here that will tear at your heart.  Just as they should.  There are descriptions here that gave me nightmares and I think that the authors were most likely less graphic and monstrous than they could have been, given the actual knowledge they have of the subject matter*.  That such scenes are also written with tenderness, compassion but with accuracy doesn’t lighten the emotional impact, but instead makes it all the more powerful, because you know that the children represented in the story are but a fraction of the children impacted worldwide.  Here they are given names and faces and their fates make it all too real.

To get to the missing children there is a number of investigations that are full of  heartbreaking clues,  pulse-thumping, action-packed, white-knuckle scenes and dialog.  The authors balance the mystery of combined investigations, then the suspense of a race against time for a combined rescue that was a true page turner, a thriller in the best sense of the word.

A Solitary Man is such a powerful book.  An advocate for abused children, a suspense thriller, a crime novel and yes, a romance story, and the authors handled it all beautifully.  Does one element come across with a little more power and precision?  Perhaps,  but with that emotional engine driving this story, it makes A Solitary Man by Aisling Mancy and Shira Anthony a book to remember and perhaps one of the best of the year.  I highly recommend it.

Cover art by Reese Dante is perfect in tone and design for the character in the story.

*Making a Difference in the Lives of Children by Shira Anthony & Aisling Mancy

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

 

Book Details:

ebook, 1st, 304 pages
Published November 6th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1623807271 (ISBN13: 9781623807276)
edition languageEnglish

Making a Difference in the Lives of Children by Shira Anthony & Aisling Mancy, Authors of A Solitary Man (guest blog, giveaway)

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A Solitary Man by Aisling Mancy and Shira Anthony

Making a Difference in the Lives of Children

Thank you Melanie and Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for hosting the A Solitary Man book tour! Aisling and I are so excited to finally see our labor of love in print. Don’t forget to scroll down to the bottom of the post for a chance to enter the tour giveaway!

For this, the final stop on the A Solitary Man book tour, I want to discuss the important subject matter of the book. A Solitary Man was born of many conversations that Aisling and I shared about something very near and dear to our hearts: keeping children safe. Both of us have professional connections to the struggle to prevent child abuse and neglect, and continue to be vocal advocates for children, each in our own way.

For me, that advocacy comes from a very personal place: I’m an abuse survivor. I share that fact only because it’s important to understand that chances are you know more than one survivor of child abuse. It could be a relative, a friend, a colleague, or a child in your son or daughter’s class at school. The statistics are truly frightening. The National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse (NAASCA) estimates that:

· There are over 42 million survivors of sexual abuse in America.

· Somewhere between 2/3 and ninety percent of sexual abuse victims never come forward

· 293,000 children and youth are estimated to be at risk of exploitation

· 100,000 children are prostituted annually.

· 90% of those abused children are abused by someone they know, love or trust

· 20% of child sexual abuse victims are under the age of 8. Most never tell, and some don’t recall the abuse.

· One in 7 children who are regular Internet users receive sexual solicitations online.

· 800,000 children are reported missing every year in the U.S. or 2,000 every day

· An estimated 200,000 are abducted by family members; 58,000 by non family members, the primary motive for which is sexual.

Now that I have your attention, you may be asking, “What can I do about it?” The simple answer is, “More than you know.” First, get involved. Report suspected abuse or neglect to the authorities. Most states have mandatory reporting requirements and shield the reporter’s name from discovery. Don’t hesitate and don’t wait. A child’s life may depend on your speaking up.

What else can you do? Talk to your own children about abuse. As I child, I remember feeling that something was wrong with how my neighbor was treating me, but I didn’t understand and wasn’t sure what to do about it. It took me nearly a year to tell my parents about the abuse. When I did, they believed me, and that was a huge relief. As an adult and a parent, I spoke to my children about abuse. I told them to come to me if they ever felt uncomfortable about something an adult, teen, or anyone did or said to them. You, as a parent, know how much your children can understand. The point is to make it clear to them that you are not only there to listen to them at any time, but want to hear immediately if they are uncomfortable with anything. Even very young children understand that concept.

Don’t have kids? Or want to do more? Be an advocate for an abused or neglected child through your state’s CASA or GAL program. My state, North Carolina (where A Solitary Man is set), has a fabulous Guardian ad Litem (GAL) program where lay people (non-lawyers) advocate for the rights of abused and neglected children in court. It’s a great way to help kids who need someone to speak for them or help them to speak about what they need. You can find more information about programs like North Carolina’s on the CASA website.

There’s an amazing video that brings this all home. It’s not long, but it has a powerful message:

A Solitary Man is fiction, but it’s based on real life events which occur regularly all around us. In wealthy neighborhoods, in poor neighborhoods. In cities, in the more rural parts of states. The fictional children of Dare’s Landing have their champions, Xav Constantine and Chance Fairchild. It’s up to all of us to make sure that real children have theirs. Step up and make a difference in the life of a child! You’ll be so glad you did. –Shira (and Aisling)

Add A Solitary Man to Your Goodreads and Booklikes Shelves
Like A Solitary Man on Facebook
Thursday, October 29th Aisling is at The Novel Approach Reviews
A Brief and Frank Discussion of A Solitary Man
Friday, October 30th Aisling is at Jo & Isa Love Books
A Few Notes Behind the Music Playlist
Wednesday, November 4th Aisling is at Bike Book Reviews
Writing Supporting Characters
Thursday , November 5th
Aisling is at Joyfully Jay Reviews
One of the Biggest Benefits of Co-Writing
Shira is at Prism Book Alliance
Entertainment With a Message
Friday, November 6th RELEASE DAY CELEBRATION!
Yarning to Write Kermit Flail with lovely Amy Lane!
Aisling is at Divine Magazine
More Notes Behind the Music Playlist
Shira is at The Novel Approach Reviews
Southernisms!
Aisling is on Dreampsinner’s Blog
As Authors and Readers, We Bring Awareness to the World
Saturday, November 7th Aisling is at Love Bytes Reviews
Sunday, November 8th
Shira is at My Fiction Nook
LIVE FACEBOOK CHAT with Shira & Aisling 2-5pm EST
Monday, November 9th Aisling is at My Fiction Nook
Tuesday, November 10th Shira is at Bike Book Reviews
Wednesday, November 11th Shira is at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
TWEET, COMMENT, AND VISIT A SOLITARY MAN’S FACEBOOK PAGE
TO BE ENTERED TO WIN A TOTE BAG,
SIGNED BOOKS FROM SHIRA & AISLING,
AND SWAG!

A Stella Review: Flyboy’s First Misadventure (Flyboy’s Misadventures Book 1) by Havan Fellows

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Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

Flyboys First_1400Secrets? Oh yeah, Dean Wades has a doozy. When he goes up, he doesn’t necessarily come back down. Okay, that’s not true. Dean’s a master at falling, it’s the landing that could use improvement—a lot of improvement. After thirteen years of attempting to conquer this gravity defying mystery, he can no longer live with not knowing what he is anymore. So he heads cross-country to see the two people who just might be able to give him the answers he seeks…his folks.

Easygoing Gavin Trevor is always willing to help his family, even when they have ulterior motives…like forcing him to make up with his annoying older brother. When a simple task at his parent’s house puts him in a position of danger, he’ll need a lot more than luck to avoid a serious injury—he’ll need his very own superhero.

And the fates collide, well sort of. It may not be love at first sight—Gavin was unconscious in Dean’s arms for their initial introduction…but perhaps these two men can make it a relationship at first flight?

A threat against Gavin’s family throws a wrench in their plans, and while Dean gladly offers his amateur talent to help the mission, Gavin doesn’t want to put his rescuer’s life in jeopardy by risking exposure of the greatest secret ever.

This proves to be a rescue adventure for the books. Or is that a rescue misadventure?

Flyboy’s First Misadventure was a lovely read, a great addition to this new series. I found Havan’s writing easy and really great. I need to check out more by this author, because honestly this one was a winner.

Gavin is a tattoo artist apprentice, struggling to be accepted by his military family and always fighting with his brother. One day while helping his parents in some houseworks involving a ladder, he literally falls into Dean’s arms.

Dean is a cute superhero, he can fly (well not exactly fly, more like jump high in the air, flutter a little and then face-plant in the dirty ground!) and has an amazing best friend in Tia. They are on a trip to see Dean’s folks to come out of his hero closet and maybe learn more about his talent.

I saw the sparkles between my MCs from the start and it was a crescendo in the story, with a lot of funny moments, some sweet ones and an unexpected rescue mission, until I wasn’t sure anymore who was the real superhero. It’s a story that has a lot of potential and it needs a sequel or two. I’m so glad Havan has more to come. This was just the start.

If you’re looking for some light book, easy, fun and believable in its not real world, you have to give a chance to this one. I’m glad I did cause I enjoyed it a lot.

Flyboy’s First Misadventure is part of the Story Orgy Collection: Superhero. Four authors, Lee Brazil, Havan Fellows, Em Woods and Hank Edwards will show us some new heros to love. I can’t wait to read the next stories.

Cover art by Startled Monkeys Media. The cover caught my attention first, it’s colorful and funny. I soon liked it and wanted to know more about the story. Well done.

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

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 107 pages
Published October 12th 2015 by Appleton Publishing Avenue
ASINB015WXHX9U
edition languageEnglish

Coffee Sip and Book Break for ‘Duce’ by Kai Tyler (excerpt and giveaway)

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Attractive blond young man in city environment, standing against marble column

Duce ( World’s End #2) by Kai Tyler
Release Date: October 19, 2015

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Kai Tyler
Cover Artist: Love Bites and Silk

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Blurb

Parties and orgies… those are the things Carlos Carmichael wants to do. It’s the only way he knows to deal with his life as the son of a notorious cartel boss. He’ll get whatever he wants by any means necessary.

Until he tangles with a man who plays by totally different rules.

Dante Orsino has been raised in the old ways of honor, loyalty and respect of the business. His role as mafia underboss is more than just a job. It also makes him an heir to one of the biggest families in the Southern Territories.

When Carlos meets Dante and plays a silly game, their weekend tryst sparks a deadly cartel war.

For Dante there’s no other life except—the life. And he wants Carlos in his. But in the New World, a gay man is a dead man. Can he find a way to keep everything he loves and stay alive?

In a new world gone mad, even the good guys are bad. Welcome to the World’s End series.

Content warning: This book contains scenes of violence and sex between men.

Excerpt

Carlos’s POV

“Your first time folding clothes.”

I’d been admiring him so much I’d forgotten everything else. His words made me look at my handiwork and my cheeks heated. How did he know it was my first time?

“I-I’m sorry if it’s not up to your standard.” I felt inadequate and silly that I couldn’t fold my own clothes well.

“You did a good job.”

“I did?” Warmth spread across my chest at his approving words.

“Yes, you did. Come here.”

I didn’t need a second invitation. I hurried to him.

Placing both hands on either side of my face, he stared at me for a minute, the expression in his eyes completely unreadable. Then he jammed his hands into my hair, tugged my head back, and lowered his lips to mine.

I melted against him. In contrast to the hardness of his body, his lips were soft. Full and soft. His tongue explored my mouth. Hungry. Seeking. Savouring. I groaned, grabbing onto his bare back and rubbing my cock against him.

He broke the kiss. Nuzzled my chin, my neck. Bristles scoured my skin. Callused hand wrapped around my dick. I gasped for air, leaked pre-cum like a tap. A thumb swiped and he spread the moisture, using it as lubricant as he jacked me.

Pages or Words: 51204 words; Paperback: 234 pages
Categories: Crime Fiction, Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Thriller

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | All Romance (ARe) | Smashwords 

RC

Meet the Author

Although I’m new to writing MM Romance, I’ve been a reader and lover of the genre for many years. I love writing about gangsters with heart, good men who do bad things to survive in a crazy world. Men who love as fiercely as they fight.

When I’m not helping other authors promote their works, you might find me in a coffee shop, day dreaming about how the cute couple in the corner fell in love. You can also find me online ogling images of hot men, which I do share btw. J

Where to find the author:

 

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Tour Dates & Stops:

Parker Williams, Bayou Book Junkie, Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies, Oh My, Jessie G. Books, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, BFD Book Blog, The Hat Party, Happily Ever Chapter, KathyMac Reviews, Iyana Jenna, Louise Lyons, MM Good Book Reviews, Rainbow Gold Reviews, Velvet Panic, Mikky’s World of Books, Charley Descoteaux

Final

Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: $20 Paypal Cash Gift Card.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Link and prize provided by the author and Pride Promotions. 

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Zombies are Here in DC Juris’s ‘Bad Moon Rising’ (excerpt and contest)

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Bad Moon Rising by DC Juris
Release Date: November 11, 2015

Publisher: Torquere Press
Cover Artist: Kris Norris

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Blurb

Bryce never expected to find himself smack in the middle of a zombie apocalypse, and he certainly never expected to meet the man of his dreams along the way. But there’s more than zombies in the way of his happily ever after. Richard comes with baggage, in the form of his on again, off again bipolar lover Cole, who is off his meds and descending into his own mental hell at an alarming rate. Will the three men be able to work out their romantic feelings? Oh yeah…and then there’s that little issue of the zombies…

Previously published by Breathless Press.

Excerpt

“Stay down!”

“What’s going on?” I whispered.

“Looters,” Cole revealed. “They’re going up and down the street, searching cars.”

Well, at least they wouldn’t steal it, since we had the keys, and the chances of them sticking around to do any real damage to it seemed pretty slim, too. All we had to do was wait it out, and they’d go away.

Dolly stood and paced to the door, walking back and forth in front of it like she was on guard duty.

On the street, yelling broke out, and gunshots echoed in the night.

Richard cursed.

Our visitors had apparently been discovered. Shouts of run and look out descended into just inarticulate screaming and then the unthinkable: Dolly started barking.

Cole lunged for her, but the damage had already been done. The people outside started banging on our door, pleading to be let in.

“What do we do?” I looked to Richard, who was shaking his head.

“Nothing.”

“But if we don’t let them in, they’ll be infected,” I argued. Those were people outside — we had to help them. What if the roles were reversed? What if that had been me outside?

“And if we do let them in, we’ll be infected.” He reached for one of our backpacks and started shoving things inside. “We can’t stay here. Cole, shut that damned mutt up!”

“I’m trying!” Cole struggled with Dolly, trying to get her calmed down and quiet.

Richard threw a bag at me, hitting me square in the chest and bringing me back to reality. “Pack light. We’ll be walking.”

“The car–“

“Is compromised. We’ll never get near it. Hurry up. Cole!”

Cole scrambled back to us, dragging Dolly behind him.

Outside the shouting and banging intensified. Someone must’ve gotten smart, because a brick came careening through an exposed part of the door glass near the top. It sailed through the air, barely missing Richard’s head.

“Time to go!” Richard shoved Cole toward the back door. “Bryce, help me with the boards!”

I grabbed up a discarded hammer and handed it over to him while I fished in my bag for the crowbar I’d brought. We struggled with the boards, hacking and pulling. Richard’s face turned red with his exertion, and the warmth of my own efforts spread out from my arm muscles, making my chest tight and painful.

“Hurry up, guys!” Cole shouted.

I glanced back at the front door. The newcomers — two beefy men and a scraggly haired woman — had managed to get several of the boards free and were shouting at us. Behind them, I could see the horde moving closer. The woman let out a scream and disappeared from sight. The men didn’t even look back for her — they just kept on coming.

“Bryce!” Richard had gotten enough of the boards cleared for us to get through. I jumped out after him as he pulled Cole through. We ran along the back alley, Cole carrying a still-barking Dolly.

“Shut her up! She’s going to give us away!” Richard smacked at Dolly’s muzzle as he ran.

That seemed to stifle her for a few minutes, and we made it down the alley and through two more without chase. At last Richard stopped, heaving for air, and leaned against the wall of a building. I didn’t want to stop. My nerves on fire with adrenaline and fear, I ran past him.

“Bryce!”

I ignored him. Fight or flight had kicked in. I wasn’t much to look at size-wise — I had no hope of fighting off a crowd of hungry zombies, so flight it was. I had to get away from there. Like a rat in a maze, I kept running through alleys and streets I didn’t know and couldn’t really see, until I stepped square into a hole and stumbled. I put my arms out and tried to catch myself, but only succeeded in falling on my wrist, wrenching it back against my arm. I couldn’t keep from crying out, but even the momentary pain didn’t stop me.

I surged to my feet again, but I must’ve injured my left ankle in the fall as well, because it wouldn’t support my weight and I fell back down. Undaunted, I crawled for my life. Footsteps grew nearer and nearer. They’d catch me, but I’d be damned if they’d catch me easily.

“Bryce! Stop!”

I rolled over under the power of someone else. At any other time, I probably would’ve registered that the person was Richard. But right then, I didn’t recognize him. He knew my name, kept yelling it over and over — that much I realized — but it made no difference to me. I fought him as hard as I could, and at last, he simply pinned my wrists and collapsed on top of me.

He stopped yelling, instead resorted to just whispering my name in my ear again and again in a monotonous tone that finally managed to bore into my brain and made me stop struggling.

Richard pulled back and looked down at me. “I’m getting up, okay?”

I nodded. Still feeling skittish though, I tried experimentally to wrest one of my wrists out of his grip.

“Easy,” he cooed. “You’re not in danger.”

“Not yet,” Cole chimed in from behind him.

“You’re not helping,” Richard snapped at him.

Pages or Words: 31,000 words
Categories: Contemporary, Fiction, Gay Fiction, Horror, M/M Romance, Romance, Thriller

Buy the book: Torquere Books

 

RC

Meet the author:

Romance author, sic-fi fan club Captain, cosplayer, reigning Queen of Monkeyland, and random menace. Yep, we’re talking about DC Juris. She’s a cupcake making, football watching, rubber duck collecting, drag show loving, full of fabulous with a Capital F kinda gal. She’s also an Ordained Minister and an amateur photographer. She lives in Upstate NY with her husband, three dogs, and three cats. When she’s not writing, you can find her in her favorite chair watching “Star Trek” and “Supernatural” repeats on Netflix, or surfing the web for porn. Er… research. Surfing the web for research. She may speak softly but she lives and loves loudly. Just ask the neighbors. ::wink::

 

Where to find the author:

 


Tour Dates & Stops:

Parker Williams, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Bayou Book Junkie, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Inked Rainbow Reads, Happily Ever Chapter, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, BFD Book Blog, MM Good Book Reviews, Ogitchida Book Blog, Bonkers About Books, The Hat Party, V’s Reads, Dawn’s Reading Nook, Kimi-Chan, Jessie G. Books, Open Skye Book Reviews

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Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy of ‘Bad Moon Rising’ by DC Juris.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Link and prize provided by the author and Pride Promotions.

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