A Sammy Review: Better the Devil You Know by Bey Deckard

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Better The Devil You know cover“I am serious. I know I have your fear—and I thank you for that—but you’re only just tasting the beginning of what fear can do to you. I find that a good, firm grasp on fear and pain helps to create fertile ground for proper rehabilitation and personal growth… But don’t take my word for it. I just work here.”

Byron isn’t like other men. For those who go out on a weekend night to celebrate, he prefers to spend his time indoors with a victim, savagely ripping them to pieces. For him, it’s a source of joy. For him, it’s life.

But his own crimes and murders of over fifty people eventually catch up to him, and when it becomes time for his soul to be reaped, the devil himself comes to collect. Still, Hell’s never seen evil quite like Byron before, and it’ll take more than torture to get to his core.

The fear of death is what drives man to succumb to his pain—fear weakens the resolve. Without the fear of death, what is left?

Weak stomach? Like things light and fluffy? Then heed my warning and keep on going. This story is gore and macabre from beginning to end.

Verging on torture porn, Deckard manages to weave plot into an infinitely dark story. Bits of Byron’s life are given at times, playing the reader like a true fiddle. Out of nowhere comes sparks of an interesting and intriguing plot. There are times when you may wonder what the point of it is, why read something so dark? Maybe you’re sick, maybe not. No matter the answer, this story is a true mind fuck.

Small hints of something that may resemble pieces of romance take parts of the readers heart, drawing you into a connection that is manufactured for a purpose. To find out why, though, you must read to the very end.

Even more surprising than the conclusion (though I figured it out a bit before it was unraveled), is the little bits of humor. In a story so depraved, it seems impossible to smile, but then the author would throw in a little phrase here or some joke there and it’d break the darkness.

Paired with a dash of hotness, the story is a quick read, but not for the faint of heart by any means.

The cover by Bey Deckard fits the story. It’s dark and has a menacing feel.

Sales Link:   All Romance (ARe)  | Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, 128 pages
Published October 1st 2015 by Bey Deckard
ISBN139780994790040
edition languageEnglish

A MelanieM Review: With This Bling (Romano and Albright #3) by L.B. Gregg

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Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ★★★★★

With This Bling coverCaesar Romano’s catering career is doing better than he’d ever dreamed. And so is his love life—even if his boyfriend’s house in Staten Island is way too far from civilization for his liking. But then in short order, Caesar is duped into helping his cousin propose, is tricked by his best friend and business partner into appearing on live television, and is harassed by a thug-like personal trainer and his far too beautiful wife. In fact, Caesar is almost too busy to notice that something is troubling his PI boyfriend, Dan Albright.

Almost.

Laid-back, open, charming—that’s the impression hunky former NYPD Detective Dan Albright gives everyone. Caesar can add sexually adventurous and a bit of an exhibitionist. But he also knows that Dan is hiding something—something dark and a little dangerous—and when Dan’s silence over his mysterious past threatens to harm them both, it’s Caesar’s turn to save the day.

But then again, a break-in, a gallery party, an heirloom ring, a new suit, and a stalker with bad BO are all just a typical week for Caesar Romano.

In 2010, L. B. Gregg released a story, Catch Me If You Can (Romano and Albright, #1) which introduced me and so many other readers to Caesar Romano and P.I. Dan Albright.  And I fell in love.  The second novel, also 2010, saw that love affair deepen and become an addiction.

Then the stories stopped.

But I was hopeful.  And patient.  Now I’ve finally been rewarded along with all the other fans of this author and amazing series.  Romano and Albright are back and better than ever!

We dive right back into confirmed city dweller Caesar’s life.  He’s out on Staten Island, staying in boyfriend Dan’s house.

“Sunshine poured into the kitchen, warming a row of spiny potted herbs on the windowsill. Outside, the neat suburban backyard burst with green shrubbery and midsummer flowers. A plump gray bird sat on the clothesline and a squirrel frolicked in the grass, both a reminder that I needed to get the hell back to the city because honest to God, it was like the country out there.”

Yep, nothing suits Caesar so well as the smell of the city and the congested, exuberant life he leads there.  To him, the quiet of a Staten Island neighborhood screams country, even though his beloved city is with well within eyesight.  From that wonderful start, L.B. Gregg’s lively, snarky narrative takes off, her dialogs a perfect match for each and every one of her memorable characters.  A mystery popped up almost immediately (this is Caesar and Dan) and we are off on another case and misadventure.  I was grinning from the very beginning in anticipation and L. B. Gregg didn’t let me down!

Dan’s personal background has always been a bit of a question for Caesar (and the readers).  Some of those are answered here. I had to double check the timeline and it appears its still been about 6 months since the first time they met, so that feels about right in a relationship still working on its foundation.  The author’s characterizations are so good, her plots so well thought out, that everything just comes together just as it should.  We know that Dan and Caesar belong together…no matter how scary it gets.  And yes, it can get plenty scary here.  But the action and suspense never overwhelms the relationship between Caesar and Dan, or any of  the other interpersonal ties going on at the moment.  Plenty of those too.  The connections here are all about the family.

New York City and its neighborhoods is easily not just a setting but a character all of its own.  Gregg’s familiarity with each borough and their unique “feel” gives this book another layer to flavor.  This also carries over to  Gregg’s characters, all of the Romano family (and they are many and varied) to the Albright upright clan and everyone in between.  Lots and lots of in between.   His cousin Joey and Caesar’s business partner, Poppy, uncles Tino and Vito, among the large and hugely entertaining cast.  How I love them all.

But the heart of the series and this story will always be Caesar and Dan, a relationship that continues to flourish and grow.  Here Caesar makes enormous emotional strides forward…even if it comes at the end.

I whipped through this story because I was starved for it, then started through once again.  It got even better the second time around.   I’m not sure I would call this a standalone.  I’m sure you could read it that way but why would you?  Don’t you want to see how it all started?  Watch Caesar meet Dan, watch Dan loosen up Caesar more than a little?  Watch Dan (a ex NYPD Detective) meet the huge Romano family whose connection to the law is somewhat loose and shaky?  The humor in these novels will have you laughing out loud in places.  Romano and Albright!  A couple that sexy, intelligent, fun and full of action in the best sense of the word.  What more could you want?

I highly recommend this story and all in the series.  Now begins the wait for the next story.  I can be patient.  I know it will be worth the wait.

Cover art by L. C. Chase is absolutely perfect.  Whether its Joey or Caesar (they look almost identical).  Chase has them down.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It Here (other links to come)

Book Details:

ebook, 264 pages
Expected publication: December 7th 2015 by Riptide Publishing
original titleWith This Bling
ISBN139781626493599
edition languageEnglish

Series Romano and Albright

A Supernatural Spotlight: Emerald: Good and Evil ( The Stones of Power #5) by M.D. Grimm (excerpt and giveaway)

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Emerald: Good and Evil ( The Stones of Power #5) by M.D. Grimm
Release Date: November 18, 2015

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Torquere Press
Cover Artist: Kris Norris

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Blurb

Home. Family.

Those words often invoke a sense of love and comfort. But for the dark mage Morgorth, they mean hate and pain. As the seventh son of a seventh son, many believe Morgorth’s destiny is to become the Destroyer. His father embraced such a future and trained Morgorth through torture and fear to become his weapon. Morgorth managed to escape his father’s cruelty, but not the nightmares that still haunt him. For many years he’s lived with the stain of his father’s savagery, but now he must confront his nightmares head-on.

His father has found a stone of power.

Morgorth must return to his land of birth, to the memories he’s tried his entire life to suppress. Aishe is determined to help Morgorth defeat his inner demons, but he knows he might not be enough to save Morgorth from embracing his darkness. They know it will be a fight to the death and know Morgorth won’t be the same if he survives. With Aishe by his side, Morgorth hunts for his father, and finds answers to questions he never dared to ask—and must live with the truths they reveal.

 

Pages or Words: 78,000 words
Categories: Fantasy, Fiction, Romance
Not standalone novels, should be read in order 

Excerpt

I glanced at Aishe to see he had his bow, an arrow nocked, and quiver at his side. He was crouched, still looking ill, but his eyes were hard and flat. I grinned in pride. Nothing could keep my mate down. I let the wind die and the ship slowed, rocking violently, the water lapping hard at its sides. The tentacles caught up and tried to wrap around the ship once again. I didn’t risk fire, but I had another element that was aplenty around me: water. Just as I gathered focus for the next spell, a tentacle tried to slither onto the deck, heading toward me. Before I could react Aishe shot an arrow, puncturing the slimy flesh of the tentacle. Then he ran and leapt over it, and with his sword, sliced off the tip. The tentacle shot back into the water, and the monster bellowed in pain. Aishe spun around, nocking another arrow. He was now close to me, and I could see it was a struggle for him to remain focused. He was sweating profusely and deathly pale. I would have ordered him below deck if I thought he would listen.

More tentacles were now slithering around the ship and the crew did what they could, cutting at the appendages and shooting their own arrows. They gave me the time I needed. I ran across the deck and realized the monster’s tentacles seemed to be following me. I wasn’t surprised, since most creatures could sense magick and many predators were attracted to it. If a predator ate a mage, they sometimes gained the power of their food: you are what you eat. I could use that to my advantage.

I reached the other side of the ship and flung my hand down with another word, using the magick in the water—every element had magick, instilled there by the Mother—and used it to freeze the water. But not just on the surface, I made the ice sink below where the beast rested. I continued the spell, causing the tentacles to freeze. It wasn’t easy to freeze saltwater but as I was using the magick within the element, and not my own to control it, it was much easier. Once the tentacles stopped moving, I instantly swung around and used the wind again to get the ship to move. We shot across the water once more, and I happened to look back to see what the beast was doing. We hadn’t gone very far before the ice broke. I realized the beast was far bigger, and stronger, than I’d suspected. I watched, fascinated and terrified, as the beast surged completely to the surface. Its bulbous head and gaping mouth appeared, its tentacles writhing in rage. Those black, pitiless eyes focused on us, and then the monster dove back into the water. It sped toward us, creating a hump in the water.

I took a deep breath, reaching a decision. It wasn’t going to stop, not until it had eaten me and destroyed the ship. I stopped the wind.

“Everyone hold onto something!” I bellowed. I glanced at Aishe as he clung to the rail, his eyes huge and locked on me.

I stood in the middle of the ship again and closed my eyes. My magick flashed hot inside me, and I used it to once again grab hold of the water’s magick. I clenched my fists and let the foreign magick fill me, feeling the pressure of it, the fluidness of the water, the refreshing and cool sensation. Then I opened my eyes and quickly grabbed a crystal from one of my pouches. It was small but it would serve for the task I gave it. I clasped the crystal between both hands and unleashed the spell with a focused word inside my mind. The spell latched onto the crystal and just as the beast reached us, intent on smashing the ship to pieces, the water suddenly shot upward, like a reverse waterfall.

A large column of water lifted the ship out of harm’s way and the tentacles of the beast slashed at the column as it roared in frustration. I made sure the ship reached a good height before locking the spell into the crystal. Spells only lasted if there was enough energy, or rather, magick, to sustain them. With crystals, I could hold the spell longer by pumping a predetermined amount of magick into them, turning the spell into an enchantment. I used such techniques for Geheimnis. I frequently had to recharge the crystals but it meant I didn’t have to consciously think about the spells anymore. They were very nearly freestanding. I used the same concept here but of a shorter extent. What I had planned wouldn’t take very long.

I ran to Aishe and pushed the crystal into his hands. “Hold onto this. It will keep you all airborne.”

“What are you doing?” Aishe made to grab me, but I had already leapt onto the rail, struggling to keep my balance.

“I’ll be right back,” I said.

“Morgorth—”

I took a deep breath before I dove off the rail. I locked my hands over my head and made sure my magick was bubbling right below the surface. The beast rose out of the water and opened its mouth. This was going to hurt.

Buy the book: Torquere Books | Amazon

 

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Meet the Author

M.D. Grimm has wanted to write stories since second grade and nothing has changed since then. Thankfully, she has indulgent parents who let her dream, but also made sure she understood she’d need a steady job to pay the bills. After graduating from the University of Oregon and majoring in English, she embarked on her writing career and couldn’t be happier. Working by day, writing by night, she enjoys journeying on romantic quests and daring adventures and creating characters that always triumph against the villain, and find their soul mate in the process.

Where to find the author:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001710645622

 


Tour Dates & Stops:

Parker Williams, Mikky’s World of Books, Bayou Book Junkie, The Hat Party, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, MM Good Book Reviews, BFD Book Blog, Happily Ever Chapter, Nephy Hart, Full Moon Dreaming, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Books A to Z, Moonbeams Over Atlanta, Book Lovers 4Ever, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Louise Lyons, EE Montgomery, Dawn’s Reading Nook, Velvet Panic, The Fuzzy, Fluffy World of Chris T. Kat, Inked Rainbow Reads

 

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Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy of Emerald: Good and Evil. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Link and prize provided by the author and Pride Promotions.

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Tis Almost the Season for A HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS by Joe Cosentino (author interview and giveaway)

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A HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS

by JOE COSENTINO

a HEA holiday short novella published by Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist:  Paul Richmond

e-book $3.99 Dreamspinner Press

Author Interview

My interview with Joe Cosentino, author of A HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS, a holiday novella from Dreamspinner Press.

Welcome back, Joe Cosentino, and happy holidays! Speaking of the holidays, your latest short novella, A Home for the Holidays, is a title ripe for pulling memories out of people.  What made you pick that title?

Regardless of whether or not you celebrate the winter holidays, I think all of us are looking for a place to call home. That place is beside the people we love. Bobby and Paolo learn that in my story.

What memories conjure up the holidays for you?

I would love to answer chestnuts roasting on an open fire, sitting at the window seat and watching the snow fall over the lake, sleigh riding down the mountain then cuddling over a hot chocolate mug at the fireplace, and opening lavish gifts under a Christmas tree draped in golden ornaments. In actuality, Like Bobby and Paolo in my story, I come from a large funny Italian family who celebrate the holidays as if they’re lives depended on it. Relatives sit at a long table packed with enough delicious food to feed all of New Jersey—including the governor! My mother asks my father to say Grace. He lifts his wine and offers, “Salute, drink up.” My mother then asks each of us to remove the napkin from the belly of the ceramic Santa on the table in front of him or her, saying, “I made them at the senior center. After I die, I want you all to take these out each Christmas, think of me, and cry buckets.” As platters of savory food are passed from person to person, relatives ask me why my books haven’t been made into movies yet starring Al Pacino. During the scrumptious meal, the dog rests her paws on my legs and begs for food. When I tell my mother I’m allergic, Mom replies, “I don’t know why you don’t like the dog. She likes you!” After dinner, we open more gifts than Macys can house in their warehouse. Everyone has a funny story to tell, and my mother has an opinion on everything from crime (“If anybody messes with my grandchildren, I’ll cut his heart out.”) to the economy (“The problem with the economy is that our neighbors go out to eat and shop for clothes too much.”) to the environment (“The planet is a mess, because nobody cleans as good as I do.”). Then everyone falls asleep in front of the television set.

When you think of the holidays and home, what is the picture that springs to mind and how did that influence your story?  

I’d love to answer spiritual reflection (though I do that too), but in reality I think about my Italian family. They certainly influenced this story as Bobby’s parents and Paolo’s grandmother are a great deal like mine—and hysterically funny. My family also pestered me for years to go to Italy, where the story takes place. So one year like Kunta Kinte charting his roots, my spouse and I dipped into our savings—and dipped into the Dramamine, and booked a flight and bus tour from the US to Rome, Naples, Venice, Assisi, Lake Como, Milan, Florence, the Amalphi Coast, Pompeii, Tuscany, and Lake Maggiore. However, there was no site more gorgeous, magical, and romantic than the Island of Capri. My family members were right! It was not to be missed. Upon arriving back in the US, I thanked them. I also realized I had to write a romantic story taking place in Capri, including Capri’s stunning villas, enormous cliffs sitting majestically on the sparkling turquoise water, white sand beaches surrounded by white stone formations, sumptuous food, sensuous people, and the stunning Grotta Azzurra (the Blue Grotto) with its brilliant shades of iridescent sapphire and emerald from the sun’s reflection on the water in the cove.

In my story Bobby, a young, Italian American law student, travels to Capri to meet his quaint Italian relatives. Though they get off to a rocky start, he falls in love with his handsome, muscular, sexy Italian third cousin, Paolo. Bobby is hardworking, and Paolo is hard living. Bobby is a romantic, and Paolo is more concerned about his clothing and social life. Their relationship with highs and lows and some captivating surprises is the core of this HEA novella.

After reading A HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS, readers have said they’ve taken a little trip to Capri and had the romance of a lifetime—for a lot less money! I hope readers will pick up this short novella bursting with the sights, scents, sounds, tastes, and romance of the magnificent island of Capri! And I love hearing from readers. They can contact me at: http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com.

Blurb

Bobby McGrath’s Christmas trip to the beautiful Italian Island of Capri to meet his eccentric, extended family offers stunning views—none more stunning than his third cousin, Paolo Mascobello, a real stocking stuffer. As the two young men embark on a relationship, Bobby, a driven law student, learns to relax and bask under the old Italian moon, and Paolo realizes there’s more to life than a frolic on the beach. For the two to find everlasting amore, Paulo must overcome his fear of commitment and learn to follow his dreams, and Bobby must get his wish for happily ever after. “Reading this little holiday treat is like taking a romantic trip to gorgeous Capri, Italy!”

About the Author

Amazon Bestselling author Joe Cosentino wrote An Infatuation, A Shooting Star, A Home for the Holidays (Dreamspinner Press),Drama Queen the first Nicky and Noah mystery (Lethe Press), Paper Doll the first Jana Lane mystery (Whiskey Creek Press), andThe Nutcracker and the Mouse King (Eldridge Plays and Musicals). He has appeared in principal acting roles in film, television, and theatre, opposite stars such as Bruce Willis, Rosie O’Donnell, Nathan Lane, Holland Taylor, Charles Keating, and Jason Robards. His one-act plays, Infatuation and Neighbor, were performed in New York City. He wrote The Perils of Pauline educational film (Prentice Hall Publishers). Joe is currently Head of the Department/Professor at a college in upstate New York, and is happily married. His upcoming releases in 2016 are The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland (Dreamspinner Press short stories novella), Porcelain Doll the second Jana Lane mystery (Wild Rose Press), and Drama Muscle the second Nicky and Noah mystery (Lethe Press).

HomeFortheHolidayscoverBook Details:

ebook
Expected publication: December 2nd 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781634765367
edition languageEnglish
Words: 15,000

Giveaway

Giveaway: Joe Cosentino is the author of two other hit novellas from Dreamspinner Press: AN INFATUATION and A SHOOTING STAR. Leave a comment below about your holiday plans. The one that we think hits it home the most for us will receive your choice of an AN INFATUATION or A SHOOTING STAR e-book from the author. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Happy holidays!

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6009

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6803

Praise for Joe Cosentino’s In My Heart novellas, AN INFATUATION & A SHOOTING STAR, from Dreamspinner Press:

“unbelievably beautiful” “a masterpiece” Lovebytes Reviews

“as Joe Cosentino proves time and time again, with his wonderful writing and storytelling ability, love will prevail, and you will smile from ear to ear.” Kathy Mac Reviews

“a master class in how to write short fiction (or any fiction). Joe Cosentino has provided a work that will leave you thinking and wanting to savor and re-read it again and again.” GGR Reviews

“Like an onion, Joe Cosentino’s stories have layers.” “For those readers looking for something a little bit different – dare I say unique? For those readers who like to laugh. For those readers who appreciate the nuances of people and the way each character is different. For those readers who want to read a damn good story – check out this author. I’m glad I did.” “A truly fabulous read.” Boy Meets Boy Reviews

“This story just blew me away.” Cathy Brockman Romance/MM Good Book Reviews

“From the beginning I was enthralled and couldn’t wait to finish the book.” Inked Rainbow Reads

“really grabs you and tugs at your emotions” “unique and enjoyable.” Nautical Star Books

“It turned out exactly how I wanted it to.” BFD Book Blog

“This is polished prose at its best. Intelligent writing, a thought-provoking plot and characters befitting the theater genre” “one of my favorite reads this year.” Love’s Last Refuge Reviews

 

“Don’t miss this one friends, it is a heartfelt story magical in the telling! Thanks Joe for putting your heart on the page for us to savor!”
Bike Book Reviews

 

“It’s unusual for me to get sucked into a book in the first chapter but it grabbed me early and I read the whole thing in one day”.

Nautical Star Books

 

“There were times I laughed and then there were times I cried…unforgettable.” Multitaskingmomma Reviews

 

“I really loved this book and having an ending that made me laugh and cry at the same time is testament to the brilliant writing.” BooksLaidBareBoys

 

“The author executed his storyline with a marvelous precision that would be the envy of many authors. He draws the readers into the lives of his characters, they become real and in turn, their emotions becomes yours.” “If you can only afford to buy one more book this year, buy this one.” Three Books Over the Rainbow Reviews

Book Spotlight: Grein Murray’s ‘I Have You’ (excerpt and giveaway)

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I Have You by Grein Murray
Series: Spinoff from the ‘Joshua’ series
Release Date: November 2, 2015

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Grein Murray
Cover Artist: Kellie Dennis

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Blurb

Kyle and Christopher’s world is about to change. The couple have hidden their relationship to keep Kyle safe from his strict parents, but eventually they find out. Both Kyle and Christopher don’t want to give up the other, it’s just not an option. Kyle is ready for a new start when faced with having to break up with Christopher. Christopher comes up with a plan, but the catch is that they have to leave everything behind. The job Christopher has lined up for them may be crossing the line with Kyle. Will they both do whatever it takes to stay together?

 

Pages or Words: 101 pages
Categories: Gay Fiction, M/M Romance

Excerpt

“Do you ever think about leaving everything behind and just starting a new life? I do all the time, but I’d want you with me.” Kyle had a fierce look in his eyes. “I’m just so tired of hiding my feelings for you and who I am. I have this gorgeous boyfriend, but I have to pretend we’re just friends and I hate it.”

“When we go to college it will be different, Kyle.” Christopher rubbed Kyle’s shoulder, but he shrugged it off.

“No, it won’t. Don’t you understand? If someone that knows my family sees us and tells my parents they will make our lives miserable. We have to be careful, Christopher.” Kyle sat back in the seat, tears pooling in the corner of his eyes.

 

Buy the book:  Amazon

Meet the author:

When I’m not writing I like going to concerts. Music is a big part of my life, I’ve played bass guitar since I was a teen. I love nature and enjoy hiking and working with causes that help protect our planet and wild animals.

I have loved books all of my life and have always enjoyed escaping the ordinary world by getting lost in a good book. I read a lot of different genres of books but have fallen in love with MM. I support the gay community and hope one day people will see that love is love and that it is a beautiful thing no matter your gender, race or religion. Joshua and his story have been in my head for years but I never took the time to write it.

With encouragement from some fellow authors and friends I took the leap and now all of you can get to know my characters and I hope you love them as much as I do.

Where to find the author:

RC

 


Tour Dates & Stops:

Parker Williams, KathyMac Reviews, The Hat Party, Bayou Book Junkie, Jessie G. Books, BFD Book Blog, MM Good Book Reviews, Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings, Happily Ever Chapter, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Havan Fellows, Velvet Panic, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Divine Magazine, Wake Up Your Wild Side, Inked Rainbow Reads, Because Two Men Are Better Than One, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Alpha Book Club, Rainbow Gold Reviews, Butterfly-O-Meter, Charley Descoteaux

Final

Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: $5.00 Amazon 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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A New Press Comes On Line ~ The Launch of NineStar Press (an inside peak)

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Finding the People and Stories That Matter Online

By Erica Mills, Executive Director of NineStar Press

Seven years ago, I took a chance on making a new friend. That split-second decision opened up a whole new world to me.

Back then, I was a college student finding my feet in my writing career. I wanted to write LGBTQA fiction. The problem was, I didn’t know anyone who wrote what I wrote. I was living in a small town in Ireland. While I have a great bunch of friends from that town, none of them identified anywhere on the LGBTQA spectrum, much less had the desire to write about it.

So I joined an online writing group. A couple of months after joining, I spotted a post from someone looking for a writing partner. Her name was Lisa Cox, I discovered, and she was living in Ireland, too. Importantly, she was writing the kind of fiction I wanted to write.

It’s crazy to think of it now, but I almost didn’t respond to the post. I wrote out a message, deleted it, and then wrote another. My finger hovered over the mouse for what felt like eons before I hit send. But I thought, “What’s the worst that can happen?” Turns out, a lot of good happened.

That friend turned out to be one of the most important people in my life. She’s a truly impressive person—an editing and LGBTQA fiction powerhouse. I watched in awe as she conquered the LGBTQA fiction market, both as an author and as an editor with some of the biggest e-publishing presses around.

So when she sent me a message saying she was thinking of starting her own publishing press for LGBTQA fiction, I didn’t hesitate. I told her she had to go for it—and I knew I had to get involved as an investor and a member of staff.

Lisa and I had had some long conversations in the past about trying to find good-quality LGBTQA fiction. We’re both voracious readers as well as authors and editors and though we’ve been able to find a lot of male/male romances, we had long lamented how few publishers were actively catering to the rest of the spectrum. With NineStar Press, we want to change that. We want to produce the best lesbian, bisexual, trans*, queer, and asexual fiction on the market.

For all of the debate about the pitfalls of the internet, my experience since meeting Lisa online has highlighted one of the greatest benefits of the ’net. Used properly, the internet is a place to come together, to find the kind of community and friends that can last a lifetime. It’s where you can go to disappear into a world of books and stories to suit your tastes and interests—not just what traditional publishers dictate you should be reading.

We want to open up that world and community even further for people like us. We’re doing that by sourcing and publishing stories from the best LGBTQA writers around the globe.

When you buy a book from NineStar Press, you can be guaranteed that it was put together by people like you: people who know the value of finding a place to be yourself, a place where you can explore your interests, and seeing yourself reflected back in what you read.

Finding that kind of resource online is invaluable. I speak from happy experience.

NineStar Press launches on the 23rd of November. See what’s in store for you from NineStar Press: go to http://www.ninestarpress.com now.

Fans of quality LGBTQA fiction have been anticipating the launch of brand-new publisher NineStar Press. Following the company’s “soft launch” in July, they’re ready to launch fully on November 23rd, 2015.

NineStar Press was created to meet the reading needs of people across the LGBTQA spectrum. The company was formed when founder Lisa Cox, who has years of experience both as an author and editor of LGBTQA fiction, noticed a gap in the market that wasn’t being filled. Though many publishing houses are focused on straight and male/male fiction and romance, Lisa saw that few were offering high-quality, professionally edited and formatted books outside of those markets.

Though NineStar Press will offer plenty gay fiction and romance, it is also committed to publishing books featuring lesbian, bisexual, trans*, queer, and asexual characters. It will release only the best, most engaging LGBTQA stories that you’ll want to read again and again.

What Can You Expect From NineStar Press?

Already, the publisher has a battery of books waiting to be pre-ordered by LGBTQA readers. The stories run the gamut of genres, defiantloyaltieslengths, and sexualities, from short male/male erotica to fantasy with a lesbian protagonist to contemporary romantic suspense.

Defiant Loyalties by Elizabeth Wilde is one of the novels to be released. It follows the story of Jack Preston, whose life is thrown into a dangerous game of lies and espionage, when an assassination attempt is made on his oppressive father’s life. He finds solace in an unlikely place—in the man who was tasked with killing his father. The heat level is high on this erotic romance…and the tension higher. Check it out at NineStar Press now.

Fans of fantasy fiction will also find much to love about Brooke Radley’s Nightshade. It centers on a young mage named Eleanor, nightshadenewwho has to infiltrate a thieves’ guild to find the source of a drug that’s ravaging her city. But once she’s reached the inner circle of the Nightshade Brotherhood, she’s drawn to a beautiful and elusive thief called Cassandra. Can she risk betraying Cassandra to do what needs to be done for the good of her city?

Noted erotica and erotic romance writer Elizabeth Coldwell brings two initial short erotic pieces to the line-up with happychristmassirnspthe seasonal Happy Christmas, Sir, about a sub who wants to please his Dom, and Trickster, about a bounty hunter who’s drawn to his handsome target.

Fans of seasonal romances and erotic stories will find a lot to choose from, too.  Check out the site to see offerings from male romance writer Olley White, erotic romance writer Gillian St. Kevern, and lesbian novella writer Lucy Carey.

There are too many to list here, so check out http://www.ninestarpress.com to see what else is on offer.

No matter what your taste or interest is, NineStar Press has all the top-quality, well-written, hard-to-put-down LGBTQA fiction you could desire.

NineStar Press launches on November 23rd, 2015. If you’re a fan of LGBTQA fiction, go to www.ninestarpress.com to see the full catalogue today.

  

Brooke Radley is a fiction writer with a focus on lesbian protagonists. Her new release Nightshade—available to order pre-release here [link: http://ninestarpress.com/product/nightshade-brooke-radley/%5D—follows a young mage who’s tasked with infiltrating a criminal organisation to help stamp out a new drug that’s rampaging through her city.

Below, Brooke discusses her book, writing fiction, and her experiences with brand-new LGBTQA publisher, NineStar Press.

[About the author:] Brooke Radley is an office manager who lives in Chesapeake, Virginia. She has a degree in English from Virginia Tech. When she’s not writing, she’s either reading or spending time with her dogs, Rio and Gabby.

Brooke is available for follow-up questions or for further interviews. Please contact NineStar Press’s marketing manager and executive director, Erica Mills, at erica@ninestarpress.com, to arrange to speak to Brooke directly.

Interview with Lesbian Fiction Writer Brooke Radley

Only a very special book could be chosen to help launch a brand new press. But when it came to launching LGBTQA-focused NineStar Press, its directors knew that Brooke Radley’s novel Nightshade would be one of its earliest and brightest stars.

“When I started reading Brooke’s book, I was enraptured,” executive director Erica Mills says. “From the moment the female protagonist, Eleanor, was introduced on the first page, I knew this was a book we needed to have as part of our opening line-up.”

Nightshade, a fantasy novel that centres on a lesbian central character, is a page-turner from start to finish. So what made Brooke want to tell this story?

“I got my start in fanfiction when I was twelve,” she says, “but I’ve always thought about writing fantasy. I started reading Female/Female (F/F) fiction in college, and I noticed there were very few F/F fantasy novels. It’s gotten better in recent years, but I never could shake the desire to write one for myself. So I thought, why not?”nightshadenew


Her desire resulted in a breathless, mystery-soaked fantasy novel that rivals any written with a straight protagonist.

As a keen reader, Brooke took inspiration from books—experiencing a moment of revelation while reading.

“I had just finished reading The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch and was halfway through Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige when I realized that my favorite stories always involve a character pretending to be something they aren’t. The next thing I knew, I wanted to write about a woman going undercover into an evil organization and attempting to bring it down from the inside.”

So that’s exactly what she did. The story of Nightshade centers around a young mage named Eleanor who infiltrates the criminal guild, the Nightshade Brotherhood. She’s tasked by her city’s council with proving they’re the ones responsible for the distribution of a hallucinogenic drug called tangleweed.

But once she starts her mission, Eleanor learns quickly that an attractive distraction could sway her from her purpose.

While on a trial mission for the thieves’ guild, she meets the elusive Cassandra. From there, things get complicated for Eleanor. “There’s an instant spark between them,” Brooke explains. “Eleanor makes it her objective to learn more about Cassandra—for her mission and her own curiosity.”

After crafting such a labor of love, Brooke knew she had to find just the right home for Nightshade. Finding a publishing house that would appreciate her book proved harder than she thought.

“I did a lot of research before submitting, and I saw that while a lot of publishers were interested in LGBTQA fiction, many of them were more focused on other genres,” she says. “Very few were interested in a fantasy novel featuring LGBTQA characters.

“I stumbled upon NineStar Press. When I saw how passionate they were about LGBTQA fiction, I knew I wanted to submit to them.”

The experience proved to be a very positive one for the nascent author.

“I enjoyed working with my editor. From the beginning, she was open with me about what worked and what didn’t. Her feedback really helped improve my writing. I’m also really pleased with how the cover of Nightshade turned out.”

Though she’s earned a break, the author isn’t resting on her laurels when it comes to writing. She’s already completed another book and has another in the pipeline.

“My next book that’s coming out with NineStar is called But First Must Come the Storm. It’s about a student and her relationship with her professor.”

She’s also working on a sequel to Nightshade with the working title of Sunstalker.

Check out NineStar Press to pre-order Nightshade now http://ninestarpress.com/product/nightshade-brooke-radley. Or to see what else is available to buy, check out the full complement of pre-release books now at http://www.ninestarpress.com.