A MelanieM Advent Story Review: Kismet (Sleigh Ride – 2015 Advent Calendar) by Cassie Decker

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Rating: 2.75 rounded up to 3 stars out of 5

Sleigh Ride Advent StoryFate has a way of bringing people together, like it did when Tucker Wright and Callum Richards met unexpectedly in an airport coffee shop and formed a deep connection in the short time they had to spend together. But fate can also be cruel. When Tucker loses Cal’s phone number in his hurry to catch his plane, he has no way of reaching Cal. Then a dead car battery and a snowy night force their paths to cross again, will Cal believe Tucker and ring in the New Year with a little help from kismet?

A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2015 Advent Calendar package “Sleigh Ride”

Short and sweet for the holidays.  Two men instantly connect in an airport and promise to call.  But modern connections are fragile and technology means promises can be broken without intent.  Is it fate when the two men meet once more?

The story flies by quickly, the characters could use as much depth as the Aspen snow but it cute, sweet and its ends happily.  A Christmas concoction that  goes down easily.

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

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 28 pages
Published November 30th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
ASINB018RSIP3U
edition languageEnglish
seriesSleigh Ride – 2015 Advent Calendar

A BJ Review: Something Like a Love Song by Becca Burton

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Rating:  4.25 stars out of 5

Something Like A Love SongOne tragic night left Landon and Dylan’s dreams of happily ever after in apparent ruin. Forced to overcome physical and emotional trauma, the young lovers turn to a network of family and friends as they attempt to rebuild their lives. Can their one constant—their love—survive the changes both undergo on the road to recovery?

Given the premise, I knew right off that this was going to be an extremely emotional story, and I wasn’t wrong. But it was also a very fast read despite being over three hundred pages. I enjoyed the author’s writing style—it’s easy to read and flowed well for me. It never once made me question what was going on or stop to think or re-read a passage.

The two main characters, Dylan and Landon, were nuanced and well-drawn, and each of the secondary characters added to the story in their own unique way. The multiple points of view was a bit strange, but in this case I think it really did add to the story to allow us to see not only how the incident and its aftermath affected many people other than just the main characters. Those small insights into what was going on with them also gave us a chance to see the main characters through outside eyes, which I found equally enlightening and enjoyable.   

It’s obvious that this author has a medical background as she took us through the process from the accident and initial trauma to recovery. Watching these guys struggle with pain, guilt, and the frustration and trials of rehabilitation was heartbreaking. It was also an uplifting testament to how love can overcome. Unlike many books that deal with hate crimes, there was basically no focus on finding the perpetrators. And after a bit of thought, I found that I actually liked that.

This story had a ton of emotion and feels, it took me from tears to laughter several times as we are shown episodes from before the incident. But it didn’t have much sex at all, and for I think it would have put it up into the five star story if I’d been able to see more of the couple’s physical relationship returning to normal. We’re only given tiny glimpses and a verbal promise, and must admit that left me wanting.

I don’t normally like when stories jump around in time, but this was an exception. The author did an excellent job of painting Landon’s old character through flashbacks and showing how his new self differed slightly even later after his recovery.  So many insights can be taken away from this book, one big one that stood out for me is how the things that happen to us can change us irrevocably, make us not into different people, as we are always one self, but into a new version of ourselves. To be happy, we must embrace, accept and love ourselves in the now and avoid the tendency to compare ourselves to either our past selves or to others. And I think that’s something we can all related to, because we all go through change in our life, sometimes it’s due to happy events, sometimes trauma, and sometimes simply aging.

Overall, this story left me feeling warm and hopeful. I highly recommend it.

I adore creative drawn covers, and this one is definitely that. It caught my attention and fits the story well.

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

Book Details:  

Kindle Edition, 308 pages
Published November 19th 2015 by Interlude Press
ASINB0181CFAXK
edition languageEnglish

A Holiday Offering for You: Brina Brady’s ‘For Me’ book blast and giveaway

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CoverSample

For Me ( Rent Me #4) by Brina Brady
Release Date: November 29, 2015

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Brina Brady
Cover Artist: Sid Love

Blurb

The entire Dubrovsky family heads to snowy Russia for a family Christmas. Brennen fears Dmitri’s homophobic father’s rejection. Dmitri believes when they present their daughter, that all will be forgiven, but steps into a mess upon arriving with his husband. Instead of greeting Dmitri and Brennen with hugs and kisses, Grandma Dubrovsky whisks baby Dominika away, leaving them alone with Dmitri’s angry father. Can they stay if it means abiding by his rules?

This is a story of love, forgiveness, and miracles during the holiday season. Dmitri and Brennen overcome issues which have been troubling their relationship, each growing and learning how to best be what the other needs. There are many surprises during the holiday season for all of them.

This is best if read after Make Me (Book 3 in the Rent Me series.) If you read it as a standalone, you will surely wish you had read the first three books.

 

Pages or Words: 29,600 words
Categories: BDSM, Contemporary, Erotica, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance

Excerpt

Adrik was deep in conversation with Valerik when they approached the porch. Their conversation terminated when Dmitri and Brennen arrived. Mischa was right behind them.

“Why is he here? He’s not a Dubrovsky. He’s your wife, so he needs to be baking in the kitchen.” Valerik spit on the snow.

Brennen lowered his eyes for a moment and when he’d had just about enough, he spoke in Russian to be sure the old man heard and understood. “That is the last cheap fucking insult you get. One more insult from you and I’ll personally take Dominika home. You’ll never see our daughter again.”

“That was uncalled for,” Dmitri shouted at Valerik. “I stand with Brennen on this. You insult my husband one more time, then you’ll never see any of us.”

“That goes for me, too. I won’t allow you to treat Brennen like this. We love him and he is part of us. You need to apologize,” Mischa said.

“I agree. Brennen has been part of the Dubrovsky family since he was a child. Keep your homophobic attitude out of Christmas. We’re here to celebrate as a family. None of us will visit you ever again if you continue this abuse,” Adrik said.

Buy the book:

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Meet the author:

I am from Huntington Beach, Ca. I taught various subjects at a Continuation High School in Los Angeles, California for 27 years. I obtained a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in history, Secondary Social Science Credential and a Master’s Degree in Secondary Reading and Secondary Education from California State University, Long Beach. I also enrolled in some creative writing classes at UCLA. I am currently taking classes from Romance Writers of America.

Where to find the author:

 


Tour Dates & Stops:

Parker Williams, Dawn’s Reading Nook, BFD Book Blog, Cheekypee Reads and Reviews, Bayou Book Junkie, Foxylutely Book Reviews, Inked Rainbow Reads, Happily Ever Chapter, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Charley Descoteaux, Jessie G. Books, The Hat Party, Velvet Panic, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Cheekypee Reads and Reviews, Mikky’s World of Books, Book Lovers 4Ever, Up All Night, Read All Day, Alpha Book Club, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Kirsty Loves Books, Divine Magazine, MM Good Book Reviews

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Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy of ‘For Me’ by Brina Brady’.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Link and prize provided by the author and Pride Promotions.

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Charity Release Spotlight: Bailey Bradford’s ‘Destined Prey (fundraiser, excerpt,giveaway)

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Destined Prey (Wild Ones #1) by Bailey Bradford

Thank you for joining us! This book was written as a fundraiser for Peyton Hollingsworth, a family friend of Bailey’s who has been diagnosed with cancer.

*All proceeds and royalties from this book will be donated to help pay the medical bills for Peyton Hollingsworth. While he is currently being treated at St. Jude’s for Ewing’s Sarcoma, and treatment there is free, there are accumulated bills from his treatment and diagnosis before being sent to St. Jude’s.

About Peyton:

Peyton is a funny, loving, 11-year old boy who loves playing outside, riding go-carts, and Batman. In April, we found out he had cancer. Peyton has asthma, and often had to have nebulizer treatments, so when he was having trouble breathing, his doctor thought it was asthma. But nothing worked to ease his breathing, and the doctor sent Peyton to the hospital for a suspected collapsed lung.

From one day to the next, it went from us thinking he had a severe bout of asthma to finding out that he had a tumor pressing his lung up until it was almost completely obscured, and he couldn’t get much, if any, air into it.

Peyton was sent to St. Jude’s and diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma. The mass was attached to one rib, and was spreading. He has undergone radiation, surgery, and chemotherapy, several transfusions and MRI’s, numerous tests and received numerous shots. It’s been a rough, rough time for the Hollingsworth family, and we are hoping to help them out.

While St. Jude’s doesn’t charge for treatment, the Hollingsworth family has accumulated medical bills from Peyton’s doctor and hospitalization before he was sent to St. Jude’s. Cherri, his mother, has been unable to work during this time, and the financial constraints are something they could really use help overcoming.

We are currently awaiting another MRI to be scheduled and done to see if all the cancer has been eradicated. We are hopeful and have faith that Peyton will be in remission and the cancer will not have spread or reoccur.

I will keep updating this as we get more information. We should know more within a few days, but I wanted to go ahead and get a jump start on this, so that we can help his family financially, so this will be one less thing that they have to stress about.

If you’d like to help, a Go Fund Me campaign has been set up: https://www.gofundme.com/okwdr0

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers and donations.

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Destined Prey (Wild Ones #1) by Bailey Bradford
Release Date: December 18, 2015
(available for early download on December 14 from Rainbow Ninja Press).
Goodreads Link

Hi Bailey, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Give us a to-do list for one of your characters.

Ben is a coywolf shifter. He is also a mechanic. One a typical day, he’d get up, shower, have breakfast while bickering with his siblings, then he’d go to work. Business has been slower than he’d like, but it’s not too bad. Getting his hands greasy and taking an engine apart is his idea of a good time at work.

Ben’s to-do list:

  • Survive breakfast and don’t give in to the impulse to smack a sib.
  • Order the parts for the old Mustang I’m restoring.
  • Finish the oil changes and tire rotations scheduled, then have fun with the ‘Tang.
  • Stop by the grocers, glare at Gregg. He is not getting my man. Pick up a double chocolate cake from the bakery there for Jack, and his favorite ice cream.
  • Go home and fight off the siblings trying to eat Jack’s cake and ice cream.
  • Shower at Jack’s instead.
  • This one is rated x. Sorry, folks.

 

Blurb

Wild Ones book 1

Destined Prey

All Jack Tucker wanted was to come home for a little while and try to figure out where his life had gone wrong. Moving from Wyoming to New York hadn’t turned out the way he’d thought it would, and a bad breakup leaves him bruised in more than just the emotional sense.

He doesn’t expect to be glad he’s back on the Double T Ranch with his brother, Rhett, and he sure doesn’t expect to find the place crawling with coywolves, wolves, and coyotes. There seems to be some kind of animal-warfare going on, and he and Rhett are caught in the middle of it.

Coywolves—the hybrid of wolves and coyotes, hated by both, and more predatory than either. Add in the fact that all the battling species are shifters, and there’s bound to be trouble.

Ben Akers is part of his brother’s pack. The only coywolf shifters in existence, they find themselves under constant attack from wolf and coyote packs determined to make the Akers pack extinct. But coywolves don’t die out so easy, and when Ben’s life takes a surprising turn in the form of one sexy human named Jack Tucker, they’re both in for surprises, danger, and, if Destiny rules, an abiding love that most people—and shifters—only dream of.

Pages or Words: 43,000 words
Categories: Erotica, Gay Fiction, Humor, M/M Romance, Paranormal, with a dash of Western/Cowboy.

 

Excerpt:

Jack Tucker watched his brother retrieve the rifle from the gun cabinet in the office. “Um. Rhett? What’re you doing?”

Rhett didn’t even glance back at him as he loaded the gun. “What does it look like I’m doing? You been living in the city so long you forgot how a Wyoming rancher lives?” Then he did look over his shoulder at Jack, and Jack kind of wished he hadn’t.

He hated seeing that judgment in his brother’s eyes, and knowing he’d never be good enough for Rhett, never be the man his brother was. “No,” Jack mumbled, “I didn’t forget.”

Rhett sighed and turned until he faced Jack. “Look, that was uncalled for. I’m… I’m sorry, okay?”

Jack was so startled by the apology that he gulped and couldn’t think of a word to say.

Rhett grimaced. “Yeah. Well, okay. Gotta check on some tracks Eddie said he found leading from his property to ours. I’ll be back in a few hours.” He left, striding from the room without seeming to hesitate.

Jack groaned and closed his eyes. Of course Rhett didn’t hesitate—he never had. Rhett always knew what to do, and how to do it, and who he was, and that he was right… Except, he apologized to me, and it screwed my head right up.

“Worse than it already is,” he muttered. Jack couldn’t stop himself from touching his left side, where his bruised ribs throbbed as the pain meds wore off. He was lucky, very lucky, that Rhett hadn’t pushed him on the accident that had sent Jack running home from New York, and possibly into the unemployment line. His boss hadn’t been happy with Jack taking off, even with a medical note as an excuse. Jack hadn’t told Rhett much about any of that. As far as Rhett knew, Jack had fallen down some icy steps, and that was all he was going to ever know about the incident.

Jack replayed his brother’s apology in his head and somehow it mingled in with Alex’s. Cold fear trickled down Jack’s spine and his gut cramped hard enough to make him worry about the dinner he’d just eaten.

After several minutes of trying to calm himself down, Jack stood and left. He’d wanted to sit and talk with Rhett about finances and try to decide if he should offer to let Rhett buy him out. Jack wasn’t made to be a rancher. He wasn’t made to be a New Yorker, either.

Jack didn’t know what he was supposed to do in life, and at the age of twenty-seven, he kind of thought he should have an inkling.

His cell phone was ringing when he stepped into his bedroom. Without looking, he knew it was Alex calling. “Who else would it be?” he huffed. It wasn’t like he had any friends left.

Rather than check to see how many times Alex had called and how many texts he’d sent, Jack turned the phone off, then stuck it in the nightstand. He eased himself onto the bed, then took a couple of prescription pain meds and washed them down with the rest of the water he’d brought in earlier.

The glass was old and familiar, and he felt a pang of regret as he looked it over after he set it down. Green glass, nothing special about it, yet he remembered so much as he stared.

He could see his mom in the kitchen, fixing a pitcher of tea, talking to him, and listening as he told her about his day at school or the chores he’d had to do around the ranch. She’d always been so kind and understanding, Jack had to believe she’d have been okay with him being gay. He’d spent many afternoons in the kitchen, helping her prepare meals or just basking in her presence. Losing her had almost broken him.

For a few more minutes, he let his mind go back to happy childhood days. His dad wasn’t in nearly as many of those good memories, but Chauncey Tucker hadn’t been a bad man. His dad had been more like Rhett—stoic, focused on the ranch and less on the people around him.

Jack ran one finger around the rim of the glass. He was surprised, really, that there were any of the old things left.

The sound of gunshot startled him so badly he jerked and nearly sent the glass flying.

“Shit!” He winced as he pushed it back, then stood as quickly as he could manage.

Another shot rang out, then a third, and fear quickly overtook every other sensation he’d felt until then.

Rhett had always been an ace shot. If he’d had to use three bullets, then there was something bad outside—a bear or a whole pack of wolves.

Jack didn’t like guns, but he went and got one from the gun cabinet anyway. He loaded it as he walked to the front door, and hoped like hell Rhett wasn’t hurt.

As soon as he stepped outside, the fine hairs at his nape seemed to stand up and vibrate, like some kind of primitive survival instinct warning alert system. Jack froze, his back to the door as his heart slammed hard against his ribs.

Another shot sounded, and it jolted Jack into action. “Rhett! Rhett!” He rushed down the steps and toward the direction the shots had come from. “Rhett! Are you okay?”

When Rhett didn’t immediately answer, Jack ran, careless with the gun, aware of that but unable to make himself do anything other than find his brother as soon as possible.

“Rhett!” He stumbled over something on the ground and almost fell before he managed to flail enough to keep himself upright.

Pain tore down his injured side, but he ignored it as he called out for his brother yet again. He cursed himself for not thinking to grab a flashlight. The sky was overcast and there was no moonlight to assist him in his search, and once he was past the barns there was no light coming from the house or other structures, either.

Jack realized that the cattle in the closest field were making enough noise to drown out his voice or Rhett’s, making it impossible for them to hear each other.

The sounds of the gunshots must have scared the cattle. Jack worried about a stampede, but he’d never seen any of the critters take out a fence, so he dismissed the idea.

“Rhett!” His throat burned as he hollered again.

Lightning streaked across the sky, blinding Jack for a moment, then thunder followed and he couldn’t contain his startled yelp as his ears rang from the sound.

Or his shriek when six pairs of glowing yellow eyes appeared between him and the fence line.

“Shit!” Jack skidded to a halt and hoped he could steady his hands, and force himself to do what he had to do.

 

Buy the book:

Destined Prey available Monday 14th December:  Rainbow Ninja Press

Destined Prey available Friday 18th December:  All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Smashwords

 

Meet the Author

A few things about me…

I am a married mom of four who spends most of the day writing, either on stories or at the blog. I love to write as much as I love to read. I am generally quiet and laid back, choosing to let things slide off me rather than stick and irritate me.

And it’s really hard trying to think of descriptives for myself, so I’ll just let y’all e-mail me or comment at the blog if there’s something specific you’d like to know, and spare you from reading a boring bio.

Where to find the author:

 

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Tour Dates & Stops:

14-Dec: Decadent Delights, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Because Two Men Are Better Than One, BFD Book Blog, Hearts on Fire, Mikky’s World of Books, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Unquietly Me

15-Dec

Open Skye Book Reviews, Nephy Hart, MM Good Book Reviews, I Read Selfies, Havan Fellows

16-Dec

Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Carly’s Book Reviews, Dawn’s Reading Nook, Love Bytes, Divine Magazine, Wake Up Your Wild Side, A.M. Leibowitz

17-Dec

Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings, Happily Ever Chapter, 3 Chicks After Dark, QUEERcentric Books, My Fiction Nook, The Hat Party

18-Dec: Jessie G. Books, Bayou Book Junkie, The Novel Approach, Inked Rainbow Reads, Kimi-Chan, Molly Lolly, Book Lovers 4Ever

Final

Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy of ‘Destined Prey’ by Bailey Bradford.  Must be 18  years of age or older to enter.  Link and prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.

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