A MelanieM Review: MCB Quarterly Vol. 4

Standard

Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

The MCB Quarterly Vol 4The Quarterly series: A quarterly eMagazine featuring queer short stories, interviews and artist/author features.

The Quarterly is an eMagazine of LGBTQ fiction – of all kinds. This volume features four short stories:
Finishing Touches by Rebecca Cohen
Repetition by J. Scott Coatsworth
Outpost by Dominick Domingo
The Wish Granter by L. Bellamy
It also includes an Interview with Brandilyn Carpenter talking about “What’s in a Review”, and a Featured Author section with Carole Cummings. And our very own Angel Martinez offers an Op-Ed on “Rehoming Lost Books.”

If you are not familiar with either this press or the eMagazine that Mischief Corner Press puts out, then its high time you make its acquaintance.  Full of fascinating articles, great interviews and stories that will send you running to seek out more by the authors (if they aren’t already on your TBR list).  This volume is no exception.

The first article is my Angel Martinez, full of advice to authors and future writers on what happens when publishing houses close and you are left without homes for your stories.  Its a fascinating glimpse into a situation that occurring often now sadly, and no matter what side of the page you are on,  it will leave you thinking.

And then the stories…those wonderful stories.  Four of them here, with the first being my favorite. That would be Finishing Touches by Rebecca Cohen, a author I love.

Finishing Touches, (5 Stars), tells the ‘touching’ story of an inventor and his assistant.  The descriptions of the shop were so imaginative and so perfect, that I was there in my mind from the beginning of the story.  But it was William and Marcus that really drew me in, plus the detailed lovely little mechanisms that one created that drew not only Marcus to them but me as well.  I felt myself leaning forward as though that could let me see further into them as though that was possible. I wanted more of everything of this world, workshop and this couple.  It was magical, in a totally non magical way.  Loved it.

Repetition by J. Scott Coatsworth (4 stars) A mind twister with no romantic plot lines so don’t expect any.  A shocker but a wonderful Moebius plot that will keep you  thinking involving time travel.  The less said about it the better.  No  spoilers.

Outpost by Dominick Domingo (5 stars)  Such a beautifully written story of a man full of regrets, a drifter who find that one place will finally lets him come to terms with parts of his past and allows him to move forward.  Again its the descriptions of the rundown old mining town in the Mojave Desert in 1965, the drifter Jake Preston,  old  Mabel Robins looking after her dying husband, and the rest of the dusty inhabitants of Cold Lake Lodge.  Its haunting, timeless, and the pain of these people stretches across the pages like the thin dry air they are breathing.

But here even the broken can find solace and mending.  Its believable, beautiful and memorable in every way.  Ok, two favorite stories.

The Wish Granter by L. Bellamy (3 stars)  A djinn in a bottle story.  I liked the characterizations just thought the ending felt rushed and the romances doubly so.  In fact I loved the first half of the story so much that when the second came about it felt as though I was reading two different tales.  Perhaps it was me.  Not sure, just didn’t connect with the turn about and the romance.

There was a bonus story buried within the Featured Author section with Carole Cummings, another favorite author of mine.  Cummings talks about speculative fiction, its history, what it means and then gives us ‘Fates Written In Indelible Ink’.  Yes, dragons.  Loved it.

Also a neat interview with a fellow reviewer, Brandilyn Carpenter talking about “What’s in a Review”, which I loved.

All that in one Quarterly  eMagazine.  No, you really can’t pass this up.  Stop by Mischief Corner Books and pick up a copy and check out their authors while you are there!

Cover art is perfect.  

Sales Links:  Mischief Corner Books LLC

Magazine Details:

ebook, First
Published April 13th 2016 by Mischief Corner Books, LLC
ISBN139781311536679
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesThe Quarterly #4

A BJ Audio Review: Tempest (Playing the Fool #3) by Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock, Narrated by Nick J. Russo

Standard

Rating:  3.75 stars out of 5

Tempest_AudiobookSomething wicked this way comes.

FBI Agent Ryan “Mac” McGuinness and con man Henry Page are on the run again. This time they’re headed back to where it all began: Altona, Indiana. Population: some goats. Henry’s not happy about lying low at the McGuinness family farm, but they’ve got nowhere else to go.

While Mac fights to clear his name and Henry struggles with whose side he’s really on, a ghost from the past threatens to destroy everything. And those aren’t the only storms on the radar. Cut off from both sides of the law, Mac and Henry must rely on their tenuous partnership to survive.

If Henry can convince himself to let Mac see the man behind the disguises, they’ll stand a chance of beating the forces that conspire against them. The course of true love never did run smooth, but for the two of them, it might be their only hope.

The finale of this three part serialized humorous romantic suspense was worth the wait. This installment was not as light as the first two, which I actually liked. Most of the banter and humor this time came towards the end. For those that love that sort of thing, it should be just what you are looking forward to as an ending. For me, I could have done without so much of that at the end. I’d hoped for Henry finally dropping all the banter and joking and letting his guard completely down with Mac but was disappointed there.

Lots of fast and furious action in the last third of that was sometimes a bit over the top. We finally have a resolution to the suspense and a romance, finally got to see the depth of Henry/Sebastian’s hurt and motivations, and Mac. Well, I just loved him through all of the stories. And also in this one we get to meet his family, and they are just as awesome! Viola and Mac young niece, Cory, rather stole the show for me at parts of this book, and I was totally on board with that. Loved them.

While there was no cliffhanger in this one, there were a few things left hanging (for me anyway). I wish there’d been more closure of Viola’s story, more than the one sentence comment that alluded to her possible fate. And something that bugged me to distraction was… what happened to Door Bell? Did they just abandon the poor dog there along with the apartment? If so, that is so sad. Certainly Henry didn’t take him and there was no mention when we see Stacy again that she did. I just really needed to know that he was okay, cuz yeah, I’m a dog household.

Nick J. Russo’s narration throughout this series was a highlight. All the voices were defined, the delivery of the humor was spot on, and the angsty bits were captivating. Overall, his narration was perhaps my favorite experience of the story.

Another simple cover design by L.C. Chase that works refreshingly well to set the tone of the book.

Sales Links:  Riptide PublishingAudible | Amazon | iTunes


Book Details:  

 Audible Audio
Published (first published March 9th 2015)
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesPlaying the Fool #3 settingIndiana (United States)

New Cover Reveal for Deanna Wadsworth’s ‘Naughty Cupid’ (excerpt and giveaway)

Standard

NaughtyCupidFS

Naughty Cupid by Deanna Wadsworth
Release Date: June 6, 2016

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Paul Richmond

Blurb

The name’s Lio, and you may have read the beginning of my story in A Cupid’s Wager. Well, hold on to you hats, because there’s more to tell about your favorite cupid working in the Gay Division of the Inter-Dimensional Association of Cupids.

Remember Ethan? That Aztec god of the winds who busted me shooting a closeted human with a gay lust arrow? Yeah, I haven’t been able to forget him either. Even though I have a rule against getting it on with other supernaturals—especially ones working for the Straight Division—my magic is drawn to Ethan and all his tattoos and piercings in a way I cannot control.

But after that night of mind-numbing sex, now I gotta face my evil ex-boyfriend and a suspension by the IDAC for “misplacing” arrows. They took my quiver, and I have to figure out how to get my arrow privileges back before they’re taken forever.

Ethan seems to think he can help me, but I don’t know how anybody can make this cupid believe in love again.

 

Pages or Words: 75,000 words, 178 pages
Categories: Alternate Universe, Erotica, Fantasy, Humor, M/M Romance, Paranromal, Romance

Excerpt

“You know the lust arrows only work if the person’s mind is open to it. I shot Raymond with a Class 4 gay lust arrow. They only have a little more juice than a few tequila shooters. They can’t make a straight man gay.”

“But that is what you are trying to do,” Ethan shot back.

“You know it doesn’t work that way.”

To prove my point, I materialized one of my long purple arrows.

Without warning, I stabbed Ethan in the heart with it.

“Oww!”

The arrow exploded in a burst of light and glittering purple dust, the blast blowing our hair back.

When the magic cleared, the stunned expression on Ethan’s face cracked me up. “Now, do you spontaneously wanna suck my cock?”

He gaped at me like I’d lost my ever-lovin’ mind. “What did you do that for?”

“Don’t get your panties in a wad. Class 4G lusts can’t make someone gay. You’re born that way. There’s even a Lady Gaga song to prove it.”

His big hand rubbed where I’d hit him. “You should not have done that, Lio. You have no idea what you just did.”

“I already shot an unauthorized arrow tonight, what’s one more? Besides, unless you’re gay, it won’t affect you.” I waggled my brows. “So what are you so worried about? Got sumthin’ you wanna confess?”

He actually growled at me.

“Build a bridge,” I told him. “If anyone has a right to be pissed off here, it’s me. The gaydar says Raymond is gay, yet you asshats over in SD decided to shoot him and a woman with true love arrows. Talk about a douche move. Forcing the man to lie to himself and everyone about who he is. And how is that fair to do to the girl? She’s a victim too!”

“The IDAC does not consider a gaydar to be a reliable source of information,” he said, completely ignoring the more-than-valid complaint.

Humans were born with a variety of sexualities, but there were only a limited variety of arrows to complement the IDAC’s narrow-minded ideas on sexuality. In a nutshell, there were gay arrows and the naturally more powerful straight arrows. Don’t get me started on the complexities of targeting anybody not gay or straight. I was glad not to be assigned to those fledgling subdivisions of GD because they often had to work with the jerks in SD. However, both primary divisions had arrows for love (red) and lust (purple), each with four different strength ratings—one being the most potent. In other words, the Class 1S love Ethan had been using was the highest strength straight love arrow—aka the most powerful of all arrows.

Hence his being so pissed at me.

“I’m not gonna sit here and argue politics with you. We both know I’m already in trouble for an unauthorized arrow launch. Make that two,” I amended, gesturing to his chest. “Why the fuck do you think I don’t have love arrow privileges anymore? Hell, the sparks our collision set off will raise questions too. I’m already busted. Fine! I’m ready to face whatever comes my way. When I set out to do this, I knew there were risks.”

“Set out to do this?” he repeated, looking utterly appalled. “You mean you have done this before?”

I swallowed, feeling like a child being scolded. “Only on unattached people.”

“I cannot believe you would do that to someone! A person’s decision to come out is deeply personal. You have no right, Lio! None!”

Yeah, but the Fates did, I supposed. Who put those bitches in charge, anyway?

I didn’t know what Ethan’s big fat beef might be—besides the one in his pants—but I had to get my ass out of this sling. “Like I said, I’m already busted. If you think Raymond isn’t gay, let’s just follow them”—I pointed to my unauthorized mark and the guy with him, both of them deliberately brushing hips and shoulders as they walked down the street—“and see what happens. If he changes his mind, I’ll admit the gaydar is inaccurate, I’ll turn myself in for interrupting your mark, and you won’t even get in trouble.”

He glared. “And if your arrow works, I suppose you get to walk?”

“If I’m right, and those two dudes get their freak on, you can do what you want with me.” Too bad that wouldn’t be those full lips around my dick. “But you give me back the gaydar and you don’t tell anyone I have it or that I was here.”

Ethan looked at the device in his hand as if it would explode or jump up and bite his cock off. His expression would’ve been funny if this weren’t so serious. He seemed to be weighing something in his mind, and I felt his anger retracting. Still, an aura of incredible danger and masculinity wafted about him. My heart thumped wildly, both from nerves and the exotic spiciness of his skin. Knowing his ferocious appearance was tempered with an innate goodness made me a little hot.

Okay, a lot hot.

Though it went against every rule I made for myself, I couldn’t stop picturing Ethan naked. Sure, I was as horny as any cupid, but something about this Aztec amplified all of my senses far more than usual—especially the ones below the waist.

“I cannot believe I am saying this,” Ethan said slowly. “But I will give you one chance. One. But if you ruin that man’s life, your ass is mine.”

“Talk dirty to me,” I purred.

He lowered dark brows. “You are not funny.”

“I think I’m a really fun guy. Especially when I’m naked.” I couldn’t help myself and gave him a suggestive wink. “And whoever said a little dick up the ass would ruin a man’s life? Ever try it? The orgasms are un-fucking-believable.”

Ethan curled his lip and growled at me like an angry cat.

“Jeesh, sorry I mentioned it.”

He seized my arm in a viselike grip. “Come.”

If I’d known going with Ethan would turn my world upside down, I would’ve grabbed my gaydar and run, taking my chances with my boss, the IDAC, and even the Fates. Because I wasn’t prepared for what was coming my way.

Not at all.

 

Buy the book:  Dreamspinner Press

 

BannerTemplate

Meet the Author

Deanna Wadsworth might be a bestselling erotica author, but she leads a pretty vanilla life in Ohio with her wonderful husband and a couple adorable cocker spaniels. She has been spinning tales and penning stories since childhood, and her first erotic novella was published in 2010. She has served multiple board positions at her local RWA chapter and with Rainbow Romance Writers of America. When she isn’t writing books or brainstorming with friends, you can find her making people gorgeous in a beauty salon. She loves music and dancing, and can often be seen hanging out on the sandbar in the muddy Maumee River or chilling with her hubby and a cocktail in their basement bar. In between all that fun, Deanna cherishes the quiet times when she can let her wildly active imagination have the full run of her mind. Her fascination with people and the interworkings of their relationships have always inspired her to write romance with spice and love without boundaries.

Where to find the author:

 


Tour Dates & Stops:

Parker Williams, Divine Magazine, BFD Book Blog, A.M. Leibowitz, Velvet Panic, MM Good Book Reviews, Bonkers About Books, Alpha Book Club, Charley Descoteaux, Bayou Book Junkie, The Dark Arts, Happily Ever Chapter, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, My Fiction Nook, Outrageous Heroes, Unquietly Me, Ogitchida Book Blog, Gay Media Reviews, V’s Reads, Oh My Shelves, Dawn’s Reading Nook, Havan Fellows, For The Love of Bookends, Louise Lyons, 3 Chicks After Dark, Book Lovers 4Ever, Making It Happen, Full Moon Dreaming, Jessie G. Books

Final

Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: A print copy of ‘Naughty Cupid’.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js