A Stella Review: Love, Marriage, and a Baby Carriage (2016 Daily Dose – A Walk on the Wild Side) by C.S. Poe

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RATING:  4.5 out of 5 stars

Love, Marriage and a Baby CarriageTheodore Reinhart is a young man looking for love. In San Diego. At a convention. For penguin shifters. WaddleCon is the go-to event of the year when looking for your life partner, but Theodore isn’t comfortable with the game they’ve turned dating into, nor does the convention provide for the gay community. A mistake in speed dating table assignments puts Theodore in front of Wesley O’Neill, a handsome and confident model who lets it slip that he’s definitely noticed the spark of attraction between them.

A perfect date ends prematurely when Theodore finds an abandoned egg in a bathroom trash can. Unable to leave it behind, Theodore and Wesley play a mad game of cat and mouse across the resort trying to keep it safe, all while growing closer to one another. Wesley may be the forever partner Theodore came looking for, but their relationship won’t work if they don’t make room for a little addition to the family.

A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2016 Daily Dose package “A Walk on the Wild Side.”

Theodore is having a bad day. With no suitcase (lost somewhere between New York, where he lives, and San Diego, where he  has just landed for the Waddle Con), a messy hair and an awful suit (brown jacket and salmon pants. Can you imagine him?) But his bad luck has no end.  He had just discovered the Waddle Con is a convention for single people who wants to find their forever penguin partner. Yes, he is a Magellanic penguin shifter but there’re a little problem. He is really not so straight. Then forced to join a speed dating, after woman #6, he sits at a table where an unbelievable beautiful man with dimples, aka Wesley is. The attraction and something more deep soon sparkle between them. And just when their dinner date is finally going to turn the heat on, in the trash bin of the restaurant’s restroom, Theodore finds an abandoned egg.

Love, Marriage, And a Baby Carriage made my day. It is very short, nonetheless the author did an amazing work. In just 32 pages I got a complete story, sweet, funny and with no pauses. A crescendo of great scenes that wrap up with a super cute ending. It was just adorable, my first book by C.S. Poe and I can’t wait to read more by her. Plus it was the first time I read about penguin shifters, the little scene where Wes swims in the bathtub was too quick. I want more of this world, I want more of Wes, Theodore and their baby.

The cover art by Catt Ford was not made for this particular story, but for the whole “A Walk on the Wild Side” anthology. It’s intriguing and fully reflects the theme of the package. I love the use of the colors.

Sales Links:   Dreamspinner Press | ARe | Amazon

BOOK DETAILS

ebook, 32 pages
Published June 1st 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1634774868 (ISBN13: 9781634774864)
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series2016 Daily Dose – A Walk on the Wild Side
CharactersTheodore Reinhart, Wesley O’Neill settingSan Diego, California (United States)

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Always Another Side by Annabelle Jacobs

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Rating 4.5 stars out of 5

Always Another SideEight months ago, Jack’s world was shattered when he found out his long-time lover and life partner, Simon, was cheating on him and decided he no longer wanted to live with Jack. Eight months ago, when Tyler proclaimed his love to his boyfriend, James, he found out how foolish he was when James told him he already had a partner and what he and Tyler had together wasn’t love—it was just sex.

Two men with hearts badly bruised finally agreed to their friends’ machinations to bring them together for a blind date. Both went reluctantly, but both found the seed of what could and would become a second chance to find happiness—as long as they remembered their hard-won lesson of the importance of communication in a relationship. And it seems like the baby steps they take are going to lead them somewhere special. Even though Jack doesn’t want to get into another relationship, Tyler’s heart is set on finding the man of his dreams. That’s how he got in trouble with James—he jumped into what he thought was going to be forever, but he jumped too soon.

This time, both men take it slowly and they talk about what’s important to them and how they feel about the past. There’s a bump in the road to happiness when Jack finds out Tyler was involved in the breakup of someone’s relationship, but after thinking it over, and talking to Tyler about it, he realizes that Tyler is on the other side and was likely equally hurt. Finding they have a lot in common, they keep dating, spending occasional nights with each other<spoiler>

I really enjoyed this story, my first from this author. I found the characters were very well-developed, and the relationship, which initially seemed so fragile, proved to be strong, making it a pleasure to watch the men develop as a couple. And though I thought I knew what might happen, when it did I just went with the flow and knew that the author would move them to where they needed to be. That may sound odd or awkward, but truly, I simply enjoyed the storytelling, the characters, and their situation. This book was a pleasure to read—just the right amount of angst and romance, and wonderfully hot, sexy older characters. What’s not to like? I recommend this to those who enjoy contemporary MM romance with older MCs.

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Cover art by Natasha Snow depicts a very handsome older man—the perfect depiction of Jack, one of the MCs.

Sales Links:   Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 167 pages
Published June 3rd 2016 by Annabelle Jacobs
ASINB01G8T7GIU
Edition LanguageEnglish

An Ali Review: Perilous by Cari Z

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Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

PerilousIn 1803, England declares war on France, staking the fates of two mighty empires against one another. Thousands of men serve in the British navy, hungry for distinction in the battle against Bonaparte.

One of them, Lieutenant Thomas Williams, thinks he knows what he wants out of life: prize money at sea, a career of decent note, and the means to maintain his independence when he leaves the navy. What he finds is service under Captain Christopher Knightly: a tactical genius, inveterate charmer, and the youngest son of a wealthy noble house.

Their unexpected and perilous love affair is a gamble against the odds, for in a time of war, nothing is sure to last. If the French don’t tear them apart, one slip in front of the wrong eyes or ears might. When the demands of Christopher’s family take him from Thomas’s side, he thinks it might be the best thing for his captain. Little does Tom realize just how far Christopher will go to return to him, and when life takes a turn for the worse, how much further he will go to save him.

I really liked the setting of this book.  It was a different time period than I’ve read in historicals before and the atmosphere was done so well I could easily picture the ships and the sailors on their missions.  The aspect that was lacking for me was the romance.  I never felt the connection between the two men.  The story was told from Thomas’ point of view and I connected with him much more.  Christopher didn’t feel like an equal character to me, more like a supporting character, and in fact I didn’t really care for him that much.  I never felt his love of Thomas until the very end of the book.
Overall I thought this was an average read.  The rich world building and unique setting make it something that you should check out if you’re a fan of historicals.
Cover:  I love the cover.  I think it’s gorgeous and it totally captures the plot/mood of the book.

Sales Links:  NineStar Press | Amazon

Book Details:
ebook, 129 pages
Published May 9th 2016 by NineStar Press
ISBN139781911153504
Edition LanguageEnglish

A BJ Review: Kestrel’s Talon (The Stonewatchers #1) by Bey Deckard

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Rating:  3.5 stars out of 5

Kestral's TalonFollowing the Prentish/Nemarri war, Kes is rejected by his homeland under the guise of religious purity laws. Though he’s spared execution, the proud Nemarri’s fate is only marginally more merciful than death when he is sold into sexual slavery at a prosperous pleasure house.

Despite his stoic endurance, Kes knows he’s reaching his breaking point, but there is nothing he can do—there is no path to freedom in the Holy Prentish Empire, only a lifetime of humiliating servitude.

That is, until a beautiful young slave and his formidable master approach Kes in the marketplace and make an astonishing offer to take him home with them. The only problem: “home” is the accursed Horthmont Castle from the scare-stories of Kes’s childhood.

Thrown into a world of living myth, powerful magic, and ancient gods, Kes learns the secrets kept hidden by Horthmont’s thick blackstone walls. There he discovers something he thought he’d never know again: hope for the future.

What stood out to me in this fantasy story was the excellent world-building, from the history, to the land (even with maps in the back), to the people, traditions, and clothing, it was detailed, fleshed out, and very real for me. Full of slaves and magic, soldiers and war, and so much more. The story grabbed me in the beginning scene in the market where even people (slaves) are traded, and the three main characters, all introduced in the same scene, were intriguing to me.

Unfortunately, after a very promising beginning, the pace of the book really slowed down for me. More than once I encountered parts of the story that really seemed to drag and which made me feel every one of the four hundred plus pages. 

As for the characters, while I didn’t feel as strong a connection to them as I would have liked, I did find all three of them nuanced and interesting. I enjoyed Talon’s innocence, something he’d kept despite the world he’d lived in; loved his dedication to Grimma and his attitude on life/sex which seemed reasonable from his given past, but his jealousy and manipulations did often annoy me. But his bravery and selflessness later in the story made up for it. Kestrel, who I liked for the most part even though I didn’t feel the closeness I hoped for, threw me off a couple of times with his harsh actions towards Talon. I did feel and understand his anger over what had happened to him, and enjoyed watching him slowly overcome that, but still there were a few times his reactions didn’t sit well with me at all. And then there was Grimma, who I really did enjoy the most and found myself wishing for more time in his head than we were given. The story is from all three main character’s pov, but his is the least used of the three.

I felt that the author did an excellent job of bringing together three very diverse backstories. The secondary characters were well-formed and integral to the story. And I adored Pants (and the name, too) the dog. Loved how he was woven into the story and often made a difference, not just there as a prop. Kestrel’s connection with him fascinated me, and makes me want to red more of the series just to see how that goes and if the theory proposed about that tie (but then negated by another) is actually true or not.

There are many things to love about this story. The triad in this story was quite interesting, especially given that we have a hypersexual who still manages to seem innocent, a man reeling from previous sexual abuse, and an asexual character. But I felt that they worked well together, and although I’m not big on threesomes, I was pretty well sold on them. I could have done without Talon’s jealousy and manipulations though… that was the one sour note for me in their relationship.

I don’t want to say more about the story as I think some things are best discovered as you go along. Overall, I really liked this story. I just wish the pacing had worked better for me.  There were places that felt slow enough that they made me want to skim, and long and detailed flashback sections that rather drew me from the main story. And then when we get to the last 10% or so, the story suddenly felt rushed to me. I wanted way more detail of… well, a lot of stuff.

Finally, there is the matter of this guy near the end that I just wanted to kick in the nuts myself because after doing something that made me livid, he just gets away with it and well… grrr. That part annoyed me. A lot.

The red-haired freckled boy on the cover is perfect, and to be honest, I didn’t pay attention to the amulet he held or the subtle outline of the castle in the background until after I’d finished reading, but that is cool as well. Wish the castle had been more noticeable as it would lend more of the fantasy theme.

Sales Links:   Amazon


Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 426 pages
Published May 23rd 2016
ASINB01FLG3C0M
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesThe Stonewatchers #1

In the Spotlight: A Second Harvest by Eli Easton (Character Bio, Excerpt and Giveaway)

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Eli Easton has  provided Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words with a special Character Bio:

BIO – CHRISTIE LANDON

Christie Landon, 30, is the epitome of the Manhattan party boy and pretty blonde twink. But when his best friend OD’s, Christie decides he needs to get sober and get away from the temping gay club scene. He inherited a small house in Lancaster County from his aunt, and he goes there to get the place ready for sale. He works from home as a graphic designer and he soon picks up his aunt’s love of cooking as well, thanks to her many cookbooks. Christie has a tender heart but he’s bold and likes to speak his mind.

 

 

 

A Second Harvest 
(Men of Lancaster County #1)
by Eli Easton



Blurb:
David Fisher has lived by the rules all his life. Born to a Mennonite family, he obeyed his father and took over the family farm, married, and had two children. Now with both his kids in college and his wife deceased, he runs his farm alone and without joy, counting off the days of a life half-lived.

Christie Landon, graphic designer, Manhattanite, and fierce gay party boy, needs a change. Now thirty, he figures it’s time to grow up and think about his future. When his best friend overdoses, Christie resolves to take a break from the city. He heads to a small house in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, to rest, recoup, and reflect.

But life in the country is boring despite glimpses of the hunky silver fox next door. When Christie’s creativity latches on to cooking, he decides to approach his widower neighbor with a plan to share meals and grocery expenses. David agrees, and soon the odd couple finds they really enjoy spending time together.

Christie challenges the boundaries of David’s closed world and brings out feelings he buried long ago. If he can break free of the past, he might find a second chance at happiness.

 

         

 

 

Available in Paperback
Excerpt

Chapter 1

David sat against the rough wooden boards of the cow stall and watched Gertrude die. She opened her big brown eyes once toward the end and gazed at him for a long moment. In the glow of the lantern light, her lashes cast deep shadows so David couldn’t see what emotion might be in those eyes. Was she grateful he was sitting up with her? Did she know it was time to go? Was she relieved to finally be leaving this farm where she’d spent her entire long life?

But she was just a cow. Probably she thought none of those things. When she closed her eyes again, it was for the last time. An hour later she stopped breathing, and she was gone.

It felt like an era passed with her, silently and stealthily. David was there when Gertrude was born. She was the first cow that was his, designated as such while still in the womb, a birthday present from his parents. He raised her and showed her at the Harrisburg farm fair when he was in eleventh grade. She was a beautiful brown jersey with classic lines, and she won a third-place ribbon that day. David was proud enough to burst. For years afterward Gertrude was a reliable, strong milking cow.

A farmer didn’t get sentimental about animals. That was plain stupid. But David was not able to kill Gertrude when her milk production fell off. She’d half performed for another decade until he eventually retired her to pasture. If anyone asked, he told them it was good to have a mature cow around to show the rebellious younger ones what was what, teach them the routine. And Gertrude was a leader by personality. She knew how to put other cows and heifers in their places. But the truth was, David just couldn’t bear to load her in the truck and take her to the slaughterhouse.

She was a part of his boyhood, and it was right she was dead now. God knew the boy in him was a far distant memory.

He turned off the lights in the barn and walked back to the house. It was foolishness to have stayed up with her. The day’s work had to be done whether or not he had a good night’s rest. He was too old for this.

The light in the kitchen was on as he approached the house. He checked his watch. It was just past 5:00 a.m. Amy must be up.

For the past two years, Amy had come home from college for the summer to work as a nursing intern at the Lancaster hospital and to help him run a CSA program on the farm. It was Amy who did all the customer work. She made up the flyers, packed the boxes of produce, and met with the customers every week when they came to pick up their shares. She was good at that sort of thing. He wished he could pay her more, but like every other operation on the farm, the profit from the CSA was a very faint line of green. David honestly didn’t know how most farmers made it. His grandfather had paid off the farm, but still, between property taxes, upkeep and maintenance, animal feed, and everything else, he made just enough to get by. As his dad used to say, the gravy was thin.

He opened the sliding glass door and saw Amy in her bathrobe pulling some fresh eggs from the fridge.

“Hey, Dad.” She yawned. “What are you doing out at the barn so early?”

“Gertrude passed.”

“Aw! That’s a shame.” Amy didn’t sound too broken up about it. Then again Amy learned young not to get attached to the animals.

He grabbed a glass from the cupboard, went to the fridge, and poured himself some orange juice. But when he went to lift it to his mouth, he was surprised to discover a hard, thick lump in his throat. He put the glass back on the counter and breathed. Ridiculous. He hadn’t gotten particularly choked up, even when Susan died. But then she was sick for a few years. Her death was a blessing in the end.

“Things live. Things die. That’s the way of it.” His voice was gruff, but the lump eased. He drank his juice.

When he put the glass down, Amy was watching him with a frown. “You sound so cynical. I worry about you, Dad. You should take Mrs. Robeson up on her offer for dinner. I think she really likes you.”

“I’m not interested in Mrs. Robeson.”

Amy rolled her eyes. “You should give her a chance. Mom’s been gone two years now. She wouldn’t want you to be alone forever. And Mrs. Robeson taught both Joe and me in Sunday school. She’s a very nice lady.”

David gave Amy a warning look. “I don’t care to discuss my love life, thank you. Are you gonna cook those eggs, or are you waiting for them to hatch?”

Amy snorted a laugh, but she opened a cupboard and brought out a skillet. “Slave driver! I just worry about you. I hate that you’re all alone here when I go back to school. Joe hardly ever comes home.”

“I don’t mind.”

“I know! That’s the problem. You’re turning into a crusty old hermit. Next time I see you, you’ll have a beard down to your belly button. I know you live on TV dinners, hotdogs, and chips. It’s not healthy. You should get remarried. I know Pastor Mitchell thinks so.”

“Pastor Mitchell wants to get some of his old maids and widows married off so he doesn’t have to handhold them so much. I’m not interested.”

David was half teasing, but Amy still gasped. “Dad! That’s a terrible thing so say!”

David waggled his eyebrows, unrepentant, and exited the kitchen.

He went upstairs and took a shower. The sleepless night hit him along with the hot water, and he knew it would be a long day. Why had he felt compelled to sit up with Gertrude? She probably hadn’t even known he was there. But at the thought of her, another wave of sadness hit him. An image ran through his mind—one of falling leaves and the boy he’d been playing in them, laughing. He had no idea where that came from or why.

Out of the shower, he used a hand to wipe off the fogged mirror. He looked at himself critically to see if he could get away with not shaving this morning. His reflection surprised him briefly, as it always did. He felt so old. He always expected to see white hair and a sagging face when he looked in the mirror. But there were only a few strands of gray at the temples of his dark-brown hair and in his close-cropped beard. His face was not young, but it wasn’t sagging yet either. He’d lost a good thirty pounds since Susan died, so he actually looked younger.

Fine. He might not look old, but he sure felt it. And he suddenly understood why he sat up with Gertrude. He wanted to watch her as she escaped the farm at last, as she simply left her body and went away, gone where no one could prevent her going and no one could follow.

One day David would leave too, maybe just that way. He’d shut his eyes and vanish, leaving a shell behind. But dear Lord, he was only forty-one this past May. Even if he died when his dad did, at age fifty-eight, he had years to wait yet.

Just to… wait.

 

 

About The Author

Having been, at various times and under different names, a minister’s daughter, a computer programmer, a game designer, the author of paranormal mysteries, a fan fiction writer, an organic farmer and a profound sleeper, Eli is happily embarking on yet another incarnation as a m/m romance author.

As an avid reader of such, she is tinkled pink when an author manages to combine literary merit, vast stores of humor, melting hotness and eye-dabbing sweetness into one story.  She promises to strive to achieve most of that most of the time.  She currently lives on a farm in Pennsylvania with her husband, three bulldogs, three cows and six chickens.  All of them (except for the husband) are female, hence explaining the naked men that have taken up residence in her latest fiction writing.

You can find Eli at
         

 

 

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Out of the Heat and into Romance with Rise Out Of The Flames (Phoenix Brothers #1) by Jackie Nacht (Excerpt and Giveaway)

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 Rise Out Of The Flames (Phoenix Brothers #1) – Jackie Nacht

Author: Jackie Nacht
 
Release Date: June 24 2016
 
Buy Links: 
Length: 15,000 words
 
Publisher: MLR Press 
Blurb: 


Come and get saved by these phoenix firefighters brothers.

Holden, a phoenix shifter, works at Rhodes Fire Department alongside his family. When he encounters his Sun, Rick, he’s half naked on the fire escape and Holden knows he’ll do anything to save Rick from the burning building. Even with the world knowing about paranormal beings, Holden has to figure out a way to tell Rick about himself. Phoenixes exist under the radar; keeping to small groups out of the limelight. Slight problem with maintaining secrets since it seems Rick may have unknowingly exposed himself to the phoenixes new enemy. How will Holden protect Rick with what happens when he goes up in flames? 


Excerpt
 

 

Prologue
Eighteen years ago
ìHurry, Holden.î Holdenís mother undid his seatbelt and carried him out of the car. He plopped down on the cold pavement in his footie pajamas, then Momma went running for the fire station, holding his hand.
Men rushed around them. ìUncle Niall!î Momma screamed.
ìJazzy, you want me to take Holden? Edís bad. Heís gonna need to burn out!î Uncle Niall called out to us.
Momma picked up the pace. ìNo, heís going to find out sooner or later.î
ìHeís five, Jazzy. Nowís not the time!î Uncle Niall protested.
Holden didnít get to hear any more. They turned the corner and went straight into a room Holden hadnít gone into with his little brothers. There was white tile along the walls and high amounts of steam. They turned the corner, and Holden saw several firefighters sitting, tired, in folding chairs as the showers rained down upon them. He searched for his dad, but couldnít find him in the sea of sooty men.
ìJazz,î Holden heard his father rasp out, and his mother maneuvered him through the other firefighters. In the corner, where no water reached, lay Holdenís father. Three guys surrounded him, peeling away his destroyed gear.
His face was burned severely, and Holden clutched his mommaís hand. ìMomma,î he whimpered out.
Momma knelt down in front of him. ìItís going to be okay, Holden. Daddy will be just fine. You need to see just how special you and your brothers are.î
Holden shook his head as his dad gasped. ìDaddy!î Holden screamed as his dadís destroyed body erupted into flames. Ash billowed all around the area. Holden cried out, trying to break free of his momís grip. My dad!
Holden covered his eyes as the ash around them made its way to Momma and him. He bowed his head down, crying, hiding as he waited for the ash to settle.
After a moment, Momma patted him on the head. ìHolden, itís fine now.î She scooped him up, resting him on her hip. Holden tucked his face into her shoulder and cried freely.
ìHolden, honey. You need to look up. Daddyís just fine,î Jazzy soothed.
Holden wiped his face on Mommaís shirt before he turned and gazed down at the floor. Men were covering his dad with a blanket. His dad lay there, naked, burns completely gone from his face and hands. Ash began falling and covering him.
ìDaddy?î Holden broke his hold and ran to kneel next to his father.
Daddy reached up and palmed Holdenís cheek. ìSon, itís time you found out how special your family line is.î
 
Chapter One
Present Day
There were plenty of things Rick Hills could have brought out with him on the fire escape besides his PC. A pair of pants was at the fucking top of the list, since he stood there in his humping reindeer boxer briefs. And it was summer! Not only was he out of season, but everyone in a ten-block radius would know how scrawny he was under the baggy clothes he usually wore. No shirt, no socks, just obscene reindeers getting laid all over his boxers. Even in this dire situation, embarrassment surrounded him like the black smoke coming out of the building.
A pair of shoes was another item he could use right about now, but no, he was in the middle of an online raid, and thought he didnít want to let his other gamers down. How the hell was he going to take down a boss when his building was going up in smoke? Then there was his work on it. Many irreplaceable photos. All the families counted on him to capture those special moments in their lives. Rick was in a shitty situation. God, did his computer back up automatically after he transferred the photos today? He hoped so, because his cameras were going to burn.
Oh, and one more thing, how in the world was he going to get down when the fire escape was fucking broken? Shit, a phone would have been nice, too.
Neighbors came out to gaze up at the burning building and him. Jesus, of all the ways to go out. He had to do it in front of his nosy neighbor, ninety-year-old Mrs. Florence who loved to pinch his cheeks every time he passed. And no, it wasnít the cheeks on his face.
Rick noticed several onlookers on their phone and prayed that one of them was actually talking to 9-1-1 instead of posting about what was happening on social media. A few snapped a shot, and he could only pray that come morning, his photo wouldnít go viral.
Someone was underneath him, making an attempt to fix the broke-dick ladder. Rick should tell the guy it was no use, that kids had been using it to break into the apartments. The wolf-shifter neighbor, a floor beneath him, had taken it upon himself to make sure no one came in to steal his electronics again, shifting and tearing the ladder to pieces. At the time, Rick was grateful to the guy, since he was also a victim of the robbery, but now, it might just cost him his life.
Fear choked him, and Rick whipped his head around, seeking for an alternative escape. He couldnít go back into his apartment; his place was already billowing with the thick black smoke. Shit. Panic settled in, and he began to tremble on the escape. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. There was no way out of this except to jump, and he was five floors up. The fall would kill him, for sure.
Sirens sounded in the distance, and Rick peered down the street to see emergency lights in the distance. Rick blew out a quivering breath. He might just see the light of day again.
 
Author Bio:


Short, sexy and sweetó where a little love goes a long way.Thatís the best way to describe Jackie Nachtís stories.
She was introduced to M/M Romance through her sister, Stephani, and read it for years. Then, she thought it was time to put her own stories on paper. Jackie began writing short and sweet stories that ended with a happily ever after.
Thinking back to her own book addiction, where there were many nights Jackie stayed up way too late so she could read just one more chapteró yeah, rightó Jackie decided to write short romances for young adults as well as adults. Hopefully, they will give high school and college students, or working men and women something they can read during their lunch hour, in between classes or just when they want to briefly get away from the daily stresses of everyday life.

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Love Zombies? How About Cats and Romance? Combine all 3 with My Zombie Cat by T. Strange (Excerpt and Giveaway)

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My Zombie Cat 1000x400

Title:  My Zombie Cat

Author: T. Strange

Series Title and Number : The Undead Canadian Series, Book 2.5

Publisher:  Torquere Press

Cover Artist: Kristian Norris

Release Date:  July 13, 2016

Heat Level: 1

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 7000 words

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Horror, Gay Romance

Add to Goodreads

My Zombie Cat Cover

Synopsis

Edward Grey has hardly spent a night away from his cat, Boo, since before he was in preschool. Not even death could separate them, as Edward resurrected Boo as a zombie when he was five. Now, Boo has gone missing, and the cat isn’t in any of his usual haunts.

Excerpt

Kit was at work, and I was —miraculously—caught up on my coursework. I was full of restless energy after spending the previous day sitting on the couch watching TV with Kit, so I decided to give Boo a bath. He doesn’t groom himself very often, and when he does, he usually just makes his fur worse. He was definitely getting a little…ripe.

Unfortunately, Kit came home from work partway through the bath, and I don’t even want to imagine what he thought was happening when he walked in and heard Boo’s unearthly howls and me pleading with him—loudly, to be heard over him—to hold still so I could rinse him off and it would all be over.

I heard Kit shout for Winston, so he could be heard over Boo’s yowling, and then he burst into the master bathroom, holding a purring, contented bundle of blue-grey fur.

Boo and I were frozen in an epic tableau of wet, reeking cat and equally wet—and, probably, reeking—medical student.

Kit paused in the doorway, then started laughing. “Oh. God, I thought something was really wrong. You shouldn’t scare me like that.”

“You could help,” I grumbled, as Boo got his head free of my hand, which he proceeded to bite. Hard. And not let go of.

Kit looked at the…less than clear, decidedly murky…water and shook his head. “Ew. I don’t think so. Doesn’t that hurt?”

“Yes, of course it hurts! Being undead doesn’t turn his teeth into…candy corn!” With a sadly practiced motion, as Boo bites me on a regular basis, I wedged my free thumb into the corner of the cat’s mouth and pried his jaws apart. My hand was white where he’d bitten me, and then each depression slowly filled with blood.

“You’re not going to turn into a zombie, are you?” He’d gotten a little more relaxed about the ‘Z’ word, though last week he left his browser open to a site called the Zombie Rights Campaign. I wasn’t sure if it was a joke, or something he’d made himself. I try not to snoop on his computer.

I also hadn’t asked him about it. I wasn’t sure I wanted to know.

“Kit, if I turned into a zombie every time Boo bit me, I’d be…”

“It only takes one time, Edward.”

Purchase

Torquere Press

My Zombie Cat Square
Meet the Author

Strange didn’t want to learn how to read, but literacy prevailed and she hasn’t stopped reading—or writing—since. She’s been published with Torquere Press since 2013, and she writes M/M romance in multiple genres, including paranormal and BDSM. T.’s other interests include cross stitching, gardening, watching terrible horror movies, playing video games, and finding injured pigeons to rescue. Originally from White Rock, BC, she lives on the Canadian prairies, where she shares her home with her wife, cats, guinea pigs and other creatures of all shapes and sizes. She’s very easy to bribe with free food and drinks—especially wine.

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T. Strange is Back with More Zombies with My Zombie Fiance’ (excerpt and giveaway)

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My Zombie Fiance 1000x400

Author: T. Strange

Title:  My Zombie Fiancé

Series Title and Number: The Undead Canadian Series #2

Publisher:  Torquere Press

Cover Artist: Kris Norris

Release Date:  July 13th, 2016

Heat Level: 2

Pairing: Male/Male

Length:  63,000 words

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Horror, Gay Romance, Bisexual, Humor

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My Zombie Fiance Cover

Synopsis

Edward Grey is no stranger to the undead; since raising his cat as a zombie when he was a child, he and his mentor Mariel have explored and developed his power as a necromancer. Despite everything he’s learned, as a necromancer and a medical student, he’s never encountered a ghost.

While Mariel is unreachable in Haiti on mysterious business, a ghost wakes Edward in the middle of the night, claiming to be his grandfather. When the ghost offers to teach him about this different form of undeath, Edward has little choice but to trust the spirit.

After receiving a phone call from a young girl claiming her father is possessed, Edward and his Undead Canadian fiancé, Kit, must travel to an acreage in Kingston…Ontario.

The haunting proves far more complicated than Edward could ever have guessed, and he finds himself pitted against an ancient evil determined to engulf everyone on the farm.

Edward’s love and connection to Kit will be tested, and his necromancy stretched to his limits as he has to find—and destroy—a twisted spirit more powerful than anything he’s ever encountered.

Excerpt

Edward, answer the phone.” In our hurry to undress so we could ‘get Kit to sleep’, my phone had ended up on Kit’s side of the bed. He passed it to me, narrowly avoiding smacking me in the face with it. Miraculously, it was still ringing.

 

“’lo?” I managed.

“Is this Edward?”

It was a little girl’s voice, I thought. I didn’t know many little girls, so I made my best guess.

“Tia? It’s the middle of the night; I can’t come over to play right now. Isn’t it way past your bedtime? Go to bed. Bed is nice.” I closed my eyes, almost dropping the phone when my hand relaxed.

My neighbor two houses down has a very precocious four-year-old niece. She likes to play actual doctor with me—nothing creepy! I’ve taught her a few basic stitches for fixing her toys and dolls, though I suspect she may damage them on purpose so she can practice with me. Whoops. I also let her use my stethoscope and a few other safe, child-friendly pieces of medical equipment. I’ve heard her tell her aunt she wants to go to uncle Edward’s house, so I also suspect at least part of the reason she visits her aunt is to see me.

“Who’s Tia? This is Sarah. Mariel said that I should call you if it happened again. It happened again.” There was an expectant pause.

I don’t know anyone named Sarah, never mind a young girl. “Mariel told you to…? In case what happened again?”

“My daddy’s possessed,” she said, very calmly and matter-of-factly.

I felt goosebumps prickle along my arms at the word. I knew precisely as much about demonic possession as anyone who’d watched The Exorcist, and I had no idea what had, well…possessed…Mariel to refer this girl to me for help. “What exactly did Mariel say?”

The girl, Sarah, sighed deeply. She probably thought I was pretty slow, and at the moment I couldn’t blame her. “She said, call Edward, he’ll know what to do.” She sounded impatient, but not frightened. Maybe her father was possessed by something more benign than a demon.

Mariel had told her I could help, so I would do my best. Even though it was 3 AM and I knew nothing about possession. “What’s your daddy possessed by?” Not words I ever thought would come out of my mouth.

“Mister Jenkins.”

Mister Jenkins. That didn’t sound very frightening. “And what does Mister Jenkins do while he’s possessing your father?” Had she named the…spirit? It sounded like something a child might come up with.

“Not very much. He makes breakfast.” She lowered her voice. “Mister Jenkins is a better cook than daddy.”

Not much of a haunting, if movies were anything to go by. I envisioned a comedy, sort of like Three Men and a Baby, but with a ghost. Besides the one apparently caught on tape when they’d filmed that movie, come to think of it. “Does he…scare you?”

She laughed, high-pitched and genuine. “No, silly! I like Mister Jenkins, but Mariel says it’s bad for daddy if he stays too long.”

This was one of the strangest conversations I’d ever had, and I’ve lived with Kit for more than a year. And I’d dated Bone. It was even stranger than my recent conversation with my grandfather. “Where do you live, Sarah?” If there was a way to do an exorcism-by-telephone, I didn’t know it. Not that I knew any kind of exorcism, but hopefully I had enough time to find a solution before Mister Jenkins…burned toast or something. Maybe I could come up with something if I was physically present.

“Kingston.”

I had to go to Jamaica? If Mariel was in Haiti, she was much closer. I didn’t know why she didn’t just pop over and take care of Mister Jenkins.

Kit would love a tropical vacation—I wondered if his fair skin would tan or burn, or if his undeath made him immune? I wondered if he would be upset about it, one way or the other.

I was less than thrilled by the thought of the tropics. I don’t like heat, or the diseases that tend to accompany it.

“It’s in Ontario,” Sarah said, sounding very pleased with herself.

Oh. Kingston, Ontario. That was a relief, even if it was black fly season.

Great, now I’d have that song stuck in my head for days.

“Okay, I’ll be there as soon as I can. Can you tell me your address?” I would have to fly—driving would take several days, even if Kit and I switched and we drove continuously.

“No, but Mister Jenkins can.”

Her voice was replaced by a man’s, gentle and with a hint of a British accent. Part of his directions were, “Past Kingston Family Funworld”, which definitely sounded like a place to avoid. He apologized that he couldn’t meet me at the airport because he was bound to the house.

That was a good excuse. I wished I could use it.

My grandfather hadn’t been bound to a particular place, but he had reminded me over and over that he wasn’t a typical ghost. I wondered if most ghosts had a limited range, or if Mister Jenkins was unusual in that regard.

I told him I’d call when we landed, and he hung up.

I turned on my bedside lamp. “Kit, sweetie?” I poked him, gently.

“Mmm…”

“I have to go to Kingston.” It was a good thing I had a few weeks off from school. Hopefully I would get time to study during this trip. Study medicine, that is, not necromancy.

That got Kit’s attention. He gave a happy shriek and grabbed my hand. “Oh my God, no way! I’d love to go to Jamaica!”

“Kingston, Ontario.”

“Oh. Ew.”

“Why ew? Have you ever been there?”

“I don’t think so.”

“Then why—never mind. Do you still want to come with me?”

“Who calls you at three in the morning and tells you to go to Kingston, Ontario?”

“Sarah.”

He raised an eyebrow.

“I’m sorry! I’m still half asleep. This little girl, Sarah…Mariel told her to call me if her father got possessed again.”

“Mariel’s father? Is that why she left?”

“Sarah’s father.”

“Possessed again? Like, this is a regular occurrence?”

“Apparently. I have to book a flight.” I hunted beneath the bed for my laptop.

Kit had found his phone and was furiously typing on it. “Oooooh, Florence and the Machine is playing there! We can totally go!”

“Sure. Of course.” I found a flight that left early the next morning—in a few hours, really—and bought our tickets. “I don’t know if it’s worth going back to sleep; I’ll make us some coffee.” Not that coffee did much for Kit, except make him ill if he drank too much. Or, for some reason, if he used non-dairy creamer. It seemed to be some sort of…zombie kryptonite. I’d like to tell you I didn’t give some to Boo to see how he’d react, but I would be lying. The results: not pretty.

“What about the cats?”

Of course, the cats couldn’t come with us. While Winston could happily stay at the pet spa while we were gone, Boo could…not, and if we had someone taking care of one cat, it made sense for Winston to just stay at home. I felt a pang at the thought of being away from Boo for any length of time. “My parents can take care of them.” They wouldn’t be pleased—they’d actually thrown a “Boo is out of the house” party when I’d moved out, but they’d also get to spend time with Winston, and that was always a treat.

“I guess I’ll start packing. For both of us.”

He was welcome to do so.

In the meantime, it was definitely time to call Mariel. I wasn’t sure what time it was in Haiti, but I could definitely use her advice. For several panicked minutes I was worried that I’d lost the piece of paper she’d written the number on, when I remembered that she’d put it directly into my phone. I let it ring, over and over, but no one answered so I eventually gave up. Well, if Sarah had been able to get ahold of Mariel, she wouldn’t have needed to call me. Though she probably didn’t have Mariel’s number in Haiti…I’d just have to deal with the situation on my own for now, and call Mariel again when I had the chance.

Purchase

Torquere Press

My Zombie Fiance Square
Meet the Author

Strange didn’t want to learn how to read, but literacy prevailed and she hasn’t stopped reading—or writing—since. She’s been published with Torquere Press since 2013, and she writes M/M romance in multiple genres, including paranormal and BDSM. T.’s other interests include cross stitching, gardening, watching terrible horror movies, playing video games, and finding injured pigeons to rescue. Originally from White Rock, BC, she lives on the Canadian prairies, where she shares her home with her wife, cats, guinea pigs and other creatures of all shapes and sizes. She’s very easy to bribe with free food and drinks—especially wine.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tq.strange

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorTStrange

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TqStrange

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/tqstrange/

Blog: http://tqstrange.blogspot.ca/

Tumblr: http://tqstrange.tumblr.com/

Giveaway

Rafflecopter Prize: One winner will be selected to win an eBook copy of My Zombie Fiance.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

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