A Free Dreamer Release Day Review: On Wings of Thunder by MD Grimm

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Rating: 2 stars out of 5

On the Wings of ThunderTrystan is an unchosen angel—shunned by society, bullied, and without a future. In a hidden well, Trystan discovers a carving of a dragon, who were once the commanders of demons and now believed extinct. But Trystan learns the carving doesn’t depict an ordinary dragon. Stories tell that millennia ago, the great dragon Asagoroth and his demon army nearly conquered the three realms but was killed by the five elders. The powerful angels combined their life forces to cast a spell, sacrificing their lives.

But history is full of falsehoods. The five elders only managed to imprison the dragon, and Asagoroth had cast his own spell—one of releasement. It only needs the blood of an angel to liberate him from his cage….

Asagoroth, enemy of angels, conqueror of realms, is free. But even as the angels prepare for war, the great dragon surprises them with an ultimatum: hand over the angel who awakened him or face annihilation.

Okay, so I had several issues with this book. The general plot idea sounds good and I love dragons and demons and angels (as long as they aren’t sent by God or something), so it definitely had the potential to be great. Unfortunately, “On Wings of Thunder” mostly fell flat.

The beginning felt a little unrealistic to me. Trystan falls into an old well and discovers a gorgeous carving of a dragon at the bottom. He realizes that the blood from his cut hand does strange things with the carving. Instead of being scared or at least a little cautious, he’s fascinated and makes the cut worse to get more blood on the carving. And didn’t for a second think about the consequences. He lives in a world full of magic and doesn’t worry that blood magic and an ancient carving of an evil dragon might be a bad idea? That’s extremely naïve.

When Asagoroth is finally awakened, he essentially blackmails Trystan into joining him. He’s all, “Come with me, my love, or I will kill every last angel, destroy your entire realm and take you by force afterwards.” (Not his exact words, but the gist of them) And yet again, Trystan isn’t scared or worried at all. He seems to think that’s incredibly romantic. I was kind of uncomfortable with that premise. It didn’t feel like a very good start for a consensual relationship.

Once Trystan and Asagoroth are finally joined, self-doubt ensues on Trystan’s part. So much self-doubt it soon had me rolling my eyes. I do get that he’d be unsure about Asagoroth’s love for him, given his life as an Unchosen, but it was just too much.

One of my biggest issues was the sex scenes. With phrases along the lines of, “Trystan shuddered at the violation of his secret entrance”, it almost read like rape wrapped up in purple prose.

There wasn’t all that much plot overall. Around the 80% mark I was still looking for things to really get going. There is a big showdown at the end, but even that left me a little bored.

Essentially, “On Wings of Thunder” very much wasn’t for me. It felt a little silly and I was kind of bored for the most time. I’m sure there are people who will enjoy this, but I’m not one of them.

The cover by sin shows Trystan and Asagoroth. Just like the story itself, it isn’t really to my tastes.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | ARe | Amazon

Book details:

ebook, 144 pages
Expected publication: July 20th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1634774094 (ISBN13: 9781634774093)
Edition LanguageEnglish

Barb, A Zany Old Lady Review: Desire’s Guardian by Tempeste O’Reily ~~ Audiobook narrated by Jeff Gelder

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

desires-guardian audioChase Manning, the BFF of James Bryant from Designs of Desire, looks and acts like a twink on the surface, but once someone gets to know the man below the surface, they are shocked at the strength of character and dominant nature they find. And that’s what Rhys Sayer, James’s bodyguard, finds out when he stops being offensive to Chase and starts to allow himself to see with his eyes and not just his prejudices.

When they first met, Rhys had just broken up with his cheating boyfriend, and when the gregarious Chase approached him, he shunned Chase’s advances. That was enough for Chase because he’s no one’s fool. The problem is that he’s still attracted to the big hunk of manhood and finds Rhys incredibly sexy. Even so, he resists the job offer made by Rhys and his partner Mark who need a good IT man. He only capitulates when they sweeten the deal with office space for his new business and after a lot of arm twisting by James, who is now friends with Rhys.

This is not just a simple love story. There’s plenty of danger and intrigue when Rhys and his police officer brother, Dal, connect the dots on a current murder case and realize most of the young victims are Chase’s former boyfriends. Unfortunately, Chase inadvertently puts himself in harm’s way.

I enjoyed this story, though not quite as much as I did the first one. On the flip side, this narrator did a better job than the one who did the first one. However when he narrates, he speaks too quickly and often sounds as if he’s reading the story to a library audience, rather than putting in the necessary drama to bring the book to life. So, as with the first book in the series, I would recommend this story to lovers of MM romance, particularly if you enjoy a story where the big, muscular guy is dominated by the smaller, more effeminate man. However, it might be best to invest in the e-book rather than the audio version.

Cover art by Reese Dante is similar to the first book with a soft, watercolor background. In this case, a man’s hand and wrist are featured with a prominent black cuff on the wrist. This has a direct link back to the story so makes the cover both beautiful and appropriate.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press |  Amazon | Audible | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Audiobook
Published June 14th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press (first published June 5th 2014)
ASINB01H0HAS66
Edition LanguageEnglish

SeriesDesires Entwined #2 settingMilwaukee, Wisconsin (United States)

In Our Spotlight: Evasive Maneuvers by Lynn Michaels (author interview, excerpt and giveaway)

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AboutTheBook

Evasive_Maneuvers_Michaels_FSTITLE: Evasive Maneuvers

AUTHOR: Lynn Michaels

COVER ARTIST: Jay Aheer

LENGTH: 58,500 words

RELEASE DATE: July 16, 2016

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is  happy to have Lynn Michaels here today to talk about the characters and writing Evasive Maneuvers.  Welcome, Lynn.

  • How difficult is it to get into the mind of a teenager?

That’s a tough one. We remember when we were teens, but the world has changed so much. Some things never change. The same emotional and human conflict of growing up, having one foot in childhood and one in adulthood is never easy.  My kids are in their 20’s now, but it wasn’t all that long ago that I watched them struggle with the same issues. Technology has changed and the world sometimes feels like an angrier place, but we still have to work through love and acceptance, being part of a group, and taking on new responsibilities in life. Those are universal things. That’s what I try to tap into, no matter what age, race, or sex the characters are.

  • Are you into sports?  And  if not, does getting into the mindset of a high school quarterback become that much more challenging?

Great question. I’ve played my share of sports. Particularly softball. But, in this case, for Evasive Maneuvers, my quarterback is out of school and trying to find his way in the world, and that’s where I made the connection. The old things that were important before are not as important. He has to take care of himself, look out for his future. He has to decide what parts to leave behind and what to take with him. He can lead, keep people together, work as a team, but he also has to understand that the game has changed. 

  • How do you decide where your next themes come from?

Themes develop along side the plot for me. As my characters move through life, they deal with consequences of their decisions and mistakes. Themes develop from that. I think in that respect, the fiction imitates life. We deal with themes in our own lives as they come up, as we learn and grow, and as we deal with the results of our own decisions. I think this happens in the planning or plotting phases of a story, and as the themes develop, I can choose where to focus and what to develop. I think good fiction poses questions around themes, but leaves readers to make a lot of their own decisions. I hope whatever themes I deal with, that they pose questions for my readers to grapple with.

  • Is contemporary fiction your favorite genre to write in?

No.  I like paranormal, fantasy, and urban fantasy better. I like to be able to take ordinary things and make them extraordinary. I like to see how magic can twist things and shape things. How would things be different if just one thing were magical or you had one special ability that no one else has. I like to think about things like that. I like to twist genres and write across the lines. Even in my contemporary work, you won’t see too many of my stories that stay strict to a particular trope. I think life is messier than that and that’s what I reflect in my writing, even the paranormal stuff – I hope.

  • How was your high school experience compared to your MCs?

Completely different than both my main characters. In Evasive Maneuvers, Campbell went to a private school and Stone went to a small town school.  I was a military brat and went to high school overseas. All three of these situations are extremely different, but as I said back in the first question, we all had to deal with a lot of common themes, regardless of our background.

  • Favorite book to read in HS?

The Stand by Stephen King was hands down the favorite book I read in High School. Well, any Stephen King really.  I love the way he tells a story. His characters become real, they come off the pages. They face strange things and deal with them in very human ways.

  • What advice would you give your teenage self now looking back on those years?

Write. Write more. Write often. Don’t stop. Focus more on that than anything else. I think I got sidetracked in my life many times and it took a long time to get back to the writing and to telling stories I want to tell.

  •   What’s next for Lynn Michaels?

I have a lot more stories to tell. I think you’ll see more paranormal type stories in the future. I like to write about interesting and different circumstances and twist things around, so who knows what might end up on the page. In the near term, Holeshot 2 will be the next big release after the first of the year. The Supercross world has a lot of amazing young people doing amazing things. It’s exciting and I love that world.  I also will have a novella out this Christmas that has a paranormal twist to it.  Hopefully, overall, I will continue to put out fun stories that people will enjoy reading as much as I enjoy writing them.

Thanks, Lynn, this was outstanding.  I appreciate your sharing.  Now for more about Evasive Maneuvers

BLURB:

Campbell Fain has been rebelling against his father, refusing to grow up for so long, he’s not sure what his life really means anymore. When he meets the man that makes his heart melt, he lies to impress him. Unfortunately, facing the truth may turn out to be the least of his problems when he’s forced to come face to face with the sins of his father.

He was the quarterback in high school, all American sweetheart and solid guy, but Stone Medlock is just figuring out his life. When he meets Campbell Fain, it turns his world around and he just might be falling hard for the rebellious punk, but will he still be able to support and trust Campbell when the lies come out?

Will Campbell’s lies tear them apart before they even begin? Will they find the love behind the lies?
Excerpt

Stone pulled his jeans all the way off, dropping them to the floor along with his sexy briefs. I couldn’t help notice how manly they were; everything about Stone was manly. If I hadn’t met him at a gay club, I never would have thought he batted for my team, but every bit of me was so happy he did. It never hurt to have out jocks on the team! He smelled masculine too. Some of that could have been his products that I could smell on myself too, but some of it was just his own natural, earthy scent that I couldn’t get enough of.

As I stared at him, waiting for more, his face shifted to something a little less sexy. His brows pressed down, making him appear unhappy or concerned.

“What?”

“Campbell. Listen. I need to know what else you lied about.”

I chuckled, nervously. “What?” Why the hell did he bring this shit up now, especially when I thought we’d gotten past it?

BuyLinks

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Kobo Store

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AuthorBio

Lynn Michaels lives and writes in Tampa, Florida where the sun is hot and the Sangria is cold. Lynn is the newest addition to Rubicon Fiction, and she loves reading and writing about hot men in love.  She writes paranormal and contemporary MM Romance

:: Website :: Facebook Page :: Amazon Page ::

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TourSchedule

July 18: Love Bytes Reviews :: Drops of Ink

July 19: Bayou Book Junkie :: Wicked Faeries Tales & Reviews

July 20: Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words :: Rick R. Reed :: Nessa’s Book Reviews

July 21: The Purple Rose Tea House :: Alpha Book Club

July 22: BFD Book Blog :: Open Skye Book Reviews :: MM Book Escape

 

Jump Into the Fantasy World of Love and Magic by RE Andeen (Excerpt and Giveaway)

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Love and Magic 1000x400

Title:  Love and Magic

Author: RE Andeen

Publisher:  Torquere Press

Cover Artist: Kris Norris

Release Date:  7-27-2016

Heat Level: 2

Pairing: F/F

Length:: 10,000 words

Genre: Lesbian Romance, Multi-Cultural, Fantasy

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Love and Magic Cover

Synopsis

Kiv never expected to see a battle, let alone fight in one. She came to the island kingdom of Escot to use her magic to help people, not to kill them, but a petty, pointless civil war has made her job as Court Wizard difficult and then impossible. When the hostilities come to a head, Kiv finds herself on the battlefield, supporting one army against another.

On the other side, there is Tallas, a wizard more dangerous than three thousand swords and a woman more intriguing that than any Kiv has ever met. The battle will end in blood and death, as battles do, but for Tallas and Kiv, the end is only the beginning.

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Excerpt

Kiv woke with a start, wondering if she was dead. She cast about with her senses, both physical and magical, and decided she was alive after all. She was lying in a bed of golden wood on soft white cotton sheets under a green wool blanket. Overhead, she saw the silky blue canopy of a large tent, with the curtains on all four sides tied back to let in the morning sun, set in an open field without another structure in sight. The rain had finally stopped, though the sky was still gray.

She climbed out of bed, noticing that she was in nothing but her underthings, and looked for something to wear. Her clothes – long wool skirt, wide leather belt, white cotton blouse, and heavy wool cloak – were folded neatly on a table beside the bed, all the grime and gore of battle washed away, with her purple silk Court Wizard hood and her gnarled manzanita wand sitting next to the pile. She dressed and went looking for the kind soul who had taken care of her. Tallas – of course it was Tallas – was just outside the tent, her back to Kiv, cooking a skillet of something over a low fire that smelled amazing.

“Oh, good. You’re awake,” Tallas said, without turning around. “I trust you’re feeling alright. I checked you over myself last night, and I could find no injury or ailment beside exhaustion.”

Kiv walked over and sat on a rock next to the fire. “I’m fine,” she said. “I suppose I should thank you…”

“It was nothing,” Tallas said. “You’re a Wizard of the Guild, and we take care of our own.”

“I know,” Kiv replied, “but I’ve never had anything like yesterday happen to me before.”

“Haven’t you?” Tallas asked, looking up from the fire, and Kiv suddenly felt that those jet black eyes were boring a hole right through her. “I suppose you haven’t…”

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Torquere Press

Love and Magic Square
Meet the Author

RE Andeen is a writer, software developer, Klingonist, and general nerd. After a lifetime of immersion in science and technology, he discovered writing, quite by accident, in 2014. He lives in downtown Seattle.

Facebook: Eric Andeen (https://www.facebook.com/eric.andeen)
Facebook Author Page: RE Andeen (https://www.facebook.com/reandeen/)
Twitter: @REAndeen
Other: Personal webpage/blog (http://reandeen.com/)
Amazon: Author page (http://amazon.com/author/reandeen)

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