A BJ Review: Deductions (Aberrant Magic #1) by Lyn Gala

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Rating:    4.25 stars out of 5

DeductionsDarren is proud of his work on the FBI’s magical Talent unit. However, his own lack of magic means he can never be with Supervisory Special Agent and Shaman Kavon Boucher. The shamanic magic poses a real danger to any mundane who gets too close, so Darren tries to hide his attraction and keep a professional relationship at work. That resolve begins to crumble when a new man sets his sights on Kavon and Darren can’t control his resentment.

Now they have a brutal new case of a suspect targeting magical adepts. Darren tries to keep focused on that crime, but when he starts to show signs of his own magic, he hopes that maybe he can not only be a more effective part of the team but also a real partner to Kavon. He might have a second chance at love if only Kavon can learn to trust his new and unpredictable magic that has changed the rules of the magical game.

Interesting urban fantasy/paranormal world that the author has created here, but then I know she has mad skills in that area from reading and thoroughly enjoying her Assimilations series. Speaking of that series, there’s an analogy that one of the characters uses in this story that related to aliens that I not only liked, but it made me smile because it seemed so very apt.

Well-drawn and likable characters that hooked me early on, which made me extremely joyous to see that a certain annoying little squirrel get moved along as early as he did. I was quickly beginning to want to drop kick him myself. I felt the tension and later the heat between Darren and Kavon perfectly. Intriguing and enjoyable secondary characters of both sexes with much left to explore.

Other than a few areas where I felt a slight drag into too much detail, this is a fast-paced story full of magic, action, tension, and heat with a small helping of fun dialogue and banter thrown in. While the romance arc was tied up and the mystery of who did the kidnapping is solved, although I have a feeling there is far more to it than was revealed. The story is far from wrapped up in this volume, but I would not call it a cliffhanger. Rather an ending to a story that has me eager to read the next book and see what happens to Boucher and his team next as far as the case goes, as well as to see the two men deepen and work out their new relationship.

The cover by Mina Carter is great because it clearly shows the magic, location, and interracial plus both of the guys are hot.

Sales Links:  Loose id LLC | ARe | Amazon


Book Details: 

ebook, 225 pages
Published June 21st 2016 by Loose Id
ISBN139781682521595
Edition LanguageEnglish

SeriesAberrant Magic #1

A Jeri Review: The First Morning After by Marie Lark

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

The First Morning AfterDanny got out of his small town as soon as he could. He headed straight for college and never looked-or went- back. Until his best friend is getting married and he has to.

Mitchel was the star baseball player who, while he did not actively bully Danny in school, he sure did nothing to stop it.

Danny has had a crush on Mitchel since forever. And Mitchel has been hiding a very important part of himself. Thrown together at the wedding, Danny takes it upon himself to talk to Mitchel. And when no one is looking, Mitchel hits on Danny.

This entire book was over the course of 2 days. The wedding day and the day after. And although a book with such a short time frame could feel overly packed with superfluous information to get the word count up, I never felt this way. In fact, it definitely kept me turning the pages. Danny has come into his own, unafraid to let the world know he is gay. But Mitchel is the opposite. The glory days of high school are over, he is single and in line to take over his father’s car business, which he hates, and travels to other towns to hook up with men in bathrooms.

You could easily not like either of these characters for different reasons. But I DID like them. Even when they did stupid things. Because people do stupid things. It is what makes us human. Perhaps Danny was a bit too forgiving. Or Mitchel was a bit too closeted and clueless. But together, they really were adorable.

My biggest complaint would be that it was too short. I wanted more. I wanted to see how Mitchel would deal with his sexuality and his job he hated. I wanted to see Danny taking Mitchel out in Philadelphia where no one knew him. So we get a happily for now, but I wanted a happily ever after.

Cover art by Valerie Tibbs.

Sales Links:  Loose id | ARe | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 129 pages
Published June 6th 2016 by Loose Id LLC
ASINB01GQN1IR8
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: By Quarry Lake by Josephine Myles

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

By Quarry LakeWhen Tommy returns from art school after having spent several years in London, his principal thought is to seek out Rob, his boyhood best friend and the man who Tommy ran from when all Rob wanted was a kiss. But first, he has to tell his family and secure a job with a non-homophobic employer.

Ready to find Rob, Tommy heads to Quarry Lake where they swam and camped and played as boys. Deciding a skinny dip was in order, he’s not surprised to see a familiar face when he surfaces from a beautifully executed cliff dive. But Rob is extremely shocked to see Tommy—especially a Tommy who seems to be flirting with him. 

Once Tommy declares his past mistakes, it’s going to take a lot of courage for them to be together as Rob now has to face his father, a widower whose life revolves around the family farm and the son who’s always there to help him. 

I really enjoyed this story. Though brief, it’s packed with as much fun and flirting as it is with love and romance. These two guys deserve a break and most definitely deserve the HEA they ultimately find. 

Josephine Myles sketched a credible tale with interesting, endearing characters in just a few thousand words. I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a quick pick-me-up story that will warm the heart on a cool day. 

Cover art features a young man executing a beautiful dive from a cliff in what appears to be the golden glow of an orange sunset. Very attractive and fits the story well.

Sales Links: Smashwords  |  ARe   |

Book Details:

ebook
Expected publication: July 26th 2016 by Smashwords Edition
ISBN139781311390707

Its Release Day for ‘By Quarry Lake’ by Josephine Myles (excerpt and giveaway)

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Release Blitz – Josephine Myles – By Quarry Lake

 

Author: Josephine Myles

 Release Date: July 26 2016

 Smashwords

 ARe 

 Amazon 

 Length: 12,000 words

 Cover Artist: Lou Harper

 

Blurb: 

 

Still waters run deep…

Tommy’s been away from his home in rural Somerset for three years. Long enough to sort out who he is, and to get over the feelings of confusion and shame that blighted his lifelong friendship with farmer’s boy Rob. He’s out and proud, now–and he’s coming home to claim back what he lost.

Rob’s the one who stayed behind, working on the farm with little time for a social life. With Tommy coming back into his world, he could have a lot to gain–and everything to lose.

He’s going to have to take a leap of faith. Straight into the ice cold waters of Quarry Lake.

This story was originally published in 2013 as part of the Summer Lovin’ anthology.

 

Excerpt

Tommy shivered and gasped. Quarry Lake was nothing like the public baths in Croydon. Bloody hell, how had Tommy forgotten how the cold water caressed every inch of his body, energising him every bit as much as it chilled? You could dive without goggles, no chlorine to burn your eyes. And when you surfaced, you swam up towards the clear sky, swallows flitting high above in their graceful dance.



 


And more to the point, there was Rob, just over there and definitely due a dunking. Fuck, but he looked good. Face and forearms deeply tanned, damp hair stuck to his forehead. Green eyes echoing the water they were swimming in. Rob smiled, but it wasnít the carefree grin Tommy was craving. The one he remembered. There was something guarded about Robís expression. Something Tommy could only blame himself for.


 
Screw it, he didnít know how to make this right. Plan A had been to just blurt it all out. Find a natural place to introduce it into the conversation. Oh, and by the way, I am gay after all. And totally single since I broke up with my boyfriend. Wanna crawl up onto those rocks and fuck each otherís brains out?
 
Tommy snorted. Like there was any way he could say any of that with Rob looking at him like he was little better than a stranger. And besides, that would make it all sound so impersonal. Like Rob was just a convenient body, rather than someone heíd yearned for all these years.
 
Plan B it was, then. Tommy dived down under the water, striking out for the deeps before flipping round to peer up for a sharkís vision of his prey. There he was, legs kicking powerfully . Rob looked almost too solid to swim. Like he was carved out of marble and should sink to the bottom, but there he was, flesh and blood.
 
Donít think too hard about flesh and blood.
 
Tommy stopped fighting the water and let himself rise, aiming for Robís legs. He caught one, wrapped his hands around a pillar of muscle and hairy, goosebumped skin. He yanked down, not far. Just enough to dunk Robís head under the water for a second.
 
Letting go was tough when every part of him screamed to hold on. But that wouldnít be much of a game, so he kicked away and surfaced a few feet away, just out of reach.
 
ìBastard!î Rob exclaimed, but this time when he looked Tommyís way his grin was the one he remembered, wide and sunny. ìYouíre in for it now.î
 
ìCanít catch me. Iíve been training.î Tommy snatched a breath and ducked under the water again.
 
And this time Rob followed.
 
Tommy let himself be caught. Robís strong hands closed around his calf. It was almost perfectóif heíd only move his grip higher. Tommy made a token effort at getting away, but he didnít want to. Not when those calloused hands were holding him like that, making him imagine other places they could grasp.
 
Good thing the water was so bloody freezing.
 
Author Bio
 
English through and through, Josephine Myles is addicted to tea and busy cultivating a reputation for eccentricity. She writes gay erotica and romance, but finds the erotica keeps cuddling up to the romance, and the romance keeps corrupting the erotica. Jo blames her rebellious muse but he never listens to her anyway, no matter how much she threatens him with a big stick. Sheís beginning to suspect he enjoys it.
 
Joís novel Stuff won the 2014 Rainbow Award for Best Bisexual Romance, and her novella Merry Gentlemen won the 2014 Rainbow Award for Best Gay Romantic Comedy. She writes for publishers but has also been known to edit anthologies and self-publish on occasion, although she prefers to leave the ìboring bitsî of the ebook creation process to someone else. She loves to be busy, and is currently having fun trying to work out how she is going to fit in her love of writing, dressmaking and attending cabaret shows in fabulous clothing around the demands of a preteen with special needs and an incessantly curious toddler.
 
Website and blog: http://josephinemyles.com/
Twitter: @JosephineMyles

Giveaway

 

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In the Spotlight: Roller Girl (Lake Lovelace #3) by Vanessa North (excerpt and giveaway)

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Roller Girl (Lake Lovelace #3) by Vanessa North
R
iptide Publishing
Cover art by L.C. Chase

Read an Excerpt/Buy It Here

Hi, I’m Vanessa North, and welcome to the blog tour for Roller Girl!

Throughout the week, I’ll be sharing my thoughts on writing the third book in my Lake Lovelace universe. Follow along and join the discussion in the comments to be entered to win a Lake Lovelace Rollergirls swag pack, including a signed copy of the book. Thanks for reading!

About Roller Girl

Recently divorced Tina Durham is trying to be self-sufficient, but her personal-training career is floundering, her closest friends are swept up in new relationships, and her washing machine has just flooded her kitchen. It’s enough to make a girl cry.

Instead, she calls a plumbing service, and Joanne “Joe Mama” Delario comes to the rescue. Joe is sweet, funny, and good at fixing things. She also sees something special in Tina and invites her to try out for the roller derby team she coaches.

Derby offers Tina an outlet for her frustrations, a chance to excel, and the female friendships she’s never had before. And as Tina starts to thrive at derby, the tension between her and Joe cranks up. Despite their player/coach relationship, they give in to their mutual attraction. Sex in secret is hot, but Tina can’t help but want more.

With work still on the rocks and her relationship in the closet, Tina is forced to reevaluate her life. Can she be content with a secret lover? Or with being dependent on someone else again? It’s time for Tina to tackle her fears, both on and off the track.

This title is part of the Lake Lovelace universe.

About Vanessa North

Author of over a dozen novels, novellas, and short stories, Vanessa North delights in giving happy-ever-afters to characters who don’t think they deserve them. Relentless curiosity led her to take up knitting and run a few marathons “just to see if she could.” She started writing for the same reason. Her very patient husband pretends not to notice when her hobbies take over the house. Living and writing in Northwest Georgia, she finds her attempts to keep a quiet home are frequently thwarted by twin boy-children and a very, very large dog.

 

Connect with Vanessa:

 RollerGirl_TourBanner

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Roller Girl, Vanessa will be sending one lucky winner a special gift basket!

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Gift basket will include an autographed copy of Roller Girl, a purple Lake Lovelace Roller Girl t-shirt in your size, a pair of waffle earrings, some derby stickers, and more! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on July 30, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

Angel Martinez Talks Drowning in Ideas, Writing and her release Lime Gelatin and Other Monsters (guest post and excerpt)

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Lime Gelatin and Other Monsters (Offbeat Crimes #1)

by Angel Martinez

Publisher: Pride Publishing
Cover Artist: Emmy Ellis

Release Date: pre-order 7/5/16,
Pride store release 7/19/16, General release 8/16/16

Purchase Price: $4.50  at Pride Publishing

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have one of our favorite authors here today.  Angel Martinez is talking about writing, “drowning in ideas” and her latest release, Lime Gelatin and Other Monsters.  Welcome, Angel!

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  Drowning in Ideas by Angel Martinez

Writing your first novel is terrifying and exhilarating. You’ve written short stories and poems but there’s no way, you tell yourself, that you can sustain a storyline for an entire novel. Then you do and you stare at this thing you’ve wrought with a strange sense of wonder. How did this happen?

What happens after that moment is more terrifying. Suddenly there’s a lurching moment where every bad voice in your head comes surging up at once to whisper, Sure, but you’ll never do it again.

Silly voices. The floodgates are open. The djinn has escaped the bottle. There’s no way to put it back. It’s getting close to twenty years ago that I wrote my first novel, the one that will never see the light of day, but in those ensuing years, instead of finding that I struggled for ideas, I found I was drowning in them. The struggle was not to invent storylines. It was in getting the one I needed when I needed it and getting the damn thing to sit still long enough to become a story.

I still struggle with this, though I have weapons now. Conversations with people who understand and often serve as muses. Lists of things that go here and there, and universes in which to put them. Story prompts. I used to hate story prompts. Hated them. Imagine me shaking my little fist at the prompts: Don’t tell me what to write! Challenging yourself is good, though, and I was finally drawn into writing to prompts because people asked me to. That’s another thing a writer has to learn – when to say no, but that’s another topic.

The Offbeat Crimes series comes from one of those prompts, one that asked writers for stories about a paranormal police department based in a city of the writer’s choosing. I thought about the usual things first, things along the lines of vampire cops and fae cops and cops who could speak to the dead. But I wanted something different and maybe not entirely serious. What if, for example, there was a vampire cop, but he couldn’t drink whole blood?

Carrington Loveless III, skim-blood vampire was born, but the ideas for colleagues with broken paranormal talents and attributes came fast and furious. Poor Carr didn’t even get to be to the protagonist for the first two books. That dubious honor went to a fellow officer who doesn’t even have a talent of his own—he inadvertently absorbs other people’s—and his new partner who claims to have no paranormal talent at all. Bad stuff just happens around him.

Welcome to the 77th, folks, the precinct where State Paranormal sends all the officers with what they perceive as useless talents. Don’t discount them, though. They’re good cops, even if they have to deal with a lot of weird and a lot of frustration being their own worst enemies sometimes.

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Blurb

Kyle Monroe’s encounter with a strange gelatinous creature in an alley leaves him scarred and forever changed, revealing odd abilities he wishes he didn’t have and earning him reassignment to a precinct where all the cops have defective paranormal abilities.

Just as he’s starting to adjust to his fellow misfit squad mates, Kyle’s new partner arrives. Tall, physically perfect, reserved, and claiming he has no broken psychic talents, Vikash Soren irritates Kyle in every way. But as much as he’d like to hate Vikash, Kyle finds himself oddly drawn to him, their non-abilities meshing in unexpected ways. If they can learn to work together, they might be able to stop the mysterious killer who has been leaving mutilated bodies along the banks of the Schuylkill.

Series Info (if applicable):

Offbeat Crimes:

Every region has them, but no police department talks about them—the weird crimes, the encounters with creatures out of nightmares. The 77th Precincts exist in certain cities to handle paranormal crime and containment, usually staffed with experienced officers exhibiting psychic abilities.

In Philadelphia, through an odd mix of budget issues and circumstance, the 77th is manned entirely by officers with bizarre or severely limited psychic talents. The firestarter who can’t get a spark when it’s humid. The vampire who can’t drink whole blood. These are the stories of the misfits, the outcasts from even the strangeness of the paranormal community. Call them freaks, but they’re police officers first, serving and protecting, even if their methods aren’t always normal procedure.

Length: 30,000 words
Pairing: M/M
Format: ebook

Excerpt

Kyle sat up straighter, shifting to see between the heads in front of him. Soren looked like a poster boy for the model police officer, tall and straight, uniform crisp and sharp. He stood at parade rest beside the lieutenant impassively surveying his new colleagues. A little knot of resentment lodged in Kyle’s stomach. At his own introduction to the Seventy-seventh, he’d been nervous and fidgety, freaked out by the collection of…freaks. How can he be so calm?

“Officer Soren transferred from the Harrisburg PD—”

“Don’t they have enough freaky shit of their own up there?” Wolf called out in his rasping growl.

“—since Harrisburg is in our jurisdiction,” she continued with a quelling glance. “He’ll start out partnered with Monroe.”

“What does he do, ma’am? That it’s safe to put him with Kirby, er, Kyle?” Shira Lourdes asked as she flicked nervous glances across the room at Kyle. An empty chair slid away from her and fell over. Her partner, Greg Santos, shook his head and righted the unfortunate piece of furniture.

“Officer Soren’s abilities are his business, which he may or may not choose to share if you ask. And don’t bully him about it either, any of you.” Lieutenant Dunfee swept the room again, pinning each of her officers with her needle-laser gaze like captive butterflies. “Monroe, my office after briefing. Info on your current case.”

She dismissed them, stalking from the room with thunderclouds in her eyes. Kyle found himself approaching the new guy and trying his best not to be awkward. Did he offer to shake hands? Was it safe? Would the guy flinch like so many people did at the sight of Kyle’s scarred hands? Soren was even taller up close, six-foot-three of lean inscrutability, his blue eyes startlingly bright against smoky bronze skin.

“Um, hi, I’m Kyle Monroe.” Kyle fidgeted when Soren didn’t offer his hand either. “You’re with me, I guess. I’ll show you our spot in the squad room.”

Soren followed him silently and Kyle was starting to wonder if he was like Krisk in the not-speaking department until he finally spoke in a smooth, soft baritone, making Kyle startle and miss a step. “Why do they call you Kirby?”

“You’d hear it sooner or later, I guess.” Kyle shrugged. “It’s this thing I do, absorbing other people’s talents temporarily. If they’re close to me. Or touch me. Like Kirby, the little pink dude in the video game.”

“Ah.”

Just that? Soren didn’t edge away, or change expression at all. Was he made of stone? “It’s a thing. Everyone here has a thing.”

After a few more steps, Soren asked, “Always?”

“What…oh, was I always like this? Who knows? I mean, maybe I’ve picked up stray thoughts or something, but no. It’s pretty recent. Knowing that I do this.”

Kyle took a wide arc around Vance as he entered the squad room, pointing to the double desk in the far corner, well removed from everyone else. “That’s ours. Coffee’s over there, but you might not want that coffee. Let me grab my file and we’ll go see the lieutenant.”

“So what’s your story, Soren?” Vance called across the squad room. “What flies your freak flag?”

“Yeah, what do you do?” Jeff Gatling stopped ’porting his banana from one corner of his desk to the other.

“I don’t really do anything,” Soren answered as he hefted the empty coffee pot. “Guess I’ll make fresh since I’m the new guy.”

He opened the top to remove the filter and every human voice in the squad room yelled out, “No!”

Most people would have startled, maybe dropped the carafe. Soren just blinked at the roomful of people gesturing wildly. He took the filter out and emptied it over the trashcan. “Why not?”

“You don’t want to do that.” Kyle stayed by his desk, a nice safe distance from the coffee station. “That’s Larry’s job.”

“Larry’s not keeping up then.”

The container of sweetener packets began to rattle. It shivered across the counter and leaped to a messy end, ceramic shards skittering across the floor. The desk that Krisk and Wolf shared rose from the floor several inches and slammed back down. Wolf fled with a squeaking yelp just before the desk flipped on its side.

Soren glanced toward Kyle. “Larry’s not a cop, is he?”

“He is…he was! A dead cop. Larry’s a ghost. He gets ticked if anyone else makes the coffee. Put the stuff back, please!”

“Larry?” Soren raised his voice but to all appearances remained completely unruffled. “I’m new here. I’m very sorry I invaded your jurisdiction. See? I’m putting the carafe back. Closing the top. Are we good, Larry?”

A breeze ruffled through a stack of papers, but no further mayhem ensued. The carafe slid from its pad on the coffeemaker and floated to the water cooler where Larry, who never manifested in a visible form, whistled tunelessly while he filled the carafe.

From his dim corner of the room, Carrington said in his dry, genteel way, “Welcome to the Island of Misfit Freaks.”

angel-martinez

About the Author

The unlikely black sheep of an ivory tower intellectual family, Angel Martinez has managed to make her way through life reasonably unscathed. Despite a wildly misspent youth, she snagged a degree in English Lit, married once and did it right the first time, gave birth to one amazing son, and realized at some point that she could get paid for writing.

Published since 2006, Angel’s cynical heart cloaks a desperate romantic. You’ll find drama and humor given equal weight in her writing and don’t expect sad endings. Life is sad enough.

She currently lives in Delaware in a drinking town with a college problem and writes Science Fiction and Fantasy centered around gay heroes.

Author Links:

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