A Paul B Review: Crash (Demon Elite 1) by April Kelley

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Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

CrashElijah Spade’s life got complicated after his mother’s death.  Having had virtually no contact with his mother’s relatives due to their criminal activities, Elijah is now caught up unwillingly in their plans.  Forced to help kidnap another gay man at a club, Elijah decides that is one man is going to die do to his actions, it should be him for helping out his relatives.  However, the attempted escape fails and Elijah and the victim are both captured.  Not knowing what happened to the mark, Elijah is thrown into the family dungeon where he lingers for weeks on end.  Hope comes when a fellow prisoner escapes and sends in help to rescue Elijah.

Crash Morgan is an assassin for the Demon Elite team.  His job is to kill the worst of the worst in society.  Those who die by his hand need to die.  So when his boss tell him that his next assignment is to watch and question a young man who is in the hospital, Crash initially objects.  When goes to the hospital room to watch over Elijah, Crash feels instantly protective of him.  Crash realizes that the man in the hospital bed may have to go to jail so any feelings are inappropriate.  Besides, it is against company policy.  As Crash gets to hear Elijah’s story, he cannot help but feel sorry for the guy.  His feelings for him start to grow also.  So when a pair of dirty cops sent by Elijah’s family show up, Crash takes matters into his own hands and escapes the hospital with Elijah.  Now can he keep them both alive to see if what both men are beginning to feel will grow?

This is the first book in the Demon Elite series by April Kelley.  The story revolves around an elite squad of men who contract out their services to right injustices in the world.  I thought her portrayal of what would be symptoms of PTSD in Elijah was well written.  Elijah’s anxiety attacks and his fear of Crash leaving him were realistic given the circumstances of his imprisonment.  Crash’s mother, who seems to act as a mother to the team, immediately bonds with Elijah after she learns what has happened to him.  The author also sets up future books with a twist that puts the integrity of the Demon Elite team in question.   It will be interesting to see how Crash and company takes on “the big bad.”

Sales Links

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Book Details

EBook, 120 pages
Published:  January 1, 2016 by eXtasy Books
Edition Language:  English
ISBN:  978-1-4874-0587-8

Series:  Demon Elite

An Alisa Release Day Review: Confessions (Reno PD Case Files #1) by Ethan Stone

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

ConfessionsA serial killer known as the Confessor is kidnapping and torturing gay men, and Reno Police Department Evidence Technician Leif Carson is determined to catch him.

 

His personal life isn’t any less stressful. Despite being a virgin and having zero experience with men, he can’t stop thinking about his best friend’s ex, Rafe Castillo. Rafe is suffering from PTSD, but that doesn’t stop Leif from wanting to be with him.

 

Complete opposites, they’re an amazing fit once they do get together—until Rafe’s PTSD gets in the way and he walks away from the relationship before it has a chance to truly blossom. Even though he has intense feelings for the man, Leif has no choice but to let him go.

 

When the Confessor kidnaps Rafe, Leif does everything possible to locate him before he’s murdered. Rafe’s near-death experience changes him profoundly, but the danger isn’t over yet. Leif and Rafe will have to face pure evil together if they’re going to last.

 

This was a great story.  From the very beginning Leif is doing everything he can to help fine the confessor along with his friends also working at the police department while still trying to learn how to have his own personal life.

 

Leif is the only single person in his group of friends and really wants to find someone to love and have someone to love him.  When Leif brings his friend’s ex home to sleep off his drunkenness the events of the next morning give him hope that he may have found that person.  However, a misunderstanding on Rafe’s part send him right back into a drunken haze.

 

This story is told from Colin’s view, but it is told in such a way that I could still understand the other characters feelings in addition to Colin’s.  When Rafe disappears after their misunderstanding he won’t let anything get in his way to find Rafe while also finding the Confessor.  Colin is so innocent when it comes to relationships, but also so grown up with how he acts it was nice not having the younger person throwing a fit as is often seen.  This book is a spin-off of Ethan’s Flesh series, but it isn’t necessary to read them to connect with this story since it didn’t rely on the events of those books.  I can’t wait for another book in this series to see more of these characters.

 

Cover art by Aaron Anderson is wonderful and sets a tone for the story.

 

Sales Links: DSP Publications | Amazon | OmniLit

 

Book Details:

ebook, 216 pages

Published: August 12, 2016 by DSP Publications

ISBN-13: 9781634771788

Edition Language: English

Series: Reno PD Case Files #1

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Starting New by S.C. Wynne

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Rating 4 stars out of 5

StartingNew_600x900Francis Murphy has been working the streets to survive on his own for years. By doing everything from scrounging through dumpsters to pickpocketing to hooking, he’s managed to survive. Good-looking but overly thin, he’d do almost anything for food, including entering a church reception looking for the goodies from the meeting being held there. It’s been worse for him since the homeless shelter was vandalized and closed down their operation, but Francis has always attempted to maintain cleanliness so he doesn’t stand out as much in a crowd as some others he knows.

When he’s just about to reach for a plump muffin, he’s hailed by Randy Wright, the pastor’s son. Immediately drawn to Francis, Randy engages him in conversation. But Francis knows just how long he can afford to linger, and as soon as he’s done scoffing down the muffin, he’s out of there.

Unfortunately, his good luck takes a turn for the worse when he barely escapes with his life a few days later after a John goes crazy on him with a knife. Subconsciously, Francis seeks comfort at the Grace and Light Church where he met Randy, and Randy happens to spot him lurking in the shadows. Shocked at Francis’s condition, Randy gets his mother, and then his father involved, and before he knows it, Francis awakens in a bed in their home. There, despite his best efforts to shun their help, he finds support and friendship and finally agrees to work for them by helping to repair the shelter in exchange for room and board.

Over time, he and Randy are attracted to each other, shocking Francis because he never gets involved with anyone and shocking Randy because he thought he was straight. But good things don’t seem to last for Francis and he bolts.

Will he ever find peace? And what about Randy? Will he want Francis in his life as more than a friend? Will the pastor and his wife be as accepting as they verbalize they are? And what about the crazed John with the knife? Is he gone for good? 

This was a very interesting story. Dark in some ways, light-hearted and hopeful in others. It’s the first I’ve read from this author, and I was impressed by the character development. And it’s not “preachy” about religion, though it does explore Randy’s beliefs, which are somewhat influenced by his religious family, though in a church that is more liberal than many. I also enjoyed the slow awakening of feelings by and between both Francis and Randy. This is a good slow burn/UST story for those who prefer that theme. It’s also a good story for those who like their stories to feature MCs who seem to have no hope for the future.

Cover by: G.D. Leigh

Sales Links

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Book Details:

ebook, 192 pages
Expected publication: August 8th 2016 by Riptide Publishing
Original TitleStarting New
ISBN 1626494304 (ISBN13: 9781626494305)
Edition LanguageEnglish

In the Release Day Spotlight: Confessions (Reno PD Case Files #1) by Ethan Stone (author interview)

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Confessions

Confessions (Reno PD Case Files #1) by Ethan Stone
D
SP Publications
Release Date    August 9, 2016

Sales Links DSP Publications | Amazon

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Ethan Stone here today to talk writing, books and Confessions.  Welcome, Ethan.

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Welcome to the second stop of the Confessions blog tour. Today I’m going to answer some questions. I hope you get to know me a little better.

  • Where do you normally draw your inspiration for a book from?  A memory, a myth, a place or journey, or something far more personal?

Yes. 😉 I draw inspiration everywhere. My friends, my boyfriend, my family—they all know they could become part of my stories. I can be driving along and see something as simple as a fallen free and come up with an idea. With Cristian Flesh from In the Flesh and that series it was just his name. I thought Flesh would make a good surname and then came his first name. Almost immediately I had his past in my head and the plot of the book came tome quickly.

  • Are you a planner or a pantser when writing a story? And why?

I’m more of a pantser. I usually start with the initial idea and some character sketches. Sometimes I’ll make a list of the beats I need to hit but it’s not ever long. Anytime I try a full outline I lose interest and it joins the pile of partial stories.

  • Contemporary, supernatural, fantasy, or science fiction narratives or something else?  Does any genre draw you more than another when writing it or reading it and why does it do so?

I usually write mysteries. The few times I’ve written a contemporary romance with some sort of action or mystery I have a very hard tome finishing it. I like the romance interwoven in between the mystery. I’m not sure what it says about me that I like writing about murders and serial killers but I try not to think about that. I have written a couple paranormal stories (Including one coming out in September) but even those have a mystery element as well.

  • If you had a character you’ve written you would write differently now at this time in your writing career, who would it be and why?

When I wrote In the Flesh I wasn’t aware of the ‘rules of romance.’ If I were to write the book now I’d have those thoughts in my head and sometimes that leads to internal censoring. Flesh doesn’t follow those rules but he does have his own set of rules.

  • Can an author have favorites among their characters and do you have them?

Cristian Flesh was my first so he’s special to me. But Kash from Compromised is a favorite because of all my characters he’s the one I’m most like. There’s a lot in that book that mirrored my life at the time. I adore Linc from Bartender, PI because he’s so funny. So, yeah I’m not sure I have an absolute favorite. It’s kind of like trying to pick which child you love most.

  • If you were to be stranded on a small demi-planet, island, or god forbid LaGuardia in a snow storm, what books would you take to read or authors on your comfort list?

I’ve recently discovered an author by the name of S.C. Wynne. She writes some absolutely fantastic stories. I’ve been binging on her books lately and am down to a handful. I don’t know what I’ll do when I’ve read them all. I’m also a fan of Jay Northcote, Kai Tyler and L.A. Witt.

  • How early in your life did you begin writing?

I don’t remember a time I didn’t write or want to write. In third grade I wrote a story about a dwarf/elf combo named Hodey. He swung on ropes hollering “Hodey Hooooooooo.” In my twenties I wrote a book titled “A Gentleman Among Thieves.” That’s a book that will never see the light of day. For many years I wrote my own soap opera I called Fortune.

  • Were you an early reader or were you read to and what childhood books had an impact on you as a child that you remember to this day and why?

I was a voracious reader until my early teens. There’s a great series of books that started with Bunnicula. I read that book and the sequels more times than I can count. I loved the Amelia Bedelia books. My favorite was Priscilla by Colleen Copeland. It’s a true life story written from the perspective of the pig.

  • What question would you ask yourself here?

Who put the bop in the bop do bop shoo bop shoo bop?

  • If you were writing your life as a romance novel, what would the title be?

Work in Progress.

Thanks to everyone for visiting and if you have other questions feel free to ask. A big thanks to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for hosting me.

Confessions

Blurb

A Reno PD Case File

A serial killer known as the Confessor is kidnapping and torturing gay men, and Reno Police Department Evidence Technician Leif Carson is determined to catch him.

His personal life isn’t any less stressful. Despite being a virgin and having zero experience with men, he can’t stop thinking about his best friend’s ex, Rafe Castillo. Rafe is suffering from PTSD, but that doesn’t stop Leif from wanting to be with him.

Complete opposites, they’re an amazing fit once they do get together—until Rafe’s PTSD gets in the way and he walks away from the relationship before it has a chance to truly blossom. Even though he has intense feelings for the man, Leif has no choice but to let him go.

When the Confessor kidnaps Rafe, Leif does everything possible to locate him before he’s murdered. Rafe’s near-death experience changes him profoundly, but the danger isn’t over yet. Leif and Rafe will have to face pure evil together if they’re going to last.

About the Author

Ethan Stone

Romance on the Edge

Ethan Stone doesn’t write your typical boy meets boy stories. With a combination of love and suspense he makes his characters work hard for their HEAs. If they can survive what he puts them through, then they can survive anything. He enjoys Romance with an Edge.

Ethan has been reading mysteries and thrillers since he was young. He’s had a thing for guys in uniform for just as long. That may have influenced the stories he writes.

He’s a native Oregonian with two kids. One of whom has made him a grandfather three times over; even though he is way too young.

Readers can find Ethan online.

When Talk is Cheap & Life Tough, Can Someone Believe in Love? Find out with Starting New by S.C. Wynne (tour/giveaway)

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StartingNew_600x900

Starting New by S.C. Wynne
R
iptide Publishing
Cover Art by G.D. Leigh

Release Date Aug 8, 2016
Read an Excerpt/Buy it Here

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have S.C. Wynne here today to share her latest release Starting New with our readers.  Don’t forget to leave a comment at the end to be entered in the giveaway. Welcome S.C.

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Hi, I’m S.C. Wynne and I write M/M romance with a little humor and generally a healthy serving of angst. Welcome to my blog tour for Starting New!

For the next week I’ll share some posts about writing and my story Starting New. Join in the fun by leaving comments and enter to win a $30 Riptide gift card!

About Starting New

Life hasn’t been good to Francis Murphy. He’s survived twenty-one years of homelessness by hooking and taking handouts where he can find them. When the local shelter is vandalized, he’s forced to seek food at the Grace and Light Church, where he runs into the pastor’s son, Randy.

Randy Wright believes the best in others. He’s immediately drawn to Francis, even though Francis is hardened and wary. When Francis is attacked by one of his johns, Randy and his family take him in and offer him temporary work. Randy always thought he was straight, but something about Francis has him yearning for more than just friendship, and realizing he might be bisexual.

Francis is attracted to Randy too, and Randy and his parents say they’ve always believed in gay rights. But talk is cheap. What are the odds that these Christian parents will remain open-minded when it’s their own son in a relationship with another man?

About S.C. Wynne

S.C. Wynne started writing m/m in 2013 and did look back once. She wanted to say that because it seems everyone’s bio says they never looked back and, well, S.C. Wynne is all about the joke. She loves writing m/m, and her characters are usually a little jaded, funny, and ultimately redeemed through love.

S.C loves red wine, margaritas, and Seven and Sevens. Yes, apparently she is incredibly thirsty. She loves the rain and should really live in Seattle, but instead has landed in sunny, sunny, unbelievably sunny California. Writing is the best profession she could have chosen because she’s a little bit of a control freak. To sit in her pajamas all day and pound the keys of her laptop, controlling the every thought and emotion of the characters she invents, is a dream come true.

If you’d like to contact S.C. Wynne, she can be found amusing herself on Facebook at all hours of the day, or you can contact her at scwynne@dslextreme.com.

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Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Starting New, S.C. is giving away $30 in Riptide credit. Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on August 13, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!