A MelanieM Review: Optical Illusion (Paint #1) by Emma Jaye

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Rating: 4.5 Stars out of 5

optical-illlusionSmile, wiggle, lie, apologise, and run for the hills.

That’s the formula Chris has used all his life, but this time, he has something he’s never had to lose before, a family that cares. The problem is, his new brother’s very edible friend isn’t fooled by his act. If his secrets are revealed, they won’t want him and he has nowhere else to go.

Thanks to a suicide bomber, ex-military police sergeant Jase Rosewood is back in the English countryside. His plans for quiet recuperation are ruined by the effervescent, go-go dancing twink who has everyone wrapped around his little finger. Luckily for the gullible Matt, Jase can smell a liar a mile away, and Chris Bacon, if that’s even his name, stinks to high heaven. Assigned ‘Chris-sitting’ duty while Matt’s on honeymoon, Jase has a week to discover what is hidden beneath the bright camouflage. It’s a job, just like any other, so why does it feel so different?
Unfortunately, Jase isn’t the only one drawn to the boy who can’t stay still, but instead of wanting to reveal his true colours; they want to dull them forever.

Contains issues of physical abuse, but not between the central couple.

What an incredible story.  Emma Jaye, a new author for me, has written an angst filled, gritty book almost guaranteed to make you run through a range of emotions, not all of them welcome.  I was very surprised by the shift in tone and feel of the story from the beginning.  I was really expecting a different story than the one the author delivered.  From the blurb, it comes off  much lighter in theme and tone.  Not  so.  This is a dark story in almost every aspect and those expecting a light romance will be not only disappointed but find it  overwhelming in its pain and mystery at points. There is a gang rape.  Well handled, not as graphic as it could have been but its there. And the aftermath on the character is realistic and horrific.  But lets back up. I’ve gotten ahead of myself.

Jase Rosewood…layered complicated man, home with his planned career gone and his future uncertain meets Chris while at his best friend’s wedding.  A best friend who he used to be in love with.  Oh the complications.  But that’s all very straightforward because Chris Bacon is a Rubik’s Cube of a character.  He’s really beautifully written.  Jaye take’s her time showing us and Jase one side, only to start ripping that to shreds the next, unveil another, then that one is gone too.  Its done  with such angst, pain, and vulnerability on the part of Chris that our heart just bleeds for him and Jase, and all around him.  His past has  taught Chris one thing, his present is trying to show him another is possible and Chris can’t believe in a future for himself.  Its heartbreaking.  As much as Jase tries to protect Chris, and Chris wobbles between his past and present, the reader is caught up in the author’s scary storyline and both their lives.

There are any number of mysteries here.  A relationship between Jase and Chris that tries hard to find itself, an almost impossible feat given the characters and the circumstances surrounding them.  Things that I cannot go into because this whole book is one big spoiler, one small mention can lead to you knowing what’s coming in the next.

But my biggest disappointment is that cliffhanger ending.  Its why this book didn’t get the 5 star rating it probably deserves.  I have rated other cliffhangers higher but those were serialized stories, meant to end in such a manner.  Not a novel.  A novel, for me at least, comes with a certain expectation of at least some ending, even though you can see where another story will pick up.  Not a ending like this.

The second book, Blank Canvas, is out.  Boy, am I going to approach that one with trepidation and a ton of curiosity.   I need to know what happened here but I’m afraid to know what this author will do to these outstanding characters and my heart in the process.  She’s really that good.  I guess I’ll be finding out.  I must know.  That means you will too.

So who should read this story?   Those who love their romances dark, angst filled and hurt/comfort.  This is not for those who like sweet, light romances.  Emma Jaye is a new author and this is a terrific story.  Take a chance on it if it sounds like the type of love story you like.  I highly recommend it.  I’m on to book two.

Not crazy about the cover.  Could have been so much better.

Sales Links

7104e-waxcreative-amazon-kindle

 

 

 

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 333 pages
Published September 1st 2016 by Purindoors Publications
Original TitleOptical Illusion
ASINB01KCB8UX0
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesPaint:

 

Jackie Nacht Talks Inspiration behind ‘Engineering Love’ on Release Day! (giveaway and guest blog)

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engineering-love-by-jackie-nachtEngineering Love by Jackie Nacht
Publisher: Rainbow Ninja Press

Release Date:Early Download at Rainbow Ninja Press – 5 October 2016
Third Party Pre Order – 12 October 2016
General Release – 19 October 2016

Buy Links

Rainbow Ninja Press – http://www.rainbowninjapress.com/engineering-love
Rainbow Ninja Press – EU Customers – https://payhip.com/b/uDr2

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to  have Jackie Nacht here today to talk about her latest story Engineering Love and the inspiration behind it.  Welcome, Jackie!

~~~

 

Georgia Peaches and Spaghetti Junction

First, Id’ like to thank Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for having me here today. Thank you!

Okay so what inspired Engineering Love? Well I guess it was the setting.

Engineering Love was based on a place I used to live. Suwanee, Georgia. It was a way to go back and remember the places I used to love to visit and see with my husband while we lived there for six years.  The Suwanee Trail was some place we often ran and my husband named parts of the trail in the story as I used to torture him on our runs. evil cackle

Spaghetti Junction was a place of horror for me. More than once, when I was going down to SunTrust to work, I got lost or seen things unimaginable in the morning commute. You better believe the stuff that happened in the book to Adrian are things I saw. And more…so much more…LOL

Every road began with Peachtree…No joke. I lived off of Old Peachtree, Peachtree Industrial and Peachtree Parkway. It was a miracle I made it to my destination. LOL Oh and giving direction to my family wipes the tears of laughter from my eyes It was hysterical hearing the silence or curses (depending on which family member I was helping) on the other line as they made their way from Hartsfield-Jackson.

On our anniversaries, we used to enjoy going to Buckhead and eat at Bones. Lenox Mall, Mall of Georgia were our stomping grounds.

My husband and I had two sweet children in Georgia. To this day I call them my little peaches.

So, in a way, it was going down memory lane destination wise. I have a great fondness for Georgia and yeah, I think it make a great setting for two college boys finding love.

Hugs,

Jackie Nacht

Blurb

When north meets south, sparks fly.

Adrian is a student from a northern college transferring to Georgia Tech. Used to seeing snowmobiles outnumbering the cars on campus, Adrian finds himself living in a state hotter than hell and feeling completely lost in the heart of Atlanta. A chance encounter introduces him to Davis who Adrian knows is trouble, but can’t help falling for.

Davis is the picture of big man on campus and oozes with confidence, at least until he meets Adrian.  Something about Adrian has Davis’s usual charm flying out of the window and everything goes from smooth to hell as Davis tries to make Adrian his own.

Between awkward dates, second-degree burns, study sessions, and snow, the two stumble their way into a relationship neither had planned. Will Davis give up the bachelor life to take a chance at a relationship with Adrian, or will he walk away from something special just to stick to his original plan?

Excerpt

Ten minutes until kickoff and it was like every person in the student body had showed up. Adrian was squished next to Mark and a girl wearing glitter tattoos on her cheeks. She and her friend were taking selfies, and somehow, Adrian got tugged into one.

“What’s your name?” the girl hollered.

He leaned in, yelling, “Adrian.”

“Mara.” She smiled over at him.

“Mara!” a guy called from behind them, then he landed on Adrian’s back.

“Careful, Davis!” Mara yelled.

Bending over from the weight of the guy, Adrian would have face-planted into the person in front of him if it hadn’t been for Mark grabbing his shirt. The fucking game hadn’t started, and he was about to be on the injury list. And Adrian wasn’t even playing in the game!

“Whoa, whoa, whoa.” The guy on his back grabbed him and wrapped an arm around Adrian’s chest.

The person in front of him turned with a scowl on his face before he smirked at the man behind him and raised his hand. “Davis!”

Hands clapped over his head, and the damn bull in the china shop behind him still had his arm around Adrian.

The two chatted above him, and Adrian glanced over at Mark who was rolling his eyes. “That’s Davis.”

Oh yeah, because that explained everything. It’s Davis so it’s natural to start chatting it up with Adrian snuggled right in. Boundaries, people, boundaries. Apparently, tackle-boy Davis seemed to know everyone since people all around shouted his name. Adrian felt Davis’s deep chuckle and wondered why the hell he was still being held by him.

Adrian turned and glanced over his shoulder, then kind of wished he hadn’t. Davis was laughing while talking to the guy Adrian almost fell into before. Davis was hot… like hotter than Atlanta. Black hair and a five o’clock shadow around a strong jaw. Built enough to belong on the football field and damn, and he had light ice-blue eyes. Adrian had an urge to reach out and touch Davis’s face to make sure he was fucking real. The only thing that detracted from the model-perfect looks was a small scar on his bottom lip, which Adrian thought was sexy as hell. The white line bisected plump full lips, which made Adrian want to kiss it. And he shouldn’t be thinking that.

With a small twist of his arm, Adrian was free of Davis. He glanced back at him.

“Don’t trample the newb, Davis,” Luke hollered from down the row.

Davis’s blue eyes glinted in the noonday sun, and a crooked smile appeared on his face. Adrian felt like prey in the presence of a predator, trapped by a sea of fifty-five thousand people.

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32324708-engineering-love

Categories: M/M Romance, Gay Fiction, New Adult
Word Count: 20,802

About the Author

Short, sexy and sweet—where a little love goes a long way.

That’s the best way to describe Jackie Nacht’s stories. I was introduced to M/M Romance through my sister, Stephani, and read it for years. Then, I thought it was time to put my own stories on paper. I began writing short and sweet stories that ended with a happily ever after…and sometimes more than one, in the case of my YA Fork in the Road series, which has interactive endings.

Thinking back to my own book addiction, where there were many nights I stayed up way too late so I could read just one more chapter—yeah, right—I 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.

Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jackie.nacht
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JackieNacht
Website: www.jackienacht.com
Blog: www.jackienacht.com
Email: jackie.nacht@yahoo.com

Giveaway

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

Rafflecopter Prize: Engineering Love (PDF)

An Alisa Review: A Little Blood (The Blood Bond Trilogy #1) by Aimer Boyz

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

a-little-bloodCan you handle forever?

Eternity comes with a price. Forever is a lonely word and Etienne Vaillancourt needs more than blood.

Andrew Delaney needs to pay down his student loans, maybe save enough money to fix up his relic of a Honda. No rush, Andrew’s got his whole life ahead of him.

But one lifetime isn’t always enough.

A chance meeting in a movie theatre is the start of a future neither man had thought possible. A future together … if they can handle forever.

 

I really enjoyed this book.  The main characters are wonderful with great secondary characters to enhance the story.  The author didn’t try to completely change how many would think of vampires, but also wasn’t too cliché either.

 

Etienne has been alone a long time, it’s better to keep his secret and to not get attached to his food.  However, Andrew completely throws him for a loop when they begin talking at the movie theatre.  They quickly grow to care for each other, but neither really know how they want to navigate their relationship.

 

Etienne and Andrew feel an immediate connection to each other when they meet that only grows with time.  This story was told from both characters’ points of view which gave me the opportunity to see both characters feelings.  Etienne would do anything to protect and be with Andrew, but is afraid of his reaction.  Andrew needs to decide if forever if what he really wants.  I can’t wait to read more stories in this series.

 

Cover art by James at GoOnWrite.com is perfect for this book.

 

Sales Link: Amazon

 

Book Details:

ebook, 235 pages

Published: September 9, 2016

Edition Language: English

Series: The Blood Bond Trilogy #1

In the Spotlight: Suddenly Yours by Jacob Z. Flores (Video and Giveaway)

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Suddenly Yours
by Jacob Z. Flores
 
Blurb: 

“What Happens in Vegas Doesn’t Always Stay in Vegas”

Cody Hayes is having one epic morning-after. The hangover following a Vegas bachelor party is nothing new to him, and neither is the naked man in his bed.

His apparent marriage is a different story.

Carefully plotting every detail of his life carried Julian Canales to a senate seat as an openly gay man. A drunken night of Truth or Dare isn’t like him… and neither is marrying a man he just met. He’d get an annulment, but the media has gotten wind of his hasty nuptials. If Julian’s political career is going to survive, he has to stay married to a man who’s his opposite in every way.

Now he must convince Cody that all they need to do is survive a conservative political rival, a heartbroken ex, their painful pasts… and an attraction neither man can fight.

 

         
Excerpt
One Fine Day Series 
Undercover Boyfriend 
(One Fine Day Series #1)
Available in paperback

 

         

 

About The Author
Jacob Z. Flores lives a double life. During the day, he is a respected college English professor and mid-level administrator. At night and during his summer vacation, he loosens the tie and tosses aside the trendy sports coat to write man on man fiction, where the hard ass assessor of freshmen level composition turns his attention to the firm posteriors and other rigid appendages of the characters in his fictional world.
 Summers in Provincetown, Massachusetts, provide Jacob with inspiration for his fiction. The abundance of barely clothed man flesh and daily debauchery stimulates his personal muse.
 When he isn’t stroking the keyboard, Jacob spends time with his daughter. They both represent a bright blue blip in an otherwise predominantly red swath in south Texas.
You can find Jacob at
            

 Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card for the grand prize and 5 winners will win free copies from Author’s Dreamspinner back list.

Presented By

Cover Reveal for Line Drive (Homeruns #6) by Sloan Johnson

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Line Drive Sloan Johnson

Coming Soon!

PJ Nolan has convinced himself he can get through one last year. That changes when he arrives for the first day of spring training and his teammates think it’s funny to mock the one night that made him feel alive. They don’t realize those pictures are all he has left of Nate Kendricks.

Nate knows nothing about baseball, but agrees to a spring training road trip with his twin brother. He’s not thrilled about the prospect of seeing PJ Nolan, the man who’d haunted his dreams since the night of the charity auction. Nate thought their chemistry was undeniable, but after that night, he never heard from PJ again.

Once they reunite, PJ’s certain of one thing: he’s not going to let Nate slip away again. As he gets closer to joining his dad in the record books, he feels Nate slipping away. What will he choose if forced to pick between new love and a lifelong dream?

Sloan Johnson Sweet Spot


Home Runs series and Line Drive features gay baseball players. Why baseball, a sport that has remained relatively heterosexual when others sports have had players start to come out of the closet? Or is that important? Is it enough to just love the game?

When I started writing the series, I didn’t factor in whether or not there were any active gay players in MLB. While many of my stories have seeds in current events, they rarely dictate what I’m going to write in a fictional book.

That being said, I started Wild Pitch in 2014, which was the same year MLB announced Billy Bean as an ambassador for inclusion. Once I began researching, I read his memoir to see what closeted gay players have faced in the past. It was an absolutely tragic story, which had my muse begging to write a happier ending.

Last year, professional baseball did see their first active player come out to surprisingly little fanfare. When I read the story about David Denson (who, ironically enough, plays for one of the Milwaukee Brewers’ farm teams) I briefly had hope that the future of gay players rested in the farm system, because it seems like younger adults don’t hold the same prejudices as older players. Sadly, news later came out about Tyler Dunnington, who had a much different experience in the minors. He retired after one year because of vile comments he was forced to hear in the locker room.

The latter inspired part of PJ’s story in Line Drive. The change in clubhouses won’t happen overnight, but we have to hope that, in time, everyone will be welcomed wherever they go.

Cordelia Kingsbridge has 5 Fun Facts and a Riveting Romance with ‘Can’t Hide From Me’ (blog tour and giveaway)

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canthidefromme_600x900

Can’t Hide from Me by Cordelia Kingsbridge
R
iptide Publishing
Cover by: G.D. Leigh

Read an Excerpt/Buy It Here

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Cordelia Kingsbridge here today on tour with Can’t Hide From Me. Welcome, Cordelia!

~~~

Hi! I’m Cordelia Kingsbridge, and I’m pleased to welcome you to the blog tour for my novel Can’t Hide From Me. Thanks so much for checking it out!

Five Fun Facts About Can’t Hide From Me

1. The novel’s original title was From the Ashes. This is why Ángel’s codename is Phoenix, and by extension, why the rest of the San Diego team has codenames sourced from various mythologies.

2. I first started thinking about this novel in the summer of 2012. I still have the Word document of the original outline and character sketches, which are interesting to read now after so much time has passed. The vast majority of CHFM turned out very different from that early conception – for example, the team was once going to be FBI instead of ATF, and Charles’ name used to be Alexander. I even have the research that I did into the inner workings of the FBI back then, which I’m saving in case I need it for future projects.

3. I struggled with the plot for at least a year before I finally figured it out. Believe it or not, I came up with the basic framework for CHFM – the beginning and ending, as well as a few big moments in the middle – without actually knowing who Ángel’s stalker was. But of course it was impossible for me to move forward or get the plot to gel without that information. It wasn’t until I realized who I wanted the villain to be that the entire plot clicked and fell into place like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. After that, CHFM flowed more smoothly for me than anything I’d written before.

4. I had to do some very interesting research along the way. Among the highlights: which firearms are popular with Mexican cartels, what polygraph examinations look like, how guns are hidden inside cars for smuggling purposes, how a person could introduce a suspect package into a federal building without raising red flags, what it feels like to be tasered, and other things I can’t reveal without major spoilers. I hope whichever NSA agent is monitoring my internet searches enjoys the man-on-man erotica!

5. I changed some of the major relationship moments based on feedback from my readers. I first posted From the Ashes online as a WIP (work-in-progress), as I had with my previous novels. One of the advantages of this approach is that it gives you real-time feedback on which aspects of the novel are coming across the way you want them to – and which really aren’t. In this case, I realized along the way that the conflict between Charles and Ángel was weighted too much in Ángel’s favor. Without meaning to, I’d been presenting Ángel’s side of things in a more sympathetic light and leaving out or glossing over Charles’ own very valid grievances, and the relationship came off as unbalanced in a way I definitely hadn’t intended. Seeing this, I went back through the novel once it was complete and changed a lot of the conversations and other details to balance things out before I even submitted it to Riptide for consideration. Feedback from my readers has always been vital to my writing process!

About Can’t Hide From Mecanthidefromme_600x900

Charles Hunter’s team is on a mission to extract an unidentified ATF agent from an undercover job gone wrong. All they’ve got to go on is the rendezvous location—until Charles recognizes the ex he hasn’t seen in years. Their “simple rescue mission” is about to get a lot more complicated.

For Ángel Medina, adjusting to life after his cartel nightmare is hard enough without confronting memories of a failed relationship. All he wants is a fresh start. But when a violent stalker lashes out from the shadows, Ángel realizes his nightmare is far from over.

As the stalker’s obsession escalates and bodies start dropping, Charles and Ángel are thrown together in a desperate search for the culprit. Tempers flare and old passions reignite, drawing them back into the same turbulent relationship that once ended in disaster.

But the stalker isn’t letting go—and the next strike might hit straight through the heart.

Available from Riptide Publishing: http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/cant-hide-from-me

About Cordelia Kingsbridge

Cordelia Kingsbridge has a master’s degree in social work from the University of Pittsburgh, but quickly discovered that direct practice in the field was not for her. Having written novels as a hobby throughout graduate school, she decided to turn her focus to writing as a full-time career. Now she explores her fascination with human behavior, motivation, and psychopathology through fiction. Her weaknesses include opposites-attract pairings and snarky banter.

Away from her desk, Cordelia is a fitness fanatic, and can be found strength training, cycling, and practicing Krav Maga. She lives in South Florida but spends most of her time indoors with the air conditioning on full blast!

Connect with Cordelia:

canthidefromme_tourbanner

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Can’t Hide From Me, one lucky winner will receive a $15 Riptide Publishing gift card! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on October 8, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!