A VVivacious Review: Ownage by Dale Chase

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Rating: 5 Stars out of 5
 
ownage-by-dale-chaseWayne Kerley and Tommy Knox have been together for twelve years but nobody knows it. As players on opposite baseball teams not only do they have to keep their relationship on the down low but they also stay apart for much of the season.
 
As Wayne faces the end of his contract and starts thinking of retiring, things start to slump for Tommy out on the field forcing them to talk about the one thing they have avoided talking about for most of their relationship –the future.
 
I loved this story, it is more novella than novel but as they say good things come in small packages.
 
I love established couple romances and this book epitomizes everything I love about that particular trope that is about seeing couples face their life together with their love a quiet awareness that smolders all around.
 
Wayne is a pitcher nearing the end of his contract and we see him trying to ignore the elephant in the room while still powering-through on the field. This story is told from Wayne’s perspective and I will agree that the fact that we spend so much time with Wayne means that I can’t describe Tommy as well, but it didn’t matter because Wayne and Tommy were an amazing couple.
 
When I first came across this book I was skeptical about their relationship seeing as their relationship is something that can be classified as a long distance relationship and romance (at least romantic books) generally don’t look kindly on long distance relationships, they are always the ones fraught with problems. But what made this book so splendid was the fact that while reading this book that skepticism didn’t enter my mind. Much of this book speaks about Tommy and Wayne and how they keep in touch without it ever feeling like that is what they are doing. They communicate on the same level as people who have been together for years (as they have) do, they have their own routines and couple-y things that make them comfortable and so in-sync with each other.
 
Also what I liked was that Wayne acknowledges all the aspect of their relationships good or bad. The fact that they stay apart much of the time and it is very easy to be shut out of the other person’s life, the lack of mutual friends and how time together is always bittersweet with the tinge of the looming parting and also the fact that coming back to each other is the best feeling ever, like coming home after a long day.
 
The ending of this story is something that can come as a bit of a surprise, like a ‘that’s it!’ when you come across the “THE END” but somehow for me I liked even that and I am a big one for endings. I loathe bad endings, like the good ones and I love the bittersweet ones and somehow I felt that this ending was perfect for this book. In a way I felt that the book ended at the right time because it was going to be like an end of an era for Tommy and Wayne, something new was headed their way, new challenges and maybe even unexplored territory as they live together, and this story contained as it was in a different part of their lives couldn’t possibly have done justice to this new period in their life, having said that I would definitely welcome more on these two.
 
For as short as this book was it really captured by imagination as even though I have talked so much about the story, I have somehow managed to avoid talking about the baseball in this book. I have a rudimentary knowledge of baseball like just the basics and I may be missing a few of those too. So I can say confidently that not knowing baseball that well didn’t affect my enjoyment of this book but I can equally not say if as a baseball fan I might have liked this more (because I would have probably understood more of the nuances of this book) or less (because I would have been more critical of said nuances).
 
Having said it all, I would like to say for me this book kind of added up, with all the nooks and crannies I didn’t understand to the love story I did, to be an amazing read.
 
Cover Art by Written Ink Designs. I liked the cover what with the packed stadium and the bright sun and the pitcher getting ready to pitch the ball.
Sales Links
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Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 68 pages
Published October 15th 2016 by JMS Books LLC
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Edition LanguageEnglish

A Lila Audiobook Review: Marriage of Inconvenience by M.J. O’Shea and John Solo (Narrator)

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Rating: 3.25 stars out of 5

marriage-of-inconvenience-audiobookLights, Camera, Lies.

Kerry Pickering has a problem. As a publicist for Hollywood bad boy Jericho Knox, it’s Kerry’s job to keep Jericho in the news. So far, Jericho’s partying and public escapades have made it easy. But Jericho has a secret, and when that secret is revealed in the most spectacularly disastrous way, it’s up to Kerry to spin it.

The team decides the best course of action is to make the public fall in love—with Jericho’s secret committed relationship. The one that doesn’t exist. Yet.

The team wants someone they can trust. Someone in the inner circle. That someone is Kerry. But what will happen when Kerry realizes that for him, the romance is no longer pretend? Can Jericho love him back, or is he just playing a role?

Marriage of Inconvenience was an okay story. I like the idea behind the couple getting together as part of their jobs. They seem perfect for each other from the very beginning, but the delivery felt flat. Their connection didn’t fully develop, and their mood swings were ever present.

Just like other books in the series, this installment brings two men from different backgrounds into a relationship of convenience. The author did an excellent job describing the main characters and making their differences evident without being stereotypical. They both have a sound support system, which is refreshing in an era when gay men are seen as castaways.

The initial attraction between Jericho and Kerry seems force, and the misunderstandings were there for drama purposes only. I wanted to see more of the times between the MCs as friends and more interaction with the world in general. They were a bit shelter when considering they needed to change the public’s perspective of Jericho. Most of what we read was related to planning for those events.

Overall, this is a good story for fans of sweet and fluffy with a serving of smexy on the side.

As always, John Solo did a good job creating the characters for this story. I prefer Jericho’s voice more than Kerry’s, but in general, all the transitions were impeccable.

The cover for the audiobook is another adaptation from the e-book cover designed by Bree Archer. The model is definitely Jericho and the background let us know the story takes place in California.

Sales Links

Audiobook Details:

Narrator: John Solo
Length: 5 hours and 35 minutes

Published:  September 12, 2016 (Audio Edition) by Dreamspinner Press
ASIN: B01LTDEEAI
Edition Language: English

 

An Alisa Review: Tricks and Bids (Suit of Harte’s #1) by Jacqueline Grey

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Rating:  3 stars out of 5

 

tricks-and-bidsWhen Michael Nole propositions Dillon Spade outside of a BDSM club one evening, all he is looking for is a potential client and a little kink, but he gets much more than he bargained for.  As a prostitute, Michael enjoys sex but keeps an emotional distance between himself and the men he sleeps with.  His priority is to keep himself safe, but after a night in Dillon’s bed, he finds the line between enjoyment and occupation becoming blurrier than usual.

 

Dillon Spade hasn’t taken another man home in six years since his previous lover passed away, but there is something about Michael that calls to his inner Dominant in a way he cannot resist.  His instincts want to claim the boy even as he reminds himself that he is only paying Michael for temporary company.

 

Their relationship may have started as a business transaction, but these two are finding it difficult to remain professional when the man beside them is proving to be an exception to all the rules.

 

Michael is a young man who accidentally fell into prostitution and doesn’t really see anything else he can do.  When he decides to look for a little kink for the night he approaches Dillon and gets more than he bargained for.  Dillon controls Michael so well; he has trouble remembering what their relationship really is.

 

Michael and Dillon both know that they have a bigger connection than client and prostitute, but one of them has to break first.  Dillon begins to think of Michael as his and has more and more trouble saying goodbye.  Michael runs at the thought of something serious, but it’s more that he’s scared he wants it than that he doesn’t and what that might mean.  Michael and Dillon are both pretty innocent when it comes to relationships as Dillon has only had one and Michael never has.  We see both of them open themselves up to the idea of having someone permanent in their lives.

 

The cover art is very nice and gives a good visual for the characters.

 

Sales Link: Resplendence Publishing | Amazon | ARe

 

Book Details:

ebook, 66 pages

Published: September 24, 2014 by Resplendence Publishing

ISBN: 9781607358121

Edition Language: English

Series: Suit of Harte’s #1

Suzanne van Rooyen Shares Thoughts on Writing, and the release of ‘Obscura’ Burning (release day author guest post)

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Obscura Burning by Suzanne van Rooyen

Published:  Harmony Ink Press
November 10, 2016

Cover Design: Terry Cronje of Cronje Design Co. http://cronjedesign.com/

Goodreads

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Suzanne van Rooyen here today.  Suzanne agreed to share her thoughts about writing and her latest novel, Obscura Burning.  Welcome, Suzanne, thanks for answering some questions for us.

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

It really depends. Inspiration comes to me from so many different places, but most often it tends to come from art or music. I regularly trawl through Deviantart for images that speak to me or demand a story. I similarly often find myself imagining the backstory or certain songs. Some of those imaginings have turned into stories and some are still waiting to be written.

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

I used to be a pantzer, but I’ve come to realize the importance of having an outline, even if it’s just a seven-point plot arc or rough sketch of the protagonist’s character arc. Since I’ve started writing fantasy, planning has become imperative in order to keep track not only of characters and plot, but of all the world-building. These days I rarely start writing without having some kind of plan to work from.

  • 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?

This is an interesting question. I pretty much had this opportunity with Obscura Burning since this is the second edition. Harmony Ink allowed me a round of edits and I was able to rework a few story points, but most importantly, my protagonist. I must’ve been in a pretty dark place when I originally wrote this story because Kyle was so bitter and resentful. I couldn’t really relate to him anymore so, without compromising his core personality, I reworded a few things and let other things affect him to a greater or lesser extent, making him a slightly less unlikeable person – I hope!

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

Hm, I’m not sure. It’s a bit like asking a parent to say who their favourite child is. I have moments where I might prefer one or the other, but I love them all!

  • 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?

Anything and everything by Neil Gaiman. I’d also want the Raven Boys series by Maggie Stiefvater to keep me company. Those two authors are quite easily my favourites.

  • 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?

Both, my mom always read to me at bedtime and I started reading by myself or with my parents from a really young age. Books had a huge impact on my life, one in particular that still haunts me is The Voices of Silence by Bel Mooney about a little girl growing up in Romania at the time of the 1989 revolution.

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

As a romance novel? Um, I have no idea… I rarely read romance so I’m quite clueless about good titles, but if ever I were to write my memoir or autobiography, I’d want to call it ‘Remember me as a time of day,‘ which is a song title from one of my favourite bands, Explosions in the Sky.

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Blurb

The world’s going to end in fire…and it’s all Kyle’s fault.


Kyle Wolfe’s world is about to crash and burn. Just weeks away from graduation, a fire kills Kyle’s two best friends and leaves him permanently scarred. A fire that Kyle accidentally set the night he cheated on his boyfriend Danny with their female friend, Shira. That same day, a strange new planet, Obscura, appears in the sky. And suddenly Kyle’s friends aren’t all that dead anymore. Each time Kyle goes to sleep, he awakens to two different realities. In one, his boyfriend Danny is still alive, but Shira is dead. In the other, it’s Shira who’s alive…and now they’re friends with benefits.

Shifting between realities is slowly killing him, and he’s not the only one dying. The world is dying with him. He’s pretty sure Obscura has something to do with it, but with his parents’ marriage imploding and realities shifting each time he closes his eyes, Kyle has problems enough without being the one in charge of saving the world…

Buy Links

Harmony Ink Press

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Author Bio

Suzanne is a tattooed storyteller from South Africa. She currently lives in Finland where she finds the heavy metal soothing and the cold, dark forests inspiring. Although she has a Master’s degree in music, Suzanne prefers conjuring strange worlds and creating quirky characters. When she grows up, she wants to be an elf – until then, she spends her time (when not writing) climbing, buying far too many books, and entertaining her shiba inu, Lego.

Author Links

In the Author and Book Spotlight: Its T.A. Chase and her release ‘Why I Love Geeks (Why I Love… #1)’ (guest post)

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Why I Love Geeks (Why I Love… #1) by T.A. Chase
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reamspinner Press

Releases Date: November 10, 2016
Cover art by Anne Cain

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Buy a Copy Here/Read An Excerpt

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have T.A. Chase here today to share a bit about herself, writing and whatever comes to mind. Welcome, T.A!

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I’m T.A. Chase and I write gay romance. Thank you for having me today. I thought I’d ramble a little bit and let you get to know me. Hopefully you think it’s interesting.

I draw a lot of my inspiration from real life. Situations I get involved in or I watch unfold in front of me. It might be a snippet of an overheard conversation. (Yes, I’ll admit to eavesdropping…lol) Sometimes a phrase caught as I’m walking past can spark an idea. In fact, one of my works in progress sprang from hearing a mother say, “Wait a minute. Your brother’s stuck.” I have two chapters of a new book done based on that comment, plus the idea for the next one in the series.

I’ve gotten a lot of ideas from song lyrics. In fact quite a few of my titles are phrases from songs. Maybe because I love songs that tell a story. It doesn’t matter if it’s about heartbreak or happiness as long as there’s a phrase or lyric that catches my attention.

I have written several series based on legends and myths. I love taking them and twisting them into new ones or re-interpreting them. Like making Mordred and Lucifer relatively good guys, or at least not the villains legends have made them out to be. It’s fun to think ‘what if’ sometimes and change things up.

Of course there are times when I start out with a very clear idea for a character like who he’ll fall in love with or even who he is. Then as I’m writing, the plot morphs and twists. I find my character is in a completely different place. That’s the fun and agony of being a pantser.

In a way, I like learning about my characters and their stories the same way my readers do; one page at a time. Heck, some times it’s a paragraph at a time, the characters seem to take control of their own stories. I swear it’s as though they grab a hold of my fingers (whether I’m using my laptop or a pen) and write what they want.

I know that sounds a little crazy, but I’m sure if you were to ask a majority of authors, they’ll all have moments when their characters have rebelled against the plan set out for them.

In Why I Love Geeks, I’ll admit I thought it would go in one direction, then suddenly we’re in a completely different spot. Now I think where the story ended up was fun and interesting, but I’ll let you be the judge of that.

Geeks is a rom-com/romantic suspense mish-mash, imo. The first comedy I attempted. I actually love to write fantasies or paranormals most of all. I think it’s because I can create any kind of world with any rules I like.

I’ve written in almost every genre (except horror because I don’t read it, I’m not sure I’d be able to write a truly scary believable story) Contemporaries and historicals are difficult in some ways to write because a writer has to do research to make the story as accurate as possible.

But reading and writing fantasies and paranormals is fun. Some of my favorite comfort reads are fantasies. There’s something about being able to immerse myself in an entirely different world where magic is real or there are elves and unicorns. It makes our hum-drum world seem so ordinary. It might have something to do with the fact that many of the first books I read were fantasies with strong female characters, which might not have anything to do with my stories. Yet I learned what great world building should be like as long as the characters were believable.

If I were stranded on a desert island and I could take some books with me though, I’d have most of Megan Derr’s books because her fantasies are some of my favorite re-reads. Also, I’d throw in some Mary Calmes and Amy Lane. Their contemporaries and fantasies are basically on ‘speed dial’ in my Kindle and book shelves.

What all the books have in common is characters I can believe in and worlds that are believable, exciting and fun. Which is what I hope to create in my own stories.

I hope you didn’t mind my rambling, but I do hope it gave you some insight into my writing process.

I also hope you’ll take a moment to check out my up-coming re-release, Why I Love Geeks. It’s been expanded, so there’s new material.

 About Why I Love Geeks 

2nd Edition

A Why I Love…. Novel

New York City Homicide Detective Chuck Davidson is a guy’s guy. He likes sports, beer, and classic cars—fancy gadgets, not so much. When yet another high-tech phone goes on the fritz, he knows he needs help, and he meets a man who loves technology as much as he hates it—cute but awkward biochemist Herbert Pommerset.

Herb’s never been with a man—not even on a date. He hides behind his research, daydreaming about what it might be like to find someone special. A malfunctioning phone causes his path to cross with a sexy older detective, and Herb wishes he’d spent less time studying science and more learning how to flirt, because he can think of some experiments he’d like to conduct with Chuck. None of his considerable intelligence is helping him express his desires to the other man.

Just when it seems they might overcome their differences, Herb’s research puts him in danger. He’s made a discovery that could cost him his life, and Chuck must use his very different talents to rescue the geek he’s coming to love.

First Edition published by Amber Quill Press/Amber Allure, 2011.

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About the Author

T.A. Chase lives in the Midwest with her neurotic but still wonderful senior cat. She believes there is beauty in every kind of love, so why not live a life without boundaries? Experiencing everything the world offers fascinates T.A., and writing about the things that make each of us unique is how she shares those insights. When not writing, she’s watching movies and reading. She’s also a part of a line-dancing group that takes over a bar on Tuesday nights and entertains at assisted living homes. It’s all about living life to the fullest.

 

She loves hearing from fans. But don’t be too upset if she doesn’t get back to you right away. Life has a way of making her lose track of days and hours. Don’t worry, though. You will hear back at some point. 

If you would like to get a hold of me, you can email me at chase.ta@gmail.com

My twitter: @TaChase

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001595721283