A MelanieM Release Day Review:Holly & Hockey Boots by V.L. Locey

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

holly-hockey-bootsMinor league goalie Adam Seiger is a nice guy. He’s kind, cute, and a little quirky (but show me a goalie who isn’t) and he loves to interact with fans. During a meet and greet after a game Adam meets Cason Reyes, a hard-working young man with stunning amber eyes and a smile as sweet as a candy cane. Desperate to see Cason again, Adam does something more than a little naughty.

To add insult to the egg nog, it appears that one little white lie may end Adam’s chance of having a merry Christmas with a new boyfriend. Will he end up with nothing but a lump of coal in his stocking, instead of the man who owns his heart?

Adorable, totally adorable.  That describes both the story and the main character of Adam Seiger.  Gay, black, Canadian, minor league hockey player, adopted by his Aunt and Uncle when young, this man could have been a Mountie, he’s so sweet, nice, and yes, adorable…even in his faults.  That would be the lag time in between what comes out his mouth and the time it takes his brain to think it might be a bad idea to say that.    His brain goes awandering while the mouth just motors on.  Not always a great thing as Adam finds out when he spies the man of his dreams during a game.

I’ve enjoyed V.L. Locey’s stories before.  The author always manages to put in enough interesting quirks to their characters and storylines that it makes me take notice.  Extra spice, a V.L. Locey punch as it were.  Its the same here.  The other character?  Cason Reyes, is biracial with a fascinating background and a nephew to raise.  Both men have background that actually made me growl in frustation that I didn’t get enough time with each man’s family or get to delve deep enough into their stories.  They are that interesting and the people in their families we get to know are believable enough that we want more time with them too.

Other special touches?  The interaction with the team members.  Ray, Adam’s roomate with his own special kink?  Hilarious!  Plus I liked their acceptance of a gay teammate without any special acknowledgement or fanfare while mentioning that might not be realistic in the major leagues.  Nice reality check.  And then there was the holly branches.  I’ll leave the significance of that to the story.

I’d love to see Locey continue this into a series or at least give us a followup  story.  These two certainly deserve it.  We need to see what happens next.  I want more!  After reading this, you will too.

Cover art doesn’t really pull me to the book,  Doesn’t say holidays, and doesn’t really speak to the story.

Sales Links

7104e-waxcreative-amazon-kindleBook Details:

ebook, 78 pages
Published December 5th 2016 by V.L. Locey
Original TitleHolly & Hockey Boots
ISBN 9780985092
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Melanie Advent Calendar Review Day 13: Guardian Angels (2016 Advent Calendar – Bah Humbug) by Geneva Vand

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

guardian-angelOne snowy evening, a car wreck in front of his toy store triggers terrible memories for Jake. Suddenly, he is in the midst of another winter storm—and another accident, one that not everyone walked away from. When he returns to the present, Jake is on the ground, being watched over by a guardian angel in the form of a kind man named Eli. Eli is no stranger to panic attacks and PTSD, and he’s happy to help Jake get home—where the weather forces him to remain for the night. For Jake, it could be the first step toward a life free from fear and loneliness.

Geneva Vand has written a heartwarming story of pain and loss turned into recovery and love at holidays.  Its a story that by all accounts should be much larger than its 36 pages because it feels like a novel.  Its characters have dimension, their pasts and its angst is believable as is its accompanying pain.

Jake’s PTSD is triggered by a car crash in front of his toy store.  Vand makes us feel every terrifying moment for Jake and we hurt for him.  Our connection to this character is immediate.

The stranger who realizes what is happening to Jake and takes care of him is Eli, someone who Jake soon starts to regard as his “guardian angel”.  As these two men form a relationship, letting barriers fall, and revealing their pasts full of loss and pain, we can see hope for them both and a possible future unfold.  What a joy!

Looking for a heartwarming story to read for the holidays?  Look no further than Guardian Angels by Geneva Vand.  Beautifully written, and full of hope and romance, the wonderful emotions that carry you through to the end that will leave you smiling for hours.

Cover by Paul Richmond is the brand cover for the series.  Still wonderful.

Sales Links

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Book Details:

ebook, 36 pages
Published December 1st 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1635331757 (ISBN13: 9781635331752)
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series2016 Advent Calendar – Bah Humbug

An Alisa Review: 2 Days Later by CM Corett

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

2-days-laterNate Beckett doesn’t expect much from life, and he definitely doesn’t believe in New Year’s celebrations or resolutions. A happy New Year? Not likely. As the manager of McGee’s bar, the best he can hope for is a drama-free night. One glance at the sexy young man on the dance floor and that hope is long gone. Once again, his young neighbor Justin is back to tempt and torment him. Despite the undeniable attraction, Nate knows he’s too old and jaded for someone like him, so the time has come to reject Justin. It’s for his own good!

 

Justin may be young and inexperienced, but he knows what he needs. His New Year’s resolution—to tempt and win Nate over. One lame seduction attempt later, and he’s on his way home in a cab. Alone. But later that night, Justin wakes up battered and bruised on Nate’s doorstep, and Nate insists that Justin stay with him. The big, beautiful man’s protective and caring instincts are definitely kicking in.

 

Maybe, just maybe, there’s a chance for a happy New Year after all!

 

This was such a sweet short story.  Nate is a jaded bar manager and he just knows that he wouldn’t be good for Justin.  When he finds Justin beaten up he decides he should protect him.  Justin knows how to be the perfect temptation for Nate and takes the opportunity to push his buttons.

 

Nate has got to be one of the most stubborn people alive, but he does realize his mistakes before it’s too late.  We never really learn anything about Nate’s past so I never fully understood why he was so sure he and Justin weren’t a good fit.  Justin was adorable and it is wonderful for him to finally get the man he deserved along with the love and protection he desired.

 

Cover art by Natasha Snow is beautiful and great for this story.

 

Sales Links: Nine Star Press | Amazon | ARe

 

Book Details:

ebook, 43 pages

Published: November 21, 2016 by Nine Star Press

Edition Language: English

 

An Ali Audiobook Review: Absinthe of Malice (Sinners #5) by Rhys Ford and Tristan James (Narrator)

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
absinthe-of-malice-audiobookWe’re getting the band back together.

Those five words send a chill down Miki St. John’s spine, especially when they’re spoken with a nearly religious fervor by his brother-in-all-but-blood, Damien Mitchell. However, those words were nothing compared to what Damien says next.

And we’re going on tour.

When Crossroads Gin hits the road, Damien hopes it will draw them closer together. There’s something magical about being on tour, especially when traveling in a van with no roadies, managers, or lovers to act as a buffer. The band is already close, but Damien knows they can be more—brothers of sorts, bound not only by familial ties but by their intense love for music.

As they travel from gig to gig, the band is haunted by past mistakes and personal demons, but they forge on. For Miki, Damie, Forest, and Rafe, the stage is where they all truly come alive, and the music they play is as important to them as the air they breathe.

But those demons and troubles won’t leave them alone, and with every mile under their belts, the band faces its greatest challenge—overcoming their deepest flaws and not killing one another along the way.
I enjoyed this story and I thought it was a creative way to give us updates on all four of the couples in one story.  The guys are on the road as the blurb says, but a lot the story is about Miki starting to work through things.  Since Miki is my all time favorite from this series that was a great thing for me.  The story follows the guys on their first tour and lot of things happen.  It’s pretty fast paced and is filled with some serious moments and some more light-hearted ones.  Even though the guys are on the road, their partners and other family members also make frequent appearances.  Brigid and Donal steal every scene they’re in for me. I just adore them both.
I don’t want to spoil the plot and say more about it but know that it is fast paced and entertaining.  The four relationships are in various places and things are a little more challenging for two of the couples but overall they’re all doing well and it was really touching to see them work through their various issues.  The end is not really a cliffhanger but definitely leaves you ready to get the next book as soon as possible.
This book was narrated by Tristan James who has also narrated the previous other books in the series.  This was my first time doing one of these books on audio and I enjoyed his narration a lot.  There were a lot of characters in this but I was never confused as to which one was talking.  There are also various accents from different countries and I thought he did those well too.  I did struggle a bit with the beginning of each chapter as they recount a moment from the past or song lyrics.  I prefer those when I’m reading the books.  It works better for me when I can see them.  It’s a small complaint and one that might be just an issue for me.  Overall I really liked the narration and I thought the narrator did a really good job.
Cover by Reese Notley:  I like this cover a lot.  It’s striking and the color really catches the eye, plus it goes with the book’s title.
Sales Links
Audiobook Details:
Listening Length: 6 hours and 49 minutes
Audible Audio, 7 pages
Published October 3rd 2016 by Dreamspinner Press LLC (first published June 22nd 2016)
Original TitleAbsinthe of Malice
ASINB01LXP2ES3
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesSinners #5

A Lex Chase YouTube Interview and The Unlikely Prospect (States of Love) by Lex Chase (author guest blog and book release)

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The Unlikely Prospect (States of Love) by Lex Chase
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reamspinner Press
Cover art by Reese Dante

Available for Purchase at

           

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words has a first here today.  A YouTube Author Interview with Lex Chase!  And don’t forget to check out this States of Love release.  Its one of our highly recommended stories.  Do I love this interview?  Why yes I do!!! Its outstanding! 

~Lex Chase Author Interview~

Blurb

In Prospect Harbor, Maine, lobsterman Harper Cook has always loved the sea. He and his two brothers work the harbor waters, in a fishing village of one thousand where everybody knows everybody else’s business and nobody wants to be different.

When it’s time for the annual Men of Maine pinup calendar, Harper’s brothers eagerly volunteer him. Harper isn’t thrilled to bare it all to raise money for an elementary school playground—until he meets out-and-proud Los Angeles out-a-statah Sean Blackburn: the highly available first-grade teacher with Hollywood heartthrob looks.

Harper has no desire to ever stand out from the crowd, but Sean persists and earns Harper’s friendship. Through Sean, Harper opens up to new possibilities. Things get steamy, but Harper still protects his heart. Though   the right pressure in the right place might crack even a loner lobsterman out of his shell.

******

Author Bio:

Lex Chase once heard Stephen King say in a commercial, “We’re all going to die, I’m just trying to make it a little more interesting.” Now, she’s on a mission to make the world a hell of a lot more interesting.

Weaving tales of cinematic, sweeping adventure—and depending on how she feels that day—Lex sprinkles in high-speed chases, shower scenes, and more explosions than a Hollywood blockbuster. Her pride is in telling stories of men who kiss as much as they kick ass. If you’re going to march into the depths of hell, it better be beside the one you love.

Lex is a pop culture diva, her DVR is constantly backlogged, she has intense emotions about Hannibal’s Hannigram, and unapologetically loved the ending of Lost. She wouldn’t last five minutes without technology in the event of the apocalypse and has nightmares about refusing to leave her cats behind.

You can find her in the Intarwebz here:

Official Site
Dreamspinner Press
DSP Publications
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Release Blitz – Passing Shadows by Anna Butler

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Passing Shadows – Anna Butler

Author: Anna Butler
 
Length: 29,400
 
Stories: Overthrown By Strangers, Habitation of Dragons, Winterlight
 
Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK 
 

About Passing Shadows

Man is like a mere breath; His days are like a passing shadow.
Psalm 144:4 

Passing Shadows is a trilogy of short stories with a lesbian main character, Li Liang, who is one of the sole surviving witnesses of the destruction of Earth. The stories tell of the beginning of a long exodus across the galaxy looking for a haven where mankind can start again.

Blurb

Li Liang has found a berth to suit her: chief pilot and first officer of the all-female crew of an old space freighter, the Sappho. Then one ordinary, unremarkable morning, Liang retunes the Sappho’s communications systems just in time to catch the breathless, terrible accounts from Mars of the total destruction of Earth.

Earth’s a cinder. The unknown alien race that destroyed it has left Mars, too, in flames and is ravening outward from the solar system, devouring every human colony on the way.

Liang’s one of the few survivors, racing ahead of the Devourers, rescuing as many frightened, shocked people as she can. Will Liang and the pitiful remnants of humanity find a new haven, somewhere to start again? Or will she, too, echo the dreadful last message coming out of their dead home?

They’re coming. Oh God, they’re coming.

Excerpt 

From Overthrown By Strangers:

It seems to be some sort of cosmic joke, a reversal of the old creation myths. Only the gods are laughing, because this time God has thrown a stone in a pond. Earth went down, smashed by the rock, and the waves are surging out in a circle from its drowning, ripple after ripple after ripple.

Colony after colony.

If Earth had been created in seven days, it had been destroyed in seven hours. Now every hour brings more devastation. It isn’t just Earth going dark. Whoever, whatever, the enemy is, their resources are unfathomable. They’re implacable and unstoppable, ravening their way out from Earth in an ever-expanding circle, shattering everything in their path. So many dead, so many with no chance to escape.

So many lost to the monsters. The destroyers. The eaters.

“Devourers,” I say.

The skipper gives me a sharp look. Then she nods. “A good name for them, love. A very good name.”

She looks tired. Jaded. Worn out.

I lean over her and press my lips to her hair. “You need to rest.”

“Later. There’ll be time to rest later.” She doesn’t say that will be when we’re all dead, but she might as well. “Set course for Egereia.”

It takes a little while. While I drop the Sappho into normal space to reset the hyperdrive engines and plot the navigation, she calls the rest to the bridge and tells them that whoever’s in command at Daemon Station has finally made a decision and humanity has a survival plan. Of sorts.

“We’re going to run. We can’t stop them,” the skipper tells us.

Being helpless, being the butterfly caught in the spider’s web, is sickening. She gives us a minute to cry and mourn, but we’re all mostly quiet. Only Edie lets out a sob. The rest of us weep in silence. I can barely see the navigation controls, and my eyes sting like poison.

They’ve formed a sort of huddle, down on the floor where we’d sat and listened to Earth and Mars being eaten. No one wants to be alone, and we ground ourselves and each other by touch; holding hands, or arms around each other, mouths against another’s cheek. Connection, that’s what’s keeping us going. When I’ve put us back into hyperspace, I join the skipper. She’s in the centre of the group now, one arm around Baum’s waist. I’m pulled into the huddle, held safe, and take her free hand in mine. Her fingers squeeze hard against mine.

“Daemon will be the gathering point,” the skipper says. “We’re to get as many people on board as we can, and rendezvous there. Egereia’s the closest colony to us, and we’ll head there and see what’s to be done.”

 

Author Bio
 

 

Anna was a communications specialist for many years, working in various UK government departments on everything from marketing employment schemes to organizing conferences for 10,000 civil servants to running an internal TV service. These days, though, she is writing full time. She recently moved out of the ethnic and cultural melting pot of East London to the rather slower environs of a quiet village tucked deep in the Nottinghamshire countryside, where she lives with her husband and the Deputy Editor, aka Molly the cockerpoo.

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