An Alisa Review: French Kissing Vampires for Beginners by L.M. Brown

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Rating:  3 stars out of 5

 

french-kissing-vampires-for-beginners-by-l-m-brownWhen a dentist meets an average suburban vampire, it may just be a match made in heaven.

 

Tom is your typical modern vampire. He lives in a detached house in the suburbs, pays his taxes, and bemoans the price of bottled blood. He doesn’t usually tell people what he is, but sometimes it can’t be helped, like now, when he has toothache and needs the assistance of a dentist.

 

Martyn’s night isn’t going too well at all. He’s working late, his patient is a vampire, and now they’re being mugged. But what sort of a vampire is Tom if he can’t leap to the rescue and use his superpowers to save them?

 

There’s only one way to find out and Martyn, a self-confessed geek with a love for all things vampire, intends to get to know Tom better, despite the bloodsucker’s fear of dentists.

 

This story takes a different view of vampires than usual.  Tom finally gives in and goes to the dentist to have his aching tooth removed.  Martyn has never met a vampire before, but can’t deny that’s what Tom is, despite the fangs, after his tooth immediately grows back when he removes it.

 

Martyn and Tom connect after being mugged on their way to their vehicles after Tom’s appointment.  Martyn is attracted to Tom and the mystery of Tom being a vampire makes him even more appealing.  We see both of the characters points of view which helps us connect with the characters.  Martyn is determined to be the right person for Tom and his family’s easy acceptance of Tom’s nature is wonderful.  Tom is adorable and won’t push Martyn for anything more than he knows he is willing to give.  I can see them together for a long time.

 

The cover art is nice and gives a visual of Tom.

 

Sales Links: MLR Press | Amazon | ARe

 

Book Details:

ebook, 79 pages

Published: October 26, 2016 by MLR Press

ISBN: 9781634861700

Edition Language: English

An Alisa Release Day Review: His Needs by Kris T. Bethke

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

his-needsWhen State Trooper Travis Kinslow is injured right before Thanksgiving, the only positive is that for once he won’t be working during the holidays. Since he has no family, Travis was absorbed into his best friend, Joe’s, and he considers them as good as his own. Everyone except Joe’s brother Noah. Travis has been in love with the younger man for much of his life, but he’s always kept his distance.

 

As an ER nurse, Noah is a caretaker by nature. When his brother’s best friend is hurt, he’s happy to help Travis while he heals. He’s only ever allowed himself to think of Travis as the next best thing to an older brother, but by the light of the Christmas tree, Noah finally sees Travis’s true feelings. And in that moment, everything changes.

 

When faced with opposition and a Christmas nothing like they imagined, will their hopes for the future be enough to carry them through?

 

I really enjoyed this story.  Travis has loved Noah for over twenty years without the younger man’s knowledge, but the time he’s spending with Noah during his recovery is constantly pushing his restraint.  When Noah catches a glimpse of Travis’ real feelings he is forced to come clean to the man, who surprisingly doesn’t have any objections.  These characters work well together and though their sexual relationship grows fast they have known each other so long it doesn’t feel so rushed.

 

I do have to say that although Travis is considered part of Noah’s family by them, he doesn’t seem to fully consider himself part of the family and doesn’t feel comfortable with some things.  This truly broke my heart reading how much Travis wasn’t comfortable with.  We only see Noah’s thoughts from Travis’ point of view, but that doesn’t make it hard to understand him as Noah is very open and honest about his emotions.  I did think it was a bit strange that all of Noah’s siblings and spouses knew how Travis felt for years, but only Noah and his parents did not.

 

Cover art by AngstyG is beautiful and I love the connection models seem to have.

 

Sales Links

        

 

Book Details:

ebook, 113 pages

Published: December 14, 2016 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 9781634777292

Edition Language: Englis

A Lila Advent Calendar Review Day 14: Cursed Miracles by Meg Harding

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

cursed-miracles-by-meg-hardingTwo hundred years ago on Christmas Eve, William Mashinter was frozen in time, cursed by his wife to roam the world on his own, waiting for the love of his life to find him. The love of his life, whom she killed. Time hasn’t healed this wound, and William is tired of the happy holiday and the constant reminders of a love that’s been taken from him. But then the impossible happens, and maybe… maybe he can get a new Christmas perspective.

Brady Gallagher has lived three different lives, always aware of the first and most important, yet unable to find the man who will fill in the missing pieces and let him know he’s not crazy. He encounters him at a work event, of all places, but is he willing to throw everything else to the wind and embrace the miracle laid out before him?

Cursed Miracles is a lovely short story. One, I hope the author re-writes into a full-length novel. It has all the elements to keep the reader’s attention longer and brings questions of what ifs? The fast pace and those open-ended questions were the only reason this wasn’t a perfect five for me.

I love the idea of two lovers having to find each other to get their happily ever after. William is a strong narrator. We get to experience his pain over his marriage and the resulting separation from Brady. Plus, their love when they get reunited and through the epilogue.

I like the secondary and supporting characters. The author did an excellent job giving the story a nostalgic feel, setting the historic time frame, and bringing them into the future. The real reason behind the cursed isn’t revealed until later in the story, but it makes sense. Overall, this is a great little story to get you in the mood for the holiday season.

Catt Ford did a beautiful cover. It goes with the period in which Brady and William first met and fall in love. The color scheme also matches the dark feeling of the cursed.

Sale Links: Dreamspinner | Amazon | ARe

Book Details:

ebook, 48 pages
Published: December 1, 2016, Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 9781635331769
Edition Language: English

A Stella Review: Kiss and Ride by Teodora Kostova

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RATING 4 out of 5 stars

kiss-and-rideWhat happens when you meet the right guy at the wrong time?

When Vincent Alesi’s estranged father dies, he gets on the first plane from New York city to Rome to be at the memorial service. Even if he has to max out his credit card. Even if he hates the man for leaving him. Even if it’s a day before Christmas.

Everything that can go wrong does go wrong, and Vin ends up trusting a complete stranger with all his secrets, even the ones he didn’t know he had.

Luca Romano’s job as a flight attendant takes him all over the world. But a jet-setting lifestyle is not what he wants. His dream of opening his own restaurant is being placed on hold over circumstances beyond his control.

Timing is everything…

When Vin bursts into Luca’s life, both men fall fast and hard. But their lives, their dreams, even the cities they live in couldn’t be more different.

Their few days together in Rome are romantic, emotionally intense, and leave them both wanting more.

Can a fleeting love affair change their lives forever?

I enjoyed Kiss and Ride very much, I was curious about it as soon as I read the blurb cause the story is set in Rome and I’m always on the look out for Italian settings in my mm romance. I have to say the author surprised me, the story was really well done and the relationship between Luca and Vin was hot and strong from the beginning. And most of all it felt real.

I saw in Luca a lot of Italian traits, the hospitality, the openness and the inclination to help and host Vin, a stranger he has just met in an elevator. The love for the good food and the cooking, the love for the traditions and the beautiful story of our Rome. I loved the main characters, both of them with a troubled past and with a strong determination to realize their dreams, both deep anchored to the blood links of their imperfect families.

I adore “love at first sight” books and Kiss and Ride was so romantic, how Luca and Vin met, how they helped each other and most of all how they wait for each other and for the right moment for them to be finally together and this time forever. The ending was perfect and deserved.

I feel to highly recommend this new holiday romance by Teodora Kostova, you won’t be disappointed.

I liked the cover art too, Jay Aheer is a guarantee with always well done and eye catching covers.

Sale Link

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BOOK DETAILS

Kindle Edition, 133 pages

Published December 1st 2016

ASIN B01N054R33

Edition Language English

Blog Tour: Kiss & Ride by Teodora Kostova (Trailer, excerpt and giveaway)

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Title: Kiss & Ride
Author: Teodora Kostova
Genre: Gay Romance, Contemporary, Christmas/Holiday Romance

Synopsis

What happens when you meet the right guy at the wrong time?

When Vincent Alesi’s estranged father dies, he gets on the first plane from New York city to Rome to be at the memorial service. Even if he has to max out his credit card. Even if he hates the man for leaving him. Even if it’s a day before Christmas.

Everything that can go wrong does go wrong, and Vin ends up trusting a complete stranger with all his secrets, even the ones he didn’t know he had.

Luca Romano’s job as a flight attendant takes him all over the world. But a jet-setting lifestyle is not what he wants. His dream of opening his own restaurant is being placed on hold over circumstances beyond his control.

Timing is everything…

When Vin bursts into Luca’s life, both men fall fast and hard. But their lives, their dreams, even the cities they live in couldn’t be more different.

Their few days together in Rome are romantic, emotionally intense, and leave them both wanting more.

Can a fleeting love affair change their lives forever?

Kiss & Ride Teodora Kostova 3D

Buy Links

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N054R33/
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01N054R33/
Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B01N054R33/

Book Trailer

Giveaway

Prizes

  • Kindle Fire 7″ WiFi 8GB tablet
  • 2 x 10$ Amazon gift cards
  • 2 x Signed paperbacks of Snowed In
  • 3 x Swag packs, including pens, bookmarks, bracelets, and van Gogh themed items from the National Gallery in London
  • 2 x audio books, winners choice. (requires an account with Audible to claim prize)

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About the author

Author Teodora KostovaHi, my name is Teodora and I live in London with my husband and my son. I’ve been writing ever since I can remember, but it became my full time job a few years ago when I decided that everything else I’ve tried bores me to death and I have to do what I’ve always wanted to do, but never had the guts to fully embrace. I’ve been a journalist, an editor, a personal assistant and an interior designer among other things, but as soon as the novelty of the new, exciting job wears off, I always go back to writing. Being twitchy, impatient, loud and hasty are not qualities that help a writer, because I have to sit alone, preferably still, and write for most of the day, but I absolutely love it. It’s the only time that I’m truly at peace and the only thing I can do for more than ten minutes at a time – my son has a bigger attention span than me.

When I’m procrastinating, I like to go to the gym, cook Italian meals (and eat them), read, listen to rock music, watch indie movies and True Blood re-runs. Or, in the worst case scenario, get beaten at every Nintendo Wii game by a very inventive kid.

Don’t be shy and get in touch – I love connecting with my readers.

Blog: www.teodorakostova.blogspot.com
Twitter: @Teodora_Kostova
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/teodorakostovaauthor
E-mail: t.t.kostova@gmail.com
Instagram: teodorika1

Kiss & Ride Teodora Kostova

McKay on Writing in Tandem and their latest release Striking Sparks by Ari McKay (author guest blog)

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Striking Sparks by Ari McKay
D
reamspinner Press

Cover by Paul Richmond
Purchase it Here

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have one of the authors that are Ari McKay here today answering questions and talking about their latest release, Striking Sparks, a Dreamspun Desire title from Dreamspinner Press.  Welcome McKay!

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Hi, everyone! I’m the McKay half of Ari McKay, and I’m happy to be here with a guest post at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words in honor of our upcoming release from Dreamspinner Press, Striking Sparks.

I’ve got a few interview questions I’d like to answer, and while I’ll mostly be answering from my own perspective, I’ve known Ari long enough (twelve years and counting) that I can speak for her on some things as well.

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

We’re a mix of both. When we begin a new book, we develop the characters first and then flesh out the plot. We start with the characters since their motives and relationship will drive the action, and we figure out what their dynamic is going to be. For example, Beau and Jake start out as rivals in Striking Sparks. An argument they had in high school shaped the men they’ve become, and the words they said to each other in anger color their interactions at first. So our main goal was to figure out how we were going to move them past the old hurts and into a new understanding.

For less action-heavy books, we tend to create a loose outline and then dive in and see where the story takes us. A lot of times, the characters will throw in wrenches we didn’t expect, and we have to reshape the story to accommodate that. Ari and I both agree that listening to what the characters want is better than trying to force them to fit our preconceived ideas of what the story “should” be. Inevitably, the finished story is stronger if we let the story develop in the way that feels most right and natural for the characters.

But there are some books that require more rigorous planning. Several of our Herc’s Mercs books were plotted out in advance, and while we did leave wiggle room for changes, we knew where we were going to start, where we were going to end up, and (more or less) how we were going to get there before we started writing. That series has more action-adventure elements, so we needed to decide on the main plot points beforehand in order to work toward each one in a way that would make sense and develop the characters’ relationship along the way.

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

I think it’s fine for an author to have favorite characters. I’d be surprised if there were many authors who didn’t! Maybe a character is a favorite because they were easy to write or because the book was written during a time in the author’s life that they have fond memories of in general, so there’s this positive association. Maybe the character embodies what the author would like to be themselves. Maybe the character is just plain likable, flaws and all. Whatever the reason, I think most of us do have characters that we enjoy(ed) writing more than others.

As you can probably tell from my answer to the previous question, Ari and I view our characters more as muses than as toys in a sandbox. We don’t pick them up and move them around exactly the way we want; we get in their heads to figure out who they are, and we listen to their voices.

Sometimes, their voices are really, really loud.

For us, the loudest characters are often our favorites. They make their desires clear and tell us exactly what they want to do and say, which makes writing them more like taking dictation than pulling teeth.

Some of my favorite characters are also the ones I had fun writing, often because they were funny or because they were significantly different from me, and I had fun slipping inside their skin and being outrageous in ways I’m not in real life.

Ari and I have a few favorite characters and couples out of our body of work, but I think if we had to choose an ultimate favorite, it would be Daryl and Emerson from Herc’s Mercs: Bloody But Unbowed. They’re an “opposites attract” couple, but they clicked so well, and we had fun writing them snarking at each other.

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?

Jane Eyre is my first choice. I’ve loved that book since I was thirteen years old, and I’ve read it many times over the years. To this day, I admire Jane’s fierce independence. The line “Reader, I married him” tells you everything you need to know about her and her strong sense of agency – and why I love her.

I’d take my complete collection of Jane Austen’s novels. Who doesn’t love a delicate skewering of 19th century social conventions? If I could take Stephen King’s entire body of work, I would. If not, I’d go with Carrie, The Stand, and his short story/novella collections. I’d have to throw in some Gail Carriger, Jaqueline Carey, and Kelly Link too. There are others (there are always “oh, and—!” books and authors when talking to a bookworm), but those are the ones I’d pick today. Tomorrow, it might be different! Except for Jane Eyre. That one is always first.

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

Oh, we draw inspiration from just about anything! We refer to being inspired as having a plot bunny gnawing on our ankles. We’ve gotten inspiration from real life events, books, movies, song lyrics, art… you name it! With Striking Sparks, we were inspired by photos of Paul Newman and Robert Redford as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Those two men were ruggedly hot together, and we wanted to write a couple of cowboys based on them. In the end, our characters grilled the beef instead of herded it, but they’re both macho Texans. Jake is based on Newman and Beau is based on Redford (without the mustache).

Striking Sparks will be released by Dreamspinner Press on December 15th. We hope you enjoy it! Happy holidays from both of us to all of you!

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About Striking Sparks

The stakes are high and the heat is on.

Beau Walker, owner of the Barbecue Shack, needs the help of Jake Parnell, his one-time rival and secret crush, in a televised barbecue competition. Beau is a proud man, but the stakes are high, and smart, sexy Jake is his only hope, even if being around Jake reawakens the attraction he’s fought for years.

Jake left his hometown, determined to build a life somewhere his sexuality wouldn’t hurt his family’s restaurant business—and far away from hunky, obstinate Beau Walker. Then his twin, Josh, is killed, and Jake returns to support his brother’s wife and children. Despite his reservations, he agrees to go head-to-head against Beau on national television. Between stress and grief, as well as pride and determination, only one thing is certain—the heat between Beau and Jake extends well beyond the kitchen.

About the Authors

Ari McKay is the professional pseudonym for Arionrhod and McKay, who have been writing together for over a decade. Their collaborations encompass a wide variety of romance genres, including contemporary, fantasy, science fiction, gothic, and action/adventure. Their work includes the Blood Bathory series of paranormal novels, the Herc’s Mercs series, as well as two historical Westerns: Heart of Stone and Finding Forgiveness. When not writing, they can often be found scheming over costume designs or binge watching TV shows together.

Arionrhod is a systems engineer by day who is eagerly looking forward to (hopefully) becoming a full time writer in the not-too-distant future. Now that she is an empty-nester, she has turned her attentions to finding the perfect piece of land to build a fortress in preparation for the zombie apocalypse, and baking (and eating) far too many cakes.

McKay is an English teacher who has been writing for one reason or another most of her life. She also enjoys knitting, reading, cooking, and playing video games. She has been known to knit in public. Given she has the survival skills of a gnat, she’s relying on Arionrhod to help her survive the zombie apocalypse.

Arionrhod and McKay

CONTACTS:

Website: http://arimckay.wordpress.com

Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ari-Mckay/266185570179748

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/ari.mckay.7

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AriMcKay1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6153630.Ari_McKay