In the New Release Spotlight: Avon Gale on “Whiskey Business“ (exclusive excerpt)

Standard

whiskey-businessWhiskey Business (States of Love) by Avon Gale
D
reamspinner Press
Cover art by Aaron Anderson

Available for Purchase at

77f77-dreamspinner2blogo

amazon square borderB&N borderKobo border

Blurb

Ryder Waites will do anything to keep the tiny town of Gallows Grove, Kentucky, from vanishing off the map—even sell his family’s whiskey recipe to Bluegrass Bourbon in Lexington. Hopeful that the larger company can provide necessary improvements to the distillery, Ryder aims ultimately to get Gallows Grove on the Bourbon Trail… and bring in much-needed tourism revenue. But to keep producing Hanged Man Bourbon in Gallows Grove, he’ll have to convince company liaison, unbearably stuffy and seriously hot Adam Keller, that he’s worth the investment.

 

Adam comes from an old-money family, but he’s determined to make his own way in the world. When he’s sent to Gallows Grove, he questions the life choices that led him to a rented room in a funeral home in a town full of macabre-themed businesses. And he doesn’t know what to make of Ryder, the descendant of bootleggers who’s on a mission to save his strange town from extinction. When Adam and Ryder put aside their initial mistrust, the results are as smooth as good whiskey. But after Adam’s assignment ends, he’ll have to decide if small-town life and a future with Ryder is to his taste.

States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.

Exclusive Excerpt

The longer they talked, the more nervous Ryder became. Adam was making an awful lot of notes and saying things under his breath about installing this and repairing that. And by the time they were in the bottling facility and Ryder had explained the whole thing about the crates in the back of his car and almost getting himself arrested, he was starting to feel as though he really were a dumb hillbilly. Some of the questions Adam asked, Ryder didn’t even know how to answer. That probably wasn’t good.

“So, if all our equipment is so outdated, what are they gonna do? Build us a whole new distillery?” Ryder asked, trying to sound as if he were joking even though they both knew he wasn’t. Ryder was in way over his head, and it wasn’t 1934. Businesses needed computers and contracts and Federal Tax ID numbers, not just handshakes and promises.

Adam flipped a page on his clipboard and didn’t even bother to look at Ryder as he answered. “No. As per the contract you signed, if restoration and renovation efforts are cost prohibitive, then the brand will be produced in the central location in Lexington.”

“The hell it will,” Ryder snapped as the dread sharpened and turned into daggers of pure anger. “The only reason I signed that contract was because they promised not to do that.”

Adam did look up at him then. “Did you have a lawyer look at the contracts, or did you just read them over yourself?”

Bile rose in Ryder’s throat and his heart slammed against his chest, though part of his reaction was the slow burn of shame about his education or lack thereof. College hadn’t even been an option, not with trying to keep the distillery afloat. “I don’t have a fancy degree, but I know how to read—”

Adam put a hand up to stop Ryder midtirade. “Normal people don’t read contracts like lawyers read contracts. I’m not insulting your intelligence, and it has nothing to do with where you’re from or what degree you do or don’t have. I’m saying it because I don’t think you fully understood the implications of the deal before you made it. Yes. Every reasonable effort will be made to restore the distillery to its potential as long as the facilities are up to code. What did you think would happen if they weren’t?”

“I thought that’s what I sold the recipe to goddamn Bluegrass for.” Ryder shoved his hands through his hair. “That they’d make sure it was up to code to produce it in larger quantities.”

“They will make a reasonable effort to see that it is.” Adam paused. “That is not the same thing as doing whatever it takes.”

“But—”

“Ryder,” Adam said, and his voice was a little quieter. “Do you even have a lawyer?”

Ryder’s face was hot, because somehow Adam’s concern was worse than him being a smug robot. “We’ve got Willy,” he muttered. “Do I need a lawyer, Adam?”

“If you think you can negotiate your way out of this contract, you need about seven of them.” Adam frowned. “You sold what amounts to intellectual property rights to Bluegrass, which is going to make—”

“If you say a reasonable effort one more time, I’m going to hit you.”

Adam’s mouth tightened. “It’s not my fault you didn’t have a lawyer at least glance at this contract. But the upshot is, yes, if this proves too expensive of an undertaking, then Bluegrass will simply move operations to Lexington and sell your bourbon as a house line. The recipe won’t be changed—”

“Of course it will,” Ryder interrupted. “You know as well as I do that you take our barrels out of our warehouse, you take our corn and our water out of the equation, you change the whiskey.”

“We have limestone water and corn in Lexington. It’s still Kentucky bourbon, Ryder.”

“But it’s not Hanged Man Bourbon,” Ryder growled. He was shaking, unable to believe what he was hearing. “So how much is too much before they throw up their hands and make my whiskey somewhere else? Am I allowed to know that? What’s the magic number, Adam?”

Adam went back to robot mode. “That’s up to the discretion of the finance office and chief financial officer, based on the reports they receive.”

“Your reports, you mean.” Ryder crossed his arms and struggled to keep his voice even. “That’s what you’re here to do. To see if this place is too expensive to bother with.”

“I told you. I’m here to make sure the transition is smooth and that you’re in compliance with company protocols, as well as to determine the necessary steps to get you up to code.”

“And if that’s too much….”

Adam sighed. He looked down at his paper and tapped his pen gently against the wood of his clipboard. “Then we’ll produce the bourbon in-house in Lexington. I thought… I thought you knew that.” He looked, if not upset, at least genuine enough in his confusion to make Ryder cool off a little.

“Seven lawyers, huh? Fine. I’ll find them.” Ryder raised his chin. He had no idea how to go about finding one lawyer, much less seven. Look up “bourbon lawyer” in the phone book? No. The Internet. You could find anything there.

“You won’t know what the decision is for at least a couple of months after my reports are filed, Ryder, so I’d hold out on the lawyers. In the meantime I would appreciate it if you didn’t stop me from doing my job.”

Ryder smiled sweetly at him. “I’ll make a reasonable effort. How’s that?”

Adam didn’t seem to find that funny, but it wasn’t actually a joke.

About Avon:

Avon Gale was once the mayor on Foursquare of Jazzercise and Lollicup, which should tell you all you need to know about her as a person. She likes road trips, rock concerts, drinking Kentucky bourbon and yelling at hockey. She’s a displaced southerner living in a liberal midwestern college town, and she never gets tired of people and their stories — either real or the ones she makes up in her head.

Connect with Avon:

A MelanieM Review: The Next Competitor by Keira Andrews

Standard

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

the-next-competitorIf he risks his heart, can he keep his head in the game?

To win gold, figure skater Alex Grady must train harder than the competition morning, noon, and night. He’s obsessed with mastering another quadruple jump, and due to the lack of filter between his mouth and brain, doesn’t have a lot of friends. As for a boyfriend, forget it. So what if he’s still a virgin at twenty? The Olympics are only every four years—everything else can wait. Relationships are messy and complicated anyway, and he has zero room in his life for romance.

So it’s ridiculous when Alex finds himself checking out his boring new training mate Matt Savelli. Calm, collected “Captain Cardboard” is a nice guy, but even if Alex had time to date, Matt’s so not his type. Yet beneath Matt’s wholesome surface, there’s a dirty, sexy man who awakens a desire Alex has never experienced and can’t deny…

The Next Competitor by Keira Andrews was a delightful romance, especially so if you love the world of competitive ice skating.  If you  are one of those who stay hooked to the screen during the Olympics or the many World Championships watching the amazing athletes skate on the ice for medals and points, then Andrews manages to bring that world and back stage competition to life here in this story along with the romance.  I have to admit there were  times I wondered which I enjoyed more.

Alex Grady who’s desire to win makes him a less than sterling person to begin with.  He evolves, thankfully, as a person as the story moves forward.  But I admit to having trouble liking him at first.  All his other competitors and fellow skaters, no matter what division they are competing in, came off far better.  I liked them all, even Mrs C, Alex’s Russian coach.  Every character here felt true, as a believable athlete and person.  I enjoyed all the supporting cast, some almost as much as the main couple and wished to have seen more of them, like Kenny, the Japanese skater with so much riding on his shoulders.

The pain and emotional roller coaster that is professional/yes amateur skating world is  well done here.  One slip on the ice and its over for the year, everything a pair/skater/coach has worked for.  How does one handle that?  Andrews puts it all down into her story, and lets us feel these skaters pain and loss.  As well as the fact that they’re so young too.

Matt and Alex together are adorable.  I do hear that there’s lots of “hooking up” during competitions.  All those gorgeous bodies and hormones flying. That feels so plausible as part of the story. By the end, they are well on their way to HEA and its wonderful.

Cover art works beautifully for the story and characters.

Sales Link

c60a7-waxcreative-amazon-kindle

 

Book Details:

This new version has been extensively rewritten, updated, and expanded into a new adult romance with explicit on-page sex.

ebook, 2nd Edition: First published in 2010. , 246 pages

Published December 6th 2016 by KA Books
ISBN139781988260136
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Jeri Review: Wolf, in League (Wolf #3) by A.F. Henley

Standard

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

3135820wolf-in-league-wolf-3-by-a-f-henley7I really enjoyed Wolf, WY, the first in the series. If was really focused on just 2 men for the most part, and their story. I looked forward to book 2, Wolf, en Garde, but was mildly disappointed. But I held out hope that book 2 was a bridge to book 3. And it was. On the other hand, you could pretty much read this book as a stand alone if you wanted to.

Wolf, in League, really expands the world that the story is in. The Committee is investigating not only the wolves from the first two books, but also Arius and other vampires. To do this, they send two men to act as a married couple. When the Committee goes to Gavin- a respected geneticist- about this, Gavin also learns that paranormal creatures are real. And he is to live with one of them during this ruse.

Naturally, throw the two main characters together and there are sparks flying. But the characters were interesting and well thought out. And they discover far more sinister things at work in the paranormal world. Gavin and Matthew are thrust into the middle of everything to help save, well, everything.

An interesting and enjoyable story that was fast paced that leaves the possibility of another book- or series- out there.

Cover art works for the book and series.

Sales Links

Less Than Three Press

7104e-waxcreative-amazon-kindle

Book Details:

ebook
Published October 12th 2016 by Less Than Three Press
ISBN139781620048771
Edition LanguageEnglish
URLhttps://afhenley.wordpress.com/wolf-in-league/
SeriesWolf #3

A Paul B Review: Warrior Wolf and His Little Lamb (Pariah Pack #3) by Susan Laine

Standard

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

warrior-wolf-and-his-little-lamb-by-susan-laineRhys Gunner has been away from his werewolf pack for some time.  Having recently returned from the military, he is given the task from his alpha Max to find new hunting ground for their expanding pack of misfit shifters.  With new pups and mates along with outcasts from other groups joining, they need to expand their territory.  He stops at Sheppard farm, run but a family of sheep shifters.  If nothing else, Rhys can satisfy his sweet tooth at the bakery the Sheppard family runs.  The patriarch of the Sheppard family comes in to talk to his wife who is working the bakery.  Rhys smells the scent of his mate not coming from Louis but from a handkerchief that he is carrying.  Louis tells Rhys that it belongs to his son.  Rhys takes off in search of his mate.  He finds him in bed—with a woman.

Heath’s introduction to his mate could not have gone worse.  In storms this giant of a man while he is fooling around with his girlfriend.  Not happy with the interruption, Heath is further dismayed when he figures out his mate is not only male but a wolf shifter.  How are a ram and wolf supposed to be mates?  And to make matters worse, his girlfriend is getting a crash course of shifters and mating.  Heath initially rejects Rhys’s advances but Rhys is determined to win over his “little lamb.”  Things become even more complicated when Max demands that Rhys tell the Sheppards that their farm is now part of the werewolf pack lands due to an ancient werewolf law dealing with the property of their mates.  While Rhys does not want to go against his alpha, he also doesn’t want to push Heath away just as he is starting to win him over.  Rhys decides it may come down to his mate or his pack. 

While I have enjoyed Susan Laine’s books in the past, I did not enjoy this one quite as much as her other books that I have read.  I think the major problem I had with the book was all the puns using the wolf and sheep motif that are probably used to bring some humor to the book.  While using them in moderation is fine, it seemed to me that I was hit over the head with them.  Another point that bothered me was the Scooby Doo like ending where the wise old owl mediator solves the problem with Max’s recent behavior.  On a side note, this is the third book in the Pariah Pack series but the first one I have read.  So the point of Max’s behavior not being normal was sort of lost on me.  Having someone say a secondary character in a book is acting strangely is one thing but having read the backstory in a previous book would have helped me connect why Max’s behavior was inconsistent with his past actions.  While I have a couple of misgivings about this book, I would be willing to read others in the series.

The cover art by Harris Channing is a decent cover for the book.  It has out two protagonists on the top half of the cover while a lone wolf is amongst a sheep herd on the bottom half. 

Sales Links

Siren Publishing/Bookstrand

65a2f-waxcreative-amazon-kindle

Book Details

EBook, 110 pages

Edition Language:  English

Published:  March 24, 2016 by Siren Publishing

ISBN:   978-1-68295-134-7

Series:  Pariah Pack

An Ali Review: A Collision with Reality (In Like Flynn #1) by Storm Duffy

Standard

Rating:  3 stars out of 5

 

a-collision-with-realityFlynn’s new boss is so hot he can’t wait to get home to tell the chatroom how much he wants Dom’s cock down his throat. By Friday, he’s shared quite a few thoughts on what he’d like his boss to do to him. But he’s not as anonymous as he thinks, and Dom’s intent on disciplining him for breaching company policy on social networking. Dom gives him a choice of put up or shut up: he can play out the fantasy in real life, or he can walk out of the office without a word to HR as long as he never talks that way about Dom again. Flynn chooses “put up”—but he’s forgotten about one of the things he said he wouldn’t mind doing.

 

This story wasn’t a romance, but that isn’t what I was expecting either.  Flynn lets out his fantasies online thinking that no one will ever know.  He continues and when he mentions a different coworker his new boss knows exactly who has been making the comments.

 

I could feel how cocky Flynn was, thinking that he wouldn’t have anything to worry about with his posts.  Flynn is blindsided when Dom confronts him, but gets the opportunity to play out his fantasies.  I liked Dom putting the experience in perspective to thin Flynn in the end.  I’m interested to read more in this series to see what else Flynn gets up to.

 

Cover art by Natasha Snow is nice and gives great visuals of the characters.

 

Sales Links:

Nine Star Press

65a2f-waxcreative-amazon-kindle

 

Book Details:

ebook, 7100 words

Published: January 2, 2017 by Nine Star Press

Edition Language: English

Series: In Like Flynn #1

A Jeri Review: Death Dancer (Dangerous Dancers #2) by Tara Lain

Standard

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

death-dancer-by-tara-lainNormally I am not a big fan of mysteries or murder mysteries. But couple it with a romance AND an author I enjoy- sign me up. To top it off, it is set in the ballet world. Second only to baseball for me.

Valentin is a professional ballet dancer earning his dues and wanting the lead he feels he deserves, but the current lead isn’t giving up his spot.

Andrew meets Val when one of the dancers from the corp turns up dead. He isn’t the first and likely isn’t to be the last. Andrew and Val are immediately drawn to each other. But then Valentin’s rival is the next dead body and Val himself is the prime suspect.

The heat and chemistry between Andrew and Val is off the charts! I really liked seeing their relationship develop while also dealing with these murders and Valentin being a suspect.

The supporting characters were great- loved Andrew’s work partner. She cracked me up with her straight talk. The supporting dance characters were very typical of the dance world. The literal and figurative prima donnas, the corp members desperately trying to get ahead and their near hero worship of those who are principals.

The mystery itself was done really well. A nice twist or two kept me turning the pages to see “whodunit”.

This is the second in the series but easily read as a stand alone.

Cover art is wonderful.

Sales Links

Pride Publishing | AMAZON | B&N | Kobo

Book Details:

ebook, 199 pages
Published November 1st 2016 by Pride Publishing
Original TitleDeath Dancer
ISBN 1786515172 (ISBN13: 9781786515179)
Edition LanguageEnglish

Series Dangerous Dancers:

Release Blitz Tour – Suki Fleet’s Light Up The Dark (giveaway)

Standard

Light Up The Dark – Suki Fleet

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
Cover Design: Natasha Snow 

Blurb

For two years Nicky has wandered the dark empty corridors of the overgrown Thorn Hall, unseen and untouched, feeling like a ghost. His only company, the cold man who promised to keep him safe from harm, Lance.

But when Lance dies, Nicky’s assurance of safety disintegrates and his world suddenly becomes a lot more real and a lot more dangerous. Scared to leave the house, Nicky longs for daylight. He employs a gardener to clear the over-grown bushes and vines that have nearly swallowed Thorn Hall whole.

The last thing Nicky expects a little light to do is show him something to fight for.

Eighteen months in a young offenders’ institute has taught Cai two things: he occupies the playful puppy end of the How Dangerous Are You? spectrum, and he has an unfortunate knack for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Desperate for a job, he takes the first offer he gets. Even though Thorn Hall creeps the hell out of him and he barely knows one end of a pair of garden shears from the other.

Things start to fall apart when Cai is drawn into Nicky’s strange world of sticky notes and secrets. Cai finds he is now a target, blamed for a crime he didn’t commit. Desperate not to go back to prison, he digs deep and risks all the good things in life to help Nicky run.

But now Nicky has someone he wants to protect, he knows he can’t run any more.

 

Author Bio

Award Winning Author. Prolific Reader (though less prolific than she’d like). Lover of angst, romance and unexpected love stories.

Suki Fleet writes lyrical stories about memorable characters, and believes everyone should have a chance at a happy ending.

Her first novel This is Not a Love Story won Best Gay Debut in the 2014 Rainbow Awards, and was a finalist in the 2015 Lambda Awards.

Links
Email: sukifleet@gmail.com
https://www.instagram.com/suki_fleet
https://www.facebook.com/suki.fleet.3
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7919609.Suki_Fleet
http://sukifleet.tumblr.com
http://sukifleet.wordpress.com
https://twitter.com/SukiFleet?lang=en

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