A Lila Audiobook Review: Lord of a Thousand Steps (Love in Laguna #4) by Tara Lain and K.C. Kelly (Narrator)

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Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

lord-of-a-thousand-steps-audiobookTo architecture student Ian Carney, family means everything. Taken in by his brother, Jim, when his father threw him out at eighteen for being gay, Ian yearns to create his own family with his boyfriend, Rico. But Rico’s in Mexico caring for a sick father, Ian hasn’t had sex in a month and a half, and his gorgeous boss, Braden Lord, CEO of the architectural firm Ian interns for, is looking better and better.

Braden’s life is chaos. Just out of the closet and going through an ugly divorce from his wife of fifteen years who’s trying to take custody of his two children, he desperately resolves not to succumb to a completely inappropriate attraction to Ian—even though his kids adore both the man and his crazy cat.

When Rico proves to be a snake in the grass and Ian exercises his powers of seduction, what starts as a “friends with benefits” fling turns into real life real fast. Can Ian give up his romantic dreams for an “old guy” who didn’t come out until he carried a mountain of baggage? It’ll only take a thousand steps.

Lord of a Thousand Steps is more than I expected. Since Ian has been, mostly, a side character in the previous stories, I was a tad skeptical. Based on the other books, he was set with Rico and that’s about all I needed to know. After reading the blurb, I wasn’t too interested in Braden, but the author surprised me.

Braden ended as my favorite character in the story. Yes, I do have a sweet spot for middle-aged men with kids. And the less experience they have, the best. I love how protective he is of his children and how that mentality extended to include Ian. It’s sweet to see how well they interacted with the kids as if they were theirs to start with. Plus, his business partners, employees, and clients were great.

On Ian’s side, I like how mature he was for his age. But at the same time, he still had naive and youthful hopes that make him an adorable character. Adding Anderson to the mix just gets the whole thing to a new level. I wasn’t a fan of Rico or the parts of the story that involved him. He was more like a reason for Braden and Ian to get together.

All the troupes and over the top events are there and gave the book that air of fiction based on reality this series does so well. I enjoyed seeing Jim & Ken once again—and how big of a part they played in this story. The rest of the guys are back too. It almost felt as a type of farewell for the series even when I don’t know if this is going to be the last book. Everything is going great in their tight group of misfits.

My only complaint about this book is how the job of an architect and how the intern relates to the rest of the company were depicted. Especially when they talked about Ian’s future plans–his licensing, etc. It was a bit unrealistic, but it can be just me since I have been in Ian’s shoes.

K.C. Kelly did a superb job with the characterization, from the women in the story to the children and especially the main characters.

Another winning cover by Reese Dante. It fits the series and the story perfectly. I love seen Anderson as the focal point.

Sale Links: Dreamspinner |  Audible | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Narrator: K.C. Kelly
Length: 7 hours and 42 minutes

Published: December 12, 2016 (Audio Edition) by Dreamspinner Press
ASIN: B01NCK06F0
Edition Language: English

 

Series: Love in Laguna
Book #1: Knight of Ocean Avenue
Book #2: Knave of Broken Heart
Book #3: Prince of the Playhouse
Book #4: Lord of a Thousand Steps

A Caryn Review: Hipster Brothel by K.A. Merikan

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Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

hipster-brothel-by-k-a-merikanFrom the very first sentence, I was laughing at the way the authors poked fun at pretty much every stereotype that exists about hipsters.  And there were probably an awful lot I missed too, because in my neck of the woods – Southwest Florida – we aren’t exactly on the cutting edge of anything, so I’m not exactly current with hipster culture. 

Jo is a Chinese-American who wears a man bun, is an edgy dresser who spends a lot on shoes, rides a bicycle, lives in his parent’s basement, and works part time writing (I forget what, but I’m sure it was ironic).  He is bisexual, but has only dated and had sex with girls in the past, having never found a man that he thought was worth the extra effort.  His best friend, Mr. B, really is Jo’s ideal man, but Mr. B has a serious long term boyfriend and Jo doesn’t poach, though he’s not above a little fantasizing…

Until Mr. A breaks up with Mr. B.

B is the original lumbersexual.  He’s a big, blond, bear of a man.  He makes furniture – upcycled, of course – has a full beard, lives in a converted train car in the woods.  But he’s also sweet, cheery, an absolute teddy bear, and he’s been crushing on Jo for a long time but had no idea that Jo is not entirely straight.  When Mr. A breaks up with him after a 5 years relationship, he is not quite devastated – after all, he saw this coming months before it happened – but his self esteem definitely took a hit.  He also quit his job making furniture for the shop Mr. A owned, knowing it would be too awkward to remain there.  Jo is the perfect friend to invite over for some drunken commiserating – over home brewed peach brandy naturally – and while Mr. B rants about everything that was wrong with his relationship with Mr. A, and with him, he and Jo come up with a new life plan. 

They are going to be partners in a business making home made jam, with booze, and sell it at farmer’s markets.

But they need to get some seed money to get the venture going.  And that is where all the drunken rambling and joking come together in Mr. B deciding to market himself as the “Lumbersexual Experience”, complete with pipe smoking lessons and wood chopping exercises in his rustic refurbished train car, AKA hipster brothel.  As he says, “I’m single, I’m open-minded…Sharing economy, right?  Someone lacks sex and I have a nice body.”

I love it when an author can make something so ridiculous work!

Unfortunately, those were the best parts of the book.  Although the comedy didn’t disappear, once they started to have sex – and that’s a really big part of the book – it was as if the book was trying to be a typical contemporary romance instead.  So we have two men who don’t speak their minds, make assumptions which lead to misunderstandings, which delays the inevitable moment when they finally get together.  I wish there had been fewer sex scenes, and more mockery of the hipster culture that made the opening chapters so good.

Despite that, it was a fun, quick, read, Mr. B was adorable, and Jo was a great foil to him.

Cover art by Natasha Snow was a great lumbersexual, although I pictured Mr. B with a cute, open grin instead of the self satisfied smirk seen on this model.

Sales Links

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2jHLexz | Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2iTzSt7

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 162 pages
Published January 24th 2017 by Acerbi & Villani ltd (first published January 22nd 2017)
Original TitleHipster Brothel
Edition LanguageEnglish

B.A. Tortuga Talks the Origin of Stories and her release ‘Just Like Cats and Dogs (Sanctuary Book 1)’ by Ba Tortuga

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Just Like Cats and Dogs (Sanctuary Book 1) by Ba Tortuga
D
reamspinner Press

Published January 25th 2017
Cover art by Alexandria Corza

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host one of our favorite authors here today.  B.A. Tortuga is here to talk about her latest release, Just Like Cats and Dogs. Welcome, B.A. Tortuga!

~

Origin Stories by B.A. Tortuga

Hey, y’all! I’m BA Tortuga, resident redneck and lover of stories.

One of the questions I get a lot is where stories come from. How did I get this idea or that idea?

For instance, Just Like Cats and Dogs. I’d like to be all meta and deep and shit and give you some overblown nonsense about how I was exploring bullying and feeling like an outcast.

It would be a lie. Seriously.

How did I get the idea for Sam and Gus?

My wife and I were walking my 14 year old pitbull, Miss Lily, one day. Now this dog weighed 100 pounds, was in the throes of congestive heart failure and she was GRUMPY.

Did I mention she hated cats with an unreasoning passion?

Yeah.

So, I’m walking her, we’re chatting and suddenly she takes off like a freight train and hauls her ass into a bush.

With a cat.

A demon cat who proceeded to hand Lily’s ASS to her.

So, after we made sure the cat was okay, we took Lily home to doctor her. I took at my wife and said, “What if there was this kitty shifter guy…”

At that point, it was all over but the crying. 😉

See? Deep?

Much love, y’all.

BA

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Blurb

A Sanctuary Novel

Can cats and dogs ever get along, let alone fall in love?

Sam knows you can never go home again. As an orphaned feline shifter raised by wolves, being an outcast is nothing new to him. But the pack is still his family, and when one of them passes away, Sam returns to the New Mexico desert to say good-bye.

Gus is a loner who rarely returns to his pack, but as fate would have it, Sam is there when he chooses to visit. The history between Gus and Sam is tumultuous, to say the least, but when Gus gets an eyeful of the grown-up and gorgeous version of his childhood bully, he can’t control his reaction. And he isn’t alone.

The attraction is powerful, but so are their differences. And with trouble brewing in the pack and danger surrounding them, Sam and Gus might not have the opportunity to seek common ground.

This action-packed shifter novel is the ultimate opposites attract and enemies-to-lovers romance, and it includes a bonus novella, In the Dog House.

First Edition published by Torquere Press, 2011.

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About BA Tortuga

Texan to the bone and an unrepentant Daddy’s Girl, BA Tortuga spends her days with her basset hounds and her beloved wife, texting her sisters, and eating Mexican food. When she’s not doing that, she’s writing. She spends her days off watching rodeo, knitting and surfing Pinterest in the name of research. BA’s personal saviors include her wife, Julia Talbot, her best friend, Sean Michael, and coffee. Lots of coffee. Really good coffee.

Having written everything from fist-fighting rednecks to hard-core cowboys to werewolves, BA does her damnedest to tell the stories of her heart, which was raised in Northeast Texas, but has heard the call of the  high desert and lives in the Sandias. With books ranging from hard-hitting GLBT romance, to fiery menages, to the most traditional of love stories, BA refuses to be pigeon-holed by anyone but the voices in her head. Find her on the web at www.batortuga.com

In the Spotlight: Max Vos on blog tour for the re release of his novel P.O.W (excerpt and giveaway)

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P.O.W. by Max Vos

Published January 20th 2017
A.J. Corza (Illustrator)

Available for Purchase at

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About P.O.W.

After being taken prisoner by a Taliban Warlord, can Sam Stone hold on long enough to get his best friend back to his family and find love in the arms of Abbas, the handsome, blue-eyed Arab?

Sam has secretly been in love with is best friend and fellow Marine, Benoit, for quite some time and would not hesitate to die for him.
The macho Marine, Benoit, is shaken to his very core when he and his best friend are taken prisoners and made to do things that he would never have done, especially with Sam, who he knew had feelings for him.

Abbas tries everything to gain his families freedom when an unexpected man comes into his life that he starts having deep feelings for almost immediately.
Sam Stone has been secretly in love with his best friend and fellow Marine, Benoit, for a long time. It’s only after they were captured by a Taliban Warlord that he realizes that he would readily give his life to get Benoit back to his family. But it is Abbas, the Westernized Arab who steals his heart and helps Sam and Benoit regain their freedom. Now Sam has to learn to find true love and help heal not only himself, but the two men he loves deeply.

Warning: This book contains material that may be offensive to some: graphic language, military
situations, P.O.W scenes, adult situations and other situations only meant for an adult audience.

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EXCERPT:

“Mayday, Mayday, Black Hammer is hit; I repeat: Mayday, Black Hammer is hit. We’re going down.” Bucky’s voice may have seemed calm to an outsider, but those who knew him understood he was anything but calm. “Mayday, Mayday. Black Hammer’s current location: thirty-three Lat by seventy Long. Repeat. Mayday, Mayday.” Bucky choked out as the cabin of the helicopter quickly filled with smoke.

Samuel J. Stone looked at the other five members of his team. “Fuck,” he mumbled, wondering if perhaps they weren’t going to make it out of this one. He yelled at his best friend Benoit. “After all the fucked-up shit we’ve been through, I’m not gonna fucking die splattered on the side of some mountain in this hellhole.”

“Vasquez, get that damn door open,” Stone yelled across the cabin to the other Marine.

“Gettin’ it, Stone,” Vasquez answered his lieutenant.

Stone opened the opposite door, letting some of the thick smoke billow out of the burning helicopter. He and his fellow Marine, Benoit, looked out the open door. They could tell they were going down fast.

“We’re still too high to jump,” Stone yelled at the others trapped in the flaming bird.

“If there was anywhere to fucking jump to,” Benoit yelled back.

Even with both side doors open, the cold winter wind whipping through the cabin, the acrid black smoke continued to surge in, making their eyes burn, their chests constrict with the lack of breathable air. There was a bitter taste in Stone’s mouth from inhaling the foulness of burning rubber and jet fuel.

Using hand signals to keep from yelling to be heard, Stone motioned for Vasquez and the two others to use the door they had just opened to escape through, while he and Benoit and the new kid, Saundersen, would use the one opposite.

The high-pitched scream of the rotor motor was loud enough to pierce the ear-protection headphones, making it nearly impossible to speak. Each man could barely hear Bucky still calling out a Mayday over the radio, through the headsets.

About the Author

Max Vos is a classically trained chef with over 30 years of food service experience. After retiring in 2011, Max found himself with time on his hands and wasmax-alone urged to turn his talents to writing. ‘Cooking English’, a short story, now part of his anthology collection, Inappropriate Roads, is now available. My Hero was his first novel, which turned into an international best seller. Max now has a total of six completed novels, which are listed on his website, along with the entire Memories Series. My Hero: The Olympian, the sequel to My Hero was released late last year.

LINKS:

http://www.maxvos.com/

http://max-vos.tumblr.com/

http://max-vos.blogspot.com/

https://twitter.com/Max_Vos_Author

https://www.instagram.com/max.vos_author/

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GIVEAWAY:

  • Grand prize: $20 Dollar Amazon GC and a Ecopy of P.O.W. by Max Vos
  • Second prize: The Complete Memories Series ( 5 ebooks) by Max Vos
  • Third prize: Two Backlist Titles by Max Vos

Rafflecopter Link – must be 18 years of age or older to enter:

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Books by Max Vos:

 

 

My Hero

My Hero: The Olympian

The V Unit

P. O. W.

Inappropriate Roads: A Max Vos Anthology

Going Home

Memories Series

A Christmas Memory 1 (Memories, #1)

A Christmas Memory 2 (Memories, #2

Home Sweet Home (Memories, #3)

A Valentine’s Day Memory

A Spring Break Memory (Memories Series Book 4)

Available in French

Souvenirs-de-Noël

Mon Héros

Hawk ‘n’ Harley

Unite V

Rentrer a la Maison

Available in Italian

Il Mio Eroe

Andare a Casa

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Release Blitz – K.A. Merikan’s Hipster Brothel (giveaway)

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Buy Links:Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2jHLexz

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2iTzSt7

 
Length: 50,000 words
 
 

Blurb


The lumberjack of his dreams is now available for rent.

Mr. B has always been a safe guy for Jo to crush on. He’s the cutest bearded lumber-god to salivate over. Add to that his friendly, outgoing personality, and Mr. B might just be the first guy Jo would be willing to kiss. Fortunately, Mr. B has been in a relationship for years, and Jo is no home-wrecker.

But when Mr. B breaks up with his partner and all of a sudden is single, available, and talks about his plans to be sexually adventurous, Jo isn’t so sure anymore if he has the guts to come out as bisexual.

After a sour breakup, Mr. B wants to show his ex that he’s independent, exciting, and can do very well without him. His best friend Jo is there to the rescue, and they come up with a great new business venture. One thing they lack to start their own line of artisanal boozy jams – money for the investment.

After a drunken brainstorming session, Mr. B finds a way to both gather the cash and show the middle finger to his ex. He will create a one of a kind Hipster Brothel – The Lumbersexual Experience – offering wood chopping lessons, pipe smoking, and a reclaimed wood bed where the magic happens. It’s bound to be a success… if only Mr. B can go through with it, because the mixed signals from Jo are making him wonder if his best friend is as straight as he always seemed.

Author Bio

K. A. Merikan is the pen name for Kat and Agnes Merikan, a team of writers, who are taken for sisters with surprising regularity. Kat’s the mean sergeant and survival specialist of the duo, never hesitating to kick Agnes’s ass when she’s slacking off. Her memory works like an easy-access catalogue, which allows her to keep up with both book details and social media. Also works as the emergency GPS. Agnes is the Merikan nitpicker, usually found busy with formatting and research. Her attention tends to be scattered, and despite pushing thirty, she needs to apply makeup to buy alcohol. Self-proclaimed queen of the roads.

They love the weird and wonderful, stepping out of the box, and bending stereotypes both in life and books. When you pick up a Merikan book, there’s one thing you can be sure of – it will be full of surprises.

 

 Giveaway

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Caleb James on Writing Habits and ”Exile”, his latest release (guest blog)

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Exile (Haffling #2) by Caleb James
D
SP Publications

Available for Purchase at

DSP Publications

   

 

How to write a book in Thirty Days

By

Caleb James/Charles Atkins

It’s four in the morning. My oldest cat, Lulu, reluctantly relinquishes my lap and I turn to the computer. Hi-de-ho, hi-de-ho, this is how we go. I boot up Microsoft Word, make a blank file, and change the font to Times New Roman twelve point. Let’s begin.

This is how I write. This is how it gets done. Today it’s a blog post for the virtual tour of my novel, Exile. It’s a high-fantasy story of redemption, and it’s book two in the Haffling trilogy—an intense and lush tale that asks the age-old question, “Can the leopard change its spots?”

But whether I’m prepping a workshop−I give over fifty a year, including ones on writing−working on a novel, or writing an article, short story, or blog piece, my writing habits are a set, daily process. Most successful authors have similar routines. And after fifteen traditionally published books and more than two hundred articles, essays, and short stories in everything from The Journal of the American Medical Association (Jama) to Writer’s Digest Magazine, I know my stuff.

But why, you might ask, do I need to a routine? How boring. Isn’t it all about inspiration and being moved to heights of orgasmic creativity? Not so much. And… it’s the daily regimen that allows for those beautiful and unplanned moments.

On the one hand, it’s absurdly simple. Whether you’re shooting to be the next Stephen King, JK Rowling, or Nora Roberts, or have less lofty and lucrative ambitions, it comes down to the daily word count. Did you meet it or didn’t you? For those who take this stuff seriously, if you didn’t hit your quota, you’re not leaving that keyboard or notepad until you do. By the by, in Stephen King’s On Writing he famously discusses his own ten-page-a-day habit. When I’m plowing through the rough draft of a novel, I do the same, at least on the days I don’t have to go into the office. On the suit-and-tie days, it’s still two to three pages.

The flip side derails many. When it’s time to get the book, essay, op-ed, short story, or recipe out of your head and onto the page, that’s the goal. It’s not about neatness, or grammar, or prose so exquisite that tears stream as you type. Those things can happen, but when you’re vomiting out that rough draft, they’re unimportant. Trying to get it right the first time leads many to the quicksand of writer’s block. Just get it on the page. Here’s a useful mantra, “You can edit later. You can edit later.”

Let’s recap, because we’ve almost got that book written. Set yourself a daily time. It need not be at four in the morning, though serious writers seem to favor either early morning or late in the day/night. Set yourself a word or page count and stick to it. If you go with ten pages a day, the math is simple. After thirty days you’ve got a three-hundred-page manuscript. Oh look. It’s a book.

Yes, it’s a mess. And no, you should show it to no one in that form. But give yourself a pat on the back. Let the manuscript sit for a couple of weeks, maybe even a month, and then take it out. Set yourself a new page count for the first edit, grab a machete, and don’t stop until you’ve got a readable first draft. And there’s an idea for the next essay. So if you want to know how to tighten that manuscript, join me and my good friend and editor extraordinaire, Liz, for the next stop on this blog tour. I think we’ll call it Ten Steps to a Publishable You.

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Blurb (EXILE):

Liam Summer, with the face of an angel and the body of an underwear model, has done bad things. Raised as the cat’s paw of a murderous fairy queen, his beauty has ruined many. When Queen May’s plot to unite and rule the fairy and human realms fails, Liam wakes naked and alone in a burning Manhattan building. Unaware the blaze is arson and he its intended victim, Liam prepares to die.

Enter ax-wielding FDNY firefighter Charlie Fitzpatrick, who Liam mistakes for an ogre assassin. As Charlie rescues Liam, he realizes the handsome blond has nowhere to go. So he does what he and his family have always done… he helps.

As for Queen May, trapped in the body of a flame-throwing salamander, she may be down, but she’s not out. Yes, she failed the last time, but Liam and others will pay. She knows what must be done—possess a haffling, cross into the human world engorged with magic, and become queen and Goddess over all.

As Liam realizes the danger they all face, he discovers unexpected truths—that even the most wicked are not beyond redemption, and that love—true love—is a gift that even he can receive.

About the Author

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(Caleb James/Charles Atkins)−Caleb James is a pen name used by psychiatrist and author Charles Atkins, MD for his paranormal fiction. He lives and works in Connecticut, is a member of the Yale volunteer faculty, loves a flea market, gives a lot of workshops (including experiential writer’s trainings), and lives with his partner and too many cats.

Links:

Web site: www.charlesatkins.com

Facebooks: https://www.facebook.com/charles.atkins.37

Twitter: @CharlesAtkinsMD

Cover Reveal for Sue Brown’s Goodnight My Angel

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Release Date: February 24 2017
 
Cover Design: Meredith Russell
 

Blurb


Callum Ross has a tough decision to make. After years of working for the covert ops agency in the UK and owning his own security firm in the US, he’s forced to choose between the business he loves, and the new fragile relationship with his partner, Josh Cooper.

A bottle of whiskey and almost being killed by a motorbike helps Cal make the decision, and he moves to the UK with plans to set up his own security consultancy. Then the head of the covert ops agency where Josh now works asks Cal for help. Agency operatives and their families are being injured or killed, including Cal’s friends.

Cal is asked to investigate with Josh’s assistance. As the number of victims increase, they’re aware either of them could be the next target for the killer. Josh wants Cal to back away from the investigation in case he gets hurt, but Cal refuses, putting a strain on their relationship.

Then they discover the motorbike incident wasn’t an accident. Who tried to kill him, and why?

Morning My Angel (Angel Enterprises #1) Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Author Bio

Sue Brown is owned by her dog and two children. When she isn’t following their orders, she can be found plotting at her laptop. In fact she hides so she can plot, and has become an expert at ignoring the orders.

Sue discovered M/M erotica at the time she woke up to find two men kissing on her favorite television series. She had an Aha moment and put pen to paper that same day. Sue may be late to the party, but she’s made up for it since, writing fan fiction until she was brave enough to venture out into the world of original fiction.

Come over and talk to Sue at:

Come over and talk to Sue at:
sue@suebrownstories.com
Her website can be found at:
http://www.suebrownstories.com/
Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/suebrownstories
Twitter:
http://twitter.com/suebrownstories
Blog:
http://suebrownsstories.blogspot.com/

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