A MelanieM Release Day Review: Breakfast at Midnight by Kim Dias

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Hope can be found in unexpected places.

Lonely, still struggling with his divorce, and suffering from writer’s block, successful thriller author Fred spends much more time in an all-night Denny’s than is healthy for any man. It’s the last place he thought he’d meet someone like Callum, who has literally run away from the internationally famous boy band Leos.

Despite their age difference, the two become friends, and their long nights of soul-searching might help them find the courage to face their problems: Fred’s deteriorating relationship with his daughter and Callum’s career issues. It’s easy for their lives to tangle together, and each might provide the other the means to move beyond the past—even if it’s not a journey they can take together.

Breakfast at Midnight by Kim Dias is short but the author does a remarkable job of packing a lot of heart, angst, and promise into 66 pages.  A first for me by this author, the story of two men, each having huge difficulties in their lives and professions.  They meet and connect at a Denny’s, that connection grows into a possibility for the future and while that happens, they set their own lives a little straighter as well.

That’s it.  Only the possibility of a HFN, but the manner in which the author builds the tenuous relationship feels realistic.  There’s no instalov which I appreciated, given the age difference and the problems each man is facing in their own lives.  There’s even the acknowledgement of the age difference, the idea the Callum has no idea who he is yet and needs to find that first (again a wonderful authentic touch), and that Fred needs time to work on his own issues and by the end of the story is well on his way to resolving some as is Callum.

At the beginning of the story the men met at a crossroads, something wonderful happens and now it’s up to them how the future unfolds.  At the end of the tale, we see the potential for a future.  That’s lovely.

Is the end a bit abrupt?  Yes.  Does the story have some narrative issues of its own.  Sure but the whole here it still sweet and real, it leaves you rooting for something more for both Fred and Callum, even if it’s not lasting.  I felt good after reading Breakfast at Midnight.  I felt hopeful and wanted to learn about what happens next.  Maybe the author will deliver that in another story.  Maybe not.  Either way, I recommend this one to you lovers of romance!

Cover Artist: L.C. Chase.  The cover art does a great job with both characters and the major element of the location of most of their scenes.  Love it.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 66 pages
Expected publication: October 11th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781635338997
Edition LanguageEnglish

An Ali Release Day Review: Unbroken Hearts (Unbreak My Heart #2) by K-lee Klein

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Country singer turned rancher Brett Taylor fought his way out of the bottle so he could have JT Campbell in his life. JT’s patience, intelligence, and humor broke through Brett’s walls of depression, and now the once-isolated rancher and his young California guy in search of himself are together on Brett’s Texas ranch.

While Brett and JT are more in love than ever, they’re still dealing with past baggage and learning how to move forward. Brett’s former lover casts a long shadow over their lives—one JT tries to pretend doesn’t bother him. Can Brett soothe his fears with the sort of sappy, sentimental Valentine’s Day JT was taught to shun growing up—but secretly always wanted?

When Halloween rolls around, a costumed night out at the local bar might lead to another romantic first. And on Christmas morning, JT awakes to some sweet loving and the most meaningful gift he could ever imagine. The New Year truly brings a new beginning—ushered in by some silly, sparkly, and sexy fun.

One year. Four important holidays. Two men who have worked hard for the love and trust they share and the bright future that’s finally within their grasp.
This was a sweet compilation of some previously released short stories for this series.  I had not read them when they were individual so I’m not sure how many were new/old.  I liked the way the author presented them though.  This was written as one solid book with some time jumps. It was very cohesive and it read like one average length book.
The first story which is the longest covers the guys first Valentine’s Day together.  It was both romantic and sexy and I really enjoyed it.  It then goes to October and we get to experience Halloween with the couple.  From there it goes to Christmas and then New Year’s.  The sections were really touching and it was great to see Brett and JT as their relationship develops.  They went through a lot of pain to get to this place and it made me happy to see them doing so well.
As a reader I really liked the short stories being put all together in one flowing book.  It makes it easier to keep track of the stories and I imagine it’s more cost effective too.  This book is a must read for fans of the first book.  Unfortunately for other readers this won’t work as a standalone.  You definitely need to read book one first.
This cover was done by Reese Dante and I think it is lovely.  The cover compliments the cover of the first book and they both match the main character’s descriptions well.

Sales Links:

Dreamspinner | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 187 pages
Expected publication: October 11th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press (first published March 9th 2013)
ASINB075XMYHR6
Series Unbreak My Heart #2

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Hexslayer (Hexworld #3) by Jordan L. Hawk

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

As exceptional as others in this series, Hexslayer is the tale of Nick, a horse familiar who has no love lost for any witch and snubs his nose at the MWP—Ministry of Witch Police—even though one of the familiars who found his witch and works there is his brother, Rook (The 13th Hex).

For years, Nick has housed feral familiars in the tenement apartments above his bar, Caballus.  He’s made it his personal business to assist any and all familiars who do not want to be tied down to a witch and has even been operating an underground escape route for those who need to get out of the city.  No one knows of that except his employee Kyle, however.  He’d certainly never let on to Rook, who is now a “goody two shoes” in Nick’s book.

But when Nick meets Jamie MacDougal, MWP witch and former war hero, something clicks and he’s shocked to realize he may be looking at his own witch.  Refusing to believe it, and definitely not willing to act on it, he’s surprised to find that Jamie came back from the war with an artificial leg and that Jamie is not typical of any witch he’s ever met before.  In fact, the man is so sexy and so sweet that Nick decides to propose that he and Jamie form a temporary bond, to be separated by a hexbreaker after one month.  They will work together to solve the mystery of who is killing feral familiars in a ritualistic way and leaving the bodies surrounded by blood and symbols for all to see. 

What he doesn’t count on is falling in love.  And what Jamie doesn’t count on is finding out that someone close to him is involved in the nefarious plot to do away with familiars altogether. 

There’s mystery and intrigue, action and adventure, fighting and loving, and very definitely a happily ever after in store for these two men who seemed to be mismatched from the start, but in reality, they form the other half of each other’s soul. 

I highly recommend this story, and in fact this entire series, to lovers of mystery and romance.  If you love the author’s Whyborne & Griffin series, you are sure to love this one too.  This can be read as a standalone; however, there are repeating characters from previous books so reading the first ones in the series is recommended.   In any event, don’t hesitate to pick this story up. 

~~~~~

Cover art by Jordan L. Hawk features two men in the upper frame of the cover, the smaller one representing Jamie in the background, the larger, darker-skinned man in the forefront representing Nick, Jamie’s familiar and horse shifter.  The lower frame shows the shadow of a horse superimposed on a Hexworld map and linking this cover to others in the series.  Though somewhat dark, it is very attention-getting and perfectly portrays the theme of the story.

Sales Links:

Amazon | Amazon UK | Kobo | Smashwords|Nook | iBooks

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 344 pages
Published October 6th 2017 by Jordan L. Hawk
ASINB075J6XQXR
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesHexworld #3

In Our Contemporary Spotlight: The Heir Apparent by Tere Michaels (guest blog and exclusive excerpt)

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The Heir Apparent by Tere Michaels
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Taria Reed Digital Artist

Release Date:  October 9, 2017

Available for Purchase at:  Dreamspinner Press

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Tere Michaels here today talking about her novel The Heir Apparent.  Welcome, Tere!

 

✒︎

Thank you so much for having me!

I’m very excited about the re-release of “The Heir Apparent” – additional content and a rewrite of things I wasn’t satisfied with the first go around makes this a truly thrilling occasion for me as a writer. The subdued emotion of Henry and Archie, their quiet yearning for each other, the fear of opening yourself up to love; these are concepts I loved playing with. Usually emotional and stubborn hotheads grace my books! But while these men are cut from a slightly different cloth, I hope readers will respond to their journey. 

 ~ Tere Michaels

About The Heir Apparent

The heir apparent to a vast international company, Henry Walker has focused his entire life on pleasing his cold and distant father, a futile effort that’s left him no time for life, love, or making his own decisions. He has just one friend—one dirty little secret—Archie Banks. Raised on the Walker estate alongside Henry, Archie is now Henry’s driver, bodyguard… and occasional lover. Archie is loyal, but he’s about to graduate from college and has plans for his life that don’t include living every moment at the beck and call of Henry’s father. Not even for Henry.

With no warning, a shocking kidnapping leads to tragedy and chaos, thrusting Henry and Archie into a dramatic struggle that threatens them individually and as a couple. Can they find a way to heal the hurt of the past, save the company that is Henry’s birthright, and find a future together?

Exclusive Excerpt

“I want to be done with school.” Archie directed his gaze back to Henry. “I’m proud of my grades, proud to be graduating in a few weeks—even if it did take me twice as long.”

The as you hung in the air. When they were kids, it had been easier to pretend things weren’t so different. This wasn’t a staged period piece. The boss’s son, the housekeeper’s kid, playing and being best friends—that was natural.”

“Until you grew up and there were things like expectations and debts and responsibilities and two very different paths in life.

“I’m so proud of you,” Henry murmured. “I know you’ll be successful at whatever you choose to do.”

Archie didn’t respond, but his gaze was locked on Henry’s face; it burned and left Henry a bit short of breath.

“I don’t know about that,” he said finally. “Bodyguard and chauffeur are hardly proof I know anything in regard to international business relations,” he said lightly, rubbing his palms against his thighs as he finally looked away. “Could probably use a recommendation from Mr. Norman Henry Walker III.”

“You know I’ll do anything I can,” Henry said, his voice gentle. He resisted the urge to reach out and touch Archie’s socked foot, so close to his own leg.

“Trying to get rid of me, eh?”

The joke was well-intentioned, Henry knew, but after his father’s pontification on Archie moving to greener pastures earlier in the evening—well, it stung, and Henry felt himself stiffening into ramrod straightness.

“Yes. I can’t imagine who we’ll be able to find to open my door and drive the Hummer.” Henry fell into“borne of being together almost every day of their childhoods and so many days beyond that.

“Good to know,” Archie drawled, poking his feet into Henry’s thigh.

Neither of them mentioned the giant elephant in the room, which was calmly sitting in the corner on a colonial wingback next to a Tiffany floor lamp. What would happen when Archie graduated and moved on?”

About the Author

Tere Michaels writes happily ever afters in the big city – with heaps of snark, angst and humor. Her focus is on characters and all the ridiculous ways they trip through life and love. She has written fifteen books including her popular Faith, Love & Devotion series and the superhero saga, The Vigilante.

She is a member of RWA and Liberty States Fiction Writers

www.teremichaels.com

https://twitter.com/TereMichaels

Book Blitz for The Past Comes Home (Ames Bridge #2) by Silvia Violet (excerpt and giveaway)

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Cover Design: Meredith Russell
 
Ames Bridge Series
 
Down On The Farm (Book #1) Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Blurb
 

Twenty years ago, Paxton Marshall realized he liked boys, in particular his brother’s best friend, Brad. Pax now runs a successful art gallery, but he’s never found anyone who stirs his heart the way Brad did.

Brad Watson is back in town for his twentieth high school reunion. However, the celebration of long-ago days is the last thing on his mind. He’s there for one reason: to finally tell Pax how he feels.

Pax is shocked to learn Brad is not only gay but also interested in him. Dating a man in Ames Bridge isn’t as simple as it sound, though. In order to make a relationship work, both men will have to bolster their courage and alter their expectations.

*This book is an expansion of a previously published short story titled Open to the Past. Over 35,000 words have been added.*

Excerpt

A knock on the shop door drew Pax’s his attention; probably his assistant, Cindy. It wouldn’t be the first time she’d forgotten her key, and no one else would be dropping by this early. Microfiber duster in hand, he twirled his way past the worktables and unpainted pottery pieces.

He sang along with Madonna as he reached for the doorknob, and froze—Brad was grinning at him through the front window.

Heat rushed to Pax’s face. For a moment he contemplated racing over to turn the music off, then walking calmly back to the door as if the last few seconds had never happened. Could he convince Brad his earlier appearance was a hallucination?

Brad placed his hand against the window and peered in. “Is this a bad time? I know I’m really early.”

“Um…no. Just a sec.”

He would open the damn door, talk to Brad, and generally behave like a respectable adult. That’s what would happen.

With a deep breath, he turned the knob and stared, openmouthed, unable to form a single word. Was Brad even more gorgeous than he’d been two years ago? At eighteen he’d been the hottest boy in school, but now with his dirty-blond hair showing hints of gray, he was even better. His T-shirt stretched taut over his biceps, and his jeans fit like they were tailor-made for his muscular thighs. But the thing that made Brad even more desirable now was how relaxed and happy he seemed. In high school he’d always been restless, as though he were uncomfortable in his gorgeous body, despite having it made as far as anyone else could tell. Pax wondered what had changed.

Pax looked up at Brad and realized he’d been caught giving him a blatant once-over while he stood in the doorway. “Um… Where are my manners?” Fled in the face of his insanity? “Come in. That is, if you’d like to.”

“I would.” He smiled, showing off the dimple in his left cheek.

Pax wanted to run his tongue across it. Instead, he made a dramatic show of bowing and sweeping his hand toward the interior. “Enter, sir.”

Brad laughed and stepped inside. Pax shut the door behind him and locked it, hoping Cindy would be late so he’d have time to show Brad the gallery without anyone else there.

“Is it ’80s day?” Brad asked.

Pax needed to accept that he would be blushing the whole time Brad was there. “No, I was just cleaning, and this music motivates me.”

“Let me know if I’m keeping you from something. I woke up early, and I was anxious to see you.”

Anxious to see him? Him? Pax’s knees threatened to give. Was it possible…? No. Just because Pax had spent far too many hours fantasizing about Brad saying he was gay or bi, that didn’t mean it was going to happen.



Author Bio


Silvia Violet writes fun, sexy stories that will leave you smiling and satisfied. She has a thing for characters who are in need of comfort and enjoys helping them surrender to love even when they doubt it exists. Silvia’s stories include sizzling contemporaries, paranormals, and historicals. When she needs a break from listening to the voices in her head, she spends time baking, taking long walks, curling up with her favorite books, and spending time with her family.


Newsletter: http://silviaviolet.com/newsletter
Website: http://silviaviolet.com
Facebook: http://facebook.com/silvia.violet
Twitter: http://twitter.com/Silvia_Violet
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/silvia.violet/
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/silviaviolet/

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Release Blitz Tour for We Met In Death by KA Merikan (excerpt and giveaway)

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Length: 90,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Natasha Snow
 
Blurb
 

“This is not the night you die.”

After years of working for a loan shark, Robert is done with blood and violence. All he has to show for it is a bag of money and a lifetime of regrets. There’s no other way out of his line of work than in a body bag.

So Robert decides to die.

But on the night he chooses to seal his own fate, destiny offers him a chance at redemption. When Robert saves a handsome young escort from a terrible death, he has no idea he is setting in motion much more than one last attempt at proving that inside the hardened shell, he is a decent human being.

Charming, quick-witted, and full of smiles, Nathan is all Robert could dream of. He’s also ready to fall into the arms of his gruff protector. Robert, on the other hand, has never been with a man and will first need to fight his own demons if he is to accept that his whole being wants to make Nathan his.

With his former boss hunting them both, time is ticking, and Robert might just not get the chance to decide before it’s too late. More importantly though, Robert will stop at nothing to protect the man who’s made him feel alive again, the man who is the only thing between him and the abyss.

“I never had to think much about death before, but I did yesterday. I thought I would die. In a hole. Covered with dirt. Suffocate underground. But then you saved me.”

WARNING: This story contains scenes of violence, torture, mentions of suicide, offensive language, morally ambiguous characters, homophobia and homophobic language.



Excerpt

Robert slowly lowered himself next to the man and watched the thick fabric move with the hurried rhythm of his breath. “How much do you owe Vogel?” He’d seen so many people in this position before that in Robert’s mind this guy was somehow melting into a collection of them all.

The fabric pulled close to the stranger’s face, making his nose poke at it. “If anything, he owes me! I did what he asked of me. I don’t belong here. It’s all lies!”

“What does that even mean?” Robert asked and nudged the body. His tongue was dry, and he groaned when he realized the bottle was now out of reach. How could this night have gone off the rails so rapidly?

Nathan went quiet for long moment. “Have you ever seen Spartacus? You know, the gladiator TV show?”

Robert frowned, thrown aback. “Are you drunk?”

“No! No… I’ve been sober for a while now.” To Robert’s surprise, Nathan crawled a bit closer in his direction, so dangerously close to the hole that Robert had to stand in his way. “It’s just that there’s this one gladiator there, and if you’ve seen the show, I was wondering if you thought he was gay or bi. I promise this is going somewhere.”

Robert rubbed his flushed face, kneading the flesh and letting his scruff scratch his palms. “Are you trying to tell me you’re gay? Yeah, because this is very important right now.”

Nathan inhaled a deep breath. “I… it’s just that it’s my only fault here, you know? I mean, if you don’t want anyone to know you’re gay, don’t put your dick in a man, right?”

Robert rolled his eyes and pulled out a switchblade. It was dark, and he wasn’t in the mood to look for the zipper. The sleeping bag would join Robert’s former colleagues under the dirt.

He lost balance, falling to his knees instead of just leaning down. Grabbing a handful of the thick fabric, he tore a hole in the sleeping bag. “You propositioned one of Vogel’s men?”

“No! He was the one doing the propositioning! I stayed at his lakeside villa for a week! I thought we’d have a good thing going, that he liked me. And then he flipped and turned into a murdering psycho!” Big blue eyes looked up at Robert from the opening he just created. Pretty like a doll, but the dry blood marring the pale skin under Nathan’s nose reminded Robert that the young man was most definitely made of flesh and bone. His lips were swollen under the red smear, but that didn’t make Nathan any less attractive. If anything, their plumpness made Robert want to lick, nip, and part them with his fingers. Nathan’s cheekbones were the kind you were more likely to see in a magazine than in real life, and the slight dimples to the sides of his lips suggested he used to smile a lot before whatever got him here.

He was a toy thrown away by someone who got tired of playing with it, but it was hard for Robert to imagine how anyone could toss such a gem into the dirt. If this boy were his, he’d—What? What would he do? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Because Nathan wasn’t the kind of toy Robert was allowed to have. He wasn’t a kid anymore, and his self-control never slipped.

Robert tore the bag with a strong tug to both sides of the cut and offered Nathan his hand. In the blurry light, and looking back into the incredible blue of Nathan’s eyes, it almost felt as if he were the one begging for Nathan’s attention.

ntion.


K. A. Merikan is the pen name for Kat and Agnes Merikan, a team of writers, who are taken for sisters with surprising regularity. Katís the mean sergeant and survival specialist of the duo, never hesitating to kick Agnesís ass when sheís 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, thereís one thing you can be sure of ñ it will be full of surprises.
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