A Jeri Review: New Hand (Bluewater Bay #23) by L.A. Witt

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Rating: 4 Stars out of 5

This installment of the Bluewater Bay series was a great read. There were touches of serious, but a lot of fun as well.
Jesse was one of my favorite types of character. Broken on the inside but putting up a facade of strength. He was hurt one too many times and because of that he is wary. But he can’t stop flirting with the new bartender in town, Garrett. Even though Garrett is definitely older and closed off.
Jesse and Garrett had great chemistry. Their flirting banter was fun to read. But Jesse is scared to disclose his HIV status and Garrett is scared to lose another lover. With Garrett being older, the story really touched on his experiences of HIV in the 80’s and 90’s. Before the advances in medicine when he just watched friends die. He is open to understanding more- his head says HIV is no longer a death sentence, but his heart can’t forget his husband.
The story also touches on how many younger people are completely out of touch with HIV. Too many haven’t educated themselves as to the risks- or virtual non-risk- involved when you are with someone positive. I had heard that before (in real life) and was kind of shocked that so many of the younger generation (good god I sound old!) are so clueless.
Anyway, back to the story. There were excellent supporting characters, most of whom we had met in previous installments of this series. They absolutely added to the story and served and good wake up calls to both men.
If you are a fan of the Bluewater Bay series, or of L.A. Witt, definitely read this one.

Cover art by L.C. Chase who has done so many of the covers has once again captured the characters and done a great job here.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 399 pages
Published by Riptide Publishing (first published December 18th 2017)
ISBN139781626496941
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesBluewater Bay #23

This title is part of the Bluewater Bay universe.

A MelanieM Review: Why I Left You by Colette Davison

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Brett has fooled himself into thinking he’s happy in his dead-end job. His idea of commitment is a string of quick hook-ups, which never last a whole night.

Jamie left home to prove he could cope alone, without the suffocating support of his parents. But instead of finding freedom, he’s struggling with university, money, and depression.

Drawn together by an undeniable spark, their relationship won’t survive the present, unless they can come to terms with the past.

Why I Left You by Colette Davison has a much deeper, complicated storyline than indicated by that short synopsis.  Well written and layered, Why I Left You deals with the more serious themes of depression, the impact of media use and teenagers, and suicide.  That the discussions for these topics are framed out around a halted romance between Brett and Jamie works beautifully to deliver an emotional punch as well as let the reader into some of the issues that a person with depression deals with on a daily basis.

By necessity Why I Left You is told from both the pov of Jamie and Brett because at the beginning the question of what exactly is wrong with Jamie is up in the air.  You are as in the dark as Brett.  Then the author moves  us through Jamie’s thoughts and actions and it quickly becomes clear.  For Brett?  It takes longer.

At times this will be a tough book to read.  If suicide and depression are triggers for you, you might reconsider reading this story.  I will say that Colette Davison treats  Jamie’s depression responsibly, complete with doctors and a treatment that includes medication over a long term and no instant cure.

Where does this leave the romance?  Still smack in the middle as both Brett and Jamie try to reconnect and figure out  what it all means.  Again a nice realistic and authentic relationship.  The book  ends on a wonderful note of hope and love and so much promise of the future for them both, especially after what the past held.

I loved Why I Left You by Colette Davison and recommend it.

Cover art by Charlotte LR Kane is fitting for the storyline and eye catching.

Sales Links:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 234 pages
Published November 7th 2017 by Smudged Ink Press
Original TitleWhy I Left You
ASINB076YYXFNP
Edition Language English

A MelanieM Release Day Review: Beloved Son (Aisling Trilogy#3) by Carole Cummings

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

When a man’s identity is built on lies, can he find the true self buried beneath? For Wil and Dallin, newfound love might not be enough. To heal themselves and their world, they must learn to see things as they truly are and break free of what they have been tricked into believing.

Wil and Dallin stand at the center of an approaching convergence they’re not sure they’re strong enough to face. The power of the land and the Mother waits for Wil in the bowels of Lind, but it comes at a price: he must defeat the soul-eater and save the Father, Her Beloved, and manage to keep his soul in the process. He can’t do it alone. But where can he turn for aid when friends are not necessarily friends, trusted mentors are not necessarily to be trusted, and good intentions are sometimes the most dangerous kind?

Dallin and Wil must accept their roles as the Guardian and the Aisling and stand together against a ruthless god in a cataclysmic battle of dreams and wills, the fates of both of their souls and those of all mortals hanging in the balance. Trust, if they can finally embrace it, holds both the promise of salvation and the risk of damnation.

With the final story, Beloved Son by Carole Cummings, the Aisling Trilogy is complete and it’s one of my top series of 2017.  A truly masterful epic of fantasy storytelling, in this conclusion, Cummings expands her mythology of the  gods, brings in even more political intrigue, and continues the almost unimaginable religious zealotry that both furthers and threatens every step that Dallin and Wil take towards bringing an end to the soul eater.

And with all that, Cummings still threads in the relatable, and needed  relationship of two men trying to figure out if love and trust can work between them.

You can read and appreciate the Aisling Trilogy on so many levels.  If you are a lover of world building and mythology, this one is for you as the gods here and the worlds will capture your imagination and let it run wild.  So too all the various tribes of men and geographical areas  she has created for Dallin and Will to walk through.  She’s left nothing to chance.  Plus she’s populated them all with peoples and cultures you absolutely believe in.

However, it’s that final battle that will have you grabbing, white knuckled, at your Kindle or tablet, the outcome uncertain.  The power of her narrative and the emotions it pulls from you will threaten to knock you over.  It’s a deadly combat worthy of all that’s come before.

And yes, I loved the ending.

Taken by itself (no it’s not a standalone) along with the other two of its companion stories, Beloved Son and the Aisling Trilogy is among my  top series of 2017.  I highly recommend it to all fantasy lovers.

Cover art by Anne Cain.  I like the covers but that just doesn’t seem like Dallin to me.

Sales Links:  DSP Publications | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 306 pagesExpected publication: December 19th 2017 by DSP Publications (first published December 14th 2011)
Original Title Beloved Son
ISBN139781635338041
Edition Language English
Series Aisling

Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: New Hand (Bluewater Bay #23) by L.A. Witt

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

I avidly looked forward to grabbing this book as I’ve been a fan of the series from day one.  Since this author penned the first in the series and I knew this would be the last of Bluewater Bay, I had high hopes of an outstanding story, sort of an e-book “wrap party,” so to speak. 

Unfortunately, though it was good, neither of the two MCs worked on the Wolf’s Landing TV production, and to be honest, I never could figure out why the book was named New Hand.  It was just one of those things that drove me a bit crazy with distraction.  And now, as I’m writing this review, it dawns on me that the phrase may have something to do with the card game, Magic, that the MCs played with several of the key players from previous stories.  Or maybe it’s a play on the fact that Garrett was dealt a “new hand” after the death of his beloved husband, Sean.  In any event, it’s not a title that is descriptive of the story, IMHO. 

Garrett Blaine moved to Bluewater Bay to get a new lease on life after his husband of three years died of cancer.  Torn apart by grief, everything in Seattle reminded him of his sweet, affectionate husband, including his job, since they were coworkers.  Taking on the new role of a bartender might be the best thing for him so he can hear other people’s problems and not focus on his own. 

And in walks Jesse Connelly, the young shop assistant we met in Outside the Lines.  Jesse’s friend-with-benefits date has just stood him up and he’s pretty upset because he recently shared his HIV positive status with the young man, and now the guy won’t even kiss him.  Though he doesn’t share that with Garrett, the two do talk, and talk, and talk.  Sexy Garrett is fifteen years older than Jesse and that pleases Jesse just fine.  Immediately attracted, and yet knowing this conversation is not a hookup, Jesse fails to share his status.  That turns out to be a mistake when the two bump into each other again and hit it off again.  In fact, the sexual chemistry is flaming—this is L.A. Witt, remember!

To make a long story short, there is a big misunderstanding, as expected, but it’s mostly because Garrett goes right back to his loss of Sean when he hears Jesse’s story.  In fact, much of the story deals with Garrett’s grief and loss.  It’s very well done, sensitive, and respectful of the man who died less than a year ago.  The author takes us into Garrett’s psyche as he works through his grief and acknowledges his love for Sean before slowly beginning to share photos and experiences with Jesse.  Jesse is a wonderful partner for Garrett—totally accepting that Sean is a part of his life now and will be for quite some time.  He offers the friendship, love, and support that Garrett needs. 

Though the story is long, and there is indeed a great deal of focus on Sean’s loss, there’s also a lot of fun times—and sexy times—with Jesse, and there’s a few scenes with Levi and Carter, Hunter and Kevin, principal characters of the series, in which they all gather together to play Magic, a card game about which I am no longer clueless since the author spent quite a few pages explaining the game.

Jesse was a wonderful character with a bright, fun personality.  And because of his status, there is a lot of information about HIV in this story, especially updated info on HIV treatment and partner risk as well as about partners taking Truvada. 

In summary, there was a lot of page time devoted to grief recovery, and sometimes it got very depressingly bogged down. There was also lots of info on Sean, so much so, he was a virtual third MC.  And though I loved Jesse, he sometimes felt too good to be true in how well he adapted to being with a grief-stricken Garrett.  And—this is L.A. Witt!–there was honestly a lot of sex—in fact, almost too much.  The sex scenes didn’t hold my interest after a while and I breezed through them. 

Overall, I’m a bit disappointed in this last story of the series, and looking back, I realize that it’s primarily because I expected so much.  It was good but It just wasn’t outstanding.  Do I recommend it? Definitely, because many readers love this theme of grief-comfort, and of course, age gap romance.   And the series?  Not to be missed—written by various authors—some books were outstanding, some average, but all bound by the Bluewater Bay setting and the Wolf’s Landing TV production.  I am definitely going to miss traveling to western Washington to get my fix of all these memorable characters. 

Cover art by L.C. Chase who has done so many of the covers has once again captured the characters and done a great job here.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 399 pages
Published by Riptide Publishing (first published December 18th 2017)
ISBN139781626496941
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesBluewater Bay #23

This title is part of the Bluewater Bay universe.

In Our New Release Spotlight: Slip (Recovery #2) by B.A. Tortuga (author interview)

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Slip (Recovery #2) by B.A. Tortuga
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art: Maria Fanning

Read an Excerpt/Buy it Here

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have B.A. Tortuga here today talking about characters, writing and her latest story in her Recovery series, Slip.  Welcome, B.A.

✒︎

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with B.A. Tortuga

  • What traits do you find the most interesting in someone? Do you write them into your characters?

I love a sense of humor – maybe not a good sense of humor, but a sense of humor, and I think you can find that in almost all my characters.

I’m also a huge fan of believing in something. You know that old adage, if you don’t believe in something then you’ll fall for everything? I think you can see that in my characters, over and over.

  • Have you ever had an issue in RL and worked it through by writing it out in a story? Maybe how you thought you’d feel in a situation?

*snort* I am the queen of working my shit out in a book. Leaving Texas, my sight failing, being chronically ill. I let the characters talk out my problems for me. When my son had cancer, I wrote Say Something to cope with all eventualities.

  • With so much going on in the world today, do you write to explain? To get away? To move past? To widen our knowledge? Why do you write?

Honestly? I write because I have faith. I believe in forever. I believe in happily ever after. I believe in soul mates. I believe that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I believe that love will overcome.

Much love, y’all.

BA

Slip blurb

Recovery: Book Two

Love is a fragile thing, and it can slip through your fingers if you don’t hold on tight….

When Zack Jung’s AA sponsor and friend commits suicide, he’s desperate to hold it together, and there’s only one place he can turn. He calls Josh and Kris, and they take him back to their ranch outside Santa Fe.

A cowboy to the bone, Cimarron Duran cherishes his orderly life and routine. He likes his neighbors, Kris and Josh, but he has less than no interest in the hipster personal trainer who comes to stay with them—or at least, he plans to fight his interest in favor of his solitary life and his art.

But some things are as inevitable as the weather, and when Zack and Cimarron finally come together, they find they don’t want to let go. It won’t be easy, though, for two men with pasts like theirs to forge a happy future together.

Available December 22 from Dreamspinner Press

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

Blog Promotion Tour – Why I Left You by Colette Davison (excerpt and giveaway)

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REVIEW AND BOOK TOUR

 

Book Title:  Why I Left You

Author: Colette Davison

Publisher: Smudged Ink Press

Cover Artist: Charlotte L R Kane

Genre/s: gay contemporary romance

Length: 72,000 words/234 pages

Release Date: November 7, 2017

 

Blurb

Jamie is struggling with university, money and depression. The last thing he needs is for Brett—the guy who left him four years ago—to walk back into his life. Yet it could be just what he needs.

Ever since Jamie left him, Brett has been running away from commitment. But when he meets Jamie again, he’s forced to re-examine every aspect of his life.

Brett and Jamie are drawn back together by an undeniable spark, but unless they can come to terms with the past, their relationship won’t survive the present.

**Contains explicit language and scenes**

 

 

Buy Links ~ Available on KU

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Add on

Goodreads 

 

Excerpt

Holy shit. Jamie was kissing him. Brett’s head told him to back off and walk away, but his body remembered those lips and how much he’d once enjoyed having them pressed against his own. His body wanted to lean into the kiss and respond with four years’ worth of regret. For a few precious moments, he let himself give in to desire. His heart hammered against his ribs, desperate to escape his body and reclaim what it had lost. His fingers tingled as he wrapped an arm around Jamie’s shoulders and held him tightly, his thumb making small circles on Jamie’s shirt.

Then his brain kicked into gear again. What the fuck was he doing? This was the guy who had ripped his heart out in the worst possible way. Besides, Jamie was clearly at least half-gone. What they were doing was a mistake at best.

He pulled away, breathing heavily as he stared at Jamie, whose pupils were blown wide.

“You’re drunk,” Brett said in the most matter-of-fact tone he could manage.

Jamie curled his upper lip and turned away, shaking his head. It was dumb for Brett to follow him, but he did it anyway. They’d been best friends long before they’d realised they were attracted to each other. Brett had always looked out for Jamie, back when they’d lived next door to each other. Those instincts kicked in.

“Let me walk you home.”

Jamie stopped and rounded on him, fists clenched, teeth gritted. “Don’t pretend you give a shit.”

 

About the Author

Colette’s personal love story began at university, where she met her future husband. An evening of flirting, in the shadow of Lancaster castle, eventually led to a fairy tale wedding. She’s enjoying her own ‘happy ever after’ in the north of England with her husband, two beautiful children and her writing.

 

Social Media Links

Blog/Website 

Facebook 

Twitter

Bookbub

 

Giveaway 

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

REVIEW AND BOOK TOUR SCHEDULE

DECEMBER 16

Books Laid Bare Boys  REVIEW

Tangents and Tissues   

The Day Before You Came

Millsy Loves Books

DECEMBER 17

Valerie Ullmer | Romance Author

MJ’s Book Blog and Reviews  

Stories That Make You Smile    

DECEMBER 18

Louise Lyons

Lily G Blunt

DECEMBER 19

BFD Book Blog  REVIEW

Nell Iris  www.nelliris.com

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words  REVIEW

DECEMBER 20

Sur l’étagère, derrière la sirène en plastique  REVIEW

Love Unchained Book Reviews REVIEW

Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

DECEMBER 21

Drops of Ink

MM Good Book Reviews REVIEW LATER

DECEMBER 22

Bayou Book Junkie  REVIEW

Blazing Zane Book Blog  REVIEW

MM Midnight Cafe   http://mm.midnightcafe.uk/mm/   REVIEW

Smokin’ Hot Reads Book Blog  REVIEW

~

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

 

Read Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words 5 star review here.

Riptide Publishing Bluewater Bay Tour and Giveaway: New Hand (Bluewater Bay #23) by L.A. Witt.

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New Hand (Bluewater Bay #23) by L.A. Witt
Riptide Publishing
Cover Art: L.C. Chase

Read an Excerpt/Buy It Here

About New Hand

Months after his husband’s death, Garrett Blaine desperately needs a fresh start. He sells his house in Seattle, leaves his accounting job, and starts bartending in Bluewater Bay. There he meets a man who wakes up his nearly forgotten libido.

Jesse Connelly’s friend with benefits bolted after Jesse disclosed his HIV status. Stood up and stinging, Jesse tries to drown his sorrows . . . and finds an unexpected connection with a lonely bartender.

Jesse and Garrett quickly bond over a shared love of comics and card games, and they can’t get enough of each other between the sheets. Not even a bumpy start and a fifteen-year age gap can derail them as they go from strangers to lovers, then friends, then much more.

But as Garrett’s feelings for Jesse deepen, so does his grief for the man he lost—especially as he sees hints of his late husband in his new boyfriend. Now Garrett has to figure out if Jesse is his second chance at true love, or if Jesse’s just filling in for the man he’s never fully grieved. And he needs to figure it out soon, because Jesse’s starting to wonder the same thing.

Available now from Riptide Publishing!

About Bluewater Bay

Welcome to Bluewater Bay! This quiet little logging town on Washington state’s Olympic Peninsula has been stagnating for decades, on the verge of ghost town status. Until a television crew moves in to film Wolf’s Landing, a soon-to-be cult hit based on the wildly successful shifter novels penned by local author Hunter Easton.

Wolf’s Landing’s success spawns everything from merchandise to movie talks, and Bluewater Bay explodes into a mecca for fans and tourists alike. The locals still aren’t quite sure what to make of all this—the town is rejuvenated, but at what cost? And the Hollywood-based production crew is out of their element in this small, mossy seaside locale. Needless to say, sparks fly.

This collaborative story world is brought to you by eleven award-winning, best-selling LGBTQ romance authors: L.A. Witt, L.B. Gregg, Z.A. Maxfield,  Heidi Belleau, Rachel Haimowitz, Anne Tenino, Amy Lane, SE Jakes, G.B. Gordon, Jaime Samms and Ally Blue. Each contemporary novel stands alone, but all are built around the town and the people of Bluewater Bay and the Wolf’s Landing media empire.

Check it out at Riptide Publishing!

About LA Witt

L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer who has finally been released from the purgatorial corn maze of Omaha, Nebraska, and now spends her time on the southwestern coast of Spain. In between wondering how she didn’t lose her mind in Omaha, she explores the country with her husband, several clairvoyant hamsters, and an ever-growing herd of rabid plot bunnies. She also has substantially more time on her hands these days, as she has recruited a small army of mercenaries to search South America for her nemesis, romance author Lauren Gallagher, but don’t tell Lauren. And definitely don’t tell Lori A. Witt or Ann Gallagher. Neither of those twits can keep their mouths shut . . .

Connect with L.A.:

Website: www.gallagherwitt.com

Author Blog: gallagherwitt.blogspot.com

Personal Blog: navywifeadventures.blogspot.

Twitter: @GallagherWitt

Facebook: facebook.com//L-A-Witt-MM-Fiction

Goodreads: goodreads.com/GallagherWitt

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of New Hand, one lucky winner will receive a $10 Riptide credit and their choice of two ebooks off LA Witt’s backlist (not counting New Hand)! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on December 23, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!