An Alisa Review :Desires of the Deep (College of United Monsters Book 1) by C.B. Archer

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

What happens when you enroll in a monster college and end up stuck in underwater classes? Butt stuff. Butt stuff happens.

The once elitist College of United Monsters (C.U.M.) has recently fallen on hard times. In order to stay afloat it has been forced to allow humans to register. Humans, in a monster school? Ridiculous! Also, monsters are real and that was probably a bigger shock to the world than one school of them allowing humans to enroll.

Cliff Waters is a ridiculous human. Mistakenly assigned to the Underwater Wing of the college, Cliff has more problems than the average student—sudden surges in popularity, sudden urges in the sexy monster student body, and being forced to hold his breath for hours at a time to attend class. Will Cliff be able to survive in the Underwater Wing of the toughest college around where everyone wants to taste a sweet piece of him?

Honestly, it serves him right for having a punny name…and attending monster college.

This was a fun read.  Cliff is literally thrown in the deep end when he tries to get to his first class at C.U.M.  At first he loves the attention but it wears thin fast.

I am one that generally enjoys tentacles in my stories and this one delivered which I wasn’t expecting as the description doesn’t say anything about it but it was a wonderful surprise. I loved Humboldt’s shyness and how he didn’t throw himself at Cliff like many other students did.  It was great to see them find a way to be together despite there any differences including not being able to breathe underwater.

The cover art is wonderful and I loved the depiction of the story.

Sales Links: Deep Desires Press | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 42 pages

Published: December 26, 2017 by Deep Desires Press

Edition Language: English

Series: College of United Monsters #1

A MelanieM Review: Two Feet Under (Lindenshaw Mysteries #3) by Charlie Cochrane

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Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

Things are looking up for Adam Matthews and Robin Bright—their relationship is blossoming, and they’ve both been promoted. But Robin’s a policeman, and that means murder is never far from the scene.

When a body turns up in a shallow grave at a Roman villa dig site—a body that repeatedly defies identification—Robin finds himself caught up in a world of petty rivalries and deadly threats. The case seems to want to drag Adam in, as well, and their home life takes a turn for the worse when an ex-colleague gets thrown out of his house and ends up outstaying his welcome at theirs.

While Robin has to prove his case against a manipulative and fiendishly clever killer, Adam is trying to find out which police officer is leaking information to the media. And both of them have to work out how to get their home to themselves again, which might need a higher intelligence than either a chief inspector or a deputy headteacher.

Adam has a new job at a new school, Robin’s working to combine  police officers from different locations into one group, and Robin’s former Sergeant is thrown out of his house and needs putting up.  Sounds like a perfect time for a murder or two!

How I love sinking back into Charlie Cochrane’s cozy mystery series, Lindenshaw Mysteries, now on it’s third book, Two Feet Under.  From the first story,The Best Corpse for the Job (Lindenshaw Mysteries, #1), we’ve watched Robin and Adam become a couple, establish a home  ( Jury of One (Lindenshaw Mysteries #2) , and now become happy in their relationship.  As they’ve grown more secure in themselves as partners and in their relationship, it’s been wonderful to watch their dynamics change, not only when at home but during the investigations as well.  Because once a body pops up, somehow all clues or a few unlikely leads will point towards Adam. Or someone he knows.  Or perhaps even something that Campbell has buried in the garden…you can never be sure how Campbell is involved.  But that Newfie will be important somehow!  Ah, the thrill of anticipation.

Here in Two Feet Under, the mysteries were wonderfully challenging!  It wasn’t just Adam, Robin, and his crew muttering to themselves as they tried to figure out whodunnit.   I too was at the crossroads a few times on this one.  How delicious!  Plus we also got the mole in the station, all the great side characters that ramble through the villages around and near Abbotson. We tumble through the local pubs, out into the streets, and across the wild hillsides in pursuit of killers and the truth.  It’s wonderful.

Or sometimes, we just deal with the fact we have an unwelcome guest we need to figure out how to boot out of our house.  There’s that too.  One whose been a staple character in the first two stories. Oh my.

All that, plus not forgetting the love and warmth of the relationship between Robin and Adam.  Charlie Cochrane pulls is all together famously!

Here’s a cozy to spend the night with.  Or day with.  Or both.  I read it right through because I had to know whodunnit.  I was completely satisfied with the ending.  Now I can’t wait for the next mystery to roll out and my next visit with Adam, Robin, and Campbell.

If you love mysteries and romance, a fan of cozies, don’t let this series or book pass you by! The writing is wonderful.  Charlie Cochrane has done it again!  I highly recommend them both.  They’ll charm you into forgetting that maybe you should be looking over your shoulder! Murder’s like that!

Cover art by L.C. Chase is so much fun.  You’ve got to have that wonderful Newfie, Campbell, on the cover, he’s in the middle of everything, so bloody smart!

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 294 pages
Published January 6th 2018 by Riptide Publishing
ASINB078VW89KR
Series Lindenshaw Mysteries #3

A MelanieM Review: Not All Chocolates & Cuckoo Clocks by Rebecca Cohen

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Neither of them wants to fall in love, but getting exactly what they don’t want might be the best thing to ever happen to them.

Mark hopes his boredom with his current job will be alleviated by a short stint in Basel, Switzerland. When he meets Steffen, who struck out on his own from an old-money family to establish an IT firm, Mark expects some fun, great sex, and a clean break when his job is done. The arrangement is perfect for Steffen, who has been content with casual after a betrayal—and has a taste for British men after attending university in the UK. But as they explore the city’s rich history and traditions, Mark begins to see Steffen as much more than a tour guide with benefits. If he isn’t careful, the trip meant to break the lull in his career might end up breaking his heart instead….

I’m very fond of Rebecca Cohen’s stories, from historical romances of The Crofton Chronicles to the contemporary Treading the Boards series, she always brings something different, a decided depth and twist to her novels.  So I was interested to see where her new story, Not All Chocolates & Cuckoo Clocks, would take me.  Surprisingly it took me to her home.

As the author states in her forward, Not All Chocolates & Cuckoo Clocks is as much a love letter to Basel, Switzerland as it is a contemporary romance.  That’s so true.  Rebecca Cohen’s love for her adopted city shines through every scene, every description, glowing like a adoring spotlight over this historical place that’s the location for Mark and Steffen’s love story.  I have to admit I was googling as fast as I was reading, so alluring and warm did Basel become in my mind.  It is a fully formed main character, as much as Mark and Steffen, enfolding them both with the culture, cobbled streets, sounds, and even flavors of Basel itself.  I want to go so badly my fingers are itching to hit Priceline.com or whatever link, book and go!

And with all that, it doesn’t overshine the easy, sweet romance of Mark and Steffen who fall in love over a simple arrangement and look like they have found their HEA.  Normally I don’t do any sort of instant love.  But here with Mark and Steffen, both men are older, coming out of relationships where they can define what didn’t work, and know what they want.  In other words, they are ready.  Right age, right timing.  It happens that way.  And the author makes it believable.  I believed not only in both men, their different personalities, their workplaces, everything.  Oh and the differences in where they lived!

I liked knowing where they took the train to, what stations they got off at.  It gave me a real feel for the city.  The walk to the Zoo and the penguins!  It made the book feel intimate and authentic.  Oh, and the Carnival in Basel, the Basler Fasnacht, along with the 4am Morgestraich, a parade unlike any other.  And so much more.  The reader is right there, watching with Mark and Steffen, laughing and amazed!

Really, it’s hard to remember this story is only 132 pages.

But every page is a jewel.  Of romance, of loving information conveyed to Mark and the reader about Basel, and a terrific love story as well.  Hard to beat that!  If you love contemporary romance and travel too,  Not All Chocolate and Cuckoo Clocks
by Rebecca Cohen is a great combination of both.  Pick it up.  I highly recommend it.  And yes, I’d love to return and visit them again.

Cover Design: Brooke Albrecht. What a great cover. Incorporates both Basel and a model that’s the character. Love it.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Dreamspinner

Book Details:

Dreamspinner Press’ World of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the globe.

ebook, 132 pages
Expected publication: January 12th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781640800731
Edition LanguageEnglish

Charlie Cochrane on Inspiration and her story ‘Two Feet Under (Lindenshaw Mysteries #3)’ (guest post,tour, and Giveaway)

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Two Feet Under (Lindenshaw Mysteries #3) by Charlie Cochrane
Riptide Publishing
Cover Art: L.C. Chase

Read an Excerpt/Buy It Here at Riptide Publishing

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Charlie Cochrane back again talking about her wonderful new mystery romance Two Feet Under.  Welcome, Charlie!

✒︎

Two Feet Under began life as a conversation in a car, when my eldest daughter and I got stuck in a traffic jam on the way to an author/reader event. It gained a criminal mastermind as a result of another conversation in the car with her younger sister. It got its background thanks to the popular television series “Time Team” and a setting care of the northern part of Hampshire. The plot came from the author’s twisted imagination, via a lot of checking. And at least one character is based on people I know. You have been warned.

About Two Feet Under

Things are looking up for Adam Matthews and Robin Bright—their relationship is blossoming, and they’ve both been promoted. But Robin’s a policeman, and that means murder is never far from the scene.

When a body turns up in a shallow grave at a Roman villa dig site—a body that repeatedly defies identification—Robin finds himself caught up in a world of petty rivalries and deadly threats. The case seems to want to drag Adam in, as well, and their home life takes a turn for the worse when an ex-colleague gets thrown out of his house and ends up outstaying his welcome at theirs.

While Robin has to prove his case against a manipulative and fiendishly clever killer, Adam is trying to find out which police officer is leaking information to the media. And both of them have to work out how to get their home to themselves again, which might need a higher intelligence than either a chief inspector or a deputy headteacher.

Available now from Riptide Publishing!

About the Lindenshaw Mysteries

Adam Matthews’s life changed when Inspector Robin Bright walked into his classroom to investigate a murder.

Now it seems like all the television series are right: the leafy villages of England do indeed conceal a hotbed of crime, murder, and intrigue. Lindenshaw is proving the point.

Detective work might be Robin’s job, but Adam somehow keeps getting involved—even though being a teacher is hardly the best training for solving crimes. Then again, Campbell, Adam’s irrepressible Newfoundland dog, seems to have a nose for figuring things out, so how hard can it be?

Check out the Lindenshaw Mysteries!

About Charlie Cochrane

As Charlie Cochrane couldn’t be trusted to do any of her jobs of choice—like managing a rugby team—she writes, with titles published by Carina, Samhain, Bold Strokes, MLR and Cheyenne.

Charlie’s Cambridge Fellows Series of Edwardian romantic mysteries was instrumental in her being named Author of the Year 2009 by the review site Speak Its Name. She’s a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Mystery People, International Thriller Writers Inc and is on the organising team for UK Meet for readers/writers of GLBT fiction. She regularly appears with The Deadly Dames.

Connect with Charlie:

Website:charliecochrane.co.uk/

Blog: charliecochrane.livejournal.com/

Twitter: @charliecochrane

Facebook: facebook.com/charlie.cochrane.18

Goodreads: goodreads.com/goodreadscomcharlie_cochrane

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Two Feet Under, one lucky winner will receive a swag bag, including magnet, napkins, bookmark, pencils, hanging decoration, postcards, and a coaster! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on January 13, 2018. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

Release Blitz & Review Tour for Not All Chocolates & Cuckoo Clocks by Rebecca Cohen (excerpt and giveaway)

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Length: 45,613 words
 
Cover Design: Brooke Albrecht
 
 
Blurb
 

Neither of them wants to fall in love, but getting exactly what they don’t want might be the best thing to ever happen to them.

Mark hopes his boredom with his current job will be alleviated by a short stint in Basel, Switzerland. When he meets Steffen, who struck out on his own from an old-money family to establish an IT firm, Mark expects some fun, great sex, and a clean break when his job is done. The arrangement is perfect for Steffen, who has been content with casual after a betrayal—and has a taste for British men after attending university in the UK. But as they explore the city’s rich history and traditions, Mark begins to see Steffen as much more than a tour guide with benefits. If he isn’t careful, the trip meant to break the lull in his career might end up breaking his heart instead….

Excerpt

Mark had two and a half months left in Basel, and the idea of several weeks of no strings attached sex was as exhilarating as it was nerve-racking. It was the kind of offer his younger self would’ve jumped at—but he wasn’t that man anymore, and he wasn’t sure he could be again. “I wouldn’t say reticence.”

“No? Then perhaps my English is rusty, as I do not have a better word for it.”

“Okay, you’ve a point. But you have to understand that it’s not every day that an attractive man states so bluntly that he wants to fuck me.”

“Then the men in the UK are stupid. Or you are not mixing with the right type of men.”

Steffen wasn’t completely wrong. The truth was he had spent his university days shagging about, enjoying the writhing mass of bodies in the clubs and gay bars. At the time he’d loved the anonymous and varied encounters, but then he’d decided he needed to grow up and join the adult world. Suit, tie, steady job, and long-term boyfriend, with cozy Friday nights in and dinners for two, not body shots and glory holes. “I gave up clubbing after university. These days I don’t go to the type of places where men go to keep things casual.”

Steffen seemed to consider his response before replying. “So it would be the fleeting nature of our encounters that would bother you?”

“Possibly. I suppose my needs changed, and I wanted more than the emptiness of another hollow shag.” It felt like an important admission, something he’d never talked about before, but it needed to be said to explain why he wasn’t dragging Steffen out of the restaurant and back to his lodgings. “The only one-night stand I’ve had in the last ten years turned into a yearlong relationship. I hadn’t planned it. It just sort of happened.”

Steffen waved a piece of veal in his direction. “I cannot give you permanence.”

“I’m not asking for it,” Mark added quickly, and he meant it.

“What I am hearing is you are not against the theory of enjoying a few weeks of fun before you return home. But equally, I am not convinced you are fully in favor either. If you do not wish this, we will finish our dinner, shake hands, and depart as friends. You are not beholden, either way.”

Steffen wasn’t offering an anonymous shag. It wasn’t thanks for the fuck, now fuck off, but instead something in the middle. Mark’s love life had been in the doldrums since John left, ostensibly because Mark’s job had eaten away any free time and John had decided enough was enough. He didn’t have any more free time now, and that wasn’t going to change, which would no doubt annoy any new boyfriend, so why not take Steffen up on his offer? He picked up his wine and took a sip of liquid courage. “Throw in being my personal tour guide of the city and I’m in.”

Steffen offered up his wineglass in a toast. “I plan to give Basel Tourism Office a run for their money.”

Mark copied and took a sip of his wine. Never had agreeing to sleep with someone felt so formal, borderline making a business deal. But somehow it didn’t feel wrong; instead it was as though he was entering something that didn’t require constant renegotiation. He would know where he stood with Steffen. Sex, hopefully very good sex, if he was lucky, and he suspected Steffen’s experience might make up for his own rusty skills and help polish them up nicely. “Let’s hope I don’t find you lacking—I’d hate to leave a terrible review on TripAdvisor.”

“Oh, there are plenty of people who can attest to my abilities.” Steffen waggled his eyebrows. “I will give you my personal guarantee that you will not find me wanting—in any capacity.”

Mark skewered the last piece of meat. “You’re certainly not lacking in confidence.”

“Have you only just noticed?”

Read Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Review here! We highly recommend it.

Author Bio

Rebecca Cohen is a Brit abroad. Having swapped the Thames for the Rhine, she has left London behind and now lives with her husband and young son in Basel, Switzerland. She can often be found with a pen in one hand and a cup of Darjeeling in the other.

Blog: http://rebeccacohenwrites.wordpress.com/ 

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/rebecca.cohen.710
Twitter: http://twitter.com/R_Cohen_writes

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Review Tour and Giveaway for Sam Burns’ Blackbird In The Reeds

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Length: 50,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Melanie Harlow @ Clause & Effect
 
Blurb


Devon Murphy has never believed that there were fairies at the bottom of the garden, but when he’s in an accident on his way to his grandmother’s house and comes face to face with the biggest, baddest wolf he’s ever seen, he’s forced to reconsider.


When his grandmother asks him to look into a string of suspicious accidents, he finds a much bigger mystery to unravel. From his childhood best friend to the too-attractive Deputy Wade Hunter, everyone in Rowan Harbor seems to have something to hide. Devon has to get to the bottom of it all before the accidents turn deadly.




January 4 – Gay Media Reviews, Book Review By Virginia Lee
January 6 – Cupcakes & Bookshelves
January 8 – Mikku-chan
January 10 – Mirrigold: Mutterings & Musings, Book Lovers 4Ever, MM Good Book Reviews
January 12 – Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Valerie Ullmer, Bonkers About Books, Diverse Reader, Bayou Book Junkie, Wicked Faerie’s Tales & Reviews

Author Bio
 

Sam wrote her first fantasy epic with her best friend when she was ten. Like almost any epic fiction written by a ten year old, it was awful. She likes to think she’s improved since then, if only because she has better handwriting now.


If she’s not writing, she’s almost certainly either reading or lost down a wikipedia rabbit hole while pretending to research for a novel.



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