A MelanieM Review: Second Wind by Aimee Nicole Walker

Standard

Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

Second wind: a new strength or energy to continue something that is an effort. After an amicable divorce, Lincoln Huxley is ready to embrace the sexuality he repressed for more than two decades. Rush Holden is no longer willing to settle for closeted men or those who don’t share his dreams of marriage and fatherhood. A chance encounter on a lakeside pier is the second wind they both need. Or will it just be a painful reminder of all they had lost?

Second chance: an opportunity to try something again that failed one time. Rush and Lincoln have shared a lot of firsts—friendship, young love, and heartbreak. Cruel reality forced the two men to choose paths that took their lives in different directions. Twenty-six years later, they get a second chance to fall in love with each all over again. Can it really be that simple, or will the same issues ruin their happiness a second time?

Happily ever after: to live happily for the rest of one’s life. Rush and Lincoln know that love and life can’t be defined by words alone. Patience, commitment, and the determination to do whatever it takes will be the only way the two men achieve their happily ever after.

Second Wind by Aimee Nicole Walker is a lovely, warmhearted second chance at love story, one of my favorite tropes.  Lincoln Huxley and Rush Holden have both moved on from their broken hearted teenage love or have they?  Rush Holden and his sister left home, unable to continue living under the rules and roof of his conservative, bigoted father and mother.  Lincoln Husley, unwilling to act on his feelings or give up the dream of living “normally” goes on to marry a girl and have a family on the West Coast. But twenty-six years can’t diminish the fact that Lincoln is gay or that Rush is the man he has always loved.  One divorce, and one chance meeting all those years later and sparks fly.

So many elements to admire here.  I love the way the author handled a couple whose marriage was in dissolution while the husband was figuring out how to deal with his sexuality and coming out to his wife and children.  It was realistic, gut-wrenching in a way, and done in a manner that showed all the parties as flawed, compassionate human beings who still loved each other.  Even the grown children’s reaction to their parents decision to divorce (one wanting to know who’s pushing for it), then their Dad’s later announcement of his homosexuality all rings so true.  These are great characters, fully fleshed out personalities, and they form a wonderful foundation not just for Lincoln and Rush’s relationship but for the extended family they all become as well.

The central element here, of course, is the romance and enduring love between Rush and Lincoln.  That’s such a  deeply moving storyline.  Switching between perspectives and even timelines using flashbacks, we see these men at differing times of their lives making decisions that put them on different paths.  Many scenes here will emotionally impact you to the point of sending you running for the tissues.  I can’t think now of a ammo box of Polaroid’s without sniffling.  This couple makes me smile even now.

Second Wind by Aimee Nicole Walker is just a wonderful story.  It’s everything you want in a contemporary romance and more.  I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Cover Art: JAY AHEER/ Simply Defined Art.  I love this cover. Full of important elements from the story.  Great job.

Cover Photographer: WANDER AGUIAR

Buy Link: http://mybook.to/SecondWind

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 236 pages
Published February 14th 2018 by Chasing Rainbows Press LLC
Original Title Second Wind
ASIN B079QKNW5L
Edition Language English

A Lila Audiobook Review: Ante Up by Kim Fielding and Narrator: Andrew McFerrin

Standard

Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

Love is a high-stakes game.

A century and a half ago, Ante Novak died on a Croatian battlefield—and rose three days later as a vampire. Now he haunts Las Vegas, stealing blood and money from drunken gamblers and staying on the fringe of the powerful vampire organization known as the Shadows. His existence feels empty and meaningless until he meets beautiful Peter Gehrardi, who can influence others with his thoughts.

An attraction flares instantly, bringing a semblance of life to Ante’s dead heart. But the Shadows want Peter too, and they’re willing to kill to get him. As Ante and Peter flee, they learn more about themselves and each other, and they discover that the world is a stranger place than either of them imagined. With enemies at their heels and old mistakes coming back to exact a price, how can Ante and Peter find sanctuary?

Ante Up is a different type of paranormal story. When the majority of the characters are vampires, not all the traditional troupes are followed. I enjoyed those differences and Ante’s Croatian background. The number of details worked well for the story and added to its depth.

The author did a nice job making Ante unique. He’s not the traditionally rich, alpha vampire with a legion at his feet. He’s a down the mill hustler whose only worry is where to be at sunrise. He’s comfortable living in the fridges and doesn’t believe in causing harm to survive. Most of the men he feeds from are as lonely as he is, and their times together are beneficial for both of them.

Enters Peter to change Ante’s organized life. With his quick charm and good looks, he brings out Ante’s curiosity. He’s not sure about his heritage or his powers but he tries to keep both under wraps. Just like Ante, he’s not the traditional hero, but it works for them.

The more time they spend together, the more they discover about themselves and other paranormals. The descriptions, settings, and new characters are interesting and only added to the plot.

The meeting and battle at the end felt a bit rushed. After so many details, it was unexpected to have such a simple resolution. Overall, it’s a good story if you are looking for more than sparkling vampires.

The narration by Andrew McFerrin worked well with the story. The characters came to life and he showed Ante’s slight accent.

The Cover by Aaron Anderson follows the Dreamspun Beyond style and has a depiction of Ante.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner | Amazon | Audible

Audiobook Details:

Narrator: Andrew McFerrin

Length:  5 hours 52 minutes

Published: January 12, 2018 (Audio Edition) by Dreamspinner Press
ASIN: B078YC6477
Edition Language: English

An Alisa Review: Jingle Bears (The Bears of Falcon’s Ridge, #2.5) by Susan E. Scott

Standard

Rating:  3.5 stars out of 5

Connor and Falcon have been together for a year and a half and are about to spend their second Christmas together. The way things have been going for the last few months has Falcon wondering if he should refer to it as their second Christmas or their last. With the mood that Connor has been in lately, Falcon isn’t sure that Connor even wants to be with him anymore.

Connor knows that he’s been acting like an ass, but he’s hurt with Falcon and can’t seem to get past it. On top of that, he’s been sick for a couple of weeks and doesn’t seem to be getting better, so now he’s worried that something serious may be wrong. And to add insult to injury—he’s gaining weight!

Both men are miserable and it’s only a few weeks until Christmas. Will they be able to work out their problems and have a merry holiday or will it take a Christmas miracle to get them back on track?

This was a cute story.  Connor and Falcon have been going through a rough patch and Falcon is starting to fear that if he goes through with a marriage proposal at Christmas that Connor wouldn’t accept.  Connor has been so confused with how he has been acting and feeling.

I loved Falcon’s worry and love for Connor no matter how he was acting and then their big surprise of Nick was great.  Both of them willingly accept their situation and son in their lives.  I loved seeing their connection with each other.  I haven’t read anything else in this series but it didn’t take away from the story.

Cover art by E Keith is cute and works well with the theme of the story.

Sales Links: Painted Hearts Publishing | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 60 pages

Published: December 6, 2017 by Painted Hearts Publishing

Edition Language: English

Series: The Bears of Falcon Ridge #3

�W \7

KA Mitchell on Characters, Writing and her story Bad Boyfriend (Bad in Baltimore #2) (author guest post)

Standard

Bad Boyfriend (Bad in Baltimore #2) by K.A. Mitchell
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art:Kanaxa

Buy Links: Google Books | Dreamspinner Press | Barnes & Noble | Amazon

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have KA Mitchell here today talking about Bad Boyfriends.  Welcome, KA!

✒︎

Hi again!

Thank you so much for having me back to talk about writing. I love answering interview questions (the only thing that’s more fun is when someone interviews my characters!).

I know I answered a ton of them last time, so I’m just going to answer a few here.

  • Do you have a favorite among your own stories?  And why?

I don’t have a favorite, honest. There are always books and characters who are easier to revisit, but I believe firmly in loving the one you’re with. My favorite is almost always the book I’m working on now with the next one I plan to work on a close second. It’s kind of like having a wife and a mistress. You love the story you committed to, but sometimes you’ve been together so long you start looking at something sexy on the horizon. But I always go back to my commitment. Until after edits do us part.

My readers, on the other hand, often email or talk to me about favorites (Thank you, readers!) and Bad Boyfriend is definitely a favorite of readers. Readers like to tell me that Peter is irredeemable scum and that they love Eli and Quinn. I’m thrilled that their story has stayed with readers for the past few years, and I’m excited to share them with new readers.

  • If you could imagine the best possible place for you to write, where would that be and why?

I announced my career intention as authoress at the ripe old age of six. (I was very into gendered suffixes at the time.) I didn’t really know what they did except made books. As I got older, the career never lost appeal. I always envisioned myself typing away in some cozy mountain cabin with a view of the lake. (I don’t know what lake, but it’s really picturesque.) In reality though, I love writing everywhere. I love when the words come so fast and good I have to write them down: at the beach, in line at Walt Disney World, in a meeting, at four a.m., and even in cardiac ICU (my dad was in surgery but the characters were talking). The best possible place to write may be that cabin (I don’t know, I’m still waiting to get there), but right now it’s wherever the words are flowing.

 

  • 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?

I write to be read. By me and hopefully by readers. I write stories I want to read. I’ve always made up stories. I can’t imagine life without them. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have imaginary friends and some alternate reality going on in my head. (If that makes me a little—or a lot—crazy, I’m fine with that.) I need to have a bedtime story to tell myself, it’s usually a scene I’m working on, or I can’t fall asleep. Why I write is because I love it. But sometimes, there’s a character who absolutely grabs me and will not stop until I tell his story. That can be an exciting ride and lead to sleepless nights, even without a looming deadline. I find myself jerking awake in bed and when I grab pen and paper in the middle of the night my wife says, “Tell the boys to be quiet. It’s bedtime.”

Tl;dr. I write because being in a story is the best thing ever. 

Bad Boyfriend

A Bad in Baltimore Story

Bad in Baltimore: Book Two

Causing trouble has never been more fun.

Eli Wright doesn’t follow anyone’s rules. When he was seventeen, his parents threw him out of the house for being gay. He’s been making his own way for the past five years and he’s not about to change himself for anyone’s expectations. For now, romance can wait. There are plenty of hot guys to keep him entertained until he finds someone special.

Quinn Maloney kept the peace and his closeted boyfriend’s secrets for ten years. One morning he got a hell of a wake-up along with his coffee. Not only did the boyfriend cheat on him, but he’s marrying the girl he knocked up. Inviting Quinn to the baby’s baptism is the last straw. Quinn’s had enough of gritting his teeth to play nice. His former boyfriend is in for a rude awakening, because Quinn’s not going to sit quietly on the sidelines. In fact, he has the perfect scheme, and he just needs to convince the much younger, eyeliner-wearing guy who winks at him in a bar to help him out.

Eli’s deception is a little too good, and soon he has everyone believing they’re madly in love. In fact, he’s almost got Quinn believing it himself….

K.A. Mitchell

About the Author

K.A. Mitchell discovered the magic of writing at an early age when she learned that a carefully crayoned note of apology sent to the kitchen in a toy truck would earn her a reprieve from banishment to her room. Her career as a spin-control artist was cut short when her family moved to a two-story house and her trucks would not roll safely down the stairs. Around the same time, she decided that Ken and G.I. Joe made a much cuter couple than Ken and Barbie and was perplexed when invitations to play Barbie dropped off. She never stopped making stuff up, though, and was thrilled to find out that people would pay her to do it. Although the men in her stories usually carry more emotional baggage than even LAX can lose in a year, she guarantees they always find their sexy way to a happy ending.

K.A. loves to hear from her readers. You can email her at ka@kamitchell.com. She is often found talking about her imaginary friends on Twitter @ka_mitchell.

Email: ka@kamitchell.com

Twitter: @ka_mitchell

Website: http://www.kamitchell.com

Blog: authorkamitchell.wordpress.com

Tumblr: kamitchellplotbunnyfarm

Aimee Nicole Walker on the Inspiration, and Fun Facts on Second Wind (Guest post,Excerpt, and Giveaway)

Standard

Second Wind Tour Banner

SECOND WIND

AIMEE NICOLE WALKER

M/M ROMANCE

RELEASE DATE: 02.14.18

Second Wind Cover

COVER DESIGN: JAY AHEER/ Simply Defined Art

COVER PHOTOGRAPHER: WANDER AGUIAR

BUY LINK: http://mybook.to/SecondWind

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Aimee Nicole Walker here today on tour for her story Second Wind. Welcome, Aimee.

♦︎

Hello everyone. I want to thank Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for having me here to chat about my brand-new book, Second Wind. I’m going to talk about the inspiration for the story, give you a fun fact about the book, and share a teaser or excerpt.

About Second Wind:

The idea for Second Wind came to me while I was on vacation with my husband in eastern Tennessee. We hadn’t updated our GPS since the previous year, and the directions to the restaurant we chose for dinner took us to the back of a new high school where their outdoor athletic fields were located. So, my husband was angry as hell, but I was enthralled by the football field and the majestic mountain view for a backdrop. My creative brain fired up immediately, and I clearly saw a football game playing out. I heard the crowd cheering as the king of the gridiron scores a touchdown, the marching band playing their fight song, but what stood out in my imagination the most was the silhouette of another boy on the sideline taking pictures for the school paper and yearbook. I immediately knew three things: the king of the gridiron and the photographer were in love, nobody knew it, and their love story would take me on a journey I’d never forget.

In Second Wind, I try to honor the men and women all around the world who didn’t have an easy coming out experience or one at an early age. I tell the story of a man who tried to repress his true self to play by society’s rules and the journey he takes once he decided that living half of a life is not really living at all. I also try to show that members of the LGBTQ+ community don’t just come out one time; they have to come out each time they meet someone new. And most importantly, it’s never too late to find your happily ever after.

Fun fact about Second Wind:

I try to put little tidbits of myself in each book. I think the best way to make characters feel relatable is to give them very human habits, hopes, fears, likes, and even dislikes. In Second Wind, I put so much of me on those pages, but here is one Aimee trait for each main character.

Rush: I gave him my childhood bad habit at the penny candy counter at our ice cream parlor. Where I grew up, our ice cream parlor was called The Big Dipper. I can vividly recall the delicious way that place smelled, and it makes me so nostalgic for my childhood. I gave the guys a Scoops, and they too had a big candy counter. When I got my allowance for doing odd jobs around the house, I would walk to The Big Dipper and try to stretch that money as far as I could. I wanted bang for my buck even as a kid. I didn’t want to blow it all one one or two things. So this is how I did it. Of course, I bought an ice cream cone with two scoops. My flavor of choice back then was bubble gum, which I thankfully outgrew when I discovered rocky road. I would start in on my cone while I browsed the penny candy selection. Now, some of the candy obviously cost more than a penny. You weren’t getting a box of lemon heads for a penny, but I think they were five or ten cents. Anyway, I’d tell the poor lady behind the counter that I wanted ten of these, five of those, and ten of these other things. Then I’d ask her how much money I had left. She would count it up, give me a total for what I had left to spend, and we’d repeat until I was out of money. I eventually became more shrewd and learned to count my own money. I gave Rush this habit.

Lincoln: Growing up, Tyson chicken patties and Kraft macaroni and cheese were luxuries my single mom couldn’t afford often. They were such a special treat when I had them. To this day, I love those two things. I don’t eat them often because my tastes have advanced, but its still one of my favorite comfort foods. In Lincoln’s case, his mother detested processed chicken products and fake cheese made from a neon orange powder. He would get his fix when he went to Rush’s house.

I hope you enjoyed this behind the scene look at the making of Second Wind. That sounds a touch stuffy, doesn’t it. I hope you liked this peek into my brain. Better? Thank you so much for hanging out with me, and thanks again to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for allowing me to talk about a project that I’m so passionate about.

 

BLURB

Second wind: a new strength or energy to continue something that is an effort. After an amicable divorce, Lincoln Huxley is ready to embrace the sexuality he repressed for more than two decades. Rush Holden is no longer willing to settle for closeted men or those who don’t share his dreams of marriage and fatherhood. A chance encounter on a lakeside pier is the second wind they both need. Or will it just be a painful reminder of all they had lost?

Second chance: an opportunity to try something again that failed one time. Rush and Lincoln have shared a lot of firsts—friendship, young love, and heartbreak. Cruel reality forced the two men to choose paths that took their lives in different directions. Twenty-six years later, they get a second chance to fall in love with each all over again. Can it really be that simple, or will the same issues ruin their happiness a second time?

Happily ever after: to live happily for the rest of one’s life. Rush and Lincoln know that love and life can’t be defined by words alone. Patience, commitment, and the determination to do whatever it takes will be the only way the two men achieve their happily ever after.

Second Wind is a funny, sexy, and endearing standalone romance novel about love, loss, and rediscovery. It contains sexually explicit material and is intended for adults 18 and older.

Second Wind Teaser 2

Second Wind Teaser 3

EXCERPT

I suddenly felt an invisible pull to go to the pier and ride the damn thing. No, Rush wouldn’t be with me in person, but the memory of him would be. I walked the short distance and bought tickets for the Centennial Wheel. The pier was packed with families and friends just looking to have a good time and enjoy the beautiful June weather before the serious humidity hit later in the month.

I felt a little silly as I approached the long line by myself, but I passed the time by texting Phee and checking my email. The line had suddenly stopped advancing, and I wondered if the ride broke down or something. Then I heard the chatter about newlyweds posing for photos with the grand Ferris wheel in the background.

“Look how handsome the grooms look,” someone said.

“It so good that people don’t have to hide any longer,” another person added.

I stepped out of line to see for myself, and my heart thudded to a stop in my chest before it raced with recognition. It wasn’t the grooms that held me spellbound; it was the photographer. I’d know that stance anywhere because I sure as hell had seen it enough times growing up. The camera he held in his hand was a lot different and more expensive than the ones he used to own, but the way he stood and cradled it like a rare treasure was all the same. Rush! But how was this possible? My mind had to be playing tricks on me. This moment was nothing but a fantasy brought on by all the trips down memory lane I’d made the past twenty-four hours. I would wake up to find that I fell asleep in the hotel room instead of walking to the pier.

There was no way in hell that Rush, my Rush, was a few hundred feet away from me. It had to be someone who resembled him. The photographer turned around and smiled at something his assistant said to him. I started walking toward him without stopping to think if I should. For the first time in more than twenty-six years, my world felt right. My Rush.

It felt like I’d caught my second wind.

Aimee Logo

I am a wife and mother to three kids, three dogs, and a cat. When I’m not dreaming up stories, I like to lose myself in a good book, cook or bake. I’m a girly tomboy who paints her fingernails while watching sports and yelling at the referees. I will always choose the book over the movie. I believe in happily-ever- after. Love inspires everything that I do. Music keeps me sane.

FACEBOOK – https://www.facebook.com/aimeenicole.walker?fref=nf

AMAZON – http://amzn.to/2C6LWfs

TWITTER – https://twitter.com/AimeeNWalker?lang=en

BLOG – http://aimeenicolewalker.blogspot.com/

NEWSLETTER: http://bit.ly/2GwKeX7

GIVEAWAY

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/c86a967063/

a Rafflecopter giveaway

https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

MichelleSlagan---VibrantPromotionsLogo---FiveStarDesigns---150ppi

 

Release Blitz – Pretty In Pink (Housemates #6) by Jay Northcote (excerpt and giveaway)

Standard

 

 
Cover Design: Garrett Leigh @ Black Jazz Design
Length: 58,000 words approx.
 
Housemates Series
 
Book #1 – Helping Hand
Book #2 – Like A Lover 
 
Blurb
 

Ryan isn’t looking for a relationship with a guy–and Johnny isn’t looking for a relationship at all.

Ryan’s always been attracted to tall, leggy blondes–normally of the female variety. When Johnny catches his eye at a party, Ryan’s interest is piqued even though he’s never been with a guy before. The attraction is mutual, and the amazing night that follows opens Ryan’s eyes to his bisexuality.

Experience has taught Johnny that love hurts. Staying single is safer, and there’s no need for complicated relationships when hooking up is easy. When he moves in next door to Ryan, they’re both interested in picking up where they left off, and it seems like an ideal arrangement: convenient, mutually satisfying, and with no strings attached.

Despite their best intentions to keep things casual, they develop an emotional connection alongside the physical one. Both begin to want more from the relationship but are afraid to admit it. If they’re going to work things out, they need to start being honest–first with themselves, and then with each other.

Although this book is part of the Housemates series, it has new main characters, a satisfying happy ending, and can be read as a standalone.

Excerpt

Ryan was a few drinks down and feeling pretty buzzed when he first caught sight of blond hair through the crowd of partygoers.

He nearly hadn’t bothered coming out tonight. He had his third year project to write up, and should have been working on that, not partying with his next door neighbours. But the rest of Ryan’s housemates had talked him into it and he could do with letting off some steam, so he hadn’t put up much of a fight. One night couldn’t make too much difference, right?

The blonde arrived late and headed straight into the throng of dancers in the living room, bottle in hand. Tall and leggy in black skinny jeans with shit-kicking boots, Ryan’s interest was piqued immediately and a spike of arousal made his cock wake up. Tall and blonde was completely Ryan’s type, but when this blond slid a leather jacket off slender shoulders and tossed it on the back of the sofa, his washboard-flat chest made it clear he was a guy—so not Ryan’s type after all.

Despite the gut punch of disappointment at that revelation, Ryan found his interest persisted. The guy drew Ryan’s attention like a magnet lining up iron filings, and no matter how hard he tried, Ryan couldn’t stop watching him.

Spurred on by alcohol and reckless impulsivity, Ryan made a conscious decision not to question his attraction and just roll with it. He gradually edged his way into the group where the blond was dancing, and when he finally managed to make eye contact, the guy gave him a knowing smile that reflected Ryan’s interest right back at him. It curled around Ryan’s balls like the gentle, insistent squeeze of a hand.

Game on.

University was supposed to be all about new experiences, and Ryan only had a few months left before he graduated. He’d never hooked up with a guy before, and it had always been on his sexual bucket list, but not a high priority. As a young teen he’d sometimes admired androgynous male models on the pages of magazines that his mum used to buy and felt a confusing interest in them… but he’d never seen a guy in real life he’d wanted to fuck enough to actually do something about it.

Until tonight.


Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England. He comes from a family of writers, but always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed him by. He spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content.

One day, Jay decided to try and write a short story—just to see if he could—and found it rather addictive. He hasn’t stopped writing since.

Jay writes contemporary romance about men who fall in love with other men. He has five books published by Dreamspinner Press, and also self-publishes under the imprint Jaybird Press. Many of his books are now available

www.jaynorthcote.com
Twitter
Facebook profile
Facebook Author Page
Newsletter
Jayís books