A MelanieM Review: Flamecaller by Caitlin Ricci

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Rating: 2 stars out of 5

When the emperor has his father killed, it’s the breaking point for Haruo, who sets out from the island of dragon shifters where he lives in search of revenge. The tournament being held to marry off the emperor’s son seems a perfect opportunity—what better way to get close to the father than through the son, after all.

Three things drew me to this story.  That incredible cover, the author, and that synopsis.  I have read Caitlin Ricci’s stories before and enjoyed them. That fact, combined with the intriguing plot,  had me eagerly starting into chapter one.

Sigh.

What I found was more along the lines of an author’s outline for a novella than an actual story that was complete with fleshed out characters, relationships that had some depth to them, back histories that went beyond the shallow, and a foundation that made some sense.

This surprised me considering the author, which is why Flamecaller seems more like an outline of a story than an actual one.   The potential here is marvelous, especially with regard to the emperor’s son.  But do we get any of the necessary background on him to make sense of his actions or subsequent feelings? No.  Does the author give the readers any understanding of how certain important plot elements as I will call them (no spoilers) run genetically through family lines?  No.  Nothing.  She just throws facts out there and leaves them unsupported and whole sections of her story moorless.   That goes for the whole island is crying thing as well and Haruo’s family.  See statement above.

I won’t even get started on that ending which is preposterous no matter how fairy tale-ish this story became.

No, my hope is that sometime in the future, this gets pulled back, and properly rewritten into the novel it’s crying out to be.  Unless you are a hardcore Caitlin Ricci fan, I’d wait and see if that happens to read this story imo.

Cover Art :Michelle Seaver.  This cover is absolutely gorgeous as well as pertinent to the story.  It’s one of the things that drew me to read the blurb.  Love it.

Sales Links:  Less Than Three Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 45 pages
Published March 14th 2018 by Less Than Three Press
ISBN139781684311965
Edition Language English

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: The Little Library by Kim Fielding

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

I loved this story about Elliott, a young college professor who was badly deceived and used by his lover and mentor and now struggles to fight his way back to the career path of his choice.  And Simon, who was injured on the job and is now fighting his way back to his career path as well—and if it can’t be as a cop, as he was before, at least he hopes to find something that fits.  He most definitely doesn’t want to work with his parents in their restaurant, not only because that’s not his chosen vocation, but also because he can’t meet their high personal expectations for him—that he’ll find a nice, preferably Assyrian, young woman, settle down, and raise babies for them. 

What I liked most is that these two guys seemed to be pretty normal—the kind of guys you might meet in your neighborhood, or on the job, or even have as a family member.  They are gay, but they’re not atypical—neither are porn stars, or con men, or werewolves—they’re a college professor and a cop.  Granted, the college professor spends a lot of time immersed in his books when he’s not teaching one of the online community college courses he’s now reduced to overseeing.  He lost his highly regarded, research-oriented position with a university when his lover and mentor was discovered to be embezzling and he was inadvertently caught up in the backlash.  Now, he’s searching to get back into a tenure-track position and idling away his free time by shopping for more books to feed his book-buying (and reading) addiction.  He tries to “behave” and exercise willpower, as many addicts would do, but it’s not until he decides to try something he’s seen elsewhere that his life takes on new purpose, and as a side benefit, he meets a pretty sexy guy with a bum knee. 

The solution?  He builds a “little library” a small set of enclosed book shelves on a post in his yard.  Rearranging the furniture in his home so he can spy on the people stopping by gives him pause, but he does it anyway, and he’s rewarded with making new friends. Among them a little girl and her mom and that sexy guy with the bum knee that he’s seen as he’s been out running.  That guy is Simon, and the two form an immediate friendship that leads to a very slow-burn relationship. I appreciated the way the author set this relationship up—no hurry to the bedroom, no over-the-moon heartthrobs—just a slow, gentle exploration of each other, starting with kisses and leading slowly to more. 

And as they grow closer, it’s evident that Simon’s closet is not where Elliott wants to be.  He was very hurt by his former lover and he won’t be hidden again.  But Simon’s family feelings on homosexuality and strong cultural and religious beliefs don’t allow for room to negotiate and he desperately fears losing his parents if he comes out.  In the meantime, Elliott is still searching for a university where he can settle in to research and get his career back on track, and it’s starting to look like that might happen in Nebraska. 

Again, the author does not make the solution magical. These guys have to work for all they have both together and individually.  It’s just not simple.  It’s real.  And I loved them.  For me, the hallmark of a well-written book with endearing characters who face and overcome difficult life situations is when I can not only remember the story days later, but I can also recall their names. This one is a winner—proven by the above standards several days after I finished the story.  And it’s going on my list of best of 2018.  Well-written, with a host of amazing secondary characters, two outstanding main characters, and a variety of interesting experiences, added to slow burn, which is one of my favorite themes, I can easily highly recommend this one to lovers of MM romance.  If you like it slow and you like your characters to be people you’d like to get to know, by all means choose this story. 

~~~

The very attractive, colorful cover by LC Chase depicts the torso of a man holding an open book while standing at a “little library.”  It’s one of the reasons—beside the fact that I love this author—that I chose this book. 

Sales Links:

AmazonSmashwords 

Book Details:

self published by the Kindle Edition, 1 edition
Published March 26th 2018 by Kim Fielding
Original TitleThe Little Library
ASINB07BJL6NMB
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Caryn Release Day Review: The Architect and the Castle of Glass by Jade Mere

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Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

It’s been a while since I’ve read fantasy, and this book definitely lives up to the genre.  The universe created is a little bit middle east, a little bit steampunk, a little bit of magic in a world just entering an industrial age.  The cast includes a spoiled but genius aristocrat, his eccentric brother who sees things not of this world, a reclusive and secretive prince and his insane mother, and the man who calls himself brother to the prince.  It’s long (as a fantasy book should be), and this is the first in a series, but it does end with closure of the initial story arc, and no cliffhanger (thank God, because those drive me crazy!)

The protagonist of the story, Takhi, starts out as an arrogant, selfish, entitled jerk.  He’s the son of the ambassador, wealthy, aristocratic, given all the things wealthy men can give to their children.  The only thing he wants, though, is to be a famous architect.  His country is peaceful and meditative, and has been essentially sealed off from the largest and most modern country, Vatalokit, and that is the only place Takhi feels his genius will be appreciated.  So he runs away, convinced that the only reason he is not already renowned as the greatest architect is because his country is backwards and resists innovation.  Although I knew that he was going to be humbled and come out a better man – because that’s how fantasy works and this book follows the formula – I have to admit the process took so long I almost gave up on him.  Truthfully, that’s probably more realistic, but I kept getting angry at him until the end of the book for being so conceited and self-absorbed, and because it led him into quite a few TSTL (too stupid to live) situations.

Takhi was recruited to serve as architect for the prince of Vatalokit, to convert his castle into a weapon.  The castle itself is almost like another character – it is made of obsidian, dark, brooding, and strangely alive (Howl’s Moving Castle kept coming to my mind, but really it is nothing like that!).  People who stay in it too long tend to go a little crazy.  At the castle, Takhi met Rye – a man the prince rescued from the slums and who is now the closest thing the prince has to family.  Takhi didn’t know why the prince wanted such a weapon, and didn’t believe the flimsy reasons the prince gave, but he thought only of making a name for himself, and was going to do that however he could.

The entire book was really well written, steadily paced with a natural plot evolution.  I got irritated at Takhi many times and wanted to skip past the consequences of his stupidity, but it was worth it in the end to hang in there.  The romance aspect of the story is almost peripheral, with only hints of interest from Rye and Takhi, and they are not together until the very end of the book.  There was more written interaction between Takhi and his twin brother Sorjian, who actually became my favorite character.  The reveal of the secrets of the castle, and the prince’s plotting, was abrupt and the only really jarring exception to the plot progression, and left several threads hanging, but I think those will be taken up in the next books in the series, and I’m looking forward to reading them!

Cover art by the author is typical of a fantasy book, pretty, and probably why I kept picturing Howl’s Moving Castle every time I thought of it….

Sales Links:   Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 230 pages
Expected publication: March 27th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781640802629
Edition LanguageEnglish

KIM FIELDING on Modesto, Story Locations, and her new release ‘The Little Library’ (guest blog)

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The Little Library by Kim Fielding

Release Date:  March 27, 2018
Cover art: L.C. Chase

Buy links:

AmazonSmashwords 

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Kim Fielding here today talking about her latest release The Little Library.  Welcome, Kim.

✒︎

 

Hi! I’m Kim Fielding and I’m very excited to announce the release of my newest novel, The Little Library! Set in California’s Central Valley, this story stars a guy with a slightly obsession with books. What’s not love about that, right?

I live in California. I’ve lived here for 25 years, but my husband is a native and my daughters are something like 5th generation Californians on his side. Thanks to movies and TV, people all over the world have at least some vague impressions about this state. Hollywood. Surfers. San Francisco. Redwoods. Death Valley. And all of those things really are here, of course. But California is a big state—its land mass is greater than that of Japan or Paraguay and only a little smaller than Sweden or Morocco—and there are parts of it that even most Californians aren’t familiar with.

I live in one of those parts: the San Joaquin Valley. In case you’re not a geography whiz, this is part of the Central Valley, lying flat and hot between the Sierra Nevadas and the coast ranges. About 4 million people live here, and there are a few larger cities (e.g., Fresno and Bakersfield), but most of the valley is rural. My new book, The Little Library, takes place here, in Modesto.

So what’s this area like? Well, we’re a couple of hours from beaches and redwoods. Celebrities are few and far between (although notable Modestans include Jeremy Renner, George Lucas, and James Marsters). Our winters tend to be cool and foggy, while our summers are oven-hot and bone-dry. People here tend to be more politically conservative than in the Bay Area. Housing prices are reasonable by California standards.

This is a heavy-duty agricultural area. We grow almost all of the country’s almonds and a whole lot of grapes (Gallo Winery is headquartered in Modesto). We have tomatoes, melons, feed corn, chickens, and dairy cattle. My subdivision, in a town about a half hour south of Modesto, sits on what used to be a bean field. Ours is a climate that allows backyards to sustain orange and apple trees, and rosemary and oregano become large shrubs.

This isn’t the most beautiful part of California, and it’s certainly not the most glamorous. People pass through here on the way to other places—Yosemite, Sacramento, LA—and few people would put the San Joaquin Valley at the top of their vacation wish lists. Still, I believe that almost every place on the planet has at least some charms, and interesting people live everywhere. Even in Modesto.

My decision to set The Little Library in Modesto was a deliberate one. Like their hometown, my protagonists—a failed academic and an ex-cop—aren’t flashy. Neither of them is wealthy, and they don’t look like they’ve stepped off a fashion runway. But they’re dealing with some universal issues. Fear of failure. Family conflicts. Uncertainty about their future. And, of course, the search for love.

Do you live somewhere nobody knows about? Or maybe you live somewhere famous but outsiders have misconceptions about your area. Please share in the comments!

***

About The Little Library

Elliott Thompson was once a historian with a promising academic future, but his involvement in a scandal meant a lost job, public shame, and a ruined love life. He took shelter in his rural California hometown, where he teaches online classes, hoards books, and despairs of his future.

Simon Odisho has lost a job as well—to a bullet that sidelined his career in law enforcement. While his shattered knee recovers, he rethinks his job prospects and searches for the courage to come out to his close-knit but conservative extended family.

In an attempt to manage his overflowing book collection, Elliott builds a miniature neighborhood library in his front yard. The project puts him in touch with his neighbors—for better and worse—and introduces him to handsome, charming Simon. While romance blooms quickly between them, Elliott’s not willing to live in the closet, and his best career prospects might take him far away. His books have plenty to tell him about history, but they give him no clues about a future with Simon.

***

About the Author

Kim Fielding is the bestselling author of numerous m/m romance novels, novellas, and short stories. Like Kim herself, her work is eclectic, spanning genres such as contemporary, fantasy, paranormal, and historical. Her stories are set in alternate worlds, in 15th century Bosnia, in modern-day Oregon. Her heroes are hipster architect werewolves, housekeepers, maimed giants, and conflicted graduate students. They’re usually flawed, they often encounter terrible obstacles, but they always find love.

After having migrated back and forth across the western two-thirds of the United States, Kim calls the boring part of California home. She lives there with her husband, her two daughters, and her day job as a university professor, but escapes as often as possible via car, train, plane, or boat. This may explain why her characters often seem to be in transit as well. She dreams of traveling and writing full-time.

Follow Kim:

Website: http://www.kfieldingwrites.com/

Facebook: http://facebook.com/KFieldingWrites

Twitter: @KFieldingWrites

Email: Kim@KFieldingWrites.com

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bau3S9

A complete list of Kim’s books: http://www.kfieldingwrites.com/kim-fieldings-books/

 

A Highly Recommended Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words story.  Find our review here.

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT TOUR Moon Illusion by Michelle Osgood

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Title  MOON ILLUSION (The Better to Kiss You With 3 ) by Michelle Osgood

Publisher: Interlude Press

Release Date (Print & Ebook):  March 22, 2018

Buy links:

Interlude Press Web Store: https://store.interludepress.com/collections/moon-illusion-by-michelle-osgood

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2tddArC

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/moon-illusion-michelle-osgood/1127756493?ean=2940155070726

Apple: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/moon-illusion-michelle-osgood/1127756493?ean=2940155070726

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/774932

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/moon-illusion-1

Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Moon-Illusion-Michelle-Osgood/9781945053566 /?a_aid=InterludePress

Indiebound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781945053566?aff=InterludePress

Book blurb:

Nathan Roberts was just your average polyamorous librarian living in Vancouver until his best friend, Deanna started dating a werewolf. While hosting the small pack in his apartment while they hid from the underground network of Huntsmen, Nathan enjoyed a casual fling with Cole, the pack leader’s brother. But now, he may just be falling for him.

When his neighbor is murdered, Nathan is convinced the death is linked to the supernatural, but Cole and their friends deny any paranormal connection. This leads to a fracture of trust in their relationship, and Cole’s pack is left to deal with an unknown killer on the loose. As Nathan pursues answers on his own, he must come to terms with the truth, and his feelings for Cole.

Exclusive Excerpt for Scattered Thoughts:

Content warning: Blood

Nathan flung out his arms to catch himself, but it wasn’t enough. His palms slid against the floor; his forearms and butt landed with enough force to bruise before his head cracked against the cement floor. Stars burst across his vision. He had one breathless, suspended moment of relief that he was relatively intact until pain radiated like a halo from the back of his skull.

Nathan groaned. His eyes blinked open. Ow.

He sat up gingerly. His hands and arms were wet with something dark: a viscous liquid that was the unpleasant color of blood. Ew.

Now he’d have to shower before his nap. And, maybe, the way his head pounded sickeningly, he’d also have to throw up the pad thai he’d just eaten.

He’d let go of the garbage and the recycling as well as his phone on his way down. They all seemed to have landed clear of the mess that Nathan slipped on, but empty containers were strewn across the floor.

Careful of his sure-to-be-bruised body, Nathan eased himself up. When he wobbled to his feet, the smell caught him—hot copper, like a penny left sitting in the sun.

Not looks like blood, but is blood.

The pad thai threatened to come up then and there. Nathan gritted his teeth against the swell of nausea, closed his eyes, and breathed through his mouth. He realized his mistake instantly when the heavy scent coated his throat. He gagged and lurched to the side. He grabbed the nearest recycling bin to steady himself and took several deep breaths through his nose. CARDBOARD PAPER ONLY the bin announced. Nathan focused on the crisp shape of letters until the immediate need to puke passed. He wasn’t ruling out puking later. In fact, he suspected it was likely.

After one more deep breath, Nathan steeled himself and turned.

Blood, more than he’d ever seen, more than he realized was possible to see, coated the floor like spilled paint. Five liters. Just over five liters—that’s how much blood could be in the human body. His brain helpfully offered up an image of a plastic, four-liter milk jug and a second one-liter carton. When he thought about it like that, with the neat, sanitized whiteness of the two-percent milk he used to drink as a kid, the amount seemed terribly innocuous, hardly anything. But the amount on the floor, the amount that pooled on the concrete, that drew his eyes unerringly to its center, there was nothing innocuous about that, nor about the body.

It was a body. That was one thing Nathan was certain of, even if the rest of his reality was slowly tilting sideways. It was a body and not a person, because people couldn’t survive losing all that blood—four point seven to five point five liters, depending on size—just as they couldn’t survive losing their heads or both their hands without immediate medical attention. And whoever this was had lost all the above.

It was total overkill. To kill someone—and it wasn’t as if Nathan planned on killing someone, but it paid to have some idea how to kill someone just in case it was ever necessary— there were a hell of a lot of easier ways to do it than behead them. Besides, it wasn’t as though swords or axes or other traditional beheading tools were common in 2017 Vancouver.

Axes.

That thought sparked in Nathan’s mind. The only people he’d seen who carried axes were the Huntsmen. And sure, they were metaphorical axes rather than literal axes—they were tattoos of an axe—but if the Huntsmen could get their hands on automatic weapons, an actual axe was hardly a stretch.

Nathan crept forward, careful to edge around the blood as much as possible. He should feel something, he knew: guilt, fear, horror. But curiosity fueled him and, for now, it had pushed aside everything else, even nausea, and replaced it with a much simpler need: to know.

Why behead a human? Why behead a human and take their hands? It didn’t make sense. Real life wasn’t an episode of Dexter. If you wanted to kill someone, there were a thousand easier ways.

Say what you wanted to kill wasn’t human, though. Say it was superhuman. Supernatural.

 

About Michelle Osgood:

Michelle Osgood writes queer, feminist romance from her tiny apartment in Vancouver, BC. She loves stories in all media, especially those created by Shonda Rhimes, and dreams of one day owning a wine cellar to rival Olivia Pope’s. She is active in Vancouver’s poly and LGBTQ communities, never turns down a debate about pop culture, and is trying to learn how to cook. Her novels The Better to Kiss You With (2016) and Huntsmen (2017) were published by Interlude Press.

Connect with Michelle: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

Giveaway

Enter to win Moon Illusion by Michelle Osgood:

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Length (Print & Ebook): 210 pages / 61,000 words

Subgenre: Contemporary Romance: Paranormal, LGBT/Urban Fantasy

Author’s content warnings:

Moon Illusion by Michelle Osgood

Additional Themes

  • Insomnia, paranoia, alcohol and marijuana use
  • Chapter 5: Graphic violence and an animal death during a dream sequence
  • Chapters 7-8: Gore
  • Chapter 16: Animal death
  • Chapters 18-20: Graphic violence during a dream sequence
  • Chapters 33-44: Domestic abuse, graphic violence, stalking

Blog Tour – The Rescuer by Eric Huffbind (excerpt and giveaway)

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BLOG TOUR

Book Title: The Rescuer (2nd Edition)

Author: Eric Huffbind

Publisher: Self Published

Cover Artist: Jennifer Craig

Genre/s: Contemporary Gay Male Romance.

Length:  59,000 words/212 paperback pages

Goodreads 

Blurb

Christopher’s striking green eyes and handsome good looks didn’t buy him happiness, but he learned to survive off of them to maintain his expensive lifestyle. Now, after he has nearly destroyed himself, he’s in the fight for his life…

A Contemporary Gay Male Romance – Newly Released 2nd Edition

When Christopher Parker checks himself into the Watermeadow Rehabilitation Center, he was frightened for his future and what was to become of him. Haunted from his past, he knows that he has to take this step in his recovery or face his likely death as the alternative. He never expected to find his social worker, Jason Calhoun, incredibly attractive. Christopher dreams of finding a man to love and who will treat him with decency. Although Jason does fit the bill, he knows that this relationship is strictly professional. Completely out of reach for a failure like himself.

Jason, who is a hopeless romantic, is in the endless pursuit of Prince Charming. Always unlucky in love but finds solace in the care of his patients. He loves being needed and having patients that depend on him. Jason comes to realize that the guys he dates always need to be rescued, much like his patients. A strategy that he’s learning is a poor choice.

Jason discovers that Christopher has become tangled up with a famed billionaire. As a billionaire, he can afford anything he wants, which seems to include even the ability to buy true love. Suddenly, he fears that everything he has worked so hard for, both romance and career, is being threatened by his new nemesis.

If you enjoy stories that pull you in and have you caring about the characters and what happens to them, then this is the book for you. It promises to have you laughing, crying, & smiling!

Buy Links

Queer Romance Ink https://www.queeromanceink.com/book/the-rescuer/

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.ca

Amazon.com.au

Barnes & Noble

Excerpt

Feeling a set of lips gently pressing on his forehead, Christopher woke up to someone kissing him. He found a strange man gazing down on him; his eyes weren’t quite in focus yet.

“How are you feeling?” asked the stranger.

Christopher suddenly sprang up from the bed recognizing in a split second whose voice it was. “Sam! What the fuck are you doing here?” Eyes now focusing at one-hundred percent.

“I was just checking in on you. I wanted to know how you were feeling? Can’t a friend pay a visit?”

It was Samuel Barron or “Sam” as his cohorts called him. He was a powerful CEO of one of the nation’s top five-hundred corporations, namely Viatone. They were makers of pharmaceuticals. In the years Christopher had known Sam, Viatone had grown to a five-hundred-billion-dollar company.

Sam was a bit more than just a CEO of a huge corporation. At one time, he was one of the nation’s most eligible bachelors—a gorgeous hunk of a man to feast your eyes upon, despite his advancing years. His looks held up like a fine bottle of wine. Women all over the country would swoon over every magazine photo, television news spot, and social media post. And it wasn’t just the women. Every gay man’s dick would jump into action each time they saw an image of this man; Christopher had been among that crowd.

Mr. Barron exuded pure charisma everywhere he went and in everything he touched. He’d been one of the nation’s most eligible bachelors. However, that status changed five years ago, when he married Patsy Rossmiller.

“You’re no friend!” Christopher shouted back in his most snide and angry voice. “And you’re not welcome here, you motherfucking son-of-a-bitch! Get the fuck out of my room! Better yet, get the hell out of my life!” He made no attempt to hide his feelings. Clearly, he was overwhelmed with upset; downright hostile and belligerent.

“Sweetheart, I’ve been worried sick about you,” Sam said.

“I’m not your sweetheart. Not now—not ever,” Christopher shouted with increasing volume. “You’re not worried about me—you selfish asshole. You’re concerned about your reputation. What would this country think of you if they knew the truth? The country—hell, what would the world think if they found out. That’s all you care about. That’s all you ever cared about.”

“Look, you’re not the only one who’s in a position of power, and you know it!” The bastard CEO snarled back.

That was one comment Christopher did not want to hear, and it was the last straw. He couldn’t take the presence of this man, not a single second more. He burst into tears yet again all the while he screamed as loud as he could.

“Get out! Get out! Get out! Get out!” Over and over, he yelled with increasing intensity. In no time at all, the third-floor staff came racing into Christopher’s room; including Jason. Nurse Judy immediately saw the presence of Sam Barron, as did everyone else. She didn’t have the slightest idea what was upsetting her patient to result in such a tumultuous reaction. Looking directly at the unwanted visitor, she calmly said, “Mr. Barron, I think you had better leave.”

It wasn’t as if she or anyone needed to be introduced to this man. Who wouldn’t recognize him? Sam Barron’s notoriety spread everywhere, particularly in the healthcare community. But what the fuck is this man doing in Christopher Parker’s room at Watermeadow of all places was crawling through Jason’s head. He just couldn’t understand what their connection would be.

Mr. Barron knew he was outnumbered, so he nodded graciously and left as instructed. Christopher shouted after him, “And don’t come back—ever! I never want to see you again!”

He now dissolved into a puddle of tears. Eying Jason from across the room, Christopher ran over and flung his arms around the man, weeping uncontrollably; desperately needing to be in the arms of a friend. And although his new case manager wasn’t precisely a friend, he somehow knew he wouldn’t be rejected. His weight, having grabbed Jason so suddenly, pulled them both tumbling to the floor.

Trying to calm him down with a soft, “shhhhhh, listen to me, if you don’t want Mr. Barron coming back again, I can have him barred from the facility, at least while you’re staying with us.” The loud sobbing continued on Jason’s shoulder. “Would you like that?”

Christopher replied in a faint whisper, “Yes, please.”

Holding onto him tightly, he delivered a telling nod over to Judy. It was evident Christopher was overpowered with anger and anxiety that even the Ativan couldn’t assist with. In a complete state of bewilderment, she indicated she would call security at once, preventing the return of this apparent nemesis. Jason was also just as bewildered as he looked over towards her. Despite Sam Barron’s status in this world, he’d be damned if the man would interfere with a patient’s recovery. He was a tremendous advocate where his patients were concerned. “You just cry as much as you need to.”

Christopher tightened his grip around him even more while continuing to soak Jason’s dress shirt with tears. But Jason didn’t mind being clutched so tightly. It made him feel whole inside; that his life had meaning and purpose. It’s what he was good at—being there for others when they needed him. He treasured being needed; he always did.

After ten minutes of constant sobbing, Christopher finally calmed down. The ongoing sniveling had quelled. Jason eased him off the floor and back into bed. “Lie down and rest for a while. Are you feeling better now?” He received a nod back that indicated a positive answer. So, Jason brought Christopher’s feet up onto the bed and pulled the blanket across him. In his experience, a huge crying jag was exhausting.

Jason shut off the lights in the room and closed the door as he exited. He had a stack of paperwork sitting in his office, which needed his attention. One thing was certain in his mind, there weren’t going to be any elves coming around to take care of it for him.

About the Author 

Eric Huffbind is a man of many talents. He is a hopeless romantic, licensed registered nurse, has been a travel agent, and the eternal social butterfly. Among his passionate interests are history, genealogy, romance, and travel. Like so many other individuals, he has a long bucket list. On the list, to no surprise, was writing a novel. So this, his debut novel, is a lifetime of  raw emotions: be it love, happiness, sadness, tears, joy, anxiety, fear, disappointment, or achievement.

Although, the story in The Rescuer, focuses on the romantic relationship of two gay men, regardless of your sexual orientation, this novel is meant to rekindle the true spirit of romance and love in your heart. If Mr. Huffbind’s story moves you through an array of emotions, and it touches your romantic spirit, please share the book with a friend.

Mr. Huffbind was born in Cincinnati, Ohio and has remained in southwest Ohio for his entire life. His current residence is in West Chester Township, Ohio. He shares his life with his husband, an autistic son, and his beautiful Pomeranian.

Social Media Links

Blog/Website

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Giveaway

Enter Eric’s Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win one of the following prizes:

$25 Amazon Gift Card

$15 Amazon Gift Card

$10 Amazon Gift Card

One of 5 FREE Ebook Copies of THE RESCUER

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Book Blast – Love Worth Fighting For (Healing Hearts #3) by Dara Nelson (excerpt)

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BOOK BLAST

Book Title: Love Worth Fighting For (Healing Hearts #3)

Author:  Dara Nelson

Publisher: Dare Press

Cover Artist: Dara Nelson/Dan Skinner

Genre/s:  Gay (MM) romance

Length:  68256 words/236 pages

Release Date: February 27, 2018

It is a standalone book.

Blurb

Love.
They had it.
It was right there within their grasp.
Beautiful, blinding, passionate, perfect.
Or was it?
What do you do when your world suddenly and inexplicably falls apart?
How do you cope when everything you thought was good and strong and right…..suddenly isn’t?
How do you come to terms with an end that you never saw coming, a blow from your blindside that crushes your very existence?
How do you let go of the other half of your heart?
For Giovanni Romero, a man of confidence, a man who has always known what he wanted and went after it, you don’t.
You dig in with everything you have, reach deeper to find even more, and you fight.
You fight for what you believe in.
You fight for what you want.
You fight even though you don’t know why you’re fighting in the first place
You fight for love.
Who knew what that meant.  It was different for everyone.  Truth was, even Tommy had no idea what he truly needed to break free from his fears.
But Gio knew, of course he knew.  And once he was able to show Tommy, would the man run screaming from the room or would a whole new world open up at their feet like the golden brick road to Oz.
Restraining benches, sex swings and blindfolds, oh my…

This is an adult M/M romance intended for readers over 18.

Buy Links – Available on KU

Amazon US 

Amazon UK

Goodreads

Book 1

Book 2

Book 3

Excerpt

Gio swirled the amber liquid in his glass as he stared out of his floor to ceiling windows at the twinkling lights from the Seattle skyline below.  This place was supposed to be his sanctuary, his window to the beautiful world below. Instead, tonight it felt like his prison, like he was a captive in his own castle.  He reached up with one hand and angrily yanked at his bowtie to loosen it then he unbuttoned the first few buttons on his shirt. As his hand dropped back down it brushed over the lump in his inner breast pocket.  He felt the tears immediately form in his eyes as he reached shaking fingers inside and pulled out the velvet box. He worked it open with one hand, the other still firmly clasping the glass with the whiskey in it because he knew how badly he needed it. He drained the rest of the fluid as he stared down at the silver and black bands with the diamonds glinting in the moonlight.

Then he hauled his arm back and sent his empty glass flying towards the far wall where it smashed into a hundred pieces as he shouted out “FUCK!” into his empty room.

Empty.

That was an eerily accurate thought right now because he did feel empty.  His heart was shattered and his entire soul felt devoid of everything.

The problem was that he didn’t know why.

Why did he have to feel like this?  Why did he have to go from being happier than he’d ever been to…..this?

He hadn’t done anything wrong as far as he knew but maybe he had?  He tried to wrack his brain to think of something, anything that would explain why his entire world had crashed down around his feet.

Was it something he said?

Was it something he did?

He didn’t know, he just didn’t know.

Because the one person who could tell him had left.  He’d run. And he wasn’t speaking to Gio.

He wouldn’t answer his calls.

He ignored his texts.

Tommy’s silence was like a knife piercing Gio’s dying heart over and over and over again.  Tommy, his beautiful, fierce strong Tiger, had buried his claws in Gio’s chest and squeezed.

He slid his hand into his other pocket and pulled his phone out to….what?  Torture his eviscerated heart some more by reading the text again? Apparently so, since he found his thumb sliding over the screen to wake it up and he stared down at it yet again, even though those words were already burned into his brain:

Tiger: I’m sorry, I just can’t do this anymore.  Don’t call, don’t text, just let me go, please.

What the fuck did that even mean?

How did they go from laughing and enjoying themselves at Tony’s VIP celebration and wedding to this? All in a matter of a few hours.

His hand squeezed his phone as a sob broke free and he came really close to throwing the damn thing against the wall to join the broken glass.

But he couldn’t.

Because he needed his phone.

He needed it to fight, to fight for his man, to fight for their love, to fight for his life, to fight for….them.

He had no other choice.

If he didn’t, he didn’t think he’d survive.

He brought up his contacts and scrolled through as his heart hammered in his chest.

He knew he was grasping at straws here.

And he also knew that it was almost three in the morning.

But this couldn’t wait.

He pressed to dial and brought it up to his ear.

“’Lo?” a tired sounding voice said from the other end.

“I, it’s Gio.  I need your help.”

About the Author 

I was born and raised in the Bay Area of Northern California but have made my home in the Pacific Northwest for the last two decades.  My husband & I live on a small farm surrounded by chickens, goats, rabbits, a turkey, 5 dogs and a cat, in the shadow of stunning Mt Rainier.

With my grown children and grandchildren nearby, my life is always busy, happy and full of laughter.

I am an active Blogger, having created Love Unchained Book Reviews out of my love for all things MM books.

Owner of Dare Press –  Offering quality, affordable services for indie authors, including:

Editing, Publishing, Book Cover Design

NY Literary Magazine Best Story Award 2017 Nominee

When I’m not on the phone with my best friend (which is at least once every day) – I am an avid, addicted reader.  It is my passion, my escape, my joy

And I am most definitely a writer.  The characters in my head are constantly demanding that their story be told.

But above all that – I am a human being. My passion for people is unparalleled, my firm belief in Love is Love unwavering, my hope that all can be accepted, undying. I do not write because I want to, I do it because I have to.  I write because these voices, these beautiful men, have chosen me to tell their stories – and how damn lucky am I for that?

As an author, I write under both my name and a pen name, with total transparency and honesty:

Dara Nelson is the author of the wildly popular ‘Healing Hearts’ series (Love in the Aftermath, Love After Chaos, Love Worth Fighting For – and more to come soon)

“5 stars Amazing!!”

“Highly recommended”

“This is not your average romance story. It is so much more. A book that touched my heart.

“OMG!!! This was probably one of the best books I’ve ever read.”

“This is the first time I’ve read anything from Dara Nelson, but it won’t be the last. I need more of her writing!

Under the pen name Kendel Duncan:                                                                                         

Author of the popular & critically acclaimed ‘Black Ops Heroes’ series and the new top-selling ‘Doyle Global Securities’ series

“I can’t recommend Kendel Duncan or Black Ops Heroes ENOUGH!!!! OMG, everyone who likes strong vulnerable men will love these stories!!!

“I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK AND THIS AMAZING SERIES!!!!!

“I love how you keep the story going and keep all the characters interesting. Can’t wait for the next book!

“The emotions are so raw and just I don’t have the right words to express how amazing the books are. You have to read them to understand. I can’t wait for the next installment!!

 

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