A MelanieM Releases Day Review: All That Glitters by Kate Sherwood

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

 

No matter what he tells himself, wealthy NYC architect Liam has never been able to forget his first love, Ben. But as he approaches midlife and realizes something is missing, can he forgive himself for the worst mistake he ever made—the one that left a hole no amount of career success can fill? Or will fear keep him from the full life he really wants?

Liam and Ben were childhood sweethearts, then college boyfriends. But when Liam cheated on Ben, Ben forced himself to cut ties and move on. He’s still living in the small town where they grew up, teaching, but it’s not the life he imagined for himself as a younger man. Still, when Liam returns, he can’t risk his heart again. He certainly can’t allow himself to love Liam again after fighting so hard to get over him.

Neither man wants to let go of the past and face their apprehension at starting over. They don’t want to fall in love a second time—but sometimes love happens whether it’s wanted or not.

All That Glitters by Kate Sherwood is one of those books that I just submersed myself in from the very beginning and happily stayed that way, never wanting to emerge from the story , town of North Falls and warm company of characters Kate Sherwood created.

Instantly I knew everyone deserves an Uncle Calvin, best friends like Seth and his wife Dinah, and well, damn, everyone who populates North Falls including the deputy with her trooper car of authority.  I wanted to move into this town and wallow in its uniqueness and hometown warm glow.  By the end, I wanted to be one of them, quirks, history, and all.

It’s funny because in  one of my Sunday blogs, I had researched authors and articles who wrote down talking about how to write great romance stories.  One said don’t concentrate on secondary characters.  This story just proves how wrong that person was.  North Falls and all its townspeople, Uncle Calvin, Seth, Dinah….they make this story.  They show us the heart and foundation and history  where both  Ben and Liam came from.  Ben and LIam nee them not only to support them but to  supply the men with the weft and warp of this couple’s life tapestry.  Everyone plays major roles in these mens lives and the author weaves them in and out, with a richness of layers both fun, poignant, determined and deep.

The romance of two men who have always loved each other and now have a second chance at their HEA if only they can work through fear and other obstacles is realistic and moving.

The cheating is way in the past for those of you for whom its an issue.

Things I learned?  I so need to plan a baby shower (not a strong point of mine) because I need to play beer baby!!!! Thank you, Uncle Calvin!  I have never laughed so hard as during these scenes.  Maybe I’ll just can the baby shower and find a need to play beer baby on its own.  Along with some of the other twisted games he came up with.  Buy the book just for this.

Nope, when it domes down to it, this book is a treasure.  I laughed, sniffled a little, and outright loved this story.  The characters (man, oh, man, I need Uncle Calvin in my life), feel so real that it almost hurts to realize that I can’t go out and find them and North Falls on a road trip next week.

I highly recommend All That Glitters by Kate Sherwood.  For me, its everything, every word, every sentence, every paragraph,  every page.  Pick it up and get started today.

Cover Artist: Adrian Nicholas.  I sort of like that cover but in a couple of ways it doesn’t represent the book or give the reader an idea of what they are getting into.  It could just as easily be something supernatural instead of contemporary.  Nice representation of Ben however.  Definitely no LIam and that would have helped to show both men on the cover as well as the town.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 206 pages
Expected publication: June 26th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781640805255
Edition LanguageEnglish

An Alisa Release Day Review: Speed Dating the Boss (Cowboys and Angels #1) by Sue Brown

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Rating:  4.5 stars out of 5

Will a mix of privilege and blue collar be a recipe for love… or disaster?

Dan’s pretty satisfied with his job at the working-class bar Cowboys and Angels. He enjoys his simple life, his apartment, and his cat, but he could do without the fights that break out in the bar, his boss’s meddling daughter, Ariel… oh, and a brutal, unrequited crush on his straight alpha boss, Gideon.

When Dan’s friend prepares to tie the knot, everyone insists that Dan needs a date for the wedding. Before he can protest, Ariel arranges a gay speed-dating event at the bar with Gideon as a participant. The unforeseen revelation that Gideon is bisexual raises Dan’s hopes, especially when Gideon announces that he wants to accompany Dan to the wedding. Could Gideon really be interested in Dan?

When Dan needs someone most, Gideon offers his unconditional support, and with genuine commitment, he shows Dan the kind of man he really is. Teaming up to save the wedding from a hungover groom and intolerant parents, can Gideon convince Dan they’re the best match since beer and pizza?

I loved this story and was so glad to see Dan find the love he has been looking for.  Dan works himself to the bone and never really gives himself time off.  Gideon has been watching Dan for years but was never ready to move on after his wife passed away.

Dan has worked hard all his adult life and is slowly making it through college to get his business degree.  He is lonely but at least he has his cat and best friend, who he doesn’t see enough.  Gideon is a good guy even if he turns a blind eye to his daughter’s shenanigans.

I loved these characters but connected more with Dan since the story was told through his eyes.  I could see his pain and how betrayed he felt when he believed that Ariel and Gideon were playing him with the speed dating thing.  These two are perfect for each other if they can both get over themselves just a bit, Dan needs to allow someone to take care of him when they want to and Gideon needs to be a bit more open.  I loved watching Gideon realize what he needed to be for Dan and stepping up to the plate with no hesitation and I loved Dan’s unwavering dedication to his friends and co-workers.  I can’t wait to see what happens with Cris in the next book.

The cover art by Kanaxa is great and I love it.

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 204 pages

Published: April 24, 2018 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 978-1-64080-649-8

Edition Language: English

Series: Cowboys and Angels #1

An Ali Release Day Review: Lies & Deception by Nic Starr

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Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Detective Mitch O’Neill is the ideal man to infiltrate the Soldiers of Fury Motorcycle Club. His ex-boyfriend, Peter, is pledged with the club, which provides Mitch with the perfect cover. Despite the relationship ending badly, he’s come to terms with Peter’s drug addiction and his inability to help. All Mitch wants now is to bring down the Soldiers and the club president, Rocky Cummings, once and for all.

Finn Cummings hates everything the motorcycle club stands for, but he’s unable to escape his brother’s clutches. When Mitch is assigned as Finn’s driver, they spend countless hours together, and the saying proves true—opposites do attract. Finn agonizes over his feelings for Mitch—the last thing he wants is to involve himself further with criminals, not when he wants to leave that world. Mitch tries to come to terms with falling for a member of the outlaw club he’s determined to destroy.

If they can survive the fallout from Rocky’s violence and the investigation, they might discover it’s not a case of opposites attract after all.

I’m not sure why I tried this because I have a bad record with motorcycle club books.  But, hope springs eternal and both the cover and the blurb caught my eye.  I’m so glad I tried this because it was really, really good.
The blurb does a good job explaining the overall plot.  I was immediately caught up in the story and I also immediately liked both of the main characters.  I wasn’t sure I would find Finn’s problems legitimate but I did and I really felt sorry for the bind he was in.
When Mitch and Finn finally get together their chemistry is off the charts.  I loved the two of them together and was rooting for them the entire time.
The overall plot in regards to Mitch infiltrating the MC club was fast paced and entertaining.  There is a bunch of action and it feels realistic without being too gritty.
The side characters really added to the story.  I was hoping the bad guy would get his (you’ll have to read to see if he does) and I was hoping for something good to happen for Peter (maybe he’ll get a book of his own someday?).
This was my first time reading this author but I will definitely be checking out her other works.  This was one of the more entertaining stories I’ve read so far this year and I highly recommend this.
Cover:  This cover was done by Tiferet Design and I like it a lot.  It’s an eye catching cover and the models on the front fit the MC’s descriptions really well.
Sales Links:  Dreamspinner PressAmazon
Book Details:
ebook, 200 pages
Expected publication: June 26th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781640805101
Edition LanguageEnglish

Release Blitz for My Crunchy Life by Mia Kerick (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title: My Crunchy Life

Author: Mia Kerick

Release Date: 26th June 2018

Genre: LGBT, Young Adult

BLURB

John Lennon fought for world peace, but sixteen-year-old hippie hopeful Kale Oswald’s only made it as far as tie-dying his T-shirts with organic grape juice. Now he’s ready to cement his new hippie identity by joining a local human rights organization, but he doesn’t fit in as well as he’d hoped.

After landing himself in the hospital by washing down a Ziploc bag of pills with a bottle of Gatorade, Julian Mendez came clean to his mother: he is a girl stuck in a boy’s body. Puberty blockers have stopped the maturing of the body he feels has betrayed him. They’re also supposed to give him time to be sure he wants to make a more permanent decision, but he’s already Julia in his heart. What he’s not sure he’s ready to face is the post-transition name-calling and bathroom wars awaiting him at school.

When Kale and Julian come face-to-face at the human rights organization, attraction, teenage awkwardness, and reluctant empathy collide. They are forced to examine who they are and who they want to become. But until Kale can come to terms with his confusion about his own sexuality and Julian can be honest with Kale, they cannot move forward in friendship, or anything more.

Find My Crunchy Life at Goodreads

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Harmony Ink

EXCERPT

So, Kale, you say you’re a champion of human rights, hmm?” It’s clear to me that Julian detects my discomfort. When he steps up close, his voice emits from directly beneath my left ear. “That means you’re here to protect my human rights, even if it takes you to a place you never figured you’d go— not even in your wildest, but most certainly unoriginal, dreams.”

His breath tickles my neck— or maybe I just imagine it— and I shiver. “Yeah… that’s why I came here tonight.” My urge is to add “dude” to the end of my sentence, but I don’t want to make an assumption.

“Really.” It isn’t a question or a statement. It’s just a word. But the way he says it is sharp enough to cut glass.

I nod for the zillionth time tonight, and about ten thousand prickles of dread pop up in my armpits, which might sound strange, but I hear it’s a common response to stress.

“Really.” He says it again in exactly the same way, then steps in front of me so we’re standing face-to-face. I don’t want to look him in the eye. I’m not sure why I feel this way, because I’ve got balls. So I force myself to be a man and drag my gaze up his body from the badass combat boots, to the tights, to the oversized purple plaid flannel shirt that would make even a lumberjack look like he’s going dancing. And finally I focus on the important stuff: long, dark hair, freshly brushed and falling over his shoulders, even darker eyes that lift a little bit at the corners, and an “I dare you to mess with me” smirk on shiny red lips.

His lips… well, they’re moving again, but I don’t have a clue what he’s saying because I’m too busy staring.

At. His. Lips.

Are hippie dudes supposed to get captivated by other dudes’ lips?

Because this is a first for me, and not just in my brief life as a hippie. I’ve never been one to suffer with debilitating crushes on movie stars or pop singers or the high school’s most popular girls. And here I am totally caught up in the lips of a dude I don’t even know. Weird.

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About the Author

Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—a daughter in law school, another in dance school, a third studying at Mia’s alma mater, Boston College, and her lone son still in high school. She writes LGBTQ romance when not editing National Honor Society essays, offering opinions on college and law school applications, helping to create dance bios, and reviewing English papers. Her husband of twenty-four years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about this, as it is a sensitive subject.

Mia focuses her stories on emotional growth in turbulent relationships. As she has a great affinity for the tortured hero, there is, at minimum, one in each book. As a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with tales of said tortured heroes (most of whom happened to strongly resemble lead vocalists of 1980s big-hair bands) and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to Dreamspinner Press and Harmony Ink Press for providing alternate places to stash her stories.

Her books have won a Best YA Lesbian Rainbow Award, a Reader Views’ Book by Book Publicity Literary Award, the Jack Eadon Award for Best Book in Contemporary Drama, an Indie Fab Award, and a Royal Dragonfly Award for Cultural Diversity, among other awards.

Mia is a Progressive, a little bit too obsessed by politics, and cheers for each and every victory in the name of human rights. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.

Contact Mia at miakerick@gmail.com. Visit her website for updates on what is going on in Mia’s world, rants, music, parties, and pictures, and maybe even a little bit of inspiration.

Links: Facebook | Twitter

Release Blitz – Spark (North Star Trilogy #1) by Posy Roberts (excerpt and giveaway)

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Length: 91,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Olive Us Designs
 
North Star Trilogy Pre-Order
 
Fusion (Book #2) – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Flare (Book #3) – Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Blurb
 

A love story with a seventeen-year intermission.


Hugo Thorson fell in love when he was sixteen. He’s maybe been in love since, but probably not. He’s been too busy directing plays to devote much time to men who can’t accept all of him. No one ever made him feel like his first love did.


Kevin Magnus married a woman and has two children, but the marriage wasn’t happy. In the shadow of divorce, he’s striving to be a better father, but he’s still a work in progress.


When Hugo and Kevin bump into each other at the lake, memories of their last kiss incite a new first kiss. Visions of the life they always wanted are vivid, but so much stands in the way of their dreams. Hugo is out and proud but no one knows Kevin’s bisexual. If Kevin comes out, he risks losing custody of his kids. If he doesn’t walk hand in hand with Hugo, he risks losing the love of his life.


The curtain may never rise on their second act.

 
Author Bio
 

Posy Roberts started reading romance when she was young, sneaking peeks at adult books long before she should’ve. Textbooks eventually replaced the novels, and for years she existed without reading for fun. When she finally picked up a romance two decades later, it was like slipping on a soft hoodie . . . that didn’t quite fit like it used to. She wanted something more.


She wanted to read about men falling in love with each other. She wanted to explore beyond the happily ever after and see characters navigate the unpredictability of life. So Posy sat down at her keyboard to write the books she wanted to read.


Her stories have been USA Today’s Happily Ever After Must-Reads and Rainbow Award finalists. When she’s not writing, she’s spending time with her family and friends and doing anything possible to get out of grocery shopping and cooking.


Follow Posy on BookBub | Subscribe to Posy’s Newsletter | Join Posy’s Reader Group | Website

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Blog Tour for Love’s Magic (Revolutionary Heart #1) by Janice Jarrell (guest blog and giveaway)

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I’ve been writing gay romance since I was twelve years old, only back then it wasn’t called ‘gay romance’. In fact, it had no name at all. It was the fifty’s, and it was worth your life to admit to being gay, let alone confess to being a girl who constantly fantasized about relationships between gay men. Hell, I didn’t even know what a homosexual was. I lived on a farm out in the sticks in a tiny Michigan village and I’d never, to my knowledge, even heard the word. I just knew I loved the thought of boy on boy romance. I just knew that there was something hot going on between Tom Corbett and his Space Cadets and all those guys on ‘Combat’.

Naïve as I was, I still recognized that I’d better not say anything to anyone about my weird-ass proclivities. And I didn’t. For many, many years I scribbled out my ‘gay romance’ fantasies then immediately ripped them up. For many, many years. I believed there had to be something wrong with me to be so obsessively fascinated by the idea of men loving men.

Fast forward to 1999 and the dawning of the Internet. I still hadn’t shared my love for gay romance with another living soul, and I remained convinced that there had to be something wrong with me because of my passion for gay love. I knew no one else, at that time, who shared my passion for gay passion.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered Kirk/Spock slash! I had, of course, known there was a passionate romantic link between those two. Who didn’t? But discovering the slash community, beginning with the Kirk/Spock fandom, was like a lightning strike to my mind and heart. My god! There were other women who felt as I did! And not only were they were actively writing the kind of stories I’d been ripping up for years, they were admired for doing so!

For the next twenty years I wrote slash fanfiction, mainly in the ‘Lord of the Rings’ fandom. Overall, I wrote over 337 stories, some as short as 100 words (a drabble) some as long as a series which was over 119,012 words. I enjoy writing my stories. I enjoyed the feedback I received from my readers. It was a creative release I’d been searching for my entire life and I blessed the Internet for leading me to this artistic oasis for my spirit.

But after a while it just wasn’t enough. Writing stories about other people’s characters begin to grow tiresome and repetitive. My first book, Love’s Legacy, began as an AU fanfiction story. I wrote my fandom characters in an alternative universe simply to try to extend my reach. But it fell flat.

Love’s Legacy is the story of how David Gardener and Nate Reese met and fell in love. I actually went so far as to publish it on Amazon. But it just wasn’t good enough, and eventually I withdrew the book from publication. I was still writing fanfiction and it showed. I was writing with someone else’s voice.

Love’s Magic was my very first step into writing my own characters. David and Nate are still there but they are now fully realized individuals rather than existing as a reflection of someone else’s thoughts. Colin and Josh sprang from my brain like a fiery eruption and immediately captivated my soul. Of all my characters, those two are the ones who most completely reflect my ability to step forth as a creative author, freed from any ties to the work of another.

I will always be grateful the slash fanfiction community for nurturing the budding author until she was ready to blossom into a fully realized novelist. It’s been an amazing thing to watch the gay community’s growth over these past twenty years. My own journey has echoed theirs in many ways, and I’m grateful to all those gay activists who fought to give the gay community the rights and privileges they always deserved.

And I’m grateful to the gay romance community, readers, authors, publishers and promoters, who are making these, my retirement years, the most creative ones of my life.

I hope you’ll read Love’s Magic. I hope you’ll meet David and Nate… Colin and Joshua. These dynamic, sexy, and totally adorable men carried me into a whole new world of love, romance, joy, and happily-ever-after’s. I hope they’ll do the same for you.


Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Length: 82,406 words
 
Blurb
 

If you love gay romance that contains both heated passion and steadfast love, Love’s Magic is for you! Professor Nate Reese rushes to protect a female student and is severely injured at the hands of her assailant. Traumatized by the attack, Nate sets his feet on a no-holds-barred path of activism designed to force university officials into addressing the issue of on-campus assault. At the same time, terrified of losing his hard-won status at the university, his partner, David Gardener, a veteran of 12 years as a very popular Professor, is reluctant to support Nate’s militant efforts. Seemingly abandoned by his partner, Nate sees David’s aversion to his activism as indifference to the trauma he suffered. Day by day they watch as their relationship disintegrates, while still struggling to resolve the disruptive issues engulfing the school they love.


In the meantime, Irishman Colin Campbell, handsome and charismatic Sergeant for the campus police force, fights his own on-going war against campus assault. But behind his obsessive desire to gain justice for victims lies a devastating secret which could forever destroy his fiercely independent facade and expose his deepest fear. Ultimately, it is Colin’s powerful connection to a steady, dark-eyed Title IX consultant which threatens to tear down his defenses and shatter the barriers protecting his heart.


Cocky and irresistible, the dynamic police officer was everything Joshua Abrams had ever longed for in a man, but Colin simply didn’t ‘do’ relationships. Unless Joshua would settle for a one night stand, or a very short-term liaison, there was no room for him in Colin’s life. Yet even knowing this, he couldn’t keep himself from falling hopelessly in love with his ‘magic man’. Despite the passion between them, he knew his quiet, reclusive nature could never hope to entice the vibrant, freedom-loving Irishman, so eventually he begins to back slowly away.


Eventually, a disagreement over an oddly disturbing case causes Colin’s hot Irish temper to erupt and their relationship is irrevocably shattered. Heartbroken, and convinced that Colin is gone forever, Joshua flees Charlottesville without a word, leaving Colin adrift and inconsolable.


But Joshua Abrams hadn’t merely stepped over the indelible line Colin had drawn between his heart and the dangers of real love, he had burned through it like hot lava. Finally forced to acknowledge his love for Joshua and his desperate need to have the quiet, Jewish man by his side, Colin must now face the dark and long-suppressed memories which are irrevocably linked to his love for the handsome consultant. Without even a forwarding address to guide him, he vows to find Joshua and bring him home. Colin’s struggle to conquer his pride and fear in order to find the love of his life and achieve their happily ever after will touch your heart.


Four lives in turmoil fighting for the relationships they cherish, and at the heart of the struggle, a great university struggles to survive its most harrowing challenge.

June 25Mirrigold, June 26Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, June 27MM Good Book Reviews, June 28Bayou Book Junkie, July 2Love Bytes, July 3Two Chicks Obsessed, The Novel Approach, July 4Joyfully Jay, July 5Drops Of Ink, Sarandipity


About The Author


My name is Jan Jarrrell. I am a 74 year old retired grandmother who lives in Seattle, WA. I have been a writer of Lord of the Rings slash fan fiction for almost twenty years under the name Rakshi. I have written both RPS fiction and FPS and my list of works stands at three hundred and thirty seven, including stories as short as drabbles (stories of 100 words) and a series entitled ‘Time’ that was 119,012 words long. I have never had a work officially published, though two of my stories, Char ar’ I’ear (Earth and Sea) and ‘To The Distant Shore’ were included in the Vilya II fanzine. You can find my works on Archive of our Own and on LiveJournal under the username Rakshi.


I began writing original character fiction about a year ago and found I love it more than anything. I tend to fall in love with my characters and always want to give them that happy ending that I just know they deserve.


Reach me at: jjarrell@lovesmagic.online
Facebook: Revolutionary Heart- Love’s Magic
Goodreads Author Profile Page
Follow me on Twitter @Revolut35174972

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