A MelanieM Review: At War with a Broken Heart by Dahlia Donovan

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

A May-to-December MMM Romance.

What’s the perfect recipe for an emotional MMM romance?

One autistic coffee shop owner, one morose mug maker, and a mostly cheerful police detective.

Fie Morogh Russell goes off to war with a broken heart and returns with a shattered spirit. He hermits away in Bideford, Devon, making mugs, with his service dog, Haggard, for company. Post-traumatic stress turns every memory into a minefield, and life is dismal with one or two rare exceptions.

Davet Heuse drags his younger brother to Bideford for a new start. Both autistic, the two siblings have fought hard to enjoy freedom by the seaside. While Davet runs a coffee shop from his tiny house, his brother pursues his dream at university.

Detective Sidney Little has transitioned from military service to the police force easily. His unrequited crushes and his estranged father are the only points of frustration in his life. He hasn’t quite figured out how to deal with either problem.

When a tragic accident brings Davet’s world crashing down around him, can Fie and Sid help him through the pain of loss?

In this May-December romance with a twist, three men struggle through one obstacle after the other to somehow find themselves in love on the other side.

At War with a Broken Heart by Dahlia Donovan is the second book(s) that feature an autistic main character.  The other being her marvelous Grasmere Cottage Mystery series that I adored so.  Each character has been someone unique, just as there is such a large autism spectrum.  Donovan includes the behaviors and traits that go along with someone who is autistic without making it a screaming element of the story or character,  It simply is part of him.  Just as red hair or being a Scot is part of the others. I love that about her characterizations.  They are solid people, complete with a past, family, baggage (huge or small), secrets, and a need to be loved.

I really like the title here because it applies to more than just one character.  Each of the three men has a wounded heart that needs mending,  At first it’s only one character so damaged that he’s broken inside, needing others to help him to recover and go forward.  But as the story progresses, it becomes a path strewn with angst and past abuse for more than just Fie.  Since the blurb gives little away, neither will I.  I will mention there’s a mystery to solve, a bit of a red herring thrown in, a delight of a police station, and , a few holes I wish the author had filled in before the ending came.

I liked the relationships that developed between the three men.  Nothing instant as they had known each other for some time or in the case of Fie and Sid, actually served  together. Friendship was already established so to make a leap into romance for them and the reader wasn’t a big step.  But actually a natural one.

My only reservations here are that I wanted more about Davet’s background, his family, and the “red herring” I felt the author kept throwing at us, the readers with regard ot his parents and what they wanted.  That was frustrating and never really resolved.  Unless , of course, there intends to be a sequel.  I’m on board with that!

This is a charming, and different contemporary love story from an author I’m addicted to.  Whether it was her Sin Bin series or that terrific Grasmere Cottage Mystery Trilogy, now I can add this one as well.  I highly recommend them all.

Cover art: Soxsational Cover Art.  Complete fail imo.  Doesn’t match up to any of the characters, doesn’t contain any story element, could be a cover to any book. This is a story about 3 men in a small village, each has nothing to do with that model. Instead of being broken he looks like he’s going ‘huh”. smh.

Sales Links: Amazon

Book Detail:

Kindle Edition, 205 pages
Expected publication: February 26th 2019 by Hot Tree Publishing
ASINB 07L7XSWVW
Edition Language English

An Alisa Review :There’s Something about Flying (There’s Always Something #3) by Schuyler L’Roux

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

After walking away from Gerry, Thom is back home in Minnesota living his best life. He’s flying through the air, embracing the sexual power he reclaimed in a lonely dungeon with Gerry. Yet when Gerry arrives unannounced and full of inexplicable hope, Thom has another choice to make. Does he let Gerry go and finally close the book on their tryst? Or does Thom open up his heart to the reality of their past and the potential of their future? The third and final chapter of the There’s Always Something trilogy stays true to form: there’s always an ending.

Hmm, I can’t agree that Thom is living his best life just trying to get Gerry out of his head.  Both of these men have made mistakes with their relationship and finally they have a chance to clear the air.

I still can’t say what I really feel about these characters, I didn’t like Thom’s actions in the last book and the way he acts when he sees Gerry again didn’t help.  I liked seeing Gerry and Thom finally actually having a real conversation was good for both of them.  As promised there is an ending even if I think there could have been more to it.

Cover art by Natasha Snow is nice and is in similar style to the others in the series.

Sales Links: Nine Star Press | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 13,100 words

Published: December 24, 2018 by Nine Star Press

ISBN: 978-1-949909-77-7

Edition Language: English

Series: There’s Always Something #3

A Lucy Review: Love Around the Corner (New Milton #1.5) by Sally Malcolm

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Real life enemies, online lovers. Two lonely men, destined for each other—if only they knew it.

Alfie Carter grew up in New Milton, caring for his sick father and keeping their auto repair shop on its feet. He’s touchy about his poor education and doesn’t take kindly to snide remarks from the town’s prickly bookstore owner—no matter how cute he looks in his skinny jeans. Left to run the family business alone, Alfie spends his lonely evenings indulging his secret passion for classic fiction and chatting online with witty, romantic ‘LLB’ as they fall in love over literature.

Leo Novak’s new life as owner of Bayside Books is floundering. And he could do without the town’s gorgeous, moody mechanic holding a grudge against him after an unfortunate—and totally not his fault— encounter last Christmas. Still reeling from a bad breakup and struggling to make friends in New Milton, Leo seeks comfort in his blossoming online romance with thoughtful, bookish ‘Camaro89’. 

But as the holidays approach, ‘LLB’ and ‘Camaro89’ are planning to meet, and realities are about to collide… 

This story has one of my favorite tropes- the online lovers who are finally going to meet, only for one of them to realize his lover is, in fact, his arch enemy.  It was, quite simply, adorable.  Alfie is a mechanic, running the auto repair shop and caring for his dad.  He may not be highly educated but Alfie is smart and he loves literature.  He meets LLB, his online best friend and love, in a Jane Austen group and they share no personal information but share all the important things.  Talking to LLB makes Alfie’s life more enriched.  It might even be incredible, if it weren’t for the snobby, snotty Leo, who owns the used bookstore.

I’ll put it out there – I had a hard time warming up to Leo because of how judgy he is, even though I get it – apostrophe usage needs to be correct! They had a run in last year at the Christmas party, “No offence, Carter, but I prefer a more cerebral type.”  Alfie may have responded but it’s Leo that starts it.  “I’m sorry but I require at least a basic level of literacy, even in a hookup.”  Then he has the nerve to be upset when Alfie fires back.  Ahh, Leo.

When LLB and Camaro89 are finally going to meet, both men are so nervous, so excited and so in love.  Until Leo (LLB) shows up to see that Camaro89 is Alfie.  He is crushed and leaves, never telling Alfie what happened.  So Alfie gets stood up and is devastated.

This is truly a case of opposites attract as Leo and Alfie (who was the bigger person and reached out a friendly hand to Leo) start to spend some time together and get to know each other.  They come to realize they have so much more in common than they thought, beginning with literature.   Alfie, with his big body, his rough exterior, soft heart and love of audiobooks, made the book for me.  I seriously adored this character.  “Rather too light, and bright, and sparkling.”  Not too light – he’s just perfect.

You know the situation has to come to a head and it does, while my heart broke for Alfie.  But Leo is clever and he wants to make things right. I would recommend this bright, lovely book.

Cover art, whimsical and clever, fit the feel of the story for me.  “..light, and bright, and sparkling.”

Sales Link:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 117 pages
Published November 29th 2018
ASIN B07KFPF782
Edition Language English
Series New Milton #1.5

A. Nybo on Flawed Characters, HEA’s and her new release The Devil’s Breath {author interview}

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The Devil’s Breath by A. Nybo

Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Kanaxa
Buy Links:  Dreamspinner Press |    Kobo  |  Barnes & Noble (Nook)  |   iTunes Google Books 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with A. Nybo

Hello. Thanks to the Scattered Thoughts and Rogue words crew for hosting me and The Devil’s Breath today!

Birch and Henri are characters close to my heart. If readers connect with them even in a fraction of the way I do, I’m sure they’ll enjoy The Devil’s Breath

Do you feel there’s a tight line between Mary Sue or should I say Gary Stu and using your own experiences to create a character?

Main characters just kind of present themselves to me.  When I have tried to invent one, they usually turn out completely different—sometimes everything right down to the colour of their eyes has changed by time they’ve fully emerged. But that keeps them from being ‘text-book’.   I have stories that aren’t going anywhere because the characters aren’t the right ones to highlight a particular storyline. 

Does research play a role into choosing which genre you write?  Do you enjoy research or prefer making up your worlds and cultures?

I’m always researching something—although not necessarily a useful something. For me, it is a fabulous procrastination tool because it steals me away for hours.  I go off to determine what drug is used for a particular disease and find myself reading about the type of adze Vikings used in boatbuilding.  I know I’m not alone in this.

I do like to mix and match between real and imaginary worlds and cultures, and I will on occasion, cross that line when it’s not meant to be crossed. But that’s all part of the fun.

Have you ever had to put an ‘in progress’ story aside because of the emotional ties with it?  You were hurting with the characters or didn’t know how to proceed?

I have never put a story aside because I was hurting with the characters.  That is part of the beauty of writing, just as it is with reading.  We want to experience that emotion right along with the characters.  If I can elicit emotion in me, then it might work for others as well—at least I hope I can write it well enough so others can experience it too. 

I wrote a scene once where tears came to my eyes the first few times I read it.  After that, it was just tingles through my body. 

Have I put a story aside because I didn’t know how to proceed?  Yes, yes, and yes.  It’s always a good indicator that something has gone awry earlier in the story. 

Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

I’m not a HEA kind of person and unless a book states otherwise, I always assume it is a HFN ending.  Anything else is just stretching credibility.  I really don’t know why some people think I’m cynical. 😉 

How do you feel about the ebook format and where do you see it going?

I LOVE ebooks.  I grew up with paperbacks and while I found the transition hard, I couldn’t imagine going back to paperbacks (except with reference books where physical copies are still the preferred). 

I always keep a paperback around in case of power outages, unexpected flat batteries etc.  But the thing I love most about ebooks is you can take an entire library with you…even overseas!  And you don’t have to pay extra luggage, don’t have space shortage, don’t have to lug the weight around. 

On the plane and want to read something else?  Not a problem. You don’t have to disturb those sitting next to you so you can get to your hand luggage. Just click to the menu and you’re done.  No complete rearranging of passengers required.

What’s next for you as an author?

I have another book due to be released mid 2019 through DSP, entitled the Shaman of Kupa Piti.  Although classified as paranormal, it’s more magical realism.  There is a strong blending of crime and culture(s)—not to mention the budding relationship between two men whose core beliefs clash.  It is very different to anything I’ve read in the romance genre.

Writing it was interesting, educational, and entertaining. I hope others have a similar experience when reading it.

If you write contemporary romance, is there such a thing as making a main character too “real”?  Do you think you can bring too many faults into a character that eventually it becomes too flawed to become a love interest?

Absolutely!  If something is too real then it loses its shine.  There’s an art to transmitting enough information to elicit empathy, but not so much that it’s going to wear the reader down.  This is why writing enduring situations or characteristics have to be treated very carefully (e.g. mental illness, addictions, etc).  There is nothing sexy or romantic in those topics, yet a good writer can utilise certain aspects while downplaying the reality, and create something entertaining from it.  People want to experience these situations, not suffer them—which is the reality.

It is even harder when you know everyone’s line is drawn in a different place.  One reader can endure a lot, where the mere mention will send another reader scuttling for cover (i.e delete the book, or throw it across the room). 

 

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

I can’t say I have consciously worked through an issue by writing it out in a story, but I’ve felt I have. For example, I’ll be consumed by a story, but I’ll reach a point where I don’t need it anymore.  To me that indicates I’ve moved on from there and whatever was ‘owning’ me has been dislodged. 

 

Ever drunk written a chapter and then read it the next day and still been happy with it?  Trust me there’s a whole world of us drunk writers dying to know.

Hmm, I have written in that accursed state that lingers between drunkness and hangover.  And no, it didn’t make it through the next day never mind to the next draft.  The non-sense, the repetition…it was terrible. 

 

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

Right now I’m imagining a sunlit room with floor to ceiling windows that are open out onto a beach.  The water is turquoise, the sand white.  A warm breeze wafts in carrying the scent of frangipani.  A waiter is just now mounting the two long, shallow stairs to deliver the tropical juice I ordered.  He wipes his feet and lays a gentle knock on the window frame to draw my attention.

Why?  Because it is much preferred to the overcast and windy day right outside now. 

  

 

 

Blurb

Henri’s stalker has left him with a paradoxical legacy: his mind rebels at the thought of being touched—the very thing his body craves.

For three years Henri has fought to overcome the horrors of the past. Now on the other side of the world—after leaving Australia for Canada—Henri’s nemesis is hunting him with maniacal focus. Trying to escape, he meets Birch, a kind horse trainer, who’s confounded by Henri’s idiosyncrasies even as he is drawn to him. But when Birch discovers the truth, he encourages Henri not to just survive, but to live.

Maybe even to love.

House Line Perchance to Dream

Genre Contemporary

Words: 65,021 (200pp)

About the Author :

A. Nybo has tried conventional methods (a psych degree and a GC in Forensic Mental Health) but far prefers the less conventional, such as the occasional barbecue in the rain, four-hundred-kilometer drives at 1:00 a.m. for chocolate, and multiple emergency naps in any given twenty-four-hour period.

Western Australian born, she has been spotted on the other side of the planet several times—usually by mosquitoes. She’s also discovered Amazonian mosquitoes love her just as much as they do in her home state.

 

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/anybo5

Dreamspinner: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/authors/a-nybo-1078

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18395772.A_Nybo

Release Blitz for I Wished For You by Colette Davison (excerpt)

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RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: I Wished For You

Author: Colette Davison

Cover Artist: Designs by Dana 

Genre/s: mmm contemporary romance

Release Date: January 22, 2019

Heat Rating:  4 flames

Add on Goodreads

 

Buy Link – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US

Amazon UK

 

 

Blurb

Three wishes.

Seb wants to be happy.

Matt wants to find ‘the one.’

Connor wants them.

 

Two drunken kisses.

Seb didn’t plan to kiss Matt and Connor, but he doesn’t regret it, even if it has changed their friendship forever.

Matt has never considered dating a man before, let alone two. Despite his confusion, being with Seb and Connor feels right.

 

One uncertain future.

Connor’s potential fate has stopped him living and loving. Can he face his fears to be with the men he loves?

 

 

Excerpt

Matt adjusted his jogging bottoms and leaned back against the sofa. The next words popped out of his mouth unfiltered. “I could do with a blow job.”

Seb snorted out a loud laugh. “Too much information.” He patted Matt’s shoulder. “But hey, if you’re desperate, I don’t mind obliging.” Seb’s laughter trailed off into a nervous chuckle. “Umm… that was a joke.”

“Yeah, yeah, of course.” Matt couldn’t look at Seb. A week ago, he’d have taken a comment like that and ribbed his friend with it mercilessly. Now, he wasn’t sure at all that it had been meant in jest. He wasn’t even sure that he wanted it to be a joke. He rubbed his jaw, clearing his throat again. “What would you do if I said yes?”

Seb twisted on the sofa so he was facing Matt. “You’re not going to say yes.”

“What if I did?” Matt kept his stare on the ceiling, but he was still able to see Seb shrug out of the corner of his eye.

“I’d give you one.”

Seb’s reply was so matter-of-fact that it sent a chill running up Matt’s spine. It did nothing to ease the pressure in his cock. If anything, blood pumped to it faster.

“Really?” Matt asked. Why the hell was he still talking? It was like he was engaged in a game of chicken with Seb, trying to see which one of them would back down first. He had no idea how far his head, or his cock, was willing to take it.

“Sure, why not? It’s just a blow job, right? It wouldn’t mean anything.”

“But we’re friends,” Matt stuttered.

“Wouldn’t be the first time I’ve sucked off a friend.”

 

About the Author

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

 

Author Links

Blog/Website

Facebook

Twitter

Facebook Group: Colette’s Cosy Corner

BookBub

Goodreads

Instagram

 

 

RELEASE BLITZ SCHEDULE

 

 

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

New Release Blitz for The Fairy Pond by Jason Black

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Title: The Fairy Pond

Author: Jason Black

Publisher: Self-pub

Release Date: 12/19/2018

Heat Level: 1 – No Sex

Pairing: No Romance

Length: 29 pages

Genre: Fantasy, Horror, historical

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

Nevan lives a simple life. He works hard in the fields with his brothers and his grandpa, and adores his mother wholeheartedly. He’s a good boy who usually stays out of trouble, but even when Grandpa warns him to stay away from the pond, he can’t help feeling curious about it…and the creatures that watch him whenever he’s near.

Excerpt

It had been a long day. Nevan had come out to the fields with lunch after helping with the home chores and stayed to work the rest of the day. He enjoyed this time alone with his grandfather. Each night they were the only ones who stayed awake for the ride home, Grandfather telling stories of times past while Nevan soaked it in like a sponge.

That evening, Grandfather was quiet, glancing around as if uneasy with the sounds of the coming night. Nevan turned to look out at the familiar shapes around them. In the distance, he saw the barn come into view and knew their destination wasn’t far beyond. As they finished rounding a grove of fruit trees, he could also see the small pond that sat next to the barn; home for geese, ducks, and fish. It also served as a cool respite on a warm summer day.

The lack of talk and the swaying of the wagon served to lull Nevan toward sleep. He let a shivering yawn pass his lips, his eyes again turning toward the pond. A splash, a movement. Nevan blinked, now fully awake, and squinted his eyes in disbelief.

“Grandpa?”

“Yeah, boy?” his grandfather answered in a hushed tone.

“There are people swimming in our pond!”

“T’ain’t no one out this late, boy. People be sleepin’.” Grandfather’s words had a finality to them that told Nevan not to argue.

Another splash and Nevan couldn’t hold his tongue.

“But… look!” His finger shot out toward the pond, now directly to the right of the wagon.

Nevan could clearly see the shapes of the figures in the water, even the gleam of eyes in the moonlight as they looked directly at them.

“Boy,” Grandfather said sternly, “Don’t look and don’t be talking about that no more.”

Purchase at Amazon

Meet the Author

Jason Black lives in Texas with his partner and two roommates. He cooks. He writes. He’s an okay guy.

Goodreads | eMail

Twitter – @J_HuffmanBlack

 

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