A Stella Review : The Fall Guy by Chris Quinton

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RATING 4 out of 5 stars

 

In 1920s New York, Pinkerton Agent John Brady is assigned to a brutal robbery/kidnapping, an open and shut case with an obvious culprit – but nothing and no one are what they seem. Small-time crook Cesare Donati has the perfect getaway: a transatlantic cruise ship. When Brady turns up at his cabin door, Cesare knows he is out of options until they reach England. Will London be a safe haven or a place of reckoning?

 

The Fall Guy is the first story I read by Chris Quinton and although very short, I found it quite well done. I have to say I have never been a huge fan of historical titles set in the first half of the twentieth century, don’t ask me why, I don’t have an answer. Still The Fall Guy worked pretty fine.

I liked the writing style, it was easy to read. The plot was well done and delivered; sure, being so short, the plot was fast paced, but not too much. Perfectly balanced for some actions that took place in few days. Usually shorts like this one leave me unsatisfied cause I always think it missed something. Not with this story, I was so happy to see John and Cesare be aware of the attraction and so much more that had started to born between them. I loved both of them from the beginning, I felt how good persons both of them were, in different ways but with the same purpose.

I feel to recommend The Fall Guy, it was a truly joy to read it.

The cover art by Vgorbash Dreamstime.com is simple and clean, it caught my attention, I liked it.

Sales Link:  Amazon

BOOK DETAILS

Kindle Edition, 46 pages

Published January 22nd 2019 by Kouros Books

ASIN B07N1J75B6

Edition Language English

 

MelanieM Review The Rising (Badlands #2) by Morgan Brice

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

A big storm is brewing, there’s a killer on the loose, and the ghosts of Myrtle Beach are restless. Psychic medium Simon Kincaide and his sexy cop boyfriend, homicide detective Vic D’Amato have their hands full helping the Grand Strand brace for rough surf, driving rain, and high winds as a winter storm roars toward shore.

Everyone’s on edge, and rumors are rampant about sightings of Blackcoat Benny, a ghostly omen of danger, and worse, the Gallows Nine, the spirits of nine infamous criminals hanged back in the 1700s, a harbinger of disaster. Rough tides wash the wreck of an old pirate ship into shallow waters, high winds threaten to damage an old mansion with a dark past, and the citizens of the beach town hunker down to ride out the storm.

As the skies grow dark and the sea turns wild, several men from prominent local families end up dead under suspicious circumstances. Simon’s premonition confirms Vic’s gut feeling—the killing is just getting started. As Simon tries to reach out to the spirits of the murdered men to help the investigation, he’s attacked by malicious ghosts that don’t want anyone getting in the way of their long-overdue vengeance.

With the storm hammering the coast, and new victims piling up, Simon is certain that the sins and secrets of the past are coming due, and that the murders have a supernatural link. Vic and Simon race to stop the murders against an unholy deadline, but as they battle rising tides and risen ghosts, can they save the intended victims without getting trapped themselves?

The Rising is the second novel in the Badlands series, and Morgan Brice had me hooked on this paranormal series after that first story, Badlands.  It was full of ghosts, mythology, murder, suspense, and a romance between two men  fighting for justice and right, just in very different ways. One as a homicide detective and one as a psychic medium,  That was the case where they met.  And it was spectacular.  A white knuckle ride all the way.  In every way.  And I was wondering how the author was going to top it.

The Rising is a great answer to that question.  Well, with ghost ships and angry pirates of course!

Actually, it’s never that simple.  There are far too many scary layers here to be reduced to that sentence, wonderfully so.  Murders both historical and modern haunt these pages and this couple, horrifying the locals and their nightmares just as a hurricane potentially sets its sights on the town. Brice is able to bring all the paranormal and supernatural occurances vividly to life through great writing and action packed scenes.  Hair-raising and bone chilling?  Yes, those terms are apt.

But while there are murders to be solved and ghosts to be talked to or fled from,Vic and Simon, mostly Vic, are still working their way through the new relationship dynamics of being a couple and now living together.  A great element here is Vic’s MBPD partner and their open communication, especially when it comes to their SOs.    It’s been hard for Vic to realize that Simon has tools and weapons to deal with supernatural killers (the series) that he doesn’t possess.  This is the story where both men make huge strides in acceptance in the dangers that each faces, will always face in what each does.  The mature, communicative relationship is wonderful to see play out.

The author also introduces several new characters that I expect to see in future stories.  I’m definitely intrigued by them and now need far more of their back stories, no matter the era.

Overall?  This is just a marvelous book and series.  The writing is outstanding, the characters nuanced, the plots packed with history, mythology, suspense ,action, hot sex, and love.  And ghosts, murder, and terror!  Really, what more could you want?  I highly recommend them both and now eagerly await the next!

Cover art: Natania Barron. Catchy and the models work for both characters. But, where’s the water?  Its Myrtle Beach.   Or the old house in the marshes? Those are the main elements here. What’s with the mountains?  That’s a fail.

Buy Links

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Kobo

Nook/B&N

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 228 pages
Published February 13th 2019 by Darkwind Press

 

A Lucy Review: The 13th Month (Calendar Men #13) by Bailey Bradford

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Marco’s ex destroyed him, but one man won’t let him give up on life.

Marco was the original photographer from the Calendar series. He’s almost died more than once thanks to his ex wife, Evan. It’s been a struggle to survive, but Ezra, his best friend has been by his side and isn’t disgusted by his scars.

And maybe it’s time Marco stopped fighting the feelings he’s had for his friend all along.

I have to be honest and say, this is the thirteenth book of the series Calendar Men.  I haven’t read any of the previous books so I had no idea that these men are shifters.  One is a cat, the other a bunny.  I mention this because not only was I surprised that this was part of the book but also I couldn’t figure out WHY it was part of the book.  It is mentioned once or twice about Ezra having cat vision in the dark and there is one quick reference to them playing in animal form at the end but that was it. Perhaps it was more prevalent in the other books and it was just continued in this one. 

That being said, I didn’t feel like I was missing anything or coming into the middle of the story by not having read the others.  Marco was the photographer for the charity calendar who has been married six times, always choosing women who weren’t good for him.  The last wife, Evan, was a doozy and tried to kill him.  “I knew she was a horrible person. I had a very thorough background check done on her before I dated her.  So I knew.” She’s in prison now but she’s still trying the one thing she wanted – Marco dead.  He has lost the use of his right hand from her efforts and “…had scars all over, albeit most of them were small except those on his right hand and arm.”  He’s been in a depression, living at his best friend, Ezra’s, house while he mends. 

Marco has money and prestige but he carries a lot of baggage. His parents were cultish religious who beat him and then kicked him out when he came out.  He has a lot of issues from that.  Add in that he’s had feelings for Ezra for years that he refuses to admit, feelings that sent him running to marry his first wife (he’s had six), and Marco is a hot mess.

Ezra? He’s the steady, loyal friend who has been in love with Marco for years and would do anything for him, especially keep him safe.  When Marco finally admits his feelings it is the most glorious day for Ezra and I was so happy for him.  The two of them fall into the relationship so seamlessly because they have been such close friends for so many years.  I want to put it out there that I loved, “There are plenty of ways to enjoy each other that don’t involve a**holes, and we can explore whatever you’d like to try”.  So often in MM books, it is all about the penetration and not every person likes that.  So it was refreshing to see Ezra giving that option to Marco.

There is the mystery of who is trying to get at Marco and I admit I was wrong about who it was.  While I can’t say this what kind of addition to the series it was since I hadn’t read the series, I can say it was an interesting, engaging stand alone.

The cover was a little off for me.  It is obviously not Marco, as there are no scars but it also didn’t seem to be Ezra, so it was a little random.

Sales Links: Pride Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 128 pages
Published January 8th 2019 by Pride Publishing
ISBN13 9781786517012
Edition Language English

An Alisa Review: Polar Opposites by Cheyenne Meadows

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Donovan is the new guy in town, a polar shifter, harboring a big secret. He’s a big city bear who moved to the tiny town of Forgotten, Wyoming, in hopes of finding peace. What he finds is poison ivy and angry wasps.

TJ, a grizzly shifter, is the local doctor with a past. He’s found a home in the country, but lacks happiness and a sense of belonging. The fact that he’s in the midst of his natural mating season doesn’t help in the least. The moment Donovan enters TJ’s clinic, sparks fly. TJ is determined to resist the temptation that is Donovan, but his inner bear and Donovan have other ideas.

When a hunter starts going after shifters and a blast from Donovan’s past show up for revenge, things get hot. But not as hot as the attraction between Donovan and TJ. If they can pull together and survive, they just might discover that, while they might be polar opposites, sometimes opposites do attract.

This was an alright story, though I didn’t connect to the character which would have made it better.  Donovan and TJ seem to have one thing in common and that’s that they are bear shifters.  Though deep down aren’t too different from each other.

Both of these guys are keeping secrets and though TJ’s comes out sooner Donovan’s causes more problems.  I felt that these two were just going through the motions to make the story work which is always true but it felt forced.  I also had to continually go back and reread parts of the story to make sure I knew what was going on because names were often flip flopped.

The cover art by Written Ink Designs is okay, we get visuals of Donovan in both his bear form and his human form.

Sales Links: JMS Books | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 61,016 words

Published: January 12, 2019 by JMS Books

ISBN: 9781634868280

Edition Language: English

Andi Van on Writing, Dragons, and their new release Magic Triumphed (The Mages’ Guild Trilogy #3) (author guest post)

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Magic Triumphed (The Mages’ Guild Trilogy #3)  by Andi Van

Harmony Ink Press
Cover Artist: Tiferet Design

Sales Links:  Harmony Ink Press | Amazon | Dreamspinner Press

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Andi  Van here today to talk about writing, and dragons and their new release Magic Triumphed, Welcome, Andi.

 

 

“Write me a story with a dragon.”

You never think that a single sentence could change things so drastically. Or at least I don’t. But in 2007, when I decided to participate in this thing I’d heard of called NaNoWriMo, that’s exactly what my grandmother told me when I called her to tell her I had no idea what kind of story to write.

So I wrote her a story with a dragon. That was in 2007, mind you, and the original iteration of Tasis’ story was only one book long and badly written in places. Especially the ending. The ending was horrible. But I was lucky enough to have a chance to fix that, to expand my fictional world into an entire universe.

It’s been almost twelve years, and  I never thought I’d be so incredibly sad about having a book released, because Magic Triumphed being released into the world means it’s over. Done. The thing I poured my heart into as a tribute to my late grandmother is complete, and it’s kind of like losing a piece of my soul.

(When I said this to my mother, her immediate reaction was to ask me when I’m writing the fourth book. I pointed out that a trilogy is only three books long, and her response was “That didn’t stop Douglas Adams.” I mean, she has a point, but…)

It’s been a labor of love, for sure. I wrote Magic Wept and Magic Triumphed back-to-back, without a break. I lost Koi, my much-loved feline companion and deleter of chapters (via sitting on my keyboard), in the middle of the process due to old age. My roommate was pretty sure she was going to have to take me to the hospital before I ended up dead from lack of sleep (I’m not even joking about that, sadly). The characters weren’t cooperating. I had to have deadlines extended. And I had to write something near the end (don’t worry, no spoilers) that pretty much destroyed me, even if I knew how it was going to turn out. On the final day, I was up until 5 in the morning, with another author friend keeping me company until I hit send on my submission email. (Then I promptly fell into bed and stayed there for a week.)

We all know how I am by now, though. There’s a baby who can do magic he shouldn’t be able to do, and we have to know why he can do that, right? He should be getting his own story, shouldn’t he? Plus I’ve already been talking with friends about doing some crossover stories. So chances are, this isn’t the last you’ll be seeing of The Mages’ Guild.

But hey… I wrote a story with a dragon for you. I hope you like it.

You can follow along with the blog tour at http://andivan.com/magic-triumphed-blog-tour. Since the dragons are what started this whole mess (both in reality and in the story), it’s the dragons I’ll be talking about for most of the tour. Keep your eyes peeled for a random giveaway or two!

 

 

 

Blurb:

Zaree Muna would follow her brother Tasis anywhere, but she never imagined that path to lead where it has. After Tasis and his familiar fall under a magical sleep from which no one can wake them, she and her party prepare to face the mad king of Archai without him. They don’t expect the journey to lead to the Maker herself, who predicts three deaths will occur as the battle to save their world from Archai and a jealous god nears. Two of those deaths will be loved ones, and if things go wrong, the third death could spell the end of everything.

But no one ever accused Zaree of being a coward, and as she and the others go into battle to save what Tasis has rebuilt, she is ready to laugh in the face of death. The thousand-year wait is over, and none of them will accept anything less than triumph.

***  Excerpt

Vashk was waiting for them when they made their way into the cavernous dock, and Zaree, with Yldost riding on her shoulder, couldn’t help but wonder just how much the water dragon knew. She respected and trusted him, certainly, but she didn’t kid herself. He was hiding something from them. Multiple somethings, likely, and all of them important.

Yldost leaped from her shoulder and would have landed on the ground in a small heap if Zaree hadn’t caught them. Clearly the dragon wasn’t used to not having all of their feathers in place. Instead, Zaree very gently set Yldost on their brother’s snout, which was likely the place Yldost had been aiming for in the first place. They gave Zaree a grateful chirrup before turning their attention to their sibling. “Vashk. Seri na.”

Seri na,” Vashk replied, his clear voice rolling through the grotto.

Diisen var?”

“If you would speak a language we could understand, it would be appreciated,” Zaree said, catching Jorget’s nod from the corner of her eye.

Seri na is a greeting between family members,” Vashk told her.

“There isn’t really a translation for it, but it signifies family ties as well as affection. You would use it when greeting Tasis, but not when greeting Sireti.”

Zaree tilted her head slightly to one side without thinking about it, and groaned inwardly when she realized what she’d done. She’d been spending far too much time with Yldost if she was picking up their mannerisms. “I wouldn’t use it with Sireti even though he’s blood family?”

“You dislike him,” Yldost piped up. “Seri na is for loved ones. And blood does not make families.”

About the Author


Andi Van is a foul-mouthed troublemaker who lives near San Diego with a baseball bat that’s forever being used for things other than baseball, and a fondness for rum and caffeine (though not necessarily together).

Andi is fluent in three languages (English, sarcasm, and profanity), and takes pride in a highly developed—if somewhat bizarre—sense of humor.

Social media info:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/DefiantAndi
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/defiantandi

Love Historical Fiction? Be Sure to Check Out the Tour for The Fall Guy by Chris Quinton

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UKExclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited
 
Length: 13,000 words approx.
 
Blurb



In 1920s New York, Pinkerton Agent John Brady is assigned to a brutal robbery/kidnapping, an open and shut case with an obvious culprit – but nothing and no one are what they seem.



Small-time crook Cesare Donati has the perfect getaway: a transatlantic cruise ship. When Brady turns up at his cabin door, Cesare knows he is out of options until they reach England.


Will London be a safe haven or a place of reckoning?

About The Author
 

Chris Quinton started creating stories not long after she mastered joined-up writing, somewhat to the bemusement of her parents and her English teachers. But she received plenty of encouragement. Her dad gave her an already old Everest typewriter when she was ten, and it was probably the best gift she’d ever received – until the inventions of the home-computer and the worldwide web.


Chris’s reading and writing interests range from historical, mystery, and paranormal, to science-fiction and fantasy, writing mostly in the male/male genre. She refuses to be pigeon-holed and intends to uphold the long and honourable tradition of the Eccentric Brit to the best of her ability. In her spare time [hah!] she reads, embroiders, quilts and knits. Over the years she has been a stable lad [briefly] in a local racing stable and stud, a part-time and unpaid amateur archaeologist, a civilian clerk at her local police station and a 15th century re-enactor.


She lives in a small and ancient city in the south-west of the United Kingdom, sharing her usually chaotic home with an extended family, three dogs, a frilled dragon [lizard] and sundry goldfish and tropicals.

 
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Review Tour for Better Place (Rainbow Place #3) by Jay Northcote

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UKExclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited
 
Length: 66,000 words approx.
 

Cover Design: Garrett Leigh @ Black Jazz Design

Rainbow Place Series 
 

Book #1 – Rainbow Place – Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book #2 – Safe Place – Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Blurb
 

Joe deserves better. Meeting Dylan helps him see that.


After a recent redundancy, Joe takes a few months off to try and make it as a writer. His partner, Harry, is less than supportive but Joe is used to that after ten years together, just like he’s used to Harry’s controlling nature and his drinking habit.


Dylan, a server at Rainbow Place, is fascinated by Joe as he sits in the café and works on his laptop. His attempts to flirt are met with awkwardness at first, but gradually Joe opens up. Dylan is disappointed when he learns Joe isn’t single. As their friendship develops he begins to worry about the nature of Joe’s relationship, especially when he witnesses Harry’s behaviour in person. Abuse isn’t always physical, and Dylan knows that from experience. His concern helps Joe see his relationship for what it is, and gives him the courage to end things with Harry.


Free to act on their mutual attraction, Joe and Dylan dive headlong into something that becomes serious fast. Joe revels in the passion and intimacy he’s been missing out on for so long, but Dylan is worried that Joe is on the rebound. He puts on the brakes, knowing that they need to slow down to make this last. For this new relationship to work, Joe needs to show Dylan that he’s ready to move on from the past.


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

 

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 as audiobooks.


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