A Caryn Release Day Review: The Mage on the Hill (The Web of Arcana #1) by Angel Martinez

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Rating : 3.5 out of 5 stars

Another new fantasy from one of my favorite authors, and another new world.  This is a present day alternate reality, where magic is real, but only those born to it have the power to manipulate it.  But those in authority, the guilds, hold almost absolute domination over all magic users; their overt reason is to protect the non-magic public, but privately, it is to keep control of their dominion.

Toby Jones was a young man who was just starting to come into his powers.  Unfortunately, the guild officers were unable to find which element of the Arcana his magic fit, and unable to identify the correct channel, his wild magic literally exploded out of him, causing destruction to everything around, and eventually would destroy him as well.  He was being treated with a painful last ditch attempt to find his  element, and when that was unsuccessful, the guild gave up on him, and assigned him to euthanasia for the safety of the community.

Toby was not going to accept his death that easily.  He heard a name, Darius Valstad, mentioned by the guild officers while in the near-unconscious state from his last explosion.  He escaped from the guild complex, and, using a little google-fu, he tracked the man down to his house on the hill, and showed up in the last throes of exhaustion, literally collapsing at Darius’s front door.

Darius is older, perhaps in his early 40s (I don’t think it was specifically mentioned).  He was a celebrated mage, one of the best of his generation, and he knew it.  He was a teacher, a mentor, and was known for taking on difficult cases, like Toby’s, and bringing them safely to the knowledge of their element so they could function in the wider magical society.  Until his hubris led him to work with one extremely powerful, but extremely disturbed young woman, and when her magic exploded, it killed her and almost destroyed the entire city of Pittsburg.  Attempting to stop the destruction almost killed Darius, and left him scarred both physically and mentally, and also led to his expulsion from the guild.  The last thing he wanted was to go through all that again with a young man who might easily be more powerful and destructive than his last student.

Toby, however, was both determined and persuasive, and convinced Darius to take him on as a pupil through a combination of kindness and service and appealing to Darius’s innate desire to protect.  They were in danger both from Toby’s magic, and from the guild, who were not about to let a rogue mage put the city in jeopardy again.  As Darius emerged from his self-imposed exile, he found old friends who joined in his mission, as they worked against the clock to channel Toby’s magic before the guild could capture him.  The final showdown was dramatic and satisfying, and clearly points to a sequel.

The relationship between the two men was extremely complicated.  Darius was older, more powerful, and took on the role of protector and teacher, although unwillingly.  Toby was young and fairly immature, but with an innocence and lust for life that Darius could only admire, and it eventually brought Darius back to life as well.  But the age and power gap made me feel uncomfortable with their romance, and I had a hard time believing in it.  I think I would have preferred if there was no romance in the book at all, I would have enjoyed it just as much.  I also felt the characters were not fully developed, or at least not enough for me to connect with them.  The major and minor arcana were interesting, and there was some explanation of how they worked, but not quite enough, and also not enough about how magic was used in the world.  And finally, the apparently common practice of sexual relations between mentors and students was a little off-putting to me.

Despite that, I did enjoy the book, and I will be looking forward to the next one.  I hope that this world will be more fleshed out so I can connect with it better, and that I will come to believe in Toby and Darius relationship more than I did with this one.

Cover art by Tiferet Design is exactly how I imagined Toby to look while caught up in his wild magic

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 194 pages
Expected publication: May 7th 2019 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 139781644052648
Edition Language English
Series The Web of Arcana #1

An Ali Audio Review Audio Review: Falling Down by Eli Easton and Michael Stellman (Narrator)

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Josh finds himself homeless at eighteen, but he has a plan. He’ll head north on the bus to New England and spend October there for his mother’s sake. She always talked about going to see the fall leaves someday. And when the leaves are done and the harsh winter comes, Josh plans to find a place to curl up and let go. It will be a relief to finally stop fighting.

Mark spent his life trying to live up to the tough swagger of his older brothers until he pushed himself so far against his nature that he cracked. Now a former Marine, he rents a little cabin in the White Mountains of New Hampshire where he can lick his wounds and figure out what to do with the rest of his life. One thing was clear: Mark was nobody’s hero.

Fate intervenes when Josh sets up camp under a covered bridge near Mark’s cabin. Mark recognizes the dead look in the young stranger’s eyes, and he feels compelled to do something about it. When Mark offers Josh a job, he never expects that he’ll be the one to fall.

The snow is coming soon. Can Mark convince Josh that the two of them can build a life together before the flurries begin?

I wasn’t too sure about this book when I requested it. I really like this author’s work but I don’t generally read stories about MC’s younger than college age. I’m glad I ended up trying it though because I really enjoyed this.
The blurb does a good job explaining the gist of the plot and I think it’s important to note that Josh has suicidal ideation at various places in the book in case that is an issue for you.
I found the story to be melancholy at first but it quickly gives way to hopefulness.  Both of the MC’s find fresh starts with each other and they blossom with each other’s support.
I thought the writing was very good and I found myself drawn in from the very first page. I loved both of the main characters as well as the side characters.
This story was narrated by Michael Stellman who was a new narrator for me. I thought he did an excellent job and his narration really added to the emotion of the story. He is definitely on my radar now and I will be looking for his work to listen to again.
 
Overall I felt this was a very good audiobook. Both the plot of the story and the narration were excellent.  
Cover art: Tiferet Designs.  Gorgeous new cover just pulls your eye to it and the lone figure speaks to the story.  Wonderful job.
 
Audio Details:
Length: 7hrs 33mins
Audiobook, 8 pages
Published April 17th 2019 by Pinkerton Road LLC (first published November 9th 2016)
Original Title Falling Down
ASINB 07QMTYK5Z
setting New Hampshire (United States)

A MelanieM Review:The Nature of the Game (Stick Side #2) by Amy Aislin

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Six years ago, an ultimatum forced Dan Greyson to make a choice that cost him everything he loved most. One of those things? His boyfriend, hockey player Ashton Yager. Now that they’ve crossed paths again, Dan isn’t about to let the opportunity slip away. Ash’s reappearance in his life is just the catalyst Dan needs to escape the rut he’s fallen into…and win back Ash’s trust and love.

Ashton Yager, once burned and now a little bit shy, didn’t mean to publicly come out as bisexual. But now that he has, he’s got to deal with the consequences, including the fact that it might’ve cost him his NHL contract. With his job on the line, he needs to keep his head down, work hard, and play the best hockey of his life. Rekindling things with Dan? That’s not exactly keeping a low profile. It’s also never going to happen, not after Dan walked away once without an explanation.

When a hurricane forces Ash to seek shelter out-of-state, he and Dan find themselves in the same B&B, where old feelings resurface. But with everything Ash has on the line, does he dare play with fire again?

This story had so many things going for it before I even started it.  It’s a second chance at love novel, one of my favorite tropes, it happens to be from a series about a hockey team and LGBT hockey players, so score!  That’s always high on my list!  And then there’s the author Amy Aislin who I have followed for a while and and always enjoyed her stories.  So I anticipated a good time and heartwarming romance and the author delivered that and more.

The Nature of the Game (Stick Side #2) by Amy Aislin slides into events that happen shortly after the ending of the first book in the series,  On The Ice.  While you don’t have to read that first because the exposition here helps to fill in all the gaps you will miss out by excluding that tale, reading it first gives you a firmer foundation for all the characters and a real sense of who these people are by letting you into the dynamics in the interlocking relationships you are diving into here.

The first story features Dan Greyson’s brother, Mitch, and Alex Dean, best friend and fellow hockey teammate to Ashton Yager, one of the other main characters in this book  So you begin to see how tight the threads to each couple are from story to story.  Yes, they make important appearances as you would expect.

The format here is both that the story is told from two points of view as well as in flashbacks.  We get present day Dan and Ash, and then back to their past bright first relationship and the future they thought they had together.  If you read the first story and from Dan’s pov, you are aware of what broke them apart.  But Ashton doesn’t so his ignorance and, in part, seeing the trainwreck that we know is coming is part of the heartbreak of this story.

How it all gets put back together is the charm, the hope, and the true joy here.

I liked that the author didn’t make any of it easy.  Years of pain, hurt, and poor decisions can’t be put aside overnight and they aren’t.  Both men  work to regain trust and a relationship even as major events happen in each others lives.

I really sank myself into the lives of these hockey players, the outreach program they were running for LGBT youth in Tampa, and the stress of even thinking about coming out to your team and the NHL, the possibility of what it could do to your career.  Again, I thought the author handled it realistically and authentically.

I loved the first two stories and can’t wait to see who’s next, although I have an inkling.  Hockey romances are such an addition for me and this series is just another reason why I love them so.

Cover art is pretty typical, has some hockey elements and a half naked torso.  Wish it was more specific to the story.

Sales Links:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 280 pages
Expected publication: May 7th 2019
ASINB07QN1FNJ3
Edition Language English
Series Stick Side #2

Stick Side Series:

On the Ice

The Nature of the Game

A Lila Review: Starting from Zero by (Starting From #1) by Lane Hayes

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Justin Cuevas is going through a rough patch. A broken relationship, a scandal, and the demise of his band have shaken the aspiring rock star’s confidence. Working two jobs and sleeping on his friend’s sofa isn’t ideal, but Justin isn’t ready to give up yet. With a little luck, he’s hoping to re-launch his music career in LA with his new band, Zero. The key is to stay focused, and not get distracted by his past…or the sexy songwriter he can’t get out of his head.

Gray Robertson has written dozens of hits and worked with some of the biggest names in the industry. But he’s never met anyone like Justin. The younger man is fiery, passionate, and smart. A powerful voice for a new generation. Other than an unforgettable one-night stand and a passion for music, the two men have nothing in common. Or do they? Justin knows the out-of-the-blue challenge to write a quintessential love song is a huge opportunity. And it’s the ultimate test for someone who’s doesn’t believe in happily ever after. When sparks fly, Justin and Gray realize they have a shot something special if they start from zero together. Maybe even love.

Starting From Zero is a May-December story with a musical twist. It has a handful of characters that played an important role but the majority of the story is between Gray &  Justin and how they merged their worlds.

I’m not a music person so the more technical explanations were boring for me, as well as the songwriting. The performances were crucial to understanding the characters but still not interesting enough.

There’s a lot of romance, hot scenes, and little drama. The story is well-written and having both POVs gave the reader the opportunity to get closer and cheer for them. I did enjoy how comfortable Gray and Justin were about their sexuality and how it was not a real issue for them.

The cover by Reese Dante is a bit generic but fitting for the story. It catches the eye when it’s among other covers due to his with and gray background and simple font.

Sale Links: Kindle Unlimited

Book Details:

ebook, 241 pages
Published: April 16, 2019, by Lane Hayes
ASIN: B07QTCV69G
Edition Language: English

Series: Starting From
Book #1: Starting From Zero

Bryan T Clark with an Interview and Giveaway for his new release ‘Escaping Camp Roosevelt’

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Bryan was interviewed and sent his interview in to us at Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words.

Bryan writes M/M Romance with an emphasis on moral dilemma. His multicultural characters and riveting plots embody real life, filled with challenges, personal growth, and, of course, what we all desire—love.

1. Let’s start with some easy questions before I hit you with the tough ones. Dog or Cat?

OMG… I love kittens! However, I’m allergic to them. I found that out the hard way. I was once given a stray kitten that was nearly starved to death. I kept that cat for twenty-one years before her passing. Therefore, I guess, out of default, I’m a dog person.

2. Do you believe in soulmates?

No. I believe there is someone for everyone. I have seen that over and over and said many times, “I can’t believe he or she found a boyfriend.” Soulmates, to me, sounds like you were always meant to be together, until death do you part. I’m not buying that. You have to work in a relationship, pay attention to the other person’s needs, and when those needs change for whatever reason, you have to be willing to adapt.

3. You are kind of a deep person, aren’t you?

I don’t think of myself as deep. But I do know that I have many complicated layers to me. Stuff I’m still learning. I feel that this personal growth influences my writing.

4. Let’s talk for a minute about your latest release, Escaping Camp Roosevelt. Why is Dancer’s story so important for you to tell?

LGBTQ young people ages 13 to 25 are 120% more likely to become homeless than their straight peers, according to a national survey. Frequently, they have great difficulty finding shelters that accept and respect them. LGBTQ individuals experiencing homelessness are often at a heightened risk of violence, abuse, and exploitation compared with their heterosexual peers. Transgender people are particularly at physical risk due to a lack of acceptance and are often turned away from shelters; in some cases, signs have been posted barring their entrance.

4. Is it true that you are donating the royalties from this book to a Homeless Shelter?

Yes. My publishing company, Cornbread Publishing, has pledged to donated 100 % of the royalties from the first year of the book. We’ve teamed up with Larkin Street Youth Services in San Francisco to ensure the money is used to provide direct services to the young people in their program and not to support administrative or operational costs. They provide comprehensive services such as food, clothing, medical assistance, shelter, case management and referrals for young people in need and on the streets throughout San Francisco. Specifically, our donations will go directly to their shelter, Castro Youth Housing Initiative, a two-year housing program for young people who identify as LGBTQ.

For more information visit www.BTClark.com

 
Length: 87,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Karrie Jax
Blurb
 

“He’s a bad boy—cocky and damaged. So, why can’t I stop thinking about him?”


Broken Dreams
Sociable and unselfish, eighteen-year-old Tucker Graves loves two things—his darling little sister and the thrill of playing baseball. He never dreamed that he’d be homeless, but after a series of misfortunes, his life is nothing like he could have possibly imagined. Shocked and shattered, Tucker, his mother, and his baby sister now must brave the dangers of a dilapidated homeless encampment called Camp Roosevelt.


A Wounded Heart
Homeless since the age of fourteen, Dancer has mastered the tricks of living on the streets as a sex worker. The quiet, reclusive, and calculating ways of this twenty-year-old, green-eyed Adonis help him to survive. He hides his emotional scars from the world by interacting only with his clients, whose occasional bizarre requests he reluctantly fulfills. Dancer’s past has taught him to trust no one.


A Second Chance
When Tucker and Dancer come face to face on a stormy night, having been thrown together under the same roof, Tucker brings out a feeling in Dancer that he didn’t know still existed in him—desire. Neither man can deny the attraction he feels for the other. But some scars run deep, causing both Tucker and Dancer to question whether falling in love is even possible, especially when survival is on the line.


Bryan T. Clark is a multi-published, Rainbow Award-winning author and LAMBDA finalist.


*** One hundred percent of the royalties from the first year of this novel’s publication is being donated to the Larkin Street Youth Services/Castro Youth Housing Initiative. The CYHI provides transitional housing in the city of San Francisco, California, for LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness. Fear of being raped, abused, or murdered should not be a part of anyone’s youth.


 

 

Bryan T. Clark is a Lambda Literary finalist and Rainbow Award winning author of gay romance, and contemporary books. He is also a funny, loving, family-oriented, and proud member of the LGBT community. Behind his computer, working on his next novel, Bryan writes romance with an emphasis on moral dilemma. His multicultural characters and riveting plots embody real life, filled with challenges, personal growth, and, of course, what we all desire—love.


In his work, he is known to push the boundaries with brilliantly crafted stories of friendship, love, complicated relationships, and challenges all woven into a hard-earned happily-ever-after.


When Bryan is not writing, he enjoys reading a great book, traveling, lying by a body of water soaking up the sun, and watching a good movie while snuggled up with his husband on the couch with their loyal companion Nettie, the Sheepadoodle.


Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Bryan has made his home and life in the Central Valley of California.


Author’s website: www.btclark.com
Twitter: @BryanTClarkx2
Facebook: BryanTclarkauthor@facebook.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/romanceauthor/
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/7875459.Bryan_T_Clark.com

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Love Audio Stories? Check Out the Audio Review Tour and Giveaway for Falling Down by Eli Easton and and Michael Stellman (Narrator)

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Length: 7hrs 33mins
 
Narrated By: Michael Stellman
 
Cover Design: Tiferet Design
 
Blurb
 

Josh finds himself homeless at 18, but he has a plan. He’ll head north on the bus to New England and spend October there for his mother’s sake. She always talked about going to see the fall leaves someday. And when the leaves are done and the harsh winter comes, Josh plans to find a place to curl up and let go. It will be a relief to finally stop fighting.


Mark spent his life trying to live up to the tough swagger of his older brothers until he pushed himself so far against his nature that he cracked. Now a former Marine, he rents a little cabin in the White Mountains of New Hampshire where he can lick his wounds and figure out what to do with the rest of his life. One thing was clear: Mark was nobody’s hero.


Fate intervenes when Josh sets up camp under a covered bridge near Mark’s cabin. Mark recognizes the dead look in the young stranger’s eyes, and he feels compelled to do something about it. When Mark offers Josh a job, he never expects that he’ll be the one to fall.


The snow is coming soon. Can Mark convince Josh that the two of them can build a life together before the flurries begin?


Trigger warning: Suicidal thoughts

 

About Eli


Having been, at various times and under different names, a minister’s daughter, a computer programmer, a game designer, the author of paranormal mysteries, a fan fiction writer, and organic farmer, Eli has been a m/m romance author since 2013. She has over 30 books published.


Eli has loved romance since her teens and she particular admires writers who can combine literary merit, genuine humor, melting hotness, and eye-dabbing sweetness into one story. She promises to strive to achieve most of that most of the time. She currently lives on a farm in Pennsylvania with her husband, bulldogs, cows, a cat, and lots of groundhogs.


In romance, Eli is best known for her Christmas stories because she’s a total Christmas sap. These include “Blame it on the Mistletoe”, “Unwrapping Hank” and “Merry Christmas, Mr. Miggles”. Her “Howl at the Moon” series of paranormal romances featuring the town of Mad Creek and its dog shifters has been popular with readers. And her series of Amish-themed romances, Men of Lancaster County, has won genre awards.


Her website is www.elieaston.com
You can email her at eli@elieaston.com

 

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Read Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Review here.  We love our audio stories and definitely recommend it.

Join Us for the Blog Tour for The Nature of the Game (Stick Side #2) by Amy Aislin (interview, Excerpts, and Giveaway)

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The Nature of the Game by Amy Aislin

Series: Stick Side #2

**PLEASE NOTE: Book 1 in the Stick Side series, ON THE ICE, will be on mega sale at only 99¢ May 6 – 13!

Get it now: https://amzn.to/2Vd1Bbr

Publisher: self-published

Release Date (Print & Ebook): May 7, 2019

Length (Print & Ebook): 87,000 words / 330 pages

Subgenre: m/m contemporary romance

Tropes: second chances

Warnings: N/A

Order now:

https://amzn.to/2LhMdWt

https://amyaislin.com/books/the-nature-of-the-game/

Book synopsis:

Six years ago, an ultimatum forced Dan Greyson to make a choice that cost him everything he loved most. One of those things? His boyfriend, hockey player Ashton Yager. Now that they’ve crossed paths again, Dan isn’t about to let the opportunity slip away. Ash’s reappearance in his life is just the catalyst Dan needs to escape the rut he’s fallen into…and win back Ash’s trust and love.

Ashton Yager, once burned and now a little bit shy, didn’t mean to publicly come out as bisexual. But now that he has, he’s got to deal with the consequences, including the fact that it might’ve cost him his NHL contract. With his job on the line, he needs to keep his head down, work hard, and play the best hockey of his life. Rekindling things with Dan? That’s not exactly keeping a low profile. It’s also never going to happen, not after Dan walked away once without an explanation.

When a hurricane forces Ash to seek shelter out-of-state, he and Dan find themselves in the same B&B, where old feelings resurface. But with everything Ash has on the line, does he dare play with fire again?

About Amy Aislin: Amy started writing on a rainy day in fourth grade when her class was forced to stay inside for recess. Tales of adventures with her classmates quickly morphed into tales of adventures with the characters in her head. Based in the suburbs of Toronto, Amy is a marketer/fundraiser at a large environmental non-profit in Toronto by day, and a writer by night. Book enthusiast, animal lover and (very) amateur photographer, her interests are many and varied, including travelling, astronomy, ecology, and baking. She binge watches too much anime, and loves musical theater, Julie Andrews, the Backstreet Boys, and her hometown of Oakville, Ontario.  

 

Connect with Amy:

Website: https://amyaislin.com/  

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amyaislin/  

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/amyaislin

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/amy-aislin  

Twitter: https://twitter.com/amy_aislin

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amy.aislin   

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/AmyAislinAuthor   

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/ddvWFv  

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/amyaislinauthor/  

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16693566.Amy_Aislin   

Amazon: http://amazon.com/author/amyaislin     

QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/amy-aislin/   

LoveRomanceReads: https://www.loveromancereads.com/amyaislin.html   

Short Teaser :

“Of all the B&Bs in all the towns in all the world,” Ash drawled, stepping into the room, “we both booked this one.”

Dan blinked at him. Blinked again, cheeks pinking.

It was a good look for him. He resembled a little kid, sitting there cross-legged surrounded by toys.

“You’re staying here?”

“Yeah.” Ash sat across from him. “What are the chances, huh? What are you doing?”

“Building LEGO sets.”

“Why? And why these? What kind of interplanetary colony are you trying to build? And can I name it?”

Dan chuckled and slotted a couple of pieces together. “Sure. What would you call it?”

Ash contemplated the train station, the princess castle, the storm trooper, and the fighter jet. It made sense, in a way. The fighter jet would need a place to dock: the train station. And the castle needed guards: the storm trooper.

“Sparklepants Space Station.”

Long Teaser 1:

“You hate me, I get that. I’m sorry I made you uncomfortable back there.”

Ash scowled. “I don’t hate you.” He realized the scowl might say differently and smoothed out his features. Pleasant, yet distant. Too bad his eyebrows weren’t cooperating this time. “And you didn’t make me uncomfortable.” What he did do was make Ash relive a period of his life he thought he’d set aside. Gotten over. Earmarked as It was fun but it didn’t work out.

It annoyed him more than anything, mostly. Especially since, sometimes, usually in the middle of the night, Dan turned into the one that got away

“Sure you don’t,” Dan said, sarcasm dripping off his tongue. “Thank you for getting me out of the brunch. I needed to breathe. But…” His smile was so sad it might as well’ve been upside down. “This is all we need to see of each other. You don’t have to put up with me anymore.”

Ash’s arms fell to his sides, Dan’s words making him feel like he’d accidentally revealed that Santa Claus wasn’t real. “Your brother and my best friend are in a committed relationship. I’m pretty sure we’ll see each other again.”

“Don’t sound so thrilled by it.”

“What do you want me to say, Dan?” Figuring some honesty might not hurt, he said, “This isn’t easy for me.”

“And you think it’s easy for me?”

“You’re the one who walked!”

“I didn’t have a fucking choice!”

“You— What?”

“Oh, but you don’t want to hear about it.” Dan’s arms flailed, face a thunderstorm about to go off, body coiled to spring.

“Dan—”

“You know what the worst part is?” Quiet now, he closed his eyes and took a deep breath. “It’s not that you hate me. I hate myself enough for the both of us. It’s that everything I did was for nothing. I lost the two people who meant the most to me . . . for nothing.” The last two words were harshly whispered, and when Dan’s eyes opened—his light brown eyes that Ash had stared into so many times, that had stared back at him with love and friendship—they were soft and so full of regret that Ash found himself reaching for him. “Give this to Mitch, will you?” Dan handed Ash his milkshake and backed away. “I need to take a walk.”

Before Ash could utter a word, Dan was swallowed up by the crowd.

Exclusive Mini-interview with Amy Aislin for the Release Blitz:

How do you handle writer’s block?

I’m a panster, not a plotter, so I always start out writing a novel not knowing where it’s going to go, but also not fully knowing my characters either. I’ve found that when the writer’s block hits, it’s because I’m not yet fully acquainted with my characters. I don’t know them well enough. What do they really want, both internally and externally, and what’s preventing them from getting it? Once I have that nailed down, the story starts to develop much more smoothly.

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

The Nature of the Game is my eighth published novel, which is how many books I’ve written. I’d say my favourite is On the Ice. Not only was it the easiest book for me to write—I was very intimately acquainted with the characters before I started writing—but it’s the book of my heart. It’s a slow-burn, friends to lovers story with a flirty college hockey player who meets his match in a demisexual NHL player. There’s a small part of me in most of my books, however certain facets of who I am are strongly reflected in both Mitch and Alex (the main characters in On the Ice), so it’s also a very personal book for me.

Do you have a favorite cover from one of your books?

My favourite cover from my books is the cover for As Big as the Sky, which was released in August 2017. My cover designer, Melody Pond, took my instructions and gave me back something that was a hundred times better than I’d imagined. The pink cover, flowers in the foreground, and house in the background perfectly set the mood of this low-angst, feel-good novella.

Secondary Characters: Why they are important to the story?

Secondary characters in my stories can be sources of conflict or sounding boards. In The Nature of the Game, my secondary characters take on both of these attributes. For example, one of the secondary characters in Dan’s life is a source of pain for him. By contrast, the secondary characters in Ash’s life are supportive, and help him talk through things he’s dealing with.

What’s your favorite scene from this book?

Well… [insert giggles]. My two lead characters are both bisexual men, however neither one has ever had sex with another man. My favourite scene in The Nature of the Game is one where they discover the joys (and trepidations) of anal sex. It’s quite a funny scene, if I do say so myself.

Release blitz/blog tour giveaway: Win a Stick Side prize pack, including signed paperbacks of books 1 and 2 in the series, as well as some Stick Side swag! Contest open internationally. Enter via Rafflecopter. Contest ends at 12:00am May 12.

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