An Alisa Review Waited So Long by JM Dabney

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Rating:  3 stars out of 5

What happens when your best friend’s son comes home and he’s all grown up?

Devon Hoffman has a secret. He’s wanted a Daddy all his own, but when you’re pushing fifty, you’re completely over the hill. Newly divorced and trying to be single again after an almost thirty-year relationship, he’s lost and needs someone to ground him. Except he’s anxious and his depression intensifies until Bern returns after leaving the service and the younger man suddenly takes interest. Can he let his guard down and risk losing his best friend or should he do whatever is needed to keep his secret safe?

I was so excited for a new daddy/boy story and while the story was nice I wasn’t big on the execution.  Bern has been in love with his dad’s best friend for years and after leaving to avoid temptation now that Devon is single Bern has come home.  Devon has hidden his desires for so long that when they start to be brought out but a much younger man he starts to feel even more conflicted.

One thing I did love in this story was the explanation of the daddy/boy dynamic, that it is a mindset not an age, which is perfect for this story but many others and how more open minded some should be about those relationships.  However, the relationship between these two felt forced and I couldn’t help but feel Bern was pushing Devon a bit too much to get what he wanted, especially when Devon needed help accepting what he wants.  I did feel bad for Devon having not had the loving marriage he had always wanted and then being cast aside, though when we actually meet his ex I can’t believe he ever thought it would work.  I can tell that Bern loves Devon but he came off as mostly stalkerish with his constant observations since his teens and pushy.

The cover art by J.M. Dabney is nice and gives a good visual of Bern.

Sales Link: Hostile Whispers Press | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 115 pages

Published: June 18, 2019 by Hostile Whispers Press

Edition Language: English

j. leigh bailey On Writing, Romances, and her new release Fox Hunt (Shifter U #4) (author interview, excerpt, and giveaway)

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Fox Hunt (Shifter U #4) by J. Leigh Bailey

Dreamspinner Press
Published July 2nd 2019

Cover Art: Aaron Anderson

Buy Links

Dreamspinner Press

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

iBooks

Kobo

:

 

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with J. Leigh Bailey

I’d like to start with a big “Thank you!” to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for having me here today to celebrate the upcoming release of Fox Hunt, the fourth book in my Shifter U paranormal series.

With so much going on in the world today, do you write to explain? To get away? To move past? To widen your knowledge? Why do you write?

 

I write for the same reason I read: ESCAPE. Honestly, sometimes the real world sucks—you just have to turn on the news or review your Twitter feed to see this—but books, especially romance novels, provide an escape like no other. As a reader, I love knowing that no matter what happens to my characters, no matter what challenges they face, or how bad the bad guy is, there will be a Happy Ever After. As a writer, it’s very much the same. One of the frustrating parts of watching the news or seeing people be hateful to and about each other, is how helpless it can make you feel. There’s only so much a person can do, and sometimes it feels like it’s not enough. As a writer, I take back some of that control. Sure. I can make the world my characters live in tough, but then, with a few strokes of my fingers, I can make it all right again. I add a little heart ache and a dash of angst, but then I turn around and create love. There’s nothing more rewarding than creating a world of love and hope, even if it’s fiction. Sometimes, especially because it’s fiction. As a writer, I can create that same escape mechanism that I’ve relied on as a reader. Now, hopefully other can escape reality for a while in a world of my choosing, in a world where love and hope really can conquer all.

Have you ever had an issue in real life and worked through it by writing it out in a story?

 

I’ve been battling depression since I was a teenager. For years, I used romance novels to avoid dealing with the negative thoughts and emotions in my head. Novels were an escape, for sure, but they also became a crutch—and not necessarily a healthy one—for me. Eventually I learned better coping mechanisms (counseling, antidepressants, exercise, etc). One of the things that works really well for me is writing. I’m a huge believer in using writing—whether it’s journaling, poetry, short stories, novels, etc.—as a way to help cope with depression and anxiety. What it does for me—and others—is allow us to process different situations, thoughts, and scenarios with some emotional distance. I can take some of the negative emotions inside myself, give them to another character, and let them deal with it for a while. This distance enables me to stop internalizing things and to apply logic to an emotional situation. I discovered one of my emotional triggers almost by accident when writing one of my books. And as soon as I realized what I’d written, and what my characters were doing, I had a better understanding of myself. And with that distance, I learned to recognize my own triggers before I had too much time to get sucked into the downward spiral. It’s not a cure-all by any means, but writing has given me the means to process things in a healthier way.

Do you/did you read romances as a teenager and as an adult?

 

Yep. I was the girl who had my nose in a book—a ROMANCE book—all through middle school and high school, up through my adulthood. I was the one whose 7th grade English teacher wanted to know if my mother knew what I was reading (the answer is yes, she absolutely did). I’d been known to have a romance novel with me at the ROLLER RINK(!) and at the football game (!). During high school I read in study hall, which taught me two things: First,  sex scene sound WAY different when read aloud by a 15-year-old boy than they do in your head; Second, in historical romances of 350-450 pages written in the early/mid-90s, there is always a sex scene on page 200. I was (and am) the lady in the office breakroom reading a different romance novel every day at lunch. It was more obvious back in the day when people could see the cover of the book, but in this age of digital, it just looks like I’m one of the many people staring at my phone.

 

What’s next for you as a writer?

 

I’ve got a couple of projects I’m really excited about. The first is a male/male light sci-fi series that takes place on a brothel star cruiser which is actually the undercover base for a secret militia. It’s tropey and fun. Definitely a romance set in space vs. a sci-fi novel with romantic elements (believe me, there’s a difference!) I have a demisexual prince, a courtesan-trained mechanic, a naïve scientist, a cynical smuggler, a pansexual prince, and a drag queen general, all bent on saving the galaxy.

Here’s the series blurb:

 

The SuperNova Galactic Brothel is the premier pleasure cruiser of the Su’Mar galaxy, a shining beacon in a star system at the edge of war. The elite from every star system frequent the establishment because they know Madame Nova’s courtesans and amenities are the best, bar-none. But beneath the glitzy and glamorous façade, a secret lurks—one that might be the galaxy’s last bastion of defense against the Order of Nammu.

 

Long thought a rumor, the Order of Nammu has been systematically destabilizing the galaxy for years—influencing, instigating, menacing—and now the galaxy is on the brink of collapse. When the Order’s operatives infiltrate SuperNova, a hidden battle station is revealed and the galaxy is thrust into war.

 

The three Adan brothers, princes of the planet Enkhi, are called upon to rally the galaxy’s leaders, marshaling them into war. Along the way, they fall for the unlikeliest of partners—men who are inappropriate matches for a prince, but whose love allows each brother to discover new strengths needed to overcome the threat of the Order of Nammu and save the galaxy’s inhabitants.

 

The second project I’m working on is a contemporary gay YA novel, which I’m pitching as the movie Juno meets Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. It’s got a little angst, a little humor, a little romance, and a character coming to terms with the sacrifices required to be a parent—especially as an underage dad.

 

BLURB

 

A Shifter U Tale

Outfoxing their enemies will be a bear of a task.

Aspiring journalist and fox shifter David ends up with a target on his back after hacking the Moreau Initiative, the shifter world’s greatest enemy. But he won’t let that stop him from the campus tour road trip that’ll help him become the next Anderson Cooper… even if his family insists he travel with a grumpy grizzly bear bodyguard.

Buddy Brady is older, sexy, and too damn distracting for David, and as the sexual tension builds, so does the suspicion around the repeated attacks—first in Chicago, then in New York. Someone is tracking them, and all clues point to a traitor in the shifter ranks. Worst of all, they could be after David’s family….

Excerpt:

The hotel I’d chosen was… rough.

Buddy was less polite. “This place is two beers shy of a murder-suicide.”

“I didn’t take you for a snob,” I said, even as I sort of agreed with his assessment. To call the place fleabag would be giving it too much credit. “Besides,” I added, “we’re at the height of tourist season. We’re lucky to find a room anywhere, let alone one for less than a hundred bucks a night.”

“If this place is a dime more than twenty-five dollars, you’re paying too much.”

“I tried to tell you we should have kept going to Sioux Falls.” Thanks to the early start, there was plenty of daylight left, and Sioux Falls was only an hour farther down the line. Buddy had put the kibosh on that, reaching over to press the twitching muscle of my forearm. “You’ve been stretching your back for the last two hours, and twice you got a charley horse in your foot.”

So, yeah, I gave in. I’d been sore, and driving that long nonstop took a surprising amount of energy. Which is how we ended up in terrifyingly run-down motel near the interstate that smelled of smoke and desperation.

It had been a long night. Long and enlightening.

I learned two things from sharing a room with Buddy. First, he slept in soft cotton shorts and a tank top that showed exactly how broad his shoulders were. And second, he snored. The snoring didn’t even bother me, which I guess could be called a third thing I learned. Actually, the heavy breathing was oddly comforting.

I’m not exactly sure what woke me up after I’d finally fallen asleep sometime after three thirty. Maybe noise from a passing semi or a slamming door somewhere in the motel. Whatever it was, I pried my gritty eyes open and promptly squeezed them shut again. Only to open them in awe.

Buddy was… he was… holy shit, I had no words.

On the floor at the foot of his bed, he rested on his knees, his body bowed backward, hands gripping his ankles. It was… obscene? Crazy? Sexy as fuck?

And this was the exact moment my generalized awareness and attraction became straight-up perving. With the way he contorted his body, his pelvis thrust forward, and his thin cotton shorts left nothing to the imagination. He released his ankles and slowly flowed forward, reversing his arching body until his palms lay flat on the carpet in front of him. Then he lifted first one knee, then the other, until his body made a perfect inverted V, his ass on full display.

I may have drooled a little. Because, damn.

Buddy the grumpy grizzly shifter did yoga. I had no idea that a burly man working through yoga poses would be more exciting to me than a lap dance at a strip club.

“You should join me,” he said.

I’m not sure what word I meant to say, but an inarticulate grunt was my response. Because if by joining him, he meant letting me drape myself over that massive—and bendy—body, then I was all in. But… “Wait, what?”

Buddy tilted his head meeting my eyes. “Yoga. It’s good for you. Centers your mind and body.”

“Yeah, it’s not my kind of thing,” I said, trying to keep my voice and my breathing even.

His shirt fell until it bunched up at his neck, giving me a clear view of that mile-wide back, and if I looked right, I got a good shot at his hairy chest. My heartbeat picked up.

“You should consider it.” His nostrils flared, and his eyes narrowed. His right hand slipped, and he fell forward, barely catching himself before face-planting into what was undoubtedly gross carpet.

Nope, nope, nope. This wasn’t happening. I forced myself to think of what a black light would pick up in this place. The floor was probably a Pollock painting of various bodily fluids. When even that wasn’t enough to push away the heat in my blood—and loins—I jumped up. “I’m more of a runner.” In more ways than one.

 

 

 

During my travels, I’ve stayed in a couple of …rough…hotels. How about you? Any vivid experiences at a hotel/motel you want to share?

 

**GIVEAWAY**

I’ll be giving away a digital copy of the Shifter U novel of your choice (Stalking Buffalo Bill, Chasing Thunderbird, The Night Owl and the Insomniac, or Fox Hunt) to a random commenter! Giveaway will close on July 18.

 

About the Author

  1. leigh bailey is an office drone by day and the author of Young Adult and New Adult LGBT Romance by night. She can usually be found with her nose in a book or pressed up against her computer monitor. A book-a-day reading habit sometimes gets in the way of… well, everything…but some habits aren’t worth breaking. She’s been reading romance novels since she was ten years old. The last twenty years or so have not changed her voracious appetite for stories of romance, relationships and achieving that vitally important Happy Ever After. She’s a firm believer that everyone, no matter their gender, age, sexual orientation or paranormal affiliation deserves a happy ending. For upcoming releases and appearances information, sign up for her newsletter athttps://t.co/FfL9gFVJLQ.

Social Media Links

Twitter @JenniWrites 
Facebook @JLeighBailey
Instagram @j.leigh.bailey_author
Website

Jeanne Reames on Why He is Alexandros and Not Alexander and her new release Dancing with the Lion: Becoming (giveaway)

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Dancing with the Lion: Becoming by Jeanne Reames

Riptide Publishing
Published June 29th 2019

Cover Art: L.C. Chase
Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

Xairē! That’s ancient Greek for “Howdy.” [KHAI-rae]

Welcome to my blog tour for Becoming, Book 1 of the Dancing with the Lion duology, about the young Alexander before he became “the Great.” It’s an historical coming-of-age tale with a love story embedded.

 

Best known for conquering most of his known world before the ripe old age of 33, Alexander made even Julius Caesar weep (for not being him). But who was he before his meteoric rise? And how did his best friend and lover, Hephaistion, give him the emotional support needed for him to become Megalexandros (the Great Alexander)?

 

WHY IS HE ALEXANDROS, NOT ALEXANDER?

From the very beginning, I wanted to use Alexander’s real name. I did so for the same reasons I chose to write in his point-of-view in the first place, not in the heads of people all around him.

I want to make him real. “Alexander the Great” is a legend. Alexandros of Macedon, or really Makedon, was a living, breathing human being. That’s who I’m writing about.

Some readers may think it’s “pretentious,” or that I’m making all those weird Greek names harder. But again, I’m not writing about the legend, I’m writing about the boy. And the notion that “Alexander” is easier for English-speakers to say than “Alexandros” strikes me as rather silly. Same thing with Philip and Philippos. Now I might give you that Aristotle is easier than Aristoteles, but for the most part, the name thing affects a bare handful. If readers can handle Hephaistion and Erigyios, I think they can manage Aristoteles! I dislike underestimating or insulting my readers.

ALL these Greek names look strange to English-speakers, and a lot of folks will just gloss name. They’ll become the Eri-guy or Heph, or Leo (for Leonnatos). That’s okay.

My students love to make up nicknames in class for ancient figures, and if people think Greek names appear odd, try Suppiluliuma (a Hittite king). But so fun to say! I get my whole Ancient Near Eastern class to pronounce names together, at once, just so nobody felt stupid for having no clue how to say something that’s six syllables long. At first, they were a bit reluctant, but after the first few times, they really got into it. Suppiluliuma was dubbed “Soupy,” but I think the funniest was “Mega-bus” for Megabyzos, a Persian general.

Obviously, I don’t want to make fun of people’s names, but teaching gives me a good idea of how readers are going to see these. While on the one hand, readers can certainly handle the real Greek, I fully expect a lot of readers will shorten them in their heads. I’m cool with that. (Send me your funny nicknames for them! I love that stuff.)

Yet if readers would like to hear the names, on my website I have audiofiles of me pronouncing them. Sometimes readers can guess, but accents might be a surprise. For instance, with Alexander’s own name, as we say it al-ex-AN-der, most readers probably assume it’s al-ex-AN-dros. It’s actually a-LEX-an-dros.

So if, like me, you love language and hearing the names, pop over to the website and take a listen. Otherwise, as you read, you can pronounce/remember those suckers however works for you!

 

 

Dancing with the Lion Website:

Contains everything from cut scenes, to videoblogs of Macedonia (Northern Greece, where Alexander grew up), to audio pronunciations of those weird Greek names!

https://jeannereames.net/Dancing_with_the_Lion/DwtL.html

 

For our GIVE-AWAY, I’m going to offer something a bit different. Yes, there’s a $10 gift certificate from Riptide Publishers. BUT, for the lucky winner, you get your very own scene request. Want to see a scene in the novel from a different character’s point-of-view? Want to know what happened after a scene ended, or before it began? Or is there something you’d like to see that wasn’t in the novel? Ask for it! I’ll write it just for you.

 

About Dancing with the Lion: Becoming

 

Two boys, one heroic bond, and the molding of Greece’s greatest son.

 

Before he became known as Alexander the Great, he was Alexandros, the teenage son of the king of Makedon. Rather than living a life of luxury, as prince he has to be better and learn faster than his peers, tackling problems without any help. One such problem involves his increasingly complicated feelings for his new companion, Hephaistion. 

 

When Alexandros and Hephaistion go to study under the philosopher Aristoteles, their evolving relationship becomes even harder to navigate. Strength, competition, and status define one’s fate in their world—a world that seems to have little room for the tenderness growing between them. 

 

Alexandros is expected to command, not to crave the warmth of friendship with an equal. In a kingdom where his shrewd mother and sister are deemed inferior for their sex, and his love for Hephaistion could be seen as submission to an older boy, Alexandros longs to be a human being when everyone but Hephaistion just wants him to be a king.

 

Now available from Riptide Publishing and where ebooks are sold!

About the series Dancing with the Lion

 

Alexandros is expected to command, not to crave the warmth of friendship with an equal. In a kingdom where his shrewd mother and sister are deemed inferior for their sex, and his love for Hephaistion could be seen as submission to an older boy, Alexandros longs to be a human being when everyone but Hephaistion just wants him to be a king.

 

Check out the series today!

About Jeanne Reames

 

Jeanne Reames has been scribbling fiction since 6th grade, when her “write a sentence with this vocabulary word” turned into paragraphs, then into stories…and her teacher let her get away with it—even encouraged her! But she wears a few other hats, too, including history professor, graduate program chair, and director of the Ancient Mediterranean Studies Program at her university. She’s written academic articles about Alexander and ancient Macedonia, and does her best to interest undergrads in Greek history by teaching them (et al.) to swear in ancient Greek.

 

Her Website: https://jeannereames.net/Dancing_with_the_Lion/DwtL.html

On Facebook: facebook.com/jeanne.reames.3

On Instagram: instagram.com/jeannereames

On Twitter: twitter.com/DrReames

 

Giveaway

 

One lucky person will win a $10 voucher for Riptide. But this giveaway also includes something much more personal:

Your very own SCENE.

I’ve committed to write, for the give-away winner, a scene of her/his/their choice.

Would you like to see X scene described from a different character’s POV (point-of-view)?

Or would you like to know what happened just before X scene, or right after?

Or maybe there’s something I didn’t write about at all, but you’d like me to write it for you?

There are some parameters, especially for the third category (write a scene not included). The request is subject to my agreement that the characters would engage in the requested behavior. So keep that in mind. (I wouldn’t write a scene wherein Alexander beat his dog, for instance.)

But I look forward to the winner’s scene challenge!

I have some “cuts scenes” as well as “missing scenes” (in the year between the novels) that will be available on my website (https://jeannereames.net/Dancing_with_the_Lion/cut_scenes.html) after July 1st

When done, this one will join them.


Each tour stop is a chance to enter by leaving a comment below. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on June 6, 2019. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following along, and don’t forget to leave your contact info! 

New Release Blitz and Giveaway for Salmon & The Hazel (Rowan Harbor Cycle #8) by Sam Burns

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK – Exclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited
 
Length: 43,000 words approx.



Cover Design: Melanie Farlow @ Clause & Effect


The Rowan Harbor Cycle Series


Book #1 – Blackbird in the Reeds – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #2 – Wolf and the Holly – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #3 – Fox and Birch – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #4 – Hawk In The Rowan – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #5 – Stag and the Ashe – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #6 – Adder and Willow – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #6.5 – In Any Light – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #7 – Eagle In The Hawthorn – Amazon US | Amazon UK


Blurb


Jesse’s only priority in life is protecting the people he loves, so he’s determined to see Rowan Harbor’s wards rebuilt. There’s just one problem: they’re missing an ingredient that can’t be ordered online.


Jesse volunteers to search for the missing component in the realm of the fae, but his boyfriend, Sean, isn’t letting him go alone. The town has an enemy among the fae, so they’ll need to keep a low profile. Along their way, they find unexpected allies, surprising enemies, and a whole host of problems.


The journey is a test of their endurance, but also of their relationship and their faith in each other. Can they find what they need and get back home in one piece in time for the summer solstice?

Sam wrote her first fantasy epic with her best friend when she was ten. Like almost any epic fiction written by a ten year old, it was awful. She likes to think she’s improved since then, if only because she has better handwriting now.


If she’s not writing, she’s almost certainly either reading or lost down a Wikipedia rabbit hole while pretending to research for a novel.


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