A Lucy Review The Positions Of Love Collection by JM Snyder

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

When Matt diLorenzo gives his lover, Vic Braunson, a copy of the Kama Sutra for Gay Men as a Christmas gift, they find it doubles as a handy reference guide to Vic’s superpowers. All they have to do is test out the positions to see which one gives Vic what ability. 

Included are the tales……
Book I: The Positions of Love (This is their first Christmas together, but Vic dreads trying to find the perfect gift for Matt and playing Santa at his company party.)……
Book II: Two Pillars Position (A quickie in the pool showers seems like a good way to start the morning, but what power will this new position give Vic?)……
Book III: Clasping Position (Valentine’s Day. Matt and Vic have reservations at an expensive steakhouse, but an intimate moment before dinner causes more sparks to fly than they expect.)……
Book IV: Hammock Position (After a day spent by the river, can Vic use his latest unintentional superpower to help rescue a school bus full of children?)……
Book V: Two Dogs Position (Matt’s party proves too much for Vic’s heightened senses. But when he overhears a struggle in the apartment above, all thoughts of celebration disappear.)……
Book VI: Cowboy Position (Matt has a secret fetish–he loves to watch a man eat. Good thing his lover Vic has a voracious appetite.)……
Book VII: Kneeling Butterfly Position (Matt wants to go clothes shopping, something Vic hates to do, so Matt suggests a quickie in the dressing room to sweeten the deal.)……
Book VIII: Pillar & Ivy Position (Vic suggests making love in the pool where Matt works, but the resulting superpower washes out his plans for the rest of the day.)……
Book IX: Tripod Position (When Matt discovers Vic’s leather fetish, he suggests they go clubbing to celebrate Vic’s birthday. But Vic isn’t the only one watching Matt’s dance moves.)……
Book X: Lotus Position (While on vacation, Vic’s latest superpower attracts the attention of a young kid, whose delight at discovering a real-life superhero almost leads to disaster.)……
Book XI: The Arc Position (It’s Halloween, and Roxie is having a party. Matt wants them to dress as policemen, but Vic’s latest power creates a costume for him on its own.)……
Book XII: Sideways Position (When Vic meets Matt’s family, he makes a good impression on his lover’s grandmother–his latest power allows him to communicate with her in Italian.)

It is amusing to me that way back in the day, circa 2007, I had actually read a few of the Positions of Love stories.  I read them individually, with weeks or even months in between the next installment, with other books in between.  I thought they were pretty good and so when the whole collection came out together now, I thought it would be great to reread the ones I had read and finish the series to date of the ones I hadn’t. 

What I didn’t count on, however, is that by reading them all at once I would become aware of the overwhelming amount of sex that tends to overshadow the whole story.  Because I hadn’t read them in a row, I guess I didn’t realize it.  This is a shame because the premise of the books is a creative one.  For an unknown reason, Matt’s semen causes odd and random powers in Vic, a different power for each sexual position.  They share a telepathic bond, in each other’s minds all the time and able to speak not only to each other telepathically but often to others, usually Vic telling someone off, especially since “…but it also tuned him into everyone else’s thoughts as well.”  Vic has a permanent case of superhuman strength (he is able to lift one thousand pounds like it’s a bag of flour and is always looking for something to actually challenge him).  This is all so interesting and I really liked that aspect.  I also looked forward to knowing what the power was going to be.  They are sometimes embarrassing, sometimes helpful and often dangerous. 

Vic is a badass, tough and grumpy to everyone but Matt.  He had a rough past, including losing touch with his little sister, Mary, when they went into foster care.  However, he has family in Matt.  “Matt was his heart and soul, and he’d do whatever it took to make the man happy.”  This is another place where reading them altogether changed my viewpoint a little because I started to think Matt was spoiled to the point of being a brat.  Vic does what Matt wants, when he wants to, whether Vic likes it or wants to or not.

Matt does at one point really feel badly about the powers Vic ends up with, even though it isn’t on purpose.  “In that instant, Matt hated the powers he bestowed upon his lover.”   Especially since the power at that time was heat ray vision, where anything Vic looked at burned up, including his own hands before he realized.  Vic, though, knows Matt is his family.  “I’d do it again in a heartbeat and you know it.  Loving you is worth whatever price I have to pay.” 

The powers aren’t all bad and other than the superstrength and the telepathy, they aren’t permanent.  They wear off after a few hours or are replaced with another power when Matt and Vic have sex again.  He is able to teleport for a while, telekinesis allows him to be a hero in what could have been a tragedy, fireworks to make Matty happy also make Vic happy.  Some I don’t want to give away because they are so creative (if dangerous!)

There is a great side character in Officer Kendra, who is slowly in the know about what Vic is capable of, but she is trustworthy with it.

All in all, the stories (some very short) are clever.  I recommend reading them just a couple at a time so the sex isn’t overpowering to the story.

Cover art, showing Matt and Vic kissing was so close to being perfect! The black locks of Matt, the bald head and muscled form of Vic.  Missing, however, were the tattoos and piercings that Vic is known for.  But overall, an excellent cover.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | JMS Books | Universal Link

Book Details:

ebook
Published June 4th 2016 by JMS Books LLC
ISBN139781634861793
SeriesThe Positions of Love #1-12

Michael Vance Gurley On Writing YA and his new Release Absolute Heart (Infernal Instruments of the Dragon #1) + Giveaway

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Absolute Heart (Infernal Instruments of the Dragon #1) by Michael Vance Gurley

Dreamspinner Press
Publication: July 23rd 2019
Steampunk / Teen Fiction

Buy link  at Dreamspinner Press  (paperback) Kindle link to come

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Michael Vance Gurley here today talking about the new YA Steampunk release Absolute Heart (Infernal Instruments of the Dragon #1). Welcome, Michael.

✒︎

 

 

I have a dark and dirty secret I am going to confess to your faithful readers: I love the young adult genre and I’m not afraid to admit it. I remember when we had to hide the YA books, and deny reading them. Now it is pretty widely accepted and they are being turned into movies. There’s an easy buy in to the struggles of young people and the instant underdog vibe of these stories. There are so many high risk situations explored in YA but the feel is fresher and less saturated with blood and murder overall compared to adult books. Although YA is changing, it is still so focused on relationships as much as the plot, and I find it refreshing. I am a devout reader. At any time I can be appropriately accused of reading a novel, listening to an audiobook, reading a graphic novel, and sitting next to a stack of comics I’m tearing through, like four seasons in one day. I get asked how I can do it without mixing them all up and then I remind folks of how many TV shows they are into weekly. Then they nod and seem to get it. I like opening people up to the idea you can read a bunch of stories at the same time. I’m not quite Elvis and his TV sets yet though.

I think my writing is influenced by what I read in some metaphysical way, as much as how the people I meet or the places I’ve been inform characters and the arenas I invent. I love Scott Westerfeld and Cassandra Clare’s Steampunk worlds, and the adventure style of a Holly Black faerie book. I think the challenge is in creating your own clockwork alternate history or your own faerie culture that is true to the genre but isn’t a clone of some great author. The creative process has no limits in YA unless we as authors, or as readers, start giving in to the idea that tropes have to be filled or our book won’t be accepted or we won’t enjoy the read.

A big roadblock to writing younger used to be having to end happily ever after. This is changing so much. Harry Potter had to win at the close of each book, but there was such a breakthrough there of a massive experience that spanned books. Ending on a high note where everyone but Chewbacca gets a medal isn’t totally necessary anymore. Hunger Games taught us this too. Now the human living in faerie doesn’t have to win in book one, and in fact can leave us worried for their sanity and safety. Steampunk is a growing sub genre and like fantasy, often lends itself to multi book epics. It is also growing more common in YA to dangle some threads at the end, mix it up, maybe not have the good guys win too fast. You don’t have to leave teens or the largely adult reader hanging, but I enjoy finding a way to mess up the status quo so even though we are almost happy for now, we might also hate that the book ended in that rough spot.

However, after my first  over, The Long Season, left the reader in charge of making some conclusions, I challenged myself to hand out a few figurative medals at the end of this one. I wanted people to be somewhat satisfied but also to say, “No way, that can’t be it.”

I hope people enjoy exploring the Steampunk world, the airships and warlocks, artificers and pilots of this late 1880’s England set adventure. Gavin is prepped, his goggles firmly on, gloves gripping the wheel to guide the reader into the high stakes of coming out and coming of age during war. He openly shares his best friend, the ever impressive tinkerer Landa, and the handsome Irishman who brings danger everywhere he goes. These friends have important things to do if they are going to give the reader a happily ever after, and it all starts here.

You can read the first chapter on the purchase link at the Dreamspinner and Harmony Ink sites, but here’s an excerpt which showcases the meet cute I hope brings a smile to your face amidst all the war and risk the boys are facing.

Excerpt.

Orion slipped away from the hut and headed around several tents and lean-tos until he found himself at the side of Victoria’s tent. A simple distraction spell caused the people who walked by to look away as he dashed through the flap and gently dropped it closed behind him.

Orion stopped and gaped at what he found inside. In front of a tub stood a slim boy about his own age. He was poised to lower himself into the steaming water. The lanterns in the room danced across his thick brown hair and illuminated the bruises on his thin sides and back. Something stirred deep inside as Orion glimpsed the muscles in the boy’s legs and backside contract and release as he lowered himself into the water, hiding what he thought to be an attractive arse.

“Ahhh.” The lad let out a long sigh of relief as his body melted into the hot bath water. He leaned his head against the wooden back, his eyes closed. He looked like someone trying to forget a hard day. He took another deep breath and let it out slowly. Another and his shoulders drooped farther into the tub.

Orion suddenly felt guilty, secretly standing in the room with this bather. The lad massaged his own neck with one hand. Orion had to adjust himself when he couldn’t control the excitement he felt. He knew he needed to discover a way to the Dragon Stone, which the handsome British lad could lead him to. Or at least he could, according to the visions.

“Hope I’m not interrupting,” Orion stated with more than a little humor in his voice.

The boy bolted upright to his feet and turned to defend himself, splashing water over the sides onto his clothes and everywhere. “What the hell?” he said. Before he could cover himself, Orion took him in.

“Well, at least I know the water isn’t cold,” Orion complimented, trying again to fake an English accent. After the incident with Victoria, he worried his British impression would not work but needed to try to blend in. He knew he shouldn’t but couldn’t help from looking as the water dripped down the small but muscled chest to his….

“Huh?” the lad answered, staring at Orion’s face, his mouth agape. Orion noticed how this young man’s lips curved in a Cupid’s bow. Orion was the one fully clothed but suddenly felt self-conscious and nervously tucked his hair back into his green hooded cloak. The other lad’s cheeks looked flushed but he felt hot.

“Uh-hmm, it’s rude to point,” Orion said, his gaze traveling the lad’s length until he glanced at the boy’s crotch. The young man peeked down quickly to notice his penis had indeed begun to betray him. He snatched a towel from the side table and haphazardly wrapped it around his dripping torso.

“Who… who are you?” he managed to eke out.

Orion stepped forward and thrust out his hand to shake, which resulted in awkward towel readjustment so the boy could return with a free hand.

“I am called… Zachariah,” Orion lied. He held the hand firmly but gently for a long time, studying his face. “Yours?”

“Gavin Ha—Gavin. Why are you in here?”

“I’m sorry, is this your tent?”

“Well, no, but I’m….”

“I am only joking. I heard there were other new people here and thought I’d get to know them. You.”

“Do you mind?” Gavin asked as he motioned to his clothing on the floor by Orion’s feet. Orion bent down and retrieved the pants and the undergarment still in place inside them and handed them to Gavin.

Gavin blushed.

“So you’re the one who arrived yesterday? How did they capture you?”

“I wasn’t captured,” Orion said, a little laugh escaping his lips. He batted his eyelashes at Gavin. “I came here of my own free will. And as far as I can tell, you could leave when you wish as well.”

“That’s what Victoria said,” Gavin replied. He moved behind a changing screen to put his pants back on. “Why did you come?”

Orion grinned, but it was wasted since Gavin hid behind a screen. “So you and your friends came in one of those infernal clanking machines?” Orion chided himself for the slip immediately because British people didn’t express hatred of machines.

“What’s that?”

“Did you come from London?” Orion quickly added to cover his slip up. His accent and native colloquialisms came out the faster he talked.

“Do you not know what’s been happening?”

“Tell me, please. Recently my head’s been way up in the clouds, it seems.” Orion couldn’t help himself. His wit had gotten him into trouble more times than he could recall, but it was also the only way he could expel the restless energy he had felt from the moment he stepped into the tent. When Gavin came out from behind the changing screen in a crisp shirt tucked neatly into tight pants and a sharp vest pulling it all together, Orion felt himself being drawn to him.

“Faeries attacked London, maybe beyond,” Gavin said. This shocked Orion out of the haze caused by infatuation.

“Faeries? It couldn’t be. There hasn’t been an attack in—”

“Well, there has been now,” Gavin finished. “We were barely able—”

“Oh Gavin—” a tall, lanky boy entered and startled them. The boy took one look at Gavin and his wet hair, then Orion, and stopped.

“Lucas, this is…,” Gavin began, before seeing how Lucas looked on Orion with anger. Lucas composed himself quickly and turned away from Orion.

“Miss Hanover has assigned us sleeping quarters for the day since we didn’t really get much rest.” He paused dramatically, then continued, “She put Landa in her own room, Wish in one with a family, and we are sharing a room in the pub.”

“There’s a pub?” Gavin asked.

“The others have already gone to bed. Let’s go. I’m zonked.” Lucas was acting possessive in front of Orion, and Gavin’s frown spoke volumes. They weren’t together. Not really. Orion could tell that much. Gavin breathed too fast, his body tense with growing anger until he closed his eyes to calm down.

“I will let you rest, then, but tonight over dinner, I want to hear all about your daring escape from London,” Orion prompted.

“That would be fine, Zachariah,” Gavin said.

“I’m Lucas, by the way. We will see you at dinner.” Gavin shot Lucas a frown, and Lucas returned the look.

They walked away, Gavin sneaking a peek over his shoulder on the way out.

 

Blurb

As clockwork-powered England and magic-driven Ireland war against each other, two boys will rise to their destinies.

The son of a powerful British councilman, Gavin Haveland is more interested in airships than politics. He’s also hiding not one, but two secrets—and either one could cost his life.

Orion of Oberon is the nephew of the Irish queen, tasked with crossing the sea and finding the Dragon Stones that will restore her flagging power. Along the way he hopes to defeat the unscrupulous Brotherhood of the Mage and regain his family’s honor.

Fate throws them together, but they’ll have to follow their hearts and trust each other to prevent war from breaking out on a global scale and evade the agents their governments send to sabotage them.

About the Author

Michael Vance Gurley writes fiction with unconventional settings. Whether he is writing about hockey players in the Roaring Twenties or magicians in Victorian England, he promises something different. His first novel, The Long Season, discovered the secret world of professional athletes from the Jazz Age who fall in love with one another. Traveling around the world with a passion for history brought about a kiss of the Blarney Stone, which sparked the steampunk/magic blended Absolute Heart.

Michael won a “Pitchapalooza” literary event and garnered high praise for his books from readers and authors such as Jeff Adams, Brent Hartinger, and Jay Bell. His work with children in schools and LGBT outreach allows him to tap into the YA genre with authenticity and the respect of others. Michael has written short stories, comic books, and poetry since he was a little kid, eventually owning his own comic book publishing company. Not so secretly, he wants to be Green Lantern.

When not writing or working, Michael wanders from Chicago and the best pizza in the world to see Broadway plays, Alaskan glaciers, penguins in Antarctica with his husband, and once sang in a band in Italy. He reads constantly, takes photos with stars, and plays with his dog, Finnegan.

Giveaway

The author has graciously brought an ebook copy of Absolute Heart to giveaway to one of our readers.  Just leave a comment here with your email address and one winner will be chosen and  notified.Must be 18 years of age or older.

Review Tour and Giveaway for Patron of Mercy (Lords of the Underworld #3) by Sam Burns ➕ W.M Fawkes

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link – Exclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited


Length: 70,000 words approx.


Cover Design: Natasha Snow


Lords of the Underworld Series


Prince of Death – Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link
Prisoner Of Shadows – Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link


Blurb


Lach has spent the last few thousand years counting only on himself. What he needed, he took. What he wanted, he won with charm. All except a god he turned his back on an age ago, when he had a different name and didn’t know what he was giving up.


Thanatos, god of merciful death, is one of the gentlest gods in the pantheon—easing the transition between life and death for billions of mortals. But he has faced eternity alone. After breaking his heart on the sharp words of a fisherman’s son, he hasn’t been able to connect with anyone.


Now, Lach is crashing back into Thanatos’s life, dragging him into an adventure that could save the world . . . or kill them both.


PATRON OF MERCY IS THE THIRD BOOK IN A SERIES, BUT CAN BE READ AS A STAND ALONE NOVEL.

Sam Burns 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.

W.M. Fawkes is an author of LGBTQ+ urban fantasy and paranormal romance. With coauthor Sam Burns, she writes feisty Greek gods, men, and monsters in the Lords of the Underworld series. She lives with her partner in a house owned by three halloween-hued felines that dabble regularly in shadow walking.


Website: https://www.fawkeswrites.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fawkeswrites
Twitter: https://twitter.com/FawkesWrites

 
 

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Book Blitz and Giveaway for The Positions Of Love Collection by JM Snyder

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Length: 99,966 words.
 
Publisher: JMS Books 
 
Blurb
 

When Matt diLorenzo gives his lover, Vic Braunson, a copy of the Kama Sutra for Gay Men as a Christmas gift, they find it doubles as a handy reference guide to Vic’s super powers. All they have to do is test out the positions to see which one gives him what ability …


Contains the stories:


The Positions of Love: When Vic’s boss asks him to play Santa at the company Christmas party, the enticement of more time off sweetens the deal. It might be a wonderful holiday season after all … if he can only find the perfect present for his lover.


Two Pillars Position: Some mornings, Vic stops by the gym to bench-press a few thousand pounds, show off for his fellow bodybuilders, and spend some time with his lover before he has to start his day. A quickie in the pool showers seems like a good way to get the blood pumping …


Clasping Position: Though Vic had difficulty finding a suitable gift for his lover for Christmas, Matt has the perfect evening planned for Valentine’s. He’s made reservations at an expensive steakhouse for the two of them, and hopes the intimate dinner is a prelude to a night of love. But things get a little frisky before they leave for the restaurant.


Hammock Position: Spring is in the air, and Matt convinces Vic to join him for a little rest and relaxation on the sunny banks of the James River. What’s more enticing than sex on the rocks by the river’s rapids?


Two Dogs Position: Doggy style brings out the animal in Vic, literally. He finds out the hard way, when Matt invites friends over for a party. Vic’s heightened senses reel from the sights and sounds, and he locks himself away in the bathroom just to get his latest superpower under control. But what he hears in the apartment above puts the party on hold.


Cowboy Position: Matt diLorenzo has a secret fetish — he loves to watch a man eat. When Vic finds out, he suggests they share a quiet, indoor picnic. Something sinfully sexy, for just the two of them. On the menu? Whipped cream, fresh strawberries, and chocolate syrup drizzled over Matt’s bare skin for Vic to lick off.


Kneeling Butterfly Position: It’s a rainy Saturday and Matt wants to spend it at the mall. And what Matt wants, he gets. There’s only one little problem. He loves shopping; Vic does not. Still, the promise of sex in the dressing room sparks Vic’s interest.


Pillar and the Ivy Position: One of Matt’s favorite sexual positions, but he doubts his ability to support Vic’s weight as they make love standing up. He’s not the one with super strength, after all. Vic thinks maybe they could pull it off … in the gym’s swimming pool.


Tripod Position: It’s Vic’s birthday, and Matt wants to do something special. When he discovers his lover has a leather fetish and used to be into clubbing, Matt thinks it’d be fun to go out as a couple to celebrate his special night. But while Matt looks sexy in boyshorts, Vic isn’t the only one watching.


Lotus Position: When Vic has a few days off from work, the two visit Wildwood, New Jersey, a tourist town Matt used to frequent as a child. Though Vic isn’t keen on crowds and would prefer to spend his downtime at home, Matt entices him with the offer of sex on the beach … and he doesn’t mean the drink, either.


The Arc Position: It’s Halloween, and Roxie is having a party. Matt wants to dress as policemen but Vic’s latest power creates a costume all his own.


Sideways Position: For Thanksgiving, Matt takes Vic home to meet his parents. The diLorenzos aren’t quite sure what to make of their son’s lover. Matt’s Nonna tends to lapse into her native tongue without realizing it. Imagine everyone’s surprise when Vic answers her in flawless Italian.


Author Bio


J.M. Snyder is a multi-published author of gay erotic romance who started writing fanfic (specifically, boyband slash). She has worked with several different e-publishers, including Amber Allure Press and Torquere Press, and has short stories published in anthologies by Alyson Books, Cleis Press, eXcessica, and Lethe Press. In 2010, she started JMS Books LLC to promote and publish her own work as well as that of other authors she enjoys.


For more information, please visit jmsnyder.net.


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A Chaos Moondrawn Review : Patron of Mercy (Lords of the Underworld #3) by Sam Burns & W.M Fawkes

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

This is a series where the gods are living amongst humans in modern times. It was described as a standalone, so even though this is the third in the series, I tried it and I didn’t feel like I missed anything. This is the story of a couple who break up when Glaucus pushes Thanatos away, afraid he will be brokenhearted when the god gets bored with him and leaves. Of course, centuries later they are both still heartbroken. When Demeter throws a temper tantrum and stops the crops from growing, Glaucus, now going by the name Lach, asks Thanatos to help him. He needs a Titan, but he really wants to get Thanatos to forgive him. Much of the book is Lach trying to spend as much time with Thanatos as possible in the hope of reconciliation.

There is a glossary in case you don’t know anything about Greek myths. As a Pagan I always hope maybe someone will write the personalities a little more realistically, but it’s always just fun–the gods acting as the author wants them to. Thanatos is hurt that people are afraid of him–he is the god of merciful death and is a bit of a pacifist marshmallow compared to the other gods. Misericordia, Lach’s magic sentient boat, is a good foil even though she can’t speak, but none of the other characters are really three dimensional. The Fidelis Filii cult as the bad guys are pretty ridiculous, but even fools can wreak havoc. Lach is a liar, pirate, and thief with a big heart and is mostly harmless. He is supposed to be the charming rogue persona that plays for laughs, however this doesn’t have the humor of, say, the Brandywine Investigations series by Angel Martinez. Still one of my favorite quotes for this is, “he didn’t get to push happiness away just to sate that broken part of him that felt like he hadn’t earned it—not if it meant hurting the person he loved,” which shows the growth arc of Lach. This is imaginative and has some genuine heartwarming moments. The sexy times are well done, both in terms of heat and moving the relationship forward.

The cover art was created by Natasha Snow Designs. I believe this is Thanatos on the cover. I don’t really understand this background, but it may be when he portals from one place to another. It is striking.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link – Exclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 272 pages
Published July 18th 2019
ASIN B07V5ZK8JQ
Edition Language English
Series Lords of the Underworld #3

Lords of the Underworld Series


Prince of Death – Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link
Prisoner Of Shadows – Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link