A Stella Review : Digging Deep by Jay Hogan

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RATING 4,5 out of 5 stars

A Digging Deep Story 

Drake Park has a complicated life. As a gay male midwife, he’s used to raising eyebrows. Add Crohn’s disease and things get interesting—or not, considering the sad state of his love life. Experience has taught Drake that most men are fair-weather sailors when it comes to handling his condition—gone for dust when things get rough. Staying healthy is a full-time job without adding in any heartbreak, so a little loneliness is a small price to pay. If he says it often enough he might even believe it. One thing for sure, the cop who arrested him isn’t about to change that.

Caleb Ashton does not have a complicated life. A senior detective with the Whangarei Police Department, he likes his job and is good at it. He works hard and plays hard, happy to enjoy as many men as he can while he’s still young enough—or at least he was. These days he feels adrift for the first time in his life, and the only thing sparking his interest—a certain prickly young midwife.

But can Drake find enough faith to risk opening his heart again? And does Caleb have what it takes to cope with the challenges Drake’s condition presents?

I picked this new release by Jay Hogan because as soon as I read the blurb I was intrigued. First of all I think I have never read about a male midwife in the mm genre, sure never about a character with the Crohn’s disease, which sadly I know very well. So I was curious and quickly finished it.

Both main characters caught my interest, they were both greatly defined, so positive and brave no matter what. Of course Drake took my heart, how careful and tuned with his body he was, ready to understand each little sign he felt. The way he acted, during his work days, or with his friends, the way he felt to protect himself with a new lover, all seemed to me very real. I think it wasn’t easy to portrait a character who had a very important and disabling disease like Crohn’s is, the author did an amazing job, she wrote with a gentleness every little real aspect of this disease. Plus, I liked how Caleb was depicted too. Apart from the beginning, where he acted as an ass, ignoring and not listening to Drake explanations, I loved how he soon understood where he did wrong. Once he set his eyes on the other man, he tried to learn everything he could about the disease, tried to be ready to every necessity. Still there were doubts and little accidents that could happen, but he seemed ready to face his life with the love of his life.

I can’t wait to read the next installment in the Digging Deep series, I deeply loved the homonymic new release, don’t miss it, it’s engaging, packed with emotions, I shed a couple of tears and a lot of laughs, it’s not a shallow story, I was engaged till the last word. I feel to recommend it.

The cover art by kanaxa is awesome like everything this artist does, I like it so much.

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

BOOK DETAILS

ebook, 1st edition, 354 pages

Published August 6th 2019 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN13 9781644054192

Edition Language English

Series Digging Deep #1

A MelanieM Audio Review: Out in the Field (Out in College #4) by Lane Hayes and Michael Pauley (Narrator)

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Max Maldonado loves baseball. He knows playing first base at a private college probably won’t get him to the big leagues, but he doesn’t mind. He loves the game and his teammates. If he has to stay in the closet until he graduates, that’s okay. Baseball comes first. Relationships are complicated anyway. And after his recent messy breakup, Max prefers to keep things simple.

Phoenix Bell is a fabulous theater geek. He’s excited about his recent transfer to a new school with an elite liberal arts program. Life has been on hold for a while, but this opportunity feels like the fresh start he was hoping for when he moved to California. And the chance reunion with the hot closeted jock is an unexpected surprise. The two men have nothing in common and their timing couldn’t be worse. However, when their unconventional alliance blossoms into friendship and perhaps something more, it may be time to make some hard decisions. And perhaps risk it all…out in the field.

I haven’t read all of Lane Hayes Out in College series so found that listening to Out in the Field worked perfectly as a standalone story and such a sweet contemporary romance it was.  Made all the more enjoyable by the lively narration by Michael Pauley who embodied his characters perfectly, I easily connected to Max, his love of baseball and his issues of being closeted.  At home, ata college, and on the field.  Especially after he find out that his “brief meetup” is now on campus and hotter than ever.  And definitely out as can be.

Phoenix Bell is a delight of a character, his energy flies off the page as does his vulnerability.  You definitely fear for his heart.  What you end up  fearing for is Max’s as well.

The characters are all well drawn, the situations realistic and believable.  And the locker room conversations nicely resolved, those I really appreciated.  The development of the relationship was slow but the dynamics works so well, supported by great secondary characters you grow to love just as much as the MCs. Whether it’s Phoenix’s twin sister or Max’s familym bringing them in just adds such a richness to this story and their romance that it made me smile all throughout the story.

As I said before the narration by Michael Pauley just enhanced this already wonderful novel, his ability to key into each character’s personality and bring it to life making this audio’s listening time fly by.

I highly recommend Out in the Field (Out in College #4) by Lane Hayes and Michael Pauley (Narrator) for those of you who love to listen to your contemporary romances.  This is a real gem!

Cover Art is great and perfect for the story.

Sales Links:  Amazon | Audible

Audio Book Details:

Listening Length: 5 hours and 31 minutes.

Audible Audio, 6 pages
Published July 25th 2019 by Lane Hayes
ASINB07VKGJ587
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesOut in College #4

An Alisa Release Day Review: Mischief Maker (Animal Lark #1) by Andi Lee

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

What to expect when your pet rat is expecting, or how to fall in love at a pet show.

Jamie Hewett rescues and breeds prize-winning fancy rats. While he’s surrounded by supportive, animal-loving friends, his ex-boyfriend has never been one of them. One embarrassing breakup later, he definitely isn’t looking for love again, but perhaps a rebound relationship might ease his broken heart.

Liam Donnelly’s quirky dating life is the subject of a popular vlog, and his viewers have interesting ideas on where he might find romance. When they suggest he take Mabel, his new rat, to a pet show, he’s up for the adventure.

Although they can’t deny their growing interest in each other, neither Jamie nor Liam believes in love at first sight. They’ve both had bad luck with men, and Jamie isn’t pleased that Liam makes a living as a serial dater. On top of that, others are conspiring to keep them apart, and Jamie is left holding the baby—or twenty-plus babies—when their fur children have no trouble making a connection. Will a YouTube ukulele serenade convince Liam that Jamie’s love for him—and their unborn rat children—is for real?

Liam doesn’t do relationships, one and done, that seems to be his MO and then also putting those disasters on YouTube.  He wants his plus one for a wedding and that means a real relationship, trying a fake one seems best to him and to help Jamie get over his ex but it quickly becomes much more.  Jamie is such a sweetheart and can be just a bit blind to what is actually going on around him.

Once Jamie accepts Liam’s proposal and they art to hang out for the most part everything between them goes smoothly.  I had more trouble with Jamie’s ex than I probably should have but seriously they had apparently all been friends for years you don’t go and cheat with another person in the friend group and then pout and throw tantrums when people are upset with you and you don’t get your way, it just proves that you were never good friends to begin with.  And the pettiness of trying to get back at Jamie because you seem to have lost your friends was just childish.

Though both of these two seems to have a problem with not getting their way they were likeable guys.  I think Liam has spent so much time only letting people see what he wants them to see it’s hard to actually open up and let people in but he lets Jamie in far more than he ever planned at the beginning.  I got a bit ticked at Jamie for only being concerned about himself when Liam’s rats got pregnant but he seems to have mostly redeemed himself in the end.  I want to see who the next couple could be as there are a few choices just going by the friends in the book.

I really like the cover art by Reece Notley and the cute visual of Liam with Mable.

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 196 pages

Published: August 13, 2019 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 978-1-64405-421-5

Edition Language: English

Series: Animal Lark #1

Elyse Springer on Antarctic Animals (aka Penguins!) and her latest release ‘World Turned Upside Down’

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World Turned Upside Down by Elyse Springer

Dreamspinner Press
Published August 9th 2019
Cover Artist: Brooke Albrecht

Purchase Links:

Dreamspinner Press |  Kobo iTunes |  Amazon |   Barnes & Noble | Google Play |

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Elyse Springer here today with a wonderful guest blog on the animals of Antartica and her new release World Turned Upside Down. Welcome, Elyse!

✒︎

World Turned Upside Down, by Elyse Springer

Antarctic Animals (aka Penguins!)

Welcome to the blog tour for World Turned Upside Down, my M/M romance novella set at the bottom of the world… Antarctica!

After spending three years living and working in Antarctica, the number one question I get from people is, “Are there any polar bears down there?”

So time to clear up a few things on one of my favorite topics: what animal life can you find in Antarctica?

Polar Bears: NOPE! Polar bears are a North Pole thing only.

Penguins: YES! Antarctica is home to several different species of penguins, though most often at McMurdo you’ll find Emperor Penguins and my all-time favorites, the Adelie penguin. Check out these molting cuties!

 

 

Birds: Surprisingly enough, yes. While various sea birds do make the voyage across the southern oceans to Antarctica, the massive (and cunning) Skua is the most common sight in McMurdo. Think giant brown dinosaur bird that is smart enough to steal your lunch right out of your hands…

Here’s a great YouTube video (not by me) showing a fearless skua trying to find some baby penguin for dinner: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JH537AZoDtU

 

Mammals: Other than humans, the only mammals you’ll find in Antarctica are whales, seals and dolphins. Orcas and Minke whales are common during the summer months, when the sea ice breaks up. Leopard and Waddell seals can be found sunbathing on the ice shelf or nearby rocks, like this sleepy happy guy:

\

Fish: The oceans around Antarctica are teeming with a variety of fascinating fish species, a fact I think will shock many. In fact, researchers come to McMurdo every year to study the various fish, shrimp, and other ocean creatures that live in the frigid waters… and often beneath a thick layer of ice for much of the year.

 

 

 

 

People are surprised to learn that Antarctica is teeming with life, despite the bitter cold. Unfortunately, come winter these animals migrate to warmer waters, which means Simon and Asher don’t get a chance to experience this rich wildlife. But it’s an important part of Antarctica, and the reason for a lot of the scientific research on the continent!

Summary:

After three winters in Antarctica, Simon Bancroft is an old hand on the ice. The harsh weather and extreme isolation aren’t for everyone, but he enjoys the tight-knit community at McMurdo Station… and lately he’s enjoyed watching the hot new researcher, Asher Delaney, who’s recently arrived to study the aurora. But Simon’s just a janitor. Asher doesn’t even know he exists.

When Simon’s friends propose a wager, he gets a chance to introduce himself to Asher at last. But Asher defies all of Simon’s assumptions, and suddenly he finds himself reevaluating everything he thought he knew about Asher, himself, and falling in love at the bottom of the world.

Giveaway:

 

To celebrate the release of World Turned Upside Down, I’m giving away a t-shirt from McMurdo Station, Antarctica (yes, actually purchased in Antarctica!) and an e-copy of WTUD in the format of your choice. Two additional winners will also receive an e-copy of World Turned Upside Down in the format of their choice, or an e-copy of any book from my backlist.

Link to Giveaway: https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/1d4f97ea1/?

Contest is open to anyone worldwide over age 18. Closes 8/21 at 11:59 PM EST.

About the Author:

Elyse is an author and world-traveler, whose unique life experiences have helped to shape the stories that she wants to tell. She writes romances with LGBTQIA+ characters and relationships, and believes that every person deserves a Happily Ever After. When she’s not staring futilely at her computer screen, Elyse spends her time adding stamps to her passport, catching up on her terrifying TBR list, and learning to be a better adult.

You can find Elyse online at:

Website: http://elspringer.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/ElyseSpringer

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/elysespringerwrites

Love SciFy Romance? Check Out the New Release Tour and Giveaway for Here Comes the Son by Dahlia Donovan

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Title: Here Comes the Son
Genre: M/M Urban Fantasy Romance
Release Date: July 27, 2019
Publisher: Hot Tree Publishing
Cover Designer: FuriousFotog Covers
 Add to TBR
 Available now! 
All other links: books2read.com/hcts
When evil stirs in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains, heroes come in both ordinary and extraordinary packages.
Ignatius Faber knows a few things for absolute certain. He’s half-demon, his father is the unequivocal prince of darkness, and demons want to destroy his city. And if he doesn’t make the first move on his crush, they’re never going to be anything more than a teenage fantasy that’s lasted into his thirties.
Lalo Pavia grew up hard and fast, orphaned at a young age.  As an autistic, he’s learned to approach life cautiously. He throws his energy into gardening and photography—allowing both to provide a buffer between himself and the rest of the world.
Except for Iggy.
Can they find triumph, life, and even love in the middle of a city in flames?
 
Their fight for the mile high city has just begun.
 

 

Dahlia Donovan wrote her first romance series after a crazy dream about shifters and damsels in distress. She prefers irreverent humour and unconventional characters. An autistic and occasional hermit, her life wouldn’t be complete without her husband and her massive collection of books and video games.

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Read Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words 5 star Review here.

Want a New Romance To Read? Check Out the Release Blitz for Wanderlust by Quin Perin (excerpt)

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RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Wanderlust: Bundle

Author: Quin Perin

Publisher: Self-Published

Cover Artist: Quin Perin

Release Date: August 13, 2019

Genre/s: M/M Romance

Trope/s: Hurt/Comfort, Out for You, Friends to Lovers

Length: 55 000 words/190 pages

Heat Rating: 3 flames      

It is a standalone story with a HEA

Add on Goodreads

 

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

 

Blurb

Please check the warning section inside the book.

I knew all the regulars. I knew their drinks. Their complaints. I knew everything that went on in this little town. But they didn’t know me.

And I didn’t know him.

Momma always told me to be kind to others, so I didn’t even think twice when I invited him into my house, into my life, my heart.

I was happy being alone, until I wasn’t.

Little did I know that once you get a taste of happiness, nothing will ever taste the same. Especially when it is taken away.

 

***WANDERLUST is a slow burn romance, featuring hurt/comfort and friends-to-lovers elements as well as detailed adult m/m content

 

 

Excerpt

Juste

Every day here was the same. Al came to the bar at the same time, the same exhaustion clinging to his body. He sat on the same seat. Drank a shot and two beers. He asked how I was doing, not expecting a real answer, and then I asked how his family was, not expecting a real answer. He didn’t tell me that his daughter was struggling out in the city. Wouldn’t mention the rumors of her doing less than savory things for cash. He wouldn’t mention that boy of his, the trouble he’d gotten into. And he wouldn’t mention how Sally was really doing. Pale and weak. Growing frailer by the day.

Just like Sally wouldn’t say anything when she stopped by. She’d wear one of her good floral print dresses and a sun hat. Her blond, thinning hair tucked back in a low bun, and she’d have a basket slung over her arm. She’d smile at the men in the bar, her blue eyes bright despite the dark circles under them. Talk to her husband’s friends, sweet as pie and light as cotton. Then she’d come up to the bar and ask for a glass of water before promptly presenting me with several jars of jam.

Sometimes it felt like I was living in a TV show on repeat, the tape getting more and more worn out as it played over and over again. It had been like this ever since I came back to town fourteen years ago when my father got sick. No one had changed. Nothing had changed. Same songs on the jukebox. Same people wandering through life. Rare excitement. It was peaceful, and it was mind-numbingly dull at the same time.

Al finished his first beer, and I grabbed the bottle, tossing it in the trash before grabbing him another. My bottle opener came out of my pocket, and I slid it across to him. “I think I’m fixin’ to head up into town this next weekend,” I told him casually. My one escape was driving nearly two hours to the nearest big city every two or three months. Usually, I’d try to be helpful when I could. Pick up things that people needed and promised to pay me back for. They often didn’t, and I never brought it up.

With a nod, he leaned back on his stool and groaned. “I think we’re good on everythin’ right now, but I’ll ask the missus when I get home.”

I flashed him a smile before turning away to give him his peace. There wasn’t much to do in the bar. Al was my only customer at the moment, and it wasn’t likely to get much busier. On the weekends it was more lively. I’d play music, and some people would get drunk enough to dance. For now, though, it was the two of us.

I was kneeling below the bar when I heard the door open again, and I popped up, expecting a familiar face. It was not. The man who walked in the door was…a stranger. In the best possible way. Not like anyone I’d ever seen in a small town. Damn near took my breath away.

Light eyes, so light that it was hard to tell their color in the dimly lit room, glanced around with ease. One hand was hooked in the back pocket of a pair of faded jeans, the other holding onto the strap of a backpack that looked ready to burst. My stranger was tall. Bout as tall as me. Body sturdy. Shoulders wide. His complexion was darker than mine, darker than anyone else in the town. Not entirely black but more than tan. Soft and smooth with an almost golden glow. Black hair was curly, and there was several days growth of beard across a sharp jaw, but it did nothing to hide his full lips. If he’d been a bit cleaner, he would have looked like someone from the movies. As it was there was a couple days worth of dust on his clothes to match the beard. And his eyes drooped faintly. Like he’d been traveling a long time. Despite the way he looked, I recognized him. Recognized his skin. A hitchhiker. Going to somewhere or away from something.

Long limbs loose, like he had no cares in the world, he headed toward the bar, mine and Al’s eyes fixed on him as he lowered himself onto a stool a couple spaces over. His bag was set on the floor by his feet.

Those lips twitched into a crooked half-grin. “Howdy,” he said. His voice seemed to shake the room. Deep as thunder yet smooth as cream. It made the skin prickle on the back of my neck, warmth flushing through me.

“Well, hey there, stranger.” I didn’t know how I managed to find my voice, but I did, heading over to him and placing my hands on the counter in front of him. “What can I get ya?”

His tongue ran over his lips, and he looked around, at the small display of bottles behind me. “You don’t happen to have any food here, would ya?” he asked. “Didn’t see anywhere else open on my way through town.”

“Nah. No food here,” I admitted. “Just lots of drinks for whatever ails ya.”

A low chuckle and he shrugged his shoulders. “My empty stomach is ailin’ me right now. More than my thirst. You wouldn’t happen to know any place ‘round here that would be open?”

Shaking my head, I put on an apologetic smile. “Fraid not, everywhere closed up early,” I informed him. “Heck, it’s bout near my closing time too.” I usually shut everything up once Al was gone.

“Ah, all right.” His shoulders slumped faintly, but that easy smile didn’t fade from his lips. Poor fella was trying to be positive, but it couldn’t have been easy with an empty belly.

One thing that I had learned from my daddy that I took to heart was the need to help your fellow man. My daddy was a mean drunk, but he never hesitated to help someone who needed it. When he was sober, he could have given Jesus a run for his money. God rest his soul. People ‘round town liked to joke that I was like him because of that, which was fine by me. I wasn’t much likely to turn someone away if they needed a hot meal.

I tapped my fingers against the bar and shrugged my shoulders. “If you ain’t got nowhere to be, I’ll be closing in ‘bout thirty or so, and I’ve got a stew simmering at home,” I said. “If ya want.”

 

About the Authors

As a pair of genre rebels, Quin and Perin—from the US and Germany—are constantly maneuvering time zones and plot bunnies to whip up Gay Novels. Expect plenty of heat and elevated smut. With a dash of drama, a pinch of sweet, and a hefty amount of kink on the side, they serve up stories that will leave you full and satisfied.

 

Author Links

¤ Facebook Group

¤ BookBub

¤ FB Page

¤ Goodreads

¤ Newsletter Sign-up

¤ Amazon Books

¤ Amazon Role Plays

¤ Blog/Website

 

 

Giveaway

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Don’t Miss Out on the Series Final for Socal Sinners with the Release Blitz and Giveaway for After The Final Curtain (Social Sinners #5) by TL Travis

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal LinkExclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited.
 
Length: 89 pages
 

Social Sinners Series


Book 1 is the only book in the series that can be read as a stand-alone.
Book 1 – Behind the lights (MM) – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book 2 – In The Shadows (MM) – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book 3 – A Heart Divided (MMM) – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book 4 – Beyond The Curtain (MM) – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book 5 – After The Final Curtain (MM/MMM)

 
Blurb
 

What do our boys have in store for us this time around?


Through pain, attempted suicide, addiction and loss their bond never faltered. They’ve watched other bands come and go; some weren’t cut out for life on the road. Others simply…disappeared.


But they climbed their way to the top, one painstaking grip at a time. So, what’s up next for our boys?


Book 5, After the Final Curtain is the fifth and final installment in the Social Sinners series. This book comes, with a surprise announcement.

 

Author Bio


TL Travis is the author of The Sebastian Chronicles along with numerous other erotic novelettes (and many more in the works), The Elders Trilogy – an erotic paranormal (Vampire) romance novel series and many non-fiction articles.


In her spare time she likes to fish, enjoy all the Pacific Northwest has to offer, spin spicy erotic webs for readers to enjoy, and rescue any 4 legged lost souls she comes across. Since her children are grown and have flown the coop, she’s taken to spoiling her two deaf white boxers even more so than they were before.


To view TL Travis literary and photography works please visit her website atwww.tltravis.com
TL Travis can also be followed on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/tltravisauthor
Or via twitter at http://www.twitter.com/tltravis1

Giveaway

 

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