A MelanieM Review:Overtime (Scoring Chances #3.5) by Avon Gale

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

This short story (approximately 4000 words) takes place after the events of Power Play and before Empty Net. It features Spartanburg Spitfires’ goalie Isaac Drake — as well as a few other familiar faces — and is available as a bonus for Avon’s newsletter subscribers.

You can access the story in three different formats here: http://www.instafreebie.com/free/2jdBs

And! Check out a bonus audio version, also free, here:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/kn5rwgj93cg…

 

Overtime is a short story that bridges Power Play and Empty Net.  It’s an important one because it features Isaac Drake, the Spitfires goalie.  He’s been an important character in this series, especially in his almost father/son dynamic that has evolved with his  coach, Misha Samarin.  Their stories and backgrounds so similar despite the differences in countries.  And the readers have been able to watch his character grow and his personality strengthen under Misha’s tutelage and support.

Here, we get another important step in the Spitfires overal team definition as it evolved towards its goal as a champion team and Isaac’s barriers that they have faced and may face again.  It also shows, yet again, another facet to their GM Belsy.

I am so addicted to this series and characters.  I just can’t get enough.  Well written, explosive ..on and off the ice ..by an author who knows the game and loves the men who plays it.

May this series never end.

Cover art: Aaron Anderson. Perfection.  Brands the series, works for the story.  Just outstanding.

Sales Links: Free

Book Details:

ebook, 13 pages
Published July 2016
Edition Language English
Series Scoring Chances #3.5

Scoring Chances Series

Breakaway

Save of the Game

Power Play

Overtime

Empty Net

Coach’s Challenge

A Vivacious Review: Royal Captive (Mate of the Tyger Prince #8) by Shannon West

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Rating: 3 Stars out of 5

Larz has been kidnapped and sold as a slave to King Janos of the Herkos Empire on the planet Laltana. Fearing that his position might give undue power to King Janos if he decides to use him as a bargaining chip in his fight against the Axis Empire, Larz has to live out his life as a slave turned soldier in the Herkos Empire.

Meanwhile, Janos is fully aware that Bastion is actually Prince Larz of Tygeria but has no idea what to do to with him. He can’t ever forget what the Tygerians did to him but he can’t see himself perpetuating the same crimes the Tygerians did. So, Janos decides to stick him in a place where Larz will be out of his sight and more importantly, out of his mind.

But, when Herkos’ war with Athelon places them in close quarters both Larz and Janos will have to figure out what to do with the attraction between them.

This book was almost a disappointment especially if you compare it with the other books in this series. Weirdly enough, it seemed like this book was written just to deliver on a deadline, though now that I have checked I realise that this book is 230 pages. I am really surprised to find that out this book is that long because it felt really short like about a hundred pages. Wow! That is one thing I will have to give Shannon West she has me so engrossed in this series and this family that I really can’t stop reading.

I love Davos and Blake’s family. These characters are now so real to me that you don’t even need to define them for me you can just mention them by name and I know what they are like. I am very invested in this series to the point that the author can get away with passably okay books but even though I know I will read the next book in this series despite not being wowed by this one, I really want good stories for these characters who I’m already in love with.

So, what went wrong in this book? Well, for one Davos, Blake, Mikos, Ryan, Mikol and even Renard stole the show completely. This might be a problem with this series because there are already so many characters that you love that they steal the show with just a single dialogue, and thus, I as a reader find it hard to get invested in a new character like Janos in this story. Though I feel the author does a good job of giving the love story in focus the time to breathe separately from the family, especially Blake.

Secondly, Larz and Janos are just not that developed. They are developed as characters and when they shared their first kiss, I was excited for these two but the author doesn’t have them meet up again till quite a while after that. The second time they meet after sharing kisses with each other, is in a very tense situation and sorry but I am with Annie Porter from Speed in this one, tense situations don’t make for lasting relationships. I wouldn’t have a problem with this if not for the fact that this situation is the entire breadth of their relationship as featured in this book. We never really get to see Larz and Janos in another situation and the ending really screwed these two over. Larz at the end just finds that Janos knew who he was all along and we never get to see Larz and Janos sort out this problem between themselves, the book ends before they get a single private moment again which left me feeling very shortchanged.

Also, this book doesn’t leave Larz and Janos on solid ground at all. Not only have they not talked about how Janos’ knew Larz’s true identity all this time we also don’t see Larz having to deal with the consequences of making decisions for Janos. The decision that is made for Laltana by Davos makes a lot of sense from Davos’ and Mikos’ perspective but Janos ends up losing his entire kingdom without any say in the matter which considering that he is Larz’s nobyo he should have had. Even if it was protesting and rallying for remaining a king even though I feel not being a king actually works in Janos’s favour but still, he should have had the liberty to make decisions even bad ones. So, yeah I am not happy with where we left Larz and Janos or how we leave them.

Now let’s talk about the third thing that has me outraged. Where is Nicarr? I can’t imagine that the author decided to have a book featuring overbearing omak, Blake at his most overbearing and Larz without one single scene featuring Nicarr. Like, this is not a movie it doesn’t cost you anything to have Nicarr show up so, where was he? This fact was actually so jarring because Nicarr and Larz have been very close since the beginning of this series and added to the fact that Nicarr can no longer claim the title of being Blake’s baby, I was shocked that Nicarr was not up there stealing the show with the rest of his family. Like seriously, where is Nicarr I really, really want to know, which in hindsight is probably a calculated move by the author to have us so curious to find out about Nicarr that we will definitely pick up the next book which fingers crossed will be Nicarr’s story because I really want an answer.

So, initially I was talking about how Blake & Davos and Mikos & Ryan totally stole the show in this book and they totally did but these are also the best scenes in the book. I liked that Blake called out Davis on all the bullshit he spewed at the end of “Inconvenient Mate” and I am glad to see these two work it out.

Mikos, in a totally unexpected move, stole the show. I feel like this was one of the better resolutions to the baby question. In recent times in popular media we have had a lot of individuals who are couples but are on opposite sides of the baby question and there have been a lot of solutions offered but I think I liked how Mikos and Ryan went about finding their own solution and I like the answer they came to. Also, Renard talking back to Blake and finding out that Blake truly believes no one will ever be good enough for his children was so golden.

Overall, this wasn’t the best instalment in the series but it makes for an exciting read.

Cover Art by E. Keith. I really liked the cover for this book.

Sales Link:  Amazon

Book Details:

ebook
Published August 1st 2019 by Painted Hearts Publishing LLC
Edition Language English
Series Mate of the Tyger Prince #8

An Alisa Audio Review: In Safe Hands (Heroes and Babies #1) by Victoria Sue and Michael Pauley (Narrator)

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Rating:  3 stars out of 5

Former helicopter pilot Maverick Delgardo’s injuries ended his Air Force career, leaving him bitter and one drink away from becoming an alcoholic. When his sister asks for his help on a private protection case to babysit a disgraced pop star, Mav reluctantly agrees.

Deacon Daniels, onetime lead singer and idol to his teenage fans, saw his career and reputation ruined when a reporter’s exposé led to a devastating scandal. Without money or a job, a heartbroken Deacon has lost custody of his baby niece. And just when he thinks his life can’t get any worse, a stalker’s threatening messages escalate to murder.

Mav only agreed to one meeting, but his protective instincts kick in, along with an attraction to Deacon. When the body count increases, however, Mav is unsure he is up to the task of protecting Deacon from a killer. But it is too late for Mav to step away, now that he’s lost his heart, and he must find the strength to reassure Deacon and his niece that they are in safe hands no matter the cost.

This story just pulled me in right away and I enjoyed it so much.  Mav has pretty much been living in the bottom of a bottle for a while, not really getting on with life when he has to fill in for his sister to speak with a possible client.  Deacon is in a bad spot and he knows something is happening and it becomes even more apparent just after Mav agrees to help him.

Mav just feels so broken and I loved that Deacon was the catalyst to get him living again, though I’ll have to say that how quickly he gave up alcohol and how easily he resisted the minimal temptation he had was a little unrealistic.  Deacon is such a sweetheart and seeing him with his niece just proves that and Molly is absolutely adorable.  I loved how they both wanted what was best for the other and supported each other in their own ways, it wasn’t just Mav looking after Deacon but Deacon also saw Mav for who he is and gave him the courage he needed to take his next steps.

Michael Pauley did a great job narrating this story.  I think he captured these characters and their emotions wonderfully.  I had no trouble keeping track of the story, which I seem to be having trouble with on audiobooks lately.

I like the cover art by Tiferet Design and think it works well for the story.

Sales Links:  Audible | Amazon 

Audiobook Details:

Audiobook, 7hrs 31mins
Published: June 27, 2019 by Dreamspinner Press
Edition Language: English

Series: Heroes and Babies #1

Kristina Meister on Aesthetics and Morality and her new release Love Under Glasse by Kristina Meister

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Love Under Glasse by Kristina Meister

Riptide Publishing
Published August 26th 2019
Cover Art: LC Chase

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have  Kristina Meister here today talking about appearances and her new release Love Under Glasse.  Welcome, Kristina>

     ✒︎

One of my least favorite fairy tale conceits is the idea that aesthetics match morality—only the pretty can be good. I wanted to go a step farther with Love Under Glasse and take on the idea that only those who buy into the culture, in this case Christianity, can be good. There’s a concept pervasive to many organized religions—because otherwise they wouldn’t be organized—that “everyone else is wrong”. It’s a situation of absolutes, right?—if they’re correct about how everything works, then obviously everyone else has to be wrong.

For members of the LGBTQIA community, religion can be tricky. Not many embrace us, and some are downright hostile. It can be impossible to feel the pull of any spiritual teachings and a great deal of shame comes from a sense of conflict with the beliefs of everyone around us. Unlike the classic story of Snow White, in which the step mother becomes so fixated on her appearance that she is willing to have her daughter’s heart cut out, Love Under Glasse features a mother so concerned with the appearance of “deviance” that she is willing to essentially deny her child her heart and her independence.

When I told some of my beta readers about my plan to set up the plot with the main character discovering her mother was about to send her to a conversion therapy camp, a few of them were skeptical. Their argument was that those places seem too fanciful, and to people who either aren’t from conservative Christian backgrounds, or who aren’t members of the LGBTQIA community, that’s understandable, but they are unfortunately very real. The American Psychiatric Association rejects the notion that sexuality and gender need to be corrected based on assumptions of morality, and that subjecting patients to practices that are questionable is unethical, but that doesn’t stop many charitable organizations from selling just such “treatment”. There’s teams of researchers from private universities who argue that the therapy should exist in case a patient feels their sexuality is in conflict with their ethics. There are even states in which it is protected and not just legal. It’s in fact, quite a threat, and even if one isn’t part of a conservative Christian background, it’s disheartening to know that so many others feel pressured and ashamed. Even if only a few are affected, it’s a concern to all of us.

I also wanted to play with the concept of transformation, something very common to fairy tales: the princess has to kiss a frog to turn him into a prince, a magic spell must be broken to allow the hero to revert to original form, or a curse turns someone into a monster. Conversion Therapy can easily be seen, as either a curse or a magical fix, depending upon perspective, and this combined with its recent presence in the media, made it a very worthwhile plot device.

 

 

About Love Under Glasse

This runaway might want to get caught.

El Glasse’s mother controls her life. What she does, who she dates, even what she’s allowed to say. El only has two ways of holding onto her freedom. One is her popular anonymous blog, hidden from Mama Glasse. The other is what she so often blogs about: her feelings for Riley, the girl who works at the ice cream parlor. Riley is fierce, free, and rides a killer motorcycle, and El cannot help but love her. But Mama Glasse can never find out about her sexuality—unless El is willing to rebel. 

When El runs away, Riley feels responsible. She knows what it’s like to be alone, and she can’t deny her deep desire to learn El’s story. In a move she might end up regretting, she makes a devil’s bargain with Mama Glasse to hunt El down.

Riley isn’t trying to bring her home though, because she knows an evil spell when she sees one—a spell of fear and shame El is finally starting to break. This huntress might lose her own heart, but it’s a risk she’s willing to take. 

Available now from Riptide Publishing!

About Kristina Meister

Kristina Meister is an author of fiction that blurs genre. There’s usually some myth, some mayhem, and some monsters. While Kristina’s unique voice and creative swearing give life to dialogue, her obsession with folklore and pop culture make for humor and complexity.

She and her mad-scientist husband live in California with their poodles Khan and Lana, and their daughter Kira Stormageddon, where they hoard Nerf toys, books, and swords—in case of zombie apocalypse.

2018 Foreword INDIES Gold Winner – LGBT

Connect with Kristina:

 

 


Giveaway

To celebrate this release, Kristina is giving away a custom ordered biker-style patch that represents El and Riley, as well as a signed copy of her award-winning novel Cinderella Boy! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on August 31, 2019. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following along, and don’t forget to leave your contact info! 

Release Blitz and Giveaway for Code Name: Liberty by Marshall Thornton

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal LinkExclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited
 
Length: 290 pages
 
Blurb
 

In the summer of 1980, the news is full of the upcoming election and the hostage crisis in Iran but Patrick Henry Burke is not paying any attention. He’s met a Persian prince and his head is full of romance. All of that changes though when a sexy CIA agent, Gary Walker, approaches him and asks that he spy on the prince and his father. They’re attempting to prevent the hostages from being released to guarantee Carter won’t win the presidency in hopes that the Reagan administration will be grateful enough to assist the prince’s father in becoming the new Shah of Iran. As Patrick gathers information about an impending illegal weapons deal, he struggles to understand who might be lying to him and who might be telling the truth.

 
Author Bio
 

Marshall Thornton writes two popular mystery series, the Boystown Mysteries and the Pinx Video Mysteries. He has won the Lambda Award for Gay Mystery three times. His romantic comedy, Femme was also a 2016 Lambda finalist for Best Gay Romance. Other books include My Favorite Uncle, The Ghost Slept Over and Masc, the sequel to Femme. He is a member of Mystery Writers of America.


 

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