COVER REVEAL for Murder in New York (The Pinkerton Man Series #2) by C.J. Baty

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COVER REVEAL

Book Title: Murder in New York, The Pinkerton Man Series

Author: C.J. Baty

Cover Artist: Select-O-Grafix, LLC

Genre/s: M/M Mystery

Blurb

Coming back to New York to see her ailing father, Lizzie Ferguson did not expect to find him healthy and newly married to a much younger woman. She, also, didn’t expect to connect with an old lover and childhood friend or be accused of killing her father. But, life has a way of knocking you to your knees when you least expect it.

Stiles Long had always regretted that the killer, from his first case as a Pinkerton Agent, had got away. Now, in New York it was happening again. The Hotel Astor Bar was a meeting place for men who enjoyed the company of men. And, some of them were being brutally murdered. When one of the suspects from the original case appears at the hotel, Stiles is torn between his desire to stop a killer and kiss the man senseless.

Two different cases, but some of the faces overlap from one to the other. Stiles and Lizzie are in a race to discover who the killers are before another body gets added to the count.

About the Author

CJ Baty lives in southwest Ohio with her very patient husband and two encouraging children. Her heart however, lives in the mountains of Tennessee where she hopes to retire some day. The mountains have always provided her with inspiration and a soothing balm to the stresses of everyday life.

The dream of writing her own stories started in high school but was left on the back burner of life until her son introduced her to Fan Fiction and encouraged her to give it a try. She found that her passion for telling a story was still there and writing them down to share with others was much more thrilling than she had ever expected.

One thing she has learned from life and she is often heard to say is, “You are never too old to follow your dream!”

Social Media Links

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A MelanieM Review: Drama Fraternity (Nicky and Noah Mystery #6) by Joe Cosentino

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

 

Theatre professor Nicky Abbondanza is directing Tight End Scream Queen, a slasher movie filmed at Treemeadow College’s football fraternity house, co-starring his husband and theatre professor colleague, Noah Oliver. When young hunky cast members begin fading out with their scenes, Nicky and Noah will once again need to use their drama skills to figure out who is sending the quarterback, jammer, wide receiver, and more to the cutting room floor before Nicky and Noah hit the final reel.

When last we saw Nicky, Noah, and all their extended family, they were happily enjoying fame and Broadway at the end of the hilarious murder mystery, Drama Detective (A Nicky and Noah Mystery #5.  Alack and alas, with these two the call for home and Treemeadow College came as the lights of Broadway dimmed on their show.

Never fear! Joe Cosentino has authored another campy high body count murder mystery for Nicky and Noah to charge through!  It’s full of the snappy dialog, fast-paced high jinxed action, and, of course, lots of falling bodies that this series is known for and we’ve come to love.

Nicky is directing a slasher movie at Treemmeadow College.  You’d think he’d know better by now.

Things are ridiculous off the bat with actors from a fraternity that favors their virginity and football, a deeply religious right church against homosexuals and this play, and many, many mysteries to solve.  Plus their is their son smack dab in the middle as always.

With their adopted son, Taavi, Joe Cosentino, always managed to bring in the moving and the poignant elements of his stories.  With Taavi as the focus of their family, in come the grandparents of both men, as well as all the many other friends that have come to love and support these three as a family.  Nicky, Noah, and Taavi are now an important centerpiece of this  series.  The heart, and I couldn’t love this family more.  Taavi also keeps proving himself surprisingly resourceful.

I have to admit I sort of figured out the murderer early.  That’s why I marked it down a tad, normally Joe keeps me guessing a bit longer.  Same for the motive.

A lovely touch was the way two women found a new love at the end of the story.  Nicely done there,  Both could have come off so badly and instead each turned out realistically human and ready to move forward.

Need a series and book to love?  Look no further!  Grab this one and all of them up today for nonstop jocularity and murder hijinks!

Cover art is primitive movie poster style which works for the series and storyline.

Sales Links:  MyBook  | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble  | Kobo | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition
Expected publication: May 25th 2018
ASINB07C9FMMT2
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesNicky and Noah Mystery #6

A Lila Review: A Broken Cup by Emery C. Walters

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Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5

Funerals are no fun, except, maybe, if cell phones get mixed up. Russell hasn’t seen his now deceased, non-supportive father in years, but his older brother calls him in Hawaii, demanding his appearance at the funeral. But brother Mike warns against displaying any ‘gay stuff’ to his perfect wife and innocent children.

Recently dumped, Russell isn’t quite with it as he rushes to get ready with help from a new neighbor. So it turns out that the Mike he calls from the airport isn’t his brother but the neighbor’s bisexual ex.

Countless hi-jinks follow, with family and without. Through it all, sexy ex Mike is right there with Russell. When all is said and done, can Russell make a go with a newly developed family with Mike? What might life be like on the mainland?

A Broken Cup starts with an interesting premise, but a confusing set of events. After a couple of pages, the author’s intent became clear, and it’s easier to see the path the rest of the story takes.

Perhaps if this has been a movie or TV series, it would have been great, but the dry humor and comedic relief was a bit overwhelming. I wanted to enjoy it, the characters, the locations, and theevents. Unfortunately, it felt as if I was skipping important parts of the story.

If you are looking for a laugh, lots and lots of drama, and a strange way for the main characters to get together in the start, this is a good short story to read.

The cover by Written in Designs is sweet and goes with the title even when it can be the cover for any other MM Romance.

Sale Links: JMS | Amazon | Nook

ebook, 32 pages
Published: April 24, 2018, by JMS Books
ISBN: 9781634866156
Edition Language: English

An Alisa Review: The Charmer by R.W. Clinger

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Rating:  2 stars out of 5

Puzzle maker Peter Find isn’t thinking about falling in love anytime soon. Truth be told, he’s happy with his job, his mundane life, and being single. He works, has a few drinks at The Hoffstetter Inn after his shifts, and spends quality time alone in his small apartment.

Then a mystery man by the name of Waverly “Wave” Yorkshire introduces himself to Pete at the inn. Unfortunately Wave has the wrong guy on his radar. This doesn’t stop Pete from thinking him charming, and Pete begins to follow and spy on the man.

Soon Pete’s new hobby gets out of hand, though. He finds himself mixed up with a few ugly Russians, government secrets, and a heap of danger. Will Pete live long enough to have The Charmer as his boyfriend? Or will Wave’s secrets cause his early demise?

I think I have come to the conclusion that this author’s stories don’t work for me.  Peter and Wave meet by “chance” and from there I don’t really understand how they both acted the way they do.

I couldn’t connect with either character or really try to keep up with their thoughts.  Peter’s thoughts jumped all around and he kept referring to people as famous people, which just got annoying. There was no actual connection or building of the relationship that suddenly came to be at the end of the book.

The cover art by Written Ink Designs gives a nice visual Wave.

Sales Links: JMS Books | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 53 pages

Published: April 21, 2018 by JMS Books

ISBN: 9781634866170

Edition Language: English

CC Bridges on Writing, Influences, and the latest in the Heaven Corp series, Angels Rising (guest interview)

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Angels Rising (Heaven Corp. #3) by C.C. Bridges 
Dreamspinner Press

Cover Art by L.C. Chase
Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

iBooks | Google Play | Barnes & Noble

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host CC Bridges here today celebrating the release of the latest in the Heaven Corp series, Angels Rising. Welcome, CC.

♦︎

 

Thanks for having me here today to celebrate the release of the third Heaven Corp book: Angels Rising. Stay tuned until the end for a giveaway!

  • Has your choice of childhood or teenage reading genres carried into your own choices for writing?

I’ve always read a lot of science fiction and fantasy. As a kid I would frequent the used book stores, and I found myself reading very obscure books and absolutely loving them. I think that’s why my own writing often has a bit of an offbeat twist to it at times. I cut my teeth on early 90s fantasy, so I have those unique and interesting worlds in the back of my mind.

  • Who do you think is your major influence as a writer?  Now and growing up?

I had recently gone back and read an author I used to read a lot as a teenager (see previous question about me haunting used book stores). The author was Barbara Hambly, and finding her again made me remember what it was I liked about writing. She creates such unique worlds, populates them with fascinating characters, and then throws in careful details that made you think this place could actually exist. That’s what I want to do.

  • If you could imagine the best possible place for you to write, where would that be and why?

In my imagination the best place to write would be either on the beach, or someplace with a view, looking out at the ocean while I tap at my computer or scribble in a notebook. In reality, the waves would probably put me to sleep and I’d get a sunburn.

The real ideal place to write would be someplace quiet, with a large desk so I can spread out my research materials. And I would need a very comfortable place to sit.

  • Does research play a role into choosing which genre you write?  Do you enjoy research or prefer making up your worlds and cultures?

Research often plays a big role in what I wrote. A news article often sparks an idea. I love to sit down with some good nonfiction and come up with my own twist on real events and concepts. While I do make up my own things, I often have the basis in some sort of fact.

  • What’s next for you as an author?

More science fiction! I have some ideas brewing, so the projects are still in the development stage at the moment. I hope to work on a fantasy novella this summer, and I’m looking forward to that. Once again I’ll be crafting a new world, and I hope to share it with you all soon!

Blurb

Better to reign in hell….

Uriel 3019 has been a cybernetically altered angel since he volunteered for the program fifteen years ago. His devotion to the floating city of Heaven is fierce, and he’ll follow any command he’s given. But Uriel’s orderly world is crumbling. Angels are going mad, even hurting people. Some are rebelling, and the noble families are vying for control—by any means necessary.

Uriel’s latest assignment brings him into a secret society, where his partner, Raphael, is working for freedom and equality for all angels. Could their group be responsible for the angels’ recent erratic behavior? Uriel is determined to find out—and report on his findings. But he doesn’t count on Raphael’s confession—that he has feelings for Uriel—or the memories slowly starting to return from the time before he became an angel.

Is he on the right side? Does he dare to stand against Heaven, even if doing so will save his fellow angels from becoming soulless automatons? Uriel has to decide if his loyalty belongs to his superiors… or to the angel who’s stolen his heart.

Giveaway! Please enter to win one of 4 $10 Dreamspinner gift certificates.

Giveaway Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/16f80d4e5/?

 

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About the Author

CC Bridges is a mild-mannered librarian by day, but by night she writes about worlds of adventure and romance. When she’s not busy solving puzzles in an escape room, she can be found diving into comics or binge-watching superhero movies. She writes surrounded by books, spare computing equipment, a fluffy dog, and a long-suffering husband in the state of New Jersey. In 2011, she won a Rainbow Award for best gay sci-fi/futuristic novel.

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ccbridgeswriter

Blog: http://blog.ccbridges.net/

Website: http://www.ccbridges.net

Joe Cosentino on Using Your Past, Acting and his new novel ‘Drama Fraternity, the sixth Nicky and Noah mystery

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Drama Fraternity (Nicky and Noah Mystery #6)

by

AN ACTOR USES HIS PAST TO DEVILISH MEANS

Drama Fraternity, the sixth Nicky and Noah mystery novel

by Joe Cosentino

Having acted in films and on television opposite stars like Bruce Willis, Nathan Lane, and Rosie O’Donnell, I know first-hand the world of moviemaking. There is no other field like it. The long hours, fragile egos, beautiful people, technical magic, clandestine romance, jealousies, and blinding ambition are rampant. Thankfully nobody was ever murdered on one of my sets, however, I couldn’t resist including the world of moviemaking in my sixth Nicky and Noah mystery novel, Drama Fraternity. Up until now college theatre professors and adorable couple Nicky Abbondanza and Noah Oliver have been involved in the wacky and wild world of theatre. That all changes in the sixth novel.

For those of you who haven’t read the first five novels in my award-winning, popular series (and you should!), it is a gay cozy mystery comedy series, meaning the setting is warm and cozy, the clues and murders (and laughs) come fast and furious, and there are enough plot twists and turns and a surprise ending to keep the pages turning faster than a Russian spy rigging an election.

In Drama Queen (Divine Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Award for Favorite LGBT Mystery, Humorous, and Contemporary Novel of the Year) Nicky directs the school play at Treemeadow College—which is named after its gay founders, Tree and Meadow. Theatre professors drops like stage curtains, and Nicky and Noah have to use their theatre skills, including impersonating other people, to figure out whodunit. In Drama Muscle (Rainbow Award Honorable Mention) Nicky and Noah don their gay Holmes and Watson personas again to find out why bodybuilding students and professors in Nicky’s bodybuilding competition at Treemeadow are dropping faster than barbells. In Drama Cruise it is summer on a ten-day cruise from San Francisco to Alaska and back. Nicky and Noah must figure out why college theatre professors are dropping like life rafts as Nicky directs a murder mystery dinner theatre show onboard ship starring Noah and other college theatre professors from across the US. Complicating matters are their both sets of wacky parents who want to embark on all the activities on and off the boat with the handsome couple. In Drama Luau, Nicky is directing the luau show at the Maui Mist Resort and he and Noah need to figure out why muscular Hawaiian hula dancers are dropping like grass skirts. Their department head/best friend and his husband, Martin and Ruben, are along for the bumpy tropical ride. In Drama Detective, Nicky is directing and ultimately co-starring with his husband Noah as Holmes and Watson in a new musical Sherlock Holmes play at Treemeadow College prior to Broadway. Martin and Ruben, their sassy office assistant Shayla, Nicky’s brother Tony, and Nicky and Noah’s son Taavi are also in the cast. Of course dead bodies begin falling over like hammy actors at a curtain call. Once again Nicky and Noah use their drama skills to figure out who is lowering the street lamps on the actors before the handsome couple get half-baked on Baker Street.

Now in Drama Fraternity, Nicky is directing Tight End Scream Queen, a slasher movie filmed at Treemeadow College’s football fraternity house, co-starring Noah, Taavi, and Martin. Rounding out the cast are members of Treemeadow’s Christian football players’ fraternity along with two hunky screen stars. When the quarterback, jammer, wide receiver, and more begin fading out with their scenes, Nicky and Noah once again need to use their drama skills to figure out who is sending young hunky actors to the cutting room floor before Nicky and Noah hit the final reel.

Though I never appeared in a slasher film, I admit those movies have long been a favorite film genre for me as an audience member. The combination of quirky characters, humorous dialogue, heart pounding suspense, and twist endings always leaves me wanting more. So I couldn’t resist lampooning them a bit in this latest Nicky and Noah mystery novel. Nicky and Noah are joined by favorite regular characters like Martin, Ruben, Shayla, Taavi, Detective Manuello, Nicky’s parents, and Noah’s parents. And book six adds a number of captivating new characters like Alejandro Gallo, the handsome and muscular star (who plays a vampire on TV’s Suck Off) cast as the detective in the film. There’s also hunky heartthrob (of the film Full Moon) who plays the lead role of Davey Doubt, the football team’s taunted and misunderstood tight end. And I can’t leave out the adorable and shy young screenwriter, Robert Lee, who penned Davey Doubt’s story based on his own.

It is my joy and pleasure to share this sixth novel in the series with you. So take your front row seat. Lights, camera, action, frat house murders!

DRAMA FRATERNITY (the sixth Nicky and Noah mystery)

a comedy/mystery/romance novel by JOE COSENTINO

Sales Links:

http://myBook.to/DramaFraternity

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/808178

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1128306684?ean=2940155189787

https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/drama-fraternity-a-nicky-and-noah-mystery

$3.99 e-book pre-order sale until May 25!

About Drama Fraternity

Theatre professor Nicky Abbondanza is directing Tight End Scream Queen, a slasher movie filmed at Treemeadow College’s football fraternity house, co-starring his husband and theatre professor colleague, Noah Oliver. When young hunky cast members begin fading out with their scenes, Nicky and Noah will once again need to use their drama skills to figure out who is sending the quarterback, jammer, wide receiver, and more to the cutting room floor before Nicky and Noah hit the final reel. You will be applauding and shouting Bravo for Joe Cosentino’s fast-paced, side-splittingly funny, edge-of-your-seat entertaining sixth novel in this delightful series. Lights, camera, action, frat house murders!

Praise for the Nicky and Noah mysteries:

“The murders, the hilarious romances, each scene funny as the body count gets higher….Need a dose of slapstick and romance in your life (and at the moment who doesn’t)? Make your acquaintance with Nicky and Noah and their Mystery series….And let the chuckles ensue!” Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

“Joe Cosentino has a unique and fabulous gift. His writing is flawless, and his use of farce, along with his convoluted plot-lines, will have you guessing until the very last page, which makes his books a joy to read. His books are worth their weight in gold, and if you haven’t discovered them yet you are in for a rare treat. Divine Magazine

“a combination of Laurel and Hardy mixed with Hitchcock and Murder She Wrote…

Loaded with puns and one-liners…Right to the end, you are kept guessing, and the conclusion still has a surprise in store for you.” Optimumm Book Reviews

“adventure, mystery, and romance with every page….Funny, clever, and sweet….I can’t find anything not to love about this series….This read had me laughing and falling in love….Nicky and Noah are my favorite gay couple.” Urban Book Reviews

“For fans of Joe Cosentino’s hilarious mysteries, this is another vintage story with more cheeky asides and sub plots right left and centre….The story is fast paced, funny and sassy. The writing is very witty with lots of tongue-in-cheek humour….Highly recommended.” Boy Meets Boy Reviews

“This delightfully sudsy, colorful cast of characters would rival that of any daytime soap opera, and the character exchanges are rife with sass, wit and cagey sarcasm….As the pages turn quickly, the author keeps us hanging until the startling end.” Edge Media Network

“A laugh and a murder, done in the style we have all come to love….This had me from the first paragraph….Another wonderful story with characters you know and love!” Crystals Many Reviewers

“These two are so entertaining….Their tactics in finding clues and the crazy funny interactions between characters keeps the pages turning. For most of the book if I wasn’t laughing I was grinning.” Jo and Isa Love Books

“Superb fun from start to finish, for me this series gets stronger with every book and that’s saying something because the benchmark was set so very high with book 1.” Three Books Over the Rainbow

“The Nicky and Noah Mysteries series are perfect for fans of the Cozy Mystery sub-genre. They mix tongue-in-cheek humor, over-the-top characters, a wee bit of political commentary, and suspense into a sweet little mystery solved by Nicky and Noah, theatre professors for whom all the world’s a stage.” Prism Book Alliance

“This is one hilarious series with a heart and it just keeps getting better. I highly recommend them all, and please read them in the order they were written for full blown laugh out loud reading pleasure!” Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

About the Author

As an actor, Joe Cosentino has appeared in principal acting roles in film, television, and theatre, opposite stars such as Bruce Willis, Rosie O’Donnell, Nathan Lane, Holland Taylor, and Jason Robards. He was voted Favorite LGBT Mystery, Humorous, and Contemporary Author of the Year by the readers of Divine Magazine for his first Nicky and Noah mystery Drama Queen. The other popular novels in the series are Drama Muscle (Rainbow Award Honorable Mention), Drama Cruise, Drama Luau, Drama Detective, Drama Fraternity. Joe also wrote the cherished Dreamspinner Press novellas: In My Heart/An Infatuation & A Shooting Star (Rainbow Award Honorable Mention), The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland, and the Bobby and Paolo Holiday Stories: A Home for the Holidays and The Perfect Gift. His much-loved Cozzi Cove series published by NineStar Press include Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back (Rainbow Award Honorable Mention), Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward, Cozzi Cove: Stepping Out, Cozzi Cove: New Beginnings. Finally, Joe is also the author of the cherished Jana Lane mysteries: Paper Doll, Porcelain Doll, Satin Doll, China Doll, Rag Doll (The Wild Rose Press). Joe is currently Chair of the Department/Professor at a college in upstate New York, and is happily married. Coming next: Holiday Tales from Fairyland, the second Tales from Fairyland Book; The First Noel, Bobby and Paolo Holiday Stories Book 3; Cozzi Cove: Happy Endings, the fifth Cozzi Cove novel; Drama Castle, the seventh Nicky and Noah mystery!

Web site: http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JoeCosentinoauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JoeCosen

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4071647.Joe_Cosentino

Amazon: Author.to/JoeCosentino

Excerpt of Drama Fraternity, the sixth Nicky and Noah mystery, by Joe Cosentino

“Nicky, enjoying the party?”

Turning around, I came face to face with Alejandro Gallo—tall, dark, handsome, and sporting the best body a personal trainer can offer, housed inside a black leather shirt and pants.

“Our star has arrived.”

The cleft in his chin widened. “Smack between a commercial shoot in Toronto and returning to Hollywood for season two of my TV show.”

Suck Off.”

I turned toward Blanche. “Excuse me?”

Alejandro’s wife replied, “That’s the name of Alejandro’s TV show. He plays a sexually compulsive vampire who can’t get enough blood or sex.”

Sorry I missed it. “Are you D.P. on that show too, Blanche?”

“Hardly.” Blanche smirked over her full plate. “Alejandro doesn’t like it when I’m on the set.”

“Don’t listen to my wife, Nicky. I’m madly devoted to her.” He kissed her cheek. “Which is why I’m thrilled to be all yours for the next few days.” Alejandro licked his lips and looked me up and down like a conservative politician meeting an oil magnate who does fracking on the weekends.

Keeping things strictly business, I said, “I’m looking forward to your scenes as Detective Erogenous. I mean, Detective Erogely.” Oops.

Talking to my crotch, Gallo replied, “I can’t wait to get inside…the part.” He put his arm around me. “You and I should grab a drink and chat, so I can wrap my head around…the script.”

“This is a Christian football fraternity house. No booze allowed.”

Alejandro glanced into the front sitting room across the hall at Bonnie waving around her bottle. “Looks like all the fun is happening in the other room.”

“They are your co-stars,” I explained.

Alejandro looked over at the young football players and his dark eyes glistened. “We’ll talk later, Nicky.”

Blanche glared at her husband. “Those kids are a decade younger than you, Alejandro.”

He met her glare. “That means they’re two decades younger than you.” Turning to me, he said, “It would be rude of me not to meet my supporting cast.”

“Don’t be too long,” Blanche said as a threat.

“You know me. When I start talking about my character’s motivation, wants, and desires, I can go on all night.” Alejandro smiled at Blanche. “I’ll meet you back at the hotel.” He kissed her neck. “Don’t wait up.” And he was gone.

An Ali Audiobook Review: Crescendo (Song of the Fallen #2) by Rachel Haimowitz and Giles Barron (Narrator)

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Bridging the hatred of centuries did not come easy for Freyrík Farr and Ayden Vaska. As prince of a war-torn human province, Freyrík could ill afford to fall for an enemy. And Ayden, an elven warrior with three hundred years of bitterness in his heart, wanted no part of love. Yet they came together despite themselves and the wills of their peoples, joining hearts and minds to fight a race of Dark Beasts threatening the extinction of mankind.

Yet the Dark Beast threat pales beside the dangers of a summons to the human High Court, home of the Aegis Exalted and the harshest test yet of Ayden’s and Freyrík’s fledgling love.

When the Aegis strips Ayden of his magic, Freyrík is forced to choose between his love for elf, Aegis, and king, all the while seeking the one uncertain path that might save his doomed race. Time is fast running out for mankind, and only by making peace amongst themselves and with their ancient elven enemies can they end the Dark war—and undo the tragedy that’s plagued humans, elves, and Dark Beasts alike for the last three hundred years.

This was an action packed and super emotional sequel to Song of the Fallen.  It picks up a few weeks after the end of the previous book.  They are headed to see the human king and when they arrive things go poorly.  Freyrick and Ayden are separated and Ayden is made a slave.  From this point on things go from bad to worse.
For much of the book the two are not together.  Freyrik is working through his own issues and how he feels about the behavior of other humans and Ayden is trying to figure out how to free the other elf slaves.  It wasn’t until the very end that I was sure things were going to work out for the two men.
 
I think this would have been a higher rated book for me if it weren’t for the rushed ending.  This was a pretty long book and as I previously said, the two MC’s weren’t together for much of the story.  Then all of a sudden we get an epilogue with a HEA.  It felt abrupt to me and I felt like between books one and two I had spent a lot of time with this couple.  I wanted more of the happy ending with them.
 
The audiobook was narrated by Giles Barron who I thought did a great job with both of the main characters as well as the many side characters.  This is not the same narrator as book one but it I took a really long time between them so this was not as issue for me.  I’m just noting it for people who are doing the books back to back. 
 
Overall I really enjoyed this book and felt it was a good conclusion to this story.  I highly enjoyed the audio version and would definitely recommend that.
 
This cover was done by Simone and I think the cover is really well done and it fits perfectly with the cover for book one.  
Audiobook Details:
Audible Audiobook
Listening Length: 11 hours and 2 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Audible.com Release Date: April 12, 2018
Language: English
ASIN: B07C325RN6

A Stella Review: Detour (Transportation #1) by Reesa Herberth  and Michelle Moore

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RATING 5 out of 5 stars

Ethan Domani had planned the perfect graduation trip before tragedy put his life on hold. Smothered by survivor’s guilt and his close-knit family, he makes a break for the open road. He doesn’t know what he’s looking for, but he’s got the whole summer to figure out who he misses more: his boyfriend, or the person he thought he was. It’s just him and his memories . . . until he almost runs over a hitchhiker.

Nick Hamilton made some mistakes after his younger brother died. His violent ex-boyfriend was the most dangerous, and the one that got him shipped off to Camp Cornerstone’s pray-the-gay-away boot camp. His eighteenth birthday brings escape, and a close call with an idiot in a station wagon. Stranger danger aside, Nick’s homeless, broke, and alone. A ride with Ethan is the best option he’s got.

The creepy corners of roadside America have nothing on the darkness haunting Ethan and Nick. Every interstate brings them closer to uncharted emotional territory. When Nick’s past shows up in their rearview mirror, the detour might take them off the map altogether.

I loved the new release by these new to me authors, Reesa Herberth and Michelle Moore. I first picked it brcause the blurb was so interesting and I’m happy to say I wasn’t disappointed at all, on the contrary it was so much more. I wasn’t ready for me to be so engaged from the characters I quickly finished Detour. And for me spending just a couple of days for a book so long is not easy, that’s why I tend to choose books max 250 pages long.  Plus I usually don’t read about characters so young, I prefer my couple to at least being into their thirties. That’s to say, although the interesting blurb, Detour could have been a disaster to me.

Then it happens I found a story so well done I had to stay up late in the night.

In my opinion the main reason why I adored the book stand in the MCs. Sure, Nick and Ethan are very young, but they are not the usual eighteen years old boys with  nothing to worry about. Both of them, in different ways, already went through hell and they are not back yet. This trip they are taking (well, actually only Ethan is on his graduation trip, Nick sadly has nowhere to be) will try to heal their hearts and give both of them some hope, it will help them to overcome the deep grief they have.

So many details caught my heart and I confess more than once I shed a couple of tears, they way they lost themselves, how Nick is scared and angry, how Ethan feels guilty to have survived the death of his beloved boyfriend. Some scenes were so packed with emotions, I felt my heart ache for these young men. But the authors did a great job and at the end Detour is a light book, funny and sweet. I completely fell in love with Ethan and Nick, they were adorable and I so hope to have more about their happy ending.

The cover art by Kanaxa is not a winner to me, I usually like this artist works but this one is fitting but I don’t like it at all.

SALE LINKS  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

BOOK DETAILS

ebook, 339 pages

Published May 7th 2018 by Riptide Publishing

ISBN 1626497435 (ISBN13: 9781626497436)

Edition Language English

A Lila Audionook Review: Kill Game (Seven of Spades #1) by Cordelia Kingsbridge and Wyatt Baker (Narrator)

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Homicide detective Levi Abrams is barely holding his life together. He’s reeling from the fallout of a fatal shooting, and his relationship with his boyfriend is crumbling. The last thing he’s prepared for is a serial killer stalking the streets of Las Vegas. Or how he keeps getting thrown into the path of annoyingly charming bounty hunter Dominic Russo.

Dominic likes his life free of complications. That means no tangling with cops—especially prickly, uptight detectives. But when he stumbles across one of the Seven of Spades’s horrifying crime scenes, he can’t let go, despite Levi’s warnings to stay away.

The Seven of Spades is ruthless and always two moves ahead. Worst of all, they’ve taken a dangerously personal interest in Levi and Dominic. Forced to trust each other, the two men race to discover the killer’s identity, revealing hidden truths along the way and sparking a bond neither man expected. But that may not be enough to protect them.

This killer likes to play games, and the deck is not stacked in Levi and Dominic’s favor.

Kill Game is an interesting police procedural with a good amount of comedic relief & romance.  It’s not totally dark, but it has enough grim to make the reader guess the outcome. The book has a fulfilling ending, but as a series ends in a cliffhanger. Not enough to disappoint, but enough to want to listen to the next installment immediately.

I really enjoyed the main characters’ imperfections. Neither of them is a demi-god, superhero combo with perfect bodies or lives. They are down-to-earth men, truthful to their jobs and lovely with their friends and families. They wanted to do better for others even when their lives were less than perfect.

Their relationship is more than slow. By the end of the book they are finally coming to terms with their attraction, but even then, they took the time to get to know each other, providing the space they needed to be better before moving forward. I hope the next couple of books show us more of their relationship.

All the secondary characters were fleshed out and the victims interesting enough to carry the suspense angle. I like the Seven of Spades and the way it plays the game with Levi and Dom. Showing how much they learned from each other.

This is my first audiobook by Wyatt Baker and it didn’t work for me. I’m glad the story was solid and kept my interest. I had trouble following who was talking. At least, thanks to the author, I had enough clues to figure it out. Definitely, not looking forward to another of his narrations.

The cover by Garrett Leigh shows the main clue in the story and goes with the dark theme.

Sales Links:  Riptide | Audible | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Narrator: Wyatt Baker
Length: 7 hours and 56 minutes

Published: April 20, 2018 (Audio Edition) by Riptide Publishing
ASIN: B07CG9XC8Y
Edition Language: English

Series: Seven of Spades
Book #1: Kill Game

 

Nicki Bennett on Research, Romance and her new story ‘Bad to the Bone’ (author guest blog)

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Bad to the Bone by Nicki Bennett
Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Bree Archer

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Nicki Bennett here today on tour for her new Dreamspun Desires story, Bad to the Bone.  Welcome, Nicki.

✒︎

 

 

—Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Nicki Bennett Interview–

Does research play a role into choosing which genre you write?  Do you enjoy research or prefer making up your worlds and cultures?

I enjoy research so much that I have to be sure I stop eventually to actually write! But whether I’m writing historical novels such as the All for Love series or contemporary stories like Bad to the Bone, I want to be sure the details are accurate. When Ariel Tachna and I wrote Checkmate, we not only researched the Spanish Inquisition but also the distances between cities, how far a horse or carriage could travel in a day, and whether chocolate would be available tor Teodoro’s son Esteban to purchase in the local market (it would). For Bad to the Bone, I researched how Native American tribes use the income from their casinos, the Oklahoma juvenile justice system, what popular songs from 2007 the DJ might play at the Freeland High School reunion, and places where Ricky Lee could take Alex in Oklahoma City (which was so successful that now I want to visit there myself!)

Have you ever had to put an ‘in progress’ story aside because of the emotional ties with it?  You were hurting with the characters or didn’t know how to proceed?

I hate killing characters off. When Ariel and I were writing Under the Skin, we set it aside for over a year because we’d worked ourselves into a place where we knew the only resolution was going to lead to a character’s death, and we didn’t want to do it. We tried and tried to come up with another solution, but we ultimately realized the only way to move forward was to write the scene the way it needed to play out, as painful as it was. Sometimes we’re more successful—while writing Checkmate, we needed someone for Teo to talk with while he was imprisoned by the Inquisition to avoid pages of internal thought. But by the time we were ready to rescue Teo, we realized we couldn’t leave his cellmate Javier to be killed! Fortunately Raul was able to save them both, and Javier went on to play a role in the next two books in the series.

Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

I’m a romantic at heart—no surprise for a romance writer—and I want my characters to get their happy endings, no matter how long it takes. The Exploring Limits series may have started as a Happy for Now, and it took almost 250,000 words to give Jonathan, Kit, and Devon their Happy Ever After, but we got them there! There’s enough negative news in the world. I want my stories to leave readers feeling good.

Do you read romances, as a teenager and as an adult?

I read a lot of everything—science fiction, fantasy, mysteries, nonfiction—but romances have always been my go-to escape reading. When I was a teen, I discovered Georgette Heyer and devoured everything she wrote, then went on to other Regency authors, though I’ve never found anyone to compare to her. In my twenties I went through category romances like popcorn—I had my Silhouette subscriptions, and I’d scrounge through secondhand bookstores looking for backlist titles by my favorite authors. When the Lord of the Rings films came out, I scoured the internet for fanfic, which soon led to my discovering slash fiction, and that eventually led to my reading, and ultimately writing, gay romance.

If you write contemporary romance, is there such a thing as making a main character too “real”? Do you think you can bring too many faults into a character that eventually it becomes too flawed to become a love interest?

At the beginning of Bad to the Bone, Alex Morrison, one of the two MCs, sees himself as a failure. He was the golden boy in high school—everyone was sure he was destined for NFL stardom. But injuries ended his college career, and he gave up the job he wanted to return home and take over the family business when his father got sick, which led to the breakup of his marriage. I think it’s very realistic that all those things could leave him feeling as if he hadn’t lived up to his potential, but I had to be careful not to make readers believe it too, or I risked making him unlikeable as a character. I hope I gave him enough good qualities to offset his lack of self-esteem, and that his friends and his sister are able to help him see those qualities in himself without turning into It’s a Wonderful Life.

What’s next for you as an author?

Ariel and I have started a series called Out and About, in which two friends start a business that organizes social events where LGBTQ+ singles can meet and mingle. Of course, you know that’s going to lead to romance! The first book, Out of Bounds, will come out this fall, and we have at least two more planned in the series. I also have ideas for several more Dreamspun Desires that I’m fleshing out to see if Dreamspinner is interested.

Blurb:

A second chance at first love—if he has the courage to take it.

Alex can’t think of himself as anything but a failure. In high school, he was on the fast track to a career in pro football when he forged an unlikely friendship with a half-Comanche boy from the wrong part of town, Ricky Lee Jennings. Their shared love of books could have grown into more—but a homophobic teammate attacked Ricky Lee, and Alex wouldn’t risk his scholarship to defend him. Ricky Lee was kicked out of school, and Alex never heard from him again.

Now Alex’s glory days are nothing but a memory. An injury ended his football aspirations, his marriage fell apart, and his dreams of making a difference as an environmental lobbyist are as dead as his fantasies of sports stardom.

But all that could change in one magical night, when Ricky Lee shows up at their high-school reunion.

Excerpt:

“You have any preference on where to have dinner tonight?” Ricky Lee asked. “There’s a restaurant in the hotel, but it’s mostly burgers and sandwiches.”

“Freeland hasn’t exactly become a mecca of fine dining since you left.” Alex tilted his head, considering. “There’s not much unless you want to head up 44 to Lawton.” Stupid, Morrison, he told himself as soon as he said it. Remind him again of having to leave town.

“Maybe some other time,” Ricky Lee answered, and Alex could swear his deep voice went even huskier. “I think I’d rather stay close tonight.”

Alex hoped that was because he was tired from working on the build all morning and not because he’d put his foot in his mouth mentioning Lawton. At least it implies there may be another time. “Honestly, some of the best food in town is at the little mom-and-pop places along Wichita and Main. There’s a pretty good taqueria we could walk to from your hotel, or if you’ve had enough Mexican for the day, there’s the pizzeria, though they mostly do carryout.”

“Tacos sound good. Want to meet in the hotel lobby around six?”

“If you can wait until six thirty, that will give me time to help Alanna close up.”

“Works for me.” Ricky Lee unhooked his thumbs and took a step forward. “There’s just one more thing.” He moved even closer, backing Alex up against the ladders he’d just racked. “I’ve been wanting to do this all day.”

Ricky Lee lowered his head and brushed his lips against Alex’s. Alex drew in a startled breath, and Ricky Lee swallowed the exhale, closing his mouth over Alex’s. He raised his hands to grasp the shelves on either side of Alex’s head, pinning him in place—not that Alex made any move to get free. He clutched at Ricky Lee’s hips and opened himself to the kiss that bore as little resemblance to the innocent touch of eleven years ago as a wildfire did to the flicker of a birthday candle.

About the Author

Growing up in Chicago, Nicki Bennett spent every Saturday at the central library, losing herself in the world of books. A voracious reader, she eventually found it difficult to find enough of the kind of stories she liked to read and decided to start writing them herself.

You can find Nicki on her Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100011754789784