Felicitas Ivey On Plotting Novels and her latest release The Secret of the Sheikh’s Betrothed (author guest post)

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The Secret of the Sheikh’s Betrothed by Felicitas Ivey
Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Bree Archer

Available for Purchase at Dreamspinner Press

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Felicitas Ivey on tour for her novel The Secret of the Sheikh’s Betrothed. Welcome, Felicitas.

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On Plotting Versus Pantzing by Felicitas Ivey

A lot of people, mostly my family and co-workers, ask me how I get my ideas for my novels and short stories. I do refrain from telling them I get a once a month delivery of ideas from super secret source, and just tell them ideas come from everywhere around you. I’ve written a couple of novels just to have my characters run around odd sections of Boston. Most of time I write a novel or a story, it’s because I have one idea I was able to get a short story or a novel from that idea.

I have a novel I’m working on, one plotted and I start working on the next one when an idea strikes me. The novel I’m working on is a gothic romance. The novel I’m plotting out right now is a romantic horror/suspense one.  I don’t know if it’s going to go anywhere, but plotting is half the fun of writing. I have a friend and we bounce ideas off of each other all the time, in person or over a chat program if we’re at work. Sometimes I get shower or driving ideas and I try to write them down before I forget them.

I used to be a pantser, and now I’m slowly trying to plot out things, so if I get ‘stuck’ I can go on to something else in the novel. Aside from plotting, I try to work on only one novel at a time. The best advice I ever heard was to ‘Not cheat on your novel with another one’. Or only concentrate on one thing at a time and don’t multitask several stories at once, writing-wise. I have edited novels while writing other things, and it was a little disorienting.

With plotting a novel or a short story, I use two methods so not be a pantser. The Marshall Plan by Evan Marshall has a system of X number of sheets per book, depending on the length of the book, is it a romance, how many viewpoint characters and things like that. I’ve figured out one sheet is about 12-1500 words, depending on what’s happening in the novel or short story then. And the sheets have helpful labels about whose the viewpoint character at the time and how many sheets they get. It’s fairly easy if you follow the plot you’ve laid out. I still wander take a left turn at Albuquerque sometimes and wander away from the plot.

What I don’t like is his character sheets. They’re interesting, but not my cuppa. What I use is Karen Wiesner’s ‘First Draft in 30 Days’ character sheets. They’re in a format I’m more comfortable with, more like writing a draft then filling out the small boxes the Marshall Plan uses. You can write out several paragraphs of back history, likes and dislikes very easily.

My next novel, I’m treating it like a roleplaying game, filling out character sheets for the main characters. It should be an interesting experiment. It’s a romantic horror novel, set in rural New England. New England is a great place to set horror.

I set most of my work in New England, since that’s where I grew up and lived all my life. And you can tell I’m a Boston girl as soon as I open my mouth, since I have the accent wicked bad. I’ve spent a lot of vacations in Northern Vermont also, so I’m familiar with the area and like to set some of my work there.

I’m trying to be more productive writer, but there is only so many hours in the day. Plotting and prep work do make the process faster, so I’m trying to lose my pantsers ways.

Blurb

Billionaire Fathi al-Murzim is a workaholic businessman, too busy running the family’s companies to even think about marriage. Too bad he never told his grandfather he’s gay, because Grandfather just announced a childhood betrothal—to a Bedouin girl Fathi never heard about before…

Ikraam din Abdel was raised as a woman by his avaricious and abusive older sister, who didn’t want him to be their father’s heir. He’d never thought to be married either, and is surprised when his sister informs him of his betrothal.

When Fathi and Ikraam meet, they are drawn to each other in a manner neither of them expected. As the plans for their wedding progress, they both realize they need to tell the other the truth. But can they, with both cultural taboos and family pressures to deal with.

About the Author

Felicitas is a frazzled help-desk tech at a university in Boston who wishes people wouldn’t argue with her when she’s troubleshooting what’s wrong with their computer. She lives with three cats who wish she would pay more attention to them, and not sit at a computer pounding on the keyboard. They get back at her by hogging most of the bed at night and demanding her attention during the rare times she watches TV or movies. She’s protected by her guardian stuffed Minotaur, Angenor, who was given to her by her husband, Mark. Angenor travels everywhere with her, because Felicitas’s family doesn’t think she should travel by her lonesome. They worry she gets distracted and lost too easily. Felicitas doesn’t think of it a getting lost, more like having an adventure with a frustrated GPS.

Felicitas knits and hoards yarn, firmly believing the one with the most yarn wins. She also is sitting on hordes of books, which still threaten to take over her house, even with e-books. Between writing and knitting, she brews beer, wine, mead, and flavored liqueurs. Felicitas also bakes, making cakes whenever she needs to work out an issue in her novels. Sometimes this leads to a lot of cakes. Her coworkers appreciate them though, with the student workers buzzing about on a sugar high most of the time.

Felicitas writes urban fantasy, steampunk, and horror of a Lovecraftian nature, with monsters beyond space and time that think that humans are the tastiest things in the multiverse. Occasionally there’s a romance or two involved in her writing, with a happily-ever-after.

Website: www.Felicitasivey.com

Facebook: felicitasivey

Twitter: @felicitasivey

Email: felicitas.ivey@gmail.com

A Lila Audiobook Review: Out of the Shadows by K.C. Wells and Finn Sterling (Narrator)

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Can he step out of the shadows and into love’s light?

Eight years ago, Christian Hernandez moved to Jamaica Plain in southern Boston, took refuge in his apartment, and cut himself off from the outside world. And that’s how he’d like it to stay.

Josh Wendell has heard his coworkers gossip about the occupant of apartment #1. No one sees the mystery man, and Josh loves a mystery. So when he is hired to refurbish the apartment’s kitchen and bathrooms, Josh is eager to discover the truth behind the rumors.

When he comes face-to-face with Christian, Josh understands why Christian hides from prying eyes. As the two men bond, Josh sees past his exterior to the man within, and he likes what he sees. But can Christian find the courage to emerge from the darkness of his lonely existence for the man who has claimed his heart?

Out of the Shadows is a slow burn romance between a recluse Christian and an extrovert Josh. I like how they communicated when Josh started working at Christian’s apartment and would have loved to see more of it.  It allowed them to get comfortable with each other, creating a foundation for their relationship.

This is a very sweet and fluffy story but those aspects worked with the Dreamspun series. I wanted a slower transition for Christian to adjust to his new reality but in this case, love cured it all. Their attraction was immediate as well as Christian’s acceptance of Josh’s plans for him.

Overall, this story has nice characters, and interesting instigating event, and the potential for so much more. Unfortunately, I never connected with the main couple. Their bromance was stronger than their romance. In the end, it was an okay story.

The narration by Finn Sterling was a fifty-fifty for me. I enjoyed all the characters but Josh. And since he’s one of the main characters, it took from my enjoyment of the story. I think he tried, too hard, to create a distinctive voice for Josh, but ended with a cartoonish version of a young man instead. Everything else saved his performance.

The cover by Bree Archer is a bit theatrical. Perhaps a hoodie would have worked better. The model doesn’t reflect Christian’s description, either.

Sales Links: Dreamspinner | iTunes | Audible

Audiobook Details:

Narrator: Finn Sterling
Length: 6 hours 6 minutes
Published: September 13, 2017 (Audio Edition) by Dreamspinner Press
ASIN: B075KNQDCT
Edition Language: English

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Fireman’s Pole by Sue Brown

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Like others in this Dreamspun Desires series, this is a sweet M/M romance.  The new fireman in town is Dale Maloney.  His recent breakup from his long-term partner has shown him that it didn’t pay to stay in the closet at his last job so he immediately comes out to his fellow firefighters.  They’re okay with him but rib him over many other things, including backing the rig into the town’s maypole.  A historic pole, it’s a well-known centerpiece and the “lord of the manor” comes after Dale with a vengeance. 

Ben Raleigh, the Baron Calminster, literally comes up to Dale and starts telling him off.  Later embarrassed by yelling back and by what he says, the two stand toe-to-toe in the town square shouting at each other.  But more than just a fight over the maypole takes place during this confrontation.  The spark of an attraction is kindled. (Firefighter pun intended.) 

Over time, the two get to know each other and they take a long slow-burn romantic route to consummating their love.  Along the way, though, there’s plenty of small arson fires, a mystery to solve, and a decision Ben needs to make about coming out of the closet. Though he doesn’t know it, that secret really isn’t one at all. Ben has never been a stand-offish landowner, so his “people” know very well that he’s gay and that he’s fallen for Dale. 

There’s a side plot about a woman named Sabrina who was dating Ben before Dale came on the scene.  Ben breaks up with her and ends up with her as his new attorney.  She helps him get clear of her father, who had really been behind their romance in the first place.  He wants to merge the companies, and even near the end of the story, he’s still complaining that he won’t stop until he has his hands on Calminster Hall. 

Without giving away the ending, I will say that I felt like the Sabrina thread and the business end of that with her father felt like they were dropped.  Going back over the story, I see the threads were wrapped up, but they did still feel as if they were going to culminate in more drama.  Maybe that’s because these stories follow old tropes and other authors have added that drama so I just assumed this one would as well. 

Nevertheless, the story remained sweet, but not overly dramatic, and not anything I’d rate higher than 3 stars.  If you are loving these Dreamspun books, and you enjoy a UK story with a good deal of local politics and lingo, you should definitely enjoy this one.   

~~~~~

Cover art by Bree Archer features a handsome shirtless fireman in turnout gear, carrying a kitten.  He’s placed against a background featuring a large country mansion.  The mansion would be Calminster Hall so represents Ben.  It’s bright and colorful and eye-catching.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 220 pages
Expected publication: October 15th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781635336559
Edition Language English

A MelanieM Release Day Review: ​The Bunny and the Billionaire by Louisa Masters

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

 

Spending their fortunes and losing their hearts.

Hardworking Australian nurse Ben Adams inherits a substantial sum and decides to tour Europe. In Monaco, the home of glamour and the idle rich, he meets French billionaire playboy Léo Artois. After getting off on the wrong foot—as happens when one accuses a stranger of being part of the Albanian mafia—their attraction blazes. Léo, born to the top tier of society, has never known limits, and Ben, used to budgeting every cent, finds it difficult to adjust to not only Léo’s world, but also the changes wealth brings to his own life.

As they make allowances for each other’s foibles, Ben gradually appreciates the finer things, and Léo widens his perspective. They both know one thing: this is not a typical holiday romance and they’re not ready to say goodbye.

Stories don’t get any more Dreamspun Desiry than The Bunny and The Billionaire by Louisa Masters.  Between that title which screams 60’s B or C romance movies (and the Harlequin Romance paperbacks this series pays homage to) right down to the storyline, everything about The Bunny and The Billionaire is one great shoutout to those types of romances we adore.

Here a great guy, a male nurse, who inherits a ton of money from his last client.  Ben goes off to visit her favorite places, sees a mysterious handsome guy (part Arab Prince/part Parisian Aristocracy) who sweeps him off his feet, they romance around Monaco, then they live happily richly ever after. That’s sort of it, but in the hands of Masters, it’s totally works, the characters endearing, the dialog witty ,settings are charming and romantic.  Believable?  Ok, maybe not.  But, the point it, that it’s thoroughly enjoyable and the relationship was a steady build right into your heart.

Especially Ben.  He really stumbles into your heart, bad clothing and all.  My only complaint?  I wanted us to have his best friend, Dani, come there too.  I adored her and we only got to see/hear her through Ben’s phone.  Other than that, I loved Ben and his open heart.  How could Léo Artois not fall for him?

Yes, it’s a fairly quick fall, but Masters makes a good case for it.  Plus it all calls for a good suspension of belief anyhow so you’re just going with it.  Things like this only happen in the movies right?

By the time the book ends, I’m sighing with total happiness over this couple, their friends and of course, hoping that Masters will bring them all back for another magical romance cruise for some love in Monaco!  We can always hope.

Looking for a story that’s the very definition of sweet romance?  Here it is.

Cover art by Bree Archer.  Love the cover.  Works great for the book and the character.

Sales Links:

 Dreamspinner Press | Books2Read

Book Details:

ebook, 204 pages
Expected publication: October 1st 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN13 9781635338768
Edition Language English

Louisa Masters on Writing Romances, Characters and her latest story ‘The Bunny and the Billionaire’ (author guest interview and giveaway)

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The Bunny and the Billionaire by Louisa Masters
Dreamspinner Press
A Dreamspun Desires Title

Expected publication: October 1st 2017
Cover Artist: Bree Archer
Available for PreOrder at  Dreamspinner Press | Books2Read

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Louisa Masters here today in our interview chair.  Welcome, Louisa!

✒︎

~ Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Louisa Masters ~

♦︎How much of yourself goes into a character?

I like to think it’s just the right amount! There’s definitely a little bit of me and my perspective in all my characters, but they absolutely aren’t all me. They do and say things I would never dare to, or refuse to do and say things I would (and do) quite happily. For example, Ben, from my upcoming release The Bunny and The Billionaire, wears his clothes until they’re threadbare. The book opens with him wandering around Monaco in shoes so worn his big toe has popped out. I’m no clotheshorse, but I would never do that—mostly for fear of what my grandmother would say! He’s also a nurse, which is a profession I admire greatly but freely admit I couldn’t handle.

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

Definitely! Even as a little girl, I liked stories with happy endings best, and looking back, I can see that my favorites always had a romantic thread through them. As a teenager I mostly read romance behind closed doors, and epic fantasy and sci-fi out in public (where my parents could see). As an author, I never even considered anything other than romance—those are the stories I want to write. Maybe one day I’ll give fantasy a proper shot, too—romantic fantasy, of course! Or a space opera. I love space opera, and it’s not easy to come by, especially m/m. If anybody has suggestions for great ones, I’d love to hear about them.

♦︎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 have several part-done stories that I really hope to get back to one day. Some I stopped working on because they weren’t flowing at the time, and some I was just too inexperienced to develop properly. I don’t write “angst” very well, although I do like to read it, so I’ve never hurt a character so much I couldn’t pull us both through it.

♦︎Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

I’m not actually firmly on one side or the other. I love a good short story or novella, and sometimes a HEA in those can feel rushed. As long as the promise of a HEA is there, I’m completely satisfied.

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

Almost exclusively. I do occasionally slip in something a little different, especially if it’s been highly recommended by someone I trust, or is by an author I’ve loved for a long time, but romance is my mainstay. I read my first “official” adult romance at age eleven, and have never looked back. It’s been astonishing to see how the industry has changed over the past twenty-five years.

♦︎How do you feel about the ebook format and where do you see it going?

Honestly, I adore it. There will always be something special about reading a paper book, but I think most truly voracious readers see the ebook as a wonderful thing. I usually read anywhere between three and seven books a week, depending on length and my schedule, and I frequently reread—I can count on two hands the number of books I’ve sold on or given away in my whole life, and most of those were gifts from people who thought they knew what I’d like. I have over two thousand paper books, and I just don’t have the shelf space for them. Most are boxed up in storage, which means they’re not accessible at three in the morning when I wake up desperate to reread. My nearly two thousand ebooks, on the other hand, are always right by my bed or in my bag.

Ebooks are also wonderful when traveling. When I was nineteen, I studied for two months in Italy. More than half my suitcase was books. I calculated very carefully how many books I thought I’d need, refrained from reading new releases for several months, and then packed up about thirty-five books and lugged them across the world and back. On the other hand, last year I went on a two-month odyssey across Europe, and brought my tablet with me, buying ebooks as the ones I wanted were released.

I can’t see the ebook industry failing, not when it means bookworms can buy books from bed at two in the morning and begin reading them instantly. For that alone, I will always love it.

♦︎What’s next for you as an author?

In a couple of days, The Bunny and The Billionaire will be released by Dreamspinner Press’s Dreamspun Desires line. I’m so excited about this book! Category romance was such a huge part of my early romance reading years, and will always have a place in my heart. Writing one myself was something I thought about, but it didn’t click into place until DSP opened it up for the m/m market.

I have a short holiday story coming out in December, which I think anyone who’s been forced to shop two days before Christmas will appreciate, and I’m currently working on another category-style m/m romance, featuring one of the characters from The Bunny and The Billionaire.

The Bunny and The Billionaire

Released October 1 by Dreamspinner Press

Spending their fortunes and losing their hearts.

Hardworking Australian nurse Ben Adams inherits a substantial sum and decides to tour Europe. In Monaco, the home of glamour and the idle rich, he meets French billionaire playboy Léo Artois. After getting off on the wrong foot—as happens when one accuses a stranger of being part of the Albanian mafia—their attraction blazes. Léo, born to the top tier of society, has never known limits, and Ben, used to budgeting every cent, finds it difficult to adjust to not only Léo’s world, but also the changes wealth brings to his own life.

As they make allowances for each other’s foibles, Ben gradually appreciates the finer things, and Léo widens his perspective. They both know one thing: this is not a typical holiday romance and they’re not ready to say goodbye.

Giveaway

Louisa is giving away five swag packs to mark the release of The Bunny and The Billionaire. Enter to win! Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. https://tinyurl.com/yag5gasq

About the Author

Louisa Masters started reading romance much earlier than her mother thought she should. While other teenagers were sneaking out of the house, Louisa was sneaking romance novels in and working out how to read them without being discovered. She’s spent most of her life feeling sorry for people who don’t read, convinced that books are the solution to every problem. As an adult, she feeds her addiction in every spare second, only occasionally tearing herself away to do things like answer the phone and pay bills. She spent years trying to build a “sensible” career, working in bookstores, recruitment, resource management, administration, and as a travel agent, before finally conceding defeat and devoting herself to the world of romance novels.

Louisa has a long list of places first discovered in books that she wants to visit, and every so often she overcomes her loathing of jet lag and takes a trip that charges her imagination. She lives in Melbourne, Australia, where she whines about the weather for most of the year while secretly admitting she’ll probably never move.

Find Louisa on Facebook and Twitter:

www.facebook.com/LouisaMastersAuthor

@authorLouisaM

A Lila Audiobook Review: Manny Get Your Guy (The Mannies #2) by Amy Lane and John Solo (Narrator)

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

 

Starting over and falling in love.

 

Tino Robbins’s sister, Nica, and her husband, Jacob, are expecting their fifth child. Fortunately, Nica’s best friend, Taylor Cochran, is back in town, released from PT and in need of a job.

 

After years in the service and recovering from grave injury, Taylor has grown a lot from the callow troublemaker he’d been in high school. Now he’s hoping for a fresh start with Nica and her family.

 

Jacob’s cousin Brandon lives above the garage and thinks “Taylor the manny” is a bad idea. Taylor might be great at protecting civilians from a zombie apocalypse, but is he any good with kids?

 

Turns out, Taylor’s a natural. As he tries to fit in, using common sense and dry wit, Brandon realizes that Taylor doesn’t just love their family—he’s desperate to be part of it. And just like that, Brandon wants Taylor to be part of his future.

 

Manny Get Your Guy takes place about ten years later than the first book in the series. It took me a minute to get used to the changes in the characters, but a couple of pages in, I was back in their world. It was a refreshing change since most stories end with a HEA and we don’t get to experience their lives afterwards.

 

This story is a classic combination of Amy Lane and Dreamspun Desire. It’s over-the-top, soap opera-like, and perfect for a cute story with more than a simple romance. As readers, we get to be part of Brandon’s and Taylor’s path to happiness, without forgetting how they became the men we met. It’s a slow journey but an interesting one.

 

I like the MCs enemies-to-lovers story and how they fought their attraction in the beginning, even if short lived. Both characters are lovely and their support system complemented their relationship. As always, it’s nice having both POV; easier to see how they fall for each other.

 

The moments between the couples are great but those between Taylor and Brandon felt intimate and awe inspiring. There are lightheaded moments and many embarrassing tidbits. Overall, this is another winner for this author and series.

 

One thing I like about John Solo’s narrations is his consistency. As soon as I heard the voices, I could connect them with the characters in the previous book. He did an excellent job bringing everyone to life and making Brandon and Taylor the center of the story.

 

The cover by Paul Richmond fits the series and shows a happy version of Taylor. It reminds me of one of the characters in Days of Our Lives.

 

Sales Links: Dreamspinner | iTunes | Audible

 

Audiobook Details:

 

Narrator: John Solo
Length: 6 hours 16 minutes
Published: August 10, 2017 (Audio Edition) by Dreamspinner Press
ASIN: B074NCK18W
Edition Language: English

 

Series: The Mannies
Book #1: The Virgin Manny
Book #2: Manny Get Your Guy

BA Tortuga on Wedding Songs and her latest release Finding Mr. Wright (Leaning N #2) (author guest blog)

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Finding Mr. Wright (Leaning N #2) by B.A. Tortuga
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Bree Archer

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host B.A. Tortuga on her Finding Mr. Wright tour. Welcome, B.A.!

✒︎

 

BA Tortuga’s Top 10 Wedding Music List for Rednecks

Hey y’all! I’m BA Tortuga, here to talk about my upcoming release, Finding Mr. Wright.

In the book, Mason is a wedding planner who sets out to do a Texas style wedding at a ranch in Colorado. The bride’s brother, Noah Wright, isn’t so sure he can pull it off.

Wedding music is super important, so here are some country music suggestions for during and after!

10.  I Cross My Heart by George Strait

9.  God Bless the Broken Road by Rascal Flats

8. It’s Your Love by Tim McGraw and Faith Hill

7. When I Said I Do  by Clint Black and Lisa Hartman Black

6. Then by Brad Paisley

5. H.O.L.Y by Florida Georgia Line

4. My Little Girl -Tim McGraw – father daughter dance

Now the ones we played at our wedding

3. Heaven by Jason Aldean

2. Til My Last Day- Justin Moore

1. The Cowboy in Me by Tim McGraw- incidentally, our minister said this was the perfect song

Thanks for hanging out with me, y’all, and I hope you love Finding Mr. Wright.

Much love, y’all

BA

Finding Mr. Wright Blurb

Leaning N

Everything’s bigger in Texas, including weddings. And misunderstandings.

Colorado wedding planner Mason O’Reilly lands a major contract: a two-hundred-guest wedding at the Leanin’ N Ranch, where his friends Ford and Stoney are working to provide a safe space for GLBT events. The Wright/Preston ceremony is a destination wedding, and as the grooms are from Texas, everything is done over the phone and email. There’s no way that could lead to trouble, right?

Oops.

Oil tycoon Noah Wright isn’t happy about the impending disaster, but he admires Mason’s quick thinking and grace under pressure. And that’s not all he likes about the out-and-proud wedding planner. Even though Mason’s interested in Noah, his Mr. Right can’t possibly be a rancher from Dallas.

Can he?

Available September 15 at Dreamspinner Press: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/finding-mr-wright-by-ba-tortuga-8815-b

About BA Tortuga

Texan to the bone and an unrepentant Daddy’s Girl, BA Tortuga spends her days with her basset hounds and her beloved wife, texting her sisters, and eating Mexican food. When she’s not doing that, she’s writing. She spends her days off watching rodeo, knitting and surfing Pinterest in the name of research. BA’s personal saviors include her wife, Julia Talbot, her best friend, Sean Michael, and coffee. Lots of coffee. Really good coffee.

Having written everything from fist-fighting rednecks to hard-core cowboys to werewolves, BA does her damnedest to tell the stories of her heart, which was raised in Northeast Texas, but has heard the call of the high desert and lives in the Sandias. With books ranging from hard-hitting GLBT romance, to fiery menages, to the most traditional of love stories, BA refuses to be pigeon-holed by anyone but the voices in her head. Find her on the web at www.batortuga.com

A MelanieM Release Day Review: Finding Mr. Wright (Leaning N #2) by BA Tortuga

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Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

Everything’s bigger in Texas, including weddings. And misunderstandings.

Colorado wedding planner Mason O’Reilly lands a major contract: a two-hundred-guest wedding at the Leanin’ N Ranch, where his friends Ford and Stoney are working to provide a safe space for GLBT events. The Wright/Preston ceremony is a destination wedding, and as the grooms are from Texas, everything is done over the phone and email. There’s no way that could lead to trouble, right?

Oops.

Oil tycoon Noah Wright isn’t happy about the impending disaster, but he admires Mason’s quick thinking and grace under pressure. And that’s not all he likes about the out-and-proud wedding planner. Even though Mason’s interested in Noah, his Mr. Right can’t possibly be a rancher from Dallas.

Can he?

Finding Mr. Wright, the second story in the Leaning N series by BA Tortuga, involves wedding planner Mason O’Reilly, a secondary character from Commitment Ranch.   I had wanted Mason to get his HEA and here he does.  Though it takes a while.

All the wonderful characters from the original story are here, Stoney, Ford, their kid and the various ranch hands including their chef (who needs his own story).  They form a wonderful foundation along with the Leaning N ranch for  Mason and Noah Wright to meet, clash and learn to love.  Of course, there are Texans, lots of mad Texans, transplanted to Colorado with a side trip south for good measure.  I have to admit, that was the part that threw me here for a little while.

Normally I love the Texas influence in BA Tortuga’s stories but when it went upscale (how I love me BA Tortuga’s redneck cowboy lovers) as it did with Wright’s family, especially with Noah’s mother who I sort of despised, part of the heart went out of this story and it went cold.  I understood that we needed to see where Noah was coming from and how much he had to work through.  Totally worked.  Still think his mama owes Mason a huge apology.

It took at trip back into the snow, up into the mountains of Colorado to find the warmth and heart of this series, for Noah to realize where his future was, as well as the fire and romance that pours out of this series.  The Leaning N Ranch and all the come out of there are special.  BA Tortuga creates these  little villages of people that form unique families, ones you never get tired of reading about.  All sort of quirky and wonderful.  There are lesbian partners, chefs with a past who make up incredible concoctions, tattooed hulks who show up and never leave only to become indispensable in the kitchen,  and of course Stoney and Ford and their kid.  Now there’s  Mason and Noah.

Can’t wait to see who’s next.  Yes, I love this series.  Yes, I recommend it.  Pick up the first one and head to this one next.  I’m already eagerly awaiting the next installment.

Cover Artist: Bree Archer.  I like the cover but wish it was just a little more detailed.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:ebook, 1st edition, 226 pages
Expected publication: September 15th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781635338744
Edition LanguageEnglish

Series: Leaning N

 

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Out of the Shadows by K.C. Wells

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

This story was exactly what I look for in a romance novel.  Exactly. And, oh, how rare it is to find such a story!  Two men who get to know one another, do little things to make each other happy, date, build a friendship, avoid sex as a lubricant to romance, a little wining and dining, spending time with others, and finally a declaration of love—all before getting to the bedroom.  It’s so very rare.  And this story was so very good, I can’t express how much I appreciated the opportunity to spend time with Josh and Christian. 

Josh is a gardener and handyman in a housing complex where a mystery man resides in the first floor corner apartment.  Well, he’s a mystery because no one ever sees him, and they’ve noticed he gets everything delivered—from food to other necessities.  When Josh is promoted to the role of remodeling the apartments, his first assignment is that one, and when he arrives to the quiet of an empty apartment, he’s a little disappointed not to have met the mystery man.  It doesn’t take him long, however, to figure out that the man is there—he’s just hiding behind the locked bedroom door.

Over time, the two converse through the crack of the door, but when Josh arrives early one day and hears a crash in the bathroom, he rushes in to find Christian on the floor with the shower curtain covering his groin and blood flowing from his forehead. But it’s the scars covering half his face, his right arm, and hand that immediately grabs his attention and he instinctively knows he needs to maintain a neutral expression and look at Christian, not his scars.  It’s this instinctive reaction that sets the pace for a friendship to grow between the two.

Ultimately, trust grows as well, and then affection. And then Josh goes out of his way to find a restaurant where he can take Christian to help him make baby steps back into the world.  Christian finds the courage to accept this first date, and then the courage to meet Josh’s best buddies, and to go bowling, and finally, to tell Josh he loves him. 

I can hardly begin to describe how well the author built these characters, infusing them with life and warmth, sweet personalities, and an obvious need for each other.  Christian’s injury and resulting scars was gently handled and clearly portrayed.  Josh’s personality, his humor, his circle of friends, and his slowly developing love for Christian were all so very well done.  This just hit all my buttons and I devoured it like a starving woman.  I’m left with a case of “feel goods” that I hope will last me a while because stories like this don’t come along every day.  Don’t miss out on this one!

The cover by Bree Archer shows a very good-looking man with a hoodie pulled half over his face.  This perfectly represents the story.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 250 pages
Expected publication: August 15th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
Original TitleOut of the Shadows
ISBN139781635338706
Edition LanguageEnglish

An Alisa Audiobook Review: Romancing the Ugly Duckling by Clare London and Joel Leslie (Narrator)

Standard

Rating:  3 stars out of 5

 

Ambitious fashionista Perry Goodwood lands the project of his dreams—track down a celebrity family’s missing brother in the Scottish Highlands and bring him back to London for a TV reality show. But first he must transform the rugged loner into a glamorous sophisticate.

 

Greg Ventura has no use for high fashion. He lives on the isolated island of North Uist to escape the reminder that he’s nowhere near as handsome as his gorgeous brothers and avoid the painful childhood memories of being bullied.

 

Greg wants nothing to do with city life, and Perry’s never been outside London. When Perry is stranded on North Uist, this conflict seems insurmountable. But Greg is captivated by the vivacious Perry, and Perry by both the island and his host. However, Perry’s one heartfelt wish remains: that ugly duckling Greg fulfill his potential as a swan.

 

This was a nice story and once the characters got over their own crap they had going on in their heads it was better.  Perry is sent to retrieve and transform Greg, however he is sent on his own and has no support from the agency.  Greg has successfully stayed far away from the limelight since he could move away and isn’t going to let anything drag him back.

 

I got see both of the characters’ points of view in this story so I knew how they were feeling for the most part but even Perry kept secrets I didn’t know about until close to the end.  I could see how uncertain Perry is with his future and his determination to do what he came to do but he quickly gets to see the real Greg and the beauty that his brothers don’t seem to see and wouldn’t change it for the world.  Greg is stubborn about changing anything in his life and it’s almost too late by the time he realizes that he actually wants the changes Perry has made in his life.

 

Joel Leslie did a nice job narrating this story.  I was able to keep track of the story and characters which is always nice.  However, I don’t think his narration is for me; this isn’t the first time I have listened to him and his over-exaggerated accents are just too much.  It took me a bit to get into the story at the beginning but once I pretty much ignored how he was saying it and just what he was saying I got into the story more.

 

Cover art by Bree Archer is great and follows the pattern for the series.

 

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press |   Audible | Amazon |  iTunes

 

Audiobook Details:

Audiobook, 7hrs 15min
Published: June 19, 2017 (ebook first published June 15, 2017) by Dreamspinner Press
Edition Language: English

Series: Romancing The …