A Lila Audiobook Review: The Virgin Manny (The Mannies #1) by Amy Lane and John Solo (Narrator)

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Growing up and falling in love…

Sometimes family is a blessing and a curse. When Tino Robbins is roped into helping his sister deliver premade dinners when he should be studying for finals, he’s pretty sure it’s the latter! But one delivery might change everything.

Channing Lowell’s charmed life changes when his sister dies and leaves him her seven-year-old son. He’s committed to doing what’s best for Sammy… but he’s going to need a lot of help. When Tino lands on his porch, Channing is determined to recruit him to Team Sammy.

Tino plans to make his education count—even if that means avoiding a relationship—but as he falls harder and harder for his boss, he starts to wonder: Does he have to leave his newly forged family behind in order live his promising tomorrow?

The Virgin Manny is a cute, trope filled love story. I really liked the way Tino and Channing met and how their relationship grew from there. This is a slow-burn story that can be considered May-December even when the age gap was only ten years.

As any other Dreamspun book, this story has very over-the-top events and reactions from the characters. It’s a feel-good tale even when the events that brought the MCs together were nothing to be happy about. Everyone is content with the new little family and there’s minimal to no angst.

There’s a bit of mystery added which gives the book a soap opera feel. I don’t think it was necessary, but it added to the story’s charm. The last part was too slow, but as a whole, the story works great.

John Solo, as always, did a nice job bringing all the characters to life. I enjoyed the different cadence between Tino and Channing and appreciated how well the female voices were integrated.

The cover by Bree Archer shows the main idea behind the story, but it’s a bit generic and stereotypical.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner | iTunes | Audible

Audiobook Details:

Narrator: John Solo
Length: 6 hours 14 minutes
Published: February 14, 2017 (Audio Edition) by Dreamspinner Press
ASIN: B06WLJTZW4
Edition Language: English

Series: The Mannies
Book #1: The Virgin Manny

 

A MelanieM Release Day Review: Two Cowboys and A Baby by BA Tortuga

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

A little bundle of joy means big changes.

Hoss McMasters has a working ranch, a bull riding career, a nosy momma, and a best friend he’s been in love with since he can remember. He’s a busy, happy cowboy, living the good life.

Then one morning he discovers a baby on his doorstep.

Well, Hoss does what any reasonable man would do—he calls his momma and his buddy, Sheriff Pooter, and they head to the clinic to see if Doc knows of any suddenly not-so-pregnant girls.

In the meantime, Hoss and his best friend, Bradley, have their hands full trying to care for an infant, run a ranch, and deal with the sudden confession that Bradley doesn’t hate Hoss for coming out to him in high school. In fact, Bradley’s been trying to catch Hoss’s attention for damn near a decade.

Well, hell.  Two Cowboys and A Baby.  Shakes head.  Really, its hard to get much cuter than that.  So of course, I loved this sweet baby left on the doorstep story by B.A. Tortuga, a favorite author of mine.  B.A. talked about loving tropes like this in her author guest post on this story (read it here), but the tale of how these long time friends (yep since childhood) finally move towards HEA and a family is heartwarming and sweet.  Of course, there’s some wild plot doozies here that I throughly enjoyed.  There’s almost a ‘B.A. goes Texas soap opera’ thrown in but who knows?  Totally possible so I rolled with it.  These days  anything goes so it could happen.

I of course, loved Hoss.  The author makes Hoss and his profession so painfully real with all its breaks, pain, and physical wake up in the hospital realism.  That the part of the life, people never see when watching the rodeos.  Here (and in all of B.A. Tortuga’s stories) its laid out in all it stark, bill and injury-laden reality. Another element that I look forward to when reading a Tortuga novel?  Her families and its another key element here.  Bradley has been a part of that, living as he has been on Hoss’ land in a trailer.  But all that’s about to change with a baby bundle lands on Hoss’ doorstep.

I think if I have only one major issue here, it would be Bradley’s behavior at one point.  His lack of faith in Hoss and inability to talk to him.  I kept trying to rationalize that as fear but still it seemed as unlike the man’s personality as laid out before so it brought down the rating.  There’s another hugely intriguing area that just cries out for its own story.  If you read this book you’ll know what I’m talking about and who.  I hope the author is already working on that. What a story that would be.

As it is, I loved Two Cowboys and a Baby.  Its sweet, heartwarming and a wild journey of two men towards HEA and a family.

Cover Artist: Bree Archer. Cover art is perfect and just as cute as the story.

Sales Links

 

Book Details:

ebook, 220 pages
Expected publication: March 15th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781635333855
Edition LanguageEnglish

B.A. Tortuga on Writing and her release ‘Two Cowboys and a Baby’ by B.A. Tortuga (author guest post)

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Two Cowboys and a Baby by B.A. Tortuga

Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Bree Archer

Available for Purchase at

 

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have B.A. Tortuga here today to talk about writing and her latest story in the Dreamspun Desires series from Dreamspinner Press, Two Cowboys and a Baby.  Welcome, B.A.

~Our Interview with B.A. Tortuga~

  • How much of yourself goes into a character?

I have to be honest – my culture is very much expressed through my characters – their lives, their voices, their environment, but me personally? Not so much. 😀

  • Do you feel there’s a tight line between Mary Sue or should I say Gary Stu and using your own experiences to create a character?

No, not at all. I write the places I know and love, the archetypes I grew up with. I don’t find them to be Gary Stus.

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

I tend to stick fairly close to home, I think, but I research the specific time period or bull rope or breed of cattle. I call my daddy a lot. 😉

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

I was (and still am) a voracious reader. I read all the Harlequin and Silhouette romances, Kathleen Woodiwiss and Johanna Lindsey. All of them. My favorite book as a little girl? Little Women. OMG. I wanted to be Jo and my wife assures me that I’ve come close.

I have to admit, I’m a trope whore, to the bone. points to Two Cowboys and a Baby Tropes, y’all. Tropes, joy and cowboys.

Wallow in it with me.

  • Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

I’m an HEA all the way type of girl. That’s what I read and that’s what I write.

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

Oh, lord yes. I love the promise of a happy ending, the comfort of the story. It does it for me, 100%.

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

Stephen King, no question. He taught me about being faithful to your own voice, your own accent. He’s my hero.

  • Do you have a favorite among your own stories?  And why?

My favorite is always the one I’m writing. Always. Those are the boys I’m in love with, right now.

  • What’s next for you as an author?

After Two Cowboys and a Baby? I have a novel coming out April 28th that’s my love story to Red Dirt Texas music called “Best New Artist”. I’m currently writing the next Roughstock novel and co-writing a m/m book with Jodi Payne.

Much love, y’all.

BA

Two Cowboys and a Baby Blurb

A little bundle of joy means big changes.

Hoss McMasters has a working ranch, a bull riding career, a nosy momma, and a best friend he’s been in love with since he can remember. He’s a busy, happy cowboy, living the good life.

Then one morning he discovers a baby on his doorstep.

Well, Hoss does what any reasonable man would do—he calls his momma and his buddy, Sheriff Pooter, and they head to the clinic to see if Doc knows of any suddenly not-so-pregnant girls.

In the meantime, Hoss and his best friend, Bradley, have their hands full trying to care for an infant, run a ranch, and deal with the sudden confession that Bradley doesn’t hate Hoss for coming out to him in high school. In fact, Bradley’s been trying to catch Hoss’s attention for damn near a decade.

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: Snowblind (Dreamspun Desires #29) by Eli Easton

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

snowblind-by-eli-eastonSnow, steam, and secrets.

The latest snowstorm carries something unexpected to the doorstep of Hutch’s secluded Alaskan cabin: a stranger named Jude, the most beautiful man Hutch has ever seen. Jude says he’s in the area for a ski trip and that he fled a domineering lover, thinking he could make it into town. But Hutch is a suspicious SOB and treats his unwanted guest warily. The problem is Jude isn’t just gorgeous, he’s funny and smart and flirtatious.

Two gay men snowed in for three days—things happen. Really good things. By the time the storm clears, Hutch finds himself a little too attached to Jude Devereaux, San Francisco-based male model. But is Jude what he claims to be? Or is he entangled in the secrets Hutch moved to Alaska to escape?

I have certain expectations of a Dreamspun Desires title. Romance, a plot from those serial romances of decades ago given a M/M twist and updated, plus a little light hearted “something or other”.  I usually get all that, sometimes I get less, often I get more in terms of great characters and plot.  Then there’s the times the author gives me a story I just sink right into.  Men who are troubled, wounded in some way, irresistible, and so magnetic I can’t pull myself away from their story.  Eli Easton gave me all that in Snowblind.

I didn’t expect the darkness I found. Huh.   Yes, there are parts of this story that are dark and sobering.  Didn’t expect that from a Dreamspun Desires title.  Nor can I tell you how they factor into the story because its so much of the wonderful  twists and turns you will find inside this marvelous novel.  That blurb?  Ha! So had me fooled.  It will you too.  The rich and inventive tale that lies behind that thin facade of a synopsis is suspenseful and character driven and oh so incredible. Usually, the blurb lately has been spelling out the entire story.  I don’t know when I’ve been so surprised by a story.

Easton’s writing is so smooth, so vivid that I felt my heart pound at certain moments, and my eyes tear up at others.  I love her characters and the way in which the story moved from one man’s point of view to the other’s, a necessary, sometimes heartbreaking perspective.

No, you aren’t getting any details.  Anything I say, and I do mean anything, just leads to spoilers and I won’t do it to this book.  Grab it up,  plow right into it.  Make popcorn before you start. Because once you start, that’s it.  There’s no stopping until that wonderful ending.  Do I recommend this story.  Hell, yes! Hutch and Jude will have me smiling for days, maybe weeks.  Maybe more.  I really love them.

Cover Artist: Bree Archer.  The cover works for the branding of the series and the character.  I like it.

Sales Links

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Book Details:

ebook, 196 pages
Expected publication: March 1st 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1635331463 (ISBN13: 9781635331462)
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesDreamspun Desires #29 settingAlaska (United States)

An Alisa Audiobook Review: Romancing the Wrong Twin by Clare London and Rusty Topsfield (Narrator)

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Rating:  3 stars out of 5

 

romancing-the-wrong-twin-audioHow tangled can a romantic web get?

 

When gruff mountaineer Dominic Hartington-George seeks sponsorship for his latest expedition, his London PA insists on a more media-friendly profile—like dating celebrity supermodel Zeb Z.

 

Zeb can’t make the date, so he asks his identical twin, Aidan, to stand in for just one evening. Aidan, a struggling playwright, shuns the limelight to the extent people don’t even know Zeb has a sibling, but he reluctantly agrees.

 

When the deception has to continue beyond the first date, Aidan fights to keep up the pretense. Dominic likes his sassy, intelligent companion, and Aidan starts falling for the forthright explorer. But how long can Aidan’s conscience cope as confusion abounds? Will coming clean as “the other twin” destroy the trust they’ve built?

 

So… I had a hard time with this story.  I thought the concept was interesting, but had trouble with some of the execution.  Dominic is forced into a PR relationship to help him get a sponsorship deal and Aiden stands in for his supermodel brother when Zeb can’t make it.

 

I understood both Dominic’s and Aiden’s points of view in the story, but had a hard time connecting with the characters.  Throughout the story it just seemed that they would both internally whine about their situations or the people around them and to me it made them quite off putting.  While we see them both jump into a physical relationship without much talk about the future and feelings, I can understand their feelings being hurt through misunderstanding, but didn’t really feel the characters emotions.

 

Rusty Topsfield did a nice job narrating this story.  I was able to keep track of the story and characters which is always nice.  I didn’t like some of the voices he had for characters and a few secondary ones seemed quite similar, but the whiny quality of some of the voices he used along with the whininess of the characters didn’t help.

 

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

 

Sales Links: Dreamspinner PressAudible | Amazon |  iTunes

 

Audiobook Details:

Audiobook, 6hrs 21min
Published January 3, 2017 (ebook first published November 1, 2016) by Dreamspinner Press
Edition Language: English

A MelanieM Release Day Review: Poppy’s Secret by Andrew Grey

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

poppys-secret-by-andrew-greyA second chance born of love.

Pat Corrigan and Edgerton “Edge” Winters were ready to start a family–or so Pat thought. At the last minute, Edge got cold feet and fled. Pat didn’t bother telling him the conception had already gone through and little Emma was on her way. He didn’t want a relationship based on obligation. He’d rather raise his daughter on his own.

Nine years later, Emma and her Poppy are doing fine. Edge isn’t. He realizes what he threw away by leaving, and he’s back to turn his life around and reclaim his family. It’ll take a lot to prove to Pat that he’s a new man, and even if Edge succeeds, the secret Pat has hidden for years might shatter their dreams all over again.

If you read the blurb, you know the whole story.  Its all there except for how Edge finds out the secret.  Luckily Andrew Grey has  done a fine job telling the story so that you don’t mind knowing what’s coming.

Its nine years after Edge has fled.  Pat and Emma have a full life together, even though its lacking in the romance department for Pat. Pat puts Emma first, something he never had growing up, giving her stability and a parent who’s  always there.  His complicated relationship with his mother who figures huge in this story is one of the reasons I appreciated Poppy’s Secret so.  There are so many layers and complicated family dynamics here and the author neatly intertwines them into his story, using the reality of the past to make various points without painting the mother as a monster or an abuser.  There’s a lot of grey (if you will excuse the pun) and a lot of forgiveness to be found in Poppy’s Secret.

Then Edge moves back into town.  The past literally arrives at Pat’s doorstep bringing with it all the feelings long buried as well as all the peril to his long fought for stability.  The author could have gone for the high drama (yes, there’s some) but instead he chooses the path of adulthood, talking, forgiveness and love.  Yes, there’s the believable anger and pain but how that’s incorporated into the story is another element I just adored.

Poppy’s Secret is  a wonderful, heartwarming story of two men and a child getting a second chance at love together and as a family.  It flows quickly, sweetly, and with all the heart you could want or hope for.  I highly recommend this story.  Need a ‘feel great’ sort of tale?  This one’s for you.

Cover art by Bree Archer is absolutely adorable and perfect for the characters and story.  I want to hug them both.

 

Sales Links

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Book Details:

ebook, 190 pages
Expected publication: February 15th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
Original TitlePoppy’s Secret
Edition LanguageEnglish

A MelanieM Release Day Review: The Worst Best Man by M.J. O’Shea

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

worstbestmanthefs_v1It was her special day… but his worst nightmare.

A rekindled romance wasn’t part of the plan.

Despite his American background, August O’Leary is the most sought-after wedding planner in London. Naturally, Libby and Edward come to him for a wedding the city will never forget. But Edward is an international businessman, so the details are left to Libby and her best friend—who happens to be the love of August’s life and the one who broke his heart eight years ago: Christopher Burke.

How’s August supposed to pull off the event of the year with Christopher distracting him and old feelings crashing the party uninvited?

Christopher has let money and status dictate his life, but no more. His failure to stand up to others’ expectations cost him his future with August—one he hoped would include marriage. Now he has to face August’s hurt and anger and prove he’s still the best man to make August happy.

When you start talking about a lovers reunited or a second chance at love story, you’ve caught my attention.  I have to admit I’m a total sucker for those. The Worst Best Man is M.J. O’Shea’s tale of two former lovers reunited over one man’s best friend’s wedding and the clash of hearts that follows.  Take the combination of London, wedding planners and old flames reuniting and M.J. O’Shea makes the most of it in this warm hearted and throughly entertaining story.

Really, the author had me at wedding planners.

When you think of all the things that can and do go wrong with weddings, the combustible bouquet of feelings waiting to ignite over the least thing from so many parties involved in wedding (not just the happy couple) and its no wonder people reach for wedding planners in desperation.  But what happens when one of the wedding planners can set off a small explosion too?  What a  delicious idea!  That would be American August O’Leary, the must have wedding planner in London and former dumpee of Christopher Burke, best man to his friend Libby who’s about to get married.  And wants the best planner in all of London to work for her. Drumroll please!

But what could be high comedy becomes recognizable flawed human relationship choices (fear, pain, youth, its all there) in this sweet romance.   Edward is not left off easy for his early cowardice, yes, everyone recognizes it for what it was. But its tempered by his youth and other factors. We also realize that doesn’t lessen August’s pain.  O’Shea brings the past forward and makes it relevant as August regards Edward with shock and dismay in his office.  The climb to realization that his love had never gone away take a little longer.  O’Shea also takes into account here the role that status/strata plays in British society and the effect it had/has on August and Edward.  I thought that was very realistic.  Nice touches everywhere.

The Worst Best Man is full of great secondary characters, locations as well as a wonderful romance to lose yourself in.  I absolutely recommend it.  And of course, would love to see a followup.

Cover art by Bree Archer works for both the character, location and storyline.  I liked it.

Sales Links

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Book Details:

ebook, 208 pages
Expected publication: February 1st 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
Original TitleThe Worst Best Man
ISBN 1635331439 (ISBN13: 9781635331431)
Edition LanguageEnglish
URL

In Our Romance Spotlight: The Worst Best Man by M.J. O’Shea (excerpt)

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The Worst Best Man by M.J. O’Shea
D
reamspinners Press
Cover Artist: Bree Archer

Available for Purchase at

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host M.J. O’Shea today.  M.J. O’Shea is here talking about her recent release, The Worst Best Man.  Welcome, M.J.!

~

Hi! 

This is Mj O’Shea I’m here talking about my newest book, called The Worst Best Man.

One of my favorite parts of writing a romance is… well obviously the romantic couple. But another favorite is developing relationships between the two romantic leads and the people in their lives. I often end up liking the friends so much that I give them books of their own eventually.

In this book, August, my main character works at an event planner and his team partner and best friend Will is one of those characters that I love to death.

I thought I’d leave a bit of their banter… since I love writing it so much. And even more than writing it, I love reading it. It’s one of the things I look forward to the most in books romance or otherwise. Before I babble too much, here’s a bit of August and his best friend Will.

“Hey, mate, do you have the signed contracts for the Steinberg bat mitzvah yet?”

“I haven’t had a chance to deal with getting them yet. Why?” August had been slammed all day with work orders and phone calls. He hadn’t had time to hound customers for signed paperwork. August the enforcer had taken a backseat to a million more pressing matters.

“I just wanted to get started on the flower orders, and I can’t do that until we have a signature. Remember what happened with the Stout wedding?”

What had happened was nine hundred pounds’ worth of blush-colored roses and calla lilies, a cheating groom, and one very angry bride—also incomplete signed paperwork. Their company had to eat the cost of the flowers since there wasn’t anything holding the ex-couple to the payment. Not endearing to their boss, Helena, in the slightest, even if she did love Will and August. Usually.

August would never make that mistake again.

“Can you get on the Steinbergs?” Will asked.

“Will, you know I have a huge list on for today. I don’t have time to run a paper chase.”

Will started to make one of the signature pathetic noises that usually got him whatever he wanted. It was the blond hair and the big blue eyes. August wasn’t immune, even if Will was straight as a stick and practically his brother. Wasn’t going to work, though. Not today.

“It’s your fault I’m so busy.” Time to go for the guilt trip. “You’re the one who ‘didn’t want to deal with another society wedding full of posh wankers.’”

August knew Will hated the finger quotes. It was a surefire way of pissing him off.

“I hate the finger quotes.”

He said it every time. August enjoyed annoying him every single time as well.

“I know. But I’m still the one who got stuck with the Pritts-Shackleton wedding because you didn’t want to deal with them.”

“People like that always look at me.”

August sighed. “I know, I know. You’re Northern and not a blue blood, and they give you attitude about it. Well, a Northerner has to be better than an American in their eyes, and yet here I am about to meet with one of London’s premiere society couples. I think you can call the Steinbergs. It’s more than an even trade.” August raised his eyebrow and waited for Will to crumble.

“Fine.”

“What do you think our prince and princess will be like?” Will asked.

“Apparently it’s going to be our princess and her GBF,” August said with an eye roll. “Prince Shackleton is in the import-export business, and he’s quite busy.”

“This tosser’s really sending a stand-in?”

“You probably shouldn’t call our clients tossers.” August bit back a grin. “I guess the dude’s been friends with both of them since birth. Maybe it makes sense in their world.”

Will made a face. “Better you than me, mate. I don’t love weddings at the best of times. Give me a nice corporate golf tournament to organize any day. Maybe the girl’s mate will be hot. You need a shag.”

“Thanks for keeping track of my sex life.” AugustDignified gave Will another eye roll for that. He was far too invested in how often August got laid. “I’m sure this random gay man who walks into our office to plan his friend’s wedding will be up for it. Probably should just skip trousers altogether and tell Miss Pritts to take a hike.” August snorted loudly.

“Don’t sell yourself short.” Will shrugged. “I would be up for it if I was into dudes.”

August giggled. “I love you,” he said on a laugh.

“By the way, you sure you have to go home for Christmas?” Will asked. “My mum was looking forward to seeing you. I swear she loves you more than me. Plus, there isn’t a chance in hell I can make your sticky toffee pudding recipe for her.”

The holidays were coming up soon, and August had booked ten days off from the office to visit Boston. It had been two years since he’d gone back for more than a long weekend, and he actually missed the big, loud O’Leary clan. Will’s family was a close substitute, but it wasn’t quite the same thing.

“I can’t this year. I promised my mom I’d come home. She said you’re very welcome to come as well. Maybe our families can just do a son trade.”

There was something about Will’s down-to-earth rough-and-tumble personality that fit into the O’Leary family perfectly, maybe even more than August ever had. They loved him, and he loved them right back.

“I think that’s a solid plan. But we need another solid plan for tonight. One last lad’s night before you desert me for nearly two weeks.”

August looked out the window at the snow drifting down, a few lazy flakes at a time. The London streets were covered with thin, slippery black ice, and the snow had been falling slow but steady for hours.

“It’s cold as hell, mate,” he muttered. He had dreams of his cozy little flat and a book.

“Mate,” Will snickered. “We’ll make a Brit out of you yet. And don’t be a baby. After a few pints, you won’t even be able to feel the snow.”

August had about zero chance of getting out of the pub night. Will was a force to be reckoned with.

“Okay. Lad’s night. But No Weezy. He causes trouble.”

Weezy was Will’s best friend from Sheffield, who’d sort of followed Will to London and never left. He was a laugh when August had nowhere to be for the next three or four days and plenty of time to nurse a hangover. Not when he had to spend the day packing for an evening flight home.

“I might have already texted Weez. He misses you.” Will gave August his best puppy dog eyes.

August sighed. “Okay. I’ll be ready after my meeting with the wedding couple. Er, I mean, the bride and her best friend.”

It was weird. He’d had far weirder. August tried to wipe the memory of eye patches, parrots, and a whole lot of pirate hats from his head. It was best not to think of it.

“I’ll wait in my office with Louise. She’s coming too.”

“Louise? Who else did you invite?” It was starting to sound less like a quiet lad’s night at the pub and more like what Will called “A right piss-up.” Those rarely ended well for August. He still hadn’t found his trousers from the last time.

“You know she’s one of the lads,” Will said.

August wondered how long it was going to take Will to figure out that their sensible, no-nonsense assistant was desperately in love with him.

“One of the lads,” August echoed. “Shoo,” he added, making the motions with his hands. “I have to get ready for my meeting. And call the Steinbergs. I want to get properly started on that one when I get back from Boston.”

Will saluted him as he strolled backward out of the office.

That’s all for now! I hope you enjoyed a little bit of August and Will. I definitely had a great time writing them

I’ve left a blurb and some links below! I’m always available on social media for questions or comments.

Thanks for having me stop by ❤

Xoxo

Mj O’Shea

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About The Best Worst Man by M.J. O’Shea

It was her special day… but his worst nightmare.

Despite his American background, August O’Leary is the most sought-after wedding planner in London. Naturally, Libby and Edward come to him for a wedding the city will never forget. But Edward is an international businessman, so the details are left to Libby and her best friend – who happens to be the love of August’s life and the one who broke his heart eight years ago: Christopher Burke.

How’s August supposed to pull off the event of the year with Christopher distracting him and old feelings crashing the party uninvited?

Christopher has let money and status dictate his life, but no more. His failure to stand up to others’ expectations of him cost him his future with August – one he’d hoped would include marriage. Now he has to face August’s hurt and anger and prove he’s still the best man to make August happy.

About the Author

Hi everyone! I’m Mj O’Shea:) I grew up, and still live, in sunny Washington state and while I love to visit other places, I can’t imagine calling anywhere else home. I spent my childhood writing stories. Sometime in my early teens, the stories turned to romance. Most of those were about me, my friends, and our favorite movie and pop stars. Hopefully, I’ve come a long way since then.

When I’m not writing, I love to play the piano, dance, cook, paint pictures, and of course read! I have two little dogs who sit with me when I write. Sometimes they comes up with ideas for me too…when they’re not busy napping.

A Lila Audiobook Review: Suddenly Yours by Jacob Z. Flores and John Solo (Narrator)

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Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

suddenly-yours-audiobookWhat happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas.

Cody Hayes is having one epic morning-after. The hangover following a Vegas bachelor party is nothing new to him, and neither is the naked man in his bed.

His apparent marriage is a different story.

Carefully plotting every detail of his life carried Julian Canales to a Senate seat as an openly gay man. A drunken night of Truth or Dare isn’t like him… and neither is marrying a man he just met. He’d get an annulment, but the media has gotten wind of his hasty nuptials. If Julian’s political career is going to survive, he has to stay married to a man who’s his opposite in every way.

Now he must convince Cody that all they need to do is survive a conservative political rival, a heartbroken ex, their painful pasts… and an attraction neither man can fight.

Suddenly Yours is a classic day after tale. Waking up married suited Cody, but challenged Julian’s well-planned life. At the same time, they balanced each other. Something that’s evident from the very beginning. The opening scene sets the stage for the rest of their relationship and gives the readers hope of a happily ever after.

This is when my problem with the story starts. I’m not a fan of stories that go back in time until they meet again later down the road. Prologues are fine as set ups, but having to wait to see how everything happens doesn’t work for me. My lack of patience makes me skim through the pages. I wanted to see their future together, not their past.

When we are finally back in real time, the story moves smoothly. I did enjoy Julian’s and Cody’s banter and easy friendship. I think they were right for each other. I like how Cody took charge and how Julian tries to do his best for his new husband.

The secondary characters fit the story line and added to the couple’s troubles. Their lack of trust in love feeds from them but in the end, they are surprised when the realization of their relationship catches up with them. There’s no one more clueless about their love than Cody and Julian.

John Solo is one of my favorite narrators and he didn’t disappoint. The mirth behind Cody’s words was evident and the rest of the voice transitions flow easily.

Another cover by Bree Archer. The model works perfectly for the story and the standard Dreamspun Desires background complemented the quirkiness of the book.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner |  Audible | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Narrator: John Solo
Length: 6 hours and 33 minutes

Published:  December 7, 2016 (Audio Edition) by Dreamspinner Press
ASIN: B01MQSQ07S
Edition Language: English

 

Series:  One Fine Day
Book #1: Undercover Boyfriend
Book #2: Suddenly Yours

 

DSP GUEST POST Rayna Vause on Extrasensual Perception

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Extrasensual Perception by Rayna Vause
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reamspinner Press
Cover art by Paul Richmond

Available for Purchase at

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Rayna Vause, author of Extrasensual Perception, one of our highly recommended stories.  Welcome, Rayna!

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I want to thank everyone here at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for having me here today to celebrate the release of my latest novel, Extrasensual Perception, and for taking the time to get to know me a little bit better. This has been an exciting week for me, but I think release weeks is for all authors. So, let’s dive into these questions shall we?

  • Where do you normally draw your inspiration for a book from?  A memory, a myth, a place or journey, or something far more personal?

My inspiration for a story can come from anywhere and everywhere. A news story, a television show, a movie that you would have like to have seen go in a different direction. The possibilities are endless. My book Demon of Mine was inspired by a combination of the show Supernatural and the movie Office Space. My latest release Extrasensual Perception was the result of a writing prompt. We were challenged to look at old school Harlequin romances and write a gay romance in a similar fashion. Some of my favorite category romances were the ones that pushed the boundaries of the line. I was drawn to the books that had paranormal elements such as psychics. So, when I was issued the challenge of writing a Dreamspun desire a psychic seemed like the perfect choice for my book. 

  • Are you a planner or a pantzer when writing a story? And why?

I’m a total planner with a hint of pantser. I need a story road map or I get nowhere fast as I write myself into corners. If I have my outline when I sit down to write, I know what scenes I need. I know what they need to accomplish. The pantsing comes in with how the scene unfolds on the page.

  • Contemporary, supernatural, fantasy, or science fiction narratives or something else?  Does any genre draw you more than another when writing it or reading it and why does it do so?

I have eclectic tastes. I like to read a wide variety of genres. Although you’ve got a better chance of catching my eye if there are paranormal/urban fantasy elements as I like getting caught up in other worlds or alternative realities. When it comes to reading, if it’s an engaging story, with a strong romance and an HEA I’ll go along for the ride.

As to writing, I love paranormal/urban fantasy. I love for me a story is that much more fun to write when I can take the everyday world and toss in something strange and unusual. I love the idea of the werewolf or demon next door. Someone who’s a regular joe, but has the one extra special quirk like magical abilities or shapeshifting. There’s are a certain level of freedom as well as control to paranormal and UF. It’s my world and I make up the rules.

  • If you had a character you’ve written you would write differently now at this time in your writing career, who would it be and why?

At this point, I can’t say that there are characters that I would write differently. As write more and your craft gets stronger. When I look at my books I see things that I would strengthen technique wise, but not in character development.

  • Can an author have favorites among their characters and do you have them?

I absolutely think authors can have favorites among their characters. Generally, it’s the characters in the book I’m working on at that time that are my favorites. However, I will always hold a special place in my heart for the cast of characters in my in-progress Hell Inc. series. The first book being Demon of Mine. My favoritism is likely a byproduct of sentiment. I spent years with these guys. They are the stars of my first full length book to get published. They let me poke and prod at them as I got a better handle on my writing voice and improved my storytelling craft.

  • If you were to be stranded on a small demi-planet, island, or god forbid LaGuardia in a snow storm, what books would you take to read or authors on your comfort list?

Good question. I’d have to say:

Charlie Cochet. I’m absolutely addicted to her Thirds series.

Tere Michaels. I just love the way she tells a story.

Mary Calmes I love Jin and Logan and well pretty much anything Mary has written.

I figure that’s enough to keep me busy for a while. Thank god for ereaders so I can carry the bulk of my library with me. This way I don’t have to choose just a couple books to take with me.   

  • How early in your life did you begin writing?

I started writing in grade school around 5th or 6th grade. I remember having assignments in English class where we were supposed to make up our own fable or tall tale or something. I remember writing this story about how ocean waters become salty (PS it’s because the sky giants knocked over an enormous salt shaker. LOL!) We were always doing creative writing in that class, when we weren’t diagramming sentences, and I absolutely loved it. You know, I think my mom still has some of the short stories I wrote around the house somewhere.

  • Were you an early reader or were you read to and what childhood books had an impact on you as a child that you remember to this day and why?

I was indeed an early reader, but I think that’s because I was read to as a child. As a baby my mom would read to me then as I got older we would take turns reading to each other. Some of the earliest books I remember reading with her was a series about a vampire bunny, the first book in the was entitled Bunnicula. From there we moved on to A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engel, and a bunch of books by Roald Dahl (The Witches, James and the Giant Peach). It seems, even as a child I leaned toward books with a paranormal bent. I don’t remember if these were books that mom choose for us to read or if we picked them together. But I do recall loving every minute of them. I loved the magic and mystery and adventure in these books. I guess they had a bigger impact on me then I realized because in my books I try to incorporate a little magic, a bit of action/adventure, and a ton of fun. That’s what these authors gave me as I was reading the tales the wove and that’s what I hope to give to my readers.

  • What’s coming next?

I’ve got two project in progress at this moment. First another urban fantasy. It’s a contemporary set story where Vampires exist and some humans are not so happy about that. The story features an anti-vampire activist and the vampire that he eventually falls for as they work together to save the activists life as after a vicious vampire attack. The other book is Angel of Mine. This is the second book in the Hell Inc series that features Adrian, an angel, and Leland, a demon. There are two men with centuries of a history and baggage that they have to sort through all while trying to stay alive while on the run from someone who wants Leland dead.

  • If you were writing your life as a romance novel, what would the title be?

It’s not exactly steamy or sexy, but I guess my title would be A Work in Progress and it would be a paranormal romantic comedy featuring a woman who could magically remove all calories from food, a laptop and a cat.

Blurb

If a stalker doesn’t kill them, the heat between them might.

Christopher Vincent is desperate enough for a job that he accepts an offer to entertain as a psychic in a friend’s nightclub. Jackson Whitman, one of the club’s co-owners, is less than thrilled by the new act. To him, psychics are ridiculous and a liability. But when they come face-to-face, attraction flares to life between them.

Someone is watching Jack and Chris from the shadows. What starts as a series of creepy encounters leads to deadly attacks.

Jack and Chris must set aside their differences and work together to survive a homicidal stalker. But can they survive their explosive connection?

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About the Author

Rayna Vause is a lifetime learner who wants to live on a Disney cruise ship travelling the world and thinks purple should be considered a natural hair color. She’s fascinated by the magic and mystery in the world; things like angels, demons, cats (especially cats!) and true love. A proud geek, she injects some of her tech-obsessed soul into every story she writes. When not writing, she’s pursuing another degree, running a conference, working through her massive TBR pile, losing herself in a video game, and plotting her next novel.  

Author links

Website- http://www.raynavause.com

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/raynavauseauthor

Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/rayna_vause