An Alisa Audiobook Review: Getting His Man (Getting His Man #1) by B.G. Thomas and Kenneth Obi (Narrator)

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

A love story worthy of an old movie… with a new twist.

Artie needs a hero, a man like those he’s always revered in Golden Age films. His drug-dealing jerk of a roommate got him arrested, and since his savior isn’t likely to sweep in and save the day, Artie calls a bail bondsman.

August has always imagined himself a hero from a black-and-white movie, but he’s never found a man willing to let him play that role—at least not until he gets the call from Artie.

Both of their dreams might come true, but not before August must use his skills as a bounty hunter as well as a bondsman. Artie is on the run for his life, and August must protect him and help him clear his name. Only then can they both finally get their man.

I really enjoyed this story.  Artie is so adorably sweet and innocent but not at the same time, he just trusts easily and trying to make it on his own.  Artie is just what he has always wanted in a man but tries hard to keep some distance between them, at least at first.

These two were perfect for each other, down to the dream of dancing the night away with the right person.  I loved how they were both romantics at heart though August doesn’t outwardly show it as much but no matter how different they are in the end they want the same thing.  Part of Artie’s innocence is he can’t stand the thought of seeing anyone hurt and I could see how much he hurt himself when trying to keep August and his family safe.  August has a very determined personality and he uses it to help protect and guide Artie in just the way he needs.

Kenneth Obi did a great job narrating this story.  The voices he used for each character were perfect and helped me to connect with their personalities and emotions.  The different voices also helped with keeping track of the story.

Cover art by Bree Archer is perfect and I liked having a visual of August.

Sales Links:  Audible | Amazon |  iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Audiobook, 5hrs 52mins
Published March 7, 2018 (ebook first published December 15, 2017) by Dreamspinner Press
Edition Language: English

Series: Getting His Man #1, Dreamspun Desires

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: A Full Plate by Kim Fielding

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Bradford Tolliver, Tully to friends, has everything and nothing—he’s wealthy, a highly sought attorney, has a beautiful condo but has no friends, no family to speak of, and is clueless as to how empty his life is.  That is, until Sage Filling enters his life.  Yes, Sage’s father had a sense of humor when he named him and when he named his dog Tooth (Filling).  I love Kim Fielding!

Sage knew from an early age that he’d be a chef someday.  Growing up, he worked for his family’s business, a restaurant named The Filling Station, and his greatest wish for birthday and Christmas gifts was always food-related: a subscription to Gourmet Magazine, a new kitchen utensil, etc.  But as the story opens, he’s moved to Portland to earn extra money to support his family and needs a place to stay.  His cousin Carrie, one of Tully’s coworkers, asks Tully to allow Sage to be Tully’s roommate for the one year he’ll be in town. 

Not wanting to refuse, and willing to give it a try, Tully agrees.  Little does he know his life has taken a turn for the better.  It takes a while – I love a slow burn! – but eventually Tully and Sage find their way into each other’s arms…and beds.  But they know their time is limited.  Tully can’t work from Sage’s little hometown and Sage can’t stay in Portland because of family issues. 

I love the way Kim Fielding crafted these characters.  We have time to get to know them individually before we get to the coupledom.  And when we do, we don’t just have sex, sex, sex.  We have sex, yes indeed, but we also have romance and the caring, concern, and support one would hope to see between two people who love each other.  Sage finds it hard to believe that this gorgeous, smart, wealthy man can possibly love him beyond the time they spend together.  And Tully finds it hard to believe that Sage sees himself as anything other than the perfect man he is through Tully’s eyes. 

I just loved it and I hope others will too.  These Dreamspun Desires stories are just the ticket to brighten a day and warm a cold heart.  I highly recommend this to all who enjoy contemporary MM romance. 

~~~

Cover art by Bree Archer features a good-looking, well-dressed man—no doubt Attorney Bradford Tolliver—set against the Portland city skyline.  The cover is no more or less attractive than others in the series but is done in a similar theme so readers will certainly know this is one of the Dreamspun Desires books.   

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 206 pages
Expected publication: April 17th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781640801028
Edition LanguageEnglish
URL

Kim Fielding on Writing, Influences, and her new release A Full Plate (author interview and guest blog)

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A Full Plate by Kim Fielding
Dreamspinner Press

Cover Art: Bree Archer
A Dreamspun Desire Novel

Sales Links

Dreamspinner PressAmazon 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Kim Fielding here today talking about writing, characters and her latest release in the Dreamspun Desires line from Dreamspinner Press, A Full Plate.  Welcome, Kim.

✒︎

 

~ Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Kim Fielding ~

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

I love doing research. Partly because I’m a great big nerd, partly because it’s an occupational hazard of my day job (university professor). Also, it really annoys me when the smallest details aren’t right.

Even when I make up an entire world, I do research to back it up. Imaginary universes feel a lot more real when they bear similarities to ours. That doesn’t mean I can’t embroider on reality—that’s the creative part—but the foundation is often based on what’s really out there. For example, the city of Tellomer exists only in my novel Brute, but to build it, I did a lot of research on medieval cities and castles. The town of Rattlesnake is fictional too, but it’s based on some real places in California gold rush country, and it has such substance in my head that I once honestly forgot Mae’s Café isn’t real (and was disappointed with the realization).

Even a contemporary novel set in a real place requires research. For A Full Plate I looked up a lot of stuff about cooking, private jets, and the logistics of creating flying cars, among other things. I even went on a tour of the Tesla car factory!

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?

Not exactly, although I have occasionally found it difficult to progress with my writing. The hardest book I’ve ever written is one I’m ultimately very proud of: The Tin Box. I had a hard time with that one in the beginning because the protagonist, William, isn’t very likable at that point. I knew why he wasn’t likable, and I understood it. I also knew that eventually he’d blossom and we’d learn what a good man he truly is. But there at the beginning? I kind of wanted to throttle him.

But a later part of that book was even worse. Not to be too spoilerish, but I had to do something terrible to a secondary character. That thing had to happen; no way around it. But man, I dreaded that part, and every word was like ripping out a piece of my heart. Sob. I think the results are worth the pain, but my characters feel very real to me, and I honestly suffered. It didn’t help to know that what happened to my fictional person actually happened to thousands of very real human beings.

Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

I like both. Now, to be honest, my guys often go through a good bit of suffering during the story. Even in A Full Plate, which is relatively light on angst, Tully and Sage have serious struggles in their life. In the end, though, I want happiness. I mean, who doesn’t? And doesn’t that give us hope? I think that’s a good part of what draws readers to romance in the first place.

I don’t think I have a preference between HFN and HEA. Certainly an HEA is joyful and brings that warm feeling of completeness. But I also enjoy the bit of ambiguity inherent to an HFN, that sense that the story will continue, maybe with more potential conflict. That’s real life.

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

As a young kid, I read a lot of classic science fiction. I veered more into other aspects of spec fic when I got older: horror, fantasy, magical realism. I found traditional romances somewhat limiting and didn’t really get into the genre until later, when I discovered m/m.

Although I read in many genres, the authors who’ve influenced me the most are the ones who are excellent writers. These folks have such a way with words that they can draw good storytelling out of even the simplest plots. Some of my very favorites include Isabel Allende, Mark Twain, Kurt Vonnegut, Charles deLint, Stephen King, and Neil Gaiman. When I read these authors, I get a little envious of their skills, yet that envy inspires me to improve my own writing.

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

I have mixed emotions. On the one hand, I love the instant gratification of ebooks and the ability to obtain them in unlikely places. I’ve downloaded them on ships, on a train in Spain (yes, it was on a plain), and in hotels and apartments in many places in North America and Europe. Once I was sitting next to a woman on an airplane, and when she discovered mid-flight that I’m an author, she bought one of my books and began reading it right then and there on her Kindle! Of course, ebooks are also wonderful for reducing clutter, and I find them invaluable for travel. I also like how I can read a single book on multiple devices, depending on which one is handiest.

On the other hand, I love print books. I like to browse them and enjoy their full-sized covers in all their colorful glory. I like the feel of them and even the smell of them. I like giving them away and buying used ones. All the ebook catalogs in the world will never satisfy me like a brick-and-mortar bookstore does. Or a public library. (A shout-out to Little Free Libraries too.) And print books never run out of batteries.

I think we’ll see ebooks increase their dominance. They’re just so easy for consumers, and they reduce production and distribution costs so much for publishers. I am troubled by some aspects of the market, however, including Amazon’s near monopoly (I have a love-hate relationship with the Zon), the poor quality of many ebooks, and reduced profits for authors and publishers. I hope we see improvements in those areas.

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?

I love flawed characters, and I believe that no matter how imperfect we are, every one of us deserves love. In fact, I think that’s a central theme to most of my stories.

One thing that kept me from enjoying traditional romances, back in the day, was that I found the characters too perfect. They were all beautiful and brilliant (well, except some of the women, frankly, who I found depressingly dim-witted) and rich. I had a hard time relating. So when I began writing, I made a deliberate choice to make my people more human. Even when they’re wealthy and handsome, like Tully in A Full Plate, they have real problems. In Tully’s case, that includes a past with unsupportive family and a present in which he struggles to make emotional connections.

Unless a character is cartoonishly awful, I think love is always a real possibility. I even love villains. And redemption makes for a wonderful character arc.

   

Ever drunk written a chapter and then read it the next day and still been happy with it?  Trust me there’s a whole world of us drunk writers dying to know.

I don’t drink often, and I very rarely get drunk, mostly because I’m too big of a control freak to enjoy it. However, I do frequently do my writing very late at night, after a long day, when my eyes are bleary and my brain is desperately wanting to go offline. I think the resulting writing is a little bit as if I were drunk. The grammar and spelling tend to suffer—sometimes neither spellcheck nor I have any idea what I was trying to say—but I do find myself making some creative leaps. And I usually keep those.

 

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

A really nice hotel someplace very interesting, where I can look up from my writing and enjoy a sweeping view. When I need a writing break, I can take a few steps outside my room to find myself on a secluded tropical beach or in the midst of a fascinating city—where I can walk for a while to refresh my body and brain. I can choose to eat at delicious restaurants or order room service. I can sleep in and stay up late—that’s when I’m most creative—and there are few interruptions and little noise.

Ahhh.

 

 

What’s next for you as a writer?

This is a really busy year for me. I have two more releases from Dreamspinner this year. Blyd and Pearce will come out this summer; it’s a noir private-eye gay romance in a medieval fantasy setting. Then The Spy’s Love Song releases in October. That’s another Dreamspun Desires title, this time about a jaded rock star and the spy he falls for. In May, I’ll have the third novella in The Bureau series, Creature. And Joel Leslie will be recording an audiobook version of all three novellas, which I’m really excited about. I’m also planning a light Christmas fantasy set in the 1880s. And I’m working now on the third book in the Love Can’t series.

***

A Full Plate by Kim Fielding

Opposites come together for a spicy surprise.

Bradford “Tully” Tolliver has everything—money, a great car, a beautiful condo, and a promising career as one of Portland’s hottest young lawyers. Sure, he puts in long hours and has no social life to speak of, but who needs romance when corporations pay top dollar for his expertise? He hesitates when a colleague asks if her cousin can live with him, but the arrangement will last less than a year, and then the cousin—Sage Filling—will return to his tiny hometown.

But Sage is handsome and intriguing, and his cooking makes Tully swoon. Sage has obligations back home, though, and Tully has offers he might not refuse from a persistent—and very wealthy—ex. Since Tully and Sage each have a full plate, can they make room for a side of love?

***

About the Author

Kim Fielding is the bestselling author of numerous m/m romance novels, novellas, and short stories. Like Kim herself, her work is eclectic, spanning genres such as contemporary, fantasy, paranormal, and historical. Her stories are set in alternate worlds, in 15th century Bosnia, in modern-day Oregon. Her heroes are hipster architect werewolves, housekeepers, maimed giants, and conflicted graduate students. They’re usually flawed, they often encounter terrible obstacles, but they always find love.

After having migrated back and forth across the western two-thirds of the United States, Kim calls the boring part of California home. She lives there with her husband, her two daughters, and her day job as a university professor, but escapes as often as possible via car, train, plane, or boat. This may explain why her characters often seem to be in transit as well. She dreams of traveling and writing full-time.

Follow Kim:

Website: http://www.kfieldingwrites.com/

Facebook: http://facebook.com/KFieldingWrites

Twitter: @KFieldingWrites

Email: Kim@KFieldingWrites.com

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bau3S9

A complete list of Kim’s books: http://www.kfieldingwrites.com/kim-fieldings-books/

A Lucy Audiobook Review: The Secret of the Sheikh’s Betrothed by Felicitas Ivey and Simon Ferrar (Narrator)

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Rated 3 stars out of 5

Fathi is uber-rich, running the family business to the point where that is all he has – working.  His grandfather doesn’t like that and when it turns out that Fathi has been betrothed since childhood to a woman from their region, what is he to do? He’s never come out to grandfather and he doesn’t want to lose his place in the company.   Fathi went to college in New York and he worked out that he is gay but since Grandfather is an old school man from the Middle East, that wouldn’t be accepted.  So he is quiet about it and look where it gets him.  He ends up engaged to Ikraam, the victim of an abusive older system, who isn’t all he seems. The two of them are so confused when they are attracted to each other and the secrets are kept.  You know that something has to give and eventually it does. 

Let’s talk about Ikraam’s sister.  Talk about devil spawn.  She is completely evil. Not only did she try to marry off her niece to a rapist, but I wanted to much more to happen to her for the atrocities she committed to her brother.  It was difficult at time to read the abuse Ikraam was put through by that evil witch.  I was so glad that Fathi turned out to be a caring, responsible person.  Even though he knew he wouldn’t be a true husband to his “wife”, he still wanted to take care of her and make her life a good one.   

I did wonder how the fact that Ikraam has been raised and treated as a female (and a second class one at that) for all his life would be addressed but it really wasn’t.  It was accepted and he would be she outside the home, he inside.  In the culture this story is set that made me question the wisdom because if society there wouldn’t accept gay, are they going to accept this?

I can say something that brought down the rating for me was the treatment of Fathi’s secretary, an educated woman who worked hard, was very professional and did nothing wrong (other than fall in love with her boss)  but who really was shamed by both Fathi and Ikraam by the end.  Made me sad and made them less sympathetic.   There aren’t any decent women portrayed here and to shame this poor woman just for being modern and trying to be something besides an ornament or abused was appalling.

The audiobook runs just over five hours and is narrated by Simon Ferrar.  I felt he did a great job with differentiating voices and accents.  I do think had I read this, as opposed to listening to it, my rating would have been lower.  He brought life to the story and even the things that I had issues with.

The cover, by Bree Archer, shows the elegant Fathi against a desert background and fits my idea of what Fathi looked like.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner PressAmazon | Audible| iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Audible Audio
Published March 14th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
ASINB07BFHB19B
Edition LanguageEnglish

T. Neilson on Favorite Stories, Research and Sweet Nothings (Amuse Bouche #1) (author guest post)

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Sweet Nothings (Amuse Bouche #1) by T. Neilson
Dreamspinner Press
Dreamspun Desires
Cover art:  Aaron Anderson

Buy Links:

Dreamspinner

Amazon

Kobo

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have T. Neilson here today answering a few questions and talking about Sweet Nothings, the first in a new series.  Welcome!

♦︎

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with T. Neilson

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

You could say I did some research for these books! I spent over twenty years in the food industry. I started out as a waitress — that was my first job, at age 14. When I finally left the food industry, I was 28. By then I was a professional coffee taster (AKA a cupper, which is a thing you have to be careful about calling yourself when you also write romance) and I was sick of the industry.

I kind of grew up in cafes and kitchens, and a huge part of my social life and social circle was food-world-adjacent, too. All my friends were in coffee, or beer, or kitchens. I was sick to death of the work and ready for a change, so I ventured out to become a full-time writer. And slowly, bit by bit, I started to miss the food scene. I guess it was sort of like kicking the dust of your hometown off your feet, and then starting to feel homesick.

These days, I get my food industry fix by work emergency cover shifts as at a friend’s cafe. I love having the chance to jump back into the food scene, but it’s incredibly physical work, and I don’t think I could make it full time in a kitchen any more. I still love the food industry. It is a different world, really unique, and the camaraderie is incredible.

When I set out to write the Amuse Bouche books (of which Sweet Nothings is the first), I wanted to recreate that world for myself, and for readers too. And it’s not by accident that Sweet Nothings takes place in a teeny tiny town in the middle of nowhere, and parts of it are an awful lot like the town I grew up in. There are a lot of parallels between the food industry and small town living.

Do you read romances, as a teenager and as an adult? Who do you think is your major influence as a writer?  Now and growing up?

I loved reading fantasy and science fiction as a kid, with a little mystery on the side sometimes. Ursula le Guin, Tolkien, and Melanie Rawn were my favourites for SSF, and Ian Rankin, Agatha Christie, and Dorothy L Sayers for mystery. I grew up in a small town with a family that was coming apart at the seams, and I loved the way people went away and had adventures, created all-new families, and solved mysteries. I only really started reading romance as an adult, after I had done a little travelling, and moved to the big city, and settled with my partner, and had some adventures of my own. Then I think romance filled a different need for me, a sense of home being a feeling rather than necessarily a place.

When I found romance, holy cats I fell right into the genre. I have a TBR list that is embarrassingly huge, but I love to read (especially audiobooks) and to discover new authors. My current desert-island romance authors are Victoria Dahl, Damon Suede, and BA Tortuga, but there are so many great authors out there who I haven’t had the opportunity to read yet. Part of why I read audiobooks is because I can read while I’m cooking or in the car. I really wish you could order reading time from a store.

About Sweet Nothings:

Will a bitter bite from the past spoil a sweet romance?

Tristan Love, the youngest of seven brothers, is back in his hometown. He’s left the New York food scene and an abusive relationship behind him, but he holds his love of French pastries close to his heart and is determined to put his skills to use in a bakery of his own.

Returning to his childhood home means his meddlesome brother Simon will butt into his business, but before the bakery even opens its doors, Tristan’s delectable creations have the town’s mouths watering, and Jake, a cute mechanic, asks Tristan out. It all seems worthwhile….

That is, until the bakery burns down, Jake’s criminal past comes to light, and Tristan’s nasty ex rears his head where he is decidedly not wanted.

About the Author:

T Neilson writes flirty, silly, contemporary m/m romance featuring recovering addicts, mental health problems, and abuse survivors. Honestly, honestly, the books are silly. I swear.

A MelanieM Release Day Review: Sweet Nothings (Amuse Bouche #1) by T. Neilson

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

 

Will a bitter bite from the past spoil a sweet romance?

Tristan Love, the youngest of seven brothers, is back in his hometown. He’s left the New York food scene and an abusive relationship behind him, but he holds his love of French pastries close to his heart and is determined to put his skills to use in a bakery of his own.

Returning to his childhood home means his meddlesome brother Simon will butt into his business, but before the bakery even opens its doors, Tristan’s delectable creations have the town’s mouths watering, and Jake, a cute mechanic, asks Tristan out. It all seems worthwhile….

That is, until the bakery burns down, Jake’s criminal past comes to light, and Tristan’s nasty ex rears his head where he is decidedly not wanted.

Sweet Nothings by T. Neilson was another terrific contemporary romance for me this week.  A first story in a new series (Amuse Bouche which means one bite) this had many elements I just love to find in my stories.  Food, in this case baking, some hurt/comfort, large families, a ‘bad boy’ looking for redemption, and a whole lot of love.

Tristan Love or Tris is a wonderful character coming home carrying secrets with him from his recent breakup with his long time boyfriend.  Determined to make it on his own, not even his large (and popular) family is aware of his homecoming and the fact that he’s bought out the town’s old bakery.  I loved this character from the moment we met.   Neilson has created a man both of strength and vulnerability, full of purpose and yet so full of doubt as well.  Tris is easy to identify with and connect with emotionally.  Doubly so as the revelations start to come.

Jake, the mechanic with the past is also an easy personality to fall in love with.  He’s almost too good to be true as can be shown in a scene with a person from his past.  I thought given what he’s still going through and has been through, some anger and resentment would have been human.  Yet his reaction was almost serene.  Honestly I found that a little unrealistic.  But that’s my only quibble here.  A little more of the bitterness that the character demonstrates at the beginning of the story would have made this scene more authentic.  But that’s just my opinion.

I liked their build towards a relationship and the brothers antagonistic behavior towards it and Jake (understandable in protective older brothers who act first, think later).  That seemed right on the money. And the brothers lack of understanding of Tris and his ex’s relationship as  its effect on the brother/brother relationship over the years was toxic. That too was only briefly addressed.  I’m glad the author went there but like other elements here it could have used more storytime.

There’s an abusive element here that needed more exploration or perhaps a little deeper treatment.  I thought it was thrown into the story, then its effects on Tris  handled a little too casually (domestic violence after all).  Same goes for the resolution for the criminal at the end.  Was the wrapped up a little too quickly and neatly?  I think perhaps so.  For men, domestic violence is a harsh reality that’s never addressed or passed by because of gender.  The author  used an important topic as in element in their story but then sort of slide it aside, much like it is in society itself.

All this said,  I still really enjoyed this story.  I liked the characters, their relationship, the secondary cast, and the plotlines.  I will most definitely be seeking out the other stories in this series.  Amuse Bouche.  Does that indicate that each will be a standalone?  Seems to be, although I was hoping for a Love family long run of romances.  I guess I’ll be waiting and reading as they come out.  Until then, I’m recommending Sweet Nothings (Amuse Bouche #1) by T. Neilson.

Cover Artist: Bree Archer did a great job.  That’s definitely Tris and his bakery.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 248 pages
Expected publication: April 3rd 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781640802483
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series Amuse Bouche #1

BA Tortuga on Favorite Childhood Books and her new release Cowboy in the Crosshairs (Turquoise, New Mexico #1) (guest blog)

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Cowboy in the Crosshairs (Turquoise, New Mexico #1) by B.A. Tortuga
Dreamspinner Press
Dreamspun Desires

Cover art: Bree Archer

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have BA Tortuga  here again talking about reading, and her latest release and new series, Cowboy in the Crosshairs.

♦︎

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

Hey, y’all! I’m BA Tortuga, resident redneck and happy reader.

*grins*

I was (am) a voracious reader and I would go through phases: everything the library had about ‘x’.

All the Nancy Drew books.

All the books on ceramic dolls.

All the books on World War II.

All the horror novels. All the romance novels.

Right now I’m obsessed with fairy tales and patterns in literary theory. Who knows what it’ll be tomorrow.

When I think about about my favorites as a little girl, they were What Katy Did and Little Women, The Five Little Peppers and Mrs. Piggle Wiggle (which is out in audiobook, OMG). Strong women fixing their own problems and living their own lives.

My teenaged years were all about horror novels. ALL. I can rhapsodize about IT and The Dark Half and Beloved and Swan Song. Uhn. I still read horror like it’s going out of style, but the 70-80s were the best, huh? MAGIC.

I think the storytelling parts of all these books, along with main characters with backbones of steel are totally obvious in my writing now.

(And if you want to be scared? I wrote Unearthed. I welcome you to read it.)

Much love, y’all.

BA

***

Cowboy in the Crosshairs Blurb

A Turquoise, New Mexico Story

Once upon a time, a prince lived in a magical kingdom called Turquoise, New Mexico.

Well, really, TJ is a small-town police chief. Every Friday he holds court in the diner with the local holy roller, the art colonists, and the horsey people. But the Benes, who own the rodeo company, keep to themselves. TJ knows, because he was once hot and heavy with the oldest Bene son.

When Wacey Bene gets trampled by a remuda and comes home to heal, he’s none too happy to run into TJ, or his two little boys and their momma. The story might end there—if it wasn’t for some pesky bastard trying to kill Wacey.

The law steps in, and the townsfolk are cross about somebody messing with one of their own.

But once the bad guy is put away, can TJ and Wacey make their place in this wild and eccentric town a permanent one?

Available from Dreamspinner Press on March 6: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/cowboy-in-the-crosshairs-by-ba-tortuga-9336-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: Cowboy in the Crosshairs (Turquoise, New Mexico #1) by B.A. Tortuga

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

 

A Turquoise, New Mexico, Story

Once upon a time, a prince lived in a magical kingdom called Turquoise, New Mexico.

Well, really, TJ is a small-town police chief. Every Friday he holds court in the diner with the local holy roller, the art colonists, and the horsey people. But the Benes, who own the rodeo company, keep to themselves. TJ knows, because he was once hot and heavy with the oldest Bene son.

When Wacey Bene gets trampled by a remuda and comes home to heal, he’s none too happy to run into TJ, or his two little boys and their momma. The story might end there—if it wasn’t for some pesky bastard trying to kill Wacey.

The law steps in, and the townsfolk are cross about somebody messing with one of their own.

But once the bad guy is put away, can TJ and Wacey make their place in this wild and eccentric town a permanent one?

Cowboy in the Crosshairs is the start of a new series,Turquoise, New Mexico, by BA Tortuga.  That’s something I always look forward to.  I love me some Tortuga  cowboys and a whole new series is something to celebrate.  Cowboy in the Crosshairs is a lovers reunited story that I really enjoyed as the author’s telltale charm rolled off the characters, location, humor, and relationships I found within the storylines.

TJ, small-town sheriff, divorced with kids, has a hot and heavy history with Wacey Bene the rodeo cowboy, home nursing his latest injury.  Wacy, one of the many Benes from the local rodeo family who is legend, has been having a series of “troubles” that just might be something more.  Tortuga weaves the mystery behind Wacy’s injuries into the men’s rediscovering their passion for one another.

The story comes chock full of kids, a wonderful ex wife, Wacy’s rodeo family, a true sense of small town dynamics that captures the flavor of the people and sense of community of Turquoise, New Mexico, and of course, the romance.  What I did think suffered a bit was the villainy here.  The who behind it all felt a bit “slim” in that I didn’t get a real “feel” for him and his actions.  I think he needed to be a bit more of the story than he was.  However, as Cowboy in the Crosshairs is the first in the series, I think that BA Tortuga was laying the groundwork for the series, letting us “walk” through the town, and see how it works before bringing the next story on.

She accomplished that because Turquoise feels real to me.  Wouldn’t be a bad place to live at all.  I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.

Cover art: Bree Archer does a lovely job with the cover. Bright and inviting.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 232 pages
Expected publication: March 6th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781640800366
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series Turquoise, New Mexico #1

An Alisa Release Day Review: Teaching Ben by Shae Connor

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

Learning to love means a study in patience.

 

Fresh out of the military, Ben Cooper is ready for a new start. He’s away from his domineering father, making his own choices… and out of the closet. On his first day of college, he meets David Powell, who’s just the kind of gorgeous man Ben’s dreamed of. Too bad he’s the teaching assistant—which makes him off-limits in Ben’s eyes.

 

David is Ben’s age, but his life has taken a different path. He’s close with his family, who helped him deal with personal struggles after he came out. And while he’s staying away from any hint of scandal, Ben’s a kind of temptation he hasn’t faced in years. If only they’d met on more equal footing.

 

As the semester progresses and their lives become more entwined, keeping their relationship platonic becomes more difficult. They just have to hold out until the end of the semester….

 

I enjoyed the nice slow burn of this story.  Ben and David are attracted to each other from the start but know that they need to keep their building emotions to themselves until after the semester is over.

 

David made some mistakes in the past and he is continuing to accept that he doesn’t need to be punished for those forever.  Ben is finally away from his father and the military, getting to live his life on his own terms.  They both become an integral part of each other’s lives as their friendship grows.

 

I loved watching David and Ben grow a strong friendship as the semester goes on.  Without even realizing it David gives Ben just what he needs, a family.  David and his sister quickly envelope Ben into their fold and bring him home.  I loved seeing the emotions of these characters and connected with them easily.  I just think this was wonderfully sweet with little bits of conflict thrown in to not make it too sweet.

 

The cover art by Bree Archer is nice and gives  great visual of Ben.

 

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages

Published: February 20, 2018 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 978-1-64080-412-8

Edition Language: English

Series: Dreamspun Desires

A Lila Audiobook Review: Finding Mr. Wrong by Charlie Cochet and Andrew McFerrin (Narrator)

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

He’s nobody’s definition of Mr. Right—but that might make him perfect.

Matthew Hart is heir to the family fortune and owner of Hart & Home. When a near-death experience has him fretting over the future, he decides he needs a husband, and not just any husband—an appropriate man to protect the Hart legacy. The last thing Matthew expects is to cross paths with Jax Foster, his first love and the boy who crushed his heart when he disappeared.

Jax is unlikely to make Matthew’s list of suitable candidates. Bad boy, vagabond, deep in debt, with a father who can’t keep out of trouble, Jax has nothing to offer—except his heart and a second chance at the romance they never got to explore.

Finding Mr. Wrong is a sweet second chance story. It has two unlikely cupids and a list of qualities a good husband should have. In the end, Matt will find all those in the less likely place and with the last person he would have expected.

The author did a great job letting the reader know how important Jax and Matt were to each other since the moment they met. By the time they see each other again, the reader is ready for them to have their happily ever after. It’s easy to cheer for them.

Even when the plot and the bases of the story are somewhat traditional, the main characters’ jobs and backgrounds bring them to the front, having those aspects carry the story. They are well written and interesting to get the reader wanting more with each page.

Andrew McFerrin did a nice job bringing all the characters to life. I especially enjoyed Jax’s characterization and the differentiation between the rest of the clan.

The cover by Bree Archer is an adaptation of the e-book cover and follows the traditional Dreamspun series style. I only wish the model looks were a bit more realistic.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner | iTunes | Audible

Audiobook Details:

Narrator: Andrew McFerrin
Length: 5 hours 46 minutes
Published: December 22, 2017 (Audio Edition) by Dreamspinner Press
ASIN: B078JVWSHT
Edition Language: English