Lindsey Byrd on Designing the World and her new release On The Subject Of Griffons (guest blog and giveaway)

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On the Subject of Griffons by Lindsey Byrd
Riptide Publishing

Cover Art: L.C. Chase
Sales Links: Riptide Publishing | Amazon

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Lindsey Byrd here today on tour for her new novel, On the Subject of Griffons.  Welcome, Lindsey.

✒︎

Lindsey Byrd on Designing the World

 

When I first started writing this story, I had a general idea of what I wanted the country to look like. I knew its borders and its main cities and I could see it very clearly in my mind. While I was considering what to write for this blog tour, my best friend suggested I finally draw what I had seen so clearly in my mind. It didn’t take long, and the results are in the image above.

I marked out every main city or stop that the protagonists mention or travel to. The Trent empire and Ruug are both alluded to in various parts of the book, but they aren’t locations that our characters physically reach. As mentioned in a previous blog post – the long lakes are based off of the New York finger lakes, and you’re welcome to go back and look at the pictures posted there if you’d like another reference.

Actually drawing the map itself wasn’t too difficult. I have an idea of how I’d like to expand the universe so I knew in advance what features I wanted to add. Some of them, like the island in the middle of the Great Sea, aren’t referenced in this book at all. I’m still looking forward to sharing it somewhere down the line.

The map on this blog post, however, is not my original drawing. One of my closest friends took my original sketch and made it the fancy, beautiful, version you see here. She flushed out the detail on the image and made sure that the rivers and coastline made some form of logical sense, and everything you see on the map above is the highly rendered version of her imagination.

As we worked on it together, we discussed the future of this world. One of the other concerns I had, was not showing what I hadn’t planned out. To this end, there are many cities, names, or other kinds of locations I haven’t added to this version of the map. There are other stories there, and hopefully interest and intrigue will inspire future readers to wonder what those possibilities are. But for now, we made sure to keep everything as simple as possible. This is On the Subject of Griffons’ world. And hopefully in the future I’ll be able to share what goes on in all the blank spaces you can’t yet see.

If you enjoy reading this book, feel free to send me a message and let me know what you’d like to see in this world. I’d love to hear what you have to say.

Blurb

They’ll do anything to save their children’s lives, even if it means working together.

Kera Montgomery is still mourning the sudden death of her husband, Morpheus, when her youngest son falls victim to a mysterious plague. With no medicinal cure, Kera must travel to the Long Lakes, where magical griffons capable of healing any ailment reside.

As an heiress unused to grueling travel, Kera struggles with the immense emotional and physical strain of her journey—one made more complex when she crosses paths with her husband’s former mistress, Aurora. Aurora’s daughter is afflicted with the same plague as Kera’s son, so despite their incendiary history, the two women agree to set aside their differences and travel together.

The road is fraught with dangers, both living and dead. Each night, old battlegrounds reanimate with ghosts who don’t know they’ve died, and murderous wraiths hunt for stray travelers caught out after dark. If Kera, Aurora, and their children are going to survive, they’ll need to confront the past that’s been haunting them since their journey began. And perhaps in the process, discover that old friends may not be as trustworthy as they once thought—and old enemies may become so much more.

Now available from Riptide Publishing and where ebooks are sold.

 

About Lindsey Byrd

Lindsey Byrd was brought up in upstate, downstate, and western New York. She is a budding historian of law, medieval, and women’s studies and often includes historical anecdotes or references within her works. Lindsey enjoys writing about complex and convoluted issues where finding the moral high-ground can be hard to do. She has a particular love for heroic villains and villainous heroes, as well as inverting and subverting tropes.

Twitter: twitter.com/TheLindseyByrd

Tumblr: tumblr.com/blog/lindseybyrd

Email: thelindseybyrd@gmail.com

Goodreads: goodreads.com/LindseyByrd

 

 

Giveaway

To celebrate this release, one lucky person will win a $25 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on June 1, 2019. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following along, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

A MelanieM Review: On the Subject of Griffons by Lindsey Byrd

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Rating:  4.75 stars out of 5

They’ll do anything to save their children’s lives, even if it means working together.

Kera Montgomery is still mourning the sudden death of her husband, Morpheus, when her youngest son falls victim to a mysterious plague. With no medicinal cure, Kera must travel to the Long Lakes, where magical griffons capable of healing any ailment reside.

As an heiress unused to grueling travel, Kera struggles with the immense emotional and physical strain of her journey—one made more complex when she crosses paths with her husband’s former mistress, Aurora. Aurora’s daughter is afflicted with the same plague as Kera’s son, so despite their incendiary history, the two women agree to set aside their differences and travel together.

The road is fraught with dangers, both living and dead. Each night, old battlegrounds reanimate with ghosts who don’t know they’ve died, and murderous wraiths hunt for stray travelers caught out after dark. If Kera, Aurora, and their children are going to survive, they’ll need to confront the past that’s been haunting them since their journey began. And perhaps in the process, discover that old friends may not be as trustworthy as they once thought—and old enemies may become so much more.

On the Subject of Griffons by Lindsey Byrd is such an unexpectedly deep, and emotionally rich journey.  Not of one woman, although Kera Montgomery is the main character who undergoes the most personal growth and development.  So too does the woman who starts out as her adversary and the source of so much of her pain,Aurora., Kera’s deceased husband’s’ ex-mistress.

The writing and characterizations in this story are simply brilliant. Told from the perspective of the “Widow Montgomery”, she is at moments controlled, raw, open, distraught, and as the story moves forward comes a woman of strength, determination, and incredible bravery.  Someone able to go forward and love again, building a future for herself, others and more. But when it starts out she is a woman overwhelmed by the deceit of her husband, buried in grief by his loss, mired down by the weight of responsibility for the huge brood of children she has and and lack of control over his   own future which seems lay in the hands of her father and the bankers of the town which want to pressure her into selling them her home, Ivory Gates.  She’s barely  coping and we are made to feel every tear, every throbbing pressure headache, every lost to depression episode Keri is feeling.

Then the deadly sickness that is sweeping the town invaded her home and her smallest child falls critically ill.  And again, we are in Kera’s heart and head that just as we don’t believe this  woman can stand any further pain, humiliation, or despair, now her youngest child is going to die.  And we are weeping with her.   And raging with her over her feelings of inadequacy and helplessness and the anticipation of yet another crushing deep loss.

It’s rare that I get pulled so fully and deeply into such a character as Kera Montgomery because of, I suppose, her state and, like all others, outward impression of her at the beginning.  Kera inhabits a rigid society that gives women little choice as to their roles in life.  Nice women in society are wives and mothers.  The men manage things, money, estages, society,  and wars. When Kera’s husband, Mori dies in a duel disgraced, he leaves her a widow of 7 children and a large estate she never wanted, Ivory Gates, teetering with looming debts and no pension of her husband’s to use as income.  Bankers are at her door and no one is asking her what she wants to do but her father instead.    She’s feeling invisible, emotionally battered, once more in mourning and feeling betrayed by a husband she loved who never seemed to think about the consequences of his actions.

Grief, helplessness and depression have mired this woman down until her youngest son is struck down and will soon die if nothing is done. It’s that desperation that is the impetus for Kera to finally act, against society and for herself and her son.

To save him she must find a Griffin’s feather and they exist only in one part of the territory.  In the cruelest of ironies, the first person she encounters on the road is her husband’s mistress who’s daughter is critically ill with the same sickness.

The journey then becomes this incredible saga  of multiple complex story threads, magic, and redemption.  Kera must learn to get past her hatred of Aurora, her pain and need for understanding about the affair, there’s forgiveness and personal growth, and so much more than this review can begin to describe.  Really, these women are beyond amazing as is their road to saving their children and finding a new future together.

It is labeled as F/F but the heat level is low, limited to kissing and off scene sex that is not described.

If I had any issues its that it ended a little too pat but what came before was just too magnificent for me to really quibble about that.  The writing and characterizations are just that outstanding.

Honestly, if you love fantasy and some of the best womens characterizations I’ve read this year, pick up On the Subject of Griffons by Lindsey Byrd.  I highly recommend it.  It’s just a stunner of a story!

Cover art: L.C. Chase.  The cover is a little dark and it does fit parts of the story but it could easily be a contemporary fantasy which this is not.

Sales Links: Riptide Publishing | Amazon
Book Details:
ebook, 316 pages
Published May 27th 2019 by Riptide Publishing
Original Title On the Subject of Griffons
ISBN 139781626498822
Edition Language English

An Ali Audio Review: Where Death Meets the Devil (Death and the Devil #1) by L.J. Hayward and Rowan Scott (Narrator)

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Rating:4 out of 5 stars

Jack Reardon, former SAS soldier and current Australian Meta-State asset, has seen some messy battles. But “messy” takes on a whole new meaning when he finds himself tied to a chair in a torture shack, his cover blown wide open, all thanks to notorious killer-for-hire Ethan Blade.

Blade is everything Jack doesn’t believe in: remorseless, detached, lawless. Yet, Jack’s only chance to survive is to strike a bargain with the devil and join forces with Blade. As they trek across a hostile desert, Jack learns that Blade is much more than a dead-eyed killer—and harder to resist than he should be.

A year later, Jack is home and finally getting his life on track. Then Ethan Blade reappears and throws it all into chaos once more. It’s impossible to trust the assassin, especially when his presence casts doubts on Jack’s loyalty to his country, but Jack cannot ignore what Blade’s return means: the mess that brought them together is far from over, and Ethan might just bring back the piece of Jack’s soul he thought he’d lost forever.

This was a fast paced adventure story about two spies on opposite sides of a case. Maybe. Or maybe they’re on the same side but they don’t know it. All they know is they can’t stand each other. Maybe. Or maybe they actually love each other……..

The story goes back and forth, from chapter to chapter, from past to present. The author keeps you guessing about what happened then and what’s happening now. All you know for sure is that these two are great together and their sexual tension jumps off the pages.

This was a new author for me and I’m really glad I tried this book. It was super good and super entertaining. The story is filled with car chases, shoot outs, blowing up bad guys, some sexy times and the best camel a boy could ever have (Sheila!!). This would make a great movie. As it is, it made a great book. It’s different and really has a bit of everything in it. Good plot that’s not too confusing, great MC’s, some action and adventure and lot’s of feelz. I highly recommend this for those of you who like romantic suspense stories.

The audiobook was narrated by Rowan Scott who I had never listened to before.  I thought he was really good and I very much enjoyed his performance. His voice was great and I never had a problem figuring out which mc was talking. I thought he did a good job on the side characters also. I will definitely listen to this narrator again soon.
Cover art by L.C. Chase:  I love the cover for this book as well as the rest of the series.  They are striking and they really stand out. The compliment each other and are perfect for the vibe of the story.
Audio Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing |Audible | Amazon | iTunes
Audio Details:
Audiobook, 11 pages
Published April 11th 2019 (first published February 26th 2018)
Original Title Where Death Meets the Devil
ASINB07QF57V9C
Edition Language English
SeriesDeath and the Devil #1

In the Spotlight Tour and Giveaway: A Chip and a Chair (Seven of Spades #5) by Cordelia Kingsbridge

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A Chip and a Chair (Seven of Spades #5)  by Cordelia Kingsbridge

Riptide Publishing

Cover Art: Garrett Leigh

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

 

Thanks for checking out the blog tour for A Chip and a Chair, the conclusion to the Seven of Spades series!

Just as the Seven of Spades investigation is closing in, an act of terror devastates Las Vegas. In order to save the city they love, Levi and Dominic may need the help of the very killer they’ve been hunting…


About A Chip and a Chair

It’s time to lay all the cards on the table.

Detective Levi Abrams and PI Dominic Russo are reunited and more committed to each other than ever, but they can’t truly move forward with their lives until the serial killer who’s been tormenting them is behind bars. When a secret burial site is discovered in the desert with the remains of the Seven of Spades’s earliest victims, that goal finally seems within reach.

But just as the net is tightening, the neo-Nazi militia Utopia launches their master plan with a devastating act of terror that changes the landscape of Las Vegas forever. As Levi and Dominic scramble to prevent the city’s destruction, they’re opposed by treacherous forces that propel them toward catastrophe. In the end, Levi’s fate may rest in the hands of the very killer he’s been hunting.

The race to save Sin City is on, and these players are going for broke. No matter how hopeless things seem, as long as they’re together and they’ve got a chip to play and a chair to sit in, they’re still in the game.

Now available from Riptide Publishing.

About the Seven of Spades Series

Las Vegas has never seen a serial killer like the Seven of Spades.

The self-styled vigilante is on a mission to cut down the wicked and treacherous, and Sin City has no shortage of targets for their bloody wrath. What happens in Vegas . . . ends with the Seven of Spades’s calling card on a grisly corpse.

Standing against the killer are Levi Abrams, a dedicated homicide detective locked in a constant struggle to restrain his own dark side, and bounty hunter Dominic Russo, a charming rogue with a heavy secret weighing on his shoulders.

The hunt for the Seven of Spades sends Levi and Dominic on a collision course, igniting a passionate relationship forged in conflict and sealed with blood. Together they’re stronger than the sum of their parts, but a wily, elusive serial killer isn’t the only threat that will strain their bond to the breaking point.

Ante up, because the Seven of Spades is all in. Are you?

Check out the Seven of Spades series!


About Cordelia Kingsbridge

Cordelia Kingsbridge has a master’s degree in social work from the University of Pittsburgh, but quickly discovered that direct practice in the field was not for her. Having written novels as a hobby throughout graduate school, she decided to turn her focus to writing as a full-time career. Now she explores her fascination with human behavior, motivation, and psychopathology through fiction. Her weaknesses include opposites-attract pairings and snarky banter.

Away from her desk, Cordelia is a fitness fanatic, and can be found strength training, cycling, and practicing Krav Maga. She lives in South Florida but spends most of her time indoors with the air conditioning on full blast!

Connect with Cordelia:


Giveaway

To celebrate the release of A Chip and a Chair one lucky person will win a $10 Riptide Publishing gift card! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on March 16, 2019. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following along, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

A MelanieM Review: Chasing Forever (This Time Forever #3) by Kelly Jensen

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Old wounds, new directions, and a forever worth chasing.

Malcolm Montgomery was a history teacher and track coach until an accident left him with two broken legs. He’ll recover, but life has knocked his feet out twice now. He’s not sure if he’s ready to try again, especially when it comes to love—and slick guys like Brian Kenway. Still, he needs help mentoring the school’s LGBTQ society, so he asks Brian to take some responsibility.

Brian has been hiding behind his reputation as a liar and a cheat for so long that he actually believes he’s that guy—until his nephew, Josh, turns up on his couch, tossed out for being gay. Brian has never considered being a father, but he knows all about being rejected by loved ones. Now Brian wants to be more: a partner for Mal and a role model for Josh.

But when Mal’s recovery is set back and the sad truth of Brian’s past is revealed, the forever they’ve been chasing seems even further from their grasps. It’ll take a rescue effort to revive their sense of worth and make Brian, Mal, and Josh into a family of their own.

If you haven’t found Kelly Jensen’s This Time Forever series, you seriously need to.  While each story uses a structure like a legacy home or lodge at its heart, it’s the author’s ability to create and bring to life a group of interlocked men of varying ages, often older than your usual contemporary romance, intelligent, each carrying more than their share of life’s baggage.  Some are easily more damaged than others, some emotionally, others physically, some both. Through the stories we’ve met several of the characters over and over through their complicated relationship dynamics with each other, as couples form and ex’s watch from the sidelines.

In Chasing Forever, one of those ex’s, Brian is someone we’ve “seen” through other characters perspectives and the view hasn’t been a pretty one.  Here Brian’s past is revealed, the truth of the man  peeled back, and he’s set on the path to redemption.  One reason? Mal “Malcolm” Montgomery, history teacher  and track coach who is trying to recover from a devastating hit and run accident.  Prior to the accident he was someone who defined himself by his physical ability…to run, to coach…to just do and now it’s a struggle to just walk.  In these two amazingly complicated and damaged men, Jensen brings about both redemption, recovery, hope, love, and, finally an emotionally triumphant future.  All done within a realistic, adult plot with the expectant struggles, arguments, and hurdles to overcome.  What a joy to read!

Threaded through this romance is the series foundation that features, in this case, not a family house or lodge but a bar that needs saving because the historic structure is slated to   be  sold to a developer in town.  This is an ongoing battle in this series, as the developer has made an appearance in a previous story and I expect to see them again  in future novels.  How it all plays out I will leave out to each reader to discover for themselves.  It too is a rich, multidimensional element of this story, just as I would have expected from someone who clearly loves her old structures as much as this author does.

In fact, there are several other floating storylines here that will capture your heart, along with the characters that go along with them.  There are no people here that I could honestly consider “supporting” cast because each feels so meaningful to the town and each other.

It’s like that with each and every story here.  For me they build on each other with their relationships, their place in the town, and in each other’s lives.  This is one series I would go around waving at people, recommending the hell out of it because it’s just that great.  Start with the first one and work your way here.  Get to know the town and its people.  Love them as I do.  Then you will know why I highly recommend this story, this series, and it’s author.  And do the same.

Cover Art:  Natasha Snow.  It matches the other novels in the series in style and element perfectly.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 333 pages
Published December 10th 2018 by Riptide Publishing
ISBN 139781626498426
Edition Language English

Series This Time Forever 

Building Forever

Renewing Forever

Chasing Forever

RELEASE BLITZ for Rough Trade by Sidney Bell (excerpt and giveaway)

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Rough Trade (Woodbury Boys #3) by Sidney Bell

Publisher: Carina Press

Release Date (Print & Ebook):

Ebook: Monday December 3

Print (mmp): Tuesday December 25

Length (Print & Ebook):

Ebook: 496

Print (mmp): 496

Subgenre:

Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense, Male/Male Romance

Reader warnings: Childhood sexual abuse, angst

All buy links or pre-order links:

Synopsis:

Quick-witted hustler Ghost is no stranger to living dangerously; survival has always been the name of the game.

He’s just always gone it alone.

Now he’s got the wrong people breathing down his neck, and the only way out demands placing his trust in the unlikeliest of heroes: Duncan Rook, a gruff cop whose ethics are as solid as his body.

Cozying up to a criminal is hardly what Duncan’s reputation on the force needs—especially when that criminal is temptation personified. Ghost is Duncan’s polar opposite, and the last person he expected to fall for.

So then why does every imaginable scenario for taking down their common enemy end with Ghost in his arms?

This book is approximately 122,000 words

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!

Author Sidney Bell talks Rough Trade:

Rough Trade is about rebuilding after trauma and letting yourself be loved even when the pain of the past hasn’t quite healed yet. Ghost and Rook are fighting bad guys, sure, but at its core, the book is about trust, both in the sense of learning to trust a partner, and in trusting that you’re worthy of their love despite your imperfections.

Release Blitz Teaser Quotes:

  1. “I’m not going to try to stop you if you want to leave, but you came here for a reason. You need help. I’ll help.” – Duncan
  2. He couldn’t imagine how Rook would respond if Ghost did say it: if you’ll tell me which lie you want, I’ll give it to you. – Ghost
  3. Sure, Rook said he wanted to keep Ghost safe, but could Ghost trust it? – Ghost

Release Blitz Excerpt:

Ghost studied him in the poor, orange-blue light, wondering if Rook was flushing. Suddenly the bathroom and its painful stitches association seemed stark and too close, but Rook’s warmth and his strong arms and his words from this morning they aren’t getting to you, delivered in that quiet, certain tone (honest, part of Ghost suggested)…all of that was, strangely, safe. Rook didn’t like him but he would stand between Ghost and the door, any door he could, maybe, at least for now, and that sounded— God, he was tired. It sounded so nice to let his back face the door because someone else was keeping watch.

He thought yes, yes, I think I would too, I think I would prefer that you lie here like you did before and help me get warm.

About Sidney Bell:

Sidney Bell lives in Colorado with her amazingly supportive husband. She received her MFA degree in Creative Writing in 2010, considered aiming for the Great American Novel, and then promptly started writing fanfiction instead. More realistic grown-ups eventually convinced her to try writing something more fiscally responsible, though, which is how we ended up here. When she’s not writing, she’s playing violent video games, yelling at the television during hockey games, or supporting her local library by turning books in late.

Connect with Sidney:

Giveaway: Win 1 of 5 Paperback of HARD LINE and LOOSE CANNON (Woodbury Boys series) by Sidney Bell! (North American addresses only)

Code: a Rafflecopter giveaway

https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Direct link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/88d45f0377/

 

Read Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words 5 star review here.

Love Your Contemporary Romance with a Touch of Angst? Check out Rough Trade (Woodbury Boys #3) by Sidney Bell (excerpt and giveaway)

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Rough Trade (Woodbury Boys #3) by Sidney Bell

Publisher: Carina Press

Release Date (Print & Ebook):

Ebook: Monday December 3

Print (mmp): Tuesday December 25

Length (Print & Ebook):

Ebook: 496

Print (mmp): 496

Subgenre:

Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense, Male/Male Romance

Reader warnings: Childhood sexual abuse, angst

All buy links or pre-order links:

Synopsis:

Quick-witted hustler Ghost is no stranger to living dangerously; survival has always been the name of the game.

He’s just always gone it alone.

Now he’s got the wrong people breathing down his neck, and the only way out demands placing his trust in the unlikeliest of heroes: Duncan Rook, a gruff cop whose ethics are as solid as his body.

Cozying up to a criminal is hardly what Duncan’s reputation on the force needs—especially when that criminal is temptation personified. Ghost is Duncan’s polar opposite, and the last person he expected to fall for.

So then why does every imaginable scenario for taking down their common enemy end with Ghost in his arms?

This book is approximately 122,000 words

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!

Excerpt :

He turned around with his jaw set and put both hands on Duncan’s chest. He pushed gently, so gently that Duncan couldn’t interpret it as anything but a question, and a nonthreatening one at that, so he found himself playing along until his back hit the concave wall of the tunnel. The cement seeped cold through his own thin, sweat-dampened T-shirt, making him shiver.

Or maybe it was Ghost nudging at Duncan’s feet with his toes until Duncan widened his stance, making room for Ghost to step closer still, until their thighs brushed, until Ghost’s tilted-up face was only inches away, his breath on Duncan’s lips. Ghost’s hands trembled against him. That small vulnerability made Duncan hurt deep in his belly, hot and sweet and aching.

“What are you doing?” Duncan whispered.

“You asked why.” Ghost cupped the back of his skull, trying to coax him to lower his head, and Duncan stupidly, stupidly, went along with it. Ghost’s mouth, when it pressed against Duncan’s, was dry and tentative and awkward.

He should move. He should push Ghost away. It was an act. It was bullshit. At the very least, it was manipulation. It had to be. He should run for his life and sanity and soul, but he couldn’t. He was stuck in place by nothing more than two hands resting on his sternum and the slow realization that this was Ghost kissing him, not the sly seducer, not the innocent victim, not the wry pal up for a convenient good time. This wasn’t the empty distance of disconnection that Ghost had given him before when he’d gone doll-still and creepy. It wasn’t the confident, knowing, arousing seduction of the kisses that had preceded Ghost’s fugue that last time, either.

This was new and uncertain and heavy. It reminded Duncan somehow of climbing down the outside of the parking garage, the terror of looking at a long drop and a messy landing if he couldn’t figure out what he was doing.

It was the waiting, maybe, that made it so overwhelming. He’d been waiting for this all along, wanting this all along. He’d tried not to think about it, but it’d been there, and now that Ghost was here and it was happening, he felt strung tight as a rubber band, on the verge of snapping, because this tiny, tentative, closemouthed kiss, was a cup of cool water after a day in a desert, enough to tempt, but not nearly enough to sate.

About Sidney Bell:

Sidney Bell lives in Colorado with her amazingly supportive husband. She received her MFA degree in Creative Writing in 2010, considered aiming for the Great American Novel, and then promptly started writing fanfiction instead. More realistic grown-ups eventually convinced her to try writing something more fiscally responsible, though, which is how we ended up here. When she’s not writing, she’s playing violent video games, yelling at the television during hockey games, or supporting her local library by turning books in late.

Connect with Sidney:

Giveaway: Win 1 of 5 Paperback of HARD LINE and LOOSE CANNON (Woodbury Boys series) by Sidney Bell! (North American addresses only)

Code:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Direct link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/88d45f0377/

 

In the Spotlight Tour and Giveaway: Running Blind (Havoc #2) by S.E. Jakes

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Running Blind (Havoc #2) by S.E. Jakes
Riptide Publishing
Cover Art: L.C. Chase

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

About Running Blind

An ATF agent who lives for danger finds what he craves from an outlaw biker.

It’s impossible for a one-percenter motorcycle club member to simply walk away—and no one knows that better than undercover agent Bram, who’s almost killed for trying. His cover isn’t blown—yet—but it’s only a matter of time. The Heathens won’t be satisfied until he’s dead, so he decides to lay low and heal.

But when his younger brother’s disappearance throws a wrench into his plan, Bram ends up in Shades Run, a town ruled by the notorious Havoc MC. In less than twenty-four hours, Bram finds himself at the mercy of Sweet, Havoc’s president, as he throws himself into the undercover role of a lifetime: himself. A man who’s never belonged anywhere, and who will do anything to protect his younger brother.

When finding Linc seems impossible, Bram is torn between Sweet, Linc, and revealing his true identities . . . and there appears to be no way out. Once again, he risks it all trying to save it all. Only this time he’s got no backup to save him if he falls.

 

Running Blind is available from Riptide.
And don’t miss book one in the Havoc series, Running Wild!

About SE Jakes

SE Jakes writes m/m romance. She believes in happy endings and fighting for what you want in both fiction and real life. She lives in New York with her family, and most days, she can be found happily writing (in bed). No really…

SE Jakes is the alter ego of New York Times bestselling paranormal and romantic suspense author Stephanie Tyler.

Connect with SE:

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Running Blind, one lucky person will win an ecopy of Running Wild, the first book in the Havoc series! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on September 29, 2018. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following along, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

A Stella Review: Patchwork Paradise by Indra Vaughn

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RATING  5  out of 5 stars

Oliver and Samuel’s relationship is fairy-tale perfect. They share a gorgeous house in Antwerp, go out with their friends every weekend, and count down the days to their dream wedding. But their happy ending is shattered one late night, and just like that, Ollie is left bereft and alone.

The months that follow are long and dark, but slowly Ollie emerges from his grief. He even braves the waters of online dating, though deep down he doesn’t believe he can find that connection again. He doesn’t think to look for love right in front of him: his bisexual friend Thomas, the gentle giant with a kind heart and sad eyes who’s wanted him all along.

When Thomas suddenly discovers he has a son who needs him, he’s ill prepared. Ollie opens up his house—Sam’s house—and lets them in. Ollie doesn’t know what scares him more: the responsibility of caring for a baby, or the way Thomas is steadily winning his heart. It will take all the courage he has to discover whether or not fairy tales can happen for real.

Indra Vaughn continues to amazed me. After the christmas story, The Winter Spirit , I was curious about this new one. I’ll be honest and say I chose to read Patchwork Paradise because from the blurb it reminded me of one of my all time favorite mm book, Second Chance by TA Webb. In fact they have some elements in common, so it was really no surprise I loved this one so much too. From the blurb I understood it had all the things I need to have in a story.

This book is an emotional story, so heartbroken because the author let me meet and briefly fall in love with Sam, and then she took him away from Ollie and me.

I began following Ollie in the great pain that losing the person he shared his life for the last ten years can give. He needed to relearn the daily habits alone and start living again.  Also Ollie had to deal with the attachment to the house he shared with his Sam and the fear of losing it by  the persons he considered his family and are now acting like strangers.

He broke my heart but knowing there was going to be so much more to come, made me fully enjoy even the very bad times. At the end Patchwork Paradise is a second chance at love story and Ollie will heal with the support of amazing friends and an unexpected new love.

The words flew easily, it was a pleasure to read. I loved the story was focused not just on the MCs, it made easy to know the secondary ones pretty well too, even the not so likable ones. Moreover to me the timing was perfect, I think the author did great at balance everything at the right time, it’s a story with no pause, it kept me hooked from the start, still there was no rushing, the events were all very considerate of Ollie life and his grieving.

I really couldn’t find a reason to give Patchwork Paradise less than five stars. I liked all the characters, especially Ollie. I laughed and cried a lot with him. His was a beautiful journey among love, friendships, loss, hurt and love again.

Indra Vaughn wrote another success. Sweet, emotional, developed in time and characters, well written and simply complete in every detail. It’s one of that stories I don’t need to wonder what is going to happen at the end. It truly satisfied me and I’m sure my MCs are living their HEA beautifully.

The COVER ART  is new and lovely.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 2nd edition, 205 pages
Published August 8th 2018 by Indra Ink (first published March 28th 2016)
Original Title Patchwork Paradise
ASIN B07GBHMWWP
Edition Language English
setting
Antwerp (Belgium) 
Bouillon (Belgium) 
Belgium

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Syncopation (Twisted Wishes #1) by Anna Zabo

Standard

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

This rock star BDSM MM drama deserves more than 5 stars. If it were possible, I’d definitely boost the rating higher.

Ray Van Zeller is a songwriter and singer who has dreamed of taking his high school garage band into the big time since high school and has finally achieved a step in the right direction, as they’re going on tour to open for a big-name band. But Kevin, his friend and drummer, has been drinking heavily, and in a fit of temper, Ray hurls a bottle at the wall behind Kevin. Unfortunately, the action is caught on camera, making it appear that Ray is drunk and throwing the bottle at his bandmate. His band manager, Carl, focuses on that as he berates Ray and convinces Ray that taking the fall and pretending to do rehab will benefit the band’s publicity and popularity.

Since Kevin is now out, after hurried auditions, the band hires Zavier Demos—the man Ray salivated over in high school. Two years his senior, Zavier was gone before Ray had his band established. After Zavier completed Julliard and contracted as a timpanist in a renowned orchestra, his personal issues with the conductor caused him to resign, so he’s ready to assume a position with Ray’s band, Twisted Wishes. Unknown to Ray, Zavier has wanted a place with the band and he’s wanted Ray as well—he’s been watching both from a distance for quite some time. But Zavier doesn’t want Ray for a one-night stand or for a long-term romantic relationship. He wants Ray as his submissive.

Zavier is a Dom and is aromantic so has never had a relationship with anyone and that’s the way he wants it. No complications. No strings. No love. Sex, yes. Romance, no. Ray doesn’t know it yet but he needs the strength this friend can offer and the level of control Zav can deliver. Carl seems to have it in for Ray and shoots the young man in the ego after every performance. Ray’s on a high after a concert? No doubt Carl will be there to bring him down. But once Zav enters the picture, Ray picks up tools to control his scattered thinking and he begins to speak up for himself and more firmly take on the leadership role he’s been handed but hasn’t been able to handle as well as he wants.

Ray isn’t the only one who benefits though. Zavier can’t believe he’s found a beautiful and talented submissive who accepts his friendship and understands that there won’t be hearts and flowers with an aromantic partner. Ray seeks to please Zavier as much as Zavier seeks to please and take care of Ray. It’s a give and take match unlike any other I’ve read, but it’s oh so perfect for these men.

Anna Zabo is an author I discovered this past year and I’m so very impressed with their work. The action and plot are believable, the sex kinky and hot, the BDSM is carefully laid out and easily understood, and the characters are well-rounded, endearing, and memorable. Each character, including the secondary band members, becomes personal to the reader, and this reader most definitely wants more of them—all of them. This isn’t just a story—it’s a work of art. Very highly recommended.

~~~
The bright and colorful cover features a tattooed man standing in front of a microphone as he tears off his leather vest. In the lower pane, fans are waving their arms and the background shows the floodlights that would brighten a stage. Very sharp and attractive and perfect for the story, even though the description of the MC would make him thinner and lankier than the cover model depicts. The only downside, but still attention-getting.

Sales LInks:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0789GZX16/

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/syncopation-anna-zabo/1127659237

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/syncopation/id1326105335

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Anna_Zabo_Syncopation?id=t0RDDwAAQBAJ

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/syncopation-8

http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Syncopation/Anna-Zabo/Q264976640?id=7194974976389

 

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 295 pages
Published April 9th 2018 by Carina Press
Original TitleSyncopation
ASINB0789GZX16
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesTwisted Wishes #1