A Lila Review: The Heights (Lakeshore #1) by Amy Aislin

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Twenty-one years ago, a four-year old child was kidnapped from his front yard. He was never found. Until now.

All Nat Walker wants is to make his late father’s dream of running a father/son woodworking shop come true. And he had the perfect building in mind—until the new guy in town came in and bought the place right out from under him. The fact that the new guy is adorable means nothing. For all Nat cares, he can take his new dance studio and waltz back to New York City.

Professional dancer Quinn Carroll couldn’t be happier that he made the move to the small town of Lakeshore, Oregon. Sure, it’s not New York, but now he’ll be living closer to his adoptive brother. And since his studio will be the only one in the area, he should get enough business to keep him busy. Besides, there’s something about this place that seems familiar…

He doesn’t expect to fall hard for the local, grumpy woodworker who won’t even smile at him.

Or find out that his entire life is a lie.

The Heights has a very interesting premise. The characters’ backstories run parallel keeping an individuality that makes them unique. We get to know them in detail but there’s a detachment that takes a bit from their development. Almost as if they were looking to their lives from the outside.

Nat’s and Quinn’ relationship is only one of the main elements of this story. It’s the support Quinn needed to deal with the secrets about his past. It gave him an escape from reality when life becomes difficult. It’s also reciprocal, giving Nat the strength he needs to deal with his fears.

Dealing with the characters’ fears, indecisions, guilt, and new lives is something the author did well. The reader has the opportunity to get invested in their discoveries and is there to be part of their ups and downs.

There are not many details about the actual events in Quinn’s past until later on the story. The additional family members bring different perspectives into the story and we get to see how their lives were impacted.

Overall, this is a good story presenting a hard topic and a complementary love story. Definitely, a good start to a new season.

The cover by Champagne Book Design is simple and it matches the story’s setting.

Sale Links: iTunesAmazon | Nook

ebook, 235 pages
Published: September 20, 2018, by Amy Aislin
ASIN: B07F2PC2DC
Edition Language: English

Release Blitz for The Heights (Lakeshore #1) by Amy Aislin (excerpt and giveaway)

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The Heights by Amy Aislin

Series: Lakeshore #1

Publisher: self-published

Release Date (Print & Ebook): September 20, 2018

Cover artist: Stacey Blake @ Champagne Book Design

Order here:

Amazon (this is the universal Amazon link): http://geni.us/TheHeights

iBooks (universal iTunes link): http://geni.us/TheHeightsApple

Kobo: http://bit.ly/TheHeightsKobo

B&N: http://bit.ly/TheHeightsBN 

Book blurb:

Twenty-one years ago, a four-year old child was kidnapped from his front yard. He was never found. Until now.

All Nat Walker wants is to make his late father’s dream of running a father/son woodworking shop come true. And he had the perfect building in mind—until the new guy in town came in and bought the place right out from under him. The fact that the new guy is adorable means nothing. For all Nat cares, he can take his new dance studio and waltz back to New York City.

Professional dancer Quinn Carroll couldn’t be happier that he made the move to the small town of Lakeshore, Oregon. Sure, it’s not New York, but now he’ll be living closer to his adoptive brother. And since his studio will be the only one in the area, he should get enough business to keep him busy. Besides, there’s something about this place that seems familiar…

He doesn’t expect to fall hard for the local, grumpy woodworker who won’t even smile at him.

Or find out that his entire life is a lie.

Length (Print & Ebook): approx. 75,000 words, or 320 pages

Subgenre: m/m contemporary romance

Reader warnings: one of the main characters suffers from panic attacks

Teaser:

“I was a science nerd,” Nat said, sorting through a pile of art prints. Out of the corner of his eye, he watched Quinn give him a once over. Nat knew he looked disheveled. The wind had thrown his hair into disarray, he likely had coffee breath, and the caramel-colored sweater Quinn liked so much had come out of the emergency clothes pile at the back of his dresser because he hadn’t had time to do laundry in days.

“You were not a science nerd,” Quinn retorted. “There’s no way. But you were a jock.”

“I was that too,” Nat agreed. “Who says I can’t be both?”

“Everybody I went to high school with?”

Nat smiled at him. “Well, we breed them differently here in the Pacific Northwest.”

Quinn gave Nat’s body another once over. “Clearly.”

“Physics was my specialty.”

“Oh, blech! That’s the worst of the sciences.”

“It’s actually the funnest,” Nat countered. “I got to build a roller coaster in senior year.” He led Quinn to the next tent over, where various little handmade wool felt animals and insects were on display.

A small, fat caterpillar with big, green eyes caught Nat’s attention. He picked it up, ripped apart the velcro on its underside and—cool! It morphed into a butterfly. He handed it to Quinn.

“Oh, cute!”

“What was your favorite subject in school?” Nat asked him.

“Drama,” Quinn said, re-caterpillaring the butterfly. He grinned and turned the caterpillar into a butterfly again. Caterpillar. Butterfly. Caterpillar.

Was there some kind of toy Nat could make him that would get Quinn to smile at him just like that? Like he was enchanted with the world and Nat in particular? He seemed to delight in the smallest of things. Nat wanted to give him something that would make him happy.

See? He could do this, let someone in.

“Oh hey, what did you win at the ax throwing contest?”

Nat fished in his pocket. “You’ll love it,” he said and handed it over. It was a key chain with a tiny Thor’s hammer.

“Ooh. I am Thor, god of thunder,” Quinn said in an atrocious Australian accent. “Hear me roar.” He bopped Nat on the shoulder with the hammer and made sounds of explosions.

Nat laughed. “Come on, Thor.” He put his arm around Quinn’s shoulders and had to resist the urge to kiss his temple. “Let’s go ride the Ferris wheel.”

 

About Amy Aislin:

Amy started writing on a rainy day in fourth grade when her class was forced to stay inside for recess. Tales of adventures with her classmates quickly morphed into tales of adventures with the characters in her head. Based in the suburbs of Toronto, Amy is a marketer/fundraiser at a large environmental non-profit in Toronto by day, and a writer by night. Book enthusiast, animal lover and (very) amateur photographer, her interests are many and varied, including travelling, astronomy, ecology, and baking. She binge watches too much anime, and loves musical theater, Julie Andrews, the Backstreet Boys, and her hometown of Oakville, Ontario.

Connect with Amy Aislin:

Website: https://amyaislin.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amyaislin/

Twitter: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/amyaislin

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amy.aislin

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/AmyAislinAuthor

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/ddvWFv

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/amyaislinauthor/

Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/amyaislin

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16693566.Amy_Aislin

Amazon: http://amazon.com/author/amyaislin   

QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/amy-aislin/

LoveRomanceReads: https://www.loveromancereads.com/amyaislin.html

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/amy-aislin

Giveaway

 

Win a fantastic The Heights prize pack: signed paperback, one of a kind art print, and a set of wooden star ornaments.

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Direct link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/c8c1c6415/

 

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: On the Ice (Stick Side #1) by Amy Aislin

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

These two characters came to life within the first few chapters and swept me away with their story. I honestly did not want to put this book down to go to bed, but my subconscious took over when I did, and I dreamed about Mitch and Alex. Without a doubt, these men are my favorite couple nominee for any and all 2018 MM romance awards.

Slowburn? Yes. Too much sex on page? No. Friendship? Yes. Characters who mature over time? Why yes. Yes indeed. And that’s not all there is to like about this story.

When college sophomore, hockey player, and kinesiology major Mitch Greyson shows up at an extra credit lecture at his small Vermont college with the express intent of interviewing the Tampa Bay hockey team’s sports doctor, he’s at first disappointed that the man is a no-show. But then he gets to speak to and flirt with the man who came in his place: Alex Dean, a Tampa Bay defenseman who happens to be in Vermont visiting family while his broken arm heals. But Alex wants nothing to do with flirty Mitch. Alex isn’t interested in sex or flirtation. He’s just not made that way. He’s demisexual, and in fact, isn’t even sure if he’ll ever find someone to love, and if he does, he’s not sure if it will be a man or a woman. He’s a 25-year-old virgin and perfectly happy to remain that way. Or so he thinks—until he gets to know Mitch.

Here’s my main sticking point in this story, and yes, it is addressed by the author at the end of the book. But it’s an in-your-face sticking point right from the beginning and may turn some readers off. How many people in 2008 and 2009 knew the term demisexual or knew what was meant by it? I don’t believe many recognized their own demisexuality, never mind in others during the years in which the story is set. Yes, I know the term was invented already, but in general, sexuality was thought to be heterosexual or homosexual at that point. The fine lines—shades of sexuality, so to speak—weren’t discussed and for people who felt they didn’t quite fit in one category or the other, there wasn’t a lot of info available to them to clarify where they fell on the spectrum. The author addresses this issue in her second author’s note (that in my opinion should come before the story, not after) and acknowledges that she took liberties with using the terms. However, I think it would have been easier to accept during the story if the characters acknowledged that they had just recently learned the term. Since it distracted me throughout the book, until I finally got to the author’s note at the end, I’ve dropped my rating a half star.

Fortunately, I was able to move past that and enjoy the balance of the story. And it was a love story, no mistake about that. This was the slowest of slow-burn romances, and so much better because of that. My interest level remained high throughout the book as both characters struggled with issues beyond their control—Alex with his grandfather’s dementia and Mitch with working for the funds he needs to be able to complete the degree he has his heart set on while still practicing and planning to be the best so he can be drafted by the NHL.

I highly recommend this love story to anyone who appreciates a variation from the same-old, same-old tropes and themes. Hockey seems to be a popular sport this year among authors; however, this story is more about the romance than the sport. Other than my issue with the demisexual terminology, this book made me feel the love and raised my spirits—the reason I read in the first place.

~~~

Cover art by Lee Hyat Designs displays the bare torso of a young muscular skater against the background of a hockey rink. The male could represent either young man as one is an NHL player and the other a college student on his school’s hockey team. It’s bright and attractive and a good representation for this story.

Sales Links:   Universal Buy Link

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1st edition
Published May 8th 2018
Original TitleOn The Ice
ASINB07C3M67XS
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesStick Side #1

Review Tour – On the Ice (Stick Side #1) by Amy Aislin (excerpt and giveaway)

Standard

 

 
 
Length: 87,000 word approx.
Blurb
 

For college sophomore Mitch Greyson, determination and persistence are the name of the game if he wants to make it as a professional hockey player. A busy schedule of practices, games, classes, homework, two part-time jobs—and now, working with a tutor to help him pass the class he’s failing so that he can keep his scholarship—shouldn’t leave him with enough time to flirt with the NHL player in town. But that doesn’t stop him.

Placed on the injured reserve list until his broken arm heals, NHL defenseman Alex Dean is using the time off to be with his ailing grandfather and get a head start on the book he’s been commissioned to write. He doesn’t expect to get roped into a tutoring gig, especially not for cocky, smart-ass Mitch.

But Alex soon discovers that there’s more to Mitch than meets the eye…and he really likes what he sees. Only Alex doesn’t dare risk his NHL career by coming out, and a relationship between them would jeopardize Mitch’s chances with the organization too.

It looks impossible. Then again, the best things usually do…


Excerpt

“Good game against Colgate,” Alex said, pocketing his phone.

The mask slipped off Mitch’s face. “You were there?”

Alex shook his head. “Watched it on TV.”

Holy crap! An NHL player—Mitch’s hockey crush, no less—had watched his game. At a loss for words, Mitch stood there blinking at Alex like a putz.

“You’ve got impressive foot work,” Alex said.

Mitch continued to blink at him.

“You skated circles around Colgate and that goal in the third?” Alex smiled wide. “You broke Colgate’s end as if the defensemen were pylons. It was beautiful.”

“I—” Mitch cleared his throat. “Well, McCall passed me the puck at just the right time, so… I mean, I did figure skating for years and…” He had no idea what he was trying to say.

“Huh. I know a couple of guys who did some figure skating after their game slipped and it helped them rebound. It’s something I’ve been considering to improve my foot speed.” Alex leaned a shoulder against the wall and crossed his arms, but his cast got in the way so he ended up shoving one hand in his pocket and letting the casted one dangle. “Your training shows in your footwork. How else has it helped your game?”

In total disbelief that an NHL player was asking him for advice, Mitch said, “Figure skating is about using edges and your body to change direction on the ice. It’s about learning to cut a corner or to pivot the right way while maintaining your speed. It made me a better skater.”

“It shows.”

God, the compliments were going to go to Mitch’s head.

“What made you decide to stick with hockey instead of figure skating?”

Mitch shrugged and told the truth. “I liked hockey better.”

“Could you do a triple axel in full hockey gear?” Alex asked, a teasing grin on his face.

Mitch had to laugh. “I’ve never tried.” But now he was itching to.

“No? What about a—” Alex held his index finger up and moved it in small circles, “—with the leg out in front?”

“A sit spin?” Mitch scratched his head. “I actually think that one might be harder than the triple axel in full hockey gear.”

They stood there smiling at each other for a moment, Alex’s eyes the color of the Green Mountains in summer. The man was too gorgeous for words and he was nice to boot. Mitch couldn’t help staring at Alex’s mouth, red and surprisingly soft in an otherwise rugged face.

Alex cleared his throat and edged around Mitch. “I’ve got to get back to my friend.”

“Wait, I—” The hallway was empty so Mitch plastered his sex smile back on his face, walked right into Alex’s personal space, and put a hand on Alex’s hip. “Why don’t you come over tonight and we’ll—”

Alex palmed Mitch’s shoulders and pushed him away. “Look, kid—”

“I’m not a kid.”

Mitch.” Alex held him at arm’s length. “Whatever it is you’re trying to do here, it’s not going to happen. I don’t even know you.”

“What difference does that make?”

Alex dropped his arms. “I don’t jump into bed with people I don’t know. Hell, I don’t even jump into bed with people I do know.”

 

Alex wasn’t saying I’m not gay, but it did sound like he was saying I’m asexual or something similar, which left Mitch exactly nowhere.


May 8 – Xtreme Delusions, We Three Queens, Bookaholic & Kindle, MM Midnight Cafe
May 10 – Love Bytes, Mean Girls Luv Books, Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books, Kimmer’s Erotic Book Banter, United Indie Book Blog, Megan’s Media Melange, Urban Smoothie Read, Mainely Stories
May 11 – The Novel Approach
May 12 – My Fiction Nook, Katie’s Book Corner, Dreams & Screams Bookaholics, Love Unchained Book Reviews
May 14 – Drops Of Ink, Unquietly Me, Cupcakes & Bookshelves, Wicked Faerie’s Tales & Reviews, Making It Happen, Wicked Reads
May 15 – Joyfully Jay
May 16 – Valerie Ullmer, Queerly Reads, Mirrigold: Mutterings & Musings, Sarandipity, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words
May 17 – Bayou Book Junkie
May 19 – MM Good Book Reviews

Read Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Review here.  We highly recommend it!

Amy started writing on a rainy day in fourth grade when her class was forced to stay inside for recess. Tales of adventures with her classmates quickly morphed into tales of adventures with the characters in her head. Based in the suburbs of Toronto, Amy is a marketer/fundraiser at a large environmental non-profit in Toronto by day, and a writer by night. Book enthusiast, animal lover and (very) amateur photographer, her interests are many and varied, including travelling, astronomy, ecology, and baking. She binge watches too much anime, and loves musical theater, Julie Andrews, the Backstreet Boys, and her hometown of Oakville, Ontario.


Connect with Amy:
Website: http://amyaislin.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amy.aislin
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AmyAislinAuthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/amy_aislin
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amyaislin/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.ca/amyaislinauthor/
Tumblr: https://amyaislin.tumblr.com/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16693566.Amy_Aislin
QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/amy-aislin/
Amazon: https://amazon.com/author/amyaislin

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Release Blitz for On The Ice (Stick Side #1) by Amy Aislin (excerpt and giveaway)

Standard

 

 
 
Length: 87,000 word approx.
Blurb
 

For college sophomore Mitch Greyson, determination and persistence are the name of the game if he wants to make it as a professional hockey player. A busy schedule of practices, games, classes, homework, two part-time jobs—and now, working with a tutor to help him pass the class he’s failing so that he can keep his scholarship—shouldn’t leave him with enough time to flirt with the NHL player in town. But that doesn’t stop him.

Placed on the injured reserve list until his broken arm heals, NHL defenseman Alex Dean is using the time off to be with his ailing grandfather and get a head start on the book he’s been commissioned to write. He doesn’t expect to get roped into a tutoring gig, especially not for cocky, smart-ass Mitch.

But Alex soon discovers that there’s more to Mitch than meets the eye…and he really likes what he sees. Only Alex doesn’t dare risk his NHL career by coming out, and a relationship between them would jeopardize Mitch’s chances with the organization too.

It looks impossible. Then again, the best things usually do…


Excerpt

“Good game against Colgate,” Alex said, pocketing his phone.

The mask slipped off Mitch’s face. “You were there?”

Alex shook his head. “Watched it on TV.”

Holy crap! An NHL player—Mitch’s hockey crush, no less—had watched his game. At a loss for words, Mitch stood there blinking at Alex like a putz.

“You’ve got impressive foot work,” Alex said.

Mitch continued to blink at him.

“You skated circles around Colgate and that goal in the third?” Alex smiled wide. “You broke Colgate’s end as if the defensemen were pylons. It was beautiful.”

“I—” Mitch cleared his throat. “Well, McCall passed me the puck at just the right time, so… I mean, I did figure skating for years and…” He had no idea what he was trying to say.

“Huh. I know a couple of guys who did some figure skating after their game slipped and it helped them rebound. It’s something I’ve been considering to improve my foot speed.” Alex leaned a shoulder against the wall and crossed his arms, but his cast got in the way so he ended up shoving one hand in his pocket and letting the casted one dangle. “Your training shows in your footwork. How else has it helped your game?”

In total disbelief that an NHL player was asking him for advice, Mitch said, “Figure skating is about using edges and your body to change direction on the ice. It’s about learning to cut a corner or to pivot the right way while maintaining your speed. It made me a better skater.”

“It shows.”

God, the compliments were going to go to Mitch’s head.

“What made you decide to stick with hockey instead of figure skating?”

Mitch shrugged and told the truth. “I liked hockey better.”

“Could you do a triple axel in full hockey gear?” Alex asked, a teasing grin on his face.

Mitch had to laugh. “I’ve never tried.” But now he was itching to.

“No? What about a—” Alex held his index finger up and moved it in small circles, “—with the leg out in front?”

“A sit spin?” Mitch scratched his head. “I actually think that one might be harder than the triple axel in full hockey gear.”

They stood there smiling at each other for a moment, Alex’s eyes the color of the Green Mountains in summer. The man was too gorgeous for words and he was nice to boot. Mitch couldn’t help staring at Alex’s mouth, red and surprisingly soft in an otherwise rugged face.

Alex cleared his throat and edged around Mitch. “I’ve got to get back to my friend.”

“Wait, I—” The hallway was empty so Mitch plastered his sex smile back on his face, walked right into Alex’s personal space, and put a hand on Alex’s hip. “Why don’t you come over tonight and we’ll—”

Alex palmed Mitch’s shoulders and pushed him away. “Look, kid—”

“I’m not a kid.”

Mitch.” Alex held him at arm’s length. “Whatever it is you’re trying to do here, it’s not going to happen. I don’t even know you.”

“What difference does that make?”

Alex dropped his arms. “I don’t jump into bed with people I don’t know. Hell, I don’t even jump into bed with people I do know.”

 

Alex wasn’t saying I’m not gay, but it did sound like he was saying I’m asexual or something similar, which left Mitch exactly nowhere.

Amy started writing on a rainy day in fourth grade when her class was forced to stay inside for recess. Tales of adventures with her classmates quickly morphed into tales of adventures with the characters in her head. Based in the suburbs of Toronto, Amy is a marketer/fundraiser at a large environmental non-profit in Toronto by day, and a writer by night. Book enthusiast, animal lover and (very) amateur photographer, her interests are many and varied, including travelling, astronomy, ecology, and baking. She binge watches too much anime, and loves musical theater, Julie Andrews, the Backstreet Boys, and her hometown of Oakville, Ontario.


Connect with Amy:
Website: http://amyaislin.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amy.aislin
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AmyAislinAuthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/amy_aislin
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amyaislin/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.ca/amyaislinauthor/
Tumblr: https://amyaislin.tumblr.com/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16693566.Amy_Aislin
QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/amy-aislin/
Amazon: https://amazon.com/author/amyaislin


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Cover Reveal and Giveaway for On The Ice (Stick Side #1) by Amy Aislin

Standard

 

 
Cover Design: Lee Hyat Designs
 
Length: 87,500 words approx.
 
Blurb
 

For college sophomore Mitch Greyson, determination and persistence are the name of the game if he wants to make it as a professional hockey player. A busy schedule of practices, games, classes, homework, two part-time jobs—and now, working with a tutor to help him pass the class he’s failing so that he can keep his scholarship—shouldn’t leave him with enough time to flirt with the NHL player in town. But that doesn’t stop him.

Placed on the injured reserve list until his broken arm heals, NHL defenseman Alex Dean is using the time off to be with his ailing grandfather and get a head start on the book he’s been commissioned to write. He doesn’t expect to get roped into a tutoring gig, especially not for cocky, smart-ass Mitch.

But Alex soon discovers that there’s more to Mitch than meets the eye…and he really likes what he sees. Only Alex doesn’t dare risk his NHL career by coming out, and a relationship between them would jeopardize Mitch’s chances with the organization too.

It looks impossible. Then again, the best things usually do…

On the Ice is an m/m contemporary romance featuring a flirty college hockey player who meets his match in a demisexual NHL player.

Amy started writing on a rainy day in fourth grade when her class was forced to stay inside for recess. Tales of adventures with her classmates quickly morphed into tales of adventures with the characters in her head. Based in the suburbs of Toronto, Amy is a marketer/fundraiser at a large environmental non-profit in Toronto by day, and a writer by night. Book enthusiast, animal lover and (very) amateur photographer, her interests are many and varied, including travelling, astronomy, ecology, and baking. She binge watches too much anime, and loves musical theater, Julie Andrews, the Backstreet Boys, and her hometown of Oakville, Ontario.

Website: http://amyaislin.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amy.aislin
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AmyAislinAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/amy_aislin
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amyaislin
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.ca/amyaislinauthor
Tumblr: https://amyaislin.tumblr.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16693566.Amy_Aislin
QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/amy-aislin
Amazon: amazon.com/author/amyaislin

 

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An Alisa Recent Release Review: Picture Winter by Amy Aislin

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

What happens when two Capricorns fall in love?

 

Do something new today.

 

Why he looks at his horoscope every day, Elias Hood doesn’t know. It’s all garbage, and no nickel fortune ever helped him climb all the way up the corporate ladder. He’s about to make Vice President. Rocking the boat with “something new” is the last thing on his mind.

 

But there’s this guy.

 

Ty Green can make friends with a tree and Elias can’t help falling for his easy-going vibe and his perfect smile. He’s a fellow Capricorn, like Elias, but that’s as far as their similarities go. Ty works to live—he doesn’t live to work. When Elias takes his horoscope’s advice and asks Ty out, both men are in for a shock. But as Elias’s walls start to come down, they might just realize that they have more in common than they think. In fact, they might even want the exact same thing.

 

Who knows? Maybe horoscopes aren’t just trash after all.

 

I immensely enjoyed this story, it is just two men falling in love and learning to navigate a relationship and their lives together.  Elias seems like such a stick in the mud at the beginning but we soon learn there is more than meets the eye.  Ty is just a bubble of energy and is the perfect force to break through Elias’s walls.

 

My heart broke for how Elias’s childhood had made him need to have security in his job and life, even if it isn’t what he has always wanted to do.  They help each other see that their plans can change but that doesn’t mean it isn’t what they are meant to be doing.  It was beautiful how Ty’s family embraces Elias into their lives from the very beginning.

 

I did love how they were willing to take the relationship at their own pace, which is much faster than many but it works for them.  They talk things out and make sure that they don’t overstep.  There was no big thing for them to “solve” in regards to their relationship but I think that this story was perfectly done for these characters.

 

The cover art by Melody Pond is beautiful and I think it’s perfect for this story.

 

Sales Links: MLR Press | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

ebook, 173 pages

Published: October 6, 2017 by MLR Press

Edition Language: English

Review Tour for Amy Aislin’s Picture Winter (giveaway)

Standard

 

 
Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Cover Design: Melody Pond
 
Publisher: MLR Press
 
Length: 47,000 words approx.
 
Blurb
 

Do something new today.


Why he looks at his horoscope every day, Elias Hood doesn’t know. It’s all garbage, and no nickel fortune ever helped him climb all the way up the corporate ladder. He’s about to make Vice President. Rocking the boat with “something new” is the last thing on his mind.


But there’s this guy.


Ty Green can make friends with a tree and Elias can’t help falling for his easy-going vibe and his perfect smile. He’s a fellow Capricorn, like Elias, but that’s as far as their similarities go. Ty works to live–he doesn’t live to work. When Elias takes his horoscope’s advice and asks Ty out, both men are in for a shock. But as Elias’s walls start to come down, they might just realize that they have more in common than they think. In fact, they might even want the exact same thing. 


Who knows? Maybe horoscopes aren’t just trash after all.

 

Read Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Review here! We absolutely recommend it!

October 10 – Love Bytes
October 12 – The Novel Approach
October 14 – MM Good Book Reviews
October 17 – Diverse Reader
October 19 – Alpha Book Club

Author Bio

Amy started writing on a rainy day in fourth grade when her class was forced to stay inside for recess. Tales of adventures with her classmates quickly morphed into tales of adventures with the characters in her head. Based in the suburbs of Toronto, Amy is a marketer at a large environmental non-profit in Toronto by day, and a writer by night. Book enthusiast, animal lover and (very) amateur photographer, Amy’s interests are many and varied, including travelling, astronomy, ecology, and baking.



Amy loves connecting with readers! You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Twitter or sign up for her infrequent newsletter at www.amyaislin.com/signup

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Release Blitz for Amy Aislin’s Picture Winter (excerpt and giveaway)

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Cover Design: Melody Pond
 
Publisher: MLR Press
 
Length: 47,000 words approx.
 
Blurb
 

Do something new today.


Why he looks at his horoscope every day, Elias Hood doesn’t know. It’s all garbage, and no nickel fortune ever helped him climb all the way up the corporate ladder. He’s about to make Vice President. Rocking the boat with “something new” is the last thing on his mind.


But there’s this guy.


Ty Green can make friends with a tree and Elias can’t help falling for his easy-going vibe and his perfect smile. He’s a fellow Capricorn, like Elias, but that’s as far as their similarities go. Ty works to live–he doesn’t live to work. When Elias takes his horoscope’s advice and asks Ty out, both men are in for a shock. But as Elias’s walls start to come down, they might just realize that they have more in common than they think. In fact, they might even want the exact same thing.


Who knows? Maybe horoscopes aren’t just trash after all.

Excerpt
 

Two hours later, they hit first a chain grocery store in Guelph—Ty didn’t even have milk to go with his one cereal box—then a small cafe where they had a late brunch.


“Did you know a banana is actually a berry?” Ty asked.


Elias looked at him, wondering what brought on that particular point of conversation.


“Says so right here.” Ty slid his paper placemat—full of random food facts and pictures—closer to Elias. Elias’s placemat had a fill-in-the-dots drawing, a tiny crossword, a word scrambler, a maze, and a spot-the-difference challenge.Clearly the universe was playing a cosmic joke. He’d ended up with the children’s placemat irrespective of the eighteen-year-old lookalike sitting across from him.


“So, it’s really a bananaberry?” Elias asked.


For some reason Ty thought that was hilarious. After dropping the groceries off at Ty’s, they headed to the Starkey Hill Interpretive Trail for some snowshoeing. Of course it took Ty all of five seconds to find his snowshoes and poles, and yet the lube and condoms were still MIA.


But that was fine. They’d stocked up at the store.


Elias brought his camera. It went everywhere with him anyway, but he’d been an idiot yesterday, leaving it in his car all day and then overnight in the cold. He was damn lucky it had turned on this morning.


Landscape and wildlife photography were his passions, but he found himself distracted today by Ty’s perfect face. Even in his ugly, poofy snowman coat he looked good enough to pounce on. He looked like a graceful angel on his snowshoes. By contrast Elias felt like an unbalanced bear. He kept forgetting to widen his stance so that he didn’t step on his snowshoe frame with the other foot.


“What are you doing?”


Elias was on his back in the snow, camera held up to his face as he focused on a blue jay in a leafless tree above him. From below like this, it’d be a really cool shot, the bird’s blue feathers stark against the dull brown tree branches. He could probably submit the photo to CanadaBirds—a sister magazine of CanadaTravels—for consideration. Zooming his lens accordingly and adjusting his manual settings, he tried to keep very still so the bird didn’t get scared and take off. He wanted a bit of a blurry background so he set his f-stop to—


—A nose pinked from the cold appeared in his viewfinder. He was so surprised he hit the shutter-release by accident. And when he saw the image that appeared on his monitor, he couldn’t help but chuckle, sending the blue jay scurrying off.


“What’s so funny?”


Elias turned the camera to show Ty. Ty peered at it, squinted, and said, “I look hot.”


It was a picture of his left nostril and part of his eye. Elias kept laughing.


“Here, take a better one,” Ty said and plopped down in the snow next to Elias.


“Oh, no,” Elias said. “I don’t really get in front of the cam—”


Ty had the picture taken before Elias could finish his sentence. Except none of the settings had been adjusted, so instead of a selfie of the two of them, Elias had a blurry picture of what might have been his own beard or could’ve been the tree trunk behind them.


Ty cracked up.


Elias took a picture of him like that, head thrown back, eyes half-closed, mouth wide, teeth glistening bright as the snow that was also stuck in his hair now. That way he’d have this moment forever and could always look back on it and remember how good it felt to be in that first honeymoon phase of dating someone who felt about Elias the same way Elias felt about him, when everything was wonderful and new and fun.


That carefree laughter was the best kind of kick in the gut. Without thinking twice about it, he moved in on Ty and kissed his still laughing mouth. Ty was still chuckling as he kissed Elias back, mouth cold, tongue warm. It took hardly any prompting from Elias for Ty to roll himself on top of him but Ty’s coat was so slick that he landed on Elias and then slipped off him, landing on Elias’s other side, which only made him laugh harder. His good mood was contagious, and Elias laughed with him until the snow started soaking into his jeans.


“Come on, you goof,” Elias said, getting up with difficulty. Stupid snowshoes. “Let’s head back so we can get out of this cold.”


The wind chill was supposed to drop again overnight, and they could already feel it even though sunset was still three hours away.


“Let’s go winter camping,” Ty said, standing much more nimbly.


What, now?” Never happen.


“No, not now.” Ty headed back onto the trail, in the direction they’d come from. Elias followed. “Next weekend?”


“You have a birthday party next weekend,” Elias reminded him, eyes on his feet so he didn’t trip himself up again. “Plus,” he continued, so that Ty didn’t think he was angling for an invite, “I hate to break it to you…but I don’t camp in winter.”


“Awww, but I wanna go camping with you.”


“Well, I wanna fuck you silly, so let’s go do that instead.”


For the first time since they started snowshoeing an hour and a half ago, Ty fell flat on his face.

 

Author Bio


Amy started writing on a rainy day in fourth grade when her class was forced to stay inside for recess. Tales of adventures with her classmates quickly morphed into tales of adventures with the characters in her head. Based in the suburbs of Toronto, Amy is a marketer at a large environmental non-profit in Toronto by day, and a writer by night. Book enthusiast, animal lover and (very) amateur photographer, Amy’s interests are many and varied, including travelling, astronomy, ecology, and baking.


Amy loves connecting with readers! You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Twitter or sign up for her infrequent newsletter at www.amyaislin.com/signup

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An Ali Review: As Big As The Sky by Amy Aislin

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Rating:  5 stars out of 5

 

Sam wants nothing to do with his irresponsible, sarcastic neighbor or does he?

 

Sam McAuley is having a rough start to the summer: Not only is he being sued, but the new guy running the animal rehabilitation center next door has no idea what he’s doing and his runaway chickens constantly end up in Sam’s pristine yard.

 

Everything is temporary for Bo Novak. For as long as he can remember, it’s been one town to the next, one school to the next, one job to the next. Even his current job running his sister’s animal rehab center while she’s away on a four-month leave is temporary. And he does know what he’s doing, thank you very much. Sure, things don’t always run smoothly, but the stick-in-the-mud next door could be a little nicer about it.

 

One overheard conversation, an olive branch, and a baseball game might show these guys that being at odds isn’t really what they want, and that what they want might just be each other.

 

This was a beautiful story and I loved it.  Sam and Bo don’t start out on the right foot due to Sam’s assumptions based on Bo’s sister’s warning before he came but Bo’s heartbreaking moment on the back porch give him some clarity about his neighbor.

 

All Bo wants is a friend, he doesn’t think he will ever find someone who would really love him.  My heart broke for him when he thought about being abandoned by his family and friends.  Seeing him doubt that anything good would happen for him almost made me cry.

 

We get to see the story through both of the MC’s eyes.  I was happy when Sam realized how he was acting toward Bo and quickly made a change getting to know the real man.  He did everything he could to help Bo see himself better but I think that the support of his family towards Bo did even more for him to realize that he is wanted.  I’m still not sure in the end if Bo’s sister had really changed her view of him but I think Bo realized she wasn’t as perfect as he always thought.

 

The cover art by Melody Pond is beautiful and perfect for this story.

 

Sales Links: MLR Press | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

ebook, 134 pages

Published: August 4, 2017 by MLR Press

Edition Language: English