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

Giveaway

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

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

Giveaway

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

Standard

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

Review Tour – Amy Aislin’s As Big As The Sky (excerpt and giveaway)

Standard

 

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK 
 
Length: 37,000 words
 
Publisher: MLR Press
 
Blurb
 

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.

 



August 4 – Xtreme Delusions
August 7 – The Geekery Book Review
August 8 – Bayou Book Junkie
August 9 – Millsy Loves Books, Cupcakes and Bookshelves
August 10 – MM Good Book Reviews
August 11 – Au Boudior Ecarlate, Sarandipity, Making It Happen
August 14 – Diverse Reader, Books Lovers 4Ever, Bayou Book Junkie, Nicole’s Book Musings, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Wicked Faerie’s Tales & Reviews, Jessie G Books
August 15 – Love Bytes
August 18 – My Fiction Nook

Excerpt

The chicken was in his yard again. Ugly red wattle dangling beneath its beak like loose jowls, brown feathers puffed in an inflated sense of superiority. On any other day Sam normally wouldn’t have cared so much about the mess it was making of his garden, but this was the third time in as many days, the magazine crew would be here within the hour, and he’d told Bo to fix his damn fence.

Sighing, Sam set his mug on the counter. He really hadn’t had enough coffee yet to deal with this.

He walked out of the kitchen and down the hall to the front door, where he put on a pair of flip flops before exiting his house. Down the driveway, a left at the tiny gravel sidewalk, around the hedges in Bo’s yard, up Bo’s driveway. The early June sun pierced his eyes. He knocked on the front door and waited for Bo to answer.

Ever since Bo had taken over running Big Sky—the animal rehabilitation center next door to Sam’s—four weeks ago from his sister, Laura, it had been one disaster after another. Damaged enclosures, a pygmy goat with diarrhea, equipment that didn’t work, flooding in the cows’ pen after a bad rainfall, a yappy pair of not-quite-housebroken puppies. And now? Broken fences and runaway chickens.

The door opened, revealing a rumpled Bo dressed in old jeans, hiking boots, and a T-shirt streaked with dirt. He was out of breath, as if he’d run to the front door. The pair of dirty work gloves in his hand told Sam he’d probably been working out back.

The unsure smile on Bo’s face turned into a scowl when he saw who stood on his doorstep at nine in the morning. Sam ignored how cute Bo’s frowny face was and drew himself up to his full six-foot-three height. Bo was not his type. Too short, too lean, eyes too brown, hair too blond. Too flaky, too temperamental, too feisty, too…too much.

Nope. Not Sam’s type at all.

Bo’s hands went to his hips. He looked like a knight defending his domain. A tiny, skinny one with a bad attitude.

“What now?” he snapped.

“You didn’t fix the fence,” Sam said.

“I—”

Sam held up a hand, cutting Bo off. “Look. I know you know what day it is. The crew’s going to be here in less than an hour. The last thing I need is your chicken masquerading as a prison escapee messing up my garden.” Bo’s lips twitched at that, but Sam ignored how that made him feel and continued. “Fix your goddamn fence. And get your chicken out of my yard.” Bo opened his mouth to speak but Sam didn’t give him the chance. He turned and descended the porch steps. “Oh.” He turned back to find Bo still frowning at him, lips pressed in a tight line. “And if your chickens keep escaping, maybe there’s something wrong with the chicken coop?”

The slamming door at his back was surprisingly satisfactory.

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

Release Blitz for Amy Aislin’s As Big As The Sky (excerpt and giveaway)

Standard

 

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK 
 
Length: 37,000 words
 
Publisher: MLR Press
 
Blurb
 

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.


Excerpt

Argh! Bo kicked his closed front door. That…that man. Every five frickin’ minutes he was up in Bo’s face about something.

I’m trying to work, Bo. Can you get the dogs to stop barking? Why is the goat making weird noises?

How did your chicken get into my yard?

What’s that smell?

Fix your side of the fence.

Bo had fixed his side of the fence, damn it, so it wasn’t his fault the chicken was still getting into Sam’s yard. If anything, it was Sam’s side that needed to be fixed. But did Sam give him a chance to say his piece? Nooooo. Mr. I’m So Cool With My Muscles And Tallness And Swanky Haircut wouldn’t get off his pedestal long enough for Bo to defend himself.

Not that Bo was envious of those muscles or that tallness or that swanky haircut that was on the redder side of strawberry blond. He was perfectly fine with his own five foot seven height and his messy ‘do. Tallness was overrated anyway. And he had his own muscles. Arm muscles, anyway. The little pudge on his belly left a lot to be desired.

Stupid cookies.

But whatever. Arm muscles were all he needed to catch a guy’s attention at the clubs and bars. By the time the guy realized Bo wasn’t so muscly all over, they were already in each other’s pants and that little detail no longer mattered.

Bring on the cookies.

Shaking his head at himself, he headed out back to the shed and grabbed a thicker pair of gloves and some chicken feed. He inspected his side of the fence—just in case he was mistaken. Which he wasn’t, thank you very much. Grunting in satisfaction, he left his backyard via the gate and cut through the path in the hedges between his and Sam’s front yards. After unlatching the gate to Sam’s backyard, he followed the sounds of clucking chicken to a wildflower garden along the back fence. Along with some kind of leafy tree and a couple of shrubs, there were bursts of yellow, purple, and pink flowers in the garden that Bo couldn’t name to save his life.

Of course it was that chicken. The brown one with the lone white feather along its back. The instigator of the group. The one that riled up the other chickens and always seemed to find a way out of the chicken coop. The one who’d pecked Bo’s hands raw the first time Bo tried to pick him up. That’s where his new extra-thick gloves came in.

He slipped them on then scattered some chicken feed. Bait the chicken and then grab it from behind, the YouTube tutorial he’d watched a couple weeks ago had said. Bo had become somewhat of a chicken corralling expert in the past couple of weeks. A skill he never thought he’d need and didn’t know how to add to his resume without sounding like a smart-ass.

The chicken went after the food just like always. Bo gave it a minute to eat most of it, then quietly snuck up behind it, cupped his hands around its sides, and lifted.

The angry squawk the chicken let out pierced Bo’s eardrums and its legs worked as if trying to walk on air. Bo held on tighter as the bird struggled in his grip. He made tracks for the gate, where Sam was oh-so-helpfully holding it open. The sight of him standing there all tall and perfect jolted Bo and had him fumbling the chicken. A wing got loose and flapped in Bo’s face.

Bo thought he heard a chuckle, but when he looked at Sam around the feathers in his face, the man was as stony as ever. Was that a hint of laughter in Sam’s eyes? No. The man didn’t know how to laugh. Drawing his shoulders back, head high, Bo stalked past him and—

“Don’t forget to fix your fence,” Sam said.

Before Bo even had a chance to reply, the gate slammed at his back.

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.

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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

Giveaway