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)

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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.

 

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)

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

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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

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

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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

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