A Kai Audiobook Review: Nachos & Hash (Mary’s Boys #1) by Brandon Witt and Dominic Carlos (Narrator)

Standard

Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Darwin Michaels is living his dreams in the Mile High City. While Denver offers the perfect job, scrumptious dining, and whirlwind dating options, Darwin is losing hope he’ll find the right man to spark his interest for more than a one-night stand—until he sets eyes on Cody Russell.

Cody has just accomplished his life’s goal—get the hell out of Kansas. In one fell swoop, he lands a job at Hamburger Mary’s and gets a newfound family and the chance to be with other gay people! All that’s missing is someone special. But when Darwin shows his interest, Cody is sure it’s too good to be true. After all, what can Darwin possibly see in the high school dropout serving him nachos?

As Darwin falls in love, Cody struggles to realize his worth. When his past threatens the fragile life he is building, Cody spirals into a moment of dark desperation. But Darwin is determined to show Cody that love and family and home are there for him… will Cody accept what is offered?

Well guys, I really liked this story! It had some characteristics that I tend to when reading an MM, since as: not slow paced, good characters, involving plot… So basically this one would be a killer, right? Well, for the most part yes, but then it was a little rushed sometimes and also in the end there were things missing. I guess it was a HFN story, but I was so expecting a HEA in this one.
 I liked the characters complexity and loved to see them growing in an out of the relationship. I also liked the supporting characters and I can’t wait to see their own stories.
The narrative was truly well done. Dominic Carlos did an amazing work giving life to the characters and transporting me to this novella’s world in no time.
If you are looking for a fast paced, interesting, fluid and low angst story, I recommend this one. 
Have a good reading and happy 2018 for all!
Cover artist: Angsty G.  Love the bright cover, its perfect!

Sales Link:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | Audible | iTunes

Audiobook Details:
 
Series: Mary’s Boys: Book 1
Written by: Brandon Witt
Narrator: Dominic Carlos
Release Date: November 22, 2017
Category: Contemporary
Length: 3 hours, 30 minutes

A Stella Release Day Review: Hope Is the Thing with Feathers (2017 Advent Calendar Daily – Stocking Stuffers) by Brandon Witt

Standard

RATING 4 out of 5 stars

Fifty-six-year-old Samuel Phillips is all alone on his small farm in the Ozarks, with nothing but a menagerie of chickens, pheasants, turkeys, and other birds as company—which is just the way he likes it. In fact, if Samuel had his way, he’d tear down his neighbor’s house so his solitude could be absolute. One day Faloola, his favorite turkey, escapes, forcing Samuel to make the trek next door. When Raymond Webber—sixty-seven—answers the door as naked as the day he was born, Samuel doesn’t know whether he’s more annoyed… or attracted. The two men are opposites in every way—Samuel is serious, while Raymond believes in free love and herbal relaxation. The weeks leading up to Christmas are rocky to say the least, but some holiday spirit might help them get past their differences….

I’m a fan of stories with adult characters, but I have to admit I had never read a mm romance about a character well into his sixty years. I was very curious and of course, being this a Brandon Witt work, I had no doubt he would deliver something good. And he did good, it was easy to picture these two men in my mind. I fell into the story from the start and I had to finish it in a one standing, even if it was too late in the night and I should have been already asleep. I needed to know what was going to happen and I couldn’t wait for the next morning.

I liked how Samuel and Raymond interacted, of course I felt bad for Samuel and Faloola, the wandering turkey. But the ending was really sweet, how Raymond made amends was superlative. I loved them together and would love to read more about them.

Hope is the Thing With Feathers is part of the DSP Advent Calendar, it’s a short story, just what you can expect from this collection. I feel pretty satisfied by what I was able to learn about the characters, still I’m always greedy to have more Brandon Witt works on my hands and I so hope this short will be developed into a novel. I would so read it.

The cover art by LC Chase is cute and I like it.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

BOOK DETAILS

ebook, 48 pages

Published December 1st 2017 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN13 9781640802919

Edition Language English

Series 2017 Advent Calendar Daily – Stocking Stuffers

A Stella Release Day Review: Braving the Rapids (Rocky Mountain Boys #2 ) by Brandon Witt

Standard

RATING 4,5 out of 5 stars

Estes Park native Todd Fleece works hard to honor his obligations to family and the businesses he inherited, but only his friends and the horses at his ranch brighten Todd’s life. In fighting his attraction to his best friend’s ex-boyfriend, Todd has focused solely on his work, leaving little room in his life for finding love.

Matt Abel’s reckless youth put him on a path to a self-destructive life—his most painful failure was being a horrible father. He excels at extreme sports and living on the edge. Now back in Estes Park and teaching white-water rafting, Matt tries to reconnect with his mother and his grown daughter. When he runs into his ex’s friend Todd, Matt longs for more than a fling.

But achieving happiness isn’t simple, not with Todd’s family conflicts and Matt struggling not to slide back into alcoholism. With hurdles threatening to drive them apart, Todd and Matt try to find the courage to brave the rapids and face a future together….

Well, I really have no clue of how many ways I can use to say Brandon Witt is an amazing writer. I’m in love with his style and each new release is one more proof of his talent. Although some books are more emotional than others, all of them are treasures in how well everything has been depicted and the reader can’t not help but fall in love with them.

In my opinion Braving the Rapids can be considered one of his lighter stories, even if I found myself deeply connected with Todd and Matt lives, especially because I could compare to some of their struggles. And that’s was a bonus. Moreover I am a fan of adult characters and seeing those two men, full of life, full into their lives, full of issues to still solve, but at the same time full of hopes and want for a future together, warmed my heart. The novel is focused on their love story sure but it’s open versus each character single life too, how Todd needs to be strong with his mother’s disease and how Matt is willing to build a relationship with his daughter even if he needs to work on himself first of all.

And then in this second installment in the Rocky Mountain Boys series I found all the people I learned to love in Mapping the Forest, Luis and Gabe and Rob and Paxton. It was great to meet them again and I so hope to have more about all of them.

The cover art by Anne Cain follows the theme of the covers’ series and it’s different from the usual covers I see around and that’s the reason why it’s a winner to me

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

BOOK DETAILS

ebook, 256 pages

Publication Date: November 13th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN13 9781635339987

Edition Language English

Rocky Mountain Boys #2

An Alisa Review: Deeds & Confetti (Mary’s Boys #4) by Brandon Witt

Standard

Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

Steven Conley loves the excitement of owning his own Hamburger Mary’s restaurant in Denver, Colorado, and his chosen family of coworkers makes life even better. Steven never regretted leaving the corporate grind behind until his father’s harsh deathbed words leaves him doubting himself.

 

Ryan Fuller abandoned a lucrative career to start his own party-planning business, but he keeps afloat by coordinating funerals for the local mortuary. When Ryan bumps into Steven—his best friend’s uncle and the man Ryan has secretly crushed on forever—the attraction explodes into a night of passionate abandon for both men.

 

Steven is blown away by the care and deep connection he feels for the hot young mortician—until Ryan admits who he really is. Reeling from the recent upheaval in his life, Steven must decide whether to give Ryan a chance. To find love, they must risk it all….

 

This was a wonderfully sweet story.  Steven has been living the last few years for himself despite his father’s criticism, but his father’s death and his harsh words cause Steven to doubt the life he has built.  Ryan has recently begun to live his life for himself and isn’t going to let Steven’s doubt stop them.

 

Steven has a wonderful support system in his friends and family (excluding his judgmental father).  I loved the internal strength that Ryan had and how he wouldn’t let the little things keep him down.  I chose this story for the short and sweet aspect it seemed to have which it really did but I loved seeing small glimpses of how Steven greatly affected the lives of those around him.  It makes me really want to go back and read the other stories in this series however I didn’t need them to know what was going on.

 

Cover art by AngstyG is wonderful, I love the visual of these two characters.

 

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

ebook, 100 pages

Published: September 27, 2017 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 978-1-63533-749-5

Edition Language: English

Series: A Mary’s Boys Novella

A Stella Release Day Review: Mascara & Bandages (Mary’s Boys#3) by Brandon Witt

Standard

RATING 4 out of 5 stars

Ariel Merman is a new drag queen who’s already finding a family at Hamburger Mary’s. After a performance as Ariel, Zachary Cooper walks home in his makeup and is assaulted by homophobes. Zachary’s worry that the attack has thrown a wrench in his good fortune is eased when he looks into the eyes of his doctor.

Dr. Teegan Chau is a little lost after divorcing his wife and coming out of the closet, but he can’t deny the pull he feels toward the young man he patches up. Luckily, Zachary takes the initiative and asks Teegan out. But attraction is the easy part of their blossoming relationship—as they deal with an ex-wife and child, being a drag queen in a heteronormative culture, Zachary’s lingering trauma from his attack, and Teegan acclimating to life as part of an out-and-proud gay couple.

The challenges seem daunting at the start of a romance. Can Zachary and Teegan make it through the rough patches and take a chance on the love that’s been missing from both their lives?

The Mary’s Boys series by Brandon Witt has truly conquered me, I’m enjoying every new installment the author releases. I think Mascara & Bandages is my favorite novellas so far, maybe because I’m a huge fan of the Little Mermaid and so I was gone for Ariel Merman since I first saw her. Maybe because I like my characters to be a little bandaged and here, apart from the physical healing Zachary will need to do, both MCs had gone through rough phases in their lives, and their suffering made them more real. I felt Zachary be scared, be lonely and then be loved and protected. And I saw him being fabulous when he is Ariel. I liked to see Zachary and Teegan together, how they were soon attracted to each other but wait to tumble in bed because no sex on first date, per Zachary’s rule. And they were surrounded by new small characters like Kelly, Teegan ex-wife, an amazing woman, supportive and funny, and their little daughter.

Apart from the well done writing, which it’s not a surprise, by now I think everyone is pretty aware the author can write, I adored I was able to meet again my favorite people in the series, ManDonna, Pat, and all the people who took care of Zachary and act as his family like they already did with Cody in Nachos & Hash. I hope there will be more chances to meet all of them together again, who will be the next person to get his HEA?

The cover art by AngstyG follows the style of the cover of the previous book, it’s well done and fitting the story. I like it.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

BOOK DETAILS

ebook, 121 pages

Expected publication: July 12th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN13 9781635336603

Edition Language English

Series Mary’s Boys #3

A Stella Release Day Review: Vodka & Handcuffs (Mary’s Boys #2) by Brandon Witt

Standard

RATING 3,5 out of 5 stars

Vahin Arora, Hamburger Mary’s sexy bartender, plays the flirtatious role so well even his closest friends—his chosen family at Mary’s—don’t realize Vahin hasn’t had a hookup in months. Then Tall, Dark, and Handsome steps through the door, and Vahin’s libido races back to life.

Being a black cop on the Denver police force is no easy job—Marlon Barton can’t imagine adding being gay to the equation. And while Marlon loves his work as an officer, his life has taken a turn for the hellish because of his new partner, the nephew of a senator.

Fleeing his partner’s company one night, Marlon stumbles into Mary’s for the first time… and wakes up with a hangover in the bartender’s bed. The one-night stand heats up into a budding romance, but not without stress as Marlon’s partner’s actions threaten Vahin’s livelihood and Marlon’s future on the force. Can Vahin and Marlon face the challenges and hold on to the love, friendship, and family they’ve found?

I was so happy to have Vodka & Handcuffs in my hands, the previous book in the Mary’s Boy series, Nachos & Hash conquered me and I was so curious to see what I will get next. I’m sorry to say this new release was just an okay read and nothing more to me. And I am so used to have so much more from Brandon Witt books, that I’m disappointed.

It feels to me that everything I know about Vahin and Marlon I got it from the blurb, the story actually told me nothing else. And that’s the problem. It should have been more focused on the MCs together, how much they wanted each other, but I actually saw no connection between them, I wanted to know more about their past and the present they are living. Instead the story is focused on some nasty things that are happening with Marlon police partner, and even if this gave the story reality, it was at the expense of the main couple’s romance which was almost non-existent. And even the ending was just meh

As I said Vodka & Handcuffs was an okay reading, the book is well written like everything Brandon writes, there are some secondary characters I was so hoping to meet again, I saw Cody and was happy to know he was doing great. I saw ManDonna being fabulous as always. That’s why I gave the story 3,5 stars. Now, if I could have Zachary story right this second, I would be so happy.

The cover art by AngstyG follows the style of the cover of the previous book, it’s well done and fitting the story, I can easily picture Marlon and Vahin in the models on it, I like it.

Sales Links

BOOK DETAILS

ebook, 112 pages

Expected publication: April 26th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN 1635334330 (ISBN13: 9781635334333)

Edition Language English

Series Mary’s Boy #2

An Ali Audiobook Review: The Imperfection of the Swans by Brandon Witt and Kirt Graves (Narrator)

Standard
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Kevin Bivanti’s dream is to open a wedding dress shop, a place with the stunning gowns to make every bride-to-be feel adored. At thirty-eight, he quits a successful advertising career to buy an old brownstone in a trendy Boston neighborhood and to make his dream a reality. When one of his cosigners drops out, fate intervenes, ushering in Casper James, who hopes to open his own bakery. With Casper willing to take the risk, their ambitions meld into a wedding dress and wedding cake boutique.

Extensive renovations to the brownstone, an affair with his ex-husband, family drama with his mothers, and the anxiety of significant life changes push Kevin to the brink of a nervous breakdown. In the midst of stress and uncertainty, Casper becomes more than a business partner, a mutual attraction that adds another layer of intensity and risk.

With their dreams on the verge of reality, Kevin and Casper must find the courage to face the stress of managing their attraction, the gamble of a new business venture, and the resurgence of Kevin’s personal demons.
 
This was a well written story about two men trying to build a business from the rubble and finding love in the process.  It’s also about how we don’t always see ourselves as others see us.  The strength in this story, in my opinion, is the great character developing that this author did.  Both of the MC’s are well done, but Kevin in particular was multifaceted and complex.  He struggles with anxiety and an eating disorder and his struggles were looked at in a honest, heart felt manner.  We get a detailed picture of the hardships he struggles with.
The pacing is slow and the relationship is a slow burn.  The two men are just business partners at first but as they get to know each other better they realize they are falling in love.  I appreciated that the author didn’t magically heal Kevin with Casper’s love.  It is clear both MC’s know Kevin will have struggles and possible setbacks but it is something they will work through together.
The author notes that this story is based on a real life friend and the struggles he has gone through with an eating disorder.  I think it’s an important story to tell.  It is not just females who struggle with these issues every day.  
I felt that this a was a slow and quiet story, but an important one.
This audiobook was narrated by Kirt Graves and I thought he did a great job.  I really enjoyed his voice and I though he did a good job on both Kevin and Casper as well as the many side characters.  I find this narrator to be consistently good.
Cover art by Paul Richmond:  I love the cover.  The guy on it is gorgeous, but more importantly, he’s the friend the author wrote the story for/about and I think it’s just a wonderful thing he has done by honoring him on the cover of this important book.
Sales Links

Audiobook Details:

Audiobook
Published March 14th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press LLC (first published January 18th 2016)
ASINB06XK7C5R2
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Stella Release Day Review: Nachos & Hash (Mary’s Boys Novella One) by Brandon Witt

Standard

RATING: 4.5 out of 5 stars

nachoshash_postcard_front_dspDarwin Michaels is living his dreams in the Mile High City. While Denver offers the perfect job, scrumptious dining, and whirlwind dating options, Darwin is losing hope he’ll find the right man to spark his interest for more than a one-night stand—until he sets eyes on Cody Russell.

Cody has just accomplished his life’s goal—get the hell out of Kansas. In one fell swoop, he lands a job at Hamburger Mary’s and gets a newfound family and the chance to be with other gay people! All that’s missing is someone special. But when Darwin shows his interest, Cody is sure it’s too good to be true. After all, what can Darwin possibly see in the high school dropout serving him nachos?

As Darwin falls in love, Cody struggles to realize his worth. When his past threatens the fragile life he is building, Cody spirals into a moment of dark desperation. But Darwin is determined to show Cody that love and family and home are there for him… will Cody accept what is offered?

Darwin is on a cheap date with (the awful) Mark and after two seconds with the boring and nonsense man found on Match.com, he starts planning his escape until ManDonna helps him getting rid of his date. While swearing off online dates, Cody happens in his life. Cody, the waiter who can’t shut up for a moment. Cody  who has just moved to Denver where he is living his dream, go away from Kansas and finally be himself in a safe place like Hamburger Mary’s with people who actually care for him. Darwin has everything he wishes from his life except a boyfriend, a real one, someone to find a HEA with and Cody seems to be the right one.

Brandon Witt is one of my favorite authors, I adored everything he wrote so far, this novella, the beginning of a new series called Mary’s Boy was awesome in the writing, in the dialogues, in the setting, in the characters. I loved not just Cody and Darwin, but most of all the second characters, like Pat and Stevens, the owner, who have become Cody’s new family.

In Nachos & Hash I truly adored how I soon and easily was able to feel and see the love between all the characters. It wasn’t necessary the use of “I love you”, it was clear in their thoughts, words, actions. I saw their strength, I sadly saw their weaknesses and their unfounded inadequacy.

As always, Brandon entertained me with an emotional reading full of  real persons. I can’t wait for the next installment in this series, I’m so excited for Vahin to have his own HEA.

The cover art by AngstyG is lovely, I like it.

Sales Links

bef50-dreamspinner2blogo

65a2f-waxcreative-amazon-kindle

BOOK DETAILS

Kindle Edition, 122 pages

Expected publication: January 25th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press

ASIN B01N1Z5WDW

Edition Language English

Series Mary’s Boy #1

Brandon Witt on Writing and his new novel ‘Nachos & Hash (Mary’s Boys #1)'(guest blog and giveaway)

Standard

nachoshash_postcard_front_dsp

Nachos & Hash (Mary’s Boys #1) by Brandon Witt
D
reamspinner Press
Release Date: January 25, 2017

Cover Artist: AngstyG

Available for Purchase at

bef50-dreamspinner2blogo

65a2f-waxcreative-amazon-kindle

~

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Brandon Witt here today talking about writing and his latest story, Nachos & Hash.  Welcome, Brandon!

~

My writing has always mimicked my own life.  Maybe that’s true for all authors.  Maybe it’s just me being self-absorbed. Let’s hope it’s all authors…

For me, my life is split into two separate parts.  Actually, there’s way more than two, but in this sense, just the two.  I grew up in a small farming Ozark town of 3,000.  I moved to Denver, which I thought was the biggest city in the world at the time.  I love Denver, but if it wasn’t for my nephew, I’d be moving again.  It feels too small to me now.  I want SanDiego, Seattle, New York, San Francisco!  Though I’m an introvert who doesn’t want to talk to people, I do love living in a city.

My writing often follows that same path.  My books are set either in small, rural towns or large cities.  I’m fascinated with the difference between them.  How the rules of society and interaction are so varied and distinct.  They really are very separate worlds.  And the people who adamantly prefer one over the other are typically very different types of people. 

In Nachos & Hash, I wanted to play around with the two men who were relatively new to the ‘big city’ life of Denver. Both of whom are from small Midwestern towns.  Both of the characters are young (Cody being 21 and making him my youngest character yet) and both are coming of age in very different ways. And believe me, coming of age in a city instead of small town is a dramatically different experience.

Cody and Darwin both capture different parts of me when I was coming out and coming of age, though both of them came out quicker than I did.  Cody is 21, but a young 21 in a lot of ways, at times almost feeling childish.  Darwin, at 24, is an old 24, at times making choices far beyond his years.  If you put both of these men together, you get the mess that I was through my twenties.  In so many ways younger and more naive than my peers. And scared shitless.  But on the other hand, I was vastly more mature and ‘old acting’ than my peers.  There was huge split in my experiences that made both of these things happen at the same time. I guarantee, at times, you’ll want to shake Cody for being too childish and likewise roll your eyes at Darwin for being such an old man.  However, I firmly believe age is just a number and few of us fall into where we are supposed to be all of the time.  It’s in that awkwardness, that transition from country-life to city-life, from childhood to adulthood, with all of it’s ugly twists and turns that I think will make you both relate to Cody and Darwin and allow you to fall in love with them.

One random person who comments will receive a $5 Amazon gift card!

Please come along to Joyfully Jay on the 23rd to get a sneak peak at the entire series.

Nachos & Hash Blurb

Darwin Michaels is living his dreams in the Mile High City. While Denver offers the perfect job, scrumptious dining, and whirlwind dating options, Darwin is losing hope he’ll find the right man to spark his interest for more than a one-night stand—until he sets eyes on Cody Russell.

Cody has just accomplished his life’s goal—get the hell out of Kansas. In one fell swoop, he lands a job at Hamburger Mary’s and gets a newfound family and the chance to be with other gay people! All that’s missing is someone special. But when Darwin shows his interest, Cody is sure it’s too good to be true. After all, what can Darwin possibly see in the high school dropout serving him nachos?

As Darwin falls in love, Cody struggles to realize his worth. When his past threatens the fragile life he is building, Cody spirals into a moment of dark desperation. But Darwin is determined to show Cody that love and family and home are there “for him… will Cody accept what is offered?

blog-tour-2

About Brandon Witt

brandon-witt-and-alastair-1

Brandon Witt’s outlook on life is greatly impacted by his first eighteen years of growing up gay in a small town in the Ozarks, as well as fifteen years as a counselor and special education teacher for students with severe emotional disabilities. Add to that his obsession with corgis and mermaids, then factor in an unhealthy love affair with cheeseburgers, and you realize that with all those issues, he’s got plenty to write about….

Nachos & Hash Links

a2870-goodreads-button

Giveaway

One random person who comments will receive a $5 Amazon gift card!  Don’t forget to leave your email address should you be the one who Brandon chooses.  Contest ends January 27, 2017 at midnight.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

Blog Tour Schedule:

Jan 5- The Novel Approach

Jan 9- Tam’s Two Cents

Jan 11-Mary Newman’s Blog

Jan 12- SusanMacnicol.net

Jan 19- Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Jan 23- Joyfully Jay

Jan 24-Love Bytes

Jan 25 – (Release Day!)

Jan 25- Divine Magazine

Jan 26- Prism Book Alliance

A VVivacious Advent Calendar Review Day 28: Teddy Bears (2016 Advent Calendar – Bah Humbug) by Brandon Witt

Standard
Rating:  5 Stars out of 5
 
teddy-bearsJames Olsen is a handsome bear of a man who visits the bathhouse where Brian works.
 
Brian is a geeky chubby guy who hates Christmas and can’t wait for it to be over. But an accidental meeting with James at a toy store might just have Brian believing in Christmas Miracles.
 
I don’t know why I ever doubted that this story would not be good, I mean it is written by Brandon Witt and for those of you who don’t know the author should seriously consider checking his books out.
 
This story was 49 pages long (according to my reader), in which the effective length of the story after you factor in the blurb, author’s info, publication details and the cover comes out to be 40 pages and in just 40 pages the author had me so caught up in the story that I was crying by the end of it which was so surprising for me. I only cry in stories that really touch me and it is so rare for a short story to do that for me because of the limitation of their length but looks like I have been seriously underestimating short stories.
 
I loved this story because it caught me so off guard there were just so many little things in this story that were just so unique. I am actually finding it very hard to describe this book with my limited vocabulary.
 
This story is lovely, it transcends the holiday spirit and it leaves you with a warm feeling inside. I really don’t want to say anything more for fear of spoilers but know this, this story was awesome.
 
Cover Art by L. C. Chase. I loved the cover which is a depiction of an actual scene in this story and yes, this book does feature Teddy Bear hamsters.
Sales Links
0dbe2-dreamspinner2blogo
c60a7-waxcreative-amazon-kindle
9e7ee-all2bromance2bbutton
Book Details:
ebook, 47 pages
Published December 1st 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1635331900 (ISBN13: 9781635331905)
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series2016 Advent Calendar – Bah Humbug