A Barb the Zany Old Lady Advent Release Day Review: The Puzzle Box (2017 Advent Calendar Daily – Stocking Stuffers) by C.C. Bridges

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

This was a delightful short holiday story in which Cole, artist and elementary art teacher, is not looking forward to the Christmas holiday this year because his lover and best friend, James, is a soldier deployed overseas.  I was immediately able to relate to this, having had a family member deployed in a war zone over the holidays thirteen years ago. 

Cole at least has his BFF, Liz, to keep him company and to nag him into eating and shopping, two things that are way too boring without James.  When Cole receives a box from James in early December, it takes him a short time to figure out that James is going to lead him on a Scavenger Hunt to what will ultimately be his best Christmas present ever!  Along the way, though, there are stops at locations where the two men had firsts: first kiss, first dinner after moving in together, etc.

As I stated earlier, this one is delightful.  I’m impressed by this author who is new to me.  The characters are well developed, the plot is thoughtful and interesting, and the ending is everything I would hope for in a holiday romance.  I highly recommend this stocking stuffer to all lovers of MM romance and if you have a spot in your heart for those serving their country away from home, this one is perfect to lift your spirits.

The cover by Paul Richmond is the standard Dreamspinner Press Advent Calendar art—bright and and cheerful.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 31 pages
Published December 1st 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781640802957
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series2017 Advent Calendar Daily – Stocking Stuffer

C.C. Bridges on Writing, Characters, and their latest release Angel 1089 (Heaven Corp. #1) (author interview)

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Angel 1089 (Heaven Corp. #1) by C.C. Bridges

Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase

Available for Purchase at Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have C.C. Bridges here today on their Angel 1089 tour. C.C. has agreed to sit in our author interview chair. Welcome, C.C.

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with C.C. Bridges

Thank you for hosting me today! I’m so happy to be celebrating the re-release of Angel 1089! I’ll be answering some interview questions, and stay tuned until the end for a giveaway!

Has your choice of childhood or teenage reading genres carried into your own choices for writing?

Oh definitely. I started reading science fiction and fantasy when I was about eleven years old, right after I discovered Star Trek. The original series started playing in syndication, and I didn’t have cable TV as a child, so I watched a lot of 1960s TV in syndication. Star Trek captivated me. I started reading the tie-in novels (in face, I still own some of those novels!), and then branched out into the wider sci-fi/fantasy world.

Do you read romances, as a teenager and as an adult?

I do! The first romance novel I ever read was given to me accidentally when I was twelve. The mother of my best friend worked at the airport, and people left books behind all the time. She knew I liked to read, so she gave me a stack from the lost and found. One of those books was a rather steamy romance novel.

Who do you think is your major influence as a writer?  Now and growing up?

I think in terms of sc-fi, my major influence is Lois McMaster Bujold. I ate up the entire Vorkosigan books, and absolutely love character driven stories.

Do you have a favorite among your own stories?  And why?

I know it’s cliche, but Angel 1089 is probably my favorite. I love the characters, the world, and how I managed to somehow put it all together since it was my first novel.

Thank you for hosting me! I’m giving away four $10 Dreamspinner gift cards at the end of the blog tour. Enter here: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/16f80d4e4/?

Blurb

A deal with the devil….

Gabriel 1089 is an angel—an enhanced and cybernetically modified human designed to protect the city in the sky called Heaven. He follows Heaven’s orders and fights its enemies. But when an attack by demons leaves him trapped on the earth below, missing both a metal wing and his network-enabled halo, he’s cut off from his home for good and at the mercy of one man.

Jeff Werth is used to demons in need of his mechanical expertise showing up on the doorstep of the junkyard he runs in Old Trent. However, he doesn’t expect to be stuck with an injured angel. Jeff owes the demons for saving his daughter’s life, so he does what they demand—he nurses the angel back to health and keeps close track of him as a possible pawn in the high-stakes war between Heaven above and the demons below. But he doesn’t expect the effect Gabe has on his heart, or having to choose between his daughter and the man he’s come to love.

About the Author

CC Bridges is a mild-mannered librarian by day, but by night she writes about worlds of adventure and romance. When she’s not busy solving puzzles in an escape room, she can be found diving into comics or binge-watching superhero movies. She writes surrounded by books, spare computing equipment, a fluffy dog, and a long-suffering husband in the state of New Jersey. In 2011, she won a Rainbow Award for best gay sci-fi/futuristic novel.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ccbridgeswriter

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ccbridgeswriter

Blog: http://blog.ccbridges.net/

Website: http://www.ccbridges.net

An Alisa Release Day Review: Angel 1089 (Heaven Corp. #1) by C.C. Bridges

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Rating:  3.5 stars out of 5

 

A deal with the devil….

 

Gabriel 1089 is an angel—an enhanced and cybernetically modified human designed to protect the city in the sky called Heaven. He follows Heaven’s orders and fights its enemies. But when an attack by demons leaves him trapped on the earth below, missing both a metal wing and his network-enabled halo, he’s cut off from his home for good and at the mercy of one man.

 

Jeff Werth is used to demons in need of his mechanical expertise showing up on the doorstep of the junkyard he runs in Old Trent. However, he doesn’t expect to be stuck with an injured angel. Jeff owes the demons for saving his daughter’s life, so he does what they demand—he nurses the angel back to health and keeps close track of him as a possible pawn in the high-stakes war between Heaven above and the demons below. But he doesn’t expect the effect Gabe has on his heart, or having to choose between his daughter and the man he’s come to love.

 

This was an interesting concept for a story, its set in the future (not really sure how far) but in some ways they are more advanced and in some less so.  Jeff has been living the last few years in dept for his daughter’s life and he isn’t willing to sacrifice anything else that may cause her harm.  Gabe has been thrown out of the only world he knew and trusts Jeff with everything he may need to learn or do in this new life.

 

Jeff is continually struggling with himself as he begins to actually learn about the man Gabe is underneath the angel reprogramming.  Gabe is thrust into a world so different from all that he knows but as his memories start to come back he isn’t sure he wants to go back to that world.

 

We get to see how both of these characters are thinking and feeling throughout this book.  Gabe is like a child in some ways right after he is injured and re-learning who he is and then deciding who he wants to be.  I could feel his confusion and heartbreak when he began to remember his life before he became an angel.  Jeff is stuck in the same circle ever since his daughter was injured he hasn’t figured out how to move on or at least move past what happened.  Gabe is there to push him to see he can forgive himself and have his own happiness.  This world is so different and intricate from now it is sometimes hard to figure out what it is like since you learn little bits and pieces as you go.

 

Cover art by L.C. Chase is nice and gives a good visual of Gabe.

 

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages

Published: 2nd Edition, November 27, 2017 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 978-1-64080-042-7

Edition Language: English

In Our New Release Spotlight: Love in the Time of Hurricanes (States of Love) by C.C. Bridges (guest post, interview and excerpt)

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Love in the Time of Hurricanes (States of Love)

by C.C. Bridges
D
reamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Brooke Albrecht

Buy Links:

           

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have C.C. Bridges here today talking about Dreamspinner Press’ latest story in their States of Love series, Love in the Time of Hurricanes.  Welcome, C.C.!

✒︎

Today is the release day for Love in the Time of Hurricanes! In a lot of ways, this story was a very personal one for me to write. But today, I’m going to talk about my main characters: Lou and Nick.

I don’t typically put a lot of myself in my characters. They often show up in my head, fully-formed, with personalities of their own (See: Hank Abraham in Exodus, for example!) https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/exodus-by-cc-bridges-4242-b

But this book is different. There’s so much more of me in here. There’s a little bit of me in each of the main characters.

Nick has my anxiety. He can’t stand up to his father, and he’s unsure of what he even wants. All of that spirals together into a knot of anxiety inside him, and the hurricane only makes things worse.

Lou, like me, comes from a big Italian family. He loves to cook his family recipes, and play with some non-traditional recipes too. He pulls Nick into his world of pizza, marinara, and skeeball, and changes his life.

Just how does he do it? You’ll have to read and see.

Blurb

The night Nick Henderson storms into Martelli’s Pizzeria, he’s just looking for something to eat. Along with dinner, he finds Lou Martelli—pizza cook extraordinaire and Jersey Shore native. Nick is renting a Shore house for the winter while taking classes at the local community college as he devises a way to escape the accounting major his father chose for him.

When Lou offers to show Nick around, heat flares between them as they realize they have more in common than domineering families. But it’s not all fun and games on the boardwalk. Hurricane Sandy blows ashore, changing the place Nick was starting to think of as home. His peace is shattered, and it will take everything he has to keep his relationship with Lou from being torn apart by the storm brewing around them.

States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.

Excerpt

When I spotted a pizza place with the lights still on, I took a chance and pulled into the empty parking lot. That should have been a clue.

I pushed open the door, the sudden warm air a relief from the cooler September night. A bell jangled loudly and cut into the music playing from a stereo propped on the counter. I blinked at the sudden brightness after the darkness outside. Springsteen sang to an empty room, not a single person filling the booths with polished red leather seats that lined the wall. I noted the black-and-white checkered floors, a mural of the leaning tower of Pisa on the wall—yeah, like a million pizza joints I knew.

And then he walked into the room, wielding a broom and dustpan and looking good enough to eat.

“Sorry, man, I’m about to close up.”

It took me a minute to find my voice. He had dark hair that curled around his ears, sleepy bedroom eyes, and a wicked grin beneath a noble-looking nose. His shoulders filled out a green T-shirt that had Martelli’s written across it in golden letters. Apparently he got a workout from rolling pizza, because those arms were solid muscle.

But I couldn’t draw my eyes away from the bit of scruff on his cheeks. More than a five-o’clock shadow, it was the kind of almost beard that begged to be licked.

“Um, sorry. Do you have anything left over?” To make me sound even more pathetic, right then my stomach chose to gurgle. It wasn’t anything like a manly growl—it was a tiny twisted gurgle.

The guy with the broom laughed. Fuck, were those dimples? I thought he was lickable before.

“Tell you what. Take a seat at the counter.”

I’d missed the barstools lined up along the counter during my first glance. Instead of display containers with stale pizza, there were napkin holders and glass shakers of pepper flakes and garlic powder. I sat carefully, and I say carefully, because the guy turned his back in order to flip the sign on the door to Closed, and I got a really nice view. Those tight jeans framed that ass spectacularly.

He turned, and I swear he caught me staring. Shit.

About the Author

CC Bridges is a mild-mannered librarian by day, but by night she writes about worlds of adventure and romance. When she’s not busy solving puzzles in an escape room, she can be found diving into comics or binge-watching superhero movies. She writes surrounded by books, spare computing equipment, a fluffy dog, and a long-suffering husband in the state of New Jersey. In 2011, she won a Rainbow Award for best gay sci-fi/futuristic novel.

Social Media Links

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ccbridgeswriter

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ccbridgeswriter

Blog: http://blog.ccbridges.net/

Website: http://www.ccbridges.net

A Paul B Advent Story Review: Teddy Bear Christmas by C.C. Bridges

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Rating: 5 out of 5 stars   ★★★★★

Sleigh Ride Advent StoryIt is December 23rd, and Tyler Martin is waiting in the airport for his flight back home to New Jersey for the Christmas holiday.  Having missed returning home last year due to his then boyfriend wanting to spend it together, he is anxious to get his family celebration.  While waiting for his delayed flight due to a massive snowstorm out east, he sees a teddy bear sitting across from him.  When the occupants of the seats next to the teddy leave for their flights, Tyler realizes that someone who has already left must have forgotten the bear.  He takes the bear to the airline’s customer service area to turn it into lost and found.

Aaron Klein is busy working the counter of the airline he is employed by.  With numerous delays and cancellations, he is assisting people with their travel woes.  Having already celebrated Hanukah, Aaron does not mind working the Christmas holidays.  While on the phone with a mother asking about a lost teddy bear, Aaron notices a gorgeous man approach the counter with said bear.  After assuring the mother that the bear will be there when she returns from her trip, the man proposes to do something special for the child who is missing her bear.  Aaron agrees to go along with Tyler’s suggestion hoping to get to know this man whose plane has been delayed by weather.  Will this new relationship take off or be grounded just as Tyler’s flight has been?

I absolutely adored this story.  I have to say that I personally am a teddy bear enthusiast.  So when the list of Advent stories was made available, I jumped on this one.  I loved how the author used a child’s bear to bring two men who are neither related to the owner together.  What they do for the girl who owns the bear brings the two closer together.  And while there are questions by both men as to whether such a chance meeting could lead to anything, the reader knows that the two will get together at the end.  This is a delightful holiday read.

The cover art by Paul Richmond for this story is the standard cover for Dreamspinner’s Sleigh Ride Advent event.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details

Kindle Edition, 31 pages
Published November 30th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
ASINB018RVBQ1K
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesSleigh Ride – 2015 Advent Calendar