A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: The Leprechaun Next Door by Elizabeth Coldwell

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Devon loses his job at a tech support company and almost the same time he loses his life partner when he finds out he’s been cheating on him. He takes his few possessions and meets a really cute redhead on his way into his new apartment. The redhead is Johnny, who has a touch of brogue in his voice and a glint of gold in his eye. Fun and mischievous, Johnny leaves Devon desiring to learn more about the Irishman. He gets his wish when Johnny tells him he’s a leprechaun but Devon hesitates to go any further with him. He really needs a job and he has revenge against his ex on his mind. After an accidental encounter with the ex, Devon takes Johnny up on his offer to show him how a leprechaun can grant three wishes. He chooses a new job, revenge on the ex, and to meet the man of his dreams. 

I’m torn about this story. I liked it in general, but I didn’t buy into the romance. And part of the reason for that was the way the leprechaun character was created right from the beginning of the story. Someone who claims to be a leprechaun who can grant gifts, someone who shows up and then seems to blink out of existence in a moment, someone with the power to create havoc where you want it and find you a good job in the blink of an eye. Can they be real? Add to that the look the leprechaun gives—sometimes sweet, sometimes almost evil, I was left with the impression that the character would be a catalyst to Devon’s romance, not a part of it, so I remained wary about him as the story progressed and I looked for reasons to doubt his sincerity. Unfortunately, as it turned out, the leprechaun was the man of Devon’s dreams—but not mine. 

The author wrote a nice story but the way Johnny was portrayed led me to believe he’d be a secondary character—one with an evil streak. Maybe I’ve read too many books in the spirit world lately where that turns out to be the case. In any event, I really liked Devon, and I appreciated the slow journey he took as he came into his own. I just wish his happy future wasn’t with Johnny. 

The cover by Adrian Nicholas is very clever. It features a redhead man standing over a pot of gold, his hands in prayer. Instead of a beam of golden light falling on him and the gold, the beam is a rainbow of colors. Very nice!

Buy links: Dreamspinner Press

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Book Details:

ebook, 145 pages
Expected publication: March 15th 2019 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781640808751
Edition LanguageEnglish

Elizabeth Coldwell on Writing, Characters and her new novel,The Leprechaun Next Door (author interview)

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The Leprechaun Next Door by Elizabeth Coldwell

Dreamspinner Press

Cover Art: Adrian Nicholas

Buy links: Dreamspinner Press

Amazon US

Amazon UK

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Elizabeth Coldwell here today talking about writing, characters and her new novel,The Leprechaun Next Door. Welcome, Elizabeth.

 

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interviews Elizabeth Coldwell

  • How much of yourself goes into a character?

Not that much, I don’t think. When it comes to writing MM fiction, the characters are more how I feel I might be if I was a man, which might not always be positive traits. Part of what appeals to me as a writer is becoming someone who I could never be in real life – not because I don’t like who I am as a person, but because I like to explore different perspectives and possibilities.

  • Does research play a role into choosing which genre you write?  Do you enjoy research or prefer making up your worlds and cultures?

It all depends on the story. For The Leprechaun Next Door, I was bringing a fantastical element into the everyday world, but both parts of that equation required more research than you might think. Everyone knows the basic traits of a leprechaun, such as their green suit and their pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, but I needed to know if they had any other quirks I could work into the story, and that’s how I hit on every one of the wishes Johnny the leprechaun grants having a sting in its tail (but then there’d be no story if everything came easily to the hero, would there?) As for the real-world element, Devon is looking for work lands a job in a coffee shop, so I did a little bit of research into how to use an espresso machine, because that’s something he needs to be taught.

  • How do you feel about the ebook format and where do you see it going?

Ebooks revolutionized book publishing. They opened up publishing to any number of people who would never have got a book in print due to the limited number of slots available via traditional publishers, but they’ve also allowed an awful lot of poor-quality writing to see the light of day. For a while now, there have been suggestions that the ebook market is saturated, particularly when it comes to romance, but I think good books and good publishers will always thrive.

  • How do you choose your covers?  (curious on my part)

I don’t self-publish, so I’ve never had to create a cover of my own or commission one (which is probably a good thing, as my talent is writing, not art of creative use of PhotoShop). All my covers are put together by talented artists who work from the ideas I send them. For The Leprechaun Next Door, Dreamspinner cover artist Adrian Nicholas came up with a variety of images and I chose my favorite. I love it because it’s very colorful and light-hearted and it suits the mood of the book.

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

This will sound like a cop-out, but it’s almost impossible to pick one out of everything I’ve ever written. I’m very fond of the Lionhearts series I wrote for Totally Bound. They’re MM shifter stories about various lion shifters around the world and the humans who are destined to be their mates, and the series as a whole takes in centuries-old conspiracies, human sacrifice, ghost hunters, murder, arson, obsessed stalkers – all the good stuff!

  • Have you ever put a story away, thinking it just didn’t work?  Then years/months/whatever later inspiration struck and you loved it? Is there a title we would recognize if that happened?

That happened with a novel I wrote for Xcite Books, Someone Else’s Skin. It all sprang from an incident many years ago when I was hypnotized by someone who’s a well-known hypnotist in the UK at the launch of his self-help videos (yes, that’s how long ago it was – no such thing as DVDs in those days!). He claimed he could hypnotize you to show you who you were going to be in a future life, rather than who you’d been in a past one, and I thought that was such a great idea for a story, but I couldn’t make it work and I shelved the book. It was never meant to be an erotic romance, but when I changed the heroine’s self-absorbed, cheating boyfriend into a sympathetic character who enjoyed threesomes, suddenly everything fell into place and I had great fun writing it. But I’ve never been hypnotized since…

  • If you could imagine the best possible place for you to write, where would that be and why?

It’s somewhere I’ve written in the past. A few years ago, my partner and I were on holiday in Amsterdam, staying on a houseboat that had once been a working barge. One day it rained, so I sat writing and watching the rain fall. Just the perfect creative atmosphere.

  • What’s next for you as a writer?

I have an idea for a novel involving a vampire character who gets a tiny mention in The Leprechaun Next Door. Once I have the time to get into the meat of the story, I think I’m going to have a good time with it.

 

The Leprechaun Next Door by Elizabeth Coldwell

Blurb:

Happiness might be waiting at the end of the rainbow, but will it come with a price?

Devon’s down on his luck—he’s lost his job and discovered his boyfriend is cheating on him. His neighbor, Johnny, is not only cute, he also has a big secret: he’s a leprechaun with a pot of gold… and the ability to grant wishes.

Can Devon wish his way out of the hole he’s found himself in? He’d like a new job, some revenge on his lying ex, and maybe even love. Johnny can give him what he wants, but it won’t come for free… or in the ways Devon expects. Can he trust a sexy leprechaun to help him make a new start and wish himself into the arms of the man of his dreams?

Author Bio:

I am Rotherham’s foremost (okay, only) writer of quality erotica and erotic romance. Though I’m now based in London, family and football take me back North on a regular basis. Indeed, if you’re ever at a Rotherham United match (I know, what are the chances?) and you spot a small blonde with a large ‘London Millers’ flag, that’ll be me. Originally from South Yorkshire, Elizabeth Coldwell has been making up stories for as long as she can remember, only now she gets to people them with hot men. When she’s not got her nose in a book, she’s reviewing or trying to stop one or both of her cats from walking over her keyboard. She spends her time following her home town football team and baking the best brownies in East London.

 

Connect with Elizabeth Coldwell

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An Alisa Advent Release Day Review: Candy Canes and Cappuccinos by Elizabeth Coldwell

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Rating:  3 stars out of 5 

Kyle is struggling to run his coffee shop on his own after his partner walked out on him. He has his eye on Steven, who comes into the shop each day, but hasn’t worked up the nerve to express his interest. When Steven asks Kyle to help out with Christmas lunch at the homeless shelter where he works, Kyle is too exhausted to agree. He donates his tips but still feels he’s blown his chances with Steven and made himself look like a selfish jerk.

On Christmas Day, Kyle sees a way to make amends—to both Steven and the needy people depending on his kindness. It’s the right thing to do, and Kyle hopes he can clear up the misunderstanding and show Steven the type of man he really is. Maybe then they can consider some dessert when the lunch at the shelter is over…

Kyle and Steven have been flirting with each other for months but never took anything further.  Kyle has worked hard to make his coffee shop successful and doesn’t think before he gives Steven an answer.  I did love how he stepped up when he was walking and knew the people from the shelter needed help.  Despite their flirting neither of them know much about each other and they get a little bit of a chance to talk.  However, I couldn’t help but feel that Steven pushed Kyle a bit too much once they were alone and I didn’t like the explanation that it means more so it’s okay

Cover Art by Paul Richmond is the series cover for the Stocking Stuffer 2017 Advent collection.  Humorous but doesn’t pertain to one story.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:
ebook, 24 pages
Published: December 24, 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
Edition Language: English

A MelanieM Review: Behind the Mask by Elizabeth Coldwell

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Rating: 2 stars out of 5

He keeps his true identity hidden, even from the man he loves…

Twenty years ago, superheroes were outlawed by the mayor of Mokum City. Christopher Chase has grown up knowing that he has all the strength and speed of Sprint, his superhero father, who died attempting to save the mayor’s niece from being kidnapped. But, unlike his father, he is unable to fulfill his destiny and become a masked crimefighter. Even Christopher’s boyfriend, bar owner Johnny Brennan, doesn’t know Christopher’s true identity.

A chance encounter with a purse snatcher in the city cemetery gives Christopher a taste of what it’s like to use his powers for good. And when Johnny becomes caught up in a hostage situation, Christopher can no longer stand by. Even if it means losing his own life, he must pull on the costume of Sprint to save the man he loves.

Well, honestly this story had so many holes in it and so many questionable elements that just made you roll your eyes that giving it two stars is generous.  There’s a dead dad superhero, a son with superhero powers he keeps hidden, the fact that his father was most likely murdered (something that gets brought up and then unbelievably pushed aside) and an ending that’s plain laughable and not in a good way.  The characters don’t connect in any emotional or logical way.  It’s just one flawed bit after another.  It makes 36 pages seem like forever.
To go on isn’t justified either.   I don’t recommend it, even for lovers of superheroes in fiction.  If you love Elizabeth Coldwell, skip this all together.
Cover by Posh Gosh in no way represents anything really about this story.  It is however the best thing about this story.
Sales Links:  Pride Publishing | Amazon
Book Details:
ebook, Re-released, 36 pages
Expected publication: July 18th 2017 by Pride Publishing
ISBN13 9781786515872
Edition Language English

A Stella Review: Vintage Pride (Lionhearts #3) by Elizabeth Coldwell

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Rating: 2.75 stars out of 5

He doesn’t believe in the paranormal. Can a gorgeous shifter prove him wrong?

Vintage Pride coverEthan Wayne is a paranormal investigator for the hottest reality show on TV, Spirit Seekers, but his love life is decidedly lukewarm. Reeling from a sudden break-up, he finds himself heading for France, where his team will be exploring the Château LeBlanc, searching for the ghost of a murdered kitchen maid. When he meets the château’s reclusive owner, Jean-Luc LeBlanc, the attraction is fierce and instant—but Jean-Luc is keeping secrets the skeptical Ethan could never have imagined.

Jean-Luc’s world collapsed with the death of his beloved Benoît. He no longer cares about producing his award-winning Champagne and even his closest family members can’t rouse him from his self-imposed solitude. The last thing he wants is a team of ghost hunters intruding on his privacy and discovering the truth of his nature. The realization that one of these brash Americans is destined to be his new mate seems like a sick joke. But soon Jean-Luc has bigger things to worry about than his distrust of humans. His home and family are under threat—can he do what it takes to save all he holds dear, and let Ethan into his heart in the process?

This will be not a positive review and I’m so sorry to write it. I’m always looking for new authors and early in the year, when I saw the first book in this Lionhearted series, The Pride of  Amsterdam  by Elizabeth Coldwell, a new to me writer, I was really interested by the plot. I liked that one, even if there were a couple of things that kept me from loving it, but still I had great hopes. After having read Taming the Lion  and this new one Vintage Pride, I realized my review for each one of the book in the series could be the same and that’s one of  the reasons why I’m sorry but I have to quit reading it.

Vintage Pride was a really well written book, with good characters, main and second one, even if not so deeply developed. The plot, the mystery, the setting, were all unique and interesting. Still I couldn’t give it a full three stars rating, cause the delivery was the same of the other two books and so this time it felt really really boring. When I read different books in a series I need something that make these books different, otherwise I’m facing the same concept simply set in another place and with other characters.That’s exactly what I got from the Lionhearted series.

Things happened too quickly and the acceptance of a paranormal world from a human like us was incredibly smoothly. The mystery was interesting but evident and easily guessed. There was nothing that made Vintage Pride distinguishable from the other books.

I’m really disappointed especially cause I love this author’s writing a lot, to me it flows very easily, that’s why all my ratings were higher than what I’d have usual give. But the boredom can’t be overcome with just a good writing.

Cover art by Posh Gosh. Here I am again saying old news. I’m okay with follow a concept in design the covers of a series but they are all the same apart from little tiny details that are almost invisible. So it’s a good series but I already saw two of them.

Sales Links:  Pride Publishing | All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, 162 pages
Published June 9th 2015 by Pride Publishing
(a LGBTQIA Press of Totally Entwined)
ISBN139781784306182
edition languageEnglish

 Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of violence, mild BDSM and references to multiple partners

Lionhearts:

A Stella Review: Taming the Lion (Lionhearts #2) by Elizabeth Coldwell

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Will he sacrifice everything for the sake of his human mate?

Taming the Lion coverThwarted in his efforts to become head of the Amsterdam pride of lion shifters, Kaspar de Wit flees to England. He finds himself in Bath, home of the biggest English pride, and begins to make a new life among friends. What he doesn’t know is that he’s moved to a city steeped in bloody ritual. Destiny seems to have drawn Kaspar to the place where he’ll meet his mate–but does something more horrifying lie in wait for him, too?

Jon Fellowes, professor of archaeology at Bath University, is obsessed with the standing stones that dominate the Somerset landscape and the people who raised them. He’s heard tales of strange creatures, half-man, half-lion, that once roamed the land, but dismisses them till he meets the beautiful Kaspar and learns the bizarre truth of his nature. As an ancient rite is revived and terror stalks the countryside, can Jon and Kaspar overcome the natural distrust between humans and shifters to find true love? Or will one of them be forced to make the ultimate sacrifice?

Taming The Lion is the second book in the Lionhearts series by Elizabeth Coldwell. Since I enjoyed the first book, The Pride Of Amsterdam, I was really curious about this new story, especially as I was hoping to know more about this new lion universe the author has built. Well, I didn’t get what I wanted because the book is set in Bath, England, so I got nothing about my beloved Kees and Arjan.

Moreover this book was heavier and darker, with some really hard to take scenes which I was so not expecting, they destabilized me. I was expecting a paranormal book and shifters.

What I got was:

1) A lot of sex, as in the first book. If you have already read my other reviews, you already know it’s something I need to have in my stories. Here the sex scenes were well done so it was ok.
2) Nothing new about this particular shifters’ world. The book could almost pass for a normal one instead of a paranormal universe because the shifter aspect at the end it wasn’t exactly relevant, apart for a couple of sections.
3) A really dark mystery with dark scenes.  It surely made the story entertaining but it was predictable from the start as in the first book. I figured out the bad person from the start and that’s something I don’t like. I liked the plot but I’d have preferred it was addressed in a totally different way.
4) The story between the MCs is really too simple, Kaspar finds in Jon, a human, his mate and Jon discovers Kaspar is a lion shifter and everything is okay. No drama, no doubts, nothing.

My opinion on the Lionhearted series hasn’t improved reading Taming The Lion, on the contrary. The thing that keeps me from giving up on it is the writing. I found both books well written and I like the author’s style. So I think maybe I’m going to read Vintage Pride too. Maybe.

Cover art by Posh Gosh. It’s slightly different from the cover of the first book in the series. It’s absolutely well done and eye catching but I would have loved something different since I already had seen this one.

Sales Links:  Totally Bound BooksAll Romance (ARe)Amazon   Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, 148 pages
Published March 27th 2015 by Totally Bound
ISBN13 9781784305048
Edition Language English

Lionhearts series
The Pride Of Amsterdam #1
Taming the Lion #2
Vintage pride #3 coming soon