A BJ Review: Blackfrost (Wytch Kings #2) by Jaye McKenna

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Rating:  5 stars out of 5        ★★★★★

Blackfrost_600x900Son of a simple blacksmith, Apprentice Wytch Kian has always known that once his apprenticeship is over, he’ll be sent far from home to serve the Wytch Council. Before his training is even complete, Wytch Master Taretha orders him to Blackfrost, an isolated country estate, where he is to serve as personal healer to Prince Ambris of Miraen.

Nothing in Kian’s experience has prepared him for what he finds at Blackfrost, and every day brings new questions. Like why is Prince Ambris being kept prisoner at Blackfrost? Where does Wytch Master Taretha take him every fortnight? And why does the prince return from these excursions suffering from horrific injuries that Kian is expected to heal?

Kian quickly learns that seeking answers to these questions could cost him his life. Worse, he soon finds himself struggling with his growing feelings for Ambris, putting him at odds with both Wytch Master Taretha and the sadistic guard captain, Malik. Can Kian unravel the mystery in time to save Ambris? Or will the prince finally succumb to madness and destroy Blackfrost and everyone in it?

If you read my review of book one in this series, Burn the Sky, you saw me proclaim it as my favorite dragon shifter story. Well guys, we have an upset. As of last night when I finished the ARC of Blackfrost, I must say that as much as I adored Garrick and Ilya’s story and didn’t think it possible for the series to get better. It did. New favorite!

I love broken boys, and this author excels at providing perfect, realistic HEA endings for the tortured and broken men she makes me adore. Well, I’m here to say that Prince Ambris gives a whole new meaning to the word broken. Don’t believe me? Read the first chapter and see.

The story hooked me in practically from the first page, which is actually pretty rare for me. In thinking of a word to describe the beginning, what came to mind is stunning because both of the dictionary meanings do apply (1. causing astonishment, bewilderment & 2. of striking beauty or excellence).  If you’re easily squeaked out, maybe a bit of caution as it’s very vividly written, but don’t let it stop you please, as I can almost guarantee it will suck you in.

The world building in this series rivals any I’ve seen. All of the author’s series take place in the same universe but often in a different timeframe, which makes for a world that’s well-developed, intricate and complex. Epic really. For a complete understanding of it, check out the authors Aion Timeline page here: http://www.jayemckenna.com/p/timeline.html

We get to visit with characters from book one who I loved, the newly crowned Wytch King Garrick and his beloved Wytch Master Ilya. Also Garrick’s younger brother Jaire whose powers have grown since the last book. And of course, sweet and witty Kian.

Kian is such a nice guy. In Burn the Sky, he was Prince Garrick’s friend and sometime bedmate. I love that the two remained friends despite well, everything from book one. That there was no jealousy when Garrick found his love in Ilya, that their friendship was firm and solid throughout. I loved that Kian is bisexual, and that he’s such an easy going, laid back, and rather simple guy. Not easy to anger or volatile but just a downright affable guy. He’s the guy I’d like to have for a pal. I could just squeeze him.

As much as I like Kian, it’s Ambris who rocked this story for me. And it’s hard to explain why without spoilers, which is frustrating but I really don’t want to give anything away! So I’ll just say that I enjoyed seeing how having someone care for him and for whom he could care allowed him to find the strength to transform from the tortured, beaten down, nearly hopeless man he was at the beginning into the strong and confident man of royal blood that was his destiny. That, and the fact that the physical description of Ambris is so unique that although the cover rocks just as it is and I really wouldn’t change it, there is a small part of me disappointed that it didn’t have a representation of Ambris in all his awesomeness.

Amidst the nicely paced action and angst, the main characters manage some steamy sexy times, including a lovely massage scene that I found particularly titillating. There’s also a delightful side relationship between two of the minor characters that I added another level of enjoyment to the story.

The cover by Chinchbug is not only eye-catching, but is like a freeze frame of action that vividly captures a key scene in the story in all of its power and poignancy right down to the screaming angst on the dragon’s face.

Sales Links: ARe | Amazon  | Smashwords


Book Details:  

ebook
Published May 1st 2016 by Mythe Weaver Press
Edition LanguageEnglish

Wytch King Series with links to BJ’s reviews:

Burn the Sky
Blackfrost

Its Release Day for Blackfrost (Wytch Kings, Book 2) by Jaye McKenna (excerpt and giveaway)

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Blackfrost_600x900

Blackfrost (Wytch Kings, Book 2) by Jaye McKenna

Cover Artist: Chinchbug

Release Day: May 3, 2016

 Purchase It Here: ARe | Amazon  | Smashwords

Blurb

Son of a simple blacksmith, Apprentice Wytch Kian has always known that once his apprenticeship is over, he’ll be sent far from home to serve the Wytch Council. Before his training is even complete, Wytch Master Taretha orders him to Blackfrost, an isolated country estate, where he is to serve as personal healer to Prince Ambris of Miraen.

Nothing in Kian’s experience has prepared him for what he finds at Blackfrost, and every day brings new questions. Like why is Prince Ambris being kept prisoner at Blackfrost? Where does Wytch Master Taretha take him every fortnight? And why does the prince return from these excursions suffering from horrific injuries that Kian is expected to heal?

Kian quickly learns that seeking answers to these questions could cost him his life. Worse, he soon finds himself struggling with his growing feelings for Ambris, putting him at odds with both Wytch Master Taretha and the sadistic guard captain, Malik. Can Kian unravel the mystery in time to save Ambris? Or will the prince finally succumb to madness and destroy Blackfrost and everyone in it?

Sequel to Burn the Sky..

Excerpt

“Ambris! Ambris, wake up, it’s just a dream.”

Ambris latched on to that voice and clung to it, following it out of the nightmare. He found himself in his own bed, shaking and sweaty, the sheets tangled about him.

Kian stood beside the bed, dressed only in a pair of half-laced breeches. His hair was tousled and hung loose below his shoulders, and his dark eyes looked huge and sleepy in the light of the lamp he carried.

“Sorry,” Ambris muttered, unable to take his eyes off of Kian’s bare chest and arms. Those arms were as big around as Ambris’s thighs, and Kian’s chest was broad and sprinkled with dark hair. Ambris couldn’t stop himself from letting his eyes trace the trail of hair down to the unlaced top of the breeches.

“Are you all right?” Kian asked.

Ambris lifted his gaze in time to see the healer run a hand through his hair. “I’m fine,” he murmured, and struggled to sit up. Pain lanced through his upper back, and a curse fell from his lips before he could stop it.

“What is it?” Kian asked quickly. “What’s wrong?”

“My back… I must have wrenched it while I was thrashing about.”

Kian set the lamp on the nightstand. “Turn over and lie on your belly.”

Ambris started to turn, but stopped suddenly, wincing as another hot shard of pain pierced his back.

“Carefully,” Kian amended.

Moving slowly, he managed to complete the maneuver with only minimal discomfort. “Are you going to heal me?”

“I doubt that will be necessary. It’s probably just a cramp. I’ll rub your back for you, though. It will help loosen the muscle and ease the cramp. We’ll see if I can get you relaxed enough that you fall back to sleep.”

The mattress dipped on either side of him as Kian straddled his hips. Ambris liked the feel of the warm weight of him and wished the covers weren’t between them.

“Tell me where it hurts.” Warm hands began probing his back, pressing gently here and there.

“Ah!” Ambris gasped as Kian’s thumb found a tight knot in his upper back. “That’s it, right there.”

“Sorry. Put your head down and try to relax.”

Ambris tried to do as he was told, but the moment Kian’s hands slid beneath his nightshirt and made contact with his bare skin, there was no chance of relaxing. Every nerve in his body came alive, and he squirmed as his shaft hardened uncomfortably beneath him.

Kian pushed Ambris’s nightshirt out of his way and ran those big, warm hands over his back. Ambris shivered in delight at his touch. How would it feel to have those hands wandering elsewhere? Down his sides… across his chest… stroking his buttocks, perhaps even…

He groaned as Kian pressed hard, kneading the tight muscles to help them relax.

“What did you dream?” Kian asked quietly. “Do you remember?”

“No,” Ambris lied. “I just remember being frightened.” Kian would learn about what a miserable failure he was soon enough, and then, Ambris imagined, he would stay as far away as he could, like everyone else did. In the two weeks since he’d arrived, Kian’s presence had brightened the long, lonely days, and Ambris wanted to put off his inevitable withdrawal for as long as possible.

He’d thought Kian would have heard all about him from the staff by now, but Kian was as kind and friendly as he had been those first few days. Ambris did occasionally catch him staring, a puzzled expression drawing his dark brows together, but after that first day, Kian hadn’t asked any more difficult questions, and for that, Ambris was thankful.

It wouldn’t last, of course, but until Kian learned the truth, Ambris could pretend they were friends. It had been a very long time since he’d had anyone he could call a friend.

Kian’s hands moved lower, massaging his lower back, and Ambris couldn’t help but squirm. More aroused than he’d ever been, he kept his burning face buried in the pillow so Kian wouldn’t see. He doubted Kian had any interest in men, and even if he did, a man like Kian could have anyone he wanted; he would never look twice at a pale, scrawny thing like Ambris. He closed his eyes and flexed his hips the tiniest bit, pressing his throbbing shaft into the mattress.

His thoughts flew back ten years, to those first fumbling kisses and touches he’d shared with Wes Atherton. It had been during the Harvest Ball at the Fall Council the year before his Wytch power had destroyed his life. They’d slipped away from the crowds and into a dark hallway, and Wes had knelt before him, undone his breeches, and licked and kissed him until Ambris was nearly screaming with pleasure…

His need was so great, it was like a hollow, burning ache that swallowed everything else. He wanted Kian’s hands on him, wanted Kian’s mouth on him, too. Wanted Kian to touch him and kiss him and…

Ambris came with a whimper that he quickly choked off. His cheeks felt like they were on fire, and he buried his face deeper into the pillow, mortified. What must Kian think of him?

But Kian didn’t seem to have noticed. The gentle rhythm of the massage never faltered as Ambris burned with shame. He squeezed his eyes shut and struggled to control his ragged breathing in an attempt to feign sleep.

Eventually, Kian’s rhythm slowed and he lifted his hands from Ambris’s skin. Ambris almost whimpered in protest before he remembered his shame. He bit back the sound before it could escape and lay still as Kian carefully eased himself off the bed.

The healer pulled Ambris’s nightshirt back down and the covers back up, then quietly tended the fire. Ambris held his breath, waiting for him to leave, but Kian remained in the room for a long while before finally slipping out the door and locking it behind him. Ambris lay awake for the rest of the night, wondering if Kian had sensed his arousal.

And what he must think of him if he had.

About the Author

Jaye McKenna icon

Jaye McKenna was born a Brit and was dragged, kicking and screaming, across the Pond at an age when such vehement protest was doomed to be misinterpreted as a “paddy”. She grew up near a sumac forest in Minnesota and spent most of her teen years torturing her parents with her electric guitar and her dark poetry. She was punk before it was cool and a grown-up long before she was ready. Jaye writes fantasy and science fiction stories about hot guys who have the hots for each other. She enjoys making them work darn hard for their happy endings, which might explain why she never gets invited to their parties.

You can contact Jaye McKenna at     Goodreads| Twitter| Website

Giveaway

Leythe Blade

To celebrate the release of Blackfrost, the author is giving away a copy of Leythe Blade.  You must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Leave a comment here with your email address.  Contest ends May 17th.

 

Cover Reveal for Blackfrost ( Wytch Kings, Book 2) by Jaye McKenna (Cover reveal and excerpt)

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Blackfrost_600x900

Blackfrost (Wytch Kings, Book 2) by Jaye McKenna

Cover Artist: Chinchbug

Release Day: May 3, 2016

Blurb

Son of a simple blacksmith, Apprentice Wytch Kian has always known that once his apprenticeship is over, he’ll be sent far from home to serve the Wytch Council. Before his training is even complete, Wytch Master Taretha orders him to Blackfrost, an isolated country estate, where he is to serve as personal healer to Prince Ambris of Miraen.

Nothing in Kian’s experience has prepared him for what he finds at Blackfrost, and every day brings new questions. Like why is Prince Ambris being kept prisoner at Blackfrost? Where does Wytch Master Taretha take him every fortnight? And why does the prince return from these excursions suffering from horrific injuries that Kian is expected to heal?

Kian quickly learns that seeking answers to these questions could cost him his life. Worse, he soon finds himself struggling with his growing feelings for Ambris, putting him at odds with both Wytch Master Taretha and the sadistic guard captain, Malik. Can Kian unravel the mystery in time to save Ambris? Or will the prince finally succumb to madness and destroy Blackfrost and everyone in it?

Sequel to Burn the Sky..

Excerpt

“Ambris! Ambris, wake up, it’s just a dream.”

Ambris latched on to that voice and clung to it, following it out of the nightmare. He found himself in his own bed, shaking and sweaty, the sheets tangled about him.

Kian stood beside the bed, dressed only in a pair of half-laced breeches. His hair was tousled and hung loose below his shoulders, and his dark eyes looked huge and sleepy in the light of the lamp he carried.

“Sorry,” Ambris muttered, unable to take his eyes off of Kian’s bare chest and arms. Those arms were as big around as Ambris’s thighs, and Kian’s chest was broad and sprinkled with dark hair. Ambris couldn’t stop himself from letting his eyes trace the trail of hair down to the unlaced top of the breeches.

“Are you all right?” Kian asked.

Ambris lifted his gaze in time to see the healer run a hand through his hair. “I’m fine,” he murmured, and struggled to sit up. Pain lanced through his upper back, and a curse fell from his lips before he could stop it.

“What is it?” Kian asked quickly. “What’s wrong?”

“My back… I must have wrenched it while I was thrashing about.”

Kian set the lamp on the nightstand. “Turn over and lie on your belly.”

Ambris started to turn, but stopped suddenly, wincing as another hot shard of pain pierced his back.

“Carefully,” Kian amended.

Moving slowly, he managed to complete the maneuver with only minimal discomfort. “Are you going to heal me?”

“I doubt that will be necessary. It’s probably just a cramp. I’ll rub your back for you, though. It will help loosen the muscle and ease the cramp. We’ll see if I can get you relaxed enough that you fall back to sleep.”

The mattress dipped on either side of him as Kian straddled his hips. Ambris liked the feel of the warm weight of him and wished the covers weren’t between them.

“Tell me where it hurts.” Warm hands began probing his back, pressing gently here and there.

“Ah!” Ambris gasped as Kian’s thumb found a tight knot in his upper back. “That’s it, right there.”

“Sorry. Put your head down and try to relax.”

Ambris tried to do as he was told, but the moment Kian’s hands slid beneath his nightshirt and made contact with his bare skin, there was no chance of relaxing. Every nerve in his body came alive, and he squirmed as his shaft hardened uncomfortably beneath him.

Kian pushed Ambris’s nightshirt out of his way and ran those big, warm hands over his back. Ambris shivered in delight at his touch. How would it feel to have those hands wandering elsewhere? Down his sides… across his chest… stroking his buttocks, perhaps even…

He groaned as Kian pressed hard, kneading the tight muscles to help them relax.

“What did you dream?” Kian asked quietly. “Do you remember?”

“No,” Ambris lied. “I just remember being frightened.” Kian would learn about what a miserable failure he was soon enough, and then, Ambris imagined, he would stay as far away as he could, like everyone else did. In the two weeks since he’d arrived, Kian’s presence had brightened the long, lonely days, and Ambris wanted to put off his inevitable withdrawal for as long as possible.

He’d thought Kian would have heard all about him from the staff by now, but Kian was as kind and friendly as he had been those first few days. Ambris did occasionally catch him staring, a puzzled expression drawing his dark brows together, but after that first day, Kian hadn’t asked any more difficult questions, and for that, Ambris was thankful.

It wouldn’t last, of course, but until Kian learned the truth, Ambris could pretend they were friends. It had been a very long time since he’d had anyone he could call a friend.

Kian’s hands moved lower, massaging his lower back, and Ambris couldn’t help but squirm. More aroused than he’d ever been, he kept his burning face buried in the pillow so Kian wouldn’t see. He doubted Kian had any interest in men, and even if he did, a man like Kian could have anyone he wanted; he would never look twice at a pale, scrawny thing like Ambris. He closed his eyes and flexed his hips the tiniest bit, pressing his throbbing shaft into the mattress.

His thoughts flew back ten years, to those first fumbling kisses and touches he’d shared with Wes Atherton. It had been during the Harvest Ball at the Fall Council the year before his Wytch power had destroyed his life. They’d slipped away from the crowds and into a dark hallway, and Wes had knelt before him, undone his breeches, and licked and kissed him until Ambris was nearly screaming with pleasure…

His need was so great, it was like a hollow, burning ache that swallowed everything else. He wanted Kian’s hands on him, wanted Kian’s mouth on him, too. Wanted Kian to touch him and kiss him and…

Ambris came with a whimper that he quickly choked off. His cheeks felt like they were on fire, and he buried his face deeper into the pillow, mortified. What must Kian think of him?

But Kian didn’t seem to have noticed. The gentle rhythm of the massage never faltered as Ambris burned with shame. He squeezed his eyes shut and struggled to control his ragged breathing in an attempt to feign sleep.

Eventually, Kian’s rhythm slowed and he lifted his hands from Ambris’s skin. Ambris almost whimpered in protest before he remembered his shame. He bit back the sound before it could escape and lay still as Kian carefully eased himself off the bed.

The healer pulled Ambris’s nightshirt back down and the covers back up, then quietly tended the fire. Ambris held his breath, waiting for him to leave, but Kian remained in the room for a long while before finally slipping out the door and locking it behind him. Ambris lay awake for the rest of the night, wondering if Kian had sensed his arousal.

And what he must think of him if he had.

About the Author

Jaye McKenna icon

Jaye McKenna was born a Brit and was dragged, kicking and screaming, across the Pond at an age when such vehement protest was doomed to be misinterpreted as a “paddy”. She grew up near a sumac forest in Minnesota and spent most of her teen years torturing her parents with her electric guitar and her dark poetry. She was punk before it was cool and a grown-up long before she was ready. Jaye writes fantasy and science fiction stories about hot guys who have the hots for each other. She enjoys making them work darn hard for their happy endings, which might explain why she never gets invited to their parties.

You can contact Jaye McKenna at     Goodreads| Twitter| Website

A BJ Review: Wildfire Psi (Guardians of the Pattern #4) by Jaye McKenna

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Rating:  5 stars out of 5          ★★★★★

Wildfire PsiThings are finally going well for Luka Valdari. He’s found a home and family at the Institute for Psionic Research, and he has a job he loves. When a training mission takes him back to the streets of downside Riga, he’s got plenty of reason to be uneasy, and when a psionic cry for help leads him to a nightmare from his past, Luka’s ready to bolt.

Things are not going so well for Damon Korsov. He’s got voices in his head, a hole in his memory, and strange dreams that may or may not be glimpses of his past. The one man who might hold the key to Damon’s past is the one man he can never ask. Because somehow, Luka knows Damon, and it’s clear to Damon that Luka hates him.

Unwilling to expose anyone else to the danger Damon represents, Luka volunteers to train him. He wants to hate Damon, but instead finds himself fascinated. Before they get a chance to sort things out between them, the two men are thrown into the middle of a terrifying plot that puts every human life in the galaxy at risk. Can Luka and Damon confront both of their pasts and work together to prevent disaster? Or will all the human worlds burn in the flames of wildfire psi?

This book takes place right after the events of book three. Initially, there are two parallel storylines: one follows Tarrin and Miko as they continue their mission from the end of book three, and the other follows Luka who has returned to his duties at the Institute. I admit that sometimes it can be hard for me to read books that switch around like that, but in this case I was so involved with both storylines and both groups of characters that it never did. I was always eager to get back to the other couple so the switches never pulled me from the story or made me want to put the book down. In fact, one of the things I enjoy about this series is how we get to follow along with all the characters even when the primary focus switches to another couple. But also, the author did an absolutely seamless job of bringing the two storylines together perfectly and naturally at about 60%.

This book’s main couple is a doozy. I totally did not see this one coming. At all. We first met both Luka and Damon in book one, Psi Hunter, where Luka was a central character, but not a romantic lead. And Damon… well, Damon was someone else. I won’t say who as you should read it to find out.

I enjoy a good enemies-to-lovers story, and if you do too, then you should adore the heck out of this book! This isn’t your typical version of that trope. NO generic enemies where the guys are on the opposite sides of something but after getting to know each other as individuals, they overlook that and become loving adversaries. NO personality conflict that’s offset by intense physical attraction and results in lots of hate sex that gradually leads to the real thing. And thankfully, NO simple misunderstanding that could easily be cleared up by talking (those kinds often make the characters seem sort of clueless for me). Nope. None of those. This is the real deal. Two guys with a legitimate “I hate you because of what you did to me” reason to be enemies. No easy fix kind of hate here! And I loved that.

Since I knew these guy’s background from prior books, I just couldn’t imagine how the author would manage to move those two to a place where they could trust and love one another. Heck, I couldn’t even foresee how she’d make me like one of the characters given what I knew of his past. But she did both. Believably and well.

While the plot and action moved along at a satisfying clip, the gradual change in the relationship between Luka and Damon was built on plausible reasons that weren’t based on physical attraction. I enjoyed the natural development of an emotional bond and the slow formation of a tentative, but fragile trust that made it possible to move past hate. But when the past came back to bite them in the ass, could that trust stand up? The way they built that final bridge, an integral piece of the overall story arc, felt natural and right.  A unique and exceptionally well done take on the enemies to lovers trope.

In this series overall, the world-building is complex and exceptionally detailed. While there’s a complex overall story arc running through the series, each book focuses on a new main couple and how their involvement moves everything forward. But past characters aren’t dropped. Nor do the guys from previous books  just make random cameos like in some series. They continue to play their own important roles in the overall arc and to grow while still remaining in character.

Which leads me to mention a favorite character of mine ever since book 0.5, the ever-mysterious Draven. The more I know of him, the more intrigued I am and the more I want… well, more. A few of the scenes he had in this book have me absolutely chomping at the bit to learn more about that illusive man. Mysterious, smart, scheming, a bit broken… rather reminds me a bit of Laurent in Captive Prince. And just like with him, I absolutely cannot wait for more Draven.

The cover by Chinchbug shows Damon with the red crystal artifact and aptly represents this story. Also I’d never noticed until recently when a bundle of the first four came out that each cover fits side by side, half faces with the next. Nice touch.

Sales Links:   ARe | Amazon | Buy It Here


Book Details:  

ebook
Published January 27th 2016 by Mythe Weaver Press (first published January 2016)
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesGuardians of the Pattern #4.0

Guardians of the Patterns Series (with links to BJ’s reviews):

Guardians of the Pattern is a science fiction series in which the line between science and magic blurs. In the galaxy-spanning Federation, psions are still fighting for basic human rights. Some worlds adopt a live-and-let-live policy, but on others, psions are hunted down and murdered because the public fears their psychic talents. When ancient weapons of mass destruction are unearthed on a planet populated by primitive nomads who still believe in magic, psions may be the Federation’s only hope for survival.

Can the people of these two very different cultures come together to prevent disaster? Or will the Federation’s hunger for power trigger a psionic chain-reaction that has the potential to threaten all of humanity?

2 in 1 Special! Its Release Day for Jaye McKenna’s ‘The Guardians of the Pattern’ Bundle & Cover Reveal for Wildfire Psi

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Guardians_Bundle_Cover

The Guardians of the Pattern Bundle, Volume One by Jaye McKenna
Release Day: December 14
Cover Artist: Chinchbug

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words has not one but two Jaye McKenna specials for the readers today.  Jaye McKenna is releasing The Guardians of the Pattern Bundle, Volume One today, you can read the wonderful description below.  But we also have the cover reveal for the next book in the series, Wildfire Psi, below.  To celebrate, there is a Rafflecopter giveaway for the first book,Psi Hunter (Guardians of the Pattern, #1.  Check it all out below!  Happy Reading.

Description for The Guardians of the Pattern Bundle:

The Guardians of the Pattern Bundle, Volume One contains the first three M/M sci-fi/romance novels of the Guardians of the Pattern series: Psi Hunter, Gremlin’s Last Run, and Ghost in the Mythe, plus the free prequel short story, Facing the Mirror.

Facing the Mirror (Prequel): When undercover agent Cameron Asada meets Miko, a psychic slave kept by the drug lord Cameron is investigating, he starts to question his mission priorities. The choice is clear: complete the mission or help Miko. Neither option is easy, but only one will allow Cameron to face himself in the mirror.

Psi Hunter (Book 1): Sparks fly when ex-lovers Kyn Valdari and Pat Cottrell are ordered to team up on a murder investigation. When they discover an abused, traumatized young psion powerful enough to kill with a thought, they must work together to protect him from being enslaved by the very organization that is supposed to save him.

Gremlin’s Last Run (Book 2): When independent freighter captain Rhys Tyler finds Alek McKinnon hiding in his cargo hold, he has a choice to make: help a wounded Federation agent escape from his captors, or shove him out the air lock. One look at Alek’s pretty brown eyes is all it takes to convince Rhys to take a chance on the man. Now they’re both on the run from a shady organization that wants Alek back at any cost.

Ghost in the Mythe (Book 3): Exiled from his home world, Tarrin Rhivana stows away on a Federation ship, and finds himself lost in the terrifying place-between-worlds where jump ships navigate. There he meets a beautiful ghost who might be the only one who can help Tarrin save his world from outside forces that would strip it bare.

Links for Guardians of the Pattern Bundle, Vol. 1 (Books 1-3):

~

And Now for the Cover Reveal for the next book in the series…

 Wildfire Psi cover 2

 Wildfire Psi (Guardians of the Pattern #4) by Jaye McKenna
Release Date:

Cover artist: Chinchbug

Book Description for Wildfire Psi, Guardians of the Pattern, Book 4

Things are finally going well for Luka Valdari. He’s found a home and family at the Institute for Psionic Research, and he has a job he loves. When a training mission takes him back to the streets of downside Riga, he’s got plenty of reason to be uneasy, and when a psionic cry for help leads him to a nightmare from his past, Luka’s ready to bolt.

Things are not going so well for Damon Korsov. He’s got voices in his head, a hole in his memory, and strange dreams that may or may not be glimpses of his past. The one man who might hold the key to Damon’s past is the one man he can never ask. Because somehow, Luka knows Damon, and it’s clear to Damon that Luka hates him.

Unwilling to expose anyone else to the danger Damon represents, Luka volunteers to train him. He wants to hate Damon, but instead finds himself fascinated. Before they get a chance to sort things out between them, the two men are thrown into the middle of a terrifying plot that puts every human life in the galaxy at risk. Can Luka and Damon confront both of their pasts and work together to prevent disaster? Or will all the human worlds burn in the flames of wildfire psi?

Wildfire Psi Excerpt

Luka pushed the door open, and Damon followed him outside, stopping dead as he caught sight of the transformed landscape. He barely heard the cabin door slam shut behind him as he stared in awe.

Every blade of grass, every twig, and every dry leaf left clinging to the trees was covered in a thin layer of frost. Shafts of early morning sunlight were just beginning to touch the trees, making them look as if they’d been sprayed with crushed diamonds. Everything the sun touched sparkled like some crystal fairy-tale fantasy. He’d never seen anything so beautiful.

“It won’t last long,” Luka said. “The sun’s up. It’ll all melt off in a little while.”

Damon glanced up to see Luka’s pale green eyes fixed on his, an unreadable expression on his face. Luka turned and started down the trail toward the beach where Kyn had parked the flyer. Damon followed after him, shifting his gaze to the sparkling white trees.

“It’s beautiful,” he offered. “Like something out of a story.”

Luka didn’t respond, just kept walking. When they got to the beach, he pointed across the lake, toward the shore. Damon followed with his eyes and blinked at the delicately frosted trees.

How long he stood staring, he wasn’t sure, but in time, he noticed that the highest branches, those already kissed by the rising sun, had become wet and dark.

“Best is over now,” Luka said softly.

Damon stared down at his feet. “Thank you for showing me.”

“We should head back. Kyn’s making pancakes.” Luka turned and started back down the trail. Damon stared after him for a moment before following.

“I’ve never seen frost before. Or snow, for that matter.”

Luka gave him an odd, sideways look. “We had snow in Riga,” he said slowly. “But it was always brown—from all the smog and shit in the air. I didn’t know snow was supposed to be white until I came here.”

“You grew up in Riga, then?”

“Yeah.”

“I… don’t remember living anywhere but my grandfather’s estate on Majan. And some of his vacation homes. The estate was near the equator, and it didn’t get cold enough for frost. They got snow up near the poles sometimes, but I’ve only ever seen it in vids and pictures.”

There was a long silence before Luka spoke again. “Sometimes we’ll get a couple of feet of snow at a time, and if it’s windy enough, it’ll pile up in drifts. Some of ’em are so deep, they’re over my head, and when you go outside, it’s so quiet. The snow muffles everything.”

He was silent for a moment, and Damon stole a glance at him. Luka kept his eyes forward as he continued speaking. “It was the quiet that struck me the most about this place. It was worse than any noise, and so damned annoying it was hard to fall asleep, at first. When we were back in Riga, that was the first thing that hit me, was the noise. I can’t believe I never even noticed it when I lived there.”

Damon listened, fascinated by Luka’s enthusiasm and captivated by his voice. When Luka finally turned his head to look at him, Damon’s breath caught in his throat. He hadn’t seen Luka look so relaxed since he’d met him, and it suited him. For once, his smile didn’t look forced, and his eyes were bright and alive.

Something stirred deep in his gut, something that made him want to stare into those eyes and lose himself in their green depths. Something that made him want to wrap his arms around Luka and make sure that no one ever hurt him again.

But when Luka’s eyes met his, Damon saw the shadows darken them. The bright smile slipped away, and Luka’s expression became closed again. It was as if the sun had gone behind the clouds, and Damon was left feeling cold and bereft.

They continued on in silence, but it was a wary, tense silence, with no trace of those brief, shared moments of companionship.

Damon bit his lip and tried to ignore the empty feeling in his chest. Tried not to think about how much he liked Luka, how good that smile had looked on him, and how much he wished it had been inspired by something he’d said or done rather than some happy memory.

He was never going to be anything more than an ordeal for Luka, and knowing that hurt.

Knowing that it was somehow his own fault hurt even more.

About the Author

Jaye McKenna icon

Jaye McKenna was born a Brit and was dragged, kicking and screaming, across the Pond at an age when such vehement protest was doomed to be misinterpreted as a “paddy”. She grew up near a sumac forest in Minnesota and spent most of her teen years torturing her parents with her electric guitar and her dark poetry. She was punk before it was cool and a grown-up long before she was ready. Jaye writes fantasy and science fiction stories about hot guys who have the hots for each other. She enjoys making them work darn hard for their happy endings, which might explain why she never gets invited to their parties.

You can contact Jaye McKenna at     Goodreads| Twitter| Website

Giveaway

PSI Hunter CoverEnter to win a copy of Psi Hunter (Guardians of the Pattern, #1 .  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

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Blurb: In a future where humanity has spread out among the stars, those few possessing psychic abilities are looked upon with suspicion at best and murderous intent at worst.

On Aurora, one of the more tolerant worlds of the Federation, Pat Cottrell works for Federation Security as a psi hunter, tracking down and neutralizing dangerous psi criminals.

Kyn Valdari works for the Institute for Psionic Research, running search and rescue operations, in which psions in distress are offered the chance to learn how to control psychic abilities that can threaten sanity and ruin lives.

Kyn and Pat used to be best friends, closer than brothers. Three years ago, one passionate night that never should have happened left both of them shocked, confused, and desperately wanting more.

They haven’t spoken since.

Now, the silence between them must be broken. Kyn and Pat have been ordered to investigate a string of murders that may have been committed by a psion powerful enough to kill with a thought. In order to succeed, they will have to work together to save an abused, traumatized young psion from being taken advantage of by the very organization that is supposed to save him

A BJ Review: Leythe Blade by Jaye McKenna

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Rating:  4.5 stars out of 5

LBlade_600x900Sasha is a healer forced to take on the role of a warrior when his clan is attacked. Trapped in his caravan, the only weapon he can lay hands on is Ryka, the legendary sword that has been in his family for generations. To Sasha’s horror, the blade takes control of his body and turns him into a ruthless killer. Worse, Ryka sets in motion an irreversible process that will bind them together for life—if Sasha can survive the bonding.

Jace is a mercenary soldier, charged with protecting his commander’s brother, Eredwyn, on a journey through the Middle Kingdoms. When Eredwyn’s sometimes-prophetic visions lead them to the dying Sasha, Eredwyn insists that they must save him.

As Sasha struggles to come to terms with Ryka and his need to avenge his clan, Jace finds himself torn between his orders to protect Eredwyn and his growing feelings for Sasha. Can Jace walk the fine line between duty and desire, or will Sasha’s plans for vengeance lead all three men to their deaths?

If you’ve read other books by this author, you will know already how intricate and richly nuanced her world-building is… I’m continually fascinated by how she ties so much together not only over the different planets in this universe but over thousands of years of time as well. Epic is the word that comes to mind.

This standalone story is set in the same universe as the author’s other series ,Guardians of the Leythe, The Wytch Kings of Skanda, and Guardians of the Pattern. It takes place on the earth-like world of Aion during the time period after the first two series but before the last.

Leythe and Mythe are used interchangeably depending on time period and culture. Both refer to the energy field that permeates the universe and from which power can be drawn by those with the ability to touch it (referred to as mythe weavers, leythari, or psions relatively).

Both Jace and Sasha can call upon this power field but in very different ways. Sasha can use its power to heal, but after an absolutely awful event leaves him no choice, he forms a bond with a blade, Ryka, with whom he can communicate through the leythe. Since healers are protected like the women of the clan, Sasha has never been allowed to use a weapon. His gift, his very nature, is to heal those in pain not cause it, to preserve life, not take it. He’s appalled at the realization that, using Ryka, he caused injury to others. Sasha struggles valiantly against the bond, against allowing something into his mind that threatens to change his very nature.

At the beginning of the book, Jace’s duty and main focus is protecting his charge, Eredwyn, but as he helps his mentor save Sasha, he finds himself drawn to and feeling a kinship to Sasha. Because Jace has also struggled with accepting his own ability to use the mythe after having inadvertently used it to kill, something that he had no idea he could do. As both men struggle with guilt and accepting/controlling a power within that can do harm to others, the bond between them grows. Together they help each other heal and learn to forgive and accept themselves.

But there isn’t just the one relationship in this book. For Sasha, once bonded to Ryka, must come to terms with that relationship as well. I thoroughly enjoyed how the relationship between Sasha and Ryka developed and grew from utter resistance to reluctant acceptance and finally trust. Ryka, though a sword, is very much a fascinating character on her own. There was another leythe blade, Blackfang, in an earlier book Human Frailties, Human Strengths. The concept intrigues me and while I admit to harboring resentment to Blackfang for an incident in which I wanted to kick him, I want to know more. The leythe blades are fascinating, and I’d very much enjoy a story in which we get to explore exactly how they all came into existence.

The cover is a graphic design by Chinchbug that captures this story wonderfully. It took me a while to look beyond the long-haired, violet-eyed hotness holding the sword, but once I noticed the androgynous face in of the blade and the fractals in the background representing the leythe… wow. Yep, it’s perfect.

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

Book Details:  

ebook, 238 pages
Published October 23rd 2015 by Mythe Weaver Press (first published October 1st 2015)

Writer Spotlight: Jaye McKenna, author of Leythe Blade (Author Interview & New Book Release, Contest)

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Leythe Blade by Jaye McKenna
Book Release Date: October 26, 2015
Cover artist: Chinchbug

A Guardians of the Leythe Universe story

 Leythe Blade Goodreads Page

Buy it  Amazon | Smashwords | All Romance (ARe) | Apple/iBooks 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to welcome author Jaye McKenna here today to share some insight into her latest novel in her Guardians of the Leythe series, Leythe Blade.  Welcome, Jaye.  Our reviewer BJ has quite a few questions for you this morning.

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BJ: How does Leythe Blade tie into your other series?

JM: Chronologically, Leythe Blade takes place maybe a thousand years after Burn the Sky, and some six hundred years before the Guardians of the Pattern stories. It takes place about seven years before Kingmakers, another fantasy project I have in the works, in which you’ll see Sasha, Jace, and Eredwyn again.

BJ: Is there a message in this novel that you wanted to express? Or something particular that motivated you to write this particular story?

JM: Sasha showed up when I was drafting Kingmakers. He was a healer and a foreigner, a gentle soul who hated war, but worked for a mercenary company, and carried an intelligent, magical sword called Ryka that gave him the skills of a master swordsman. His part in Kingmakers was quite small, but the idea of a healer with a sword intrigued me. I wanted to know how he and Ryka met, and I wanted to know how Sasha made peace with the idea of suddenly becoming an instrument of death. Leythe Blade was my exploration of that character and those questions.

BJ: Who is your personal favorite of the characters? Why?

JM: They’re all my favorites while I’m writing about them, but some of them are more fun to write than others, and in this story, Eredwyn, who is both Jace’s charge and his mentor, was probably my favorite. He inhabits a world that most people can’t even see, and he makes these intuitive leaps that the people around him can’t possibly follow. He’s a bit quirky, and frustrates the heck out of the people around him by making these vague, dire prophecies that have a habit of coming true, although never quite the way Eredwyn expects they will. In fact, I like him so much, I’ll probably have to write his story, too, at some point.

BJ: What’s next? What are you working on now?

JM: Next to be released is Wildfire Psi, book 4 in the Guardians of the Pattern series. That will be out in early 2016. My current project is the Burn the Sky sequel. It’s tentatively titled Blackfrost. Right now I’m working on character sketches and outlining, and I’ll be working on it during November for National Novel Writing Month. It will feature Kian, who was a secondary character in Burn the Sky.

BJ: Your covers are unique and beautiful. Who designs them?

JM: My cover art is all done by my best friend, who goes by Chinchbug in his art circles. I met him in high school, and his two passions, even back then, were art and computers. Digital art is the perfect fusion of those passions. When I need a new cover, we talk about the story and the characters, and I give him a written synopsis and character descriptions, and he goes to work. I get a lot of input at all stages of cover creation, and he does an awesome job of getting what’s in my head onto the cover.

BJ: Do you have a favorite of your own books? If so, why?

JM: I don’t know if I have a favorite, but the one that’s the most special is Human Frailties, Human Strengths, because that was the start of it all. That book introduced Ash, who weaves his way through many of the stories that take place in this world (he’s there in Human Choices and Ghost in the Mythe, and he’s mentioned in Leythe Blade).

The big tapestry that all of these stories make up is really Ash’s story. Ash taught the descendants of the first humans on Aion how to touch the leythe, and the whole chaotic, beautiful, brutal history of Aion follows from that one reckless act. Much of Ash’s involvement is part of his attempt to bring the leythe back into balance. He’s the thread that ties it all together, and I love his wry sense of humor, his arrogant streak, and his gentle ruthlessness. And… well… he is kinda hot, too, so there’s that.

BJ: What writers inspire or influence you?

JM: Oh, gosh, there are so many. My earliest influences were Anne McCaffrey, Ray Bradbury, Sylvia Engdahl, and Robert Silverberg. Then later, C.J. Cherryh, Octavia Butler, Tanith Lee, and Storm Constantine. Those were the writers whose stories I devoured, who fired up my imagination and made me want to write my own stories.

Thanks, BJ, for the great questions and to Jaye McKenna for the wonderful answers.   Now more about Leythe Blade.

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Blurb

Sasha is a healer forced to take on the role of a warrior when his clan is attacked. Trapped in his caravan, the only weapon he can lay hands on is Ryka, the sword that was once wielded by his great, great grandmother. To Sasha’s horror, the blade takes control of his body and turns him into a ruthless killer. Worse, Ryka sets in motion an irreversible process that will bind them together for life — if he can survive the bonding.

Jace is a mercenary soldier, charged with protecting his commander’s brother, Eredwyn, on a journey through the Middle Kingdoms. When Eredwyn’s sometimes-prophetic visions lead them to the dying Sasha, Eredwyn insists that they must save him.

As Sasha struggles to come to terms with Ryka and his need to avenge his clan, Jace finds himself torn between his orders to protect Eredwyn and his growing feelings for Sasha. Can Jace walk the fine line between duty and desire, or will Sasha’s plans for vengeance lead all three men to their deaths?

Excerpt

Jace’s cheeks burned until he was nearly halfway to the lake, and the words he’d said to Sasha wouldn’t stop bouncing around in his head.

I’d like to see you dance, Sasha.

Where the hell had that come from?

No, he knew where it had come from. Right from his heart, without passing anywhere near his brain. He would like to see Sasha dance, but he’d never meant to say so, and certainly not within Sasha’s hearing. The young man had quite enough to deal with as it was.

Still, it pleased Jace to see him beginning to take an interest in things. The air of grief was still there, but since the day they’d taken Sasha to the massacre site, there had been a subtle change in him. He’d started to help with some of the chores, and even joined in when Jace and Eredwyn talked, offering the occasional quiet comment.

Sasha still whimpered in his sleep, though, and Jace wished he could wipe the sadness from those mesmerizing violet eyes, and put a real smile on Sasha’s face.

No, he couldn’t deny — not to himself, at least — that he would very much like to see Sasha dance. And laugh. And he’d most definitely like to see the man smile…

Shaking his head, Jace continued on down the path until he heard something large moving near the shore. He stopped, crouched down, and peered through the underbrush. In the spaces between the leaves, he could just make out a light-colored shape by the water’s edge.

He crept forward and breathed a quiet sigh of relief when the shape resolved itself into a horse, not a soldier or a predator. The white mare stood with her head lowered to drink. Her mane and tail were rough and tangled, but there were a few scattered braids and beads left in both. An Ajhani horse, then, which meant she belonged to Sasha.

“Easy, lady, Easy.” Jace used the same soothing tone he used when speaking to Rakki as he approached her. “I’m not going to hurt you.”

The mare turned her head and gave him a look that Jace chose to interpret as sorrowful.

“Been out here on your own for too long? Would you like to come back with me, pretty one? I can get you fed and get all these dried weeds brushed out of your hair. Come on.”

She snuffled at Jace and allowed him to guide her down the trail toward the shelter. In the stable, he settled her in the empty stall next to Rakki and prepared some feed for her. After she’d eaten, he brushed her down and groomed the tangles and remnants of beaded braids from her mane and tail.

“That’s better,” he said as he stood back to look over his handiwork. “You look like a proper lady now.”

When Jace entered the shelter, Eredwyn looked up from his seat on the floor, where he was sorting bundles of herbs. “That was quick. Did you find us some dinner already?”

“No, something better than dinner. Come, Sasha, come see.”

Sasha gave him a questioning look, but got slowly to his feet. “What did you find?”

“I’ll show you.” Jace led him around the back of the shelter to the stable.

Sasha’s face lit up when he saw the mare. “Dena!”

A long string of soft, lilting words followed. Jace understood none of it, but the mare apparently did. She nickered softly, and when Sasha drew close, she hung her head over his shoulder. Sasha put his arms around her neck and reached up to scratch her, fingers tangling in her blond mane.

“I found her having a drink on the shore,” Jace said. “I wondered if you two might know each other.”

Sasha turned his head toward Jace, still smiling. “She was my Da’s favorite. He’d ride her up and down the caravan line, making sure everyone was all right. She’s the sweetest of all of them.” He frowned then, fingers still working the mare’s mane. “I don’t suppose you’ve seen any more of them?”

“No, I’m afraid not.”

“She would have been tied separately. Da—” Sasha stopped for a moment, and Jace saw his throat working. “He… he kept her by the wagon when we were camped, in case he needed her in a hurry.” He turned back to the mare and murmured softly to her in Djhara.

Jace hung back, taking the opportunity to observe the man. Sasha was slender, and not particularly tall, although he was perhaps a finger’s width taller than Jace. It was his coloring that fascinated Jace, though. The golden skin, violet eyes, and pale, silver-blond hair were an unusual enough combination to make him worth a second — and perhaps a third — look.

Unaware of Jace’s scrutiny, Sasha continued crooning softly to the mare. Jace could have listened to the sound of that deep, husky voice wrapping around those lyrical sounds for the rest of the day.

He didn’t get nearly that long. All too soon, Sasha pulled away from the horse and approached Jace. “Thank you, Jace,” he said softly. “This… it means so much to me. Thank you for bringing her to me.”

Mesmerized by those beautiful eyes, Jace could only stare. When he realized he was staring, he looked away quickly, face flushing. “I… what else would I do?” He swallowed hard, then added quietly, “It’s good to see you smile.”

Sasha didn’t say anything, and when Jace looked up again, his attention was on the mare.

“With her along, we won’t need to limit our baggage quite so much,” Jace said, more to fill the silence than anything. “Maybe… maybe you can pack some of those pretty clothes you set aside this morning.”

When Sasha turned his head and gave him an unreadable look, Jace muttered a curse under his breath and fled.

He should have just kept his mouth shut, and wished he had.

 About the Author

 Jaye McKenna icon

Jaye McKenna was born a Brit and was dragged, kicking and screaming, across the Pond at an age when such vehement protest was doomed to be misinterpreted as a “paddy”. She grew up near a sumac forest in Minnesota and spent most of her teen years torturing her parents with her electric guitar and her dark poetry. She was punk before it was cool and a grown-up long before she was ready. Jaye writes fantasy and science fiction stories about hot guys who have the hots for each other. She enjoys making them work darn hard for their happy endings, which might explain why she never gets invited to their parties.

You can contact Jaye McKenna at     Goodreads| Twitter| Website

Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter prize of a copy of Burn the Sky (your choice of mobi, pdf, or epub).  Must be 18 years or age or older to enter.

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Haven’t  discovered Jaye McKenna’s stories yet?  Start with these….

Guardians of the Leythe Universe stories with links to BJ’s reviews:

A BJ Review: Ghost in the Mythe (Guardians of the Pattern #3) by Jaye McKenna

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Rating:  5 stars out of 5 ★★★★★

Ghost in the Mythe coverAs a child, Miko Asada was the only survivor of a jump drive accident on a space transport, and the event altered him forever. Beautiful and unable to speak Miko is a bit of an enigma even to those who know him best. Cameron, the man who rescued him from a life of being shared him as a sexual slave, doesn’t even understand or quite believe him when he speaks (voice synth) of dragons and the Mythe. Alone and misunderstood, Miko is losing his desire to remain a part of the human world… until he meets someone who understands and knows all about the dragons and touches the mythe.

Tarrin Rhivana was an Ajhani Guardian, one charged to protect his clan and its artifacts, but was exiled when he used the mythe to kill a thief and save his closest friend, Vaya. Even his mother, a Dragon Speaker, cannot save him from his fate after breaking one of the clan’s strictest laws. When Tarrin attempts to leave his world aboard a ship belonging to the Sky People, he doesn’t realize that in order to get through jump space, he needs to be drugged. But a beautiful ghost comes to his rescue and Tarrin wakes to find himself on Aurora at the Institute for Psionic Research. And there he learns that the beautiful ghost who saved him is very real.

Tarrin learns that one of the Sky People has bonded to one of the ancient artifacts the Guardians are sworn to protect. Now it’s Tarrin’s duty to return to his clan and convince them of the danger the Sky People represent… even if that means he might be killed for violating his exile before he can deliver the warning.

This is book three (okay, four if you count the short Facing the Mirror) of the series and it’s my personal favorite so far. I’d give this book TEN stars if I could, but since I only have five to give, I wish I could make them all shiny and bright and drape them with tinsel.

First, I’ll touch on the characters because they are the heart of this story. You know how in a series, if you have a favorite character, then you wait with baited breath each novel to learn more about that character and then finally… finally there comes a point where it’s their time to shine and grow and find love. This was that book (well, for Miko… still waiting on my other fav, Draven). We met both of these guys in book 0.5. I was patient, and it does not disappoint. I cannot tell you how much I adored the resolution of Miko’s inner struggles (well, his main one I guess, as he does continue on to have important work in the series).

Miko is a bit of an enigma in the first stories, but that’s because they are from other’s POV and no one truly understand Miko. Which meant the we, the readers, were intrigued but didn’t totally either. In this book, we finally get to be inside Miko’s head. And omgosh was it ever worth the wait. Miko is stunning and every bit as broken as he’s been painted through the eyes of the other characters but he’s also strong and such a pivotal characters to the whole series. Love Miko.

As I was reading all the other books, I’m thinking, who in heck is ever going be able to get through to Miko? I needn’t have feared. Enter Tarrin. The man is a saint… okay, he’s not really. He has his flaws, but he’s just perfect for Miko. I loved them together, love the slow burn of their romance, and their tender, sweet sex scenes. And what brought them together initially? Finally someone could understand and relate to him rather than thinking he was a mysterious, broken, powerful psion who was also a nut job. Which he so is not. The way the author handled Miko and Tarrin’s love story was perfect, and given Miko’s background there was just no other way I could have seen it going. They were beautiful together.

Parts of this book had me in tears, because Miko’s journey toward the end, which I will not give away in spoilers on as you must read it for yourself… its that perfect. It’s about accepting all the parts of ourselves, and I absolutely freaking loved that. So yeah, it had me in tears, I admit it. And I am not a crier.

The plot of this series as a whole is fascinating and so complex. I, personally, think that this series is really best read in order as each builds on the other with a central plot woven throughout. None of them end in cliffhangers. Although we are sometimes left with a little tease after the main conflict is resolved, as in this book. And I eat that shit up.

I feel like I know all of these guys and in nearly each story I meet someone new and fascinating and find myself hoping that we will hear more about him. (In this story, that would be both Tarrin and Vaya… oh, I do love me a lost boys). But I am absolutely chomping at the bit for Draven and have to wait until book six. Huge groan.

Miko first appears in book 0.5 right at the beginning of the series and his journey so far is beautiful. I am so glad it’s not totally over; he does continue to appear in the series as he has a big role.

And the cover by Cinchbug… okay… this is me standing up and cheering because I love that image of Miko so much. Beautiful, alluring but innocent and you can even sort of see the sadness there. Love the colors and the fractals representing the mythe behind him. It’s damn close to perfect.

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

Book Details:

ebook, 331 pages
Published June 6th 2015 by Mythe Weaver Press (first published June 2015)
edition languageEnglish
seriesGuardians of the Pattern

Guardians of the Pattern series
4 authors, 4 primary works

Guardians of the Pattern is a science fiction series in which the line between science and magic blurs. In the galaxy-spanning Federation, psions are still fighting for basic human rights. Some worlds adopt a live-and-let-live policy, but on others, psions are hunted down and murdered because the public fears their psychic talents. When ancient weapons of mass destruction are unearthed on a planet populated by primitive nomads who still believe in magic, psions may be the Federation’s only hope for survival.

Can the people of these two very different cultures come together to prevent disaster? Or will the Federation’s hunger for power trigger a psionic chain-reaction that has the potential to threaten all of humanity?

Guardians of the Pattern Series:

Facing the Mirror (Guardians of the Pattern 0.5)
Psi Hunter (Guardians of the Pattern, #1)
Gremlin’s Last Run (Guardians of the Pattern #2.0)
Ghost in the Mythe (Guardians of the Pattern, #3.0)

Guardians of the Pattern Series in the order they were written and should be read.

 

 

A BJ Review: Gremlin’s Last Run (Guardians of the Pattern #2) by Jaye McKenna

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Rating:  4.75 stars out of 5

Gremlin's Last Run coverCaptain Rhys Tyler is so sensitive to the feelings and pain of others that it’s impossible to be around them without drugs. A simple human touch can send him into a seizure. As the Captain and sole crew of the Gremlin, he hauls cargo through the emptiness of interstellar space. His ship, left to him by his deceased uncle, is all that’s allowing him to survive… and now the Gremlin is coming to the end of her useful life.

Alek McKinnon is a Federation agent whose latest mission has gone terribly wrong. He’s managed to escape after being kidnapped and used for illegal psi experimentation, but the after effects have left him psi crippled, in pain, and with very limited options available to get home and report to his superiors.

Alek stows away aboard the Gremlin and is surprised when the Captain turns out to be another psion, a powerful empath that has no idea what he is. As the two men struggle to keep themselves (and each other) alive, they form a bond much deeper than either had expected.

This story grabbed me by the throat from page one and would NOT let me go, something I cannot honestly say about very many books. The pacing is outstanding, enough so that it was hard for me to put it down.

Alek and Rhys are nuanced, real, and vividly alive. I’d already met Alek in a prior book, and I adored Rhys from the start. When faced with a stowaway, Rhys’s initial response was to either send him into space or return him to the authorities, but one look at the man’s face as he pleas for his help chances his mind. Not enough that he isn’t still careful though. When Alek discovers that Rhys is an psion and explains it to him, offering him a way to finally live a more normal life, Rhys understandably doesn’t immediately believe him, which I’d expect from his background. But as they work together to help each other, the development of the feelings and trust between them seems natural and right. I adored Rhys. He grew so much, going from being almost suicidal due to his lonely and hopeless existence, to learning to trust and love. And I adored his voice in this story.

By the way, for those who find series in which many people who know each other are gay to be unrealistic, then please read this book. Because yeah, there are a large number of gays in this particular organization, but this author tells you exactly why in a totally believable way that I just adored.

This series continues to draw me deeper and deeper into a fascinating world and the characters that populate it. I’ve read other series that concentrate on one couple in each book with nearly the entire focus being on the main couple and others just cameos, but that isn’t the case in this series. In each book, I’m getting to know new guys, but there are also the old favorites that are still growing and changing. No little snippets thrown in just as an update here. It’s a richly interwoven world where everyone we keep seeing nuances of character revealed that we didn’t see before.

For example, I enjoyed book one, but Kyn was quite an asshat at times and hard for me to love. In this book, I can see the growth in him that has come from accepting himself as he is and also from being in a stable loving relationship over the few years since the prior book. And Luka… wow, he has matured and is now a teacher who is a far cry from that frightened lost boy. Yet he’s the same in all the ways that make him uniquely him. Two of my favorite characters have yet to have their own story, and I can’t wait. One of them was a very bad boy in this book, which gave me some grief, but only intrigues me more. I adore anti-heroes and cannot wait to see the world through his eyes.

The cover shows Rhys on the Gremlin and does a good job of setting the tone of the story.

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

Book Details:
ebook, 299 pages
Published October 20th 2014 by Mythe Weaver Press (first published October 19th 2014)
ISBN139781311912886
edition languageEnglish
seriesGuardians of the Pattern #2.0

Guardians of the Pattern series

4 works, 4 primary works

Guardians of the Pattern is a science fiction series in which the line between science and magic blurs. In the galaxy-spanning Federation, psions are still fighting for basic human rights. Some worlds adopt a live-and-let-live policy, but on others, psions are hunted down and murdered because the public fears their psychic talents. When ancient weapons of mass destruction are unearthed on a planet populated by primitive nomads who still believe in magic, psions may be the Federation’s only hope for survival.

Can the people of these two very different cultures come together to prevent disaster? Or will the Federation’s hunger for power trigger a psionic chain-reaction that has the potential to threaten all of humanity?

Guardians of the Pattern Series:

  • Facing the Mirror (Guardians of the Pattern  0.5)
  • Psi Hunter (Guardians of the Pattern, #1)
  • Gremlin’s Last Run (Guardians of the Pattern #2.0)
  • Ghost in the Mythe (Guardians of the Pattern, #3.0)

 

Author Spotlight: BJ on Author Jaye McKenna

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Author Recs!

 A BJ Author Rec: Author Jaye McKenna

Burn The Sky cover

The first time I picked up a book by Jaye McKenna was during the 2014 Don’t Read in the Closet event put on by the Goodreads M/M Romance group. It was a free story, and it was awesome. Then I found out it was the second of a series, so I went back and read the first freebie book, Human Frailties from the previous year’s event. Then another freebie, Facing the Mirror. I enjoyed all three. I requested a review copy of her newest book, Burn the Sky, and promptly fell in love with the broken ice dragon, Ilya. But it was when I went back and read the expanded version of Human Frailties, Human Strengths that I completely fell in love, irrevocably and head over heels. Ashnavayarian has stolen my heart and its for so many reasons but really, really its just like that quote by Michel de Montaigne, “because he was he.” There is just something magical and unique about him—so strong, yet he has his vulnerable moments. He’s imperfect, starts out self-centered and snarky but he’s growing and changing. And its so fun to see.

This author pushes some of my buttons big time, because I love angst and broken boys. Especially ones with long hair (ok, it’s a fetish of mine!). This author’s boys never have an easy time of it, they go through the wringer a few times over for their HEA. I eat that right up. The heat and sexual tension buildup that I love is always there. There’s snarky characters and witty dialogue.

Then there is her world. Most of McKenna’s stories are set in the same well-developed and nuanced fantasy world. The fantasy stories are separated from the more sci-fi ones by thousands of years, but it all ties in and builds… it sucked me in.

Jaye McKenna serves up magic meets science. Its lovely, nuanced broken boys getting slowly put back together and finding love. With a hefty dose of hot and sexy on top.

                                                                       ~  BJ

 

About author Jaye McKenna –

Jaye McKenna was born a Brit and was dragged, kicking and screaming, across the Pond at an age when such vehement protest was doomed to be misinterpreted as a “paddy”. She grew up near a sumac forest in Minnesota and spent most of her teen years torturing her parents with her electric guitar and her dark poetry. She was punk before it was cool and a grown-up long before she was ready. Jaye writes fantasy and science fiction stories about hot guys who have the hots for each other. She enjoys making them work darn hard for their happy endings, which might explain why she never gets invited to their parties.

You can find Jaye McKenna at the following:

Website , Twitter,  Goodreads Author Page

Human Choices coverHuman Frailties Human Strengths coverBurn The Sky coverPsi Hunter cover

Books You May Have Missed from Jaye McKenna (with links to BJ’s Reviews):

And look for the following books and their reviews from BJ in the upcoming weeks…

  • Psi Hunter (Guardians of the Pattern, #1)
  • Gremlin’s Last Run (Guardians of the Pattern, #2)
  • Ghost in the Mythe (Guardians of the Pattern, #3.0)