A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review : Summerfield’s Angel (The Christmas Angel #2) by Kim Fielding

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

After the hard winter of 1888 ended Alby Boyle’s work as a Nebraska ranch hand, he returned to New York City in search of his long-lost family. His mother and brothers are nowhere to be found, however… and it no longer feels like home. His prospects seem as dim as the nighttime alleys. When Alby pauses to admire an angel ornament in a department store window’s Christmas display, he meets Xeno Varnham-Summerfield. Wealthy, handsome, and enthusiastic, Xeno brings Alby some temporary cheer. But for Alby to achieve his dreams of love and a real home, well, that may take a bit of holiday magic.

I liked this installment in the Christmas Angel series, but it took a bit of time to get Alby’s story established and the setup for a romance in place. Add to that, I believe the level of my enjoyment was negatively influenced by a midnight cowboy in a long ago movie I watched in my younger years, one which left me sad and depressed. This story evoked those feelings early on, especially when Alby arrived at the place where he grew up. Add to that the fact that he was already down on his luck in a big scary place like New York City, and the sad cowboy just made me so depressed I had a hard time moving forward at the beginning of the book.

But, the creative imagination of Kim Fielding saved the day when the angel began to show her influence, and when Alby met Xeno for the first, second, and third time, it was evident the angel was involved and my spirits lifted. Later, the angel’s interference is otherworldly and it’s obvious the two men needed each other in more ways than one. Xeno was a fabulous character whose father allowed him to exercise his creative skills and really seemed to care for the dynamic young man. Evidence of that shows toward the end when Mr. Summerfield provides the perfect opportunity for Alby and Xeno to have their HEA.

I love the concept of this series and this angel seems destined to bring together some truly deserving young men. I’d definitely recommend this book to MM romance lovers, despite my own personal baggage that affected my enjoyment. I am looking forward to finding out what else the angel has in store for readers this year.

The cover by Meredith Russell depicts a close-up of man dressed as a cowboy standing in front of a department store. This is Alby and the store represents Summerfield’s where the angel sits on a tree in the window. This cover couldn’t be better for this story. 

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

 

Book Details:

ebook, 1st edition
Published December 2nd 2018
ISBN 139780463800386
Edition Language English
Series The Christmas Angel #2 setting New York City, New York (United States)

 

The Christmas Angel Series

Christmas Angel – Eli Easton – Amazon US | Amazon UK
The Magician’s Angel – Jordan L. Hawk – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Christmas Homecoming – L.A. Witt – Amazon US | Amazon UK
A Soldier’s Wish – N.R. Walker – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Shrewd Angel – Anyta Sunday – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Christmas Prince – RJ Scott- Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review Tour and Giveaway for Summerfield’s Angel (A Christmas Angel Story) by Kim Fielding

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 32,000 words approx.


Cover Design:Meredith Russell

The Christmas Angel Series

Christmas Angel – Eli Easton – Amazon US | Amazon UK
The Magician’s Angel – Jordan L. Hawk – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Christmas Homecoming – L.A. Witt – Amazon US | Amazon UK
A Soldier’s Wish – N.R. Walker – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Shrewd Angel – Anyta Sunday – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Christmas Prince – RJ Scott- Amazon US | Amazon UK
Blurb

After the hard winter of 1888 ended Alby Boyle’s work as a Nebraska ranch hand, he returned to New York City in search of his long-lost family. His mother and brothers are nowhere to be found, however, and after Alby’s years of absence, Five Corners no longer feels like home. His prospects seem as dim as the nighttime alleys.When Alby pauses to admire an angel ornament in a department store window’s Christmas display, he meets Xeno Varnham-Summerfield. Wealthy, handsome, and enthusiastic, Xeno brings Alby some temporary cheer. But for Alby to achieve his dreams of love and a real home, well, that may take a bit of holiday magic.The Christmas Angel SeriesIn 1750, a master woodcarver poured all his unrequited love, passion, and longing into his masterpiece—a gorgeous Christmas angel for his beloved’s tree. When the man he loved tossed the angel away without a second thought, a miracle happened. The angel was found by another who brought the woodcarver True Love.

Since then, the angel has been passed down, sold, lost and found, but its magic remains. Read the romances inspired by (and perhaps nudged along by) the Christmas angel through the years. Whether it’s 1700s England (Eli Easton’s Christmas Angel), the 1880’s New York (Kim Fielding’s Summerfield’s Angel), the turn-of-the-century (Jordan L. Hawk’s Magician’s Angel), World War II (L.A. Witt’s Christmas Homecoming), Vietnam-era (N.R. Walker’s Soldier’s Wish), the 1990’s (Anyta Sunday’s Shrewd Angel), or 2018 (RJ Scott’s Christmas Prince), the Christmas angel has a way of landing on the trees of lonely men who need its blessing for a very Merry Christmas and forever HEA.

 
 

Dec 2Xtreme Delusions, Gay Book Reviews, Dec 4Cupcakes & Bookshelves, Sexy Erotic Xciting, Open Skye, My Fiction Nook, The Secret Ko, Lelyana’s Reviews, Rainbow Book Reviews, Dec 6Mirrigold, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Two Chicks Obsessed, Dec 8Making It Happen, Amy’s MM Romance Reviews, Dec 10Momma Says: To Read Or Not To Read, Drops Of Ink, Lillian Francis, Wicked Reads, Dec 12Megan’s Media Melange, Dec 14Bayou Book Junkie, Dec 19Bonkers About Books, Dec 21MM Good Book Reviews

 

Read Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words review here.  We definitely recommend this and the series for your holiday reading!

 

Author Bio

Kim Fielding is the bestselling author of numerous m/m romance novels, novellas, and short stories. Like Kim herself, her work is eclectic, spanning genres such as contemporary, fantasy, paranormal, and historical. Her stories are set in alternate worlds, in 15th century Bosnia, in modern-day Oregon. Her heroes are hipster architect werewolves, housekeepers, maimed giants, and conflicted graduate students. They’re usually flawed, they often encounter terrible obstacles, but they always find love.

Kim’s novel Brute was the 2013 Rainbow Award Winner for Best Gay Fantasy and tied for fourth place for Best Gay Novel.After having migrated back and forth across the western two-thirds of the United States, Kim calls the boring part of California home. She lives there with her husband, her two daughters, and her day job as a university professor, but escapes as often as possible via car, train, plane, or boat. This may explain why her characters often seem to be in transit as well. She dreams of traveling and writing full-time.

Giveaway

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: The Spy’s Love Song (Stars from Peril) by Kim Fielding

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Rating: 4.5 stars  out of 5

Jaxon Powers is a rock star who has it all: fame, fortune, gold records and awards, and plenty of money. He agrees to travel to Vasnytsia with Reid Stanfill as his pseudo personal assistant after the state department pleads for his cooperation. The dictator in this small country is a fan. He may be the only fan since he doesn’t allow his people Internet access, and they only see state-run television, so no other access to the world outside their borders. The citizens will be allowed to attend the concert and Talmirov will be seen as a benevolent man.

Once there, they do one concert for the president and then have to wait several days for the big public concert, but Jaxon finds out all is not as it seemed, and Reid is actually a secret agent working to help the resistance in Vasnytsia to overcome tyranny. He also learns that there’s an underground movement of men and women who do get access to his music. He has fans in this country—brave men and women who are not only fans but are willing to help him and Reid escape when their plans go downhill. When the plot is found out and there’s an attempt on Reid’s life, he separates himself from Jaxon so the young man can get home, but even that doesn’t go according to plan and they end up together fighting for their lives.

I’m not giving a lot of detail in this review because this story deserves to be read. It’s not just a love story. It’s the story of unsung heroes—the commoners who rise up to make their country a better place. And it’s the story of Jaxon reaching deep inside and showing who he really is—a young man willing to go out on a limb to help so many people in their struggle for freedom. There’s quiet moments and times for introspection for the young man who was born in Nebraska and left at eighteen to make his way in the world. And there’s time to learn a bit about Reid and his sense of responsibility and perfectionism. There’s not a lot of sex in this story, just enough to secure the romance, so to speak, but it really wasn’t needed to make this story outstanding.

I loved all the secondary characters the author created. Even with the language barrier, they were believable, brave, strong, and certainly interested in their freedom. Looking back, I realize that I feel like these are real people and I wonder how they are doing today. Jaxon was a terrific character with so much to like about him. He owned his faults and tried to live up to his hopes and dreams and when push came to shove, he showed the world a strength of character many wouldn’t have known he had. Reid, however, was difficult for me to like. He was quite cold and standoffish at first. In fact, he was so in denial about the possibility that he deserved happiness and a future with a partner who loved him that it took forever for him to get there. On one hand, that was spot-on for his character, but on the other, it made him more difficult to love. I’m sure it’s a quandary for authors who need to find the perfect balance.

I definitely recommend this story to those who enjoy stories of intrigue and revolution, those who love rock stars, and those who are just looking for a high quality MM romance that has a lot of substance and isn’t bogged down by gratuitous sex scenes.

The cover by Bree Archer shows an excellent representation of Jaxon Powers with his curly red hair and slightly unshaven face. It’s a close-up wearing the clothing he dons while escaping Vasnytsia and it’s set against the background of the plain cement block apartment buildings where the impoverished citizens live. Perfect for this story.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, Dreamspun Desires #67, 200 pages
Expected publication: October 2nd 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1641080558 (ISBN13: 9781641080552)
Edition Language English
Series Stars from Peril #1

Kim Fielding on Coffee and her new release ‘The Spy’s Love Song (Stars from Peril #1) (author guest blog)

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The Spy’s Love Song (Stars from Peril #1) by Kim Fielding
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art: Bree Archer

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

 

 

 

Hi! Kim Fielding here, and I have a new book out. Yay! The Spy’s Love Song is the tale of a jaded rock star and a State Department operative who end up in deep trouble in a country with a repressive totalitarian government. And there’s romance.

Today I’d like to discuss a topic beloved to many an author’s heart: coffee. Otherwise known as Writing Fuel and, on particularly tough mornings, Nectar of the Gods. Now, generally speaking, my favorite way to consume coffee is as espresso—unsweetened—preferably while sitting at a sidewalk café and gathering plot bunnies from passersby. During the summer, I also like iced coffee with sugar. Or better yet, eiskaffee as served in Vienna, which is cold coffee topped by vanilla ice cream and unsweetened whipped cream.

My other favorite is Bosnian coffee. This strong drink is served in a decorated copper pot called a džezva (that z with a hat on it is pronounced like the second g in garage). The pot comes on a tray—usually also copper—with a small ceramic cup and some sugar cubes. There’s always a glass of water on the side, and usually a piece of rahat lokum (Turkish delight) as well. Although I’ve heard variations on how to drink this, the easiest way is to put the sugar into the cup and carefully pour in the coffee. I say carefully because the džezva contains the fine coffee grounds. Basically, Bosnian coffee is like Turkish coffee, which makes sense since Bosnia was part of the Ottoman Empire for hundreds of years. But in Bosnia, it’s always called Bosnian coffee. [4409]

In Sarajevo, a cup of Bosnian coffee will run you two marks, which is about US$1.30. Sitting with friends and enjoying this beverage is an intrinsic part of the culture. During my recent visit there, not only did I drink plenty of the stuff, but of course so did the locals. I particularly enjoyed wandering the old part of the city and watching the coppersmiths chatting with each other outside their shops, a džezva and cups always close at hand. Their ancestors were probably doing exactly the same thing four centuries ago.

The Spy’s Love Song takes place not in Bosnia but in a fictional Eastern European country, but coffee is still important. A critical plot point centers on a café called the Black Cat. Do you have favorite coffee memories or associations?

***

The Spy’s Love Song by Kim Fielding

For a singer and a spy, love might be mission impossible.

Jaxon Powers has what most only dream of. Fame. Fortune. Gold records and Grammy awards. Lavish hotel suites and an endless parade of eager bedmates. He’s adored all over the world—even in the remote, repressive country of Vasnytsia, where the tyrannical dictator is a big fan. The State Department hopes a performance might improve US relations with a dangerous enemy. But it means Jaxon’s going in alone… with one exception.

Secret agent Reid Stanfill has a covert agenda with global ramifications. Duty means everything to him, even when it involves protecting a jaded rock star. Jaxon and Reid’s mutual attraction is dangerous under Vasnytsia’s harsh laws—and matters get even worse when they’re trapped inside the borders. Romance will have to wait… assuming they make it out alive.

Dreamspinner:

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-spys-love-song-by-kim-fielding-9882-b

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Spys-Love-Song-Dreamspun-Desires/dp/1641080558/

***

Kim Fielding is the bestselling author of numerous m/m romance novels, novellas, and short stories. Like Kim herself, her work is eclectic, spanning genres such as contemporary, fantasy, paranormal, and historical. Her stories are set in alternate worlds, in 15th century Bosnia, in modern-day Oregon. Her heroes are hipster architect werewolves, housekeepers, maimed giants, and conflicted graduate students. They’re usually flawed, they often encounter terrible obstacles, but they always find love.

After having migrated back and forth across the western two-thirds of the United States, Kim calls the boring part of California home. She lives there with her husband, her two daughters, and her day job as a university professor, but escapes as often as possible via car, train, plane, or boat. This may explain why her characters often seem to be in transit as well. She dreams of traveling and writing full-time.

Follow Kim:

Website: http://www.kfieldingwrites.com/

Facebook: http://facebook.com/KFieldingWrites

Twitter: @KFieldingWrites

Email: Kim@KFieldingWrites.com

Kim Fielding on Story Settings and her new release ‘Blyd and Pearce’ (guest blog and giveaway)

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Blyd and Pearce by Kim Fielding 

Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art: Tiferet Design

Sales Links:

Dreamspinner Press

Amazon

Other booksellers

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Kim Fielding here today talking about her latest story Blyd and Pearce.

♦︎

Hi! Kim Fielding here, and I’m so excited to be sharing my newest release—my 21st novel!—with you. Blyd and Pearce is a fusion of some of my favorite genres: m/m romance, medieval fantasy, and noir private eye. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Today I’d like to talk about story settings—specifically, settings for noir stories. In case you’re unfamiliar with noir, here’s a quick definition from Merriam-Webster:

crime fiction featuring hard-boiled cynical characters and bleak sleazy settings

Notice how the setting is integral to the description? Some literary genres can take place nearly anywhere, but some, like noir and its cousin, gothic, almost require a very particular type of place. In the case of noir, that place is a city, preferably a large one, and the neighborhoods are not the ritzy ones. Noir characters live in seedy apartments and hang out in rough bars and dirty back alleys. Not only that, but most of the action takes place at night, with fog or cigarette smoke distorting the shadows and hiding secrets.

There are some notable exceptions to the urban setting requirement, such as one of my favorite films, Fargo. But in Fargo, those lovely shots of forlorn, snow-covered fields and parking lots serve the same purpose that the empty streets of nighttime Los Angeles do in other noir films: emphasizing the alienation and despair of the characters.

In films, noir has a signature cinematic style, drawing from expressionism, with lots of angles and odd perspectives that add to a sense of unease. The films are usually dark of course—that’s why they’re called noir (French for black or dark)—but they don’t necessarily have to be in black-and-white. Again, Fargo achieves an almost monochrome aspect by utilizing winter scenery in the North. Blade Runner uses claustrophobic buildings and constant rain.

In Blyd and Pearce, I’ve transplanted noir from modern American cities to Tangye, a city more typical of medieval fantasy. Tangye is preindustrial, and it’s also home to river wraiths, wizards, necromancers, and other characters we’d be unlikely to see in New York or LA. Yet it also retains many of the characteristics of typical noir settings. Daveth Blyd lives in the Low Quarter, the slums, where the inhabitants scrape out desperate livings and often drink (ale) or drug themselves (with trance drops) to dull their misery. Tangye has surly tavern-keepers, wily street waifs, and crooked cops. And of course it has our private-eye hero and the homme fatal who leads him into trouble.

Do you have a favorite noir setting? Please comment!

Blurb:

Born into poverty and orphaned young, Daveth Blyd had one chance for success when his fighting prowess earned him a place in the Tangye city guard—a place he lost to false accusations of theft. Now he scrapes out a living searching for wayward spouses and missing children. When a nobleman offers him a small fortune to find an entertainer who’s stolen a ring, Daveth takes the case.

While Jory Pearce may or may not be a thief, he certainly can’t be trusted. But, enchanted by Jory’s beauty and haunting voice, Daveth soon finds himself caught in the middle of a conspiracy. As he searches desperately for answers, he realizes that he’s also falling for Jory. The two men face river wraiths, assassins, a necromancer, and a talking head that could be Daveth’s salvation on their quest for the truth. But with everyone’s integrity in question and Death eager to dance, Daveth will need more than sorcery to survive.

Excerpt:

The narrow stairway rose steeply, each step creaking under our feet and taking us into increasing darkness. I smelled onions and fish—a bit strong, but better than my apartment’s odors—and blindly held on to the banister. It occurred to me that Pearce was in a good position to attack me, since I’d have trouble defending myself in the blackness of unfamiliar territory. But I wasn’t afraid of him. Maybe some of his enchantment lingered.

We climbed four flights to the top floor, where he unlocked another door. A few scattered spiritlights flared to life at once, but he lit two lanterns as well.

It wasn’t a large apartment, and the roof angled steeply on both sides so that he had to stoop a little when he hung his lute and midnight-colored cloak on a hook. Bright fabrics adorned the walls—silks and embroidered cottons—and a thick mat and pile of pillows were heaped in one corner. Rag rugs and pillows for seating covered the wide floorboards. The apartment held little else other than a dry sink, a few shelves, a little stand with a chamber pot, a painted wardrobe. But it was a cozy space, and two pottery vases of flowers squatted on the windowsill.

“Do you want some wine?” he asked.

It wasn’t what I expected, so I didn’t answer at once. “Uh, yes. Sure.”

He took a green glass bottle from the shelf, pulled the cork, and poured a red liquid into a pair of plain clay cups.

He was no longer wearing the gauzy silks he’d performed in, but his current outfit was hardly understated. Embroidered snakes—matching the bright blue of his chausses—trimmed a sunshine-hued tunic, and instead of sensible boots, he wore scarlet stockings and yellow slippers with curled, pointed toes. On another man, the clothing would have been gaudy, but it suited him well.

I remained near the closed door. With a tiny quirk to his lips, he prowled closer. He held out one cup of wine, which I took, and when I hesitated to drink, he took a dainty sip of his own. “It’s mediocre, I’m afraid.”

Not being able to distinguish good wine from bad, I swallowed a mouthful. It tasted fine to me.

“What shall I call you?” he purred, standing quite close. He was older than I’d thought, but the fine lines at the corners of his eyes didn’t make him any less beautiful.

“Daveth Blyd.”

“It’s a pleasure, Citizen Blyd.”

“I’m not a citizen.”

He tilted his head. “Oh?”

He wore a scent—something spicy and warm—that made my head swim. And his voice….

When I was newly signed on as a city guard, my duties had included carting my captain’s soiled uniforms to the laundry. It wasn’t one of my favored tasks. But she’d been a showy woman and had her capes trimmed not with dyed wool but with velvet. I’d rarely felt anything so soft, and I used to give the velvet surreptitious little pets as I carried her clothes.

Jory Pearce’s voice was like that velvet: soft and rich and plush. And, I reminded myself, expensive.

Giveaway!

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Kim Fielding is the bestselling author of numerous m/m romance novels, novellas, and short stories. Like Kim herself, her work is eclectic, spanning genres such as contemporary, fantasy, paranormal, and historical. Her stories are set in alternate worlds, in 15th century Bosnia, in modern-day Oregon. Her heroes are hipster architect werewolves, housekeepers, maimed giants, and conflicted graduate students. They’re usually flawed, they often encounter terrible obstacles, but they always find love.

After having migrated back and forth across the western two-thirds of the United States, Kim calls the boring part of California home. She lives there with her husband, her two daughters, and her day job as a university professor, but escapes as often as possible via car, train, plane, or boat. This may explain why her characters often seem to be in transit as well. She dreams of traveling and writing full-time.

Follow Kim:

Website: http://www.kfieldingwrites.com/

Facebook: http://facebook.com/KFieldingWrites

Twitter: @KFieldingWrites

Email: Kim@KFieldingWrites.com

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bau3S9

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Blyd and Pearce by Kim Fielding

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

I loved this fantasy adventure from the very creative mind of Kim Fielding and found it very difficult to put down once I became swept up into the adventures of this very unlikely—yet ultimately perfect for each other—couple.

Daveth Blyd has lived on the streets in the section of town known as the Low for most of his life. Poverty is a step up for Daveth and others in the Low. When he had a chance, he managed to earn a place in the Tangye city guard, though it wasn’t long before an accusation of theft cost him his job and his reputation. He’s now a PI, searching for missing children and wayward spouses.

Blyd meets Jory Pearce when he’s hired by Lord Uren to locate a family heirloom ring that Jory apparently stole. Jory is an entertainer—of various sorts. He’s a singer, an actor, and a whore. He’s also a thief, as he does indeed have the ring, but he’s got a story to tell that turns the whole search for the truth upside down. The good guys aren’t so good and the bad guys aren’t so bad. The story is an amazing, complex, entertaining adventure that I highly recommend.

One of my favorite scenes in the story took place in a very serious moment, when the men were attempting to warn Prince Clesek about a plot to assassinate him. Ms. Fielding added a scene outside the castle that completely cracked me up. Was her subtle message to not take life too seriously? I don’t know, but I do know it’s one of the reasons I love her work. She does inject humor in situations where characters are starting to get full of themselves, or at times when readers need a break from the tension. In this case, the timing was perfect.

The main reason this didn’t hit five stars for me is that I didn’t enjoy the dynamic between Blyd and Pearce, at first, as much as I did between some of her other fantasy characters like Ennek and Miner. I went into this story with high expectations—and that’s the author’s fault because she is so highly talented and has already given us memorable fantasies—including the Ennek Trilogy and Brute. There’s not as much romance—one on one couple time—in this as I thought there’d be. But it’s a slow-build, forever MM partnership that ends on a note that leads me to believe we will see more of these men in the future. And if or when we do, I will be first in line to read more of their adventures.

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The cover by Tiferet Design captures the spirit of the story perfectly. It’s done in black and white and depicts a caped man, with a knife in each hand, standing in front of a tunnel in a dark rundown area. On the other side of the tunnel is bright light and beautiful castle-like buildings. The man’s knives have left a few splotches of blood on the ground – the only color to the cover. Very well nicely done, it’s great to see a cover that matches details of a story so well.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 210 pages
Published July 24th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781640806696
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Lucy Audiobook Review: A Full Plate by Kim Fielding and Narrator: Kenneth Obi

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Bradford Tolliver, Tully, is a contract lawyer who is very successful at his job.  Whether he is as successful in his personal life is questionable.  When his colleague, Carrie, asks for a favor he’s a little bewildered as to what it could be. I loved that he jumps to the conclusion that Carrie and her wife wanted him to father their children and loved even more that he was willing.  The favor, alas, is something completely different.  Let her cousin, Sage Filling (gah, that name), live with him for a while and definitely not permanently while he earns money. 

Sage is a chef who had to give up his family’s restaurant, the Filling Station, and who is right now working at neighborhood Dolly’s as a cook. The food descriptions alone made this work for me.  While Tully has a state of the art espresso machine, worth more than Sage’s car, he really doesn’t cook.  Sage, on the other hand, is gourmet and as they spend more time living together, Sage begins leaving food for Tully.  Some of the things he cooked I would have loved to try, especially the spicy eggs he leaves Tully for breakfast.  “What would you call it?” Sage asked.  “Heaven in a bowl.” 

Sage goes home every weekend but he begins leaving food for Tully.  Tully may be a cutthroat lawyer but he’s a teddy bear inside.  When he orders all sorts of kitchen equipment so Sage can cook for them, he uses overnight shipping and orders the best of everything.  Then feels remorseful for “showing off.” Tully remembers what it’s like to have empty pockets.

We get to know each of them as themselves before they start being a couple. This is not an instant relationship.  They begin as strangers, working odd hours and sometimes not even seeing each other.  It progresses to the food Sage leaves and the notes Tully leaves, then they begin to become friends before they start to be more. The problem, of course, is that there is an end date.  Sage is going back home to Hair Shaker.

There is also the issue of their different social standing.  Tully is very wealthy, Sage is in the city because he desperately needs money and family issues demand he return to Hair Shaker.  Add in the extremely wealthy ex of Tully’s, Eddie,  who wants him back and also sees to it that Tully is working for him (through the firm) and basically gets into a pis*ing contest with Sage.  I thought it was funny until Tully pukes on Eddie’s shoes.  Tully knows what he wants but is fighting it.  “Stop it.  Stop it right now, Tully commanded himself every time he swooned over Sage.  He crafted a zillion airtight arguments about why falling for Sage was a sucktastic idea, even going so far as to cite precedent.”  I loved it.

This is part of the Dreamspinner Dreamspun line, so it of course is a little bit fairy tale (especially the ending) but that’s what I expected and it didn’t disappoint. So cute and fluffy. 

The audio is narrated by Kenneth Obi and I felt he did a good job.  His voice carries inflection.  I would have appreciated a little more differentiating between the various voices but Kenneth made them different enough that I had no trouble knowing who was talking.

The cover art by Bree Archer shows Tully in a suit with a city backdrop. While it is a decent enough cover, I would have preferred Sage to be on it, or even Hair Shaker, to make it a little different than the usual.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | Audible | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Audiobook
Published June 5th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press LLC (first published April 17th 2018)
Original TitleA Full Plate
Edition LanguageEnglishsettingPortland, Oregon (United States)

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Creature (Bureau #3) by Kim Fielding

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

This was an incredibly touching story about a “creature” given life after death. John, as he named himself, is quite sentient and though his limbs don’t cooperate, his heart doesn’t beat, and he needs no food or water, he still seems human.

Early in the story when he was still in captivity, as he crawled back into his corner at night after having basked in the joy of a small ray of sunlight that came through his cell window during the day, he captured my heart and never let go. Oh my gosh, Kim Fielding gets me every time. No matter what genre, she always manages to hit my feels and shake some tears loose. At that point in the story, I was hooked and there was no putting the book down until I finished it.

Harry is a young man, who’s down on his luck in the early 1950s and wants to work for the Bureau of Trans-Species Affairs but has failed to get in. He is, however, a candidate for a special project. There’s a man who’s apparently experimenting with bringing bodies back to life, and Harry is assigned to lure him into a trap set by the Bureau. All he has to do is use his own creature—provided by the Bureau—a zombie-like monster they have in a cell in their headquarters. If he can get the man to admit to his experiments, and/or to show where those experiments are taking place, Harry will be offered a permanent position with the Bureau.

The story is like a modern version of Frankenstein’s monster. But it takes a major turn from the original by giving a gentle young man like Harry custody of a very loveable creature. John is completely different in personality from the original monster, and by the end of the story, it’s John who is able to articulate the difference between himself and the monster described in the Frankenstein novel.

One of my favorite themes was used in this story—slow burn romance—one that developed between John, a being who had started as not much more than a skin-over-bones sentient zombie, and Harry, who was a good guy who only wanted to do the right thing for both his boss and the creature he was coming to care for. I thought the way the author allowed for the creature’s physical and mental development to change a little each day as John took care of him was incredibly creative. By the time Harry and John were ready to meet with their target, John appeared to be less creature and more human, except for the scars that showed where he was cobbled together.

There’s plenty of action and exciting drama when the meeting finally takes place and the conclusion was much more interesting than I anticipated. Is it possible for Harry and John to find happiness together? Only Kim Fielding can make me root for a “creature” to get his HEA. And only by reading the story will readers find out for sure. I highly recommend this story. Though third in a series, it can easily stand alone. Plus, one more bonus: all proceed benefit Doctors Without Borders.

~~~

The attractive cover features a man sitting curled in on himself, with only the top of his head and arms and legs showing, and all are covered by scars created as the body was sewn together. Very creative and perfect for this story!

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 101 pages
Expected publication: May 7th 2018
ASINB07BZWY2MB
SeriesBureau #3

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: A Full Plate by Kim Fielding

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Bradford Tolliver, Tully to friends, has everything and nothing—he’s wealthy, a highly sought attorney, has a beautiful condo but has no friends, no family to speak of, and is clueless as to how empty his life is.  That is, until Sage Filling enters his life.  Yes, Sage’s father had a sense of humor when he named him and when he named his dog Tooth (Filling).  I love Kim Fielding!

Sage knew from an early age that he’d be a chef someday.  Growing up, he worked for his family’s business, a restaurant named The Filling Station, and his greatest wish for birthday and Christmas gifts was always food-related: a subscription to Gourmet Magazine, a new kitchen utensil, etc.  But as the story opens, he’s moved to Portland to earn extra money to support his family and needs a place to stay.  His cousin Carrie, one of Tully’s coworkers, asks Tully to allow Sage to be Tully’s roommate for the one year he’ll be in town. 

Not wanting to refuse, and willing to give it a try, Tully agrees.  Little does he know his life has taken a turn for the better.  It takes a while – I love a slow burn! – but eventually Tully and Sage find their way into each other’s arms…and beds.  But they know their time is limited.  Tully can’t work from Sage’s little hometown and Sage can’t stay in Portland because of family issues. 

I love the way Kim Fielding crafted these characters.  We have time to get to know them individually before we get to the coupledom.  And when we do, we don’t just have sex, sex, sex.  We have sex, yes indeed, but we also have romance and the caring, concern, and support one would hope to see between two people who love each other.  Sage finds it hard to believe that this gorgeous, smart, wealthy man can possibly love him beyond the time they spend together.  And Tully finds it hard to believe that Sage sees himself as anything other than the perfect man he is through Tully’s eyes. 

I just loved it and I hope others will too.  These Dreamspun Desires stories are just the ticket to brighten a day and warm a cold heart.  I highly recommend this to all who enjoy contemporary MM romance. 

~~~

Cover art by Bree Archer features a good-looking, well-dressed man—no doubt Attorney Bradford Tolliver—set against the Portland city skyline.  The cover is no more or less attractive than others in the series but is done in a similar theme so readers will certainly know this is one of the Dreamspun Desires books.   

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 206 pages
Expected publication: April 17th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781640801028
Edition LanguageEnglish
URL

Kim Fielding on Writing, Influences, and her new release A Full Plate (author interview and guest blog)

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A Full Plate by Kim Fielding
Dreamspinner Press

Cover Art: Bree Archer
A Dreamspun Desire Novel

Sales Links

Dreamspinner PressAmazon 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Kim Fielding here today talking about writing, characters and her latest release in the Dreamspun Desires line from Dreamspinner Press, A Full Plate.  Welcome, Kim.

✒︎

 

~ Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Kim Fielding ~

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

I love doing research. Partly because I’m a great big nerd, partly because it’s an occupational hazard of my day job (university professor). Also, it really annoys me when the smallest details aren’t right.

Even when I make up an entire world, I do research to back it up. Imaginary universes feel a lot more real when they bear similarities to ours. That doesn’t mean I can’t embroider on reality—that’s the creative part—but the foundation is often based on what’s really out there. For example, the city of Tellomer exists only in my novel Brute, but to build it, I did a lot of research on medieval cities and castles. The town of Rattlesnake is fictional too, but it’s based on some real places in California gold rush country, and it has such substance in my head that I once honestly forgot Mae’s Café isn’t real (and was disappointed with the realization).

Even a contemporary novel set in a real place requires research. For A Full Plate I looked up a lot of stuff about cooking, private jets, and the logistics of creating flying cars, among other things. I even went on a tour of the Tesla car factory!

Have you ever had to put an ‘in progress’ story aside because of the emotional ties with it?  You were hurting with the characters or didn’t know how to proceed?

Not exactly, although I have occasionally found it difficult to progress with my writing. The hardest book I’ve ever written is one I’m ultimately very proud of: The Tin Box. I had a hard time with that one in the beginning because the protagonist, William, isn’t very likable at that point. I knew why he wasn’t likable, and I understood it. I also knew that eventually he’d blossom and we’d learn what a good man he truly is. But there at the beginning? I kind of wanted to throttle him.

But a later part of that book was even worse. Not to be too spoilerish, but I had to do something terrible to a secondary character. That thing had to happen; no way around it. But man, I dreaded that part, and every word was like ripping out a piece of my heart. Sob. I think the results are worth the pain, but my characters feel very real to me, and I honestly suffered. It didn’t help to know that what happened to my fictional person actually happened to thousands of very real human beings.

Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

I like both. Now, to be honest, my guys often go through a good bit of suffering during the story. Even in A Full Plate, which is relatively light on angst, Tully and Sage have serious struggles in their life. In the end, though, I want happiness. I mean, who doesn’t? And doesn’t that give us hope? I think that’s a good part of what draws readers to romance in the first place.

I don’t think I have a preference between HFN and HEA. Certainly an HEA is joyful and brings that warm feeling of completeness. But I also enjoy the bit of ambiguity inherent to an HFN, that sense that the story will continue, maybe with more potential conflict. That’s real life.

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

As a young kid, I read a lot of classic science fiction. I veered more into other aspects of spec fic when I got older: horror, fantasy, magical realism. I found traditional romances somewhat limiting and didn’t really get into the genre until later, when I discovered m/m.

Although I read in many genres, the authors who’ve influenced me the most are the ones who are excellent writers. These folks have such a way with words that they can draw good storytelling out of even the simplest plots. Some of my very favorites include Isabel Allende, Mark Twain, Kurt Vonnegut, Charles deLint, Stephen King, and Neil Gaiman. When I read these authors, I get a little envious of their skills, yet that envy inspires me to improve my own writing.

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

I have mixed emotions. On the one hand, I love the instant gratification of ebooks and the ability to obtain them in unlikely places. I’ve downloaded them on ships, on a train in Spain (yes, it was on a plain), and in hotels and apartments in many places in North America and Europe. Once I was sitting next to a woman on an airplane, and when she discovered mid-flight that I’m an author, she bought one of my books and began reading it right then and there on her Kindle! Of course, ebooks are also wonderful for reducing clutter, and I find them invaluable for travel. I also like how I can read a single book on multiple devices, depending on which one is handiest.

On the other hand, I love print books. I like to browse them and enjoy their full-sized covers in all their colorful glory. I like the feel of them and even the smell of them. I like giving them away and buying used ones. All the ebook catalogs in the world will never satisfy me like a brick-and-mortar bookstore does. Or a public library. (A shout-out to Little Free Libraries too.) And print books never run out of batteries.

I think we’ll see ebooks increase their dominance. They’re just so easy for consumers, and they reduce production and distribution costs so much for publishers. I am troubled by some aspects of the market, however, including Amazon’s near monopoly (I have a love-hate relationship with the Zon), the poor quality of many ebooks, and reduced profits for authors and publishers. I hope we see improvements in those areas.

If you write contemporary romance, is there such a thing as making a main character too “real”?  Do you think you can bring too many faults into a character that eventually it becomes too flawed to become a love interest?

I love flawed characters, and I believe that no matter how imperfect we are, every one of us deserves love. In fact, I think that’s a central theme to most of my stories.

One thing that kept me from enjoying traditional romances, back in the day, was that I found the characters too perfect. They were all beautiful and brilliant (well, except some of the women, frankly, who I found depressingly dim-witted) and rich. I had a hard time relating. So when I began writing, I made a deliberate choice to make my people more human. Even when they’re wealthy and handsome, like Tully in A Full Plate, they have real problems. In Tully’s case, that includes a past with unsupportive family and a present in which he struggles to make emotional connections.

Unless a character is cartoonishly awful, I think love is always a real possibility. I even love villains. And redemption makes for a wonderful character arc.

   

Ever drunk written a chapter and then read it the next day and still been happy with it?  Trust me there’s a whole world of us drunk writers dying to know.

I don’t drink often, and I very rarely get drunk, mostly because I’m too big of a control freak to enjoy it. However, I do frequently do my writing very late at night, after a long day, when my eyes are bleary and my brain is desperately wanting to go offline. I think the resulting writing is a little bit as if I were drunk. The grammar and spelling tend to suffer—sometimes neither spellcheck nor I have any idea what I was trying to say—but I do find myself making some creative leaps. And I usually keep those.

 

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

A really nice hotel someplace very interesting, where I can look up from my writing and enjoy a sweeping view. When I need a writing break, I can take a few steps outside my room to find myself on a secluded tropical beach or in the midst of a fascinating city—where I can walk for a while to refresh my body and brain. I can choose to eat at delicious restaurants or order room service. I can sleep in and stay up late—that’s when I’m most creative—and there are few interruptions and little noise.

Ahhh.

 

 

What’s next for you as a writer?

This is a really busy year for me. I have two more releases from Dreamspinner this year. Blyd and Pearce will come out this summer; it’s a noir private-eye gay romance in a medieval fantasy setting. Then The Spy’s Love Song releases in October. That’s another Dreamspun Desires title, this time about a jaded rock star and the spy he falls for. In May, I’ll have the third novella in The Bureau series, Creature. And Joel Leslie will be recording an audiobook version of all three novellas, which I’m really excited about. I’m also planning a light Christmas fantasy set in the 1880s. And I’m working now on the third book in the Love Can’t series.

***

A Full Plate by Kim Fielding

Opposites come together for a spicy surprise.

Bradford “Tully” Tolliver has everything—money, a great car, a beautiful condo, and a promising career as one of Portland’s hottest young lawyers. Sure, he puts in long hours and has no social life to speak of, but who needs romance when corporations pay top dollar for his expertise? He hesitates when a colleague asks if her cousin can live with him, but the arrangement will last less than a year, and then the cousin—Sage Filling—will return to his tiny hometown.

But Sage is handsome and intriguing, and his cooking makes Tully swoon. Sage has obligations back home, though, and Tully has offers he might not refuse from a persistent—and very wealthy—ex. Since Tully and Sage each have a full plate, can they make room for a side of love?

***

About the Author

Kim Fielding is the bestselling author of numerous m/m romance novels, novellas, and short stories. Like Kim herself, her work is eclectic, spanning genres such as contemporary, fantasy, paranormal, and historical. Her stories are set in alternate worlds, in 15th century Bosnia, in modern-day Oregon. Her heroes are hipster architect werewolves, housekeepers, maimed giants, and conflicted graduate students. They’re usually flawed, they often encounter terrible obstacles, but they always find love.

After having migrated back and forth across the western two-thirds of the United States, Kim calls the boring part of California home. She lives there with her husband, her two daughters, and her day job as a university professor, but escapes as often as possible via car, train, plane, or boat. This may explain why her characters often seem to be in transit as well. She dreams of traveling and writing full-time.

Follow Kim:

Website: http://www.kfieldingwrites.com/

Facebook: http://facebook.com/KFieldingWrites

Twitter: @KFieldingWrites

Email: Kim@KFieldingWrites.com

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bau3S9

A complete list of Kim’s books: http://www.kfieldingwrites.com/kim-fieldings-books/