A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audio Review: Terms of Service (The Heretic Doms Club #2) by Marie Sexton and John Solo (Narrator)

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

I highly doubt I can do justice to this story in a simple review. In one word: phenomenal. I listened to the audio version narrated by John Solo so much of my praise is due directly and indirectly to his outstanding narration.

On the surface, this is the story of River, an ER physician who’s just lost his husband to a fellow doctor and is struggling to come to terms with his own identity. Among his issues, besides being devastated by his husband’s infidelity, is his failure to be able to have penetrative sex and, in fact, his frequent failure to achieve an erection. Add to that the stresses of taking graveyard shift in the ER, which he’s chosen to do to avoid his ex who has day shift, and he’s just a powder keg waiting to go off. The unlucky victim of his latest blowup is the hospital pharmacist, Phil. But Phil doesn’t just stand still and take verbal abuse. He shows River his own errors, and ultimately not only does River back down, but he later seeks Phil out to apologize, something unheard of among that hospital’s physicians.

What he learns is that Phil is interested in him, but Phil doesn’t do regular relationships. He only does domestic servitude, and he never reacts emotionally—neither to sex nor to situations where others might expect some reciprocation.

Below the surface story lies the true depth found in this book (pun intended). It depicts an emotional, often painful journey to discovery for both River and Phil. This journey encompasses River’s acceptance of Phil’s domination, Phil’s own struggles with deeply buried emotions, the turmoil and upheaval of having River’s estranged husband hound him constantly to sign the divorce papers, and River’s deep-seated issues surrounding his twin’s death and his subsequent emotional separation from his family. Over and above all that, Phil’s grandfather, Pops, is in an extended care facility on the other side of the Denver metro area and suffers from dementia. Phil visits him weekly and loves him a great deal though he finds it difficult to express how deeply he cares for the man. Pops inadvertently plays a role in helping River discover some of the joy he felt in his childhood, when camping and fishing with his family, and that joy splashes over into a ripple effect that encompasses Phil.

There are appearances by Warren and Taylor, from Trailer Trash, and other members of the Heretic Dom’s Club, primarily Gray and Charlie. Each of these men is developing as a strong, supportive character in these stories, and I hope each gets his own love someday. For River and Phil, the struggle is long and real and fraught with undermining from coworkers, a theft from the hospital pharmacy, and an ultimatum by River’s ex who throws a major monkey wrench into River’s new developing relationship. The audio is over fourteen wonderful hours of pure entertainment. Compelling, riveting, dramatic, completely engrossing, I was literally unable to stop listening except for time out to recharge my cordless headphones and to sleep (but only one night because this book deserved my devotion for two solid days.)

I highly recommend this to anyone remotely interested in D/s relationships, with a focus on domestic servitude, and those who enjoy a long, slow journey to a highly rewarding destination. And most definitely, get the audio. It’s pure listening pleasure.

Cover art is dramatic and pulls your eye towards the book. Works.

Sales Links:  Amazon | Audible

Audio Details:

14 hrs 20 mins

Audible Audio, 15 pages
Published August 13th 2018 by Marie Sexton (first published June 25th 2018)
Original TitleTerms of Service
ASINB07G9LRXMX
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesThe Heretic Doms Club #2
settingColorado (United States)

A Chaos Moondrawn Release Day Review: Never a Hero (Tucker Springs #5) by Marie Sexton

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

This is part of the Tucker Springs series. The books have different authors, so although some of the characters are featured in other books, this can be read as a standalone. This is a meet cute with depth.

Having Owen’s first person POV lets the reader see and feel what his life is like having a congenital arm amputation and stutter. When he gets a new neighbor downstairs, his world changes in ways he could never imagine before. Not because Nick “fixes” anything, but because Owen’s exposure to the outside world is expanded so he observes and learns things for himself that make him question his world view. I didn’t feel I missed anything at all not having Nick’s POV because the writing doesn’t allow it. Nick’s sister has a similar amputation, making June a powerful catalyst. She is a friend who can really understand, but also is a complete contrast to how Owen handles things. June has lived her life with love and support and it shows. That doesn’t mean her reactions to the world are more mature or correct, just different–which shows Owen he can react differently too if he chooses.

I won’t talk much about Nick or Owen’s dad because I don’t want too many spoilers. I will say I adored Nick, but his actions are super frustrating. I could say the same thing about Owen’s father. Most of Owen’s issues stem from his mother, who is completely unpleasant. Watching him gain confidence during the few months of this book is a pleasure. When he actually has a real life with activities and friends, he gives up the unhealthy fantasy life he was living in. The dialogue and the inner monologue flow naturally so the reader feels a part of Owen’s growth, sharing his realizations and small victories. Once Owen actually has a support system in his life, he goes after what he wants, and that is Nick. Everything is not magically fixed at the end, but the characters are set on a much better path that is more likely to be happy and successful.

The cover art for this rerelease was done by Reese Dante. I have to say this model is more appealing and the piano plays a major part in the story.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 2nd edition, 149 pages
Published July 5th 2019 by Dreamspinner Press (first published May 13th 2013)
Original TitleNever a Hero
ASINB07RGQJXQK
Edition Language English
Series Tucker Springs #5
Characters Owen Meade, Nick Reynolds
setting Tucker Springs, Colorado (United States)
Colorado (United States)

Marie Sexton on Romance, Characters, and her new release Promises (author guest blog)

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Promises by Marie Sexton
Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: May 14, 2019

Cover Artist: Tiferet Design
Sales Link: Dreamspinner Press

Includes the Coda series prequel novella, Meant to Be

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to interview Marie Sexton, here today on tour for her re-release of her novel Promises. Welcome, Marie!

 

STRW Interviews Marie Sexton!

 

Hello, everybody! I’m Marie Sexton, and I’m here today celebrating the re-release of my very first novel, Promises. Promises was first released back in January of 2010. The new version has been re-edited, features one expanded scene, and also contains a brand new Coda short story called Meant to Be.

How much of yourself goes into a character?

Not a ton, but there’s certainly a little bit of me in each of my protagonists. Probably Angelo from the Coda series, Cody from Trailer Trash, and Trey from Family Man are the most “me.”

Do you feel there’s a tight line between Mary Sue or should I say Gary Stu and using your own experiences to create a character?

Well, any character based on my life experience probably wouldn’t be a Mary Sue (or a Gary Stu). I make way too many mistakes and bad decisions for that. LOL.

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

I hate research. As an author with a degree in history, I probably shouldn’t admit that, but it’s true. I find it mind-numbingly boring. Which is why most of the time when I start out writing historical, I end up with some kind of weird AU. (My Oestend series being the primary example.)

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

Nope. Didn’t read them back then and I don’t read them now. I always felt like a fraud at romance conventions because I had no idea who any of the other authors were.

Has your choice of childhood or teenage reading genres carried into your own choices for writing? Who do you think is your major influence as a writer?  Now and growing up?

Yes and no. I read SFF almost exclusively in my teens, and yet I mostly write contemporary. But I think I always gravitated towards stories with quirky characters and questionable narrators. One of my favorites as a kid was the Great Brain series, where the reader watches a young genius/con-man through the eyes of his adoring (and naïve) little brother. I love the idea that the exact same story can be vastly different when seen through the eyes of a different character, which is probably why most of my early books were written in first person. 

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

I have a few, actually. First and foremost, I love my Oestend series (Song of Oestend and Saviours of Oestend). These books have everything I love to write — opposites attract, friends to lovers, redeeming a bad boy, macho cowboys, role reversal, and BDSM — all with an AU, paranormal twist. I love Trailer Trash, because it captured so much of the joys and heartaches of my teen years. I love Winter Oranges for being outlandish and yet (hopefully) believable. And as far as complexity, I think Release is probably my best work.

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 he becomes too flawed to become a love interest?

I think this is more about the reader than the writer. Some readers can’t stand to read about characters who make choices they wouldn’t. For example, if the character smokes, or if he and his partner aren’t monogamous, some readers will immediately DNF the book. I can’t really do anything about that. I have to write the character the way he is, smoking and all.

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

Yes. I did this with Trailer Trash. I originally started it way back in about 2011. Then I realized I was writing about the AIDS era, and I knew the story was going to get heavy and angsty, so I put it aside until 2015 or 2016, I think. But I did finally finish it, and I personally think it’s one of my better books.

I also kind of did this with Damned If You Do. I originally had the idea for that story when I heard the song “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” and I started wondering what would happen if, after that first duel, the devil became a bit obsessed with Jonny and kept going back for more. But my original idea for the story would have stepped all over copyright, so I kind of put it away until a new idea came to me about a year later.

And I guess The Well was also similar. I knew for several years that I wanted to write about a group of teens who spend a night in a haunted house and wake up to find one of them has disappeared without a trace. But it took me several years to figure out what exactly had happened to Elise.

 

Have you ever had an issue in RL and worked it through by writing it out in a story?  Maybe how you thought you’d feel in a situation?

I’ve probably done this to lesser degrees multiple times, but the one instance that was HUGE was when I wrote Family Man with Heidi Cullinan. I wrote Trey’s POV, and I dumped every bit of my rage at growing up with an alcoholic parent into that book. It was awful and painful and raw, but when it was all said and done, it was incredibly cathartic. That being said, I tried doing the same thing recently with a different issue in a different work in progress, and it’s a hot, unpublishable mess. It’s been anti-cathartic, if that’s a thing. It left me even more frustrated than I was before. So… time will tell how that situation works out.

  

What’s next for you as a writer?

I’m still trying to finish book three in my Heretic Doms Club series. And I have a Tucker Springs novel to wrap up. (And because Tucker Springs and Coda are now with the same publishing house, Matt and Jared might drop in for a visit.) 😉

That’s it for today. Don’t forget to check out the re-release of Promises. You can also join my private Facebook group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/MarieSextonFans/

Thank you to Scattered Thoughts for having me here today.

Blurb

Can a man who loves his small hometown trust it to love him back?

Jared Thomas has lived in the mountain town of Coda, Colorado, his whole life. He can’t imagine living anywhere else. But Jared’s opportunities are limited—the only other gay man in town is twice his age, and although Jared originally planned to be a teacher, the backlash that might accompany the gig keeps him working at his family’s store instead.

Then Matt Richards moves to town.

Matt may not be into guys, but he doesn’t care that Jared is. A summer camping and mountain biking together cements their friendship, but when Matt realizes he’s attracted to Jared, he panics and withdraws, leaving Jared all too aware of what he’s missing.

Facing Matt’s affair with a local woman, his disapproving family, and harassment from Matt’s coworkers, Jared fears they’ll never find a way to be together. But for the first time, he has the courage to try… if he can only convince Matt.

About the Author

Marie Sexton is the author of over thirty published works. She’s written contemporary romance, science fiction, fantasy, dystopian fiction, historical short stories, and a few
odd genre mashups. Marie lives in Colorado , where she recently fell head – over – heels in
love with the Colorado Eagles. She’s happily married, with one teenage daughter, one adorable dog, and one very stupid cat.
You can find Marie on Twitter (@mariesexton, where she mostly talks about sports), at
http://www.MarieSexton.net , or in her private Facebook group,
https://www.facebook.com/groups/MarieSextonFans/
.

An Ali Review: The Well by Marie Sexton

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Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Twenty years after prom queen Cassie Kennedy is brutally murdered, six teenagers break into the house where she was killed to hold a séance. Haven knows his cousin Elise only wants to scare the crap out of him and his friends, but he’s willing to put up with one of her pranks if it means a chance to spend a few hours with the new kid in town, Pierce Hunter. 

But when morning comes, Elise has disappeared without a trace. 

Twelve years later, Pierce and his twin brother Jordan are professional paranormal investigators, starring in their own ghost-hunting TV show. When Pierce calls Haven, insisting they return to the supposedly haunted building one last time, Haven reluctantly agrees. He’s nervous about seeing Pierce again, but he’s determined to get some answers. Did they really speak to Cassie’s ghost that night? What happened to Elise? And the biggest mystery of all – how did she know the secret of the well?
 
I was immediately intrigued when I read the blurb for this book.  I love a good mystery story and when you throw in a paranormal aspect I’m beyond excited.  I wasn’t sure what to think though, of this type of book written by this author.  Everything I’ve read of hers before has been a contemporary romance.  I’m super excited to say that she knocked this out of the ballpark.
The story focused on Haven who is now a horror book author.  When he was still a teen, he and his two cousins and some other friends, spend the night in a reportedly haunted house and then his cousin Elise disappears.  Two of the boys are now paranormal investigators with a famous television show and they contact Haven and ask him to come meet with them in regards to doing a new show on the house and it’s mysteries.  Haven can’t say no because he’s haunted by the question of what happened to Elise, as well as his feelings for Pierce.
The story is told in alternating chapters.  It goes back and forth between the past and the present.  The chapters from the past were spooky and I probably shouldn’t have been reading this late at night.  Just when things would start to get scary it would move to the present.  I thought it was a great story telling technique.  It gave me a break from clutching my blanket and dog against me and it kept me totally intrigued.  I couldn’t read fast enough to find out what really happened that night.
There is some romance between Haven and Pierce but it is not the main focus of the story.  I enjoyed watching them together and felt the ending was a solid HFN.
If you enjoy stories with a paranormal twist I can’t recommend this enough.  While it’s different than her norm, I think this is one of the best books this author has written.
Cover:  I think the cover is well done and it fits the story perfectly.  It gives off the creepy vibe that the book does.
Sales Links
Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 206 pages
Published May 22nd 2017
Original TitleThe Well
ASINB06XWVMH7H
Edition LanguageEnglish

An Ali Audiobook Review: Winter Oranges by Marie Sexton and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)

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Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
winteroranges_audiobookJason Walker is a child star turned teen heartthrob turned reluctant B-movie regular who’s sick of his failing career. So he gives up Hollywood for northern Idaho, far away from the press, the drama of LA, and the best friend he’s secretly been in love with for years.

There’s only one problem with his new life: a strange young man only he can see is haunting his guesthouse. Except Benjamin Ward isn’t a ghost. He’s a man caught out of time, trapped since the Civil War in a magical prison where he can only watch the lives of those around him. He’s also sweet, funny, and cute as hell, with an affinity for cheesy ’80s TV shows. And he’s thrilled to finally have someone to talk to.

But Jason quickly discovers that spending all his time with a man nobody else can see or hear isn’t without its problems—especially when the tabloids find him again and make him front-page news. The local sheriff thinks he’s on drugs, and his best friend thinks he’s crazy. But Jason knows he hasn’t lost his mind. Too bad he can’t say the same thing about his heart.

This book takes a certain level of dispensing with reality. I mean…..person trapped in a snow globe. Once you get past that though this is a sweet tale of friendship and then romance. The two men are both extremely lonely in their own ways. Neither has had anyone to love them in a long time and they’re both in serious need of that. Of course things don’t go smoothly. (People generally think you’re crazy when you carry a snow globe with you everywhere and talk to someone no one else can see.) True love wins in the end though.

I thought the story was well written. The pacing was good and both of the main characters were enjoyable. I found myself rooting for them both and was happy when they got their happily ever after. This was creatively done story and while part of it takes place at Christmas I wouldn’t necessarily consider it a Christmas story. It’s a read you could enjoy year round.
This was narrated by Nick J Russo and I thought it was done very well.  I typically enjoy this author a lot and this was no exception.  He did all of the voices well and I never had a hard time telling the difference between the two MC’s.
Cover by L.C. Chase:  I like the cover.  It is nicely done and captures the essence of the story very well.
Sales Links

Audible, Amazon, iTunes

Book Details:

Audio release: December 7, 2016

Twenty percent of the proceeds from this title will be donated to the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) National Help Center.

Founded in 1996, the GLBT National Help Center is a non-profit organization that provides vital peer-support, community connections and resource information to people with questions regarding sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Utilizing a diverse group of GLBT volunteers, they operate two national hotlines, the GLBT National Hotline and the GLBT National Youth Talkline, as well as private, volunteer one-to-one online chat, that help both youth and adults with coming-out issues, safer-sex information, school bullying, family concerns, relationship problems and a lot more.

To learn more about this charity or to donate directly, please visit their website: http://www.glbthotline.org/

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: Trailer Trash by Marie Sexton and John Solo (Narrator)

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

trailer-trash-audioIt’s 1986, and what should have been the greatest summer of Nate Bradford’s life goes sour when his parents suddenly divorce. Now, instead of spending his senior year in his hometown of Austin, Texas, he’s living with his father in Warren, Wyoming, population 2,833 (and Nate thinks that might be a generous estimate). There’s no swimming pool, no tennis team, no mall—not even any MTV. The entire school’s smaller than his graduating class back home, and in a town where the top teen pastimes are sex and drugs, Nate just doesn’t fit in.

Then Nate meets Cody Lawrence. Cody’s dirt-poor, from a broken family, and definitely lives on the wrong side of the tracks. Nate’s dad says Cody’s bad news. The other kids say he’s trash. But Nate knows Cody’s a good kid who’s been dealt a lousy hand. In fact, he’s beginning to think his feelings for Cody go beyond friendship.

Admitting he might be gay is hard enough, but between small-town prejudices and the growing AIDS epidemic dominating the headlines, a town like Warren, Wyoming, is no place for two young men to fall in love.

I well remember the eighties. I know I’m dating myself, but as my reviewer name says, I’m a zany old lady. I got that way from living through those eighties. Just kidding. But I do have a very close friend who realized he was gay in his early teens and couldn’t tell anyone in our small, homophobic hometown. He visited Chicago with his twin brother and a friend when he was eighteen and when he graduated from high school, he took what I now know was a courageous leap of faith and moved there alone. He’s been with his partner since the mid-eighties and I can recall keeping him in my prayers when the AIDS crisis peaked.

This is a young adult story featuring two young men, Cody and Nate, who I totally fell in love with. Their story made me think of my friend all while I was reading. Each had a different family background and set of circumstances, yet fate brought them together at a time when gay men were still in hiding in most of the states, and most definitely in a rural territory in Wyoming. There are so many very, very sad times in this story. It’s definitely not fluff. But it’s also not something that I would pass up, no matter how tough it got. Marie Sexton never fails to reach down deep in my gut and wrench up all the feels I try to keep hidden, and she does it with such finesse, I can easily forgive her.

John Solo’s narration was spot on. Two weeks later and I can still hear their voices and feel their pain, and of course, their moments of joy. Cody and Nate’s story is not to be missed and the audiobook format is wonderful.

Cover art by Jay Aheer is poignant and quite wonderful.

Sales Links

Riptide Publishing

Audiobook Details:

Listening Length: 9 hours and 43 minutes
Audible Audio, 10 pages

Published October 19th 2016 by Riptide Publishing (first published March 21st 2016)
ASINB01M5BJX19
Edition Language English

A Lila Release Day Review: Making Waves (Wrench Wars #4) by Marie Sexton

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

making-waves-by-marie-sextonBest friends since they were teenagers, Ward Kent and Dean Zimmerman work together at Reggie’s garage, where the reality show Wrench Wars is filmed. Outside of work, Dean is a notorious player, and as far as he’s concerned, Ward’s the best wingman ever. Little does he know, Ward is much more interested in the gentlemen than the ladies.

Then Dean’s younger brother, Ash, comes to work at the garage. Ash may be seven years younger, but he’s had a crush on Ward for years, and he’s not shy about going after what he wants.

Admitting his best friend and his brother are gay is one thing. Seeing them together? That’s a bit more than Dean can take, and he’s about to force Ward to make a decision: lose his best friend and his job, or give up Ash forever.

Making Waves is a simple, low-angst end story to the Wrench Wars series. It gives us a small peek into the lives of previous main characters without losing focus on Ash’s and Ward’s story. It can be read as a stand-alone too. This is also the last book by Marie Sexton for quite some time, according to her hiatus announcement; with the exemption of some translations of previous books.

Before Ash’s and Ward’s love story, there was Dean’s and Ward’s bromance. Dean’s Ash older brother and Ward’s best friend. They met at an early age, and Dean was Ward’s sounding board as he grew up in the Foster care system. Ash was there too, but as a spectator; the typical little brother trying to be included in all their plans.

Moving forward eight years, and Ash comes to town to work at Reggie’s garage. Ward’s attraction to him is immediate, but he tries to stay away. Ash’s crush and advances didn’t make it easy on him, and in the end, Ward has to choose between his feelings for Ash and his friendship with Dean.

Ash’s and Ward’s relationship is steamy and uncomplicated. If it weren’t for Dean, we could say it was picture perfect. They’ve great chemistry and a developing friendship. All the decisions they took were to spare Dean’s feelings, and it isn’t until they’re forced to deal with the elephant in the room that they decided to put their relationship above all.

The overall story was good, but not great. Time skipped ahead, and we only get a one or two paragraph explanation of what had happened. I didn’t see a real connection between the MCs and the resolution felt a bit rushed and perhaps, forced. They only get a HFN that seems more like a temporary solution than the start of a HEA.

Definitely, a short story to read when looking for a quick read to fill the gap between two longer books.

The last cover in the series matched the simplistic look of the previous ones designed by Garrett Leigh.

Sale Links

        

 

 

Book Details:

ebook, 76 pages
Published: September 29, 2016, by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 1634774604 (ISBN13: 9781634774604)
Edition Language: English

Series: Wrench Wars
Book #1: Last Mechanic Standing
Book #2: Normal Enough
Book #3: Wrenches, Regrets, And Reality Checks
Book #4: Making Waves

A Lila Release Day Review: Normal Enough (Wrench Wars #2) by Marie Sexton

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Normal EnoughWhat is “normal”?

When Brandon Kenner shows up at Kasey Ralston’s garage with a 1970 Chevelle SS 454, Kasey is smitten by both the man and his car. But Kasey is hiding an embarrassing secret: his love for old muscles goes beyond what most would consider normal. His unusual fetish has kept Kasey isolated—estranged from his family and even distant from his coworkers.

But when Brandon figures out the hot mechanic’s secret, he’s not repulsed. In fact, he finds Kasey intriguing, and he’s determined to have him for himself.

Everything about Brandon revs Kasey’s engine, and he’s more than willing to get down and dirty with the charming man. What worries Kasey is what will happen after. Is there any chance of a future for them? In the past, expecting anything long-term has only led to heartbreak. But Kasey can’t help hoping that, despite Kasey’s fetish, Brandon will be the exception.

Normal Enough is a steamy novella with potential for more. The setup between Brandon and Kasey is cute, but I think Brandon realizes Kasey’s kink too quickly; setting a series of scenes that felt rushed and disconnected. We barely had time to get to know the main characters before we were halfway through the story. A fast pace is to be expected from a novella, but on this occasion, it was two times faster than necessary.

The characters are perfect for each other. I like the playfulness of their encounters and how much they connected in such a short amount of time. They’re sweet and hot, creating a couple of intense meetings worth writing home about. Add the cars to the picture and you will have the bones for a great story.

I like the way Kasey moves out of his shell with every contact he has with Brandon. Not only being more confident but by taking a chance to make friends and reach to his family.  This story fits the series well; it just lacks another twenty pages.

And one pet peeve of mine, the e-book ends at 84%. I don’t mind the extra content, but in a novella, it seems excessive.

Another nice cover by Garrett Leigh. Still generic, but it matches the others in the series.

Sale Links

        

Book Details:

ebook, 82 pages
Published: August 3, 2016, by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 1634773837 (ISBN13: 9781634773836)
Edition Language: English

Series: Wrench Wars
Book #1: Last Mechanic Standing
Book #2: Normal Enough

Marie Sexton Talks Images and Inspiration And ‘Trailer Trash’‏ (author guest post and giveaway)

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Trailer Trash

Trailer Trash by Marie Sexton
R
iptide Publishing

Cover Art by Jay Aheer

Read an Excerpt/Buy It Here

**********

Hello, everyone! I’m Marie Sexton, and I’m here today to talk about my New Adult novel, Trailer Trash. Trailer Trash is about two high school seniors in small-town Wyoming in the mid-1980s. I thought I’d share a few pictures that helped inspire book, and a few that might help illustrate the setting.

Trailer Trash was born from this image:Cody

I’ve since learned that this picture is of actor Nicholas Hoult, but this picture has always been Cody in my mind.

This is the picture I have for Nate, although it isn’t perfect.

NateTrailer Trash is set in the fictional town of Warren, Wyoming, along the I-80 corridor. If you look at a map of Southern Wyoming, and find the spot about midway between Rawlins and Rock Springs, then go ten or fifteen miles north into nowhere, you’ll have the approximate location of Warren. This area of Wyoming is so windy that there aren’t many trees, but many of the ones that grow in that area look like this:

(credit: http://www.wildwestcycle.com/f_snowy.html)FlagTree

Now, I’ve driven I-80 across southern Wyoming many, many times, and it’s hell. It’s windy and barren and goes on forever, mostly flat and straight as a ruler. On a good day, that section of I-80 looks like this:

I80_GoodDay(credit: http://www.sn-reisewelt.de/cms/tag-14-yellowstone-national-park2.html)

On a bad day, it looks like this:I80_BadDay

(credit: https://weather.com/news/news/snow-blinds-drivers-along-i-80-in-wyoming)

The wind along this stretch of interstate is so bad, it’s been known to blow semis over:

https://youtu.be/vA16ivK6iDI

https://youtu.be/HKD-YXMAW4A

I originally started this story back in 2011. I put it on hold for years, but I always knew I’d finish it someday. But this is the collage I used both times around (I’m pretty sure Heidi Cullinan made this for me back in 2011).Trailer Trash Collage

The setting for Trailer Trash may look depressing, and to a large extent, it is. But I love Cody and Nate so much, I just had to tell their story, and I promise, these boys do earn their happy ending.

About Trailer Trash

It’s 1986, and what should have been the greatest summer of Nate Bradford’s life goes sour when his parents suddenly divorce. Now, instead of spending his senior year in his hometown of Austin, Texas, he’s living with his father in Warren, Wyoming, population 2,833 (and Nate thinks that might be a generous estimate). There’s no swimming pool, no tennis team, no mall—not even any MTV. The entire school’s smaller than his graduating class back home, and in a town where the top teen pastimes are sex and drugs, Nate just doesn’t fit in.

Then Nate meets Cody Lawrence. Cody’s dirt-poor, from a broken family, and definitely lives on the wrong side of the tracks. Nate’s dad says Cody’s bad news. The other kids say he’s trash. But Nate knows Cody’s a good kid who’s been dealt a lousy hand. In fact, he’s beginning to think his feelings for Cody go beyond friendship.

Admitting he might be gay is hard enough, but between small-town prejudices and the growing AIDS epidemic dominating the headlines, a town like Warren, Wyoming, is no place for two young men to fall in love.

About Marie Sexton

Marie Sexton lives in Colorado. She’s a fan of just about anything that involves muscular young men piling on top of each other. In particular, she loves the Denver Broncos and enjoys going to the games with her husband. Her imaginary friends often tag along.

Marie has one daughter, two cats, and one dog, all of whom seem bent on destroying what remains of her sanity. She loves them anyway.

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Giveaway

To celebrate, Marie is giving away a $50 gift card to either Amazon or All Romance Ebooks, winner’s choice. Leave a comment to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on March 26, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. Entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

A Stella Review: Trailer Trash by Marie Sexton

Standard

Rating:  5 out of 5 stars     ★★★★★

Trailer TrashIt’s 1986, and what should have been the greatest summer of Nate Bradford’s life goes sour when his parents suddenly divorce. Now, instead of spending his senior year in his hometown of Austin, Texas, he’s living with his father in Warren, Wyoming, population 2,833 (and Nate thinks that might be a generous estimate). There’s no swimming pool, no tennis team, no mall—not even any MTV. The entire school’s smaller than his graduating class back home, and in a town where the top teen pastimes are sex and drugs, Nate just doesn’t fit in.

Then Nate meets Cody Lawrence. Cody’s dirt-poor, from a broken family, and definitely lives on the wrong side of the tracks. Nate’s dad says Cody’s bad news. The other kids say he’s trash. But Nate knows Cody’s a good kid who’s been dealt a lousy hand. In fact, he’s beginning to think his feelings for Cody go beyond friendship.

Admitting he might be gay is hard enough, but between small-town prejudices and the growing AIDS epidemic dominating the headlines, a town like Warren, Wyoming, is no place for two young men to fall in love.

I have a weakness for Marie Sexton, she is the one who wrote one of my all time favorite characters in the mm genre (Cole from the Coda series). She’s awesome at communicating emotions and a master at writing and plotting activities. She’s left me speechless more than once.

This time around too I have no words to say how much her new release, Trailer Trash, sucked me into its world, leaving me breathless and sleepless. The characters she created were all (unsurprisingly) someone I could soon relate with and love ’till the end and more. Someone I could easily become best friends with.

The story took place in the 1986 in the middle of nowhere.

It’s August, Cody and Nate meet outside a gas station where Nate tries to buy a pack of cigarettes although not eighteen yet and then gives one to Cody. It’s the start of a new relationship. An ostensibly impossible and not recommended friendship between two young men so different from each other but with a beautiful future to share.

Nate’s parents just divorced, he would have preferred to stay in Austin with his mum but he had to follow his dad to a new town. He is planning to stay here only one year, graduate and then leave. School starts in three weeks and he’s looking for someone to hang with. He is frustrated, there is nothing to do in this town, apart from Cody.

Cody grew up in the wrong side of the town. He lives in a trailer with his mum who works as a waitress, they struggle with money a lot. He has nothing in common with the new boy and he already knows he’s going to lose Nate as soon as school starts and Nate will meet the cool guys. What he doesn’t know is that Nate doesn’t like these cool kids, they are surely similar to him than Cody but  there is too much sex, alcohol and drugs and Nate doesn’t fit in all of this.

Nate and Cody are socially the opposite. But they fit amazingly together and the strength of unknown and unexpected feelings will bring them together again after a tragedy wrecked Cody’s life.

I connected with these great MCs from the start, I felt all their emotions in my soul. It wasn’t a surprise, because I already knew the author’s qualities, but I shared a deep care and respect for some of the secondary characters too, especially with their parents and the lovely Logan. He is the only one who had never avoided Cody, on the contrary he offers him to work for his family as a dishwasher. Logan is the first to support Cody whether he is gay or not. He is the best friend anyone would want.

The story hurt a little in some moments, seeing Cody so lonely, Nate’s struggle with his newly discovered sexuality to the point of forcing himself to like girls, the name calling from the other kids, and so much more, tragedy not excluded. All of these gave me a perfect ending. I couldn’t ask for something more. Of course being greedy, I’d love to have a sequel, something set in the present, thirty years later.

I think it’s clear I loved Trailer Trash, it’s emotional, deep and well written, it felt very realistic to me and I want to highly recommend it to everyone.

The cover art by Jay Aheer is marvelous and I’m appreciating this artist style more with every cover I see.

Sales Links:   Riptide Publishing | ARe | Amazon  those links to follow

Book Details:

ebook, 340 pages
Expected publication: March 21st 2016 by Riptide Publishing
ISBN 1626493952 (ISBN13: 9781626493957)
Edition LanguageEnglish