An Alisa Review: Corey’s Christmas Bundle (Atherton Pack 5) by Toni Griffin

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Rating:  5 stars out of 5
Being pregnant is not all it’s cracked up to be, especially when you’re male and a shifter. Even though the world now knows about wolf shifters, their male’s ability to bare young is still a closely guarded secret. Since Corey’s pregnancy is now visible, he’s been stuck at home working on code and waiting for company to drop by. Problem is, though, the human government wants to know where Corey is.
As Christmas and Corey’s due date draw ever nearer, Ben devises a plan that will not only get Corey out of the house, but allows the wolves of Atherton Pack to give the community some Christmas cheer.
This was a great look at the men from Atherton.  Corey’s pregnancy came as a surprise to their friends but he loves the feeling and knowing that he is carrying his and Ethan’s child.  I really wish I would have been able to see him as Santa but my imagination did a pretty good job.
All these men will do anything for their friends even if it means being in an embarrassing situation.  I loved seeing them all again and can’t wait to see more and the rest of their friends finding their mates and happiness.
The cover art by Freddy MacKay is wonderful and I love it.
Book Details:
ebook, ~20,000 words
Published: December 6, 2017 by Mischief Corner Books
Edition Language: English
Series: The Atherton Pack #5

An Alisa Audiobook Review: Kieran: The Atherton Pack 4 By Toni Griffin and Nick Flint (Narrator)

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

ap4-kieran-audio6x6_orig“You need to go to Atherton,” they said. Easy for them. The higher-ups at headquarters don’t have their whole world on the line. When Detective Damon Kelly’s bosses send him across the state on a “simple” cyber fraud case, he never thinks he’d meet his mate, then risk losing Kieran by doing his job. No matter what other possible angles Damon works, his partner Grant Davis is sure Kieran’s best friend Corey’s their guy, and Grant is bent on bringing him in.

 

After the birth of their Alpha’s son, the Atherton Pack needs another beta. Kieran Baxter couldn’t be happier to accept. What Kieran doesn’t expect is for all hell to break loose his first week on the job. Clashing with his mate at every turn, and fighting a human cop who wants to arrest Corey for hacking a government database, wasn’t part of the plan either.

 

As more evidence piles up, a bigger, scarier picture comes into focus that could threaten not only the Atherton Pack, but everything the world knows.

 

This was another great addition to the Atherton Pack series.  Damon is thrown for a loop when he meets his mate while investigating his mate’s best friend while also trying to guide his work partner away from the obvious suspect.  Kieran is excited to meet his mate, but doesn’t know how to reconcile his friendship with his mate’s job.  A lot of other things went on than just Damon and Kieran’s relationship and I can’t wait to see how all the changes in the world of shifters will affect the future books.

 

Damon is determined to do the right thing with his job, while also leading them away from the truth in order to keep the pack safe.  When he is forced to take drastic measures to keep his mate and other shifters safe he hopes it will all work out.  Throughout this story I could feel how conflicted Damon was with his job and mate knowing what he had to do, but he was determined to have a relationship with Kieran despite everything.  Kieran has a lot of trouble accepting the situation he has been put in and knows he has to look at things from all sides to get the whole story.  These two went about the opposite of the others and jumped into sex and then have to learn to make everything work after the fact.

 

Nick Flint did a wonderful job again narrating this story.  I was able to understand the characters through the voices and emotions he portrayed.  We saw a lot more characters points of view in this story and he easily kept them each unique so there wasn’t any mix up what was going on.

 

Cover art is wonderful and follows the pattern for the series.

 

Sales Links: Audible | Amazon | iTunes

 

Audiobook Details:

Audiobook, 7 hrs 27 min
Published: January 6, 2017 (ebook, published October 19, 2016) by Mischief Corner Books
Edition Language: English

Series: The Atherton Pack #4

A Paul B Review: Kieran (The Atherton Pack #4) by Toni Griffin

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Rating:  4.5 of 5 stars

kieran-the-atherton-pack-4-by-toni-griffinDamon is sent by the Brisbane police department with his partner to investigate the hacking of birth records by somebody in the Atherton area.  Atherton pack member Corey has been doing so for years in order to register births from same sex mates who have given birth.  However, he slipped up when he registered his Alpha couple’s son’s birth.  When Damon steps into Corey’s house, he scents that his mate has recently been in the house.  Unable to do anything about it, he continues his investigation trying to lead his partner away from Corey as the guilty party.

Kieran has recently returned to the Atherton pack.  Ben, not only the pack alpha but the Pennaeth Alpha (Supreme Alpha) of all Australia, has appointed Kieran as one of his Betas.  He finds it unusual for the inner circle to go out to dinner but agrees to go along.  As he enters the restaurant, he makes eye contact with Damon, his future mate.  Knowing that he is investigating his best friend does not bode well for the start of their mating.  When a couple of encounters with Damon end with Damon always retreating to his hotel room, Kieran feels betrayed and hurt even though he knows that Damon has to do his job.

Things go from bad to worse when the ASIO (Australian Security Intelligence Organization) is brought into the case.  After questioning, another federal organization drugs Corey and takes him away in a van.  Damon, along with the inner circle of the Atherton pack starts investigating who has taken Corey.  Thanks to his sources, Damon finds out that his worst fear has been realized—the government knows about shifters and is in the process of rounding as many of them up.  Just as he relays this information to the Atherton pack inner circle, he realizes that the pack house is about to be raided.  With the assistance of Kieran, Damon along with the alpha mate Tommy and Tommy’s son Joseph escape.  However, all the rest of the inner circle, including his mate Kieran, has been captured.  Damon now must find a way to free the captive shifters and make sure that the rest of his kind is safe from further abductions.

This fourth book in the Atherton Pack series has both romance and action in it.  Damon is torn between his job as a police officer and his duty to keep shifters safe no matter what.  He is frustrated that his mate cannot accept that he has to keep up the charade to his partner that basically he is a double agent within the police department trying to keep Corey from going to jail.  He would like to tell his partner of twelve years to ease off but that is impossible since he knows Corey is guilty.  Kieran meanwhile thinks Damon has betrayed his kind by working the federal agents.  Keep an eye out for characters from Toni Griffin’s Holland Brothers shifter series as a number of them make an appearance in this book.

The cover by Freddy MacKay works well.  A shirtless man’s back with a huge wolf’s head tattoo covering it stretches underneath a full moon with a black wolf’s muzzle looking at the man. 

Sales links available: AmazonAReBookstrand

Book Details

Ebook, 163 pages

Edition Language:  English

Published: October 19, 2016 by Mischief Corner Books

ASIN: B01M0OZAWQ

Series:  Atherton Pack

Liam (Atherton Pack #1)

Ben (Atherton Pack #2)

A Barb the Zany Old Lady audiobook Review: My Christmas Present by Toni Griffin

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

my-christmas-presentAfter four years away, when Lucas finishes uni, he arrives just in time for the Christmas holiday season. All he wants is to work on his dad’s best friend’s cattle station and to capture that man’s heart for Christmas. He’s had a crush on Mitchell since he was a young teen, and though he had a few experiences with guys while in college, it’s the “almost forty” man who captures his attention and won’t let go.

Not knowing that the feeling is mutual, he decides he only has a few days to make his intentions known. But Mitchell is an expert at evading the sexy young man who captured his attention around the time he turned eighteen, so he doesn’t give Lucas many chances to try. Enter Lucas’s father Ben, who happens to be a lawman. What he does to help the ill-fated pair along makes a great Christmas present for both. After all, a father wants what’s best for his son, and if he happens to help his best friend along the way, it’s win-win.

This was a very short, very sweet, very fluffy, sexy story. Well narrated by Ryder Watkins, it would make a great stocking stuffer, birthday gift, or just a short, fun afternoon of listening. If you like cowboys, Aussies, or age gap, this one fits the bill.

The drawn cover is of a sexy cowboy sitting at a kitchen chair out by the corral. It makes sense after you read the story, but it is indeed colorful and attractive.

Sales Links

Mischief Corner Books

Amazon

Audiobooks Details:

ebook, 2nd Edition
Published December 18th 2013 by Mischief Corner Books, LLC (first published December 2nd 2011)
Edition LanguageEnglish
CharactersLucas Winters, Mitchell Morgan settingAustralia

Alisa Audiobook Review: Corey: The Atherton Pack 3 by Toni Griffin and Narrator Nick Flint

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

corey-audio6x6_2_origCorey Jones has always maintained he didn’t want a mate. After falling for his college professor and having his heart broken, he vowed to never go there again. Now, his decision to remain single is put to the test when he meets his Alpha’s new personal assistant, Ethan Davies, and discovers the man is his mate.

 

After growing up in the foster care system all Ethan ever wanted was a home and someone to love him. He’s overjoyed that his recent move has brought him to his mate. Ethan’s happiness soon turns to devastation when Corey walks away from him and their bond.

 

Ethan is forced to walk a fine line between respecting his mate’s wishes and refusing to give up on the one thing he’s wanted his entire life. With Ethan’s determination, an interfering brother, and pack members too interested in his personal life, Corey may not stand a chance.

 

This is a wonderful addition to the Atherton Pack series.  Corey has a nice life working for his best friend and alpha, while he keeps himself away from relationships he lives a mostly happy life.  Ethan grew up in foster care and hasn’t had the connection of a pack and family (blood or otherwise) and jumps at the chance to get that when he comes to work for Ben.

 

Corey was devastated when his heart was broken in college and he walks away from Ethan at first, despite what his wolf wants.  Ethan is determined to win Corey over and is willing to take as long as needed for it to happen.  Throughout this story I could feel for both of these characters.  The story is told from both of their views so it is easier to know what the characters are thinking.  As with the other books in the series I love that these two work towards a future instead of jumping into bed together.

 

Nick Flint did a wonderful job narrating this story.  I was able to understand the characters through the voices and emotions he portrayed.  Even though this is a book I have read it felt new to me listening to him tell it.

 

Cover art looks great and follows the pattern for the series.

 

Sales Links: Mischief Corner Books | Audible | Amazon | iTunes

 

Audiobook Details:

Audiobook, 3 hrs 23 min
Published: September 20, 2016 (ebook, 2nd edition, published February 11, 2015) by MCB
Edition Language: English

Series: The Atherton Pack #3

An Alisa Audiobook Review: Ben (The Atherton Pack #2) by Toni Griffin and Narrator Nick Flint

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

Ben audiobookTommy Morgan’s life was turned upside down at the hands of his Alpha. Now, another one is claiming to be his mate. He’s not ready to jump into a relationship with anyone, still suffering from nightmares due to the abuse he experienced. Instead, Tommy moves in with his brother, Declan, hoping for the space he needs to heal.

Pennaeth Alpha, Benjamin Taylor, has his hands full dealing with all the packs across Australia. When he finds his young mate battered and bloody, he knows Tommy is going to need time to recover and come to terms with everything. Ben is more than willing to give his mate anything he needs. Even if that means them living apart for now.

When passion finally ignites with unexpected consequences, Ben knows he’ll do anything, fight anyone, to keep his mate safe.

 

I love this series, shifters, mates and male pregnancy, what could be better.  Tommy’s life is thrown another wrench when he learns that his mate is an alpha, after the abuse he suffered at the hands of his previous alpha this isn’t wonderful news.  Ben will do anything to keep his mate safe and happy, even if it means being apart, for now.

 

This story is told from both character’s points of view, so it is nice to get both of the characters feelings.  Ben is perhaps one of the sweetest alpha’s I have seen and he has to keep that side hidden so much due to his responsibilities it is a relief when he can let his guard down around his mate and Tommy is honored to see the side of his mate that others don’t.  What I love about most of Toni’s shifter stories is that they are not insta-love, both of the characters feel a connection to the other, but work to grow their relationship before claiming the other.

 

Nick Flint did a wonderful job narrating this story.  I could connect with the characters through the voices and emotions he portrayed.  Even though this is a book I have read it felt new to me listening to him tell it.

 

Cover art is nice and follows the pattern for the series.

 

Sales Links

 

 

Audiobook Details:

Audiobook, 2 hrs 6 min
Published: July 20, 2016 (ebook, 2nd edition, published August 23, 2014) by Mischief Corner Books
Edition Language: English

Series: The Atherton Pack #2

In Our Audiobook Spotlight: Determined Mate ( Holland Brothers #2) by Toni Griffin and Narrator Dominic M. McCartney (giveaway)

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AudioBook Determined Mate ( Holland Brothers  #2) by Toni Griffin
Narrator: Dominic M. McCartney

Release Date: Mid-April

Goodreads Link

Publisher: Mischief Corner Books
Cover Artist: Meredith Russell

Blurb:

Jason Matthew’s is a broken man. He’s lived through hell and barely come out the other side. All he can think about is getting to his best friend, Brian, after that he has no idea. Jason’s scared out of his mind when he’s met by not only Brian but two large men as well, he does the only thing he can think to do. He tries to run. One of the men, though, turns out to be his mate. A mate he is in no condition to have or want, a mate that won’t allow him to flee.

Alex Holland is forced to stand by and watch as Jason is taken to the safest place they know, too scared to be around him. He knows something bad has happened to Jason and he’s going to need every ounce of his Alpha control to give his mate the time he needs to heal and start living again.

 

 

Audiobook Time: Approximately 5 hours
Series should be read in order for maximum enjoyment
Categories: Fantasy, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Paranormal, Wolf Shifters

 

Buy the book

Audible  | Amazon  | iTunes

 

 

Meet the author:

Toni Griffin lives in Darwin, the smallest of Australia’s capital cities. Born and raised in the state she’s a Territorian through and through. Growing up Toni hated english with a passion (as her editors can probably attest to) and found her strength lies with numbers.

Now, though, she loves escaping to the worlds she creates and hopes to continue to do so for many years to come. She’s a single mother of one and works full time. When she’s not writing you can just about guarantee that she will be reading one of the many MM authors she loves.

Feel free to drop her a line at info@tonigriffin.net anytime.

Where to find the author:

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Tour Dates & Stops:

11-Apr

The Novel Approach, Three Books Over The Rainbow, Velvet Panic, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words,

Bayou Book Junkie, Book Lovers 4Ever

12-Apr

Love Bytes, Nic Starr, Inked Rainbow Reads, A.M. Leibowitz

13-Apr

Happily Ever Chapter, Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings, MM Good Book Reviews, Alpha Book Club

14-Apr

BFD Book Blog, Mikky’s World of Books, Open Skye Book Reviews, Full Moon Dreaming

15-Apr

Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Havan Fellows, Outrageous Heroes, Kirsty Loves Books,

All I Want and More Books, Up All Night, Read All Day

Final

Giveaway

Enter to win.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Link and prize provided by the author and Pride Promotions.
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A MelanieM Review: Travels Through the Scarlet Equinox (Mischief Corner Anthologies #6) by Toni Griffin , J. Scott Coatsworth , Angel Martinez , Freddy MacKay

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Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

Travels Through the Scarlet EquinoxThe Autumnal equinox—when the trees dress in their formal scarlet and gold and the crisp air whispers of chance and change, when bright days turn into sudden storms and the veil between reality and imagination thins. Join the Mischief Corner authors as they share stories evoking this often unpredictable time of year.

I’m really hooked on these seasonal anthologies that Mischief Corner Books is rolling out each year.  The stories they contain spark the imagination, pull up memories of old mythologies forgotten, and just plain entertain.  And sometimes they bring that twinge of something more, something a little painful, joyful and unexpected.  That was certainly Travels Through The Scarlet Equinox, a more surprising mixup of stories that, upon reflection, works together for four tales of change.  Ah, the Autumnal equinox…

A Bear’s Bear by Toni Griffin   Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Matthew Warner’s been a Chicago Bears fan as far back as he can remember. What other team was a young bear shifter from the Smokey Mountains supposed to root for? When his college friend gets tickets to the next home game, Matthew jumps at the chance for a holiday. It’s his favorite time of year and Nic promises him pumpkin carving and a visit to the world’s largest corn maze, what more could he want?

What Matthew doesn’t expect is finding out the defensive tackle for the Bears is his mate. Between fainting at the realization, meeting family, and dealing with the media fallout of his mate’s coming out Matthew is in for a hell of a rocky Halloween.

Toni Griffin’s bear shifters have really won me over.  I can’t believe I’m saying this but this story is the “most normal” of the group.  A young, shy bear shifter travels to see friends in Chicago and carry out a service for his Alpha at the same time.  When those two elements combine into a meeting with his Alpha’s best friend in Chicago, the unexpected happens and not just for Matthew.  I loved the author’s descriptions of Matthew and Hudson, they definitely exhibit bear-like tendencies, the emotions flowing between them feel real and the story exudes a lot of heart and warmth.

The Autumn Lands by J. Scott Coatsworth.  Rating:  4.5 stars out of 5

Jerrith is running. Kissed by an elf, he can’t remain in his hometown of Althos anymore. Not that he wanted to stay.

Caspian still hasn’t figured out why he kissed Jerrith, but he’s running too. Since he was exiled from the Autumn Lands, his past has been hazy, and his future uncertain. But when a stray memory brings things into focus, the two decide to run toward something together. What they uncover will change how they see the world, and themselves, forever.

I loved this story.  I felt Coatsworth’s world building was amazing as was his characterization.  It was so close to perfect, hurt only by the short length.  It cried out for a longer novel so certain elements, which needed to be expanded, could be more fully told.  The author’s use of certain standard elements pertaining to physiology in a non conventional way was unexpected and quite wonderful (no spoilers here, sorry).

And then there is the romance between Cas and Jerrith which is touching and so sweet.  Almost a Romeo and Juliet or Jules if you prefer.  I thought the ending was in keeping with the mythology the author had established and worked so well within the framework of the story.  However, I can hear some of you now.  You won’t be pleased.  Sigh.

Beside a Black Tarn by Angel Martinez   Rating: 5 stars out of 5

When Shax stumbles across rumors of an experimental house that responds to the occupant’s brain functions, creating scenarios to please and delight, naturally he wants to steal it. But with the return of a troubled and hunted Julian Parallax and an overabundance of Poe references, even Shax’s scheming may not be enough to get the Brimstone crew out alive this time.

Of course, Angel Martinez had me at Shax.  But then she brought back Julian Parallax and my happiness was complete.

Once again the crew of the Brimstone is off on a misadventure but this time the stakes are unexpectedly high…their lives and sanity.  Angel Martinez has always managed to find a way to combine humor and horror in her tales and here she has done it once more.

I loved Julian Parallax from the earlier story Potato Surprise and was thrilled to see him return. But of course trouble was not far behind, troubles of the demon prince scale, troubles of the sort that brought horrors that gave have me the shudders and shivers. To counter that Angel Martinez also gives us elements of humor and romance.  The author introduced a new crew member, Maximillian, the marvelous pink, opera singing millipede. And two crew members finally get their chance at love.

In between, things get blown up, there are imps getting ballet lessons, things go splat and there are Ron Perlman references.  Be still my heart!

I loved this story, especially the promise it hung out there of Julian and Shax and the crew working together sometime in the future.  What a tale that will be.

Eternity in the Tides by Freddy MacKay  Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Autumn has always been Zak’s favorite season for hiking and camping. Not to mention breathing in all that crisp fall air and sitting around toasty bonfires. That all changed year and a half ago when a rich prick high on prescription pills sideswiped Zak while he was out biking.

Now his days are filled with pain and limited mobility. No more camping. No more trails. Zak’s life as he knew it is gone forever.

Back at his beloved stomping grounds, Zak is ready to say hello and goodbye one last time. But when a cry from the frigid Lake Superior waters throws him into the role of a rescuer, more than just his life hangs in the balance. Little did Zak know how much one person giving a damn mattered to him.

It’s stories like these that make me want to kick myself.  It happened in the Chestnuts Roasting Anthology and now here again in Travels Through the Scarlet Equinox.  It seems to take an anthology for me to find Freddy MacKay all over again.  This time I’m making a ginormous post it note and sticking it on the monitor because this story exemplifies why she should never be forgotten.

The beginning of this tale is so haunting, so realistically painful I stayed up reliving it after the story was through, that and many other scenes throughout this moving story.  You flow into Zak’s life at what is possibly the lowest point of his life, where all the pain, frustration and rage has combined to let Zak decide to commit suicide by drowning himself.  Every dreadful moment of his decision, each pain-filled movement he makes in the boat, every memory from the day forward when his body was demolished, the author makes Zak real and his predicament immediate and heartbreaking.

Then in his boat, he hears a nearby splash and cries.  Then realizes someone is drowning.  And makes a decision that changes the course of his life forever when he cuts a man free of fish nets, saving him from drowning and putting off his own suicide.

We forget that most of the old fairytales were equal parts horror stories but not Freddy MacKay.  The author remembers that there is always a price to pay, that what one person may think is marvelous, another will covet, what one will want, another will reject or destroy. Eternity in the Tides pulls in Chinese mermaid mythology, old lore specifically (including some horrific elements), and mixes it with modern science of genetics and combines it all with a touching romance that teaches about hope and new possibilities, just not in the way you might think.

There is so much beauty here, beauty and blood.  Love and hate.  Forever happiness…just not what you might predict.  The ending and the epilogue will surprise you.  I did find myself sobbing more than once.  It was the perfect way to end this anthology.  And I promise myself, it won’t take another anthology to find Freddy MacKay again.

I highly recommend this collection of stories.  If you are expecting four stories of exactly the same thing, this is not the collection for you.  But if you love exploring, have a bit of the heart of a adventure lover in you, seek this one out, it won’t disappoint.  Startle you, make you laugh, make you cry, and make you start reading them all over again, certainly.  But never disappoint.

Cover art by Freddy MacKay is sort of perfect for this collection.

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

Book Details:

ebook, First, 485 pages
Published November 18th 2015 by Mischief Corner Books, LLC
original titleTravels Through the Scarlet Equinox
edition languageEnglish
url
seriesMischief Corner Anthologies #6

 

 

 

In the Book Spotlight: Steps to You (Fear #1) by Toni Griffin (author interview, excerpt and giveaway)

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Steps to You (Fear #1) by Toni Griffin
Release Date: September 26, 2015

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Mischief Corner Books
Cover Artist: Freddy MacKay

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Sales Links: Mischief Corner Books | Amazon | ARe | Kobo | iTunes | Bookstrand | Smashwords

Our Toni Griffin Interview!

Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Toni Griffin author of Steps to You.  Hi Toni, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.

• What genre is your book and what drew you to this genre?

Steps to You is a M/M Contemporary story. Ever since I started I’ve been writing in the M/M genre. I love it. the authors and readers are amazing and I can’t think of another I would rather be a part of. I was initially drawn to the MM Genre after reading Bite by Sean Michael way back in 2008, I haven’t turned back since.

• How many days a week do you write?

It all depends. I try to find at least a little time to either write, edit, or work on something related to my writing every day. Some days I’m successful. Others, not so much. When I have a deadline looming I tend to be a little more strict.

• On average, how long does it take to write a book?

When working out averages I don’t think I’ll be including Steps to You in the formula. LOL. This book took me just shy of two years from the first words that I wrote to publication.A Very Holland Valentine was written in a week, when I went to visit my brother in Perth. My latest book, A Bear’s Bear took me between three and four weeks and that ended up at 42k. Depending on the length, it’s usually between one to two months as I can usually only write once my daughter is in bed.

• Do you have a trailer for your book?

If yes, give us the link. If not, do you think you’d like to have one done at some point? I don’t. You know, I’ve never actually had a trailer created for one of my books. I’d love to have one made.

• If I could be a character in a book, I would be _______?

Emma Donahoe. From the Dark Heavens series by Kyle Chan. I think it would be awesome to learn from and fall in love with the ancient Chinese God of War. Magic, martial arts and danger, what more could you want?

RC

Blurb

Is there something in life that you’re afraid of, like heart pounding, shortness of breath, Jesus Christ I’m going to pass out, scared? For Leo Harris that something is heights.

Why his nosy sister would gift him with a pass for the Sydney Harbour Bridge climb is anybody’s guess, let alone expect Leo to make it through in one piece. If it wasn’t for the kindness of a sexy stranger he meets at orientation, Leo doubts he would have been able to step one foot onto the mammoth structure.

Ryan Anderson’s known as a workaholic, as he has no reason not to be, that all changes in one day when he meets Leo. Ryan quickly falls head over heels as he sets out to make Leo his.

Pages or Words: 55,000 words
Categories: Contemporary, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance

Excerpt

Leo leaned against the brick wall, desperately trying to gather his courage. All he needed to do was cross the street and enter the building opposite. Leo had never considered doing something like this in his life. Hell, he wouldn’t be here now if it wasn’t for the gift voucher his nosy sister and her equally pain-in-the-ass husband had given him.

“You need to get out of the house more, live a little,” his sister had berated him as he’d stared down at the piece of paper in his hands, unsure exactly what he was feeling.
“I get out plenty,” Leo tried defending himself.
“No you don’t, and you know it. You may physically leave the premises to go to work and do your grocery shopping, but you never go out and have any fun.” Teresa sighed, and Leo really felt the urge to clip her across the back of the head. “You don’t go out clubbing, very rarely go to restaurants, and you refuse point-blank to start a profile on a dating website.”
There was no way Leo was putting himself out there at the mercy of all those desperate men who were just looking for a quick hook-up. He was sure that scattered in amongst all those horny fellas, he might find one or two that seriously wanted a relationship, but he wasn’t willing to wade through all the toads in order to get to his prince charming. If the man existed—and that was a big if as far as Leo was concerned—he doubted they were fated to meet through an online dating service.
“Teresa, I like my life. I’m happy.” Once again he tried to placate his sister, to no avail. Just because she was happily married with two-point-three children didn’t mean everyone else had to be.
“No, Leo, you’re not.” Teresa waved her hand in his face when Leo started to object again. “I know you and I love you. Please just do this for me.” She fluttered her lashes at Leo.
He heaved a sigh, knowing he would give in to her, just like he always did. As annoying and meddling as his sister could be, he did love her dearly and couldn’t imagine a world without her in it. The snickering from across the room was not lost on Leo, but he decided to ignore Blake. After all, the man was just as bad as Leo when it came to giving into to Teresa’s demands.
Leo looked down once again at the piece of paper. “Seriously?”
Teresa laughed at him. “You’re going to love it.”
Somehow he doubted that.

Even now two weeks later, Leo still didn’t like this idea any more than he had when Teresa had given him the voucher for his birthday.
Leo checked his watch and sighed as he realised that if he didn’t get a move on, he would be late. He heaved himself off the brick wall and crossed the road. Leo’s stomach roiled and he hoped to Christ he wasn’t going to be sick.
The large glass doors whooshed open and Leo stepped inside, heading in the direction of the register. As he waited in the line, Leo looked all around him. Men and women perused the shelves filled with jumpers, magnets, trinkets, and stuffed bears all containing the Sydney BridgeClimb logo. His eyes settled on a square column with signed photographs of famous people who had completed the climb.
Before Leo knew it, he was being called to the desk. “Morning,” the cheerful girl behind the counter said.
“Morning,” Leo replied, more than a little subdued. He handed over the voucher and waited. He was asked to confirm he didn’t have any medical problems that would prevent him from completing the climb today, and Leo thought seriously about lying, then reluctantly shook his head.
“Brilliant, you’ll love it up there.”
Leo smiled but was’ sure it ‘came out more like a grimace.
“Here’s your ticket.” She handed Leo a thin rectangle. “And this is your voucher for your photos.”
“Photos?” Leo asked in confusion.
“Yes, when the ticket was booked, three photos were also purchased. You will be able to choose upon your return from a selection the guide will take of you while you’re up on the bridge.”
Crap, Teresa probably wants proof that I actually followed through. “Thank you,” Leo said as he took hold of the photo voucher.
“You’re most welcome.” She pointed to her left. “If you would go up those stairs, your climb should be starting in roughly five minutes.”
Leo nodded and stepped to the side, allowing the next person in line to move forward. He followed the instructions and walked up the large staircase, bypassing all the shelves of tourist memorabilia. If he really wanted something else to commemorate this foolhardy trip, he could always pick it up on the way out.
Upstairs was just a small balcony. Roughly three metres in front of him was a wall with three doors, two on the left side and one nearly in front of him. To his right, there was another square pillar with signed photos along with three touchscreen computer monitors.
Leo headed to the left where there was a large round seating area currently occupied by several people. They were all watching a television screen hung up by the farthest door, which showed people getting ready for the climb through the various stages and gave them an idea of what to expect.
He sat on a small piece of available sofa and watched the screen with rapt attention. Leo was so engrossed in what was going on he nearly missed it when some of the people around him stood. Leo looked around, startled, and noticed one of the doors open with a young man standing in it collecting tickets from those going inside.
Leo checked the clock on the wall and noticed it read the start time of his climb. He quickly stood and made his way over.
“Morning,” Leo greeted as he handed over his ticket.
“Good morning.”
The man gave Leo back the ticket, less the stub, and motioned him inside. The room wasn’t overly large and wasn’t well lit either. A large horseshoe-shaped seating area ran down the sides and back of the room. People sat with clipboards on their laps busily filling out paperwork.
Leo made his way to a vacant space, picked up the board, and unclipped the pen. Just as he was about to start writing, he was distracted as he noticed another person walk through the door. Leo nearly caught his breath at just how gorgeous the guy was. Broad shoulders, a trim waist, and enough height that Leo wanted to climb the man like a squirrel climbs a tree. Short dark brown hair, trimmed on the sides with just a little length on top, his expression was one part kind, three parts sexy, and had Leo wanting to swallow his damn tongue.
The man wore a tank top and a pair of footy shorts, but Leo could see the bike shorts clearly underneath. They hugged his thighs like no one’s business, and Leo wished he was that article of clothing more than anything. His gaze travelled all the way down. The man’s dark curly leg hair covered well-defined thighs and calves, and had Leo wanting to groan. Socks and sneakers completed the outfit.
Leo knew his perusal of the man had only taken seconds, but it felt like he had been staring at the guy for an entire lifetime. When the man headed in Leo’s direction, he found himself hard pressed to pull his gaze away and concentrate on what he was supposed to be doing. Leo wanted to curse his luck when the man took the empty seat on Leo’s left.

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About The Author

Meet & Follow the author:

Toni Griffin lives in Darwin, the smallest of Australia’s capital cities. Born and raised in the state she’s a Territorian through and through. Growing up Toni hated English with a passion (as her editors can probably attest to) and found her strength lies with numbers.

Now, though, she loves escaping to the worlds she creates and hopes to continue to do so for many years to come. She’s a single mother of one and works full time. When she’s not writing you can just about guarantee that she will be reading one of the many MM authors she loves.

Feel free to drop her a line at info@tonigriffin.net anytime.

For more information about Toni’s work, please visit:

Website: http://tonigriffin.net/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/toni.griffin.author

Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: 2 e-book copies of ‘Steps to You’ and 2 $5 Amazon Gift Cards.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Link and prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.
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Tour Dates & Stops:
28-Sep:Parker Williams: http://parkerwilliamsauthor.com/wordpress/toni-griffins-fear-series-steps-to-you/

29-Sep:Divine Magazine: http://divinemagazine.net/book-stuff/steps-to-you-by-toni-griffin-blog-tour

30-Sep:Three Books Over The Rainbow: https://threebooksovertherainbow.wordpress.com/2015/09/30/blog-tour-steps-to-you-by-toni-griffin/

1-Oct:Inked Rainbow Reads: http://wp.me/p5PC5u-1×5

Unquietly Me: https://unquietlyme.wordpress.com/2015/10/01/new-release-steps-to-you-by-toni-griffin-interview-giveaway/

 2-Oct:   Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies, Oh My, Jessie G. Books, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, My Fiction Nook, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

5-Oct: Just Love Romance, Happily Ever Chapter, Havan Fellows

6-Oct: Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves, Bike Book Reviews

7-Oct: Bayou Book Junkie, Love Bytes

 8-Oct: Molly Lolly, BFD Book Blog

9-Oct: MM Good Book Reviews, The Jena Wade

WillPride

 

Here’s A Valentine for You From Toni Griffin~ A Very Holland Valentine! (book tour and contest)

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 books-hearts_00333343A Very Holland Valentine (Holland Brothers #6) by Toni Griffin
Release Date: February 14, 2015

AVHV-TG4x6

Author Toni Griffin Bio:

Toni Griffin lives in Darwin, the smallest of Australia’s capital cities. Born and raised in the state she’s a Territorian through and through. Growing up Toni hated english with a passion (as her editors can probably attest to) and found her strength lies with numbers. 

Now, though, she loves escaping to the worlds she creates and hopes to continue to do so for many years to come. She’s a single mother of one and works full time. When she’s not writing you can just about guarantee that she will be reading one of the many MM authors she loves.

Where to find the author:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/toni.griffin.author
Website: http://www.tonigriffin.net/
E-mail: info(at)tonigriffin.net
https://twitter.com/MischiefCorner

Publisher: Mischief Corner Books
Cover Artist: Freddy MacKay

Sales Links:

TGRC

More About “A Very Holland Valentine”…

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and with it the completion of the renovations to their home. None could be happier about this then Zack who can’t wait to get away from Maryanne and all her fussing.

Plans are being finalised for all four couples for the happy day. However, sleezy tradies, an over protective mother-in-law and unexpected complications throw spanners in the works.
Categories: Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Paranormal, wolf shifters

Pages or Words: 24,000 words

A Very Holland Valentine Excerpt:

Simon sat at his desk, looking over yet another financial report. The numbers were swimming on the screen, all blurring into one large incomprehensible blob. He pushed back from his desk and rubbed his eyes. They were watering from staring at his computer for so long.

He stood and walked to the window. The view wasn’t anything breathtaking, but Simon still loved it anyway. He was on the first floor and he could see the town he loved from his window.

His mind wasn’t on his work. Rarely had been since he’d found out he was going to be a father. Yes, he was already a dad. He loved Hayley with all his heart and treated her as if she were his own. But the utter joy he’d felt the morning they discovered Zack was carrying had stayed with him all this time, even seven weeks later.

Dr. Owens had examined Zack and let them know that he was due to deliver at the end of February. Only four weeks away and Simon couldn’t wait. He’d missed out on Hayley’s early years, and after watching his brothers with their children, Simon really couldn’t wait to hold his son or daughter. He was even looking forward to the midnight feedings and the dirty diapers.

He checked his watch. Seeing it was coming up for four in the afternoon, Simon decided to call it a day. He didn’t usually leave that early, but there was nothing in his tray that couldn’t wait for tomorrow, and frankly, he couldn’t concentrate.

Simon wanted to see his mate.

Zack was stunning all swollen with his child. Zack might not think so, but Simon did. The knowledge that he had filled his mate with his seed and they had created life together struck at the heart of Simon. He wanted to growl with pride every time he laid eyes on the love of his life. He didn’t think the rest of his family would appreciate it, though, so kept his triumphant growls to himself.

Simon packed away his paperwork and shut down his computer. He pocketed his phone and grabbed his car keys. On his way out, he stopped at his personal assistant’s desk.

“Mara, I’m taking the rest of the afternoon off.”

Mara looked up from the papers she was reading through. “Everything okay, boss?” She eyed him quizzically.

He couldn’t blame her, he didn’t often leave early. Although since Hayley and Zack had come into his life, he no longer stayed late well after everyone else had left like he used to.

“Everything’s fine. Just having some trouble concentrating and my eyes are starting to hurt.”

Simon smiled. He couldn’t exactly tell her that he wanted to get home to his pregnant mate and see how the man was doing. “Figured I’d call it a day and come back tomorrow refreshed and ready for a new day.”

“See you in the morning, then.”

“Bye.”

Simon felt better just walking out of work. The fact that he would soon get to see Zack was a major factor in his cheerfulness. He decided to stop at the local bakery on the way home and pick up one of the lemon meringue pies Zack loved. Both Hayley and Simon enjoyed them as well, but watching Zack eat a piece was nothing short of erotic. Simon would have to make sure there was some left over and feed it to his mate in bed tonight once Hayley was asleep.

He could picture the way Zack would dart his tongue out to lick the fork, making sure he gathered every last morsel of cake. The quiet moan that would work its way out of Zack’s lips as he savoured the sweet and tangy pie. The sight of his throat working as he swallowed. Fuck! Simon reached down to discreetly adjust his suddenly hard and aching prick as he walked down the street toward the bakery. He couldn’t wait to get home and get his mate alone in bed.

Living under his mum and dad’s roof again after so many years had been a major adjustment, especially because he now had Zack with him. He’d never really thought about the logistics of making love to his mate. The windows of the house were opened during the night to let the cool breeze through. They used fans as well, but they didn’t make much noise. There was no way in hell he wanted his folks to hear him having sex, so they had to keep things very sedate and quiet.

Simon missed pounding his mate into the mattress. They had tried that the night after they’d moved in and found the bed squeaked outrageously. Zack had turned the most adorable shade of red and put a stop to their actions almost immediately.

Not that Simon was complaining. He loved his mate any way he could get him. With Zack’s girth increasing steadily over the last month, things had slowed down even further. The last thing Simon wanted to do was hurt his mate or their cub in any way. Zack kept telling him that he wouldn’t hurt them, but Simon preferred to err on the side of caution.

Tonight would be an exercise in restraint for him, but he didn’t care. His mate deserved a treat. He knew his mother was more than likely driving his poor mate up the wall. Simon could remember what it was like when they were growing up and one of them was injured in any way. The woman turned into the world’s biggest mother hen. Now she had one of her sons-in-law living under her roof and pregnant with another of her grandcubs. Simon shuddered to think what she was like.

TGBadgeTour Dates: February 16, 2015

Parker Williams, My Fiction Nook, Molly Lolly, Kristy’s Brain Food, Bayou Book Junkie, Cate Ashwood, BFD Book Blog, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, The Blogger Girls, Divine Magazine, MM Good Book Reviews, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Angel Martinez, Wicked Wolves and Dreaming Dragons, Dawn’s Reading Nook, Fallen Angel Reviews, The Fuzzy, Fluffy World of Chris T. Kat, All I Want and More Books, Inked Rainbow Reads, Rainbow Gold Reviews, Because Two Men Are Better Than One, Bike Book Reviews, 

(Publishing on February 17) Multitasking Mommas

Contest: Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: $10 Amazon Gift Card and 2 copies of A Very Holland Valentine. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

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