An Alisa Review: Lost and Found (Dave&Carter) by Quin Perin

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Rating:  3 stars out of 5

He is…

half my age,

my son’s friend,

and he calls me Daddy.

I bring him to his knees until he does the same to me.

 

“He was like a greedy little puppy, trying to please me. And goddamn, I needed him to need me.”

 

A May/December Second Chance Romance. After their first encounter in “Take it All”, Lost and Found explores how Dave and Carter’s relationship took root and blossomed.

I know I am not in the majority here but while I enjoyed the story there were just a few things that bugged me.  Dave and Carter continue their relationship in secret for years following their first encounter.

I liked the connection between these two even if Dave continued to deny how deep that connection was.  I was glad the Carter was willing to stand up for what he wanted but felt bad that Dave made him a dirty secret.  I had trouble with Dave always making a decision he thought was best without any discussion or making sure he had all the information, even if he was the Daddy.  I don’t know if I would have been able to go back to Dave like Carter did at the end when he found the truth.

The cover art by X Potion Designs is nice and is similar to “Take it All”.

Sales Link:  Amazon to come

Book Details:

ebook, 80 pages

Published: November 22, 2018

Edition Language: English

Series: Dave & Carter

A Free Dreamer Review: Secrets Revealed (Dragon War Chronicles #2) by A.G. Carothers

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Last time on Dragon War Chronicles, we left our heroes fighting for their lives in the midst of battle…

Kollin races against time to get samples of the weapon used in Canada to their lab in Oslo. Kenshin races to get Danica back home in time to save her, Aiden and Xander. Danica’s allies start to converge in Toulouse in aide and help to prepare for what may come.

Will Kollin be able help save Danica, Aiden, and Xander before all is lost? Will Matt be able to track down who’s responsible for a new weapon that threatens them all? What will happen when Danica’s biggest secret is revealed?

Secrets are revealed that will change the future for all dragon and SLIP kind alike.

Warning: This book contains explicit sexual situations that are MM, MF, and MMMF. There are romantic relationships displayed that are MM and some depictions of loving and consensual BDSM relationships. There are also bad puns, a game of tag with an invisible dragon, and lions, jaguars, and bears. Oh my!

After the brilliant first part of the series, I had very high expectations of Secrets Revealed. Sadly, the book didn’t quite live up to them.

The book starts right where the first part left off with such an awful cliffhanger, so we don’t need to wait in agony for too long. That also means this really doesn’t work as a stand-alone.

I really liked all the different SLIPs we got to meet. There are several new species being introduced and it was very interesting to learn more about them. I won’t say too much, but there was this one ritual that I found truly fascinating and really well written.

Just like the first book, there’s hot sex aplenty. We get more scenes between Xander and Matt and I have to say, these two are wonderful together. And I think I read my first ever foursome.

My biggest problem with the book was probably the length, or rather the lack thereof. For a good while, Danica is unconscious, then there’s lots of sex, some romance and a couple of shocking new reveals. But the plot itself didn’t really seem to be going anywhere. All it did, really, was set the stage for the big fight we’ll probably get in book three. It just felt like an interlude, not a real book. At least the ending wasn’t a horribly mean cliffhanger this time around.

While I was a bit disappointed in “Secrets Revealed”, it was a fun read in and of itself, just not with a lot of substance behind it. I’m looking forward to the next installment of the series.

The cover art by Angsty G is really gorgeous. I think I like it even more than that of book one, if only because it’s blue, which is my favourite colour.

Sales Links:

AMAZON US: https://amzn.to/2RwECSl

AMAZON UK: https://amzn.to/2SF0lbP

Book details:

Kindle Edition, 167 pages

Published November 2nd 2018

A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Just Say the Word by Elizabeth L. Brooks & Lynn Townsend

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Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

This book made me destroy my process. When I’m going to review a book, I open up a notepad so while I’m reading I can put down all the important names, things I like and don’t like, and my feelings regarding what I read. Usually, by the time I’m done reading the book, the review just needs to come together with connector sentences. I had that happening until the last 25 percent of the book when I realized I was going to have to trash the whole thing and start over. The review was not looking good up until that time and then, I got the point (I hope); however, there are things I still think might have been better executed.

The story is about an established couple, who after a year together start on a journey of adding kink to their love life. Tom is a prosecutor who met his boyfriend Gage, a police detective, at work. Much is made of Tom being an experienced dom and switch. Gabe is the bisexual, widowed vanilla guy in this scenario. I like how a few pages in, I knew everything I need to know about everyone involved, just from a natural sounding conversation instead of an info dump. Having said that, it does seem strange that Tom hasn’t really shared anything about his sexual history with Gage until one of his colleagues says something.

This is erotica, so don’t expect a lot of plot. Most of the book just moves them from one scene to another. The scenes focus on the actual descriptions of the various positions or tools so they aren’t even as erotic as they could be. In fact, many of them are upsetting as one thing after another goes wrong with each scene. Gabe is excited but unsure and yet when given complete control, sinks into it, at odds with the blushing novice of the previous scene. This really wouldn’t have worked without them trusting each other so well already. That is why it doesn’t make sense how Tom gets injured, especially when much is made of his previous experience later. Also, since we are getting Gabe’s POV, I’m not sure how he knows how to use the equipment and what to expect about how Tom’s reactions to bondage are going to go. Their second scene is shibari, in multiple patterns, with Gabe using instructions on his phone with no prior indication of Gabe practicing. No, that is just not believable even if there is a nod to acknowledging it isn’t.

Apparently, we missed Gabe’s first time submitting to Tom altogether, which could have been quite interesting psychologically and was a missed opportunity for some emotional depth. That might be optimistic, since the depth at that point seems to just be them calling each other baby, angel, gorgeous, babydoll, and saying I love you often. I was not feeling it. The author skips all of Gabe’s training as a sub, so it’s difficult to gauge the time frame of this book.

Since Tom is into exhibitionism, Gabe secures an invitation to an exclusive BDSM club, because Tom was well known in the scene at one time. After an intense scene, they wander the club instead of going home afterwards and Gabe is thrown into a situation that triggers him, then he has sub drop. So far, I was not impressed with Tom as either a sub, nor as a dom, who didn’t take care of Gabe properly after his first intense public scene. Then, in the next scene Gabe gets injured so I am really frustrated by now. The scene after that Gabe talks about gagging Tom, putting a vibrator in him while he is in bondage and going to sleep. That is also a no for me, especially when he is not in the proper mindset to do a scene at all after a traumatic day at work. At least he realizes it, but that is another scene gone really wrong. At this point, I am wondering if the authors are writing a what not to do manual.

Yet, it also doesn’t really work as a study of a couple exploring their kinky side together because we miss so much of their journey, it’s difficult to be emotionally invested. Having the POV be all over the place, contributed to that. By the time I actually feel the connection between the two of them, the book is almost over. The most erotic scene in the book at that point is when they are not kinky at all.

The scenes actually work better when Gabe is the dom for some reason. I’m not always a fan of accents in books, so it would be fine without the phonetics. I think there should have been more about them as people, or as a couple, other than sex scenes. If the goal was to show all the mistakes they make and how they grow over time, that could have been shown with practicing with equipment, taking classes, or other ways that were less stressful for the reader than having all the scenes end with one of them distressed, injured, or showing bad judgment. In the end, it is quite an effective reminder that most of what you read, where the dom is seemingly perfect at everything and a mind reader…that’s crap. It takes a long time, trial and error, and commitment from both parties, especially when there is experimentation, to get good at doing scenes. All doms and subs are different, will react differently, and just learning one person really well is a challenge.

The final scene is the one that goes as planned, is erotic, and shows the love they have for each other where it is written so it’s easier to connect to it. I just wish it hadn’t been quite as upsetting to get there, but then imagine being the one these things happen to, or the one who did them to the person they love. Everyone makes mistakes, but when it involves unintentionally hurting someone, or being hurt, imagine the trust and love it takes to keep coming back again and again. So, I hope that was what the book was trying to show and I have rated it accordingly.

The cover art is done by Written Ink Designs. The picture lets you know that the content of the book involves kink. I think the title is layered with meaning for the story.

Sales Links:  JMS Books LLC  | Amazon
Book Details:
ebook, 137 pages
Published September 21st 2018 by JMS Books LLC
ISBN139781634867344

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Counterpoint (Twisted Wishes #2) by Anna Zabo

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

I honestly didn’t think it would be possible for a sequel to be better than the first story in this series, Syncopation, but I was wrong—very, very wrong. This book exceeded all my expectations and effortlessly moved to my top five of 2018.

Adrian Doran heads out to dinner one night in his Brooklyn neighborhood and happens to be seated next to a stunning, nerdy looking guy who returns his casual perusal with one of his own. Adrian is a computer programmer for a NYC bank by day and a Dom by preference in the rest of his life. When the guy accepts Adrian’s offer of a bite of his lemon meringue pie and then proceeds to moan and make subtle orgasmic facial expressions, Adrian knows what, and who, his next goal is going to be.

Dominic Bradley is a quiet, unassuming bookworm, who enjoys reading most genres of literature, visiting museums, playing his guitar, and being an all-around geek. With Adrian he discovers his submissive side, but he suffers from social anxiety, especially when he needs to take the stage with his bandmates in Twisted Wishes, a well-known rock band. To do so, he dons a new personality, Domino Grinder, a rock god who wears leather, has an upper body covered in tattoos, wears makeup, and throws the finger at the world. The lead guitarist takes bull from no man. But Dominic and Domino can’t coexist and as Dominic succumbs to the allure of a new relationship with Adrian, he’s going to have to hide Domino or risk losing the man.

As their relationship grows and Dominic discovers rope play really cements his submissive role with Adrian, he despairs of ever being able to let Adrian in on who he really is. He desperately wants to introduce him to his bandmates, and he wants to find a way to merge his two sides but backs away from any confrontation until it’s almost too late. When Adrian spots Dominic’s tattoos on the arm of the lead guitarist for Twisted Wishes on a magazine cover, he loses hope for a future with the man he loves. Can these two continue their D/s relationship and continue to grow their love if one can’t trust the other completely?

I love this author’s writing style and creativity. Caught up and totally immersed in the relationship between Adrian and Dom, I rooted for both men equally and was captivated by each page-turn as their lives took new twists and turns. Adrian was being undermined at work in a job that provided no satisfaction. Dominic was playing as Domino all day while the band practiced or did promo events, yet he couldn’t let in the one man who’d make his life even better so switched to Dominic the moment Domino was no longer needed. The dynamic of the two men in both their private D/s lives and their “out in the world” lives was comfortable, strong, balanced, in sync, and loving. But their secrets nearly broke them apart.

I accidentally discovered this author last year, but I am 100% on board as a fan. I have yet to read something that isn’t top quality and I highly recommend this story. In fact, I highly recommend this series to fans who enjoy books featuring musicians, domination/submission, great plots, interesting deep characterizations, and MM romance. 

The gorgeous, attractive cover features a handsome, bearded, dark-haired guitarist—complete with the tattoo described in the story, set against a bright turquoise background, the bottom border of which shows fans at a rock concert. It’s perfect for this story.

Sales Links:  Carina Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 1st edition
Expected publication: September 24th 2018 by Carina Press
ISBN139781488089374
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series Twisted Wishes #2

Syncopation

Counterpoint

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Threepeat (Secrets #3) by KC Wells and Parker Williams

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Rating: 4.5 stars pout of 5

I love KC Wells, and in combo with Parker Williams, this dynamic duo always makes reading a pleasure. The BDSM stories in Collars and Cuffs are among my favorites, and so far, the stories from the new club, Secrets have been great. Add to that the fact that I love ménage, and I was set up to love this one right from the start.

And I did enjoy it tremendously, even though I felt a little icky a few times when the two big Doms were with their boy, a twenty-year-old twink who had been abandoned by his family. They weren’t overbearing and there were no heavy BDSM scenes. In fact, they were very respectful of his needs and aware of his family history where he was beaten by his father and brothers. I just think I would have liked them to be a little younger—a smaller age gap. That being said, their specific ages weren’t mentioned so I assumed their ages based on their successful careers—and on the cover photo.

On the positive side, we had ample opportunity to see characters from previous books in the series—Jarod and Eli, Vic and Ben, Ellis and Wayne, and Jarod’s inimitable mother, Maggie. She’s a hoot and very well-written. Ben and Ellis played a major role in helping Tim acclimate to his new lifestyle, and I came to like them more in this story than I had when I first met them.

Aaron and Sam had suffered from the abandonment by their sub for two years when Aaron bumped into a very ill Tim outside a shop. It was evident to the soft-hearted man that the boy was homeless and suffering, so he opened his home to Tim until he healed. He had permission from Sam, of course, and by the time Tim had gotten healthier, all three were enmeshed emotionally. As Tim learned more about their lifestyle and came to care for the sweet gentle giants, he realized being with them as their sub was something he definitely wanted. 

The story explores the Dom-sub relationship dynamic, safe practices, and the ménage dynamic. By the end of the story I was totally invested in the threesome, and I am looking forward to seeing more of them when Secrets introduces us to another couple. The revisits by past characters are always appreciated.

The cover by Reese Dante is a close-up photo of all three men, and after I finished the story I realized it’s intended to be a selfie. Cute concept.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner PressAmazon

Book Details:

ebook, 1st edition, 340 pages
Expected publication: August 21st 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781640808034
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesSecrets #3

Sean Michael on Writing, HEA, and The Gentle Dom (Iron Eagle Gym #7) (author interview)

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The Gentle Dom (Iron Eagle Gym #7) by Sean Michael

Dreamspinner Press

Cover Art: L.C. Chase

Buy links:

Dreamspinner Press  |  Amazon  |   Barnes and Noble  |  Kobo 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Sean Michael here today on his tour for The Gentle Dom.  Welcome, Sean.
♦︎

 

Thank you to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for hosting me today!

Has your choice of childhood or teenage reading genres carried into your own choices for writing?

It both has and hasn’t. I read a ton of sci-fi/fantasy and a ton of romance growing up. In fact romance (Harlequin’s) were my escape, my way to wind down. So it’s interesting that that’s what I write the most. I love sci-fic and fantasy, but they are harder to write for me. I think there’s more pressure in writing that for me, because of all the reading I’ve done.

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?

Just the opposite, in fact. The more the characters are hurting, the faster I write because I have to get them out of that situation.

Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

Absolutely I like them. There’s enough harshness in the world. Romance is an escape. I want people to leave my books feeling happy, positive. I want them to be able to escape, even if only for a short while.

What’s next for you as an author?

There’s always another book. I’ll finish one and go yay! and then charge right into the next one.

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 hardly ever drink, and when I do, it’s usually just a single drink, and I don’t think I’ve ever drunk written. I have written super exhausted and it’s hilarious to go back and see the last few paragraphs I wrote – it looks like I was high or drunk, trust me!

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

On the beach (in the shade).

With so much going on in the world today, do you write to explain?  To get away?  To move past?  To widen our knowledge?  Why do you write?

I write because I have to. What I write is as an escape from all the negativity in the world.

Sean Michael

smut fixes everything

About The Gentle Dom…

When one of their own is threatened, the men of the Iron Eagle Gym will stand together and prove they are stronger as a family.

Stuntman Barclay Drambor suspects his fall from a roof was no accident. He believes his abusive ex was responsible, but he can’t prove it. Fortunately, a year has gone by with no word from Duncan, letting Barclay move on with his life—and that means dealing with the aftermath of his injuries. He finds personal trainer Reece “Rec” Gordon through a member of the gym, and it’s not long before their workouts together become much more intimate. Rec is gentle and goes out of his way to make Barclay comfortable, and in no time there’s talk of moving in together….

But just as Barclay is healing and finding a place to belong, Duncan returns to destroy his happiness. Though Duncan will learn he’s messing with the wrong group of men, in the end, Barclay must face him. Will Rec’s love and the friendship of the others at the gym give him the confidence to stand up for himself?

About Sean Michael

Best-selling author Sean Michael is a maple leaf–loving Canadian who spends hours hiding out in used book stores. With far more ideas than time, Sean keeps several documents open at all times. From romance to fantasy, paranormal and sci-fi, Sean is limited only by the need for sleep—and the periodic Beaver Tail.

Sean fantasizes about one day retiring on a secluded island populated entirely by horseshoe crabs after inventing a brain-to-computer dictation system. Until then, Sean will continue to write the old-fashioned way.

Sean Michael on the web:

WEBSITE: http://www.seanmichaelwrites.com

BLOG: http://seanmichaelwrites.blogspot.ca

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/SeanMichaelWrites/

TWITTER: seanmichael09

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/seanmichaelpics/

New Release Blitz for Push Me Pull Me by Amanda Rhodes (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title: Push Me Pull Me

Author: Amanda Rhodes

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: July 30, 2018

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Female/Female

Length: 20000

Genre: Contemporary, lesbian, pansexual, BDSM

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

At twenty-four, Mallory Grant is still struggling with adulthood. She can’t seem to make it in to work on time and deals better with her Tumblr friend on the other side of the world than a face-to-face with a real live human. But when her boss threatens to fire her as a rental agent, Mallory has to buckle down with her new client or end up jobless.

Corinne Ibori is moving to the Chicago area and needs a place to call home. Mallory’s goal is to find just the right location for Corinne’s needs and show her boss she’s turned over a new leaf. Corinne is thirty-five, self-confident, beautiful, flirty, has a French accent, and knows what she wants.

Mallory is finding it hard to believe that what Corrine wants might be her.

Excerpt

Push Me Pull Me
Amanda Rhodes © 2018
All Rights Reserved

Today has to be a new record for me. Forty-five minutes late for work and I’m sitting in the Dunkin’ Donuts drive-thru behind a line of cars at least a half mile long. One might think I have no respect for punctuality. And they’d be right. I’ve been on a losing streak lately with my alarm clock. It tries so hard to wake me up with the beeping and the screeching.

I have to have my coffee before I meet the day head-on, though. Therefore, I wait. Might as well be productive while I sit here. I text Helena, asking her if she’s seen my Tumblr post with the new pictures of Charlize Theron. She’s cut all of her hair off, and it’s sexy as fuck. Maybe she did it for a new movie role, maybe just to torture me. It’s hard to say.

Helena replies back, “Duh, Mallory. Of course, I’ve seen it.” She immediately saved it to her hard drive for safekeeping. This is why we are friends. Unfortunately, though, she lives on the other side of the ocean so most of our conversations are in the form of emails and texts.

I don’t really do so well with live humans unless I’m getting paid to customer-service them. I’m perfectly content with the friends that live inside my computer as far as my personal life goes. Helena gets me, and I make her laugh. Works out perfectly.

A few more cars move, and I’m almost to the ordering screen. I check the clock. 9:15 a.m. Yikes. This is super late, even for me. Silently, I pray that my boss isn’t in this morning—still traveling or has tripped on her kids’ Legos and sprained her ankle.

“Mallory, I’m sorry, but I’m not going to make it in today. You’ll be able to hold down the fort without me, right?”

“Absolutely, Shelly. You can count on me. I’ve been here for hours now. Everything is going smoothly.”

“Perfect. You’re an amazing employee. I’m definitely giving you a raise and maybe even an expense account. Also, I think you should take a month-long vacation when I get back. Honk.”

HONK. HONK. HONK.

The person who’s waiting behind is obviously super pissed by my delayed response.

“Sorry!” I yell from inside my car where no one can hear me. I wave, hoping they forgive my idiotic daydreaming.

Quickly, I pull through, order my coffee and the bagel I swore to myself I wouldn’t get.

When I make it to work, I realize that my daydream was exactly that. There’s a sticky note lying on my desk from Shelly.

See me when you get in.

There’s no “Thanks!” or her name with a smiley face. She knows that I’ll be aware of exactly who wrote the note. And she knows that I’ll be aware of exactly what I need to see her about.

The sense of dread I feel at moments like this never motivates me to do the right thing (i.e. show up on time), but only serves to remind me of how much I suck at life. That nasty little voice in my head is chanting “loser alert!” over and over.

Staring at the note, I take a minute to contemplate my next move. I could fake the stomach flu, invoking her pity. Well, at least temporarily. I’ll have to face the facts at some point, and that some point might as well be now. Sucking it up, I throw my things on my desk and do the walk of shame to her office.

I could easily walk through this maze of dull gray cubicles with my eyes closed. I’ve done it so many times. The chatter of twenty different people on the phone, scheduling apartment viewings, fills the air. Ben’s giant pair of green foam Hulk hands sit atop his bookshelf. I give them a fist bump. Ben glances up from his phone call, nods, and winks. He’s the only tolerable human here.

Almost every desk has one or two framed pictures of loved ones, boyfriends, kids, husbands. A candid of a group of friends at a wedding taunts me as I walk past Tracy’s desk. She also has a Post-it note holder in the shape of a red high-heeled shoe. She thinks it’s cute, and I think it’s hideous.

Each time I have to make the trip from my desk to Shelly’s, I’m forced to think about the absence of pictures and mementos on mine. Yeah, I could frame a picture of my brother or of my childhood dog, Scrabble, but I don’t actually want anyone here to know that much about me.

Peeking around the corner, I check to see if the boss-lady is on the phone or possibly reaming some other poor soul a new asshole, in which case I can hightail it out of here. No such luck. She peers up from her desk, her face the picture of annoyance. She extends her hand, waving me in.

“Hi, Shelly! You wanted to see me?” I ask cheerily.

“Save it. Sit down. We need to talk.” Her tone isn’t angry, just fed up. Honestly, this makes me feel even worse. She used to like me. And she’s stuck her neck out for me more than once. I’ve disappointed yet another person in my life. I might need to start a spreadsheet in order to keep track.

Awkwardly, I take a seat across from her, trying to work out if I should cross my legs or leave them uncrossed. Which leg position makes a person seem less like a failure?

“Listen,” she says, sighing deeply. “I know this isn’t your dream job. Nor would I expect you to treat being a leasing agent as such. But I do expect that you show some respect for me. I don’t make office hours for shits and giggles, Mal. You had an appointment this morning with a client. She sat in the lobby waiting for you for almost an hour.”

Fuck. Me.

“Exactly.”

I didn’t realize I’d said that out loud.

Purchase

NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble

Meet the Author

Amanda Rhodes watches way too much TV and has a ridiculous amount of books on her to-be-read pile, yet she keeps buying them. She’s been writing since… well for a long time. Amanda loves the paranormal, sci-fi, and fantasy but could never ever write it herself. She’ll leave that up to the weirdos who do it best. Amanda lives in Chicago with her wife, four children, and pitbull who is a lazy bum.

Website | Twitter | Instagram

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Michaela Grey on Research, Writing, and her new release Broken Rules (author guest blog)

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Broken Rules (Mended Hearts #2) by Michaela Grey 

Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art: Kanaxa

Buy Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

 ♦︎

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Michaela Grey here today talking about research, writing, and her latest novel, Broken Rules.  Welcome, Michaela.

♦︎

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Michaela Grey

 

(Brief suicide mention below)

 

Does research play a role into choosing which genre you write?  Do you enjoy research or prefer making up your worlds and cultures? To an extent, yes, it plays a role. For instance, I’m unlikely to give a character a career that bores me, because then I’ve just forced myself into the unenviable position of having to do a ton of research in a deadly dull topic. That’s why I choose careers I’m interested in. Then I genuinely enjoy the research (of which there is a ton, you never really leave school behind) and in the end, my stories are better.

 

Has your choice of childhood or teenage reading genres carried into your own choices for writing? No, funnily enough—I read primarily “swords and horses” fantasy growing up, with a smattering of sci-fi, and now I 100% write contemporary romance.

 

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? Oh yes. It was actually the most difficult topic, for me—suicide. The character starts his book suicidal and gets worse throughout. It was very difficult to write because I ended up in a similar place and couldn’t see a way out either. So I put it away for over a year and focused on myself. I recently finished that book, and while it will never be an easy read for me, it’s still one of my proudest accomplishments. That, and the fact that I’m still here.

 

Do you like HFN or HEA? And why? I love HFN and HEA equally. Mostly because I’m such a Pollyanna that I can make any HFN into an HEA in my head. If they’re happy now, they’ll be happy forever, the end.

 

Do you read romances, as a teenager and as an adult? As a teenager, no. As an adult, absolutely. I’ve read upwards of 100 books so far this year, I think? I’m a voracious reader. My record is 3.65 novels in a 24 hour period.

 

Who do you think is your major influence as a writer?  Now and growing up? There are a lot of writers I look up to, who have an incredible way with words and a turn of phrase that makes my heart sing. People like Roan Parrish, Avon Gale, Piper Vaughn, Maggie Stiefvater, Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, etc. I don’t think I could list just one.

 

How do you feel about the ebook format and where do you see it going? I love it! I read 100% digitally – switching between my phone, work computer, home computer, and Kindle – and think it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread. It’s right there when I need it, I can store a bajillion books in this small device, I can connect with other readers, leave reviews, find similar products—what’s not to love?

How do you choose your covers?  (curious on my part) So far, all my covers have been done by Dreamspinner’s art team. They ask what my vision is for the cover, I tell them, and they strive to bring it to life. I have to say, my latest cover is absolutely my favorite. My artist, Kanaxa, somehow recreated almost exactly what was in my head. It’s a little eerie, looking at it.

 

Do you have a favorite among your own stories?  And why? I think this current book, Broken Rules, will always have a top spot in my heart, mostly because Fox is my favorite character. But each book I write moves into the favorite position at least for awhile.

 

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? Depends on the faults. Someone who’s rude to hide their feelings but learns it’s okay to have emotions by the end of the book? Sure. Someone who thinks genocide is peachy keen? Not so much. I love writing unlikeable heroes. I love taking this rude, snarky, horrible person and then peeling back the layers and showing my readers—look, this is why he is the way he is. Now let’s watch him learn to become a better person. You’ll see that trope a lot in my books, it’s one of my favorites.

What traits do you find the most interesting in someone? Do you write them into your characters? Intelligence, a sense of humor, kindness. If a person isn’t smart, funny, and genuinely good at the core, I’m just not interested.

With so much going on in the world today, do you write to explain?  To get away? To move past? To widen our knowledge? Why do you write? I write for a lot of reasons. To get away, yes. So much is happening that it can be overwhelming and make me despair, so my writing helps give me the strength to keep going. I also write to face my own experiences, to work through them and learn to deal with them. And I write to show the world that there is no one way to tell a story about people falling in love. It can happen to anyone. I write to make people happy and to help them see themselves reflected back from the page.

What’s next for you as a writer? Well, I just finished the fourth in the Mended Hearts series, of which Broken Rules is #2. Alas, no more new works for me for awhile, because now I have #3, Broken Trust, to edit and send out, as well as one my agent wants me to work on so she can get it to some bigger houses. And as soon as I’m done with those two, it’s time to tackle a trilogy I set aside and rewrite all three books. You can find me on Twitter @greymichaela where I’ll be complaining about how “edit” is a four-letter word for awhile. 😉 Thanks for having me!

Blurb:

Sanyam Desai is a Dom, a master of his craft. He knows exactly how to make a person beg, and he does it for a living, but he has no idea how to be in love.

Sterling Reynard is in desperate need of manners and someone who cares enough to take him in hand, but he knows he’ll never be loved.

When Sterling’s world crumbles around him, he turns to the one person who’s never asked for anything from him but his trust. But their relationship is built on quicksand, and one careless word will bring the whole thing down.

About the Author

Michaela Grey lives and writes in the Texas hill country. Her hobbies include knitting, analyzing her favorite TV shows, and experiencing intense feelings over fictional characters. Michaela Grey told stories to put herself to sleep since she was old enough to hold a conversation in her head. When she learned to write, she began putting those stories down on paper. She and her family reside in the Texas hill country with their cats, and she is perpetually on the hunt for peaceful writing time, which her children make difficult to find. When she’s not writing, she’s watching hockey videos or avoiding responsibilities on Twitter, where she shamelessly ogles pretty people and tries to keep her cat off the keyboard.

Social media:

Twitter: @GreyMichaela

Tumblr: http://greymichaela.tumblr.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/GreyMichaela

Email: greymichaela@gmail.com

 

Release Blitz with Serving Him (The Retreat #1) by L.M. Somerton (excerpt)

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RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Serving Him – The Retreat #1

Author: L M Somerton

Publisher: Pride Publishing

Cover Artist: Cherith Vaughan

Genre/s: MM BDSM

Length: 57,670 words/151 pages

It is a standalone story 

Add on Goodreads 

Buy Links

Pride Publishing

Global Amazon link

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Blurb

An escape from the real world can only ever be temporary.

Rowan Stanton knows he is submissive. He loves to look after people but the country hotel he works at can’t quite fulfill his need to serve. When he succeeds at getting a new role as houseboy at The Retreat, an exclusive BDSM hideaway in the New Forest, he believes it’s his dream job. Inexperienced in many ways, he soon realizes he’s not as prepared as he thought for the demands placed upon him.

Lorcan Wilder is young, rich and successful. He’s also haunted by nightmares and has sacrificed a decade to his business. Selling it gives him the freedom to explore his Dominant side and four weeks at The Retreat are the start of a new life. He doesn’t expect the young submissive employed to serve him will have such a profound effect on him. Exploring and pushing Rowan’s boundaries is exactly what Lorcan needs to separate himself from his past.

Lorcan makes full use of The Retreat’s facilities, from the genuine dungeon to the secret toys concealed in every room. He rediscovers his energy for life and gradually re-engages with the world. However, his efforts to compartmentalize the past ultimately fail and he comes to realize what he’s always known—that true submissives have an inner strength he can only envy.

By the end of his stay, Lorcan can’t let Rowan go, though he thinks he must. What will convince him that he’s allowed a happy ever after, and will he find the courage to accept it?

Excerpt

“Who’d have thought there would be so many applicants for a role where the job description includes nudity and a willingness to get your arse whipped?” Carey Hoffman leafed through the pile of paperwork in front of him. “This is a lot harder than recruiting for club servers.”

“Relax, Sir. It’s important we find the right people. The more applicants we get, the better chance we have of finding someone perfect.” Alistair Easton, Carey’s submissive, kneaded his Master’s shoulders. “Our first paying client deserves the best.”

“That’s so good.” The tension melted from Carey’s shoulders as Alistair loosened knotted muscles. “Maybe we should go upstairs for an hour so that you can relieve other parts of my anatomy.”

Alistair giggled. “Not a good idea if you want to invite people in for interviews this week. We have work to do.”

Scowling, Carey turned to his friend and bar manager Harry Croft. “What’s a Dom to do, Harry, when his sub takes charge?”

“Generally,” Harry replied, “I find it’s best to do what I’m told.” He ruffled his sub’s hair. Kai Smithson was seated on the floor between Harry’s legs. “You can always spank him later, but for now, Alistair is right. We have to get through all these applications this evening. We only have one post left to fill, don’t we?”

Alistair knelt at Carey’s side, hands folded in his lap, his serenity in complete contrast to the noise and activity going on all around them. The Underground was always busy, but Friday nights tended to be hectic. Carey had sequestered a quiet corner for their discussion. A low table held paperwork and drinks, and cushions softened the floor for Alistair’s knees and Kai’s backside. Carey still found it hard to concentrate. He blamed Alistair for looking so tempting in leather trousers and a sheer silk shirt. He imagined removing the shirt, exposing Alistair’s smooth skin inch by inch, then watching his lover wriggle out of the trousers…

“Carey?” Harry brought him out of his daydream.

“Sorry, I got a bit distracted. Where were we?”

“The last vacancy—if you can keep your mind on recruitment and off whatever it is you’re planning to do to Alistair?” He shared a conspiratorial grin.

“Oh, yes. Right. Well, I’m thankful Mr. Wilder’s requirements are not too onerous. Tor Halvorsen will act as executive chef. He cooked for Joe and Heath when they had their taster weekend with Olly and Aiden and their reviews of his cooking were first rate. Olly said, and I’m quoting here, that Tor’s double chocolate brownies were better than an orgasm after two days in chastity.”

Alistair and Kai both burst out laughing.

Harry rolled his eyes. “Olly would be proud. He can create chaos even when he’s hundreds of miles away. That’s two extra strokes for you tonight, young man.” He gave Kai’s hair a gentle tug. Kai sucked on his lower lip but his eyes sparkled and he rubbed his cheek against Harry’s thigh.

“Tor has recruited two kitchen assistants, both, I might add, stolen from here at The Underground,” Carey said. “As Mr. Wilder is traveling alone, Tor says that will be more than adequate to cover his stay and allow for days off for each of them. Tor intends to work through and take some time off in between clients. He’ll also take on training Benjy and Frank. Going forward, I think we should consider rotating the junior kitchen staff through The Retreat. Then they’ll all get experience of different kinds of catering.”

“That’s a great idea. At least they won’t be shocked by anything they see at The Retreat.” Harry grinned. “Right. Goran has sorted all the drink supplies, so Mr. Wilder won’t starve or go thirsty.” Goran was Harry’s very capable deputy bar manager. “He can always take a quick trip down there if Tor needs him for anything. It’s always possible that the client will want to throw a party while he’s staying. Goran’s already offered to run the bar for events like that.”

Carey nodded. “Excellent. Then we have Luke Redding as general manager. He’s ex-forces, like Tor.”

“The Retreat is going to be run like a military campaign,” Harry said. “Tell me about Luke. I know he’s a member here but not much else.”

“He’s a well-respected Dom. Kept up his membership even when he was overseas on active duty.”

“Well, you do give service personnel an excellent discount.”

“I do, and they deserve it. Whereas Tor was in the army, Luke is ex-Navy. Served fifteen years then took an honorable discharge to care for his father who died last year. Mother passed when he was a child so his dad brought him up. He told me at the interview that he gave himself to his career, then to his father, now it’s his time. He was very open. He doesn’t have to work for the money but needs a purpose. He’s a very experienced manager and won’t take shit from anyone. He’ll be perfect for mentoring the young men that will be working at The Retreat, as well as the contractors. Management of the house and garden staff as well as all the arrangements related to housekeeping and maintenance will sit with him, and if our guests want any training in a particular technique, Luke can either handle it himself or bring someone in from the club if he doesn’t feel qualified. He knows the area well too—he was based at Portsmouth for many years and the New Forest was a favorite daytrip destination.”

“I hope I’ll get to meet him one day,” Harry said. “I’m surprised I’ve never come across him here.”

“I’m sure you will. I intend to have post-stay debriefings with The Retreat’s management team here at the club.”

“Good idea. So, when you Skyped with Mr. Wilder…”

 “Lorcan. He prefers to be called Lorcan.”

“When you Skyped with Lorcan, did he have any special requirements for other staff?”

“I think he’s going to be a low maintenance client—he was reserved, but friendly. The stay is a personal reward for selling his business. From what I could make out, he’s done little else but work for many years. He’s had some training as a Dominant and has excellent references from a couple of clubs I know in the U.S. He wants to see whether immersion in the lifestyle is what he wants because, as he said, he thinks it is but he’s never had time to prove it to himself.”

“Sounds like he has his head in the right place.”

Nodding, Carey flicked through a few applications. “I’ve done a full background check. There was an incident in his late teens, which I won’t go into here because it shouldn’t cause any issues. It marks him as a survivor. He plays hard when he has the time but that isn’t often. He admits to a preference for blonds. Smaller than him and not too muscled.”

“How tall is he?” Harry asked.

“Six feet one.”

“That rules out three of these—all within an inch of that height. There are also several brunets and one redhead in here so I’ll put them aside. That still leaves six possibles.”

“Whoever we choose has to be prepared to be very flexible.” At Harry’s feet, Kai giggled. “Not that kind of flexible, brat,” Carey chided. “Lorcan wants one man to be his personal assistant, valet and submissive. He doesn’t want a lot of people around the place because his break is about getting some breathing space, so this man will be at his beck and call twenty-four seven. Experience isn’t needed. I think Lorcan wants someone he can mold to his requirements, so we’re looking for a relative innocent—but one who knows what he’s getting into.”

“And who understands the difference between furniture wax and candle wax.” Harry rolled his eyes. “Talk about mission impossible.”

“The housework will be light, just Lorcan’s bedroom and bathroom. The contracted cleaning service will handle the rest. We’ll need someone bright enough to be an effective assistant…”

“And who doesn’t mind taking notes naked, with a plug up his arse.” Harry laughed. “Sorry, I’m being facetious.”

“You may not be that far off the mark. Nudity and minimal dress are non-negotiable.”

“Well, that helps us narrow the field a bit more. Two of these applicants are house subs here. I know them both and I don’t think either of them could be called sweet and innocent—they’re a pair of brats. Of the remaining four, two have university degrees and one went to work straight from school but got very good grades at A level. The last one seems to have drifted from job to job but does have waiting experience.”

“Drop him for now and ask the other three to come in. When we have time, I want to see all the applicants we’ve rejected for this job in case they’d like us to hold their details for future opportunities. It would be nice to be able to offer clients a portfolio of staff to choose from rather than having to go through this process all the time. That way we can also broach the subject when we recruit staff for The Underground. Whoever we choose this time will be permanently employed, but The Retreat is fully booked for months. We’ll need to alternate between clients so that the houseboys can take some time off and that means we need to line up someone else for the next booking after Mr. Wilder. We can cover unexpected illness or, God forbid, walk-outs, with staff from the club in the meantime.” Carey caught Alistair’s eye. “What do you think, love?”

“The catalogue is a brilliant idea. I’d be happy to take pictures for it, but maybe you should ask some of the members what they think, too? You have an instant audience for research here.”

“You’re right, of course.” Carey surveyed his club. The Underground was his pride and joy and he fully intended to make The Retreat just as perfect. “I’ll leave the interview arrangements to you, Harry. Time for me to make sure my members are happy. I think the boss giving his sub a public spanking might go down well tonight, don’t you?”

“You know it will.”

At Carey’s side, Alistair shivered. Carey stroked his hair. “Would you like that, sweetheart?”

“If it makes you happy, Sir.” Alistair kept his eyes downcast but Carey could see he was smiling.

“Oh, it will, you can be sure of that and if you’re very, very good you might even get to come. Emphasis on the might.” Carey raised his glass. “A toast. Here’s to finding someone for Lorcan Wilder who lives up to our exacting standards.”

Harry pulled Kai onto his lap. He clinked his glass against Carey’s. “Bottoms up!” He avoided spilling his drink by the narrowest margin as Kai shook with laughter.

“They soon will be.” Carey chuckled while Alistair tried, unsuccessfully, to conceal a groan.

About the Author

LM lives in a small village in the English countryside, surrounded by rolling hills, cows and sheep. She started writing to fill time between jobs and is now firmly and unashamedly addicted.

She loves the English weather, especially the rain, and adores a thunderstorm. She loves good food, warm company and a crackling fire. She’s fascinated by the psychology of relationships, especially between men, and her stories contain some subtle (and some not so subtle) leanings towards BDSM.

LM is winner of the National Leather Association’s Pauline Reage Award for best novel and the 2016 Golden Flogger Award for best BDSM novel in the LGBT category. She has received multiple Honorable Mentions in the Rainbow Awards and won the Action and Adventure category of Divine Magazine’s Book Awards in 2015.

Social Media Links

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RELEASE BLITZ SCHEDULE

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A Stella Release Day Review: Broken Rules (Mended Hearts #2) by Michaela Grey

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RATING 4 out of 5 stars

Sanyam Desai is a Dom, a master of his craft. He knows exactly how to make a person beg, and he does it for a living, but he has no idea how to be in love.

Sterling Reynard is in desperate need of manners and someone who cares enough to take him in hand, but he knows he’ll never be loved.

When Sterling’s world crumbles around him, he turns to the one person who’s never asked for anything from him but his trust. But their relationship is built on quicksand, and one careless word will bring the whole thing down.

So far I enjoyed every new book Michaela Grey released and Broken Rules was non exception. Although it’s part of the Mended Hearts series, I actually haven’t read the first book and I got no problem because it worked easily as a standalone. In my opinion the blurb doesn’t make the story interesting, it doesn’t do the novel justice, it’s too simplistic and not so catchy. Since I already knew how  good the author is, I obviously gave Broken Rules a chance even if the blurb didn’t catch my attention.

I fell in love with the characters from the beginning of their story, I felt a strong connection with Sanyam and his being so much caring and open,and then a huge sense of protection to Sterling and his fears. Understandable fears because I have to say my heart ached for him and I so wanted to put some salt into his parents’ minds. It was a huge mess what happened to Sterling, thank god Sanyam, his big heart and his discipline were there to help the young man find his balance again.

I loved their relationship, how it developed and changed in time, although Sterling stubbornness to try and not start having feelings for Sayam, I cheered on the Dom perseverance and patience, how he was always there ready to take his boy where he needed to be.

To me Michaela Grey is a guarantee, she delivered another lovely story and I’m surely going to read the first book in this series, Broken Halo, as soon as I can, while I wait for more titles to come out. I feel to recommend her works and Broken Rules.

The cover art by Kanaxa is very well done and fitting, although at a first glance, before I read the blurb, it deceived me cause I thought the book was going to be about shifters.

SALE LINKS Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

BOOK DETAILS

ebook, 224 pages

Publication Date July 24th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN13 9781640805002

Edition Language English