Andrew Grey on His Wonderful Book Covers and new release Heart Unbroken (Hearts Entwined #4) ~ author guest blog and excerpt

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Dreamspinner Press
Published August 6th 2019
Cover Art: L.C.Chase
Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Andrew Grey back again to talk about the next novel in his Hearts Entwined series, Heart Unbroken. Welcome, Andrew.
❤️
I get asked a lot of questions, but one of the most is about my covers.  Dreamspinner has an amazing Art Department and I work with the cover artists to develop a cover for each story.  Sometimes it takes some back and forth in order to come up with the cover for a story and other times it happens so very quickly.  The cover for Heart Unbroken came about relatively quickly.
Since it was the fourth in the series and because of the auto restoration in the story, the elements I wanted on the cover were pretty easy to figure.  However, it was the two guys that took a little doing.  I really wanted to men together because touch and closeness mean so much in this story with Lee’s blindness and L C Chase came though in a huge way.

Blurb/Synopsis:

Car restorer Dean Milford knows how to make damaged things beautiful again. Only, after a bad breakup, he loses sight of who he is, playing the field and distracting himself with any man he comes across. But now there’s only one guy who really matters to him. And maybe with his latest restoration job—a vintage Cobra—he’ll get the chance to let him know.

Losing his sight wasn’t the worst thing to happen to Lee Studer—losing his independence was. It’s taken a while, but he’s finally found his place in the world—in a garage. Funny enough, his acute hearing allows him to pinpoint engine problems just by listening. And even better, he’s going to have a chance to help his long-time crush, Dean, rebuild his fantasy car.

As the restoration comes together, so do Lee and Dean, building a friendship that quickly turns into so much more. But before they can think about a future together, they have to deal with the past. Only that turns out to be more dangerous than either one ever dreamed….

Excerpt 

“What the fuck?” Scott swore next to him. “Everything is messed up.” He pulled back his hand, and Lee listened as each drawer in the chest was opened and closed. “They all are. Shit, I’m going to kill whoever did this.” Scott turned and shouted for Brent to come over.

“What’s going on?’ Brent asked in his deep but kind of soothing voice. He must have been signing as he spoke, because Scott answered right away.

“Everything in Lee’s drawer is messed up. He needs his tools in the right place so he can find them easily.”

Lee stood to the side, his arms around his own chest. It seemed stupid, but the thought that someone had been in his things and messed everything up on purpose just about killed him. He’d probably have felt better if they’d just stolen them. That was impersonal. But messing everything up—that was close, intimate. They knew exactly what would upset him most.

Before losing his sight five years earlier, Lee had been a real slob. His mom had been forever asking him to clean his room. But once he couldn’t see, he’d learned from James that he needed to be organized and precise if he was going to be able to navigate his blindness in a sighted world.

Scott moved to stand right next to him, then hugged him tightly. “Scott, can you and Lee spend some time fixing his tools? I’m going to get the car for you and drive it into the bay. We’ll try to figure out who did this. Was the box locked?”

“Yes. I saw Lee unlock it. Someone just tipped the entire box on its side to mess it up.” He was angry and as pissed off as Lee was. “The bastards.”

“I’ll get to the bottom of it, but I don’t understand,” Brent said.

Lee didn’t either. As far as he knew, he was friends with everyone at work. All of the other guys had always been nice to him. They even helped him and offered to guide him if Scott wasn’t there. He trusted all of them. That’s what really hurt.

“Okay,” Scott said, then started opening the drawers. He set to work, the tools banging against the metal dividers as Scott set them back in place.

Lee stood out of the way and let Scott help him. He could identify his tools by their feel, but he needed them in their own places if he was going to find them easily.

.

About the Author

Andrew grew up in western Michigan with a father who loved to tell stories and a mother who loved to read them. Since then he has lived throughout the country and traveled throughout the world. He has a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and works in information systems for a large corporation.

Andrew’s hobbies include collecting antiques, gardening, and leaving his dirty dishes anywhere but in the sink (particularly when writing)  He considers himself blessed with an accepting family, fantastic friends, and the world’s most supportive and loving partner. Andrew currently lives in beautiful, historic Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Author Links

Amazon Author Page

Barnes and Noble Page

Dreamspinner Press

Facebook

Facebook Group All the Way with Andrew Grey

Goodreads

Twitter @andrewgreybooks

Website

For Other Works by Andrew Grey

(Please Be Sure To Stop by His Website to See All of His Works)

Review Tour and Giveaway for Soul To Keep (Rented Hearts #2) by Garrett Leigh

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Length: 62,000 words
 
Cover Design: Black Jazz Design
 
Rented Heart Series
 
Rented Heart (Book #1) – Universal Buy Link
 
Blurb
 

Recovering addict Jamie Yorke has returned to England from California. With no home or family to speak of, he sticks a pin in a map and finds a small town in the Derbyshire Peak District. Matlock Bath is a quiet placeóhe just needs to get there, keep his head down, and stay clean. Simple, right? Until a chance meeting on the flight home alters the course of his so-called life forever.


Ex-Army medic Marc Ramsey is recovering from life-changing combat injuries while pulling nights as a trauma specialist at the local hospital. Keeping busy is a habit he canít quit, but when Jamieóso wild and beautifulóbursts into his life, working himself into the ground isnít as compelling as it used to be.


?Marc falls hard, but chaos lurks behind Jamieís fragile facade. Heís winning his battle against addiction, but another old foe is slowly consuming him. Both men have weathered many storms, but the path to the peace they deserve might prove the roughest ride yet.

 

April 3 – The Novel Approach
April 9 – My Fiction Nook
April 16 – OMG Reads
 

Garrett Leigh is an award-winning British writer and book designer, currently working for Dreamspinner Press, Loose Id, Riptide Publishing, and Fox Love Press.


Garrett’s debut novel, Slide, won Best Bisexual Debut at the 2014 Rainbow Book Awards, and her polyamorous novel, Misfits was a finalist in the 2016 LAMBDA awards.


When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible, all the while shouting at her menagerie of children and animals and attempting to tame her unruly and wonderful FOX.


Garrett is also an award winning cover artist, taking the silver medal at the Benjamin Franklin Book Awards in 2016. She designs for various publishing houses and independent authors at blackjazzdesign.com, and co-owns the specialist stock site moonstockphotography.com with photographer Dan Burgess.

Giveaway

Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions

 

A Paul B Release Day Review: Running Blind by Kim Fielding and Verona Keyes

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Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

running-blind-by-kim-fielding-and-venona-keysKyle Green is a successful voice actor with a partner of ten years.  Finishing up the latest season of the hit anime Ecos, Kyle feels a bit tired.  He wakes up in the hospital having suffered a stroke at forty.  His motor functions seem to be fine but he finds out that he is blind.  This will make it impossible for his to continue his work with the animated series.  When his partner Matt informs him that he just received a grant to work on Native American ruins for the next five years, Kyle insists that he go.  Kyle reasons that the spark in the relationship was lost years ago and he should not stand in the way of Matt’s research. 

With the help of his sister Lily, Kyle starts to learn how to live as a blind man.  When Kyle sees spots of light while moving, Matt arranges for Kyle to see a neurologist.  Kyle is experiencing Riddoch syndrome, where previously sighted people can see some things when in motion.  He decides to try running.  As he runs, he begins to see things in motion but is tripped up by a child’s tricycle.  He is helped by Seth Caplan, a man who recently moved by to Chicago to help his mother.  Seth offers to help Kyle home.  He suggests Kyle finding a volunteer to run with.  Kyle contacts the local advocacy agency who sets things up.  Who should call Kyle but Seth?  The men are definitely attracted to each other but each has what they consider baggage that they carry into the possible relationship. 

I really enjoyed this book.  Kyle seems to have everything at the beginning and loses it all within the first couple of chapters.  Kyle, while upset he may never be able to anime again, he rebounds by doing audiobooks and commercials, which do not require synchronization with video.  Seth is a lawyer who quit a large firm to work with a tech company which develops apps for adaptive technology.  He came back to Chicago to help out with his mother who is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s.  Kyle does not want to be a burden due to his blindness while Seth has something in his past he feels guilty about and has not been in a relationship in a while.  The end is definitely a foreseeable happily ever after.

The cover by Anna Sikorska is perfect for this book.  It has what appear to be two runners, bound by tether at the wrist.  It could be from a scene right out of the book. 

Sales Links

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Book Details

ebook, 200 pages
Expected publication: November 7th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1634778928 (ISBN13: 9781634778923)
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Becoming Rory (College Rose Romance) by Ashavan Doyon

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Becoming RoryRory Graeble is a returning college sophomore and a new man. Or at least he’s trying to be a new man. Outed last year when a gay bashing turned the campus upside down, the former “Lawrence” Graeble, a geeky introverted guy who sucked men off in the steam tunnels off-campus, is now out-and-proud Rory, the sole leader of the Queer Alliance. Showing up early for orientation with other student leaders, Rory meets Danny Smits at a party, and the two literally make sparks fly together.

Contrary to his past introverted behavior, Rory decides to pursue Danny, who is the leader of the Young Entrepreneurs on campus. A skater, Danny and his group have designed a new board and are trying to find funding to move their ideas into reality. In the meantime, Rory’s RA, Barry, is becoming a close friend and is pursuing a relationship with Rory’s BFF, Stacie. Getting the support of his friends while he pursues Danny, who is sometimes like quicksilver, is important to Rory. But catching Danny, and defining their relationship is very difficult, and when he finds out why, Rory allows self-doubt to cloud the picture.

Danny suffers from a <spoiler> that has led to some very destructive behaviors in the past, including drug addiction and a criminal record. When the bank turns down the loan application to get the skateboard business up and running, he nosedives into a deep depression, knowing the cause is his criminal record. Rory has seen this disorder up close in a family member in the past, so he decides to find out more about it before he makes any commitment to his volatile lover. Will he go or stay? Will Danny’s moods even allow him to recognize his own feelings toward Rory? And what about Danny’s friends, his crew as he calls them; will they allow him enough slack to decide for himself about Rory? After all, they’ve been his rock and been his only stabilizing influence in the past. Will they now allow that role to be held by Rory?

There’s so much to this story that it’s difficult to sift through all the facts, emotions, and drama. There’s also a subplot surrounding Barry and Stacie, and there are references to the past gay bashing on campus and to the characters involved. I suspect these were featured in previous stories by this author and it was difficult to get them all straight, so this story should be labeled as part of a series. It can still be read as a standalone, but readers like me may be confused and long to have that backstory filled. I liked the basic premise of this story, however it felt too long. And there was a lot of sex, very rough sex, bordering on abusive sex. By the latter part of the book, I glossed over the sex scenes to get back to the rest of the action.

The disorder wasn’t revealed until later in the book, and it was treated with so much gravity that if I happened to suffer from it, I would have definitely tipped into depression. I don’t mean to make light of it, not at all. It’s just that it was treated like something insurmountable and fatal, and yet I’ve known many people with the disorder who have stabilized with treatment. But in this book it felt quite hopeless.

One other thing, perhaps minor, perhaps not—there was a concurrent romance between Barry and Stacie that I felt that would have been okay as a quick mention, but quite a bit of time was spent on it and I didn’t particularly care for what happened or the time spent on them in the story.

Overall, the storyline felt very dark and depressing. I honestly don’t recommend it if you are looking for a sweet young adult romance, but if you like hurt-comfort stories and don’t mind some dark angst mixed in, you might want to consider this one.

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Cover Art by Kris Norris fits the story quite well as it features a headshot of a young man with a skateboarder jumping in the background.

Sales Links:  Torquere Press | ARe | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 240 pages
Published June 8th 2016 by Torquere Press LLC
ASINB01GLQA3KS
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesCollege Rose Romance