A MelanieM Review: On the Subject of Griffons by Lindsey Byrd

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Rating:  4.75 stars out of 5

They’ll do anything to save their children’s lives, even if it means working together.

Kera Montgomery is still mourning the sudden death of her husband, Morpheus, when her youngest son falls victim to a mysterious plague. With no medicinal cure, Kera must travel to the Long Lakes, where magical griffons capable of healing any ailment reside.

As an heiress unused to grueling travel, Kera struggles with the immense emotional and physical strain of her journey—one made more complex when she crosses paths with her husband’s former mistress, Aurora. Aurora’s daughter is afflicted with the same plague as Kera’s son, so despite their incendiary history, the two women agree to set aside their differences and travel together.

The road is fraught with dangers, both living and dead. Each night, old battlegrounds reanimate with ghosts who don’t know they’ve died, and murderous wraiths hunt for stray travelers caught out after dark. If Kera, Aurora, and their children are going to survive, they’ll need to confront the past that’s been haunting them since their journey began. And perhaps in the process, discover that old friends may not be as trustworthy as they once thought—and old enemies may become so much more.

On the Subject of Griffons by Lindsey Byrd is such an unexpectedly deep, and emotionally rich journey.  Not of one woman, although Kera Montgomery is the main character who undergoes the most personal growth and development.  So too does the woman who starts out as her adversary and the source of so much of her pain,Aurora., Kera’s deceased husband’s’ ex-mistress.

The writing and characterizations in this story are simply brilliant. Told from the perspective of the “Widow Montgomery”, she is at moments controlled, raw, open, distraught, and as the story moves forward comes a woman of strength, determination, and incredible bravery.  Someone able to go forward and love again, building a future for herself, others and more. But when it starts out she is a woman overwhelmed by the deceit of her husband, buried in grief by his loss, mired down by the weight of responsibility for the huge brood of children she has and and lack of control over his   own future which seems lay in the hands of her father and the bankers of the town which want to pressure her into selling them her home, Ivory Gates.  She’s barely  coping and we are made to feel every tear, every throbbing pressure headache, every lost to depression episode Keri is feeling.

Then the deadly sickness that is sweeping the town invaded her home and her smallest child falls critically ill.  And again, we are in Kera’s heart and head that just as we don’t believe this  woman can stand any further pain, humiliation, or despair, now her youngest child is going to die.  And we are weeping with her.   And raging with her over her feelings of inadequacy and helplessness and the anticipation of yet another crushing deep loss.

It’s rare that I get pulled so fully and deeply into such a character as Kera Montgomery because of, I suppose, her state and, like all others, outward impression of her at the beginning.  Kera inhabits a rigid society that gives women little choice as to their roles in life.  Nice women in society are wives and mothers.  The men manage things, money, estages, society,  and wars. When Kera’s husband, Mori dies in a duel disgraced, he leaves her a widow of 7 children and a large estate she never wanted, Ivory Gates, teetering with looming debts and no pension of her husband’s to use as income.  Bankers are at her door and no one is asking her what she wants to do but her father instead.    She’s feeling invisible, emotionally battered, once more in mourning and feeling betrayed by a husband she loved who never seemed to think about the consequences of his actions.

Grief, helplessness and depression have mired this woman down until her youngest son is struck down and will soon die if nothing is done. It’s that desperation that is the impetus for Kera to finally act, against society and for herself and her son.

To save him she must find a Griffin’s feather and they exist only in one part of the territory.  In the cruelest of ironies, the first person she encounters on the road is her husband’s mistress who’s daughter is critically ill with the same sickness.

The journey then becomes this incredible saga  of multiple complex story threads, magic, and redemption.  Kera must learn to get past her hatred of Aurora, her pain and need for understanding about the affair, there’s forgiveness and personal growth, and so much more than this review can begin to describe.  Really, these women are beyond amazing as is their road to saving their children and finding a new future together.

It is labeled as F/F but the heat level is low, limited to kissing and off scene sex that is not described.

If I had any issues its that it ended a little too pat but what came before was just too magnificent for me to really quibble about that.  The writing and characterizations are just that outstanding.

Honestly, if you love fantasy and some of the best womens characterizations I’ve read this year, pick up On the Subject of Griffons by Lindsey Byrd.  I highly recommend it.  It’s just a stunner of a story!

Cover art: L.C. Chase.  The cover is a little dark and it does fit parts of the story but it could easily be a contemporary fantasy which this is not.

Sales Links: Riptide Publishing | Amazon
Book Details:
ebook, 316 pages
Published May 27th 2019 by Riptide Publishing
Original Title On the Subject of Griffons
ISBN 139781626498822
Edition Language English

A Lila Release Day Review:Innocence & Carnality by J. Alan Veerkamp

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Innocence is his only currency.

The gilded cage of propriety where Nathan grew up as a member of the Deilian aristocracy became a true prison when, at fifteen, his homosexuality came to light and created a terrible scandal. His parents see only one way to preserve their reputation amongst the other noble families: fit Nathan with a chastity belt to increase his value to a potential partner and marry him off as soon as possible.

The recipient of that prize is Lord Rother Marsh Delaga III. After a hasty wedding, Rother whisks Nathan away to the strange and seductive land of Marisol, where Nathan will begin a new life, free to explore the pleasures of the marriage bed, though his life is still not his own.

But Rother’s Delaga House is a place of secrets, dangers, and depravity Nathan can scarcely comprehend. Where friends are few and peril waits around every corner, Nathan must employ all the manipulation he learned from high society, along with his talent for clockwork. Most of all, Nathan must adapt, compromise to survive, and cast off the preconceptions of his homeland.

Because only he can orchestrate his freedom, and it’ll come at a cost.

Innocence and Carnality is a work of fiction. It’s the perfect combination of drama, intrigue, rawness, sensuality, sexuality, and so much more. Nathan is the embodiment of all of these, and we get to see how he evolves from a pampered aristocrat to a man of his own. He’s a great narrator for the story. It’s easy to get lost in his thoughts, his sadness, happiness, and hopes.

This book is hard to put down. The more you read, the more you want to know. It’s hard to see all the changes coming or to try to anticipate the next twist and turn the author envisioned. The amount of detail and foreshadowing is incredible, as well as the world-build. Everything in the story was necessary.

The mixed of characters, backgrounds, and locations show the author’s knowledge of where he wanted to take the story. In every step of the way, we have Nathan. His life becomes the reader’s guide. The supporting cast is as impressive as Nathan. They all have a part to play, even when isn’t positive for Nathan, I had my doubts about Rother but had to accept that I felt for him just like Nathan. I wanted him to have an opportunity for redemption but in reality, he didn’t deserve it.

This may not be a true romance but it has enough elements to satisfy the readers need for more. Personally, I could have seen the ending go either way. I think Nathan was strong enough to rule his world on his own. This story is perfect for everyone looking for more than a cute story.

The cover by Tiferet Design goes great with the author’s depiction of Nathan. It has all his arrogance on display, as well as the aesthetics.

Sale Links: Amazon | Nook | DSP

Book Details:
ebook, 348 pages
ISBN: 978-1-64405-193-1
Published: April 23, 2019, by DSP Publications
Edition Language: English

Davidson King on The Power Of Readers and the new release ‘A Dangerous Dance’ (guest post, excerpt, and giveaway)

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A Dangerous Dance

Haven Hart Series, Book 3

Davidson King

Publication Date: July 17th

M/M, Romance, Suspense, Drama

 A-Dangerous-Dance---EBook-Cover-Only 

Cover Design: Morningstar Ashley @ Designs by Morningstar

AMAZON US: https://amzn.to/2uEiJr5 

AMAZON UK: https://amzn.to/2mw2wzC

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Davidson King here today on   tour for A Dangerous Dance, the latest in the Haven Hart series.  Welcome, Davidson.

♦︎

The Power Of Readers and How The Made This Book Possible by Davidson King

Truth is, I never planned on Bill having a book. That’s right. After Snow Falling released – my first book in this universe—so many readers asked me if Bill was going to have a book. Each person that asked me I was like, “Um, I don’t know?”

It was while I was writing Hug It Out, book two, I saw it happening. Mace was born, he teamed up with Bill, and the idea came to fruition.

These two were like oil and water. Now I had to come up with their plot while mingling it into this universe I was building.

The power of reader’s is what inspired this book and took it to the heights it did.

I wrote Snow Falling not one hundred percent sure there would be more. I knew I’d write more but where this universe was going wasn’t clear until this book. Readers pushed this universe to new places. Now, yes there is an end game for it, but we aren’t there yet.

There are so many characters to meet and loved ones to get their happily ever afters, and that is thanks to readers. They are powerful and inspire. Perhaps they are wizards?

 

Synopsis

Finally working for a man he can trust has given Bill a new purpose. His boss, Christopher Manos, commands respect and absolute loyalty, and Bill has proven himself worthy of a seat at Christopher’s table. Becoming best friends with Christopher’s husband, Snow, has further proven his allegiance and cements a place for him in the Manos family. When Snow’s life is in danger, Christopher places his full trust in Bill to destroy anything and anyone that poses a threat to his husband. But hunting and wiping out the enemy for the safety of everyone Bill cares about means partnering with the one person he has vowed to never see again.

Mace wears a mask of vain cockiness and uses his model good looks to his full advantage. Known to many as Without a Trace Mace, he’s a deadly assassin well known for wiping out whole families and getting away without a trace. With a dangerous past and an unknown future, Mace uses his veil of conceit to keep others at a distance, rarely trusting anyone. When his boss, Black–the one man he trusts above all others—gives him his next assignment, he learns his newest partner is none other than Bill, the man he’d do anything to avoid.

With the safety of the Manos family on the line at the hands of a brilliant maniac, Bill and Mace begrudgingly put their differences aside to ensure Snow, and his loved ones, are protected from harm.  With their lives in grave danger and the clock ticking towards zero hour, they navigate deathly perilous situations and uncertain outcomes, hoping they survive long enough to keep the Manos family safe.

Bill and Mace’s traitorous hearts draw them closer together no matter how hard they fight the inevitable. With the lives of their loved ones hanging in the balance, they find themselves in the middle of a dangerous dance. But when the music stops, will they both be left standing?

Amazon Exclusive/KU

Length: 57,400 words

Good Reads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40663791-a-dangerous-dance

A Dangerous Dance Teaser 4

A Dangerous Dance Teaser 3

Excerpt

“Billy Boy!” Mace said loudly with a clap, making Snow jump.

“Well, if it isn’t fuck face Mace.” Watching Mace’s smile fall and morph into anger made my entire week. If I was going to find any joy in this job, it was going to be repeatedly knocking that pretty boy off his self-made pedestal.

“Let’s put the pissing contest off for a later date.” Black’s gravelly, booming voice was powerful enough to make you snap to attention. But I couldn’t help myself. I shot Mace a wink and joined Snow when he sat on the couch.

“I’ll rip those eyes from your head while you sleep, fucker,” Mace whispered so only Snow and I could hear. I knew Snow was about to go rabid, so I beat him to it.

“You assume I sleep.”

Mace wanted to say something else, but when Christopher slapped a folder on the coffee table between us, it was all business.

Davidson King Logo

Davidson King, always had a hope that someday her daydreams would become real-life stories. As a child, you would often find her in her own world, thinking up the most insane situations. It may have taken her awhile, but she made her dream come true with her first published work, Snow Falling.

When she’s not writing you can find her blogging away on Diverse Reader, her review and promotional site. She managed to wrangle herself a husband who matched her crazy and they hatched three wonderful children.

If you were to ask her what gave her the courage to finally publish, she’d tell you it was her amazing family and friends. Support is vital in all things and when you’re afraid of your dreams, it will be your cheering section that will lift you up.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17286464.Davidson_King

Twitter: @DavidsonKing11 https://twitter.com/DavidsonKing11

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2MCMD5r

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/davidsonkingauthor/?hl=en

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/DavidsonKingAuthor/

Facebook Group: King’s Court: https://www.facebook.com/groups/DavidsonKingsCourt/

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Release Blitz for A Dangerous Dance (Haven Hart # 3) by Davidson King (excerpt and giveaway)

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A Dangerous Dance

Haven Hart Series, Book 3

Davidson King

Publication Date: July 17th

M/M, Romance, Suspense, Drama

 

A-Dangerous-Dance---EBook-Cover-Only 

 

Cover Design: Morningstar Ashley @ Designs by Morningstar

Synopsis

Finally working for a man he can trust has given Bill a new purpose. His boss, Christopher Manos, commands respect and absolute loyalty, and Bill has proven himself worthy of a seat at Christopher’s table. Becoming best friends with Christopher’s husband, Snow, has further proven his allegiance and cements a place for him in the Manos family. When Snow’s life is in danger, Christopher places his full trust in Bill to destroy anything and anyone that poses a threat to his husband. But hunting and wiping out the enemy for the safety of everyone Bill cares about means partnering with the one person he has vowed to never see again.

Mace wears a mask of vain cockiness and uses his model good looks to his full advantage. Known to many as Without a Trace Mace, he’s a deadly assassin well known for wiping out whole families and getting away without a trace. With a dangerous past and an unknown future, Mace uses his veil of conceit to keep others at a distance, rarely trusting anyone. When his boss, Black–the one man he trusts above all others—gives him his next assignment, he learns his newest partner is none other than Bill, the man he’d do anything to avoid.

With the safety of the Manos family on the line at the hands of a brilliant maniac, Bill and Mace begrudgingly put their differences aside to ensure Snow, and his loved ones, are protected from harm.  With their lives in grave danger and the clock ticking towards zero hour, they navigate deathly perilous situations and uncertain outcomes, hoping they survive long enough to keep the Manos family safe.

Bill and Mace’s traitorous hearts draw them closer together no matter how hard they fight the inevitable. With the lives of their loved ones hanging in the balance, they find themselves in the middle of a dangerous dance. But when the music stops, will they both be left standing?

Amazon Exclusive/KU

Length: 57,400 words

Good Reads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40663791-a-dangerous-dance

A Dangerous Dance Teaser 2

A Dangerous Dance Teaser 3

Excerpt

The night before, I left Mace sleeping on the couch. I’d never admit it to him, but I ended up foregoing the end of The Fifth Element in favor of watching him sleep. He was a gorgeous man. Too beautiful for a mere mortal, almost.

I remembered when we were staking out a place we thought Lee was in last year, Mace was so bored, he ended up watching cat videos. He had laughed like he was afraid of being caught. It was then I began wondering why he’d felt that way. Of course, it had only taken him opening his mouth to remind me why I didn’t give a shit.

People like Mace fucked men like Snow. Ethereal, stunning, pristine men. Men that when they rubbed up against you made you shine brighter. I fucked whoever showed me even a little interest. I wasn’t picky.

When I had worked for Roy, I never fucked the underage boys like he did. Never raped anyone like he did. I slipped into gay clubs, fucked a stranger in a bathroom, and rushed back before anyone knew I was gone. Sex for me was never a beautiful thing. It was a necessary thing. Something I did so my balls wouldn’t explode.

“We leave in ten,” Mace shouted through my bedroom door, where I was getting dressed to blend into Wet and Wild Night at Joker’s Sin. I didn’t have clubbing clothes, so I opted for a white t-shirt, black jeans, and my boots. It was getting colder outside and often a flurry would pop up out of nowhere, so I was glad I had my leather jacket.

When I stepped out of the bedroom, Mace was leaning against the wall, scrolling through his phone. Most likely a message from Black. I was able to take a moment to appreciate the physicality of the man. Long legs that would wrap nicely around my waist. The white shirt was so sheer, I could see the shadows of lean muscles I wouldn’t mind painting with my come. His dark, layered hair was longer than I’d ever seen it and my fingers twitched with the need to grip it as I thrust into his tight…

“Why are you staring at me? Do I have a stain or something?” He frantically began looking over every inch of fabric. I decided to put him out of his misery.

“Nothing’s wrong. I was just wondering if I was underdressed. I don’t want to stick out, I need to fit in.”

Mace took me in. His gaze was both welcomed and dangerous. Lust danced in his eyes and I suddenly wondered how this even happened. I hated this man, everything he stood for, and his better than thou attitude. Why was I suddenly wondering what he tasted like?

Had I not seen the want in his gaze, I wouldn’t have believed he’d find someone like me appealing at all.

“You look good.”His voice was rough and when he turned away, I felt the loss like ice water thrust over me. “Jones is driving us. He’ll watch the entrance. Zagan is unpredictable, so we need all the eyes we can get.”

Davidson King Logo

Davidson King, always had a hope that someday her daydreams would become real-life stories. As a child, you would often find her in her own world, thinking up the most insane situations. It may have taken her awhile, but she made her dream come true with her first published work, Snow Falling.

When she’s not writing you can find her blogging away on Diverse Reader, her review and promotional site. She managed to wrangle herself a husband who matched her crazy and they hatched three wonderful children.

If you were to ask her what gave her the courage to finally publish, she’d tell you it was her amazing family and friends. Support is vital in all things and when you’re afraid of your dreams, it will be your cheering section that will lift you up.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17286464.Davidson_King

Twitter: @DavidsonKing11 https://twitter.com/DavidsonKing11

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2MCMD5r

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/davidsonkingauthor/?hl=en

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/DavidsonKingAuthor/

Facebook Group: King’s Court: https://www.facebook.com/groups/DavidsonKingsCourt/

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Love Some Hurt/Comfort with Your Romance? Check out Valor (Vigilance #1) by K. Laché (excerpt and giveaway)

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Valor 1000x400

Author: K. Laché

Title:  Valor

Series Title and Number: Vigilance 1

Publisher:  Torquere Press

Cover Artist: Kris Norris

Release Date:  7/6/16

Heat Level: 3

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 90K

Genre:Erotic Romance, Gay Romance, Hurt/Comfort, Drama

Add to Goodreads

Valor Cover

Synopsis

It takes valor to support and love those who need it the most and never expected to receive it.

For Rivet Scalzo, returning to his childhood home after a decade was not on his list of places to go while recuperating. After nearly being blown up on a mission, Rivet is forced to deal with his PTSD and sudden deafness without help from Vigilance, the secret governmental agency he works for. He resigned himself to a lonely recovery, but, perhaps by chance, he met Blare Chaplynn, a model whose caring nature helps ease the horror of Rivet’s home life. As they grow closer, Rivet is burdened by the secrets he can’t share with the one man he grows to love.

If Blare knew a mild concussion was all he needed to meet the man of his dreams, he would have gladly accepted it long ago. He knew there was something special about Rivet when he first saw him at the park, but never guessed this man of mystery would be hiding so many secrets. Blare is forced to confront the fact that Rivet may never tell him everything, but is trust the reason Rivet is so close-lipped or is it something more?

Excerpt

“I told him it was a bad idea to start you so young.” She turned away from him and muttered under breath, “It’ll only cause more problems for us when he gets older, I said.”

Rivet slammed his hand down on the counter and snarled, “What problems, June, huh? What problems have I caused?” He pointed his finger at her and said through his teeth, “I have done nothing save for following the orders I’ve been given. I was told to come to this shit town and stay with my shit family until they deem me fit enough to return.” He opened his arms wide. “And here I am. So I want you to tell me what problems I’ve been causing, June.”

Her eyes narrowed to slits, and her lips pressed into a thin line. “Remember just who you’re talking to, Rookie. A buster like you needs to have respect for his superiors.”

“You were making rookie mistakes, June. They forced you to retire.”

Lightning fast, she swung her hand out to smack him across the face. He was faster. His hand tightened around her slim wrist, stopping it inches from his face. He roughly shoved her hand away and tsked. “You were always slower than me.” He turned his back on her and walked through the door to the back room marked Employees Only.

The back room was full of buckets of flowers, scraps of ribbon, and other odds and ends left over from arrangements. He paused in the room, looking for the door he knew led to the basement. He saw the door to the industrial-sized refrigerator and continued roaming the room. He skillfully weaved around vases of carnations, roses, and other flowers he didn’t know the names of. A soft smile sprung to his lips when he spotted a pot of daisies sitting happily on the counter. Gentle fingers caressed the stark-white petals before dropping away. Rivet eyed the bright yellow disk florets nestled in pure white petals. The glossy green leaves completed the innocent picture. He shook his head, battling against the memories pushing from the back of his mind.

Continuing to the door, he pushed it open and gently shut it behind him. He flicked on the light switch and descended the stairs. The basement was bare save for miscellaneous ladders and stepping stools. He walked to the nearest wall and placed a hand on it at chest height. He closed his eyes and slowly walked the perimeter of the basement, fingers trailing along the cool bricks. A few paces later, he paused and opened his eyes. He ran a finger down the left side of the brick. There was a faint click and he placed his fingers on the faux concrete face and slid them toward the right, revealing a keypad in the hollow. He reached his hand in and pressed a nine-digit code into the keypad before turning his hand palm-up and pressing his hand flat against the top of the hollowed brick. A soft blue glow pulsated before something clicked open behind him. He glanced back to see a trapdoor had opened under the stairs, a sliver of light appeared through the crack between the door and the floor. Rivet grabbed a nearby rag and wiped the fingerprint scanner and the keypad before sliding the panel shut and running his finger up the left side, locking the faux brick.

He stepped over to the trapdoor, feet making no noise as they gracefully moved around furniture. Rivet reached down and lifted the door. The hinges squeaked in protest, and he let it rest open so he could climb into the opening, dropping his bag to the tile first. He secured the door and jumped the rest of the way to the floor. The room was brightly lit by the fluorescent lights in the flooring shining off the dark walls. The subbasement was split into two sections. To one side was a dark armoire built into the wall. The doors were shut and locked; a fingerprint scanner and keypad were just to the side of it. The other section was an enclosed area that took up most of the floor, also secured by a scanner and keypad.

Rivet walked over to the armoire and typed his nine-digit code into the keypad with the knuckle of his finger. The light to the scanner flickered on. He placed his hand flat and watched the beam of light move up and down his hand. The doors of the armoire clicked and opened. There was a small flat-screen monitor on each door and one monitor settled in the middle. A small metal stool raised from the floor. Rivet sat, dropping his bag by his feet, and pulled the keyboard from under the monitor. He held down the Escape key while typing a four-character password. All three monitors flickered to life showing a plain command box with Passcode at the top and the cursor blinking below it. His fingers easily typed in a twelve-digit code.

When the computer loaded, a new message window popped up. He clicked the mouse to view it and quickly read the message:

Contact me when you get this.
—Commander D.

Rivet sighed and clicked on the contact’s name. It brought up a live video feed of a man sitting in a nondescript office, bookshelf behind him.

“Agent Scalzo,” the man’s voice was commanding and firm.

Rivet was used to the no-nonsense voice and gave him a nod. “Commander.”

“Have you settled?”

He paused a moment before answering. “Sir, civilian life and I do not agree.”

“You need to make it work.”

Rivet shook his head. “All due respect, sir, couldn’t I have been stationed elsewhere? I have told you about my family. I could have been anybody, anywhere else.”

“You are on leave and need to be who you really are, not another persona. The Council and I believed this was the best option.”

Rivet snorted bitterly and fought not to glare at his superior.

Commander Donovan narrowed his eyes. “What was that, Agent?”

He clenched his teeth. “Nothing, sir.”

He watched the commander pause a moment. “You are to pick up a package at the post office. The clerk will ask you how you are doing and tell whomever it is that you’re glad to be away from the rain in London. The package contains a secure laptop and cell phone, understood?”

“Affirmative, sir.”

Purchase

Torquere Press

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Meet the Author

A third grade writing project started it. It was the key that unleashed a passion to create and tell fantastical stories. K. Laché felt as if she were made to tread the path of authorial conquest and never once looked back. She entered a world where anything could be created. She was hooked.

She has fan fiction to blame (or thank, depending on how you look at it) for introducing her into the world of slash fiction. What’s better than one hot guy in a book? Two hot guys in a book! After an epiphany in college, K. Laché decided to try her hand at getting published. For years she struggled but never gave up. Now she debuts with her first published work, Valor—the first, but sure to be not her last

K. Laché can be found here:

https://www.klachewrites.com

https://www.facebook.com/K.LacheWrites

https://www.facebook.com/KLWrites

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Rafflecopter Prize: One winner will be selected to win an eBook copy of Valor.

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A BJ Review: Y Negative by Kelly Haworth

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Rating:  1.5 stars out of 5

Y Negative coverIn the last surviving cities of a ruined world, the concept of “woman” has been forgotten to history. Those unfortunate enough to lack a Y chromosome live as second-class citizens in a world dominated by mascs.

Ember is Y negative. He is scorned, bullied, abused by every masc he encounters, at work and at the gym. Not even his Y negative roommate cuts him any slack. He wants so desperately to be accepted as a masc that he’d rather buy black market testosterone than food. Something’s gotta give—he needs a change in his life, but has no idea how to find it.

Jess is a masc with a passion for studying the recovery of their devastated world. His boyfriend is pressuring him for more commitment, and his father expects him to take over the family business. He can’t wait to get away from civilization for his seasonal research out in the wild.

When Jess offers Ember a job, their lives collide in the isolated wasteland, and their initial attraction turns into a relationship that horrifies those around them. Soon their struggle to stay together and to be who they are turns into a fight for their lives.

This is going to be a hard review to write, but maybe that is fitting since the story itself was hard for me to read. It became clear as I got further into the book that this was not a story for me. For one thing, when I read a story, I need to feel a connection to at least one of the characters in order to fully engage with it. I didn’t feel that here. Didn’t feel any sort of chemistry between the characters.

The writing style didn’t work for me either, it actually seemed to distance me rather than draw me in. At various parts of the book, I despised pretty much every character, and that is saying something as I’m an easy-going sort of person.

At a few parts I just sat there staring at my kindle with my mouth open. Really. For example, a scene where Jess and Ember are first intimate, Jess’ appalling reaction at seeing him, his lack of caring even when he had to have known how he’d hurt Ember since he’d screamed out his pain and we know from a prior scene the walls are thin… then just telling him an hour later to get out there to work. OMG. No. Especially when Ember was right back to wanting him as if it didn’t happen a few pages later.

And try as I might, this story left me confused, frustrated, and alternately pissed off with various characters. Perhaps if there had been some sort of backstory in the book to explain why women were no longer thought of as women but as Y negatives and well, to explain so much more. Because I was confused.

After finishing the book, I read an article by the author that was published on this site a while back. Perhaps I should have read it before the book, it might have helped a little. But considering that math and science aren’t my thing, it still had my eyes crossing a bit. However, I recommend it prior to reading the story.

Overall, the premise is interesting, but the delivery of it didn’t work well for me personally.

The cover art by Jay Aheer made me look at this story, its dark and haunting and interesting.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It Here


Book Details:  

ebook, 317 pages
Published November 16th 2015 by Riptide Publishing
ISBN 1626493332 (ISBN13: 9781626493339)
edition languageEnglish
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other editions (2)
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In Our Book Spotlight: Jeanne Marcella’s The Phoenix Embryo (Seasons of the Phoenix #1) (contest)

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spotlight on booksThe Phoenix Embryo (Seasons of the Phoenix #1)
Author Jeanne Marcella
Release Date: January 2015
Goodreads Link

PhoenixEmbryo-800 Cover reveal and Promotional

 

Author Bio:

Jeanne Marcella was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. Granted unlimited access to books at a very early age via the library, she quickly acquired a fondness for creating her own stories through word and drawing.

Going against the grain of mainstream top ten fantasy, she writes eccentric, GLBTQ dark fantasy dramas not for the faint of heart.

Currently, she reworks her first novel about half-breed centaurs into a 2nd edition.

Our Author Mini Q and A!

Q. Three things on your bucket list?

I only have two: Write my books, and get back into drawing.

Q. You meet a time traveler who will take you ‘anywhen’. Do you go to the past or the future?

That’s a tough one. Would I go back in time and be Da Vinci’s apprentice, or finally learn the truth of all those Bigfoot and ancient astronaut conspiracy theories? Decisions decisions.

Q. Cake or pie? Cake

Q. Dog or cat? I’m a cat person now.

Where to find the author:
Blog: https://aforgeofphoenix.wordpress.com/
Website: http://www.JeanneMarcella.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jeanne.marcella.98
(I unpublished my FB fan page)
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AForgeOfPhoenix
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/GoddessTriad/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110464796341873472652/posts
Wattpad: http://www.wattpad.com/user/AForgeOfPhoenix

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Publisher: Jeanne Marcella
Cover Artist: Streetlight Graphics

Sales Links: 

The Phoenix Embryo Synopsis:

Twelve-and-a-half-year-old Acanthus Breese and his yellow-robed peers have survived without an adult presence for seven years. They’ve scavenged. Endured madness, starvation, and murder after the adults imprisoned and abandoned them without a backward glance. They’ve clawed their way to civilization and questionable sanity at the guidance of one of their own.

Thirteen-year-old Edward Dasheel is a direct descendant of the goddess Staritti and the red phoenix god, Dasheel. Because of Edward’s love and leadership, Acanthus and the other boys know that despite their regretful crime of harming Staritti and driving her away, hope for redemption remains. 

Acanthus knows Edward better than anyone; he knows Edward hides dark secrets about their exile, the adults, and specifically about him. So it is terrifying when suddenly the adults return, pushing themselves back into their lives. What do they want after all these years? And why?

Categories: Bisexual, Dark Fantasy, Fiction, Gay Fiction, Drama, M/M Romance, Steampunk, For Mature Readers

Excerpt from The Phoenix Embryo…


Acanthus danced around in a chaotic circle, waving his arms and pointing out the window. “Dee! He took Minos. He had wings! He flew! Priests! By Staritti, there were adults in Regrets!”

“Shh. Shhh. It’s all right.”

“How can it be all right?” Acanthus yelled. He paced. He prowled. He was helpless. Edward made no move to restrain him. “They throw us away, ignore us, and then pick us off! How much more can we endure? You know we’ll never see Minos again, Dee! We’ll never see him again! Just like all the others!”

“I know,” Edward answered in a helpless, grating whisper.

“Minos didn’t have anyone,” Acanthus said to himself. “No one, for the last seven years. I feel so bad; I could’ve done something. I could’ve been his friend.”

“You can’t blame yourself.”

Horror washed through him. “Yes, I can. This is my fault. I wanted to break something today. I broke Minos.”

Edward put a calming hand to his shoulder. “Dearest, it’s not your fault.”

“We don’t know that for certain. We all should know better by now. All of us. We have to stick together, make sure everyone’s okay.”

Pages or Words: 128,000 words

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Tour Dates: February 19, 2015

Tour Stops: Parker Williams, Velvet Panic, Inked Rainbow Reads, The Hat Party, Bayou Book Junkie, Molly Lolly, Fallen Angel Reviews, BFD Book Blog, Cate Ashwood, MM Good Book Reviews, Boys on the Brink Reviews, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Bending The Bookshelf, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Nephylim

 

Contest: Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: PDF Copy of ‘The Phoenix Embryo’. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

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Review of Abstract Realism by Edward Kendricks

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86 pages

Rating: 4 stars

Tonio, a renown painter of abstract realism, made the mistake of accepting an invitation for a movie date from a man he just met at a gallery opening.  The man’s jealous lover made sure Tonio never made that mistake again by savagely attacking him with a knife.  Now scarred and traumatized, Tonio rarely leaves his studio.  His only contact with the outside world consists of his sister, Jessie who is also his agent.  With a gallery opening a new show of his paintings, his sister finally talks him into attending the opening and go to the gallery party afterwards.

Jonam is also attending the gallery show.  He owns a close protection agency and had met Tonio by accident in a nearby park.  Tonio had been sketching people in the part and rejected Jonan’s efforts to talk to him. When Jonam attends the gallery show, Tonio does his best to avoid him. But Tonio’s attacker calls and threatens him just before the party. When her brother doesn’t show up for the party,  Jessie and Jonam show up at Tonio’s apartment and the find the man cowering in fear.  Jonam offers to protect Tonio and find out whose behind the threats.  Can Jonam find the attacker and free Tonio from the threats and fears?

The author packs a lot into 86 pages.  There is contemporary romance, mystery, the art world, a scarred artist, and lethal stalker.  Edward Kendricks did a great job with Tonio. Tonio is a believable character, traumatized by a brutal attack on him by unseen thugs.  The scars left behind are both physical and emotional.  I can believe that this character retreats into a shell and that his art changes direction with the brutality inflicted upon him.  That the attack was unexpected and undeserved only deepened the trauma left behind.  I did find it unrealistic that the police were not brought into this case especially given he was a well-known artist but PTS can make victims act illogically. Jonam was a tad less defined as a character.  Jonam was tall, good looking and efficient at his job. It wasn’t until the end of the story that I found out he was Swedish and that accounted for his name.  More of a backstory on Jonam early on would have helped. It was hard to get a feel for a connection between the two men when I could only get a handle on one of them.  The story seemed rushed at the end and the denouement resolved far too quickly for the buildup that preceded it.

Still Abstract Realism is a neat little short story that I enjoyed reading.  I look forward to more from Edward. Kendricks.

Cover: Cover Artist Reese Dante.  Cover is gorgeous.  Both models work for the characters inside the story.  Fonts are great.  Good job.