An Alisa Review: The Contingency Plan by Addison Albright

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

A sheltered prince. A sudden death. An unexpected choice. How will Prince Marcelo react to discovering he’s The Contingency Plan?

For eighteen years, there has been peace between Sheburat and the kingdom of Zioneven. The untimely death of a princess throws the marriage arrangement — the final phase to complete the terms of the treaty — into disarray, and the contingency plan is put into motion. Now the Crown Prince of Zioneven gets to make his own choice from among the princess’s younger siblings.

As a rare royal son in the matriarchal sovereignty of Sheburat, Prince Marcelo grew up knowing he would never marry. Never. Royal sons did not marry. Period. Except, Prince Efren isn’t from Sheburat, and he has other plans.

I really enjoyed this story.  Marcelo was drastically sheltered in his life and doesn’t know much outside the castle and not even much there.  Prince Efren throws his entire world for a loop.

I was happy and angry for Marcelo throughout this story, angry that his family hadn’t allowed him to know about the work or even their own history and happy that Efren is more than willing to give him the world.  Seeing the relationship he had with his family it’s likely that he wouldn’t see them again after he leaves with his husband but I think that may be for the better.  I just wish this story were longer and I would have been able to see how Marcelo and Efren build their life together.

The cover art by Written Ink Designs is typical for a romance but I love the setting within the words.

Sales Links: JMS Books | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 30 pages

Published: April 14, 2018 by JMS Books

ISBN: 9781634866118

Edition Language: English

J.V. Speyer on the Inspiration behind ‘Whirlwind’ by J.V. Speyer (author guest post, excerpt and giveaway)

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Whirlwind by J.V. Speyer
JMS Books LLC
 

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have J.V. Speyer here today on her tour for Whirlwind.  Welcome, Jaye.

♦︎

 

Hi, my name is Jaye and I’m here to talk about my new book, Whirlwind. Whirlwind is the story of a rock star and a mystery writer who fall in love at their siblings’ weddings. It’s a contemporary romance, and it’s my first published love story between women.

The story grew from a few different seeds. The first was my daughter. She’s been agitating for me to write a story “about girls” for a while now. Actually, she’s been requesting a story “with all girls, no romance, no kissing, and with the boys getting sent to the moon and left there” for a couple of years. (She’s eight.)  I was pretty up front with her about the need for there to be romance in a romance story, and she finally conceded that I could write a story with romance “as long as no one of any gender kisses any boys.”

So I came up with a story, and I wrote the outline, and then it sat on my hard drive for a while. Then I saw a call for submissions for stories involving characters who were opposites, and I thought, “Well, half of the work is already done for this one…”

The characters of Jo and Valeria came from a few different places. Jo is a musical prodigy, which was inspired by Prince. Her backstory was inspired by some more current events, though. Jo didn’t choose to come out. She was outed by someone she was dating, and not for good reasons.

That was inspired by legislation put forward in some US states recently. When I was a kid, some activists made a practice of outing celebrities and public figures. While that was problematic in and of itself, at the time it had its place in eroding stigma and saving lives. The legislation put forward now, in the modern era, required teachers and other adults to out children to their parents, or even to report suspicions of non-heterosexual orientations. These states had high concentrations of evangelical Christians, and I think any reasonable person would fear for the safety of children so reported.

Jo, of course, was over eighteen and no longer living at home. I didn’t want to go quite so dark in this book, but I did want to address the consequences of outing someone. In Whirlwind, it’s all in the past. Jo is still paying the price, of course. Her family doesn’t want anything to do with her, and she is treated poorly at the wedding because of it. Jo’s experiences, however, give her a lot of sympathy for Valeria.

Valeria is closeted. When she’s at home in Brooklyn she can live relatively openly, but her mother is one of the most vitriolic anti-LGBT pundits and conservative talk show hosts in the country. Thanks to some quirks of a rapidly consolidating publishing industry, they have enough shared business interests that Valeria has concerns about her future if she ever comes out. Does it make sense to throw away her family, and possibly her career, for someone she’s known for such a short time?

Valeria’s situation is a little more, er, personal. I spent most of my life in the closet. While no one in my family made a living from homophobia, there were some issues that kept me there until fairly recently. (Please note that I was not inspired to come out by a sudden romance with a gorgeous rock star, but one shouldn’t close doors to things like that. I’m just saying.)  I spent a long time thinking, “Is there a reason to do that?  Why?  Is it worth it?” 

Not every inspiration from Whirlwind came from such a heavy place, of course. Weddings, and the events around them, can bring out some of the most “unique” aspects of people’s personalities and most of the shenanigans seen in Whirlwind have their origins in real-life events that happened to me or people in my circle.

The bridal shop is based on one near my old house. I was in a wedding once, and the bride insisted on going to this salon that I swear was like being inside one of those ceramic tea sets you see in museums. It was my vision of Hell. The shop owner made a point of body shaming the bride at every turn, but she still wanted to give them her money. I don’t get it. I guess I don’t have to, it wasn’t my money, but it definitely had to make an appearance here.

The fight scene from the bridal shower?  It happened, although it happened at a wedding reception. My parents were the witnesses, not me, and apparently chairs were involved. As far as I know, the police were not involved. The thing is, weddings involve family, and often alcohol, and things get heated. And the rest of the crowd just wants something a little more entertaining than watching Uncle Egbert trying to figure out how to dance to Rihanna, so no one’s going to try to calm anything down…

So basically, all kinds of little incidents from real life combined to inspire Whirlwind. They all got folded into the batter and baked, and this is the final result. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it! 

♦︎

QSFer J.V. Speyer has a new FF romance book out:

Rock star Jo Avery didn’t have a choice about coming out, but ever since her ex outed her as bi she’s been a proud advocate for LGBTQ+ issues. Most of her family wants nothing to do with her, but her brother has always supported her. When he gets married, he wants her in the wedding party, and she has to accept.

The only problem? Her new sister in law is the daughter of conservative pundit and anti-LGBT warrior Sarah Tremblay. Sarah has another daughter, too, the beautiful and charming Valeria.

Valeria has been in the closet since she was fourteen. She’s always envied Jo’s strength and freedom, if not her path to living her authentic life. She soon finds herself falling for the fierce, pretty rocker, but coming out could cost her everything. How many risks can she take for someone she’ll only know for two weeks?

Can Jo and Valeria turn attraction into love, or will their whirlwind romance blow out before it gets off the ground?

Releases Apr 14th at JMS Books


Giveaway

JV Speyer is giving away a $10 Amazon gift card with this tour – enter via Rafflecopter for a chance to win:

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Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d476/?


Excerpt

Simon shifted uneasily in his seat. “Should I step in?”

Jo shrugged. “Seems dangerous. You’re not being paid to break up fights between conservative media hosts.” She looked up and groaned as she saw Sarah Tremblay making her way toward her. “Just when the fight was getting good.”

Simon straightened up in his seat as Sarah swept into position beside Jo. “This is not the way people should behave at an event like this. It’s supposed to be a joyous occasion, where people give the bride the material she’ll need in her new life as a wife. Not some kind of spectacle for the enjoyment of others.” She sniffed and cast her gaze pointedly at guests who had their phones out, recording the action.

Jo hated the thought of agreeing with Sarah Tremblay about anything, but she couldn’t argue either. “It’s a little bit like watching daytime television.”

Sarah stared as hotel security swooped in and separated the fighting women. The one who’d been kneed in the face was going to need an ambulance. “This is what comes from an overly permissive culture,” she said after a moment. “This is why I fight so hard.”

Jo rolled her eyes. And of course it all comes down to this. “So we can all enjoy a live action version of the Jerry Springer Show?”

Sarah curled her lip. “Do you honestly think any of this would have happened if you hadn’t showed your face here today?”

Jo lowered her eyes and laughed. “Sarah, I don’t even know those women. Any of those women. The great part of being a pariah at things like this is that no one can say they did anything because of me.”

Sarah grabbed onto Jo’s wrist with one claw-like hand. “You come walking in here with all of those tattoos exposed. That alone lowers the tone. It tells people, ‘Oh, it doesn’t matter what you do.’ And with you flaunting your sin all over the place, disobeying your mother, giving your body to anyone who wants it, wallowing in the sin of Sodom and Gomorra without shame, everyone knows who you are. They know what you do.

“They think to themselves, If she can get away with that, then I don’t have to worry about what I do. I don’t have to live a clean and wholesome life. I don’t have to behave myself in public. And then we get what we had here today.”

“Wow. You get all that from a couple of tattoos and a complete failure at reading the Bible.” Jo snorted. Her hands shook, but they were hiding under the table so it didn’t matter. “Did you miss the part about motes and beams and all that? Or the Samaritan woman? I’m, like, ninety percent sure that those people would have fought even if I’d stayed on tour.”

“You should have stayed on tour. No one wants you here.” Sarah narrowed her eyes at Jo. “If even your own mother can’t stand to look at you, why should the rest of us be troubled with your presence?”

Jo shrugged. “Take it up with Tom. Much as I love hanging out here and being harangued about my sex life, I’d rather be out there with my band mates touring.”

Sarah recoiled, nose in the air. “I can see I’m not going to get anywhere with you. Just stay away from my daughter.”

Jo blinked for a second. Was Sarah really worried about Valeria’s virtue around her? If she was, that must mean she had a reason to be. Maybe there was hope after all. As for the rest of it …

She curled her lips into a wolfish smile and stood up. As Simon stood up beside her, she dropped a hand onto Sarah’s shoulder. “Oh, Sarah. I didn’t realize. I didn’t mean to lead you on. I’m not great with subtle hints. If you wanted to ‘get somewhere’ with me, you should have been more direct. If you want, I can help you find someone who might be looking for someone a little more like you, though.” She walked out of the shower, smiling.


Author Bio

J. V. Speyer has lived in upstate New York and rural Catalonia before making the greater Boston, Massachusetts area her permanent home. She has worked in archaeology, security, accountancy, finance, and non-profit management. She currently lives just south of Boston in a house with more animals than people.

J. V. finds most of her inspiration from music. Her tastes run the gamut from traditional to industrial and back again. When not writing she can usually be found enjoying a baseball game. She’s learning to crochet so she can make blankets to fortify herself against the cold.

J. V. can be found on Twitter at @JVSpeyer, or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/JVSpeyer

Website: http://www.jessicawritesonline.com

Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/JVSpeyerAuthor/

Twitter: @jvspeyer

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14108614.J_V_Speyer

QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/j-v-speyer/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/J.V.-Speyer/e/B074G3SMMB/

An Alisa Review :Precious Moments by Casper Graham

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

Blake Hill is a twenty-five-year-old omega who’s too old to be single. No alpha wants to mate with him. He’s prettier than most omegas and he smells just as sweet as any of them, but he’s too tall and too muscular. Alphas prefer smaller-built omegas, and not a freak like him.

Mason Armstrong and Kian Evans have been alpha-mates for years. They’re ready for a third mate, preferably an omega they can agree on. Both men are thirty-seven and stable enough in their careers to not worry about their financial future.

When mutual friends set up a blind date between the three men, sparks fly, but the alphas insist on the ancient courting ritual before claiming the omega.

Do they have a future together? Or will the fire burn out before they reach the mating stage?

This was a sweet story.  Blake has been rejected by way to many alphas and doesn’t see that changing anytime soon.  Mason and Kian think Blake is the perfect omega for them as long as they can convince him.

This was an interesting world that these characters live in which many of the relationships have three people.  I loved how supportive Kian and Mason are and the old fashioned courting they did with Blake to show their intentions.  These guys seem to build a very stable family and I loved to watch it.  The only thing I didn’t like about the world they lived in was the focus on omega’s being mated younger and alphas being older.

The cover art by Written Ink Designs is nice and it a typical romance cover of the three men in the story.

Sales Links: JMS Books | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 87 pages

Published: February 24, 2018 by JMS Books

ISBN: 9781634865937

Edition Language: English

Release Blitz – Beholden by Kris T Bethke (excerpt and giveaway)

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Length: 42,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Written Ink Designs
 
Publisher: JMS Publishing
 
Blurb
 

Julian Thomas made the unpopular decision to become Beholden and focus his magic only on scrying. Because of it, he’s the best at his job and the top scryer for the Department of Extranormal and Magical Affairs. Which why Investigations Agent Wes Caldwell goes right to Julian for help locating a missing person.


When Wes needs to use his magic to boost Julian’s, they find a magical resonance between them that quickly leads to more. Julian doesn’t want to move too fast, but Wes knows Julian is it for him. He’s fine with waiting, as long as Julian stays close as they work through it.


But then Julian falls ill, and it’s clear there’s a magical reason. Wes will stop at nothing to find out what’s plaguing Julian, and when they realize just how deep the plot goes, they have more questions than answers. Magic is increasing in the world, and no one can figure out why. Julian and Wes have found love, but will it be enough to get them through what’s to come?

Excerpt
 

“Better?” Wes asked eventually. “Feel more centered and focused now?”


I nodded. Then I sat back a little so I could see his face. I wrapped my arms around his neck, and tucked my fingers down the collar of his dress shirt, not wanting to lose too much contact with his skin. “Yes, thank you.”


“First things first,” Wes said, his voice all business and his face serious. “Are we bonded?”


I sucked in a breath, surprised he’d made that leap. But he had to know that we weren’t. If we’d made a bond, even an unintentional one, he would feel the pull as much as I did. “Of course not.”


He just nodded his head, like that was the answer he expected. “But you feel better when you’re touching me. When you can pull on my magic to augment your own?”


I released a sigh, and couldn’t quite stop myself from snuggling just a tiny bit closer. I shrugged one shoulder. “Yes. Like I said, your magic fits with mine. So it’s easy and natural to use you as a source. I’m sorry about that.”


He glared at me like I had said something stupid. “Don’t be ridiculous. There’s nothing to apologize for. It’s not like you did it on purpose. Right?”


That last bit was said with just a tiny bit of accusation. I tried not to be offended. “No, I didn’t do it on purpose.”


Wes just squinted at me. “So then, we have to figure out what’s going on with you, what’s pulling on your power. Until then, you just need to stick close to me so I can keep you stable.”


I gave an indignant huff. “That’s hardly practical. We’ve both got jobs to do. You seriously can’t expect us to stay in each other’s pockets because I have a little sense of fatigue. You’re getting a little extreme there, buddy.” I tried to pull away from him but he held me fast, and gave me a look that I couldn’t quite interpret.


“You’ve got someone else that can keep your magic and your energy up?”


“Well, no,” I answered honestly. I’d never met anyone whose magic fit so well with mine. “But that doesn’t mean you can just drop everything and keep me stable. That thought is just-” I cast about for a suitable word and finally settled on, “preposterous.”


Wes just gave a snort, sounding amused. “I can do whatever I want. And I don’t want you lying in bed barely able to function. That serves no one. So you’ll just have to be ‘in my pocket’ until we can figure it out and fix you. There has to be some magical means at work here. And I am an Investigations Agent. I’ll investigate.”


His tone was playful, cajoling, and I wanted to smile, but this was too serious. We barely knew each other and, my crush notwithstanding, he couldn’t just drop everything to take care of me. He wasn’t making any sense.

 
Author Bio
 

Kris T. Bethke has been a voracious reader for pretty much her entire life and has been writing stories for nearly as long. An avid and prolific daydreamer, she always has a story in her head. She spends most of her free time reading, writing, or knitting/crocheting her latest project. Her biggest desire is to find a way to accomplish all three tasks at one time. A classic muscle car will always turn her head, and naps on the weekend are one of her greatest guilty pleasures. She lives in a converted attic with a way too fluffy cat and the voices in her head. She’ll tell you she thinks that’s a pretty good deal. Kris believes that love is love, no matter the gender of people involved, and that all love deserves to be celebrated.


Find her on her site https://kristbethke.com Facebook https://www.facebook.com/people/Kris-T-Bethke/100014524539852 or on Twitter https://twitter.com/kristbethke

Giveaway

Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions

 

A Free Dreamer Review: Dusk (Expedition 63 #1) by T.A. Creech

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

When contact is lost with Mission Control, Commander John Dennington isn’t overly concerned. Such hiccups in communication are common. The first inkling of the larger problem occurs when he sees the very shape of the world change before his eyes.

John must ease his crew into a new mission and keep the Station together by any means necessary. The crew jeopardizes their chances by fighting his orders, but Jason Weiss, his mission specialist and the light of his life, makes John’s situation more bearable.

The smallest malfunction to Station or crew would spell the end for six astronauts trapped high above a ruined Earth. It’s their mission to carry on. Random chance of the universe hasn’t operated in their favor so far, but John is determined to see them all safely home.

I’ve read plenty of books set in space but I’ve never read one that’s set on a space station in this day. I think it makes for a very interesting setting.

The blurb made me expect lots of action and suspense. It’s the end of the world, after all! But the plot is very slow to unfold and not all that much actually happens. There was one suspense-filled scene toward the end, but that’s about it.

I really enjoyed that scene but I did wish for some more action and a little more detail. We never really get to see how the six of them make this mess work. There’s quite a big time skip, so we are presented with the final solution very soon.

I didn’t expect a lot of romance from this book. And there wasn’t. That was mostly fine by me, though I would have liked a little more detail again. How John and Jason met, how they came to love each other, how they spent their lives before they went to the space station.

Having said all that, “Dusk” did have a certain kind of pull. It was quietly addicting and I found it very hard to put down. It was a very fast read and I quite enjoyed it. I was sad that it ended so soon.

If you find yourself between two books and need a quick read, “Dusk” might just be the book for you. If, however, you want an action-packed romance with lots of world building, you will probably be disappointed.

Usually, I don’t read sequels of a book that I’ve given less than 4 stars. There are too many potentially brilliant books out there to spend time on a book I’m pretty sure will only be average. However, I do want to find out how this whole mess ends, so I’m definitely interested in the next part. I think this has potential to be really awesome.

The cover is a bit of a mixed bag for me. I do like the general look of it and the colours are really pretty, but I’m not so fond of that man in the stars hovering behind the space station. I think it would look better without him.

Sales Links:  JMS Books LLC | Amazon

Book details: ebook,135 pages

Published March 17th 2018 by JMS Books LLC

An Alisa Review: No Rulebook for Flirting by Laura Bailo

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

When Gabriel goes to the annual gaming convention, planning to play as many games as he can during the next three days, he doesn’t expect to be glared to death in the parking lot by a really cute guy. So when the same guy joins the game Gabriel is playing, Gabriel is determined to make him smile, even if it takes some awkward flirting.

When Aitor makes it inside the convention center after someone steals his parking spot, he doesn’t expect to be so attracted to the man he decided to hate just a few minutes earlier. But as he gets to know Gabriel through gaming and flirting, he just can’t look away.

The game of flirting has no rulebook, but for Gabriel and Aitor, it may just have two winners after all.

This was an adorable story.  Gabriel ends up inadvertently taking Aitor’s parking space at the gaming convention and they quickly end up at the same table.  They flirt over the games and let it overflow outside the convention center.

Gabriel and Aitor both seem mostly reserved and their awkward flirting is cute.  I loved watching their interactions and how both of the characters acted with each other.  I felt so bad for Gabriel, I don’t quite know why but he had pretty much decided that he would be off the market forever since no one could want him and pretty much gives up any of his free time to be with family.  We didn’t get to see any of the story from Aitor’s point of view but were able to learn a little bit about him.   I loved seeing these two the next year at the end of the story.

I love the cover art by Written Ink Designs and I think it’s perfect for the story.

Sales Links: JMS Books | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 48 pages

Published: February 10, 2018 by JMS Books

ISBN: 9781634865753

Edition Language: English

Trying Times and Scattered Thoughts. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Trying Times and Scattered Thoughts

This week I’m still trying to wrap my head around several thoughts this week, none of which is actually coming together into an cohesive post.   That’s the impact of all the events of the last week is having on me I guess.

Without even knowing the people involved, I’m hurting for them.  And our LGBTQIA  community.  I don’t know why I would think that the harm to the  community would always come from outside. Several times that’s proven not to be the case.  Santino Hassell is not the first case of catfishing, but  he has also hurt others in far worse ways.  That story is still unraveling.

Then there is the deeply disturbing events that lead to Riptide Publishing cutting all ties to  Sarah Lyon, ex Editoral Director, and Kate DeGroot, ex freelance editor and regrouping.  So many elements there to occupy my mind, but floating to the top have been things like “POC can’t be on book covers because they won’t sell. ”  And the obvious racism that existed at every corner there for some personnel/authors.  In an age of diversity, when we are talking about Quiltbag fiction…how can we still be facing such blatant racism?

Any why was it allowed to continue?

I get the power imbalance.  How could any of those authors speak up?  It would  cost them their stories and perhaps their livelihood. Or the artists who design covers they authors get to choose from.  I bet they got the message loud and clear to begin with. But truly?  Now, here?  Isn’t it time for us to be done with this?

But then I started to look through all the stories, catalogs, tons of covers…and noticed a dearth of yes, POC.  I began to wonder….are there more people like Sarah out there  telling artists and authors in our community …”don’t put POC on the cover, it won’t sell…”.  What an insidious, mean, racist sentence.  Guaranteed to make someone without power stop and think, and perhaps pull back.

I think it’s becoming clear..yes racism is with us…even in the LGBTQIA community.  We just need to choose to recognize it.  And then deal with it in a positive manner.  Help support those authors and publishers going forward towards  diversity across the spectrum in every way.

What are your thoughts on this and this whole sorry week.  Mine clearly are still coming together….

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, March 18:

  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, March 19:

  • DSP Promo Sarah Black on American Road Trip
  • BLITZ Tomboy by Janelle Reston
  • Livingston (Trenton Security #1) by J.M. Dabney Release Day Blog
  • A MelanieM Review:Livingston (Trenton Security #1) by J.M. Dabney
  • A Stella Review One Under by JL Merrow
  • An Alisa Review: No Rulebook for Flirting by Laura Bailo

Tuesday, March 20:

  • Blog Tour Jace’s Trial by JM Wolf
  • BLITZ The Moth and Moon by Glenn Quigley
  • TOUR Cutie Pies by Barbara Bell
  • A MelanieM Review:  Mage of Inconvenience by Parker Foye
  • An Alisa Review: Captive Hearts (Deviant Hearts #1) by A E Ryecart
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: A Wild Ride (The Bullriders #1) by Andrew Grey and John Solo (Narrator)

Wednesday, March 21:

  • DSP Promo Julia Talbot
  • BLITZ The Vampire’s Angel by Damian Serbu
  • Release Blitz – Breaking the Rules by C.J. Lynne
  • A Caryn Review The Weekend Bucket List by Mia Kerick
  • An Alisa Review: The Paramedic Who Hated Jazz by Stephani Hecht
  • A Stella Review: Jace’s Trial (Trials in Abingdon #1) by J.M. Wolf (

Thursday, March 22:

  • DSP Promo S.E. Harmon
  • TOUR The Vampire’s Angel by Damian Serbu
  • RELEASE DAY BLITZ Moon Illusion by Michelle Osgood
  • An Ali Review: ​​​​Oskar Blows a Gasket​ by Al Stewart​
  • A MelanieM Review: Partner with Benefits (Kolar Creek Tales) by Val Francis
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: How to Bang a Billionaire (Arden St. Ives #1) by Alexis Hall and Joel Leslie (Narrator)

Friday, March 23:

  • DSP PROMO SJD Peterson on Going Of Grid
  • Release Day Blitz for Leaning into the Look by Lane Hayes
  • Tour and Giveaway: One Under by JL Merrow
  • A Lila Release Day Review:   Going Off Grid by SJD Peterson
  • A MelanieM Review: One Under by JL Merrow
  • An Alisa Audiobook Review: Permanent Ink (Art & Soul #1) by Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn /Kirt Graves (Narrator)

Saturday, March 24:

  • A MelanieM Review: Murder Takes the High Road by Josh Lanyon

Release Blitz – Dusk (Expedition 63: Book One) by T.A. Creech (excerpt and giveaway)

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Universal Buy Links

Length: 42,700 words approx.

Publisher: JMS Books

 
Blurb


When contact is lost with Mission Control, Commander John Dennington isn’t overly concerned. Such hiccups in communication are common. The first inkling of the larger problem occurs when he sees the very shape of the world change before his eyes.

John must ease his crew into a new mission and keep the Station together by any means necessary. The crew jeopardizes their chances by fighting his orders, but Jason Weiss, his mission specialist and the light of his life, makes John’s situation more bearable.

The smallest malfunction to Station or crew would spell the end for six astronauts trapped high above a ruined Earth. It’s their mission to carry on. Random chance of the universe hasn’t operated in their favor so far, but John is determined to see them all safely home.

Excerpt
 

“Nobody’s going to be angry if you literally can’t get a hold of them,” John tried to placate him. The wrinkled nose on his cool bronze face didn’t reassure him that Yakecen would let it go, but he had to try. His prickly friend was going to blow a gasket one day and John hated the thought.

Yakecen confirmed his fear with a shake of his head, simple crow black braid swishing against the interior panels like an agitated cat’s tail. “I don’t want to get dressed down again. The last time, the asshole on the other end of the line said she’d put a reprimand in my file if I couldn’t stay on schedule.”

That was news to him. “Who told you this?”

“Some drone in Control. I don’t remember,” he told John, the discomfort in his whole body clear as day. Yakecen wasn’t a people person on his good days and when someone had a problem with his work, it just made him dig his heels in.

John sighed and ran his index finger down the bridge of his nose. It didn’t help the headache that brewed right behind his eyes. “I’ll get it straightened out. People can’t expect everything to go perfectly all the time and they shouldn’t take it out on you.”

“Thanks, John.” Yakecen meant it, John saw it in the earnest way he thanked him. John was happy to be the buffer for his crew, especially for Yakecen, but fuck, he hoped someone would take up the duty once they back on the ground. John had plans and he couldn’t do that job full time.

John nodded and started to back out of the capsule. “So, yeah, comms are down. Just sit tight, okay?”

“Sure thing.” Yakecen ducked out of sight between the seats. “And tell whoever has the camera to knock off with the flash. It’s so bright, going off in here, that it almost gave me a headache.”

John paused. A camera flash wasn’t anywhere near that strong and the interior wasn’t that dark. And someone would’ve made a lot of racket getting past the garbage container over his head. “You see who it was?”

“No,” was the muffled answer, but his crewmember popped up again and gave John a strange look. “I didn’t see anyone when I checked. Although, how any of our guys avoided me seeing them, I’ll never know. Saito even has a problem getting in here.”

Saito was the smallest of them all, barely five feet in his socks.

“Huh.” That was peculiar. “You know, Turlach was saying the same thing. Maybe Saito knows something about it. He’s been in Destiny for a few hours now.”

“It was annoying as fuck.” Yakecen popped back out of his spot and pointed a finger at John. He hated that finger, because Yakecen always managed to have a disapproving look that matched John’s mother’s so perfectly, he thought they were clones for a second. “I don’t have a problem with the candid shots, but not while I’m working in here. It’s too dark for it.”

“Understood,” John promised.

About the Author

I am a house-parent to a rambunctious small child and happily mated to an equally rambunctious military spouse. My adventures in writing began with fanfiction, and once I was hooked I never looked back.

While I’ve always tried to make my fanfiction unique, what I enjoy most about creating original work is the ability to delve into my stranger ideas without worrying about how I might apply them to someone else’s world and characters. With my own creations, I take pride in twisting familiar tropes into something new and unexpected.

When I write, it is with the intention that my stories will leave a lasting impression. I hope you enjoy the characters and the worlds I create, and that they help you to find a place to exist, for a while, outside of your own.

–T.A. Creech

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A MelanieM Review: Promise Me We’ll Be Okay by Nell Iris

Standard

Rating: 3.25 stars out of 5

Six hundred and ninety-five days. That’s how long it’s been since Jude’s fiancé broke off their engagement. With the help of his brother and his all-encompassing love for music, Jude glued the broken pieces of his heart back together, but when his ex shows up on his doorstep late one evening, Jude fears it will fall apart again.

Two years ago, Vincent made a terrible mistake. He left the love of his life for stupid, ill-advised reasons. It took a traumatic event to bring what was truly important in his life into focus. Older and wiser, he’s now ready to do whatever it takes to win Jude back.

Their chemistry is as explosive as ever, but will they be able to work through the real issues? Can trust once broken be rebuilt?

 

I thought Promise Me We’ll Be Okay by Nell Iris was a sweet contemporary romance. In the trope of lovers reunited and second chance at love that so many people love, myself included, it’s the story of Jude and Vin’s love affair broken off by Vin leaving Jude crushed.  Now two years later Vin reappears wanting a second chance, saying he had made a huge mistake.  And Jude give it to him.  That’s the story in 92 pages.

I liked the premise.  Lovers reunited with a second chance at love is always a favorite theme of mine.  You have a support system for Jude in his brother and sister in law who helped pick up the pieces when Vin broke it off.  There is a nice start of seeing Jude as a teacher which I wish there was more of seeing that it’s his love of teaching and Vin’s inability to recognize it’s importance that leads to the split.

I think the shortness of the story works against it here.  It’s a likable story but Jude after being crushed to the point of not functioning and still in recovery mode after 2 years, immediately takes him back.  Which I found exceedingly strange without a strong narrative to support it.  Also Vin’s excuses for the breakup, while valid, haven’t exactly disappeared nor does he put forth any well thought out ideas of how he will cope in the situation exactly.  I don’t know, perhaps his character just needed a little more depth here. And again, you get little of Jude as a teacher, something so central to  him as a person and as a part of their breakup.  Instead you get music? How did that feed into Jude’s supposed lack of ambition?

No a longer story to help with the holes in the narrative and perhaps flesh out the charactions would have left this a richer story.  But as it is, its an immensely likable one.

Cover art is nice and certainly has all the right elements, right down to the long hair on the character of Jude.

Sales Links:Universal Buy Link

Book Details:

ebook, 1st edition, 92 pages
Published March 3rd 2018 by JMS Books, LLC
Original TitlePromise Me We’ll Be Okay
ISBN139781634865869
Edition LanguageEnglish

An Alisa Review: Special Delivery by Deirdre O’Dare

Standard

Rating:  3 stars out of 5

Monte’s sporting goods store is teetering on the edge of collapse due to the economic problems. The small conservative eastern California town he chose for his dream project is not welcoming, even though he keeps his gay lifestyle quiet. Then big trouble and a gorgeous package delivery driver fall into his world at the same time. Are they somehow connected?

Jeff, a special agent for Homeland Security, is working undercover to help bust a contraband and drug operation. Tracks lead to the small town of Cameron Creek, California. Who is the crime ring’s contact at this end? As a delivery driver, Jeff is scoping things out. When he meets Monte, he is smitten at once, but evidence begins to link this new friend to the case. Jeff has every reason not to pursue a relationship, but can he stop himself?

I can’t say this was a good or bad story but I couldn’t connect with it either way.  Monte’s dream store hasn’t been doing nearly as well as he had hoped.  Jeff hopes befriending Monte will help his case but doesn’t expect anything to come of it.

Monte seemed very trusting and was accepting of his fate in regards to his store and even second guesses everything between him and Jeff.  Jeff is undercover when he meets Monte but doesn’t seem able to stop himself from getting to know the man.  I’m not sure if it’s Jeff’s instant distrust and dislike when he sees something that may incriminate Monte or what but these guys seemed to involved for the very little time they spent together.

The cover art by Written Ink Designs is cute and was the first thing that caught my eye.

Sales Links: JMS Books | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 47 pages

Published: September 12, 2018 by JMS Books

ISBN: 9781634864923

Edition Language: English