Review Tour and Giveaway for Salmon and The Hazel (Rowan Harbor Cycle #8) by Sam Burns

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK – Exclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited
 
Length: 43,000 words approx.



Cover Design: Melanie Farlow @ Clause & Effect


The Rowan Harbor Cycle Series


Book #1 – Blackbird in the Reeds – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #2 – Wolf and the Holly – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #3 – Fox and Birch – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #4 – Hawk In The Rowan – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #5 – Stag and the Ashe – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #6 – Adder and Willow – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #6.5 – In Any Light – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #7 – Eagle In The Hawthorn – Amazon US | Amazon UK


Blurb


Jesse’s only priority in life is protecting the people he loves, so he’s determined to see Rowan Harbor’s wards rebuilt. There’s just one problem: they’re missing an ingredient that can’t be ordered online.


Jesse volunteers to search for the missing component in the realm of the fae, but his boyfriend, Sean, isn’t letting him go alone. The town has an enemy among the fae, so they’ll need to keep a low profile. Along their way, they find unexpected allies, surprising enemies, and a whole host of problems.


The journey is a test of their endurance, but also of their relationship and their faith in each other. Can they find what they need and get back home in one piece in time for the summer solstice?

 

Sam wrote her first fantasy epic with her best friend when she was ten. Like almost any epic fiction written by a ten year old, it was awful. She likes to think she’s improved since then, if only because she has better handwriting now.


If she’s not writing, she’s almost certainly either reading or lost down a Wikipedia rabbit hole while pretending to research for a novel.


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Check Out the Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Review here. We highly recommend it and the entire series.

Love Fantasy? Check Out the New Release Blitz for Through the Tears (Torn Between Worlds #1) by Leigh M. Lorien (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title: Through the Tears

Series: Torn Between Worlds, Book One

Author: Leigh M. Lorien

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: July 8, 2019

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 56600

Genre: Fantasy, LGBT, fantasy, gray-ace/gray-aro, transgender, bonded, monsters, violence, anxiety attacks

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Synopsis

Huge, horrid creatures with a taste for human flesh have been invading Seacliff Manor and its surrounding lands for years. Ghouls are coming from another world through portals made of magic. No one knows why or how, but nothing good ever comes with them.

During a hunting trip, Eamon encounters one such monster and falls through a portal into the ghoul’s hellacious desert home world. Separated from his home, his friends, and his lover, with no magic of his own and no sign of other life, Eamon expects to die there…until an encounter with a lone stranger gives him hope. There is a way home. But can Eamon survive alone in ghoul-infested terrain long enough to get there?

Worlds away, the Lord of Seacliff Manor is determined to bring Eamon home. Despite all evidence to the contrary, Rafe knows his human lover is alive. It’s just a matter of finding out where. To that end, Rafe has a plan. It’s dangerous, perhaps even suicidal, but he’ll do anything to save the man he loves.

From different sides of the galaxy, the lovers fight monsters and seek magic with one goal in mind: reunion. Monsters aren’t the only things they’ll have to defeat to find their way back to each other, and the horrors uncovered along the way may be more than they can handle.

Excerpt

Through the Tears
Leigh M. Lorien © 2019
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One
Rafe

The body lay at the base of a maple tree in a crumpled heap of leathery gray flesh and black blood. Rafe studied it for a long time. Its fanged mouth hung open, eyes like black marbles gazing lifelessly at him, hands with hawk-like talons curled into loose fists in the grass. It was more than capable of killing a human—gods, it was probably capable of killing him. He turned away, forcing down the momentary surge of fear as he took in the scene, playing through the information he had.

Eamon, Lionel, Rose, and Tuomas had been hunting that morning, as Eamon had said they planned to do. Lionel was training a new bird. They were well armed. No one left the stronghold unarmed these days. Ghoul incursions were growing more frequent, and the filthy things were getting bolder by the day. Rafe had wanted to send an escort with them but let his lover talk him out of it. We’ll be fine. We’re barely going past the village.

But they weren’t fine. Lionel’s bird didn’t return when it should have. The ghoul had crept up on them while they were distracted.

Signs of the struggle were obvious all around the body. Broken twigs, displaced leaves, mud spatters up the trunks of the trees. The humans had come out victorious. Three of them had, anyway.

Thirty or so feet beyond the ghoul’s body, a cliff dropped into the sea. Ignoring his audience—the three humans who’d returned, as well as two of his rin retainers—Rafe walked past the ghoul’s corpse, inspecting the grass between the site of the attack and the edge of the cliff. Clods of soil lay in heaps where massive claws had raked it up. He wished there was some indication of Eamon’s movements, but the ghoul’s weight and erratic assault covered all sign of his human lover. Blood spatters painted the grass black. Rafe didn’t need to touch or taste the drying liquid to know it was not human. Not Eamon’s. The rotten stench of ghoul blood was as foul as raw sewage and, for once, he envied the humans their inferior senses. Someone had hurt it, and badly, right here. Eamon was not a close-quarters fighter. He was barely a fighter at all. If Rafe were a gambler, he’d put his money on Lionel and the longsword he wore.

“You say he fell,” Rafe stated. It wasn’t a question. Rose had spoken for the group, told their story in a quavering voice. If the two men were hoping Rafe would show mercy to a teary-eyed woman and thus to them as well, they were all mistaken.

“Yes, Lord,” Rose said. “Th-the ghoul tackled him, and they rolled, and…I’m not certain, I mean I-I didn’t see it myself, Lord, but…Eamon was gone when…”

Rafe walked to the very edge of the cliff and leaned forward to look down, grateful for an excuse to breathe air untainted by blood. The tension level behind him rose tangibly, but no one rushed forward to drag him back. He was their lord, not a child to be scolded for putting himself in danger. Hundreds of feet below, waves crashed and roared over a beach of jagged stone. Even with his sensitive rin hearing, little more than the faintest whisper reached Rafe’s ears from this distance. There was no question that a fall from this height meant no survival for a human. No matter what awaited at the end of the fall, no matter how strong the human.

And yet…

He had not felt Eamon die. Rafe had never had a bound companion die, so, he didn’t know from experience what it would feel like, but he’d heard others speak of it. He’d expected something…worse. He should have experienced fear as Eamon fell, pain as he crashed to the ground and his body shattered against the rocks below. It would have dropped him to his knees, put him in a state of shock.

Instead, there was a sharp surprise, fear, and then…an absence. Eamon simply was not there. He wasn’t alive, but neither was he dead.

“You are aware Eamon is bound to me?” Rafe turned to the humans, and they all bowed their heads, nodding and avoiding his eyes. “You should have protected him.”

The wind off the sea howled and whipped his dark hair around his head. Everything was cast in a dusky gray—the winter sun had not shown its face for days, and the choppy sea below was the color of cold steel. Standing at least a head taller than the tallest of the three humans, Rafe was no stranger to intimidation tactics. It wasn’t his preferred modus operandi—physical threats were so pedestrian—but it was easy, and with the gaping absence of Eamon distracting him, it was all he managed.

“I’m sure they did their best, my lord,” Kiran, his retainer, said softly.

Rafe continued to aim a cold gaze at the humans.

“I’m sure. Have search parties organized. Comb the beach and the forest in this area. I did not feel him die.” And if he was mistaken and Eamon was dead…The words hurt as they formed in his mind, but he forced them out. “If you find him, or his body, bring him home.”

Kiran bowed his head and rushed toward the manor to find willing and able individuals to carry out the command. Wind continued to buffet Rafe’s side and face, tangling his hair as it whipped around. In his imagination, Eamon was scolding him as he worked a brush through Rafe’s hair as he did every night. Would it kill you to tie your hair back once in a while? It’s like you tangle it on purpose.

If it weren’t tangled, I wouldn’t need you to brush it, would I? Rafe would reply and grin in the mirror at his lover. The thought of the familiar teasing almost made him smile. Almost.

“M-my lord,” Tuomas ventured, stepping forward as Rafe returned to the ghoul’s body. “We would like to join the search parties, if we may.”

Rafe shook his head. “No. Take this body to the manor. Have it burned.”

The three humans exchanged wide-eyed glances. The ghoul was larger than all three of them combined. Heavy as it was, it would take them hours to drag it to the manor. It seemed a mild punishment in Rafe’s eyes, for letting his lover fall over a cliff.

Tuomas and Lionel were unbound and had been for as long as Rafe had known them. Rose was bound to Elena, the manor’s doctor, and lived in the manor with her, while the two human men lived in the village outside the manor walls—together, if Rafe was not mistaken. Eamon had lived with Tuomas for some time, until he came to Rafe’s attention, and still spent the night in Tuomas’s village home on occasion. Perhaps it was cruel to punish the three of them in any way for what had happened. They were likely hurting as much as Rafe, but they were not bound to Eamon. They could not feel his absence, like the loss of a limb or an eye or an ear, like a crushing emptiness where, until mere hours ago, there had been a warm, bright presence every day for the past ten years.

“Stay with them,” Rafe instructed his second retainer, Orienna. “See that we lose no one else to rogue ghouls today.”

The woman bowed. “What of you, my lord?”

“I’m in a mood to rip something’s throat out,” he said coldly. “Let the filth try.”

Purchase

NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Meet the Author

Leigh M. Lorien is a queer author who got her start at the tender age of five, writing and illustrating her own Sonic the Hedgehog stories. Fortunately, her writing has improved in the subsequent decades. Nowadays, Leigh’s stories primarily lean toward science fiction, fantasy, and urban fantasy, but she has had some contemporary pieces sneak out of her head. Regardless of genre, her books will usually include sarcasm, strong relationships (romantic and platonic), polyamory/non-monogamy, magic, music, animals, mental illness, and less-frequently-represented queer identities.

When she’s not writing, Leigh enjoys gardening, photography, travel, music, Renaissance festivals, doing hair-color experiments in her bathroom, and going on any kind of adventure involving the outdoors (unless it’s cold, screw that). If you want to know her better or see pictures of her many fur-children, she’s most active on Twitter and Instagram.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

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An Alisa Review: Malachite (Brotherhood of Ormarr #4) by Michele Notaro & Sammi Cee

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Rating:  5 stars out of 5

Malachite~

I have a wonderful life. I have no room to complain; between my brothers and their new mates, this is the most alive our home has felt since my parents died. Unfortunately, all of them being mated is making me miserable. When it was just the four of us, it was us against the world. Now they’re paired up and it’s only me and my dragon, Kesia. Until I happen to walk into the Overlord’s Lair and I see him: Quentin. Mine. Mate. As much as I want to win him over without telling him I’m a dragon rider and we’re mates—which I know he’d love—I’m not sure I can. The minute I’m around him I act like an idiot.

Quentin~

Every time the goofy guy walks into my store, he brightens my day, and I look forward to his daily visits. There’s just something about him that draws me to him, to the point he leaves me pining after him the moment he’s gone. But the thing is, I can tell he’s hiding something, and my wild imagination is coming up with the craziest explanations of the secrets he’s keeping. Maybe he’s a vampire that’s come to whisk me away—ridiculous, right? But a guy can dream. And I’ve definitely been dreaming of that big, muscular man wrapping me in his arms at night.

Malachite is the final book in The Brotherhood of Ormarr series. While each book focuses on a different couple, the overall story arc concludes in this installment. For maximum enjoyment, we suggest reading in order. Malachite is a m/m romance, and is recommended for adults 18 years and older.

This story was the perfect ending to this series and there were a few more surprises thrown in.  Malachite is so adorable for such a big guy and Quentin is just a great guy who seems to see the positive side of things.  Again Kesia is her own dragon and I love how much she wants them to keep Quentin right away.

I was glad that this family was able to get the closure they needed after all they had been through in these books.  I hurt for them when they found out how deep the wraiths touch went in the order but loved the Quentin ended up being the one to help the wraiths once again become the dragons they were meant to be.

Malachite was so adorable and clumsy when it came to courting Quentin but most of all he is the so sweet with everyone.  Quentin hadn’t had the best childhood but his connection to the dragons from the very beginning was absolutely wonderful.  Even more I loved the epilogue and seeing how these brothers have expanded their family in the years since they freed the wraiths.

I once again loved the cover art by Jay Aheer and liked getting to see Kesia in her warrior form.

Sales Link: Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 254 pages

Publication: June 10, 2019

Edition Language: English

Series: Brotherhood of Ormarr #4

Brotherhood of Ormarr Series by different authors:

Azaran (The Brotherhood of Ormarr, #1)
by Jacki James

Zale (The Brotherhood of Ormarr, #2)
by Michelle Frost

Eeli (The Brotherhood of Ormarr, #3)
by Steph MarieBobbie Rayne

Malachite (The Brotherhood of Ormarr, #4)
by Michele Notaro

An Alisa Review: Zale (Brotherhood of Ormarr #2) by Michelle Frost

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

Davis~

It was just another job—at least it was supposed to be—but snaring the feisty blue dragon I’d been contracted to collect and her rider in my trap changed everything. Hunting dragons was my job, and I was damn good at it. I’d never missed a target. Never failed to make a delivery. So why was every step toward turning over my bounty suddenly a struggle? No quarry had ever managed to get under my skin, but something in Zale’s haunting blue eyes called to me like nothing ever had before.

Zale~

When Itsaso and I were kidnapped, we fought like hell but found ourselves at the dragon hunter’s mercy. He locked my dragon away, leaving me to face captivity alone. Now, all I have to rely on is the training that’s been drilled into me every day for as long as I can remember and biding my time, waiting for Davis to make a mistake. Or my brothers to find and rescue us. But something happened the first time I truly looked in Davis’s eyes, dark pools as deep and enchanting as the sea, and I realized I was in so much more danger than I thought. How could a ruthless dragon hunter be my perfect mate?

Zale is the second book in The Brotherhood of Ormarr series. While each book focuses on a different couple, the overall story arc continues in the next installment. For maximum enjoyment, we suggest reading in order. Zale is a m/m romance, and is recommended for adults 18 years and older.

I really liked this story and it gives some more background into what was happening in the first book, though I am starting to have my idea of who the main bad guy could be.  I guess we’ll see as the series continues.  Itsaso is much more blood thirsty that Sindri from the first book but only when it would come to protecting those she loves.  I am going to say that I don’t like Davis being referred to as a dragon hunter in the blurb for two reasons, he isn’t referred to as that at all in the book and he’s hunting wraiths or protecting his clan.

I felt for Zale and how confused he was by being kidnapped and not getting any answers.  I do like that he got the upper hand of Davis, even if Davis was just about to let him free to talk.  Now Davis, oh my, he had been hurt so bad when he lost his dragon and you could see that it still affects him today.  I could see who he really was underneath from the beginning, he was a heartless man, just doing his job but was willing to figure out the right answer in the end.  I was so glad they were able to bring Harri back from wraith form.

The cover art by Jay Aheer is once again great and the picture of Itsaso is great.

Sales Link: Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 135 pages

Publication: May 27, 2019

Edition Language: English

Series: Brotherhood of Ormarr #2

Love Fantasy Fiction? Check Out the New Release Tour and Giveaway for Zale (Brotherhood of Ormarr #2) by Michelle Frost

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Zale

Michelle Frost has a new MM paranormal dragon rider book out, book two of the four-part Brotherhood of Ormarr series: Zale.

Davis~

It was just another job—at least it was supposed to be—but snaring the feisty blue dragon I’d been contracted to collect and her rider in my trap changed everything. Hunting dragons was my job, and I was damn good at it. I’d never missed a target. Never failed to make a delivery. So why was every step toward turning over my bounty suddenly a struggle? No quarry had ever managed to get under my skin, but something in Zale’s haunting blue eyes called to me like nothing ever had before.

Zale~

When Itsaso and I were kidnapped, we fought like hell but found ourselves at the dragon hunter’s mercy. He locked my dragon away, leaving me to face captivity alone. Now, all I have to rely on is the training that’s been drilled into me every day for as long as I can remember and biding my time, waiting for Davis to make a mistake. Or my brother’s to find and rescue us. But something happened the first time I truly looked in Davis’s eyes, dark pools as deep and enchanting as the sea, and I realized I was in so much more danger than I thought. How could a ruthless dragon hunter be my perfect mate?

About the Series:

SERIES Brotherhood of Ormarr

Being a dragon rider for the Brotherhood of Ormarr is filled with adventure, but danger can lurk behind every corner with the Order of Amsel set out to destroy the riders. Azaran, Zale, Eeli, and Malachite have spent their whole lives training, but will it be enough?

The brothers lost their parents years ago to assassins, but they’ve never been able to figure out who was behind the attack. Follow the journey of these dragon riders, along with their faithful dragons, as they find their mates and discover clues that will lead to the final epic showdown.

The Brotherhood of Ormarr series consists of four books, each with its own HEA. While each book focuses on a different couple, the overall story arc continues into the next installment. For maximum enjoyment, we suggest reading in order. This is a m/m romance series, and is recommended for adults 18 years and older.

Get It On Amazon

Book One – Azaran, by Jacki James


Giveaway

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

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Excerpt

MEME - Zale

I moved down the beach, keeping my breathing even and my pace slow. Just as I reached the edge of the shadows I’d been lurking in, a joyful chuckle burst from Zale. The sound planted like a fist in my chest, gripping at my heart, and making my steps falter. What the fuck. From this vantage, I could only see his profile as he looked down at his dragon, love written into every line of his face. Emotions long since buried stirred inside me and a jealousy unlike anything I’d ever known soured my stomach. I missed that, that simple existence between two beings, that companionship, but even more confusing was that it wasn’t as if I wanted to push Zale out of the way and claim the dragon for myself… no, I wanted to sink down on the other side of him and wrap my arm around his shoulders. I wanted to be part of the bond they obviously already shared, and that didn’t make any fucking sense at all.

“D? You alright, man?” Nathair’s quiet voice in my earpiece ripped me out of my strange thoughts and back to the task at hand. I had a job to do and that was all that mattered.

With a deep breath, I kept walking, being sure to make enough noise to alert them they were no longer alone. I’d thought for a moment earlier that the dragon had sensed me with the way it seemed to stare into the darkness that was my shroud, directly at the place I’d been hiding, but it had gone back to lounging without so much of a flick of its tail. After just a moment, what I’d been waiting for happened as the air around the small beast shimmered until there was nothing but divots in the sand where it had previously been, and Zale climbed to his feet.

Stepping out of the shadows, I watched his eyes widen as he took me in. I wasn’t a small man—over six feet of hard fought muscle and scars. He turned fully toward me, the moon’s light revealing his face, and it was my own gasp that surprised me.

He was beautiful.

With his blond hair pulled back in a messy bun, all the soft angles of his face and the long lines of his neck were exposed. Creamy skin covered a lean, compactly muscled body, and I was having trouble pulling my eyes back up from the graceful arch of his bare feet in the sand.

“Are you lost?” he asked. His tone was friendly, but the suspicion was there.

“No,” I said with a shake of my head, more to get my thoughts back in order than anything else. “I heard there were some great tide pools on this beach.” As soon as the words left my mouth, I was reminded of my true purpose there, and the conviction of it rose in my breast. Reports said the man Zale had taken had come to town to look at the pools. Kidnapped and killed by this very man and the dragon resting in the breathtaking tattoo swirling around his left forearm as he’d attempted to shield a young boy. It was their justice I’d come to see done.

The chilling images of the fight that had led to two deaths flashed in my mind. Zale astride his blue beast of a dragon, leading a troop of dark wraiths, and then sending blue fire to end the life of an innocent man and the boy he’d been trying to protect. The whole nasty scene had been caught in our intelligence net from one of the satellites we regularly hacked into. With so few resources and the Brotherhood making moves all over the world, we were duty bound to do what we could, and I was there to bring Zale back to my Clan to face judgement, relieve him of the dragon he obviously didn’t deserve, and attempt to learn the identity of the person within the Brotherhood controlling the wraiths.

“Oh, well, I hope you enjoy them, then.” He walked toward the cliff, giving me a wide berth.

“Thanks.” I waited until he passed me, then spun, shooting across the sand to tackle him to the ground. His chest hit the sand with a thump, but he didn’t waste a second in trying to throw me off. Brute force wasn’t on his side, and I had it in spades, but as he shifted his hips, and slithered out of my grip, I knew exactly what Nathair had meant by wily. He threw an elbow, catching me in the cheek. My head snapped to the side and the taste of blood exploded in my mouth. I came up on my knees, letting him flip himself over only to grab his left arm and roll, shoulder first, until I was on my back perpendicular to him with his arm caught between my legs in an arm bar. I pressed on his throat with my calf, holding him down and cutting off his air as he struggled to break my hold. In a swift move, I lifted my leg off his throat and brought it down hard on his face. He grunted with the impact and I heard a crunch. He stilled for just a moment, stunned, but it was all I needed. I grabbed the sleeve out of my pocket and worked it over his hand. That was all it took and the magic worked into the woven material took over. It slithered up his arm, covering the dragon tattoo completely and binding itself to his skin, severing the connection to his dragon and keeping it trapped in its tattoo form.

As soon as Zale realized what I was doing, he thrashed wildly. “What did you do?” he screamed at me, wrenching himself from my hold and clamoring to his feet. I jumped to my feet as well, slinging sand and landing in a fighting stance. Bright red streaks ran down his mouth and chin from where I’d most likely broken his nose, but it was forgotten in his panic. “Saso!” He tore at the sleeve, trying without success to remove the material. Glittering, furious eyes lifted to me, and he charged. I pulled the taser gun from my back and fired, burying the prongs in his heaving chest and dropping him spasming to the sand.


Author Bio

Stories have always been Michelle Frost’s escape. Even as a kid, she can remember writing stories featuring her favorite cartoon characters. Now, her characters are a little more grown up, as are the stories she likes to tell. A self-proclaimed coffee addict and a bit of an introvert, she can most likely be found at any given time, on any given day with her hands on a keyboard or her nose in a book.

Author Website: https://www.michellefrostwrites.com/

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

Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/MFrostWrites

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17778116.Michelle_Frost

Author Amazon: http://author.to/MichelleFrost

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A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Healing Glass (Gifted Guilds #1) by Jackie Keswick

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 Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

This is an intriguing fantasy novel about the political machinations amongst the Craft Guild. Most of the story revolves around a city made of glass that is suspended over the ocean. When the Craft Guild arrived and needed shelter they took it over, but the glass in the city is failing and no one knows why, or how to fix it. Between the need for Minel’s skills as the glass master, and the strange obsession Regent Wark has for him, Minel is unwittingly made into a pawn of the corrupt councillors. When Minel is taken strangely ill, his friend Captain Falcon tries to help him. He is not the only male craftor suffering from a lung evil and he must be pairbound to save his life. Regent Wark tries to force Minel to be pairbound by any means necessary, forcing Minel to flee the city.

I had my doubts–I thought this was just going to be an excuse that forced Minel into having sex with Falcon. I’m glad that was not the case; not because I would have minded that as a plot point per se, but that the rest of the book would have gone in a completely different vein. I would have missed reading what is there. Although sex does ease the symptoms of his illness, the author worked hard to remove concerns of dubious consent for the main characters. There are bleak references to dubcon/noncon for other characters (off page). It’s a tale of greed, power, sorrow, pain, and betrayal. Thankfully, the author makes the relationship between Minel and his warrior Falcon the touchstone, giving the book love, hope, and friendship. I enjoyed seeing flashbacks of moments of their friendship, while watching them carve out a future amongst all that life had to throw at them. With the way his character is described in the beginning, I worried how Minel would be able to be the mate of a warrior. The author crafts Minel’s character in a believable way throughout the story, showing how adapting to this new culture and way of life brings out the best in him. Falcon’s adjustments are there too: how to live with someone else, how to communicate effectively with a loved one, how to let go of pride if it’s in the way, and how to work through fear of danger for someone else. Minel too has to learn to bend his priorities to include others.

There are many layers to this story, spanning three generations. Warriors, craft masters, and merchants have different gifts (talent, magic) in general, with variety among individuals. Elements of spirituality are subtly incorporated here. This isn’t world building in the traditional science fiction sense–no description of flora or fauna, minimal history, and only the politics pertinent to the story. This novel is more focused on human factors and infrastructure for the city since the city is a main character. For an exciting change, all the female characters are strong, smart, and talented. It was easy to picture the world created here, without being overwhelmed by wordy descriptions of the terrain. The social commentary about personal choice and freedoms, political corruption for personal greed, people in power who don’t have the knowledge or skill to govern, and giving them free rein without proper oversight packs a wallop. Still, there are individual moments in this that are filled with joy and quite enchantingly described. With the way the warrior talents are used as a major plot point, I would have liked to have felt a little more of their brotherhood.

I think fans of the author’s Dornost stories will like this too. I hope there are other novels set in the Warriors’ Guild and Merchant Guild, or even more stories in the Craft Guild since this author likes to play in different timelines. I’d love to see more about talent and shapings, with some of the side characters involved; and more of the history of this world, which I expect will be layered in with other novels. I enjoyed this story and all of its characters.

The cover was done by Pavelle Art. It is perfect for this novel, depicting an important scene from the book.

Sale Links: iBooksAmazon | Nook

ebook, 229 pages
Published: May 13, 2019, by Jackie Keswick
ISBN: 9781386061410
Edition Language: English

Series: Gifted Guilds
Book #1: Healing Glass

An Ali Review: Hunter (Roam #2) by Dez Schwartz

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Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Dr. Grady Hunter has a vampire infestation on his hands in the town of Shady Pines but he’s been deserted by those best suited to help. After enlisting Chris Reed, a techno-mage, they find the vampires might only be the tip of a deadly iceberg.

Returning home from his dream travels, Ethan Roam is eager to experiment with his newly discovered powers. But Ethan isn’t the only familiar arrival in Grady’s life. As more reminders of his dark past crop up daily, Grady and Ethan are swept up in a mystery of cosmic proportions.

Grady must fight to keep an ever-evolving Ethan on his side while being challenged by the ghosts of his past.

This was an interesting urban fantasy type story.  I did not notice this was the second book in the series when I requested to review it and I think that negatively affected my enjoyment.  There was a lot going on and a lot of characters and I was struggling to follow along.  It was not that it was badly written it was just that I had not read the first book.  Completely on me, not the author.
That being said I did enjoy this.  The author has created some interesting and unique characters and I enjoyed their various relationships with each other.  It’s action packed and entertaining from the very first page.  I liked Ethan and Grady together and I enjoyed their romance.  The side characters all added to the story and I felt they enhanced the overall story.
I would recommend this to people who enjoy paranormal romances.  I do not recommend that this be read as a standalone though. You’ll be able to follow along as I did but I think you’ll miss some of the emotional connections.
Cover:  The cover was done by Natasha Snow and I love it.  I think the colors are really eye catching and the cover fits the overall vibe of the story really well.
Book Details;
ebook, 188 pages
Published April 8th 2019 by NineStar Press (first published April 14th 2017)
ASINB07PXQYNRJ
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Free Dreamer Review: Treasure (The Lost Gods #1) by Megan Derr

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Nine gods ruled the world, until the ultimate betrayal resulted in their destruction. Now, the world is dying and only by restoring the Lost Gods can it be saved.

Nine hundred years ago, the Dragons of the Three Storms, gods of chaos, tried to destroy their land of Kundou. Only by rising up and slaying the Dragons and stealing their power was Kundou saved. Now, that power resides in the royal family and grants them the right to rule.

But that power comes at a terrible price, and Prince Nankyokukai is determined that he will be the last to pay it—even if it means surrendering his chance with the man he has waited for his entire life.

I can’t believe it took me seven entire years till I finally got around to reading “Treasure”. I don’t know why I didn’t read it sooner, but it was worth the wait.

Okay, I have a thing for dragons and mermaids and gods and pretty much everything this book had on offer. But it’s so rare to find all these things combined in one single book. Needless to say, I was utterly thrilled to find all of it rolled into one, with an interesting love story on top.

The world building was well done and not something I’ve come across before. There are several names that are actually Japanese or Russian words. But since I don’t speak either of those languages, the meaning escaped me. I’m honestly not entirely sure what to think of real languages in a completely made up world, that has absolutely nothing to do with our own. Even though I’m an atheist in RL, I’m absolutely fascinated by Fantasy religions. And “Treasure” certainly didn’t disappoint in that regard. Religion is actually pretty important part of this universe and I quite enjoyed the concept.

The romance is also vital to the story. We actually have two couples in this book. I think that was a bit ambitious and the second kind of fell by the wayside. I rooted for Kin and Kyo and thought they were absolutely lovely together. But I felt like they were the main couple of the book and kind of expected a second book about the other couple. Their romance just didn’t feel as fully realized.

The plot was full of action and I really didn’t expect the way it ended. That was one hell of a plot twist, that I definitely didn’t see coming!

As much as I enjoyed the book as a whole, it really could have used a slightly more thorough spellcheck. Several times, Kin and Kyo got mixed up and it really pissed me off. If you can’t keep your MCs apart, then maybe you shouldn’t give them such similar names! Mixing them up is a major no-go and I was actually tempted to rage quit just because of that.

The cover by Leburdendesigns is very pretty. The map is quite fitting, the MCs spend most of the book travelling.

Sales Links:  Less Than Three Press | Amazon

Book details:

ebook, 250 pages
Published January 25th 2012 by Less Than Three Press (first published 2012)
ISBN 139781936202997
Edition Language English
SeriesThe Lost Gods #1

Blog Tour for Ties of Destiny (Curse of the Crown #1) by Caitlin Taylor (excerpt and giveaway)

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Ties of Destiny Tour BannerTIES OF DESTINY

CURSE OF THE CROWN, BOOK 1

CAITLIN TAYLOR

GAY FANTASY/ROMANCE

RELEASE DATE: 10.26.18

Ties of destiny (1)


Cover designer: Dee Aditya/https://decorousanarchystudios.wordpress.com/

BLURB

When forces both inside and outside the palace walls threaten the life of Crown Prince Akoni, he finds himself in need of a guard. Someone who will protect not only him, but also his secrets – and he may have found the perfect man for the task.

Being a soldier is Jeffery’s life. He won’t be defined by his past, but fights for the present, not some future he will never see. Yet, his mandatory reassignment to the palace as Prince Akoni’s personal guard forces him to set aside his plans. His role places Jeffery in the presence of nobles whom he despises, and Prince Akoni is worse than most.

Can two men learn to trust each other, or will the secrets they carry bring about their own demise? Will having Jeffery close to him help Prince Akoni to become King – or cause more deaths? They need to depend on each other, for the sake of the future, because if they cannot, the past will only repeat itself and neither of them will survive.

If you like fantastical adventures, a blending of magic, sword fighting and technology then you will love this intriguing first installment by Caitlin Taylor.

UBL: https://www.books2read.com/u/bWz2Jz

Amazon US: https://tinyurl.com/y75vputs

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EXCERPT

Jeffrey clenched his fists, digging his nails into his palms so hard he would not be surprised to draw blood. He tried to take a deep breath, to calm himself, but his heart beat so fast, and his mind was a hazy mass of memories. A flash of a boy being hit and falling backwards, a soldier dragging him away to await his flogging. The panther tore his leash and pounced. “You’re cruel and vicious, taking your anger out on others who cannot defend themselves against you. You’re mendacious and pernicious, careless who in your path may suffer from your actions. You were born a prince, given privileges beyond reason, and all you do is squander and abuse it.”

“That’s quite enough.” The prince sat back in his chair, his gaze leaving Jeffrey to stare at his palm. He flexed his hand as if testing its movement for the first time.

Jeffrey wheezed hard, his outburst not easing his tension in the least, instead fanning it, like wind did a flame. How could the prince remain so calm? “Do you not even care a small bit about the people around you? About the pain you inflict?”

The prince rose, closing the distance between them. Jeffrey stood unflinching. He could smell the prince now, a dark and musky scent. An unwelcome spark shuddered down Jeffrey’s back. There were only inches between their faces when the prince spoke.

“Pernicious and mendacious. Those are some big words for a solider. Do you even know what they mean?”

Jeffrey’s gaze was momentarily drawn to a pair of pink lips, full and curved. He glowered but remained quiet. They were so close, he could see the prince’s eyelashes, long and curved, framing deep-blue eyes, as closed off as the rest of the prince. Yet, Jeffrey could see depth in them, a depth he knew from another. The desire sparking inside him was utterly unwelcome, and his anger flared all the more.

“You’ve been wanting to say all that to me since you first met me. Haven’t you?” The prince’s gaze bore into Jeffrey’s, almost as if searching for something. It dropped lower. A pink tongue came out to wet dry lips. His gaze lifted when he continued, “Is there more? I bet there is.”

“You callous—”

The prince cut Jeffrey off by wrapping his hand around Jeffrey’s throat. He did not press hard—yet. Jeffrey’s skin prickled where the prince’s hand lay.

“Enough.” The prince spoke quietly, his gaze drawn to his hand where it touched Jeffrey. He cocked his head to the side and frowned. Their eyes locked again. “What are you?” he asked, gentle, curious.

Jeffrey scoffed. “To you? Another toy to play with it seems.”

“Another toy? I never had one…”

The prince worried his lip, and Jeffrey found his gaze drawn to the sight.

“Play with you? I would enjoy that, but not the way you think.”

“Do you take anything seriously?” Jeffrey kept himself still. It would be easy to shake the prince’s hold, but to do so would constitute an attack on royalty. Even in his current state, he knew better; he could not cross that line. He must not.

The prince smiled wryly. “I take a great deal of things seriously. You think I don’t care, that I sit around in my castle playing games. You’re a soldier, you couldn’t possibly understand the battles I fight every day. They may not be with swords, but they are no less lethal.”

“Battles.” Jeffrey laughed. “You’ve no idea what a battle even is. You’re not even able to fight with a real sword.”

The prince’s frown deepened. “What makes you think that?”

“You practise with the marshal, and every time you leave him you’re in pain. You can hardly walk. I bet you’re covered in bruises.”

“You’re observant. This week was the first in many years that I’ve not been able to defend against him. Thanks to you.”

“Me? I wasn’t even there!” Jeffrey sneered.

“But you are. I feel you all the time…” The prince trailed off, his gaze once more returning to his hand wrapped around Jeffrey’s throat. He let his thumb move over Jeffrey’s skin.
Caitlin Taylor Logo

Caitlin Taylor is the author of the Curse of the Crown series.

She lives in the west of Ireland – that is, until the rain stops being a good enough excuse to stay indoors with a good book and mug of hot cocoa! She has lived in Germany as well as Canada, loves travelling and exploring foreign places and meeting people from different cultures and backgrounds.

Reading has always been a beautiful escape for her and she has been creating fantastical worlds in her head for as long as she can remember. Ties of Destiny is her debut novel.

With a focus on LGBT and specifically m/m romances, expect fantastical worlds to get lost in with a side of sexy men, (probably kinky) sex, sword fighting, magic and more…



Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCJTaylor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorCJTaylor

Website: https://caitlintaylorbooks.com/

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New Release Blitz for Snowed In: Nen and Anani by Nell Iris (excerpt and giveaway)

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | JMS 
 
Length: 22,312 words
 
Publisher: JMS Books 
 
Blurb
 

It is time to go to my son.


Nen waited to hear those words from the Vasilissa for fifteen rotations, since that time the snow wouldn’t stop falling. But now that he’s about to meet Anani, the love of his life, again, he’s afraid. What if Anani doesn’t feel the same anymore?


Anani, the guardian of the water element, was only seventeen when he was banished from his mother’s court. Heartbroken he couldn’t be with the one he loved, he lost control over his emotions and his power. No matter what he tried, the snow wouldn’t stop, and as a last resort, he was sent away.


When they finally meet again, Anani is hopeful but disillusioned. The law that kept them apart hasn’t changed. How will they be able to find their happily ever after?


And what happens when the snow starts falling again?

 
Excerpt
 

A third knock hushes the forest even more. Not a single insect can be heard. Is the wildlife waiting for me to leave? Is he? Would he answer if I call out to him? Or will the sound of my voice make him even more resolved to stay behind the closed door?


Before I have time to come to a decision, the door is yanked open and he appears in the opening.


The Vasilieu.


Oh, great Spirit, still my heart!


He is magnificent!


He is willowy tall and has grown so much these last fifteen rotations, reaching me to my nose, standing over a head taller than any other member of his family. He’s dressed like a commoner in a tunic and pants even plainer than my own — where’s his kaftan? The clothes hug his body and reveal every long sinewy muscle in his legs and arms.


Hair as white as newly fallen snow is parted in the middle and hangs straight to his waist. His nose, slightly upturned, gives him a mischievous look. His pale lips, imperceptibly darker than his skin color, are pillowy but set in a severe line.


But it’s his eyes that draw my attention. Pale blue eyes staring at me as if he can’t believe what he’s seeing. After a few heartbeats, they widen, and he lets out a gasp.


A wave of emotions hit me square in the chest. What was muted just moments before grows into an avalanche as though he let them loose, or lost control of them. They overwhelm me; I physically feel them, poking and prodding my breast, invading my heart. I stagger a few steps backward and sink to my knees without hesitation. I don’t avert my gaze. “Vasilieu.”


He narrows his eyes. “Do not call me that. You know my name. Use it.”


The barrage of his emotions intensifies, making it hard to breathe but easy for me to identify them. Disbelief. Uncertainty. Hope.


… Happiness?


Yes, definitely happiness.


“Anani,” I whisper. Never before have I uttered his name, not even alone in the night. Saying it now is terrifying and freeing all at once. And it feels right, as though my lips are meant to say it. Whisper it in his ear as our limbs are entwined and sweaty.


He surges forward and throws himself on his knees before me. Cups my cheeks and lets his thumbs caress my beard. His gaze flits over my face as if though he’s trying to take in all the changes that have happened since we saw each other last. The crow’s feet by my eyes. The corners of my mouth that are downturned from the lack of smiling. The first gray at my temples in a sea of black, bristly hair.


I’m an older, more tired-looking version of the man who watched him walk away all those rotations ago, while he’s more breathtaking than ever.


“Vasilieu. Don’t kneel before me. It’s not proper.”


“Nen. Oh Nen. Is it really you?” he asks as if he didn’t hear my plea. His hands explore my face; the fingertips linger in my wrinkles and lines, sending sparkles through my body. He tugs lightly on my beard and gazes into my eyes. I wonder what he sees.


“Vasilieu. Anani.” The second time I use his name is even more momentous. “Stand, I beg you.”


He sits back on his heels. “What are you doing here?” His disbelief melts away. Clearly, he trusts his own eyes and what he can see before him. Confusion takes its place. With grace, he rises to his feet, bends down to grab my hands, and pulls me to standing with little help from me. Spirit, he is strong!


He doesn’t let go.

Nell Iris is a romantic at heart who believes everyone deserves a happy ending. She’s a bona fide bookworm (learned to read long before she started school), wouldn’t dream of going anywhere without something to read (not even the ladies’ room), loves music (and singing along but, let’s face it, she’s no Celine Dion), and is a real Star Trek nerd (“Make it so”). She loves words, poetry, wine, and Sudoku, and absolutely adores elephants!


Nell believes passionately in equality for all regardless of race, gender, or sexuality, and wants to make the world a better, less hateful, place.


Nell is a forty-something bisexual Swedish woman, married to the love of her life, and a proud mama of a grown daughter. She left the Scandinavian cold and darkness for warmer and sunnier Malaysia a few years ago, and now spends her days writing, surfing the Internet, enjoying the heat, and eating good food. One day she decided to chase her lifelong dream of being a writer, sat down in front of her laptop, and wrote a story about two men falling in love.


Nell Iris writes gay romance, prefers sweet over angst, and wants to write diverse and different characters.


Email contact@nelliris.com
Web www.nelliris.com
Twitter @nellirisauthor
Facebook page www.facebook.com/nellirisauthor
Facebook profile www.facebook.com/nell.iris.12
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/nelliris
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/nell_iris/
QueeRomance Ink https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/nell-iris/

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