A Free Dreamer Review: Time Turns (Out of Time #4) by C.B. Lewis

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

As a consultant analyst for the most technologically advanced firms in the country, Danny Ferguson knows he’s seen a lot of crazy stuff, but nothing comes close to his newest position at the Temporal Research Institute, the world’s foremost time travel organisation.

The corrupted piece of code Ferguson found on the TRI’s closed network is a serious concern for Lysander O’Donohue, the director of the TRI. Unable to trust his own people—any one of whom might be the source—he’s forced to put all his trust in Danny to solve the mystery of the corrupt code and find the identity of the enemy within.

But when an unexpected temporal gate opens, a straightforward code analysis becomes something a lot more complicated.

I read and really enjoyed part three of the series, so I was eager to get my hands on the next book. And Time Turns certainly didn’t disappoint.

While this is part four of an ongoing series, I think it works perfectly fine as a stand-alone. The protagonists from part three get barely any on-page scenes and the important events are summed up early on. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t read part three, though, because it’s just as good as this one, albeit quite different.

Coding isn’t necessarily something I’m crazy about. The few times I’ve been exposed to it, I found rather boring. But this book actually made it seem really fascinating. The way Danny works with it is like a new form of art. You don’t need to understand it to appreciate its beauty. And the author didn’t delve too deeply into the theory, so it never got boring or confusing.

I was utterly captivated from the very beginning and I used every free second to continue reading. Neither of the protagonists actually did any time-traveling and there wasn’t actually all that much action. But somehow there was this suspense that just made it extremely hard to put down the book. This is the kind of book that should come with a special warning: “Do not read if you don’t want to be late.” Seriously, I was almost late for work more than once.

Lysander is a really interesting guy. He’s a very private person and has some unexpected secrets. And Danny is just plain adorable. Sure, he’s cocky and overconfident, but also extremely loyal and hard-working.

I absolutely loved the relationship dynamic. Danny was so mindful of Lysander. And Lysander never took advantage. The progress felt natural and the sex scenes, while few and far between, were really hot.

As for the mystery part, the revelation of the bad guy was completely unexpected to me. I don’t read a lot of mystery, though, so maybe an avid crime/mystery reader could have deduced who the culprit is sooner.

Overall, “Time Turns” was a brilliant book and my first 5-star-book of the year. And it’s made me even more eager to read the rest of the series.

The cover by Natasha Snow fits with the rest of the series and the story, but it’s a little nondescript. I’m not a fan of covers where the models make up the largest part of the design.

Sales Links:  NineStar Press | Amazon

Book details:

ebook, 400 pages

Published September 16th 2019 by NineStar Press

Out of Time Series

Time Waits

Time Lost

Time Taken

Time Turns

Out of Time

Love a Time Travel Story? Check Out the Blitz for Out of Time (Out of Time #5) by C.B. Lewis (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title: Out of Time

Series: Out of Time, Book Five

Author: C.B. Lewis

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: January 20, 2020

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 113100

Genre: Science Fiction, LGBT science fiction, time travel, gay, bisexual, asexual, British, dirty talk, family drama, PTSD, panic attack, unending innuendo and teasing

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Synopsis

For Ben Sanders—traitor, thief, and temporal orphan—time is running out.

After three years as a fugitive, with the police task force led by Lysander O’Donohue and Jacob Ofori hot on his heels, Ben has to resort to desperate measures to evade capture and find the key to locating his missing father, lost in time for over two decades. With secrets and conspiracies at every turn, the net grows ever tighter around him.

Haunted by the people he betrayed, the loved ones he left behind, and the lives he ruined, it’s too late to stop now. But no matter what Ben does, there’s no escaping his past.

With this exciting conclusion to the Out of Time series, it is recommended to read the first four books for full enjoyment.

Excerpt

Out of Time
C.B. Lewis © 2020
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One
The house was unnaturally quiet.

It looked the same as usual: portraits of a family—mother and baby, father and toddler—on the walls, a scatter of Lego and jigsaw puzzles on the floor, a forgotten coat slung over the bannister at the top of the stairs.

The man walked onwards towards the staircase.

It was too quiet.

All he had to do was call out and break the silence, but he couldn’t.

Run and hide.

That was what his dad had told him. He had done what he was told.

The front door was cracked open, a thin slice of pale morning light cutting across the patterned tiles on the hall floor. It stretched on towards the lab, which was impossible. The sun was too high for it to stretch so far.

Something wasn’t right.

The stairs creaked underfoot as he crept down. The tiles in the hall were cold. His clothes were soaked. He didn’t remember why. They were wet, and he was cold, and it was all too quiet.

He saw—did he?—the body. A sheet. A shoe on a foot from under it. He saw it. A glimpse. He walked closer, and the sheet was still there. He reached out and grabbed the sheet to see the face of the one who did it.

There was nothing there. No one. The sheet fell from his numb fingers, vanishing before it hit the floor, and he walked onwards.

The door was open, no longer secret. They had cleaned the bloodstains, but he’d heard them talking quietly when they thought he couldn’t hear, and the handprints were back, smeared on the wall. Whose? He didn’t know.

Light shone up from the basement. The walls were white where they weren’t red. It wasn’t silent down there. The electric crackle of power hummed around him as he made his way down. It should all have been bigger. When he was there the first time, it all seemed so much bigger. He remembered the crackle, too, and knew what it meant.

Their secret, something no one had ever known.

He crossed the floor of the laboratory, ignoring the computers and the information all over them. The sound was coming from the next room, and he knew what he was going to see.

The temporal gate connected, blazing with light. The man standing before it, barely more than a silhouette.

“We’re running out of time.”

The voice was familiar, but it was wrong too, not the voice he remembered. Too many years without. Too many years of his memories being worn away. He couldn’t remember it now, not exactly, not the intonation, not the lilt or the accent.

He tried to speak, but his throat was closing up. He reached out towards his father, trying to catch him before he did what he always did. His fingers passed through his father’s shoulder as if it was nothing more than a shadow; then his father stepped through the gate. The world blazed white, dazzling him.

“No!” He ran towards the gate only to collide with a solid wall. Wall on all sides. Enclosed. Trapped. He was somewhere safe. Safe and closed and dark and alone until Dad came for him. The door was sealed and there was no way out, and in the dark he screamed—

Ben Sanders jolted, sitting bolt upright, panting. Iron bands squeezed his chest. He twisted frantically towards the glowing nightlight on the stool beside his bed. Staring at it, he counted down from thirty until his heartbeat evened out, and he could breathe again. He always kept the lighting low throughout the studio in case the nightlight failed. A shaft of white cracked through the ajar bathroom door. Not dark. Never dark.

His sheets clung to him, soaked with sweat. He pushed them aside and got out of the bed on unsteady legs. It took more effort than he liked to make it to the bathroom. He sank to the floor to sit by the toilet. The porcelain was cold as he propped his elbow on the seat, his fingers sinking into his sweat-matted hair.

Every night, it was getting worse. He knew why. How could he not? With every day that went by, he took another step closer to the day that would ruin his life. Time, time, time. That was what it came down to.

His stomach clenched, and he vomited, acid burning in his throat.

Any day now.

He got up and filled a glass of water at the sink. His reflection seemed more like someone half-dead, pale, with deep shadows beneath his eyes. He needed to rest, but not now. Not with his heart still pounding and the faint echo of his father’s voice lingering in his ears.

There was still so much to do.

Purchase

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

Meet the Author

C.B. Lewis is small, Scottish and writes pretty much anywhere, any time. She loves to travel and tends to bring home at least four new plot bunnies from every trip she goes on. She’s very excited to continue the adventures of the Out of Time series.

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Review Tour and Giveaway for Something Wild by Anna Martin

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Length: 67,000 words
 
Cover Design: Alexandria Corza
 
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
 
Blurb



The South Pacific Archipelago is home to a tiny island community of around three hundred scientists… and twenty thousand dinosaurs. As a paleogeneticist, Kit Sterling leads a team studying the dinosaurs to unlock the unanswered questions of evolution.


But there is something more dangerous than dinosaurs on the islands.


Head ranger Logan Beck discovers evidence of poachers, while rumors of a black market for dinosaur leather swirl around the community. Kit and Logan haven’t always gotten along professionally, though that has nothing to do with their attraction to each other. So when they’re thrown together to save an injured infant dinosaur, their professional disdain turns into a clandestine romance.


With not just the injured dinosaur at risk, but all of the precious dinosaurs on the islands too, Kit and Logan have to figure out how to balance their budding romance without letting their careers go extinct.

 
Author Bio
 

Anna Martin is from a picturesque seaside village in the southwest of England and now lives in the Bristol, a city that embraces her love for the arts. After spending most of her childhood making up stories, she studied English literature at university before attempting to turn her hand as a professional writer.


Apart from being physically dependent on her laptop, Anna is enthusiastic about writing and producing local grassroots theater (especially at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where she can be found every summer), going to visit friends in other countries, and reading anything thatís put under her nose.


Anna claims her entire career is due to the love, support, prereading, and creative ass kicking provided by her best friend Jennifer. Jennifer refuses to accept responsibility for anything Anna has written.


https://www.annamartin-fiction.com/
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Don’t Miss Out on the Release Tour for The Shoreless Sea (Liminal Sky Book 3) by J. Scott Coatsworth (excerpt and giveaway)

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The Shoreless Sea - J. Scott Coatsworth

J. Scott Coatsworth has a new queer sci fi book out, the final book in his Liminal Sky trilogy: “The Shoreless Sea.” And books one and two are on sale!

As the epic trilogy hurtles toward its conclusion, the fight for the future isn’t over yet. It could lead to a new beginning, or it might spell the end for the last vestiges of humankind.

The generation ship Forever has left Earth behind, but a piece of the old civilization lives on in the Inthworld—a virtual realm that retains memories of Earth’s technological wonders and vices. A being named Lilith leads the uprising, and if she succeeds in setting its inhabitants free, they could destroy Forever.

But during the generation ship’s decades-long voyage, humanity has evolved. Liminals with the ability to connect with the world mind and the Inthworld provide a glimmer of hope. They’ll have to face not only Lilith’s minions, but also the mistrust of their own kind and persecution from a new government as homotypicals continue to fear what they can’t understand.

The invasion must be stopped, the Inthworld must be healed, and the people of Forever must let go of their past and embrace what they’re meant to become.

Series Blurb:

Humankind is on its way to the stars, a journey that will change it forever. Each of the stories in Liminal Sky explores that future through the lens of a generation ship, where the line between science fiction and fantasy often blurs. At times both pessimistic and very hopeful, Liminal Sky thrusts you into a future few would ever have imagined.

Dreamspinner | Amazon | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Google Play | QueeRomance Ink | GoodreadsGet Books One and Two on Sale!

Liminal Sky Series sale

The eBook for book one in the Liminal Sky trilogy, “The Stark Divide,” is just 99¢, and book two, “The Rising Tide,” is $1.99 at all vendors:

The Stark Divide Buy Links – 99¢Dreamspinner | Amazon | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Google Play

The Rising Tide Buy Links – $1.99Dreamspinner | Amazon | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Google Play


Giveaway

Scott is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card with this tour, along with three eBook sets of his Oberon Cycle trilogy. For a chance to win, enter via Rafflecopter:

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Excerpt

MEME-Shoreless-Sea-03

Kiryn Hammond-Clarke floated in the darkness of space, stars he’d never seen in person twinkling against the velvety black depths.

The voice came to him from out of nowhere. “Can anyone hear me?”

In his dreams, he could hear. Like when Belynn let him ride in her mind.

The voice repeated, sounding stretched and thin. “Is anyone out there?”

In the distance, a single star glowed brighter than all the others, though it was still just a small golden dot.

Kiryn reached out toward the light, his hand naked to the cold of the void.

Ice crystals formed on his arm, hardening it in place. The cold reached into his bones like knives of frozen glass. It raced up his bicep, the burning cold fire of the void.

He snatched back his arm, but he was too late. The freezing grip reached his heart, and he screamed silently—

Kiryn awoke with a start, sitting up in bed in his dorm room drenched with sweat. He ran his hands through his dark hair, letting them come to rest clasped behind his head.

First Light flashed past in the trees outside his window, brightening up the room.

The world was utterly silent.

The silence, his constant companion since birth, was particularly soothing after his rude awakening. It wrapped itself around him like a blanket, a suit of armor, a barrier between him and the hustle and bustle of the outside world.

Between him and emotion.

He held his arm out for inspection, half expecting it to be blackened by the void. Instead, it looked perfectly normal. Warm and tan, halfway between his mothers’ sepia and white skin tones.

He shivered at the memory.

The bed moved under him, and his date from the night before sat up, his mouth moving soundlessly.

The man was handsome, a Thyrean sent to the university at Micavery for his higher schooling—long limbs, blond hair shaved short, warm brown eyes.

His name was Dax. Or Zack. Or something.

Kiryn’s lipreading was decent, but he hadn’t bothered to spend too much time learning this one’s name. Dax or Zack hadn’t seemed to mind much.

Kiryn pointed at his ear and shook his head.

The man’s mouth closed, and he blushed. “Sorry. I forgot.”

That one was easy enough to read.

He grabbed the piece of cotton paper and a pencil Kiryn kept at his bedside just for that purpose and scribbled something out longhand, then handed it over to him.

It’s Dax. And are you okay?

Kiryn stared at him. Did you just read my mind? Maybe there was a little Liminal in him. He laughed, wondering not for the first time what it sounded like from the outside. It felt clunky and awkward on the inside.

He sighed and took the paper and pencil.

Dax’s hand lingered over his for an extra second before letting go.

Bad dream. Class in fifteen minutes. He hesitated, then scribbled, Dinner?

Dax took the paper, and a grin lit up his face. His eager nod needed no translation. I work at the hatchery until six. Meet me there?

Kiryn nodded and grinned.

Dax slipped out of bed and pulled on his trousers and white shirt, the V-neck showing off his chest to perfection.

Kiryn sat back with his hands behind his head, admiring the view.

He leaned over, kissed Kiryn on the cheek, and mouthed, “See you.”

When Dax left, Kiryn grabbed a change of clothes and headed down the hall to the dorm bathroom. He hopped into the shower, using the aromatic red berry soap bar his mom and mamma had sent him from the Estate. The smell transported him, and he closed his eyes and imagined himself standing among the long, even rows of red berry vines that arched across the hillsides.

His parents worried about him, out here alone, but it was Andy who had insisted he go.

When Kiryn had been born congenitally and profoundly deaf, Andy and Shandra had learned sign language from the world mind in vee.

There were so few other deaf people in Forever. So few like him.

The day before he was set to leave for university, to catch the public wagon headed for Darlith and then Micavery, he’d had a huge panic attack.

His parents had sat him down along with his sister, Belynn:

 

“I’m scared. Why do I have to go away?” He was fidgeting, nervous.

“You have to go. There’s nothing here for you.” Andy indicated the Estate, where the family had built a thriving agricultural business on the backs of Trip’s and Colin’s earlier work.

You’re here.” His hands signed it while his knee bounced up and down.

Andy shook her head. “This is our place. You need to go.”

He flushed. “I’m sorry. I didn’t realize I was such a burden.”

“No.That was emphatic. “That’s not what I meant. We don’t want you to get trapped here, working on the Estate for the rest of your life. There’s a whole world out there for you to explore.” She looked up at Shandra, who nodded.

“I’ll go with him,” Belynn said and signed it at the same time, but he could hear her inside his head too.

Mom could do that, too, of course, but she had to touch him to do it.

“You’re not ready.” Shandra glared at Belynn and shook her head.

“I’ve been with Kiryn in every vee class since I was born. I’m only two years younger than he is. Let me go with him to help.”

Kiryn frowned. He wasn’t sure he wanted his little sister tagging along after him, cramping his style. If he decided to go.

Belynn’s hand found his, palm to palm, and he could feel her emotions. We can take care of each other. That thought was private, just for him, inside his head.

Maybe so.

Andy looked at Shandra. “They could take care of each other.” She echoed Belynn’s thought and touched Shandra’s hand. Something passed between them.

Shandra looked at him and then at Belynn, uncertainty clear on her face. “We could… try it.”

Belynn squeezed his hand. “Yes!”

“For a semester.” Andy kissed Shandra on the forehead.

Kiryn thought about it. It would be nice to have someone close by, just in case. Someone who really knew him. “Okay.” And it would be a lot less scary.

Now he was here, and Belynn wouldn’t be far behind.

Where are you, big brother? Belynn’s insistent voice.

I’ll be back in a minute. He pulled the towel from its wooden peg, dried off his hair and shoulders.

A couple of the other guys in the dorm, Stave and Trevor, waved on their way to their own showers. Cute as hell, but straighter than the old antenna on Micavery’s village green. Well, except when Stave got drunk on red berry wine….

Kiryn grinned. He pulled on his trousers and shirt and padded back to his room. Belynn was waiting for him on his bed. “How did you get in?” he signed.

They touched palms, the emotions flowing between them and synching.

“Easy. Aric at the front desk is a sucker for a pretty girl.”

“Like I said, how did you get in?”

She stuck out her tongue at him. “Come on. We’re going to be late.” She tugged him off the bed, and Kiryn barely had time to grab his carry sack before she had him out the door and down the hall.


Author Bio

J. Scott Coatsworth

Scott lives between the here and now and the what could be. Indoctrinated into fantasy and sci fi by his mother at the tender age of nine, he devoured her library. But as he grew up, he wondered where the people like him were.

He decided it was time to create the kinds of stories he couldn’t find at Waldenbooks. If there weren’t gay characters in his favorite genres, he would remake them to his own ends.

His friends say Scott’s brain works a little differently – he sees relationships between things that others miss, and gets more done in a day than most folks manage in a week. He seeks to transform traditional sci fi, fantasy, and contemporary worlds into something unexpected.

A Rainbow Award winning author and Science Fiction Writer’s Association (SFWA) member, he runs Queer Sci Fi and QueeRomance Ink with his husband Mark, sites that bring queer people together to promote and celebrate fiction reflecitng their own reality.

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

Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/jscottcoatsworth

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

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

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8392709.J_Scott_Coatsworth

Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/j-scott-coatsworth/

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/J.-Scott-Coatsworth/e/B011AFO4OQ/

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A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Space Train by David Bridger

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Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

The blurb says this is like Firefly meets Wagon Train and that is accurate. This is the best world-building I have read in a long time that wasn’t contained in a bubble: meaning the reader isn’t just given enough to advance the plot at that moment, and that not just one location was looked at in detail. Almost everywhere they went was looked at in enough detail, showing urban and rural areas, to get a sense of place except planet Main. The only thing shown about Main is the murder and betrayal games the elite play. As they are the bad guys in this scenario it may seem strange, but don’t we already know what they look like? They have a ruling Primary class that is white, homogeneous, and hereditary. Their economy is about to collaspe and they are running out of resources in the planet system they control.

There are so many different types of ships and flying described, as is landing and docking, ship engineering and design, and navigational systems too. Then there are all the planets, cities and aliens–although all humanoid. This is an author who delights in giving the reader different cultures and landscapes. These planet systems are linked by travel through wormholes for trade and exploration. In fact, it’s almost as if the story is just a reason to go on a journey from one place to another. That’s alright, because it’s vastly entertaining and fun to picture it all. The plot is the age old tale of greed, corruption, racism, control of labour, the mismanagement of resources and imperialism. So, the plot is nothing that shocking, just very complex.

This has a huge cast that the reader learns about through their actions, words, and thoughts gleaned by the Clear, a blue skinned race of telepathic beings, some of which are monks. I couldn’t help but think of the Delvian of Farscape. At first, I was excited because everyone is represented here: different colors, different sexualities, different classes, different abilities, even accents and other languages are explained. There m/f, m/m, and f/f pairings, even a trans character. However, the main relationships where intimacy is shown are all m/f. If the author can explore the tentative start of two relationships, and the reestablishment of romance in a marriage, he can certainly describe the reunion of the only m/m couple after they have been separated eight years. (This book is non-explicit, with no on page sex.) All of these situations are cleverly used to get the reader emotionally attached to the human element, which I appreciated. It would be easy to get lost in the politics and scenery otherwise.

The main characters tying everything together are the Russell family. Being people of color, they have no love of the racist elite of planet Main. They are all still mourning the loss of loved ones in the previous war due to the rulers of Main, who made them a target of the Binaries. They own the Wagon Train and each of them (Tom, Rain, Ellen, and Mark) has a hand in everything that happens. Tom, Captain of the Mary Mackin, a huge ship that carries families and their smaller ships, and supplies to a new homeworld, has the largest role in this book. The best thing about Tom is his lack of hyper-masculinity. He isn’t embarrassed about feeling fear, or that people know it. He still does what he needs to in spite of it. He takes his responsibilities seriously, and cares for his people. Tom is still traumatized by Saxe’s torture of him during the war, and the death of everyone on his ship. Saxe is relentless like The Operative from Firefly, and could easily become Kylo Ren from Star Wars in future books, killing his father and taking over everything. For now though, The Ten of Main send Saxe to find out where Tom takes his passengers–he also wants his own revenge for Tom’s previous escape. The reader won’t learn too much about Mark in this book, and his husband Richard is also underutilized. Yet, the strong female characters of Ellen and Rain are a pleasure to read. I hope they get their own books. There are a plethora of strong women characters here, whether businesswomen, settlers, mothers, crew, monks, or spies. I also enjoyed that the most intelligent beings, with the best technology are not human, are not even mammalian.

I loved reading about the planets: Red, Willerby, Clear, and Anza. I liked the religions versus spirituality explorations of all the different people and places. I liked how even tiny details are throw in, like the concern of black hair care with such dry spacecraft air. I liked them building houses and the sense of community. I felt a sense of joy, a celebration of science, art, love, and life…all being overshadowed by the war that is coming, the war that is already here. This has an end, and yet there is still a the threat coming from planet Main and Saxe isn’t going away. This was so good. Could a follow up novel be as good? I don’t know, but want to find out, soon.

The cover design is by Roe Horvat. It has a space feel, and communicates danger, but not the intricate nature of this novel.

Sales Link:  Amazon | Beaten Track Publishing |

Book Details:

Kindle Edition and paperback from the publisher, 318 pages
Published August 29th 2019 by Beaten Track Publishing
ASINB 07WNDCBGD

Belinda McBride on Writing, HFN, and her new release An Uncommon Whore (An Uncommon Whore #1) 

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An Uncommon Whore (An Uncommon Whore #1) by Belinda McBride

Dreamspinner Press
Published August 27th 2019

Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson

Buy Link:  Dreamspinner Press |  Amazon |  Barnes and Noble:

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Belinda McBride here today on tour with her new release An Uncommon Whore. Welcome, Belinda, and thank yo for agreeing to answer our author questions.

✒︎

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview  with Belinda McBride

  • How much of yourself goes into a character? 

I don’t think a writer can avoid inserting themselves into a character to some point. I mean, we all bring our own feelings, experiences and expectations when we read or write. But I think for me, I write characters I’d like to know…or who I’d like to be.  I guess there’s some projection going on there. I wish I were as steadfast as Griffin Hawke or as accepting as Lefi Drahan, or as uninhibited as Belle Oakley.

  • Does research play a role into choosing which genre you write?  Do you enjoy research or prefer making up your worlds and cultures?

I wind up doing a LOT of research regardless of genre. I am constantly Googling obscure poets or gods or trying to figure out what sort of trees could possibly survive on a specific planet. But it wasn’t until I tried my hand at a Civil War era novel that featured a hero that was half Muscogee and visits London in 1871 that I knew I was in over my head! LOL!

  • Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

Since I write romance, I’m committed to a HEA…eventually. LOL! Helios and Griffin from An Uncommon Whore get a HFN in their books. They’ll get their HEA eventually.

  • Do you read romances, as a teenager and as an adult?

Yes, I stumbled across my first romance when I was in Jr. High. It was Devil’s Cub by Georgette Heyer and set a high standard for my love of romance. I love historical romance and I particularly love an unapologetic anti-hero. The romances of the ‘70s and

‘80s were really not to my taste and I set them aside for a long while. I plunged back into romance when I picked up a Christine Feehan paranormal romance and started devouring the genre like I’d been starved!

  • How do you choose your covers?  (curious on my part)

I don’t always get to choose them, since most of my work is with publishers. But I had a lot of input into the new Uncommon Whore cover. I wanted it romantic but reflecting the fact that it’s science fiction. And I wanted it to jump out at the viewer, both from thumbnail size and paperback size. I think we succeeded with this one!

  • What’s next for you as an author?

I’m continuing on the re-release of the Uncommon Universe books and trying to prepare some of my older material to be re-released. For new material, I have a paranormal m/m/f that’s almost ready to go, and an Mpreg (!!) in development for next year. I have several WiPs that are really overdue for some attention as well. And of course, I’ll have another Helios and Griffin book out eventually.

  •  What traits do you find the most interesting in someone? Do you write them into your characters?

Flaws and weaknesses fascinate me. Addictions, self-destructive tendencies, emotional damage and so on. I’ve met people who’ve battled demons and prevailed. Some of my characters have terrible weaknesses. Helios tends to be indolent and vain. Griffin is jealous and overprotective. Afton (the Bacchi) is puritanical and judgmental. Dierdre Dayspring is depressed. Caius is an addict of a different sort. These are all building blocks to develop character and conflict.

  •  Have you ever put a story away, thinking it just didn’t work?  Then years/months/whatever later inspiration struck and you loved it?  Is there a title we would recognize if that happened?

The Bacchi comes to mind. I set that aside for about 3 years. In fact, when I returned to it, I had to re-write what I’d started because my writing had evolved during that time! When I Fall went through several false starts as well. 

  •  Have you ever had an issue in RL and worked it through by writing it out in a story?  Maybe how you thought you’d feel in a situation?

Well, my readers will recognize that addiction and human trafficking are recurring topics in several of my books. Addiction is a nasty feature in my family—both on my mother and my father’s side of the family. When I wrote The Bacchi and Prince of Faith, a loved one was battling opioid addition. Human trafficking…a friend of mine vanished into forced labor. We’d track him down and make contact and the people who had him would move him. He’s a legal immigrant and a skilled chef, and in the end, he was high profile enough that they couldn’t keep him because his loyal “fans” followed him from restaurant to restaurant. But it took years and did a lot of damage.

  •  What’s the wildest scene you’ve imagined and did it make it into a story?

Yeah…sex while falling from the sky. I did write it. In fact, I should put it up as a freebie…LOL!

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

The general chaos of the world cripples my writing, and I had to learn to wean myself from TV and social media. I think some real-life seeps into my writing but I try to avoid inserting contemporary events. Or if they’re included, there’s goodness. In An Uncommon Whore, the refugees of a planet-wide destruction are rescued by alien people they didn’t even know existed. And as the story continues, the Vash and the Somian and others continue to ally with them, helping them recover. Maybe I’m modeling how I believe. people should be in real life.

 

Blurb:

An Uncommon Whore Story

Pasha is a slave, whoring for travelers at the most treacherous bar on Warlan. The day Pasha spots the dangerous pirate in the bar, he knows he mustn’t let the stranger slip away, no matter what he must do to draw his attention. 

Captain Griffin Hawke spent the better part of a decade searching for his lost king, only to find Helios Dayspring crouched between his legs, swathed in the robes and shackles of a whore. Though he is appalled by the downfall of his king, Grif falls for the sensual creature who has taken his place. After a brutal invasion stripped his people of nearly everything, they desperately need Helios to lead them. But returning him to throne means smuggling him off the planet, disabling the chip that keeps him submissive and forgetful. They will face old enemies, traitors, and greedy opportunists who’d like to strip their new planet of its wealth. 

It might mean Grif losing his lover… and they’ve both lost too much already.

Second Edition
First Edition published by Loose Id LLC, January 2010.

About the Author:

Belinda is an award-winning, top selling author of erotic romance, speculative fiction and LGBTQ romance. She lives in far Northern California with her family and a pack of Siberian Huskies and a few rogue Salukis

A graduate of CSU Chico, she managed to attend the notorious party school without once getting drunk, arrested or appearing in a “Girls Gone Wild” video. Her main focus of study was classical and archival history, cultural anthropology and 

theatre arts.

After several years in the workforce. Belinda purchased a laptop computer and from there, never stopped writing.

Social Media

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Belinda-McBride-49209583129/

Website: www.belindambride.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/belinda.mcbride/

A Lila Review: The Demon of Hagermarsh (Virasana Empire: Sir Yaden #1) by Beryll Brackhaus and Osiris Brackhaus

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Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

“The Emperor cares for each and every one of his subjects.”

Many consider the catchphrase of the imperial Lotus Knights to be nothing more but well-polished propaganda, but for Yaden, it is a way of life.

A young Lotus Knight himself, his first mission in service of the Emperor sends him to the remote village of Hagermarsh, a suspiciously friendly place on a planet known for its inhospitable people. But how to uncover a demonist coven when nothing bad ever happens?
Getting to know the villagers only makes things more difficult – the motherly fishmonger surely isn’t a demonist. Nor the gruff leader of the local militia. And definitely not the cute baker from across the street.

Or are they?

Come discover a dazzling, hopeful universe of knights and monsters, of psions, aliens and ancient deities! The Demon of Hagermarsh is the first book of ‘Sir Yaden’, an epic SF saga of grand adventure, romance, bromance and family, set in the multi-faceted Virasana Empire. It is a romantic adventure and can be read as a standalone.

The Demon of Hagermarsh is a well-written mix of paranormal and sci-fi elements. It transcends the MM Romance genre and set itself apart with a great set of characters and mystery elements. The descriptions include all senses and it’s easy to feel and understand Yaden since the reader is part of him.

It does have slow spots and lengthy descriptions but they can be appreciated when they become relevant further in the story. The battles and explanations could have been shorter but it helps the overall story.

The characters are three-dimensional and the reader gets a chance to cheer for their future. I wanted a bit more of Darios since he’s an important part of the memory chapters, but not much of the regular ones. I was intrigued by him and the possibilities of his future.

I like Colin and the innocence of his relationship with Yaden. The rest of the people in the village felt real and interesting. Even after everything happened, I wanted to revisit them and see how they have changed.

The small peek into Yaden life as a Lotus Knight and all his friendships opened the door for future installments in this saga. I’m definitely reading the next one.

The cover by Anna Tiferet is perfect for the story. It shows the setting as described by Yaden. Everything from the weather to the house stones is relevant to the story.

Sale Links: Amazon | iBooks | Smashwords

Book Details:
ebook, 212 pages
ISBN: 9781092150453
Published: June 3, 2019, by Beryll & Osiris Brackhaus
Edition Language: English

Series: Virasana Empire
Book #1: The Demon of Hagermarsh

A Barb the Zany Old Lady: Audio Review: Diplomatic Relations (The Sci-Regency #4) by J.L. Langley and KC Kelly (Narrator)

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

I was excited to have a chance to listen to the audio of this new installment of a series I first started reading many years ago when I was new to MM romance. Unfortunately, the narrator’s style and pacing did not meet my expectations. In fact, at times, I cringed at a vocalization or at the way he rushed through a particular paragraph or dialogue. So, being the bookaholic I am, I got the e-book version and alternated reading with listening.

The story itself was complex and interesting. In fact, I had to pay attention carefully because many of the characters in this book appeared in the past, and while listening to the audio, I had to take “pause time” to recall old relationships—one more advantage to having the e-book(s) so I could double-check names and research past appearances. I should have reread the previous book before starting this one. I didn’t realize the first line in the blurb, which said this is a sequel to My Regelence Rake, was actually a strong hint. So, by all means, other readers should do that first. It may help with character recall.

This book features a sweet, innocent, virginal character, Blaise Thompson, one who reminded me of Aiden in My Fair Captain. Blaise fed my need for a revisit to this world. Smart as a whip, cute as a button, he was constantly trying to get his younger brother out of trouble. Enter Dalton Fairfax, a soldier between assignments and nephew of Raleigh, the King Consort. Estranged from his father and sire, Dalton doesn’t much care about his reputation, until he makes a deeper connection with Blaise than he thought he’d ever desire.

I like the universe the author has created, the complexities of the governments and off-planet entities that make their futuristic world so different. And I really love these sweet, innocent young men and the all-men society they live in. It’s refreshing to be there as they confront their first sexual attraction—usually a rake from whom they’ve been warned to stay away. But, in this case, I can’t recommend the audiobook format. E-book? Yes, by all means. The story is certainly worthwhile. But the pacing and interpretation of the story and narration of the character voices was very poorly done in audio.

The cover by Tiferet Designs features two young men standing back to back. Their attire and overall appearance represent the regency look of this story. It’s nicely done against a bright blue background.

Sales Links:   | Amazon | Audible

Audio Book Details:

Audiobook, Audible Audiobook
Published April 18th 2019 by Dreamspinner Press (first published February 19th 2019)
ASINB07Q5V7Q9M
Series Sci-Regency #4

A Chaos Moondrawn Review : Tarragon (Rise of the Symbionts #4) by Jo Tannah

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Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

This is the fourth book in the series, but it’s a prequel. The first three books mention Tarragon, the first and greatest of the technomage kings of Oryon. He became king at 18. This is the story of how he came to have a symbiont, and planned for the survival of his family, setting the stage for everything in the last three books. Yet, this can also be read as the first book without any problems: the other three must be read in order. Having said that, this ends abruptly leading me to believe this will also be a trilogy about how the symbionts in the first book came about.

Although there is a Council of Kings, the Capricis and Zaruthrans attacked the Dacrons, leading to years of war. Tarragon is the last of his line, becoming king on his eighteenth birthday. While his father insisted that he fight his magic, when they are close to being defeated, he embraces it. Not trained to either be king, or to use his magic, he turns to the mountain mages to help him and learns history of his world that was lost to his kingdom. With his Guardian, Brenn, he finds the will and allies he needs to fight his enemies and save his vassals. He plans to change Oryon so mages are no longer shunned due to fear.

The loss, deaths, and Tarragon psychically comforting his clan in their grief, is heartbreaking. Tarragon and Brenn becoming lovers, while a huge complication, was inevitable. The characters are cast about from one entertaining emergency to another, but that doesn’t hide some of the issues. The broken trust, not once but twice, between him and Brenn is never addressed. The fact that no other king has kept tabs on Kayel, for both their technology and their mages seems astonishing to me. After all, they do sell the technology to other kingdoms. There is never a good explanation for how the magic and technology work together (in any of the four books). The reader is just supposed to accept these things work because they are told they do. I would have liked to avoid the cliche of phrases like “once in every generation” and the idea that Tarragon is the being of a long held prophesy. There are abrupt shifts of mood between scenes on occasion, as well as the emotions and responses of the characters are sometimes uneven. Still, the whole thing is imaginative. There is something about these books or else I wouldn’t keep reading them. I have to know what happens, flaws and all, so I would recommend trying them if you want an easy science fiction romance without too much world-building or hard science.

The cover art by Angela Waters matches the other book covers. It establishes the magical and science fiction nature of the story whilst showing Tarragon how I pictured him except for that strange fur collar.

Sales Links: Extasy Books | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, First, 160 pages
Published April 12th 2019 by Extasy Books
Original TitleTarragon
ISBN139781487424589
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesRise of the Symbionts #4

An Alisa Review : Afflicted to the Core (Wielder World #3) by Nat Kennedy

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

Reggie Wolfe religiously visits Kyle Landon—his student in Nerve detangling—at the Harpford Disentanglement Center, where the younger man has been incarcerated on trumped up charges. During one of Reggie’s visits, Kyle’s able to warn his teacher of an imminent unauthorized transfer by an unknown shadow agency. Reggie demands help from his sister at the Bureau of Wielder Services but is pressed to take the matter into his own hands when bureaucratic red-tape stymies her actions. Breaking into a secret medical installation, Reggie and August Whalen find Kyle and six other men hooked to IVs, unknown chemicals pumping into their systems.

The three are caught up in a quest to find an antidote for the drugs and discover who is behind the powerful anti-male Wielder organization. On this dangerous road, will they forever remain friends or give in to their growing attraction?

This world is so interesting and complicated at the same time.  I am not gonna lie, I haven’t read the first two books in a while but I remember being severely confused at times and it happened a bit in this book too.  There is just so much going on, so many people to keep track of and so much hiding it makes you slow down and pause while reading.

Reggie an Wielder World d Kyle were in the first book while the second focused on August and how he ended up tangled up in this mess too.  Bethany, Reggie’s sister and BWS agent, is a help and a hindrance at times and I hate watching her fight against herself and trying to figure out the right thing to do.  I liked her much more in this book than the last as she basically sent August to the slaughter before but seems to be redeeming herself.

I liked watching Reggie find the acceptance he thought he wouldn’t get with Kyle and August, he is so self-conscious and has a hard time letting go of the strict control he has lived his life under that these two were perfect to shake things up a bit.  Now Kyle, man he is determined to make Reggie see things his way and both August and Reggie want to protect him from harm.  August is the most independent of the three and doesn’t get involved right away but really is the one to bring them all together the tightest.

I really look forward to what else is in store for these three but also to see if Bethany can take down the bad guys and possible even change the world’s viewpoint on male weilders.

The cover art by Deranged Doctor Design follows the form from the first couple books but I like how it still stands out from the others and that is gives us a picture of the three MCs.

Sales Link: Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 260 pages

Publication: June 14, 2019

Edition Language: English

Series:#3Wielder World