One Call Away by Felice Stevens Audiobook Tour (excerpt)

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ONE CALL AWAY

FELICE STEVENS

M/M ROMANCE

RELEASE DATE: April 28, 2017

AUDIO RELEASE: August 31, 2017

NARRATOR: Seth Clayton

Audible:  http://adbl.co/2hmQ8Tk

 

One Call Away Cover 

BLURB

When a brutal attack from a jealous competitor leaves Noah Strauss, darling of the modeling world, physically scarred and emotionally damaged, he quits the runway to become a psychologist. Using his contacts from his time in the spotlight, he creates One Call Away, a radio show dedicated to gay men looking for love, advice or someone to talk to. But with secrets of his own and a mother who refuses to understand the career path he’s chosen, the one person Noah can’t seem to help is himself.

On a drunken dare from the senior partner’s grandson, Oren Leavitt calls Noah’s radio show, pretending to be gay. Only Oren isn’t certain if he’s pretending. He’s left his strict Orthodox Jewish upbringing behind, but the guilt remains. Guilt that his actions have prevented his sister from finding a husband and guilt that he’s failed his parents. Talking to “Dr. Noah” helps, and as he finds himself calling the man again and again, he knows he must be honest. But Oren is unsure if he’s lying to Noah or himself.

For Noah, trust is paramount; he’s been deceived in his personal and professional life and while he desperately wants to help Oren, he also finds himself falling for the sweet and tortured man. Oren is trapped: he risks losing his job and more importantly the love and security of his family but knows he can’t hide if if wants to be with Noah. When unresolved heartaches from the past rise up to control the present, Noah and Oren discover that love often comes from the most unexpected places, and sometimes a call for help not only saves a life, it can be a new and beautiful beginning.

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One Call Away Teaser 1

One Call Away Teaser 3

EXCERPT

“I told you already, I’m their charity case, their token Jew.” When he took the job, Oren thought he could brush it off, but lately the sense of ostracism was proving harder to handle than he’d imagined. Isolated by his religion and his sexuality, the only time lately Oren found himself able to be free was when talking to Noah.

“Every year they make a show of how diverse they are with their one black first-year hire, and their Asian and Latino associates. We’re paraded around to the legal community as DeWitt and Wynters’ ‘new generation’ of lawyers who are breaking the mold of the white, Christian elite, upper echelon when in reality they give us the grunt work or the impossible-to-win cases. The special outings are at golf courses, which have no members like us, and we don’t know how to play, so we sit around doing nothing, while the others have a great time bonding. Either that or they schedule firm parties on Jewish holidays when they know I can’t attend. They put on a good show, but we know we don’t belong, and we’re too afraid to complain or say anything because jobs are so hard to come by, and the firm’s name still opens so many doors.”

Stunned at his bitter outburst, Oren smiled faintly at Noah. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to let it out on you.”

“I’m glad you did.” A twinkle lit Noah’s eyes. “Sounds like something you’ve been holding back for a while now.” He sobered up. “I’m sorry you have to go through that. Isn’t there another place you can work where you’ll feel safe?”

“Safe?”

“I’m sure if they are as bigoted as they sound against people of color and other religions, they are also intolerant of gays.”

Not in a million years would Oren ever speak of his sexuality to Harlan or Toby. Even the fact that Harlan had spoken to Noah freaked him out a bit.

“It isn’t something I plan to discuss with them. It’s none of their business.” Agitated, Oren turned away from Noah and fumbled in the drawer for a corkscrew. With quick, angry turns, he opened the wine.

“It was only a thought. I’m not saying you should.” Noah’s soothing voice steadied the rapid thump of Oren’s heart. “What was his name again, the guy I spoke to on the phone?”

“Harlan.” The sound of that name sent a sinking feeling into the pit of Oren’s stomach. “He’s not only in charge of my group; he’s the great-grandson of one of the firm’s founders and can do whatever he wants. And he does.”

“See, that’s what I thought. His voice…it sounded cunning. Like he was trying to figure something out and use it against you. I got worried and thought of how upset you might be. I’m so sorry you have to put up with someone like him. You deserve so much better.” Noah’s eyes searched his, and Oren couldn’t break away from the pull of their blue depths.

An unfamiliar ache of longing built up inside him, painful yet sweet. A need to touch and be touched with meaning. He found himself drawn to Noah, much more so than to any person he’d ever met. Was it wrong of him to want Noah? He considered him his doctor, his therapist. Most importantly, Noah was his friend. In these past few weeks something between them changed, and Oren found himself thinking of Noah as a man and not merely a risk. And staring into Noah’s eyes, Oren knew that wanting Noah might be worth the risk he was finally willing to take.

Felice Logo

I have always been a romantic at heart. I believe that while life is tough, there is always a happy ending just around the corner. I started reading traditional historical romances when I was a teenager, then life and law school got in the way. It wasn’t until I picked up a copy of Bertrice Small and became swept away to Queen Elizabeth’s court that my interest in romance novels became renewed.

But somewhere along the way, my tastes shifted. While I still enjoys a juicy Historical romance, I began experimenting with newer, more cutting edge genres and discovered the world of Male/Male romance. Once I picked up her first, I became so enamored of the authors, the character-driven stories and the overwhelming emotion of the books, I knew I wanted to write my own.

I live in New York City with my husband and two children and hopefully soon a cat of my own. My day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass or two of red wine. I practice law but daydream of a time when I can sit by a beach somewhere and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there is bound to be angst along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.

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An Ali Audiobook Review: Another Way (Another Way #1) by Anna Martin and Narrator Brad Langer

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

AnotherWayAUDSMOn the surface, Jesse Ross is an average guy in an average relationship with his college sweetheart, Adele. But what his girlfriend doesn’t know is that he’s having an affair—with a man—and exploring his sexuality in ways she never could imagine. His compartmentalized life suits Jesse just fine, and he has no intention of coming out of the closet either as a bisexual or as a submissive.

However, Jesse takes a tumble when his Master, Will, admits to wanting more, wanting Jesse as his partner, not just his submissive. Suddenly Jesse’s conveniently pieced-together life isn’t quite so comfortable. In the end, Jesse has to lay it all on the line—for his girlfriend, for his lover, and for himself.
 
 
This is a hard review to write.  I am reviewing two separate things in this.  There is the plot of the book which I liked and the narration which I loathed.  I’ve never had such a wide divide before.  If I was only rating the book I would rate it higher.  If I was only rating the narration I would rate it much lower.  I literally could not finish this on audio and ended up having to switch to ebook to keep from abandoning this book.  The narrator’s voices were really bad.  His idea of a BDSM Dom was this ridiculous, deep, alpha voice and then his sub would get all high pitched like some mock characterization of a woman.  The plot itself was a good portrayal of two men who start their relationship as only a Dom/sub but over time start to fall in love and then begin a romantic relationship.  This story was a refreshing change from the typical BDSM story in the m/m genre where one MC is broken or damaged and they are using the BDSM to “fix” him (which is a trope I hate).  I do recommend reading the story but I really don’t think you should try the audio version.
 
Cover art by Taria Reed is lovely and dark.

Book Details:

Narrator Brad Langer
Length 7 hours and 56 minutes
Published September 30th 2011 by Dreamspinner Press
Original TitleAnother Way
ISBN 1613721617 (ISBN13: 9781613721612)
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesAnother Way #1

Its February, Where’s the Respect? This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Its February, Where’s the Respect?

 

So its February and I thought I would look around for suitable quotes to herald in the second month of the Gregorian calendar.  Oh, what a bag of woe and complaints I found.

Let’s start with this.

“February is a suitable month for dying.  Everything around is dead, the trees black and frozen so that the appearance of green shoots two months hence seems preposterous, the ground hard and cold, the snow dirty, the winter hateful, hanging on too long.”
–  Anna Quindlen, One True Thin

How cheery!  Death, dead, black, dying….yep.  Eeyore has nothing on Anna Quindlen.  There are many more in that vein but I’m going to pass those by. I might have thought that about a couple of days ago but now?  I’m thaaaat much closer to March but more on that later.  Now how about this one, it totally cracks me up.

“Loud are the thunder drums in the tents of the mountains.
Oh, long, long
Have we eaten chia seeds
and dried deer’s flesh of the summer killing.
We are tired of our huts
and the smoky smell of our clothing.
We are sick with the desire for the sun
And the grass on the mountain.”
–  Paiute Late Winter Song

I can hear it now.  “Damn it I’m tired of deer jerky, you smell of bear fat, the hut stinks.  If I have to eat one more damn seed, I’m gone to puke.  Fat  Groundhog Who Runs Like Rock is looking pretty good to me right now. I want Spring!”   That’s really what that says.  See?  Not so different from the way many of us are feeling now.

Some see it as a mere stepping stone that must be passed over to get to March such as the next quote:

“February is merely as long as is needed to pass the time until March.”
–  Dr. J. R. Stockton

And so many that remark on the fact that while its our shortest month, it feels like forever, such as these:

“Even though February was the shortest month of the year, sometimes it seemed like the longest.”

― J.D. Robb

and almost word for word

“Even though February was the shortest month of the year, sometimes it seemed like the longest.”

― Lorraine Snelling

“February – the month of love..?!!
No wonder the shortest one in the calendar.”
― Dinesh Kumar Biran

That last, yep. Valentine’s Day. And the ones that like February?  Dreadful, at least not to my taste, such as this one:

“Wan February with weeping cheer,
Whose cold hand guides the youngling year
Down misty roads of mire and rime,
Before thy pale and fitful face
The shrill wind shifts the clouds apace
Through skies the morning scarce may climb.
Thine eyes are thick with heavy tears,
But lit with hopes that light the year’s.”
–  Algernon Charles Swinburne, A Year’s Carols: February

I much prefer the brevity of Robert Byrne’s short winter perspective.

“Winter is nature’s way of saying, “Up yours.”” 
–  Robert Byrne

I prefer to look at February as a time of transition, neither winter nor spring.  We have time to plan ahead and still enjoy the season we are currently in or  complain about it if that’s where the time takes you (see me last week when I was snowed in).  Its Black History month which has never been more needed given current race relations, Valentine’s Day which many have a love/hate relationship with, the Super Bowl, Groundhog Day and for a little piece of history, the Supreme Court of the United States met for the first time on February 1, 1790. Plus Abraham Lincoln was born this month. There’s a lot going on in February and still it gets no respect.

So how about a little, hell yeah, happy to see, you, February.  Plan a little, snuggle a little, write and read a little, enjoy it while its here. March is coming, so is Spring, Enjoy the sight of the Snow Junco below the feeders and the Winter Wren warbling merrily away before they leave. I will enjoy my February and plan some changes and read many more books.  I’ll leave you with one more poem (still that Paiute one remains my favorite):

February

February knows his fortune well,
Even in the bitterness of dawn
Breaking in the coldest hour of hell,
Revealing but the worst that must be borne.
Underneath the ice the passions sleep
Ablaze with all the beauty of their burning,
Rendering a richness that will keep
Yet warm within the cavern of his yearning.

© Nicholas Gordon

Now for this week’s schedule at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, January 31:

  • Its February, where’s the respect? This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • Louise Lyons ‘Favorite Toy’ book blast and giveaway

Monday, February 1:

  • Book blast and giveaway for Catherine Lievens ‘Benoit’s Christmas Surprise’
  • Coffee Sip and Book Break with Meraki P. Lhyne’s ‘Anchored In Stone (excerpt and giveaway)
  • Second to None by Felice Stevens Blog Tour and  Contest
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: Another Way (Another Way #1) by Anna Martin and Narrator Brad Langer
  • A Lila Review: Romanus by Mary Calmes

Tuesday, February 2:

  • Its Release Time for J. Scott Coatsworth’s ‘The Autumn Lands’, a new MM Romance/sci fi/fantasy (excerpt)
  • In the Contemporary Book Spotlight: Lane Hayes ‘A Kind of Truth’ (excerpt and giveaway)
  • The Sub Club Continues with Pain Slut by  J.A. Rock (giveaway)
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Pain Slut (The Subs Club, #2) by JA Rock
  • A Stella Review: Out! by JL Merrow

Wednesday, February 3:

  • Dusk Peterson ‘The Shining Ones’ Book Blast and Giveaway
  • Heidi Cullinan’s Clockwork Heart Blog Tour and Giveaway
  • A Lila Review: Clockwork Heart by Heidi Cullinan
  • A BJ Review: Stealing Innocents by Cari Waites
  • A PaulB Review: The President’s Husband by Michael Murphy (release day)

Thursday, February 4:

  • In the Spotlight: Alysia Constantine’s ‘Sweet’ (excerpt and giveaway)
  • A Paul B Review: Dangerous Territory by Cari Z
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Dangerous Territory by Cari Z
  • A BJ Review: Mocker of Ravens by Jordan Hawk
  • A MelanieM Review:  Dirty Heart (Cole McGinnis #6) by Rhys Ford
  • A VVivacious Review: Save of the Game by Avon Gale

Friday, February 5:

  • Whistle Blower by Dev Bentham: Book blast and contest
  •  Dreamspinner Tour: Catch a Tiger by the Tail by Charlie Cochet (Guest Post and Tour)
  • A Stella Review: Out of the Past by Sean Michael
  • A Jeri Review: Catch a Tiger by the Tail by Charlie Cochet
  • A F.D. Review: Line and Orbit by Sunny Moraine and Lisa Soem
  • An Ali Review: Keys by Amber Kell (audiobook)

Saturday, February 6:

  • Dreamspinner Press Tour: My Man Walter by J.S. Cook (guest post and giveaway)
  • A MelanieM Review: The Case of the Purple Pearl (End Street Detective Agency #5) by Amber Kell and R.J. Scott

 

Loss, Distinctive Voices and Characters. This Week At Scattered Thoughts And Rogue Words

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Loss, Distinctive Voices and Characters

This past week saw the passing of two wonderful men who left deep emotional impact on those who heard their music or watched their films, (although arguably not to the same extent) to also to those in their professions, musician/actor  David Bowie and actor Alan Rickman.  For over forty years, David Bowie, singer, songwriter,  musician, record producer, painter and actor, continued to press the boundaries of what he thought he could and  music could be.  But always it was his unique voice and passion behind the lyrics and music that helped make his songs the playlist for our lives,  generations past, present, and future, whether it was as Major Tom, the Thin White Duke or Ziggy Stardust or  something reimagined one more..  Only a few notes and we knew who was singing.

Alan Rickman’s voice was just as unigue.  Oh, that voice.  And that glare.  I loved him as Professor Snape, but that wasn’t the first time I saw him or fell in love.  It could have been Alan Rickman as Galaxy Quest’s Sir Alexander Dane ” By Grabthar’s hammer, by the suns of Worvan, you shall be avenged.” Sniff.  Or as the wonderful villain, Hans Gruber, in the original Die Hard with Bruce Willis, Jamie the ghost in Truly, Madly Deeply …yes, that’s probably the start.  But it continued with Steve Spurrier in Bottle Shock, Col. Brandon in Sense and Sensibility and so many more.  His last project?  A student’s voiceover for a Save the Children and Refugee Council joint charity appeal in what is thought to be one of his last ever pieces of work.

Why bring these men up on a book blog?  A couple of reasons. One, David Bowie and his music has been a constant thread in my life and I couldn’t let his death go without comment.  Although Alan Rickman doesn’t hold the same iconic place in my life as David Bowie does, I hold in him huge esteem.

When I read books, the conversations and the dialogs, I hear the voices in my head so clearly.  Writers like B.A. Tortuga and Neil S. Plakcy especially have the ability to make those wonderful local confabulations sing with the rhythm and flavor of the cultures of the people the words are flowing from.   Now with  audiobooks, I have to make the transition from the voices in my head (no wisecracks) to the voices the narrators are putting forth, often beautifully.  Do they replace a  unique voice?  No, but offer another interpretation in their place.

Both men were wonderful at interpreting and creating, whether it was classical music or literature or something modern or wildly new and different.  Ever listen to David Bowie and Bing Crosby?  He was equally relaxed singing with him or with Freddie Mercury or on stage in New York City.  Alan Rickman has credits as a director, writer, and producer as well as actor. But both men, its that voice, and the grace with which they moved through life will pull at my memory.   For Alan Rickman, sometimes I would read a book, and his voice would sneak into a character…with a shiver or two as a result.  I would be reading and snippets of David Bowie’s Cat People (Putting Out the Fire) or some other refrain would  run through my mind -yes shifters).  Music, voices and books are forever intertwined for me.

David Bowie and Alan Rickman are gone. How grateful I am that their voices will live on in music, and in film.  Do you have a favorite David Bowie song or album?  How about Alan Rickman?  By Grabthar’s hammer!  Let us know!

 

 

This Tortoise Could Save a Life – Ft. Alan Rickman

 

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This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

 

Sunday, January 17:

  • Loss, Distinctive Voices and Characters. This Week At Scattered Thoughts And Rogue Words

Monday, January 18:

  • Covenant by M. Leanne Phoenix tour and contest
  • In our Science Fiction Spotlight: Shannon West ‘Mate of the Tyger Prince (excerpt and giveaway)
  • A MelanieM Review:  Mate of the Tyger Prince by Shannon West
  • A Stella Review:Of Gods and Monsters: Menoetius (Of Gods and Monsters #1) by Wulf Francu Godgluck
  • A BJ Review: Just a Bit Confused by Alessandra Hazard

Tuesday, January 19:

  • Jude Sierra ‘What It Takes’ virtual tour and contest
  • Coffee Sip and Book Break with Morticia Knight ‘Searching For Shelter (excerpt and contest)
  • Can A Ghost Find Love? Check out Rock N Soul by Lauren Sattersby (giveaway)
  • An Ali Review: Happy Birthday by B.D. Roca‏
  • A PaulB review: Setting His Owl A-Twitter by Charlie Richards

Wednesday, January 20:

  • Cover reveal for Dev Bentham’s ‘Whistle Blower’‏ (excerpt and giveaway)
  • A MelanieM Review: End Street Detectives Vol ! by Amber Kell and RJ Scott
  • A Stella Review: THE UGLIEST SWEATER by Gillian St. Kevern
  • An Ali Review: Double Indemnity (The Stonebridge Mysteries, #1) by Maggie Kavanagh
  • A Paul B review: Crash by April Kelley

Thursday, January 21:

  • A Paul B Review: Passion’s Storm by AJ Marcus
  • A BJ Audio Review: Long Time Gone by S.E. Jakes
  • A F.D. Review: Coyote’s Creed by Vaughn R. Demont
  • A Ali Review: Inner Sanctum (The Stonebridge Mysteries, #2) by Maggie Kavanagh
  • A Stella Review: Of Gods and Monsters: Hades (Of Gods and Monsters #2)by Wulf Francu Godgluck

Friday, January 22:

  • Christopher Stone ‘Going and Coming: The Minnow St. James Metaphysical Adventures’ Keep Me In Mind Tour and contest
  • Of Gods And Monsters: Hades book blast by Wulf Francu Godgluck (giveaway)
  • Rory Ni Coileain ‘Mantled In Mist’ book blast and contest
  • An Ali Review: Blind Spot (The Stonebridge Mysteries #3) by Maggie Kavanagh
  • A MelanieM Review: Lovers Leap by J.L. Merrow

Saturday, January 23:

  • All That Is Solid Melts Into Air by Christopher Koehler (excerpt and giveaway)
  • A Mika Review: Thorns and Fangs (Thorns and Fangs #1) by Gillian St. Kevern