A MelanieM Review: Age Is Just A Number: A Wayward Ink Publishing Anthology

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Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

Age is Just a Number AnthologyThere’s something to be said for life experience, a little gray at the temple…

And then there is the appeal of youth.

When it comes to what the heart wants, Age Is Just A Number.

I love anthologies.  Its a wonderful way to find new authors, pick up and read a quick story or two in a trope you enjoy.  They can be a smorgasbord of finds, and I always find it fascinating on how the editors lay out the stories contained inside.  I don’t always agree with their lineup.  For me, I think you should lead with one of the strongest stories in the group.  Pull the reader into your overall topic with the strength of that particular author’s writing and depth of story, no matter the length.

For me that didn’t happen here and that weak beginning proved somewhat disconnecting for the rest of the collection.

There are some fine stories here, and the editors and Wayward Ink Publishing ended the anthology with a strong finish with one of the best of Age is Just A Number.  Everything in between is a bit of a mixed bag.  Some so so, some  good, some terrific.

I think May/December romances can be an interesting trope to explore.  How do the people involved overcome the age differences involved?  Because a span of age means a big difference in cultural references, generation speak, outlook, ideologies and more.  For an author to get two frames of references across while making those individuals real, their relationship believable and one we want to see happen (instead of one we find squeamish) can be a tough obstacle, let alone in a short story. That some authors succeeded here is wonderful.

TWENTY LIGHT YEARS BETWEEN US by Eric Gober  – 2 stars out of 5

An alien encounter…
An unfortunate misstep…
A lightning fast journey through space…
The laws of physics are about to wreak havoc on Walt and Michael’s May-December love.

I found this to be the least effective story of the collection.  More a group of researched items from the 60’s tied together by a thin plot line then a real tale.  All I noticed was brand names rather than any real feeling or cohesive story of any depth.  This would not have been my choice for lead in story.

ALL ROADS LEAD WITHIN –  3.5 stars out of 5

Layla Dorine

When James spotted Rogue, a young man for whom wandering is like breathing, half-dozing on the hood of his car, he never expected that warning him about the dangers of sleeping out in the open would lead to a weekly visitor at his door.

I rather liked this dusty tale of love and wandering.  It had a real feel for location and people.  James and Rogue came alive on the trail, visit after visit.  This story kept me going in the anthology.

NORTH PASTURE – 3 stars out of 5

Lily Velden

Upon the death of his grandfather, up and coming Fantasy author, Thomas, returns home.
A place he left four years earlier to get over his unrequited love for Sam Fletcher, his older, straight, and very much married neighbor.
Thomas soon discovers, however, that things are much changed with Sam…

I wanted to like this more and I think I would have as a longer story.  It has so many great elements that need enlarging.  Thomas and Sam, Sam’s misconceptions and son.  But it ends too quickly and left me feeling frustrated over what I thought the story could have been. Unfair? Maybe, but there it is.

AMERICAN MASTER BAKER  – 4 stars out of 5

Dale Cameron Lowry

Baking is a way of life for Joey, a young pastry chef vying for first place in the popular reality show American Master Bakers.
But the judges have been showing favoritism to Terence, an aggravatingly attractive older man with more experience under his belt.
When the competition gets hot, so do the two men. Can a relationship that started in hatred end in love?

Loved this story.  The cooking competition, the different pastries, the intensity and the heat of the kitchen?  Wonderful.  And oh, yes, the sex.

ALPHA AND OMEGA: THE CLAIMING – 4 stars out of 5

Eddy LeFey

A young Omega shifter meets a much older Alpha.
Will Elliot let Issac help him be who he is too afraid to be?

A neat take on the Omega/Alpha combination.  Elliot was a lovely new addition to the Omega shifter take and his predicament was unusual enough and his rescue drama and romantic that it made this story.  I wanted more of both of them.  Great job.

STAND AND DELIVER – 3 stars out of 5

Asta Idonea

Necessity has forced former soldier Captain Keen to assume the occupation of gentleman highwayman. His fortunes take a turn, however, the night he stops the Marquis de Beaumont’s coach and gets more than he bargained for when he utters the words “Stand and deliver!”

 Idonea’s has part of a great m/m historic novel here.  The trouble is that I found it only to be the first half.  I got just enough of the Marquis and Keen to pique my interest in both but not enough to believe in a future for them.  I really needed to see beyond that voyage.  3 stars for great details.

LOST AND FOUND – 4 stars out of 5

Louise Lyons

The loss of his best friend leads Phil to find love.

German Shepherd puppies and love.  Actually loss, and new found found again.  That’s the theme here and it works.  Simple and sweet. Well done.

TRAIL TO LOVE – 2.75 stars out of 5

Kassandra Lea

There’s only one thing Kit Conley likes more than horses and that’s Roman Meadery.
But will the elite rider ever notice him?

I’m a horse person so why didn’t I connect?  I think it was the characters.  They just didn’t seem real.  Nor did the dialog.  Nice horses though.

CRUISING WITH LOVE – 3.75 stars out of 5

Carol Pedroso

Gus is under the thumb of a controlling father. Can meeting his mate give him a reason to make a break for freedom?
Nelson is twice Gus’ age, and very protective of what is his.
What will happen when Gus’ father tries to split them up? And what surprises does Nelson have up his sleeve?

Another nice tale of mixed shifters in love.  Gus and Nelson meet on a voyage and discover they are fated mates.  Pedroso convinces us that these two so very different species are, in fact, fated mates and need to be together.  Gus’ dad is a nasty brute and it all works out in the end.  I would have liked it more if the species made more sense to me.  As it was they were so opposite, that this naturalist’s mind just couldn’t  really go there.   Prey/food. Sorry.

NEAR MISS – 5 stars out of 5

Aimee Brissay

A few seconds, that’s all it takes to make a difference between life and death.
Between killing someone and stopping on time.
But is it enough to turn yourself around when you’ve hit bottom?
Or to make you recognize something good when you have it?

Without a doubt the finest story of the collection.  I’m was happy to see that it ended the Anthology here.  A train operator is traumatized by a woman trying to commit suicide in front of his train.  The resulting PTSD almost derails his life until someone and something shows him the way back up.  Its a remarkable story.  This man’s pain feels immediate and real, his flashbacks horrific, and his life spiraling downward authentic and sad.  That we can rejoice in his recovery and love is just as amazing.  This story is worth the anthology alone.

As I said, anthologies are often a mixed bag but they are a wonderful way to get acquainted with new authors or find stories you might not get anywhere else.  Short stories your bag?  Are some of these authors new to you or favorites of yours?  In either case, Age Is Just A Number: A Wayward Ink Publishing Anthology  might just be the collection of stories for you.  Fantasy, contemporary, supernatural…it has something for everyone.  Pick it up and find the story and author for you.

Cover is not a favorite of mine.  Just too hodgepodge with no hint of anything other than contemporary.

Sales Links

Wayward Ink Publishing | ARe |  Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon DE

 

Anthology Details:

ebook, 240 pages
Published September 1st 2016 by Wayward Ink Publishing
ISBN139780994645647
Edition LanguageEnglish

Coffee Sip and Book Break with Age Is Just a Number, a Wayward Ink Publishing Anthology (an May/December Romance Collection Across Genres – giveaway)

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Age Is Just a Number MIni Tour Banner

Title: Age is Just a Number
Authors: Eric Gober, Layla Dorine, Lily Velden, Dale Cameron Lowry, Eddy LeFey, Asta Idonea, Louise Lyons, Kassandra Lea, Carol Pedroso, Aimee Brissay
Genre: Gay, Romance, May/December Romance, LGBT
Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing

Synopsis

There’s something to be said for life experience, a little gray at the temple…

And then there is the appeal of youth.

When it comes to what the heart wants, Age Is Just A Number.

Buy Links

Don’t miss the limited time discounted prices on publishers’ and all major retailer sites!

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AIJAN Anthology Cover

Stories Included

TWENTY LIGHT YEARS BETWEEN US

Eric Gober

An alien encounter…
An unfortunate misstep…
A lightning fast journey through space…
The laws of physics are about to wreak havoc on Walt and Michael’s May-December love.

ALL ROADS LEAD WITHIN

Layla Dorine

When James spotted Rogue, a young man for whom wandering is like breathing, half-dozing on the hood of his car, he never expected that warning him about the dangers of sleeping out in the open would lead to a weekly visitor at his door.

NORTH PASTURE

Lily Velden

Upon the death of his grandfather, up and coming Fantasy author, Thomas, returns home.
A place he left four years earlier to get over his unrequited love for Sam Fletcher, his older, straight, and very much married neighbor.
Thomas soon discovers, however, that things are much changed with Sam…

AMERICAN MASTER BAKER

Dale Cameron Lowry

Baking is a way of life for Joey, a young pastry chef vying for first place in the popular reality show American Master Bakers.
But the judges have been showing favoritism to Terence, an aggravatingly attractive older man with more experience under his belt.
When the competition gets hot, so do the two men. Can a relationship that started in hatred end in love?

ALPHA AND OMEGA: THE CLAIMING

Eddy LeFey

A young Omega shifter meets a much older Alpha.
Will Elliot let Issac help him be who he is too afraid to be?

STAND AND DELIVER

Asta Idonea

Necessity has forced former soldier Captain Keen to assume the occupation of gentleman highwayman. His fortunes take a turn, however, the night he stops the Marquis de Beaumont’s coach and gets more than he bargained for when he utters the words “Stand and deliver!”

LOST AND FOUND

Louise Lyons

The loss of his best friend leads Phil to find love.

TRAIL TO LOVE

Kassandra Lea

There’s only one thing Kit Conley likes more than horses and that’s Roman Meadery.
But will the elite rider ever notice him?

CRUISING WITH LOVE

Carol Pedroso

Gus is under the thumb of a controlling father. Can meeting his mate give him a reason to make a break for freedom?
Nelson is twice Gus’ age, and very protective of what is his.
What will happen when Gus’ father tries to split them up? And what surprises does Nelson have up his sleeve?

NEAR MISS

Aimee Brissay

A few seconds, that’s all it takes to make a difference between life and death.
Between killing someone and stopping on time.
But is it enough to turn yourself around when you’ve hit bottom?
Or to make you recognize something good when you have it?

Exclusive Excerpt from Eric Gober’s Twenty Lightyears Between Us:

“It’s gotta be a hoax of some sort. We’re probably on Candid Camera right now, about

to make big fools of ourselves.” I picked up the 8-track player. “Let’s just go back to our

picnic spot.”

“No way; we’re investigating this.” Gary stepped inside and retreated down a corridor

with Michael.

Against my better judgment, I entered the vessel.

I followed Michael and Gary into what looked like a living area. I had to admit the

room’s decor was unearthly. There was no blue shag carpeting or fake wood paneling. No

beanbag chairs or chained swag lamps either. Everything was spotless and appeared exotic

and very expensive. The lighting—a strange tint I couldn’t quite pinpoint in the spectrum—

had no source that I could see. The furnishings were ultra-modern. All were crafted using

odd angles, asymmetric shapes, and peculiar materials I’d never seen before. The room’s

sophisticated palette defied description. There was no harvest gold, avocado green, or

walnut brown anywhere. In fact, I’d have wagered the colors inside here couldn’t have been

duplicated by Michelangelo or Sherwin-Williams.

Two fiercely handsome men lounged on plush objects. I wouldn’t call the objects chairs

because they had no legs and didn’t touch the ground, but rather seemed to float. I didn’t

see anything suspending them. The man with lighter, golden skin stood when he saw us. He

wore an iridescent jumpsuit made of otherworldly fibers, and he had to be six and a half feet

tall.

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A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Collars N Cuffs Anthology

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Wayward Ink Publishing Anthology

Collars N CuffsSince this is an anthology, my review is broken up into mini reviews of each section:

Forged in Steel by Layla Dorine
A sculptor named Finn takes in Trace, an eighteen-year-old homeless boy who lost his parents in a train accident. Finn offers him a job as his helper in his workshop. At first, only offering meals and minimum compensation, later he also offers a bed. First it’s in a separate bedroom, but over time, Trace’s submissive side and his attraction to Finn becomes more evident and Finn’s dominant side overrules his decision to keep Trace at arm’s length. The story is told in retrospect from Trace’s POV as Trace has left Finn, unable to forgive him from something we don’t learn until the end of the story. Very well done, this one is 4 stars

Playing it Safe by Aimee Brissay
Paul asks his friend Jackson if he would provide Paul’s sub, Michael, with the night of his dreams: a night where Michael doesn’t have a safe word. Though initially against the idea, Jackson finally decides to do it when Paul agrees to be present to witness the scene and intervene if he sees his sub in trouble. This story seemed to end abruptly. It just ended when the scene was over with no mention of any future for either man, nor was there further mention of the reason Paul chose Jackson to do the scene with Michael rather than doing it himself. The reason had been stated and it would have affected the future, possibly for all three men, but with the story ending so abruptly, I felt lost so this one was only 2 stars.

Room to Play by Lily Velden
This story is about an MM couple who get involved in BDSM without any formal training. Their occasional foray into a scene becomes more frequent until it gets to be too much for the sub and he calls a halt to their play. He needs to have them both list boundaries, learn more about BDSM, and confine playtime to a playroom. This was interesting with plenty of sex scenes, but it was just too short to get involved with the characters. 3 stars

A Touch of Kink by Alina Popescu
This story takes place in Romania where Tudor is awaiting a VIP at the airport. His coworker, Rahu, is along as this is apparently a major VIP, but the flight is delayed so they talk about Tudor’s upcoming birthday and how disappointed he is that his boyfriend, Kahoni, couldn’t make it from Hawaii. They’ve been successfully seeing each other once a month ever since they met in Hawaii six months before. Needless to say, Tudor is shocked when the VIP turns out to be Kahoni and Rahu was in on the surprise. But there’s further surprises in store for Tudor when the kinky gift Rahu gives him turns out to be something Kahoni really loves. The story was good, though a bit unbelievable. 3.5 stars

Let’s Dance in Sin by Kassandra Lea
A fairly short story about an angel who frequently visits Las Vegas, even though he shouldn’t, but he’s smitten by a devil he met there and neither man can seem to get enough of the other. 3 stars

New Love, New Sight by Carol Pedroso
This was a bit longer than the other stories. It takes place on the Earth space station in a BDSM club where an alien being is running through the club shouting Red. Thankfully, Sorl, the dungeon master understands what he’s saying as he grabs the frightened man. He’s from Sorl’s home universe and Sorl can speak his language. Finding out he’s been captured and almost sold into slavery is the first step, but finding out later that he is Sorl’s life mate adds another level to what becomes a sweet romance and D/s pairing. No explicit sex, though lots of warmth and caring. 4 stars

Switch by Eddy LeFey
This was a well-written story about a young man who is finally coming back into the BDSM scene after having been severely injured by his Dom two years before. The man was banned from the local clubs after it was proven that he had so severely hurt his sub, but the damage was done and now Robbie is struggling to step foot in the club. He shows up for his uncle’s birthday party and meets a Dom who happens to be a switch and a former counselor. Daniel is willing to go an extra step toward helping Robbie overcome his fears and in bringing out the dominant side of his cute little switch. When the Dom from the past threatens to upend all the progress he’s made, Robbie learns that he can switch to his stronger nature while still being Daniel’s submissive. 4 stars

Hell Bound by Asta Idonea
This one is a bit longer than the others and is a very interesting story about an angel who visits Amodeaus in Hell to deliver a reprimand. The lust demon has been exceeding his quota each month and Taharial warns him that he must stop. Something about the demon attracts him, however, and when Amodeaus catches on that Taharial would be open to being bound and having sex with him, he goes for it. The visits continue until Taharial is found out by the archangels and Amodeaus has to take steps to save his lover. This was creative, interesting, well-written, and fun so 5 stars for this one.

Averaging all the stories, my rating is 3.5 stars overall. This is a BDSM anthology, however, it is very mild and would be fine for someone who has never read BDSM before.

~~~~~
Cover art by Peculiar Perspectives shows a handsome, bare-chested, inked man holding a chain so it’s a good representation of the contents.

Sales Links:  Wayward Ink Publishing | ARe | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook
Published June 23rd 2016 by Wayward Ink Publishing
ISBN139781925222937
Edition LanguageEnglish

Collars ‘N’ Cuffs, A Wayward Ink Publishing Anthology Book Tour and Giveaway

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Collar N Cuffs Tour Banner

Title: Collars ‘N’ Cuffs
Authors: Layla Dorine, Aimee Brissay, Lily Velden, Alina Popescu, Kassandra Lea, Carol Pedroso, Eddy LeFey, Asta Idonea
Genre: Gay Romance, BDSM
Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing

Synopsis

How about a little bondage?

Does D/s get your motor running?

Do you enjoy a serving of pain to go with your pleasure?

Does your mouth water at the thought of clamps and cuffs and other naughty stuffs?

Then look no further!

The authors of Collars ‘N’ Cuffs have dripped wax on their keyboards, flogged their erotic bones, and whipped up their creative juices to bring you a collection of stories certain to enflame your imagination.

Excerpt – A Touch of Kink by Alina Popescu

Tudor sighed and shook his head. “Why the fuck are you always on his side? You’re supposed to be my friend, not support him all the time! You were the complete opposite with Vincent.”

“Vincent was a douche,” Radu said, his voice taking a dangerous edge. “He acted like an ass from the start and made your life miserable. He was the biggest selfish bitch I’ve ever met. Kahoni is not like that.”

“Oh, excuse me, Mr. Perfect Judge of Character!”

Radu grinned and nodded his thanks. “Why, I didn’t know you’d noticed. I am pretty good at it, you have to admit.”

Tudor wanted to contradict him but couldn’t. Radu really was a great judge of character. He was never wrong, even if his descriptions of other people were as offensive as they could be. He felt Radu’s arm around his shoulders, and a gentle squeeze made his heart sink even further.

“Trust me, buddy. He loves you. It’s clear in his fucking puppy eyes every time he looks at you. He’s not Vincent; I guarantee that.”

“Thanks, Radu.”

“Don’t thank me yet,” Radu said as he started to move away from Tudor. “All I am saying is your relationship won’t end because Kahoni is a dick. There are still plenty of ways you can screw this up.”

Collars N Cuffs Cover

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Don’t miss the discounted buy prices valid until 48 hours after release!

WIP: http://www.waywardinkpublishing.com/product/collars-n-cuffs-a-wayward-ink-publishing-anthology/
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Book Trailer

Stories included

FORGED IN STEEL

Layla Dorine

The last thing Flint expected upon discovering a homeless young man rummaging through the dumpster behind his shop was a kindred spirit.

The last thing Trace expected to find in that dumpster was a home.

 

PLAYING IT SAFE

Aimee Brissay

To safe or not to safe?

That is the question.

 

ROOM TO PLAY

Lily Velden

Jack wanted to dabble in some light BDSM, looking for a little role play. A little role-reversal.

Rhys took to their games like a duck to water.

 

A TOUCH OF KINK

Alina Popescu

A moody and angry Tudor follows his friend, Radu, to the airport to pick up a client.

Despite Radu’s efforts, he’s still sulking over his boyfriend, Kahoni, not being able to fly over for his birthday.

But the airport only opens up the door to a stream of steamy surprises for Tudor. Will his mood improve?

Collars N Cuffs 3D Cover 

LET’S DANCE IN SIN

Kassandra Lea

Samuel wants to play with his favorite toy and Flynn is only too willing to oblige.

But first, he has a little treat for his delectable angel.

 

NEW LOVE, NEW SIGHT

Carol Pedroso

Exiled and lonely, Sorl longs for home.

Kidnapped, blind, and scared, Unjarf seeks help of any kind.

When they meet can love bring rescue, hope, and most importantly new sight?

 

SWITCH

Eddy LeFey

Robert is floundering, trying to get his life back together.

Daniel offers to help, to teach Robert what it means to truly let go of control, in order to be able to seize it again.

Life truly is a…. switch.

 

HELL BOUND

Asta Idonea

When Taharial, angel of purity, descends to Hell to reprimand him, lust demon Asmodeus cannot resist having a little fun with his unwanted guest.

However, when he chains Taharial to his bed, events take a turn he didn’t expect.

Giveaway

Prize – 1 x $10 WIP Gift Card
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Love Men In Uniform No Matter the Genre? Check out Men In Uniform Anthology! (excerpts/contest)

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MIU_Alt_Banner

Title: Men in Uniform
Authors: Eric Gober, CJ Baty, Alina Popescu, Kassandra Lea,
Asta Idonea, Eddy LeFey, Lily Velden, Jim Dunaway, Carol Pedroso, Jo Tannah
Genre:  Gay Romance, Military, Contemporary, Fantasy, Mystery, Science Fiction
Publisher: Wayward Ink Publshing

Synopsis

Like your boys in blue keeping the… peace?

Hot firemen dealing with… heat?

Naval Officers getting in way too… deep?

Perhaps you have a ‘thing’ for marines…

Or do you prefer your Men In Uniform to belong in the future?

Another galaxy?

Another time?

Wherever your love of a uniform leads you, MEN IN UNIFORM has something for you.

Blue Knight By Carol Pedroso – Excerpt

Franc stood under the hot water of the shower and tried to wash off the touch of the other men. His lips were split, his ass was throbbing, his throat felt like it was lined with sandpaper, and he had various other cuts and bruises.

Five minutes remaining, came the computer’s voice. Franc cursed the fifteen-minute-shower rule; he wanted to stay there all night. Rinsing himself once more, he turned off the water and grabbed his towel.

As he exited the cubicle to head for his locker, he froze. Just entering the shower room and heading for the lockers was the Peta ambassador. How was he supposed to get past him? His instinct told him it wouldn’t be good if the ambassador saw him. But his attention was captured by what the alien wore. He had only ever seen the ambassador in his robes of office—except in the hallway after the water incident. But then he had been too distracted to notice. Now the male wore human workout clothes: shorts, T-shirt, and training shoes. The fit of the clothes showed off a muscular but lean build, and lots of blue skin. His red hair was braided and hung down his back, touching the top of his fine, firm ass.

Franc must have stared too long or made some sort of noise. The ambassador turned and their gazes locked for a few seconds before Franc dropped his to the floor.

His cheeks heated as he realized he was still wrapped in his towel and nothing else. His mind raced as he tried to think of a way to get his clothes and get out with the minimum of conversation.

A Spark in the Shadows by Kassandra Lea

Warden drove the motorcycle up on the sidewalk, parking it close to a brick building that looked indistinguishable from all the others. He killed the engine, letting the silence sweep in. Tonight the streets were truly deserted. Warden placed his helmet on the seat, then passed his hand over a sigil, uttering a single word. The charm was another gift from the necromancer; nobody would even see the bike now, as the charm had masked it. Knowing he hadn’t been followed, Warden glanced back nonetheless. If his fellow boys in blue knew where he was and why, he’d be thrown out on his ass so fast. He had worked too hard to break the cycle….

And yet here he was skulking around in the dark.

“Suppose the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree,” he grumbled. The pack, his so-called family, were vagabonds, low-rung thieves, and two-bit criminals. Professions he swore to get away from, a way he refused to live his life. The day he graduated the academy, with flying colors of course, he became a disgrace, no longer the esteemed pack leader’s son. A traitor, especially since he wouldn’t play dirty for their sake.

Oh, but if they could only see him now. The unquenchable thirst of love drew Warden to the God-forsaken place.

Rusted hinges protested as he forced an old steel door open. There was no telling the identity of the business that used to call the space home, a mess left behind. Broken bits of furniture; long dead leaves, never mind the absence of a tree outside; and other pieces of trash, some the likes of which Warden tried not to think about, littered the floor. He wasn’t sure if the lowliness people could sink to disgusted him or made him sad. Either way, he loathed the stench and barely cared that all these things served their purpose; to keep the unwanted away.

Men In Uniform Cover

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Book Trailer

 

Stories Included

IssueNo.1

Issue No. 1

ERIC GOBER

Come to a land…

Where epic battles rage…

Among monsters, superheroes, and a very sexy cop.

Love and war are funny business in Hollywood, U.S.A.

PinkertonManThe Pinkerton Man

CJ BATY

A blackmailer forced Stiles to leave his perfect life behind.

Along the way, he found a new friend, a job as a Pinkerton Agent, and murder.

Can Stiles find the murderer before he kills again?

ProtectTheExMission: Protect the Ex

ALINA POPESCU

Sean never thought his military career would ever have him babysitting his ex who Sean hasn’t seen in six months.

When best friend Tom finds out his younger brother Aiden is targeted, Sean drops everything to protect the man he still loves.

Can two former lovers survive a weekend alone in the woods, or will the threat from within be more devastating than the one from outside?

SparkInTheShadowsA Spark in the Shadows

KASSANDRA LEA

Love beckons Officer Warden Brooks to the shadows of a desolate place.

But his lover Tate Eldridge is so much more than a criminal, he’s a beautiful mystery.

 

HHHHHis Heart Held Hostage

ASTA IDONEA

When his father loses the battle against Hrafnaheim, Prince Darius finds himself a political prisoner.

Taken in chains to a dark and unfamiliar land, he begins to lose hope.

But then Captain Morten Gunnarsson of the Palace Guards is assigned to watch over him.

Now it is not just Darius’ body being held hostage, but also his heart.

EmperorsSlaveThe Emperor’s Slave

EDDY LEFEY

When the Draaduuri arrived on Earth many humans died.

Captain Timothy Kellerman’s family was among them

Now, a truce has been struck. He is the prize.

Crown Prince Yuuhaan has instantly bonded with his slave.

Can the prince keep his baser instincts in check long enough for Timothy to transform?

To become the next great hope of the Draaduuri and the human race?

YesYesYesYes! Yes! Yes!

LILY VELDEN

Go to Portsmouth, said my friends. It’s quieter. You’ll be able to write without distraction.

They obviously hadn’t met my mysterious and elusive neighbour, Finn.…

After all, what would a Friday night be without hearing Moaner, Gusher, or Squeaker screaming out their joy at being shagged senseless by the obviously talented Finn?

Come to think of it, what would a Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday night be without it either?

Thank God for Mondays!

FirefighterMarineThe Firefighter and the Marine

JIM DUNAWAY

Apartment building fires are always tragic, even if everyone makes it out alive. But what happens when a person can’t make it out on their own?

Brave firefighters must risk their lives in order to rescue trapped people.

Lieutenant Kenny Whitfield is one such firefighter. Brave and somewhat reckless. 

Lance Corporal Steve Martinson is one such person in need.

When Kenny and Steve meet face to face in the hospital, well…

BlueKnightBlue Knight

CAROL PEDROSO

Franc has resigned himself to yet another year of pain and humiliation in order to complete his on ship training.

Then along comes Zyph, with his sexy blue skin and probing questions…

Will he be Franc’s Blue Knight?

RoyalGuardianThe Royal Guardian

JO TANNAH

Warrior and Dragon Seek to Destroy Those Who Had Dared Harm Their Prince.

 

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Review of Animal Magnetism Anthology

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Rating: 4.75 stars

Animal Magnetism is an anthology of 15 short stories by 15 wonderful authors of m/m lovers brought together by members of the animal kingdom.  It may be a snake called Ganymede or two kittens in need of a home and names.  It could be a collection of spiders loose in a basement or klepto octopus with a fondness for pens, all types of animals can be a catalyst for love for the right people and under the right conditions!  In these stories, the authors give you all those animals and many more on the path to romance and love.

I am such a sucker for animal stories and this anthology gave me 15 wonderful stories to curl up with and enjoy.  What delighted me the most was that along with the cute dog and kitten stories, the authors came up with tales that revolved around a falconer and his golden eagle, a pick pocket and a horse with trust issues, a groundskeepers relationship with an Indian palm squirrel named Jonno, an artist with a potty mouthed parrot, and a earthquake that allows a man to find love and start over even as it destroys everything around him.  Some stories are light-hearted romps through a grade school teacher’s  pet experiences to the terrifying race to outrun the waves of a tsunami, the range of emotions and settings are of such tremendous variety that there is something for everyone within this strong anthology. An animal lover and retired Park Naturalist, so many of these stories contain elements that resonate with me, whether is was because of animals I have worked with, situations I have been in or just plain animals that fascinate me and I know you will love them too.  This is a tremendous anthology and I know that I will return time and again to these stories to meet up with the people and animals they have introduced me to and have so totally engaged my feelings.  I highly recommend you pick this book up. Here are the stories in the order they are listed in the anthology.

Stories included are:

A Few Too Many by Heidi Champa. – A sheepdog imbibes after a competition and his drunken state introduces his owner to the new vet in town.
Having a Ball by Cari Z.-  Uncle Jimmy is petsitting his niece’s snake and accidentally overfeeds it too many mice.  Lucky for him, there is a gorgeous herpetologist living a floor above.  Great plot and wonderful characterizations had me laughing out loud.  A favorite of mine.

Along Came Spiders by Matthew Vandrew – A nurse and a  police officer get trapped in a basement full of loose spiders when they come to the aid of an unconscious man during an earthquake.  Again, we get strong characters, great plot and oodles of spiders. Terrific.

Cuddling Up by Chris T. Kat – Big cat keepers have a disagreement over zoo protocol and end up hot and heavy before its over..  The author really knows zoo protocol so the characters actions are very realistic while the sex is as hot and steamy as they come

New Tides by Avery Vanderlyle – I loved this story of a man adjusting to being single after a breakup as well as a new job in an aquarium where the catalyst to a new love happens to be a octopus called Cleopatra.  The author got everything right, from the detail about the University of Maryland’s programs to the curious intellect of the octopus and the wonderful characters trying to find love among the marine fauna.  Absolutely a delight and a story I read twice.

Care and Rehabilitation by Kim Fielding –  A man gets help in dealing with the death of a partner when his St. Bernard mix brings him a baby bird in need of a helping hand from a bird rehabber who knows something about loss.  Fielding gives us a sensitive portrayal of a man unable to move forward after the death of a partner and the event that finally helps him move on.  I loved this beautiful story that relates the rescue of a small bird to the rescue of a man in the stasis of grief.

Butterbean and the Pretty Princess Make a Home by R. Cooper – I have recently found R Cooper and now gobble up all she writes.  Here is another example as to why Cooper has become an instant favorite.  Those names alone are pure gold as are the men behind them.  Cooper takes a normal situation of roommates in love and elevates it with two unique characters dancing around the L word.  All it takes to push them over is two small kittens.  Love, love this story

Jonno by Emily Gould – Palm squirrel meets man, squirrel bites man, man meets vet.  Turns out squirrel not so bad after all. So cute.

On an Eagle’s Wings by A.J. Marcus – After I read that Marcus is also a falconer everything about this story made sense, including the authenticity running from page to page in this tale of love in the wilderness that comes to two lonely men.  Vivid descriptions of the wilderness carry the author’s love of the outdoors and his appreciation of nature and raptors with such mesmerizing clarity to the reader that I felt I was there.  Great job.

Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road? by Skylar Jaye – Can love be found among chickens?  Why yes they can in this story that manages to bring chickens up close and personal while delivering a love story for the egges, oop ages.  Sorry, couldn’t resist

Tears for a Broken Sun by Minerva Wisting – A surprising white knuckle ride of a story inspired by Great Tohoku Earthquake.  Wisting makes us feel every second of every minute of the approaching tsunami.  We understand what the uncomprehending Akira does not, that his dog Wan is trying to pull him away from the shore up the mountain to safety.  Our anxiety mounts as he notices the absence of birds and the wild barking of his dog after the earthquake.  Not a missed step in this superlative story of love found among a natural disaster.

Stripped Bare by Lily Velden – An artist with a potty mouthed parrot has his first showing and love shows up as one of the buyers. Cute and clever.

Wild Horses by Kate Pavelle – A pickpocket named Kai steals a cellphone and its owner wants the phone returned.  When Kai does, he finds not only sanctuary but a path to love as well.  I loved this. While not a HEA, the author shows us tantalizing glimpses into a possible future for everyone involved, including the horses.  Everything about this story fascinates and intrigues the reader, from the hidden backstories of the main characters to the very nature of the special horses themselves.  I wanted so much more once the story was over.

Show and Tell by Liz Makar – First grade teacher Damian Coletti kills the class room pet yet again.  Can the new pet store owner save the class from another loss and find love at the same time?  Why of course, he can.  Funny,  with terrifyingly accurate portrayals of kids and great characters looking for love romp through the pages of this story.

The Conch Republic by G.S. Wiley – Wild conchs lead two men back to love in this story set in Key West.  I have never read a story that used live conchs as a springboard to love so this is a first.  It’s so successful that it might start a whole new take on the puppy love thing.  Conch love, who knew?  Great story, wonderful characters and a plot so easy to relate to that I felt like I was in a Key West state of mind.

Cover: Cover Art by Shobana Appavu . The cover works best when viewed up close so you can see all the different types of animals.  At a distance, it all seems very confused and busy.