Release Blitz and Giveaway for Ice On Fire (Treble and the Lost Boys #1) by GR Lyons

Standard

 

 
Cover Design: Designs By Dana
 
Blurb
 

Zac Cinder is on the verge of making his dream come true. His punk rock band, Inferno, might have a shot at an audition for a record deal. Fame and fortune would mean he could finally help his parents. They’d raised eight kids in a loving household while barely scraping by, so Zac is determined to give back in any way he can.


Keeping Inferno together, though, means keeping his biggest secret. His bigoted bandmates would drop him in an instant if they found out Zac was gay.


Then he meets Adrian Frost, and Zac can’t resist the shy man. Adrian gives up everything to be with Zac, but Zac can’t bring himself to do the same. He doesn’t want to lose Adrian, but he can’t give up Inferno, either. Not when he’s so close to realizing his dream.


When one cruel decision rips Adrian from his life, Zac will have to decide if ambition is worth the price of the greatest happiness he’s ever known.


(Note: This story takes place in a fictional world, the same as in the Shifting Isles Series. There are multiple gods, different names for the days of the week, etc. A glossary is included.)


WARNING: Contains scenes of self-harm that may be disturbing for some readers.

 

Author Bio


While daylighting as office manager for the family auto repair business, G.R. Lyons can often be found working on one of multiple manuscripts or desperately trying to keep up with the TBR pile.


Anarcho-capitalist, quietly ‘out’ trans guy, former belly dancer, coffee guzzler, highly-sensitive introvert, CrossFit enthusiast, and lover of m/m romantic fiction.


Email: grlyons@grlyonsauthor.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/grlyonsauthor
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/grlyonsauthor
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/grlyonsauthor
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/doumteksonata/
Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/author/grlyons

A BJ Review: The Pillar by Kim Fielding

Standard

Rating:  5 stars out of 5       ★★★★★

The Pillar coverWhen he was just a youth, orphaned Faris was flogged as a thief at the pillar in the Zidar town square and left to die. A kind old man took him in, healed him, gave him a home and taught him a profession. Now Faris is the herbalist who cares for the injured and ill of Zidar. He spends his lonely days haunted by his past and insecure of his place in the community. Until the night he saves a dying slave from the same pillar upon which he’d been flogged.

Boro is a former soldier has spent who has spent his last decade as slave. Faris uses his herbs and ointments to hear Boro’s physical wounds, but both men carry scars that can’t be seen. When these two broken men find solace in each other, constraints of law and social class in 15th century Bosnia make it difficult to sustain the fragile happiness they’ve found together.

From the first page, the imagery in this book grabbed my imagination and created a rich world around me that I could have stepped right into. The story has an almost a fairy-tale feel to it. It’s a simple story at heart, but lush and rich and timeless and full of meaning. Beautifully written. There is certainly brutality, slavery, torture, pain and angst here, but despite that the story didn’t come across as dark to me. It showed the bad, yes, but also the kindness and goodness that can be there as well. Hope and love definitely were the overriding notes this book left with me.

I enjoyed both of the main characters, but also felt that I knew many of the other inhabitants of that quaint little town. I wish I could go for a walk across that bridge with them, into the town where we’d say hi to the townspeople and I feel like I’d recognize them. Then stroll on into the woods to gather herbs. She painted it so well with her words that I’d feel right at home.

This is a beautiful hurt/comfort story. I adored the way the love between these guys grew and deepened as they got to know one another. The perfect way they complimented each other and helped each other to heal inside even as Faris was healing Boro physically. This one totally touched my heart and is one of my favorite by this author at the time of this review.

Seemed to me that the title had a two-fold meaning. . . the obvious one of the stone pillar used for the beatings, but also later there is a reference to Faris, who thought of himself as a worthless thief almost right up to the end, being proclaimed by the town leader to be a pillar of the community. . . and YES, his character totally shined out all through the book but especially with how the whole town rallied around him at the end. So it seemed there are two pillars. . . the stone one in the town square… but Faris was ‘the pillar’ too. And it’s him, more than the inanimate one, that was the center of this outstanding book.

The final chapter’s events fit. From early on, I had a feeling it would end up needing to happen that way or something similar given their world, but I think Faris was right in his assessment that Boro himself needed it to be that way, too.

The cover by Shobana Appavu is absolutely gorgeous and perfectly fitting for this book. Evocative of a fairy tale, just like the story.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It Here


Book Details:  

ebook, 144 pages
Published August 12th 2014 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN1632160706 (ISBN13: 9781632160706)
edition language English

Review: Ashland (WereWolf Fight League #2) by Lynn Lorenz

Standard

Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Ashland WWF 2For years Dan Stoltz has dreamed of owning his own werewolf fighter.  He apprenticed with the well-known trainer and friend, Murphy, and now he is ready to make his first purchase.  At the auctions, Murphy points out a slave that he thinks would make a good fighter, one being sold because his owner is broke and can’t pay his back taxes.  Dan is wavering,as he has decided upon an Asian were. Then the slave raises his head and looks into Dan’s eyes.  With that one gaze, Dan is lost and determined to have Ashland at any cost.

Ashland has known nothing but abuse at the hands of his former owner, Durio.  Starved, sexually abused, kept weak for his owner’s amusement, now Ashland is for sale again and fears the new master who buys him. He sees Dan Stolz watching him on the auction block. When Dan wins the bidding war and buys him, Ashland finds that his life has changed for the better. With good food, rest, and training, Ashland thrives, becoming a skilled sparing partner.  And something more happens. Dan and Ashland are attracted to each other, lust and something more threatening the bonds being built between master and slave.

Ashland is the second installment in the WereWolf Fight League series and the main characters make this a very different book from Tor, the first in the series.  In the first book, the relationships are between slaves, the Owner/Master Marrack is a secondary character.  In Ashland, the relationship starts with the characters occupying two different strata in society.   Dan Stolz, Murphy and Ashland’s former owner Durio are free man, Masters in every sense of the word.  Lorenz’ universe seems to mirror ours here, at least as far as economics, as each man above has a slightly different financial reality.  Murphy is doing well as a seasoned successful trainer.  Dan is the apprentice who is ready to branch out on his own, lower middle case on the rise.  And then there is Durio, bankrupt and unable to pay his taxes, someone on the way down and hopefully out.

Next are the slaves, human and were.  Some fighters are breeders and are intact.  Others like Ashland have been “snipped”, they can function but not reproduce, an almost gelding as it were.  There are sex slaves of both genders, and instead of prison, those free men who have committed crimes against the government or society pay by becoming slaves themselves, condemned to perform the worst tasks society can give them (getting rid of the dead and cleaning up the streets).  Owners have total control, including rape, over their slaves, although change is coming via were and slave right activists.

A Master/slave relationship is by  definition an unequal relationship as the Master has total power over the slave.  So I was expecting to see something of that  reflected back in the story. And outside the brief mention of Durio’s actions towards Ashland, I didn’t see that. In fact I found this owner/slave dynamic  missing in this slave/owner relationship story.  Almost from the first, Dan is treating Ashland less like a slave and more like a person he wants to get to know.  Yes, Dan is a new owner, one of the people who believe in humane treatment of slaves, but still I found his attitude and behavior towards Ashland anything but masterful.

I have to admit I didn’t mind that this aspect was missing from the story (I actually preferred it this way) but just found it a bit odd. Their love for each others develops at the same pace as Ashland’s training, with the traumatized Ashland wanting Dan’s affections to Dan needing Ashland yet not wanting to abuse Ashland’s trust.  Apparently men don’t communicate very well in alternate worlds either.

New characters are introduced, another Master/slave/slave grouping, that I expect to appear in the third book.  I liked this trio.  They have real possibilities as men who respect each other within the limitations of their society.  I think my problem here is that the inequality within Dan and Ashland’s relationship continues even when Dan professes his love for Ashland.  Dan calls him “baby” which is accurate given his inability to read or navigate in Dan’s world.  Ashland remains emotionally unprepared for the status Dan is laying on him.  At least that is the way it seems to me.

There is a measure of suspense with regard to Ashland’s former owner trying to reclaim his slave.  The resolution of this plot thread is so pat that it felt perfunctory.  Wrapped up all too quickly, with many issues left unanswered, I found myself wishing that Lorenz had added at least a chapter or two of the “behind the scenes” mechanisms that made the ending possible.  I found myself liking this story marginally less than Tor perhaps because of the difference in relationship as well as the ending.  I think that the people who liked Tor will find themselves divided over this story.  And perhaps those that didn’t care for Tor will love the dynamics in play here. Either way Lynn Lorenz’s wonderful, heartfelt characters make this a werewolf story to add to your collection.

Stories in the WereWolf Fight League series include:

Tor (WereWolf Fight League #1)
Ashland (WereWolf Fight League #2), in many ways a prequel to Tor

No Publishers warnings accompany this story, unlike Tor, the first in the series.

Book Details:

ebook, 1st Edition, 151 pages
Published November 5th 2013 by Loose Id (first published November 4th 2013)
ISBN13 9781623005528
edition language English