A Free Dreamer Recent Release Review: The Android and the Thief by Wendy Rathbone

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Will love set them free—or seal their fate?
In the sixty-seventh century, Trev, a master thief and computer hacker, and Khim, a vat-grown human android, reluctantly share a cell in a floating space prison called Steering Star. Trev is there as part of an arrangement that might finally free him from his father’s control. Khim, formerly a combat android, snaps when he is sold into the pleasure trade and murders one of the men who sexually assaults him. At first they are at odds, but despite secrets and their dark pasts, they form a pact—first to survive the prison, and then to escape it.
But independence remains elusive, and falling in love comes with its own challenges. Trev’s father, Dante, a powerful underworld figure with sweeping influence throughout the galaxy, maintains control over their lives that seems stronger than any prison security system, and he seeks to keep them apart. Trev and Khim must plan another, more complex escape, and this time make sure they are well beyond the law as well as Dante’s reach.
 I really quite enjoyed “The Android and the Thief”.
The setting was interesting. It’s the 27th century and we have our normal, average humans, just how we do now. And then we have the so-called “Androids”, who are humans as well, without any robot-parts or anything of the like. They aren’t average or normal, though. They’re vat-grown, born as adults, designed in a laboratory to serve in certain professions. They aren’t seen as humans and are essentially slaves with no rights. Khim is a soldier, has been a soldier since the day he was born. But then he’s permanently injured in battle and ends up being sold into the pleasure trade. That’s when rather graphic violent rape happens, so beware. Khim wasn’t designed to endure this kind of use. He snaps and kills one of the rapists, which lands him in prison.
Trev is the son of a powerful crime boss. He’s a professional thief with an obsession for “real-books”. Wanting to escape his father’s clutches, he strikes a deal, which lands him in prison. In the same cell as Khim. Who is, unbeknownst to Trev, the property of his father.
Both MCs had an interesting story to tell. Trev is very acrobatic and easy to like. Khim is very much the victim of circumstances and I really felt for him. Reading about how the two of them are forced to get along, for better or worse, was fascinating. Khim is understandably hesitant to trust or even like Trev.
The prison was an intriguing place. The place was very well described and it was easy to imagine what life there was like for Khim and Trev. It was my favourite part of the book.
And then they escape. And the love story really starts going. Somewhere around that point the book lost my interest. The romance was hard to relate to for me. I just didn’t feel the chemistry between the two. The sex scenes felt a little awkward at times and didn’t really do much for me.
There is one quote that will forever remain with me. Khim and Trev are kissing passionately. “Taste of salt. Fire. Extreme pizza.” I have absolutely no idea where that pizza came from. It still makes me laugh. I’m fairly sure there was no mention of pizza in the whole book, before or after that scene. And who doesn’t think of pizza when locked in a passionate kiss?
I really didn’t like the epilogue and the whole ending seemed a little too easy for me. There was a fairly easy solution to every problem. I still don’t think it’s very realistic.
“The Android and the Thief” was mostly entertaining. The romance part didn’t really work for me, though. I think I would honestly have preferred things to remain platonic between our two MCs.
If you have a thing for slightly cheesy romance, aren’t triggered by the violent rape and like an interesting space-setting, then go for it.
Cover art by Anne Cain is gorgeous.
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Book details:
ebook, 294 pages
Published April 3rd 2017 by Dreamspinner Press

A VVivacious Release Day Review: The Craving by Z. Allora

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Rating: 3.5 Stars out of 5
the-craving-by-z-alloraPhoenix is a chosen, destined to devote his life to the betterment of dimensional art at the monastery and spend his life as a slave to the Principles of Purity. But for Phoenix this is a great honour and from the very day he learns of his status as a chosen, he decides to spend his life abiding by the Principles of Purity. Phoenix is prepared for his future but what he isn’t prepared for is Zadra Solav who steals his breath and pushes him into his first craving years ahead of schedule.
 
Riva Quinton lives on the radioactive wasteland which comprises his planet of Feri. His aunt sacrifices her life to get Riva on a Star Chaser headed to the monastery, so that at least he may survive his family. On the Star Chaser he meets Eytan Rain Otak Sita a.k.a. Eros from the planet of Song Di-Wang II. Their budding friendship rushes headfirst into an emotional attachment but as initiates of the monastery they are forbidden from love and lust.
 
Two couples, very much in love, separated by the law… Will they ever find their happy ending?
 
This story is fascinating and very interesting. There is loads of world-building. This entire story takes place in a different star system and a technologically more advanced one at that. There are a lot of planets harbouring a lot of different species with lots of different customs and outlooks on life. It was amazing to witness so many different outlooks of people on life. These planets are united by their political affiliations wherein they all accept the rule of His Greatness Ruler Xantha Aspara Paramendor, resident of Viking-Haven and ruler of the Xantha Galaxy.
 
The world-building in this book while fascinating, also has a lot of pitfalls but that is mainly because of the fact that the author has created an entirely new galaxy and even imparting basic knowledge of this galaxy and its various planets and people would have probably not made for a very interesting read. So while I acknowledge that yes some things are a little vague, I accept that it is better that way. But one thing I would have loved more information about and I felt that this information should have necessarily been parted with was how other people viewed dimensional art especially sixth dimension dimensional art, how exactly did that art influence people’s actions and how come no one had used the same art responsible for peace to incite war, rebellion and hatred and what would the outcome of such a thing be. In this book we only ever get to see dimensional art from the perspective of its creators which basically doesn’t give us any information on how dimensional art brought about peace and changed the course of the Galaxy.
 
This story is also not evenly split between the two couples. I personally feel that we get to see a lot more of Riva and Eros because they are established as a couple earlier on in the story while Phoenix and Zadra are more like the secondary couple especially because they aren’t a couple for more than half of the book.
 
I liked all the main characters but especially Eros and Riva because we get to know them quite better and also because since Riva has spent his life so far on Feri, he is inquisitive about a lot of things about the Xantha Galaxy that we aren’t privy to and thus his perspective is the most informative.
 
Yoshio Xirau is a non-chosen female admitted to the monastery and that is a rare thing to say the least because she is the only one. Now Yoshio is shown to be shy and afraid to connect with others. But this description only fits Yoshio in one chapter, because following that you she her back-talking and making her opinions known which begs the question that given her personality in latter chapters, why did she allow herself to be bullied by the chosen females. I found her role to be very intrusive with regards to Phoenix and Zadra’s relationship. My problem with her characterisation was that she seemed to be a whole lot unrealistic especially when she manages to smuggle two people under surveillance on-board the Ruler’s very own Star Chaser.
 
Personally the plot is interesting because of the fascinating world-building but when it comes down to the essence of the plot, it was supposed to answer the question if these two couples whose existence was contrary to the law would be allowed to be together. But not much of the plot is devoted to this aspect of the story. Also the fact that these couples are breaking the law doesn’t seem to burden their conscience at all, not even Phoenix’s who has lived by the Principles of Purity since the age of 14. There is an easy resolution to the plot. Also it seems like the author may plan a sequel because this book is very open ended as a wave of change is headed towards the Xantha Galaxy but while I would have loved a sequel focusing on dimensional art and its implications, I don’t know if I would like to read a sequel more focused on the political side of things.
 
There are a few loose ends – one being what was it that Zadra had asked for when His Greatness had asked him to name his price and the second one being Monk Paksus, what was up with that guy? Also I would have liked to know if anyone else shared Phoenix’s views of the empty canvas.
 
Overall the story is well written, with good characters and amazing world-building but it fails a bit when it comes to the plot but still makes for an enjoyable read.
 
Cover Art by Paul Richmond. It tries to capture the exotic world of the Xantha Galaxy and features Phoenix and Zadra.
Sales Links
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Book Details:
ebook, 280 pages
Expected publication: February 3rd 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1634779053 (ISBN13: 9781634779050)
Edition LanguageEnglish

For All Lovers of Shifters, SciFy & Romance~Mate of the Tyger Prince by Shannon West (excerpt and giveaway)

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Mate of the Tyger Prince (Mate of the Tyger Prince #1) by Shannon West
Release Date: January 19, 2016

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Dark Hollows Press
Cover Artist: Eden Connors

Blurb

Diplomatic marriages between two members of different planets certainly aren’t unheard of—but for Prince Mikos of Tygeria and Col. Ryan Donnelly of Earth, it might just be a fate worse than death. The union is meant to end a devastating war that has lasted for over a hundred and fifty years, but when the female bride intended for the fierce, sexy prince runs away, her handsome brother is substituted instead. Men are for mating as far as the Tygerian prince is concerned, but the colonel also happens to be Mikos’s sworn enemy, not to mention being completely irritating.
Ryan is horrified to learn that the Tygerians not only expect him to take the place of his sister, marry the Bloody Prince of Tygeria, and go to live with him on his mysterious planet, but they also expect him to undergo physical alteration to have the man’s baby! And nobody is taking hell no for an answer. Ryan’s being asked to turn his whole life upside down and the handsome Tygerian gets under his skin like nobody else. But with the fate of the universe at stake, how can he say no? Can the two enemies put aside their differences and focus on making love and not war—not to mention a baby? As a powerful love struggles to take root, can they learn to trust each other and stand together against the forces that are trying to tear them apart?

Pages or Words: 75,795 words
Categories: Erotica, M/M Romance, Romance, Science Fiction, Tiger Shifters

Excerpt:

“Son, are you all right? Your highness…Consort Blake, please! Put a stop to this now—my son is injured!”
“I’m fine, Father,” Ryan said, embarrassed and trying to gently push him off.
“Your son is injured?” the king’s consort said, his eyebrows lifting in outrage. “What about my son? Your son indeed!”
Then as the words sunk in, Blake suddenly straightened up and tilted his head, one eyebrow quirking upward. “Did you say your son?”
“Yes, of course he is! And your son just attacked him!” the consul said, casting a wounded, outraged look back over his shoulder.
Blake smiled then and rubbed his hands together, as eager as a cat who’d just spied a big bowl of tasty cream. “You mean to tell me this young man… Your unmarried son? Well, why didn’t you say so? Who needs the daughter? This one will do fine. In fact, he’ll do even better!” He stepped forward and laid a hand on Prince Mikos’s arm. “Stop playing with him, Miki. You’ll have plenty of time to do that after the wedding. This young man,” he said, gesturing grandly toward Ryan, “is your new mate and royal consort.” He got a speculative look in his eye. “Maybe even the bearer of your children.”

Buy the book: Amazon

Meet the Author:

Shannon West lives in the South with her husband and family. A lover and avid reader of M/M romances, she began writing them a few years ago and now has over forty short stories, novellas, and novels to her credit. She is a two-time finalist in the Rainbow awards for 2013 and 2014, and an honorable mention for 2015 and named an All Romance ebooks top ten author for 2013 and 2014. She writes shifters, primarily and some BDSM and contemporary. She loves men and everything about them, and believes that love is love, no matter the gender. She mostly spends her days at the keyboard, trying to elude housework, which stalks her relentlessly.

 

Where to find the author:

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Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy of ‘Mate of the Tyger Prince’ by Shannon West.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Link and prize provided by the author and Pride Promotions.
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A BJ Review: Darker Space (Dark Space #2) by Lisa Henry

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Rating:  4.25 stars out of 5

Darker Space coverBrady Garrett is back on Earth. He’s living with his partner Cam and they’re raising his sister Lucy together. Life is better than some feral reffo from Kopa has any right to hope, and Brady knows it. He’s even grateful for it, most of the time. He loves Cam, even though he’s afraid that he’s not good enough for him, and he’s still having nightmares about the alien Faceless.

Cameron Rushton loved being a pilot once, and he still feels the pull of the starlight. He’s building a life with Brady now, and with Lucy. Life is good, even if it’s not without its complications. Both Brady and Cam are dealing with the endless cycle of interviews, tests, and questions that the military hierarchy hopes will reveal the secrets of the aliens who could very easily destroy humanity. They have each other though, and together they’re making it work.

But from out in the black, Kai-Ren is still watching and everything Brady and Cam think they’ve won, they stand to lose all over again.

I absolutely adored Dark Space, so this book really had a lot to live up to. And I got a bit nervous when, unlike book one, this one didn’t drag me into the story immediately. In fact, for me the beginning was slow and somewhat repetitious. At a little over 20%, just as I was getting rather tired of Brady’s self-deprecation and whining, everything changed. With one little italicized sentence, my entire attention was captured. From that point on the story had me locked on target and the reading flowed quick and smooth.

Brady had to grow quite a bit in this story, and I admired all the changes he went through (sometimes kicking and screaming). More than ever, this book highlights the differences between Cam and Brady. Brady is brimming full of emotion, anger being high on the list, but also love and fear. Once things started moving, I enjoyed his inner monologues, irreverent way of looking at everything, and liberal use of foul mouthing even in his internal dialogue and the middle finger. Cam’s faith and steadfastness were perfect. I adored Cam. Although I must say that little Lucy very nearly stole the show. What a great young character. Her fearlessness, wonder, trust, and even her bratty/spoiled moments were perfect.

The emotional connection between the two main characters is perfect, even during the parts where they struggle—maybe even more so at those parts. Brady put Cam on a pedestal; one he felt he wasn’t good enough to ever reach… and this is sort of his journey to get there maybe. The book has steam, but not quite the heat of the first book. Well, except that I absolutely adored the final scene with Brady, Cam and Kai-Ren. Now that was lovely!

And the end? Well, it’s really more of a beginning. I absolutely can’t wait for the next installment. There will be one, right?

The cover ties in well with the one from book one and marks its sci-fi genre well.

Sales Links:  Loose Id LLC | All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

 ebook, 228 pages
Published October 13th 2015 by Loose Id
ISBN139781682520239
edition languageEnglish

series Dark Space 

Dark Space (Dark Space #1)
Darker Space (Dark Space #2)

A BJ Review: Dark Space (Dark Space #1) by Lisa Henry

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Rating:  5 stars out of 5   ★★★★★

Dark Space coverBrady Garrett needs to go home. He’s a conscripted recruit on Defender Three, one of a network of stations designed to protect the Earth from alien attack. He’s also angry, homesick, and afraid. If he doesn’t get home he’ll lose his family, but there’s no way back except in a body bag.

Cameron Rushton needs a heartbeat. Four years ago Cam was taken by the Faceless—the alien race that almost destroyed Earth. Now he’s back, and when the doctors make a mess of getting him out of stasis, Brady becomes his temporary human pacemaker. Except they’re sharing more than a heartbeat: they’re sharing thoughts, memories, and some very vivid dreams.

Not that Brady’s got time to worry about his growing attraction to another guy, especially the one guy in the universe who can read his mind. It doesn’t mean anything. It’s just biochemistry and electrical impulses. It doesn’t change the truth: Brady’s alone in the universe.

Now the Faceless are coming and there’s nothing anyone can do. You can’t stop your nightmares. Cam says everyone will live, but Cam’s probably a traitor and a liar like the military thinks. But that’s okay. Guys like Brady don’t expect happy endings.

Lovely sci-fi story. Intriguing premise, wonderful writing that dragged me right into the action and didn’t let me go. Awesome world-building. But overall it was the characters that blew me away. Such nuance! The telepathy between the two main characters was handled beautifully. Cam’s face and reputation had drilled into Brady’s mind. But everyone had given him up for dead. Now he’s not only back among the living, but connected to Brady. In his head. Heart beats synced. But really… imagine having to share your head with a sexy, poster boy soldier emerging from a traumatic experience that you yourself could never have endured.

For me, this story showed so clearly how two people often react so completely differently to the same experience. How they handle it and deal with it in ways that the other may even find hard to understand. While one person may come through an event mostly unscathed and may even look back and see the positives that came from it, another may come away severely damaged.  Cam came through the traumatic events with Kai-Ren and the faceless, but Brady clearly would not have been able to do the same.

Despite the dark elements of this story (prior non-con for both main characters, scary, no terrifying, aliens, and even the death of secondary character) and the dismal dystopian world in which it’s set, the relationship that develops between these two MCs is amazingly sweet and their sex nurturing as well as sizzling hot. The angst was handled perfectly.

For those who don’t believe in gay-for-you, give this one a try. It might change your mind. That element was excellently handled. I thoroughly enjoyed the fact that Brady didn’t have any lengthy self-hating, but analyzed and accepted what he was feeling. Heck, every element was excellently handled. This was a stunning story—I couldn’t have asked for anything more. Well, yes, I could. I want more! And luckily, the author seems to have heard our cry as book two, Darker Space, is out now. Look for my review here soon.

The cover set’s the theme perfectly as m/m sci-fi… the darker, muted colors work perfect for the novel’s tone. The model is exactly how I had pictured the main character Brady.

Sales Links:   Loose id LLC | ARe | Amazon | Buy It Here


Book Details:

ebook, 216 pages
Published December 4th 2012 by Loose Id, LLC
original titleDark Space
ISBN139781623001124
seriesDark Space #1

Dark Space
Darker Space (Dark Space)

In our Science Fiction Corner: Author Interview with Chris T. Kat of Battle Stations (Alliances #2) (excerpt and giveaway)

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Battle Stations  (Alliances #2) by Chris T. Kat
Release Date: October 12, 2015

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Anne Cain

Buy the book: Dreamspinner e-book & paperback |Amazon | All Romance Ebooks | 

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Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Chris T. Kat author of Battle Stations (Alliances, Book 2). Hi Chris, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.

• What is your least favorite part of the publishing/writing process?

A couple of years ago I’d have said it’s the editing process, but that has changed. I’ve got an awesome beta reader (Julie Lynn Hayes) and my senior editor, Erika Orrick, is awesome as well. My least favorite part is probably the promotion. I know it’s necessary, and I really don’t mind talking to readers, but I’m not keen on tooting my own horn and hoping someone will buy my books.
• As an author, is there one subject you would never write about? What would it be?

I’m fairly open and I wouldn’t say there’s one subject I’ll never write about. However I don’t think I’ll write a book that includes rape or child molestation. These things disturb me as a reader, and since I don’t like to read about it, why should I write about it?
• When did you first realize you wanted to write?

That was when I couldn’t find a certain type of story when I still read fan fiction. Since no one was going to write what I wanted to read, I decided to give writing my own story a try. I haven’t stopped since then.
• How long did it take to write your book?

I wrote Breeding Stations and Battle Stations back to back. Both books took about five months together. Usually it takes me three to four months to write one novel, but these two books flowed and made it very, very easy for me.
• For Fun: Where is one place you’d like to visit you haven’t been before?

I’d like to visit Italy, specifically Rome, one day. There’s so much history in that city, and I’d love to explore the old buildings and sink my teeth into the rich history.

Thanks, Chris.  Now on to more about the second book in the Alliance series, Battle Stations.

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Blurb

The fight to eradicate the Tash’Ba breeding stations continues, with spunky Commander Berit Turner and his Nadisc mate, Tom, in the thick of things. Sometimes it seems as though they’ll never locate and destroy them all. And there’s always the fear that the Tash’Ba have something else, something worse—if that’s even possible—lurking ahead.

As if things aren’t bad enough, Berit’s less than stellar past is threatening to bite him in the ass, and they’ve received alarming new information. The Tash’Ba Queen needs to use Earth as a place to hatch the egg of her successor. And if what she says is true, the new Queen will be even more voracious and cruel than her predecessor.

Berit, along with his team—Tom, Carson, Niyara, and Fleur—must do everything in their power to stop her. If they fail, Earth will be lost forever.

 

Pages or Words:
Categories: M/M Romance, Science Fiction

 

Excerpt

Veering to the left, I allowed myself a quick glance over my shoulder. Not that I saw any chance of the elgoth having lost interest in me, because those fucking beasts never lost interest once they’d set their sights on prey, but sometimes a new prey might attract them more, which I’d have welcomed right then.

My lungs burned and my leg muscles smarted like hell from running like a rabbit through thick brushes and overgrown ferns. I even zigzagged around. Too bad I couldn’t find a rabbit’s hole to hide in.

I had no idea where Tom, Carson, and the rest of the team were, either.

We’d been separated before—it happened when gigantic Tash’Ba war beasts decided we looked good enough to eat—but I’ve never liked it. No, scratch that. Every time it happened, it put the fear of God in me. A gust of warm breath, mingled with some spittle, sprayed my neck. I squeaked and swerved to the right, vaulting over a stunted tree trunk. Seconds later, wood splinters sped past my head, and I lost my footing on the vibrating ground.

I sprawled facedown in the mud, panic sending bolts of confusing messages through my body. Maybe… maybe if I kept completely still, the elgoth wouldn’t touch me? The first time I’d made the acquaintance of one of these towering forty-foot-tall creatures, Tom had instructed me not to move, because they wouldn’t be able to locate us.

It had worked on Ligador and a couple of other breeding stations, but last time a team member tried this approach, the elgoth had roared and ripped him apart. All Tash’Ba war beasts seemed to be altering their tactics, making them even more unpredictable than before.

The mud around me sloshed, almost causing me to inhale some of it. I suppressed the urge to cough and kept my mouth shut as tight as I’d ever done, even though a whimper threatened to spill over my lips any second.

Another gust of foul breath struck my neck. My hair stood on end, my muscles locked in some kind of rigid stupor. That was it. I’d end my life as a morsel for an elgoth.

A blast echoed from the south, and the beast’s breath vanished from my neck. Gunfire followed the blast, and voices filtered through my terrified haze. They’d run right into the elgoth if I didn’t warn them. But… if I moved, or raised my voice, the elgoth would bite my head off. Literally.

RC

About The Author

 

Meet Chris T. Kat:

Chris T. Kat lives in the middle of Europe, where she shares a house with her husband of many years and their two children. She stumbled upon the M/M genre by luck and was swiftly drawn into it. She divides her time between work, her family—which includes chasing after escaping horses and lugging around huge instruments such as a harp—and writing. She enjoys a variety of genres, such as mystery/suspense, paranormal, and romance. If there’s any spare time, she happily reads for hours, listens to audiobooks or does cross stitch.

Where to find Chris T. Kat:

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Tour Dates & Stops:

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Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: Two print copies of ‘Breeding Stations’.  Must be 18 years of age or older.  Link and prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.

 

 

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Anna Butler is Here Talking SciFy, Aliens, Romance and Heart Scarab! (Author Interview, Excerpt and Contest)

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Heart Scarab (Taking Shield #2) by Anna Butler
Release Date: July 22, 2015

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Wilde City Press
Cover Artist: Adrian Nicholas

 Sales Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Kobo

Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Anna Butler, author of Heart Scarab.
Hi Anna, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.

First, thank you for hosting me today. I’m delighted to be here.

Heart Scarab is the second of the Taking Shield series, which charts the life and loves of Shield Captain Bennet. Taking Shield is both a sweeping sci-fi story (old school sci-fi with spaceships and lasers, aliens and handsome heroes) and an equally sweeping love story. I should warn you, though, that it isn’t a romance in the sense that it won’t be what most m/m romance readers would expect.

Thousands of years after an alternate-universe Earth went dark, the people of one of her colonies, Albion, are struggling in a war that’s probably unwinnable, against aliens called the Maess. Although humans have been fighting the aliens’ cyborg drones for over a century, they haven’t seen a real, organic Maess. Set against the war, is the love story between Bennet and Fleet Lieutenant Flynn. They meet in the first book, Gyrfalcon, but for various reasons theirs isn’t going to be an easy love. They meet and part several times before the end. In Heart Scarab, Bennet’s return after being declared missing in action, presumed dead, puts intolerable strain on his relationship with his long term partner, Joss, but paves the way for a reunion with Flynn.
As for me, I worked for the UK civil service for many years as a communications specialist, working on everything from marketing employment programmes to running an internal TV service. These days I’m concentrating on trying to make it as a writer, combining my love of old school science fiction and m/m themes. I live in London with my husband and our cockapoo, Molly. We’re currently house hunting, looking for a country retreat.
• Do you buy a book because of the cover, the blurb, or something else?

That depends. I won’t say that I buy books *because of* either of those things, but if I’m trawling Amazon or a bookshop they do influence which books I’ll look into and which I’ll then consider buying.

I’m a very visual person, so the cover will catch my eye first. Truly, all the advice you read about getting a good cover that tells the reader something about the story, really holds true. Terrible cover, and I probably won’t even get to the blurb to see if it’s worth pursuing.

If the book comes to me as a recommendation, I’ll usually not let the cover influence me too much (beyond a wince if it’s dire).

Best possible tool – the ‘look inside’ feature on Amazon, or the sample. That really gives you a feel for if you’re going to get on with this author and book.

• What does ‘romance’ mean to you?

‘Good storytelling’ and ‘strong characters’ and ‘lose yourself for an hour here’—heartfelt emotion and drama, eroticism, sex scenes in which the feelings and the relationship matter as much (more?) than the physical gymnastics, an ending that is happy/enriching/hopeful. Stories about love. Sometimes about loss. But ultimately uplifting stories that leave you feeling good.
• What are your current projects?

I’m currently working on the fourth Shield book, The Chains Of Their Sins. On the current timetable, it will be published around this time next year, so I have a little time to polish it up! In this book, Bennet and Flynn are thrown together again, but it isn’t all hearts and rainbows. In fact, it isn’t hearts and rainbows at all…

• What is the most difficult part of writing for you?

Not to edit as I go along. I have a terrible habit of tinkering with what I’ve written so far, trying to perfect it, rather than ploughing on to the end and then editing in its entirety. It is a bad habit, because I can spend hours dithering over word choices and syntax when I should be forging on with the plot. Scrivener helps because it’s a separate folder and document for each chapter, so going back to the beginning to read is several steps more complex than in a word processing programme like Word. Scrivener is breaking me of some bad habits!

• Tell us something about yourself that would surprise people.

I’ve ridden in the circus ring.

I was about five, and my parents took my sister (then about three) and I to a small circus visiting a nearby town. The clowns brought in a Shetland pony, trained to do tricks as part of their routine, and at the end the Ringmaster asked for a volunteer to ride it. I was down in the ring almost before the man finished speaking. I can just about remember noise and light and a lot of people’s faces as I rode three times around the ring, led by the chief clown. He had a red coat and blue trousers and that’s all I remember about him. The pony was called Pickles.

Thank you, Anna, that was wonderful!

Now more about Heart Scarab.

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Blurb:

Telnos is an unpleasant little planet, inhabited by religious fanatics in the festering marshlands and unregistered miners running illegal solactinium mines up in the hills. But the Maess want Telnos, and Shield Captain Bennet’s job is to get out as many civilians as he can—a task that leaves him lying on Telnos while the last cutter of evacuees escapes in the teeth of the Maess invasion.

Bennet is listed missing in action, believed dead on a planet now overrun by Maess drones. His family is grieving. His long-term partner, Joss, is both mourning and guilt-ridden.

And Fleet Lieutenant Flynn? Flynn is desolate. Flynn is heart-broken… no. Flynn is just broken

Pages or Words: 97,900 words

Categories: Gay Fiction, Science Fiction

Excerpt:

Flynn liked kissing. In fact, Flynn considered himself something of an expert in the art. He’d tried it in all its forms, from the first tentative pressing together of juvenile lips that had you wondering what all the fuss was about, to the discovery that if you just opened your mouth and, you know, kind of moved everything, your tongue suddenly had a lot more positive uses than just allowing you to articulate clearly and swallow things without choking. Flynn got the hang of it, ran with it, and never looked back.

 

Soft kisses and hard kisses; kisses that were wet and slobbery with people who didn’t know exactly how to hold their lips to get the best and sexiest effect, and wet and sexy kisses with people who did. Kisses that turned the blood to molten lava and kisses that cooled you as you came down. Kisses that inflamed and kisses that soothed; feverish kisses and languid after-sex kisses. Kisses that meant only good fellowship and casual affection, and kisses that were desire incarnate.

 

Flynn had not only tried them all, he’d made them his own. He was considered by all the relevant authorities to be rather a specialist in the area.

 

Flynn really liked kissing. He had been gratified by the discovery that Bennet liked it too. Because now he could add slow kisses to the repertoire. Kisses so leisured and intense the world came to a stop while a hot tongue moved over his lips, explored each and every tooth down to the last molar, while teeth pulled at his bottom lip, biting it gently until it was swollen and hot and heavy, and he had to lick his lip to cool it and met Bennet’s tongue with his. Only then, would Bennet’s mouth close over his and start a real in-earnest kiss that lasted several more centuries. Those were kisses Bennet seemed to specialise in.

 

Flynn was always willing to take tips from another expert. A man should always try to extend his technique.

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About the author:

Anna Butler was a communications specialist for many years, working in UK government departments on everything from marketing employment schemes to running an internal TV service. She now spends her time indulging her love of old-school science fiction. She lives in the ethnic and cultural melting pot of East London with her husband and the Deputy Editor, aka Molly the cockapoo.

Where to find the author:

annabutlerfiction@gmail.com
Website and Blog
Facebook
The Butler’s Pantry (Facebook Group)
Pinterest
Twitter

Final

 Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize:

–  a copy of my novella, FlashWired (epub, mobi or pdf) on every stop to one random commentator

–  Chance to enter a rafflecopter for

                      (i)   top prize of an Amazon gift voucher (is $50 overdoing it? It makes for a decent prize!)

                      (ii)  second prize, winner’s choice of a Heart Scarab ipad cover or kindle cover

                      (ii)  third prize, a Gyrfalcon iPad cover

Must be 18 years of 18 or older to enter. Link and prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.

Rafflecopter Code:

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Tour Dates & Stops: Wednesdays July 22 – November 4, 2015

22-Jul

Prism Book Alliance

29-Jul

Just Love Romance

Bayou Book Junkie

5-Aug

Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

12-Aug

Andrew Q. Gordon

19-Aug

My Fiction Nook

26-Aug

Joyfully Jay

2-Sep

The Hat Party

9-Sep

Inked Rainbow Reads

16-Sep

Velvet Panic

Molly Lolly

23-Sep

Emotion in Motion

30-Sep

BFD Book Blog

Jessie G. Books

7-Oct

Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

14-Oct

MM Good Book Reviews

21-Oct

The Novel Approach

28-Oct

Amanda C. Stone

4-Nov

Butterfly-O-Meter

 

Its Release Day for Chris T. Kat’s Breeding Stations (Alliances #1) (excerpt and contest)

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BreedingStations

Breeding Stations (Alliances #1) by Chris T. Kat
Release Date: July 27, 2015

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Goodreads Link
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Anne Cain

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Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press eBook | Dreamspinner Press paperback

 

STRW Author BookSynopsis

Spunky commander Berit Turner is known for two things: his huge libido and his lack of a filter—he says what he thinks. Berit sets his mind on being part of the mission to Ligador, to make sure the planet is habitable for humans. He’s ecstatic when his team is assigned to the task force. A delegation of Nadisc, a humanoid alien race, accompanies them, and passion ignites between Berit and their commanding officer, Tom. But Berit is determined that Tom is just another notch on his bedpost, as he doesn’t do relationships.

The excursion to Ligador goes wrong from the beginning, when they discover Ligador has been established as a breeding station by their worst enemy: the Tash’Ba. Dinosaur-like creatures become the team’s worst nightmare, and staying alive is going to take everything they’ve got… and then some.

Pages or Words: 204 pages or about 65,000 words

Categories: M/M Romance, Science Fiction

STRW Spotlight Book Excerpt

Excerpt from Chapter One:

After a five-minute standoff with our Nadiscs, I rolled my eyes and squared off in front of them. “Look, I know you have a rule about not giving your name out to anyone, so why don’t we cut it short. You”—I pointed at the woman—”will be R1.”
She narrowed her eyes at me, which I ignored, even though my hands began to perspire. I pointed at the man standing on her left and said, “That’ll make you R2.” I leveled my finger at the remaining one and added, “So you’ll be R3. We should all be able to remember R1, and if we get it wrong when there’s an emergency, we’ll only have to shout for R2 and R3 together and one of you will help us out.”
R2’s eyebrows knitted together very closely, and in the background feet shuffled. Someone cleared his throat. R3 came forward, one step at a time. I could’ve sworn the floor vibrated with every move. All my instincts screamed at me to leg it, but if I’d learned one lesson well, it was not to show fear. Not too much, anyway.
R3’s arm shot out before I had a chance to see it coming. His large hand clasped around my neck and all my hairs stood on end. I kept completely still, waiting for the blow to come.
He gazed at me from dark brown eyes, then lifted his other hand. The atmosphere around us thickened, and my poor confused cock perked up with interest. The Nadisc laid a hand against my cheek, left it there for a while, before he eventually pulled it away.
He pointed at his comrades. “Niyara.”
The Nadisc woman inclined her head.
“This is Xevon. And to make it easier for you and your people, you may call me Tom.”
“Tom?” I blurted. “Don’t you have a fancy name like the others?” The grasp around my neck tightened, and I hastened to add. “Short is cool, though. Really cool.”
“Thought so.”
Tom released my neck, but didn’t step away. Slightly wary, I glanced up at him. He grinned at me, showing a full line of well-tended white humanoid teeth, then beckoned to Niyara and Xevon. They bridged the distances in two long strides and formed a circle around me.
“Um, guys, what’s going on?” I asked, mulling whether I could slip past them or not.
They intertwined their hands and closed the circle around me. Someone—I think it was Carson—muttered something fierce, and a moment later three large bodies crowded me. I opened my mouth to tell them off, or maybe to ask them very politely to back off a little—same difference, really—when an eerie shout resounded through the hangar.
My eyes had to be circular by the time they finished. You could’ve heard a pin drop, it was that silent around us.
Niyara, Xevon, and Tom took one step backward, and I breathed more freely. Niyara smashed her fist against her chest, declaring, “We accept you as our leader on this mission.”
I gaped at her. The Nadisc helped and supported humans, but accepting leadership from a human? They very rarely did. Niyara smiled at me, a genuine smile that showed a prettiness I hadn’t seen before, then she engulfed me in a rib-creaking embrace. I was stumbling to find my footing once she’d set me down when Xevon lifted me off my feet and hugged me too.
He and Niyara turned around and advanced on my crew members, eliciting a few terrified squeaks. I peered at Tom, who showed no inclination of moving.
“What? No hug from you?” I asked.
He held out his broad muscled arms for me, grinning. My mouth went dry and my damn cock pressed heavily against the fabric of my pants. It had to be visible to everyone. For the first time in many years, heat rose into my cheeks. Tom’s grin expanded before he laughed. I stepped into his arms, bracing myself for another painful embrace. Instead, I found myself leaning against a hard chest with equally hard arms around me, fencing me in but without hurting me.
I mumbled into his leather vest, “Do you by chance happen to like blond humans?”
“I do.”
I would’ve screamed hallelujah if Baker’s voice over the loudspeaker hadn’t demanded we get going.

STRW Author Bio and Contacts

Chris T. Kat lives in the middle of Europe, where she shares a house with her husband of many years and their two children. She stumbled upon the M/M genre by luck and was swiftly drawn into it. She divides her time between work, her family—which includes chasing after escaping horses and lugging around huge instruments such as a harp—and writing. She enjoys a variety of genres, such as mystery/suspense, paranormal, and romance. If there’s any spare time, she happily reads for hours, listens to audiobooks or does cross stitch.

Where to find the author:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ChrisTKat
Twitter: http://twitter.com/christi_kat
GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/ChrisTKat
Blog: http://christikat.blogspot.com
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Chris-T.-Kat/e/B008FQQH2Q

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Tour Dates & Stops: July 27, 2015
Parker Williams, Cate Ashwood, Iyana Jenna, BFD Book Blog, Bike Book Reviews, Smoocher’s Voice, Bayou Book Junkie, Havan Fellows, Andrew Q. Gordon, MM Good Book Reviews, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Kimi-Chan, Full Moon Dreaming, Happily Ever Chapter, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Rainbow Gold Reviews, Charley Descoteaux, The Hat Party

 

 

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Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: E-copies of Seizing It and the sequel Too Good to be True? by Chris T. Kat.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Link and Prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.
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Author Spotlight: BJ on Author Jaye McKenna

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Need a New Author? Check out our Reviewer

Author Recs!

 A BJ Author Rec: Author Jaye McKenna

Burn The Sky cover

The first time I picked up a book by Jaye McKenna was during the 2014 Don’t Read in the Closet event put on by the Goodreads M/M Romance group. It was a free story, and it was awesome. Then I found out it was the second of a series, so I went back and read the first freebie book, Human Frailties from the previous year’s event. Then another freebie, Facing the Mirror. I enjoyed all three. I requested a review copy of her newest book, Burn the Sky, and promptly fell in love with the broken ice dragon, Ilya. But it was when I went back and read the expanded version of Human Frailties, Human Strengths that I completely fell in love, irrevocably and head over heels. Ashnavayarian has stolen my heart and its for so many reasons but really, really its just like that quote by Michel de Montaigne, “because he was he.” There is just something magical and unique about him—so strong, yet he has his vulnerable moments. He’s imperfect, starts out self-centered and snarky but he’s growing and changing. And its so fun to see.

This author pushes some of my buttons big time, because I love angst and broken boys. Especially ones with long hair (ok, it’s a fetish of mine!). This author’s boys never have an easy time of it, they go through the wringer a few times over for their HEA. I eat that right up. The heat and sexual tension buildup that I love is always there. There’s snarky characters and witty dialogue.

Then there is her world. Most of McKenna’s stories are set in the same well-developed and nuanced fantasy world. The fantasy stories are separated from the more sci-fi ones by thousands of years, but it all ties in and builds… it sucked me in.

Jaye McKenna serves up magic meets science. Its lovely, nuanced broken boys getting slowly put back together and finding love. With a hefty dose of hot and sexy on top.

                                                                       ~  BJ

 

About author Jaye McKenna –

Jaye McKenna was born a Brit and was dragged, kicking and screaming, across the Pond at an age when such vehement protest was doomed to be misinterpreted as a “paddy”. She grew up near a sumac forest in Minnesota and spent most of her teen years torturing her parents with her electric guitar and her dark poetry. She was punk before it was cool and a grown-up long before she was ready. Jaye writes fantasy and science fiction stories about hot guys who have the hots for each other. She enjoys making them work darn hard for their happy endings, which might explain why she never gets invited to their parties.

You can find Jaye McKenna at the following:

Website , Twitter,  Goodreads Author Page

Human Choices coverHuman Frailties Human Strengths coverBurn The Sky coverPsi Hunter cover

Books You May Have Missed from Jaye McKenna (with links to BJ’s Reviews):

And look for the following books and their reviews from BJ in the upcoming weeks…

  • Psi Hunter (Guardians of the Pattern, #1)
  • Gremlin’s Last Run (Guardians of the Pattern, #2)
  • Ghost in the Mythe (Guardians of the Pattern, #3.0)

A Mika Review: Time Waits by C..B. Lewis

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Time Waits coverBadly wounded and on the run from his WWII Hungarian brigade, Janos Nagy stumbles through a temporal gateway to the future. Suddenly stranded in Manchester, England, 2041, Janos wants answers about a crazy world he doesn’t recognize.

Dieter Schmidt, flamboyant historian/linguist for the Temporal Research Institution has those answers, but the TRI is a neutral entity, set up to verify historical events under a strict code of noninterference. That doesn’t stop Dieter from taking Janos under his protection. Trust doesn’t come easy to Janos, who came from a time when revealing his secrets could get him killed, but the two men slowly build a tentative friendship with a possibility for more. But Janos’s continued presence in the future and Dieter’s persistence raise questions about the limits of the noninterference policy.

Since the rules have been bent once, one agent sees no reason why he can’t push them further, and he travels back to 1914 to make a few changes of his own. Under Janos’s guidance, Dieter must leap back in time to stop the rogue agent from changing the past and risking everyone’s future—if he can survive history

I honestly don’t know what I was thinking when I got this book. I don’t read many sci-fi books, time travel is something I’ve never been interested in. However, I’m so happy I read this book. I liked it a lot. It was different from my comfort zone reads, this was also a new author to me as well. I think the author did a good job with the WWII facts pertaining the history part of the story. I thought the concept was really good, and executed well.

For a story that was based on the future I didn’t see as many futuristic elements in here as I had hoped for. The blurb says it’s 2041, but nothing was very different from now until then. I think the only noticeable thing was the pod cars. My thing is, if you’re going to write a story based on a futuristic time, I’d like to see some of those elements throughout the setting; other then that, I liked everything else, including Dieter and Janos. Each guy had different qualities about themselves that made them better with each other.

From the first meeting of the two, until the last moment on the page I was happy. Sure they had a very rocky beginning. I can’t blame them, Janos is from early 1900’s, and everything he knew was gone, blown out the water. I thought it adapted very well. He was a very quick study. My favorite thing about Janos was him accepting that this present world he lives in does not care who he loves. He was cautious about showing his intentions with Dieter and I get it, he’s from a time where even the thought of sodomy had the person killed. I liked his reactions at the end of the story when Dieter was doing his own Jump. His emotions came full circle. Dieter was amazing as well. I love that he was super confident in his sexuality and how his approach to the story was handled.

For me Dieter grew the most in this story. He had countless hurdles to get across, he was not an aggressive person, but he had to put on a strong face numerous of times. 

As for the plot of the story, I really liked that as well. I wish for me that the historic event could have been more familiar to me. When I was reading it, I had to stop and Google to see if this information really happened. LOL, it did. I enjoyed those scenes a lot. All in all, I think the author did a very good job on this book, and I liked it a lot.

Cover Art by Catt Ford. I liked the cover. I think both models are good descriptions of the main characters.

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

Book Details: 

ebook, 330 pages
Published May 15th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press LLC
ISBN139781632168535
edition languageEnglish
urlhttp://www.dreamspinnerpress.com