An Alisa Release Day Review: The Applicant (Busted Labs #1) by Aidee Ladnier

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Rating:  3 stars out of 5

 

the-applicant-by-aidee-ladnierHow can something so cuddly and adorable be so destructive? The teddy bear robot decimating his lab is only the first disaster of the day for roboticist Forbes Pohle. If he can figure out how to end its rampage, he still has to interview applicants for the position of research assistant and convince the time traveler on his doorstop that they should be making their future right now.

 

Oliver Lennox didn’t travel back in time to have a quickie in the blast chamber—but it certainly is fun. This younger Forbes is a sweeter, more innocent version of his lover. And it will be hard to leave him behind in the past.

 

If you like sexy nerds, humor, plenty of action, and a love story not even time can disrupt, this romantic adventure has the perfect credentials for the job.

 

This was a sweet quick read.  Forbes is a completely innocent roboticist with no real world experience, wanting to make the world a better place.  Oliver is Forbes lover from the future doing a favor for his lover, but didn’t expect to be so drawn to the younger version.

 

Both of these characters were great.  We get a good amount of the back story from Oliver’s timeline and see why he really wanted to go back and help the younger Forbes.  I loved seeing when Oliver went back to “his” Forbes and they both have the memories of their original timeline, but then Forbes also has the “updated” memories based on Oliver’s trip and you get to see that it really did work out how Oliver hoped it would.  I am interested to see how this series with continue, if we will be following these characters or if new one will be coming to play.

 

Cover art by Brooke Albrecht is great; I loved the visual of the younger Forbes and the “adorable” teddy bear.

 

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

ebook, 47 pages

Published: 2nd Edition, January 11, 2017 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 9781635332001

Edition Language: English

Series: Busted Labs #1

A Paul B Review: Breaker (Exile #1) by Kelly Wyre and A.F. Henley

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Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

exile-breaker-coverIn a world of unintended effects, what was supposed to be The Cure, has given a portion of the population side effects.  The government, or what’s left of it, gathers these people.  Either they use them for their own purposes (human lie detectors among others) or keep them locked up for “the public good.”  However, there is this mythical island where the Estranged as they are called can escape to and life free from fear of capture.  But does this island really exist?

Kaeva knows that this island exists.  He’s been living there for the past eight years after twelve years on the streets.  Now thirty-six, he lives a solitary life on the island, away from the city.   When emotional, Kaeva has a tendency to short out electrical equipment.   His touch has even short circuited the brains of fellow humans as Kaeva points out that the brain is a bunch of cells tied together by water and electricity.  He is upset when the island leaders tell him to retrieve the newest “intake” who should be washing ashore soon.

Eddie has been scared of being detected for the past 22 years.  A recent college graduate who majored in English Literature focusing on ancient 20th century comic books.  However, after receiving the Cure, he has been hearing voices in his head.  These voices are of various people who are about to commit a crime.  However, Eddie never knows where these voices come from nor is he able to help any of the victims before it is too late.  Thinking silence is better than these voices he can’t control, Eddie decides to go to his uncle’s place to end his life.  However, on the way to the airport, he believes he’s been scanned and runs.  He meets a stranger who tells him of Exile, a sanctuary for Estranged.  As his original plans are impossible, Eddie figures he might as well go there.  If things don’t work out he can end his life there just as easily.  When he reaches the island, he does not quite know how to deal with the man who has been assigned to transition him into life on Exile.

I liked the combination of Kaeve and Eddie together.  Kaeve is anti-social in part because he wants to be but primarily because he HAS to be.  Eddie is a young, rich (which is unusual for the times) and naïve college graduate who majored in what most of today’s ten year old boys do today—comic books.  Other than the disappearance of his friend (who would be called a horse whisperer), Eddie has not seen life as tough as Kaeve has lived.  Kaeve is scared to death of accidentally killing someone while Eddie doesn’t know whether or not he wants to live.  Eddie wants Kaeve but Kaeve knows that to get close to him is a death sentence.  When Eddie finally touches Kaeve and nothing happens, hope abounds on both sides.  But without a purpose, Eddie still doesn’t know if he wants to live or not.  This is an intriguing opening book to this new series.

The cover art Aisha Akeju is perfect for the book.  It shows the beach where Kaeve is sent to meet Eddie when he first washes ashore on the island.

Sales Link

Purchasing Link to Less Than Three Press

Book Details

EBook, 340 pages

Published:  January 10, 2017 by Less Than Three Press

Edition Language:  English

ISBN:  9781620049334

Series:  Exile

Breaker (Exile, Volume 1) Blog Tour and Giveaway by AF Henley and Kelly Wyre (excerpt and giveaway)

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Breaker (Exile #1) by Kelly Wyre and A.F. Henley
L
ess Than Three Press

Welcome to the Breaker (Exile, Volume 1) Blog Tour and Giveaway! We’re both super excited about this new release and thrilled to be able to share it with you. Throughout this tour, we’re going to be introducing many of the characters within, and associated with, Exile’s bizarre shores, as well as introducing Exile itself. Then we’re going to top that off with a quick little teaser.

However, before we get into any of that we wanted to remind you that we’ve got a couple of awesome giveaways going along with the tour so be sure to read through to the end to find out how you could win either a Silver-plated Starfish Anklet (just by leaving a single comment!), or the grand prize of a signed, print copy of Breaker, a coordinates bracelet with the Believe. Seek. Prove. reminder so you can always find your way back to the island of Exile, and a $20 gift certificate to the Less Than Three Press book market.

The Character Discussion

Kelly Wyre: Let’s just dive right on in… What are we doing again?

AFH: But I hate diving.

KW: I hate water. But hey, we all make sacrifices so we don’t stink up public transit. So. Right. THE ISLAND! This post is about the ENTIRE ISLAND. So if Exile could talk… and tell us something… what WOULD it say?

AFH: Get off my lawn! (The number of times Kelly facepalms while we write these is AWESOME.)

KW: (Yes. The perma-hand-print on the forehead look is SO in…) It might, in fact, say that. The get off my lawn schtick. It might also say, “Feed me.” Or maybe… “Thanks for the Barrier!” or “Never a dull moment!” or “Why me?”

AFH: Or, “Did you SEE what those two were DOING up there?! RAWR.”

KW: Oh, there’d be a fair amount of THAT too. Like, a lot of it. And also, “Damn, son, stop wearing the pointy heels.”

The Teaser

The farther into the ocean they went, the darker the water got, giving up the gray undertones for a deeper blue. Clouds, stretched wide and thin, clung to the horizon and gave the illusion that they had settled onto the water instead of in the sky, and brilliant prisms of light caught every ripple of the water’s surface. Eddie was intrigued, more by the fact that the boat seemingly had a destination than by anything else. Did the fisherman really know of an island? Not Exile, for sure, but an island; something the man probably figured he could pass off as Exile and get himself a few new wardrobe additions along the way. It would be nothing more than a clever ruse, a very clever one that had even managed to fool Rivet, but he had to give the guy kudos for coming up with such a scheme. Find an island, send out word that it was the fabled island of Exile, and dump a few dozen or so passengers on it. The best that could happen, for the fisherman, anyway, was that the island was abandoned and the people he dropped there would be stuck with no way to pass on the info that the scheme existed. After all, the island had to be a hell of a way’s out. There was nothing around them but cold, blue water. In all honesty, if someone could find their way back, they’d be too embarrassed to say anything about their ill-fated trip to get the fisherman in any serious trouble. And if they weren’t embarrassed and did speak up, who the hell would believe them?

When the boat’s engine died some time later, Eddie’s mind suddenly began to come up with a new idea on how the man could get away with his ruse. It had a far more sinister premise. He looked across the boat, swallowed hard, and watched the fisherman pull from behind his post at the wheel.

“This is where you get off, boy,” the fisherman drawled. He stopped several feet away from Eddie, stuck both hands in the deep pockets of his pants, and rocked back on his heels. “Good luck.”

Eddie’s eyes widened. He looked from man to water, from water to man, and huffed a dry laugh. “I don’t understand.”

The man nodded at the railing. “You do the rest from in there. I don’t go any farther than this.”

“You mean you want me to…”

The man nodded.

“Like… swim?”

The man nodded again.

Eddie gestured in the general direction of anywhere but the boat. “There’s no island, though. Just water. And…” He paused, swallowing again. He said, “Fish,” but he thought, sharks. Stingrays, water snakes, things with teeth and spikes, oh my.

“Come on, man.” Eddie’s voice was nothing more than a whisper, but the fear and the plea in his tone was obvious. “Don’t do this.”

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Breaker (Exile Volume 1)

Copyright © 2017 by Kelly Wyre and A.F. Henley

Purchasing Link


Blurb

Breaker

In the wake of several near-cataclysmic events, humanity created the Cure, a DNA-altering antidote to death by disease and old age. But all cures come with side effects: a small percentage of the population develops a wide range of powers, some of which are lethal to others, and some which are lethal to the wielder.

These people are called the Estranged, hunted and shunned, safe only on the Island of Exile. It is here that Kaeva and Eddie meet—and where they set a prophecy in motion, quite possibly sealing their own demise, and even the end of Exile.

Genre: Gay, Urban Fantasy

Notes: contains some explicit content and includes thoughts and discussions of past and potential suicide

The Giveaway

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On behalf of the tour, please join one, or both of our giveaways.

Simply leave a comment below to be entered into a random giveaway for a silver-plated starfish anklet (and whatever else we can stuff into the envelope). Winner will be selected by random number at the close of the grand prize giveaway, one winner per blog post.

Also, enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win a signed, print copy of Breaker, a coordinates and message bracelet, and a $20 gift certificate to the Less Than Three Press book market.

For all the terms and conditions, please check out the t’s and c’s posted on the Rafflecopter.

** Please note the grand prize giveaway is being offered tour-wide and there will be one winner awarded for the entire event.

ENTER RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY HERE:

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A great big thank you to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for hosting us today, and another to you for joining in on the fun. Best of luck with the giveaway and we hope you enjoyed the post!

Until next time,

Kelly Wyre and AF Henley ❤

About the Authors

Kelly Wyre enjoys reading and writing all manner of fiction, ranging from horror to romance. She used to work in advertising but is now happily chained to her writing desk and laptop. Kelly relishes the soft and cuddly and the sharp and bloody with equal amounts of enthusiasm. She’s a coffee addict, a workaholic, a chronic night owl, and loves a good thunderstorm. Currently Kelly resides in the southeastern United States.

Connect with Kelly!

 Website  Blog   Twitter  Facebook  Fan Page  Google Plus
 Tumblr – NSFW!  Pinterest  Amazon Author Page  Goodreads

Henley was born with a full-blown passion for run-on sentences, a zealous indulgence in all words descriptive, and the endearing tendency to overuse punctuation. Since the early years Henley has been an enthusiastic writer, from the first few I-love-my-dog stories to the current leap into erotica. A self-professed Google genius, Henley lives for the hours spent digging through the Internet for ‘research purposes’ which, more often than not, lead seven thousand miles away from first intentions but bring Henley to new discoveries and ideas that, once seeded, tend to flourish. Henley has been proudly publishing with Less Than Three Press since 2012.

Connect with Henley

 Website   Twitter   Facebook   Amazon Author Page

 Google Plus  Tumblr – NSFW!   Instagram   Goodreads

Release Day Blitz for Oops Caught by Alli Reshi (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title:  Oops, Caught

Series: Expanding Horizon

Author: Alli Reshi

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: January 2nd

Heat Level: 2 – Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 16500

Genre: Romance, sci-fi, aliens, captivity, action/adventure, shoot-out/gunfire, PTSD/post-traumatic stress, hurt/comfort

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Synopsis

Mark Noland can’t figure out how he got into such a fix. How does an ex-mercenary (okay, an almost-reformed mercenary) get himself caught, stuck in a holding cell, on a hostile alien planet? Held captive by strange bug-like creatures who’d just as soon eat him as look at him. How can a simple mission go so awry? To make matters worse, Noland’s not alone. His fellow prisoner, a certain high-ranking, elite Stella officer holds him responsible for their failed plan. Yeah, it was supposed to be a quick in and quick out sort of mission. But no… Officer Gavnson just can’t let it go.

It’s not so easy trying to plan an escape when Noland keeps getting distracted by how his mission partner so very nicely fills out his uniform. And he suspects Gavnson is hiding something, too. As tensions run high, secrets are revealed that will change the both of them. There’s nothing like gunfights and running for your life to make that special bond.

Excerpt

I sat against a wall, watching as my companion paced the length of the cell. Groaning, I leaned my head against the concrete, bored now that we had been caught and taken out of the main action.

At least I had an excellent view to keep me occupied. I could finally appreciate what everyone liked about a man in uniform. My cellmate’s pants were very complimentary to certain areas of his anatomy. With his hands clasped at his lower back as he paced the room, I had the pleasure of an alternating view of his broad back and the strong frame of his chest.

The stern look almost marred his handsome face as he stared at the locked door, set into a row of bars. But his strong jaw, highlighted by a twitching muscle, somehow added to his appeal. Men usually didn’t interest me as much, but having a galaxy of choice opened one’s view of preferences, and to be honest, I had admired worse.

I wondered what his thoughts on a tall, broad-chested, human man were. Would there be any interest on his part, or did he only prefer his own kind? Maybe he had someone back home. A slim-waisted Resconian woman who cooked him warm dinners. Would that be more to his taste? Then again, maybe being an elite Everian-ranked officer in the Stella Corps galactic military didn’t leave much time for romance. I pushed the thoughts away before I could get too involved in them.

“So, Gavnson. Found our way out of here yet?” I asked, watching him make another pass in front of me as he headed for the left side of the jail cell. He ignored that question, like he’d ignored all the others I’d asked.

Our part of the mission had been a distraction tactic that hadn’t worked as well as I had hoped. In any case, it should have given enough time for the rest of our team to break into the other side of the compound where the data center was located so we could take back the information the Awoknains had stolen. Lists of undercover agents and stealth plans weren’t something you wanted up for grabs among enemies. I knew it would be a matter of time until Ken, my master mechanic and sometimes arsonist, broke us out. Though it seemed Gavnson wasn’t content to be patient.

He reached for one of the hinges at the top of the door. Bolting forward, I wrapped my arms around his waist and pulled Gavnson back before he could touch the knot of metal. We slipped off balance, and I tried to take a step back to regain my footing, but it was useless; we tumbled to the floor in a heap. The wind was knocked out of me, and I gasped for air. Gavnson was heavier than he looked.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing, Noland?” Gavnson yelled. He rolled off me effortlessly and sat up, directing a harsh look at me.

“Saving your ass. Don’t touch those; they’re electrified. Not enough to kill you, but it’s a hell of a shock that’ll give you nasty burns,” I said, wheezing as I sat up. I didn’t miss his flinch, though he tried to hide it. I was instantly curious, but ignored the itch to question. Starting a fight with Gavnson wouldn’t help us break out.

He was silent after his near miss with the electrified hinge. I was glad he was finally sitting still. The constant nervous motion wore on my nerves. No matter how fine an ass he had.

The silence that followed made my skin crawl; it was the quiet before the storm hit. I was tempted to ask Gavnson any random question, but if the tension in his body was anything to go by, he obviously wasn’t much in the mood for conversation.

I stared at the far wall through the bars on the door, hoping Ken would hurry his blue ass up and break us out so we could be done with the job. He had been part of the retrieval team. Footsteps echoed down the hall, headed in our direction, but I didn’t recognize them. There were more corpsmen as part of Gavnson’s team; hopefully, that would be some of them. Luck was not on our side, though. Our insect-like captors now stood in front of our cell, their green skin and horns gleaming.

“You. Up now. Come.” The raspy demands issued from mouths that didn’t move. That would never not be creepy. I didn’t have time to think on that, though; the guards motioned at Gavnson to get up.

“No, you can’t,” I said. I grabbed Gavnson’s shoulder to stop him from moving.

“Why?” The attention of the two guards flicked to me. A simple question with complex implications. Think fast, Noland.

Purchase

NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords

Meet the Author

Alli has always had a love for just about any story she can get her hands on. Be it from books, TV, or even video games—if there’s a good story, she will love it. Given that, it’s easy to see how Alli moved on to making stories of her own.

Raised in a small Colorado town, Alli also has a love of the outdoors and enjoys hiking. Nowadays she lives in a bigger city and fits in fine there too, liking how close and comfy everything is. Often at home with her two cats, Alli is never far from her computer, whether for work or for play. She believes the truth is a multifaceted thing and always works to write the world, and subsequently the truth of the world, as she sees it.

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A Free Dreamer Review:O/s by Jane Davitt and Alexa Snow

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

os-coverContains non-con elements and scenes of violence.

Jax has the perfect job on the perfect world, looking after subs while their owners are away. But Brysen’s no ordinary sub and his owner Layne is a threat to the safety of every sub on the planet.

Dealing with the heartbreak of a failed relationship, Jax is slow to realize Brysen’s adoration for his stern owner passes all reason, and breaks every rule. By the time he does, there may be time to save Brysen, but in the process, Jax stands to lose everything from his job to his chance at love. Will the protective instincts that guide his actions hold steady or will the darkness Layne wakes within him prove stronger?

First of all: Do take those warning seriously. This story does get pretty dark.

I absolutely loved “O/s”. The concept was interesting. BDSM relationships are not only perfectly acceptable in this universe, the government has even installed a system to provide couples with a safety net. Every sub wears a collar that flashes in warning, if their vitals do something unusual. The collar is the substitute for safe words here. The collar is monitored by the police, so if such a warning is ignored, they immediately take action. This system provides subs and Owners alike with a safe environment to play in. You can’t mess with the collar without it giving off an alert.

Jax is a professional subsitter. If an Owner has to leave their sub alone for whatever reason, they hire Jax to look after them during their absence. Jax provides the sub with whatever they need, even if a lot of things aren’t what he would usually prefer. But he’s a pro and he loves his job. I really liked seeing him work with all kinds of subs and Owners. He takes his job seriously and takes very good care of every sub in his charge.

Brysen is in a relationship with Layne. He loves Layne. He loves everything Layne does to him. And he absolutely deserves all the harsh punishments Layne deals out. He tries so hard to be perfect for Layne, but he keeps failing. Brysen’s struggle was breathtaking. Everything was such a giant mind fuck, I was never quite sure about Brysen’s real feelings.

Actually, the whole book was one giant mind fuck. And that’s what made “O/s” so brilliant in my eyes. You’re always wondering, doubting, questioning and yet you’ll never guess the truth. It’s all so very twisted and fucked up and I absolutely loved it for that very reason.

Brysen wasn’t a whiny, needy thing that needed an Owner to survive. Layne fucked him up good, but he’s a strong man. I really admired Brysen. And Jax was wonderful as well. He always takes care of everybody and strictly sticks to what the Owners tell him about their subs. But Brysen is different and I loved Jax for picking up on that and taking care of him, without being patronizing. He doesn’t have a superhero complex, he really struggled with what he was seeing in Brysen, what he knows about the system and what Layne told him about Brysen.

The BDSM is fairly hardcore. So if you have mixed feelings about BDSM, “O/s” probably isn’t the book for you. I loved how obviously different Jax and Layne were. While Layne never shows any tenderness toward Brysen, Jax is strict but loving. The difference was vast.

The authors created a perfect balance between plot and world building. The explanations about the system were perfectly interwoven with the plot and felt absolutely natural.

Long story short: If you like violence, mind fuck and dub-con in your books and you’re not opposed to a BDSM sci-fi setting, then this is the book for you. If, however, you’re a bit dubious about BDSM and prefer your MCs to have a bit of kinky fun, then you probably won’t like “O/s”.

Personally, I absolutely loved it. Definitely won’t be the last book by these two for me!

Cover: The cover by April Martinez is very simplistic. I quite like it, though. Definitely better than your average BDSM cover with a sub in chains or something. An eye-catcher.

Sales Links

Loose id LLC

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Book details: ebook, 299 pages

Published August 2nd 2016 by Loose ID

In the Spotlight: “Accused” by Leona Windwalker (excerpt and giveaway)

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Accused (The Talani Trade Alliance Book 1) by Leona Windwalker
R
une Tree Press

Buy (https://www.amzn.com/B01N2U1HOZ)

December 27, 2016

Blurb:

Matthias Reynolds loves his life. He’s starting to make it as a graphic artist at last and has a job he really likes at a local café that pays the bills. When a night out clubbing leads to an awkward morning after, he’s embarrassed and more than ready to forget  all about it. When Talani Enforcers show up at the café, he doesn’t know what to make of it all as he’s led away in restraints.

Standing accused of crimes he struggles to understand, he finds he has an unexpected champion: the Talani warrior and war hero J’nah Quislin. J’nah knows that Matty is his. All J’nah has to do is keep Matty safe from those who engineered Matty’s charges and sentencing. That, and get Matty to accept that the universe always intended them to be together as one. All it requires is for Matty to return J’nah’s devotion and offer his willing submission. Can Matty do it, with all that it will mean for his future?

Excerpt:

He carried his clothes and shoes over to the waste receptacle as instructed, wincing at the thought of how much he’d paid for those shoes just three weeks ago. He finished just in time, as he could hear doors opening and closing. His door opened moments later, another burly Talani warrior entering with a bowl of food. He took it as it was offered and thanked the warrior, who gave a curt nod and carefully backed out of the cell, quickly shutting the door behind him before pushing a cart to the next cell.

The food looked unappetizing, being some sort of purple mush with strings of some unidentified meat and vegetables he knew no name for. He’d not eaten all day since the two bites of toast on that seemingly far away morning. He gingerly tried a taste.

Okay, so not revolting despite the looks of it. Not great either, but I’ve had worse things.

He polished off the bowl and pondered what to do with it.

Are they going to come back for it or do I throw it away or what?

He decided to place it upon the floor until someone came to tell him what to do. He waited until his thirst made him go to the sink and take a drink from his cupped hands. He scrubbed at his teeth with his finger, wishing he at least had some toothpaste. Exhausted from his harrowing day, he was relieved when the lights began to dim, slowly going out. He climbed onto his bed and curled up on it before the light was completely gone. He was asleep before he knew it.

Morning came quickly, the lights slowly brightening up almost as if they were approximating sunrise. Another warrior appeared, bringing more food and a plastic tumbler of some type of juice. He eyed the dirty bowl and utensil on the floor pointedly, then pointed to the trash receptacle.

“Okay, sorry, I wasn’t sure,” Matty said contritely.

The warrior gave a curt nod and handed him his breakfast. It too did not look like much and was on the bland side. He found the juice sweet with a tart edge to it that he found hard to define. Whatever it was, it was refreshing and not only slaked his thirst, but left his mouth feeling clean. When he finished, he placed all the dishes in the trash, taking a moment to wonder where it all disappeared to when he closed the lid.

He’d splashed his face with some water from the sink and dampened his hair finger combing it to try to tame the bedhead he couldn’t see but knew was there. He was just finishing his efforts when guards came, opening the cell doors and ushering the prisoners out into the hall. Exiting into the branch corridor, they continued on until they came to the main corridor, then made their way to yet another branch. This one ended in a large area that had a stage of some sort set up, with a large overhead screen set up. There were chairs filled with Talani as well as a few other humanoids he couldn’t identify.

Other Trade members, no doubt. I suppose only those of us who make it off-world get to meet them until Earth makes full membership. Though maybe some of the higher ranked employees back at the Trade Confederation Headquarters back on Earth might’ve too, I suppose. Not like I can ask Duane, he thought with a mixture of sarcasm, anger, and sadness.

The group of prisoners were ushered through a door at the rear of the stage and the door shut. Sound from the other room was abruptly cut off and the prisoners were urged to sit down, being re-cuffed as they did so.

One of the warriors tilted his head as if listening to instructions, alerting Matty that he was wearing an earpiece of some sort. The instructions seemed to involve taking the prisoners one by one to the outside room, returning a few minutes later to retrieve another. Soon it was Matty’s turn and he found himself onstage, made larger on the viewing screen that hung over head. Information written in Talani scrolled  on one side of the screen and the seated audience seemed to be busy glancing up at it and idly tapping away on their data pads or staring off into space. A chime sounded, apparently serving as an alarm as all movements ceased. His image vanished from the screen and characters flashed up on the screen for several moments. He was escorted offstage and met by yet another official, this time a Talani woman with short-cropped hair.

“This way, please, Matthias.” She continued speaking to him as they walked along. “You’ve successfully been matched and now we are beginning your out-processing. First stop is Medical, where they will give you an exam and prepare you as needed for where you are going.”

“You mean like immunizations?”

She hesitated before answering. “Immunizations, well, yes, that is definitely something they’ll tend to.”

Makes sense. Not like I’d have any natural defenses against some exotic hemorrhagic fever or anything like that. Matty shuddered at the thought. “So, can you tell me who employed me?”

“J’nah Quislin.  He’s a warrior of great renown, a hero of the Expansion Wars.”

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Author Bio:

Leona is a longtime staunch supporter of human rights and environmental causes. Her favourite genre to read is M/M fiction and she particularly enjoys science fiction, fantasy, and action/suspense sub-genres—especially if they have a nice seasoning of romance. She has far too many books on her Kindle, has overloaded her phone with even more and, when not reading, writing, being driven to distraction by her children, or being overlorded by her three cats, can be found trying to locate the portal that the sock monster uses to steal socks from her dryer.

Recent head-reeling news for her included her novel Jared:Urban Wolves #1 being nominated for an Indie Award from Metamorph and placing as a finalist in the 2016 Rainbow Awards, earning an Honorable Mention. She’s still suspicious that it’s all been a dream, but as long as her readers are happy and she can find at least one of the missing socks, she’s happy.

You’ll find her books on Amazon (universal link is http://author.to/LeonaWindwalker), including on Kindle Unlimited. You’ll also find her on Facebook at Leona Windwalker, where you can keep up on news regarding current, new, and upcoming releases.

Don’t forget to put it on your Goodreads shelf! (Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33414912-accused)

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Cover Reveal for Regeneration by Louise Lyons

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Regeneration by Louise Lyons
Expected publication: January 15th 2017

Pre-Order Links

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01NAL4NJ8

Amazon UK:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01NAL4NJ8

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/688822

Blurb

In the 23rd Century in the galaxy of Sigma Kappa, Kim Fortune was the first surviving experimental enhanced human—a regenerate. Aged fifteen, he escaped the lab and years later, his failings as a regenerate and the suspicion of regular humans, leave him lonely and lacking in self-worth. Stranded on an abandoned planet, the arrival of a stricken ship and its crew give him hope that he may finally find what he always longed for—love.

Christian Novak is a successful regenerate with all the intended attributes—including lack of human emotion. Despite their immediate attraction to each other, Kim’s failing confidence, and Christian’s inability to empathize are a recipe for disaster. But war, imprisonment, and danger throw them together, and after each saves the other’s life, their feelings begin to change.

Can a seemingly unsuitable pair ever find love, or is a future together destined to fail?

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Author Bio

Louise Lyons comes from a family of writers. Her mother has a number of poems published in poetry anthologies, her aunt wrote poems for the church, and her grandmother sparked her inspiration with tales of fantasy.

Louise first ventured into writing short stories at the grand old age of eight, mostly about little girls and ponies. She branched into romance in her teens, and MM romance a few years later, but none of her work saw the light of day until she discovered FanFiction in her late twenties. Posting stories based on some of her favourite movies, provoked a surprisingly positive response from readers. This gave Louise the confidence to submit some of her work to publishers, and made her take her writing “hobby” more seriously.

Louise lives in the UK, about an hour north of London, with a mad dog called Casper, collection of tropical fish and tarantulas. She works in the insurance industry by day, and spends every spare minute writing. She is a keen horse-rider, and loves to run long-distance. Some of her best writing inspiration comes to her, when her feet are pounding the open road. She often races home afterward, and grabs pen and paper to make notes.

Louise has always been a bit of a tomboy, and one of her other great loves is cars and motorcycles. Her car and bike are her pride and job, and she loves to exhibit the car at shows, and take off for long days out on the bike, with no one for company but herself.

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Email: louiselyons013@gmail.com

In the Syfy Spotlight: Murder Once Seen (The Oddities #1) by J.T. Hall (giveaway)

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Murder Once Seen (The Oddities #1) by J.T. Hall
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iptide Publishing
Cover by: Kanaxa

Read an Excerpt/Buy It Here

 

About Murder Once Seen

In the city of Nis, things often aren’t what they seem.

Derwin is a bounty hunter gifted with the Oddity of superhuman strength and agility—perfect for hunting down fugitives and demons who roam the streets. One killed his boyfriend two years ago, and Derwin won’t stop until he finds out who. Police suspect it was someone he sent to prison, but he can’t shake the idea that they’re missing something.

Elliot is a rentboy who’s been living on the streets since his parents disowned him. He mistrusts everyone and, given his uncontrolled ability to Read Objects and a client list that includes a major gang boss, despairs of ever having a normal life.

Derwin and Elliot meet in a storm of lust. Derwin’s Oddity is fed by the pain of others, but he only wants what’s freely given. Elliot loves pain, but needs safety and a way off the streets before he can allow it. They may be able to solve each other’s problems . . . if they can survive long enough to work together.

Available now at Riptide Publishing. http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/murder-once-seen

About JT Hall

J.T. Hall has been writing for many years under this name and others, and has appeared in magazines, anthologies, and online books. She earned her BA in creative writing from the University of Arizona, her master’s in education from Argosy University, and works as an independent technical writer for state and federal programs. In her free time, she volunteers for the LGBT community and is active in the leather scene. She has a teenage daughter and a partner of over ten years. They live in sunny Arizona with three adorably cute dogs, three black cats, and a hamster who loves peanuts.

Connect with J.T.:

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Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Murder Once Seen, one lucky winner will receive a $20 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on December 17, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

Victoria Sue on Writing Paranormal and ‘Five Minutes Longer’ (Dreamspinner Press Author Guest Blog, excerpt and giveaway)

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Five Minutes Longer by Victoria Sue
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reamspinner Press
Cover Artist: AngstyG

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Victoria Sue (Sirius Wolves series, Pure series) here today to talk about writing and her latest release, Five Minutes Longer.  Welcome, Victoria!

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“I tried to write a contemporary but it grew four legs and a tail.”

Victoria Sue.

I didn’t get the idea for Five Minutes Longer and then write the characters. I started out with Finlay Mayer and wrote him a story.

All about Finn and making him a hero or why a B-average student gets a job with the FBI.

Finlay “Finn” Mayer is 24 years old. He comes from a small town and at fourteen his dyslexia is quickly turning him off school. He’d already started missing days. Homework deadlines fell by the wayside and his excuses were a bigger work of fiction than the stories he’d been asked to write in the first place.

The senior college uptake rate at his high school is abysmal and the graduation levels weren’t all that impressive so the new principal arranges for people with “cool” jobs to come in and talk to the Freshman year. A bored – well on his way to a life of crime –14-year-old Finn walks into the school hall to listen to two FBI agents come to talk about their careers. He walks out a different person. His dream of joining the FBI starts at that moment and he starts his ten-year-long battle to make it happen.

His dad had come home from the Vietnam war in a wheelchair and battled depression every single day.

His mom was only ever concerned with appearances. Her hair. Her nails. Her committees.

His brother Deke – 37 years – lazy. Homophobic and convinced that Finn needs to forget his insane idea of going to college and come and work for him in his insurance business.

For personal reasons Dyslexia and its challenges are important to me so it was something Finn was going to have. It’s quite common for bright kids to only start struggling in middle school or above, and Finn has two huge obstacles to his dreams by this time. He knows that less than 7% of applicants actually get chosen for the FBI and a lot of forums say that number is actually much lower. He is convinced a diagnosis of dyslexia would make his tiny chance completely disappear so he keeps under the teacher’s radar. Assignments are always diligently carried out. Never a missed deadline. Never a missed class.

It’s just his test scores that are crap, and nothing he ever does will bring his averaged out grades any higher.

By fifteen he knows he is gay. He has also read that while the FBI don’t actually discriminate against it, apparently it’s something people might get blackmailed over, so Finn buries that as well. He even takes a girl to prom.

Then we have the FBI interview and selection process.

After the four-year college degree and a minimum age of twenty-three for applicants there are only five areas of experience/expertise that the FBI take from.

Language, Law, Accounting, Computer Science, or a mix of them.

Back to the undiagnosed dyslexia – computer science, Law and languages were huge obstacles. I originally had Finn’s brother a deputy sheriff and him joining him, but then I decided that was too convenient and the Finn that I now knew wouldn’t do that.

Dyslexia and being clever with numbers aren’t mutually exclusive, and are often quite common. Different sides of the brain tackle these two areas, so I make Finn clever because Dyslexia isn’t a synonym for stupid – often the reverse, and Finn becomes good at Math. His four-year degree and experience qualify him for the FBI.

So, my shy lovable geek gets his dream job in a very roundabout way – and why not?

The excerpt below is on Finn’s first day:

Gregory nodded and turned off the screen. “To summarize, you’ve all met Finn. We have four weeks to prove this can work. I expect your cooperation and your assistance, but that starts tomorrow. Finn has some short profile tests to sit this morning, and later you will all be in the gym.” Gregory smiled and walked out as a few of the others got up. One or two murmured something pleasant to Finn, but he didn’t hear a word of anything after the word “test.”

His heart pounded, and his earlier breakfast suddenly threatened to make an appearance. Fuck. What if he messed up? How important was this test? Was it written, or maybe physical? He swallowed.

“S’up, kid?” Talon stood, frowning at him.

Finn licked his lips. “What, umm, sort of test is it?”

Talon shrugged. “Basic behavioral insight, so they can see what you might spot automatically. Or more importantly what assumptions you have that you have to unlearn fast.” He looked assessingly at Finn. “It’s no big deal. I think you just read the questions and pick an answer. It’s timed, but it’s not like you get graded or anything.”

Finn felt sick. It was timed. He’d expected there to be tests at Quantico, but not on his first day, and not when every single person on his team wanted him to fail.

“You okay, kid?”

Finn looked up at Talon, who was looking puzzled, and gulped. He needed to calm down. “Yeah.”

“Good. Come on. Let’s get this over with, then.” Talon led him into yet another room and gestured to a chair next to a desk.

Finn could already feel his palms sweating and his heart pounding, and he tried to breathe slowly. He’d done all sorts of breathing exercises to prepare for his SATs and at one of his interviews. He knew to start with the questions that had the most marks attached. When he was younger, he made the mistake of always starting at the beginning, and because it took him longer to read the questions, he always ran out of time. It just seemed harder now that he knew the stakes and knew everyone wanted him to fail.

Talon didn’t seem to notice his anxiety, however, and picked up a folder from the table and dropped it on the desk. “There’s actually no right or wrong answers. We just need to get a feel for your thought process. So we know your starting point. Don’t forget we’re condensing eight hundred hours of training into four weeks.” Talon shrugged. “Some of the things I may ask you to do will seem difficult to understand.”

Finn looked blankly at the folder. Of course there were right and wrong answers. Even he wasn’t stupid enough to believe this wasn’t something else he could fail at.

Talon sat back down and rubbed his face, trying not to hiss when he caught his lip. He didn’t know how he felt, and it was confusing the hell out of him. He was always convinced having enhanced and regular humans working together wasn’t a good idea. The basic tenet of his team was trust. Knowing each of his guys had his back and wouldn’t hesitate to pull the trigger to save his life. His first trainee didn’t even make it through the test Finn was currently looking at. Fifteen questions, all designed to see if the trainee would fail to respond as quickly if the victim was regular or enhanced, and not just that straightforward. Sometimes candidates would try to go the other way, be too preferential for enhanced to try to win favors.

That scenario didn’t cut it with any of his team either. None of the questions used the words “regular” or “enhanced.” The clues were more subtle, and someone a lot cleverer than Talon had put the questions together. He glanced at the clock. Twenty minutes for the first round of ten questions. Five pretty simple ones, and five that required a little more thought. Then there were some basic math problems as well.

He stood and wandered over to where Finn was sitting, then stopped in surprise. Finn was looking at the last page. Had he finished it already? Talon narrowed his eyes as he looked at Finn. His hand shook as he turned a page, and Finn hadn’t so much as picked up his pen. What was it? Nerves? Was that the reason Finn hadn’t done so well on his exams in college?

Talon absently filed the thought away. It wasn’t his business, and he wasn’t here to babysit someone he wanted out anyway. Served him right if he did fail the test. Talon leaned back against the wall and stared at the ceiling. He smiled a little as he remembered the vid with Finn’s voice declaring he was a federal agent. Even if he wanted him gone, he was happy to grudgingly admit the kid had balls.

Talon glanced over at Finn again and was suddenly struck by the mask of desperation on his face. What the fuck was wrong with him? He knew he could read. There was no way he would have gotten through high school without that, and Finn had a fucking degree. Talon blinked. He’d read the glowing reports from his tutors. Finn’s dedication. His single-mindedness, almost. What he told him in the café. Why would someone put himself through all that and not study his ass off 24-7 to make sure his grades were good?

Unless there was another reason.

Talon stood. “How are you getting on? Halfway through,” he added in case Finn just needed a kick up the ass to get started. He’d also seen some trainees overthink things to the point that it nearly paralyzed them. No decision because they were frightened of not making the right one. That was sometimes even worse. Being an agent meant split-second choices. Talon looked at the clock. Eight minutes left. Eight minutes and Finn would be gone, and they wouldn’t even need all the scenarios the team would put on for him this afternoon. Eight minutes and the brass might concede to what he’d been telling them for months—that the unit should be enhanced only.

He glanced over to see what Finn was writing and frowned. Absolutely nothing. Talon took a step and fisted his hands. Don’t fucking ask, Talon, he told himself sternly. Then the defiant voice of Finn challenging the bastards who attacked him yesterday came into his head, and he sighed. What the hell? He could ask, right?

Talon sat on the desk and picked up the paper. “Your pen not working, kid?”

Finn pushed himself upright. “I’ll go.” He lowered his eyes, but not before Talon saw the frustration and disgust darkening them. He looked at the question that had gotten Finn so worked up. It was a scenario that subtly lead the trainee to favor the enhanced over the human. Not because it was the right thing to do for the situation, but to weed out reverse favoritism.

Talon read the question out loud and lowered the paper. “Why are you having problems with that?”

Finn jutted his chin out. “I’m not,” he said, and he reeled off the best answer.

Talon narrowed his eyes. “Then why didn’t you put that down?”

Finn shrugged.

Talon took a breath as a thought filtered into his mind. “What about this one?” He read off the next question, and Finn answered it promptly and correctly. Talon nodded to the typed instruction fixed to the bottom of the portable scanner cart. “What does that say?”

Finn looked over, and a dull flush crept over his cheeks. “I can read,” he ground out.

“What does it say?” Talon repeated. “Count to ten in your head and then tell me.”

Finn blinked at him, puzzled.

“Take three deep breaths first,” Talon instructed.

Finn did as he was asked and then calmly read, “Please put the power cable away after use.”

Talon scowled. “Why the fuck did you not tell any of us you are dyslexic?”

Finn scowled. “I’m not.” He turned to the door.

Talon nodded. “Let me guess. You anticipate. You find some fonts much easier to read. That’s why your course work was so much better than your written tests.”

Finn stood still, feet planted, hands shoved in his pants pockets. He didn’t turn around.

“Text to speech? It’s an allowed resource,” Talon continued.

Finn turned slowly. “How—how do you know all that?”

Talon debated for about ten seconds. He didn’t share, ever. “Because my little brother’s dyslexic. And when I say little, I mean by one year. He’s currently a prosecutor in the Washington DA’s office. A successful prosecutor,” he added.

Talon picked up the test and started reading the questions. Finn rattled off most of the answers, and by the time they were halfway through the last section, he was writing his own.

“You’re actually better than Sam,” Talon said. “He wouldn’t be able to work out the last question even with his breathing techniques.”

Finn looked up, and Talon’s belly squeezed a little at his eagerness. “It only bothers me when I’m timed or under pressure most of the time now. Even then I can anticipate the simple stuff. We had an old computer in the library at college that had a darker screen than the rest. Everyone hated it, but it was the easiest one for me.”

Talon nodded. “It helped Sam if we overlaid the screen with a blue tint.” He sighed. “I don’t get how I missed your diagnosis, though. I read your file and….” Understanding slammed into Talon. “You’ve never been diagnosed, have you?” He shook his head. Of all the stupid, irresponsible….

Finn’s smile faded.

“You could easily have put your teammates’ lives at risk by not declaring this,” Talon ground out. It was incredibly selfish, and as far as Talon was concerned, the last nail in the coffin.

“I thought once I got into Quantico, I could find someone to talk to about it,” Finn mumbled, and Talon opened his mouth to rain down a world of hurt on Finn.

Then he stopped. Because the fact that Finn wasn’t at Quantico wasn’t his fault. He would have had twenty weeks to sort it out. It wasn’t Finn’s fault they only had four.

Fuck.

This was his excuse. This was exactly what he had wanted. The perfect reason to get rid of the regular human and push for a solo team of enhanced. Finn was handing him the reason on a plate.

Sam’s face swam into his head. How Talon found him in their tree house, crying his eyes out because some dick of a kid called him a retard because he couldn’t read when it was his turn at school. But Sam had their family behind him. He had a huge support network, and what did Finn have? His brother sounded like a complete lazy asshole. His mom, on the surface, not too bad, but at the same time, if she’d let Finn go through school without getting any help….

And his dad. His dad who came home from Vietnam in a wheelchair and finally blew his brains out. And Finn found him.

Talon grimaced. He’d give him a week.

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Blurb – Five Minutes Longer

Talon Valdez knew that when he transformed into an enhanced human, his life and his dreams were finished. Reviled, mistrusted, and often locked away, the enhanced are viewed as monsters, despised by the public, and never trusted to serve in the military or any law enforcement agency.

Years later he gets a chance to set up a task force of enhanced to serve in the FBI, but with one proviso: each enhanced must partner with a regular human.

Finn Mayer dreamed of joining the FBI since he was fourteen and made every possible sacrifice to make it happen, including living with his selfish mother and bullying homophobic brother and never having a boyfriend. But his undiagnosed dyslexia stopped his aspirations dead in their tracks. His last chance is to partner with Talon, an enhanced with fatal abilities who doesn’t trust regular humans with their secrets and wants Finn to fail.

Four weeks to prove himself to the team. Four weeks for the team to prove itself to the public. And when another group threatens their success—and their lives are at stake—four weeks for them to survive.

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About the Author

Victoria Sue

Wrote her first book on a dare from her hubby two years ago and he says he has regretted it every day since. Loves writing about gorgeous boys loving each other the best, and especially with either a paranormal or a historical twist. Had a try at writing contemporary but failed spectacularly when it grew four legs and a tail. Loves her wolves!

Is an English northern lass but is currently serving twenty to life in Florida – unfortunately, she spends more time chained at her computer than on a beach.

Loves to hear from her readers and can be found most days lurking on facebook.

www.victoriasue.com

@vickysuewrites

https://www.facebook.com/victoriasueauthor/– sign up for my newsletter and download a free story The Wrong Alpha

Giveaway

Victoria Sue is giving away one ebook from her backlist to one lucky reader.  Please leave a comment below along with your email address where you can be contacted if you are chosen by Victoria.  Giveaway ends at midnight, November 30th.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

An Alisa Release Day Review: Five Minutes Longer by Victoria Sue

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Rating:  5 stars out of 5

 

fiveminuteslonger_v2Talon Valdez knew when he transformed into an enhanced human, his life and his dreams were finished. Reviled, mistrusted, and often locked away, the enhanced were viewed as monsters, despised by the public, and never trusted to serve in the military or any law enforcement agency.

 

Years later he gets a chance to set up a task force of enhanced to serve in the FBI, but with one proviso: each enhanced must partner with a regular human.

 

Finn Mayer dreamed of joining the FBI from the time he was fourteen and made every possible sacrifice to make it happen, including living with his selfish mother and bullying, homophobic brother and never having a boyfriend. But his undiagnosed dyslexia stopped his aspirations dead in their tracks. His last chance is to partner with Talon, an enhanced with deadly abilities who doesn’t trust regular humans with their secrets and wants Finn to fail.

 

Four weeks to prove himself to the team. Four weeks for the team to prove itself to the public. And when another group threatens their success—and their lives—four weeks for them to survive.

 

This was a wonderful story.  The world that includes the enhanced humans was well thought out and I didn’t feel like I was missing anything when it came to the background of the story.  Talon and his team have continued to stand by the fact that they don’t want regular humans on their team.  And in walks Finn, he breaks down all the walls that Talon has put up without really pushing to which is the most scary thing for Talon.

 

Finn isn’t quite what Talon expects from reading his file and can’t help but be intrigued by the different depths he has.  Finn knows that being on this task force is his last chance to make his dreams come true, but his family, past and Talon’s issues may make it impossible for it to happen.  Both have made some mistakes and make new assumptions that may tear them apart.

 

In this story I can feel how desperate Finn is to make this opportunity work and then his defeat when he knows that it’s never going to happen.  Every time they get close Talon feels he has to push Finn away and keeps playing push and pull with his feelings.  Once Talon gets some sense knocked into him he fully realizes the mistakes he has made and will do anything to get Finn back on the team and in his life.  This is a wonderful beginning to what I hope is a new series and I hope to read more about these two and the other members of the team.

 

Cover art by AngstyG is great and sets the tone for the story well.

 

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

 

Book Details:

ebook, 216 pages

Published: December 1, 2016 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 9781634779166

Edition Language: English