A MelanieM Review: Here Comes the Son by Dahlia Donovan

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Rating: 4.75 stars out  of 5

When evil stirs in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains, heroes come in both ordinary and extraordinary packages.

Ignatius Faber knows a few things for absolute certain. He’s half-demon, his father is the unequivocal prince of darkness, and demons want to destroy his city. And if he doesn’t make the first move on his crush, they’re never going to be anything more than a teenage fantasy that’s lasted into his thirties.

Lalo Pavia grew up hard and fast, orphaned at a young age. As an autistic, he’s learned to approach life cautiously. He throws his energy into gardening and photography—allowing both to provide a buffer between himself and the rest of the world.

Except for Iggy.

Can they find triumph, life, and even love in the middle of a city in flames?

Their fight for the mile high city has just begun

Well this was just superb!  Long a fan of Dahlia Donovan’s stories, her contemporary romances, her mystery cozies here springs a totally engrossing supernatural urban fantasy yarn so full of twist, turns and great characters that I was up until the wee hours reading until I was finished.

Yes, Here Comes the Son by Dahlia Donovan is a book whose characters I embraced and whose plot kept me guessing.

Don’t you love it when that happens?

Not only that but the relationships are so remarkable.  Starting with Ignatius Faber, aka Iggy,  and Lalo Pavia .  Their tight, bond and love for each other is so deep, compounded by Lalo’s autism and Iggy’s understanding of Lalo’s special needs and drive to insure that Lalo can live as best as possible within their universe, given his autism.  And it’s quite the universe.

Donovan has taken her time building a world full of demons, priests, levels at war with each other, scary scientists, and even Lucifer himself.  And none are exactly what you might think.  So many twists here that the plot at points resembles a maze of story threads and wandering possibilities.    None of which I will discuss, but the payoffs are tremendous as far as the narrative are concerned.

The author has built in depth everywhere you look. Layers to her characters.  She has certainly done her homework with regard to people with autism and it shows in Lalo’s character, mannerisms, and behavior.  Lalo is real!  And so is Iggy and his love and commitment to him.

The world building has just as many layers to meet this convoluted plot.  If I had any issues it’s that i  wanted more.  More of the characters, more of Lucifer, more  past the ending.  It’s that sort of story.  Your mind keeps racing past the ending into the thousands of “what ifs” the characters and story keep generating.

Here Comes the Son by Dahlia Donovan is a splendid example of how imagination and plot plus characters and worldbuilding send a novel soaring….it grabs your heart, messes with  your mind, and leaves you wanting more. How great is that?

Cover art is just wonderful.  Works for the character and novel.

Sales Links: Hot Tree Publishing | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CAN | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | QueeRomance Ink | Goodreads

Book Details:

ebook
Published July 27th 2019
ISBN 139781925853568
Edition Language English

If You Love Fantasy, Check Out the Blog Tour for Crossing Nuwa: Escape by Sean Ian O’Meidhir and Connal Braginsky (excerpt)

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Crossing Nuwa Tour Banner

Crossing Nuwa: Escape

Sean Ian O’Meidhir & Connal Braginsky

MM Urban Fantasy, Paranormal / Rescue, Innocence/Discovery, First Love

Release Date: 07.09.19

Cover Designer – Jay Aheer https://www.simplydefinedart.com

Blurb

For sheltered Robbie, one week of freedom leads to sexual awakening and adventure… but when his world intersects with Theo’s, they’ll need all their wits and Theo’s magic to fight for their future.

Rare male weresnake Robbie has had his whole life decided for him down to his meals. But when the time comes for him to perform an unspeakable duty to his clan, he runs.

San Francisco Pride is in full swing when technomage Theo spots a scared-looking young man with brilliant emerald eyes. He’s only looking for a hookup, but before he knows why, he’s taking Robbie home and introducing him to champagne and enchiladas. He doesn’t have any intention of falling in love.

Robbie doesn’t want to return to his clan, at least not without trying to fit a lifetime of experiences into a week, but every day he stays puts Theo in more danger.

Buy Link: http://bit.ly/CrossingNuwaEscape

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Excerpt

“Reality started to sink back in, and I was standing under the water, trying desperately to have the boiling spray chase away my ruminations from the previous night on the run. I don’t know how long I had been in there when a stir of air tickled across my back, alerting me that I wasn’t alone. I spun around to see him standing there. Naked! He was incredibly tall (which is saying something considering I’m six foot two and felt dwarfed), with his broad shoulders and a thick furry chest, bristly goatee, and the bright curly electric-blue hair that somehow shone in the fluorescents of the bathroom in a way that it hadn’t under the sun. His dark skin tone also shone differently with the indoor lighting, which seemed to illuminate the differences between us with my much paler skin. My eyes drifted down over his soft chubby belly to his manhood, which was sticking straight out at me! The burn of shame flowed over my entire head and shoulders as I almost lost my balance turning my immediate arousal away from him.

“Man, I hope you’re a bottom.” He exhaled as his huge arms encircled me. “I’ve never been wrong before.” His breath, warm against my ear, sent a cascade of goose bumps down my side.

My brain practically short-circuited. I was no longer thinking about Mother and my aunt chasing me. I was no longer worrying about where I was going to go or what I was going to do. The only thing I could focus on was the soft comforting pillow of his belly against my back coupled with the enticing hard pressure that slid against my rear and made my breath catch for reasons I couldn’t begin to process. I had never experienced anything like it in my life and was suddenly bombarded by too many emotions I couldn’t identify, had never experienced. Above all of them was exhilaration as every nerve felt electrified, alive. And then his hands were everywhere. He was holding… soap? The small knobbed bar of hotel soap slid across my chest and flat belly… lower, encircling me with a few gentle strokes that sparked sensations throughout my entire body, then back up over my shoulders, kneading gently but firmly.

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ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Sean is a shrink who by day spends time in jails and prisons (evaluating criminals) and by night writes romantic fiction. Sean and partner live in San Francisco ruled by their three cats and can often be found trying new restaurants. With the understanding that they live in Heaven, Sean adores spending time sitting near the water with a laptop in hand, gazing at the bay and making daydreams a reality for others to enjoy. To read more about Sean’s adventures, please visit www.dreamersworkshop.com.

Connal Braginsky is a tech nerd that has taken a leap of faith and took a chance on writing. Born to Russian immigrants, he came out as gay at 19, and was recently diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (Asperger’s Syndrome).

He loves to read, and learn about Technology, Esoteric subjects and considers himself a transhumanist (the Russian Cosmism variety). His other pastimes revolve around philosophy which includes Panpsychism, Process Philosophy, Taoism, Buddhism and Gnosticism. He is also interested in various scientific fields, including Quantum Physics, Quantum Biology, Neurology, Psychology, and Sociology.

Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/SeanOMeidhir/

Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/439462953480874/?ref=share

Website http://www.dreamersworkshop.com/

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19211564.Sean_Ian_O_Meidhir

Twitter https://twitter.com/SeanIanOMeidhir

Newsletter http://www.dreamersworkshop.com/newsletter/

Connal’s Blog: http://dreamersrefuge.com/blog/

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A MelanieM Review: Monster of the Week (The Rules #2) by F.T. Lukens

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

In the sequel to F.T. Lukens’ The Rules and Regulations for Mediating Myths & Magic, spring semester of Bridger Whitt’s senior year of high school is looking great. He has the perfect boyfriend, a stellar best friend, and an acceptance letter to college. Oh, he also has this incredible job: assistant to Pavel Chudinov, an intermediary tasked with helping cryptids navigate the modern world. His days are filled with kisses, laughs, pixies, and the occasional unicorn. Life is awesome.

But as graduation draws near, Bridger’s perfect life begins to unravel. Uncertainties about his future surface, his estranged dad shows up out of nowhere, and, perhaps worst of all, a monster-hunting television show arrives in town to investigate the series of strange events from last fall. The show’s intrepid host will not be deterred, and Bridger finds himself trapped in a game of cat and mouse that could very well put the myth world at risk. Again.

In F. T. Lukens’ novel, Monster of the Week, it’s the end of the senior year of high school for Bridger Whitt with all the anxiety, stress, and sheer anticipation that time of year brings to kids everywhere. For Bridger that means being in a new relationship with the popular sports star boyfriend, finishing his finals, dealing with prom and the yearbook quotes!  But that’s not enough, because for Bridger, it’s also about daily tasks like gathering unicorn poop for pixies. All  part of his job as a assistant to Pavel Chudinov, intermediary extraordinary to the non human realm that Bridger is  now a part of.

That realm and it’s beings actually form an unconventional “family” for Bridger, along with his  boyfriend Leo, and bestie Astrid,a support system Bridger will need if he’s to graduate and make it through to attend college next year.

I adore this story.  It’s a sequel to The Rules and Regulations for Mediating Myths & Magic but if you haven’t read that one, the author does a great job in  giving the reader all the pertinent information here so  you don’t feel like you have missed too much.  Except for all the joyful and scary goings on that is but that’s another story.

Here we are dealing with the end of senior year and that plenty scary enough.  Bridger is full of senioritis!  All the “what ifs”  are filling his brain and making him crazy.  The leaving behind, the fear of the future, the new boyfriend, the what will happens, ….everything!  And Lukens makes us remember ours while bringing Bridger’s freakout front and center in funny and heartbreaking ways.

Plus there’s his job and  there is always something wonderful and fundamentally hairraising going on there. This time it’s a cable TV show headed to town for an expose to film the residents about the events that happened in the previous story.  Things Bridger was in the middle of and no one wants exposed!

The pace is fast.  The writing is excellent and the characters amazing.  Lukens has gifted the readers with a story that resonates with genuine teenage feelings, sharp, sparking dialog, and in some truly heartrending moments, recognizable angst and family drama to empty many a tissue box.  Those scenes with his returned absentee dad?  Felt so authentic and sadly real.

As this is a true YA, the sex  scenes are non existent or left to the mild kissing.  Everything else happens “stage left” as it were.  And that’s perfect.

I’m hoping this isn’t the end for this gang and couple.  I would hate to see the end of Pavel, and Elena, the pixies, and the Unicorn.  More of Astrid and Luke, and even Bridger’s mom.  She’s hilarious.  And most definitely more of Bridger and Leo.

Because this ends on a HFN, as it should.  They are, afterall, teenagers.

But wouldn’t you like to know what comes next?  I certainly would.  Here’s hoping Lukens is listening.

Until then I highly recommend both stories in The Rules series.  Read them both.  They are quite remarkable!

Cover art is sassy and fun.  Love it.

Sales Links:  Interlude Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Expected publication: October 15th 2019 by Duet Books

Sean Ian O’Meidhir and Connal Braginsky on Writing and their new release Crossing Nuwa: Escape (guest interview and vid)

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Escape: Crossing Nuwa by Sean Ian O’Meidhir and Connal Braginsky

Dreamspinner Press
Published July 9th 2019
Cover Art: Jay Aheer
Sales Links:  | Amazon |

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Sean Ian O’Meidhir and Connal Braginsky here today talking about their new release Escape: Crossing Nuwa.  Welcome!

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Sean Ian O’Meidhir and Connal Braginsky

How much of yourself goes into a character?

Sean: A lot!  For both of us.  I see from slivers to full personality traits being realized in our characters. 

Have you ever had to put an ‘in progress’ story aside because of the emotional ties with it?  You were hurting with the characters or didn’t know how to proceed?

Sean: Oh yes.  Connal and I are working on an MF Fantasy (Ignis Fatuus) and the sheer amount of fighting between the characters actually spilled over into some tension with us.  It’s on the far backburner for now…

Who do you think is your major influence as a writer?  Now and growing up?

Sean: Connal would say right now Carl Jung is his major influence.  For me, I’d say that as a child, bullies were my main influence.  I tell the story of being 10 years old and moving to a small town and sitting and watching one very popular kid pick on a kid two years younger.  I went home and asked my mom Why do people put others down to make themselves feel important?  And she said I had just answered my own question.  A few years later I witnessed the same kid being yelled at by his stepfather and that sparked my empathy, but also understanding.  Human nature is my main influence – the beauty of giving, the tragedy of grief, the joy of falling in love… 

How do you choose your covers? 

We are SO lucky – the gals at Dreamspinner have been amazing.  They took our vision for the book cover and matched us with Jay Aheer (https://www.simplydefinedart.com/) whose art we had both identified as loving without having any idea that she worked for DSP!  Also, we’re in such sync that we both had in mind the same thing for the cover and when she sent back what was already living in our visions, our minds were blown!

What traits do you find the most interesting in someone? Do you write them into your characters?

Connal:  A big heart and information.  I love learning new things from people. 

Sean: I am fascinated by most traits in people (hence being a shrink).  And Absolutely!  All of my characters are very in depth with their own quirks.

What’s the wildest scene you’ve imagined and did it make it into a story?

Sean:  Oh… it was ridiculously x-rated and once we were in the editing phase of the book, we realized it literally spanned 1/5 of the book!  We paired it way down – lost the erotic asphyxiation and settled on two positions… So, umm, yeah – part of it made it into the book.  (Darklight 2). 

If you could imagine the best possible place for you to write, where would that be and why?

Connal:  At the study of Lord Elrond in Rivendell.  The combination of light, water, mountains, and nature all create a very comforting, and spiritual atmosphere in my mind.  Not to mention the countless of books that I am sure would be available for researching all kinds of interesting esoteric subjects.

With so much going on in the world today, do you write to explain?  To get away?  To move past?  To wide our knowledge?  Why do you write?

Sean: Escape – 100%.  Connal is the gestalt – the big picture guy.  He loves to stay abreast of politics and philosophy and world trends.  Me? I am the ostrich who turned off the news at 18 years old and has never looked back.  But reality encroaches and when it does that can lead to feelings of overwhelm.  Connal and I have talked about it at length, and for both of us, since we were children, we have had very rich inner fantasy worlds  – a means to escape.  So for me, that’s the main reason I write.   

What’s next for you as a writer?

We’re currently co-authoring Book 3 of the Darklight series (currently Books 1 and 2 are under contract with Nine Star press).  We strive to write each morning and some weekends when there’s time.  Having the first two book spaced out between fall 2019 and possibly winter or early 2020 has given us some room to really grow the characters and develop the world in this book.

Blurb

For sheltered Robbie, one week of freedom leads to sexual awakening and adventure… but when his world intersects with Theo’s, they’ll need all their wits and Theo’s magic to fight for their future.

Rare male weresnake Robbie has had his whole life decided for him down to his meals. But when the time comes for him to perform an unspeakable duty to his clan, he runs.

San Francisco Pride is in full swing when technomage Theo spots a scared-looking young man with brilliant emerald eyes. He’s only looking for a hookup, but before he knows why, he’s taking Robbie home and introducing him to champagne and enchiladas. He doesn’t have any intention of falling in love.

Robbie doesn’t want to return to his clan, at least not without trying to fit a lifetime of experiences into a week, but every day he stays puts Theo in more danger.

 

 

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Sean is a shrink who by day spends time in jails and prisons (evaluating criminals) and by night writes romantic fiction. Sean and partner live in San Francisco ruled by their three cats and can often be found trying new restaurants. With the understanding that they live in Heaven, Sean adores spending time sitting near the water with a laptop in hand, gazing at the bay and making daydreams a reality for others to enjoy. To read more about Sean’s adventures, please visit www.dreamersworkshop.com.

Connal Braginsky is a tech nerd that has taken a leap of faith and took a chance on writing. Born to Russian immigrants, he came out as gay at 19, and was recently diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (Asperger’s Syndrome).

He loves to read, and learn about Technology, Esoteric subjects and considers himself a transhumanist (the Russian Cosmism variety). His other pastimes revolve around philosophy which includes Panpsychism, Process Philosophy, Taoism, Buddhism and Gnosticism. He is also interested in various scientific fields, including Quantum Physics, Quantum Biology, Neurology, Psychology, and Sociology.

Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/SeanOMeidhir/

Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/439462953480874/?ref=share

Website http://www.dreamersworkshop.com/

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19211564.Sean_Ian_O_Meidhir

Twitter https://twitter.com/SeanIanOMeidhir

Newsletter http://www.dreamersworkshop.com/newsletter/

Connal’s Blog: http://dreamersrefuge.com/blog/

Looking for Your Next Urban Fantasy? Check Out the Release Blitz for Crossing Nuwa: Escape by Sean Ian O’Meidhir and Connal Braginsky (excerpt)

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Escape Tour Banner

Crossing Nuwa: Escape

Sean Ian O’Meidhir & Connal Braginsky

MM Urban Fantasy, Paranormal / Rescue, Innocence/Discovery, First Love

Release Date: 07.09.19

Nuwa Cover

Cover Designer – Jay Aheer https://www.simplydefinedart.com

Blurb

For sheltered Robbie, one week of freedom leads to sexual awakening and adventure… but when his world intersects with Theo’s, they’ll need all their wits and Theo’s magic to fight for their future.

Rare male weresnake Robbie has had his whole life decided for him down to his meals. But when the time comes for him to perform an unspeakable duty to his clan, he runs.

San Francisco Pride is in full swing when technomage Theo spots a scared-looking young man with brilliant emerald eyes. He’s only looking for a hookup, but before he knows why, he’s taking Robbie home and introducing him to champagne and enchiladas. He doesn’t have any intention of falling in love.

Robbie doesn’t want to return to his clan, at least not without trying to fit a lifetime of experiences into a week, but every day he stays puts Theo in more danger.

Crossing NuwaEscape Teaser 2

Crossing NuwaEscape Teaser 1

Excerpt

IT STARTED in the shower. Well, okay, my story didn’t actually start in the shower, but the part where I fell for Theo did. I look back now and realize how very naïve I was, but it doesn’t matter. I would have fallen for him anyway.

I’ll get to the shower in a minute…. Maybe it’s important to explain how I got to the shower. It’s still something that’s hard for me to believe….

 

I

BREATHE. JUST breathe. Well past midnight, I sat on the edge of my bed—fully dressed. If I do this and they catch me they might kill me. But… how can I not? I can’t stay. I can’t do what they want…. Every time I thought about it, my stomach began to churn, and I felt light-headed. What other options were there?

“Come on,” I whispered, then laughed. Talking to myself? That’s what this had come to?

I stood on wobbly knees and opened my large walk-in closet. Over the last month I had been stowing things I would need in a backpack I hadn’t used since I was thirteen. An extra pair of pants, four shirts, seven pairs of underwear, seven pairs of socks, three half-full deodorants (having convinced Mrs. Matlock, our housekeeper, that I just go through them quickly), and two half-tubes of toothpaste earned with the same deception that caused spikes of guilt when I thought about it. No one had noticed these things slowly going missing, or if they had they didn’t say anything.

I stared at the backpack for a ridiculous amount of time. This is a bad idea. They’re going to kill me….

I snatched the backpack before I could think about anything else, rushed to the bathroom where I grabbed my electric razor and toothbrush and shoved them in. I slipped my e-reader from the bedside table into the front of my pack and surveyed the room. My room since I was born. My prison….

Of what few things were there, I could see no reason to take anything else. Opening the door slowly, I peeked out into the darkened hall. Shifting my eyes to my serpent’s, I double-checked the hall and sighed with relief that there were no heat signatures that would suggest anyone lurking. Except me. I was the only one who stayed in my wing unless there were guests, so the bath and two other bedrooms in the wing were usually empty.

What was I going to say if they found me? I rolled my eyes at myself. What could I say? “Yes, Mother, just out for an evening run. Oh, the backpack? Well, you know how smelly I can get, just thought I’d bring a change of clothes, or seven.” I snorted at the absurdity of the situation, and then at the fact that I had been hovering in my doorway for over a minute. A little voice in my head started the mantra, “Just go, go, go.”

I nodded and hurried out the door, down the hall, down the stairs, and paused.

The house was silent. Of course it was; no one was awake at this hour.

Food. What was I going to do for food? Good thinking…. I tiptoed around the corner and through the formal dining room, which led into the kitchen. Ms. Matlock retired to her cottage at 9:00 p.m. sharp every night. She did not return to the main house until 6:00 a.m. every morning, and Mother and Aunt Edna never came into the kitchen. Except for after midnight when there’s someone rummaging around in there, I chastised myself and worked harder to be quiet.

I held my breath and listened again.

Nothing.

I grabbed three pieces of fruit from the large bowl at the end of the counter. If I take more, they’ll notice. Heck, they’ll notice I’m gone at 7:00 a.m. when I’m not down here for breakfast, so what will it matter if they notice more fruit is gone? I groaned and stuffed four more apples into my bag. The rest of the food in the house wasn’t prepared into meals, and I didn’t know how to cook. The thought came to mind of trying to teach myself how to cook one of Mrs. Matlock’s meat loaves so I could take it with me. But the smell would probably carry, and how long did it take to cook a meat loaf? What about salad? I could probably put together a salad… but how would I carry it?

I was stalling. This was stalling. I shook my head and hurried back through the dining room toward the front door and stopped. Mother’s purse. She stored it in the entryway cupboard, but today it was sitting on the counter. I stopped breathing. Taking small gasps of air, I stood still.

She was behind me. I could feel her. Her eyes boring into the back of my skull. Her breath tickling my ear.

I whipped around to find the hall empty and shuddered with relief. A visceral thing.

Gasping for breath, I bent over and rested my hands on my knees. I’m going to vomit. Deep breath. In through the nose.

When I could focus and my stomach had stopped churning, I looked at the purse again. Why was her purse out? Did she often leave it out? I didn’t know. I glanced inside. What was I doing? I had already stolen food from the house. Was I really thinking about doing this? This was wrong… but then, leaving was wrong.

With trembling fingers I separated the leather. Her wallet sat right on top. I can’t…. The magnetic clasp easily parted, and inside I found several bills. I’d need money.

Not giving myself any more time to think, I grabbed all the bills and stuffed them in my pocket before shoving the wallet back into the purse and stepping away.

I felt dirty.

Don’t think. Go. Go, go, go! I passed by the coat closet and paused. It was autumn…. I pulled out a coat that Mrs. Matlock had purchased for me. Something I’d never worn because I didn’t go out, but that she had made sure was available and in my size if I ever needed it. I pushed it into the pack and secured the zipper before hoisting it over both shoulders.

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ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Sean is a shrink who by day spends time in jails and prisons (evaluating criminals) and by night writes romantic fiction. Sean and partner live in San Francisco ruled by their three cats and can often be found trying new restaurants. With the understanding that they live in Heaven, Sean adores spending time sitting near the water with a laptop in hand, gazing at the bay and making daydreams a reality for others to enjoy. To read more about Sean’s adventures, please visit www.dreamersworkshop.com.

Connal Braginsky is a tech nerd that has taken a leap of faith and took a chance on writing. Born to Russian immigrants, he came out as gay at 19, and was recently diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (Asperger’s Syndrome).

He loves to read, and learn about Technology, Esoteric subjects and considers himself a transhumanist (the Russian Cosmism variety). His other pastimes revolve around philosophy which includes Panpsychism, Process Philosophy, Taoism, Buddhism and Gnosticism. He is also interested in various scientific fields, including Quantum Physics, Quantum Biology, Neurology, Psychology, and Sociology.

Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/SeanOMeidhir/

Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/439462953480874/?ref=share

Website http://www.dreamersworkshop.com/

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19211564.Sean_Ian_O_Meidhir

Twitter https://twitter.com/SeanIanOMeidhir

Newsletter http://www.dreamersworkshop.com/newsletter/

Connal’s Blog: http://dreamersrefuge.com/blog/

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Release Blitz – Afflicted to the Core (Wielder World #3) by Nat Kennedy (excerpt and giveaway)

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RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Afflicted to the Core (Wielder World, Book 3)

Author: Nat Kennedy

Publisher: Self-Published/Lagomorph Press

Cover Artist: Deranged Doctor Design

Release Date: June 14, 2019

Genre/s: MM Urban Fantasy

Trope/s: Teacher/Student, Friends to Lovers, Threesome

Themes: Loyalty, Acceptance, mild H/C

Heat Rating: 3-4 flames (not frequent, but detailed)

Length: 93 000 words/260 pages

Add on Goodreads

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US

Amazon UK 

Blurb

Reggie Wolfe religiously visits Kyle Landon—his student in Nerve detangling—at the Harpford Disentanglement Center, where the younger man has been incarcerated on trumped up charges.  During one of Reggie’s visits, Kyle’s able to warn his teacher of an imminent unauthorized transfer by an unknown shadow agency. Reggie demands help from his sister at the Bureau of Wielder Services but is pressed to take the matter into his own hands when bureaucratic red-tape stymies her actions.  Breaking into a secret medical installation, Reggie and August Whalen find Kyle and six other men hooked to IVs, unknown chemicals pumping into their systems.

The three are caught up in a quest to find an antidote for the drugs and discover who is behind the powerful anti-male Wielder organization.  On this dangerous road, will they forever remain friends or give in to their growing attraction?

Afflicted to the Core is the steamy third novel of the Wielder World series—gay urban fantasy full of desire, desperation, and dedication born of trial and blood.

Excerpt

From Chapter 1

A small smile brushed Kyle’s lips when he spotted Reggie through the window of the cafe. Reggie lifted his hand in a wave. Kyle jerked his chin up in acknowledgment while that hint of smile burst into a grin. His bangs nearly brushed his eyes, hiding a brow ring that Reggie knew was there. Ah, what a kid.

A kid. Recently just twenty-two. But smart and daring and gorgeous, his insistent heart kept telling him. At times, when he lay alone in bed at night, Reggie reminded himself that Kyle would find someone else. Someone more exciting, more fun, more willing to be open about his sexuality. Eventually, he would just move on.

Kyle yanked the door of Grindworks Cafe open, a gust of cool air flushing in, and joined Reggie at his table. “Going to the Black Castle tonight, wanna come?”

A cold nugget of apprehension lodged itself in Reggie’s belly. The Black Castle—a mostly gay bar and dance club that was once a haven for male cultists until the Mara Murda take down last fall. Most cultists lay low, not drawing attention to themselves. Now, those that hadn’t fled into the dark forest around the lodge occupied rooms in Disentanglement Centers. The members of other cults were keeping their noses clean, according to his sister, Bethany.

The owner of the Black Castle had also been there during the Bureau bust. One August Whalen. A man he owed on many levels.

“No, thanks for the invite though.” Reggie took a sip of coffee. “Say hi to August for me.”

Kyle leaned forward, elbows on the table, every aspect about him all youthful and earnest. “Oh, come on. August would love to see you…and it won’t be me and a ton of other students. I was hoping you could come, and me…and that’s it.” He lowered his lashes, almost shy.

Reggie’s cold knot melted and a wash of heat crawled up his neck and over his cheeks. Kyle’s hand pushed across the tabletop, meeting the halfway line. Reggie looked at it. Black fingernail polish still clung to Kyle’s cuticles. He must have been full-on goth last night, hanging out with his friends.

“Hey Reggie!”

Reggie jumped in his chair, nearly knocking over his coffee, yanking his hand away from where it had migrated to within inches of Kyle’s, and faced the newcomer.

Professor Sally Boltmier of the engineering department: his senior professor and a close friend of his on campus.

“Sally. How are you this morning?” He gripped the napkin in his lap, crumbling it up into a tight wad, and focused on her, not letting his gaze stray to Kyle.

Her welcoming smile faltered. “I’m great. Sorry to interrupt. I didn’t mean to scare you out of your seat.”

Reggie’s mind stirred to create some excuse and send her on her way, but he couldn’t say anything before Kyle stood and offered his hand.

“I’m Kyle. Reggie’s…friend.”

Reggie’s…friend.

That pause. Kyle had done that on purpose. The temperature in the room ratcheted to sauna levels. Reggie struggled to hold steady under the gaze of his senior colleague, to not look guilty. No point looking guilty. He wasn’t guilty!

“Reggie’s…oh. Oh! Oh, well, pleased to meet you, Kyle. I’m Sally Boltmier, I work with Reggie in Sloan Hall.”

Kyle’s smile brightened. “I know you. You spoke for him in that…case last fall.” Kyle at least didn’t blurt out ‘sexual harassment’ for the entire café’s knowledge.

Sally eyed Kyle, up and down, and Kyle stood tall as if meeting his prom date’s father. Then Sally’s stern appraisal softened, and she nodded and dropped her voice to say, “I knew Reggie wasn’t guilty of any inappropriate activities. So,” her consideration shifted from Kyle to Reggie to Kyle again, “you’ve been together since then?”

Reggie wanted to crawl under the table, maybe dig his way into the linoleum, and hide. He could still salvage this if he got up, spoke out, explained everything. “Well, it wasn’t…we weren’t—”

Kyle’s laughter cut off Reggie’s bumbling. He brushed through his hair, giving it a tousled look, showing off his brow piercing. “Oh, well, we weren’t together, then. But we knew each other.” He looked down at Reggie and gave him such a besotted look, that Reggie knew he was staring back like a devoted Labrador until his colleague laughed and broke him from his trance.

“Well, I’ll let you two get back to your afternoon. Enjoy the spring weather! See you Monday.” She gave Reggie a look that suggested there would be more to this conversation on Monday, but he knew she wouldn’t spread any rumors about him on campus or anywhere else. Except to her husband maybe. They shared everything.

Reggie’s eyes flicked to Kyle. Kyle knew almost everything about him, too.

About the Author

Nat Kennedy grew up living in a poorly populated desert landscape. With no neighbors in a 1-mile radius, she had to make up her own fun.

Nat strives to create plotty and imaginative fantasy worlds, with the added benefit of gay romance–steamy to tame. Bored of het romance, she jumped into writing her fantasy with gay romance swirled in, like a raspberry ribbon in vanilla ice cream.

Social Media Links

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An Ali Review: Hunter (Roam #2) by Dez Schwartz

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Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Dr. Grady Hunter has a vampire infestation on his hands in the town of Shady Pines but he’s been deserted by those best suited to help. After enlisting Chris Reed, a techno-mage, they find the vampires might only be the tip of a deadly iceberg.

Returning home from his dream travels, Ethan Roam is eager to experiment with his newly discovered powers. But Ethan isn’t the only familiar arrival in Grady’s life. As more reminders of his dark past crop up daily, Grady and Ethan are swept up in a mystery of cosmic proportions.

Grady must fight to keep an ever-evolving Ethan on his side while being challenged by the ghosts of his past.

This was an interesting urban fantasy type story.  I did not notice this was the second book in the series when I requested to review it and I think that negatively affected my enjoyment.  There was a lot going on and a lot of characters and I was struggling to follow along.  It was not that it was badly written it was just that I had not read the first book.  Completely on me, not the author.
That being said I did enjoy this.  The author has created some interesting and unique characters and I enjoyed their various relationships with each other.  It’s action packed and entertaining from the very first page.  I liked Ethan and Grady together and I enjoyed their romance.  The side characters all added to the story and I felt they enhanced the overall story.
I would recommend this to people who enjoy paranormal romances.  I do not recommend that this be read as a standalone though. You’ll be able to follow along as I did but I think you’ll miss some of the emotional connections.
Cover:  The cover was done by Natasha Snow and I love it.  I think the colors are really eye catching and the cover fits the overall vibe of the story really well.
Book Details;
ebook, 188 pages
Published April 8th 2019 by NineStar Press (first published April 14th 2017)
ASINB07PXQYNRJ
Edition LanguageEnglish

An Ali Review: All Souls Near and Nigh (Soulbound #2) by Hailey Turner

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Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

You can’t bargain with death if you’ve already sold your soul.

Special Agent Patrick Collins has been reassigned by the Supernatural Operations Agency to New York City. Navigating his new relationship with Jonothon de Vere, the werewolf he’s now soulbound to, is nothing compared to dealing with territorial disputes between the vampires and werecreatures who call the five boroughs home. But the delicate treaties that have kept the preternatural world in check are fraying at the edges, and the fallout is spilling into the mundane world.

Manhattan’s club scene is overrun with the vampire drug known as shine and the subways have become a dumping ground for bodies. When the dead are revealed as missing werecreatures, Patrick and Jono find themselves entangled in pack politics twisted by vampire machinations.

Learning to trust each other comes with problems for both of them, and the gods with a stake in Patrick’s soul debt aren’t finished with him yet. Bound by promises they can’t break, Patrick and Jono must find a way to survive a threat that takes no prisoners and is stalking them relentlessly through the city streets.

Old and new betrayals are coming home to roost but the truth—buried in blood—is more poisonous than the lies being spun. Trying to outrun death is a nightmare—one Patrick may never wake up from.

I loved this book.  Urban fantasy is my favorite genre and we rarely get true UF with the main characters having m/m relationships.  I had read the first book in this series and enjoyed it but felt it had a lot of problems with repetition and clunky world building.  I felt the writing was good but that it really needed better editing.  I almost didn’t try this but I had really enjoyed the characters themselves and felt the series had a lot of promise so I decided to give it another try.  I am so glad I did.  All of the issues I had with book one were absent here.  This was really well written and I felt there was a marked difference in the quality of this story.
 
I love the world the author has created and there are a lot of really interesting and well developed characters; both the two main characters, Jono and Patrick, as well as all of the side characters.  There are a lot of types of characters too which is always a bonus for me.  There are magic users, various types of shifters, vampires and gods.  The gods are one of my favorites and are not seen very often in most UF series so I find that a creative touch.  The author has done a great job of including gods from various cultures which I’m also a fan of.
 
The story is action packed and filled with twists and turns.  I found it all easy to follow though and I was immediately caught up in the plot and the new adventure these guys were on. 
 
The romance is lovely and is a unique twist on the fated mate trope.  I’m a sucker for fated mate stories and I’ve read a bunch of them.  This is the first time though that I’ve read fated mates that have a slow burn also.  These two know they’re fated to be together and they accept that but they’re taking their time developing their relationship and they stop and question different things.  They want to make sure they are clear on what things are the bond and what are their actual feelings.  They’re also very respectful of each other’s differences.  They have the potential to become a favorite couple of mine I think.
 
This could be read as a stand alone but I think you could easily follow along.  I would recommend you read book one first.  You meet all of the characters and it’s a good story overall.  This series is a must read if you like UF series with two male leads.  
 
Cover Art:  This cover was done by AngstyG and I love it.  I think it’s gorgeous and it really sets the vibe for the story and matches how I imagine Patrick. 
Sales Links:  Amazon
Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 374 pages
Published March 19th 2019
ASIN B07PLQBLH3
Edition Language English
Series Soulbound #2

A Alisa Release Day Review: Jacked Cat Jive (The Kai Gracen #3) by Rhys Ford

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Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Stalker Kai Gracen knew his human upbringing would eventually clash with his elfin heritage, but not so soon. Between Ryder, a pain-in-his-neck Sidhe Lord coaxing him to join San Diego’s Southern Rise Court, and picking up bounties for SoCalGov, he has more than enough to deal with. With his loyalties divided between the humans who raised him and the Sidhe Lord he’s befriended and sworn to protect, Kai finds himself standing at a crossroads.

When a friend begs Kai to rescue a small group of elfin refugees fleeing the Dusk Court, he’s pulled into a dangerous mission with Ryder through San Diego’s understreets and the wilderness beyond. Things go from bad to downright treacherous when Kerrick, Ryder’s cousin, insists on joining them, staking a claim on Southern Rise and Kai.

Burdened by his painful past, Kai must stand with Ryder against Kerrick while facing down the very Court he fears and loathes. Dying while on a run is expected for a Stalker, but Kai wonders if embracing his elfin blood also means losing his heart, soul, and humanity along the way.

Urban fantasy is my favorite genre and I’ve found it’s difficult to find a true UF with a m/m romance subplot.  As a result I was really excited when I read the first Kai Gracen book all those years ago.  I was over the moon when the author released the second book in the series and had high hopes for this newest installment.  The author sticks to a traditional UF plotline with a romance weaved throughout.  This newest book is my favorite one so far.
The blurb does a good job explaining the overall plot.  Kai, Ryder and Ryder’s cousin head down to Mexico to rescue some elfin refugees and along the way they run into all kinds of trouble.  There are underground tunnels and caves filled with monsters, black dogs, fires, stabbings, betrayals and new friends.  The entire thing was a wild ride from beginning to end.  Each of these books is fast paced and filled with twists and turns.  They’d make fantastic action movies.
One of my favorite things about this series is the world building and the area it is set in.  If you are familiar with the San Diego, Ca area you will recognize a bunch of things and their very creative twists in this new landscape.  I also find an extra joy when I know the area a book is set in well.  Even more so when the author knows it well too.
The best part of this book for me though was the relationship development.  The UST between Kai and Ryder has been jumping off the pages since they met in the first book.  This thing between them is a very slow burn but Ryder steps it up a notch here.  He knows Kai has a bunch of complicated issues and his acceptance and patience lead to some very tender moments.  Ryder brought his romance A game here and I admit I was a bit swoony in places.  His gestures may not seem big in a traditional romance, but for Kai they were perfect.  I loved Ryder even more by the end of this one.
The story ends with a bang.  I flipped to the last page and immediately thought “I need the next book NOW!”.  If you are a fan of this series I highly recommend this.  You need to read it as soon as it comes out.  If you have not read this series before you could follow this plot. You would enjoy the mission they’re on but you would be missing out on the emotional impact of the relationship. I recommend that you start with book one.
Cover:  The cover was done by Chris Mc Grath.  I like the cover and think it fits well with the first two in the series.

Sales Links:  DSP Publications | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 253 pages
Expected publication: March 5th 2019 by DSP Publications
ASIN B07L8LZSLK
Edition Language English
Series Kai Gracen #3

Mad Lizard Bites(.05)

Black Dog Blues

Mad Lizard Mambo

Jacked Cat Jive

A Chaos Moondrawn Review: No Fae is an Island (Endangered Fae #4) by Angel Martinez

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Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

This is book four and you need to read these in order as it starts three years after the previous book. It took me a while to warm up to this series, but by book three I was completely sucked in. As Diego and Finn return to the world after Diego’s exile, everyone is still dealing with the aftermath of what he did. Zack is acting Consul and will have to remain so as having Diego return to the job might not be in their best interests. Magic legislation is still very much as issue. Neither Diego nor Theo have forgiven themselves. It has become unsafe in certain parts of the world to be magical. Trying to be useful and help rescue three Canadian students arrested in a country that is anti-magic, Diego and Finn find themselves also taken prisoner. The social commentary is about bigotry and the corruption of power. How are we still here fighting issues we thought had been addressed and dealt with?

While Diego was in exile, he learned as much as he could from the dragons and studied the wild fae. A young selkie, Limpet, follows Diego across the veil when he comes home. His POV keeps this fresh as he is innocent, curious, and naive about the human world. The pairing of Limpet with Theo is unlikely, but seems to be because Theo needs that kind of outlook to help him move forward and enjoy life again. I have to admit I didn’t like that Theo tends to tune Limpet out and not really listen to what he is saying, or worse tells him to not talk. That’s fine when they are in danger or hiding and Limpet doesn’t know any better, not so fine the rest of the time. Being excited, talking a lot, and being curious (which means asking a lot of questions) is part of who Limpet is. While the sexual compatibility isn’t in question, for me, the communication left something to be desired.

While Diego and Finn are in captivity, Diego gets everyone to band together, reminding them that they are stronger as a community rather than individuals living in fear. Finn, who is not my favorite character, spends much of this book subdued by steel. He does get to be a hero here, and there is none of the melodrama of previous books. Maybe being with Diego during his banishment in the Otherworld calmed him a bit. The author establishes a djinn character called Nusair, and a half human/fae named Asif, both of whom I expect to see in the future. Nusair is by far the more intriguing of the two. It’s a shame that the The Silver Adepts coven is left simmering in the background, but this book is about Diego finding his footing again. It’s a necessary step to make the whole series more cohesive. I’m hoping now that Diego and Theo are sorted, the next book will go back to some of the previous characters on new adventures.

The cover art is by Emmy @studioenp. It features Diego, the desert, and Finn as the bird. It’s in keeping with the rest of the series and I really like the golden color.

Sales Links:  Pride Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 281 pages
Published January 15th 2019 by Pride Publishing (first published September 5th 2014)
ISBN 139781786517029
Edition Language English
Series Endangered Fae #4