A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audio Review: The Alpha Heir (Kingdom of Askara #2) by Victoria Sue and Joel Leslie (Narrator)

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Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

 

I enjoyed this sequel to The Alpha King almost as much as I enjoyed the original. But I didn’t feel the pull and the love between the MCs as much in this one, mostly because of their life circumstances and the way the story was written—they were enemies for quite some time. Toward the end, when they finally acknowledge and share their love, it was well worth the wait. And speaking of the end, I thoroughly enjoyed the cameo appearance of Luca in his role as the Alpha King. It’s evident he wears the cloak of responsibility regally.

In the early stages of this story, we meet both Caleb and Taegan, in different scenarios and with totally opposite life circumstances. Taegan is the leader of the human rebel forces in a different pack area of the kingdom of Askara from where The Alpha King took place. These rebels have much to lose since the wolves are snatching their children to use not only for dangerous work but now for unknown purposes. As an aside here I just have to say that Joel Leslie’s childrens’ voices were too precious for words! Loved, loved, loved them!

Teagan’s mother is still with him and he has the protection, counsel and support of Silas, a 200-year-old lone wolf. We learn late in the story about why Silas has made himself available to watch over Teagan, a human, but throughout the book he’s extremely helpful in helping Teagan solve the puzzle of the missing children, the dastardly plans of the reigning alpha, and the very puzzling circumstances of why Caleb, though a wolf, would be bound in chains, starved, beaten, and tortured.

To be honest, I don’t recall every little detail of the story—mostly because I was swept along in my enjoyment of the narration and in understanding the complexity of events as they unfolded. Given the fact that I generally start and stop an audiobook frequently over the course of several days, I have to admit that my total recall is lacking. However, what I can say is that Caleb is sweetly endearing, and as he begins to heal and get stronger, it’s evident that he does indeed  have the stuff an Alpha Heir is made of. Will he get the opportunity to present himself as the heir? Well, that’s why readers should pick up this book, preferably in audio form so Joel Leslie can bring the huge cast of characters to life and tell you the tale.

Over the course of the second half of the book, even though it seems impossible, the human and the wolf realize they are lifemates, but if Caleb is to claim his rightful place as Alpha, he’ll need to have an Omega wolf at his side, according to the laws that govern them. Add to that, Teagan’s natural tendency to put others ahead of himself, and Caleb’s low self-worth—beaten into him over the course of his six-year persecution, and we have an interesting quandary. By all means, if you like shifter stories and a little fantasy added into your paranormal, this series is the one to choose. Highly recommend

Sales Links:  Amazon | Audible

Audiobook Details:

7 hours and 34 minutes

Audible Audio, Unabridged, 8 pages
Published December 19th 2017 by Victoria Sue (first published September 4th 2017)
ASIN B078BGHCJF
Edition Language English
Series Kingdom of Askara #2

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audio Review: Jack of Thorns (Inheritance #1) by Amelia Faulkner and Joel Leslie (Narrator)

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

This was an interesting, fast-paced fantasy about Laurence Riley, a young man who operates a florist shop with his psychically gifted mom and pretty much coasts along through life knowing he needs to get his act together but struggling to figure out how.  He is also psychically gifted—with visions of future events that tend to come to reality. 

Desperate for a positive change, Laurence invokes his magic abilities and calls for help from a fertility god.  What he gets is Jack—green-eyed, self-possessed, egotistical Jack, who promises Laurence all will be well and he’ll meet his dream man if he has sex as often as possible so Jack can feed on the energy.

But Laurence has broken up with his boyfriend Dan, and isn’t really interested in anyone else, so Jack’s request may be a tall order.  And then he meets meets Brambury, who turns out to be Lord Brambury, actual name Quentin, and his life takes a bizarre turn.  Attracted to one another, it seems each time sex or the potential for sex arises, Quentin causes hurricane-like winds that destroy pretty much everything around him.  It’s Laurence who figures out that Quentin is afraid of sex and that his powers of telekinesis may be much stronger than he initially suspected.   Laurence can barely see the humor in the fact that he can’t very well keep Jack supplied with offerings of sex if the object of his affections is afraid of it.

Angry with Laurence about the situation, and having been the object of Quentin’s dangerous lack of control, Jack gives him one last chance.  Laurence has to grow a plant from a special seed.  And then the nightmare situation Laurence finds himself in gets worse.  As the plant grows out of control, he finds out that it’s powers are addictive and Jack will be feeding on the life energy of the people who use it.  Laurence knows about addiction.  After all, he fights his addiction and craving for heroin every day and he can’t imagine leading others to face a similar fate. Nor can he imagine giving more power to the already powerful and evil Jack. 

His nightmares and psychic predictions are getting worse and that, coupled with the irritating push-pull of his relationship with Quentin—one in which each man is attracted to the other but Quentin can’t bring himself to follow through on—is enough to make Laurence finally reach for the drug that will solve all his worries.  Thankfully, life and Quentin intervene and a very bizarre, yet exciting, confrontation occurs that ultimately leads our guys to a place where they can at least find their HFN. 

One strong word of caution here: the prologue contains graphic depictions of drug use and overdose.  And though cravings are described in multiple locations in this story, the most graphic are in that prologue.  Those in recovery from addiction may find this a trigger.

That being said, this is an enjoyable story.  It’s quite long, over twelve hours, but full of interesting events, twists and turns, and of course, a romance.  Both characters are interesting, but I must say that Quentin wins the prize for my favorite character in quite some time.  First, because Joel Leslie’s delivery is divine, and second because the author created such an endearing and humorous character. Though upper class Brit, complete with his often voiced perceptions of American ways and 21st century culture, he’s also a sweetheart wrapped in a very emotionally damaged package. 

Joel Leslie, as usual, delivers a flawless performance, providing a host of voices for the main and secondary characters, including the women.  I truly enjoy listening to an audiobook in which I can identify characters by their voice.  It makes me feel as if I’m actually “watching” the story and brings it to life.  So kudos to my favorite narrator and to the author for an interesting, creative story. 

If you enjoy fantasy and are looking for a very entertaining way to spend your time, I highly recommend trying this one—preferably in audio so you can enjoy the terrific narration.

Sales Links:  Amazon | Audible

Audio Details:

Audible Audiobook
Listening Length: 12 hours and 23 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Amelia Faulkner
Audible.com Release Date: January 9, 2018
Whispersync for Voice: Ready
Language: English, English
ASIN: B078TL42K6

Audiobook Tour for Dyeing to be Loved by Aimee Nicole Walker and Narrator: Joel Leslie (excerpt and giveaway)

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Dyeing to be Loved Audio Banner

DYEING TO BE LOVED

CURL UP AND DYE MYSTERIES SERIES, BOOK 1

AIMEE NICOLE WALKER

M/M ROMANTIC SUSPENSE

RELEASE DATE: 11.08.16

AUDIO RELEASE: 11.07.17

Dyeing to be Loved Audio Cover 

 

PHOTOGRAPHER: Wander Aguiar

COVER ARTIST:  Jay Aheer/Simply Defined Art

Narrator: Joel Leslie

Listening Length: 8 hours and 49 minutes

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Gabriel Wyatt is a big city Detective living in a small Ohio town. He expects a peaceful existence once he moves from Miami, Florida, but that’s the last thing he finds. Instead, Gabe discovers murder, mayhem, and one smart-mouthed stylist he can’t get out of his head.

Josh “Jazz” Roman is a small-town business owner with big dreams and an attitude to match. He finds himself in the middle of a case that brings the dreamy detective to the front door of his Curl Up and Dye Salon. Josh learns that the biggest threat to him isn’t a killer; it’s a man who wants something from him that he vowed to never give again – his heart.

Both men deny that there’s something between them, even though they’re drawn together like magnets. Can Gabe convince Josh to let down his guard or will Josh let past hurts destroy his chance at a happy future?

AMAZON US:  http://amzn.to/2BmNBOn

AMAZON UK: http://amzn.to/2jZfqbz

 

Dyeing to be Loved Teaser 1

Dyeing to be Loved Teaser 2

EXCERPT

 My ringing phone woke me up. I was disoriented because it had grown dark while I napped on the couch with Diva and I momentarily forgot what day it was. I looked at the caller ID and was shocked to see who was calling me. I debated on letting it go to voicemail for about two seconds before I answered it.

“Hello?”

“How are you doing?” Gabe’s deep voice warmed parts of me that no amount of purring from a cat could affect.

“I’m doing okay,” I replied. Was I?

“You feel like having company?” I heard the slight hesitation in his voice, as if he wasn’t sure how well his question would be received.

I knew what happened almost every single time that we were alone together. Was that what I wanted right then? “Yes,” I said answering both of our questions.

“Good,” he said, his voice deepening because he also knew what would happen. “Come down and let me in.”

“You’re here now?” I stood up and ran my free hand through my hair in an attempt to smooth it into place.

“Yes. Come down here and let me in. I’m freezing my nuts off,” he groused.

“Give me a few minutes,” I said and then hung up. I flipped on a few lights on my way to the bathroom to brush my teeth. I rushed through my routine so that I didn’t keep him waiting long. It was freezing outside and I didn’t want his balls to freeze. I was pretty fond of them, even if I was unsure of the man they were attached to.

“It’s about time,” he said when I opened the door to him. “What the hell took so long?”

I grabbed him by the coat and pulled him into me, pressing my lips against his. Gabe parted his cold lips and I slid my tongue inside to explore his warm mouth in a languid kiss. For once, I didn’t want to rush him into bed. I wanted to take my time and get to know his body better. Hell, I hadn’t even wrapped my lips around his big cock yet; a mistake I planned to rectify immediately.

“Minty fresh,” Gabe said, when our kiss ended. “You’re forgiven for making me wait.”

“Come upstairs with me and I’ll show you other things I can do with my minty fresh mouth.” I laughed when Gabe growled playfully. I needed to be careful or else I’d start liking the detective and the things he made me feel. 

Aimee Logo

I am a wife and mother to three kids, three dogs, and a cat. When I’m not dreaming up stories, I like to lose myself in a good book, cook or bake. I’m a girly tomboy

who paints her fingernails while watching sports and yelling at the referees.

I will always choose the book over the movie. I believe in happily-ever-after. Love inspires everything that I do. Music keeps me sane.

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Dyeing to be Loved, Book 1

Something to Dye For, Book 2

Dyed and Gone to Heaven, Book 3

I Do, or Dye Trying, Book 4

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The Necromancer’s Dance by S J Himes Audiobook (Narrator Joel Leslie) Tour and Giveaway

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Title: The Necromancer’s Dance
Author: S J Himes
Series: The Beacon Hill Sorcerer #1
Narrated by: Joel Leslie
Length: 8 Hours 8 minutes
Release Date: 21st March 2017
Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy, MM Romance

1 Necromancer's Dance Audio Cover

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In a world where magic is real and evil walks amongst humanity, a young sorcerer is beset by enemies, both old and new.

Angelus Salvatore is the only necromancer in all of Boston, and his name is whispered warily by the undead and fellow sorcerers alike. He and his brother Isaac are the lone survivors of an attack by an army of the undead, in which Angel used a spell so powerful it forever marked his place in history. Now, years later, Angel struggles to balance his career as a teacher of the higher magical arts, his role as big brother, and a tenuous relationship with an Elder vampire from the local clan. When his brother’s boyfriend is used as a pawn in a mysterious plot to draw Angel out, Angel is once again drawn back into the old hostilities that fueled the Blood Wars and led to his family’s death.

Leaning on others for help is something Angel cannot do, and while he searches for clues as to who may be targeting him and his brother, Angel finds his heart steadily growing occupied with Simeon, Elder and vampire. Dealing with death magic and vampires on a daily basis may leave Angel jaded when it comes to life and staying that way, but the more time he spends fending off the ancient vampire’s attention and affections, the more he realizes he wants to give in.

Can Angel find out who wants him dead, and keep his heart safe in the process? How can he fall for a vampire, when his whole family was torn apart by an army of the undead? Death stalks the streets of Boston’s historic Beacon Hill…and there is no one more suited to battle against death than a necromancer.

Purchase: Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK I iTunes

Listen to an audio teaser from The Necromancer’s Dance at Soundcloud.

S J Himes and Joel Leslie will BOTH be at GRL in October 2017! Find out more information on the website.

EXCERPT

“Simeon. Care to share? Wanna tell me why I was dragged outta bed and driven across town to find my brother’s boyfriend locked in your storage room?” Angel growled at the old vamp, and Simeon’s lip twitched again.

Angel had something of a temper problem. Just a bit. And Simeon loved to poke at it, like a fool hunter nagging at a bear with a stick after a long cold winter. “And if anyone says Isaac was involved with this stupid endeavor I’m about to hear, I am gonna start handing out hexes indiscriminately.”

“Mr. Doyle,” Simeon said, tilting his head at the man cowering at the table, “decided he was going to take a job to burglarize the place of business of our Master. He was caught,” Simeon continued, a calm veneer over a well of tension. Simeon’s voice was accented faintly, and had a lilt to it that could seduce the clothes off a nun— which Angel was certain Simeon had done at some point in his long life. Simeon was one slick bastard. “He refuses to tell us who hired him. As per the arrangement you have with our master, we did not get the information from him as we usually would. That is why you are here, Sorcerer Salvatore.”

GIVEAWAY: Win The Necromancer’s Dance Audiobook

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About the Author

I’m a self-employed writer who stresses out about the silliest things, like whether or not I got my dog the best kind of snack and the fact my kindle battery tends to die when I’m at the best part in a book. I write mainly gay romance, erotica, and urban fantasy, with ocasional forays into contemporary and paranormal. I love a book heavy on plot and character evolution, and throw in some magic, and that’s perfection. My current series are: The Beacon Hill Sorcerer, Bred For Love (as Revella Hawthorne), and The Wolfkin Saga. My last two novels in the Beacon Hill Sorcerer won 3rd Place in the Gay Fantasy category for the 2016 Rainbow Awards.

I live in New Orleans, where the personalities are big and loud and so are the bugs! New Orleans is rich in cultural history, and the flavor and music of the City is impossible to hide. Before that, I lived all over the United States: Tampa, Western Massachusetts, Indianapolis, and on and on…. I’m a nomad, and I’ve yet to find a place that calls to me strongly enough to become home. My faithful travel companions are my dog Micah, the numerous voices in my head who insist they all get put on paper, and the wind at my back.

Links: Website | Blog | Facebook | Facebook Fan Group | Twitter | Amazon

About the Narrator

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Joel Leslie is a UK transplant, growing up with American parents in a British commonwealth. A classically trained actor with an MFA in theatre from USC, he is often cast for his unique ability to deliver native, authentic combinations of American and British sounds. His great range and ability to bring characters to life with honesty, wit and versatility delights producers and listeners alike.

He is proud to have a strong following with m/m listeners and an ongoing relationship with some of the finest writers in the genre. He loves that every day he gets to share these beautiful, inspirational and empowering GLBT characters with the world. When not in the booth he spends his time chasing after two loquacious wiener dogs.

Find a list of Joel’s books on Audible

Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

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A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: A Home for the Holidays by Joe Cosentino and Joel Leslie (narrator)

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

a-home-for-the-holidaysAs the son of an Italian mama, Bobby knows what it is to bow from pressure from said mama, so when she suggests he spend Christmas with his Italian cousins on the isle of Capri and goes so far as to buy his ticket, he has no choice but to capitulate. Once there, he meets his extended family, which includes his gorgeous, friendly third cousin, Paolo. Over the course of the holiday, the sparks ignite and then flare between these two men, despite the fact that Paolo’s family, and his family obligations, keep his sexuality under wraps and allow him no choice but to remain behind when Bobby flies home.

I don’t know what I enjoyed more in this story: the author’s sense of humor or Joel Leslie’s delivery of it. Maybe it’s a tie? But in any event, this short holiday story is packed full of goodness. Joel’s voice for Bobby’s mama was hysterical. Perfect, in both accent and tone, the words and the way they were spoken had me laughing out loud within a few minutes of starting this story. So buyer beware: don’t listen to this in any “quiet” space, such as a library. You’ll be kicked out, for sure!

Looking back on how long (or short) this audiobook was (less than two hours) I find it hard to believe that so much occurred. The characters, including a host of secondary characters, were well-developed by the author and given unique and interesting voices by the narrator. The romance progressed quickly, but then it would have to in a short story so no points off for that, for sure. And I was tearful at the ending but suddenly surprised at the last minute by the author’s gift: a highly possible HEA.

Definitely recommended for a healthy dose of holiday cheer.

The cover by Paul Richmond is attractive, depicting two handsome young men who fit the description of the MCs.

Sales Links

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Audiobook Details:

Audiobook, Audiobook
Published November 18th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press (first published December 2nd 2015)
ASINB01N0DV3FT
Edition LanguageEnglish

An Alisa Audiobook Review: THE NAKED PRINCE AND OTHER FAIRY TALES by Joe Cosentino and narrated by Joel Leslie

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Rating:  2 stars out of 5

 

the-naked-prince-and-other-tales-from-fairylandCinder, a poor and beautiful young man who designs clothing, makeup, and hair for his stepmother and stepsisters, offers his clothing and slippers to a naked stranger in the woods, who turns out to be none other than Prince Charming. Follow Cinder and Prince Charming in this twist on the classic Cinderella tale as they discover their inner strengths and find their very own happily ever after.

 

Enjoy The Naked Prince and three other reimagined tales from Fairyland, each with a unique spin on stories we all know and love, including The Golden Rule, where eighteen-year-old Gideon Golden, after being thrown out of his home in Fairyland by his homophobic parents, breaks into the cottage of three burly men on Bear Mountain.

 

In Whatever Happened To…?, friction ensues between a celebrity with a growing appendage and a reporter who has a thing for giants.

 

And in Ice Cold, young Gaelen must save his love, Kieran, after a handsome but evil prince freezes Kieran’s heart and bewitches him into being the prince’s slave.

 

I was not as taken with this book as many others seem to be.  I have read a few re-imagined fairytales before, but this one didn’t connect with me, both in the telling of these stories and how the characters acted.  There was more of a raunchy side in these stories I didn’t like.

 

In the stories the characters (and secondary characters) seemed immature and had quite a bit of bickering going on.  The first story was alright, but the king and queens bickering and attitude along with Cinder’s family was just too much to actually enjoy it.  Unfortunately the character just seemed to get more and more annoying as the stories went on.  I didn’t like that it was continually insinuated that most men would always want someone else and there was a use of feminine descriptions that seemed quite disturbing to me.

 

Joel Leslie did a nice job keeping the characters separate with different voices.  However, his exaggerated use of accents made this book even more frustrating.  It took me and entire day to get through this 3 and a half hour book because I had to continually take break from it.

 

Cover art by Paul Richmond is absolutely adorable.

 

Sales Links

  Dreamspinner Press | Audible | Amazon |  iTunes

 

Audiobook Details:

Audiobook, 3hrs 20min
Published October 21, 2016 (ebook first published January 27, 2016)
Edition Language: English

Need A Wonderful New Audiobook? Look No Further. The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland by Joe Cosentino and Joel Leslie (Narrator)

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THE NAKED PRINCE AND OTHER TALES FROM FAIRYLAND

Novella by Joe Cosentino

Audiobook Performed by Joel Leslie

Published by Dreamspinner Press

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Word is so happy to have Joe Cosentino here today to talk about the latest audiobook release of THE NAKED PRINCE AND OTHER TALES FROM FAIRYLAND narrated by Joel Leslie.  Welcome, Joe!

I had terrible insomnia as a kid. So my older sister read me fairytales in bed each night. Like me, the leading characters were generally different and didn’t fit in. I wanted to live in those palaces, meet the charming princes, and bring financial equality to those amazing kingdoms. However, I was saddened to see no openly gay characters in any of them.

So I wrote my rainbow spin on my favorite fairytales. The four magical stories are all set in a place I call Fairyland. “The Naked Prince” is a different take on the Cinderella story. Cinder, a poor and beautiful young man who designs clothing, makeup, and hair for his stepmother and stepsisters, offers his clothing and slippers to a naked stranger in the woods who turns out to be none other than Prince Charming. Will Cinder and Prince Charming confront their manipulative mothers, bring equality to the kingdom, find themselves, and find one another? In “The Golden Rule,” when he is caught with nimble Jack, eighteen-year-old Gideon Golden is thrown out of his home in Fairyland by his homophobic parents. With nowhere else to go, he breaks into the home of three men living on Bear Mountain. Bo and Butch enjoy having a young roommate, but Ben isn’t convinced. Will Gideon and Ben make vinegar or honey? “Whatever Happened To … ?” takes place on Christmas Eve. A reporter living on Andersen Lane interviews a celebrity for the Queen Newspaper series, “What Ever Happened To … .” Friction ensues between the celebrity with the growing appendage who can’t tell fact from fiction, and the reporter who has a thing for giants. Eventually a romantic spark is lit between the two as Christmas Day arrives, and they realize they have more in common than living in Fairyland. Finally in “Ice Cold,” after losing their families during the great ice storm in the northernmost kingdom of Fairyland, young Gaelen and Kieran pledged their love for one another. When Isidore rides into Frost Village on his elaborate sleigh, Kieran follows the handsome prince to his castle in Arctic Kingdom, where Kieran becomes Isidore’s bewitched slave. This leads Gaelen on an amazing adventure to find his true love and melt his frozen heart.

The novella released to praise and strong reviews, mentioning the humor, drama, sweet romance, clever plot twists and turns, and of course the happily ever after endings. Going back to my days listening to my sister read to me, I asked the staff at Dreampinner Press if we could produce an audiobook of the novella. I was so pleased when they agreed with me that these stories had to be read for the full Fairyland effect. I was equally happy when they concurred that Joel Leslie, who has a number of Dreamspinner Press books on his impressive resume, was the performer for the job. As an actor, Joel is skilled at creating enticing, diverse, and mesmerizing characters through voice. His numerous accents and vocal styles make him incredibly diverse, sexy, and fun to enjoy. You’ll laugh out loud at his wicked Stepmother, be turned on by Ben the bear, fall in love with Prince Charming, giggle at Cinder’s celestial fathers, and cry along with Gaelen as he searches all over Ice Kingdom for his lover Kieran. I’m sure you’ll agree that Joel and his superior audio technology beautifully bring these four enticing, international stories to fairytale life in this captivating audiobook. 

I hope everyone listens to these amazing tales. They will no doubt bring you back to the fun and fantasy of your youth—along with adding a rainbow flair. Let’s move on next to a movie version of these tales. Hear that, Disney?

THE NAKED PRINCE AND OTHER TALES FROM FAIRYLAND

by JOE COSENTINO, published by Dreamspinner Press

Sales Links

E-book and Audiobook buy links included above

http://myBook.to/NakedPrince_Cosentino

Audiobook performed by Joel Leslie

About The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland

Cinder, a poor and beautiful young man who designs clothing, makeup, and hair for his stepmother and stepsisters, offers his clothing and slippers to a naked stranger in the woods who turns out to be none other than Prince Charming. Follow Cinder and Prince Charming in this twist on the classic “Cinderella” tale, as they discover their inner strengths and find their very own happily ever after. Enjoy “The Naked Prince” and three other reimagined Tales from Fairyland, each with a unique spin on stories we all know and love, including “The Golden Rule,” where eighteen-year-old Gideon Golden, after being thrown out of his home in Fairyland by his homophobic parents, breaks into the cottage of three burly men on Bear Mountain, “Whatever Happened To…?,” in which friction ensues between a celebrity with a growing appendage and the reporter who has a thing for giants, and “Ice Cold,” where young Gaelen must save his love Kieran after a handsome but evil prince freezes Kieran’s heart and bewitches him into being the prince’s slave.

Praise for The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland:

“This is a brilliant work, filled with imaginative twists and sly asides. This is adult literature, overflowing with sometimes gentle but often biting humor, and these fairy tales take on a new edginess without ever losing the morality underpinning each story. The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland gets my highest recommendation! If I could give it more than 5 Stars I would. Bravo, sir, bravo!” GGR Reviews

“Sometimes you are lucky enough to find an author that ticks every box you want as a reader, today I’m that lucky reader.” “a great saucy, fun collection and highly recommended.” Three Books over the Rainbow

“if you’re looking for a fun, entertaining read that will make you laugh, then you will probably like this collection of imaginatively retold and sometimes naughty fairy tales.” Rainbow Book Reviews

“Joe Cosentino is a wise and very funny man.” “a funny, delightfully original read” Divine Magazine

“I enjoyed seeing how Mr. Cosentino adapted stories many already know, but he still made them his own.” “I was dying laughing” Molly Lolly Reviews

“beautiful reimaginings with an LGBTQ twist” Prism Book Alliance

“the stories are all well done and smart, engaging, funny and sweet.” Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

The Naked Prince and Other tales from Fairyland is a fun, hilarious collection of stories. Joe outdid himself taking old favorites from our childhood and putting a grown-up spin on them.” “If you like gay princes, sexy bears, giants, reporters, fairy tales, comedy, suspense, and, sweet, fun man-sex, this is for you.” Cathy Brockman Romance

“If you haven’t read anything by Cosentino, you don’t know what you are missing. His humor and penchant for drama bring these old favorites a new life as he ventures deep into Fairyland.” “If you love fairytales, you’ve got to read the naughty versions – they are even better!” Joyfully Jay

“Each story in this book was so good and will take you into a different tale that will either have you laughing so much there will be tears in your eyes or will give you some very steamy scenes!” Inked Rainbow Reads

About the Author

Bestselling author Joe Cosentino wrote In My Heart/An Infatuation & A Shooting Star, A Home for the Holidays, The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland (Dreamspinner Press), Drama Queen, Drama Muscle, Drama Cruise Nicky and Noah mysteries (Lethe Press), Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back, Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward, Cozzi Cove: Stepping Out (NineStar Press), Paper Doll, Porcelain Doll, Satin Doll, China Doll, Rag Doll Jana Lane mysteries (The Wild Rose Press), and The Nutcracker and the Mouse King (Eldridge Plays and Musicals). He has appeared in principal acting roles in film, television, and theatre, opposite stars such as Bruce Willis, Rosie O’Donnell, Nathan Lane, Holland Taylor, Charles Keating, and Jason Robards. Joe is currently Head of the Department/Professor at a college in upstate New York, and is happily married. He was voted 1st Place Favorite LGBT Mystery, Humorous, and Contemporary Author of 2015 and 2nd Place Favorite LGBT Romance Author of 2015 by the readers of Divine Magazine. He has also won many Rainbow Award Honorable Mentions including for In My Heart/An Infatuation & A Shooting Star. Upcoming releases are Drama Luau (fourth Nicky and Noah mystery) and Cozzi Cove: New Beginnings (fourth Cozzi Cove beach novel, NineStar Press). http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com

An Ali Audiobook Review: Desert Heat / Native Tongue (Desert Heat #1 – 2) by Lucy Felthouse and Narrator Joel Leslie

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Desert Heat & Native TongueRead the whole story – both books bundled for your reading pleasure, and great value!

Desert Heat:

Their love is forbidden by rules, religion and risk. Yet still they can’t resist.

Captain Hugh Wilkes is on his last tour of duty in Afghanistan. The British Army is withdrawing, and Wilkes expects his posting to be event-free. That is, until he meets his Afghan interpreter, Rustam Balkhi, who awakens desires in Wilkes that he’d almost forgotten about, and that won’t be ignored.

Native Tongue:

They may be back on British soil, but the battle isn’t over.

When Captain Hugh Wilkes fell for his Afghan interpreter, Rustam Balkhi, he always knew things would never be easy. After months of complete secrecy, their return to England should have spelt an end to the sneaking around and the insane risks. But it seems there are many obstacles for them to overcome before they can truly be happy together. Can they get past those obstacles, or is this one battle too many for their fledgling relationship?

I enjoyed both of these stories.  Desert Heat is the first part of this couple’s journey.  As it says in the blurb the two men meet while in Afghanistan. Hugh is a soldier and Rustam works an interpreter. They are attracted to each other but have little time together due to the circumstances of their situation.  Despite the dangerous situation they are in the two men can’t seem to stay away from each other and after months of attraction they end up sharing a night of passion.  They know they can’t continue to be together while they are there, but they also can’t imagine giving up their relationship.  This part of the story was well written and I really enjoyed the chemistry of the two men together.
The second part of the story, Native Tongue, takes place when the men are back England,  Rustam is pursuing his medical studies and Hugh is stationed close by.  After being apart since Afghanistan, the two men feel nervous as they try to have a real relationship.  This part of the story was also well written and was both sweet and steamy.  It was lovely watching these two as they try to deal with being in a place where they can actually date.  They have some things they need to work through and I thought these were realistically presented and worked through.
Overall I really enjoyed both stories.  I liked the characters and the unique plot.  I listened to this on audio and I thoroughly enjoyed the narrator.  He did both of the main characters well and I never had a difficult time telling them apart.  I also liked the various side character’s voices.  I had not previously listened to this narrator but I will definitely look for his work in the future.
Cover:  I liked the cover a lot and felt it fit the stories well.
Sales Links
Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 154 pages
Published May 14th 2015 (first published January 29th 2015)
ASINB00X2UX08E
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesDesert Heat #1 – 2

Barb, A Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: Treasure by Kim Fielding ~ Narrated by Joel Leslie

Standard

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Treasure AudiobookI first read this fantasy tale in 2014, and I was so impressed I shelved it on my “to reread someday” bookshelf. Well, the time has come, and this time, I had the privilege of listening to the audiobook version and found it even more amazing than the first time I read it.

Julien is a sweet, self-effacing, unpretentious young man who has always been considered sickly by his family so is sent to Urchin Cove for the healing properties of the fresh air along the coast. When the handsome man who washes up on shore turns out to be in need of help, Julien steps in to care for him. After all, he knows all about doctoring, having been a patient for most of his life.

What Julien finds out about himself during the time he cares for Kit Archer is that he’s stronger and more loveable than he ever expected he could be. He and Kit fall in love, and despite the intervention of kidnapping and pirate attacks, they ultimately find a way to be together for a happily ever after that rivals my favorite fairy tales.

The main characters are well sketched and endearing, and the townsfolk are an amazing group of wonderful and varied secondary characters. And the voices? Oh, my! Joel Leslie constantly made me forget that I wasn’t listening to a variety of different people, and the personality he infused into each of them was outstanding.

Take one part amazing author who provides detailed characterizations and one part outstanding voice actor who truly does much more than simply narrate a story, and you have the most excellent audiobook to come along in quite a while.

Audiobook Sales Links

Audiobook Details:

Audible Audio, Length: 4 hrs and 5 mins
Published July 6th 2016 by Self-Published (first published June 12th 2013)
ASINB01HZLFBNW
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesDon’t Read in the Closet Events

Barb, A Zany Old Lady Review: Dinner at Fiorello’s by Rick R. Reed ~ Audiobook narrated by Joel Leslie

Standard

Rating: 5 stars out of 5    ★★★★★

DinneratFiorellosAUDLGHenry Appleby is considered by many to be a spoiled little rich kid living in the lap of luxury with his wealthy parents, enjoying the good life. But Henry has a burning desire, deep in his soul, to become a chef. Not something his parents would approve of, he’s sure. However, for Henry, food expresses emotions and memories and he wants to be able to bring those emotions to others through his cooking. So when he spots an ad for an all-around helper at Fiorello’s, a small Italian restaurant, he decides to go for it—against his father’s wishes. His father had already arranged a summer job for Henry as an apprentice in his law firm, a prelude to Henry entering college in the fall and ultimately following in his father’s footsteps to become an attorney.

The first day on the job, Henry meets Vito Carelli, the tall, dark, brooding chef who never cracks a smile but who produces the most amazing food. Unknown to Henry, Vito lost his husband and young son to an auto accident a little over a year ago, and now life has lost its meaning, and he has all he can do to put one foot in front of the other to survive the hollowness in his heart.

Though Henry is attracted right from the first day, every attempt to befriend Vito, or even flirt with him, is met with a stony glare. Until one night Henry’s world is turned upside down when he discovers his mom is having an affair. Then one thing leads to another, and he’s outted to both parents, and Vito is the only person willing to listen and help the young man whose heart may be as broken as his own.

I loved this story. It’s a bittersweet romance, with the focus more on the characters than on the sexual attraction, and that makes it so much more than the usual. It starts out slowly, backfilling the history of each character, giving them life and dimension. But by about halfway through, I found myself longing to hear more, to experience their dynamic, and to wallow in the heartbreak that is Vito’s grief, and I realized that I didn’t want to pause it for any reason. (To heck with real life responsibilities!) Joel Leslie’s outstanding narration gives life to the characters. Vito’s sexy, deep, Italian-accented voice and Henry’s light, youthful vibe fit the characters perfectly and make it believable when the characters themselves, while ultimately attracted, acknowledge their age difference and the necessity of going slow as they see where their relationship may lead. Throughout the story, he narrates not only the words, but the emotion—sometimes raw and poignant though it may be.

The supporting cast of characters—from Henry’s parents and housekeeper to Rosalie, the owner of Fiorello’s and Carmella, the lusty hostess with an eye for the men—each has his or her own voice given character by the author and infused with life by Joel Leslie.

It’s not often that I’m so affected by a story that the characters stay with me long after I finish, but that’s the case here. I finished this book a few days ago, and I still feel Vito’s pain at his loss. The agony of his grief was so realistically written and so realistically performed by the narrator that I, too, feel as if I’ve lost someone important to my life.

I highly recommend this story, in audiobook if you can do it, but e-book if you can’t. It’s a beautiful love story, not just showing the early stages of what may become love for Henry and Vito, but the love Vito holds for his son and his husband—a love that transcends their death. Don’t miss a chance to pick this one up.

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Cover Art by Reese Dante features a head shot of gorgeous Vito in the foreground with a profile of youthful Henry in the background. It’s beautifully done and perfect for the story.

Sales Links:   Dreamspinner Press |   iTunes | Audible | Amazon

Audiobook Details:

NarratorJoel Leslie
Length7 hours and 11 minutes