A Lila Review: The Spymaster’s Secret By Antonia Aquilante

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

 

Alexander is doing his best to settle into life in Tournai’s royal palace after years living outside the country due to his father’s diplomatic work. The sense of belonging and home he feels is overwhelming, but none of his plans are going as he imagined. Many see him as only a lovely, charming adornment of the royal court and underestimate both his intelligence and abilities. His attraction to Marcus, a mysterious older man who does work for the prince, Alexander’s cousin, is unexpected but not unwelcome…if Marcus could possibly see who Alexander really is.Lord Marcus is the second son of a minor noble family, a widower raising two children…and the prince’s spymaster. He knows his work is necessary for the security of the kingdom and its royal family, but he also knows it can be distasteful and dangerous to him and those around him. Marcus has vowed never to fall in love again, never to put anyone else at risk—a promise threatened for the first time by the vibrant, flirtatious Alexander. The attraction is unwelcome and entirely undeniable. He can’t believe someone like Alexander would want someone like him, but he also can’t stay away.

As they become ever more entangled, Marcus is investigating rumors of spies at work in Tournai’s university. As he gets closer to uncovering their plot, Alexander is drawn deeper into danger. Can their love survive when Alexander is put in peril by the very spies Marcus is hunting for?

The Spymaster’s Secret is a lovely story about two different men brought together by an unexpected attraction. I enjoyed the time they spent courting each other and the slow friendship they developed. They were comfortable with each other and worked well as one.

The secrets between them didn’t take away from their blossoming relationship. They seem to mesh into the action, giving them the opportunity to learn more about each other.

Even so, their love story was slow but significant.  There were enough clues hinting about what could have kept them apart, but not enough to bored the reader.

We continued to learn about Tournai, its inhabitants, and culture. We spent time with the royal family and the previous couples. Once again, we get the chance to read the Princes’ point of view and enjoy their connection.

The high point and resolution came a bit quick but were surprisingly satisfying. New characters were introduced and the potential for more is constant.

The cover by Natasha Snow matches the previous books in the series but it seems too modern for the story.

Sale Links: NineStar | Amazon | Nook

Book Details:

ebook, 389 pages
Published: October 14, 2019, by NineStar Press
ISBN: 978-1-951057-63-3
Edition Language: English

Series: Chronicles of Tournai
Book #1: The Prince’s Consort
Book #2: The Artist’s Masquerade
Book #3: The Scholar’s Heart
Book #4: The Sorcerer’s Guardian
Book #5: The Dragon’s Devotion
Book #6: The Merchant’s Love
Book #7: The Spymaster’s Secret

National Coming Out Day..a bit late. This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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National Coming Out Day….a bit late.

 

National Coming Out Day was Friday, October 11, the 31st such coming out celebration and I didn’t want such a wonderful event to pass by without Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words making note of just how special and wondrous this occasion is. Our Twitter feed is full of stories, poignant, funny, accepting, sad, hilarious, and heartbreaking.  They have been running the full gamut of emotions, and histories, up to and including the advice that not everyone is ready to come out.  That they will know when, and if, that time comes that they feel safe and ready to make that step, a step only they should make for themselves.

As I said Friday, October 11, marked the 31st Anniversary of National Coming Out Day, a landmark in and of itself. Here are some special links, courtesy of HRC:

A Resource Guide to Coming Out

Transgender Visibility: A Guide to Being You

History of National Coming Out Day : started in October 11, 1987

 

For many more links (coming out at school, at work, inspiring stories, and helpful links, please check out HRC’s full link

National Coming Out Day | Human Rights Campaign |   https://www.hrc.org 

 

No matter the age when someone realized “who” they were and stated it out loud, from the earliest of ages to later in life, the ability to be i your truest self , whatever that may be, is a right everyone should have.  Here are some stories. Happy National Coming Out Day….a bit late.

National Coming Out Day: 2019’s top LGBTQ coming out stories

This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, October 13:

  • National Coming Out Day..a bit late.
  • This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, October 14:

  • Review Tour – Ruby Moone – Loving Daniel (MC Securities #3)
  • Review Tour – Beth Laycock – Guarding His Heart
  • AUDIOBOOK REVIEW TOUR – DARK RIVERS by Morgan Brice
  • A Stella Review: Things Happen That Way (Mann of My Dreams #2) by Tinnean
  • An Alisa Review : Loving Daniel (MC Securities #3) by  Ruby Moone
  • A MelanieM Audio Review: Dark Rivers (Witchbane #2) by Morgan Brice and Kale Williams (Narrator)

Tuesday, October 15:

  • Cover Reveal, – Sally Malcom – Twice Shy (A New Milton Novel)
  • BLOG TOUR Master of Restless Shadows by Ginn Hale
  • Blog Post The Twelfth Knight (Guardians of Camelot #1) by Victoria Sue
  • BLITZ for Natural Disaster by Erin McLellan
  • A MelanieM Review: Wrecked by Jodi Payne and B.A. Tortuga
  • A Lila Review The Spymaster’s Secret By Antonia Aquilante
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Master of Restless Shadows (Master of Restless Shadows #1) by Ginn Hale

Wednesday, October 16:

  • Review Tour Bishop: A True Lover’s Story by A.E. Via
  • Blog Post – DJ Jamison”
  • The Shoreless Sea (Liminal Sky Book 3) by J. Scott Coatsworth Tour
  • An Alisa Review: Bishop: A True Lover’s Story by A.E. Via
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Deosil (Whyborne & Griffin #11) by Jordan L. Hawk
  • A MelanieM Review:The Shoreless Sea (Liminal Sky Book 3) by J. Scott Coatsworth

Thursday, October 17:

  • Post CONFESSIONS OF A GAY CURMUDGEON by Andy V. Ambrose
  • Release Blitz – Slow Birth (Heat of Love 2.5) – Leta Blake
  • BLITZ Starting from Scratch by Lane Hayes
  • An Alisa Review: Blood Wine (The Blood Bond Series Book 2) by Aimer Boyz
  • A Stella Review: Love on the Hudson by KD Fisher
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Ghost House by Jacqueline Grey

Friday, October 18:

  • Release Blitz  – Doctor’s Orders by Emma Jay
  • Release Blitz – Felice Stevens – Running From My Heart
  • Review Tour – Con Riley – After Ben (Seattle Stories #1)
  • A Stella Review : The Lion and the Crow by Eli Easton
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audio Review: Rule Breaker (Mixed Messages #1) by Lily Morton and Joel Leslie (Narrator)
  • A Stella Review: After Ben (Seattle Stories #1) by Con Riley

Saturday, October 19:

  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Lucky Break (Clean Slate Ranch #4) by A.M. Arthur
  • A MelanieM Review: The Necromancer’s Reckoning (The Beacon Hill Sorcerer #3) by S.J. Himes

Blog Tour for Love on the Hudson by KD Fisher (excerpt and giveaway)

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Love on the Hudson by KD Fisher

Release Date: September 30, 2019

Subgenre: Contemporary LGBTQ+ romance (m/m)

Order here:

Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Love-Hudson-KD-Fisherebook/dp/B07Y8QKRF1/ref=sr_1_3keywords=kd+fisher&qid=1569490513&s=books&sr=1-3

Ninestar:

https://ninestarpress.com/product/love-on-the-hudson/

Goodreads:    

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47508320-love-on-the-hudson

Synopsis for Love on the Hudson:

At historian David Webster left his childhood home of Saugerties, New York ten years ago and hasn’t looked back. Intelligent, successful, and proud of his sexuality, David has built a comfortable, if lonely, life in Chicago. But when he learns his father has suffered a debilitating stroke, he decides to leave his prestigious museum job and move home to care for his dad. Until now David has never questioned his devotion to academic and professional success. Suddenly he’s forced to confront and reevaluate his desires, chief among them, his former best friend Nick.

Nick Patras has spent his entire life trying to be the perfect Greek son. From devoting himself to football, to forgoing an athletic scholarship to work at his family’s diner, to denying his sexuality and getting married to his high school sweetheart, Nick got used to putting his family’s dreams ahead of his own. The facade shattered, however, when Nick divorced his wife and left the family business to follow his dream of starting an organic farm. Finally content with the life he’s built for himself, Nick is still haunted by the mistake that ended his friendship with David a decade earlier.

When David and Nick reunite their old feelings are undeniable, but can David trust Nick with his heart a second time around? As David embarks on a new career as an artist, he must decide whether or not Nick fits into this composition.

Teasers:

“Can you give me another chance?” The naked hope in Nick’s face sends a jolt of warmth right through my heart. “I know I don’t deserve it but I want to at least be your friend again. And if you’d be willing, I want to be with you for real.”

Excerpt :

Five hours later I find myself behind the wheel of a white rental sedan barreling up I-87 in the direction of Saugerties, a perfectly nice town I’d hoped never to see again. The sky is the same mottled gray as it was back in Chicago, the snow along the highway the same dirt-tinged pewter. The passing cars are spattered with white salt stains. I drive in silence, every radio station bothering me with shrill commercials or horrendous blends of the 80s, 90s, and today.

My mind falls into a chaotic tailspin. I want to call Marc and see how the meeting went. I want to call Jimmy again and see if there is any update on my dad’s condition. The doctors are worried his vision was compromised but needed to run another test. I want to call Anna to hear her soothing voice and ask the one question that absolutely shouldn’t be on my mind right now. Has she seen Nick recently? Again, his gray eyes and those dark lashes flit across my mind and I grip the wheel harder. I need to focus. Plus I won’t even see him. He moved across town when he got married. He doesn’t live in the house across the street anymore.

Author Bio:

KD Fisher is a queer New England-based writer of authentic, heartfelt LGBTQ+ narratives. KD grew up all over the United States, bouncing from North Carolina to Hawaiʻi to Illinois, and finally settling in Maine where she spends far too much time at the beach.

When KD isn’t writing, she can usually be found hiking with her overly enthusiastic dog, obsessing over plants, or cooking elaborate meals. She loves classic country, perfectly ripe tomatoes, and falling asleep in the sun.

Author links:

Website: https://www.kdfisherromance.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kdfisherauthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kdfisher_author

Newsletter: https://squarespace.us18.list-manage.com/subscribe/post?u=f5e2b33c3ff839fc7ef512330&id=e20f3c6133

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kdfisherauthor/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18177834.KD_Fisher

 

Giveaway:

Win one of 3 packages of a signed physical copy + postcard of LOVE ON THE HUDSON by KD Fisher!

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/88d45f03107/?

 

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A MelanieM Review: T.A.D.: The Angel of Death by M.D. Neu

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Tad bounces around in time and watches mankind grow and change. He loves humanity and helping when he can. However, his job isn’t conducive to helping people—he’s an Angel of Death.

Doug is a fun-loving drama queen. He’s an amazing drag queen and hairstylist with big dreams, but despite his witty exterior, he has a dark history and is prone to self-destruction.

When Tad pushes the boundaries of his duties too far, his wings are stripped away from him, and he is sent to New York City to live as a human. Lost and alone he ends up meeting Doug, and they start a friendship that shapes them both and may last a lifetime. But nothing is simple when you’re dealing with a former Angel of Death and a Drag Queen. Could these two cause the fabric of our world to collapse or will they manage to keep the future as it should?

I readily admit I struggled with this review for T.A.D.: The Angel of Death by M.D. Neu.  It is at times incredibly moving and at others very narratively dry and drawn out.  It can swing from the haunting and angst to the  huh and almost boring.  It can be lyrical and yes, downright mundane.  So how to meld the two?

It’s hard because I hold this writer in high esteem.  His other works, like The Calling or The Reunion are amazing examples of writing and high flights of literacy. I see moments of those here, especially in that Prologue.

For those of you out there for whom 9/11, even the words, is still that enormous traumatic tragedy that wounds you still, leaves you in tears.  Well, that Prologue will be hard to read.  It was for me.  That is the sort of writing I expect from this author.

But it’s not sustained as the point of view switches from the Angel of Death (one of many) to Doug, a hairdresser and Drag Queen.  For some reason, Doug is the character that removes the life from the story rather than sparks it.  It really should be the other way around.  Doug should have the pizazz, the zing, and heft as it were to carry this story.  And in my opinion, Doug just doesn’t.  At least not until the end.  At the end?  Everything suddenly came together with a twist and I was bawling my eyes out.

But for about one third or more of the story something was missing. The very life that TAD found so special, so precious, so worth sacrificing for. And  I couldn’t help by feel that the author did;t telegraph that in his characters or storyline.  He came close in certain scenes.  But never enough of them strung together.  The novel felt “talked to”, or drawn out when it should have felt lively.

There is no romance between the main  characters here.  It’s not that sort of story.  Doug does find love, a romantic love.  And love does abide. It’s just of another kind.

And that ending?  Well, yes, as I said, many, many tissues and a twist I didn’t see coming.  So well worth it.    If only I hadn’t had to “walk : a long, sometimes long trail to get there.

I love drag queens, I love terrific endings, and the writing of this author.  But all together in this story.  I’m still puzzling that one out.  I;ll  leave it up to you.

 

Cover art: Natasha Snow.  What a great cover. Full of elements pertaining to the storyline and visually captivating.

Sales Links

NineStar Press | Goodreads

Book Details:

ebook
Expected publication: September 23rd 2019 by NineStar Press
ISBN139781951057398
Edition LanguageEnglish
URL https://ninestarpress.com/product/tad/

Need A New Story? Check our the Tour for T.A.D.: The Angel of Death by M.D. Neu (excerpt) a MM paranormal/alternate universe novel!

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The Angel of Death

M.D Neu has a new MM paranormal/alternate universe book out: T.A.D – The Angel of Death.

Tad loves bouncing around in time and watching mankind grow and change. He loves humanity and helping when he can. However, his job isn’t conducive to helping people. He’s an Angel of Death.

Doug is fun loving and a drama queen. Despite his witty exterior, he has a dark history and is prone to self-destruction. He’s also an amazing drag queen and hairstylist with big dreams.

When Tad pushes the boundaries of his duties too far, his angel wings are stripped away from him, and he is sent to New York City to live as a human. Lost and alone he ends up meeting Doug, and the two start a friendship that will shape them both and last a lifetime. But nothing is simple when you’re dealing with a former Angel of Death and a Drag Queen. Could these two cause the fabric of our world to collapse or will they manage to keep the future as it should?

NineStar Press | Goodreads


Giveaway

Giveaway:

Marvin is giving away a $20 Amazon gift card with this reveal and tour. Enter via Rafflecopter:

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Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d4781/?


Excerpt

The Angel of Death

Doug glanced up at the big void where the buildings once stood.

How could anyone do that? All those people, and for what? Thank God, no one I know was there. Thank goodness, Garret’s train was running late. Even from across the river, seeing the buildings fall, one minute there, the next not, awful. Not knowing if Garret was alive or dead. The not knowing was awful, and it seemed to last forever. Then getting his call when the phones were back up. It was a relief. Still, the not knowing? Horrible. How do survivors do it?

Doug shuddered. He had to look away before he started to cry again. That day. The world wasn’t the same. How could it be? Would it ever be the same again? He swiped at his eyes, keeping the tears he was trying to hold back from dropping. He caught his reflection in one of the storefront windows and fussed with his blond spiky hair.

One year.

The months right after the attack had been hell for everyone. People from all over the world sent support and offered help. But New York was moving on, as it should. They already had seven different architects offering new designs to fill the empty skyline. Mayor Giuliani was doing everything he could for the city, and there was even talk of him running for president.

Doug checked his flip phone and picked up his pace. He was running late. He shouldn’t have spent the night at Tim’s, but leaving such a sexy guy was no easy task. Not to mention they might have partied too much.

I doubt that is even possible. You can never party too much.

There was a large group of mourners, and he had to step to the side to let them pass. He took a deep cleansing breath, pushing all thoughts from his mind, and started walking again. He rushed past the families and friends heading to Ground Zero. Now he had to hustle to make it to work. He’d gotten lucky no one he was familiar with was killed. Still, every time he thought about the attack and looked up at the twin lights filling the night sky, he wanted to cry.

Monsters.

Why President Bush didn’t blow up the whole of the Middle East after the attack, Doug would never understand. Instead, the president sent troops to Afghanistan, searching for Osama bin Laden and taking out Al-Qaeda.

Just as long as they find and kill the monsters who did this to us.

Doug couldn’t help but stop again and glance up to where the twin towers once stood. He quickly wiped at his eyes. “I need to get out of here.” He moved over to the brick façade and leaned against the wall as more people passed him, heading to the memorial ceremony.

“So much suffering and for what?” Doug mumbled. He started walking again, taking a deep breath and trying to avoid the crowds. A woman in a dark jacket passed him and bumped his shoulder, causing him to step closer to an alley. She didn’t bother saying anything; however, Doug thought she said something about his size. He caught his reflection again. He hated how everything made him feel so fat. Nothing he wore looked right on him. Even the baggy pants still made him look fat and messy. He would need to start at the gym if he wanted to continue dating Tim and keep up with his partying. He frowned.

At least I have good hair.

He played with the spikes of his hair.

“It’s my fault,” a gruff voice whispered from behind him.

Doug startled and turned around, but no one was there. He glanced over to the dumpster.

Sitting there, a raggedy black man, with kinky hair in desperate need of a cut and wash, stared at him. The man had the most beautiful green eyes Doug had ever seen. The rich tones of his skin really made his eyes pop, quite possibly the unkempt man’s best feature. The man was in shambles, and tears streamed down his dirty cheeks.

The anniversary affects everyone.

“I did this,” the man groaned through his sobs. “And now I’m being punished.”

Doug wasn’t sure what to do or say. Should he walk away and get to the salon? Leave what appeared to be the crazy homeless guy alone? Could he do that now that they made eye contact? Could he do that today of all days? The man needed help. The man needed a shower and clean clothes. Perhaps, if he talked to him, that would be enough…well, the talk and ten bucks.

That’s what Shannon would do. Talk to him and give him money. Shannon was such a kind soul, and I need to be more like him, more like he was. To honor him. Just like my drag name. Maybe Miss Enshannon needs to be more. I need to be more.

Doug’s heart ached at the memories of Shannon and how wonderful he was. When he picked his drag name there was no doubt on what it would be, but to honor someone you loved had to be more than using their name.

“It’s not your fault.” He knelt close to the man, still keeping his distance just in case. “It was the work of terrorists. They killed all those people, not you.”

“I should have stopped them. I should have done more,” the dirty man moaned.

“Oh, baby, no one could have done more,” Doug offered. Some people thought the government knew about the attack beforehand and the president allowed it to happen. Doug didn’t buy it. Why anyone listened to these people was beyond him, but they did. He just wished they would shut up and crawl back under the rocks they came from. They weren’t helping anyone, and in the long run, their remarks and comments only hurt people more.

“Now, I’m being punished. They sent me here and took my wings,” the man whispered.

Was this guy a pilot? Oh, that would be awful. I bet he was supposed to fly one of the planes, and he couldn’t take it. Survivor’s guilt.


Author Bio

M.D. Neu

M.D. Neu is a queer Fiction Writer with a love for writing and travel. Living in the heart of Silicon Valley (San Jose, California) and growing up around technology, he’s always been fascinated with what could be. Specifically drawn to Science Fiction and Paranormal television and novels, M.D. Neu was inspired by the great Gene Roddenberry, George Lucas, Stephen King, Alice Walker, Alfred Hitchcock, Harvey Fierstein, Anne Rice, and Kim Stanley Robinson. An odd combination, but one that has influenced his writing.

Growing up in an accepting family as a gay man he always wondered why there were never stories reflecting who he was. Constantly surrounded by characters that only reflected heterosexual society, M.D. Neu decided he wanted to change that. So, he took to writing, wanting to tell good stories that reflected our diverse world.

When M.D. Neu isn’t writing, he works for a non-profit and travels with his biggest supporter and his harshest critic, Eric his husband of twenty plus years.

Author Website: http://www.mdneu.com

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/mdneuauthor/

Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/Writer_MDNeu

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authormdneu/

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17206592.M_D_Neu

Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/m-d-neu/

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/M-D-Neu/e/B076FK1S14/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

LOGO - Other Worlds Ink

An Alisa Review: Clueless Cabot by André D. Michaels

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Rating:  3 stars out of 5

Young gay professional Cabot MacCrae has been in love with his sexy best friend, Lloyd, since high school. They’re in perfect sync on almost everything. The only problem is that Lloyd is straight.

Cabot resigned himself long ago to pining hopelessly. Then Lloyd, a roofer, takes a bad fall and injures his collarbone. When he needs some TLC, there’s no question that Cabot will be the one to nurse his friend back to health. But Lloyd’s scantily clad presence in Cabot’s house brings out Cabot’s old longings.

But when Lloyd’s well-meaning mother and aunt fix Cabot up with a blind date, Lloyd reacts like a jealous boyfriend. Lloyd’s reaction makes Cabot wonder if those longings are as unrequited as he’s always assumed. What if Lloyd has been pining for him all these years? Has Cabot just been clueless all along?

This was a nice story though I hated that they continued to make it out that Cabot was clueless about what was going through Lloyd’s head while Lloyd wasn’t able to vocalize his own desires either.  I liked that Cabot and Lloyd have stayed such great friends since they were in school.

I liked both of these guys and even though we say everything through Cabot’s eyes I could see people trying to hint to him about Lloyd and Lloyd’s joking around but I understood his viewpoint of not wanting to possibly screw up their friendship.  I don’t know if Lloyd thought his joking and kinda flirting would work but I get why it didn’t.  I did hate that Lloyd’s mom put him in such a bad situation trying to get him fixed up with someone that was essentially a jerk.

The only reason I went with 3 stars instead of 4 is that I hated that they tried to make out that it was all because Cabot wasn’t paying attention was why him and Lloyd weren’t together.

I really like the cover art by Natasha Snow and the pie that is so important in the story.

Sales Links: Nine Star Press | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 25,900 words

Published: September 16, 2019 by Nine Star Press

ISBN: 978-1-951057-38-1

Edition Language: English

A MelanieM Review: Beyond Identity by Karrie Roman

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Noah Lancaster’s life is a mess. He doesn’t know much about his past or who is parents were. When he’s beaten on the streets one night while sleeping rough, the attack doesn’t feel like just another random assault on a vulnerable target. Somebody wanted Noah dead. But who’d want to hurt him? He’s a nobody who doesn’t know where he came from or who he truly is.

Harry Cooper wants to launch his career as an investigative journalist by telling the stories of the hardships faced by the homeless. His latest subject was lucky to survive a brutal attack—the mean streets almost swallowing him up like so many others. Noah is a mystery to Harry and it seems to the man himself.

When Noah’s attack brings these two men together neither could imagine they’re about to be pulled into a mystery one-hundred and thirty years old—and half a world away. They’re about to discover a secret someone has already killed once to protect and one that might get them both killed.

Sometimes who you are goes far beyond who you thought you were.

I found Beyond Identity by Karrie Roman to be a really compelling thriller right from the beginning.  Starting from the introduction to Noah Lancaster under brutal conditions and then our (and Noah’s) meeting Harry Cooper, each time under equally increasing poor and mystifying times for Noah, I was just pulled into the story and mystery by my connection to the men and Noah’s vulnerability.

From the prologue, the reader knows the villain is horrifically evil.  So just knowing that someone like that is after Noah (that’s the assumption one makes immediately) because  you start adding up the clues and the suspense that;s building becomes a taut wire as the story progresses.  Especially as the relationship between the men does as well.  That ups the ante too.  So much more at stake.  Love, lives, and a past to uncover.

You really can’t talk too much about this story because the hints and clues are everywhere.   It’s enough to say the characters are great. I loved the plot and only wish that the fresolution had been written out a little more.  That needed a chapter , not pages to finish off this story. That’s my only complaint.

Beyond Identity by Karrie Roman is a fast paced suspense filled romance and one I highly recommend.

Cover art: Natasha Snow is a terrific cover, works for the tone and character of the story.

Sales Links:  NineStar Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook
Published September 2nd 2019 by NineStar Press
ISBN 139781951057299
Edition Language English

New Release Blitz for Clueless Cabot by André D. Michaels (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title: Clueless Cabot
Author: André D. Michaels
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: September 16, 2019
Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 25900
Genre: Contemporary, LGBT, friends to lovers, first time, hurt-comfort, gay, bi, family drama

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

Young gay professional Cabot MacCrae has been in love with his sexy best friend, Lloyd, since high school. They’re in perfect sync on almost everything. The only problem is that Lloyd is straight.

Cabot resigned himself long ago to pining hopelessly. Then Lloyd, a roofer, takes a bad fall and injures his collarbone. When he needs some TLC, there’s no question that Cabot will be the one to nurse his friend back to health. But Lloyd’s scantily clad presence in Cabot’s house brings out Cabot’s old longings.

But when Lloyd’s well-meaning mother and aunt fix Cabot up with a blind date, Lloyd reacts like a jealous boyfriend. Lloyd’s reaction makes Cabot wonder if those longings are as unrequited as he’s always assumed. What if Lloyd has been pining for him all these years? Has Cabot just been clueless all along?

Excerpt

Clueless Cabot
André D. Michaels © 2019
All Rights Reserved

DISH

Half an hour before Club Sandwich closed, Cabot McCrae knew he wasn’t going home with anybody. Once again, he’d sat in the corner, nursing his two drinks, eyeing the crowd for someone, anyone, who might be worth pursuing. And once again, as the ice cubes melted in the glass, he sat and did nothing while the few who drew his interest paired up with others and went off into the night. One or two drinks were sent his way, but the guys who sent them seemed creepy and stalkerish, and Cabot declined as politely as he could.

How the hell do guys find each other?

People talked about what a meat market this bar was, but if so, then Cabot was definitely not USDA Choice beef. Maybe not even leftover bologna.

“Thanks, Hank.” He dropped a five on the bar. Hank gave him a casual salute.

The cute Italian busboy didn’t even meet Cabot’s eye. The burly bouncer barely grunted as Cabot left the club. The darkness and cold, relative silence outside brought relief from the flashing lights, steamy heat, and pounding bass inside.

Cabot got in his car and checked his phone. Ring me, said the text from Lloyd.

At 1:45 in the morning, Cabot wasn’t about to call his best friend. He texted back: In the a.m. Beat, dude.

Immediately, Lloyd texted back. Understood. Hope you made out.

Cabot smiled grimly and started the car to head home. No, I didn’t make out. I never make out. Nobody wants to make out. But he wasn’t going to text that to Lloyd, either.

Lloyd always got lucky at the drop of a hat. He’d slept with more women than Cabot could count. He even juggled several girlfriends at a time, managing somehow to keep them all happy and coming back for more.

Not Cabot. He hadn’t gone on a date in—how many months? And he and good ol’ Rosie Palm were better acquainted than ever before.

The lights of the warehouse district behind him, he pulled into the garage below his apartment complex and parked the car. He sat there for several minutes, running his hands over his face. People tell me I’m cute, he kept repeating in his head. But he sure didn’t feel cute after one of these nights. No one talked to him. No one approached him.

No one wanted him.

His phone buzzed. Another text from Lloyd: Sweet dreams dude.

Back in his apartment, Cabot showered and padded naked into the kitchen. The blue calla lilies he’d bought himself were withered in the vase on the table.

He could have another drink. And unlike drinking at the bar, getting drunk at home wouldn’t make him go home with somebody he’d be embarrassed to wake up next to. Well, unless you counted waking up with yourself.

He virtually never wore clothes around the apartment. Nobody could see in. Nobody came to visit except Lloyd, and Cabot usually remembered to pull on some shorts or sweats when Lloyd visited. And when he didn’t remember, Lloyd didn’t care. Why would he? Lloyd was straight.

And besides, since he didn’t get much sex with anybody else, being a nudist at home gave him easy access to the one man who always enjoyed his lovemaking: himself.

His phone by the door buzzed again. Jesus, Lloyd, give it a rest already.

The text read: Yo dude, call me, man. Really.

Okay, that was scary. Cabot hit the call button.

“Hey,” said Lloyd’s sleepy voice.

“Hey. You okay, bro?”

“Sure. Kinda. No.”

“Okay, that’s three answers. What’s going on?”

“Just flirting with the nurse, man. He says I have to talk to you later.”

“Whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa. You’re flirting with a male nurse? What the hell is going on, Lloyd?”

“What? He’s cute.”

“Uh…you’re straight. What kind of drugs do they have you on?”

Lloyd sighed. “Just c’mon to the ER, man. Central MC. They’ll release me if I have a ride.”

“ER? What the fuck happened?”

“Tell you later. You gonna be my ride?”

“You got it, man. Be there in like five seconds. Four point nine.”

“Thanks, Cab.”

Cabot grabbed his keys and wallet and headed for the door, and then remembered he should probably put on pants. He pulled on a pair of basketball shorts and shoes and grabbed a clean shirt out of the drawer. No waiting for the elevator; he took the stairs.

Purchase

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Meet the Author

Having held jobs as varied as wedding caterer, IT guru, nanny, construction worker, librarian, historical reenactor, screenplay consultant, and birthday party clown, André now writes poetry, plays, and romances and erotic fiction about men loving men. A lifelong bibliophile, André lives in a renovated 1800s parsonage in Ohio, with a variable number of cats and an invariable number of husband.

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A MelanieM Review: T.A.D.: The Angel of Death by M.D. Neu

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Tad bounces around in time and watches mankind grow and change. He loves humanity and helping when he can. However, his job isn’t conducive to helping people—he’s an Angel of Death.

Doug is a fun-loving drama queen. He’s an amazing drag queen and hairstylist with big dreams, but despite his witty exterior, he has a dark history and is prone to self-destruction.

When Tad pushes the boundaries of his duties too far, his wings are stripped away from him, and he is sent to New York City to live as a human. Lost and alone he ends up meeting Doug, and they start a friendship that shapes them both and may last a lifetime. But nothing is simple when you’re dealing with a former Angel of Death and a Drag Queen. Could these two cause the fabric of our world to collapse or will they manage to keep the future as it should?

I readily admit I struggled with this review for T.A.D.: The Angel of Death by M.D. Neu.  It is at times incredibly moving and at others very narratively dry and drawn out.  It can swing from the haunting and angst to the  huh and almost boring.  It can be lyrical and yes, downright mundane.  So how to meld the two?

It’s hard because I hold this writer in high esteem.  His other works, like The Calling or The Reunion are amazing examples of writing and high flights of literacy. I see moments of those here, especially in that Prologue.

For those of you out there for whom 9/11, even the words, is still that enormous traumatic tragedy that wounds you still, leaves you in tears.  Well, that Prologue will be hard to read.  It was for me.  That is the sort of writing I expect from this author.

But it’s not sustained as the point of view switches from the Angel of Death (one of many) to Doug, a hairdresser and Drag Queen.  For some reason, Doug is the character that removes the life from the story rather than sparks it.  It really should be the other way around.  Doug should have the pizazz, the zing, and heft as it were to carry this story.  And in my opinion, Doug just doesn’t.  At least not until the end.  At the end?  Everything suddenly came together with a twist and I was bawling my eyes out.

But for about one third or more of the story something was missing. The very life that TAD found so special, so precious, so worth sacrificing for. And  I couldn’t help by feel that the author did;t telegraph that in his characters or storyline.  He came close in certain scenes.  But never enough of them strung together.  The novel felt “talked to”, or drawn out when it should have felt lively.

There is no romance between the main  characters here.  It’s not that sort of story.  Doug does find love, a romantic love.  And love does abide. It’s just of another kind.

And that ending?  Well, yes, as I said, many, many tissues and a twist I didn’t see coming.  So well worth it.    If only I hadn’t had to “walk : a long, sometimes long trail to get there.

I love drag queens, I love terrific endings, and the writing of this author.  But all together in this story.  I’m still puzzling that one out.  I;ll  leave it up to you.

 

Cover art: Natasha Snow.  What a great cover. Full of elements pertaining to the storyline and visually captivating.

Sales Links

NineStar Press | Goodreads

Book Details:

ebook
Expected publication: September 23rd 2019 by NineStar Press
ISBN139781951057398
Edition LanguageEnglish
URL https://ninestarpress.com/product/tad/

Need A New Story? Check our the Tour for T.A.D.: The Angel of Death by M.D. Neu (excerpt) a MM paranormal/alternate universe novel!

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The Angel of Death

M.D Neu has a new MM paranormal/alternate universe book out: T.A.D – The Angel of Death.

Tad loves bouncing around in time and watching mankind grow and change. He loves humanity and helping when he can. However, his job isn’t conducive to helping people. He’s an Angel of Death.

Doug is fun loving and a drama queen. Despite his witty exterior, he has a dark history and is prone to self-destruction. He’s also an amazing drag queen and hairstylist with big dreams.

When Tad pushes the boundaries of his duties too far, his angel wings are stripped away from him, and he is sent to New York City to live as a human. Lost and alone he ends up meeting Doug, and the two start a friendship that will shape them both and last a lifetime. But nothing is simple when you’re dealing with a former Angel of Death and a Drag Queen. Could these two cause the fabric of our world to collapse or will they manage to keep the future as it should?

NineStar Press | Goodreads


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Excerpt

The Angel of Death

Doug glanced up at the big void where the buildings once stood.

How could anyone do that? All those people, and for what? Thank God, no one I know was there. Thank goodness, Garret’s train was running late. Even from across the river, seeing the buildings fall, one minute there, the next not, awful. Not knowing if Garret was alive or dead. The not knowing was awful, and it seemed to last forever. Then getting his call when the phones were back up. It was a relief. Still, the not knowing? Horrible. How do survivors do it?

Doug shuddered. He had to look away before he started to cry again. That day. The world wasn’t the same. How could it be? Would it ever be the same again? He swiped at his eyes, keeping the tears he was trying to hold back from dropping. He caught his reflection in one of the storefront windows and fussed with his blond spiky hair.

One year.

The months right after the attack had been hell for everyone. People from all over the world sent support and offered help. But New York was moving on, as it should. They already had seven different architects offering new designs to fill the empty skyline. Mayor Giuliani was doing everything he could for the city, and there was even talk of him running for president.

Doug checked his flip phone and picked up his pace. He was running late. He shouldn’t have spent the night at Tim’s, but leaving such a sexy guy was no easy task. Not to mention they might have partied too much.

I doubt that is even possible. You can never party too much.

There was a large group of mourners, and he had to step to the side to let them pass. He took a deep cleansing breath, pushing all thoughts from his mind, and started walking again. He rushed past the families and friends heading to Ground Zero. Now he had to hustle to make it to work. He’d gotten lucky no one he was familiar with was killed. Still, every time he thought about the attack and looked up at the twin lights filling the night sky, he wanted to cry.

Monsters.

Why President Bush didn’t blow up the whole of the Middle East after the attack, Doug would never understand. Instead, the president sent troops to Afghanistan, searching for Osama bin Laden and taking out Al-Qaeda.

Just as long as they find and kill the monsters who did this to us.

Doug couldn’t help but stop again and glance up to where the twin towers once stood. He quickly wiped at his eyes. “I need to get out of here.” He moved over to the brick façade and leaned against the wall as more people passed him, heading to the memorial ceremony.

“So much suffering and for what?” Doug mumbled. He started walking again, taking a deep breath and trying to avoid the crowds. A woman in a dark jacket passed him and bumped his shoulder, causing him to step closer to an alley. She didn’t bother saying anything; however, Doug thought she said something about his size. He caught his reflection again. He hated how everything made him feel so fat. Nothing he wore looked right on him. Even the baggy pants still made him look fat and messy. He would need to start at the gym if he wanted to continue dating Tim and keep up with his partying. He frowned.

At least I have good hair.

He played with the spikes of his hair.

“It’s my fault,” a gruff voice whispered from behind him.

Doug startled and turned around, but no one was there. He glanced over to the dumpster.

Sitting there, a raggedy black man, with kinky hair in desperate need of a cut and wash, stared at him. The man had the most beautiful green eyes Doug had ever seen. The rich tones of his skin really made his eyes pop, quite possibly the unkempt man’s best feature. The man was in shambles, and tears streamed down his dirty cheeks.

The anniversary affects everyone.

“I did this,” the man groaned through his sobs. “And now I’m being punished.”

Doug wasn’t sure what to do or say. Should he walk away and get to the salon? Leave what appeared to be the crazy homeless guy alone? Could he do that now that they made eye contact? Could he do that today of all days? The man needed help. The man needed a shower and clean clothes. Perhaps, if he talked to him, that would be enough…well, the talk and ten bucks.

That’s what Shannon would do. Talk to him and give him money. Shannon was such a kind soul, and I need to be more like him, more like he was. To honor him. Just like my drag name. Maybe Miss Enshannon needs to be more. I need to be more.

Doug’s heart ached at the memories of Shannon and how wonderful he was. When he picked his drag name there was no doubt on what it would be, but to honor someone you loved had to be more than using their name.

“It’s not your fault.” He knelt close to the man, still keeping his distance just in case. “It was the work of terrorists. They killed all those people, not you.”

“I should have stopped them. I should have done more,” the dirty man moaned.

“Oh, baby, no one could have done more,” Doug offered. Some people thought the government knew about the attack beforehand and the president allowed it to happen. Doug didn’t buy it. Why anyone listened to these people was beyond him, but they did. He just wished they would shut up and crawl back under the rocks they came from. They weren’t helping anyone, and in the long run, their remarks and comments only hurt people more.

“Now, I’m being punished. They sent me here and took my wings,” the man whispered.

Was this guy a pilot? Oh, that would be awful. I bet he was supposed to fly one of the planes, and he couldn’t take it. Survivor’s guilt.


Author Bio

M.D. Neu

M.D. Neu is a queer Fiction Writer with a love for writing and travel. Living in the heart of Silicon Valley (San Jose, California) and growing up around technology, he’s always been fascinated with what could be. Specifically drawn to Science Fiction and Paranormal television and novels, M.D. Neu was inspired by the great Gene Roddenberry, George Lucas, Stephen King, Alice Walker, Alfred Hitchcock, Harvey Fierstein, Anne Rice, and Kim Stanley Robinson. An odd combination, but one that has influenced his writing.

Growing up in an accepting family as a gay man he always wondered why there were never stories reflecting who he was. Constantly surrounded by characters that only reflected heterosexual society, M.D. Neu decided he wanted to change that. So, he took to writing, wanting to tell good stories that reflected our diverse world.

When M.D. Neu isn’t writing, he works for a non-profit and travels with his biggest supporter and his harshest critic, Eric his husband of twenty plus years.

Author Website: http://www.mdneu.com

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/mdneuauthor/

Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/Writer_MDNeu

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authormdneu/

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17206592.M_D_Neu

Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/m-d-neu/

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