An Ali Review: Contraband Hearts (Porthkennack #10) by Alex Beecroft

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

His future depends on bringing the smuggler to justice. His heart demands to join him.

Customs officer Peregrine Dean is sent by his patron to investigate rumors of corruption in the Porthkennack customs house. There he is tasked by the local magistrate to bring down the villainous Tomas Quick, a smuggler with fingers in every pie in town. Fired with zeal and ambition, and struck to the core by his first glimpse of Tomas, Perry determines to stop at nothing until he has succeeded.

Tomas Quick is an honest thief—a criminal regarded by the town as their local Robin Hood. He’s also an arrogant man who relishes the challenge posed by someone as determined and intelligent as Perry. Both of them come to enjoy their cat-and-mouse rivalry a little too much.

But the eighteenth century is a perilous time for someone like Perry: a black man in England. Two have already disappeared from the wrecks of ships. Tomas and Perry must forsake their competition and learn to trust each other if they are to rescue them, or Perry may become the third victim.

The story begins when Peregrine “Perry” Dean arrives in Porthkennak to take up a position as a customs officer. He’s been sent to clean up corruption in the customs house, and the town magistrate orders Perry to target a local sailor, Tomas Quick. Unfortunately for Perry, Tomas is a respected member of the community and the townspeople have no desire to aide in his capture.  While he struggles to build a case against Tomas, the two men begin to fall for each other.
I thought the author did a great job with world building and setting the stage for this story.  It was so well done I felt I was in historic Cornwall.  She also did a great job with the character development.  She spent a lot of time building up Perry and Tomas and I enjoy how she put not only them but their relationship together.
The story is pretty action packed and a lot of stuff happens.  It was as much suspense and action plot as it was romance.  Actually it was more suspense than romance.  That may be an issue for some readers.  The love story is a very slow build and fits well with the time period it takes place in.  It felt pretty realistic which was a nice change of pace from many current love stories.
I think if you are a fan of this author’s you will really enjoy this.  If you have not read her before this is a lovely story and you should give it a try.  While this is an ongoing series, each book is written as a standalone and you will have no problem enjoying this even if you have not read any of the other books.
This cover was done by L.C, Chase and I think it’s a lovely cover.  It fits the description of Perry well and it captures the mood over the story well.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

ebook, 270 pages
Published April 30th 2018 by Riptide Publishing
ISBN 1626498040 (ISBN13: 9781626498044)
Edition Language English

A MelanieM Recent Release Review: Contraband Hearts (Porthkennack #10) by Alex Beecroft

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

His future depends on bringing the smuggler to justice. His heart demands to join him.

Customs officer Peregrine Dean is sent by his patron to investigate rumors of corruption in the Porthkennack customs house. There he is tasked by the local magistrate to bring down the villainous Tomas Quick, a smuggler with fingers in every pie in town. Fired with zeal and ambition, and struck to the core by his first glimpse of Tomas, Perry determines to stop at nothing until he has succeeded.

Tomas Quick is an honest thief—a criminal regarded by the town as their local Robin Hood. He’s also an arrogant man who relishes the challenge posed by someone as determined and intelligent as Perry. Both of them come to enjoy their cat-and-mouse rivalry a little too much.

But the eighteenth century is a perilous time for someone like Perry: a black man in England. Two have already disappeared from the wrecks of ships. Tomas and Perry must forsake their competition and learn to trust each other if they are to rescue them, or Perry may become the third victim.

Back to that historic seaside village of Porthkennack again we go in  Contraband Hearts (Porthkennack #10) by Alex Beecroft, one of my favorite ongoing series by multiple authors.  Only this time, we journey way back into Porthkennack’s history which is rife with smuggling, ship wrecks, profiteering, and in this case, it seems the mystery of the missing slaves who ought to be free men once they reach the shores of those rocky cliffs outside of their owners reach.  How I love this series and small complicated township, no matter where the story falls on its timeline.

Laid atop a maze of tunnels and small rooms dug into the ground that lead directly  to the caves and shoreline (read all the stories written for the series), Porthkennack only looks tidy, and, seemingly normal at first glance.  But the truth of Porthkennack often lies beneath the surface of things and people, as it has been shown from story to story, whether it be from Porthkennack’s convoluted and twisted past to it’s present, who’s ties to it’s past are almost iron clad.  Especially with its ancient families.

I love the historic stories and here Alex Beecroft has crafted one both timely and timeless.  Due to it’s location atop the perilous cliffs, riff with caves perfect for hiding smugglers and “misplaced” goods, Porthkennack’s citizens are a tightly knit village who survives based on cooperation, their wits, and floundering ships lost upon their shorelines.  Oh and wonderful harvests of fish too.  Beecroft builds this gritty, down to earth community with authenticity, heart, and verve.  At the top of Porthkennack is the Quick family who rules over all, leaving little for the township and most for themselves.  Tomas Quick, who’s relation to the family is uncertain is beloved by the town and not so by the local magistrate and Quick family.  Which is why Customs officer Peregrine Dean is sent to the seaside town.

Ah yes, the outsider sent to investigate corruption and smuggling.  In the 18th century.  Made all the more fascinating because Peregrine Dean is a black man who has never been a slave.  An Englishman with a mentor, he hopes for grand things for himself with the service.  So it’s with a certain zeal that he’s going to approach this  job.

Again, the characterization of Peregrine is perfect.  As is the shocks that await him. For in some respects,  Perry has been insulated away from the realities of what it actually feels like to be black and have your freedom taken away from you, to be considered a “product” to be traded and sold.   Beecroft works that element and the essence of the slave trade in here fluidly and subtly.  Plus you can see why that aspect of Peregrine’s personality fights so hard against what is before him.  Reality is a hard truth here for him to accept.  He has never seen himself as anything other than an Englishman and has thought that to be true mostly of others.  He is about to find out that the world outside of London is not as expected.

Tomas Quick is another wonderful character complete with mother and support of his community (equally made up of believable villagers and seafaring scoundrels as the reader will discover. Tomas has his own agenda here, along with established businesses.  His attraction to Peregrine (same sex attraction) and his acceptance of it is based on his mother’s attitude and background.  So the author’s case for their relationship is grounded and seems realistic.

There is also a delightful twist at the end that I throughly enjoyed!

Taking another journey to Porthkennack’s past for a romance, some mystery, considerable suspense and hijinks, and just plain grand storytelling makes me recommend Contraband Hearts (Porthkennack #10) by Alex Beecroft all the more.  I just adore this series and this book (and author) is just one more reason why.

Cover art:  L.C. Chase is exquisite.  This is  Peregrine Dean at his finest.  Love that cover.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

ebook, 270 pages
Published April 30th 2018 by Riptide Publishing
ISBN 1626498040 (ISBN13: 9781626498044)
Edition Language English

Book Release Tour and Giveaway for Contraband Hearts (Porthkennack #10) by Alex Beecroft

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Contraband Hearts (Porthkennack #10) by  Alex Beecroft
Riptide Publishing

Cover Art:

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Alex Beecroft’s latest novel Contraband Hearts, one of our  recommended story.  Check it out and don’t forget to enter the giveaway.

 

♦︎

About Contraband Hearts

 

His future depends on bringing the smuggler to justice. His heart demands to join him.

 

Customs officer Peregrine Dean is sent by his patron to investigate rumors of corruption in the Porthkennack customs house. There he is tasked by the local magistrate to bring down the villainous Tomas Quick, a smuggler with fingers in every pie in town. Fired with zeal and ambition, and struck to the core by his first glimpse of Tomas, Perry determines to stop at nothing until he has succeeded.

 

Tomas Quick is an honest thief—a criminal regarded by the town as their local Robin Hood. He’s also an arrogant man who relishes the challenge posed by someone as determined and intelligent as Perry. Both of them come to enjoy their cat-and-mouse rivalry a little too much.

 

But the eighteenth century is a perilous time for someone like Perry: a black man in England. Two have already disappeared from the wrecks of ships. Tomas and Perry must forsake their competition and learn to trust each other if they are to rescue them, or Perry may become the third victim.

 

NOTE: All profits from the sales of this book are donated to Black Trans Advocacy.

 

About Porthkennack

 

Welcome to Porthkennack, a charming Cornish seaside town with a long and sometimes sinister history. Legend says King Arthur’s Black Knight built the fort on the headland here, and it’s a certainty that the town was founded on the proceeds of smuggling, piracy on the high seas, and the deliberate wrecking of cargo ships on the rocky shore. Nowadays it draws in the tourists with sunshine and surfing, but locals know that the ghosts of its Gothic past are never far below the surface.

 

This collaborative story world is brought to you by five award-winning, best-selling British LGBTQ romance authors: Alex Beecroft, Joanna Chambers, Charlie Cochrane, Garrett Leigh, and JL Merrow. Follow Porthkennack and its inhabitants through the centuries and through the full rainbow spectrum with historical and contemporary stand-alone titles.

About Alex Beecroft

 

Alex Beecroft is an English author best known for historical fiction, notably Age of Sail, featuring gay characters and romantic storylines. Her novels and shorter works include paranormal, fantasy, and contemporary fiction.

 

Beecroft won Linden Bay Romance’s (now Samhain Publishing) Starlight Writing Competition in 2007 with her first novel, Captain’s Surrender, making it her first published book. On the subject of writing gay romance, Beecroft has appeared in the Charleston City Paper, LA Weekly, the New Haven Advocate, the Baltimore City Paper, and The Other Paper. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association of the UK and an occasional reviewer for the blog Speak Its Name, which highlights historical gay fiction.

 

Alex was born in Northern Ireland during the Troubles and grew up in the wild countryside of the English Peak District. She lives with her husband and two children in a little village near Cambridge and tries to avoid being mistaken for a tourist.

 

Alex is only intermittently present in the real world. She has led a Saxon shield wall into battle, toiled as a Georgian kitchen maid, and recently taken up an 800-year-old form of English folk dance, but she still hasn’t learned to operate a mobile phone.

 

She is represented by Louise Fury of the L. Perkins Literary Agency.

 

Connect with Alex:

Giveaway

 

To celebrate the release of Contraband Hearts, Alex is giving away a $10 Amazon gift card and an ebook from her backlist, your choice! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on May 5, 2018. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following along, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

A MelanieM Review: One Under (Porthkennack #9) by J.L. Merrow

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Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

 

London Underground worker Mal Thomas is staying in Porthkennack to recover from a traumatic experience. Getting some more bad news from home is the last straw—until big, blond museum curator Jory Roscarrock steps up to offer some comfort.

A doctor of English Literature, Jory should be in a prestigious post at a top university. But a youthful indiscretion has led him to abandon academia to come back to his home town, Porthkennack, and the controlling family he’s never really felt a part of. He’s delighted to find a kindred spirit in the young Londoner.

But Jory’s family hurt Mal’s best friend deeply, and while Jory’s desperate to repair the damage, his own mistakes threaten to keep them apart. Meanwhile Mal’s torn between his feelings for Jory and his duty to his friend—and his fears that a failed relationship could be more than his shattered confidence can take.

The Porthkennack universe is one that I deeply love.  A seaside small town in Cornwall, with a long history of smuggling and sea bourne carnage in its past, it’s behind the facade of the pleasant shops, pubs, and yes, even a museum or two, the stories here show that some haven’t entirely left that way of life behind.  With each new tale, some historic, most not, the town’s people, the culture of the place, the “society’, and the dynamics continue to unfold.  Aren’t’ we lucky!

In One Under by JL Merrow, the angst driven characters are Mal Thomas and Dr. Jory Roscarrock, each with elements in their past their are trying to recover from and move past.  For Mal, his are far more recent.  A man committed suicide in front of the underground train he was driving and it’s left him traumatized, unable even to get into a car.    For Jory, it’s his family and their past.  From a father who committed suicide, a mother’s death, to older siblings who seem to hate him and relationships that don’t work out, his issues too seem buried in his past.

I love these men, especially Mal.  What a wounded soul he is.  And Jory too, a solid, intellectual giant who is so clueless at times you wish you could shake him.  I thought the characterizations were terrific.  Mal as the traumatized train driver suffering from PTSD was easily a sympathetic figure.  His “dithering about” his relationship with Jory over it’s impact on his best friend honestly irritated most of the time.  You wished the communication was far better between these two men.  However, taken into consideration the mental and emotional state of Mal, I kept coming back to the idea that anyone who was suffering from PTSD as bad as he was and in the shaky emotional frame of mind, wasn’t going to be making the most rational of decisions.  So yes, perhaps, Merrow was (whether I liked it or not) right on target here too.

Same goes for Jory, his relationship with his frankly appalling older siblings and his willingness to remain static in parts of his life.  Odd but again  given his weird background, perhaps not.  It takes these two men coming together to get them moving forward again in both of their lives,  first separately and then finally as a couple.

 

Cover by: Garrett Leigh.  The covers by Garrett Leigh are amazing.  From the composition to the color tone, she captures the heart of the characters and the location.  Love it.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 249 pages
Expected publication: March 19th 2018 by Riptide Publishing
Original TitleOne Under
ISBN 1626496862 (ISBN13: 9781626496866)
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series Porthkennack #9

Tour and Giveaway: One Under by JL Merrow

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One Under (Porthkennack #9) by J.L. Merrow

Riptide Publishing
Cover Art: Garrett Leigh

Purchase Links:  Riptide Publishing  | Amazon

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host JL Merrow here today to talk about her latest story, One Under. Welcome, JL.

✒︎

 

Hi, I’m JL Merrow, and I’m delighted to be here today as part of the blog tour to celebrate the release of One Under, the second of my contemporary MM romances in the multi-author Porthkennack series. One Under features a romance between two characters readers of my first Porthkennack book, Wake Up Call will have already met: Mal Thomas and Jory Roscarrock—although you’d be forgiven for not recalling Jory’s blink-and-you’ll-miss-it appearance in Wake Up Call!

 

About One Under

 

London Underground worker Mal Thomas is staying in Porthkennack to recover from a traumatic experience. Getting more bad news from home is the last straw—until big, blond museum curator Jory Roscarrock steps up to offer some comfort.

 

As a doctor of English literature, Jory should be in a prestigious post at a top university. But a youthful indiscretion led him to abandon academia to come back to his hometown, Porthkennack, and the controlling family he’s never really felt a part of. He’s delighted to find a kindred spirit in Mal.

 

But Jory’s family hurt Mal’s best friend deeply, and while Jory is desperate to repair the damage, his own mistakes threaten to keep him and Mal apart. Meanwhile, Mal is torn between his feelings for Jory and his duty to his friend—and his fears that a failed relationship could be more than his shattered confidence can take. Jory must convince Mal it’s worth risking everything for their love.

 

About JL Merrow

 

JL Merrow is that rare beast, an English person who refuses to drink tea. She read Natural Sciences at Cambridge, where she learned many things, chief amongst which was that she never wanted to see the inside of a lab ever again. Her one regret is that she never mastered the ability of punting one-handed whilst holding a glass of champagne.

 

She writes across genres, with a preference for contemporary gay romance and the paranormal, and is frequently accused of humour. Her novella Muscling Through is a 2013 EPIC ebook Award finalist. She is a member of the UK GLBTQ Fiction Meet organising team.

 

Connect with JL:

Giveaway

 

To celebrate this release, one lucky winner will receive their choice of a book from JL’s backlist! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on March 24, 2018. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries.

A MelanieM Review: Tribute Act (Porthkennack #8) by Joanna Chambers

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Nathan Bridges hadn’t intended to settle down in his home town of Porthkennack—he just ended up staying after saving the family business from ruin. The truth is, Nathan can’t stop himself from stepping in when problems arise. He’s a fixer, the man everyone turns to. But even fixers can’t solve everything.

When Nathan’s sister needs an organ transplant, it’s his stepbrother, Mack, who the family turns to as Rosie’s only potential living donor. Nathan’s curiosity about the stepbrother he’s never met turns to shock when he realises that Mack is his latest—and hottest ever—one-night stand.

Nathan and Mack agree to forget their single night together, but that’s easier said than done. When Mack moves in to Nathan’s place to recuperate after surgery, it’s not just the sexual tension between them that keeps growing. Against all the odds, and despite Mack’s wariness of intimacy, the two men grow close enough that Nathan begins to wonder what it would take to mend the rift that’s kept Mack and his father estranged for over a decade . . . and whether Mack might consider staying with Nathan in Porthkennack for good.

Sometimes, when the writing, the themes, and, the characters all come together, then a place comes alive for a reader.  You feel like you can walk down the pathways, watch the wild seas, look in through the glass windows into the pubs and storefronts of a place and feel you know it intimately because it’s now real for you.  Porthkennack is now that place or me.  Which is more amazing because the series isn’t written by one author but by five (at least for the moment).  Each one adding to the mythology, the foundation of the place, it’s people and its history.

Some are stand alone novels, such as this one, others are not.

All make you wish with all your heart that Porthkennack was a place you can grab a plane or bus to.  Tribute Act is just another reason why.

Tribute Act opens with music from songs from Nathan’s father’s band, one he walked away from, along with his marriage when he married Nathan’s mother in Porthkennackk, giving up music, settling down to have a family and fun a ice cream store.  That’s where we meet Nathan Bridges.  Home to rescue his Dad (awful businessman), his Mom, and sister.   It’s Nathan who is the rock of the family, always giving, sacrificing to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the family.  Nathan’s character is so well defined.  We see how much it takes out of him to continually be the giver, leaving little for himself, including dreams for his future.

Nathan’s sister is in need of a transplant which introduces Mack to the family and a series of startling revelations for all, especially Nathan who’d hooked up with Mack the night before not knowing he was his stepbrother.  Mack also was shocked by that little surprise.  Mack is a torn, bitter young man, hurt by seeing the family before him he never had as he was abandoned by Nathan’s dad.

Ah, that’s the huge weakness at the center.  The roaring musician, the dad who’s basically a coward but still loves his family.  This story is full of flawed people.  Some you will love, some you’ll understand, some you might despise…but all of them feel downright authentic.   They act, talk, yell, and react from places that you expect….deep wells of pain and anguish.  Childhood abandonment and loss.  Lack of familial love.  That’s very powerful stuff and it flows from the very heart of the narrative here.

And when hesitatingly, it all  starts to find a way to  come together, in forgiveness and as a family?  Well, you can’t help but feel joy and love for them all.  And another story and group takes its place in your Porthkennack corner of your heart.  How I love this place.

If you aren’t familiar with the Porthkennack series, Tribute Act (Porthkennack #8) by Joanna Chambers works fine on its own.  I highly recommend it and the others.  Check out the entire series here.  You might find me waiting on the bench by the bus stop waiting to walk with you into town.   You never know what magic can happen there.

Cover art by Garrett Leigh is spectacular.  Moody, it captures the tone, location, and character and pulls you in.  I love it.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 206 pages
Published January 15th 2018 by Riptide Publishing (first published January 13th 2018)
ISBN139781626496842
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesPorthkennack #8

This title is part of the Porthkennack universe.

Riptide Publishing Tour and Giveaway: Junkyard Heart (Porthkennack #7) by Garrett Leigh

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Junkyard Heart (Porthkennack #7) by Garrett Leigh
Riptide Publishing
Cover Artist: GD Leigh

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Garrett Leigh’s Junkyard Heart tour. Thank you for such a wonderful interview.

~ Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Garrett Leigh Interview ~

  •  House of Cards featured Calum Hardy and Brix Lusmoore, and Kim Primrose was a part of their story.  Now we have Junkyard Heart, Kim’s story.  How much of that cast returns?

Pretty much all of them. There’s Kim and his BFF/Ex Lena, Lee, Brix, and Calum. Plus new character Jas, and his family. It was a lot of fun to bring them all together again, and add the new faces to the mix.

  •   Since Porthkennack is such a small, ancient village with tight connections everywhere, will those be as visible as they were in the previous story?

Yes. Kim is a Porthkennack native, and Brix’s oldest friend, so he has the same connections and links that Brix had, as well as some unique to him. For example, much of the furniture that comes out of his woodshop is made from materials scavenged on the beaches.

  •    What draws you to write where such a location is as much a character in the story as Porthkennack is?

I was super excited to be invited to write for the Porthkennack series. I’ve never written about a location such as Porthkennack, and unraveling its mysteries was a complex task, especially when there were four other authors to consider. Pulling all our ideas together was awesome.

  •   Would you or do you live in such a small tightly woven community as Porthkennack?  If you don’t, would you like too and why?  If not, why?

I like the idea of a tiny community like that, but I don’t think I’d want everyone knowing my business! That being said, Porthkennack turned out to be far more diverse and welcoming than you might imagine of a small English town.

  •   When you write a character such as Kim who’s a carpenter, how much research do you do into his profession?  Or the professions of all your characters?  Or does sometimes it work in the reverse?  You get interested in a profession and then assign it to a character?

My partner is a jack of all trades, so the carpentry thing wasn’t too hard. He’s also a pro photographer, so that was Jas covered. I usually to pick professions that I have a good knowledge of beforehand. I worked as a chef for many years, and know a lot about tattooing. My brother was in the military, and I know a lot of nurses who work in various hospital departments. I think it’s a dangerous game to set a book in a profession/location that you know nothing about, and getting bogged down in research can really affect your word flow.

  •  How many more stories do you intend to write in this Porthkennanck series?

No more, I’m afraid. To the best of my knowledge, the Porthkennack series is complete.

 

 

About Junkyard Heart

Tired of the London rat race and the heartbreak that comes with it, photographer Jas Manning returns to Porthkennack, the Cornish seaside town where he spent every childhood summer on his father’s farm. Resigned to year-round rain, wind, and homemade jam, he’s sorely unprepared for the impact that artsy carpenter Kim Penrose has on his heart.

Kim’s free-loving reputation precedes him, and he’s as generous with his inked-up body as he is with his time. The sex is hot, the easy friendship even better, and Jas’s time with him building his family’s new farmhouse canteen is everything Jas was missing in his empty city life.

But Kim’s carefree existence isn’t as simple as it appears. He’s worked hard to vanquish his demons and build his dreams, but the devil on his shoulder is ruthless, and when it comes to call, their happy bubble bursts like it was never there at all. The canteen opening looms, but Kim is gone in more ways than one, and it’s down to Jas to shore up Kim’s soul and convince him that he deserves his place in Jas’s heart.

Available now from Riptide Publishing.

About Porthkennack

Welcome to Porthkennack, a charming Cornish seaside town with a long and sometimes sinister history. Legend says King Arthur’s Black Knight built the fort on the headland here, and it’s a certainty that the town was founded on the proceeds of smuggling, piracy on the high seas, and the deliberate wrecking of cargo ships on the rocky shore. Nowadays it draws in the tourists with sunshine and surfing, but locals know that the ghosts of its Gothic past are never far below the surface.

This collaborative story world is brought to you by five award-winning, best-selling British LGBTQ romance authors: Alex Beecroft, Joanna Chambers, Charlie Cochrane, Garrett Leigh, and JL Merrow. Follow Porthkennack and its inhabitants through the centuries and through the full rainbow spectrum with historical and contemporary stand-alone titles.

Check out Porthkennack! http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/universe/porthkennack

About Garrett Leigh

Garrett Leigh is an award-winning British writer and book designer, currently working for Dreamspinner Press, Loose Id, Riptide Publishing, and Fox Love Press.

Garrett’s debut novel, Slide, won Best Bisexual Debut at the 2014 Rainbow Book Awards, and her polyamorous novel, Misfits was a finalist in the 2016 LAMBDA awards.

When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible, all the while shouting at her menagerie of children and animals and attempting to tame her unruly and wonderful FOX.

Garrett is also an award winning cover artist, taking the silver medal at the Benjamin Franklin Book Awards in 2016. She designs for various publishing houses and independent authors at blackjazzdesign.com, and co-owns the specialist stock site moonstockphotography.com with renowned LGBTQA+ photographer Dan Burgess.

Social media:

Website: http://garrettleigh.com

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/Garrett_Leigh

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

Cover art enquiries: blackjazzdesign@gmail.com

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Junkyard Heart, one lucky winner will receive a $20 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on December 9, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

In Our Historical Spotlight: Count the Shells by Charlie Cochrane (RIPTIDE TOUR and Giveaway)

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Count the Shells (Porthkennack #6) by Charlie Cochrane
Riptide Publishing
Cover Art by L.C. Chase

Read an Excerpt/Purchase it here at Riptide Publishing

 

Count the Shells is the story which completely astounded its author in the telling. I had no idea when I sat down to write it that the straightforward historical romance I’d envisaged would turn out to have a plot twist which transformed the story into possibly the best tale I’ve ever crafted.

About Count the Shells

Michael Gray returned from World War One injured, but at least he returned. Others were not so fortunate, including his first and greatest love, Thomas Carter-Clemence, with whom Michael had parted bitterly before the conflict began.

Broch, the Carter-Clemence home in Porthkennack, was an integral part of pre-war holidays for the Grays, the two families drawn together in the wake of their sons’ friendship. Returning to the once-beloved Cornish coast for a break with his sister and her family, Michael has to find the courage to face old memories . . . and dare new relationships.

When Thomas’s brother Harry makes an unexpected appearance, Michael is surprised to find himself deeply attracted to Harry for his own sake. But as their relationship heats up, it unearths startling revelations and bitter truths. Michael must decide whether Harry is the answer to his prayers or the last straw to break an old soldier’s back.

Available now from Riptide Publishing

About Porthkennack

Welcome to Porthkennack, a charming Cornish seaside town with a long and sometimes sinister history. Legend says King Arthur’s Black Knight built the fort on the headland here, and it’s a certainty that the town was founded on the proceeds of smuggling, piracy on the high seas, and the deliberate wrecking of cargo ships on the rocky shore. Nowadays it draws in the tourists with sunshine and surfing, but locals know that the ghosts of its Gothic past are never far below the surface.

This collaborative story world is brought to you by five award-winning, best-selling British LGBTQ romance authors: Alex Beecroft, Joanna Chambers, Charlie Cochrane, Garrett Leigh, and JL Merrow. Follow Porthkennack and its inhabitants through the centuries and through the full rainbow spectrum with historical and contemporary stand-alone titles.

Check out Porthkennack! http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/universe/porthkennack

About Charlie Cochrane

As Charlie Cochrane couldn’t be trusted to do any of her jobs of choice—like managing a rugby team—she writes, with titles published by Carina, Samhain, Bold Strokes, MLR and Cheyenne.

Charlie’s Cambridge Fellows Series of Edwardian romantic mysteries was instrumental in her being named Author of the Year 2009 by the review site Speak Its Name. She’s a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Mystery People, International Thriller Writers Inc and is on the organising team for UK Meet for readers/writers of GLBT fiction. She regularly appears with The Deadly Dames.

Connect with Charlie:

Website:charliecochrane.co.uk/

Blog: charliecochrane.livejournal.com/

Twitter: @charliecochrane

Facebook profile page: facebook.com/charlie.cochrane.18

Goodreads: goodreads.com/goodreadscomcharlie_cochrane

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Count the Shells, one lucky winner will receive a goodie bag from Charlie Cochrane, including postcards (new and vintage), a recipe book, bookmark, pencils, a fridge magnet and various other doodahs! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on October 21, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

A MelanieM Pre-Release Review: House of Cards (Porthkennack #4) by Garrett Leigh

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Calum Hardy’s life has unravelled. Reeling from the betrayal of a man he once loved, he boards a train heading south, with no real idea where he’s going except a world away from London.

Brix Lusmoore can hardly believe his eyes when he spots one of his oldest friends outside Truro station. He hasn’t seen Calum since he fled the capital himself four years ago, harbouring a life-changing secret. But despite the years of silence, their old bond remains, warm and true—and layered with simmering heat they’ve never forgotten.

Calum takes refuge with Brix and a job at his Porthkennack tattoo shop. Bit by bit, he rebuilds his life, but both men carry the ghosts of the past, and it will take more than a rekindled friendship and the magic of the Cornish coast to chase them away.

There’s a phrase that get’s uttered here whenever Brix or someone feels that a person has been charmed or perhaps conned even by a Lusmoore’s abilities to sway you over, they say “you’ve been Lusmoored”.  That I have by this place and people, this story. Everything about Garrett Leigh’s House of Cards resonates with me.  From the cornish seaside town of Porthkennack (mythically created for this series yet so believably alive), the harsh sea that calls to the residents, bringing them home, the characters Leigh created that I’ll not forget, or their love story that I’ll soon return to, House of Cards is one of those stories that I’ll always love.

In Calum Hardy and Brix Lusmoore, Leigh has created two damaged men that life tore apart and now ten years later throws back together just when each will need them the most.  On the surface, it’s Calum, so desperate for a life raft.  The author makes his pain, his feelings of low or no self esteem vivid, his vulnerability real and aching.  Years of  domestic abuse under the influence of his bullying, dominant boyfriend has reduced him to the point he’s turned everything over to him, finances, beloved tattoo shop…life choices to the event that breaks him and sends him fleeing.  Garrett has us with him every step of the way.

Switching perspectives, we get Brix Lusmoore, in demand tattoo artist and owner of his own shop in the village.  Brix is as full of complexities as they come, with the depth of the sea behind him.  I adore this man and his family.  The Lusmoores are an ancient Cornish family, their roots almost as old as the island rocks, some still carrying on the old ways that have served them so well in the past, ways not terribly legal.  It’s a fine line that Brix walks here with them.  Then there are the chooks, the rescue hens that are a vital element for the story and a tie for the villagers too.  A rescue line that works both ways for more than one person in this story.  Brix has his own pain and secrets to reveal as the title of the story indicates.

There is no quick romance here.  There can’t be under the circumstances.  Both men are too heavily damaged, too much needs to be revealed, too much healing needs to be done.  But it happens, quietly, beautifully and as it should.

The writing is so wonderful, the storytelling flows so naturally that it went by far too quickly in my eyes.  I could have stayed within this universe, within Porthkennack,  helping to rescue more chooks for many more stories.  A book you take to heart will make you feel that way.  House of Cards is one of those.  I highly recommend it!

Cover art by GD Leigh is gorgeous and perfect for the character and setting.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 249 pages
Published July 17th 2017 by Riptide Publishing
Original TitleHouse of Cards
ISBN 1626495440 (ISBN13: 9781626495449)
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesPorthkennack #4

A MelanieM Review: Broke Deep (Porthkennack #3) by Charlie Cochrane

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

A Porthkennack novel

Morgan Capell’s life is falling apart by small degrees—his father’s dead, his boyfriend dumped him, and his mother’s in the grip of dementia. His state of mind isn’t helped by his all-too-real recurring nightmare of the wreck of the Troilus, a two hundred year old ship he’s been dreaming about since his teenage years.

The story of the Troilus is interwoven with the Capell family history. When amateur historian Dominic Watson inveigles himself into seeing the ship’s timbers which make up part of Morgan’s home, they form a tentative but prickly friendship that keeps threatening to spark into something more romantic.

Unexpectedly, Dominic discovers that one of the Troilus’s midshipman was rescued but subsequently might have been murdered, and persuades Morgan to help him establish the truth. But the more they dig, the more vivid Morgan’s nightmares become, until he’s convinced he’s showing the first signs of dementia. It takes as much patience as Dominic possesses—and a fortuitous discovery in a loft—to bring light out of the darkness.

I’m such a huge fan of Charlie Cochrane that I rush to pick up anything she writes and this sounded full of elements she could put her unique spin on.  It had historical aspects up the wazoo!  A wreck of the Troilus on the Cornish coast that seems to haunt this one family and village.  So modern times and the past combined, plus a romance between two unique spirits (something Cochrane thrives at – see Jonty and Orlando) and this ought to have been a smash hit.  But after I finished reading it, even the clever parts, I was left feeling a bit let down.  That’s so unusual after one of her stories.  And I’ve been trying to figure out why.

I think it all comes down to a build up that never happens.  It all centers around that unlucky frigate the Troilus and the Capell family.  Cochrane builds up the suspense of what exactly is happening to Morgan (his headaches, nightmares, etc), the dementia of his mother, the past dementia of his maternal line as the story continues.  Dominic, a lovely character btw, adds to the tension with his disbelief yet need to further pull Morgan into more investigations into past history of the wreck and the dead…making things worse.  Things ramp up….until…violins at a pitch ala Hitchcock style…Cochrane then proceeds to narratively undo everything she’s just accomplished.

To say I was astonished was putting it nicely.

What Cochrane did was clever.  But not satisfying.  I went ‘huh, so that’s it?’.  Utterly disappointed and sort of sad.  And you’re left sort of up in the air about Morgan in some matters.

So what to say about Broke Deep?  Its well written, clever certainly.  The village and setting comes alive in the story as does the people who live there as well as Morgan and Dominic.  The mystery needed to be better clarified and for me, I wish my original thoughts about the blurb had been the right ones.  On to the next Charlie Cochrane story!

Cover by: G.D. Leigh.  Dramatic and works for the  story.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 249 pages
Published June 5th 2017 by Riptide Publishing
ISBN 1626495424 (ISBN13: 9781626495425)
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesPorthkennack #3