A Lila Release Day Review: Romance Redefined by SJD Peterson

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Opposites attract, but are some differences too drastic for a romance to survive?

On the surface, Benson Howard Winthrop III and Hugh Bayard have a lot in common: they’re young, handsome, and blessed to be one of the wealthiest couples in the country. Surely they have everything anyone could want. But Ben is no longer satisfied with their long-running relationship. Hugh’s need to control every situation is suffocating him, and Ben needs to know if he can make it on his own merits by following his passion.

But Ben’s mother isn’t about to let her son live in a rundown apartment as a struggling actor. She’s determined to get him back to his rightful place at the top of the social ladder—and back with Hugh.

Rekindling their romance will require more than doing what’s expected. Ben and Hugh need to understand and embrace each other’s differences. They’ll have to support each other even when one makes a decision the other doesn’t agree with. For their passionate love to grow, they will need to redefine the meaning of romance… only then can they find true happiness.

 

Romance Redefined is a different type of second chances. Few romances have divorce gay couples as protagonists. Perhaps, one of them was married to a woman before or the couple lived together for a significant amount of time before their breakup, but a failed marriage isn’t a common occurrence.

 

In this case, the author did an excellent job showing the intricacies of a previous relationship, not only between the protagonists but between their families and friends. In addition, we get to see how one of the MCs is trying to start a new life away from everyone but still has a special connection to the MC staying behind. Who on his part, hasn’t moved forward after the separation.

 

I enjoyed Ben’s friendships and how he was trying to find himself while he tried to go after dreams he didn’t know he had. On the other side, is easy to see Hugh resistance to the change and his difficulties opening up. I wish we could have seen his POV, but we did have enough information to understand his backstory. There were times I wanted to cheer for Ben’s other suitor, but then Hugh showed his vulnerable side and won us all over.

 

Overall, this is a story of love, possibilities, and understandings. The settings, secondary characters, and events only added to a nice tale. I’d love to see more stories in this world and perhaps, a bit more of Hugh and Ben a couple of years down the road.

 

The cover by Reese Dante is pretty and has an indication of one of the events in the story. It has a really nice love vibe.

 

Sale Links: Dreamspinners | Amazon | NOOK

 

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages
Published: November 27, 2017, by Dreamspinners Press
ISBN: 9781635338089
Edition Language: English

 

Sean Michael on His Characters In his latest release Unlikely Hero by Sean Michael (author guest blog)

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Unlikely Hero by Sean Michael
Dreamspinner Press

Cover Art: L.C. Chase

Available for Purchase at Dreamspinner Press | AmazonBarnes & NobleKobo 

✒︎

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Sean Michael on his tour for Unlikely Hero.  Welcome, Sean.

♦︎

Thank you very much to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for hosting me today.

A lot of my books are first times for the characters – their first meeting, their first kiss, falling in love with each other, etc. Unlikely Hero is different in that the characters were together in the past.

Eric and Brock split up because they wanted very different things out of their lives. Eric wanted children, Brock wanted to keep on with his high-powered life – business dinners and outings, Christmas in the Bahamas, etc. So they parted ways nine years before the events in Unlikely Hero.

Because of the nature of their split, there were no lingering hard feelings over things said or anything like that, and it wasn’t like they’d fallen out of love, they simply couldn’t figure out how to make their two visions of the future work together. And both men felt very strongly about the wanting kids/not wanting kids thing.

It was fun to explore how these two men, who were so very different nine years ago, and are still on the surface very different, react when they’re brought back together again. Nine years of being without each other, and without a significant other, leaves a lot of possibilities open when they reconnect.

I really enjoyed writing the story the characters brought me and I hope you enjoy it too!

Sean Michael

smut fixes everything

Blurb

When his three-year-old daughter is kidnapped, Eric Wilson doesn’t have many options, and time is running out. With nowhere else to turn, he reaches out to his ex, influential businessman Brock Vencenza, whose money and contacts might be able to save Josie.

Brock never got over Eric’s loss, and he’s more than willing to help when Eric needs him most. Together with law enforcement and private security, they embark on a twisting investigation to find the little girl—and who wants to hurt her and destroy both men in the process. Under the circumstances, confessing he still has feelings for Eric would be inappropriate, but Brock can’t deny what’s in his heart. He doesn’t know if their love can be rekindled or if he can even protect Eric and Josie. But one thing is certain: Brock’s determined to be the hero in reality that he is in Eric’s eyes.

About the Author

Best-selling author Sean Michael is a maple leaf–loving Canadian who spends hours hiding out in used book stores. With far more ideas than time, Sean keeps several documents open at all times. From romance to fantasy, paranormal and sci-fi, Sean is limited only by the need for sleep—and the periodic Beaver Tail.

Sean fantasizes about one day retiring on a secluded island populated entirely by horseshoe crabs after inventing a brain-to-computer dictation system. Until then, Sean will continue to write the old-fashioned way.

Sean Michael on the web:

WEBSITE: http://www.seanmichaelwrites.com

BLOG: http://seanmichaelwrites.blogspot.ca

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/SeanMichaelWrites/

TWITTER: seanmichael09

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/seanmichaelpics/

Release Day Blitz for Wrapped with Love (A Five Points Novel) by Beth Bolden (excerpt)

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Wrapped with Love RDB Banner

WRAPPED WITH LOVE

A FIVE POINTS NOVEL

BETH BOLDEN

M/M ROMACE

RELEASE DATE: 11.14.17

Silhouetted of coconut tree

BLURB

NFL player Jordan Christensen walks into Reed Ryan’s restaurant without a reservation. It isn’t the most serendipitous of meet-cute’s and they certainly aren’t the likeliest of romances, but over venison steaks and crème brûlée, they fall in love anyway.

Flash forward two years . . .

Jordan isn’t a football player anymore.

Reed sold his restaurant.

But even more drastically, they’ve lost each other.

When Reed moves to Los Angeles take a new job, he doesn’t realize Jordan now works at the same company. But Jordan definitely realizes how precious the second chance fate has bestowed on them is. He’s determined to make up for everything that fell apart the first time around, and it turns out he’s not the only one scheming to right old wrongs.

Starting a new career is always difficult but sharing office space—and big projects—with an old lover is particularly rough. Between impromptu Secret Santa exchanges, Christmas light viewings, and more tacos than even Reed can eat, the two former lovers have an eventful holiday season to navigate. 

BUY LINKS 

AMAZON US:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076YMPPYC

improbable love

EXCERPT

“So,” Rory continued, still shoving hummus into his face at an alarming rate, “how did you two meet? Because I gotta say, Reed barely sticks his head out of the kitchen for more than five minutes at a time.”

“We actually met at Garnet,” Jordan said, all gooey affection, like the first night they’d met, Reed hadn’t accidentally insulted him.

“Oh?” Rory asked, all creamy innocence because he knew how much Reed hated being summoned to the dining room.

“It’s actually really embarrassing. My agent knew how much I’d been wanting to visit Garnet, and just barged in, no reservation. And Reed,” Jordan glanced over, “was kind enough to give us the private dining room. Picked our menu for us and everything. I had to meet him, after all that trouble he went to.”

Rory burst out laughing and Reed shifted uncomfortably in his chair. He had a bad feeling about where this was going.

“You realize why he actually came out of the kitchen, right? Why he picked your menu?”

Jordan shook his head, a baffled expression on his handsome face.

Rory leaned forward. “Let me educate you about the ego of a chef, Christensen. Reed didn’t give you his best table and his best food out of the kindness of his heart. He did it because he wanted to put you in your place with his awesomeness.”

“I’m trying to remember why I invited you out,” Reed interrupted before Rory’s education could continue. But Jordan, intrigued, ignored him, and Rory was never going to stop now that he’d started. Reed flopped back in his chair, somewhat resigned to the inevitable embarrassment to come.

“Reed doesn’t have an ego.”

Rory’s head actually whipped back as he cackled loudly. “Oh, honey. All chefs do, at least the best ones. It’s how we get to the top. We’re insufferably certain of our own perfection. At least in the kitchen, anyway. Garnet is Reed’s castle, and he’s the king.”

Jordan turned to Reed, who could only hold his breath and pray that Rory’s comments hadn’t completely changed his opinion.

“Is that true?” he asked.

“I mean, you can’t be that surprised,” Reed said awkwardly. “Especially after what I said when we met.”

“I thought you were trying to hit on me!” Jordan exclaimed in mock outrage.

Reed flushed.

“I hate to say it,” Rory said, which was a complete lie because he looked like he was enjoying every second of this, “but Reed doesn’t have that kind of game.”

“So, how did you two meet?” Jordan asked, and Reed wasn’t dumb enough not to know he was changing the subject. He told himself it would be okay. Jordan couldn’t be angry about how they’d met, so many months later.

“A butchering class,” Reed said.

“No, not even close,” Rory said, taking another drink from his beer. “You aren’t going to get off this easy, Reed.”

Reed made a disgruntled sound. Of course Rory felt obligated to tell the whole story.

“Yes, it was a butchering class,” Rory said, gesturing with the bottle in his hand. “And you know, I’m formally trained. I mostly took it for fun. But here’s Reed, a newbie who’s read at least fifteen books on his own at this point. He spent at least half the class telling the instructor everything he was doing wrong.”

Reed couldn’t help but frown. Jordan glanced over, ever-attuned to Reed, and reached under the table to squeeze his knee.

“Was the instructor wrong?” Jordan asked loyally, even though if he knew Reed at all, he already knew the answer to his question.

Rory laughed and nodded. “Oh, he was insanely wrong. The rest of us were just ready to write this whole class off as a bad afternoon and go have some drinks later and laugh about it, but Reed was burning with the injustice of wasting an afternoon being taught what he knew was the wrong thing.”

“So he tried to teach the class.” Jordan glanced over, eyes brimming with affection. As if this story, which definitely wasn’t one of the greatest moments of Reed’s life, actually endeared him further.

“It was a power struggle, from beginning to end, but,” Rory said, tipping the bottle in a mock toast Reed’s direction, “you already know who came out on top.”

“He was wrong,” Reed felt justified in adding again.

Jordan’s hand settled warm and firm back on Reed’s knee. Reed jumped, nearly upsetting his own beer. “I wouldn’t expect any less, sweetheart,” he said quietly.

Beth Bolden Logo

 Beth Bolden lives in Portland, Oregon with her supportive husband and their beloved cat. She wholly believes in Keeping Portland Weird, but wishes she didn’t have to make the yearly pilgrimage up to Seattle to watch her Boston Red Sox play baseball. She’s a fan of fandoms, and spends too much of her free time on tumblr.

Beth has been writing practically since she learned the alphabet. Unfortunately, her first foray into novel writing, titled Big Bear with Sparkly Earrings, wasn’t a bestseller, but hope springs eternal. She’s published three novels and two short stories, with her next novel, The Rainbow Clause, releasing in April 2017.

SOCIAL MEDIA

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/beth_bolden

Website: www.bethbolden.com

A MelanieM Review: Hell and Back by Dirk Greyson

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Rating:  3.5 stars out of 5

Seventeen years ago, Forge Reynolds fell in love… and had his heart broken. When Staff Sergeant Gage Livingston was brought into Forge’s Army field hospital, temporarily paralyzed, Forge sat with him, read his letters, answered his mail, and formed a connection he thought would last. But Gage was sent home, Forge transferred to a new post, and his letters to Gage went unanswered.

Now in the middle of a bitter divorce, Forge is sick and tired of his husband’s manipulation. He’s almost ready to make any sacrifice to get closure—then he finds Granger murdered execution-style in their home. Forge had no idea about Granger’s illicit activities, but the killers don’t believe that. They think Forge has something they want, and they’re coming after him.

When Forge’s lawyer arranges for professional protection, the last face Forge expects to see is Gage’s. Can he even contemplate a second chance for them after almost two decades, or will hope only lead to more heartache? Before they can explore the possibilities, they must figure out what information Granger had—that others are willing to kill for—or that possible heartache could become a certainty.

I have to admit that as much as I thoroughly enjoyed Hell and Back by Dirk Greyson I have been going back and forth over the rating for this review.  Sigh.  I hate it when that happens. Pure entertainment value over elements that just  stopped me in my tracks mid or end story that are jerking me back and forth here. So let’s start off with the wonderful shall we?

The wonderful is the couple at the center of Hell and Back, Forge Reynolds and Gage Livingston, two men who meet under the most stressful conditions when enlisted and then lose track of one another.  Two of my favorite tropes is lovers reunited and second chance at love, both of which are beautifully covered here.  Greyson delivers a frightening scene, plus all the emotional impact of a reunion we could ask for and more.  I just fell in love with  both characters and stayed that way.

It also helped that Greyson let Forge work through his emotions over his ex/dead husband with Gage.  To totally abandon those feelings and ignore “the body” as it were would  have done the men an injustice as well as the romance and relationship that the author is so carefully building up.  No the romance and the couple are the glue that holds this story together for me.  I adored them and the danger that the author puts them in, especially Forge, creates an anxiety and suspense for the reader that doesn’t let up until the end.

No, for me where the story falls apart is the criminal element, the police work, and shockingly, Forge’s action’s towards a criminal at the end, in the presence of law enforcement agents (of many agencies, mind you) that would never, ever, be allowed to happen. It would compromise their case and I was absolutely floored it was in there.  Especially after a scene of beautiful restraint earlier that was so much better.  If you are going to have such an elaborate criminal structure, why not make it as great  as your love story?  And why ruin it with that gesture that would never fly past any agency?    Especially those that, in the author’s own words had worked years to put those men away?  Made no sense whatsoever. There are other nitpicky things about hard drives that I thought Gage or someone should have  picked up on.  But the huge thing?  The story never recovered after that.

I read the epilogue which was lovely, but I never recovered my connection which was a shame.  I did wish I could see that desk and jade puzzle box though.

If you are a fan of Dirk Greyson, then this is a story for you.  If you love romance, second chance at love and lovers reunited, then perhaps again this is a story for you.  But for those who love  police procedurals, crime stories, and law enforcements action adventure?  Maybe not.  I’ll leave it up to you.

Cover art by L. C. Chase is terrific. Colorful and eye-catching. Love it.

Sales Links:  AmazonBarnes and NobleDreamspinner Press

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages
Published October 27th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781635339062
Edition Language English

Love Murder Mysteries? Second Chance at Love? Check Out Hell and Back by Dirk Greyson (excerpt)

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Hell and Back by Dirk Greyson
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art: L.C. Chase

Release Date: Oct 27 2017

Book Links: AmazonBarnes and NobleDreamspinner Press

Blurb/Synopsis:

Seventeen years ago, Forge Reynolds fell in love… and had his heart broken.  When Gage Livingston was brought into Forge’s Army field hospital, temporarily paralyzed, Forge sat with him, read his letters, answered his mail, and formed a connection he thought would last. But Gage was sent home, Forge transferred to a new post, and Forge’s letters to Gage went unanswered.

Now, in the middle of a bitter divorce, Forge is sick and tired of his husband’s manipulation and is almost ready to make any sacrifice to get closure, and then he finds Granger murdered execution-style in their home. Forge had no idea about Granger’s illicit activities, but the killers don’t believe that. They think Forge has something they want, and they’re coming after him.

When Forge’s lawyer arranges for professional protection, the last face Forge expects to see is Gage’s. Can he even contemplate a second chance for them after almost two decades or will hoping only lead to more heartache? Before they can explore the possibilities, they must figure out what information Granger had—and others are willing to kill for—or that possible heartache could become a certainty

Genre: M/M, Paranormal Romance, Shifters
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Print

Excerpt 

Gage went through the house to turn out the interior lights before settling in the family room in front of the television with the volume on low, listening for anything out of the ordinary. One thing the Army had done a good job of training into him was patience. He could sit in a mostly empty house and listen for nothing for hours.

A lot of his jobs were hurry up and wait. This one had seemed like it would be more active. When the call had come in to the office, he’d been about to go off duty. Margie, his receptionist, had relayed who was calling and what they needed.  That woman never seemed to sleep and had forwarded the office phone to her cell..  There had been no one else available, so he’d sprung into action and hurried home to get a bag together. It wasn’t until he’d been driving and Margie called to give him the particulars that he’d heard the name and nearly run off the road.

After all these years, to run into Forge again, and under these circumstances….

He turned toward the stairs and got up to make a round through the house, then checked outside just to ensure everything was quiet.

Forge Reynolds. Gage sat down, turned off the television, and retrieved his bag to pull out his iPad so he could read for a while. After a few minutes of reading the same page over and over, he set it aside, leaned back, and closed his eyes. Concentration wasn’t something he had at the moment.

Almost instantly he was lying in a hospital bed.

He’d been hit with shrapnel, a ton of it if what he’d been told was true, and a piece had nicked his upper spine. He couldn’t walk or use his arms at first. And he’d never forget the day a man, about his own age, sat in the chair next to his bed and picked up the pile of letters on his tray. They hadn’t wanted to transport him in case it caused more damage, and his family couldn’t visit him where he was, so old-fashioned communication was the best way.

“Would you like me to read them to you?” The man’s voice had been mellow and gentle, at odds with most things in the Army.

“Please,” he’d said softly. At least he’d been able to talk.

Forge had opened the first envelope and read Gage the letter from his mother, then a second one. The third envelope contained one from his mother and one from his dad, and Forge read both. Gage had been tired and fallen asleep, but when he woke, the man was still there. He picked up a pen and paper and asked if he wanted to write a letter. “My name’s Specialist Forge Reynolds, by the way. I never did tell you.”

“Gage Staff Sergeant Livingston. Gage,” he’d croaked, hating the way his voice sounded. He remembered feeling useless, helpless, and wanting to die. And when he’d dictated that first letter, all of it had come out in a burst of self-pity and loathing that Forge had faithfully written down, showed to him, and then ripped to shreds.

About the Author

Dirk is very much an outside kind of man.  He loves travel and seeing new things.  Dirk worked in corporate America for way too long and now spends his days writing, gardening, and taking care of the home he shares with his partner of more than two decades.  He has a Master’s Degree and all the other accessories that go with a corporate job.  But he is most proud of the stories he tells and the life he’s built.  Dirk lives in Pennsylvania in a century old home and is blessed with an amazing circle of friends. 

Author Links

Other Works by Dirk Greyson

Yellowstone Wolves Series

Challenge the Darkness

Darkness Threatening

Darkness Rising

Day and Knight Series

Day and Knight

Sun and Shadow

Dawn and Dusk

Standalone Titles

An Assassin’s Holiday

Flight or Fight

Playing With Fire

Lost Mate

Hell and Back

A MelanieM Review: Shattered Pieces (Heathens Ink #4) by K.M. Neuhold

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

 

I was sure my heart had withered away years ago, but then you smiled at me, and I felt it beat again.” ~Gage
Years ago, I fell in love with my best friend’s little brother. Then, he took his own life, leaving me shattered and unable to piece my heart back together. I’ve been a zombie for nine long years. Until a crazy, gorgeous man walked into Heathens Ink and injected color back into my world of gray. No matter how hard I try to resist Beck, he just won’t give up on me. I would need steel willpower to withstand his gorgeous long legs in those high heels and his drawer full of lacy lingerie. But is this just a kinky hook up or does it have the possibility for more?

“We’re both broken, but our jagged edges fit together well” ~ Beck
When you’re half of a whole you never contemplate what life would be like without your matching piece. Since my twin sister, Brianna, died last year, nothing I do seems to quiet my soul. I know there has to be some way for me to feel happy and whole again. And, when I look into the pained eyes of the tattoo artist at Heathens Ink, I feel like I have a purpose. I can’t explain it, but I feel like I have to find a way to put him back together.

Shattered Pieces (Heathens Ink #4) by K.M. Neuhold is simply an engaging, heartwarming romance between two people broken by grief and past loss.  I’ve not read any of the other Heathens stories and it’s not necessary because Shattered PIeces works perfectly on its own. K.M. Neuhold gives the readers all the back history and series foundation necessary without overshadowing the central story of Gage and Beck’s romance.

And what a  slow and wonderful romance it is.  Gage has been living a numb life for close to ten years ever since the young love of his life committed suicide, something he blames himself for.  Mired in grief, guilt, and loss, his world has greyed out until Beck comes into Heathens Ink asking for a peacock tattoo in memory of his twin sister.  The story is told from both points of view and it works beautifully here, making both characters fully come to life.

Gage’s needs to work through his grief, pain and fear that if he moves on, he loses his love and memory of Jay, something I think most people will understand.  Beck is caught up in a different way, drawn to broken souls because he knows he too is shattered and in need of mending.

I loved the whole slow recovery and forming a relationship here, it worked.  The writing was smooth and moved the plot along easily and quickly.  The dialog fit the men and their personalities and made me fall in love with them both.  It also piqued my interest in the other stories which I’ll be looking into now.

I thoroughly enjoyed Shattered Pieces (Heathens Ink #4) by K.M. Neuhold and absolutely recommend it.  Now on to see what the rest of the series holds!

Cover art by Inked Designs. I like this cover and the models work for the characters except where is Gage’s pink hair?  That’s a major failure as its an important element in the story.

Sales Links:

AMAZON US: http://amzn.to/2zZWnl2

AMAZON UK: http://amzn.to/2zOYkj9

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 181 pages
Published October 31st 2017
ASINB076M878V2
SeriesHeathens Ink #4

A MelanieM Release Day Review: Late in the Day (The Vault #2) by Mary Calmes

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Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

Second from The Vault

Terrence Moss. Conrad Harris. Gold Team Leader. Darius Hawthorne. The Vault. Juggling all these names would bother some, but for Darius, it’s business as usual. When he closes a chapter in his life, he leaves a name—and the people associated with it—behind. He’s managed to keep a few colleagues, even fewer friends, and no companionship through his forty-plus years… but that’s now changing.

The newest chapter of his life is bringing serious change: a stable home, a recovered identity, an unlikely family, and now a chance encounter with the one man Darius ever loved: Efrem Lahm. The reasons they parted are still valid, and there’s no way they can trust each other. But Efrem has already decided he won’t let Darius go… and Darius will have to decide if he wants to take a chance with his heart this late in the day.

I loved the first story in The Vault series, A Day Makes, so I couldn’t wait to see what the sequel would bring.  Late in the Day brings into focus a character we’ve met before in other stories,  not just A Day Makes. Terrence Moss. Conrad Harris. Gold Team Leader. Darius Hawthorne, these are all names that Darius Hawthorne has gone by at one stage of his life or another.  In a series of flashbacks throughout the story, much like the first novel, we see the progression of events that lead up to the man Darius is when the story opens.

It’s an effective format and one that pulled me in immediately.

Mary Calmes engages her reader on many levels from the opening scene.  We’re let into a moment fraught with danger, we understand the personalities of the men involved, and the author sets out an explosive start for her tale that pulls us in emotionally and intellectually.  And then starts to explore why this event has so much impact to Darius and his future.

This author also does lovers reunited like nobody’s business.  That would include Efrem Lahm, the one man that Darius fell deeply in love with and never got over.  The  effect on the reader of these two men meeting again is so strong, so vivid it’s almost gut wrenching. I love it when an author can pull that sort of emotional response from me, making me aware of how powerful a ground shift it would be for a character to see this man again. Mary Calmes does it here…over and over.  And not just from Darius.

Along with the romance, there’s suspense, action, and, yes, humor albeit on the darkish side.  Yes, I think this book and series really has it all going for it with fascinating characters, a complicated series foundation, and outstanding cast of characters.  What this book is not is a standalone novel.  Late in the Day exists within a specific universe, that has its own framework of morality, carefully interlocking family of characters, and even other stories that can be joined to this by weaponry.  Don’t miss out on the note at the end for other stories by Mary Calmes that will connect with this one.

At the end of the novel, I was so happy that I was ready to go back to the beginning of the series and read through the two books all over again.  I can’t wait to see where the author is taking this series next.  Until then, I highly recommend you read Late in the Day if you’ve read A Day Makes, and both books if you are new to the series.  If you are a Mary Calmes fan, you are already ahead of me.

Cover art by Reese Dante is perfect for the character and makes a stunning cover.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages
Expected publication: October 30th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781635339802
Edition LanguageEnglish

Series The Vault :

A Day Makes (The Vault, #1)
Late in the Day (The Vault, #2) 

Dirk Greyson on Turning Personal Experience into Characters and his latest novel ‘Hell and Back’

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Hell and Back by Dirk Greyson
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase

Book Links

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Dreamspinner Press

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Dirk Greyson here on his Hell  and Back tour. Welcome, Dirk.

 

I often get asked how much of myself I put into my stories and sometimes I’m not really sure.  I’m not a lawyer and I’m not ex-military turned detective, but I do like to think that I have a big heart and I think that’s where I insert myself most often into the stories I write.  Okay, I’m going to tell you something that I rarely go into online.  My school years weren’t happy ones. I was alone much of the time.  The kids at school picked on me and that made those years really tough.  As a reaction, I turned quiet in introspective.  I stayed away from others and didn’t open play with them because I never knew when the next trick or insult was coming.  It was a pretty miserable existence.  But I think that period of my life also helped me develop a real heart felt understanding for the underdog and those that are having a difficult time with life because I’d been through it.  I really feel for my characters and throw my heart into them, quite literally.  I really hope that comes through to you as well.

 

Blurb/Synopsis

Seventeen years ago, Forge Reynolds fell in love… and had his heart broken.  When Gage Livingston was brought into Forge’s Army field hospital, temporarily paralyzed, Forge sat with him, read his letters, answered his mail, and formed a connection he thought would last. But Gage was sent home, Forge transferred to a new post, and Forge’s letters to Gage went unanswered.

Now, in the middle of a bitter divorce, Forge is sick and tired of his husband’s manipulation and is almost ready to make any sacrifice to get closure, and then he finds Granger murdered execution-style in their home. Forge had no idea about Granger’s illicit activities, but the killers don’t believe that. They think Forge has something they want, and they’re coming after him.

When Forge’s lawyer arranges for professional protection, the last face Forge expects to see is Gage’s. Can he even contemplate a second chance for them after almost two decades or will hoping only lead to more heartache? Before they can explore the possibilities, they must figure out what information Granger had—and others are willing to kill for—or that possible heartache could become a certainty

Excerpt

Gage went through the house to turn out the interior lights before settling in the family room in front of the television with the volume on low, listening for anything out of the ordinary. One thing the Army had done a good job of training into him was patience. He could sit in a mostly empty house and listen for nothing for hours.

A lot of his jobs were hurry up and wait. This one had seemed like it would be more active. When the call had come in to the office, he’d been about to go off duty. Margie, his receptionist, had relayed who was calling and what they needed.  That woman never seemed to sleep and had forwarded the office phone to her cell..  There had been no one else available, so he’d sprung into action and hurried home to get a bag together. It wasn’t until he’d been driving and Margie called to give him the particulars that he’d heard the name and nearly run off the road.

After all these years, to run into Forge again, and under these circumstances….

He turned toward the stairs and got up to make a round through the house, then checked outside just to ensure everything was quiet.

Forge Reynolds. Gage sat down, turned off the television, and retrieved his bag to pull out his iPad so he could read for a while. After a few minutes of reading the same page over and over, he set it aside, leaned back, and closed his eyes. Concentration wasn’t something he had at the moment.

Almost instantly he was lying in a hospital bed.

He’d been hit with shrapnel, a ton of it if what he’d been told was true, and a piece had nicked his upper spine. He couldn’t walk or use his arms at first. And he’d never forget the day a man, about his own age, sat in the chair next to his bed and picked up the pile of letters on his tray. They hadn’t wanted to transport him in case it caused more damage, and his family couldn’t visit him where he was, so old-fashioned communication was the best way.

“Would you like me to read them to you?” The man’s voice had been mellow and gentle, at odds with most things in the Army.

“Please,” he’d said softly. At least he’d been able to talk.

Forge had opened the first envelope and read Gage the letter from his mother, then a second one. The third envelope contained one from his mother and one from his dad, and Forge read both. Gage had been tired and fallen asleep, but when he woke, the man was still there. He picked up a pen and paper and asked if he wanted to write a letter. “My name’s Specialist Forge Reynolds, by the way. I never did tell you.”

“Gage Staff Sergeant Livingston. Gage,” he’d croaked, hating the way his voice sounded. He remembered feeling useless, helpless, and wanting to die. And when he’d dictated that first letter, all of it had come out in a burst of self-pity and loathing that Forge had faithfully written down, showed to him, and then ripped to shreds.

About the Author

Dirk is very much an outside kind of man.  He loves travel and seeing new things.  Dirk worked in corporate America for way too long and now spends his days writing, gardening, and taking care of the home he shares with his partner of more than two decades.  He has a Master’s Degree and all the other accessories that go with a corporate job.  But he is most proud of the stories he tells and the life he’s built.  Dirk lives in Pennsylvania in a century old home and is blessed with an amazing circle of friends. 

Author Links

Other Works by Dirk Greyson

Yellowstone Wolves Series

Challenge the Darkness

Darkness Threatening

Darkness Rising

Day and Knight Series

Day and Knight

Sun and Shadow

Dawn and Dusk

Standalone Titles

An Assassin’s Holiday

Flight or Fight

Playing With Fire

Lost Mate

Hell and Back

Cover Reveal for Welcome Home, Soldier by Deanna Wadsworth (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title: Welcome Home Soldier 
Author: Deanna Wadsworth
Genre: M/M Romance
Publisher: Dreamspinner

Release Date: December 2017 


Clay and Daniel fell in love as enlisted men during Desert Shield, but Don’t Ask Don’t Tell meant they had to keep it secret. After Clay’s convoy was ambushed, PTSD changed him, and their relationship ended in a horrible fight on Christmas Eve.

Twenty-five years later, they’ve reconnected on Facebook, and Clay finds out Daniel will be alone on Christmas Eve. Impulsively, he sets out for Daniel’s hometown of Gilead, Ohio—where Daniel is now the mayor—to surprise him with a visit. But a blizzard strikes and Clay wrecks his car. All hope of seeing Daniel is lost—until a mysterious old man named Nick offers Clay a ride. The weight of past wounds and the scars of war might make their reunion awkward, but Clay is willing to take the risk to win back his lost love. Despite a lifetime of disappointing holidays, Clay hopes that this soldier is finally coming home for Christmas.
“You sure we’re gonna fit over that bridge?” Clay asked when a rickety-looking bridge appeared up ahead on the edge of the headlights’ range. The one-lane bridge didn’t look wide enough to fit the big vehicle.

“Oh, I can make it,” Nick assured him.

A soldier’s sixth sense kept him alive, and it was a trait very few lost. Though Clay trusted Nick knew what he was doing—he was probably a local—Clay held his breath as they squeezed over the old structure, the curved metal support less than a hand’s width away from Clay’s door.

“Told ya we would make it,” Nick said merrily as they bounced around a bit when the truck was back on the road.

“I can’t believe your boss has you delivering packages this late on Christmas Eve.”

“I work for a real stickler,” Nick said, chuckling. “Gotta make sure that everyone in Gilead gets their Christmas present.”

“You with the post office?” He’d been so anxious to get out of the weather that he hadn’t noticed any badging on the vehicle.

Nick chuckled again. “Something like that. I always spend Christmas Eve delivering packages. It’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? Giving everyone their Christmas miracle?”

“I could use a Christmas miracle.”

“Not dying on the side of the road is pretty miraculous.”

After a begrudging nod, Clay let his vision get lost in the warp speed. “Yeah, I guess so.”

Today would be one of his better Christmases. At least Clay wasn’t dead and he would get to see Daniel again.

With his track record, Clay should hate the holidays, but he just couldn’t bring himself to. Christmas was a joyful time of year, one of hope and miracles. Of course, wanting a perfect holiday and having it always fall short used to throw Clay into a tailspin of depression, drugs, and drinking. It was still the hardest day of his sobriety. Last year he did all right, however. He saw three movies on Christmas Day, one was a good, one was lousy, and he fell asleep during the third. The only places usually open were movie theaters and bars, and Clay had no business in a bar. No sense tempting Fate.

The soft refrains of “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” filled the cab.

A sudden, sickening sense of dread filled his chest.

Did he think Daniel would be thrilled to see him after the way Clay ended things? What if Daniel rejected him?

Then what?

He had no car, no phone. He glanced at Nick, humming along to the radio. Maybe he would let Clay ride along on his deliveries… and suddenly Clay was that scared little boy in the church again. Not knowing where he would stay for the night, abandoned and alone. The memory hit him hard, stealing his breath.
The Christmas lights blinked from the greenery on the pew in front of me. Maybe Mama will get us a tree so Santa can find me this year. Laughter caught my ear, and I turned. The family behind us was leaving. I looked around.

 


Everyone was leaving.

My tummy began to hurt. Mama said she was going potty, but she’s been gone a long time.

Where is she?

“You all right?” Nick asked.

“Yeah, yeah, I’m fine.” Clay blinked hard and rubbed his chest, forcing the old memory back into the box where he locked away things he couldn’t face.

With a bitter sniff, he realized that box had been too damn full for too damn long.

Staring out into the snow steadied his racing heart. He wasn’t that frightened kid anymore, hadn’t been for a long time.

The song on the radio repeated the refrain about being home, taunting Clay with promises of mistletoe and presents under the tree. And where the lovelight gleams?
Whatever that meant.

“There’s the mayor’s place,” Nick announced. “You ready, Clay?”

He shot the man a look, startled by the serious note in his voice.

Didn’t have a choice at this point. “Yeah, sure,” Clay managed as Nick turned into a plowed driveway lined by snow-covered trees that faded into the blowing white.

 

I could wander off into the night and freeze to death.

“It’s going to be just fine,” Nick assured him.

Clay flinched once more.

Nick wore the expression of someone who knew more than they should or perhaps had seen more than they wished. Or maybe Clay was imagining this entire thing and he was actually dead on the side of the road. He’d learned long ago the mind could create some powerful illusions.

At the end of the driveway, a gleaming light filled the white expanse, a golden beacon of home to match the song still playing. Clay didn’t know what he expected Daniel’s house to look like, but he should’ve known it would be a log cabin A-frame with a big deck drenched in snow. Daniel always dreamed of building a log cabin.

 

Looks like he got his wish.
Clay’s heart skipped as the song continued to play, and for an instant, Clay felt like a soldier coming home for Christmas after a long and weary tour.

 

If only in your dreams, Fisher.

“This is where you get off, soldier,” Nick announced.

Clearing his throat when the truck stopped, he offered, “Listen, Nick, I don’t know how to repay—”

Nick raised a hand. “No need. Just go in and make up with your friend.”

Clay studied the cabin, hunkered in between tall pines on one side and a barn on the other, bundled up against the elements. Smoke spiraled from the stone chimney, quickly captured in the storm and whisked away. Golden light spilled from the large windows and onto the white snow. Even through the storm, Clay could make out the colorful twinkling of a Christmas tree inside.

 

I don’t know if I can do this.

He looked at Nick. “Are you sure you shouldn’t come in? I don’t think Daniel would mind. The roads are getting dangerous.” It was ballsy to invite a stranger into Daniel’s house, but basic human decency wouldn’t allow Nick to go back out into the storm, right?

“No, no,” Nick assured him. “I’ve done this a time or two. I got it all under control.”

Clay nodded but didn’t move.

“Go on,” Nick encouraged. “I have more gifts to deliver tonight than just you.”

Chest aching, Clay let out a weary sigh and zipped his jacket. Then he shook Nick’s hand, engulfing it in both of his own. “Thank you again. And please be safe out there.”

Nick gave a rumbling, deep-belly laugh. “Oh, ho-ho! I’ll be fine. Don’t you worry.”

Hesitating for another moment, Clay said farewell, then climbed from the truck and shut the door. He waved goodbye and hunched into the weather. Leaving fresh tracks, he hurried toward Daniel’s porch. The wind swallowed the sounds of the truck engine, and when he glanced over his shoulder, Nick had already disappeared into the storm.

Godspeed, friend, he thought, grateful for his guardian angel tonight.

He hoped that same good fortune would stay with Nick on his route.

Clay stared at the ominous green door—Daniel’s favorite color. With a fortifying breath, he pushed the doorbell. When he didn’t hear anything, he knocked on the door with a fist. On the other side, a dog barked.

His heart gave a pang at the sound. His white German Shepard Lola had died too young, only seven. Damn, I miss her.

Clay raised his hand to knock again, but the rumble of a man’s voice followed by the switch of a deadbolt stopped him. His heart skipped. This is it.

The door opened.

“Clay?” Hazel eyes met Clay’s, wide with shock.

 

At least he recognizes me. That’s a start. Shoving his hands into his jacket pockets, Clay offered, “Merry Christmas, Daniel.”
Deanna Wadsworth might be a bestselling erotica author, but she leads a pretty vanilla life in Ohio with her wonderful husband and a couple adorable cocker spaniels. She has been spinning tales and penning stories since childhood, and her first erotic novella was published in 2010. She has served multiple board positions at her local RWA chapter and is the current President 2017 for Rainbow Romance Writers of America. When she isn’t writing books or brainstorming with friends, you can find her making people gorgeous in a beauty salon. She loves music and dancing, and can often be seen hanging out on the sandbar in the muddy Maumee River or chilling with her hubby and a cocktail in their basement bar. In between all that fun, Deanna cherishes the quiet times when she can let her wildly active imagination have the full run of her mind. Her fascination with people and the interworkings of their relationships have always inspired her to write romance with spice and love without boundaries.

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A VVivacious Review: Improper Fraction by V.L. Locey

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Rating: 4.5 Stars out of 5

O’Malley Ramsey and Garrison Rook have been inseparable from a really young age.  Mal has been in love with his best friend ever since he learnt what love was but the day they both head off for college sees Mal’s wildest dreams come true as Garrison might not be as straight as he wants to appear. They both make fervent promises to come back to each other but while Mal keeps his end of the promise Garrison breaks his.

When Mal and Garrison come face to face four years later, will Garrison be able to convince Mal to forgive him and will Mal be willing to let go of the hurt and embrace a chance at love?

This book was amazing. God! I am really loving this author when I picked up this book I hadn’t read anything by this author but when I finally got around to reading this book I had read two shorts by this very author and I really liked both of those. And this kind of turned out to be the cherry on the top, because it was so good. Ah! Just so amazing!

First off, right of the bat, I have got to say how much I loved all the characters, I mean not only Garrison and Mal but Mrs Rook like completely stole my heart. Not only for all the humour she added to situations but she felt like such a parent getting Garrison in embarrassing situations it was so cute. In fact, I liked the entire Rook and Ramsey family, they were all like such well- developed characters and I liked them all so much.

Mal is a math aficionado and just that fact makes my heart flutter. I am so math crazy that it was amazing to read about someone even crazier than me about math, I just can’t get that scene were Garrison is telling Mal to stop doing percentages inside his head out of my head, it was just so ingenious like Mal would totally be the kind of guy to refute everything with mathematical exaction.

I had a little more problem liking Garrison because his excuses for not keeping his promise kind of don’t sit well with me. But once I got over that, I really liked him too. I especially loved Garrison and Mal together because whenever they were together it felt like they belonged there. This especially helped a lot in the beginning of the book when the characters weren’t as established and I was still trying to wrap my head around Garrison, because the kind of chemistry Garrison and Mal shared from the very beginning was priceless. They totally had the Oh My God these kisses are combustible kind of chemistry. It was easy to see how much they belonged together especially when I had my doubts about if they should but once all the doubts cleared up these two were just such a rock-solid couple.

This story doesn’t only focus on the romance and it has a plotline that isn’t based on the romance but no matter how I didn’t like that aspect of the plot, I think I liked how it was used to make a point and further the plot and be that additional push to get things in the right place.

Overall, this story was amazing like hot chocolate. It was just what I needed and it made me feel so good. Loved it, loved it and definitely recommend it.

Cover Art by Reverie Design. I liked the cover.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | KOBO | iTunes

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 179 pages
Published October 18th 2017 by Gone Writing Publishing LLC
Original TitleImproper Fraction
ASINB0755YPLQX