RELEASE BLITZ for Dead Camp #5 (The End Game part 2) by Sean Kerr (excerpt and giveaway)

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RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Dead Camp 5  The End Game part 2

Author:  Sean Kerr

Publisher: Extasy Books

Cover Artist:  Angela Waters

Genre/s: Paranormal Romance

Length: 87364 words/266 pages

This is the last book in the Dead Camp series, five books in total

Blurb

All stories have a beginning and a middle, but it is how those stories end that we remember them.

Everything must come to an end, and as Eli contemplates the loss of Malachi in a London ripped apart by war, he knows that the final battle looms ever closer. Where is Ethan? Eli can feel him, their love for each other calling through time, but History conspires to keep them apart as Morbius uses him for the final game.

Desperate to find a way to end the war, Eli once again delves into the distant past in search of answers, but as Jack the Ripper taunts him from the pages of his dead lover’s diary, Eli is left despondent.

So many lies, so many terrible secrets bleeding across his memories, and all of it to keep him safe from the fingers of those who would destroy him. Love. All of it for love. So much lost, and all of it because of love.

As Eli says goodbye to London for the last time, he can only hope that love will be enough to end the madness. He has a plan to rescue Ethan. An audacious plan and it will take all of History by his side to see it through to the bitter end. It is time to break Ethan free from the bonds that enslave him, and as they hurtle towards Berlin, the final sacrifice begins.

Excerpt

Suddenly he lay atop of me, baring down upon me in all his spectacular might. Sweat glistened upon his carved chest, rivulets of perspiration dripping off his pert nipples, and I found that I needed to drink him. I leaned forward, my tongue eager to feast, but he pushed me back sharply, filling my gaze with his magnificent head. He liked to wear his hair short these days, and it suited him, making the most of those huge green eyes and luscious lashes. Yet again, I found my gaze returning to the crevice of his chin, my cock rest, and I lashed out quickly, my tongue brushing over the velvet of his lips.

His knees pinned my arms in place at my side, and he sat up, his ass on my stomach, forcing the air up out of my lungs.

“That will fucking teach you to be cheeky,” he grinned.

“You swore!! You actually broke the rules and swore! I’m impressed.”

“We are about to break every rule in Heaven. I think a little curse word is the least of our problems, don’t you?”

His hands moved behind his back, and I felt my stiffening cock encased in the warmth of his palms. With slow, playful jerks, he quickly brought me to attention.

“Stop it!” I demanded, though my words lacked conviction.

“Stop what?”

“That!”

“This?” His hands moved faster, pumping me mercilessly until I squirmed beneath his considerable weight.

“We haven’t…got…time,” I gasped, but already I could feel my blood rising in my cheeks as my balls tightened in his grip.

“There is always time,” he growled, and I knew that it was too late for him to stop.

“But they’re coming…”

“Give me a second and so will you.”

My back arched beneath him as my load exploded up his back. The look of intense lust that blistered across his face empowered my orgasm, and it pumped from the tip of my cock, leaving me weak and wasted underneath him.

He brought his dripping fingers to his mouth and tasted me, his tongue licking the juice from his hand. Suddenly, his lips smashed into mine, and I felt his tongue explode into my mouth with a force that took my breath away. So intense was the kiss, so hard did he press his mouth into mine that it felt as though he wished to climb inside my body, to be inside me, a part of me, never to be separated. I pulled my hands out from under his knees, and I pulled his head into me, my fingers gripping his short hair as I drowned in him. Our tongues and our teeth ground into each other with such terrible, desperate urgency that I tasted blood upon my lips.

Buy Links

Extasy Books

Amazon US

Amazon UK

About the Author

Hi everyone, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Sean Kerr, and I am a 47-year-old gay man living in Cardiff, Wales with my husband of 28 years, Derek. We have two cats, Rita and Harry, and a host of tropical fish.

By day, I am an Interior designer, and I have had a shop, Home Zone, in Cardiff with my amazing business partner, Jayne for eleven and a half years. It has and continues to be a struggle. The recession hit a few years after we opened, and it has been challenging, to say the least. I consider myself to be lucky though because the shop pays me a wage, and I have been lucky enough to furnish my house with lovely things because of it, and I really do have some spectacular curtains lol.

I worked on building sites for years, and I used the money earned from that to put myself through college, specialist paint techniques etc. I trained in fine art, and then I went out and painted murals on client’s walls, and created Roman Bathrooms and fantasy hand painted bedrooms, all the rage back in the late eighties and nineties. I then became an Interior Designer for a large DIY chain, and that is where I met Jayne, my business partner, and the rest is history.

By night I am an Author, and I am very proud to be an author for Extasy Books. It took me some years to get to this point. I spent a very long time trying to get an agent because I thought it was the right thing to do, and after a heck of a lot of refusals, I nearly gave up. I came so close to hitting the delete button on Dead Camp 1 because I thought I did not stand a chance. At the very last moment, I decided to have a go at approaching a few publishers directly, and I sent the manuscript to six. Within two weeks, I had offers of publication from three! Let’s just say that there may have been tears lol. It was my chance, at last, to become a part of a world that I have always loved and admired from a distance, and it is one of the very best things that has ever happened to me.

I currently have four books under my belt in my Dead Camp series, as well as a short novella called Hush Little Baby. Dead Camp is my take on the Vampire genre, a Paranormal Romance series that is set against a backdrop of World War 2. However, the series uses key moments from History to tell one enormous saga, and I have loved every single moment of writing it. There will be five books in the Dead Camp series.

Hush is a pure horror story with more than a nod towards such classic programmes as The Twilight Zone and Tales of The Unexpected. The project happened just after I completed Dead Camp 3 and it is a story that I had to get out of my system. It’s definitely a different beast to my Vampire saga, and I hope it will make you go to bed with the lights on lol!

Dead Camp 5 is the last book in the series. I will feel very sad to leave it behind. Yet, at the same time, I am so proud of this saga which has been such an important part of my life for the last couple of years. I love writing, so very much. It has always been my dream, and the wonderful Extasy Books has made my dream come true, and it is a world that I am totally in love with. It is a world I hope to be a part of for a very long time to come.

Social Media Links

Blog/Website

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

Instagram

 Giveaway

Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway to win one of Sean’s Dead Camp books. The winner may choose and Sean will gift the book from the publisher’s website.

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An Alisa Audiobook Review: The Long and Winding Road (Bear, Otter, and the Kid #4) by TJ Klune and Sean Crisden (Narrator)

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

Family is not always defined by blood. It’s defined by those who make us whole—those who make us who we are.

 

And here, at the end, Bear and Otter will be tested like they’ve never been before.

 

There’s a knock at the door from a little girl who has nowhere else to go.

 

There’s a phone ringing, bringing news they do not expect.

 

There’s a brother returning home after learning how to stand on his own.

 

As these moments converge, all of their lives will change forever.

 

Beginning in Bear, Otter, and the Kid and continuing in Who We Are and The Art of Breathing, TJ Klune has told a saga of family and brotherhood, of love and sacrifice. In this final chapter, the events of the past pave the long and winding road toward a future no one could have imagined.

 

This was a nice conclusion to this series.  Bear and Otter finally got the chance to do something for themselves after so many years of selflessness.  It was great to see everyone again and see how their stories continued.

 

It was easy to connect with the characters as we’ve been seeing them for years.  Which brings me to the one thing that I didn’t enjoy about this story, the first third of the book pretty much recapped the first three books and I guess I didn’t expect that; maybe a little but not to that extent.  I loved seeing Bear and Otter grow their family and really grow into their own some more.

 

Sean Crisden did a wonderful job narrating this story.  I was able to connect with the characters feel their emotions in his reading as he used different voices for the characters.  His voice changes so much you really get to see the differences with the characters even if I didn’t like the whiny quality to some of the voices he used..

 

Cover art by Paul Richmond is very nice and follows the basic pattern from the series.

 

Sales Links:  Audible | Amazon | iTunes

 

Audiobook Details:

Audiobook, 10 hrs 23 min
Published: December 19, 2017 (ebook first published August 11, 2017) by Dreamspinner Press
Edition Language: English

Series: Bear, Otter and the Kid #4

A MelanieM Review:Wedding Bellskis (Holidays with the Bellskis #3) by Astrid Amara

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Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

Seth Bellski and Lars Varga have opened their own law firm that specializes in representing the underrepresented–whistleblowers, disadvantaged employees, and those lacking power. The good news is, business is never slow.

But that also means they are busy when all Seth really wants to do is plan his pending nuptials. So when his brother-in-law approaches him with concerns about his own business, and when Lars’s brother gives them the cold treatment, Seth wishes he could just tune them all out.

But holidays are all about families, even the annoying members. If Seth and Lars are going to enjoy their joint Hanukkah/Christmas celebration this year, they’re going to have to deal with the brother that has a problem, and the brother that IS the problem. And do so before anything else comes in the way of them and their happily ever after.

Ah, Wedding Bellskis (Holidays with the Bellskis, #3) by Astrid Amara, what I can only assume is the final story in the Bellski tale is finishing off with Seth and Lars now happily established in their law practice and  after all this time,  able to get married and ready for it. It’s been a long time coming for this couple and a great way to go out in style but it has to be Bellski style!  So that involves tons of family drama from both sides of their families, business intrigue, familial angst (of course involving the Vargas), and mayhem all around.  It’s wonderful.

It’s been ten years for Seth and Lars, what a journey it’s been!  From Lars’ closeted lawyer status and Seth’s as his paralegal lover who called it off to equal partners in a successful law firm and happily out couple, it’s been a tumultuous, adventurous, funny, and heartwarming road to the present.

It all begins with a law case and reflection on marriage, the story unfolding from there.  The fact that they couldn’t get married was huge in the earlier stories.  That they legally can now shines just as large in Wedding Bellskis.  What an earth shattering difference ten years can make!  Planning the wedding takes over, with input from both families, just as you would assume it would, but with more chaos because the Bellskis are involved.

I’m not sure how only three stories, even ones spaced as far apart as these, has managed to feel so warm,vivid, and alive, but Astrid Amara has managed it.  I love these people and wish to celebrate in their lives, no matter what is happening, and Astrid Amara’s writing lets me do just that.  Her narrative pulls me intimately into each setting and the scenes unfolding there.  I feel as though I’m standing off in a corner, inches away, from the shouting or the hugs, or the laughter or tears that maybe flowing.  Or even the bullets whistling past your head.  That happens too.

All the characters I’ve come to love show the emotional and personal growth one would hope to see over ten times time.  They’ve aged and so have we but the love and romance has only deepened between Seth and Lars.  We get that too.  Now they get their wedding and oh what a marriage!  I loved it.  It was perfection for these two, and a great way for them to go out in style.  Although, Astrid Amara, if you’re listening, another holiday story with the Bellskis is always welcome!  Who knows what happens with the happily married couple?

For me this story is a must read but pair it with the other two stories.  Read all three together for a trilogy to charm your socks off! .I think this series is magical any time of the year and I highly recommend it.

Cover art by April Martinez continues with the menorah branding all three but the men now look a little young for Lars and Seth.

Sales Links:  Loose id | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 128 pages
Published December 12th 2017 by Loose Id (first published December 11th 2017)
ISBN139781682524398
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesHolidays with the Bellskis ;

Carol of the Bellskis (Bellskis, #1)

Miracle of the Bellskis (Bellskis, #2)

Wedding Bellskis (Holidays with the Bellskis, #3)

A MelanieM Review: Sin & Saint (Executioners #4) by J.M Dabney

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Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

Eric and Ellison Gant better known as Sin and Saint were opposite sides of the same coin. They epitomized the nicknames given to them by their friends in the band Executioners. One thing Sin and Saint did well was fight and being inseparable means they have a lot of disagreements, but one thing they agree on is Sheriff Camden Pelter was theirs. The older, stoic man didn’t agree, yet they were determined to change his mind.

Camden Pelter had the daunting job of turning the Powers Sheriff Department around. The residents of the Georgia town didn’t have much faith or respect in the Deputies serving them. That’s where he came in and he was determined to do his job. That was easier said than done with two annoying brothers Sin and Saint who dogged his every step. No way in hell was he getting mixed up in the chaos that were the Gant Twins. Now if only if he could get them to listen and realize they didn’t have a chance of changing his mind.

Since the first mention of Camden Pelter and the twins, I (and tons of other fans of J.M. Dabney) have been waiting for this book.  Through story after story, Sin and Saint (Eric and Ellison Gant) have been chasing the older, gorgeous Sheriff of Powers, Georgia only to be rebuffed time and again.  Still, we knew that Camden would eventually come to the realization that the twins were his and we’d get that story.

And it would be full of sizzle and probably some kink.

However, I wasn’t expecting some terrific suspense scenes, high action, and some real twists to come our way as well.  Sin & Saint (Executioners #4) by J.M. Dabney delivers with a pack, a punch, and a high note on every level as the last story in the Executioners series.

For one thing, we now get up close to the twins.  The author delivers more nuanced characterizations with Eric (Sin) and Ellison (Saint), two who may look identical to those who don’t know them but who’s differences extend from the emotional to physical variations that have had an huge impact on one of them.  Past histories too that have done the same.  Camden Pelter comes in for close inspection in every way as well, from his background and local familial ties to his sexuality…his need to dominate and take care of those he loves.

Then all three men are pulled gently together to form a loving triad quite unlike any of the triads already in existence in the connected series.  It’s a slow, hot pace that should leaving you with a need for a fan.

However, Sin and Saint is not just about romance but also the need to tie up some loose ends with regard to the last corrupt  Sheriff and his organization.  In comes the high action, suspense, and some great twists in the narrative that I just adored.  Truly I love it when my expectations are overturned and the plot takes a turn I didn’t expect all of which happened here.

It ends as it should and I was hopelessly overjoyed and looking forward to the beginning of the new  series.  That would be the Trenton Security series, although I’m not yet sure that’s the name.  It will involve the guys in the Trenton group that we’ve meet before and were heavily involved here in this story.  And yes, I can’t wait!

So another great series, Executioners comes to an end with Sin & Saint but what an ending it was!  A great storyline, a long anticipated romance and triad coupling (can that be with three), and just some wonderful writing that drove this narrative crazily along to an ending that was exactly what I hoped for.   All that and more is why I’m highly recommending this story  and all the books in the Executioners series by J.M. Dabney.

If you haven’t met her glorious bunch of huge, damaged, sometimes violent men and the ones that love them, there’s no better series to start with that this one.  But now you have three series to read before the fourth series start, grab them all up and get reading! I have the list below for you all to check out.

Cover by Winterheart Designs:  I love this cover.  That’s  Sin and Saint personified.  Just perfection.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Edition Language English
setting Georgia (United States) 

A MelanieM Review: Hurricane (Stormy Weather #3) by B.A. Tortuga

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Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

Sequel to Tropical Depression
Stormy Weather: Book Three

Galen and Shane are back in the final installment of the Stormy Weather series, and a tempest of epic proportions is brewing. Once they couldn’t get enough of each other, but now Galen’s long hours are driving a wedge between him and Shane. Lonely and starved for his lover’s attention, bartender Shane falls in with a new crowd that doesn’t have his best interests at heart, and Galen struggles with a workload he can’t manage and an unscrupulous partner who wants to eliminate Shane. He can barely keep his head above water, let alone chart a course home to Shane.

While they’re floundering and trying to hold their relationship together, a hurricane heads for the Florida coast—and they’re directly in the path of the storm. It’s a crisis that will either finally break them apart or remind them how much they stand to lose if they don’t hold on to each other.

Also included is the free novella Bartender Rescue

I’ve loved all three stories about Galen and Shane by B.A. Tortuga but I think that the final one, Hurricane, has to be my favorite.  In Hurricane, B.A. Tortuga achieves a balance in the narrative here that I sometimes found missing in the previous stories.  In  Rain and Whiskey (Stormy Weather, #1) and Tropical Depression (Stormy Weather, #2), each of those novels sometimes felt heavy on the sex and sometimes light on the exposition, no matter how much I loved the hot and heavy between Shane and his man.

In Hurricane, it feels balanced.  We feel the stressed out, pushed to the limit relationship dynamics of Galen and Shane broken up intermittently by hot sex scenes.  Which interestingly enough only highly how badly the men are doing together.  As  misunderstanding and just plain ol’ blindness on Galen’s part is tearing them apart, a Hurricane is bearing down on their home, their sanctuary together.  It’s a great analogy by the author as it’s where the romance and love started.  Their home, bait shack, Goober the basset hound and new friend, even including Vic the alligator…all threatened by outside forces.

We see both sides, Galen’s and Shane’s, and the forces working to pull them apart.  All the wonderful elements that have made these men and the location ring true are now as deep seated in Tortuga’s narrative and an ol’ Cypress tree in the swamp.  The language, the colloquialisms, they are all in place laying Stormy Weather with authenticity.  But it’s the men at the heart of this trilogy (plus new story) that will make you remember them.  It’s their love for each other, and their ability to fight for it, even through a hurricane.

I did think the “vacation” element tarried a little too long…I wanted the boys back where they belonged, in their swamp with their dogs and water.   I thought the free last mini story was interesting.  I was nice to see familiar faces again and see that certain other people too  got a chance at love.  But I could have happily left them at the end of Hurricane, hoping that Galen and Shane had learned their lessons and  settled in for the long run.

Cover Artist: Alexandria Corza.  It’s pretty enough but that torso idea is clearly oversued.  I wish the shack and maybe even Vic had made an appearance.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 2nd Edition, 228 pages
Published November 17th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press (first published 2007)

An Alisa Review: Steel Trap (The Wyverns #5) by L.M. Somerton

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

Secrets don’t stay hidden forever.

 

Hatchet has a thing for the enigmatic Mr. Smith, Horatio Trap’s spokesman. He’d love to get his hands on the pretty man and show him how good it feels to take orders for once rather than hand them out. He’s had his eye on Smith for years and he’s running out of patience.

 

The Wyverns’ involvement in the drug trade is limited to stealing money from the cartels—they don’t want junk peddled on their turf. When Trap orders them to destroy a crack cocaine factory in Phoenix, they are happy to oblige. But Smith throws a spanner in the works by posing as a potential buyer, putting himself in mortal danger.

 

Hatchet and The Wyverns come up with a plan to fake Smith’s death, muscle in on the deal and convince the cartel to do business with them instead. But when Hatchet’s cover is blown he’s left to save a bunch of illegals, destroy the drugs and wipe the factory from the face of the planet. It’s all in a night’s work for The Wyverns—but there are still secrets to uncover and the mysterious Horatio Trap and his mind games can’t stay hidden forever.

 

This was a great conclusion to this series.  Hatchet has claimed Smith as his, he just needs convince the man himself.  Smith hasn’t allowed himself to be taken care of too much by someone else and is used to calling the shots but Hatchet wants to show him that isn’t what he really needs.

 

Hatchet lets Smith go home after he is mostly healed from the injury he received in the previous book but the instant that he tries to put himself in danger again he knows he needs to teach him a lesson.  Smith still has secrets he is trying to protect but once they are revealed he is freer to let go of his long held control.  I loved that this story gave a nice ending to this series, I really liked most of the characters and stories in it.

 

The cover art by Posh Gosh is great and continues to follow the pattern for the series.

 

Sales Links: Pride Publishing | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

ebook, 69 pages

Publication: October 17, 2017 by Pride Publishing

ISBN: 978-1-78651-638-1

Edition Language: English

Series: The Wyverns #5

A Melanie Release Day Review: Building Forever (The Rebuilding Year #2.5) by Kaje Harper

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Four years ago, Ryan and John decided they’d wait to get married until it came with full legal equality. Now, thanks to the Supreme Court, that historic moment has finally arrived. But two hundred miles separate Ryan’s hectic residency from John’s busy campus job. With a son in college, a daughter choosing her future, and a rambunctious Irish Setter needing attention, planning a wedding isn’t simple.

Of course, even the most perfect ceremony can’t solve all their problems. What does it take to build forever?

If you like me, fell in love with Ryan and John from The Rebuilding Years, then this is the story you’ve been waiting for.  Be prepared to laugh until your stomach hurts, cry more than a little, hold your breath through some white knuckle maneuvers and delays until we get to the culmination of their love story….their long awaited marriage.

It all happens in the heartwarming, joyous Building Forever (The Rebuilding Year #2.5) by Kaje Harper.  Much like John and Ryan, their inability to get legally married has left their readers frustrated as well as themselves.   So here we see the SCOTUS ruling having it’s effect all over again with the result that Ryan and John now finally get to get married.

Oh, if it was only that easy!

They are now living apart, divided by Ryan’s residency and John’s job.  Mark is in college and Rory is making her own plans, only their Irish Setter is still at home causing problems.  Getting everything into place for a wedding turns into an almost insurmountable feat, with obstacles piling up by the minute.  But (with Harper’s deft comedic touch and easily flowing plot) the narrative’s lively pace makes you howl and cry as the men scramble forward with love towards the one goal they’ve wanted…rings and HEA.

Harper brings in many of the secondary characters for the wedding, Tory and Mark their children, even the Irish Setter and of course the college as a setting.  All the elements are right, the dialog is perfect, and I just loved the ceremony.  Really, I couldn’t have asked for more.  For this couple or for us as readers.  It’s simply everything I wanted and didn’t know to ask for.

No, this is not a stand alone story.  Read all the others, starting with The Rebuilding Years and end here with Building Forever.  Better yet, read all three at once!  I highly recommend them all.

Cover by Karrie Jax.  I love the cover. It works for both men and setting.

Sales Links:

Book Details:

ebook, 80 pages
Expected publication: October 15th 2017
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series The Rebuilding Year #2.5

 

A Karen Review: Between a Rock and a Hard Place (London Lads #5) by Clare London

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Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

This is the fifth and final book in the London Lads series.  As with the others, it is a quick, short read, with a lot of humor, little angst, and a sweet – if predictable – happy ever after.

The timeline of this story was quite different: the entire thing takes place in a period of about 12 hours, while Garry is waiting in Glasgow airport to meet up with Will, who doesn’t show up until the very end of the book.  He has to endure the agony of uncomfortable chairs, overpriced airport food, incessant noise, and stressed out, rude travelers.  Most of the humor is about being stuck in an airport, a feeling that most of us can definitely sympathize with!

Garry and Will have been best friends for years, and though both men are gay, they haven’t ever dated.  They spend all their time with each other, to the point that their office mates assume they are a couple.  When Will is put up for promotion, Garry is thrilled for him, until he finds out the new job will be in New York.  Will has been in New York for several weeks, and is flying back to Glasgow to meet Garry for their traditional holiday with their university friends, and Garry is anxiously waiting for him at the airport, trying to figure out what he really feels for Will, and what he’s going to do about it.

Despite trying to mind his own business, Garry wakes from an uncomfortable nap to find 7 year old Emily and her older brother Max have decided to adopt him.  Garry doesn’t do kids, but they stick to him like burrs and he can’t shake them off.  For hours.  The kids almost seem like a figment of his imagination, or a bad dream, because they are shockingly intuitive at times, and as irritating as the rest of the airport at others.  They end up drawing him out of himself, and he talks about Will, and by the end of the long wait, he has finally managed to not only clarify how he feels about Will – he loves him and is in love with him – but has decided that he needs to man up and act on the feeling.  So all is prepared for a wonderful reunion when Will finally arrives.

I have enjoyed the stories, but I still think they would be much better combined into a single book, instead of separate short stories.  I don’t think they are worth the price individually, but as a compilation, I would have enjoyed them.

Cover art by Valerie Tibbs is OK, and fits with the rest of the series.

Buy Links: Dreamspinner | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book Details:

ebook, 2nd Edition, 61 pages
Published August 30th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press (first published October 10th 2010)
Original TitleBetween A Rock And A Hard Place
ISBN139781635335859
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesLondon Lads #5

A Caryn Release Day Review: The Long and Winding Road (Bear, Otter, and the Kid #4) by T.J. Klune

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Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

This entire book was one long paean of gratitude to love and family.  Which is, indeed, beautiful.

This book will mean nothing to people who haven’t read the rest of the BOATK (Bear, Otter and the Kid) series.  For those who are fans – like me – it is a very fitting ending to the series, but more than that it is a gentle and gracious goodbye to these beloved characters.  I won’t say it’s angst free (after all, is it physically possible for Mr. Klune to write a book without angst?), but the levels are much lower than in the three previous books.

We are back in Bear’s head for this one, but this is a more mature, confident, and settled Bear than in the earlier books.  The years of his marriage to Otter have given him a surety in the future, and happiness, that he was never able to believe in before.  He still has manic ramblings that lead him to outrageous hysteria like he had in the previous books, but the edge of panic isn’t there like it used to be.  It’s as if his thoughts are used to flowing into this crazy morass, but the reality of Otter’s love is now there to create a dam of sorts, to lift him out of the frenzy before it can really take hold.  So, still hugely entertaining, but no longer making the reader fearful of where it’s going to lead him.  Bear is continuously aware of how blessed he is to love and be loved by Otter and Tyson and his growing circle of friends and family, and he expresses that gratitude continuously, both aloud and in his head.  And I never got tired of hearing it.  He had been through so much pain in the past, and he learned never to take joy for granted.  Personally, I find that admirable and refreshing – I feel like it is much more common in our society for people to think they deserve that kind of joy regardless of what they’ve done with their life, or to lose sight of how amazing a gift it truly is once they’ve had it for a while.  Bear and Otter were able to look at each other with the love that comes from knowing someone else deeply and completely, and yet still be astonished by the depth of that love, and they expressed that love time after time. 

When it comes from the heart, you can never say I love you too much.

The book starts in New Hampshire where Bear and Otter moved when Tyson started college at Dartmouth.  The story of Tyson’s spiral into panic and addiction was revealed (I have to admit when I read The Art of Breathing I had a bit of whiplash trying to figure out how the Kid got to that point when things were going so well at the end of Who We Are.  I needed to know this!).  Bear and Tyson’s harrowing early years had left them so enmeshed – which was both a strength and a terrible weakness – that the process of disentangling was bound to be fraught with difficulty.  Even more so than in The Art of Breathing, in this book I really saw Bear and Tyson become separate individuals, though still incredibly close.   After Tyson left the nest to embark on his own journey, Bear was finally able to focus on Otter and his long-deferred needs and wishes.  Seeing the return to Seafare through their eyes, coming back to where it all started in order to start the next chapter of their lives, was really the focus of the story.  And it was full circle – endings, but also new beginnings, and throughout, an attitude of hopefulness.

The secondary characters are, as always, so lovable and so much fun!  Creed and JJ were by far my favorites, but Dominic, Ben, Anna, and the rest of the crew were there, joined their half sister Izzie and  Megan (Bear and Otter’s surrogate) and her Lamaze instructor boyfriend with a pregnancy kink, Marty.  Mrs. Paquinn is never far from anyone’s thoughts, and her memory remains a touchstone.  The Green Monstrosity starts bursting at the seams with the additions to the family, and Bear’s freak outs about becoming a father were hilarious (as was his pride in his super sperm).  I loved how all the things that made Bear so entertaining in the first book were still there, but with so much more!

Cover art by Paul Richmond is exactly right for the book, in ways I can’t find words to describe.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 346 pages
Published August 9th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
Original TitleThe Long and Winding Road
ISBN139781635336818
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series Bear, Otter, and the Kid  aka BOATK:

Anne Barwell on Bidding Adieu to her series and her release Comes a Horseman’, Sequel to Winter Duet (guest post and giveaway)

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Comes a Horseman (Echoes Rising #3) by Anne Barwell
DSP Publications
Cover Artist: Reese Dante

Available for Purchase at DSP Publications

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Anne Barwell here today talking about the writing the series finale, and her latest release Comes a Horseman (Echoes Rising #3).  Welcome, Anne!

✒︎

 

Bidding Adieu by Anne Barwell

Thanks for hosting me today as part of my blog tour for Comes a Horseman, the 3rd and final book in my WWII Echoes Rising series from DSP Publications.

I have a Rafflecopter running as part of the tour so be sure to enter.  DSP Publications also have the ebooks for Shadowboxing (book 1), and Winter Duet (book 2) on sale from 17th July-August 4th.

Although I started writing this series with a clear overall story in mind, part of me still can’t believe I’ve finished the final book.  I first began writing the early draft of Shadowboxing in 2002, but shelved it when the thought of all the research got a little daunting.  After my first novel with Dreamspinner Press, Cat’s Quill, was published in 2011, I dusted off the manuscript for Shadowboxing and started writing again. This time the research felt more doable, and hoping I might have a home for it, I went back to the beginning, edited it heavily, and finished the story.  I was delighted when Dreamspinner wanted to publish it, and ecstatic when it and Winter Duet, book 2 of my renamed Echoes Rising series, were republished by DSP Publications in 2016. 

Although this story wasn’t my first published book or series, it was the first thing I’d written that I knew was going to be a novel.  That novel quickly became a three book series, when I realised the story I wanted to tell either needed to be split into a series, or would be one very long book.

I’ve grown attached to these characters, as they’ve been a part of my life for nearly twenty years, and although I’m happy I’ve finally finished telling their story, I’m going to miss them. Despite writing in series, Echoes Rising is the first I’ve finished—although I’m working on completing my others in progress too.  The characters—much like myself—have changed and grown over those years, to the point where I had to rethink some of the scenes in this last story.  They might have worked at the beginning of the series, but these men are no longer the same as they were when they started on this adventure.  They’ve endured many hardships, lost people they cared about, but through it all they’ve built friendships which have impacted their lives. I figure that’s quite an achievement considering that—apart from Matt and Ken—none of them knew each other before the pieces moved into place leading into their mission into German in 1943.

I suspect—considering the strong personalities of these men—that although Echoes Rising is finished, that they’ll find another way to sneak into my writing.  I’m gearing up to set up an author newsletter and will be writing free fiction as a part of that, and Liang is making noises about sneaking into a 1950s murder mystery I want to write.  Matt already has a blink and you’ll miss it cameo in an upcoming release, so watch this space.

After all, these guys are spies, and very practised at getting into places they’re not to be.  I’ll miss the 1940s and WWII as well. I’ve learnt a lot more than I ever thought I would, so maybe other characters from that period still have stories they want to share. Only time will tell.

Finally, I want to thank the readers who have enjoyed reading about my characters’ exploits in WWII. I’ve loved being able to share this series with you. 

Blurb

Echoes Rising Book 3, sequel to Winter Duet

France, 1944

Sometimes the most desperate struggles take place far from the battlefield, and what happens in secret can change the course of history.

Victory is close at hand, but freedom remains frustratingly just beyond the grasp of German physicist Dr. Kristopher Lehrer, Resistance fighter Michel, and the remaining members of the team sent by the Allies—Captain Matt Bryant, Sergeant Ken Lowe, and Dr. Zhou Liang—as they fight to keep the atomic plans from the Nazis. The team reaches France and connects with members of Michel’s French Resistance cell in Normandy. Allied troops are poised to liberate France, and rescue is supposedly at hand. However, Kristopher is no longer sure the information he carries in his memory is safe with either side.

When Standartenführer Holm and his men finally catch up with their prey, the team is left with few options as they fight to keep atomic plans from the Nazis. With a traitor in their midst, who can they trust? Kristopher realizes he must become something he is not in order to save the man he loves. Death is biding his time, and sacrifices must be made for any of them to have the futures they want.

Excerpt:

Matt nodded, his lips moving although he did not speak. He was counting, Michel realized, as they pulled away from shore, and using the rhythm of his movement to distract himself from the darkness.

The moon’s light highlighted the waves lapping around the boat—the water seemed to reach toward them before diving back again. Ken and Matt quickly settled into a unified motion, both focused on what they were doing, although Ken glanced at Matt a couple of times.

Frej signaled for Matt and Ken to change direction slightly and rest the oars. They did that for a few moments, letting the boat drift with the current. If Michel squinted, he could see the outline of the bridge in the distance and several shapes moving at either end of it. The guards on duty would hopefully stay focused on the bridge itself and not notice a small rowboat sneaking over the border. The area was well guarded, but as it had been secured for quite some time, they would not be expecting trouble.

On the other side of the boat, Liang quickly turned and leaned over the side. As soon as he started to make a gagging noise he shoved his hand over his mouth to silence it. If his seasickness got any worse, it would be difficult to mask the noise of him vomiting over the side of the boat. He was doing his best to silence his dry heaving, but his hunched posture suggested he felt miserable and unwell.

Frej leaned toward Ken and gestured. Ken nodded, rested the oars again, and then he and Matt changed direction. Matt was still counting under his breath, and he gripped the oar tightly.

“Who’s there?” The shouted question shattered the silence.

Kristopher glanced around, an expression of panic on his face.

Michel put a hand on his arm to calm him but didn’t dare whisper the reassurance he wanted to. He turned around and strained his eyes, trying to find the source of the disruption. Matt and Ken stopped rowing, the boat drifting back the way they’d come, caught by the current.

He heard boots against wood in the distance—the unmistakable sound of men running, probably over the bridge crossing the Rhine south of their position. “No farther or I’ll shoot,” one of them yelled.

Frej got down on the floor of the boat. Michel and Kristopher followed, then Liang. Matt kept hold of his oar, trying to keep it as still as he could. He leaned down into a crouch, as did Ken.

Gunfire sounded from the bridge. A couple of shots in succession before stopping. Michel heard an engine, a vehicle approaching. A door slammed, and then everything went quiet again. Logically he knew the bridge was a good few kilometers away, but Frej was right about noise carrying on the water. If felt too close for comfort.

Frej waited a few minutes. “Row,” he whispered urgently. “While they are distracted.”

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Rafflecopter giveaway:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/96bb1f281/?

You can find the list of sites taking part in the blog tour here: https://annebarwell.wordpress.com/2017/07/23/comes-a-horseman-blog-tour

July 25 –  MM Good Book Reviews

July 31 –  Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

August 1 – Two Men Are Better Than One

August 1 – Top to Bottom Reviews

August 1 – Genre Talk at The Novel Approach Reviews

August 2 –  Love Bytes Reviews

August 3 –  Andrew Q. Gordon

August 3 –  DSP Publications Blog

August 4 –  Nic Starr

August 4 – Alpha Book Club

August 7 –  My Fiction Nook

August 8 –  Divine Magazine

August 9 – Aisling Mancy

August 10 – Lucy Marker

About the Author

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand.  She shares her home with two cats who are convinced that the house is run to suit them; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date it appears as though the cats may be winning.

In 2008 she completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra.

She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts other authors, reviews for the GLBTQ Historical Site “Our Story” and Top2Bottom Reviews, and writes monthly blog posts for Authors Speak and Love Bytes.

Anne’s books have received honorable mentions four times and reached the finals three times in the Rainbow Awards.  She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical.