A MelanieM Review: Aftershocks (Earthquake #4) (Pulp Friction 2014 #16) by T.A. Webb

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Aftershocks coverCharlie Turner’s life has never been easy.  From the moment his father died, Charlie has tried to fill the void his father left with his family while dialing down his own expectations for his future.  He stepped into his father’s business, supporting his mother and younger brother letting his own personal dreams and relationships suffer.  Troubles and turmoils came, exploded and where dealt with.  Charlie’s life started to move forward when he met Amos Greene and moved into Mountain Shadows.   And just when his relationship with Amos Greene had stabilized and his brother, Damon, looked to be on the right track with his life, a monster in their midst shattered their calm and progress with one horrific event.

Now Charlie and all around him are trying to find a way to pick up the pieces of their lives and move forward once more.  But how to do that when you feel like you have been broken into pieces?  It will take everyone  to help Charlie and his brother to deal with all the pain and fear to move past the recent events, even if it means dealing with their  own secrets and past histories.

Aftershocks. What a perfect name for this story.  Why?  Because sometimes its not the earthquake itself that causes the most damage, but the aftershocks, the reverberations from that seismic event that continues to riffle the landscape in wave after wave.  That metaphor is perfect for dealing with the emotional consequences and impact of a horrific act upon a close-knit group of  individuals, including family members.  In this case its Charlie Turner, his boyfriend Amos Greene and Charlie’s family that consists of his mother and his younger brother, Damon.

None of these people are able to deal intellectually or emotionally with the guilt, pain, and fear that recent events have inflicted upon them.  Charlie is especially vulnerable.  He sees himself as a standin for his deceased father and feels that he has failed them all.  Damon too has been unable to deal with the consequences of those events as he was the target and victim.  Amos?  Has his own pain and fears stemming from his past.  Even Charlie and Damon’s mother seems helpless to move out of the stasis she seems frozen in.  And all this feels absolutely real, as necessary a reaction to the devastating events as any we could  expect.  These people and their burdens feel authentic because we have gotten to know them intimately as the series progressed.  And we are emotionally with them now as they try to get past their combined pain so any future might be possible.  But how?

T.A. Webb acknowledges the emotional quagmire his characters are stuck in and then quietly and assuredly moves them forward through their pain and issues into some form of recognition and acceptance.  The method  Webb chooses is believable and grounded in what would be a logical and realistic solution to this mountain of emotional turmoil these people find themselves in.  I admire T.A. Webb for choosing to go down this path and making it come across as the brave thing to do as well as letting the reader into the type of self reflection and questioning needed to make it work.  It’s quietly stunning and hugely effective in bringing yet more depth to already full realized characters. It will also bring a few shocking revelations of its own into play as well.

We are almost there.  T.A. Webb has one more story to go before the series finale.  The aftershocks continue to shake the ground under the feet of all of Webb’s characters and we begin to wonder if they will ever achieve a firm foundation for themselves and each other.  It’s a startling achievement for this author that we are asking ourselves that question so  close to the end and still so unsure of where T.A. Webb is taking us all.  What a journey its been.  I can hold off on reaching the end a little longer.

I consider Aftershocks so remarkable in its tone and character.  But to do it justice, pick up the series from the beginning and work your way through it and all the connecting series.  This is one you shouldn’t miss out on.  No surprise here to find its on ScatteredThoughtsandRogueWords Best of 2014 list.   I highly recommend this to one and all.

Cover art by Laura Harner.  Lovely and perfect for this story and series. That’s Charley to a T.

Sales Links:        All Romance eBooks (ARe)         Amazon           Aftershocks

Book Details:
ebook, 50 pages
Published August 31st 2014 by A Bear on Books (first published August 30th 2014)
edition languageEnglish
seriesPulp Friction 2014 #16, Earthquake

The Pulp Friction 2014 series in the order they were written and should be read to understand the characters, events and plot:

Round One:

Firestorm (Fighting Fire: 1)by Laura Harner
Cold Snap (In From the Cold: 1) by Lee Brazil
Blown Away (Whispering Winds: 1) by Havan Fellows
Higher Ground (Earthquake: 1) by TA Webb

Round Two:

Controlled Burn (Fighting Fire #2) by Laura Harner
Cold Comfort (In From the Cold #2) by Lee Brazil
Blown Kisses (Whispering Winds #2) by Havan Fellows
Moving Earth (Earthquake #2) by TA Webb

Round Three:

Backburn (Fighting Fire #3) by Laura Harner
Cold Feet (In From the Cold #3) by Lee Brazil
Blown Hard (Whispering Winds #3) by Havan Fellows
Tremors (Earthquake #3) by T.A. Webb

Round Four:

Flare-up (Fighting Fire #4) by Laura Harner
Out In The Cold (In From the Cold #4) by Lee Brazil
Blown Chance (Whispering Winds #4) by Havan Fellows
Aftershocks (Earthquake #4) by T.A. Webb

Round Five: to be released

Radiant Burn (Fighting Fire #5) by Laura Harner
Cold Day in Hell (In From the Cold #5) by Lee Brazil
Final Blow (Whispering Winds #5) by Havan Fellows
Terra Firma (Earthquake #5) by T.A. Webb

Sixth Book Series Finale Written by all the Authors
charactersFinn Lorensso

Side Stories or Interludes:

Taking Chances by Lee Brazil (a In From the Cold story)
Wicked Winds (Whispering Winds 3.5) by Havan Fellows – bonus book, Whispering Winds
Frankie’s Knight (Elemental Connections: IV) (Earthquake #3.5)
Kismet & Cartwheels – bonus book, Fighting Fire

In Our Author Spotlight: Lee Brazil on Writing, Pulp Friction and Growing Up! (contest)

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Taking Chances CoverOut In The Cold coverCold Feet coverCold Snap

 

 

 

 

 

Lee Brazil’s In from the Cold Series –  Pulp Friction 2014 Elemental Connections!

Lee Brazil stopped by today to talk about Pulp Friction, his series In from the Cold and writing.  He also brought along a terrific contest for you all to enter.  Look out for the details Lee has supplied towards the end of his guest blog.  Good morning, Lee!

Good morning all! Thank you, Melanie, for letting me steal your blog for the day. *sips coffee* For those who don’t know me, I’m Lee Brazil, author of m/m Romance with Breathless Press, Evernight Publishing, Totally Bound and Pulp Friction. It’s Pulp Friction that brings me here today. I’m getting ready to start working on my fifth In From the Cold book of the year, the final single title in the series.

So I thought I’d take a short break and begged Melanie to let me do a giveaway on her blog. She very kindly said yes, and then I realized…That meant I’d have to write a blog post of some sort to go along with the giveaway. Instantly, every idea deserted me. I could almost see the little buggers out the corner of my eye, like will-o-th’-wisps vanishing in droves, sparks dying out and leaving me in darkness, wondering why I do this to myself.

Then a review caught my eye…and reminded me of something. In the Out in the Cold series, Finn has always fancied himself as something of a Prince Charming, a knight in shining armor out to save the downtrodden and rescue the prince. And I thought, what about you?

What did you always want to be? What did you picture yourself as when you were ten?

That’s a kind of complicated question, because I wasn’t very steadfast at the time. I’d watch a great movie and picture myself as a character in it…Say Star Wars. I’m pretty sure that Finn would have been Luke Sky walker. Other people would choose Han Solo. I’m pretty sure that some even wanted to be Darth Vader.

Me? I wanted to be Obi Wan Kenobi.

Watch Star Trek, and people were clamoring to be Kirk, Spock, McCoy even. Not I. Hero of the galaxy? Saving the universe from Klingon oppression through sheer bravado, courage or heart? (Did you ever notice the similarities between Star Trek and the Wizard of Oz? But that’s a different post) I had a slew of favorites from Star Trek…but if you made me choose, and I could be only one? I wanted to be Scotty. Screw the universe, save my ship!

So as an adult, I have been several things. I was a student for what seemed like forever, at the whim of red tape and bureaucracy. I worked retail, and fast food, and even did a stint as a phone operator updating directories. Then I was a teacher, and I learned that Obi Wan hid a lot of his real feelings from us. Teaching is a grand profession, and it was full of moments of sheer exhilaration and joy. BUT… It is also one of THE most frustrating and wearing of professions. So yes, I did sort of fulfill my childhood ambitions to teach, but after fifteen years I retired, somewhat dis-spirited.

Today? I write. I have a hard time sometimes curbing the instinct to “teach” – i.e. write blogs on correct grammar and word usage etc. But I enjoy writing immensely and I think that I wouldn’t have made it here without that fifteen year stop in America’s classrooms.

As for Scotty? Well, my ship is a hundred year old farmhouse and sometimes it seems like keeping it standing is a full time labor of love.

What about you? Who did you think you would be when you grew up?

Leave me a comment here and tell me what you wanted to be when you were ten, and you’ll be entered to win a random drawing for a $10 ARE gift card.
*Contest begins Friday Aug. 15th and ends Friday August 22. One entry per person, winner selected by random number designation and notified via email. (Must provide valid email with comment). Winner will be selected Saturday-Sunday Aug. 23/24 and notified/announced Monday Aug. 25th.

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maginifying glass with Take a LookAuthor Name: Lee Brazil
Author Bio:
Somewhere in a small town in up-state New York are a librarian and a second grade teacher to whom I owe my life. That might be a touch dramatic, but it’s nevertheless one hundred percent true.

Because they taught me the joy of reading, of escaping into worlds crafted of words.

Have you ever been nine years old and sure of nothing so much as that you don’t belong? Looked at the world from behind glasses, and wondered why you don’t fit?

Then turn the page and see… there you are, running from Injun Joe in a dark graveyard; there you are fencing with Athos; there you are…beneath the deep blue sea- marveling at exotic creatures with Captain Nemo.

I found myself between the pages of books, and that is why I write now, it’s why I taught English and literature for so many years, and it’s why my house contains more pounds of books than furniture.

If I’d had my way, I’d have been a fencer…or a starship captain, or a lawyer, or a detective solving crimes. But instead, I am a writer, and that’s the best thing in the world to be if you ask me, because as a writer, I can be all those things and more.

If I hadn’t learned to value the stories between the pages, who knows what would have happened? Certainly not college…teaching…or writing.

Author Links:Cold Comfort cover

Review: Wicked Winds (3.5 Elemental Elements Pulp Friction 2014) by Havan Fellows

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Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

Wicked Winds coverWick Templeton and Ned Harris have begun to settle into their relationship after the traumatic events of the past year. So when Ned decides to go west to Arizona to check on an old friend, Wick goes with him. That each man’s past is about to collide in Mountain Shadows, Arizona, is something neither saw coming.

Can Ned’s past break the men apart when Wick’s past pulled them together?  What waits for them and their relationship on top of the mountains of Arizona, and what surprises lie in store for Wick and Ned that will change the way they look at each other forever?

Wick, Wick, Wick. How I love that man!  I  became addicted to him in Havan Fellows’ Wicked Ways series from  Pulp Friction 2013 and now he’s back and I couldn’t be happier.  But this time, it’s Wick who is along for the ride and its Ned’s mission they are on.  Quite a switch up.  And that strange change about of roles continues throughout this story.  What an astonishing group of surprises, no shocks, really, that are in store for us all, characters included.

Ned is there to find an old friend.  Wick is there to figure out how that friend fits into their newly established relationship.  That and check up on Cannon and the problems he has been hearing about from Chance and Rory.  Mountain Shadows is just one violent episode away from a complete meltdown on many fronts and Wick and Ned are there to add flame to the fire.

This is a short story and almost anything I can say about the plot falls into spoiler territory as the shocks start immediately when we find out just who Ned’s friend and partner was.  Didn’t see that one coming.  The implications are huge for all and the guns and knives are out the minute Wick’s opens the doors on his and Ned’s rental car.

Wick and Ned are never good at talking about their relationship, what it means to them and where it’s going.  But that will have to change and it does in an astonishing manner.  The emotional confrontations here are intimate, painful, angry and no amount of scared.  But who comes apart is just as unexpected as the rest of the story.  Fellows’ plot eddies and swirls, with elements from last year’s series intermixing with those of this year’s Elemental Connections.  It works and the mixture proves as explosive and addicting as all the rest.

Will we see them all again?  Not sure because no one is sure what happens next.  Not the characters nor the readers.  And that’s the way I like my mysteries…and my men, uh characters that is.  Rowen and Wicked, what a fabulous duo!  I can’t wait to see what Havan Fellows has in store for them next.  Stay tuned.

Cover art by Laura Harner.  Love it.

Buy Links:             All Romance ebooks (ARe)            Amazon                     Wicked Winds

 Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 84 pages
Published August 6th 2014 by Appleton Publishing Avenue
ASINB00MHVFDPM

The Pulp Friction 2014 series in the order they were written and should be read to understand the characters, events and plot:

Round One:

Firestorm (Fighting Fire: 1)by Laura Harner
Cold Snap (In From the Cold: 1) by Lee Brazil
Blown Away (Whispering Winds: 1) by Havan Fellows
Higher Ground (Earthquake: 1) by TA Webb

Round Two:

Controlled Burn (Fighting Fire #2) by Laura Harner
Cold Comfort (In From the Cold #2) by Lee Brazil
Blown Kisses (Whispering Winds #2) by Havan Fellows
Moving Earth (Earthquake #2) by TA Webb

Round Three:

Backburn (Fighting Fire #3) by Laura Harner
Cold Feet (In From the Cold #3) by Lee Brazil
Blown Hard (Whispering Winds #3) by Havan Fellows
Tremors (Earthquake #3) by T.A. Webb

Round Four:

Flare-up (Fighting Fire #4) by Laura Harner
Out In The Cold (In From the Cold #4) by Lee Brazil
Blown Chance (Whispering Winds #4) by Havan Fellows
Aftershocks (Earthquake #4) by T.A. Webb

Round 3 and 4 Side Stories:

Taking Chances by Lee Brazil (a In From the Cold story)
Wicked Winds by Havan Fellows (PF2014 3.5)

Round Five: to be released

Radiant Burn (Fighting Fire #5) by Laura Harner
Cold Day in Hell (In From the Cold #5) by Lee Brazil
Final Blow (Whispering Winds #5) by Havan Fellows
Terra Firma (Earthquake #5) by T.A. Webb

Sixth Book Series Finale Written by all the Authors
charactersFinn Lorensso

Review: Out in the Cold (In From the Cold #4) (Pulp Friction 2014 #14) by Lee Brazil

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Out In The Cold coverThe summer is coming to an end and with it, Dr. Cannon Malloy’s temporary job at the hospital and his stay at Mountain Shadows.   And now that Cannon should be preparing to say his goodbyes to Flaggstaff and the people he has gotten to know so well, he finds that’s the last thing he wants to do. His reluctance to leave especially applies to the relationship that has grown up between himself and Prof.Finn Lorensson.  Cannon has figured out that he loves Finn but what does Finn feel about Cannon?  That Cannon sets out to explore.  He wants to wine and dine and plain romance the heck out of Finn before its too late.

But Finn Lorensson has other things on the mind, huge problems that are getting bigger and bigger.  His brother Siggy is due in court on the trumped up rape charge,  And someone is out to get Finn at all costs.  Finn is beginning to think that Cannon is safer far away from him and Mountain Shadows even as the thought of Cannon leaving seems unbearable.

What happens when romance and danger collide?  Will the evil hunting Finn keep the men apart just when love has found them both?

This story and series (like its companions) is getting harder and harder to review.  Why?  Because the reviewer ends up saying the same things repeatedly.  The standards here are so high for excellence in character, plots, and writing that its hard to find something new to say.  But I’ll give it a whirl.

Out In The Cold is the penultimate story in Lee Brazil’s In From The Cold Pulp Friction 2014 group series.  There are five stories individually and then one sixth story written by all four authors for a finale.  So as you can imagine, things are getting ready to explode for all the characters living in Mountain Shadows.  The past is returning in multiple ways to each and every one.  Old friends are showing up.  So are old enemies and lovers.  And you can feel the mountain air crackle with suspense.

Lee Brazil’s Cannon Malloy is a character that has found himself in Mountain Shadows.  He’s come into his own skin and sexuality over the course of the stories.  And that solidification of character has made him someone the readers can love.  What a redemption for a man who almost single handedly destroyed  Chance Dumont (from the PF2013 series).  Then Cannon was a figure of contempt and pity.  Now? Lee Brazil has painstakingly turned this persona around until we believe in him as much as he has begun to.  What a tremendous journey we have been on with him.

The person who has not only witnessed that turn about but caused most of it is Prof. Finn Lorensson.  An intelligent, Thor lookalike, Finn has layers upon layers to him.  And all those layers are in love with Cannon Malloy.  Finn is deeply connected to his town and the people there, including his brother, Siggy.  Siggy is in trouble and it points back to Finn.  Finn has had problems at the college he teaches at, and they inadvertently involved Cannon as well.  Brazil has taken great care to make Finn as vulnerable, and fallible as possible to offset the image of a Nordic god made human.  Finn needs his human frailties in order for the readers to connect with him and for Cannon to believably fall in love with him.  Give us someone too perfect and it just wouldn’t work amidst this oh so human cast of characters.  How I love Finn too with his sense of honor and loyalty.

Someone is out to get Finn, no matter the cost to him and those around him.  With Out in the Cold, Lee Brazil’s narrative turns the proverbial corner as the race is on to the finish. The plot set up is done. The suspense has been building as has the mystery. Now as Cannon’s opens himself up to the pain of rejection in his quest for love from Finn, the stakes are heartbreakingly high for each man.  How high becomes apparent by the end of the story.  Danger is everywhere.  It”s personal, it will get physical, and the anticipation is nigh killing me here.

What a magnificent series, what a fantastic set of characters and mysteries to boot!  Will Cannon and Finn make it to their HEA?  I can’t wait to find out! Neither will you.  I hope you have been following along with me with this series (and their connected series).  But if this is a new story, or author, then make haste and check out the list of the Pulp Friction 2014 authors and series at the bottom of the review.  Read them in order.  They are like the best bonbons in the world.  Once you start reading, you won’t be able to stop.   These are fictional delights for the soul and all of them will have their special place on ScatteredThoughtsandRogueWords Best of 2014!

Buy Links:                    All Romance (ARe)              Amazon                 Out in the Cold

Cover art by Laura Harner. Everything about these covers works wonderfully.  The PF2014 logo with the mountains at the top, the models, and the landscape at the bottom.  Perfect for the story and for branding the series!

Book Details:

ebook
Published July 31st 2014 by Lime Time Press
edition languageEnglish
seriesPulp Friction 2014 #14,

The Pulp Friction 2014 series in the order they were written and should be read to understand the characters, events and plot:

Round One:

Firestorm (Fighting Fire: 1)by Laura Harner
Cold Snap (In From the Cold: 1) by Lee Brazil
Blown Away (Whispering Winds: 1) by Havan Fellows
Higher Ground (Earthquake: 1) by TA Webb

Round Two:

Controlled Burn (Fighting Fire #2) by Laura Harner
Cold Comfort (In From the Cold #2) by Lee Brazil
Blown Kisses (Whispering Winds #2) by Havan Fellows
Moving Earth (Earthquake #2) by TA Webb

Round Three:

Backburn (Fighting Fire #3) by Laura Harner
Cold Feet (In From the Cold #3) by Lee Brazil
Blown Hard (Whispering Winds #3) by Havan Fellows
Tremors (Earthquake #3) by T.A. Webb

Round Four:

Flare-up (Fighting Fire #4) by Laura Harner
Out In The Cold (In From the Cold #4) by Lee Brazil
Blown Chance (Whispering Winds #4) by Havan Fellows
Aftershocks (Earthquake #4) by T.A. Webb

Round 4.5 Side Stories:

Taking Chances by Lee Brazil (a In From the Cold story)
Wicked Winds by Havan Fellows (PF2014 4.5)

Round Five: to be released

Radiant Burn (Fighting Fire #5) by Laura Harner
Cold Day in Hell (In From the Cold #5) by Lee Brazil
Final Blow (Whispering Winds #5) by Havan Fellows
Terra Firma (Earthquake #5) by T.A. Webb

Sixth Book Series Finale Written by all the Authors
charactersFinn Lorensso