A Barb, A Zany Old Lady Review: Sense of Place by N.R. Walker

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5  ★★★★★
Sense of Place coverThe capstone in the trilogy of books making up the Thomas Elkin series, on my second read through this one, I found I loved it even more than I had the first time due to the subtle way the author tied the core of what makes this couple ticktheir keen sense of appreciation of all things architectureinto their love for each other and respect for each other’s ideas, concepts and experiences.

Thomas Elkin and Cooper Jones have been living together for a week or so when this story opens. Things are going well for Cooper in his position, and he’s just scored a huge job based on the work he did in prep for an architectural show in Philadelphia. This job can make his career and Tom couldn’t be prouder. As the job advances, and Cooper spends more time at work, rather than let the stresses break them up, the two work together to successfully fit in “couple” time.

Cooper’s chief problem is the property developer for whom he’s working is making advances to him left and right, and Coop spends most of his time diplomatically trying to call him off. It doesn’t help when Tom is so understanding, though from Tom’s perspective, Tom has total confidence in Cooper. However, when the straw breaks the camel’s back , a small confrontation and show of possessiveness on Tom’s part is enough to make Cooper happy, and they survive to the end of the job without losing their tempers or their employment. But in the meantime, at Tom’s workplace, one of the partners in his firm is making his life miserable by questioning everything he does. He knows it’s homophobia but can’t get the guy to back off, and it eventually results in Tom making a major life-changing decision.

On the surface, this story wasn’t as complex or intense as book two, Clarity of Lines, but as I stated at the beginning of the review, the subtleties made it even better and watching the men cope with family and job pressures yet continue to grow stronger as a couple was a pleasure. Tom and Cooper have found their personal “sense of place”when the place you’re in feels like homewhere you’re at peace. <spoiler>The way the author wove this in to the marriage proposal was sweet. And, the proposal itself was unique and unexpected and totally perfect. Sigh. </spoiler>

I highly recommend this series to anyone looking for a wonderful couple, with a sweet romance, age gap, and humor. And the bonus is that it leaves a warm and fuzzy feeling in your heart and a wish for more time with the men before you have to leave them. If you get the chance to read this series, by all means, don’t pass it up.
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Cover Art by Posh Gosh is very similar to the other books in the series and features the upper torsos of two men wearing suits, set against a background of tall buildings representing the architecture MCs in the series.

Sales Links:  Pride Publishing | All Romance (ARe) |  Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, Special Edition
Published August 11th 2015 by Pride Publishing (first published February 14th 2014)
ISBN13 9781784307417
edition language English

A Sammy Review: Thomas Elkin Series by N. R. Walker (all books)

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 Rating: 5 stars out of 5 for the entire Thomas Elkin series –

Elements of Retrofit (Thomas Elkin, #1)
Elements of Retrofit cover

Ahhh. Oh my goodness. I loved it.

Tom Elkin in a successful and sought after architect who has drowned himself in his work since leaving his wife and coming out as a gay man. For over forty years he lived a lie, and he has a new sense of freedom but is still missing something. Enter Cooper Jones, a young twenty-two-year-old who happens to be friends with Tom’s son, Ryan. As it just so happens, Cooper ends up being one of the lucky candidates to intern at Brackett & Golding. Though neither of them intends for it to happen, sparks fly, and the connection is undeniable.

This story is low angst, while still acknowledging the road bumps that come up in a situation such as this one. It doesn’t stick too much on a particular issue, and certainly doesn’t bog down the story. At the same time, it manages to not be overly fairy-talesque, and maintain an essential aspect of reality.

I’m really not usually someone who enjoys age-gap. It’s just not my thing. But, God, did I thoroughly enjoy this. No complaints at all, except that it’s too late for me to be able to start reading the next in the series.

Sales Links:    Totally Bound        All Romance (ARe)      amazon             buy it here

Book Details:

ebook, 89 pages
Published October 4th 2013 by Total-E-Bound Publishing (first published October 3rd 2013)
ISBN 1781844712 (ISBN13: 9781781844717)
edition languageEnglish
seriesThomas Elkin #1

Clarity of Lines (Thomas Elkin #2)Clarity of Lines cover
by N.R. Walker

So here’s the thing, I’m a pretty picky person. I can find faults in things easily, and it takes quite a bit to impress me.

But this – this series, well it does that.

Clarity of Lines continues with Tom and Cooper, as their relationship grows and flourishes. They hit some bumps along the way, with issues and themes from the first in the series resonating in this. Of course, age will always be an issue for some, and I love the fact that the author doesn’t simply brush this off in the continuation. There’s a consistent theme, a very clear line (pun intended) that brings these books together.

My favorite scene was probably the one in which Cooper came to comfort Tom. This is also ironically the scene where Sophia finally just gets it/them. I am so invested in these characters that I really felt it, and the importance of that moment.

My only complaint is that it was just too darn short, and I wish we could see more of how Tom’s mom deals with things, as well as a bit more of the grieving process being played out, as it is more complex of a process and the book ends before the enormity of it is really captured.

All in all, a great second book that will leave me desperately craving the third.

Sales Links:   Totally Bound            All Romance (ARe)           amazon           buy it here

Book Details:

ebook, 103 pages
Published December 13th 2013 by Totally Bound
ISBN 1781848963 (ISBN13: 9781781848968)
edition languageEnglish
seriesThomas Elkin #2

Sense of Place (Thomas Elkin, #3)Sense of Place cover

Et cor domum

So this is usually where I give a little bit of info about the story (in my own words, of course). But that won’t be here. Why? Because if you’ve read any other book in the series, you’ll know just what you’re getting here. The same, completely wonderful, breath of fresh air.

Thomas and Cooper are positively one of my favorite couples, and this series just has a feel-good spot for me. I can honestly say that if there’s every a crappy day for me, where I’m a bit down, I will probably go and read this series, because the number of times I smiled throughout it… just magic.

There’s such a sense of place (hah, but really) in these stories, and this is no different. The way they understand each other and their work, how they see one another through architecture. I said it with the first book, but it rings even more true here – I’m not a fan of age gap, but this, this does something for me.

Really really wonderful. I’m sad to see it come to an end, but so happy that I experienced it.

Sales Links:      Totally Bound        All Romance (ARe)        amazon            buy it here

Book Details:

ebook, 110 pages
Published February 14th 2014 by Totally Bound
ISBN 1781849544 (ISBN13: 9781781849545)
edition languageEnglish
seriesThomas Elkin #3

For each book, the cover art by Posh Gosh always does a great job of capturing the book. It has not only the characters but architecture and lines, which is what really makes the relationship between Tom and Cooper so special for me. They just share their own art in love and life, and it’s oh so wonderful. The cohesion of the covers is another great element. They all fit together and you can tell they’re a series at first glance.

Down Under Author: N. R. Walker

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DownUnder_January Is Banner

 NRW logo

Meet N. R. Walker!

N. R. Walker is the author of the Thomas Elkin series, the Red Dirt Heart series (both Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Must Have, Must Reads) and other books listed below.

To get to know N. R. Walker a little better, the author agreed to an interview. Look for the interview below and the Down Under Scavenger Hunt word found somewhere within.

✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍Author Bio 1

Who am I?

Good question…

I am many things; a mother, a wife, a sister, a writer.

I have pretty, pretty boys who live in my head, who don’t let me sleep at night unless I give them life with words.

I like it when they do dirty, dirty things…but I like it even more when they fall in love.

I used to think having people in my head talking to me was weird, until one day I happened across other writers who told me it was normal.

I’ve been writing ever since…

*********************Author Contacts

Contacts/Follow at :

  Please note – NOT safe for work or kids


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Author Books Stories Down Under1 copy

 

Reddirtheart3300Red dirt Heart CoverRed Dirt Heart 2Red Dirt Heart3

 

 

 

 

Books:

Taxes and TARDIS
Ten in the Bin

 

Blind Faith coverThrough These Eyes cover (BF2) Young man in the cityThe 12th of Never (BF3.5)

 

 

 

 

Blind Faith (Blind Faith Series #1)
Through These Eyes (Blind Faith Series #2)
Blindside (Blind Faith Series #3)
Twelfth of Never (Blind Faith Series #3.5)

 

Elements of Retrofit coverClarity of Lines coverSense of Place coverSixty Five Hours cover

 

 

 

 

Point of No Return (Turning Point #1)
Breaking Point (Turning Point #2)
Starting Point (Turning Point #3)

 

Point of No Return coverBreaking Point coverStarting Point coverLearning to Feel cover

 

 

 

 

Elements of Retrofit (Thomas Elkin Series #1)
Clarity of Lines (Thomas Elkin Series #2)
Sense of Place (Thomas Elkin Series #3)
Red Dirt Heart 1 (Red Dirt Series #1)
Red Dirt Heart 2 (Red Dirt Series #2)Best Books of 2014
Red Dirt Heart 2 (Red Dirt Series #3)
Red Dirt Heart 4 (Red Dirt Series #4) just being released!

And my free reads:
Sixty Five Hours
Learning to Feel
His Grandfather’s Watch

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Contests and Giveaways:

1. Today’s Giveaway (thank you,N. R. Walker) is an eBook copy of Red Dirt Heart 4. Enter using this Rafflecopter link here. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

2. Down Under Scavenger Hunt – find the Hunt “word or phrase” in bold green . Collect all the words from each author and submit the list in writing no later than midnight on February 1st. Make sure you include an email address where you can be reached. Prizes will be given to 5 people selected, from 1st place to 5th! Happy Hunting.

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Author Qand A

Q: When did you start writing?

A: I started writing fiction about 4 years ago, after reading fan fiction online. I wrote fan fiction first, but then original characters started telling me stories. 😉

Q. Were you a reader as a child?

Yes. Loved reading. I loved adventure books mostly.

Q: Title or characters or plot? Which comes first?

A: Usually the characters, though sometimes the title is crystal clear from the very beginning. I normally have the characters talking to me for a little while before they tell me the plot.

Q: Do you have a favorite character that you have written?

A: I do love Charlie Sutton from my Red Dirt Heart Series. He’s a true Aussie farmer; hardworking, loves his family and friends and puts himself last, every time. He’s flawed, he’s frustrating, and he’s wonderful.

Q: Favorite book/story you have read as an adult?

A: Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien. Just wow.

Q: Do you have a certain regimen that you follow as a writer?

A: I know it’s cliché, but write every day. Set hours if you can, or the same time slot every day, if real life allows it.

Q: Do you have a specific writing style?

A: My writing style consists of listening to what the characters tell me, and hoping for the best. LOL

Q: How do you think books written from authors in Australia or New Zealand differ in style, language, and culture?

A: There’s an Australian/Kiwi-ness in our everyday dialect that we can recognise straight away in a book, which I just love. Our genre is so Americanised, so to read Aussie books with Aussie characters (by Aussie authors) is like putting on a favourite pair of jeans. I have written books set in both America and Australia, using American and Australian characters respectively, and for me the language/setting/culture to do Australian is SO much easier. I think (some) authors – I know this is true for myself – become Americanised in their writing. I know even now when I write in real life (not for books) I find myself using American spelling. I think this is why I have LOVED writing my Red Dirt Heart Series so much. Having Aussie farmers in the Australian outback… doesn’t much more Aussie than that.

Q: If you were a tour guide, what would you like a visitor to see and what impression would you want them to take away with them when they leave?

A: The people! Aussies are so laid back and welcoming and the saying “no worries, mate” is a fabulous mantra.

Q: What are your current projects?

A: I’m working on my first paranormal romance. It’s a modern day vampire story that delves into Ancient Egypt (sort of). It’s very different from what I usually do, and it’s been a lot of fun to write so far.

Q: What’s next up for you?

A: Red Dirt Heart 4 was released January 9th, so my next release will be my paranormal romance, hopefully early March.

Thanks so much for having me!