New Book Blitz for Bones and Bourbon by Dorian Graves (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title:  Bones and Bourbon

Author: Dorian Graves

Publisher:  NineStar Press

Release Date: April 23, 2018

Heat Level: 1 – No Sex

Pairing: No Romance

Length: 102000

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Ace, bisexual, trans, faeries, dark, immortals

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Synopsis

Half-huldra Retz Gallows is having an awful day. First, he wakes up in the middle of driving to who-knows-where with an angry unicorn head in his passenger seat. This is almost normal, thanks to a lifetime of sharing a body with Nalem, a bone-controlling spirit with a penchant for wicked schemes and body-stealing joyrides. It’s probably a bad idea to ask what else could go wrong.

Jarrod Gallows left home with plans to rescue his little brother from possession. Instead, he got saddled with a dead-end job as a paranormal investigator, a Faerie curse, and a daredevil boyfriend who might be from another world. At least he’s got a new job—except why is his brother Retz here and why does this sudden reunion feel more like a bane than a blessing?

This day’s going to get worse for the Gallows brothers before it gets better. To survive, they’ll have to escape the forces controlling them, as well as the wrath of carnivorous unicorns, otherworldly realms, and even their own parents. Only time will tell if they’ll make it out alive…or sober.

Excerpt

Bones and Bourbon
Dorian Graves © 2018
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One: Retz
I woke up right when the teeth clamped down on my arm, which made me crank the wheel and almost ram into a guardrail before I realized I was driving. Neither of these things surprised me because it wasn’t the first time I’d woken up just in time to feel the hurt for whatever it was I’d unconsciously done.

What did surprise me was the identity of my attacker: a lone unicorn head. No body to speak of, just flaring nostrils, bloodshot eyes, and two rows of long, sharp teeth that wouldn’t have looked out of place on a shark.

I did the stupid thing and kept driving while I tried to shake the unicorn head off me. Why? Because I’m Retz Gallows, and I’d learned by then that even if I had no idea what I was doing when I woke up, I needed to get the job done first and ask what the fuck happened later.

I focused on the teeth that had broken through my skin (and my favorite shirt to boot) and were just striking my arm bones. My first order of business was strengthening my skeleton so the unicorn’s jaw couldn’t snap anything in half. It took just a few seconds for the bones to fortify, heavier but sturdy as stone. The unicorn gnawed my arm as if it were a chew toy. It snorted in confusion, both because of the sudden change and the fact that there was no blood or muscles in the way.

In case such wasn’t obvious, I’m not human. Well, not all the way. My father was a man of flesh, blood, and too many weapons hidden on him at any given time. But my mother was a huldra; her body was hollow, but she could still punch hard enough to stop a truck in its tracks. I’d seen her do it before too, though sadly, I hadn’t inherited nearly the same strength.

I imagined how nice it’d be if the unicorn’s teeth were fragile enough to crumble. As I did, bits of teeth stayed buried in my arm as the pieces fell apart, and the unicorn’s head fell unceremoniously into the passenger seat.

No, I hadn’t inherited the ability to control bones, even though sensing them was as natural to me as seeing and hearing. It’s a power my family wishes I’d never been given. But since I was pretty sure the unicorn head was no longer a threat, I decided it was time to ask the source of my powers what was going on.

“Nalem, you’d better not be asleep. Mind telling me where the hell we are?”

A deep, smooth voice purred an answer back in my head, “If you had bothered to look at the sign we just passed, you’d realize we’re in Oregon.”

“In case you didn’t notice, I was a bit preoccupied.”

A chuckle reverberated in my skull, and I felt the false sensation of my arms stretching, the ghost of Nalem’s actions. “Of course I did. I can tell when you’re borrowing my powers—and besides, who do you think left the head in here in the first place?”

I rounded another corner as the aforementioned head tried to headbutt my arm, horn-first. I realized I couldn’t affect the horn with my powers—it wasn’t quite bone, but something more magical that slipped away from my senses whenever I tried. So I just hardened my bones again and ignored the attack as I took in the scenery. True enough, we were on a half-paved road in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by evergreens that tried to block out the bright blue sky. It was late July, so deep into summer that not even Oregon’s fondness of rain kept the heat away. My windows were rolled down, seeing as the AC in my ancient Buick had died out long ago.

“Two questions, then. Where are we going, and why do we have a unicorn head with us?”

Purchase

NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Meet the Author

Much like Sasquatch and other local cryptids, Dorian Graves can supposedly be found in the woods of the Pacific Northwest. Few have ever seen Dorian, but investigators have found trails of plot notes scribbled on receipt paper if they followed the distant sounds of old Blue Öyster Cult albums long enough. There have also been reports of Dorian lurking around the Mills College campus in Oakland, CA, where Dorian was last seen scurrying away with a B.A. in English/Creative Writing. Dorian occasionally crawls out of the woodworks with offerings of fiction, strange and fantastical stories with equal parts humor and horror, but often retreats quickly unless bribed with coffee and bad puns.

When not writing or working “the other day job,” Dorian lives with a romantic partner and a mischievous cat. Dorian Graves can be convinced to sit still if given art supplies, games of all sorts, or a selection from the ever-growing TBR pile. Dorian can be more reliably found on http://www.doriangraves.com, where one can find artwork, fiction, and whatever inane topic Dorian feels like rambling about this week.

Website | Twitter

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Release Blitz for CLOSER by F.E. Feeley Jr. (excerpt and giveaway)

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RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Closer

Author:  F.E. Feeley Jr

Publisher:  Beaten Track Publishing

Cover Artist: Emma Bonath

Genre/s:  Gay Fiction, Horror, Urban Fantasy

Length:  118,000 words/346 pages

Release Date: March 1st, 2018

Blurb

Maplewood, Vermont is a picturesque town filled with unique shops, unique homes, and a quaint familiarity all centered around a lake with an unusual history.

Legends, old as well as Urban, float around like the mist that hovers above the lake at break of dawn.

But they’re just stories, right?

Hayden Moore’s life was destroyed when his husband, Malcolm, was murdered. Giving up his job as an assistant district attorney in Boston, Hayden moved to the little burg of Maplewood to recover.

A new life.

A fresh start.

However, something underneath the water is stirring. Something rotten. A deadly secret wakes underneath the black waters of Lake Veronica so disturbing it haunts the nightmares of the local residents.

It’s coming closer…

Buy Links

Amazon US   

Amazon UK

Goodreads 


Excerpt

She had fallen asleep at the side of his bed, her head resting on the back of her chair, and her feet propped up on an ottoman. She awoke to the sound of water running. Audrey let her eyes open slowly, her fatigue surprising her a little. Her son was still asleep in the bed and she checked her watch, it said six thirty. The little bedside lamp was still on and she watched as her son’s chest rise and fall in medicine induced slumber. The water running in the bathroom stirred her and forced her to get up; she noticed steam coming in from under the bathroom door.

Sleep vanished from her mind as she crept slowly to the bathroom door, the hair on the back of her neck and on her arms stood straight up. The door was slightly ajar, and she heard movement inside the bathroom, she stopped. Looking around the bedroom she found her son’s baseball bat in the corner along with a mitt and baseball. Tanner, a friend of Jake’s and a few other guys were on an after-work baseball team, The Hornets. She picked up the bat and held it tight in her hands, she was going to walk straight into the bathroom and beat to death whoever was in the house. She used the bat to push the door open; the mirror over the sink was fogged up with steam. Her heart thudded in her ears as she rounded the corner towards the shower; someone was standing behind the shower curtain, the silhouette of a man. With an unsteady hand she reached for the curtain and jerked it back, raising the bat high above her head. The man, having heard the curtain slide jerked around, soap in his face and screamed, sliding backwards.

“Jesus Christ Audrey!” her ex-husband bellowed, trying to catch his balance.

“Daniel!” she cried out, slumping backwards and settling her behind down on the toilet, breathing hard. She looked up from where she sat, at her naked husband who had lost the extra twenty-five or so pounds that he had gained during their marriage. He was rubbing the soap out of his eyes and rinsing his face cursing and carrying out. She started to laugh and laughed so hard she almost fell off the toilet. She clutched at her midsection as tears rolled down her face.

Daniel stopped cursing and given the awkwardness of the situation chuckled himself.

“If you wanted to see me naked Audrey, all you had to do is ask,” he said, sliding the curtain back closed.

“Oh… Oh, Daniel. You wouldn’t believe the day I’ve had. I thought you were a ghost,” she said. He pulled the curtain back and looked at her strangely. His handsome face lit up in a quizzical way, a few more lines around his eyes than she remembered. His grey hair plastered to his head, but his eyes were as blue as she remembered. She felt a tug deep inside her heart for the slightest second, remembering what could have been, what should have been.

“A ghost huh?” Daniel asked, grabbing for the towel.

“Yeah. Never mind. When did you get here?” she asked as he stepped out of the shower. He had been working out, his shoulders broader and his chest tighter. She kept her back to him as he towel dried off.

“About thirty minutes. The front door was unlocked and Jake and you both were sound asleep. I tried calling on the phone, but you didn’t answer. I was worried something had happened,” he said.

“Yeah. I gave him a Xanax, so he could sleep. You should have seen him Daniel, he was so sick and besides himself. I was afraid he was going to die from grief,” she explained, handing him his underwear and t-shirt from the sink, her back still turned to him.

“Did the police say anything else?” he asked as he slipped into his underwear. He talked to his ex-wife’s back, frowning. She looked great; she always had, if it hadn’t been for that last miscarriage they wouldn’t be apart like this. He wasn’t surprised that she came in at him with a bat; she loved and protected her Jake with fierceness. He wouldn’t ever accuse her of being a bad mother.

“You can turn around now,” he said as he buckled his blue jeans.

She did just that, looking up at him.

“Daniel, you should have seen him,” she said, putting her head in her hands.

“That bad huh?” he asked buttoning a short sleeve golf shirt that his friends bought for him.

“Yeah. I didn’t know he was having an affair with…that woman. I knew he was staying out late, and I knew that he was seen out, but, with her?” She exhaled sharply. Jessica had a bad reputation in town for being a heart-breaker, and then she married the single wealthiest man, a lead accountant for a computer firm, she was labeled a gold digger. Now she was dead, and the law was looking at her son.

“We will take care of this. How about you? How you feeling?” he asked, concern in his voice. She had dark circles under her eyes, and her face looked strained.

“I’m hanging in there. Daniel, how bad can this get?” she asked.

“That depends really. I mean, if he didn’t do it, he didn’t do it. We just must make sure that we can account for where he was and when he left. You said they were at a motel? Good. That means he had to check out at some point,” he said, the gears in his head turning.

“Daniel, there has been some other stuff happening in this area. This makes the third drowning in the past week,” she said, standing up. “He’ll be glad to see you.”

He walked over to her and wrapped his arms around her shoulders and she leaned into him letting him hold her. He let her go and stepped out of the bathroom, taking the baseball bat with him as he went. His son’s light was on above his bed and Daniel stopped dead in his tracks. Standing two feet away from the sleeping boy was a scantily clad woman. She was wearing nothing more than a t-shirt and a pair of panties, but something was wrong, her color was all wrong. Her bare legs were almost blue they were so pale.

“HEY! Get away from him!” he screamed, raising the bat up. The woman spun around, one of her eyeballs had exploded and hung limp on her face, her matted wet hair stuck to her head. Behind him he heard his ex-wife scream.

Daniels muscles bunched up and he leapt forward, bringing the bat up, his instincts taking control. The woman screamed, a gargled disjointed sound, and when the bat hit her square in the head, she exploded. Water sprayed him, soaking the front of his shirt, and their sleeping son, who woke with a start.

“What the fu…Dad?” The bleary eyed and confused son watched in astonishment as he wiped the water off his face. Audrey rounded the side of Daniel and reached for Jake to get up. Daniel turned his head to the open door and saw wet footprints. His body shook, his breathing was labored, and his curiosity piqued. While he left his son and Audrey waiting in the bedroom he followed the trail to its source.

About the Author

Author Bio: F.E.Feeley Jr is a poet and the author of six published works – four full length novels, two short stories featured in anthologies, and a good deal of poetry.

Married to the love of his life, John, he came to the writing world about four years ago where he fell in love, again, with the written word.

Social Media Links  

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Facebook 

Twitter

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On tour: Blood’s Song (House Milar #1) by Tempeste O’Riley (giveaway)

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Blood’s Song (House Milar #1)
Author: Tempeste O’Riley

Publisher: Encompass Ink, Teen
Release Date: Nov, 24th, 2017

Blurb/Synopsis:

Even in darkness, love lights the way.

Anya awakens alone and afraid in a new world soaked with blood and terror. The only things she knows for certain are her name and that humans are precious.

Unwilling to give in to her hungers, she sets her feet upon a path of discovery, searching for clues to her forgotten past. Along the way she runs headlong into the unimaginable world of the undead and the waiting arms of Nicholas, a fearless nocturnal defender searching for his love, lost in eternity.

Into their midst stumbles Declán, a young, natural born vampire hunter and Guardian whose passion for Anya is only matched by his draw to Nicholas. His arrival could mark the end of their tale, or with the gift of Anya’s blood kiss, it might bring about the beginning of a new chapter for them all.

Fate has a wicked sense of sensibility…
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Print

Book Links  Amazon  

B&N

iBooks

Kobo 

About the Author

Tempeste O’Riley is an out and proud pansexual genderfluid whose best friend growing up had the courage to do what they couldn’t—defy the hate and come out. He has been their hero ever since.

Tempe is a hopeless romantic who loves strong relationships and happily-ever-afters. Though new to writing M/M, they has done many things in their life, yet writing has always drawn them back—no matter what else life has thrown their way. They counts her friends, family, and Muse as their greatest blessings in life. They lives in Wisconsin with their children, reading, writing, and enjoying life.

Tempe is also a proud PAN member of Romance Writers of America®WisRWA, FFPRWA, and Rainbow Romance Writers. Tempe’s preferred pronouns are they/them/their/theirs/themselves. To learn more about Tempeste and their writing, visithttp://tempesteoriley.com.

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Other Works by Tempeste O’Riley

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Book Tour for Ghoulish by Kat Bellamy (excerpt and giveaway)

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Book Title: Ghoulish

Author: Kat Bellamy

Publisher: Self-Published

Cover Artist: Self-made

Length: 332 pages

Release Date: October 22, 2017

Genre/s: Urban Fantasy, Romantic Fantasy, MM fiction

There is an HFN ending, but the book is the first in a continuing series.

 The next book will be available for review January, 2018.

Blurb

Colt Jager never knew what happened to the parents who abandoned him, and he never cared–until he inherited their ghoulish secret.

Raised as a human who had no idea he was anything but a blue-collar construction worker until the night of his 25th birthday, Colt finds it hard to adjust to life in the Kinship, a hidden world woven discreetly into human society.

After a grisly encounter with his true nature, Colt meets a family of human-friendly ghouls who teach him that there’s a way to be inhuman without being inhumane. But things get complicated when he realizes that the “wolf attack” responsible for killing his boyfriend’s brother was actually committed by a ghoul on the hunt.

When an elite family of especially monstrous ghouls called Alphas threatens the man he loves, Colt will have to lie to Jason to keep him safe. Can a predator ever truly be a hero, or will the man he loves become his prey?

 

 

Buy Links ~ Available on KU

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Goodreads Link

Excerpt

“You could help people lots of ways. I just don’t see why you have to pick the one that could get you killed.”

“I’ll be pushing papers for the DA, not infiltrating a crystal meth ring,” Jason shot back.

The argument had been brewing for some time, and Colt knew that he didn’t stand a shot at winning now that they’d finally gotten around to it, but he could hardly take the news that his boyfriend had just signed up for the most dangerous job in the city sitting down.

“And what happens if some psycho gets pissed at your boss for putting him in jail and you get caught in the crossfire?”

“Then I’ll have a hard time holding water.”

“I’m glad you find this so funny.”

“Colt,” Jason pleaded, taking Colt’s face in his hands. “It was a joke.”

“I guess I just don’t find the very real possibility of losing you all that funny.”

Jason’s face fell. “I’m sorry,” he said softly. “But I can’t give up on my dream. Not even for you.”

Colt clenched his jaw. “Why is this so important to you? Why does it have to be this field?”

Jason settled back against the couch with a heavy sigh. “You remember how it was when Luca was killed. We all spent months reeling, grasping for something to make sense of what happened. I’d listen to my dad reaming out Fish and Wildlife reps for hours on end, demanding reports and explanations for how a lone wolf in an area where there wasn’t supposed to be anything other than coyotes and fisher cats just showed up and killed his son. It made no sense, and we desperately needed it to, even though we knew logic wouldn’t bring him back. It wasn’t until I got older that I realized there are some things in this world you just can’t make sense of. Things that you can’t explain no matter how hard you try, and even if you could, it wouldn’t change anything. But there are tragedies that can be explained, and there are families out there who suffer needlessly until someone finds the answers. I want to be one of the people who finds those answers, Colt. I don’t want anyone else to feel the way my family did if it can be helped.”

Colt’s stomach churned as Jason spoke. The conviction in Jason’s voice alone was enough to soften his anger, but more than that, it was the doubt it caused in Colt that unsettled him.

What if it hadn’t been a wolf that attacked Luca, after all? Colt had never questioned the official narrative as a preteen, but knowing what he knew now as an adult, “animal attack” rang as nothing more than a callous euphemism. If one of his own kind had killed Luca, keeping this secret about his own identity was more than just a lie. It was a betrayal.

“Please tell me you understand,” Jason said, searching Colt’s face.

“I do.” Colt cleared his throat. “I’m not gonna pretend like I’m happy about it, but I get it. If this is what you want, I won’t try to stop you, but I am going to ask you to be careful.”

Jason smiled, leaning in for another kiss. “And that’s where you’re different from my family.”

“I would hope I’m different in a few more ways than that,” Colt teased, pushing Jason back against the sofa.

Jason laughed. “Well, kissing you is a lot more fun than kissing great-aunt Gertrude. Less stubble.”

Colt shuddered. “You know how to paint a picture.”

“I could paint a better one if you come camping with me,” Jason purred, winding a strand of Colt’s hair around his finger. “Please?”

Colt sighed. “How am I supposed to say no to that?”

“You’re not,” Jason whispered against his lips.

Colt moaned as Jason’s knee slipped between his thighs and the friction of their jeans made his grinding pure torture. Colt reached underneath Jason’s shirt, tracing the lines of his abs down to the sharp cut of his hips. His hand drifted lower just as the phone on the coffee table buzzed.

“Ignore it,” Colt murmured, capturing Jason’s lips. The phone kept buzzing.

“They’re not giving up,” Jason gasped, breaking the kiss. “Maybe you should answer it.”

“Fuck whoever it is.”

“What if it’s the secret girlfriend you’ve been running off with lately?” Jason asked in a teasing tone. Colt could tell there was a hint of genuine suspicion in it.

“Fuck her, too.”

Jason gave his shoulder a playful shove and reached for the phone. “Hello?” His face went blank and Colt sat up sharply. How he hated technology. “No, sorry. I’ll put him on.” He pushed his finger against the speaker and whispered, “It’s the Sheriff.

Colt winced, taking the phone. “Sorry. I should take this.”

Jason’s eyes were full of questions, but he said nothing as Colt stood and crossed the room, pressing the phone to his ear. “Sheriff Venson. Hi. What can I do for you?”

“I assume that was the mysterious boyfriend Susan’s always speaking of,” Roland said in a dry tone. “Does he know?”

“Not at all, sir. Did you need me to answer any more questions about Chuck?”

That seemed to satisfy Jason’s curiosity, or at least convince him to pretend like he was interested in his own phone.

Roland chuckled. “A word of advice. If you care about him, keep it that way.”

“That’s what I was planning on.”

“I won’t keep you. Just wanted to check in and make sure Wilbur hasn’t tried contacting you again.”

“No, I haven’t heard anything but I’ll let you know if he calls.”

“Good man, Colt. Keep your head down,” the Sheriff said before hanging up.

“That was about Chuck?” Jason asked, leaning over the back of the couch.

“Just a few follow-up questions.”

“Follow-up?” Jason frowned. “They questioned you about Chuck’s death?”

Shit. “Uh, yeah. It was routine.”

“For an animal attack?”

Colt could see the wheels turning in Jason’s head and knew he needed to stop the investigation train before it ran off the tracks. “Yeah. I guess his wife is insisting on it. Can’t bring herself to accept what happened,” he said, cringing internally. He felt like scum before the words were even out of his mouth.

“Poor thing,” Jason said sadly.

“Yeah. So,” Colt said, clearing his throat. “Where were we?”

“I was trying to convince you to go with me on that camping trip.”

“If your mind’s made up, so is mine,” Colt said with a shrug. “I’m not letting you go out there alone.”

Jason scowled, but there was more amusement in his gaze than irritation. “I’m not sure I like the new caveman Colt.”

“Get used to it, he’s not goin’ anywhere,” Colt half-teased, leaning over the couch to kiss Jason. “Especially not if you’re working for the DA.”

“I haven’t even gotten the internship yet.”

“Oh, you’ll get it. You get everything you want.”

Jason grinned. “That’s very true. As a matter of fact, there’s something I want you to give me right now.”

It just so happened to be something Colt was more than willing to give.

 

 

 

About the Author

Kat Bellamy is a nonbinary author of MM fiction and urban fantasy. Ghoulish is their debut series. When they’re not writing, they spend their time watching bad horror movies and losing board games.

Social Media Links

Blog/Website

Twitter

 

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December 11

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Stories That Make You Smile  INTERVIEW    

December 14

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Blazing Zane Book Blog   REVIEW

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Valerie Ullmer | Romance Author

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A MelanieM Review: Lyle’s Story (Landlocked Heart #2) by Kay Berrisford

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Lyle, a merman, and Ben, his human, work together in a seaside ice-cream parlour and their life together is bliss. Or would be, if not for Ben’s constant worries about career and money, and Lyle’s dark past—a myriad of secrets, lies, wild magic, and foul deeds, which now threaten to catch up with him.

When Lyle’s merfolk family accuse him of murder, Ben and Lyle’s bond is stretched to the limit. Not only does Lyle seem unsuited to Ben’s dreams of domestic happiness, hismagical powers are spinning dangerously out of control. Even Lyle isn’t entirely sure he’s innocent.

With Ben dragged deep into the enchanted processes of merfolk justice, escaping with his life—and getting home to an important job interview—is just the start of the challenge. Uncovering Lyle’s inner truths without destroying their love could be a step too far…

Lyle’s Story is the second in Kay Berrisford’s Landlocked Heart series and I think it succeeds far better than the original story.  I liked so much about Lyle’s Story, especially in comparison to The Lonely Merman (Landlocked Heart, #1) which I liked but had issues with the format and ending.

Lyle’s Story is straightford lovely storytelling.  All the gaps and narrative whopping holes from the first story are filled in beautifully here, the characters and their relationship show real growth, and I just loved some of the elements (mysteries) that the author added into the overall series arc.

Ben and Lyle’s relationship is still in its formative stage and they are adjusting to each other and their hopes for the future.  It’s charming and oddly realistic considering one is a merman.  Lyle’s nature is not that of a human, Ben is human…there’s fins, magic, and much more to deal with, including Lyle’s past that he hasn’t been entirely truthful to Ben about.

I loved how Berrisford folds practicality and magic, myth and the mundane all together and it works.  This new addition to the series has me totally charmed and now I can’t wait to read the next installment.  The Landlocked Heart has captured mine.  If you are a lover of merman, romance and HEA, perhaps this is just the series and stories for you.

Cover art by J. Ang is simple and brands the series.

Sales Links:  Less Than Three Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook
Published September 27th 2017 by Less Than Three Press
Original TitleLyle’s Story
ISBN139781684310401
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesLandlocked Heart #2

A Stella Release Day Review: Gone by the Board by August Li

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RATING 5 out of 5 stars

The sea is full of jealously guarded secrets, but everything washes up eventually….

Betrayed by a trusted partner, Nathan figures he might as well be lost and heartbroken in the sunshine, and he heads to the coast of South Carolina, to stay with a friend and find a new direction for his life. But despite his efforts, he is lost in the fog, unable to find a guiding light and sometimes unable to find a reason to go on. His only respite from depression and anxiety is the soothing rhythm of the tides and the comfort he draws from proximity to the water.

When the sea sends a lifeline in the form of a strange and beautiful man, it’s easy for Nathan to ignore all the things that don’t add up about his new friend. But the tides can turn without notice, and it’s those mystical traits that will either finally lead Nathan safely to shore or drown him in confusion and despair.

I probably have a weakness for this author, some of his stories, like The Kitchen Boy or The Union of Sun and Moon, were a huge success to me but Gone By the Board is exactly what I like to read, exactly what I want from books like this. Maybe it’s just cause August Li has a way with words that are able to bring me in the characters’ world and let me live and breath their lives with them. This is a specific quality of the author writing, the reason why I come back to his books (new and old ones) quite often. His works are always so evocative and well done I can’t have enough of them.

Gone by the Board is a moving story, it’s about Nathan and his deep struggle with a dark depression, very hard to live with. Add to it a breakup with a husband who deserves really nothing from life, least at all a man like Nathan. So Nathan decides to move to South Carolina where his best friend Rachel lives in a peaceful place along the beach. Just what Nathan needs. Some quiet to put his life back on track. And then Brume happens.

Since I received this story I already read it twice and I surely will reread it sooner. Something caught my heart. Don’t let the blurb scares you, this is not a dark story, although it deals with important themes like depression and anxiety (SPOILER ), they aren’t there to turn the story into a dark one, like often books that deal with those themes do, they put me down and give a sense of resignation, the bad kind of it. Although these themes, Gone By the Board is sweet, light, heartwarming and so full of feelings. And with an unexpected HEA. I was waiting for the author to develop the plot into the obvious (to me) kind of ending, instead he went to the opposite and it was more perfect. I still smile rethinking of it.

I didn’t reveal a lot of important details in this review, because I don’t want to spoil anything at all. I think the right way to approach this reading is knowing just what the blurb tells you and no more. That way, this new release will conquer you, surprise you and leave you with fluffiness in your tummy. I feel to recommend Gone by the Board if you are looking for something different and real even if real it can’t be.

The cover art by Anne Cain is just perfect, so well done and fitting. I can see Brume and it’s just how I imagined him in my mind.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

BOOK DETAILS

ebook, 98 pages

Publication Date: May 24th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN 1635334977 (ISBN13: 9781635334975)

Edition Language English

In the Spotlight: Soothsayer by Cari Z (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title:  Soothsayer

Author: Cari Z

Publisher:  NineStar Press

Release Date: January 30

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 68200

Genre: Romance, Action, urban fantasy, magic, magic user, psychic/soothsayer, myth/folklore, mafia, reunited, road trip, spirits, posession

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Synopsis

Cillian Kelly can look into people’s eyes and see their fates. He’s running from a past filled with mistakes, lying low and selling his services on the sly. When he learns that Sören Egilsson, a man who sacrificed himself so Cillian could escape imprisonment two years ago, is somehow still alive, Cillian has to find out how. What he gets is the body of the man he loves possessed by an ancient spirit who draws Cillian into a battle to the death for the right to control Sören’s fate, and the power that comes with it.

Excerpt

Soothsayer
Cari Z © 2017
All Rights Reserved

My phone buzzed, interrupting my musing. I frowned as I pulled it out of my jacket pocket. Only a dozen people had this number, and I wasn’t expecting to talk to any of them any time soon. I unlocked it and looked at my new message.

Move ten paces to the right.

My feet were moving even before my brain caught up, obedience was so instinctual. Two seconds later, I was out of the mouth of the alley, and three seconds after that, a beat-up silver sedan coming down the road was clipped by a delivery van and veered straight into the corner of the building. It wasn’t moving fast, thankfully, but the crash was plenty loud, especially since I was just a few feet away from the point of impact.

A memory flashed through my mind, one of my personal rare and painful gems. I was in the backseat of an old Lincoln, and I was very small. My feet wouldn’t have touched the floor even if I hadn’t had my knees squished to my chest, and my face was pressed to the knobby joints so hard they were leaving red blotches on my cheeks. The man driving was on a phone—an old-school cell phone, clunky in his hand, distracting. He wasn’t paying attention, but I knew the moment before the car was hit and covered my head with my hands, so when I went flying into the door, it didn’t hurt as much. Metal crunched, and bright spots flashed across the darkness behind my eyelids as the car spun and spun…

I shook my head and took a deep breath, focusing on the present. The van hadn’t stopped, but I didn’t bother trying to catch its license plate number―there were plenty of people exclaiming and getting on their phones. I headed over to the driver’s side and opened the door, but didn’t reach in to touch the woman who had been driving. She was moving under her own power, picking her head up off the remains of her airbag and whimpering softly. “Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god…”

“It’s all right,” I said gently. I might not be a martyr, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t feel compassion for another person, especially one who’d just been thrown into a wall. “You’re okay. Just a little accident. There’s an ambulance coming to help you.” I could already hear it in the distance. We were only a few blocks from a major hospital. “Can you look at me for a moment?” She blearily turned, and as soon as our eyes met, I sighed and backed out of the way. One of the employees at the auto-painting store took my place, and a second later—bam. The fucking Ace of Cups moment. Who found true love as a result of a car accident? This wasn’t exactly the heartwarming scene I’d envisioned getting me through the day earlier.

“Are you all right?” the newcomer asked frantically. “What’s your name? I’m Felix. I’m gonna stay with you until the ambulance gets here, okay? Oh Jesus, are you all right?”

“I’m…I think so?” the woman said, her voice gaining a little bit of strength. “I’m Paula.”

“Paula, hey.” He smiled at her, and she smiled back. I rolled my eyes. “Nice to meet you.”

For fuck’s sake. Well, at least the settlement from the trucking company would give them a nice nest egg to get their new place together. I turned away and walked to the end of the block before getting out my phone again and making a call.

She picked up on the second ring. “Hi, baby.”

“What, you can see me getting smeared across a wall, but you don’t bother to let me know about having a gun pulled on me?”

“Cillian.” My mother sounded half apologetic, half resigned. “You know it doesn’t work like that.”

Yes, fine, I did know that, but I didn’t feel like being reasonable right now. “So you didn’t see that this morning, then?”

“Did you need me to see it?”

I wasn’t about to go down the self-sufficiency road with her. It meant a surefire argument, and I was still buzzing with adrenalin from being so close to the car crash.

“No,” I said flatly. “I guess not.”

Purchase

NineStar Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Smashwords

Meet the Author

Cari Z. is a Colorado girl who loves snow and sunshine. She writes award-winning LGBTQ fiction featuring aliens, supervillains, soothsayers, and even normal people sometimes.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | eMail | Blog

Tour Schedule

1/30     Hearts On Fire Reviews

1/30     On Top Down Under

1/31     Love Bytes – www.lovebytesreviews.com

1/31     Out Of My Head

1/31     Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

2/1       Slashsessed

2/1       Stories That Make You Smile

2/1       Book Lovers 4Ever

2/2       Happily Ever Chapter

2/2       Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents

2/3       The Novel Approach

2/3       We Three Queens

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A MelanieM Review: Death Mask (Black Harbinger MC #1) by Lexi Ander

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

death-mask-by-lexi-anderGrim Misery, the President of the Black Harbinger Motorcycle Club, discovers a wounded warlock and four werepups aboard the club’s LSD shipment. And the news kept getting better and better. Not only is the warlock sitting on the edge of death, he’s illegally bonded to the werepups, which could trigger a war with the werewolves—and he turns out to be Misery’s estranged husband.

Years ago, Griffin turned Misery away to be with another warlock by the name of Marcheso Aldo. Misery left everything behind, even his family, but couldn’t shake the heartbreak Griffin caused. With Griffin thrust back into Misery’s life, he discovers things aren’t as they seem… and everything is about to get much, much worse.

Hard to write a review when so much about the story has twists and turns that contain spoilers for most of the story.  Can’t really talk about much of the plot or even the characters. So lets see what it does leave me with.

Lexi Ander hooked me on both.

Yes, there is so much going on here, enough clearly for two or more stories because of past histories and layers to all the characters you will meet, not just the MCs.  Its the secondary characters and even the levels surrounding those.  Its the world building, that will still leave you asking questions and wanting to know more.  Its those pups that I fell in love with with a heartbreaking  history.  But most of all  its Misery and his husband, Griffin, whose story this is.  Theirs and the evil that’s coming for them.

Ander did a wonderful job filling out both Grim and Griffin while still letting us be surprised when the twists and turns came into play.   The author managed to show us all  sides of their relationship.  Not just the angst, but the anger, the growth each has gone through and the adjustments each realize they need to make in order for any future relationship to work between them.  All while dealing with the pups and unimaginable horrors on the horizon.

This was a very quick read.  I gobbled it up in one sitting and was left wishing for more.  As its the first book in the series, I know I will get my wish.  It includes so many incredible characters that I foresee a long enjoyable run if they are all as good as this one.  Love tales of the supernatural as well as a romance?  Pick up Death Mask and get started.  I absolutely recommend it.

Cover art by Kirby Crow is absolutely perfect.  Love it.

Sales Links

Less Than Three

Book Details:

ebook
Expected publication: November 9th 2016 by Less Than Three Press
ISBN139781620048849
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesBlack Harbinger MC #1

A MelanieM Review: Black Dog Blues (Kai Gracen, #1) by Rhys Ford

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

black-dog-bluesEver since being part of the pot in a high-stakes poker game, elfin outcast Kai Gracen figures he used up his good karma when Dempsey, a human Stalker, won the hand and took him in. Following the violent merge of Earth and Underhill, the human and elfin races are left with a messy, monster-ridden world, and Stalkers are the only cavalry willing to ride to someone’s rescue when something shadowy appears.

It’s a hard life but one Kai likes—filled with bounty, a few friends, and most importantly, no other elfin around to remind him of his past. And killing monsters is easy. Especially since he’s one himself.

But when a sidhe lord named Ryder arrives in San Diego, Kai is conscripted to do a job for Ryder’s fledgling Dawn Court. It’s supposed to be a simple run up the coast during dragon-mating season to retrieve a pregnant human woman seeking sanctuary. Easy, quick, and best of all, profitable. But Kai ends up in the middle of a deadly bloodline feud he has no hope of escaping.

No one ever got rich being a Stalker. But then few of them got old either and it doesn’t look like Kai will be the exception.

Black Dog Blues is another mashup of gritty fantasy, action/adventure and pure adrenaline rush from Rhys Ford, a favorite author of mine.   The first in a new series, Black Dog Blues introduces us to Kai Gracen, a fae mutt the likes  no one has ever seen before or wants to.  Considered an abomination because Kai is both a sidhe and unseehlie, a genetic mixture that shows on his face and body, his was a nightmare that started at his creation and only stopped when he was won at a poker game by a Stalker.

What a crazy, hard bitten wonder of a character Ford has in Kai Gracen.  When it says tortured childhood, here its in all caps and dripping in Kai’s blood. A survivor of the past, anything other than getting through the present times is never taken for granted in this imaginative and wildly speculative new world order of recognizable and fae caused by the merging of human and Underhill.  The vivid descriptions of how the earth and San Diego now look are wondrous as they are dangerous.  The creatures bounding over lava fields and cracked roadways?  A mixture of old world, new world and fantasy all thrown together.  Dragons hunting antelope?  Yes indeed.  And it feels so real.  Not that anyone with any common sense would want to actually be there. OK maybe a tad.  Truly, the scenes  as wildly scary as they are draw you into the world and Kai’s place in it.

Oh Kai.  Snarly, competent…he belongs in such a wildly uneven and unpredictable world.  You never know what you will meet or where your next enemy or perhaps friend (if that’s possible) will come from.

Kai’s world consists of the people who helped bring up a feral mixed race fae and who helped make him one of the toughest Stalkers out there.  We get to meet them all here and what an amazing lot they are.  Ford makes them all believable and unforgettable, flawed tough, and hardscrabble.

But the scariest of the lot?  The Fae and the Fae court and politics.  This will include Ryder, the sidhe lord who hires Kai and who has his own agenda and motives in mind.  I liked Ryder but he’s so smooth (intentionally so) that it took me a while to warm up to him.  I far preferred the rude, often snarly Kai…especially when he’s poking at the imperious Ryder.

There are some stomach churning moments as  well as ones guaranteed to make your heart race.  Its Rhys Ford’s story afterall and these Fae are the true Fae of the old Tiernan Og.  Those to be feared, with little care for the human world.

And there are dragons, beautiful, fire breathing, fast flying dragons.

Be still my heart.

There’s a sequel out.  And more to come.  Oh happy, happy, reading times ahead.

If you love fantasy, gritty, sometimes scary, wonderful heart stopping, action packed, fantasy packed with memorable characters,then look no further than Black Dog Blues.  I highly recommend it.

Cover art shows Kai Gracen with his dark features.  Its perfect.

Sales Links

DSP Publications

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Book Details:

ebook, Second Edition, 246 pages
Published February 3rd 2015 by DSP Publications (first published May 10th 2013)
ISBN 1632163543 (ISBN13: 9781632163547)
Edition Language English
setting San Diego, California(United States)

Note from DSP Publications: Spend your weekend with Kai Gracen! Mad Lizard Mambo by Rhys Ford will be released on the DSP Publications website 3 days before other retailers, on September 10. Additionally, eBook one in the Kai Gracen Series, Black Dog Blues, will be 99 cents September 6-13, 2016.

In the Urban Fantasy Spotlight – Shatterproof by Xen Sanders (Riptide Tour and Giveaway)

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Shatterproof_600x900

Shatterproof by Xen Sanders
R
iptide Publishing
Cover art by L.C. Chase

Read an Excerpt/Buy It Here

~~~

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Xen Sanders here today to talk about Shatterproof and share his favorite character with our readers.  Welcome, Xen.

~~~

Hey there. I’m Xen Sanders, and thank you for joining me for the release of Shatterproof! (I will have you know that exclamation point was under duress. Grr. I am grrr and dour and deadpan man-thing. Really.)

I’m immensely grateful that some of my favorite blogs have opened their doors and given me an opportunity to talk about a book that means so much to me, and that comes from so much personal experience. Stick around to chat, ask questions, and join in the discussion for a chance to win a $30 Riptide gift card and a $25 Amazon or B&N gift card! (@*$%!#ing exclamation points…)

Who is your favorite literary character of all-time?

That would have to be Gerald Tarrant from C.S. Friedman’s Coldfire Trilogy, and to some extent his doppelganger and descendant, Andrys Tarrant. I think Gerald Tarrant is what shaped my love of villains; he’s why I’d pick Loki over Thor any day. He’s the ultimate in seductive evil; even better for that he was once one of the most noble, upright, honorable and righteous men in the world, and yet his desperation to achieve an end drove him to become a thing so formidable and terrible that only his code of honor keeps him from descending into a ravening, blood-drenched beast. He’s committed terrible atrocities, and he acts as a moral foil to the hero of the series; slowly but surely his presence erodes at this utterly faith-driven warrior-priest until he finds himself excusing greater and greater evils and plunging into darkness himself with a terrifying intimacy as he unknowingly follows Tarrant’s own path: giving in to the sensuous lure of the black, the night, the deep and soundless song of the secret dark in order to accomplish an ultimate goal. Tarrant is both an object lesson and the defiance of it, because he warns of the self-destruction inherent in sacrificing all to attain an objective…even as he rises above to stand cold and pure and ruthless and beautifully cruel, an unlikely and undefeatable hero made up of a strange combination of pathos and refined, elegant malice.

About Shatterproof

 

Shatterproof_600x900Saint’s afraid to die. Grey can’t stand to live.

 

Grey Jean-Marcelin wants to die. He thought painting his passion—vivid portrayals of Haitian life and vodou faith—would be enough to anchor him to this world. But it isn’t. And when the mysterious man known only as Saint saves Grey from a suicide attempt, it’s more curse than blessing—until Grey discovers that Saint isn’t just an EMT. He’s a banished fae, and can only survive by draining the lives of those he loves.

 

All Saint needed was a simple bargain: one life willingly given for another. But as Saint’s feelings for Grey grow deeper, centuries of guilt leave him desperate to save a man who doesn’t want salvation, even if Grey’s life means Saint’s death.

 

When Grey’s depression consumes him, only he can decide if living is worth the struggle. Yet his choice may come too late to save his life . . . or Saint’s soul. And whatever choice he makes, it may shatter them both.

 

Purchase at Riptide: http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/shatterproof

 

About Xen Sanders

 

Xen Sanders is a New Orleans-born Southern boy without the Southern accent, currently residing somewhere in the metropolitan wilds of the American Midwest. He spends his days as a suit-and-tie corporate consultant and business writer, and his nights writing genre-bending science fiction and fantasy tinged with a touch of horror and flavored by the influences of his multiethnic, multicultural, multilingual background—when he’s not being tackled by two hyperactive cats. He wavers between calling himself bisexual and calling himself queer, but no matter what word he uses, he’s a staunch advocate of LGBTQIA representation and visibility in genre fiction.

 

He also writes contemporary romance and erotica as Cole McCade. And while he spends more time than is healthy hiding in his writing cave instead of hanging around social media, you can generally find him in these usual haunts:

 

He’s recently launched the Speak Project, an online open-access platform where anyone can anonymously or openly share or read stories of abuse—a way for survivors to overcome the silencing tactics of abusers to speak out against what was done to them, and let other survivors know they’re not alone.

 

He also runs an advice column called Dammit, Cole, where he occasionally answers questions about everything from romance and dating to the culture of hypermasculinity, from the perspective of a male romance author:

 

Looking for more? You can get early access to cover reveals, blurbs, contests, and other exclusives by joining the McCade’s Marauders street team at:
• http://www.facebook.com/groups/mccadesmarauders/

Shatterproof_TourBanner

Giveaway

 

To celebrate the release of Shatterproof, one lucky winner will receive $30 Riptide Credit and a $25 gift card to B&N or Amazon. Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on September 10, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!