Love High Fantasy? Check Out the New Release Blitz for Royal Rescue by A. Alex Logan (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title: Royal Rescue

Author: A. Alex Logan

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: April 8, 2019

Heat Level: 1 – No Sex

Pairing: No Romance, Male/Male

Length: 111500

Genre: New Adult Fantasy, LGBT, asexual, high fantasy, dragons, royalty, magic, young adult, gay, family drama, hurt/comfort

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Synopsis

At age eighteen, when they become marriageable, all royal children in the Thousand Kingdoms must either go questing to rescue another royal or be hidden away to await rescue themselves. Some go the traditional route of princes rescuing princesses, but not all princes want to be rescuers…and some would rather rescue other princes.

Then there’s Prince Gerald, who has no interest in getting married at all. When he refuses to choose a role as either rescuer or rescuee, his royal parents choose for him and have him magicked away to a distant tower to await a spouse.

Gerald, however, is having none of it. He recruits his guardian dragon and a would-be rescuer and soon the trio is dashing to all corners of the united kingdoms on a quest to overturn the entire system.

Excerpt

Gerald followed the steward to the study wearing an expression that would have been more appropriate if he were being led to the dungeon. The steward rapped on the door twice before opening it and stepping aside for Gerald. She gave the young man an encouraging wink, but he was too intent on bracing himself for the upcoming confrontation to notice.

He took a deep breath, visibly set his shoulders and stepped through the doorway. The steward closed the door behind him, and Gerald fought back the feeling of being trapped.

“Don’t lurk in the doorway,” an imposing voice scolded. “Come in where I can see you.”

Gerald did as he was told, stopping and giving a shallow bow when the woman came into view. She nodded, acknowledging the courtesy, which caused the sunlight streaming in through the window to catch and reflect off her golden crown.

Gerald resisted the urge to reach up and touch his own circlet—silver—which he too late realized was probably once again askew.

“Well?” the Queen asked. “Have you made your decision?”

Another deep breath, another forceful straightening of his shoulders, and Gerald said, a hint of defiance in his tone, “I have.”

The Queen’s harsh expression broke into a smile. “Oh, Gerald, thank goodness. Your mum and I were about at our wits’ end! There’s barely enough time left to make all the arrangements. So, what will it be? Rescuer or rescuee?”

“Neither.”

The smile melted off the Queen’s face. “Neither! Don’t be ridiculous, Gerald. You said you had made your decision.”

“I have,” he said, crossing his arms in front of his chest. “I’ve decided not to participate.”

“That is not an option,” she said coldly, the warmth in her voice gone the same way as the smile. “As you are well aware.”

“I don’t wish to marry,” Gerald replied, trying to match her tone but not quite managing it. “As you are well aware.”

The Queen waved her hand dismissively. “This is merely the first step. It may take a year or even two for you to rescue—or be rescued by—someone who appeals. Then there’s the courtship, the inter-kingdom negotiations, planning the festivities…why, unless it’s True Love and you two want to rush things, I doubt the wedding will happen before you turn twenty-one.”

“I didn’t say ‘I don’t wish to marry in the next three years’,” Gerald said, forcing himself to keep his voice level even as he balled his hands into fists. “I said, ‘I don’t wish to marry.’ As in, ever.”

But the Queen was no longer listening.

“I really don’t know where we went wrong with you,” she said. “We never had this sort of problem with your older siblings or even your twinling…”

“Don’t call her that,” Gerald snapped. “You know how much I hate that—we’re not twins, we’re not even sort-of twins. We’re half-siblings at best and maybe not even related at all.”

The Queen looked up at the ceiling as if imploring it to give her strength. “Now you’re being deliberately obtuse,” she snapped back. “You know very well that the term ‘twinling’ has been in use for at least a century throughout every single one of the Thousand Kingdoms, and it’s a perfectly apt word. You’re acting like your mum and I made it up to irritate you. You’re acting like a child, Gerald.”

“Isn’t the point of all this that I am a child?” he responded. “Isn’t the entire purpose of this whole charade of rescue and marriage to make me into an adult?”

“It’s hardly a charade. It’s—”

“—a well-respected, long-established tradition to encourage young royals to broaden their horizons, explore more of the Thousand Kingdoms, find love, and forge stronger connections among the Kingdoms, yes, yes, I know,” Gerald interrupted. “I still say it’s a charade. It’s perfectly possible to accomplish all of those goals without forcing every royal into a ridiculous marriage quest the moment they turn eighteen.”

“You seem to be forgetting something very important here, Gerald,” the Queen said calmly.

“What’s that?”

“This isn’t optional.”

“You can’t force me to choose,” Gerald said. “Why can’t you leave me be and let Lila broaden her horizons, explore the Kingdoms, forge alliances, and all that rot? She wants to.”

“You have ten days,” the Queen continued, as if Gerald hadn’t spoken. She turned away without even bothering to dismiss him.

Purchase

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

Meet the Author

Alex Logan is an asexual, agender librarian from New York state. Always an avid reader, Alex has branched out from reading books to writing them. Alex’s other main interest is soccer, which they enjoy watching, playing, and (of course) reading about.

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New Release Blitz for Foreign to You by Jeremy Martin (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title: Foreign to You

Author: Jeremy Martin

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: February 11, 2019

Heat Level: 1 – No Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 83900

Genre: Fantasy, LGBT, Young adult, fantasy, shifters, hunter, stag, forest, reincarnation

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Synopsis

The harmony between humans and fianna, a species of shapeshifting deer, begins to wither as racial tensions and deeply rooted resentment turns violent.

Ruthless hunter Finn Hail and prophesied liberator Adelaide may be heroes to their own species, but they are enemies to each other. With war on the horizon, the reluctant pair must team up to find the most elusive of prey: the god of the Forest.

As enemies press in from all sides, true intentions begin to show. For Finn to save the boy he cares for most, he might need to aim his gun at the very god he seeks. And Adelaide, with her festering hatred for mankind, will have to determine if peace holds true salvation for her people.

Excerpt

Foreign to You
Jeremy Martin © 2019
All Rights Reserved

It is strange to sit in the Forest with a rifle, bullets, and the intention to kill. The Forest is meant to be a place of harmony, where the order of things is meticulous, spontaneous, and beautiful.

I am a blemish in an otherwise blissful system.

My only justification for upsetting said balance is that I am here, with a gun, to silence another disturbance.

“To the right,” Jay whispers, his words turning into clouds similar to a furnace expelling smoke. His voice is so soft the branches seem to lean downward greedily, as if the leaves could catch each of his words like raindrops. With the meek backdrop of the Forest, Jay’s features are highlighted and prominent. His sturdy jaw, light stubble, and bright eyes were all a combination of classic handsome.

I, on the other hand, am classically average. Brown hair, dull eyes, and a nose that’s a little too big.

After waiting in the same spot an unholy amount of time, my body had sunk deeper in Pa’s musky leather jacket while my muscles and thoughts had stiffened from neglect. The slightest stirring from Jay startles me out of my daydreaming and from my cocoon of warmth. Unlike me in the present moment, Jay’s attention and energy are crisp and alert while his entire body leans forward in anticipation.

“Do you see him?” Jay murmurs with thinly veiled anxiety. He scrambles for his rifle with shaky fingers, brings the scope up to gaze through. I blame the cold, or my own fleeting concentration, but I cannot see what he does. The only abnormalities I see in the surrounding Forest are the slabs of meat Jay strung up on the branches like decorations to attract the ferals.

With a huff of frustration, he angles my line of sight with his rough fingers, squishing my cheeks, and gripping my head. Within an instant of the contact of his skin on mine, my mind sharpens.

Allowing my gaze to soften so I can absorb more of my surroundings, I finally see the tiniest of movements. A flash of white that doesn’t belong to the never-ending bark. A drifting smudge in the sea of stillness. Yet, the Forest is so dense the leaves tend to bunch together like armor, protecting its inhabitants from invaders. Between one blink and the next, the Forest returns to its previous state. Not a twig out of place. Nothing exposed.

“Found ya,” Jay says, his voice trembling. I study his nervous movements. Gloved fingers twitching individually. Teeth tugging at his bottom lip. Chest barely rising and falling as he forgets to breathe. For he has the skills of a great hunter, but not the heart for it. Jay was the boy who once found a rabbit with a broken leg and attempted to nurse it back to health. He was the same boy that cried for four days after his father snapped the creature’s neck to put it out of its misery.

I’m not good at vocalizing emotions, making them into pretty little words, which is a genetic trait from Pa. All I can tell Jay is, “Stay calm,” and that doesn’t sound like near enough. I wish I could tell him that we should head back to town, that he deserved much more than loud rifles and dirt.

But I don’t say those things.

I move past him, my boots squishing in the mixture of mud and snow. Each step is heavier than it needs to be, and my impatience starts to hum within my ears with each squish, squish. As I stalk, I strain to find the distortion of the brown that slipped away.

“It was probably a raccoon,” I tell Jay, despite knowing we are meant to be silent. Loud hunters gain no prizes. “I bet you got caught—”

A snort comes from my right, and as I turn, I find a beast stationed between two oak trees.

Its massive frame looms before me with red-rimmed eyes, thick and building black veins, patchy fur, and teeth bared. My eyes soak up every inch of the deer, my heart hammering in time with his exhales. From this distance, the beast is nearly magnificent, practically the size of a horse. His nostrils flare as he paws at the ground, catching all wayward smells while each muscle twitches and throbs. Unlike his cousins, this stag does not flee at the sight of a human. Instead, he lowers his brow defiantly, his antlers posed daggers.

It is an unholy combination of god and devil.

A loud crack fires off behind me, and before I can even blink, the bark of the nearest oak shatters into a thousand shards.

With fear leading it, the stag rears back onto his hind legs and lashes out with hooves strong enough to break bones. I attempt to leap backward, but my boots do not leave the mud willingly. As I fall onto the ground, my rifle skids across the Forest floor. I scramble for the dagger stored at my hip, but my gloves make the hilt as slick as a trout. As the stag brings down the weight of its body with an aggravated snort, I roll to my side so that the hooves bury themselves into muck, not flesh. I manage to free my knife and drag it across the beast’s torso before I make a dash for safety.

The buck, alarmed by the sudden pain, moves his eyes frantically, rolling them around his skull and exposing the whites. Its scream, a noise rivaling that of a horn being blown, attacks me even from a distance.

Another gunshot fires off too close, missing once more. As mud rains down from the misfire, the stag flees, taking blood and the stench of rot with it deep into the lush green.

Crawling out from the bush I dove into, I can hear Jay abandoning his usual stealth to reach me. His right boot slips in the slush as he nears me, causing him to crash down beside me. “Shit, Finn. Are you okay?” His hand creeps near my knee before stopping inches from it. “I thought—”

“What even was that?” I snap, pointing at the crude hole in the ground. Instantly, Jay’s cheeks flare red, his face hardening defensively. “You were aiming for it, right?” Jay is deadly silent. I work my jaw, hoping to alleviate the ringing still echoing in my eardrums.

Jay curls his fingers into fists. “Next time would you rather I let you go? You seemed to be handling it well,” he bites back with sarcasm.

At the lodge, Jay will find any reason not to pick up a gun. Instead, he studies the plants, tinkers with complex traps, and vanishes like a frightened barn cat at the sound of a rifle exploding. I shouldn’t be surprised he’s an awful shot, considering his lack of practice.

“Well, I’m alive,” I tell him, wanting more than anything to be on the move again, and to distance myself from the anger that quickly rose to the top. “But maybe leave the guns to me?”

After a quick smile, Jay squares his shoulders and flexes his hands as the facade of a hunter starts to settle back over him. As the best parts of him get stuffed away. “I’ll find him again,” he promises, and I have no doubt that he will. It’s often teased that Jay has a nose more acute than a hound. He carries a rifle for formalities, but his talents lie within his knowledge of the land. Animal droppings, tracks, and broken twigs are all parts of Jay’s trade. It’s what makes him valuable to a band of killers. “We are losing daylight,” he points out. “And we’re approaching Falling Rock.”

Are we that far out? I think, dazed. With Jay, time isn’t something I usually keep up on. When we were young, I would battle fatigue for one more hour with him.

I scratch at my neckline where sweat starts to bead. “Well, I left you a blood trail, so my portion of help is exhausted.” I let the edges of my lips rise, and Jay accepts it with a nod. This is how comrades treat one another.

Right?

Jay rises, body hunched close to the ground as he follows the red through the bushes.

Once upon a time, back when it became evident a gun only felt natural in one of our grips, Jay tried teaching me the art of tracking, taking great pride in his skill. But at that age, when I was young and full of pride, I pretended it didn’t interest me. Eventually, after I’d declined his guiding hand enough many times, Jay stopped trying to explain his methods to me.

Today, Jay is further removed, his words shorter than usual. The same tension sparking between us with the simplest of blunders, or the slightest of nods, because this is the first time Jay is tracking a feral.

The first time I have been tasked with killing a feral.

This feral is a rarity. The majority of the ferals stay in the Forest, killing what crosses their paths. Yet, this particular beast had entered human territory, killing a farmer and his wife before peeling back into the trees. It makes our mission important. It is more than just killing.

It is justice.

After a rough mile of trekking over minor cliffs and rocky outposts, Jay brings me to a halt with a snap of his wrist. As he shrinks down, I mimic him. Pointing at the snow, he shows me a large divot in the otherwise perfect layer of white. I don’t need to be a tracker to know the buck must have slipped on ice, crashing into the remaining snow and splashing against the fluff like a sponge full of red paint.

I pop two bullets into my rifle, check the safety, and snap the chambers shut. Slinging the gun onto my back, I notice that Jay’s eyes barely leave the blood, lost in the color. Doubt is starting to build upon his shoulders, gnawing at his edges.

“Are you ready?” I ask. He doesn’t know it, but the same uneasiness lines my stomach.

“We’ve come this far,” he tells me. He takes a bold step forward, and I can do nothing but follow. Despite the ground dropping away into a steep slope, it is clear the feral struggled up the side of the mountain.

Jay begins climbing first, taking fistfuls of roots and rocks, to propel himself along. As we move, the blood remains consistent on our right. Before long, Jay crawls over the top of the outpost, disappearing for a moment before reappearing to hoist me up. Once we are on even ground, I want to thank him, crack a joke, or anything, but my words are swallowed up as I look over Jay’s shoulder and across the plateau.

I follow red snow until I find the once four-legged stag wobbling on two legs, erect for a breath before plummeting onto his knees. There is blood all over his body, tainting his skin like a rampant infection. Even from here, I can see his muscles quivering and shaking, his body burning off the gentle flakes that land on his shoulders.

His frail human shoulders.

Every part of him seems at war as he spasms and writhes. Despite the fur drifting off his body in decaying clumps, his antlers still hang from his brow, holding steady in the air with crimson stains along the tines.

I snap my rifle in front of me.

When the stag turns to me, he tries to raise his hands. Hands that should be human but are jagged and blackened. A droplet of blood creeps from his eye and down his cheek and drips onto his bare leg.

It is clear he is suffering, caught between two bodies.

I hear him mumbling, but I can’t make out the individual words. Despite my head screaming, don’t get any closer, you idiot, I find my boots propelling me forward. As I near the fiend, his voice breaks like a young boy in puberty. “Begin again,” he raves. “Begin again, begin again—” he lets out a tangle of screams, his claws tearing into his cheeks. “Pain, pain, rebirth.”

“Finn,” Jay says, grabbing my shoulder with his giant hands, startling me from my daze. “It might not be too late. We might be able to help him.”

“He is sick,” I say. I stare at a point behind the beast, letting my words flood me with false confidence. “He is just an animal.” It is Pa logic. Town logic.

“Wait, Finn,” Jay pleads. None of the other hunters would hesitate to kill the feral, I want to tell him. Not after the feral’s hands were stained with blood. Blood from Norsewood.

“He’s changing—”

“It’s too late for that,” I tell him sternly. “He has already done enough damage.”

Jay looks away, squinting into the distance. “Something doesn’t feel right.”

Killing never feels right, I want to tell him. But in the seconds I take my eyes off him, the feral lunges at me, fangs angled at my throat.

Purchase

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

Meet the Author

Jeremy Martin, born and raised in Lancaster County Pennsylvania, considers himself to be a part-time writer and a full-time mess. If he isn’t nose-deep in a book, he’s obsessively playing video games, re-watching The Office for the umpteenth time, or lost in nature. Foreign to You is his debut novel.

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A Barb the Zany Old Lady: Out in the End Zone (Out in College #2) by Lane Hayes

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Out in the End Zone takes place concurrently with the first book in the series, Out in the Deep End and explains where Evan’s been going while Gage has been hanging out with Derek at their house.

Evan is Derek’s roommate, a happy-go-lucky football player with a good family background. He’s fulfilling his dreams of playing football at a small SoCal college because a deadly accident four years ago took his friend and his dreams of playing pro ball. Now, for some reason, he’s attracted to a guy at a party and not attracted to most of the girls there, including Nicole who is avidly pursuing him, and Amanda, Derek’s ex. The guy is Mitch Peterson, an out-and-proud cheer crew leader who lives with his gram and has a strong Internet following for his vlog. Evan surprises himself by agreeing to help Mitch on his senior project, which will measure the influence of social media on relationships.

They will be fake boyfriends, but the question viewers need to vote on after each video session is whether or not they are real or fake. Seems simple but doesn’t include the fact that Evan is really bi and falls head over heels for Mitch. All the ensuing chaos and happy romantic times are what makes the story interesting. It’s not all as readers may anticipate, and it is a fun book to read. I particularly enjoyed Mitch’s character and even now, a few days after finishing the story, I can clearly picture him and his wide, sunny smile. Evan was great as well, but as is typical in these stories, he dragged his feet a bit too long in coming out to his family and team and that’s hurt Mitch so I’m sure other Team-Mitch readers like me will feel as I felt and want to kick Evan in the pants—a few times!

Lane Hayes does really good character sketches for young adult/new adult stories. This was an amusing premise—a different play on the fake boyfriend trope. It’s nice that it wove in and out with the first book in the series as well. Not everything in life falls in line smoothly and this proves that point well. All in all, this is a sweet and enjoyable new adult story and I recommend it to those who like the fake boyfriend theme.

The cover by Reese Dante features a torso shot of Evan that is quite attractive.

Sales Links: Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages
Published October 7th 2018 by Lane Hayes
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesOut in College #2

A Caryn Review: A Tiny Piece of Something Greater by Jude Sierra

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Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

I actually had a hard time rating this book, because there were pieces I loved, and pieces I hated.  Mental illness and mental health – I think its very important to mention that, since the MC is actually in successful therapy and making progress at controlling what has to be understood as a chronic illness – are the predominant themes of the book, much more so than romance.  Personally I like reading about that, but it might turn some readers off.

Reid is a 20 year old young man who had been struggling with mental illness for years before he was finally diagnosed and started receiving proper treatment.  He was a cutter – a behavior that left him increasingly isolated.  The years he went untreated, and his eventual breakdown that led to inpatient treatment, created an increasingly difficult environment at home, where he was constantly reminded of his failures, and could not find a way to break out of that mold while living at home with his parents in Wisconsin, near his on again, off again dysfunctional boyfriend.  His grandmother owned a condo in the Florida keys, and offered it to Reid so he would have a place to stay away from all the unhealthy influences at home, and have a chance to continue his recovery.

In Key Largo, Reid met Joachim who was teaching dive classes.  Both men were instantly attracted to each other, but dating, much less forming a relationship, was incredibly difficult due to Reid’s illness.  The fact that Joachim was a wanderer at heart and only in Florida temporarily compounded those difficulties.  When they did commit to each other and admit they were each in love – way to soon as far as I was concerned – they continued to work through issues.  The ending however, was pretty abrupt and unsatisfactory.

The author mentions at the beginning that this is an #ownvoices book, and I will be honest that I wasn’t quite sure what that was in relation to – was it ethnicity or mental illness?  Although there are two MCs, Reid – white, American – is clearly the predominant character in the book.  Joaquim is Brazilian, but to a large extent I felt that his character existed primarily to offset and highlight the struggles Reid went through, and that his character was not very well developed.  The descriptions of Reid’s mental illness – cyclothymia – how it affected his behavior, his perceptions, and his interactions with others was detailed, but sensitive, and definitely one of the aspects I loved.  Those descriptions were so well done, in fact, that it felt like the author must have lived through them – if not personally, then perhaps witnessing cyclothymia in a family member or friend.  I don’t know if it was because there was so much focus on Reid’s condition, but I found that I couldn’t connect well with either of the MC’s, and the romance did not feel convincing to me.  The fact that the book was written in present tense, however, is what really turned me off.  I find present tense obnoxious, a little pretentious, hard to read, and it brought my rating down, but if other readers don’t mind alternating POV in present tense, this would probably be a more highly rated read.

Cover art by CB Messer is just lovely, and I thought the small size of the divers in a wide expanse of ocean really played up the title.

Sales Links:

Interlude Press: store.interludepress.com

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2FbYh4V

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/791892

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/a-tiny-piece-of-something-greater/id1348808986?mt=11

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/a-tiny-piece-of-something-greater

Indiebound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781945053603

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1 edition, 264 pages
Published May 17th 2018 by Interlude Press
Original TitleA Tiny Piece of Something Greater
ASINB079YZ6XKW
Edition LanguageEnglish

David Pratt on Wallaçonia, his latest novel and the Inspiration Behind it(Author Guest Blog)

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Wallaçonia by David Pratt

Title: WALLAÇONIA  (woll-uh-SO-nee-uh)

Publisher: Beautiful Dreamer Press, 309 Cross Street, Nevada City, CA  95959
Distributor: Ingram
Release Date: April, 2017

Available for Purchase at

Beautiful Dreamer Press

✒︎

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have David Pratt back again to talk about his latest novel, Wallaçonia, and the inspiration behind it.  Welcome, David.

✒︎

“Who Is Michael?” by David Pratt

I dedicated Wallaçonia “to Michael, with my greatest appreciation.” I’d like to tell you about Michael.

One of the curious features of Wallaçonia is that it’s eighteen-year-old hero feels bullied and excluded, he actually turns out to have done some bullying of his own. Early in the book, he confesses to picking on a smaller, weaker, odder kid when they were both in middle school. He wishes he could see that kid again and make it right. For a long time I had that wish myself. I don’t remember when I decided to include this part of my young life in Wallaçonia. I just felt I had to. I had to confess, as it were. When I was a confused, put-upon middle schooler, I picked on Michael. In the book I call him Nate.

I have tried to find Michael online. Unfortunately his name is quite common. He wanted to be a rabbi, but even when I add “rabbi,” there are still lots of men with his name. One in particular is kind of a local hero in Oregon. Like Jim in Wallaçonia, I was irritated by chubby, effeminate, chatty Michael’s attempts to engage me over and over, to associate me with his weakness. I was also probably irritated that I responded. The cool kids, the masculine boys simply ignored him. As though he didn’t exist. I was drawn to him. And repulsed by him. The association with him was a sign of my fate, and I hated that and found opportunities to insult him or push him away.

I was never, ever violent with Michael, but, egged on by me, a classmate once took aggression against Michael too far. I stood there shocked as this boy gripped Michael around the neck and pushed his head back against a wall. I watched Michael’s face go red, his face in shock. This had not been my intention. I had tried to feel big and masculine by picking on Michael, but an even bigger, more real, more dangerous masculinity now asserted itself. Something we both feared. Something I had never meant to happen.

Of course, years more of being the weak one and the outsider, and I finally came to appreciate what Michael endured at my hands and the hands of us all. Michael could not disguise his effeminacy or his nerdiness. At the same time, he could not escape the clutches of an overbearing mother (in our one encounter she threatened to call the cops on me) and a father, himself a rabbi, who clearly had single-minded expectations. I wonder how the expectations and the effeminacy eventually sorted out. Did he become a rabbi, while everyone turned a blind eye? Or did he rebel? Move away? Keep secrets?

In Wallaçonia we eventually find out how “Nate” grows up. The necessities of fiction made me give Nate a future Michael very likely could not have. So while I appreciate what Michael went through, I really did not give him his due. (I am not saying just what I gave grown-up Nate that Michael could not have, because it would involve spoilers aplenty!) I still would like to apologize to Michael, if he could hear what I have to say. If there would not be a communication gap because I would be talking “gay,” and he would by now be far beyond closeted, going through the motions for a lifetime, to the point that he would actually be the motions. That would be a new level of Michael to appreciate. A communication we can never have. A person he can never be, never conceive. A book that I might like to write, but that perhaps can never be written.

“Sharp, focused, super-intense, and special. It’s rare to find a novel with such a beautifully rendered friendship between a young gay man and an older mentor. I’ll remember the relationship between Jim and Pat for a long, long time.”

—Bill Konigsberg, author of Openly Straight and The Porcupine of Truth

 

About Wallaçonia

“My name is James Howard Wallace, and I always wanted to be normal.” Every young man should have a mentor. Jim Wallace is about to prove for good and all how “normal” he is when he finds himself getting close to Pat Baxter, his neighbor next door. Pat befriends Jim, reveals to him his own heartbreaking story, and in the end helps him know who he really is and where he wants to go with his life. Along the way, Jim must decide what to tell his parents and his girlfriend, Liz, and he must confront an old acquaintance who unexpectedly comes back into his life.

Price: $13.95 – see sales links above
Trim Size: 5.5” x 8.5”, 270 pages
ISBN: 978-0-9981262-0-3
Audience: LGBT, Young Adult, Family Life

Trailer on Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/211172226

About the Author

DAVID PRATT

is the author of three published novels: Bob the Book (Chelsea Station Editions), which won a 2011 Lambda Literary Award; Looking After Joey, soon to be re-released by Lethe Press; and Wallaçonia, a young adult novel released March 25, 2017 by Beautiful Dreamer Press. Several of his short stories are collected in the volume My Movie (Chelsea Station); three of these stories are being adapted as a film by San Francisco-based director Joseph Graham.

David Pratt won a 2011 Lambda Literary Award for his novel Bob the Book. He published a collection of stories, My Movie, in 2012, and another novel, Looking After Joey, in 2014. Praise for David Pratt’s Work:

For Bob the Book: “Sure to make you laugh…highly recommended.”—After Elton; “A rare and extraordinary accomplishment.”—Lambda Literary

For My Movie: “Character-driven narratives that cannily encapsulate small personal revelations and lead to gratifying endings.”—Lambda Literary; “An important voice in LGBT literature.”—Examiner.com

For Looking After Joey: “The laughs never stop coming; neither do the deep truths this tender book reveals on every page.”—Joel Derfner, author of Swish

Marketing:

National print and media campaign.
National tour: NYC, Boston, Philadelphia, Ann Arbor, Milwaukee, New Orleans, SF Bay Area
Free advance reading copies.
Blog tour.
Advertising in IBPA, Lambda Literary.
Social media: Facebook, dedicated web page at BeautifulDreamerPress.com.
For more information or to book a reading, contact Michele Karlsberg Marketing and Management at michelekarlsberg@me.com.

In the YA Spotlight: A Boy Worth Knowing by Jennifer Cosgrove (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title:  A Boy Worth Knowing

Author: Jennifer Cosgrove

Publisher:  NineStar Press – SunFire Imprint

Release Date: March 20

Heat Level: 1 – No Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 62200

Genre: Romance, Young Adult, NineStar Press, LGBT, gay, bisexual, romance, young adult, contemporary, paranormal, coming of age, ghosts, family drama, high school, bullying

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Synopsis

Ghosts can’t seem to keep their opinions to themselves.

Seventeen-year-old Nate Shaw should know; he’s been talking to them since he was twelve. But they aren’t the only ones making his high school years a living hell. All Nate wants is to keep his secret and keep his head down until he can graduate. That is, until the new boy, James Powell, takes a seat next to him in homeroom. James not only notices him, he manages to work his way into Nate’s life. But James has issues of his own.

Between dead grandmothers and living aunts, Nate has to navigate the fact that he’s falling in love with his only friend, all while getting advice from the most unusual places.

Ghosts, bullies, first love: it’s a lot to deal with when you’re just trying to survive senior year.

Excerpt

A Boy Worth Knowing
Jennifer Cosgrove © 2017
All Rights Reserved

I loved autumn mornings.

The October air was just cold enough to set my lungs on fire, my breath visible in clouds of condensation, forcing all of the crap clogging up my head into the recycle bin. Bonus, I could pretend I was a dragon. Nothing could touch me; my morning run made everything go away, lost in miles at a time. Down an isolated country road.

Everything changed when I was twelve, and not for the better. That was when I started running. Five years of road I’d put behind me. My mom worried about me the first time I took off alone. Well, when she used to worry about me. I wished she was more worried about the reason I was running instead of the fact I was doing it down an empty road.

I turned the corner about a mile after leaving home, and that was when I saw him. Samuel was always lurking among the sunken headstones. Most people had no clue there used to be a cemetery out there. Looking closely, some of the stones that made up the foundation of the chapel could still be seen. No one else ever paid that much attention to it. Samuel glared at me as I got closer. He was a surly one.

My life was like the horror movies I loved. I talked to the dead. Well, technically dead. They were really spirits, or whatever. Whatever was left behind when people died. And they talked to me, for some reason. There was nothing like sitting in math class and having a ghost whisper in my ear while trying to take notes.

It happened all the damn time. I didn’t know how to handle it at first. And no one wanted to hang out with the crazy kid in the back of the room, muttering away to himself. I got used to it. Really. And the lack of a social life helped me get all of my homework done on time; all of the teachers loved me. That was good. Talking to ghosts wasn’t all bad.

I waved at Samuel as I ran by the cemetery. He shook a fist at me in return. Samuel wasn’t evil or anything, just grumpy. Couldn’t blame him, though. I looked him up one time and found out he’d died in the late eighteen hundreds. The cause of death on record was a heart attack. But Samuel told me his brother-in-law had poisoned him because he wouldn’t sell him his prize mule. I had no clue what was so special about that mule, but his brother-in-law evidently thought it was worth killing him over. I’d have been pretty surly myself.

Past the forgotten cemetery, a few miles to the McGregor farm, and then I’d swing around for home. Yes, I said McGregor farm. Small-town life— I couldn’t have made this stuff up if I’d tried.

There was another house just past the farm where I had to watch out for their beast of a dog. Dogs weren’t huge fans of mine. My Nana had a theory they could sense a bit of whatever it was that let us chat with those who’d “passed on.” I had no idea how that was even possible, but cats loved me, so yay.

Speaking of which, Aunt Susan’s overly fluffy cat waited by our mailbox. Arthur did that every time I went out for a run. He would sit there and then fall in behind to follow up the driveway until we got to the house. Then, it was a shady spot on the porch in the summer or, if it was cold like that day, into the house in front of the fireplace. I loved predictability.

The house used to be my grandmother’s. It was a standard farmhouse, old and creaky just like dozens more all around us, and it could have stood a little paint. But we called it home, and we liked it. It became Aunt Susan’s home. It had been left to her after Nana died, since my mom already owned one. It was a little out of the way and a long drive to the hospital where my aunt worked. But it was paid for, and that meant a lot.

I had to be quiet going in because Aunt Susan was not a morning person, and the floor squeaked just inside the back door. I was very much a morning person, and I followed the same routine each school or work day. Flipping on the coffee maker, I headed to my room to get ready for school. I got the shower running, since it took a while to heat up in an old farmhouse, and took a sniff to make sure a shower was actually necessary. Oh, yeah. I was gross.

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Meet the Author

Jennifer has always been a voracious reader and a well-established geek from an early age. She loves comics, movies, and anything that tells a compelling story.

When not writing, she likes knitting, dissecting/arguing about movies with her husband, and enjoying the general chaos that comes with having kids.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads | eMail

Tour Schedule

3/20 – My Fiction Nook

3/20 – Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

3/20 – Just Love

3/21 – Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

3/21 – Diverse Reader

3/21 – Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents

3/22 – V’s Reads

3/22 – Molly Lolly

3/22 – MM Good Book Reviews

3/23 – Liz’s Reading Life

3/23 – Stories That Make You Smile

3/23 – Dog-Eared Daydreams

3/24 – Bayou Book Junkie

3/24 – Boy Meets Boy Reviews

3/24 – Love Bytes Reviews

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Looking for a New M/M SciFy Novel to Read? Check out F.T. Lukens’ ‘The Star Host’ (author guest blog, excerpt and giveaway)

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The Star Host (Broken Moon #1) by F.T. Lukens
Release Date: March 3, 2016

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Duet Books, the Young Adult imprint of Interlude Press
Cover Artist: C.B. Messer

Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing F.T. Lukens author of The Star Host. Hi F.T., thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.

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Hi, everyone. This is F.T. and I’m very excited to share with you my first novel The Star Host. It is a science-fiction adventure which features a diverse cast and takes place across planet, drifts, and spaceships. It is my version of magic in space.

Give us a to-do list for one of your characters.

This is a great question and I decided to do it with both of my main characters, Ren and Asher, while they are stuck as prisoner’s at the antagonist’s citadel.

Ren’s to-d0 list while he is a prisoner at the citadel:

  • Wake up in the morning in an iron cell and on a moldy mattress
  • Eat stale bread and drink lukewarm water
  • Think about escaping
  • Try not to think about dungeon-mate, Asher. He is annoying, arrogant, and pretty. He’s also a drifter.
  • Work in the courtyard. Don’t draw attention to self. Keep head down. And keep technopathic ability secret and under control. (This is much harder than it seems.)
  • Make friends with the guards
  • Try not to go insane (Also much harder than previously thought.)
  • Plan an escape with other captives
  • Dream about the stars

Asher’s to-do list while he is a prisoner at the citadel:

  • Wake up
  • Stay in cell all day
  • Annoy Ren
  • Push-ups
  • Eat stew
  • Wait for Ren to return
  • Poke at guards
  • Annoy Ren again
  • Make Ren tell stories
  • Repeat

As you can see, the start of their friendship is based on mutual dislike which becomes mutual teasing and then later becomes mutual affection. Ren and Asher start to depend on each other to survive. Asher takes comfort in Ren’s stories and Ren relies on Asher as his anchor when his newly discovered power threatens to overwhelm him. They learn that it’s only by working as a team that they will be able to escape and save their families.

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Blurb

Ren grew up listening to his mother tell stories about the Star Hosts – a mythical group of people possessed by the power of the stars. The stories were the most exciting part of Ren’s life, and he often dreamed about leaving his backwater planet and finding his place among the neighboring drifts. When Ren is captured by soldiers and taken from his home, he must remain inconspicuous while plotting his escape. It’s a challenge since the general of the Baron’s army is convinced Ren is something out of one of his mother’s stories.

He finds companionship in the occupant of the cell next to his, a drifter named Asher. A member of the Phoenix Corps, Asher is mysterious, charming, and exactly the person Ren needs to anchor him as his sudden technopathic ability threatens to consume him. Ren doesn’t mean to become attached, but after a daring escape, a trek across the planet, and an eventful ride on a merchant ship, Asher is the only thing that reminds Ren of home. Together, they must warn the drifts of the Baron’s plans, master Ren’s growing power, and try to save their friends while navigating the growing attraction between them.

 

Pages or Words: 258 pages
Categories: Fiction, Gay fiction, M/M Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult

Excerpt

Once at the hangar, Ren broke away from the two guards and entered the lancer, walking up the stairs, irritation a heavy feeling in his chest.

“Reporting for work,” Ren said, his tone heavily laced with annoyance.

Janus popped up from a console she had been working under, goggles on her face, gray hair sticking up everywhere. “You!” she snapped. “I told you not to come back.”

Ren rolled his eyes. “It’s not my choice. I don’t want to be here anymore than you want me here.”

“Where are your guards? I told the dumb one not to bring you back, Abiathar’s orders be damned. I don’t want your kind working on these ships.”

She poked a finger hard into Ren’s chest and he staggered back, and rubbed his hand over the spot.

“What the stars do you mean by my kind?”

Her eyes grew comically large behind the goggles. “You don’t know?” She laughed, bordering on hysterical. “You’re more dangerous than I thought. You can’t try to control it if you don’t even know what you are.”

Ren frowned. His tolerance for the cryptic nonsense everyone had spouted since he arrived was gone. He took a step toward the hull and Janus stiffened.

“Don’t,” she barked.

“Don’t what? Touch it? What will happen, huh?”

Her face paled and her chest heaved with panicked breaths. “You don’t know what you’re capable of.”

Ren laughed. “I’m capable of nothing. I’m a duster, planet-born with very limited experience with tech. You have no reason to be frightened of me.”

He moved closer to the hull, hand outstretched, fingers splayed.

She whimpered. “Please, don’t.”

Ren slammed his hand against the hull, his fingertips leaving greasy marks on the shiny surface. As he predicted, nothing happened.

He turned back to Janus. “See? Nothing–”

His word tangled in his throat, cut off, because suddenly, Ren was consumed with power, rushing from his toes to his fingertips. A blue tint clouded his vision, and his body suffused with golden warmth. And then he was floating amongst the wires, connected to the ship, to the energy source, to everything. The lancer pulsed under his skin, tangling in his veins, its systems integrated with his senses.

It was freeing and frightening.

His consciousness raced along the circuits and he could fix it. He could fix everything. He found the tangle of wires in the artificial gravity system and bypassed it. He found the broken circuits in the air recyclers and with a pulse of power, refurbished them. He saw the static in the com system, a physical entity, and he cleared it away with a brush of his metaphysical hand.

The longer Ren floated through the ship, the less connected he was to his physical body. And if he thought about it, he didn’t need his body. Why would he need his body? He was free here. He moved around with ease, the wires and the systems his route, and the more he pushed, the more he felt the other ships too. They were nearby, on the edge of his perception, and he could go to those, he could jump to the other ones and repair them too.

He could.

He could.

 

Buy the book:

Interlude Press Web Store: store.interludepress.com

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | Apple iBookstore: The Star Host

All Romance eBooks

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Meet and follow the Author

F.T. wrote her first short story when she was in third grade and her love of writing continued from there. After placing in the top five out of ten thousand entries in a writing contest, she knew it was time to dive in and try her hand at writing a novel.

A wife and mother of three, F.T. holds degrees in psychology and English literature, and is a long-time member of her college’s science-fiction club. F.T. has a love of cheesy television shows, superhero movies, and science-fiction novels—especially anything by Douglas Adams.

Connect with F.T. at authorftlukens.wordpress.com on Twitter @ftlukens, on Tumblr at ftlukens.tumblr.com and on Goodreads at goodreads.com/ftlukens.

 


Tour Dates & Stops:

3-Mar: Hearts on Fire, Happily Ever Chapter, Kirsty Loves Books, Velvet Panic

4-Mar: Full Moon Dreaming, Havan Fellows, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

7-Mar: Jessie G. Books, Divine Magazine, Boys on the Brink Reviews

8-Mar: V’s Reads, Butterfly-O-Meter, Love Bytes

9-Mar: Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Nephy Hart, KathyMac Reviews

10-Mar: Bonkers About Books, Inked Rainbow Reads, Prism Book Alliance, Attention is Arbitrary

11-Mar: A.M. Leibowitz, The Novel Approach

14-Mar: Man2ManTastic, Anna Butler Fiction

15-Mar: Molly Lolly, Bayou Book Junkie

16-Mar: BFD Book Blog, My Fiction Nook

Final

Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: $25 Interlude Press Web Store gift card (grand prize) + 5 winners of The Star Host eBook.  Must be 18 years of age or older.  Link and prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.
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Jump Back Into The Fantasy World of Jay Jordan Hawk’s Onwaachige the Dreamer (The Two-spirit Chronicles #3) (excerpt and giveaway)

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Onwaachige the Dreamer (The Two-spirit Chronicles #3) by Jay Jordan Hawke
Release Date: December 17, 2015

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Cover Artist: Anne Cain

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Blurb

What would you do for the boy you loved? What if to save him you had to abandon him forever?

Fourteen-year-old Joshua Ishkoday faces an impossible decision as a terrifying dream sets him upon a thrilling and treacherous journey of self-exploration through the dangerous vastness of the Wisconsin northwoods. There, along with his best friends, Mokwa and Little Deer, Joshua summons the power to confront his greatest fears. To do so, all he has to do is trust in his dreams. Unfortunately, Joshua discovers that his dreams have been deceiving him thanks to the intrusion of strange creatures. For out in the middle of the forest dwell the enigmatic Memegwesi, bizarre manitous who have a special plan for Joshua. Joshua soon realizes that he has three monsters to battle: the extraordinary creatures haunting his dreams, the dangerous torrential storm brewing in the northwoods, and finally, the greatest demon of all—his homophobic mother.

 

Pages or Words: 200 pages/57,547 words
Series is best read in order.
Categories: Fantasy, Fiction, Gay Fiction, Paranormal, Young Adult

Excerpt

A Scout is Brave – Excerpt #9 (197 Words)

            Cody realized he had made a big mistake. But somehow it just seemed easier to talk about homosexuality now that he had already spent a few hours discussing it with Joshua. Taboo subjects rarely seemed forbidden once shared. And frankly Cody didn’t think he had said anything that was out of line, but the sight of his father coming toward him with a fierce and determined expression, dramatically illustrated otherwise.

            Pastor Bob grabbed and pinched his son’s ear as he caught up with him.

            “Come with me,” he grunted, pulling his son forward.

            “Ouch,” Cody whimpered as his dad pulled him down the trail. “Dad, that hurts!” he cried out.

            “Don’t you ever embarrass me like that again in front of anyone!” Pastor Bob shouted. He didn’t let go of his son’s ear as he continued his tirade. “What’s the matter with you anyway? Do you want people to think you are some sort of queer!” Pastor Bob got a sick look on his face as he said that hated word. “Now get back to camp!” he yelled, letting go of Cody’s ear.

            Cody ran down the trail to the campsite. He cried all the way back.

Pukawiss the Outcast – Excerpt #9

 

“Okay, so I wasn’t supposed to tell you any of this,” Mokwa said. “That’s why I’ve been reluctant to talk about it.”

“What do you mean?” Joshua asked.

“Gentle Eagle asked me not to say anything. And when he asks you not to do something, you listen. He’s an elder, and he’s my friend.”

“Okay, so why doesn’t he want me to know? What are the Midewin exactly?”

“They are sort of a secret society of—” Mokwa paused for a second. “—of medicine men,” he finally said. “Their job is to preserve the old ways. They are powerful shamans.”

“Why is that a secret?” Joshua asked.

“Well, when the Christians tried to stomp out Ojibwe religion, they saw the Midewin as a threat. Many were persecuted. That sort of forced them underground, so to speak.” 

“What does any of this have to do with me?” Joshua asked. “Why did Pastor Martin want to know if I heard about them?”

“He is just paranoid,” Little Deer said. “If we are telling you about the Midewin, it means to him that we are ‘converting’ you.”

“Yeah,” said Jenny. “To Pastor Martin that’s like the dark side.”

 “But I still don’t know what my father, or my grandfather, has to do with all of this,” Joshua said, confused. “It doesn’t make sense.”

“I told you that I’d tell you about the Midewin,” Mokwa said to Joshua. “But you’ll have to get the rest from your grandfather.”

Onwaachige the Dreamer – Excerpt 9

“Pukawiss, maybe when we get to Manitou River you can take a nap or something. You probably just need to dream for the manitous to talk to you.”

“Yeah, I guess,” Joshua said, finding the suggestion agreeable. “I’ll try.” But he was increasingly convinced that this whole thing had been a bad idea. He had dragged his best friends into the Northwoods based solely on a dream. Granted, his dreams had been miraculously accurate so far, but this dream was different. He was putting his life on the line for it. Even worse, he was putting the lives of his friends on the line. It was an awesome responsibility to bear.

But next to the self-doubts and the anxiety was a powerful and exhilarating sense of liberation. Certainly being away from civilization, out in the dark forest, could be quite terrifying. They were, after all, relying solely on their own resourcefulness and what little supplies they had brought with them. But Joshua felt increasingly confident that he had learned enough to survive out here, for a few days at least. And he had his friends with him to help. Their faith in Joshua helped him to find his own confidence. Maybe his dreams really were messages from the manitous….There was something very comforting about knowing that above and beyond the trials and tribulations of life, there was in fact a larger meaning and purpose to it all. So what if he didn’t know the entire plan? That simple cry for help he heard in his dreams hinted at a much larger world than people normally perceived, one that reached out to Joshua and noticed him. It was frightening and comforting at the same time. And with those contradictory thoughts, Joshua believed everything was going to be all right. The manitous were with him, watching over him, determined to keep him and his friends safe. That, he finally understood.

A sudden burst of light filled the sky, releasing a violent rumble that shook the ground below them. It had quickly grown ominously dark, and any moment now, they would all be soaked.

“Thanks so very much, manitous! Appreciate it! Really, I do.”

 

Buy the book: Harmony Ink

 

Meet the Author:

Jay Jordan Hawke holds a bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. in history, as well as a second master’s in Outdoor Education. He loves everything sci-fi, especially Star Trek! He teaches high school history and anxiously awaits the day when he can write full time. His hobbies include camping, movies, reading, running, and writing. His first book, Pukawiss the Outcast, was a Lambda Literary Award finalist for Best Young Adult Gay Fiction. He resides in one of the Great Lakes states.

Where to find the author:

 

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Tour Dates & Stops:

17-Dec

18-Dec

21-Dec

22-Dec

23-Dec

24-Dec

25-Dec

28-Dec

29-Dec

29-Dec

30-Dec

Final

 

Giveaway

Enter to win a Two e-books to two different winners from any of the three books in the series (Pukawiss the Outcast, A Scout is Brave, or Onwaachige the Dreamer).  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Link and prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.
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An Aurora YA Review: Reasons to Love a Nerd Like Me by Becky Jerams

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Reasons to love A Nerd LIke Me 2Scotty Williams is the nerdiest 17-year-old at Havensdale College – and proud of it. However being a nerd can have its downsides, particularly when you’re constantly being targeted by the school bully Taylor Raven and his cronies. As Scotty tries to navigate his final college years with the aid of his best friend Olive, he also finds himself on the radar of the mysterious and intimidating Vincent Hunter, toughest guy in the Sixth Form. Is Vincent really as bad as he seems? Will Scotty’s darkest secret ever be revealed? Can he ever just finish his last few college years in peace? But most importantly… will any guy ever find the reasons to love a nerd like him?

The Wattpad hit “Reasons To Love A Nerd Like Me” by Becky Jerams comes to Kindle for the first time in a new and improved edition. With over 2.4 million reads and counting, the first draft has resonated with readers across the world and been compared to authors such as John Green and David Levithan. Recommended for fans of teen drama and unconventional romance.

The biggest stand out in this book was the characters. At first glance, you might go into expecting some pretty typical teenage characters that you see a lot in YA media. I certainly went into it with that expectation, and I was more than pleasantly surprised. Both Scotty, Vincent, and all the side characters, were very complex, and they all had their positives and negatives. There were certainly things that either Scotty or Vincent did that made me shake my head at one or both of them, but it was never enough to push them away from being likable characters. What it achieved for me, instead, was to give them more depth as characters and represent the fact that while neither of them were necessarily perfect, they were both trying, and they were both endearing and cute characters to me.
As far as the plot, it was one that I had seen before, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t well done. The characters were what made the book seem more original, to me, but the plot wasn’t necessarily boring, it seemed more familiar to me than overdone. I definitely didn’t get bored reading, and overall I thoroughly enjoyed the book. There were a few spots when it seemed a little like perhaps the book was being stretched out, but when the pace slowed for maybe a few pages, it would get back on track pretty quickly so that didn’t bother me too much.
One thing I really enjoyed was the author’s style in writing. They definitely seemed to have a distinctive voice that left a good mental rhythm in my head as I read it. Based on this book I’d say they have a really developed voice, and that’s one of the best things about reading a book to me. I always look for different styles in the books I read, and ones that will be interesting to me. In this case, I was definitely interested by it. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys YA and especially fans of contemporary books that focus more on characters and relationships.
Cover art review. The cover is very simplistic, which I don’t necessarily mind. I would have maybe liked a little bit more than there was, and I don’t know that it would necessarily draw me to the book. However, it’s clean, and succinct, so I think it does the job.
Sales Links:  Amazon | Buy It Here
 
Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 508 pages
Published October 12th 2015
ASINB015VL47M4
Edition LanguageEnglish

Afternoon Book Highlight: Seven Tears at High Tide by C.B. Lee (author interview, excerpt and contest)

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Seven Tears at High Tide by C.B. Lee
Release Date: October 15, 2015

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Interlude Press
Cover Artist: C.B. Lee
Cover Design by C.B. Messer

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Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing C.B. Lee, author of Seven Tears at High Tide.

Hi C.B., thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.

Hi! I’m C.B, thank you for interviewing me on your blog today. I’m from California, and grew up in a small neighborhood that was made up of almost all immigrant families. As a first generation Asian American and as a bisexual writer, I am so excited to be able to write more about characters whose backgrounds are like my own. My current novel is Seven Tears at High Tide, a contemporary romance meets fantasy, where a teenager meets a selkie has to navigate the consequences of wishing for love.

  • What are your ambitions for your writing career?

I would just love to see my stories being read by the people who want to read them. It’s a dream of mine, for people to be able to pick up a story about a character that they might see themselves in.

  • How many published books do you have? Can you tell us something about them?

Seven Tears at High Tide is my first novel! It’s my take on selkie lore, particularly on subverting the trope that follows a lot of the mythology, where a selkie comes ashore and their pelt, and subsequently their freedom, is taken away from them when a human steals it or discovers it. I wanted to write a story where the selkie– and the human both are presented with difficult choices in their relationship, and how they deal with these questions of agency.

  • Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?

Kevin and Morgan are the two main characters, and they’re both quite special to me! I hope readers think so too. Kevin can be quite stubborn at times, and act before he thinks, but he’s got a good heart, knows who he is and what he wants, and that helps him steer through a lot of difficult choices in the novel. Morgan has a few special supernatural abilities, like an enhanced sense of smell and the ability to read people’s intentions and their heart’s desires, but I think what makes him special is his positivity and his determination, and especially how he cares deeply about others.

  • What are you working on at the moment? What’s it about?

I’m currently working on another young adult novel, about a high school girl who comes from a family of superheroes– except she’s nonpowered, and really just wants to prove herself. She ends up getting a job, along with her crush, working for a mysterious corporation which turns out to be run by the town’s supervillain, and these two girls uncover this huge plot that’s more than just heroes versus villains. And they also fall in love.

  • Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?

I try to write at least a thousand words a day, if I have a deadline for a particular project. Sometimes I’ll write more, and often times I’ll write less, but I do try to write every day, even if it’s only a sentence!

RC

Blurb

Kevin Luong walks to the ocean’s edge with a broken heart. Remembering a legend his mother told him, he lets seven tears fall into the sea. “I just want one summer—one summer to be happy and in love.” Instead, he finds himself saving a mysterious boy from the Pacific—a boy who later shows up on his doorstep professing his love. What he doesn’t know is that Morgan is a selkie, drawn to answer Kevin’s wish. As they grow close, Morgan is caught between the dangers of the human world and his legacy in the selkie community to which he must return at summer’s end.

 

Pages or Words: 234 pages
Categories: Contemporary, Fantasy, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance, Young Adult

 

Excerpt

They wander into the house, wipe their wet feet on the welcome mat, climb up the stairs and giggle as they pass Ann’s bedroom. She’s dancing with her headphones on, oblivious to the open door, swaying to the beat.

In Kevin’s bedroom, he quickly scrounges up some clean shirts and shorts. “Here, you can wear this,” he says, handing an outfit to Morgan and then ducking into his bathroom to change. He peels off the wetsuit and hangs it up in his shower, then leans his surfboard carefully against the wall, eyeing the crack. He’ll have to fix it tomorrow.

When he returns, Morgan is holding onto the wet board shorts, wearing the outfit Kevin gave him. He looks curiously at the rock collection prominently displayed on Kevin’s bookshelf. “These are beautiful,” he says.

“Here, I’ll take that,” Kevin says, holding out his hand for the bedraggled board shorts to hang in his shower. He’s certain now that they’re the ones from the lifeguard’s lost and found. Kevin’s starting to worry that Morgan doesn’t have any other clothes, but he doesn’t know how to bring it up. Money can be a touchy subject.

Morgan holds Kevin’s favorite specimen, a piece of green olivine on basalt. Kevin once almost convinced Ann it was an avocado roll—it certainly looks like one, bright green speckled with sesame seeds, wrapped in dark seaweed.

“That’s from Mexico. My family went on vacation to Baja last year, and I got that out of an old volcano.” He tries his best to describe the sweltering heat and the excitement of finding geodes and cracking them open with a hammer. Morgan listens in rapt silence as Kevin talks about the find and tilts the olivine so it catches the light. He sets it back in its spot behind its label, slowly so as not to disturb the other specimens, and Kevin is quietly pleased with Morgan’s careful appreciation.

“I changed my mind,” Kevin blurts out.

“About what?”

“I do want this to be a date. For us, to do that,” he says, blushing. “I like you. A lot.”

Morgan’s face breaks into a bright, happy smile.

“And what do we do differently, for this to be a date?”

Kevin can feel the heat on his cheeks. “We can hold hands, if you like. Um, or kiss, if you want to. But we don’t have to do anything you don’t want to. I’m fine just hanging out and watching a movie with you.”

Morgan tilts his head and steps closer. “I want to,” he says, not specifying what, but Kevin knows immediately.

It’s just the quickest brush of lips, but Kevin feels it all the way to his toes. A warm curl of excitement blooms throughout his body, and Morgan’s mouth is warm and wet against his. It’s not like any kiss he’s had, chaste and sweet and over in a second, and yet his heart is still pounding after Morgan leans back. He’s close enough for Kevin to be able to count the eyelashes dark against his cheek.

Morgan ducks his head and asks, “Was that okay?”

Kevin’s a little dazed, but he finds his voice. “Yeah. Yeah, that was great.”

 

Buy the book:

Interlude Press | Amazon |Book Depository | Indiebound 

Meet and connect with C. B. Lee:

C. B. Lee is a bisexual writer, rock climber and pinniped enthusiast based in California. Lee enjoys reading, hiking and other outdoor pursuits. Seven Tears At High Tide is a first novel.

Connect with C.B. at cb-lee.com, on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/authorcblee,

on Twitter @author_cblee, and on Goodreads at Goodreads.com/cb-lee.

 

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Tour Dates & Stops:

15-Oct: Prism Book Alliance, Happily Ever Chapter, Velvet Panic, Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies, Oh My,

Michael Mandrake, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

16-Oct: BFD Book Blog, Books A to Z, The Jena Wade

19-Oct: It’s Raining Men, Hearts on Fire, Bayou Book Junkie

20-Oct: Divine Magazine, Three Books Over The Rainbow, Bike Book Reviews

21-Oct: Amanda C. Stone, Just Love Romance, Mikky’s World of Books

22-Oct: Emotion in Motion, Kimi-Chan, Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings

23-Oct: Molly Lolly, Love Bytes

26-Oct: Boys on the Brink Reviews, Inked Rainbow Reads

27-Oct: Cathy Brockman Romances, Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves, MM Good Book Reviews

28-Oct: TTC Books and More, My Fiction Nook

 

Final

Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: $25 Interlude Press Gift Card to one grand prize winner plus copies of the Seven Tears at High Tide multi-format eBook to five winners. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Link and prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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