S.A. McAuley, Total-E-Bound Publishing

Who Will Be The “Dominant Predator” In The Borders War?



“I think it says something about human nature that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive. We’ve created life in our own image.” ― Stephen Hawking



Welcome to the Revolution.

The fight for dominance in a game of political warfare now comes down not to who is right but to who will be left when the battle is done. It is a question of survival of the fittest in which the dominant predators have been genetically modified to serve as the weapons of destruction. One thing is certain: the fact that they currently fight for the same side weighs heavily against the Opposition’s favor.

Merq Grayson has become the face of the Revolution, though that hadn’t been the original plan when he was chosen for this mission. With one bullet, he assassinated the Premiere of the Opposition. He was meant to be made sacrifice for the greater good, but his enemy-turned-lover, Armise Darcan, was not about to allow for that outcome, turning traitor to his own country in loyalty to the one person he will follow and protect to the end of his days.

For a man who does not trust easily or often, when trusting in someone can mean the difference between betrayal and death, Merq’s faith in Armise is a gift that’s been earned. Whether that will last, however, is anyone’s guess. If it comes down to Dominant Predator vs. Dominant Predator, there will be no winner. The loss would be devastating on a soul-deep level for both men, so it remains to be seen if a father’s prophecy will come true, or if the son and his brother-in-arms, lover, partner will only become stronger as they fight shoulder to shoulder, back to back, one for the cause, the other for the man he loves. They are bound together; let nothing tear them asunder.

The twenty-sixth century is a barren and desolate place, a dystopian landscape where anything that resembles hope has been quashed by political oppression. It is a place where the fight is the way of life, where life itself is expendable if it serves a madman’s bid for power, where that madman is now the target of Merq and Armise’s deadly skills. S.A. McAuley has turned in a brilliant sequel to the stellar One Breath, One Bullet, and my only regret in reading Dominant Predator now is knowing I have to wait for the next book in the series.

If you’re looking for the antidote to the formula romance, this series is it because it’s not romance in even the loosest definition of the word. The Borders War series is raw, it’s erotic, it’s edgy, it’s in-your-face, it’s bloody. This is war and war’s not pretty, but in this case, it is irresistible. The author doesn’t mince words nor over-tell, providing exactly the detail necessary to keep the pacing of the plot somewhere in the edge-of-your-seat range.

Obviously this series won’t be for everyone, but if you love strong male characters who deal in death and prefer bullets and blades to hearts and flowers, I can’t recommend this one highly enough.

Reviewed by: Lisa

You can buy Dominant Predator (The Borders War #2) here:

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Deanna Wadsworth, Dreamspinner Press

“Easy Ryder” Is A Lot Of Story To Love



“Light is meaningful only in relation to darkness, and truth presupposes error. It is these mingled opposites which people our life, which make it pungent, intoxicating.” – Aragon, Louis



I’ve read several books by Deanna Wadsworth and enjoyed them all. When I read the blurb to Easy Ryder, I thought what is there not to love? A tattooed biker, a runaway hitch hiking across country, all taking place during America’s birthday in 1976. I was all over it.

Eighteen year old Michael Ryder is leaving his home in Pennsylvania. He’s been beaten by his dad and brother for being gay, and he’s had enough. He’s going to San Francisco, where he believes is the ultimate utopia for gay men, men like him.

I instantly fell in love with Ryder. I love how he was still optimistic despite everything that happened to him at home. He never once felt sorry for himself. Doing things he had to do for a ride left him ashamed and disgusted, but was there really any other way? When he’s dropped off at a gas station looking for another ride, he’s instantly drawn to a dangerous looking biker with a lot of tattoos. The biker is Ryder’s wet dream come to life and he just offered him a ride. He doesn’t know at the time, but this biker is about to rock his world.

Now Snake is the total opposite of Ryder. He’s twenty-five, a Vietnam vet with five tours under his belt. He’s given up on his dreams, he’s come to accept life as it is, no more no less. I wasn’t sure what to think of Snake in the beginning. He was so very quiet and had a lot of mystery about him, I didn’t trust him. He would prove me wrong in the end.

I loved how the author brought these two very different characters together and actually made it work. In any other circumstance, Ryder and Snake would never have met, ever. As I got to know Snake through Ryder’s eyes, I found him to be a troubled soul, with a lot of self doubt, a cynic. Being with Ryder helped Snake see the world differently. I loved seeing the changes in Snake as Ryder got under his skin. I loved seeing him realize that he can be who he is, have a life he once thought himself unworthy. Once the layers were peeled away, I saw Snake as he truly was, a very lonely person who wanted to love and be loved in return.

I usually don’t comment on the sex scenes, but I have to tell you, Deanna Wadsworth can write a sex scene like nobody’s business. I felt the passion between Ryder and Snake. I felt the raw need, the patience Snake had with Ryder really showed me he cared so much. I felt as though I was an intruder reading their love making scene; and yes, I even blushed a bit. And it takes a lot to make me blush.

I loved going back in time and seeing how very different the world was towards gay men. I think the author did a great job in transporting the reader back to that era. The mid-seventies weren’t gay friendly. And a scene in the story brings the fear and the need to hide who they were to the surface.

Overall, this story is heartbreaking with sad circumstances but also of hope, love and finding your forever in the place you least expect it.

A must read for everyone, highly recommended.

Reviewed by: Lynn

You can buy Easy Ryder here:

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Will Parkinson

This “Pitch” Throws A Curveball



“I just feel like every kid is growing up too fast and they’re seeing too much… Because they have to have some innocence; there’s just no innocence left.” – Ellen DeGeneres



Jackson Kern walks into his new school one day, and Taylor Andrews is immediately smitten. Becca volunteers to show Jackson around. She is always dating the hot athlete of the moment, so Jax looks good on her resume… I mean arm! I hated her from the start. The stereotypical cheerleader type of being a brainless bimbo is a stereotype for a reason. It works. Taylor tells his best friend Benny about Jackson, and proceeds to talk about all Jackson, all the time. Benny tries to talk Taylor into actually talking to the Jackson, but Becca has connived to make Taylor believe that Jackson is a homophobe and hates him. Taylor continues to worship from afar, attending daily baseball practices and games. He doesn’t even like baseball! He can’t stay away because it is his one chance to watch Jackson without being seen doing it.

**Please be forewarned there are plot points revealed after the cut that may be considered spoilers**

Continue reading

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All Romance Ebooks, Self-Published, Taylor V. Donovan

“Six Degrees of Separation” Heats Up This Series By Degrees



“Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.” – Jean-Jacque Rousseau



It took six years to capture John Wayne Gacy, ten to catch Ted Bundy, and Gary Ridgway, two decades and a body-count numbering in the grotesque.

Leviticus’ murderous exploits haven’t lasted nearly as long or reached the Green River Killer’s numbers, but it has spanned several states and has targeted a very specific victim: all of them gay men, all of them fitting a very specific physical profile, all of them sacrificed for the greater good of the pure and the righteous. Lev is set to cleanse the world of their homosexual stain, one corpse at a time.

The psychopath who kills in the name of righteousness and virtue is still on the loose, but the FBI is very near to closing in on him. They know his motives, they know his profile, and they now know his name. The trick is going to be catching him before he has the chance to hurt anyone else and eliminates the one man he sees as the driving force behind his killing crusade. A kidnapping and case of mistaken identity came close to derailing the entire investigation, but Sam Shaughnessy and company didn’t become the best at what they do by giving up or by allowing the criminals to stay a step ahead of them for too long.

The Leviticus case hasn’t been resolved yet, but the case of the ever-evolving relationship between Sam and his not-boyfriend, Mac O’Bannon, moves toward a resolution that comes with some closure of past wounds and a revelation that Mac fears might send Sam away for good. One of the best things about this book for me was the evolution of Sam himself, (who can be the very definition of frustration at times!) and the way in which he and Mac finally make peace with exactly where they stand with each other.

As with the first book in the series, Six Degrees of Lust, Taylor V. Donavan has brought her ensemble cast of characters together for more intrigue, mystery, family drama, danger, romance, and some pretty steamy moments between the two men who play their relationship like a strategic game of chess, sometimes planning several moves ahead, sometimes taking a risk and sacrificing a piece of themselves for the sake of capturing the greater prize later in the game.

It’s easy enough to say I want everyone’s stories to be front and center in the next installment and will be happy with whoever comes next, but I would especially like to see what Ms. Donovan has cooked up for S.A. Logan Brandenburg and a certain someone. These characters are easy to like, and I even like the characters I don’t love so much for bringing a healthy dose of frustration into the lives of those they seem to live to torment.

Like a criminal investigation, the storyline in the By Degrees series is unfolding methodically, with twists and turns, false starts and careful plotting. I’ve become so invested in the solving of this case that I’m sorry (almost) that I read this book so quickly, knowing that there’ll be quite a wait for Book Three.

I’d definitely recommend giving this series a good seeing to in the meantime.

Reviewed by: Lisa

You can buy Six Degrees of Separation (By Degrees Book 2) here:

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Uncategorized

Taylor V. Donovan Wants To Heat Up Your Bookshelf With A Giveaway!






“By Degrees”

My first title was released in July of 2011. Since then I’ve become very familiar with reviews and readers’ reactions to my work. I’ve met other readers clamoring for “different” stuff. I’ve learned there are professional reviewers, neutral reviewers that focus on craft, mean reviewers that make authors reconsider whether they’re cut out for writing or not, passionate readers that offer their opinions in the form of a review, reviewers that have such firm ideas of how a story should go that they pretty much tell us how we should’ve written the book, reviewers that—

I’ll shut up now. I’m pretty sure you all get my drift, and this post is not about reviews. It’s about my personal journey and individual style as an author, but before we reach that point, I need to get back to basics.

I’ve been reading fiction forever. I adore doing so. It’s been my favorite hobby my entire life. If I remember correctly, I discovered the romance genre when I was only eleven. A battered Harlequin copy was mixed in with a bunch of magazines my aunt gave me. I read it and I was hooked. Not to Harlequin, but to reading romance.

As a reader I don’t like gratuitous anything. Books with misunderstandings that go on for at least four chapters, silly bickering written in an attempt to replace real conflict and too stupid to live characters that should not be allowed out of their houses are, in my opinion, a waste of precious reading time and an insult to my intelligence. And boy, don’t get me started on the sex. I mean, I most definitely enjoy a hot sex scene, but it’d better not be the only thing happening in the book, and it better mean something. Porn without plot and stroke stories are not for me. When the only thing growing between the main characters is their erections I cannot help but to feel turned off and frustrated.

I want a solid plot. I want realistic characters and situations. I don’t want to escape the world. I want to see how these guys who become real to me the moment I start reading deal with every day issues. I want to get emotionally invested and cheer on the guys until they find their way to happiness. And you know what? That doesn’t always happen within 50,000 words and fifteen chapters.

If you’ve been following my “career” you know I’m a rookie author. To date I have five published stories: Heatstroke, Southern Winterland, Six Degrees of Lust, Disasterology 101 and Six Degrees of Separation, and if you’ve read my work then you also know I don’t stick to any specific formulas. There are two reasons for this:

1. I write what I like to read, and
2. early on I decided to let the characters do the talking.

Every one of my stories, both published and WsIP, began with just one character. Sometimes he turns out to be the MC, but not always. He’d much rather be in the background and wait until the time is right for him, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have lots to say and things he needs to bring to the table.

He demands his POV is included. Then another character appears with the same behavior. And another. And another. And what they have to say needs to be said on their time and on their own terms. I need to listen because if I don’t, their story won’t be the same. And that, my friends, is how I ended up writing “By Degrees”, an ensemble serial with multiple points of view and unresolved situations at the end of each installment.

Several unresolved situations.

This, of course, will change as the series advances. Sadly, it just could not happen in one book. Not unless I wrote a 2,000-page saga.

Six Degrees of Lust has received wonderful reviews. Some readers loved the format and the build up and appreciated the fact that every character has a distinctive voice. Others readers hate the cliffhangers and would’ve preferred the book didn’t have as big a cast, and focused on Sam and Mac’s POVs. Both opinions are valid and appreciated. It is a matter of personal taste, and to each their own, yes?

But those opinions got me thinking hard and carefully. Should authors not write ensemble novels? Should I find a way to silence all those voices even though I know why their story needs to be told a certain way? Should I stick to conventional formulas so that I don’t upset the readers that know what they want (only the MCs) and how it should be (no cliffhangers or open storylines, please)?

I’ve been advised to stick to a proven, successful formula. I’ve been told I’m better off not including kids in my books. I’ve tried to decide the kind of readers I want to reach: the escapists or the hard-core realists… and I’ve decided that the best thing I can do is to remain loyal to my characters and their journey, however long and bumpy it might be.

But enough about me. :)

I want to hear what you guys have to say about this. Are you willing to read out of your comfort zone, or do you prefer to stick to stories similar to the ones you’ve liked the best so far? Why do you feel that way? Could I change your mind? Just kidding on that one ;-)

Come on, guys. Discussion time. Inquiring minds would like to know, and your comment might win you copies of my books. :-)

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THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

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Six Degrees of Lust (By Degrees #1): *WARNING FROM THE AUTHOR:

Six Degrees of Lust is both an ensemble novel and the first installment in the By Degrees serial. This means there are several point of views and the story will continue. Thanks.

New York City FBI team leader Samuel Shaughnessy lives for his immediate family and his job. After a marriage gone wrong he has stuck to a firm rule when it comes to relationships: he doesn’t have them. Sexually active and emotionally unavailable keeps him satisfied, especially now that he is in hot pursuit of a serial killer targeting gay men.

Former firefighter Machlan O’Bannon now manages a successful sports bar in Houston and after years of waiting he’s ready to stand up and be the man he always wanted to be: out, proud and drama-free. His politically-aligned family wants to keep him locked in the closet, but Mac just wants to meet the man of his dreams.

One man is as high strung as the other is laid back. A chance meeting brings the two men together, and one night of passion ignites a fire neither can fight. Their lives are not only miles apart, but as different as day and night. They don’t want to get involved…but will they be able to stay apart?


Southern Winterland (By Degrees #0.5): From the By Degrees Universe meet Christian and Remy, close friends who may be destined to be something else…

Christian Murphy is out, proud and very often loud.

Remy Benoit is an equal opportunity flirt, but he swears guys are not his thing.

Different lifestyles had never interfered with their close friendship, but after too much alcohol and almost kissing under the mistletoe a year ago they’ve started to drift apart.

A special holiday event brings the men together, and this time around they might have to acknowledge that mutual admiration and respect are not the only things making them seek each other out.


60 Percent Proof (By Degrees #1.5): Note from the Author: This is a free interlude to celebrate Mac’s birthday, and will be available for download on May 15, 2013.

Sam Shaughnessy knows what he wants from Mac O’Bannon: monthly, uncomplicated casual encounters.

Mac is on the same page. For two months they have been enjoying each other’s company, never forgetting that their agreement leaves zero room for long-term commitment.

But a visit to a local gay club during a weekend getaway in South Beach tips the scale, and it isn’t long before Sam starts showing how much he really doesn’t like to share.

Firmly placed rules get suspiciously bent, and by the end of the night only two things are clear: body shots are conducive to extreme displays of arousal and possessiveness, and anything can be blamed on tequila.


Six Degrees of Separation (By Degrees #2): WARNING FROM THE AUTHOR:

By Degrees is an ensemble serial with continuing story lines. Six Degrees of Separation is the second installment, and it must be read after Six Degrees of Lust. Thanks.

In the sequel to Six Degrees of Lust, F.B.I. team leader Samuel Shaughnessy and bar manager Machlan O’Bannon are exploring a new phase in their non-relationship. The intention is to take it slowly but power plays are still their favorite activity, and it isn’t long before lines begin blurring. After ending their friends with benefits agreement no rules are left in place to guide them, and soon enough the only thing that’s clear is that neither man is fighting hard enough to reestablish the boundaries.

Their particular situations haven’t improved in the three months since their first encounter. Sam is still focused on his immediate family issues, and everything indicates Mac will have to go to war with his own family before he can reclaim his freedom. The last thing they need is additional complications.

But when the opening of a night club brings Mac to New York City and a break in the Leviticus investigation leads Sam to Houston, they discover how closely their worlds have been connected from the very beginning. Hiding from the life-altering collision is not an option. Will they take the easier road and go their separate ways, or will they come to terms with their past and take a chance on each other?

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Cardeno C., Dreamspinner Press

Cardeno C.’s “Strong Enough” Is A Don’t-Miss Read



“Just like there’s always time for pain, there’s always time for healing.” ― Jennifer Brown


I don’t think I have ever read a book by Cardeno C. that hasn’t tugged at my heartstrings. Cardeno has a way of writing MCs that just pulls me in and makes me fall in love with them immediately. This book was no different.

We first meet Spencer Derdinger in his office talking to his friend and co-worker. It seems he has been spending an inordinate amount of time watching one of the super sexy construction workers from his office window for a while now. His friend can’t get the identity of said construction worker out of Spencer, but she does encourage him to go for it. It seems that Spencer doesn’t have the best track record with men and his latest ex has done a number on his self esteem. Spencer is thirty-eight and doesn’t believe for a second that the buff, handsome and much younger man would give him the time of day. Also, Spencer doesn’t even know if this solid wall of perfection is even gay. No, he will just continue to admire him from the safety of his office window. Which was working out fine for Spencer until the day the object of his fantasies barges into his reality.

Emilio Sanchez has been tied up in knots for weeks. After seeing that handsome math professor walking by his construction site he has found every excuse in the book to stay on the site his family’s construction company has on the local campus. Now Emilio knows he is handsome, tall and built. Normally that would be enough, but does he have what it takes to earn the attention of an older and admittedly smarter man? Well, only one way to find out!

One Friday when Spencer is leaving work, he comes face to face with Emilio outside the math building. It takes a few minutes for Spencer to realize he isn’t going to be pummeled for ogling the hot construction worker. He is being asked out and he just can’t believe it. Thankfully, Emilio’s brain is working just right and he somehow convinces Spencer to let him follow him home.

From the very start, Emilio realizes that Spencer is not just socially awkward, he is scarred emotionally, and when Emilio slowly finds out the reasons for this he is determined to help heal this man. Emilio isn’t just here for the night; no, he wants to be there for the long haul. Now just to convince Spencer that they are meant for each other.

This book touched me so deeply for many different reasons. First, Spencer is a very attractive man, and I mean really, thirty-eight isn’t old by any stretch of the imagination. It is so sweet to witness Emilio demonstrate the reasons he can’t resist Spencer and even more wonderful to watch Spencer start to believe he is handsome. I love how Emilio helps Spencer get over a past trauma that is still causing side effects even now.

One of the best parts of the story was the love and acceptance Spencer finally finds, not only from Emilio, but from his entire family. Emilio’s uber-tough brothers, his loving sister and his parents all took Spencer in and adopted him into the Sanchez family. Spencer has never had that kind of acceptance from his own family and this makes him more grateful than he knows how to say. These two men do have some obstacles to overcome though. Between some of Spencer’s history, their age difference and a completely obnoxious ex-boyfriend their fledgling romance is tested.

As I said at the beginning, I love Cardeno’s books and this one is no exception. Watching Spencer come out of his shell and seeing that there is more to Emilio than his great body was a fun ride, and it is one I plan on taking as many times as possible. Seriously, you will miss a wonderfully sweet romance if you miss this one!

Reviewed by: Jackie

You can buy Strong Enough here:

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Elin Gregory, Etopia Press

Set Sail On The High Seas With Elin Gregory’s “On a Lee Shore”



Life’s pretty good, and why wouldn’t it be? I’m a pirate, after all.– Johnny Depp



I am generally not a fan of historical romance novels. I read this one only for the purpose of reviewing it. I am glad I did. I don’t know that On A Lee Shore changed my mind about historicals in general, but I sure liked this one, and I loved Kit! I loved his courage. I loved his growth from beginning to end. His slowly evolving realization that there must be more to life than that which he had been taught. His relationship with Griffin, so hot!

On A Lee Shore is the story of Kit, who is assigned as a valet to a British diplomat sailing to the Caribbean. Kit has been demoted after losing his ship, although not at fault, he has to suffer the consequences. He boards the Hypatia, a merchant ship and sets sail. When the ship is taken by pirates, he and a ship’s hand, Davy are taken and forced to work on the pirates’ ship.

Kit discovers a way of life that, while lived on the wrong side of the law, is freer than he ever experienced in the navy. Each pirate has his own story of misfortune to tell and each one has chosen this life of crime rather than be condemned unjustly. The captain of the band of misfits, La Griffe (Griffin), is in charge only as long as the crew are satisfied with his leadership. I liked getting to read about the lives of the pirate crew and why they felt they had no choice other than living the harsh, cruel life of pirates. All of them seemed to be victims of circumstances beyond their control.

There seemed to be a conflict just over every wave. The pirates must avoid the Royal Navy and another band of pirates set on taking the Hypatia from them. Kit is struggling with internal conflict as well. He has always believed the values he was taught, and respected the navy in which he had served. Now he sees a group of men, who, while considered criminals, are just trying to survive as well as they can. They seem to be an educated group of men, respecting authority and their own code of ethics. Nothing like what he has been taught to believe about pirates.

Not only is Kit in conflict with his core values, but also his desires. He finds himself attracted to La Griffe. It is a slow burn, developing naturally, with Kit denying what he wants, even to himself. But the pirates are more honest with themselves about their feelings and believe each man to his own as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else. There is one openly gay couple within the pirate crew, and it is accepted as normal. (We as a modern society could learn a lot from this!) La Griffe is determined in his advances towards Kit and eventually Kit gives in to his desire for the pirate captain.

Ms. Gregory has written a layered and intricate plot. Davy and Kit trying to survive among pirates. Both of them trying not to let go of the values they have been taught but are now questioning. They both resist initially, but eventually understand the men who call themselves pirates and the lives they lead. On A Lee Shore, for me, read like a historical novel with the romance taking the sub-plot position. I prefer the opposite formation.

The writing in On A Lee Shore was a little bit awkward at first, but Ms. Gregory quickly found her sea legs. To my untrained mind, it seemed well researched. There was adventure around every corner and the danger was relentless. The romance between Kit & Griffin really wasn’t very romantic. It was more about stolen hot sexy time than feelings. Lewis and Protheroe, the openly gay couple living among the pirates provided the romance. They made it abundantly clear that they were truly in love.

My one complaint would have to be that there were, at times, jumps in the time line without line breaks. Up to a week would pass between paragraphs. It required me re-reading the last and current paragraph to make sure I was getting it right.

Overall, it was an amazing adventure. Highly recommended.

Reviewed by: Tina

You can buy On a Lee Shore here:

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Josephine Myles, Samhain Publishing

This Is Some “Junk” You’ll Most Definitely Want To Keep

“Books want to be read. They’re pretty pointless, otherwise.” – Josephine Myles



There is not a single one among us avid readers who won’t relate in even the tiniest way to Jasper Richardson. At least I hope it’s in the tiniest way; otherwise, you might have a problem. What we would call an addiction to fiction or a healthy obsession, Lewis and Carroll Miller would call a psychological affliction in Jasper, and it’s his affliction that’s at the crux of “Junk”.

Jasper’s a hoarder, you see, but he’s not just any old hoarder. No, Jasper hoards the written word: books, magazines, newspapers. You name it and Jasper has got it in piles from floor to ceiling throughout nearly his entire house. And as a university librarian, he’s got plenty of access to discarded items that he’s more than willing to give a good home, which he feels compelled to do because he can’t bear the thought of them falling into the wrong hands at best or be relegated to a recycling facility at worst. But that’s a mask, a result of something far more painful from Jasper’s past that’s manifesting itself through his hoarding.

Lewis and Carroll are the brother and sister team that Jasper contacts once his despair over the condition of his life hits critical mass, from the depression of living in a home with rooms he can no longer use because the doors are blocked closed by toppled piles of books, to the depression of having a home but no one there to share it with, which throws the emptiness of his life into sharp contrast with the fullness of the walls he lives behind. It took a lot of nerve for Jasper to finally make that first phone call. It took an act of incredible courage to agree to the therapy he’ll need to get to the heart of his hoarding addiction and to confess what lies behind it.

Admitting he has a problem is the first step, and that turns out to be the easiest step in the process of recovery for Jasper, especially when his feelings for Lewis become less than platonic and cause Lewis to pull away in the interest of his professional integrity. But it’s exactly those feelings for Lewis that become Jasper’s compulsion to change, to get his life in order so he can prove his feelings have nothing to do with his recovery and everything to do with the fact he’s fallen in love with a man whose kindness can fill his life better than any book ever could.

Who’d have ever thought that a book about a man who lives in a house with mildewed walls and windows, and stacks of outdated newspapers and magazines and books he’ll never, ever read could turn out to be a story that would totally win my heart? Josephine Myles made it happen almost instantly, in my affection for Jasper and my empathy for the love of his paper and ink stash. Were it not for e-readers, I imagine there are many of us whose homes would be overrun with the books we devour. It’s an obsession we all understand, and it made Jasper so relatable.

Though it wasn’t easy, Lewis helps Jasper recover control of his life, but Jasper also helps Lewis find a happiness that has always eluded him. These two men were made for each other, like a closed book just waiting for the right someone to come along and open it up to see and love all the secrets it holds inside.

This is another Josephine Myles novel I wouldn’t hesitate for a second to recommend. This new cast of characters is just that, complete characters whose quirks and idiosyncrasies made this book both fun and heartwarming to read. Plus, there are a couple of characters who show up that you may just recognize from the short story “When In Amsterdam…” from the anthology Winter Warmers. I loved that crossover a lot.

Reviewed by: Lisa

You can buy Junk (The Bristol Collection, Book 1) here:

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Josephine Myles, Samhain Publishing

The Books I Will Keep Forever – By Josephine Myles (And There’s A Giveaway!)



Junk Blog Tour Banner

When creating the character of a book hoarder in Junk, I didn’t have to look too far for inspiration. Like many avid readers, I’ve gone through periods of owning far too many books. However, I’ve now got it down to a smallish collection I can manage. The main issue was in deciding which sorts of books Jasper was particularly motivated to keep, and would therefore be able to hold onto while getting rid of the others.

For Jasper, as for me and countless other bookworms, the intense emotional connection to a good book began in childhood. I have vivid memories of sitting inside a duvet cover in the back garden, making my very own tent as I sat and lost myself in fictional worlds. The books I most loved in childhood are still on my shelves, and I had fun adding some of them to Jasper’s collection. Here are ten of all my all-time favourite children’s books, in no particular order:

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

Beautiful illustrations and poetic text to go with them. I do own a small soft toy Max, I must admit. Got to love a wild boy in a wolf suit!

The Neverending Story by Michael Ende

Probably my all time favourite book. I remember borrowing it from the library as a child, and it was a splendid copper silk covered hardback with the two strands of the story written in green and red ink… just like the book inside the story! I now own a scruffy, much read paperback version but I’m still hankering after my own silk covered hardback. Of course, they’re now highly collectible and cost a small fortune. One of these days…

Hilda Boswell’s Treasury of Poetry

An out-of-print classic. I loved this for both Boswell’s wonderfully detailed illustrations you can get lost in, and The Raggle Taggle Gypsies—I often fantasised about running off with the gypsies or the circus when I was a child. Still do sometimes, I must admit! My copy of the book is missing a spine and has kitten stickers on some of the pages, but I’ve kept it despite having a newer, intact copy which I read to my daughter. And just like my mum did for me when I was a girl, I sing The Raggle Taggle Gypsies to her :)

Ronia the Robber’s Daughter by Astrid Lindgren

I always preferred this to the more famous Pippi Longstocking books. This is one of those books all young girls should read, as it’s a great antidote to saccharine and stereotypical versions of what little girls should be like. I wanted to run around in the forest and have adventures like Ronia. In fact, I still do…

The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis

A spellbinding series, and none more so than the wonderful Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Shame about the very last book, though, where the religious agenda got in the way of telling a good story.

Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll

I have to add a caveat: I’m only interested in the version illustrated by Sir John Tenniel. That was the one I grew up with and that’s what everything looks like to my mind. There seems to be a popular idea that kids don’t like the Alice books and it’s only adults they appeal to. Nonsense! I loved these bizarre stories when I was a child, particularly the second one. I might not have understood what he was going on about half the time (mathematics, apparently), but that didn’t stop me enjoying the absurd storyline.

This book has a special significance to some of the characters in Junk, and is referenced several times.

The Little House Collection by Laura Ingalls Wilder

I remember being nonplussed for years as to why my aunt and uncle kept buying me these books for birthday and Christmas, and then I finally tried reading them. I was hooked! On the Banks of Plum Creek is still my favourite, though, with the plague of locusts and various disasters that the Wilder family had to live through.

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery

Like many of the books on this list, it’s the illustrations I fell in love with first. The little planets that can be walked round with a few paces are a genius idea, and the fox is so cute!

The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge

A wonderfully atmospheric tale with an intrepid orphan girl uncovering mysterious goings on in her new home—the wonderfully named Moonacre Manor. Enchanting, and just as good to read again as an adult. Also, Maria has the best bedroom ever!

The Ordinary Princess by M. M. Kaye

A subversive and humorous twist on the standard fairytale princess trope, where the princess is perfectly plain and ordinary, and runs off to live in the forest rather than be married off to a prince. Also, she has a pet red squirrel and a necklace made out of acorns. What’s not to like?!

***

As you can see, illustrations are incredibly important to me too, and all of these books have ones that I love.

I’ve revisted all of these books as an adult, and they haven’t diminished in any way. In fact, I’m even better placed now to judge how much wisdom for life there is in books like The Little Prince and The Neverending Story. These are books I return to every few years when I want something that both comforts reaffirms what’s important in life, and to my mind they’re far superior to the spiritual growth fables written for adults, like Coelho’s The Alchemist. There’s a part of us that will always remain a child, and children’s books speak directly to that inner core.

Readers, what were the books that first got you passionate about reading? Please share the love of your childhood favourites!

Prize giveaway: THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

Junk coverJunk

Letting go is the first step to healing…or bringing it all crashing down.

When an avalanche of books cuts off access to his living room, university librarian Jasper Richardson can no longer ignore the truth. His ever-growing piles of books, magazines and newspapers can no longer be classified as a “collection”. It’s a hoard, and he needs professional help.

Professional clutter clearer and counselor Lewis Miller thinks he’s seen it all, but even he has to admit he’s shocked. Not so much by the state of Jasper’s house, but by the level of attraction he still feels for the sexy bookworm he remembers from school.

What a shame that Lewis’s ethical code forbids relationships with clients. As Jasper makes slow but steady progress, though, the magnetic pull between them is so strong even Lewis is having trouble convincing himself it’s a temporary emotional attachment arising from the therapeutic process.

Jasper longs to prove to Lewis that this is the real deal. But first he’ll have to lay bare the root of his hoarding problem…and reveal the dark secret hidden behind his walls of books.

Warning: Contains a level-headed counselor with a secret addiction, a bespectacled geek with a sweet tooth, a killer “to-be-read” pile, embarrassing parents, a van called Alice, and deliciously British slang.

Junk is out now, available from the following retailers:

Kindle US | Kindle UK | Nook | Samhain

About the author:

English through and through, Josephine Myles is addicted to tea and busy cultivating a reputation for eccentricity. She writes gay erotica and romance, but finds the erotica keeps cuddling up to the romance, and the romance keeps corrupting the erotica. Jo blames her rebellious muse but he never listens to her anyway, no matter how much she threatens him with a big stick. She’s beginning to suspect he enjoys it.

For more information about Jo’s published stories, regular blog posts and saucy free reads, visit JosephineMyles.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/josephine.myles.authorpage
Twitter: http://twitter.com/JosephineMyles
Newsletter signup: http://eepurl.com/hrQ4s

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Secret Cravings Publishing, Shannon West

Get Carried Away By “Bloodlust”

“It seemed to him that he had just seen both ends of that chain; that when he touched one end, the other quivered.” – Anton Chekhov



The beginning of this book starts with Jax and his little brother Mason making their way across Mississippi toward New Orleans. The two boys, nineteen and eight years old, are wet, dirty, hungry and broke. Unfortunately this is still a step up from what they left behind. Jax is hoping to get to New Orleans and find some work to help support the two of them. When they stop in a diner to get a meager amount of food, neither of them knows this will change their lives forever.

Cade D’Allisande is an alpha wolf that has left his old pack because he didn’t want to have to fight his father for leadership. When Cade is forced by pack rules to leave his old pack, some of the other pack members decide to go with him. Cade decides to head to North Carolina to join some extended family and form a pack of his own. When Cade and his pack stop at a small diner in Mississippi, Cade instantly recognizes Jax as his bloodlust mate. This is the strongest blood match that a wolf can form with his mate. The only problem is Cade prefers women to men and he doesn’t want a mate.

Jax is initially scared to death of Cade and his pack. His impression of them is that they look like a rough biker gang and he wants nothing to do with them. Jax tries to get away before the pack notices him, but he is too late. Cade grabs Jax and he narrowly escapes only to be caught quickly. When confronted by all the large men traveling with Cade, Jax passes out. When he wakes up he is in a hotel room with Cade and another man. The two men feed Jax and Mason, but Jax is still scared of the unknown so he decides to run. Again, he is caught by Cade and after a few strange conversations he realizes that he is pretty much stuck with Cade, but he decides to make the most of the situation. He feels that having someone belong to only him and someone that can protect both he and Mason is a dream come true.

Not long after he and Cage mate, they make their way to North Carolina and meet up with Cade’s family. Jax is falling in love with Cade and he tells the man this every chance he gets. Unfortunately, he doesn’t hear the words back. Jax is starting to believe that Cade is only with him due to the bloodlust, he feels that if it wasn’t for their bond Cade wouldn’t want him. It basically takes a couple of close calls on his life for Jax to find out how Cade really feels. I hope it was worth the wait for Jax in the end.

I like how Shannon West incorporates the characters from the previous novels and keeps them current in the story. I am looking forward to seeing how Cade’s pack settles in and see who is next up for their HEA. This is book 9 in the Dark Hollow Wolf Pack Series and it is still going strong and in my opinion Ms. West keeps the stories fresh and I can’t wait for the next one to catch me up on old friends and introduce me to some new ones.

Reviewed by: Jackie

You can buy Bloodlust here:

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A.J. Corza, Dreamspinner Press, GotYouCovrd

A.J.’s Got You Covered And She Likes “Summer School”



This week’s pick of the week is Summer School by Tam Ames with artwork by Anna Sikorska.

Why did I like the Summer School cover? Well, first off, the placement of the photos is interesting. I especially like the blond guy in the back. He looks soulful. He looks like someone I want to get to know. He’s got great body language and expression. I want to know his story. The brunette guy not as much, but that’s just because he’s a bit more generic good looking, random stock guy. This, however, is not a slight on the artist at all; this is just how it is. Take it from someone that slogs through thousands of pictures looking for artwork, there’s a lot of generality out there in the stock world.

I’m reasonably sure there’s a reason for this, mostly in that, for the photographer it’s probably a bitch and a half to always think of new, interesting poses that aren’t hideous to behold once they’re actually seen. Unless, of course, you’re one of the savants that just has that natural eye and slightly off kilter vision that gets you the cool poses every single time. Then I envy the pee out of you.

So as far as finding the perfect picture in the stock world, sometimes we artists just have to go with the best we can find; especially, if we’re under time constraints.

However, that said, random stock guy doesn’t detract from the cover so much as he just seems a tad bit awkward. I think it’s probably the fact that he seems as if he’s lost a leg, but then you can see the other guy’s leg through him at the bottom. I don’t know what the full picture of Mr. Brown looked like in the first place, so he could very well have been cropped that way in the first place, which does happen. Unfortunately, I’ve been there with that same situation of awkward cropping and it’s not fun at all, because, as an artist, you are now obligated to figure out how the hell to fix it.

Like ringing a dinner bell on a cattle ranch, here comes the frustration, the irritation, and the million questions that go tromping through your head like tiny annoying elephants that you just can’t quash. Do you lop both of their legs off? Do you leave them both on and hope they don’t look like a tangled mess? Or do you cover them up with another picture of water that ties the top and the bottom together but makes the really beautiful and very seeable title disappear? These are just a few things that we as artists have to contemplate while putting a good cover together.

It’s pretty much enough to drive you crazy.

Besides the legs, I might have made the brunette man a bit larger and give him a bit more contrast as far as his shadows/highlights go, but nothing extreme. Other than that, there are just some very minor tweaks that most artists, myself included, just wouldn’t notice till a few months down the road, or a friend points them out. Looking at the cover art for hours on end can sometimes make you very blind to the obvious. It’s why we get to see such funny-odd Photoshop pictures online. Luckily for most of the authors out there, if you get a good cover artist, you won’t be able to recognize those minor tweaks.

I absolutely love the colors of the cover. A beautiful mixture of icy blues, warmer greens, and earthy beige tones associated with summer, and pools that make me want to take a dip.

The fonts that are used in the titles are perfection. The word “Summer” is classically romantic and flowing but wonderfully readable. The word “School” has wonderful color tones as well but a marked difference with its contrasting straight lines. And both are overlaid with an awesome water texture that delightfully mimics the pool behind the two gentlemen, making the entire title pop without overshadowing the author’s name below.

It’s very hard making two or three completely different pictures let alone fonts look like they all come from the same place. If it were easy more people would have better covers.

For my review of Summer School’s cover art, I think that Anna did a wonderful job.

Have a great day and may the good books be with you!

A.J. – Got You Covered

(Unfortunately I’m unsure as to what the URL is for Anna Sikorska since there were a couple of artists called that online. This is why she is not linked. If anyone knows her or her website URL please let me know so I can update appropriately. Thanks)

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Secret Cravings Publishing, Shannon West, The Joyful Approach

We’re Not Quite Feeling “Bloodlust” For GayRomLit, But It’s Close! And There’s A Giveaway!






Blurb:

Forty miles east of New Orleans, dog tired and out of money, nineteen year old Jax and his little brother are on the run. They stop for breakfast at a roadside café and have a run-in with the leader of a tough looking motorcycle gang. His name is Cade D’Allisande, an alpha wolf leading his pack to a new home in North Carolina, hoping to join the Dark Hollow Wolf Pack. Cade instantly recognizes his bloodlust mate, an intense and rare blood match that forms an alpha pair. The trouble is Cade isn’t ready for a mate. Unable to leave him behind, he convinces the young man to join their group and takes him with them on their journey to find a new home. But once there, an old enemy of the Pack threatens their happiness, and Jax, Nicky and Gabe must team up to save their mates.

Excerpt:

The miserably cold drizzle had turned into a hard, steady rain, and the puddles in the parking lot were like an obstacle course they had to splash through to reach the relative safety of the road. The little pools of water sucked at Jax’s boots as he ran, clutching at him and trying to hold him back. Mason was keeping up, but barely, clinging tightly to Jax’s hand. Mason stumbled once and went to his knees, but Jax yanked him to his feet, and they kept running, out of the parking lot and onto the highway.

Stumbling alongside the roadside, Jax kept looking over his shoulder. He ran until his breath was coming in sharp gasps and his legs felt like rubber. He hadn’t eaten anything since the morning before, and it was making him a little weak. Mason was running a few steps ahead of him, and seemed not to be having quite as much trouble as Jax.

It took Jax another minute to realize the steady rumbling he heard behind him wasn’t coming only from the storm. The roar had started out like a distant thunder but was growing louder and louder. Casting a wild glance behind him, he saw at least four or five of the bikers coming after them, spread out in a V formation like a flock of predatory birds, and panic dropped over him like a smothering shroud. Yelling at Mason, he grabbed for his arm and turned off the road. They clawed their way into the underbrush, jumped over a drainage ditch and headed for the pine trees lining the road on either side. He could hear Mason gasping for breath beside him and knew he was terrified.

Jax heard the motorcycles stop on the road behind him, but kept running blindly ahead through the trees, pulling Mason with him. Crashing through the underbrush behind them, the bikers came after them and my God, how could they be so incredibly fast, so relentless? Small pine tree branches hit him in the face as Jax pushed through them, trying to shield Mason from the worst of it, stumbling on the soggy ground. A noise ahead of him made him freeze in place and peer wildly through the trees.

Somehow two of them had circled around in front of him and Mason. Quick, fierce, and muscular, the men didn’t try to catch them as they careened to a stop, just kept edging closer, their faces wary, as if he and Mason were wild animals they were trying not to panic. Clutching Mason to his chest, frantically panting for breath, Jax slowly backed away, his head pivoting in either direction, looking for a way out, but thick pines and cedars blocked the escape routes on each side of them, hemming them in. The big men in front of him advanced toward him steadily, their arms out to the sides, like they were herding them, and it was only when he backed into the big, solid body behind him that he realized why. Jax wasn’t able to stop the hoarse scream that tore from his throat as he flailed his arms and tried to fight like a wild thing, terrified and hopeless, knowing he didn’t have a chance against them all.

“Calm down, damn it, you’ll hurt yourself,” the deep voice said in his ear, as iron-like arms closed around his waist, but he didn’t, couldn’t listen. Pushing Mason to the side, he tried to fight the big biker, struggling in his arms, even trying to throw his slight body to the ground to escape. It was useless, of course, and the man picked him up bodily and held him against his chest, while he kicked out with his legs and slammed his forehead against a steely chest.

Worn out and hungry as he was, it didn’t take long to exhaust himself, and when he could no longer fight, he sagged hopelessly in the man’s arms. Lowering Jax to the ground, the big man loomed over him, still holding him with an unrelenting grip. Jax twisted his head away and screamed to Mason over and over to run, unable to hear whatever it was the biker kept repeating to him in a slow, steady voice.

Suddenly, the forest fell away and he was in his old room at home, hot breath at his mouth, a heavy body holding him down, crushing his chest and making it hard to breathe. “No, please, please, stop,” he murmured and a sob caught in his throat. Jax looked straight up into a pair of startled brown eyes and moaned. “Don’t do it again.”

Jax was breathing so hard and in such a panic that he began to hyperventilate and little sparkly stars started to flash on and off at the backs of his eyes. Jax crumpled with an odd, choked sound as he lost consciousness.

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

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Lisa Worrall, White Stiletto Press

More Meerkat Love In Lisa Worrall’s “Marshall’s Park” Serial



“When we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them, and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness — and call it love — true love.” — Robert Fulghum






I have a deeply held personal belief that most really talented writers are sadists at heart. Especially those who write books in series. You all know who you are. If you don’t, contact me, I’d be happy to name names. We, the vulnerable readers, are held hostage to your whims and those of your muses. We, the helpless readers, wait and while away the time anxiously hoping for a scrap of something from our masters‘ laptops… Wait, that went off the rails somewhere. You know what I mean!

I love Monty. There, I said it. He is a Meerkat and I love him. Or, rather, I love Finn, the guy in the Monty suit. And Aiden, his boyfriend. And Kaylee, Aiden’s five-year-old daughter. I even love Chris, Finn’s annoying roommate and Aunt Patti, Aiden’s annoying housemate. Lisa Worrall has created a junkie and I can’t wait for my next fix.

In the Marshall’s Park series, Ms. Worrall has blended a perfect balance of smoking hot sex, truly emotional moments of real human fear and love, and hilarious characters. The series is planned as a twelve part serial novel, with one short story published each month for a year. It is brilliant. A little sadistic as I already sort of alluded to, but brilliant.

In Monty Loses His Head, Kaylee wants Monty to be her show and tell for school. Finn can’t find the most important part of his costume, the head. In its place is a ransom note demanding tickets to the park and various other items. The search is on, with Chris being suspect numero uno. The outcome is sweet and the culprit unexpected. As with all the stories in the series, there is hot sex and funny interaction between Finn/Aiden/Kaylee. I went immediately to the next story…

I think the title Moving Monty In says it all. Aiden asks Finn to move in, and as the title hints, Finn says yes. Of course, with Kaylee’s show and tell approaching, both Aiden and Finn are freaking out, but for different reasons. The method they employ to relax each other won’t surprise you, but the aftermath will.

This whole series is highly recommended. A must read.

Reviewed by: Tina admitted Meerkat lover.

**Click on Cover Images for Buy Links**

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Dreamspinner Press, Sue Brown

Sue Brown Has Created An “Isle of Wishes”



“And that is how change happens. One gesture. One person. One moment at a time.” ― Libba Bray



This sequel was wonderfully written and kept my attention from the start. We are first introduced to Paul Owens. Paul is Sam Owens’ brother. If you read the first book in the series then you will remember Sam and Liam from The Isle of…Where? Paul is the youngest brother of the Owens clan and it seems he is the most promiscuous. Paul is an equal opportunity lover of both women and men; however, he never invites them for an encore performance. He has never had, nor does he want a ::shudder:: relationship.

At the beginning of the book Sam makes a reappearance and we find out that Liam, Sam’s fiance, has gone missing. Since Liam is a family member, whether the wedding has officially happened yet or not, Paul is instantly in “cop mode” and arranging for he and Sam to fly to the states to find Liam.

When Paul and Sam find out that Liam’s rental car has been found and the police are assuming Liam stole it, they head out to the sheriff station to let them know that Liam is in fact missing. At this point they meet Detective Olaf Skandik, who Paul realizes, is a walking wet dream. Unfortunately for Paul Olaf is so deep in the closet Narnia would be a beach vacation.

Detective Olaf Skandik is an ex-military man with an ultra-conservative family that keeps him from being himself out in the open. What Olaf wants more than anything is a man that loves him and him alone. Someone he can build a life with. He just isn’t sure if he is willing to give up his family to live the dream. His parents have made it clear that they will not accept his homosexuality and his boss has made it clear that he does not want to employ any homosexuals. Then lightning strikes the moment Olaf lays eyes on Paul Owens.

It seemed to me as a reader that these two men were perfect for one another. I believe the fact that they are both police officers makes them even closer. Paul understands when Olaf has to rush out to work, and he understands when Olaf can’t discuss the details of Liam’s case. Luckily, or not, Paul is a great police officer himself and he helps find some details that eventually lead to solving the case.

After spending a few days getting to know one another both in and out of bed, the two men begin to fall in love. Paul is very conflicted with this turn of events, he doesn’t believe he and Olaf can make a relationship work like Sam and Liam did. He also isn’t sure if that is what he wants. So, when he has to return to England he does it with no expectations of making his time with Olaf more than a fun fling.

After two months without contact, everyone around Paul is tired of watching him pine away for someone he claims was just a “one off”. After his work partner has a talk with him about the change in his attitude since he got back from America, Paul decides to call Olaf and they both admit to having deeper feelings than they let on. Paul also gets a huge surprise when he finds out that Olaf was not only invited to Sam and Liam’s wedding, but he is planning on attending.

When Olaf gets to England, he and Paul find that the connection was deeper than they both thought. They just have a few barriers they have to get past before there can be a happily ever after. A few of these barriers are Paul’s family, Olaf’s family and Olaf’s coming out or not. The two men get up to some very smexy shenanigans and also have some very tender moments together. I loved watching them face down Rose, Mattie and the rest of the Owens clan. Olaf has reached sainthood with them all and he doesn’t understand the way this very close family operates.

I sincerely hope that there is another book in this series because I was left with some questions that weren’t answered before the dreaded words “The End” appeared on my Kindle. I highly recommend this book and the first book of the series also. So head on over and pick up your copy and take a trip to the Isle of Wishes. You definitely won’t be disappointed.

Reviewed by: Jackie

You can buy Isle of Wishes (Isle of Wight #2) here:

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Dreamspinner Press, Lily Velden, The Joyful Approach

Let’s All Make Sure We’re On The “Same Page”, Because “The Race Is On,” And Lily Velden Is Here With A Giveaway To Help Celebrate!



SamePage_FBbanner_DSP

SAME PAGE

Book 1: HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN

by

LILY VELDEN

published by

DREAMSPINNER PRESS

Blurb:

He was like the only splash of color in a black-and-white photograph.

The man was beautiful.

At an exhibition opening in Sydney, jaded Hollywood heartthrob Jaxon Moncrieff lays eyes on publicity-shy artist Liam Lassiter for the first time and is immediately captivated. But he doesn’t get far into their first conversation before he realizes what he’s feeling is attraction, which brings him up short. Jaxon has always been a womanizer.

Despite his reservations, Jaxon makes a play for Liam, but Liam has his own issues. Unlucky in love and orphaned at sixteen, he is reluctant to open his heart to anyone, and dismisses Jaxon out of hand.

Driven by a need he doesn’t understand, Jaxon organizes a return to Sydney to film his next project. If he can’t be with Liam, maybe they can be friends. Of course, that creates a whole new problem. Now Jaxon is falling in love for the first time. How can he move their relationship from friends to lovers without destroying the trust he’s worked so hard for

BACKGROUND of the WHAT Ifs

SAME PAGE, Book 1 of HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN, is my debut novel. Consequently, I’d never written a love scene prior to them. Through the WHAT IFs, I was able to ‘practice’ before having to do the ‘real thing’ in How The Light Gets In!

I hope you enjoy my ‘practicing!’

*****

PLEASE NOTE

WHAT IF JAXON DECLARED HIMSELF? is a stand-alone.

It is not an alternate story line, and please remember, it has no bearing on the plot of the original story. It is, however, a direct spin-off, and thus, the page from where the deviation occurs is noted.

*****

WHAT IF JAXON DECLARED HIMSELF?
hasn’t been professionally edited.
All mistakes are my own!
I apologize in advance!

WHAT IF JAXON DECLARED HIMSELF?

Commences from Page 135

Jaxon

The tempo of my heart matched that of the loud pumping music as I stood a few feet inside the dimly lit club, barely taking in the décor or the individual patrons as my gaze scoured the crowd for Liam. I hungrily scanned the room, searching for his distinctive auburn hair. I felt both excited and anxious. Going days on end without seeing him was becoming harder and harder to bear, but the thought that tonight might herald a whole new direction in our relationship made my pulse race in anticipation.

When, moments later, my gaze lighted upon him, I wished it hadn’t. My mouth went dry, and try as I might, I couldn’t swallow. I gasped, my lungs noisily emptying of air, making me feel weak and light-headed. My heart stilled momentarily before its beat escalated to such a rapid rate, I thought it might explode out of my chest cavity. Waves of nausea had me leaning shakily against a pillar, wishing I could drag my eyes away from the sight of my beautiful Liam with his hands resting lightly on the hips of a young blond man. It wasn’t Ryan; I knew that from the photo Liam had sent me. His hair was too fair, and his face too pretty. But if it wasn’t Ryan, then who the hell was he, and what was he to Liam? And where the fuck was the famous Ryan? The blond had his arms on Liam’s shoulders, his face tilted up, smiling broadly. Seeing that hurt, but not as much as seeing the familiar, indulgent smile he received from Liam in return.

No! No! No!

I didn’t recognize, at first, the feelings that overwhelmed me. All I knew was that I didn’t like them.

I didn’t like the vile, bitter taste in my mouth.

I didn’t like the heat that pulsed through my body.

It was not the pleasurable heat of passion, nor even the uncomfortable heat of embarrassment. This heat didn’t warm and awaken; it burned and scorched, leaving devastation in its wake. It was like a forest fire erasing everything in its path.

Jealous. Oh my God, I’m jealous! So this is what it feels like.

How many times had I depicted this emotion in a movie? How many times had I read it eloquently described in a book or script? The reality was so much more devastating, so much more forceful. It hijacked my mind with its fiery power, making logical thought impossible. My jealousy coupled with my pain, incapacitating me.

My instincts screamed at me that they’d known each other sexually. The evidence was there in the familiarity of their touch, the way they rested their fingers on hips and shoulders. I watched as the blond swayed his hips, moving his hands from Liam’s shoulders down to his waist. He took a step backward, taking Liam with him, obviously wanting to dance. Liam was laughing and shaking his head, but the blond was persistent. I wanted to race across the room and drag him away from Liam, but I couldn’t, not without declaring myself. Groaning, I stood, torn.

To declare or not to declare.

A small strangled sound escaped me as I continued to survey their interaction. Liam held up his hand using the age-old signal for stop. He dipped his hand in his pocket, then extracted his cell. The whole time he typed a text message, the blond kept his hands on Liam’s waist, swaying his hips enticingly. I was so mesmerized by the scene unfolding before my eyes that the buzzing of my phone in my jeans took me by surprise. Swallowing painfully, I removed it from my pocket and opened the message I knew was from Liam.

Where are U Pretty Boy? U still coming?

His use of my nickname while another man had his hands on him cut like a knife. As much as I longed to see him, to hear his warm brandy voice and be with him, I knew I couldn’t. I was far too shaken and upset. No amount of acting skill would have enabled me to hide my feelings, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to control myself to idly stand by and watch him flirt with the blond.

No. Filmin ran L8—C U 2morrow

Liam puckered his brow in a frown and pressed his lips together, and as I watched, he quickly typed into his phone. And still the fucking blond grasped him by the waist, swaying his goddamned hips.
OK. Will pick U up at 10 for brekky

Sure. C U then

If I’d had any common sense, any sense of self-preservation, I’d have left then, but I had neither of those things when it came to Liam, and so I stayed. Stayed and tortured myself. I felt skewered to the spot, my gaze riveted on him as he moved to stand behind the blond, his hands on the boy’s hips, grinding his cock sensually against his ass.

I whimpered.

I wanted it to be me. Me. I wanted it to be my ass he was pressing so erotically into.

Every movement turned the knife in my gut a little more. Every touch sent the scorching fire of jealousy blazing through my veins, and when Liam moved his hand caressingly up the boy’s chest, while lowering his lips to his ear, I was pierced by a pain so excruciating my knees buckled. I clutched the column I was hiding beside to stop myself from falling to my knees. Silently, I thanked God for the loud music that concealed my tormented, plaintive wail.

Please stop, Liam. Please stop. I love you. Please, sweet Jesus, stop!

For three songs, three seemingly endless songs, I watched. As the final beats of the third song filled the room, the blond turned within the circle of Liam’s arms. I silently screamed at him in protest as he raised his arms and linked his hands behind Liam’s neck. Mentally, I cursed his fingers as they toyed with the hair at the nape of Liam’s neck. How many times had I imagined doing that myself? I could still remember how its silkiness had felt the one time I’d known the pleasure of it as it slipped through my fingers. He pulled Liam down to whisper something in his ear. I stiffened—my body as tight as a coiled spring. So help me, God, if he kisses or licks the mole on Liam’s neck, I’m going to pulverize him!

My jealousy roiled unpleasantly in my belly as Liam smirked at the boy and nodded. No! That’s my smirk. You smirk at me! That’s it! Declare! Declare! Declare!

I rocked on the balls of my feet, still undecided for the briefest of moments. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Declare. Do it. Now.

It almost felt like an out-of-body experience as I strode toward them, carving purposefully through the crowd like the prow of a mighty ship through choppy waters. Neither of them saw me until I planted my feet before them, my gaze zeroing in on Liam.

“Thanks for warming my man up for me, sugar, but your services are no longer required.” I shifted my glance from Liam to focus on the twink, my drawl deceptively casual—one wrong word from the fucker and his pretty face wasn’t going to be so pretty anymore. Liam’s jaw dropped in surprise.
“What? Who the hell—” Blondie began, scowling at me.

I gave him one last chance. “What part of, ‘your services are no longer required’ did you not understand? Skedaddle. Shoo. Vamoose.” My lips were smiling but my eyes made it clear—he was in danger.

He whirled around to face Liam, placing his hands on his shoulders. “Handsome?” he questioned, and I could hear the smug tone in his voice. He obviously thought he had his man hooked. I took a half step closer to him, my fists balled, jaw clenched tight, and my body ready to pounce.

Liam’s eyes widened, his gaze shifting to look down at the twink. “I think you should look for my friend. He’s somewhere in the back corner,” he whispered, raising his eyes to look at me over the boy’s shoulder, while gesturing to the dimly lit area at the back of the club. “He’s the guy with dark blond hair, dressed all in black, with a dick that would probably put the Eiffel Tower to shame. He’s probably getting a blow job—you may have to take a number—but trust me, it will be worth your while. Tell him Liam sent you.”

Twinkie Boy gasped, seemingly insulted, but I noticed, as he stormed off, that he was headed in the direction Liam had indicated. My gaze locked with his, and I didn’t allow myself to dwell on Liam’s knowledge of Ryan’s anatomy or sexual prowess—that he wasn’t out the back blowing him was all I needed to know. For several long moments we stared at each other.

He spoke quietly, his eyes full of questions. “You came.”

“Not yet, but I’m hoping it’s on the agenda for this evening.” I replied, my voice husky with emotion.
He gasped, lowering his lids, his lashes fanning his blushing cheeks, drawing my gaze down his face to his mouth. He bit down on his bottom lip, and with that one action the last shred of my self-control slipped from me. With one stride, I was pressed against him, my hands firmly cupping his face, my lips crashing to his, parting them and demanding entry. It wasn’t so much a kiss as an invading army, as I unleashed through my mouth and tongue, months of pent up obsession and longing. His body sagged against mine, his hands on my hips, his groan vibrating through his chest to mine.

At last he was in my arms.

At last his lips were covered by mine.

At last his flesh was under my hands.

Drunken exaltation coursed through my veins as his flavor exploded in my mouth, coating my dominating tongue as I devoured him. He tasted of wine and caramel, and the more his taste filled my mouth the more I wanted. I couldn’t get enough, and I pressed myself ever closer to him, needing to meld his body to mine. My lungs screamed for air as I continued to ransack his mouth like a man who’d stumbled into an oasis after weeks in the desert.

Finally, unable to deny my body’s need for oxygen any longer, I wrested my mouth from his, dragging in a deep, ragged, panting breath. My need to maintain contact between my mouth and his skin had me planting feverish kisses along his stubbled jaw, eliciting a sensation not unlike pins and needles on my lips, and I shivered, liking it.

Claiming his mouth once more, I wanted to throw back my head and roar with satisfaction when I felt his tongue come out to battle with mine. Upon feeling his reciprocating passion, I allowed him to take control of the kiss, loving the feeling of his tongue exploring my mouth.

Slowly, ever so slowly, his citrus and vanilla scent wrapped itself about me, calming me, and reminding me who exactly it was, I was holding in my arms, and how precious he was to me. My grip on his face loosened, my thumbs relaxing to caress his cheeks, and my fingers gentling in their tugging of his hair. My lips softened, and instead of devouring him, I used my tongue to make love to his. My heart nearly pushed through my rib cage in an effort to join his when I felt his moan vibrate against my chest, and his strong hands clutch me tighter to him.

“Jaxon… I… You…” he began unsteadily.

“Shh,” I hushed him. “Kiss me. Please just keep kissing me. I’ve waited so fucking long.”

I moaned when he did as I asked, the skin of my throat feeling as if it was melting under his lips as he kissed his way down to suck on my Adam’s apple. “Besides,” I croaked. “Talking’s overrated.”

Time had no meaning. Sight and sound had no meaning. The music was still pumping, bodies were still gyrating, but I didn’t register any of it. All I could see was Liam. He was all I could hear and taste. The wet whisper of his lips moving with mine, the taste of him filling my mouth, his scent enveloping me, his warm body pressed flush to my own, these were the things that filled my universe, and they were all that I wanted or needed.

My hands were on his ass, his on mine, as our bodies swayed, our cocks grinding against each other. I wanted to yell with joy. Liam was hard. Liam was so fucking hard.

“Come back to my hotel with me,” I croaked in his ear, kneading the firm cheeks of his butt, longing to slip my hand between the fabric of his jeans to what I just knew would be the smooth flesh of his ass. My heart seemed to freeze, my lungs devoid of breath, as I waited for his reply.

With his one word response my heart took off, like a racehorse charging from the gates. “Yes,” he whispered, darting his tongue out to lick the shell of my ear.

Grabbing his hand, I paved the way for us through the sea of bodies, impatient to be free of the crowd and alone with him. I felt like Moses parting the Red Sea. I didn’t want an audience watching me as I did what I’d been dreaming of doing with him. Almost bursting through the doors in my eagerness to get us back to my suite, I scanned the street, willing a cab to be available. Liam’s hand was still tightly clutched in my own—I was damned if I was going to let go of it now, not when I’d yearned to have it in my grasp for so long. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see the flush of desire on his cheeks, and a smirk tugging at his lips that were rosy and swollen from my kisses.

“Eager, Pretty Boy?” he teased, his shot-with-whiskey voice low and husky, his thumb caressing the knuckles of my hand as it gripped his.

“Yes,” I answered, unashamed of my need for him.

“Good. Me, too.” He leaned in, his lips brushing against the shell of my ear, his breath hot on my neck. “I’m going to make you feel so fucking good, Jaxon, you’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven.
“Oh, God,” I groaned, almost jizzing myself in anticipation, frantic now for a cab. Where the fuck is a cab when you need one?

As if in answer to my prayers, one pulled up beside us, and I nearly wrenched the rear door of its hinges in my haste to open it, practically pushing Liam in ahead of me. I could hear his chuckle as he slid across the seat, making room for me.

Sliding in, I was vaguely surprised to see a young attractive woman behind the wheel. “Where to, boys?”

“The Sofitel Wentworth,” I replied, immediately swiveling in my seat to face Liam as he sat, his face turned toward me. Leaning in, with the intention of claiming his lips and kissing the grin from his face, I rejoiced to feel his hand rise to cup my cheek, his other coming to rest on my waist, drawing me closer.

With his hands urging me closer still, he freed his lips from mine, whispering, “Come here, Pretty Boy, so I can kiss you properly.”

I didn’t need to be asked twice, moving to straddle his thighs, whimpering when his hands cradled my head, pulling my face down to his, our surroundings totally forgotten. The moan that escaped me as his mouth took ownership of mine seemed to echo within the confines of the car. His tongue was hot and demanding, and I felt myself giving myself over to him—if this was a battle, then I had just raised the white flag of surrender.

For a long sweet moment, I swam in the delicious nectar of our kiss, and then his hands were between us, deftly popping the buttons of my jeans, releasing Buddy from the confines of my briefs in one swift, sure move.

I couldn’t move. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t speak. My tongue felt so thick in my throat, I thought I might choke on it. My heart was pounding, the blood buzzing so loud in my ears that it was as if from a distance that I heard Liam speaking to the driver.

“So, Tel81, I’ll pay you triple what the meter says if you keep your eyes on the road, and drive until I tell you otherwise.”

“Sure, no problem. One scenic tour coming up!” I thought she might have laughed, but I wasn’t sure.

“Now where was I?” Liam whispered seductively. “Oh yes, I was looking after your pretty cock, wasn’t I, Jaxon?” His lips were on my throat, his tongue licking up to my ear, sucking the lobe into his hot mouth before he bit down on it gently. “I want you to watch me, Pretty Boy. I want you to watch me make your dick feel so damn good you’ll think all your Christmases have come at once.”

With those words, he leaned back and I looked down, mesmerized by the sight of my engorged and leaking cock, almost crimson in its need, encased in Liam’s pale, slim hand. Slowly, his fist slid up my shaft, his thumb swirling over my weeping slit, almost making me come at the feeling of pleasure at being touched in this way by him. I felt myself arching toward him, my head thrown back as a groan rumbled up from the base of my belly, working its way out of my throat.

“Look at me, Jaxon,” he ordered quietly, his voice husky with lust, and I obeyed without question, my blue gaze locking onto his fiery russet one. “Watch me pleasure you.”

With a whimper, I tore my gaze from his, to look again, trance-like, at my dick, thick and throbbing with need, scarcely able to breathe as he rhythmically pumped me. I was beyond coherent thought, beyond speech, capable only of groans, sighs, and whimpers, a slave to sensation.

My senses were heightened, my body hyper aware of my surroundings. I could feel the small movements of my buttocks over his denim-clad, muscled thighs and the hardness of his cock. His citrus and vanilla scent filled my nostrils, his breath coming in hot pants against the heated flesh of my throat, as his strong hand slid so erotically up and down my length. I watched and I savored, overjoyed to feel him harden further beneath the cheeks of my ass.

I wanted him to want me, as I badly as I wanted him.

I longed for him to feel as good as he was making me feel.

“Do you like that, Jaxon? Do you like me jacking you off?” he asked hoarsely, his voice compelling me to answer.

“Yes,” I hissed, barely recognizing the husky tones as my own, thrusting my hips forward, my dick begging for more.

His grip on me tightened, his other hand leaving my hip to reach in and cup my balls.
“Oh, God,” I wailed quietly.

“Do you like my hands on you, Pretty Boy? Does my touch make you feel good?” His questions were spoken so softly, and yet they demanded a response from me.

“Yes, God yes!”

“Have you been dreaming of me, Jaxon?”

“Yes,” I admitted, knowing it was pointless to deny it.

“Do you fantasize about my lips wrapped around your pretty cock? Of plunging your dick down my throat again and again, fucking my face?”

His voice was hypnotic, drawing the truth from me. “Yes.”

“Then do it,” he commanded softly, one hand moving to my ass, urging me to kneel over him as he slid slightly down the back of the seat, his other hand guiding my cock to his waiting mouth.

His gaze was glued to mine as he licked his lips before parting them, bringing the tip of my dick to rest on his bottom lip. “Do you want your cock in my mouth, Jaxon?” As he spoke, his lips brushed over my head in butterfly soft kisses, and I sucked my breath in, resisting the urge to thrust Buddy into his teasing mouth.

“Yes,” I groaned.

“Then what are you waiting for, my Pretty?”

Not waiting for a response from me, he swiftly swirled his tongue around my head as he pulled my hips toward him, devouring Buddy in one delicious swoop.

“Oh, my fucking God!” I cried when I hit the back of his throat, the tight wet heat of his mouth the most exquisite of tortures. The car changing lanes almost had me losing my balance, and I shifted my hands to grip the backrest of the seat above Liam’s head. I clenched my buttocks, pushing my hips forward, plunging my needy cock back down his throat.

With his hands firmly grasping my butt, he directed me in and out of heaven, his lips sliding in a tight vacuum up and down my length. Throwing my head back in bliss, I cursed and I keened.

Vaguely, I registered it had begun to rain, the drops on the rear window distorting the shifting colors of the store fronts and other moving vehicles into a fragmented kaleidoscope. The wet sound of car tires on the rain-slickened streets blended with the moist sound of my dick gliding in and out of Liam’s talented mouth, both background harmony to my deep groans.

Look at him. He fucking wanted you to look at him!

Tilting my head, I looked down into his face, at his hollowed cheeks, suffused with a pink flush. God, it looked so good to see my dick disappearing into his warm mouth, to see his full lips sealed about my girth, and his gold-striated eyes on fire with desire, staring up at me.

“You feel so good, Liam,” I breathed. “So fucking good!”

He hummed about my cock, his eyes darkening at my words, his hands encouraging me to plunge; harder, faster, deeper.

Panting, my heart racing like I’d run a marathon, I felt my balls tighten, the tight coil of my climax quivering in my belly.

Whimpering, I cried, “I’m so close! I’m gonna come!”

I tried to pull myself away from his hungry mouth as my climax rose like a tidal wave in my gut, but he held me fast to him, his nose buried in the trimmed curls of my pubic hair. He hummed and swallowed around me, his hands clutching at my buttocks, and with one final wail of surrender, I let go, leaping off the cliff into the most intense orgasm of my life. Spurt after spurt of my essence cascaded down his throat and he took it all, his throat working to swallow all that I offered him.

Exalted and spent, my thighs trembling, I collapsed on his lap. Buddy slipped from his lips, soft and sated. I fell forward, my head coming to rest on his shoulder, and I felt relieved to feel his chest heaving as deeply and rapidly as my own.

“You tasted so good, Pretty Boy. I want more.” His whispered words made me moan into the crook of his neck, my tongue darting out of its own accord to taste him.

Lifting my head, I cradled his face, staring at the thick sweep of his lashes fanning over his cheeks. He looked so contented. The sight tore the breath from my lungs. Tenderly, I placed a kiss on each eyelid, my gaze moving to his mouth, seeing a drop of my seed on his bottom lip. With a soft whimper, I lapped it up, inhaling his happy sigh, before following my flavor into the velvety warmth of his mouth.

Long moments later, I dragged my lips from his, shuffling back on his thighs, my fingers moving to the button of his jeans.

His hand moved over mine, stopping me, and I raised my eyes from the bulge of his groin to look into his molten eyes, confused.

“No,” he said quietly, shaking his head.

“But I want to touch you… I want to make you feel good too,” I whispered, frowning at him.

“Oh, you will, Pretty Boy. You will,” he murmured. He chuckled, caressing my pouting lips with the pad of his thumb. “In fact, I’m hoping you’ll do more than just touch me, but I’ll wait my turn till we get to your room. I’m not sure our driver, Tel81, would survive us going a second round in her taxi.”

At his words, I turned my head to look in the rear vision mirror, meeting the eyes of our cab driver, seeing her smirk and wink at me.

Mmm, yes, maybe round two would be better done in private…

*****

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

*****

LILY VELDEN

AUTHOR LINKS

Website: http://www.lilyvelden.wordpress.com
Email: lilyvelden@live.com.au
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lily.velden
Twitter: @LilyVelden
Tumblr: http://www.lilyvelden.tumblr.com/

BUY LINKS:
Same Page: Dreamspinner Press
The Race is On: Dreamspinner Press

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Carina Press, Kim Knox

Agamemnon Frost Is Your Guide On A Journey Through “The House of Death” And Onto “The Hollow Ships”



“A man must be sacrificed now and again to provide for the next generation of men.” – Amy Lowell



Mr. Agamemnon Frost is not at all the man he appears to be. On the surface one would say he’s a bit of a fop, fastidious in his outward appearance, perhaps a little shallow and, for all intents and purposes, somewhat eccentric.

Edgar Mason is an ex-soldier who’s become a manservant because it’s the only way he’s found to make a living, though the competition is fierce for the limited number of positions available to a good man who knows how to serve. Mason has very few rules, but one he’d always stood firm on was that he refused to serve the poncy, pompous dandies in the ruling class. Well, tough and competitive times have forced him to give up on that particular rule of engagement, so when he ends up being employed to serve as Agamemnon’s valet for a dinner party he must swallow his misgivings and soldier through the evening. Little could Mason have predicted, however, that he’d find a mysterious and complex man behind the façade, or that he’d be so incredibly attracted to the enigma that is Agamemnon Frost. Or that when he accepted the assignment, he’d become an unwitting pawn in a deadly play.

There’s something otherworldly and altogether dangerous afoot at Sir Randolph Cadwallader’s soiree, and Agamemnon coerces Mason’s participation in a game that does nothing but prove Frost isn’t altogether sane. Frost knows the consequences of this farce but practices subterfuge for the greater good, making a regrettable sacrifice of Mason in the process and dragging the man into a war he wasn’t even aware was being fought, a maneuver that proves unfortunate for Mason and brings about a near-fatal betrayal of Frost.

Agamemnon Frost and the House of Death is a fun and fantastical adventure that I could easily give away far too much of. This installment in the series is a blend of dark danger, insidious enemies, a diabolical master, and imagination galore, the beginning of what I hope will be many more installments to come. Kim Knox has delivered a story that’s a little steampunk, a little sci-fi, a lot of action and some out-of-this-world threats, and then has set the story in Victorian England to make it just that much more interesting. This all comes together to create a world I can’t wait to dig a little deeper into, complete with two men I can’t wait to get to know better. Because, let me assure you, there’s absolutely nothing common about either of them.

If you love steampunk, sci-fi, fantasy, or all of the above, I’d definitely recommend getting to know Agamemnon and Mason yourself.

Reviewed by: Lisa

You can buy Agamemnon Frost and the House of Death here:


“What’s worse than knowing you want something, besides knowing you can never have it?” ― James Patterson



And the plot thickens…

Agamemnon Frost and Edgar Mason are designed to look human, are expected to behave like humans, and they succeed in the human roles they’ve been assigned by their master. But, they are far from human, more instruments of deception than they are men, more machine than flesh and blood, controlled, manipulated and used by an entity that demands nothing less than unquestioning loyalty and physical perfection. He is alien, he is evil, he is ruthless, and he will never let these men escape the lives he’s dragged them into.

Frost’s fiancé was killed, collateral damage in the war Station X has waged against an invading force that seems poised to destroy humans and take over the Earth. In reality, however, Ms. Theodora Cadwallader had been lost long before her body disappeared, which leads Agamemnon to believe there may be reason to search for her. After, of course, he finds the man whose body Pandarus has invaded, since the shell that was Sir Randolph Cadwallader is no longer a viable smokescreen.

Where does this leave Mason, who is battling the dark voice in his head that demands he betray Frost for the traitor he is, when the one person who can silence that voice is Frost himself? What’s a man to do when he’s fallen in love with someone who will never love him in return, but that someone is the one person Mason needs more than any other to keep him connected to his humanity? What’s a man to do when he is the one Frost needs just as much to keep his inner demons in check? What is real and what is a convenience? What is duty and what is desire? These are the questions that Kim Knox has left unanswered and they are the reason I will be following this series until its end.

Agamemnon Frost and the Hollow Ships, Book Two in the “Agamemnon Frost” series is nothing short of an outstanding adventure, filled with action and suspense, a battle of good and evil, characters who have been cybernetically altered in an age when the concept of electricity was still in its infancy. It is a place where time and space are bent and altered, and features a relationship that is more symbiotic than romantic but is nevertheless one I’m completely invested in seeing through to either the end or the beginning, whichever direction Kim Knox decides to take these two men.

I’ve not only found a new author to be excited about but a new series as well. If you consider yourself a bit of a sci-fi geek, are more than a little crazy for steampunk, and love an all-around great read that engages both your brain and your feels, I can’t recommend this series highly enough!

Reviewed by: Lisa

You can buy Agamemnon Frost and the Hollow Ships here:

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Andrew Grey, Dreamspinner Press

See Your Way To Andrew Grey’s “Love Comes in Darkness”

“Touch comes before sight, before speech. It is the first language and the last, and it always tells the truth.” ― Margaret Atwood



Love Comes In Darkness is the second in the Senses Series. I haven’t read book one, and while I believe book two can be read as a standalone, some may feel as though they’re missing out on the first couple’s story. In that case, read Love Comes Silently first.

Howard is blind, has been since birth. He relies on his hearing, touch and smell to “see” the world. I haven’t read many stories in which the main character is blind, and was apprehensive on how the author would make it real. It seems as though the author had done his research in bringing out the realistic aspects of being a blind person, living in a world for sighted people. Not knowing color, but seeing color through texture. Never seeing someone smile, but knowing they are just by the tone of their voice. I believe Andrew Grey does a great job bringing the reader in and showing us the world through Howard’s eyes. It was very well done.

The story starts when Howard’s soon to be ex boyfriend leaves him stranded by the side of a busy highway after an argument. While on the phone with a friend trying to determine where he is exactly so he can be picked up, a Good Samaritan named Gordy stops and offers Howard refuge in his truck until his friends get there.

Gordy is attracted to Howard from the start. Through some chance meetings and mutual friends, they get to know each other. I enjoyed their interactions with each other; it felt real, not forced or uncomfortable. Gordy was genuinely interested in Howard as a person and the fact that he was blind didn’t matter. Part of Gordy’s appeal is that he didn’t feel the need to take control of Howard’s life like previous boyfriends had. Howard knew right from the beginning, too, that Gordy was a great guy. Who else would have stopped to help a total stranger by the side of the road? He also got clues from his friends about what a nice person Gordy was and how he couldn’t keep his eyes off of Howard. I loved how their relationship evolved. It wasn’t too fast, they weren’t hopping into bed with each other as soon as they met.

As someone who wasn’t privy to the details in having a seeing eye dog, the descriptions of what is involved in training a dog to help the blind was very informative. I thoroughly enjoyed reading that part of the story. Originally, Howard thought getting a seeing eye would take away his independence. Slowly he came to realize he’d have more freedom and security having a dog with him.

When tragedy strikes, Howard questions his ability to take care of his six year old niece. His inner turmoil over the loss of his sister and being the sole guardian to a child was heartbreaking. There were a few skeptics wondering how a blind guy who lived alone could take care if a child, but it all works out in the end and everyone gets what they need at the end of the day. I loved how it wasn’t drawn out into something more confrontational.

I’m not overly fond of kids in the stories I read, but this just worked. I’m very happy I didn’t let this one go by. Overall, this was a very sweet story, and I enjoyed reading it very much. Andrew Grey fans will not be disappointed.

Reviewed by: Lynn

You can buy Love Comes in Darkness here:

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Dreamspinner Press, M.A. Church, The Joyful Approach

Well, Would You Look Who’s Dropped By To Celebrate With A Giveaway? It’s M.A. Church!

Grandparents, like heroes, are as necessary to a child’s growth as vitamins.
~Joyce Allston



Hey everyone! I’m M.A. Church and I’m here to talk about my latest book called Shadows in the Night from Dreamspinner, which was released July 12th. I’m also doing a Shadows eBook giveaway. Hehe, I’m very excited over this book. :) It’s one of the books I’m taking to GRL this October. (See Contest Details Below)

One of my main characters is Jason, a Native American shifter—a black cougar. Here are a few facts about cougars:

~The cougar (Puma concolor)—also known as the puma, mountain lion, panther, or catamount—is native to the Americas. Its range extends from the Canadian Yukon to the southern Andes of South America and is the greatest of any large wild terrestrial mammal in the Western Hemisphere.

~The cougar is an adaptable, generalist species and is found in most American habitat types.

~It’s also the second heaviest cat in the Western Hemisphere, after the jaguar.

~The cougar is solitary by nature and nocturnal; it’s closely related to smaller felines and is genetically closer to the domestic cat than true lions.

Now here’s the interesting part lol.

~There are no authenticated cases of truly melanistic (a development of dark-colored pigment in the skin or appendages and is the opposite of albinism) cougars. Melanistic cougars have never been photographed or shot in the wild and none has ever been bred. Unconfirmed sightings, known as the “North American black panther”, are currently attributed to errors in species identification by non-experts, and by the memetic (an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture) exaggeration of size.

In other words, according to the experts, there is no such thing as a black cougar. Huh. Guess someone should tell my black cougar shifter that, lol. ;) And someone may want to tell Jason he’s involved himself with a guy, Chip, who is a modern man with modern ideas. *grin* The fur is sure to fly when these two, from such different times, come together.

Oh, and let’s not forget there’s another shifter out there who has Chip in his sights and has murder on his mind. Time has brought with it an enemy that harbors a deep-seated hatred for Jason; an enemy who will use whatever means necessary to bring Jason to his knees… including Jason’s own mate.

As Chip is drawn farther and farther into a world he can’t escape, one thing becomes clear to him. He’s going to have to learn to trust the man he’s coming to care for and take a leap of faith.

Blurb:

When Chip Riley’s beloved granny passes away, she leaves him all her money, her land, and a house that needs some tender love and care. She never mentioned the legacy comes with a Native American shifter who intends to claim Chip as his mate.

Jason Sky has lived since buffalo roamed the land. When his totem spirit, a black cougar, saves a little girl, he doesn’t realize that generations later, her grandson will become his mate, leaving him to take on a modern man with modern ideas. But that’s the least of his problems.

Garon, another shifter with a long-held hatred for Jason, plots to kidnap Chip and lure Jason to his death. Soon Chip finds himself in an untenable position between a rock and a hard place. A leap of faith may be the only way to save himself and the man he’s learned to love.

Pages: 200
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase
eBook: Shadows in the Night

Excerpt:

A DULL strand of coppery red hair worked loose from the haphazard bun at the back of her neck, and with a sigh, Eva brushed it back behind her ear. It was early morning, but the heaviness of the air promised another scorcher.

“’Ranny! ’Ranny!”

A delighted smile lit Eva’s face as the precocious three-year-old came running around the corner of the house. He couldn’t quite pronounce the “G” sound, so instead of Granny he called her Ranny. The bright morning sun hit the little boy, and his light auburn hair once again reminded her of a living flame. He had inherited her red tresses and moss-green eyes.

“Over here, Chipper.”

Her grandson was her pride and joy… and more special than anyone knew. It was a shame his mother and father couldn’t see that, but her daughter didn’t care for anyone but herself. Their relationship was stilted, at best. Chip’s father was more concerned with making money than having anything to do with his son. Eva hated to admit it, but she didn’t have much use for either of her grandson’s parents. As a result of both parents neglecting Chip, the older the little boy became, the more time he ended up spending with her. Which, secretly, relieved her. Fate had big plans for the little guy; she had seen that firsthand in one of her visions.

“Go fish now?”

She had promised him last night they’d fish in the pond close to her house. It was just the two of them now; her husband Ed had died of a heart attack a year ago. The man had been in his late fifties, active, didn’t drink or smoke—and one morning had dropped dead of a heart attack. Eva grieved that Chip would never remember his grandfather.

“Yes, sweetie, we’ll go to the pond and fish for a while.”

Eva had the poles, a small tackle box, and a picnic basket ready to go. With any luck, they’d be having catfish for dinner. Of course, that depended on how soon the little bundle of energy dancing around her tired out.

“Ride horsey?”

“Oh, sweetie, remember? I told you that Horsey may or may not show up today.” Eva glanced at the tree line as the animal Chip called “horsey” moved toward them. “Although something told me he’d be here.” The large, black cat moved nearer with a grace that belied the strength and deadliness he possessed. Keen, humanlike intelligence showed in his eyes. Eva was unsurprised. She knew full well this animal was more than what he appeared. “Horsey!” Chip squealed and raced in the direction of the animal.

“Had a feeling you wouldn’t miss this.” Eva, a smile on her lips, shook her head as a happy rumble sounded from deep within the animal’s chest. He lowered himself to the ground so Chip could climb on his back. “Okay, come along you two. Daylight’s a-wasting.”

Eva followed the huge cat, her grandson babbling merrily to the animal about whatever hit his fertile mind. The trip to the pond was a short one, and soon they arrived. But even with the small child riding on his back and talking nonstop, the creature never lowered his guard. His ears twitched as he listened to the woodland creatures, alert for any signs of danger. Eva trusted his instincts—in fact, trusted him with her and her grandson’s lives. Without him, she wouldn’t be alive. The beast had proven his loyalty to her and her parents a long time ago, and a friendship had been born.

Eva found a shady spot by the pond and laid out an old sheet she’d brought. There she laid the picnic basket, along with a few towels. After she cast out her line, she turned to watch as the animal and Chip played by the bank.

“Go get it!” Chip hollered as he threw a small ball she had brought.

The creature chased after the ball, and Chip ran after the beast. They pursued each other, the animal allowing the small child to catch him. He was always careful to keep his claws retracted as they played. Giggles and an occasional yip drifted to her.

Chip made his way to her side after he grew tired of the game. “Ranny, go swim?”

“Sure, sweetie.” Eva reeled in her line and helped the little boy take off his shoes, socks, and shirt. The beast waited patiently as she readied Chip, then followed the youngster to the water. “Have fun, boys.”

The water wasn’t deep where they splashed and frolicked. Anytime Chip wandered too deep, the cat herded him back to shallower water. Eva giggled like a young girl when the beast splashed Chip with his paw.

Chip wiped the water from his eyes. “No fair!”

“Oh, you’ve done it now.” Eva chuckled.

The beast turned his head to look at her and a sound rumbled from it that sounded amazingly like a laugh. When he turned back to the little boy, his greenish-yellow eyes widened. Chip floated on his back, kicking furiously. A tidal wave of water crashed down on the animal. Soft, playful growls and shrieks of laughter could be heard echoing through the woods as the beast and the small human child mock-fought. With a gentle nudge of his head, the animal ushered Chip from the water.

“Think it’s rest time, Chipper. You hungry?”

“Uh-huh.”

Chip rubbed his eyes with his fists as Eva dried him off. To the side, the beast licked his coat dry. Eva laid out the sandwiches and poured a cup of juice for Chip. A bowl filled with fresh water sat near her grandson’s plate. Chip and the creature settled down on the sheet to eat lunch. The animal took breaks from slurping water from his bowl to eat bits and pieces of the sandwich Chip fed him. Soon the little boy was curled up next to the creature.

“I’m going to try to get a little fishing done,” Eva whispered as her grandson slipped off to sleep. Purring softly, the beast nodded his head. “I won’t be far.”

When Eva returned a short time later with her catch, she stopped and watched the huge, black animal and the little boy sleeping next to each other.

“I’m back.” Eva sat down next to the beast. A long black tail rested across Chip’s legs, and greenish-yellow eyes focused on Eva. “You know this can’t go on much longer, my friend. He’s smart for a child his age, and soon he’s going to ask questions about you.”

The creature rumbled in agreement.

“I know it’ll be hard for you. But another year—maybe two—and you’ll have to disappear from his life. The time isn’t right yet for you to make yourself known.”

The creature rumbled again, sadness in his eyes.

Eva ran her hand over the thick black coat. “I know, dear. But the time will come. You and I both know that. It will come, and he’s going to need you. Take care of him for me, okay?”

The beast nodded his head again. His time would come, but not for many years yet. The little boy had to grow into a man first.

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Author bio: M.A. Church

M.A. Church lives in the southern United States and spent many years in the elementary education sector. She is married to her high school sweetheart and they have two children. Her hobbies are gardening, walking, attending flea markets, watching professional football, racing, and spending time with her family on the lake.

But her most beloved hobby is reading. From an early age, she can remember hunting for books at the library. Later nonhuman and science fiction genres captured her attention and drew her into the worlds the authors had created. But always at the back of her mind was the thought that one day, when the kids were older and she had more time, she would write a book.

By sheer chance she stumbled across a gay male romance story on the web and was hooked. A new world opened up and she fell in love. Thus the journey started. When not writing or researching, she enjoys reading the latest erotic and mainstream romance novels.

My links:
Blog
Twitter
Facebook
Goodreads

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THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

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Aleksandr Voinov, L.A. Witt, Riptide Publishing

“Capture and Surrender” To The Men Of Market Garden

“The friend in my adversity I shall always cherish most. I can better trust those who helped to relieve the gloom of my dark hours than those who are so ready to enjoy with me the sunshine of my prosperity.”– Ulysses S. Grant



Capture & Surrender is the fifth book in the successful “Market Garden” series by L.A. Witt and Aleksandr Voinov. The series centers around a rent boy club that caters to upper class men in London. Each book in this series seems to surpass the one before it. I inevitably anxiously await the release of the next installment!

In Capture & Surrender, we meet Frank, the owner of Market Garden. Up to this point Frank has been in the background, but this book gives him his time in the sunshine. In the previous volume, Frank’s BDSM “specialist” found his HEA and has left the Market Garden. This leaves a hole in Frank’s ability to provide a full range of services to his clients. The hole is as big as the one in his heart that has been there since his partner died eighteen months ago.

Raoul, Frank’s long time bartender at the Market Garden, knows the perfect replacement. Stefan seems like he will definitely be able to meet the needs of the Market Garden’s clients when he walks in the door like a wet dream. Stefan is former US Military, he is big and hot and dominate. He also immediately sets his sights on Frank. Unfortunately for Stefan, Frank has a strict policy about not getting involved with the rent boys.

As Frank first thought, Stefan does well at the Market Garden. The clients love him and his camouflage wearing, bossy attitude and “services.” Frank is feeling strange about the situation though. He’s not sure what the feeling is that he has every time he sees Stefan go out the door with a client.

A couple of times a month, Frank and a group of friends have a paintball tournament which always ends with sex in one form or another. Either a player is captured and has sex with his captor, or there is a group getting together or partners are watching one another get off with another man. All the participants are gay. Since Frank’s partner dies, he hasn’t participated in the game or the post game sex, he has only served as an referee for the games.

Frank asks Stefan to accompany him to the game, explaining clearly the rules of the game and Frank’s personal no contact rule with the rent boys. Stefan immediately proves that he has no regard for the rules of the game or Frank’s personal life. He sets out to win Frank in both arenas.

As Frank & Stefan get to know each other, it becomes obvious that they have a huge important commonality. It is also clear that they have a lot of obstacles between getting to know each other and getting to love each other. Stefan is determined to get through those obstacles to get to Frank.

The Market Garden series has always been unbelievably hot. The sex is off the charts and leaves the readers fanning themselves. Capture & Surrender was no different on that front. What struck me as very different was the emotional aspect of the story that developed with these two men. There is a depth of feeling and sharing that we haven’t seen before from this series. The combination of the physical and emotional that Witt & Voinov created is perfect. They balanced the pain Stefan and Frank had to overcome and the trust required to do so with the super hot sex scenes we expect and love from them.

The journey Frank & Stefan take is rocky and strewn with landmines, but it is one I was grateful to be able to take with them. Raoul’s intentions in bringing Stefan into the business in the first place are eventually revealed and realized. That crafty bastard needs his own story, and soon!

I was so pleased to see a depth of emotion in Capture & Surrender. It was unexpected, but very gratefully received. It gave Frank’s story a gravitas that he deserved as the owner of the club, not just one of the boys. All this while continuing to keep the heat at an almost constant boil. Witt & Voinov are an amazing team. Although I have a feeling I am not alone when I say, PLEASE can we have more Tristan and Jared? Please? Knowing the sadistic nature of these two exquisitely talented authors, they will make us wait until the final book in the series for our Tristan and Jared fix. I don’t know how many books are planned. I am torn between wanting to get to the last one for T & J and waiting years because the intervening books are so damn good. Hotly, heartily, heavily recommended.

Reviewed by: Tina

You can buy Capture and Surrender here:

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Josephine Myles, Lily Velden, M.A. Church, Shannon West, Taylor V. Donovan, The Joyful Approach

A Sneak-Peek At The Coming Week!



The Joyful Approach Countdown To GayRomLit 2013 is in full swing, and so far the reception has been pretty spectacular. In case you missed it, I have the full schedule posted HERE, including links to the posts that have already gone live, both here and at Joyfully Jay’s place. Some of those giveaways are already closed, but you can still go check out what the authors had to say. I’ve also added another author to the celebration, so watch out for Carter Quinn’s visit on October 1st!

This Week’s GayRomLit Visitors include:

M.A. Church on August 26th, with a giveaway of her new book, Shadows in the Night
On August 27th, Lily Velden will be here with a giveaway of her latest release, The Race Is On: Book 2 How the Light Gets In
Wednesday, the 28th, we’ll be hosting Shannon West, and she’ll be offering one lucky reader the chance to win her new book, Bloodlust

But wait, there’s more! We also have a couple of great authors visiting with us apart from the Joyful Approach Celebration.

On Thursday, the 29th, Josephine Myles will be here on her Junk Blog Tour. She’s offering a couple of great items to a lucky winner, including a sexy book tote and a $5 E-book gift voucher. She’ll be giving you a link to all the details in her post.

Finally, on August 30th, we’ll be hosting Taylor V. Donovan on her Six Degrees of Separation (By Degrees Book 2) Blog Tour. Stay tuned for details on what Ms. Donovan will be up to during her visit.

And of course, as always, we’ll have plenty of reviews coming too. We hope to see you around for the fun!

Have a great week!

Lisa

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Alex Kidwell, Dreamspinner Press

Grab The Popcorn And Let’s Talk Film Noir With Alex Kidwell. Then Get Ready For A Giveaway!




Several years ago, I had a friend who introduced me to the world of film noir. She loved the battle between good and evil that was never really resolved, the gray areas that the anti-hero would play in, the dames with their legs up to here, the down-on-his-luck detective who would try to make things right. She made me fall for it, too.

So when another friend expressed a wish for a chinchilla shifter story, I knew I had to dip back into that genre. However, I couldn’t imagine doing a super serious book about such a fluffy, adorable creature. So August Mendez came to be. He’s overweight, under-motivated, stuck at a dead end job and he loves anything to do with old school detective stories. Oh, yeah, and he can shift into a chinchilla.

For Gumption & Gumshoes, I pulled from the film noir inspiration, but I very much wanted to develop the story into something lighthearted. August’s journey is towards becoming comfortable in his own skin, whatever that skin should be. He is given an opportunity to pursue his daydream of becoming a private eye; within that, though, he has to remove the fantasy and realize that worthwhile things don’t come as easily as the movies.

Sam Ewing is August’s love interest in the book, and I have to admit, I fell in love with writing him. He’s gruff, bitter, divorced, fifteen years August’s senior, and very much a softie under all that grumbling. Throughout the story, he helps August’s confidence while August helps him realize that he can let go of the pain of his failed marriage. They’re a great partnership.

It doesn’t start out great, though. This excerpt is from the first time the reader sees the two interact:

Most days, Sam found, it wasn’t worth getting out of bed. Just flat-out was not worth the time or bother. And really, what was so great about the outside world? People were dicks, by and large, and dealing with them only put him in an increasingly foul temper.

All of this held doubly true on rent day.

Rent day was like a holiday designed by a masochist. Owning a building had sounded like a great idea before he’d actually, well, owned the damn building. Before, it’d just been a job where he would be his own boss, set his own rules, where he could insulate himself from the dickbags of the world. Do some repairs when they were called for, change light bulbs, paint once a year—the whole thing had been perfect. But that was before he’d known about rent day.

Sam slammed his fist on the door, barking out three quick beats. “Mrs. Pritchett, it’s Sam Ewing. It’s the sixth, Mrs. Pritchett, I’m sorry, but I need to collect the rent. Lights don’t go on by themselves, you know?” Yeah, this was exactly what he wanted his life to be. Harassing little old ladies for the rent to their offices. At least it wasn’t apartments. If he had to throw someone out of their home he was pretty sure he’d just give up completely.

Mrs. Pritchett owned a little hair-and-nail salon on the first floor. It was good for business, nice storefront, drove foot traffic. People liked to rent in a building that had all that shit. Four floors, seventeen tenants, and him living in the walk-out basement he’d converted. It wasn’t a bad gig, really. Except for today. Today he had to be up at seven to try to catch people before they opened for business, knock on doors, and be the bad guy.

He wasn’t the fucking bad guy. He was just the guy who wanted to get paid.

Sighing, he fished out one of the Rent Due notices from his pocket and stuck it to the door. Someone was bound to see it when they came to open up, and if he didn’t hear from Mrs. Pritchett by noon he’d have to come back. Silently, Sam begged her to call. He hated coming back in front of customers; it was just… awkward.

Next stop was the fourth floor. Room 403 was the smallest office space he had; he almost hadn’t bothered renting it at all. It was barely big enough for a desk, some bookshelves, and a coffee maker. But every so often a fledgling business liked to get a cheap storefront to start, and it wasn’t hard to keep up with the maintenance on it. So Sam rented it for a song, made the lease six months instead of twelve, and kept it pretty well occupied. He hadn’t had much cause to come up there, really, rent day or no.

At least, not until five months ago.

Five months ago he’d gone against his gut and signed a lease with some chubby, wide-eyed kid in a damn fedora. Something told him that he’d be trouble, but Sam was a sucker for brown eyes, and he’d been cute, in a roly-poly kind of way. Aw, hell, in any way, though Sam was trying real hard to not think about it. At first, it’d been fine. Rent had been paid on time, guy had been quiet, no worries. For the first month.

“Mr. Mendez, it’s Sam Ewing.” Sam frowned at the door, repressing the urge to sigh heavily. He could hear the squeak of a chair, the distinct noise of someone stumbling, a muffled curse. “Mr. Mendez, it’s the sixth.”

There was another curse and a heavy crash. The brass sign on the door proclaiming August Mendez, Private Detective reflected Sam’s face back to him, the eye roll of disbelief echoed there. Finally, though, cautious footsteps approached the door and August opened it, peering through. Sam was struck again by how attractive the guy was, dusky skin and dark, wavy hair framing a round face that seemed to broadcast every emotion. Not that he was there to flirt. Not that Sam flirted anymore.

“Uh. Hey, Sam,” August said, giving Sam his best innocent smile.

“Mr. Mendez,” Sam sighed.

He was interrupted by, “I told you, you can call me August. Or Auggie, whichever. You probably wouldn’t be the Auggie type, though, you know? Not that there’s a type. Or that that’s a bad thing! Just, you’re all stern and you’d probably look weird calling me by the nickname I got as a baby when you’re just, you know.” August trailed off, smile faltering, a miserable expression taking its place.

“Not a baby?” Sam suggested, expression still firm even as the corners of his lips twitched slightly.

“Exactly.” August nodded before he seemed to hear what Sam had said. Horrified, he quickly amended, “No! I mean yes, you are definitely a man. An old man. Not that you’re old!” Letting out an explosive breath, August sagged against the doorframe in surrender. “I’ll have the cash for you this afternoon?”

“Thank you, August.” Sam turned, hiding his smile and heading toward the elevator. Well, that had been slightly better than expected.

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I always love being here at TNA. Thank you again for allowing me to share about Gumption & Gumshoes.

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

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Dreamspinner Press, SJD Peterson

A Salute To SJD Peterson’s “Beyond Duty”

“Whether black or white, male or female, active or reserve, gay, bisexual, or straight, we are all Marines. What we share in common goes deeper than any superficial differences.” — SJD Peterson



Beyond Duty the novel started off as Beyond Duty the short story. It was originally written as part of the Goodreads M/M Romance Group’s “Love Has No Boundaries” series. Each short story is based on a photo submitted by a reader. The photo for the original short story was of two beary men with tattoos wearing only cammo pants. I kept that photo front and center in my brain while reading the novel version of Beyond Duty. Not just because they are my “type” (which they totally are!) but also because they both perfectly match the characters physically described and how I would imagine them to behave emotionally in the book. They look tough, as though they believe that showing emotion would equal showing weakness.

Beyond Duty is the story of Gunther “Gunny” Duchene and Macalister “Mac” Jones. They are two career Marines and have been lovers for most of their twenty-two years of service. Their retirement from duty comes right as Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is officially repealed. They will both finally be free to be gay and to be Marines. Once a Marine, always a Marine.

After living in a relationship with forced lengthy separations and no acknowledgement of it actually being a “relationship”, Mac and Gunny are both apprehensive about how their lives, both individually and as a couple, will change upon DADT’s repeal and their retirement. They realize that they are in love, but don’t know how to define that love outside the confines of the Marines.

With varying degrees of success while coming out to their families, they decide to make a grand gesture of support for all gay and lesbian men and women in the armed forces. In honor of the repeal of DADT, the grand gesture is to be carried out at their public retirement ceremony.

Saying much more would give away too much. I fear I may already have done so. I am a fan of SJD Peterson’s writing. Beyond Duty has reinforced my fan girl status. The sex is hot, made even hotter by the perfect men on the cover and the way they match the physical descriptions of the characters. I find I enjoy picturing scenes from books I am reading more if the men on the cover actually match the characters in the book. This is rarely the case.

The apprehension Mac, but especially Gunny felt about whether living a forever with Mac, was palpable. I wanted to hug that big tough Marine and tell him to just look into Mac’s eyes. He would be able to see that Mac was feeling the same insecurities.

I have heard that the transition from military life can be very difficult on the serviceman and everyone around him or her. In this case, SJD Peterson throws an extra curve into the adjustment. Gunny and Mac, who have been actively serving their country while secretly being lovers for over twenty years, have a bigger hurdle of adjustment to overcome. She presents the hurdle and shows us how gracefully and heroically it can be overcome. Strongly recommended.

Reviewed by: Tina

You can buy Beyond Duty here:

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DeeDee Brock, Silver Publishing

“Livin’ on the Edge” Is What Rock ‘n Roll Is All About

“If a relationship is base on loved, everything is worth one more try.” – Author Unknown



This is the author’s debut novel. Reading the blurb and finding out it was about rockers, I was instantly hooked.

Wes and Scottie are brothers who lost their parents and were put into foster care. After turning eighteen, Wes decides he can take better care of his brother than the foster homes they’ve been in, and he sells himself for money doing whatever it takes for the both of them to survive. After finding Wes beat up, bruised, and battered in an alleyway behind his bar, the owner takes them in and offers both brothers a place to stay. It’s where they both discovered their passion for music by playing with the house band and eventually taking it over. Thus the start of a very successful career.

They story opens several years into their stardom as an alternative rock band and is told through Wes’s POV. Wes knows he’s bisexual but is coming to realize he’s leaning more towards men. Especially when he becomes obsessed with a male fan he sees in the crowd. He can’t stop thinking about him. I loved the intensity of Wes’s infatuation with this mystery fan. It jumps off the page just how blown away he is by what he feels for this guy, he doesn’t really know how to handle his emotions. After shouting in my head at him to just talk to the dude he finally does. We are then introduced to Micah, who is just so sweet and flabbergasted that Wes is even talking to him.

The night these two spend together has the making of a true love story. You feel the total connection and ease they have around each other. It was like they were together for years instead of just hours. Everything flowed perfectly. And the sex was absolutely amazing. I was reading this with a smile on my face, but also with a little apprehension. How was this night going to end? Was this going to be shattered by the light of the day?

Wes isn’t out to anyone. He’s worried about how his band mates and fans would react to him being gay. I kind of felt bad for him, not being comfortable enough to be who he really was. I was a little frustrated with him too, for not confiding in his brother. I felt he could have talked to his brother and it would have been okay. They’ve been through so much together and they only have each other, I just couldn’t see Scottie turning his back on Wes. From the few scenes we see Scottie in, you can sense the love he has for his brother. It was sad Wes thought he couldn’t tell him, fearing rejection from the only family he has left.

A year goes by before Wes and Micah see each other at a musical festival. As it so happens, Micah has a job with another band working their sound system. The instant Wes sees Micah, all the feelings he has been keeping under wraps comes to the surface and he’s determined to get him back. I felt Micah was totally justified in keeping Wes at arm’s length. Wes had hurt him so bad, and he doesn’t trust him. He’s moved on, has a boyfriend and if Wes is serious about earning his trust back, it’s gonna have to be big.

I’m so glad there wasn’t an instant ‘get back together’ scene. I feel what Wes and Micah have is something worth fighting for. I’m so happy the author made them both work at the relationship instead giving them an easy fix. You just know these two are going to make it.

I believe this story is about second chances, self discovery and living your life to fullest. I am very much looking forward to the second book in this series.

Reviewed by: Lynn

You can buy Livin’ on the Edge (Edge #1) here:

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Kol Anderson

Kol Anderson Is A “Slave” To Giveaways!

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

Slave by Kol Anderson

It’s the worst feeling in the world, seeing him with someone else. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do, no limits I won’t go to get him back. But he won’t give me a chance. He won’t so much as look at me because he thinks I don’t belong to him anymore.

But that’s the whole thing.

I don’t belong anywhere.

Doesn’t matter where I go or who I am with I am always alone. There is something wrong with me, there has to be because no one else seems quite as miserable at being without a master.

But don’t we all owe our freedom to something?

People are slaves, aren’t they? To their jobs, to their partners, to their children, even to their lifestyles?

We all have those little kinks that we don’t tell anyone about, because we think we’re going to be judged for them, and because we’re slaves to society’s rules.

In a world where slavery is the norm I’m a slave to my needs.
To him.

And I need to get him back.

WARNINGS: HARDCORE BDSM, DUB-CON, NON-CON

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