4 Stars, Diane Adams, Dreamspinner Press, Fairy Tale/Mythology/Folk Lore, Reviewed by Sammy, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy

Review: Rearranging the Stars by Diane Adams

Title: Rearranging Stars

Author: Diane Adams

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 117 Pages

At a Glance: All in all, as a love story, Rearranging Stars scores high points.

Blurb: The freedom to love comes with a cost.

As a guardian angel, Drake’s destiny is written in the stars. Choice is not part of an angel’s life. Drake never thought twice about it until he’s unexpectedly thrust into watching over Grey, who inspires passion in Drake but endangers his very identity as a guardian angel. Grey is more than just another human—he can see angels. When he discovers that unlike his previous angel Drake will talk to him, Grey becomes determined to pull Drake off the sidelines and into life. Attraction flares between them from the beginning and causes Drake to question his purpose for the first time. His distraction results in a decision that changes everything—and not just for him and Grey.

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Review: Drake is a guardian angel. Unlike the others who seem to forget their humans the instant they pass away, Drake broods over every loss and spends time between assignments remembering the one who has died. You see, Drake is usually assigned to gay men, and they often commit suicide—something Drake is not allowed to intervene in to stop. Plus, his humans cannot see him, never interact with him, and are essentially unaware Drake even exists. However, Grey is different. He not only sees Drake but can touch him, hear him, and, eventually, wants him.

Grey has been different all his life. With an innate sense of justice that led him to participate in a neighborhood watch, Grey seems to laugh at danger and the idea of a guardian angel. But Drake is different—more real—more captivating. When Grey discovers that angels can shuffle off their heavenly status and become corporeal, he never considers Drake may do just that—but, then again, he never thought he would fall in love with an angel either.

Rearranging Stars by Diane Adams is a clever take on the idea of each person having their own guardian angel. Deliberately leaving out any clues as to their origin and the idea of a “god” being their father, the author instead has her angel force in a sort of limbo, never understanding or questioning where they came from or whether god even exists. They have a job to guard their humans, and it is simple and direct, with clear rules about interfering in the natural order. If you are looking for an in-depth world building kingdom explaining the concept of angels, look again. This is a love story: pure, simple and sweet to the end.

That which causes Drake to consider becoming corporeal is none other than his love for his human, Grey. The driving force for more than half of this story is the simple yet profound theme of what freedom costs and what a person, supernatural or otherwise, will give up to love the one they desire. This theme is the main success story of this novella—it is straightforward and never abandoned. We watch as these two men fall deeply in love, and despair when it seems that even in human form, Drake is not going to have his happy ever after.

However, when the subplot announcing some sort of herald being needed to spur on the angels and re-ignite the fervor for their jobs was introduced, the story began to lose its way and I never quite understood the reason for this shift in the story. Apparently the “herald” would give them purpose, more compassion and connection to their person, and a desire to remain as guardians rather than toss it in and become human. Yet, what exactly these were and why it was so vital he appear was confusing. I know it had something to do with Drake and his survival, but the whole concept of what this super-angel would do was left undeveloped.

All in all, as a love story, Rearranging Stars scores high points. Unfortunately, the focus on the “savior” idea and how it would impact the angels was weaker and, I feel, watered down an otherwise strong and well written supernatural tale of sacrifice and love.

TNA_Signature_Sammy

 

 

 

You can buy Rearranging Stars here:

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Giveaways, Kenzie Cade, Piper Vaughn

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Prickly Business Blog Tour with Piper Vaughn and Kenzie Cade

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We’re so pleased to welcome Piper Vaughn, of the Vaughn/Cade writing duo, on the Prickly Business blog tour.

Enjoy Piper’s guest post, then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below for the chance to win a copy of the ebook or paperback (when it’s released) AND a $20 gift card to Amazon, ARe, or Barnes & Noble (Winner’s choice).

Good luck!

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Hedgehogs & Characteristics

Hi, all! Thanks to The Novel Approach for having me today! It’s an honor to be here. :)

Those who follow me on social media know I have several big obsessions. One of the biggest is hedgehogs. I think they’re completely adorable from their spikes to their little twitchy noses and tiny paws. I often post pics of them and usually have a hedgie as my avatar on Facebook. Yes, the love goes that far. One day I hope to have my own, but we try to limit ourselves to two pets in the household, and we’re already full with a cute Yorkie and my adorable cat, Yuki. Someday I will own a hedgie! But for now, let me share some hedgie factoids with you.

When people in the US think about hedgehogs, often the ones that come to mind are the African pygmy hedgehog (aka the domesticated hedgehog), as those are the ones commonly seen when people post pics of their pets online. These are smaller than the wild European hedgehogs found in people’s gardens in Britain. Avery, our character in Prickly Business, who is a hedgehog shifter, comes from English and French descent, so when he shifts, he turns into the wild European hedgie (as seen on the cover).

When we were developing Avery’s character, we looked to some traits of the European hedgehog that we could carry over into his human personality. First and foremost is his prickly attitude. That’s a given. ;) But beyond that, he’s also very solitary, as hedgehogs are in nature. Sometimes a male and female might share a hibernating spot, but usually they separate, and after breeding, the female raises the hoglets alone. They don’t stay in packs the way most wolves do.

In nature, European hedgehogs will hibernate for the winter season. Pygmy hedgehogs will go into hibernation if you allow them to get down to a certain temperature—which can lead to death from starvation if not caught in time, because unlike their wild counterparts, they didn’t bulk up and put on extra weight in order to prepare for being asleep all that time. So, we incorporated certain hedgehog reactions to temperature into Avery’s human side too. He hates to be too cold, but he also hates being too hot. This is why he loves living in the Pacific Northwest, as the climate in Portland is fairly temperate and not really given to any extremes in either direction.

Hedgehogs are also nocturnal, and so is Avery, though he’s worked on putting himself on a diurnal schedule pretty much all his life so he can fit in better with humans. He tries, but really, he loves being awake at night best. (He also loves to sleep.)

One big difference between Avery and his hedgehog side is that hedgehogs are by nature omnivores. They mainly eat slugs, earthworms, and a variety of insects. Sometimes they will also eat mushrooms and fruit. For his part, Avery is primarily an ovo-lacto vegetarian. He only really eats meat when his body is demanding it, and of course that’s directly opposite to his meat-loving werewolf mate, Dylan. Yet another difference between them, but by far the least of them. While the hedgie side of his personality might have contributed toward their estrangement, Avery’s human half and their combined stubbornness added some issues too.

Things might be prickly along the way, but we hope you enjoy Dylan and Avery’s story!

And if you’re considering a hedgehog for a pet like I am, be sure to do your research first! They’re not the ideal pet for everyone, but Hedgehog Central is a great resource for anyone who wants to find out more about our little spiney friends.

Thanks for reading! :D

~Piper

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Blurb: Some people might call Avery Babineaux a prick. He’s a hedgehog shifter from an old-money Louisiana family with a penchant for expensive shoes and a reputation for being a judgmental snob. His attitude is why he and his fated mate are estranged. Not that Avery cares. He doesn’t want to be mated to some blue-collar werewolf anyway. Or so he keeps telling himself.

No werewolf likes to be looked down upon, least of all Dylan Green. He doesn’t need a mate, especially not some snotty hedgehog who sneers at his custom motorcycle shop and calls him a grease monkey. But when Avery gets into trouble with a shady loan shark, Dylan can’t stand by and let him be hurt—whether he wants the brat or not.

Yet once Dylan steps into Avery’s world, he realizes there’s more to Avery than his prickly exterior, and that unexpected vulnerability calls to Dylan’s protective instincts. The sassy little hedgehog needs a keeper, and despite their horrible first impressions, Dylan starts to believe he might be the wolf for the job.

Buy Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | All Romance eBooks | Barnes & Noble

DividersAuthor BioAbout the Authors:

Piper Vaughn Bio — Piper Vaughn wrote her first love story at eleven and never looked back. Since then, she’s known that writing in some form was exactly what she wanted to do. A reader at the core, Piper loves nothing more than getting lost in a great book—fantasy, young adult, romance, she loves them all (and has a two thousand book library to prove it!). She grew up in Chicago, in an ethnically diverse neighborhood, and loves to put faces and characters of every ethnicity in her stories, so her fictional worlds are as colorful as the real one. Above all, she believes that everyone needs a little true love in their life…even if it’s only in a book.

Social Media Links: Facebook | Facebook Author Page | Twitter | Pinterest | Website | Google+

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Kenzie Cade Bio — Kenzie Cade was born and raised in the South where she spends her days in the sometimes stressful field of private medicine observing interesting people and committing them to memory for later use. When she isn’t reading, experimenting with recipes, or being distracted by social media, Kenzie spends time with her family, friends, and the Pomeranian/Long-haired Chihuahua mix who likes to keep her company while she writes. As a young girl, Kenzie dreamed of princesses and their white knights. As an adult (or sort of adult), she dreams of princes and their proverbial white knights, which she attributes the fellow Arkansan S.E. Hinton and her novel The Outsiders. Writing to keep the fictional voices at bay, Kenzie enjoys the journeys her characters travel to find their happy endings, and she loves the challenge of writing a great love story. Contact Kenzie at kenziecade.author@gmail.com.

Social Media Links: Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Tumblr | Blog | Google+

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Dreamspinner Press, Eva Vicci

“The Carousel” Takes A Spin At Romance


“When you fall in love, the natural thing to do is give yourself to it.” ― Haruki Murakami


Title: The Carousel

Author: Eva Vicci

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 74

Rating: 3 Stars

Blurb: Eighteen–year-old Jonathan Moore works as a garden hand on a lord’s estate in Victorian England. On a festive servants’ day off, he visits the Christmas fair, hoping to fulfill his childhood dream of riding the carousel. The trip turns out unexpectedly when he catches the eye of impudent footman Francis Johnson. Despite Jonathan’s reservations, the flirtatious Francis doesn’t give up, and after some hesitation, they share a ride on the glittering carousel. Before they say good-bye, Francis asks to meet again, and with a quickening heartbeat, Jonathan agrees.

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