Giveaways, Rhys Ford

Cover Reveal, Video Excerpt and Giveaway – Dirty Heart by Rhys Ford – Narrated by Greg Tremblay

STATE OF THE RHYS

In July 2011, my life changed.

Okay, to be fair, we’ll have to back that date up about six months when I opened an email from Elizabeth North, the Executive Director of Dreamspinner Press. It was an offer to contract a book I’d submitted. That book was Dirty Kiss. So, that was kind of a pinpoint spot in my life.

But in July 2011, I got another email from a blogger named Lisa Horan. I don’t exactly remember what it said. In retrospect I should have saved it but how do you know after the fact about things one should save? In that email, Lisa told me she liked Dirty Kiss and reached out to me to say she was having a good time reading it.

Little did I know, in July 2011, I would gain a sister. And I did because of a single book.

Dirty Kiss marked a turning point in my life. A divergence in my every day activities and my interactions with the world. It changed the way I saw myself and how I needed to see others. Most of my experiences have been great. Some…not so great but those are easily shoved aside because there are always new people to meet.

And so many people to thank.

I owe a fuck ton of people a hell of a lot of thank yous.

Long story short—very long six book story—we’ve now come to the end. What was started in July 2011 will come to an end in March 2016.

For you see, Cole McGinnis will finally learn why Ben shot him.

I knew all along there was an arc to this series. In little ways we were always taking steps to the last FIN. And Lisa has kept my secret the entire time. So, smooches, Pookie. I honestly couldn’t have gotten here without you. A huge thank you to everyone at Dreamspinner, especially my editor Grace. Poor Grace. She puts up with so much. The Crewe, Greg Tremblay for giving Cole his voice, my beta readers and of course, Mary Calmes who I apparently will be handing Cole over to in March. But most of all, a heartfelt thank you to everyone who’s read the books, enjoyed them and were with me for the ride.

Thank you.

Hopefully by the time you read this I’ll have sent off Absinthe of Malice to Dreamspinner. AoM is the transition book between the band forming and the final book in the series, Sin and Tonic. It’s a bit larger than I’d expected and should be out mid-next year.

After that, it’ll be Kai 2 which I’m really looking forward to writing and then I’m going back to Murder and Mayhem or Hellsingers. It’ll be a flip to either one then the other. Then Half Moon Bay. There’s other stuff on the horizon and seriously, I wish I had more time to write. And more coffee. One cannot have too much coffee.

But that’s the sketchy future…

So… in our first step towards that March horizon, I’ll drop a cover reveal and blurb for Dirty Heart at the end of this post along with something special from Greg Tremblay. I hope you enjoy the book. It’s an odd feeling putting a series to bed. I’ve promised to do Cole and Jae one-offs in the distant future but the series—this arc—has come to a close. So thank you. Again. Still.

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Dirty Heart: Former LAPD detective Cole McGinnis’s life nearly ended the day his police partner and best friend Ben Pirelli emptied his service weapon into Cole and his then-lover, Rick. Since Ben turned his gun on himself, Cole thought he’d never find out why Ben tried to destroy him.

Years later, Cole has stitched himself back together. Now a private investigator and in love with Jae-Min Kim, a Korean-American photographer he met on a previous case, Cole’s life is back on track—until he discovers Jeff Rollins, a disgraced cop and his first partner, has resurfaced and appears to be working on the wrong side of the law.

As much as Cole’s fought to put the past behind him, he’s soon tangled up in a web of lies, violence, and death. Jeff Rollins is not only trying to kill Cole’s loved ones, he is also scraping open old wounds and long-forgotten memories of the two men Cole loved and lost. Cole is sure Rollins knows why Ben ruined all their lives, but he isn’t looking for answers. Now Cole is caught in a cat-and-mouse game with a cold-blooded killer with the key to not only his past but his future.

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And now, a brief word from Greg Tremblay as well as an excerpt reading from Dirty Heart.

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!rhys_ford_headshotAbout Rhys Ford: Rhys Ford was born and raised in Hawai’i then wandered off to see the world. After chewing through a pile of books, a lot of odd food, and a stray boyfriend or two, Rhys eventually landed in San Diego, which is a very nice place but seriously needs more rain.

Rhys  admits to sharing the house with two cats of varying degrees of black fur, and a ginger cairn terrorist. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird, a Toshiba laptop, and a red Hamilton Beach coffee maker.

My Blog || Facebook || Twitter

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THE GIVEAWAY

Enter for the chance to win a $25 Gift Card to the E-tailer of the Winner’s Choice!

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A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week

Here’s a Sneak Peek at the Coming Week

Sneak Peek

Cheers, fellow book addicts, and welcome back to a look at what we have coming up for you in the week ahead at The Novel Approach–lots of guests, giveaways, and reviews–so, pretty much some good fun. :)

Here’s what’s on tap!

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Monday – Kicking off a great week, it’s going to be an RJ kind of day. First we’ll be bringing author RJ Scott to you on the blog tour for her new book Love’s Design

Then, we’ll have author RJ Jones stopping by on the tour for her latest release, Indigo Road

Tuesday – We have a busy day planned for you today, starting with author N.R. Walker and the Red Dirt Christmas blog tour

Next up is author Wade Kelly, who’s stopping by to chat about her new novel No! Jocks Don’t Date Guys

And finally, author Nicholas Kinsley joins us with an exclusive excerpt and giveaway of his new novel Driven

Wednesday – Today we’ll be bringing you a little holiday joy, when author A.V. Sanders stops by to celebrate the release of her new book Wet, Hot, Australian Christmas

We’ll also have author Kenzie Cade popping in to tell us all about her new book Reindeer Games

Thursday – The day kicks off with author Charlie Cochet on the tour for the latest novella in her North Pole City Tales, Loving Blitz

We’ll also have author Rhys Ford with us today to give you the latest rundown on news, books and events to look forward to in 2016

Friday – Closing out the week, we’ll be joined by author Bailey Bradford on the tour for her new novel, Destined Prey

We’ll also have author Phetra K. Novak with us on the Finding Home blog tour

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And that does it for the coming week. Until next time, happy reading!

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Giveaways, Rhys Ford

Good Eats and Good Reads… Mmmm… It’s the Fish Stick Fridays Tour with Rhys Ford

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We’re so please to have author Rhys Ford with us today on the blog tour for her latest mystery novel Fish Stick Fridays. We’ve got a great recipe to share with you, and also a very special contest, so be sure to check out those details below.

And now, here’s Rhys.

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Skip to the recipe if you’ve already seen this part. *grins*

When I first thought about writing Fish Stick Fridays, it was a lot darker than it turned out. I know. I’ll let you have a moment to be shocked and amazed. But then I wrote it and its innards changed, softening a bit. A lot of that change had to do with building a relationship between Deacon and his niece, Zig, and then adding Lang into the mix.

I went round and round on the title. Nothing was working. They were decent titles. Hell, Mary Calmes even stole one of them for her own book but nothing was fitting the story. Then I said… why the hell aren’t I calling it what it is? Fish Stick Fridays.

That might seem a random, odd title and kind of off. But see, it’s not so much about the actual fish sticks or Fridays. It’s about what Fish Stick Fridays represents. For Zig and Deacon, it’s about being together, in a home. An actual home. Where Fridays means no vegetables, but cups of hot cocoa and maybe eating in front of the television. It means a place to come to and find a family—their family.

Of course, this doesn’t mean Deacon knows how to cook gourmet meals but he can cook. So for this blog tour, it’s all about cooking out of the pantry—cheap, relatively easy and cobbling together meals from fresh, canned, and jarred food.  So much of Deacon’s cooking on the fly really is about how to maximize time and using what’s in the pantry. We don’t have a lot of time in our lives. That’s a fact. But we can make do. Making do is so very much a kitchen life hack.

So for this tour, I am sharing some comfort food recipes even Deacon can make, and it took him a bit to get the fish sticks and blue box macaroni & cheese right.  Follow all of the blog tour stops and get a new comfort food recipe every day. Recipes include:

  • Fried Chicken
  • Beef Stew
  • Portuguese Watercress Soup
  • Nutty Mushroom Pasta
  • Fried Rice
  • Lasagna
  • Kalua Pig
  • Mac Salad / Loco Moco
  • Pad Thai
  • Shoyu Chicken

What’s the Giveaway? Because there is ALWAYS a giveaway… Leave a comment or enter the Rafflecopter, if the blog uses one, and hopefully win the right to tell me where to send a set of childrens’ books to a library or charity of your choice. Book sets will be randomly chosen from a list and cost between $20 and $50 USD and donated in your name.

Also, if you want a gluten free way to thicken soups and stews… and soupy potato salad, use instant mashed potato flakes. You’ll see me say that time and time again through the blog tour. It also adds a layer of flavour. I sometimes grab the garlic and herb instant potato packets and just keep them for when I need to thicken a stew.

And now, for what’s next in Deacon’s recipe book.

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10 shoyuchicken

Shoyu Chicken is a local staple in Hawai’i. There are thousands of versions. I like this one. It is very easy to make. Serves about four to five people or one very hungry local boy. Really good for lunch the next day if there are leftovers.

Shoyu Chicken

1/2 cup dried shiitake mushrooms. If you can get fresh like we can, use those

4 T grated ginger ( toss ginger in freezer, scrape with knife or potato peeler to use)

1/2 cup water

1 cup soy sauce (shoyu)

1 cup brown sugar

5 lbs chicken thighs

2 T sesame seeds

Sliced green onions for garnish

Soak the dried shiitake mushrooms in hot water to soften. Cut off end of stems (they get woody) and slice mushrooms into strips.

In a large pot, put  mushrooms, ginger, water, soy sauce, sesame seeds, and brown sugar and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium then add chicken. Cook for one hour or until chicken is tender. Serve over rice. Top with green onions.

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Fish Stick FridaysFish Stick Fridays: Deacon Reid was born bad to the bone with no intention of changing. A lifetime of law-bending and living on the edge suited him just fine—until his baby sister died and he found himself raising her little girl.

Staring down a family history of bad decisions and reaped consequences, Deacon cashes in everything he owns, purchases an auto shop in Half Moon Bay, and takes his niece, Zig, far away from the drug dens and murderous streets they grew up on. Zig deserves a better life than what he had, and Deacon is determined to give it to her.

Lang Harris is stunned when Zig, a little girl in combat boots and a purple tutu blows into his bookstore, and then he’s left speechless when her uncle, Deacon Reid walks in, hot on her heels. Lang always played it safe but Deacon tempts him to step over the line… just a little bit.

More than a little bit. And Lang is willing to be tempted.

Unfortunately, Zig isn’t the only bit of chaos dropped into Half Moon Bay. Violence and death strikes leaving Deacon scrambling to fight off a killer before he loses not only Zig but Lang too.

Purchase Fish Stick Fridays atDreamspinner Press || Amazon || ARe || Barnes & Noble

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!rhys_ford_headshotAbout Rhys Ford: Rhys Ford was born and raised in Hawai’i then wandered off to see the world. After chewing through a pile of books, a lot of odd food, and a stray boyfriend or two, Rhys eventually landed in San Diego, which is a very nice place but seriously needs more rain.

Rhys  admits to sharing the house with three cats of varying degrees of black fur, and a ginger cairn terrorist. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird, a Toshiba laptop, and a red Hamilton Beach coffee maker.

My Blog || Facebook || Twitter

If you’ve actually read this, yay! I need coffee. We should have coffee.

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!book_kid_giveaway

The Contest

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Follow the Tour:

Nov 25 • It’s About the Book
Nov 26 • Joyfully Jay
Nov 27 • Sinfully Sexy
Nov 29 • Gay Guy Reading
Nov 30 • Boys In Our Books
Dec 1 • The Blogger Girls
Dec 2 • Love Bytes
Dec 3 • Prism Book Alliance
Dec 4 • Boy Meets Boy
Dec 5 • The Novel Approach

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5 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Mystery/Suspense/Action Thriller, Reviewed by Karen, Rhys Ford

Release Day Review: Fish Stick Fridays by Rhys Ford

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Amazon

Amazon

TitleFish Stick Fridays (Half Moon Bay: Book One)

Author:  Rhys Ford

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Page/Word Count:  200 Pages

At a Glance:  As much as I love all of Rhys series, and I’m sad some are coming to an end, I’m thrilled at such an awesome beginning to a new one.

Reviewed By:  Karen

Blurb: Deacon Reid was born bad to the bone with no intention of changing. A lifetime of law-bending and living on the edge suited him just fine—until his baby sister died and he found himself raising her little girl.

Staring down a family history of bad decisions and reaped consequences, Deacon cashes in everything he owns, purchases an auto shop in Half Moon Bay, and takes his niece, Zig, far away from the drug dens and murderous streets they grew up on. Zig deserves a better life than what he had, and Deacon is determined to give it to her.

Lang Harris is stunned when Zig, a little girl in combat boots and a purple tutu blows into his bookstore, and then he’s left speechless when her uncle, Deacon Reid walks in, hot on her heels. Lang always played it safe but Deacon tempts him to step over the line… just a little bit.

More than a little bit. And Lang is willing to be tempted.

Unfortunately, Zig isn’t the only bit of chaos dropped into Half Moon Bay. Violence and death strikes leaving Deacon scrambling to fight off a killer before he loses not only Zig but Lang too.

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Review: I always forget, until I read Rhys Ford, how much the little details in a book can help paint the picture and add to the experience of reading. And yes, reading one of Rhys Ford’s books is an experience.

In Fish Stick Fridays (along with every other book I’ve read by this author), she does an amazing job with the details. While reading, you can almost see, feel, smell, hear and touch what’s happening around the characters you’re reading about, and she does it without being wordy or drawn out. Such talent.  I’ve decided that I can no longer say every one of her books is my new favorite. I think they are all amazing, and this is another to add to the list.

I wasn’t even a quarter of the way into the book and was already head over heels for Deacon; how he is with Zig, still on edge, bad ass, protective, patient, and she pretty much has him wrapped around her little finger. I mean, really, how can you not love him when he is willing to put on a tutu for her? I loved it!

Zig was probably my favorite character in the book. If I were ever to have a kid, I would almost hope they would be as awesome as Zig. Well, no, but I wouldn’t mind having a niece or nephew that awesome.

The relationship between Deacon and Lang is sweet and chaotic, but I thoroughly enjoyed watching them figure it all out one day at a time, amongst all the craziness happening around them.  As much as I love all of Rhys Ford’s series, and I’m sad some are coming to an end, I’m thrilled at such an awesome beginning to a new one.

TNA_Signature_Karen

 

 

 

 

You can buy Fish Stick Fridays here:

Amazon US

Amazon US

All Romance eBooks

All Romance eBooks

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A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week

Here’s a Sneak Peek at the Coming Week

Sneak Peek

Cheers, fellow fictionistas, and welcome back to another look at what we have coming in the week ahead! We’ve got a busy one coming up, with lots of great guests, giveaways, and reviews in store, so here’s what you’ll see in the upcoming seven days!

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Monday – We’re kicking off this week with authors Santino Hassell, Damon Suede, and Karen Stivali on their #NYCDreamer tour to talk about their new and upcoming novels: Sunset Park, Pent Up, and Moment of Silence

We’ll also have author Cardeno C. with us on a book blast promo tour for the re-release of In Your Eyes

Finally, author Lynley Wayne will be back with the final installment of her three part column on creating a more effective website

Tuesday – Stopping in today we have author Lynn Lorenz touring the interwebs on a Backlist Book Tour

We’ll also have author Scarlet Blackwell with us on the tour for her new book Forbidden

Wednesday – Today we’ll have author April Kelley joining us on the tour for her new book Leave It All

We’ll also have author Talia Carmichael back with a guest post for The Prose Speak

Thursday – Author Keira Andrews joins us today on the tour for her new holiday book If Only in My Dreams

We’ll also be hosting author Max Vos on the tour for his new novel My Hero: The Olympian

Friday – Today we’ll have author RJ Scott with us on the tour for her novel Love’s Design

We’ll also have a new installment of DSP Publications’ “Genre Talk” with authors Carole Cummings and BA Brock

Saturday – Author Rhys Ford stops by today to close out the tour of her new novel Fish Stick Fridays

Sunday – And finally, closing out the week we’ll have author Christina Lee joining us on the tour for her new novel The Deepest Blue

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And that does it for this week. Until next time, happy reading!

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Flashback Friday

Flashback Friday and Giveaway: It’s a Mystery

Flashback Friday

Hi, everyone, and welcome back to another peek into the vault of novels past, as we dust off a few great Mysteries from the Gay Romance/Fiction genre. As always, we’re giving you the opportunity to enter for the chance to win an e-copy of one of these selected titles by clicking on the Rafflecopter widget below.

But before we get to this week’s recs, I want to announce last week’s “Bad Boys” winner, H.B., who selected Stories Beneath Our Skin by Veronica Sloane.

We’ll be taking next week off due to Thanksgiving weekend, but will be back before Christmas with some of our favorite holiday reads.

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TNA_Signature_MaryannI first ran across Geography of Murder and its sequel, A Forest of Corpses, in 2012, and even after the third time reading this series, it still gets me. There’s just something about the way P.A. Brown wrote these stories in the first-person and gave life to her two MCs, Spider and Jason. I have to say, Spider and Jason are explosive, complex, like oil and water. Ms. Brown builds a page turning mystery that’s believable, with intricate investigation details.

From the outset, you would think this is just too easy a crime for Spider to solve. He’s got a dead body and a very live body next to it. He’s sure Jason Aaron Zachary is the killer. But once Jason is taken in for questioning, Spider has the feeling that Jason is innocent, though he’s still sent to jail. When Jason is cleared, Spider is waiting for him.  Then, another murder occurs and there are two dead pedophiles, lots of suspects, and Spider and his partner Nancy have their hands full.

Detective Alexander Spider, you will (or almost) hate! He’s cocky, abusive and has a dark side.  I know. Being a detective, Spider has seen a lot of horror. But I won’t make excuses for him. He’s in control no matter what, is into BDSM, and to be fair, I will warn you that it turns to abuse.

Jason Zachary is twenty-two, lost and trying to find himself. Family, drugs and his own mistakes have put him in a bad situation. He’s also got a sweet side to him, loves nature, and is so knowledgeable in ornithology. And Jason also has to make a decision to save himself.

Spider and Jason come back in A Forest of Corpses, and we see their personalities and lives have changed. There’s murder, drugs, and danger ahead, and an unlikely hero in this story.  I couldn’t find other books in this series from P.A. Brown, but maybe this is the best way to leave Spider and Jason.

Geography of MurderAll Jason Zachary wants is to keep the loneliness and despair at bay. He escapes to the clubs where drugs and a warm body for the night offer fleeting comfort. But when he wakes one morning, dazed after another blackout, to find himself in bed with a dead body, his life careens him into the arms of Detective Alexander Spider. For Jason, Spider becomes an addiction, a drug that makes him feel alive and safe; his body craves Spider’s control, and Jason falls hard.

But Alex Spider sees the darker side of humanity daily, and he isn’t looking for connections, only to drown himself in encounters with nameless subs willing to let him play his bondage games. His attraction to Jason begins as lust for one more golden boy, but their games of pain and pleasure grow into a tenuous trust, arousing feelings in Spider that are the first light he’s seen in a long time.

But as Spider races to solve a brutal homicide, the daily grind of the job takes its toll, and Spider’s control slips dangerously. A killer closes in, and Spider must confront his own inner darkness, while Jason struggles to save himself by making some hard choices.

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TNA_Signature_SammyOMG!  My favorite genre and I had so, so many novels to choose from for this flashback, but hand’s down the mystery I chose was simply outstanding!

Sinner’s Gin is the name of a hot and rising band whose lead vocalist, Miki St. John, is a former street kid haunted by his abusive past at the hands of a diabolical community “good guy,” and his equally slimy cohort, a Chinese restaurant owner. When that same pair end up hacked to pieces and left to be discovered, it is obvious that one of the former “foster boys” had vengeance on the mind and, for some reason, wants Miki dead as well.

Kane is one of the detectives assigned to the case, and he is a genuine good guy who rapidly finds himself falling for the lonely Miki. So much has happened to Miki in a short time–devastating events that have left him emotionally compromised.  A few months before, the other three band members of Sinner’s Gin, which included Damien, Miki’s best friend, were killed in a fatal car crash, leaving Miki behind.  Now someone wants him dead and Miki has nowhere to turn.

Now the race is on to figure out who is doing the killing.  As the story progresses and Kane begins to lose his heart to the fragile Miki, the action picks up and you are suddenly in the midst of a taut, fast-paced mystery.  Throw in a visit from Kane’s Irish fireball of a mother, and a visit to the family home, and you have an incredibly well written story with some genuinely hilarious comedic moments thrown in besides!

I really loved this book. I wanted to wrap these guys up and take them home. The sex was both incredibly intimate, intense and erotic and, to be frank, it was so smoothly written that it fit perfectly into the overall plot–just the right amount and carefully written to address the idea that Miki was formerly sexually abused.

Be forewarned this is book one of a series and when you read the absolutely SHOCKING ending to this book, you will want to order up book two, Whiskey and Wry, immediately. What an incredible cliffhanger!!! LOVED IT!

Sinner's GinThere’s a dead man in Miki St. John’s vintage Pontiac GTO, and he has no idea how it got there.

After Miki survives the tragic accident that killed his best friend and the other members of their band, Sinner’s Gin, all he wants is to hide from the world in the refurbished warehouse he bought before their last tour. But when the man who sexually abused him as a boy is killed and his remains are dumped in Miki’s car, Miki fears Death isn’t done with him yet.

Kane Morgan, the SFPD inspector renting space in the art co-op next door, initially suspects Miki had a hand in the man’s murder, but Kane soon realizes Miki is as much a victim as the man splattered inside the GTO. As the murderer’s body count rises, the attraction between Miki and Kane heats up. Neither man knows if they can make a relationship work, but despite Miki’s emotional damage, Kane is determined to teach him how to love and be loved — provided, of course, Kane can catch the killer before Miki becomes the murderer’s final victim.

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TNA_Signature_SadonnaI seem to keep picking series for these Flashback Fridays, and this week is no exception. :)

My mystery series of choice is a group of books by one of my favorite authors (also one of my favorite people), Eden Winters.  This series is five books—so far—that center around two undercover narcotics agents for the Southern Narcotics Bureau, Richmond “Lucky” Lucklighter and Bo Shellenberger.  These two men could not be any more different.  Lucky is the former lover of a drug dealer who got caught up in the life and is working off his sentence.  Bo is a former Marine and pharmacist who got a little too close to his product.  During their first case together, their clashing work styles lead to some pretty intense disagreements, but those disagreements don’t stop what’s quickly becoming a relationship beyond work partners. The stutter and stop of the progress of this pair is fun to watch.  Lucky is a smartass redneck who has some issues with his people skills – and he has one of the most distinct voices of any character I’ve read.  Bo is just about Lucky’s polar opposite – a health nut, by-the-book kind of guy, who doesn’t always appreciate Lucky’s “corner cutting” and less than SOP style.  But they manage to work together in case after case. They also have to keep their relationship under wraps because of department policy and because they don’t want their team to be split up.  With each book in the series, the stakes become higher and higher for both Lucky and Bo and for their relationship.  As they deal with more dangerous and deadly enemies, the constant threat takes a toll on them as well.  The well-drawn and believable progression of these men as a couple is enough to recommend this series.

But beyond the amazing characterizations of these two protagonists, these books are really smart.  I learn something new and fascinating in each new book – whether it’s the illegal drug dispensing and theft of pharmaceuticals, the so-called “grey markets” for scarce drugs, new designer street drugs or cross-border drug running, I’m always amazed at the content of these stories.  Ms. Winters does a LOT of research for these books, and it shows.

The fifth book in this series has been published this year and as the series has expanded, we also have gotten to know a number of impressive secondary characters.  Walter, Lucky and Bo’s boss at SNB, is still a bit of an enigma, and particularly in books four and five of the series, the reader is never quite sure who to believe and who may/may not be the bad guys.  Agent Loretta Johnson is also a breath of fresh air – in so many ways.  I would really like to know more about her and maybe we’ll get that in the next book. :)  One of the best things about this series is that while there may be the resolution of a particular case or plotline in each book, there are definitely underlying mysteries that continue to thread through the series that keep me coming back for more.  I am anxiously awaiting more of Lucky and Bo!

DiversionThere are good guys, bad guys, and then there’s Lucky.

Former drug trafficker Richmond “Lucky” Lucklighter flaunts his past like a badge of honor. He speaks his mind, doesn’t play nice, and flirts with disaster while working off his sentence with the Southeastern Narcotics Bureau. If he can keep out of trouble a while longer he’ll be a free man–after he trains his replacement.

Textbook-quoting, by the book Bo Schollenberger is everything Lucky isn’t. Lucky slurps coffee, Bo lives caffeine free. Lucky worships bacon, Bo eats tofu. Lucky trusts no one, Bo calls suspects by first name. Yet when the chips are down on their shared case of breaking up a drug diversion ring, they may have more in common than they believe.

Two men. Close quarters. Friction results in heat. But Lucky scoffs at partnerships, no matter how thrilling the roller-coaster. Bo has two months to break down Lucky’s defenses… and seconds are ticking by.

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TNA_Signature_LisaOnce again I’m going to throw out a few titles this week just to make things fun and interesting, and once again, I hope to have thrown in enough variety to highlight the uniqueness of the mystery genre.

My first title is an Urban Fantasy mystery I read back in 2010, Andrea Speed’s Infected: Prey.

Roan McKichan is a virus child, which is Speed’s way of delineated Roan from the rest of this series’ infected. In other words, Roan, rather than being bitten, was born with the gene that makes him part human/part shifter, and the Roan we see at the beginning of this series is not only an anomaly but also becomes an evolutionary enigma that no one can explain by the time the author wraps things up. In fact, to put a finer point on it, Roan shouldn’t even be alive… But Roan’s entire being is sort of one big Fuck Off to norms and convention, so why shouldn’t he be just that contrary? Especially when he’s king of the urban jungle.

I’ll be perfectly honest right here and tell you that Prey isn’t the best book in this series, and I’ve spoken to a few people who gave up on its sequels after reading it, but in the history of all fiction, if there’s a series I’d beg anyone to stick with, Infected is right up there at the top of the list. Speed has such a fantastic sense of humor and a knack for creating characters you want to hang out and have a beer with that it’s impossible not to become emotionally invested in them, and even though this series is NOT a romance, Roan and Paris’s relationship is a love story for all time. I can say with at least 99.99% accuracy that I’ve never cried at a book the way I did at Infected: Bloodlines (okay, maybe when Dobby died, but that’s it! And Snapey, but that’s my final offer). But that’s the beauty of this series–though Roan’s an ex-cop turned PI, and there are mysteries to be solved, so much of these books are also about Roan as a person and a lion and a freak of nature. And we can’t forget about the people who love him and just want him to live–they’re awesome.

When I finally got to Infected: Epitaph, the final book in the series, I almost felt this sense of wonder and awe that Roan and Dylan and Holden and the Hockey Boys don’t truly exist somewhere in this world, because for those eight books they were so alive in my imagination and had earned a spot in my wee li’l heart. And there’s not much better than that. If I ever meet Andrea Speed in person, I want to frigging high-five her for staying true to her canon, too, for not pulling any punches or God-In-The-Machine miracles to appease us readers. There may not be any happily-ever-afters promised, but sometimes a happy-for-now is the best we can hope for. Especially when you’re a walking time bomb.

Infected PreyIn a world where a werecat virus has changed society, Roan McKichan, a born infected and ex-cop, works as a private detective trying to solve crimes involving other infecteds.

The murder of a former cop draws Roan into an odd case where an unidentifiable species of cat appears to be showing an unusual level of intelligence. He juggles that with trying to find a missing teenage boy, who, unbeknownst to his parents, was “cat” obsessed. And when someone is brutally murdering infecteds, Eli Winters, leader of the Church of the Divine Transformation, hires Roan to find the killer before he closes in on Eli.

Working the crimes will lead Roan through a maze of hate, personal grudges, and mortal danger. With help from his tiger-strain infected partner, Paris Lehane, he does his best to survive in a world that hates and fears their kind… and occasionally worships them.

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My next recommendation started something–I don’t know what to name it, really–but before I even made it out of chapter one, I’d emailed this author. To be more precise, when a white, coiffed helmet of artfully arranged hair, along with rosy cheeks and a pert bow mouth, were all revealed to be sitting atop a pleasantly round and huggable body…clad in a leather bra and panties, and toting a shotgun, I was hooked.

Who the hell but Cole McGinnis could find himself being chased by a lesbian leather granny with a mad desire to swiss cheese his ass? Nobody. Who could ever dream of writing it? Rhys Ford.

Cole hasn’t had what anyone would call a perfect life. Rejected by his father and stepmother, abandoned by his birth mother, navigating a fragile relationship with his brother Mike, and victim of a horrific crime that not only stole a lover but a best friend, when Cole meets the beautiful and elusive Kim Jae-Min…God but does he ever need some one to love, and for that someone to love him back.

So alongside the murder mystery, which looks like a suicide but, of course, isn’t, we also watch the beginning of what evolves into a difficult and crazy-making and frustrating and gorgeously real love story of a man who’s Japanese/Irish ancestry are vague labels of his lineage. And the other? His Korean heritage means duty and honoring its traditions and is, at times, unfathomable to our Western sensibilities that there are actually people in this world who put cultural expectations before their own happiness. But, that’s the beauty of watching Jae unwind, and watching Cole give everything of himself to a man who has a difficult time allowing himself the joy of loving Cole back.

Dirty Kiss is a true mystery, i.e., I hadn’t the foggiest clue who the killer was until the moment that person was revealed, but along the way, I got to meet Scarlet, Claudia, Bobby, Cole, and Jae, and they are, to this day, some of my all-time favorite people. Along with the book’s author.

Dirty kissCole Kenjiro McGinnis, ex-cop and PI, is trying to get over the shooting death of his lover when a supposedly routine investigation lands in his lap. Investigating the apparent suicide of a prominent Korean businessman’s son proves to be anything but ordinary, especially when it introduces Cole to the dead man’s handsome cousin, Kim Jae-Min.

Jae-Min’s cousin had a dirty little secret, the kind that Cole has been familiar with all his life and that Jae-Min is still hiding from his family. The investigation leads Cole from tasteful mansions to seedy lover s trysts to Dirty Kiss, the place where the rich and discreet go to indulge in desires their traditional-minded families would rather know nothing about.

It also leads Cole McGinnis into Jae-Min’s arms, and that could be a problem. The death of Jae-Min’s cousin is looking less and less like a suicide, and Jae-Min is looking more and more like a target. Cole has already lost one lover to violence he’s not about to lose Jae-Min too.

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All right, readers, you want the wayback flashback? How about a book first published back in 1970? This next recommendation is some seriously perfect noir fiction, and if you’ve ever had anyone try to explain to you the difference between gay romance and gay fiction, this book is that difference.

Joseph Hansen’s Dave Brandstetter Mystery series is a seminal work in the genre. Yes, Dave is gay, but his sexuality is not the focus of these books. In fact, Dave is a Private Investigator who happens to be gay, not a gay man who happens to be a Private Investigator, and there-in lies the difference. The series isn’t about Dave’s sexuality and all the obstacles he faces being gay in the 70s, but it’s about the fact Dave is damn good at what he does, and when he smells a fraud, he’ll scrape and gnaw at every single clue until he uncovers the truth. That’s not to say, however, that there isn’t a certain romanticism to the book Fadeout, for both Dave and for the man whose death Dave is investigating.

Because the blurb for this book is seriously lacking, let me give a quick and dirty recap. Fadeout is this: The year is 1967. Dave Brandstetter is a death claims investigator for Medallion Insurance, the company owned by his father (who’s pretty damn accepting of his gay son, considering the time period). He’s looking into what appears on the surface to be the accidental death of Fox Olsen, a popular public figure in the small town of Pima. Fox was many things: a husband, a father, an entertainer, a performer, an aspiring author, a mayoral candidate, and a man with a secret. Fox had just reached the point in his life where he was worth more alive than dead, after years of living hand to mouth. But then he died in an accident that left behind a car but no body, and an insurance policy with a hefty payout. It’s Dave’s job to find Olsen’s body because no sign of foul play means his company will have to pay the claim on the one-hundred-fifty thousand dollar policy that, let’s face it, could inspire murderous tendencies in a desperate enough person. Greed and desperation have caused people to do murder for a lot less. No corpse, however, now means it’s Dave’s job to sniff out all the facts behind the incident to prevent a fraudulent payout.

If you’re not familiar with the noir style, this book is a perfect representation of that. The short, choppy sentences and dark atmosphere, along with what is, at times, a stream of consciousness delivery, doesn’t have the customary flow and cadence of other sub-genres. If you love long, lush sentences that go on for paragraphs, noir isn’t representative of that writing style. This book is also not written in the first person, which, for whatever reasons, I was anticipating, but not a bit of intimacy is lost in the third person telling, as Hansen not only wove a suspenseful narrative but endeared his forlorn hero to readers at the same time.

I loved his book, for Dave as much as the mystery, so much so that I bought book two before I’d even come close to finishing Fadeout. This is exactly the book you’re looking for if you want a tightly plotted whodunit with a slightly downbeat but nonetheless endearing protagonist.

Dave Brandstetter stands alongside Philip Marlowe, Sam Spade and Lew Archer as one of the best fictional PIs in the business. Like them, he was tough, determined, and ruthless when the case demanded it. Unlike them, he was gay.

Joseph Hansen’s groundbreaking novels follow Brandstetter as he investigates cases in which motives are murky, passions run high, and nothing is ever as simple as it looks. Set in 1970s and 80s California, the series is a fascinating portrait of a time and a place, with mysteries to match Chandler and Macdonald.

In Fadeout, Dave is sent to investigate the death of radio personality Fox Olsen. His car is found crashed in a dry river bed. But there is no body – and as Dave looks deeper into his life, it seems as though he had good reasons to disappear.

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THE GIVEAWAY

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5 Stars, Audio Book, DSP Publications, Narration Rating - 5 Stars, Reviewed by Sammy, Rhys Ford, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy

Audio Review: Black Dog Blues by Rhys Ford – Narrated by Greg Tremblay

Audio Gem

Amazon

Amazon

Title: Black Dog Blues (The Kai Gracen Series: Book One)

Author: Rhys Ford

Narrator: Greg Tremblay

Publisher: DSP Publications

Run Time: 8 hours and 50 minutes

At a Glance: The audio version of this novel was well done and hooked me immediately, drenching me in the mood and pathos of the story.

Reviewed By: Sammy

Blurb: Ever since being part of the pot in a high-stakes poker game, elfin outcast Kai Gracen figures he used up his good karma when Dempsey, a human Stalker, won the hand and took him in.

Following the violent merge of Earth and Underhill, the human and elfin races are left with a messy, monster-ridden world, and Stalkers are the only cavalry willing to ride to someone’s rescue when something shadowy appears.

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

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

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

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Review: If you are approaching Rhys Ford’s novel Black Dog Blues looking for a traditional romance or even a sci-fi classic, think again. This is no typical anything. Instead, author Rhys Ford creates a world that has both human and fey, magic and monsters and everything in between, and places them inside a story that is so rich in character and long in plot that you are nearly breathless by novel’s end.

The main story centers on the Sidhe and Unsidhe—those who are elfin and those who are…something evil altogether. They coexist next to humans and multiple creatures of every species, from dragons to the elfin shadow dogs and many other mutant forms of different species. In this new society there are stalkers—those who go hunting our worst nightmares and deliver their hides for payment. One such stalker is the mysterious Kai Gracen, a young elfin who has been humanized to the point of virtually becoming a loner, neither cohabitating with his own kind nor humans. Kai was raised by Dempsey, a stalker who won him in a poker game. At that time, Kai was barely recognizable as any kind of boy, more animal than human or elfin. As this story evolves we come to find out about his past and are mystified as to how Kai not only managed to survive the horrors of his former life but rise above them to be the compassionate man he has become.

He is commissioned to retrieve a pregnant human from the chief city of the sidhe (the good elves, in essence). Accompanying him will be the prince of that dynasty who has come to Kai’s neck of the words to establish a “dawn court” for the disenfranchised sidhe who live in the city. This mission will challenge Kai in many ways and unlock the mystery of who he is and just what stalks his own nightmares. He will be confronted by the horrors of his past and feel himself slipping into love with a man who wields much power for good. The question remains, though, will Kai survive this mission intact, and can he really love another person—especially when he is unsure that love can ever really be his at all.

The brief and admittedly shallow synopsis above touches only the bones of this story. There is one mystery after another in this novel, and Rhys Ford unravels each one, even while intertwining them into the most intricate of plots I have ever read. However, by virtue of her excellent storytelling abilities, I was never lost in the weaving of this tale. Kai is a conundrum whose story just begins in this novel. While he is on every page, his past is slowly and carefully alluded to over and over, with the startling revelation of who and what he is being revealed finally near the end of the novel. Even then, you know there is a wealth of background information just waiting to surface, which becomes the springboard for future novels about this brave young elf.

Speaking of elves—these are not your waif-like forest creatures. No, this author not only makes her elf-kind cunning and smart but strong and determined as well. I was so impressed by the way that the supernatural creatures in this story were three-dimensional and fully fleshed out. The result was that I cared for them, was drawn into their story and captured by their troubles. The story itself was captivating, with so many twists and turns that I found myself trying to solve the many mysteries and was delightfully surprised when the answers turned out to be ones that I would have never thought of in a million years.

Greg Tremblay did a great job with Kai’s sarcasm—that weary ennui that the character wears like a mantle. The variation of voices was quite good—including Dempsey’s lilting brogue that was so reminiscent of those turn of the century New York City Irish cops. Every once in a while Mr. Tremblay would allow the brogue to bleed into the beginning of another character or the narration but overall, the delineation between voices and their cadence was spot on. The narrator’s gravelly tones really added to the gritty feel of the novel as well. Quite frankly, his pitch, speed of delivery and variation in voices enriched the overall mood of the story. Black Dog Blues is a dark tale and the narrator’s approach added to the mysterious feel to this story.

All in all, Black Dog Blues was a compelling mystery with a touch of romance and excellent supernatural shadings thrown in. The audio version of this novel was well done and hooked me immediately, drenching me in the mood and pathos of the story. I enjoyed this narrator immensely and would highly recommend this audiobook.

TNA_Signature_Sammy

 

 

 

 

You can buy Black Dog Blues here:

Amazon US

Amazon US

Audible.com

Audible.com

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Cover Reveal, Rhys Ford

Cover Reveal: Fish Stick Fridays by Rhys Ford

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A Note From Rhys Ford: A little while ago, I had an inkling of an idea. A bad boy motorcycle guy who ends up having to raise his niece…who has been in the system for a couple of years. On the flip side, there’s a very sweet bookseller who is kind of conservative and not willing to take risks.

Of course, nothing like a bad boy on a motorcycle to make you want to take risks.

I also wanted to try writing a young child. An authentic child who’d been touched a bit by violence but was easing her way into a comfortable, normal life. Or as normal as she and her badass uncle can have. Both of them don’t have a framework for normal but damn it, they’re going to give it their best.

So with that in mind… I’d like to introduce you to the first of the Half Moon Bay Mysteries.

FishStickFridays_RhysFord_Rev1

Blurb: Deacon Reid was born bad to the bone with no intention of changing. A lifetime of law-bending and living on the edge suited him just fine—until his baby sister died and he found himself raising her little girl.

Staring down a family history of bad decisions and reaped consequences, Deacon cashes in everything he owns, purchases an auto shop in Half Moon Bay, and takes his niece, Zig, far away from the drug dens and murderous streets they grew up on. Zig deserves a better life than what he had, and Deacon is determined to give it to her.

Lang Harris is stunned when Zig, a little girl in combat boots and a purple tutu blows into his bookstore, and then he’s left speechless when her uncle, Deacon Reid walks in, hot on her heels. Lang always played it safe but Deacon tempts him to step over the line… just a little bit.

More than a little bit. And Lang is willing to be tempted.

Unfortunately, Zig isn’t the only bit of chaos dropped into Half Moon Bay. Violence and death strikes leaving Deacon scrambling to fight off a killer before he loses not only Zig but Lang too.

Fish Stick Fridays will be released by Dreamspinner Press on November 30th. Hope you all enjoy it.

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!rhys_ford_headshotAbout the Author: Rhys Ford was born and raised in Hawai’i then wandered off to see the world. After chewing through a pile of books, a lot of odd food, and a stray boyfriend or two, Rhys eventually landed in San Diego, which is a very nice place but seriously needs more rain.

Rhys admits to sharing the house with three cats of varying degrees of black fur, and a ginger cairn terrorist. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird, a Toshiba laptop, and a red Hamilton Beach coffee maker.

My Blog || Facebook || Twitter

My books can be purchased, folded and first chapters read at Dreamspinner Press.

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Giveaways, Rhys Ford

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Sloe Ride Blog Tour with Rhys Ford

electric guitar burning in fireSloe Ride.

Actually it’s been more of a long ride. Three years, three books, one novella and a lot of short stories, and we’ve come to the point where Quinn gets his story. And we get to really meet Rafe. This is definitely a shift in the band’s story, a lot more Morgan and, well, there’s Quinn, the family’s off-black sheep. It was a challenge and joy to write Quinn and Rafe. And I hope you enjoy it.

We’ve got two more outings in the Sinners series after Sloe Ride, but this book kind of pulls a lot of things together. Enough so we can go forward to a few other things. And I hope you enjoy the ride.

This blog tour captures a few scenes along the band’s journey, from Damien and Miki to the start of Sloe Ride. It’s called Shot Glass Sin, and I’m hoping you enjoy this too. Visit each blog stop to get the next part of the story, and when it’s all done, I’ll post the entire thing in a PDF.

!giveaway

Oh! And a GIVEAWAY! But not just any giveaway, because it’s time for a new tour shirt.

Because the guys are going on tour… in Absinthe of Malice, a Sinners novella set to be released in 2016. And they’re going to need clubs or bars to go to. ONE WINNER at each blog stop will name one of the places the band plays at on their tour. Nothing profane or lewd (These ARE going on the back of a t-shirt) but pretty much anything goes.

Leave a comment below by 11:59pm Pacific Time on Tuesday, September 8, 2015. One winner will be selected at random and notified by email on Wednesday, the 9th.

Good luck!

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Shot Glass Sin

5 — After Whiskey and Wry

“You feel guilty about going on with a band without the other guys?” Kane rubbed at Miki’s legs, generating more than heat under his skin.

The last thing Miki wanted was to deal with a hard dick while he hashed out the crap in his brain but Kane probably had no clue about how much his touch tickled Miki’s senses. There’d been times when he’d struggled to keep his mind focused on the pleasures of sex before he met Kane but there were moments when all Miki could see or feel was the bleakness and pain of being trapped in a small little room with no hope of escaping.

He never had that with Kane. His cop never made him feel unsafe. And unfortunately, there were now little things Kane did, like rubbing Miki’s battered knee or quirking a wicked smile that brought Miki’s libido up to a roaring boil.

“If Connor and Quinn died, would you feel guilty if you liked new brothers your mom brought home?” Miki asked softly. He was unprepared for Kane’s shocked hiss and frowned when his lover’s hands stilled.

“Got to hand it to you, Mick, you’re never one to pull your punch.” Kane exhaled slowly. “I guess for you, that’d be what this feels like… like you’re replacing brothers with strangers. And yes, when Mum brought the twins home, it wasn’t exactly my most shining moment. I didn’t need any more siblings…and certainly not a girl.”

“Kiki can hand you your ass,” he reminded Kane. “Worst part about your dad and mom getting together. All of Donal’s bad-assedness and most of your mom’s fuck-the-rules in one package.”

“Yeah, I figured that out when she grabbed Con’s balls and twisted them around because he pulled her hair.” Kane chuckled, probably at Miki’s wince. “Thing is, I love Kiki and Riley because of who they are, not who I already had in my life. And unlike siblings, you and Damie are going to be choosing these guys, so it’s not like you’ve got to take what you get. You did that with Johnny and Dave, didn’t you? Or were they there before you?”

“Damie knew Dave but they weren’t in a band. Damie had some guys he was playing with but they fucked around too much.” Miki caught Kane’s slightly confused expression. “Not show up for gigs. Didn’t learn the music. Or when they did show up, they were too drunk to play.”

“So he just kicked them all to the curb and started over with you?” Kane asked, his fingers moving over Miki’s knee again. “Not stupid on his part.”

“Not stupid on mine. Got me a place to crash.” Damien’d struggled back then but to Miki, the one room apartment was a godsend. He’d never thought things were lean. There were always ways to get by, stolen toilet paper from gas stations, recycled fast food cups refilled on the sly and sharing a large fry after scraping up some change were how things were. The music…that had been life changing.

And probably would be again.

Kane was right. It was just another beginning. One of many. A new band changed nothing of the past and sure as hell wouldn’t take away anything he already had in the present. He had Kane, Damien, Dude and everyone else crowding in on him, within reach whenever the world got too dark. Adding two more to the mix would just be icing on the already filling cake.

“Yeah, you’re right. Not replacing anyone I’ve already got. Just making new,” Miki stole a kiss then lightly tapped Kane on the jaw with his fist. “And I think your chicken’s burning.”

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!SloeRide_Cover_Rhys Ford_SmallSloe Ride: It isn’t easy being a Morgan.  Especially when dead bodies start piling up and there’s not a damned thing you can do about it.

Quinn Morgan never quite fit into the family mold. He dreamed of a life with books instead of badges and knowledge instead of law—and a life with Rafe Andrade, his older brothers’ bad boy friend and the man who broke his very young heart.

Rafe Andrade returned home to lick his wounds following his ejection from the band he helped form. A recovering drug addict, Rafe spends his time wallowing in guilt, until he finds himself faced with his original addiction, Quinn Morgan—the reason he fled the city in the first place.

When Rafe hears the Sinners are looking for a bassist, it’s a chance to redeem himself, but as a crazed murderer draws closer to Quinn, Rafe’s willing to sacrifice everything—including himself—to keep his quixotic Morgan safe and sound.

Purchase Sloe Ride at Dreamspinner Press

Or Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and ARe.

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Shot Glass Sin Blog Tour Dates:

Aug 31              The Blogger Girls

Sept 1              It’s About the Book

Sept 2              Love Bytes

Sept 3              Prism Book Alliance

Sept 4              The Novel Approach

Sept 5              Fiction Vixen

Sept 6              Sinfully Sexy

Sept 7              Joyfully Jay

Sept 8              Boy Meets Boy

Dividers!rhys_ford_headshotRhys Ford: Rhys Ford was born and raised in Hawai’i then wandered off to see the world. After chewing through a pile of books, a lot of odd food, and a stray boyfriend or two, Rhys eventually landed in San Diego, which is a very nice place but seriously needs more rain.

Rhys  admits to sharing the house with three cats of varying degrees of black fur, and a ginger cairn terrorist. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird, a Toshiba laptop, and a red Hamilton Beach coffee maker.

My Blog || Facebook || Twitter

If you’ve actually read this, yay! I need coffee. We should have coffee.

My books can be purchased, folded and first chapters read at Dreamspinner Press.

 

 

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5 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Mystery/Suspense/Action Thriller, Reviewed by Karen, Rhys Ford

Review: Sloe Ride by Rhys Ford

Title:  Sloe Ride (Sinners: Book Four)

Author:  Rhys Ford

Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press

Page/Word Count: 246 Pages

At a Glance:  Quinn and Rafe are now my favorite couple in this series.

Reviewed By:  Karen

Blurb:  It isn’t easy being a Morgan. Especially when dead bodies start piling up and there’s not a damned thing you can do about it.

Quinn Morgan never quite fit into the family mold. He dreamed of a life with books instead of badges and knowledge instead of law—and a life with Rafe Andrade, his older brothers’ bad boy friend and the man who broke his very young heart.

Rafe Andrade returned home to lick his wounds following his ejection from the band he helped form. A recovering drug addict, Rafe spends his time wallowing in guilt, until he finds himself faced with his original addiction, Quinn Morgan—the reason he fled the city in the first place.

When Rafe hears the Sinners are looking for a bassist, it’s a chance to redeem himself, but as a crazed murderer draws closer to Quinn, Rafe’s willing to sacrifice everything—including himself—to keep his quixotic Morgan safe and sound.

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Review:  I did a reread of the Sinners series in preparation for Sloe Ride, and Quinn and Rafe are now my favorite couple in this series.

In my family, almost everyone is loud and opinionated and outgoing, they make friends with everyone; basically, they are all super social.  Now, if you have ever met me or even interacted with me online, I am the exact opposite of them. I am quiet. In most cases I keep my opinions to myself, I am super-shy, and when I meet someone new, I am usually terrified to say anything because I am pretty sure whatever comes out of my mouth is going to sound ridiculous to them, and that I will make a fool of myself. Because I get so nervous when I do start talking, I tend to babble… I am a mess, so it was easy for me to get into Quinn’s story since I felt some similarities with him.

Quinn and Rafe’s relationship, compared to the others in the series, seemed to flow and develop much more smoothly, more sweetly.  I love how Rafe handles Quinn’s quirks, and even finds them adorable.  Throughout the story you still get doses of the rest of the guys you already love, along with watching Quinn and Rafe get together.  Having the little snippets of the others seemed to give this book that little edge we are used to in the series, while keeping Quinn and Rafe’s story sweet.

TNA_Signature_Karen

 

 

 

You can buy Sloe Ride here:

All Romance eBooks

All Romance eBooks

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5 Stars, Audio Book, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Mystery/Suspense/Action Thriller, Narration Rating - 5 Stars, Reviewed by Karen, Rhys Ford

Audio Review: Murder and Mayhem by Rhys Ford – Narrated by Greg Tremblay

Audio Gem

Title:  Murder and Mayhem

Author:  Rhys Ford

Narrator: Greg Tremblay

Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press

Run Time:  7 hours and 44 minutes

At a Glance:  I am a huge fan of both Rhys Ford and Greg Tremblay, and when you put them together, the end product is nothing short of amazing.

Reviewed By:  Karen

Blurb:  Dead women tell no tales.

Former cat burglar Rook Stevens stole many a priceless thing in the past, but he’s never been accused of taking a life – until now. It was one thing to find a former associate inside Potter’s Field, his pop culture memorabilia shop, but quite another to stumble across her dead body.

Detective Dante Montoya thought he’d never see Rook Stevens again – not after his former partner falsified evidence to entrap the jewelry thief and Stevens walked off scot-free. So when he tackled a fleeing murder suspect, Dante was shocked to discover the blood-covered man was none other than the thief he’d fought to put in prison and who still makes his blood sing.

Rook is determined to shake loose the murder charge against him, even if it means putting distance between him and the rugged Cuban-Mexican detective who brought him down. If one dead con artist wasn’t bad enough, others soon follow, and as the bodies pile up around Rook’s feet, he’s forced to reach out to the last man he’d expect to believe in his innocence – and the only man who’s ever gotten under Rook’s skin.

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Review:  Once I started doing reviews, and had access to audiobooks opened up to me, I learned pretty quickly that the narrator can make or break the story.  I have had instances where a story that wasn’t a favorite became one because of the way the narrator delivered it, and had the reverse happen–a story that I loved being performed by a narrator that made it almost impossible to get through the book.  Then, there are audiobooks like this one, where the story is amazing all by itself, but read by a fantastic narrator elevates it even more.  I am a huge fan of both Rhys Ford and Greg Tremblay, and when you put them together, the end product is nothing short of amazing.

There are a few narrators that I have listened to who have an amazing talent for bringing a story to life and reeling you in. Greg Tremblay is one of them.  It blows me away how these narrators are able to bring to life so many different characters, and give them a voice, and, in this case, every one of them so distinct you have no trouble following who’s talking. It’s easy to forget that it is one person doing this, and then I sit back in amazement when the realization hits.

When I first read Murder and Mayhem, it became one of my favorite books by Rhys Ford, which, in and of itself, says something since I adore every one of her books I’ve read, but the narration by Greg Tremblay made me love the story that much more.

TNA_Signature_Karen

 

 

 

You can buy Murder and Mayhem here:

Audible.com

Audible.com

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A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week

Here’s a Sneak Peek at the Coming Week!

Sneak Peek

Welcome, friends, and many thanks for stopping by to see what we have in store for you in the week ahead!

We’ve got such a fun-filled and busy week in store for you that I’ve had to open up my calendar on Saturday and Sunday just to bring it all to you, and I’m happy to do it too.

Here’s what we have on tap:

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Monday – Kicking off our week, we have Marie Sexton as our guest today to help us celebrate the countdown to GayRomLit 2015

Joining Marie will be author Hayden Thorne, doing a little bit of her own celebrating of the release of her YA Historical Fantasy novel Desmond and Garrick (Book Two)

Tuesday – We have another two fabulous authors with us today. First up is Mickie B. Ashling to chat a bit about her new novel Forged in Trust

Next up is L.A. Witt, who’s joining us to talk about Running with Scissors (the book, not the “don’t run with…”) :-)

Wednesday – Today we have author and editor Denise Wyant with us today to share an excerpt from the just recently released anthology Apple Bites, a blend of M/M and M/F shorts, ranging from sweet to spicy

We also have another edition of “Genre Talk” with Carole Cummings coming up today, featuring Luchia Dertien in the spotlight

Thursday – We’re kicking off today with a cover reveal from Riptide Publishing for the next new book in their popular Bluewater Bay collection

We’ll also have author Joe Cosentino with us to talk about his new book Shooting Star

Friday – And starting a busy day today, we’ll have author Rhys Ford with us to do a little celebrating of her own, for the release of Sloe Ride, Quinn Morgan and Rafe Andrade’s story in the Sinner’s Gin series

We’ll also welcome author Morticia Knight as our second guest of the week in the Countdown to GayRomLit 2015

And Rayna Vause will also be here to chat about her new novel Demon of Mine

Saturday – Today we have author Sandrine Gasq-Dion joining us on the blog tour for her new book Fret

Sunday – Author T.M. Smith closes out our week on the tour for her new book Fame and Fortune

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And that does it for this week. Until next time, happy reading!

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5 Stars, Andrea Speed, Astrid Amara, Charlie Cochet, Ginn Hale, Jordan Castillo Price, Jordan L. Hawk, KJ Charles, Lou Harper, Nicole Kimberling, Reviewed by Lisa, Rhys Ford, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy, Self-Published

Review: Charmed and Dangerous: Ten Tales of Gay Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy – Edited by Jordan Castillo Price

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Title: Charmed and Dangerous: Ten Tales of Gay Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy

Authors: Rhys Ford, Ginn Hale, KJ Charles, Nicole Kimberling, Jordan L. Hawk, Charlie Cochet, Jordan Castillo Price, Andrea Speed, Lou Harper, Astrid Amara

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 509 Pages

At a Glance: With a lineup like this, how could this anthology have possibly gone amiss?

Reviewed By: Lisa

Blurb: Magic takes many forms. From malignant hexes to love charms gone amok, you’ll find a vast array of spells and curses, creatures and conjurings in this massive collection—not to mention a steamy dose of man-on-man action. Charmed and Dangerous features all-new stories of gay paranormal romance, supernatural fiction and urban fantasy by ten top m/m paranormal authors.

Rhys Ford – Dim Sum Asylum
For Detective Roku MacCormick, working Arcane Crimes is his passion. Now cleared of any wrongdoing for shooting his last partner, MacCormick is given back his badge… as well as a new case and partner. Trent Leonard isn’t exactly what he’d expected, but then nothing in San Francisco’s Chinatown ever is.

Ginn Hale – Swift and the Black Dog
When Jack Swift killed a tyrant and won the revolution he became a national hero. But someone in the new government prefers dead heroes to living, swearing, cynical wizards. Caught between bullets, revenge and desire, Jack had better be swift indeed.

KJ Charles – A Queer Trade
Apprentice magician Crispin Tredarloe returns to London to find his master dead, and his papers sold. Papers with secrets that could spell death. Waste paper seller Ned Hall can’t resist Crispin’s pleading—and appealing—looks. But can the wasteman and the magician prevent a disaster and save Crispin’s skin?

Nicole Kimberling – Magically Delicious
Occult attacks against NIAD agents aren’t remotely Keith Curry’s department. But when his lover, Gunther, is assaulted, Keith refuses to just sit back and fill out paperwork. He’s on the case—even if that means enraging powerful mages, crossing leprechaun picket lines, or braving dinner with Gunther’s goblin parents.

Jordan Castillo Price – Everyone’s Afraid of Clowns
Psychic medium Victor Bayne can spot a ghost any day of the year, but Halloween holds some special surprises. His psych-groupie boyfriend Jacob coaxes him to the location of an old spirit sighting, but they can’t ghosthunt without enduring a cheesy “haunted house” that’s even more disturbing than they realize.

Jordan L. Hawk – The Thirteenth Hex
Hexman Dominic Kopecky doesn’t understand why dashing crow familiar Rook wants his help investigating murder by patent hex. For one thing, Dominic isn’t a witch. For another, the case is already closed—and someone is willing to kill to keep it that way.

Charlie Cochet – The Soldati Prince
Riley Murrough goes from serving lattes to being chased by demons. If that wasn’t bad enough, he bears the mark of a shapeshifter king from a magical realm. Riley’s determined to get answers, but if the demons out for his blood don’t kill him, the urge to strangle the arrogant king might.

Lou Harper – One Hex Too Many
Veteran detective Mike Mulligan is an expert on violent crimes—of the occult variety. He might even be cursed. Detective Hugh Fox is eager to partner up and prove himself, but Mulligan is accustomed to flying solo. Can they trust each other enough to track a killer who’ll stop at nothing, not even summoning a demon?

Andrea Speed – Josh of the Damned vs. the Bathroom of Doom
It’s a boring night at the Quik-Mart for Josh and his friend Doug. Until a vampire with a grudge—and the most adorable backup ever—crashes the store. Can Josh survive the Bathroom of Doom?

Astrid Amara – The Trouble With Hexes
P.I. Tim Keller has a problem. And the only person who can solve it is his ex-boyfriend, Vincent, whose job as a hexbreaker was the reason they broke up. It’s hard admitting he was wrong, especially when coughing up organs. But there’s a missing person to find, a hexmaker to hunt down, and a romance to repair before Tim breathes his last.

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Review: If you’ve looked at this lineup of authors and thought to yourself that there’s no possible way this anthology could fail…you’d be absolutely right. For fans of speculative fiction, Charmed and Dangerous is a collection of wild wonderment that’s been long overdue. This company of ten of the genre’s consummate storytellers dug into their depthless cache of talent to ensure each of these tales lived up to the challenge presented to them: to create new worlds, to introduce both new and familiar characters within the allotted word count, and to do so without sacrificing a single iota of detail, imagination, or compromising the quality of each tale.

Mission: Accomplished

For me to give you a thorough rundown of every story in this omnibus would take more words than I’m positive you’re willing to read from me, so I’m not going to try. There are enough adjectives of a superlative nature in the English language that I can heap on this collection, and upon the heads of its authors, which could, and does, apply to every story in Charmed and Dangerous. Magical and mysterious, clever and charming, witty and wonderful, each of these stories is filled with curses and hexes and creatures of the mythical and metaphysical sort, and, in turn, the authors have given their characters the outlet to explore each of their worlds: where the impossible is made reality, where these men form a bond against a backdrop of danger, action, suspense, humor, dark and deadly magicks, and are given second chances at love.

Nine of these ten tales share a more common thread in their magic, while Charlie Cochet’s The Soldati Prince (what I feel is the most romance-centric of the collection) is a heartfelt and touching shifter fantasy that adheres to the mate bond theme inherent to that sub-genre. A theme it does share with several other of the stories, however, is sacrifice in the name of love. And may have made me a little teary eyed before its end.

From Rhys Ford’s mayhem-laden, humorous and action packed turn at a sex-cursed statue in an Alt U San Francisco Chinatown (which could have come only from the delectably madcap and marvelous mind of this author); to the post-revolutionary dystopian brilliance that is the genius Ginn Hale’s story of betrayal and salvation, Jack Swift and the Black Dog; to the always marvelous KJ Charles’ foray into hex magic and treachery and the promise of a new love (plus, that first line hooked me!); to the hyper-imaginative Nicole Kimberling’s extra-appropriately titled Magically Delicious, and its Lewis Carroll/Midsummer Night’s Dream world filled with leprechauns, mermaid-flesh dealers, goblins, and a deadly pixie dust mystery; to the extraordinarily talented Jordan Castillo Price and my beloved Victor Bayne and Jacob Marks, and a ghost clown all wrapped up inside a misogynist meninist’s wet dream; to the eloquent and fabulous Jordan L. Hawk’s perfect The Thirteenth Hex, a story for which I’m already begging a sequel because these characters and this world are oozing with everything that makes reading a magic unto itself; to the flawless Lou Harper’s unparalleled and all-consuming mystery One Hex too Many–the story that kept me on the hook from start to finish in not only its imaginative world building but in my love of its detectives Mulligan, Fox and Leslie; to the never to be outdone Andrea Speed’s oddball-in-only-the-best-way, strange-things-are-afoot-at-the-Quik-Mart, Josh of the Damned world where anything goes, from vamps to werewolves to zombies to human-sized lizards to giant animate mustaches…well, you get the picture; to the excellent The Trouble With Hexes, Astrid Amara’s beautiful close to the anthology, a story that’s dark magic and pure emotion and encompasses what it means to make the ultimate sacrifice for the one you love—these stories, each and every one of them, deliver a reading experience that’s meant to be devoured and savored all at once.

Whether you’ve only read one of these authors before, or, like me, you’ve read all ten, Charmed and Dangerous is a spec fic lover’s Wonderland… Or whatever it is you call that place we go during those not-quite-aware-of-reality moments when we lose ourselves in a great book.

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You can buy Charmed and Dangerous here:

Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble

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Rhys Ford

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Charmed and Dangerous Blog Tour with Rhys Ford

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Today we’re pleased to welcome author Rhys Ford back to chat about Dim Sum Asylum, her contribution to the upcoming anthology Charmed and Dangerous, featuring some of the premiere spec fic authors in the genre. Enjoy Rhy’s post, then be sure to leave a comment right here for the chance to win a $25 Gift Card to the e-tailer of the winner’s choice.

THIS CONTEST IS CLOSED

Good luck!

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Charmed and Dangerous

A lot of us feel like we’re the left side of weird.

To be honest, many of us are and there we find ourselves, one another actually, standing on the left side of weird and thinking; you know this would be a good place to set up camp.

That’s kind of what it feels like to be a writer amongst writers. And sometimes, if you’re very lucky, you get invited to some really cool places to camp and some fantastic people to share a fire with. Marshmallows! S’Mores! Crazy insects out for your blood! But still, a universe of stars not only above you but around you.

When Jordan Castillo Price asked if I’d be in an anthology she was heading up, I said sure, mostly because I figured if JCP wants something, you give it to her. Kinda like a genre Wookie. Not because she’s gonna rip your arm off but mostly because let’s face it, Wookies are kind of cool.

She did NOT tell me who else was going to be on the docket. And I will admit—and have often admitted—that when she put out the list, I took a mental paper bag and huffed into it a few times because damn the line up. Shit hell, what have I gotten myself into? Said my little brain. Because one does not simply walk into this anthology and not have a really damned nice ring to toss into the lava.

Charmed and Dangerous was born. A vast land of possibilities and oh-my-god moments just waiting to happen. And we were off.

I’ve read all the other authors. And marveled at them. And fretted. Really, so much of writing is fretting.

Look at this lineup and say, sure… no worries, I can hang.

Astrid Amara, KJ Charles, Charlie Cochet, Ginn Hale, Lou Harper, Jordan L. Hawk, Nicole Kimberling, Jordan Castillo Price, Andrea Speed

Hah. I fret.

Then well, deadlines looming, I began to write. So did the others. Suffice it to say we all kind of blew past our 8,000 word mark. When it was all said and done, the anthology sat at over 100,000 words and oh the stories… damn the stories.

See, usually writing is a loner sport. Kind of like cross-country running. I think. I wouldn’t know. I grew up in a place where there wasn’t a lot of cross-country anything. You quickly run out of island after a bit. But still, writing…loner sport. It is. Even if you’re writing with someone, you’re kind of struggling to form words and ideas out of nothing and then passing that on for other people to see, hoping that you’ve hit the mark.

Guess it’s more like archery than running. But definitely as exhausting as running.

When we got the ARCs to look over our stories, I had the chance to read through the anthology as a whole and was humbled by the mastery of word and story from the other authors. Everyone talks about bringing an A-game to an anthology and in this case, it was more of everyone delivering proto-lingual skills because I truly believe this is one of the most innovative, fantastically crafted anthologies I’ve ever had a chance to read.

I am still shocked to be a part of it.

And very thankful.

Mostly thankful. So with much gratitude to Jordan Castillo Price, I extend my heartfelt thanks for including me. It was great to write a story and be included in Charmed and Dangerous. We were all given room to stretch our weirdness and found we could fly. So thank you for that too.

Charmed and Dangerous drops on Aug 25, 2015. I hope you grab it because I think it’s a buffet of tasty tasty words cooked up into the most delicious of dishes. Served up, of course, just on the left side of weird.

Purchase Charmed and Dangerous at Amazon.com

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charmed-cover-200Ten Tales of Gay Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy

Take a cauldron full of magic, add a pinch of humor, a dash of snark and a huge dollop of m/m goodness, and what do you get? Charmed and Dangerous: Ten Tales of Gay Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy. This all-new collection is packed with arcane action and intrigue, and every story will whisk you away to a fantastical world where the hero finds his prince and the paranormal investigator always gets his man.

Magic takes many forms. From malignant hexes to love charms gone amok, you’ll find a vast array of spells and curses, creatures and conjurings in this massive collection—not to mention a steamy dose of man-on-man action. Charmed and Dangerous features all-new stories of gay paranormal romance, supernatural fiction and urban fantasy by ten top m/m paranormal authors.

Rhys Ford – Dim Sum Asylum
For Detective Roku MacCormick, working Arcane Crimes is his passion. Now cleared of any wrongdoing for shooting his last partner, MacCormick is given back his badge… as well as a new case and partner. Trent Leonard isn’t exactly what he’d expected, but then nothing in San Francisco’s Chinatown ever is.

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Ginn Hale – Swift and the Black Dog
When Jack Swift killed a tyrant and won the revolution he became a national hero. But someone in the new government prefers dead heroes to living, swearing, cynical wizards. Caught between bullets, revenge and desire, Jack had better be swift indeed.

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KJ Charles – A Queer Trade
Apprentice magician Crispin Tredarloe returns to London to find his master dead, and his papers sold. Papers with secrets that could spell death. Waste paper seller Ned Hall can’t resist Crispin’s pleading—and appealing—looks. But can the wasteman and the magician prevent a disaster and save Crispin’s skin?

Nicole Kimberling – Magically Delicious
Occult attacks against NIAD agents aren’t remotely Keith Curry’s department. But when his lover, Gunther, is assaulted, Keith refuses to just sit back and fill out paperwork. He’s on the case—even if that means enraging powerful mages, crossing leprechaun picket lines, or braving dinner with Gunther’s goblin parents.

Jordan Castillo Price – Everyone’s Afraid of Clowns
Psychic medium Victor Bayne can spot a ghost any day of the year, but Halloween holds some special surprises. His psych-groupie boyfriend Jacob coaxes him to the location of an old spirit sighting, but they can’t ghosthunt without enduring a cheesy “haunted house” that’s even more disturbing than they realize.

3PsycopTease

Jordan L. Hawk – The Thirteenth Hex
Hexman Dominic Kopecky doesn’t understand why dashing crow familiar Rook wants his help investigating murder by patent hex. For one thing, Dominic isn’t a witch. For another, the case is already closed—and someone is willing to kill to keep it that way.

Charlie Cochet – The Soldati Prince
Riley Murrough goes from serving lattes to being chased by demons. If that wasn’t bad enough, he bears the mark of a shapeshifter king from a magical realm. Riley’s determined to get answers, but if the demons out for his blood don’t kill him, the urge to strangle the arrogant king might.

Lou Harper – One Hex Too Many
Veteran detective Mike Mulligan is an expert on violent crimes—of the occult variety. He might even be cursed. Detective Hugh Fox is eager to partner up and prove himself, but Mulligan is accustomed to flying solo. Can they trust each other enough to track a killer who’ll stop at nothing, not even summoning a demon?

Andrea Speed – Josh of the Damned vs. the Bathroom of Doom
It’s a boring night at the Quik-Mart for Josh and his friend Doug. Until a vampire with a grudge—and the most adorable backup ever—crashes the store. Can Josh survive the Bathroom of Doom?

Astrid Amara – The Trouble With Hexes
P.I. Tim Keller has a problem. And the only person who can solve it is his ex-boyfriend, Vincent, whose job as a hexbreaker was the reason they broke up. It’s hard admitting he was wrong, especially when coughing up organs. But there’s a missing person to find, a hexmaker to hunt down, and a romance to repair before Tim breathes his last.

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A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week

Here’s a Sneak Peek at the Coming Week

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Hi, everyone, welcome back for a look at what we have coming up in this busy week ahead! This may well be the most guests we’ve ever welcomed in a week’s time, and I can’t wait to share it all with you: the guest posts, the giveaways, and, of course, the reviews.

Here’s what’s on tap!

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MondaySara Alva kicks off our week with a Countdown to GayRomLit guest post to chat about her new audiobook release of Pura Vida

RJ Scott and Meredith Russell will also join us on their Forever in the Sun blog tour, book six in the Sapphire Cay series

And, as if that lineup wasn’t fantastic enough, we’ll also welcome Cardeno C. on the Strange Bedfellows audiobook tour

Tuesday – Today we welcome another trio of authors, starting off with Kate McMurray on The Long Slide Home blog tour, book three in the Rainbow League series

We’ll also welcome author Ravella Hawthorne on The King’s Command blog tour

And finally, Brita Addams will join us today to chat about the Newbie Blues

Wednesday – We’ll have our second GayRomLit attending author, Christina Pilz, joining us today to help celebrate the countdown and chat about how she fell in love with Oliver Twist

Also dropping by for a visit is Charlie Cochet on her Beware of Geeks Bearing Gifts tour

ThursdayRebecca Cohen will join us today on her Overly Dramatic blog tour

Rhys Ford will also be here today to chat about her contribution in the Charmed and Dangerous anthology

FridayCharley Descoteaux pops in today on her Buchanan House blog tour

We’ll also welcome author Sarah Masters today to chat about her new book Outcast Cowboys

Saturday – Finally, closing things out for us today is author Alicia Cameron, with an excerpt and giveaway of her new book Sedition

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And that does it for the week ahead. Until next time, happy reading!

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Andrea Speed, Astrid Amara, Charlie Cochet, Cover Reveal, Ginn Hale, Jordan Castillo Price, Jordan L. Hawk, KJ Charles, Lou Harper, Nicole Kimberling, Rhys Ford

Cover Reveal: Charmed and Dangerous Edited by Jordan Castillo Price

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Magic takes many forms. From malignant hexes to love charms gone amok, you’ll find a vast array of spells and curses, creatures and conjurings in this massive collection—not to mention a steamy dose of man-on-man action. Charmed and Dangerous features all-new stories of gay paranormal romance, supernatural fiction and urban fantasy by ten top m/m paranormal authors.

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Releasing August 25, 2015, pre-order your copy now at Amazon

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THE LINEUP:

Rhys FordDim Sum Asylum

Ginn HaleSwift and the Black Dog

KJ CharlesA Queer Trade

Nicole KimberlingMagically Delicious

Jordan Castillo PriceEveryone’s Afraid of Clowns

Jordan L. HawkThe Thirteenth Hex

Charlie CochetThe Soldati Prince

Lou HarperOne Hex Too Many

Andrea SpeedJosh of the Damned vs. the Bathroom of Doom

Astrid AmaraThe Trouble With Hexes

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BLURBS:

Rhys Ford – Dim Sum Asylum
For Detective Roku MacCormick, working Arcane Crimes is his passion. Now cleared of any wrongdoing for shooting his last partner, MacCormick is given back his badge… as well as a new case and partner. Trent Leonard isn’t exactly what he’d expected, but then nothing in San Francisco’s Chinatown ever is.

Ginn Hale – Swift and the Black Dog
When Jack Swift killed a tyrant and won the revolution he became a national hero. But someone in the new government prefers dead heroes to living, swearing, cynical wizards. Caught between bullets, revenge and desire, Jack had better be swift indeed.

KJ Charles – A Queer Trade
Apprentice magician Crispin Tredarloe returns to London to find his master dead, and his papers sold. Papers with secrets that could spell death. Waste paper seller Ned Hall can’t resist Crispin’s pleading—and appealing—looks. But can the wasteman and the magician prevent a disaster and save Crispin’s skin?

Nicole Kimberling – Magically Delicious
Occult attacks against NIAD agents aren’t remotely Keith Curry’s department. But when his lover, Gunther, is assaulted, Keith refuses to just sit back and fill out paperwork. He’s on the case—even if that means enraging powerful mages, crossing leprechaun picket lines, or braving dinner with Gunther’s goblin parents.

Jordan Castillo Price – Everyone’s Afraid of Clowns
Psychic medium Victor Bayne can spot a ghost any day of the year, but Halloween holds some special surprises. His psych-groupie boyfriend Jacob coaxes him to the location of an old spirit sighting, but they can’t ghosthunt without enduring a cheesy “haunted house” that’s even more disturbing than they realize.

Jordan L. Hawk – The Thirteenth Hex
Hexman Dominic Kopecky doesn’t understand why dashing crow familiar Rook wants his help investigating murder by patent hex. For one thing, Dominic isn’t a witch. For another, the case is already closed—and someone is willing to kill to keep it that way.

Charlie Cochet – The Soldati Prince
Riley Murrough goes from serving lattes to being chased by demons. If that wasn’t bad enough, he bears the mark of a shapeshifter king from a magical realm. Riley’s determined to get answers, but if the demons out for his blood don’t kill him, the urge to strangle the arrogant king might.

Lou Harper – One Hex Too Many
Veteran detective Mike Mulligan is an expert on violent crimes—of the occult variety. He might even be cursed. Detective Hugh Fox is eager to partner up and prove himself, but Mulligan is accustomed to flying solo. Can they trust each other enough to track a killer who’ll stop at nothing, not even summoning a demon?

Andrea Speed – Josh of the Damned vs. the Bathroom of Doom
It’s a boring night at the Quik-Stop for Josh and his friend Doug. Until a vampire with a grudge—and the most adorable backup ever—crashes the store. Can Josh survive the Bathroom of Doom?

Astrid Amara – The Trouble With Hexes
P.I. Tim Keller has a problem. And the only person who can solve it is his ex-boyfriend, Vincent, whose job as a hexbreaker was the reason they broke up. It’s hard admitting he was wrong, especially when coughing up organs. But there’s a missing person to find, a hexmaker to hunt down, and a romance to repair before Tim breathes his last.

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TEASERS: 

We were just kids,” Jack muttered.

Shafts of afternoon light speared through the blinds, illuminating the hard angles of his lean face. He exhaled a cloud of pale blue smoke and ignored the glare of the well-dressed diners seated at other tables. In a moment a maitre’d would appear and smoothly suggest that he remove himself from the building.

Then, inevitably, David would intervene, flashing his ministry badge and pronouncing Jack’s full name a little too loudly, a little too officiously. A halting apology would be offered and followed by requests for autographs and photos. Behind it all Jack would hear the whispers.

That’s Jack Swift?

God, did you see his hand?

He looks like some ragman from the Bone Ledges.

I’ve heard he’s a queer.

Lifting his scarred hand, Jack drew the smoke down to ring his fingers. Let the surrounding diners see that the ragman in their midst was a wizard. They didn’t need to know which one. Any wizard was too much trouble for most decent folk.

-Swift and the Black Dog by Ginn Hale

§§§§§

From his square jaw and beefy build down to his dirty blond fade haircut, everything about the guy screamed ex-hardcore military. He moved as if expecting a riot to break out on the upper loft, icy blue eyes scanning each of us, stopping only long enough to mark our presence before moving on to the next cop.

He found me first and then again, last. His gaze pierced through me, assessing and judging in a way that did not say cop. I wasn’t sure what was found wanting, my shaggy mane or my odd ommatidia-faceted pupils, but something made his nostrils flare. I definitely spotted the moment he saw my pupils’ copper-green sheen. His head jerked back a few millimeters and his chin jutted out.

If my new partner had a thing against fae or fae-bred, we were assuredly going to have a problem.

-Dim Sum Asylum by Rhys Ford

§§§§§

“Mr. Kopecky?”

“Yes, that’s….” Dominic began as he lifted his gaze from the paper. Then his tongue tangled, and he forgot how to speak.

The man standing in front of his desk was…well, he’d never thought of a man as beautiful before, but it was the only word that came to mind now. The white of his shirt collar contrasted with rich, brown skin. Silky black locks brushed his shoulders, and wide lips shaped into a rather cheeky grin.

“…You?” the man prompted, when Dominic only stared.

God! He dropped his eyes quickly, willing his reaction under control. He couldn’t forget himself at work, in full view of everyone. As he glanced down, his eye snagged on the badge pinned to the man’s vest.

A familiar? Here?

-The Thirteenth Hex by Jordan L Hawk 

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AUTHOR BIOS:

Astrid Amara
Astrid Amara lives in Bellingham, Washington. She’s a former Peace Corps Volunteer, an advocate for animal rights, and a bureaucrat by day. After work she can usually be found writing, riding horses, hiking, or else sleeping. Her novel The Archer’s Heart was a finalist for the 2008 Lambda Literary Award. http://www.astridamara.com

KJCharles
KJ Charles is a writer and freelance editor. She lives in London with her husband, two kids, an out-of-control garden and an increasingly murderous cat.

KJ writes mostly romance, gay and straight, frequently historical, and usually with some fantasy or horror in there. She specialises in editing romance, especially historical and fantasy, and also edits children’s fiction.
http://www.kjcharleswriter.com

Charlie Cochet
Charlie Cochet is an author by day and artist by night. Always quick to succumb to the whispers of her wayward muse, no star is out of reach when following her passion. From adventurous agents and sexy shifters, to society gentlemen and hardboiled detectives, there’s bound to be plenty of mischief for her heroes to find themselves in, and plenty of romance, too!

Currently residing in Central Florida, Charlie is at the beck and call of a rascally Doxiepoo bent on world domination. When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading, drawing, or watching movies. She runs on coffee, thrives on music, and loves to hear from readers.
http://www.charliecochet.com

Rhys Ford
Rhys Ford was born and raised in Hawai’i then wandered off to see the world. After chewing through a pile of books, a lot of odd food, and a stray boyfriend or two, Rhys eventually landed in San Diego, which is a very nice place but seriously needs more rain.

Rhys admits to sharing the house with three cats, a bonsai wolfhound, and a ginger cairn terrorist.

Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird, a Toshiba laptop, and a red Hamilton Beach coffee maker.

But mostly to the coffee maker.
http://www.rhysford.com

Ginn Hale
Ginn Hale resides in the Pacific Northwest with her wife and three cats. She spends many of the rainy days tinkering with devices and words and can often be sighted herding other people’s dogs, bees and goats. Her novel Wicked Gentlemen won the Spectrum Award for Best Novel and was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award.
http://www.ginnhale.com

Lou Harper
Under a prickly, cynical surface Lou Harper is an incorrigible romantic. Her love affair with the written word started at a tender age. There was never a time when stories weren’t romping around in her head. She is currently embroiled in a ruinous romance with adjectives. In her free time Lou stalks deviant words and feral narratives.

Lou’s favorite animal is the hedgehog. She likes nature, books, movies, photography, and good food. She has a temper and mood swings.

Lou has misspent most of her life in parts of Europe and the US, but is now firmly settled in Los Angeles and worships the sun. However, she thinks the ocean smells funny. Lou is a loner, a misfit, and a happy drunk.
http://www.louharper.com

Jordan L Hawk
Jordan L. Hawk grew up in North Carolina and forgot to ever leave. Childhood tales of mountain ghosts and mysterious creatures gave her a life-long love of things that go bump in the night. When she isn’t writing, she brews her own beer and tries to keep her cats from destroying the house. Her best-selling Whyborne & Griffin series (beginning with Widdershins) can be found in print, ebook, and audiobook at Amazon and other online retailers.
http://www.jordanlhawk.com

Nicole Kimberling
Nicole Kimberling lives in Bellingham, Washington with her wife, Dawn Kimberling, two bad cats as well as a wide and diverse variety of invasive and noxious weeds. Her first novel, Turnskin, won the Lambda Literary Award for Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror. She is also the author of the Bellingham Mystery Series.
http://www.nicolekimberling.com

Jordan Castillo Price
Author and artist Jordan Castillo Price writes paranormal sci-fi thrillers colored by her time in the midwest, from inner city Chicago, to rural small town Wisconsin, to liberal Madison. Her influences include Ouija boards, Return of the Living Dead, “light as a feather, stiff as a board,” girls with tattoos and boys in eyeliner.
http://www.jordancastilloprice.com

Andrea Speed
Andrea Speed was born looking for trouble in some hot month without an R in it. While succeeding in finding Trouble, she has also been found by its twin brother, Clean Up, and is now on the run, wanted for the murder of a mop and a really cute, innocent bucket that was only one day away from retirement. (I was framed, I tell you – framed!)

In her spare time, she arms lemurs in preparation for the upcoming war against the Mole Men. Viva la revolution!
http://www.andreaspeed.com

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Giveaways, Rhys Ford

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Ink and Shadows Tour with Rhys Ford

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The Novel Approach is pleased to bring you the final leg of Kismet’s journey on Rhys Ford’s Ink and Shadows blog tour. Sit back, relax, learn a little bit about Kisment, and be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below for the chance to win not only a Pestilence Pony BUT ALSO a $25 Gift Card to the e-tailer of the winner’s choice.

Good luck!

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First, thank the blogs for having me on this Ink and Shadows tour! Thank you so so much! Secondly, this next part will be the same across the blogs but I wanted to give a bit of a soundbite about the whys of this book.

In the Beginning, there was urban fantasy. Okay, to be fair, the urban fantasy genre didn’t exist when I began to read. Back then, it was pretty much either sci-fi or high fantasy. There were murmurs of urban fantasy—Mercedes Lackey’s elves / bard series, Gael Baudino’s Gossamer Axe, to name a few—but it caught and began gaining traction, a bastard stepchild of magic and an alternative universe.

Urban fantasy was always a playground for experimentation, and I wanted to go off the rails a bit with Ink and Shadows. There had to be a solid footing in the contemporary world and the underbelly of humanity. Or rather, the expression of humanity. When I wrote this book, it was to explore the possibilities of personalities and, okay, play around with the world.

I chose to write about the Horsemen of the Apocalypse and Kismet, the human who changes their world, because I wanted to delve into their being a necessary part of humanity’s existence. Over the course of the tour, I’ll touch on the main characters and components of the Horsemen’s world.

I hope you all like Ink and Shadows, my foray past the shadows.

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Kismet

Kismet is a complicated character to write. He is human, yet touched by a slight madness…or at least he thinks so. Struggling with the shadows moving around him, Kismet fell to heroin to maintain an even keel. Tattooing and art drives him, it helps him focus his mind off of the world pushing in on him. It also serves as a means for him to express the insanity surging around him.

He thinks he’s managing fine.

Until one day, something breaks and the shadows come crashing down on top of him.

And that’s when he meets Mal—Pestilence of the Four Horsemen. Sort of.

Kismet’s world is broken apart, everything he thought wasn’t real turns out to exist and suddenly the crazy—the comfortable crazy he’d been living with—isn’t so insane any more. But the world keeps spinning and someone or something is after him.

I wanted to write a human—a flawed human—being thrust into the Horsemen’s shadowy world. To be shoved beyond the Looking Glass, as it were. To find the struggles of humanity played out on a bigger stage, over eons and manipulated by not-quite-people who are as human and flawed as Kismet.

There is an attraction Kismet feels towards Mal and in some ways, Kismet is a hell of a lot older than Pestilence. He’s fought to survive, fought to find his footing and scraped together a fairly decent living for himself, as far as he’s concerned. To have his existence suddenly expanded is overwhelming but he’s a survivor. He can land on his feet.

But it seems like someone is trying to kick Kismet’s feet out from under him…and the Horsemen are the only ones who can save—or damn—him.

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o-ink-and-shadowsBlurb: Kismet Andreas lives in fear of the shadows.

For the young tattoo artist, the shadows hold more than darkness. He is certain of his insanity because the dark holds creatures and crawling things only he can see—monsters who hunt out the weak to eat their minds and souls, leaving behind only empty husks and despair.

And if there’s one thing Kismet fears more than being hunted—it’s the madness left in its wake.

The shadowy Veil is Mal’s home. As Pestilence, he is the youngest—and most inexperienced—of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, immortal manifestations resurrected to serve—and cull—mankind. Invisible to all but the dead and insane, the Four exist between the Veil and the mortal world, bound to their nearly eternal fate. Feared by other immortals, the Horsemen live in near solitude but Mal longs to know more than Death, War and Famine.

Mal longs to be… more human. To interact with someone other than lunatics or the deceased.

When Kismet rescues Mal from a shadowy attack, Pestilence is suddenly thrust into a vicious war—where mankind is the prize, and the only one who has faith in Mal is the human the other Horsemen believe is destined to die.

BUY LINKS: DSP Publications | Amazon | OmniLit/ARe | Barnes & Noble

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!rhys_ford_headshotAbout the Author: Rhys Ford was born and raised in Hawai’i then wandered off to see the world. After chewing through a pile of books, a lot of odd food, and a stray boyfriend or two, Rhys eventually landed in San Diego, which is a very nice place but seriously needs more rain.

Rhys admits to sharing the house with three cats of varying degrees of black fur and a ginger cairn terrorist. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird, a Toshiba laptop, and an overworked red coffee maker.

My Blog | Facebook | Twitter

And at the Starbucks down the street. No really, they’re 24/7. And a drive-thru. It’s like heaven.

My books can be purchased, folded and first chapters read at Dreamspinner Press.

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THE GIVEAWAY

Pestilence Pony - Guaranteed not to make you itch, hork, or break out in leprosy

Pestilence Pony – Guaranteed not to make you itch, hork, or break out in leprosy


Rafflecopter Giveaway

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Tour Dates:
July 2: Love Bytes | July 3: It’s About the Book | July 6: Sinfully Sexy | July 7: RELEASE DAY! WOOOOT | July 8: Prism Book Alliance | July 9: Joyfully Jay | July 10: GGR Review | July 11: The Blogger Girls

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A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week

Here’s a Sneak Peek at the Coming Week

Sneak Peek

Cheers, folks! Welcome back to a sneak peek at what we have coming up for you in the week ahead. I hope you’ll drop back by to visit with all of our guests throughout the week, as well as check out some of the books we’ll be featuring for review each day.

Here’s what’s on tap!

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Monday – Kicking off our week for us, we start by welcoming author Meredith Russell on the Fallout (Flight HA1710) blog tour

We’ll also have author Annabelle Jacobs with us here today on the tour for her latest novella A Casual Thing

Tuesday – Author Hayden Thorne joins us today with a look at the re-release of her humorous take on Regency vampires in Desmond and Garrick

Wednesday – Author B. Snow stops in today to chat a bit about her newest release, Emily’s Magical Codpiece, and where the idea for the book came from

We’ll also have DSP Publications author Patricia Correll in the spotlight in another edition of Carole Cummings’ Genre Talk

Thursday – Author A.L. Boyd joins us today on the Crest Ridge blog tour

We’ll also be doing a little GayRomLit Countdown celebrating with author Lei Carol

FridayGrace R. Duncan stops by with a look at her new book Turning His Life Around

Saturday – And, last but certainly never least, author Rhys Ford closes out the Ink and Shadows blog tour with us today

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And that’s the lineup for the week ahead. Until next time, happy reading!

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Dreamspinner Press, Giveaways, Rhys Ford

Killing Them Softly: The Murder and Mayhem Blog Tour With Rhys Ford

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A funny thing happened on the way to the murder scene… I needed victims.

Now skip this part if you’ve heard it before but see, it’s hard to be a serial killer without victims. And if there’s one thing I do like writing, it is murder.

For the introduction of Rook and Dante in Murder and Mayhem, I wanted to do something different so I reached out to my fellow authors and asked, Can I murder you?

Everyone I reached out to said yes. Some were reluctant, some were enthusiastic, but mostly there was a tingle of impending doom because really, nothing says I love you like a particularly well planned murder—especially if it’s yours.

The authors I’m killing off on this tour are some of my favourites. I could kill everyone I like. Sadly, I wouldn’t have enough time, and I do have to move on to other murders, other books. But I’ve gathered a few… and best of all, like in some of the better mysteries in life, there is a plot twist.

***THIS CONTEST IS CLOSED***

To launch the Murder and Mayhem series, I will be giving away books written by my victims as well as a $20 USD gift certificate to the eTailer of the winner’s choice.

Catch each authors’ death on the tour and be sure to enter to win! And thank you all very much.

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6tammTA Moore—Labyrinth of Stone
I’ve known Tamm for centuries. She is one of the Five, a beloved cluster of friends who’ve bled, cried, laughed and coffeed together in various groupings. Tamm’s also one of the best fucking writers I’ve ever had the pleasure to read. God, I wish I could write like her.

6JCP

Jordan Castillo Price —  Channeling Morpheus for Scary Mary Ebook Box Set,  Mnevermind 1: The Persistence of Memory
There’s a Japanese word, komorebi, that loosely means the scattered, bokeh-like light when the sun shines in between trees. It’s an intangible word but when you come across that moment…in that forest…with the pungent scent of the weald in your lungs and the sparkling warmth cutting through the cold, you sure as hell know what that word means. Reading Jordan’s books, delving into her worlds, is to capture that moment and hold onto it forever in your mind.

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Blurb – Murder and Mayhem: Dead women tell no tales.

Former cat burglar Rook Stevens stole many a priceless thing in the past, but he’s never been accused of taking a life—until now. It was one thing to find a former associate inside Potter’s Field, his pop culture memorabilia shop, but quite another to stumble across her dead body.

Detective Dante Montoya thought he’d never see Rook Stevens again—not after his former partner’d falsified evidence to entrap the jewelry thief and Stevens walked off scot-free. So when he tackled a fleeing murder suspect, Dante was shocked to discover the blood-covered man was none other than the thief he’d fought to put in prison and who still made his blood sing.

Rook is determined to shake loose the murder charge against him, even if it means putting distance between him and the rugged Cuban-Mexican detective who brought him down. If one dead con artist wasn’t bad enough, others soon follow, and as the bodies pile up around Rook’s feet, he’s forced to reach out to the last man he’d expect to believe in his innocence—and the only man who’s ever gotten under Rook’s skin.

Read an excerpt and Purchase Murder and Mayhem HERE

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Murder and Mayhem Blog Tour:

June 1:  It’s About The Book

June 2: Love Bytes

June 3: MMGoodBook Reviews

June 4: Mercy Celeste | 3Chicks After Dark

June 5: The Novel Approach | Bike Book Reviews Spotlight

June 6: Sinfully Sexy

June 7: The Blogger Girls 

June 8: Prism Book Alliance

June 9: Joyfully Jay

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!rhys_ford_headshotAbout Rhys Ford: Rhys Ford was born and raised in Hawai’i then wandered off to see the world. After chewing through a pile of books, a lot of odd food, and a stray boyfriend or two, Rhys eventually landed in San Diego, which is a very nice place but seriously needs more rain.

Rhys admits to sharing the house with three cats of varying degrees of black fur and a ginger cairn terrorist. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird, a Toshiba laptop, and an overworked red coffee maker.

My Blog | Facebook | Twitter

And at the Starbucks down the street. No really, they’re 24/7. And a drive-thru. It’s like heaven.

My books can be purchased, folded and first chapters read at Dreamspinner Press.

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5 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Mystery/Suspense/Action Thriller, Reviewed by Karen, Rhys Ford

Review: Murder and Mayhem by Rhys Ford

TNA Page Turner Resized

Title: Murder and Mayhem

Author: Rhys Ford

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Page/Word Count: 236 Pages

At a Glance: I closed the book with a smile. :)

Reviewed By: Karen

Blurb: Dead women tell no tales.

Former cat burglar Rook Stevens stole many a priceless thing in the past, but he’s never been accused of taking a life—until now. It was one thing to find a former associate inside Potter’s Field, his pop culture memorabilia shop, but quite another to stumble across her dead body.

Detective Dante Montoya thought he’d never see Rook Stevens again—not after his former partner’d falsified evidence to entrap the jewelry thief and Stevens walked off scot-free. So when he tackled a fleeing murder suspect, Dante was shocked to discover the blood-covered man was none other than the thief he’d fought to put in prison and who still made his blood sing.

Rook is determined to shake loose the murder charge against him, even if it means putting distance between him and the rugged Cuban-Mexican detective who brought him down. If one dead con artist wasn’t bad enough, others soon follow, and as the bodies pile up around Rook’s feet, he’s forced to reach out to the last man he’d expect to believe in his innocence—and the only man who’s ever gotten under Rook’s skin.

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Review: Not that I didn’t know it before reading this book, but I honestly, in my opinion, don’t believe Rhys Ford can write a bad story. Everything I have read that she has written is amazing, and this may be my new favorite from her.

This book is a little different than what I am used to getting in a Rhys Ford book, and I have sat here and rewrote this sentence multiple times, trying to come up with the right words, or something to try to explain what makes it different, and I got nothing. The best I can think of is that this book is a little grittier than I what I am used to in her books. You still get all the things you love in a Rhys Ford book, though: you get mystery, love, humor – but in maybe a little darker package.

I love that everything is always so descriptive, and I get a clear picture in my head of each scene. As you’re reading, you can not only see the picture but almost feel, smell, hear and taste the things being described. Now, I am a romance girl, those are the books I like, and I rarely, if ever, read anything that isn’t in that genre. With that being said, even if this didn’t have the “romance” aspect to it, I still would have loved it just being a murder mystery story. But, boy am I glad that isn’t the case, because Rook and Dante are HOT!

Rook comes across as such as smartass. He is snarky and grumbly and always has a comeback. It was awesome and funny – but the more you learn about him, you see that he is really just hiding behind it and is kind of lost. Dante, on the other hand, comes across as much more calm and rational, but has no problem keeping up with Rook’s mouth. Then about three-quarters of the way in, I was literally sitting on my couch, curled up in a blanket saying out loud, “Awww….I love them together!” My husband at this point has pretty much excepted that I am nuts and talk to my books, so he just looked over, saw that I was holding my Kindle, shook his head, and turned back to the game. This book also had one of the best lines I have ever read in it about what a real man is – I don’t ever highlight on my Kindle, there was never anything that really jumped out at me where I felt, “Wow, I really want to remember this one line,” but there was in this book. I not only highlighted it but had to put my Kindle down and absorb just that one little part.

I love the great references in the book (one of my favorite movies of all time!) And waited and waited for the one line…I know it had to be in there at some point, and I finally got it in the very last paragraph, so I closed the book with a smile. :)

TNA_Signature_Karen







 

You Can Pre-Order Murder and Mayhem here:

All Romance eBooks

All Romance eBooks

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A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week

Here’s A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week

Sneak Peek

Cheers, everyone, and greetings from the Big Apple! Many thanks to you for dropping by to see what we have in store for you in the week ahead. It promises to be a busy week of guests, giveaways and reviews, so here’s what’s on tap.

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Monday – Author Ashley John kicks our week off for us on the Sink or Swim blog tour

We’ll also have author J. James with us on the Denial, Deceit, Discovery tour

TuesdayKeira Andrews drops in today to chat about her newest novel Kick at the Darkness

Jordan Castillo Price also joins us today with an audiobook giveaway of Camp Hell, book five in the PsyCop series

Wednesday – We’ll welcome author Brynn Stein on the For Mac blog tour

Author Michael Kudo will also join us to chat about his new book Sequestered Hearts

ThursdayChris T. Kat will be stopping by today on her Despite the Odds blog tour

We’ll also have Author Maris Black here to discuss her new book Kage

FridayRhys Ford drops by today to spread a little Murder and Mayhem around

Sue Brown also joins us on the Hidden Wolf blog tour

Saturday – And to close out the week, we’ll welcome author James Comins on the Fool School blog tour

We’ll also be helping author Joe Cosentino celebrate the release of his latest novel Drama Queen

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And that does it for the week ahead. Until next time, happy reading!

 

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HAHAT Blog Tour, Rhys Ford

Rotgut Gin: A Sinner’s Gin Ficlet by Rhys Ford for the Hop Against Homophobia, Bi- and Transphobia

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Support for the LGBT community and the HAHBAT tour continues today with a special look back at Miki, Damie, and the Sinner’s Gin boys. I’m so honored to be able to share this with you, so enjoy! And then be sure to check out the giveaway below.

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Rotgut Gin by Rhys Ford

Four damned sinners went into the rain
Strings bleeding red, soaking up their pain.
Sky fell apart, piercing their souls,
Night closed down, shadows filling the holes.
One woke up, And then there were two
Sun came back out, the sky black and blue
Too bright to be warm, too sharp to be kind,
Missing twin shadows, by the two left behind.

— Four Sinners Gone Walking

 

“Get the fuck in, Damie!” Johnny screamed out of the driver’s window, tapping the brakes of their van to slow the vehicle down enough for Damien to jump in through the open back doors.

Miki lost his grip on an amp, catching it before it skidded out of the back. Damie was a foot behind the van, his jeans down low on his hips, a peek of hair caught on the scrunched elastic of his underwear. He nearly lost his jeans, letting one hand go to grab at Miki’s fingers. His undone fly flapped back and Damie stumbled.

The alley was tight, jogging left suddenly, and Damien nearly hit the wall with the turn. Screaming at Johnny, Damie looked over his shoulder, ducking to avoid a dumpster lid. “Don’t stop! I’ll catch up!”

“Brake!” Miki shouted back at Johnny. “Fucking stop the damned van for a fucking minute.”

Johnny chanced a look over his shoulder. “Don’t got a fucking minute, Sinjun!”

Dave pounded at the back of the front passenger seat, urging Damie on. Something boomed from the alley behind them and one of the back doors lost a window, scattering glass in Damie’s path.

“Shit!” Johnny’s New York accent broke, going guttural and hot. “Hold on!”

Johnny hit the brakes, smoking up the van’s tires. Caught off guard, Damie slammed into the back deck, cutting him across his stomach. Grabbing Damie’s shirt, Miki hauled him in, reaching down to snag at Damie’s falling jeans and giving a good yank.

“Go! Go!” Miki screamed towards the front of the van. Johnny hit the gas and the van doors slammed shut, narrowly missing Damie’s bare feet. Panting in the cramped space behind their equipment, Damie heaved a sigh of relief and shot Miki a cocky grin.

“Fuck, that’s what being a rock star is.” He crowed between gasps. Miki guessed he would have said more if the next shotgun blast hadn’t taken out the other rear window, deafening them all for a moment.

They were all panting, frightened down to their core. Damie’d disappeared for what felt like only a minute after they’d finished packing the van up, then the shouting began—the oh-so-familiar-yelling of Damien being caught with his pants down and screwing with someone else’s lover.

And as they usually did, Johnny started the van up and gunned the engine, ready to leave another town in their dust.

“Do we have to go back?” Dave shoved at his long hair, trying to get his silken mane under control. His sloe-dark eyes were narrowed, concern beetling his eyebrows in.

“Why the fuck would we want to go back to that?” Johnny gave their drummer a filthy look. “Are you trying to get us killed?”

“We got Damie. But if he was with a guy… then he’s going to be in trouble. We just can’t leave him there.” Dave turned around, leaning between the two front chairs. “Was it about you being with a guy? Did we leave someone back there to deal with this by himself? Do we have to go back, Damie?”

Damien’s cocky grin faded, swept away by a bit of remorse and guilt. “Shit. Yeah. Yeah, we do.”

§§§§§

They found the young man—barely out of boyhood—lying in a puddle of his own blood. His face’d been worked over, his ribs pounded on but thankfully, he wasn’t riddled with holes. He’d run his shoes off, or perhaps one of his attackers took them. Either way, his feet were bare and muddy.

Johnny’d circled the van around, back to where Damie’d been with the slender blond, cutting the headlights when they spotted a group of large guys, laughing and slapping one another on the back. The van grew very quiet, and Miki’s stomach churned from fear. He spotted the young man first, curled up into a ball against a dumpster. Damie was out of the van before Johnny could throw it into park, and Miki followed hot on his heels, unsure about what to do.

It was a shitty eighteenth birthday for Miki, but he’d woken that morning knowing he was free. He didn’t have to look over his shoulder for Vega anymore, and it’d been months since he’d last run from the law. The state of California no longer owned his ass, could no longer pimp it out to some asshole with a kink for little boys and the money to satiate it.

Miki St. John was finally fucking free.

It’d been a day spent hauling around equipment and singing his throat raw for three sets. Their celebration backstage had been shots of Jack and a Hostess cupcake with a candle in it. There’d been other cupcakes, but that one with the candle had a layer of frosting on it and rainbow sprinkles. He’d sucked out the crème inside and left the cake and frosting for Damien, chasing the sweet down with a burn of whiskey.

The young man lying on the alley’s cement ground didn’t look much older than Miki.

“Shit, I’ve taken worse,” Miki muttered under his breath.

The other three didn’t understand—no, Damie understood—but Johnny and Dave were brought up in a land of white picket fences, backyard BBQs and Sunday dinners. They’d swam in pools in the summer and went begging for candy in the fall when they were still young, cute and fit into store-bought superhero costumes.

“Let’s get him in the van,” Dave said, unbuckling his seat belt. “We need to get him some help.”

“He’s not dead.” Miki pointed out. The other two merely looked at him, twin blank stares he didn’t want to counter with his brand of common sense. “Good thing, right? Let me get some towels. Rug back here’s fucked up enough without getting blood on it.”

There was an argument, mostly from the young man about going to the hospital. He didn’t want to. Damie, Johnny and Dave insisted. He shoved at them, shouting for them to mind their own business. Told them to fuck off and die, to leave him alone, but the three packed him up carefully and laid him into the van’s rear seats.

If there was one thing Sinner’s Gin was good at, it was packing stuff up and carting it off.

Even if the it was a young man who fought them all the way in.

The hospital stank of dead skin and alcohol, a taint of fake lemon added in for extra zest. An ER nurse gave them the hairy eyeball when they came in, asking if the blond guy slung over Johnny and Damie’s shoulders was impaired in any way.

His missing front teeth and a burbling moan of pain pushed her into action, and the blond was gone before Miki could blink. He’d slunk outside to wait, thinking the others would stay. They didn’t. Instead, they shadowed Miki’s steps, lurking outside of the ER, a murder of crows waiting to see if their victim of circumstance survived.

“How much money do we have?” Damien asked Dave, lighting a clove he’d stolen from Miki. They all hunkered around the van, pulled up as close to the smoking area as possible and stared at the emergency room doors. “I don’t know shit about him. Suppose he needs help?”

“For his bill?” Dave made a face. “I don’t know if we have that much.”

“You’re asking us to fork over hotel room money for a kid you fucked and left?” Johnny stepped away from the canister of sand he’d just stubbed a Chesterfield into. The three of them sat silent, staring at their bassist. Johnny sighed, flinging his hands up in the air to surrender. “Seriously, you’re bi. Can’t you fuck women when we’re in places like this? Bad enough we’ve got to worry about jealous boyfriends. You fuck a guy? And we’re sitting there running from assholes who want to kill you because you like to suck dick.”

“Do we got the money or not?” Damien ignored Johnny, pressing in on Dave.

“I don’t know.” Their drummer was the smartest with cash. Miki knew he couldn’t do it, manage their finances. He was barely useful grabbing snacks when they gassed up. “Maybe. Depends on how much.”

“And don’t get on my case, Johnny. Those fucking assholes back there came at us screaming about faggots and homos. Don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know they wanted to bash some heads in. I went one way, he went the other. I told him to follow me.” Damie turned and Miki caught the glitter in his blue eyes. His brother was either going to cry or lose his temper. It was fifty-fifty. Tears won and he blinked furiously, thinning his lips out as he met Miki’s gaze. “It’ll be okay, Sinjun. He wasn’t that bad. Not like…”

“Yeah, I’ve seen worse.” Miki’d been worse. Lost teeth were nothing. The guy’s chest wasn’t whistling every time he breathed, and he hadn’t choked on his own tongue or blood. As beatings went, it was one he’d walk away from. “Fucking crappy, though. Shouldn’t have to bleed just because you’re—”

“It’s a shitty part of town. You’re going to get the shit kicked out of you just for being there,” Damien spat. “They could have fucked with anyone. They just happened to choose us.”

They were in a shitty part of town. But then, they were always in shitty parts of every town they found gigs. They’d come a long way from playing at street gigs and sidestages. They were headlining at small clubs, building up their name, and selling CDs out of a cardboard box. Motel rooms were a luxury at times, sometimes eating a meal sitting down was a celebration.

Gas was their first priority, followed by strings and the occasional roll of duct tape. What none of them was saying out loud was they couldn’t afford to pay for the blond’s medical bills. Not if they were going to make it to their next gig.

Sitting in the van’s side door well, Miki shook out a kretek from his dwindling pack. Damien’d practically chain smoked the black cigarettes since they’d parked the van, waiting for something—someone—to show up for the young man they’d brought in.

He didn’t like hospitals. There were too many questions and too little sympathy. It would have been better if one of them were actually inside, but Miki knew if he brought it up, it was as good as volunteering to go in.

“What the fuck are we doing here, D?” Johnny reached past Miki to get to the cooler they stashed behind the rear seats. “We should be gone already. We got him here.”

Everything else in the van’d been pulled out to make room for their equipment, and the Econoline was barely big enough to hold everything, but they’d made room for a small rolling ice chest, packing it with cheap soda and water bottles. An ice slurry dripped off of a bottle Johnny pulled out, a cold wet dribble finding the back of Miki’s neck.

“Hey, fucking watch it. Shit, that’s cold.” He shoved at Johnny, a light reproach. The lean bassist retaliated, shoving the bottle against Miki’s throat before dancing away. “Fucker.”

“Close the lid,” Dave drawled. “But yeah, Damie, what do you want us to do here? It’s nearly morning and—”

A sleek, champagne gold sedan pulled into the parking lot, finding a space near the entrance. Its brake lights were still on, but the car’s passenger, a middle-aged blonde woman, hurriedly got out, leaving the door open. She rushed across the crosswalk and was through the ER’s sliding doors before the driver, a tall man with silvering brown hair, got out. He checked out the band, dismissing them with a turn of his shoulder before closing the passenger side door. Following the woman slowly, he didn’t glance back as he set the car’s alarm.

“Betcha that’s for the guy. He’s the only one in ER, right?” Johnny cracked open his water, playing with the lid.

“You should go check, D,” Miki said softly. Damien shot him a look and Miki glared right back. “It could have been you in there. Or worse. And then we’d be scrambling for the money for sure. Go the fuck in and take care of it.”

“In a little bit,” Damien muttered, pacing across the van. “Fuck. This is… so screwed up.”

“Here’s my question. The two of you are gay. You love him. Shit, you two always share the same bed in the hotel room, leaving me with this Cajun asshole.” Johnny jerked at Dave.

“I’m not Cajun. That’s like my saying you’re from Jersey,” Dave interjected.

“Yeah, whatever. Somewhere down there with sweet tea and bugs the size of our fucking van. The thing is, you’ve got Miki. Why the hell don’t the two of you just become fuck buddies, and we don’t have to worry about this kind of shit anymore?”

A part of Miki’s brain threw up, spreading its sour bile through his body. Gagging at the thought of putting his mouth anywhere near Damien’s cock, Miki scraped at his tongue with his teeth. Reaching into the still open cooler, Miki scooped out a handful of ice and flung it at Johnny, pelting his face and chest.

“Hey!” He couldn’t dodge the second handful, catching most of it down the front of his neck. “Cut it out!”

“You do know we’re brothers, right?” Damien leaned against a light post, taking another drag from his clove. “It’d be like me fucking you just ‘cause you’ve got a dick and asshole. Not going to happen.”

“I’m not gay.” Johnny muttered, warding Miki off with a spread of his hands in front of him. “And you’re damned fucking right that’s not going to happen. You’d stick your dick into a dead possum if you thought you’d get off.”

“I’m not attracted to you either. You don’t make my dick hard, Johnny. Sinjun doesn’t either. And that’s not how we are.” Damie took one last draw on his cigarette, then tossed it into the butt canister. “I’m going to go in and see if they came for… shit, I don’t even know his name. I’ll be right back.”

Dave tsked at Johnny as Damie jogged across the parking lot and into the ER. “I love you, man, but sometimes you’re really fucking stupid.”

“It was a fucking good question.” Johnny shook out his t-shirt, partially melted ice cubes dropping out of its depths. “Shit, Sinjun. I’m soaked here.”

“Should be glad I didn’t pitch a fucking can at your head.” Miki leaned back on his hands, his bony shoulder blades pressed into the back seat’s side. “People aren’t just holes, J. Not like you screw every chick you see just because she’s there.”

“Not that they’d have him,” Dave pointed out, his honey smooth baritone hot with sarcasm.

“It just would be… Jesus, fucking guys after the show doesn’t always end too good. How many fucking times are we going to be shoving gig money in our pockets and hauling ass out of town because Damie’s got his dick sucked behind the club? One day someone bigger and faster’s going to get a hold of him, and we’re going to be missing our lead fucking guitarist.”

“Won’t always be like that.” The Southerner pulled an elastic tie off of his bony wrist. Scraping his hair back into a ponytail, he secured it tight against his scalp. “Maybe one day we’ll even see Sinjun here hooked up with someone.”

“Not bloody fucking likely,” Miki snorted. “That kind of shit? Not going to happen for me. Can you imagine the loser who’d have to put up with my shit? Damie barely does and he fucking loves me like a brother. That’s brother, J. Siblings. Whatever other fucking seven-dollar word you can come up with, that’ll be it.”

“It just… I get scared sometimes, you know?” Johnny’s voice dropped, a raspy whisper painted with skyscrapers and big apples. “You guys are like… pieces of me. It’d fucking kill me if we lost one. You know?”

“Yeah, I know,” Miki murmured. He was the youngest of their band, the baby in a pack of kick-ass musicians. There was never going to be a time when he didn’t wake up astonished he was a part of them—that he fit into their pieces and parts as if they’d been made for him. Even in the middle of their arguing, it was a comfort. He knew he could say anything, do anything and they’d be right there with him.

No matter what.

“Someday, no one’s going to give a shit about Damie or anyone else sticking their dick into whomever they want to. Or… whatever there is to stick or suck.” Dave ruffled Miki’s hair, then snagged himself a Coke, closing the lid afterwards. “Someday people are going to start minding their own shit, caring for the person next to them instead of trying to tear them down. And yeah, Sinjun, one day you’re going to find someone who’ll want to wake up next to you—hopefully without Damien in the same bed—and that guy’s going to love you. Just you. You’ll see.”

“Right,” Miki sneered.

“I’ll bet you a shot of rotgut moonshine on it,” Dave said, saluting Miki. “Hell, I’d bet both of you on it. One day, when you wake up and find yourself in the middle of a family situation, you come by my place with some bathtub gin, and we’ll get drunk off the ‘shine. All of us.”

§§§§§

It was cold and wet in Cypress Park. Miki shivered despite the thick wool of his black peacoat, stepping out of the GTO as Damien angled the car’s tires against the grade. Retrieving a small package from the back, Miki met his brother’s gaze across the seats.

“You ready?” Damien’s question held too much weight, too many barbs sharp enough to hook down into Miki’s soul. “Took you this long to do this. We can come back when it’s warmer if you want.”

“No, I owe him, you know?” The paper bag crinkled loudly as he adjusted it over the glass jar inside. “Let’s do this.”

The walk was a long one for Miki and his knee, especially in the cold. They climbed up a rise to where a pair of angels stretched their wings and arms up to Heaven, their breath misting around their heads. The statues were elegant, sweet-faced and barefooted, marble twins seeking serenity under San Francisco’s stormy grey skies. Flowers, teddy bears and other tokens were strewn about the memorial’s large circular base and the bronze plaque set into the front was worn around the edges from rubbings.

Miki didn’t need to read the names written there. The memorial had been his idea, and he’d been thankful for the families’ gift of two handfuls of ashes so a piece of the men he’d loved could be where they’d all become one. He needed something to anchor them to him, needed a place to go to when he wanted to talk out his misery. From the scatter of things around the base of the statue, a lot of other people felt the exact same way.

“Notice there’s not one for me.” Damien teased. “Only two angels. But then, of the three of us? I’m the furthest thing from an angel we’ve got.”

“I wasn’t ready for you to be dead,” Miki replied softly. “And apparently, you weren’t fucking ready for it either. So shut the fuck up and help me do this.”

The mason jar lid was hard to get off but Miki got it loose. The liquid inside was mostly clear, but a bit of vanilla bean they’d tossed in there for good measure floated at the bottom, sienna specks clinging to the edges. Despite the fragrant addition, the gin stank of regret and sin.

“You got them?” Miki held the bottle carefully.

“Yeah, but pretty sure you could just dump out a bit. Careful, though. That shit’s going to eat right through the fucking marble.” Damien dug four shot glasses out of his jacket pockets. Holding them upright, he hissed when Miki sloshed a bit of the liquid on his fingers. “I’m…meeeelting. Seriously, this shit smells like jet fuel.”

“Fucker. Stop that.” Miki took two of the shot glasses and set them at the angels’ feet, patting at the base before pulling back. Grasping the one Damien passed him, he lifted it up towards the plaque. “This took too damned long, Dave, but I had to learn how to fucking make moonshine. And then it had to be good enough to at least choke down.

“You were right. About a guy. About Kane. You were always fucking right, and I hope right now you’re out there laughing your fucking ass off because of it.” Miki blinked away his tears. “But maybe, one day…soon… we won’t have to worry about two boys kissing or two girls holding hands. Maybe soon. Kiss Johnny for us. Because that’ll piss him off.”

“Amen.” Raising his glass, Damien muttered.“To the two who left us behind.”

“Fuckers.” Miki grinned, then downed his shot, choking as he swallowed. “Fucking hell, bastard knew this was going to burn going down. That’s why he did it, I’m sure.”

“Eating crow hurts, Sinjun. Hurts like hell.” Damien pulled his brother into a tight hug, and Miki clung just as tightly back, cut open from the bet he’d made. “Just like this fucking gin you’ve made.”

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!rhys_ford_headshotAbout the Author: Rhys Ford was born and raised in Hawai’i then wandered off to see the world. After chewing through a pile of books, a lot of odd food, and a stray boyfriend or two, Rhys eventually landed in San Diego, which is a very nice place but seriously needs more rain.

Rhys admits to sharing the house with three cats of varying degrees of black fur and a ginger cairn terrorist. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird, a Toshiba laptop, and an overworked red coffee maker.

My Blog | Facebook | Twitter

And at the Starbucks down the street. No really, they’re 24/7. And a drive-thru. It’s like heaven.

My books can be purchased, folded and first chapters read at Dreamspinner Press.

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Giveaways

As a special thanks to all of you for following along on the Hop Against Homophobia, Bi- and Transphobia, The Novel Approach is offering the chance at a couple of ways to win some great prizes. In case you missed the first giveaway, you can find that HERE.

For today’s giveaway, The Novel Approach is offering one reader the chance to win an e-title from Rhys Ford’s Backlist (Winner’s Choice), or an e-copy of her June 5, 2015 release Murder and Mayhem (to be delivered upon release), as well as a $25 Gift Card at Dreamspinner Press. Just click the Rafflecopter Widget to enter.

Good luck!

Rafflecopter Giveaway

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HAHABT 2015

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A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week

Here’s a Sneak Peek at the Coming Week

Sneak Peek

Cheers, everyone, and welcome back for a look at what we have in store for the week ahead.

Among the guest posts, giveaways, and reviews, we’ll also be bringing you a very special Hop Against Homophobia, Bi- and Transphobia story that I’m excited to share with you.

Here’s what’s on tap!

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Monday – Kicking off our week, we have a cover reveal for Indra Vaughn’s new novel Fragmented, book two in her Shadow Mountain series

Also joining us is author VJ Summers on the Light a Candle blog tour

TuesdayTeegan Loy will be with us today on the Love Complicated blog tour

And we’ll also be revealing a very special and exclusive Sinner’s Gin ficlet from Rhys Ford, starring Miki, Damie and the boys, in honor of the Hop Against Homophobia, Bi- and Transphobia

Wednesday – Author Jude Sierra joins us on the Hush blog  tour

We’ll also welcome Lavinia Lewis today on the Blood Ties blog tour

ThursdayInes Johnson is our guest today to chat a bit about her new novel The Loyal Steed

We’ll also welcome back guest author and honorary TNA family member Brita Addams

Friday – Today marks author Astrid Amara’s first visit to TNA, as she joins us to talk about her upcoming novel Song of the Navigator

Saturday – And closing out our week, we’ll have author Joel Skelton here to talk about his newest novel Beneath the Palisade: Justice

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And that does it for another fun-filled week. Until next time, happy reading!

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Rhys Ford

Cover Reveals and a Giveaway: State of the Rhys With Rhys Ford

Rhys Ford

As usual, my heartfelt gratitude goes out to The Novel Approach for letting me post my “doings” for the next few months or so. So, Lisa and Crew, thank you. Very much. You’re very sweet for letting me have space here.

Oooooo so much to talk about. Let’s start with the schedule of books and a few cover reveals!

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5 June 2015
Murder and Mayhem [Dreamspinner Press]

So I’ve got a new series coming out. It hits June 5th and The Novel Approach is lovely enough to let me post about it here first! Soooo many exclamation marks.

Murder_Cover_Ford

With the Dirty series winding down, coming to an end, pining for the fjords, I wanted to take a look at Los Angeles from a different kind of storytelling view. Funny thing about writing a book—for me at least—I usually start it off with this idea on how I want it to be written, the voice of the book as it were. In the case of Murder and Mayhem, I thought it would be lighter and funnier, a bit slapstick sometimes.

Boy was I wrong. Instead I got a gritty, noir-ish, steamy novel about Rook Stevens, an ex-cat burglar, and Dante Montoya, the Cuban-Mexican detective he’s got the hots for. And hots are definitely returned on the detective side. Problem is, they’ve been on the wrong side of the law from one another in the past and chances are, will be again in the future.

I both loved and hated this book because as it sets up a new series, there’s a tone and a vibe that needs to be worked out, secondary characters to be painted and more importantly, issues to be knitted together. Look for a cameo by Alex, my character from Grand Adventures. He made a reference to his cousin the collectibles dealer in that story and well, here we go.

Blurb: Murder and Mayhem

Dead women tell no tales.

Former cat burglar Rook Stevens stole many a priceless thing in the past, but he’s never been accused of taking a life—until now. It was one thing to find a former associate inside Potter’s Field, his pop culture memorabilia shop, but quite another to stumble across her dead body.

Detective Dante Montoya thought he’d never see Rook Stevens again—not after his former partner’d falsified evidence to entrap the jewelry thief and Stevens walked off scot-free. So when he tackled a fleeing murder suspect, Dante was shocked to discover the blood-covered man was none other than the thief he’d fought to put in prison and who still made his blood sing.

Rook is determined to shake loose the murder charge against him, even if it means putting distance between him and the rugged Cuban-Mexican detective who brought him down. If one dead con artist wasn’t bad enough, others soon follow, and as the bodies pile up around Rook’s feet, he’s forced to reach out to the last man he’d expect to believe in his innocence—and the only man who’s ever gotten under Rook’s skin.

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7 July 2015
Ink and Shadows [Dreamspinner Press Publications]

The cover for this book is currently being worked on by Anne Cain and I really can’t wait for her to finish. I normally do all of my own covers but for the DSPP books, I felt like I needed a master of Urban Fantasy art to create that grit and vibe they need. As soon as I have a cover, I’ll drop it for a look-see.

This book is both a love and trial for me. It’s probably one of the darker books I’ve written. A paranormal urban fantasy, this takes place in modern-day San Diego and well, other parts of the world as needed. When I came up with the idea of Kismet Andreas, a tattoo artist who sees things in the shadows, I knew it was going to be a wild ride into the what-ifs, and when I added the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse—that’s when things got weird. The Four are probably the most human characters I’ve ever written. Unabashedly human. It was a labour of love and anguish to write their personalities and at the same time, balance the darkness they live in with a lot of light. I loved writing this book because of the places it took me and it allowed me to really examine the question of what it means to be human.

Blurb: Ink and Shadows

Kismet Andreas lives in fear of the shadows.

For the young tattoo artist, the shadows hold more than darkness. He is certain of his insanity because the dark holds creatures and crawling things only he can see—monsters who hunt out the weak to eat their minds and souls, leaving behind only empty husks and despair.

And if there’s one thing Kismet fears more than being hunted—it’s the madness left in its wake.

The shadowy Veil is Mal’s home. As Pestilence, he is the youngest—and most inexperienced—of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, immortal manifestations resurrected to serve—and cull—mankind. Invisible to all but the dead and insane, the Four exist between the Veil and the mortal world, bound to their nearly eternal fate. Feared by other immortals, the Horsemen live in near solitude but Mal longs to know more than Death, War and Famine.

Mal longs to be… more human. To interact with someone other than lunatics or the deceased.

When Kismet rescues Mal from a shadowy attack, Pestilence is suddenly thrust into a vicious war—where mankind is the prize, and the only one who has faith in Mal is the human the other Horsemen believe is destined to die.

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September 2015
Sloe Ride [Dreamspinner Press]

SloeRide_Cover_Rhys Ford_Small

And we are back to Sinners and their Morgan Boys.

Oh how I hated this book. Okay, I hate all books as I write them but this book—this was like pulling back my skin and ripping out a drop of blood at a time with a very thin needle. Why? Because Quinn required such a delicate balance. A difficult task with this book was writing Quinn’s POV from third person yet maintaining his world view, which is decidedly different from the rest of the Morgans. This is the book were I take a reader deep into Morgan family dynamics and through the inner workings of their relationships. I had some startling surprises when writing this book. I ended up discovering certain characters who I’d never have put together actually worked—and not only worked but really needed to have relationships.

And then there’s the slow ride of Rafe and Quinn rediscovering one another after spending years apart. Their personalities were interesting to write because neither one of them is explosive, per se, but complicated. Fitting them together and balancing them out was a labour of love.

This also isn’t the end of the series. There will be a final book called Sin and Tonic with Miki and Kane to round out the whole thing. And well, let’s talk novellas later.

Blurb: Sloe Ride

It wasn’t easy being a Morgan.

Especially when dead bodies start piling up and there’s not a damned thing you can do about it.

Quinn Morgan never quite fit into the family mold. He dreamed of a life with books instead of badges and knowledge instead of law—and a life with Rafe Andrade, his older brothers’ “bad boy” friend and the man who’d broken his very young heart.

Rafe Andrade returned home to lick his wounds following his ejection from the band he helped form. A recovering drug addict, Rafe spends his time wallowing in guilt—until he finds himself faced with his original addiction, Quinn Morgan—the reason he fled the city in the first place.

When Rafe hears the Sinners’ are looking for a bassist, it’s a chance to redeem himself but as a crazed killer draws closer to Quinn, Rafe’s willing to sacrifice everything—including himself—to keep his quixotic Morgan safe and sound.

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December 2015: Yet Unnamed One-Off
Spring 2016: Dirty Heart (Final Cole McGinnis Series Novel)

Projected Novels: Hellsinger #3, Kai Gracen #2, Sinners Novella and some other stuff.

Now we come to the speculative part of our program, looking forward.

Mysterious One-off

I’m currently starting a contemporary mystery without a name and a loose sketchy plot. I know, so informative, but since it’s in the beginning of the process, I don’t really have a lot of details. I’ve got the characters, the place setting and the plot. Now is when I’m finding the voice of the book. That usually takes a few tries. It’s also important to find the right start point. I’m looking forward to this one because it features an ex-con, the niece he’s gained custody of and a bookseller they both grow very fond of.

Oh…and well, a bit of a mystery but you know, that kind of stuff happens.

And ah, Dirty Heart

Sadly, the time has come for the end of the Dirty series. There are things to wrap up (Ben) and questions to be answered (Ben) and healing Cole needs to do in order to move forward (Ben). While this will be the final book in the series, I will be doing one-off mysteries in the future but the series itself will be finished up.

I’ll admit it’s a bit weird putting the Dirty series to bed. Cole McGinnis was my first entry into this genre, and I will always have a special place in my heart for him. No pun intended with the title there. It’s been a blast folding in different cultures and playing around in Cole’s Los Angeles. And I am so very thankful for each and every one of you who’s been along for the ride. Seriously. Thank you.

And Everything Else

There’s so much to do. Really. And sooooooo little time. I’m looking to deliver another Hellsinger novel, especially after Wolf’s discovered who Tristan is related to. And of course, there’s a ghost or two.

Kai’s in line for a sequel. I might drop a novella before I do a full novel, but I’m on the fence with that one. Why do a novella first? It all depends on the time I have. Kai needs some page time. And I want to deliver that.

And then there’s the Sinners boys. After Sloe Ride, it’ll be nice to visit with the guys in a non-murdery kind of way, much like I did with Devil’s Brew. It’ll also be great to write. Because really, who doesn’t love a bunch of rockers and their lovers.

Where I’m Gonna Be

I’m officially traveling to two Cons this year at the point. I might add one or two, depending on time.

UKmeetSquare_zpsb289200bFirst is the UK Meet in September and that’s something I’m really looking forward to because no only will  I be in Bristol but I’ll be going to visit with Three of the Five, dear sweet friends who’ve been with me for a significant amount of my life. They’ll be going to the UK Meet as well so there’ll be a great time had by all. It’ll also be great to see everyone from the area and Dreamspinner’s Elizabeth North will be a keynote speaker.

One can never have too much Elizabeth North in their lives.

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Secondly is GayRomLit which will be held in San Diego—my hometown—for the first time. I’m hoping to work out something special for this GRL, as it is my own stomping grounds. The hotel looks fantastic and really, you can’t go wrong with San Diego during October.  I’m really going to love having GRL here this year.

Giveaways

Now for the fun part, how about a giveaway? One Lucky Winner will receive a $20 gift certificate to the etailer of their choice, as well as an Advanced Reader Copy of my next two releases. You’ll get Murder and Mayhem as well as Ink and Shadows in the format of your choice.

Just leave a comment below by Midnight Pacific time on Monday, April 20, 2015, and a winner will be chosen at random on Tuesday, the 21st, and contacted by email.

THIS CONTEST IS CLOSED

Good luck! And thank you so much and I’m looking forward to the rest of this year…and having you all along with me.

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