Hello world!

This blog is all about Romance!  We review books about romance (mostly m/m – but there might be an occasional m/f, f/f, m/m/f, space-alien-babies, what have you).

In addition we are inviting fan fiction, slash fiction, fan-art – anything that moves you to create.

We hope you find something that entertains you or inspires you – Enjoy!

Feel free to email us at openskyebookreviews@gmail.com with any questions or concerns.

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Covet by Yolande Kleinn Blog Post, Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway!

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YK:

Hi everybody! I’m Yolande Kleinn, and I’m thrilled to welcome you to the Covet blog tour. I’m giddy to be here myself, and I hope you’re looking forward to my kinky contemporary M/M/M love story. I had a terrific time writing this book—getting to know Jack and Colin and Peter—and I can’t wait for you to meet them too. Follow along for the chance to win a $30 Riptide Publishing gift card!

About Covet

Jack Mason—graphic designer and unrepentant player—has never been interested in monogamy. He certainly isn’t looking for romance when he meets Professor Colin Sloan.

Newly single and not looking for anything serious, Colin is intrigued by Jack’s offer of a physical affair with no strings attached. Becoming friends wasn’t part of the plan, but as accidents go, this one’s pretty great.

Peter Mason is Jack’s identical twin. In a long-term relationship himself, Peter tells no one that he’s falling for his brother’s newest favorite, even as the secret creates tension with his girlfriend.

When Peter’s relationship falls apart, he seduces Colin, fully expecting Jack to forgive his transgression. But Jack is keeping secrets too—he hasn’t told even Colin that he’s fallen in love. Suddenly the twins are feuding, and Colin is caught in the middle, blindsided by the revelation that he doesn’t want to choose between them.

Now all three must find a way to share, or they’ll tear each other apart.

Now available from Riptide Publishing. http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/covet

 

 

By the time Jack arrived at his door, Colin had worn himself so thin he barely felt the smile he put on his face.

Jack’s eyes narrowed as he stepped into the apartment, his brow drawing low and scrunching tight. “Everything okay?”

“Yes,” Colin lied, surprisingly convincing. He let the front door swing closed under its own weight, shutting out the sporadically lit hallway outside. “It’s just been a long day.”

Jack nodded, expression clearing. He glanced around Colin’s apartment with unmasked curiosity. It was the first time he’d actually set foot inside, and he was obviously taking in every detail.

Colin blushed at the close scrutiny of his living room, suddenly conscious of the jumbled disarray. It wasn’t that the apartment was dirty—Colin had a compulsive need for cleanliness—but the clutter was pronounced. Colin’s numerous bookshelves were constantly overflowing, stacks of books accumulating in almost every corner. Classic literature mixed indiscriminately with trashy mysteries and trashier science fiction, a sorting project Colin was always putting off for another day. The mess had grown worse since Kyle’s hurried packing and departure. Colin hadn’t gotten around to sorting his own books and possessions into the gaps left behind.

“Sorry about the mess.” Colin reached past Jack to steady a perilous stack of paperbacks.

“It’s fine.” There was an unfamiliar softness in Jack’s voice. When Colin straightened, they were standing closer than he’d realized—closer than they should be—and Jack’s face had gone serious. There was something intimate in the tilt of his head, and in the faint creases at the corners of his eyes. He looked like he was about to ask a question but couldn’t figure out how to phrase it.

He looked gorgeous and inviting and absolutely perfect.

And Colin knew this would play out the same as every other moment that had started this way. Jack would take a backward step so smooth it would seem like he’d intended it all along. He would smile an uncomplicated smile, and ask if Colin had decided on a bar for the evening. He would let the moment dissipate to the exact same nothing as all the rest. Exactly the way it needed to.

Colin suddenly, fiercely hated the idea of Jack retreating. Never mind everything he’d been telling himself about not encouraging Jack, or the mixed signals he’d been trying so hard not to give off. Never mind the faint tug of rational thought telling him to let Jack go.

Colin wasn’t thinking. If he were, he definitely wouldn’t react to the off-balance feelings in his chest by closing the distance and kissing Jack’s soft, startled mouth.

He backpedaled as soon as his brain caught up with the rest of him, and narrowly avoided knocking down a sturdier stack of hardcovers behind him. He was mortified with himself, and he could feel his expression going wide open with shock. As if he were the one with any right to be surprised about the kiss.

“Oh god, I’m so sorry.” He nearly tripped over his own tongue in his haste to apologize. “I can’t believe I just— That was completely out of line, forgive me.”

Colin honestly wasn’t sure what he expected from Jack in response. Affront, maybe? An obvious attraction didn’t mean Jack was interested in more, and Colin had just crossed an unmistakable line. By all rights Jack should be offended. And though Colin had never seen Jack anything but easygoing, he braced himself just the same.

But Jack only grinned, bright and uncomplicated, and reached for Colin. He took loose hold of Colin’s left wrist, then tugged him closer. An instant later there was the warmth of Jack’s palm curving along Colin’s jaw, the brush of fingertips ghosting the edge of his ear. Then Jack’s mouth, somehow both eager and tentative, testing the water. Colin’s pulse kicked fast in his chest, and he curled his fingers tight in the fabric of Jack’s sleeves. Clinging hard. Leaning closer.

Kissing him back.

About Yolande Kleinn

Yolande Kleinn may be a shameless dreamer and a stubborn optimist, but she is also a proud purveyor of erotic romance. Excitable, fastidious, and a little eclectic, she spends every spare moment as far away from reality as possible.

A Minnesotan by both heart and geography, Yolande has plenty of experience weathering tough winters. Her favorite method: distracting herself with warm beverages and even warmer stories. A night spent with a good book is heaven. A morning free to write, with a hot cup of coffee close at hand, is even better.

Connect with Yolande:

  • Website
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Tumblr
  • To celebrate the release of Covet, one lucky winner will receive a $30 Riptide gift card! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on September 23, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!  

 

Posted in Giveaway, Tour/Guest Post/Blitz | 10 Comments

Audiobook: Red Dirt Heart 3 by NR Walker Narrated by Joel Leslie

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Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Red-Dirt-Heart-3-Audiobook/B0758Q1RGM/ref=a_search_c4_1_2_srTtl?qid=1504970023&sr=1-2

Blurb

Life for Charlie Sutton has never been better, or busier. With Travis now a permanent fixture of Sutton Station, a permanent fixture at Charlie’s side, Charlie’s convinced he couldn’t do anything on his ever-growing to-do list without him.

He can run a multimillion dollar cattle business, finish his degree, try and further the local beef industry, deal with staff issues, Ma’s failing health, and an attention-demanding wombat. He can even deal with an unexpected visitor and some shattering news.

He can deal with it all, as long as he has Travis.

But what happens when he doesn’t?

Red Dirt Heart 3 is the story of Charlie Sutton finally realising he can be the man Travis Craig deserves, even if he doesn’t have Travis. It’s a story of love, family, holding on, letting go and coming home.

 

Review by Mary

 

Listening to Red Dirt Heart books is like being welcomed home, sitting in the kitchen in the station listening to all going on around me. Superb. So much is packed into the story there is not a dull moment, but most importantly Charlie has grown in confidence with Travis by his side. He now sees his worth in the world and is stronger for it. I absolutely loved the way Charlie comes to realise everyone at the station is now family rather than employees. The thought of Ma being ill was so hard. Charlie can cope better with the things life throws at him especially with Travis by his side. The part when Travis goes back to Texas really got me in the heart because whilst he desperately misses him Charlie knows he can go on. Hearing Joel Leslie’s narration of this bit brought me to tears, Joel is a master at pulling the emotions out of a scene.

Nugget in the story is wonderful and proves some light relief, as does the names Travis gives the calves so cute and so much fun.

 

Joel Leslie makes this series on audio. I love both his accents for Travis and Charlie. There are so many characters and all of them so distinct I don’t know how he does it. When Joel Leslie narrates an audiobook it’s like sitting in the front row of a theatre. You are right there in amongst all the characters living everything with them.

 

5 out of 5 stars!

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Review by Morgan
(Book reviewed here previously: http://kimichanexperience.com/red-dirt-heart-3-nr-walker/)

This is book three and it picks up almost immediately from where Book 2 leaves off. Travis has committed to staying with Charlie and the two are essentially living out and proud in the Outback. Charlie is making huge advances in defending himself as a gay man, the Station is prospering with a new huge account and Travis is still being the wonderful, supportive boyfriend he always is.

However, Charlie’s biological mom shows up and messes with Charlie’s balanced life and let’s out that Charlie has a brother! Charlie’s mother-of-his-heart, Katie, is sick and has to be rushed to the hospital with a diagnosis of cancer that leaves Charlie reeling.

Together, Travis and Charlie work through these issues, and Charlie is grateful for Travis’ support.

Everything looks like it’s just going to be great when Travis’ grandfather falls ill and Travis has to leave the country to see him before he dies. Charlie can’t go as he has no passport and everything is too busy at the Station.

Though he has absolutely no reason to be worried, Charlie worries the entire time Travis is away and when suddenly there is radio silence from Travis Charlie assumes the worse. Travis isn’t coming back. Ever.

But – WE all know this isn’t true, even if Charlie doesn’t and, sure enough, he does come back and we get a lovely surprise ending to warm the cockles of our heart.

**

In this installment the tension is mostly about things not related to the relationship. It was fun watching Charlie blossom and see him more and more confident with Travis’ love. Which was why his feelings of doom and gloom when Travis goes to America seem so frustrating and almost out of place.

On the one hand I can see being worried when there is silence for two weeks, but really? After all this time can’t he surely trust Travis a little? And since when is it the boys can only have contact through email? I mean, if Charlie was really that worried, why not pick up a damn phone and call him?

That part, the last little bit, kinda frustrated me. Though I loved the re-union- really, really loved it – I didn’t understand why Charlie couldn’t work through his worry logically. Then, when Travis realized how worried Charlie was, why not shoot him an email or … yeah – call him!?!

So, if you ignore the last 20% of the book, it was a wonderful look at the relationship as it matures. Though I appreciated where we ended up, I wasn’t as impressed with the plot device that had poor Charlie losing his mind over something that looked like a no-brainer.

So, this was not my favorite of the three books. I still loved it and there are parts (esp. the end) that I will read and re-read again, and I am forever a huge NR Walker fan-girl, and I will wait on pins and needles for RDH 4… but I have to give this a 4.5 of 5 stars, subtracting a bit for the crazy Charlie bit at the end.

Audio

Joel made me cry so hard! The part at the end, with the email – GAH! And the nose bumping and the … well it’s probably not a secret – the proposal… so emotional and Joel just carries it off so well!

I love this series and am amazed at how Joel can keep Travis and Charlie separated so well… as well as the myriad others in the ensemble. He’s amazing and paired with NR Walker – out of this world!

(There was one error I heard in my copy where the speed got messed up… but I’m hoping it was only my copy…)

Highly recommended!

5 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Posted in 5 star, adult - 18+, Angst Level, Audiobook, Author Provided, Book, co-workers to lovers, coming of age, Contemporary, Established Couple, Established Couple/Sequel, Gay, GFY/OFY, Heat Index, Homophobia, m/m, Mid, Mid-grade, Morgan, Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words), Part of a Series | Leave a comment

Tate (Temptation Series Book 5) by Ella Frank

Amazon Link

https://www.amazon.com/Tate-Temptation-Book-Ella-Frank-ebook/dp/B075GXW951/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1505320748&sr=8-2&keywords=tate+ella

Blurb:

William Tate Morrison – The man who came into my life and turned my entire world—and me—on its ass.

Logan Mitchell has always been a man with a plan.
One for work. One for his relationship. And one for his life. Which is exactly the way he liked it—until recently.
Now with words like marriage and weddings floating around his head, Logan’s plans have suddenly changed course, and where they want him to go has him feeling somewhat distracted.

Tate Morrison knows Logan better than anybody else—or so he thinks. So when his lawyer is finding it hard to sleep at night, he chalks it up to the craziness that has recently descended on their lives.
Never in a million years would he guess what’s really on Logan’s mind.

Tate is the fifth book in the Temptation Series, and the next chapter in the lives of the two men we have all come to know and love..!

Review

Another brilliant continuation the Temptation series! This is one of the best series out there (I don’t say this lightly– I can count on 2 hands the number of series’ I follow – as I lose interest if the storyline is too protracted).
After more than 4 years together, Logan and Tate are living in domestic bliss. They’ve just bought a house together, Logan has brought on a new partner … at work … (Tate is more than enough at home☺) and Tate’s Popped Cherry … the bar 😉 is doing well. You’d expect their lives to be boringly settled, well you would be wrong! The sex is still hot between them, Logan still has an ego and Tate is still a tease.
Add to that, Priest (introduced in Tease) and Robbie – they have an ‘I hate you’ relationship – for now (I smell a story there)! Friends and family, Tate’s family reconciliation, a bit of a heartache, (temporary, but I had to put the book down for a bit), a birthday surprise and a sweet, ‘keep-you-hanging-‘til next-year ending’ and you have a brilliant story.
I loved this book and can’t wait for the audio.

4.5 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Posted in 4.5 stars, adult - 18+, Angst Level, Author Provided, Book, Contemporary, Dee, Established Couple, Established Couple/Sequel, Gay, GFY/OFY, Heat Index, Humor, lawyer, m/m, Mid, Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words), Opposites attract, Part of a Series, Scorching | Leave a comment

August 2017 Best Audiobook and Book Winners!

Audiobook: One Giant Leap by Kay Simone Narr Greg Tremblay
Yanni’s Story by NR Walker

 

Audiobook: Smitty’s Sheriff by Cardeno C Narr Ezekiel Robison
The Long Winding Road by TJ Klune

 

Audiobook : Lost and Found by Lucy Lennox and Sloane Kennedy Narr Michael Pauley
Red Fish, Dead Fish by Amy Lane tied with
Fool on Main Beach by Tara Lain

And Congrats to our Comment Winner: Sole!

We loved hearing what everyone enjoys about blog posts this month! 

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Bad Boy’s Bard by EJ Russell Blog Tour and Giveaway!

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About Bad Boy’s Bard

As far as rock star Gareth Kendrick, the last true bard in Faerie, is concerned, the only good Unseelie is . . . well . . . there’s no such thing. Two centuries ago, an Unseelie lord abducted Gareth’s human lover, Niall, and Gareth has neither forgotten nor forgiven.

Niall O’Tierney, half-human son of the Unseelie King, had never lost a wager until the day he swore to rid the Seelie court of its bard. That bet cost him everything: his freedom, his family—and his heart. When he’s suddenly face-to-face with Gareth at the ceremony to join the Seelie and Unseelie realms, Niall does the only thing inhumanly possible: he fakes amnesia. Not his finest hour, perhaps, but he never revealed his Unseelie heritage, and to tell the truth now would be to risk Gareth’s revulsion—far harder to bear than two hundred years of imprisonment.

Then a new threat to Gareth’s life arises, and he and Niall stage a mad escape into the Outer World, only to discover the fate of all fae resting on their shoulders. But before they can save the realm, they have to tackle something really tough: mending their own broken relationship.

Now available from Riptide Publishing. http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/bad-boys-bard

 

About the Fae Out of Water Series

Once upon a time, there were three brothers, nobles of the Seelie Court of Faerie, who set out to seek their fortunes. The eldest—

Scratch that. Rrrrrewind.

Nowadays, when tales are told in 140 character bursts on tiny LED screens, rather than spun out by the glow of a midnight campfire, even Faerie’s elite have to get with the program.

The Kendrick brothers have traded longbow for briefcase, battle steed for Harley, and enchanted harp for electric guitar.  But while they’re finding their feet in the modern world, instead of finding their fortunes, they stumble straight into love.

#faeoutofwater

 

Check out Fae Out of Water! http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/series/fae-out-water

 

About E.J. Russell

E.J. Russell holds a BA and an MFA in theater, so naturally she’s spent the last three decades as a financial manager, database designer, and business-intelligence consultant. After her twin sons left for college and she no longer spent half her waking hours ferrying them to dance class, she returned to her childhood love of writing fiction. Now she wonders why she ever thought an empty nest meant leisure.

E.J. lives in rural Oregon with her curmudgeonly husband, the only man on the planet who cares less about sports than she does. She enjoys visits from her wonderful adult children, and indulges in good books, red wine, and the occasional hyperbole.

Connect with E.J.:

Website: ejrussell.com

Blog: ejrussell.com/bloggery/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/E.J.Russell.author

Twitter: twitter.com/ej_russell

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/ejrussell/

To celebrate the release of all three books in the Fae Out of Water series, one lucky winner across all three tours will receive a GRAND PRIZE of a $50 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on September 23, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the Bad Boy’s Bard tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

 

 

 

Posted in Giveaway, Tour/Guest Post/Blitz | 15 Comments

Audiobook: Cronin’s Key III by NR Walker Narrated by Joel Leslie

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Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Sci-Fi-Fantasy/Cronins-Key-III-Audiobook/B074WGYM6G/ref=a_search_c4_1_2_srTtl?qid=1505409574&sr=1-2

Blurb

History isn’t always what it seems…

Twelve months after his change, Alec MacAidan is still getting used to his many vampire talents. While most vampires would give anything to have more than one supernatural power, Alec craves nothing more than peace and time alone with Cronin. But when Alec meets entities from outside this realm, he’s left powerless in their presence.

Zoan are half-lycan, half-dragon creatures that have slipped through time and reality, seemingly undetected by man and vampire. Or have they? They bear an uncanny resemblance to gargoyles, leaving Alec’s view on all things weird to get a whole lot weirder.

This new quest leads Alec, Cronin, and their band of friends to Paris, Rome, and Moscow, where they learn that gargoyles aren’t simply statues on walls. In the underground pits beneath churches all over the world, Alec discovers the Key’s true destiny. Facing the Zoan might take every talent he has. And he may need help from the dead to get them all out alive.

 

Review by Dee

This is the last of the series. It follows Alec and Cronin finally discovering the extent of Alec’s power and the ultimate reason for his being the key. It is a fitting end to series, (although I would like to see Kennard and Sasha as a short story of their own – yes that is a plea to NR Walker J). Cronin’s Key is great series, one that I have reread several times.

Wow! The narration, excuse me, the performance by Joel Leslie is practically flawless. It felt like I was listening to an ensemble cast of performers instead of just one person. Each character was not only distinct, complete with the accent – Cronin (Scottish), Alec, Dad, cops (American), Eiji (Japanese) to name a few, but Joel transitioned into each character, during conversations, so well that I truly thought I was ‘watching’ a TV show/film. The characters all flowed into each scene or conversation seamlessly.

I highly recommend this audiobook unreservedly. I can’t express how much Joel Leslie blows my mind with this and his other performances. He is truly a master of his craft.

 6 0f 5 stars – It was hellamazing!

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Review by Morgan

(Book reviewed here previously)

If you’ve been following along, we met Alec and Cronin in book one – fated mates, one human one vampire. It took until book two for them to finally complete the bonding process and they risked everything for the conversion. Now we finally get to see just what a “key” is made of and what he can do with his newfound talents.

It’s not a surprise when I tell you that Alec ends up with not one, or two, or three, but ALL the vampire skills and it’s a bit overwhelming. There is yet another crisis to save the world – a portal which opened up upon his conversion allowed in, the Zoan (sort of gargoyles, lycan, werewolf… creatures who are very bad and can stop time!)

In the end there is lots of drama – some loss of good friends – some reconnecting with past friends and lots of ooey gooey lurve between Cronin and Alec.

**

I’m having a hard time rating this… on the one hand I really liked that we got to spend so much time with Alec and Cronin as a couple and I loved that we got to see all the cool things Alec could do! That was amazing. By then end of the book I really felt like their story was complete and that’s a great feeling.

However, I missed the electrical connection we saw in books one and two between Alec and Cronin as there were few smexy times and most of the book was devoted to the conquering of the Zoan. So I missed the “romance” in this romance.

I appreciated the tied-up loose ends and the really happy future that got laid out for our MCs and the nice, tidy ending for some of the secondary characters, but I missed spending time alone with our guys.

Overall, it was a great series and a nice ending and I recommend it to fans of the series highly.

3.5 of 5 stars

Audio

Again Joel Leslie does phenomenal work with this. All those unique accents and the emotion! So wonderful! Highly Recommended as the best way to enjoy this story!

5 of 5 stars

Overall 4.5 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Posted in 4.5 stars, Action/Adventure, adult - 18+, Alternate World, Angst Level, Audiobook, Author Provided, Book, Contemporary, Established Couple, Established Couple/Sequel, Fated Mates, Gay, Heat Index, High but not hopeless, m/m, Magic, Mid, Mid-grade, Morgan, Mystery, Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words), Paranormal, Part of a Series, Rating, vampire | Leave a comment

Back to School Month: Temptation by Design by Andrea Dalling

 

 

Amazon Link

https://www.amazon.com/Temptation-Design-Andrea-Dalling-ebook/dp/B01MXVCHW1/ref=sr_1_5?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1505409187&sr=1-5&keywords=temptation+by+design

Free!

 

Blurb:

Forbidden attraction…
Shakespeare professor Ben Silver teaches in a small college town with few prospects for love. Most gay men he meets are students and off-limits. That’s never been a problem until architecture major Chase takes over set design for the college production of Macbeth. Older than most college juniors, his maturity and leadership skills—not to mention his smoking-hot body—capture Ben’s attention. But a tryst could ruin Ben’s career, and he can’t risk it.

Awakening desire…
Former petty officer Chase Coltrane understands fraternization rules. His years in the Navy taught him to keep his hands to himself, especially where people in authority are concerned. But when Ben ignites Chase’s attraction to men, Chase’s self-control heads out to sea. He wants to explore this newly discovered part of himself, and the sexy, charismatic professor has tied knots around his heart. Will his desperate attempt to win the man he loves destroy their future? Or will it lead them on a path to lasting love?

Review:
I had a love/hate relationship with this book. I loved how the two MC’s fit so well to each other. I loved that they just couldn’t keep away from each other and I loved how accepting and open minded Chase’s parents were.
I hated that it truly seemed like an insta love. I hated that there was really no second guessing by Chase on his sexuality. And I hated that they thought jumping into a marriage would solve their problem.
That said we have a story of a tenured professor and a 29 year old student who seem to get caught up in each other. They have to work closely in a school production and the looks between them get hotter and hotter until they kiss. From there it’s downhill. Fraternization is frowned on severely at this small east coast school. Add in a student who keeps quoting her ethics class and you have 2 guys trying hard not to show their attraction. The story moved along smoothly and evenly, keeping me engrossed until the end

This was a quick read and a HEA for the couple. Overall I enjoyed the story and would consider reading more from the author.

4 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

Posted in 4 star, Actor/Theatre, adult - 18+, Angst Level, Beth Jumper, Book, College/University, Contemporary, Gay, GFY/OFY, Heat Index, Hidden Lovers, Insta Love, Let's Get Educated/Back To School, m/m, Mid, Mid-grade, Military, Monthly Theme, Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words), Purchased, Teacher | Leave a comment

Behind The Tales Blog Post by Aurora Peppermint!

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OS: Welcome to Aurora Peppermint who is here today to share their new book: Behind the Tales!

AP:

My series has a pretty interesting cast of characters and one of the most interesting for me to write is Martus’s little sister, Elsaben. Originally it was just really fun to get into the head of a little kid. They aren’t always logical and can tend to just blurt out whatever they’re thinking which was really fun for me to write without sort of having to filter her thoughts into appropriate things to say in certain situations because I knew she wouldn’t be worried about that. She’s young enough that this still applies, but not quite so young that she would just blurt out to strangers that Hal is a dragon which is the sweet spot I had to put her in so that she could safely know about Hal and they could properly bond, without her risking their safety.
In this book, it became even more interesting to write Elsaben. Not only was she present for much more of the book so it was much easier to have her interact with all the new characters and show some more of her personality, but she was also struggling with something unique. She’s been gifted with her magick since as long as I’ve been writing about her, but it was more of a nice quirk than a problem in the first book. As she starts to realize that with very strong magick comes things that are difficult for even an adult to control, it turns into more of a problem.
Especially as the book progresses and the group finds themselves in more dangerous situations, it’s very hard to tell what Elsaben’s magick will do. I say what her magick will do rather than what she will do because, although it’s facet of her in some ways, it’s almost like its own character. Because she has so little control over it and because it’s getting more powerful every day, when she finds herself in a bind, even I sometimes have no idea what could happen. Usually I start with a basic foundation of how is she feeling? What might be an instinctive reaction for someone who didn’t have magick? How can I translate that into magick that I know she has on a smaller scale level? And, then, finally, how will her feelings of feel or anger or loss of control exacerbate that usual feeling? And that’s usually how I reach my final conclusion about what reactions Elsaben, and her magick, would have in these high tension situations.
It was also really fun for me to write Elsaben, in this book, interacting with one of the new characters, Mel. Because she only really grew up with Martus, and was too young to remember her own mother, Elsaben never really had any adult, female figures in her life. Mel is far from being a fairytale princess or even a particularly motherly figure, but it was still interesting to write Elsaben interacting with someone who she could look up to that wasn’t a male figure, for pretty much the first time in her life. There are just some things, whether it be helping her learn to braid her hair apart from the sloppy job Martus does, or giving her genuine advice. These things can be easier passed from a woman to a young girl than the same information coming from her older brother, and I could see that.
On the slip side it was pretty interesting to write Mel interacting with Elsaben too simply because she hadn’t really been around children since she and her brother were children themselves. And, like Elsaben, had only ever had her brother.
So those are some of my favorite, challenging, fun things about writing Elsaben in this book specifically and in the whole series. Please also enjoy these exclusive colorining book pages of Mel and her brother Fitzy, done for me by August Li!

Blurb
Martus understands the desire to forget the past. After all, until recently he stole to support his makeshift family. His boyfriend, Hal, has a history of losing control over his dragon transformations and causing destruction neither of them likes thinking about, and even his little sister, Elsaben, is struggling to harness her magickal gifts.
But personal issues must be pushed aside when Martus’s wealthy patron hires their group to find her son, the legendary hero Fitzy. Is he in trouble or just sick and tired of the burden of fame? Perhaps his estranged sister, Mel, can help them track him down.
An already difficult mission becomes an uphill battle when their demons refuse to be ignored. Even Mel is keeping secrets, and all of them are about to discover that forgetting the past won’t stop it from catching up at the worst possible time.

Buy Link
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/behind-the-tales-by-aurora-peppermint-8673-b

Author Info:

Aurora Peppermint writes sci fi and fantasy young adult books and is very friendly, she promises. Aurora Peppermint is a teenage girl with a real passion for spaceships. For a long time, she wanted to be the people on the spaceships, and she still does, but now she’s thinking it isn’t so bad to be the one making them. Her dream job is Ghostbuster, and her second dream job is what she’s doing right now. She is a huge fan of anything involving or centered around the word ‘chocolate’, and you can usually find her baking something somewhere in New York. She has a small, tight-knit group of crime fighters who read her books and slap some sense into her when she’s been up for more than twenty-four hours. Most of the time she’s at a concert or convention or something else that begins with ‘con’, but when she isn’t seeing the world you can find her bouncing between Central Pennsylvania and Staten Island.

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Off the Beaten Path by Cari Z Guest Post!

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OS: Welcome to Cari Z here to talk about her newest book and werewolves, too!

CZ:

Werewolves Are Sexy…But Why?

I’m not precisely sure when werewolves went from horror monster to sexy mofo. It’s a huge pop culture shift in movies and on television, and quite obviously in romance as well. Maybe it dates back to the paranormal craze ten+ years ago now? Maybe werewolves were the logical follow-up from vampires when it came to bringing sexy back?

There’s definitely a lot to like about werewolves in pop culture. I mean, they’re generally depicted as well built, muscular, growly alpha males (or females) endowed with an excess of kickass and the will to use it, whether they’re fighting it out or fucking it out. Shifts are usually fast and fairly painless, and then there are the primal urges…mmm, primal urges. The need to mate, the need to find THE ONE, the desire for babies (hey, mpreg is a thing, I’m not knocking it)—altogether they make for a lot of intensity. It’s fun to tap into that urgency for the sake of a story. It’s also kind of fun to ignore it entirely and do something different.

Not wildly different. My werewolves, in particular my alpha Henry, are still fit, strong, and he at least can be pretty growly and territorial. There are no omegas, though, and no mpreg, no rapid and painless shifting without a ton of practice, and despite being able to heal physical wounds quickly, there’s no anodyne for mental and emotional anguish and PTSD. My werewolves are a closed society, one without an easy entrance via, say, biting someone you like and turning them into a werewolf. 99 times out of 100, that’ll just kill the person you want to turn, and get you put down by the government as a dangerous animal too. They’re a little fossilized, pretty stuck in their ways.

Disrupting that status quo was way more fun than writing everyone as wonderfully sexy and desirable, although if I did things right, you’ll see some of that too. Read Off The Beaten Path and let me know if it works for you !

 

Blurb

When Ward Johannsen’s little girl Ava shifted into a werewolf, she was taken into custody by the feds and shipped off to the nearest pack, all ties between father and daughter severed. Ward burned every bridge he had discovering her location, and then almost froze to death in the Colorado mountains tracking her new pack down. And that’s just the beginning of his struggle.

Henry Dormer is an alpha werewolf and an elite black ops soldier who failed his last mission. He returns home, hoping for some time to recuperate and help settle the pack’s newest member, a little pup named Ava who can’t shift back to her human form. Instead he meets Ward, who refuses to leave his daughter without a fight. The two men are as different as night and day, but their respect for each other strikes a spark of mutual interest that quickly grows into a flame. They might find something special together—love, passion, and even a family—if they can survive trigger-happy pack guardians, violent werewolf politics, and meddling government agencies that are just as likely to get their alpha soldiers killed as bring them home safely.

Buy links

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/off-the-beaten-path-by-cari-z-8844-b

 

Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/Off-Beaten-Path-Cari-Z-ebook/dp/B075D8W3Q8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1505187656&sr=8-1&keywords=off+the+beaten+path+cari+z
 

Bio: Cari Z was a bookworm as a child and remains one to this day. In an effort to combat her antisocial reading behavior, she did all sorts of crazy things, from competitive gymnastics to alligator wresting (who even knew that was legal!) to finally joining the Peace Corps, which promptly sent her and her husband to the wilds of West Africa, stuck them in a hut, and said, “See ya!” She also started writing then because what else are you going to do for entertainment with no electricity? She writes award-winning LGBTQ fiction featuring aliens, supervillains, soothsayers, and even normal people sometimes. You can contact Cari at carizabeth@hotmail.com. In fact, please do. She’d love to hear from you.

😉

 

 

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Waking the Behr by Pat Henshaw

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/waking-the-behr-by-pat-henshaw-8865-b

Blurb:

A Foothills Pride Story

Both Ben and Mitch think they know exactly what they want. Turns out, they don’t even know their own hearts.

Good old boy Ben has dated women his entire life, while gay nightclub owner Mitch has never considered unsophisticated country boys his type. But after they start hanging out, the small-town contractor and the urban entrepreneur are both stunned by the electricity sparking between them.

As they step outside their comfort zones to spend time together, Mitch finds he enjoys rural car rallies, and Ben is intrigued by the upscale bars Mitch owns in San Francisco. When they share their lives and grow closer, they start to question the way they’ve always defined themselves. Then they kiss and fling open the door to love. Now they must step up and travel the road that may lead to happily ever after—even if that path isn’t one they ever expected to walk.

Review

This is my first Pat Henshaw story, and it was good. Although this is part of a series, it could be read on its own. However, I think I might have liked it better if I had read the series from the start.
This is told in first person POV, so we get the story from Ben’s perspective. Ben is the one of the partners of Behr construction. He meets a new client, Mitch, who wants to renovate a property. When Ben meets Mitch for the first time, he’s surprised to find that he finds Mitch attractive. Mitch is comfortable with himself as a gay man; he goes after what he wants and he wants Ben. It was amusing to see Ben was clueless to the fact that he was being courted by Mitch, as they spent time together.
Ben begins to examine his feelings and begins to admit that maybe he wasn’t as straight as he thought.
I liked the humor and the slow progression of the relationship (love scenes are off page (bummer!). I have to admit that I found Ben a bit of a worry-wort but sweet, while Mitch had the patience of a saint ☺
Overall, this is a good story for fans of the series.

3 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Posted in 3 star, adult - 18+, Angst Level, Book, Construction Worker, Contemporary, Dee, Dreamspinner, Fade to black/No Steam, Gay, GFY/OFY, Heat Index, Humor, Little to no angst, m/m, Mild, Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words), Opposites attract, Part of a Series, Standalone | Leave a comment