Interview with narrator Nick J Russo!

Morgan: Help me welcome Nick J Russo!

Nick is a narrator whom you’ve all heard (probably) by now and whom we’ve reviewed here on Open Skye. He’s done many titles you are familiar with like:

and many, many more.

You can find his complete listings here:

He’s been so gracious as to stop by and answer some questions for us!

MS: Can you tell us a little about your background, training, experience, etcetera?  How did you get into narrating?  How did you get into narrating for Dreamspinner and Dark Night Sound?

– I’ve been narrating for almost five years now, having landed my first book at Falcon Sound Company in the winter of 2013/2014. My friend, fellow narrator John Solo, was looking for new narrators and I immediately auditioned. Other than various school productions over the years, I hadn’t had too much prior experience in acting/narrating. I was more of a musician than an actor. But almost five years and 130+ audio books later, what started as a fun side gig has morphed into a full time dream job. Not only do I voice for Falcon Sound (doing mostly Dreamspinner projects), but I also opened up a studio of my own, Dark Night Sound, which my wife and I run together.  


MS: Do you have a process that you go through to find the right voice for a character?  How do you keep track of voices when there’s a series?

– Certainly! Our process includes an initial pre-read of the book to get an idea of what makes each character tick. Often times, a voice just comes out of my preread and works organically with the material, other times I try to imagine a famous actor or actress I would cast in the role if it were a TV series or movie, then model my voice accordingly. For any given title, (but especially for series), we record a generic line for each recurring character to ensure consistency – you can imagine the challenge of keeping track of a series with 20+ voices! So keeping recordings to rely on is important.    

MS: Do you still audition or are you inundated with requests at this point?  Do you read the book before hand?   How long is your typical work day?

 – I still audition from time to time if I see something that piques my interest, but more often than not I have a pretty full schedule I’m focusing on instead! It’s very flattering to be approached by an author or publisher to voice their hard work. 

My typical work day is about four hours of booth time, and another four hours of post production work. That usually includes things like cleaning, (removing hard P or B sounds, tongue clicks, pops, etc), mastering, and rendering completed chapters. 


MS: I know you can’t pick a favorite story or author – that would be too hard I’m sure 😉

– It is! At this point I have about two dozen favorites! 😀 


But was there one character or another that was more fun to portray or more difficult or more unique… something about them that made them stand out in your mind?  One that took a lot of effort and planning for?  Something like that?

 – I have the pleasure to work with so many talented authors: they’re so good at writing such unique, fascinating characters! They are all fun in their own ways though. Whether it’s voicing a stoned vampire for LA Witt,

a steampunk caped crusader for Amy Lane,

or a down on his luck phone sex operator for Quinn Anderson,

there is ALWAYS a layer of enjoyment. One of my most recent collaborations with Lane Hayes, Leaning Into Forever,

was quite the emotional journey in the character of Geordie. He is such a layered and broken character, and an absolute thrill to voice. In one of his climactic scenes, I was so enthralled with the material that there wasn’t really any “acting” involved – I had to stop myself and wipe away some tears! 


MS: How many “takes” do you usually need to get through an hours worth of narrating (finished product).

– I’d say an hour chapter takes me about an hour and a half to record. I typically do a few takes on any given line of dialogue until I feel like I captured the tone that the author was going for in that moment. If I’m lucky, I nail it on the first take, but other times I’ll be sitting there saying the same line a half a dozen times until I get ‘the one’. 


MS: Where did you grow up? I know I saw a post from you in Oregon…   Sometimes you have what seems like an accent but other times you don’t!

– I actually don’t live in Oregon – but my wife and I eloped there last fall and LOVE IT out there! We’re actually from the Midwest and live in Columbus, Ohio. I’ve heard before that mid westerners have some form of accent, but I couldn’t tell you what it sounds like! 

What does your partner/family/coworkers think of your books?  Do they listen and critique or not? 

– Since my wife runs Dark Night Sound with me, she actually is in charge of our Quality Control, so she listens (and critiques) to every book we produce! My coworkers are other narrators, so we all try and support each other the best we can. Overall, my family and friends are very supportive and encouraging of my career! 

MS: Thank you so much for stopping by Nick and we look forward to hearing more from you in the future!

Thanks for having me, Morgan! Have a great week and thanks for listening! ?


Tour: Infinite Blue by Natalina Reis



OS: Welcome to Natalina!  Here to interview their character Shahin!


Q – Today I have a special guest, coming directly from the pages of Natalina Reis’s latest book, Infinite Blue. Please, help me extend a warm welcome to Shahin.
S – Hi, guys. Glad to be here.
Q – Could you introduce yourself to our readers who are yet to meet you in between the pages of Infinite Blue?
S – There’s not much to tell, really. I’m your average guy who rides a motorcycle and eats his meat almost raw.
Q – That doesn’t sound very regular to me. Raw meat? And truth be told, you’re far from regular. Your blue eyes are mesmerizing, you tower over pretty much everybody, and your neck tattoo…what is it?
S – It’s a black rose.
Q – Does it hold a special meaning?
S – Yes, but I can’t reveal it here. You’ll have to read the book.
Q – You have a secret, right? Could you elaborate on that?
S – I’m a shifter, a cambiador like we were called in the old country. In other words, I share my body and soul with a red-tailed hawk.
Q – How does your hawk side affect your human side besides the obvious physical changes?
S – I have a constant craving for flying and the sense of freedom it brings me. When I’m in my human body I balance that need with my motorcycle rides and jumping off mountains in my wingsuit. I also prefer under-cooked meats unlike most people.
Q – You mentioned the old country. What country are you referring to?
S – My flock is originally from Andaluzia in Spain. My mother still speaks the language.
Q – Speaking of your mother. She’s the leader of your flock and I understand you two don’t quite see eye to eye.
S – My mother can’t wrap her head around the fact I’ll never spawn any fledglings. She wants more grandchildren and I’m her only child yet to produce one. The fact that I’m gay doesn’t seem to sink in with her. She also hates that I live in my own place and not under her roof with the rest of the family.
Q – But I heard that there was an even more serious disagreement between the two of you.
S – That’s an understatement. Let’s just say that my mom resorted to a pretty unusual and dangerous way to keep me away from my boyfriend.
Q – The boyfriend…Cai, he’s a full human, correct? Isn’t it unusual for a shifter to mate with a full human?
S – Unusual yes, but not unheard of. We couldn’t stay away from each other even if we wanted to—we’re soul mates, destined to be together.
Q- Which means you feel a physical pull toward him and he toward you. A pull so strong it makes you physically sick if you stay away for long. Have you ever wished it wasn’t so?
S – No, because I know that even if we weren’t soul mates, I’d still love him. Cai has brought something to my life that wasn’t there before: a sense of peace, of fulfillment. He makes me feel like I finally belong. He’s my home.
Q – Any final words to the readers?
S- A warning. Never, ever fly at night. Nothing good comes to hawks after dark.
Q – Well, thank you for being here with us today. Readers don’t forget, you can get to know Shahin and his mate better in INFINITE BLUE. Never stop reading.

COVER - Infinite Blue
Natalina Reis has a new MM paranormal shifter book out: Infinite Blue.

When a shifter and a human are bound by fate, neither man knows if their connection will be enough to save not only their growing love, but their lives.

Shahin Halcón has been taught that if and when he meets his soul mate, he’ll know immediately. Always the rebel, he doesn’t believe it until the day he crosses paths with Cai, a full-human.

Plagued by unsuccessful relationships and heartache, Cai Banes’s life is quiet and unexciting. When he meets young and wild Shahin, his life is turned upside down, and he’s not sure he likes it.

But neither can deny the powerful pull that draws them together.

Old secrets and ancient myths about cross-species relationships plague their romance and threaten to put their happiness and life at risk. Will their love for each other be strong enough to survive?

Hot Tree Publishing | Amazon | Amazon Paperback | Amazon UK | Amazon CAN | Amazon AU | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Goodreads


Natalina is giving away two prizes with this tour – an eBook copy of “Lavender Fields” (backlist, m/m paranormal romance) and a $10 Amazon gift card. Enter via Rafflecopter:

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MEME - Infitinte Blue
Cranky didn’t even start to describe how Cai woke up that morning. The day ahead loomed over his horizon like a large bird of prey ready to pounce on him. Why hadn’t he said no? Why was it always so hard for him to say no to his sister? All she had to do was bat her thick lashes and he was lost.

A little witch is what she is.But he loved her and he was hopeless against those baby blue eyes of hers.

He was going to suck it up and be a man. How bad could it be? He would go to the assigned meeting place, meet this guy his sister was so excited about, and if he was as bad as Cai thought he was, all he had to do was make some excuse and flee the scene. Memories of the last time his sister tried to set him up with someone flooded his mind. He remembered a red-purplish face as his date emphatically declared himself “very straight” many times over. Lyra had assumed the man to be gay and had been determined to pair them together.

Oh shit. This could be bad.

By the time he left his house, his bad mood had reached fever pitch, and if anyone was unfortunate enough to approach him, he was afraid he would eat them alive. There were very few things he hated more than blind dates. He was not exactly someone who qualified as a hot number. Even though he was in his midthirties, his hair had gone silver many years back and he wore it as a protective shield against possible disastrous relationships.

On his way to the restaurant where he was to meet the amazing Shahin—his sister’s words—he decided he needed some strong coffee if he was to survive the humiliation of another failed attempt at romance. It hadn’t been a bed of roses for him since Jack, his boyfriend of many years, had made the startling announcement he’d met the love of his life. As if the shock of betrayal had not been enough, Jack announced—shortly after the breakup when Cai’s heart was still hemorrhaging—that he was marrying his high school sweetheart, a woman Jack had frequently referred to as only a friend.

Starbucks was on the way, a beacon of promised comfort and relief. A cup of good coffee had always been his self-medication—nothing a good cup of java wouldn’t cure. The line was long and the room was packed with the usual crowd, a mixture of college students, writers, and a few moms with their toddlers in tow. As Cai waited for his turn, he scanned the room. He loved people-reading, a term his sister had coined a few years ago after realizing that was one of her brother’s favorite pastimes.

“You should talk to people, interact,” she had said, her protective sisterly claws fully out. “Instead, you sit there watching them.”

“Anthropologists have been doing it for a long time.” His usual comeback.

“Anthropologists actually interact with the people they’re studying, bro. What you do is just a bit creepy. And definitely sad.”

She wasn’t wrong. It was a little pathetic that a thirty-five-year-old would be satisfied to sit in a coffee shop observing people and life happening around him without ever stepping in to participate. Satisfied was not the right word for it though. Cai feared what may happen if he stepped out of his comfort zone. He had taken a chance with Jack and look what it got him—nothing but heartache.

A deep blue caught his eye from across the coffee shop. A pair of amazing eyes met his scrutiny with a take-a-good-look-I-dare-you glint. Cai’s first instinct was to look away, but he couldn’t, captured and paralyzed by the electrifying vibe the man with the deep ocean eyes was emitting. The man—younger than him—had short honey-colored hair that spiked slightly on top and left his face and neck exposed. An intricate black ink tattoo stretched down the side of his neck to hide underneath the plain white T-shirt he was wearing, only to emerge again from below the short sleeves and down his well-defined biceps.

Were those roses? Cai’s body caught on fire as the desire to trace the edges of the tattooed flowers grew to alarming heights. He stuck his hands in his jeans pockets, trying to control the itch on his restless fingers. The strange man with the bottomless eyes was still staring at him, caressing without touching, tender and passionate all at the same time.

“Can I take your order?”

The voice startled him and Cai looked away momentarily, placing his order for a flat white. When he looked back, those eyes were still glued to him. Cai swallowed hard as his admirer licked his lips.

I need a cold shower right now.

The phone vibrated in his pocket. Reluctantly, he pulled it out and answered. “Yes?”

The other man was still staring at him with a fire that defied the laws of physics, for it soothed as much as it burned.

“Are you there yet?” It was his sister. There where? Then he remembered.

“On my way,” he lied. “Stopped for liquid courage.”

“For God’s sake, Cai. You sound like you’re walking to the gallows.” Sometimes he wished Lyra didn’t read so much. She didn’t talk like normal people her age.

“I might as well be, Lyra.” He stole a quick glance across the room to check if the handsome stranger was still there. He was. God, Cai was the arrow in a compass and he was the North Pole. Irreversibly and powerfully attracted.

“Don’t embarrass me by not showing up, Cai.” He had almost forgotten about his sister on the other end of the phone line. “He’s my coworker’s cousin. Please, bro. I promise I won’t ever try to set you up again.”

Not that he believed her, but it was a very tempting proposal. “Okay, I promise. I’m leaving right now.”

Hanging up, he took a couple slow breaths, trying to get in control of his body. Good thing he was wearing a long duster coat he could use to disguise how much the stranger affected him. Cai held the coat by the edges, wrapped it closely around him, and grabbed the coffee cup to leave. As he walked by the object of his sudden madness, the other man’s sexy full lips stretched into a wicked smile, releasing a million butterflies in Cai’s chest.

How would it feel to touch my lips to his?The coldness of the silver snake bite he wore on his lower lip rubbing against Cai’s unadorned mouth and tongue would be as thrilling as exploring the muscles barely hidden under the T-shirt. Cai shook his head and made himself lower his eyes to the floor. Like it or not, he had committed to this blasted blind date, and he was not one to renege on his promises.

Just as he was about to walk past, the stranger reached out quickly and handed him a business card. “Call me.”

Author Bio

AUTHOR PHOTO - Natalina Reis
Natalina wrote her first romance at the age of 13 in collaboration with her best friend, Susana. Since then she has ventured into other genres, but romance is first and foremost in almost everything she writes. She’s the author of seven romance novels that reflect the amazing diversity of humankind and the universal power of love.

After earning a degree in tourism and foreign languages, she worked as a tourist guide in her native Portugal for a short time before moving to the United States. She lived in three continents and a few islands, and her knack for languages and linguistics led her to a master’s degree in education. She lives in Virginia where she’s taught English as a Second Language to elementary school children for more years than she cares to admit.

Natalina doesn’t believe you can have too many books or too much coffee. Art and dance make her happy and she is pretty sure she could survive on lobster and bananas alone. When she is not writing or stressing over lesson plans, she shares her life with her husband and two adult sons.

Author Website:

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LOGO - Other Worlds Ink

4.5 stars adult - 18+ Author Provided f/f Gay Gay Homophobia Karen Mild level angst Mild/low level heat Monthly Theme Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Part of a Series Shifter Standalone TIme to get Paranormal Uncategorized

Time to Get Paranormal: Bitten By Her (Regent’s Park Pack book 5) by Annabelle Jacobs


Good Reads Link


Brought together by fate, torn apart by family.

Rachel Tregarrak, Penwith pack beta and daughter of the alpha, has always called the rugged Cornish coast her home. With its beautiful landscapes, bracing sea air, and vast spaces to run, she can’t imagine living anywhere else.

After years of living with her mother in her grandfather’s pack, Sara Gallen returns to Penzance to be with her alpha father and her brothers. She wants to build their relationships, get to know the rest of her family better than occasional visits allow.

When their paths cross on the full moon, the attraction is immediate and instinctive. But Sara’s father refuses to allow such a union and forbids any further contact. Sara finds solace with her grandmother in her alpha council residence, and Rachel is sent to a London pack to keep her out of trouble. Both women feel the desperate ache of an uncompleted bond, but unless they find a way to be together, it’ll fade to nothing and their connection will be lost.

Approx 43000 words


This FF novella is a great addition to Annabelle Jacobs’s much-loved paranormal series!

There are a lot of shapeshifter romances out there, but Annabelle Jacobs’s Regent’s Park Pack series really stands out. She has done a tremendous job at the worldbuilding for this series, creating an original and unique shifter universe with a complex judicial system where shifters and humans live together in precarious harmony.

Much like in the real world, there are still those in this fictional world that hold a narrow-minded & bigoted view on women’s rights and value.
Sara and Rachel find that out the hard way, when Sara’s father, and alpha, pulls out all the stops to prevent them from being together. Not letting little things like the potential for a mating bond, or respect for his adult daughter’s wishes and happiness hold him back.
As a consequence, there’s a constant sense of urgency running through the story, because Sara and Rachel can’t complete their bond and so there’s always that worry that their connection might start to fade.

I love how self-sacrificing and responsible both Sara and Rachel are, putting the safety and well-being of others first. They long for each other so badly, and hurt so much because of their forced separation, yet they never give in to their own desire to mate. Instead they wait to take that final step towards their own personal happiness until it is safe to do so, when all risks to their packs have finally been dealt with.
Rachel and Sara are very sweet and sexy together. They make a lovely couple and I hope to see more of them in books to come.

It was great to see some of the other pack members again as well and reconnect with old favorites.
I especially enjoyed catching up with Nathan and watching him grow so much. I hope we’ll get to see him as a beta soon, leading his own unit.
Sara’s grandmother, Celia (Alpha Cornell), is another amazing secondary character, strong, fair-minded and … creative with rules. I loved that she teamed up with Cam to try their hand at a bit of matchmaking!

Number of stars out of 5: 4,5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review


Guest Post: Jayne Lockwood with Euphoria and Giveaway!

OS: Welcome to Jayne!


Hi everyone, and very many thanks for letting me take over your blog for this post. My new novel, Euphoria, has just been released by DSP Publications. The story is about what happens when one alien being decides to travel back in time to save Earth from human destruction.

I’ve decided to list fifteen random facts about one of my main characters, Vardam, which might help you decide if you want to get to know them better. Some of the information is exclusive content and not found within Euphoria‘s pages.

1. Vardam is nonbinary, using the pronouns they/them/their. The Var are one people, all with the ability to reproduce from six months of age. There is no hierarchy and no concept of age. Their lifespan is the same as ours, approximately 90 years.

2. They are amphibious, with gills situated in their ears. These ears are multifunctional, looking and behaving in the same way a cat’s ears do. Their hearing is sharper than humans, but not able to penetrate solid walls.

3. With an inability to internally process cooked food, on Earth they have a diet of raw fish and green vegetation. There was also marine life and kelp-like flora on Var which formed the main part of their diet before the asteroid destroyed their planet.

4. Vardam learned to communicate with Bella through BSL (British Sign Language) which is similar to Var language. However, speaking English is much harder for them. They do discover an affinity for writing and drawing to express their newly discovered emotions.

5. They are intrigued by cats after learning about them from Bella, but they’ve never seen one. They share several similarities, including the cleft top lip, pert, triangular ears, and an enjoyment of head scratches. They are distraught on learning that in Bella’s time, all the different species of cats have become extinct.

6. Vardam sees animals as equal to humans and understands there are fundamental differences in language and abilities. They cannot, however, “speak cat,” or communicate with any other animal. They do eventually discover the ability to purr in order to express pleasure.

7. They can see auras, for example, Kurt’s shows red when he loses his temper, and Tom’s is purple when he’s embarrassed. In this way, they can read humans far more than anyone realises.

8. As part of their defensive mechanism, the Var have an ability to cocoon themselves in an impenetrable shell. This cocoon withstands the heat of entering Earth’s atmosphere, and the impact of hitting the earth’s surface.

9. They also secrete a substance called Vardanium, which has various uses, including healing. It has euphoric side-effects yet is non-addictive. This substance is the basis for new Var life if taken in large enough quantities by a human receiver, as the scientists discover.

10. The Var method of reproducing involves mouth to mouth contact with another Var, to avoid depleting one’s own supplies of the life-giving fluid and is only done when the population drops to a dangerous level.

11. They are a passive race yet they can defend themselves if necessary, using their tentacles and extreme strength. Although violence is something they would rather not resort to, they have no hesitation in protecting those they have come to care about.

12. The Var do not have family units. They are all one, but Vardam is learning to prefer the human idea of family dynamics, even though they do not understand them. They see Tom as part-Var after they heal his injured hand and through him, they gradually learn about kindness and love.

13. There are an unnamed number of Var pods floating through the universe. The pods have no steering mechanism, and the Var inside them remain dormant until conditions outside the pod are suitable for growth. They are all fitted with a homing device, which will direct them to Earth as and when Vardam sends out the signal. Most wither and die inside their pods, never waking up.

14. Vardam wants to live on Earth and send a message out to their kin to say sanctuary has been found. They have a great admiration for human talent and creativity but have much to learn about the darker side of our nature, especially when Kurt points out that not everyone will like the idea of untold numbers of Var invading the planet.

15. Before the planet Var was destroyed by an asteroid (Bright Star) it was a verdant environment with algae-rich seas, volcanic ash beaches and lush forest. The Var people were technologically advanced, but not enough to predict the coming of the asteroid that ultimately annihilated their home. Consequently, all their inventions were destroyed, apart from the prototype time travel device which Vardam took with them.

So that’s Vardam in a nutshell, or more accurately, a cocoon. I could have added they have no concept of safe sex, which has near-disastrous consequences for one of their new human friends. They are also stubborn, single-minded and have no doubt in their abilities. They will test Kurt Lomax’s patience to the limit before he reluctantly succumbs to their persuasive charms. Then his problems really begin …

Jayne Lockwood has a new queer sci fi book out:

It might take the arrival of an alien being to remind an isolated man what it means to be human.

With a stressful job, his boss breathing down his neck for profitable results, and an estranged wife and daughter, scientist Kurt Lomax doesn’t think life can get much harder. Until a nonbinary extraterrestrial with an otherworldly beauty, captivating elegance, and a wicked sense of humor inconveniently shows up at his apartment.

Vardam watched the destruction of their own world, and they don’t want to see the same thing happen on Earth. They are lonely, and feelings soon develop between them and the supposedly straight scientist—feelings Kurt reciprocates, much to his confusion.

The arrival of cheery interpreter Tom Soames—whose Goth appearance belies a gentle heart—is like a ray of sunshine in the somber lab. He acts as matchmaker for man and tentacled extraterrestrial, unwittingly instigating a national crisis when the news breaks out.

But will a misunderstanding ruin Kurt and Vardam’s chances for happiness together—along with the hope for peace between humanity and the Var?

DSP Publications | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon Canada | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | QueeRomance Ink | Goodreads


Jayne is giving away a $10 Amazon gift card with this tour – enter via Rafflecopter for a chance to win.

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Three hours later, they were still none the wiser.

“Any joy with communications?”

Nic shook her head. “None. They don’t seem to respond to any spoken language. I’ve tried binary code, sonar, whale music, radio waves. Not a flicker. I’m not sure how well they can see or hear. They won’t let me near enough to do any examinations. They just keep staring at me like I’m the one who isn’t getting it. It’s really frustrating.”

When Kurt looked again, Vardam was there. With a graceful tilt of the head, they watched him as he approached the glass.

“What about the forensics on that note?”

“Just got them,” Troy said, looking up from his computer. “The note was written with an old-style Bic ballpoint pen by a human female….”

“Human? Are you sure?”

“I can’t argue with the evidence. There was a trace of fingerprint on the paper but nothing I can analyze. The paper looks like any A4 copy from a twentiethcentury printer or photocopier. The only thing is, I think it might have been written by someone in distress. The handwriting is very jerky, like they weren’t sure what to write and then just dashed it down. But….” Troy shrugged his wide shoulders. “That last bit’s a hunch. Could be totally wrong. Still waiting on the DNA.”

“Thanks, Troy. Let me know as soon as you get it.”

He turned back to where Vardam was standing, staring at him with those unnerving gemstone eyes.

“Who are you?”

Vardam raised their hand, running the back of it down the glass close to Kurt’s face. He jerked away. It was too close for comfort, even with three inches of glass between them. Vardam backed away as well, as if alarmed by his sudden movement. For reasons he didn’t understand, he was irritated beyond measure by their wounded expression.

“Talk to me, damn it! What do you want with me?” He smacked his hand against the glass. The sharp slap shocked Vardam into stepping back. They bared gold teeth at him and made a gesture that looked almost obscene. Then they dropped into a crouch. Immediately, a smooth iridescent shell closed over their hunched body, covering it completely.

Kurt and Nic exchanged glances, then looked back at the pod. It was completely smooth, devoid of any seams or openings. Every few seconds it quivered. Kurt could almost feel the waves of disapproval emanating from the gleamingsurface.

“Well, that’s new,” Nic said. “Get some rest. I’ll babysit until ten. Troy will take the graveyard shift.”

Kurt tore his angry gaze away from the strange pod. The way it hunched reproachfully in the corner didn’t improve his mood one bit. He knew he was more than tired. He felt emotionally and physically drained and couldn’t remember the last time he had eaten a proper meal. Not that he was hungry. He just wanted sleep.

In his apartment, he lay naked in his wide bed. He was thinking about his continued feud with James Dyer. The issue dangled over his career like a sword of Damocles but all he could see was the beautiful creature. Those eyes, staring into his ragged soul. What did they want?

The telephone by his bed rang, waking him from an unnerving dream. Glancing at the clock, he saw it was 6:15. The last eight hours had passed frighteningly quickly.

“Hello?” His voice sounded faded.

“Sorry to wake you, Professor, but I’ve got the DNA results back. You need to see them.”

“I’ll be right down.”

He stumbled out of bed and into the shower. Twenty minutes later he was down in the lab, a fresh white coat over his shirt and tie.

In the isolation room, Vardam had emerged from their shell. The melon had been eaten, apart from the rinds, neatly scalloped with teeth marks.

“What’s happening?”

“It was just as I thought it would be. There’s human DNA on that note. Female. I took the liberty of cross-checking it against the National DNA Database and found a match. Whoever wrote this note is related to you. Not just distantly, but directly of your bloodline.”

Kurt looked closer at the screen. It was policy to hold the medical details of everyone at the Bunker, including himself. Even so, he wondered why he wasn’t more surprised.

It was impossible but saying so would have been redundant. The evidence was right there in front of him. He walked over to the glass and beckoned to Vardam. They gave him a withering look and turned away, presenting a bony back to the window.

“I think we’re going to have to use the softly-softly approach,” Troy said. “They’re not going to tell us anything until they’re ready. And I’ve got another hunch. I think they’re using BSL.”

“British Sign Language?” Kurt was skeptical.

“I know it sounds weird, but there’s a guy who works at Tesco in Wycombe. He uses it with some of the customers. It looks the same. It’s worth a try, isn’t it?” Troy prodded buttons on his iPad. The official website came up with a finger-spelling option. “Not all words have signs, obviously, so each letter has a sign, right?”

“I know the principles of sign language,” Kurt said irritably. The alien was an inconvenience, however beautiful they were.

“You write in your name, and the finger shapes come up.” Troy typed rapidly. Kurt’s surname appeared on the screen in sign.

Troy gently tapped on the glass. “Hello?”

Vardam turned around, saw it was Troy, and ambled over. Troy showed them the diagrams on the iPad screen. The alien nodded, repeated the signs, and pointed at Kurt. Then it signed, “I am….”

“I can’t tell what they’re saying,” Troy said. “They’re too fast. Hang on.” He typed again. “I’ve found a YouTube video for learning phrases. Ah! This one is easy.” He put the iPad down and signed, making a sad face, swirling his fist on his stomach, then raising both hands over his head, shaking it at the same time.

“What are you doing?”

“Telling him I don’t understand. It’s ‘way over my head.’ Get it?”

Vardam seemed to. They signed “okay,” then turned to Kurt and made another gesture, flattening one hand and punching up into it with the other.

“My instincts are telling me that isn’t good,” Troy said. “Looks like we need to find ourselves a sign language expert.”

“We can’t bring anyone else in at the moment. Certainly not in a professional capacity. The government will be all over us before we know it.” As Kurt said it, the seed of an idea was forming in his mind. “Where did you say that BSL user worked again?”

Author Bio

Jayne Lockwood
Jayne Lockwood has always wanted to learn to fly. Spending free time honing her Peter Pan skills on an aerial hoop, she also creates flights of fancy in her books, mingling sex and romance with angst and a healthy dash of dark humor.

Since she was a small child, Jayne has always sympathized with the villain. It all began with Alice Cooper, even though she was banned from listening to his music by her mother. From wanting to sail away with Captain Hook or redeeming the Child Catcher, the antihero has been an enduring fascination ever since.

After a two-year sojourn in New Jersey and two decades of child-rearing, Jayne is an outwardly respectable member of an English village community. She also is one of the founder members of WROTE podcast, which is dedicated to showcasing LGBTQA authors and their work, and now writes book reviews as well as diverse fiction.

She is also in a sub/dom relationship with a cat called Keith.


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Blackwood Pack Series by Mary Rundle Blog Tour!


Hello and thank you for hosting me today for my blog tour. Today I have an excerpt for you from Peace Maker, Book 3. The Blackwood Pack series follows seven alpha wolf shifters who are brothers as they fight to stay alive and find their Fated Mates. Assisting them are a good witch, and an oracle but the brothers’ stories wouldn’t be complete without some bad hombres to keep you guessing and some earthy humor to make you laugh.

Peace Maker ? Excerpt
“Do you have a phone I could use? I haven’t called my father in awhile and he and my mother will be worried.”
“Hmm, I do, but I’ll have to ask Jackson first if it’s okay.” Then seeing his brother’s mate stiffen, he added, “Please don’t get upset. It’s nothing about you. It’s that Jackson will want to talk to Cody first. But let me see what I can do.”
Dylon watched him leave the room and was secretly pleased about the level of security in place here. He could wait. He knew he wasn’t going anywhere except where his mate went and gods help the wolf who might harm Cody. Dylon heard his wolf chuff in agreement with that thought. He looked down at his mate and smiled at him. Softly snoring, Cody’s face was relaxed as the tension and worry flowed from his body. Tomorrow would have to do-whether it was their claiming or the talk about whatever Cody was hiding.
Leaning his head back against the wall, he closed his eyes and thought of his parents. They’d be very happy and certainly would want to come here to meet the Alpha and the rest of the members of the Blackwood Pack. It was a good thing Oracle was here because she could smooth the way with his parents. It would be a tricky introduction without disclosing Jackson’s or Colton’s gift. A shiver went through his body as he remembered the state he was in when Jimmy found him. Those bastards! They left me there to die! They knew I could no longer shift. Fucking assholes! How can I explain this to my parents without telling them about Colton’s gift? Dylon was pondering different options when he heard the door open. Lifting his head, he cracked his eyes open a bit and saw Jackson and Steel standing there. Cocking an eyebrow, he waited.
“How’s my brother?” Jackson murmured.
“Exhausted,” Dylon whispered. “How is it you or any other pack member failed to see how upset he was? I saw it as soon as I opened my eyes and I didn’t even know him.”
Steel growled. “Watch how you speak to the Alpha.”
Jackson laid his hand on his mate’s arm, before saying, “You have a point there, Dylon. But I suggest you ask your mate that question first before you attribute any wrongdoing to us. Now, if you’re through with your baseless accusation, let’s address your request for a phone.”
Dylon felt Jackson’s alpha’s power roll over him and he tilted his head immediately. Holy Shit! That’s some powerful mojo for someone so young.
“My apologies, Alpha,” Dylon whispered, his head still bent.
“Accepted. Who do you want to call and why?”
Straightening his head, Dylon checked to make sure Cody was still sleeping before answering. “I must call my parents. They’ll be worried about me since I missed my last scheduled call to them.”
“What are you going to tell them?”
“Don’t worry, I promised my mate I’ll keep all of your secrets. I know you don’t know me, but you can trust me.”
Steel growled. “How did you end up with the Silver Point Pack?”
Dylon frowned. “I don’t know that it’s any of your business.”
Steel started to speak, but was prevented when Jackson spoke first, “You’re right Mr. Royd, it is none of our business but what is my business is the safety of this pack. So, based on your decision to keep information from us, I will have to refuse…”
“No, wait. I’m sorry. You’re right of course. I heard they were hiring enforcers and I applied for the job. I left my previous job because I found out the Alpha wanted me to shake down pack members in order to extort money from them. I overheard two enforcers talking about the Silver Point Pack and how they paid good money so I applied and was hired.”
“Have you told Cody this?”
“Not all. He fell asleep and I didn’t want to wake him.”
“Jackson, what’s the problem?” asked Cody, sleepily.
“Oh darling, I’m sorry I woke you up,” Dylon said, before looking at Jackson. “I can call tomorrow. I think it’s better if Cody can get some more sleep.”
“Who do you want to call?” asked Cody.
“I wanted to call my father. I know he’s worried and I don’t want him to do anything that would cause a problem for you or your pack.”
“Jackson, why won’t you let him call his father?” Cody asked as he sat up.
“Cody, are you going to claim your Fated Mate? Has he agreed to claim you?” Jackson asked.
“His name is Dylon and yes, I will claim him. Now, can he call his father?”
“Dylon, have you agreed to Cody claiming you-and are you going to claim him?” Jackson asked.
“Yes. I think I am the luckiest person on earth to have been given this gift from the Fates,” Dylon murmured while looking at Cody.
Jackson searched Dylon’s face before saying, “You can make your call. Afterward, Cody can take you to your suite. Tomorrow we can talk about all the rest. Mystia found your belongings which had been dumped south of the Silver Point Pack lands and they’re now in your room. I don’t know if it’s everything but it’s all there was.”
“Thank you. I promise you I will keep all your secrets. I won’t put my mate or his pack in danger.”
“Good, because this is now your pack, also. Good night.”
Dylon heard Jackson and Steel leave but he was still staring at his mate’s face, seeking assurances Cody wanted him as a mate. All he saw was Cody’s dark chocolate eyes gazing at him with desire. He couldn’t resist and leaned forward kissing those lips meant just for him. His tongue ghosted over their soft pouty outline before pushing in. Oh, my gods! Dylon groaned, his sounds promptly swallowed by Cody.
Mary Rundle has a new MM paranormal mpreg book out in her Blackwood Pack series:

About the Series:

Blackwood Pack Series
Join the journey of the Blackwood Pack, seven brothers who are gay wolf shifters in search of their fated mates – stories about love at first sight with twists and turns, angst and humor, romance and adventure. Each book has two main characters who meet, fall in love, mate and achieve an HEA but the stories also chronicle the continuing saga of the Blackwood Pack. The series is best appreciated by reading the books in order.


Mary is giving away a $15 Amazon gift certificate with this tour – for a chance to win, enter via Rafflecopter:

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Dire Warning, Blackwood Pack – Book 1

COVER Blackwood Pack Book 1 - Dire Warning
Steel, one of the last Dire Wolves on earth, has searched more than 100 years for the special mate promised by the Fates. Discouraged after meeting his latest prospect, he sees a naked hitchhiker on his way home who’s everything he’d envisioned the man of his dreams would be. His wolf and body tell him he’s found his fated mate but why can’t he pick up his scent?

Robbed of his car, clothes and money, Jackson, Alpha of the Blackwood Pack has no choice but to thumb a lift, frantic to get home to his six brothers. He’s been protecting them from a rival pack who massacred most of his family and wants to finish off the rest. When Steel rolls down his window, Jackson knows he also has found his fated mate but it would be too dangerous to claim him with his pack under attack.

After the intervention of an Oracle and a Witch, Jackson discovers why the Fates made him unique-just for Steel. Navigating the mine field this revelation brings, Jackson and Steel must figure out how to make their relationship work while dealing with forces determined to kill the Blackwood pack – and them.


Steel’s wolf was snarling and snapping as he drove away from Jimmy’s after leaving Jackson behind. He just couldn’t understand his wolf. What am I missing here? Jackson is not my mate.His mate had to be a wolf-he knew it because he’d been told not only by his mother who was an Oracle but by no less than three other Oracles. His mate would help save his species of wolves.

The importance of this was impressed upon him throughout his life. He stepped on the gas, eager to get home to do some research. He needed answers because he had a feeling of foreboding about what was going to happen to Jackson and that was driving his wolf crazy.

Finally arriving home, he stopped at the fifteen foot high gates, keyed in his passcode and then drove up the long driveway to his sprawling house, nestled among the trees on the knob of a small mountain. Although there were taller mountains to roam on his 200,000 acres of land, this spot spoke to his wolf spirit. He inhaled deeply as he got out of the truck, feeling his body reacting to the sights and smells around him.

Looking around, he wondered if Jackson would like this spot as much as he did. And that did it-his cock hardened in a second and his blood started to heat up. What the fuck? He drove the image of Jackson’s firm body from his mind and thumped his cock several times to get it to go down.

Hmmm, what to do first?Decision made, he stripped out of his clothes and stood still for a second before he called on his wolf and shifted. Birds scattered as the noise of bones cracking and stretching filled the air. When the sound faded away, Steel stood in his wolf form, shaking out his fur and scenting the air. Deer to the east, a small black bear and her cub ambling along the trail to the south and, yes there it was, a path that was free of any animal-Steel knew it wouldn’t be a good day to engage in a sparring match. His wolf was too unsettled for that.

He struck out at a full run for the trail leading north to one of the tallest mountains on his land. His large paws made no sound on the thickly carpeted forest floor. Steel had gotten so many mixed signals from his wolf today he needed this time to figure out what was happening. He knew his wolf needed it also. While he was running, Steel examined his wolf’s feelings regarding Jackson because it was much easier to understand his wolf when they were one, especially now, since he hadn’t understood his wolf’s reaction to a man who had no scent. Taking in the smells and sounds of his forest, his mind searched and filtered through his wolf’s feelings.

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Raphael’s Power, Blackwood Pack – Book 2

COVER Blackwood Pack Book 2 - Raphaels Power
Dr. Ian Wallace, a rare Scottish Wolf, has dedicated his life to saving and healing wolf shifters by joining Frontline Doctors. Determined never to take a mate, he avoids relationships and is content to live a nomadic life, taking assignments to wild and remote places. That is, until an old friend asks him for a favor which Ian’s wolf will not let him refuse. Now on his way to the Blackwood Pack compound, his wolf becomes frantic and Ian learns not only that he has a Fated Mate, but that his Fated Mate is in danger.

Colton was forced to give up his dreams of becoming a nurse and joining Frontline Doctors when tragedy befell his family. Instead, he healed sick animals around his home while hiding from a pack who wanted him dead. Given the chance to use his skills, Colton seizes it and embarks on a journey that will reveal just how special he is.

A kidnapping, slave auction, revelations of long-kept family secrets and a rare, powerful gift from the gods are some of the surprises in store for both of them until they finally find their way into each other’s hearts after discovering neither is who the other thought he was.


His wolf surged forth, claws grew, teeth dropped, fur sprouted and he vibrated in Colton’s arms trying to fight the shift. But did he want to? Ian wasn’t sure. He and his wolf needed to avenge the wrong done to their mate. If Colton wasn’t going to kill Pablo, Ian’s wolf would. Then, mind made up, he pushed out of the arms holding him and landed with all fours on the floor. Snarling and growling, Ian’s wolf wanted his prey-to kill him and remove any threat to his mate. He lifted his head, opened his mouth and issued his challenge. Howling loud and long his wolf wasn’t going to quit until his mate was safe.

Stunned, Colton looked at the small yet fierce wolf in front of him-a rare golden-tipped, white wolf with deep golden eyes-the stuff of legends. Holy Shit! Before he could do anything, the room was filled with six, very large bodies, ready to handle the threat of Ian’s howls. In a blink of an eye, Ian’s wolf turned, facing the perceived threat against Colton. Hackles raised, saliva dripping, he looked as if he’d take on everyone now crowding the space.

Colton knew this had the makings of a disaster; he needed to calm his mate so he could shift back. Slowly he slid off the loveseat and knelt next to his mate. “Ian, please babe, stop. I’m safe. These are my brothers and Steel. You know them, please babe.” Colton put his arms around the neck and buried his hands in the soft fur. Rubbing his face against his mate, Colton inhaled deeply, marveling again at the scent. He felt Ian’s wolf slowly relax as he reassessed the situation. That was, until Colton heard Jackson.

Jackson waddled into the room, bellowing, “What the fuck is going on?”

And just like that, Ian’s wolf turned to face the new threat, growling, tensing, ready to spring. Colton saw Steel move in front of Jackson, the rest of his brothers moved and stood in front of Steel, forming a wall of muscled bodies, intent on protecting Jackson and his unborn pup.

Colton panicked. He jumped up and moved in front of Ian’s wolf. Nobody was going to touch his mate. Now Colton was the one fighting a shift as he listened to his mate issue howls and growls, warning everyone he was ready to fight. Colton knew everything was going to hell in a handbasket but he didn’t know what to do. He needed help to defuse this right now-but who?

Suddenly, he heard an Alpha voice so powerful and overwhelming that Colton immediately tilted his neck in submission as did all in the room. Maximus, in Dire Wolf Alpha mode, strode into the room, immediately sussed out the situation, and commanded, “Stand Down! Now!!” he roared those words, enveloping the room in his Alpha power.

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Peace Maker, Blackwood Pack – Book 3

COVER Blackwood Pack Book 3 - Peace Maker
Enforcer Dylon Royd worked for the notorious Silver Point Pack until they accused him of disloyalty. Imprisoned and beaten to within an inch of his life, he’s dumped at the side of a road and left for dead. Waking up in the Blackwood Pack’s hospital, he’s shocked to discover his Fated Mate is one of the pack’s members he’d been ordered to kill.

Cody is a seer and has grappled with visions all his life, but after most of his family is massacred they have intensified so fiercely he begins to make plans to escape his pain and suffering. Thinking no one wants a freak for a Fated Mate, he tries to reject Dylon until he realizes his salvation depends on accepting him.

A life or death situation for Cody, a rare gift to both from the Fates, a dangerous mission, and an unexpected surprise are some of the challenges they face. Together they begin a journey to save Cody’s life while forging a partnership that requires absolute trust for both to survive.


Low hanging, heavy, cloud cover. A pitch-black night in the Tajikistan mountains. It were as if the gods were blessing his commitment to stop the bloodshed so many of his people had experienced over these long years. Ulfric tried to recall a time in his life that was free of the beatings and killings that Arald had inflicted on his pack. But he could not remember such a time. Now his wife was expecting their first pup, and as much as he was excited about it, he dreaded it just as much. So, when this chance arose, he had to try, for the sake of his family.

After telling his wife he was leaving, Ulfric slipped out the back door and paused. Lifting his nose, he sniffed but found no other wolf nearby. Sticking to the shadows, he quietly made his way out of town, hoping his luck held. Right now, Arald was meeting with the representative of Dire Enterprises in a pre-conference meeting. He hadn’t wanted to wait this long but it was impossible to even contact the other pack Alpha until today.

As he saw it, this was his final chance to stop the tyranny he and his pack lived under. But he couldn’t stand alone. He needed the other pack to join with him during the conference if there was ever a chance his pack would be free of Arald and his goons. Pausing often to check for anyone following him, he crept down to the mountain waterfall where they could talk where not even wolf hearing could distinguish spoken words.

Apologizing to Arald and Slate Valentin for his need to get home to help his wife, Ordovic left the building, nodding to the guards who stood outside the meeting room. He wasn’t sure why his presence was required since nothing would change for his pack. No, Arald controlled this land-something even a young shifter knew. And even though he tried to tell himself there wasn’t anything he could do about it, Ordovic hoped that this time might be different.

That was the reason he gave himself for heading to the agreed meeting place instead of home where his wife and children slept. But he wanted a better life for his children. A place they could grow up and not fear being attacked every time they left home. And as the leader of his pack, he owed it to his pack members to at least try to free them from the oppression they now lived under.

Fading back into the shadows at the top of the mountain path, he waited to see if anyone had followed him. His ability at camouflage was superb, though it was a well-guarded secret. After a few minutes he continued down the path. At least he didn’t have to worry about being attacked-killed, yes-but the guy from Dire Enterprises made the three leaders sign a contract agreeing to not attack another pack while the peace conference was in session.

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Ice Soul, Blackwood Pack – Book 4

COVER Blackwood Pack Book 4 - Ice Soul
Kieran was sold into slavery where he was forced to care for other prisoners held by a shifter trafficking ring. But that changed when a Blackwood brother freed him and the others. Now for the first time in his life, the world beckons and he can plan his future. That is, until he discovers why the Fates brought him to the Blackwood Pack.

Logan, one of the brothers, has become a virtual recluse, spending hours at his design table, unable to shake the horrible memories of his family’s massacre and an unhappy childhood under the fist of his father, a dictatorial and abusive Alpha.

When Kieran appears, Logan is smitten with this pink-loving twink who tries to use his sassy and irrepressible wit to win his heart. After Logan claims Kieran, he finds keeping him is not easy. When both realize Logan can’t give himself completely to his Fated Mate, Kieran takes off but tells no one where.

A frantic search, rejection, dark secrets revealed, ghosts exorcised- these are just some of the obstacles Kieran and Logan must overcome as they embark on a mission of discovery that will make their love for each other stronger. Only then, will these two unique wolves fulfill their destinies decreed by the Fates and gods and prove worthy of the powerful gifts bestowed on them.


Kieran saw Lizzie coming in from the kitchen and said to her, “Miss L, what fantastic taste you have. I’m so glad they have you supervising their clothing choices otherwise, who knows what they would learn from their daddies?” Then, turning back to Dylon and Cody, “No offense big guys, but you really should let Miss L do some shopping for you, too. I mean, I know you are mated-I mean Fated Mated-so there isn’t going to be anyone else for you but still, you should look good for each other. Hey Miss L, do you think Dylon could use a facial mask? Maybe something to soften his skin so Cody will want to kiss him more? You know, that’s the first thing to go when you have kids. No time to take care of yourself. But I bet with a little help from Miss L and me, we could have you looking like you did before you had kids. Do you take bubble baths? You know, they’re great for softening all parts of your body, well maybe not all parts, if you catch my drift. That’s another side benefit for new parents who aren’t getting all they want in the sex department. Maybe Miss L and I …”

“Stop!” yelled Dylon, startling Jessica who let out a wail while most everyone else was doubled over with laughter. “Now, look what you did!”

“Don’t you blame Kieran, Dylon. You yelled, causing your daughter to cry,” Lizzie scolded, taking Jessica from her son’s arms, “Shush there, sweetie, grandma has you.”

“But did you hear what he was saying to us? He said we had sex problems!” complained Dylon, handing Jessica’s bottle to Lizzie.

“Kieran was only trying to help, weren’t you honey?” Lizzie asked Kieran. “All new parents can do with a little help.” A lot of them visit sites like to spice up their bedroom life and breathe new life into it.

“That’s right, Miss L. I have some ideas to spice up their sex life I can run past you, and if you agree, then I can find out where to buy the items online-you know since they are new parents and all.”

Growling, Dylon spat, “You are not going to discuss my sex life with my mother-do you understand? No way! No how! Never! Kieran, am I making myself clear?” Then turning to his mother, he said, “Mother, don’t, just don’t. This is embarrassing me and my mate.”

Holding up his hands, Kieran said, “Whoa, big guy! If you don’t want my help, then no problemo. I’m sure Jackson or Colton will appreciate my help in getting their sex life back on track. If you want to suffer, then who am I to interfere? Perhaps the best escort Paris has can show you a thing or two but what are you going to do once they’re gone? You really ought to think about Cody before you go issuing your orders. Right Miss L? It takes two to tango.”

Handing Jake to Dylon, Cody said, “Kieran, that’s enough. While I appreciate your offer to help us, there’s no need as we’re very happy with our ‘sex life’. You and I are going to have a talk later about boundaries, or the lack of them, in this case.”

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Author Bio

I never went to school to learn writing nor attended a writing workshop, but it didn’t stop me from entering a writing contest and from that came my first book, Dire Warning. Readers loved it and I was on my way to chronicling the Blackwood Pack, seven brothers who are gay wolf shifters in search of their fated mates– stories about love at first sight with twists and turns, angst and humor, romance and adventure and, of course, happy endings.

My stories come to me as if they were being channeled by my characters, all of whom I love (except for a few villains). They are eager to recount their lives, loves and adventures and are not inhibited when it comes to revealing steamy details. I love the M/M paranormal genre because it gives my imagination a lot of territory in which to roam. My mind can really run wild and come up with some amazing stuff when it doesn’t have to stay inside the box. Although my writing is sometimes raw-that’s the way I like to tell my stories-readers love it and are clamoring for more. I currently live in the Northeast and love the beautiful change of seasons, my husband, and our quirky calico cat, though not necessarily in that order.

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4 stars adult - 18+ Audiobook Bi-Sexual Dreamspinner Exploration Gay Gay Homophobia Little to no angst m/m Mid level steam/heat Morgan New Adult Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Part of a Series Uncategorized Valentine's Day Virgin

Audiobook Bromantically Yours by KC Wells Narrated by Daniel Henning


Dreamspinner Presents


K.C. Wells
A friends-to-lovers novella that came from Out of the Shadows, because Nate and Dylan needed a story….
Nate and Dylan have been pals for a long time. So what if their friends think they’ve got a little bromance going? Doesn’t mean there’s anything more to it than that, right? And even if there is, Nate and Dylan are totally oblivious….
Until the night they share a drunken kiss—and everything changes.


(Book reviewed here previously)

This was adorable! I don’t remember these guys at all from Out of the Shadows – but that’s ok.

I loved how cute they were together and the “discovery” smexy times were hot, hot, hot!

There is pretty much no angst and just a sweet and sexy deepening of feelings.

Highly Recommended!

4.5 of 5 stars



Daniel Henning is new to me and he did not impress me this time around. While he did a nice job with pronunciation and was easy to understand and I felt like his voice quality/intonation was nice – his voices felt like caricatures and didn’t feel authentic. He was a bit OTT at times and that is a drag.


I did not feel drawn into the story and I was a bit disappointed. I wouldn’t avoid him – he is new – but this wasn’t a great start.


3 of 5 stars



Overall 4 of 5 stars


Morgan - Signature-small
Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

adult - 18+ Gay High but not hopeless Mid level steam/heat Older MCs Part of a Series Standalone Uncategorized

Recent Release: Leaning into Forever by Lane Hayes

Good Reads Link

Geordie de la Rosa is a legend among wine lovers in Napa Valley. His ultra-fabulous style paired with a penchant for leading impromptu sing-a-longs has made him a star attraction at Conrad Winery. Co-owning a well-respected winery was never Geordie’s aspiration but he likes the niche he’s made for himself. He won’t deny that his job and his friends have helped ease his heartache and grief after the death of his longtime partner.

Levi Yeager excels at the art of reinventing himself. He’s been a minor league baseball player, a college coach and now a restaurant owner. The problem is he doesn’t know anything about the food business. And when his chef quits unexpectedly, he’s afraid his new venture is doomed. But Levi isn’t a quitter. It may be the only thing he has in common with the beautiful, sassy man from the neighboring winery who agrees to help get his new business up and running. Neither man counts on their fast friendship or the wild attraction they feel for each other. However, they know they won’t stand a chance until they let go of the past and lean into forever

I’ve been waiting for Geordie’s story and I love it just as I knew I would. Geordie has been grieving over the loss of his long time love Mike for four years. Hers never considered that there could be anyone else to capture his heart until Levi. Levi is completely different from Mike. He is drawn towards Geordie. This is such a beautifully sweet romance about patience and learning to starting again. The way Geordie’s grief is so sensitively portrayed touched my heart. I truly believe that a loved one never truly leaves us but neither would they want to see us pining away forever. It was good to see Geordie’s vitality fierceness and humour come alive with Levi’s care and attention. Lane Hayes has written a book that’ll stay with me for a long time. The story takes you on highs and lows of emotions before giving you a happy ever after.

5 of stars out of 5

Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review




Cover Reveal and Giveaway: Caledonia Destiny by Lexi Ander!
Lexi Ander is revealing the cover for her new MM historical fantasy/paranormal book, Caledonia Destiny – due out on July 9th:

A twist of fate changed both their destinies.

The wyrbears, once a long-lived species, were being lost to the forest in their prime. A people borne of a curse, their abilities not a gift but something wrongly taken, they nonetheless live in harmony with their animal spirits. But over time the curse they lived under changed, mutated, and now what once was a refuge from the world when they became too weary is culling mathan in their prime.

Ewen mhic Friscalach, the leader of his peoples, lost his father too early and is now a widower with four children. The vow he made as a youth to break the curse afflicting wyrbears has been buried by grief and responsibility.

Roi mhic Alric, a priest of Cerridwen and seer, watched his fellow priests slaughtered and his temple desecrated. The only thing that kept him going the last three horror-filled years was the vision Cerridwen had granted him of his emancipation. If freedom came at the cost of his life, well, he was more than ready for the Otherworld.

A fated meeting upon a bloody field of battle. A wrong done long ago. Their choices could save a people… or send them into extinction. Either way, their love will be legend.

Caledonia Destiny started out as 31k short story that had a happy for now ending. Now, years later, I have rewritten and expanded the original to 111k.

Buy Links Coming Soon


Lexi is giving away three $10 Amazon gift cards with this tour – for a chance to win, enter via Rafflecopter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Author Bio

Lexi has always been an avid reader, and at a young age started reading (secretly) her mother’s romances (the ones she was told not to touch). She was the only teenager she knew of who would be grounded from reading. Later, with a pencil and a note book, she wrote her own stories and shared them with friends because she loved to see their reactions. A Texas transplant, Lexi now kicks her boots up in the Midwest with her Yankee husband and her eighty-pound puppies named after vacuum cleaners.

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Book Bullying Fade to black/No Steam Gay Homophobia Hurt/Abuse Mid level angst Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Part of a Series Standalone Uncategorized young adult

Recent Release: Jupiter (States of Love) by Rhett Heath

Dreamspinner Presents


For fourteen-year-old Jacob Thomas, a Christian and the smartest kid in class, Bobby Versailles is completely out of reach. Jacob wishes a girl named Allie loved him because he still doesn’t get that he’s gay, but he always keeps his eyes peeled at school, hoping to catch a glimpse of Bobby.

It’s Bobby Versailles’s senior year. Captain of his high school football team, he’s bound to win Homecoming King and hopefully a state championship, but he’s been miserable for years. His fear of somebody finding out he’s gay has brought isolation and loneliness. He has hidden that he’s gay by going on dates with girls now and then, and also by working out and excelling at football—which has also helped teachers look past his learning difficulties. When he first eyes Jacob, it’s possibly love at first sight. Bobby becomes a little obsessed. Jacob has got to be gay, and when Bobby makes a move, both of their worlds turn upside down!

It’s 1982, and while the Nebraska Cornhuskers are barreling toward a possible NCAA National Football Championship, everyone in a small town two hours away hopes Bobby can lead them to a state championship. Can two teens with vastly different lives find love amidst the fervor of Nebraska football?

States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.


This is going to sound bad – but – in general I’m not a big fan of football, YA or “historicals” so… but I was really intrigued by this blurb and was looking forward to seeing how it developed.
Well …. This is a YA story and I think that maybe Juvenile lit is more appropriate given that they don’t act terribly Adult. Not to say that they’re kids… well. They are.

This felt like a book for kids. I liked it well enough and I appreciated the fact that this was based on real events so that must have shaped some of the authors writing decisions but – for me – it just felt a little young.

Not my taste in general. But overall good for fans of: YA, football and recent history.

2.75 rounded to 3 of 5 stars

Morgan - Signature-small
Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review


Guest Post: EJ Russell for Mystic Man

Many thanks to Open Skye for inviting me to stop by today as part of the Mystic Man blog tour! Mystic Man is a contemporary novella set in Connecticut, part of Dreamspinner’s States of Love collection. To celebrate the release, at the end of the tour I’ll be giving away a $20 Amazon gift card and an ebook copy of Clickbait (another of my contemporary romantic comedies) to one lucky commenter.

As part of my writing process, I always try to find a picture of an actor or some other public figure who fits my general mental image of my main characters. I do this because I am so not a visual person—and because description is the hardest thing for me to write. Dialogue? Heh. No problem. My characters can natter on to each other until the cows come home. My first drafts tend to look more like screenplays than novels with all of the verbal sniping.
But then I have to get down to work and describe things—their home, their clothing, their hair and eyes and skin and…stuff. It’s much easier for me to jump-start my writer’s brain if I’ve got a picture to look at than if I try to close my eyes and imagine things. (When I close my eyes, I hear words—I don’t necessarily see images, which is something that I used to argue endlessly about with one of my friends who’s an artist. But I’m an auditory learner. He’s visual. Our brains are wired differently.)
So since I can’t see my character’s hair and eyes and skin and…stuff in my head, I collect visual aids in the form of online photos. I cast them, as if I were casting a play or movie.
When I was “casting” Mystic Man, my mental image for Aaron, my historian/librarian, was Anthony Head as Giles in Buffy. What can I say? It was the glasses—and the fact that Giles’s natural habitat was the library as he delved into the historical archives to help Buffy fight the good fight—that made that one a no-brainer.
I’m not sure exactly why I zeroed in on ice dancer Charlie White as my image for Cody. I know that Charlie’s last name was why I decided to use another colorful name—Brown—for Cody’s surname.
I’ve always been fascinated by Charlie White as an ice dancer. I mean, back in his competitive World/Olympic champion days with Meryl Davis, he didn’t look like someone who could be into such an intricate and mannered and regulated sport. With that fabulous mop of blond hair and that grin? Let’s face it. He was Surfer Dude on Ice.
That’s one of the things I loved about him—the juxtaposition, the contradiction, the playing against type. This video is from 2014 when Charlie and Meryl won their Olympic gold medal. In the first piece (my favorite), their original dance to a My Fair Lady medley, Charlie’s whole attitude and demeanor is exactly Cody’s enthusiasm and joy.

I told Brooke Albrecht, my cover designer, that Cody looked like Charlie—especially the hair—and she found the perfect cover model!

Mystic Man
A States of Love Novella
When a series of personal crises prompt risk-averse research librarian Aaron Templeton to apply for a job on the other side of the country, nobody is more surprised than he is. He nearly runs home before the final interview except for one little problem: he has no home anymore. He put his condo on the market before he left California and it’s already sold. Only an encounter with free-spirited Connecticut native Cody Brown at the Mystic Seaport Museum staves off Aaron’s incipient panic attack.

Cody loves nothing better than introducing newcomers to the great features of his beloved home state, and when the newbie in question is a rumpled professorial type with the saddest blue eyes on the planet? Score! The attraction between the two men deepens as they explore Cody’s favorite spots, but when difficulties arise and Aaron’s insecurities threaten to overwhelm him, will Cody’s love be enough to keep him in Mystic?

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Author bio:
E.J. Russell–grace, mother of three, recovering actor–writes romance in a rainbow of flavors. Count on high snark, low angst and happy endings.

Reality? Eh, not so much.

She’s married to Curmudgeonly Husband, a man who cares even less about sports than she does. Luckily, C.H. also loves to cook, or all three of their children (Lovely Daughter and Darling Sons A and B) would have survived on nothing but Cheerios, beef jerky, and Satsuma mandarins (the extent of E.J.’s culinary skill set).

E.J. lives in rural Oregon, enjoys visits from her wonderful adult children, and indulges in good books, red wine, and the occasional hyperbole.

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