Behind the Eight Ball by MA Church Tour

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Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing M.A. Church author of Behind the Eight Ball.

Hi Michelle, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.

This is from It Takes Two to Tango – Remi’s book. J

“Hey! Look who the cat finally dragged in.” Aidric shoulder bumped me.

“Oh, such sharp wit. It cuts like a dull knife.” I rolled my eyes. “And don’t think I didn’t notice you bumping me away from the table, you hog.”

“Hot wings, man.” Aidric winked at me. “Food of the gods and hungry werecats.”

“You’re always hungry,” I griped, shoving Aidric out of my way. “And stop blocking the table, dude.”

“Hey, Remi,” Brier said.

“Hey man, how’s it going?”

“Good, good. I heard you found your mate. Man, sorry I couldn’t attend that dinner. Congrats.” Brier sat down at the round table we always used for meetings.

“Yeah, you should’ve seen his face.” Aidric chuckled.

“Thanks.” I was unsure if I should say more. Did Brier know the situation? Aidric did. He was there that night.

“Welcome, Remi.” Alpha Armonty pointed at the side table where the food was set out buffet-style. “There’s several different sodas to pick from, and tea. Get yourself a plate and grab a seat.”

“Yes, Alpha.” I filled a plate and got a drink. After we were settled, Alpha Armonty cleared his throat. All talking ceased.

“We’re meeting for several reasons. First let me say congratulations to Remi. As I understand it, Remi met his mate during Thanksgiving dinner at Heller’s. I wish now the wife and I had attended.”

“Yeah, you never know what kind of trouble Heller’s going to stir up,” Aidric joked.

“Again, let me remind everyone Lawson is to blame for the whole Thanksgiving deal. That’s my story, and I’m sticking with it.” Heller nodded his head like that was the end of the subject.

“You chicken shit.” Aidric poked Heller in the ribs. “Look at you trying to put it off on your mate, and the guy isn’t even here to defend himself.”

“I’ll tell him,” I volunteered, flashing Heller an evil grin. “Knowing Lawson, he’ll hide Heller’s hair styling stuff as revenge. Hmm, I might even have to suggest that. Just in case, you know.”

“He’d need a storage unit for all of it,” Brier said, then took a drink of his soda.

“And a forklift to get it to the storage unit.” Dolf snickered, licking hot wing sauce off his fingers.

“Just a damn minute here.” Heller threw his napkin at me. “How’d this discussion get off onto me anyhow? And Remi, you might want to remember I know your mate. Be nice or I’ll have you in the dog house, man.”

Dog house? Really?” Dolf quipped.

“Sounds better than cat house.” Heller shrugged, biting into a wing.

 

Thank you for visiting with us today!  It sounds like a fun book!

 

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Author Name: M.A. Church

 

Book Name: Behind the Eight Ball

Series: Fur, Fangs, and Felines

Book: Two

Can be read as a standalone, but book one does give information about one of the MCs.

 

Release Date: October 30, 2015

Blurb:

A cool morning, a yard full of birds, and a kitty on a mission. What more could a werecat want? Beta Heller Wirth has it all, except a mate—a shifter mate, that is. The last thing he wants is one of those dangerous humans who kill without remorse. Heller knows about that firsthand. So what does the goddess Bast do? She gives Heller exactly what he does not want—a human: business owner Lawson Dupre.

Lawson hasn’t a clue what just happened in his car detail shop. One minute a cute client is about to pass out, then he perks up and starts flirting. Next thing, he runs out the door like the hounds of hell are after him. Learning that Heller is a werecat doesn’t freak out Lawson. He happens to be one of those rare humans who knows paranormals exists. He even lives with one. Watch the fur fly as Heller and Lawson battle hurt feelings, misguided beliefs, and a power shift in Heller’s clowder.

 

Pages or Words: 76,000 words

 

Categories: Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Paranormal, Romance

Excerpt:

Step.

Step.

Stop.

The rustling of dead leaves caught my attention, and I froze with one paw still in the air. Not moving and barely daring to breathe, I waited. My whiskers twitched as a cool October breeze disturbed the scent of decaying leaves and rich soil. The foliage trembled again as something rooted around.

I slowly lowered my paw. The disturbance wasn’t very noticeable except to my predatory gaze. The movement continued. Gradually, bit by bit, I crept forward, making sure my long fur didn’t disturb the surrounding mounds of dying leaves. It was times like these I wished my coat were short like Dolf’s. One thing was for sure—whatever was below those leaves was going to be mine shortly. All I needed was to cover a little more distance and I’d be close enough.

Step.

Step.

Crouch.

Heart thumping, I watched as the movement continued. My muscles tightened and my bottom started wiggling. Unable to wait, I sprang forward, claws extended. Leaves flew into the air as I landed on my target. Bugs scattered. Eyes narrowed, I searched for…. There! There was the little bugger. I growled at the big black beetle and trapped it with my paw.

Seconds passed. The bug wiggled under my paw, tickling me. Hunched down, I carefully lifted my paw and peeked. Dammit, can’t see. Unable to get a good look, I lifted my paw a little higher… and there it went, scuttling across the ground. Gleefully I slammed a paw down, trying to trap it. Slap. Slap. Slap. Arrgh! What’s the deal? I keep missing.

Looked like I’d found myself in a game of whack-a-mole, except with a beetle. And off we went. The bug scurried away with me hot on its trail. Every time I thought I had a paw on it, I ended up missing. Stupid critter was fast. I bounded along behind as it raced across the ground. Then it suddenly cut back and ran straight under me.

Surprised, I leaped in the air, all four paws coming off the ground. Whoa! Zigged when I should have zagged. I landed and nonchalantly licked a paw. Hope no one saw that. I had to give the bug credit. That was a smart move. The shrill cry of a mockingbird caught my attention. I lifted my head, searching for the little tattletale.

Up in a tree it sat, its warning cries echoing around the yard. I eyed the tree. Hmm, I could climb it, but the stupid bird will probably just take off. Still, might be fun. Maybe after I finished playing with the bug… and damn. The bug.

My attention returned to where it had been, my tail slashing. Great. Lost it. Stupid bird. I sat up and threw a glare over my shoulder at the bird. Standing, I turned my back to the little menace, tail held high. That’s what I think of you, buddy. I prowled around for a while, sniffing, enjoying the coolness of the morning.

In the early morning sunlight, the dew on the grass sparkled like diamonds. Maybe it was pretty, but the stuff was also cold and wet against my paws. I was glad for my fur. As I wandered back toward the house, my stomach growled. I was hungry and… I sniffed. Oh, was that a blue jay I smelled? Oh, oh, a blue jay. Yum.

The human side of me groaned, but the kitty part wanted to jump with joy. The noisy little shits were actually quite intelligent. Catching one was always a feat. Quick as I could, I hid in the bright fall foliage by the back porch. I stayed very, very still so the stupid bird three feet from me didn’t fly off in a panic.

I licked my lips, my whiskers twitching as I watched the little rascal across from me raise its head. Shit, shit, shit. What caught its attention? Come on already. It’s all fine, nothing to worry about here. No cat hanging around. Just go back to pecking around on the ground. Everything’s good. See? I’m not moving, not even breathing.

Crouched low, I waited while my breakfast relaxed and returned to looking for acorns. Other birds came and went, but I refused to get distracted. I knew the one I wanted. Inch by agonizing inch, I crept closer to my prey. My mouth watered and my heart thumped.

The chatter of the birds around me was easy and relaxed, no distress calls sounding. That’s right. Just keep on eating. Soon I’m going to be eating you. My body tensed, back legs ready to spring me into action….

And the phone in the house rang.

 

Buy the book:

Dreamspinner eBook: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7022

Dreamspinner Paperback: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7023 

 

Meet the author:

M.A. Church is a true Southern belle who spent many years in the elementary education sector. Now she spends her days lost in fantasy worlds, arguing with hardheaded aliens on far-off planets, herding her numerous shifters, or trying to tempt her country boys away from their fishing poles. It’s a full time job, but hey, someone’s gotta do it!

 

When not writing, she’s exploring the latest M/M novel to hit the market, watching her beloved Steelers, or sitting glued to HGTV. That’s if she’s not on the back porch tending to the demanding wildlife around the pond in the backyard. The ducks are very outspoken. She’s married to her high school sweetheart, and they have two children.

 

She was a finalist in the Rainbow awards for 2013 and is a member of Romance Writers of America, Rainbow Romance Writers, and Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

 

 

Where to find the author:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ma.church3

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/MA-Church/173797619379487

Twitter: https://twitter.com/nomoretears00

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/nomoretears00/

Other: Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B007A8JA4C

Other: Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5141393.M_A_Church

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Bookmarked by Piper Vaughn (Heartsville)

bookmarkedBlurb

To save his bookstore from closing, Mark Werner realizes it’s going to take a miracle—like getting reclusive, best-selling author Shepherd Knight to agree to appear for a signing.

After their disastrous last encounter, Mark doesn’t hold up much hope Shepherd will agree. Shepherd’s never made a single public appearance. In fact, Mark wouldn’t even know what he looks like had he not accidentally discovered the sexy stranger he’d been flirting with for months, aka “Tall-Dark-and-Grumpy,” was also his fanboy obsession.

But desperate times call for desperate measures. If Mark can convince Shepherd, it’ll be a major coup in the book world and might just save Bookmarked from sinking. Too bad Shepherd won’t reply to his e-mails. Yet Mark didn’t earn the reputation of having a “sunshine-and-rainbow-fart” personality for nothing. He’ll do whatever it takes to get his man… and hopefully not make a fool of himself in the process.

Review
Mark is living his dream – but it’s hanging by a thread. He’s running his own bookstore in the little town he lives in, but by a very slim margin. Any bad luck could cause him to lose the store – and the store is his life right now. He wants to find some way to bring in more customers so he plans for a local author book signing event.

Shepherd is a local author with terrible social anxiety. He’s been in Mark’s store and loved it – but when Mark approaches him about the book signing he’s an asshole and blows Mark off – at first.

Luckily – Shepherd changes his mind and agrees to help Mark. Partly because he wants to help the local shop and partly because he’s been crushing on it’s owner.

**

This is a tremendously sweet and sometimes very sexy (first sex scene over a book table – WOWZA!) story. It moves along at a brisk pace, so we don’t get as much couple time as I’d like – but the relationship builds in a way that feels real and definitely leaves us in a happy place.

I loved how Shepherd was such a dirty talker in comparison to his initial impression- it’s quite the juxtaposition.

Since this is the first in the series I look forward to seeing some of the characters we meet here again in future books.

This is highly recommended to fans of sweet, small town romance and fans of MCs who are bibliophiles and writers. (I loved the NaNoWriMo plug!)

4.5 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for review

Amazon link

http://www.amazon.com/Bookmarked-Heartsville-Piper-Vaughn-ebook/dp/B015YFN28C/ref=pd_sim_351_1?ie=UTF8&dpID=51l-GzJlSPL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR107%2C160_&refRID=1J1G8R0ZNW5VRVAJ0NAN

And Call Me in the Evening (Book 2) by Willa Okati

call me eveningBlurb

Eli’s still not great at wearing his heart on his sleeve and Zane’s still got trust issues, but they manage just fine. It’s all good. Right?

Yes and no. When the doctors find themselves grounded between trips for Medicins Sans Frontieres, things begin to change. Zane’s making plans for where they’ll go next, but homesick Eli discovers the opportunity to open a clinic of his own in his old neighborhood. He’d have thought Zane would be all over that, but Zane’s not listening. Meanwhile, there’s trouble in paradise between protégés Taye and Richie, and Eli’s ex-wife Marybeth has come back to town, bringing a heaping helping of hassle with her. Eli figures it’s no wonder he’s been having a heck of a time with chest pain—which he hasn’t told anyone about.

There’s something to be said for setting the story straight, it’s true. Eli knows he and Zane have a good thing going even if keeping it that way is the hardest—and best—part.

Review

Oh man. I was so looking forward to this book. I just loved “And Call Me in the Morning”– book one in this two book series by Willa Okati. It was one of the first m/m books I had ever read, and it touched me. It is a “gay for you” “friends to lovers” book between two men who find love and their sexuality late in life and it is incredibly sweet and yet very sexy. Willa has away with words that just gently tugs at your heart-strings and leaves you with a sappy smile, while still getting you a bit hot.

In this book she continues approximately where the first book leaves off and you definitely could not appreciate this book without having read the first. We find our newly minted lovers living their new lives together and we see what in their lives has been working well, and what has been struggling. I can definitely appreciate this look behind the HEA, kind of like seeing what happens to Cinderella after the wedding.

We also get to revisit old cast members like Taye and Richie and Diana and Holly and it’s very nice seeing them again and catching up on their stories. But, as it should be most of the book is about Eli and Zane.

I just love Zane’s character, he’s so sexy and sweet, but we see even less of him in this book than we did the first. I would have loved to “hear” more from his POV, especially since the first was mostly from Eli’s POV, it could have been an interesting twist.

Both of these books are really about Eli and his personal journey. Eli is a man’s man and struggles with being “gay” even though he has no problem admitting he’s in love with another man. That’s the main struggle in this sequel. Eli admits his love for Zane in book one and then deals with that fact in book two.

While this is probably fair and even a bit realistic, it can get a little dogged, and at times, trying.

Here is where I got a little disappointed. Well, a couple of places.

First, I didn’t realize just how much Eli had to still work through. I had thought we managed to get through most of that in book one. I have to say, though I love the characters and really enjoy Willa’s cool, smooth writing style, this got a little tedious. I was like… are you kidding me? I thought we had already worked this out! I seriously felt for Zane, he seemed to have a lot of patience for putting up with Eli’s hang ups and lies by omission, and at times caved in where I wouldn’t have.

Second, I love a good book about older characters, but in this book, my hot-for-each-other doctors were seriously showing their age. I appreciated the leaning towards realism, but it wasn’t what I necessarily wanted to read. I liked picturing them gettin’ busy and hot for each other, not getting sick with… well I’ll leave that to you to find out. But it sucked! It all works out in the end, have no fear, but – WOW – reality check!

I really did like seeing Taye and Richie and seeing them “grow up”. Holly and Diana were the same, which was nice. Mary Beth, the ex-wife, kinda confused me… a lot. But I guess she added her part to the story as well.

Overall, as sequels go, it did what it promised: it helped set the story straight and showed us more of these two beloved characters, and I did really love seeing more of them. I definitely felt that their HEA was a rock solid HEA by the end of this book. That’s always nice. But, I can’t say I loved the book. If “And Call Me in the Morning” earned a happy 5 stars, then “And Call Me in the Evening” earned a less happy 3.5 stars, mostly for good writing, solid editing, and a lot of sentimentality.

I recommend it to those who loved the first book, I think you’ll enjoy catching up on these old friends.

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Copy provided for honest review
http://www.amazon.com/gp/search/ref=x_gr_w_bb?keywords=9781623001179&index=books&linkCode=qs&tag=httpwwwgoodco-20

Sinner’s Gin (Book 1) Audiobook by Rhys Ford Narrated by Tristan James

 

SinnersGinAudLGBlurb

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

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

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

Review

Miki is an orphan, abused and neglected by the system, who finds his calling in a band called “Sinner’s Gin”. He meets Damian and the two, along with two other boys, set the world on fire with their bluesy rock. Until one night, when a mysterious car crash destroys their world, killing everyone but Miki.

Kane is an Irish cop from a huge but great family, who likes his job and working with wood. One day his wood working is interrupted by a strange dog that belongs to Miki. Besides their instant attraction, the two end up spending time together when Miki becomes the center of a bizarre crime spree involving dead body parts being delivered to his door.

Rhys Ford is a poet and she writes elegant, flowing, beautiful love stories full of pain and passion and promise. Sinner’s Gin combines a compelling mystery with a passionate love story between an angsty rocker and a sweet but tough cop.

Plus there’s Dude – an awesome mutt – who has klepto tendencies and likes to hog the couch.

The audio book:
Narrated By Tristan James
Length: 7 hrs and 57 mins

Tristan James.

Just gorgeous.

All those lovely Irish accents just flow off his tongue like warm honey. It is a truly sensuous experience to hear Rhys’ evocative words read in that warm, husky voice. Just as I praised Rhys and Greg Tremblay for their work on the Cole McGinnis series, I am equally praise-laden for the Sinner’s series.

Tristan is a treat to listen to and combing him with another of Rhys fantastic stories is a match made in heaven.

I give both book and audio book 6 out 5 stars – amazing!

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Copy provided by Dreamspinner for honest review

 

Book:
http://www.amazon.com/Sinners-Gin-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00ASH7QOS/ref=la_B005UTGKSW_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1407107671&sr=1-6

The audio
http://www.audible.com/pd/Mysteries-Thrillers/Sinners-Gin-Audiobook/B00HNESWJW/ref=a_search_c4_1_4_srTtl?qid=1407107702&sr=1-4

Secrets and High Spirits (Secrets book 4) By Lou Harper

secrets high spiritsBlurb

Their love is an explosive cocktail—stirred, shaken, and served with a twist.

Secrets, Book 4

Teag and Bruce dream of opening their own bars, but that’s where the similarities end.

Teag, a popular bartender at West Hollywood’s hottest club, is willful, opinionated, and likes to take charge. He envisions his future bar as a boozy oasis for craft cocktails. Unfortunately, while he’s big on ideas, he’s short on funds.

Bruce, on the other hand, is a tower of pirate-tattooed muscle with a laid-back attitude. While he’s good with people, he’s a walking paradox—a wannabe boss with a weakness for bossy men.

Their partnership is a natural fit, but every time they meet, sparks fly as they rub each other the wrong way. Or is it the right way? In the heat of the moment, it’s hard to tell.

Between renovation pitfalls, meddling friends, and miles of police tape, Teag and Bruce struggle to keep their venture—and their budding relationship—from going up in flames. And not the good kind. More like the one on the top of a B52 shot.

Warning: Contains a whipcord-lean and whip-smart bartender who knows what he wants—and how hard he wants it—and a go-with-the-flow bar manager who secretly likes to be told how hard to give it.

 

Review

Teag used to be roomies with Dylan (from book 3), now he’s on his own. He’s a bartender who you could call a “purist”, he knows the “real” way to make every drink and is really into the mixing of being a bartender.

Bruce is a beefy bartender who likes to go to renaissance festivals and dress up like a pirate and though he’s big he likes to be told what to do.

At first there is a misunderstanding between the two and they fight, then they show up later at the same empty building thinking the same thoughts about opening their own bar.

The first half is both guys deciding what they want from life, the next half is them dealing with the bar and renovations and the mystery.

What I liked:

Harper is a great writer. She makes really great characters. Uses an economy of words to make her point. Creates interesting and fun mysteries. Describes LA perfectly.

I loved that Teag was the top to Bruce’s bottom. I loved that Bruce only had sleeves because he didn’t want to wax. I loved that Teag was fussy about every little thing. I loved the “ghost”.

What I didn’t love: the romance was a small blip in this book. Easily 90% of the book was simply about the bar and the mystery and the romance felt like it almost fell out of the running. I couldn’t really buy their success as a couple because I never saw the romance between them develop. I hope it will work, they complement one another well, but I needed more page time with them “working it out”.

So… if you love a romantic mystery with a teeny tiny paranormal aspect to it – this is for you! If you want a romance with a mystery attached, you might want to keep looking.

(I do love these covers! We do see a lot of Dylan and Simon in this one – fun!)

3 of 5 stars

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Copy provided by NetGalley for an honest review

Samhain Publishing Presents

https://www.samhainpublishing.com/book/5613/secrets-and-high-spirits

 

 

 

Tasting Notes by Cate Ashwood (Review)

tastingBlurb

West, a venture capitalist, has paid for his wealth and success with long hours at the office and no personal life to speak of. Meetings, conference calls, and paperwork dominate his waking hours and have kept him from honoring the promise he made to his late grandfather years before.

After leaving the Marines, Rush returns to his hometown and settled in as a Christmas Tree farmer. His life is quiet and simple, and he likes it that way. When West arrives in town and buys Rush’s parent’s vineyard on a whim, that simple life is turned upside down. The animosity between them is palpable, but Rush shelves his preconceived notions in order to protect his parents’ legacy. He agrees to help West learn how to run the vineyard, and Rush soon realizes that love doesn’t necessarily come in the package he expected.

Review

West is a very rich but lonely, workaholic. He loses his only family, his grandfather, a few years ago and hasn’t yet taken time to properly mourn him nor spread his ashes as he had planned. A glimpse at his own mortality (via watching another person die) spurs him into action. He drops all his obligations on his work partners and travels with his urn out to California. There he ends up in a sleepy but quaint town with a wonderful winery that he falls in love with. He ends up simply buying it (though it wasn’t originally for sale) and moving in with no firm plans on where to go next.

Rush is a cranky almost misanthropic retired Marine who now runs a Christmas tree farm in the same little town as his parent’s winery. He sees West across a crowded pub and though he can see the attractiveness in the man, he pigeon-holes his type as a rich prick and instantly dislikes him. When Rush finds out that his parents sold the “prick” their winery without even discussing it with him, he’s pissed. He takes out his anger on the unsuspecting West and the two are set up instantly as mortal enemies.

But… West needs help with the winery. He has no tools necessary to keep it running and Rush is attached to the idea that the winery shouldn’t fail just because some idiot bought it. So, very reluctantly, Rush agrees to “mentor” West in the running of a winery until he can either do it himself or find someone who can.

As can be imagined, their constant togetherness leads to a romantic entanglement. But… West still has obligations in Chicago and Rush can’t (or won’t) abandon his dreams to follow West. So their relationship is destined to fail unless someone is willing to bend.

**

I always find Cate Ashwood’s stories easy to fall into as her writing is so smooth and engaging. Most of this story really worked for me but there were a couple of parts that didn’t work as well.

I thought Rush and West were great “yin and yang” and they helped one another to be better people, thus they were a great couple. Their chemistry was excellent and I thought the whole “mentorship” was a great way to get them together.

I loved the whole city meets country, “Green Acres” (if you’re old enough to know the reference with Zsa Zsa Gabor) thing was great!

The sale of the winery and the relationship between Rush and the winery never made a lot of sense to me. Why didn’t he want to take it over himself? Since he claimed to want nothing to do with it, why did he care if someone else did? I wish I’d had more background information surrounding this.

West’s work in Chicago was unclear for me as well. If the business ran so successfully and he has literally millions just waiting around to spend on anything realistically, could such a big business be expected to run without him? When he moves back “temporarily” to Chicago to “fix things”, I wasn’t really sure what the plan was. It seemed to me he needed to have acknowledged either the end of the relationship right then or be planning on doing something extreme with the business if being with Rush was ever going to be an option. I know this gets worked out in the end, but I would have liked to know more about the process.

So, as a story there were some small things that bothered me, but as a romance I really liked the MCs and their chemistry and found their HEA to be very sweet and satisfying.

4.5 of 5 stars

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Copy provided by publisher for review

Dreamspinner Presents

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7003

Tasting Notes by Cate Ashwood Tour!

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Release Date: October 26, 2015

Blurb:

West, a venture capitalist, has paid for his wealth and success with long hours at the office and no personal life to speak of. Meetings, conference calls, and paperwork dominate his waking hours and have kept him from honoring the promise he made to his late grandfather years before.

After leaving the Marines, Rush returns to his hometown and settled in as a Christmas Tree farmer. His life is quiet and simple, and he likes it that way. When West arrives in town and buys Rush’s parent’s vineyard on a whim, that simple life is turned upside down. The animosity between them is palpable, but Rush shelves his preconceived notions in order to protect his parents’ legacy. He agrees to help West learn how to run the vineyard, and Rush soon realizes that love doesn’t necessarily come in the package he expected.

 

Pages or Words: 64,000 words

 

Categories: Contemporary, Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance

 

TastingNotesFSExcerpt:

The drive over felt the same as it always did. Rush thought his truck probably could have found its way anywhere in town, but the trip to Lennox Hill was one he’d made at least a few thousand times. It was weird to think the property no longer belonged to his family. Enough of his sweat had soaked into the soil that a part of him lived in that land.

He parked his truck in the same place as always and opened the door, calling to Casper to jump out before closing the door behind him. The door to the main structure was closed and locked. Rush peered through the windows of the wine room as he walked past, but the lights were off and the space was abandoned. Rush and Casper followed the pathway toward the house. Casper sat down as Rush knocked, waiting patiently for an answer. When none came, he knocked again with a little more force. West’s car was parked in the driveway, so unless he had decided to walk somewhere, he should be here.

A moment later, the door swung open and West stood there, naked from the waist up, his hair disheveled and his cheeks pink.

“What the fuck?” he asked.

Rush saw red, which was a blessing because it kept him from seeing the way West’s body looked beneath his clothes. The guy was sleeping, and it was nearly noon. He’d owned the vineyard for less than a week, and he was already slacking off.

“Can I come in? I want to talk to you.”

West stepped to the side to let Rush enter. He looked around. Everything was the same as he remembered it. The house was warm and comfortable, begging you to come in and stay a while. Rush had always loved this house. He peered into the living room, noting the two empty wine bottles on the coffee table.

“Is that a fucking wolf?” West demanded, breaking Rush out of his train of thought.

“What? No. That’s Casper. My dog.”

With a subtle nod from Rush, Casper sat next to his master, his eyes glued to West, but quiet.

West narrowed his eyes. “Why are you here?”

“I came to offer my help. You said you needed help, and my mom told me you didn’t know a fucking thing about running this place, so I figured I’d bail you out.”

“Why?” West looked awfully mistrustful. Rush couldn’t blame him. He didn’t trust West either.

“Because they’re my family, and you’re the dickhead who bought the place they poured their hearts and souls into. I’m not going to let you run it into the ground because you have some romantic fucking idea about being all sophisticated and worldly, owning your own vineyard. Not going to happen.”

“Look, what is your fucking problem with me?” West asked, crowding Rush’s space. “You’ve been nothing but a complete bastard to me since the moment you laid eyes on me. I haven’t done shit to you, and you’re giving me a rough time for no goddamn reason.”

Casper growled, but Rush calmed him with a gentle pat to the head. “Sue me if I don’t like spoiled little rich kids. You blow into town in your tricked-out sports car and think you can do whatever you want here because you have a shit ton of money. You take what you want without any regard for the people around you.”

“You don’t know a thing about me, but you think you’ve got my number. Well, you can go fuck yourself. You saw my car, and you made a snap decision about me. You didn’t bother talking to me or getting to know me at all before you rushed to judgment. Maybe you should give me the benefit of the doubt before you tell me who I am.”

“I don’t need to. I know exactly who you are. I’ve met guys like you. You’re arrogant, spoiled, and selfish. You put on a good front, pretending to be this philanthropic nice guy, but when it comes down to it, you’ll choose your money over everything else.”

“Oh, for fuck sakes. You storm in here, waking me up and screaming at me. In case you missed the memo, this is my home now. You’re on my property. What gives you the right to show up and give me shit about something you know nothing about?”

“Your name may be on the deed, but that’s as far as it goes, asshole. Lennox Hill is in my blood, and the last thing I want is for you to completely destroy it out of sheer ignorance.”

“Well, then there’s something we agree on. It’s why I came to your house in the first place, in case you need reminding about that. I don’t want this place to fail any more than you do, so how about you get your head out of your ass, stop being such a fucking prick, and help me?”

Rush stared at him, not saying a word. He hadn’t anticipated the conversation taking this turn. Hell, he hadn’t anticipated this conversation period. There was something there, behind West’s eyes, a kind of rawness Rush hadn’t expected. He stepped forward, his eyes locked on West’s. He felt drawn to him like a compass to north, locking onto that flicker of something unnamable.

He was not in control of his body. He pulled a quick intake of breath as the space between them evaporated. He was close enough that he could feel the crackle of electricity between them, as tangible as if West was statically charged.

“Fine, I’ll help,” Rush said, knowing West could feel his breath as he spoke.

“But this doesn’t mean I like you,” Rush growled.

“Understood,” West replied. “I don’t like you either.”

“As long as we’re clear.”

 

Buy the book: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7003

 

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Meet the author:

Cate Ashwood wrote her very first story in a hot-pink binder when she was in the second grade and found her passion for writing. Her first successful foray into romance writing came five years later when she wrote her best friend, who was experiencing a case of unrequited love, her own happily ever after.

Cate’s life has taken a number of different and adventurous roads. She now lives a stone’s throw from the ocean, just outside of Vancouver, British Columbia with her husband, her little boy, and their two cats. Her life is filled with family and friends, travel, and, of course, books.

 

 

Where to find the author:

 

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cate.ashwood

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cate-Ashwood-Author/288329491267435?fref=ts

Twitter: @cateashwood

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/cateashwood/

Other: https://instagram.com/cateashwood/

 

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26785563-tasting-notes

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Anna Sikorska


Tour Dates & Stops: October 26, 2015

Parker Williams, Divine Magazine, Happily Ever Chapter, Just Love Romance, Sinfully Addicted to All Male Romance, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, MM Good Book Reviews, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Cheekypee Reads and Reviews, Louise Lyons, Jessie G. Books, BFD Book Blog, Iyana Jenna, 3 Chicks After Dark, The Jena Wade, V’s Reads, Havan Fellows, Bike Book Reviews, Molly Lolly, Two Chicks Obsessed With Books and Eye Candy, Andrew Q. Gordon, Sassygirl Books, Bayou Book Junkie, Unquietly Me, Inked Rainbow Reads, The Hat Party, Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies, Oh My, QUEERcentric Books, Open Skye Book Reviews, S.A. McAuley

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Festivus Miracle Audiobook by Kim Fielding Narrated by Joel Leslie

festivus miracleBlurb

It’s finals week during Tony McNeil’s second year in law school, and he’s struggling to keep up. Frankly, he’d rather be cooking. Then he meets first-year student Eddie Cohen-Fernandez, who’s heartsick over missing his family’s annual Festivus celebration. Tony can use his culinary skills to lift Eddie’s spirits, but finding long-term happiness? That just might require a Festivus miracle.

 

Review

In this very short and sweet Christmas novella, we meet two law students, Tony and Eddie. Tony is only going to law school to please his parents, he’s miserable and lonely in the small Nebraska town. Eddie, is excited to be in law school but misses his folks in California, especially during the holidays, but can’t afford to fly or drive out there to be with them.

Eddie and Tony meet on campus and decide to study together for finals. This leads to post-finals celebration (naked celebration) and then on to… more.

Eddie helps Tony to realize that it’s okay to “disappoint” your parents when it means keeping your soul happy. Tony helps Eddie to achieve his Festivus Miracle.

With a few short pages, Kim gives us a fully developed story about finding out who you are and living your life to its full potential.

There are some sweet smexy scenes, but most of this is about self discovery and finding that place in your soul that makes you sing.

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Audio

Joel Leslie does an excellent job with this lovely novella. He does a little with the voices, enough to know who is who and is great with the emotion and the pacing of the story.

I really loved both the story and the audiobook and highly recommend both!

6 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

Kim Fielding Presents

http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/The-Festivus-Miracle-Audiobook/B016X2M4MU/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1445790168&sr=1-1

A Shadow of Wings by Linda Gayle

shadow of wingsBlurb

Thrown out on the street by his homophobic stepfather, Dylan struggles to get his life together. Years of being used and abused have left him tough and determined to make it on his own. When he sees a dog getting beaten, his protective instincts drive him to rescue her. But as the attackers turn on Dylan, out of the shadows comes a hero. One with mysterious eyes and a shy sensuality Dylan can’t resist.

Cam Coburn can’t reveal his true identity to the man he rescues. Nor can he reveal that he’s a freak among freaks, a cockatrice shifter with an unwanted gift for seeking out conflict rather than treasure. Newly independent from his mentor, Cam sees in Dylan his first chance to test the limits of his human guise. Defying every rule, Cam succumbs to Dylan’s seduction for just one night. But Cam finds he can’t let his lover go, and Dylan breaks down every barrier. For he is the one human who can gaze in a cockatrice’s eyes without fear.

Yet even as their bond deepens, danger closes in on them from all sides, and Cam’s dark secrets may save them—or lead to their destruction.

Review

Dylan gets thrown out, lives with some buddies who end up getting him hooked on drugs and living in a slum, and when things begin to get abusive, Dylan finds the strength to pull himself up by the bootstraps and make a new life for himself.

He finds part-time work with a veterinarian and is in the process of rescuing a stray dog one night when the owners of the dog (gang members) attempt to beat the crap out of him. He is rescued by a mysterious stranger, Cam, who then takes him and the dog home to clean up.

It turns out Cam is far from human, he’s actually a Cockatrice (WTF?) – which is this bizarre dragon/bat/chicken thing from mythology. A shape-shifter, sent to America to study with and learn about humanity.

Cam is wildly attracted to Dylan and vice versa, even though interactions at that level are strictly forbidden.

The two begin an illicit tryst and are forming a fragile bond when trouble strikes in the form of back-stabbing Weasels and Brothers – you’ll see what I mean – and the two must make life and death decisions that will affect not only themselves but also the future of humanity.

In the end, after a truly monumental story twist, a super amazing and sweet happily ever after ensues.

I LOVED this book. It was sweet – Dylan is so broken yet warm hearted and his love for Cam so pure. It was sexy – Cam is a virgin (of course) to human love and the scenes between him and Dylan are very hot. It was gritty – none of the characters were perfect, they all had elements of good and bad and it gave the story a very “real” feel, despite its fantastical nature. It was uplifting – the ending is so happy and so sweet, it leaves a big smile on your face.

I really loved this book and the other Linda Gayle book I had read and I am ever so hopeful that she will be writing more m/m in the future.

I highly recommend this book and give it 5 of 5 stars.

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Copy purchased for reveiw

http://www.amazon.com/Shadow-Wings-Linda-Ingmanson-ebook/dp/B00BH6U6ZU/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1408775304&sr=1-1&keywords=a+shadow+of+wings