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Guest Post: Anne Barwell

Today we are lucky to welcome Anne Barwell for a visit!

Location, Location

Thanks, Nic, for hosting me today :)

My upcoming release, Winter Duet, can be described in part as a road trip across Germany.  However, it’s not your usual road trip story as it takes place in 1944 during WW2, so the Gestapo are in pursuit, and bombs are falling.

While the first book in the Echoes series, Shadowboxing, took place in Berlin, I knew the second would have to take place across a much wider range of locations.  Getting out of Germany would be dangerous, especially for wanted men in a time where everyone had to carry identification papers.  They’d have to get from Berlin to one of Germany’s borders in order to escape the country.  Not only that, but I’d need to plot the route they would take before I started writing as the locations—and what was happening there at that time—would impact the details of the story very heavily.  Given the fact that Kristopher and Michel are separated after finding Leo, the downed RAF pilot, it wasn’t just a case of working out one route, but two.

Choosing the locations used in the story took a lot of research especially as the story is set when the Allies were bombing Germany. Did I want my characters to escape most of it and take a safe route skirting around the affected areas, or be caught in the thick of it?

I’ve been extremely lucky in writing this series that one of my betas—and a very good friend—is German.  She loaned me a topographical wall map of Germany which hung from one of my bookshelves while I was writing.  It made it so much easier to work out where all the locations were in association with each other, and what the terrain was like.  She’d also been to several of the locations and travelled some of these roads although we had to adjust the time it would take to make the journey to take into account this was taking place seventy years ago.  Google maps is very helpful in plotting routes especially with its information on how long it would take to get from one location to another, depending on mode of transport.

Further research led to several sites which provided details of The Big Week, which refers to concentrated bombing of Germany by the Allies during February 1944.  Everything fell into place nicely as this was not only the time of year my characters would be taking their road trip, but it was along the route they’d need to travel on their way to Switzerland and safety.  One good thing about writing in a time period where a lot was happening is that it is well documented. I found information about when and where the bombs fell, what type of aircraft was doing the bombing, and personal accounts about what it was like to live through it.

Various other resources—a mix of books and internet—filled in the gaps about the locations I used in the story.  The internet is great for finding out information about specific towns and areas, and the library had some wonderful guide books full of photographs.  I also read personal accounts from people on both sides who had lived through it. One of the reasons I love history is the human side of it. To me, that’s far more interesting than facts and figures. The more I researched, the more the plot I already grew to encompass both the locations, and historical events, bringing with them more complications for Kristopher, Michel and the rest of the Allied Team.

As to my earlier question about whether they should travel through the locations as they were bombed, or skirt around them and keep safe? I’ve always made my characters earn their happy endings. Why should this story be any different?

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Winter Duet will be available from Dreamspinner Press on 6th October.

Winter Duet buy link:

Dreamspinner Press

 

Blurb:

Echoes book 2 – Sequel to Shadowboxing

Germany 1944

With Kristopher finally fit enough to travel, he and Michel leave the security of their safe house and continue their journey across Germany toward Switzerland. Caught in a series of Allied bombings, they stop to help civilians and narrowly escape capture by German forces.

While investigating a downed aircraft in the Black Forest, the two men discover an injured RAF pilot.  After they are separated, Kristopher and the pilot are discovered by a German officer who claims he is not who he appears to be. Determined to find Michel again, Kristopher has to trust the stranger and hope he is not connected to those searching for him and the information he carries. Meanwhile Michel is intercepted by one of the Allied soldiers he met in Berlin. His help is needed to save one of their own.

Time quickly runs out. Loyalties are tested and betrayed as the Gestapo closes in. Michel can only hope that they can reach safety before information is revealed that could compromise not only his and Kristopher’s lives, but those of the remaining members of their team—if it is not already too late.

Excerpt:

Kristopher dropped to his knees and examined the boy. His eyes were glazed over, and he flinched when Kristopher touched him. “He must have hit his head when he fell,” Kristopher said. He brought his hand away from the boy’s temple. It was covered in blood. “He needs help, but I can’t do much for him here, just try and stop the bleeding.” He quickly opened his satchel and pulled out a short length of bandage, bundled it into a wad, and held it against the wound. It probably wouldn’t be enough to stop it, but it was better than doing nothing. Head wounds tended to bleed, didn’t they? It didn’t mean it was something serious, but it could be.

He let out a quick breath. Damn it. He wished he’d paid more attention when he’d watched Clara at work. Why had he agreed to disguise himself a medic? In this situation when that was exactly what was needed, he was next to useless.

“We can’t stay here,” Michel said. “Can you tie something around the bandage so it keeps the pressure on it when we move him?”

“Keep pressure on the wound while I look.” Kristopher searched around in his bag, ripped some more of the bandaging material, and tied it quickly. His hands were shaking, but at least there didn’t seem to be any blood seeping through the original cloth he’d put over the wound. “I think that should hold it for now.”

Michel handed Kristopher the flashlight and then lifted the boy into his arms. “What’s your name?” he asked softly when the boy opened his eyes and looked up at him.

“Fritz,” the boy replied, his voice wavering. He put his arms around Michel’s neck and clung to him. Thankfully, he seemed more alert than he had a few moments before.

“Hello, Fritz. I’m Michel, and this is Paul,” Michel said. “We’re going to keep you safe, I promise.”

“You promise?” Fritz’s earlier confidence was gone. “I didn’t think it was so dark. I know this place. I shouldn’t have tripped.” He glared at the ground. “Stupid thing. Stupid stupid. Everything looks different.” He sniffled loudly and wiped one dirty hand over his face.

“Do you remember the way to the shelter, Fritz?” Kristopher asked. Michel was watching Fritz carefully, holding the boy close to him. His grip had tightened at the first sign of Fritz’s distress.

“I don’t need to put you down,” Michel reassured Fritz. “You can still guide us while I’m holding you.”

“I don’t want to walk.” Fritz bit his lip. He looked around and then pointed to a street to their left. “If we go down there it’s only about ten minutes away.”

They’d never reach the shelter in time before it closed.

“There isn’t one closer?” Michel asked.

“It’s the one I know about,” Fritz said, somewhat defensively. “Mutter told me if something happened I should go to it.”

“Where’s your mother now?” Kristopher asked. The light from the flashlight was dying quickly. They had to hurry.

“I don’t know. She went to get my baby sister, but she never came downstairs.” Fritz stuck his chin out. “I waited like she said, even when I heard the loud noises and people crying.”

“You live around here?” Kristopher hoped Fritz’s family had survived this. They’d have to try and reunite them or at least find someone who could look after him before they left Stuttgart.

Fritz nodded. Whatever his wound, it seemed as though it was definitely superficial or he wouldn’t be talking as much as he was. “I went looking for her, and I couldn’t find her.”

“You sound much better, Fritz. Do you think you could walk?” Michel asked.

“I don’t want to lose you and Paul too,” Fritz said. He let Michel put him down and then put one small hand into Michel’s.

“You won’t lose us,” Michel promised. “Keep holding my hand, and Paul will look after the flashlight. We can work together.”

“Michel’s very good at working together,” Kristopher told Fritz. He shone the flashlight around. The farther out into the street they got, the more rubble there was. It wasn’t safe to move too quickly, and at this speed they’d never reach the shelter before daylight. He glanced up at the sky. Most of the flashes of light now seemed to be focused toward the city center. “I’m wondering if it’s safer to stay here but get as far away from the buildings as we can and wait for daylight.”

“We don’t know how long this raid is going to last,” Michel said, “but we need to make a decision.” Something creaked and groaned to the side of them. “Move!” Michel yelled. He picked up Fritz and ran back the way they’d come. Kristopher didn’t stop to see what was going on behind him. He followed.

Moments later, more rubble hit the street where they’d just been standing. If they’d stayed there they would have been buried in it.

Kristopher shone the flashlight on it and shivered. “I think finding the shelter is the least of our problems,” he said. “We need to get out into the open. It’s not just more bombings that could kill us, but the buildings that are already damaged.”

“I know a place,” Fritz said after Michel put him down. “I’ll show you.” He took hold of Michel’s hand again. “You and Paul are soldiers.” He pointed to the Red Cross on Kristopher’s arm. “You’ll stay and help look after all the hurt people, won’t you? Vater is a soldier too. He’s fighting at the front. Mutter says he’s very brave.”

“Yes, we’ll stay and help,” Michel said before Kristopher could say anything. He squeezed Fritz’s hand. “We’ll also help you find your mother, or at least someone who can look after you.” He looked over at Kristopher and gave him a questioning look.

“Of course we will,” Kristopher said, wondering why Michel felt he’d even had to ask.

About the Author

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand.  She shares her home with two cats who are convinced that the house is run to suit them; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date it appears as though the cats may be winning.

In 2008 she completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra.

She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth.

Links:

http://anne-barwell.livejournal.com/

http://annebarwell.wordpress.com/

http://coffeeunicorns.wordpress.com/

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=55_426

 

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★★★ Dumping Las Vegas by J.P. Bowie ★★★

 

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Dumping Las Vegas

by

J.P. Bowie

Publisher: Wilde City Press

 The blurb

 

When Jerry Peterson’s brother Mike begs for help in paying off a Las Vegas gambling debt, Jerry reluctantly travels to the city he loathes. Things are even worse than he expected—his brother is being held hostage until the debt is paid. Taylor Maitland is in Vegas writing an article on compulsive gambling, an addiction his father was unable to free himself from. When the two men meet, Taylor offers to help Jerry locate his brother and negotiate with the captors. Despite the series of violent events that screw up their plans and have them dogged by two homicidal thugs, Jerry and Taylor are drawn together by their mutual attraction for one another, even finding time in between narrow escapes, to indulge in some hot man lovin’!

 

Our thoughts
Ok I really don’t know how to rate Dumping Las Vegas because there were parts that I really, really, really enjoyed and then there were parts I was like REALLY (and not in the good way). I like the concept of the story; dealing with a family member with a gambling problem and trying to save them from themselves and the lone-sharks.

Jerry’s brother Mike has a gambling problem that has now gotten to the point he is being held hostage  by lone-sharks until they get the money he owes.  Jerry hates the fact that he is the only person left in his brother’s life that he can turn to and feels obligated to help him now.  He doesn’t want to help his brother but he also doesn’t want his bother hurt in any way.

Taylor is a freelance journalist who grew up dealing with a parent with a gambling problem that didn’t end until they died.  Taylor met Mike by chance while doing research for his article on gambling addiction.  Mike told Taylor of the situation he was facing with the lone-sharks and also gave him a lead on a “sure thing” in a horserace.  When Taylor sees the men he assumes are Mike’s bookies and sees the trouble he’s in he wants to help anyway he can.

I loved the way this story began, even though some of it was a little farfetched, it was action packed. I thought it wrapped up a little too quickly and was worried with what the author was going to do with the rest of the book…Well he slows it down so that Jerry and Taylor can get to know each other and start a little something, something.  I didn’t care for the slow down because the beginning was so fast pace that this getting to know each other felt like a fast halt.  But I kept reading and it all picked back up again because the trouble was far from over.

I don’t know I liked the book but I didn’t love it, I felt there were some things that were just a little over the top and the pacing of the story was a little off.  I know you have to sprinkle in the backstory and work in romance which can be a little difficult when doing fast action.  None the less I think it’s a book worth reading.

Bookjunkie x

 

 

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★★★★ Review, Blog Tour, Excerpt and Giveaway! Love and Punishment by Susan Mac Nicol ★★★★

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Love and Punishment

by

Susan Mac Nicol

Cover Artist: Boroughs Publishing Group

Publisher: Boroughs Publishing Group

Blurb:

The search for a serial killer, Detective Anthony Parglietto and Flynn Parker learn that every man must make a choice: to kill, to live, to love.

FROM DARKNESS AND LIGHT

Someone is leaving a trail of bodies throughout London, and Detective Anthony Parglietto is determined to end the violence. Then he’ll return to the man he loves.

Tough, street-savvy, and used to dealing with lowlifes, Flynn Parker is the last person Anthony thinks he has to protect. Then the Bow-Tie Killer strikes close to home and the world turns upside down. Right is wrong, black is white, and a policeman might become a monster. But in the name of love, justice must be served. In the name of love, pain can be endured. In the name of love, a man can taste the very essence that defines him.

 

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Excerpt:

Anthony walked down the hall. He reached the bedroom and gently pushed the door open. He saw Flynn framed in the light of the lamp shining from the lounge. He lay, apparently asleep, on the leather and wood divan Anthony had brought over from Italy. Its dark burgundy colour contrasted with what Flynn wore, which was nothing but a black thong lying stark against his pale skin. The divan was under the window. The bed covers were rumpled, as if Flynn had been sleeping. His robe was draped across the foot of the bed. Anthony moved towards the gleaming body of his supine lover.

Flynn’s face was turned away towards the back of the sofa. His dark hair was tousled and his arms stretched above his head to the right. He wore a blindfold. Anthony felt a stir in his groin seeing those lean, hairy legs stretched out wantonly, inviting him to run his hands up and over his groin. Even appearing asleep, Flynn had the power to excite him, to make Anthony hard and ready. He stepped towards him, watching the rise and fall of Flynn’s chest with their already hardened nubs. Anthony wanted to run his tongue over that chest, with its smattering of fine hair, to take Flynn’s nipples in his mouth and suck them until Flynn groaned in pleasure. As he got closer in the dim light he saw the hands with their bonds of silk. Green bonds lay dark against Flynn’s wrists, fastened to the wooden struts of the upright chair arm. His hands were tight fists. Anthony chuckled softly, a noise that sounded loud in the stillness of the room.

“Been waiting long?’ he whispered as he took off his jacket. ‘I tried to get home as soon as I could.”

Anthony knew the bonds would be loose so Flynn could break free if needed but he also knew he wouldn’t. It was the way the game was played.

 

Review:

★★★★

I do enjoy a good serial killer novel and Love and Punishment really worked for me. I enjoyed the chase and the little POV from our killer.
The story grabbed me from the beginning; much the same way Flynn Parker is grabbed by the bowtie killer (BTK) on the first page.   But Flynn isn’t to be the next body found he’s just the perfect pawn BTK needs to taunt DI Anthony Parglietto as he continues to leave bodies all over London. Anthony is determined to stop BTK but how far is he willing to go to make that happen, will he cross that line between hero and villain?  How far will Flynn go to protect his lover, Anthony, from BTK once he is threaten with keeping secrets from Anthony.
One of the things I really liked about the story was that our MC’s were already in an established relationship; instead of falling into insta-love while tracking a killer.  Those types of stories always make me go huh, you have time to get busy and fall in love while tracking down a killer? This was more like getting home and falling into the arms of your lover to give you strength. That statement holds for our killer as well.
 I also liked the fast pace of Love and Punishment even with the sex breaks (and there were quite a few of those) the story maintained it’s flow.  Oh and I really liked the last part of the book were we see how Anthony tries to come to terms with his actions.
About halfway through the story Flynn’s role kind of takes a backseat as BTK’s POV and lover’s POV become more of the focus and Anthony trying to figure it all out.  This almost made it feel like you were getting a bonus book/story.  How would you know you are dating a serial killer and what would you do if your lover found out you were a serial killer?  Makes you look at your significant other and think hmm did they really go to work or were they killing someone…
Some of the actions by the police officers in this story really didn’t ring true to me but I’m sure it was done to push the story in a certain direction.  And some of the editing got really choppy toward the end of the story.  But overall I really enjoyed this story the suspense was always there bubbling under the surface and I liked that a lot.

Enjoy

Bookjunkie xx

 

Giveaway:

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Click here or the image to enter the Rafflecopter

Rafflecopter Prize: One copy of each of Double Alchemy and Double Alchemy: Climax.

Sales Links: http://www.BoroughsPublishingGroup.com

Author Bio:

Susan Mac Nicol was born in Leeds, Yorkshire, in the United Kingdom. At the age of eight, her family moved to Johannesburg, South Africa where she stayed for nearly thirty years before arriving back in the UK in December 2000. Currently, She lives in the rural village of Bocking, in Essex, with her family.

Sue is a PAN (Published Author’s Network) member of Romance Writers of America and a member of the Romantic Novelists Association in the UK. Also, she is a member of a rather unique writing group, called the Talliston Writer’s Circle, which in itself has a story all of its own to tell. She has written nine novels, two novellas and a screenplay since February 2012 and clearly believes in keeping herself busy. She has found herself wanting to stay in the sub-genre that is M/M Romance so more can definitely be expected.

Her plan is to keep writing as long as her muse sits upon her shoulder. Her dream is to make enough money to give up the day job and get that big old house in the English countryside overlooking a river, where she can write all day and continue to indulge her passion for telling stories.

Author Contact:

website: www.susanmacnicol.com
blog: susanmacnicol.wordpress.com
facebook: www.facebook.com/susiemax77
twitter: www.twitter.com/SusanMacNicol7
pinterest: www.pinterest.com/susiemax777
linkedin: http://uk.linkedin.com/pub/susanmacnicol/48/a44/602
tumblr: http://www.susanmacnicol.com/my-tumblr-blog/

 

Tour Stops:

Love600x600BannerBlueTour Dates/Stops:

8/29: The Hat Party, It’s Raining Men
9/1: My Fiction Nook, Tara Lain
9/2: MM Good Book Reviews, EE Montgomery, Sarah Madison Fiction
9/3: Love Bytes, A_TiffyFit’s Reading Corner
9/4: Parker Williams, Amanda C. Stone
9/5: Full Moon Dreaming, Andrew Q. Gordon, Penny For My Thoughts
9/8: Hearts on Fire, Rainbow Gold Reviews
9/9: Jade Crystal, Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves
9/10: Prism Book Alliance, Fallen Angel Reviews
9/11: Book Reviews and More by Kathy, Book Suburbia
9/12: Havan Fellows, Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings
9/15: Decadent Delights, 3 Chicks After Dark
9/16: Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Because Two Men Are Better Than One
9/17: Regular Guys, Hot Romance, Joyfully Jay
9/18: Louise Lyons, Foxylutely Book ReviewsGaylist Book Reviews
9/19: Cate Ashwood, Iyana Jenna
9/22: The Novel Approach, Crystal’s Many Reviewers
9/23: Inked Rainbow Reads, Wake Up Your Wild Side
9/24: LeAnn’s Book Reviews, Emotion in Motion
9/25: The Blogger Girls, Velvet Panic

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★★★★½ The Actor & The Thief by Edward Kendrick ★★★★½

 

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The Actor & The Thief

by

Edward Kendrick

Publisher: Wilde City Press

 The blurb

 

Once they were a couple. Now—they’re far from it.

Just out of prison, Craig heads to Denver. At the same time Adam, on tour with a Broadway show, arrives there. Also heading to Denver are two men bent on finding Craig for their own nefarious reasons.

When Craig and Adam accidentally meet sparks fly, but not of the good kind. Then Craig finds his mentor murdered and believes he’s the reason why. He calls on Adam, the only man he can trust for help. Can they work together, and possibly re-kindle their love? Or will Adam walk away again?

 

Our thoughts

 
Oh I loved this story, The Actor and The Thief. Our MCs Craig and Adam were awesome!

The title says it all Adam is an actor and Craig is a thief.  Adam put an end to his and Craig’s relationship 20 years ago when his heart could no longer take the worrying about Craig and his safety in his chosen profession.  And Craig didn’t chase him, knowing he wasn’t ready to give up his profession.

But 20 years after parting ways they find themselves in the same restaurant, wishing and wanting.  Craig has just been released from prison after serving 6 years and he’s finally ready to retire.  Adam is performing in Denver, he’s a star in his own right but his personal life is lacking.

The line from the Godfather popped in my head while reading this story “Every time I try to get out they just keep pulling me back in”…Craig’s out and really doesn’t want to get back into that line of work but he does a favor for a friend and before the job is complete his friend is murdered.  It seems as if Craig’s past doesn’t want to let him go.

Adam is content with being an actor, even content with being an aging actor.  After running into Craig he realizes he’s still in love with him but wants to keep his distance.  But once he learns that Craig has retired or is trying to retire he wants nothing more than to be with the man he loves and is willing to do anything to make that happen.

Adam and Craig are trying to cut the ties to Craig’s past life but two men don’t want to see that happen at least not without getting their hands on the money Craig has stashed away.

This story moved at a really nice pace, I just hate that it was such a quick read.  I would love to read about Adam and Craig’s first go at love…I can only imagine. *swoon*

Bookjunkie x

 

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Capture the Sun by RJ Scott & Meredith Russell

Capture The Sun is book #5 in the Stories from Sapphire Cay series. Here’s a bit about the book and the series.

The Stories from Sapphire Cay series:

  1. Follow the Sun
  2. Under the Sun
  3. Chase the Sun
  4. Christmas In The Sun
  5. Capture the Sun

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Capture The Sun (Stories from Sapphire Cay #5)#5 Capture the Sun

Featuring Mitch and Isaac

I really enjoy this series. It’s like receiving a lovely little gift each time a new book is released. What makes it appealing, at least for me, is the familiarity of the setting – who can resist a gorgeous tropical island? – and also the chance to get little glimpses of characters we’ve met before. Plus I always like the pairing of the men in the story.

In Capture the Sun, it’s the turn of Mitch and Isaac to find love. They meet at a party and have a sizzling encounter, but a case of mistaken identity threatens to derail any future they might have. Unable to forget each other, they are shocked to find themselves on an island for a week.

We’ve met Mitch before. He’s the ex-boyfriend of Dylan, who runs the island with his fiance Lucas. For Mitch, the story is about second chances and finding there is someone out there for him. It’s about realising there’s more to life than business. For Isaac, its about being loved for who he is, being acknowledged as a man in his own right, not just a model or his father’s son.

This story combines some hot sex with a sweet story as these men get in touch with their emotions. It’s a gentle, read-in-one-sitting kind of book, that leaves you smiling at the happy ending.

❅❅❅❅❅❅❅

The earlier books in the series…

 

Follow The Sun (Stories from Sapphire Cay, #1)

#1 Follow The Sun

featuring Lucas and Dylan

Follow The Sun was a sweet and gentle story. The blurb says the series is full of romance and drama but in all honesty there wasn’t too much drama. The focus is on the emotional side of the story.

Lucas heads to Sapphire Cay to host his sister’s wedding at the resort. They are orphans and he has raised her since she was a teenager. Lucas has always had responsibilities, whether it be his sister or the high powered and very stressful career he has. However he is overworked, unhealthy and obviously has lost his passion for the job. The death of his boss and mentor has him questioning the direction his life is taking.

Dylan ‘follows the sun’. He travels the world, finding work where he can but has returned to work at Sapphire Cay for the last 5 years. He has had his own fair share of tragedy and disappointment in his life.

Lucas and Dylan are drawn to each other but their relationship develops fairly gently, both afraid of moving too fast. A lot of the focus is on Dylan trying to draw out Lucas, to put a smile on his face. Lucas’ sadness and worries play a significant role.

Dylan has some decisions he also needs to make, decisions that would impact his roving ways. I do think there was a lost opportunity or potential plot twist related to the brief visit of Dylan’s ex-lover. Knowing about the relationship Dylan had with him helps to understand Dylan better but why did his personal visit not result in any big drama or misunderstanding? I was waiting for something climatic to happen but it didn’t eventuate.

Add a sweet sister, wedding shenanigans and a happy ending and it all sums up to an enjoyable story.

❅❅❅❅❅❅❅

Under The Sun (Stories from Sapphire Cay, #2)

#2 Under the Sun

Featuring Edward and Jamie

A perfect opposites attract story with really likable and interesting characters. The pairing of Edward, wedding planner extraordinaire and Jamie, injured marine, is just fabulous!

Like the first book, Follow the Sun, this story is sweet and gentle without too much drama. There are some misunderstandings as both men read each other incorrectly and make assumptions obviously based on their past experiences (stereotyping for both of them) but largely the story focuses on the slow development of the relationship.

Edward is a wedding planner who arranges a lot of weddings on the island. He comes to the island for a week to arrange a wedding where he meets Jamie. Jamie has completed two tours in Afghanistan and been injured. He has returned to the island, where he was raised, to spend some time to himself so that he can sort out what he wants to do with the rest of his life.

It’s lovely to see the Lucas and Dylan from the first book make appearances. They are supportive, such as the advise offered by Dylan “Just promise me one thing.” He looked at Jamie and pointed toward his chest. “Trust this, yeah? And follow your heart.” His eyes brightened. “Lucas taught me that.”
Follow his heart. Jamie nodded. He could do that.

and of course he does so we get a wonderful happy ending!

❅❅❅❅❅❅❅

Chase The Sun (Stories from Sapphire Cay, #3)

#3 Chase the Sun

Featuring Scott and Adam

This book was sweet and a nice addition to the series. I think there is something appealing about the characters, the setting and the nice glimpse of the characters from the past books. Although I would have actually liked to have seen a bit more of the other characters!

This is a story about two men who had broken up years ago as a result of some really bad life choices. I liked Adam, who had got himself caught up in trouble and served his time. It was easy to feel a lot of sympathy for him as he seemed so hard on himself. Scott was also easy to like as he learnt to trust again.

However this book seemed too short and over too quickly. It was a bit like skimming the surface of the relationship with not enough depth. Forgiveness came too quickly and easily although it was still believable.

A nice sweet ending…“What are you thinking about?” Adam teased. Scott smiled. “You,” he began quietly. “Always you.”

❅❅❅❅❅❅❅

Christmas In The Sun

# 4 Christmas in the Sun

This is one of those stories that is like revisiting family. It’s feels like a family gathering where you get to find out what’s happening with everyone, a sneak peak into the relationships and lives of those you care about.

Primarily focused on Lucas and Dylan,the story takes place in the lead up to Christmas. Lucas wants Dylan to experience the full joy of family at Christmas but his interfering causes a bit of a (very short lived) rift between him and Dylan. As with any couple, these guys do have issues they need to work through but they love each other enough to talk it out. Plus have really fabulous make-up sex! Finding some old photos and letters that document a secret relationship from the 30s/40s, also reinforces how lucky they are to live in an age where they are relatively free to love each other.

There are some small peaks of Jamie & Edward and Adam & Scott, although not enough to really satisfy my curiosity about these couples. The addition of Tasha and Liam plus a cute little stray dog completes the family feel.

What I would love to see now is a full length books with the story of Alfie and Peter. There was so much left unsaid about this couple and I am totally intrigued to learn more about their love story, to find out who Alfie was and what really happened with him and Peter.

❅❅❅❅❅❅❅

To find out more about RJ Scott and her books visit her website.

To find out more about Meredith Russell and her books visit her website.

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Blog Tour, Excerpt and Giveaway! Final Exam by K.C. Wells

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Final Exam

(Learning to Love #4)

by

K.C. Wells

Cover Artist: Paul Richmond

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Blurb:

One house, three couples, and one year left until their final exams….

 

Evan and Daniel want to take their D/s relationship to the next level. When Daniel suggests conducting a little research at a BDSM club, Evan is more than up for it. Trouble is, one of their housemates isn’t happy about this.

 

Finances tighten for new couple Josh and Chris. Wanting to ease some of the pressure on Chris, Josh starts as an agency nurse. But tackling a heavy workload at medical school and working late-shifts leaves little time for the couple. Something’s gotta give.

 

In Spain, Sean was diagnosed as suffering from migraines. But after the medications have no effect and he starts suffering from other complaints, he decides to get a second opinion without telling Michael. When Michael finds out, Sean’s usually laid-back husband’s reaction shocks everyone. But Michael needs to get his head sorted fast, because Sean needs his strength.

 

As their school career comes to a close and the one person who holds them all together starts to fall apart, the final exam is a true test of friendship.

 

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Excerpt:

SEAN WAS getting really fed up with his housemates.

Ever since he and Michael had got back from Spain, the four men had turned into mother hens. Sean was constantly aware of them watching him. At least, it felt like they were. When he’d brought it up, Michael had said he was imagining things, but then again, Michael was guilty of the same thing in Sean’s book. He knew Michael was keeping a close eye on him. Sean hadn’t said a word. These days, he didn’t trust himself to do so without biting Michael’s head off, and that was the last thing he wanted to do.

Okay, so I’ve had a few migraines. Why the scrutiny all the time?

He loved his housemates to bits, but recently he’d found himself snapping at them on occasion, and that just wasn’t like him. He could see the same thought in Michael’s eyes and that hurt. He hated it when Michael worried, especially if he was the cause.

He wanted to scream at them all.

Look, I’m fine! It’s just a few fucking HEADACHES, that’s all!

He wouldn’t, of course, tempting though the idea was. And besides, there was that tiny voice in his head that wouldn’t go away.

What if it’s more than just headaches? What if there’s something else wrong?

At first he’d pushed the thought aside. He’d been to the doctors in Spain, hadn’t he? The doc had been perfectly happy with his diagnosis of migraines

Only now the headaches were occurring more regularly, which was worrisome. The fact that his bloody pills were useless wasn’t helping either.

Then DO something. Get another opinion.

Now that made sense.

Sean picked up his phone and scrolled through his contacts to the clinic where he and Michael got tested every few months.

The sooner he got this sorted, the happier he’d be. And maybe then his housemates would stop mothering him.

He listened for a moment. Michael was downstairs in the kitchen with Chris, Evan, and Daniel. Josh was at the hospital. If Michael knew he was making an appointment, he’d only worry even more.

So that meant only one course of action—Sean wasn’t going to tell him. He’d go see another doctor, see if there were any tests they could run, and maybe get some medication that actually worked. He glanced at the notice board where his and Michael’s timetables were pinned. Being on the same course had its drawbacks, especially if he wanted to book an appointment when Michael wouldn’t be around. The only time available was when Michael saw his personal tutor. At least the clinic was on campus, but he might have to book it a week or two in advance to be sure of getting the slot he wanted.

And if he were completely honest, Sean was starting to get concerned. He rarely got sick, he ate healthily—Michael made sure of that—he didn’t smoke, and his alcohol intake amounted to a couple of glasses of wine per week. So putting up with headaches was pissing him off.

Make the call, Sean. While Michael’s not in earshot.

Sighing, he pressed Connect.

What did we think?

I’ve always enjoyed this series so have a definite soft spot for the characters. This is one of those books that really feels like it has been written for the fans. The series has followed the journey of three couples who share the same house. This book, gives us a little something about everyone so if you have a favourite couple, you’ll get to spend more time with them here.

As with the earlier books, the story has some drama – in this case, I saw this one coming :) – plus lots of loving. This is the  sweet and supportive kind of loving with lots of sex thrown in! Things wrap up nicely for the characters and you get a definite sense that these guys are all going to be okay.

There’s some nice cross-over with K.C. Wells other series which is a nice touch for fans of those series too (Collars & Cuffs + Love Lessons Learned). You can find other reviews for books from these series on the blog.

If you enjoyed the earlier books in the series, you’ll really enjoy this one.

Giveaway:

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Click here or the image to enter the Rafflecopter

Rafflecopter Prize: Copy of the series when the final book comes out

 

 

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Sales Links:

E-Book: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5346

Paperback: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5347

 

Author Bio:

Born and raised in the north-west of England, K.C.Wells always loved writing. Words were important. Full stop. However, when childhood gave way to adulthood, the writing ceased, as life got in the way.

K.C. discovered erotic fiction in 2009, where the purchase of a ménage storyline led to the startling discovery that reading about men in love was damn hot. In 2012, arriving at a really low point in life led to the desperate need to do something creative. An even bigger discovery waited in the wings – writing about men in love was even hotter…

K.C. now writes full-time and is loving every minute of her new career.

The laptop still has no idea of what hit it… it only knows that it wants a rest, please. And it now has to get used to the idea that where K.C goes, it goes.

To see more of K.C.’s titles, click here

Author Contact:

K.C. can be reached via email (k.c.wells@btinternet.com), on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/KCWellsWorld) or through comments at the K.C.Wells website (www.kcwellsworld.com ) K.C. loves to hear from readers.

 

Tour Stops:

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Tour Dates/Stops:

8/25: Reviews and Ramblings
8/26: Wake Up Your Wild Side
8/27: Prism Book Alliance
8/28: Hearts on Fire
8/29: Parker Williams
9/1: Jade Crystal
9/2: Angel Martinez
9/3: Amanda C. Stone
9/4: Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words
9/5: Love Bytes
9/8: Regular Guys, Hot Romance, Sinfully Sexy
9/9: MM Good Book Reviews, Because Two Men Are Better Than One, Rainbow Gold Reviews
9/10: LeAnn’s Book Reviews
9/11: Cate Ashwood, Dawn’s Reading Nook, Cathy Brockman Romances
9/12: Velvet Panic
9/15: My Fiction Nook
9/16: 3 Chicks After Dark, ATiffyFit’s Reading Corner
9/17: Fallen Angel Reviews
9/18: SA McAuley
9/19: Iyana Jenna, Inked Rainbow Reads

 

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Embracing His Syn by A.E. Via – Includes ★★★★½ star review!

Don’t forget to check out the Book Trailer!

#1 EMBRACING HIS SYN - MASTERCOPY

 EMBRACING HIS SYN

by A.E. Via

M/M GAY EROTIC CONTEMPORARY

Cover Artist – Princess SO

WORD COUNT – 107,160

Release Date: July 30, 2014

The Blurb…

Sergeant Corbin ‘Syn’ Sydney had dedicated his life to becoming the best detective. So when he heard there was an opening on the notorious Atlanta Narcotics Task Force, he jumped at the chance. But, what he wasn’t ready for was realizing just how lonely he’d made himself, when he observed the loving and dedicated relationship between the two men he served under: Lieutenant Cashel ‘God’ Godfrey and Lieutenant Leonidis Day.

Syn prepared himself to accept his lonely fate until he walked into a small pub and met the long-haired, tattooed bartender, Furious Barkley. Before Syn can even understand why, he’s overcome with feelings he barely recognizes: passion, yearning, craving. And if the dark, lustful gazes are anything to go by, Furious might be feeling the same things for him.

Just two thing needs to happen before Syn and Furi can give each other what’s been missing from their lives for so long… Syn needs to find the evidence that proves Furi’s innocence of murder, as well as protect him from a past that refuses to let go.
God, Day, Ronowski, and Johnson are still as entertaining as ever…

You’ll swoon over God’s massive take-charge attitude…

You’ll laugh hysterically at Day’s never-ending wit…

You’ll fall in love with Furious’ mysterious, sexy demeanor…

and…

You’ll embrace Syn…

Disclaimer: This book DOES NOT contain polygamous sexual pairings.

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Excerpt 

“Uh oh. Stranger danger.”

Syn looked behind him but no one was there.

“I mean you. You just gonna stand there and stare, man?” Furious raised his head and turned slowly, pinning Syn with a hot glance.

“Name’s –”

“Yeah. I know your name, you told me already.” Furious cut him off. “Your cologne will give you away every time.”

Syn stepped a little closer. “Does it smell that bad?”

“Nope. Smells that good,” he said on an exhale of smoke.

Syn unintentionally let a small smile creep up on him. Now that he had approached Furi, he was at a complete loss as to what to say or do. He had absolutely no idea why he was approaching this man … any man. Furious’ eyes were as dark as night, his eyelashes dark and long, just brushing his cheek when he looked down. Syn looked his fill, while Furious watched him curiously.

“I like your ink,” Syn blurted out, cringing a bit when it came out a little louder than he planned. “The stars are pretty cool.”

Furious took a deep inhale of his cigarette, blew the smoke out through his nose and flicked the butt into the street. He rose up off the back of the bench standing to his full height, perhaps six-one. “You know what people assume about a person when they have star tattoos, don’t you?” Furious held his eye contact.

“I’ve heard some things. Not one to believe everything I hear though.”

“Is that right?”

Syn scrunched his eyebrows not knowing where Furious was going with this – hell, where he was going with this.

“You waiting on the bus?”

“You got it, genius. How’d you ever guess that?”

“You’re a real smart ass … and the name’s Syn. I thought I’d keep you company while you wait … maybe even offer you a ride.” Syn’s face was tight as he spoke. Why the hell did everyone have to be so fucking sarcastic all the time?

“Oh really.” Furious tucked his ear buds inside his jacket and ran his hand through his hair. “Why the hell would you offer me a ride?”

“Why wouldn’t I? You obviously need one. I’m just trying to be friendly.” Syn stepped closer and he heard a slight catch in Furious’ breath.

“I’m good, man. I got a ride.”

Syn turned when he heard the diesel engine of the MARTA bus pulling over to stop.

“I could drop you off, it’s no big deal.” Syn shrugged as if it really didn’t matter. Oh, but it did.

Why the hell am I trying so hard?

“I’m good. Besides, I don’t ride with strangers.”

The bus’s air brakes were loud as it came to a stop and the automatic doors opened.

“Say it,” Syn snapped suddenly.

Furious turned to look at him from the stairs of the bus. “Say what?”

“My name, damnit.”

“Why?” Furious almost whispered.

“Because, I want to hear it from your mouth.” Syn’s voice had gone gravelly. He was being honest. He did want to hear it. Now. Later. And ten octaves higher ricocheting off his bedroom walls. Hell.

“No,” Furious replied, turned, and got on the bus.

For some reason, Syn watched as his new, enigmatic friend paid his fare and settled himself in the back on the far side of the bus. Furious never looked in his direction, but Syn kept hoping he would as the driver pulled the large vehicle back into traffic.

 

Our review

Yep it’s official Ms. A.E. Via is fast becoming an author who’s work I enjoy reading.  This was a nice follow up to “Nothing Special”.  Embracing His Syn has just the right mix of action along with smexy, and a nice dose of humor…I loved Syn and Furi; damn even their names are hot!

Furi is in the process of rebuilding his life after leaving an abusive marriage.  Part of that rebuilding requires some supplemental income in the form of working as an on-line porn star.  Which is fine until he meets Sargent Syn and his fellow male porn co-workers start dying.

Syn has just transferred to the elite narco squad in Atlanta.  While trying to pin down the dealer distributing X laced with rohypnol he meets that tatted up bartender at his local pub.  Not only does things start off shaky for him with his new squad, he can’t seem to catch a break with Furi no matter how hard he tries.

Yeah this story is a little insta-lust/inta-love but with a build up.  Our MC’s don’t jump into bed right away and start declaring their undying love within the first couple of chapters; it does take some time but once it starts it’s like BAM!!!

Ok so there is a murder to solve, a drug dealer to stop and a super crazy ex-husband to deal with all while trying to figure out…is this one.  I love it; I like action, suspense with a hot smexy love story thrown in the mix.

Some things I loved, the dialogue between the characters and one of my  favorite lines, after Day and God continuously “break in” into Syn’s apartment:

“You don’t invite the wind. The wind just -”. “Stop saying that stupid wind bullshit.  Because if your door is shut and you weather guard that bitch then the wind stays the fuck out until…You. Open. The. Door.”

The other thing I loved about this story was God and Day were in it just enough to make me happy…why because Day is funny as hell and God…well damn he’s just sexy as all get out. Ro and Johnson are in this story too!

I’m so glad the terms baby, sweetheart, and honey weren’t over used in this story…but I did have some ugh, really moments…Mostly centered around geography; the Missouri River is nowhere near Atlanta (it’s the Chattahoochee River), and Savannah is more than a twenty to thirty minute drive down the road (more like three hours) I’m sure these oversights were done more so for romantic affect but it rubbed by the wrong way.

Over all I loved the story and look forward to more from this writer and this series.

Bookjunkie xx

 

About the author

A.E. Via is still a fairly new best-selling author in the beautiful gay erotic genre. Her writing embodies everything from spicy to scandalous. Her stories often include intriguing edges and twists that take readers to new, thought-provoking depths.

When she’s not clicking away at her laptop, A.E. runs a very successful paralegal-for-hire business, and in her spare time, she devotes herself to her family—a husband and four children, her two pets, a Maltese dog and her white Siamese cat, ELynn, named after the late, great gay romance author E. Lynn Harris.

While this is only her fourth novel, she has plenty more to come. So sit back and grab a cool drink, because the male on male action is just heating up!

Go to A.E. Via’s official website http://authoraevia.com for more detailed information on how to contact her, follow her, or a sneak peak on upcoming work, free reads, and where she’ll appear next.

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Author Official Website: http://authoraevia.com

E. Bloghttp://authoraevia.com/blog—fabulous-authors—new-and-noteworthy.html

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/aeviaauthor

Facebook (Friend me)https://www.facebook.com/authoraevia

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorAEVia

Amazon Author Pagehttp://www.amazon.com/A.-E.-Via/e/B00GMNMS4U/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

Goodreads Author Pagehttps://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7354860.A_E_Via

E. Author Gift Shophttp://authoraevia.com/a.e.-via-gift-shop.html

Buy Links

Amazon

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All Romance

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★★★★ Between the Shadow and the Soul by Jamie Craig ★★★★

 

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Between the Shadow and the Soul

by

Jamie Craig

Publisher – Amber Allure

The blurb

 

Ryan Jackson doesn’t expect too much from his weekend at the Shadows and Souls fan convention in Tahoe—he wants to meet his online friends, engage in a few heated debates about the plot for the upcoming season, and maybe shake the hand of the TV show’s star, Johnny Marlowe. But his weekend goes off course almost immediately after his arrival. First, the hotel loses his booking. Then Johnny Marlowe talks to him like they’re actual friends. And while his head is still spinning, a ghost attacks him in the elevator.
Despite fighting ghosts every week on television, Johnny Marlowe does not believe in the spirit world. He does, however, believe he should get to know Ryan better. Fan or not, the man is not only gorgeous, he’s down-to-earth, fun, and makes Johnny forget about the fake life he’s forced to lead and the ex-boyfriend who refused to participate in the charade. Unfortunately, every time Johnny tries to get close to the handsome ginger, something explodes or the earth shakes or lights blink out—and none of that is as sexy as it sounds.
Johnny doesn’t believe in ghosts, but he knows he has to get to the bottom of this haunting if he ever wants to get close to his biggest fan.

Our thoughts

 

Ryan is a big fan of the TV show Shadows and Souls and has been looking forward to ShadowCon for months. He’ll get to meet all the friends he’s made with the fans online and hopefully get to at least shake hands with the beautiful star of the show, Johnny Marlowe. When he arrives at the convention, he finds that the hotel has lost his reservation and of course they’re booked up for the weekend. But things immediately take a turn for the better when Johnny overhears Ryan’s predicament and offers him his extra room.

Johnny was looking forward to this weekend too. His show had been picked up for a second season and he was excited to meet the fans.  Not only that, he also had planned to spend time with his boyfriend at the beautiful hotel on Lake Tahoe. Unfortunately, Johnny no longer has a boyfriend which is why he has the extra room. His now ex was no longer willing to stay in the closet with Johnny.  What better way to distract himself from being lonely than by sharing a room next door to a big, handsome ginger. And even if Ryan isn’t gay at least he’s great eye candy.

But when these two start to explore their attraction things start to get really weird. Seems the hotel is haunted and the ghosts don’t like it when Ryan and Johnny start to get hot and heavy. Johnny may hunt ghosts on TV he has no idea how to deal with them in real life but he has to do something if he wants to get to know Ryan.

I really liked this story. It was fun and funny and Ryan is completely adorable. It’s short, so there’s not a lot of relationship development or background but it’s a sweet and hot beginning. They may only be together for a weekend but I really did feel the connection between them. The mystery with the ghosts was a bit predictable but I didn’t mind. I enjoyed the ride.

**Copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.**

Otila x

 

 

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Blog tour, Excerpt and Giveaway! The Last Wolf by Sue Brown

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 The Last Wolf

(Sapphire Ranch Wolves – #1)

by

Sue Brown

The Blurb…

The only good predator is a dead one, as far as Joe Lowther is concerned.

That is until the day he shoots a wolf, only to watch the animal turn into a naked Callum Pope. Cal is being hunted by a group of humans who eradicate shifter packs for sport.

Joe makes a decision to help Cal and discovers a deeper connection with the young shifter. One which he’d like to explore. If they live that long.

 

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Excerpt…

“You need a doctor to get the bullet out or the wound will get infected.”

“Wolf. Don’t… need… a doctor.” The boy gasped as he tried to get the words out.

“Don’t be fucking ridiculous. You’ve got a bullet inside you.”

The man sounded so young. Joe looked at him closely for the first time and mentally downgraded him from man to boy. Joe was twenty-eight. This kid looked barely old enough to scratch his own ass, so smooth and slim Joe was pretty sure he could easily span his waist with both his hands.

“We’ve got to get the bullet out or…” Joe didn’t finish the sentence, figuring the boy was smart enough to know what he meant.

The boy flopped weakly back onto the dirt. “It’s already out.”

“What?”

“Bullet. Out.” He fumbled around by his side.

Confused, Joe pushed the boy’s fingers away and searched in the same area. His fingers closed around a wet, sharp object. Joe squinted at the mangled bullet in his palm. How the hell had the boy managed to get the bullet out?

“Hurts.” The boy let out a groan.

 

 Giveaway…

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 Win a $15 ARe or Amazon Gift Voucher (winner’s choice)

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Buy Link

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Connect with Sue

https://www.facebook.com/suebrownstories?fref=ts
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mailto:suebrown.stories@gmail.com
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https://www.goodreads.com/sue_brown

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McFarland’s Farm by Cardeno C

Here’s a little sneak peak at McFarland’s Farm, the first book in the new Hope series, by Cardeno C.

The book releases on 10th September but is available for preorder now.

McFarland's Farm

Here’s the book trailer

And here are some little teasers!

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Buy Links

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About the Author

Cardeno C. – CC to friends – is a hopeless romantic who wants to add a lot of happiness and a few “awwws” into a reader’s day. Writing is a nice break from real life as a corporate type and volunteer work with gay rights organizations. Cardeno’s stories range from sweet to intense, contemporary to paranormal, long to short, but they always include strong relationships and walks into the happily-ever-after sunset.

Heartwarming Stories. Strong Relationships. Forever Love.

Website: www.cardenoc.com

Blog: (Shared Blog) http://caferisque.blogspot.com/

Twitter: @CardenoC

FB Profile: http://www.facebook.com/CardenoC

FB Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Carde…

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcd9…

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/ca…more