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GIVEAWAY: Perihelion by Tami Vendura

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Blurb:

Kato Ozark, crown prince and soldier, has just been chosen to pilot his family’s queenship. He’s trained his entire life for this honor, but it comes with a catch. It seems that First Engineer Mas’ud Tavana has also been chosen as the queen’s pilot. Mas’ud has no formal training, and they both believe a mistake has been made. But when an attack on a distant Ozark queen forces them to work together, it’s clear their minds are better as one than apart.

They might even go on a proper date. Through mission briefings and politically required offspring, the mental link their queenship forges between them only grows stronger. Within this bond they find strength in each other. Then a rogue AI attacks their ship, ripping the queen open to the core. The two pilots feel it all; the assault destroys their connection and tears them adrift into open space.

Kato and Mas’ud wake up in the medical bay of a rival family with no memory of their queenship or each other. Hailed as a war hero, Kato retrains as a kingship pilot, preparing to defend Earth against the AI. Mas’ud, dismissed as permanently broken, struggles to rediscover his own truth.

Their queenship is out there, waiting for her pilots to come home. The future of their family depends on it.

Content Warnings: Violence

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This story was written for the MM Romance Goodreads Group Love is an Open Road event.

What Is Love is an Open Road?

An extension of the Don’t Read in the Closet event from the M/M Romance Group at Goodreads.com, the event is a collection of free M/M short stories, novellas and novels. These stories were written by authors/members of the GoodReads M/M Romance group, for the 2015 Love is an Open Road event. They are based on photographs and prompts provided by members of the same group.

GIVEAWAY

Giveaway: Runs until 4/10, 3 prizes

Click here to enter the Rafflecopter

Download links:

You can download your copy from the MM Romance Group site at:

Perihelion by Tami Veldura ♥

If you would prefer to support the author, you can purchase a copy:

Amazon: [universal link]

AllRomanceEbooks: [link]

Barnes & Noble: [link]

Apple iTunes: [link]

Kobo: [link]

Scribd: [link]

24 Symbols: [link]

Smashwords: [link]

About the Author

Tami Veldura bio picTami Veldura is a writer, reader, lover, and artist. She currently resides in sunny California. She writes queer science fiction, fantasy, steampunk, and YA fiction.

 

Website: www.tamiveldura.com
Goodreads: Tami Veldura
Twitter: @tamiveldura
Tumblr: tamiveldura
Instagram: tamiveldura
Patreon: Tami Veldura
Email: tamiveldura@gmail.com

 

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GUEST POST: Herc and Pyotr by Atom Yang

Herc & Pyotr COVER

Blurb

Herc thought he had the perfect life: a great partner and a meaningful career as a psychotherapist—until his partner left him a week ago and Herc became too depressed to see his clients. When a random meteorite punched a tidy hole in his car’s engine, it seemed like the world had it in for him, but bumping into Pyotr, the handsome older man who’s moved in a couple of doors down and happens to study things like falling stars, things might be looking up for Herc—and more may be falling than the skies in this light-hearted, apocalyptic romance.

Guest Post – Oh, for Namesake!

In high school, I remember learning how James Joyce named his protagonist in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man “Stephen Dedalus,” after the mythological hero Daedalus—a brilliant inventor who created wings to escape a labyrinth with his son, Icarus, who didn’t fare as well as his father because he flew too close to the sun and melted his wings, leading him to fall to his death. Joyce’s previous choice for a surname had been “Hero.”

This had a huge influence on me, as I had been asked since I could answer about my real name by people who assumed that my name in English was some pseudonym (trust me, it isn’t and it’s on my birth certificate), and that I had a Chinese name full of deep meaning compared to their names which they believed had long become devoid of any meaning. Even if “Christopher” meant “Christ-Bearer,” my Western friends were more likely to have been given the name because their parents liked it, or maybe a relative had it (so it had sentimental but not etymological meaning).

It seems funny that their fascination with my Chinese name (which is Romanized and used as my middle name) probably made a few of them decide to tattoo their bodies with Chinese characters in some grammatically incorrect way in their adulthood, because it had more meaning than the English word for “peace.” Or it looked cooler (I think the word is actually exotic.)

Anyway, my point is that, after having been asked what my name(s) meant, or why I was given my English name, it was refreshing to see someone like James Joyce of the Western canon pay attention to the importance of names in his stories, and the act of naming as a novelist.

When I wrote my latest book, Herc & Pyotr, I picked names that would resonate with fans of disaster movies, as the story took place within MLR Press’s Storming Love series of disaster romances.

Knowing that I’d have to write about meteors made my mind jump immediately to that lovely piece of cinema known as Meteor (released in 1979 and a co-production of American International Pictures and the legendary Shaw Brothers of Hong Kong)—the two missile systems used to destroy the eponymous meteor were called Hercules (United States) and Peter the Great (USSR). Incidentally, the movie was inspired by research at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) about meteors hitting Earth called “Project Icarus,” because asteroids and such can be pulled into the sun’s orbit, and on their way down, crash into planets like ours. Even scientists have a flare for mythological nomenclature.

In my story, I did go with the Russian spelling of Pyotr in English (did that make sense?), and shortened Hercules’ name, which I think makes it more fun for readers who enjoy discovering “Easter eggs” or hidden references in a story (and there are plenty in my work). See if you catch the nod to U2’s song, “Until the End of the World,” from Wim Wenders’s film, Until the End of the World.

The other notable appellation in Herc & Pyotr is Nestori. It’s the Finnish version of “Nestor,” who was one of Hercules’ best friends. With Nestori named, and the inclusion of a Russian-American character, it wasn’t long before I decided on the cultural context for my story, and after much research and interviewing, I learned a lot about Finnish, Swedish, and Russian culture, especially how they adapted to being in the States.

Names have magic, and so does the act of naming. When I write, I never take lightly what I and my readers will call the characters, because I want the experience of my stories to be encompassing and meaningful, from the punctuation on the page to the name of each person.

I had a writing teacher once accuse me of being a puzzle-maker like Joyce and not like her hero and master of minimalism, Raymond Carver, who was straightforward. I’d like to think that my stories work on different levels, and of myself as a wrapper of gifts rather than a creator of mazes. However, even if I were to create mazes, riddles, and puzzles—I seem to remember those things as being fun.

And “Raymond” means “King of the World.” Add that to “Carver” and you have a really interesting name!

Excerpt

Chapter One

I took care of my car.

Regular maintenance, oil changes, carwashes–the works. I figured I’d sell it one day, and I didn’t want it to have a scratch or a sticker to drop its value, let alone anything wrong mechanically. Everything worked on it–the power windows, radio, CD player…until today.

“Great,” I said, staring at the fist-sized hole in the hood. I clicked my key fob and turned off the alarm. A few of the neighbors came out and turned off their car alarms, too, that had been set off by the very loud boom that shook all of our windows early this spring morning.

“Jeez, Herc, what happened?” Nestori, my friend and neighbor down the way, stood there with his blond bed head, rubbing the sleep from his eyes. He wore a rumpled white tee, sweatpants, and socks–we were dressed alike except I had slippers. Maybe I appeared as lost as he did. Or worse, since I hadn’t changed my clothes since the beginning of the week.

“I don’t know.” I gawked at the smoking hole. “Lightning?” I pieced together the evidence I had, and only came up with a timeline that started with a crash, followed by my car alarm, then a couple of minutes later the aforementioned boom, and finally the other cars being triggered. “A frozen turd from an airplane?”

“Are you serious? Holy shit.”

“Ha ha.”

“What?” His golden eyebrows crinkled together, and then he grinned. “Oh.”

“To be fair, it did fall from the sky.” Everybody huddled closer to peer into the puncture. “I don’t know. I don’t even know who I should call about this.”

“What about Jason?”

Nestori’s innocent question should’ve felt like a sucker punch, but the numbness from seeing my killed car protected me. “He left last week. We’re not together anymore.”

“Bro. Why didn’t you say anything?”

Because you would’ve wanted to get me drunk and laid.

“I would’ve totally come over with a bottle of Jack and helped you get some D, man.”

“So that’s why I haven’t seen him jogging for a while.” Pihla, the widow who lived across the street, had the perkiest personality–and breasts–in our neighborhood. “I thought he left on a business trip.” She wore a pink satin robe over a pink nightie with matching pink slippers. A small, thin, gold cross on a gold chain stuck out sideways from her cleavage and wobbled back and forth, unable to rest flat. Her son, Sami, clung to her leg, his head just above her knee, avoiding eye contact like some toddlers do. This suburban Madonna in pink held a mug of expensive coffee I could smell and envy from where I stood, and rested her French manicured hand on her shy boy’s head. By the way she had batted her eyes at Jason during block parties, or how she happened to pick up the morning paper from her driveway when he’d jog past, I always thought she had a crush on my partner.

Ex. I meant ex-partner.

“Yeah, he didn’t leave on a business trip. He just left me.” I wondered if I died inside my home from choking on a chicken bone while eating, single and alone, how long it would take for my neighbors to notice my dead, bachelor body. I thought I smelled something funny, one would say a week later. Jeez, what happened? another would ask. Who the hell cares? my ghost would spell out on a Ouija board, life sucks.

“Meteorite,” said a faintly accented voice from the crowd. Slavic, I would guess.

“Whoa! You think a meteor hit Herc’s car?” Nestori asked. “How do you know?”

Meteorite,” the voice gently corrected. “It’s a meteorite when it lands. I saw everything as I was jogging this morning.”

“Meteorite,” I mumbled. My geek brain fetched a personal wiki page from when I wrote a report in sixth grade about asteroids crashing into Earth and destroying all life, because I’ve always been a cheery person. The word disaster” comes from the Italian disastro, meaning “ill-starred event.”

Why couldn’t it have been a pretty shooting star that vaporized all sparkly in the atmosphere, so I could make a wish? Instead, it’d dropped a deuce on my perfectly maintained car.

The hole in the hood gaped back at me, and I thought about the day Jason left. He had requested I park on the street instead of in the garage, so he’d be able to get his things out of the house without too much trouble.

I should make a wish anyway.

Something realistic, not like true love and a happy-ever-after ending with a handsome, emotionally intelligent man, because that obviously doesn’t happen. How about a nice pair of shoes? Good shoes are more reliable than men.

“I’m sorry this happened,” the voice said, this time to my left. “There have been worldwide reports of meteor strikes over the past few weeks.”

I turned and came eye to eye with the concerned face of a middle-aged man only slightly taller than me. He wore a red baseball cap and his black hair, lined with a few strands of gray, escaped his hat around his ears and a little over his forehead. His color-coordinated stubble, speckled with silver, defined a square jaw and framed full lips. Perspiration darkened his loose, gray shirt, forming something like a Rorschach inkblot in the center of his defined chest. Despite the smell of engine oil and gasoline coming from my mortally wounded car, the scent of his clean sweat cut through and woke me from my daze.

“Hi, I’m Pyotr. I moved here last week.” He offered me a firm handshake and a smile, and returned to surveying the damage to my car, his hands on his hips. “You should probably call your insurance and not your ex. I work from home a few days a week, so if you need a ride, let me know? I live down the street.” He started running lightly in place. His feet were bare, which I hadn’t noticed.

“Thanks for the offer…Pee-yo-ter. I may take you up on it.”

“Please do.” Pyotr smiled again, nodded a succinct farewell, and trotted off.

“Yeah, if you need a ride…” Nestori and a few neighbors offered, but I didn’t pay attention.

I was busy making an unrealistic wish. And it wasn’t for shoes.

Buy Links

Amazon (http://amzn.to/25p9y9q)

Goodreads (http://bit.ly/1XU17gC)

All Romance Ebooks (http://bit.ly/1UBetB4)

MLR Press (http://bit.ly/1Uf5EMA)

About the Author

Atom Yang PICAtom was born to Chinese immigrant parents who thought it’d be a hoot to raise him as an immigrant, too–so he grew up estranged in a familiar land, which gives him an interesting perspective. He’s named after a Japanese manga (comic book) character, in case you were wondering.

SOCIAL MEDIA:

Website: http://AtomYang.com (Facebook author page)

Twitter: http://twitter.com/MightyAtomYang

Goodreads: http://goodreads.com/AtomYang

Instagram: http://instagram.com/MightyAtomYang

YouTube: http://bit.ly/1YbAvIn

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EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY: Men in Uniform Anthology

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Title: Men in Uniform
Authors: Eric Gober, CJ Baty, Alina Popescu, Kassandra Lea, Asta Idonea, Eddy LeFey, Lily Velden, Jim Dunaway, Carol Pedroso, Jo Tannah
Genre:  Gay Romance, Military, Contemporary, Fantasy, Mystery, Science Fiction
Publisher: Wayward Ink Publshing

Synopsis

Like your boys in blue keeping the… peace?

Hot firemen dealing with… heat?

Naval Officers getting in way too… deep?

Perhaps you have a ‘thing’ for marines…

Or do you prefer your Men In Uniform to belong in the future?

Another galaxy?

Another time?

Wherever your love of a uniform leads you, MEN IN UNIFORM has something for you.

Men In Uniform Cover

Excerpt

Issue No. 1 by Eric Gober

Uh oh, the LAPD, America’s baddest badasses. No one was faster than their speeding bullets. Or able to bend their reinforced steel cuffs with bare hands. They tolerated no nonsense from superheroes or Toontown denizens. Superman, Batman, Spiderman, and Yosemite Sam had all been herded off Hollywood Boulevard, absolutely powerless in the force’s Kryptonite shackles. I was certain I was next. They were going to haul me down to the station, where they’d snap pictures while I posed, and I wouldn’t get paid a dime. My poor kisser was going to end up in their humiliating comic book of superhero mug shots. Alphabetically speaking, I’d occupy the panel between Bizarro and Doctor Strange. That sucked. I wanted to be sandwiched between superherodom’s hottest blonds.

“Aquaman and Flash Gordon,” I muttered.

“Oh, poor Cap!” Snow White lamented. “You’re not thinking straight!”

“Move along, folks.”

Whoa, who belonged to that sexy voice? I looked over my shoulder as the crowd around me dispersed. Beyond the batty bongo player, I beheld the most fetching man ever to wear LAPD’s midnight blue. He filled out that stretch-nylon uniform better than Magic Mike could have, his badge gleamed like an Oscar caught in a 20th Century Fox searchlight, and the holstered gun barrel resting stiff on his thigh was much longer than Dirty Harry’s. I eyed the piece cautiously. His chamber was fully loaded and ready to fire, I presumed.

He knelt and gently placed a hand on my uniform. “How are you feeling, buddy?”

I glanced at his golden nametag. “A little foolish, Officer Buck. TMZ’s about to tell the world I got my butt kicked by Cookie Monster.”

“We got a statement from the woman whose phone you saved. What you did was heroic.”

I gazed into his warm gray eyes and sensed he wasn’t being ironic. Then I noticed a deep scar on his left ear. Had a villain gashed him with a knife? I looked away, feeling more foolish. “It was nothing really, compared to what you do. Were you able to catch them?”

Buy Links

Don’t miss WIP’s Christmas Sale – 30% off all titles till December 24th!

WIP: http://www.waywardinkpublishing.com/product/men-in-uniform-a-wayward-ink-publishing-anthology/
ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-meninuniformawaywardinkpublishinganthology-1939285-166.html
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Men-Uniform-Wayward-Publishing-Anthology-ebook/dp/B018VB6HJW/
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Men-Uniform-Wayward-Publishing-Anthology-ebook/dp/B018VB6HJW/
Amazon AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/Men-Uniform-Wayward-Publishing-Anthology-ebook/dp/B018VB6HJW/
Amazon DE: http://www.amazon.de/Men-Uniform-Wayward-Publishing-Anthology-ebook/dp/B018VB6HJW/

Book Trailer

Stories Included

IssueNo.1

Issue No. 1

ERIC GOBER

Come to a land…

Where epic battles rage…

Among monsters, superheroes, and a very sexy cop.

Love and war are funny business in Hollywood, U.S.A.

PinkertonManThe Pinkerton Man

CJ BATY

A blackmailer forced Stiles to leave his perfect life behind.

Along the way, he found a new friend, a job as a Pinkerton Agent, and murder.

Can Stiles find the murderer before he kills again?

ProtectTheExMission: Protect the Ex

ALINA POPESCU

Sean never thought his military career would ever have him babysitting his ex who Sean hasn’t seen in six months.

When best friend Tom finds out his younger brother Aiden is targeted, Sean drops everything to protect the man he still loves.

Can two former lovers survive a weekend alone in the woods, or will the threat from within be more devastating than the one from outside?

SparkInTheShadowsA Spark in the Shadows

KASSANDRA LEA

Love beckons Officer Warden Brooks to the shadows of a desolate place.

But his lover Tate Eldridge is so much more than a criminal, he’s a beautiful mystery.

 

HHHHHis Heart Held Hostage

ASTA IDONEA

When his father loses the battle against Hrafnaheim, Prince Darius finds himself a political prisoner.

Taken in chains to a dark and unfamiliar land, he begins to lose hope.

But then Captain Morten Gunnarsson of the Palace Guards is assigned to watch over him.

Now it is not just Darius’ body being held hostage, but also his heart.

EmperorsSlaveThe Emperor’s Slave

EDDY LEFEY

When the Draaduuri arrived on Earth many humans died.

Captain Timothy Kellerman’s family was among them

Now, a truce has been struck. He is the prize.

Crown Prince Yuuhaan has instantly bonded with his slave.

Can the prince keep his baser instincts in check long enough for Timothy to transform?

To become the next great hope of the Draaduuri and the human race?

YesYesYesYes! Yes! Yes!

LILY VELDEN

Go to Portsmouth, said my friends. It’s quieter. You’ll be able to write without distraction.

They obviously hadn’t met my mysterious and elusive neighbour, Finn.…

After all, what would a Friday night be without hearing Moaner, Gusher, or Squeaker screaming out their joy at being shagged senseless by the obviously talented Finn?

Come to think of it, what would a Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday night be without it either?

Thank God for Mondays!

FirefighterMarineThe Firefighter and the Marine

JIM DUNAWAY

Apartment building fires are always tragic, even if everyone makes it out alive. But what happens when a person can’t make it out on their own?

Brave firefighters must risk their lives in order to rescue trapped people.

Lieutenant Kenny Whitfield is one such firefighter. Brave and somewhat reckless. 

Lance Corporal Steve Martinson is one such person in need.

When Kenny and Steve meet face to face in the hospital, well…

BlueKnightBlue Knight

CAROL PEDROSO

Franc has resigned himself to yet another year of pain and humiliation in order to complete his on ship training.

Then along comes Zyph, with his sexy blue skin and probing questions…

Will he be Franc’s Blue Knight?

RoyalGuardianThe Royal Guardian

JO TANNAH

Warrior and Dragon Seek to Destroy Those Who Had Dared Harm Their Prince.

 

Giveaway

Prize: $10 WIP Gift Card

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BLOG TOUR, EXCERPT AND GIVEAWAY! Off World by Jonah Bergan

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AboutTheBook

Off-World-Full-Front-CoverTitle: Off World

Author: Jonah Bergan

Publisher: Booktrope Publishing

Cover Artist: Michelle Fairbanks

Length: 240 Pages

Release Date: August 22, 2015

Blurb: What really brought Taine to that backwater little world? Taine’s a hunter. He’s a red-skinned, black-eyed Lowman by nature, and a hunter by trade. Some hunters work in flesh, others in secrets, and some few work to set right what’s been set wrong. It’s a big galaxy and there’s always plenty of work for a hunter like Taine, so you got to wonder, what with all that at his feet, what really brought Taine to that backwater little world?

Off-World is a M/M science fiction action/adventure set in F/M dominated space. The story takes place in an arm of the galaxy where slavery (sexual and otherwise) is legal and commonplace. Strictly speaking, it is not a BDSM novel in that consent is not a matter of concern for the characters, but those with an interest in BDSM should enjoy the story. Due to explicit content, Off-World is not recommended to readers under eighteen years of age.

CommonExcerpt

From Chapter Fourteen: Left in the Dust

Set-up: Taine has left the boys by the side of the road. He rode off to retrieve something he’d left behind at their last camp. Tanner has been uncomfortable with the way things were among them, so he takes this opportunity to set things right.

The man was gone, nothing left behind but the dust of his passage, so Tanner tugged on Sunshine’s leash, bringing the slave a step closer to him. “Time for us to set some things right,” Tanner said. “I don’t want no trouble from you, cause I’m not one for beatings, but if you make me, you’ll wish you hadn’t.”

Tanner set about untying the knots at Sunshine’s wrists, and Sunshine lowered his head. “Now quit that,” Tanner said, working at the knot. “I heard what you said before, about liking your leash, though only the Goddess knows what you like about it.”

“It makes me feel safe,” Sunshine said, his voice so low it was almost a whisper.

Tanner stopped working the knot and glared at Sunshine. “How the fuck does it make you feel safe?” he snapped. The boy cringed, but answered up quickly.

“Nobody can snatch me away,” he said in that same sad, soft voice.

Tanner shrugged, and resumed working at the knots. Given what had happened with Harlan and Johnny showing up to haul the flit back, that made some sense. “Don’t worry,” he said while he worked. “I’ll have you leashed up again in no time, but I’ll do it proper. I seen enough of slavers and their ways to know this here leash is for traveling. We ain’t traveling, so I’ll fix you up.”

The rope fell away, and Tanner let it fall to the ground. He stepped around, hefting his pack and had Sunshine slip his arms through the straps. He reached around the boy from the front, and pulled the thongs loosely around Sunshine’s chest and adjusted the clasps. He made sure the pack was properly secured—good and snug, so’s-not to slide and rub, as the horsemen say.

“There now,” Tanner said, patting the boy’s chest. “That’s more like it. Now we’ll just get that leash put right, and we can get to work.”

Tanner ran the rope around Sunshine’s neck, and knotted it so it wouldn’t slip and choke the boy. “This here’s a good leash for working,” Tanner said, testing that knot. “I seen men working their slaves in the orchards with leashes like this. Mostly, I expect, so they can carry, and haul, and so on.” He tested the knot again and nodded. He’d have rather been a horseman, he had a talent for it and a love of the beasts, but that profession was on the wane. No future in that, he remembered his mother saying. “Slaver is up-and-coming,” she’d said. “Given the witches and their ways, best we find you a place nearer the top of things, else you might land nearer the bottom.” She was right about that, of course.

The knot was good and sound, so Tanner set about wrapping and tying off the loose end. “Mother says there was a time when men didn’t enslave men,” he said as he worked, “but it’s been a fact for as long as I can remember. Now I guess them witches have a mind to change things, mostly since they don’t want men ownin’ nothin’ at all, but we’ll be off, and between the stars before all that comes to pass.”

Tanner took a step back and had a look at his handiwork. He nodded once, pleased with how Sunshine looked the part of a proper slave. He noted too, how by reference, with the boy all geared up correctly, it made him look and feel the part of a proper handler too. Now should anyone come along that road, witch or no witch, there’d be no question who was who, and what was what, in the camp they’d make.

“So,” Tanner said, “we’ll need kindling, and firewood, and I guess you know whose job it is to do all that, right?”

BuyLinks

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Barnes & Noble

AboutTheAuthor

Jonah Bergan is a freelance writer living in New England. His publishing credits include a ten part serial, multiple short stories, and a collection of anecdotal humor. He has also published MMORPG game reviews and content, hypnosis scripts, online user manuals, and advertising texts. Please visit jonahbergan.com to learn more about him.

|| Website & Blog || Facebook || Twitter || Google+ ||

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Winner’s Prize: A Paperback copy of “Off-World”.

Runner-up’s Prize: An e-copy of “Off-World”.

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TourSchedule

August 31:

Man2ManTastic

Multitasking Mommas Book Reviews

September 1:

World of Diversity Fiction

September 2:

Wicked Faeries Tales & Reviews

September 3:

Gay.Guy.Reading And Friends

September 4:

The Purple Rose Tea House

September 7:

Prism Book Alliance

September 8:

Cia’s Stories

September 9:

Drops of Ink

September 10:

Molly Lolly: Reader, Reviewer, Lover of Words

September 11:

Queer Sci-Fi

September 14:

MM Good Book Reviews

September 15:

Nautical Star Books

September 16:

Amanda C. Stone

September 17:

Love Bytes Reviews

September 18:

Sue Brown

September 21:

The Fuzzy, Fluffy World of Chris T. Kat

September 22:

Evelyn Shepherd

September 23:

Because Two Men Are Better Than One

Eyes on Books

September 24:

Divine Magazine

September 25:

Bayou Book Junkie

Inked Rainbow Reads

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Pride Publishing: Featured Authors

We are excited about the launch of Pride Publishing and to help celebrate their launch, will be introducing you to some of their fabulous authors each week. 

This week we feature best selling M/M authors TA Chase, Samantha Cayto, and SA Welsh.

Pride Publishing Blogger Launch_socialmedia_pride_0001_final

Who we are:

Pride Publishing delivers empowering, enchanting and endearing storylines that are sure to capture readers’ imaginations from start to finish. We are proud to be flying the flag for the GLBTQI community and providing a platform for readers and authors who are passionate about characters who identify as GLBTQI.

The Pride Team believe that quality is of utmost importance. We discover, cultivate and refine charismatic stories with fascinating plots and compelling characters from inspiring authors. The result is a truly enjoyable and captivating reading experience – the very best stimulation for the imagination.

 

TA Chase

Bio: There is beauty in every kind of love, so why not live a life without boundaries? Experiencing everything the world offers fascinates TA and writing about the things that make each of us unique is how she shares those insights. When not writing, TA’s watching movies, reading and living life to the fullest.

Social Media Links:

http://tachase.com/

https://twitter.com/TaChase

Check out this great book from TA Chase

Cold Truth:

coldtruth_800This is book three in the Delarosa Secrets series.

When the truth comes out, Victor and Bieito must decide how strong their love really is.

Victor Delarosa has been the head of the Delarosa cartel for most of his adult life, and Bieito Perez has been there by his side the entire way. Yet Victor has secrets he’s kept hidden, even from his long-time lover, and when those secrets show up on Victor’s doorstep, he struggles to find a way to explain while hoping he won’t lose Bieito.

Being Victor Delarosa’s right-hand man and his lover is difficult at times for Bieito Perez, but he wouldn’t have his life any other way—until the day he realizes Victor’s been keeping secrets and he has to re-evaluate their relationship.

Between dealing with a rival cartel, law enforcement and everything else being a drug lord requires, Victor and Bieito need to redefine their lives and find the courage to say the word ‘love’ out loud before it’s too late for anything other than goodbye.

Pride Publishing Blogger Launch_125X125_final

 

Samantha Cayto

Bio: Samantha Cayto is a Boston-area native who practices as a business lawyer by day while writing erotic romance at night—the steamier the better. She likes to push the envelope when it comes to writing about passion and is delighted other women agree that guy-on-guy sex is the hottest ever.

She lives a typical suburban life with her husband, three kids and four dogs. Her children don’t understand why they can’t read what she writes, but her husband is always willing to lend her a hand—and anything else—when she needs to choreograph a scene.

Social Media Links:

http://www.samanthacayto.com/

https://twitter.com/samanthacayto

https://www.facebook.com/samantha.cayto

Check out this great book from Samantha Cayto

The Captain’s Pet:

thecaptainspet_800This is book one in the Alien Slave Masters series.

When a distant planet’s ownership is in dispute, conquering aliens turn defiant human males into pampered sex slaves.

In a not-too-distant future, a lopsided war has led to aliens invading and occupying an Earth settlement. Wid is a young colonist who has been caught harassing the aliens. He and his friends are rounded up and sent to an alien warship patrolling the disputed space. His fate is to serve as a sex slave for the ship’s imposing captain. Wid, at first, fights against his enslavement, but soon learns that not only does he stand no chance against the much larger and stronger captain, he isn’t sure he even wants to.

Like all Travian males, Kell is bound by duty to defend his people. Having risen to the rank of captain, he nevertheless chafes against the boring and endless patrol of the space invaded by the humans. His misses his family and constantly guards against his scheming first officer. He sees his reward of a human sex slave as more of a nuisance. Yet the pretty, fair-haired human’s exotic allure is hard to resist. He finds far more pleasure in the use of his pet than he would like.

Kept naked and leashed, Wid’s days are filled with boredom, while his nights wrapped in Kell’s arms turn from fear into pleasure. Even as the humans plot their escape, Wid and Kell form a bond and their growing affection cannot be ignored. When tensions boil over among the aliens, Wid and his friends may be Kell and his crew’s only chance for survival.

Reader Advisory: This book contains sex scenes of both non-consensual and dubious consent, as well as scenes of violence, abuse and torture.

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SA Welsh

Bio: I’m SA Welsh and I write because the voices in my head keep making me. I love reading and I love letting the characters and stories in my head come to life in a book. I can’t function in the morning without a cup of tea and when I’m not writing I’m reading. I have enough books to last me through an apocalypse but don’t ask me to share them unless you are a fellow book worm and know how to treat and appreciate a good book. It is thanks to the writers that inspired me to put myself out there that I became an author and the editors that make sense of my chaos that I keep writing.

Social Media Links:

http://www.sawelsh.com/

https://www.facebook.com/sa.welsh.7

https://twitter.com/SA_Welsh

Check out this great book from SA Welsh

Purrfect Protector:

purrfectprotector_800This is book one in the Shifter Protection Specialists Inc. series.

Never play cat and mouse with a saber-tooth tiger.

When Kale Andrews gets disturbing mail from an obsessed fan, his brother drags him to Shifter Protection Specialists, Inc. Kale reluctantly agrees to have a bodyguard, but when a tall, muscular blond walks into the office emanating power and a sexy dose of danger, Kale’s doubts about needing the man with him twenty-four hours a day quickly disappear.

The easy babysitting job Aleksi was promised quickly changes from strange mail to threatening deliveries, so Aleksi has to become creative to keep his protectee out of danger. Everyone knows models are self-centered and shallow, so why does being with Kale make him feel like he finally has a home? Since he’s a saber-tooth tiger and naturally dominant, most people aren’t strong enough to be with him in a relationship or even as a friend. Yet Kale seems to calm his beast, simultaneously exciting the man in Aleksi.

Neither man expects nor wants a relationship with strings, but as they grow closer, Aleksi realizes that Kale might be his mate. With an obsessed fan escalating toward murder, Aleksi isn’t sure that even his tiger can keep his mate safe.

Pride Publishing Blogger Launch_125X125_final

 

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BLOG TOUR: The Valespian Pact Audiobooks by Lexi Ander

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The Valespian Pact books are now available in audio!

The first book, Alpha Trine, was the winner of 2014 Rainbow Awards.

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Alpha Trine (The Valespian Pact #1)


Publisher: Less Than Three Press:

Ebook Release Date: September, 2013

Audiobook Release Date: February 2015

Cover Artist: Aisha Akeju

Genre: Sci-Fi/Gay/Poly

ISBN: 9781620042434

Available in both ebook and print and audiobook

 

Blurb

The sole survivor on a science vessel adrift in deep space, Zeus was adopted by the Emperor and Empress of the Mar’Sani, though he is both human and blind, and seen by most as unfit to join the royal family. Though they were able to repair his vision, Zeus does not trust his eyes and the nobles of his parents’ court refuse to ever trust a frail human.

Dargon Kal-Turak, along with his symbiote and lover Alpha, command one of the most dangerous ships in the stars. Narrowly escaping a trap, they dock in a space port to make repairs, but find that the Psionics hunting them are closing in fast. In desperation they kidnap the port Master Mechanic, unaware that the man they’ve brought on board is more than he seems, and will bring far more upheaval to their ship, their lives, and the stars than any of them could have imagined.

Buy Links

Audio Purchase Links: Available at iTunes and Audible

Audible

Book/Ebook Purchase Links:

Less Than Three Press 

All Romance 

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Bookstrand 

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Striker (The Valespian Pact #2)


Publisher: Less Than Three Press:

Ebook Release Date: June, 2014

Audiobook Release Date: March 2015

Cover Artist: Aisha Akeju

Genre: Sci-Fi/Gay/Poly

ISBN: 9781620043783

Available in both ebook and print and audiobook

 

Blurb

The peaceful respite for which Zeus and his intended, Dargon and Alpha, had been hoping is shattered when Zeus is unexpectedly drawn to the Waters of Poseidon and told that the safety they’ve been promised is a trap. But the Fal’Amoric aren’t the only important cargo on the Oethra 7, and countless others are depending on the success of their mission. If Zeus hopes to break the silent siege on Valespia and protect those most precious to him, he will need not just powerful allies but the fortitude to survive overwhelming odds.

Buy Links

Audio Purchase Links: Available at iTunes and Audible

Audible

Book/Ebook Purchase Links:

Less Than Three Press

All Romance

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Bookstrand 

Giveaway

Win a bundle of 3 unframed prints from Alpha Trine.

Click here or on the image to enter the Rafflecopter.

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About the author

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

 

Web site: http://www.lexiander.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lexi.ander.9

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/LexiAnder1

Blog: http://lexiander.blogspot.com/

E-mail: lexi.ander.author@gmail.com

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6521302.Lexi_Ander

 

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Blog tour, Guest post and Giveaway! Craving Stains by Alina Popescu

Craving Stains Blog Tour

Title: Craving Stains

Author:  Alina Popescu

Length: novella

Genre: gay, gay fiction, science fiction, paranormal, gay romance

Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing

Synopsis

Wynn Brenwood has been trapped by his mother since birth, shut away in a sterile, hospital-like apartment.

Is it her desire to keep him safe that sees him locked up in his pristine cage? Or are her motives less innocent and well-intentioned?

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Wynn longs to break free to experience the world he sees beyond his window.

Desperate to escape, he meets Doyle, a handsome, leather-clad, and enigmatic stranger.

But is Doyle real, or is he just a figment of Wynnís imagination?

Book Trailer

Guest Post

A Story Is Born

My favorite part of writing is the tingle that starts in the back of your head as synapses come together to form an idea. Something – a random thought, a song you’ve heard, an image you’ve seen or that has just popped in your head – starts a tidal wave that grows and sweeps away everything. It’s then that the first faint flutters of a story take shape. As you stand there in awe, or walk down the street with music blaring in your ears, the skeleton is slowly covered by muscles and veins and skin, and once it’s all ready to take its first deep breath, its heart starts to beat. Tentatively at first, then stronger with every thump. Once it opens its eyes and lets you look inside, weaving threads together, dusting off hidden corners, making it all better, you know you’ve got another fictional baby to care for.

With a smile curving your lips and a certain delighted glint in your eyes, you rush to the first available keyboard or pen and paper and start writing it. As words flood the pages, the story becomes sharper, more defined, its population grows and it slowly finds its rightful way among the other tales you’ve created.

The sensation is always a little different, yet the thrill is just as powerful every time. So is the feeling of being grateful that your creative well is not dried up and still provides you with fresh nourishment. How will others see it? Will they love it as much as you? Will they understand the desperate rush to get it all out, to share it with them? If the story grips them, takes them prisoners while they read it, then they will.

As I am very visual when creating my stories, that initial phase when I sketch everything in my head, when the plot and characters step forward from the shadows, will always be my favorite. It’s like directing movies in your head with a bunch of very opinionated actors that sometimes demand you change the movie to take them where they were always supposed to be.

That does not mean I don’t enjoy every other aspect of writing: the struggle of doing justice to what I’ve seen, the cathartic moment when you write ‘The End,’ the editing and rewriting, the publishing, and the first readers sharing opinions. However, those first few pieces coming together in the beginning, giving spark to what will become my next story, will always make me the happiest.

Buy Links

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UUE58SU/

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00UUE58SU/

Amazon AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B00UUE58SU/

Amazon DE: http://www.amazon.de/dp/B00UUE58SU/

WIP: http://www.waywardinkpublishing.com/product/craving-stains-by-alina-popescu/

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-cravingstains-1766728-145.html

Giveaway

Prizes: 1 x $20 WIP Gift card and 3 x ebook copy of Craving Stains by Alina Popescu

About the author

Alina PopescuWriter, traveler, and coffee addict, Alina Popescu has been in love with books all her life. She started writing when she was ten and she has always been drawn to sci-fi, fantasy, and the supernatural realm. Born and raised in Romania, she finds her inspiration in books of all genres, in movies, and the occasional manga comic book. She is a proud geek who needs her fast Internet and gadgets more than she needs air.

Social Links

Site & Blog: http://alina-popescu.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/authoralinapopescu

Twitter: http://twitter.com/alina_popescu

Instagram: http://instagram.com/alinapopescuwriter

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/alina-popescu

Google+:  https://www.google.com/+AlinaPopescu

Amazon:  http://amazon.com/author/alinapopescu

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Blog Tour, Guest Post, Excerpt and Giveaway! Under Glass by Rebecca Cohen

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Under Glass

by

Rebecca Cohen

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: L.C. Chase

Categories: M/M Romance, Romance, Science Fiction

Blurb:

Creating planets and guarding the stars leaves novice planet builder Kai Faewiva lonely. For members of Kai’s species who are born with an organ called a caerellon, their true love, their Sun or Moon, is identified at birth. But the novices are people who have lost their perfect love, and Kai’s Sun is long dead, killed in an accident when he was five years old. Or so everyone thought.

After recovering from another bout of the unidentified illness he has battled for years, Kai returns to work.  But his quiet day at the planetarium is thrown into chaos when scans of Goka Prime, one of the planets in the Sol-Alpha2 system, picks up a life-form that shouldn’t be there. Kai’s Sun, Oliver Gyin, is alive and well, but how he got to be on Goka Prime, no one knows. Now he needs to be brought home.

Ollie has lived most of his life in the City of Harrea, never guessing he is from another planet. Surprised to find a stranger means the world to him, Ollie wrestles with his loyalties and the drive to return with Kai. To leave Goka Prime, he must give up everything and everyone he knows. But twenty years apart means Kai and Ollie face a fight to secure their destined future.

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Excerpt:

The East Terrace had clear views of the city and the hills in the distance, and the setting sun bathed the world in hues of red, purple, and orange. “One of the best views from the palace,” Ollie said. “Guests aren’t usually allowed here.”

Kai glanced back to the door. “Will we get in trouble?”

“No, Menish is a personal friend. He won’t mind.”

“Must be good to have a friend who rules the city.”

Ollie chuckled. “We went to school together. I often have to remind myself that he’s the sultan and not the kid who helped me toilet paper the housemaster’s study windows.”

“Very good friends.”

Ollie didn’t think Kai needed to know just how good a friend Menish had been at one point, although what they had enjoyed was nothing more serious than teenage exploration. “Put it this way: he’d have no problem with me showing you this terrace.”

“The sunset is quite beautiful,” Kai said, turning to face it, and Ollie thought Kai wanted to steer the conversation away from Menish.

“Yes. It changes through the seasons, but I think this is my favorite time of year.”

“Then I am fortunate we chose this time to visit and a place on the mission became available.”

Kai’s choice of word in calling his visit a mission was a little strange, but Ollie thought better of mentioning anything. “Oh, you were. The festival to celebrate the end of harvest starts in a few days, and the city is awash with stalls and street entertainment.”

Kai turned back to him, cocked his head to one side, and smiled. “Perhaps you would agree to be my guide for that as well?”

The hopeful expression and the slight smile made Ollie swallow thickly as he stared into Kai’s dark brown eyes in the failing light. Kai bit his bottom lip and tilted his head back a little to look Ollie in the eye, making Ollie lick his own lips involuntarily. His hand twitched to cup Kai’s cheek and rub his thumb across his cheekbone to prove his hypothesis that Kai’s skin would be soft and warm to the touch.

The little voice in the back of his head returned, and it bluntly reminded Ollie he wasn’t a single man. The pang of guilt made him turn away, and he saw a confused look on Kai’s face. Not only was he in danger of betraying Rica, but he was also leading Kai along on a dance that Kai didn’t know Ollie already had a partner for.

He stepped away, shaking his head. “I’m sorry, Kai. I can’t do this. While I can’t deny you have caught my eye like no one else, I am not the type of man to be unfaithful.” There, he’d said it, made it clear he was attached, and Kai’s expression morphed first to confusion and then into hurt. “I don’t understand.”

“I have a boyfriend.”

“Boyfriend?” asked Kai weakly.

“His name is Rica. He’s away at sea.” The devastation on Kai’s face almost made Ollie step closer and gather him into his arms, but he forced himself to put more distance between them. “I’m sorry, Kai. I was so wrapped up in the connection we seemed to share I lost sight of things. I should never have let it get this far, and I must stop it going further.”

“I see.” Kai turned away. “I wish you a good evening, Mr. Gyin. If you wouldn’t mind, I’d like to enjoy the view a little longer before I find one of the servants to show me to my room.”

“Of course. I’ll see you in the morning.”

Kai didn’t reply, and Ollie retreated back inside, part of his mind protesting that he was going the wrong way, the other part telling him he was doing the right thing. He turned back to see Kai still standing on the terrace, his head bent. Ollie fled, fearing that if he stayed a moment longer he’d do something he’d really enjoy but regret later.

Guest Post:

Today we ask Rebecca about the joys and challenges of science fiction world building. Here’s what she had to say:

I have wanted to write a science fiction gay romance for ages, thanks to the love sci fi I developed as a teenager and the subsequent science degrees I earned. ‘Under Glass’ was a project that took almost a year to complete, and allowed me to combine my love of biology with my fascination for planet formation. Yeah, I am as geeky as that sounds.

I imagine the joys of world building for me are similar to other people’s. This is my world and my rules! If I want my characters to have super advanced endocrine system, then I can have it, and it doesn’t have to be based on the human one. I can break the laws of physics, and reinvent evolution and biological development to suit my species to my heart’s desire.

The biggest challenge for me is to create the world without either giving too much or too little detail. If I want alien bazaars then I need the smells of spices, a range of oddities that appear on the stalls and the jostle of people, but I don’t necessarily need spend pages describing every single new vegetable. The same could be said for the mode of transport. In ‘Under Glass’ Kai travels to a planet his species made that is housed in the planetarium. I invent a process and refer to mathematical constants they use but I don’t try and show every detail. The first reason for this is because this is fiction and if I could do physics that well I’d be working at CERN and, secondly, the idea is enough: too much exposition makes the story drag.

World building is one of my favourites things relating to writing, and science fiction allows me to be as free as possible. I dare say it would be no surprise to hear I’d like to write more sci fi in the future.

Giveaway:

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Prize – $25 DSP gift cert and choice of a book from my backlist (does not include Under Glass)

 

Sales Links:

Dreamspinner Press

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Amazon

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Author Bio:

Rebecca Cohen is a Brit abroad. Having swapped the Thames for the Rhine, she has left London behind and now lives with her husband and young son in Basel, Switzerland. She can often be found with a pen in one hand and a cup of Darjeeling in the other.

Author Contact:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/rebecca.cohen.710

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/R_Cohen_writes

 

 Tour Dates and Stops:

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6-Apr
Prism Book Alliance
Multitasking Mommas
EE Montgomery
Carly’s Book Reviews

7-Apr
Love Bytes
The Novel Approach
My Fiction Nook

8-Apr
MM Good Book Reviews
Kimi-Chan
Molly Lolly

9-Apr
Because Two Men Are Better Than One
Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

10-Apr
The Blogger Girls
Amanda C. Stone

13-Apr
Sinfully Addicted to All Male Romance
Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words
Bayou Book Junkie

14-Apr
Cate Ashwood
Nephylim
Parker Williams

15-Apr
Divine Magazine
Velvet Panic

16-Apr
Hearts on Fire
Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves
Inked Rainbow Reads

17-Apr
Tara Lain
BFD Book Blog
Up All Night, Read All Day 

 

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Pre-release Review: Mindscape by Tal Valante

MindscapeMindscape by Tal Valante

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

The truth will set you free.

Mark Sayre joins the Interstellar Navy for the money—his only goal is to keep his little brother out of the colony mines that sent their father to an early grave. With concepts like duty and honor floating high over his head, he hardly expects to fall for the serious, idealistic Shane Cawley. Not to mention that Shane is his commanding officer . . . and his Resonance partner, a one-in-ten-thousand mental connection so profound that they can travel in each other’s mindscapes.

Shane Cawley is carrying on the family tradition by serving in the Interstellar Navy. He hardly expects to fall for the quirky, happy-go-lucky Mark Sayre. But as the Resonance between them grows, neither can deny what he feels for the other.

When war breaks out, Mark and Shane find their military training and their Resonance link tested to the edge of sanity. Shane is haunted by memories and flashbacks, and Mark becomes trapped in his own mindscape. But with help from an unlikely ally, they may be able to salvage their futures and the love they share.

So what did I think?

This story was quite different to the types of stories that I am used to reading. I don’t read a lot of sci-fi so was intrigued by the blurb for this book.

I quite liked the building of the world – little glimpses of the future of planet earth and the intergalactic struggles for resources. The concept of two minds meeting in resonance was also fascinating. Finding the one person in ten thousand who was your soul mate to the extent of sharing thoughts and emotions was fascinating. Therefore the idea of ‘losing’ this person as they became trapped in their own mind interesting and I could understand Shane’s heartbreak.

This is the story of Shane visiting his resonance partner, Mark, in hospital. Mark is almost comatose, unable to speak, communicate or even acknowledge Shane. Shane tries everything in his power, over a long period of time, to break down Mark’s mental barriers to free him from his own mind. He is assisted by Alex, a nurse who adds a slight complexity to the story.

Through flashbacks, we learn of how Mark and Shane met and the war that resulted in Mark’s current situation. I did have a concern with regards to the flashbacks. The book moves back and forth between present day and the past with little warning which was slightly distracting. There was usually a double line space between the switch but I think the ease of reading may have benefited from a more definite change (such as a symbol between the paragraphs). However I was reading an ARC so maybe the formatting will be slightly different on the final book.

This was quite a unique story. I found it not so much a romance, rather a bit of a mystery story waiting to see if Shane could ‘rescue’ Mark. I would have liked to see more of Mark and Shane’s initial romance and falling in love, a deeper look at the characters, although the depth of the love was evident in Shane never giving up on his lover.

I think I will investigate some more work by this author and perhaps venture some more into the m/m romance sci-fi genre.

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in return for an honest review.

❅❅❅❅❅❅❅

This book is due for publication on 23rd December 2013. To pre-order from Riptide click here.

To find out more about Tal Valante and her books visit her website.

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Short stories from the DSP 2013 Daily Dose: Make a Play (PART 1)

The Daily Dose from Dreamspinner Press is a collection of themed short stories  released every day in June. The 2013 theme is sport.

Nothing fires the blood like a little friendly competition. Anything from a meeting of the minds to full-body contact, these men are making a play. There are no losers in the game of love.

The stories in this review include:

  • Bane of Boston by J.P. Barnaby
  • Snookered by S. Blaize
  • Matching Vectors by Lee Comyn
  • Bully for You by Catt Ford
  • Luck of the Dice by Pinkie Rae Parker
  • A Shot At Forgiveness by Cardeno C

Bane of Boston (2013 Daily Dose: Make a Play)Bane of Boston by J.P. Barnaby

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

The day Jonathan “Jack” Young caught that foul ball was the worst day of his life. Instead of seeing his beloved Red Sox hold the lead, he watched in horror as his mistake cost them the first real shot they’d had at the World Series for nearly one hundred years. Jack left Boston in disgrace and moved to Chicago to start over. Instead, he finds Ryan Levine, who shatters the illusion that he could ever escape being the “Bane of Boston.” With decisions about careers and relationships in the balance, one misstep could mean ruin for them both.

So what did I think?

This was a nice quick read, not particularly realistic to me, but that’s ok, I am looking for a little escapism when reading these anyway!

The two main characters meet and have a “one-afternoon-stand” (sort of like a one-night-stand). There is attraction between the characters with Jack/Jonathon being particularly interested in Ryan given he had been alone for so long and was longing for some human touch.

Jonathan had caught a ball at a baseball match 3 years previously which resulted in his team losing the chance at the World Series and this had haunted him ever since. I do not know a thing about baseball but found the idea of fans holding a 3 year grudge plus his brother rejecting him, plus the extent of the reaction (leading to losing jobs, having to move, changing names etc) a little hard to accept. Obviously I don’t understand sports fanatics! Nevertheless I had heaps of sympathy for Jonathan/Jack.

Ryan has an ulterior motive for getting to know Jonathan. It seemed rather unrealistic that after one afternoon, he would have such feelings for Jack that he would sacrifice his big chance for career success. Particularly as the relationship hadn’t even started and was going nowhere after Jack walked out. I took it on face value that Ryan must have been a man with strong emotions and also strong morals and values.

A nice story with a happy-for-now ending and a bright future ahead for both Jack and Ryan!

3 Stars

To find out more about JP Barnaby and her books, visit her website.

Snookered (2013 Daily Dose: Make a Play)Snookered by S. Blaise

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

When Paul Burnwix invites British tourist Neil Davis to play a game of pool, Paul doesn’t suspect there’s more to Neil’s bad playing until Neil turns the tables. Intrigued by Neil’s wit and unexpected skill, Paul issues a new challenge, and Neil suggests the stakes: his hotel room key—and all that it implies—or Paul’s public humiliation. What Neil doesn’t realize is that Paul is a pool shark at heart, and if Neil doesn’t spot the trap in their ultimate game, he’ll find himself snookered.

So what did I think?

This short story only reached the ‘ok’ mark for me. It wasn’t that it was a bad story, in fact the plot had a lot going for it.

I liked that the two men, Neil and Paul, both had their secrets and managed to surprise each other and there was some fun banter. However I never really warmed to either character but maybe this was somewhat due to the length of the story.

I found the story a bit hard to buy when Neil, supposed three times world Champion Snooker Champion had trouble playing pool. I would have expected someone with this level of skill would be able to play pool really well regardless of the table size and felt quality. I’d like to think that someone like Eddie Charlton would have managed a pool table!

I did like that the two men – one American and one English – used “ass” and “arse” in their conversation – great attention to detail!

I think a little less talk about the actual game play with it’s innuedos, and more time of the men actually together, would have made the book more interesting for me.

2 Stars

For more information about S. Blaise and her books, visit the blog.

Matching Vectors (2013 Daily Dose: Make a Play)Matching Vectors by Lee Comyn

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Fin and his racing team came to the asteroid belt to maintain their reputation as the best of the best. Fin’s race starts out easy: his biggest rival is flying like an idiot, and Fin is confidently moving toward the win. The only interesting bit is a newbie named Sean who plays with his life by cutting too close to every asteroid—and against all logic, he’s pulling it off. Then Fin takes a chance, making a decision that will change his racing and flirting forever. Can Fin come to terms with his choice and match his vector to Sean’s, or will pride rule out racing toward a future together?

So what did I think?

A pleasant surprise! This would not usually be the type of book or story I would select to read. I guess this is one of the advantages of purchasing a collection such as the Daily Dose – an opportunity to try something new.

At first I thought I would not really enjoy this sci-fi story but it soon engaged me. I liked the characters and there was just enough detail provided to bring the scene to life and give a sense of realism. The last race was very descriptive and luckily the author pulled back just before it could have become boring.

The ending was slightly predictable and I would have enjoyed to see more time with the main characters together but still enjoyable read.

3 Stars

Bully for You (2013 Daily Dose: Make a Play)Bully for You by Catt Ford

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

What could be hunkier than a cowboy? Not much, according to Martin Du Bois. He convinces two friends that a visit to the rodeo is every gay man’s wet dream, and so the three of them gaily (and I do mean gaily) set off to watch cowboy asses in action.

A visit to a bar after the event gets Martin closer to the action than he ever thought possible, and he meets Jesse Cumberland, the man who caught his eye in the ring and made his rhinestones sparkle. Instant attraction leads to a one-night stand that gets under Martin’s insouciant skin and causes him to rethink his determination not to get involved emotionally. When Jesse invites Martin to his ranch, the visit is almost derailed by Martin’s realization that they lead very different lives. As a flaming city queer, he sees no way to fit with the solid, athletic Jesse. It’s up to Jesse to see if he can change Martin’s mind.

So what did I think?

A feel-good story where opposites attract.

Jesse rides bulls for a living, Martin is in finance. Jesse is a country boy with a ranch, Martin is a city boy. Jesse is athletic, Martin is flamboyant…..

The story starts with Marti dragging his friends to the rodeo and then to a bar afterwards. “You are not – not- planning to try to seduce a straight, redneck, hillbilly cowboy, are you? Because if you’d told me this was going to be a suicide mission I wouldn’t have signed up for it.”

There are lots of cute one-liners as the boys head to the rodeo “Really, sweetie. Look but don’t touch is the safest policy at sporting events.” It’s very amusing as the boys are distracted by looking at the bull riders and clowns and have no idea what is going on. “They have to get off sometime, I imagine. And there was some sort of alarm so maybe he was supposed to. Look, he’s up!”

But as fate would have it, things are looking up for Martin and he meets Jesse. They instantly hit it off. It is a lovely story as Martin comes to terms with the fact that it is possible to fall in love in one night. Used to walking away before he gets hurt, he finally accepts that opposites can attract. And for Jesse, he loves Martin, “It’s like waking up to sunshine every damn day.”

4 Stars

Luck of the Dice (2013 Daily Dose: Make a Play)Luck of the Dice by Pinkie Rae Parker

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The Blurb...

Gavin Gage has never been much for sports, but he does love fantasy-based role-playing games. Though his social life is quite active, Gavin feels like he’s botched his roll in the love department. Then he receives a mysterious invitation to an exclusive gaming tournament at a comic book convention, and Gavin meets a mysterious suitor. Between one roll and the next, Gavin realizes that when it comes to love, everything is just a game of chance.

So what did I think?

Not for me I’m afraid so only rating it ok. It’s not badly written, I just don’t get into the whole world of role play gamers. I almost didn’t continue after the first 10% which was part of the fantasy game with medieval characters traipsing through the forest.

The story relates a few sections of the fantasy game being played but most focues on geeky Gavin who is heading off to a gaming convention.

What was really missing for me was the romance. The story ends with someone letting Gavin know that they are interested in him but I am not sure that those feelings were returned by Gavin and there was really not much time spent with the characters at all.

2 Stars

A Shot at Forgiveness (2013 Daily Dose: Make a Play)A Shot at Forgiveness by Cardeno C.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

A dozen years, two thousand miles, and a law degree after high school, Rafi Steiner continues to harbor resentment toward Isaac Jones, his childhood bully turned NBA star. When Isaac appears at Rafi’s favorite restaurant acting like a long-lost friend, Rafi bluntly dismisses him.

But Isaac is tenacious and has his heart set on the grown-up version of the boy he always wanted and never forgot. The way Isaac sees it, he and Rafi are perfect for each other, if only he could sink the most important shot of his life: his one shot at forgiveness.

So what did I think?

I really enjoyed this story. Sure, I had to park my concerns that Isaac was a total stalker and wasn’t exactly sure what Rafi saw in him, but that was relatively easy to do.

I prefer to think that Isaac, instead of being creepy, was just madly in love which accounted for his stalkerish behaviour. I chose to believe that he was truly repentant for his school boy bullying and accepted the fact that his actions were driven by his fears about his own feelings.

The physical side of the guys relationship was obviously strong and passionate (and the scenes well-written) but the story ends with emotional declarations. I would have liked to understand more about Rafi’s attraction to Isaac, apart from the obvious physical one.

Well written with lots of humour, I particularly enjoyed the telling in first person from Rafi’s POV – his thoughts were hilarious!

4 Stars

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