Monday, July 29, 2013

Review: Storm Surge by Cait Miller

Storm Surge (The Sweet Spot Series) by Cait Miller
Sizzling Scribes
Novella
3 Pants Off

Blurb:
Kelly Clarkson lives life just the way he wants. No one in L.A. looks twice when he wears a little eyeliner, paints his nails or tries a new colour in his hair. People expect that of a makeup artist and hair stylist. But when his life crashes down around him, Kelly has nowhere to go but Port Clef.

Home.

Adam Campbell is a loner, a man not to be trusted, a killer who escaped justice. At least, that's what the gossips say. Kelly, however, has never been one to bow to peer pressure. He sees something different in the eyes of this brooding stranger and knows it's inevitable.
A storm surge is coming.


Review:
Kelly Clarkson is moving back home to his small town after spending years away. His small town home of Port Clef isn't his fave destination, but life in L.A has fallen apart and he's just looking to spend some time with his mom. The things about small towns is that have small town mentality, and Kelly knows he's going to have to tone down all the things he did and wore freely in L.A.

His trip into Port Clef proves to be an adventure when a storm rolls in and Kelly's little car is ill-prepared for all the rain. A sexy stranger comes to his rescue and Kelly's getting red flags but...he might actually be blown away or something more disastrous might befall him. His rescuer turns out to be Adam and judging by his mood and the fact that he lives in the forest alone away from everyone Kelly should appreciate his kindness. Kelly finds that he is drawn to Adam who has this dangerous edge to him, and though he tries real hard to be a bastard Kelly knows there is more that meets the eye. There is something dark in Adam's past and Kelly wants to be the one that heals him.

For the most part, I liked the story and found it to be very cute. I loved that Kelly was this flamboyant outgoing character, and that Adam had a back-story that was quite interesting. The story itself needed to be a bit tighter and use a little more editing. The ending is what peeved me the most, because it...just ended. Yes, the overall story provided a foundation to make it an acceptable ending, but for me it just didn't work. Adam finally shared his soul and it just ending makes his whole confession a little flat and it didn't get the respect I felt it deserved.

Overall, it’s a cute story with meddlesome chatterbox small town folks. I wouldn't mind reading more about this couple just to see where they are a few months after. Cute story!!

3 Pants Off

Review: Magnetism by Talia Carmichael

Reviewed by Fehu
Magnetism (Something in Common #7) by Talia Carmichael
Dreamspinner Press
Novella
2.5 Pants Off

Blurb:
Taggart Monroe wants to know what makes Rhodes Winslow tick. Rhodes finds the friendly barbs he and Taggart exchange intriguing, fun, and sexy. He wants Taggart and knows Taggart wants him even though he won’t admit it. Taggart studies people the way he studies the details of his cases, so he’s drawn to a man who is an enigma. Getting to know Rhodes is an adventure Taggart can’t resist, just like the magnetism between them.


Review:
So this was Taggart and Rhodes story, personally I didn't remember them, but the plot sounded intriguing, since it promised some variation of enemies to lovers.

Taggart Monroe and Rhodes Winslow both have a military background, are sarcastic and actually pretty boring. I don't know about magnetism, but I didn't feel any good sexual tension between them or chemistry, really. The best part of this story was not the relationship, which progressed very, very quickly, but the mystery. Rhodes is accused of murder and he and Taggart have to prove that his innocence and find the real culprit. Although they live in a small town, there seemed to be a mass of dirty cops there, if one considered previous books as well, at least for such relatively small community.

Boy was I disappointed about the enemies to lovers plot! Taggart and Rhodes do seem to have a bit of an antagonistic relationship and do constantly argue. The banter between them annoyed me most of the time, because they would go on and on about the most mundane things and not in a fun way. Sometimes the story felt disjointed, at one time they are arguing and feel somewhat antagonistic, then out of nowhere they are on a date. I actually went back to see if I missed a chapter, a page or something in the dialog to suggest it! Then there was a time jump of several weeks, which I didn't enjoy, but why go back in time, again, a few weeks after this first big jump in time?

All in all the characters were a bit to flat to really make me enjoy this story. Suddenly they were in love and I was wondering how this happened and why I didn't feel the love. At the end I wanted to say and now once more with feeling. I liked some instalments in this series and if you are a hardcore fan you might like this one more than I did.

2.5 Pants Off
Review: Book #3 Resonate

Guest Post: If Music be the Food of Love...by Mina MacLeod


Is ... is this thing on? Hello! How are you? This is my very first blog tour post, which is not intimidating at all. Thank you to Pants Off Reviews for having me!

I'm Mina MacLeod, and I wrote Some Rules for Success in the Music Business. It's a short story about a band from Seattle that doesn't fit into any preconceived genres. They dabble in whichever style they please, except for when they don't. This was a story that had been in my head for quite some time, inspired by my own adoration of indie bands that aren't so easy to classify.

I love music, but under very specific circumstances. I like ambient tunes while I'm editing and upbeat indie when I'm driving. O'Death and Matthew Good are a must for busywork at the office, but writing requires absolute silence. I love everything from Rush to Ani DiFranco to Murder By Death. I adore the smooth folk of Girlyman, the alternative rock of Vertical Horizon, and the classic rock of the Rolling Stones.

The paternal side of my family is very musical. My late grandparents played the guitar and organ, among other instruments. My father and many of our uncles and cousins play the guitar and drums. Instruments I've studied include the ukelele, piano, alto sax, and the one I played for seven years: the clarinet. When I was in high school, I was in the jazz band and wind symphony. Music was my Arts elective and I spent many an evening traveling to other schools and malls to perform. Just don't ask me to sing ...

I love music so much, I married a musician. Watching my husband struggle with his own band endeavors was another factor that inspired me to write "Some Rules." He's a ball of raw talent, but finding like-minded individuals who all want the same thing out of a band is an uphill battle. If the group isn't torn apart by creative differences, it's something else -- somebody isn't practicing, somebody just wants to be in a casual garage band, or somebody's job situation has changed. When the formula mixes together to create something fantastic, there's nothing like it. But getting there is a long and difficult road for most.

Creative energy brings out passion in many of us. While drafting "Some Rules," I wanted to touch on the tension in a band with strong personalities. Ben and Alex were inspired by the Gallagher brothers from Oasis, but I wanted to explore the effect of their feuding from an outsider's perspective. Stephen is like my husband--like so many people out there waiting for their chance to make a mark: he's working, he's making ends meet, he's writing and composing in his spare time. Stephen has never been sure if he's good enough to make a splash, and now he's trying to keep himself afloat.

Most musicians want the glory; not as many are prepared for the bureaucracy in the industry. Still, the notion of a successful rock band is a romantic one, and I can definitely see the appeal. Stephen did, too--and as for his own bureaucratic troubles, well ...

Some Rules for Success in the Music Business comes out July 31st from LT3 Press.

You can contact Mina MacLeod at her website, her Goodreads page, Twitter, or Tumblr.





Blurb:
Stephen can hardly believe it when he lands the gig of a lifetime: keyboard and lyricist for hot new sensation Dewdrops in Thunderdome, headed by twin frontmen Alex and Ben McMaster. The dream job, however, proves to be almost more than Stephen can take, between learning new responsibilities, the pressures of the industry, the dangerous lure of countless parties—and finding himself right in the middle of a complicated relationship between Alex and Ben.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Review: Rakshasa by India Jackson

Reviewed by Fehu
Rakshasa (Native Instinct #2) by India Jackson
Less Than 3 Press
Novel: 181pgs
3.25 Pants Off

Blurb:
Colin was born in Ireland, but he hasn't been home in ten years because his father wants his monster of a son dead, and the vampires Colin angered want to make certain he suffers first. Afraid to stay in one place too long, Colin travels aimlessly, stealing, drinking, always looking over his shoulder, and always alone.

Then he meets a little girl who got separated from her family, and in helping her get back to them he meets her uncle, Rakshasa and winds up in a world filled with all new complications and dangers—and reasons to hold his ground and fight.




Review:
Surprising sequel! I've read the first book some time ago and didn't even know that there would be a sequel. Honestly I would have liked to read more about Mohegan and not of his sister and it's always hard (for me) to read that the characters I liked died long time ago. Alas, this is the story about Colin and Rakshasa and Kyle and Logan, four new characters.

Colin is a shifter and in his family he is the first one for a very long time. Time is also the part I was unsure of in this book. I mean at the beginning Colin is introduced as from Ireland and as a vagabond. His family was superstitious about wolves like most of the folk in the village where he lived. That all made it sound like it was set in the 19th century, but not in the modern world. So I was surprised, when there is a modern bar, cars, credit cards and an Aquarium, which suggest current century. That made me stumble in my reading to contemplate the lifespan of shifters and various grammar errors threw another wench into my enjoyment of this story.

Colin is on the run from hunters and vampires and hasn't ever met a shifter before, so he is quite surprised to learn that there are more than one kind of shifters and that his new crush, Rakshasa, is one of them. Rakshasa comes from a wealthy family, but that is not the only reason he is respected in the shifter community. He has the ability change at will in the full moon, and also to help others control their change. Rakshasa is able to bear children as well. In some way he reminds me of a shaman in his abilities, but he is also the judged for shifter disputes and can feel lies and deceit, which is pretty useful ability for a judge/ruler to have.

Of course Rakshasa's parents and especially his mother are set on finding him a good husband and him making a good match. Colin would never be considered as even a candidate, since he doesn't have a job, is stealing and doesn't have a home.  None the less Rakshasa feels drawn to the young wolf shifter and finds him adorable in his naivety about all things of shifter nature. This doesn’t discourage him from dating the guy his mother chose for him and actually agreeing to become his wife!!?? No, I didn't misspell, he would be considered a wife, furthermore he would have to bear at least one child and give up his job as a doctor until he conceived said child. How he could have agreed to that is a mystery to me, since the guy he supposed to marry seemed very conceited, stuffy and selfish, more worried about status.

While Rakshasa has to decide who he will chose, his best friend Kyle a coyote shifter has found love in the form of wolf shifter Logan. Kyle is not exactly he most committed person, but from the first time he meets Logan he is fascinated by the man. Part of the charm is Logan's refusal to have sex with Kyle and actually Kyle has to work for Logan's attention and not the other way around, like he is used to. But Logan is a hunter for a very powerful vampire and actually followed Colin into town. Other  vampires are also taking notice, since there is a silent war going on between wolf shifters and vampires and Logan is on the side of Mala, the one vampire who dared to defy her maker and to free shifters and lead them into a fight against their oppressors, the vampires. Kyle and Rakshasa find themselves unwittingly in the middle of an ongoing conflict and Kyle has to pay the price for Logan's involvement in the conflict, when he is captured by a vampire lord and thrown into the pit to fight against wolf shifters. Logan and Rakshasa have to find out what they are willing to risk to save and keep their loved ones.

While Colin and Rakshasa might be the main couple, I liked Kyle and Logan more and would love to see them getting their own story/book.  All in all this was a nice story, but it really could use some edits. The story doesn't flow smoothly, because of some grammatical errors and that does distract from the story.

Review: Safeword by A.J Rose

Safeword (Power Exchange #2) by A.J Rose
Voodoo Lily Press
Novel: 333pgs
4 Pants Off

Blurb:
Everywhere Detective Gavin DeGrassi looks he’s reminded of his attack by the Breath Play Killer. It’s in the house he lives in with his partner and Dom, Ben Haverson. It’s in the sympathetic yet pitying looks he receives from his fellow detectives when he returns to the force after a year-long hiatus. It’s in the suffocating coddling of his entire family, and the relentless reporter demanding an exclusive of his ordeal.

Most of all, it’s in his lack of submission to Ben, who isn’t convinced Gavin’s recovered enough to trust the power exchange between them.

The miraculous recovery of two teen boys from a twisted kidnapper gives him heart, and Gavin's determined to prove he can handle anything despite increasing strain between him and Ben, painful nightmares, and panic when anyone touches him.

But his next case is too close for comfort: a friend and colleague found raped and murdered in a fate chillingly similar to what could have been his own, and this killer isn’t stopping with one cop. As the body count rises and taunting souvenirs are being hand-delivered to Gavin, he faces a frustrating lack of leads, a crushing need to prove himself, and a sinking suspicion the imprisoned kidnapper’s reach is further than originally thought. A miasma of uncertainty and fear threaten to suffocate him when he asks a question with which he’s overwhelmingly familiar: what happens when a victim is pushed too far?

Review:
Gavin Degrassi is back in the sequel to Power Exchange; he's healing up and trying to get his life back after being violated by a serial killer. There's also the reoccurring guilt he feels everytime, like he could have done more and saved all the boys who lost their lives to the Breath Play killer. After a year long hiatus, Gavin feels ready to head back to work, and with the support of his lover Ben Haverson, Gavin is feeling pretty confident he's ready to dive right back into work.

Thats until his first case feels too close for comfort, someone is killing cops and in a style that is all too familiar to Gavin. Bounded, beaten, and defiled cops are dropping like flies and suddenly Gavin isn't feeling as confident because it brings back bad memories of his own assault at the hands of a killer. To make a bad situation worse, it involves kids, a vile pedophile and Gavin and his partner Myah have their hands full and have to beat the clock before a killer strikes again. Suddenly, the killer is making everything personal by breaking into Gavin's home and leaving him little gifts. Just maybe his job is becoming too much, and its putting a strain on his relationship with the man he loves.

Alright, I have to say I enjoyed the first book a lot more which doesn't mean this book was bad, I just didn't fall in love. I still enjoyed it, but found Gavin to be the same as he was in Power Exchange his head wasn't in the game and once again most things could have been avoided. Hooray for a killer that wasn't obvious and the execution of the overall mystery were well done. Twisted and all kinds of sad, this killer really hit me in the feels; it was a sad out come to a very sad situation. 

The relationship between Gavin and Ben took the backseat in Safeword but it doesn't mean that their relationship didn't play a role. With what happened to them both in the first book there was some hurdles that needed to be jumped for things to be overcome. The BDSM part of it all was very mild, and I sorta missed what their relationship used to be but it was understandable as to why they went easy with D/s thing. My peeve is that Gavin felt like he had to leave his job, and in the end I felt like it was forced on him but that’s just my feelings. 

Overall, I really enjoyed it and it turned out to be a solid written crime novel. With lots of twists and turns along the way, the reader is guaranteed to be kept on his/her toes. 

Should You Read It? Yes, if you enjoyed the first book and wanted to see how Gavin and Ben's relationship progressed. I enjoyed it and found it to be a solidly written sequel.


4 Pants Off

Guest Post: Tools of the Paranormal Trade by Megan Derr

~I have the lovely Megs on the blog today! It's always a pleasure having her on POR, cus there is always a fun post involved. don't forget to say "hello".~

A reader asked me how I came up with the different gadgets and all that appear in Dance. The honest answer is, 'I don't know, it just comes to me.' My writing style has long been 'start typing and see what happens.' I have notes, outlines, spreadsheets, but nine times out of ten, what I think will happen does not happen at all, or plays out in a way far different.

This also comes out in the details. Until I wrote them, I had no idea grimoires would be one of the most important items in Dance verse (or that Sable would collect them obsessively). Jackie's guns I knew well ahead of time, and I did quite a bit of research on what kind of gun he would most likely have. For the curious, his guns are Colt Single Action Army, also known as the Peacemaker. As with most magic items in Dance verse, they belonged to his grandfather and were passed down to him. Jackie's father has a pair as well, and traditionally they would go to any child Jackie might have.

Another gadget that briefly shows in Dance Only for Me is a watch obtained by another character. It's not actually a watch, but a sort of miniature spell circle, all the runes laid out and only requiring to be moved into the correct arrangement to set the spell. This is, in theory, much easier than having to draw out a spell circle, but the technology, so to speak, has a ways to go yet. Interestingly, this idea was very loosely inspired by the alethiometer from His Dark Materials. I am pretty certain it's going to be important somewhere else down the road, though as usual my brain has not bothered to tell me how.

I like gadgets, tools, seemingly harmless items that can do a world of harm in the wrong hands (Johnnie's swordstick is a prime example of that). I always try to give each of my heroes something that is uniquely theirs—Chris' jewelry, Johnnie's cane, Devlin's runes, and Jackie's guns. And, of course, the more I get into the dragon clans, the more you're going to see the special relics they have

And I could babble about any and all of them for days on end, but I shall cut my rambling off here, thank you for reading.

Jackie Black is a cowboy and sorcerer and proud of both. He spends his days breaking curses and locating items of interest for other abnormals. His pride and joy are the alchemy-enhanced pistols at his hips. The love of his life is Roman, a businessman and witch. Tired of living several states apart, Jackie decides to surprise Roman by moving closer.


But instead of being a happy surprise, Jackie finds himself the victim of an unpleasant one. Alone in a strange city, with nowhere to go and his world in pieces, Jackie is taken in by an old man who says he is a paranormal detective and could use someone of Jackie’s power and abilities to catch a killer.



You can buy it here.

And in honor of its release, all this week paranormal books at LT3 are discounted 20%, so check those out too :3


Megan is a long time resident of m/m fiction, and keeps herself busy reading, writing, and publishing it. She is often accused of fluff and nonsense. She loves to hear from readers, and can be found lurking in various corners of the internet.

maderr.com
maderr.tumblr.com
maderr.livejournal.com
meganaderr@gmail.com
@amasour

Monday, July 22, 2013

Guest Post: Horizons (2nd Edition) by Mickie B. Ashling (Promo)

About Mickie B Ashling

Mickie B. Ashling is the alter-ego of a multifaceted woman raised by a single mother who preferred reading over other forms of entertainment. She found a kindred spirit in her oldest child and encouraged her with a steady supply of dog-eared paperbacks. Romance was the preferred genre, and historical romances topped her favorites list.

By the time Mickie discovered her own talent for writing, real life had intruded, and the business of earning a living and raising four sons took priority. With the advent of e-publishing and the inevitable emptying nest, dreams were resurrected, and the storyteller was reborn.

She stumbled into the world of men who love men in 2002 and continues to draw inspiration from their ongoing struggle to find equality and happiness in this oftentimes skewed and intolerant world.

Her novels have been called "gut wrenching, daring, and thought provoking." She admits to being an angst queen and making her men work damn hard for their happy endings.

Mickie loves to travel and has lived in the Philippines, Spain, and the Middle East but currently resides in a suburb outside Chicago.

 http://mickieashling.com/

Links to Buy: 
http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3982 http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3983  


Horizons-Book One in the Horizons Series

Twenty-three-year-old Clark Stevens, a popular wide receiver with a potential NFL contract, has a few problems. He's got a jealous girlfriend, a narrow-minded and controlling father, an attention problem, and an unexpected and powerful attraction to the trauma doctor—the male trauma doctor—who treats him for a broken bone.

Dr. Jody Williams is getting some really mixed signals. He can't ignore how much he wants Clark, because it's obvious Clark feels the same way. For the out and proud doctor, the solution seems very simple. For Clark, it's not! His world is not gay-friendly, and the obstacles he's faced have led him to deny his sexuality for years.

It's the Super Bowl of disasters, no matter how you look at it. In the end, Clark has to decide if he's going to stick with the only life he's ever known or take a chance on a new one with Jody.



Excerpt

JODY and Lil sat on the patio of the Yank Sing restaurant at the Rincon Center in San Francisco. The empty plates, piled high on their table, created a testament to the mountains of dim sum they had consumed. They finished their meal with the delectable buns stuffed with a sticky, sweet yam concoction.

Jody sipped his cup of black tea, sighing with satisfaction. “That was amazing. Thanks for talking me into this.”

“You’re welcome, sweetie. We need to do this more often.”

“I don’t think my stomach can handle this on a regular basis.”

“Oh, you know we’ll be hungry again in an hour.”

“This will have to hold me for a while. I’m meeting Clark at five for another session.”

“Of what?” Lil asked pointedly.

“Of tutoring,” Jody answered, doing his best to keep his face from revealing anything.

“Honey, I’ve known you for a long time, and that look can only mean one thing. When did he cave?”

Jody rolled his eyes, annoyed at being found out so soon.

“Tell me!” Lil squealed, jumping up from his seat. “Was it bliss? Who made the first move?” Lil bent forward and whispered, “Is he hung like a horse? I want details!"

“Lil,” Jody barked, looking around to see if anyone was observing them. “Keep your voice down.”

“Come on! Stop acting like a prude and talk to me.”

Jody fidgeted, uncomfortable under Lil’s gaze. They’d always shared information in the past, but somehow, this was different.

“This is more than just sex, isn’t it?” Lil asked.

“I don’t want to discuss it.”

“You’ve really fallen for him,” Lil exclaimed. “I can’t believe it.”

Jody sipped his tea in silence.

“Sweetie,” Lil said, switching persona instantly from raging queen to serious architect and friend. “You need to forget about him.”

“Why?”

“You’re doing this to yourself again.”

“What?” Jody sighed, knowing exactly where the conversation was headed.

“It’s Rick, all over again.”

“Don’t compare this relationship with the other one.”

“Why shouldn’t I? You’re going into this with your eyes wide open, knowing he’s a closet case with major issues.” Lil’s normally cheerful face looked troubled. “Jody, this will not have a happy ending.”

“It’s not the same at all, Lil. Clark’s not going to die on me.”

“But he’ll deny you and walk away, eventually. Once he’s gotten the itch out of his system, he’ll go back to being Berkeley’s number one het stud.”

“He’s not like that. He’s really struggling with his sexuality.”

“And you want to be his first experiment? You’re fucking nuts!”

Jody bit his lip and squeezed his eyes shut, determined to stay cool.

“You need to walk away!” Lil implored. “Now, before you’re in too deep.”

“Too late,” Jody answered.

“No.”

“I’m in love with him.”

“Fuck!”

“I know,” Jody whispered, shaking his head. “I’m fucking crazy about him.”

Lil sat back in his chair and gaped at his best friend.

“What? Don’t tell me you’re all out of advice.”

“I’m astonished at your eagerness to get your heart broken again,” Lil remarked. “You’ve always had a penchant for lost causes, but this is too much."

“You’re overreacting, Lil.”

“Sweetie, you really need to think this through. He’s not only in the closet; he’s got a father who’s demented, according to the rags.”

“I know he’s sort of an ass, but demented?”

“You know how I love football.”

“Yeah, yeah, you jerk off to the pictures.”

“Really, Jodes, give me some credit. I actually watch the games and read all the commentaries. Then I jerk off.” His queen-voice returned.

Jody grinned. “And the point of this is?”

“Many articles about Clark have mentioned his father. They say he’s controlling and rules his son’s life. A lot of teams who would normally be interested in signing him up are shying away from him.”

“That sucks.”

“Oh, don’t get me wrong. There are still a lot of people interested and willing to overlook his dad. However, I don’t think they’ll overlook daddy and the gay factor—that would be a lethal combination.”

“Lil, this is 2003, not the eighteenth century. Gay is very fashionable right now.”

“Not in football, and not in his dad’s world. You’re opening yourself up for a massive dose of heartache.”

“Don’t exaggerate.”

“Oh my God! Has he even talked about coming out? Did he say he loves you?”

“No!” Jody snarled. “It’s way too soon. I haven’t even told him how I feel.”

Lil shook his head. “Jody, get away from him while your heart is still in one piece. It’s taken you years to get over Rick. I don’t think I have the strength to do that again.”

“It won’t be like that. Now, stop being a drama queen and ask for the check. I need to go.”

“Wait,” Lil reached out and stopped Jody from leaving. “Throw me a bone at least?”

“What?”

“You know…. How was it? Is he hung?”

Jody paused for several minutes, knowing the suspense was killing Lil.

“Let’s just say that he’s… magnificent.”

“That good?” Lil asked almost reverently.

“Better.”

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Review: Losing Better by Katey Hawthorne

Losing Better (Superpowered Love #4) by Katey Hawthorne
Loose-Id
Novel
4 Pants Off

Blurb:
Superpowered Special Agent Gabriel Genêt's first solo mission: go to Hooperstown, North Carolina, find evidence that Andrew Wynne is operating as a vigilante, then bring him in. Ten years ago, Gabriel spent a summer alternately torturing and hooking up with Andrew as they tried to ignore their parents' embarrassing affair. Of course Andrew, the big puppy dog, will be happy to see his old friend and never suspect a thing. Career-driven, cocky young Agent Genêt can hardly believe his luck.

A covert game of betrayals ensues. Things start out complicated, with Gabriel using Andrew's open arms and attraction to him for all it's worth. Gabriel tells himself he doesn't reciprocate, and then that he can control it, but it's too violent for either of them to deny. As he gets closer to the evidence he needs, a heady combination of nostalgia, genuine affection, and even understanding brings Andrew closer to him. Dangerously close, in every sense.

The stakes are much higher than just their livelihoods. Gabriel begins to fear it'll come down to a choice between everything he's ever believed in, wanted, and stood for--and the only love he's ever known.


Review:
I haven't read this series in order, but I decided that it doesn't really call for it as long as you've read the first book, keeping up is fairly easy. While I enjoyed the first book Equilibrium, I sorta love the crap out of Losing Better. So very sexy, and the angst is so angsty it almost killed me, another amazing job by Katey Hawthorne.

Special Agent Gabriel Ganet is heading back to a place he once called home to catch a vigilante and the memories are painful and bittersweet. The suspected vigilante is Andrew Wynne someone he shares a personal history with, which is probably the reason he's on the job. Gabriel remembers a summer ten years ago where tortured and played around with an innocent Andrew while their parents embarrassed themselves with an affair. It was both a blessing and a curse when Gabriel's father hightailed it out of Hooperstown. Now Gabriel is back in the disguise of being on vacation and reconnecting with an old friend, and Andrew being the big ole heart of good will never a suspect a thing.

Gabriel is still attracted to Andrew after all these years, and it doesn't help that he turned into a sex god over the years. While he can't condone Andrew's fighting crime ways he can't help but be attracted to the man, and a job that should have easily wrapped is taking longer than anticipated. He's suddenly over his head but one thing’s for sure he can't lose to Andrew, but then again would losing be so bad?

At first this book didn't really have me, but it really picked up the pace and turned into something quite entertaining and sexy. As I mentioned I didn't read the series in order but from reading Equilibrium I understood where the Superpowered came from and what it means to be an awakened. Gabriel and Andrew’s powers weren’t the important part of the story, but the avoidance dance they do around each other. Overall, they're sexy as hell and throw in a ménage and this story was golden.

I love the idea of a love that lasted ten years, whether they knew it or not. I love that Gabriel stuck to his guns, his ethics were strong and he didn't lose his objective just because he got some loving (conflicted yes, but he stuck to his guns). Just an all round amazing set of characters.

Should You Read It?? For sure yes, this one was really good, but I can't really make a call on the series. Katey Hawthorne does write some pretty amazing stuff, so it wouldn't hurt to catch up on her backlist. Losing Better was pretty much the best.

4 Pants Off
Review: Book #1 Equilibrium
Review: Book #3 Nobody's Hero

Review: Melting the Ice Witch by Mell Eight

Reviewed by Fehu
Melting the Ice Witch (The Dragons Hoard #4) by Mell Eight
Less Than 3 Press
Short Story: 95pgs
4.25 Pants Off 

Blurb:
The Tribe of the White Dragon has lived in the frozen wastes of the north for thousands of years, slowly dying without their dragon to protect them from the inhospitable cold. In desperation they kidnap Kam, hoping to use him to breed witch power back into the Tribe. But Kam is not a witch and there is nothing he can do to save them—until he sees the white dragon encased in ice and all alone.




Review:
A perfect ending for an interesting series! The story doesn't begin where the previous book ends, but starts a bit earlier. The Ice Witch Lor has kidnapped a young man, who is said to be a witch and brought him to the Ice lands. Surprisingly Kam finds himself liking his new home much more than the village he lived in. He is included into the tribe and is actually useful. No one is harassing him, even after he admits that he won’t be the one to produce the witches the tribe needs to survive, since he likes guy and his handsome captor, Lor, in particular.

It's not before a blizzard that Kam actually finds out about his own unique abilities and about Lor's affections for him. Kam is an animal speaker and now he knows why he always is so sad when they go hunting. A white dragon sleeps in the caves and projects his loneliness and Kam can feel it and would love to help. Fortunately for him so would Tori, the cute young dragon from the previous book.

I absolutely adore Tori and well the tribe people did as well. It was such a cute scene when he asked for a puppy!!Ahem, anyway for all people who wanted to read more about Tori, this book will be a nice surprise. Also more details about the dragons are revealed, now we get to know why the Elderdragon has not left his home. I like that the story doesn't just end with an happily ever after there are still tensions. A new character is introduced at the end and I for one would like to read more about him and the Wizzard School they are building, but that might be a story for another series.

Should You Read It? It's always nice to see an author improve and a story unfold. I was skeptical after reading the first book, but this series has gotten better with every book and this one is a fabulous read. If you liked the previous books then this is a must! As a warning, one really should read the previous books; the second part of the story would be a bit more difficult to understand otherwise.

Review: Book #3 Stealing the Dragon

Guest Post & Giveaway: Universal Intervention by A.F Henley

I have a passion for those moments in life where I convince myself that the Universe has stepped up and is making some directives. I think we've all experienced them at one time or another, be it a nudge of conscience to get in contact with someone, or the sudden need to stop and assess something you would normally never pay attention to. In Sonata it's the repeated chance meetings of the two main characters, although in my own life I've experienced it in a variety of circumstances, from dreams to hunches, to beheaded toads at my backdoor.

I love those moments. I live for them, in fact. They renew my sense of overall purpose and give me a little bit of faith in something bigger than my conscious self. In this chaotic, fear-filled world, the possibility that something is leading, helping, maybe even nudging me the right way is a comforting thought.

Now, I have no clue as to what this seemingly magical essence is. I know that I definitely don't look on it as the interference of "God" in the traditional sense of the word. Perhaps it's not even an external presence at all but an instinctual one. (And suddenly I'm humming the "Maybe they're born with it ... Maybe it's Maybelline" jingle.)

For all the uncertainty of who, what, how or where however, I am not one to question the Universe if I think it's trying to send me a message. I am not ashamed to admit that I submit manuscripts based on sudden, random posts or the fact that a certain set of birds fly over my head while musing the "should I?" If I dream of someone, I will call them, no matter what our speaking terms are at that moment. I will always consider it important when something unexpected shows up at my door, and if I get a tug to turn left instead of right, nine times out of ten, I'm going to turn left.

One of my favourite speeches in Sonata is:

"That's the funny thing about people, Jordan," Ian tilted his head, brushed Jordan's chin with a light kiss. "Sometimes you just know right away. There's this … " Ian paused, searched for words, " … this connection. You don't know why, hell, you don't even care. You just know that somehow, someway, you were supposed to know this person. That they're important to you. And if it doesn't happen, if something gets in the way, you'll have missed more than you'll ever know." 
It sums up everything I feel about Universal Intervention. I have no doubt that's why it's a recurring theme in my novels. Nothing pleases me more than the belief that we aren't fighting alone in the battle for affection and romance. On the contrary, the Universe itself knows our hearts and our minds and the needs buried in the deep, dark pits of our psyche. It also knows the same for that guy in the corner of the bar, the guitarist picking on the bench, and that smartass you keep telling yourself that you can't stand. It sees connections and webs and patterns. And when it can, it's going to bring them to our attention. All we have to do is keep our eyes and our minds open. Connection and promise are, after all, what romance is all about:
He moved quickly, snagging Jordan's lower lip lightly, and paused there for a second before pressing their mouths together in a chaste kiss. He felt Jordan's body stiffen from shoulders to thighs, heard Jordan catch his breath, but watched with relief as Jordan's eyes softened from wide-eyed disapproval to concession. And once that allowance was granted, Ian indulged in it. 

Sonata
by A.F. Henley
M/M Contemporary Erotic Romance
44,000 words

At thirty-six Ian feels done with the world. When a night at a bar goes as poorly as expected, he wants only to return home to be miserable in peace. Instead, he encounters Jordan. Hot, young and interested, Jordan is everything Ian's ever wanted and nothing he believes himself capable of actually obtaining.

Jordan has enough going on in his life trying to scrape together a living for himself and his autistic son. When he meets Ian, all he wants is a brief, erotic moment and nothing else.

But fate throws them together again and again, and Ian finds himself determined to do whatever it takes to give their story a happy ending – no matter what secrets Jordan's past has waiting for him.

Available on pre-order at a 15% discount until July 16th

Official release: July 17th

Purchase Sonata here 

As a thanks to Pants Off Reviews for hosting me today, and in appreciation for all of you that have read:

Win an ebook copy of Sonata:

Do you have any moments of Universal Intervention that you'd like to share? Or do you think the entire concept is laughable? I'd love to hear about it ... All commenters will be entered in a randomly chosen draw for a copy of Sonata, in the electronic format of their choice.

Thanks for reading.

Keep your eyes on the sky and a symphony in your heart,

AF Henley <3

About the Author

Henley was born with a full-blown passion for run-on sentences, a zealous indulgence in all words descriptive, and the endearing tendency to overuse punctuation. Since the early years Henley has been an enthusiastic writer, from the first few I-love-my-dog stories to the current leap into erotica. Henley shares a home in rural Southern Ontario with both life partner and a plethora of furry, scaled and winged rescue friends.

A self-professed Google genius, Henley lives for the hours spent digging through the Internet for ‘research purposes’ which, more often than not, lead seven thousand miles away from first intentions but bring Henley to new discoveries and ideas that, once seeded, tend to flourish.

Henley has been proudly working with LT3 since 2012, when Înflori made its debut, and is thrilled to add two more novel titles, Honour and Sonata, as well as two anthology stories, Rockaybe and MEMWARS! to the docket for 2013.

Backlist, upcoming releases, fanart, fiction links and contact info are all available at afhenley.com.

Giveaway

  • Must be 18yrs or older
  • Leave email with comment
  • Winner has 48hrs to reply to email or another winner will be chosen
  • Contest runs until July 21st 11:59pm EST

Monday, July 15, 2013

Review: A Knight to Remember by Anne Barwell

Reviewed by Fehu
A Knight to Remember by Anne Barwell
Dreamspinner Press
Novel: 204pgs
3.75 Pants Off

Blurb:
"The last of your line will be in the embrace of a dragon."

Aric, Crown Prince of Astria, has been brought up to believe that all dragons are evil. But when he speaks with one, he finds himself questioning those beliefs. The dragon tells him to find a sword in Sherwin Forest to save not only his kingdom but also his sister, Georgia, who must otherwise wed the prince of a neighboring kingdom.

At the start of his quest, Aric dons a disguise and meets Denys, an archer and herbalist who lives alone at the edge of the forest. Denys agrees to guide Aric into the forest, but then Georgia appears, revealing Aric’s true identity.

However, Aric learns he is not the only one keeping secrets. Denys has a few of his own that could change both of their lives forever.


Review:
Aric is the crown prince of a country, where magic is forbidden and the dragons were mostly killed by his family. There is a prophecy, the last male of his line and that would be Aric, would be embraced by the dragon. His great-grandfather thought that was threat enough to start a war with their dragon allies, now Aric isn't sure if that was the right decision, after meeting a dragon on his way home from visiting his aunt. The dragon seemed nice enough and wanted to help him and it's not like he has a lot of people, who would help him, even against his father’s wishes.

His sister has been promised in a marriage to a king who wants to overrun their kingdom with the help of wizards and of course no one believes Aric beside his sister. Their father is dead set on the marriage as a union of two kingdoms, he doesn’t that there is a plot and traitors in his own court who would like to see his son and him dead. After another fight Aric flees the castle in the hope to find a weapon against magic, like the dragon promised. Little does he know that he will awaken a dragon and find his own soul mate in the process.

Denys lived in the woods of a small village, not far from a magical forest that is said to be the home to the last dragons. When he meets a traveling stranger, he is lonely enough to offer help, since the villager think him to be a witch and usually avoid him. Aric intrigues him and so he offers his help as a guide to the dragons’ lands, to find the sword of legends that is said to be able to withstand magic.

A Knight to Remember is a nice fantasy adventure story, but it is a beginning of a story and I though the relationship between Aric and Denys could have happen more gradually. They are a bit quick to profess their love for each other. Otherwise it's an engaging story, with likable characters and room for development. The story flows nicely, but is somewhat fast paced and I hope some of the details to history will be revealed in the next book. I'd love to find out more about the dragons or the upcoming conflict and the kings reaction to his son's mate.

Should You Read It? It's easy to escape into the fantasy world of this story; the writing is good and the characters interesting. If you don't mind the fast pace and like fantasy with princes and dragons, then it's a good book for you.

Review: Dead Man and the Restless Spirits by Lou Harper

Dead Man and the Restless Spirits (Dead Man #1) by Lou Harper
Self-Published
Novel
4.5 Pants Off

Blurb:
Dying sucks hairy monkey balls, even when you're not the stiff.

Denton Mills has a secret: he can see dead people. Or rather, how they died. It's quite a drag in a city like Chicago, teeming with the echoes of the no-longer living. Rather than whine about it, Denton has learned to live with his troublesome talent. His adaptability comes in handy when he meets his enigmatic new neighbor.

Bran Maurell catches Denton's eye right away, but unfortunately Mr. Tall, Dark, and Mysterious is as standoffish as he is alluring. However, after an unexpected introduction from Bran's cat brings the two men together, Denton discovers they have a mutual interest in the spirit world. Herbalist by day, Bran moonlights as a witch, performing house cleansings for a fee.

From Bran, Denton learns that his knack for interacting with the dead qualifies him as a necromancer. It makes good business sense for them to team up and rid Chicago of its pesky spirits one grateful client at a time. Amongst ghostly adventures the attraction between the men is impossible to ignore. They seem like perfect partners—unless Bran's not-so-little secret comes between them.


Review:
I am so in love with Lou Harper's Paranormal romances, it’s freaking insane. With Dead Man and the Restless Spirits following the same set up as Spirit Sanguine, it was all a freaking delight. And to see a character I previously enjoyed get his HEA was a real joy to read.

Denton Mills can see dead people and sometimes it sucks a whole lot. He's learnt to care with his episodes, but just like death they can come on all unexpected like. So he tries to live as normal as possible, by holding down a job and hope echoes of the dead don't intrude on his day. When a friend shares that there is an apartment up for rent, Denton jumps at the opportunity to move into a nicer place. But of course there is no such thing as perfection, because Denton is warned about the next door neighbour who may or may not be a serial killer. One thing is for sure that sourly neighbour isn't into making friends, but Denton is no quitter.

Becoming fast friends with his neighbour Bran Maurell is easier said than done, because damn is the man a bit antisocial. Though, he did manage to get into his cat's good graces. Denton has to decided to kill him with sugar and before he knows it he's finding out that Bran is a witch and Denton is about to accompany him to a cleansing. Seems Bran gets rid of ghosts for a living, he's not exactly loving what he does but he does it anyways (or else mommy will get him). Denton finds himself smack dab in the middle of the very things he's been trying to avoid, but he does get to spend more time with Bran and that is a plus.

Their sexual chemistry is off the chain and they work well together, but Denton can't help feel like Bran is holding something back. They have incredible sex but Bran seems to always be wearing all his clothes, and Denton has had enough of that. What he uncovers is a surprise and all types of awesome, and I don't want to give anything away but let’s just say I got all types of Hell Boy feels.

Denton and Bran are entertaining, sexy, and so hilarious. Follow them as they cleanse a restaurant from a troublesome ghost, rid a girl from a possession, and reunite lovers in the afterlife while battling a meddling mom. I love the characters that Lou Harper has created, and Dead Man and the Restless Spirits has now made her a must read author for me. I was just blisssed out while reading this and I can't wait for more (keep em coming Miss Harper).

Should You Read It? Hell Yes!! A wonderfully written paranormal with great characters, and non-stop entertainment. Denton will steal a bit of your heart and Bran will just capture all of it. It should be on everyone's must read radar.

4.5 Pants Off

Guest Post: Shadows by M.A Church (Promo)


All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost; the old that is strong does not wither, deep roots are not reached by the frost. From the ashes a fire shall be woken, a light from the shadows shall spring; renewed shall be blade that was broken, the crownless again shall be king.
― J.R.R. Tolkien 


Hey everyone! I’m M.A. Church and I’m here to talk about my latest book called Shadows in the Night from Dreamspinner, which will be released July 12th. It’s a paranormal/shifter novel that throws together a modern man, named Chip, and Jason, a Native American who lived in a time when the buffalo roamed across the land we now call America.

Now ask yourself this: What if the Native American history we learned as children isn’t precisely right? Is it possible the history books—books written by the White Man—are nothing more than a combination of a few correct facts and many inaccuracies? Could there be more than what we were taught about this proud group of people?

Jason would tell you that long ago The Great Spirit, who they called Wha-tay, created Mother Earth, an untouched land filled with beauty and life. Then her children, The People, were allowed to inhabit the land. The People settled at The Tree of Life—the soul of Mother Earth. The People believed the universe was bound together by the spirits within all natural life—from plants, animals, humans, water, and even the earth itself.

When a child was born to The People, that child was joined with a spirit, a totem. Could be a land spirit, a water spirit, a plant spirit, or an animal spirit. And once bound, that person had the ability to use the gifts the spirit had.

But Time didn’t stand still and, as it moved forward, it brought with it the White Man, who left in his wake a trail of tears and destruction. Very few of the original People survived—and those who did retained the ability to shift, or use whatever ability their totem spirit had gifted them with.

*grin* And welcome to my world of shifters, lol. ^_^

Shadows in the Night
~A Leap of Faith Novel 

Blurb:
When Chip Riley's beloved granny passes away, she leaves him all her money, her land, and a house that needs some tender love and care. She never mentioned the legacy comes with a Native American shifter who intends to claim Chip as his mate.

Jason Sky has lived since buffalo roamed the land. When his totem spirit, a black cougar, saves a little girl, he doesn’t realize that generations later, her grandson will become his mate, leaving him to take on a modern man with modern ideas. But that’s the least of his problems.

Garon, another shifter with a long-held hatred for Jason, plots to kidnap Chip and lure Jason to his death. Soon Chip finds himself in an untenable position between a rock and a hard place. A leap of faith may be the only way to save himself and the man he’s learned to love.


Pages: 200
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase

Buy Links:
eBook
Paperback

Excerpt


“WHERE are you at, Chip? You’re late.”

Chip scowled at the phone as he sipped his warm, forgotten beer. Well now, that was just plain gross. “Tonight’s not good. I think I’m just going to hang out here.”

“On a Friday night? Have you lost your mind?”

Chip leaned back, feet on the coffee table, and turned the volume down on the TV. “I’ve lost something, but it’s not my mind.”

“Explain, dude.”

After a short, intense conversation, he hung up. Once he’d explained what had happened, Simon tried nicely to talk him into coming on to the bar. When that hadn’t worked, Simon threatened to show up at his apartment with all their friends in tow. Knowing Simon meant it, Chip promised to come to the bar. The last thing he needed was for all of them to show up at his home. He’d been friends with the blond-haired, brown-eyed man since college. Simon was what Chip called a twink. He was a little on the short side, skinny, and young-looking, even though they were both twenty-three.

Chip showered quickly and dressed in an old, ripped-up, faded pair of black Levi’s and a black, short-sleeved knit shirt. He slipped his feet into his cowboy boots and grabbed his keys. Thirty minutes later, he was seated at the table with his friends. The bar was nothing fancy, but it had an open and relaxed atmosphere. It was clean, the food was cheap but good, and the drinks weren’t watered down. Apparently, Simon had passed the word about him losing his job, because no sooner did he sit down than the owner, Gus Hawkins, placed a beer in front of him.

“I heard what happened. Sorry, man, it sucks all the way around. This one, and the next if you want it, is on the house.”

Chip didn’t know the owner well, but they had spoken a few times. Most everyone called Gus “Hawk.” He liked the guy, and his friend Simon was in lust with him. “Thanks, Hawk. I guess bad news travels fast, huh?”

“Yeah, it does. Simon told me.” Hawk shrugged as he glanced back at someone sitting at the main bar. “But things have a way of working out.”

“Hope they work out in the next few weeks.” Chip raised the glass and nodded at Hawk. “Thanks, again.”

“No problem.” Hawk left after quickly running his eyes over Simon.

“Oh my God, he’s so damn sexy,” Simon breathed to Chip. “I swear, I don’t know what kind of aftershave or whatever he uses, but the scent drives me nuts. Makes me what to climb in his lap and lick him all over.”

“Down, boy.” Chip took a sip of his beer. Funny, he hadn’t smelled anything. Hawk was a big man, tall and well defined with muscular arms. He had short dark-brown hair with natural red highlights and hazel eyes. There was a tattoo on his right bicep of a bird. “Why not make a play for him? For the past two weekends you’ve sat in here and made googly eyes at the man, but done nothing.”

Simon looked down at his glass, and for a moment the carefree, happy attitude that was so him, slipped. “I’ve seen the guys he talks to, Chip. All big guys, just like him. And older too. See that one he’s talking to now—the one with the long black hair?”

Chip turned to the bar. Oh yeah, he’d seen the guy earlier. He had his back to them, though, so Chip couldn’t get a good look at him. “So?”

“He’s as far away from being a twink as you can get.” Simon frowned at the dark-headed man. “If that’s what interests Hawk, then I don’t have a chance. That guy’s tall, built, and I swear, there’s this air of danger about him. Just like Hawk.”

“Yeah, Hawk does have this… I don’t know what to call it. Edge might be a good word.” Chip glanced back at the bar. The guy talking to Hawk had caught his attention from the moment he’d entered the bar. That hair alone had Chip itching to run his fingers through it—it reminded him of a black silken waterfall. No one he knew had hair that long, and this man had hair down to the middle of his back. From what he could see, the stranger had nicely tanned arms. He wished the guy would turn around so he could see his face.

“That’s as good a word as any.” Simon sighed. “However you want to put it, the fact is Hawk intimidates me. I want to talk to him, but….”

Chip dragged his attention away from the guy at the bar. “Yeah, well, don’t go giving up just yet. I saw that look he gave you before he walked away.”

Simon perked up. “He did, didn’t he? Wonder if….”

Chip picked up the menu and ordered a couple of appetizers. If he was going to have a beer or two, then they needed food. He split his time between trying to catch a glance of the guy at the bar, talking to his friends, watching the big screen TVs, and listening to Simon plot and plan how to catch Hawk’s attention—and if Hawk was gay or bi. There were times he wanted to beat Simon’s head on the table, then maybe his own. Hell, at this point, maybe even Hawk’s. This game these two played was getting old, and Simon just wasn’t brave enough to make the first move. No straight man looked at another man the way Hawk’s eyes seared into Simon—that’s a fact.

By midnight, Chip was tired and ready to go home. Simon and the rest of their little gang tried to talk him into staying longer, but he’d had enough. As he was leaving, he glanced back at the main bar. The man he’d been eyeing all night had left at some point when he wasn’t looking. Disappointed, Chip made his good-byes, thanked Hawk again, and left.

He drove home, paying careful attention to the speed limit. He’d had maybe a beer and a half and plenty to eat, but still… the last thing he needed was a damn ticket. When he arrived at the apartment building, he parked in his usual spot. Immediately he noticed the antique truck several vehicles down from him.

“Huh, wonder who this beauty belongs to?” The damn thing looked as good as the day it was built. “Never seen it here before.”

Chip admired the truck a few minutes before heading down the breezeway to the back of the complex where his apartment was located. As his luck would have it, the light was out.

“Well, great, isn’t this just nice and dark?” Chip made a mental note to call the manager in the morning and report it.

This part of the apartment building was isolated, and having no light back here was not a good idea. It was already dark enough with the light on. He’d wanted an apartment in the back because there was a small ravine with woods close by. He’d actually seen a fair amount of wildlife back there, which brought back nice memories. It reminded him of his granny’s home where he’d spent most of his summers. Of course, that meant he didn’t get light from the street.

“Whew. Smells like we got ourselves a tomcat around here.” Chip wrinkled his nose as he opened his door. The smell of ammonia was heavy. “I think it’s taken a shine to my little patio area. Wow, that’s strong. God, I hope someone around here isn’t feeding it.”

Chip made a mental note to ask the manager if they could do something about the smell. He locked the door and threw his keys on the bar. He cleaned up his little living area and turned out the lights. With nothing else to do, he got ready for bed.

THE outline of something big and dark moved out of the ravine and crept up the small bank to the back of the apartment buildings. After sniffing the air for danger, it approached Chip’s apartment. He knew what a chance it was taking, but the need to check on the one he wanted drove him to take the risk. Chip hadn’t drunk much that night, but still….

Tomcat… really? The creature shook his massive head. At least you didn’t drink yourself silly tonight over losing your job, then get behind the wheel.

The animal knew where Chip lived, thanks to his granny. For years, he’d kept a check on the human. He was tired of waiting, dammit, but he had promised Chip’s granny he’d give the human time. Little did Chip know the time limit on that promise was about to run out. Death stalked the land; he sensed it. And when death struck, Chip would grieve—for that matter, so would he—but the time was approaching.

He peeked through the blinds of Chip’s bedroom window. Chip was a sheet-covered lump in the middle of the bed, hugging a pillow. The big cat’s heart ached. He could feel Chip’s desperation from where he stood.

Hang in there. It won’t be much longer now. Unfortunately, things are going to get worse before they get better.

Author bio: 

M.A. Church

M.A. Church lives in the southern United States and spent many years in the elementary education sector. She is married to her high school sweetheart and they have two children. Her hobbies are gardening, walking, attending flea markets, watching professional football, racing, and spending time with her family on the lake.

But her most beloved hobby is reading. From an early age, she can remember hunting for books at the library. Later nonhuman and science fiction genres captured her attention and drew her into the worlds the authors had created. But always at the back of her mind was the thought that one day, when the kids were older and she had more time, she would write a book.

By sheer chance she stumbled across a gay male romance story on the web and was hooked. A new world opened up and she fell in love. Thus the journey started. When not writing or researching, she enjoys reading the latest erotic and mainstream romance novels.

My links: 

Blog http://machurch00.blogspot.com

Twitter @nomoretears00

Facebook: M.A. Church http://www.facebook.com/pages/MA-Chur... 

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5141393.M_A_Church


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Guest Post: Music as Inspiration by Azalea Moone

Music has always played a huge part for me as inspiration when writing stories. I make tons of playlists for all of my stories, consisting of several kinds of genres. And in Angel’s Redemption, recently published by Storm Moon Press, music plays a very large part of inspiration into character Blaine’s life as well.

Despite his years of bad luck, he continues to strive with one goal in mind: for his band to have some recognition. It doesn’t have to be big at first. Matter of fact, they start small: garnering the chance to play Friday nights at a local club.

For Blaine, music in general is his motivation. So what kind of music does he listen to? Well, his band, ‘Til Dark, has its own unique melodic sound with lead vocals by Katlinne. Definitely not the usual gothic sound from female fronted bands. They play melodic death metal, a subgenre of metal music that got its start in Sweden in the early to mid 1990s.

This, by far, is probably Blaine’s favorite genre of metal music. Actually, in the first chapter, he listens to an old CD by In Flames. There’s no mention of the song title, but I think he’d be listening to “Jester Script Transfigured” during that first scene. Other bands I believe Blaine would listen to are: Insomnium, Amorphis, and Nevermore. Never heard of them? Well, check them out!

Those are some of the bands Blaine would listen to for inspiration, but what about the other characters in the story? How about Katlinne? I can hear her singing voice in my head sounding somewhere between Cristina Scabbia of Lacuna Coil and a heavier style like Angela Gossow from Arch Enemy. So I think she’d listen to a lot of Lacuna Coil, especially the older stuff, as well as heavier stuff like The Antagonist and Arch Enemy.

Vince would be into the good ‘ol 80s stuff: Megadeth, Metallica, and Pantera. He’s older than his other band mates by about five years anyway. Strangely enough, he’s always suggesting changes to the band. Things like spraying their hair down with hairspray like Bon Jovi, or trying the rap/metal scheme of nu-metal.

Now that I’ve covered the main rockers in Angel’s Redemption, what about the angels? What would the angels in Angel’s Redemption listen to for inspiration?

Lynsael... well, we don’t really know what he would listen to. He’d likely love anything that Blaine and his band plays, but of course, he believes that anything Blaine does is perfect. If he’d have a chance to listen to more music, he might enjoy some relaxing New Age, or something with mellow harmonies. Something that would soothe his pain and fear, both from losing his angelic nature and the fear of being in the human world.

Raziel, my Hell’s angel in the book, claims he listens to a lot of older stuff, too, like Vince’s selection above. I could imagine it, actually. Heck, maybe someone ought to play some death and black metal for him. Teach him some cords, let him jam out.

I think that covers the majority of the characters, especially the band, ‘Til Dark’s musical inspiration. But what about the author’s inspiration?

Music for me is a huge inspiration, especially with this story. I’d created a large playlist via Youtube and played it consistently. If I heard songs on the radio that reminded me of a character, a situation, or what have you, I’d add it into the list.

Strangely enough, besides the In Flames song mentioned above, none of the other songs that inspired me while writing this story were in the metal genre. The most-played song from the playlist has to be One Republic “All the Right Moves.” Why? I haven’t a clue, other than I had it on repeat while I wrote Blaine and Lynsael’s first love scene. The lyrics aren’t even dirty, but somewhere in my head, I made them to sound like it. Okay, so I guess they could be erotic, if you think of them like that.

Another song that made the frequently played list is Aerosmith's “Angel.” Hehe, that’s a given, though. The song talks about an angel.

So, what about you? What are the songs that inspire you? Let me know in the comments, and be sure to check out my new release, Angel's Redemption, which is available now through Storm Moon Press for just $3.99. Thanks for having me on Pants Off today!



Twenty-four-year-old Blaine Schneider is seasoned to hardship. Since the age of eight, he's experienced nothing but a swarm of bad luck: from the funny electrical fire in shop class to failing grades and relationships gone sour. He believes he'll never get past it; only his band, 'Til Dark, and their dream, keeps him going through it all.

Shortly after he mysteriously inherits a beautifully carved angel statue, Blaine also finds an apartment big enough to display the lifelike sculpture, and he thinks his luck has finally taken a turn for the better. But when he discovers the spell inscribed on the statue's base, he frees Lynsael from his stone prison, a handsome fallen angel who claims to be Blaine's former guardian angel, and then his luck
really improves.

But while Blaine is falling hard for the angel's blue eyes and lively personality, in the shadows, dark forces are working to keep Blaine and Lynsael apart. It will take more than luck for the pair to come through unscathed—it'll take a miracle.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

And the Winner Is...



VITAJEX

~VitaJex is the winner of Avril Ashton's A Sinner Born. Thanks to all who commented, and winner was chosen using random.org*~

Friday, July 5, 2013

Review: Welcome. Brother by Erica Pike

Welcome, Brother (College Fun & Gays #5) by Erica Pike
Unavailable for Purchase
Short Story: 29pgs
3 Pants Off

Blurb:
Please note: This title is being prepared for republishing and will be unavailable for a while. Sorry for the inconvenience.

When arts student Kyler Morris applies for membership to The Nova Britannia Brotherhood, he's immediately floored by their intimidating leader, Hunter Kingsley. Fellow arts student Hunter, however, isn't the bad-ass he's made out to be and takes Kyler under his wing.

While Kyler struggles to keep his crush under control and his sexuality hidden from the Brothers, Hunter battles daemons of his own in the form of two Brothers who aren't playing by the rules.


Short Review:
Kyler Morris is hoping to join The Nova Britannia Brotherhood, but judging from the questions he might not get in. Just so happens that the leader of the brotherhood is present during his interview, Hunter Kingsley which is really throwing Kyler off his game. Hunter in all reality is the big man on campus and what sexy dreams are made of, but Kyler knows he most definitely is off limits. With the random question interrogation, Kyler can see his chances dwindling every time he answers but you can't knock him for wanting to try.

To his surprise Kyler is accepted and the icing on the cake is getting Hunter as a mentor which would mean he gets to share a room with him. Which is a win/lose situation because he can lust after Hunter in close proximity but he has to keep it on the DL because his sexuality isn't something he’s willing to battle with. There is just no way he can be gay in the brotherhood, and when he witnesses the horrible bullying of a friend believed gay, it just confirms that his sexuality be kept a secret.

Welcome Brother is very different from the previous stories in the series. This one is about establishing a friendship that moves into a romantic relationship. I really enjoyed the closeness of the characters, their sensitivity in helping a friend, and eventually being honest about their feelings. Though not my fave in the series the author still does a wonderful job of handling a real issue. Only problem is that its way too short to really get into to the meat of anything.

P.S Love all the cuddling, it’s to die for.


3 Pants Off


Review: Born This Way by Poppy Dennison

Reviewed by Fehu
Born This Way by Poppy Dennison
Dreamspinner Press
Novella: 115pgs
3 Pants Off

Blurb:
Dayton Whitmore injures his arm playing basketball with his lion-shifter friends, and his best friend asks Dayton to check on her estranged brother Hart while he’s in Atlanta visiting a specialist. Though Dayton and Hart were never close, he grudgingly agrees.

Banishment from his pride meant Hart Sherman could never see his family again. His liger heritage—a tiger mother and lion father—was a thorn in his alpha father’s side. He always planned to go back for Dayton, the man he knows is his mate, but he uses his career as an entertainment attorney as an excuse to avoid risking Dayton’s rejection. When Dayton shows up unannounced on his doorstep, Hart wants nothing more than to claim him.

Knowing what it means to be a lion’s mate, Dayton isn’t in any hurry to make a lifetime commitment. To convince Dayton he’s serious, Hart must come to terms with the circumstances of his birth—and find a place in the pride for them both.


Review:
After finishing her shifter trilogy I was glad to see another shifter story by Poppy Dennison, the lion shifters had me thinking of the cub Simon adopted, but sadly it was not his story. Born This Way is for lovers of typical shifter stories and typical dynamics in such relationships.

Hart is a ligar, a cross breed between tiger and lion, and that made him stand out in his father’s lion tribe. He was becoming stronger than his pride leader and was therefore banished from his home and forbidden any contact with his family. On his own, Hart becomes a successful lawyer in the entertainment business and it's just his mate that is missing from his life. A mate whose identity Hart has known since he was little, a mate who he was forced to leave, when he was thrown out of his home, his sisters best friend - Dayton.

Now Dayton has come into Atlanta to see a doctor for his broken arm and to visit the brother of his best friend Tawny. They both fall in instant lust, when they first see each other, but Dayton pulls back before they can go through with the mating. Not one to give up easily Hart vows to himself to do anything possible, to convince his mate of his sincerity but he still has his father and his former weretiger tribe to fight for the right to court his human mate.

Surprisingly, after the first time there are not a lot of sparks flying, mostly they get to know each other, just a bit fast. Then there is the whole weretribe issue. Both combined happened and I would have liked a bit more background information. A former relationship was mention, a reason why Dayton was so cautious, but it was never explained. If this story had a bit more space to unfold, it would have been fabulous, as it is it's still a very nice shifter story, which has not the standard wolf shifters in its focus.

3 Pants Off

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Special Call for Submissions: Torquere Press





Torquere Press Special Calls for Submissions

SEPTEMBER - OUTSERVE CHARITY SIP BLITZ

Every year, the great authors at Torquere Press put their money where their mouth is, donating their time writing stories for our chosen charity. Those same authors donate any royalties earned on their stories to the chosen organization, with Torquere matching those donations 100%. In the past we've raised $5000.00 for Lambda Legal, over $3000.00 for the Matthew Shepard Foundation, and more than $10000.00 combined for organizations such as NOH8 and Doctors Without Borders.
For the 2013-2014 Charity event, which will premiere in September 2013, we've chosen OutServe-SLDN as our donation organization. OutServe is an non-profit that provides legal services and support to LGBT military individuals and families, working toward equal representation and benefits.
This year's theme for Charity Sips, or short stories, is "In Uniform". Who doesn't love a man, or woman, in uniform? While OutServe is primarily a military charity, we want to encourage authors to use their imaginations. Soldiers, sailors, pilots? Absolutely. But we're also open to stories about first responders like police, firemen and EMTs, as well as security guards, park rangers or anyone else who wears a snappy uniform to work. Give us hot, romantic, fully realized stories with happy endings about all the unsung heroes and heroines in the world.
Word count for Charity Sips ranges from 3000-8000 words. Deadline for submissions is July 1, 2013. Please send stories to submissions@torquerepress.com with OutServe Charity Sip and your story's title in subject line. Include full manuscript in RTF or Word formats, and in the body of the email include a cover letter with your full legal name and address information, as well as a synopsis of your story. Please our general submissions guidelines for formatting and other information. Feel free to emailkristi@torquerepress.com for more information.

OCTOBER - LIGHTS OUT SIPS!

They say there’s nothing there in the dark that isn’t present in the light. We disagree! Halloween is all about things that go bump in the night, and October is all about Halloween here at Torquere. Give us romantic, fully realized, LGBT tales about Halloween and/or paranormal activity, from ghosts to were-creatures to vamps and everything in between. Give us all the things that only come alive when the lights go out!
Please send your submissions to submissions@torquerepress.com with Lights Out in the subject field. Please see our general submissions guidelines for formatting etc. Deadline for submission is August 1, 2013. Length, 3000-8000 words.

NOVEMBER - THANKFUL SIPS

We should all stop and be thankful for something. Whether it's the big things -- like love and family -- or the little things -- like flavored lube -- or simply the HOT things, we want to know! For our Thankful sips, we're looking for fully realized, romantic LGBT stories about love during Thanksgiving holidays. Make us laugh or cry, surprise us and make us glow with happy endings! Length is 3000-8000 words.
Please send your submissions to submissions@torquerepress.com with Thankful in the subject field. Please see our general submissions guidelines for formatting etc. Deadline for submission is September 1, 2013.

DECEMBER - ALL I WANT SIPS

All I want for Christmas (or Hanukah or Yule) is you. Or you and you… Who doesn’t want to be with someone they love for the holidays? For our All I Want sips, we’re looking for fully realized, romantic LGBT stories about love at the holidays. Make us laugh or cry, surprise us and make us glow with happy endings! Length is 3000-8000 words.
Please send your submissions to submissions@torquerepress.com with All I Want in the subject field. Please see our general submissions guidelines for formatting etc. Deadline for submission is September 15, 2013.