Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Review: Floodgates by Mary Calmes

Reviewed by Whuppsy
Floodgates by Mary Calmes
Dreamspinner Press
Novel: 234pgs
3 Pants Off

Blurb:
Tracy Brandt considers himself a lucky man. He has a wonderful family, good friends, and a dependable job. His love life, however, features a cheating ex who, though out of the house, is not yet out of the picture—with a past that just might get Tracy killed.

Homicide inspector Cord Nolan wants nothing more than to show his best friend’s little brother that he’s a reliable man, but to do that he’ll have to get Tracy to look past the player he used to be. It'll be a tough sell; reputation is everything, and Cord's is tarnished by his past indiscretions.

Tracy and Cord have spent five years trying to suffocate their fiery attraction under a blanket of grudging antagonism. When Tracy finds himself with a target on his back, Cord finally has the chance to ride to the rescue and break through the dam of Tracy's reserve. But he’d better be careful: if Cord is breaking the floodgates to wash away the past, he's going to have to hold tight to Tracy to make sure they're still standing when the tumult recedes.

Review
Tracy Brandt is a young man who is just so cute. He’s got this wonderful job that he loves. A wonderful and loving family and really great friends. The bad in his life, his cheating ex. Now they are taking a break as Tracy caught his ex Breckin cheating on him in their home. Other than that, his life is pretty good. Trace is trying to figure out if he wants Breckin back or if their relationship is truly over.

Cord Nolan is Tracy’s older brother’s best friend and former partner in the SFPD. Cord has always wanted Trace, but he was a player and Trace wasn’t having that at all. So Cord made the changes in his life that he knew he needed to make in order to be the man that Trace wanted and needed. He didn’t realize that he’d get his chance with Trace’s life held in the balance. Cord is really a good guy. He wants the home and family and spending time with the people that he loves and loves him. To get all of that, he’s got to keep the man he wants alive.

The secondary characters were both in turns good and bad, sometimes just oblivious. But Trace’s family and friends…LOVED THEM!! I really liked his work partner too, Dimah. I love that this Russian guy who really cares about Trace and isn’t above ANYTHING to keep him safe. It was kinda sweet to me. I wasn’t too thrilled with Celia, the woman who had an affair with Breckin and is now pregnant with his child.

I didn’t understand Breckin’s family either. That they’ve not seen him in 18 years and they’ve only emailed and talked on the phone sporadically. I mean, Breckin pretty much left for college because his family couldn’t handle the fact that he was bi and gave him and ultimatum and he found his own way, yeh him. But that they would just welcome him home with open arms with some chick that’s knocked up, well that made no sense to me. The fact that Celia knew that he was in a relationship and still slept with him, well that tells me about her character as well. Sigh.

I enjoyed the book. I liked that there was a pretty good mystery. It was always about Breckin and they finally figured that out, it was just a bit sad that it took so many lives to figure it out. But I didn’t like that no justice was really had. But that is on me.

I enjoyed the book and I will say that it was a pretty good read for some lightheartedness and nothing really angsty. If you’ve got a couple of hours and want to read a cute book, this would be it.

3 Pants Off

Guest Post & Giveaway: Can This Be Real by LE Franks

Mad Dogs and an Englishwoman named Sue…

What I’ve come to love about this community of authors—the ones writing gay romance, is that when we get together, there are no significant barriers between us. It might take a moment or two to rub away the shyness, but once that first step is taken and a connection is made…we run amuck.


If you looked for me today, you’d find me sitting perfectly relaxed at a lobby table in the Portland Courtyard with JP Barnaby, Sue Brown, and KC Wells all under an electric sign, all laptops unfurled, all fingers furiously typing. The ease of our association light years beyond that first fall foray into the unknown, even though KC was just a name on my social media feed up until a day ago.

But my first foray into the great unknown occurred at Gay Romance Literary Retreat in Albuquerque in 2012. It was October—one of the perfect months of desert living, and the Albuquerque Hard Rock Hotel was a jewel on the edge of town. I didn’t know anyone planning to attend and was a bit of a wallflower (stop laughing) and more than a little nervous by the prospect of meeting so many new people that I developed a two-prong strategy to cope:

1) Arrive early and meet people
2) Volunteer

Number two is self explanatory – giving yourself something to do by volunteering gives you something to do, an opportunity to meet like-minded people, and an anchor to cling to in the rough seas of the unknown.

It was a great experience, it was how I met Damon Suede and Heidi Cullen that year and able to dust off my old warehouse management skills for an evening. Number two works.

Number one was a little more controversial.

Strategy number one “Arrive Early” was actually an abbreviation for “Arrive Early So I Can Meet As Many GRL Attendees As Possible, As They Walk Through The Lobby” or simply the acronym: AESICMAMGAAPATWTTL.

I can hear the gulps from the collective wallflowers springing up across the country, from here. Yep. Former wallflower here, I went out of my way to walk up to anyone that looked remotely connected to GRL that first Tuesday. The first person that walked into my little web was Sue Brown. Have you met Sue Brown? Have you read any of Sue Brown’s stories?

It was a serious fangirl moment. I had a boob signed by her within five minutes. Seriously.

Stepping out of the box (in that example, waaaaaay out of the box) made a connection that will last a lifetime. I’m confident that will remain true. I brought her home with me after Tampa’s RainbowCon last week and she became part of the family in a very literal sense.

But Sue wasn’t the only connection I made that first GRL. There were so many kind and supportive authors, friendly bloggers, readers who shared a passion for the material that I can’t hope to list them all.

And on every subsequent convention or meet up, every chance encounter on social media, or in real life, these connections only become stronger. It may be a small community, but it’s a very strong one. Thank you Sue, we’ll definitely be missing you when you make your way back home. But you won’t be the only one.

Happy trails until we meet up again.

LE

Blurb:
Chef Christian De Guisse can't trust a man who doesn't love his food, while Detective Andrew Simmons won't let any man close who thinks he's broken---somewhere between these two points, love is possible, but only if they get real.

When Chef Christian De Guisse accidently outs Celebrity Chef Jordan Slayer during a fight in front of The Times entertainment reporter---it only gets Christian ex-boyfriend status and a one-way plane ticket to culinary exile in Oregon. But a fortuitous meeting with Detective Andrew Simmons at the Portland airport keeps Christian and his collection of exotic herbs out of the hands of Homeland Security, starting the chemistry simmering between them. Andy isn't much of a foodie and for a chef who communicates love through his cooking this may be one hurdle too high...until they're finally ready to get real.



Buy Links:
MLR Press: http://www.mlrbooks.com/Bookstore.php?bookid=LEF_CTBR

Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00JXRCPDG

ARE: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-canthisbereal-1489668-149.html?referrer=509531de39c1c



AUTHOR BIO: 

LE Franks lives in the SF Bay Area, surrounded by inspiration everywhere. After years of ignoring the voices in her head, LE is finally taking off the filters and giving the stories free rein. These days, she can be found frequently writing about sexy men who desperately need a happily ever.


LE writes M/M Romance in a unique mix of humor and drama with enough suspense to produce fast paced stories filled with emotion and passion and featuring characters that are quirky and complicated. LE’s men are living in the margins--they're in the middle of their journey, doing the best they can while searching for a connection to something bigger than themselves. With a little effort and a lot of luck they may actually find their happily-ever-afters.


Published by MLR, DreamSpinner, and WildeCity Presses.

Web: http://www.lefranks.com 
Twitter: @Boxtersushi 
Blog: LEFranks.wordpress.com 
FB: LE Franks



Giveaway:

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Review: Exodus by CC Bridges

Reviewed by Whuppsy
Exodus (Heaven Corp. #2) by CC Bridges
Dreamspinner Press
Novel: 200pgs
3.5 Pants Off

Blurb:
Henry “Hank” Abraham’s privileged status in the floating city of Heaven lets him flout Morality Laws that control the lives of others. But when he wakes up in the arms of another stranger, only bodyguard Ian Caldwell’s quick thinking saves his life.

Though Ian’s from the low levels and the labor class, he’s used to dealing with the pampered society of Heaven. He’s assigned to protect Hank while angels, cybernetically modified humans who defend Heaven, investigate the assassination attempt. Doing his job means Ian must ignore his growing interest in Hank. Acting on their mutual attraction would certainly get Ian reprogrammed, something neither of them can afford.

When Hank follows Ian to a popular BDSM club in Downside and his ID chip is lost during a nearly fatal mugging, he finds himself locked out of Heaven. As Ian fights to get them home, rumors of impending war begin to circulate—along with more troubling news that Ian is wanted for Hank’s murder. While struggling to keep the man he has come to love safe, Ian must find out who’s behind the plot and if it’s a catalyst for war or just a convenient excuse.

Review
Hank Abraham has lived a life of so much privilege that he’s used to getting what he wants. He’s all about how he is perceived from his social peers and what’s shown on the news feeds. However, even though he’s been self-centered in his life, with the events that are happening, that is all about to change. He’s now been targeted for assassination and only one man can save him, Ian, his faithful bodyguard.

Now, Hank isn’t what you’d call the brightest thinker in the world. He’s so used to having lived his life a certain way and when that has to change, it was pleasant to see Hank really step up and grow. To see Hank become aware of another and to care what happened and as events grow bigger and bigger, to see this once foolish young man, grow into a stronger version of himself. He doesn’t always get it right, but his heart is in the right place.

Ian, is the wonderful character that is from the other side of the tracks, so to speak. He’s worked hard to get where he is in his career. He knows that no matter what, he’ll always be seen as “below” the ruling caste system of Heaven. He’s good enough to protect and die for them, but he’d never be good enough to love and be seen with in public. Another strike against him that no one knows about is that Ian is a Dom and he’s in love with Hank. Those things could very well get him in serious trouble.

It was fun watching these two characters have their misunderstandings and try to fight the attraction that they have for one another. To see both of the characters come into their own and deal with what they were feeling and especially what was happening around them. Again, I will say that I loved Hank’s transformation the most. That he’d do anything for Ian and did so. That he was no longer the spoiled young man that he had been in the beginning of the story was really nice to see.

It was nice to see that even though this story took place in a post-apocalyptic world, that there were still characters that had good hearts and others that will still use other people to get their own visions of what the world should be like. It wasn’t as horrific as some of the other post-apocalyptic dystopian society stories that I’ve read before. It was different with the use of Heaven and the 360 and Downside. The three different levels, the people, and demons.

I will say that it was a very intriguing story. I loved the romance between Hank and Ian. It was sweet with a bit of BDSM. I also liked the bit of mystery/suspense that was prevalent throughout the story. Who was behind the attempts on Hank’s life and why? What was going to happen between Hank and Ian? How were they going to live a life in the open as a couple?

Definitely worth taking the time to read this story and enjoy the love affair of Hank and Ian.

3.5 Pants Off

Review: The Terms of Release by B.A. Tortuga

Reviewed by Whuppsy
The Terms of Release by B.A Tortuga
Dreamspinner Press
Novel: 24opgs
4 Pants Off

Blurb:
They say a man can always come home. So after doing hard time, Sage Redding heads to his family’s northeast Texas ranch to help his ailing daddy with the cutting horses. 

Adam (Win) Winchester is a county deputy and the cousin of one of the men killed in the incident that sent Sage to prison for almost a decade. While Win's uncles, Jim and Teddy, are determined to make Sage and the entire Redding family pay for their loss, Win just figures Sage has paid his dues and maybe needs a friend. Maybe he needs more than a friend. In fact, Win’s counting on it. 

No one’s denying Sage is an ex-con who went to prison for manslaughter. Regardless of the love he has for his father, he’s returned knowing things will likely go badly for him. Maybe a man can always come home, but he may not be able to stay.

Review
Well, this book was so…wow. I’m not really sure how I can put into words what I’m feeling right now. This book had me just all over the place.

Sage Redding is this young man who has been out of prison for about a year. He’s trying to do the best he can living and surviving. He has served his time and now he’s just trying to survive. He gets a dreaded call from his Momma to come home to help with the family ranch. He’s this really sweet, loving guy who just wants to work with horses and help his family. He knows that going home is going to be hard, but it’s his family and he is going home.

Adam “Win” Winchester is this deputy in the small Texas town. He’s a bit of an outsider himself as he doesn’t automatically hate Sage the way the men in his family does. He’s always thought for himself and he’s going to go his own way and not be bullied to do something that he doesn’t think is right. He’s this really kind and loving guy who is just looking to have a life of his own. Adam has a heart and isn’t afraid to follow it.

The secondary characters in this book just made my heart just beat a bit faster. Sage’s family is just wonderful. Their love and acceptance of who he is was just beautiful to see. Wilma and Bulldog are so accepting of Sage and it’s beautiful to see people just showing kindness and their good hearts. I loved Adam’s Momma. She was a hoot and a half. She had such unconditional love for Adam and stood up for those who tried to hurt her son. Jim and Teddy were such horrible men, yet it what you’d expect from Old fashioned men who aren’t ok with anything that wasn’t their way. But the good in this story sure outweighed the bad.

I like that Adam felt that Sage needed a friend. Even though he was attracted to Sage, he wanted to let him know that he thought that he was ok and that someone else was on his side. That meant a lot to Sage, who figured being back there would be hard and would test his resolve, but he knew that he had to go. It was nice to see that as Adam fell in love with Sage, it became more than keeping him safe, it was about being together staying together as a couple. Facing their troubles together and knowing that there would be someone there to love and support them. It became about making a life together and not allowing anything or anyone to tear them apart.

This story had me reeling. I felt so much for Sage. All he went through just for wanting to come home again going to prison and the horrible things that happened to him there. Sage is a bitty thing. Adam calls him his pocket cowboy. So, you can just imagine the horrible things that he faced. Yet, he did what was necessary to survive and I can’t fault him for that. When he spoke to Adam about the things that had happened to him and the way he sounded was just so heartbreaking. Adam was furious on his behalf. I think most of it was because the Man that he loved suffered and had to go through that made him so very angry. I totally understood. Hell, I was pissed as hell and it was over a fictional character. There was love and hope and strength in this story. There had to be. Sage showed that he was stronger than anyone ever thought he is. To survive what he did, that says a bunch. His biggest thing was that he couldn’t go back to prison, so some of what he took, was with that fear of going back. I think that anyone understand those thoughts. I sure did.

I will say that I enjoyed this book a lot. It was nice to see that Adam and Sage as different as they seemed to be were so very alike where it counted. That love and compassion overruled those that had hate in their hearts. It was a story about hope. I think that was one of the most important themes that rang strongly throughout the entire story.

Read this book and go on this wonderful journey that at times will break your heart, but it will also show you love and hope and true courage.

4 Pants Off

Review: Second Star to the Right by A.F Henley

Second Star to the Right by A.F Henley
Less Than 3 Press
Novella
4 Pants Off

Blurb:
Be it unrequited fascination with his straight best friend or impossible fantasies of rekindled interest with his heartbreaking ex, Mason has no clue why the perfect connection seems to keep slipping through his fingers. When another lonely holiday seems like too much weight to shoulder, Mason gives up on romance and seeks out the next best thing—rented company. Jack is everything a person could want in an escort: willing, hot, and built like an angel. 

Mason can't resist. After all, who wouldn't be interested in a guy who loves kid's movies, is a self-professed Peter Pan, and has no problem throwing caution to the wind at a moment's notice. But then interest quickly blooms into a whole new emotion—an emotion that Mason knows far too well, especially when Jack has no interest in returning it, preferring to keep his heart safely tucked away in Neverland.

Review
Mason is lonely, he’s so alone guys. He has friends but the connection is fragile and he fancies himself in love with his best “straight” friend which is just a bag of crazy. Why can’t he make a love connection? He’s very successful, fairly good-looking, and just an overall nice guy and yet he’s just so lonely. When the topic of an escort comes up, Mason is both thrilled and repulsed by the idea but the thrill wins out and he finds himself getting a rentboy for a week. Its either going to be the best week of Mason’s life or the absolute fucking worse.

Mason nerves are on high alert but meeting Jack is lust at first sight. Of course there’s doubt because Jack is so attractive and young and why would he be interested in an old man like Mason?  Well he’s getting paid and this weekend is not about love but losing himself in glorious lovemaking and making for the time past. Yet, there is something about Jack that draws him in and he finds himself wanting to get to know the young man. But Jack has his boundaries and they’ve been clearly set, but rules and shit were meant to be broken.

OMG Guys! This story is just so sweet and gave me all the feels. Jack is so wonderfully jaded and Mason is so absolutely sweet which created a wonderful balance. Mason’s character is written so well that he never felt too perfect, just believable as a really great guy. Jack isn’t original as a rentboy and yet I feel like there is more to his stories, I just wish I had the opportunity to get to know his character better (he must have lived some life to be so young and almost without hope). I love their coming together and overall attraction, not a tale of insta love but a journey of finding love. Did I mention it really touched me in the feels?

Second Star to the Right is wonderfully sweet and will leave you feeling happy. I am so happy I read this book, and A.F Henley is becoming a fave to read. Also, freaking Canada man (home turf). If you’re looking for something sweet and quick then this book is a must. So adorable!


4 Pants Off
DarienMoya

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Review: Ball & Chain by Abigail Roux

Reviewed by Whuppsy
Ball & Chain (Cut & Run #8) by Abigail Roux
Riptide Publishing
Novel: 340pgs
5 Pants Off

Blurb:
Home from their unexpected deployment, the former members of Marine Force Recon team Sidewinder rejoin their loved ones and try to pick up the pieces of the lives they were forced to leave behind. Ty Grady comes home to Zane Garrett, only to find that everything around him has changed—even the men he went to war with. He barely has time to adjust before his brother, Deuce, asks Ty to be his best man. But that isn’t all Deuce asks Ty to do, and Ty must call for backup to deal with the business issues of Deuce’s future father-in-law.

Nick O’Flaherty and Kelly Abbott join Ty and Zane at the wedding on an island in Scotland, thinking they’re there to assuage Deuce’s paranoia. But when bodies start dropping and boats start sinking, the four men get more involved with the festivities than they’d ever planned to.

With the clock ticking and the killer just as stuck on the isolated island as they are, Ty and Zane must navigate a veritable minefield of family, friends, and foes to stop the whole island from being destroyed.

Review
So, this is book 8 in the Cut and Run Series and it was a doozy!! I was on the edge of my couch the entire time!! I hate that I had to sleep!! I wanted to see what happened and OH MY LANTA did A LOT HAPPEN!!

So, we start with Ty coming back from a six month deployment and he’s only contacted Zane twice. Their reunion was so sweet. I was so happy to see our boys back together again. Ty comes home and as he gets ready to go back to work, he finds out that him and Zane can’t work together anymore. Not even in the same office. One of them will have to move and Ty tenders his resignation. He’s trying to figure out what he’s going to do and then he gets a call from Deuce to go to his wedding in Scotland and to bring a friend to help with a problem that he won’t discuss until he sees him. GAME ON!!

Zane is a different man that what he was when Ty left. Six months is a long time but it also helped Zane gather himself together. He’s made peace with his past and he’s moving forward and not always looking back. It was wonderful to see Zane become the man that Ty has always claimed that he’s seen in him be right out in front of him. Beautiful, actually. Zane is still the quiet and steady partner, but he’s a lot lighter and happier.

The secondary characters…wow. There were so many new people in this story it was hard to keep some of them straight. But did they add bunches to the story. There were the usual suspects, Deuce, Livi, Earl, Mara, Chester, Dick, Kelly and Nick. Then added in is Livi’s family and the people that are hired in the house and the island. They were great in mixing things up and keeping you guessing as to what’s going on and who was involved. It was a veritable who’s who in this story, so many people and so much going on.

There was lots of Nick and Kelly in this book. I loved that Abi added them in. I really liked getting to know more about Nick’s life and it was great to see those two guys are still in love and really want to build a long-lasting relationship together. I have to say that seeing things from Nick’s perspective was pretty amazing. I think I fell more in love with Nick in this book than I was before. He showed such strong strength of character and integrity.

I will say that I loved that Nick and Ty weren’t always vibing in this story and that Nick finally told Ty what the deal was. That he was honest and showed that while he loved him, he was tired. I loved how Ty had to finally admit that he wasn’t being a good friend to Nick and that he needed to be loads better. It was wonderful to see that even after all of these years that the love and friendship that these two men had for each other wasn’t going to be lost. That it was and is worth working for. It was emotional to read and I was right there with them in those moments.

There were moments of humor because as you know, it wouldn’t be a Ty and Zane book without humor. I loved how Ty was disgruntled when Amelia, Deuce’s daughter ran right past him to Zane. I loved how Ty kept asking Zane to marry him and Zane kept turning him down. I loved how it became almost a running joke between them.

There were moments of bittersweet happiness and then the most heartbreaking sadness that was almost overwhelming. This book took you through the emotional gambit. It was SO WORTH IT!! This book was heavy, don’t get me wrong. Like Touch & Geaux was heavy, this book was also. There was so much happening and you were pulled right along with Ty and Zane and Nick on this ride.

I can’t wait for next year!! I can’t wait to see how Abi pulls it all together. I am excited but then I realize that Ty and Zane will be over. Part of me can’t wait, while the other part is like NOOOO!! Trust me, if you are a Ty and Zane lover, this book is what you’ve been waiting for!! Abi pulls no punches again in this latest book and you will thank her for putting you through the ringer. You won’t be disappointed At ALL!!

5 Pants Off

Monday, April 21, 2014

Review & Giveaway: Forever Fearless by Jeff Erno

Forever Fearless (Forever Vampire #2) by Jeff Erno
Ai Press
Novel: 215pgs
3.75 Pants Off

Blurb:
The Forever Vampire saga continues…
In the aftermath of unspeakable slaughter, Robbie and Colt have escaped to the wilds of Alaska to face their immortal future. Things aren't so certain for their mortal enemies, Dylan and Issa, Matarian soldiers sworn to hunt them down and slaughter them.

Dylan is poised to begin his first vampire hunt and wants Issa as his partner, but Issa is far more concerned with finding his brother and tracking down the blond boy who nearly died on the battlefield. The entire cast from book one reunites in this thrilling continuation of their story, joined by a host of new faces--friends and foes--whose lives somehow weave together as they cross paths in their efforts to battle evil and attain their own happiness. Humans, Shifters, Daywalkers, and Purebloods confront each other with the guidance of three enigmatic sisters--one a Maenad, one a necromancer, and the other a human witch. Plot twists and surprises mark the paths of these diverse characters, forever fearless in their quest to cling to all they hold dear.

Review
I really liked the first book in this series, so I was very much excited for the second book cus the ending of the first book ripped my heart and I was like all the nopes. While the first book was so exciting and kept me engrossed the second dragged in a few parts and with a lot of characters getting some page time, this one really didn’t hit on my feels level.

This second book picks up right where the first left off, with Brendan and Richard dead and an all out war between vamps, wolves, and human seems imminent.  Robbie and Colt have to begin anew and Robbie a fresh new vampire, things are both good and bad. Colt has lost his father Richard and now he has to navigate life without his supports in place. Yet, having Robbie with him is making eternal life so much easier.

For others, their life is all about danger. Dylan and Issa are vampire hunters but with what Issa has seen he’s wondering if they aren’t just killing innocents. All he’s know about vampires being evil and soulless has been crushed because he’s see the love and caring they have for each other and there is just no way could things that are evil could love. He has to reconsider everything, and run from a Master vamp who is hell bent on making him a slave.

Throw in other POVs and just a train ride of events, and you have really nice adventure vampire story. While it does feel very all over the place, the characters are likeable and if you’re are a fan of the first then you most defi would want to read this one. Honestly, while I was expecting more I still liked the story and I am very much intrigued for a third book.

Overall, Forever Fearless is a fun read with young and interesting characters. I think a little tightening of the storyline would have done this book good, and filler characters could have been done without. Yet, I still liked and am looking forward to the third book (if there is a third book?). I say this every time, but I am such a fan of Jeff Erno I have yet to seriously dislike any of his books.

Review: Book #1 Forever Young

DarienMoya


Giveaway


  • Leave a Comment along with email
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  • Contest runs until April 26th 11:59pm EST

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Review: Waiting for Rain by Susan Mac Nicol

Reviewed by Whuppsy
Waiting for Rain by Susan Mac Nicol
Dreamspinner Press
Novel: 280pgs
4.5 Pants Off

Blurb:
The village of Stamford, the quintessential chocolate box English scene, seemed an impossible dream for foster kid Toby Prentiss. Now he’s found a home among the haystacks and village fairs as the general manager for the Duck and Drake Hotel. With the fears and demons from his youth hidden away in this bucolic oasis, he’s very protective of who he lets in. Until he stumbles across shirtless carpenter Rain Engel building the hotel’s new custom-designed bar. 

Working in the countryside, Rain prepared to face his biggest fear: sheep. He didn’t expect to deal with his second biggest fear: commitment. Toby’s controlled, tough guy façade coupled with his “find happiness where you can” optimism calls to Rain like nothing before. While Rain may be an exhibitionist, his romantic history forces him to hold his emotions close. As their relationship develops, secrets from their pasts drive a wedge between them: the ex-boyfriend who tore apart Rain’s trust and Toby's history with the law. But can the secrets hiding among the quirky villagers bring them together? With missing sheep, pole dancing at the winter festival, and a crippling drought, everyone is waiting for Rain.

Review
This sweet story is about two men who each came from different circumstances and yet, they find the home that they’ve always wanted in each other.

Toby Prentiss is a young man who has had such a hard life. Foster care, living on the streets, rented out his young body for a job and a roof over his head. But he has such integrity. He makes no excuses for how he grew up and how he got to be where he was. I love that he is so very honest about his past. He’s done some things that he’s not that proud of, but they have helped him get to where he wanted to be. He’s worked long and hard to have the position that he has. He truly deserved the happiness that comes his way in the form of Rain Engel.

Rain is a transplant from South Africa to England even if he did spend most of his life in England. He’s a good looking man who has also started over in this quaint little town. He had a bad break up with his ex about a year ago, with whom he was going to ask to marry him. He went off the rails for a bit and now he’s gun shy about starting a new one. He’s also a hard-working man who has this AMAZING talent with stripper pole. He’s so not sure he’s ready for a relationship, but Toby is barreling in his life and nothing is going to stop them.

So, this wonderful character driven story had me hooked. I loved that Toby, who had gone through so very much, was still willing to make a relationship happen and work with Rain. I loved that Toby had to help Rain see that falling in love again wasn’t a bad thing that they were able to help heal the wounds that the other carried.

I loved the secondary characters. Both good and bad. They really helped our characters see that they were strong and that they were loved. That they may do stupid things, but that they had people who cared about them. Now, some of the bad characters, they just hurt my heart. The things that they felt justified in doing, just to hurt our boys. Well, I was angry on their behalf and partly wanted to smack them in the head, REPEATEDLY. But that’s me.

There was some really great laugh out loud moments in this book. I’m on the bus to work and just started laughing like a loon, good times. There were also moments of such hurt and despair in the retelling of the guys’ stories that I had to stop reading and just find a way to make it through those parts. I’m glad I did. Toby and Rain worked hard for their HEA. Two men who started out thinking that this was just a good time, and seeing that with a bit of time and patience and work that they were falling in love.

Now, I will say that this book was pretty heavy on the sex. Not that I mind in the least. It was how the boys first got together and it was always something that they fell into. However, with that being said, it wasn’t just about the sex. It might have started that way, but Toby wanted and needed more. So did Rain, even if he didn’t know it. Some of the sex was hot and very steamy and yet, there was also the tender moments of being intimate. It was beautiful to see how they could show each other how they felt while being intimate that they couldn’t say otherwise. Sweet.

I will say that this book is a wonderful book. I really enjoyed it. I loved that it made me laugh and cry. That it broke my heart and yet found a way to put it back together again. A definite worth reading and read again story. You won’t be disappointed with this book.

4.5 Pants Off

Review: The Boy Next Door by Taylor Foxx

The Boy Next Door by Taylor Foxx
Self-Published
Novel: 204pgs
4 Pants Off

Blurb:
When the Roths move in next door, Lyle is immediately enamored by the three guys in the family: Jacob Roth, the handsome father; Kevin Roth, the rambunctious older brother; and Marcus Roth, a wild and friendly boy his own age.

As Lyle grows up, his relationship with the three men changes drastically. Each member of the Roth family teaches Lyle a new lesson about love - both carnal and romantic. While navigating the difficult waters of gay teenage life in small-town New England, Lyle must learn to balance his relentless libido with his confused heart.



Review
Lyle is a young boy when the Roth family moves in next door. A family of three all made up of men, a boy his age, another older, and the father. He never expected how important the Roth men would become in his life, and as his age changed and he became older his relationship with the men changed right along with it. Lyle is like any other horny teenaged, but his sexual experience gets to another level when he starts to keep it all in the family.

Kevin Roth the older brother to his best-friend teaches him to suck cock for the first time which begins a sort of deal for them. He gets to suck him off and live a fantasy knowing exactly that nothing more will come of it, and when it ends it will be no hard feelings (although it hurts Lyle just a little). When summer rolls around and he's alone without his favorite Roth, his best-friend Marcus Lyle comes up with the crazy idea to sink his hooks into the father and thus begins his summer of love. While guilt plagues both men as they feel they're betraying Marcus their passion is lava hot and Lyle is a seriously horny boy but of course nothing good will come from sleeping with the father of your closest friend.

When Marcus returns from vacation with a boyfriend, Lyle can’t help but feeling a bit betrayed, and with Kevin bringing home his girl and his summer of love at an end Lyle is feeling a bit bitter. So of course he becomes an asshole and spill all the beans over a family dinner and leaves shit all types of awkward. Again, he finds himself alone and possibly without the men that were a deep part of his life. If only he had kept his dick in his pants.

First, I really like this book and the authors writing. I'm all about reading new things and this book didn't bother me in the slightest, while the content won’t be for everyone I surely liked it. You need to know that Lyle sleeps with that entire family and so at the end I can't take him seriously, but in the end I feel like Kevin and Jacob used him and Lyle was just too foolish to see. I don’t know how they'll cope with Christmas dinners cus shit will be weird as hell. The ending I feel was a bit over the top and crazy weird, and while I understand wanting to see something for yourself, that scene was just on a different level (talk about keeping it in the family).

Overall, really enjoyed it and recommend to those who want to read something fun and aren’t easily bothered. If you're like me and don't get shocked easily then this book might be up your ally. I look forward to reading more from Taylor Foxx and am so glad I took the chance and read this book definitely made my fave of 2014 list.

4 Pants Off

DarienMoya

Guest Post & Giveaway: Working Backwards by Megan Derr

~WooHoo, the wonderful Megan Derr is stopping by the blog and dishing on her amazing series Princes of Blood (Amazing) and she brought an awesome giveaway. Help me welcome Megan Derr once again.~


I have always admired writers who can write out of order. They write part of chapter one, then a piece of chapter twelve, then all of chapter seven … and then somehow later they bring all those pieces together. I can't do that. I've tried, in the interests of learning new skills and wanting to be as flexible as possible when it comes to writing, but that particular skill is just not one I possess. When I write a story, I have to write 1,2, 3 … I can make notes on stuff that will happen later, but I can't write those bits until I get to them.


Past that, though, I have no particular need or desire to write in order. So something like Dance with the Devil, where the chapters go back and forth in time, is pretty easy for me to write. That might seem weird, but I wrote them in the order they needed to be. That they weren't in sequential order was completely irrelevant.

But Princes of the Blood is definitely the first time I've been compelled to write a series backwards. I know many people were disappointed the story did not move forward from Of Last Resort, but the story never came to me that way. It very clearly gave me three stories, and by the time I had them sorted out they lined up best going back in time. I maintain this is the best way to read them, though if you absolutely need them in sequential order you can read them backwards.

The amusing thing is that I actually started working on With Pride first. I got about four chapters in before I realized that no, I needed to stop, give in to the voices, and work on Of Last Resort first. Somewhere in the middle of that I also started In Despair because I needed to make certain I could line everything up correctly.

As exhausting as something like this, there's still a lot of fun to be had. Telmé and Korin are interesting because in OLR and WP they are very much rock-steady, in control characters. They keep Guldbrandsen and the Legion in line. Then comes In Despair where they are still extremely young and have no idea what they're doing (and are put through fucking hell. People think I was a jerk in Engineered Throne, ahahahahaha. That was a warm-up).

Kristof and Håkon are also fun in that backwards respect, because they're established and happy in OLR. I think of the three, their story is the closest to being light-hearted, and it makes a good break before the much more somber stories of OLR and ID.

So as weird, and occasionally frustrating, as I know it has seemed to readers, these books are stronger for having been written in reverse.

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With Pride comes out April 16th from Less Than Three Press (third party vendors will follow after about 24 hours).

Of Last Resort can be found all over. In Despair comes out July 9th.

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GIVEAWAY


Leave a comment to enter, one lucky winner will get a free copy of With Pride. Giveaway will run until April 22nd, at which point I will randomly draw the winner. Make certain to leave a way you can be reached! Winner has 24 hours to respond, after which another winner will be chosen.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful week!


<3
Meg

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. When she's not involved in writing, she likes to cook, harass her cats, or watch movies (especially all things James Bond). She loves to hear from readers, and can be found all around the internet.

maderr.com
maderr.tumblr.com
meganaderr.blogspot.com
lessthanthreepress.com
meganaderr@gmail.com
@amasour

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Review: The Foster Family by Jaime Samms

Reviewed by Whuppsy
The Foster Family by Jaime Samms
Dreamspinner Press
Novel: 330pgs
3.5 Pants Off

Blurb:
Growing up in foster care has left Kerry Grey with little self-esteem or hope for his future. A college dropout, Kerry scrapes by on a part-time job at a garden nursery. His friendship with his boss and working with the plants are the only high points in Kerry’s life. He’s been dating the man who bullied him at school, but when his boyfriend abandons him at a party, Kerry wanders down the beach to drown his sorrows in a bottle of scotch. 

Malcolm Holmes and Charlie Stone have been together for fifteen years. Despite Charlie's willingness to accept Malcolm's unspoken domination in bed,something is missing from their relationship. Early one morning, they rescue a passed out Kerry from being washed away by the tide and Charlie immediately senses a kindred spirit in the lost younger man. When Kerry’s roommate kicks him out, Malcolm and Charlie invite him into their home. As Charlie and Kerry bond over Charlie’s garden, Malcolm sees Kerry may be just who they have been looking for to complete their lives. All they have to do is show Kerry, and each other, that Kerry's submissive tendencies will fit their dynamic. 

But someone is sabotaging Kerry at every turn. As he struggles to discover the culprit, he fears for the safety of his new friends. If Malcolm and Charlie cannot help, their lifelong search for their perfect third may not end with the happily ever after they imagined.

Review
This story had so much going on that I was confounded just a bit. These three men were so I don’t like saying broken, but they were broken for lack of a better word.

Kerry is this young guy who has been in foster care since he was a wee lad of three. He’s been bounced from home to home. He’s found a way to protect himself by pushing most people away. Keeping them at an arm’s length away. That way, it won’t hurt if they have to part ways. He’s allowed his high school nemesis to have sex with him without any real boundaries or care about himself. He’s this lost boy that doesn’t know his worth. That he matters and during this story, he’ll have to learn his worth.

Malcolm Holmes is one half of the two men that Kerry falls in love with. He’s in his mid-30’s and he’s also been brought up in the foster system. His experience was a bad one. He’s use to cut himself when he felt out of control. Now, for Mal, control is a very big thing. He prides himself on keeping control at all times. However, Mal still has some issues that need to be worked out. Not just with himself, but in his long-term relationship with Charlie.

Charlie Stone is the other half of the couple that Kerry finds himself in love with. Charlie works as a personal assistant in an art gallery. Charlie used to be a photographer, but he no longer does that. Charlie also was brought up for a brief time in the foster system, but he was adopted out. His life isn’t all that he thought it would be.

Charlie and Mal have been in a relationship for 15 years and they keep adding guys who could be their third. Someone who can give each of them what they need. For Mal, it’s someone to spoil and take care of, like he wasn’t as a child. For Charlie, it’s someone to give him the submission that he requires. Mal and Charlie have been in this relationship that has worked but that there is something missing. Something isn’t quite right. Kerry comes in and it shatters the illusion that their relationship is fine.

I like that all of these characters weren’t perfect. I liked that each of them had issues that they really needed to work out in order for them to actually have a true relationship. I liked that that they really had to work on themselves. That no one else could fix them. That they had to do the work. They had support, but they had to do the work.

The secondary characters were really good in this story. I liked how they really pushed the characters to see themselves. They made them take accountability for their actions. That showed that they cared. They were honest and loving to the MC’s. Gave them what they needed, but also allowed them to have the room to make mistakes and also to grow.

I will say that this book did have some confusing parts to me. I didn’t understand why Kerry went back to Seattle for months on end to his last Foster Father’s house. I mean, I got it but I wasn’t ok with the length of time that he was there. I get that he needed to work on himself, but really? I also get that he needed to leave for Mal and Charlie to get their relationship back on track for them to grow as a couple and as individuals.

I will say that I had a hard time getting into these characters. I didn’t really care one way or the other about them. I find that the story wasn’t as enjoyable to me as I’d hope. The premise of the story was so amazing to me that I think I had such higher expectations than what I got.

I would say, it’s an ok book. It wasn’t bad just different. There was so much going on that I couldn’t really connect with any of the characters. I liked that each of the MC’s weren’t perfect. That Mal and Charlie weren’t perfect. That Kerry wasn’t perfect. I liked that all three of these men had issues that they needed to work on and that they did. That they wanted to have a relationship that included all 3 of them, but they knew that they each had to fix the issues that were holding them back.

Overall, it was an ok book. It didn’t live up to my expectations, but it was a pretty good book, nonetheless. Good character growth, which I really liked.

3.5 Pants Off

Review: Final Admission by Sue Brown

Reviewed by Whuppsy
Final Admission by Sue Brown
Dreamspinner Press
Novel: 230pgs
4.5 Pants Off

Blurb:
2nd Edition 

When Ethan Williams lands a job at Bingwell, Brock and Bacon, he realizes his coworkers aren’t exaggerating about James Trenchard. He really is a dick. But after Ethan is forced to work closely with James, he realizes there’s more to the lawyer than meets the eye. 

Vibrant Ethan is a desperate reason to live again as James endures silent guilt and abuse from his husband after an accident. He calls Ethan for help after a beating, and stolen moments soon become the norm, but they can’t hide forever. 

Ethan’s coworkers think he got his promotion because James is sweet on him, James is still being beaten despite his family’s concern, and the situation is swiftly becoming intolerable. Ethan and James need to find a way out of the cycle that’s hurting them both before their brand new love suffers as well. 

Review
The book starts off with a bang and barely lets you go until just about the end. We start off the very first words of the story” Trenchard is a dick”. How can you not like a book that starts off with such a bang.

Ethan is just starting a job in Seattle at this great advertising firm as an advertising executive and he is getting his feet wet with the atmosphere of the company. He’s this wonderful guy. Big, handsome, kind and very generous he’s such a sweetheart. He is smart and a hard-worker. He’s also an outish gay man. He’s not hiding it, he just doesn’t advertise.

James Trenchard is the handsome, flirty, amazing lawyer. He’s loyal and passionate. He’s got life that isn’t what it was a couple of years prior. He and his husband were in a car accident and his husband was hurt. He’s now the abused spouse resulting from the accident that changed his husband’s demeanor.

James contacts Ethan after seeing him in a bar earlier that night. He stated that he was mugged, but the hospital personnel know better. Thus begins the friendship and affair that they will embark on that will change their lives.

This is such a great story. I liked how the author brings about a subject that is rarely told. Domestic abuse in a gay relationship. How this person stays thinking that love and perseverance will help the abuser stop the behavior. His love and loyalty to his husband is the thing that he knows will probably kill him before it will ever end.

James and Ethan meeting and falling for each other is probably the best thing for both of them. Ethan has to deal with knowing that the person that he’s fell in love with is in an abusive relationship and that there is really nothing that he can do to stop it. James has to be the one. James finally has found someone that means enough for him to live for. James knows that what he’s doing isn’t really working, but he’s been trapped for so long, he can’t see a way out.

I love that the secondary characters are loving, kind people. Well, most of them. They know that they love the main characters and yet, they admit that mistakes were made. Even knowing and some not knowing the full extent of what was going on. I really liked how they all grew, all the characters regarding what had happened and what was currently happening.

I will say that the author got me a bit confused towards the end of the story. James leaves town for his rehab and Ethan is left in Seattle by himself. Like it was mentioned and the next thing you know, its six months later and Ethan is banging some twink. I think the chapter should have said, six months later. Given some clue as to what’s going on in the story instead of reading it and being like, WTF? It jarred me enough that I was pulled from the story. That sucked. I was very invested in what was happening to our MC’s and then, boom…confused.

Overall, I liked the story. It was touching and very heartfelt. I liked that Sue brought up this subject that is largely silenced. You don’t really get a lot of stories about abuse in gay relationships unless it’s in a BDSM genre. Not that all of them are like that, but if there is abuse, it’s only in that regard. I like that the person being abused wasn’t some small twink, but a big, strong man a successful lawyer. It was a really good book and I enjoyed reading it.

4.5 Pants Off

Guest Post & Giveaway: Straight Shooter by Heidi Belleau


Hello hello! I’m Heidi Belleau, and welcome to the Riptide Books “Straight Shooter” blog tour! Straight Shooter is the third (and final?) novel in my Rear Entrance Video series, and is the story of roommate Austin, a homophobic hockey player with a kinky secret . . . and the Dominant porn star who helps him get his act together. For the next two weeks, I’ll be hopping blog to blog giving you an inside look at the novel . . . and also giving away a prize! Read on for details! Thanks to Pants off Reviews and to all of you for tuning in!

About Straight Shooter
This macho jock has a crooked little secret.
College hockey player Austin Puett is in trouble. Unless he starts treating his flamboyantly gay roommate with respect, he’ll lose his room andhis job at Rear Entrance Video. But Austin’s got a not-so-straight secret of his own: nothing turns him on more than insults implying he’s gay—even though he’s definitely not!—and all his old coping methods have stopped working.
Pure desperation drives him to rent a Mischievous Pictures porn flick about straight men tricked into servicing Puck, a male dominant. Instead of letting off steam, though, it just leaves him craving more, more, more, and suddenly, Austin finds himself at Mischievous Pictures Studios for an audition. After all, you can be Gay For Pay and still be straight . . . right?
But meeting Liam Williams, the real person behind Puck, confuses Austin even more. Liam really seems to like him as a person, and Austin likes him back. And while Gay For Pay’s okay, what does it make Austin if he still wants Liam when the cameras aren’t rolling?

About the Author
Heidi Belleau was born and raised in small town New Brunswick, Canada. She now lives in the rugged oil-patch frontier of Northern BC with her husband, an Irish ex-pat whose long work hours in the trades leave her plenty of quiet time to write. She has a degree in history from Simon Fraser University with a concentration in British and Irish studies; much of her work centered on popular culture, oral folklore, and sexuality, but she was known to perplex her professors with papers on the historical roots of modern romance novel tropes. (Ask her about Highlanders!) Her writing reflects everything she loves: diverse casts of characters, a sense of history and place, equal parts witty and filthy dialogue, the occasional mythological twist, and most of all, love—in all its weird and wonderful forms. She also writes queer-flavoured M/F as Heloise Belleau.
Chat with her on twitter using the handle @HeidiBelleau.
Browse her website at HeidiBelleau.com or HeloiseBelleau.com.
Check out her books on Goodreads.
Follow her Facebook and Tumblr accounts.
Or contact her using good ole-fashioned email: heidi.heloise.belleau @ gmail.com

Contest
Comment to win! I’m giving away ebooks one and two of the Rear Entrance Video series (that’s “Apple Polisher” and “Wallflower”) to not one, but two lucky commenters on this tour! All you gotta do is leave a comment on this post with a way to contact you (and if your preferred method of contact is email, make sure to put that in the body of the comment, not just in the blog’s form—I can’t see that info! Each comment counts for another entry in the draw, so be sure and follow the entire tour. Entries close at midnight, Eastern Time, on April 21, and winners will be chosen on April 23rd. Contest is valid worldwide.


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Guest Post: Yes He's My Ex- Screwball Comedy by Julie Lynn Hayes

They don’t make comedies like they used to.

Nowadays, you don’t see comedians like the Marx Brothers, or WC Fields, or the Keystone Cops. Groucho Marx could elicit belly laughs just by the way he rolled his eyes or waggled his thick painted-on eyebrows. The Keystone Cop films were famous for their chase scenes—just good old-fashioned fun—while Harold Lloyd swung perilously off the end of a clock hand.

As a kid, I watched the Marx Brothers and WC Fields, Joe E Brown and Mae West. One of my favorite scenes in the Marx Brothers many hilarious films comes from A Night at the Opera. The boys are in their stateroom on the ocean liner, and it’s one of the most famous comedy sequences ever in which any number of people end up inside this tiny stateroom, and you sit in the audience wondering who else can possibly fit.


There were also romantic comedies too, films like Jimmy Cagney in Boy Meets Girl, in which he presents the formula for every love story ever told: boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl. Of course, it’s fun to turn that trope around and change it to: boy meets boy, boy loses boy, boy gets boy. Because two men in love? You can never go wrong, right?


I loved Doris Day as I was growing up, and she made some very funny romantic comedies. In one, she was dragged out of bed by an irate Rock Hudson and carried through the streets in her pajames to the scene of the crime—the bachelor pad she had so viciously “decorated” for him, thinking he was nothing more than a playboy on the make. In another film, The Glass Bottom Boat, Doris got a job with the Space Agency and met a handsome astrophysicist, played by Rod Taylor, who took a liking to her, but the suspicious people at NASA thought Doris was a Russian spy, and things just went crazy from there... Of course, all’s well that ends well. You can’t very well have a romantic comedy that ends badly, that makes it a tragedy, doesn’t it?

That’s what I’ve tried to do with Yes, He’s My Ex. It started out as a flash fiction on my blog, a simple story about an ex-boyfriend who couldn’t seem to get it through his thick head that they were over. But then things began to happen. A cry for help leads Tim into a race to save Sonny. Goofy gangster, a dumb ex-boyfriend, and the FBI... what else can happen to Sonny and Tim? Read Yes He’s My Ex and find out!

Thanks for having me here today, it’s been fun!



Blurb:

Sometimes Sonny Scrignoli forgets he’s Tim Mansfield’s ex. He waltzes in and out of Tim’s apartment like he still lives there, driving Tim crazy. Is it really so hard to remember they’ve broken up? Then again, maybe Tim should quit having sex with him. When Sonny disappears for two weeks, Tim can’t help but be concerned. A strange phone call and a mysterious cry for help leads Tim on a desperate search for his ex.

Sonny’s in big trouble, and it’s Tim to the rescue! He’s the only one who can save his ex from a fate worse than death. Bumbling gangsters, a thick-headed former boyfriend, and secretive FBI agents lead Tim and Sonny on a merry chase full of laughs and quirks.




Excerpt

Sonny’s real name is Mario, but he’s been called Sonny since he was a small bambino, as his mother puts it, so Sonny it is. Sonny stands almost six foot tall in his bare feet, which are surprisingly small for a man, almost dainty. He has chocolate brown hair that grows thick but not long, and generally looks tousled; blue eyes so dark that sometimes they look purple in the proper light, framed behind silver wire spectacles; a generous nose and wide sweet lips which have been known to give the most amazing head this side of anywhere. Put that with the body of an Adonis, and you have Sonny.

I had Sonny, but not anymore. He seems not to realize that, though. At least not most of the time. Hence the part where I see him more often than should be considered normal for someone who’s my ex. Which is where I began.

Sometimes I think he forgets that he has indeed attained that past participle ex-boyfriend status. Granted, it’s only been six months. His mother tells me he just needs time to adjust, please don’t be too hard on her boy. Yes, I still see her too. On a rather regular basis, in fact. Hard not to, when she’s my mother’s best friend. Lucky me. Lia’s a nice lady, I love her to death. But she has this deep-seated belief that Sonny and I are going to get back together again, a belief he seems to share. Along with my mother. And most of our friends.

No one seems to listen to me when I say snowballs rolling along the floor of Hell have a better chance of survival than our relationship. Least of all Sonny. I guess that’s why he keeps coming over here, because in some strange deranged naïve corner of his mind, there’s still an us, and he isn’t an ex. So he wanders over whenever he wants. Sometimes he calls, sometimes he doesn’t. Today he called.

Sometimes I just get tired of telling him no. Some days I don’t even get that far. Today, I didn’t want to waste my breath, so I just said, “Fine. As long as you promise to behave.”

By behave, I mean quit assuming we’re going to have sex. Even if sometimes we do. I know, I know, he’s my ex, right?

Sometimes I just don’t know where to draw that fine line, I think. No wonder the boy’s confused.

Meet the author:
Julie Lynn Hayes was reading at the age of two and writing by the age of nine and always wanted to be a writer when she grew up. Two marriages, five children, and more than forty years later, that is still her dream. She blames her younger daughters for introducing her to yaoi and the world of M/M love, a world which has captured her imagination and her heart and fueled her writing in ways she'd never dreamed of before. She especially loves stories of two men finding true love and happiness in one another's arms and is a great believer in the happily ever after. She lives in St. Louis with her daughter Sarah and two cats, loves books and movies, and hopes to be a world traveler some day. She enjoys crafts, such as crocheting and cross stitch, knitting and needlepoint and loves to cook. While working a temporary day job, she continues to write her books and stories and reviews, which she posts in various places on the internet. Her family thinks she is a bit off, but she doesn't mind. Marching to the beat of one's own drummer is a good thing, after all. Her published works can be found at Dreamspinner Press, Amber Quill Press, MuseitUp Publishing, Torquere Press, and eXtasy Books, and coming soon to Wayward Ink Publishing and Prizm Publishing. She has also begun to self-publish and is an editor at MuseitUp.

You can find her on her blog at http://julielynnhayes.blogspot.com, and you can contact her at tothemax.wolf@gmail.com.

My links: Blog http://julielynnhayes.blogspot.com

Twitter @Shelley_runyon

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/julie.l.hayes.7?ref=tn_tnmn

My Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3442231.Julie_Lynn_Hayes

Dreamspinner buy link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4845

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

RainbowCon Guest Post: Panels by Gryvon



RainbowCon (http://www.rainbowconference.org/) is a brand new upcoming convention for fans of LGBTQ literature. Held at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Tampa, FL the weekend of April 17th-20th, it offers a ton of content for authors, readers, and fans alike in a small convention atmosphere.

I'm really excited to attend RainbowCon. Not only does it offer an escape to a warmer climate from my hometown of chilly Buffalo, NY, but it offers a chance for large scale networking with readers, reviewers, and authors of LGBTQ literature.

RainbowCon features a number of exciting panels and workshops, including Writing Diversity (Thur 3pm), Contract Do's and Don'ts (Fri 11am), Polyamorous Fiction (Sat 11am), and Publishing the DIY Way (Sun 11am). There's also a number of fun events going on including a trip to the clubs in Ybor Saturday night, Relay Naughty Jeopardy (Thur 10pm), Euphemism Bingo (Fri 10pm), a dance party, and lots of other opportunities for socializing with other attendees.

I'll be speaking on three panels:

Beginner's Guide to Con Going - Thur, 2pm, Salon C. This your first conference? Have no idea what to do with all the panels, workshops, and activities? Come on in and our experts will give you a how-to on balancing your con experience.

RainbowCon is by far not the first convention I've attended, nor the first I've volunteered at. I got my start staffing conventions at my local college's gaming and anime convention for several years before moving on to staff Anime North (a Toronto anime convention that gets over 20,000 attendees yearly) for the last ten years. At Anime North, I run the LGBTQ subsection, Yaoi/Yuri North, so I'm no stranger to organizing events geared towards queer content, though RainbowCon will be my first time experiencing it on a larger scale as a whole con. I've also attended numerous other conventions as a regular attendee, a panelist, and as a vendor, so I've got a wealth of information I can share.

Trends in Young Adult Fiction - Friday, 10am, Salon C. Young adult fiction has changed a lot over the years, from plot construction to the relationship elements and characterization (or lack thereof). Take a look at positive and negative trends in this dynamic QUILTBAG genre.

I read a lot of Young Adult fiction lately. It's a genre I hope to be published in eventually, so I've been doing a lot of research on what's out there and what better way to research than to read all the delicious LGBTQ lit that's available on the market. My recent favorite series is by LGBTQ author Scott Tracey whose first book Witch Eyes is an amazing twist on Romeo and Juliet with a male/male pair, mixed with a thrilling bunch of magic and mayhem. For the L side of the equation, I highly recommend Ash by Malinda Lo and for the T side, Luna by Julie Anne Peters.

Fifty Shades of WTF? - Friday, 11am, Salon C. There's good BDSM, there's bad BDSM, and then there are fifty shades of WTF?! This panel takes a look at BDSM in fiction. There will be pointers, examples, and plenty of laughs for all!

I have a special fondness for WTF moments in porn and for writing BDSM, like in my story "What It's Worth" for SMP's Like It or Not anthology. Bits of BDSM also play a role in my stories from the Weight of a Gun anthologies - "The Machinist" and "The Inquisitor". (The final story in that trilogy will also feature heavy BDSM.) For me BDSM isn't about whips and chains but about the power dynamics between the Dom and the sub and the intricacies that are often left out when dealing with a true D/s relationship. I'm hoping our panel will help give inspiration to many writers so that we can see more excellent BDSM stories out in the world.

If you happen to make it out to RainbowCon, please stop by and say hi.

Gryvon is writer of things strange, fantastical, and queer. Her works span a wide range of tone, from dark paranormal thrillers to cozy romances. Her story "A Home Among the Stars" releases on April 11th as part of the Tall, Dark, and Wriggly anthology. A listing of other works, including a plethora of fanfiction, can be found at gryvon.com or you can follow her @gryvon on Twitter.