Friday, 23 September 2016

Fiction Friday

Wow, what a tease I am. I've done something that I hate in the books I read (automatic 1 star deduction), I've left you on a cliffhanger.

Where were we? Ah, yes...

It was time to break the book slump.And there was one book I wanted to read knowing that the author would be at the UK Meet, and that I had owned for some time. And it was at the other end of the alphabet completely!

What was it? Well, it was delightful. And I'll tell you the title in part two of this post.

Of course I never got around to writing part two of the post. So, what was the book?

Widdershins by Jordan L Hawk. Massive 5 stars. This is not a cutesy love story. Alt historical with monsters, magic, death, and destruction. With a side order of betrayal. But at the heart, under all the blood and dark magic, is a glorious love story and a satisfying HEA. I've downloaded the next book ready for my next reading slump.

As you may remember I was reading my Kindle in alphabetical order. Back to the A's.

Worth a mention because it's free, Academic Interest by Jane Davitt. A short spanking fic. Available on AO3.

Then there were three pretty dismal reads, two which I deleted straight off my Kindle (this is very rare so shows you how bad they were) and the third, which was meh, okay, but was riddled with proofing and editing errors. This especially miffed me because in the author's bio she claimed to be a professional editor. Let me tell you, I wouldn't even send a manuscript to an editor in that state, I certainly would be annoyed if I got it back from a professional like that. Any how I digress...

Is three books a slump? Was it time to break out the next Whyborne & Griffin?
Yes, I guess, but no, I didn't. And wasn't the next book a gem.

When Dreamspinner launched their Dreamspun Desire line I side-eyed with caution. Embracing the tropes that underline romance? Never a m/f Mills and Boon (Harlequin) reader in the past I wondered if I could enjoy the stories on offer. Stories that made no excuses for themselves as anything other than cliche ridden pleasures.

Ace in the Hole (Wild Cards #1) by Ava Drake - If this is a sample of the range then sign me up for it. Trope ridden ridiculousness that I absolutely adored.

A-Muse-Ing by Willa Okati - Whoa, this book was originally published in 2008, and as such it is hock full of sex. Probably too much for me. Had it been published now I suspect it would have had half as many sex scenes. But the story, well, that was a tale of impossible love; funny, as the title implies, but sad in places too.

Afflicted (Afflicted #1) by Brandon Shire - My GR reviews starts with 'OMG Hunter is Matt Murdoch'. Make of that what you will :)

Against A Wounded Landscape by Vivien Dean - A stoic knight, a rescued prince, sexual tension, denial. This book was formerly with Amber. I have no idea if the author intends to reissue it. It would be a shame if it disappeared forever.

Aiden's Angel by Aundrea Singer - Demons. Angels. Possession. Magic. True Love. Betrayal. Tears (mine). HEA. Honestly, I sobbed my way through the last 25% of this book.

Alaska (Heartwarming) by Kim Fielding -  God damn you Kim Fielding. Beautifully broken. Cried through pretty much the entire story.

I took a break from the As to proof/beta read Clare London's Sweet Summer Sweat. See what I though of it here. *fans self*

Then I shifted over to a series I started recently. The Sci-Regency series by JL Langley. I found book 2, The Englor Affair, much more enjoyable than the first story. I think I liked the MCs more in this one and the overaching plot is starting to make more sense. I have one more book to go. I hope the main storyline is wrapped up in the next book as I've noticed this was the last book published by this author and that was back in 2012.

All About Trust by D.P. Denman. Another free read, this time from the 2015's Don't Read in the Closet. This has some major trigger warnings going in but if you can face them it is a beautiful story of learning to trust at the most basic level.

I don't know how many more books make up the A section of my Kindle or even how many more I'll read before I get bored with this system. I think I'll try to keep this up until October and then make October a favourite author month.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Sweet Summer Sweat by Clare London

I spent last weekend reading Sweet Summer Sweat. What can I say about this book? *glances at cover* I guess you're thinking it's just your bog standard threesome erotica. You'd be wrong. The first 40% of this story creeped me out completely. I read every line with a feeling of impending doom. Then, bam, or should that be wham, bam, thank you, mam. I didn't have time to be nervous because the sexytimes kicked up a gear and I was distracted for the rest of the book.

I don't want to give too much away so I'm not going to say much more than that.

If you've read Clare London before you'll know that she writes a damn fine sex scene, and, as you should be able to pick up from the blurb, there is a lot of sex in this story. But at no point did I find my attention wandering, or dare to consider skimming. This book had my undivided attention, every word, every thought, every look. Every droplet of sweat rolling languidly down tanned flesh to the waistband of skimpy cut-off shorts... Oh my. *fans self*

Now, if I could only get that damn song out of my head...

Author: Clare London

Release Date: September 20 2016

Publisher: Jocular Press

Length: 74,000 words

Buy Links: Amazon US Amazon UK AllRomance Smashwords 


When you find a place where lust and sex rule life, and your every desire can be fulfilled, why would you ever want to leave?

Young runaway Scot and his boyfriend Jerry escape their deadbeat homes and families, hoping to leave prejudice behind them and travel to a new life in Las Vegas. Unprepared and naive, they're lost almost at once, and shelter at a run-down, deserted motel in the middle of the scorching hot Nevada desert. A place with secrets, run by staff both gorgeous and uninhibited, and driven by a mysterious sexual connection Scot’s never even dared to dream.

All but drugged by the lazy heat and the hedonism around him, Scot watches as Jerry is seduced away and realizes their relationship was nothing more than shared lust. Restless, Scot knows he wants true love and real understanding. Could he find it with the mysterious and elusive owner of the motel, Connor Maxwell? Connor seems to think so, every time he appears and pursues Scot for his own. But where does Connor come from? It seems the passion calls him into being at its own whim.

Eventually, what binds Connor and his friends to the motel may be too strong for Scot to break through. Scot has ambitions to travel, to make something of his life – but is his only option to embrace life at the motel in his true lover’s arms?

Or will that love be strong enough to release them both...

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Rainbow Snippets - 17/18 Sept

Rainbow Snippets is a Facebook Group that invites authors to post 6 sentences of their work each weekend. It can be from anything you like, your current WIP, a recent release, the golden oldie that even you had forgotten you had written, or just a scrap of an idea (as long as it has 6 coherent sentences). Nothing of your own work worth mentioning? How about a 6 sentence review of your favourite LGBTQ+ story.

It's been a while since I posted a rainbow snippet. That's not to say I haven't had anything ready
 for you guys to read. I have. But life has thrown me a curve ball that put me off my stride for a while. Anyway, enough moping, let's get on with the snippet.

This snippet is from Village Love #2. For anyone that loved Resistance, this is Smudge's story. Let's start at the beginning.  (Unbetaed, so excuse the overly-long sentences.)

“No, no, no! Don’t you dare. Not again.” Smudge tightened his grip on the books in his hand and hastened his pace.

Surely, he wouldn’t? But Smudge knew the exact moment Raleigh had clocked him. Only the fact that Mrs Danridge, one of the frailer members of the Slopy Bottom community, was poised on the pull-down steps of the mobile library gave Smudge any hope that he would make it to the village green car park where the bus resided for several hours every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

With the length of the main road of Slopy Bottom stretching before him like a scene out of Alice in Wonderland or the Wizard of Oz, Smudge broke into a jog. 

Friday, 16 September 2016

Fiction Friday

I start this Fiction Friday with... comics.

Yes, I read (in some cases re-read) the first 5 issues in the new Spider-man/Deadpool comic. I have them as individual comics but they are collected in Vol 1: Isn't it Bromantic. A big 5 stars for the volume as a whole (with some of the comics hitting 4 and others 5 stars). Deadpool is doing his damnedest to befriend Spider-man. The dance sequence in issue 4 is particularly inspired. *croons* "I had the time of my life and I owe it all to you."

I did say I would read some old books that had been hanging about on my Kindle. And I did start that with My Fair Captain by JL Langley, which I'd had hanging about since Nov 2012! I have the second book in the series somewhere and should dig it out before I forget the overarching story arc.

Unfortunately (or not) my plans were ruined by Jay Northcote and In To You. I reviewed it here on release day. Needless to say I thoroughly enjoyed it.

After that my book finding lethargy struck again. I put my Kindle2 (the paperwhite) in alphabetically order and I've been reading whatever the next unread book is, regardless (unless it is part of a series and I have books to read in front of it). I started this system on 24th August and I'm still using it.

First up the number titles.

2015 Top Ten Gay Romance - an anthology by JMS Books. My favourite stories were (all 4 star reads) were Batteries Not Included by J.L. Merrow, Just My Style by J.M. Snyder, & What's in Your Box? (Djinn #1) by A.R. Moler. (NB I didn't read Hat trick because I've read the rest of the series.)

629 Miles To Love by Fae Sutherland & Marguerite Labbe. This was one of the books I picked up at Amber just before they closed. Lovers Reunited trope. I was rooting for these guys from the beginning.

Then, within the space of a couple of hours, I dnf'd 5 books, all from the same series. And then the first A book I picked up was another DNF. It was time to break the book slump.And there was one book I wanted to read knowing that the author would be at the UK Meet, and that I had owned for some time. And it was at the other end of the alphabet completely!

What was it? Well, it was delightful. And I'll tell you the title in part two of this post.

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

The best laid plans

The best laid plans have a tendency to go awry when life throws you a curve ball. Consequently I think it's best I talk in plans for the rest of the year rather than this week or month. It's not like I've ever been any good at sticking to my plans anyway.

Writing tools photo writing_zpsd6d7efdd.jpg
I've had the rights back to Lesson Learned for a while now. A conversation with Meredith Russell at the UK Meet has kickstarted the design process for a new cover. Plans are underway to get that back out in circulation before Christmas.

Waiting for a Spark has recently reached the end of its contract with JMS. I'll be sorting out a new cover for that in the coming months.

The second book in the Village Love story is well underway. I've had the first draft back from two of my betas. Another of the things I need to get on with.

That curve ball has stopped me in my writing tracks. I've not written new words in more than 6 weeks, but never fear they are all still in there, I just need to find the oomph to get them out.

Monday, 12 September 2016

Lovers Entwined - 4 heart review

Lovers Entwined has received a 4 heart review over at Love Bytes.

Ewan Matthews is one of Boston’s leading genealogy experts. When a would-be bridegroom comes looking for confirmation that there are no skeletons in his ancestral closet, Ewan considers turning the job down. Trey Capell is a jerk of the highest order and yet Ewan experiences an infuriating attraction that’s easy to justify. Trey’s exactly his type—a carbon copy of the man Ewan’s been looking for his entire life.

Harder to explain is the sense of recognition that leaves Ewan speechless the moment Trey steps into his office. Or the stomach-churning sensation at the thought of casting the job aside. Trey gets more appealing by the day, leaving Ewan struggling with forbidden desire for his client. Desire not helped by strange voyeuristic dreams that have started to haunt his sleep. Dreams that appear to be an echo of the past.

Published by Finally Love Press

Buy Links: Amazon US // AmazonUK // All Romance eBooks

For other reviews check out the main post.

Friday, 9 September 2016

Review - Into You by Jay Northcote

It's no secret that Jay Northcote is an autobuy author for me. Or that her audiobooks are a regular feature of my car journey to work. Her books are feel-good cute without being cloyingly sweet with sympathetic characters that have you rooting for their happy ever after.

In Into You the characters are younger than Jay would normally write them, Scott and Olly are both 18, but this doesn't affect the writing in any way, although I'm surprised how little time either guy spends on the playstation. I found both boys absolutely adorable, but as the book progressed my heart really went out to Scott.

A little bit of magic brings these former best friends back into each others lives in the most extreme way possible and allows them to sort out the issues that had driven them apart 4 years earlier.

This book is a gorgeous coming out story with a well rounded cast of characters and two endearing leads. It has some interesting points to make about being trapped in the wrong body and coming to terms with who you are. But ultimately it is a story of rekindling a friendship, and of taking that next step. Complete with magic and a witch elderly neighbour with a black cat, it is the best kind of fairy tale.

What do you do when the body you wake up in isn’t yours?

Olly and Scott promised to be best friends forever. They grew up on the same street, went to the same school, and did everything together. But one hot summer night, teenage experimentation caused hurt feelings and confusion, and their friendship was destroyed.

Four years later they’re both eighteen years old and in their final term at school. Scott is a football star and Olly’s preparing for a main role in the school play. After a heated argument in the street—witnessed by their mysterious, elderly neighbour—they wake up the next morning stuck in each other’s bodies.

With no idea how to get back to normal, they have to co-operate in order to hide their secret. Spending time together rekindles their friendship, yet feelings run deeper for both of them. With the end of school fast approaching, the clock is ticking. Unless they discover how to change back, they could be stuck in the wrong bodies forever.

Buy Links

You can check out the early reviews and bookmark Into You on Goodreads
As usual, this book will be Amazon exclusive for 90 days before being made available everywhere.