Monday, April 24, 2017

Random Review: Ardent by Heloise West #Review #Giveaway




Author: Heloise West
Book: Ardent
Publisher: Manifold Press
Publication date: February 1, 2017
Length: 229 pages


Reviewed by Morningstar


Synopsis

In the village of Torrenta, master painter Morello has created a color that mimics the most expensive pigment of all, the crimson red. Master Zeno, from strife-ridden Medici Florence, tells him the color gives him a competitive advantage – but Morello must be careful. Fraud is ever-present in the dye and pigment markets.

As they work together in Torrenta, Morello falls hard for Zeno’s assistant, Benedetto Tagliaferro, a young man of uncommon beauty and intelligence. Benedetto is still fixed on his old lover, the master painter Leo Guisculo, and cannot return Morello’s affections.

But when Leo dies in a terrible accident, it’s to Morello that Zeno and Benedetto turn for help. And Morello soon finds that in Florence, every surface hides layers of intrigue.



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Review

I fell in love with this author’s writing when I read her Heart and Haven series and again her writing and descriptions of the world of historical Italy. This was a first for me even as someone that loves historical stories they often are not based in Italy.

The writing was beautiful and vivid. The characters were well fleshed out with their story told with detail bringing to life the world at that time and their struggle in it. It was suspenseful but well balanced with the love story of Morello and Benedetto.

Morello was authentic, fresh, and sweet. Morello was very obviously crushing on Benedetto. I liked Benedetto well enough and his mistakes didn’t annoy me. He was young and still so hung up on his old lover which lead him to make some bad decisions. Those decisions had disastrous consequences but also ended with him being closer to Morello. Although I loved that Benedetto and Morello were together, I wasn't completely sold on their chemistry. I think it was more of a "me" thing than a writing thing since the author did bring to life this world. And I think that loss of connection with the characters is what led me to be impressed by the story but not overly attached to it.

The suspense and mystery were well written and presented. Keeping the reader wanting to see the resolution isn’t always easy when it comes to these stories, but from previous reads of this authors, I can tell you she has the talent for it.




Giveaway

Enter the monthly review giveaway.
Contest ends on April 30th!
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Release Blitz: Choices and Changes by TM Smith #Giveaway


Love - Loss - Friendship - Family
The All Cocks stories

There comes a time in every man’s life where he has to make a choice between what is right and what is easy. 

Born and raised in Fort Worth Texas by open-minded parents, Dean Anderson realized early in life he was attracted to both sexes. Equal opportunity, he picked his lovers based on personality and common interests. He met Maggie in college, fell in love, got married and started a family. And they were happy…until they weren’t. 

Adam Chase’s mother is South African, his father American military working at the US Embassy in Pretoria, South Africa. His parents’ positions in the South African and American governments awarded Adam dual citizenship, and he attended University in America, at Berkley. In America, Adam is lives openly as a gay man, something that could get him killed in his mother’s home country. He met his husband, Patrick Carter, at college and they too were happy…until Patrick died. 

Two lives converge, and it would seem fate is giving them each a second chance at happiness, together. Dean stays in New York and moves into the apartment his son, Dusty, shares with his boyfriend David. He and Adam are quickly welcomed into All Cocks’ vastly growing family. And then one phone call changes everything. 

The men of All Cocks learn that death is just another part of life, a road everyone travels eventually. Choices are made, decisions that change their lives irrevocably. They rally together, drawing strength from each other as their close-knit family experiences the best and worst life has to offer. But that’s what families do, right? 

Buy links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon DE | Amazon AU

Series reading order 
Gay for Pay book 1 
Fame and Fortune book 2 
How to Deal book 3 

Dare to Hope book 4 

Live for Love book 5 

Hide and Seek book 6 
Choices and Changes book 7

What others are saying about Choices and Changes...

The chemistry between them was immediate and often entertaining. Dialogue and interaction was strong and suitable for the given situations. The plot was dynamic and had several secondary things happening in the background. There is a tragic twist, so be prepared if you are a more sensitive reader and/or crier. Some new characters were added on top of the entire All Cocks cast. There were a few conflicts that were managed maturely and in a timely manner. Predictability was low. The conclusion was solid and satisfying. Adam and Dean are given their HEA and many others also find additional happiness. 
Tina from Happily Ever Chapter

This series continues and we get to see everyone from the past as don't forget they are a Family. I love this family!
Jen Reilley

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A military brat born and raised at Ft. Benning Georgia; TM Smith is an avid reader, reviewer and writer. A Texas transplant, she now calls DFW her home. Most days she can be found curled up with a good book, or ticking away on her next novel.

Smith is a single mom of three disturbingly outspoken and decidedly different kids, one of which is Autistic. Besides her writing, she is passionate about Autism advocacy and LGBT rights. Because, seriously people, Love is Love!



Author links: Amazon || Smashwords || Website || Facebook || Twitter 

Catch up on the series...


Gay for Pay
An All Cocks story, book 1 

Fame and Fortune
An All Cocks story, book 2

How to Deal 
An All Cocks story, book 3

Dare to Hope
An All Cocks story, book 4 
Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon DE 
Smashwords | B&N | iTunes

Live for Love
An All Cocks story, book 5
Pre-order now! 
Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon DE
Smashwords | B&N | iTunes

Hide and Seek
An All Cocks story, book 6
Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Smashwords | B&N



Facebook All Cocks stories page

Join the All Cocks INC Groupies page on facebook for exclusive excerpts, content, early peek at covers and giveaways that are just for members of the group. 











Sunday, April 23, 2017

Book of the Week: Shelter the Sea by Heidi Cullinan #Review







Author: Heidi Cullinan
Book: Shelter the Sea
Series: The Roosevelt #2
Self-published
Publication date: April 18, 2017
Length: 190 pages
Synopsis
Some heroes wear capes. Some prefer sensory sacks.
Emmet Washington has never let the world define him, even though he, his boyfriend, Jeremey, and his friends aren’t considered “real” adults because of their disabilities. When the State of Iowa restructures its mental health system and puts the independent living facility where they live in jeopardy, Emmet refuses to be forced into substandard, privatized corporate care. With the help of Jeremey and their friends, he starts a local grassroots organization and fights every step of the way.
In addition to navigating his boyfriend’s increased depression and anxiety, Emmet has to make his autistic tics acceptable to politicians and donors, and he wonders if they’re raising awareness or putting their disabilities on display. When their campaign attracts the attention of the opposition’s powerful corporate lobbyist, Emmet relies on his skill with calculations and predictions and trusts he can save the day—for himself, his friends, and everyone with disabilities.
He only hopes there isn't a variable in his formula he’s failed to foresee.


Review


I thought about this book for a long time after reading it. Just like with Carry the Ocean it left me breathless. When I read Shelter the Sea, like with the first book, I couldn't help how impacting it was.

My son is autistic but he also suffers from severe anxiety and Executive Function Disorder. That means his memory isn't good at all. There's a lot to say about it but that's not why I'm mentioning it in my review. I'm mentioning it because every day I see the struggles he faces and I see how hard he fights and prevails and watching him grow has been an honor. So, to read Shelter the Sea and watch the evolution of Emmet and Jeremey was like watching my son.

Jeremey's depression is bad when this book starts and he's struggling and Emmet hates seeing the man he loves in pain and so he must find a way to make it better for Jeremey, so he does. The Roosevelt is in trouble, Darren is miserable in Icarus House and needs saving, there's money woes, and evil doers trying to stand in the Roosevelt Blues Brothers' way... and then there's Emmet. He shows incredible strength. He's so brilliant and he became my hero in this story, hell, in fiction!!!

I tried not to cry reading this but then there was the scene at the restaurant, with the mother, and the video Emmet made and... you'll know the scene when you get there. That did me in. I was all sobs and hiccups from there!

This is a tremendously wonderful series that grips you and pulls at you and when you walk away from it you're informed. You're connected to these amazing guys who are but fictitious characters speaking for the real deals out there. The ones who face what Emmet, Jeremey, Darren, and David face every day. In RJ King we see the enemy and the fighting that can never end so the RJ's can be defeated.

This is an amazing book that will touch your heart and soul and fill you with a deep understanding of true love and perseverance.








Random Double Review: Klub Kids and Klub Kids Strike Back by Johnny Williams #Review #Giveaway




Author: Johnny Williams
Book: Klub Kids~ 2nd edition
Self Published
Publication date: April 13, 2016
Cover Artist: Johnny Williams
Length: 172 pages

Reviewed by Meredith

Synopsis

Johnny Williams really only wants one thing: a chance at love. But will he find his chance in the hilarious crawl through the club scene we go through with him, the only real place he knows where to go with his friends to find available gay guys? Come with him and his friends, the incredibly handsome Danny and super peppy Jason, as they attempt to help him find that chance, before he gives up, or ends up with someone they’ll hate. This semi-biographical trip is filled with lots of humor, plenty of blunt candor, sexy encounters, and heartbreaking hopes of love.


 




Author: Johnny Williams
Book: Klub Kids Strike Back
Self Published
Publication date: March 1, 2017
Cover Artist: Johnny Williams
Length: 468 pages

Reviewed by Meredith


Synopsis

Continuing the comic adventures of the Klub Kids, and Johnny, as he tries to find love in gay clubs, coffee houses, and through friends. Also, they attend the wedding of his friend Jason and his love of his life, Peter, the doctor who treated him after a gay bashing.














Reviews

Klub Kids



Klub Kids by Johnny Williams is truly a funny, fresh, and fierce book. There is so much realism mixed in. It was wonderfully refreshing. Johnny's sense of humor had me laugh-crying and that is my favorite! 

The character Johnny (which when you consider it's a semi-autobiography is also the writer) is very cynical. You don't quite know what will come out of his mouth at any given time and that is why I'd bust out laughing at odd times in this story.

You can't help but relate and love Johnny in this. I can't understand his struggle at finding someone because I found him to be a delight!

It's fascinating in the outlook part. Aside from all the wonderful humor, there are issues and I found the author really made the reader not just be there but to understand it all. Great!



Klub Kids Strike Back

Klub Kids Strike Back is book two, or a follow up really to Klub Kids. I did read this back to back with book one so I can easily say I find the need to read the first one before this to be important.

We are once again in the author's head here. This isn't just a story, just like in book one this is a semi-autobiography. The humor is still amazing and witty. There were so many priceless moments that made me laugh and love. He nails the realism once again and I have to say that really is a huge thing. We can all joke about what Johnny lives through with the character but when there's added realism we feel like we've been there in our own way.

Johnny has seen things that some have and some haven't and I felt like his eyes in many ways, going through a scene with him. We are all cynics in this world... at least the people I know are so in many ways we are Johnny.

There's a script included, one the author is trying to get Hollywood to read and love. It's my opinion we need more of these stories out in the world.

There's so much to love about this series, of course, the laughs and realism, but there's the rawness we don't see a lot of.

I recommend this series







Giveaway

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Contest will end on April 30th.
Thank you

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Saturday, April 22, 2017

Random Review: Until Forever Comes by Cardeno. C #Review #Giveaway




Author: Cardeno C. 
Book: Until Forever Comes~ 2nd edition
Series: Mates #2
Publisher: The Romance Authors
Publication Date: July 15, 2015
Length: 204 pages


Reviewed by Meredith


Synopsis

A sensitive wolf shifter and a vicious vampire challenge history, greed, and the very fabric of their beings in order to stay together until forever comes.


Plagued by pain and weakness all his life, Ethan Abbatt is a wolf shifter who can’t shift. Hoping to find an honorable death by joining his pack mates in a vampire attack, Ethan instead learns two things: draining his blood releases his pain and his wolf, and he has a true mate—a vampire named Miguel.


Over four centuries old, strong, powerful, and vicious, Miguel Rodriguez walks through life as a shadow, without happiness or affection. When a young shifter tells Miguel they're true mates, destined to be together, Miguel sends him away. But Ethan is persistent and being with him comes so naturally that Miguel can't resist for long. Their challenge is staying alive so they can be together until forever comes.








Review


Until Forever Comes is book two in Cardeno C’s Mates series and it’s different than just your typical shifter story. Ethan is a shifter who’s been living with pain his whole life, unable to shift. He goes out one night on an impossible mission. One he knows will give him the bliss of death. But that’s of course not how things go and he comes face to face with Miguel, his mate… Oh and he’s a vampire!

It’s obvious, right off the bat, that we are going to face conflict in this story. A great parallel was formed in this book. A shifter loving a vampire and vice versa. Each other’s kinds not totally okay with that. It’s something we see in our own society and I quickly picked that up and found it to be an interesting avenue.

I loved Ethan. He has such a wonderful and refreshing outlook and personality. It’s no wonder vicious, dark, and brooding Miguel can’t resist him for long. Their love is unstoppable and they learn so much from each other. Not just about the lives they’ve lived but they learn about love.
It’s a sweet story with serious sexiness and a lovely HEA!!!






Giveaway

Enter the monthly giveaway
Contest ends on April 30th!
Thanks


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Saturday Author Spotlight : Zoe Perdita #Interview #Giveaway




Hello all my lovely readers! Saturday is here and that means it's Author Saturday time! Today we have author Zoe Perdita who has written wonderful paranormal series' such as Westside Wolf, Haven City, Russian Wolf, and many more. She's here this fine day to talk with us about how she ticks, to let us take a look at some of her works, and to offer one person an incredible giveaway. So, stick around!








Titan in Chains (Darkvale Series #1)

They call him Titan.

Calder King has it all: a football scholarship at a prestigious university, a guaranteed position as CEO of his family's company (someday) and all the hot co-eds he can handle, but Calder is way more interested in his missing memories and the weird things he can do -- like his super strength and invulnerability. Not to mention the crazy vigilantes terrorizing the city, the ones Calder alone (aka Titan) can handle.

Enter super genius Patrick Black. Not only is he Calder's new college roommate, he's also the ward of the man Calder's family despises. On the surface they should be enemies, but Patrick's the only person who understands what it's like to have the whole world expect stuff from you -- stuff Calder's not sure he can give. Never mind that Patrick is also openly gay and way too hot for his own good. Because Calder is straight, and Patrick doesn't date straight guys.

Patrick Black's whole persona is a carefully controlled lie. By day, he's a studious college student, and by night he's a vigilante exposing the city's dark underbelly as Apprentice. That doesn't mean he can't have a little fun once in a while. Calder King is fun and gorgeous, but he's also as straight as a damn ruler, which takes him off the table. When a mysterious stranger named Titan rescues Patrick one night, sparks fly. If Patrick can’t have Calder, maybe Apprentice can have Titan.

Lust and sex bring these two college roommates together but will their buried secrets tear them apart?





 Rogue Wolf ( Haven City Series #1)

Conner, a rogue wolf and murder detective, isn’t looking for a lover when he moves to Haven City. He wants to solve crimes and keep to himself – unable to trust anyone since his pack betrayed him six years before.

But Seth Alwen, his new partner, is different. He excites the wolf’s animal instincts – waking up the passion Conner buried long ago. Seth’s not only beautiful and alluring; he’s also haunted by the death of his former partner. And despite his better judgment, Conner aches to relieve the man of his guilt.

Seth’s a seer, but ever since his old partner died his powers have been on the fritz.

Enter Conner Sharp, Seth’s sexy and mysterious new partner. While the dark-haired stranger ignites Seth’s desire, he also awakens the seer’s power with every touch. Seth sees their future together – a future rich with lust and danger – but is it a future the enigmatic Conner wants?

As the two men solve a series of murders, their sizzling attraction overflows into the bedroom. Is the overwhelming passion just a fling or is it forever?



Sync & Shadows ( Darvale Series #4)

NEW RELEASE Out April 3rd!

Spence Bennett never imagined he’d find someone who would love and accept him for who he was, but all of that changed when he met Hunter Westing. By day, they work to survive in the crime-ridden city of Darkvale. But at night, Spence and Hunter hit the streets as the masked vigilantes: Sync and Orion.

While they’re busy targeting mob bosses and drug deals, another shadow moves through the city—a dangerous man known only as imposter X and Spence promised to help the man in exchange for his life. If he doesn’t follow through, the man will hurt Hunter. Possibly kill him.

Hunter Westing would do anything to protect Spence from Darkvale and his own the violent urges. The only way to relieve them are through their kinky sex-life and bashing in kneecaps of local criminals. But when the man that both threatened and saved Spence’s life calls in a favor, Hunter doesn’t have a choice but to obey.

Can Spence and Hunter free themselves from imposter X’s web of intrigue, or is their love weaker than their enemies lies?








Interview



Hey, Zoe, thank you for being here today and agreeing to this mild interrogation. You’ve been on the blog before but this time I get to ask you things! YAY!





What is the very first thing you do when writing a book?

Thanks for having me! I do a minor outline that includes the character’s names, main motivation and the overall plot. I also try to think of a kick ass line to start the book and draw readers in.

What’s the very last thing you do?

Drink a glass a wine and worry what my editor will think.

Where’s the strangest place you’ve gotten a plot bunny?

I’m not sure if it’s that strange, but I get a lot of plot bunnies while hiking. Once, I saw a walking stick in a hole in the middle of a foot bridge and got the idea that if someone pulled it out, they’d summon a wizard who would then have to follow them around because they were bound together. I might do something with that. It sounds fun.

Who are some of you writing inspirations?

Coffee. It fuels everything. Reading historical accounts. There’s a bunch of crazy stuff that happened in the past, and it’s great for plotting and characters. Also snappy dialogue in movies, TV shows or books. That always gets me in the mood to write my own.

You love traveling. Where is your favorite place to go?

There are so many! In the US, probably the Washington coast. It’s so wild and rugged and secluded. For the rest of the world, Tokyo, Japan. It feels like home and the food is great. Plus, there is no way to get bored in Tokyo.


Why shifters? What made you gravitate to them?

I love fantasy and shifters fit into that mold nicely. Plus, I like world building different shifter societies. It’s pretty fun to play around with. And, since most of my characters are a bit morally gray, they work better as shifters since they can get away with more than a normal human could.  

Would you ever collaborate with an author and if so who?

I’m not sure. It sounds fun, but I’ve never thought about it before so I don’t have anyone in mind.

Can you tell us what you’re currently working on?

I’m re-vamping all of my older books with new covers and new ebook files—all 30 of them! I’m also plotting the last Darkvale book because it’s going to be a doozy. All the secrets are revealed and loose ends tied up.

Do you cast your characters or do they take on a unique image in your head?

They’re unique to my head. I’d draw them if I could.

How can your readers follow your work: Twitter, FB, Website etc….

Twitter: @zoeperdita
Goodreads:


Fast Fire Questions

Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate
Day or night? Day
Dog or cat? Cat
Coffee or tea? Coffee
Favorite flower? Oriental poppy
Favorite smell? Coffee
Favorite comfort food? Homemade mac & cheese with pepper jack and breadcrumbs on top.
Best movie ever? Hot Fuzz


Thank you so much for being here!



Giveaway

Zoe is giving away a Starter Library Giveaway!!!
That's 5 books from 5 different series:
Rogue Wolf
Titan in Chains
Crash
Alpha's Reign
Omega in the Shadows

Fill out the rafflecopter below.
Contest will end on April 28th!

Big thank you to Zoe for being here today!



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