Sunday, February 26, 2017

Book of the Week: Imago by N.R. Walker #Review





Author: N. R. Walker
Publisher: Blueheart Press
Publication date: February 18, 2017

Length: 45,000 words





Synopsis

Nerdy, introverted genius lepidopterist, Lawson Gale, is an expert on butterflies. He finds himself in a small town in Tasmania on a quest from an old professor to find an elusive species that may or may not even exist.

Local Parks and Wildlife officer, Jack Brighton, is an ordinary guy who loves his life in the sleepy town of Scottsdale. Along with his Border collie dog, Rosemary, his job, and good friends, he has enough to keep from being lonely.

But then he meets Lawson, and he knows he’s met someone special. There’s more to catching butterflies, Jack realises. Sometimes the most elusive creatures wear bowties, and sometimes they can’t be caught at all.

Lawson soon learns there are butterflies he can’t learn about it in books. They exist only in a touch, in a kiss, in a smile. He just has to let go first, so these butterflies can fly.

Imago is the story of finding love, bowties, and butterflies.




Review

Best word to describe this book is gorgeous. It’s lovely from beginning to end. Lawson and Jack are absolutely entertaining to read. Their dialog and interactions fits.
Lawson who is used to people thinking him weird and antisocial is perfect in Jack’s eyes. From his bowties to his suspenders Lawson does it for Jack. Lawson basically tells it how it is and is unapologetic about whatever vocal discovery he makes. He has a genius mind, a love for all creatures, a heart bigger than Australia, and a dirty mouth.
Jack is big, outdoorsy, adores his dog Rosemary, is determined to make every date with Lawson better than the last, and admits he never thought he was lonely until he met Lawson.
These two together are like bread and butter! I couldn’t get enough of them. When they meet for the first time it is truly fantastic! Watching it morph and evolve into a brilliant love story felt like an honor.
I can’t begin to imagine what it must feel like to discover a new species of anything. To go at it and believe and work as hard as Lawson does and for Jack to blindly believe him because he believes in Lawson is stunning.
There’s some gasp worth moments in this book too. From the steamy to the suspenseful. The pacing was spot on and I adored the creativity in this plot. You can’t help but fall in love with these two and all the secondary characters.








Saturday, February 25, 2017

Saturday Author Spotlight: Garrett Leigh #Interview #Giveaway



Happy Saturday Author Spotlight day! I'm very excited to have Garrett Leigh back here and talking with me! She's written so many outstanding books such as, Heart, What Remains, Roads series, Misfits, and so so so many more. Coming soon for you she has the sequel to Misfits, Strays! We are going to have a little pow wow with her, check out some of her work, and shut it down with a giveaway so hang around.









Cornish pastry chef Seb Wright dreads the summer tourist season. The cash injection to his artisan fudge pantry is more than welcome, the extra work, less so. Then one summer, a shadowy Good Samaritan catches his eye. Irish Traveller Dex is bewitching, a beautiful sullen enigma who turns Seb's world upside down until he disappears in the night, vanishing like a mystical summer rain.

Twelve months later Dex is in the midst of a dark storm. A slave to his master, 'Uncle' Braden, he spends his days cleaning caravans and his nights working in Braden's other businesses. His short summer with Seb seems a lifetime ago. Lost in the savage violence of the murky underworld, he doesn't dare dream he'll ever find his way back, until one night, a brutal crime opens the door for a chance escape. A new life beckons, old faces emerge, and immersed in the heady vibe of London’s East End, new love begins to heal his fractured heart.






Restaurant owner Tom Fearnes has loved his partner Cass for as long as he can remember, but their work often keeps them apart. When he meets a striking young man named Jake on the vibrant streets of Camden Town, their heady first encounter takes an unexpected turn.

Jake Thompson can hardly believe his luck when he wakes up in Tom’s bed. Tom is gorgeous, kind, and . . . taken. Tom’s explanation of his open relationship leaves Jake cold, but Tom is too tempting, and when hard times force Jake to accept Tom’s helping hand, he finds himself between two men who’ve lost their way.

Cass Pearson is a troubled soul. He loves Tom with all he has, but some days it feels like he hasn’t much to give. Jake seems like the perfect solution. Cass risks everything to push Jake and Tom together, but Jake resists, wary, until the darkness of Cass’s past comes to call. Then Jake finds himself the last man standing, and it’s time to dig deep and shine a light for the men he’s grown to love.




Web designer Jodi Peters is a solitary creature. Lunch twice a week with his ex-girlfriend-turned-BFF and the occasional messy venture to a dodgy gay bar is all the company he needs, right?

Then one night he stumbles across newly divorced firefighter Rupert O’Neil. Rupert is lost and lonely, but just about the sweetest bloke Jodi has ever known. Add in the heady current between them, and Jodi can’t help falling hard in love. He offers Rupert a home within the walls of his cosy Tottenham flat—a sanctuary to nurture their own brand of family—and for four blissful years, life is never sweeter.

Until a cruel twist of fate snatches it all away. A moment of distraction leaves Jodi fighting for a life he can’t remember and shatters Rupert’s heart. Jodi doesn’t know him—or want to. With little left of the man he adores, Rupert must cling to what remains of his shaky faith and pray that Jodi can learn to love him again.




Don’t look back. Don’t you ever look back…

Shy tattoo artist Ash has a troubled past. Years of neglect, drug abuse, and life on the streets have taken their toll, and sometimes it seems the deep, unspoken bond with his lover is the only balm for wounds he doesn’t quite understand.

Chicago paramedic Pete is warmth, love, and strength—things Ash never knew he could have, and never even knew he wanted until Pete showed him. But fate is a cruel, cruel mistress, and when nightmares collide with the present, their tentatively built world comes crashing down.

Traumatic events in Pete’s work life distance him from home, and he doesn’t realize until it’s too late that Ash has slipped away. Betrayal, secrets, and lies unfold, and when a devastating coincidence takes hold, Pete must fight with all he has to save the love of his life.











Interview


Thank you so much for being here today, Garrett. It’s so great to have you back. I pretty much devour any and every book you publish so you can say I’m a fan. I am just going to poke at your brain a little bit today if that’s fine. So strap yourself in and we can begin.


You have a new book coming out, Strays, it’s the sequel to Misfits but with a different set of MC’s being the focal point. Did you ever think you’d write a sequel to this book and will there be a third?

When I wrote Misfits, it was as a complete standalone, but I don’t think I realized how developed the world I’d created for Tom, Cass, and Jake really was until readers began to ask more and more questions about Urban Soul—many of which centered around Cass, and how he met Nero. And so I sat down and thought about it and discovered that I was completely in love with Nero and had to write his story.
I had no intention of writing a third book, but I have a few ideas percolating that I might explore when I have time. Cass feels like he has more to give, and then there’s Jolen too, who appears briefly in Strays. I suppose it depends on how well Strays sells as to whether I can find the time in my schedule to write more.


In this series you have a character with Tourette’s (I don’t want to spoil anything so I will leave them nameless) My sister and law has tourettes and I know, for her, it’s frustrating and she is often embarrassed. Now hers she growls, purrs, and taps involuntarily. There’s many different sort of “ticks” what made you go the route you did with this character?

I wanted to show that there was far more to the condition that the shouty-swearing most of us imagine when we think of Tourrette’s. Because while the character in question certainly swears a lot, there are many other facets to his condition. I think this is showed in Misfits when he bags his head against the wall, and again in Strays when Cass has to leave work to take care of him.


On top of writing books, as if you’re not busy enough, you design book covers! Can you tell us a little about that side of you? How’d you decide to do that and how do you balance your, well, entire life?

I don’t balance my life well at all. I work full time as Garrett—both as an author and an artist, and I have a day job, two kids, and a bunch of unruly animals to look after too. The reality is a big hot mess, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.


What would you say was the biggest chance you ever took with your writing?

Switching publishers. When I signed with Riptide, their release schedule and some personal shit meant that I had a year break between releasing Misfits and Between Ghosts. I was terrified that my readers would’ve forgotten all about me, but thankfully, it didn’t happen, and by the end of this year, you’ll likely be sick of me.



Are there any conferences or conventions you will be attending this year?

Not likely. We’re super busy with house renovations over the summer.



Can you tell us about any of your future projects?

I’m writing the follow up to Rented Heart right now, and it has a link to another book entirely, bringing in another character that readers were desperate to see more of. That’s all I’m saying, though more details can be found in Garrett’s Den. <3

What would you say is your least favorite part about publishing a book?

The fear that no one will buy it.


How can your fans follow you: Twitter, FB, Website, Instagram…

The best way is my group https://www.facebook.com/groups/garrettsden/ but there’s plenty of other ways too…
Cover art enquiries: blackjazzdesign@gmail.com

Fast Fire Questions:

Favorite season? Spring
Coffee or tea? Rooibos tea
Favorite flower? Daffodil
Best comfort food? Anything I can eat in bed with a spoon
Favorite color? Blue
Dogs or cats? Both


Thank you, Garrett, so much for being here! I can’t wait for more books from you.

Thanks for having me, Mere <3







Giveaway

With the release of Garrett's new book Strays coming soon
she wants to gift one person book one, Misfits. Please enter
the rafflecopter below!
Contest will end March 3rd.

Thank you!

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Friday, February 24, 2017

Random Review... Taboo Vol 2 by Kol Anderson #Review #Giveaway




Author: Kol Anderson
Book: Taboo Vol 2
Self Published
Publication date: February 13, 2017
Length: 31 pages


Reviewed by Meredith


Synopsis

Taboo (Taboo Book 2)

Life is never easy. It's made worse when you're thrown to the vipers by your own father.
Happiness was never promised to Jake, but he allowed himself to hope for it for a short time in his life. He'll soon learn happiness is a privilege destined only for a select few, and he may not be one of the lucky ones.






To purchase book one 







Review



The next installment in Kol Anderson’s Taboo series is here! Now, when Vol 1 ended we were all like, “Ahhhhh OMG OMG, JAKE!” We were left feeling dread and hopelessness….Remember? We met quite a few characters. The main three seem to be Jake, Trey, and Weldon.

In this one it took me by surprise. I was expecting the worst environment imaginable. More depravity! Right? I mean it IS KOL! But no. This was a shockingly calm and almost sweet story. Which only terrifies me more because that means it’s all calm before the storm. I’m freaked out about Vol 3. 

We see a side to Weldon. He actually has FAMILY! He has a nephew and a niece. We learn that Jake is known by his sister. But the mystery grows as well. Who is Jake to Weldon? We also know Trey knows the story….. I’m so curious. 

This is a very intriguing series and I’m desperate for more.





Giveaway

Enter the monthly review giveaway!
It's a Kris Michaels ebook gift pack!
Contest ends February 28th!
Thanks!

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Thursday, February 23, 2017

Promotional Post: Secrets of You by Skylar M Cates #Interview #Review #Giveaway




Author: Skylar M. Cates
Book: Secrets of You
Series: Sunshine & Happiness #4
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publication date: March 3, 2017
Cover artist: AngstyG
Length: 220 pages


Reviewed by Morningstar


Synopsis

It’s never easy to find redemption.
Carrying scars and regrets, River Darcourt avoids too much intimate contact. Among his friends, he is known as a quiet loner. Forget about love. It’s not something he will consider… until sweet, young, and tempting Morgan Hayes becomes his housemate. River closed his heart long ago, but the attraction is impossible to deny.
Morgan Hayes needs a change. He is moving out of his critical father’s home and in with his friends, including his secret/not-so-secret crush, River. Having feelings for River is a terrible idea. But what is a guy to do when the annoyingly sexy mechanic is just across the hall?
While Morgan has overcome ugliness and is ready for love, he’s just not sure River ever will be. They have both experienced pain in their lives. So Morgan dares River to take a chance, and love will either break their fractured hearts in more pieces or, just possibly, make them whole again.


Preorder Links








Interview


Hey there, Skylar! It’s super talking with you today. You have a new book coming out so I’m going to shine the spotlight on you a bit and see what I can pull out of you….LOL…

Hello! Thanks for having me visit!


Tell us about your new release?

It’s a roommate romance, where the hot guy is down the hall, and it’s hard to resist the temptation. But he’s got baggage. You’ve got baggage.  All your friends think it’s a bad idea. So you resist….until you can’t. That’s the surface plot.
I also played with the idea of going from that unattainable crush, to getting him, to finally seeing him as a whole, flawed person. That was from Morgan’s side of things. For River, it was about taking a chance with his heart, which has been through a lot already, and whether or not he deserved that chance.

This is book 4 in this series. Is it a standalone or do you recommend people reading each one in order?

It can be a standalone and be quite enjoyable. However, it does refer to some items from the previous books, so ultimately I would read them in order.
It was a complicated one to write. When a book in number 4 in a series, you have a lot of material to include and resolve. I actually worked with multiple editors to make sure I was getting it all right. I wanted to sure Morgan sounded like the Morgan from earlier, and River sounded like River.  That said, I also requested people unfamiliar with the characters to make certain it could standalone and deliver a solid, heartfelt romance.

Do you have a favorite character in this book, or one that just speaks to you more?

A big fat yes!  River spoke to me from the very first book, Here for You. I knew his story was going to be important.
River is this guy who wasn’t allowed to fully express his emotions before. A guy who makes a lot of mistakes, but has a really sweet and loyal heart. But in many ways, his confidence in his self-worth was shattered. Most of all, like so many of us, he stumbled around with love and was hurt by rejection. He deserves every part of his HEA----wow, as I write this, I’m feeling protective of him!  


Are there more books coming from you in this series? 

Well, this was supposed to end the series, and River’s story does end the underlying theme of healing in the first four books.
A few other secondary characters are asking for their stories, though, so I would never say never! *grins*    If I did a few more, they would be much less connected to these original four, and more like standalones.
For now, I’m going to take a break from it.



Of someone was just finding this series and basically said, “Hey what’s it about.” How would you sum it up?

To me, the series is about friendship. The guys live together as housemates, but their connection is very deep.  They are looking for love, but they also are looking for a family to belong to and depend upon.
Although others might point to a specific incident in the first book as focus of the series, and it is an important thread, I felt it was more the catalyst for all other guys to wake up.
 It’s like how Sleeping Beauty needs to be awake to really know who she is, and that awakening can be traumatic. The series is really about how life can be bumpy and unfair, and we have to stay determined to fight for our happiness.



Writing a series vs a standalone. Pros and cons?

Great question!

The pros of a series:  it’s a big canvas to play on, you can revisit beloved characters, and it allows you to create an entire place (I love fictional towns). Finishing a series is like finishing a marathon!
The cons of a series: finishing them, lol
 And keeping track of the details, handling so many characters at once, keeping the interest of readers

The pros of a standalone: it’s simpler to manage, faster to write, and exhilarating like a sprint
The cons of a standalone: never revisiting the characters, cutting scenes that need too much space, and it’s over too soon

Can I ask you what else you have coming out in 2017?

I have a Dreampun Desire book coming late in 2017. It’s a totally fun, tropey thing about a rock star and a cowboy. This one is a total escape!  I’m currently finishing it.

I might continue my Daring the Wolf paranormal world this summer and give Sebastian his story. I’m aiming for Halloween for it.

I have two standalone books about young athletes.
 I’m not sure when the will be released honestly, but one is about a virgin basketball player involved in a college scandal, and the other one involves a swimmer who needs to reinvent himself after a bad love affair and decides to swim across the English Channel.

Thank you, Skylar for talking with us. This looks like an awesome book and a terrific series.
It was my pleasure!










Review



Lately I find myself drawn into stories because I’m drawn to one or more characters in the story. This one was no different. Morgan was that character for me in this story. He was so strong in the face of a terrible attack, a mom who abandoned him, and a Dad who basically tolerated him. No matter what he faced he made the choice to wake up every day and be happy, be who he was, and live his life to the fullest. Step by step he made the choices to go after the things he needed like moving out of his Dad’s and in with friends to go after the things he wanted like starting design school, and to go after the things he only hoped for like River Darcourt. With each word, I grew to not only admire him but cheer for him. How could you not when he had faced such adversity and loss in his life?

That isn’t to say that River was less of a character, because it simply isn’t true. That man paid his dues in life but was still holding on to the idea that he was cursed and someone as happy and wonderful as Morgan deserved better than the darkness that lived inside him. He was wrong, of course, and leave it to Morgan to help him see that. River needs to let go of the past and to do that he needs to open old wounds and face them head on. Then maybe he can go home, his real home, and go after what he wants.

There were some minor inconsistencies that some won’t notice. They weren’t glaring enough to jar me from the story but they were there all the same. The setting that the author gave us was well built and I easily fell into that world. It didn’t follow a pattern so there was no predictability in how things went down between these two, which I loved. The secondary characters, although important, didn’t take away from the main characters at all.

Although I loved this book, there was just that something I cannot grasp that was missing for me. Overall a lovely read that help my attention and some of my heart. This is most likely just a me thing and not a problem with the story. I urge readers to give it a try the emotional journey for these two alone was completely worth the time it took to read.

*Can be read as a standalone




About the Author

Skylar M. Cates loves a good romance.She is quite happy to drink some coffee, curl up with a good book, and not move all day. Most days, however, Skylar is chasing after her husband, her kids, and her giant dog, Wasabi. On a shoestring budget, Skylar has been lucky enough to have traveled all over the country, and she still loves to chat with people from all around the globe. 

Contacts:





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Giveaway

Skylar will gift one person a $15.00 Dreamspinner Credit!
Fill out the rafflecopter below!
Contest will end on book release day March 3rd!
Thanks!


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