Sunday, November 30, 2014

A Tale of Three Shorts Blog Tour

A Tale of Three Shorts Tour gets readers up close and personal with three late fall releases by Taylin Clavelli. The three short stories, Invisible, Sleepwalking, and DIY Delights, will take you from loss and sorrow, to tender love, to laughter, and a deep sigh when you finally reach the end of each tale. Come meet the men of A Tale of Three Shorts and their stories!

What do you do when you become invisible to the love of your life? 

3.5 stars
The story was interesting for me, because instead of watching a couple fall in love for the first time, you get to see them deal with a fading relationship. Sean and David have been together for 12 years, but they have started to drift apart. So many times you read a book and at the end it's "...and they lived happily ever after." But life is never that easy, so it was nice to read a book where the characters had to work to keep their relationship going, and deal with the fallout from drifting apart. 

I enjoyed reading the story, but felt that it would have done better as a longer story, since you see the direct aftermath and then there's a time skip to see what happens in the future. While I liked hearing from both men's POVs, including the self-discovery they went through in the immediate aftermath, I would have also liked to see more details about how they mended their relationship, instead of just seeing a small portion of it and then skipping ahead to the future. All in all though, I did enjoy reading Invisible, and would definitely recommend giving it a try.

Amazon     |     Amazon UK     |     Amazon AU
B&N     |     ARe     |     WIP

Devastated by loss, Matthew sleepwalks through life, existing but not living. 

Can someone rescue him from his waking nightmare and help him to live again?

4 stars
This is another book that deals with a lesser seen aspect in romance, the death of a loved one. I liked how the author really described and talked about not only the emotions you go through when dealing with a devastating loss, but also how she didn't rush the resolution. Matthew wasn't magically healed, it took time and effort. I also enjoyed how Matthew and Elliot's relationship slowly evolved and I loved the little details the author added, such as the visits to different art museums, which just added to the story for me. All in all, I greatly enjoyed this story, and I think the author did a great job writing about such a difficult topic.

Amazon     |     Amazon UK     |     Amazon AU
B&N     |     ARe     |     WIP

DIY Delights
While renovating his first house with his partner, Mike, Duncan discovers a plethora of reasons to use his favourite word… Bollocks!

5 stars

This is my favorite of these three shorts. I mean come on, the book starts out with examples of how to use bollocks in a sentence and the energy and humor continue on from there. 

The whole story is one man's view of his life, viewed through a very odd lense: how his usage of the word bollocks has changed over the years and over the course of a home renovation. The entire story is told through a conversational narrative from Duncan, a humorous and quirky character that I loved getting to meet. It's funny and sexy, full of tragically funny mishaps and DIY surprises and of course, lots of smexy times. All in all, this was a fun little read that I greatly enjoyed and highly recommend if you're looking for a laugh.

Amazon US     |     Amazon UK     |     Amazon AU
B&N     |     ARe     |     WIP

Taylin, thanks so much for stopping by. So, why don’t you tell us a little about yourself?
 Many thanks for having me. I am married with two children and live in central England. I am not far off reaching my half century, but it’s only my body that creaks. My brain tries to convince me I’m half that age. I enjoy horse riding, martial arts, writing, and movies.

How did you get started writing?
 I used to read a lot of fanfiction – still do - and had an idea for a plot I’d like to read. I asked an author whose stories I’d been reviewing, if she’d be interested in writing something along the lines of my plot bunny. She said, “Why don’t you write it?”

When I heard her words, I thought she was kidding, but she convinced me to give writing a go and the rest they say is history.

What was the inspiration for your book?
There are three short stories all of which had differing inspirations. DIY delights was inspired by my experiences doing up the family home. The storyline of the bathroom that ended up 4 inches bigger all around is my actual bathroom.

Invisible was again personal, but more emotionally personal. The nugget of the plot of feeling invisible to one’s partner happened to me and several of my friends. Thankfully we came out the other side of it. But for my characters, my experience wasn’t colorful enough for a story, so I took my knowledge and applied it to my boys.

As for Sleepwalking, it was inspired by the Adam Lambert song Sleepwalker. The person in his song sounded so sad; the emotion tugged at my heartstrings. After that, various images kept entering my head, and I had to get them down on paper. The first line – I saw a picture of you hanging in an empty hallway --inspired the opening sequence where Matthew see a picture of his dead husband on the fallen wall of the police station. 

What’s the one genre you haven’t written in yet that you’d like to?
 Futuristic. I don’t mean a few years down the line, but hundreds, maybe millions of years in the future. The barrier for me though is having enough of an imagination to create a world that stands up to the laws of physics, but is sufficiently different to anything already out there. I am a huge fan of Star Wars and Star Trek.

Are there any genres you won’t read or write in? Why?
 I don’t like hardcore horror. Won’t watch it on the TV or read it. I’ve tried but have been unsuccessful in getting past the first chapter. I watched a couple of horror movies as a child, and they gave me nightmares for months after.

As for won’t write – I won’t write BDSM stories. I have read many stories that include BDSM and have enjoyed them. I can understand why that world is something to desire and experience. The reason I won’t write in that genre is that I don’t know enough about the culture and don’t have the balls to research it enough to do the genre justice. I wouldn’t be able to do it justice.

So, what are you working on right now? Have any releases planned, or still writing?
 I am working on two stories. One is called More Than Biology – where a boy researches sexuality and asks the questions, “Are we born gay, or can we choose to be gay?” Internally he is confused, and the story is his journey of discovering what is right for him.

I am also working on a story called Secret Of The Manor, which is a story of a man who encounters a ghost who needs a champion to enable him to rest in peace.

In the Wayward Ink anthology, A Likely Story, due out in December contains my story Chimera Air. It is an airline completely staffed by gay people, where the customer isn’t always right. The anthology also contains a collaborative comedy piece written by Lily Velden and myself Dr. Justin Gaylord. He’s a sex therapist who has issues with some clients. On the outside, he remains perfectly professional, while, in his head, he fights a war between his professionalism and his wayward thoughts.

Alright, now for some totally random, fun questions. Favorite color?     

Favorite movie?    
Oh, so many, but for now I’ll say, Lord Of The Rings.

 Book that inspired you to become an author?
 There was no one book which inspired me to become an author, but the one story which got me into reading M/M was Money Matters by cbaty.

Alright, you have one superpower. What is it?    
See in the dark.

You can have dinner with any 3 people, dead, alive, fictitious, etc. Who are they?
Thranduil from the Hobbit. Arthur C Clarke and Sir Ian McKellen 

Last question: Which of your characters are you most like and how/why?

They all have bits of me in them, so can’t choose.  

About the Author:
Taylin Clavelli lives in the United Kingdom, about 15 miles south of Birmingham, and a short journey from the world famous Cadbury’s Chocolate factory. She’s married with children and loves her family with all her heart.

Her love of books has been a long standing affair, with Taylin liking nothing better than to lose herself in an imaginary world.

Until she met Lily Velden, she never considered trying her hand at writing. However, after talking ideas, Lily encouraged her to put pen to paper—or rather, fingers to keyboard. Since, with a few virtual kicks in the right place, she hasn’t stopped. Her confidence eventually led to her writing an original work for submission.

Her first published work was Boys, Toys, and Carpet Fitters, developed for the Dreamspinner Press Anthology – Don’t Try This At Home.

Now she absolutely adores immersing herself into the characters she creates, and transferring the pictures in her brain to paper, finding it liberating, therapeutic, and wonderful.

Outside of writing, her interests include; martial arts (she’s a 2nd Degree Black Belt in Taekwon-do), horse-riding, all of which facilitates her love of a wide variety of movies. Her action heroes include Jet Li and Tony Jaa—finding the dedication these men have for their art combined with their skill both amazing and a privilege to watch. If pressed, she’ll admit to thinking that the screen entrance of Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean – Curse of the Black Pearl, and Shadowfax in LOTR, to be the greatest screen entrances ever. Her all-time favorite movies are Star Wars and Lord of the Rings.

The simple things in life that make her day, putting a smile on her face are:

Laughter – especially that of her children.

The smell of lasagna cooking – it makes her mouth salivate.

The dawn chorus – no symphony ever written can beat the waking greetings of the birds.

Website     |     Facebook     |     Twitter

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Steamed Up Anthology - Reviewed by Trix

STEAMED UP anthology

Inventors, pilots, tinkers, and soldiers; magical metals to replace an aging heart or a ruined limb; steam-powered fantasy worlds of clockwork nightingales, automatons, dirigibles, and men. The stories in this anthology visit diverse times in the history of modern man, and the men who populate these tales face war and cruelty, masters and autocrats, illness and poverty and greed. Yet the heat of romance outmatches even the steam engines, and time and again, the gears of love rule the day.

Stories included are:
The Clockwork Nightingale's Song by Amy Rae Durreson
Caress by Eli Easton
Swiftsilver by Bell Ellis
The Clockwork Heart by Kim Fielding
The Galatea's Captain by Anka Grace
Screws by R.D. Hero
The Golden Goose by Mark Lesney
Spindle and Bell by Augusta Li
Ace of Hearts by Mary Pletsch
Five to One by Angelia Sparrow
Untouchable by Layla M. Wier

Trix’s Review:
4.25 stars

While I usually prefer more humorous steampunk, the quality of the writing is very consistent throughout the anthology. Many of the stories (especially in the first half) have much less sexual content than is usual in m/m, which may appeal to more hesitant readers while disappointing m/m veterans. Various online reviews had me fearing that these stories would be upsetting, but I was relieved to find that that wasn't true. There is a certain melancholy to many of these tales (given the time period and subject matter), but in most cases, they lead to a satisfying and hard-won happily-ever-after. (I was also unable to predict how most of the stories would end while I was reading, which is a rare thing in m/m!) 

Angelia Sparrow's "Five To One" opens the proceedings with a charming friends-to-lovers story, one that seems the closest to a contemporary m/m piece. The two stories that stood out for me happened to be right next to each other. R.D. Hero's "Screws" is both funnier and raunchier than the others, and winks at the literal nuts-and-bolts of steampunk in a clever and self-referential way. This paves the way for the emotional punch of Kim Fielding's "The Clockwork Heart," the slow-burning relationship between a castaway golem with a soul and an inventor who believes he has none. The two stories couldn't be more different, but both are very effective.

The second half of the book is a little more whimsical and relaxed than the first, culminating in the lyrical and sensual "Swiftsilver" by Bell Ellis. The stories are nearly novella-length, so there's plenty of attention given to character and plot development. STEAMED UP has a different feel than most m/m or steampunk I've read, and is all the more satisfying for it.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Black Friday Challenge and Giveaway

So here's a fun little Black Friday challenge all of you. I traveled with my family for Thanksgiving, and at the resort we're staying at, there was a sign showing how many miles away various cities were. You can answer in the comments, and the person who gets the closest (say, the city) to where I actually am will win a $10 Amazon gift card. I will also give away a $5 Amazon gift card to whoever can guess the state or foreign country (i.e., not the United States as a guess) first.

Here are the cities and miles listed:
Boston - 1350 miles
Mexico - 1340 miles
St. Augustine - 408 miles
Baltimore - 1218 miles
Bahamas - 1807 miles

Good luck!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Laugh a little, give thanks for what you have, spend some time with the ones you love, eat without worrying about the calories, and above all...Have a Happy Thanksgiving!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Mask of the Verdoy Review Tour

LONDON, 1932 … a city held tight in the grip of the Great Depression. GEORGE HARLEY’S London. The West End rotten with petty crime and prostitution; anarchists blowing up trams; fascists marching on the East End.

And then, one smoggy night …

The cruel stripe of a cutthroat razor … three boys dead in their beds … and a masked killer mysteriously vanishing across the smoky rooftops of Fitzrovia.

Before long the cockney detective is drawn into a dark world of murder and intrigue, as he uncovers a conspiracy that threatens the very security of the British nation.

God save the King! eh, George?

THE 1930s … thinking debutantes, Bright Young Things and P. G. Wodehouse? Think again—more like fascists, psychopaths, and kings of the underworld. GEORGE HARLEY’S London is a city of crime and corruption … of murder most foul, and smiling, damned villains.

In part an homage to Grahame Greene’s Brighton Rock, and to the writings of Gerald Kersh, James Curtis, Patrick Hamilton, Norman Collins and the other chroniclers of London lowlife in the 1930s, Mask of the Verdoy also tips its hat to the heyday of the British crime thriller—but unlike the quaint sleepy villages and sprawling country estates of Miss Marple and Hercules Poirot, George Harley operates in the spielers, clip-joints and all-night cafés that pimple the seedy underbelly of a city struggling under the austerity of the Great Slump.

With Mussolini’s dictatorship already into its seventh year in Italy, and with a certain Herr Hitler standing for presidential elections in Germany, 1932 sees the rise in the UK of the British Brotherhood of Fascists, led by the charismatic Sir Pelham Saint Clair. This Blackshirt baronet is everything that Harley despises and the chippy cockney soon has the suave aristocrat on his blacklist.

But not at the very top. Pride of place is already taken by his arch enemy, Osbert Morkens—the serial killer responsible for the murder and decapitation of Harley’s fiancée, Cynthia … And, of course—they never did find her head.

Mask of the Verdoy is the first in the period crime thriller series, the George Harley Mysteries.

STILL CLUTCHING THE distraught Gladys close to him the Italian moved forwards and fired up at the cage, the round ricocheting off the bars, briefly illuminating the gloom with a spray of sparks. Harley hunkered down, swore, and redoubled his efforts, finally forcing the catch and dropping through the small opening just as another bullet passed inches from his head.
The cage slewed as he dropped inside, the box of dynamite shifting a little to the left.
Now that his eyes had adjusted to the darkness he could quite plainly make out the length of two-core cable running through a drilled hole in the side of the box of explosives and out through the cage, snaking away into the gloom. He turned to peer through the bars—and was dismayed to see the second hand of the oversized clock ticking past the three minute mark.
He quickly lay down and started to crawl towards the bomb, the cage listing dangerously to and fro.
Girardi now fired again; this time the bullet made it through the bars to clatter terrifyingly around the inside of the cage.
‘Smith! You still there?’ shouted Harley, feeling in his jacket for his penknife.
‘You betcha, guv!’ came a voice from the gloom.
‘Shine a spotlight down there on that cowson, would yer? Try and dazzle him for me. Make it sharpish, now! We’ve only got seconds before this bloody thing goes up.’

Phil was also interviewed by Crime Fiction Lovers, which you can read here.

My Review:
4.5 stars

Such a great book, where do I start? An entertaining look into the 1930s, wonderful characters, and a dynamic and engaging storyline. I'm not usually a historical fan, but the history and time period is woven into the story so well, that I was drawn in and interested instead of feeling like I was sitting through a boring history class. I got to see a side of London that you rarely hear about nowadays, and I was absolutely hooked. 

As for the characters; simply amazing. They were fleshed out, well written, and I found myself thinking of them as real people who I might have met walking down a London street in the 30s. The plot was also phenomenal. An engaging thriller, with turns I didn't see coming and an interesting end, that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. I highly recommend giving Mask of the Verdoy a read, and I am looking forward to the next book in the series.

December 3: Word Menagerie
December 10: Straight from the Library
December 17: Our Families Adventure

Author Bio and Links:
Phil Lecomber was born in 1965 in Slade Green, on the outskirts of South East London—just a few hundred yards from the muddy swirl of the Thames.

Most of his working life has been spent in and around the capital in a variety of occupations. He has worked as a musician in the city’s clubs, pubs and dives; as a steel-fixer helping to build the towering edifices of the square mile (and also working on some of the city’s iconic landmarks, such as Tower Bridge); as a designer of stained-glass windows; and—for the last quarter of a century—as the director of a small company in Mayfair specializing in the electronic security of some of the world’s finest works of art.

All of which, of course, has provided wonderful material for a novelist’s inspiration.

Always an avid reader, a chance encounter as a teenager with a Gerald Kersh short story led to a fascination with the ‘Morbid Age’— the years between the wars. The world that Phil has created for the George Harley Mysteries is the result of the consumption and distillation of myriad contemporary novels, films, historical accounts, biographies and slang dictionaries of the 1930s—with a nod here and there to some of the real-life colourful characters that he’s had the pleasure of rubbing shoulders with over the years.

So, the scene is now set … enter George Harley, stage left …

Phil lives in the beautiful West Country city of Bath with his wife, Susie. They have two sons, Jack and Ned.

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Buy Links:
Amazon     |     |     Book Depository

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Deceived VBT

They say a soul is the immaterial essence, the animating principal, the actuating cause of an individual life.

But what if you had to share yours with the one person you hated the most?

The soul mate principal states that for every one soul there is another that will recognize its match, hence creating the perfect union.

But what if you had two soul mates, which would you choose?

What if your choices had eternal ramification?

Deceived, the debut novel in the Soul Keeper Series, is a modern day love story about the implications of having more than one soul mate, and having to choose between the two of them. The decisions of the gods has left the next generation, their heirs, torn between fate and reality, and the balance of the future hangs in anticipation of what's to come.

He stopped just before her, his gaze locked on hers, and try though she may words escaped her cry for assistance. His piercing jade eyes bore into her, dark orange rays stretching lazily from the iris, his skin seeming to glitter as if kissed by the sun.

“I’ve been waiting for you.”

“For me?” Sam blinked in surprise, taking a hesitant step back.

“Ah, Samantha,” he breathed out, his brow creasing ever so slightly. “Same questions every time, my love. Shall I give you the same answers?”

 “W-what a-answers?” She shook her head, attempting to draw in a breath that wasn’t filled with the smell of pure male.

There would be no relaxing in front of him for something was so very familiar and yet alarming to all of her protective senses. Brick by brick, her heart constructed a thick wall that would promise protection. He took a step forward and reached for her hand, but was a bit too late to infiltrate her senses as the wall was up and impenetrable.

She exhaled softly as their skin connected and instinctively let her fingers wrap around his as a sign of friendship. The warmth of his touch sent tingles racing along the corridors of her body and yet still the cold loneliness remained because she demanded it so. No one would ever penetrate her defenses again. Self-preservation had become her lifelong companion simply because life required such company.

Book 2 of the series, Destroyed is also now available as well.

From the second book in the Soul Keeper Series…

Now I lay me down to sleep,
Whom shall I trust my soul to keep?
If I should die before I wake,
I leave to fate my soul to take.

 The seal has been broken and the Soul Keeper Prophecy set in motion. Marcus and Nicolas are battling for the heart of one woman, Pandora’s only daughter; however, not everyone is playing by the rules. With interference from both sides of the lines and too many deities with hidden agendas, the trio must take matters into their own hands and look for another ending, one that removes control from fate.

Can they find the missing page from the prophecy that has the ability to change everything?

Will the new stranger they’ve been given as a guide assist or mislead them?

Will Samantha make a decision on who it is that she truly loves, saving one and destroying the other?

What if her choice is no choice at all?

November 3: Kerry Hearts YA
November 4: Angela Myron
November 4: Coffee Books and Art
November 5: MAD Hoydenish
November 5: LibriAmoriMiei
November 6: Unabridged Andra's
November 7: SBM Book Obsession
November 7: Lisa Haselton's Reviews and Interviews
November 10: House Millar
November 11: Our Wolves Den
November 11: Long and Short Reviews
November 12: The Bookie Monster REVIEW
November 13: Carly's Book Reviews REVIEW
November 13: Untamed Spirit
November 14: Books N Pearls
November 17: A Book Addict's Delight
November 17: Books in the Hall
November 18: Bunny's Review
November 19: Books Are Magic
November 19: Straight from the Library
November 20: The A P Book Club
November 21: Queen of All She Reads
November 21: Welcome to My World of Dreams
November 24: Ashley's Paranormal Book Blog
November 25: Sharing Links and Wisdom
November 25: Room With Books
November 26: Laurie's Paranormal Thoughts and Reviews
November 27: Sapphyria's Book Reviews
November 27: Paranormal Romance and Authors That Rock
November 28: Writer Wonderland

Author Bio and Links:
Laurie Starkey is the author of the upcoming Soul Keeper Series, a supernatural young adult series, and The Liarus Detective Series, a supernatural middle grade series. She lives in Houston, Texas with her husband, Jacob and three beautiful kiddos.

She is a CPA by trade, a church planter and entrepreneur at heart; however, writing and reading are passions she just can't help but indulge in. With more ideas that one person should be allowed, she is blessed to have a muse that doesn't seem to take a vacation and more energy that one might consider healthy.

Website     |     Blog     |     Twitter     |     Facebook     |     Goodreads

Monday, November 24, 2014

One Enchanted Evening Review Tour

Restlessness plagued Charlotte Becker. Unable to settle down, she moved from place to place searching for an elusive something to calm her turbulent spirit. A sudden invitation from her sister sends her across country to Lobster Cove, Maine. Anchors abound by the sea, but surely nothing would keep her rooted in place in a pokey resort town during the off-season.

Drawn into a consignment shop named One Enchanted Evening, Charlotte is confronted by a mysterious article of clothing requesting her help to stop a man in a wolf mask from killing women. Charlotte agrees to protect the citizens of Lobster Cove and find the hunter before an innocent is slain.

Luke Maddox’s hunting days are over. Wounded in action, he left the Marines to return to Lobster Cove, the only place to bring him peace as a child. Hiding his disability, he accepts life will be nothing more than dull routine. Then he meets a singular young woman wearing an unusual cloak. She tells an incredible story of a wolf that walks on two legs.

And the hunt begins…

In One Enchanted Evening fantasy, humor, and romance are wrapped up in the cheeky retelling of a fairy tale. You will never look at a clothing from a consignment shop the same way again.

Charlotte stood back by a large bay window to wait her turn. Peering idly around, she caught her reflection in the plate glass and raised an eyebrow. Wow, the boot/blazer/jeans combination really worked. Everyone nearby was focused on the sample table, so she checked out her butt. Damn, the boots rocked it.

“Would you like to try a sample?”

Charlotte turned around and locked eyes with the handsome server. Flush rose to her cheeks at the thought he had witnessed the subtle butt-check maneuver, but his expression gave no reaction as he held out a piece of buttered bread. “It’s our own blend. All you do is add it to softened butter or cream cheese. On sale today.”

She took a bite. The spread had a spicy tang with a pleasant kick. “It’s delicious. I’ll take a packet.”

The man didn’t say a word other than thank you. An elderly woman at the cash register bagged her order. At the door, Charlotte looked back. The man caught her glance, flashed a cheeky grin, and gave two very enthusiastic thumbs up of approval.

Red-faced, Charlotte scurried out the door and headed for the waterfront.

My Review:
Coming soon!

November 17 Aspiring joy

Author Bio and Links:
L. A. Kelley is married with three children and lives in Florida where the heat and humidity have driven everyone slightly mad. She never cleans under her sofa.

Blog     |     Facebook

Buy Links:
Wild Rose Press     |     Amazon     |     Barnes & Noble     |     Kobo

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Switching Gears - Reviewed by Trix

Track Domination #3
by Megan Slayer 
Resplendence Publishing

Ethan’s about to meet his match in the last person he ever expected.

Ethan Long is a man on a mission—finish well and he gets to keep his ride at Flash Racing. Continue to crash and his racing days will be numbered. Other than being behind the wheel of a race vehicle, this good looking hot shot hasn’t got the first clue how to harness his ego or his talent. Until he locks gazes with Royce. Then all bets are off.

Royce Darden doesn’t play around. His no-nonsense attitude propelled him to the head of the merchandise sales at Flash. He’s good with numbers and facts…and a crop. Few people know about his wilder side and what he needs in bed. He sees the inner submissive in Ethan screaming for a turn. Can Royce convince the young driver that switching gears could be the key to his racing future?

Trix’s Review:
3 stars

Slayer presents two likable leads, and the chemistry between brash Ethan and the world-weary Royce has definite spark. The transition from the opening smartalecky "I'm just out for a good time, hot thing" flirtatious banter to soul-baring emotional confessions seems rather abrupt, and leads to some clunky story exposition. The sex scenes perk up the proceedings, though the BDSM is a double-edged sword. Ethan's willingness to explore submission as a method of personal growth is a powerful concept, but it's one that's hard to do justice to in such a brief book. (The logistics are presented in risky shorthand from time to time: until now I've never seen a Dom ask a sub whether or not he'll want to use his safeword before anything happens. How would a sub know whether or not he'll need to use one before a scene begins? Each time, Ethan assures Royce "hell no," apparently granting him free reign. This seems strange at best and dangerous at worst.)

Part of the problem may be that I didn't read the earlier two books in the series. While the story is presented as a standalone, there are many references to the couple Collin and Sam (from the previous book RUNNING HOT), who work with Royce and Ethan at Flash. It was interesting, if difficult to believe at times, to see the preponderance of gay couples in this macho racing environment, and the story doesn't address that fact in the greater context of the sport. While it's refreshing to see a sports story that doesn't go into the "X sport is a bastion of institutionalized homophobia" trope, it does seem odd that female groupies keep slipping Ethan their phone numbers, and guys don't notice either way. Slayer's universe is intriguing enough that I'm willing to read the other books to discover what I've missed.  

Friday, November 21, 2014

All of Me NBtM

What would you do for a second chance with your first love?

Welcome to wine country and the small town of Starlight Hill, California, where the wine flows freely and so does the gossip.

The town has never quite forgiven Ivey Lancaster for leaving their favorite son, Dr. Jeff Garner, when she met a man on an online dating site. But the real truth of her absence is something Ivey doesn't want anyone to know.

When a sudden change of plans forces Ivey to work with her hunky ex, she must keep it professional or risk her heart all over again.

“No, it’s not a good idea. I need wide open spaces when I’m around you,” she added.

“It’s not like you have a lot of choices.”

“Wow. I’ve waited all my life to hear a guy tell me that.”

“C’mon, Ivey. Let me help. Just stay the night and we’ll figure things out in the morning. You don’t have much time to decide, because this offer is going to be rescinded in about ten seconds. And then what will you do?”

“I’ll figure something out!” But she took another pointed look in the direction of the FBI. One thing you could say about those men was that they didn’t look friendly.

“Yeah, and there is the park. Of course, the bench isn’t very comfortable, and Burt won’t let you sleep on it. I tried once.”

“Look, I don’t want to be any trouble.”

“Ten, nine, eight, seven . . . ” He began the countdown.

“Would you stop counting?”

“Five, four, three . . . ”

“Fine! If it will get you to shut up, I’ll stay with you. Temporarily.”


"This is an interesting way of flirting,” Jeff said from the other side of the bed.

What the hell?

“What are you doing in here?" Ivey rolled off the side of the bed and fell in a heap on the floor. "Oh, ow." This floor was so much harder than it looked.

"Are you all right?" He leaned over the side of the bed, shirtless. And who knew what else he was “less.” In all their time together, she’d never known him to sleep in anything but his birthday suit.

Ivey held up her hand. "No! I mean yes, I'm fine, and stay there! Please don't get out of bed."

But of course he hopped out of bed, flipped on the light and was next to her in seconds. “Did you hit your head? And why are you squeezing your eyes shut?”

I won’t look, I won’t look, I won’t look. “I’m okay, you ninny.”

“If you’re okay, then open your eyes and look at me.”

Please let him have some clothes on. She slowly opened one eye and then the other to find Jeff crouched next to her wearing a pair of dark boxer briefs. Okay, not so naked. But still. “I’m looking at you.”

He gazed in her eyes intently—as if he’d lost his keys in there. “Where does it hurt?”

“Oh no, I’m not telling you that.” He’d completely unnerved her with his penetrating eyes and his stupid boxers.

“Don’t be ridiculous.”

“Let’s put it this way: you’re not touching where it hurts. Got it?” Her lower back had taken the worst of it, right next to her ass.

Heatherly Bell, thanks so much for stopping by. So, why don’t you tell us a little about yourself?
Hi Emily, thanks for having me here today. Though I’m traditionally published under another pen name, I’m a virgin Indie author and I’m a little nervous. Please be gentle.

What was the inspiration for your book?
Believe it or not, it was originally based on a crush I had on my doctor. I think I thought I’d work my feelings out in a book. Nice and safe. So I began to think about a doctor and a midwife – what kind of conflict would they have? Originally I began writing a version of this book in 2004 (ahem, yes, 10 years ago) which was a little bit more along the lines of women’s fiction, though I didn’t realize it at the time. It wasn’t until 2012 that I finished a version of All of Me which was titled Loving the Enemy. I re-wrote that book in its entirety. Twice. This book was a real labor (pardon the pun, Ivey is a midwife) of obsessive love. Maybe I should have let it go, but I couldn’t.

What’s the one genre you haven’t written in yet that you’d like to?
YA Fantasy – sigh. Maybe someday

So, what are you working on right now? Got any releases planned, or still writing?
Book Two in the Starlight Hill series will release next month. It’s called Somebody Like You and is the story of Brooke and Billy Turlock, a retired pitcher who returns to his hometown. I also write books with a traditional publisher under another pen name and have a book coming out in January. I’m currently brainstorming the plot of book three in Starlight Hill series.

Alright, now for some totally random, fun questions. Favorite color?      Blue 

Favorite movie?
That’s a tough one because there are so many. Because I love romantic comedies, I’ll have to say Sleepless in Seattle. 

Book that inspired you to become an author? 
To Kill a Mockingbird

Alright, you have one superpower. What is it?
I can eat everything I want, never exercise, and never again a pound. Is that a superpower? If not, it should be!

Last question: Which of your characters are you most like and how/why?
I’m a little bit like Ivey because she tries to protect the people she loves, and usually winds up making things worse.

November 21: Sharing Links and Wisdom
November 28: Rachel Brimble Romance
December 5: Musings and Ramblings
December 12: Romance Novel Giveaways
December 19: Unabridged Andra's
January 2: Coffee Books and Art
January 2: Beyond My Writing Space
January 9: LibriAmoriMiei
January 16: Bunny's Review REVIEW

Author Bio and Links:
When early onset stage fright dashed dreams of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame status, Heatherly Bell tackled her first book in 2010, and now the people and voices that occupy her head refuse to leave.

She no longer sings unless you count randomly bursting into song to annoy her children (and the dogs).

Heatherly lives in northern California with her family, including two beagles, one who can say ‘hello’ and the other who can feel a pea through several pillows.

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