Monday, November 20, 2017

Blogtour: Linear Park by Ken Harrison

Please say hello to Ken Harrison and 

Linear Park 

a States Of Love title 


Sean and Nick’s life together was a fairy tale: childhood friends who became lovers, high school sweethearts who married after college, both handsome professionals. Sean always enjoyed a few drinks, but after the death of his father, his alcoholism spiraled out of control… and it cost him everything.

When Sean loses his job and becomes too surly and unreasonable to live with, Nick has little choice but to end the relationship. Sean can’t blame Nick for giving up—not after the arguments and the lies—but he longs for the happiness and love they shared before he spoiled everything. He resolves to get sober and win back his husband. But even if he wins his battle with alcoholism, will it be too late to save his marriage?

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Why I Chose to Write About Rhode Island for Dreamspinner’s States of Love
Writing a story that highlights everything I love about Rhode Island was going to be a breeze…or so I thought. It wasn’t until I started that I realized there was no way I could fit it all into one story. A lot of people born in this state don’t appreciate it until they leave it. And when they do come back, they try to soak up as much of the state as they can.
I have a sister who moved to Florida sixteen years ago, and while she likes Florida, every time she visits, it’s like an orgy of food. Wieners, stuffies, pizza strips, coffee milk, quahogs, etc… She tries to eat as much as she can in the first hour of every visit. I kid you not.
I tried weaving as many Rhode Island specific food items into Linear Park as possible, but found the task a bit daunting. And not only that, Rhode Island is more than just food. It’s also the places. I tried writing about some of my favorite haunts, but there were too many to mention, so I stuck to the main cities and towns that people visit, like Bristol, Newport, and Providence. I also added specific places like Colt State Park, India Point Park, Fox Point.
Newport, Bristol and Warren have maintained their New England heritage, and walking through them is often like taking a step back in time. When Nick and Sean are young, they bike through Warren and sit back and relax on the docks. They also go to Colt State Park, which is a beautifully maintained park overlooking the bay, where people often go to picnic and fly kites. It’s also the place where my husband and I had our first official date. As odd it may sound, I wish I had been able to include Swan Point Cemetery, which is listed in National Register of Historic places. It is the burial place for many prominent historical figures and the resting place of HP Lovecraft.
Any story with Rhode Island as the background wouldn’t be complete if it didn’t at least mention the capitol city of Providence. Since this is my story, and I have a love affair with Providence, a good portion takes place in this small city. The portions of the city that are mentioned most are Federal Hill and the East Side, but I wish I could have found a way to bring the hip West End into the picture. The West End is home to many artists and musicians. It has fantastic restaurants and an eclectic feel. I lived on the West End back the 1980s, when it wasn’t quite as cool as it is today.
The Providence river runs through downtown Providence (which older locals often refer to as downcity) and splits into the Woonasquatucket and Moshassuck rivers. Braziers line the center of the rivers and are filled with wood and lit on fire for a special event known as Waterfire. You can get the schedule online at Waterfire is mentioned in Linear Park, and is something to experience.  You can also rent a gondola for a special occasion. My husband and I did it after we were married, and it was a treat.

Although Federal Hill is no longer the mafia haven it once was, thankfully, it retains some old-world charm. From pizza to pasta, this is where you can get some of the best Italian food the city has to offer. Most of the restaurants are a stone’s throw from DePasquale Plaza, where Sean and Nick sit at the base of a water fountain. Although they don’t spend a lot of time on Federal Hill, I would like to make it a setting for an upcoming story.

Most of Linear Park takes place on the East Side of Providence. The East Side is known primarily for Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). The area of the East Side from Thayer to South Water Streets is home to many students and has a host of coffee shops, restaurants and trendy specialty stores. It also has two arthouse cinemas that cater to a college crowd (The Avon and the Cable Car), where you can catch the latest foreign and independent films.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Book Review: The Poison Within by Kasia Bacon

The Poison Within (Inspector Skaer, #1)
Black clouds of xenophobia gather over Radvadur, the western province of the Empire. The political climate is strained and fragile. A surge of Nymph refugees has stirred widespread hostility towards non-humans. When the investigation of a gruesome triple murder linked to the refugee camp ensues, it takes Inspector Käyru Skaer and his lover, Count Ellydhar Finn-Jánn, along an unusual path, at the end of which a precious gift awaits.

Käyru and Elly are worlds apart in social standing, but they have found common ground in the bedroom—up against the wall and the stable doors, too. The arrangement between them ought to have been temporary and of no consequence. As their circumstances change, will they find the courage to risk their hearts?

Todd's rating:

I still have zero idea how Kasia packs so much amazing stuff into so few pages, but she's done it again. : )

With two brand new MC's this time, completely unrelated to the guys from "The Mutt" and the "Highlander" and *bam*, I found myself fully invested in only a fraction of this short story's 51 pages.

Käyru is an inspector who grew above his initial station in life, but is still in touch with his compass of right and wrong. He's also more invested in his relationship with the local Count than what would be accepted, if their relationship turned serious vs. remaining a two year recurring tryst.

Elly is that local Count, caring more about his people than about status or his own wealth. He also cares about Käyru, but has a few health concerns and the obligations of his position to also deal with.

ARC Review: The Consumption of Magic (Tales From Verania, #3) by T.J. Klune

The Consumption of Magic (Tales From Verania, #3)
Sam of Wilds faced the Dark wizard Myrin and lived to tell the tale. Granted, the battle left him scarred, but things could be a hell of a lot worse.

It’s not until he reunites with Morgan of Shadows and Randall that he realizes just how much worse things could be.

Because the scars have meaning and hint at Myrin’s true plans for Sam and the Kingdom of Verania.

With time running out, Sam and his band of merry misfits—the unicorn Gary, the half-giant Tiggy, Knight Commander Ryan Foxheart, and the dragon known as Kevin—must travel to the snowy mountains in the North and the heart of the Dark Woods to convince the remaining dragons to stand against Myrin. Along the way, Sam learns secrets of the past that will forever change the course of the future.

A reckoning is coming for Sam of Wilds, and there is nothing he can do to stop it.

Jewel's rating:

"Because it’s always been you, Sam. I promise. I promise. I promise, because when I look upon these stars, there is nothing I wish for more than you."

Did you hear that sound? It was the sound of my heart shattering . And that other sound? That would be TJ cackling, the evil rat-bastard. I'm not going to tell you why my heart is in bitty bits on the floor, though. I wouldn't do that to you. Or to TJ. Lets just suffice it to say I want book 4 right the frak now! Also, I might be plotting TJ's demise...just a little. But don't worry, I'll give TJ a chance to redeem himself -- we'd better get an EPIC happy at the end of book 4, though. Just sayin'.

Where do I even begin with this review? The Consumption of Magic was everything I hoped it would be, and also everything I feared it would be...scratch that...TJ managed to show me fears I didn't even know I had.

"Stone crumbles."

If there's a theme I can pin down here, it would be 'consequences'. Sam has to face the consequences of, not only his actions, but also the past actions of Morgan and Randall. Mistakes have been made and secrets kept and feelings of betrayal cut deep.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Book Review: Law and Disorder by Brooke Edwards

From The Blurb:
James Carter and Derek Moore fought their way through attraction and misunderstandings to get to where they are today. Sure, they’re still figuring out how to make things work between their careers and families, but their whole world is rose-tinted with the glow of new love. 
Reality hits with the force of a speeding truck when a criminal starts waging a campaign of terror against the justice system. Suddenly law enforcement officers and lawyers all across the city are living in fear as their careers put them right in the cross-hairs of a deranged killer and James and Derek’s honeymoon period falls to ruins. 
With James’s protectiveness driving a wedge between them and Derek pulling away as the target on his back grows even bigger, their future is thrown into jeopardy. While Derek struggles with demons from his past, it's up to James to catch the killer and put them back on the path to their happily ever after. 
Sequel to 'Mens Rea' published in the 2015 Daily Dose Anthology from Dreamspinner Press.

Karen's rating:

'Law and Disorder' basically picks up where 'Mens Rea' ended and while James and Derek's relationship continues to move forward it's not without obstacles. But when you're a police chief and an assistant USDA those obstacles take a lot of different forms. James catches the bad guys and Derek tries them and bad guys they don't care about quality time for people in love...not that anyone's used the 'L' word yet.

But it's not until James is called to the scene of his latest crime...a whole lot of dead sparrows all neatly lined up on the Justice Building that Derek and James begin to find out what busy means because those birds are just the beginning of a crime spree that's going to confound them all and happily me too. I love it when I solve the crime with the characters and not ahead of them...leaving me to wonder why these characters that I've come to like aren't smart enough to figure out what for me was the obvious. Happily that did not happen here and I was left to solve this with New York City's finest. As events progress it does become increasingly clear that things are personal and whoever is behind the unusual events that are leaving everyone more than a little confused has someone specific in mind.

While the relationship between James and Derek is an important part of this story, I can't honestly say that I'd call this a romance novel it's really more of a mystery/thriller story with secondary story line of romance. But having said that the romance between these two is also a solid constant part of the story.

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