Thursday, May 25, 2017

Author Of The Month - Ari McKay - Grand Finale

Welcome to our Grand Finale Celebrations for the amazing 

In today's post, we'll take a look at Heart Of Stone, Finding Forgiveness, and A Taste Of Honey. We also have our Q&A with the authors, and one more chance to win!

First up, Heart Of Stone


Stone Harrison never knew he had an aunt; he certainly never expected her to bequeath him one of the largest spreads in central Nevada. But something about Copper Lake Ranch and its foreman, Luke Reynolds, speaks to him, offering a chance for the home he's never really had.

Luke wants Stone to succeed as a rancher and put the legacy of his shiftless father behind him, but he'd also like Stone to share his bed. Unfortunately, Stone is convinced that the world is a harsh place that will never accept two men sharing their lives. Much to Luke's dismay, he refuses to risk Luke's life despite the intense attraction they share.

The tension between them escalates when a series of calamities strikes Copper Lake. An unexpected and unwelcome visit from Stone's dandified cousin, James, only makes things worse. Stone's ability to run the ranch comes into question, but the threat of losing it means less to Stone than the threat to Luke's life. Stone will do anything it takes to protect the man he loves-even if it makes him a murderer.


“You’re goin’ to have a lot of people lookin’ to you now.” Luke hoped he wasn’t making the situation sound too dire. “But as long as you’re fair and carry your weight, ain’t no one goin’ to complain.” He smiled, deciding it was time to lighten the mood. “Ownin’ a big, prosperous spread like this ain’t all bad, and it ain’t all work all the time. You’re goin’ to have a lot of the local gals real interested in you now, that’s for sure. You could have your pick.”
Suddenly Stone reined his horse to a stop, and he looked at Luke with a frown of consternation. “Gals? You mean the ones you don’t seem to think are very interestin’?”
Luke stopped as well, uncharacteristically flustered as he tried to figure out how to answer the question without revealing the truth. This ranch was his home now, and he didn’t want to be kicked out and lose his job and this place all at once because his new boss wasn’t happy about having a foreman who fancied men instead of women.
“Well, just because they don’t interest me none don’t mean one of them might not strike your fancy,” he said at last.
Stone’s expression didn’t change, but Luke noticed a flush had risen under his tan. “Doubt it. Don’t have time for it anyways, if I’m goin’ to learn how to run this place.”
“Well, one day, you’ll have it all figured out, and then you might want to cast your eye around,” Luke pointed out, hoping he wasn’t inadvertently squelching Stone’s social life with all his talk about how busy the ranch would keep them. “I won’t even ask you to take your courtin’ to one of the outbuildings[A1] ,” he added with a mischievous grin.
For some reason, Stone only turned redder. “You ain’t goin’ to have to worry about that,” he growled, and then he tapped Raider with his heels, spurring the horse into a fast walk.
The reaction puzzled Luke. He wondered if Stone was shy around women or if there was something else going on. A man as handsome as Stone ought to be plenty experienced, not blushing at the mere mention of courting. Unless….
He signaled Mist to speed up as well and caught up to Stone, studying him in silence. Was it possible Stone didn’t fancy women either? He wasn’t sure, and he couldn’t ask outright unless he wanted to risk being punched in the face on top of being fired, but maybe he could find out somehow.
“I guess that means it’ll be real quiet around the big house.” He kept his tone casual. “Just a couple of bachelors sittin’ around together every night.”
Stone gave him a sideways glance. “Sounds fine to me. I’m not much for bein’ social. Don’t need dancin’ and drinkin’ like some cowboys who don’t have no sense.”
“You don’t have to drink and dance to be social,” Luke pointed out. “You can take a lady out for a fancy dinner, a buggy ride, or a picnic.” He was fishing, but hopefully not too obviously.
That earned him a flat out scowl, and Stone’s jaw clenched. “Maybe I could. If I ever wanted to.” His eyes narrowed. “You ain’t got a sister you’re thinkin’ about throwin’ at me, do you? I don’t hold with fightin’, but I just might have to punch you if you try somethin’ like that.”
Luke’s eyebrows climbed almost to his hairline at that, and his suspicions grew even stronger at Stone’s unusually forceful objections to the idea of courting a woman. This had to be more than mere shyness or lack of experience with women!
“Nothin’ like that,” he replied easily, deciding it was time to be a little more direct. “I ain’t got no family that wants to claim me, if you want the truth. See, they found out I ain’t exactly fond of courtin’ the ladies either.” He fixed Stone with a steady, direct look. “My momma caught me behind the barn with my pants around my ankles, and it weren’t no young lady I was with at the time, if you take my meanin’.”
“What?” Stone stopped Raider in his tracks again, and the horse gave a whinny of protest at the sudden pull of reins. He stared at Luke, dark eyes wide in a way that would have been funny if the subject hadn’t been so serious. He had apparently forgotten how to speak, too, since his mouth opened and closed, but no sound came out. A few moments later, Stone shook himself like a man who’d felt something walk over his grave and cleared his throat.
“I sure hope you was with another man,” he said finally, his tone as dry as desert sand.

“Because if it was a cow or a horse or some other critter, I think we might have us a problem.”

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Second in today's line-up, Finding Forgiveness


Boston in 1888 is quite urbane, but unfortunately for Gil Porter, that isn’t the same thing as being understanding. When his sexuality is exposed by the scandalous suicide of his lover, Gil is exiled to the small town of Mercy, Texas, by his domineering father, George, who believes life on Vernon Porter's ranch will cure Gil of his “unnatural” desires. Grieving and ashamed, Gil is determined to keep his distance from everyone until he can return home.

To his surprise, he finds acceptance at Bent Oak Ranch, especially from Matt Grayson, the handsome son of the ranch foreman. Knowing he must fight his attraction to Matt, Gil courts a local girl, but an unexpected encounter with Matt leads to his discovery of Matt’s feelings for him. Torn between Matt and his desire to be “normal," between returning to his old life and building a new one in Texas, Gil is faced with a choice—appeasing his father or becoming the man Matt knows he can be.

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And last, but not least, A Taste Of Honey


Boone Phillips needs a girlfriend-now! If he shows up to the family reunion alone, his mother will throw every woman in sight at him. But the only "woman" Boone trusts enough to ask is Honey, the drag queen alter ego of his best friend, Rob. It's a crazy idea, but Boone is desperate.

Boone wins Rob over to the idea after first going on a "date" with him as Honey, but everything feels different once the plan is set in motion. Between nosy relatives, illegal moonshine, and the sight of Rob in white lace panties, Boone starts to wonder if he's as straight as he thought. When an earth-shattering kiss sends Rob running, however, Boone learns some surprising things about both his family and himself. 
Now he needs to convince Rob to give him another chance, or his first taste of Honey might also be his last.

First Edition published by Torquere Press, 2016.

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Our Q&A with the authors:

1. What inspires you? What gets you writing?

We have a list of plot bunnies over 100 long that we’ve built up over the years. We often go to it for inspiration of we’re answering a publisher’s call, or if we want something to write that we’ve already given a bit of thought. Sometimes we’re inspired by books, or movies, or tv shows… or even actors. There are lots of things that spark our creativity, and we’re glad for each and every one of them.

2. What's your writing process? Seat of your pants, lots of sticky notes, complex spreadsheets?

We’re basically pantsers, though for things that require a logical progression rather than an organic development, we work out a general plot as a sort of guideline. But we are always open to change, because some of the best things we’ve ever wrote (in our opinion, at least!) are ones that come to us on the spur of the moment and spring fully to life pretty much all by themselves.

3. Which character from your books is your favorite, and why?

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

ARC Review: Shelter the Sea by Heidi Cullinan

Shelter the Sea (The Roosevelt, #2)From the blurb:

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.

Heather's rating: 

A moving sequel to one of my all time favorites, Carry the Ocean, Heidi Cullinan hits high notes again with Shelter the Sea.

Carry the Ocean is a book that I can barely talk about without getting choked up. It had a deep, profound affect on me, and it changed my scope of romance novels and who romance novels can be about forever. It has a very special place in my heart, and I was... scared when I saw that a sequel was coming out with the same two MCs. One of my biggest pet peeves ever is when an author gives two MCs a perfect, happy ending and then RUINS it with a second book. Thankfully, Heidi didn't do that with this one (it would have CRUSHED me!). Just the idea of anything happening to Emmet and Jeremey's relationship gives me heart palpitations, FFS. 

ARC Review: Road to the Sun by Keira Andrews

Road to the SunBlurb:

A desperate father. A lonely ranger. Unexpected love that can’t be denied.

Jason Kellerman’s life revolves around his eight-year-old daughter. Teenage curiosity with his best friend led to Maggie’s birth, her mother tragically dying soon after. Insistent on raising his daughter himself, he was disowned by his wealthy family and has worked tirelessly to support Maggie—even bringing her west on a dream vacation. Only twenty-five, Jason hasn’t had time to even think about romance. So the last thing he expects is to question his sexuality after meeting an undeniably attractive park ranger.

Ben Hettler’s stuck. He loves working in the wild under Montana’s big sky, but at forty-one, his love life is non-existent, his ex-boyfriend just married and adopted, and Ben’s own dream of fatherhood feels impossibly out of reach. He’s attracted to Jason, but what’s the point? Besides the age difference and skittish Jason’s lack of experience, they live thousands of miles apart. Ben wants more than a meaningless fling.

Then a hunted criminal takes Maggie hostage, throwing Jason and Ben together in a desperate and dangerous search through endless miles of mountain forest. If they rescue Maggie against all odds, can they build a new family together and find a place to call home?

Road to the Sun is a May-December gay romance from Keira Andrews featuring adventure, angst, coming out, sexual discovery, and of course a happy ending.

Jewel's rating:

Second chances at life. At achieving your dreams. Of finding love and family. Keira Andrews has done it again. I truly enjoyed this May/September romance.

At 25, Jason Kellerman is too young to have an 8 year old daughter (everyone says so). He's also proof that determination and dedication can really go a long way in life. Jason comes from a wealthy family and should have had a successful future. But youthful curiosity with his best friend Amy resulted in Maggie being born when Jason was 17. That event changed the course of Jason's life in ways he could never have predicted. But Maggie is his world and I loved seeing him prove everyone wrong. Maggie is smart, outgoing and pretty much a force of nature. As much as I often don't care for kids in my books, I liked Maggie.

Ben Hettler is 41 and stuck in a part of his life he no longer wants. He loves being a park ranger, but he wants so much more out of life. And not having his cheating ex, who is also now his boss, flaunt his new husband and baby is at the top of the list. Ben wants a family of his own, but sees few prospects in the middle of nowhere Montana. Ben doesn't normally go for younger guys, but Jason is older than his years would suggest. And he's a really good father.

Blogtour: Fangs With A Heart by Tempeste O'Riley

Please welcome Tempeste O'Riley with 

Fangs With A Heart 

Chain Of Fate #2 


Lynx shifter Trace Wilson’s fun-loving exterior hides a heart scarred by severe domestic violence—a heart that might not ever trust another male, fated mate or not. When Trace moves to Seattle to take his place as trainer and council representative to the Glacier Rim Tribe, he discovers his mate is the vampire prince Sasha Tolstoi, leader of the Konstantin Coven. It’s not something Trace is ready to accept. Not now, maybe not ever. But if there’s one thing Sasha knows how to do, it’s how to be patient, especially when his fated heart is also his perfect sub.

When an outside force threatens the fragile bond slowly forming between them—and nearly kills Trace—Trace’s instincts shift into high gear. Sasha is powerful, and that means he has enemies, among them several rival covens and an uncle determined to force Sasha into a marriage with a vampire princess. But why involve the lynx Trace in their maneuvering? Finding the culprit won’t be easy, and it will mean building trust—a slow and difficult prospect for someone who’s suffered as much as Trace. Finding a way to move beyond the past, and to love, before those out to finish Sasha can destroy either, is a race the two fated hearts have to win.

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Good morning and thank you for visiting as I celebrate book two in the Chain of Fate series release! Today I have a little about our favorite vampire brat for you. Below you will see Sasha’s bio sheet, but I wanted to spend a moment as talk about writing Sasha in this novel. You see, Sasha is usually a very fun loving and light hearted guy, even if he is a powerful prince known for being ruthless when needed. When it comes to those he is close to, he’s usually playful and fun. Writing Fangs with a Heart was a challenge at times because I wanted to write that Sasha. Sadly, for Trace and Sasha to find their HEA, they had a lot of serious issues to deal with so I got to deal with broody Sasha, and depressed Sasha, and downright viscous Sasha at times. (Hint: do not come between a vampire and his fated heart. It’s not fun. Just sayin’.)

But don’t let that scare you. Their story is one that all too real, even if it one that happens to a lynx shifter and a vampire, lol. Domestic abuse happens all too often and the long-term damage can linger and damage possible new relationships. Sasha isn’t so easily deterred, thankfully. I will be writing more with Sasha and Trace and yes, you will get to see Sasha return to his happy, light self. But there is more to come in this series… as the end of this book shows you. There is more going on than just a couple of lynx finding their fated mates. 😉 But what is it that the Gods and Fate are up to? And why? And why do our little lynx have to do with it all?

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