Thursday, September 21, 2017

Author Of The Month - Brent Hartinger - Week Three


Welcome to our third week of celebrations for the amazing 






In today's post, we'll look at Shadow Walkers and Project Sweet Life, plus a personal story of how Brent met his husband. There's also another chance to win!


First up, Shadow Walkers


Blurb:

Zach lives with his grandparents on a remote island in Puget Sound in Washington State. With only his little brother, Gilbert, to keep him company, Zach feels cut off from the world. But when Gilbert is kidnapped, Zach tries the only thing he can think of to find him: astral projection. Soon, his spirit is soaring through the strange and boundless astral realm--a shadow place. While searching for his brother, Zach meets a boy named Emory, another astral traveler who's intriguing (and cute).
As Zach and Emory track the kidnappers from the astral realm, their bond grows--but each moment could be Gilbert's last. Even worse, there's a menacing, centuries-old creature in their midst that devours souls and possesses physical bodies. And it's hungry for Zach.



Excerpt:


“What is it?” I asked, even as I felt the vaguest tingle of the chill I’d felt twice before, the one in my soul.


Emory didn’t look at me. It was like he couldn’t move, couldn’t even speak. He just kept staring into the corner.


I floated closer and took a look. The shadows were particularly thick there, and I didn’t see anything at first. Then I saw something curved and hanging—another coiled garden hose maybe. And there were two small round objects, almost white, suspended in the middle of the coils.


It wasn’t a hose. It was some kind of … creature. It was floating in the corner of the garage, not any bigger than a basketball.


And it had tentacles or legs of some kind. It looked like a cross between an octopus and a spider. I knew it was alive, because its legs were slowly curling in on themselves.
It’s the thing I saw earlier. The tentacle was real.


Now I stood frozen, hanging in space. Somehow I knew it was definitely in the astral dimension with us, a being without actual substance, but something made up of shadow and darkness, not light like Emory and me.


Had this creature followed us from the cabin? Emory had said he’d been drawn to me because he’d heard me making all that noise. Maybe this creature had heard me too, and then followed us back here to Hinder Island. I still didn’t know how populated the astral dimension was, but from the look of things so far, it was mostly deserted.


It wasn’t moving, so I edged closer to Emory. I could see the thing much more clearly now. It definitely wasn’t an actual octopus or spider. For one thing, it had more than eight legs—at least a dozen, maybe more. It floated there, quivering slightly with its legs splayed out.


But it had eyes, looking back at us.


Human eyes.


These were the white objects I’d seen floating in the middle of the shadows. Lidless, they peered out at me from near the top of all that blackness. It was the whites of those eyes that had made me realize it wasn’t just a shadow in the first place. But as white as they were, the pupils were as black as the rest of the creature, dark and full of hate.


I don’t know how I knew with such certainty that these were human eyes, but I did. You could see the intelligence in them, and the anger.


The chill in my soul deepened, and I wanted to look away, but I couldn’t. The creature was such an appalling mixture, so obviously alien and yet also somehow human. I’d never seen anything like it—never even imagined anything like it. If being in the astral dimension meant becoming aware that the boundaries of the universe are artificial—that we’re all one—did that mean I was part of that
creature, and it was part of me? It was bad enough that it even existed.


But then, the very instant the creature made sense to me, it was gone. It didn’t vanish—it shot away, like a retreating octopus. Unlike an octopus, it didn’t leave a cloud of black ink in its wake, but because the creature was so dark, so black, it did seem to leave a dark spot in my vision even after it was gone.


Celestia Moonglow hadn’t said anything about any of this.


Neither Emory nor I spoke for a second. It had all happened so fast.


Finally, he said, “Let’s get out of here. Now.”


I didn’t need to be told twice. It was all I could do to get out of the dark confines of that garage.



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Second in today's line-up, Project Sweet Life


Blurb:

For most kids, fifteen is the year of the optional summer job: Sure, you can get a job if you really want one, but it isn't required or anything. Too bad Dave's dad doesn't agree! Instead of enjoying long days of biking, swimming, and sitting around, Dave and his two best friends are being forced by their fathers into a summer of hard labor.

The friends have something else in mind, though: Not only will they not work over the summer, but they're determined to trick everyone into believing they really do have jobs. So what if the lifeguard doesn't have a tan or the fast-food worker isn't bringing home buckets of free chicken? There's only one problem: Dave's dad wants evidence that his son is actually bringing in money. And that means Dave, Curtis, and Victor will have to get some . . . without breaking the law and without doing any work!



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How Brent Met Michael - a love story


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Audio book Review: Olive Juice by T. J. Klune

From The Blurb:
It begins with a message that David cannot ignore: 
I want to see you. 
He agrees, and on a cold winter’s night, David and Phillip will come together to sift through the wreckage of the memory of a life no longer lived. 
David is burdened, carrying with him the heavy guilt of the past six years upon his shoulders. 
Phillip offers redemption. 
Listening Length: 5 hours and 11 minutes




Karen's rating:




Still as good as the first time...

When I first read TJ Klune's book 'Olive Juice' this was my review...

How TJ Klune broke me in less than 100 pages...

So this is going to be a short review because I am definitely keeping it spoiler free. 'Olive Juice' starts off on a heartbreaking but definitely an elusive note. It's only as the reader continues to read that the reason for the heartache becomes revealed.

As my friend and fellow reviewer, Todd said:
"Mostly, this story was about when "THE MOST TERRIBLE THING IMAGINABLE" happens."
"Olive Juice" is a story filled with the heartache and despair of two men as they struggle to survive and get past having their world torn apart...to find a way past it, living with the aftermath and reshaping their lives to find a way back to each other.

There really is no happiness and light with this one but I can't imagine not reading it. The writing, in true TJ fashion, is both gripping and compelling and while I definitely felt emotionally wrung out at the end I was also left with the tiniest spark of hope that said 'It's ok, they'll be ok." and maybe that's not the HEA that we all love so much but sometimes the HEA that life gives us isn't tied up with a bow or covered in rainbows and sprinkles... sometimes the HEA that we get is having gone through the storm and having the strength to put ourselves back together...to keep trying.

Be brave read this, it's less than 100 pages (on my Kobo), it's heartbreaking and amazing. It'll leave you saying 'thank god it's not me' only don't let yourself be fooled because sadly it could be you, it could be any of us and that's why you need to read this story.

ARC Review: Manic Pixie Dream Boy by K. A. Merikan

From The Blurb:
---. You can’t hide the cracks under the spotlight .--- 
Dusk. Leader of The Underdogs. Destined for greatness. Lives in the now. 
Abe. AKA Lolly. Iridescent. Unicorn. 
All Dusk wants out of life is for his band to become world famous. He also wants to have a lot of fun along the way. And to get his rocks off. When he wants something, he goes for it, consequences be damned. 
So when he sees a gorgeous pink-haired guy who is the human equivalent of tattooed cotton candy, he can’t help but have a taste. But it’s when Lolly ends up on their tour bus that Dusk knows their meeting was destiny. 
Abe is the kind of guy who goes with the flow. He was hitchhiking anyway, so why not spend the week with a hot piece of rocker beefcake, getting smothered by his sexy long hair? And why not play the part of the supportive cutie while he’s at it? It’s not like he’d be sticking around for long anyway. 
All plans hit a wall when photos of Abe and Dusk emerge online, suddenly pushing the band into the spotlight. To take advantage of the sudden popularity, the band offers Abe money for staying. 
Which means money for being in a fake relationship with Dusk. 
Which isn’t even fake. 
Or is it? 
POSSIBLE SPOILERS: 
Themes: rock band, alternative lifestyles, tattoos, bisexuality, commitment, instalove, abandonment issues, fame, outing, coming out, life on tour 
Genre: Contemporary M/M Rocker Romance 
Heat level: Scorching hot, explicit scenes 
Length: ~52,000 words (Can be read as standalone, HEA)




Karen's rating:




This may have gotten off to a bit of a shaky start but...at the end of it all things worked out quite nicely.

When I first started reading this book I also started to worry...I like K. A. Merikan and am a total fan of their series 'Guns & Boys', I found 'Hipster Brothel' to be an adorable story and their 'Sex & Mayhem' series isn't on my TBR list it's on  my 'why haven't I read this yet' list, so I admit when I first started this I also started to worry because a small voice in my brain quickly began to whisper..."Stop, right now...stop reading and step away from the e-reader...even you cannot handle this much fluff." but there was another voice whispering and it was saying "No, you need to keep reading...have faith, things aren't always as they seem." so after a bit of internal debate during which no other voices decided to take part...thankfully, because it definitely would have been therapy time at that point, I came to the conclusion that I needed to keep reading.

Sometimes it pays not to follow your first instinct because if I had I would have missed out on a story that it turns out I really, really enjoyed. The first part of this book on it's own just didn't work for me and had things continued in that vein I probably would have either done a dnf or this would be a '2 what the hell did I just read' stars review, but that's not what happened and things clicked and connections got made for me and at the end of it all it's 4 'WOW' I really liked that stars. I'm quite comfortable saying that if the first part of the book had worked for me as well as the last this would easily have been a 5 star review.

Blogtour: Covet by Yolande Kleinn




Please say hello to Yolande Kleinn and 

Covet 


Hi everybody! I'm Yolande Kleinn, and I'm thrilled to welcome you to the Covet blog tour. I'm giddy to be here myself, and I hope you're looking forward to my kinky contemporary M/M/M love story. I had a terrific time writing this book—getting to know Jack and Colin and Peter—and I can't wait for you to meet them too. Follow along for the chance to win a $30 Riptide Publishing gift card!




Blurb:

Jack Mason—graphic designer and unrepentant player—has never been interested in monogamy. He certainly isn’t looking for romance when he meets Professor Colin Sloan.

Newly single and not looking for anything serious, Colin is intrigued by Jack’s offer of a physical affair with no strings attached. Becoming friends wasn’t part of the plan, but as accidents go, this one’s pretty great.

Peter Mason is Jack’s identical twin. In a long-term relationship himself, Peter tells no one that he’s falling for his brother’s newest favorite, even as the secret creates tension with his girlfriend.

When Peter’s relationship falls apart, he seduces Colin, fully expecting Jack to forgive his transgression. But Jack is keeping secrets too—he hasn't told even Colin that he’s fallen in love. Suddenly the twins are feuding, and Colin is caught in the middle, blindsided by the revelation that he doesn’t want to choose between them.

Now all three must find a way to share, or they’ll tear each other apart.


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About the author:
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