Sunday, October 21, 2018

ARC Review: Lincoln's Park by Parker Williams

Blurb:

Lincoln Merriweather was born an entitled brat with a silver spoon lodged so deep, it might never have come out. At the BDSM club or in business, Lincoln was a storm, blowing in and disrupting the lives of everyone he touched, until the day he met a man who peeled away the tarnished layers to expose a decent person.

Lincoln found—then lost—love.

Since then, he’s tried to atone for his past, including walking away from his family’s wealth. He opened a diner, hiring people to work for him that he would have spit on before his epiphany. He’s found peace, which he’s about to lose to a hazel-eyed man.

Noel Simmons wound up on the street when his parents discovered he was gay. His path leads him to Lincoln’s diner, where he asks for a job. He’s thrilled when Lincoln agrees to hire him, but finds his new boss perplexing. Can anyone be this kind and decent?

What starts out as business becomes something more. Noel discovers he needs Lincoln in order to feel safe. Lincoln needs Noel to complete him. But when Lincoln’s past gets in the way of his present, will the two have a future?





My rating:





I read this book, finished it, and then immediately read it again. That basically NEVER happens, but with this book, I couldn't help myself.

Noel is a young man who was kicked out of his home by his ever so loving parents when he told them he was gay. He was lucky in that he found a place at a local shelter, where he's been living and helping out for the past three years. In need of a job, any job, he stops in Lincoln's diner.

Lincoln is quite a bit older than Noel, with a very different backstory, which we find out as the book progresses. He loves cooking and taking care of people, and he treats his employees like family. One look at the forlorn young man asking for a job, and Lincoln can't help himself - the need to pull the young man into the folds is immediate.

Noel has no idea what hit him - surely nobody can be that decent and kind to someone they don't know at all, right?

I liked both characters immensely, and also the supporting cast - the other employees at the diner, especially Katy, and Robert who runs the shelter where Noel has been staying. However, Lincoln's brother and father - I wanted them to hurt, and badly, but obviously I wasn't supposed to like them.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Audio Book Review: No Tears For Darcy by Vicki Reese

From The Blurb:
Length: 6 hrs and 28 mins 
Letting love pass them by would be a crime. Former forensic accountant Cameron has lost nearly everyone he’s ever loved, and now his vintage clothing shop has been broken into and trashed. When town Police Chief Will Carson asks an out-of-town cop friend of his for help, Cam takes one look at the dark-haired, blue-eyed detective and knows he’s in real trouble - and it has nothing to do with vandalism or murder. 
Pete Minchelli is on leave from his job in Philadelphia due to a gunshot wound, but he figures he can help an academy buddy with some light police work. Plus, he’ll have a chance to experience small-town life. He’s tired of the big city and all its corruption. But he quickly discovers that not all the bad stuff happens in cities. What he doesn’t expect to find is death, treachery - or love.

Karen's rating:




Sometimes it's a fine line between love and obsession...

Cameron's trying to get over the loss of his loved ones but it's hard when the people you care about keep dying...first it was his parents, then his boyfriend and now his friends seem to be falling victim to this mysterious curse that's following him.

Pete Minchelli is recovering from an injury sustained during his job so he's come to visit his family and friends as he heals and begins to consider his growing discontent with the direction his life has been going in. When Pete's friend,Will Carson, from his academy days ask for help with a case that brings Cameron into his life. Ultimately Pete's confusion over things is only compounded.

Pete and Cameron are drawn to each other from the moment they meet and as the story progresses their attraction grows increasing Pete's resolve to keep Cameron safe and find a way for them to remain in each other's lives. Along with his growing attraction Cameron is trying to deal with his past and the wreckage of a relationship that he's quickly beginning to realize is even more less than idealistic than he had ever thought it could be...as an ever increasing number of lies and deceptions are revealed. As the number of lies and deceptions his relationship was based on increases, so do the number of bodies. It begins to seem like there's one secret that someone's willing to do anything to hide...leaving everyone wondering if anyone is safe from Cameron's stalker...even Cameron himself.

Release Blitz: Heat For Sale by Blake Moreno


Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK  

Exclusive to Amazon and on Kindle Unlimited

Length: 192 pages

Cover Design: Dar Albert @ Wicked Smart Design



Blurb
Heat can be sold but love is earned.

In a world where omegas sell their heats for profit, Adrien is a university student in need of funding. With no family to fall back on, he reluctantly allows the university's matcher to offer his virgin heat for auction online. Anxious, but aware this is the reality of life for all omegas, Adrien hopes whoever wins his heat will be kind.

Heath—a wealthy, older alpha—is rocked by the young man's resemblance to his dead lover, Nathan. When Heath discovers Adrien is Nathan’s lost son from his first heat years before they met, he becomes obsessed with the idea of reclaiming a piece of Nathan.

Heath buys Adrien’s heat with only one motivation: to impregnate Adrien, claim the child, and move on. But their undeniable passion shocks him. Adrien doesn't know what to make of the handsome, mysterious stranger he's pledged his body to, but he’s soon swept away in the heat of the moment and surrenders to Heath entirely.

Once Adrien is pregnant, Heath secrets him away to his immense and secluded home. As the birth draws near, Heath grows to love Adrien for the man he is, not just for his connection to Nathan. Unaware of Heath's past with his omega parent and coming to depend on him heart and soul, Adrien begins to fall as well.

But as their love blossoms, Nathan's shadow looms. Can Heath keep his new love and the child they've made together once Adrien discovers his secrets?



Heat for Sale is a stand-alone m/m erotic romance by Leta Blake, writing as Blake Moreno. Infused with a du Maurier Rebecca-style secret, it features a well-realized omegaverse, an age-gap, dominance and submission, heats, knotting, and scorching hot scenes.




Author Bio

Friday, October 19, 2018

Review Tour: Adder and Willow by Sam Burns






Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 45,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Melanie Farlow @ Clause and Effect



The Rowan Harbor Cycle Series

Book #1 - Blackbird in the Reeds - Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #2 - Wolf and the Holly - Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #3 - Fox and Birch - Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #4 - Hawk In The Rowan - Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #5 - Stag and the Ashe - Amazon US | Amazon UK




Blurb


Fletcher Lane has a problem. His boyfriend’s parents are coming for a visit, and they want to meet up. He’s ready to commit, so what happens if his prospective in-laws don’t like him? And how is he supposed to keep Rowan Harbor’s unique nature a secret when he might be the worst liar ever born?

To make matters worse, when he finds and helps two strangers stuck on the road, it leads him to a new threat: the man who’s been terrorizing the town has set events into motion that endanger more than just Rowan Harbor. Can Fletcher and his friends stop him before there’s nothing but a smoking crater where the Oregon coastline used to be?









Sandra's review:






This series just keeps getting better, with every new book the author releases.

Adder And Willow is the 6th book in the series, and the third book of the 2nd trilogy, in which we catch up with Fletcher and Conner, whose relationship is still growing.

Now Conner's mother and step-father are coming to visit, and Fletcher is dreading meeting them. Not because he doesn't want to meet his boyfriend's parents, but because he's a terrible liar, and he knows that he's no good at keeping secrets. And the supernatural parts of himself and Rowan Harbor must be kept secret from outsiders.

Fletcher is also having meetings with Oak, the Dryad, who have been working with Fletcher to continue the training his mother couldn't. It is during one of these meetings that Fletcher finds out something he may have already sort of known, but that might put his future with Conner in danger.

And, as if that isn't enough on his plate, he also stumbles across two strangers in a stranded car, a mother and son, who are intrinsically linked to Rowan Harbor.

Release Blitz: Gateway To Love by Sarah Hadley Brook






Length: 32,793 words

Cover Design: Brooke Albrecht

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press




Blurb
Ten days to finally make the leap from friends to lovers….

Craig and Mitchell have been friends for years, but each of them reached a point where that camaraderie became… more. Mitchell’s kept his feelings close to his chest. So has Craig, but now that they’ve graduated from UMKC, he knows it’s his last chance to show Mitchell they’re meant to be before their careers take them to opposite sides of the country.

He insists they can’t leave Missouri behind without one last adventure. Mitchell agrees to a road trip to visit all the touristy spots and say goodbye to their home state.

As they spend their days and nights together, buried feelings rise to the surface and hope blossoms. When their journey ends with a dance beneath the Branson stars, will they find love and a future together at the end of the road?




Excerpt

THE SOUND of a horn jolted Mitch from a sound sleep, and he blinked his eyes for a moment, staring out the window at the busy highway.

“Sorry. Some idiot guy almost hit us. I had to lay on the horn,” Craig explained.

Mitch straightened himself in his seat and rubbed his eyes. “No worries. Sorry I fell asleep.”

Craig grinned at him. “You should be. I’ve had to listen to your snoring for almost two hours.”

“Hey, I don’t snore. You do, but I don’t,” Mitch said emphatically.

Craig snorted. “Whatever. I can hear you through the wall at night.”

“I don’t snore,” Mitch reiterated, and frowned when Craig chuckled. Then he started feeling bad about sleeping so long. “Want me to take a turn at the wheel?”

Cover Reveal: Whiskey and Moonshine by Elizabeth Noble




We are delighted to reveal the cover for Elizabeth Noble's upcoming novel 

Whiskey And Moonshine 

a Dreamspun Desires title 



Blurb:

Drunk on love. Like a well-aged whiskey, master distiller and old-money entrepreneur Malone Kensington is elegant and refined. Unfortunately he’s also a perfectionist who is more dedicated to the success of his generations-old company than his own love life.

That company needs a public spokesman.

What Colton Hale lacks in sophistication, he more than makes up for with the charisma that’s allowed him to survive on the street from a young age and charm his way into the lucrative—if overwhelming—public position at the Kensington Distillery. When Mal takes Colt under his wing, hoping to polish off his rough edges, opposites attract and a passionate romance blossoms despite the differences in age and background. But can it survive a Kensington Board of Directors who believe Colt is nothing but a gold digger and a kidnapper determined to profit from the love of Mal’s life—dead or alive?


Release Date: January 15, 2019
Category: Contemporary, Dreamspun Desires
Pages: 228 (ebook), 238 (paperback)
Cover Artist: Alexandria Corza



Pre-order the book:





And now, drumroll,please...

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Author Of The Month - EJ Russell - Week Three


Welcome to our third week of celebrations for the amazing 




In today's post, we're looking at the Legend Tripping series with Stumptown Spirits and Wolf's Clothing, as well as Nudging Fate, the first book in the Enchanted Occasions series, plus a personal story EJ has chosen to share.

There's also another chance to win one of her books!



First up, Stumptown Spirits 

Blurb:

What price would you pay to rescue a friend from hell?

For Logan Conner, the answer is almost anything. Guilt-ridden over trapping his college roommate in a ghost war rooted in Portland’s pioneer past, Logan has spent years searching for a solution. Then his new boyfriend, folklorist Riley Morrel, inadvertently gives him the key. Determined to pay his debt—and keep Riley safe—Logan abandons Riley and returns to Portland, prepared to give up his freedom and his future to make things right.

Crushed by Logan’s betrayal, Riley drops out of school and takes a job on a lackluster paranormal investigation show. When the crew arrives in Portland to film an episode about a local legend of feuding ghosts, he stumbles across Logan working at a local bar, and learns the truth about Logan’s plan.

Their destinies once more intertwined, the two men attempt to reforge their relationship while dodging a narcissistic TV personality, a craven ex-ghost, and a curmudgeonly bar owner with a hidden agenda. But Logan’s date with destiny is looming, and his life might not be the only one at stake.


Excerpt:


As the rest of the crew scattered, Julie snagged Riley for some goddamned reason and towed him across the room. Logan dodged through the milling HttM staff to follow them, because if he had only two more days to live, he was damn well spending them with Riley, Julie’s agenda be damned.


If he had longer than two days, then he intended to begin as he meant to go on.


“Hey.” Max cut in front of him with a smirk and a swagger. “Since you’re putting yourself on the line to protect me, guess I should know your name.”


“Yeah. You should.” Logan tried to ease himself around Max, but a knot of crew guys blocked his way. Max reoriented himself so he was front and center again. Christ. The asshole probably couldn’t resist upstaging anyone within a city block.


“So. What is it?”


“Conner. Logan Conner.”


“So, Logan.” Max displayed more teeth than the average beauty contestant. “Willing to take a bullet for me?”


Logan stopped craning his neck in an attempt to keep Riley in his sights. “Look. Max. This isn’t the Secret Service and you’re not POTUS. So no. I’m just another set of eyes, a guy with knowledge of the terrain and local history.”


“What’s your background? What’d you do before you became a bartender? Military? Special forces?”


“I was studying to be an architect.”


Max goggled at him. “How does that qualify you to protect me?”


“How does posing in a pretentious hat qualify you as an expert on the occult?”


Max puffed out his chest like an inflatable clown. Yeah. That hit him at his vulnerable point: his ego. “I’ll have you know—”


Logan loomed over him, despite having barely an inch on the guy. But looming was all in the presentation. “You have no idea of the things I can do with a drafting pencil.”


Instead of quailing or getting pissed off, awe dawned in Max’s faded-blue eyes. “Hey. That’s good. That’s exactly the kind of attitude the show needs.”


“I’m not interested in appearing on the show.”


Max guffawed and slapped Logan on the back. “Good one, man. Not you. Me. That’s the persona I want. The I don’t give a shit and if only you knew.”


The room had cleared out, leaving no one but the giant walking ego in front of him and Riley, standing by the door with the knowing half-smile that never failed to get Logan’s motor racing.


“That’s pretty much Logan’s life’s creed, Max. Very insightful. I’m impressed.”


Logan met Riley’s amused gaze over Max’s shoulder. “That’s what you think? That I don’t give a shit about you?”


Riley didn’t back down, but his expression shifted to dead serious with a hint of sadness in his eyes. “The thing that bothers me, Logan, is that you don’t give a shit about yourself.”


Get the book:






Second in this series, Wolf's Clothing


Blurb:

What do you do when you finally prove the existence of the otherworld, but the ghosts kick your ass?

For Trent Pielmeyer, the answer is run like hell—away from his hostile family, away from the disbelieving cops, and far, far, far away from anything that smacks of the supernatural. After seven years’ captivity in a whacked-out alternate dimension, he is so over legend tripping.

When Christophe Clavret spots Trent in a Portland bar, he detects a kindred spirit—another man attempting to outrun the darkness of his own soul. But despite their sizzling chemistry, Trent’s hatred of the uncanny makes Christophe hesitant to confide the truth: he’s a werewolf, one of a dwindling line, the victim of a genetic curse extending back to feudal Europe.
But dark forces are at work, threatening more than their growing love. If Christophe can’t win Trent’s trust, and if Trent can’t overcome his fear of the paranormal, the cost could be Trent’s freedom and Christophe’s humanity. Or it might be both their lives.

Excerpt:

Christophe’s grip was firm, lingering long enough for Trent to recognize it as an invitation. In the old days, before he’d sort of hooked up with Logan, he’d have been totally down with the implied offer. Those days were behind him though. Weren’t they? He ought to have grown out of them, but sometimes he didn’t seem to have grown at all.


Christophe accepted his drink from the bartender and slid his credit card across the bar. Amex Black. Cool. Trent could let the guy pay for his drink without guilt.


With a sideways glance, Christophe turned his beer mat over to match Trent’s.


Nice touch.


If Trent had been interested in a pickup, Christophe would have scored major points. But this wasn’t a pickup. Trent was only killing time until Logan showed. So why did the idea of facing Logan suddenly fill his belly with lead, while sparring with Christophe sent a buzz through his veins like in his acting days, in those heady moments just before he’d stepped onstage?


Must be because one thing mattered and the other was just for fun. He’d always been better at blowing things off.


He’d never taken anything seriously except acting, legend tripping, and Logan—and look where that had gotten him. Was that the problem? Logan was part of the ordeal, snarled up in the Witch’s Castle nightmare along with Trent. He’s still the only person who’ll ever understand you. Stop fucking around.


He swiveled on his barstool to face Christophe. “Let’s get things straight. You’re hot. I know it. You know it.”


Christophe grinned. “Indeed? How gratifying.”


“Doesn’t mean we’re gonna hook up.”


A trick of the light made Christophe’s eyes appear to flash molten gold. “Why is that?”


“I’m . . . well . . . kind of here to meet someone.”


“You sound uncertain.”


“Nothing’s certain.”


“Except death and taxes, no?”


“Don’t be too sure about that.” Trent had learned recently that death could be negotiable, and his father made it his life’s work to prove taxes weren’t a certainty either.


Christophe grinned. “You, my friend, are a man with issues.”


“That a problem?”


“Not in the least.” He leaned closer, his voice lowering to a suggestive growl. “I love a man with issues. Happy people are so boring. Who was it who said, ‘All happy families are alike’? Tolstoy?”


“Don’t ask me. I was a theater major.”


“Ah. Then we can rest assured it wasn’t Shakespeare. You are an actor, then?”


Trent’s stomach clenched. “Not anymore.”


“A student?”


“Nope. I more or less dropped out years ago.”


“Years ago? You must have been a mere child.”


“I was nineteen.”


“How old are you now?”


Trent glanced at Christophe from under his lashes and took a deliberate sip of his bourbon. “Nineteen.”


Christophe blinked, his eyebrows lifting. “I don’t—”


“Or twenty-six. Maybe two hundred and five. Depends on who you ask.” And whose skin he was in at the moment.


Christophe turned and leaned an elbow on the bar, his knee brushing Trent’s leg. “What if I ask you?”


“Then I’d say I’m old enough to know a wolf in sheep’s clothing when I see one.”




Get the book:





And third in today's line-up, Nudging Fate


Blurb:

Not exactly a match made in Valhalla.

Half-norn event planner Anders Skuldsson is under strict orders from Asgard not to meddle with Fate. But with Enchanted Occasions’ latest booking—a competition for the hand of Faerie’s one true prince—crashing around his ears, it’s really difficult to toe that particular line. But if Andy pretends to be a contender for the prince…. It’s only temporary, so Odin can’t blame him. Right?

Conall of Odstone’s half-brother, Prince Reyner, was supposed to choose a mate before being crowned and wed. But the idiot left Con to impersonate him. Again.

When Con meets Andy, his anger turns to desire… and despair. Even if Andy forgives him for his imposture, how could someone eligible for a prince’s hand settle for the court outcast? And the double-deception isn’t their only obstacle. Unless Andy makes the right choice, their fates could be sealed by…well… Fate.


Excerpt:

Odin's beard, could I possibly be more awkward? But the prince was just so… so… princely. And tall. And beautiful.


And was looking at him as if Andy was wearing his clothes upside down and backward while riding a manticore down the Frost Giants’ football pitch.


It didn’t help that the three EO staff who arrived to serve the meal were all staring at Andy with wide, startled eyes. Since one of them was a sylph, with eyes bigger than Andy’s fist, that made an impression. Luckily, the prince didn’t seem to be paying a lot of attention to the staff, which was exactly what Andy expected—EO staff were trained to be competent but unobtrusive. Some of them could actually turn invisible, or fade, chameleon-like, against their surroundings.


That’s what Andy would prefer to be doing right this very minute—sitting in the EO suite, safely behind the scenes, making sure everything ran perfectly according to the client’s wishes.


The client. Gloriana, the Faerie Queen. Whose wishes definitely hadn’t included setting her only son up on a date with a half-norn event planner who was on Asgard’s three-strikes-and-you’re-out list.


When Mikos finds out about this, I am so dead. Assuming Gloriana didn’t find out about it first.


Then he’d be a newt.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

ARC Review: Hiding the Moon (Fish Out of Water, #4) by Amy Lane

Hiding the Moon (Fish Out of Water, #4)
Blurb:
A Fish Out of Water/Racing for the Sun Crossover

Can a hitman and a psychic negotiate a relationship while all hell breaks loose?

The world might not know who Lee Burton is, but it needs his black ops division and the work they do to keep it safe. Lee’s spent his life following orders—until he sees a kill jacket on Ernie Caulfield. Ernie isn’t a typical target, and something is very wrong with Burton’s chain of command.

Ernie’s life may seem adrift, but his every action helps to shelter his mind from the psychic storm raging within. When Lee Burton shows up to save him from assassins and club bunnies, Ernie seizes his hand and doesn’t look back. Burton is Ernie’s best bet in a tumultuous world, and after one day together, he’s pretty sure Lee knows Ernie is his destiny as well.

But when Burton refused Ernie’s contract, he kicked an entire piranha tank of bad guys, and Burton can’t rest until he takes down the rogue military unit that would try to kill a spacey psychic. Ernie’s in love with Burton and Burton’s confused as hell by Ernie—but Ernie’s not changing his mind and Burton can’t stay away. Psychics, assassins, and bad guys—throw them into the desert with a forbidden love affair and what could possibly go wrong?



Jewel's rating:



Hiding the Moon is the -- sort of -- sequel to two different Amy Lane stories. The most obvious of the two is the Racing for the Sun. I've read all of Fish Out of Water but have not read Racing for the Sun. In my estimation, as long as you've read the other 3 books in Fish Out of Water you'll be fine reading Hiding the Moon. I was never lost when Ace and Sonny (the MC's of Racing for the Sun) were on page.

We first meet Lee Burton and Ernie Caulfield in A Few Good Fish when Jackson's and Ellery's investigation leads them right back to Ace and Sonny. The stories of Hiding the Moon and A Few Good Fish run concurrently, so some things will be somewhat familiar. Not too much, though, because Burton and Ernie have their own story in these pages.

ARC Review: Out in the Deep by Lane Hayes

Out in the Deep (Out in College, #1)From the blurb:

Derek Vaughn is a little too serious. He’s a type A control personality with a penchant for order and a love of water polo. But he’s determined to enjoy his last year of college. The real world with a serious job and big expectations can wait for a few months. He’s going soak up every minute on campus with his friends and teammates before he moves on. The only possible kink in his plan is the new guy on the team… also known as his nemesis.

Gabe Chadwick has big Olympic dreams. His transfer between Southern California universities has nothing to do with scholastics. The degree is his backup plan. He’s not there to party or make friends. And he certainly isn’t going to announce his sexuality. But he can’t deny there’s something special about the uptight team captain. However, when an unwitting friendship and mutual attraction collide, both will have to decide if this is the real thing or if they’re about to lose it all in the deep.




Heather's rating:





A romance with two bisexual athletes? Yes, please!

I haven't read a Lane Hayes book in some time, mostly because she is so nice in real life that it would crush me to hate her stuff. I didn't hate Out in the Deep, and I even really loved it at times, even though the dreaded I'm breaking up with you for your own good happened near the end (ugh).

Out in the Deep is a really sweet story with relatively low angst, which is nice for a closeted guy plotline (two closeted guys here). I wasn't in the mood for something really heavy, so light and sweet was perfect.

Blogtour: Building Forever by Kelly Jensen



Please welcome Kelly Jensen with 

Building Forever 

This Time Forever #1



Building Forever is the first in a series of standalone novels focused on older characters who think love has passed them by. I loved writing these second chance romances, and I hope you enjoy reading about the books—especially this one because Charlie and Simon will forever be the characters who started me on this journey.




Blurb:

A new town, a new neighbor, and a new chance to build a forever.

Charlie King is doing fine. Sure, he’s a widower raising a teenage daughter who just got her first boyfriend, his book series isn’t writing itself, and he has a crush on his new neighbor — the guy next door. But everything’s just fine.

Simon Lynley is doing better. He moved to Bethlehem to fall out of love and rebuild his career. An affair with his neighbor isn’t part of the plan, but the attraction between them is too hard to ignore.

But when Simon’s ex follows him to Pennsylvania seeking reconciliation, and Charlie’s life starts to feel like a video on repeat, everything comes apart. Charlie worries that he’s failing as a father, and Simon is a distraction he can’t afford. Meanwhile Simon doesn’t know if he could survive being left again, and he hasn’t come all this way to make the same mistakes. But despite their fears, it’s only together that they’ll find the strength to slay old foes and build the forever they’ve been waiting for.


Excerpt:


In this excerpt, Simon is being introduced to more than the town of Bethlehem. He’s also getting a good dose of nerd. After being gifted with a ceramic beholder that he has absolutely no idea what to do with, he follows Charlie to a bookshop where they look at Charlie’s books. Simon then proceeds to demonstrate just how out of the nerd loop he is, and Charlie, of course, thinks he’s precious.


I’m Gonna Keep You
Simon and Charlie left the stall and the next hour passed in a haze of names and faces spread across Simon’s temporal lobe like a game of Memory. One he was doomed to fail. With time, he’d make a few matches. He looked forward to the day when Bethlehem felt less like a trip to the other side of the world and more like home. Somewhere he belonged. He’d never have Charlie’s ease—the guy knew everyone—but quite liked the idea of eventually slotting into the community.
They ended their tour of the festival outside the Moravian Book Shop.
“Want to get some coffee, or something stronger?” Charlie asked.
Simon tipped his head toward the display in the shop’s front window. “Is your book in there?”
Charlie gripped the back of his neck in what had become a familiar and somewhat endearing gesture. “Books. Yeah. They’ve got the whole series.”
He had a series? “Let’s go look.”
Charlie hesitated only a second before recovering his sunny aspect and pulling open the door. “We’ll turn left when we get inside. That’s where the sci-fi is.”
To the left, a wall of bright and vivid covers vied for attention: Dragons and swords and spaceships and moons. An anxious knot formed in Simon’s gut. This was not his world. Art, he understood, and music was his passion. His love of architecture and sculpture went without saying. This imagining of other worlds was something else.
Though, he had to admit some of the covers spoke to him. There was art here.
He scanned the shelves until he caught sight of a book called Ride the Wind by C.R. King. A vortex-like thing twisted across the cover, in shades of blue and purple, with the silhouette of a small ship plunging through the middle. Four other books were shelved next to it, their spines all black with similar lettering and the same name. C.R. King.
Vaguely wondering about the R, Simon picked up Ride the Wind and turned it over to read the cover copy. Kaze Rider, wormhole travel, lost worlds, and an ancient evil.
Okay.
“What does the R stand for?” he asked.
Next to him, Charlie stopped fidgeting. “Not what I thought you were going to say.”
“Is it a rude question?”
“No, not at all. I get asked that in interviews all the time. It’s for Rothesay, which is my actual middle name. My mother had a crush on Prince Charles.”
“Oh my God.”
“I know.”
“You don’t have his ears.”
“And if that’s all I have to be thankful for in this life, I’ll take it.”
Simon chuckled. “So what did you expect me to say?”

Blogtour: Ciarrah's Light by Lou Hoffman




Please say hello to Lou Hoffman with 

Ciarrah's Light 

The Sun Child Chronicles #3


Hello! I’m Lou Hoffmann, very glad to be visiting My Fiction Nook today as part of my blog tour celebrating the release of Ciarrah’s Light, the third book in The Sun Child Chronicles. I’ve got a pretty good giveaway going on, and a question for you, but before we get to that…


… Let’s talk about shifters (again)!


When I was touring for the release of book two, Wraith Queen’s Veil, I stopped by here and talked about one very special shifter, Henry George, the California Condor. Through the end of that book, Henry was one of only two shifters in the story, Readers met Henry and the other shifter in Key of Behliseth—Henry from Earth, Tiro L’Rieve the great otter from the other world, Ethra. And Tiro is the only shifter that has ever lived in that world, unless you count dragons, although for hundreds of years, none of them have been shifting… although that doesn’t mean it can’t happen again….


You may recall that at the end of Wraith Queen’s Veil, Henry was traveling to Ethra (because he wanted to see Han, whom he’d developed a serious fancy for) in the company of the wizard Thurlock, Lucky’s mongrel dog Maizie, and a ghost cat named Lemon Martinez. It sounds like a silly sort of situation, and indeed, there are some humorous moments. Like this one, from Thurlock’s perspective:
_______________


THURLOCK, THE Premier Wizard of the Sunlands, stood in the middle of a wood he didn’t recognize holding what remained of his robes after what was—the last time Thurlock had checked—a ghost cat, had shredded the cloth with very physical claws.


“Well,” he said, but that was all, because really, what could one say in the situation? Which included, thankfully, fairly warm afternoon sunshine and nobody around but the persons he’d brought with him through the Portal of Naught. Both of those circumstances seemed to Thurlock particularly fortunate, because he was having a lot of difficulty finding his dignity, standing as he was in a well-worn ribbed tank shirt such as was sometimes referred to as an “old-man undershirt,” appropriately enough, and a pair of baggy white briefs with no particular flair or style. He was aware that in Earth, where he’d originally acquired said underwear, briefs could have quite a lot of flair, and the style could be anything from formidable to what he’d seen labeled as “hot.” But he was a thousand years old, so he didn’t want style, he wanted comfort.


Nevertheless standing around in nothing but those underthings, even without much of an audience, felt decidedly uncomfortable, so he draped the shredded cloth that had been his wizard’s robes moments ago over his body as well as he could, belted the garment, and sat down on a windfall log to think things through. He hadn’t gotten too far into the think when Henry—a man of Earth who was sometimes a California condor—sat up from where he had been lying dazed on the ground.


“Where are we?” he asked.
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