Friday, June 16, 2017

Book Release: Wolf of the Northern Star By SJ Himes

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Title: Wolf of the Northern Star
Author: SJ Himes
Series: The Wolfkin Saga, #2
Release Date: June 15th 2017
Genre: Gay Paranormal Shifter Romance

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Ghost, once known as the cub Luca, is finally home. Back among his kind and learning what it means to be both a man and a shaman, Ghost battles the expectations of his people, his family, and the pressures of a society that is both foreign and familiar. His power is greater than any seen before, dwarfing that of even the legendary Shaman Gray Shadow—and his union with Kane places him in the center of a controversy that rattles wolfkin society around the world.

Kane, greater alpha and Heir to Black Pine Clan, has finally defeated the traitor and murderer that destroyed the heart of Black Pine years before. Freed at last from guilt and pain, Kane has a new enemy to face: his own people. Placed on trial for violation of Law and blasphemy, Kane will have to fight to the death to preserve his bond with Ghost and keep his mate and people safe.

The soulbond between Ghost and Kane is forged by the creator and Goddess of the wolfkin. Usually, a sacred and treasured union that honors the pair and their clans, this soulbond is seen not as a gift, but a threat to eons of tradition and Clan Law.

The union of a Shaman and Alpha is anathema—but how to reconcile that belief when it is the wolfkin Goddess who forged it? Can Ghost and Kane save themselves, preserve their bond, and find a new future when the laws of the ancient past threaten to tear them apart?

*This book is part of a series and should not be read as a standalone. Prior books should be read to understand content. 104,000 words*

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Find The Wolfkin Saga on:

**BUY Wolves of Black Pine (The Wolfkin Saga #1) for FREE until June 19th**: Amazon Universal


WOTNS teaser 2

EXCERPT

“Decisions need to be made,” Caius began, fingers of his right hand idly scratching the table top. “About many things. Some are more urgent than others, but we are out of time, so choices must be made now.”

“Out of time?” Ghost asked, tilting his head to one side, eyes locked on his grandfather. He paused, seeing the minute tension around Caius’ eyes, the way he held his shoulders. A faint whisper threaded through the air in the silence between them, and Ghost listened. Wordless, yet still conveying a sense of urgency. Kane reacted, though he hid it well, and Caius showed no sign of having heard the whisperer. “Someone is coming. Someone or something is coming, and you wish to act before you can’t anymore.”

“Damn shamans,” Caius grumbled, exasperated, but without malice. Caius gave him a narrow-eyed glare, and Ghost grinned in response. He was not intimidated in the least by his grandfather, though everyone else treated him with caution.

“Who is coming, Sir?” Kane asked, maintaining his respectful composure. Caius gave Ghost one more glance, then returned his attention to his heir.

“The first members of the Tribunal are arriving soon. I just got word that Greater Clan Leaders from Dread Claw, Birch Grove, and Red Wraith Clans are arriving, as early as tomorrow. They will be bringing honor guards and some of their advisors.” Caius’ words were calm, but the tension around his frame was telling.

“You mean they’re bringing in greater alphas,” Kane said, mouth in a grim line. “An honor guard is easily six greater alphas, and that’s per Clan Leader.”

“Yes.”

“Why not the Clan Leaders alone? Why honor guards? What were they told when notified of Heromindes’ request for a Tribunal?” Kane was angry, each word layered in frustration. “These clans are our allies, and they’ve never traveled across borders in such numbers outside of a gathering!”

“If they are allies, why are you angry?” Ghost asked, interrupting before Caius could speak. He paced forward, yet skirted around the table, eyes locked on Caius. His grandfather, for all their blood connection, was still an alpha. Ghost respected his power, yet was not afraid of it—but he would also stay out of reach. Older wolves in the wild would snarl and snap at younger, impetuous younglings. Not that he expected such from Caius, but caution was wise.

Kane made a noise in his throat, half-strangled snort and half a sigh. Ghost gave his mate a quick grin, but went back to watching Caius. “Why are you angry at those you would call friend?”

“Luca—,” Caius began, Ghost quirked a brow at his grandfather, who shook his head and corrected himself when he spoke again. “Ghost, they are bringing honor guards. Almost twenty greater alphas who do not answer to me, in the company of my peers. In a gathering, there are many greater alphas, but also a hundred times more betas to temper the imbalance of power that results when greater alphas congregate in too large of a group.”

“What he means, little wolf, is that there is potential for aggression, fighting, frayed tempers, and extreme violence. Red Fern is all betas, but they are not enough to even out the rough nature of so many dominant personalities in one space, especially if the situation is tense already,” Kane said, reaching out for Ghost, taking his hand. “I don’t think the clan leaders would bring wolfkin guards with control issues, but we see problems like this during gatherings, too. Better to be prepared.”

“Andromeda reigns in Baxter,” Ghost stated, squeezing Kane’s hand but still watching Caius. “She will allow no violence to spill out amongst her clan.” Of that, Ghost was certain. She would never allow her people, her family, to be in danger. Andromeda was power and authority personified—she was the White Wolf, clan leader to the core. For a female, unheard of—for a beta, even more so. Though Ghost had his doubts about her beta status. “And why tense—because Kane is charged with blasphemy?”

Caius blanched at the word, and Kane’s hand tightened on his, almost painfully. Andromeda came to them the day before, warning Kane of the pending charges of blasphemy. Apparently, the clan leaders, Heromindes leading the way, discussed the bond between Ghost and Kane and decided Kane was guilty of two violations of Law in one occurrence—using the Voice to force a mating bond on a shaman.

“Yes, because of the charge of blasphemy,” Caius said, a subtle growl in his voice. “It is almost unheard of for that charge to be levied against any wolfkin, much less an heir to a clan. We have so few religious Laws.”

“I don’t understand,” Ghost said, brows lowered, biting his lip. He sent Kane a searching glance, then looked back to Caius. “Kane’s thoughts give me the meaning of the word, but the…concept? The concept is hard for me to understand. We are soulbonded, and She made it so. That has always been a sacred gift. Always.”

“They doubt that we share a soulbond, my love,” Kane told him, tugging on his hand and making him look down. Kane gave him a half-smile, a twist to his full lips that spoke of anger and some odd pain. “Heromindes, whether through bruised pride and fear, or ignorance, believes I have forced my gift upon you. I used the Voice against him in Worcester, and he cannot fathom how an untrained whelp of nineteen could withstand me. He leads the others in their mindset—there cannot be a soulbond between us, because I am alpha and you are shaman.”

“I see our bond with every glance of my Spiritsight,” Ghost replied, leaning on Kane’s shoulder, speaking now to his mate, his grandfather forgotten for the moment. “Every touch we share, every time we have sex, it grows stronger. We’re almost one soul now. How can they not see it?”

Ghost knew other wolfkin could sense the bond between them. They may not be able to see it, as he could, but their mental abilities gave them the ability to recognize a mated wolfkin. Some were better at it than others, and surely a clan leader would have the experience and skills to understand the bond between he and Kane.

“A soulbond is incredibly rare, Ghost,” Caius said, leaning back in his seat, the chair creaking. “Last count, there was only a dozen soulbonds scattered between the clans. There’s just over two hundred clans across the whole world. Hundreds of thousands of wolfkin, and only twelve pairs. Well, thirteen, now. There is only one other wholly male pairing, but those two wolfkin are a beta and an alpha, not alpha and shaman.”

“So, because our Great Mother has only gifted twelve pairs before us, that rarity makes our bond less likely?” Ghost was fed up. He growled, a soft rumble in his chest. This was not the welcome home he’d dreamed of when he was trapped in his wolf-form lost in the North. Though then, he’d been worried his people wouldn’t want him because he was defective and Gray Shadow died saving his life, but now it seemed they did want him, just not bonded to Kane.

How was their pairing wrong?

“Ghost, it’ll be alright,” Kane said, his free hand rubbing over Ghost’s stomach in soothing circles. Ghost rarely felt his temper slip free from his usual calm, but it was escaping his control now. Last time he got this vexed he tore apart an ugly couch back at the sanctuary, but he was a man now, he didn’t think his mate or the White Wolf would appreciate him destroying furniture.

“Then we prove we are bonded,” Ghost said decisively. “Show them the truth, and they must leave us be.”

Caius sighed and shook his head, and Kane hugged him even as he frowned. Ghost could see the doubt and the underlying worry that weighed down both alphas’ shoulders, but he had an unshakeable faith in his soulbond with Kane and the support of the deity who created it. They would be fine.

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About the Author

I'm a self-employed writer who stresses out about the silliest things, like whether or not I got my dog the best kind of snack and the fact my kindle battery tends to die when I'm at the best part in a book. I write mainly gay romance, erotica, and urban fantasy, with ocasional forays into contemporary and paranormal. I love a book heavy on plot and character evolution, and throw in some magic, and that's perfection. My current series are: The Beacon Hill Sorcerer, Bred For Love (as Revella Hawthorne), and The Wolfkin Saga. My last two novels in the Beacon Hill Sorcerer won 3rd Place in the Gay Fantasy category for the 2016 Rainbow Awards.

I live in New Orleans, where the personalities are big and loud and so are the bugs! New Orleans is rich in cultural history, and the flavor and music of the City is impossible to hide. Before that, I lived all over the United States: Tampa, Western Massachusetts, Indianapolis, and on and on.... I'm a nomad, and I've yet to find a place that calls to me strongly enough to become home. My faithful travel companions are my dog Micah, the numerous voices in my head who insist they all get put on paper, and the wind at my back.

Links: Website | Blog | Facebook | Facebook Fan Group | Twitter | Amazon


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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Book Release- It Could Happen-- By Mia Kerick

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Title: It Could Happen
Author: Mia Kerick
Release Date: June 5th 2017
Genre: New Adult, MMM Romance

It Could Happen

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Three misfits, mismatched in every way—Henry Perkins, Brody Decker, and Danny Denisco—have been friends throughout high school. Now in their senior year, the boys realize their relationship is changing, that they’re falling in love. But they face opposition at every turn—from outside and from within themselves. Moving to the next level will take all the courage, understanding, and commitment they can muster. But it could happen.

Henry is a star athlete and the son of religious parents who have little concern for the future he wants. Brody is a quirky dreamer and adrenaline junkie, and Danny is an emo artist and the target of bullies. Despite their differences they’ve always had each other’s backs, and with each of them facing a new and unique set of challenges, that support is more important than ever. Is it worth risking the friendship they all depend on for the physical and romantic relationship they all desire?

In this unconventional new adult romance, three gay teens brave societal backlash—as well as the chance that they might lose their treasured friendship—to embark on a committed polyamorous relationship.

Purchase: Amazon US | Amazon UK | DSP (ebook) | DSP (paperback) 
Find It Could Happen on Goodreads

EXCERPT

That was when Henry forgot all about keeping quiet, jerked at the door handle like a madman, and yelled, “Let us in! Let us in!”

It was like a miracle when the door slowly swung open. Danny stood in front of us wearing this strange, old-fashioned, white-nightgown thing he must have found at a thrift shop, because they sure don’t sell them at the outlet mall where I shop. If he were clutching a candleholder, he would have looked like an orphan in a Dickens’ novel. Danny’s fine black hair was rumpled and stuck to his head, and, like Henry said, his eyes were both blackened and swollen. His bottom lip was puffy too.

“What the fuck?” Henry didn’t shout it. He just asked. Then he rushed to Danny and hugged him. I couldn’t see Danny at all because he was swallowed up in Henry’s embrace, so I used the time to collect myself. I’m the one who’s supposed to keep my act together. I swallowed over and over until the lump in my throat went away, and when Henry finally let Danny go, I closed the door and told them to sit down on the bed.

Danny was oddly obedient. He took Henry’s arm and led him to the bed. While they pushed back the rumpled sheet and blankets and sat down, I stood in front of them and asked, “What happened to you, Danny?”

He said, “Nothing,” flopped back on the bed, and pulled a pillow over his head.

So I asked again, “What happened to your face?”

The pillow muffled Danny’s voice, but it sounded like he said, “It’s not just my face.” Henry reached down and pulled the nightgown up to Danny’s knees. His legs were covered in cuts and bruises, as though he’d been kicked in the shins too many times to count.

“I’m gonna fuckin’ kill him.” I think Henry was the one to say this, but it could as easily have been me.

GIVEAWAY: WIN $10 Amazon gift card


About the Author

Mia

Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—a daughter in law school, another in dance school, a third studying at Mia’s alma mater, Boston College, and her lone son still in high school. She writes LGBTQ romance when not editing National Honor Society essays, offering opinions on college and law school applications, helping to create dance bios, and reviewing English papers. Her husband of twenty-four years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about this, as it is a sensitive subject.

Mia focuses her stories on emotional growth in turbulent relationships. As she has a great affinity for the tortured hero, there is, at minimum, one in each book. As a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with tales of said tortured heroes (most of whom happened to strongly resemble lead vocalists of 1980s big-hair bands) and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to Dreamspinner Press and Harmony Ink Press for providing alternate places to stash her stories.

Her books have won a Best YA Lesbian Rainbow Award, a Reader Views’ Book by Book Publicity Literary Award, the Jack Eadon Award for Best Book in Contemporary Drama, an Indie Fab Award, and a Royal Dragonfly Award for Cultural Diversity, among other awards.

Mia is a Progressive, a little bit too obsessed by politics, and cheers for each and every victory in the name of human rights. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.

Contact Mia at miakerick@gmail.com. Visit her website for updates on what is going on in Mia’s world, rants, music, parties, and pictures, and maybe even a little bit of inspiration.

Links: Facebook | Twitter

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Monday, May 29, 2017

New Release--Sex in C Major By Matthew J. Meztger

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Title: Sex in C Major
Author: Matthew J. Metzger
Release Date: May 27th 2017
Genre: GLBT, BDSM, Interracial Romance

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Stefan has ... fantasies.

He knows chasing those fantasies is only going to end in disaster, but he can't seem to stop his self-destructive spiral. He’s a transgender man struggling to come to terms with the intersection of his identity and his sexual fantasies as a submissive. He needs someone to take control before he loses it completely.

Daz can take control. He can teach Stefan everything there is to know about sex and submission, but for some reason, he can't get inside Stefan's head. Daz can stop Stefan’s self-destruction but not the fear that fuels it.

Stefan needs to know who he is before he can accept what he is. And it's Yannis -- Daz's aromantic, asexual, stern, and sarcastic partner -- who has the answer.

Purchase: Amazon US | Amazon UK | JMS Books | iBooks

Find Sex in C Major on Goodreads

EXCERPT

Other people wanted vanilla sex and dating out of a hookup in a gay bar. But Stefan wanted— this. He wanted to jump from nothing to Daz bending him over the end of the bed and fucking him like he was nothing but a sex doll.

What was he doing?

And yet he kept walking, step by step by step towards the house. A jogger had to go around him; a car hooted angrily as he walked out in front of it. He didn’t care. The house was calling. The man inside was calling. The promise of his fantasies becoming real was calling.

And it was terrifying and stupid and utterly crazy… but Stefan just couldn’t say no.

At exactly eight fifteen, the terror enough to make him throw up and the arousal so intense he could barely walk, Stefan knocked on the door.

Footsteps.

A key in a lock.

Then the door was jerked open, and a hand fisted in Stefan’s coat and hauled him inside.

“Upstairs,” Daz said, slamming the door. “Now. Nobody sees you.”

Stefan scrambled to obey, almost running up the stairs, still in his coat and shoes. He was shoved back into the small bedroom from the night before, and the door slammed behind them.

“Strip,” Daz said.

GIVEAWAY: Win ebook copies of Sex in C Major and What It Looks Like

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About the Author

Matthew

Matthew J. Metzger is a twenty-something British author of queer novels, primarily focusing on relationships, be they familial, platonic, sexual or romantic. He was dragged up in London, but currently lives in West Yorkshire, where he carves out a living in an office crunching numbers before going home to write books at night. Matthew particularly writes working-class queer life, and queer people who exist outside of the standard M/M romance fare written by and for well-educated, middle-class sensibilities. There be nasty words ahead, children. Better buckle up.

Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Patreon

BLOG SCHEDULE:

May 27th: Alpha Book Club | My Fiction Nook | Hearts on Fire Reviews

May 28th: Nerd Girl Official | Boy Meets Boy Reviews

May 29th: The Novel Approach | A L Boyd

May 3oth: A M Leibowitz

May 31st: Happily Ever Chapter

June 1st: MJs Book Blog and Reviews

June 2nd: Bonkers about Books | Joyfully Jay

June 5th: Kimmers' Erotic Book Banter

June 6th: Making It Happen | Outrageous Heroes

June 7th: BFD Book Blog

June 8th: Triple A

June 9th: Love Bytes Reviews

June 12th: Stories That Make You Smile | Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

June 13th: Loving Without Limits | L M Brown

June 14th: All in One Place | Dawn's Reading Nook

June 15th: Bayou Book Junkie

June 16th: Drops of Ink | Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!

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Monday, May 15, 2017

New Release- Naming Rites- By Gary Boelhower

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Title: Naming Rites
Author: Gary Boelhower
Release Date: May 16th 2017
Genre: Poetry

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Gary Boelhower’s third collection of poems explores the ways we are named and branded with multiple identities, a clay vessel molded and imprinted from the inside and the outside by those who know us or think they do, by wounds, worries, stones, and nicknames, by place and absence, by teachers and traitors. Boelhower dares to name the body’s blows and pleasures and how they are celebrated in solitude and connection. His language soars with ecstasy and burrows into hidden places in the soul. His lyrics tell how the world’s pain lodges in the cells and how the fragrance of summer stars opens an aperture to healing. Boelhower is winner of the Foley Prize from America and the Midwest Book Award for his second collection Marrow, Muscle, Flight.

Purchase: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Find Naming Rites on Goodreads

Reviews

Naming Rites is such a generous collection it offers both blessings and confessions, dirt and bread, miracles and explosions, cruelty and mercy, great blue herons who resemble monks and blue jays clowning around, a lover's tender touch and the horrors of the nightly news. In second grade, Gary Boelhower admits, he won 'the glow-in-the-dark statue of Mary,' and his religious drive, now mature, is still alive in these poems. They aim for (and often achieve) not just a personal record but transubstantiation, transforming experience into wisdom, fear into freedom, language into song. Naming Rites is the autobiography of a soul, reaching out beyond the boundaries of the self. Bart Sutter, author of Cow Calls in Dalarna and Chester Creek Ravine: Haiku

Gary Boelhower's poems resist convention and confinement even as they speak deeply of and from history, family, and community. The persona names and narrates himself into being as he chronicles profound and tender encounters as well as 'tectonic shifts and betrayals.' Software engineers meditate, children go hungry, and faith is lost and reconfigured. 'Let me not forget to be what I have spoken,' Boelhower reminds himself and his readers. Naming Rites is an important and sustaining book for our times, with its 'cadence that calls us into the streets with voices/of protest and hope.' Julie Gard, author of Home Studies

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT


WINTER NIGHT

making angels
in drifts of crystals
under the moonlight
soft shadows
of the clouds
lay our bodies down
with their wild wings
fly through the cold stars
white syllables
land on eyelash lip tongue
taste the manna
of winter             

and after hot chocolate
breathe together
under the comforter
to make the warm
nest of home
where even our thorns
are holy
sweet musk
of the animal body
small silences between
the ribs
and places
where we catch
on fire
angel savage mercy




GIVEAWAY: WIN a copy of Naming Rites and Marrow, Muscle, Flight by Gary Boelhower

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Author Bio:

Gary Boelhower’s poetry has been published in many anthologies and journals. His second collection of poems published in 2011, Marrow, Muscle, Flight won the Midwest Book Award. He was awarded the Foley Prize in poetry from America magazine in 2012 and a career development grant from the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council in 2010. His recent nonfiction books include Choose Wisely: Practical Insights from Spiritual Traditions, and Mountain 10: Climbing the Labyrinth Within,(co-authored with Joe Miguez and Tricia Pearce). His third collection of poems, Naming Rites, was published in April by Holy Cow! Press. Gary teaches courses in spirituality, ethics and leadership at The College of St. Scholastica where he is a professor in the Theology and Religious Studies Department.


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Friday, April 14, 2017

Book Release-- Louder than Words by Siryn Sueng

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Title: Louder Than Words
Author: Siryn Sueng
Release Date: April 11th 2017
Genre: MM Contemporary Romance, Novella

LOUDER THAN WORDS - FINAL

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Derrek is a local teacher in Clearwater, Florida. He frequents a nearby coffee shop before work every morning, where he finds himself enraptured with a young barista, Alex. But Alex never seems to notice him, even when he’s handing Derrek his morning coffee.

After weeks of hiding in his corner under the pretense of working, Derrek finally gains enough courage to ask Alex on a date. He’s crushed when all he gets for an answer is complete silence. He thinks it’s the end, until he finds out that Alex has a disability that has paralyzed his vocal cords.

Sign language is Alex’s way of communication, and it’s something that Derrek knows little to nothing about. With renewed determination, Derrek asks Alex to teach him sign language. Derrek wants to be able to talk to Alex, to tell him how he really feels, and find out if Alex feels the same.

But more than anything, he longs for a relationship that goes deeper than just words alone.

Louder Than Words is an 18,000-word novella.

Find Louder Than Words on Goodreads

Purchase: Amazon US | Amazon UK | iBooks | Deep Desires Press

EXCERPT

Alex was gorgeous; a little shorter than myself, but not by much. He looked like he went to the gym. I found myself trying to imagine what shape his body was in underneath the black shirt and green apron. I realized I was staring when Alex looked up from the coffee machine and made eye contact. I turned away, facing my computer with an intensity that could kill; if that were at all possible. My heart pounded, face heating as I stared at the loaded document on the laptop. I’d opened the lesson plan simply to have an excuse to sit at the tall table with the outlet right next to it.

I chanced a quick glance over at the bar and watched as Alex handed the cup of coffee to one of the waiting customers with his usual smile. Damn it, that man could smile. It was cute, the way his head tilted to the side just a little as he flashed it to the young woman. For a moment, I felt a spark of jealousy and smothered it with a gulp of the searing hot latte I was clutching a little too tightly.

Today, I’ll do it.

I’d been telling myself that for the past week. God, I feel like a damned stalker. And at my age! I’m almost thirty! Where the hell had all my bravado gone? Bryant, my best friend, teased me often enough already about not being able to ask Alex on a date. The words “grow a pair” had been mentioned plenty of times. I frowned at my cup as if it were the culprit. “I have a pair, jackass,” I muttered.

GIVEAWAY: Win Louder Than Words ebook!


About the Author

Siryn profile pic.jpg

Siryn Sueng is an erotica M/M romance writer. Mostly she writes in the fantasy, paranormal, and even Sci-Fi genres. Louder than Words, though, is her first ever contemporary work. She’s married to her wonderful husband of 13 years, and they have two cute kittens, Anubis and Kida, who drive them crazy almost all the time. Anubis fancies himself the destroyer of the elusive red dot…

Siryn is a lover of games on a wide range of platforms. She plays on the PC, console, and hand-held devices (her 3DS currently). She also plays otome novels on her tablet. Dragon Age, the Fire Emblem series, and the Tale’s series are her favorite games. Japan is where she would love to visit sometime. She’s a huge fan of Japan, including manga and anime. Siryn loves to read, though she’s been writing more than reading as of late. And she has a deep love for dragons. She has a very large collection of dragon statues in her house.

Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Monday, April 10, 2017

Book Review--After the Snow by Lane Swift

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Title: After the Snow
Author: Lane Swift
Series: Michigan Seasons #2
Release Date: April 4th 2017
Genre: MM Contemporary Romance

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To be that perfect someone doesn’t mean you have to be perfect…

Christmas is over, but Dale Hepburn is determined to show his new British love, Nick Harris, how much fun a Michigan winter can be, starting with outdoor ice skating lessons. His life would be perfect—if he wasn’t secretly trying to dig himself out of an avalanche of debt that he doesn’t want Nick to know about. After all, Nick believes Dale is reliable, sensible, and solvent.

But while Dale works extra hours, and saves every spare cent, and hopes Nick never finds out about his past financial mistakes, unforeseen expenses keep piling on like Michigan’s unrelenting snow. And to make matters worse, there’s that little white lie Dale told Nick about having another teaching job lined up after the end of his current contract…

An emotionally tense romance with a satisfying HFN

~54,000 words

Find After the Snow on Goodreads

Purchase: Amazon Universal

EXCERPT

I put the latch across the door and sat on the bed to undo my laces, eager to get my feet out of those stiff, patent rental shoes. Hours of socialising melted away in the ordered quiet of our room, and when I toed off my shoes it was a special kind of bliss to be able to wriggle my liberated toes.

Nick stood by the window, and I could see his reflection in the glass. With his hands stuffed in his trouser pockets, he seemed tense, like maybe he was already playing back the entire night in his head and analysing every word he’d said.

He had a way about him, my beautiful Nick. Sometimes he seemed so confident and in control, other times kind of innocent and bewildered, like he wasn’t quite sure how he’d got to wherever he was. Either way, he kept me enthralled.

I said, ‘A company like Lamplin isn’t going to risk its profits on someone who doesn’t cut it. If you get some small advantage in terms of being noticed because you’re a person of colour or because you’re gay, so what? What about all the advantages us cis white guys get every single day?’

‘I suppose. Anyway, there’s no point in worrying, is there? It’s not like I can change who I am.’

‘And hallelujah to that,’ I said, pulling off my socks.

Nick took off his jacket and hung it over the back of one of the chairs by the window, then draped his bow tie over his jacket. ‘The view is amazing.’

It sure was from where I was sitting. The bedside lamp illuminated his profile, and drew me to him like a moth to a flame.

We were on a high floor, with partial glimpses of the Detroit River and Windsor, Ontario on the opposite shore. Nick rested his forehead and hands against the glass, and I stepped in behind him, wrapping my arms around his waist. It was a clear, starry night and the city lights stretched on for miles, but the soft skin behind Nick’s ear interested me more. America had plenty of iconic cities, and if I was brutally honest, most of Detroit was rundown or derelict. A few shiny lights and the distant view were deceiving.

Nudging the shell of his ear with my nose, I kissed Nick, and his shiver rippled through me. ‘You should see the New York skyline.’

‘I’d like to.’ His breathing grew heavier as I pressed my chest to his back and ran my hands over his chest and stomach. ‘We could go together. What do you think?’

I’d only been to New York City once before, in my early twenties. Mostly, that weekend had consisted of drinking too much alcohol in a dive bar in Hell’s Kitchen. Fun at the time, but not what I would choose to do now.

‘Sounds like a good idea, after the snow.’

Over Christmas I’d decided that come the warmer weather I’d sell my pickup and get a small SUV. Maybe an Escape. If I released some cash, I could pay off one credit card, and maybe swing for a real vacation instead of packing and hauling boxes for Vinny.

Nick covered one of my hands with his, and pushed it down, down over smooth fabric and the hard bulge in the front of his trousers. His voice had the huskier pitch of arousal. ‘After the snow? When will that be?’

‘April?’

I squeezed his dick through the fabric, and he groaned.

‘I was thinking more along the lines of February. Sometime around Valentine’s Day.’

A month. Two measly pay cheques and no extra work. I’d never be able to scrape the funds together. My hand drifted, searching for an excuse, which in my present state of arousal was like trying to catch a football kicked into the stratosphere. The best I could come up with was: ‘It’ll be too cold in February.’

Nick retrieved my hand and put it back over his dick, where it belonged, at the same time as he ground his ass against my own aching erection. It was a dirty, offensive move, beautifully executed, topped off with a satisfied grunt and a gentle plea. ‘But I was hoping we’d be able to go ice skating together on one of the outdoor ice rinks. I should be able to make it around without causing any major damage by then.’

How could I refuse when he’d brought my fingertips to his soft, sweet mouth? The answer was simple. Because thirty thousand dollars of credit card debt—not to mention the money I owed Maggie and the bank—had me bound and chained.

Review:

Each book is a stand-alone story with no major cliff hangers, but it's recommended that you read them in the proper order as After The Snow is a continuation of More Than Christmas.

More Than Christmas (Book 1) begins the relationship between Nick and Dale. It's a shorter and quick read with a bit of a slow start to their romance.

Nick moves from the UK to the USA for work and rents a house from Dale. Throughout the first book, they get to know each other and start a relationship. They end up sharing Christmas with Nick's cousin who's married to one of Nick's co-workers.

After The Snow (Book 2) begins immediately after Book 1 ends. Dale has a large debt build-up that threatens his relationship with Nick. He's also almost about to be out of work and hasn't told Nick the entire truth. 

When Nick finds out the truth from Dale's friend Maggie, he's upset at Dale for covering things up.  One of the things about Nick's job is that he's flying all over the world for his company. This leaves Dale with lots of time to himself and their romance hanging in the air a few times, especially when Dale moves out of his house next to Nick and moves in with his brother. 

Overall, the story has good and bad. The romance is a little slow to start and then Book 1 ends just as things really fall into place. The good news is that Book 2 opens right where Book 1 left off. The entire thing would have been just as good as one complete novel.

I like that both characters are a bit flawed. No one's perfect. Nick's public persona is a bit of a dick, but he's trying to protect himself and really just want's to be a family man. Dale is Bi, and his family isn't supportive if he's with a man, but he's very attracted to Nick. He's trying to deal with his family attitudes as well as make a life for himself which leads him into making some bad financial decisions. 

Another thing to note for American readers, both are written in the UK style, so spelling and some punctuation are not "American" standard. 

 
Michigan Seasons Book One

Title: More Than Christmas
Release Date: December 10th 2016
Genre: MM Contemporary Holiday Romance

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BLURB

Keeping life simple can be a complicated business.

High-flying young British executive, Nick Harris, knows exactly what he wants out of his two-year American assignment—a bigger salary, a promotion and some no-strings fun. How convenient then, that his gorgeous hunk of a next door neighbour, Dale Hepburn, is friendly, single and bisexual?

But Dale has had his fill of casual and he’s holding out for love that will last. Knowing that Nick’s stay in America is temporary, he welcomes him into his life as a friend; they train together in his garage gym, hang out and watch television, and dress up for the neighbourhood kids at Halloween.

Then the first snow falls, and with Christmas approaching and temperatures plummeting, Nick finds he increasingly yearns for the warmth of Dale’s arms—only he’s worried that pushing Dale for more heat in their relationship will land him outside in the cold.

Nick’s long-term future in America may not be certain, but if he wants a future with Dale, he must find a way to persuade him they can be more than Christmas.

A heartwarming romance with a satisfying HFN

~32,000 words

Find More Than Christmas on Goodreads

Purchase: Amazon US | Amazon UK

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About the Author


Lane Swift profile pic

Lane’s earliest attempts at fiction writing were sporadic, haphazard and utterly cringeworthy: a bit of maudlin poetry here, the odd short story there—and somewhere in between, half a dozen pages of a memoir that didn’t get beyond reminiscing over the untidy draw in her childhood kitchen.

Years and years later, after several career-changes, two children, and two international house moves, Lane arrived at a time and place in her life where she wanted to return to writing. Since then, it has become her passion; the one thing she wants to do for the rest of her life.

As far as reading goes, she enjoys many genres: science fiction, mystery, crimes, thrillers and horror. But there’s nothing she likes more than when those stories are driven by the power of true love. So, it was really no surprise that when she finally put her middle-aged fingers to the keyboard, she started writing romance.

Lane’s love stories feature diverse queer characters in the starring roles. She sometimes combines contemporary romance with mystery, suspense or paranormal, and always gives her heroes and heroines their hard-earned happy ending. She has books published with Less Than Three Press and Dreamspinner Press, as well as self-published titles.

Home is currently in Hampshire, on the south coast of England, and there are no plans to move for the foreseeable future. Eighteen house moves in the last twenty-five years is surely enough for anyone! And when she’s not writing or spending time with her family, Lane can often be found running on the local roads, trails and beaches.

Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest | Instagram | Amazon

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