Sunday, February 7, 2016

Sunday Faves

http://www.amazon.com/What-Love-Means-You-People-ebook/dp/B003KVKR90/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1454291231&sr=1-1&keywords=what+love+means+to+you+people
Fave oldie
It's Sunday and so I'm again talking about some of my favorite things which are random and run the gambit in terms of category.

First off is What Love Means To You People by Nancy Kay Shapiro. I read this back in 2007 when it first came out and my hardback book has been well loved but the dust jacket is still in pristine condition. It's a very real book and though I would say still a gay romance at heart, it also has those huge life and death moments that make it a hard won happy at the end. Poor Seth, the main character, is put through hell and back, and the story is told in equal parts between the two main characters. I love it because you really live with the characters but it's so not for the faint of heart.

http://www.amazon.com/My-One-And-Only-Thrill/dp/B001NESPHC/ref=pd_sim_15_1?ie=UTF8&dpID=51czCy04hwL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR160%2C160_&refRID=01CS3G0VGHQDTYTAWEZD
Fave writing music
Melody Gardot is one of my favorite singers. Nina Simone would have to be my "most" favorite but I love Melody Gardot too as does Jory. My favorite album of hers is My One And Only Thrill though my favorite song, Worrisome Heart, which I listened to on a continual loop when I wrote Sinnerman, (along with Sinnerman by Nina Simone--the Felix da Housecat Heavenly House Mix), isn't on that one but is on it's own album of the same title. When my nerves are frayed, I turn to quiet jazz to clear my head and her voice, with it's smoky sound, soothes me. All the songs are about lost loves and retrospection and I love them. Being in a quiet place, with the heater going, keeping me toasty warm, with a candle on is heavenly. And speaking of candles...

http://www.anthropologie.com/anthro/product/home-candle/093512.jsp#/
Fave candle
The Capri Blue Mercury Glass Jar Candle is carried by Anthropologie and it comes in several scents. The one I love though is Volcano. And though the word "volcano" doesn't immediately conjure soothing, relaxing thoughts, when you smell the candle, you'll understand. It's amazing. I've gifted this candle a million times and no one has ever said I can't stand it or its giving me a headache. The smells in it, per the website are "tropical fruits, sugared oranges, lemons and limes, redolent with lightly exotic mountain greens". I want this job, writing what candles and lotion smell like because reading those words tell you nothing unless you're extremely familiar with exotic mountain greens. And what are those exactly? But what does help to know is that while it is a bit flowery, its more fresh but not heavy and you just want to suck the smell into your lungs.  the mercury glass is awesome too because once it burns down a bit, the flickering is visible and makes the whole thing look like a twinkling orb. You can't go wrong.

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=1718
Fave happy read
Take my Picture was written by Giselle Ellis back in 2010 and after I read it I looked for everything of hers and only found the one. Immediately when I finished, I decided to stop writing because I could never write anything as good. At this point, I have several books in our genre that I could say that about but none of that changes the fact that this novella is practically perfect in every way. Banter? Yep, it's in there. Friends to lovers? Check that box too. Almost too late and the fix isn't easy but real and human? Yep, yep, no doubt, that's there as well. Two characters that you love completely? Again, that's a go. It's like a jar of Prego, it's in there. I've read it about a billion times and I wish she'd write more but even if she never does, it's okay. This one is a winner.

Fave picture
This painting is called Carnavale Venezia  and it was painted by Jane Whiting Chrzanoska, born in Germantown, Philadelphia in 1948. I first saw this print in the window of a mall when I was 22. I bought it and I've had it now--not telling how long I already feel old--forever. My husband is not a fan of the bird mask on the woman, it freaks him out, but something about it has always appealed to me. I used to be afraid of heights so perhaps that she's up high, sitting alone in the dark is something I admire. It's also Venice, somewhere I'm dying to go, and at the time I'd just finished Cry To Heaven by Anne Rice which was set there. All those things, I'm sure, conspired to get me to buy the print but it's like a living history in my house of who I was and who I still am.

http://www.amazon.com/Wild-Rock-Vol-Kazusa-Takashima/dp/1598161016/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1454878375&sr=1-1&keywords=Wild+Rock
Fave Yaoi
My favorite manga has got to be Wild Rock by Kazusa Takashima. I've read it a gazillion times and I love the story, even the sad one after the main one, and the artwork and the fact that everyone in it, men and women, are beautiful beyond words. Also, a lot of Yaoi has non-con in it and this one does not at all. I also love Love Control (Volumes 1 &2) by Ai Hasukawa which also has no non-con in it but that one is modern and this one, Wild Rock, is set in prehistoric times. It's oodles of fun and again, the art is stunning. I love how romantic it is and everything gets addressed with nothing left up to chance. A lot of Yaoi ends funny or cutesy and you're supposed to assume the HEA. With this one, there's no guessing, it's there all spelled out. It's why I love it so.

Okay, that's it, everyone have a wonderful weekend and I'll see you next Sunday. :)

Sunday, January 31, 2016

More of my favorite things

https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-bemyboy-600071-145.html
Fave Freebie
It's Sunday again, hope you all had a fabulous week, and today is the day I share more of my favorite things. And it's everything I can think of so I apologize in advance if there's no rhyme or reason to it.

Okay so back in 2011 Casey Cox wrote one of my favorite stories about an older "boy" and his younger master. It's called Be My Boy and it's free, still, on ARE, and if you get a chance you should give it a read. I've re-read it more than once and always pick up something I missed from this nugget.

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6663
Fave new read
 So I along with everyone else has fallen under the spell of The Lightning-Struck Heart. It's funny and romantic and sweet and there's a great moral and seriously, if you haven't read it, you're missing out. Go scoop it up now. You can never go wrong with TJ Klune, but this one is special.

http://www.cbs.com/shows/hawaii_five_0/
Fave guilty pleasure

One of my favorite things in the world is Hawaii Five-0. And no, I don't watch it for the plots because some of them, especially having been raised in Hawai'i, are the epitome of implausible. But if you can get over the plot-holes that you can drive logging trucks through, you will begin to enjoy the awesome chemistry between Alex O'Loughlin and Scott Caan. You have to start with season one and eat food that's terrible for you as you watch. There's also a drinking game that goes along with it. :)

http://www.amazon.com/Pride-Prejudice-Keira-Knightley/dp/B000E1ZBGS/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1454280970&sr=8-3&keywords=pride+and+prejudice
Fave Movie for Vegging

If I am having the worst day imaginable, I turn to Pride & Prejudice, the movie with Kiera Knightley and Matthew MacFadyen to make everything better. I have never not sighed, deeply, at the end. It's my happy place and I own it on DVD (for when I travel) and on Amazon so I can access it at home whenever I want. It should be in one of those boxes, in case of emergency, break glass.

Fave thing to browse

Not gonna lie, I'm totally addicted to Joss & Main and all the sister sites. I went to Arhaus, another place I totally love, (but hello, can you say out of my budget, I think you can), but I found similar things at Joss & Main that are doable. It's a lot of fun to browse too. It's like ETSY. I am ADDICTED to ETSY, got all my Christmas presents there this past year. And every time I get the Sundance catalog, I find stuff I like and then go look it up on ETSY. I use the key-words and find things I love. We all need some retail-therapy once in a while.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/elliewoodward/times-tom-hardy-was-goddamn-human-perfection-in-2015?bffbmain&utm_term=.hkEwQdNV4#.nyeoy8DPd
Fave actor

And finally, Tom Hardy. He's one of my favorite things because well, he's both pretty and smart, he loves dogs, he's crazy talented and I modeled one of my favorite characters after him and he's just epic. I love reading whatever lists they do on Buzzfeed with him too.

That's it, see you all next time, have a great week. Remember let's be careful out there.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Warm up with Booyah Books January Edition

Hi, everyone! Here we are again, the gang from The Novel Approach, back with a brand new list of outstanding reads to kick off the new year. I don't know about you all, but January kinda kicked ass as far as reading goes, and I don't mind saying it was hard to narrow down our choices, so fingers crossed that's in indicator of a great year of reading ahead.

As always, there's also a chance to win two of the e-titles on our list, so be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!

And now, here they are, our fave reads for January:
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The Music of the Spheres

KathieThe Music of the Spheres by Chase Potter: "I loved the range of emotion each character demonstrated. Ryan had a quirky sense of humor, and I especially liked his comeback when Adam asked him where he got his shoulders. And, let’s not leave out the fart jokes. Why are they always funny?

Chase Potter, in my humble opinion, is just getting better and better as an author, and The Music of the Spheres is such a great story of friends to lovers. It pulls you right in with the first hut! Which is football talk for throw the ball. ;)"

Amazon

KarenTied to Trouble by Megan Erickson: "I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned before that I love a story where the bad boy and the nerd get together…but, I don’t think I’ve ever loved the trope as much as I did in this book. First of all, since I don’t think a review can be written about Tied to Trouble without the subject of bow ties coming up, I will just say that prior to reading it, I liked the look of a guy in a bow tie. After reading this book, I’m pretty sure I will never look at another bow tie without smirking and thinking of Chad and Owen (and probably blushing)…just so hot! Also, I have to throw in here that I thought Dapper Dick was awesome!"

Amazon

MaryannRefired by BA Tortuga: "I just love BA Tortuga’s stories, and Refired is up there with the best of them. Staying true to form, Ms. Tortuga delivers a story packed with great characters, love, heartache and humor. Refired is also a tale of learning how to let go and truly forgive."

Cold-Hearted Concept 200 x 300

CarrieCold-Hearted Concept by Whitley Gray: "Shivers. This book gave me shivers and goosebumps. I had to keep reading because I just had to KNOW what came next in the story, and I had to finish it well before bedtime because there was no way I would be able to sleep with this imagery in my head. The inside of a serial killer’s mind is scary place to be, and Whitley Gray does an excellent job of taking you there. I would love to have a story for Van next. If you had told me from book one I would feel sorry for his character, I wouldn’t have believed you. But I can see redemption there… maybe."

Amazon

TazDemon of Mine by Rayna Vause: "Demon of Mine is a tale of epic love transcending time and death. Ms. Vause has created a unique spin on the heaven/hell, angel/demon storyline, bringing a corporate structure to what is normally portrayed as ancient and archaic.

Ryan and Zavier are extremely lovable characters. Not only is their capacity for love fierce, but they are deliciously stubborn and flawed as well. Each has a strong sense of who they are and remain true to themselves. At the same time, they have the maturity to bend, and communicate to overcome the barriers which could split many couples."

Amazon

JenniferWarrior and Priest by Katie Howe: "There is so much to say about this book, and I’m not sure what I can say without just reciting the entire book, but I absolutely loved this story, and I am completely psyched that there will be a sequel. I completely fell in love with Nico and Alex and loved watching their relationship grow.

Seriously, give this book a shot. It’s a mixture of sci-fi/fantasy with a bit of a historical regency romance feel to it set on a near earth-like planet in the future. I know I, for one, cannot wait for the next book! The sooner the better!"

Vanished 3

Lynn -- Vanished 3 by Carter Quinn: "Oh. My. God. I finished reading the final book of the Vanished series, and I honestly feel as though I’ve just run a marathon. What an intense, amazing read.

Looking back at the first two books, we saw Henry dealing, quite horribly, with the loss of his husband, Tom: the denial, the heart wrenching realization that Tom’s gone. We watched Henry move along with his life as though in a cloud, nothing seeming real anymore. The major cliffhangers at the end of each book told me this series would go out with a bang.

And it did! I’m gobsmacked!

I won’t give spoilers away, I never do, so all I’ll say is this was an edge of your seat, hang on for your life conclusion to an already powerful, emotional story. As I was reading, I geared myself up, ready for anything to happen. Is Tom alive? Will they be too late? Was he already dead? As information, clues and scenes unfolded, I couldn’t read fast enough."

Amazon

SadonnaRedemption by Eden Winters: "After a lot of turmoil and conflict and difficulty in dealing with the bureaucracy, this story has a lot of surprises that literally keep us guessing until the last page. Diversion is a series that gets better and better with each new book. Bo and Lucky’s relationship keeps growing and changing, as do the characters themselves—just like in real life. This is my favorite book of the series so far, which is saying something because I am a huge fan of these books and this couple! I loved every second of Redemption, and I really cannot wait to find out what happens next to Bo and Lucky and their friends."

Amazon

SammyScenes from Adelaide Road by Helena Stone: "What makes a novel such as Scenes from Adelaide Road successful is strict attention to detail and establishing a solid “voice” for the lead character. When you have a young man who has lived with abuse most all of his life, the story created around him can fall into a whiny sense of pity me, and lose the punch it might have. No such concerns in this novel, however, for author Helena Stone excels at creating a voice for Lennart that keeps the reader both fully invested in his life, and compassionate about his circumstances. Never whiny or long-winded, instead, each time Lennart falls into the trap of seeing himself only through his father’s narrow and abusive eyes, we are reminded again that this boy is only nineteen and his every response, be it fearful or paranoid, seems to just fit. By contrast, Aidan comes across as much older, more stable and very sympathetic—again, just the right mix of young adult (given he is just twenty-three) and a more mature man."

Amazon

JulesBreakaway by Avon Gale: "This book was an absolute delight. I adored – absolutely ADORED Lane. And Lane and Jared. And Zoe. And Lane and Zoe. Hell, I adored the whole damn lot of them! Honestly, there wasn’t a single thing not to like about Breakaway. The characters are fresh, fun, and hilarious. The dialogue is sharp and just so perfect for all of them. And, the hockey! Gah! Who knew I’d like hockey this much? It’s awesome! It’s fantastic to read about something that is clearly a passion for the author, and Avon Gale definitely knows her stuff.

Pick this one up, guys. I promise you will laugh, you will swoon, you will learn about hockey, and you will be so glad you read it. Breakaway is the first in Avon Gale’s new Scoring Chances series, and I am all in. I can’t wait to dig right in to Riley and Ethan’s story next! Bring on more hockey boys!"

Amazon

LisaA Frost of Cares by Amy Rae Durreson: "A Frost of Cares is, at its core, a redemption story built around a ghost story and then intertwined with an opportunity for second chances for Luke and Jay. It’s a story of healing and of the sort of trust that grows between two people when they risk exposing all their secrets and fears and scars to each other, and find that when all is said and done, they have no reason to hide because they’ve become each other’s safe place to land. I loved every bit of history and detail and imagination Durreson wove into this story, and all the parts and pieces that manifested so subtly and moved the plot along, keeping me riveted to my Kindle, beginning to end. Especially in the end, which placed a beautiful and romantic period on this love story.

If you’ve ever doubted that a chilling ghost story and a sweet romance can coexist within the pages of a single book, I think A Frost of Cares could well make a believer out of you."

Borders War

Jules/LisaThe Borders War Series by S.A. McAuley: Because Jules and I split the difference on the reviews in this series, and there's no way of really breaking the series down into a single favorite because none of the books can stand alone--they absolutely must be read in order, each an integral thread in the weave of the storyline--the logical solution was to nominate the entire series.

As I'd said in my review of the final two books, I don't think I've ever read a series that is so sadistically plotted. Every secret revealed, every lie fabricated, every truth exposed came at a price and served the whole of the storyline in a brilliant way. So many shocks and surprises and heartaches and tears... it's an absolutely stunning series, not easy on the emotions, but is so worth every single bit of agony.
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And that does it for January. The whole of these reviews and many more can be found at The Novel Approach. Until next month, happy reading!
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The Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, January 24, 2016

A few of my favorite things

http://www.amazon.com/Gladiators-Master-Fae-Sutherland-ebook/dp/B005GFAIDI/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1453645979&sr=1-1&keywords=the+gladiator%27s+master
Fave Historical
So with award season upon us, I started thinking about some of my own personal favorites and decided to make a list of random books (and movies and people and just stuff) and share them every Sunday. 

First off, The Gladiator's Master by Sutherland and Labbe is my favorite historical and I love it and I also love Lotus in the Wild by them (and the cover is some of Anne Cain's best work--like I would love to have it framed on my wall) but it's got some traces of magic in it that take away the firm historical foothold. In this one, there's no magic just the whole Spartacus vibe. And speaking of, the series, on Starz, is also one of my favorite things. I shipped Nagron very hard and have the whole series on DVD.

https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-redriver-1968445-340.html
New fave trope
As a rule, I don't care for mpreg. I'm particular about my shifters to begin with and anyone who's been to  a GRL with me and had the misfortune of listening to me explain, I apologize that I get a bit ranty, but I like rules (cue Jin) and so mpreg normally makes me bananas. But then I read Cardeno's newest book Red River, and changed my mind. I really loved how it was handled and it made sense and it was just beautiful. I love being surprised and that was a good one.

Fave could have been

I never wanted to see Burnt so I was really surprised that I liked it so much. I mean I get why it didn't do super great at the box office. There's no HEA, no relationship really to speak of, and the main character is not fixed either. It's a life-in-progress kind of thing. Also, and I know everyone's gonna expect this from me, but this movie really would have functioned better as a gay romance. Wait-wait-wait, hear me out. See there's Tony, the guy who actually loves him and gives him a second chance and I would have written THAT relationship and there's also this other chef, Reece, who he goes to in his darkest hour, who takes care of him. That relationship could also have been written but I liked that one more as the brother thing that you never expect. So I would written that at the end, he kisses Tony, professes his love, but says he's not fixed enough to begin something. But once he's together, maybe they could be too. It would have been sweet and the relationship piece didn't need to effect the rest of the story. I mean, ZAM once said at RT where I heard her speak, that the story belongs to the person who changes most. It's still a movie all about Adam, (Bradley Cooper), and his journey back to the top and sobriety, but I think adding in that maybe what added to his descent was the fact that he couldn't own up to his feelings for Tony back in the day, but now he can, but not overnight, slowly, THAT would make the movie perfection. I think I'm loving this movie for it's potential. I'd love to write it, it would make a great book. Sadly, I can't, but it's that source material that you wish you'd come up with first. If you watch it, let me know if you think I'm right.

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=2504
Fave mob book
 I love books about the mob and Under The Skin, is my favorite. The Russian mobster and the Chicago police detective has been a constant reread for me. And the sex is super hot in it, yes, but more importantly, the connection between the two men and the way it all turns out in the end make me smile every single time.

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=2407
Fave PI series

It's no secret that Cole McGinnis, Dirty Heart series, is my favorite PI. He's a bit chewed up, but not broken and in March the last book comes out and we get to know why. I'm very excited.


http://cris-art.tumblr.com/
Fave web artist

I love Cris-Art, have for a long time and I support her on Patreon every month. I've loved watching her talent grow and though some of her illustrations are sexy, most are sweet and loving and make me smile.

Okay so that does it for this week, I'll have more next Sunday and in the meantime, in the words Sgt. Phil Esterhaus, (I'm so dating myself), let's be careful out there. :)

Monday, January 18, 2016

The gushy thank you

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/17980171-member-s-choice-awards-2015-winners
I just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who voted for me at this years Goodreads awards. I was overwhelmed with the show of support and appreciate you all more than you know. I won and placed in 6 other categories and couldn't even believe it and am so thoroughly grateful. Really, truly, thank you all from the bottom of my heart. I love that you love my guys. :)
Piece of Cake









A Matter of Time (tied w/ Jordan Hawk)

Thursday, January 14, 2016

News and the New Year

So this is the my new favorite thing, the cover for my long novella that the ever amazing Reese Dante made me for Lay It Down which will be out in March. Here's the blurb:

Paradise is Hell.

Most people wouldn’t think being stranded in the villa of Spanish shipping magnate Miguel Garcia Arquero on the beautiful isle of Ibiza was such a bad deal but Hudson Barber isn’t one of them. To him, finding himself stuck without a passport in a foreign country far from home, is a nightmare, only made worse by the fact that the person who did the stranding is his twin brother who had selfish motives, not sinister ones.

Now, abandoned by his flighty twin and unwilling to turn his brother into the authorities for identity theft, Hudson decides to take over Miguel’s failing local businesses—enterprises Miguel left to Dalvon’s inexperienced care. With two semesters from getting his MBA, Miguel’s flagging ventures are a badly wrapped gift from Heaven. If Hudson can make turn them around, he might be able to leverage the experience to achieve his degree.

When Miguel returns to Ibiza, instead of finding the boy-toy he left, he finds his brash but vulnerable twin making his villa into a home. For Miguel, his path is clear but he’ll have to convince Hudson to lay down his defenses and let Miguel in.

I hope you all like it, I had fun writing it. :)

The rest of my year is shaping up to look like this:

Chevalier (sequel to Romanus) will be out in May The title used to be, Heart of the Leon, but I realized I have a whole lot of titles with "heart" in them. Too many I think. This is why I'm not allowed to name things myself anymore. Both Lay It Down and Chevalier are from Rhys Ford and the others, since Old Loyalty New Love, are from Lynn West. I mean, when I named things myself we got things like Frog for heaven's sake. Small wonder I'm banned. 

Okay so:
Lay It Down (March)
Chevalier (May)
Conrad's book (July)
Marshals Book 3 (September)
Glenn's Book (November)
Chosen Pride (December)
Warders Wrap-Up (April 2016)

I have a story banging around in my head that I am working on between everything else. Not sure yet if it's long or short but hopefully I can get it out this year too so if that happens, we'll have one more. I'd love to be able to write as fast as my brain thinks up stuff but sadly, that's not the case. 

I had signed up to go to Coastal Magic this year but unfortunately, real life has intervened and I'll be staying home this year. My plan is to attend next year for sure. My travel is going to be pretty tight this year, but hopefully I'll see some of you at Yaoi-Con in the fall.

Thank you all so much for your love and support and I hope we all have an awesome year. :)