Saturday, July 30, 2016

We've Got Some Great Mid-Summer Titles In This Month's Booyah Books ~ And There's a Giveaway too!

Cheers, everyone! I hope you've all had a great summer so far (or winter if you're south of the equator). We're back with a few of the best titles we read in the month of July, and we want to share them with you, as well as give you the chance to win a couple of the books we couldn't say enough great things about. 

Be sure to check out the Rafflecopter widget below to see how you can enter to win.

And now, here they are, our top reads for July!

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SammyWildflowers by Suki Fleet – “It is not often that a story leaves me speechless. How to rate something that is so beautiful and filled with remarkably tender moments? I raced through this novella, my hands clenching my Kindle in fear that somehow this ending would not be a happy one. I can assure you that was not the case, and yet the truth is often a painful thing to deal with and to accept. Xavi must do both of those things, and hope that he is not too late to salvage the love that he hopes Sam has for him in return.

I cannot recommend Wildflowers more highly than to say this story will be one that I read again and again, and I am sure that each time I will glean just a bit more from the beautiful words this author shaped into an outstanding story.”

CassieDeductions by Lyn Gala – “As usual, Lyn Gala drops you into the deep end of her new world. One of the things I like best about this author is the intricate and deeply fascinating universes she puts together. They're detailed, HUGE, and almost always take old ideas and give them new and interesting life. You always get pushed in head first, and while you do end up with enough information to follow along, she's not holding your hand or force feeding you exposition. You have to keep up.

Deductions takes place in an alternate universe of magic users and mundanes. Our main character, Darren, works on the FBI's Talent Unit as the only mundane. Or so everyone thinks, including Darren. He's had serious feelings for his boss, Kavon Boucher, pretty much from the word "go," but because of the way Kavon's magic works, Darren has been kept at a painful arm's length. When suddenly he turns out to be not-so-mundane, Darren hopes this could be his chance with tall, dark, and distant Kavon.”

MaryannHappy Independence Day by Michael Rupured – “Happy Independence Day is not just a story about Terrence and Harold growing up and finding their place in life. It’s about a time when the laws against the LGBTQ community were horrendous, and about how the mob and NYPD were in collusion. It’s a very thought provoking story with many tense moments, and I found myself fearing for each character’s life. Kelsey Ryan and Kreema Dee Kropp, are two of the most courageous characters, along with all the people who came together during the Stonewall Riots to stand-up for the freedom to be themselves.

Michael Rupured does a tremendous job of bringing historical facts and fiction together for an excellent story—his description of the clothes, music and the events will definitely take you back in time. I do highly suggest reading No Good Deed first to learn about Terrence and Harold and how they became part of Philip Potter’s life.”

LindseySoul Seekers by Jake C. Wallace – “Quite literally, the intricacy and detail of this novel blew me away in the best possible way. Between the character developments, the mystery, and the world building, I was hooked. I remained hooked all the way until the end, and can’t remember a moment where it slowed down or was too rushed.

I honestly can’t think of a single complaint I had with this book. Not a one. It was the perfect combination which checked all of my boxes, keeping me totally invested in all the aspects of the story. If you enjoy a good mystery along with some paranormal elements, a cast of well-crafted and dimensional characters, this book just might be what you are looking for.”

JulesGays of Our Lives by Kris Ripper – “I liked Emerson. A lot. Even when he was being a pain-in-the ass, self-loathing wallower. I always got where he was coming from. But, Obie coming into his life was monumental for him. Simply by slowly showing Emerson that he wasn’t going to take any of his shit, and that he wasn’t going anywhere, even when Emerson was being a total douche, Obie was able to break down Emerson’s walls and show him that he was worth taking care of.

I also really liked the chemistry and dynamic between these characters. Emerson wants to hurt and dominate his lovers, and Obie gets off on that, but the way the author tackled the BDSM aspect—basically how they were ‘figuring things out’ and what worked between them—was refreshing and honest, and truly just fun at times. All of their reactions felt completely organic and truthful—whether it was Emerson exerting his power, or him being limited or humiliated by his MS and being made vulnerable—I loved watching their relationship grow.”

SadonnaValet by Jet Mykles – “*sigh* Oh, how I loved this story. I’m not a fan of regency-ish type stories—I know, how terrible of me!—but this is sort of an alternate reality/historical/steampunk world that Jet Mykles has built, and I adored it!

OMG!  This is almost as bad as being the last one to read Crossing Borders!  How have I not have read Jet Mykles Heaven Sent series when I’m such a fan of her writing, not to mention those beautiful P.L. Nunn covers?!?!?! The first book of hers I read was Just for You, and the second I finished, I flipped right back to the beginning and reread it. I think that was the first time I’d ever done that. This is an alternate story of the Heaven Sent characters, and I am crying for the next book already! In the meantime, I really need to get it in gear and read the Heaven Sent series.”

CarrieEndings and Beginnings by K.C. Wells and Parker Williams – “Sniffs. It’s over. Sniffs. I loved this series. But… Yay! Cannot wait for the men of Secrets who will tell their tales beginning next year (insert fan girl squeal here). 

It all began with An Unlocked Heart, and an incredible series full of depth and emotion began. Endings and Beginnings is book eight in this series, and the final book in our journey through the lives of the men who call Collars & Cuffs BDSM Club home. This series has covered so many aspects of the BDSM lifestyle and has never shied away from telling the hard emotional tales these men have. Usually in a series you know which books you liked best over the others (and I definitely have my favorites), but in this case I can say that I have truly enjoyed all the books in this series. KC Wells and Parker Williams have a writing style that is spot-on and character driven, which makes each of these books an individual treat.”

LisaThe Photographer’s Truth by Ralph Josiah Bardsley – “If you’re a lover of books filled with engaging dialogue, intriguing characters, and enchanting settings, that is this book. The Photographer’s Truth isn’t flashy; it’s a romance that builds quietly through Bardsley’s evocative prose, and then hits its emotional peak at a crucial moment in Ian’s life—the moment he sees life through the unfiltered lens of a deep love he’d been bent upon denying himself. Of course, there’s an undercurrent that runs alongside the reader’s building investment in Ian and Luca finding a way to be together, that of the breaking up of a marriage and the breaking down of a family. The contrasts between Ian’s two lives is a conflict that causes no small amount of friction between he and Luca, nor no small amount of contradicting feelings in readers.

Ralph Josiah Bardsley has penned a beautiful and often heartbreaking love story, the sort that snuck up on me and then lingered in my memory for days after."

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And that's a wrap for July. Until August, happy reading!

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THE GIVEAWAY

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Release Day chat with Christian Beck

https://www.dsppublications.com/books/the-last-enemy-by-christian-beck-272-b
I'm pleased to welcome Christian Beck to my blog today who's answering a few questions for me on this the release day of his first book, The Last Enemy, that's out today from DSP Publications.

Mary: What inspired you to write this book?
Christian: I suppose it was a love of spy novels and adventure fiction, the works of John le CarrĂ© and Leslie Charteris in particular. My spy would also live in a world of realism—unflinching in Monk’s case given the state of the world. So, I had to find the right take on my central character, Simon Monk, to make that work. When I worked Monk out, it was his back story that made him relevant to me and exciting to write. I wanted a high level operative and an action hero, who of course could form solid relationships but would, because of his job and who he was, have trouble maintaining them. It was important to show both the inner and outer man. Egypt as the backdrop stemmed from my childhood memories of Lawrence of Arabia. I found modern Egypt even more compelling as a setting.

Mary: Was there anything particularly challenging about writing it?
Christian: There were some heavy themes in the book. One in particular was Egypt as the setting of the book and the country’s harsh treatment of the LBGT community. With Monk being gay, I couldn’t ignore that, so I had to find a way to creatively weave that into the story.

Mary: How did you come up with the title?
Christian: The title was based off the premise that the Last Enemy to be destroyed is death. That signified to me that Monk would have to stop at nothing short of that to succeed in his mission.

Mary: Do you have a song or playlist for the book?
Christian: It’s funny you ask that because just yesterday I heard a song on the radio that completely embodies the book. It was “Sledgehammer” by Rihanna. If The Last Enemy were a film that song would be its opening tune.

Mary: Are their plans to write more Simon Monk?
Christian: Yes! I am already hard at work on the next book in the series.

Book blurb:

 Highly decorated Delta Force operator and Iraq war hero Simon Monk loses everything when his romantic partner defects to Beijing after being caught selling US secrets to Chinese Intelligence. Monk is drummed out of the Army from the blowback but gets a second chance at a career when he is recruited into a covert group within the CIA.
Years later Monk’s latest assignment sends him to Cairo, where the head of station has disappeared amid a highly publicized sex scandal. But things are not what they seem. When the base chief turns up dead and the Egyptian government looks the other way, Monk and his team hunt down the assassin.
All roads lead to a ruthless and lethal cult from Egypt’s ancient past who discard every unwritten rule of espionage to win. Monk is forced to take to the shadows to find and destroy his most dangerous adversaries yet, as a chain of events threatens to ignite war in the Middle East.



 Christian Beck saw Doctor Zhivago and Lawrence of Arabia when he was a wee boy on a giant white drive-in screen in Super Panavision 70 amid the dusty Iowan cornfields, shaping his idea of what storytelling was. It stuck. Seldom does he write anything less than sweeping, epic adventures that pit his characters against some instrument or agent of death, pushing them beyond their every limit to survive. Simply put: Cinema put in words. He does that on a Surface Pro tablet sitting somewhere in the desert with his family – far, far away from those cornfields of the American Heartland.

Find him here:
Website