Release Blitz: When Irish Eyes Are Smiling by Matthew Robbins

When Irish Eyes Are Smiling - Matthew Robbins

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | JMS Books

Length: 44,000 words

Publisher: JMS Books 


Felix is in real trouble this time. Not only did he wake up nearly naked in a foreign country -- drugged and abandoned as a prank -- but soon he finds himself being interviewed by the police after crashing the truck of his handsome rescuer, Ronan Malloy. The only way for Felix to make amends is to work off his debt on the injured Ronan’s shabby, struggling farm.

Ronan Malloy and his grandad Lorcan have big plans for their ancestral farm. Their new boutique cheese will put Malloy Cheesery the map. But he hasn't struck it rich yet. Between the bank and his scheming neighbor, he has enough troubles and doesn't want to deal with an untrained Yankee on top of it.

Although Felix resents having to stay behind as his friends continue their backpacking adventure across Europe, he begins to see that farm life isn’t so bad. Ronan’s charming smile and sparkling eyes are an added bonus. And Ronan learns soon enough that the Yankee isn't as helpless as he thought.

Felix isn’t sure he’s up to the task of saving the deeply indebted Malloy Farm from calamity and devious plots for its downfall, but for Ronan, he’s willing to try.


Felix nodded and slipped out of the truck. After seeing how passionate Ronan was about the farm and its future, the thought that he had nearly ruined everything with a stupid mistake weighed heavily on him as he picked his way toward the waves. As exciting as photographing dozens tiny details in town had been, Felix was invigorated by the wild Irish sea and her rocky coast. It seemed everywhere he looked provided an opportunity, a moment in time that needed to be documented. He wasn’t sure how much time had passed, but he was surprised as he made his way back to the truck that Ronan, leaned against a large briny rock, had not noticed his approach. Camera ready, Felix focused on the most interesting piece of jetsam he’d run across today—a handsome Irishman.

The slope of Ronan’s brow, his proud nose, and full lips were made to be studied. If Felix had been given a box full of facial features and a hot glue gun, he’d never have been able to make a face that pleased his eye more than the one on the man he was watching breathe in the fresh sea air with satisfaction. Felix had never been able to look at Ronan so long before. Those devilish eyes, quick with a joke or a wink, missed nothing. Felix couldn’t look at Ronan without being looked at in return. Felix’s camera traveled down Ronan’s solid arms to the bandages at his hands. They were looking damp and ratty, loose around the edges and decidedly ready to be changed. He felt guilty he hadn’t changed them recently and he lowered the camera. To his surprise, Ronan was no longer looking out to sea, but directly at him. With a chuckle, Ronan waived him over.

“Not exactly a Sports Illustrated model, am I?”

“Not quite.” Felix found a spot to lean against Ronan’s rock. The two regarded the sea together in quiet contemplation.

“Why were you in such a pissy mood back at the pub?”

With a sigh, Felix said, “Tom.” He was tired and still feeling a buzz from the Guinness. Subterfuge was beyond his abilities at the moment.

“Tom’s not a bad guy. What’s got you off on Tom all of a sudden?”

“I dunno.” Felix kicked at the sand with the toe of his shoe.

“Out with it.”

“He was just being mighty chummy with you. I felt left out.”

Ronan nodded. His eyes bore into Felix and Felix decided he might as well tell the whole truth. He felt Ronan knew it anyway.

“And he kissed you,” Felix said.

Ronan let out a surprised laugh. “We’re just mates.”

Felix nodded and looked away.

“You call that a kiss?” Ronan asked. “That’s not a kiss. This is a kiss.”

Surprised, Felix turned to Ronan and Ronan’s lips crashed against his, matching the crashing waves of the ocean at their side. Felix could not catch his breath. His entire being was consumed by lips and tongue, bandaged hands at his back and in his hair. When Ronan finally pulled away, Felix’s soul screamed out in despair, matching the gull screams all around them. More. More. More.

Author Bio

Matthew enjoys writing in the quiet hours of early morning when anything seems possible. When he’s not writing, he loves spending time with his patient and sweet husband Josh or creating anything with his hands—watercolor painting, crochet, wood working. His wacky and loyal clients fill his head with tales of places near and far, adventures mundane and insane, and secrets so scandalous that he can’t help but be inspired as he cuts and colors their hair in a lively neighborhood hair salon. He credits large amounts of caffeine and Neil Dyer’s intense music playlists for helping bring it all together on the page for his reader’s enjoyment.

Review: The Viscount and The Artist (The Eccentrics #1) by Alyson Pearce

Andrew Cardwell is a man driven by duty to his country and to his family. After the death of his uncle, he's determined to provide security and stability for his family as the new Viscount Cardwell—even if that means marrying and producing an heir. Surprising himself, Andrew decides to sponsor a young artist named Jeremy for the season, to help him find a patron. What he doesn’t anticipate is how well Jeremy fits in his bed…and his life.

Jeremy Leighton knows what it’s like to be a disappointment. The only son of a vicar, he's refused to follow the path his father set for him, choosing his passion for art, instead. He accepts Andrew's proposal, hoping to prove to his father—and himself—that he can succeed as an artist. After spending time with Andrew in and out of bed, Jeremy struggles not to fall for the damaged viscount, knowing the season will likely end in Andrew's engagement.

Between a meddling cousin, a widow on the hunt for a new husband, and their own doubts about the relationship, how can Andrew and Jeremy shed the expectations of others to find true happiness?

I hate to do this to a new author but this was largely a miss for me. However, I tend to be a bit of stickler when it comes to historicals especially Regency historicals.

What I like best about this period, oddly enough, is the repression. Layer upon layer of clothing kept people as tightly bound as society's mandates on public behaviors which is the playground for spectacular tension building. That tension is compounded when you have two men as the protagonists because they quite literally could be hanged for sodomy. All those secret stolen moments, longing looks in the barouche and furtive touching in the gardens are what draws me to this period over and over again.

Pearce boldly subverted this conventional theme by having her protagonists take risks, skip the courting and have sex almost immediately. They fall in instalove which is, admittedly, a fresh take on the era but I found myself longing for the traditional.

Jeremy is the vicar's son who's a ginger and Andrew has recently become Lord Cardwell. The class difference theme is another that I enjoy but, again, not much was done with it. It was more in name only rather than showing ideological differences which could've enriched these characters as well as the story.

The middling parts of the story were on the dull side but I didn't hate them. There seemed to be an effort made to recapture some tension with Andrew's inability to emote due to his past which was believable from a PTSD standpoint, though it didn't endear him to me. Also, the pacing was sluggish throughout this part with little attention paid to character development and more focus on dramatics and sex.

Another thing I like about this era is the language, more specifically the double talk; people rarely spoke their mind and there was an extensive amount of manuvering particularly where the ton was involved. There was none of that here. The language often isn't consistent with the time period, at times it comes across stilted, forced and American. There was absolutely no finesse to these character's actions. No one is creative or possesses a cunning or progressive thought.

The conflict with Stanhope was the straw that broke my camel's back. I don't mind OTT antics and even slightly caricaturish bad guys but I wanted Jeremy to outwit him, beat him at his own game. He didn't but he and Andrew did get an HEA of sorts within the constraints of the time period. The thing is, though, I never invested in their coupletry. 

I liked Jeremy slightly more than Andrew but neither sparkle. Attempts were made to convince me that he's a positive influence on Andrew and challenges him in ways too intimidating for others to attempt, but I was never convinced of this. 

I know I just essentially tore this book apart but I do see promise in the writing and bear in mind this is one person's opinion and that person can be nitpicky when it comes to this genre. Pearce did do a good job of building their relationship, the sex is sexy enough and I did like the secondary characters which could lead me to try another book in this series.

I would recommend this to those who like historicals with a more contemporary feel.

A review copy was provided.

Find out more on Goodreads.

Review: Block and Strike by Kelly Jensen

Jacob Kendricks is three months out of prison, estranged from his daughter, and ready to get his life on track. Taking care of the bum curled up on his doorstep isn’t part of the plan. When he realizes the man has been assaulted, Jake takes him to the hospital, where he learns that Max is his downstairs neighbor… and that he could really use a friend. Keeping Max in the friend-zone would be easier if he wasn’t so damned cute.

Maxwell Wilson has been bullied for years, and the only person who ever cared lives too far away to come to his rescue. Now his upstairs neighbor is offering support. Max remains cautious, suspecting he is little more than a project for the handsome Jake. When he learns Jake has had boyfriends as well as girlfriends, Max has to reevaluate his priorities—and muster the courage to take a chance at love.

Just when a happy future is within their grasp, life knocks them back down. A devastating blow leaves Max lower than ever and Jake wrestling with regret. They both have to find the strength to stand on their own before they can stand together.

Recently released from prison, Jake Kendricks is focused on getting his life back on track, and being able to be a part of his daughter’s life. He’s working hard to stay out of trouble, but that becomes difficult when he finds his downstairs neighbour, Max Wilson, has been assaulted on their doorstep.

As Max slowly heals, Jake finds himself falling for the quiet younger man. Max feels the same, finding in Jake the happiness he’s never had. But both men have their demons, and Jake’s past comes knocking before the two can have their happy ending.

I’m a big fan of Kelly Jensen and Jenn Burke’s sci-fi Chaos Station series, so I was excited to read a contemporary MM book from Jensen. ‘Block and Strike’ delivers a solid slow-burn hurt/comfort contemporary gay romance.

Jake’s story is revealed slowly. The circumstances of his imprisonment and family life aren’t very clear at first, so I just had to trust that he didn’t do something that I would find completely unforgivable.

Jake was in no way the stereotypical angry-at-the-world character that I often find in MM books dealing with prison, but was instead well-rounded and multi-dimensional. He won me over with his underlying need to protect and care for his loved ones. Underneath the hard exterior was a big old softie.

Max was in so many ways the complete opposite of Jake. He needed someone on his team, someone who would put him first. He struggles with his sexuality and self-esteem. I wanted to wrap him up in a blanket. But whatever his setbacks might have been, he was in no way a doormat. He had an inner strength that just needed some flaming.

I think what I liked most about this book is how imperfect the MCs were. They made mistakes, which made them realistic and ordinary. I had no trouble connecting to either Max or Jake.

The romance is very gradual and felt entirely authentic. Jake and Max become friends before becoming anything more. They connect through shared self-defence classes and quiet dinners. The emotional and physical chemistry is certainly there in the background, but the MCs take it slow.

I thought the pacing worked well. It made the romance believable. I got to really see Jake and Max fall in love. They had had their stumbling blocks, but I had no worries that they would make things work. It wasn’t easy, but Max and Jake build each other up and defy the odds.

However, I wasn’t a fan of the family drama, with Kate, Jake’s ex, and Dominic. I get that it isn’t always the case, but “once an abuser, always an abuser” is hard to ignore. Particularly because I wasn’t convinced that Dominic had really changed. It just seemed like the classic abuse cycle, with the victim unable to leave and the abuser making empty promises.

Also, I didn’t like that the men who hurt Max got away with it. Everything was just swept under the rug, which left a bitter taste.

Overall though, I enjoyed ‘Block and Strike’. I could have done without the family drama, but the slow burn romance was the mix of sweet yet angsty that I look for. It was an often painful journey, but Jake and Max get their brilliant happy ever after.

Find on Dreamspinner Press or Goodreads!

Release Blitz + Giveaway: Chase The Ace by Clare London

Celebrate with Clare London and Signal Boost Promotions for the re-release of Chase the Ace (London Lads #1)! Check out the book info and enter in the Clare London back list giveaway! Good luck!

Chase The Ace (London Lads #1) - Clare London

Length: 27,000 words

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press


Newly single in his late twenties, and bored with his life in a London insurance company, Daniel Cross soon discovers the lure of social media. Excited at the chance of tracking down his old mates from a schooldays sports club, he launches a personal quest to find out what kind of man each boy has become.

Dan’s first mistake is chatting online to the wrong man—Nick Carson isn’t one of the boys, but his brother. Nick isn’t offended and offers to accompany Dan on the trip to find the others. It’s the first step to friendship and something more for both of them.

For Dan, the reunions with the “Gang of Four” range from startling and heartening to disturbing. Nick’s company is a constant support, though neither of them are prepared for the exposure of personal secrets they’d thought long hidden. Dan begins to suspect he’s really looking for a direction in his own life—and the excitement and purpose he craves may be closer to home than a quest with its roots in a boyhood dream.


~~Daniel and Nick visit a club in Brighton, searching out the first old friend on Daniel’s list~~

We found ourselves in a narrow corridor running behind the stage and the bar, where two small rooms served as dressing areas. The young man who’d acted as receptionist was in the doorway of one of them, swigging from a can of drink and dressed in a tight, sparkling green Lycra vest and denim shorts. He turned to stare at me.

“Looking for Gerry?” he asked with a grin.

Behind him, the show’s announcer chuckled—he was sitting inside the room on a chair in front of a large mirror, now dressed only in the matching sparkly shorts. The two men were both of slight build, with similar pale good looks. All I could do was wonder if they shared outfits, taking turns to wear the top and then the bottom, until laundry day.

“I’m looking for Dina,” I said, raising an eyebrow.

Alice used to tell me I could look very forbidding, but the young man just laughed and nodded to the next room.

Dina sat in front of a similar mirror with a large cosmetic bag open on the counter in front of her. She’d taken off the huge wig and eyelashes but was still in costume, and she turned her chair to greet us as we entered.

“Hello, Daniel,” Gerry said. He was smiling, though his eyes showed some nervousness. “I saw you in the audience. Long time no see.”

His voice was lower than on stage, his natural hair a shaggy, dark mess, but he was still a long way from the schoolboy I’d known. He’d taken off the heels as well. It looked incongruous: his large, masculine feet showing under the feathered hem of the sparkling frock, the nail polish on his toes that coordinated perfectly with his fingers.

“You remember me?”

Gerry chuckled. “You’re memorable, honey. Not that you ever believed it.” He glanced at Nick and winked.

“Do I call you Gerry, or do you prefer Dina?”

He laughed, and in that moment I was reminded of the joker at summer school, the easy-going extrovert. “Call me what you like, honey. I love Dina, and I love Gerry too.”

“Are you a transsexual now?” I asked, from nothing but curiosity.

Nick’s hand tightened on my arm. “Dan, that’s pretty rude.”

“It’s okay,” Gerry said in his rich drawl. “I’ll talk about anything, you know.”

“We gathered that much from this evening’s show,” I said wryly.

Gerry laughed again. “I always liked you, Danny Boy. You were bright, but you weren’t an arsehole. No, I’m not female, and I’m not sure yet if that’s what I want. For the time being, I’m happy being both of me, whenever and whichever I choose.”

“And the diva is a star,” Nick said with a smile. “It was a great show.”

Gerry flushed with pleasure that could almost be called coy, if I hadn’t recalled how he spiked the cola in the club fridge one lunchtime with vodka he’d stolen from his mother, or the time he offered to wash the tennis kit and turned it all baby pink, or the time he smuggled in a family bucket of fried chicken and sold it piece by slimy piece to the younger kids under cover of the table tennis tournament.

He was watching me, smoothly plucked eyebrows raised. “Remembering the good old days, Danny?”

I laughed then. I realised how buzzed the atmosphere was, how light-headed I felt, and not just because of the wine. “Your costume is magnificent. You always did like playing with the dolls’ clothes. Remember that time we tried to re-enact Chariots of Fire with Sindy dolls?”

Gerry rolled his eyes. “I twisted one of the legs in its socket, taking it through the finish tape. And the homoerotic subtext? Well! That scene snapped the other leg right off, as I remember.”

“And Mark was whimpering we’d get caught, you know how tough the girls could be with him—”

“And Alec sneering how fucking stupid the dolls looked in string vests and shorts made of chopped-up dishcloth—”

We were roaring with laughter by now.

“Do you remember …?” I paused, but I’d gone too far now to stop. “Do you remember that game of chase the ace?”

Gerry stopped laughing, abruptly and startlingly. “Honey, you’re not still worrying about that, are you? After all these years?”

I flushed, and I could feel Nick’s curious eyes on me. “It’s stayed in my mind. I just wondered if it was still in yours.”

“Bloody good punch-up that day,” Gerry said, with glee that owed more to a sixteen-year-old’s boasting than an adult cabaret singer’s set.

“I just wanted to know ….”

“Of course you did,” Gerry said. “Close your eyes, honey.” His voice was suddenly stronger and much deeper. He stood, towering over me even without his heels on. “You hear me?”

Shivering, I did. God knows what Nick thought was happening. He must have worried we had some weird ritual going on, worried what kind of lunatic he’d given a lift to. Then Gerry grasped my chin, tilted my head, and kissed me.

I didn’t open my eyes; I just surrendered to it. His lipstick was sweet and slick and his lips firm. The end of his tongue brushed my mouth, but he didn’t push in, just licked briefly at my lower lip. Nick stifled a gasp, and Gerry chuckled in the back of his throat.

Then our lips drifted apart.

“Well, honey?” Gerry murmured.

I opened my eyes and smiled. “That was nice.”

Gerry raised his eyebrows again. “I’m damned by faint praise.”

“You know what I mean. It was great, but it wasn’t ….”

Gerry nodded. “I know. Even at sixteen I had a kiss you’d have remembered.” He glanced over at Nick. “And your cute man is looking daggers at me, so he needs to be in on the story, right?”

I said, “He’s not m—”

“I’m not h—” Nick said at the same time.

Gerry ignored us both. “Whatever. Fun, fascination, or fuck, you both look good on it.” He turned back to the mirror and sat again. “Now I have to get ready for my second set. You’ll stay for that?”

Author Bio

Clare took the pen name London from the city where she lives, loves, and writes. A lone, brave female in a frenetic, testosterone-fuelled family home, she juggles her writing with the weekly wash, waiting for the far distant day when she can afford to give up her day job as an accountant. She’s written in many genres and across many settings, with novels and short stories published both online and in print. She says she likes variety in her writing while friends say she’s just fickle, but as long as both theories spawn good fiction, she’s happy. Most of her work features male/male romance and drama with a healthy serving of physical passion, as she enjoys both reading and writing about strong, sympathetic and sexy characters.

Clare currently has several novels sulking at that tricky chapter 3 stage and plenty of other projects in mind . . . she just has to find out where she left them in that frenetic, testosterone-fuelled family home.

All the details and free fiction are available at her website. Visit her today and say hello!

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Review: Disarming Donner (North Pole City Tales #5) by Charlie Cochet

As a beloved Rein Dear and Christmas elf for Mayor Kringle, Donner prides himself on his flawless reputation, good sense, and wise decisions. Donner never does anything until he’s thought it through properly. He’s certainly not one to get flustered, infuriated, or fall prey to romantic nonsense. At least not until the most unlikely of elves begins chipping away at Donner’s defenses.

Calder is a Dockalfar—a dark elf. He’s wicked, untrustworthy, and armed with lethal magic. At least that’s what everyone thinks. It’s easy for them to believe the worst and mistrust him before they’ve even spoken to him, but Calder is out to prove that he’s more than his Dockalfar blood, especially to a certain Rein Dear who has caught his eye. But it will take more than sweet words for Donner to admit what’s in his heart.

Donner always acts according to his position as a Rein Dear. Maintaining a flawless reputation includes not associating with unsavoury elves, like a certain dark elf who keeps getting under his skin. But Donner finds it difficult to ignore the way his heart responds to the improper elf’s antics.

Calder refuses to let his birth or the nature of his magic define him. He may be a dark elf, but he’s not mean or evil. Calder sets out to convince Donner of that, and to convince Donner to give the spark between them a chance.

Each time I pick up a book from the North Pole City series, I’m enchanted. They’re animated Christmas movies in book format, with the addition of gay romance. A winning combination!


At the beginning of ‘Disarming Donner’, Calder and Donner have already known each other for a while. Calder takes every chance he can get Donner flustered, and Donner consistently falls for Calder’s teasing. Their early interactions are cute and funny.

It’s also clear that the two feel something for each other. Calder can’t stop thinking about Donner’s violet eyes and soft lips. And Donner can’t stop his mind from wandering to the infuriating elf.

The main stumbling block to their relationship is that Calder is a Dockalfar - a dark elf. It was a bit sad to see the mistrust and discrimination that Calder has to put up with, but it doesn’t take long for Donner, and the rest of North Pole City, to learn not to judge a book by its cover.

Once Donner realizes that he what he feels for Calder is anything other than hate, Donner doesn’t let the attitudes of those around him hold him back from loving Calder. On the other end, I really liked seeing how attentive Calder was to Donner, slowly drawing him out of his shell.

Plus, I really liked seeing prim and proper Donner get down and dirty with Calder. The sex scene was delightfully steamy.

The romance was sweet and fluffy insta-love, and I was all on board for it. Donner’s change of heart was quick, but I didn’t mind. The HEA was all butterflies and roses.

If you’re looking for sweet and inventive holiday MM reads, give this series a try!

Find on Dreamspinner Press or Goodreads!

Blog Tour + Giveaway: From the Ashes by Xen Sanders

From the Ashes

by Xen Sanders
Fires of Redemption #1
Publication Date: January 2, 2017
Genres: Entangled: Otherworld, Male/Male, Sci-Fi, Romance


Synopsis: Sociopath. Killer. Deviant.Monster, devoid of morals, incapable of human emotion. The villain known as Spark has been called this and more, and as a super-powered aberrant has masterminded countless crimes to build his father’s inhuman empire. Yet to professor Sean Archer, this fearsome creature is only Tobias Rutherford–antisocial graduate researcher, quiet underachiever, and a fascinating puzzle Sean is determined to solve.

But one kiss leads to an entanglement that challenges everything Tobias knows about himself, aberrants, and his own capacity to love. When his father orders him to assassinate a senator, one misstep unravels a knot of political intrigue that places the fate of humans and aberrants alike in Tobias’s hands. As danger mounts and bodies pile higher, will Tobias succumb to his dark nature and sacrifice Sean–or will he defy his father and rise from the ashes to become a hero in a world of villains?



“Ambition,” he says a little too flatly. “Ambition is expensive, you know. I worked my way through uni but barely made enough for living expenses. I was arrogant and young and wanted to be away, because I thought away meant better. But while I was busy being away, they were giving up their meager savings to pay for my tuition. And while it’s not as beastly expensive as it is here in the States…”

It’s not wholly a lie, I think. The regret is too real. But it’s masking something else, even if the ache in his voice is all too true, too deep, his eyes glimmering faintly, wetly.

“I feel like I took everything from them. From my brother, too. Keane.” He smiles, but it’s tremulous and hurt. “And I paid back every pence and pound, in spades. I’m paying Keane’s university tuition right now, but I can’t ever forget how they struggled for what they gave up for me. And I feel like I don’t deserve to go home, because of what I took from them.”

He’s so intense. How can he stand to live with such intensity of emotion? How does he not drown in it, in himself, every day?

I push myself up to kiss him. It’s the only way I know how to offer comfort. With touch, with intimacy, with presence.

“You think they resent you,” I murmur, and he lets out a choked, wet-sounding laugh against my lips.

“How can they not?”

“Just because you resent yourself doesn’t mean they resent you.” I curl my fingers in his hair, stroke against the back of his neck. “Other people rarely see us the way we see ourselves. Other people rarely hate us the way we hate ourselves.”

He leans hard into me, almost desperately. “Do you hate yourself, Tobias?”

“Every day.”

“Why?” He makes a rough sound. “No—don’t tell me. I wouldn’t understand.”

“No more than I can really understand you.” I rest my brow to his. “It’s a lonely life, not being understood.”

“A lonely life, for lonely people.” He trails into a near whimper that tears at me to hear, with a force I’m unaccustomed to feeling—as if he’d stabbed me with that sound, drenched my heart in his emotions. “Am I allowed to hate it when I chose this?”

“Yes,” I whisper, and take him fiercely into my arms.

Because this, I understand. This choice to be alone, because solitude is safer and yet so very, very terrible. “Yes.” He burrows into me, making an oddly small bundle for such a large man.

“You aren’t the only one running from something,” he mumbles against my skin. “You aren’t.”

“I know.” I close my eyes and curl around him and cradle him close. “And you aren’t the only one who’s lonely. So for as long as we can…let’s be lonely together. Until we have to run again.”


“Until,” I answer.


Hi. I’m Xen. Cole. Whatever you want to call me; both are true, and both are lies. My pen names are multitudes, my nicknames legion. Tall, bi/queer, introverted, author, and of a brown-ish persuasion made up of various flavors of Black, Asian, and Native American. I’m cuter than Hello Kitty, more bitter than the blackest coffee, and able to trip over cats in a single half-asleep lurch; I’m what happens when a Broody Antihero and a Manic Pixie Dream Boy fight to the death, and someone builds a person from the scraps left behind. Beardless, I look like the uke in every yaoi manga in existence; bearded or not, I sound like Barry White. About half my time is spent as a corporate writer, and the other half riding a train of WTFery that sometimes results in a finished book. Romance, erotica, sci-fi, horror, paranormal; LGBTQIA and cishet; diverse settings and diverse characters from a diverse author.


Blog Tour: More Things in Heaven and Earth by Paul Comeau

We're proud to welcome Paul Comeau into the clubhouse for the first time to talk about his debut novel!

Hello everyone, and Happy New Year!  Paul Comeau here and let me begin by thanking you for this opportunity to chat with you about More Things in Heaven and Earth.  As you doubtless expect, the story generally follows the boy meets boy format, though it tweaks that format slightly insofar as it is a vampire meets boy novel.  The sentiment expressed in the quotation from which the title is taken is at the heart of the story:  to paraphrase, there are more things in heaven and earth than are contained in or embraced by traditional, conservative philosophies and cultural norms, whether religious, social, or political.  The ability of one human being to love and commit to another transcends religious doctrine and dogma, social and political precepts, and traditional gender roles and expectations.  Okay, so Damien isn’t a human being.  The fact remains he was once very human indeed, and in some dark corner of his vampire psyche he retains vestiges of that humanity and ultimately discovers that against all reason and all odds he is capable of love.  Not merely capable but desirous of love.  Hence, in the fictional world of the novel, the love between a vampire and the young boy he meets is not only possible, but also as genuine and valid as any other love.
So what, you ask, do a vampire and a young boy have in common?  What is the underlying basis of the bond that develops between them?  To begin with, both are outcasts.  Damien, by virtue of being a vampire, stands solitary and apart from the human world, his only interaction with it being of a predatory nature.  He has assiduously repressed any feelings of empathy or guilt as he savagely drains his victims of the blood he needs to survive; he is a lone wolf and a vicious killer.  Danny, by virtue of being gay, is rejected by his heartless father, Frank Crawford, and by his equally unsympathetic parish priest, Monsignor Monahan, neither of whom has the imagination to conceive that there could be different kinds of people, different kinds of love.  In addition, both Damien and Danny have been sexually violated:  Damien was raped by Monahan, when both were young altar servers, and Danny is raped by his own father, in Frank’s drunken attempt to punish and humiliate Danny for being gay.
Still, these commonalities are not what ignite the fire that burns between them.  Danny is a beautiful, hormone-driven teenager and Damien is a hot stud of a vampire.  And while Damien is initially reluctant to bare his heart and soul to anybody, let alone an insecure teenage boy, he is nonetheless captivated by and ultimately succumbs to Danny’s beauty.  On a superficial level, therefore, it’s really the old story of beauty taming the beast.  But there is more depth to it than is implied by that timeworn cliché.
What Danny finds in Damien is more than an invincible protector.  He finds a friend and ally who accepts and loves him for who he is.  What Damien finds in Danny, apart from those same things, is someone whose love gives purpose and meaning to his otherwise hollow existence.  Damien marvels that he is wanted and needed in a way he has never been wanted and needed before.
Their ensuing romance is pure fantasy, of course, but only insofar as vampires like Damien are few and far between—okay, nonexistent!  But part of the fun of writing the story was in supposing this and imagining that, to the degree that the characters became very real to me, with the result that I ended up putting something of myself in each of them, as I guess is inevitably the case with any writer.  I hasten to add I do not drink blood, although I do shy away from too much sun, my dad is not a vindictive bastard like Frank Crawford, and I have never been sexually assaulted.  Nevertheless, any writer can only work from and with that which she or he knows and that which she or he can imagine based on personal knowledge and experience.  In that respect, a story, any story, can be absolutely true even though it never actually happened; in the same way that say Romeo and Juliet expresses fundamental truths about young love, and Othello about the green-eyed monster, jealousy, truths that transcend both the plays and the historical time period in which they were written.  There were more things in heaven and earth than were dreamt of in Elizabethan philosophy, just as there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in our own.  The challenge for all of us is to view those things with an open heart and an open mind.  Some characters are able to do precisely that while others are not, and Damien willingly and masterfully deals with the latter.


When young Danny Crawford’s father and a priest conspire to subject him to conversion therapy, Danny only sees one way out. But little does Danny know he’ll soon have a sentinel watching from the darkness, a guardian angel in the most unlikely form imaginable.

Damien, a vampire, is inexplicably moved by Danny’s plight. He takes it upon himself to make sure Danny’s father and the priest can never hurt him again, giving Danny a chance at a normal life. As Danny grows up, Damien struggles to keep the boy—and later the young man—from harm. He does not dare go any further, no matter how much he wants to. To do so would ruin everything he’s tried to do for Danny. He doesn’t realize that as Danny embarks on a successful modeling career and begins dating, Danny feels empty, longing for something—or someone—just beyond his reach: a shadow, a presence he despairingly believes forever lost to him. 

When brutality and violence threaten Danny again, Damien must make a decision—risk revealing himself to Danny, or leave Danny to his fate.

DSP Buy Links:

About the Author:

Paul is a proud Canadian, who has recently retired from teaching high school English and is relieved to have finally traded the drudgery of lesson prep and essay marking for the pure joy of writing fiction. He is addicted to paranormal investigator shows, horror movies, all things vampire, mystery novels, long morning walks, and jigsaw puzzles. He is blessed with a loving and supportive wife, who keeps him grounded in reality while helping him navigate the intimidating world of technology, and a daughter who understands the highs and lows of the enigmatic writing process, being herself an accomplished writer and poet. When he is not compulsively tapping the keys of his laptop, he can be found at the dining room table matching the shapes and patterns of his latest jigsaw puzzle or in the kitchen roasting, stewing, grilling, and baking. He views cooking as a creative activity, like writing fiction, with the outcome often as interesting and unexpected. He imagines his characters, plots, and dialogues in the process of doing any or all of these things.

Author Visit: Alpha Delta by R.J. Scott

Now Available on Kindle Unlimited

This book was previously published with All Romance Publishing. There are no additions to the original story, just a change of cover art but due to the demise of All Romance, if you have already purchased this title and require a copy, please email Rachel ( with proof of purchase and she will send you a replacement.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK 

The Book 

Officer Finn Hallan has never run from a fight. With Niall’s life and love at stake, he’s not about to start now…

Finn Hallan is a member of the elite Norwegian Emergency Response Unit, code name Delta. When the team is sent to respond to a hostage situation on a Oil Platform in the Norwegian Sea, he has to face demons he thought he had buried a long time ago.

Scottish engineer Niall Faulkner’s skills in oil platform decommissioning takes him to the Forseti platform at the worst possible time. When he’s captured by terrorists, his only thought is that he will never get to tell his lover how he really feels.

Can Finn keep Niall alive? Or will they both die at the hands of hijackers in the frigid waters of the Norwegian sea?


Chapter 1

The call came in just past fourteen hundred hours, Erik beating him to ops by about two seconds, both men pulling on vests and arranging holsters.

Finn had been reading, spending the quiet down time before dinner trying to get his head around some of the shit that had gone down today. Time at the Urskar training facility was hard work but it wasn’t hard physical work that was bugging Finn. He knew exactly what it was.


They’d talked this morning; he was working on the Forseti platform in the Heidrun oilfield for the next few weeks. They wouldn’t be seeing each other for a while, and that was fine. Finn was good with that. Of course, he didn’t like the fact Finn was flying in this weather. The storm passing through near the Forseti platform was a big one. And yes, he had to admit to himself he’d checked. And that was the problem. He’d checked the storm, he’d worried about the flight, and he was already missing the feisty, nerdy, sexy engineer enough to have it consuming his thoughts. All the what-ifs and the whens, and mostly the whys. He didn’t usually do serious, but Niall could make him change his mind. One guy with a soft voice and a wicked mouth comes along and suddenly Finn was losing control of his touch but don’t keep policy.

Then, this morning he’d fucked up. Big time.

He hadn’t been paying attention and he’d seriously blown things in training. He’d let his guard down and got a helmet full of pink dye with a spot-on head shot from a crowing Erik. It wasn’t so much the kill shot, it was why Finn had been distracted. He’d been thinking about Niall, and not in the I want to fuck that sideways kind of way, but in an I hope he’s okay and I’ll miss him kind of way.

Then Erik had to go and manage to kill him. It was the first time Erik had ever gotten the drop on Finn in training. It had taken three hair washes and vigorous scrubbing to get the pink out of his hair and off his left temple.


When they reached the briefing room Erik grinned at him, that shit-eating grin that told Finn he wouldn’t be living it down that Erik’s team had taken first blood in the mini war game they were taking part in. The grin didn’t last long, subsiding as soon as Cap walked in. After all, it didn’t matter what had happened this morning; now they were all about whatever had caused them to be alerted.

“About thirty minutes ago four bodies were found at the Grane oil terminal, identified as security assigned to the NorsDev Forseti Platform.”

Cap stared straight at Finn and for a brief moment Finn wasn’t really understanding the words. Then one thing hit him square in the chest. Forseti. That was where Niall was.

Rising to his feet he didn’t know what to say as fear gripped him. “Four?”

“We have reason to believe these four men were replaced so that a team of hijackers could get onto Forseti.”

“That’s being decom’d.” Erik sounded puzzled. “What kind of collateral does an empty oil platform have?”

“Only four?” Finn interjected. “What about the engineers? Niall Faulkner and his brother Ewan?”

Erik looked up at him and Finn could see the moment the information made sense in his head.

“Fuck. Niall is on Forseti?”

“Both of them… Niall and Ewan. Did they go? Does someone know if he…?” The rest of the team all stared at him, Cap included, and Finn realized he was coming off as a mad man. He subsided. No one could get information out if Finn was raving like a fucking lovesick moron.

“The pilots are back, they took one engineer and four security replacements. So, souls on the platform are one engineer, six skeleton crew, and the four security replacements. Eleven souls in all.”

The bottom fell out of Finn and dread stole his breath. Was it Niall or Ewan on Forseti? With who? Terrorists?

“Intel is showing no communications, or demands, but chatter has it that this is an isolated cell connected to the Hofstad Network out of Denmark.” Cap slid his finger on the laptop and the screen changed behind him to show four faces. Three fair-haired, one dark, all in fatigues with long addendums at the bottom of the photo. Ex-Marine, one former SAS. The names a blur. Except for one.

Svein Roberg.

“He’s dead,” Erik said in disbelief, echoing Finn’s thoughts exactly. Roberg had a long history of fighting the good fight for whichever side paid him most. Ex-Special Forces, he had finally been taken down by the ERU two years before, just after Finn joined the team. In fact, it had been Finn who faced him down after tracking him to a small holding in Alta. They’d chased him to the Alta Dam, where the murdering fucker had died.

The bastard had tried extortion in the name of environmental concern and had killed three oil workers in an explosion at one of the dry land containment depots. Finn would never forget Svein’s face. He didn’t even fight when Erik and Finn had him cornered, simply dropped his weapon and raised his hands.

In the best traditions of all grandstanding bad guys he laughed then said, “I live to fight another day,” repeating this over and over as he fell to his knees. There had been madness in his words, and cunning in his silver eyes. Only when Finn had stepped forward did the madness manifest in a blur of motion, the two men grappling for the weapon and a bullet leaving Finn’s gun and carving into Svein’s neck, blood spurting. Time had slowed and Finn had watched in horror and a curious fascination as the terrorist leaped in a grotesque twist of muscles over the dam wall and down into the churning water below.

“They never found his body,” Finn said softly. But Finn hadn’t cared then. The fucker had a bullet in his neck and had fallen over six hundred feet. He had to have been dead.

“Until four weeks ago his file was silent, but chatter indicated there was movement and he was implicated right in the center of it all.”

“And no one thought to brief us?” Finn demanded hotly. “Why the fuck not?”

Several others in the team, Erik included, added their alarm.

Cap held up a hand and quieted the room. “Wheels up in ten,” he said.

And that was it. They knew nothing. They didn’t know why Forseti was the platform involved or why Svein Roberg had shown up. But, whatever information they received, they would be ready for action when they knew what the hell to do.

Erik grabbed his arm as Finn made to leave. “Finn?” he asked. The question was loaded. It was, are you sure you’re okay, do you know the man you’ve been seeing is on Forseti, and can you handle this, all wrapped up in one word.

Finn nodded. Didn’t matter how he felt or what he actually said to voice any of it, he was going with the team and he wasn’t putting doubt in Erik’s head.

“Let’s get this done.”

Author Bio

RJ Scott is the bestselling author of over one hundred romance books. She writes emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the partners who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn't with family either reading or writing.

The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn't like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.

Guest Review: Fall into My Kiss (Merging Violently #1) by T.A. Chase

Will Hunter’s life ever be more than an endless tour of small gigs?

Hunter Lee is lead guitarist of the alternative rock band, Merging Violently. He and his four friends travel up and down the East Coast, playing small gigs. It’s not what he dreamed of when he founded the band, but it’s a way to make a living. Meeting Edward Monterrose might be the best shot he has at hitting the big time.

Edward Monterrose doesn’t have time for a relationship. He’s too busy with his horses and students. Yet he always makes time for a benefit to raise money for charities he supports. While recovering from an injury, he overhears Hunter playing in the park and asks him to play at the benefit.

The two men come from different worlds yet discover they have more in common than they thought. Yet will their relationship last when they’re apart for months on end?

Publisher's Note: This book is linked to the Home series by T.A. Chase.

Reviewer: Shee Reader

Hunter Lee is the lead guitarist in an alternative rock band, Merging Violently. After travelling up and down the east coast playing small gigs, Hunter and his bandmates are taking a break from the touring and each other, and Hunter finds himself in a small town, playing his guitar in the park, writing songs and dreaming of the big time. His music grabs the attention of Edward Montrose a top flight equestrian and horse breeder who he himself is having a break. After a nasty fall during a show, Edward is nursing a broken wrist and numerous bruises when he finds a very attractive man playing his guitar in his local park.

Hunter and Edward are both likeable characters who each have their own reasons for not being in a relationship. Edward has experienced great loss, and travels far and wide, as does Hunter and the band. Add in Edward’s famous musician brother Derek, and we have quite the story set up.

The main characters all get together at a charity benefit Edward is organising and Hunter’s band are the opening act for Derek. The music is good, the declarations sweet and the future looks very bright for both our heroes.

The writing is quite engaging and easy to get involved in. There are some big leaps in the story that may have benefited by being fleshed out a little more, but the descriptions of both the music and the horse world are accurate and realistic. Some of the romance between our two main characters is a bit ‘insta-love’ but I happen to like that.

Overall, the story is a nice easy read and has enough open ended aspects to lure me into any books that follow on. I for one would love the story on the rest of Hunter’s bandmates!

I was given this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

Find on Goodreads!

Blog Tour: I Love You More Than Pierogi by K.A. Merikan

Add foodies to the K.A. Merikan resume and they're schooling us about Polish cuisine today!

We’ve been thinking about setting a book in our native Poland for quite some time now, and the submission call for “World of Love” helped us come up with an angle :) The two main characters are former high school sweethearts who meet after several years, and after the bitterness that resulted of their breakup, the reconnection is everything but smooth. Through those characters we explored two conflicting feelings many immigrants face - the longing for home and everything it stands for, and the unstoppable curiosity that pushes them to explore. Who knows, maybe one doesn’t have to choose ;)

Follow the blog tour:

December 29 - MM Good Book Reviews
January 4 - Boy Meets Boy
January 5 - The Novel Approach
January 6 - Love Bytes
January 9 - Alpha Book Reviews

Marek and Adrian dated in high school, but a bitter breakup led them to choose different paths. Adrian is out and proud while Marek is in the closet. Adrian embraces his eccentricity while Marek clings to a conservative image. And while Marek worked hard to build a successful life and financial stability by climbing the corporate ladder, Adrian threw caution to the wind and has spent the last five years backpacking across the world.

Now Adrian is back in Warsaw, Poland, but while Marek thinks they will have a hookup and have a blast from the past, Adrian is just looking for a place to crash. Worse still, Adrian turns up at Marek’s advertising agency for help with his outrageous new business venture, and if Marek wants to get promoted, he might have to work with the guy who broke his heart.

World of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the globe.


I think each country or region has its culinary curiosities that seem bizarre, or at least unusual to an outsider. I asked non-Polish friends what they thought, and that is how this Top 5 of weird Polish foods was born. Not all of them are still eaten, some haven’t been eaten for quite a while now, but they still remain a culinary curiosity.

Soured/fermented milk - Many people who aren’t Polish and didn’t grow up with this drink think it’s disgusting, or that it can make a person sick, just like pasteurized milk that has gone bad. That isn’t the case. Pasteurization, a process that most of the milk available on the mass market has to undergo, changes the structure of the milk, which makes souring impossible (unless other ingredients are introduced). Fresh milk sours naturally if it’s kept out of the fridge, forming two layers, one of which has a jelly-like consistency while the other is similar to watered-down milk. They are mixed to form the traditional drink, but the thick layer can also be used to make fresh dried curd cheese (twarog). Soured milk is very nutritious and extremely tasty, especially with boiled potatoes on a hot day :)

Czernina (black soup) - this traditional food has fallen largely out of favor now. While popular among the elderly, particularly in the countryside, most young and middle-aged Poles don’t eat it anymore. Made of duck blood, it is meant to be both sweet and sour, which is achieved by adding ingredients such as vinegar, honey, and various fruit. But what makes czernina particularly interesting is its symbolic meaning. Until the nineteenth century, it was used as a polite way to reject a proposal of marriage - both by the landed gentry and the peasant class. Most of the time, in small villages everyone knew which man was interested in which young woman, and so when the important visit finally came, the girl’s parents were prepared. They would invite the man inside and offer him food. If anything else was on the table, marital negotiations could proceed over the food, but if the meal was black soup all hope for a union was lost. The man was nevertheless expected to eat the whole bowl and say his goodbyes as if nothing happened. I can imagine not everyone could behave according to that standard ;)

Beaver tails - I cannot stress this enough: no one in Poland would even consider hunting beavers in order to wolf down their tails, but they used to be an extremely popular ingredient from the middle ages, all the way into the seventeenth century. But it wasn’t really because beavers were just so incredibly tasty. It was all because of religion. That’s right, the Catholic church (or rather, the Polish interpretation of Catholicism) is to blame for all those poor beavers dying. Because the nation was so devoutly Catholic, most people were following rules of religious fast for a large part of the year, meaning that meat was a no-go. But here is where the beaver comes in. Because of its tail being covered by scaly-looking skin, it had been decided that beavers can be counted among fish, and so people were permitted to eat them during fasting days. 

Sour rye soup with saffron milk cups - Fermented rye soup is a very old, traditional type of food that is still very popular, particularly around Easter. Made of fermented rye flour (a wheat flour variant is known as white borscht), it has a distinctly tangy taste and is usually served with hard-boiled eggs and sausage, sometimes poured over mashed potatoes. The friend who told me about it ate a variant served with pickled saffron milk cups. While sauerkraut or pickled gherkins are a staple in many European countries, Polish pickles are made of all kinds of mushrooms, both grown on farms and wild. Saffron milk cups are a favorite because of their flavor and reddish coloring.

Lard - This might not be that unusual, because lard is used as cooking fat in many culinary traditions, but Polish people eat it on bread. You know, the way you’d have your Nutella. Made of rendered pork fat, it is frequently sold mixed with bits of bacon, salt, and pepper. It’s apparently 99% fat, and I personally find its texture disgusting, but both my parents love it on a good slice of polish sourdough... especially topped with apples.

About the author

K. A. Merikan is the pen name for Kat and Agnes Merikan, a team of writers, who are mistaken for sisters with surprising regularity. Kat’s the mean sergeant and survival specialist of the duo, never hesitating to kick Agnes’s ass when she’s slacking off. Her memory works like an easy-access catalogue, which allows her to keep up with both book details and social media. Also works as the emergency GPS. Agnes is the Merikan nitpicker, usually found busy with formatting and research. Her attention tends to be scattered, and despite pushing thirty, she needs to apply makeup to buy alcohol. Self-proclaimed queen of the roads.

They love the weird and wonderful, stepping out of the box, and bending stereotypes both in life and books. When you pick up a Merikan book, there’s one thing you can be sure of - it will be full of surprises.

More information about ongoing projects, works in progress and publishing at:
K.A. Merikan’s author page:
Agnes Merikan’s Twitter: