Review: You Are My Sea by Tina Isabel Leung

“You are my sea” is a 38 minutes long romantic read, featuring a male / male relationship, and it ends with an erotic scene.

“He got closer and gave me a liplock, to which I just couldn't say no. I loved him so much. Without even thinking, I started kissing him back, as lovingly as I could, trying to light a flame in his cold soul, in the way one would try to ignite the fire in a sea cave, cold and dark.”

When Peter has a mental breakdown and rushes out of office, his coworker Arnold drops everything to help him. The two start a lonely pilgrimage through lunar landscapes of Iceland. Peter’s goal is to discard his sadness at the sea, while all Arnold wants is to win Peter’s heart. Peter isn’t interested… Or is he? Arnold doesn’t know, but he won’t stop hoping.

In this story you will find:
•Quirky, convincing characters with unique secrets, that will not only surprise you, but also change your way of thinking about everything that you’ve been reading.
•Witty, intelligent and sexy dialogue which will make you hope that Arnold and Peter will end up together after all.
•A message of hope to brighten up the darkness of internal torment that sometimes hits everyone in life.
•A tasteful sex scene being more than just an expression of physical desire.
•Gorgeous descriptions of wild forests, furious waterfalls and black beaches.

Warning! This short story contains adult material, including explicit sex scenes.



I’ve been trying to think of the nicest way to say that this didn’t work for me. At. All. But, I couldn’t so there you go. I suppose now I just need to explain why I gave it a 2 instead of a 1.

As the synopsis states, Peter has a breakdown at work, leaves, and Arnold follows him. They start off on a journey as friends and quickly become more.

That’s pretty much it. Their interactions are awkward, I didn’t get their attraction nor did I believe their connection. Arnold comes off as stalkerish (apparently, not on page prior to the start of the book) while Peter is contradictory with disliking that and then not caring. I’m also unsure of the point of many things but will highlight these two.

“I prepared his desk for him, and he sat at it the way women sit, with legs crossed, as if he wanted to hide his manhood.”

and,

“While everyone else seemed to have grown up already, I still felt jumpy and struggled to focus. The revelation came during a twenty-five-hour psychology course. At home, I started solving quizzes to figure out what was wrong with me. And I realized then that I had attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Aka the infamous ADHD. I didn't want to go to therapy and dig into what exactly had gone wrong with my life, so I opted for a more comfortable option, which was medication.”


The first might be nitpicky but the ADHD self diagnosis with zero therapy but somehow got medication as the comfortable option? Ermmm… ok.

I truly don’t want to rip apart the entire novella. It could definitely use another around of revision/editing for spelling, grammar, word usage, sentence development, awkward dialogue, etc…

With all of that, I still gave it a 2. *sigh* I feel like this story got lost in translation. I’m assuming that this wasn’t originally written in English (hopefully). It seems to me that important bits of information and *potentially* meaningful encounters were lost in translation. Maybe the phrasing, blas√© mentions of suicide, ADHD (and how it was treated), truncated sentences, and editing would have been more cohesive and sentimental? Maybe those topics held more weight of importance in its original format? Or I could be entirely wrong and this was actually written in English and then it really, really didn’t work for me.

This one missed the mark for me but YMMV. Not recommended.


A review copy was provided in exchange for an honest opinion.

Blog Tour: Gage (Trenton Security #3) by J.M. Dabney


Celebrate the latest release of the Trenton Security Series, Gage, with author J.M. Dabney and Vibrant Promotions. Find out more about this romantic suspense and read an excerpt below!

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GAGE
TRENTON SECURITY BOOK 3
J.M. DABNEY
M/M ROMANCE/SUSPENSE
RELEASE DATE: 01.29.19

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The forbidden is the sweetest lure.

Trenton Security’s Public Relations go-to was Hayden Gage. He loved his job, and it kept him distracted from the demons haunting his nightmares. His past wasn’t up for discussion, and Hayden wouldn’t allow it to intrude on his future. Yet, that was easier said than done when his best friend came to him desperate for help, and it put him right on the path to his one weakness.
Young didn’t equal lost.

Derrick Thorpe lived in the shadow of his father’s mistakes. Although he was adopted by Linus Trenton, he wanted to prove that he wasn’t like his biological father. When he was asked to go undercover to help at Trenton Security, it put him in close quarters with Gage. Being Gage’s was only an act, but when lines blur, what happens when the operation ends?
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EXCERPT

Dishes rattled, and the low murmuring of conversations filled the interior as the lunch rush started to slow down at Heidi’s Diner. Typically, Gage ate alone before returning to the office, but today, he hadn’t turned out to be so lucky.

“How about I buy you dinner, Gage,” the confident young man across the table from him asked.

He stared at the boy as if he'd lost his mind. He slowly closed his laptop and calmly leaned back in the booth. The first time he’d seen Derrick Thorpe the kid was skin and bones, skittish from years of abuse by Derrick’s homophobic and racist father, the former Sheriff of Powers County, Georgia. The last time he’d allowed himself to be in the same space with Derrick, he had graduated from college. His boss, Linus, adopted Derrick and his toddler brother after the death of their father and, well, the mother hadn’t fought Linus when the man demanded she sign over custody.

Today Derrick was a man in his mid-twenties, and even with the pale blond stubble, he was still as pretty as the last time he’d seen him which had occurred Christmas a year ago. He’d made his excuses and went to stay with friends for the holiday. Fighting any of the Crews to get out of a family function always turned into a lost cause, and he’d found it easier to escape.

Gage forced a chuckle and a good-natured smile at the eager boy in front of him, but he felt neither of those actions. Because his greatest hell sat across from him and there was no way he’d ever allow the boy close to him.

“Not going to happen, kid.”

“Why not?” Derrick looked offended.

He wasn’t fucking around with some boy with Daddy issues. No matter how much he wanted to find out what his handprint looked like on the boy’s ass. Derrick wasn’t for him. Age difference aside, with Derrick’s history, he wouldn’t let the young man find out how interested he was.

“Go find someone your own age, Derrick.”

“What’s this got to do with age? I’m an adult, and I think I’m old enough to know what I want.”

He felt the muscles in his jaw clench. He didn’t like telling people no twice. When he made a decision, it was final. This little boy was asking for a spanking. A vision of Derrick over his knee came to mind, and he banished it as quickly as it appeared. This was getting out of hand. That’s why he’d avoided anything that had to do with seeing Derrick.

“And I said it wasn’t happening. I don’t like to repeat myself, Derrick.”

Derrick’s chin lowered to rest on his chest. There was a deep breath, and then Derrick looked up, his dark brown eyes shimmered with indignation.

“Yes, sir,” Derrick pushed the words through clenched teeth.
jm dabney logo
J.M. Dabney is a multi-genre author who writes mainly LGBT romance and fiction. She lives with a constant diverse cast of characters in her head. No matter their size, shape, race, etc. she lives for one purpose alone, and that’s to make sure she does them justice and give them the happily ever after they deserve. J.M. is dysfunction at its finest and she makes sure her characters are a beautiful kaleidoscope of crazy. There is nothing more she wants from telling her stories than to show that no matter the package the characters come in or the damage their pasts have done, that love is love. That normal is never normal and sometimes the so-called broken can still be amazing.




Giveaway + Release Blitz: The Knights Club Series by C.J. Baty


Celebrate the latest release in the Knights Club series, Finding Forgiveness, with author C.J. Baty and Signal Boost Promotions! Find out more about the series and enter in the giveaway for a $15 Amazon gift card!





Cover Design: Kelly Abell @ Select-O-Grafix


Knights Club Series


Book #1 - Starting Over - Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link

Book #2 - Letting Go - Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link

Book #3 - Learning Trust  - Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link

Book #4 - Coming Out - Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link

Book #5 - Finding Forgiveness - Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link


The Knights Club (formerly the Gentleman’s Club) first appeared in the Warfield Hotel Mysteries Series. It was owned by Stony Whitecastle and is located in Atlanta, GA. At the beginning of the Knights Club/Starting Over, Stony is selling the club to Xavier Knight. He renames the club the Knights Club and instead of a private club opens it the public. Some patrons still hold membership though.


This series involves Xavier and his crew of employees and their involvement with a local police family. We meet Sebastian Brady in Starting Over along with his dysfunctional family. Seb’s struggle with his homophobic oldest brother and the shadow of his dead father, Detective Delmonico Brady, haunts Seb as he tries to make a new life for himself.


Occasionally, a character from the Warfield Hotel series will pop up but they are not central to the story line. Everyone who works at the Knights Club has a past and secret they are running from. They are mixed bag of people who have been suffered many things. The Knights Club is their home and the people who work there are their families. But, even families don’t like each other all the time…


Finding Forgiveness - OUT FEB 6

Xavier Knight lied and now his past was catching up to him. Sebastian Brady meant everything to him. Losing him wasn’t an option Xavier was ready to accept. Ghosts from his past threaten to open up a secret that needs to stay hidden. He wasn’t going to let Zach Brady or anyone else take his happiness away from him.


Zachary Brady had lived in the shadow of his father his entire life. He’d lost his family, his job—everything. What happened between him and Xavier Knight was long ago and best forgotten. He wasn’t going to allow it to sabotage his chance to be accepted by his brothers and sister as family again.


Neither man realizes that they don’t hold the key to their peace of mind. And when the truth is revealed, it will shake their worlds. Family isn’t always the one you are born into, sometimes it’s the one you create for yourself.





C. J. Baty lives in southwest Ohio. Her heart, however, lives in the mountains of Tennessee where she hopes to retire some day. The mountains have always provided her with inspiration and a soothing balm to the stresses of everyday life.

The dream of writing her own stories started in high school but was left on the back burner of life until her son introduced her to fan fiction and encouraged her to give it a try. She found that her passion for telling a story was still there and writing them down to share with others was much more thrilling than she had ever expected.


She has a loving and supportive family who don't mind fixing their own meals when she is in the middle of a story, and a network of friends who have encouraged and cheered her on in her quest of being an author.


One thing she has learned from life and she is often heard to say is: “You are never too old to follow your dream!”


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Review: Rat Park by Marina Vivancos

Dominic has lived with an empty ache inside him for as long as he could remember. Maybe it started when he was six, hiding beneath his blankets as the wild animal noises of one of mom’s parties echoed in his head. Maybe it began the first time an adult plied him with drinks just to watch him stumble about.

Or, maybe, it was that he couldn’t even imagine what being loved should feel like.

Drugs washed all that away. It didn’t cure the ache, but it made him forget it for a while. Anything was better than being conscious. Than being himself. But life had another hard lesson for him: With drugs, the only way is down.

Dominic hits rock bottom when he’s twenty-three. Turns out, rock bottom looks a lot like the bars of a jail cell. With little left but his own thoughts, Dominic has to decide: Is this what I want for the rest of my life?

The world has never been kind to Dominic, but when he meets the Romeros, he wonders if that is about to change. Officer Catalina Romero seems to see something in Dominic that he is sure isn’t there. The more she pulls him towards her family, however, the harder it is not to go.

All his resistance disappears under the force that is Flor Romero. Spitfire, stubborn Flor—even at sixteen, he refuses to be taken lightly. As he grows older, putting a stop to what Flor obviously wants to happen between them is harder than Dominic would ever want to admit.

Dominic knows that he has too many demons to let anybody get too close. But life doesn’t prepare him for Flor, who just might be ready to fight tooth and nail for a place in Dominic’s life—and his heart.

The question is, will Dominic’s past keep him from his future?




I've talked before about my day job which by all accounts should've kept me far, far away from this book, but I wanted to try this author so despite the fact that I average a Dominic a week I hit the request button. The job can be a grind but sometimes I get one that I really feel like I helped, that I believe will turn it around and that makes it worthwhile.

The problem with books that deal with this topic and population is so many of them get it wrong. They make it about the addiction or the mental illness or the anger or their trust issues or the isolation and loneliness or the negative self-image or the past or the shitshow of a family when in reality it's an amalgamation of some or all of it with things thrown in that are unique to each person. It's a big ask for an author to be that thorough which is why I usually avoid books of this nature.

The commonality amongst the people I see is wanting, no craving, a connection with someone else and those are the ties that bind us all together and something Vivancos strove to stress which resonated with me.


Some are honest about it, some bluster and posture and even lie about it but save a few, they all want it, but how to attain it is the question. The "normal" conversation in this book is one I have frequently and the problem with "normal" is twofold: (a) what is normal and (b) how can one sustain "normal" when all one's ever known is dysfunction? Shitty childhood, shitty parent(s), shitty coping skills, mostly shitty friends that doubles down on itself with abuse, addiction, dropping out of school and maybe a jail stint or two thereby making the future look bleak. When you don't know a thing it's hard to envision it and even harder to strive for it without a little help.

That is the crux of Rat Park and what Vivancos illustrated so deftly: Dominic's inner turmoil and it's constancy. She got that so right. Every single day he believes the rug will be pulled from under him and everything will turn to shit again. Because that's what he believes he deserves. But also, that's all he's ever known and there is safety in that. Drugs take the edge off and make everything a pink fluffy cloud of easy for a little while. Plus, he knows how to be an addict. He knows how to live that life.

Living outside of that, being happy, being loved, being sober, being wanted are all foreign to him. He can't trust that it's anything more than a mirage, fleeting. It's no wonder he's afraid to reach for it because what if he gets used to it and it all goes away? Or worse, what if he fucks it up? Which makes some days harder to resist the itch, some easier, some days he wins the battle and some days he loses, but that doesn't make him a loser. It makes him human.

This internal uphill battle of his requires oodles of encouragement, acceptance and support which he gets from the Romeros. The Romeros take him in, make him part of their family which taps into one of my favorite themes: making a family of one's own choosing.


Flor is only 16 when they meet. It wasn't love at first sight for Dominic but I think it was for Flor. Time passes, as it's wont to do. Flor grows up. They crash into each other. Dominic has a setback. The Romeros are steadfast. Flor goes to college. Dominic finds a career and slowly things evolve not just between he and Flor but he begins to build a new life for himself, one he can be proud of. 

I know that may sound terribly boring but it truly wasn't. There are heartbreaking moments but by and large Rat Park is an uplifting story of resiliency and love that was romantic, hopeful and gave me that warm tingly feeling in my chest when I really connect to a book.


It was indescribably moving to watch Dominic fall in love and get to do things he's never gotten to do like boogie board or even going to the beach or planning a date or flying on an airplane or being someone's boyfriend. Sometimes he gets it wrong and sometimes Flor gets it wrong but they work it out because they love each other. That realism will stick with me as will the chemistry between them that was enriched by their visceral connection to one another.

Many things were striking about Vivancos' writing style including the fluid passage of time and development of her characters but it was her ability to give each a distinct voice that I found most impressive. Even more so was how their voices started to meld as the narrative evolved; they begin to incorporate words and phrases of the other's which is something that happens in real life but rarely makes it to the page.


Lastly, I appreciated how she focused on rehabilitation over punishment as a treatment methodology for addiction. It takes a village and that village is usually not found in a correctional facility. Her depiction of addiction was not only honest but underscored the importance of compassion and latitude needed to encourage recovery and that's a message that never gets old.

If you enjoy hurt/comfort, slow burns, opposites attract or gritty romances that realistically portray overcoming adversity, give Rat Park a try.



A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.



Link to today's Review Tour HERE

Review Tour + Giveaway: Rat Park by Marina Vivancos


It's Rat Park review tour day! Celebrate the release with author Marina Vivancos and Signal Boost Promotions and enter in the backlist ebook giveaway. Be sure to check back later today for the review of the book!

See out 5 <3 review HERE



Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 71,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Natasha Snow

Blurb

Dominic has lived with an empty ache inside him for as long as he could remember. Maybe it started when he was six, hiding beneath his blankets as the wild animal noises of one of mom’s parties echoed in his head. Maybe it began the first time an adult plied him with drinks just to watch him stumble about.

Or, maybe, it was that he couldn’t even imagine what being loved should feel like.

Drugs washed all that away. It didn’t cure the ache, but it made him forget it for a while. Anything was better than being conscious. Than being himself. But life had another hard lesson for him: With drugs, the only way is down.

Dominic hits rock bottom when he’s twenty-three. Turns out, rock bottom looks a lot like the bars of a jail cell. With little left but his own thoughts, Dominic has to decide: Is this what I want for the rest of my life?

The world has never been kind to Dominic, but when he meets the Romeros, he wonders if that is about to change. Officer Catalina Romero seems to see something in Dominic that he is sure isn’t there. The more she pulls him towards her family, however, the harder it is not to go.

All his resistance disappears under the force that is Flor Romero. Spitfire, stubborn Flor—even at sixteen, he refuses to be taken lightly. As he grows older, putting a stop to what Flor obviously wants to happen between them is harder than Dominic would ever want to admit.

Dominic knows that he has too many demons to let anybody get too close. But life doesn’t prepare him for Flor, who just might be ready to fight tooth and nail for a place in Dominic’s life—and his heart.

The question is, will Dominic’s past keep him from his future?



January 28 - OMG Reads, Amy's MM Romance ReviewsFebruary 6 - Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Wicked Faerie's Tales & Reviews, February 8 - Diverse Reader, Boys Meets Boy Reviews, Mirrigold: Mutterings & Musings, Bayou Book Junkie

Author Bio

When Marina was a child she couldn’t sleep. Night after dissolving night she just couldn’t sleep. Nothing much worked – until she started making up stories in her head. Suddenly, the transition into unconsciousness was a smooth dive into calm waters.

Marina is currently in a period of sleepless upheaval, and she hopes writing down the stories in her head will cast the same spell it did decades ago.

Marina hopes to write in a variety of romance sub-genres, from contemporary to supernatural to sci-fi. Her style, however, tends to focus on character-centred stories that explore different facets of the human experience, such as mental health. She also enjoys writing explicit, drawn-out sex scenes, so expect those to be a prominent feature of her stories.

Marina tends to keep to herself unless prompted, so don’t be shy in approaching her!



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Blog Tour: Terrible Things by Beth Bolden


Author Beth Bolden and Vibrant Promotions visit with the Terrible Things blog tour. Check out today's stop for more information on the second chance romance!

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TERRIBLE THINGS
BETH BOLDEN
M/M ROMANCE
RELEASE DATE: 01.19.19
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Cover Design: Cate Ashwood

BLURB
When Caleb Chance walked out in Detroit five years ago, leaving his band, millions of his fans and his lover behind, Leo knew he could never forgive.

Some things, no matter what the cause, are unforgivable.

But Leo never expected Caleb to show up again, clean and sober and wanting to get their band, Star Shadow, back together. He definitely never expected to agree to Caleb’s plan.

He never expected to confront the love of his life again—or the disaster of his past, the hopelessness of his future, and every terrible thing he’s been carrying inside him.

But maybe some things aren’t so terrible after all.

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EXCERPT
“Are you sure you’re going to be okay setting up without help?” Caleb asked.

Leo rolled his eyes, trying to return to normal interaction. Caleb didn’t need to know about all the little, unbearably painful, things that still caught him unawares. It turned out that grief wasn’t only that yawning chasm of missing someone so much your teeth ached; sometimes it was the tiny, most insignificant bits of a destroyed, disintegrated life.

“I’m perfectly capable, you know,” Leo insisted. “I can have people over without making a mess of it.”

“Of course you can. I just want to help,” Caleb said, sounding flustered. “That’s why I offered to cook.”

“You shouldn’t be cooking for your own celebration,” Leo said.

“You used to like it when I cooked.”

Leo couldn’t help the laugh that bubbled out of him at this understatement. “I fucking loved it when you cooked.”

Caleb looked pleased. “That’s good. Really good. I mean, I want to make you feel that way. Again. Um.” He hesitated, mouth twitching. “All the time, actually.”

It was good to hear. Leo had missed someone taking care of him.

But again, that wasn’t exactly accurate. For Christmas two years ago, Benji had given him the services of a housekeeper for six months. At the time, Leo had been over the moon, thinking it was the perfect gift. But it turned out that he hadn’t liked someone in his business all the time. He didn’t like the way she’d look down her nose at him for leaving dirty dishes overflowing on the coffee table or the way he’d track mud in after a run or that sometimes he wouldn’t leave his warm, comfy bed until two in the afternoon.

In the end, he’d written her a big check, buying both her absence and her silence.

So, specifically, what Leo missed was Caleb taking care of him.

“Maybe that’s something we could do again. Dinner sometime.” At first Leo couldn’t believe he was suggesting it—hadn’t he just thought that Caleb back in the kitchen was too much to handle? But he also told himself that they were trying to be friends again. And friends could share a friendly meal.

“Really?” Caleb sounded incredulous, but he was looking at Leo like he’d just hung the moon and the sun and the stars in the sky.

“Of course,” Leo said, like it wasn’t a big deal. “I know we’ll be off on the tour soon, but maybe when we get back.”

“That would be so great.” He paused. “Like maybe even . . . maybe even a date?”

Leo was twenty-six years old but he honest-to-god blushed when Caleb said the magical d word.

“Sure,” Leo said. He couldn’t believe he’d said yes. He also couldn’t believe Caleb had asked after last night’s conversation.

“I know it seems sudden,” Caleb added.

Leo shrugged. “It isn’t like we set a date and time. Just . . . sometime in the future.”

“Nice and vague,” Caleb agreed. “Vague is good.”

Leo was aware they were both grinning at each other like idiots. This was confirmed when Max wandered over and did a double take.

“You two,” he said with a short, barking laugh. “Stop flirting and get going. You’ll see each other soon, I promise.”

beth bolden logo 2

Beth Bolden lives in Portland, Oregon with her supportive husband. She wholly believes in Keeping Portland Weird, but wishes she didn’t have to make the yearly pilgrimage up to Seattle to watch her Boston Red Sox play baseball. She’s a fan of fandoms, and spends too much of her free time on tumblr.
Beth has been writing practically since she learned the alphabet. Unfortunately, her first foray into novel writing, titled Big Bear with Sparkly Earrings, wasn’t a bestseller, but hope springs eternal. She’s published eight novels and two novellas, with Catch Me, the next novel in the Kitchen Gods series, releasing in May 2018.

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Review: Craft Brew (Trouble Brewing #2) by Layla Reyne

Assistant US attorney Dominic Price is staring down the barrel of his father’s debts. The bull’s-eye on his back makes him a threat to everyone he cares about, so when his lover wants to go public with their relationship, he bolts. Not because he isn’t in love—he can’t stomach the thought of putting Cam in danger.

Kidnap and rescue expert Cameron Byrne is determined to figure out what trouble Nic is running from, but devastating news from home brings him back to Boston and to the cold case that has haunted his family for two decades. Shoving aside his pride, he calls Nic for help.

Together they search for answers, navigating the minefield of Cam’s past. But when they get too close to the truth, Cam must use every skill in his arsenal to save the man he loves…before it’s too late.


It’s not a surprise that I loved this, it just took me longer to get to it. That’s my issue, not the book.

Craft Brew picks up where Imperial Stout left off with Nic and Cam together in bed, but Nic not ready to go public with their new relationship. Doing what Dominic Price does best, he takes a job in San Diego to run away from the intimacy with Cam that is moving as fast as Jamie Walker behind the wheel of any car. Nic is scared but Nic soon realizes that it takes more energy to be lonely than to be in love.

Cam is steadfast in what he wants from Nic and though he has questions about the untold stories inked on his lover’s body, he knows Nic is worth the wait. It’s just a shame that the goons that are after Nic’s dad can’t leave these two alone long enough for them to get a proper reunion. It’s also a shame that Cam gets a call from home with news about his mom’s health that pulls these two apart one again.

As I read and adored the Irish and Whiskey series, this echoes the formula of putting the couple together only to pull them apart. Another favorite author of mine is famous for doing this and while I really wanted Cam and Nic to be together on every single page, I also know it’s not how the world works and wouldn’t fit the men at all. Also, I will admit that having Cam leave for Boston and having Nic say he would go and just getting the feelings so deep with these two, made me swoon.

Craft Brew feels more intimate and personal for me than Imperial Stout and of course I have reasons for that which tie into the title but you’re probably over me doing all that explaining so I’ll skip it. Just know that craft brews are small, independent and traditional. Those three words alone can really describe not only the romance between Nic and Cam but also the family these two have created with the Talley’s. Oh and key points of a craft brew include: aroma, mouthfeel, appearance and flavor… toss your mind into the gutter with me for a moment and just think where those can be applied? You with me? Good.

“You rescue lost people for a living. Is it any wonder you found me?”

So, Cam is in Boston with his family after his mother has a heart attack. Being back is bittersweet for Cam because while he loves his family, he’s falling hard for Nic and his mind keeps wandering back to the US District Attorney and all he’s becoming to Cam. When Cam gets a chance to see his mother, she makes a request that Cameron can’t refuse, even if it means digging up old wounds and the chance to bleed out before he gets answers. You see, Cam’s mom wants him to basically solve his sister Eric’s disappearance once and for all and though Cam holds a weight on his heart and conscious for what he didn’t do the day Erin disappeared, he’ll do anything for his Ma.

First let me say I love how clever Cam’s mom was with all her notes in books. It’s obvious where Cam gets a lot of his character from. But man, it was hard to watch Cam do this alone even with Jamie by his side. I kept waiting for him to reach out to Nic for help and when it happened I almost fell out of my chair. We got a lot of emotions from Nic and Cam while they are apart. They get pretty deep and good at getting comfortable with being uncomfortable when it comes to falling in love. Both men have their reservation and we finally get the story behind Nic’c cypress tattoo though Cam is still left without answers. We get that Cam doesn’t tell his family everything and when Nic shows up in Boston, my heart hurt for him as the realization that Cam’s family doesn’t know he’s bisexual hits him right in the chest.

This has the same level of action, mystery and romance as this author is known to deliver. I was on the edge of my seat through the book waiting to find out what happened to Erin while trying to hold back tears for everyone when we know. Nic hurt my heart time and time again with how much he’ll do for Cam and how much he hates to be left in the fuckin' van. Cam can hold his own as he gave me enough moments of want and need for Nic that he even gave up Dunkin’ Donuts.

I have so much I want to say but will stop rambling because this is long enough.

Yeah, this book was good and I am going to move on to the next because there are still a few things that need to be dealt with.


A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.

Giveaway + Blog Tour: Not Dead Yet (Not Dead Yet #1) by Jenn Burke


Author Jenn Burke is here today talking supernatural to celebrate her recent release from Carina Press, Not Dead Yet (Not Dead Yet #1) along with A Novel Take Promotions. Find out more about this paranormal romance and enter to win a signed paperback and some Canadian swag! Not available from retailers! Good luck!



Creating a Supernatural World
By Jenn Burke

I discovered urban fantasy when I was a teenager in the late 80s and early 90s, and I’m not going to lie, my world kind of changed. I’d always loved tales about magic, and fairytales, but the idea that magic could be everywhere in our world sparked my imagination like nothing else.

The Diana Tregarde series by Mercedes Lackey seemed like it could actually happen—a Wiccan Guardian who watched over people, protecting them from all sorts of bad people and creatures. And then there was Tanya Huff’s Vicki Nelson series, which was set in and around Toronto, bringing that magic a little closer to home. And then…Charles de Lint’s Moonheart, and Jack of Kinrowan series, both of which are set in my hometown of Ottawa, Ontario, and blew my mind.

So when I started writing, I knew I wanted to write books with paranormal elements—witches, vampires, shifters, and so on—and I wanted to set them in Canada. Here are three concepts I keep in mind when I’m writing my Canada-set paranormal books.

Anchor your world

I feel strongly that when you’re creating a contemporary-set paranormal world, you need to anchor it in reality. That doesn’t mean you can’t bend realism when you need to. But the world should be recognizably ours, for the most part.

To do this, I like to set my stories in places that actually exist. My first published paranormal romance, Her Sexy Sentinel, is set in Ottawa, and I spent a lot of time prowling my city physically and virtually to make sure the settings for my scenes would work (for example, I didn’t want to set a highrise in a location where highrises don’t exist in real life).

But be flexible

You need to remember that you’re not writing nonfiction. This is your world, and you can adapt it as you need to. The key is being consistently believable.

In Not Dead Yet, Detective Hudson Rojas works nights only for medical reasons despite (from what information I could dig up) most real-life Toronto detectives being on a shift rotation. I made that restriction believable by explaining what he does to mitigate it (shorter but more frequent shifts) and the consequences (he’ll never achieve a higher rank). These are consistently believable elements that help convince the reader my world is real.

Create rules

You need to establish rules for your world early on, so you give the reader some idea of what to expect. It also helps to raise the stakes if the reader knows that the characters can’t just magic their way out of a jam.

In the Not Dead Yet world, I have specific rules for my magical characters. For example, when Wes is in the otherplane as a ghost, he can’t see living creatures clearly. They’re fuzzy, dark blobs of shadow. Lexi, his badass witch best friend, can’t cast magic for personal gain—it always backfires.

I’d say that your supernatural rules are one area where you shouldn’t be flexible—at least not if it’s unplanned or unexplained. If you make your rules inconsistent on a whim, or to get your characters out of a difficult situation, you may lose readers.

Go forth and create

These are really basic ideas to keep in mind when creating your own supernatural world. But they should give you a starting point. I hope you have as much fun as I do making new worlds to play in!

NOT DEAD YET by Jenn Burke

Series: Not Dead Yet #1

Publisher: Carina Press

Release Date: February 4, 2019 (ebook only)

Length: 91,000 words

Subgenre: Paranormal mystery romance

Warnings: Depression, talk of suicide, murders, paranormal violence

Links:

Synopsis:

Dying isn’t what it used to be.

Wes Cooper was dead. Then he wasn’t—though he’s not exactly alive, either. As an immortal not-ghost, he can transition between this world and the otherplane, which makes him the perfect thief for hire. For seventy years he’s made a “living” returning items to their rightful owners, seeing his fair share of the bizarre in the process. But he’s never witnessed murder. Until now.
His latest mission brings him more than he bargained for: a very-dead actor who is definitely going to stay that way. It’s just Wes’s luck that his ex-boyfriend, Detective Hudson Rojas, is assigned to the case. Hudson broke Wes’s heart years ago—and could again, given he’s rocking a hot silver-fox look that shouldn’t be legal.

As they work together to track down the murderer before anyone else gets hurt, it becomes clear Wes and Hudson have unfinished business. And when a secret Hudson’s been keeping threatens more than just their happiness, it might mean the end of their not-life together—permanently.


Jenn Burke has loved out-of-this-world romance since she first read about heroes and heroines kicking butt and falling in love as a preteen. Now that she’s an author, she couldn’t be happier to bring adventure, romance, and sexy times to her readers.

Jenn is the author of a number of paranormal and science fiction romance titles, including the critically acclaimed Chaos Station science fiction romance series (authored with Kelly Jensen) from Carina Press.

She’s been called a pocket-sized and puntastic Canadian on social media, and she’ll happily own that label. Jenn lives just outside of Ottawa, Ontario, with her husband and two kids, plus two dogs named after video game characters…because her geekiness knows no bounds.

Connect With Jenn:
Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/295814398039168/ (Jenn Burke’s Epic Adventurers)
Newsletter sign-up: http://bit.ly/jennburkenewsletter



2 prize packs:

     One signed paperback copy of Not Dead Yet (exclusive; you can’t buy it in print!) with some Canadian swag – will ship internationally
     $10 Amazon gift card


Cover Reveal: Over and Back (Bronco's Boys #5) by Andrew Grey



Andrew Grey and Dreamspinner Press reveal the new cover of the upcoming contemporary romance, Over and Back (Bronco's Boys #5) today! Enjoy the book's info if you're interested!




Title: Over and Back
Series: Bronco's Boys: Book 5
Author: Andrew Grey
Release Date: April 9, 2019
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 194
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase http://www.lcchase.com


Blurb:

Opposites attract on an overseas holiday, but trouble has hitched a ride.

While Bronco’s nightclub is closed for renovations, the owners invite the staff on a trip to Italy. Bartender Hank needs a roommate, and he’s had his eye on waiter Grant for a while, even if he’s had to keep his distance. But sharing such close proximity means sparks are sure to fly….

Grant has a problem saying no, and it’s led him into some less-than-healthy relationships. While he’s determined not to repeat his mistakes, it’s clear Hank is different.

They’re both willing to take it slow and explore the feelings building between them, but even in a foreign country, their pasts are catching up, and that could hurt more than just their budding romance.

Buy Links:

eBook: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/over-and-back-by-andrew-grey-10351-b
Paperback: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/over-and-back-by-andrew-grey-10352-b


Author Bio:

Andrew Grey is the author of more than one hundred works of Contemporary Gay Romantic fiction. After twenty-seven years in corporate America, he has now settled down in Central Pennsylvania with his husband, Dominic, and his laptop. An interesting m√©nage. Andrew grew up in western Michigan with a father who loved to tell stories and a mother who loved to read them. Since then he has lived throughout the country and traveled throughout the world. He is a recipient of the RWA Centennial Award, has a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, and now writes full-time. Andrew’s hobbies include collecting antiques, gardening, and leaving his dirty dishes anywhere but in the sink (particularly when writing). He considers himself blessed with an accepting family, fantastic friends, and the world’s most supportive and loving partner. Andrew currently lives in beautiful, historic Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Email: andrewgrey@comcast.net
Website: www.andrewgreybooks.com