Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Guest Post and Giveaway: Chef's Table by Lynn Charles

I work in circulation at a county library and I see and handle hundreds of books every day. It is fascinating to me to note which books cause me to slow down and take a second look. The ones that make me want to read the synopsis, and even to consider putting on hold for future reading. What is it that draws me to this book to begin with?
And I'd have to say, outside of author, it's always the cover. With a quick glance while I'm scanning, I can often determine category, genre, mood and even age of the last printing. Lately, I seem to be drawn to a more minimalist type of book cover. Typeset only, fewer details and colors in the images you do see, etc.
Catch me quick and hold me there.
So, when it was time to come up with a cover for Chef's Table, while my input was only a small fraction of the process, I was happy to suggest a minimalist approach with the image we'd already been sent of a chef with another man's sneaky hand reaching around to divest him of his whites.
The trick was getting it to read as light-hearted, which the story is, without looking cartoonish and comical, which it is not, and our art director took that task very seriously. I asked her about how she approaches each cover with so many different themes and styles between stories and she said she does tend to compare each new title to previous ones they've done, asking "What does this story bring to the table that others haven't yet?" In other words, she wants to set each book apart before the reader even opens up the first page.
For Chef's Table, she called on an illustrator that she knew could not only execute the effect she was going for, but also remain faithful to the whimsical nature of the idea. They used a conventional "cut paper" technique where each simple shape of the image is a different kind of paper, only they achieved the effect digitally. The chef's jacket is finished with a crisp linen texture. Our cook on the back has a knit textured t-shirt and a woven texture for his apron. Skin is flecked as if pored, and to finish, shadows set off each layer to give the full dimensional effect.
I love my Evan and Patrick in this quirky minimalist fashion. I love the comedy of Evan snatching the cherry from Patrick's cheesecake on the back, and Patrick's sneaky hand creeping in to unbutton Evan's jacket. It's fun, it's a little sexy, and it pops with color.

Exactly what I hope the book will do as well.

Giveaway: A $25 Interlude Press GC to one randomly drawn winner and digital copies of CHEF’S TABLE to ten randomly winners via Rafflecopter.  One randomly chosen host will win a $25 Interlude Press GC.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Bones of You by Laura Stone

I grew up in the house of a musician and a singer. Music was always playing throughout the day, and especially at dinner; fortunately, my parents had excellent and wide reaching tastes. I can still recall specific moments of my childhood just from hearing old songs. Dolly Parton was for car rides, and let me tell you, you haven't lived until you've heard two girls under the age of six belting out “Jolene.” If it was raining and my mother had chores to do, we listened to Carole King's Tapestry. Good day for my dad? Stevie Wonder's Songs in the Key of Life, and we girls would be danced around the tiny kitchen, perched precariously on the toe of my dad's shoes.

There are songs that make you happy, that make you want to move, that make you get riled up and ready for whatever challenge you have to face that day. And then there are those songs that get under your skin, that work their way through you until they pierce your heart and you can do nothing but just listen and feel. Oh, how I love a song that tells an epic, sweeping (and painful) love story.

That was how this book began. The haunting song, "The Bones of You," by English rock band Elbow, was a song that just cut me to the quick the very moment I first heard it. My hands went still, my heart lurched, I sat down, and I just listened. I was transfixed by the image of this busy man racing out the door to get on with his day when suddenly he hears a song that reminds him of a former lover, and of one perfect day spent together, wrapped up in nothing but their love for one another and a hope for a perfect future.

The character in the song had carefully built up walls to hide all of those past feelings of love, determined to move on, move past that fractured relationship, and then suddenly, wham! Well, not the group Wham! because that would be ridiculous, but suddenly he's jolted right back to remembering what it was like being in love and thinking everything was going to be perfect.

I think we all have wondered, "What if?" with a former lover or maybe even tried to forget them and build a new life for ourselves. But I think for many of us, there's always that one person who worked their way into our hearts, who knit their souls with ours whether we wanted them to or not, and all it takes is that one song, that one whiff of a familiar cologne, that one memory of being held just right that stops us in our tracks. When that happens, we're all helpless to the flood of memories, the feelings, the longing we had before it all went so wrong.

The song ends there, but I couldn't let it go. What was it about that relationship that seemed so perfect all those years ago? More importantly, where had they gone wrong? Is there any way they could have fixed it? I'm a romantic at heart, and I always want things to work out in the end. Now, as a writer and especially as a reader, I don't mind massive bumps along the way. Oh, make me ache! Make that ride off into the sunset count because the characters earned it! But please, please let them ride off together. Please?

I listened to that song on repeat while writing, that and a specific playlist I made that evoked the mood I was going for with various scenes and chapters. Big orchestral pieces that drown you in sound, pull you off your feet and carry you along the journey. Plaintive, quiet numbers that are nothing more than a singer, their feelings laid bare, and a guitar. And if you've had a chance to read The Bones Of You, you'll know that I have big love for Gladys Knight, the way she is a strong woman but willing to open herself up, share her life with the man she loves, even when it seems there's no hope.

Music inspired this story, carried me through the writing process, and now, when I hear Guy Garvey's voice against the stripped-down orchestration of his eponymous song, I smile and start Oliver's journey all over again.

Giveaway: A $25 Interlude Press GC to one randomly drawn winner and digital copies of THE BONES OF YOU to ten randomly winners via Rafflecopter.  One randomly chosen host will win a $25 Interlude Press GC.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Review: Swan Prince by Erin Lark

Swan Prince Title: Swan Prince by Erin Lark
Genre: Fantasy, M/M
Published August 4th 2014 by Entangled Publishing
Length: 149 pages

Rating: 3 Stars
Review Copy Provided by Publisher


Trapped between his royal heritage and swan shifter status, Oliver doesn't pay close attention during his flock's winter migration, and gets caught in the crosshairs of a trigger-happy hunter.

Careening toward the ground with no place to go, Oliver submits to his human form. As his swan's feathers recede, he seeks shelter in an old barn.

Bastion's spent the better part of his adult life caring for a bunch of bullheaded stallions, but this is the first time he's ever found a naked and gorgeous man in one of his stalls. When he asks the man his name, he doesn't get a reply. Without a wallet or a voice to tell him who this stranger is, Bastion takes Oliver in, clothes him and tends to a mysterious wound.

Oliver has nowhere else to go. Bastian is in a bind after firing a farmhand who would much rather call in sick than do his job. When passion flares, can Bastion and Oliver overcome their differences, or will this swan prince fly south?

Purchase Link:

Oliver, the heir to his flock of swans, sneaks out for a flight but gets shot by a hunter. He lands in Bastion's barn, is stuck in his human form and is mute. Bastion owns the barn and has a troubled relationship with Paul. He hires Paul for work around the barn in exchange for taking care of Paul's horse. Now Paul isn't doing his part of their deal. Bastion tempts Oliver like no other and Oliver struggles between his duty to his flock and his desire.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Interview and Giveaway: Sotto Voce by Erin Finnegan

Giveaway: Erin will be awarding a Multi-format Sotto Voce eBook to 10 randomly drawn winners and a Grand Prize of a $25 B&N gift card will be awarded to one randomly drawn winner, all via rafflecopter during the tour. A $25 B&N gift card will be awarded to a randomly drawn host.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Tour with Excerpt: Sanguinary by Margo Bond Collins

Sanguinary, by Margo Bond Collins
A Night Shift Novel

Forthcoming October 8, 2014


Only fifty years left before vampires rule the world.

When Dallas police detective Cami Davis joined the city's vampire unit, she planned to use the job as a stepping-stone to a better position in the department.

But she didn't know then what she knows now: there's a silent war raging between humans and vampires, and the vampires are winning.

So with the help of a disaffected vampire and an ex-cop addict, Cami is going undercover, determined to solve a series of recent murders, discover a way to overthrow the local Sanguinary government, and, in the process, help win the war for the human race.

But can she maintain her own humanity in the process? Or will Cami find herself, along with the rest of the world, pulled under a darkness she cannot oppose?

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Review: A Suitable Replacement by Megan Derr

A Suitable Replacement (Deceived, #5) Title: A Suitable Replacement by Megan Derr
Series: Deceived #5
Genre: Fantasy, M/M, M/F
Published August 6th 2014 by Less Than Three Press LLC
Length: 218 pages

Rating: 3 Stars
Review Copy Provided by Publisher


After three years abroad on an arduous expedition, Maximilian is happy to be home, where he can pursue his private studies in peace and enjoy not living in a dusty tent. He is also glad he has arrived in time to attend his twin sister's wedding in a few months, and to finally meet her fiancé, Kelcey.

Instead he arrives home to be accosted by his sister's furious fiancé, who wants to know where she has run off to and why. When they confirm the wedding is most definitely canceled, Max has no choice but to fulfill the runaway clause in the marriage contract: he must find Kelcey a new spouse.

But the more time passes, the more he wishes he could offer himself up as replacement, no matter how unsuitable an arrangement he knows that would be …

Purchase Link:

Max's sister is missing a few months before her wedding with Kelcey. As soon as Max returned from his studies abroad, Kelcey shows up demanding his fiancée. As they try to find Max's sister, their friendship deepens until Max wishes to be his sister's replacement and marry Kelcey.

Monday, September 29, 2014

ARC Review: Lukos Heat by Megan Derr

Lukos Heat Title: Lukos Heat by Megan Derr
Series: Heart of Fire #1
Genre: M/M, Fantasy
Expected publication: October 22nd 2014 by Less Than Three Press LLC
Length: 19,000 words

Rating: 4 Stars
Review Copy Provided by Publisher


Najlah is on the hunt for the traitorous coward who attempted to assassinate the king and nearly killed Najlah's brother in the process. But the hunt has taken his team deep into the Shide, the treacherous, freezing mountains controlled by the mysterious Lukos, feral wolf shifters who do not tolerate trespassers.

When the Lukos come upon them, Najlah is reluctantly intrigued. The Lukos, especially the one called Barkus, are nothing like the soft humans he spends most of his time around. They thrive in the brutal cold the way he thrives in volcanic fire. For the first time, it feels like Najlah may have found someone who can equal the fierceness of dragons, and see them as more than demons.

But if he hopes to explore the bond forming with the Lukos, he must first survive the enemy—and the Shide.

Purchase Link:
3.5 stars rounded to 4 stars

Najlah is a warrior dragon shifter set out for the Shide mountains with his team of warriors to hunt down a traitor to the throne. He encounters Barkus, a member of the Lukos, werewolves who lived in the Shide mountains. They join forces to hunt down the traitor and in the process, discover how compatible they are, on the battlefield and in bed.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Review: Branded by Bru Baker

Title: Branded by Bru Baker
Series: Mended 2014 Daily Dose Anthology
Genre: M/M Romance, Historical
Published June 1st 2014 by Dreamspinner Press
Length: 36 pages

Rating: 2 Stars
Review Copy Provided by Publisher


When a would-be assassin sneaks into the citadel disguised as a servant, the king requires that all servants who work in the castle be branded with the royal crest for easy identification. Prince Coren is powerless to fight the edict, but he refuses to allow his personal advisor and secret lover Brannir to suffer alone. Coren shows his devotion by wielding the brand to mark Brannir himself, even though he fears it will change their relationship. He's prepared for resentment, hurt, and anger--every outcome but the one he receives: unconditional love.

Purchase Link:

Since an assassin sneaked into the castle by disguising as a servant, all servants must be branded for identification. Bran will be forced to leave the castle if he isn't branded. Coren hates to mark his lover but he also can't disobey his father and out himself to the public, after all, he's the crown prince.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Review: The Byte of Betrayal by Ashavan Doyon

The Byte of Betrayal Title: The Byte of Betrayal by Ashavan Doyon
Series: Mended 2014 Daily Dose Anthology
Genre: M/M Romance, Contemporary
Published June 1st 2014 by Dreamspinner Press
Length: 73 pages

Rating: 3 Stars
Review Copy Provided by Publisher


Caleb McDonnell lives his life online. A thirty-year-old fast food worker, he spends his time talking in an Internet world where his job and living conditions can't dictate his friendships. He's found acceptance, friendship, and even romance. But when an online friend is revealed as a fake, Caleb loses all sense of trust. To stave off the emotional collapse of his betrayal, Caleb leaves his online life behind and retreats into the monotony of his job.

Nicodemus Rokos feels like his heart has been torn out. He knew Caleb would be hurt, but he'd hoped not to be shut out of his boyfriend's life. He can only hope Caleb still feels something when he shows up in person to reclaim what he's lost.

Purchase Link:

3.5 Stars rounded to 3

Caleb has a crush on Nic but he doesn't have the courage to tell him so he tells his online best friend, Kevin. He also can't afford a trip to visit Nic since he's so poor, he's eating Ramen noodles and stale bread. He's living his life online and having online friends. A thousand miles away, Nic wants to be Caleb's boyfriend and discovers Kevin is a fake. Nic tells Caleb the truth but he can't accept it.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Review: Unexpected by E.T. Malinowski

Title: Unexpected by E.T. Malinowski
Series: Mended 2014 Daily Dose Anthology
Genre: M/M Romance, Fantasy
Published June 1st 2014 by Dreamspinner Press
Length: 26 pages

Rating: 1 Stars
Review Copy Provided by Publisher


Unseelie are vicious, heartless, and cruel, or so Merin believes. Then Tarel, an Unseelie warrior, comes to his rescue, and turns his view of the world upside down.

To escape the effects of his curse, Tarel exiled himself to the forest. He has enough issues with his own people, but he never thought he’d share his bed with a Seelie either, even if only by medical necessity. If Merin and Tarel can overcome their prejudices, they might see what a gift fate has given them.

Purchase Link:

Marin is chased into Tarel's woods by a pack of goblins. Just before the goblins kill him, Tarel saves Marin and obliterates the pack of goblins. Marin is a Seelie Sidhe and Tarel is Unseelie. They are sworn enemies but are instantly attracted to each other. Tarel feels compelled to heal Marin and takes him home.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

ARC Review and Interview: Business or Pleasure by Ashley Ladd

Today I'm hosting Ashley Ladd on the blog for an interview and to talk about Business or Pleasure. Check it out at the end of the post!

Business or Pleasure
Title: Business or Pleasure by Ashley Ladd
Genre: Contemporary, M/M Romance
Expected publication: August 22nd 2014 by Totally Bound
Length: 121 pages

Rating: 3 Stars
Review Copy provided by author

Tommy Boudreaux is extremely attracted to Guy Rogers even though he’s a passionate vegetarian and animal rights activist and Tommy’s family owns the most popular barbecue joint in town.

Guy Rogers is extremely attracted to his new realtor, Tom Boudreaux. As a passionate vegetarian and animal activist, he’s ecstatic that Tom is a kindred soul. He could never be with a carnivore. Unfortunately, Tommy isn’t really a vegetarian or an animal activist. He never said he was, either, he just didn’t eat meat when he was with Guy. And maybe he emptied his house of all meat and dairy products before inviting Guy over. In fact, Tommy’s family owns the most popular barbecue restaurant in town and, if his family has their way, he’ll manage the new location.

When Guy finds out that Tommy eats meat and his family owns a restaurant that’s a monument to eating meat, he’s livid and doesn’t know if he wants anything else to do with Tommy.

But then Guy’s life gets crazy—his dad’s paranoia blossoms into violent dementia, he gets arrested for picketing a doggy mill, then he winds up in even more legal trouble. When Tommy sticks by him through all his trouble and does everything he can to help him, Guy wonders if he’s been too militant and narrow-minded. Perhaps he can learn to live with people who have opposite views.

Purchase Link:
Adina Falling

2.5 stars rounded up

Guy is an animal rights activist with an extreme pro-animal rights attitude and cannot tolerate eating meat at all. He wants to move out of his dad's place and meets real estate agent, Tom. They are attracted to each other, but Tom isn't a vegetarian and his family runs a barbecue restaurant that Guy would be totally against. Tom tries to hide those facts from Guy but when Guy finds out, he feels betrayed. Guy's dad is also causing trouble for him. Guy has too much going on in his life to try to make a relationship with Tom work out. Trouble escalates when Guy decides to picket Tom's family barbecue restaurant.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Guest Post, Review, Giveaway: Designs on You by Carrie Pack

Today we have Carrie Pack on the blog to talk about Designs on You and its inspiration. Check out the giveaway at the end of the post!

Designs on You was largely inspired by my experience working as a production artist and graphic designer right out of college. I worked for a national retailer creating print ads, designing signage, and scanning photos. That was in the dark days before digital, folks—we didn’t even have email for the first six months that I worked there.

It was interesting work, but it could also be tedious. Some days I would be doing nothing but scanning photos all day or stuffing signs into mailboxes to go to stores. Other days, I might get to work on a catalogue or poster for the stores. And sometimes I would get crazy requests for retouching that meant zooming in on model’s crotches or putting one man’s head on another man’s body.

When I got the idea for a story about a graphic designer falling for a model, I really started to think about what it would be like for someone to be stuck in a rut professionally, doing a job very similar to mine, while also being stuck in a rut romantically. How would that play out? Who would that person be?

Enter my protagonist, Scott Parker. He’s just about to turn 30, still recovering from a nasty breakup and trying to get his career going. That’s when he gets asked to retouch photos of a gorgeous new model Jamie Donovan and the sparks fly.

Of course, the crush that Scott develops on Jamie is also a bit of commentary on our society’s obsession with celebrity and image. It has become very easy, especially with social media, to think we know a celebrity personally. We may even go so far as to create an idea in our heads as to who that person is and start to fantasize about meeting them or being in a romantic relationship with them. Scott falls into that trap. He creates a fantasy version of Jamie in his head that doesn’t quite fit with what he sees in real life.

Ultimately, Scott is faced with his own conflicting desires and what it means to balance fantasy with a budding, real-life friendship.

Giveaway: Carrie will be awarding a $25 Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $25 Barnes and Noble GC and a print edition of Designs on You (US ONLY) to a randomly drawn host. A free download of an Interlude Press eBook title or an author/book swag pack (US ONLY) will be awarded to one randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter at each stop during the tour.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Guest Post and Giveaway: Pivot and Slip by Lilah Suzanne

Today we have Lilah Suzanne on the blog to talk about Pivot and Slip and its cover art. Check out the giveaway at the end of the post!

I remember being so nervous about the conference call we had for the book cover, and that afterwards I immediately felt like I hadn’t contributed anything helpful at all! As much as I wish that I had visual art skills, I just really don’t. So I didn’t have a particular image in mind at all.

I can describe things, sure, I do plenty of that. But an actual visual? Not really. So I have to give all the credit for the cover to Interlude Press’ art director, RJ Shepherd and the cover artist, CB Messer. I don’t know how they did it, but it’s as if they reached into my brain and took out an image I didn’t even know was there!

That cover is Felix. It captures him so well. It captures the essence of his story and the overall feel of the book perfectly. The first time I saw it, I was stunned beyond belief. You can see him there—that moment of feeling broken, of “Now what?” There’s a sense of this man who is trying to put the pieces back together and doesn’t know it yet, but soon will meet the person who helps him.

It’s absolutely gorgeous, and I am so lucky to have this cover on my debut book.

Giveaway: Lilah will be awarding a $25 Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $25 Barnes and Noble GC and a print edition of Pivot and Slip (US ONLY) to a randomly drawn host. A free download of an Interlude Press eBook title or an author/book swag pack (US ONLY) will be awarded to one randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter at each stop during the tour.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Giveaway Tour: A Bite in Time by Viki Lyn & Vina Grey

Giveaway: Viki & Vina will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $10 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn host.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Incubus Saga: Changeling and Incubus by Amanda Meuwissen

Today we have Amanda Meuwissen on the blog to talk about The Incubus Saga. Thank you, Amanda, for taking the time to share this new story with us today and providing a giveaway! 

The Incubus Saga—from Serial to Finished Book Series

The Incubus Saga is actually a trilogy, with book 3 planned for next year. I’ve been running the story serialized on the episodic literary network (BWN) since 2012, which is also the indie publisher who created the final books.

It’s been an interesting and very rewarding experience, publishing chapters weekly over the months, and then seeing the finished product come to life as each book is complete.

As a fanfiction writer for many years, I love the immediate gratification of posting something and getting feedback from readers. The exchange honestly affects the final product, and I take comments, suggestions, and concerns very seriously. Many times a remark that a scene dragged, or didn’t make sense, or that something was missing will affect how I edit things from online to the final book, and I am so grateful for having fans willing to engage in dialogue.  BWN makes that possible, and I still get to hold a book in my hands at the end.

I actually first worked on a slightly different version of the same story from 2007-2009, and decided to pursue publishing it a few years later when I discovered BWN. I brought a few fans with me from that initial incarnation, and have made many more. There are characters in the story that were inspired by fans who first read it during those early years, who amazingly ended up being some of the most influential characters because they lived and breathed the story as it was told. I mention them in my dedications, and I know that the final story I am creating now is better for having first shared my ideas online, where it really did take a village to raise my baby.

I believe serial writing is the future, much as fanfiction grabs so many readers’ attention, because it’s a community experience. Of course I’d still always want that final eBook, paperback, and audiobook to own, and I know my readers love the opportunity to have that final version as well.

I encourage readers here to check out, a free site with every genre and rating to choose from, in written and audio, with currently running stories and ‘rerun series’ to enjoy, and many finished books to own in the store.

And if you enjoy Incubus and Changeling, you can either continue reading the story at each week as I post new chapters, or wait for the final, polished and re-edited third book in 2015—Sidhe.

Giveaway: Amanda will be awarding a digital copy of both Incubus and Changeling to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Review: Dead Man and the Army of Frogs by Lou Harper

Dead Man and the Lustful Spirit (Dead Man, #1.5)Title: Dead Man and the Army of Frogs by Lou Harper
Series: Dead Man #2
Genre: M/M Romance, Fantasy
Publication: August 4th 2014
Length: 166 pages

Rating: 5 Stars
Review copy provided by Author


All Denton wanted was a few minions. He got frogs instead.

Web developer by day and necromancer by night, Denton Mills is used to seeing things nobody else can. When he starts hallucinating frogs, he simply assumes they have something to do with his boyfriend Bran's obsession.

Bran Maurell is a witch, who in a youthful outburst, accidentally turned his then-lover, Peter, into a croaker. Bran has been trying ever since to reverse the spell. A fresh amphibian encounter only spurs him to double his efforts.

As if Peter's ghost coming between them weren't enough, Denton and Bran are forced to deal with several errant spirits stalking the citizens of Chicago. Between a French chef who refuses to admit he's dead, and malevolent creatures bent on causing mayhem, jealousy may be the least of Denton's problems.

Purchase Link:

4.5 Stars rounded up to 5

It would be good to read Dead Man and the Lustful Spirit before this because Lenny revisits and sets up the mystery with the appearance of a frog linked to demonic spirits.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Review, Interview, Giveaway: Breakfall by Kate Pavelle

BREAKFALL Final Banner
  Breakfall by Kate Pavelle
Publication Date: June 27, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica, LGBT, Romance  
Add to Goodreads.
Synopsis: Fall Trilogy: Book One

Sexual assault doesn't discriminate. Aikido instructor Sean Gallaway learns that when he falls prey to a violent stalker. Asbjorn Lund, a karate sensei on campus and a Navy vet, yearns to teach Sean how to survive. How to overcome. How to recover. Sean feels hunted and alone as the stalker escalates, testing his boundaries. With the entire dojo at his back, Sean resolves to play bait. He will catch the predator stalking him and reclaim his sense of self if it's the last thing he does. Yet Sean's hunger for justice clashes with Asbjorn's protective streak, and their budding romance might not survive their war of wills.
Adina Falling


4 Stars

Asbjorn is still grieving Tiger's death when he meets the aikido instrutor, Sean. He pretends to be a martial arts beginner when he himself is a karate instructor in order to get into the aikido club and build connections. Sean is super confident in his martial arts and uses it to beat up a group of men ganging up on a kid in an alley. However, one of the men got away and comes back for revenge on him.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Giveaway and Guest Post: Platonic by Kate Paddington

Today we have Kate Paddington on the blog to talk about Platonic and its cover art. Thank you, Kate, for taking the time to share this new story with us today and providing a giveaway! 

Let me begin by saying thank you very much for the opportunity to talk about Platonic here today. I’m super excited now that it’s out there in the world and am always keen to talk about it.

As far as the book cover goes, let me begin by stating, for the record, that I am the least visually minded person I know of. I don’t picture things or even really look at things. People that have read my erotica before always doubt me when I say this because I tend to write sex with a ton of detail but then I get them to go back through a scene and see how much of the description is visual and how much is described by the other sensations. They’re always shocked.

The first time I drove over to a particular friend’s house, having been given a lift there in her car a dozen times before, I had to call her from the street because I couldn’t recognize her house. That’s how not a visual person I am. So when I was asked to think about cover designs for Platonic, I was completely lost. There was a conference call scheduled with the graphic artist in charge of the cover, the publishers, and myself while I was driving around Arizona and Colorado writing Platonic. I got stuck with very little reception staring out across the Grand Canyon and trying to get the call to work. It was a mess and it dropped out several times, I rambled while no one was connected and they discussed things not realizing I wasn’t listening.

What came out of that meeting were my vague idea of the color blue and our designer RJ’s brilliant idea of bed sheets. She knew they summed up the story perfectly and had already worked out that a fractured set of rumpled bed covers would work for me. I’m kind of happy the conference call was the disaster it was because it got me the cover I got and I couldn’t be happier. Those sheets work on so many levels: they immediately signify both the growth and the daily grind that this book deals with, while also alluding pretty clearly to the sex and the sleep-ins. The story deals with all sorts of sex: romantic sex that can be scorching or sensual, sex that is intense and rough or simply convenient and there to be had. There’s awkward coming back together sex and perfect sex when they’re apart (You’ll see what I mean!). Mark falls in love through sex and then discovers it can be about pleasure without love, and Daniel has a one-night stand that makes him start to question everything even though the one-night stand itself was fine. All of that is there on the cover in the rumpled sheets–and I love that.

RJ didn’t know it at the time, but there ended up being two conversations between Mark and Daniel about unmade sheets. They were ten years apart, both teasing and playful but so different. Both these men have a togetherness to their lives that is somewhat façade but considered necessary and there’s a sort of vulnerability in seeing someone’s unmade bed. The first time, they are high school sweethearts, slowly falling apart because Daniel is in New York at college and Mark is still a high school student in Illinois. Daniel comes back for Thanksgiving and they shouldn’t end up in his childhood bedroom–they should talk instead–but then they kiss and they’re there, beside the unmade bed and Daniel’s stuttering out excuses because he’s always so neat. The second time, they’re ten years older and doing their very best to be just friends. Yet, once again, they end up beside a bed that’s rumpled from the night before. Love and sex, when it comes for these men, is ill-timed, I guess.

I could talk for days about this cover and all the ways I feel it resonates with the story and I am so thankful that so much thought and talent was put into it. I know I’m not meant to say this but absolutely judge my book by its cover!

Thank you again for the chance to chat today! 

Giveaway: Kate will be awarding a $25 Barnes & Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $25 Barnes & Noble GC and a print edition of Bleeding Heart (US ONLY) to a randomly drawn host. A free download of an Interlude Press eBook title or an author/book swag pack (US ONLY) will be awarded to one randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter at each stop during the tour.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Review: Unequaled by Charity Parkerson

Title: Unequaled by Charity Parkerson
Series: No Rival #3
Genre: M/M, Contemporary, Erotica
Published July 2nd 2014 by Ellora's Cave Publishing Inc.
Length: 287 pages

Rating: 2 Stars
Review Copy Provided by Publisher


Kerry has hated Rhys from the moment she set eyes on him. They’ve never had an encounter that didn’t end with them both enraged. Paired up at his brother’s wedding, their clashing personalities come to a head and a daring wager is made. Rhys agrees to submit to Kerry for a single evening if she will do the same. Considering the sexual flavors Rhys has enjoyed in his past, it’s one bet Rhys is sure he can’t lose. But Kerry has a few secrets of her own and her plans for him land Rhys in a place he never expected, the arms of sexy Italian solicitor, Asher D’Ettore.

Asher becomes an obsession Rhys can’t shake. His alpha ways and confident mannerisms render all of Rhys’ usual charm useless. With his hard-earned reputation in the media spotlight, Rhys is forced to make a choice between his public persona and true love.

Inside Scoop: This sexy tale includes graphic sexual male on male encounters and fetish club references which could have you searching for one in your area.

A Romantica® contemporary erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave

Purchase Link:

Ever though this is the third book in the series, it can be read as a standalone. Rhys is the new middleweight champion in the boxing ring. He wants Kerry, but she sets him up with Asher, a sexy, Italian solicitor.

The first meeting between Rhys and Asher is intriguing and takes place in a fetish club. Asher is in the submissive position, but he's an Alpha male like Rhys. Asher knows his own worth and seems emotionally stronger than Rhys. The juxtaposition and their honeymoon period is interesting.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Review: The River Leith by Leta Blake

The River Leith
Title: The River Leith by Leta Blake
Genre: M/M Romance, Contemporary
Published May 15th 2014
Length: 215 pages

Rating: 5 Stars
Review Copy Provided by Publisher


Memory is everything.

After an injury in the ring, amateur boxer Leith Wenz wakes to discover his most recent memories are three years out of date. Unmoored and struggling to face his new reality, Leith must cope anew with painful revelations about his family. His brother is there to support him, but it’s the unfamiliar face of Zach, a man introduced as his best friend, that provides the calm he craves. Until Zach’s presence begins to stir up feelings Leith can’t explain.

For Zach, being forgotten by his lover is excruciating. He carefully hides the truth from Leith to protect them both from additional pain. His bottled-up turmoil finds release through vlogging, where he confesses his fears and grief to the faceless Internet. But after Leith begins to open up to him, Zach's choices may come back to haunt him.

Ultimately, Leith must ask his heart the questions memory can no longer answer.

Purchase Link:

Leith loses his recent three years of memory, including his sexuality, boyfriend, father's death, and family scandals. His boyfriend, Zach, and his brother decides to hide many truths from him to shield him from the pain. However, their plan backfires when Leith discovers them anyways.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Guest Post and Giveaway from Meredith Allard, author of That You Are Here

Blog Post from Meredith Allard: 

It’s no surprise that my latest novel, That You Are Here, is a love story. All of my novels are love stories in one way or another. My most popular novels, The Loving Husband Trilogy, is a paranormal story about eternal love. The surprise might be that That You Are Here is a completely present-day story set in one of my favorite places, Portland, Oregon, when I’m most known for historical fiction. Or, the surprise for That You Are Here might be that the romantic leads are both men. Andrew Whittaker and Mark Bryce have quite a journey to travel together, and I hope they are a couple readers cheer for.
That You Are Here is a present-day story when I’m most known for historical fiction, but everything I write is about people who are outsiders or different from the general society somehow. James Wentworth in the Loving Husband Trilogy struggles as a supernatural being (a vampire) in a human world. In Victory Garden, Rose Scofield struggles as a woman who wants to live on her own terms during a time (1917-1922) when women were fighting for their rights. In That You Are Here, Andrew Whittaker and Mark Bryce must make sense of what it means to be a gay man in the 21st century. Great progress has been made, certainly, but there is still prejudice to overcome. It’s a story about learning to feel comfortable in your own skin, which is something nearly everyone has to deal with in one way or another. I’m not gay so I haven’t had to hide a secret the way Andrew does in the story, but I understand Andrew’s struggle to make sense of his place in the world. I feel very lucky that That You Are Here is my highest rated novel on both Amazon and Goodreads, and I’m glad that readers have been able to relate to the universal aspect of the story. I didn’t want to write a gay story exactly. I wanted to write something that readers could relate to on a human level, and I hope I’ve done that.
As for that abstract red cover for That You Are Here: the cover for That You Are Here is definitely different from my other book covers, which I like because That You Are Here is such a different type of book for me. I love the bold red color, a strong suggestion for the love Andrew and Mark feel for each other. I love the abstract design, which almost looks like a line map I saw of Portland, Oregon, which is where the story takes place, so I thought that was kind of cool. And I love that the two figures could stand for Andrew and Mark. Really, I love that the abstract design allows readers to make meanings for themselves about what the cover (and the story) means.

Giveaway: One randomly chosen Grand Prize winner will receive a $25 Amazon or BN GC and a runner up will receive a digital copy of the novel.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Review: Dead Man and the Lustful Spirit by Lou Harper

Dead Man and the Lustful Spirit is FREE on Amazon! Go to Purchase Link


Dead Man and the Lustful Spirit (Dead Man, #1.5) Title: Dead Man and the Lustful Spirit by Lou Harper
Series: Dead Man #1.5
Genre: M/M Romance, Fantasy
Published January 24th 2014 by Harper Books
Length: 30 pages

Rating: 4 Stars


Denton is a necromancer and his boyfriend Bran is a witch. It's not as exciting as it sounds. They don't even get to dress the part, unless it's New Year's Eve and they've been invited to a costume party. Denton is happy to let his hair down, but coaxing the reclusive Bran out of his shell is hard enough without a demonic spirit crashing the party.

Convincing the spirit to return whence it came from will call on Denton's special skills, but not in necromancy.

Purchase Link:

3.5 stars rounded to 4

This is a short story taking place in between Dead Man and the Restless Spirits (Book #1) and Dead Man and the Army of Frogs (Book #2). Fans of the first book will enjoy having Denton and Bran back and working on a short and unintended case. Denton and Bran goes to a costume party and discovered a man possessed by a demonic spirit. They have to use heavy persuasion (of a lustful nature from Denton) to get the demon to leave.

Friday, July 25, 2014

ARC Review: The Merman and the Barbarian Pirate by Kay Berrisford

The Merman and the Barbarian Pirate
Title: The Merman and the Barbarian Pirate by Kay Berrisford
Genre: M/M Romance, Fantasy
Expected publication: July 30th 2014 by Less Than Three Press
Length: Novel 67,000 words

Rating: 4 Stars
Review Copy Provided by Publisher


Raef, a lonely merman, spends his days watching the dashing Lord Haverford from afar and dreaming of love. When Haverford is robbed by a pirate, Raef vows to reclaim the stolen goods, hoping his victory will buy him the happiness he yearns for with Haverford.

But Jon Kemp does not match what Raef knows about pirates, and the simple quest Raef anticipated turns out to be an epic journey. For while Jon might be a nobler man than Raef believed, he’s still a pirate. Love and loyalty are not on Jon’s agenda, and he certainly has no plans to love someone not entirely human …

Purchase Link:

Raef wants his own happily ever after by rescuing the prince from the pirate like in the Little Mermaid story (different from the classic version). However, the pirate isn't the bad guy in this story. When Raef transforms into his human form and stalks Lord Haverford, he witnesses the pirate, Jon, stealing from Haverford. He's determined to steal back Haverford's items from Jon, and in the process, learns about the reality of human nature.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Monday, July 21, 2014

Giveaway Tour: Ravenous by Annie Nicholas

Giveaway: Annie will be awarding a $25 GC for either Kindle or Nook to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $10 GC for Amazon or Nook to a randomly drawn host.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Congrats! Winner of Secrets of Neverwood

Secrets of Neverwood
Congratulations to... 

Ashley E!!!

on winning Secrets of Neverwood. I will be in touch with you soon. 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Giveaway and Excerpt: Active Duty: Gay Military Erotic Romance

Active Duty: Gay Military Erotic RomanceTitle: Active Duty: Gay Military Erotic Romance by Neil S. Plakcy
Genre: Fiction, Anthology, Erotica, M/M
Published June 17th 2014 by Cleis Press
Length: 224 pages


These fierce stories of love on the front lines grab and hold readers’ attention as they travel the world with these soldier on Active Duty. In the wake of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and the Defense of Marriage Act getting repealed, Neil Plakcy brings the two issues together into heart-pounding vignettes of men in action who put their lives on the line to protect and serve. The heat of battle only amps up the level of excitement knowing that this tryst might be the last. These heroic hunks fight for love and honor and will have readers begging for their next debriefing!

Purchase Link:
Exclusive Excerpt: 

From ‘A Voice In The Dark’ by Neil Plakcy

Once he stood, I had a better sense of him. At least six-four, broad shouldered and deep chested, with a narrow waist. His camouflage T-shirt hung loosely, indicating that he’d lost weight in his captivity. I handed him the file, and when our hands touched I felt that electricity again.

The last time I’d gotten laid was on R&R six months before. After Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was wiped out, I came out to my commander, and eventually the rest of my team. I was the only gay soldier I knew and even if I’d known another, I was smart enough to keep my dick in my pants when it came to the  military.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

What's happening next week

On Monday, July 14th, the featured book is Active Duty: Gay Military Erotic Romance, an anthology edited by Neil Plakcy. A giveaway of a printed copy and an exclusive excerpt will be featured.

Active Duty: Gay Military Erotic Romance

The reviews I have planned for next week are:

The River Leith by Leta Blake 
The Merman and the Barbarian Pirate by Kay Berrisford. This title will be released on July 30th by Less Than Three Press.
The River LeithThe Merman and the Barbarian Pirate

Don't forget to leave a comment and enter the contest for a copy of Secrets of Neverwood. Contest closes midnight July 14th.
Secrets of Neverwood

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Giveaway Tour: Four-Leaf Clover by Charmaine Ross

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Charmaine will be awarding a copy of the book to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

A sexy, sugar-laden David vs Goliath story about a local bakery, a national chain, and what really matters.

Clover Loveday has worked hard to get her café Four-Leaf Clover up and running, her ticket out of an increasingly alarming financial situation and her dream come true. When she literally falls off her ladder into the arms of national bakery chain Upper Crust owner, sexy-as-sin Liam Sinclair, who owns the new bakery being built just across the road, she decides that no matter how nauseated she is about the idea, it is best keep your enemy close, rather than leave things to fate.

Liam has never put too much thought into the competition when he opens a new outlet, other than taking their customers and strengthening the Upper Crust brand. But here in the beautiful Dandenong Ranges, Clover Loveday’s cafe is a little too close for comfort, and Clover Loveday a little too good-looking. So Liam asks his PA to put together a Fact Sheet about his new competition. He has a business to run, a father to please, and hundreds of people to keep in jobs. Surely information can keep an unwanted strong sexual pull at bay…

A sexy, caffeinated, satisfying story about unexpected temptations, forgiveness, and putting love before money.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Clover was tired. More tired than usual. Lack of sleep often did that to her, compounding the effects of a physical day. She’d been unable to go to sleep because of a kiss she hadn’t wanted or asked for and still couldn’t seem to push from her mind. Clover checked the bread in the covered bowl she’d set aside that morning. She always liked the smell of raising bread in the morning. Made it more earthy.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Guest Post and Giveaway: Shakespeare With a Side of Naughty!

Shakespeare With a Side of Naughty! 
by Esmae Browder 

Greetings all you faithful followers of Silver Wings! I’m delighted to be blogging at this site today and talking about my latest book, Ophelia’s Lessons. This is Book 1 in my Naughty Shakespeare series which is based on the idea of “What made this character the way they were?”
Now I know it’s been ages since you were forced to read all that Shakespeare stuff in high school, so I’m going to give you a refresher on the basics of the Bard’s writing. Don’t worry. It will be relatively painless. Unless, of course, you’re into pain….Anyway, many of William Shakespeare’s plays are considered tragedies--everyone you give a damn about is typically dead by the end of the tale. The men are the strong silent types and the women are weird, repressed caricatures. Sort of like Game of Thrones only without the nudity. And the head explosions. And no white walkers.

Which brings me to why I chose to revamp a few of Shakespeare’s more well known stories. I never could figure out why the women in his plays weren’t as well developed as the men. Now, I don’t know if it’s because young boys were required to play these parts and Will didn’t feel they had the acting chops to pull off a full fledged woman, or if he just never understood chicks in general, but I always thought there wasn’t a whole lot of depth in his ladies of the stage. I decided that I wanted to know the backstory of some of the heroines starting with the innocent and broken hearted Ophelia of Hamlet fame. 

Poor Ophelia. Her brother and father bossed her around, made her break up with Hamlet who has been telling her how much he wants to be with her but he can’t because she’s not of royal blood. He goes back and forth on his feelings, says one thing, does another, and then kills her father. True. It was an accident, but’s enough to make anyone a little crazy and drown themselves in a river.

It’s obvious that her love for Hamlet is epic--at least from her end. So I wondered, why? How did it get started? And what if she wasn’t as damn innocent and doe eyed as she seemed. 

Welcome to Ophelia’s Lessons where our young heroine has been pining for Hamlet since grade school and will do anything with anyone to get him. This story is a prequel to the events of Hamlet  and shows us how a sexually repressed Ophelia is taught by Hamlet’s best friend the art of sex, love, and deceit. Check it out today and then read the next two books in the Naughty Shakespeare series: Ravishing Rosaline (a prequel to Romeo and Juliet) and The Taming of the Prude (a retelling of the Taming of the Shrew). 

Giveaway: Esmae will be awarding the first three ebooks in the series: Ophelia's Lessons, Ravishing Rosaline, and The Taming of the Prude to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.