Monday, October 24, 2016

Suddenly Yours by Jacob Z. Flores, guest post and giveaway

Suddenly Yours
by Jacob Z. Flores

"What Happens in Vegas Doesn't Always Stay in Vegas"

Cody Hayes is having one epic morning-after. The hangover following a Vegas bachelor party is nothing new to him, and neither is the naked man in his bed.

His apparent marriage is a different story.

Carefully plotting every detail of his life carried Julian Canales to a senate seat as an openly gay man. A drunken night of Truth or Dare isn’t like him… and neither is marrying a man he just met. He’d get an annulment, but the media has gotten wind of his hasty nuptials. If Julian’s political career is going to survive, he has to stay married to a man who’s his opposite in every way.

Now he must convince Cody that all they need to do is survive a conservative political rival, a heartbroken ex, their painful pasts… and an attraction neither man can fight.


Jacob's Top 3 favorite 
Sandra Bullock Movies

Hi, everyone! I’m Jacob Z. Flores, and I’m so glad to be here promoting my October 15 release Suddenly Yours, the second book in my One Fine Day series.

Some of you may already know that the books in this series all center on the theme of marriage. In fact, a wedding/marriage is the common thread in all the books in the series. The characters in each book will be different and so will their situations. This will allow readers to pick up the series at any point without feeling as if they have missed out on something covered in the first book.

Now that you know a little about the series itself, I’d like to introduce you to Julian Canales, one of the main characters in Suddenly Yours, the second book in the series.

Julian is a member of the U.S. Senate, where he hopes to affect positive change in the country and for his California constituents. Naturally, he’s ambitious and driven, which are wonderful qualities, but for Julian those positives also lead to a major negative—he’s far too serious all the time. Constantly worried about scandal, Julian lives an extremely controlled life, which makes him sometimes seem cold, aloof, and well, a major party pooper. However, when Julian does need to cut loose, he kicks back on his couch and indulges in one of his guilty pleasures—watching a Sandra Bullock movie.

So what better way is there to get to know Julian than by letting him share the Sandra Bullock movies he loves the most? Without further ado, I’d like all of you to meet Unites States Senator Julian Canales.

Good afternoon, everyone. I’m extremely honored to be here with you today. I must admit conversing with an audience through a blog post is quite a departure from my routine of campaign speeches or speaking on the Senate floor. I’m used to the smiling faces of my supporters or the snarling visages of my opponents across the aisle as I try to get the immigration laws in this country changed. It’s rather bizarre but also a bit freeing to step outside of the box, which is something my campaign manager Adria tries to get me to do all the time.

But enough about that. I’m here today to speak with you about my favorite Sandra Bullock movies, a topic I wasn’t too keen on discussing with anyone if I’m being frank. While I do enjoy a good Sandra Bullock movie, it’s not a subject I really discuss, considering most of my colleagues prefer independent films and documentaries. But now, well, I suppose the cat is out of the bag.

One of the reasons I love Sandra Bullock’s movies is because her characters are often quirky and typically act outside what is expected. Her characters are strong women, who defy whatever conventions are imposed upon them, and I admire Bullock for choosing those types of roles. Her movies give me hope that perhaps one day the women in my own family might follow suit.
So in honor of strong women everywhere and the hope they bring us all, here are the Sandra Bullock movies that made my top 3.

#3—The Proposal 

This movie is one of my all time favorites, and it’s not just because we get to see Ryan Reynolds, well, in almost his birthday suit. Sure, that is a nice draw to this movie as well as Betty White’s performance. Who doesn’t love our favorite Golden Girl? But in this movie Bullock plays tough-as-nails book editor Margaret who runs her office with an iron fist. That’s definitely something I can relate to, but what I find endearing about this film is how Bullock manages to soften Margaret’s hardened exterior as she faces deportation (back to Canada) and the loss of the career she has worked hard to build. In her desperation to remain in the country, Margaret “blackmails” her assistant played by Reynolds to marry her. What follows is a wonderful story about how the tough Margaret changes into the women she was always meant to be without losing any of the character’s fierceness. That’s definitely inspiring to me.

#2—The Blind Side

This movie is all kinds of wonderful and definitely deserves its second place ranking on my list. In this movie, Bullock plays Leigh Anne Tuohy, a strong southern woman and mother who basically adopts Michael Ohr, a young black man who has lived an extremely tough life. She takes him from the streets into her affluent home and lifestyle and doesn’t bat an eye at the sideways glances her family receives for opening their home to him. Bullock delivers a wonderful performance as her character treats Michael as if he is one of her own and loves him just as unconditionally. It’s a truly inspiring tale of the power of a mother’s love and devotion. 

#1—Miss Congeniality 

While this movie didn’t win an Academy Award, it still remains my favorite Sandra Bullock movie of all. Bullock plays FBI agent Gracie Hart, who is good at her job and doesn’t give two cents about how she looks. In fact, she goes to extreme measures to be just like one of the boys. Well, at least until a terrorist threatens the Miss Universe pageant, which sends Gracie undercover as one of the contestants. While Bullock’s character gets a major makeover, Bullock makes sure that her character doesn’t lose any of her strength or intelligence to the makeup and form-fitting dresses. This movies is so much fun from beginning to end, and that’s why it takes the number one spot on this list.

That brings me to the end of my list of Top 3 Favorite Sandra Bullock movies of all time. What did you think about my list? Did your favorite movie make the top 3? If not, let me know which one is your favorite. I’d love to talk about it. 


Cody Hayes had had some epic hangovers in his life. In college he’d woken up naked in front of his fraternity house after his brothers had decided to draw obscene pictures in Magic Marker all over his skin. It had taken him a week to finally scrub the many penises off his flesh. Then there was his twenty-first birthday, when his best friend, Sam Judd, convinced him he’d look good without eyebrows, or the time he’d sung “I Will Always Love You” to his college crush, the star quarterback for the Texas Longhorns. That had been a fun night of trying not to get his ass kicked.
There had been other moments like that throughout the thirty years of his life, but this one… well, this one took the cake.
He’d never woken up married before.
“We’re what?” his new husband asked before glancing at Cody’s hand. Cody quit fiddling with the wedding band and pointed to his finger.
Julian, his gasping groom, fixed his gaze on his own left hand. “Is this a joke?”
If only this was a prank cooked up by his scheming best friends, but neither of them was that lucky. Although Cody couldn’t quite remember everything at the moment thanks to the alcohol-induced fog that clouded his memories, he distinctly recalled walking into the twenty-four-hour chapel hand in hand with Julian and laughing all the way down the aisle. They certainly weren’t laughing now. “Nope. We’re hitched.”
“This—this can’t be happening,” Julian groaned, a look of panic seizing his dark, handsome features as he glanced at the white sheets wrapped around their bodies. “Am I—? Are we—? Did we—?”
Cody didn’t need Julian to finish his questions to know what he was asking. Clearly they’d been married long enough already for Cody to finish his thoughts. “Yes, yes, and—” He reached under the blankets. The head of his cock was raw, and when he cupped his balls, they ached as if he’d been slamming them hard against something all night. “Yes.”
Julian covered his mouth with his hand, and a second later he was a naked blur heading for the bathroom. Shortly after the door slammed, the magical sounds of violent retching echoed off the tiled walls.
Not exactly a stellar way to start off their lives together.

One Fine Day Series 

Undercover Boyfriend 
(One Fine Day Series #1)

Available in paperback


About The Author

Jacob Z. Flores lives a double life. During the day, he is a respected college English professor and mid-level administrator. At night and during his summer vacation, he loosens the tie and tosses aside the trendy sports coat to write man on man fiction, where the hard ass assessor of freshmen level composition turns his attention to the firm posteriors and other rigid appendages of the characters in his fictional world.

 Summers in Provincetown, Massachusetts, provide Jacob with inspiration for his fiction. The abundance of barely clothed man flesh and daily debauchery stimulates his personal muse.

When he isn’t stroking the keyboard, Jacob spends time with his daughter. They both represent a bright blue blip in an otherwise predominantly red swath in south Texas.

You can find Jacob at 



$50 Amazon Gift Card for the grand prize and 5 winners will win free copies from Author’s Dreamspinner back list.

Presented By

Saturday, October 22, 2016

A Thousand Word Thursday story from Devyn Morgan

Oh wow, looks like Devyn Morgan has an excerpt from a story to go with our handsome mountain man!  This comes from Shaft Season, which just shot up to the top of Mount TBR.

Trevor started slicing vegetables with one eye out the back window. Don, dressed in a jacket light enough to accommodate the exertion and still keep the wind out, was swinging his ax at an upright log. Trevor still wasn’t a reliable shot with the ax, so Don preferred to split the kindling rather than watch potential death and dismemberment in the back yard. Bandit and Sabrina snoozed in the corner, not caring if their humans did the work they did best.

Not that Don hadn’t taught Trevor all sorts of things, including his special elk roast method, but Trevor knew spices and dishes Don did not. If the turmeric had to be special ordered, Don ate it and marveled aloud that Trevor had been to Thailand.

Don came in with an armload of wood, pausing in the kitchen to shed his boots and kiss the cook. “What are we having?”

“Moussaka.” Don ate vegetables more to please Trevor than because he liked them, so the best bet was to slather them with meat. “It’s Greek.”

“Moose-saka? Montana Greek.” He headed into the living room to build the fire.

“Stick with me, fella, and you’ll eat the world.” He and Don had been around the world, a couple dozen times, and might do some more traveling tonight. Don would still sleep at home, because this town was full of Mrs. Grundies. Once, just once, Don had stayed overnight in town. Trevor had inquiries about it later from neighbors. Yes, Don was fine, no, he hadn’t plowed that long driveway, and yes, he was too tired to do it after a full day so I gave him a bed was true, but an excuse that worked better when synchronized with the winter storms. Not that there was any shortage of snow. But it was none of their business. Yes, he fucked me into the mattress—why do you ask?” in his deadliest polite voice had been on the tip of Trevor’s tongue.

“So, what happened good today?” Don asked once the fire was built, with his chin hooked over Trevor’s shoulder and arms around his waist.

“Got an e-mail from my agent. At least, I think it’s good. Haven’t read it yet.” A grocery run for moose-saka ingredients was much more important at that moment.

They did the kitchen quickstep, Don following along and never once touching a spoon. Trevor loved it, and had yet to wash a pot or pan he’d dirtied cooking for his new—lover? Was this what a proper lover did? Participate, and ask questions, and be interested in the answers? Antony had worked out or watched movies, or demanded to go out whenever Trevor offered to cook. What had he seen in the guy?

Antony hadn’t even managed to get killed off properly. Trevor hadn’t been able to concentrate on staking the bastard—hey, there was an idea, Antony the vampire, done in by— By—

The agent of doom had to be something Antony would loathe. A busty young woman in sparkling clothing? Note to self, work on plot.

No, his last two books had been romances: Lumberjacks in Love demanded to be written and had poured out of his keyboard. Same with Dog Trainers in Denial. Hey, the readers asked for more, and nobody but Trevor had ever yearned to see Antony bleed on the page. Even Don, who’d called Antony an idiot and a jerk, hadn’t asked for literary vengeance.

Shoveling everything into the baking dish, Trevor had to ask, “I want to kill off a character. What’s a good way to dispose of the body?”

“Don’t know where your character is, but around here I’d drop him down an old mine shaft.” Don helped Trevor bend over to shove the dish in the oven. “Killing him first is optional if it’s deep enough.”

Trevor stood up fast enough to clack Don’s teeth. “Good Lord, does this town have a really high murder rate?”

Don rubbed his jaw. “Not really. Everyone knows everyone, they keep track. That’s the upside of your neighbors knowing what’s cooking in your pot. Might need to write the cop as a federal agent and the victim as someone everyone wants gone.”

“I see.” Trevor could write the dedication page now. “Thanks to Don, the kindest man with the most bloodthirsty imagination”. Note to self, remember this: it would sell. “We have forty-five minutes to food. Sex first or e-mail first?”

Don grinned. “You’re dying to read that e-mail.”

Trevor snorted. “Sez you. Off with the clothes, cowboy.”


Dumped by his movie star boyfriend, writer Trevor Cunningham trades the glitz, glamour and pricey house in Hollywood for a quaint turn-of-the-century bungalow in Copper Bluff, Montana. This infuriated author’s going to write a gruesome death for his ex, a big change from his best-selling gay romances. Now, instead of fighting traffic on Melrose Avenue, Trevor's trying to chop firewood with his puggle Sabrina by his side.

Don Harper’s lived his whole life in this faded boom town. Need a house weatherproofed? Need a fence built? Have an old mine shaft open up? Call Don Harper! Don’s never been sure there are other men who want what he wants, but he spies books on Trevor’s shelves, books with men loving men.

The mutual attraction is there from the get-go, but how is a mountain man supposed to fit into a Hollywood kind of life? And how can Trevor realize he’s worth Don’s masculine attentions?

They’ll both find out when winter turns to spring. Because spring is shaft season.

Shaft Season by Devyn Morgan is a standalone novella with a first time relationship, a lovable designer dog, and an HEA.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Afterburn by E.Davies

Title: Afterburner
Author: E. Davies
Purchase or read on Kindle Unlimited at Amazon
Cover Artist: Resplendent Media
Genre: contemporary
Length: 60k Est
Formats MOBI

“This guy is boyfriend material.”

Santa Barbara firefighter Liam Knight is in hot water for showing up late after chasing yet another pretty guy into bed. It's just an accident—Liam's never let hookups get in the way of work before. He only agrees to therapy to keep the chief happy. When he bumps into a pretty guy working in the craft store below his apartment, Dylan seems like the perfect thing to relieve Liam's stress... until he catches Liam's interest and protective instinct, not just his eye.

“I'm not good enough for him.”

The only thing Dylan Waters needs less than the distraction of love is the alternative medicine his mother wants to foist him into. He's juggling part-time jobs at a therapy office and craft store while attending college to become an art therapist. Worse, he's about to transfer to a huge campus, but his childhood left him afraid of crowds. When hunky firefighter Liam blusters into his PTSD knitting support group, Dylan spots the familiar signs of a man hiding from his past, but he can't stop thinking about him.

“It was nothing. I thought I was over it.”

It's more than fleeting attraction between them, but Dylan's stubborn fear of help and Liam's low self-esteem are a deadly combination. When it all goes up in smoke, they only have themselves to blame. Can Liam get to Dylan in time to save him and the one relationship that could make him believe in love?

I enjoyed this opposites attract story—cute little twink Dylan who knits and freezes up in stressful situations with hunky fireman Liam, who sometimes thinks too much with his small head and not enough with his large one.

Except—are they so opposite? They’ve both got some issues going related to awful incidents in the past, and perhaps the biggest difference is how self-aware they are about how they’re coping. Because Liam’s trying hard not to think about some things that still bubble up to create havoc in his life. Dylan understands where his troubles originated, and is more than a little unhappy that understanding it doesn’t mean it all goes away.

The burn is slow, which is sweet—Liam isn’t one for a lot of small talk first, so getting to really know Dylan before dragging him off to bed is new for him, and hard to do well. He’s putting some effort into it, too. Overlap with the therapy his captain insists he have is a nice bonus, and it’s cute to watch him fight with the knitting needles which Dylan wields expertly.

They have a lot more to work through together and separately that it seems like at first blush, and when Liam pushes too hard on one of the sore spots, it’s enough to make Dylan run.

I liked the author’s style, but kept getting tripped up by assumptions that things work a certain way when it’s either unfamiliar and I just don’t know the details, or when it is familiar and it’s just a little off. Also, why is Dylan surprised by Liam being from Boston? Boston has an accent to give it away. So through the story there are little sprinkles of low level whut? that make it hard to stay immersed.

What started as a flirtation ends up going some really heavy places, and the guys really have to work for their HEA. The frequent thoughts of oh how cute disappear entirely at around the ¾ mark to go really serious, and the tone change was a little disconcerting. But I’m glad they got to their happiness. 4 marbles.

Friday, October 14, 2016

An interview with Roan --Release Day for Sunchaser (Smilodon Pride Book 2)

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Release Day
Sunchaser by Beryll & Osiris Brackhaus
Smilodon Pride, Book Two
Genre: Paranormal, Adventure
Length: Novel

Roan has pretended to be a human for long enough. He needs to get out of town and roam the land, as any proper werecat should.

The last thing he wants is his conscience insisting he should save an abused werewolf from a traveling circus first. The very last thing he expects is the local sheriff’s daughter having the exact same idea - and beating him to the punch.

Their rescue goes spectacularly wrong, and suddenly Roan, Betsy and their crippled wolf find themselves fleeing across the US for the Mexican border, chased by the police and vengeful circus fey alike.

Sunchaser is a non-romance, road-movie-ish urban fantasy adventure novel about a werecat drifter, a wide-eyed human girl and a defective werewolf learning that sometimes, family really is the ones you didn’t pick.


Welcome, Roan, aka Sunchaser, the sabre-toothed werepanther star of Sunchaser, Smilodon Pride Book 2. His story is available now, and he's here to tell us a little about himself.

Hi, Roan! So glad you could join us today! You’ve been having all sorts of adventures lately, and we’d love to hear more about you.  Please, tell us how you’d like us to say your name.

Hi, and thanks for having me here today. It’s pronounced ‘Rown’, somewhat like ‘rowing’. Though I don’t care much – if I listen up when you call my name, you said it right.

Tell us a little about growing up with three werepanther siblings. Did you pounce on each other a lot? What were your favorite games?

We were quite the handful. We did pretty much everything normal cat kittens would do, only that we were big enough to bowl over an adult human quite early on. Me, Deidre and Connor loved chasing each other all over the place. Connor was always a really good climber, so he'd be up in a tree with me and Deidre trying to reach him. Deidre used to be a real brawler, before she grew up to be as pretty as she is now. Angus, well, he was always different. He loved just sitting somewhere and watching the world go by. Especially birds. He's a veggie, sort of - he doesn't eat birds. Loves them to pieces. That's why we call him Birdfeeder, obviously. One time Deidre ate one of his favorite birds and he STILL doesn't shut up about it today.

How old were you when you first shifted? Was it human to panther or panther to human? What was the strangest thing about your new shape?

We were born in our panther shape. I think I was about two years old when I first shifted? Something like that. I don't really remember what it was like, but my father loves to tell the story about it, when he suddenly had a naked boy crawling out of the house, entirely unconcerned that his human shape was not as sturdy. According to him, it didn't take me long to figure out that hands and fingers do have some advantages and after that, I was even harder to keep an eye on. Connor was actually the last of us to shift. Funny, since he now seems to enjoy his human form most. But he's always been really cuddly with humans. Little Softpaw.

Do other animals recognize the feline part of you when you’re in human shape? How do they react?

That depends very much on how smart they are. Other cats always know. Most prey animals, too. Horses are funny. The smart ones get it and get nervous, while the dumb ones just stand there and ignore you. Dogs barely ever notice. Dumb mutts. Birds too. Really stupid.
This handsome fellow is Roan’s brother Connor.  Those are some fearsome fangs! Are yours that long? How are they for hunting?

Connor is actually the smallest of our litter. In panther-form, that is. Deidre is the biggest, ‘cause females are generally bigger than males in our family. We don't talk about her teeth, though, for... reasons... I'm a little smaller than Deidre, and Angus is somewhere between me and Connor. And yes, those sabreteeth are awesome for hunting. Well, for the killing bite. To bring prey down, we use our claws. Occasionally, those teeth do get in the way when you sit down and eat what you killed, but that’s really minor.  Mostly, those teeth are just super-impressive, getting you the respect and admiration you deserve. *adds a toothy grin*

Your book cover has a picture of you and your buddies Betsy and Martin. Do you ever groom them when you’re shifted? How do they feel about that?

I only groom Martin and only when I'm feeling very generous. And he better be very grateful when I do. Betsy's skin is too soft for a proper grooming. I tried grooming her hair once, though that was just a mess. Not doing that ever again. She gives great belly rubs, and that’s about all she does when we’re lying in a pile. And she washes Martin, cause Wolves apparently don't groom much? Or at least he doesn't.  
I'll be reviewing Sunchaser here in the enxt couple of days, but it's not a spoiler to say it was a great read. It's not m/m romance, but it's a super read for urban fantasy, so set your expectations on danger and adventure, and get a copy here.

Buy Links
Amazon US: 
Amazon UK:
Amazon DE:
Amazon AU:

Prizes: 2 ecopies of Softpaw, Smilodon Pride, Book One
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Start your journey with Book One in the Smilodon Pride series:
Softpaw: Reviewed here with 5 marbles

Connor’s life used to be the dream of any cultured werecat. He spent his days in Paris’ gay quarter with comfortably little real work, playing the piano, surrounded by art, fine food and good friends. Now, a feral vampire preys on the prostitutes of ‘his’ quarter, killing the boys of the Marais one by one.

When Connor invites a newly arrived hooker to stay on his houseboat, the last thing he expects is Michel to be a member of the Brigade Criminelle - a troubled, hunky rookie cop sent undercover to explore Connor’s connection to the murders, picked mostly because he had been a boy of the Marais himself, not so long ago.

Hiding their true natures becomes a problem for both when their initial attraction becomes much more than they ever thought possible. But in order to bring down the serial killer and maybe have a chance at making their relationship work out, one of them will have to take the first, critical leap...
Amazon US:
Amazon UK
B & N: 

About the authors

Beryll and Osiris Brackhaus are a couple currently living their happily ever after in the very heart of Germany, under the stern but loving surveillance of their cat.

Both of them are voracious but picky readers, they love telling stories and drinking tea, good food and the occasional violent movie. Together, they write novels of adventure and romance, hoping to share a little of their happiness with their readers.

An artist by heart, Beryll wrote stories even before she knew what letters were. As easily inspired as she is frustrated, her own work is never good enough (in her eyes). A perfectionist in the best and worst sense of the word and the driving creative force of the duo.

An entertainer and craftsman in his approach to writing, Osiris is the down-to-earth, practical part of the team. Broadly interested in almost every subject and skill, with a sunny mood and caring personality, he strives to bring the human nature into focus of each of his stories.


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Thursday, October 13, 2016

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Blind Date by Kate Doherty

Title: Blind Date
Author: Kay Doherty
Purchase at Amazon
Purchase at All Romance eBooks
Cover Artist: Natasha Snow
Genre: contemporary
Length: 42k (novella)
Formats mobi, epub, pdf

Dekker Callan is content with his life though he knows something is missing. Wanting the kind of love his friends share with their partners, Dekker is talked into taking part in a modeling and dating show as part of a fundraiser. He immediately falls in love with the anonymous, sexy voice on the other side of the wall, but fate has a surprise in store–his mystery man isn’t single.

Slade Gannon wasn’t supposed to take part in the dating show. That spot was for his roommate, Phil, who becomes ill and asks Slade to take his place. Slade has just recently gone through a breakup with his cheating boyfriend, George. Shocked and pleased when he wins the interest of handsome Dekker Callan, before he can go on the obligatory blind date, his ex asks for a second chance. Believing Dekker can’t possibly be as good on the inside as he looks on the outside, Slade agrees.

Dekker and Slade hit it off immediately, drawn to each other despite Slade being involved with someone else. They finally get their opportunity to be together when Slade finds out his boyfriend is still cheating, but just as they seem to discover the happiness they’ve been waiting for, George throws them one last hurdle—and this one may prove to be insurmountable.

After that blurb, there’s not a lot I can do to spoil this story…

And I should have read the blurb and backed away slowly.

Because when someone shows you who they are, you should believe them. The first time.

Slade doesn’t. He kicked the asshat George to the curb for a reason, but takes him back, and for no apparent reason. Unless he’s that terrified of being single for twenty minutes, which reads more like 14 year old girl than grown man, because he has this wonderful date scheduled with an apparently wonderful guy that he REALLY REALLY WANTED. But no, instead of going out and having a good time and seeing where it goes, let’s take the shithead back.

And…. It goes downhill from there. Very little Slade did reversed my opinion to make me believe he’s a functioning adult.

Also, Dekker should have been paying attention to who Slade’s saying he is, and backed away fast. Kudos for Slade being a man of his word, and OMGWTFBBQ on everything else.

I didn’t like any of the characters, and I couldn’t buy in to the situations, because things went from irritating to over the top. So while this book had some strong points, like Dekker’s ideas for a date, and the writing style as a whole, I spent far too much reading time yelling at the Kindle. 2 marbles

Saturday, October 8, 2016

The Knight of Flames by Amelia Faulkner

Title: The Knight of Flames
Author: Amelia Faulkner
Purchase at Amazon
Cover Artist: Satyr Designs
Genre: paranormal
Length: 460 pages
Formats Mobi, Print

Headstrong. Telekinetic. Pariah.

On the run from his family, Quentin d’Arcy has settled in San Diego with dwindling funds and the growing suspicion that his gifts might not be limited to telekinesis. When he meets a psychic who can control people’s actions with a few words, his comfortable life starts to unravel.

Demigod. Oracle. Hunter.

Laurence Riley almost died killing one god only to discover that he’s descended from another. Before he can come to terms with that revelation, Quentin’s twin brother walks into his life, and there’s no way to know what his motives may be.

With great power comes great danger.

Kane Wilson wants to make a better world: a world in which psychics are open about who and what they are without fear of reprisal or hatred. With the power to control others he might be able to pull it off, but there’s going to be collateral damage.

If Quentin and Laurence can’t get to the bottom of Wilson’s plan, Kane will out the existence of psychics not only to San Diego but to the world, and all hell will break loose.

Knight of Flames is the second book in the Inheritance series and contains mature themes and events which may be distressing to some readers. It has a mild heat rating and an HFN ending.

I really enjoyed the first book in this series. Getting another look at the adventures and the very slow burn between Quentin and Laurence just made my day.

Both of them have been working very hard to gain more mastery over their powers. Neither of them have considered if there are others with this kind of gift. When Quentin meets another high-level psychic, they have to reevaluate everything they’ve been doing, because what if they don’t all want the same things?

We found in book one that Quentin wants to be as far away from his father as possible, and he’s terrified of being forced to go home. So the appearance of his twin brother Frederick is definitely not the most welcome surprise. Worldly in a way Quentin is not, Freddy’s both a huge help and an unknown quantity, and essential to getting out of this mess with life and limb. He’s an interesting guy, with layers, and a slight whiff of Peter Wimsey.

There’s something of an “X-Men on crack” situation going here, which takes everyone’s best efforts to solve. It works out in a unique way, and I was biting cuticles while it played out.  Lots of secondary characters, who are quite vivid and have their own issues playing out in the background. One situation confused me at first but Kane’s playing a long game.

Quentin is still working out this whole intimacy thing, but he’s doing quite well, considering. He and Laurence take a twist on this I wasn’t expecting, but if it keeps Quentin level, I’m all for it. The slow burn from book one has dialed up a few degrees. Just a few, but Laurence is happy, Quentin is happy, and therefore so am I.

This series has a high ratio of plot to romance, which is just the way I like it best, and I can hardly wait for the next book. 5 marbles

Friday, October 7, 2016

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Settling the Score by Eden Winters, Review, excerpt, giveaway

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Title: Settling the Score
Author: Eden Winters
Publisher: Rocky Ridge Books
Release Date: 10/6/2016
Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 86,000 words
Genre: Romance, Humor, Age Difference, Movie Star, Author, Small Town, Mechanic, Getting Even

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Outed and dumped on national television by his rising star boyfriend, Joey Nichols must face the bigotry of the locals in his small Southern town alone. His dreams of a happy ever after lie crushed at his feet.

Novelist Troy Steele has an axe to grind against Hollywood heartbreaker types. Transforming Joey into a gorgeous, unobtainable hunk would be payback worthy of Troy’s poison pen. It's a brilliant way to get back at Joey’s image-obsessed ex-boyfriend and the movie producer who’s mutilating Troy’s novels.

What begins as simple revenge may tangle them together in something far more complicated. Living well may be the best revenge, but Troy and Joey could rewrite that to loving well.

Review by Cryselle

Oh happy day!  Settling the Score was one of my favorites when it came out in the first edition, and put Eden Winters on top of my favorite author list. I'm so glad this book is getting another edition, it's been out of print.

So of course I needed the new version, because this is one of my 'read again when I'm tired or sad and need a favorite' books. I had to see what might have changed.

Here's the thing, I know something is different, but going through and finding exactly what would be hard on the magic spell this Pygmalion story weaves. So I read and enjoyed, and what I got was the classic Eden Winters Southern flavored storytelling, only better. Whatever happened to this book between then and now just added smoothness and style. Joey still gets his heart stomped, he still needs to mess with that old pickup truck, he still notices that Troy is a much better man than Riker could ever be. And Troy still has to earn his shot at love.

A lot of the story is devoted to the way Joey's world crumbles. It's not quite proportioned like a romance, but that's fine, we need to see what kind of wreckage he's coming out of. And man, what a wreck. I needed karma to crush Riker so bad. Joey's too nice to be actively nasty, but I'm not. I wanted to reach into the book and shave half of Riker's head for him.

The score is definitely settled at the end of this story, but Troy and Joey are almost too busy being happy to notice. Because any vindictiveness gets burned away in what they're actually accomplishing, Which is why I go back to this story, we have genuinely good people doing what's right, even if its cross purposes and manages to stick it to people who need sticking. This is some great storytelling.
Five marbles then, five marbles now.


The Nichols’ dining room table could easily seat six people if it weren’t covered with business records, homework, and car parts. Instead of clearing it off, the family assembled in the living room, parents on the couch, Joey and his sisters on the floor. Overloaded plates balanced on each lap.

“Hush, it’s starting,” Joey’s mom warned, mostly to thirteen-year-old Stacey.

“Oops! Gotta go!” Stacey disconnected her call and dropped her phone onto the floor.

Joey and Jackie were quiet already, Joey afraid he’d miss something important if he so much as blinked.

Ten years separated him and his twin from Stacey. Mom often joked that it had taken her that long to forget the horrors of giving birth enough to try again.

Dad blamed his cousin’s homebrew.

“Good evening, I’m Evelyn Hugh. Welcome to Hollywood Seen. Tonight’s hottie, err, I mean, hot story”—the show’s hostess began, grin unapologetic—“is a young man who’s got all of Hollywood talking. Riker Sanderson has what it takes to survive in this town: looks, talent, and a legion of screaming fans.”

On cue, the camera focused on the audience, where the legion, mostly young and female, chanted, “Riker! Riker!”

“Sorry to disappoint you girls. Rumor has it that Mr. Sanderson is taken.” Evelyn pouted for the camera. “Or is he? Joining me tonight is none other than Riker Sanderson, star of the action thriller, Something to Die For.”

Taken? Joey swallowed hard. Surely she couldn’t mean...

The camera zoomed out, showing the beautiful man who’d stolen his heart and who’d shared his apartment up until a few months ago. Riker, more muscled thanks to a heavy training routine for the movie, sported gold highlights in his now much shorter hair. He looked downright sinful in tight-fitting T-shirt and jeans.

Joey idly toyed with the silver band on his middle finger, a nervous habit, before noticing its mate missing from Riker’s hand. Maybe he’d taken it off for the movie. It didn’t mean anything. No, nothing at all.

All worries disappeared when Riker slowly raised a simmering gaze to the camera. Something clenched deep in Joey’s insides. Those dark eyes hypnotized him, even if they were on a TV screen and not actually in the room. Bedroom eyes intense enough to cause instant paralysis. How many times had Joey lost himself in them, lying in a sweaty, satisfied tangle with Riker?

“Thank you for joining us,” the bleached-blonde hostess gushed, a woman Big Joe said gave him gout.

“Why does she do that to her hair?” Mom asked. “She’s ruined it.” She added the tried and true statement guaranteed to grant forgiveness for any unkindness spoken by a Southerner: “Bless her heart.”

With her whiney voice and constant fawning, Evelyn Hugh reminded Joey of one of the teenaged fans. “I can call you Riker, can’t I?”

“Sure, if I can call you Evelyn.” Her ordinary name sounded exotic when spoken in Riker’s deep tones. That was his gift. He could make anyone feel like the most important person on the planet just by talking to them. Joey had warmed himself by Riker’s fire on many a cold winter’s night.

“I loved you in the romantic comedy, Trying the Knot, filmed in your home state of Georgia. Although only a minor supporting role, your portrayal of the obnoxious cousin at the wedding turned out to be a real scene-stealer and resulted in your big break, didn’t it?”

Riker hadn’t really wanted the cousin role that required him to wear a fat suit and play a backwoods redneck, even if he’d had to beat out a lot of other hopefuls for the part.

“Well, Evelyn,”—Riker turned puppy dog eyes on the hostess—“I’d originally auditioned for the role of Chuck.”

“The pain-in-the-ass playboy who seduced several bridesmaids? Oh, you’re too sweet to play such a cad.”

“You’re too kind.”

A better-known actor had won the honors of playing asshole Chuck. Riker had stormed around the apartment for days.

Riker smiled like he’d hit the jackpot by missing the role. “Actually, I found the cousin part more intriguing. I mean, it stretched my acting skills to play someone so unlike myself.”

“Oh, please, I’m trying to eat here,” Jackie spat.

Joey flashed her a quick evil eye and went back to watching TV.

What a tantrum Riker had thrown about “playing a hick nobody.” In the end he took the money, and assurances from his agent of appearing with a few big stars being a good career move and a way to get noticed.

But he’d done the part enough justice to bring Hollywood knocking.

“What an amazing experience,” the man of Joey’s dreams replied, though that’s not what he’d called it to friends. “It really helped me grow as an actor.” He’d privately referred to the part as beneath someone of his talent and his own personal hell.

“What’s it like working with powerhouse actress Clair Clancy?”

Joey lost the battle to keep a straight face. He’d gotten more earfuls about “Clair, the air-headed bitch.” She’d only spoken to Riker twice during filming when their roles overlapped.

Onscreen, Riker described her as, “An amazing actress. A true professional.” He waved at the camera. “Congrats on the birth of your little girl, Clair. You’ll be an amazing mother.” This from the man who’d wanted to pass a law making it illegal for the woman to breed. Wow, what a good actor. For a moment even Joey believed him.

“In a real-life Cinderella story, a relatively unknown actor is chosen for the lead role of Mitchell Keller in the biggest film of the year. How’s that working out for you?” Evelyn leaned her head on Riker’s shoulder, eyeing him through batting lashes. How dare she? She needed to back off.

A punch to the shoulder brought Joey back to reality, breathing hard and fingernails digging into the palms of his clenched fists.

“She does that with everybody,” Jackie murmured. “What’s your problem, anyway?”

Joey took a deep breath and let it out slowly, a flush creeping up his cheeks.

After what could have been two years, or more probably, two seconds, Riker answered, “It’s really amazing.”

“Doesn’t he know any adjectives besides amazing?” Stacey cut in. “I mean, really! He’s an actor, he’s supposed to be good with words.” Oops, the last holdout in the family swayed to the “We don’t like Riker” side.

Joey ignored her. He’d show them. Soon he’d be living the good life, basking in the California sun. He and Riker had even talked about getting married.

“...and my producer, Ian Hagan, is amazing,” Riker was saying.

Stacey made an “I told you so” face.

Their mother swatted her arm, nipping in the bud whatever sarcastic remark she’d been about to sling.

Riker plowed on. “He took a huge chance in hiring an unknown for such a major role, and I’m grateful he believes in me. I’ve done everything I can to make sure he doesn’t regret taking a risk. We’ve wrapped up the final scenes. Now it’s in post-production, where they’ll add the Hollywood magic.”

What? Riker said a few hours ago that they were still shooting. Well, maybe they had to reshoot some parts.

“Oh, that’s fabulous.” Evelyn’s fake smile lost its battle to look sincere.

Joey knew how she felt. The standing local rule: Never mention acting around Riker unless you had a least an hour and didn’t mind listening. Folks in town phrased their words very carefully.

“Now, Riker, I know you’ve heard the rumors and seen the pictures posted on the Internet of yourself with someone who is apparently very close to you.”

Joey’s heart pounded and his ears rang. Rumors? Pictures? He peeped over at Jackie, who sat up straighter and put her plate down on the floor.

The smile fled Riker’s face, and he wore the same pleading expression he’d used to get out of cooking. “Yes, I have. For the record, I’d like to state that my personal life isn’t anyone else’s business.”

Oh, shit! What had they found out?

“Breathe, Joey,” Jackie urged.

No matter how he tried, Joey couldn’t, because Evelyn dropped a bomb. “Are you gay?”

Oh, my God! They’d been careful since Riker signed the movie deal. How had anyone suspected? Sure, in a few months maybe, when they were ready. Not now!

Jackie stiffened and Joey held his breath.

“Yes, Evelyn, I am.” Riker sighed, his anguished eyes filling with tears. Joey had never seen anyone who could cry on demand quite so convincingly, not even Stacey. “I’m not ashamed of being a gay American, and I don’t see how my orientation has any bearing on my acting ability.”

“I knew it!” Stacey shrieked. Jackie shushed her. Joey ignored her again.

Evelyn scented blood and went for the throat—her trademark. “The man shown with you in the pictures, is he your boyfriend?”

Man in the pictures? Boyfriend? Surely it couldn’t be... Who the hell were they talking about? If it wouldn’t have given too much away, Joey would have made a mad dash to his parent’s aging computer to find out. Evelyn Hugh moved much too slowly. Stomach too queasy to eat, Joey plopped his uneaten meal down on the coffee table.

Riker sat quietly gazing into the camera and Joey almost heard the wheels turning under that mop of highlighted hair. Finally, his lover became his ex-lover with the casually spoken, “I guess you could say we were in a relationship at the time. Nothing serious. We’ve decided to cool things down while I focus on my career.”

What!? Nothing really serious?! Joey gaped at the screen, a flash fire creeping up his cheeks all the way to his ears. Did Riker mean him? A boulder formed in his throat.

They’d talked about forever. He gasped for breath, unable to turn away from the train wreck of his life unfolding on national television.

“Yes, it’s true.” Riker used the same sorrowful tone the hick cousin had during a big scene in Trying the Knot. “I mean, he’s back home, I’m here. It wouldn’t work out.”

Jackie might have snapped, “Oh, cry me a river!” Joey was too caught up in his own personal drama to know for sure.

He knows I’m watching! He knows I’m seeing this! Why is he coming out now? Why couldn’t he tell the nosy woman it’s none of her damned business?

Riker focused directly on the camera, as if seeking Joey out. “Yeah, we kind of grew out of each other. It’s time to move on.”

“I certainly appreciate your candor, and I’m sure there’s plenty of people around town willing to keep you company.” Evelyn sat up, patting at her hair. “We all look forward to your upcoming movie. It’s sure to be a blockbuster. Thank you for joining us.”

Joey dared not dart out of the room like he wanted to and give too much away. At the moment the family only knew that he’d had a gay roommate. Should he act surprised?

The camera left Riker and zoomed in on the hostess. Joey saw her through a glaze of tears and fears. “Remember that you heard it first on Hollywood Seen.” Her goofy grin dimmed a few watts. “Now, here’s another Hollywood Seen exclusive, the photographs that started it all. Last month they began circling the Internet. Until tonight, spokesmen for Mr. Sanderson firmly denied their authenticity. A pity, really. They made such a handsome couple, don’t you agree?”

Joey’s reality crumbled, replaced by a nightmare. The TV screen filled completely with an image of Riker and himself dancing at the club in Atlanta, Riker’s leg wedged between Joey’s, Joey’s mouth locked to his lover’s neck and his crotch pressed against Riker’s denim-covered thigh.

Oh dear God! He looked like a humping vampire!

The image lasted forever. Enough already, take it down! He’d been stripped naked. Laid bare, all his deepest, darkest secrets exposed.

Calm down, no one can tell it’s you. Maybe they’ll think it’s someone out in Hollywood. That hope dashed to pieces with another picture, probably taken shortly after the first. In it, Joey and Riker both faced the camera. The hostess delivered the killing blow. “Our sources tell us that the man in the picture with Riker Sanderson is Joseph Nichols, Jr., with whom Riker lived in Georgia before moving to California.”

Joey fumbled his cell phone out of his pocket and barely managed to hit the right number. Instead of one of the ever-changing heavy-metal ringtones Riker used, a recorded message stated flatly, “The number you have dialed has been disconnected...”


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Meet the Author

Author AvatarYou will know Eden Winters by her distinctive white plumage and exuberant cry of “Hey, y’all!” in a Southern US drawl so thick it renders even the simplest of words unrecognizable. Watch out, she hugs!

Driven by insatiable curiosity, she possibly holds the world’s record for curriculum changes to the point that she’s never quite earned a degree but is a force to be reckoned with at Trivial Pursuit.

She’s trudged down hallways with police detectives, learned to disarm knife-wielding bad guys, and witnessed the correct way to blow doors off buildings. Her e-mail contains various snippets of forensic wisdom, such as “What would a dead body left in a Mexican drug tunnel look like after six months?” In the process of her adventures she has written sixteen m/m romance novels, has won several Rainbow Awards, was a Lambda Awards Finalist, and lives in terror of authorities showing up at her door to question her Internet searches.

When not putting characters in dangerous situations she’s a mild-mannered business executive, mother, grandmother, vegetarian, and PFLAG activist.

Her natural habitats are airports, coffee shops, and on the backs of motorcycles.

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