Category Archives: Author Interview

4.5 and 3.5 Stars for Miracle on Mistletoe Lane by Derrick Knight – #MM #Romance @derrknight

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Title: Miracle on Mistletoe Lane
Author Name: Derrick Knight
Publication Date: October 20, 2014 –

Synopsis

Joe Koehler and his six-year old son, Joey, are down on their luck. Currently, Joe is unemployed due to a bad economy and taking care of a medically complex son. Recently father and son became homeless due to their apartment catching on fire and Joe being without any insurance. They are forced to live in Joe’s old red pick-up truck. Eventually father and son take refuge at Hope House, a local homeless shelter, which is run by a kindly, yet mysterious, elderly woman named Emily.

Sidney Maier recently inherited his grandparents home but the house is in desperate need of repair. Skills Sidney greatly lacks. He befriends a fellow church member Emily who is the Interim Director at Hope House. Sidney tells Emily that he needs help with remodeling his new home. Also, he confides in her, that he is lonely and wishes he could meet someone special.

Emily and her assistants orchestrate for Joe and Sidney to meet where an instant attraction forms between both men. Joe and Sidney embark on a journey of courtship, but soon a negative force learns of their budding romance and wants to stop it at any cost. Emily and her assistants must all use their special talents if Joe and Sidney are meant to live happily ever after.

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Review

FourandHalfStars

This was a warm and cozy Christmas read, with all the magic associated with the holiday.  The author had me believing in miracles.
Joe was a lonely dad down on his luck, if something could go wrong it did for him and his son Joey.  The author had you hoping good things would happen to  them.  Sidney was a man looking for a permanent relationship, who had a horrible friend, Glen.  I loved Emily and all her friends, their part of the story was adorable.  The characters truly came alive in this story.
The story was well written and flowed easily. It was a perfect light hearted Christmas read to help you believe in miracles. I enjoyed it very much.
Sherry

ThreeandHalfStars

This was a cute story that sometimes had me laughing and other times had me saying, “Awww.” It was a relatively quick, fun read for a full-length novel.
Although the writing was so-so, the plot was entertaining enough to make up for it fairly well. I enjoyed the two main characters, Joe and Sidney, but I especially loved Joe’s son Joey and Emily and her crew. I actually felt that some of the side characters were better developed than the central ones.
My one main concern was with the sex scenes. I’m a pretty big fan of sex when it fits the context of the story, but here, I really felt that it didn’t. It drew me out of rather than further into the story. For the most part, the story had the feel of a sweet Hallmark Christmas romance–which, honestly, I loved. I think the words spent on Joe and Sidney’s intimacy would have been better used in developing them as people or showing us more “behind the scenes” of Emily and her helpers.
On a similar note, the sex scenes were also only so-so. I thought there were some odd metaphors (like comparing it to National Geographic…that was a little strange). I couldn’t tell how much was tongue-in-cheek and how much was serious.
At the same time, there were plenty of very obviously funny moments (Sidney’s payback to his friend Glen for being a jerk was absolutely one of my favorite scenes in any story ever, but I refuse to spoil it for readers; I swear I laughed for a good 30 minutes). I adored Emily and there was plenty of good-natured humor on her part, too. The end was a bit cheesy, but it definitely fit the overall tone.
To be honest, I would love to see the author write another story about Emily and Company helping another sweet couple on their way to happiness. If that ever happens, count me in to read it.
3.5 stars
Amy

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AuthorInterview

What was the inspiration for all the complications in this story?  The medical challenges, the economic challenges and more?

Unfortunately too many good families have been negatively affected by this stagnant economy.  All of us know someone whose life has been dramatically impacted and have lost their homes due to foreclosure and losing their jobs after years of being a dedicated employee.
In 2013 I remember watching a documentary on the Food Network about hunger in America.  One of the families was a single dad and his son.  The dad had recently lost his job.  He talked about the financial hardships. His young son had such a positive outlook on life given their life hardships.  I think partly inspired me to create the “Joey” character in my story.  In my story, Joey understands that his dad and him are homeless but thinks of their plight as an adventure.
Since I work in a Children’s hospital with medically complex kids, I thought my knowledge and experience could bring an unique quality to the story.

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Excerpt

When Joe lifted his head, he saw the man he had been fantasizing about since Joey was discharged from the hospital. He quickly stood up then nervously swayed back and forth. Partly because he was nervous seeing the man whom he secretly desired, but also because he did not want Sidney to know that he was living here at a homeless shelter. He did not want Sidney’s pity.

“Oh, I…” Joe struggled to find the right words.

“The church hired Mr. Koehler to finish remodeling our library,” Emily said smoothly. “We needed someone right away and by the Lord’s work Mr. Koehler was available. My assistants and I think he is a Godsend.”

Emily’s cell phone began to ring. “I need to take this call. It’s my husband.” She looked at Joe. “Would you be willing to give Mr. Maier a tour of Hope House while I take this call?”

Before Joe could respond, Sidney interjected.

“I would like that very much.”

The excitement in Sidney’s voice did not go unnoticed by either Joe or Emily.

“Good,” Emily said, taking her husband’s call as she walked away.

For a few moments Joe and Sidney just stared at each other, both men wanting to say something but too afraid. Finally, Joe mustered up the courage to start the conversation.

AuthorBio

Derrick Knight was born and grew up in Janesville, Wisconsin. Derrick earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition from the University of Wisconsin-Stout and a Master’s Degree in Health Services Administration from University of St. Francis in Joliet, Illinois. For the last seventeen years, Derrick has been employed as a neonatal nutritionist in a neonatal intensive care unit at the largest teaching hospital in Illinois outside of Chicago.

Growing up Derrick was an avid reader of mystery novels. Agatha Christie was his favorite author. Ever since childhood Derrick dreamed of becoming a writer. He planned on writing mystery novels until a couple of years ago he read his first gay romance novel and he became hooked on the genre.

When Derrick is not writing, he is working on restoring his Arts & Crafts home, tending to his garden, and being an advocate for improving infant nutrition. Currently. Derrick resides in Peoria, Illinois with his two cats Iris and Madison Grace.

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4 Stars for Saving Crofton Hall by Rebecca Cohen #AuthorInterview #MM #Romance @R_Cohen_Writes

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Title: Saving Crofton Hall
Author Name: Rebecca Cohen
Publication Date & Length: November 24, 2014 — 240 pgs

Synopsis

Benjamin Redbourn, Earl of Crofton, has no intention of giving up his beloved ancestral home without a fight. Faced with his mother’s gambling debts, forgery, and the possibility of foreclosure by the bank, Ben vows to make Crofton Hall pay for herself. But opening an Elizabethan manor house to the public isn’t a one man job. With time running out, Ben needs help—and fast.

Ashley Niven has experience managing events, and he also loves history. Being in charge of opening Crofton Hall is a dream come true. As he works with Ben to prepare the house as a venue for lavish weddings and receptions, Ashley finds himself drawn not just to the charm of the house but to the dashing Earl of Crofton. Even if Ashley can look past Ben’s playboy reputation, he fears an affair could prove too much of a distraction.

But Crofton Hall has many secrets, and something hidden for over four hundred years is about to change all their lives.

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 ReviewFourStars

Saving Crofton Hall is an utter delight. Ben Redbourn is the dashing hero, and sexy cad, that is trying to save his family’s fortune. Ashley Niven is the wedding planner of his dreams. It’s a book that’s not totally shallow, and not totally serious.
The British voices that come through are lovely. This modern, gay(er) Downton Abbey has style and pomp and circumstance; And lots of humor. I found myself grinning through the whole book, and I teared up at one small, defiant scene of social justice and good graces.
This book is great for curling up under the covers for in a warm bath. It’s not erotica by any accounts, just a nice story with some good times at the end, and that’s perfectly okay.
~C. E. Case

 

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Excerpt

“How much?”

She wouldn’t meet his eye.

“Mum!”

“Just short of five million to the bank.”

Ben lost his balance and landed heavily on his arse in a nearby chair.

“How the hell did you manage that? I only agreed to borrow five hundred thousand, and that was for essential repairs, and the estate could easily repay the loan in ten years.”

“I approached the bank with a business case for a visitor attraction. They were very enthusiastic.”

“What gave you the right?”

“Your father left us both in charge of Crofton Hall, Benjamin,” she said sharply.

He glowered at her and she deflated.

“I needed the money, and the only way I could get it was to tell the bank I wanted to open Crofton Hall to the public.”

“And they agreed to lend the money without my permission?” he asked carefully, hardly believing his mother’s audacity, but getting the feeling he knew what she was going to say next.

“They might have been under the impression that you’d agreed to it, and I was acting on both our behalves.”

“Really. And how would they have thought that?”

“Your signature isn’t exactly hard to copy.”

Ben covered his face with his hands, understanding what his mother had done.

“I know I shouldn’t have, not without your permission, but I was desperate. And the bank thought our business plan was excellent.”

He looked up at her. Elena’s eyes were red from crying, but there was still an edge of defiance in her face. “How much is left?”

She shrugged. “A few thousand, maybe.”

“And you used Crofton Hall as security?”

“Yes.”

The anger flashed through him, burning through his usual amicable nature. “How could you have been so stupid? Were you even thinking past your own selfishness?”

Elena cowered in her seat.

“You’ve ruined us, destroyed this family!”

“I didn’t mean—”

Ben didn’t want to hear her feeble excuses. “Oh, that’s all right, then. We’ll tell the bank, you didn’t mean it, and they’ll forget all about it.”

Ben reined in his anger. Taking deep, slow breaths, he clenched and unclenched his fists as he regained his calm. He watched Catlin pace up and down. Harry stood slumped against the fireplace, shell-shocked. Now was not the time to panic. He needed to know exactly how much trouble they were in and deal with it. “Get me the paperwork.”

Without argument, Elena jumped to her feet and scurried over to the writing bureau in the corner. From the folds of frills and ruffles of her blouse, she fished out a key on a chain and unlocked the bureau. She drew out a sheaf of paper. “It’s all here.”

“Right, let’s hope my economics degree wasn’t for nothing.” Ben snatched the papers. “I suggest you all keep your distance until I’ve finished reading.”

He sank into a chair by the unlit fireplace, blocking out the angry thoughts as he scanned sheet after sheet. The figures danced before his eyes, and he saw the terms and conditions his mother had agreed to. The interest, compound interest, and payback terms were listed and categorized in black and white with no way of denying the facts. They were in deep shit, the bank would be at the door within weeks, and Ben seethed internally at his mother’s gall.

The effort she’d put into defrauding the bank was amazing, the business case had been full of fine details and promised an excellent return, but little help would that do them now.

Unless….

Ben stared around the sitting room; generations of Redbourns had sat in here. Men who’d fought at Blenheim, Waterloo, and El Alamein —they would never have given in and surrendered Crofton Hall in the face of adversity. And it wasn’t about to happen while Ben was Earl of Crofton either. As much as he wanted to rail against it, their only hope was to convince the bank they were following through with the idea of opening the house to the public.

“We can probably sell the London apartment. That’ll raise around two million. Our trust funds are protected, so we can’t release the equity from those. If we’ve any hope of holding on to her, Crofton Hall is going have to earn her keep.”

AuthorBio

Rebecca Cohen is a Brit abroad. Having swapped the Thames for the Rhine, she has left London behind and now lives with her husband and baby son in Basel, Switzerland. She can often be found with a pen in one hand and a cup of Darjeeling in the other.

AuthorInterview

What motivated you to start writing?

I wrote a lot as I was growing up but stopped when I went to university and pursued a career in science. In my late twenties I needed something to fire up my creativity and I got an idea for a story that wouldn’t leave me alone, so I went back to writing. The result, after several drafts, was Servitude, a science fantasy novel which became the first in in my Reagalos series from Dreamspinner Press.

Who or what is your biggest inspiration for writing?

Escapism. I love my day job, but it can be stressful and deals with very specific things which have to be fixed NOW. So when I write I like to leave the corporate world and escape to where my next story takes me.

What is your writing environment? (Where do you write, what do you do to prepare right before you start writing)

I’m very lucky. I can write anywhere. I do most of my writing on the sofa in my living room, and can tune out the TV. I don’t have to lock myself away in another part of the apartment and often sit with my feet propped up on my hubby. I try to have a notebook with me at all times (I’ve scribbled on the back of receipts when caught without anything better) and regularly jot down a few sentences if I’m on the tram.

What is the hardest part of a book for you? Any particular scene(s)?

This depends on the story, if I’m honest. Sometimes I put in a placeholder for a sex scene and come back to it, or if I’ve something very angsty to do I often write the aftermath before the big scene so I know I’ve fixed my boys before I break them

If you only could write in one genre, what would it be? And if you couldn’t write in that genre what genre would you pick next?

Oh that’s a terrible thing to ask! I write in so many (contemporary, historical, sci fi, fantasy) it would be a real hardship to have to only do one. But my first love is fantasy, so I’d probably say that, and the next, based on my current WIP list would be contemporary.

If you could spend a day with one author, who would it be and why?

Doulas Adams. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy is one of my favourites, as are his Dirk Gently novels. I loved his sense of humor and would’ve loved to have shared a beer with him.

What do you like to see in book reviews? What makes a review better than other ones to you?

As long as the review is honest and constructive then I’m happy as a writer – I accept not everyone will love what I write. As a reader, I want reviews that tell me about the book, but not in so much detail that it spoils the story.

If you could give one tip to new writers, what would it be?

Finish the first draft. Get that story written, you can play with it later. Otherwise you’ll just have a file full of unfinished stories

How do you make hard decisions with your books? Like the title of the book or some of the characters actions?

Once the plot is down and I know it will work, then characters need to do what it takes for the plot to work. I don’t really have an issue with those sort of hard decisions. For some writers their characters lead them, but I’m afraid for my boys, I’m in charge and they’ll do what I need them too. As for titles, I’m been very lucky that up till now I’ve not had an issue… fingers crossed that’ll stay the same!

If you could only use 4 words to describe yourself, what would they be?

Happy, hardworking, stubborn and loving.

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Ryan’s Wizard (Paws and Magic #2) by Beany Sparks – #MM Romance #Paranormal

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Title: Ryan’s Wizard (Paws and Magic #2)
Author Name: Beany Sparks
Publication Date & Length: November 1, 2014 – 157pgs

Synopsis

An alpha ends up with more than he bargained for when he finds his mate…his wizard mate.

After years of no contact, Oliver “Olly” Grey was finally able to reunite with his cousin Aiden. He’s surprised to find that Aiden now has a mate—a male, shifter mate—named Lex. And it’s Lex’s pack mates that Olly is there to help save. What he hadn’t expected was Lex’s brother Ryan.

Ryan Shepherd was happy to have found his brother Lex, and even happier to know that his brother was happily mated. But there is something about Aiden’s cousin Olly that Ryan doesn’t trust, especially when he also smells like the man currently holding his pack members captive. Yet that doesn’t stop Ryan from wanting to hold and comfort the man, and eventually he realizes why—Olly is his mate.

Now the four of them need to plan a rescue mission, but what happens when they run into the two men that had held Lex captive and those same men come to the cabin in the middle of the night?

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Excerpt

Aiden burst out laughing and moved one hand to ruffle Olly’s hair.

“Hey!” Olly exclaimed as he pulled back in order to glare at Aiden, who just smiled bigger and pulled him back into his arms.

“I couldn’t resist,” Aiden said, the laughter evident in his voice.

“Yeah, whatever. Anyway, back to what I was saying, but hopefully without interruptions this time.” Olly looked pointedly at Ryan when he said that. Ryan seemed to be studying him intently, but didn’t utter a word.

Olly looked away and started talking again. “I know where the pack is, or at least, I know where a bunch of canine shifters are being held.”

“How do you know that they’re part of our pack?” Lex asked, sounding like he was trying to restrain his eagerness.

Olly turned to him. “Because I heard a few of the guards talk about how they captured a bunch of them together.”

“And why didn’t you get caught?” Ryan asked, anger in his voice.

“Because,” Olly paused, then sighed. “The house they’re being held in belongs to Walter.”

Aiden gasped and when Olly looked at him, he saw the horror that was on his face.

“How long has Walter had shifters imprisoned on his property?” Aiden asked, outrage in his voice.

“I don’t know for sure, but it would be a number of years.” Olly couldn’t face any of them as he said that.

“Who is this Walter?” Ryan growled.

Olly looked up at him, then looked away as he replied, “My father.”

AuthorInterviewWhat makes wizards so attractive?

Hmmm, good question. I think what makes men in general, not just my wizards, attractive is their personality. My wizards (the main characters so far at least) are good men who want to do the right thing and help the shifters who are captured. They’re kind, sweet, smart, decent men and I think that’s very attractive.
Their ability to use magic can also be attractive, if they’ve got the confidence to back it up.
However, their magic makes them attractive to others, but maybe not for the right reasons. Some people will be jealous and some will want to try and steal their  powers. My wizards have a certain level of magic which they can increase by studying. But lets face it, the bad guys are lazy and would rather cheat and steal powers than sit and read.

AuthorBio

Beany lives in Western Australia. She first started reading romance novels in 2008, but it wasn’t until January 2010 when her Kindle got delivered that the world of erotic romance opened its doors to her, and she hasn’t looked back.

With suggestions and support from friends, her muse—“affectionately” known as PITA—was finally able to break

free, and in January 2014 her first story was written. Since she can’t put PITA back in his box, Beany has decided to give in and team up with him. Together they’ve made plans to write both MF and MM stories.

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New Release & Interview for Desert Foxe by Haley Walsh #MM #Romance #mystery

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Title: Desert Fox (A Skyler Foxe Mystery #5)
Author Name: Haley Walsh
Publication Date & Length: November 7, 2014

Synopsis

Skyler and his friends go to Palm Springs for the annual White Party and find murder!

Out and proud high school English teacher Skyler Foxe and his posse of friends go to the annual Palm Springs White Party for a weekend of fun, frivolity, and luscious men. But there are boy troubles of all kinds ahead. Skyler’s boyfriend and high school coach Keith Fletcher has to endure an embarrassing number of Skyler’s former hook-ups, one of the SFC might be going solo, Skyler encounters unexpected and unwelcome participants at the party, and there’s a murder on the dance floor, literally at Skyler’s feet! Both Skyler and Keith are drawn into investigating more than murder when the FBI asks Skyler to do the unthinkable.

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AuthorInterview

First off, I’d like to say thank you for taking the time to answer these questions so me and my readers can get to know a little bit more about you!

Now for the hard part:

  • Can you describe in detail what your writing environment is like?

I have a home office and a very messy desk, with the occasional visit (and typing in my manuscripts) from my cats. I’m surrounded by built in bookshelves (the hubster built it especially for me!) and they are just stuffed with books; manga, yaoi, m/m romance, and tons of medieval research books since I also write medieval mysteries under another name. In fact, there is a suit of armor that stands guard behind me. And speaking of behind me, there are even more bookshelves and more books. I have Dr. Who toys, a Shakespeare action figure and a Shakespeare bobble head, knights in armor battling on the shelves, a tiny statue of death (because why not?), some snowmen because I love them, some skulls, some pelts, and a bunch of antique cameras because my hubby is a commercial photographer.

  • Is there one of your characters that you relate to (from any of your works)? Why?

It would have to be Skyler. He’s the excitable/dramatic one and comes off mature when in fact he very often isn’t, jumping to conclusions without thinking it through first. And I’m very much afraid that that is me. Now mind you, he’s very smart, too, so that also works. J

  • If you couldn’t be an author, what would you do instead?

I’d go back to what I did before for fifteen years: I was a graphic artist and art director. Though I’m pretty curmudgeonly now and it’s really best that I work all by myself in a little room writing books.

  • Is there anything that you learned during the writing process that you wish you had known before hand?

I’ve been writing for a long time prior to getting published—a LONG time—so the process is the same, though I find myself outlining more. As a “woman of a certain age” I find I can’t remember like I used to, so I’ve got to write it down. What surprises me more is about the publishing industry, how hard it is for writers—even multi-published writers as I am—to make a living at this; how hard we have to work on promotion. It’s sad to know that there are many talented authors out there not being read because they just can’t get the word out, something that the publisher should be responsible for. No wonder so many of us are becoming hybrids: self-publishing as well as going with a traditional publisher.

  • Is there anything that you wish you could change about your book now that it is out?

I’ve read it over quite a few times in the editing and proofing process. Though going back to the first in the series, I think I would have cut down considerably on the erotic elements. I find that books with erotic elements, no matter how well-written the rest of it is—just aren’t taken seriously.

  • How do you come up with new ideas for your story?

Since it’s sort of following a timeline of Skyler’s story from when he met his love interest to all the trials and tribulations he’s had to endure both from his community and family and with solving the mysteries, that I found ideas just bubbled up. We are watching his life unfold, right along with his relationship issues. So ideas present themselves. We also follow the school year since both protagonists are high school teachers. There’s drama among the students as well. This latest books, DESERT FOXE, happens during spring break, so Skyler gets to go to the White Party in Palm Springs for it. And all sorts of hijinks ensues.

  • What’s next for you as a writer?

I have so many things on my plate! I am continuing my series of medieval mysteries, I have begun an urban fantasy series that my agent is shopping around, and I am currently writing a steampunk paranormal. You can find those things at www.JeriWesterson.com.

  • Where do you live? Do you think this influences how or what you write?

I live in the same area as Skyler and am familiar with the problems of LGBT people in this rather stuffy and conservative area of southern California. It’s my chance to poke a stick at it. And Skyler is just fun to write. It’s great to kick back, write humorous situations, and a little adventure.

  • What is your favorite genre outside of the one you write in? Why?

Since I write in so many genres now, I don’t think there is one outside my genre.

  • Do you have any vices? Shoes, coffee, shopping…etc?

Chocolate. And shopping. Shopping for chocolate.

Thank you so much for taking your time to answer my questions. I wish you much success as a writer!!

Thank you! You can find more about me at http://SkylerFoxeMysteries.com

AuthorBio

Haley Walsh tried acting, but decided the actor’s life was not for her. Instead, she became a successful graphic designer in Los Angeles, her hometown. After fifteen years of burning money in the ’80s and early ’90s, she retired from the graphics industry and turned her interests toward writing. She became a freelance newspaper reporter, wrote articles for quirky magazines, published award-winning short stories, and now writes an acclaimed gay mystery series, the Skyler Foxe Mysteries. She’s lived all her life in southern California, sampling wines and chomping chocolate. Yeah, it’s a living.

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5 Stars for Lower Education by A.M. Leibowitz – #MM #bisexual #romance@amyunchained

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Title: Lower Education
Author Name: A.M. Leibowitz
Publication Date & Length: November 1, 2014
Publisher: Supposed Crimes, LLC

Synopsis

Phin Patterson is an educational consultant dissatisfied with his job and his life. On a mission to complete one last assignment before escaping his unfulfilling career and figure out what he wants, he accepts a commission from Donald Murdock at the New York State Education Department. Suddenly, he finds himself on his way to evaluate a tiny school in New York’s Southern Tier, not far from the town where he grew up. Now his only goal is to get in, do his job, and get out before anyone from his past remembers him.

That turns out to be easier said than done. Dani Sloane, the sharp-witted administrative assistant to the principal, learns the truth about why Phin is really there. With the help of her friends, she sets out to unmask him and force the local board of education to stop the plans that could ruin their school. Discovering that her sometime-lover is an old business associate of Phin’s only complicates both the situation and their relationship.

Meanwhile, Phin, who has committed himself to keeping his emotional distance, can’t resist the charm of the town and its residents—especially the school psychologist, who turns out to be an old friend he hasn’t seen in over twenty years. While Dani works to take him down and save her school, Phin wrestles with learning how to do the right thing, including telling the truth to the man with whom he’s already falling in love.

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AuthorInterview

First off, I’d like to say Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions so me and my readers can get to know a little bit more about you!

Now for the hard part:

  • Can you describe in detail what your writing environment is like?

I homeschool my younger child, so my work space looks like my kid doing her work while I do mine, both of us curled up on living room furniture—she with books, me with my laptop. I like quiet (no music or television), lots of light, and comfort. I’m always cold, so I keep on hand blankets, hot drinks, and fingerless gloves.

  • Is there one of your characters that you relate to (from any of your works)? Why?

I relate most to Dani (from Lower Education). She’s smart and curious, and she’s utterly devoted to the people she loves. She’ll do what it takes to protect them, even if that means digging into things she might be better off leaving alone. I also relate to her as a parent, always praying she’s doing and saying the right things with her kids.

  • If you couldn’t be an author, what would you do instead?

My college degrees are in nursing and health science. I would love to be a community health/sexuality educator. Maybe that’ll be my next career. Ha!

  • Is there anything that you learned during the writing process that you wish you had known before hand?

That it’s okay to screw up. No one is going to be angry that the manuscript isn’t perfect the first time out, even if I’ve missed a bad stereotype or cliché. Everyone who read my novel during the editing process was incredibly gracious and kind. It requires an incredible amount of trust on both sides.

  • Is there anything that you wish you could change about your book now that it is out?

A lot of things! I noticed how often I do annoying things such as using people’s names too frequently in dialogue. I also think I gloss over the big reveal at the end, and it makes less sense than I would hope. Since the story skewers the state of public education, I think I may disappoint some educators with my resolution to the problem. I might handle that differently or explain it better.

  • How do you come up with new ideas for your story?

My kids and spouse are great for that. I’m also often inspired by blogs and news articles I read. I got my “real” start in writing as a social justice blogger, and that’s where my heart will always be.

  • What’s next for you as a writer?

I have another novel currently with beta readers. It’s an incredibly personal work about coming to terms with our (often multiple) identities and how to integrate competing aspects of ourselves. It didn’t start out that way, but that’s where it ended up. I’ve also written a series of short stories for self-publication, and I’m planning another novel.

  • Where do you live? Do you think this influences how or what you write?

I’m in western/Finger Lakes region of New York. It absolutely influences me. I understand my beautiful state, and I almost always set my stories here. Locals who read my work can find references to familiar places.

  • What is your favorite genre outside of the one you write in? Why?

I like fantasy kid lit. There’s something wonderful about slipping through the wardrobe door that appeals to me at a very deep level. Whether it’s Aslan and Narnia or Harry Potter’s wizarding England or the Great Ga’Hoole Tree, good kid fantasy offers a peek at the deeper truths of life uncluttered by adult worries.

  • Do you have any vices? Shoes, coffee, shopping…etc?

Coffee, for sure. I drink a lot of it. Also, slash fan fiction, especially Harry Potter. It’s my version of reading trashy romance novels. (I can’t believe I just admitted that!)

 

Thank you so much for taking your time to answer my questions. I wish you much success as a writer!!

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Review

FiveStars

This book rocked!  Wonderful story about thinking you can just do your job, but ending up doing more, by being involved with the people and falling in love with the town, and trying to do what’s right instead of just getting by.   There were many main characters that kept your interest in the story.  It wasn’t just a happily ever after right from the beginning, the characters struggled with pressures of losing their control over the town school.  The author did very well covering all the struggles.
I couldn’t put it down once I started reading it, I needed to know where the plot was leading too.
The interest level just kept you coming back to the book to know if Phin, the main character,
was going to do what’s right.
Highly recommend this book, I will read more by this author.
Sherry

Teaser

Phin closed the gap and kissed him

Elegant and sensual dance

Excerpt

He pulled out his phone and glanced at it. “Listen, I need to go. Dani, what time do you want me to come over to help Jake draw his display board?”

“Is nine okay? We need to be at the school by eleven to set up, and the fair starts at noon.”

“Sure thing.” He grinned at the group. “Good night, ladies. Alex.” Once again, his face colored just a little when his eyes flicked to Alex. With that, he was off.

Dani watched him go, shaking her head. “Pied piper,” she muttered.

“What?” Eunice asked.

“You know—the pied piper. He got everyone to follow after him, thinking he was solving the town’s rat problem, only then he stole the children.” She laughed. “I’m just being paranoid. Where are the kids? We should get going—long day tomorrow.”

AuthorBio

A. M. Leibowitz is a spouse, parent, feminist, and book-lover falling somewhere on the Geek-Nerd Spectrum. She keeps warm through the long, cold western New York winters by writing romantic plot twists and happy-for-now endings. In between noveling and editing, she blogs coffee-fueled, quirky commentary on faith, culture, writing, and her family.

SocialLinks

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UnchainedFaith
Facebook Personal Page:  https://www.facebook.com/amymitchell29
Twitter: https://twitter.com/amyunchained
Author’s Website: http://amleibowitz.com/
Author’s GoodRead Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8544236.A_M_Leibowitz?from_search=true

INTERVIEW 5 stars for Shifting Hearts by Silvia Violet – #MM #Romance #Paranormal @Silvia_Violet

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Title: Shifting Hearts
Author Name: Silvia Violet
Publication Date: October 25, 2014

Synopsis

After experiencing what happens when someone you love walks away and never looks back, Brandon decided love was for fools. Then he spent a summer with Zach. He struggled against feelings that grew every time he and Zach were together, telling himself they were just having a fling. When Zach confessed his love one hot summer night, Brandon panicked. He scoffed at Zach and made sure he walked away first.

Three years later, their paths cross again when Zach becomes the vet at Wild R Farm where Brandon works. Brandon realizes his feelings haven’t changed, but Zach treats Brandon with scorn despite Brandon’s every attempt to show Zach he’s no longer the self-centered man he used to be. When a night out ends with Brandon driving Zach home, confessions are made on both sides, and hope begins to build in Brandon’s heart.

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Review

FiveStars

This book had everything I love.  Cowboys, shifters, and sexy romance.  It was fast moving and written so well that it flowed beautifully.  I really enjoyed the characters in this story, the author brought them to life with the descriptive writing.
The story was focused on Brandon and Zach, who once had a relationship, but one of them ended up being a jerk.  Couple years later they are both in the same place and try to resist each other, too afraid to get involved.
Due to the way Brandon was brought up he had a hard time with relationships, but with friends like Tristan and Will, he was able to find his feelings for Zach.
Tristan was another ex-lover of Brandon’s, but Tristan was able to forgive and move on.
Zach had been hurt by Brandon but was still in love with him. One night Zach had a lot to drink and Brandon took him home and things started to change for them.  They both became aware of how they still felt and tried to move forward.
It was a perfect love story told beautifully.
I would definitely read more by this author. Highly recommend this book.
~Sherry

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Teaser

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Excerpt

Brandon settled his and Zach’s tabs and managed to get Zach to his truck without incident. “Did you drive here?”

“Nope, Martin picked me up.”

Brandon snorted again. Fucking Martin. The two of them together was so not going to happen.

Zach giggled. “I’ve always loved it when you go all ferocious stallion.”

Oh fuck. “Just get in the truck, Zach.” Brandon helped him step up and maneuver himself into the passenger seat.

“It’s fucking wrong.“ Zach said as he laid his head back on the seat.

“What is?”

“That you’re so fucking hot.”

No. No, no, no. This was not happening. “Just close your eyes and stop talking. You’ll be better off that way.” Maybe he’d pass out and then Brandon’s dick could stop reacting to his soft words and beautiful eyes and everything that made him the only man Brandon really wanted.

“No, I’ll forget it all. Best thing about being drunk. I might as well say what I want because who will care later.”

“I will.”

“Nah, you never did. That’s what makes it so unfair.”

Brandon rubbed his forehead, trying to ward off a massive headache. “You’re wrong about that. I—”

“What? You didn’t mean to look at me like I was a bug you wanted to squash when I said I loved you?”

“You’re drunk. Really fucking drunk, and I’d be an idiot to say anything now. More of an idiot than I already have been and—”

“Fuck, you’re babbling.” Zach looked extremely amused.

Brandon scowled at him. “Nope, it’s your imagination”

“It’s not.”

“Yeah, it is”

Zach grinned. “You could kiss me to shut me up.”

AuthorBio

Silvia Violet writes erotic romance in a variety of genres including paranormal, contemporary, sci fi, and historical. She can be found haunting coffee shops looking for the darkest, strongest cup of coffee she can find. Once equipped with the needed fuel, she can happily sit for hours pounding away at her laptop. Silvia typically leaves home disguised as a suburban stay-at-home-mom, and other coffee shop patrons tend to ask her hilarious questions like “Do you write children’s books?” She loves watching the looks on their faces when they learn what she’s actually up to. When not writing, Silvia enjoys baking sinfully delicious treats, exploring new styles of cooking, and reading to her incorrigible offspring.

AuthorInterview

1. What inspired you for this piece? Is there a history you have with cowboys that helped you write it or did you have to do a lot of research?

My original inspiration for the Wild R Farm series happened when I mentioned the idea of a book about a cowboy and his horse where the horse is a shifter. A friend dared me to go for it. I’m so very glad I did! I’ve not had much experience around cowboys so I did have to do some research. My daughter takes riding lessons so I had opportunities to research the horse farm aspect of the story while at the riding barn.

2. Why write in the LGBT et al community? What drew you to these type of characters?

I’ve enjoyed reading bisexual ménage and m/m for many years and since I first starting writing (my first books were m/f romances) I’ve enjoyed writing in the male voice. So it felt natural to try writing gay and bisexual characters of my own. I enjoy exploring many different types of relationship in my writing.

3. If there’s one thing you want your readers to take away from this book, what is it?

Even if you’ve made some terrible mistakes in the past, you can redeem yourself. Don’t give up.

4. What’s the first LGBT et al book you read? And if you can’t remember, what’s your favorite one that you’ve read?

My first LGBT romance was Jules Cassidy’s story in Suzanne Brockmann’s Troubleshooters series. His story arc covers several books, but All Through the Night focuses on him.

5. What are you working on next?

I’m working on Wild R Christmas, the next book in the Wild R Farm series. It will be out in December. When it’s done, I’ll be starting on Fitting In Book 3.

SocialLinks

Facebook: http://facebook.com/silvia.violet
Twitter: http://twitter.com/Silvia_Violet
Author’s Website: http://silviaviolet.com
Author’s GoodRead Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/301002.Silvia_Violet

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TWO Four Star Reviews for The Scent of Jasmine by Lila Bruce (w/ Interview) – #FF Romance

The Scent of Jasmine

Title: The Scent of Jasmine
Author Name: Lila Bruce
Publication Date & Length: October 6, 2014 – 55pgs

Synopsis

Four years ago Jessica Taylor thought she was ready to leave small town living behind and headed West. Now she’s back in Cedar Creek, a little older, a lot wiser, and ready to live the quiet life for a while.

It’s been eight months since her fiancée walked out and shattered Grace Donnelly’s dreams of a happily ever after. Her friends tell her it’s time to put herself out there, but the breakup with Emma was still just too raw for Grace to wash and move on

After a meeting a chance meeting at her brother’s bakery, Jessica finds herself unable to get Grace off of mind. She’s sure she feels an attraction from Grace as well, but will Jessica be able to convince Grace to stop living in the past and take a chance on a future together with her…

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Review

FourStars

This is a quick, fun read full of sweetness (both of the love and the bakery variety).

Characters are always my favorite part of any story, and I loved the two main characters, Jessica and Grace. They’re both strong, independent professional women, yet they’re remarkably down-to-earth and relatable. They each have their vulnerabilities which round them out as people.

Personally, I would have liked to see this as a longer story. It seems like there’s a lot underneath these two women that I would have loved to discover. There wasn’t quite enough spark or tension to really grab my interest, but with a longer story, I think there would have been.

I give it 4 stars.
Amy
FourStars

This book was a quick, easy and very sweet read. The characters had their own personalities that meshed together with a strong sexual tension throughout the majority of the book. I was worried for a while because it’s set up like it could be a full-length novel, but I was completely satisfied by the ending of it.

The two characters run their own lives and are very successful women. They each have their careers but aren’t afraid of how a relationship will affect that. It was very nice to read and see that; I don’t think it’s done enough. Both women in this story carry their own.

It’s very well-written. There are a few words missing here and there, which is distracting but not to the point where I wanted to put the book down. Overall, this is a fantastic read for a rainy day.

~AJ

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AuthorBio

Lila Bruce lives in the North Georgia Mountains, where the air is sweet and the summers are hot. When not writing, she spends her time adding to her ever-growing pack of basset hounds and dreaming of being able one day to leave behind her evil day job.

AuthorInterview

  • Can you describe in detail what your writing environment is like?

I have this very large, very nice desk setup in the back room of my house. I love it because it gives me room to spread out and still have room for my writing partner, Fin Foo the Beta Fish. I typically will have The Cowboy Junkies playing on Pandora Radio and the door to “my office” closed to keep the Basset Hounds (my number one distraction when writing) out. If you’ve ever had a Basset then you would know the only thing they love more than going outside, is coming right back inside. Over and over and over again.

  • Is there one of your characters that you relate to (from any of your works)? Why?

Honestly, any and all of them. I think there are small pieces of me in all the characters I write. Small pieces of people that I know, certainly. I think at some point in all our lives we’ve been “that person”. That person who’s been dumped by someone they thought was ‘the one’, that person who freaked out because everything wasn’t just right for an important meeting, that person who left for the big city in search of something more but found themselves missing the simple comforts of home and family.

  • If you couldn’t be an author, what would you do instead?

Well, it would be nice to just be an author. Sadly, the Evil Day Job beckons forty-something hours a week. But, if money was not an object and writing was off the table, then…I don’t know. I think I’d like to run a bed and breakfast in an old house somewhere near a lake. The sort of place that I could set my own hours, see people who are generally happy, and be able to go fishing whenever the mood strikes.

  • Is there anything that you learned during the writing process that you wish you had known before hand?

To always keep a notebook with me. Or at least a pad of some sort to write down the ideas when they come flooding in.

  • Is there anything that you wish you could change about your book now that it is out?

Probably about a million things. I’m the sort of person who checks the alarm clock three times before going to bed to make sure it’s set on AM and not PM.

  • How do you come up with new ideas for your story?

For The Scent of Jasmine I got the idea after being dragged to a nail shop by a friend of mine to have a pedicure. I am not a ‘foot’ person and despised every second of it, but did learn firsthand the dangers of what can happen when one bets on a football game and loses. There were lots of women at the nail shop, all talking about relationships and giving each other advice on what they would do in the other’s shoes, that sort of thing, and it occurred to me that was the perfect place to start a story. The rest of it just grew from there.

  • What’s next for you as a writer?

I want to continue Jessica and Grace’s story. At least for a little while. I feel like I left them on a cliffhanger of sorts and I’d like to see what happens next in their relationship.

  • Where do you live? Do you think this influences how or what you write?

I live in Georgia at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It certainly influences how I write as well as what I write. I think there are a lot of stereotypes about people in the South and their attitudes towards the LGBT community. Deep down most Southerners are polite to a fault and tend to treat everyone like family, whether they are or not. But stereotypes exist for a reason. I would say that a large portion of the population (of at least North Georgia) has no ‘issue’ with homosexuality, but at the same time still whispers the word lesbian in polite company. A really good friend of mine just got married to her partner and had to go out of state to do it. While they threw one hell of a reception here at home, they fact that couldn’t get married in their own backyard is (in my humble opinion) wrong. There is no way you can write about a modern lesbian relationship in the South and not have its social attitudes color the story in at least some small way.

  • What is your favorite genre outside of the one you write in? Why?

Deep down I’m a straight up Sci Fi / Fantasy girl. I grew up reading Mercedes Lackey, Robin McKinley, and Elizabeth Moon. I loved these authors and their books and still have a tattered copy of The Blue Sword around here somewhere. It’s the original version of the paperback, the one that has Harry looking all badass on horseback while holding up the glowing blue sword. These authors spoke to who I was growing up. They didn’t write about damsels in distress, but strong, not always confident women, who kicked ass and took names in ‘a man’s world’.

  • Do you have any vices? Shoes, coffee, shopping…etc?

Coffee certainly. The day does not begin until I’ve had my second cup. The Blacklist definitely. Don’t even bother calling my house while that’s on television.

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4.5 and 4 Stars for Seduction in Red by D.T. Peterson – #MM #Romance

Seduction in Red

Title: Seduction in Red
Author Name: D.T. Peterson
Publication Date & Length: September 23, 2014 – 192pgs

Synopsis

Trevor is young, rich and single; completely open about who he is and unwilling to hide it from anyone. Cody is shy and inexperienced, exploring the desires he secretly craves to fulfill for the first time. Together, they venture down a path neither of them could have ever imagined…

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Review

FourandHalfStars

I really enjoyed this story. The characters were well developed with complicated backgrounds that enhanced the story. Trevor was a great boyfriend. He was attentive, loving, sweet and loyal. Cody was naive, confused, curious, loving, and also loyal.
It was a little hard at first, because Trevor and Cody immediately started their relationship. While I do understand that they had an instant connection, with all of the issues that Cody was having, I found it a little hard to believe how patient Trent was with all that Cody had to work through. However, Peterson was able to over come that easily, for me, by having a great dialogue between the lovers, as well as within Cody’s head.
The family dynamic for Cody and Trent, while sad, was much more realistic. Both come from families that have no idea what it means to love unconditionally. It was nice to watch Cody become the person he always knew he was; even more endearing to watch Trent foster Cody without judgment, without rushing him. Sue was another character that I grew to really appreciate in the story. While it was necessary in the beginning for her to be hurt, in the end, I really liked how she chose to stay a part of Cody’s family. On that note, I do wish there was a little more development with Cody’s brother, Nick.
There was a huge twist, for me, in the story line. I was not expecting it at all. I liked that Peterson was able to catch me off guard. It made the book that much more enjoyable.
This was a great story. The only thing is that there needs to be more editing. There were several instances where words were misspelled, character names were incorrect during dialogue or misuse/using the wrong their, there or they’re. While I was able to figure out what the author was trying to convey, it did take away from the story.
~AvidReader
FourStars

The first 3/4 of the book was about the relationship between Trevor and Cody. Cody not out yet, but Trevor feeling confident in who he is.  The author covers them meeting and going through many roadblocks in becoming a couple.  The story flowed easily and was a fast  read.  I really came to like Cody in the story with all his struggles, and felt awful at how his family treated him. Trevor on the other hand was very confident and sure of himself which played well in their developing relationship.
I truly did not expect the turn the book took. I was shocked at how they were treated and what happened to them.  I was impressed with the way the author wrote that part of the storyline.
The only thing I didn’t  like was the author would be talking about something that they were going to do and the next sentence the story had moved onto something else.  It left a couple of holes in the story.
But overall I thought this book was well written with a excellent storyline.
~Sherry
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AuthorBio

D.t. Peterson lives in the suburbs of Philadelphia. He enjoys traveling, and being outdoors. His hobbies include canoeing, hiking, whitewater rafting, and furniture making. His debut novel was The Cove.

AuthorInterview

1. What’s your writing process and how do you think it’s unique to you?
Sometimes a story line, or a plot calls to me. It’s usually the ending I have in mind when I start out to write, the emotions I want it to elicit, the purpose of the book. I have a few key scenes stuck in my head, the rough idea of where and how it should progress.

2. Do you think its good to read books in the genre you’re writing? Why or why not?

I tend not to read other works in the genre, I don’t want my writing style to be influenced by what others have written. I want it to be uniquely mine.

3. What’s your experience with the LGBT et al readership community?

My experiences with the LGBT readers has been fantastic! I have made numerous friends, and everyone is beyond helpful.

4. What’s your number 1 writing goal when you sit down to start a new piece?

Foremost, when i begin to write a new work, I want it to be unique and profound. I want the story to convey a message, to express emotions, the conditions by which we live and how it shape our lives.

5. What sets your book apart from other books in its genre? Why should we pick up your book instead of another?

Everyone talks about genre, and every book has its audience. But I don’t consider it when I write, rather i concentrate on plot, the reasons why the characters lives become intertwined. I want my books to go beyond the stereotypes and portray life as it is. I want the readers to walk away thinking.

3.5 stars for Valkyrie: Return of the Asgard by Erik Schubach @ErikSchubach #FF #Scifi

Valkyrie Chronicles - Return of the Asgard - Cover

Title: Valkyrie: Return of the Asgard
Author Name: Erik Schubach
Publication Date & Length: July 14, 2013 — 224 pgs

Synopsis

The Valkyrie Kara stood alone against the Ragnarok horde on Earth to ensure that the Asgard race and Valhalla could escape. For five thousand years she has fought and evaded the Ragnarok race on Earth, just waiting for her people to return.

A human woman, Kate, joins her fight against the invading race, showing as much conviction and valor as any Valkyrie. Their friendship quickly becomes something more as they hold the line on Earth in battle to herald the return of the Asgard.

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AuthorInterview

  • Can you describe in detail what your writing environment is like?

My work environment is pretty simple. I just have a computer desk in my bedroom. I have a daylight light shining down on my desktop, that is supposed to be healthy for you. I like to say that my morning commute consists of sitting up in bead, yawning, stretching, then taking three steps to sit at my computer. The desktop is cluttered with notes and various electronic gadgets.

  • Is there one of your characters that you relate to (from any of your works)? Why?

I feel I relate to every character I write, but one in particular, Kylee from Syncopated Rhythm I feel I relate to the most since a lot of her personality and things she does in the book are straight from my life.

  • If you couldn’t be an author, what would you do instead?

Well since I can’t be an astronaut or a unicorn wrangler, I’d say a curator at a vintage tech museum.

  • Is there anything that you learned during the writing process that you wish you had known before hand?

I wish I had known how easy it is to publish. The only thing that stopped me from writing before was the daunting task of getting a book published. It seemed so daunting. But when I actually sat down to attempt it, I followed the rabbit down the hole. It was a little confusing at first glance, but after I published my first title and looked back on things, it was so easy. Now I just see the publishing process as just the last step of writing, no more difficult than remembering to save my document as I write.

  • Is there anything that you wish you could change about your book now that it is out?

There are always things that I want to change about my books after I publish them. However I have learned that I will never be satisfied with my stories, and that if I kept tweaking them until they were “perfect” I’d never release a single book.

For the Valkyrie Chronicles: Return of the Asgard, the one thing that bothers me about the book was how quickly Kate accepted that Kara was a Valkyries and how quickly they were drawn together. I wish I had drawn that out another chapter or two but I was so lost in world building that I wasn’t sure how much I needed to put into that part.

  • How do you come up with new ideas for your story?

I’m always thinking about things and I love asking “What if?”. Whenever I learn an interesting fact about myths and legends, I like to ask that question. What if the Asgard race were not gods, but just an advanced civilization?

For my romance stories in the Music of the Soul series, I like to start with miscommunication since that is always the downfall of any relationship. I like to toy with what people view as weaknesses or disabilities and turn those into my character’s greatest strengths. The overall message I convey with that series is that your scars make you beautiful.

  • What’s next for you as a writer?

I unfortunately have over thirty stories planned out in my head, seriously. So for the foreseeable future I will be trying to bring those stories to life.

I will also be actively perusing releasing my stories in as many formats as possible, to target different segments of the reading populace. I am currently working on having all of my books produced as audiobooks and even having comic book adaptations of some of my SciFi and Paranormal books produced.

  • Where do you live? Do you think this influences how or what you write?

I live inside of a State Park near Spokane, Washington. Besides the proximity to Seattle (a 4 hour drive), where most of my books take place, it doesn’t really affect my stories.

  • What is your favorite genre outside of the one you write in? Why?

Hmmm… I’d have to say steampunk. It is such a targeted audience and the rules to what separates steampunk from normal scifi are nebulous but somehow concrete at the same time. I really enjoy the alternate progression of science and engineering in the genre. Besides, who doesn’t like an armor clad dirigible or two in a book?

  • Do you have any vices? Shoes, coffee, shopping…etc?

Pepsi, chocolate eclairs, all things platypus, saying ain’t… all kinds of fun!

Review

ThreeandHalfStars

I loved this book. It was a great mix of sci-fi and the real world. I’ll admit, I did expect it to be a bit heavier into the sci-fi when I picked it up, but I wasn’t disappointed. The plot stole the show and took the book to great heights. From the beginning to the end, this book held my interest. If I was rating this book on plot and story line alone, it would be 4.5 stars. It loses half a star for being rough in the beginning. There’s a lot of information happening very quickly and feels quite like an information dump for a few chapters.

The characters in this novel really do come to life, and their romance is invigorating and enticing. I also thought it was interesting how such a sexually free people are not into touching. It’s seems the opposite of what one would think. There is no question of multiple partners, same sex relationships, or sex for fun, yet the culture itself demands they are reserved to the point of not touching beyond hands and forearms. It’s an interesting dynamic that I’m still processing.

However, I struggled with reading it. This book should not have taken me long, but I had to keep putting it down because of the lack of editing. Each sentence had grammatical errors in it, including switches between present and past tense almost constantly. It was difficult to push through the bad editing to the story. I really wish the editing was better because this might just hit close to the top of list of favorite books.

I look forward to reading more from this author and to see any improvements he has in future novels. I recommend this book for anyone who has a love of sci-fi, mythology, and legends of our history.

3.5 stars

~AJ

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AuthorBio

I got my start writing romance novels by accident. I have always been drawn to strong female characters in books, like Honor Harrington. And I also believe that there is a lack of LGBT characters in media. So one day I came up with a story idea that combines the two… two days later I completed the manuscript for Music of the Soul.

My writing style may not be the most professional nor grammatically correct, but I never profess to be an English major, just a person that wants to share a story. I maintain that my primary language is sarcasm.

Each of my books features strong likeable female characters that are flawed. I think that flaws and emotional or physical scars make us human and give us more character than simply conforming to some “social norm”.

I have also started a SciFi series, The Valkyrie Chronicles which features a Valkyrie, Kara, who was left behind on Earth five thousand years ago to help the Asgard race escape the onslaught of the Ragnarok horde. With the aid of a human, Kate, she holds the line in battle to herald the return of the Asgard!

If you like magic, paranormal romance and witches, then my new series Fracture might tickle your fancy. In the first book Fracture: Divergence, Alex King must stop magic from destroying reality. The problem is that Alex must solve the case in parallel universes where in one Alex is male and female in the other.

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TWO 4 Star Reviews for For by Grace by Adrian J. Smith – #F/F #Crime/Thriller

For by Grace

Title: For by Grace
Author Name: Adrian J. Smith
Publication Date & Length: June 1, 2014 – 256 pgs

Synopsis

Being a Sheriff’s Deputy is not all about saving lives and arresting criminals, and each day Grace wonders if she’ll make it home.

While kids at the schools Deputy Grace Halling visits see her as the knight in blue-cotton armor, people involved in the cases she is dispatched to have a different opinion. She has every confidence in her ability to do her job and arrest criminals. She easily takes down a knife-wielding woman and a drunken combatant teenager without hesitation. Everyone—victim, suspect, or witness—has a story to tell or to lie about, and Grace is never perturbed by their tales.

That all changes when she looks down the barrel of a gun. She loses confidence in her ability as a deputy, she loses trust in herself and fellow officers, and she struggles to stay afloat as shift after shift passes. Grace cannot find her rhythm of being a deputy again. And when the Police Chaplain unexpectedly barges into her life, her personal and professional lives are flipped upside down. Grace struggles to find even ground, worrying that the next time she stares a murderer in the face will be the last.

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Review

FourStars

The books is about a female cop, Grace, which I understood going in. I expected some cop work along with a side of romance. While I enjoyed the characters and their little imperfections and the realistic feel of them, I felt like emotions were missing from their actions. The actions, movements and descriptions were there but the feelings and reasons were left off a lot of times making it hard to fully connect and feel for the main characters.
I felt like although it was a cop book, there was too much cop work and details given. I would’ve liked to see it focus more on the actual big case and the relationship that was slowly developing instead of all the mundane day to day work as it took away from the book and slowed the plot to me.
Having a father and husband that work with or close to the local police force for over 30 years, I had issues with some of the ways things were handle as that’s not how I know them to be done or taken care of. That is a completely personal observation that most likely won’t affect most people that read the book though. Plus, all I know is from someone else and all from the same state so likely it could be slightly misconstrued because of that and the way every state/department is run a little differently.
Overall, I loved the two main females and would’ve liked to see more focus on them then the cop work, then again I’m a romantic at heart and love that side more than the cop work as I heard about that on a day to day basis.
Can’t wait to see where the next edition in the series takes us!
~Renee
FourStars
For By Grace, written by Adrian J. Smith, is a crime procedural featuring Officer Grace Halling, a police officer more likely to stub her toe getting out of bed then not, but who can take on whatever situation her shift presents with calm and “grace”. Featured prominently is also Amya, the precinct’s new chaplain, who initially rubs Grace the wrong way, but eventually forges a strong relationship with her.
First, for the full disclosure. Adrian and I have known each other for a couple years now, and she often beta reads for me. While I was not one of her betas, I did pinch hit on a few chapters for her, so I’ve been very minimally involved in this novel from an early stage. However, I don’t believe that lessens my ability to give it an honest review.
The good: Adrian is great at writing the crime aspects. She obviously has done a lot of research about what it takes to be a law enforcement officer and that shines through clearly. The dialogue is strong and realistic, the grammar is top notch, and the editing is phenomenal. As far as a book being well put together, it doesn’t get much better. There’s clearly been a lot of work into presenting a clean and polished product and that makes reading this a breeze.
The meh: For me, I would have like some more emphasis on the burgeoning and changing relationship between Grace and Amya. It’s there, just lurking beneath the surface for most of the novel, and it’s never featured prominently. I know this isn’t a romance, and I wouldn’t want it to be, but for me personally, I like all my novels with a hefty dose of romance, so I’d have liked to see a little more there. For all you parents: though this book is marketed as adult, there is no reason it’s not appropriate for a teenager. There’s nothing explicit in here, so while it’s a meh for me, it may be a giant plus for you. As an introduction to the LGBT genre for someone not sure if they’ll enjoy a f/f pairing, this is a great way to dip your toes in the proverbial water.
The not so good: My biggest problem with this book is the chapters. Each one is relatively self-contained, and I prefer more flow. A larger, over arching plot. There isn’t as much of that in this as I prefer, with each chapter covering a shift and what happens therein. It’s a very different take and I don’t think I’ve ever read another book with the same setup, but for me, it didn’t work.
And the verdict is: A worthy read. For By Grace has way more good things than bad, and the bad are just my own personal preferences rather than some fatal flaw within the novel. Overall, you won’t be disappointed if you pick this up, and I highly recommend that you do so.
Rating: 4 stars
Sirena

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AuthorBio

Adrian J. Smith, or “AJ” as she is often called, is a part-time writer with an epic imagination, sharp wit, and kind heart that gets her into a bit of trouble when it comes to taking in all the neighborhood stray cats. Being obsessed with science fiction, Smith often goes off on tangents about the space-time continuum. She is also a part-time lunatic with a secretive past. It’s been rumored that she was once a spy for the government, but anyone who has gotten close enough to know the truth has never lived to tell the tale. When traveling around the world on various classified tasks, Smith requires the following be provided: buffalo jerky, mimosas, and eighty-six pennies. This is all we know about the reclusive woman.

AuthorInterview

  • Can you describe in detail what your writing environment is like?

I can. My writing environment, however, changes depending on my mood. I never really always write in one place. I have an office (finally!) and in it I have a card table that serves as my desk. There’s a light, sticky notes, stapler, etc on it. I have a printer to my left and a small shelf to my right. In front of me, I have a cork board. On the wall to my left is a white erase board. I also have a keyboard (electric piano) with sheet music, the rocking chair my husband was rocked in, a few cat trees and a ton of yarn for crocheting. It’s my all around office. =P

  • When I’m writing, the door is usually shut and I have one or two animals with me. There’s music playing from my computer, typically Christian radio, and I tend to have a drink with me. Depending on how late in the evening or early in the morning depends on the drink, but either hot tea or beer.
  • Is there one of your characters that you relate to (from any of your works)? Why?

I relate to all the main characters. If you’re asking which I relate to the most, that’s more difficult as I relate to them differently. Addy, in the James Matthews Series, made a big impact with me, and I really struggled with what I did with her character because I didn’t like it. I didn’t like to see her in that much pain, and I didn’t like knowing what happened.

I don’t know why her except that maybe she’s closest to someone I would know in real life. I didn’t base her off anyone, but personality wise and what she does, I would probably end up knowing and being friends with someone like her.

  • If you couldn’t be an author, what would you do instead?

I’d do what I do for a living! I’m an ordained minister, and I love that job to death. I wouldn’t trade it in for anything, and I plan on continuing in ministry until I absolutely must retire.

  • Is there anything that you learned during the writing process that you wish you had known before hand?

Go into marketing with a plan! I still haven’t quite figured this one out, but I’m at least expanding my horizons on what marketing is out there and how I can utilize it. But marketing isn’t something just to do on the side, it’s something that I need to think about and plan ahead of time. It’s a long learning process for me since I still do a lot of it on the side. I should get better at that. =P

  • Is there anything that you wish you could change about your book now that it is out?

No, honestly. I don’t think there’s anything I would chance (except minor errors I will always and forever find and feel the urge to fix). I like the story. It accomplished exactly what I wanted it to accomplish. I didn’t want a stand police procedural with detectives. Their job is rather boring most of the time as they sit in an office. I wanted a book that would show case patrol officers and what they do, and the things they face on a regular basis. I also wanted a novel that didn’t focus on the romance. That’s been done before, and I’ll admit it, I’m not the number one romantic out there!

  • How do you come up with new ideas for your story?

Part of it was from my experience working alongside law enforcement as an outside agent, and part was research. Part is just listening and reading stories that happened to cops and perhaps expanding on them a little. Police officers have the best stories some times.

  • What’s next for you as a writer?

I have a new series I’m working on that’s urban fantasy, and finishing up the Spirit of Grace series. I have one more book to write about Grace, and then it’s on to newer things.

  • Where do you live? Do you think this influences how or what you write?

I’ve lived all around the country, so I’m not sure about this one. I just moved a few months ago, so I doubt this new place has any influences on me yet.

  • What is your favorite genre outside of the one you write in? Why?

Outside of what I write? Yeeesh. I really enjoy reading Native American stories. I plan to write one, but I haven’t yet, so this still counts as an answer! I loved reading Scott O’Dell books growing up, and I certainly still love them.

  • Do you have any vices? Shoes, coffee, shopping…etc?

Chocolate. Rice. Typewriters.

SocialLinks

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Author’s Website: http://adrianjsmith.wordpress.com/
Author’s GoodRead Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6914728.Adrian_J_Smith