Tag Archives: Contemporary

5 Gut-wrenching Brilliant Stars for A New Man by P.D. Singer – #MM #Contemporary #Romance @PD_Singer

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Title: A New Man
Author Name: P.D. Singer
Publication Date & Length: February 2015 – 276pgs

Synopsis

Senior year of college is for studying, partying, and having fun before getting serious about life. Instead, Chad’s days are filled with headaches and exhaustion, and his fencing skills are getting worse with practice, not better. Then there’s his nonexistent love life, full of girls he’s shunted to the friend zone. Is he asexual? Gay?

Grad student Warren Douglas could be out clubbing, but his roommate is better company, even without kisses. He’s torn up watching Chad suffer, gobbling ibuprofen and coming home early on Friday nights. If Chad weren’t straight, Warren would keep him up past midnight. They’re great as friends. Benefits might answer Chad’s questions.

A brief encounter with lab rats reveals Chad’s illness—he needs surgery, STAT, and can’t rely on his dysfunctional parents for medical decisions. Warren’s both trustworthy and likely to get overruled—unless they’re married. “You can throw me back later,” Warren says, and he may throw himself back after his husband turns out moody and hard to get along with, no matter how much fun his new sex drive is. Surgery turns Chad into a new man, all right…

…but Warren fell in love with the old one.

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Review

FiveStars

Rating: 5 Gut-wrenching Brilliant Stars
This is the journey of Warren and Chad as they meet, and then go through a medical issue. I jumped on this one. I wanted to read something that would get in my heart and my gut, and this author did not disappoint.
Warren is a Grad student. Chad is a student at the same University and also Warren’s roommate. Chad has put many women in to the “friend zone” and one night he explores the scientific possibility that he might be gay. Warren is a willing recipient of said “data research”…. Being in the scientific field doesn’t hurt the dynamic chemistry between the roommates. Warren and Chad’s banter was entertaining and they made me laugh out loud and cry in the next line. I felt the emotions, the intensity, the sincerity through the pages. I loved the knowledge this author had over the medical issue. I was thoroughly impressed. The secondary characters were sometimes harsh but life isn’t all peaches and cream, it added a realistic value to the story. If you haven’t read this author before, you won’t be disappointed. It is a journey full of heart-felt situations and very realistic situations. You will smile through tears!!
Kimberley

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AuthorBio

PD Singer lives in Colorado with her slightly bemused husband, two rowdy teenage boys, and thirty pounds of cats, all of whom approach carefully when she’s in a writing frenzy. She’s a big believer in research, first-hand if possible, so the reader can be quite certain PD has skied down a mountain face-first, been stepped on by rodeo horses, acquired a potato burn or two, and will never, ever, write a novel that includes sky-diving.

When not writing, playing her fiddle, or skiing, she can be found with a book in hand. Her husband blesses the advent of ebooks — they’re staving off the day the house collapses from the weight of the printed page.

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Four Stars for Best Laid Intentions by Talia Carmichael – #MM Romance @Totally_Bound

Best Laid Intentions

Title: Best Laid Intensions (Impressions #6)
Author Name: Talia Carmichael
Publication Date & Length: November 21, 2014 – 65 pgs

Synopsis

Taking a risk and going after what he wants leads a man to the most pleasurable of results…

Taylor Noble decides to take a chance on pursuing Savage. Savage makes him crave him but Taylor knows that anything beyond the physical would be foolish. He has too much on his plate for a relationship. But he can have a good time…after all, there’s no way Savage would want more. And Taylor certainly doesn’t either…yet as he gets to know Savage, Taylor finds himself questioning his plans for fun with no strings.

From their very first meeting, Savage Griffin is drawn to Taylor. There’s something Savage cannot define that’s so different when he sees, thinks or talks to Taylor. Knowing Taylor is interested gives him the opportunity to explore more about this man who has captured his attention. Savage plans to take advantage of it. Each and every moment—sexual and platonic—brings him closer to Taylor who captures all his senses. Now it’s just a matter of convincing Taylor that what they share goes way past the physical to the emotional. Yes emotions are messy but Savage is ready, willing and able to get Taylor to change his best laid intentions and make some new plans.

Reader Advisory: This book is best read in sequence as part of a series.

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Review

FourStars

Savage is a musician who has his band members for a family. Taylor is wise beyond his years, due to his having custody of his younger brother. Savage and Taylor have a mutual attraction. When Savage works up the courage to ask Taylor out, Savage is surprised when Taylor beats him to it.

Taylor’s younger brother also somewhat drives the connection between Savage and Taylor because Savage is giving music lessons to him. What Savage doesn’t truly understand is that Taylor is also very musical and plays in his own band. Taylor is shy about his musical abilities and thus, tries to redirect Savage’s interest in coming to see him play.

Taylor has not had the best luck with past relationships, so he believes that despite his growing attraction to Savage, this too will end. It’s up to Savage to show Taylor that they are worth fighting for – that their relationship is something that will last. Taylor’s intentions were to have some fun and move on, but Savage must convince Taylor that despite his intentions, there is no way that Savage will let him go.

I really enjoyed how Taylor had to re-think his feelings about Savage and that Taylor surrounded himself with people who truly cared about his well-being. Savage also surrounded himself with people who really wanted to see Savage happy. Each of these men had to take their own leap of faith and I liked how they both knew that “practice makes perfect”. It was a great, sweet running theme throughout the story.

This is a story about learning to trust relationships, yourself, about learning to love and hold on to that love when it finds you. It was quick, sweet and well planned.

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AuthorBio

Talia Carmichael is a romantic who believes that family, no matter if it is by blood or those you choose as family, is integral to who you are. She is an author who writes sexy stories in a variety of genres. She believes in creating stories that encompass all that falling in love or lust entails, from the highs of that first blush of attraction to the lows of not knowing if you can make your coming together as a couple work, and then finally to the acceptance of the reality of making a life together. It’s all about the journey.

Among her books you’ll find contemporary, futuristic, fantasy, and paranormal settings with M/M themes that will have a happily-ever-after. Her books are passionate, intense, and real…to fill the craving.

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Heart by Garrett Leigh #bookblast #MM #Romance @Garrett_Leigh

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Title: Heart
Author Name: Garrett Leigh
Publication Date & Length: Oct 27, 2014 — 204 pgs

Synopsis

Cornish pastry chef Seb Wright dreads the summer tourist season. The cash injection to his artisan fudge pantry is more than welcome, the extra work, less so. Then one summer, a shadowy Good Samaritan catches his eye. Irish Traveller Dex is bewitching, a beautiful sullen enigma who turns Seb’s world upside down until he disappears in the night, vanishing like a mystical summer rain.

Twelve months later Dex is in the midst of a dark storm. A slave to his master, ‘Uncle’ Braden, he spends his days cleaning caravans and his nights working in Braden’s other businesses. His short summer with Seb seems a lifetime ago. Lost in the savage violence of the murky underworld, he doesn’t dare dream he’ll ever find his way back, until one night, a brutal crime opens the door for a chance escape. A new life beckons, old faces emerge, and immersed in the heady vibe of London’s East End, new love begins to heal his fractured heart.

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Excerpt

SEB TOOK a drink of his beer and set it down again with undue care. “You can’t read, can you?”

“Can.”

“I don’t believe you.”

Dex slid off his stool and shoved his hands into his pockets. He wasn’t sure what he’d expected when Seb had ambushed him, but it wasn’t this. So what if he couldn’t bloody read? It wasn’t like he’d ever been to school to learn.

Seb caught his arm. “Don’t go, Dex. I’m sorry, okay? I won’t tell anyone. I promise.”

Seb’s hand engulfed Dex’s wrist, his touch as charged and heated as it had ever been. Dex felt his resolve melting, ebbing away until it was all he could do to fall back onto the bar stool. “I can read some,” he said mutinously. “I can read numbers, and names. Knew the name of your shop, didn’t I?”

“Can you write?”

“Never tried.” Dex looked down. Lying to Seb felt all wrong. He’d heard the name of Seb’s shop on the street, and the only name he could read was his own.

Seb was silent for a moment, then without warning, Dex felt his fingers brush through his shower-damp hair. “It really is brown. I thought it was just wet.”

Dex fought for the strength to shy away from the soft gesture, but nothing happened. “The bleach grew out.”

“It was dyed?”

“Couldn’t you tell?” Dex had forgotten his brief stint as a blond was all Seb had ever known of him.

“No, not at all. You look totally different now. Not sure I would’ve recognized you without the scowl. You just about shocked the shit of me. I… I thought I’d never see you again.”

AuthorBio

Garrett Leigh is a British writer and book designer, currently working for Dreamspinner Press, Loose Id, Riptide Publishing, and Black Jazz Press. Her protagonists will always be tortured, crippled, broken, and deeply flawed. Throw in a tale of enduring true love, some stubbly facial hair, and a bunch of tattoos, and you’ve got yourself a Garrett special.

When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible. That, and dreaming up new ways to torture her characters. Garrett believes in happy endings; she just likes to make her boys work for it.

Garrett also works as a freelance cover artist for various publishing houses and independent authors under the pseudonym G.D. Leigh. For cover art info, please visit blackjazzpress.com

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Email: garrettleighbooks@gmail.com

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5 Stars for Aidan’s Journey by CJane Elliot @CJaneElliot #MM #romance

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Title: Aidan’s Journey
Author Name: CJane Elliot
Publication Date & Length:  Oct 15, 2014 — 448 pgs

Synopsis

The star of the University of Virginia theater department, Aidan Emery is lusted after and admired for living out and proud. He uses his talent and good looks to his advantage and never sleeps with the same guy twice. But his glamorous patina has been carefully honed to hide the pain he carries inside.

Aidan wasn’t always such a player. He starts college naively romantic, hungry for the attention he can’t get from his workaholic father and mentally ill mother. Unfortunately, that leaves him ripe pickings for predatory professor Rodney Montgomery. Rodney’s flattering regard seduces Aidan into a dysfunctional relationship that destroys his innocence.

Life looks up for Aidan when he finally breaks free of Rodney’s pull and moves to New York City to make it as an actor. Meeting sweet fellow actor Patrick Jaymes seems like the start of a fairy tale. But before Aidan can rebuild his life into happily ever after, family secrets.

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AuthorInterview

What is the attraction of those who are living “out and proud”? Why are they so attractive?

 

Hello, and thanks for having me on your blog to talk about Aidan’s Journey. As the blurb about the book says, “Aidan Emery is lusted after and admired for living out and proud.” I like your question about why this quality of “living out and proud” makes people so attractive. To me, “out and proud” is a quality that goes beyond being honest about one’s sexual orientation.

 

Let me give a real-life example. Adam Lambert is one of my main muses. He’s openly gay, immensely talented, and one handsome mofo. I laughed when one reviewer of Aidan’s Journey said Aidan reminded her of him, because Aidan’s looks, talent, and performer persona are based on Adam. (Aidan’s inner demons are all his own, though.)

 

Back to “out and proud.” If you’ve never heard of Adam Lambert, do yourself a favor and find the Youtube of him singing “Satisfaction” in one of his first solo performances on American Idol. The guy is outrageous, fearless, over the top, with a voice that can only be described as incredible. He woke up everyone in that room.

 

So “out and proud” goes beyond claiming one’s sexual orientation. It’s about being fully oneself and damn the consequences. That quality makes people attractive, whether they’re straight, gay, male, or female. When people live out and proud, it inspires the rest of us to stop playing it so safe.

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ReviewFiveStars

I was hooked from the first sentences. Aidan’s Journey is funny and sweet and captivating. And long. Epically long. A real commitment. But worth it.
I got swept away by Aidan’s college years, the story of a hot young stud (but sympathetic! The best kind!) sucked into an affair with his college professor, a hot sexy Brit (the worst kind!).
Aidan’s journey becomes more compelling as it goes through each epoch, as I grow to love and understand each character. I became more than hooked; I became breathless.
I chose this story initially because it was about actors, and it does take a while to give the actor’s perspective, but it finally arrives. New York and its Off-Off-Broadway flair and tortured souls and real truths all comes out.
Aidan’s Journey was a fun, energetic joy that makes me believe the genre is capable of great things.
C.E. Case

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AuthorBio

After years of hearing characters chatting away in her head, CJane Elliott finally decided to put them on paper and hasn’t looked back since. A psychotherapist by training, CJane enjoys writing sexy, passionate stories that also explore the human psyche. CJane has traveled all over North America for work and her characters are travelers, too, traveling down into their own depths to find what they need to get to the happy ending.

CJane is an ardent supporter of gay equality and is particularly fond of coming out stories.

In her spare time, CJane can be found dancing, listening to music, or watching old movies. Her husband and son support her writing habit by staying out of the way when they see her hunched over, staring intensely at her laptop.

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Author’s Email: cjaneelliott@gmail.com

4 Stars for Foundation of Trust by A.M. Arthur – #MM #MMRomance

Foundation of Trust

Title: Foundations of Trust
Author Name: A.M. Arthur
Publication Date & Length: October 21, 2014 – 239 pgs

Synopsis

Not everyone gets a second chance with their first love.

Cost of Repairs, Book 5

David Weller thought he had it all—a loving partner who gave him a ring, a steady job he didn’t hate, and so much hope for the future. But in the wake of a devastating diagnosis, everything he thought was solid and real lay in pieces at his feet.

Four years later, he’s still sifting through the rubble of his life. His catering partnership occupies his days, while his nights are filled with dangerous sexual hookups and very bad decisions. Then the last person he ever expected to see again walks back into his life.

Owen Hart’s single biggest regret is the way he was forced to leave David behind—no explanations, no chance to make it right. Until now. Finally free of eight years of lies, Owen’s back for the only man he’s ever loved.

An incendiary encounter in a club proves that time hasn’t weakened their physical connection, but David’s wounds run deeper than Owen’s deception. And if David can’t first forgive, Owen doesn’t have a second chance in hell.

Warning: This book contains an Australian transplant with a head full of secrets, a party planner with enough baggage to sink a battleship, and a surly teenager who just wants them both to get over themselves.

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Review

FourStars

A. M. Arthur wrote a great story about second chances in love and in life. The characters were David, Owen and Michael, Owen’s son. Despite having created a beautiful life together, David and Owen’s relationship is left in shambles when Michael and Owen must pick up and leave David behind.
The story really begins when Owen returns with Michael, in search of David, once again. I enjoyed where the story began, because the reader was given a glimpse in to how David’s life was going at the time. Despite having some recent success in his party planning/catering business, David is still missing something in his life. He had past hurts that cut him deep and dealing with those feelings was not going so well for him.
Owen has dragged poor Michael all around in his attempt to keep his child safe from past mistakes. Michael is a typical teenager, who has been moved around quite a bit. His attitude towards his father is what you would expect of a normal teenager, but his overwhelming love and protectiveness of his father is heart warming too. Michael stands up for his family in a way that most teenagers would cower at. I really enjoyed reading Michael’s character and watching his development.
The story has a somewhat strange spin off of a less than important side story. I am unsure if this was to create some angst within the story that does not involve David and Owen’s feelings, but rather to show protectiveness within the relationship. I don’t quite know how I feel about this story twist – it kind of adds to the story – it allows for the author to show the protective streak in both Owen and Michael, on behalf of David, but otherwise, I am not sure it really adds to the story. I believe the author was already bringing the characters back together in a much more cohesive manner and then, it seems like they decided to throw this twist in, in the hope that it would end the story quickly rather than continue on the started path of bringing David and Owen together based on love, forgiveness and family.
David and Owen meet again, but must overcome some monumental hurdles in order to have their second chance at love. Forgiving both themselves and each other is probably the most difficult things they must deal with. I really enjoyed the story, despite the strange twist.
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ThreeStar

I have to admit, I didn’t particularly enjoy this book. I thought it started off strong, and I was interested to see why the relationship between David and Owen ended and how they would rebuild it. I thought it was an interesting and fresh take on the subject, and I did like that it wasn’t easily resolved as a misunderstanding. Unfortunately, for me, it was all downhill from there.

The first problem I had was that Owen kept reminding us–at least once per chapter–that he’s gay. It annoyed me for two reasons. One, everyone he told already knew, and it wasn’t necessary to rehash it. Second, the author established his being gay in a way that puts me off. She set him up as potentially bisexual, but then had him “discover” that he’s really gay. The problem is, it never actually appeared that way. He referenced being attracted to women; never showed any interest in any men other than David; David was his “catalyst” to being gay; and Owen even seemed somewhat repulsed by the idea of being with any other men. Yet he keeps talking about how gay he is. It came across as Owen trying to convince the readers while not really being convinced himself, and it made it look like the author was trying to avoid the “messiness” of a bisexual character. I see that as lazy writing, used for the sake of having a “coming out” story rather than one about a relationship.

My second problem was all the women in the story. With one exception (David’s friend Lindy), the women were either dead or shrews or both. It upsets me greatly that a woman would write a story with such poor examples of womanhood. I would rather have seen no women at all than have all of them be horrible people with largely no redeeming qualities.

Third, I felt that a lot of the plot was contrived and some of the events just didn’t make sense other than as filler. There was a subplot towards the end that didn’t have any bearing on the rest of the story. There were a couple of prior things that occurred in the story, and I thought this subplot might be connected. As it turned out, it wasn’t at all, and it seemed almost silly. It looked more like just a way to say, “Hey, how can we screw up an important day for these guys?”

The one thing I did like was the relationship between Owen and David. If that could have carried the whole book, it would have been much better. The way they resolved things and the discovery of David’s demons were fantastic and very strong writing. However, the tropes in the rest of the narrative were not necessary to the relationship at all. The same story could have been written with Owen as bisexual or as established gay; the coming out part was so minimal it was unnecessary. The women could have been more varied and nuanced; the two women who were “bad” but also instrumental to the plot were sufficient.

I have no doubt someone will love this book, but that someone was not me.

I give it 3 stars.

~Amy

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AuthorBio

No stranger to the writing world, A.M. Arthur has been creating stories in her head since she was a child and scribbling them down nearly as long. She credits an early fascination with male friendships and “bromance” (and “The Young Riders”) with her later discovery of and subsequent affair with m/m romance stories. When not writing, she can be found in her kitchen, pretending she’s an amateur chef and trying to not poison herself or others with her cuisine experiments. You can contact her at AM_Arthur(at)yahoo(dot)com

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4.5 Stars for Bad Things by Varian Krylov – #M/M Romance #BDSM

Bad Things

Title: Bad Things
Author Name: Varian Krylov
Publication Date & Length: September 15, 2014 – 410 pgs

Synopsis

Xavier makes a lot of people nervous. The rest, he flat-out scares. More than his hulking, tattooed body, it’s his predator’s gaze that makes people feel vulnerable, as if he had the power to read their thoughts and see their soul. For his lovers, it’s Xavier’s ravenous appetite for all things carnal—for the taste of flesh under his tongue and the feel of a trembling body under his control, for whispered pleas and muffled cries—that makes him dangerous.

But recently, driven by a festering rage against the men who attacked his sister a decade ago, Xavier has developed a taste for a different kind of hunt and conquest: stalking men who do truly bad things and punishing the predators he sniffs out. The problem with vigilante justice, though, is sometimes the man in your trap is innocent.

Carson suspects he’s playing a risky game with dangerous men. But the lies are convincing, especially when they’re slipped to him among hundred dollar bills. He never guessed how big and dark the secret hidden under all the lies and money could be. And he has no idea he’s not the predator, but the prey, until it’s too late.

And you can’t beg for mercy when there’s a gag in your mouth.

But when Carson escapes from Xavier’s trap, he’s forced to accept that Xavier is far from his most dangerous enemy. Xavier may even hold the key to overcoming the painful past that has kept Carson prisoner for almost two decades.

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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!

 

Thank you for inviting me!

 

Now for the hard part:

  • What motivated you to start writing?

I’ve been playing with words since my earliest memories—scribbling adventure stories that my mom would type up for me when I was five or six, filling dozens of notebooks with angsty poetry through my adolescence and early twenties.

Even so, I was shocked when I wrote my first novel, Abduction, and this massive story emerged from my imagination, because I’d never written anything longer than a few pages, and had always thought I was too fickle to stick with one narrative long enough to write a four hundred page novel. But the nucleus of Abduction was a fantasy I’d had for years, so it was already elaborately developed, and once I started putting it on the page, it just flowed out of me. And it was incredibly satisfying, making those characters and their encounters concrete with written words—it almost felt like enchanted alchemy, making the phantoms in my head ‘real.’

  • Who or what is your biggest inspiration for writing?

This is an agonizing issue. When I was in my early twenties, I actually stopped writing poetry because I thought my writing was terrible compared to the poets I admired. These days, I work pretty hard to be inspired by beautiful writing, without eroding my confidence by comparing myself too much to my favorite authors. That said, I was directly influenced by Roberto Bolaño’s novel The Savage Detectives, which is narrated by a series of first-person accounts, which inspired me to try writing something in first person. The result was Dangerously Happy. Dostoyevksy, Gogol and Bulkakov are all longstanding favorites, but these days I’m diving into a lot of Latin American literature. In addition to Bolaño, I love Julio Cortazar, Mario Vargas Llosa and Ricardo Piglia. I love novels that address serious societal issues via a fascinating story, rather than clubbing you over the head with a message. I’d love to get my writing to the point where I could manage to create a less literal story. Something a bit surreal.

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

Where I write depends on my mood. Sometimes I thrive on a little bit of chaos, so I’ll take my laptop to a cafe so I can be out and around people. Other times, though, I need quiet to focus, so I’ll work at home. I don’t have a designated space for writing—sometimes I’ll work at the dining table, sometimes I curl up on the couch. I need a little variety—if I set up an office, I’d be sick of it after a week.

I don’t do much outlining or other formal preparation. Usually I sit or lie around with my eyes closed, and daydream the scene I’m about to write, playing with lines of dialog, choregraphy, and the feelings that will come out during the scene, etc. It’s a very intuitive process—when I feel threads from other parts of the story coming together, or get the rush of fear or arousal as I pit the characters against each other in my mind, I rush back to my laptop and try to get that intensity from my imagination down in words.

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

Writing the ending is always the most challenging. I struggle to get the balance between bringing the story to a satisfying conclusion, where the issues the characters have been struggling with are meaningfully resolved, and where they reach a place of safety within their lives and their relationships. But once the real conflicts in the story have been overcome, things lose steam quickly so I try not to dally forever, either, for fear of boring myself and everyone who’s reading.

  • 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?

I’m going to be rebellious, here, and say that I don’t think much about genre. I write the stories that I feel compelled to write, and then wedge them into a category for marketing purposes.

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

Roberto Bolano, if we could resurrect him, because he was innovative and exciting in his approach to form and technique, but even more because his ideas about society and violence fascinate me, and because I get the feeling he was a delightfully odd and mischievous person.

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

I prefer reviews that offer a bit of analysis, as opposed to reviews that are mostly a synopsis of the story, Usually there’s already a blurb out there and we don’t need another plot re-hash, but it’s fascinating to see how differently the same story affects different people, and the unique interpretations different readers make.

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

Write what excites you, not what you think is going to be popular.

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

These creative choices are all down to intuition and gut instinct. I usually start ‘auditioning’ titles from the moment I begin the first draft, until I land on one that feels apt and hopefully a little provocative. Until I have the right one, the test titles always just rub me the wrong way when I see them, so I know I have to keep searching.

Character actions usually happen organically once the story is in progress—with every dialogue, every action, every internal monologue, I get to know the characters better, and their conflicts, reconciliations, and affinities develop almost outside of my control. At least it feels that way, when the writing is going well.

  • If you could only use 4 words to describe yourself, what would they be?
    1. Lost in my imagination.

 

Thank you for your time! I wish you much success as an author!!!

Thank you for welcoming me!

Review

FourandHalfStars

4.5 Stars

I was given this book for an honest review from Inked Rainbow Reads.
I felt that the blurb about this book is slightly misleading. I thought this book was about revenge and hate. This book is so much more than that. I feel that this story should come with a warning that there is some questionable consent given during some of the sex scenes.
The story begins on a path of revenge and then morphs in to a story about self discovery and love. I thoroughly enjoyed all of the characters that Krylov creates. Despite a few issues with the development of the characters and the fact that I was somewhat confused as to the relationship among all of them, I really liked each of the “good” characters and really hated the “bad” ones. Each character had their own quirks that added to the story. Even the danger that the bad characters portray in their personalities is very clear to the reader in how the author describes their actions and exressions.  I would have liked to see more background about Aidan and Dario’s relationship to Xavier, but overall, they definitely added to the story.
I felt that Krylov really was able to pull the emotional heart strings in this story. I was able to feel all of the emotions that each character was wading through. The author was able to truly capture past pain, current pain and eventually envelope the reader and characters in hope.
This book turned in to a wonderful read, if even at the beginning, it started out like a completely different story, with a completely different feel. The transition between the two “sections” – beginning and middle/end was a little choppy in terms of what I imagine the author was trying to convey versus what I thought was being portrayed in terms of what the story was supposed to be about and the overall tone, but in the end, even with the change in type of story I was reading, I really enjoyed it.
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AuthorBio

Since her girlhood in a sunny coastal town in California, Varian Krylov has nurtured a love of words and a curiosity about the deep, dark forces at work in human nature, especially sexuality, and how they often paradoxically twine with our tenderest impulses. Her stories tend to explore the sometimes fine line between what arouses, and what frightens, what we’re driven to, and what we’re ashamed of.

As witty and seductive as I am sarcastic and self-deprecating, I spend as much time as possible thinking and writing about sex. No, not dense, inscrutable post-feminist texts on media representations of gender and the body–that was grad school. I write stories–short stories, novels, and starting a few weeks ago, screenplays–most of which poke and prod and the dark little corners of human sexuality. In a sense, nothing’s taboo, anymore. There’s no act, no fetish that hasn’t been made utterly banal in the proliferation of porn. What intrigues and excites me is the exploration of the conflicting impulses, the twisted psychology and turbulent emotions of people who find themselves unable to resist desires that lie beyond their own moral boundaries.

SocialLinks

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/varian.krylov
Author’s Website: http://variansfiction.blogspot.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/VarianKrylov

Giveaway

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5 Stars for Slide by Garrett – @garrett_leigh #M/M Romance

1

Title: Slide
Author Name: Garrett Leigh
Publication Date & Length: October 14, 2013 – 274 pgs

Synopsis

Don’t look back. Don’t you ever look back…

Shy tattoo artist Ash has a troubled past. Years of neglect, drug abuse, and life on the streets have taken their toll, and sometimes it seems the deep, unspoken bond with his lover is the only balm for wounds he doesn’t quite understand.

Chicago paramedic Pete is warmth, love, and strength—things Ash never knew he could have, and never even knew he wanted until Pete showed him. But fate is a cruel, cruel mistress, and when nightmares collide with the present, their tentatively built world comes crashing down.

Traumatic events in Pete’s work life distance him from home, and he doesn’t realize until it’s too late that Ash has slipped away. Betrayal, secrets, and lies unfold, and when a devastating coincidence takes hold, Pete must fight with all he has to save the love of his life.

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Review

FiveStars

Slide is a book I had trouble putting down. It’s a beautiful love story, full of sympathy and understanding for its characters and the setting, which comes alive. I FEEL Chicago as much as I feel Ash and Pete living on each page.
Pete is an EMT and Ash is a homeless tattoo artist and they fall in love. Then shit happens. And like, how refreshing and neat to read a book about a couple, rather than the slow burn of a first time story. Though that is included.
When I picked the book up I wasn’t expecting the high-quality parable I got. The sex is both steamy and helps tell the story… and… it’s hard to write about a book I love so much! It’s emotionally compelling, sleekly written (did I mention that?) and it’s a book EVERYONE should read, not just people interested in the m/m genre. This is a book for the ages.

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AuthorInterview

Question 1 What interested you in writing the anti-hero?It wasn’t deliberate. Ash and Pete just are who they are. They are both naturally reticent and private. Pete is especially heroic in Rare (book 2), but I reckon any kind of recognition for that would be his worst nightmare.
Question 2 If you could meet one character in real life from Slide—who would it be and why?Pete. He is, and will probably remain forever, my most fascinating character. Ash is a convoluted soul, but Pete…it never ends.
Question 3 Would you mind sharing some of your ups and some of your downs about writing and about publishing? Any advice to new and upcoming authors?The upside is definitely seeing your words in print, reading positive reviews, and the very real feeling that you’re contributing something to the world.

The downsides are the overflowing inbox, days and days of bloodbath editing, and that constant, nagging sensation that you’re just not good enough.

Question 4 Why focus on the LGBT et al genre? What are the plusses and what are the minuses of doing so?I write MM because I’ve yet to find a female voice that feels good to write.

As for the LGBT genre, despite the constant hoopla about chicks writing about dicks, I find it a very pleasant place to be.

AuthorBio

Garrett Leigh is a British writer and book designer, currently working for Dreamspinner Press, Loose Id, Riptide Publishing, and Black Jazz Press. Her protagonists will always always be tortured, crippled, broken, and deeply flawed. Throw in a tale of enduring true love, some stubbly facial hair, and a bunch of tattoos, and you’ve got yourself a Garrett special.

When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible. That, and dreaming up new ways to torture her characters. Garrett believes in happy endings; she just likes to make her boys work for it.

Garrett also works as a freelance cover artist for various publishing houses and independent authors under the pseudonym G.D. Leigh. For cover art info, please visit blackjazzpress.com

SocialLinks

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/garrettleighbooks
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/garrett_leigh
Author’s Website: http://www.garrettleigh.com
Cover art enquiries: blackjazzdesign@gmail.com

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Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1x8Mvkx
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/YacXeu
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/1CotE5d

Giveaway

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3.5 Stars for Finger Lickin’ Good by Shawn Bailey – #M/M Romance

Finger Lickin' Good

Title: Finger Lickin’ Good
Author Name: Shawn Bailey
Publication Date & Length: August 26, 2014 – 125pgs

Synopsis

Twenty-four year old Cajun-Frenchman Mikael lands a job at a popular French restaurant in New Orleans. The owner of the restaurant, Auguste Carrier is a big Frenchman with a bad temper and most of his employees are afraid of him.

Though Mikael is small in stature he wins the admiration of all the senior chefs at Chez Auguste when he prepares a pot of gumbo. The other employees are not stupid, even though they like Mikael they’ve also noticed how calm Auguste asks when Mikael is around. So they plot to get the two of them together. Mikael doesn’t want to be known as the boss’ boy-toy so he plans to win the man’s respect with his cooking.

Although he has noticed the confident young chef on the day he was hired, Auguste feels that maybe Mikael might be too young fill the shoes of a professional Sous Chef. The last one left him in a lurch and he doesn’t want that to happen again. But once he samples one bowl of Mikael’s delicious gumbo he realizes that he should not judge a book by its cover.

Mikael bears a striking resembles to Auguste’s dead lover Basil and Auguste wonders if he’s only attracted to him for just that reason. Should his stomach tell his mind what to do, or should he follow his heart?

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Review

ThreeandHalfStars

This was an interesting synopsis and a sexy cover that I thought had the potential for a great story.

Mikael gets a job in New Orleans working at Chez Auguste. It’s his dream job working for an extremely sexy, hulk of a man, Auguste.

Auguste spends all his time working on his restaurant since he lost his partner years prior. He vowed never to love again after the pain that his last love caused him.

I absolutely loved that there were intricate details about cooking and the process of working in a kitchen that you don’t get in a lot of books, even ones centered around a kitchen/restaurant. I liked that the speech was authentic and how it would be used in New Orleans (such as some French words mixed in with English)

I didn’t care for the lack of drama. There didn’t really seem any end point that we were striving for. It just was another day or week in their lives. While there was some hinted at with the ex lover and the matre d’ that didn’t like Mikael, but it was all so sweetly resolved and no confrontations or intense situations. Along with the medical issue that came into play late in the book with Mikael.

I also had issues with the terminology used in the love scenes. For example, ‘humping’ is a word I personally haven’t used in years as to me it is a children’s word.  ‘You make me go pop’ is also another phrase that sticks out in my mind as not quite working for a love scene.

Overall, I think there needed to either drop the love scenes or make them more sensual and sexual as that’s what the characters are supposed to be feeling and experiencing. Speaking of love, I couldn’t believe that the characters were so against being together, you know — the whole boss/staff member situation, yet they were expressing love for each other within a week. The time was easy to lose as it wasn’t always clear if it had been two hours or two days that had passed, which made things a bit more confusing for me.

~Renee

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Amazon: http://amzn.to/1qD5hdR
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/YjjUd2
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/1Ah3Sfe
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1u8ddWZ

AuthorBio

Shawn Bailey hails from New Orleans, LA, where she works as a programmer and help desk administrator. Shawn loves mangas and anime. Her current hobbies are watching Japanese and Korean dramas, when she has the spare time. She’s also trying to learn to speak and read both Japanese and Korean. She’s also into Korean pop music and can often be found with her MP3 player attached to her head. Shawn is single and enjoying the heck out it.

SocialLinks

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shawn.h.bailey