Wednesday, May 31, 2017

When Planets Fall by Abby J Reed

Title: When Planets Fall
Author: Abby J Reed
Series: Stars Fall Circle #1
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction
Release Date: April 12, 2017

In this richly imagined start to a new sci-fi series, Reed brings optimism to the goal of solving entrenched violence in a galaxy far, far away . . . A propulsive, sharply crafted tale about a planetary war.-Kirkus Reviews

Breaker’s home is cleaved by blood. The three tribes on the planet Scarlatti, whose only difference is their blood color, each want to exploit Breaker’s valley for themselves. The feudal tension has already claimed red-blood Breaker’s leg and his older brother. Now all this 18-year old wants is to maintain the tenuous peace in order to keep his little ‘stroid of a brother alive. Malani, a red-blood raised blue, is a kidnapped POW and only wants to return to her adoptive home with her dangerous blue secrets. Luka, a red-blood stewing for trouble, wants to right wrongs done to his family and bath his home in justice.

All three intersect when Breaker discovers a wrecked starship and is given seven days by the green-bloods to fix and hand it over as a weapon. Breaker must decide if aiding his enemies is worth the home he knows and his family’s life. War is coming. And war respects no boundaries. And war leaves no survivors.

What is the biggest influence/interest that brought you to this genre?
Growing up, I loved any book that had an adventurous feel to it. I always picked up Nancy Drew of Redwall or A Wrinkle in Time over Jane Eyre. I loved being transported to a whole other world. I love experiencing something completely different than what I know. Why would I want to read more about this world that I already live in? That curiosity is what draws me to the sci-fi fantasy genre, especially in YA. It feels so real and immediate and I can totally imagine myself there. I love it!

When writing a book, what is your favorite part of the creative process(outline, plot, character names, editing, etc)?
My favorite part is the drafting and that first round of editing. I really love brainstorming and coming up with ideas. I love discovering where the ideas take me during the writing process. I also like having enough material to work with to start making it better. Twisting things here. Foreshadowing there.

What I absolutely hate is any type of line editing. My personal hell would be sticking me in a room with only line editing to accompany for all eternity. Gag.

When reading a book, what genre do you find most interesting/intriguing?
Totally depends on my mood. If I’m relaxing, I’m usually reading some sort of nonfiction book, whether science or memoir or travelogue or something historical. Getting completely out of my genre helps my brain relax and lets me explore other subjects (which then helps my writing!). Then I’m usually reading other books in my genre to help me stay on top of what’s being published. And then I might have other books I’m interested in or want to explore because they are well written!

Lately, I’ve been on a 2017 debut binge as well as reading any books I can find on chronic pain—science and memoir and fiction.

Picking a book is like picking a tea. I never know what I’m in the mood for until I get a whiff on it. Then I drink as much as possible.

If you could co-author with any author, past or present, who would you choose?
Easy. Amie Kaufman. I love all her books and she regularly co-authors. The better question is—would she be willing to co-author with me? Ha.

Have you always wanted to write or did it come to you "later in life"?
Both. I went to college for writing, but I never thought I’d be a real author. My first job had to do with writing and I realized, hey! I really do enjoy this. Then when my Chronic Migraine spun way out of control and I had to quit my job. . . I could do nothing else but write! Win-win for me

Author Bio:
Abby J. Reed writes young adult science fiction and fantasy novels that ask what if. She has a degree in English Writing and is drawn to characters with physical limitations due to her own neurological disorder called Chronic Migraine. Her debut novel, WHEN PLANETS FALL, will be published in April 2017 by Soul Mate Publishing.

Abby lives in Colorado with her husband and two fluffy pups. If her hands aren’t on the keyboard, they are stained purple and blue with paint.


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Equality by Helena Stone

Title: Equality
Author: Helena Stone
Series: Dublin Virtues #2
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: May 23, 2017
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Love is love. But what if the fight for equality gets in the way of building a relationship?

Lorcan Barratt has never considered himself relationship material. After his parents made it perfectly clear they’d never welcome a partner of his into their home, he learned to love his own company and can’t imagine sharing his life with another. After a single passionate kiss with Eric Kavanagh—the night before he travels to Canada for three months—Lorcan’s no longer sure he wants to be on his own. The problem is, he has no idea what sharing his life with someone else might entail.

Eric Kavanagh grew up in a loving and supportive family and always assumed he’d end up in a committed relationship. Sure that he’s found the one, Eric doesn’t worry about the fact that Lorcan has no experience when it comes to love and relationships. They are good together, so what could possibly go wrong?

When both men get involved in the marriage equality referendum in Ireland, it appears to bring them even closer together until Lorcan’s insecurities get the upper hand and he shuts Eric out. Will the fight for a yes-vote cost them their relationship or will they be able to find a balance between the love they share and the need for equality?

I have been looking forward to reading Eric and Lorcan's story ever since they met when their best friends, Zander and Troy met in Patience.  Boy, did Helena Stone deliver!  Set with the backdrop of the Yes Referendum for marriage equality in Ireland, Eric and Lorcan try to balance dating, family, and well equality.

As a heterosexual woman I have no idea what it is like to come out to one's family and having a close loving relationship with my parents I can't imagine what it feels like to have them turn on you either but I would think that to face what Lorcan does could be so trying.  To have them basically say "okay but don't bring it to our door", I can't imagine the lack of hope and support he feels so when his grandmother steps up and supports him at a family dinner made me smile and cry happy tears and showed Lorcan that perhaps not all hope is lost.  Having said that, the author really conveys Lorcan's fears throughout, even if you want to shake him and tell him to open up to Eric.

I just love this series so far and I love how the equality is not just about marriage, gay and straight, but also between Eric and Lorcan.  Lorcan is in a relationship for the first time in his life so for him to balance what he's always done alone with Eric is also a battle.  Like in Patience, you just might walk away with a little new insight about yourself as well as enjoyed a lovely work of fiction as you follow Lorcan's journey.



Patience #1
I'm going to jump right out of the gate and say what a lovely story Patience is, realistic and beautiful.  Now, as any one who is familiar with my reviews knows that I don't do spoilers.  Having said all that, Xander and Troy could have saved themselves quite a bit of time and stress had they been more upfront with each other from the get go.  Sometimes stories with misunderstandings, miscommunication, or lack thereof, make the reader just want to scream and shake their ereader but not Patience.  Let's face it, if there was no drama then you would be reading a 10 page leaflet instead of a full length novel and where is the fun in that?  But Patience is much more than just drama caused from miscommunication, there is a clear reason why both Xander and Troy haven't divulged everything to each other, but those reasons you'll have to discover for yourself.

Along with the budding romance between Xander and Troy, I loved the true bromances both men have with their lifelong friends, Eric and Lorcan.  Helena Stone has created a journey that blends the title, the reasoning behind it, and interesting characters that will keep you hooked from the first page to the last.  You might actually even discover something about yourself as you ride along with Xander and Troy in their quest for a healthy future that all began with a little tattoo.

Helena Stone is a new author for me and after just one story I'm already looking forward to more, beginning with Equality, Dublin Virtues book 2 which follows Eric and Lorcan.  She is definitely an author I'll keep on my radar.


Author Bio:
Helena Stone can’t remember a life before words and reading. After growing up in a household where no holiday or festivity was complete without at least one new book, it’s hardly surprising she now owns more books than shelf space while her Kindle is about to explode.

The urge to write came as a surprise. The realisation that people might enjoy her words was a shock to say the least. Now that the writing bug has well and truly taken hold, Helena can no longer imagine not sharing the characters in her head and heart with the rest of the world.

Having left the hustle and bustle of Amsterdam for the peace and quiet of the Irish Country side she divides her time between reading, writing, long and often wet walks with the dog, her part-time job in a library, a grown-up daughter and her ever loving and patient husband.


Equality #2

Patience #1

Renewal #3(Coming June 20, 2017)

May 23 - The Novel Approach
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May 27 - Diverse Reader
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May 31 - The Geekery Book ReviewPadme's LibrarySarandipity Book ReviewsBonkers About BooksBayou Book JunkieReading Is Our SatisfactionDog-Eared DaydreamsFoxylutely BooksJim's Reading Room

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Release Day Blitz: The Baby Clause by Melanie Moreland

Title: The Baby Clause
Author: Melanie Moreland
Series: The Contract #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance Comedy
Release Date: May 31, 2017
Richard VanRyan can add another line to his resume—Daddy.

How does he handle the new addition to his life?

The Baby Clause is a short continuation of Richard and Katy’s story, containing humorous glimpses into his life as a father, and how his world has changed.

A must read for all fans of The Contract!

A portion of all sales go to charity.

Includes bonus material

I chuckled as she nibbled on a few Ebi and California rolls—the only kind of sushi she would eat. She ignored my teasing that it wasn’t really sushi since the shrimp was cooked and the other was just vegetables. She ate heartily, but began to feel ill a couple hours after dinner, and had been up most of the night. I blamed the Ebi.

Bad shrimp was hell.

Between her retching, and the contents of Gracie’s diaper this morning, I was feeling a little under the weather myself. Whoever said this shit, pardon the pun, got easier, was a fucking liar. Katy seemed to handle it all fine, but I still gagged on occasion. How something so small and adorable could produce nuclear explosions the way Gracie did was a mystery.

The Contract #1
Tyrant by day, a playboy by night. That is the reputation that precedes Richard VanRyan. He lives life the way he wants, no concern for the opinion of others. He cares for no one, is completely unrepentant, and he has no desire to change his ways.

Katharine Elliott works under Richard as his PA. She despises him and his questionable ethics, but endures all the garbage he sends her way, because she needs the job. Her end goal is far more important than the daily abuse and demands she tolerates from her nasty tyrant of a boss.

Until the day, he asks her for something she never expected. A new role with a personal contract— fiancée instead of PA.

What happens when two people who loathe each other, have to live together and act as though they are madly in love?


That’s what happens.

Can the power of love really change a person?

Will they survive the contract?

What do you do when the one person you hate the most becomes the one person you can’t live without?

Author Bio:
New York Times/USA Today bestselling author Melanie Moreland, lives a happy and content life in a quiet area of Ontario with her beloved husband of twenty-seven-plus years and their rescue cat Amber. Nothing means more to her than her friends and family, and she cherishes every moment spent with them.

While seriously addicted to coffee, and highly challenged with all things computer-related and technical, she relishes baking, cooking, and trying new recipes for people to sample. She loves to throw dinner parties, and also enjoys travelling, here and abroad, but finds coming home is always the best part of any trip.

Melanie delights in a good romance story with some bumps along the way, but is a true believer in happily ever after. When her head isn’t buried in a book, it is bent over a keyboard, furiously typing away as her characters dictate their creative storylines to her, often with a large glass of wine keeping her company.


The Baby Clause #2

The Contract #1

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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Beltway Betrayers by Taylor Marsh

Title: Beltway Betrayers
Author: Taylor Marsh
Series: Beltway Modern Millionaire Romance #2
Genre: Adult, Psychological Thriller
Release Date: May 12, 2017

There’s a secret.

A woman is heard whimpering in a parking garage.

A dark side to the powerfully rich is exposed.

And Alex Gantry is at the center of it all.

After several frightening events that shook Alex’s world, things have settled down.

So it seems…

Elite life coach, Alex Gantry, is enjoying her new life in the Washington, D.C. Beltway.

T.J. Gale, who’s part greenpreneur, part leader of a quick-strike unit of former military and intelligence professionals, has set her heart aflame.

Alex and T.J. are in love.

Enter Jett Spence, a man who once was part of T.J.’s world but who is now an unknown, because no one can tell whose side he’s on.

Two thousand miles away in Hollywood, Alex’s old haunts, the powerful producer Brian Marks is falling apart because he’s lost her. The woman he never thought would leave him is now in the bed of a younger man.

In New York City, T.J.’s ex-wife, Lisa, is looking to get even with the woman she thinks destroyed her marriage. Her vengeful father Davin Dalaney is eager to help because T.J. is no longer willing to ignore his criminal profits.

Brian is intent on getting Alex back.

Lisa wants to make her pay.

And T.J. is attempting to keep her safe.

Alex believes she can take care of herself, but being with T.J. has taught her it’s not always that simple.

From the Washington, D.C. Beltway to Los Angeles, California, the stakes couldn’t be higher.

What is the biggest influence/interest that brought you to this genre?
I spent 10 years in the dating, sex and relationship worlds, and was Relationship Consultant (my actual title) at the LA Weekly, then the nation’s top alternative newsweekly. I spent years talking to women and men about modern relationships. Later branching out and become managing editor to one of the most trafficked sites on the web, getting emails from all over the world.

What I learned from the thousands of people to whom I spoke seemed like a natural for romantic fiction.

My interpretation of this genre brings an added emphasis on equality. Women are equal in all things in my novels, including their expertise in handling firearms, and bad guys.

When writing a book, what is your favorite part of the creative process (outline, plot, character names, editing, etc.)?
The act of writing is a wondrous adventure for me, especially since I've now turned from non-fiction, and journalism, to romantic thrillers.

Writing the first chapter is the most thrilling. You've got to get it right.

When reading a book, what genre do you find most interesting/intriguing?
I'm a huge fan of Michael Connelly, and the crime genre in general. It's one reason I've read so many Patricia Cornwell novels. But I have to say international spy novels are my favorite. I've read most of Tom Clancy's books, too.

I continually look for new modern romances, and peruse a lot of new releases in the genre. I'm a fan of Meredith Wild. Can't wait for Misadventures of a City Girl.

If you could co-author with any author, past or present, who would you choose?
It would have to be Robert Ludlum, creator of the Jason Bourne series.

Have you always wanted to write or did it come to you "later in life"?
I’ve known I was a writer since I was a young girl, when I kept journals. My performance ambition bit first and it landed me on Broadway, doing commercials, and also television.

I’ve been a non-fiction writer, and journalist, for many years, starting my journey into women's fiction in 2015. In fact, the switch to romantic fiction was sparked by a screenwriting competition Meryl Streep started by funding “a screenwriters lab for women writers over 40,” sponsored by New York Women in Film and Television. I didn’t win, but the fun I had writing the screenplay sparked an idea.

Why not try the romance genre? I published my first romantic suspense novel in February 2016.

I'm just getting started.

Author Bio:
Taylor Marsh writes smart, arousing romance while deciphering world events. She lives in the Beltway area of Washington D.C.

“Beltway Betrayers,” Book 2 of The Beltway Series, will be out in May 2017 and Book 3 of this series will be out in the fall.

She is a former Broadway performer and beauty queen who was the Relationship Consultant for LA WEEKLY, then the nation’s top alternative newsweekly. Taylor is the author of two traditionally published non-fiction books, “The Hillary Effect,” and her memoir, “The Sexual Education of a Beauty Queen.”

Taylor was profiled in The Washington Post and The New Republic for her coverage of Hillary Clinton during the 2008 Democratic primary season. She became a contributor to The Huffington Post in 2006, and has written for Washington, D.C.’s The Hill, as well as for U.S. News & World Report and for Zócalo Public Square in Los Angeles, among others. As a seasoned entertainer, communicator and speaker, Taylor has also been interviewed by The Los Angeles Times, Al Jazeera Media Network, The New York Times, BBC, CNN, MSNBC, and C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, among other outlets.


Beltway Betrayers #2

Below the Beltway #1

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My Highland Cowboy by Alexa Milne

Title: My Highland Cowboy
Author: Alexa Milne
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: June 6, 2017
Duncan McLeish owns a ranch. Unlike most ranches, this one is in the Scottish Highlands. Having inherited a failing farm from his grandfather, he turns it into a successful business. He has friends and he loves his home, but he’s lonely, and not even infrequent trips to Glasgow and Edinburgh slake that thirst to find someone. Then Drew Sinclair walks into his life.

Drew Sinclair is tantalizingly close to getting his clothing brand noticed in the industry. He and his business partner, Joy, create individual dresses, while, on the side, Drew produces a line of men’s lingerie. He visits Scotland to design a bridal gown for his sister, Jenna, who is marrying Duncan’s best friend at Christmas.

Duncan and Drew have nothing except their Highland upbringing in common, but they say opposites attract, and the attraction is immediate. Is this simply a summer fling, or can two men who live such opposite lives miles away from each other find a way to love?

Cowboys, the Scottish Highlands, opposites attract, comedy, romance, heat, family.  What's not to love?  My Highland Cowboy has it all and even though it is packed full of a little bit of everything it doesn't lose its heart.  The whole idea of a City Slickers style ranch in Scotland is an interesting setting to bring main characters Duncan and Drew together for a family and friends wedding.

On the surface, Duncan McLeish and Drew Sinclair could not be more opposite than their country vs. city lives they live.  But, as in life, not everything is as it seems.  Duncan's upbringing wasn't as country as his ranch now and Drew didn't always live in the city but now their lives are very different.  Will their chemistry be enough to overcome the location logistics? Well, for that answer you will have to give My Highland Cowboy a read for yourself but I can safely and honestly tell you that you will not regret it.

The old adage sometimes you have to give to get, well that is what Duncan and Drew are facing if they want to be together and watching them deny what they feel is more than a fling is a bit heartbreaking but seeing their family and friends rally around them, or at least try to, is heartwarming.  Having a story that can both break your heart and warm it on the same page is not easy and shows real talent by the author, as is having just the right amount of angst mixed into a lighthearted read.  My Highland Cowboy is not my first Alexa Milne read and it has proven that I'll be looking at her backlist to add to my TBR list.


Author Bio:
Originally from South Wales, Alexa has lived for over thirty years in the North West of England. Now retired, after a long career in teaching, she devotes her time to her obsessions.

Alexa began writing when her favourite character was killed in her favourite show. After producing a lot of fanfiction she ventured into original writing.

She is currently owned by a mad cat and spends her time writing about the men in her head, watching her favourite television programmes and usually crying over her favourite football team.



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