Monthly Archives: December 2014

Random Acts by Mia Kerrick

RandomActsFrom Dreamspinner:

Bradley Zelder can’t find his way in life. After struggling for nearly a decade, he has yet to complete his college degree. Working as a school custodian, living in blue-collar Landsbury, MA, his love life is as empty as the rest of his existence. But on his way home after another disastrous date, his truck breaks down in upscale Oceanside. When he thinks life can’t get any worse, a man who is the epitome of Boston elite and everything Bradley finds attractive and intimidating helps him move his truck to the side of the road. Ashamed of his lot in life, Bradley almost lets the opportunity slip away, but he comes to his senses in time and tracks Caleb down.

From a random act of kindness, romance begins to grow, filling all the dark corners of Bradley’s empty life—until a random act of violence threatens to take it all away. Bradley must step up and be the man Caleb believes him to be. Caleb rescued him from a life without hope. Can Bradley rescue him in return?

Kimi’s thoughts:

I am familiar with Mia Kerrick’s previous YA works so looked forward to seeing what she pulled out of her writer’s hat when it came to her foray into adult fiction. I was not disappointed. Mia gives us a story that is as feel good but socially relevant  as her YA stories.

Bradley and caleb are two men who are both publicly out but who couldn’t be more different. Caleb is successful and has a fancy car and a great job. Bradley left university after someone he idolised gave what was meant as a throw away sort of remark but, which as these things often do, ended up devastating Bradley and sent him packing. Since then, he’s drifted along, working as a school custodian and entering into relationships based upon superficiality. Bradley is indeed a wounded soul, and it is his own model handsome looks that is at the root of his problems.

For one thing, the openly bisexual Bradley has quit looking for men. Yes, he’s bi, but he leaned more towards men at one point in time. Now he’s all about the ladies, but not if they get too attached as that way spells heartache for him, a legacy of his past that continues to haunt him. His current girlfriend thinks so many dates and now we’ve jumped in the sack a few times equals marriage talk, come meet my family so we can get the engagement chatter started time. She springs this on him in bed, and of course, he makes as graceful an exit as he can while bolting as fast as he can. On his way back home, which is in another town, his POS truck breaks down and he meets Caleb who stops to play Good Samaritan.

The two start off as if in a fairy tale, with the…should I, will he…okay, let’s give it a try routine, but it’s far from perfect. Along the way there are self doubts, demons from the past, and even a friend who turns out to have a hidden agenda. Both men find that what is beneath the surface is quite different than expected, and it makes for a bit of a roller coaster as they find their way.

A great read, especially on a cold grey day.

Buy from Amazon

Rating: 4

kimisig

A Scout is Brave (The Two-Spirit Chronicles #2) by Jay Jordan Hawke

ScoutIsBrave

From Harmony Ink Press:
In the months following the brutal murder of Matthew Shepard, fourteen-year-old Joshua, a half Native American boy, is new to a Boy Scout troop and spending a week camping in northern Wisconsin. The weaker kids in the troop soon realize Joshua is not afraid to stand up to the troop’s ruthless bullies. Joshua’s bravery and kindness is infectious, and the bullied Scouts quickly find their own inner strength.

Joshua, however, is plagued by self-doubt as he realizes he has feelings for Cody, the son of the troop’s harsh and puritanical Scoutmaster. The two discover they have more in common than Scouting as they share their deepest secrets and develop a close friendship. That friendship faces its greatest challenge as the homophobic bullies claim a “faggot” has “infected” their troop. As if struggling to come to terms with his sexuality while dealing with hatred and bigotry isn’t enough, Joshua discovers the camp holds another dark mystery, one that will make him summon all his courage and learn for the first time what it truly means to be brave.

Kimi’s thoughts:
This is the sequel to Pukawiss the Outcast and while it reads just fine on its own, I recommend reading Pukawiss first as you will gain a much deeper understanding to undercurrents within the book. This is especially true regarding Joshua’s struggle with his mother and how the pastor/Scout troop leader wish to mould him and his fellow youth as well as the strength of Native American mysticism that runs through the book.

Joshua is a very likeable young man and has a charisma about him that quickly draws the bullied children to him as he stands up for them and himself. It also touches upon many aspects of growing up and how adults try to manipulate things in an effort to guide youth, some very well intentioned albeit thoughtless and others because it is simply the way things have always been done. Joshua confronts unintended bigotry when he attends coursework for badges and even during a ceremony intending to promote Native american values. Reading what happened to him reminded me of an incident in my own childhood well over a decade before this was set, when my public school class studied Native Americans and were assigned “Indian” names. I explained that I didn’t need one; I already had one. “You can’t use that, you have to have a proper one,” I was told. This indignity was compounded when Thanksgiving rolled by. I got to make a Pilgrim hat out of paper to wear to lunch. Boys got to choose between making a Pilgrim hat or a headband with a paper feather. Refusal got me, “But it’s Thanksgiving!” No amount of discourse could get anyone to see that any of it was offensive, no matter that this as unintentional on their part. Then there was the time I applied to a student exchange program. My father, a recently retired serviceman, was fawned over because they assumed he was as they said to his face, “a poor Indian dirt farmer”. The local committee members were busy congratulating each other on being so forward in their thinking that they would welcome such a man and help him gain sponsorship for his daughter to study abroad as a high school exchange student that they completely failed to see their own hypocrisy. Needless to say, I decided to not participate in their program.

Joshua’s camp experiences will no doubt echo true for many other children of Native descent who have had to deal with non Natives. Add to the mix that his mother is white and at odds with his heritage and you again have a very familiar story for many youths of mixed heritage. When you toss in the gay, mix in conservative religion, and Scouting, you get a volatile mix indeed. It’s a frank look at growing up different, remaining true, and taking a stand for what’s fair, just and right. It speaks about what has been so wrong for so long, allowing us to see how things have changed, are changing, and what still needs to change.
Recommended for youths ages 12 and up and for adults who enjoy well written YA stories.

Buy from Amazon

4

kimisig

 

New M/M Publishing House Launches, Sends Out Calls for Submissions

COOLDUDES PUBLISHING LOGO (Main)

 

 

From the Press release:

Our Publishing Program
We want to tap into the M/M market and expand it using our affiliate editors, beta readers, reviewers and promotional staff. We don’t ask for a penny upfront, however, we do offer contracts and deduct a small percentage of 40% from royalties for the services we offer.

We aim to publish e-books with a strong M/M element but are NOT genre romance and not specific to Happy Ever After (HEA). The work may be darker in nature and reflective of the world gay men face. These are more along the lines of how things really happen with all of the horrors gay men and women have to face through their lives.

But, the romances will be heartfelt and not a guaranteed HEA although we would prefer HEA.

Literary works are welcome.

These are novels that minimize on dialogue and maximize on narrative, but the language must be of a high standard. There are many authors writing literary books as opposed to light romance.

We also publish YA and NA, and we will attempt to control who sees what age wise. We want to open people’s eyes to the fact there is a whole culture of extremes out there in writing Gay Fiction.

We include all types of works about gay men, whether it be relationships written by gay men/women or straight, it doesn’t matter.

Above all, we strive to have this kind of reaction: ‘Oh my God! That’s such a great thriller, and you know what, it’s got two guys in it, but wow! it’s a fab book!’ That way we get the best of both – the hard-core readers who only buy gay romance and perhaps some others who buy it despite the fact it has two gay guys.
Our Submission Guidelines
We accept works that are a minimum of 30,000 words unless it is a solicited short for an anthology.

Maximum word count: 120 000 words.

Please only send a submission query through our website at http://www.cooldudespublishing.com for completed works that are ready to begin the editing process.

Use “Submission  query” as your email subject and in the body please give the title of the work, your name, completed word count, and a synopsis which should include details regarding character development, plot, and conflict/story resolution.
Please use Arial or Times New Roman font, 12 point size for queries.

Also tell us the genre(s) and if it is for our adult or YA range.

You should include three sample chapters in Word format and address them to the following address: louisjharris@cooldudespublishing.com.

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

Your books. Our Books. Their Books. Publishing for our community
Cooldudes started out as a website to showcase wonderful books. And now we’ve diversified into something we think will appeal to all the LGBT writers out there.
PUBLISHING. More specifically, publishing in the LGBT genre.
Yep, there is a reason we only publish gay titles; the market is saturated with mainstream straight titles. We want to widen the market and offer more titles in this rich and ever growing genre.
We include all types of works about gay men. Whether it is about relationships written by gay men/women or straight; it doesn’t matter. The focus is romance, crime, mystery, paranormal with a gay theme (because after all, it’s perfectly normal right? It shouldn’t be set apart because it’s about two men together) rather than gay romance, gay mystery or gay thriller. It means someone buys it for the story it offers.
We strive to have this kind of reaction: ‘Oh my God! That’s such a great thriller, and you know what, it’s got two guys in it, but wow! it’s a fab book!’ That way, in presenting a story, we get the best of both – attraction for the hard-core readers who only buy gay romance and perhaps some others who buy it despite the fact it has two, or maybe more, gay guys.
Submission Calls are now open and we welcome you to submit.
Please read our guidelines and carefully when submitting to us.
OUR SUBMISSION CALL
General Call
We want plot driven stories featuring at least one gay male main character. While we do wish to see a romance element within the stories, we do not require the story to have romance as its primary focus. We prefer a happily ever after, but realize that love is often bittersweet, so a happy for now ending is also welcome. We prefer submissions to be at least 30,000 words and will happily consider longer works upwards of 150,000. Stand alone titles are welcome as are series and we welcome both first time and established authors. If a title has previously been self published, it must be removed from distribution before we will consider it.
You, Me, and the Stars
Space ships, alien worlds, galactic conquests… CoolDudes is looking for quality science fiction with well realized worlds, exciting plots, good character development, and while there should be some romance, it doesn’t have to be the primary focus. Submissions should be at least 30,000 words in length and we are happy to accept longer works. Have an epic over 150,000 words? We’re happy to take a look and see if its a good fit.
Down in the City
Skyscrapers. Wharf fronts. Shopping malls. We’re looking for some gritty urban fantasy worth sinking teeth into. Vampires, dragon shifters, wizards, fae, and more are all welcome. Submissions should be a minimum of 30,000 words and we are happy to consider works over 100,000 words. Whatever the story, it should contain an element of a romance, though it doesn’t have to be the primary focus.
Contemporary Romance
Any setting, as long as the world is our own and it’s set in this era. We are looking for tales featuring two men in love. New couples, established couples, friends to lovers, Love comes in all shapes and sizes and we want their stories! HEA or HFN stories preferred and the stories may contain dark themes or be as sweet as candy as no two love stories are alike. Submissions should be at least 30,000 words.
Young Adult
Here at CoolDudes we firmly believe that youth are our future. We’re looking for positive stories featuring LGBT youth main characters, aimed at readers 12 and up and 16 and up. Please include an  intended age range with your submission. Stories can be set within any genre, and romance can be secondary. So whether it’s a young person running for his junior high student council while realizing his first real crush is another boy, or a college student finding the love of his life, we want to hear about it. Stories should be a minimum of 25,000 words.

http://www.cooldudespublishers.com
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All Fired Up-Morticia Knight

Publisher: Totally Bound

The party never ends on the Las Vegas strip, but neither does the danger. Officer Everly is new to the beat, having recently relocated to Vegas from Los Angeles. Foot patrol on The Strip is a demanding assignment because he’s up close and personal with the public. But what he’d really like to do is get up close and personal with Station 32’s hunky fireman, Trent Marshall.

Trent has been a fireman for over ten years and is dedicated to his job. He’s built tough and is a no-nonsense man of few words. At a local blood drive, Trent meets the handsome new officer on foot patrol, but won’t let himself get too close. He’s lost love before when his policeman lover was killed in the line of fire.

During an emergency, Trent’s over-protective instincts kick in when he believes Shawn is in harm’s way. He ends up embarrassing and angering Shawn in front of their fellow officers, which seems as though it will end any hope of Trent having a chance with the young man he can’t push from his mind.

Shawn can’t decide whether he wants to punch or kiss Trent. Kissing wins. Once they spend some time together away from the stresses of their jobs, they find that they’re not just compatible—they’re combustible.

But Trent can’t seem to accept that there are hazards that come with working in law enforcement. Right as they’re discovering how much they mean to one another, the danger escalates on The Strip. The underground vigilante group, The Citizens Against Immorality, have raised the stakes. Will Shawn and Trent be their next targets?

2014-10-27 23.10.07

 

This is the first book in the Sin City Uniform series and I must say the Mz. Morticia SERVED it right out the gate. This book was fabulous. The action was on point, the characters wonderful and even though the storyline has been done numerous times before, was still exciting.

Trent is a firefighter who is suffering from undiagnosed PTSD as a result of his former lover who was killed in the line of duty. He sees the new cop in the LVPD and it immediately attracted to him. Although he’s attracted, he decides to avoid him.

Shawn relocated to Las Vegas from Los Angeles to make a fresh start. Shares is suffering from heart break of his own. Rejected by his homophobic family, he decides to move to another city in the hopes of being able to be himself and to live openly.

Trent and Shawn can’t really avoid each other as their jobs ensure their paths cross constantly. One particular incident puts the men up close and personal and Trent decides to act on his attraction to Shawn despite his fears.

Trent’s issues are brought to the surface after Shawn is placed in a particularly dangerous situation. This puts a wrench in the relationship and brings it to a halt. Trent is forced to really deal with his fears or risk losing everything, his lover and career.

Knight did a great job with the characters and their dialogue. The sex was scorching hot. You get know and care about these guys. The only bump in the story was the unexpected POV shifts. You weren’t sure which character you were dealing with at first but this was minor as it was made clear with a few words into the paragraph which man it was.

In all, this is a very good start to this series. I am really looking forward to seeing what happens next.

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

All’s Fair in Mate Bonds and Publishing by Alana Ankh

AllsFairInMateBondsandPublishingPublisher: Dreamspinner Press

For Killian Marsden, werewolf romance is overrated. After all, he should know, since he’s a half-werewolf and an editor for a romance-publishing house. He’s tired of reading mate bond fairytales, because real life doesn’t work that way. In the real world, Alphas abandon their half-breed children. Not that Killian’s jaded or anything. Simply realistic. So when werewolf Alpha Brett comes knocking, demanding explanations on a rejected manuscript, Killian reels away, or at least tries to.

Brett is a walking, talking Alpha cliché: big, possessive, and growly. His last name is Wolfe, for crying out loud. But Brett is also trustworthy, devoted to his pack, and a little silly when in love. Soon, Killian discovers that maybe, just maybe, he might love Brett in return.

Unfortunately, Killian is not the only one who wants to claim Brett. He will have to set aside his beliefs about mate bonds and deadbeats if he wants his own happily ever after werewolf romance.

 

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Oh, I really liked this book! It had all of my favorite elements: hot gay men, shifters, romance and sex. Killian is an editor who was accused of stealing the book of Brett’s girlfriend. Brett meets with him to the editor to defend her honor. Things don’t go as planned when it turns out that he is Killian’s true mate.

Of course Killian fights against it. At first you think Killian’s going to roll over (no pun intended) and give in. That is far from the truth because Killian is a spitfire of a man. He’s a lot stronger than he lets on and that is what I loved about this story. The fact that he fought against the mating and attraction to Brett made me like him all the more. Of course it wasn’t long before he did give in but he made Brett work hard for it. That was another thing that I appreciated about this story: she didn’t let Brett pull the alpha card on Killian; he had to prove that he was worthy to be Killian’s mate. The book was short, but well written and it’s the first in a series
Which is good because the story ended in an odd cliffhanger and I am really looking forward to seeing what happens next.

Rating: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stardust by Andrew Grey


Dreamspinner presents http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5848

StardustBlurb

With Georg’s life in Germany and Duncan’s in Boston, the chance for more than a holiday fling is as elusive as stardust.

Duncan is an ocean from home over the holidays and expects to spend them alone. To his pleasant surprise, one of his European co-workers, Georg, befriends him and includes Duncan in the holiday traditions of his homeland: cutting a Christmas tree under starry skies at Georg’s country estate, decorating it at the family’s city home, and shopping at the Christmas market in Munich. Both men are lonely and realize they have much in common. But Georg’s life is in Germany and Duncan’s is in Boston. With the project they’re working on nearing completion, any chance for more than a holiday fling seems as elusive as stardust.

Review

Duncan recently dropped his cheating ex, and since he’s single and has no close family, he elects to take a job overseas for the holidays. He’s an engineer working for NASA and loves his job, but is terribly lonely.

Georg is a count! But is also terribly lonely. He doesn’t want someone who wants him for his mostly in-name-only status and hasn’t yet found someone to fit the bill. He works with Duncan on the NASA project and is immediately intrigued by the American’s lack of desire for titles and pretensions.

Though they both wonder at the intelligence of starting what will have to be a short-term affair, neither man can resist the lure of the other, an in the meantime they fall in love.

Luckily, by the end, it looks like they may just have found a more permanent solution.

**

This was one of the longer books in the advent series and it is excellent. The descriptions of Munich and Fussen are spot on and the love and caring between Georg and Duncan feel very authentic, plausible and very sweet.

I really enjoyed this novella and highly recommend it.

4.5 of 5 hearts.

4.5

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The magic of Christmas by Pelaam

MLR Press Presents http://www.mlrbooks.com/ShowBook.php?book=PTHEMAGC

 

Blurb

On a friThe_Magic_of_Christmasends’ getaway in a winter wonderland, Jared and Casey discover real Christmas magic.

Jared joins his four best friends on an early Christmas holiday in a beautiful winter wonderland. He’s been in love with the talented and extroverted Casey for years, but lacked the courage to say anything.

Casey loves Jared, but despite his gregarious exterior, inside lurks someone shy and insecure and so he’s never spoken up.

Both men are about to experience real Christmas magic.

 

Review

Surprisingly sweet – this is a paranormal Christmas story of two friends who have harbored a love for one another but haven’t had the guts to admit it. They end up going on a holiday together with other friends to a spot that is “haunted” by the Snow Queen. Luckily, they end up being rescued by Kris Kringle, his lover Jack Frost and their mighty shifter Rudy.

It’s a lovely mishmash of Christmas lore, contemporary romance and some New Zealand culture.

I really enjoyed it, thought it was a full and complete story told in only 49 pages and would recommend it to someone looking for a short story full of fantasy, humor and a little hot sex!

4 of 5 hearts

4

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Batteries Not Included by JL Merrow

JL Merrow presents http://www.amazon.com/Batteries-Not-Included-J-L-Merrow-ebook/dp/B00QH6PV6O/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1419024658&sr=1-1&keywords=batteries+not+included

batteriesBlurb

How would you react if you woke up one morning to find you were in bed with your favorite rock star? More to the point: how would the rock star react?

Animal rescue worker Sam is content to dream of rock sensation Cain Shepney. Trouble is, his meddling mother Lillith thinks he deserves to have all his dreams come true — and she isn’t above performing a little magic to achieve her ends! Sam’s shocked to wake up one morning to find himself actually in bed with his celebrity crush — but that’s nothing to how Cain feels about it! Suddenly Sam’s got to deal with an irate, naked, and very distracting rock star in his bed.

Cain has it all — he’s good-looking, famous, and adored by millions. But his life takes a turn for the surreal when he wakes up in bed with Sam. Expecting everyone to be worried sick by his disappearance, Cain’s horrified to find his manager — and even his mum — insisting he’s an imposter, and the real Cain Shepney is right where he belongs.

Sam just wants to help, but with Cain convinced he’s a crazed, celebrity-kidnapping stalker, Sam’s got his work cut out for him. Can he get the object of his affections to trust him long enough to find out just what the hell’s going on?

Review

This is a super short fantasy novel about a toy “idol” doll coming to life and making Sam’s dreams come true. In true Merrow fashion it’s British and snarky and hilarious with a dash of hot sex to keep things steamy.

I loved it and my only complaint was that it was too short!

My absolute favorite part is the tattoo!

I highly recommend it and give it 4.5 of 5 hearts

4.5

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The Magic of Weihnachten by Bru Baker


Dreampsinner presents: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5842

MagicofWeihnachten[The}Blurb

American Walsh Brandt is happy when a promotion lands him his dream job and a quiet new life in Germany. Until December rolls around, when he realizes it’s almost impossible to hide from the holiday season in Germany.

Dierck Reiniger is fascinated by Walsh’s hatred of Christmas and makes it his personal mission to help Walsh enjoy Weihnachten and the German traditions he grew up with. Walsh has a great time getting to know Dierck—but he still isn’t sold on Christmas, despite Dierck’s efforts. Dierck’s on the rebound, and he’s determined to develop their physical relationship slowly, much to Walsh’s frustration. It isn’t until they’re alone in a secluded cabin—hiding from the traditional trappings—that Walsh finally recognizes what the magic of the season can bring when spent with someone special.

 

Review

Walsh is a lonely man who hates Christmas. He’s in Germany,permanently, working at his new job in pharmaceuticals and is surrounded by their Weihnachten traditions everywhere he looks. One day he literally runs into Dierck who takes it upon himself to show Walsh the beauty of the season.

Dierck has been hurt in the past and is reluctant to move forward quickly in any relationship, so he forces the men to be friends first before lovers.

Finally, Walsh begins to feel that Dierck may just be using him for a holiday diversion when Dierck blessedly moves their relationship forward and we get a very solid HFN/HEA.

**

Though I really loved Dierck and learning about the traditions of Germany, I was as frustrated by this story as Walsh. Just when things looked to get more interesting and emotional, the story ends. The writing and character development were good, but the story felt truncated.

Overall, it was nice, but not my favorite of the advent series.

 

3.5 of 5 hearts

3.5

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Stalking the Hygienist by Jackie Nacht

MLR Press presents http://www.mlrbooks.com/ShowBook.php?book=JNSTKHYG

stalking hygienistBlurb

This lion shifter will go to any length to get his deer shifting hygienist, including going to the dentist. Bring on the nitrous oxide!

Beauregard made a mistake… a horrible mistake. Now embarrassed,he focuses on what he loves most, working as a hygienist at Paranormal Dentistry for the Fanged and Friendly.

As soon as Sergei saw Beauregard coming up to his meat counter, he fell hard for the deer shifter. The only problem is Beauregard is running from him. Being the lion shifter he is, Sergei decides to take matters into his own hand and goes hunting. However, Sergei never imagined he would have to face his worst fear and choke down a salad.What’s it going to take to make Beauregard his?

Review

Sergei is a lone lion who sees his potential mate in the deer-shifter Beauregard. Sergei won’t take no for an answer and “stalks” Beau until he agrees to a date. From there on it’s pretty much hot then hotter between the two and true love triumphs again.

This is a very cute shifter story with true love and hot sex. A great addition to the series!

4 of 5 hearts

4

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