Daily Archives: July 9, 2015

Being True Audiobook by Jacob Flores Narrated by Mark Westfield

Dreampsinner Presents
http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6655

BeingTrueAUDMEDBlurb

Truman L. Cobbler has not had an easy life. It’s bad enough people say he looks like Donkey from Shrek, but he’s also suffered the death of his policeman father and his mother’s remarriage to a professional swindler, who cost them everything. Now dirt poor, they live in the barrio of San Antonio, Texas. When Tru transfers to an inner-city high school halfway through his senior year, he meets Javi Castillo, a popular and hot high school jock. Javi takes an immediate liking to Tru, and the two become friends. The odd pairing, however, rocks the school and sets the cliquish social circles askew. No one knows how to act or what to think when Mr. Popular takes a stand for Mr. Donkey. Will the cliques rise up to maintain status quo and lead Tru and Javi to heartbreak and disaster or will being true to who they are rule the day?

Review

Truman is 17, in his last year of high school, and this is his 6th school in as many years. Due to his small stature he is the object of bullying and his poor single mother can do nothing more than move them to help the situation.

Javi is the star of the baseball team and a genuinely nice, great guy, part of a loving family.

After Tru gets beat up again (on the first day by Javi’s best friend), Javi rescues him and takes him home to his family where he is immediately embraced into the fold.
After that day Javi and Tru become best friends. Javi protects him as well as really enjoys his company, more than the other kids think he should.
When push comes to shove, Javi has to face the fact that he has feelings for Tru (admittedly gay, but not out officially). After facing the truth he has to decide what to do with the information but before he can decide things have heated up at school to the point where it may already be too late.
**
OMG! I loved this story. I’m not a huge YA fan, but I really love Jacob Flores and Mark Westfield so I decided to give this a try. Boy am I glad!
First, since this is their last year in HS most of what the boys are dealing with is adult enough not to feel awkward when it comes to relationship stuff.
Second, Jacob Flores is an excellent writer and he does an excellent job of creating two believable characters in situations that feel authentic. Javi is (perhaps) a bit too good to be true, but every story needs a hero and he is an absolutely wonderful one.
There are plenty of “bad guys” in this story, including most of Javi’s “friends” from the baseball team.
Tru is another wonderful character who just keeps trying and trying. He never gives up and I really liked that he didn’t perseverate on the future or have dire thoughts of suicide. He truly lived in the now and simply focused on doing the best with what he was given in that moment.
Claudia, the BFF, is another fantastic character – serving to give some attitude to the couple who are so sappily sweet.
I also loved that most of the characters in this story were non-caucasian but that race really wasn’t made much of an issue – if any.
It was a super sweet and lovely story and I highly recommend it.

Audio
Mark Westfield (who I really admired in the THIRDS books) disappointed me with this. He does a nice enough job and is easy to listen to, he gives Javi’s folks a bit of an accent, but I think that someone like Gomez Pugh would have rocked this as most of the characters in this were Hispanic and I think more accents would have made this sound more like I had it scripted in my head.
That being said, it was a nice (if not amazing) way to listen to this book and did not detract.

5 of 5 hearts

5

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In Memoriam by Cari Z.

Dreamspinner Presents
http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6620
InMemoriamBlurb
Lee Summers is past expecting to find love. He has a fulfilling career and a few human connections, and he’s determined to be happy with those. When he meets Felix Clymenos during a vacation in Colorado, he doesn’t expect to feel so passionate about him. Felix is intriguing, but when he starts to feature in Lee’s dreams—and his slowly strengthening nightmares—Lee wonders if it wouldn’t be a better idea to walk away. There’s a mystery behind Felix’s affections and somehow Lee feels like he’s known Felix his whole life. Before they can be happy together, Lee has to know why that is… and what that means for their future.

 

Review
This is a short story with a big twist! I can’t tell you too much about the plot or it will give away the secret.
In a nutshell, two men meet one day in a farmer’s market and slowly begin a relationship. For various reasons they click instantly though their lives are really disparate. There are some hurdles keeping them apart and some mysterious dreams to be explained.
I really loved how the author wove ancient mythology into the modern world and gave us a plausible explanation for how it would translate into today’s world.
The writing was smooth and lyrical and I really enjoyed this short story.

4.5 of 5 hearts

4.5

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Bad Boys Club Box Set by MA Church Tour with Excerpt & Giveaway

RC

Excerpt from Lust and Ice
“You have the devil’s own luck,” Jordan groaned.
“Actually, that’s Kain. I’m still behind him by two virgins.”
“How do you find these guys?” Allen complained. “I’ve only managed to find two!”
“Oh shut up. You’re one ahead of me.” Jordan rolled his eyes.
“Back on subject, fellows. Did I mention how sweetly he cried?” Hugh smirked. “And get this… he’s thinks I’m going to keep calling him now, be his boyfriend. Seems like he was waiting for that special someone, the love of his life.”
“Yeah, right. What a loser.” Allen sneered. “How often did you have to tell him you loved him?”
“Too many times.” Hugh’s disgust was clear as he raised his glass and winked. “Like I’d be caught dead outside of a bedroom with someone like that.”
“Goes without saying.” Kain sprawled in his chair. “So, how’s it looking down there? Fill me in.”
“Jordan and I have a bet going about who’s going to do that redhead on the dance floor first,” Allen said. “He’s the one with the green shirt, there in the middle.”
“Why not do him together?” Hugh asked.
“We plan to.” Allen winked. “I said I’d do him first. We’ll tag team him later. Been awhile since Jordan and I got to do a double penetration.”
Kain’s hearty laugh boomed out, drawing attention from those around them. “I almost feel sorry for the guy.” Kain glanced around the group; several pairs of disbelieving eyes stared back at him. “Okay, no I don’t.”
“The legendary Ice feels sorry?” Hugh’s lips twisted. “That’ll be a cold day in hell.”
“Hell wouldn’t have me.”
“Oh yeah, it would. Personally, I think we’d end up ruling hell.” Allen smirked at Kain.
“Ah, someone has that position, remember?” Jordan shrugged.
“We could be kings, or lords.”
“There’s supposed to be seven princes of hell. One for each deadly sin.” Hugh rolled his eyes as his friends stared at him. “What?”

Excerpt from Into the Darkness
“Same plan as usual?”
Allen waited until Jordan turned and looked at him. “Why mess with what works? I’ll move in first, then you come in after I set him up. We’ll get him all hot and bothered, then take his ass home. I bet we have him in bed before the hour is out.”
Jordan slapped Allen on the back. “I agree. If it isn’t broke, why fix it? Although it would be nice, for once, if our marks didn’t just fall to the floor and puddle at our feet.”
“Are you nuts? Besides, what do you expect out of these sluts?” Allen shrugged. “And by the way, I will fuck him first.”
“Keep telling yourself that. Got a feeling he’s going to beg me to do him first.”
Allen rolled his eyes. They’d just see about that. “My place or yours this time?”
They lived just a block apart. Allen had tried to buy an apartment in the same building as Jordan, but there had been nothing available that was as nice. Allen ended up purchasing his own place as close as he could to Jordan.
Jordan shrugged as he searched the dance floor. “Doesn’t matter to me, but my place is probably cleaner. The maid came yesterday.”
“Fine by me, we’ll do him at your place then. Besides, you have more toys. And a bigger bed.”
“Thought you took care of that little oversight?”
“My new bed will be arriving next week. Plus, I want you to go with me to check out some of the toys I found at this new place that just opened up. You have a better feel for things like that.”
“Competitive asshole.”
Allen chuckled. “Pot… meet kettle. You went out and bought a new BMW just because I got one. I’m not even going to mention the hair.”
Jordan shrugged, then stepped aside as someone — a tiny blond who looked entirely too young to be allowed in the club — passed him. “I liked yours better. Hey Allen, did you see that little blond twink?”
Allen raised an eyebrow as he looked in the direction Jordan indicated. “Hmm? No, I didn’t. But a blond? Really? Are you feeling okay?”
“Not for us, you shit. I was thinking that was more along the line of what Hugh likes — young, sweet, and innocent. Even though he doesn’t look old enough to be in here.”
“Playing matchmaker now, are you?”
“Fuck off.” Jordan laughed as he pushed Allen toward the dance floor.

MAC_BBC_XL (2)Excerpt from Haunting The Night
Hugh sat at the table watching as Kain, Jordan, and Allen made their moves on the prey they’d picked out. He’d checked the dance floor, and not one guy he saw impressed him so far. He needed a change — something or someone to break the monotony. With a sigh, he picked up his glass. Before he could take a drink, that feeling of being watched hit him square between the shoulder blades again. His shoulders tensed and chill bumps broke out over his flesh.
“What the hell?” While he was used to being stared at, and even got his own fair share of attention from the paparazzi, this was different. More intense, more… threatening, almost. Unease flooded him, and he couldn’t shake the recurring feeling of danger. Hugh glanced around, but didn’t see anyone taking an undue interest in him. Maybe a family member of one of the defendants they’d gotten off was stalking him. Hugh dismissed the idea immediately; that was just silly.
More likely his old man had someone keeping an eye on him. Now that he could believe — the nosey old bastard. “Fuck this.” The whole night had been off from the get-go, and he’d had enough. He rose, with every intention of leaving, when the overhead lights spotlighted someone at the bar below.
“Well, hello,” he murmured as he stared at the young man at the main bar. Jesus, how had he missed this one? He was perfect. Damned if he was leaving now. The night was suddenly looking up.
Dressed simply, in faded jeans, a black T-shirt, and a leather bomber jacket, was a stranger, one of the most gorgeous men Hugh had ever seen. He was everything he wanted in a man — cute, small, and blond. The perfect twink. Actually, the tiny blond looked entirely too young to be in Night Moves, but he was sure the guy wouldn’t be allowed in if he was underage. To make things even better, his target was staring at him. Even from this distance, he could see the hunger dancing in the stranger’s eyes. He was a little more blue-collar than Hugh normally went for, but what the hell. Hadn’t he just been thinking he needed a change?
“Yeah, why not?”
Hugh had taken no more than a few steps when the man at the bar winked at him. Most of the twinks he picked up were either drama queens or shy little guys. There was certainly nothing shy about this man. Hugh raised an eyebrow. He’d have to show the stranger who was in charge, of course, then they could have some fun. At least it looked like he wasn’t going to have to put out much effort tonight, and that suited him just fine. Hugh made his way downstairs to the main bar and to the guy waiting on him.

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About the author:
M.A. Church is a true Southern belle who spent many years in the elementary education sector. Now she spends her days lost in fantasy worlds, arguing with hardheaded aliens on far-off planets, herding her numerous shifters, or trying to tempt her country boys away from their fishing poles. It’s a full time job, but hey, someone’s gotta do it!
When not writing, she’s exploring the latest M/M novel to hit the market, watching her beloved Steelers, or sitting glued to HGTV. That’s if she’s not on the back porch tending to the demanding wildlife around the pond in the backyard. The ducks are very outspoken. She’s married to her high school sweetheart, and they have two children.
She was a finalist in the Rainbow awards for 2013. Drop by her blog at http://machurch00.blogspot.com/

 

 

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