Hi guys! We have Isabelle Adler stopping by today with the tour her new release Ashore, we have a brilliant interview with Isabelle, a great excerpt and a fantastic $10 NineStar GC giveaway so check out the post and enter the giveaway! ❤ ~Pixie~
(Staying Afloat 02)
You can only put the past away for so long.
This had never been truer for the crew of Matt’s ship, the Lady Lisa. Even as their engine suffers a critical malfunction and Matt scrambles to fund the costly repairs, Val, the ship’s reticent engineer, unexpectedly comes face-to-face with a deadly ghost from his past. Now it’s up to Matt, Ryce, and Tony to rescue him, even if it means breaking the law and striking an uneasy bargain with a local black-market kingpin—but what if this time their best efforts simply aren’t good enough?
And it might be that Val isn’t the only crew member Matt risks losing when his budding relationship with Ryce unexpectedly runs aground. With their love and commitment put to the test, Matt and Ryce must rally to save their friend and to keep their ship afloat, but in a race so desperate there might not be any real winners.
Warning: Depictions of violence, abduction, mutilation, alcoholism. Mentions of torture and past rape. Allusions to substance abuse.
Hi guys, we have Lissa Reed stopping by today with her debut novel Definitely, Maybe, Yours. We asked Lissa a couple of questions, we have a great excerpt and a fantastic giveaway so check out the post and click that Rafflecopter link <3 ~Pixie~
Definitely, Maybe, Yours
Seattle-based baker Craig Oliver leads a life that is happily routine: baking cupcakes for an enormous family reunion, managing Sucre Coeur for its frequently absent owner, and closing out his day with a pint at the local pub. He has a kind heart, a knack for pastry, and a weakness for damaged people.
Habitual playboy Alex Scheff is looking to drown his sorrows, but instead discovers that he may have a weakness for Englishmen who carry cookies in their pockets. Can a seemingly incompatible pair find the recipe for love in a relationship they claim is casual?
Hello again peeps, we have Lillian T. MacGowen popping in now with her latest release From the Ashes, we have a brilliant excerpt and a fantastic giveaway, so enjoy the post and click that Rafflecopter link <3 ~Pixie~
From the Ashes
(Smoke and Mirrors 02)
Lillian T. MacGowen
After a rough start to their relationship, Deck and Naim are living together and living well—except they’re not. The fire at the clinic and those behind it are still a specter in the background of their lives, soon to come to the forefront. Someone is stalking them, and as the acts grow increasingly violent and threatening, the boys make an unsettling discovery that turns Naim’s world inside out.
They’re sorely tried and tested, and even with the support of the neighborhood and Deck’s firefighting crew, people get hurt. Deck has to decide how much hurt he’s willing to take on for the sake of Naim, and Naim has to decide once and for all what sort of man he wants to be—all while navigating a terrifying world of crime, violence and depravity.
Hi guys, we have Mia Kerick stopping by today on the first day of her blog tour for Love Spell, we managed to pin Mia down to answer a couple of questions for you, we have a great excerpt, there’s a fantastic giveaway and we have Cat’s review for you to enjoy, so check out the post and click that Rafflecopter link
Strutting his stuff on the catwalk in black patent leather pumps and a snug orange tuxedo as this year’s Miss (ter) Harvest Moon feels so very right to Chance César, and yet he knows it should feel so very wrong.
As far back as he can remember, Chance has been “caught between genders.” (It’s quite a touchy subject; so don’t ask him about it.) However, he does not question his sexual orientation. Chance has no doubt about his gayness—he is very much out of the closet at his rural New Hampshire high school, where the other students avoid the kid they refer to as “girl-boy.”
But at the local Harvest Moon Festival, when Chance, the Pumpkin Pageant Queen, meets Jasper Donahue, the Pumpkin Carving King, sparks fly. So Chance sets out, with the help of his BFF, Emily, to make “Jazz” Donahue his man.
An article in an online women’s magazine, Ten Scientifically Proven Ways to Make a Man Fall in Love with You (with a bonus love spell thrown in for good measure), becomes the basis of their strategy to capture Jazz’s heart.
Quirky, comical, definitely flamboyant, and with an inner core of poignancy, Love Spell celebrates the diversity of a gender-fluid teen.
Thank you for hosting me on my first ever blog tour!
Although I have put out five previous books and three short stories, I have never done a blog tour before where I am visiting a different blog every day. I am quite excited! Be sure to follow me on social media to see where I will be each day!
PIECES OF US
“Into the lake?”
“Into the lake.”
For Jesse Stetson, a boy who knows he is different and Dylan Sterling, Jesse’s best friend, Sander’s Lake has served as a sort of scrapbook for them with sentimental items being dropped into the lake from their dock after significant events in their lives.
Life in 1988 was different from today. A boy and a girl being best friends were uncommon. Not that Jesse or Dylan cared, they had each other and that’s all that mattered. Or so Jesse wished. While Dylan has been meeting and dating guys, Jesse has yet to find the same connection with a girl. The closest he’s come is Dylan, but she’s a girl and a friend not a girlfriend. Jesse is struggling with his feelings and trying his hardest to be normal.
Dylan and Jesse are growing up and possibly growing apart. Dylan has a new boyfriend and is now splitting her time between him and Jesse. To further complicate things, Jesse meets Orion, a new boy in town. Jesse knows that his feelings towards Orion must be wrong, yet it feels so right. Even if Orion feels about Jesse the same way that Jesse feels about him, should they act on their attraction?
This story is a journey of friendship and discovery, finding out who you are as a person, and then being okay with who you are.
Hey guys, today we have the exciting end of the serial The Flesh Cartel with the long awaited Promise, now usually we have a review but with this serial I am doing a separate full series review which will be posted very soon (as soon as I can put into words this very disturbing but very good serial) we have Heidi and Rachel popping in to entertain you and a brilliant contest, so guys check it all out and I’ll see you all soon <3 ~Pixie~
Hey peeps, look who we got visiting us today… the amazing Dan Skinner!! Dan has brought along his newest release The Price of Dick, he’s letting us have a sneak peek at some excerpts *wink*, Dan answers some questions and he’s also having a giveaway. So guys enjoy our post and my review and then leave a comment to win *cough* I might have also slipped some of Dan’s amazing photograph’s in that I magically found 😉 <3 ~Pixie~
The Price of Dick
His name is Richard but he’ll say, “Call me Dick.” He’s a big, butch, brainy guy in an executive suit, hotter than spit on a skillet. The type of guy you can see fully dressed and imagine buck naked in the throes of an orgasm – every six-feet-two, muscular, sexually intoxicating inch of him. He’s an ambitious freshman in a prominent brokerage firm who’s figured out he can use more than his smarts to get ahead. He’s perfected a surefire method to drive home a hard deal. No one can resist him. And he’s got one really big secret. But that will cost you.
For photographer J.J. Johnstone, the price of Dick just might cost him everything.
Hiya guys, Kerry Adrienne has popped in today to bring us her newest release Artist’s Touch, and Kerry answers some questions from our very own Lisa. We are also lucky enough to have one copy of Artist’s Touch to giveaway so leave a comment and we will get Kerry to pick a winner 🙂 So enjoy the review & excerpt and leave a comment to win! Snuggles ~Pixie~ (p.s. don’t forget to leave your email!)
Giveaway has ended
The Guild, book one (Sculptor’s Desire and Guitarist’s Wish coming soon!)
By Kerry Adrienne
Every starlet wants master painter Kenon Alavi to do her portrait…and more. But Kenon prefers firm to soft and sates his desires with the boyfriends of the women he paints, enjoying the diversity of many lovers but shunning any attachments.
Wallace Harte’s English degree isn’t helping him find a job and working at a bar is the closest he’s gotten to being the Second Coming of Faulkner. Something’s gotta give soon or he’ll be out on the street.
Kenon zeroes in on the bartender at an art exhibition, intending to add him to his long list of conquests, but Wally bolts, initiating a heated game of cat and mouse. Kenon delights in the game until he discovers what Wally is writing. Feeling betrayed, Kenon swears off all entanglements until he reads Wally’s story and discovers true love is sometimes between the pages and not the sheets.
Inside Scoop: This book contains hot, sexy scenes of M/M interaction of an artistic nature. Who knew having your portrait painted could be so hot?
A Romantica® gay erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave
By reading any further, you are stating that you are at least 18 years of age. If you are under the age of 18, please exit this site.
All Rights Reserved, Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc.
Another day, another drink for those who had dollars. Wally slipped the candied cherry into the Manhattan and handed the glass to the tall brunette leaning against the bar. With barely a nod, the woman slinked away as if on skates, joining one of the clusters of patrons waiting on Kenon Alavi’s arrival. The artist, notorious for being late, probably wouldn’t arrive for another ten minutes at least. Light jazz floated through the air from the ensemble set up in the far corner and spots of colored lights beamed up the walls to the tall ceilings that arched over the studio space. This would make a great setting for a novel, Wally mused. Too bad he didn’t have the plot to go along with it. His creativity had hit an impasse as cliché as the proverbial brick wall.
“Martini. Wet and stirred, no olive, no twist.” The man put his hand on the bar and looked over his shoulder toward the gallery door. “I’m tired of waiting. Don’t care how special Alavi thinks he is, my time’s important too.” He tapped his fingers on the bar. “Annoying bastard. Wouldn’t be here if my wife wasn’t so keen on having him paint her.”
Wally pulled out the glass for the martini, not speaking to the customer. He’d been hired to make drinks, not socialize. The man was just complaining anyway. He wasn’t really expecting a conversation, especially from the bartender. Plus, tonight Wally had to remember all the different highbrow cocktails. He rarely served anything but beer and frozen drinks back at the Cellar Bar. He poured the vermouth into the sloped glass, then stirred the concoction. As long as Mr. Alavi paid his wage, who cared when he actually showed up? His gala, his schedule.
“Told her we could get a portrait done for a lot less but she insists on this guy.” The finger tapping grew more vigorous. “He’s refused her calls for two months now. Arrogant bastard.”
Wally nodded and set the drink in front of the man. Mr. Alavi sounded like a typical snobby artist. Big surprise. “Here you go, sir. Wet and stirred. No olive, no twist.”
“Top shelf?” the man asked, raising an eyebrow. He toyed with the rim of the glass, running his finger around it as if he was checking for chips.
Hey everyone, today we are interviewing a newer author to the MM Genre Briana Lawrence! Double Hue is Briana’s first MM novel and I think she has enthralled our little Kitty Cat with this thriller, so I let Cat out of her cage to ask Briana a couple of questions and the little minx tied Briana up with her questions! So read Cat’s review and stick around to see how Briana handled her interview and if Cat finally let her go 😉 ~Pixie~
Author: Briana Lawrence
Length: Novel (214pgs) (80, 815 words)
Publisher: Eternal Press (November 15th 2013)
Heart: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts
Blurb: When there’s red, close your eyes and try again.
“Maybe he’s right. Maybe I am the cause of this. Maybe you were normal before meeting me.”
When something tragic happens, you want nothing more than to close your eyes and make all of the pain go away. For Gable Peterson it’s a little more complicated than that. When detective Maurice Ashford shows up at his door with news that his boyfriend, Avery Blair, has been found dead, Gable is left devastated. Seeking some sort of comfort, Gable closes his eyes and imagines a world where none of this happened.
Only, when Gable wakes up, he’s surprised to see that Avery is still alive.
Review: Wow! This was one heck of a wild ride. This story reminded me a little of the movie groundhog day but a mystery/ thriller. Let’s see where shall I begin?
Gable and Avery have been lovers for four years. They are in their last year of college. They love each other very much and have such a fabulous relationship. One day Gable wakes up to a knock on his door and a detective tells him his Avery is dead. As we read on this begins to repeat. No. I am not saying this story is repetitive since each time we read it something changes, at first just a little, then a lot, then when you think you have it all figured But…BAM the entire scene changes, view changes and things get even crazier.
There are so many twists and turns in this story it’s like an amusement park ride; you go slow and sweet (the love between the characters), then faster (the announcement Avery is dead), then round and round, the twists and then it slows down and you think it’s over …whoosh—another big twist, change of direction (character point of view) and we go twisting and turning again right up to the end. My fingers are sore where I chewed my nails to the quick.
I loved Gable. He is the perfect boyfriend and you could just feel his pain and panic throughout this story. I also adored Avery. He is fun and also brilliant. As the story unravels you can just about picture his beauty and wit. The bad guy? Now he is just scary…one of those people you trust, then find out they are just sick. At times I did feel a bit sorry for him, just a little.
This is a unique, brilliant story and if you like time-travel, sweet loving relationships, a mystery with lots of twists and turns, a psychological thriller and nail-biting suspense this is for you.
Cat’s interview with Briana Lawrence!
Hi everyone! *Cat waves as she enters the dungeon .., oops… Interview room* Our victim…oops… guest today is Briana Lawrence.
Cat: Hello Briana. How are you today?
Briana: I… um… *looks around* … is this a dungeon? Nevermind, I already agreed to the interview… I’m doing fine! *shaky smile*
Cat: That’s fabulous. Would you like to tell our readers a little about yourself?
Briana: Sure! I’m a child cleverly disguised as an adult. All right, all right, I suppose the correct term is “child at heart.” Give me a bowl of cereal and a Netflix marathon of some 90s cartoons and I’m a happy girl. That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy the occasional fancy restaurant or planning a dream vacation… or planning a movie day with friends. I’m sort of a mixed bag? Though, deep down, I’m a geeky girl who loves her video games and anime, but I also do crafts like woodburning and painting. My partner and I go to conventions together with our art and, now, our books. We also cosplay. It’s a lot of fun! Sometimes you just want to dress like Princess Tiana, you know?
Hey Cat… are you restraining my hands? That’s not really necessary…
Cat: I just finished reading Double Hue. I absolutely loved it. How did you come up with the story?
Briana: *forgets about restraints due to compliment* Thank you so much! I’m glad you enjoyed it. Let’s see, how did “Double Hue” come to pass…
I got the idea in my head a few years ago. I imagined someone being told that his lover was dead, and how when we lose someone, we usual think about how we want them back in our lives. Well… what if you could go back? What if that person didn’t have to die? That’s how it all started, then it took on a life of its own over time. Thanks to some motivation via National Novel Writing Month I finished the book!
Cat: Was any of it based on actual people or events?
Briana: Somewhat. I mean the thought of wanting someone back who we lost is something I think about sometimes when I think about my older brother, who died when I was 13. So little thoughts like that made it into the book.
Also, Gable and Avery’s relationship kind of mirrors my relationship with my partner. Not anything too huge, but the small things: me being a gamer and her watching me play (though she doesn’t make fun of me as much as Gable does Avery… sort of.) Also, there’s the coming out theme. The fact that Gable and Avery do it their senior year of college is definitely a page from my partner and I because that’s the year we came out to our parents (except for my mother, who I came out to prior to that). Avery’s parents react horribly, and while my partner’s parents and my dad didn’t take it positively at first, they didn’t flat out disown us like Avery’s parents. Also, our parents eventually came around. We’re all a big, happy family now.
Cat: What is the significance of the title?
Briana: Originally it was called “Double H” after the murderer in the book. But then while I was editing it I realized how many times colors played a part in the story, so I ended up thinking of “hue.”
Cat: Colors play an important factor in this story. What made you think of making a box of colors so important?
Briana: Ha! I just said that, huh? Actually, it’s Avery’s fault! While I was writing, he became more animated. Gable is sort of more serious and is the “I need to study for the top grade” boyfriend. Meanwhile, Avery is like, “Gonna play Kingdom Hearts then practice for my musical by singing all night.” In the beginning of the story, Gable mockingly calls Avery a starving artist and comments on how he’ll “have to feed his ass” since he’s career focused and Avery’s all, “I wanna see my name in lights.”
This isn’t to say that Gable isn’t supportive of Avery, because he is, and he wants to see his boyfriend’s names in lights. He knows that Avery’s acting is just as serious as his own career goals. This is just an example of their banter. Avery’s always talking about how boring Gable’s life would be without him while Gable comments about his Liberal Arts major. By writing for the two of them, a thought came to me of Gable being one of those kids who didn’t play with the power of imagination. His grandfather got him crayons and Gable was like, “Blah.” He was the kid who needed the actual toy, you know? No using your imagination, he straight up wanted the fire truck because it was, indeed, the fire truck – none of that “pretend that your shoebox is a truck” stuff. That was the first time the crayons came up, and with colors playing such a huge part I thought, “What if those crayons are a recurring theme?”
Cat: Is this your first story? If not, how many other books do you have, and where would we find them?
Briana: Does fanfiction count? Don’t answer that. Fanfiction is important but you don’t need to answer that because I have waaaaaaaay too many fanfics.
As far as published works, “Double Hue” isn’t my first. This is my first novel length M/M tale, but I do have other books too. I can include links and blurbs for you. I think every single one has M/M content somehow.
Treat Me Kindly (my first book)
I only ask that you treat me kindly, then I will do the same for you.
The words of the invitation whisper gently into your ear, speaking of rare and exotic animals unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. To detective Alex Sampson, however, that invitation speaks of something else. Death. Attendees at a prestigious animal auction are turning up dead, each murder more brutal than the last. The only clue to each crime points to a different animal, but when did birds and butterflies go from being aphrodisiacs for fairy tales to deadly mass murderers?
Amazon Link: http://amzn.com/1615729887
Press START to Play (a short story featured in an anthology through Dreamspinner Press)
Lukis Singleton’s once-popular sports column is fading fast, thanks to the terrible track record of the local football team. In an attempt to save the column, Lukis’s editor, John, decides he needs to go in a different direction. Video games are all the rage these days, so John insists that sending Lukis to a huge video-game tournament in Los Angeles will shake up his current readers and bring in new ones. Lukis isn’t thrilled about reporting on games with impossible powers or gamers who still live in Mom’s basement, but then he meets a tempting flaw in the gaming stereotypes of unwashed man-children. Aaron Sanders is a gorgeous breath of fresh air at the tournament who takes Lukis’s less-than-stellar view of gamers and turns it on its head, leaving Lukis to wonder if it might be worth being Aaron’s player two.
A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2013 Daily Dose package “Make a Play”.
Amazon Link: http://amzn.com/B00D4KFVM0
Seeking the Storyteller (adventure series with my partner)
I know of the Storyteller, it whispers into the man’s ear, I’ve met him. If you promise not to kill me, I’ll take you to him.
Alix Andre DeBenit and Randall Fagan are Hunters, part of a hidden network of humans who track and kill the monsters lurking in our world so everyone else can pretend they don’t exist. But when a living shadow mentions someone called the Storyteller, Alix hesitantly decides to learn more.
They say the Storyteller lives in a massive library full of books that tell every being’s life story. He can read these books, rewrite them and change anything he wants, even if it’s already happened. That’s the power Alix wants, the power to bring his murdered family back and he’s determined to make the Storyteller do it.
He just has to decide if working with the very creatures he’s supposed to kill is worth it.
Amazon Link: http://amzn.com/B00HCJP0PM
Cat: What do you do in your spare time?
Briana: I sort of mentioned it before, with my crafts and going to conventions and cosplay. I can share links to those things! I’ve even written an article about my cosplay for xoJane, so my spare time hobbies are becoming more of, well… a thing? It’s pretty amazing when things work out that way.
Cat: Are you currently working on anything new? Will it be in the same genre or is it something different?
Briana: Currently we’re getting ready for conventions and I plan on having my books there. With “Seeking the Storyteller” just coming out in December, my partner and I are both working on promoting it while I’m promoting “Double Hue” at the same time. So, currently, I’m not working on too much. I did just submit two stories into Dreamspinner though, so I hope to hear something back that’s positive. One is a Christmas story with a fun twist and the other is about voyeurism. So they’re not as heavy as “Double Hue,” but they are still in the realm of M/M romance. I really like writing M/M work, so it usually makes it into my work somehow.
I do have a plan for an anthology I’d love to write. It’s romance, but for geeks. Just different, romantic tales in the geek community, from cosplay, to gaming, to going to conventions, and just… anything and everything I can think of. And I want it to feature all sorts of diverse couples. I have an outline written out at the moment, it’s just a matter of starting it.
Cat: Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule. *unties restraints* is there anything else you would like to share with us?
Briana: I thought my wrists would hurt, but wow, you tied me down with great care! Thanks so much for the interview! And thanks to everyone who read it, and who are keeping up with my works. I hope you find enjoyment in them!
Cat: Just in case there are other stalkers…ooops .. I mean readers, where can we find you?
Briana: Stalkers huh? Are they the kind who support writers and artists? Because if so…
Oh do we have a treat for you guys today, we have Riptide Publishing with S.E. Jakes along with S.E’s newest release Dirty Deeds. S.E. answers a couple of questions for us and we have a great Riptide giveaway of Amazon gift cards. So see what S.E. has to say, read my review and enter the Rafflecopter giveaway by clicking on the link, good luck everyone! 😉 ~Pixie~
Hey everyone!!! Thanks to MM Book Reviews for having me back here for my Dirty Deeds blog tour 🙂 Dirty Deeds is the first in this spin-off series of Hell or High Water. Dirty Deeds focuses on Cillian and Mal, two characters who’ve been in both Hell or High Water books 1 & 2 (Catch a Ghost and Long Time Gone.) Dirty Deeds # 1 captures a very specific moment in time for the Cillian (the spook) and Mal (the former SEAL in exile).
Here’s our questions for S.E. and her candid answers:
Madeline:01 – I absolutely love Mal already, will Cillian be deserving of all that Mal has to offer???
S.E: I know people have very mixed feelings about Cillian pre Dirty Deeds. I think you’ll get to see another side of him that’s surprising. For me, Mal and Cillian was a complete, unplanned surprise and it’s been a roller coaster from there.
Madeline:02 – Will Mal and Cillian end up exclusive??? They both seem to have a thing for Prophet.
S.E: Yes, they will end up exclusive—but they’ve got a bit of work to do before their HEA (which WILL happen). Mal and Prophet are very tight – the kind of friendship that’s literally been through life and death, so Mal’s thing for Proph is protective rather than sexual. I don’t see Mal sharing well. As for Cillian, his ‘thing’ for Prophet is complicated, but Mal ends up surprising the hell out of him. As for Prophet—absolutely no sharing. Although Proph shows his jealousy much differently than Tommy, could you imagine either of them handling that well?
Madeline:03 – Will Tommy and Proph be showing up in Dirty Deeds, and will that damn couch be used????
S.E:LOL! Mal does have something to say about the couch in Dirty Deeds! And yes, you’ll get a bit of Proph and Tommy.
Pixie:04 – Will we discover more about what Cillian is really doing hanging around Prophet or will it be a completely different storyline?
S.E: You find out much more about why Cillian’s hanging around Proph (and more on the John Morse storyline) in Dirty Deeds and Hell or High Water # 3 (their storylines run partly on the same timeline)…so by the time you get to Dirty Lies and Dirty Love, the Morse plot is done and Mal and Cillian have their own story to deal with.
Pixie: 05 – How did you come up with such fascinating characters and such a brilliant back story, and will we ever learn why Mal, Prophet and their friends can’t be together?
S.E: I’m VERY lucky – these guys found me / picked me. Prophet showed up one day and literally made his way into two books before I realized that he was never going to leave me alone until he’s got his own series. It’s the first time I’ve ever written the same couple throughout the entire series, and I’m enjoying the hell out of it. And yes, there’s a little of it in Long Time Gone (the CIA is responsible) but ALL of that will come out between Hell or High Water books 3 & 4.
Dirty Deeds: Dirty Deeds book 1
Two seasoned operatives finally meet their match: each other.
Cillian works for the mysterious Special Branch 20: an organization that runs black ops commissioned by the British government. His specialty is deep undercover assignments with virtually no support. He’s been alone for so long that he no longer knows anything else.
Mal’s also used to being alone. Wanted in several states and even more countries, he’s not allowed in the vicinity of any of his former Navy SEAL teammates. And his current assignment is to track Cillian in order to discover the spook’s endgame. Except he’s no longer sure which one of them is getting played.
Cillian isn’t about to let the mission that’s consumed him for the past several years crumble because an outsider is poking around where he doesn’t belong. But Mal forces his way through Cillian’s defenses—and into his heart—exposing a devastating betrayal that could destroy them both.
SE Jakes writes m/m romance. She believes in happy endings and fighting for what you want in both fiction and real life.
She lives in New York with her family, and most days, she can be found happily writing (in bed). No really…
1st prize: $50.00 Amazon Gift Card
2nd Prize: $25.00 Amazon Gift Card
3rd prize: $10.00 Amazon Gift Card
Title: Dirty Deeds
Series: Dirty Deeds 01
Author: S.E. Jakes
Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Action, D/s
Length: Novella (94pgs)
Publisher: Riptide Publishing (13th January 2013)
Heart: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts
Blurb:Two seasoned operatives finally meet their match: each other.
Cillian works for the mysterious Special Branch 20: an organization that runs black ops commissioned by the British government. His specialty is deep undercover assignments with virtually no support. He’s been alone for so long that he no longer knows anything else.
Mal’s also used to being alone. Wanted in several states and even more countries, he’s not allowed in the vicinity of any of his former Navy SEAL teammates. And his current assignment is to track Cillian in order to discover the spook’s endgame. Except he’s no longer sure which one of them is getting played.
Cillian isn’t about to let the mission that’s consumed him for the past several years crumble because an outsider is poking around where he doesn’t belong. But Mal forces his way through Cillian’s defenses—and into his heart—exposing a devastating betrayal that could destroy them both.
Review: Cillian is an operative for the mysterious Special Branch 20, a British black ops organization. Deep cover is his specialty and he has been working on a case alone for the past several years, chasing down a figure that is more like a spectre and is always one step ahead. Mal is used to being alone, working in the background but unable to meet up with any of his former Navy SEAL teammates. Mal is currently assigned to keeping an eye on Cillian; to discover the real motives for his involvement in Prophet’s life. Mal works his way into Cillian’s defences and sparks fly, but what will happen when they discover just who the other is?
This is a fabulous story that has you guessing as to what is happening; we move smoothly through the story being pulled into the mystery that is surrounding these men. Mal is the silent one, he suffered a devastating injury that he nearly died from and left him mute, he always has his teammate’s backs and he is determined to learn everything Cillian knows. Cillian keeps his cards close to his chest, hunting for a traitor and keeping Prophet out of the game are his main goals. These two men are playing a game of cat and mouse, hunting for answers and keeping their secrets but conducting a tryst that only one of them really knows about.
We see a brilliant story being developed as we look on, Mal is incredibly sneaky drawing Cillian in like he is a fish on the line and Cillian thinks he is playing with Mal having no clue as to what is really going on. Their meetings are clandestine with want and need swirling through the air, their couplings desperate and needy and filled with mystery by their actions. *sigh* A perfect match who have a very rocky road ahead of them.
Oh My God, oh my god I need book two… right this second! There are no words to describe how badly I want to track S.E. Jakes down and make her write the entire series out, the ending for this book has me on tender hooks and I am desperate to know what happens next! Holy cow Mal, what are you going to do? Cillian, I hope you start running. While I want to tell everyone what’s in this story and what is really going on, I can’t because the surprise is just too juicy, both Mal and Cillian have surprises for the other and not all of them are pleasant.
I have to recommend this to those who love brilliant stories coming together before your eyes, secrets revealed that has the hair on your neck standing on end, a fantastic explosive burgeoning relationship that might just go down in flames and a beautifully written story that has you begging for more.
Hey guys, yes I have nicked the site again to bring a new author to you! Today I bring you Liam Livings who has today released Christmas Serendipity with JMS Books. So with out further ado my interview with Liam Livings and the review for Christmas Serendipity! ~Pixie~
Pixie: Christmas Serendipity is your first published work, how happy are you at the moment seeing your baby released to the masses?
Liam: I really can’t quite believe it’s actually happening! I started writing a few years ago, with a view to getting published. I didn’t expect Christmas Serendipity to be my first published work. I wrote Best Friends Perfect http://www.liamlivings.com/best-friends-perfect-series.html a few years ago, but due to publisher deadlines, it’s worked out that Christmas Serendipity is published first, which I’m thrilled about.
Pixie: Tell us a little about Christmas Serendipity and how it came about.
Liam: I wanted to write something shorter than a novel. I love Christmas, so that was always going to be an obvious choice for a topic. While on holiday over summer 2013, the BF and I were sat outside a pub, and we watched the opening scene from the story unfold in front of our eyes. In real life it was two women with one of them working in the pub. As they left, I wondered what they would get up to afterwards. I used that as the start of Christmas Serendipity – with two gay male friends.
Pixie: When writing CS did you draw from personal experience for either David’s or Christian’s issues?
Liam: I have known people who’ve had a hard time coming out to their family. I’ve also had a few nasty break ups, and supported friends through them too. I used elements of those when writing about David’s and Christian’s issues. The actual story and characters were from my imagination.
Pixie: Most people now throw Delia Smith, Nigella Lawson, Jamie Oliver or Gordon Ramsey’s names about when talking about cooking idols and Mary Berry is a rare one to find, do you yourself admire Mary Berry?
Liam: I love Mary Berry. She is the queen of baking cakes – much better than the others for cakes, in my opinion. I discovered baking after I started cooking properly with the aid of Delia & Nigella. I wanted to find ‘the mother-ship’ of baking, and I believe in Mary Berry I found it.
Pixie: David’s and Christian’s friends Tony and Cathy are great characters both supporting their friends and offering them a safe haven for Christmas, do you have friends that you can turn to like that? And are they like Cathy and Tony?
Liam: I’m lucky to have friends I can turn to for help in that way. None of my friends are, what I’d describe as ‘like’ Cathy and Tony.
Pixie: What encouraged you to write MM rather than mainstream (whatever that is)?
Liam: When I wrote my first novel, Best Friends Perfect, I didn’t even consider whether it was MM. I simply wrote a story with characters, experiences and love which I could relate to, and had in part, experienced myself. It was only when Clare London invited me to UK Meet 2012 in Brighton, that I realised I’d written a MM novel.
Pixie: Can you tell us what you have coming next in your career as an author, any more books being published?
Pixie: Tell our readers a bit about yourself and what you do when you aren’t writing, and where they can contact you and buy your book.
Liam: I love to bake cakes and other sweet things. I love to spend time with friends and family. I enjoy tucking up with a good box set or film. I have furry friends, our cats. And I am also, to mix it up a bit, and go against some stereotypes, a massive car geek too.
Pixie: Thanks for joining us Liam and we all hope you do great with Christmas Serendipity and we look forward to your next release Best Friends Perfect.
About Liam Livings
Three things about him – there are five more on the website, one is a lie.
1) He lives, with his partner and cats, where east London ends and becomes nine-carat-gold- highlights-and-fake-tan-west-Essex.
2) He was born in Hampshire with two club feet (look it up, it’s not nice) and problem ears, needing grommets: this meant he was in plaster from toe to groin until he was two, and had to swim with a cap and olive oil soaked lamb’s wool over his ears – olive oil bought from a health food shop, before it was sold by supermarkets.
3) He started writing when he was 14: sat in French lessons during a French exchange trip, for want of anything better to do, he wrote pen portraits about his French exchange’s teachers. He wrote for his school’s creative writing magazine and still writes a diary every day.
Just before the Christmas holiday, in a snowy small town in England, refugees of Christmas bad luck, handyman, plumber Christian and office worker David find themselves thrown together at miss Organiser, Cathy’s non-family Christmas.
Christian thinks the world has ended as his parents get used to him being gay, and disinvite him to their Christmas. David has just been fired from his waiting job, and is still getting used to the fact that he has dumped him. Although David’s ex was a useless cheating, money grabbing waste of space, he was at least, David’s useless, cheating, money grabbing waste of space. And now David doesn’t even have that. He’s not in the mood for a night out with his best friend, camp Tony, just before Christmas. Instead they retire to Cathy and Tony’s place, to find a quiet Christian.
With Cathy’s organizational skills and enthusiasm, these four spend a non-family Christmas together, making the best of it. Together they drink, eat and play their way through Christmas, surprising each other at how it turns out, and how well they all get to know one another during the short break.
Refugees of serendipity and luck, David and Christian realize that spending the holiday season together may be just what they both needed, when they both needed it. They find that apart from both just escaping from awful relationships, they also have much more in common.
We talked late into the night, moving onto Cathy’s special Christmas spirits. “Only to be drunk at this time of year,” she explained. She appeared with a tray of snowballs—yellow advocaat and lemonade, foaming with a little red cherry perched on top of each one. “This’ll send us to sleep,” she advised.
We took it in turns to throw more wood onto the fire, until we ran out. Cathy announced she was going to bed. She’d made up the spare room for Christian, and she pointed to the sofa in the corner for me.
I looked at her, feeling slightly light-headed from the alcohol, and started to ask if she’d show me how to make it up. Before I could say anything more, somehow she’d managed with just one hand, to turn it into a bed and cover it with perfect duvet and pillows.
“Thanks, Cathy. Night.” I stood up, a little unsteadily.
She kissed my cheek. “Night boys.” And she made her way up the stairs.
Tony followed, waving goodnight to us both.
And then there were two. I’ll admit I did consider, for a brief moment, just following Christian to his room. But I decided he wasn’t that sort of boy, and really, neither was I. So instead, I opted for an awkward goodnight hug/kiss, standing over the remains of the Indian takeaway in the middle of the floor. The gentle glow from the fire and a few candles around the room gave the only light. He kissed my cheek and I his, before lingering for a moment too long on his neck, holding the hug as long as I could manage without seeming creepy. I felt his breath on my neck and I felt myself responding in my boxer shorts. We both pulled back and stared into each other’s eyes, his warm breath mixing with mine as I breathed in and out. He smiled. I stared into his deep blue eyes and kissed him again, this time with our tongues exploring each other’s mouths. He gently bit my bottom lip and a jolt went to my groin. I felt his hand on my bum, trying to pull me towards him, despite our legs being a few feet apart, separated by the takeaway. We fell onto the sofa, his small frame landing gently on my muscly chest. He sat astride me, leaning down and continuing to kiss me. His hands caressed my pectoral muscles under my T-shirt, tweaking my nipples, harder and harder.
Maybe he was that sort of boy, and maybe I was too.
Christmas Serendipity will be published by JMS on 8 December.
Buy links from 8 December – other distributor links will be available a week or so after this date.
Blurb: In a snowy small town in England just before Christmas, handyman Christian thinks the world has ended — his parents are still getting used to his being gay and have disinvited him to their Christmas. Former waiter David has just been fired and is still getting used to the fact that his useless, cheating, money-grabbing, waste-of-space boyfriend has just dumped him. Their mutual friend Cathy steps in and invites the two strangers to a non-family Christmas at the flat she shares with Tony.
With Cathy’s organizational skills and enthusiasm, these four spend Christmas together, making the best of it and getting to know each other. A spark of attraction clearly brings David and Christian closer, and spending the festive season together may be just what these two refugees need to calm their troubled souls.
But the past still haunts them both and threatens to be their undoing. Is love enough to overcome the burdens they bear? Can they find a happy Christmas together after all?
Review: David leans on his mate Tony as he mulls over the ending of his disastrous relationship, when he gets fired from his job just days before Christmas Tony drags him home with him. Christian finds himself with nowhere to go for Christmas when his parents rescind their invite after he confesses he is gay, his workmate Cathy takes pity on him and invites him home for Christmas. As David and Christian share Christmas with the two flatmates, a spark of attraction flares between them and it just might bring them both happiness in the New Year if they can both resolve their past hurts.
I quite enjoyed this simple story of friends becoming a family for Christmas. David has had a terrible relationship where he was used as a doormat by his boyfriend, but with the boyfriend tossing him to the side David can’t just put his feelings behind him. When David meets Christian a spark is lit and although he doesn’t want to rush into anything he knows he has to give them a chance. Christian is still reeling from his parent’s actions and although there is a spark of hope that his parents will come around he is still miserable, meeting David sparks his interest and taking it slow is a great idea even if he would at first prefer passionate sex to ease his woes.
This is a very Christmas with friends story, where friends pull together to have an enjoyable Christmas and put their problems behind them for a couple of days. Cathy and Tony are incredible friends who make this Christmas for both men enjoyable, but while Cathy is overjoyed that David and Christian are becoming close, Tony is more cautious and encourages David to slow down and not jump in feet first. Both David and Christian seem to be wonderful men working their way through their personal issues but neither man is willing to turn their back on the attraction between them, it is a slow moving relationship that is still tentative and new but with much hope on both sides.
I recommend this to those who love saving Christmas stories, friends pulling together, support and friendship, a spark of new love and new hope and a very Merry Christmas.
MM Good Book Reviews lead reviewer, Pixie, tracked down one of Storm Moon Press’s newest writers, Blaine D. Arden. Her short story, The Storyteller is an erotic fantasy piece that bleeped my radar. It’s sexy and so well written, I just didn’t want it to end. Since then, she has gone on to writer both fantasy and mystery and has been featured in several Goodread anthologies.
Enjoy their chat,
Tell us a little about yourself Blaine and is your hair naturally purple (What? You never know) Well, I’m a purple haired, forty-something, writer of gay romance with a love of men, music, mystery, magic, fairies, platform shoes and the colors black, purple and red, who sings her way through life.
Born and raised in Zutphen, the Netherlands, I spent many hours of my sheltered youth reading, day dreaming, making up stories and acting them out with my Barbies.
I’ve been married for almost twenty-two years to a man who gave me all the space I needed to grow, and together we raise—or try to, anyway—two sons, a foster-son (17, 20 and 19) and a ten-year old cairn terrier named Kendra.
As for my purple hair: Of course it is natural!! *snort*
Nah, I’m a natural blonde, so the purple is purely for artificial intelligence and vanity. You can check my color here: http://blainedarden.com/images/Blaineat18-writing-d.jpg though I was quite a bit younger then *wink* (in this photo I’m actually writing my first gay fiction)
Blaine do you set aside time to write or do you just go with when the inspiration strikes? Well, I treat writing as my profession, so I write every day. I don’t quite make a 40 hour work week, with appointments, household, family, social gatherings and social networking distracting me from it, but I try to write a couple of hours in the morning and another couple in the afternoon.
But… I am a writer, so I drag a notebook everywhere and will definitely write when the inspiration strikes. I often complain that inspiration is a bitch with a lousy sense of timing, especially when she strikes right after I turned my lamp off to go to sleep.
You started out writing quite young, did you always want to be a published writer or is that just a nice bonus? No, not always. I’ve always been a bit of a dreamer, and writing wasn’t exactly encouraged at home. And while I did try to get a story published at eighteen—still can’t believe I did that, and shudder at how badly written it was—I still didn’t think of it as a future career. Writing always came second… well, last, to anything: studying, job, family, chores. I think the idea of being published didn’t take hold again until I finished my first NaNoWriMo project a couple of years ago, but I didn’t take a conscious step towards being published until January last year, when I dumped my studies to focus on my writing full-time. No regrets yet *grin*
How do your family support you in your writing? (Little bell next to computer to summon someone to make you a drink?) I love my men to bits, but I doubt any of them would bring me something to drink until I asked them, repeatedly, and even then I’d probably have to wait a couple of hours for them to remember they promised to bring me one… They hug me and cheer for me when I receive good news, they stay out of my way when I request it (yes, sometimes I have to ask more than once for it to stick in their minds), they put up with my bouncy hysterics when I’m soaring and moodiness when I’m stressing out over a deadline.
Blaine what gave you that little push to finally submit your work? Oh. Well, after I made the decision to go for my writing career, I joined a critique group, and the comments to my first chapter/scene were helpful and encouraging. It amazed me how level-headed I was when reading the edits (though I often kick at them during a first read-through, my inner editor takes over on the second read and agrees with most of the suggestions). I think that was the final nudge to giving it a go.
I have to ask, was it difficult getting someone to publish your work when you decided to take that step? Err… not yet. At least, not in my experience. Out of three submissions, I was rejected once, and that novel subsequently was accepted elsewhere. Though, the first line of my first acceptance email almost gave me a heart-attack, because they didn’t think the story fit the anthology I submitted it for. But they wanted the story anyway. Phew! I was on holiday in the UK at that time, and I think the whole campsite could hear my joy.
And how do you find it working with Storm Moon Press?
Enjoying it very much so far. The staff is very friendly and helpful and I love the banter during the editing. I never take anything for granted and ask about every change I don’t get (when not explained in the comments) and defend every change I don’t agree with, and it’s encouraged. In the end, it’s all for the good of the story. I like that they handle a lot of the marketing and arrange reviews/interviews/guest blogs, if you’re willing to do those. So, all around, very enjoyable. Oh, and I love their covers. *grin*
So, Blaine you write M/M, how did you decide to write in this genre and what book inspired you to take the plunge. I wrote my first gay fiction when I was 17/18. I was a rather naïve idealist and with all the negativity on homosexuality and AIDS on TV, I wanted to show the world how beautiful love between men could be. I’ve written non-gay stories over the years as well, but somehow I always come back to my men. It wasn’t a book that inspired me to take the plunge; I was inspired by films, three of them to be precise. ‘An Early Frost’ is the film that started it all, ‘Maurice’ is the film I fell in love with and ‘Beautiful Thing’ is the film that finally convinced me that my view on gay romance wasn’t wrong, like I thought it was for a while. Of course, if you want to be technical, ‘Maurice’ is a book as well, by E.M. Forster, but I saw the film before I read the book.
Who is your favorite fantasy/mystery character out of all the books you have read? Out of ALL the books I’ve read? Oh, boy… My first thought was Snape… so I’ll be going with that, though Mrs. Pollifax is a very good runner-up. Snape embodies the types I tend to fall for, the underdog, the aloof, the stoic, not quite bad guy, while Mrs. Pollifax embodies every girl’s dream. Who doesn’t want to be a secret agent on dangerous missions? LOL
You seem to have an affinity for fantasy; will you be branching out into other genres? I make occasional road-trips to other genres—Aliens, Smith and Jones is SF—but I feel fantasy is where I’m strongest. I know it sounds strange, but creating my own world with its own culture and rules is far easier for me than researching contemporary cultures. I’m not very politics and culture minded and I don’t read the news papers, so am often not quite up to date on what’s happening where. I am a dreamer, after all, and I like living in my own world, however inconvenient that often is. Plus there is this annoying habit I have of wanting to write stories in which no one cares what gender your partner is, and our world just isn’t ready for that yet, regrettably.
Your next book is Aliens, Smith and Jones (expected release 20th July 2012) tell us a little about it and how it came to life. How it came to life? Oh, my? Do you have a day or two? No? I’ll try to keep it short, then.
Aliens started life as a short story from the point of view of a virtually immortal ex-alien who falls in love for the second time in 400 years. But while writing I started to realize that writing from the point of view of his lover was much more interesting, considering he was the one with all the action, tracking and monitoring alien beings and artifacts. And then came the blind date that wouldn’t go away and the story grew into a novel.
Aliens, Smith and Jones is about Connor Smith, who works for Primrose, an organization tasked with monitoring and tracking aliens and alien technology. It’s a job that doesn’t know the meaning of “nine-to-five”. It also doesn’t leave much room for a social life, a complication that Connor hasn’t minded, until now. At the prodding of his best friend, Connor reluctantly puts himself back in the dating pool, even though it means lying about his remarkable life.
Elsewhere, Noah Jones has led a remarkable life of his own. Stranded on Earth in 1648, Noah was forced to transform himself permanently into human form to survive. He soon learned that in doing so, he’d become effectively immortal, aging only at a glacial pace. Alone, with no way to contact his people or return home, Noah becomes a silent observer of human civilization—always in the world, but never of the world. Then, hundreds of years later, he sees a face in a crowd and instantly feels a connection that he thought he’d never feel again. But he’s too late: Connor’s already taken.
Destiny is not without a sense of humor, though, and the two men are pulled inexorably closer, snared by the same web of dangers and conspiracies. Worse, Primrose is now aware of Noah, and they aren’t ones to leave an alien unrestrained. So while Connor struggles to understand the strange pull he feels toward Noah, forces without as well as within are working against them to keep them apart.
What advice would you give to a new comer to the M/M genre who is just starting out? Write what you love and finish what you write. Don’t worry about publishing until after you’ve finished the story. Actually, don’t worry about publishing at all. Finish the story, then edit it, edit it again, let someone else (NOT your mother or best friend) look it over and don’t fear critique. Critique is not meant to hurt you, but meant to make your story better, meant to help you grow as a writer. And then read it through at least one last time.
And when you’re finally ready to submit, stick to the guidelines. I know the fonts are not the most beautiful, and the format may not make it pretty, but it’s not about looking pretty, it’s all about the text, and not making editors squint their eyes and think twice about even opening it. You want them to read your stuff, make it readable and stick to the guidelines.
Last, but not least, don’t be afraid to ask for advice. Other writers are often very willing to answer questions.
Tell us a little of your hobbies aside from writing.
I sing in a choir and I have singing lessons. I also practice QiGong.
And for those of us… err *cough splutter* for those of our readers who don’t know Qigong (unless you mean the artist and then I will look a complete pratt ;-)) what is it? QiGong (aka Chi Kung) is the practice of aligning breath, movement and awareness for exercise, healing and meditation. And yes, I plucked that off the net to make sure I say it right. It’s a close relative to Tai Chi, actually and it’s all about your chi, your life force.
Do you think Qigong helps with your creativity? (Qigong is said to ‘allow access to higher realms of awareness, and awaken one’s “true nature”’) I don’t really see relation to my creativity, but, I started doing it because my mind never shuts up. For me, going through those exercises, from posture to breathing to moving and being aware of what I’m doing, means that for an hour, hour and a half a week, my mind is slowed down and very much forced into the here and now.
But it’s entirely possible that giving my mind a break is good for my creativity.
Funnily enough my singing teacher teaches on the same principles, almost. She’s very in tune with her students and through breathing and mindfulness exercises she tries to get the best out of me, vocally and health wise. So, double-win situation for me.
You also sing. Besides from choir singing, what other type of music do you like to sing to? Oh, tough question, since I suck at naming genres. I sing rock/soft rock, ballads, top forty, country… whatever catches my fancy, really. In the last couple of weeks, I’ve sung Toto, Heart, Gotye (bit too low for me, unfortunately), Ilse DeLange, Adam Lambert, Maria Mena, Emmy Rossum and Kings of Leon. I have a rather eclectic taste and depending on my mood I’ll go for something that screams or something that’s small and more intimate in nature.
So Blaine tell us something that nobody else knows… not even your husband (leans forward in eager anticipation). I had plenty of things to say, until I read the ‘not even your husband’ part. Is there anything my husband doesn’t know? I guess the only thing I could answer to that is how often or how much… He knows what sort of porn I love, but not how often I watch it. He also knows I buy books, just *cough* not how much money I spend on it *cough*
Disappointing answer, I know, but… I honestly don’t know what I haven’t told my husband. I think I even told him I fancied my ex-boyfriend’s father for a bit…
Well Blaine I have read a bit of your background and I have to ask… what’s wrong with pixies? You love fairies and elves and dragons but not pixies (muttering about stinking fairies). There’s nothing wrong with pixies, honestly. I just never thought to include them into my bio. Probably because I’ve not written about them… but never say never. I used to think I wasn’t ever going to write gun porn, and see how wrong I was about that *grin*
Okay Blaine a serious question now, if this world suddenly became a magical place what magical creature would you be? (What… you can tell a lot about the sort of person someone is by that choice!! Honest) Magical creature? Oh, that’s open to so many interpretations. But, seeing how much I love pointy ears, I guess I’d have to go for fairy, elf or even pixie *grin* I’m none too picky, I just want to fly, wear pretty clothes and play with other creatures’ pointy ears. Though, I’d love to have a bit of magic, even if it’s just to do the dishes with the flick of a wrist
Don’t forget to scroll down and check out Pixie’s interview with Caitlin.
Title: Almost Paradise
Series: Pine Hollow Wolves 01
Author: Caitlin Ricci
Publisher: Silver Publishing (June 16th, 2012)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts
Blurb: Travis will do anything to keep his daughter safe, now that he finally has custody. Financially ruined, he cannot even afford food for himself most days. Could a stranger’s offer to dogsit be the solution Travis has been hoping for?
Travis has done everything to keep his daughter safe. He’s fought a long, hard battle with the courts to gain full custody and has finally found some breathing room. But that security comes at a heavy price.
Staying in a motel and living off his quickly dwindling savings is no way to raise a toddler, so when Liam steps into his life and offers him hundreds of dollars just to watch his dogs for a weekend, it almost seems too good to be true.
But when he finds out there is more to Liam than he ever thought, he has a hard decision to make. Can he and his daughter stay and be safe or will he need to leave?
Review: Liam is running an errand for his Alpha when the scent of a man gets his attention. Even without his shifter senses, he can tell the other man is down on his luck. But, being a shifter he is keenly aware that the other man is just as attracted, if not a tad leery of Liam. But attraction isn’t enough to make Travis accept Liam’s invitation to lunch. Fortunately, Travis’s daughter, Hannah, has no reservation about getting to know Liam better.
I’m not sure how Almost Paradise is going to be received. I personally loved it. There was enough of a break from the same ole same ole paranormal shifter stories that flow through my inbox that I was hooked from the beginning. There’s enough back-story to hook me, but enough left unsaid for me to look forward to the next book. And as I know that Book 2 is about the Alpha, who came off like Don Corleone, I can’t wait to see how he redeems himself. Not to mention the Alpha’s sister, who is a rather scary woman.
Anyway, back to this book. We are introduced to Liam first and I wasn’t sure if I was even going to like him. I got that his position was similar to a traditional pack’s beta, but because of the dynamics, he came off as more of a mob errand boy. But, as he interacted with Travis and Hannah, he shifted, in my mind, from paid lacky to more like Tony Soprano. And not just his character, but all the shifters. They have a clannish elitism that just reminded me of New York mafia family. Which might not mean anything to you, but I’ve always found authoritative men with an air of mystery uber hot. The fact that he’s all about the pack and family only made him that much sexier.
And as much as I loved Liam, I loved Travis more. He’s been through hell, trying to retain custody of his daughter. Now that everything is pretty much settled, he’s broke and unemployed, yet trying to maintain some level of normalcy for his child. Sue me, but I’m a sucker for real daddies. And, as much as he wants Liam, he is no pushover. He makes Liam work for their mating bond, like a first-rate trial attorney.
I really applaud Ms. Ricci for creating a shifter world that is both interesting and different. I look forward to reading Samson’s story and getting to know Liam, Travis and Hannah more in the future. I’m recommending this title to readers who believe that men can handle a bit of courtship, patient shifters and far-sighted little girls.
Caitlin stopped by the MM Good Book Reviews interview room, yes we have one and agreed to be interogated…I, mean interviewed by Pixie. 😉
Caitlin Ricci That’s got to be nice. No kids here (yet), but planning on at least three.
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Lol. I have three, makes me crazy sometimes. Well, Caitlin, I have looked around a bit and you are an honest to god brand new writer. So tell us a bit about yourself
Caitlin Ricci Yep, I am completely brand new. I’ve been writing for years, ever since middle school, so around the age of twelve. I don’t know what middle school is called there (England), since I know you have primary and then secondary, but for some reason, I thought secondary was for older kids. I never really felt like my stuff might be good enough to publish though until I wrote a short a while back and submitted it. It got rejected but after that I realized that the sting wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be so I got on this path with the Pine Hollow Wolves and Almost Paradise was born. I’m 27, live in Colorado, have a dog, a fiancée and a Blue Tongue Skink which is honestly the coolest reptile people can have as a pet. I’m in college for my bachelor’s in Human Services with a concentration in Domestic Violence and then I’ll be getting my master’s in either Social Work or Child Psychology. I want to be a school counselor with a primary focus on GBLTQ kids and their issues of bullying, acceptance, coming out, dating and suicide.
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Wow. So you want to help all those poor kids who are having a hard time in school or at home. I think that is admirable. I hope you get your qualifications for that. And as for the Blue Tongue Skink, I’ll take your word for it. Lol. I know you got knocked back a few times by publishers before Silver Publishing snatched you up, so can you tell us a little about your experience with that and what would you say to someone going through the same situation now?
Oh, and secondary school is for ages 11-16, then they can go onto college and then university.
As to your question, mostly I’d say…just keep writing. I love a quote that NaNoWriMo sent me once that said that you can’t edit a blank page. Yeah, it hurts to be rejected, especially when you love the story and the characters, but it’s gonna hurt when someone gives you a less than stellar review or a good friend says that they didn’t like your book or any number or other things. You can’t please everybody and if your story is good someone will publish it.
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Lol. So, you are my first Silver author interview. Can you walk us through their process and how much support you get ;-)?
Caitlin Ricci Wow. That’s kind of awesome. Yay, team SP! The process is actually really simple. They’ve got a form on the website that you just fill out so no query letter stress there and you don’t have to try to sell yourself or your book. Just be honest, sound a little interesting and put in the info that they want. I submitted Almost Paradise the day before the deadline for the father’s day submission call. You get an automatic response saying that they got it and then a week later Alison sent me an email saying that it was accepted. It was 5 am when I read it and I was getting ready to go into work. I was bouncing around the room trying not to wake Scott (my fiancé) up.
I signed the contract, did the pre-edits, sent it back, talked to my cover artist, and did some more edits, talked to the cover artist again, a few more edits and then boom! Everything was done. The process is actually very easy, the editors are there to help and my cover artist is an awesome person who I would gladly work with again.
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews I am glad Silver looks after you so well. So have you had support from other m/m authors? I know Dreamspinner has an author forum, does Silver have something similar?
Caitlin Ricci They do and we’re all very friendly over there. I’ve connected with a lot of SP authors here on FB as well. And I belong to a group that is just for MM authors in Colorado which is fun since we’re hoping to do some in person events pretty soon and our Out in the Rockies blog hop is going on right now. Networking is just as important as an author, as it is in any other arena. Although writing is often a lonely solo type of excursion it’s great to have other people around to bounce ideas off of, get help when you’re feeling unmotivated or jazz over a new cover.
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews That’s great, I also heard that you are quite new to reading m/m as well, tell the readers how that came about.
Caitlin Ricci I am actually, which is pretty crazy that my first book published is MM. I’ve been reading erotica for a while including Lauren Dane and Maya Banks so the idea of MMF or MMMF wasn’t new to me. Then a friend told me to try out Kim Dare. I read her free shorts and then read Duck!. I fell in love with the characters and decided to start writing MM. The idea of two guys in love though wasn’t completely new to me. In high school I was reading Yaoi and Shonen-Ai, watched Queer as Folk and loved Will and Grace.
I still write other pairings including MF and FF and MFF, but my guys have sort of taken over WIPs.
Caitlin Ricci Yep :). I like it a lot and thankfully I’ve got friends and a fiancée who support me.
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Yeah, your guys are kinda wonderful. Just in case none of you readers know Caitlin’s new book is Almost Paradise which is the first in the Pine Hollow Wolves series. Can you tell everyone about your book?
Caitlin Ricci Thanks for saying that they’re wonderful :). Alright, so what few people know is that Almost Paradise was actually the second book that I wrote in the series. The sequel (working title Man’s Best Friend) is about the alpha and his love interest. Travis (from Almost Paradise) was mentioned in it and I liked him instantly, had to know more about him and after I finished Samson’s story I wrote Almost Paradise. Luckily it came together in time for the submission call. AP is about Travis, a single father who has worked his butt off to keep his little girl. Liam sees him when he’s trying to get a job and invites him to lunch, knowing that he’s got to do something to make this guy’s day just a little better. While they’re there Liam gets a call from his boss, Samson, telling him that he’s got to go out-of-town. With no time to get a sitter for his two dogs he asks Travis to do it and things just sort of fall in place from there.
And Hannah is freaking awesome. She’s the little girl and she’s adorable.
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Yeah I know, me and Portia had a cat fight over who was doing your review… I got to interview you Lol. *mean boss* Not that it isn’t lovely to be chatting to you!! Now I also heard that there is a Nap sized story about Travis and Liam, will that be published at all?
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Yeah, a really short one. It’s like the smallest short story that doesn’t take long to read… Nap sized.
Caitlin Ricci Ah okay. Sorry, wasn’t familiar with the term. *blush* wow so I’m a noob. There is a short with Travis and Liam that I’m hoping silver will accept for their Christmas line. In it they’re off on vacation with Hannah and they’ve been together for seven years now and they’re visiting Ireland. Some interesting things happen in that story that set up Hannah’s YA series later on when she’s 15.
I love this couple and couldn’t just let either them or Hannah go by the wayside.
Caitlin Ricci Total long game. They’ve been married for years at that point, Hannah loves having two dads and in her series her best friend is a younger Shifter named Ippy (Phillip) so she’s all for having a Shifter father and belonging to the pack.
I like HEA and for me that’s when they’re old they’re still sitting on the back deck, drinking sweet tea and watching their grand kids run around with more giant dogs.
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews And as for the Nap thing I think it all depends who you talk to. Some would class it as a day-dream. Whatever floats your boat…for me its nap sized. Anyhoo, tell us more about your book, was it a conscious decision to not have any sex or was that how the characters wanted it.
Caitlin Ricci I put myself in Travis’s shoes. He’s not having hook-up. His daughter is right there in the next room and he’s trying to do what’s best for her. He’s a father first and always has been. That lessens in later stories when he realizes that he doesn’t have to be the only one there for Hannah and that she’s actually got an entire pack right there waiting for her if she ever needs anything, but right now his primary concern is making sure that she’s taken care of. For me having sex in there felt like it wouldn’t be doing that side of him justice. There’s one point when he’s angry, but Liam doesn’t want it to be like that with him. When they come together it’s because the time is right for both of them and Travis is willing to let Liam into their lives fully and let him be Hannah’s dad as well. The later stories are all explicit, including theirs.
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Oh, you authors are always teasing me with future books, damn. So, where did the idea originate from? And although there are shifters we don’t see a change and it seems like you have put a lot of thought into what your shifters will be like… you know not instant mates and changing at the drop of a hat.
Caitlin Ricci There is a change :). I don’t like instant mates because it seems to be forcing the other person into a relationship. Arranged marriages are fun and I may do a story about one someday but forced forever binding relationships are not something I find sexy. The idea started with Samson. In his story (Pine Hollow Wolves #2) he rescues a child from a fire, finds himself overcome with smoke and passes out. He finds himself in an animal shelter and can’t get out without exposing himself since there’s cameras in the shelter. I like magic based Shifters as opposed to traditional werewolves where the bones break, there’s lots of pain, they end up naked, etc. I thought about having them naked but with Hannah around that wasn’t going to happen. They can choose clothes or not though. They’re no larger as dogs than they are as humans, which is still really big. But there’s no sudden change of mass to try to explain.
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Yeah, but that change doesn’t count *raspberry*, Ha Hannah is a proper cutie and I loved how you worked her into the book without it getting to silly… got to say though that I admired Travis’ patience. I so wouldn’t have been able to stop myself from hauling off and giving someone a beat-down!!
So tell us about your hobbies or what you do in your spare time.
Caitlin Ricci Me neither. I think the only reason he didn’t was because he knew that Hannah was there and no good parent wants their child to see that. It was a hard line though deciding how much Liam would do, since he’s far more into justice and making sure that his new little family is safe than worrying about what people think.
Classes take up a lot of my spare time when I’m not writing. I’m also a nurse aid and I work with Alzheimer’s patients and other forms of dementia. I have a dog that I love that I try to take on a walk every day. I enjoy movies, listen to loads of different music and do a ton of laundry. Ideally, though, I’d like to cut that back to writing most of the day, walk with the dog and a movie at night. I enjoy horseback riding. I used to write poetry, but I haven’t in years, camping, fishing, shooting at the range, painting and cooking.
Caitlin Ricci Lol. Most of that I do on my minimal vacations. Generally, my life is writing, school, work, fiancée, dog. I work part-time so that makes the rest of it fit in nicely. Shooting is done on the weekends, same with fishing generally since we like to go early in the morning. Writing I can do whenever I want to though since I take a pen, paper and my tablet with me everywhere. A few hundred words is still writing and when people get nosy I get to tell them that I’m working on my next novel. They either get curious or give me the “you’re crazy” look and go away.
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Lol. So you said Scott (the fiancé) is supportive. What did he first think when you started writing m/m?
Caitlin Ricci He said the same thing that he says now- that he’s happy for me, but wants me to go back to writing my YA MF series that he told his family about, so he can share it with them. They are supportive of that I write, but they don’t know what. Same with my family. He stopped caring that I watch gay porn and call it research though which is a nice plus. Really though, he’s supportive no matter what I choose to write, because it makes me happy and my eventual goal is to live off writing. If I can support us both with something that I love to do and he can take care of the house and the kids while I play with beautiful men in my head that would be awesomeness rolled in chocolate and dusted with glitter.
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Aww. That’s so lovely. I must admit I have heard some horror stories from other authors about how their family’s reacted badly or someone leaked it and they lost their jobs *shakes head* some people are just stupid. Right, so any secrets you want to share? *raises eyebrow*
Caitlin Ricci I write under a pen name, so that I don’t lose my job or my future career. Not many people would be okay with their child’s counselor writing MM erotic romance, or any erotica actually. I’m still debating on whether or not to keep the name for my YA stuff or not.
Caitlin Ricci Hmmmm…. secrets…. I worry that I bother the SP staff too much and that they’ll realize I’m not worth the trouble :).
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews *Laughed myself silly* Damn girl, I read your book they won’t be letting go any time soon.
Caitlin Ricci Thank you darling 🙂 With my book coming out the day after tomorrow I realize that’s not likely, but it’s still hard to believe that my story got turned into a book which people have read and will be reading and that people will hopefully like and that my second book, Taming the Lion Tamer, was accepted as well, but there’s no release out on that yet.
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Ohhhh new book *stars in eyes as gazes off into a dream world*. ~shakes head~ Okay, I was about to ask if there was anything else in the pipeline other that Pine Hollow Wolves. Will Taming the Lion Tamer be a series or a stand alone?
Caitlin Ricci And, if anyone is wondering if they’ll like my writing or not they can always pick up the Silver Shorts which are available for free off the SP website. I’ve got shorts in most of the ones from week 20 on.
Caitlin Ricci Right now it’s a standalone, but there is a sequel that might happen. Taming is about Quinn and Charlie. Charlie has a sister who has been divorced for about 2 years now, but she will get back together with her ex in her own book.
Blurb for Taming the Lion Tamer- Charlie thought it would be like any other Friday working as an animator. Then in walked Quinn and his rescued Asiatic Lion. For years Quinn has devoted his life to rescuing big cats so when an animation company offers him a donation in exchange for bringing one of the cats in to model he jumps on it.
Charlie’s so nervous that he can barely look at Quinn, much less talk to him. Quinn is confident, friendly and too handsome for words. Charlie can’t believe it when Quinn notices him, and then invites him up to the sanctuary for the weekend. He’s enthralled and finds himself falling hard for the man his sister calls Sex God Quinn Fitzgerald.
Draft blurb…so it won’t be the final, but it’s a sneak peek.
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Hmmm. looks interesting… we will all keep our fingers crossed for you. **whispers* You are supposed to push books at the end so you can put up all the links *wink**
Caitlin Ricci The 5k short is a St Patty’s Day fun little thing and the 20k is (working title) Marked by Grief which I’m pretty proud of. It made a beta reader cry so at least the emotion is strong in it 🙂
Caitlin Ricci totally busy but that’s how I like it. Oh! And I forgot to mention the MMM story that is my current WIP PITA. I say that lovingly, of course. It’s my first time writing MMM, so getting the dynamics right is like playing with lit matches and trying to juggle them all at once.
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews MMM is a hard one to do. But, if you have the right balance between the characters it should work well. Looks like you will be keeping Silver busy for some time 😉 and we will have lots to look forward to *g* lucky readers.
Caitlin Ricci :) I certainly hope so. It’s a lot of fun to write about guys and before trying it I had no idea how enjoyable it could really be. I still like writing about women, but there’s something different and fun and OMG sexy about two guys who happen to fall in love.
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews There is and you also have more diversity with the characters as well. Okay, so I am getting dirty looks off my starving kids so just a few more questions. This is the most important one… if the world were to change into a magical world what magical or mythical creature would you be?
Caitlin Ricci Hmmm…. gah hard one. And I thought this would be easy :P. Okay… thinking…. thinking… thinking… A shifter absolutely. But something that could fly…. so probably a dragon. Something fierce, protective, could still go bounding around the countryside with my dragon friends, but wouldn’t be nearly helpless like a unicorn or Selkie.
And flight would be important, although I’d be large so staying hidden would be an issue. And eating knights would be a pain. But, being a griffon wouldn’t be that much fun either and there’s no way I’d be a basilisk. So yep, a dragon.
Western, not eastern.
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Lol. You wouldn’t go back in time. *snigger* Hell Hound beats all of them hands down… that’s what I’d be.
Caitlin Ricci A hell-hound would be an awesome choice, especially considering all of their powers. It’s the imminent death thing that I wouldn’t like though. Sounds lonely when if someone sees you, they know they’re going to die.
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Yeah, but remember they guard the gates of hell, which means they would have loads of friends on tap. 😉
Okay. So, before I choke to death laughing, tell all the readers who will become your fans *scowl* they will!! Where they can find you, so they can tell you how awesome you are.
Caitlin Ricci Lol. True. I’ve wondered what it would be like to be Ammut, too. Same idea, only not nearly as cool looking. And she just eats the hearts so only sort of the same.
Lol. Fans would be awesome and comments are always appreciated! They can contact me here on FB or on my blog at http://authorcaitlinricci.blogspot.com/. And Silver Publishing is giving away a copy of Almost Paradise tomorrow so make sure to enter if you haven’t already. My blog is also a great place to find good music and sexy pictures of guys.
Stalkers are welcome, too. Since it’s a public profile :P.
Gah Hannah is so freaking cute on that cover!
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Yep. So, I have to bring this interview to a close (why do we call it an interview when it’s a chat and free for all?) and I have to thank you for being gracious enough to join us here at MM Good Book Reviews and thank you for being a good sport and putting up with me;-)
Caitlin Ricci Seriously, the pleasure was all mine and I had a great time. Thanks for inviting me over and it was great talking with you.
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Great talking to you to, and we will do something in the future when you are an old hand at being an author. Thanks again Caitlin… Bye.
Caitlin Ricci Sounds great. Have an excellent evening and thanks again for your time. Bye!
I’m sure I’ve mentioned that my favorite part of my job is finding new authors. Don’t get me wrong, I love the old pros who have become friends since MM Good Book Reviews came into existence, but there is nothing like the raw energy from the writer who is seeing their debut novel listed on a publisher’s web site for the first time, to bless my jaded heart. Jeremy Pack is my latest acquisition and I brought my lead reviewer, Pixie alone for the ride. Actually, in this case, I’m not sure who is leading who. Not two hours after I sent Pixie Jeremy’s debut novel, The Heart of the Jungle, I caught Pixie pimping it on Facebook. Not to be outdone, I made contact with this wonderful young man and the rest, as they say is history. Jeremy and his partner Jason are really nice guys and I wished they lived closer.
Pixie lives in England and Jeremy lives on the West Coast of the US, but through the magic of technology, they were able to hook up and chat. Hope you enjoy getting to know Jeremy Pack a little better. Trust me; he’s going to be on the scene for a long time.
Friday morning in the MM Good Book Review Cyber Interview Room
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Hi Jeremy, seeing as I’m in England and you’re in America we need to synchronize our watches lol so we can interview in real time.
Jeremy Pack Indeed! You have but to snap your fingers. I’m at your beck and call, Pixie! XO
Jeremy Pack A little slow on the uptake, but I’m present and accounted for. Mostly. XO
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Oh good. Let’s get the grilling, err I mean interview, under way. I will be making it up as I go along, because when I stalked you, er I mean, when I was doing background, I couldn’t find much about you. 😉
Jeremy Pack Wonderful. I’m an open book. (Be glad you can’t see me, though, after that midnight movie, I look like the wreck of the Hesperus.) Do I need to be here or somewhere else?
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Here’s fine Portia will do all the technical stuff later. Lol, that’s what bosses are for. And she’s the best. *innocent look*
Jeremy Pack Brilliant. Don’t make this easy on me, now. Go for the jugular.
Jeremy Pack I grew up in a small town in southeastern Idaho. More Mormons per-capita than in the heart of Zion. As far as I was aware, I was the only gay person in the whole world. I didn’t feel like I had a place in the universe, so I started creating my own. I have stacks of spiral notebooks with quirky little romances that I wrote to fulfill that need for intimate affection. Of course, these days, I don’t have a need to invent love to fill an empty place in my life, but I’ve been doing it so long it’s become a part of who I am. Even if I never have the opportunity to publish another book, I am sure I’ll still be writing my quirky little love stories for as long as I live.
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews *g* Now there’s a bit of an interesting story as to how you rediscovered The Heart Of The Jungle isn’t there, involving cleaning the attic?
Jeremy Pack Yes. (That attic. Ugh.) Interestingly, I started writing The Heart of theJungle about 10 years ago and abandoned it about 2/3 of the way through. I have a nasty habit of hitting the midway point, seeing something shiny, and becoming distracted. In any case, I discovered it and got chills because it was as if I had been whispering bits and pieces of what was to come in my own life to my former self. At the time I wrote it, I was struggling in a relationship with a man very much like I describe Michael Blake and dreaming (as I always had) about having children. Years later, I am a VERY proud daddy, and my Jason bears an absolutely UNCANNY resemblance to the one I invented in the book. Even the way Chris is undone at the first sight of his Jason mirrors the schoolboy befuddlement of the first time I laid eyes on mine. My heart still races. That’s why I chose to finish and polish it. Submitting it for publication, though, I owe that one to Jason. He made me do it.
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews It sounds like your man, Jason, is very proud of you and what you have achieved and you sound very happy together. So I am going to be very nosy and ask how did you two meet and how old is your daughter Elise?
Jeremy Pack I mentioned a difficult former relationship earlier–after 14 years, and shortly after Ellie was born, we parted ways. He moved to Phoenix, and Ellie visits him for a couple of weeks every year. I met Jason online while I was there picking her up. I had to spend a couple of days before I could bring her home and was lonely for company. We had instant chemistry–and sushi. We got to know each other over text message for the next several months. Now, a little more than two years later, he’s become an irreplaceable part of both my life and Ellie’s. She worships him, and he is the greatest co-parent I could ever have imagined.
Jeremy Pack Ellie is six now. I adopted her at birth through a local agency that specializes in working with non-traditional families. She’s one of my life’s most beautiful and precious gifts. I imagined parenthood would be wonderful, but the reality is so much more. As Chris says, “It’s something as deep as your soul.”
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Aaahhh. That’s so sweet. I love finding out how people fall in love and you are so lucky to have such a beautiful daughter and she looks a touch mischievous. I bet she keeps you both on your toes. *sigh* so back to books. The Heartof the Jungle is your first solo story, but you did release a co-authored book with your mom, Cindy Aitchinson, about ten years ago didn’t you?
Jeremy Pack I did. It’s a quirky little supernatural story. (Not m/m) Mother and son bonding more than a serious go at writing. I think we loved the time spent together coming up with it at this coffee shop called “Jitters”, more than the actual attempt at writing a book. It’s self-published and the joy on my mom’s face at holding the book in her hand the first time is a treasured memory. She’s, without a doubt, the most incredible woman I’ve ever known. I owe all of who I am, as a man, to her example.
Jeremy Pack By the way: Mischievous is an understatement regarding Ellie. It’s a good thing she’s cute, because she’s got my mouth. God save us.
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews It sounds like you and your mom have a wonderful relationship. Your mom must be so proud of your new book. For those who haven’t had a chance to read it yet, explain a bit about The Heart of the Jungle.
Jeremy Pack I like to describe The Heart of the Jungle as my diabolical side at work. It’s a mystery primarily, the kind that peels away in layers like an onion the further you go along. The caper at its core is complex, which was a fun mental challenge–particularly revealing it in bits to allow readers the fun of trying to guess at the untangling threads. (I love that kind of story, myself.) There’s a romance between the two main characters which I tried to portray realistically, so readers will likely find it to be more subtle than the standards of the M/M genre. I think Dreamspinner took a chance on this one, because it’s quite different from many of the M/M romances I’ve read. Understandably, this could be off-putting to some readers.
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews I have to say I loved it, it was very true to life with the relationship and the mystery, suspense, and thriller part was extremely well-written. What made you take a chance with submitting this one? As how you said, it is different from the majority of M/M, at the moment.
Jeremy Pack First: Thank you so much for those kind words. Gosh, I still feel like I’m dreaming when someone tells me they liked my work…
Jeremy Pack Actually, Jason is to blame for the submission. I have a decided lack of self-confidence and he swore to me if I didn’t send it in, he was going to do it for me. I tried to explain that I didn’t think it would be accepted because it is unconventional, but that was just me having a bad case of the chickenshits.
Jeremy Pack Oops. I probably should keep this clean. Sorry about the naughty word.
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Jeremy, I saw on your website that you posted a little explanation about not following the convention of what people have come to expect from the M/M genre, can I ask why you felt the need to explain?
Jeremy Pack I have to tell you, I have agonized over the sex in the book for months. I wrote a blog post about it so that readers who look for erotic content don’t walk away disappointed. I don’t know if I will ever be able to write really explicit love scenes. It’s one of those contradictions about me that makes me a bit quirky. Doesn’t mean I don’t love to read them when my fellow authors write them, though. *Wink*
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Yeah, I can totally get on board with that. Lol. So, I noticed that you have another book in the works; To Touch the Stars is that going to be a mystery as well?
Jeremy Pack My worst nightmare is a disappointed reader. I recognize the value of both time and emotional investment in a story–you have expectations about where the journey might take you when you crack open a book and I’ve been let down more than once in my years of reading. I don’t ever want to do that to someone else.
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews I think most readers will enjoy your book quite well, it’s heavy on the story and light on the sex but it is a fantastic story… *face palm* I’m gushing again aren’t I ~rolls eyes~
Jeremy PackTo Touch the Stars isn’t a mystery actually. It’s certainly got its share of suspense and action, but it’s an historical romance. It was my dream project–a book I didn’t think I had it in me to write. I will very rarely say anything approaching boastful, but I personally feel like it’s the best writing I’ve ever done. I poured my soul into that text, and even if it never sees the light of day, I am proud of the message it delivers.
Jeremy Pack And I’m blushing and grinning like a loon. I adore you!
Jeremy Pack Now that it’s done, though, I’m deep into plotting my next one. It will be a mystery and it’s going to be a doozy. Diabolical Jeremy has learned a thing or two. *Rubs hands together*… So much fun!
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Well, I hope it gets accepted soon so I can read it… err, so we all can read it, I mean. *grins innocently* And I adore your writing. OOoohhh another mystery gimme, gimme, gimme, err what I meant to say was, stop plotting start writing.
Jeremy Pack I write very quickly and have an aggressive schedule set for myself. I hope to always have another submission ready when a book releases so that something is always in the pipeline.
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Good. I won’t have to put your name on my ‘authors to hunt’ list. *bwahahahah* Okay, Jeremy as a new comer to the genre what would you advise someone who is currently thinking of submitting their work?
Jeremy Pack So very kind of you, Pixie! It makes me so happy that you would look forward to something I’ve written. That’s about the highest honor a writer can be given.
Jeremy Pack M/M is a relatively young genre–it’s an incredibly exciting time to be joining the party. As a writer, it feels like there is a vast amount of uncharted frontier to explore. So far, my experience has been that the audience and the industry are incredibly supportive and open-minded. That’s something you won’t get with a big 6 publisher. Experiment. Don’t be afraid of taking a risk. (Of course I’m saying this selfishly as a reader, too. I LOVE authors that take me to places I’ve never been before.) I can’t wait to see how the genre grows and develops over time–particularly as the risk-takers are embraced by the wide open arms that are waiting to receive them.
Jeremy Pack My God, Pixie, it’s almost 11:00 where you’re at. I feel horrible for keeping you up so late!!
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Did you have anyone that you turned to for advice or support who was already established in the M/M genre?
Jeremy Pack The first M/M novel I ever read was “Blind Items“ by Kate McMurray. When I finished it, I was so overcome; I dashed off a long, gushing letter to her. In hindsight, it felt a bit stalkery, but she was incredibly gracious about it. I’ve been a big fan ever since. She inspired me to hope that there might be a place for my work.
Jeremy Pack Dreamspinner Press maintains a community for authors where we can gather and network. That board has been an absolute godsend for me. The Dreamspinner family is the most amazing group of people I have ever had the good fortune to associate with. I’ve grown immensely from my time with them. Special thanks to Kate Sherwood who gave me fantastic advice early in the writing of To Touch the Stars. I owe my personal pride in that work to her counsel. She is brilliant!
Jeremy Pack And yes, please, sleep! I’m completely free this weekend.
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Thank you, what time is it for you now? I can work out a time then that we can meet tomorrow 😉
Jeremy Pack It’s 3:00 in the afternoon here in Seattle.
Jeremy Pack I’m usually up by 5:30 or 6:00 am. Happy to connect with you anytime after I’ve had my first cup of coffee.
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Wow. Really? Okay, so I will be on about 4pm which should be your 8am. 😉 I will have plenty of tea at hand, so I will be happy.
Jeremy Pack Wonderful. I’ll be at the keyboard. Sweet dreams to you, Pixie! Thank you again for absolutely everything. I really can’t begin to tell you how grateful I am.
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews I slept like a baby. 😉 And it’s late afternoon, so I will just ask a few more questions so it shouldn’t take too long.
Jeremy Pack I’m yours for as long as you’ll have me, Pixie. 😉
*pop in*Portia de Moncur *rolling eyes* Oh, God…chill with the kissing up…the little imp is already plotting world domination…next it will be the universe *off to get first cup of coffee**pop out*
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Ah, Honey, don’t make me offers like that. I just might keep you as my personal author. LOL. So you are with Dreamspinner Press. I have to ask because as a reader I really don’t know, but do they offer loads of support and walk you through the process and stuff and if they do explain it to us readers.
Jeremy Pack The team at Dreamspinner has been absolutely wonderful. Writing a book is only the first step in a long process before release. Each book goes through three rounds of edits and a couple of proof-reads, not to mention blurb writing, cover art, and marketing… The editors are excellent. They saved readers from a 12 hour car trip without a single stop to pee, a corpse abandoned in a closet, and a magically appearing cigarette in the hand of my favorite character. Every step of the way, Elizabeth (the Executive Director) and Lynn (the Editor in Chief) made themselves available to me. If I had a question, they responded to me nearly instantaneously. I NEVER expected that the production process would be so user-friendly. Aside from that, the author community is always buzzing and jam-packed with folks willing to offer advice and support.
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews That’s wonderful, it’s nice to know our favorite authors are taken care of. So when you write do you have a certain process that you follow or is it just when it comes to you?
Jeremy Pack I generally write a couple of chapters if I have a new idea to see if the story has legs. If it does, I’ll write an outline and character biographies. I do a lot of research, too–both experiential kinds of research (like learning to fly a plane) as well as lots and lots of reading. I like to develop a good working knowledge of a subject, even if I don’t include all of the little details. I write in a very linear way. Beginning to end, and whenever I can spare a moment. There’s a lovely Zen garden at my workplace where I sit on lunch breaks, and I often dictate in the car on my commute home. During polishing, one other thing that helps me is to listen to my work read aloud. I use a software program that converts the text into speech. “Amy”, the synthesized voice, is a very proper British woman who has become almost like a real person to me. I LOVE her! (And she cracks me up when she uses invective. It’s priceless!)
Jeremy Pack No way. Amy is much too bland. She sounds uncannily like Anjelica Houston to me. We’re on nickname basis now, so I have taken to calling her Angie-baby.
Jeremy Pack To wax serious for a moment, though: Flow and cadence are something I really strive for in my writing. Listening to the text aloud helps me find stuttering passages and repetition. It also helps me make sure my characters speak distinctly.
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews I can guess at what she would call you if she could! And it great that you do that as well Jeremy I can’t tell you the amount of times that I have been heaved out of a book because the speech is to bland or just sounds wrong (the voices talk in my head… don’t push it). So other than creating nicknames for voices what else do you do in your spare time (you know those five minutes in between your work, writing, partner and daughter) 😉
Jeremy Pack Kidding. My house was built in the late 1800s, so I do a lot of renovation–and I love it. Jason and I like to go camping and fishing in the summer. I read voraciously, play video games with Elise, garden. I’m very dull in real life… haha.
Jeremy Pack I’m very genre agnostic. I tore through the Pendergast series by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. (Excellent, excellent mysteries) and loved them. I’m a big fan of Dean Koontz, as well, and I adore Mary Roach (Bonk and Packing for Mars). On the M/M side, I’ve recently read Poppy Dennison’s Mind Magic and loved it, anything by Rick Reed, and of course I continue to be a big fan of Kate McMurray.
Jeremy Pack My favorite author is Jean M. Auel–if only for The Clan of the Cave Bear. I read it in my formative years, and for anyone who has ever been an outsider, it’s positively inspiring. I make a yearly pilgrimage with it. It’s absolutely my most cherished book of all time.
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews You have excellent taste. I applaud you. So I will be bringing this interview to a close soon and I will be asking all authors this question… and then making up a personality type for each answer. * Bwahahahaha…* If the world suddenly became a magical place what magical creature would you be?
Jeremy Pack I think I would have to choose a sprite–like Puck from a Midsummer Night’s Dream. I’m a little bit mischievous and elusive myself, so having license to give in to those inclinations is appealing. Plus, the whole sylvan lifestyle. Yes, please.
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Hmmm I will have to think up something suitable *evil grin*. So Jeremy let you legions of fans know where they can find you.
Jeremy Pack Disclaimer: Sprite Attire + Jeremy = Eww… Imagine at your own risk. LOL
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Okay. Jeremy I think that’s everything I can think of at the moment, if I have missed anything I am sure Portia will tell me. But, I want to thank you for taking time out of your busy days to answer my questions and say it was a pleasure to chat with you and hope we can do it again.
Jeremy Pack I’ve loved spending time with you, Pixie. I hope I haven’t bored you to tears, ’cause I’ve had a great time! Really hope we get the chance to meet in real life. I owe you a big hug, or at least a stiff drink.
Publisher: 2nd Edition, Silver Publishing (April 21, 2012); originally published in 2009 by Literary Road Press
Heat Level: Explicit
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts
Blurb: Detective Aaron Bradshaw sweet talks his way into a vampire club, hoping to get the local master’s cooperation for a drug bust. Little does Aaron know Master Orion plans to keep Aaron for his mate.
Aaron Bradshaw’s boss orders him to acquire the vampire Orion’s cooperation in their police investigation. Little does Aaron know sweet talking his way into the club is the first step in establishing a long-term relationship with a vampire.
The master vampire, Orion, has been alone for a long time. One look at the sexy detective and Orion decides who he wants to keep by his side. But Aaron’s insistence of throwing himself into danger drives Orion insane.
How can he keep his lover safe and still let Aaron do his job–hunting down drug runners in Orion’s club?
Review: Orion knew the moment he laid eyes on Aaron that they were supposed to be together. Aaron isn’t into vampires, as a rule, but he’s willing to make an exception for the sexy vamp.
Kissing Orion is classic Amber Kell with a twist. Originally published in 2009, it is being reissued by Silver Publishing. As with many Kell tales, there is a nice suspense thread. In this case, drugs are being dealt out of Orion’s night club and Aaron is the lead detective on the case. Orion is a very typical alpha man; possessive, arrogant, etc. But, the twist is he’s so sweet. There is nothing he won’t do to make Aaron happy. Their relationship is very much a pairing of equals. The big strong vamp with the weak little human gets old. This was a refreshing deviation from the usual vamp/human duo.
Anyway back to the story. I was just about to be unhappy with the nice neat ending when Kell threw a major twist in the mix. Not quite a cliffhanger, but damn close. Secrets are revealed and Orion again shows himself to be the perfect partner for Aaron. Loved it. There sure had better be a book two or Amber Kell is going to have a very irritated reviewer on her hands. Highly recommend from the beautiful cover art, straight through until the happy-ever-after.
Blurb: Gun for hire Jed Walker doesn’t figure it for a difficult job—a simple smash and grab retrieval—except his new client doesn’t want money or goods. He wants shy, gorgeous Redford Reed, a man who turns Jed’s world upside down inside a day. He is in no way prepared to fall hard and fast for his newest assignment.
Redford Reed lives his life locked in his grandmother’s house, haunted by a terrible curse and watching the world pass him by until Jed shows up, sent by a man who will stop at nothing to claim Redford as his own. Teaming up with Jed is Redford’s only chance at survival, but as the violence escalates, so does the tension between them. Even though they each finally have something to live for, now it’s going to take all Jed’s skill and every bit of courage Redford has just to stay alive.
Review: Redford is a trapped in a lonely existence, in a dull drab house, until Jeb cons his way in. Jeb is an odd job man and the more dangerous the jobs are the better. When he takes a job to steal something and he’s told that it’s the only thing of value at the house he thinks it’s an easy job.
This book was brilliant. It’s not your usual werewolf story and there are no instant mates or love. Redford, you just feel sorry for as he’s been brought up by his grandmother who would lock him up in a cage on the full moon and since she died he has had no real contact with anyone and is very lonely. Jeb realizes that he can’t go through with the job and takes Redford under his wing.
These two men couldn’t be more different if they tried; you have Redford who is shy, innocent and sweet and Jeb who is brash, sexually outgoing and tough. What we get when these two men are together is a surprising love story. Watching as Jeb discovers new things about himself and then panic over them is cute. I thought his and Redford’s relationship was even cuter and the way they were always being interrupted when things got interesting was funny and frustrating.
I will recommend this to those who love paranormal, werewolves, big guns, explosions and a big tough guy turning to pools of goo for the man they love.