Trysts and Embers by Angel Martinez & Freddy McKay

Angel Martinez & Freddie MacKay - Trysts and Burning Embers CoverTitle: Trysts and Burning Embers

Series: Lijun 02

Author: Freddy MacKay & Angel Martinez

Genre: Bisexual, Contemporary, Fantasy, Multicultural, Paranormal

Length: Novel (423pgs)

Publisher: Pride Publishing (November 20, 2018)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 4 Hearts

Blurb: Fire. Water. Burn.

In the two months since the All Hallows’ Eve party, Tally has courted Haru, buying expensive gifts, taking the two of them to upscale restaurants and trying to find a balance in earning Haru’s fragile trust while being new parents to the Cohen joeys. Tally sees hope in the new domesticity the family has settled into, despite having some bumps along the way.

Gifts and treats have satisfied Haru’s otter, but the human half remembers the brutal lessons of giving their trust away. How can two lijun who barely know each other anticipate what will happen when times get tough? There are circumstances Tally doesn’t understand yet, and Haru struggles to find their feet with an Urusar who doesn’t know the rules.

A revelation not only throws the tentative relationship between them askew, but also starts Tally and Haru down a path the two of them can’t escape, one so heart-wrenching Haru’s not sure their heart will survive.

Traditionalist concerns that have always nipped at the Bastille clan’s heels come roaring to the forefront with demands and ultimatums. Tally needs to fall in line or face further threats to his otter, his family and his clan. Haru needs to find the strength to believe in the good despite the bad. In an environment where it’s vital to know ally from foe, Tally and Haru need to stand united or watch the community Tally’s family has built fall under the thumb of heartless, greedy autocrats.

Reader advisory: This book contains references to past trauma and PTSD, the death of a child and kidnapping.

ISBN: 978-1-78651-697-8

Product Link: Pride Publishing | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Shorty

Review: There was a lot going on in this continuation of the series. Haru and Tally are trying to settle in their new life but others conspire against them playing on the couples weaknesses and not knowing about certain things.

There is a deeper delve into the Lijun politics that was complex with a lot of rivalries thrown into the mix. A lot of characters are interwoven as certain individuals make plans behind others backs that are not on the up and up. I found the whole story intriguing.

Tally and Haru I felt needed to talk to each other and learn more about the other before cracks are found and the ones up to no good split them apart for good. I was thankful for the warning at the end of the blurb because that incident was sudden and utterly gut-wrenching to read.

Great read and addition to the series.

Fireworks and Stolen Kisses by Angel Martinez and Freddy MacKay

Title: Fireworks and Stolen Kisses

Series: Lijun 01

Author: Angel Martinez and Freddy Martinez

Genre: Contemporary, Fantasy, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy

Length: Novel (243pgs)

Publisher: Pride Publishing (26th June 2018)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Blurb: No. Eating. Pixies.

At the annual Global Lijun Alliance conference in Tokyo, Tally Bastille makes the first impulsive decision of his life. Others perceive his uktena—the enormous legendary serpent that’s his dual-spirit—as a threat, which makes him all too aware that he frightens fellow lijun. But an encounter with a passionate, obviously not-straight otter lijun one evening convinces Tally that he’s found his Em’halafi, his destined match. Tally is determined to barrel through all obstacles to make the match happen, including the otter’s conservative, traditional family.

Trained as a Satislit—a bride-son—Haru Tanaka chafes at the strict boundaries set around their life. They rebel against their clan’s constant attempts to force an arranged match and wish desperately for someone who will love them. At the conference, Haru is horrified to learn their family has accepted an offer for them, one too lucrative for the clan to refuse. Not only has the Urusar sold Haru to a stranger, but the lijun is also a giant snake and one who believes in the tired old superstitions regarding Em’halafi. Threatened with banishment if they refuse, Haru has no choice but to marry the wealthy American serpent.

Back in Tally’s home in Wisconsin, Haru and Tally must navigate both the widening gulf between them as they realize how much they’ve misunderstood about each other, and the tricky politics of the lijun clan Tally leads. Murder, intrigue and increasing hostility threaten to tear apart the little town of Wadiswan and the arranged marriage they’ve barely managed to begin.

ISBN: 978-1-78651-670-1

Product Link: Pride Publishing | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Shorty

Review: I really wanted to love this story by the time I finished it. I mean there’s romance?, suspense, murder a whole cast of characters that added depth to the story. However, it Haru’s attitude toward Tally that made me take a step back. I know it’s an arranged marriage but if Haru didn’t want it why didn’t he say anything before the wedding? Instead all he does is complain and basically put Tally down after the wedding night. That really made me angry on Tally’s behalf.

I loved the culture throughout the story. It was fascinating to read about the traditions. Tally was sweet and caring and I so wanted him to be happy. Aside from Haru’s attitude problem I really enjoyed everything else about the book.

I was happy to follow Tally around as he traversed through a world where his mate doesn’t want him at first only to be confounded when murder enters the picture. I felt really bad for Tally in the situation he found himself in.

All the different characters were exciting to read about and what role they each played to bring this story to life.

Great read.

Fireworks and Stolen Kisses by Angel Martinez & Freddy MacKay Blog Tour, Guest Post, Excerpt, Review & Giveaway!

Angel Martinez & Freddy McKay - Fireworks and Stolen Kisses Banner

Hi guys! We have Angel Martinez & Freddy MacKay stopping by today with their new release Fireworks and Stolen Kisses, we have a fantastic guest post from Angel, a great excerpt, a brilliant $25 Pride Publishing GC giveaway and Shorty’s review, so guys, check out the post and enter the giveaway! ❤ ~Pixie~

Fireworks and Stolen Kisses

(Lijun 01)
by

Angel Martinez & Freddy MacKay

No. Eating. Pixies.

At the annual Global Lijun Alliance conference in Tokyo, Tally Bastille makes the first impulsive decision of his life. Others perceive his uktena—the enormous legendary serpent that’s his dual-spirit—as a threat, which makes him all too aware that he frightens fellow lijun. But an encounter with a passionate, obviously not-straight otter lijun one evening convinces Tally that he’s found his Em’halafi, his destined match. Tally is determined to barrel through all obstacles to make the match happen, including the otter’s conservative, traditional family.

Trained as a Satislit—a bride-son—Haru Tanaka chafes at the strict boundaries set around their life. They rebel against their clan’s constant attempts to force an arranged match and wish desperately for someone who will love them. At the conference, Haru is horrified to learn their family has accepted an offer for them, one too lucrative for the clan to refuse. Not only has the Urusar sold Haru to a stranger, but the lijun is also a giant snake and one who believes in the tired old superstitions regarding Em’halafi. Threatened with banishment if they refuse, Haru has no choice but to marry the wealthy American serpent.

Back in Tally’s home in Wisconsin, Haru and Tally must navigate both the widening gulf between them as they realize how much they’ve misunderstood about each other, and the tricky politics of the lijun clan Tally leads. Murder, intrigue and increasing hostility threaten to tear apart the little town of Wadiswan and the arranged marriage they’ve barely managed to begin.

Continue reading “Fireworks and Stolen Kisses by Angel Martinez & Freddy MacKay Blog Tour, Guest Post, Excerpt, Review & Giveaway!”

Watermelon Kisses by Freddy MacKay (MCB A Holiday to Remember Collection) & Excerpt!

MCB Holiday books, Watermelon Kisses promo Banner

Hi guys, we have Freddy MacKay popping in today with his new release Watermelon Kisses, we have a great excerpt and you can check out the other books in the Mischief Corner Books A Holiday to Remember Collection! So check out the post and enjoy! <3 ~Pixie~

Watermelon Kisses

by

Freddy MacKay

Life hasn’t been easy for Amir since he fled Iran after a brutal imprisonment. The trauma experienced at the hands of the guards left a dark spot on his soul. The one constant in his life since relocating to Chicago has been his lover—now husband—Esmail, whose steadfast love and support has soothed his wounded heart.

​But this Shab-e Yalda, Amir wants to be the one giving his husband something special, because even after the darkest nights, the sun will rise again.

Continue reading “Watermelon Kisses by Freddy MacKay (MCB A Holiday to Remember Collection) & Excerpt!”

Cabin for Two: An Anthology

s949781146977809269_p10_i1_w640Title: Cabin for Two: An Anthology

Series: Mischief Corner Anthologies, #1
Author(s): Toni Griffin, Freddy MacKay, Mathilde Watson, Silvia Violet, and Angel Martinez
Genre: Various
Length: 201 pages
Publisher: Mischief Corner Books, LLC; 3rd edition (April 1, 2013)
Heat Level: Moderate
Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Snow, storm, transportation woes, gravity well mishaps – the list of disasters that might strand someone in the wilderness is endless. But what happens when two men are marooned together? Close quarters and intimate situations strike sparks, whether the men are strangers or lovers on the emotional rocks.

A Bear in the Woods: Smokey Mountain Bears 1 by Toni Griffin ♥♥♥♥4Hearts
A bear shifter tries to convince his mate that he’s not crazy while fighting threats against his own life.

I was looking forward to this. I really enjoy Tony Griffin’s other series The Holland Brothers and Atherton Pack. If anything, this book was just too short and that was because I missed the details that I crave and normally get from her writing. But in saying that I’m really behind since I’ve only just got to this one. This anthology originally published a couple of years ago and it is the first book in a series. The second book was released a few months ago for Christmas (Wreath of Fire in the Chestnuts Roasting Anthology, Dec 2014) – another book that I need to get to.

Regardless, this is an enjoyable story. An unsuspecting human and a hot bear shifter, what more could you want? Vincent, the human of the piece, has been forced to take a holiday by his best friend. And for some odd reason she has booked him a cabin in the woods. Christian, our bear, has a lot of background drama going on to do with his pack/sleuth of bears. He’s next in line for alpha and a couple of pack members take an exception to this. When Vincent arrives at the cabin, his first glimpse of Christian is in his bear form and we pick up on a quick adventure from there.

As I said, not really detail heavy although it has a good and simple plot. There seems like there is more to this story and since it’s only book 1, I’m going to put my faith in Toni Griffin for the rest.

Dirty Little Secret by Freddy MacKay ♥♥♥♥4 Hearts
A geocaching trip goes horribly wrong, but the hiker’s rescuer is the one person who may be able to save him in more ways than he can imagine.

I think this is the first time I’ve read something by Freddy MacKay and I have to say it is pretty enjoyable.

Three Little Words by Mathilde Watson ♥♥♥♥♥5 Hearts
Lifelong friends have returned from the Korean conflict and now need to fight their way through the feelings they’ve harbored for each other for so long.

This is the first time I’ve read anything written by Mathilde Watson. I have to say there are two things that drew me into this instantly 1) I love Korea as a county and the mere mention of it makes me want to go back, and, 2) I’m a tragic for watching re-runs of MASH and it seems I’ve been watching reruns my whole life.

All that aside, this is a sweet story. It’s about two best friends that are confused about their sexuality trying to get their lives back on track after being irrevocably altered from their time in the army. One thing that isn’t actually mentioned specifically but I would say has impact on the story is how homosexuality was viewed historically. This is more fun and exploration than the serious side of sexuality.

Their Natural Habitat: The Forestry Series, Book 2 by Silvia Violet ♥♥♥♥3.5Hearts
A forest ranger and his lover just want a nice weekend away. The bear baiters have other ideas.

I have to admit, I didn’t quite enjoy this story as much as the preceding stories in the Cabin for Two anthology. But I think I figured it out: this is a standalone sequel to book 1 in the Forestry Series but to enjoy it properly I probably need to read book 1.

As I said, this is a sequel, so we follow on with characters that readers would have met if they didn’t do my trick and go straight to this anthology without realising. Dan and Parker are together but one is a city boy and the other is a country boy – who also works as a park ranger. These guys are still trying to iron out the dynamics and logistics of their relationship and even on its own is an enjoyable read.

A Matter of Faces (An ESTO Universe Story) by Angel Martinez ♥♥♥♥♥5 Hearts
A data privateer crash lands on a barely habitable moon where he’s found by a research scientist who refuses to show his face.

By far this was the most enjoyable book for me from the Cabin for Two anthology. It’s not so much sweet, but it is fun. It’s a bit like Cold War Spy crossed with Arctic scientist in my mind.

The MCs are Rhodi (Rhodolite) and Gel (Magellan): Gel is a scientist tucked away on an isolated planet studying/observing weather systems. Rhodi is the data privateer mention in the blurb, he crash lands and crawls into the wrong plant, so when Gel finds him, Gel becomes his nurse and medical doctor briefly. It’s not really an adventure, they are stuck within an observation cabin throughout, but it’s a pretty cool way for a scientists and what is essentially a spy come together.

Just on a random side note, it pissed me off how Gel reacted at the end but I’m glad he saw sense. It’s just in Rhodi’s shoes. I would have been a little less willing to accept an apology. On the names, I can’t keep this to myself: Rhodolite is a type of rock/crystal, but since I don’t know rocks that well (had to look it up), I keep thinking of Rhodophytes (red algae, more my area). As for Magellan (as well as being aptly named), if you remember the kids’ 90s cartoon The Animaniacs, I keep on thinking a song they sing about the explorer Magellan.

Product Link(s): http://www.amazon.com/Cabin-Two-Anthology-Mischief-Anthologies-ebook/dp/B00EUSSY60

http://mischiefcornerbooks.weebly.com/store/p10/Cabin_for_Two%3A_An_Anthology.html

* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through http://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com *

Chestnuts Roasting Anthology Blog Tour, Excerpt, Guest Post, Review & Giveaway!

Anthology - Chestnuts Roasting MCB600x600Banner
Hiya guys, we have Mischief Corner Books popping in with their newest release Chestnuts Roasting by Toni Griffin, Angel Martinez, Freddy MacKay and Silvia Violet. We have Freddy MacKay visiting with us so we have a great post about the run up to Christmas, we have a great excerpt and there’s a fantastic giveaway. So enjoy the posy check out Cat’s and Shorty’s reviews and click that Rafflecopter link <3 ~Pixie~
Anthology - Chestnuts Roasting 10x15

Chestnuts Roasting

(Anthology)
by

Toni Griffin, Angel Martinez, Freddy MacKay & Silvia Violet 

Christmas means different things to everyone, but most often it’s all about pulling loved ones close and brightening the gloom. The fire’s crackling. The snow is piling up outside, even if it’s only in your dreams. Time to snuggle up with some cocoa and some stories carefully crafted by the Mischief Corner Crew to warm hearts and cockles.

Wreath of Fire: Smokey Mountains Bears 2 – Toni Griffin
Michael’s trying to start a new life away from his abusive father, but he’s drifting and not sure what he wants. When he accidentally starts a kitchen fire, the hot new fireman who comes to the rescue is not only another bear shifter. He’s Michael’s mate. Michael desperately needs to get his act together and figure out what he wants if he has any hope of claiming the bear fated to be his.

A Christmas Cactus for the General – Angel Martinez
Exiled to Earth for perhaps the worst failure in Irasolan history, General Teer must assimilate or die. Earth is too warm, too wet, too foreign, but he does the best he can even though human males are loud, childish louts whom he can’t imitate successfully. When a grieving seaplane pilot strikes up a strange and uneasy friendship with him, he finds he may have been too quick to judge human males. They are strange to look at, but perhaps not as unbearable as he thought.

Holly Jolly – Silvia Violet
I’m not gay. I just notice men sometimes. Everybody does, right? I notice Dane a lot, like every time I’m near him, but just because I think he’s an attractive man that doesn’t mean I like him, does it?

I’m also not a fan of Christmas. Too many years “celebrating” with my Bible-thumping family ruined the holiday for me. So what if I envy all these cheerful souls dashing about with smiles on their faces? I don’t have to like Christmas, do I? If anyone could get me in the Christmas spirit, it would be Dane with his easy, relaxed manner and his gorgeous smile. If that were going to happen, though, I’d have to find the courage to talk to him and to admit that maybe I don’t know myself all that well after all.

Snow on Spirit Bridge – Freddy MacKay
Alone in Japan, Finni is struggling against the constant distrust, avoidance, and xenophobia he experiences every day. He misses home. He misses his family. Nightmares come all too frequently because of the stress, and well, Christmas is just not Christmas in Japan. Not how he understands it.

Distressed by how miserable Finni is, his roommate, Mamoru, offers to be Finni’s family for Christmas. Little does he know how much one agreement would change everything between them, because both of them kept secrets neither ever dreamed were true.

Continue reading “Chestnuts Roasting Anthology Blog Tour, Excerpt, Guest Post, Review & Giveaway!”

Snowed In by Freddy MacKay

Snowed In400x600Title: Snowed In

Series: A Finding Home Story 02

Author: Freddy MacKay

Genre: Contemporary, Christmas

Length: Novel (166pgs)

Publisher: Silver Publishing (24th December 2012)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: When their families celebrate Christmas, George receives one request from his boyfriend’s little sister–break up with her brother. Matters are only complicated when she finds an impulsively purchased gift he picked up for Max.

When their families celebrate Christmas at his parents’ cabin, George receives one request from his boyfriend’s little sister, Courtney–break up with her brother. George is devastated that the cute as a button high school freshman has gone from loving to hating him with no explanation as to why, and insecurities about his relationship with Max rear their ugly head.

Max tries to distract and comfort George, but Courtney becomes more hostile and less festive by the minute, upsetting everyone in the house. George leaves to do some last-minute shopping and to give Courtney some space only to run into his ex-boyfriend, which further complicates everything.

Sometimes mixing Christmas with family is a toxic combination.

Purchase Link: https://spsilverpublishing.com/product_book_info/products_id/1343

Or purchase the entire LET IT SNOW collection: https://spsilverpublishing.com/product_book_info/products_id/1354

Review: This story is part of a series and is best read in order; it is also a good idea to have also read the Finding Peace series as some references to events in that series are mentioned. George and Max are celebrating Christmas together with their families, but problems arise from Courtney’s attitude.  Max’s sister throws a spanner in the works with her about-face towards George and it causes insecurities to rise in George. Now, Max and his family try to get to the bottom of the problem while salvaging Christmas  and George confronts the past while out shopping… can George and Max have a happy Christmas or will events ruin their first Christmas as a couple?

First off, this story isn’t for those who want a blissful happy story all the way through. There are some tough issues to overcome and some soul-searching involved before we get to the happy part and even that is bittersweet. Both George and Max are exactly as I remembered them. With George still being awkward with people and Max with his harsh words when in a temper. They are a great couple and their love is very strong. And they need it as their relationship and love are tested to the extreme. All the characters are well portrayed in this story and it is a very angsty storyline, very angsty which really tears George up and frustrates everyone else.

There isn’t much more that I can say that wouldn’t give away the entire storyline and plot. All I can say is I hated Courtney for what she put George and Max through and then loathed her for putting her family through the terror they must have felt. She might have been a teenager, but she was foul. I couldn’t find much sympathy for her even when she explained everything. And George, oh George. Taking everything on for himself was heart-breaking to see. Max had the right idea and I can only say that I am glad he has George’s heart safely guarded. We do get to see some happy moments between George and Max and we see George put Joe (ex-boyfriend) firmly behind him. The sex between Max and George is hot and they truly are a well suited couple.

So if you love bittersweet Christmases, true love, a tough storyline, lots of angst, putting the past to rest, some danger and two men who are wonderful then this is the book for you.

 

Moving Mountains by Freddy MacKay

Title: Moving Mountains

Series: Finding Peace 1.5 (Spin Off)

Author: Freddy MacKay

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (222pgs)

Publisher: Silver Publishing (28th April 2012)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥4 ½Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: After being dumped by his lover, George Sanders threw himself into his research, burying his broken heart. When his friend Max kisses him, can George figure out what’s going before it’s too late or will Max leave him for good?

George Sanders threw himself into his research trying to bury his broken heart. The past week out in the field gathering research for his doctorate thesis hasn’t gone any better than the previous six months. The only positive is the company of his friend, and lab assistant, Max Flint.

Max’s behavior has become erratic and their conversations awkward and stilted. When Max kisses him and asks for more, George isn’t sure he can handle his advances, especially if Max is leaving for another university.

Can George figure out what’s happening before it’s too late and Max leaves him for good? Or will the past keep him from seeing what’s been right in front of him for the last four years?

Purchase Link: https://spsilverpublishing.com/product_book_info/products_id/1054/?zenid=4ca2249a3d4b381f52c374324eb4d278

Review: George is confused by his best friend’s behavior.  Max is running hot and cold and George doesn’t know how to approach him to find out what’s wrong.  But, then Max kisses him, confusing him even further.  By the time George has caught up, it just might be too late. Max has wanted George for some time now, but George is just clueless to all the signs. Then, when Max goes out on a limb and still gets rejected, Max just can’t take it anymore.

A wonderful story of friends-to-lovers filled with misunderstandings and crossed wires. George was hurt badly by his ex-lover, when he was forced to hide his relationship and then dumped by e-mail. Now, he is wary of another relationship.  When Max kisses him, it throws him for a loop, as he never even knew that Max was gay, never mind interested in him.  But, now he is worried, as Max will be leaving soon for his new graduate program. Max has tried everything except throwing himself at George to get him to notice him and now, after one more last-ditch attempt, he is giving up.

This is a well-written story that draws you in with the confusion of a young man who just hasn’t got a clue about anything other than his work. George is absolutely clueless about anything going on around him and it is quite an endearing quality that grows on you.  At first, I thought that Max was being mean when he was calling him dense but George really was; when it came to subtle interaction going on around him. Max is a wonderful young man who has been holding out hope that his best friend would notice him for more than friendship. These two together make a great couple, as long as they both know exactly what the other really means.

There are quite a few misunderstandings, wrong conclusions and getting the wrong end of the stick, as they try to find a way through the mine field that both their emotions lay down. Both Max’s and George’s reactions throughout the story get to you, as you want to grab them both and say LISTEN and EXPLAIN, as they both jump to conclusions. Their relationship moves along at a nice pace without them jumping into bed for hot sex right from the start.  They do get to it and it really is hot, but it is when they both feel secure in their relationship.

I will recommend this to those who enjoy friends to lovers, clueless academics, a bit of angst, misunderstandings, developing love and a happy ever after.