The Jackal’s House by Anna Butler Cover Reveal, Excerpt & Giveaway!

Anna Butler - The Jackal's House RTBanner

Hi peeps! We have Anna Butler stopping by today with the fabulous cover to her upcoming release The Jackal’s House, we have a great excerpt and a brilliant giveaway to celebrate so check out the post and follow the instructions to enter the giveaway! <3 ~Pixie~

The Jackal’s House

(Lancaster’s Luck 02)
by

Anna Butler

Something is stalking the Aegyptian night and endangering the archaeologists excavating the mysterious temple ruins in Abydos. But is it a vengeful ancient spirit or a very modern conspiracy…

Rafe Lancaster’s relationship with Gallowglass First Heir, Ned Winter, flourishes over the summer of 1900, and when Rafe’s House encourages him to join Ned’s next archaeological expedition, he sees a chance for it to deepen further. Since all the Houses of the Britannic Imperium, Rafe’s included, view assassination as a convenient solution to most problems, he packs his aether pistol—just in case.

Trouble finds them in Abydos. Rafe and Ned begin to wonder if they’re facing opposition to the Temple of Seti being disturbed. What begins as tricks and pranks escalates to attacks and death, while the figure of the Dog—the jackal-headed god Anubis, ruler of death—casts a long shadow over the desert sands. Destruction follows in his wake as he returns to reclaim his place in Abydos. Can Rafe and Ned stand against both the god and House plots when the life of Ned’s son is on the line?

Release date: 30th October 2017
Pre-order: Dreamspinner Press ebook  | Dreamspinner Press paperback

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Throwaway Card by A.J. Marcus

A.J. Marcus - Throwaway Card CoverTitle: Throwaway Card

Author: A.J. Marcus

Genre: Historical Americas, Steampunk

Length: Novel (200 Pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (June 12, 2015)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Blurb: Hugh Lafoux managed to survive the Civil War, but came out of it scarred for life and with an intricately crafted metal leg. Since the war ended, he’s wandered aimlessly, looking for the next card game and easy sex. He boards the Bayou Belle in Saint Louis, expecting a nice easy ride down to Memphis. But he runs afoul of Big Al Shank, the owner of the Belle, and ends up beaten and thrown overboard into the dark river.

Former slave Cotton Freeman spends most of his time hunting alligators along the Mississippi River near Memphis, Tennessee. While looking for larger gators north of town one night, Cotton unexpectedly fishes a man out of the water. As Cotton nurses Hugh back to health, they realize a mutual attraction, and their love grows. But when Big Al Shank returns to destroy them, love might not be enough to win the battle.

ISBN: 978-1-63476-127-7

Product Link: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon UK | Amazon US

Reviewer: Lisa

Review: I have only read one or two books by this author but have always been impressed with the work A.J. Marcus has done. They are well written with a lot of detail and meat to it. I am not a fan of books written with the past in mind. They come off very dry and boring to me. Although this one did have a lot of heat and heart to it, it was also missing something important to make it a perfect story.

A.J. Marcus has created a world that has the feeling of being in a different time period as well as another place altogether. Hugh has been caught cheating and the revenge is to throw his ass overboard. Which I am fairly certain is a better chance than most would have gotten back then. He had not expect Cotton to rescue his ass. Now Cotton use to be a slave and afterwards he basically hunts gators along the water coast, which is how he came to be in place to drag Hugh’s ass out of the water.

Now their love is heating up and they have the riverboat owner coming for them, the need to protect each other. With the help of Cotton’s friend Casandra, they are about to get pay backs. Now this story is a bit different than most that I have read. I mean you have romance, hot sex, steampunk and a bit of history to it. You have two characters who have heat, are very sexy and a bit quirky in my eyes who have found love with each other which is a main attraction to me.

I enjoy the look into their world and what it is like to be different from one another. A.J. Marcus has managed to pull off a historical type story with difficulties that others came across in the past and made it a pretty good read. I can honestly say that this is a damn good book, but was not for me. It is a very fast paced story with a pretty damn good plot to it. I loved the characters and their mismatched ways. Like I said the book was not for me, however it was one fantastic read for those who like the historical type stories. I would recommend it.

Mongrel Trilogy Bundle by K.Z. Snow

k-z-snow-mongrel-trilogy-bundle-coverTitle: Mongrel Trilogy Bundle

Series: Mongrel 1-3

Author: K.Z. Snow

Genre: Ghosts, Spirits, Mystery, Suspense, Steampunk, Vampires

Length: Novel (475 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (April 29, 2016)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: One day a shadow is cast on the Mechanical Circus, a rollicking seaside carnival where imagination meets machinery, when a tall, cloaked figure approaches the stand of Will Marchman, a young patent-medicine salesman. Thus begins the adventures of Will; Fanule Perfidor, commonly known as the Dog King; vampire Clancy Marrowbone; and Clancy’s former lover, the mortal Simon Bentcross.

ISBN: 978-1-63477-449-9

Product Link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/mongrel-trilogy-bundle-by-kz-snow-6743-b

Reviewer: Shorty 

Review:

MongrelHeart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Fanule Perfidor, leader of the mongrels, sees a shining star, Will Marchman, in his otherwise chaotic life. Famile is on a mission to uncover the secret as to why the mongrels are being incarcerated and persecuted. With Will and his best friend Clancy, vampire, and Simon’s, hunter, help discover why Mongrels are disappearing. Fantastic cast of characters, action, suspense and mystery made for an incredible read.

Merman: Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Clancy returns to find out what his ex-lover Simon is up to and discovers a merman, Jordan Hawkes is a man he used to feed, washed up on the shore. He also discovers Simon has been commissioned to build a submersible. There is also a mystery as to the suspicious treatment of prisoners. This is another wonderful story with characters that add depth to the book, as well as the interactions between Simon and Clancy. I loved the mystery aspect and finding out what was going on.

Machine: Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

This book is the conclusion of the mongrel series and ties everything up. Both couples are back, William and Fan start arguing and eventually they split up. A mysterious stranger from fan’s past shows up and chaos ensues. This mysterious stranger has a machine that can alter beings and humans alike. Will and Clancy are kidnapped then returned less than what they were. Although both couples suffer greatly they eventually find their HEA. I felt the villain’s so-called takedown was a bit of a let-down considering all the lives he disrupted or destroyed. I expected a big showdown between Fan and him but got none. Other than that I loved the story as it revealed more about Fan’s background. 

Overall the series was an amazing adventure of two couples. They struggle to make a go of their relationships and find their HEA. At the same time they access and confront threats to them and the town along the way. Great descriptions and plot made for an interesting read. I loved it.

Broken, Collared and Ready for Revenge by James Cox

james-cox-broken-collared-and-ready-for-revenge-coverTitle: Broken, Collared and Ready For Revenge

Series:  The Gentlemen Brothers # 3

Author: James Cox

Genre: Steampunk, Futuristic, Suspense, Erotic, Sci-Fi

Length: Novella (88pgs)

Publisher: Evernight Publishing (August 19, 2016)

Heat Level: Moderate – Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: When the collar comes off, all that’s left is a broken man…

Alexander Gentleman has spent fifteen years being beaten into submission and tortured beyond anything a human should survive. He’s fractured around the edges when his brothers finally save him. With the help of “One Nut” Nigel, the collar is removed. He’s starting to remember the faces of those he’s killed and fighting the urge to murder everyone around him. But the one who put that clockwork device on him is still on the loose. With the help of Nigel, he tries to be integrated into a society he no longer understands.

Can he control himself long enough to get his revenge? Will Nigel be his savior or will Alexander embrace his darker side?

Be Warned: m/m sex, sex toys

ISBN: 978-1-77233-971-0

Product Link: http://www.evernightpublishing.com/broken-collared-and-ready-for-revenge-by-james-cox/

Reviewer: Shorty 

Review: In the end to a fantastic series Alexander has been saved by his brothers.  His battle is still ongoing as the collar comes off .After years of being influenced by the collar even without it on he still has tendencies to want to hurt others. 

Nigel knows what’s happening with Alexander and seems to be the only one able to get through to him when it happens. Nigel is also attracted to the youngest brother and the feeling is quite mutual. 

I love this series so much. Reading about the lives of each brother’s fate was fascinating. Alexander’s was heart-breaking in what happened to him. I completely understood his need for vengeance and revenge. The queen deserved everything that happened to her warped ass self.

I was so happy Alexander and his brothers were finally reunited. This book has everything a fantastic plot, sexy men, action, drama and some hot sex. Highly recommended.

Re-Inventing Love by Storm Grant Blog Tour, Excerpt & Review!

storm-grant-re-inventing-love-banner

Hi guys, we have Storm Grant stopping by today with her newest release Re-Inventing Love, we have a great excerpt and my review, so check out the post and enjoy! <3 ~Pixie~

storm-grant-re-inventing-love-cover

Re-Inventing Love

by

Storm Grant

Engineer and assistant inventor Maximilian Grün is in love with his employer, but he daren’t reveal the truth. It’s 1910 and if Canadian authorities learned of his homosexuality, they’d deport him back to Germany where the country of his birth would become the country of his death.

When promising young inventor and mathematician Dr. Jasper Hamilton expresses his own feelings for Max, the young German regretfully declines. He cannot risk their partnership, their reputations—their very lives!

Then a rival inventor sabotages their inventions. Jasper is caught between the physical and the metaphysical, reduced to atoms, and transported to the spirit plane! Max is devastated, deeply regretting his lost chances.

But Jasper manages to communicate across the aether, telling Max he must reverse the machine’s polarity. But without Jasper’s talent for mathematics, the calculations defeat him.

Can the would-be lovers bridge the gap between life and death to finally be together?

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Skyships Over Innsmouth by Susan Laine Guest Post & Excerpt!

Susan Laine - Skyships over Innsmouth Banner

Hi peeps, we have Susan Laine stopping by with her upcoming horror/ steampunk/ post-apocalyptic release Skyships Over Innsmouth, we have a fantastic guest post from Susan and she also brings along a great excerpt, so check out the post and enjoy! <3 ~Pixie~

Susan Laine - Skyships over Innsmouth Cover s

Skyships Over Innsmouth

by

Susan Laine

Twenty winters have passed since the Cataclysm brought down society and robbed people of their memories. Humanity, vastly reduced in numbers since the initial chaos, has started anew in Canal City with the aid of library books and steam technology. The Scout and Ranger Corps was established to search for possible survivors and to replenish dwindling resources.

Dev is the captain of the scout airship Smoke Sparrow, and Shay is the scholar of their newest expedition. Their destination is Innsmouth, Massachusetts, a small fishing town that is mentioned in obscure books but shows up on no maps. Might its secrets offer answers? But within the fog-covered, ruined hillside town by the bay lurk unspeakable dangers and horrors beyond imagining. The expedition team soon learns that Innsmouth is one town that should have been left forgotten.

Release date: 2nd August

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Clockwork Tangerine by Rhys Ford Audiobook

Rhys Ford - Clockwork Tangerine audio CoverTitle:  Clockwork Tangerine

Series: N/A

Author: Rhys Ford

Narrator: Greg Tremblay

Genre: Dystopian, Steam Punk,  MM Romance

Length: 2 hours and 10 minutes

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (12th May 2016)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: The British Empire reigns supreme, and its young Queen Victoria has expanded her realm to St. Francisco, a bustling city of English lords and Chinese ghettos. St. Francisco is a jewel in the Empire’s crown and as deeply embroiled in the conflict between the Arcane and Science as its sister city, London—a very dark and dangerous battle.

Marcus Stenhill, Viscount of Westwood, stumbles upon that darkness when he encounters a pack of young bloods beating a man senseless. Westwood’s duty and honor demand he save the man, but he’s taken aback to discover the man is Robin Harris, a handsome young inventor indirectly responsible for the death of Marcus’s father.

Living in the shadows following a failed coup, Robin devotes his life to easing others’ pain, even though his creations are considered mechanical abominations of magicks and science. Branded a deviant and a murderer, Robin expects the viscount to run as far as he can—and is amazed when Marcus reaches for him instead.

Product Link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/clockwork-tangerine-by-rhys-ford-7109-b | http://amzn.to/28OELcK

Reviewer: Tams

Review:  What happens when you not only rescue, but fall in love with the man that inadvertently caused your father’s death? Well, Marcus Stenhill is about to find out. Marcus is running an errand for his grandmother one afternoon when he stumbles upon a group of men literally trying to beat another man to death. Upon learning that the man he rescued is Robin Harris, Marcus is confused more than anything else. Robin is so young, far younger than Marcus thought him to be. Over the course of the several weeks it takes Robin to heal from his injuries, Marcus stands vigil by his side and learns there is so much more to Robin than he’d thought.

Robin Harris was only fourteen years old when he was used as well as his designs, which were meant to help people, for a darker purpose. He has paid for that decision a hundred times over. When he finds himself in the company of Viscount of Westwood, Marcus, Robin finds himself attracted to the man that should hate him, but he doesn’t. The attraction is mutual, but a friendship is secured first. The only problem from there is convincing Marcus’s family, some of who are still quite bitter over their father’s death, that Robin was a pawn and he truly is a kind man with a brilliant mind. 

If you follow my reviews then you already know how much I enjoy it when Greg Tremblay takes Rhys Ford’s novels and brings them to life. This book is no exception. I was intrigued by the world and era that Ford created, a mixture of Steam Punk and Dystopian edge. Tremblay took care to guarantee that every character had their own voice and persona; sometimes the voice itself gave me a feel for the character that tied in with the way they were written.

The story was short, just a few hours in length, but there was a lot of content and character development in those few hours. I think Marcus’s grandmother stole the show though. She cracked me up with her need to break ugly porcelain animals and maneuvering the hovercraft thingy while giggling and clapping like a happy child. 

I think anyone that enjoys the Steam Punk and Dystopian style of stories will enjoy this one for sure, but there is a lot more to the story than just that distinction.

Highly recommended by me!

The Empty Hourglass by Cornelia Grey Blog Tour, Guest Post, Excerpt & Giveaway!

Cornelia Grey - The Empty Hourglass _TourBanner

Hi guys, we have Cornelia Grey popping in with the tour for her new release The Empty Hourglass, we have a great guest post, a great excerpt, and a fantastic giveaway, so enjoy the post and leave a comment to enter the giveaway! <3 ~Pixie~

Cornelia Grey - The Empty Hourglass Cover

The Empty Hourglass

(Deal With A Devil)
by

Cornelia Grey

Thomas Escott has always wanted to be a toymaker, yet just as he achieves his dream, an accident claims his right hand. He’s certain his life is over—until he hears about groundbreaking prosthetics being made by a reclusive inventor.

Jethro Hastings is perfectly content to live alone up in the mountains working on a secret masterpiece: a humanoid automaton that will change the scientific community forever. He’s behind schedule, and the date of the unveiling is fast approaching, so when Thomas shows up on his doorstep offering help in exchange for a mechanical hand, Jethro agrees. Time, after all, is running out on another deal he’s made: one with the devil.

The devil gives Jethro’s inventions life, but he can just as quickly take life away—Jethro’s, to be exact. As the sand in the devil’s hourglass falls, marking the time until the end of the deal, inventions go haywire, people get hurt, and Thomas realizes he needs Jethro just as much as his prosthetic. Now he must find a way to save Jethro’s soul, but negotiating with a devil is just as difficult as it sounds.

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The Mysterious Professor by Ora Le Brocq

4946themysteriousprofessor510web-430x645Title: The Mysterious Professor
Series: The Moonwar, #2
Author: Ora Le Brocq
Genre: Erotic Romance/ Science Fiction {soft}/ Steampunk
Length: Short (39 pages)
Publisher: Extasy Books (August 1, 2015)
Heat Level: Explicit
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3.75 Hearts
Blurb: Without warning, without mercy, the Moon War has begun.
Unknown aliens have attacked the Earth by triggering an environmental catastrophe. Earth’s only savior is the mysterious Professor Ethan Wanstead, a man who knows more than he is letting on, but his mission is compromised after meeting Will. Can Ethan control his own desires and keep Will safe even as the alien invaders are landing in the smoking ruins of London?

ISBN: 978-1-4874-0354-6

Product Link: http://www.extasybooks.com/The-Mysterious-Professor/

Reviewer: Shorty

Review: This is book two in the Moonwar series. Continuing the cataclysmic events at the end of the first book Will, Ethan and others from the pub explore the devastation in search for survivors. What they find is so much worse.

I wish this was a longer story as I like the way things are going with Will and Ethan as well as the plot of the story. The aliens who have attacked earth seem cruel and unkind. The so-called authority now in place leaves a lot to be desired. The general seems like an ass to me that only cared about throwing his authority around.

Hot sex, as well as intense scenes at times, make a good read.

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

Future Imperfect by Pelaam

futureimperfectTitle: Future Imperfect
Series: N/A
Author: Pelaam
Genre: Steampunk / Futuristic / Suspense / Sci-Fi
Length: Novella (143 pages)
Publisher: Evernight Publishing (April 20th 2015)
Heat Level: Explicit
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 3 ¾ Hearts

Blurb: Sterling Rossi thinks he’s just made history as the world’s first chrononaut. But if he’s the first to travel back through time, who is the attractive blond he sees during his jaunt, and why is his team so keen to deny his existence?

Sterling soon realizes there are more forces at work than he ever imagined and wonders just what’s really happening, and who he can trust.

As the truth unravels, Sterling has to go back in time to save his lover, while a creature from the fabric of time threatens to destroy the world.

Be Warned: m/m sex, rimming

ISBN: 978-1-77233-327-5

Product Link: http://www.evernightpublishing.com/future-imperfect-by-pelaam/

Reviewer: Shorty

Review: Sterling Rossi is the first man to travel back in time. What is supposed to be an easy jaunt turns into something much more when he meets Jex in the past. Each time Sterling travels back the two grow closer only to be ripped apart when Sterling is brought back to his time. I loved these two together. So much passion and honesty between them.

I did not care for Noc at all. He seemed menacing and very untrustworthy in everything he did. Faer was determined and serious just what a guardian of time needs to be. The entire story was fascinating if not a bit slow for the first half. Awesome battle scenes with deadly creatures added a sense of danger and mystery to the story as well as the evil plot that Noc was planning.

One of the things I didn’t like was that what Faer and Noc were wasn’t explained completely. Both of those details seemed rushed to me. There was more about Sterling and his day-to-day activities than anything else until a little over half the book. It explained more about Faer than Noc so I was confused to exactly what they were. I knew they were aliens and that Noc used to be on Faer’s team until he got power-hungry, but that’s about it.

Good and interesting read.

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

Clockwork Pirate by Lyn Gala

clockworkpirateTitle: Clockwork Pirate
Series: N/A
Author: Lyn Gala
Genre: Dystopian / Steampunk
Length: Novel (278 pages)
Publisher: Loose Id (February 2nd 2015)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Blurb: Alex hid his unnatural attraction to men for many years. That changes when the pirate Beche takes Alex after capturing his ship. At first Alex believes his fate is death and the only question a matter of how he might die. However, the longer he is on the ship, the more he realizes that Beche hates the world because it is unfair in ways Alex never understood. As Alex begins to respect this strong, independent man, Alex’s dormant desires begin to reassert themselves.

Beche hates the titled classes and their government enforcers. They might have outlawed slavery on paper, but they never came to the islands to free him or his family. Since his skin is black, society has little respect for him. Beche expects no more of this latest captive, but soon Beche begins to realize that Alex is a naïve and beautiful man who values family and struggles with his own place in society.

That poses an even larger problem because Beche does not want to send Alex back to a world that will mistreat him, but he has no place for a lord on a ship full of pirates.

ISBN: 978-1-62300-822-2

Product Link: http://www.loose-id.com/clockwork-pirate.html

Reviewer: Tams

Review: Young Alex is a lord by default after his father and older brother have both passed. He takes his honor and duties to his family very seriously regardless, his priority being the care and safety of his two sisters. When their cargo keeps getting stolen by Pirates, Alex decides to sail with the next shipment to ensure it arrives at port safely. But a traitor amongst his men has betrayed him.

Beche is a ruthless Pirate captain that governs his men with an iron fist and strict code of conduct. He cannot stand the rich and powerful government or the way society still treats men of color, men like him. Beche boards a ship full of tobacco thinking it will be an easy steal, but what he finds is a brash, resilient young Lordling that is as beautiful as he is stubborn and defiant.

Beche takes Alex under his wing, partly for protection from his own men that would just as soon kill the lord as look at him, and partly because he is infatuated and confused by the man. An odd friendship of sorts begins to slowly build between the two strangers.

Alex has been told his attraction to the same-sex is wrong. It is evil, even sent off to a doctor that supposedly cured him of his wicked thoughts. Beche has no time or patience for young, spoiled lords. But he is not only drawn to Alex’s innocence and beauty, he admires the man’s strength of character and his refusal to be tamed.

When Beche is captured during a raid gone badly, Alex has the chance to finally escape the pirate and the ship, to go home with his sisters where he belongs. The problem is, he doesn’t feel like he belongs there anymore, and he refuses to leave Beche to be hanged. Can Alex and Beche’s crew of madcap misfits pull off a jail break? Or will Alex get himself killed trying to rescue his captor?

This is definitely a dialogue driven story with a Pirate, Steampunk era backdrop. For those of you that aren’t familiar, Steampunk is the love child of the Victorian and Dystopian styles of writing. I loved the little inventions that Alex’s sisters created throughout the story. How those two women, who were expected to stay home and mind the mansion, could run circles around the men that surrounded them. Alex’s pet spider was quite possibly my favorite. And then the way the little thing had a limp when repaired, like a pirate, it just fit perfectly into the story.

The writing was articulate, descriptive and well versed. The characters were three-dimensional, perfectly flawed and gave each other a sort of balance. While Alex was violated as a youth because of his attraction to men, by a learned doctor no less, he still carries those feelings inside. He and Beche are like day and night, polar opposites both physically and emotionally. But from the start they fit together like two pieces of a puzzle. And I absolutely loved how the author wrote that aspect of the story describing the longing of a person’s soul not always matching the wrapping.

There were a couple of times where the dialogue dragged on too much for my liking and it weighed down the story a little. And then the author’s absolute refusal to use the words cock or dick when describing the male parts, it was maddening. This was very much an adult story, but the way the sexual encounters were versed, it read like a YA book. That being said, I still really liked this book. The author’s ability to weave the multiple events, characters and stories into one storyline was both engrossing and intriguing.

Definitely recommend this one to anyone that likes the genre.

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

The Mechanical Chrysanthemums by Felicitas Ivey

81o2dXsDT9L._SL1350_Title: The Mechanical Chrysanthemums

Series: N/A

Author: Felicitas Ivey

Genre: Steampunk

Length: Novella (91 Pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (January 14th, 2015)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Blurb: Hachisuka Narihiro is a pilot in the Shogun’s elite unit of musha-ki, robotic armor automated by steam and magic for the defense of Nippon in a slowly modernizing 19th Century, when he’s requested to help with political negotiations. Compromises are difficult, with American Admiral Perry determined to open Japan to the West but only on his terms.

Like most Western leaders, the admiral is unaware of the advances the Japanese have made with steam and thinks Nippon is an isolated and backward nation. Narihiro’s uncle, the twelfth Tokugawa Shogun, believes Narihiro is the best man for the duty. Despite his extensive training, plans might not go as well as expected.

With the American delegation comes closeted former Pennsylvania Dutch farmer, Maarten Zook, a shy translator who catches Narihiro’s interest. As negotiations stall, the Japanese are left with few options to convince America that Nippon is its equal.

Japan is ready to open its borders, but a show of force may be needed, and that force may destroy the budding relationship between Narihiro and Maarten.

ISBN-13 # 978-1-63216-493-3

Product Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5941

Reviewer: Gigi

Review: This was a lovely, imaginative introduction to what events could have been like if 19th century Japan had been handled differently by British and US empires at the time. It’s a little bit historical romance, a little bit anime, a little bit of dominance and submission an a small and large scale, and an introduction to Japanese customs vs. American shortsightedness.

There is a lot of East Meets west cultural barrier examination. The author introduces Japanese or Nippon culture to the reader through Maarten’s experiences, one of the largest differences being the acceptance of nanshoku, or male love, among its citizens, and American’s prudishness when it comes to such things.

Tensions rise, insults are slung, and a rude awakening is imminent for the American delegation, but will Maarten be bundled in with the other soldiers when the the musha rise?

Will the passion between Maarten and Narishiro have the chance to bloom? Don’t worry. At the very least, they try with some very hot scenes! A great short story, very colorful and informative. Other than being insulted that all Americans seemed to be painted with the same brush, I was very entertained and enlightened.

Defective Desires by Angelique Voisen

91eOq9e+wqL._SL1500_Title: Defective Desires

Series: N/A

Author: Angelique Voisen

Genre: Steampunk/Paranormal

Length: Novella (62 Pages)

Publisher: Liquid Silver Books (November 17th, 2014)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥3Hearts

Blurb: Discover the exciting, supernatural community of Cogworks in Angelique Voisen’s new paranormal, Steampunk romance, Defective Desires. Caught between the boss he can no longer trust and the vampire he is trying to not fall head-over-heels for, one defective werewolf needs to find answers or they are all doomed … and time is not on his side.

Anemic vampire Codrick Conell Cornelius didn’t know that a blind date would lead to a near-death experience from a burning dirigible. If the fall doesn’t kill his near-human body, the gorgeous Biff Buffington will.

Cod has endured centuries of humiliation being the last vampire of his cursed line. When he finds out the local supernatural community wants him dead, he has nowhere else to go. When Biff offers him an unlikely alliance, Cod is terrified of trusting a man who’s able to turn his knees into jelly and set his heart ablaze.

A werewolf that’s unable to shift doesn’t amount to much in any wolf pack. Abandoned and left to fend for himself, Biff figures that when life hurls lemons at him, he’ll make lemonade. Making a living hunting down rogue supernaturals has more than its share of benefits and enemies. When Biff’s betrayed by his bosses, the last person he’d expect to help him is an anemic vampire. He wants this fiasco done and over with, but his wolf stubbornly believes Cod is his fated mate.

When a prophecy threatens to shake the very foundations of the supernatural community in the Cogworks, can two supernatural defects put aside their confusing feelings for each other in order to stay alive?

ISBN: 9781622101665

Product Link: http://www.lsbooks.com/defective-desires-p968.php

Reviewer: GiGi

Review: An interesting imagining of a Steampunk world, ruled by cogs, floating cities, and air ship transport. A world where there are many paranormals, but of course different species should not breed, and among those there are different classes.

Cod was a perfect character to dislike right off the bat as intended, but I never did warm up to him. Bif seemed rather shallow and diffident too. I really hope this was not an attempt to write in the style of Christopher Moore, because if so, it fails.

I think there was supposed to be humor here. There is some good action in attempts to go unnoticed and to escape capture. The sex scenes are a bit predictable, not really unique, but fun.

My attention was piqued at the blurb, but there was more intrigue in that, than in the short story itself.

If Two of Them Are Dead by Jana Denardo

IfTwoOfThemAreDeadLGTitle: If Two of Them Are Dead
Author: Jana Denardo
Genre: Steampunk/Suspense
Length: Novella (166 pages)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (May 21st, 2014)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts
Reviewer: Kid
Blurb: Called to Hyde Park, New York, ex-Air Corpsman turned detective Victor Van Voorhis comes to only three conclusions about his newest case: the gulf between his status and the wealthy Westbrook family is no trifling matter; someone brutally killed a young mother; and the victim’s brother-in-law is one of the most intriguing men Victor has ever met.

Inventor Abraham Westbrook lost his wife five years ago and is worried about the effect another death in the family will have on his children. He spends most of his time tinkering with steamships, but even his inventions can’t distract him from wishing Victor was in his life for any reason other than a murder investigation—one where Abraham himself is a suspect. He’s hidden his desires all his life, but no longer. Somehow, he’ll catch the detective’s eye.

With murder standing between them and a killer stalking the Westbrooks, Abraham, and Victor’s chance at happiness could go up in steam.
Purchase Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4990
Review: Charming.

If there were one word that fully encapsulated If Two of Them Are Dead, it would have to be charming. Which was not what I was expecting, based on the title. But this Steampunk murder mystery is less about the dark, foggy streets and more about the interaction of its enticing main characters.

Victor Van Voorhis is an ex-airman turned police detective who is sent to the posh and opulent Hyde Park to investigate a gruesome murder. From the first page, Jana Denardo does two things extraordinarily well. The first is to underscore the massive difference between the wealthy and everyone else. Victor’s continual amazement at both the luxury and the tightly closed ranks is neatly woven throughout the story. It’s not an easy thing, to give backstory and a point of view without taking on the role of a lecturer or going into dull over-explanation. Denardo handles it, for the most part, with a deft hand.

I also must point out Denardo’s ability to create two likeable, interesting characters that did not fall into the usual tropes. Neither is described as perfect, both have their own personalities and quirks, and both were easy to root for. I wanted them to be happy; I wanted them to discover one another. And the way that the author was willing to wait should be applauded. I love it when a writer has enough confidence in the chemistry of their characters and their own skill to allow a relationship to develop over several chapters. It makes that moment of connection so much better.

While Victor investigates the crime and discovers that the wealthy of Hyde Park are, by and large, truly terrible people, he also becomes much closer to Abraham. Eschewing the expected path of running his family fur and textile trade, Abraham is a quirky inventor who creates steam-powered robot butlers, metal dogs, and personal airships. His reserved outward behavior hides a certain mischievous, commanding presence that I found a great foil for Victor’s more by-the-book attitude.

Steampunk is a difficult genre. Abraham’s inventions can only be part of the atmosphere that transports a reader to a place part historical and part fanciful. In most ways, Denardo is successful. There’s a slight stiffness to the prose that, in some ways, works favorably considering the period. However, there were several times I wished someone had gone through to loosen things up. There were moments when, instead of attributing it to the formality of the time period, I simply felt as if the author was uncomfortable with the scene or the emotions.

This is especially apparent in the sex scenes. While, as a couple, Abraham and Victor are wonderful, when they get together there’s a certain standoffishness about the entire thing. I like my intimate moments to be messier, to have that immediate want and need, to feel like I’m caught up in that passion. This is purely a personal preference; there is nothing wrong with any of the scenes. But, after so long of dancing around each other, building up tension, when that first kiss does finally happen, I actually missed it and had to go back to find the exact moment. I would have liked it if the book breathed during those scenes, allowing the reader to revel in the connection along with the character rather than being rushed through. I like to linger and there were times when the story did not linger with me.
The murder mystery here is secondary to Victor and Abraham becoming first friends and then more. While it is the driving force of the plot – Abraham’s sister-in-law was found murdered in her home and he is first a suspect and then Victor’s gateway into the closed off ranks of the rich – it is not an Encyclopedia Brown-esque tale that encourages the reader to pay attention and pick up clues along the way. We see Victor working. Observe many of his interviews, but the elusive pieces he is putting together are not something we would have discovered on our own. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing. While I prefer to feel a part of a mystery, there is also the very real danger of making it too obvious and spoiling the ending. In the end, I enjoyed the story, and that has to be the mark of an effective approach.

To me, the most interesting part of the story was not the murder investigation, nor the fanciful steam-powered inventions that littered the pages. I was drawn in by the way Denardo handled a love story that was considered at best unconventional, at worst illegal during the time period. These two men knew, from the very beginning, that the very best outcome would be a life lived in secret; never being able to connect with each other in public as anything more than friends.
There’s a phenomenon that I like to call ‘looking for the roommate’. I couldn’t exactly bring my girlfriend home to my parents or be open with relationships, especially not five, ten years ago. And in books or movies, we were never allowed to be open. It’s something that’s easy to forget now, in the flush of gay marriage victories and shows like Modern Family. But I grew up looking for glimpses of relationships that weren’t permitted to be displayed. We were the ‘good friend’. The ‘roommate’. Decades of commitment, of love and passion and grace, would be reduced to some generic term, swept under the rug. And the generations before mine understood that unique pain, that particular hurt, better than we ever can. The ache of having who you love made insignificant.

I’m always interested when an author chooses to acknowledge this reality. It’s a depressing fact but it was the truth for countless love stories over the ages. And it’s a truth that needs to be told sometimes. Victor and Abraham are one of those, and the fact there will never be a happy marriage or children of their own only makes the moments they do have sweeter. More poignant.

But all of that leads to my one big problem with the book: the ending. The conclusion of the mystery ends with an awesome reveal, a spine-tingling chase, and a Nikola Tesla reference. Everything you could hope for. However, since the main thrust of the story is not the murder but the growing relationship, and since the author spent so much time letting us know how difficult their future would be, I expected at least a chapter winding things down and letting us get a glimpse at what Victor and Abraham look like as a couple. I was very much looking forward to seeing if Victor grew closer to Abraham’s children or how they managed to see one another regularly. If they did. Instead, we get less than a full page of platitudes and both men assuring one another they did, indeed, want to try to stay together. And then the book was done.

I honestly thought that perhaps I was missing a chapter. It is such an abrupt and clumsy hand-wave of a sendoff from an author I’d come to think of as thoughtful and methodical that it seemed wildly out of place. I would encourage the author to spend time with the characters after the main plot is done. Allow the whole story to wind down rather than chopping it off.

In any case, despite my disappointment with the end, as a whole I highly recommend the book. If you enjoy the slow burn of a relationship, fantastical inventions, and characters that make you want to keep reading, pick up this book immediately. I, for one, am hoping for more in this world. Seeing Victor and Abraham figuring out a life together, perhaps solving mysteries like some kind of madcap Sherlock, would be absolutely charming.

Mongrel series by K.Z. Snow Book Blast, Giveaway & Interview!

K.Z. Snow - Mongrel series Machine_banner

Hey peeps, today I am handing over the blog to Cat and K.Z. Snow to have a chat about the Mongrel series, we also have Cat’s reviews for Mongrel, Merman & Machine for you to enjoy. So come have a peek at this steampunk series that has our Cat desperate for more! K.Z. is also having a Giveaway over on her blog so click the link for her Giveaway for a chance to win 🙂 <3 ~Pixie~

Cat & K.Z. Chat!

Hi Everyone! I am so excited! Our Lovely Mistress Portia and Book Goddess Pixie asked me if I’d want to do an interview with the talented K.Z. Snow about her paranormal steampunk Mongrel series. I jumped at the chance.

Cat: Welcome K.Z to our lovely dungeon oops I meant workroom, don’t pay any attention to the minions chained to desks or the floggers and other implements hanging on the wall.

KZ: Hi, Cat, and thanks for the invite! Don’t worry; I was warned how crazy you ladies can be, so I mentally prepared myself. 🙂

Cat: I just finished book three of your Mongrel series and absolutely loved it. What inspired you to write this series?

KZ: When I discovered the genre known as steampunk, I was fascinated. I liked its combination of history, fantasy, and sci fi. I liked its grittiness. Some steampunk even had a slightly dark edge, and I liked that type the best. But there was virtually no m/m romance set in a steampunk world. I took that as a challenge. How could love, especially love between two men, flourish in a grungy, often oppressive environment that paralleled the late 19th century?      

Cat:  Did you know it was going to be a series when you started or did it just keep growing?

KZ: I didn’t know! When I finished Mongrel (Book 1), I went on to other projects. But the enthusiasm of certain readers combined with my own love of the characters persuaded me to return to that world and explore it further.   

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