Monday, 16 April 2018

Beat the Monday blues with Gale Stanley

Happy Monday! Hopefully everyone is fully rested after a great weekend and ready to fling themselves headfirst into the week. And if not, that doesn't matter! You can take it at your own pace, after all. Either way, you're probably looking for something to read, right? Well, Gale Stanley is always here to help!




OFF-LIMITS Sanctuary 1

Heat Rating: SCORCHING
Word Count: 21,584
[Siren Classic ManLove: Erotic Alternative Contemporary Paranormal Romance, shape-shifter, M/M, HEA]

Blurb

When Quinn Hart’s best friend died, he became guardian to the man’s ten-year- old son, Noah Stone. So far, Quinn has been able to conceal the growing attraction he feels for Noah, but now Noah is twenty-two and returning home from college. Honor still holds Quinn back from revealing his true feelings. Their community of bear shifters consider reproduction a priority, and Quinn fears they would never accept a homosexual relationship.

Noah has always hidden his romantic feelings for his guardian, but now he’s a man, and his desire is stronger than ever. Unable to handle his feelings, Noah leaves Oregon for a position in a research facility. But when Noah arrives in New York, he discovers his employer is harvesting bear bile and he’s the new source.

Quinn is determined to find Noah. But can he admit what he really wants before it’s too late?



Excerpt

Home. Noah had forgotten how much he missed the endless expanse of lush green landscape and the sparkling river. And the trees. Especially the trees. When the leaves whispered in the wind, it made Noah’s heart ache. Whoever had named their small town knew that trees were sanctuaries.

But for all that, home wasn’t a place, it was a person—Quinn. Noah could live anywhere with Quinn. But a life with Quinn was as likely as a sharknado ripping through Sanctuary.

Noah moved away from the window and gazed at his reflection. The mirror was wall mounted and speckled in places. The frame matched the wood dresser beneath it. A handknitted brown and tan spread covered the crude pine bed. The room had been decorated on a meager budget, but it was warm and comforting because Quinn had handcrafted all the furniture himself.

Noah’s bedroom hadn’t changed since he was a kid. Yesterday, when he’d first stepped through the door, he’d felt the walls close in on him. As a kid, this room seemed huge, but now that he was a man, he could see how small it really was. It felt surreal like turning back the clock, but not in a bad way. If only he could—

“Where’s the man of the hour?”

The sound of loud voices traveled up the stairs. More guests had arrived for the party. The community was small, but when everyone attended an event, it could be overwhelming. Noah checked his image in the mirror again. He’d already changed shirts several times, and he still wasn’t sure that he liked the blue chambray shirt he’d put on with his khakis. Why am I making such a big deal out of this? He felt like Marcus primping for one of those stupid frat parties. What difference did it make what color shirt he wore? Stop stalling, he told himself. You can’t stay in your room forever.

Noah stood at the top of the stairs. Below, friends and neighbors were chatting excitedly. Noah had nothing to say to them. He would disappoint them. Anxiety made his stomach churn.


Happy Reading!
Available at



Author Bio and Links


Gale Stanley grew up in Philadelphia PA. She was the kid who always had her nose in a book, her head in the clouds, and her hands on a pad and pencil.
Some things never change.





Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Wednesday Snippet - Wherever she'd been, it wasn't their realm.



Happy mid-week! I hope you're all having the week you want, that your tea is hot and your favourite snacks are at hand. I've been neglecting Chaos Songs a little lately, which I've talked about a bit, but I thought I'd share a snippet anyway. Real life is calming down and balancing out again, which is good for me and hopefully good for my writing too. I have been kinda distracted by a couple of other projects, but in the spirit of the Year of the Kappa, I need to adjust and adapt and allow for that.

So! Let's catch up with Lola, shall we?


Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Get captivated by Faye Avalon

Happy Tuesday, folks! Hope you're all doing well. I'm back in the office after a long weekend of catching up with family and friends, and screaming at Wrestlemania (Shinsuke, WHY?). Since my immediate future involves clearing a lot of emails up, I'm leaving you with Faye Avalon and her new release, CAELAN'S CAPTIVE. Enjoy!



Caelan's Captive (Book #1, Limani Warriors)

Fantasy Romance
April 2, 2018
Evernight Publishing

Cover Art: Jay Aheer
Buy Links:


Escaping the king’s harem, Lahna finds herself at the mercy of a warrior prince who holds her captive and makes no secret of his desire to have her. Lahna hasn’t fled from one tyrant only to become the captive of another, and she certainly has no intention of warming the bed of the fearsome prince…even if he does make her body burn and her senses reel.


Caelan suspects his voluptuous captive may have been sent to spy on him and discover his plans to liberate his land from the tyrannical rule of the king. But her arrival provides him with the perfect opportunity to set those plans in motion. First, that means making her his, and in doing so he might just satisfy the craving for her that heats his blood and fires his loins.

But can Caelan really trust her? And can Lahna trust him to keep her safe when it matters most?

Read on for an excerpt!


Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Retro Reading - Freeze Tag



All the neighbourhood kids hate Lannie. But she has a gift that makes her dangerous and powerful - she can freeze people with a mere touch of her hand. So when she extracts a promise from a young and frightened West, he knows everyone he loves is at risk unless he agrees. As the kids grow up, they forget how dangerous Lannie really is...Until she comes to collect.

Freeze Tag is one of the Point Horror books I remember most vividly. I read a fair few Caroline B Cooneys, and I love her dreamy, almost surreal style, and I think this is the book where that style is at its most elegant and memorable. It helps that the storyline is compelling too. We all knew a Lannie, I think. That weird kid that nobody really wants to be friends with, but everyone kind of feels guilty about ignoring, because clearly her home life is shit.

And her home life is shit. Throughout the book, over and over, we are told that nobody loves Lannie. Nobody ever has. Her parents don't want her. The neighbourhood kids are flat out scared of her. She has nobody to hug her, play with her, include her, or care for her. But on the flip side, she can literally freeze people with a touch, and has definitely murdered at least two people and one dog this way. So is Lannie unloveable because she's a monster, or is she a monster because she's unloveable?

It's a question the heroine of Freeze Tag, Meghan, battles to answer. Meghan's boyfriend, West, is the object of Lannie's sociopathic affections, and she blackmails him into dating her by threatening Meghan, and West's younger siblings. Meghan is the antithesis of Lannie. She's loved by her parents, has a handsome, considerate boyfriend, close friends, and is doing well in life. As she struggles to win West back from Lannie, she grows to understand how much she's taken all that for granted, and her hatred for Lannie is tempered by empathy for her. It's a pretty nuanced portrayal, and makes Meghan a wonderful heroine. As Lannie sinks her claws into West and casts her shadow over Meghan's happy life, Meghan fights to stay compassionate and kind, to find a solution where nobody gets hurt.

Between Meghan's warmth and Lannie's coldness, we have West. He starts out doing his best to protect Meghan and his siblings by giving into Lannie. But as the book progresses, we see Lannie's icy cruelness rub off on him. Is he still acting, or is Lannie changing him for real? Does evil spread, and can someone be pulled back from the edge? By the end of the book, West is not the same thoughtful, generous person he was at the start, and his dispassionate cruelty seems to be infecting his younger brother and sister too as they fight to get rid of Lannie.

Ultimately, this story isn't about defeating Lannie. It's about Meghan deciding what kind of person she wants to be. “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men should do nothing," as they say. Meghan has a choice - she can passively allow her boyfriend to "end" Lannie. She doesn't have to be involved - she just has to do nothing. Or she can save Lannie, even though Lannie would never save her. What's the right call?

If I have one frustration with this book, it's that we never learn if Meghan makes the right choice. We see her act, but we don't get a resolution. At the end of the book, Meghan has decided that she can't be passive, she can't be hateful, and she can't let West's own growing malice infect her. But is her compassion and bravery going to change Lannie? We don't know. I don't have a problem with ambiguous endings under the right circumstances, but the facts remain that Lannie has killed and blackmailed her way through life. Will one kind act change that?

We don't know, and I guess maybe that isn't the point, because this isn't Lannie's story and her redemption isn't the point. The point is that Meghan rises above the hatred and poison of the people around her, that she fights to be a good person and succeeds. That's pretty cool.*

*Puns always intended.

Saturday, 31 March 2018

LM Spangler introduces us to My Ex-Partner's Ex-Wife

Happy Saturday, folks! We're into a well-earned four day weekend here in the UK, and I'm attempting to get back into the writing rhythm after a few rough days. So I'm going to leave you with LM Spangler and her new release to keep you busy over the Easter break! Enjoy.


            She's smoking hot...and his ex-partner's ex-wife.
            Ridley Asher found herself unemployed. Jack Sterling needed an administrative assistant. No brainer, right?
             Ridley became Sterling Motor's administrative assistant...and the object of Jack's desire. He had no idea the attraction was mutual.
             After an indecent involving her ex-husband, they grow closer, both mentally and physically.
              Little do they know, her ex has no intentions of letting her go.
              Can they explore a life together even though she'd once belonged to someone else?

Excerpt:
“Thanks, Jack. I know this might be awkward for you,” Ridley Asher said. “You never hung around us much.”
She had no idea. Jack’s libido went into overdrive every time he’d see her. Even in the presence of Dean Asher. Ridley was temptation with a capital T. Curvaceous, stunning, exotic. A man’s fantasy.
And his ex-partner’s ex-wife.
“It’s no big deal, Ridley. You need a job and Sterling Motors needs an administrative assistant. You win, and I definitely win. I’m organized when it comes to restoring cars, but I can’t organize this business to save my life.” He’d just walk around the shop with a raging woody for eight or so hours a day.
“Umm. Wha-what about Dean?” Her ocean-blue eyes searched Jack’s. A frown turned her full lips downward.
Her response bothered him. Ridley deserved to smile. “Dean doesn’t play into this. This is purely a business decision. You have the skill set I need and you understand the restoration process. You literally know the nuts and bolts of a job.” He leaned back in his beat-up leather desk chair, elbows on the arms, and steepled his fingers. “I will let Dean know I hired you. Just to avoid any surprises.”
She nodded. “Fair enough,” she admitted, wringing her fingers. “I hope I don’t put you in a bad situation, but I appreciate you hiring me. I can’t believe the firm closed down. We were in the green every quarter I worked there.”
“I’m not sure, but their loss is my gain.” He rose from his chair, reaching his full height of six-feet-two. He leaned his head from side to side, cracking the vertebrae in his neck. “I know this is spur of the moment, but can you start today? You’re already here.”
“I could, but I have Dozer with me.”
A brow rose. “Dozer?” A large piece of construction equipment popped into his mind.
A soft smile graced her face, adding alluring beauty to an already exquisite face. “My very large yellow Labrador retriever.”
He gave a mental eye roll. Dean had mentioned that she couldn’t find a man so she’d gotten a dog instead. Jack seriously doubted she had trouble finding men. His mechanics and metal workers stopped whatever they were doing and watched her walk to Jack’s office. A magnet had nothing on her.
“He’s welcome here. Three of my men bring their dogs with them. My only rule is they have to wear a fire retardant vest when they are around sparks or blow torches.”
“Again, fair enough.” She rose from the chair opposite Jack’s desk and maneuvered around the beat-up metal piece of furniture. She laid her hand on his arm and stood on her tiptoes. “Thank you, Jack. I’m glad Denny gave me the heads up on the job.” Her lips brushed his ever so softly, probably not to entice, but to show her gratitude.
Every nerve ending in Jack Sterling’s body roared to life. She returned to her chair and leaned over to pick up her purse. Her jeans hugged her heart-shaped bottom to perfection. Erotic pictures filled his mind.

Buy Links:
Evernight Publishing

Also available at your favorite e-book retailer!

Social Media:
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Author Bio:

             LM Spangler lives in South Central Pennsylvania with her husband, daughter, three dogs, a cat, a rabbit, and some fish. Her son serves his country in the US Navy.
             She is a fan of college football and any kind of baseball and likes to watch the Discovery, Velocity, HGTV, DIY, Science, and any channel showing a college football game. She also watches old game shows like $25,000 Pyramid and Match Game.

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Oh, I am anxious and aching, breathing the burning air



A four-day weekend is upon us and I couldn't be more ready. It's been a strange week, mentally. The fog of depression and anxiety came down again, and suddenly every day has been a struggle from waking to sleeping. It's been a week where I haven't been able to write, despite being full of love for both the projects I'm working on. A week where my day job has seemed overwhelming and I've lain in bed every morning secretly hoping I'll discover I'm suddenly sick and can't go in. A week where I look at all the weird little coping mechanisms I have and suddenly wonder is this normal? A week where dread has settled in the pit of my stomach for no reason, and my head has throbbed and my body has rebelled against me, and I find myself wondering is there something wrong with me? Some mystery illness? Some phantom condition that's silently killing me?

Of course there isn't. My body is fine. My mind is mis-firing, and all I can really do is get through each hour and say to myself, see? Nothing bad happened. And that's how I make it to the end of the week. Tomorrow I won't have to get up with the alarm clock. I won't have to go anywhere or do anything if I don't want to. I'll have four days where I can read under a fluffy blanket with Yuki on my lap and a cup of tea at hand, write if the spirit moves me, and laze on the sofa with Nero watching MasterChef. I can exhale.

I don't know how other people experience anxiety, but for me it's a sense of not having enough time, of not working hard enough, of not being good enough, of having faked my way in life. And so my writing suffers. What's the point in me writing when my writing isn't good enough? What's the point of writing if I can't get out 5k a day, every day? What's the point in writing when I'll never write all the books in my heart? And so I don't write, and then I feel worse, because I'm not working hard enough at writing.

There really aren't any tricks to getting out of this cycle. I just have to write something. Anything. There are scenes in my head for Chaos Songs waiting to get out. I just have to unfreeze myself, and sometimes that takes a while. 

But I have four days ahead of me, and today the sense of dread isn't so deep. Today I feel like I might be okay, and while that feeling lasts, I plan to do the little things that bring me peace. Burn a spiced vanilla candle, read a Point Horror book, wear a perfume laced with lavender and chocolate. And write, because I know, I know, that once the words are flowing, I will feel less claustrophobic, less uncertain, and more grounded. I've been here before, so many times. I know the way out, and I find the way out, every time. And that's how I make it to the end of the week.


Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Wednesday Snippets - the wolves were at the gate



Happy Wednesday, folks! Hope you're all well and keeping warm (if needed). I'm seeing tons of snowpocalypse pictures from my friends all over the UK and USA right now, and it's still defiantly freezing here in Cambridge, so I'm just assuming Ragnarok has started.

I'm under the weather, appropriately enough, I guess, and battling a nasty cold. So there hasn't been as much writing this week as I'd like, but I think I'm on the mend now, so fingers crossed! Here's a little look at something I did manage to squeeze out. Enjoy!