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Monthly Archives: April 2017

Review ~ Starting from Scratch

Title: Starting from Scratch

Author: Jay Northcote

Publisher: Jaybird Press (self published)

Length: 57,000 words approx

Genre: Contemporary m/m romance/erotica, transgender, new adult

Cover Artist: Garrett Leigh

Release Date: Wednesday 12th April 2017

Series info: Housemates #5

 

The Housemates Series is a collection of standalone stories set around a student house in Britain.

Each book focuses on new characters, with themes of self-discovery and sexual awakening.

 

 

Starting over isn’t easy, but Ben is ready to live his life as the man he was always meant to be.

Ben is transgender and back at university after hormone treatment and chest surgery. His new housemates have no idea about his history and Ben would prefer to keep it that way. He’s starting from scratch and his life is finally on track, except in the romance department. The idea of dating guys as a guy is exhilarating but terrifying, because if Ben wants a boyfriend he’ll have to disclose his secret.

Sid is drawn to Ben from the moment they meet. He normally gets what he wants—in the short term at least. Ben’s guarded at first, and Sid’s not used to guys rejecting his advances. He eventually charms his way through Ben’s defences and helps Ben on his journey of sexual awakening.

It doesn’t matter to Sid that Ben is trans. He’s attracted to the whole person, and isn’t worried about what is—or isn’t—in Ben’s pants. They’re good together, and both of them are falling hard and fast, but Ben’s insecurities keep getting in the way. If Sid can convince Ben he’s committed, will Ben finally be able to put his heart on the line?

Although this book is part of the Housemates series, it has new main characters, a satisfying happy ending, and can be read as a standalone.

 

 5*

I’ve been a fan of this fabulous series from the start and Starting From Scratch is another great installment. Each story features ordinary young men who are exploring their sexuality and entering into their first serious relationship while studying at college and living away from home for the first time. I like how the established couples from previous stories play a role in the subsequent stories. Ben and Sid were introduced in the previous book, Watching and Wanting, and now it’s their turn to fall in love. Ben was the quiet and rather reserved new housemate and Sid was Jude’s ex, who frequently made Shawn jealous. And the friction continues on and off during this story.

The main focus of this story is on Ben and his blossoming relationship with Sid. I adored how Sid helped Ben feel at ease with his body and gave him the confidence to be himself, both in and out of the bedroom. The reader gains an insight into the emotional and physical issues facing many transgender men through Ben’s experience in this story.

There’s no unnecessary drama or angst. I liked the ‘ordinariness’ of their everyday lives. There’s plenty of eating and watching TV. Nothing major happens. It’s all about Ben and Sid getting to know each other, how they respond and how they feel as their relationship develops. The reader experiences the anxiety and doubts as well as the warm, fuzzy feelings of happiness as they fall in love.

The story finishes with a positive happy ending and a strong hint at the next couple. I’m looking forward to reading about this sexy guy who wears eye-liner and lacy panties, and has gained the attention of another supposedly straight guy.

 

 

 

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Series Information and Links

 The Housemates Series is a collection of standalone stories set around a student house in Britain. This new adult series focuses on themes of self-discovery and sexual awakening.

 

Helping Hand (Housemates #1)

Like a Lover (Housemates #2)

Practice Makes Perfect (Housemates #3)

Watching and Wanting (Housemates #4)

 

 

 

Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England. He comes from a family of writers, but always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed him by. He spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content.

One day, Jay decided to try and write a short story—just to see if he could—and found it rather addictive. He hasn’t stopped writing since.

Jay writes contemporary romance about men who fall in love with other men. He has five books published by Dreamspinner Press, and also self-publishes under the imprint Jaybird Press. Many of his books are now available as audiobooks.

Jay is transgender and was formerly known as she/her.

 

 

www.jaynorthcote.com

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Review ~ Bitten by Design

Buy Links:

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 80,000 words

Regent’s Park Pack Series

Bitten By Mistake (Book #1)

Amazon US | Amazon UK


When the last thing you want, is everything you need…

Seb Calloway isn’t interested in shifters. After his best friend bonded with one, he avoids getting involved with them no matter how hot they are to prevent the same thing from happening to him. Why take the risk for a few hours of fun?

Tim Walters is the pack doctor. Considered to be mild-mannered and non-threatening by pack standards, he prides himself on being able to stay calm and maintain his control at all times. Desperate for a bond of his own, he knows his interest in Seb is an exercise in futility, but he canít seem to help himself.

When news emerges that threatens Seb’s safety, he and Tim need to fake a relationship to keep Seb safe. Despite Seb’s refusal to be anything other than friends with benefits, what starts out as pretend, quickly becomes more for Tim at least. If Tim doesn’t want to end up heartbroken, he needs to prove to Seb that loving a shifter doesn’t mean losing himself.

 

5*

I always enjoy reading Annabelle Jacobs’ intriguing shifter stories. Bitten By Mistake was one of my favourite growly reads of last year, so I was keen to read Seb and Tim’s follow-up story. It was also great to see that Jared and Nathan were still hot for each other and the continued story of the conflict between the two local London packs and the rogue shifters, along with more info on some of the other pack members. Who can they trust? Thrilling stuff!

The romance is another ‘pretend boyfriends’ plot, although different from book 1, with Seb firmly stating he didn’t want to become a shifter or end up in a mated bond like his bestie, Jared. He fears having the choice about his future taken away from him. Even so, Seb falls for Tim, who is already besotted with him, as they try to divert the rival pack’s attention away from Jared/Nathan and keep Seb safe. There’s plenty of action and suspense, along with some lust-filled steamy sexy times and some more tender moments for these guys.

Tim is such a calm and patient guy. He’s kind and restrained with Seb and my heart went out to him several times. Tim wants the happiness and love Nathan and Jared share, but is willing to accept being Seb’s friend if that is what Seb decides when their ‘fake relationship’ comes to an end. I adored his growly possessiveness and his care for injured Seb throughout. I especially loved the exciting climax of the story. Perfect for these guys!

Great writing and storytelling. I’m already looking forward to book 3—hopefully Alec’s story. (Although I’d be happy with Luke’s story, just saying!) Glad Alec was given page time in this story too.

Disclaimer: I assisted in the proofreading of this story.

 


Annabelle Jacobs lives in the South West of England with three rowdy children, and two cats. An avid reader of fantasy herself for many years, Annabelle now spends her days writing her own stories. They’re usually either fantasy or paranormal fiction, because she loves building worlds filled with magical creatures, and creating stories full of action and adventure. Her characters may have a tough time of it fighting enemies and adversity but they always find love in the end.

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PRESENTAZIONE: Dipingere il cielo di Lily G. Blunt | LOVE IS IN THE BOOKS

PRESENTAZIONE: Dipingere il cielo di Lily G. Blunt | LOVE IS IN THE BOOKS

Salve readers ! ❤

Siamo qui oggi per presentarvi un nuovo romanzo in uscita il 20 Aprile. Parliamo del romanzo Dipingere il cielo dell’autrice Lily G. Blunt e tradotto dalla Quixote Traslations.

Guardiamo info e cover 😉

Dipingere il cielo - cover italiana

TITOLO: Dipingere il cielo

TITOLO ORIGINALE: Paint the Sky

AUTORE: Lily G. Blunt

AMBIENTAZIONE: Inghilterra

TRADUZIONE: Francesca Giraudo per Quixote Translations

PAGINE: 280 circa

GENERE: Contemporaneo – New Adult

FORMATO: E-book e cartaceo

DATA DI USCITA: 20 Aprile 2017

TRAMA: L’amore per l’arte…
La passione comune per le arti crea un forte legame tra due timidi studenti universitari. Ben è affascinato dai dipinti nei quali Vinnie ritrae il palazzo dell’Università e, notando questo interesse, Vinnie invita Ben a una mostra d’arte dove saranno esposti i suoi lavori. Grazie a una famiglia benestante alle spalle, Ben acquista alcuni quadri di Vinnie e chiede all’artista un aiuto per la disposizione nel suo appartamento.
Un cielo…

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Interview and Guest Post ~ Ashe Winters

 

Title: Never Apart (Captivated in New England Book One)

Author: Ashe Winters

50% of All Book Sales will be donated to The Trevor Project

$4.99 or Free with Kindle Unlimited

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My heart throbbed a merciless, rhythmic beat as I accepted just how precious he was to me.

Nick tumbled hard for the waifish imp crying over a crushed pink donut. They were only little boys, but those big tears caused Nick’s protective instincts to flare and he was forever captivated.

Though the future beckoned, Nick felt conflicted. He had fallen in love, and his aching desire for Cameron had grown deeper than he ever imagined possible. While Nick had always offered Cam his unwavering support, Cameron’s downward spiral of self-doubt and battle for self-reliance nearly push Nick to the edge of letting go.

The thought of him with someone else, loving someone else, wrecked me.

Cam realized he was a little different. He was artistic, flamboyant, and adored sparkly, pretty things. Endlessly bullied for not being “masculine enough”, Cam strived to discover his place in the world. College was supposed to help, but things weren’t going as planned.

Cam gained strength in Nick’s friendship, his personal knight in shining armor. A lifetime of indecisions paired with a surprising hunger for the one man who’d always been his anchor, propels Cam to face reality. Change was happening, whether he was ready or not.

“I promise I won’t ever leave you again, Cam. We’ll never be apart.”

Two men battle their hearts amidst an uncertain future.

When he can no longer hide his feelings, will Nick break his sacred promise to never leave Cam’s side even though his heart and body desperately crave the only man he has ever loved?

Can Cameron find the strength to believe in himself enough to follow his own path, or will his stubbornness keep him from chasing his own dreams and risk losing the man who’s always stood by him?

 

INTERVIEW PROMPTS

The prized possession you value above all others…

It’s not a physical thing. The thing I prize more than anything is the gift of my imagination. It has carried me to places I may never go and places that don’t exist. It has helped me through sad times and lonely times. My imagination allows me to learn, to consider new things. And most of all, my imagination helps me to dream. I don’t even want to contemplate what my life would be like without it.

The regret you wish you could amend…

I wish I’d never listened to people tell me I couldn’t write when I hit my twenties and became serious about writing a novel. They told me no one wanted to read my stories. I let those words put up a block in my mind that kept me from writing for 16 years. It’s the biggest regret I have, because I let others take away my joy. Last year, I finally fought against it and here I am, proving them wrong. I just wish I’d done it much sooner.

The temptation you wish you could resist…

Dr. Pepper and Skittles. They are my obsession and they are so unhealthy. I’d love to cut them out of my life, but I can’t resist.

The film you can watch time and time again…

Howl’s Moving Castle

The poem that touches your soul…

This poem touches my soul in a slightly different way than people usually say about poems. “The Village Blacksmith” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is one that my grandpa and I shared. It was a poem he loved and when he realized I had a passion for poetry at the age of eight, he told me about it. In a way, it was our special thing from the rest of the grandkids. The poem itself doesn’t have a lot of meaning to me personally, but it is what it represents. When Papa died a few years ago, us grandkids were given the option to put something in his casket. I typed up this poem and framed it so it would be with him always. There is never a moment I don’t think of him that this poem doesn’t come to mind.

The event that altered the course of your life…

March 22, 2017. I hit publish for the first time. I went from dreaming I’d be an author, to actually being one. My life, my path, has changed. And nothing will stop me from continuing down this course.

The happiest moment you will cherish forever…

The first time I rode a horse. I was 11 years old. My aunt had horses and she was taking private lessons. She knew of my love for them and talked my dad into letting me take lessons with her. That first moment I sat astride this beautiful horse named Sheena was the happiest moment in my entire life (yes, it even caps publishing my first book), because it was the first moment I felt free. I felt a peace and calmness come over me I’d never known before. The world disappeared and it was just me and this powerful animal beneath me that had enough trust to let me on her back. I’ll cherish that memory forever.

Your early recollections of writing fiction…

I was in 6th grade. I had written little things years before, but I consider this moment the first time I really wrote a fictional piece, not something dictated by your teacher asking you to tell a story that involves Santa Claus. For my English/Literature class, we had to write a story about whatever we wanted. It had to be twenty typed pages long. I had to use a typewriter because we didn’t have a computer. That was the first time I’d really let my imagination loose and the piece I wrote ended up winning a couple of awards at a local writing competition. The story was about a girl who saw herself on the outside of everyone, always looking in. It was fictional, but pieces of myself were written into it. I have always included bits of me in everything I write since that story.

The crime you would commit knowing you could get away with it…

Destroy every coffee bean on the planet. So it could never exist again. I will probably get ostracized for saying that, but I cannot stand coffee. I still love all of you who like it, though. Just keep it far away from me. If I knew I’d be safe from the pitchfork wielding mob that would come after me, this would be my mission!

The philosophy that underpins your life…

“To the world you may be one person; but to one person you may be the world.” Dr. Seuss

I try to remember that even if a single person can benefit from something I say, something I write, something I do, then it is worth it. It just takes one person to make a difference in someone’s life. And you never know who needs you.

Ever since I picked up my first pencil, the voices began to chatter in my head. Those who know about the writing voices will understand! My stories might have been short and horribly misspelled, but I weaved my exceedingly overactive imagination into each one of them. And then insisted everyone read them once, twice, maybe thirty or more times. I might also admit to having used that talent to wiggle my way of out trouble as a kid…frequently.

An introvert to the core, I spend my days as far from large crowds as I can possibly get. Sitting at my desk with my shiny laptop in the quiet of my own home is my happy place. Add a bowl of Skittles and plenty of Dr. Pepper, and I’m ready to write.

Thanks to my degrees in psychology and sociology; I have this wicked little habit of digging around in my characters’ brains and dragging out all their complexities. Oh, and I like to torture them. Don’t ever expect those HEAs to come easily.

Romance is primary in every single one of my stories. To me, love is love. Gender, age, race, religion or any other factor has nothing to do with it. I enjoy exploring people falling in love, the twists and turns as they fight to come to terms with giving their heart away to another. I promise, I will always give my leading characters their happy endings. They might just have to struggle a whole lot before they get there.

You can connect with me at:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ashewinters/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ashe_winters

Or sign up for my newsletter for news and updates at:

Website: www.ashewinters.com

 

 

Touches by Alina Popescu ~ Blog Tour

 

Touches by Alina Popescu banner

Touches is a collection of four contemporary gay romance short stories following the same cast of characters.

They can be read in any order, but to better immerse yourself in the characters’ lives, reading them in order is advised.

 

Sometimes a single touch is enough to change everything. Physical or emotional, a touch can tilt the world on its axis and shift your entire life. It can lead to hell, or it can lead to paradise, but things will never be the same…

A TOUCH OF GLAMOUR
Tudor has big plans for New York City.
Ditch his homophobic colleague. See a musical. Definitely check out the go-go boys.
Meeting one Phantom on Grindr wasn’t in the script.
Tudor gets caught up in a whirlwind when his favorite musical character steps off the stage and into his life.

A TOUCH OF PARADISE
Hauled to work in Hawaii, Tudor has little time to enjoy the island paradise.
His obnoxious friend Radu has it much easier, using his free time to set Tudor up, dangling a willing Hawaiian beauty in front of him.
Having been burned by long-distance relationships before, Tudor stubbornly resists Kahoni’s advances.
But can Tudor be worn down enough to enjoy a touch of paradise?

A TOUCH OF KINK
A moody and angry Tudor follows his friend, Radu, to the airport to pick up a client.
Despite Radu’s efforts, he’s still sulking over his boyfriend, Kahoni, not being able to fly over for his birthday.
But the airport only opens up the door to a stream of steamy surprises for Tudor. Will his mood improve?

A TOUCH OF GAY
Radu has always joked with Tudor about his friend’s gay rubbing off on him. Neither of them has taken that joke seriously until Radu’s meltdown and crazy confession: Radu thinks he might be gay.
Despite Radu’s insistence that Tudor’s gayness has helped him figure out his own, there’s more to that story of discovery. Charismatic, sexy, and all around amazing Marius, the man Radu has been crushing on for months, pushed the loud-mouth, offensive Radu into exploring who he truly is.
Figuring out he wasn’t all that straight is the easy part. Getting enough courage to talk to Marius, that’s a whole different challenge, as Radu seems to turn into a stuttering idiot around Marius. Will Radu learn to be confident enough to pursue Marius? Or will Marius act faster and challenge the confused Radu too soon?

 

A Touch of Paradise

As he reached the pool, he noticed Radu wasn’t alone. Kahoni, wearing nothing but a pair of shorts, was sitting beside him, chatting happily. Oh, for fuck’s sake, Tudor thought, reminding himself to punch Radu in the face for this at some point in the future.

“Don’t you look all chewed up and spit out,” Radu said, mocking Tudor’s glare.

“Some of us have to work, you know. We can’t all relax by the pool on our business trips.”

Radu shrugged and relaxed into his chair. “Switch to sales. Business trips are always far more pleasurable for us, even when we work hard. Besides, Kahoni here worked all morning.”

Tudor arched an eyebrow and turned to face Kahoni. “I thought the bar was closed. And you also worked in the restaurant yesterday. Don’t you get time off?”

Kahoni grinned and winked, and didn’t that make Tudor weak in the knees. Okay, maybe that had been facilitated by the expanse of Kahoni’s perfect skin on display, but who was keeping track?

“It’s my side gig. I teach tourists to surf. Helps me save up for this surf shop I want to open in a year or two.”

Of course he had to surf! Kahoni had to be the perfect image of Hawaiian bliss, didn’t he? Tudor closed his eyes for a second, taking a deep breath and trying not to imagine water sluicing down Kahoni’s body as he came up for air.

“So surf by day and serve drinks by night, eh? Sounds tiring,” Radu said, almost looking like he needed a nap at the mere thought of such a workload.

“I manage. I can always skip the surfing lessons if I’m tired. Not like I have a boss riding my ass.”

 

 

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Alina Popescu

 

Writer, traveler, and coffee addict, Alina Popescu has been in love with books all her life. She started writing when she was ten and even won awards in local competitions. She has always been drawn to sci-fi, fantasy, and the supernatural realm, which explains her deep love for vampires and is also to blame for this trilogy.

 

 

Site & Blog: http://alina-popescu.com
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/authoralinapopescu
Twitter: http://twitter.com/alina_popescu
Instagram: http://instagram.com/alinapopescuwriter
Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/alina-popescu
Google+:  https://www.google.com/+AlinaPopescu
Amazon:  http://amazon.com/author/alinapopescu

 

 

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