novels

Fantastic free fiction! And a new review.

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Cheaper than a speeding bullet!
More portable than a locomotive!
Able to enter your computer at a single bound!

“Look! Up on the screen!”
“It’s a blurb!”
“It’s a .png!”
“It’s Shousetsu Bang*Bang!”

Do you like superheroes? Do you like super hot guys? Then the latest edition of Shousetsu Bang*Bang, volume 43, is for you!

Once again, Shousetsu Bang*Bang sets itself apart as a purveyor of fine, diverse, and high-quality fiction, available to you at no cost! Except for your comments, and I hope you’ll repay the author’s time if you enjoy their story.

In other happy news, Serena Yates with Rainbow Book Reviews has given A Cut Above the Rest a four-star review. “With characters as colorful as their productions, and the fierce competition and passion between them, this book is a true delight for all the senses.” And if I’m not mistaken, Joyfully Jay will be next… I’ll keep you posted! Check out the great things Serena had to say.

Surfeit for the Senses will be making its debut on the menu July 24th, so I hope you’ve already caught up with the latest in the Appetite series, The Competitive Edge!

Coming next: an entry on the importance of assimilating and working with concrit.

Pants Off Reviews gives A Cut Above the Rest…

…four out of five pants off! Pretty impressive, considering that nothing besides chef’s jackets and hip aprons come off in volume one. …well, unless you count Alex stripping to shower.

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Read the review here. Darien Moya really liked it, and looks forward to the romantic developments in the next book!

You can purchase A Cut Above the Rest and the second volume in the series, The Competitive Edge, right here for twenty percent off today! Just enter the code THURSDAY20 during checkout.

Fantastic authors to follow

A new feature on the author blog – I’d like to rec fantastic authors that I know, who’ve begun to publish their stories.

Yesterday I reconnected with an old friend and found that she’s publishing her stories under the pen name Lotus Oakes. I remember that her understated, lyrical style always carried a punch, and I can’t wait to check out her published works.

For your consideration, I’m linking her latest, In His Proper Place on Amazon, and Smashwords.

I hope to review it here when I have time, but in the meantime, I always adored Lotus’s stories, and she comes highly recommended.

She’s also a Pacific NW author, and I hope to convince her to join us at the Gay Romance Northwest meet-up in September.

Mega-review: Mell Eight’s Dragon Hoard series

With Melting the Ice Witch, the final installment of Mell Eight’s Dragon Hoard series, I decided it was time to stop procrastinating, and review the first three already. I finished the most recent one on a plane trip to Chicago, but life has been awfully busy this year and I still haven’t managed to roll out all the regular features I’ve intended here on the blog.

In case you were on the fence about buying, or wanted to hear my opinions of the books so far, here’s a handy mega-review of the first three installments of the Dragon’s Hoard series.

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When Prince Leon disappears and his people are unable to find him, they turn to the dragons for help. Nyle is the unlucky dragon tasked with finding the missing prince, a duty he dreads as it forces him into the confounding human world and away from his collection of pretties.

Locating a missing prince should be a simple matter, but if Nyle has learned anything about humans since being forced out among them it’s that they needlessly complicate everything. When he finally locates the errant prince, however, what Nyle finds is a treasure worth all the complications—worth protecting at all costs.

From my review over on Goodreads:

A delightful, quick read in a very imaginative and vivid universe. My only nitpick would be that everything seemed to happen quickly, over an extremely short period of time, where I might have liked to see a bit more depth in the unfolding of events and relationship building. I just loved the shifters, from dragon to wolf, and the sense of family amongst the dragons. Too often we have protagonists that are missing one or both parents, and Nyle had both, however distantly he might “pretend” the familial bond might be. That was lovely.

I enjoyed this story and I’m looking forward to reading more in this series.

To add a bit more to it, Finding the Wolf introduced some great concepts with the different shifter clans, and brought in some long-standing myths about dragons in a way that was fresh and interesting to me. The first story was very much a tie-in and precursor for what comes next. I was definitely intrigued enough to continue.

You can buy Finding the Wolf here.

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The conclusion to Finding the Wolf brings us to Breaking the Shackles.

Separated and abused by the magi, twins Laine and Baine each swore to do whatever it took to break free and save the other. But when Baine arrives at the werewolf village prepared to rescue Laine and return home triumphant, he soon learns that any plan involving a dragon and a werewolf is bound to go awry.

Breaking the Shackles introduces an interesting magical concept, a pretty unique one I think, where there’s essentially magic transmitters and magic amplifiers. Leaving that aside, the story focuses at first on Laine and Baine, and their recovery process. I enjoyed the fact that the story spends time on this, and shows the different ways that Laine and Baine have been affected by their divergent experiences.

The story moves at a fairly quick clip and relationships unfold for both twins in the first third of the story, but time is spent developing both of those. It’s clear that neither Laine or Baine can jump right into love, though their love interests both seem meant to be. It’s a shifter thing, though, so I can go with it. Maybe it’s a little convenient, especially with Baine being paired off so that he doesn’t drown in his jealousy over Laine having someone when they’ve just been reunited, but it works for the world that Mell has built.

From the beginnings of a fairly straightforward plot, we get some good twists and character growth, so there’s a lot packed into a short space of time. It’s a quick read, but it was satisfying to me because it covered a lot without feeling like it skimped on any one storyline.

As with the previous story, Breaking the Shackles dangles a tantalizing tidbit for continuance, this one even more shiny (in my opinion) than the one before.

You can buy Breaking the Shackles here.

dragon hoard - 3 stealing

Stealing from a dragon’s hoard is never a bright idea, but stealing from a baby dragon’s hoard can lead to tears, sniffles, and smoke in the middle of a busy marketplace.

Jerney, a witch who does work for a well-known thieves’ guild, knows exactly who’s to blame for the brazen theft. With no other choice in the matter, he quickly becomes entangled in trying to help the baby dragon. What he doesn’t expect is that his own heart might get stolen in the process.

This most recent installment in the Dragon Hoard series brings me to two of my favorite characters. Tori, the baby dragon, is delightfully endearing. Due to his dragon nature, at seventeen he’s essentially a child, no matter how adult he looks to humans, and this is conveyed really well in a series of examples and near disasters when others expect Tori to behave the age he appears to be.

Jerney is a talented witch, and yet another interesting spell concept is introduced in Dragon’s Hoard, because there is spell dipping and spell stirring, but I won’t go over the specifics here. Without getting into spoilers, the destinies of Tori and Jerney intersect, and it all turns into a merry mess from there. The concepts of shifters and hoards are elaborated and continued in this story, but a decided family element unfolds in this one.

The heart of this story is the family love amongst the characters, and it pulls everything together quite well. Along the way, a few mysteries are unraveled, and old vendettas are dealt with.

Once again, the story covers a lot of ground but does so without stinting on development. It’s a quick read, but an eventful one. And by the conclusion of the story, I was so very curious about the lure of the ice witches’ story that was dangled like a dragon’s gem leading me on to the final story in the series.

You can buy Stealing the Dragon here.

In summary: it might have been a slow hook at first, but the Dragon’s Hoard is brimming with imagination and characters that will steal your heart. And hearing there’s a white dragon in the final installment definitely piqued my interest.

Tour de Foodie Course Two wraps up

Hit up Megan’s Livejournal to enjoy A Signature Meal from The Competitive Edge.

Working on The Competitive Edge with Megan was a challenge and a joy. I made some changes I’m really happy with, and even more are yet to come with the final installment, Surfeit for the Senses.

Don’t forget to sign up for the giveaway, time is running out! And remember to eat before you read it. 🙂

Review for A Cut Above the Rest

Hooray, a review site left the most marvelous review for A Cut Above the Rest.

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Click here to see what Andrea posting on Reviews by Jessewave has to say. Andrea rates the story at 4.75, and says it would have been perfect if it hadn’t ended with “to be continued.” 😉

Of course, The Competitive Edge comes out May 29th and will be up for pre-order soon, so there’s not much longer to wait!

If you haven’t picked up your copy yet, you can put A Cut Above the Rest in your cart and add the coupon BOM40 when you’re checking out.

In writing news, the pieces for Klaxon at the Core, sequel to Signal to Noise, are really coming together. I’m working on the outline tonight because I figured out the ending. I just need to connect the dots between the beginning, middle, and end.

Besides that, I got an idea lobbed at me for a sexy contemporary story with a Dr. Who fan and a sexy Safe Sex advocate. It already gave me a title and some other lovely details, and I have a feeling I’ll need its lighthearted fun when the horrors in Klaxon at the Core become too much. I’m not even sure I should mention the title yet, but I kind of adore it.

Final piece of good news: Convergence has been accepted for Less Than Three Press’s Proud to be a Vampire anthology! I sent in my (surprisingly specific) wish list for the cover art.

Here’s the summary:

Chris Bryant and his faithful childhood friend Ling Tam travel the world in search of the rarest and exquisite of curiosities, but such treasure-hunting comes at a cost. At times, they tangle with danger in order to seek the most well-guarded artifacts. In order to retrieve a lost treasure deep within a mountain where they tackle the elements and walk the balance between life and death, Chris must hire on a vampire. In this great risk, he has the chance to find an opportunity he never expected–or lose it all, if the predator takes them for his prey.

Exciting things afoot in the writing world! With more to come, I feel sure.

pot au feu

A “pot-au-feu” is a kind of mixed pot, a beef stew or literally “pot on fire.” I used it as an entry title for something else, because the post had a lot of diverse “ingredients.”

It, and all the food-related trappings on Hannibal, have got me thinking about my own foodie journeys upcoming this month.

The first is my own foodie tour to Chicago. I’ll be sure to take photos and make an extensive report. It’s going to be a lot of fun, and a ton of food! The second is one of my upcoming releases for this month:

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A Competitive Edge is coming out at the end of May, and I’ll be having a blog tour to accompany its release. What sort of topics would you like to see? What food-related posts, what sort of details about Alex or Nik, or perhaps what missing moments might you enjoy reading?

On a related tangent, are you looking for great stories to read? Jamie Sullivan has one worth checking out. Imaginary is releasing this coming week! Click here to get details on her giveaway and the upcoming blog tour to accompany her new story. Not only am I a fan, but Megan Derr says the story is amazing, so it shot to the top of my to-buy list.

Have a great week, everyone, and I’ll strive to keep this updated more often! April was a bit of a slump for me but I foresee amazing things for this month, and hopefully the rest of the year.

Giveaway winners, a new review, and Manicure Monday

Good evening on this marvelous Monday!

The winners of the giveaway are Hexen, Arella, and Valarie P. Expect an email from me soon, and thanks everyone for participating. If you didn’t win a copy, I hope you’re still intrigued enough to check out A Cut Above the Rest.

BIG NEWS! It’s Review Monday over at Alessandra Ebulu’s blog, so hop over and see what she says about From the Inside Out. (Hint: great things.)

I’ll lead out with a picture of yesterday’s manicure, which was for St. Patrick’s Day.

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Wishing everyone a great week! I’m going to take a wee break from posting for the next day or two. I’ve got another deadline this month and writing up all those entries for the blog hop on top of finishing another story wiped me out. 🙂

The Tour de Foodie continues!

Did you catch yesterday’s Signature Dish post at Armchair Reader?

Today’s entry is Rock stars of the cooking world, over at A.F. Henley’s blog. You may remember A.F. Henley from the author spotlight earlier this month, and the lovely giveaway for a copy of Honour.

Reminder: two days left to sign up for the giveaway for A Cut Above the Rest. Though a lot of you wonderful folks have already purchased a copy, and thank you! ♥

Later this weekend I’m going to have an entry focused on St. Patrick’s Day (it’s inevitable, right?) discussing my Irish roots and, of course, the meal I’ll be cooking.

Let me know what you think of the Tour de Foodie, folks – I spent last week composing the entries, and I want to know if it’s something you enjoy. If so, I’ll be launching a second Tour de Foodie in May, to promote the release of The Competitive Edge!

Your feedback is valued, and desired.

Tour de Foodie: Release Day!

Tonight, A Cut Above the Rest goes live at Less Than Three Press for download! It’s still available at the pre-order price until this evening.

In the meantime, the Tour de Foodie continues at Pants Off Reviews with Kitchen Newbie 101 and a guide to some basic terms you’ll be seeing in Appetite!

Looking forward to hearing what you all think. Have a great day and brush up on those kitchen terms in anticipation!