***Connectivity is LIVE!!!***

My first ever book is now published and LIVE on Amazon and through Kindle Unlimited!!

***CONNECTIVITY!!!***

Blurb:

Josh is out and proud at his private prep school. The only problem with that is there’s no one who’s boyfriend material. He spends his weekends volunteering at the hospital, and one particular weekend, something happens that will change his life forever… He finds a gorgeous boy lying in a hospital bed who can’t seem to stay awake without him.

Through friends, family, and graduation, how will Cory and Josh handle needing each other, when they don’t even know each other. With their lives turned upside down, they learn to navigate the Connection they share.

Will they receive the support they need, in light of their unique circumstances? Will all their friendships survive? Or will their new relationship prove too much for some to handle?

Check it out if you’re interested in YA mm with a soulmate twist!

Almost there!

Just sent my first novel off to the proofer for a final check before I get ready to publish next week!!

Book title: Connectivity

BlurbJosh is out and proud at his private prep school. The only problem with that is there’s no one who’s boyfriend material. He spends his weekends volunteering at the hospital, and one particular weekend, something happens that will change his life forever… He finds a gorgeous boy lying in a hospital bed who can’t seem to stay awake without him.

Through friends, family, and graduation, how will Cory and Josh handle needing each other, when they don’t even know each other. With their lives turned upside down, they learn to navigate the Connection they share.

Will they receive the support they need, in light of their unique circumstances? Will all their friendships survive? Or will their new relationship prove too much for some to handle?

Word count: 109,070

My First Publication!

Wow! It’s been a long time since I was last on here.

As it seems, I’ve slowed way down on my reading in order to pursue my latest venture: Writing and publishing my own material! 

I have since had a short story published through Avid Publishing LLC and I’m days away from self-publishing my first novel through Amazon on Kindle Unlimited!

My short story can be found at:

www.avid-publishing.com/product-page/pride18-belong

*My novel is still in the final editing stages and my cover is being put together. Two nights ago I had the privilege to photograph two amazing young men who volunteered to pose for my book cover. I reached out to the Pride Alliance group at our local college and these two men said they’d be interested in helping me out. I can’t thank them enough for their time and willingness to meet up with me and to pose with someone they’d never met before. Both of these guys were amazing and I’m so excited to see what my cover designer comes up with for ideas.

 

 

Circle of Darkness (Genesis Circle #1)

Review of Circle of Darkness (Genesis Circle #1) by Aimee Nicole Walker and Nicholas Bella

Click the image

Angel is a waiter in an Italian restaurant, who also has visions. When one of his visions shows him that his sexy customer’s life is in danger, he will stop at nothing to keep D’Angelo safe. D’Angelo is a man who leads a solitary life fighting the evils of this world. When his favorite eye candy/waiter from his favorite Italian restaurant informs him he’s had a vision of D’Angelo in danger, D’Angelo is not surprised. He lives his life in danger. But when Angel persists in trying to ‘save’ him, an unlikely and reluctant partnership forms between the two men. Evil keeps growing and D’Angelo is forced to seek the help of others to save the world. Can his partnership with Angel protect both men from danger? Will they be able to do what needs to be done to save the world?

** I gave this book 3 stars. I usually like books by Walker, but this was not a great read for me. The story was inventive and detailed, but I think that was also its downfall for me. There was way too much to remember. Good chunks of this book were simply info dumps to provide content. It was hard to wrap my head around all the different rules, the different creatures, the school, the evil things and their level of evilness, etc… There was so much information it was overwhelming. I did like the genre and am actually looking forward to the next book since it seems like it will be about Lorcan and Christian, which would be awesome since Christian hates vampires. But that will make it so much more interesting.

As for this book, there were too many near misses for me, that I started to get bored. I think they almost caught the Stone of Asaroth 4 times before the conclusion. It just felt drawn out and overdone. I also found it incredibly convenient that D’Angelo had a sudden change of heart towards Angel once D’Angelo almost died the way Angel predicted. He wanted almost nothing to do with Angel and constantly rebuffed Angel until then but suddenly he needs Angel in his life… The build-up/attraction could have been played up a bit more for me. I also didn’t like that Chris was mostly left out of this story. I understand that we were not supposed to know that much about him because he will be getting his own book, but it made this story seem weird that Chris and D’Angelo were in business together but he was hardly in this book. It was very noticeable to me and just made the story feel off. I loved Jinx and Vixen and wonder what will happen with Meggie. But I would say my favorite part of this story was that it set me up to want to read the second book. I now have a foundation for the world and an introduction to the characters. So though I didn’t love this book, I am looking forward to the next one.

The Summer of Us

Review of The Summer of Us by Lily Morton

Click the image

John is very good at what he does, with the exception of his failed marriage. As a lawyer, he’s used to getting things sorted for other people. He plans to take the summer to win back his ex-wife. As his annual summer trip to his villa in the south of France approaches, he finds himself extending an invitation to the one person in his small group of friends who despises him.

Matt is a self-made man with a very successful business. As a favor to a friend, he has agreed to oversee the renovation of his friends’ villa. He’s shocked to receive an invitation from John to stay with him for the summer. He’s not sure how he will survive the summer under the same roof as the arrogant, high spoken, albeit gorgeous man.

The two men agree to start over and set aside their differences to make the summer more pleasant. As a tentative friendship blooms, Matt reminds himself that John is straight and very much courting his ex-wife. John finds himself drawn to Matt on multiple levels and can’t understand why, since he’s supposed to be straight. As the summer wears on, neither man can resist the pull he feels to the other. But what will happen when events conspire against them and the summer ends? Is that all this was meant to be, just a summer fling, or was it something more?

** I would give this book 4 stars. I always love a good gay-for-you or first-time gay story. This was sweet and I enjoyed the build-up of the relationship. I especially like characters that don’t fight their new attraction. John questions himself and his attraction to Matt, but he’s fluid enough and accepting of himself to see where things lead and to let his feeling guide him. He doesn’t run and hide or cast Matt aside. And Matt is understanding enough, to let John set the pace. I did think it was a little odd that both men had a visit from their respective ex’s, even though neither was invited to John’s villa. But it made for some easy tension and good drama. I did enjoy the book, but I think I was looking for a little more, considering how much I liked Deal Maker also by Lily Morton. I think if I understand correctly, this was the first gay novel written by Morton, so perhaps her approach and development have gotten better over subsequent novels. All in all, a nice weekend read.

The Innocent ( The Cowboy Gangster, #7)

Review of The Innocent (The Cowboy Gangster, #7) by C. J. Bishop

Click the image

“When Clint and the boys “clean house” after discovering a small dangerous operation of child sex traffickers, they find themselves pulled into a nightmare of unparalleled proportions where children are nothing but “merchandise” and the depth of depravity and abuse reaches beyond human comprehension.” ~ C. J. Bishop

** 5 unequivocal stars for this latest Bishop installment **

Having read now 31 novels by Bishop, all revolving around the Phoenix Club or its associates, I can easily state that this is another knockout. I personally have never found another series to be able to compete with the level of what these novels offer. There is so much contrast between the black and white, but the gray area these novels include is phenomenal. The dichotomy of all the layers to each character is outstanding. If you are like me, and have followed these books from the beginning, you can easily continue to follow along with the characters and their personalities. That being said, if you have never read any of the Phoenix books or the Cowboy Gangster novels, it would be best to start from the beginning. Each book picks up right where the last book left off, with almost no review of previous events; these are not standalone novels and the primary characters have already been introduced. There are several POV’s shifts from several different couples and individuals.

Ok, wow. Where to even start on this one. I was actually a little leery of reading it because I had heard it was even darker and more intense than the previous CG novels, plus the length needed time for reading. And this book did not disappoint. This was spectacularly gritty, and dark and very intense. I haven’t cried that many times in one reading of any book, ever. Usually I cry at the end or at the climax, when the tension is highest. I pretty much cried on and off throughout this whole read. And not only because of the horrific events, but also because, in the same novel, there is so much LOVE. These characters are deep, emotional, raw, and complex and the story just brings that out of the characters effortlessly. These characters are so human. They see the good/bad, light/dark in everything they do. It’s so utterly relatable as a reader (circumstances notwithstanding), and as a human being. To try to be a good person, try to find love that you are worthy of, try to accept yourself with all your faults and successes. There are not many novels out there that can incorporate such depth of feeling and emotion, to such varying degrees. Heartbreak and extreme depravity, seamlessly woven together with love and family.

I don’t feel the need to touch on the actual plot points or events. Those are what they are and can be taken with a grain of salt. This is a work of fiction. As such I expect liberties and allowances to be made. For me this whole series is really about love, acceptance, family, trust, understanding and all the inner-workings thereof. Yes, it’s extremely gritty, and the themes are dark, probably not a read for the faint of heart, but if you can handle all that and want to read a story about the love that binds couples and the families you choose, this is a must read.

Salvation (Caldwell Investigations #1)

Review of Salvation (Caldwell Investigations #1)  by Alison Hendricks

Click the image

Avery is a reporter by day and the newest team member at Caldwell Investigations in his free time. He has been working on his own following a missing person case. With little to go on, he brings the case to his team. One new lead could be everything Avery needs to break his case and find the missing boy.

After the death of his daughter, Warren had secluded himself away to a cabin in the wilderness. When he spots a young man scrambling through the rugged terrain, looking ill-prepared for the weather, Warren doesn’t want to get involved. But his conscience convinces him to report the sighting.

Will Avery get the break he needs? Will the tip Warren provides thrust him into an investigation he has no desire to be a part of? What will happen when the optimistic Avery faces off with the pessimistic Warren? Will the boy spotted in the wilderness be the one Avery has been looking for? When inclement weather threatens the search, will everyone make it out alive?

** I would give this book 4 stars. Although a good deal of this story seems highly improbable, the idea was fun and the story was entertaining. I appreciated the prologue in this book, as it gave us the setting and pov of our missing young man. This story mostly followed Avery and Warren’s search for Ian, so I’m not sure what to expect from the rest of this series. Will every book follow Avery and Warren solving cases or will each person on the team get their own book?

Like I said, the whole scenario seemed highly unrealistic. I do believe that people go missing all the time, especially youth who have been kicked out of their homes for being queer. That part of the story was handled really well for me. And I loved Avery a little bit right from the start for being the only one in Ian’s corner (aside from Roger). My biggest complaint would be when Avery and Warren were traveling through the wilderness with almost no supplies. They somehow manage to go several days with only granola bars and a survival blanket. Yet they had flashlights to search the cave? Also, why was Tobias’s cabin 2 hours away by vehicle, but Warren had just luckily seen Ian near his cabin while he was out collecting firewood? If Warren and Tobias were acquaintances, would they really look after each other’s places with that distance between them?

I could appreciate that some liberties were taken to make the story more workable, and I definitely did enjoy it. There were several on the edge of your seat moments and lots of action. I was of course, so glad Ian was found mostly safe and unharmed, but so much of this was really hard for me to suspend my disbelief. I just found myself asking so many questions that seemed to take away from the story. But overall, a good mystery/adventure, with a lovely ending. If we do expect to follow Avery and Warren on another investigation, I’ll look forward to what Alison has in store for us next.

Rising Tide (Changing Tides #1)

Review of Rising Tide: A Changing Tides Novel, Book #1 by Bryce Winters

Click the image

Harris is a cardiac surgeon on suspension from his job, pending a malpractice lawsuit. Spending a month in the small town of Seaside, OR sounds like a terrible idea for riding out the legal trouble Harris is facing. However, when a hunky young blonde man catches his eye, Harris thinks a vacation fling might just help him pass the time and be just the distraction he needs.

Reid was raised in Seaside and when his mother passed away, he took over her restaurant. Living in a tourist town, Reid has learned his lesson about hooking up with out-of-towners. Unfortunately, there is just something about the hot doctor sitting at his bar that makes him want to throw his rules out the window.

Will Reid be able to hold out on his attraction for the visiting doctor? Will Harris be able to walk away once he realizes his attraction to Reid might be more than he bargained for on his vacation?

** I would give this 4 stars. This was a sweet story that had the realistic feel of finding attraction while on vacation. Harris figures he might as well indulge while he’s on leave from work, meanwhile Reid is doing all he can to keep from doing anything with a tourist. I suppose both pov’s are reasonable to consider, but in this case, attraction and chemistry are just part of the picture.

I liked Reid’s backstory and connection to the town, that felt really genuine. I wasn’t so sold on Harris and his being a cardiac surgeon. I feel like we just kept being told that he was some amazing doctor, but never really got to see that side of him. I am glad there will be more books to come in this series. I am really looking forward to Linc’s story, as I assume he will be next since he will be recovering at the Changing Tides Inn. I’m also hoping Dylan will be getting a story. As proprietor of the inn, he will bear witness to all the love connections occurring in this series, so it would be fitting if his story was last.

 

Order Up

Review of Order Up by Declan Rhodes

Click the image

After being kicked off a reality TV cooking show for lack of an interesting personal life, chef Anthony returns home to continue on with his passion. His pride and joy, ‘The Pampered Prawn’ is the food truck he runs with a friend. Excited for a new location to sell his creations, Anthony’s love for his food brings good things his way.

Bryan is an overworked and underappreciated member of the team at Smithview. When he is passed over for a promotion because the company wants a more family-oriented image, Bryan is frustrated and determined to find someone for himself. A quick stop for lunch at one of the new food trucks near his job may provide the end of his search.

When both men see an opportunity to help themselves by forming a fake relationship, they are both on board. But the more time they spend together, the more the word ‘fake’ doesn’t seem to apply. Will both men get the change they were looking for in their careers?

** I would give this story 3 stars. I was really looking forward to another Declan Rhodes novel, but this was just a bit lacking for me. I realized this was written in 2016, so it was a much earlier work for Rhodes. The Winter Sports books I liked so much, were written in 2018 and I would love to say I can see a great deal of improvement in Rhodes’ writing from then to now. The stories are much more full and detailed.

I did like the story and getting booted off the reality show was a really great premise for the novel. Anthony seemed to be a very likable character who truly had a vision and love for his craft. Bryan felt a little flat for my tastes. He had a winning smile and was very supportive of Anthony, but otherwise not much there. I felt both men could have used some secondary character support, maybe a bit of family or some history about their personal lives. They seemed to have just been dropped into our laps with little to help us empathize with them or give us a reason to cheer them on.

My one other beef with this story was Leo. He seemed like a really great friend of Anthony’s and was actually someone from his past that gave us a little insight into who Anthony was. I understand that Leo was jealous of all the success Anthony was getting, but I just didn’t like the way he stormed out and we never heard from him again (Though I did appreciate the scene because later we learn that that’s when Bryan finally falls in love with Anthony). I felt that if Anthony and Leo were that good of friends to start a business together, they would be expected to have a row or two, every now and then. Not something that would end their friendship and ruin their business relationship. What would have happened to their friendship/business if Anthony were to have won the TV show? Would Leo have been jealous of that too? Just seemed like maybe a bad character trait for Leo if he couldn’t handle the accolades.