Monday, June 14, 2021

She's the One Who Gets in Fights by S. R. Cronin (Spotlight, excerpt, review, and GIVEAWAY) GFT


 

 

She's the One Who Gets in Fights

by 

S. R. Cronin

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

GENRE:   Historical Fantasy

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

BLURB:

 

It’s the 1200’s, and the small realm of Ilari has had peace and prosperity for generations. That doesn’t mean every citizen is happy, however. Sulphur, the third of seven sisters, is glad the older two have been slow to wed. It’s given her the freedom to train as a fighter, in hopes of fulfilling her lifelong dream of joining Ilari’s army. Then, within a matter of days, both sisters announce plans and now Sulphur is expected to find a man to marry.


Is it Sulphur’s good fortune her homeland is gripped by fear of a pending Mongol invasion? And the army is going door to door encouraging recruits? Sulphur thinks it is. But once she’s forced to kill in a small skirmish, she’s ready to rethink her career decision.


Too bad it’s too late. The invasion is coming, and Ilari needs every good soldier it has.
Once Sulphur learns Ilari’s army has made the strategic decision to not defend certain parts of the realm, including the one where her family lives, she has to re-evaluate her loyalty. Is it with the military she’s always admired? Or is it with her sisters, who are hatching a plan to defend their homeland with magic?

 

Everywhere she turns, someone is counting on her to fight for what’s right. But what is?

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

EXCERPT

 

 

  

 

I found the booth with no problem. As only officers wore uniforms and the man standing there was decked out in full regalia, I guessed he was someone important. My nervousness surprised me as I approached him.

 

“Hello lass,” he greeted me with warmth. “Let me guess. You’ve got a younger brother who wants to join us but he’s too nervous to come talk to me himself. Am I right?” He seemed pleased. With what? That he induced nervousness in potential recruits?

 

“Uh, no. Sir. I was hoping to get some information on me joining.”

 

“You?”

 

He looked at me more closely. Of course I wore a dress, not my fighting clothes, so I didn’t much look the part, but he squinted at me anyway.

 

“You’re tall. And you look to be in good shape. Have you ever held a sword?”

 

“I’ve been sparring since I was a child.”

 

That impressed him.

 

“And I’ll do what ever you need to me to. Answer questions about weapons, engage in fights, perform tests of strength, whatever you need.” I spoke too fast in my eagerness.

 

“Slow down,” he chuckled. “All that’s good, but actually, none of it is as important what I’m going to tell you next.”

 

He hesitated as if he wasn’t sure how to explain this vital fact to someone as uninformed as me.

 

“You’re a farmgirl, right?” He looked at my clothes again.

 

“Yes, sir.”

 

“Well, the Svadlu are more of a city operation. We do things different than on the farm.”

 

“What do you mean?”

 

“I mean being a member of the Svadlu is a pretty good deal. Lots of young people want in.”

 

“I know. That’s why I’ve worked so hard.”

 

“And that’s good, but I’ll cut to the chase. Most successful recruits get a sponsor. You know, someone already in the Svadlu who vouches for them. Um, especially if you’re, well, you know, a woman. Then it helps a great deal if one of us says you’re up to it.”

 

“But I can prove I’m up to it!”

 

“I suspect you can.” The look he gave me held respect, but he stayed firm. “A sponsor makes the difference. Why don’t you ask around. Surely your family knows someone who can help you?”

 

He looked up. Several people stood behind me now, hoping to talk to him. “If you’ll excuse me …”

 

 

 

 

Amazon

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 

 

Sherrie Cronin is the author of a collection of six speculative fiction novels known as 46. Ascending and is now in the process of publishing a historical fantasy series called The War Stories of the Seven Troublesome Sisters. A quick look at the synopses of her books makes it obvious she is fascinated by people achieving the astonishing by developing abilities they barely knew they had.

 

She’s made a lot of stops along the way to writing these novels.  She’s lived in seven cities, visited forty-six countries, and worked as a waitress, technical writer, and geophysicist. Now she answers a hot-line. Along the way, she’s lost several cats but acquired a husband who still loves her and three kids who’ve grown up just fine, both despite how eccentric she is.

All her life she has wanted to either tell these kinds of stories or be Chief Science Officer on the Starship Enterprise. She now lives and writes in the mountains of Western North Carolina, where she admits to occasionally checking her phone for a message from Captain Picard, just in case.

Author Social Media Links:

 

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Goodreads

Amazon author page

Author blog

Book series blog

 


******************


GIVEAWAY


a Rafflecopter giveaway

The tour dates can be found here

 

******************

 

My review:

 

 

4.25 out of 5 stars

 

 

“She’s the One Who Gets in Fights” by S.R. Cronin details Sulphur’s journey as she finds her purpose in life. She and her sisters get intimately involved in various ways to defend their homeland from the vicious invaders that are threatening to destroy the realm of Ilari. Her career choice makes her contemplate her values and whether she has the determination to achieve her goals.

 

This historical fantasy is part of the ‘War Stories of the Seven Troublesome Sisters’ series and centers around the sister who has the fire to become a warrior, although her gender is against her, especially in a system that leans heavily on a “who you know” sponsorship structure. I love seeing how she follows her heart and finds a way to achieve the goals she wants.

 

This series is fascinating, because each story can be read as a stand-alone story, but provides a different perspective of the same set of events. The drawback is that the tale ends on a cliffhanger, because the final major event will undoubtedly feature all seven sisters, each of whom gets her time in the spotlight. I enjoyed seeing the actions of Sulphur’s sisters through the prism of her perspective, and there are multiple twists and turns that keep one glued to the book and anxious to keep turning the pages. I confess that I was sad to realize I had come to the end and I am impatient to learn about the rest of the sisters’ talents and accomplishments.

 

The world-building is intricate and intriguing, and the characters are nicely developed. I appreciated the deft descriptions of this realm’s misogyny and how Sulphur finds a way to cope, even as I ached for the thorny decisions she was faced with at times. The book is an inspirational story that is filled with action and adventure that celebrates the power of women and I think it would be enjoyed by young adults as well as those who are older. I’m looking forward to meeting another of these extraordinary sisters and seeing how she changes her world.

 

A copy of this story was provided for review

 

Friday, June 11, 2021

Lawful Attraction by Elouise East (Release blitz, excerpt, and review) GBP ADULT title


Lawful Attraction

Adult title

by

Elouise East

 

 

Publisher:  Elouise East

Cover Artist: Maria Vickers

Release Date: June 3, 2021

Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance

Trope: Opposites attract

Themes: Protecting those they care about; life, love, family and beating the odds

Heat Rating: 4 flames    

Length: approx 70 000 words

It is the final book (book 9) in the Crush series, but is a standalone story.

Add on Goodreads

There’s a fine line between protecting and stalking…

Blurb

An MM romance about life, love, family and beating the odds, especially when it involves a police officer and a dancer.

There’s a fine line between protecting and stalking...

Logan has unwavering loyalty to the law, and when he finds Bastien in a precarious situation, his protective instincts flare up to an all-time high. His need to help overshadows everything else, including his sense. Unfortunately, the dancer doesn't want his help.

What Bastien does for a living doesn't mean he has no morals. He has to live, and his wages and tips don't always cover everything. He's glad he doesn't have anyone who relies on him because he can barely make ends meet working all the hours of the day. When a so-called friend turns on him, who does he have left?

Can they put their differences aside and realise what is right in front of them?

Excerpt 

“Taylor! Walker! You’re up!” their chief yelled from the door of his office. “Homicide.”

Logan grimaced but shoved away from his desk, checking that his phone and keys were in his pockets, then grabbed his coat from the back of his chair. They jogged down the cubicles and out of the station into the drizzle, carrying on until they reached Logan’s car. He peeled out of the car park and headed towards the address that Ava had immediately brought up on her phone.

“There’s not much information on here. Woman, late twenties, found on her living room floor. The neighbour looked through the window after the victim hadn’t opened the door for their appointment and saw her.”

“Wonderful.” Logan clenched his hands around the steering wheel and dropped his neck to the side, a crack easing the tension before repeating on the other side.

They raced their way through the streets until they reached the relevant house, then pulled up at the kerb. Both exited quickly, showing their badges to the police officers on the scene before heading up the path through the well-maintained garden of the detached bungalow. It wasn’t a house he would’ve expected a woman in her late-twenties to own unless it had been an inheritance, but he knew better than to stereotype.

Ducking under the top of the front door—his six-foot-two height unable to fit through otherwise—he headed to the living room, mindful of the low wooden beams dotted around the house.

The living room was comfortable and homely, if old-fashioned, which gave more precedent to the place being inherited. The blonde, slender woman lying on the floor with her clothes askew looked out of place in the room. Several police officers were hanging around, talking, while one of the photographers took photos of the body, the intermittent flashes doing nothing to help Logan’s headache.

His gaze examined the scene, not moving any closer to the body. After several minutes, something out of place caught his eye. “What do you see, Ava?”

Ava stepped to his side and didn’t answer, but he knew she was scanning the room. Her breath caught, and he knew she’d seen it. “Why does she have a kitchen knife in the living room?”

“Good question. Simon,” he said, getting the photographer’s attention, “Could you ensure you get pictures of the knife on top of the mantelpiece, please?”

His eyes widened as he lifted his head. “I didn’t even see that. Good catch.”

“Just doing my job,” he muttered distractedly, still studying their surroundings. “Officer?” The group of police officers turned towards him. “Could one of you give us the rundown?”

The older of the three stepped forward, crossing his arms over his chest. “The neighbour called it in when she came to collect the lady for their usual morning appointment. Apparently, they always go jogging at eleven, so when the lady didn’t answer, the neighbour was worried and checked through the window when she didn’t hear her coming to the door.”

“Does the lady have a name?”

“Sure.” The police officer pulled out his notebook and flicked through several pages before saying, “Miss Winona Conrad.”

Logan frowned. “Why does that name sound familiar? We’ve not got any cases with that name, have we?” He glanced at Ava, who shook her head. Staring back at the deceased, he tried to figure out where he’d heard her name before because he didn’t recognise her face. Unable to figure it out, he brushed it off and continued asking the officer questions, noting down his responses in his own notebook.

When he had enough information, he stepped closer, continuing his questioning but with the forensic pathologist. She wasn’t able to give him many details but enough for him to start gathering facts. It seemed Miss Conrad had been dead for approximately twelve hours.

“Thanks, Kat.”

He returned to Ava, who had disappeared into the kitchen. “We need to speak with the neighbour.”

Ava nodded and followed Logan to the front door. “Simon, could you please photograph the back door and the knife block in the kitchen. Thanks.” Logan raised his eyebrows. “The knife was one from the kitchen. There was a missing spot in the block, and the handles match.”

“So, the killer came through the back door, maybe?”

“That’s my guess.”

“Why?”

“There was a scrape on the back door as if it had been forced open using something sharp,” she answered.

“Good work.”

She beamed at him. “Thanks. You’ve taught me well.”

 

*************************

 

About the Author 

I am Elouise East but feel free to call me Elli. I write sweet and steamy connections in gay romance. I also touch on taboo stories under the name Elouise R East.

Books that tell the stories where friendship and family are the focal point - be it blood family or chosen - is very important to me. That’s why I include a variety of personalities, talents, ages, situations and abilities as I believe a story needs, or a character needs. I want my characters to be real, to be relatable, to be free to have whatever views they tell me they have. And trust me, most of the time, I do not have any say in the matter!

My characters come to life on the page for me as well as my readers. Their stories unfold in front of me, and I have very little input into how they want to be shown. Just like real life, the lives of my characters change with every choice, every interaction and every conversation. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I write books that are emotionally realistic, even if liberties are taken with other aspects of my stories. I don’t know any other way to write. It comes from deep inside.

Who am I? A single parent to two children who make life worth living. An avid reader who still devours every book she can get her hands on. A student of learning about any subject that takes her fancy. An author of books she would read herself. And a romantic at heart who loves anything cheesy. 

Who’s in?

Author Links

Blog/Website  |   Facebook  |   Twitter  

Instagram   |  Newsletter Sign-up  

 

*************************

Giveaway 

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win 

one of two Signed Paperback copies of Lawful Attraction 

or 1x $15 Amazon gift card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

Follow the tour and check out the other blog posts and reviews here

 

 

***************************

 

My review:

 

 

4.25 stars

 

 

Lawful Attraction by Elouise East follows Detective Logan Taylor as he deals with the conundrum of the attractive exotic dancer known as Black while investigating frustrating and fatal stalking cases. Each man has a painful past that threatens to derail their budding relationship, but their incandescent attraction is hard to deny.

 

This adult gay contemporary romance is part of the ‘Crush’ series but can be read as a stand-alone story. There is a formidable list of characters at the beginning of the story, but fortunately they are integrated in as cameos and pique one’s interests about their individual times in the spotlight during previous books in the series.

 

Logan’s initial encounter with Black (Bastien) is definitely unconventional, and their ensuing encounters continue the pattern. I love Logan’s close-knit family and his dedication to his profession and particularly his acceptance of Bastien as he is. The counterpoint between their sizzling attraction and the frightening cases that touch both their lives is mesmerizing, and made the story a page-turner. I enjoyed getting to know these men, and I’m definitely interested in reading the previous stories in this series, since I suspect they’ll be just as entertaining as this tale.

 

 

A copy of this story was provided for review


Tuesday, June 8, 2021

The Electric Girl by Christine Hart (Spotlight, excerpt, review, and GIVEAWAY) GFT (Updated)





 

The Electric Girl

by 

Christine Hart

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

GENRE:   YA / Magic Realism / Sci-fi

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

BLURB:

 

Polly Michaels is trying to forget that her mom has cancer. She keeps busy at school and plods through a normal social life. Until a freak electrical storm and a unicorn appear in the orchard next to her house.

Sy’kai wakes on an orchard floor to the smell of rotting cherries and wet earth. She doesn’t know where she is—or what she is—but she knows something is hunting her.

Polly recruits her friends to find the mysterious creature she saw from her window while Sy’kai, a confused shape-shifting endling from another dimension tries to piece her mind back together. Once the human girls find Sy’kai (whom they nickname Psyche) the mystery unravels and the danger facing all of them comes into focus.

A gritty struggle ranges throughout the girls’ rural hometown and in the wild terrain around it. All while two questions hang over their heads. Can an alien deliver a miracle for a human mother? Can a group of teens defeat an interdimensional demon?

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

EXCERPT

 

 

 

Polly crept softly downstairs and into the vaulted kitchen. In the window behind the double sink, her mom’s stained-glass butterfly reflected a glint of moonlight. Her gaze darted from the window to the sliding glass doors across the room, behind a small round oak table. A greasy takeout box and two plates of chicken bones on the counter—her mom’s only half-eaten—glistened in the faint light. She paused next to the table, gripped the padded back of a dining chair, and leaned toward the glass door. She peered out, across the backyard and into the orchard.

 

A large beacon of light flickered in the trees. It moved, as if floating. No, not floating—walking. The intense glow, marked by dark strips of trunk and branch, moved at a measured pace. She squinted, trying to make out an outline of . . . whatever it was that meandered through the trees.

 

It’s an animal. It has to be!

 

She lifted the latch on the sliding glass door and gently opened it. Chilly night air rushed in, smelling of ozone and the earth. Her flannel nightgown billowed in the breeze. She placed a bare foot on the smooth concrete of the patio. The cold was sharp and shot straight through Polly, causing her to gasp, but she forced herself to keep moving. She stepped all the way out and slid the door back into place, almost closing it but not quite.

 

The roving light in the orchard had grown larger. It was weaving between the dark rows of trees in the distance. The undulating pace of it . . . it wasn’t human. Whatever it was, it was moving—walking, she thought, but not on two legs.

 

Polly put one foot in front of the other, compelled by her need to know. She crossed the backyard, reaching the bumpy bare earth of the orchard floor. She steadied herself against a tree trunk as adrenaline raced through her veins. She leaned into the tree, hoping to conceal her figure without losing sight of the creature, whatever it was.

 

She waited, watching in both awe and terror as the glowing animal came closer. The creature made no sound at all. Polly watched, eyes trained on the glow itself, until finally she could make out a shape—a long, muscular torso flexed above four knobby legs. Pointed ears flickered.

 

It’s a horse! A white mare! Oh my god, she’s so bright.

 

The horse turned its head, flashing a spiraled horn—unmistakable against the dark branches around them.

 

NO WAY!

 

“Polly? Are you out there?” she heard her mom call. She turned to see her mom’s silhouette standing in the kitchen. Her mom flicked on a light, spilling yellow across the yard. Polly whipped around to see the unicorn again, but the orchard had grown dark, full of silent indigo trees.

 

The glowing animal was gone.

 

 

Amazon

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 

 

Christine Hart writes from her suburban home on BC’s beautiful West Coast. She specializes in speculative fiction for young readers. Her stories feature detailed real-world landscapes as a backdrop for the surreal and spectacular.

 

Christine’s backlist includes YA, NA, and MG titles, including the speculative trilogy The Variant Conspiracy. Her debut YA, Watching July, won a gold medal from the Moonbeam Children's awards in the mature issues category and an honourable mention from the Sunburst Awards.

Christine holds a BA in English and Professional Writing, as well as current membership with the Federation of BC Writers and SF Canada.

She works as a content and communications specialist for a technology studio in Vancouver. And when not writing, she creates wearable art from recycled metals under the guise of her Etsy alter-ego Sleepless Storyteller.  She shares her eclectic lifestyle with her husband and two children.

Learn more about Christine and her books at her website.


 


 

**********************

 

GIVEAWAY 

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway 

 

The tour dates can be found here

 

***********************

 

My review:

 

 

3.75 out of 5 stars

 

The Electric Girl by Christine Hart centers around Polly Michaels as she deals with the specter of her mother’s cancer. If her mother dies, the young girl will be an orphan. A series of odd occurrences, including Polly’s sighting of a unicorn plus a vicious bear attack in the town, mark a potentially world-changing struggle that Polly and her friends may play a key role in, but her primary goal is helping her mother. Little does she realize that the two challenges may be connected.

 

 

This young adult fantasy story explores the bonds of friendship as well as the concept of extra-terrestrial lifeforms and alternate realities. There are many imaginative elements that should prompt curiosity and exploration of the concept of lifeforms other than those humans share the world with. The action is a bit uneven to me and I was a little disappointed in some of the choices made that will have negative effects on others, but overall this is a fun, thought-provoking tale.

 

 

A copy of this title was provided for review

Saturday, June 5, 2021

Finding His Home and Finding His Boy by K.D. Ryan (Spotlight and reviews) ADULT titles


 

Finding His Home

Safe Harbor #2

ADULT title

 by

 K.D. Ryan

 

 

COVER ARTIST: K.D. Ryan

RELEASE DATE: June 1st, 2021

LENGTH: 90,000 words approx.

 

 

BLURB:

 

Grant finally found his boy, and Elliot finally had his Daddy—age gap be damned.

It’s perfect, until Elliot is faced with some big decisions—decisions that only he can make.

Are Grant and Elliot just playing house, or are they finding their home?

Since meeting Grant, everything had been a whirlwind for Elliot. But now, they’re together. They’re happy. And the chemistry is explosive—it was more than enough for both of them.

Sure, they were both juggling busy work schedules—Grant was wrapped up in finals at the University, and Elliot was consumed with ballet. But they were making it work, still making time for each other and exploring their new dynamic.

Then suddenly Elliot’s ballet career takes an unexpected turn that reveals the fragility of their new relationship. Add in a startling revelation about Elliot’s dire financial situation, and everything Elliot thought he knew about himself and where he belonged is turned upside down.

As far as Grant is concerned, everything comes down to what is best for his boy—but how much is Grant willing to sacrifice for Elliot’s happiness? He wants to give Elliot everything—but he knows that isn’t always the right answer. Is he starting to build a life with Elliot just to have everything ripped away once again?

Finding His Home is the second book in the Finding Duet taking place in the Safe Harbor universe and should be read in order. This book is an 80+K word slow burn, steamy romance that features a Daddy/boy relationship between two consenting adult men, and is intended for a mature audience. No age play. Dual POV.

TW: Mention of sexual assault, mention of drug use/overdose.

LINK: Amazon -- Goodreads

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Just a dreamer fueled by coffee who’s been writing about love that comes in all forms since she got her first word processor. Passionate bibliophile and lover of science, caretaker of humans and friend to dogs.


*********************

My review:


 

 4 out of 5 stars

 

Finding His Home by K.D. Ryan is the second story in the 'Safe Harbor' series. This adult gay kink romance continues immediately after "Finding His Boy" as Elliot adjusts to both his well-deserved promotion and his relationship with Grant as his Daddy. Multiple shocking surprises turn his world upside-down even as he is exploring their shared kink, and they have to figure out if their relationship will be able to weather all of the challenges they are facing.

 

A great continuation of the saga of the relationship between two men who have found the perfect partner in terms of sexual tendencies and romantic expectations. I love that Grant is encouraging of his shy and inexperienced Elliot and that Elliot is actively involved in establishing the parameters of the bond. Steamy and emotional and uplifting. There are a few strings still dangling, so hopefully there will be additional stories featuring this striking couple.


A copy of this title was provided for review






 

 

4 out of 5 stars

Finding His Boy by K.D. Ryan is an adult gay kink romance that provides an informative and sensual description of two lonely men who enter into a relationship that suits their desires and proclivities. Having been on his own since he was sixteen, Elliot has struggled to achieve his dream of being a star with a ballet company, despite dealing with crushing debt and having no support system. College professor Grant has never moved on from the crushing blow his last submissive dealt him a decade prior. He doesn't expect the attractive eighteen-year-old to fire up his Daddy instincts to protect and nurture, but he can't resist the urges to help alleviate Elliot's burdens. They both have a lot to overcome, both personally and in dealing with outside perceptions, but if they can find a way to trust, they both will be the richer for the connection,

 

Nicely portrayed, with both sizzling and emotional exchanges. Some things are left unresolved, but the story picks up again in the sequel. I enjoyed the way each man gradually explores what he wants in the relationship and how natural the progression of their trust is. I’ve always been a little wary of this type of kink, but this story did a great job of showing how each partner has a need that is fulfilled by adopting these roles.