July 01, 2016

Pride Promotions presents: A King and a Pawn by Liv Olteano (REVIEW)





Author Name: Liv Olteano

Book Name: A King and a Pawn

Series: Leader Murders

Release Date: June 17, 2016




Blurb:

Bert Cooper’s life used to be great, until his sister turned out to be a traitor. Now Bert feels the whole pack looks on him with doubt and suspicion. To prove his loyalty, he volunteers to be the first ambassador at Fey Court, gathering information to finally solve the Leader Murders and punish those plotting against the Council and community. At least, that was the plan….
When Bert meets Sir William Matthew Sims, Court Interrogator, and one hell of a sexy man, life becomes a balancing act. And when the Fey King is assassinated, things become really messy.
Pack politics, fey politics, treason, suspicions of treason…. Bert has to choose between being ruled by his fears or standing up for what—and who—he believes in. And it might just break his heart.

Pages or Words: 234 pages, 82,000 words

Categories: Contemporary, M/M Romance, Mystery, Parnormal, Romance, Urban Fantasy, Wolf Shifters

Excerpt from A King and a Pawn by Liv Olteano:

“Would you take me in as a trophy, Bert?” he asked, smiling oddly, a sort of indulgent look in his eyes.
I wasn’t going to outsmart him, that was for sure. Luckily I didn’t think I had to.
“I wouldn’t be taking you in at all. You and your kids would simply accompany me. I’m sure you can find something of value to offer me so I’ll be willing to go that way. And then you’d find something of value to offer Weiss and the Council to give you guys, say, political asylum?”
“You’ve thought of everything, haven’t you?”
I shrugged. “I’m sure you did. I don’t think you’re a fool, Will. I’m sure you’re not, in fact. So I’m giving you the courtesy of not treating you as one. A courtesy I hope you’ll give me too.”
“Implying that I have not so far?” he asked, stepping toward me again.
My pulse spiked. “I wasn’t implying that at all.”
We were face-to-face, a step apart at most. My mind stuttered over the few stray thoughts I managed to recognize. It was unusual someone’s presence would affect me this much, this soon. Was he that special? Was our chemistry that special? Or was he using some sort of spell on me? I didn’t think that was beneath him. Magic wasn’t beneath any magic-wielding fey, just like changing into a wolf wasn’t beneath me as werewolf. It was a natural part of who we were. I just wasn’t that used to his natural part, and the very idea made me smile.
“What could I offer you that you’d like to have?” he asked as his breath touched my face with every word he uttered.
“Oh, I could think of several things,” I replied.
He leaned toward me. His lips brushed against mine now when he spoke. “I could think of several things I’d like to offer you as well.”
I gulped. Shit, I couldn’t think with my dick. Not now at least. I so wanted to. It would be so easy to whisper it sweetly: “Fuck my brains out and I’ll be on your side.” But I wasn’t here for shits and giggles, so I couldn’t. There was no reason I couldn’t hope I’d get a fuck out of the situation somewhere down the line. The more time we spent together, the better chance of that happening. That was pretty solid motivation to spin things in a way that would benefit us all in the end. There. I wasn’t doing this for my selfish fuck-greedy self but for the greater good. I was a fucking humanitarian, feyitarian, whateveritarian.
“I’ll only ask for one small thing for myself,” I whispered softly.
He brushed his lips against mine. The touch sent little fiery thrills down my nerve endings, from the skin of my lips right to the pulsing muscle of my heart. I felt his breath hitch at the contact, and the idea it might affect him almost as much as it was affecting me sent a shiver down my spine. We could have been faking it, both of us. This was a negotiation of sorts, and now was the time to bring on our top game. But I felt it in my gut that this connection was real, that it wasn’t bullshit for either one of us. I just knew it in the pit of my stomach. I wondered if he knew it too, as clearly as I did right in that instant.
His scent didn’t assault my senses since he’d been hanging out in my personal space for a while now. My senses were bathed in his scent already. But I could feel the pounding of his heart as I deepened the kiss; I could feel his muscles clench and unwind with sensual tension while my body sang with it. Fuck me sideways, I wanted him right now. I wanted him so bad it almost gutted me. The feel of him languidly moving his tongue against mine made my blood turn into liquid fire, scalding my insides and bringing up my body temperature to heights I didn’t think I’d felt before after just kissing. Everything in my body screamed, This. This is it. This is what you’ve been waiting for, for so fucking long!
“What do you want?” he asked after he pulled back, his forehead leaning against mine.
Fuck, fuck it, fuck! “I want all the information you can get from the Archives on a certain topic.”




REVIEW



This book was provided to me via Pride promotions in exchange for an honest review.

This is the third book in the series and it must be read in order. It won’t make sense as a standalone.

The world in this book is complex and unconventional. Even though it’s a paranormal book involving shapeshifters, it’s not a typical paranormal book. Just as in the other books in this series, Bert and Will have to put in a lot of work and trust to make their relationship work.
Bert isn’t the typical protagonist, either. He’s chubby, loves to cook, and eat his sweets. Still, he’s looking for love but afraid to open up and become vulnerable.
I couldn’t always get a read on Will, but since he’s fey and good at hiding his emotions, that was fine by me. I really liked his devotion to his children.
This book lives from the world-building and the emotions between the characters. For fans of the series, it’s an absolute must-read as you’re also going to see the couples from the first two books again.
Definitely recommended!


Meet the author:

Liv Olteano is a voracious reader, music lover, and coffee addict extraordinaire. And occasional geek. Okay, more than occasional.

She believes stories are the best kind of magic there is. And life would be horrible without magic. Her hobbies include losing herself in the minds and souls of characters, giving up countless nights of sleep to get to know said characters, and trying to introduce them to the world. Sometimes they appreciate her efforts. The process would probably go quicker if they’d bring her a cup of coffee now and then when stopping by. Characters—what can you do, right?

Liv has a penchant for quirky stories and is a reverent lover of diversity. She can be found loitering around the Internet at odd hours and being generally awkward and goofy at all times.


Where to find the author:


Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: AngstyG

Tour Dates & Stops:
30-Jun

1-Jul

Rafflecopter Prize: One winner will receive the first two books of the series!

June 08, 2016

Pride Promotions presents: Bad Dogs and Drag Queens by Julie Lynn Hayes



Sidenote: I've read the story before it went through editing and I totally loved it! Vinnie and Ethan are an adorable couple and there'll be more books to come with these two. :)



Author Name: Julie Lynn Hayes

Book Name: Bad Dogs and Drag Queens
Series: Rose and Thorne
Book: One

Release Date: May 25, 2016



Blurb:

Vinnie Delarosa and Ethan Thorne are partners—on and off the clock. Federal undercover detectives, they’re part of a covert task force designed to promote goodwill between the feds and local authorities. They lend an unobtrusive helping hand wherever it’s needed. No credit required.
Vinnie and Ethan work primarily in the Southeast region of the United States and live together in Richmond, Virginia. A mugger problem brings them to Roanoke, where Vinnie is thrown out as bait to catch the man who’s been snatching purses in a city park, but they end up with more than they bargained for. Why is Vinnie always the one who has to wear the dress? Ethan says it’s because Vinnie looks much prettier in a skirt. How can he argue with that?
Expecting to return to Richmond afterward, Vinnie and Ethan find themselves assigned a new case instead. They are to go undercover at The Stroll, one of the biggest gay nightclubs in Roanoke. Someone is terrorizing both the customers and the performers. Could they be dealing with a hate crime? Someone has to protect the drag queens of Roanoke, so it’s Vinnie and Ethan to the rescue!

The author is donating 10% of the royalties from this book to No Kid Hungry. Visit nokidhungry.org for more information about this organization.


Pages or Words: 50,000 words

Categories: Crime Fiction, Fiction, Gay Fiction, Humor, Romance

Excerpt:
“Remind me again whose stupid idea this lipstick was,” I huffed under my breath. Without thinking, I licked my lips. They felt greasy, and tasted even worse. I forced myself not to grimace, afraid it might crack the foundation I’d slathered on my face.
“Mine, you sexy beast,” came the smart-ass reply in my ear. “I think you got purty lips, mmhmmm.”
“Fuck you,” I growled. “You should be doing this, not me, and you know it. I did it last time.”
And the time before that. And the time before that. Wait, did I detect a pattern here?
“What I know is you look better in a skirt than I do. And you look damn good out of it too.”
My cheeks filled with heat at Ethan’s words. Luckily the darkness hid a multitude of sins, my embarrassment being the least of them. Hopefully, no one else was listening—I knew I’d never hear the end of it. Just what I needed—to be the object of ridicule of the Roanoke PD.




How did I come up with the book and the title?

A friend of mine, Denise, told me about a group on FB which posted pictures to inspire a weekly 500 word flash. I thought it sounded like fun, and I gave it a try. So far, I’ve written three flashes, inspired by three different pictures. One picture was taken from the perspective of someone inside a trunk, looking up at someone standing outside, looking in. That clicked with me, and I wrote a 500 word flash entitled Roadside Assistance.
The flash was about two undercover cops who are partners, on and off the clock. I didn’t even give these guys names, because it was so short. But afterward, my friend Chris T. Kat told me she’d like to see more of those two guys. Before I knew it, they had names and backgrounds, and I was writing their first book.
The title didn’t come right away, but was inspired by a poem, Mad Dogs and Englishmen. Except I made it Bad Dogs and Drag Queens, to fit my story. The rest, as they say is history. I’m attaching the picture which inspired my story, and the flash story itself. I hope you enjoy it! Someday, this will become one of the actual books in the series.
Thanks for having me here today, Chris!



Roadside Assistance by Julie Lynn Hayes
“I said get in the fucking trunk!” Chip growled.
I shrank back against the car. The door handle jabbed my ass, painfully, and I winced. I hadn’t taken Chip seriously the first time he’d spoken the words. Now, I was starting to think he just might mean it.
“W-what the hell, dude, you need to chill out.” My words sounded braver than I felt, and stuttering wasn’t helping a damn thing. Chip was mad, and I knew it, but it was just so ridiculous. All because I’d happened to notice a stranger at the gas station. A cute guy in a white T-shirt and rumpled jeans. Probably a traveler, just like us.
So what?
So maybe Chip was just a tad on the sociopath side, and just maybe he intended to dump me somewhere on the side of the road. One thing I’d noticed, ever since we started driving through Florida, was the tons of water situated beside the highway. Lakes, ponds, swamps, even the ocean. A guy could go missing out here. Like permanently.
And suddenly I realized I didn’t know Chip very well at all. Guess that’ll teach me not to take up with the first good-looking guy who wants to take me for a drive.
“I’m not going to tell you again.” This time I saw the knife in his hand. The blade glinted wickedly in the bright sunlight.
I glanced desperately around me, but no one was there. We might as well have been standing in a ghost town. Even the cute stranger was nowhere to be seen. I gulped, forcing liquid into my too-dry mouth, looked between Chip and the open trunk, then crawled inside. He almost hit me when he slammed the lid, plunging me into darkness.
The ride was excruciating. It felt like he deliberately found every pothole and rut he could. All I could do was lie there, cramped and aching, waiting for him to stop… and then what?
I wondered if Chip had done this before. Did he have a usual spot where he took his victims? A dumping ground of sorts? He seemed the type that just might. In the short time I’d known him I’d noticed he was methodical that way. Not one for loose ends.
I was feeling more than a little claustrophobic by the time the car stopped, almost grateful for the lack of motion. I say almost because I knew what would come next. Wasn’t exactly looking forward to it. I braced myself for the worst.
When the lid lifted, I squinted up… into the handsome face of my partner.
“Comfy in there?” He grinned, deliberately flexing the muscles inside his form-fitting shirt.
I growled as he handed me out. I spied Chip, in cuffs, by a squad car.
“Took you long enough—“ His kiss stopped my rant.
“But I got here, and we just caught the Florida Mangler. You complaining?”
“Not I.” I sighed contentedly and snuggled against him.
Another good day’s work.



Buy the book:

Meet the author:

Julie Lynn Hayes first began publishing short stories and poetry in the 1990’s, when it was a different ballgame altogether, and Ebooks hadn’t been dreamed of yet. That changed in 2010 with the acceptance of her first romance novel. She’s come a long way since that first book appeared, and is finding the journey a very educational one.
She lives in St. Louis with her daughter Sarah and her cat Ramesses. She often writes of two men finding true love and happiness in one another’s arms, and is a great believer in the happily ever after. She likes to write in different genres, to stretch herself in order to see what is possible. Her great challenge is to be told something can’t be done—she feels compelled to do it.
When she isn’t writing, she enjoys crafts, such as crocheting and cross stitch,  needlepoint and knitting, and she loves to cook, spending time watching the Food Network. Her favorite chef is Geoffrey Zakarian. Her family thinks she’s a bit off, but she doesn’t mind. Marching to the beat of one’s own drummer is a good thing, after all. Her published works can be found at Dreamspinner Press, eXtasy Books, and Wayward Ink Press.

Where to find the author:

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Paul Richmond

Tour Dates & Stops:
9-Jun: Unquietly Me
10-Jun: BFD Book Blog
14-Jun: Molly Lolly
15-Jun: Love Bytes
16-Jun: Havan Fellows

Rafflecopter Prize: Win a gift card courtesy of Julie Lynn Hayes!