Dark Fantasy in INKED–Review and Giveaway!

inked tour banner
Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a newly released YA fantasy novel from Eric Smith. INKED is the story about a land steeped in magic and terror and the young folks that have to find a way to safety, if such a place even exists.  I really liked it!

Catch my review below, and be sure to enter the giveaway for your copy.

inked coverAbout the book:
Tattoos once were an act of rebellion.
Now they decide your destiny the moment the magical Ink settles under your skin.

And in a world where Ink controls your fate, Caenum can’t escape soon enough. He is ready to run from his family, and his best friend Dreya, and the home he has known, just to have a chance at a choice.

But when he upsets the very Scribe scheduled to give him his Ink on his eighteenth birthday, he unwittingly sets in motion a series of events that sends the corrupt, magic-fearing government, The Citadel, after him and those he loves.

Now Caenum, Dreya, and their reluctant companion Kenzi must find their way to the Sanctuary, a secret town where those with the gift of magic are safe. Along the way, they learn the truth behind Ink, its dark origins, and why they are the only ones who can stop the Citadel.

Eric Smith takes you on a high-octane fantasy adventure, perfect for anyone who has dreamed of being different… only to discover that fate is more than skin deep.

Advance Praise:
“INKED is an action-packed read with a hero I could root for, magic I wanted to have, and a vivid fantasy world to back it all up. Smith’s prose had me turning pages way past my bedtime.” – Susan Dennard, author of SOMETHING STRANGE & DEADLY

“A fast-paced page-turner from Eric Smith filled with magic, mystery and mayhem.” – Kristi Helvig, Author of BURN OUT

“With a lively cast of characters and a captivating idea, INKED draws its readers into a world where magic lives on every page.” Kat Zhang, author of The Hybrid Chronicles series

My Review:
Caenum is due for his Ink, and in the Realm governed by the Citadel, magical Ink tattoed into your skin determines your fate. If your Ink says you’ll be a farmer, then you are a farmer. If it says you’ll be a swordsman, guess what you’ll be… Caenum’s afraid that his Ink will take him far from his farm and his grandmother who has raised him. He’s also afraid that it will separate him from Dreya, his neighbor and best friend, the girl of his dreams even if he’s afraid to admit it.

Caenum toys with the idea of running away, becoming one of the Unprinted rebels who live outside the Realm’s borders, but doing that will take him away from everyone he loves just as well. On the night before Caenum’s Inking, Kenzi, one of the Scribes who has traveled to Caenum’s village, experiences a magical meltdown and Caenum is caught in the crossfire. Kenzi–newly Inked himself–is the most feared of beings, a Conduit. The Ink in his skin unleashed latent magical powers that manifest dangerously. Caenum’s grandmother insists Caenum take Kenzi to Sanctuary, a hidden village of Conduits, before the soldiers of the Citadel arrive to kill Kenzi. Unfortunately, before they can escape the townsfolk go mad, the solders arrive and the bloodbath that results leaves Caenum, Kenzi and Dreya on their own to find Sanctuary–a place, it turns out, they all need to go.

Okay, so this is a really interesting fantasy story about kids overcoming all odds to get to a safe haven. And, when that happens they recognize there is no safe haven in their world. Sanctuary is not freedom, it is another type of prison, and the people there have radical ideas for enacting change: outright rebellion. Imagine if Magneto was running the X-men, and you’ll get an idea of the megalomania at work. I liked the story, though I wished it had dug deeper, and been more thorough. There were moments when the time frames seemed too convenient, too unrealistic. People tied to beds for days need a place to use the facilities, folks. And, that said, Caenum’s suddenly thrust into a battle–with little-to-no training–and expected to “wing it” as a hero. It was a bit hard for me to digest. Especially as he was so ‘naturally’ good at it. (O.o)

There are some romantic elements here but they are understated. Barely a kiss on the page. I did really enjoy the camaraderie that developed between Caenum, Dreya and Kenzi, and I found their individual talents to be interesting, and the plot compelling. I guess it’s me being greedy for a book that satisfies me completely. It’s not a long tale, and I was able to inhale it over the course of an evening. While the story ends (kinda abruptly) there’s no cliffhanger. It’s clear, however, that there is a continuing menace regarding the attitude of the Citidel toward Conduits–don’t ask me the source of Ink please–and a new story could spring from the necessary battles for complete freedom. *fingers crossed*

Interested? You can find INKED on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iBooks.


Click this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win an e-book of INKED and a signed poster!
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

eric smithAbout the Author
Eric Smith is the author of THE GEEK’S GUIDE TO DATING, out now via Quirk Books, and INKED, a YA novel out with Bloomsbury Spark. His writing has appeared locally in the Philly Weekly, The Inquirer, and on Philly.com. He’s written for the Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, Boing Boing, and is a regular contributor to BookRiot and Geekosystem.

His essays have appeared in the Bygone Bureau and The Apiary, and his first published piece will appear in THE ASTEROID BELT ALMANAC with the Hand & the Hand Press in April 2014. He’s the co-founder of Geekadelphia, a popular hyperlocal geek blog in Philly, and the Philly Geek Awards, a ceremony honoring local geeks in his city. Eric holds a BA in English from Kean University and an MA in English from Arcadia University. He currently lives in Philly. You can find him on Twitter at @ericsmithrocks and @geekadelphia.

Catch Eric online on his website, Goodreads, Twitter, and Facebook.




Cover Reveal and Giveaway: WHISTLE BLOWER

Hi there! I’m excited to share a cover reveal and giveaway for what looks to be a contemporary M/M romantic suspense novel from Dev Bentham. WHISTLE BLOWER is on my TBR, so look for a review in the coming weeks.

Until then, check out the cover, excerpt and get in on the book giveaway! Pre-order links below, too…

About the book:
Money can’t buy happiness. Jacob Nussbaum knows this better than anyone. He’s a corporate lawyer deep inside a huge New York firm, where he works overtime, sacrifices any chance at a personal life, and has been selling his soul for years. With a secretary as his only friend, he trudges on, until his whole world is blown apart by a manila envelope of photos—evidence that one of the firm’s partners is the dirtiest lawyer in one hell of a filthy business.

In search of the truth, Jacob travels to a small northern Wisconsin fishing resort. There he meets Ben Anderson, a brutally lonely man, who knocks him off his feet. Ben prompts Jacob to reevaluate his life. He’s a dozen years older than Jacob, still recovering from the death of his long time love, and doesn’t want to leave anyone a widower. But a jaded New Yorker on a soul-searching mission might be just the man to convince the grieving Ben that it’s never too late to begin again.

How about a little taste?

Ben got waylaid by a bunch of little things, so it took him longer than he’d expected to get back to the dock for Nussbaum’s—Jacob’s rowing lesson. As Ben approached the dock, Jacob was facing away, staring out over the lake. Which was good, since he was naked except for a skim of bright red Lycra that barely covered his ass. And what an ass. What a body in general. It had been a long time since Ben had seen a muscular olive-skinned back on which dark hair grew in such fascinating patterns. Manny had a back like that. Ben had loved to run his tongue along the thin lines of fur along his lower back. Manny hadn’t been hairy, really, just never quite naked. Jacob had that same look, except he was younger, stronger, and better built.

Feeling uncomfortable with that comparison, Ben tore his eyes away from Jacob’s body. Aside from leaving him feeling unfaithful to Manny’s memory, this was neither the time nor the place and, in all probability, not the man to indulge that kind of fantasy. Ben cleared his throat, and Jacob turned around. Jesus. Who’d have thought under all those clothes, there’d be this—high definition, perfect tone, and all that gorgeous skin. Ben forced himself to meet Jacob’s eyes. He reached into the boathouse, pulled out one of the clean tee shirts he kept for changing after rowing, and handed it to Jacob.

“It’s easy to get sunburned out here.” For the love of God, he had to cover up the guy if he was going to teach him anything, other than…. He cleared his throat again. “The beginner scull is up here.” He walked back up the dock to the boat rack, yelling at himself the whole way for unprofessional thoughts.

As Ben uncovered the practice scull, he was hit by an unexpected wave of memory. Manny had bought it for him their first summer in the Northwoods. It had taken Ben two years to outgrow the added stability and another to decide to try Manny’s MAAS. He ran a finger over the fiberglass patch from when he’d run the boat into the shore. Manny, from his own scull twenty feet away, had admonished, “Never get in a fight with a rock. The rock always wins.”

From behind him, Jacob asked, “Need any help?”

Ben straightened and walked to the far side of the boat. “Get the stern, would you?”

Jacob picked up his side of the boat, and in a monkey-see-monkey-do motion, lifted it onto his shoulder. Ben turned around, settling the bow onto his left shoulder, and led the way back down to the dock. On three they flipped the scull into the water. Ben squatted beside the boat, pointing and describing the various parts until he felt comfortable enough in his role as teacher that he could glance over at Jacob, who knelt beside him. Jacob was focused on the boat, taking in Ben’s instructions. Ben exhaled. Jacob covered up and concentrating on the boat was easier to deal with than he was as a just-about-naked man basking in the sun at the end of the dock.

Ben noticed Jacob’s shoes for the first time. No shorts, no water shoes. Evidently Mr. Nussbaum had been expecting an entirely different resort vacation, probably involving mai tais on the beach and plenty of bikini-clad young women. If he tipped over in the scull, which he was going to do, everyone did when they were starting out, those shoes would take a long time to dry. Ben had an extra pair of water shoes. Maybe they’d fit.

“What size feet do you have?” he asked.

Jacob glanced up. “Ten. Why? Does it matter for the stirrups?”

Of course he wore tens, because otherwise the physical comparison wouldn’t be perfect. “Your shoes will be awkward as hell in the stirrups. You need something lighter and better in the water. Don’t worry. I’ve got some you can borrow.”

Jacob wouldn’t fit in Ben’s nine and a halfs, but Manny’s old tens were still where they’d always been, on the top shelf in the boathouse. Ben found them. He brushed off the dust and cobwebs. The shoes weren’t sacred, and it wasn’t disloyal to let Jacob wear them. They were just old water shoes with cracks in the soles. Ben grabbed a pair of oars and stepped back onto the dock, dropping the shoes by Jacob. “Try these. I’ll get the oars set up.”

Ben fixed each oar in its oarlock, concentrating hard so he wouldn’t have to watch another man put on Manny’s shoes. Then he set about teaching Jacob Nussbaum the rudiments of rowing.

I got my hands on a review copy of this one, so be sure I’ll share all the fantastic bits with you very soon!

Interested? WHISTLE BLOWER comes out Feb 5th, but you can pre-order it now on Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, Kobo, AllRomance and Barnes & Noble.


Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win a signed paperback copy of Nobody’s Home OR an ebook, reader’s choice, from Dev’s backlist which can be found here.

About the author:
Dev Bentham writes soulful m/m romance. Her characters are flawed and damaged adult men who may not even know what they are missing, but whose lives are transformed by true love.

You can find Dev on her website, Goodreads, Facebook and twitter.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dev.bentham

Daddy’s OUT! What Next?

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a just-released M/M romance form JL Merrow. OUT! is a contemporary romance that features a mature divorced man getting his new life started, with a hot young boyfriend. Oh, and his daughter’s there to take him down a peg, or three.

Out! (Shamwell Tales, #3)About the book:

When the costs are added up, will love land in the black?

Mark Nugent has spent his life in the closet—at least, the small part of it he hasn’t spent in the office. Divorced when he could no longer deny his sexuality, he’s sworn off his workaholic ways and moved to Shamwell with his headstrong teen daughter to give her a stable home environment.

His resolve to put his love life on hold is severely tested when he joins a local organization and meets a lively yet intense young man who tempts him closer to the closet threshold.

Patrick Owen is an out-and-proud charity worker with strong principles—and a newly discovered weakness for an older man. One snag: Mark is adamant he’s not coming out to his daughter, and Patrick will be damned if he’s going to start a relationship with a lie.

Between Mark’s old-fashioned attitudes and a camp, flirtatious ex-colleague who wants Mark for himself, Patrick wonders if they’ll ever be on the same romantic page. And when Mark’s former career as a tax advisor clashes with Patrick’s social conscience, it could be the one stumbling block they can’t get past.

Product Warnings: Contains historically inaccurate Spartan costumes, mangled movie quotes, dubious mathematical logic and a three-legged pub crawl.

My Review:

This is the third book in a series but can be fully enjoyed as a standalone.

4.5 Stars.
Mark is a 39 y/o closeted gay man, who is recently divorced from his wife and assumed custody of their 14 y/o daughter Fen. His ex-wife is the only one he’s told of his sexuality, and he thinks he’s been canny enough that no one will suspect. He’s given up his lucrative career as a tax advisor (one of those blokes who tells the uberwealthy where to hide their money from the taxman) and moved out of London into Shamwell, a countryside village that is the location of all books in this series.

Mark hasn’t had regular contact with Fen in a long time. Even when he lived with her, he was basically a workaholic and hardly saw her. He has fond memories of her being a doting child and immediately thinks he can quell her spate of rebelliousness–that which got her expelled from her school–by installing her in a private school in Shamwell. Oh, poor deluded father. Fen has no trouble giving dear old absentee dad the raw side of her tongue. Or, well, the silent-but-haughty treatment. Don’t get the wrong idea about Fen, she’s aces.

Patrick is a 25 y/o aid worker who is well-out as bisexual, and still gets along mighty well with the locals in a men’s social group, the Spartans Society. He meets Mark when Mark shows up for the club, and begins going out with the group. Patrick’s drawn to Mark, but Mark puts him off. He doesn’t want to tip Fen off about his sexuality. (Oh, poor deluded father!!) Funny thing, Fen KNOWS all about Daddy Dearest, even if he doesn’t wish it so.

I adored how addled Mark was regarding being a parent. I guess I thought he had it coming to him, on account of being a bit pompous and overconfident and still endearingly oblivious. He felt like he was so slick, and so savvy and this 14 y/o girl thwarted him, and befuddled him, and figured him out and played him, by turns. In truth, Patrick owes that girl a life-debt, as she was the one who not only addressed her father’s closet full of skeletons, she pushed her father to find a new partner. Fen, for herself, wants a stable family. And she doesn’t care if she has two dads in her home. At all. Turns out two of the people she most bonds to in the book are Mark’s flamboyant gay former-assistant, and Lex the genderfluid assistant to Patrick.

There’s some issue issues between Patrick and Mark regarding Mark’s former job as a tax (cheat’s) advisor. This has to do with social services in England, and the lack of them when people don’t pay their taxes. It was a very minor part of the story. I liked it for my own self, mostly because I’m rather sanctimonious about people paying their “fair share”, but I doubt that’s the case for every reader. That said, its a SMALL part of the narrative and the one part that Patrick’s mother–a bit of “tarty” lady who disapproves of her son’s choice in partner–actually tries to smooth over.

There isn’t too much heat here. There were a few frustrating interrupted trysts and false-starts (for the characters and myself) Every time Mark and Patrick seem to get things rolling there’s an interruption–for the first two-thirds of the book. That said, I liked the book a lot. It’s funny and smart and I loved that Fen was so great a kid. That girl has a right head on her shoulders. I did really like Patrick, and I liked how Mark had to really grow up, and become the adult he’d rather been playing at his whole life.

Interested? You can find OUT! on Goodreads, Samhain Pblishing, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and AllRomance. I received a copy of this book via NetGalley.

About the Author:

JL Merrow is that rare beast, an English person who refuses to drink tea. She read Natural Sciences at Cambridge, where she learned many things, chief amongst which was that she never wanted to see the inside of a lab ever again. Her one regret is that she never mastered the ability of punting one-handed whilst holding a glass of champagne.

She writes across genres, with a preference for contemporary gay romance and the paranormal, and is frequently accused of humour. Her novella Muscling Through was a 2013 EPIC Award finalist, and her novel Slam! won the 2013 Rainbow Award for Best LGBT Romantic Comedy. Her novel Relief Valve is a finalist in the 2015 EPIC Awards.

JL Merrow is a member of the UK GLBTQ Fiction Meet organising team.

Find JL Merrow online on her website, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!

Controversial YA in FIRSTS–A Review

Hi there! It’s 2016 and as a resolution, I’m on a quest to read books that have been challenged or banned. Despite all the reading I do, it’s not the easiest for me, as I generally read books that are newly published, or soon to be published. Books that make the Banned or Challenged list with the American Librarian’s Association are generally books that have been out in circulation for a while. So there will be some throw-back books, for sure, but I’m also going to highlight books that are controversial enough that I think they might one day make the list.

Today, I’m sharing a review for FIRSTS by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn is a contemporary YA novel with romantic elements. I think you’ll understand why the book has what I call a ‘trainwreck’ plot–in that we can all see the horrific turns and expect a figurative blood bath for the protagonist. The story/content are explicit enough that I would be shocked if there are no objections to this book in the offing. (Not that I condone censorship!!! Just sayin’!)

FirstsAbout the book:
Seventeen-year-old Mercedes Ayres has an open-door policy when it comes to her bedroom, but only if the guy fulfills a specific criteria: he has to be a virgin. Mercedes lets the boys get their awkward, fumbling first times over with, and all she asks in return is that they give their girlfriends the perfect first time- the kind Mercedes never had herself.

Keeping what goes on in her bedroom a secret has been easy- so far. Her absentee mother isn’t home nearly enough to know about Mercedes’ extracurricular activities, and her uber-religious best friend, Angela, won’t even say the word “sex” until she gets married. But Mercedes doesn’t bank on Angela’s boyfriend finding out about her services and wanting a turn- or on Zach, who likes her for who she is instead of what she can do in bed.

When Mercedes’ perfect system falls apart, she has to find a way to salvage her reputation and figure out where her heart really belongs in the process. Funny, smart, and true-to-life, FIRSTS is a one-of-a-kind young adult novel about growing up.

My Review:
FIRSTS features a supremely unlikeable MC, Mercedes, a high school senior who is spending her un-chaperoned nights sexually-educating the clueless virgins of her high school.

Yep. Guys nervous about your first time with your girlfriend? Call Mercedes. On the super-down-low, though, as you wouldn’t want your actual girlfriend to find out you had a one-nighter with another girl.

Okay–so THIS BOOK has a trainwreck plot. Mercedes is a smart girl, awaiting her MIT acceptance, with a wealthy father she hasn’t seen in three years and a Cali socialite mother whose longest relationship has been with her plastic surgeon. Kim, as Mercedes calls her mom, is despicably clueless and emotionally abusive. Mercedes has been wholly shamed into strict diets and couture life, with little to no parental affection. I know, I know…poor little rich girl. Still, the absence of parenting leaves Mercedes vulnerable to predation when she’s young–and her own first time was little more than acquaintance rape by a manipulative older boy when she was thirteen.

And, Mercedes doesn’t want the fumbling firsts for other girls. She’s sure her “good deeds” will be of benefit, but she’s rapidly sucked into some rotten scenarios under the misapprehension of control. Mercedes thinks basically anonymous sex will protect her from the hurt/pain of connection with another human. Also, she thinks setting the mood and being in her own sanctuary–her boudoir–will provide control to a situation that is fraught with intimate danger. All of these fallacies become plain to Mercedes as the story goes on. (As the train builds steam going around that blind curve…)

Boys talk. They do. They find a way to use her “service” to their own end, and Mercedes falls into a shame spiral. That’s nothing compared to the shock and EEW of finding herself on the bad end of a one-sided fascination from her best-friend Angela’s virgin boyfriend, Charlie.

Mercedes has few friends. She admits to being bad with people. Really bad. She has excluded herself from the regular company of god-bothering Angela, because Angela’s all about “saving herself” and Mercedes has (essentially) been “ruined” since 8th grade. And, the virgin thing started at the beginning of senior year–so their friendship has become more strained. As more and more boys fill up Mercedes’ log book, Mercedes finds herself more estranged, and seeking further validation. She sets up a regular sex date with her lab partner, Zach, who is a remarkably open-minded guy.

Zach is a great guy, really, and only wants to date Mercedes. He loves her, and is thwarted from telling her, well, by Mercedes who doesn’t want that closeness. New girl Faye also turns Mercedes’ head. There’s an open flirtation there, and it looks like Faye and Mercedes might hit it off, but Charlie’s lurking in the background and doing really REALLY nasty (and illegal) things to ensure his place in Mercedes’ bed–all without Angela finding out.

Expect there to be video fall out. Expect there to be slut-shaming and fighting and angry girlfriends and electronic humiliation and public airing of a pseudo-sex tape. All while NOT ONE ADULT is the wiser. (That sound you heard? That was a a big huh? from me.)

What I liked about this book:
1. The “Life Goes On” message. Mercedes is called to account and harassed, assaulted and nearly raped a second time. Her closest friends stick by her side. They go above and beyond the pale to help cast Mercedes’ deeds into Yesterday’s News.
2. Mercedes learns that her value exists in herself, and that friendship is a valuable endeavor. Mercedes doesn’t believe herself worthy of love or affection–and finds it hard to accept those overtures, from anyone. At first.
3. There are no easy resolutions in life. When you upset people, you have to bear the results of that–not regarding the episodes of assault on school property, however. That shoulda been nipped in the bud by administration. And the Sharpie attacks on her locker would have been painted over by my kids’ schools toot-sweet–not left to languish in all their slur-ry glory…
4. Realistic, if crappy, response to Mercedes’ shenanigans. I’m not a fan of slut-shaming, but this book is actually designed to take on slut-shaming, by being sorta sex positive. So one must endure the firestorm of hate to “endure” it, in Mercedes’ life.

Stuff that made me set the book down for a bit:
1. Trainwreck plot. As a mature woman, I have perspective that Mercedes lacks. I knew her little enterprise would become public knowledge from the outset. When it all got to be TOO much–especially Charlie’s overtures–I needed to take a break. It’s no fun turning every page and wanting to smack the narrator twice.
2. Lack of punishment for Mercedes’ attackers, be they physical or sexual. I had a hard time believing that Charlie’s “punishment” was being outed as a jackass who spilled the beans. What he actually did was criminal, and should have resulted in some legal repercussions. The hallway tormentors also got off with no notice. In what world, I wondered.
3. The double-standard of girl versus boy “promiscuity” was only barely scratched at.

No one is going to find Mercedes or her actions likable. She doesn’t particularly like herself very much, for reasons other than her sexual activity. I believe, however, that some readers will find her sympathetic. Back in my younger days, we had the “Jerry Springer” standard for decency. If your actions didn’t get you called in as a “guest star” on the seedy Jerry Springer Show, then you were still “decent.” Mercedes has a distinct “Jerry Springer” vibe, which makes sense.

All the best trainwrecks appeared on that show.

That said, the book is interesting as a study in moral contrasts and contemporary puritinism. FIRSTS is clearly going to a challenged book for the very fact that kids haz sex, and not just a little bit, in this book. Don’t hope for fade-to-black, everything plays out in cringe-worthy living color.

Interested? You can find FIRSTS on Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.  I received a review copy of this book via NetGalley.

About the Author:
Laurie Elizabeth Flynn writes contemporary fiction for young adults. Her debut, FIRSTS, will be published by Thomas Dunne Books/St Martin’s Press in 2016.

Laurie went to school for Journalism, where the most important thing she learned was that she would rather write made-up stories than report the news. She also worked as a model, a job that took her overseas to Tokyo, Athens, and Paris.

Laurie now lives in London, Ontario with her husband Steve, who is very understanding when she would rather spend time with the people in her head. Laurie can mostly be found writing happily at her desk, with the world’s most spoiled Chihuahua on her lap. Laurie drinks way too much coffee, snorts when she laughs, and times herself when she does crossword puzzles. Laurie is represented by the amazing Kathleen Rushall of the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.

You can find Laurie on her website, Goodreads, Facebook and twitter.

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!

Hot Times With the BOYS OF FALL–Review and Giveaway!

BOF BT Banner
Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for the first novella in the sexy New Adult Seasons Erotic series from K. D. Wood. BOYS OF FALL is a hot little story that connects a sensitive football player with the girl he’s pined for since high school.

Catch my review below and be sure to enter the giveaway for a chance to win your own copy.

BOYOFFALLcoverAbout the book:
After local college football star, Jerry Mathews, stumbles into secretly watching Autumn Landry pleasure herself, he can’t wait another day to tell the girl of his dreams how he really feels. Tonight’s annual bonfire to celebrate the upcoming game against their biggest rival will be the perfect setting to show her how he’s loved her since 8th grade.

When the opposing team crashes the party with a plan to bench Jerry, with Autumn as the only witness, she must bring him out of the friend zone to save him. But will she be able to steer him away from hidden danger and safely into her arms in time?

**BOYS OF FALL is the first of the Seasons Erotic Novellas available from K.D. Wood Books.

My Review:
Jerry Mathews and Autumn Landry have known each other since they were kids. Growing up in their quiet southern town has been uncomplicated. Now in the local junior college, of which Autumn’s father is the president, they still keep in touch. Ever since Autumn’s dad had a mild stroke, Jerry’s been able to get closer to the audacious girl he’s quietly admired since she took him to junior prom a few years back. He’d have done more than admire her if she hadn’t had a long-distance boyfriend for, well, ever.

But now Autumn’s single and she’s noticed fit Jerry cutting even stripes of their lawn, and playing football with her younger brother, too. Yes, a shirtless Jerry’s been the star of many a fantasy for Autumn, and she doesn’t mind indulging that pleasure now again with her BOB, battery-operated boyfriend…Jerry catches a peek of that action and, well, it’s on.

There’s a bit of plot between the sexy-sexy. Something about rivals from a nearby college trying to drug Jerry while all his teammates booze it up at a team bonfire, which Autumn foils because she’s a canny gal with a protective dad. I liked all that. It was interesting and well-paced. This story has a lot of fantasy and voyeurism, which may be your thing. I personally preferred the end where they got down to business together. That was super yum. This is a quick read that is not going to leave you wondering ‘when will there be sexytimes?’ Chapter one, folks.

Interested? You can find BOYS OF FALL on Goodreads and Amazon.


Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win your own copy of BOYS OF FALL.
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

K.D. WoodAbout the Author:
K.D. Wood lives in north Mississippi with her family and a very spoiled White Waug. She creates love stories and smokin’ southern erotica, but not your mama’s happy ever after. She’s a consumer of chocolate but not spiders and completely composed of liquid awesome. When not in her office pounding the keys she can be found under a snuggly blanket, cup of Donut Shop close by, with her nose in a book. Her first novel, Unwilling, debuted on Amazon and Kobo’s bestsellers list.

Follow K.D. on Twitter , like her on Facebook, you’ll find her neglecting her blog, or email her.

Hard Work in WORK BOOTS AND TEES–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a newly-released a YA M/M story from Jo Ramsey. WORK BOOTS & TEES features the redemption of a deeply troubled boy who needs forgiveness, even from himself. This is the fifth book in a series–and probably needs to be read after SHOULDER PADS AND FLANNEL, at the very least.

Trigger warnings: child molestation, homophobia, acquaintance rape, depression, suicide.

Work Boots and Tees (Deep Secrets and Hope #5)About the book:
Sixteen-year-old Jim Frankel has become the thing he loathes, and he can’t stand thinking about what he has done.

After being accused of sexual assault by two girls, Jim serves out his sentence in a juvenile detention facility. He’s shocked by the arrest for what he thought was consensual sex, and terrified his own childhood sexual abuse has twisted him into a predator—just like the man who molested him.

Upon release, Jim is no longer welcome at his family home, and with nowhere else to turn, he travels from Massachusetts to Michigan to live with his father’s cousin, Delia. Keeping his head down, Jim works hard at Delia’s art supply shop and prays no one will find out about the awful crime he committed. It’s his chance for a new beginning, but when he makes his first friend in Man-Shik Park, Jim is afraid to let him get too close. But by walling himself off from the support Manny’s offering, Jim might sabotage the opportunities in front of him.

My Review:
There are some plot points revealed in this review that COULD be considered spoilers.

At nearly 17 y/o Jim is a cast-off teen, recently out of juvenile detention for the acquaintance rape of two of his girlfriends. This is a pretty murky issue, as I will explain a bit. See, Jim is a survivor of sexual, emotional and physical abuse–from his mother’s boyfriend, father and stepfather, respectively. He has had no counseling, never told anyone about the (very young) sex abuse, and he grew up an angry angry boy–bullying all and sundry. He intimidated so many of his peers that his overbearing nature led to him into “forcing” two girls of his acquaintance into sexual acts that they later claimed were non-consensual. There was no malice in the moment, but it was clearly a very problematic scenario. The girls felt too intimidated to say “no” and it later came out that they didn’t want to–Jim was sentenced to one month of detention, is on probation until age 18 and is registered as a sex offender until age 21. If he has no repeat offenses and continues his weekly court-mandated counseling his record will be cleared. (These are the parameters of his criminal record as outlined many times by the author. In her notes, she concedes that it is likely that Jim would have not served any time based on the testimony of the girls and other reviewers contest that Jim did not commit rape. Given that I have no expertise in this area I am going with this scenario as written, and will only address my opinion of the writing, not the likelihood of the legalities…)

Jim’s mother wants nothing to do with him, his father wants nothing to do with him, and he’s been sent from his small Mass. town to live in a small Michigan town with a distant cousin of his father’s, Delia. Delia is a kind and compassionate woman, and Jim is agoraphobic, constantly afraid that someone will learn of his history and bar him from working at Delia’s art shop. He refuses to attend high school, sure that he’ll be a pariah, or someone will learn of his history. Before the rape accusations, Jim was charged with assault for beating up an out-gay boy in his school (Evan from Book 1 of this series: NAIL POLISH AND FEATHERS). He’s also extremely self-loathing. He is ashamed of his abuse, and ashamed of his actions and ashamed that he’s attracted to boys. He’s not sure if he’s attracted to boys because he was born gay, or because he was molested by a man and that somehow “turned” him. And, he’s ashamed of that, too. He wants to serve out his probation hiding in Delia’s storeroom and getting a GED and being invisible.

Unfortunately he meets a boy that doesn’t want him to be invisible. Manny is a queer boy who is not exactly out, and not exactly in–he’s Ace (asexual) but thinks he’s attracted to boys. He wants to be friends with Jim, but Jim doesn’t feel worthy to the task. In the background, Jim’s suffering panic attacks over his Facebook account which has been littered with hate, on account of all his previous issues back home. He can’t bring himself to delete the page, however, because self-loathing Jim thinks he should be eternally reminded of his mistakes, and suffer duly. Delia tries and tries to reach Jim, but can’t. Depression takes over and there’s a touch-and-go scenario that results in hospitalization.

This book series is built upon the premise of kids in tough situations making decisions that empower them. Jim doesn’t make these decisions until late in the book. He seeks help for his long-standing depression over his abuse and molestation, he does the hard work of self-examination and he begins to heal. He discusses his history in confidence and that results in further trouble–and new alliances. He finally believes Delia and starts to accept that he’s not the monster that he’s built himself up in his mind, and he begins to see that he is worthy of love, and affection. There are some truly heartbreaking revelations in the book.

While the legal issues Jim faces may not be severe enough, or too severe for others, the fact remains that Jim is a boy on a collision course with disaster before he arrives in Michigan. He is, by turns, neglected and abused and his rage is the product of this horrific upbringing. His self-hate is killing him, and it is only through being honest and getting the support and help he needs that he is able to get out of this dangerous path. Jim makes amends the best he can–by hard work, and living honestly and doing his counseling, and for some this is probably not “justice,” and for others it is simply what was necessary to keep Jim alive. The book ends in hope–as do all the others. I really appreciated the clear delineations Delia and Jim’s counselors give him. I like how he meets people who have been in positions like his, and persevered. Having known molestation survivors, I believe that there are accurate representations of an abuse survivor’s mental landscape here.

This is a hard read, because it deals with really hard topics. Jim was the bully and monster of a few books in this series, and now the audience is tasked with finding Jim a sympathetic character who should be forgiven. I don’t think this is out of the realm of possibility. I certainly found Jim redeemable, and had suspected from the earlier books that he was a closet case. That said, I’m not sure how his story will sit with younger readers. For myself, a white het woman, I have the ability to forgive much. I’m not a questioning teen who may be the subject of homophobic hate, or an adult who barely survived high school bullying–both of whom would be possible readers in this genre. So, the book is good, but it’s going to be controversial for many reasons–most particularly surrounding  the rape accusations, I believe.

Interested? You can find WORK BOOTS & TEES on Goodreads, Dreamspinner Press, Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I received a review copy of this book via NetGalley.

About the Author:
Jo Ramsey started writing when she was five years old and hasn’t stopped since. Between ages 12 and 20, she wrote twenty book-length manuscripts, longhand in spiral notebooks which now dwell in the bottom drawer of her filing cabinet. Jo’s first YA novel, Reality Shift 1: Connection, was published in January 2010, followed in October 2010 by book 2: Filtration System. Jo lives in Massachusetts with her two daughters, her husband, and two cats, one of whom occasionally tries to help her type.

Catch up with Jo on Goodreads, her website, Facebook and twitter.

Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!


HERO-BannerTemplateHi there! Today I’m so excited to present a cover reveal for a new book coming from Mia Kerick. As you know, Ms. Kerick’s work focuses on LGBT teens in trouble, and I’m sure that’s to be the case in THE ART OF HERO WORSHIP, as well. Cannot wait to get my hands on this one!!

Without further blathering…

TAOHW Front Cover-1

About the book:
Trembling on the floor, pressed beneath a row of seats in a dark theater, college freshman Jason Tripp listens to the terrifying sound of gunshots, as an unknown shooter moves methodically through the theater, randomly murdering men, women, and children attending a student performance of Hamlet. Junior Liam Norcross drapes his massive body on top of Jason, sheltering the younger man from the deathly hail of bullets, risking his life willingly, and maybe even eagerly.

As a result of the shared horror, an extraordinary bond forms between the two young men, which causes discomfort for family and friends, as well as for Jason and Liam, themselves. And added to the challenge of two previously “straight” men falling into a same-sex love, are the complications that arise from the abundance of secrets Liam holds with regard to a past family tragedy. The fledgling passion between the men seems bound to fade away into the darkness from which it emerged.

Jason, however, is inexplicably called to rescue his hero in return, by delving into Liam’s shady past and uncovering the mystery that compels the older man to act as the college town’s selfless savior.

The Art of Hero Worship takes the reader on a voyage from the dark and chilling chaos that accompanies a mass shooting to the thrill of an unexpected and sensual romance.

How about a little taste?


No, I’m not even remotely safe. But thankfully I play dead far better than my dog did when I taught him that trick at the age of seven.

The shots are earsplitting and getting louder because the shooter’s heading our way. I’m so fucking scared I’m trembling violently, but I promised the guy lying on top of me that I’d stay still. I concentrate on taking short shallow breaths, one after another, in my effort to stop trembling. To stay frozen—like I’ve been since I pulled Ginny to the floor and promptly let go of her hand so I could curl up into a tight fetal ball.

Somebody near me sits up, scrambles to his knees, and impulsively crawls toward the far aisle.


“Bang, bang… you’re dead.” The voice comes from directly above me; it’s blank and monotone and controlled. The weird snicker that follows is chilling. I want nothing more than to throw the big guy off my back and run like hell toward the double doors, but I just keep on going with the short breaths and stay as still as I’ve ever been in my life. Even in my terrified state, I know that the guy on top of me is totally exposed and I can’t move because I’ll cheat him out of his life, for sure. Which is so not cool when he’s trying to save mine.

I smell blood. Never noticed the smell of blood before. It reminds me of Grandma’s penny collection… if it got spilled onto the sticky floor of the theater. The scent of old copper is everywhere… like wet pennies strewn all around me on the floor.


Shooter’s right above us now. Don’t move… don’t move… don’t move….

“Dear God, help us!” This request seems to catch the shooter’s attention and he turns around and steps away from us. I curse myself for feeling as relieved, and maybe even glad, as I do.


We wait and it seems like forever. We wait as voices beg and plead and pray and he shuts them up with bullets. We wait as the sound of shots moves to the front left near the exit, where I figure he’s shooting at anyone who tries to get out through the double doors.

And then, for a second, it’s quiet.

“Now….” The big guy’s voice is whispering but it seems to blast into my left ear. “We have to make our move now.” Before I agree, the heaviness of his body lifts and I feel cold and exposed. “This is our chance to get outta here….”

His hand is attached to the back of my wrist, clutching me so hard that I know I’ll have fingerprint bruises for a week… if I live so long.

Interested? You can pre-order THE ART OF HERO WORSHIP on Amazon in advance of it’s release on Feb 14th.


Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win a $15 Amazon gift card.
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

About the Author:
Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—all named after saints—and five nonpedigreed cats—all named after the next best thing to saints, Boston Red Sox players. Her husband of twenty-two years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about that, as it is a sensitive subject.

Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled young people and their relationships, and she believes that physical intimacy has a place in a love story, but not until it is firmly established as a love story. As a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with romantic tales of tortured heroes (most of whom happened to strongly resemble lead vocalists of 1980s big-hair bands) and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to Dreamspinner Press, Harmony Ink Press, and CreateSpace for providing her with alternate places to stash her stories.

Mia is a social liberal and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of human rights, especially marital equality. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.

Where to find Mia online: Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.


Surviving the Darkness: LOVE IN THE LIGHT–Review and Giveaway

LITL available nowHi there! I’m so excited to share a review for a new contemporary romance from bestselling author Laura Kaye. LOVE IN THE LIGHT is the long-awaited sequel to HEARTS IN DARKNESS, a novel of two people finding love in a tight situation: trapped in an elevator during a power outage. I just adored Makenna and Caden and was so glad to have an HEA for them once the rescue was long past. This sequel, however, deals with the darkness that creeps in when we least expect it: depression, and PTSD, and finding a way back to the light of love. It was really touching for me, a depression survivor.

Catch my review below and be sure to enter to win one of three totes filled with book swag.

Love in the Light (Hearts in Darkness, #2)About the book:
Two hearts in the darkness…
Makenna James and Caden Grayson have been inseparable since the day they were trapped in a pitch-black elevator and found acceptance and love in the arms of a stranger. Makenna hopes that night put them on the path to forever—which can’t happen until she introduces her tattooed, pierced, and scarred boyfriend to her father and three over-protective brothers.

Must fight for love in the light…
Haunted by a childhood tragedy and the loss of his family, Caden never thought he’d find the love he shares with Makenna. But the deeper he falls, the more he fears the devastation sure to come if he ever lost her, too. When meeting her family doesn’t go smoothly, Caden questions whether Makenna deserves someone better, stronger, and just more…normal. Maybe they’re too different—and he’s far too damaged—after all…


“Readers that have been anxiously waiting for more of this story will be thrilled with the passionate and poignant way Kaye dives back in with this complicated and much loved couple. Love in the Light will have readers falling in love with Caden and Makenna all over again!” ~ Jay Crownover, New York Times Bestselling Author of the Marked Men Series

“Sexy, emotional and incredibly heartwarming, fans of Laura Kaye won’t be disappointed!” ~ Monica Murphy, New York Times Bestselling Author of the One Week Girlfriend Quartet

“Laura Kaye has a gift for writing beautifully damaged men and Caden Grayson leads the pack with enough vulnerability to twist your heart in knots.” ~ Tessa Bailey, New York Times Bestselling Author of the Line of Duty Series

“This book delivers – sweet romance, smoking hot sex, an entire tissue box full of angsty drama, and such love shining off the pages that it will blind you.” ~ Christi Barth, Author of the Shore Secrets Series

“This follow up to one of the most beloved couples in romance is delivered in the emotional and touching way that only Laura Kaye can do. Love in the Light is everything I could have wanted for Makenna and Caden–and more!” ~ Jillian Stein, Read-Love-Blog

My Review:
This is the second book in a series, and can be read as a standalone, but best enjoyed after reading HEARTS IN DARKNESS.

**SPOILER ALERT**(of Hearts in Darkness…because it’s super relevant to the second book!)
So, Makenna and Caden met two months ago when they were trapped in an elevator for hours. Caden is a paramedic; he chose this profession because his family was in a horrific wreck when he was fourteen, and he was trapped for hours upside-down in a drainage ditch with no assistance. His father was unconscious and his mother and younger brother were killed. His family shattered that night, with his father living a half-life that had no love or affection for anyone, not even Caden. Caden still suffers PTSD and claustrophobia as a result of the wreck, but he’s a damn good paramedic, and thrives on his level-head while assisting people in emergencies. While trapped in the elevator Makenna helps Caden with his clautrophobia-induced panic attack. They bonded over them each losing their mothers when young–Makenna’s mom died when she was a toddler.

Fast forward to Thanksgiving. And LOVE IN THE LIGHT. Caden hasn’t had a family holiday since the car wreck. He usually works overtime at the firehouse so guys with families can have the holiday off, but Makenna’s family wants to meet him, so they drive to Philly. There, Caden has to face the gauntlet of Makenna’s three brothers and father. He actually holds his own, despite his anxiety, and is even able to tolerate the appearance of Cameron–bestie of Makenna’s brother Ian and also Makenna’s former serious boyfriend–former fiance, truth be made clear. And Cameron’s sure he wants Makenna in his life.

This book is told from both Caden and Makenna’s POV, so we get to experience the highest of highs and lowest of lows. And boy howdy, does it get dark. Caden’s been asymptomatic for PTSD for a while, but he finally has someone real in his life–Makenna–to lose. And Cameron, successful, attractive doctor, is certainly better-suited to giving his beloved Makenna a far better life than Caden can. Right?

Enter depression and complete freak out and Makenna having her own sincere challenges–that include a pushy Cameron, medical issues, and an unshakable love for Caden. This is a romance that started with an HEA, got mired in the depths of depression, and worked hard to find the light of love. And succeeded. As a depression survivor, the descent into darkness that Caden experiences is eerily reminiscent of my own personal history. The love that Makenna has, and Caden has for that matter, are really intense. Life is not easy, as they both learn, and–what may be more relevant: life doesn’t wait for you to get your act together. So many good parts of the book that touched off memories for me–big family, lots of nosy siblings, ulterior motives, and the helplessness/hopelessness of depression.

The end is a bit of a thrill ride, with Caden facing his worst fears and coming out on the side with joy he never dared to dream. While Makenna tells a lot of this story, I really felt that Caden’s journey was more compelling. Mostly because she’s being excellent and supportive and dealing while Caden is a complete wreck inside and out that must get fixed right this time.

I wonder if we’ll hear more of their love story, but even if we don’t…I’m sure they make it.

Interested? You can find LOVE IN THE LIGHT on Goodreads, Amazon, Amazon UK, iBooks, Barnes & Noble and Kobo


Click this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win one of three totes filled with book swag.
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

HID 99SaleDon’t forget to pick up HEARTS IN DARKNESS–Currently on sale for $.99!

Two strangers…

Makenna James thinks her day can’t get any worse, until she finds herself stranded in a pitch-black elevator with a complete stranger. Distracted by a phone call, the pin-striped accountant catches only a glimpse of a dragon tattoo on his hand before the lights go out.

Four hours…

Caden Grayson is amused when a harried redhead dashes into his elevator fumbling her bags and cell phone. His amusement turns to panic when the power fails. Despite his piercings, tats, and vicious scar, he’s terrified of the dark and confined spaces. Now, he’s trapped in his own worst nightmare.

One pitch-black elevator…

To fight fear, they must reach out and open up. With no preconceived notions based on looks to hold them back, they discover just how much they have in common. In the warming darkness, attraction grows and sparks fly, but will they feel the same when the lights come back on?

Author PhotoAbout Laura Kaye:
Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over twenty books in contemporary and paranormal romance and romantic suspense. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

You can catch up with Laura online on her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Newsletter SignUp.

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Out Today! MOONDANCING–Excerpt and Giveaway!

Hi there! Today I’m sharing an excerpt, exclusive author notes and giveaway in support of MOONDANCING, a contemporary romance for the rest of us…

Moondancing_by_CeliaJ_Anderson-500About the book:
Together since their teens, Molly and Jake have four children, a house in a sleepy village and jobs that bore them to distraction. Their marriage is an accident waiting to happen. When Nick arrives in Mayfield, young, disturbed and in desperate need of mother-love, Molly doesn’t realise that he will be the catalyst that blows everything apart.

Add a headmaster whose wife doesn’t understand him and Molly’s unpredictable, frustrated best friend to the mix, and the blue touch paper has been well and truly lit.

Thoughts from Author Celia Anderson….
It’s still dark as I write this, and the rain is lashing down, but the day you read this will be… (drumroll and crash of cymbals) LAUNCH DAY! So the weather and the gloom don’t matter, because my fourth book has taken a long time to be born and to me at least, is very welcome. The second, third and fourth were written in no time at all, it now seems, but Moondancing has been in the pipeline for the best part of twenty years off and on. It’s been a complete labour of love, although the process wasn’t without its sweary moments. Here’s a rundown of how Moondancing came to be:

1996: During a refresher course at college before diving into teacher training, I had to write the first chapter of a novel. It was then called ‘Something for Molly.’

1997 – 2000: The book creaked along slowly, time being taken up with studying, juggling a job and pre-teens.

2000 – 2006: The early years of teaching were very absorbing and holidays were almost all taken up with husband and children activities. The book moved on slowly.

2006: My husband died suddenly. Writing became a temporary escape from sadness. The book absorbed some very bad moments.

2008: I married again, and, now part-time at work, began to seriously try to finish the book (now renamed ‘Start Again’.)

2010: Discovered that meeting other writers was the key to motivation for me. Book edited by RNA New Writers’ Scheme reader. Report mixed!

2011: I met and joined the brilliant Romaniacs, https://theromaniacgroup.wordpress.com/

2012: First book (Sweet Proposal) published after a competition win with Piatkus Entice.

Since then, two more books and a full time job as Assistant Head later, I was encouraged by my lovely current editor, Christine McPherson at Tirgearr, and also by the brilliant Mandy James, to revamp the first book and send it in. The rest is history. So I hope you get to read Moondancing and enjoy it. The labour has been long but in the end, the birth was almost pain free!

A bit of MOONDANCING to whet your whistle…

Glancing at the kitchen clock, Jake bellows at everyone to hurry up, and runs upstairs two at a time to check on his wife. He’s not surprised to find Molly still curled up under the duvet, eyes tightly shut, the window opened wide to let in the sweet morning air. Tears of self-pity and frustration are trickling into her pillow.

Jake can’t ever remember Molly getting so blind drunk before, even when they were teenagers experimenting with cider from the corner shop. Tipsy, yes. Slightly merry now and again at a party, even wobbly on her feet sometimes and a bit giggly. But last night she’d staggered in from the pub after a night out with her three best friends, cackling like a lunatic and singing something about wind beneath her wings.

What was all that about? Jake had just been building up to seeing if she was up for a bit of a cuddle when she’d lurched off down the corridor and thrown up in the bath. It had been a long night. It’s a wonder all four kids didn’t wake up. Luckily, their huge Victorian semi is fixed up so Theo, Sam and Hattie can have the loft conversion to themselves. Max, in his boxroom on the first floor, is quite able to sleep through a tornado or a herd of elephants stampeding through his bedroom.

‘Can I get you anything?’ Jake says, loudly. Molly shakes her head without opening her eyes.

‘Do you want me to phone work for you to say you won’t be in, Moll?’

‘No, I can’t miss today. They’d kill me. It’s the playgroup cake sale.’

The thought of food is clearly too much for Molly, and she flings back the duvet and hurtles into the bathroom. Jake listens to the hideous noises, rolls his eyes at his reflection in the wardrobe mirror, and goes downstairs to muster the troops. The words ‘only yourself to blame’ roll around his head, but on reflection he decides not to say them right now.

Interested? You can find MOONDANCING on Goodreads, Celia’s website and Amazon.


Click on the Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win an Amazon gift card! Make sure to follow the whole tour. The more posts you visit throughout, the more chances you’ll get to enter the giveaway.
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

celiaprofile copyAuthor Bio:
Celia J Anderson teaches English in a small South Derbyshire town and dreams of living by the sea. Having her previous books published (Sweet Proposal, with Piatkus Entice and Little Boxes and Living the Dream with Tirgearr) has whetted her appetite for the author’s life, but at the moment she is juggling her love of junior drama and writing classes, reading thrillers and drinking too much wine/eating too much cake while she keeps on top of the marking pile. One day…

Catch up with Celia on her website, Facebook, and twitter.

Out Today! THE BALLER–A Sneak Peek

the baller release blitzHi there! Passing on this fun and frisky excerpt on a contemporary romance that sounds downright spicy. THE BALLER by bestselling author Vi Keeland is now available!

Check out the lickable cover and swoony excerpt.

ballerAbout the book:
The first time I met Brody Easton was in the men’s locker room.
It was my first interview as a professional sportscaster.
The famed quarterback decided to bare all.
And by all, I don’t mean he told me any of his secrets.
No. The arrogant ass decided to drop his towel, just as I asked the first question. On camera.
The Super Bowl MVP quickly adopted a new hobby—screwing with me.
When I pushed back, he shifted from wanting to screw with me, to wanting to screw me.
But I don’t date players.
And it’s not because I’m one of the few women working in the world of professional football.
I’d date an athlete.
It’s the other kind of player I don’t date.
You know the type. Good looking, strong, cocky, always looking to get laid.

Brody Easton was the ultimate player.
Every woman wanted to be the one to change him.
But the truth was, all he needed was a girl worth changing for.
Turned out, I was that girl.
Simple right?
Let’s face it. It never is.
There’s a story between once upon a time and happily ever after…
And this one is ours.

A tasty tidbit of that naughty interview…

“You ready?” Nick slung his bag over his shoulder and lifted his camera. The reporter in front of us wrapped up his interview and shook hands with Easton.

As I’ll ever be. “Sure.”

I stepped forward and extended my hand. “I’m Delilah Maddox with WMBC Sports News.”

A slow grin spread across Easton’s face. He surprised me by leaning in and kissing me on the cheek. “Pleasure to meet you.”

I wasn’t sure if he was baiting me into an argument—expecting me to lash out at him for kissing me when he’d just shaken the last male reporter’s hand—or if he was trying to use his blatant sexuality to throw me off. Either way, I wasn’t playing his game. I cleared my throat and stood straighter, even though my knees felt a little wobbly.

“Do you mind if I ask you some questions?”

“Why else would you be in here?”

I ignored his sarcasm. He was still smiling at me. Actually, it was more like a smirk, and it made me feel like a toy he was about to play with. “You ready, Nick?” My cameraman finished setting up the lighting, then lifted the camera into position and gave me a hand signal.

“Congratulations on the win today, Brody. How is your knee feeling after your first game back?” I lifted my microphone high, knowing Nick was filming in close.

“I feel . . . ” He nonchalantly reached to the towel wrapped around his waist and tugged at the corner. The towel fell to the ground. “Great. I feel great. And how about you? It’s your first trip into the locker room, isn’t it? Do you like what you see so far?” His lips curled up into a full-blown wicked smile.

Before I could catch myself, my eyes dropped to his naked lower half. Shit. He was dangling in the wind. I totally got distracted by just how low the thing dangled. It was probably a full minute before I responded to his question. A full minute of dead air time. Great. “Yes. Umm . . . the locker room is . . . ummm . . . nice.”

I sounded like a total ditz. On air.

The jackass continued interviewing me. “Is it as big as you thought it would be?”

“Ummm . . . it’s much bigger than I imagined.”

His smile grew even wider.


I needed to get back on track or my first locker room interview would become a laughingstock blooper. Viewers had no idea he was naked from the waist down. “Do you think you were at one hundred percent today?”

His eyebrows jumped. “If you’re referring to today’s game, definitely. I had one hundred percent out there on the field. There’re some other areas where I have a lot of growth potential, but my knee felt one hundred percent today.”

His pale green eyes darkened, and I watched his long lashes lower. I followed his line of sight, and suddenly I was staring at his naked package. Again. Damn it. My eyes darted back up, but I felt my cheeks heating. I had to end this, or I was going to be beet red on air.

“Well, welcome back. And congratulations on today’s win.”

I waited until Nick lowered his camera and turned off the light. Then I looked right at Brody Easton’s smug face. “You’re an asshole, you know that?”

His eyes sparkled. “I do.”

I heard the chuckles and high fives at my back as I stormed out of the locker room.

Oh Brody, you are one naughty, naughty boy!

Interested? You can find THE BALLER on Amazon (US and UK) iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo.

About the Author:

Vi Keeland is a native New Yorker with three children that occupy most of her free time, which she complains about often, but wouldn’t change for the world. She is a bookworm and has been known to read her kindle at stop lights, while styling her hair, cleaning, walking, during sporting events, and frequently while pretending to work. She is a boring attorney by day, and an exciting smut author by night!

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