Galactic Menace at the PRESSURE POINT–Review and a FREE Book!

Hi there! I’m excited to share a review for a new space-opera, sci-fi novel from Adam Quinn. PRESSURE POINT is the second book in his Drive Maker series, and you’ll need to read FLASHPOINT for it to make sense. But, FLASHPOINT is FREE on Amazon through today, so rush off and pick that right up.

pressure-pointAbout the book:
What does a galaxy fear?

Six weeks after the Trascion Crisis, the Alliance is long dead—but its secrets are not. Taylor Ghatzi knows the truth lies within her enigmatic dreams—if she can decipher them before the Kaleknarians make their next move.

On the other side of the galaxy, Cherran DeGuavra is trying to wrangle the five powers into an agreement that will open up a new era of pan-galactic cooperation—until developments within his own government threaten the foundations of interstellar order.

As Taylor and Cherran battle Kaleknarian plots and Meltian politics, little do they know more than peace is at stake.

My Review:
This is the second book in a series and needs to be read in order.

Taylor Ghatzi is an Admiral from the Order Wars, but lately she’s been an officer of the emergency services that scour the galaxy to aid ships and planets in peril. Most recently, she and her cobbled-together crew halted an invasion force of Kaleknarians (an insectoid species bent on ruling the galaxy) and they seem to be on the rebound to continue to halt Kaleknarian aggression, but that’s not all.

In unraveling the Kaleknarian strike forces, Taylor, a powerful telepath, must untangle the recurrent dreams she’s been having. It’s clear that some being is projecting messages into Taylor’s subconscious, but is that relevant to the cause? Also, the deeper Taylor and her compatriots get to crippling the Kaleknarian forces, the more she recognizes that Kaleknarian’s are not completely responsible for the most recent aggression. No, a mind-altering Spartan Plague is converting the Kaleknarians into supersoldiers built for invasion.

Meanwhile, the slipperiest of all politicians, Ryan Harrison, is mounting a bid for President of the Meltian Alliance. Cherran DeGuavra, ambassador to the Pan-Gal consortium, an association of the five galactic powers that helps maintain order, has been tasked with running against Harrison. For good reason; Harrison is a shady, shady dude. Cherran’s most important job however, is to get a resolution passed to form a defense force against aggressive forces. At first, it was conceived to hold the Kaleknarians, but now the Spartan Plague seems to be the greatest threat.

Even as the time ticks away, we can see that Taylor’s efforts to understand her expanded telekinetic powers will be keenly tested. And Cherran’s efforts to unite the five powers into taking down the Spartan Plague will likely be hard fought and hard to maintain. It’s a tough battle, and there’s plenty of cloak-and-dagger work that doesn’t go exactly to plan. Okay, it goes nothing like the plan. There’s so many layers of misdirection, it’s hard to pin down the real perpetrators, but Taylor does the absolute best she can with the limited tools she has to hand. There’s a lot of space jargon, and the names of some of the characters–and alien species–gets a bit overwhelming at times. Still, there’s no question that the stakes are exceedingly high, and the risk of galactic collapse equally dire.

This is meant to lead into the third book in the series, so we have some resolution regarding the Kaleknarian menace, and a whole new problem with the Spartan supersoldiers. Who is pulling their strings remains a mystery, but Taylor isn’t giving up, and her comrades are dedicated to saving as many lifeforms as they possibly can. There’s a touch of romance here, for Taylor and her crewmate Hezekiah, but it’s tempered by the realities of their predicaments. Do not expect heat.

In all, it’s an ambitious and creative space-opera series that’s got plenty of gizmos, tough chicks and intrigue. I like it bunches.

Interested? You can find PRESSURE POINT on Goodreads and Amazon. And don’t forget to pick up FLASHPOINT-FREE through 1/20.

About the Author:
Adam Quinn is a Chicago-based author of science fiction and space opera. When he’s not writing about the technology of the future, he’s studying engineering so that one day he can help create it.

Looking for more of Adam’s work? Check out his Facebook page, or his website to learn about all his current work, and subscribe to his newsletter to make sure you’re the first to know about new releases.

Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!

Galactic Battles at the FLASHPOINT-A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a brand new space opera/sci-fi adventure by a brand new author, Adam Quinn. If you’ve liked sagas like Star Wars and Star Trek, you might could be interested in FLASHPOINT.

Flashpoint (Book One of the Drive Maker Trilogy)About the book:
Guilt-ridden over her role in the cataclysmic Order War, Taylor Ghatzi decided to retire from galactic politics and dedicate her life to the Emergency Service—until a deadly terror attack strikes her home world, and she may be the only one able to unravel the mystery behind it.

Meanwhile, Cherran DeGuavra, the son of the most important statesman in the past century, gave up on trying to reunite the galaxy frayed by his late father’s greatest mistake, but now must call upon all of his diplomatic powers to prevent it from tearing itself even further apart.

With the galaxy’s powers on a war footing and their own government obstructing them, Taylor and Cherran may need to start a fight to prevent one.

My Review:
This is the first book in a sci-fi space opera trilogy and is an excellent first book by a young author.

The galaxy is still healing from the Order War which claimed billions of lives in the quest for freedom from the repressive Galactic Government. Ten years ago marked the final battle, and General Taylor Ghatzi, a powerful telekinetic female humanoid, was on the front line at the point of the Pyrrhic victory. It’s where Taylor lost her friend and partner, Prince Steve.

Now, the galaxy is splintered into several factions, some systems under better (Meltian Empire) rule while others were in worse (Kaleknarian Empire) control. On Icarus Day, the annual remembrance of the final Order War battle, Admiral Ghatzi is caught is a deadly battle with fire-throwing telekinetics (aka Firestormers) from a rebel organization calling itself the Alliance. She’s able to save many, due to her quick thinking and quicker reflexes, including Hezekiah, her second in command. Hezekiah is a man she might find some solace with, if she wasn’t his commander, and if he doesn’t get killed first. Hashing out the goals and leadership of the Alliance is as high on Taylor’s list of priorities as is preventing any movement that could tip the precarious galactic power structure into war.

Cherran DeGuavra is a Meltian diplomat charged with filling his father’s large, and powerful, shoes in keeping the balance of peace in the galaxy. He’s all about the appearance of calm, knowing that a single misstep could be seen as aggression in PanGal, the loose association of ambassadors from all the empires. That the Kaleknarians have aggressively occupied Tracsion, the only system planet that mines flip-drive powering tracsionite, is a move toward war. Cherran also believes the Meltian government is not as cohesive as the president would like–specifically Ryan Harrison, chair of the Defense branch, seems to have far too many secrets, and some odd over-reaching goals, for a peacetime commander. That Harrison wants to send a powerful contingent of warships to liberate Tracsion, as well as take out colluders to the Icarus Day attackers–the small rebel Jacobian organization–is also suspect, especially for Admiral Ghatzi. She believes Harrison may be protecting the very people behind the attack, using his political will to take out rival organizations.

The stage is set for battle and it’s up to Taylor to navigate the frontlines with caution, and competence, while Cherran works his diplomatic magic–both endeavoring to maintain the peace, free the oppressed, and figure out Harrison’s angle. It’s a tense book, with several battles and skirmishes spanning what amounts to roughly two weeks’ time. Through the dual POV, Taylor and Cherran, we get both the political and the tactical sides of the experience, and there’s a tiny dash of romance–Taylor definitely has feelings for Hezekiah, which seem to be reciprocated. I expect the next book will explore this relationship as it develops from genial commander-subordinate to a more equality-type romantic one. I liked the action and the adventure of this galaxy, and the creativity of the many factions. The political intrigue was also good, but a little harder for me to follow with Cherran’s POV, compared to the investigation being run by Taylor and her commander. It think this is an inherent problem with the shell-game that is politics, than with the author’s skill, however. It’s always a tough piece to write, and to understand, when the characters can’t see the full picture due to elaborate subterfuge by the main antagonist, in this case Harrison.

Still, I really enjoyed the book. I’m a fan of adventure sagas, and this one’s definitely headed in a great direction, with Harrison’s main objective still a bit murky, and Taylor, Hezekiah, Cherran and others keeping very close tabs on him. It’s unclear if Harrison’s a mastermind, bent on ultimate galactic control, or a puppet whose nefarious projects have taken on their own new and dangerous roles. There are so many characters, it’s a little hard to track everything, but I found the pace to be good, with little down-time. The goals are always for peace, even if some battle is necessary to achieve it. Taylor’s battle scars are not only physical, she still suffers nightmares of her time in the War; and her growing affection for Hezekiah is scary–she doesn’t want to lose another lover, like she did with Steve. It’s endearing. I’m anxious to see how all of this plays out in the coming books. A great first book in a series, and one I’ll continue to follow, for sure.

Interested? You can find FLASHPOINT on Goodreads and it’s on sale at Amazon for $.99.

About the Author:
Adam Quinn is a Chicago-based author of science fiction and space opera. When he’s not writing about the technology of the future, he’s studying engineering so that one day he can help create it.

Looking for more of Adam’s work? Check out his Facebook page, or his website to learn about all his current work, and subscribe to his newsletter to make sure you’re the first to know about new releases.

Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!

Cover Reveal and Giveaway for SLASH OP

Slash Op Banner
Hi there! I’m getting in on a cover reveal for J Johanis’ upcoming release, SLASH OP. It’s a sci-fi M/M novella that features a mission-ready operative heading deep into dragon country. It’s the second novella in the Bound By Ink series, so be sure to check out DRAGO STAR, too.

Slash Op 3D largeAbout the book:
The White House has ordered the execution of a highly sensitive covert operation in dragon-occupied territory. Though a Slash Op has a zero percent survival rate, the commanding general is forced to enlist his most prized officer for the task.

Major Gideon is embarking on his first mission in the dragon district. Yet Gideon has hardly recovered from all that Drago made him endure. For the past three months, Gideon has been plagued with dreams of Drago terrorizing him, but his dreams have gradually turned into sexual fantasies. Despite coming to terms with his longing to have Drago in bed, Gideon cannot suppress his desire to beat Drago’s face in. When Gideon is called for a mission in the most dangerous district on Earth, what freaks him out the most is the prospect of seeing Drago again.

Content Advisory: Graphic violence, dragon sex, & non-con.

Interested? You can pre-order SLASH OP in advance of it’s 2/29 release on Amazon, and AllRomance (50% off Pre-Order Sale!)

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win a $10 Amazon GC or one of five copies of DRAGO STAR, the first book in the series.
Good luck and thanks for popping in!

About the Author:
J. Johanis writes dark erotic m/m and enjoys creating worlds that are myth-based or historical.

Author Links: WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | FACEBOOK PAGE | TWITTER | PINTEREST | GOODREADS | BLOG | NEWSLETTER SIGN-UP

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Revolution and Romance: SONG OF THE NAVIGATOR–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a futuristic M/M sci-fi romance from Astrid Amara. SONG OF THE NAVIGATOR is part Dune, part Star Trek, and an enemies-to-lovers romance. I found it engaging and would love to read a sequel.

Song of the NavigatorAbout the book:

Worst Possible Birthday: Being sold into slavery by none other than your lover.

Tover Duke’s rare ability to move anything instantly across light-years of space makes him a powerful, valuable asset to the Harmony Corporation, and a rock star among the people of the colonies. His life is luxurious. Safe. Routine.

He has his pick of casual hookups passing through Dadelus-Kaku Station. His one brush with danger of any kind—the only bright spot in his otherwise boring life—is Cruz Arcadio, a dark-haired, hard-bodied engineer whose physical prowess hints he’s something much more.

When a terrorist abducts Tover, hurling him into a world of torture, exploitation and betrayal, it’s with shattering disbelief that he realizes his kidnapper is none other than Cruz. As Tover struggles to find the courage to escape his bondage, he begins to understand the only way to free his body, his mind—and his heart—is to trust the one man who showed him that everything about his once-perfect life was a lie.

Warning: This story contains descriptions of extreme violence and assault. It also contains graphic sexual depictions. It also has a lot of birds. And pirate movies from the future. And romance.

My Review:

4.5 Stars for this futuristic M/M adventure romance.

Tover Duke is one of 42 navigators in the galaxy. He is esteemed by all for his ability to shift cargo and people, using his voice and some sophisticated technology and body implants, and is well paid for his service to the Harmony Corporation. He loves his beautiful hotel suite home, and his aviary stocked with tame birds, but he doesn’t love how he has to sneak around to find men for his pleasure. Harmony Corp doesn’t approve of same-sex relationships, and Tover has had to hide behind trysts with women. He has one special man he routinely seeks out–Cruz, an engineer who occasionally pops into the space station where Tover lives and works, but those reunions are few and far between.

On Tover’s 30th birthday there’s a huge celebration–and it’s interrupted by the advent of a disheveled Cruz popping in and taking Tover hostage. Cruz convinces Tover to “jump” them both to a remote space station. As soon as they arrive, Tover is taken into custody, and traded to pirates aboard the station to secure the release of Cruz and his associates. (It seemed clear that this was the best of a lot of bad options for Cruz, and one he agreed to reluctantly.) While imprisoned on the pirates’ vessel, Tover is beaten and tortured for his unwillingness to assist moving the pirates’ cargo.

He’s rescued later, but the damage has been done. His torture has resulted in psychological damage that causes him physical and visceral pain whenever he even considers “jumping.” That doesn’t bode well for Tover’s illustrious career in transport. While recuperating in a locale that’s surrounded by enemies, Tover begins to see that his early life was not a roasy as it seemed, and his work for Harmony not as straight-forward. Cruz is back, and his true colors are shown in a way that earns Tover’s grudging acceptance.

I loved how this story worked. It had excellent elements of futuristic life, and technological elements that thrilled my inner-geek. The love story between Tover and Cruz is rocky, but took it’s natural course toward an eventual and appropriately delayed HEA. In the reading I was struck by parallels to Dune: galaxy-bending transport, falling in with a native of a foreign world, understanding and championing the underdog against a galactic behemoth hierarchy.

I’ve had this one in my TRB for too long, and relished the rich world-building. I think the big disappointment I had was a lack of the dialogue/culture uniqueness. Cruz and his associates speak Spanish, and have a deeply Hispanic culture. While I liked that there was some cultural inclusion, it was not terribly different from today’s speech or manner. And, that was my disappointment. Having been a long time fan of the richness of alien culture (think Enemy Mine, think Star Trek etc) having these CO2-breathing humanoids sit down to a table full of tamales was…anti-climactic. It’s like having a Klingon sit down to the traditional feast of hamburgers. That said, the story was truly compelling and the love story one to root for. There are few sexytimes, but what exist are tender and passionate. I really enjoyed this one and hope there might be more work in this world to enjoy.

Interested? You can find SONG OF THE NAVIGATOR on Goodreads, Samhain Publishing, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and AllRomance.  I received a review copy via NetGalley.

Astrid AmaraAbout the Author:

Astrid Amara lives in Bellingham, Washington with her husband, three dogs, three goats, and a horse. By day she is a civil servant. Her free time is devoted to her writing, working for animal rights and rescue organizations, and sleeping.

She is a returned Peace Corps Volunteer and a graduate of Western Washington University.

Her novel The Archer’s Heart was a finalist for the 2008 Lambda Literary Award for Best Sci-fi/Fantasy/Horror. Hell Cop won the XXXX Rainbow Award for best anthology.

You can find Astrid on her website, Facebook, and twitter.

Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!

Space Farm? HELL FOR THE COMPANY–Review and Giveaway

HFTC-BannerHi there! Today I’m sharing a review for wacky and wild jaunt through space. HELL FOR THE COMPANY is a fun futuristic M/M supernatural romance I had the chance to review on audiobook. Author Angel Martinez weaves a fantastic yarn about demon space merchants who inadvertently rescue a defecting angel. Also, floating cows. Yep. It’s a bizarre trip.

HftCAudioAbout the book:

Shax, the Demon Prince of Thieves, has reconciled himself to exile. He has a grand time careening around the galaxy as a high-end, intergalactic purloiner of pretties. Everything’s going just fine, thank you very much. All right, fine, the anti-gravity cows are a bit problematic and some of his buyers are bad for his health, but he manages until he comes across an injured angel in a psychedelic alien jungle.

He only rescues the wing boy for his golden feathers, but what Shax doesn’t know about angels could fill an intergalactic encyclopedia.

My Review:
First off, this is an audio book of roughly 2 hours in length. I enjoyed every second of it. The narrator, Vance Bastian, is engaging and makes the story really pop. His voice is well-suited to the major characters. While the narrator’s voice sounds “young” I think he did a great job conveying Shax’s bravado, shy flower Nes, and a sassy falsetto for “Ivana” the ship’s drag queen audio file. Bastian seemed to have a good range of voice timbres, allowing the gruff voice of Varin to sound completely separate from the others, and good pacing. On the whole, I enjoyed the audio book very much.

Shax is a prince from Hell, Varin is his compatriot demon, and both of them are hurtling through space on a small freighter, attempting to turn a tidy profit while keeping well clear of Earth. Shax is a playful being, eager to charm and sure to find the “pretties” he’d like to swipe, because he’s a thief demon, I guess. Varin is a more impatient sort of demon, mechanically-inclined and not thrilled with Shax’s antics.

While en route to deliver a cargo of floating cows, they detour to an uninhabited planet and recover an escape pod. Inside they find an angel, completely unconscious, and injured. Shax is captivated not only by the angel’s golden feathers, but also by the beautiful man before him. Problem is, Angels and Demons have been fighting each other for eons. Shax begs Varin to let him keep the pretty angel, and while they travel they get to know one another. Nes, as Shax dubs their passenger, is a lower eschelon angel, who cannot believe that Shax and Varin aren’t plotting to kill him.

This is a super fun story. Really. It’s so completely wacky, I had to stifle my laughter when listening on my earbuds so strangers didn’t give me the side eye. Shax is a great MC, and he’s so captivated by Nes. Nes is delightfully innocent, and naive, constantly surprised and unsettled by Shax’s propositions and veracity. I really dug the idea of space demons and angels. Expect double-crossing humans, a sassy computer, and a cargo hold filled with sexual tension, but no actual sexytimes.

Interested? You can find HELL FOR THE COMPANY on Goodreads, iTunes,
Amazon, and Audible.

Download a sample of the audiobook here!

How about some insights from Verin…

The author catches Verin Hammer, demon ship’s pilot and all around grouch, in a rare good mood over coffee and cinnamon rolls for a (brief) interview:

A: So Ver…you and Shax have known each other a long time…

Verin: I thought you were asking questions. That’s not a fucking question.

A: I’m getting to it. Hold your garters. When did you first meet?

Verin: Bunch of centuries ago.

A: *exasperated sigh* Can you tell us how you first met?

Verin: You’re not real good at this, are you? Yeah, guess I can. Hadn’t hit my full growth yet. Some older demon punks decided I looked like easy pickings, so they jumped me. Shaxy came riding by – literally on his high horse, damn demon prince. He had some big night mares back then. Anyway, Shax may be bad but he doesn’t like shit that’s not fair, right? So he orders the punks off. Let his horse kick a couple in the bargain. Arrogant little son of a—

A: And you were instant friends?

Verin: Absofuckinglutely not. He was just a kid, too, and his mommy wouldn’t let him have minions. So he figured he’d tell her I was a friend. But, yeah, he wanted a minion. I told him to piss off.

A: But you stayed with him anyway?

Verin: *shrugs* Didn’t have anything better to do. Living with him in a palace was better than scraping by in the slums of Hell.

A: So eventually…

Verin: Look, I know what you’re getting at. Yeah, Shaxy’s my friend. Dunno when it happened exactly, but it did. He’s a bonehead and a high-handed little prick, but he keeps life interesting. He decides what stupid shit we’re gonna get into next and I keep him from getting his skinny ass killed. And no, we never fucked. Cause everyone always asks that. He’s not anywhere near what I go for.

A: Oh, um, good. Now if we could just touch on some of the—

Verin: Nope. I’m done. That’s all the stupid questions I have time for this year. This century. Hell, maybe ever. *Verin stomps off in a cloud of steam*

(Verin can be found in every Brimstone book, and is voiced perfectly by Vance Bastian in the Hell For The Company audio edition.)

****GIVEAWAY****

Click the Rafflecopter link below for your chance to win a $10 Amazon GC.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

Meet the author:
While Angel Martinez is the erotic fiction pen name of a writer of several genres, she writes both kinds of gay romance – Science Fiction and Fantasy. (That’s a Blues Brothers’ joke FYI!!) Currently living part time in the hectic sprawl of northern Delaware, (and full time inside the author’s head) Angel has one husband, one son, two cats, a changing variety of other furred and scaled companions, a love of all things beautiful and a terrible addiction to the consumption of both knowledge and chocolate.

Catch up to Angel on Facebook, twitter, Pinterest, and her website.

Meet the narrator:
Vance Bastian loves being a professional storyteller. He writes urban fantasy about sandmen and reapers. He has grown his acting and voice background into a career performing voice-over work and narration for both radio and audiobooks. He is also a founding host of the WROTE podcast – bringing you interviews and news of authors who write, perform, and tell LGBTQ stories. When nobody’s looking, Vance is a complete sci-fi and fantasy geek.

For more on Vance, please visit his website.
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