Learning How to Be OUT IN THE OFFENSE–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a new New Adult M/M romance from Lane Hayes. I totally loved OUT IN THE DEEP END, so I was looking forward to OUT IN THE OFFENSE. This is the third book in the Out in College series, but easy to pick up and read on its own.

About the book:
Christian Rafferty is a talented quarterback with a big secret. He’s determined to make the most of his final season on the football field, and if possible, avoid any confrontations with his conservative parents about his future. It shouldn’t be difficult; he’s become adept at keeping his public and private lives separate. However, when a math class threatens to derail his plans to graduate on time, he realizes he may need outside help.

Rory Kirkland has a reputation for being a tough guy. He’s a former wrestler and recent college graduate who needs a real job. Until he finds one, tutoring is a decent temporary gig. Luckily, his brain is his biggest asset. Rory is a genius. He credits his sport for helping him deal with angst and rumors about his sexuality when he was younger, but he doesn’t care what others think anymore. He likes his new status as an out and proud bi man; and he recognizes something of himself in Christian. But Rory didn’t count on falling for him. When an unlikely friendship collides with intense attraction, both men begin to realize that coming out on offense just might be the surest path to love.

How about a yummy taste?

“Can I do anything to help?” I asked, setting my backpack on one of the two barstools at the narrow counter space.
“Nope. As soon as the veggies are sautéed, we’ll be ready to eat. Want something to drink?”
“Yes, please. Water is fine. Where’s Buttons?”
Rory pulled a water bottle from the small fridge behind him and handed it over, then pointed at a basket next to the sofa.
“She’s hiding behind that basket. She’ll make an appearance if she decides you’re worthy. In the meantime, there’s bread in that basket on the counter next to your bag. Help yourself. I’ll bring dinner out.”
I thanked him, then twisted the cap from the water bottle and took a generous sip before rounding the corner in search of the bread. I was ravenous. I bit into the baguette with gusto before turning to check out my surroundings.
Rory’s apartment was tiny. Probably half the size of mine and much older. But unlike the rough exterior, it was…pleasant. Surprisingly so. A short wall delineated the narrow kitchen from the main living area. There was just enough room for a sofa, an ottoman, a TV console, and a smallish television. Two barstools were tucked under the small peninsula by the cut-out in the kitchen wall. The palette was basic “dude”…dark leather against stark white walls, though a large red throw rug anchored the room and provided a nice splash of color. It was simple—but tidy and very clean.
“Your place is cool,” I commented when he entered the room, carrying two plates and a large bowl.
“Thanks. Let’s sit on the sofa. We have more room to eat there,” he said decisively as he set his burden on the coffee table. “Help yourself. I’ll get some forks, napkins, and extra veggies.”
I obeyed and quickly got to work, scooping chicken fettucine Alfredo onto both plates. Rory joined me a minute later, handing over the silverware before taking a seat next to me. I shot a bashful sideways glance at him as I reached for a napkin.
“Do you eat like this every night?”
“It’s really nothing special. I make sauces in bulk and freeze them. Then it’s just a matter of adding protein and veggies. By the way, this Alfredo is a healthy version. If you want to drown it in parmesan, feel free. I won’t be offended. Cheers.” He tapped his water bottle against mine and winked.
“Cheers. And thanks again. This is incredible and very unexpected.” I smiled as I twisted the pasta around my fork.
“You’re welcome. You sounded anxious, but you said we’re cool. Are we?”
“Of course.”
Rory tilted his head and shot me a challenging look. “Then kiss me.”
“Um…now?”
“Yeah, now. The other night could have been a fluke. Instead of wondering, let’s get it over with. One kiss should be enough to tell. C’mere,” he commanded, leaning sideways.
I set my fork down and met him halfway until our noses brushed. Then I waited for him to make the next move. He stayed stubbornly still. When I couldn’t stand the growing tension, I pressed my lips to his. And wow…amazing.
Rory was a great kisser. He had the simple art of give-and-take down to a science. He molded his mouth to mine and gently pushed his tongue inside. The connection was sweet but bold. It was more about discovery than possession. I hummed as I snaked my arm around his neck, pulling him closer. He sucked my tongue, then bit my bottom lip playfully before pulling back.
“Definitely not a fluke,” he said with a devilish grin.

My Review:
Christian Rafferty is a senior playing quarterback for his small private college. He’s closeted, and terrified that people might guess his sexuality–namely his conservative family. He’d successfully dated his high school sweetheart, Max, who is a current roommate in the house he shares with Max’s new beau, a fellow teammate on the baseball team, Sky. So, things are tense in his crash pad and Max’s also struggling with his statistics class. His coach sets him up with Rory, a recent college grad with a killer bod, tats, and a math degree. The former collegiate wrestler pushes all his buttons.

Christian is a bit startled how much he and Rory get on. Rory’s bold and brash and newly out–lamenting the time he wasted in the closet, and the sweet guy he hurt while in there. So, he’s not angling for Christian to come out. They are having some good times, and Christian’s liking the way he feels around Rory. His playing is going well, and the team’s rallying for a Division 3 playoff berth, but Christian’s getting irritated with the homophobia that’s cropped up in the wake of a fellow teammate who came out the previous season. And, his parents think it’s a bad scene, too.

Tired of living a half-life, Christian is seriously contemplating coming out. But, issues with Max and Sky have him fearing it might not be his choice. Hanging in the balance is a potential fifth-year of school, and a career-path change he won’t have to ask his father to pay for. I liked both Rory and Christian and how they fit together. They have yummy chemistry, and made for some interesting sexytimes. They are also thoughtful and considerate, with real-world issues I could connect with. The climax of the story, however, was a little lacking. Christian’s the subject of a hate-crime, but it sparks him to own his truth and stand up for himself in ways he hadn’t planned. I liked that part, though it took a little while for him to get there.

The resolution is happy with Rory and Christian being stronger than ever, out and proud and living a good life. Expect a new direction for this series to move–batter up??

Interested? You can find OUT IN THE OFFENSE on Goodreads and Amazon.

About the Author:
Lane Hayes is grateful to finally be doing what she loves best. Writing full-time! It’s no secret Lane loves a good romance novel. An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to well-told love story with beautifully written characters. These days she prefers the leading roles to both be men. Lane discovered the M/M genre a few years ago and was instantly hooked. Her debut novel was a 2013 Rainbow Award finalist and subsequent books have received Honorable Mentions, and won First Prize in the 2016 and 2017 Rainbow Awards. She loves red wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband in a newly empty nest.

You can reach out to Lane on her website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon.

Life At The Party: LODESTONES–Excerpt and Giveaway

Lodestones Banner
Hi there! Today I’m excited to share the word on LODESTONES, a YA/New Adult M/M romance from Naomi MacKenzie. Early reviews are very favorable for this ensemble story.

Don’t forget to scroll down and enter the giveaway for a $25 gift card or a free book!
Lodestones 1600px COVER-FrontAbout the book:
On the eve of a new school year, several groups of college students cross paths as they seek out a secret end-of-summer lake party—including Robin and Charlie.

These two inseparable friends discover, over the course of twenty-four hours, that their relationship is something much deeper than simple friendship.

How about a little taste?

Larry holds up the flyer to study the map Florence drew. Barry is leaning to look at it, too, when it’s ripped from between Larry’s fingers.

A greasy man in a campus security uniform stands over them with a pinched expression. His faded nametag reads: Ron Anderchuk. “Another one,” he all but growls. “Where in heck did you get this, boys?”

Barry tries his best to look innocent. Which isn’t all that hard, since he knows nothing.

“Found it on the ground,” Larry lies.

“Uh-huh, uh-huh,” the security guy says. “Extra trouble for littering.” He glares hard at the paper for nearly a minute before looking back at them. “You do know parties like this are illegal, don’t ya, boys? And frowned upon by this here establishment.” He raps his knuckles on the table. “I think it best you stick around here this weekend. That would be best, don’t ya agree?” He widens his beady eyes while he waits for their assent.

Barry looks to Larry. Seeing him nodding, he mimics the gesture.

The security officer’s answering grunt sounds disbelieving. He mutters as he walks away; the flyer with their map is gripped in his fist.

“What are we—”

Larry holds up his hand, stopping Barry’s question in its tracks. “Not to worry; I have a photographic memory. I’ve got the map in here.” He taps a fingertip against his temple.

“Even after all of that? And we do have another problem, if Florence is to be believed.”

Larry hums and strokes his chin. He picks up Barry’s tray and they walk to the windows. The orientation officers are indeed spread across the entire expanse outside, handing out pamphlets and organizing games of lawn bowling and oversized croquet. The entrance to the student parking lot is completely blocked.

Barry should throw in the towel, admit defeat and convince Larry to do the same. And he would, if not for one thing. The one detail that has roped him into the excitement over the lake festivities fully and completely is Kate Zimmermann, captain of the Dicaroon Seadogs field hockey team. Barry was looking through the school’s website while Larry was plotting behind him and he caught sight of her picture. He informed Barry that she was one of the girls who was carrying the van’s bench seat into her dorm room and invited him to the party early that morning.

Barry is in love with Kate Zimmermann. He has been since seeing her on the Dicaroon University website the previous summer. Well, he’s in love with the image of her and her red hair and blue eyes and adorable freckles that are so voluminous that they connect on her face. He has dreamed of red-haired kids calling him Daddy and hitting balls with sticks. Possibly. And she’s throwing the party, so even if Barry will never get up the nerve to speak to her should he live for a thousand years, he has to go. For his future dream-wife.

“Well, then,” Larry says. He sets Barry’s lunch tray down on the bussing station and rubs his hands together. “I guess we are in need of a foolproof plan.”

“A stratagem,” Barry says. He feels immediately foolish for being such a huge dork.

But then Larry grins at him. “Ooh, yes, I like that. A stratagem.”

Some thoughts on LODESTONES from Author Naomi MacKenzie:

Lodestones is a humorous coming of age story about five groups of high school and college students searching out and finally finding a party at a lake in the middle of nowhere. Each group has a different sort of relationship going into the story, be they old friends, new friends, or potentially more-than-friends. It takes place over the course of 24 hours on the last weekend before the new school year begins.

Interested? You can find LODESTONES on Goodreads, Interlude Press, Amazon, Smashwords, and Indiebound.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click the Rafflecopter link below for your chance to win a $25 Interlude Press Gift Card, or one of 5 e-copies of ‘Lodestones’
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Good luck and keep reading my friends!

About the author:
Naomi MacKenzie is a writer and photographer from the eastern coast of Canada. She considers herself a Maritimer first and a Canadian second, or so she told the standardized testing people in essay form during the eleventh grade. She enjoys vegan baking, walks in the woods and, contrarily, hiding from the sun. Lodestones is her first novel.

Connect with Naomi MacKenzie on her website, on Twitter and on Facebook.
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Happy Book Birthday To BURYING WATER by KA Tucker! (And Giveaway!!)

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Hi there! Today I’m joining the Release Day Launch for K.A. Tucker’s BURYING WATER! BURYING WATER is a New Adult Romantic Suspense novel, published by Simon & Schuster and it will blow. You. Away! I really enjoyed her Ten Tiny Breaths, so I’m looking forward to this new release!
Burying Water

About BURYING WATER:

The top-selling, beloved indie author of Ten Tiny Breaths returns with a new romance about a young woman who loses her memory—and the man who knows that the only way to protect her is to stay away.

Left for dead in the fields of rural Oregon, a young woman defies all odds and survives—but she awakens with no idea who she is, or what happened to her. Refusing to answer to “Jane Doe” for another day, the woman renames herself “Water” for the tiny, hidden marking on her body—the only clue to her past. Taken in by old Ginny Fitzgerald, a crotchety but kind lady living on a nearby horse farm, Water slowly begins building a new life. But as she attempts to piece together the fleeting slivers of her memory, more questions emerge: Who is the next-door neighbor, quietly toiling under the hood of his Barracuda? Why won’t Ginny let him step foot on her property? And why does Water feel she recognizes him?

Twenty-four-year-old Jesse Welles doesn’t know how long it will be before Water gets her memory back. For her sake, Jesse hopes the answer is never. He knows that she’ll stay so much safer—and happier—that way. And that’s why, as hard as it is, he needs to keep his distance. Because getting too close could flood her with realities better left buried.

The trouble is, water always seems to find its way to the surface.

BW Teaser 2

BURYING WATER Excerpt:
Prologue: Jesse Now.

This can’t be real . . . This can’t be real . . . This can’t be real . . .

The words cycle round and round in my mind like the wheels on my speeding ’Cuda as its ass-end slips and slides over the gravel and ice. This car is hard to handle on the best of days, built front-heavy and overloaded with horsepower. I’m going to put myself into one of these damn trees if I don’t slow down.

I jam my foot against the gas pedal.

I can’t slow down now.

Not until I know that Boone was wrong about what he claims to have overheard. His Russian is mediocre at best. I’ll give anything for him to be wrong about this.

My gut clenches as my car skids around another turn, the cone shape of Black Butte looming like a monstrous shadow ahead of me in the pre-dawn light. The snowy tire tracks framed by my headlights might not even be the right ones, but they’re wide like Viktor’s Hummer and they’re sure as hell the only ones down this old, deserted logging road. No one comes out here in January.

The line of trees marking the dead end comes up on me before I expect it. I slam on my brakes, sending my car sliding sideways toward the old totem pole. It’s still sliding when I cut the rumbling engine, throw open the door, and jump out, fumbling with my flashlight. It takes three hard presses with my shaking hands to get the light to hold.

I begin searching the ground. The mess of tread marks tells me that someone pulled a U-turn. The footprints tell me that more than one person got out. And when I see the half-finished cigarette butt with that weird alphabet on the filter, I know Boone wasn’t wrong.

“Alex!” My echo answers once . . . twice . . . before the vast wilderness swallows up my desperate cry. With frantic passes of my flashlight, my knuckles white against its body, I search the area until I spot the sets of footprints that lead off the old, narrow road and into the trees.

Frigid fingers curl around my heart.

Darting back to my car, I snatch the old red-and-blue plaid wool blanket that she loves so much from the backseat. Ice-cold snow packs into the sides of my sneakers as I chase the trail past the line of trees and into the barren field ahead, my blood rushing through my ears the only sound I process.

The only sign of life.

Raw fear numbs my senses, the Pacific Northwest winter numbs my body, but I push forward because if . . .

The beam of light passes over a still form lying facedown in the snow. I’d recognize that pink coat and platinum-blond hair of hers anywhere; the sparkly blue dress that she hates so much looks like a heap of sapphires against a white canvas.

My heart freezes.

“Alex.” It’s barely a whisper. I’m unable to produce more, my lungs giving up on me. I run, stumbling through the foot of snow until I’m on my knees and crawling forward to close the distance. A distance of no more than ten feet and yet one that seems like miles.

There’s no mistaking the spray of crimson freckling the snow around her head. Or that most of her long hair is now dark and matted. Or that her silver stockings are torn and stained red, and a pool of blood has formed where her dress barely covers her thighs. Plenty of footprints mark the ground around her. He must have been here for a while.

I know that there are rules to follow, steps to make sure that I don’t cause her further harm. But I ignore them because the sinking feeling in my stomach tells me I can’t possibly hurt her more than he already has. I nestle her head with one hand while I slide the other under her shoulder. I roll her over.

Cold shock knocks the wind out of me.

I’ve never seen anybody look like this.

I scoop her limp body into my arms, cradling the once beautiful face that I’ve seen in every light—rage to ecstasy and the full gamut in between—yet is now unrecognizable. Placing two blood-coated fingers over her throat, I wait. Nothing.

A light pinch against her lifeless wrist. Nothing.

Maybe a pulse does exist but it’s hidden, masked by my own racing one.

Then again, by the look of her, likely not.

One . . . two . . . three . . . plump, serene snowflakes begin floating down from the unseen sky above. Soon, they will converge and cover the tracks, the blood. The evidence. Mother Nature’s own blanket to hide the unsightly blemish in her yard.

“I’m so sorry.” I don’t try to restrain the hot tears as they roll down my cheeks to land on her mangled lips—lips I had stolen plenty of kisses from, back when I was too stupid to realize how dangerous that really was. This is my fault. She had warned me. If I had just listened, had stayed away from her, had not told her how I felt . . .

. . . had I not fallen wildly in love with her.

I lean down to steal a kiss even now, the coppery taste of her blood mixing with my salty tears. “I’m so damn sorry. I should never have even looked your way,” I manage to get out around my sobs, tucking the blanket she loved to curl up in over her.

An almost inaudible gasp slips out. A slight breeze against my mouth more than anything else.

My lungs freeze, my eyes glued to her, afraid to hope. “Alex?” Is it possible?

A moment later, a second gasp—a wet, rattling sound—escapes.

She’s not dead.

Not yet, anyway.

Interested? You can find BURYING WATER at Amazon, Barnes & Noble , iBooks, Kobo, and IndieBound.

BW Teaser 3

Author PhotoAbout K.A. Tucker:
Born in small-town Ontario, K.A. Tucker published her first book at the age of six with the help of her elementary school librarian and a box of crayons. She is a voracious reader, and currently resides in a quaint town outside of Toronto with her husband, two beautiful girls, and an exhausting brood of four-legged creatures.

You can catch up with K.A. on her website, Twitter, Facebook page, find BURYING WATER on Goodreads, find KA on Goodreads, YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram.

***GIVEAWAY***

Click the Rafflecpoter link below for your chance to win

one of 5 Singed copies of BURYING WATER

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Good luck and keep reading my friends!

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She Learned to FIGHT FOR ME–Review and Giveaway

Fight-for-Me-Tour-Banner

Hi there and welcome to my stop on the FIGHT FOR ME blog tour, sponsored by AToMR Book Tours. For other stops on the tour, click here. Today’s book is a contemporary New Adult romance from Bethany Bazile, and does it steam!

Fight for Me CoverAbout the Book:
I just needed someone to show me how to fight for me…

When tragedy hits Alexis Cole is shattered. She carries the blame on her shoulders after losing a big piece of herself. When Ryder Hayes sweeps back into her life, she has something to hold on to, but just as quickly as he appeared he was gone. When fate-or meddling parents-throw them back together they can no longer deny the heat that’s burned between them for years.

Ryder has always wanted Lexi, but he’s never fought so hard against something in his life. Saving Lexi from her past was never on his agenda, but he couldn’t bear letting her drown in it. With his UFC championship title on the line, the last thing he needs is to be distracted by Lexi. When she’s thrown back into his life he can no longer fight their attraction.

But once he claims her he knows he’ll never let go.

***Mature content warning***

This title is intended for Adults 18+ due to language and explicit sexual content.

* If you have an aversion to steamy scenes, you may not want to board this ride, because it will be a hot and sweaty one.*

My Review:

In one day Alexis Cole loses her love, and her twin. Destroyed emotionally, she wades out into the ocean for a terminal swim, only to be rescued by the last person she expected to see: Ryder Hayes–her step-brother, and captain of her every teenage fantasy.

See, when Lexi’s dad died years ago her mother reconnected with David Hayes–her former love. One bad thing? David was married, with a son: Ryder. Ryder was a champion Tae Kwon Do fighter, at 15, and was friendly with Lexi and her twin, Alec. They were great friends, actually, despite Lexi’s crush and Ryder’s stifled interest until the unthinkable happened. David left Ryder and his mother to marry Lexi’s mother. Ryder never forgave him.

Now, Lexi’s 23, and recovered enough from her suicidal depression to be (mostly) self-sufficient. Ryder’s 25, a two-time UFC Heavyweight champ, and he’s loving his bachelorhood. One snag:  His uncle has just died and left Ryder’s training gym to Ryder–and his dad, David. Ryder’s willing to buy out David–to escape any contact with him, but Daivd has another idea–if Ryder watches over Lexi while David and her mother travel, he’ll sign the deed over to Ryder.

Ryder refuses. He doesn’t want to spend any time with the girl who haunts his dreams–literally. He’s had recurrent nightmares since he pulled her from the ocean’s depths. Of course, as fate has it, Ryder encounters Lexi at a nightclub. She’s plastered, and a likely victim–his protective instincts kick in fierce and he brings her home.

Their attraction simmers and roils over the next several days. Some fits and starts, and some genital jewelry later, Ryder is on the verge of alienating his mother–I mean really! How could Ryder fall for the daughter of the strumpet who stole her husband? And Ryder’s scheming ex, Leah, is willing to pull out all the stops to lock Ryder into a relationship. She may be behind the vandalism of Lexi’s car and Ryder’s gym… And, we have some necessary separations–when Ryder enters his pre-fight training commune. They talk all the time, but is that enough for either of them?

But, seriously, the biggest issue at hand–to everyone but Lexi–is Lexi’s emotional stability. And, it’s clearly a super big issue when Lexi ends up shackled to a hospital bed.

If only Ryder would believe that she was fighting for him all the time…

The ride here is intense. Lot’s of emotional highs and lows. The one constant? Sex. Mmm-hmm, there’s a whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on. At times, I wondered when Ryder had time to train, because he seemed to have his hands, and mouth, and hands, quite well and full. He’s an uber-jealous dude, and has been a shadow-protector of Lexi since she put on her first bikini. Their match, as messy as it is, was made years ago, long before his dad’s betrayal. It was good to see Ryder come to terms with his feelings for Lexi, and David. I enjoyed seeing Lexi become assertive and confident again as she triumphed over her depression. I’m glad that she recognized casual hook-ups were not the answer she was seeking–and let Ryder love her with all the depths of his heart and strength of his body.

It’s a super-steamer. Looking for a star-crossed love story with crazy sex? Look no further. 😉

Interested? You can find FIGHT FOR ME at Goodreads, Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

About the Author

Bethany Bazile reads, writes and lives in New Jersey with her husband and two amazing kids. Her passion for writing was born from a love affair between books and music.  She loves books that draw her in and won’t release her until she’s inhaled every word, panting with excitement. Then she realize the sun came up, but the lost of sleep was so worth it. When she isn’t reading, she’s conjuring up steamy love scenes, and hot romance stories to share with fellow romance lovers.

You can catch up with Bethany at her website, Facebook or Twitter.

***GIVEAWAY***
Click the Rafflecopter link below for your chance to win
one of 5 eBook copies of FIGHT FOR ME.
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Good luck and keep reading my friends!
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To Be UNMADE–A review (New Adult Horror)

Continuing on with my pre-Halloween SPOOKTACULAR, I’m offering up a horror novella. I’ve reviewed a lot of Urban Fantasy and vampires and even work on reapers and Satan’s son…

But this one is a killer-thriller.

UnmadeNew Adult horror novella UNMADE by Carol Oates is short and unsweet. A savory mix between Ray Bradbury and Stephen King.

Here’s what happens:

On prom night Lincoln Dowling attempts to save a wounded dog–and is struck by a car. His prognosis is bad–traumatic brain injury with days to live–and his mother seeks the help of renown neuroscientist, Dr. Matthew Baker, to save her only child.

Mrs. Dowling and Dr. Baker have a past–as in they were lovers years before–and Dr. Baker agrees to help, knowing that he saves the child of his rival.

Lincoln’s recovery is astounding. Within a year of the accident he’s fit and healthy, but his personality is changed. He’s no longer the fun-loving, gentle young man who’d save a wounded dog. Now, he’s agitated and aggressive at times, plagued by nightmares of a clawed creature tearing his friends to pieces. Soon these nightmares become reality. Kids are dying. The children of any person who ever wronged Dr. Baker way back in high school, in fact.

As Lincoln struggles to find the answers to the murders locked within his dreams, he’s sure the ‘cure’ he’d been given wasn’t worth the price he’s paying.

The resolution leaves the reader satisfied with a delicious Bradbury-esque twist.

UNMADE is a new release and cheap–$.99 at the e-tailers.

GOODREADS    AMAZON   BARNES & NOBLE

If you check it out, don’t forget to tell me if it gives you the creeps, too!

And, as always, keep reading my friends.

EMPATH! I knew I felt something…

Welcome to OCTOBER!!

At this moment I will simply state, for the record, that HALLOWEEN–the kitschy Americanized givemecandy holiday of extravagant costumes and cheesy haunted houses–is my FAVORITE holiday of the year. Yes, more fun for me than Christmas, kiddos. Because, costumes. I still usually dress even though my next birthday cake will read ANCIENT instead of a number. Luckily, my kids are patient enough to let me dress in some accessorized fashion to their selections. *embracing my inner goofball*

So! In honor of the spookiest month on the calendar, I’m featuring many a paranormal book. Fear not, I’ll still throw in some erotic/women’s fic as is my usual, but there’ll be more Urban Fantasy, and ooh! thrillers.

WARNING: Expect excessive exclamation point usage. I’ll begin Punctuation Camp on Dia de Los Muertos.

Buckle up, folks. It’s gonna be a wild month!

On that note, today’s my day on the EMPATH BLOG TOUR!!!

Empath blog tour banner

Empath (The Flawed Series, #1)Here’s the Goodreads synopsis:
Supernatural empathy isn’t a gift, it’s a curse. Anywhere she goes, Jade’s emotions are replaced by those of the people around her.

Jade grew up in a suburb of Colorado Springs, protected from other people by her parents. Now she faces college—and the world—with nothing to shield her from unwanted feelings.

When Cam, a classmate with a major crush on her, unintentionally hijacks her emotions, Jade struggles to keep from being carried away in feelings of attraction. When Ethan, a psychopath with a thirst for fear, fixates on her, the emotional impact could be lethal.

Caught in a deadly trap, Jade must untangle the emotions and find a way to use her empathic curse to overcome this killer or be overcome by him.

And, frankly, this is only the barest inkling of the plot. Jade encounters several people with gifts that draw her in a way she has never known before. Good thing this menagerie is equipped for the cause, because Becca J Campbell really offers quite a punch in this thriller.

My Review:
Jade Edwards is super-touchy-feely. Because, well, she feels other people’s emotions. Her parents hoped a quiet serene life would keep Jade from the horrors of people’s nasty inner monologues, but Jade is determined to go to college. Summer school—at least. Jade thinks small classes will be manageable.

While there she meets the vivacious Cam, a happy presence whose exuberance and affection is easy for Jade to become lost in. Cam has a delicious—if heart-rending—crush on Jade and his family is just as smitten. Poor Cam’s afflicted by a strange time-warp brain ailment. Every now and then he gets trance-lytized. His brain snags and he relives the past few moments, like, a hundred times. So everything that happened in those moments is permanently etched into his memory. Kinda cool when it happens during Chem lab. He memorized half the textbook in a heartbeat!

Jade is inexorably attracted to Professor Logan Henry—his emotional landscape is a quiet zone in the maelstrom that usually bombards her. And Logan desires Jade—except he’s not into relationships. See, Logan has a secret:  He’s not all human. And he fears anyone finding out about his hidden half.

As Jade and Cam become closer, Logan is more and more frantic to claim her. Oh, and there’s a visually-impaired serial killer who meanders into their town. And, he’s got his ‘sights’ set on Jade. This guy’s a patient one. Catch her he does.

Good thing Cam and Logan have fantastic superhuman powers. Because they need every advantage against the nocturnally-active killer.

In truth, this thriller gets resolved though there’s a serious cliffhanger upon which to hang Book Two…

You can pick up EMPATH here:

US Versions:

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UK Buyers!

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About the Author:
An avid lover of stories that tiptoe the line between fantasy and reality (even when they plunge off one side or the other), Becca J. Campbell looks for new angles on bridging the gap between the two. She holds a special place in her heart for any story that involves superpowers or time travel. Her passion is defying the limits of her own creativity.

Becca’s journey into writing began as many of her other creative endeavors do – by daring herself to try something new. The question “what if I wrote a novel?” and some hastily scribbled notes on a church handout were the inspirations that jump-started her first book. Since then, she has written half a dozen additional novels and several shorter works.

As the wife of a musician and mother of three young boys, Becca’s life is never dull. Whether it is writing, painting or knitting, she enjoys making stuff that wasn’t there before. You can catch up with her in the usual ways:
Author Blog, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, and Amazon

Let me know if you check out EMPATH. I’d love your take on the ending!

Got any AWESOME Halloweenish tales to recommend? Do so NOW!!!

(You were warned about the !!!’s. Sorry, I’m too excited for the CANDY!) 😉

Falling for HIS WICKED GAMES

Imagine being young, attractive and desperate for money…you’d be Lily Fraser, operations manager for the Fraser Center for the Arts, a non-profit community project to help underprivileged kids.

And, she hadn’t been desperate until Calder Cunningham, heir of the Center’s largest benefactor, had inexplicably stripped their funding.

Lily–again, young attractive and desperate–wants to entice Calder to reinstate the funding, by whatever means necessary.

Finding Lily trapped at the Cunningham estate by a flood, Calder offers some of the money back, if Lily can win the games he proposes. What Lily tries to convince herself–that her compliance is all for the Center–is far from the mark, however, and when her controlling ex, Garrett, arrives on the scene we learn Calder’s most-guarded secret.

HIS WICKED GAMES by Ember Casey is a fun caper with quite the right amount of heat.

What I liked about this one:   Lily is able to push past her prejudice regarding Calder and his fortune. She is a driven character who is appropriately reflective and inappropriately brash…all to the good. Calder is an interesting lead, and his perceptive skills are on point. He desires Lily, has for some time, and yet the situation doesn’t feel smarmy or manipulative as Lily seeks to exploit Calder, too.

When it comes to the climax, it is Calder’s advice of that pushes Lily forward, but she makes the tough choice on her own. The ending was satisfying and the potential for more tales of Lily and Calder is a highlight.

Good job Ms. Casey. Keep on cooking up those spicy tales…