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Coffin Hop 2014: Custom Kindle Giveaway!

Originally posted on Michelle Muto:

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Welcome to Coffin Hop 2014! October 24th-31st.

Every year, I participate along with hundreds of other horror/paranormal writers. For us, it’s a way of connecting with fellow horror/paranormal authors, having a great time, and showing you our dark side–what we write. For readers, there are new authors to discover and contests galore. The more blogs you visit, the more treats you will find. But there’s more to it than that. You’ll find creepy articles, stories, and who knows what else. This is a Halloween celebration after all! In fact, I couldn’t wait to start, so I’m posting a few days early.

All month long, I’ve been posting Friday Night Frights. Go check them out! From freaky and fun Halloween themed videos to creepy gifs, or great movie and book suggestions, there’s something for everyone. Watch the book trailer for THE HAUNTING SEASON. Read excerpts from my novels

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By creativedeeds

Billionaire with Benefits Virtual Book Tour

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Voodoo-KenHello, and welcome to the Billionaire with Benefits Blog Tour! *fanfare, etc*

You might have noticed this book took me a while to write . . . or maybe you didn’t notice, but take my word for it, it did. That might be why it ended up longer than it needed it to be. Ultimately we trimmed over 15,000 words from the original Billionaire manuscript, so posts from me (as opposed to spotlights and reviews) are all going to be cut scenes from the book. Sort of like the extras on a DVD, but, you know, not.

A list of stops on the tour can be found here. Why would you want to follow the tour? Well, because I’m giving away a fabulous, one-of-a-kind Voodoo Ken Kit, which the winner can use to seek revenge on any or all of their exes. How do you win? Check the bottom of each tour post for details.

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Billionaire with Benefits

It’s just a friend thing

BillionaireWithBenefits_400x600Before confessing his gayness to his best friend, Tierney Terrebonne’s sex life is strictly restroom. After confessing his gayness to his best friend . . . it doesn’t improve much. Why bother trying when the man he’s loved for fourteen years (see: “best friend”) is totally unattainable? Good thing Tierney is an old hand at accepting defeat; all it takes is a bottle of bourbon. Or fifty. Repeat as needed.

Dalton Lehnart has a history of dating wealthy, damaged, closeted, lying, cheating, no-good, cowardly men, so of course he’s immediately attracted to Tierney Terrebonne. Fortunately, Tierney is so dissolute that even Dalton’s feelings for the man would be better described as pity. Which becomes sympathy as they get to know each other. Followed by compassion, concern, caring, and hopefulness as Tierney struggles to change his life. When the man comes out very publicly and enters rehab, Dalton finds himself downright attached to Tierney. And as everyone knows, after attachment comes . . .

Uh oh.

But post-rehab Tierney can’t handle more than friendship, so Dalton should be safe from repeating his own past mistakes, right? Right?

http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/billionaire-with-benefits

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I originally wrote the following scene thinking that one of the characters in it—Dalton’s roommate, Vance—would have a larger part to play in Billionaire. Why should you care about Vance? Because Vance will care very much about Miller in the third (and final, swear to God) book in the Romancelandia series.

At any rate, this was the sole surviving scene with a peek at Vance, until we cut it. Now, Vance is only mentioned by Dalton a few times in the final Billionaire product. C’est la vie. You’ll get enough of him eventually.

Quick set-up: this scene is in Dalton’s POV, and it’s a couple days after his third meeting with Tierney, during which they agreed to “use” each other for emotional support. The rest of the details should explain themselves.

Tierney didn’t call, not in the first two days after their parking garage encounter. Dalton had never entered into any sort of friendship on the premise of using someone and being used in turn, but it seemed to him the protocol required that the one with the bigger need initiate contact. Apparently Tierney didn’t need him.

It really shouldn’t bother him, should it? Too bad it did.

When he got home from work Thursday night, he went directly to his room and his cat, avoiding his housemates. Instead he lay on his bed, letting his pet comfort him. Or rather, taking comfort from giving affection to his pet, since it didn’t usually work in reverse.

“I found the perfect apartment for us,” Dalton said into Blue’s fur while he scratched the cat under the chin. The potentially ideal apartment had lived up to his hype. “They’re checking our credit history now. Well, my credit history.”

Blue purred in agreement, kneading claws into Dalton’s chest, generally making himself comfortable on his person’s stomach. “Mrrow.”

As Dalton asked, “What is it, baby cat?” the beast rolled over onto his stomach. Of course, he wanted a belly rub. And of course he alternately luxuriated in sensation and mauled Dalton’s fingers, grabbing them in his claws and biting Dalton’s knuckles. Blue was only playing, but he wasn’t the type of cat to pull his punches. The best Dalton could hope for was that his skin didn’t get totally shredded.

“Why am I such a sucker for men whose bark is as bad as their bite?” he asked. Blue twisted, flipping in one fluid motion from supine to the standard, Egyptian cat-god pose. On his haunches, front paws planted over Dalton’s heart, tail wrapped around himself. The way the tip of it whipped back and forth and the slit-eyed expression gave him away though. “Sorry,” Dalton apologized. “How about: ‘Why am I such a sucker for bitey, snarly strays’?”

Blue blinked and looked away, surveying his kingdom, apparently content with that depiction of himself and Tierney. Unconcerned about dishing out abuse, because he knew Dalton would always be there for him. Rub his tummy if he meowed the right way. He dug into Dalton’s abdominal muscles, leaping off him and heading for the door, looking back at his person. Dalton realized the noise he’d only half-heard and barely registered a few seconds before was his last roommate leaving the house. Now that the place was empty, Blue was willing to allow Dalton to feed him in the kitchen.

He shoved himself off the bed. “Time for dinner?”

Blue had finished bolting down his food and had begun licking his paw, then swiping it over his face, before Dalton was done making himself a sandwich. When the back door opened and Vance walked into the house, the cat went on instant alert, paws planted wide, hair standing up, hissing at the intruder before racing down the hallway back to the safety of Dalton’s room.

Vance rolled his eyes. “I just don’t get what you see in that cat.”

Dalton laughed and gave his favorite roomie a bro-hug. “I guess I have a thing for bad-tempered males who’d prefer to hide in the closet.” His high school boyfriend (a closeted cheerleader, of all things), most of his exes, Blue, and now here he was being pulled to yet another man with major issues about his sexuality.

He really needed to change his habits. Stop being attracted to the angry, wounded creatures in life. Other than Blue, of course.

“What are you doing tonight?” Vance asked, stealing a piece of ham from Dalton’s sandwich.

“Nothing. Wanna hang out?” He could use the distraction.

But Vance made a face. “I can’t. I have a paper due.”

Another reminder of the current, discordant state of his life—he had roommates who were years younger than him and in a stage Dalton had moved past. Yeah, things really needed to change.

He went back to his room with his sandwich and dug out one of those books Sam had recommended, because it was probably his safest bet for romance in the foreseeable future.

* * *

Want a chance to win Voodoo Ken? Well, keep looking, because this isn’t the post with the magical question. FYI, I’ll ship worldwide, so anyone can enter.

* * *

webvatarRaised on a steady diet of Monty Python, classical music and the visual arts, Anne Tenino was—famously—the first patient diagnosed with Compulsive Romantic Disorder. Since that day, Anne has taken on conquering the M/M world through therapeutic writing. Finding out who those guys having sex in her head are and what to do with them has been extremely liberating.

Anne’s husband finds it liberating as well, although in a somewhat different way. Her two daughters are mildly confused by Anne’s need to twist Ken dolls into odd positions. However, other than occasionally stealing Ken1’s strap-on, they let Mom do her thing without interference.

Wondering what Anne does in her spare time? Mostly she lies on the couch, eats bonbons and shirks housework.

Check out what Anne’s up to now by visiting her site. http://annetenino.com

Links:

Riptide http://www.riptidepublishing.com/authors/anne-tenino
Dreamspinner Press http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=2446
Twitter https://twitter.com/AnneTenino
G+ https://plus.google.com/u/0/115349772749167236252/posts
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/anne.tenino
Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Anne-Tenino/e/B005FQZOHS/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1381004707&sr=8-2-ent

By creativedeeds

Stand by You (Belonging #3) by A.M. Arthur

StandByYouThree months after his rescue from an abusive boyfriend, twenty-two-year-old Romy Myers has landed his first legitimate job bussing, tables at his friend’s new coffee shop. The job has brought him some stability after years of abuse have left him feeling damaged and broken. He’s working hard on his panic and social anxiety, and those things are often tempered by the big, burly presence of Brendan Walker.

From the moment ex-football player Brendan helped rescue Romy from his ex’s abuse, he’s wanted to protect him. And he does, from a distance, with joking text messages, a new gym routine to toughen him up and a genuine friendship. So far it’s been easy but Brendan’s feelings aren’t just friendly anymore…

When an argument spirals out of control, a hot and heavy make-out session causes Romy’s friendship with supposedly straight Brendan to reach a new level. The last thing Romy wants is to fall for another guy who could potentially shatter him, but Brendan also wakes up a part of him he thought had been destroyed by violence, his heart.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1Yep, another series that I jumped into head first without reading the first two books. This is one that I will back-track to be sure. Not just because I want the set-up and to figure out what I missed, but because I love all these guys and really want to get to know them better. *sigh* Honestly, other than a little bit of set-up and getting emotionally attached to the supporting cast of characters, this could almost be a stand alone. Almost….

What Romy went through before his story unfolds in Stand by You was horrific. His ex-boyfriend’s abuse was bad, but his back story was heart breaking and A.M. Arthur gave it to us in small bits and pieces. That’s a good thing because I don’t think I could have taken it all at once. Readers got the story as Brendan did and he didn’t get it until Romy was ready to trust him with it and he was strong enough to recount it. Yeah, it was that bad.

Brendan was the strong, silent type. He also had a big heart and a need to protect those he cared about. He also reached out to people in the community that needed a helping hand. The closer he got to Romy and the more of his back story was revealed, the more I liked him.

The romance between these two was sweet. Brendan had to come to terms with who he really was and Romy had to come to terms with everything. There were some ups and downs and both of them made some mistakes along the way, but their relationship grew from friendship to something a lot stronger.

There were characters that I hated and some that I really loved. One of them was Brendan’s mom. I admired her for her strength and her beliefs. I wasn’t sure at first, but by the end of the story she was the one who had me in tears.

As for the rest of the characters in this group of friends? No Such Thing and Maybe This Time, the first two books in the Belonging series,  have already made it to my TBR list.

DragonFlyRating4

Bound by Honor (Men of Honor #1) by S.E. Jakes

BoundbyHonorOne year ago on a mission gone wrong, Tanner James failed to save the life of Jesse, his Army Ranger teammate. Before dying in that South American jungle, Jesse extracted a promise that won’t let Tanner rest until it’s fulfilled—no matter what it costs him.

Damon Price loved Jesse, but problems in their relationship had come to a head right before Jesse left on his final mission. Now a reluctant Dom and a man still in mourning, he’s not happy when Tanner appears at his BDSM club. And even less happy with Jesse’s last request—that Tanner sub for him for one night.

After a rough start, Damon realizes that the tough soldier, despite his protests, aches for someone to take control. And Tanner senses a hesitance, an insecurity in Damon that makes him wonder if he’s simply a placeholder for Jesse, or if their tentative connection could grow into something more.

For Jesse’s sake, they agree to try one weekend together. Then duty calls, and a series of attacks that have been happening near the club hits too close to home, making both men wonder if giving their hearts is a maneuver fraught with too much risk…

Product WarningsContains rough language, rougher sex and warriors who fall hard for each other.

This book is the first step in me playing a major game of catch up. I jumped into this world created by S.E. Jakes with Catch a Ghost, the first book in her Hell or High Water series. Not a bad place to start, honestly. Tommy and Prophet are actually an excellent place to start. The thing is, there’s much more to this world than just Tommy and Prophet. (Don’t tell them I said that….) The more characters I met along the way, the more I wanted to get to know them all better. The Men of Honor series is where a lot of their stories began.

You pretty much get the set-up for this one in the description. What you don’t get is the intensity. This is more than a D/s relationship in the making. Both of these characters are beyond broken. Tanner came to Damon out of loyalty – a promise to a man he felt he had failed. He had no idea what he was in for. The alpha male in him screamed for control, but Damon knew better. On the flip side, Damon wasn’t prepared for the feelings that this ‘boy’ brought out in him. He didn’t want to have anything to do with him, but he couldn’t walk away. Once the layers that both of these men kept hidden – even from themselves – were revealed…. let’s just say the outcome was intense.

A lot happened in Bound by Honor beyond the romance. Secrets were revealed, emotions were raw, danger was lurking and trust didn’t come easy. This is not a series for the faint of heart, for a lot of reasons. These men fight hard, love harder and are fiercely loyal and none of those aspects are sugar coated. I love books that make me ‘feel’ and Bound by Honor definitely falls into that category.

There was a lot more to this story than just what happened between Damon and Tanner. The groundwork was laid for the series and it wasn’t just filler. Characters were introduced that not only played an integral role in Bound by Honor, but will be featured in the next book, Bound by Law. Characters that will also play an integral part in No Boundaries, but that’s not only another story, but another series. ;) Yeah, I have some serious catching up to do and I have no doubt that I’m going to enjoy every minute of it. ;)

DragonFlyRating4

Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin #2) by Robin LaFevers

DarkTriumphWhen Sybella arrived at the doorstep of St Mortain half mad with grief and despair the convent were only too happy to offer her refuge – but at a price. The sisters of this convent serve Death, and with Sybella naturally skilled in both the arts of death and seduction, she could become one of their most dangerous weapons.

But her assassin’s skills are little comfort when the convent returns her to the life that nearly drove her mad. Her father’s rage and brutality are terrifying, and her brother’s love is equally monstrous. But when Sybella discovers an unexpected ally she discovers that a daughter of Death may find something other than vengeance to live for…

March 2012…. That’s when I read the first book in the His Fair Assassin series, Grave Mercy. I should know better. I really, really should. I still may go back and read Grave Mercy, but honestly, I wasn’t quite as lost as I thought I would be. A helpful little birdy (aka Book Bender) told me about a helpful little site called Recaptains that jogged my memory just enough to get me back on track. Even without that nudge though, I think I would have been fine.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1I realized half way through Dark Triumph that my usual hesitation with historical fiction wasn’t there. I was engrossed in this story from the beginning. Sybella’s story was heart wrenching. The more that was revealed, the more I felt for her. It’s been a long time since I’ve been introduced to a character that needed a HEA more than Sybella. She feared more than anything that those who loved her would find out the truth about her heritage. The layers of her secrets were revealed to readers as they were revealed to others in the story. And yes, there were tears. Tears for Sybella and for other characters as well. Those revelations and the way that those who loved her reacted just made me love and respect them more.

This book definitely served as a turning point. In Grave Mercy readers learned through Ismae that things weren’t exactly as they seemed and Mortain may have a different agenda than the convent that worshipped him. There were characters that I ended up respecting and characters that I ended up despising. Some of both came as a surprise. One thing that I know for sure is that I can’t wait as long to read Mortal Heart as I did to read Dark Triumph. Not only because I don’t want to feel like I’m missing integral parts of the story, but because I want to keep the connection between the characters as strong as they are now. Plus, I can’t wait to see where the story goes from here. There are still a few characters who deserve justice and I can’t wait to see exactly how it’s delivered.

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Desired by the Alpha: Part 1 by Cassie Wright

DesiredByTheAlphaAlyssa’s life has turned into a nightmare. Stolen from her home and held prisoner at the Silver Dawn Cairn, she can only wait while the werewolves decide if death is more merciful than allowing her cursed heritage to manifest itself. 

Erich North is the alpha of the mighty Chicago Ink Cairn. There is no wolf he cannot defeat, but even he must bow to ancient lupine tradition. Reluctant and bitter, he’s come to the Silver Dawn to fulfill his political duty and sacrifice his heart. 

A chance meeting during the Full Moon Revel sets them on a course of soul-shaking pleasure and inescapable tragedy. For no matter how mind-blowing their mating, neither can avert their terrible fate that threatens to sweep them apart forever. 

Desired by the Alpha: Part One is a novella. It is the first entry in the three-part Desired serial. This story is for ages 18+ and is my steamiest series yet.

I liked the writing style, I liked the characters and I really liked the premise. Yet, this is another case of not getting quite enough.

As the description explains, Desired by the Alpha is a 3-part serial. Even though this installment is only 66 pages, a lot happens. With a few more pages, a lot of the blanks could have been filled in and readers could have become even more emotionally invested in the characters. *sigh*

I picked Desired by the Alpha: Part 1 up while it was free. As of the time of this review, it was 99¢. I really want to continue the story, but given that each installment is about the same length, I might hold out until the entire serial is released as 1 book. I really hope that happens because I really want to know how things work out for these characters.

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Altered States (Altered States #0.5) by Laura Harner

AlteredStatesNew Orleans Police Detective Sam Garrett can’t believe his
bad luck when he’s assigned to investigate a string of gay-bashings turned deadly in the French Quarter. Especially when he realizes Travis Boudreaux, his new, hot, and most-likely-straight partner, plans to use him as bait. The worst part? They’ve got no back-up because the rest of the city is preoccupied by another series of killings — the victims drained of blood.

This is the prequel for the book, Deep Blues Goodbye, by L.E. Harner and T.A. Webb. 

Warning: In this series the vampires don’t sparkle, werewolves kill, and sometimes the men have sex. With each other.

For those of you who doubt the ‘freebie’ method of selling books… Altered States was a ‘freebie’. It caught me totally off guard and as a direct result of reading said ‘freebie,’ I will be purchasing at least one if not more of the rest books in the series. For the record, this is not the first time that this has happened. It’s actually a common occurrence. Lesson learned. ;)

As you’ve gathered, Altered States caught me by surprise. It’s one of those instances where I didn’t read ‘all’ of the description before I downloaded the book. I can’t remember exactly how it was brought to my attention, but I’m definitely glad that it was. The writing style grabbed me as well as the characters. Sam Garrett was an interesting character and Travis soon became a favorite as well. The story was short and sweet and even though the ending made me want to grab the next book immediately, it wasn’t a case of ‘I didn’t get enough’… it was more a case of ‘what happens next.’

Deep Blues Goodbye is the first ‘official’ book in the Altered States series and it is co-authored by T.A. Webb. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

DragonFlyRating4

Watching Fireflies (Love Bug #1) by Jaycee Ford

WatchingFirefliesJordan Hawthorne thought she had it all until a surprise for her fiancé turns into losing everything that she ever wanted. She flees her home in Charlotte, North Carolina to take a new job in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and make a new start where her ex-fiancé can’t find her. Jordan is just beginning to adjust to her new life in the middle of nowhere when a small town cowboy walks in and disrupts it all.

Tom McCloud never had time for a serious commitment, always too busy with running his grandparents’ farm. Everything changes when he stumbles upon a broken-hearted city girl and a steamy buzz ignites between them. But what happens when the city girl can’t stay hidden in the country for long?

Watching Fireflies was a quick read that was kinda sweet, kinda corny and kinda fun with a not so nice stalker thrown into the mix.

I liked the story and the characters were good too, but both the main characters did some things during the course of the story that just made me shake my head. I’m not going to tell you what they did, just because I don’t believe in giving anything away. And maybe hind sight is 20/20, but some of the things that these two took for granted and didn’t think about made some of the scenarios a little over the top.

Other than that, the story was sweet, the romance was hot and steamy and the characters (when they weren’t doing really, really stupid things) were pretty likable. Since Watching Fireflies is the first book in the Love Bug series, I’m willing to give the next books the benefit of the doubt and continue reading. Dragonfly Awakening is the next book in the series and even though the time frame probably coincides with the story line in Watching Fireflies, it should prove to be an interesting read.

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Guided (The Jade Ring Series #1) by Danielle Young

GuidedJo’s life is in danger. And she doesn’t even know it.

A descendant from one of the worlds most powerful Wiccan families, she is hunted by a powerful warlock desperate to destroy her family line.

Kept in the dark, it isn’t until she comes of age and her powers awaken that Jo is made aware of the danger she’s in.

GUIDED by her Angel protector, and best friends, Jo will have to learn to harness her powers before she loses everything.

Guided is the first book in Danielle Young’s Jade Ring series. Trust me when I say that this series is off to an excellent start.

Jo is an average high school student. She’s perfectly content being the wallflower, sitting alone and drawing by herself when everyone else is socializing at lunch. One glance in her direction from a guy that’s obviously too cool to be looking in her direction changes everything.

There’s not much down time in Guided. From the very first chapter the story draws the reader in. Jo is the kind of character that is instantly likable. She’s real, which makes the whole fantasy even more believable. I liked her from the very first chapter. What she realizes, almost as soon as the reader does is that nothing is exactly as it seems and there is a whole lot more to the world around her than she ever thought possible.

Jasper was another character that I was instantly drawn toward. The secrets he holds are only meant to protect Jo and as the story unfolds even more mysteries are revealed. Unfortunately for Jo, even more are hidden. She never gives up though and her strength and determination are just some of the things that make her such a likable character.

There was a lot to love about Guided. The story was fast paced, the characters were well developed and the action pretty much never stopped. The world building was believable as well. The aspects of Jo’s magic being slowly revealed just added another layer to the story.

I don’t want to give too much away because a lot happened in Guided. Some amazing things and some heartbreaking things. And just a warning, if you’re not a fan of cliff hangers, you might want to wait until the next installment of the Jade Ring series is released to pick up Guided. You can thank me later, but if you can’t wait, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Basically, Danielle Young’s Guided was an impressive debut. I honestly can’t wait until the next book in the series is released.

DragonFlyRating4