RELEASE BLITZ: How to Save a Life by Andria Large

How do you save someone’s life?There’s the obvious way of physically saving them from a tragic end.
Then there’s the more subtle way of saving someone who doesn’t know they need to be saved. Someone who is drowning emotionally and has no idea that they are slowing dying.

Ezra Whitmore is one of those people. After tragically losing his wife, he’s still going through the motions, but not really living. All he has now is his son, Spencer, and his career as a dentist. The life he thought he was going to have has been torn apart. The things he had once enjoyed no longer feel the same without the person he had shared everything with.

That is, until Ferris Jenkins crashes into his life. Not only does the lifeguard save his son from literally drowning in the ocean, but he also slowly starts to bring Ezra back to life.

As soon as Ferris lays eyes on Ezra, he can’t get the gorgeous dentist out of his head. He knows nothing will ever happen between them because…well, Ezra is straight and he’s gay. You can imagine Ferris’ surprise when Ezra gets drunk one night, kisses him, and admits that he’s always been attracted to guys. This gives Ferris hope that maybe, just maybe, he can land the man of his dreams.

Andria is married and a stay at home mother with two crazy little girls and two psychotic cats. She doesn’t go anywhere without her precious iPhone and a purse full of animal crackers. She used to be completely obsessed with the Backstreet Boys, but now is only mildly obsessed (still goes to every concert when they are in town). She loves cartoons and Disney movies, and can probably recite every line from Dumb and Dumber. Humor is a must in her life; otherwise, it would be completely boring. Pepsi is her weakness, along with anything chocolate. She can’t sing to save her life, but she pretends she can when she is alone in her car with the music blasting so that she can’t hear herself.She loves to read Romance. Paranormal, Scottish, Military, Police, Firefighters, Athletes, Cowboys and M/M are her favorite. She is not so much a fan of YA, though. If you haven’t been able to tell from reading her books, she likes – whether she is reading them or writing them – lots of hot steamy sex.
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Loud and Clear by Aidan Wayne

Loud and ClearLoud and Clear by Aidan Wayne

Released: May 23, 2016

Publisher/link: Riptide Publishing

Page count: 93 pages

Blurb:

Jaxon is getting by fine, severe dyslexia or not. Being a cab driver means he doesn’t need to read much, and the job has its perks. The pay isn’t bad, the people can be interesting, and having memorized the city streets keeps him from feeling too stupid.

When he picks up Caleb, a quiet fare in a nice suit, Jaxon doesn’t think anything of it. Then he ends up driving Caleb home the next week too, and the next, and the next. Eventually Caleb tries to communicate—by writing things down. Turns out that Caleb has such a bad stutter he spends most of his time mute.

If only Jaxon had an easier time reading what Caleb had to say. But he’s interested in trying, and Caleb seems interested back. They discover that, with a little bit of effort, it isn’t so hard to make themselves understood. Especially when what’s growing between them is definitely worth talking about.

Our Thoughts:

Loud and Clear is the perfect retreat from life for a few hours. Those hours devoted to two men and their brief, yet impressionable, moments together.

Jaxon is a cabbie who happens to pick up Caleb from an upscale bar on a Tuesday night. From the start, Caleb is quiet, yet polite. Jaxon prefers quiet drunks to those who are loud and destructive. Caleb likes that Jaxon didn’t try to keep conversing with him. Jaxon respects Caleb’s space and that’s why he request him again the next week, and the week after that.

Every time, Caleb is the same towards Jaxon. Quiet and polite. Caleb takes a chance and leaves a note on his receipt. Jaxon is surprised but doesn’t acknowledge it.  How can he? His dyslexia is so severe that he can’t read easily. Of course he won’t disclose that to Caleb.

Caleb has a secret of his own and it become clear one night when Jaxon picks Caleb up and he notices he’s super intoxicated. Jaxon basically saves Caleb from a dangerous situation and that’s the first time Jaxon hears Caleb speak and it’s with a severe stutter. A dyslexic man who thinks he’s stupid because he can’t read and a  man with a bad stutter who tries to break that same stereotype somehow find each other in a big city.

Neither one is inclined to judge the other. It seems that they will have to either make each other comfortable despite their differences and accept them or lose the opportunity to get to know each other. Jaxon is pretty amazing. He goes above and beyond to make Caleb comfortable by learning sign language. So thoughtful and sweet. It’s just a few works and key phrases, but it’s enough to show he cares and no other man has ever made the effort for Caleb before, so it speaks volumes.

It’s the little things like this that were endearing and had me smiling through this story. I’m always partial to characters with dyslexia or other learning disabilities. Maybe that’s why I liked Loud and Clear. Or maybe because it’s a well written short story, unique in content and made he smile…. a lot!

RATING: BAD ASS BOOTS!!

BOOK BLAST: Alexei’s Mouse (Werewolves of Manhattan #5) by A.C. Katt

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Author Name: A.C. Katt
Book Name: Alexei’s Mouse
Series: Werewolves of Manhattan
Book: Five
Release Date: May 20, 2016
Pages or Words: 64,118 words
Publisher: MLR Press
Cover Artist: Lex Valentine
Categories: Contemporary, Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Paranormal, Romance, Wolf Shifters

Blurb:

Alexei Davidoff suffered three years in a Russian labor camp where he was tortured and defiled daily. Alexei knows suffering on an intimate basis. He’s rescued by Armand and Etienne members of the North American Council of werewolves. His household came with him from Russia and all of them are worried that Alexei will go back and challenge both the government and the Russian First.

Then early one morning Alexei goes jogging in Central Park in an effort to get back his strength to fight the Russian First. He finds a prostitute on a park bench covered in newspaper and not moving. Bearing in mind his recent ordeal Alexei decides to help the boy. He lifts up the newspaper and finds a needle hanging out of his arm. The boy is dying of an overdose and he’s Alexei’s Mate.

AlexeisMouse_432

MLR Press

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Excerpt:
Moscow,

February
Four years ago

Ominous dark gray clouds rolled in. Snow came down as small ice pellets that cut like glass shards on the skin. They swirled around the mourners as they stood over the twin coffins. A northeast wind blew over the loup garou cemetery outside of Moscow. It cut through the thickest coats and scarves. Alexei Davidoff shivered in his beaver coat and hat. His Enforcers lowered the bodies of his former Chief Beta and his Beta’s Mate into the ground. Newly joined, they were dead for the crime of being gay and holding hands in a public square in Moscow.

“This cannot stand. There has to be an answer to this, someone has to stand up against these thugs.” Alexei moved his platinum hair off his face. His navy blue eyes flashed both anguish and resolve.

“The perpetrators were human, one of the government’s army of gay bashers, Alpha. There is nothing we can do. We cannot harm a human, and the government gives us no recourse to law.” The Beta shook his head.

“When is the next protest?” Alexei paced across the icy ground in front of the graves.

“Tomorrow at noon, in the square,” Vasily Yudin, Alexei’s new Chief Beta said reluctantly.

“I will be there.” Alexei watched Vasily’s expression. His body folded in on itself in resignation. Alexei knew Vasily realized it was useless to argue. He saw that his Alpha had made up his mind. Alexei could tell his Betas were scheming to mitigate the damage.

“We’ll go with you, Alpha.” Vasily gestured to Grigory and the six Enforcers in the funeral party.

“No, I will go alone.” Alexei clenched his fists and set his jaw in defiance.

“Alpha, it’s dangerous. We can’t let you go alone. If the FSB picks you up, there is no guarantee that the council will be able to negotiate your release. Please, both Grigory and I think you should let us and the Enforcers go with you, or you should stay at home. The FSB under the current president is worse than the KGB that preceded them. Peter and Sasha wouldn’t have wanted you to put yourself in danger. There is no helping them now.”

“I cannot let this go unanswered, Vasily. The man who did this wasn’t even arrested despite the fact that I reported the assault. I must protest to the authorities. We have an obligation to try to right this wrong. He was one of mine, one of my household, my personal staff. I am responsible.”

“But, Alpha, we can’t let you go alone into a dangerous situation,” Grigory persisted. “We would be shirking our duty as your Betas if we let you go alone.”

Alexei Ivanovich Davidoff straightened his spine and spat. “I will lose no one else to the government. As your Alpha, I am ordering you to stay away.”

“Alpha,” Vasily got on his knees in supplication.

Alexei put up his hand to silence his Beta. “I will hear no more of this. I will lead the demonstration tomorrow.”

Vasily and Grigory hung their heads in defeat.

* * *

March

Three Years Later

“I don’t think I can make it,” Alexei said as he attempted to walk out the front gate of the gulag to the waiting car.

“Let Grigory and I help to hold you up.” Vasily and Grigory each put an arm under one of his shoulders and half-walked, half-carried him to the car.

They strapped him in the back and Grigory spent the twelve hours it took to get to the dacha trying to hold his Alpha up so he wouldn’t fall where he sat.

When Vasily and Grigory finally got him into the dacha, Vasily’s mouth hung open in shock when he took off his Alpha’s coat. Their six foot six, two-hundred-pound Alpha weighed less than one hundred forty pounds.

“What did they do to you?” Vasily asked, tears pouring down his face.

“I was caged most of the time I spent in the gulag. They tortured, beat, and defiled me daily, all because I’m gay and dared to report Sasha’s and Peter’s deaths, and point to who was responsible.”

“They call it prison now, Alpha.”

Alexei sighed wearily, “In modern Russia, they call it a prison. But I’ve been alive long enough to remember Stalin, Khrushchev, and Brezhnev’s slave labor camps. They can change the name but it’s still the gulag to me.”

“Alpha, you need to make the change. It will erase your scars and after you’ve changed a number of times, your injuries. It will take a while. Your injuries are severe.” Grigory helped Alexei into a roughhewn chair.

“I can’t change. I don’t have the strength.” Alexei put his head in his hands.

“Katya, Boris, something to eat for the Alpha, right away.” Katya ran to the kitchen and brought back some borscht.

“Finish this, Alpha. You have to eat constantly so your stomach can extend again.”

Grigory and Vasily knelt in front of their Alpha. Vasily spoke, “We’ve been pleading with the First for three years. The council finally negotiated your early release on the condition that you emigrate once you recover. We took the liberty of contacting Alpha Daurensbourg, from Saskatchewan and the Central US…”

“I am aware of Etienne Daurensbourg. He is a friend.”

“The council arranged for your emigration and that of your household. Alpha Daurensbourg will receive you in New York and already purchased a seven-floor townhouse and nine two-bedroom apartments for our people in New York City. Grigory, I, and our Enforcers will emigrate with you along with Boris and Katya.”

“But I have no funds, and you have families here. There I will no longer be an Alpha. I won’t be able to care for you.”

“You are our Alpha,” Vasily said with a stubbornness he had not shown to Alexei before. Alexei narrowed his eyes.

Alexei didn’t fight the emigration, only their participation. Vasily continued, “That’s the beauty of this course of action. Alpha La Farge, who was the North America’s Second, is no longer an Alpha. He is an Omega scrubbing Siberian toilets and can’t make the change. They sent him here eighteen months ago to die in disgrace for kidnapping The Alpha Mate. You have blood right to his territory in Colorado. Alpha La Marche has it now. I know he finds the packs fractious because he has no blood tie and they want one of their own. I’ve made inquiries. He’ll give it to you and you can become Second in North America.”

“I don’t want to be Second, Third, or Fourth for that matter. I can’t save the world. I learned that lesson the hard way. I will see my old friend Etienne Daurensbourg and maybe he can help me find a place to go. I have no funds…”

“Excuse me for the interruption, Alpha, but you do,” Vasily said with some satisfaction.

“As your factotum, Boris handled your funds. He put all of your accounts overseas as soon as the government started its campaign against homosexuals, only leaving enough rubles in Russia for operating expenses. As soon as they arrested you, he liquidated the rest of your investments and wired the funds to our London banker who in turn, had them sent them to The North American Alpha for safekeeping. Alpha La Marche reinvested everything. The American Stock Market has done very well. You are worth ten times what you were before and it’s all protected from the Russian government.”

“We bought first-class tickets to New York flying Air France on a nonstop flight to JFK where Alpha Daurensbourg will meet our party. Alpha Daurensbourg would have sent his jet, but the Russian government refused entry. However, Alpha Daurensbourg obtained green cards for the whole household. It’s all arranged for as soon as you are able to travel,” Grigory added.

It took until November for Alexei to regain his health and put on enough weight to have the strength to make the change that would take away the scars from the constant whippings. He still had some internal bruising that would only go away with time. Alexei needed rest, food, and a place to recover. But, even many transformations couldn’t take away the psychological damage the gulag caused, the malaise of the soul. For that, Vasily thought his Alpha needed a miracle. As soon as Alexei could bring out his wolf, Vasily and Grigory had their Alpha and his party on a plane to America. It was right before Yule.

* * *

At Alpha Daurensbourg’s urging, Armand La Marche, the Chief Alpha of North America, gave Alpha Alexei Ivanovich Davidoff the territory of Colorado and a seat as Fifth on the Loup Garou Council of North America.

“You were Second in Russia, Fifth is an insult,” Vasily complained.

“No, it’s not. I’m grateful. I’m tired of tilting at Russian windmills. I need time to gather my strength and clear my mind. I have a place waiting for me at Garou as the officer in charge of Research and Development once I’ve fully regained my health.”

“You’re entitled to…” Grigory sputtered.

“I’m entitled to nothing. I was born in Russia. My mother was a citizen of the United States. She never filed for American citizenship for me when I was born. It was too long ago. I’d have to forge papers and with my accent, they would know I’m Russian which in the current climate, is not a good thing. I have a green card. I can become an American. For once, I’m going to be able to do the job I trained for. I have degrees in three kinds of sciences. Research and Development is where I belong.” Alexei sighed. “I don’t want anything else.”

“Your status…”

“If you are upset about the reduction in my status, go work for the new Russian Second.” Alexei’s face turned hard.

Vasily bowed his head in supplication baring his neck. “No, Alpha, we’re yours. Whatever you decide to do, we will go with you. I just wanted you to have options.”

“I’m taking an option. I’ll be Fifth and grateful for the consideration. I’ll leave the politics to Armand. Obviously, he’s better at it than we are. Although there has been some resentment, miraculously gay bashing is now a hate crime in the United States, against federal law, and gay marriage has become legal.”

Meet the author:

AC Katt was born in New York City’s Greenwich Village. She remembers sitting at the fountain in Washington Square Park listening to folk music while they passed the hat. At nine, her parents dragged her to New Jersey where she grew up, married and raised four children and became a voracious reader of romantic fiction. At one time she owned over two thousand novels, until she and her husband took themselves and the cat to New Mexico for their health and its great beauty.

Now, most of AC’s books are electronic (although she still keeps six bookcases of hardcovers), so she never has to give away another book. AC is a late bloomer, however, she claims to have found her niche writing LGBT romance.

She hangs out at ACKatt.com and ackattsjournal.com; where she keeps her blog. To get snippets of new releases and Works in Progress subscribe to AC Katt’s Kattery by sending an e-mail to mlhansel@gmail.com.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AC-Katt-62628106022/?fref=ts

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ackatt

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/ackatt/

Website: www.ackatt.com

Blog: www.ackattsjournal.com

Tour Date & Stops:

May 21, 2016
Parker Williams, Divine Magazine, Bayou Book Junkie, Making It Happen, Open Skye Book Reviews, 3 Chicks After Dark, Dawn’s Reading Nook, The Jena Wade, Ogitchida Book Blog, Nephy Hart, BFD Book Blog, V’s Reads, Outrageous Heroes, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Molly Lolly, Oh My Shelves, Happily Ever Chapter, Alpha Book Club, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Velvet Panic, MM Good Book Reviews, Gay Media Reviews

 

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The Trouble with His Lordship’s Trousers (Ladies Most Unlikely #1) by Jayne Fresina

Trouble with His Lordship's Trousers CoverRelease Date: March 14, 2016
Published by Twisted E-Publishing, LLC 
Review Copy from Author

ABOUT THE BOOK:

In Regency London, Georgiana Hathaway has no intention of falling into the conventional trap of marriage and motherhood. She has so much more to do with her life, and a few tortuous years at ‘The Particular Establishment for the Advantage of Respectable Ladies’ has done nothing to change her mind. In fact, she’s already taken the first steps to carve out a career, by anonymously crafting a scandalous, satirical column, called His Lordship’s Trousers, for her father’s newspaper.

But as the misadventures of her comical rake become the most talked-about story in London, and the naughty column earns greater popularity, it is also bound to gain critics. How much trouble can “His Lordship’s Trousers” get her into? She’s about to find out.

Meanwhile, “Dead Harry” Thrasher eagerly reads that wicked column every week. It is one of the few things— other than the obituaries— that make him laugh out loud these days. He lives vicariously through that fictional rake’s antics, because his own life is suspended in time and he sees no reason to move forward. After all, when a man’s obituary has been printed in the newspaper, not once but twice, he has a tendency to believe it. What’s the point of a life over which man has no control? What, exactly, has he been saved so many times for? He’s about to find out.

When Dead Harry meets Miss Hathaway, they will both find their worlds, and their long-ingrained opinions, at risk. She does not want to fall in love with a man when everybody knows the male animal only gets in the way of a girl’s ambitions. And Harry may have survived a “mortal” wound, and eight hundred and fifty days stranded alone on an uncharted island, but can the very private life of this semi-recluse survive the reckless curiosity and impertinent sauce of Miss Georgiana Hathaway?

He’s a naval war hero— even if he does have an aversion to decent clothing and polite behavior— so if this young woman thinks to conquer him and put his life in order, she’d better have a battle strategy. It’s been a while since he enjoyed a skirmish at sea, but Harry has a feeling he’ll love every moment of this one.

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OUR THOUGHTS:

There’s nothing like a really good historical, am I right? Jayne Fresina has penned some stories I’ve highly enjoyed, and I’m adding The Trouble with His Lordship’s Trousers to the list. Her particular brand of historicals is sure to delight and never bore. In a quirky, humorous approach to an otherwise classic trope, Fresina matches wits – and more – of the unlikeliest of bedfellows. Readers will find the end result truly magical.

I’m always drawn to a heroine who’s a tad bit rebellious, and  Miss Georgiana Hathaway certainly fits the bill. Unwilling to simply abide by society’s standards for young ladies, Georgiana dreams of an independent life as a writer. She has a pretty good start on that already, secretly writing an anonymous column for her father’s newspaper.  Now if only her amusing shenanigans wouldn’t attract so much attention and keep getting her into trouble! Her heart’s in the right place, though, and that’s what counts.

In what seems like more than coincidence, Georgiana finds herself frequently crossing paths with “Dead Harry” Thrasher. The former naval war hero is the stuff legends are made of! The rumors and myths surrounding him are never-ending and endlessly entertaining, except perhaps to Harry himself. He’s a quiet fellow who’d love nothing more than to battle his demons in private and live a solitary life peacefully in the countryside. His meddlesome aunt, however, has other plans.

As Georgiana and Harry fumble their way through a forced acquaintance, it’s obvious there’s something more to it. Nevermind being warned to keep her distance, Georgiana is far too curious and strong-willed for that.  Besides, Harry’s odd behavior and secrets present the perfect mystery.  It’s a good thing she’s so persistent, because it presents the perfect opportunity for Fresina to build a relationship between them that’s unique and special.

All in all Fresina’s creativity and powerful storytelling show through in this rather eccentric romance. Her ability to create and develop unique, independent characters demonstrates a depth and complexity readers appreciate.  The interaction of these distinctive characters is the pleasing reason readers keep coming back for more. I know I’m looking forward to reading more of the adventures of the Ladies Most Unlikely.

RATING: BAD ASS BOOTS!

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