Tag Archives: California

Stripped Raw – Coffin Nails MC California (Sex & Mayhem #3) by Miss Merikan

Stripped Raw coverRelease Date: April 2, 2015
Published by Acerbi & Villani Ltd
Review Copy from Author

ABOUT THE BOOK:

— What’s left when you strip away the lies? —

Sam. Loyal to the Coffin Nails MC. Lives by his own rules.
Weakness: Damsels in distress.
Jolie. In a deeply ambiguous relationship with the Coffin Nails MC. Lives from paycheck to paycheck.
Weakness: Bad boys.

As a patched member of the Coffin Nails MC, Sam is finally living the life he was destined for. A life of Harleys, guns, drugs, and eating pussy. A life of brotherhood above all.
When he goes to pick up some pot brownies for the club president’s old lady, he meets a girl so sweet, his inner wolf wants to eat her there and then. What is supposed to be a typical fling, gets damn more complicated when the Coffin Nails decide to involve the pretty blonde baker in their drugs operation.

Jolie has a knack for baking delicious cakes, but when it comes to her taste in men, she is a self-professed failure. After a disastrous relationship, she is still picking up the pieces and working three jobs to manage the financial carnage her ex left her with. The last thing she needs is a hot piece of tattooed hunk stomping into her life. Sam calls her ‘Candy’, but with a talent for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, Jolie should be called ‘Trouble’.

To be with Jolie, Sam would have to disclose a secret he kept locked away for years. A secret so raw, that it might destroy his place in the brotherhood he’s fought so hard to be a part of.

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POSSIBLE SPOILERS:

Themes: Outlaw motorcycle club, drugs, gender identity, secrets, misunderstandings, criminal activity, entrepreneurship, bad luck, debt

OUR THOUGHTS:

If you’ve been reading the Sex & Mayhem series, you’ll notice this is a different sort of book. I was warned ahead of time that this one features a different chapter of the Coffin Nails based in California, so I was prepared for a new cast of characters. It’s nice to know this chapter of Coffin Nails is full of guys just as deplorable as the original.  The author switch from K.A. Merikan to Miss Merikan suggests a slant toward more m/f romance, which is true…to an extent. You see, those clever Merikans managed to create a het pairing with a twist making for a very interesting read.

On the surface, I enjoyed this book for the sex and mayhem promised in the series’ title. That alone is reason to read this book – it’s full of the unique plots and events I’ve come to expect from Miss Merikan. The Coffin Nails are hard core, constantly at the center of one dangerous job or another. I love the edge with which Merikan delivers the story,  rough and tough just like the Nails. The sex is playful and intense with a side of kink. These guys don’t mess around no matter what they’re doing, and that includes activities in the bedroom. (Or against the wall.) ;)

Despite expecting the unexpected from Merikan, I never for a second saw Sam’s secret coming. If you look at the spoiler themes for the book, I’m sure you can make a good guess as to what it is, but it still took me by surprise. I applaud Merikan for such an ingenious decision, and I love the way she handles it with the utmost respect, sensitivity and honesty. Knowing someone as tough as Sam harbors a secret that can ruin him gives him a vulnerability uncommon to his tough guy character, increasing the complexity of an already complicated situation. This is the type of writing that sets this story apart from other criminal/outlaw stories. Many authors write entertaining, action-packed, high-level crime novels, but not all create these kinds of nuances unique to the players. Sam lives in constant fear of being found out, and it’s not just the club that has the power to hurt him. Letting anyone too close – even the seemingly harmless Jolie – could change everything.

Looks like the fourth book in this series heads back to where it all began. No Matter What released in April, so no waiting to see what happens next. Sounds like a little bit of catfishing going on in Ghost’s story; can’t wait to see what happens when he finds out the truth about Zara.

RATING: ONE SNEAKER, ONE BAD ASS BOOT!

BLOG TOUR: Black Dog Blues by Rhys Ford

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Welcome to the Black Dog Blues Blog Tour!! We’re excited to help celebrate the re-release of Rhys Ford’s fantastic urban fantasy from DSP Publications on February 3rd. We’ve got Rhys here with us to tell you all about the book, tour and how you can win by collecting the Black Dog Blues Trading Cards. Be sure to check out ours below!

A few years ago, I wrote an urban fantasy called Black Dog Blues. When the book simmered and boiled in my brain, there were a few things I wanted to have in this book: An elf who was unapologetically bisexual and raised human, blood, gore, guns and monsters.I’d released it into the wilds of self-pubbing— mostly because there wasn’t a place for him then— and Kai did pretty well.

Then, one day at a yarn store, Elizabeth North of Dreamspinner Press fame, started talking about a new venture they were trying out—DSP Publications, DSP’s boutique genre imprint. Long story short, Eliza- beth asked if I’d submit Black Dog Blues, I did and now, here we are—with Kai making his way into the mainstream.

Repackaged and gone over again for red squiggles, Black Dog Blues is getting a re-release on February 3rd and I can’t be more excited. The story is the same but Anne Cain rocked me a new cover, more in line with the urban fantasy feel of that genre and I’ve had a chance to kick a few of the tires I wanted to kick in editing. The biggest thing about this re-release is that Kai is going out there again and I can put his sequel firmly into my queue.

So to celebrate Black Dog Blues’ re-release, I’m holding a 12 stop blog tour where YOU can win a dragon. Well, a stuffed dragon. Who’s kind of goofy. And much less terrifying than the one Kai ran into. Leave a comment or use the widget the blog’s provided and enter to win one of these plush dragons! International welcome. Dragons for all. Mostly because man, they’re HUGE and take up a lot of space in the guest room.

BDB_Dragon_Prize

As an added bonus, be sure to collect ALL of the Black Dog Blues trading cards and return to my blog rhysford.com at the end of the tour for a special giveaway. You’ll need the cards to enter. Winner will be chosen randomly from entrants with the correct answers.

Black Dog Blues Trading Card
These fine collectibles showcase some of the many creatures and inhabitants of Kai Gracen world. Just like life, there are no true good or evil creatures. It’s just that some of them are more wicked and deadlier than others.

Phoenix Trading Card If you’ve already read Black Dog Blues, thank you. REALLY. Thank you. You rock and you’ve made Black Dog Blues a success and got it notice. I cannot say thank you enough. No need to re-buy the book but if you’d left a review on Amazon—and have the time—repost it onto the new listing. Unlike Goodreads, re- release reviews don’t carry over. *grins*

If you haven’t read Black Dog Blues, ah—Kai really is my special precious, growly kitten. I adore writing him. I adore writing his world and man, there’s so many places to go with his story. I’m really looking for- ward to digging in.

Thank you again for letting my snarling elf have a space on your ebook reader. You all rock. Thank you.

ABOUT THE BOOK:
BlackDogBlues_coverEver since being part of the pot in a high-stakes poker game, elfin outcast Kai Gracen figures he used up his good karma when Dempsey, a human Stalker, won the hand and took him in. Following the violent merge of Earth and Underhill, the human and elfin races are left with a messy, monster-ridden world, and Stalkers are the only cavalry willing to ride to someone’s rescue when something shadowy appears.

It’s a hard life but one Kai likes—filled with bounty, a few friends, and most importantly, no other elfin around to remind him of his past. And killing monsters is easy. Especially since he’s one himself.

But when a sidhe lord named Ryder arrives in San Diego, Kai is conscripted to do a job for Ryder’s fledg- ling Dawn Court. It’s supposed to be a simple run up the coast during dragon-mating season to retrieve a pregnant human woman seeking sanctuary. Easy, quick, and best of all, profitable. But Kai ends up in the middle of a deadly bloodline feud he has no hope of escaping.

No one ever got rich being a Stalker. But then few of them got old either and it doesn’t look like Kai will be the exception.

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Purchase Black Dog Blues at DSP Publications 
Black Dog Blues is also available on Amazon and other fine eTailers.

OUR THOUGHTS:
Wow, what an action-packed, exciting, urban fantasy thriller! Rhys Ford tells an incredible story with such amazing detail, as if painting a vibrant picture with just her words. Her imagination is incredible – I remain in awe of the skill it takes to create such an enchanting place.

I love the combination of the human and sidhe worlds; the melding of dimensions in what we know as California makes for some interesting topography. It also adds some serious complications, making something as simple as traveling from San Diego to Los Angeles treacherous. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t just a tad bit creeped out by some of the inhabitants; this story is definitely not for the faint of heart. I’m especially creeped out by the fake-sidhe impostors, or humans who are altered to resemble the elfin races. After more consideration, however, I see this as a very realistic detail. It’s not uncommon in society for people to attempt to emulate those they admire. In this case, it’s the sidhe-obsessed humans trying to resemble the more beautiful, enchanting sidhe.

Another interesting facet of this world is the political climate created by humans and sidhe coexisting side by side. There’re always so many rules among the sidhe, something I’m reminded of practically every time Ryder opens his mouth. Kai’s living as human, a somewhat more mundane existence, and it’s clear his sidhe brethren don’t entirely understand why. I’ll admit to not really understanding his reason for rejecting that part of his heritage at first, however, as his character evolves, we discover the truth.

Speaking of our hero, Kai, he’s strong and determined, a force to be reckoned with. His fierce demeanor is a startling contrast to his sense of humor, which was a nice surprise during some tense moments. Who else besides Kai would suggest duct tape as an implement to impede childbirth? Above all else, Kai’s a fighter. In many ways it seems he’s been fighting some kind of battle his entire life. Ford reveals his past in twists and turns, and I’m astonished at all he’s endured.  I mean, with relatives like these, who needs enemies?

If you’re looking for a ton of romance, this book may leave you longing. It’s heavy on the action and suspense, and though there are certainly moments of sexual tension,  there’s very little romance. I’m hoping Rhys Ford is simply saving that for a future story, because the chemistry between Kai and Ryder is insane. I mean off the charts insane. There’s no reason to hold back an attraction like that. If only I could convince Kai… ;)

RATING: BAD ASS BOOTS!

GIVEAWAY:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

FOLLOW THE TOUR:

Jan 28   3 Chicks After Dark
Jan 29   It’s About The Book
Jan 29   Boys in our Books
Jan 30   Joyfully Jay
Jan 31   TTC Books and More
Feb 1     Christy Duke—Christyloves2read
Feb 1     Boy Meets Boy
Feb 2     Reading Reality
Feb 3     Love Bytes
Feb 3     The Novel Approach
Feb 4     Prism Alliance
Feb 5    The Blogger Girls

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
!rhys_ford_headshotRhys Ford was born and raised in Hawai’i then wandered off to see the world. After chewing through a pile of books, a lot of odd food, and a stray boyfriend or two, Rhys eventually landed in San Diego, which is a very nice place but seriously needs more rain.

Rhys admits to sharing the house with three cats of varying degrees of black fur and a ginger cairn terror- ist. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird, a Toshiba laptop, and an overworked red coffee maker.

My Blog / Facebook / Twitter

And at the Starbucks down the street. No really, they’re 24/7. And a drive-thru. It’s like heaven.

My books can be purchased, folded and first chapters read at Dreamspinner Press.

BLOG TOUR: Down and Dirty (Cole McGinnis #5) by Rhys Ford

There’re no words to describe just how elated we are to kick off Rhys Ford’s blog tour for her latest Cole McGinnis story, Down and Dirty! We know you’ll share our excitement that she’s giving us another Cole McGinnis serial on this tour, so be sure to follow along. Oh, and be sure to enter the giveaway – you don’t want to miss the chance to win a $20 gift certificate to the e-tailer of your choice! Welcome, Rhys!! We’re thrilled you’re here. :)

dirty_minds tour banner

To celebrate the release of my new book, Down and Dirty, I’m inviting you to follow along with blog tour serial of a Cole McGinnis case, Dirty Minds! Enter to win a giveaway at every site!

Rhys Ford’s Down and Dirty Giveaway
$20 Gift Certificate to the e-tailer of your choice

If the blog uses a widget, enter there. If not, comment below. Winner to be chosen randomly.

Dirty Minds Part One
I never knew how unstable a minivan’s suspension was. As far as handling went, it was probably the shittiest I’d ever come across. Of course, it could have been the van itself. Its turning radius sucked and every time it hit anything above forty, it seemed to rattle and groan like its wheels were about to fall off. There was also this loud BRAP BRAPBRAP sound coming from the engine.

Or, to be fair, that could also have been the bark of the shots the passenger was blindly taking at me as I clung to the roof of the minivan.

A small detail but apparently one I should have considered when evaluating a car’s performance.

Barreling down Wilshire at ten o’clock on a Saturday night isn’t something I’d recommend for a date night. Seeing as I’d just abandoned Jae at a wedding and screamed at Bobby to follow me, I was pretty sure the only ‘laid’ I was going to get that night was in a coffin once the road kill crew was done scraping me off the road.

A heavy-bodied red truck gunned up next to the minivan’s drive slide then slammed into it, jostling the vehicle into the curb. The van rocked and wove, nearly jumping into the sidewalk but in a fear of tremendous skill or blind luck, its driver was able to get the van back onto the road. I clung harder to the rack bolted into the van’s roof, thankful for whoever decided they were one day going to go skiing in a vehicle made more for shopping trips than skin runs.

Luckily, I knew who was drive the truck, my alleged best friend, Bobby Dawson who was apparently more interested in dislodging me from the top of the minivan rather than getting the damned bastards to actually stop the car.

Sirens were going off somewhere nearby—or at least nearby in Los Angeles’ sketchy grasp of relative distance—and I could only hope they’d be for the minivan’s occupants. I’d shouted at my lover, Jae-Min to call the cops right when I grabbed the van’s rear door handles as it took off, dragging me along behind it. Letting go hadn’t seemed like an option. At the time, adrenaline and anger fueled my actions and I’d somehow scrambled up the rear doors and onto the roof.

What I’d planned to do from there, I had no idea but there I was—getting shot at by a thankfully cross-eyed thief holding a pea-shooter while my damned best friend was slamming the side of his truck into an already ill-balanced minivan.

“Jump into the bed!” Bobby screamed at me through the truck’s open back window. We’d taken the truck’s flat lid from its bed early that day to move an armoire into Bobby’s loft. Luckily for me, neither one of us thought to replace it. Unluckily for me, Bobby was quickly running out of maneuvering room.

As they screamed through the stretch of Wilshire between downtown and the park, traffic began to thicken and Bobby careened around slower moving cars and sliding into left turn lanes, fighting to keep abreast with the minivan.

I debated jumping. After my initial rage-fueled bravado slunk away behind my often late-to-the-party common sense, several things occurred to me. First, I had no way of actually stopping the robbers and second, I could actually stop their ill-aimed bullets if ever the guy in the passenger’s seat decided he was going to look where he was shooting instead of merely pointing the weapon out of the window and firing shots of in my general direction.

Bobby nearly lost the front of the truck on the back of a slow-moving Honda held together by bumper stickers and cat hair and he shot off around it, narrowly missing a bus coming in the opposite direction. Swerving back into the lane, he over-corrected and hit the minivan hard, lifting it up off its wheels. Another shot, aimed for Mars or Jupiter this time, then the driver did the one smart thing he’d done since he planted his ass in the seat of the stolen minivan.

He turned a hard, sharp right and I went flying.

FOLLOW THE TOUR TO GET THE COMPLETE SERIAL:

Dec 30 Part One — 3 Chicks After Dark
Dec 31 Part Two — Boy Meets Boy Reviews
Jan 1    Part Three — Joyfully Jay
Jan 2    Part Four — LoveBytes
Jan 2    Part Five — On Top Down Under
Jan 3    Part Six — Prism Alliance
Jan 4    Part Seven — It’s About The Book
Jan 4    Part Eight — The Blogger Girls
Jan 5   Part Nine — Sinfully Sexy 
Jan 6   Part Ten — NDulgent Bloggers 
Jan 7   Part Eleven — The Novel Approach
Jan 8   Part Twelve — Under the Covers Blog

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Down and Dirty CoverFrom the moment former LAPD detective Bobby Dawson spots Ichiro Tokugawa, he knows the man is trouble. And not just because the much younger Japanese inker is hot, complicated, and pushes every one of Bobby’s buttons. No, Ichi is trouble because he’s Cole McGinnis’s younger brother and off-limits in every possible way. And Bobby knows that even before Cole threatens to kill him for looking Ichi’s way. But despite his gut telling him Ichi is bad news, Bobby can’t stop looking… or wanting.

Ichi was never one to play by the rules. Growing up in Japan as his father’s heir, he’d been bound by every rule imaginable until he had enough and walked away from everything to become his own man. Los Angeles was supposed to be a brief pitstop before he moved on, but after connecting with his American half-brothers, it looks like a good city to call home for a while—if it weren’t for Bobby Dawson.

Bobby is definitely a love-them-and-leave-them type, a philosophy Ichi whole-heartedly agrees with. Family was as much of a relationship as Ichi was looking for, but something about the gruff and handsome Bobby Dawson that makes Ichi want more.

Much, much more.

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PURCHASE A COPY:  DREAMSPINNER PRESS / AMAZON

 

OUR THOUGHTS:
There’s just something about the way Rhys Ford writes, her words paint a startling, clear picture on the page. Suddenly you can see the sights, hear the sounds and virtually step into the setting alongside the characters. This kind of immersion is inevitable; it brings you into the story in such a tangible way that you can’t help but become connected to the people and places. It’s one of the reasons I feel such a tie to Cole and Jae, not to mention everyone else in their world.

I love when authors tell concurrent story lines, because there’s something familiar and comforting about the overlapping events. In this story we get Ichi and Bobby’s story as it’s happening during the events of the Dirty Deeds. I like getting an idea of how it all came together in the moments leading up to Bobby dropping that bomb on Cole. I feel as though every scene almost has more meaning than it did before when we were only getting things from Cole’s perspective. They always say there are two sides to every story, and it couldn’t be more accurate.

I’ve been shipping Bobby and Ichiro for a while, and I kind of felt like them getting together was inevitable.  They’ve had this insane chemistry since their first encounter. I wasn’t sure if it was because they were kind of off limits – you know the whole best friend’s brother thing –  but even if that’s how the intrigue started, it’s not how it ends. After reading Down and Dirty, it’s hard to fathom that anyone would ever try to keep these guys apart. They’re so perfect together, something that was absolutely reinforced for me the more Ford delved into their backgrounds and psyches. In fact with the issues they’re shouldering, I can’t imagine them paired with anyone else. Each makes the other feel at ease despite their imperfections. Their flaws allow each to accept more of the same in the other. As they resolve each issue and obstacle thrown their way, their bond is cemented more and more.

If I had to pick a favorite part of this story what would it be? THE FIREWORKS. I often anticipated exactly how it would go down once Cole found out about Bobby and Ichi, and I think Rhys Ford has outdone herself. That entire scene and exchange is FANTASTIC. Way beyond my wildest imagination and done to perfection. I nearly wore out my kindle reading and re-reading that exchange.  All I can say is thank God for Claudia. ;)

While I’m desperately in love with Ichiro after this story, I’ve got to say my love for Jae-Min still runs deep. In fact, I’m not ashamed to admit I ran a  Kindle search for his name before starting Down & Dirty. Can’t blame a girl for wanting a little hint so she can set realistic expectations. Imagine my pleasure when it returned 167 results. :D

RATING: ONE BAD ASS BOOT, ONE STILETTO

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
!rhys_ford_headshotRhys Ford was born and raised in Hawai’i then wandered off to see the world. After chewing through a pile of books, a lot of odd food, and a stray boyfriend or two, Rhys eventually landed in San Diego, which is a very nice place but seriously needs more rain.

Rhys admits to sharing the house with three cats of varying degrees of black fur and a ginger cairn terrorist. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird, a Toshiba laptop, and an overworked red coffee maker.

CONNECT WITH RHYS: BLOG / FACEBOOK / TWITTER 

And at the Starbucks down the street. No really, they’re 24/7. And a drive-thru. It’s like heaven.

My books can be purchased, folded and first chapters read at Dreamspinner Press.

GIVEAWAY:
3 Chicks After Dark would like to thank Rhys Ford for generously providing the prize for the tour’s giveaway. Enter below for a chance to win a $20 gift certificate to the e-tailer of your choice!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Duck Duck Ghost (Hellsinger #2) by Rhys Ford

Duck Duck Ghosts CoverRelease Date: September 8, 2014
Published by Dreamspinner Press
Review Copy from Author

Oh the possessed doll nightmares I’m going to have from this one! You see, I’ve always found antique, porcelain dolls a little creepy. I think this stems from my grandmother’s collection which she proudly displays in her guest room. It’s been there ever since I can remember, full of all kinds of dolls with their soft, stuffed bodies and painted-on faces. Some are holding lacy parasols, others dressed like jesters, and still some wearing casual attire for a day of play. One thing they have in common – all of them stare at me as if they want to steal my soul. Creepy.

In the newest installment in the Hellsinger series, Wolf and Tristan are off to help Wolf’s cousin Sey with a potential paranormal crisis. Sey just happens to be into restoration of antique toys, so she has a number of dolls on hand. The way Rhys Ford describes the house and its contents is really amazing; it’s easy to picture each and every toy, especially the dolls, and the imagery really brings them to life. Okay, so she literally brings them to life, but that’s as far as I’ll go in order to avoid spoiling anything.

Duck Duck Ghost picks up pretty much where Fish and Ghosts left off. Tristan and Wolf are still on a break, having a rift, taking some time for themselves, or however you want to put it. Personally I’d say Tristan’s still making Wolf pay for being such an ass after everything that went down in Hellsinger #1, but I digress.  The tension between them ratchets up the emotion and sexual angst, giving the story a real jumpstart right from the beginning. I love the way Ford develops the connection between them, resolving some conflicts while creating new ones. It’s like Tris and Wolf know they want to be together, they’re just not sure exactly how to do that. I have a feeling their relationship will continue to be a roller coaster as they figure things out.

The investigation into Sey’s haunting is really front and center in this book, and I’ve mentioned before that this is one of the things I love about Rhys Ford’s m/m paranormals. The paranormal investigation is the main focus of the story, and the romance becomes secondary. In my opinion, this is the way all good paranormal novels should be written! She wraps you up in the details and plot twists as the gang tries to uncover the truth of the ghosts and spirits haunting Sey’s home while the romance is just an added bonus. A really hot, sexy, sweet bonus. ;)

There are two major, series story arcs that I’m impatient to learn more about: Tristan’s battle against his family to keep the Grange and Wolf’s shunning by the Kincaids. In this book we hear more about Tristan’s legal problems, but there’s a greater focus on Wolf’s falling out with his family. In a way this gives him a greater connection to Tristan, since they seem to have that in common, but it also shows his vulnerability a bit. Wolf would like everyone to believe he’s okay, that it doesn’t bother him to be cast aside for his beliefs, but I think it hurts. He’s managed to keep a couple of the really important relatives close, like Sey and Cin, but I hope as his professional prowess grows his family will come around. Or maybe Gildy can help them see the error of their ways? She is a pretty decent shot after all.

RATING: BAD ASS BOOTS!