Tag Archives: Recovery

Blog Tour and Review: Patchwork Paradise by Indra Vaughn

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Patchwork Paradise by Indra Vaughn
Releases: March 28, 2016
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Word count: 73,300
Page count: 262
Type: Standalone
Cover by: Lou Harper

About Patchwork Paradise

Oliver and Samuel’s relationship is fairy-tale perfect. They share a gorgeous house in Antwerp, go out with their friends every weekend, and count down the days to their dream wedding. But their happy ending is shattered one late night, and just like that, Ollie is left bereft and alone.

The months that follow are long and dark, but slowly Ollie emerges from his grief. He even braves the waters of online dating, though deep down he doesn’t believe he can find that connection again. He doesn’t think to look for love right in front of him: his bisexual friend Thomas, the gentle giant with a kind heart and sad eyes who’s wanted him all along.

When Thomas suddenly discovers he has a son who needs him, he’s ill prepared. Ollie opens up his house—Sam’s house—and lets them in. Ollie doesn’t know what scares him more: the responsibility of caring for a baby, or the way Thomas is steadily winning his heart. It will take all the courage he has to discover whether or not fairy tales can happen for real.

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Riptide Publishing   •  Amazon  •  All Romance eBooks

Our thoughts:

Indra Vaughn knows how to deliver grief. She ripped my soul in two as Ollie grieved over losing Samuel. Torn. To. Shreds. The intense guilt and grief were raw emotions that pulled tissue after tissue from the box next to me as I read. Intense. Real. Vulnerable. This is how Patchwork Paradise begins but it’s not all sadness and loss.

We endure Ollie’s grief over losing Samuel for a large part of the novel, but it’s important to Ollie’s story. During his time of sorrow and loss he has to relearn life as he knows it. He’s been with Samuel since they were kids. Friends, then lovers at age sixteen. They were to be married and would live happily ever after. That was cut short and now Ollie has to find a new normal.  Now, life is no more touches and enveloping hugs. Being alone becomes something he gets used to but the loneliness is suffocating.

During this time of struggle,  it’s pure torture to read Patchwork Paradise!  Almost every memory, whether good or bad, would provoke tears. Ollie’s emotions are so profound that they impacted me with every word. Boxes of tissues. Seriously, boxes.

Over time, Ollie realizes that missing Samuel doesn’t hurt as much and that his coping and moving on isn’t the end of the world. What he never expected was to discover that Thomas, his dear friend, had always desired him. Knowing that fact propels Ollie to really think of Thomas in a new light. To consider a potential relationship with the man he’s called a friend for so long. Just when Ollie thinks it’s possible and within reach, Thomas pulls away.

Thomas pulling away becomes a common theme from then on. He’s so badly in love with Ollie that he can’t stand the thought of losing him in any way. Nothing just might be preferable to living and losing. This is infuriating to Ollie. He’s been there. Loved deeply and lost tragically. How could Thomas be so callous?!

There’s so much that goes on in this novel. From Oliver losing Samuel to the whole friendship dynamic between Oliver, Cleo, Imran and Thomas. Samuel’s parents applying unnecessary pressures on Oliver. Lastly, a baby is added to the mix. I honestly don’t know how Oliver kept it together so well. Once he grieved, he picked himself up and started taking small steps forward. WhenThomas entered the scene as a potential love interest, things became so complicated. It was worth it though because Oliver’s life would take a turn that it never would have with Samuel. He was lucky to fall in love and be loved twice in a lifetime and each one of those loves was unique and fulfilling.

Patchwork Paradise is definitely not a lighthearted story. It’s deeply emotional. Your heart will ache from Ollie’s pain. Your eyes will swell with tears, but it all worth it in the end!

RATING: STILETTOS!!

About Indra Vaughn

After living in Michigan, USA for seven wonderful years, Indra Vaughn returned back to her Belgian roots. There she will continue to consume herbal tea, do yoga wherever the mat fits, and devour books while single parenting a little boy and working as a nurse.

The stories of boys and their unrequited love will no doubt keep finding their way onto the page—and hopefully into readers hands—even if it takes a little more time.

And if she gleefully posts pictures of snow-free streets in winter, you’ll have to forgive her. Those Michigan blizzards won’t be forgotten in a hurry.

Connect with Indra:

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/indra.vaughn.7

Twitter https://twitter.com/VaughnIndra

Giveaway

To celebrate, Indra is giving away an ebook from her backlist at EVERY BLOG STOP! She’ll also be giving out a grand prize of $25 in Riptide credit. Leave a comment to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on April 2, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

Recovery (Salvage Stories #2) by Con Riley

Recovery_FINALPublished on 19 May 2014
Published by Dreamspinner Press
Copy obtained for review from author.

I love reading Con Riley stories because she has a knack for making me feel all the emotions her characters are feeling. I remember being torn apart when I read After Ben. I continued to read the rest of the Seattle Stories back-to-back. I was absolutely shredded by the end but it was worth every feeling, and tear shed because the happiness that happens at the end is a triumphant, crowning moment.

Recovery is one of those emotion filled stories. Jamie is a recovering alcoholic and in a position that is pushing his self-control to the max. He is navigating the eminent loss of his former sponsor’s wife to cancer.  Belle is the mother Jamie never had. She helped his through some of his worse moments and was his biggest supporter. To say she rallied behind him and was proud of the man he had become would be a total understatement. From the pages, she was pure joy and light to everyone she knew. To see that light becoming dimmer was a hard road for Jaime and of course Alec, Owen and Grace, her husband and kids.

Jamie is a phenomenal photographer and is asked by Belle to capture her journey to the end. Knowing this from the synopsis and actually reading this unfold are two totally different things! I was prepared for the inevitable the whole way through but I still did the ugly cry when it finally happened. What made it better was reading how Jamie rallied and how Owen grows up and heals. To see Jamie be strong but also give just enough to let a man, Daniel, in. Someone he could lean on and confide in. Someone willing to take on the world for him but also know when to back off and let Jamie stand on his own and make his choices. Belle’s request pulls the family back together because she know how much they will need each other when she is gone. Their journey back to the loving family they once were is magnificent. It was like watching a butterfly emerge from its cocoon, spread its vibrant wings and fly.

Con Riley tackles some major issues in this book. Jamie is a victim of rape, he’s also an alcoholic. Alec is an alcoholic. Owen is upset with his father and stuck in a pattern hate and bitterness. Grace is hospitalized during her pregnancy. Daniel is divorced and newly out in his late forties. Daniel and Jamie are a May/December couple. Belle is dying from cancer. Whew! You know, it’s life. It’s what families experience and have to navigate through all the time. They might not be these specific issues but every family has issues! I just loved the realness of the struggles and mistakes. It’s why I will read anything Con Riley writes and know it will be a perfectly written and woven tale from the heart. Recovery is no exception, it’s a remarkable journey from beginning to end.

RATING: BAD ASS BOOTS!!!!! 

BLOG TOUR: Recovery by Con Riley

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Recovery_FINAL

Recovery by Con Riley
Cover Artist, Aaron Anderson
Published 19 May 2014
Published by Dreamspinner Press

Blurb:

San Diego is a city of second chances for Jamie Carlson. His new career as a photographer is taking off, and with the support of a loving surrogate family, he’s finally putting his party years behind him. The Bailey family helped him solve his drinking problem, but there’s no easy solution to staying sober now that Belle Bailey’s dying. Her last wish is a challenge Jamie can’t overcome without help.

Solving problems is Daniel Priest’s specialty. More than twenty years older than Jamie, he’s successful and experienced. He makes his living resolving corporate crises—but his personal life has been far from perfect. Now that his marriage is over, Daniel’s determined to make up for lost time. One night with Jamie isn’t nearly enough for him.

Daniel’s honest offer of help is more than Jamie expects from a one-time hookup. Even so, fulfilling Belle’s last wish is a tall order. Repairing her damaged family as she requests proves difficult when Jamie has to face his own past as well.

Jamie could risk his hard-won recovery by admitting why he hit rock bottom in the first place. If he wants a future with Daniel, he’ll have to address those reasons head-on.

Sales Links:

Dreamspinner Press
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Recovery excerpt one – Jamie meets Daniel:

The press of Daniel’s body, closer now than before, made his interest obvious. Still, Jamie drew in a slow breath.

Alec had said he’d be back as soon as he could. He’d told Jamie to be strong, to trust in himself, and to have fun meeting some useful people. He’d also reminded Jamie over and over, all year long, to keep in mind the man he wanted to be rather than the kid Alec first met who somehow had gotten so lost. Such a nice way to describe the fucked-up brat Jamie had been when they’d first met outside an AA meeting.

Alec might be right about acting like a professional—faking it until he could make it—and Jamie had done his best, but the party was in full swing now, and this guy Daniel was very attractive.

Hooking up could count as networking, couldn’t it?

Recovery excerpt two – Jamie confesses to Daniel

Panic painted Jamie’s cheeks with the kind of heat that had to show up. When Daniel reached out as if to touch him there, all Jamie’s usual exit lines were suddenly on the tip of his tongue.

Escape, so he didn’t have to face this.

Retreat, so he couldn’t be judged for what had happened to him.

Withdraw, so he could stop with all these fucking feelings he hadn’t ever asked for.

His breath caught at that last thought. He pictured all the people who’d ever been honest with him, and the heat on his cheeks streaked his neck and chest too. It took a while to mentally list them, ending with the man beside him. It took even longer to form phrases that weren’t all of his old excuses.

“You want to know how come they shared their stories with me?” Jamie started, then stopped. “I’m better with pictures than with words,” he finally got out.

Jamie met Daniel’s gaze for a moment. “If you really want to know, I guess I could show you.”

Author Bio:

Con Riley lives on the wild and rugged Devonshire coast, with her head in the clouds, and her feet in the Atlantic Ocean.

Injury curtailed her enjoyment of outdoor pursuits, so writing fiction now fills her free time instead. Love, loss, and redemption shape her romance stories, and her characters are flawed in ways that makes them live and breathe.

When not people watching, or wrangling her own boy band of teen sons, she spends time staring at the sea from her kitchen window. If you see her, don’t disturb her—she’s probably thinking up new plots.

Author Links:

Read more: http://conriley.com
Tweet more: https://twitter.com/con_riley
Talk more: con.riley.fiction@gmail.com

Giveaway:

Enter using the Rafflecopter below to win EVERY BOOK in Con Riley’s backlist! Wow! What a generous giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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COVER REVEAL and GIVEAWAY: Recovery by Con Riley

Bloggers4-18Today we are excited to reveal the cover for the upcoming Con Riley book, Recovery. This is a companion novel to Salvage!

Recovery_FINAL

Recovery by Con Riley
Cover Art by Aaron Anderson
Release date 19 May 2014
Publisher is Dreamspinner Press

Blurb:

San Diego is a city of second chances for Jamie Carlson. His new career as a photographer is taking off, and with the support of a loving surrogate family, he’s finally putting his party years behind him. The Bailey family helped him solve his drinking problem, but there’s no easy solution to staying sober now that Belle Bailey’s dying. Her last wish is a challenge Jamie can’t overcome without help.

Solving problems is Daniel Priest’s specialty. More than twenty years older than Jamie, he’s successful and experienced. He makes his living resolving corporate crises—but his personal life has been far from perfect. Now that his marriage is over, Daniel’s determined to make up for lost time. One night with Jamie isn’t nearly enough for him.
Daniel’s honest offer of help is more than Jamie expects from a one-time hookup. Even so, fulfilling Belle’s last wish is a tall order. Repairing her damaged family as she requests proves difficult when Jamie has to face his own past as well.

Jamie could risk his hard-won recovery by admitting why he hit rock bottom in the first place. If he wants a future with Daniel, he’ll have to address those reasons head-on.

Sales Links:
Dreamspinner Press
Amazon

Author Bio:

Con Riley lives on the wild and rugged Devonshire coast, with her head in the clouds, and her feet in the Atlantic Ocean.

Injury curtailed her enjoyment of outdoor pursuits, so writing fiction now fills her free time instead. Love, loss, and redemption shape her romance stories, and her characters are flawed in ways that makes them live and breathe.
When not people watching, or wrangling her own boy band of teen sons, she spends time staring at the sea from her kitchen window. If you see her, don’t disturb her—she’s probably thinking up new plots.

Author Links:

Read more: http://conriley.com
Tweet more: https://twitter.com/con_riley
Talk more: con.riley.fiction@gmail.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/con_riley

Giveaway:

Use the Rafflecopter below to enter for a chance to win an e-copy of Recovery by Con Riley upon release.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Bloggers4-18