The Telling by Eden Winters

The Telling by Eden Winters

Blurb:
Time spent in Iraq cost Michael Ritter more than just the hearing in one ear. It cost him a friend, one whose death he feels responsible for. When he eagerly left Alabama for what he believed would be a grand adventure, he thought to escape his small hometown and the life that awaited him there. A lot can happen in four years, and now Michael’s back, bringing a duffle full of personal demons with him.

Four years ago Jay Ortiz left home for the first time to attend college, in a place where his both his heritage and his orientation aren’t widely accepted. While adjusting to his new surroundings, he found a picture of a young soldier. During dark and lonely times he confided in the image of the stoic young man, until one day he discovered that he’d given his heart away to someone he’d never met. Now that man was coming home…

In a world of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, there comes a time when you have to decide who and what you are.

on a military boys kick …

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Midweek reads!

Midweek reads!

 

First up is a free read from Kirby Crow called Cocksucking Appointment.  Prostitutes Ethan and Snow may sell their bodies but they love each other. Unfortunately Ethan can not be the Dom and Master Snow needs and their relationship threatens to change when an assertive new client of Ethan’s takes an interest in Snow.

This free read is quick and delightful. Although not entirely polished (I think written on the fly for the TQ social days), this is a great little read and I easily recommend this for those looking for something short but entertaining.  Download it for FREE!

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Second
is Jaye Valentine’s new paranormal with an edgy twist called Damn Gorgeous. Spenser is a reporter with a serious love of things that go bump in the night. When a new assignment brings him to Fall River and to a sexy innkeeper, Spenser may be in over his head finally.
 

This novella is creepy, slick, and interesting. Not to mention filled with spoilers to the point that it’s easier to just throw this in as a midweek read than write a full review. But be sure to pick up a copy for yourself and see if you guess the ending. It caught me I admit and I hope this is the start of a series. Get it HERE!

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Third is Sean Kennedy’s Christmas short story that I just got around to read called Secret Santa.  In this fun short story, Zach is doing some last minute shopping for the holiday, stressing about bringing his boyfriend home to meet the family when he happens to glance over at the mall Santa. A familiar pair of eyes meets his and the fun surprises don’t stop there.

 

This great short story is funny, witty, and definitely will have you eyeing those men in the Santa suits a little bit differently. If you haven’t picked up the Advent calendar stories, then be sure to get this one. It’s quick and easy and worth the few bucks. Get it HERE!

 

 

StarCrossed 3 1/2 by Jaye Valentine and Reno MacLeod

StarCrossed 3 1/2 by Jaye Valentine and Reno MacLeod

Angel Tears is a "deleted scene" from the novel StarCrossed 3: Objects in the Mirror. The authors felt it slowed the pace of the story. However, character development and information in this scene will become important and meaningful as the series progresses.

As it should not be missed by fans of the series, this 6,666-word short story is being offered as a FREE READ.

While reading the cemetery scene in StarCrossed 3: Objects in the Mirror, did you wonder how the angel Sariel came to be in John and Matthew Banks’ possession, and how Sariel ended up in the condition he was in at the onset of that scene? If so, you don’t want to miss StarCrossed 3 1/2: Angel Tears.

Spoilers/Sequence Warning: This story contains spoilers for StarCrossed 3: Objects in the Mirror and should not be read out of order.

 

 

Review:

As this is simply a deleted scene and not a fully realized short story, it’s not really appropriate for a review. After all, how can you discuss characterization when it’s a simple scene taken out of context of the book by author choice? As it is, definitely read StarCrossed 3 first so you understand the players and their purpose but this scene absolutely adds to the story created. I have to trust the authors’ choice in taking the scene out yet I think it’s wonderful and allows the reader to see some of the best aspects of the writing and characters developed for this urban fantasy series.

As the “blurb” says, this is a deleted scene that shows how John Banks convinced Sariel to go along with his scheme to trap Jace Barton. It takes a minute to wrap your mind around the setting, since you’re dropped right into the scene and have to remember who these characters are and their connection to the larger StarCrossed story and world. But once you do, the scene is vivid, graphic, and stunning.

One of the best aspects of this short added scene was the depth given to John. Within SC 3, he’s clearly an "evil" force, but he’s not black and white simplistic evil. This scene typifies many of the scenes with John where the authors are able to show his complexity and depth. He’s not a cardboard evil man. He’s been warped by his upbringing and perhaps predisposed to cruelty but no doubt his childhood certainly played a part in creating the man he became. The ability to layer the hints of compassion with sharp cruelty all on the razor’s edge of pain was wonderful. 

The authors delve into the complexities of the “bad guy”, giving him more depth and reasoning. In this scene he has regret, compassion, fear, anger, cruelty, kindness, need, hatred, and even love and truly evil deeds. They all combine to give a fully three-dimensional creation to the character and I personally think the scene would have added to the original story. It does seem to take a side trip too far into John and Sariel, which may be the reasoning for why it was cut but this is one of the best elements of the authors’ writing – which is the ability to create compassion for even the most evil character. No one in their world is empty or a placeholder. Even those who do evil deeds (and arguably Jace is high on this list) have multifaceted personalities shaped by experience as much as nature. The lack of classic heroes and anti-heroes is another strength of their writing.

This scene also allows a good characterization of Sariel, who for all his presence in SC 3 felt unexplored and weak. I liked that this scene added depth to Sariel, showed more to him than simple acceptance or belief; it showed a struggle, compassion, his own mistakes and weaknesses. As one of the “good” angels, Sariel is not wholly good and is subject to missteps you wouldn’t think Angels would be capable of, including the blindness of love. He has his own regrets, failures, and fears as well as desires, needs, and wants. Most stories never delve into the darker side of angels; their sexual needs and desires that may embarrass even them. The authors will pretty much cross any line or taboo.

If you haven’t read the series before, this short scene won’t make much sense but it might give you an idea of the strength of the writing between these two. It’s visceral, gritty, hard hitting and not afraid of blood—literal and figurative—and a perfect example of why I enjoy this series so much.

 Get it HERE!

 

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Year of the Cat by Selah March

I should preface this by saying I won this book free (yay!) from excerpt day over on 

  blog. It’s taken me a bit to read it, which I apologize, due to the high volume of books to review these past two weeks. (Look at how many I’ve reviewed for RR and gah). Anyway, I apologize for how long this took but alas I finally got to read it and late at night too, the perfect setting for this tale.

 


Year of the Cat by Selah March

Blurb:

Sweet-natured Etienne LeFevre must give up his birthright and flee into the snow-covered forest to save himself from the murderous greed of his brutish elder brothers. When Etienne ends up alone and hungry, with a ramshackle cottage his only shelter and a feral cat his only friend, he believes himself doomed to a sad, cold death.

But out of the shadows of the night arrives a visitor who brings comfort. He presents himself as a servant, but the man called “Jacques” spends the long hours instructing Etienne in the cruel delights of a disciplined passion.

Jacques is gone with the morning light, but Etienne thinks he knows the stranger’s secret. Will Etienne tame the beast that lurks within his lover? Or will he find himself a victim of the bitter rage that rules Jacques’ heart?

Based on the classic French fairy tale, “Puss In Boots,” this story explores what happens when the servant becomes the master, and the master lives to serve…

 

Not your animated classic…

Destiny Goes Spare by TC Blue

Destiny Goes Spare by TC Blue

Blurb:

Andrew and Raj have had a beautiful relationship since the night they met by chance and knew they were meant to be together. To celebrate Raj’s twenty-first birthday, Andrew throws him a magnificent party and invites everyone on Raj’s email contact list. Raj is thrilled, and so is Andrew, until a pair of unexpected — but very much invited — guests arrive. In one fell swoop, everything goes to pieces. Raj and Andrew are sleeping apart for the first time since they met. Are they really going to end it, or does destiny have something even better in store?

 

Sexy May/December couple…