Monday, April 30, 2012

Love is Always Write Story Update / Tattoo Tuesday

Hi All!

I am always curious how people feel about excerpts and teasers. I generally don't read them unless it is for a series that I love (Abigail, I will read ANY teasers about Ty and Zane that you are willing to give!). So, here's my question: Would you like another teaser from my LiAW story or would you prefer to wait with bated breath until it comes out later this summer? Sub-question: If I were to give an excerpt, would you prefer a background teaser or an in the moment tense teaser?

IF I get ten comments wanting a teaser, I will post one. Make sure to let me know which kind you prefer in your comment. Otherwise, I hope you enjoy it when it comes out! ;)

Also, because it wouldn't be an update post without some pretty, here you go.

(These are my two MCs. Just imagine the big spoon with hair a little curlier)

Because I can't seem to go a single "pretty" post without a tattooed guy with a cute animal.


ETA: Forgot about it being Tattoo Tuesday but since I already have a tattoolicious picture in the post I am just going to add the linky tool here at the bottom. Click around it to see lots of pretty tattooed boys or even add your own! =)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Books This Week (or recently)

Hi All! 
I am back with a review and few ratings. WARNING: Despite being an M/M blog, I am reviewing an f/f book this week so if girly parts make you want to run and ride, then grab your blankets and a flashlight and head for the closet. But if you are brave, then gird your loins, gather your weapons and scroll down a bit. It's not scary, I promise. =)

First off, I decided to take a risk on this book because I got it for free. I won the drawing for a $20 gift certificate after entering one of Samantha's Challenges over at the LT3 goodreads group (click here for my entry) and I used it to buy a book I wouldn't normally buy (yay for broadening horizons!!). I am definitely glad that I did.

Title: Vixen
Authors: Ashley Shaw, Julie March, Liz Lambdin, Megan Derr, Rachel White, Sasha L. Miller, and T.T. Kove
Editor: Samantha M. Derr
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Length: 140,000 words
Rating: Overall - 3 stars; individual story ratings below
Tags: f/f, anthology, dragons, enemies to lovers, fantasy, historical, in the closet, military, royalty/nobility, magic


Queen, Princess, Lady, peasant, mercenary, whore, pirate, knight, cop, clerk, soldier, and everything in between - and always a mother, daughter, sister, lover, and friend. The power and appeal of women is great, and there's nothing better than watching a woman do what she loves best.

But what happens when what loves best is another woman? Come read these tales of women who will never be satisfied by a man, and will not not settle for less than what their heart most desires.


This is my first foray into the world of f/f. Previously, I only ever came across titles such as Sorority Sister Sexcapades and I have little interest in PWP, no matter the genders involved. Then LT3 came out with Vixen. LT3 is an autobuy publisher for me and I can generally rely on them to give me good, plotty, non-porn-y stories. While I don't think I will ever be attracted to f/f stories as much as I am to m/m stories (I love me some manlove), this was a good introduction to stories about love between women. Some I loved, some I liked, one I was disappointed in. If you are curious and looking for somewhere to get your toes wet, this is a great anthology to start with. If you already know you love f/f stories then this will certainly offer you a variety of interesting stories. My one overall complaint is that all the stories are either historical or fantasy stories. I would have liked to have at least one of the stories be in a contemporary setting (I was intrigued by the suggestion of a cop story in the blurb). Having read this anthology, I will definitely be a little more open to f/f stories in the future. OVERALL RATING: 3 Quills. Individual stories rated below.

You can buy Vixen here at Less Than Three Press for $7.99.

PS even for someone totally into dudes, that cover is HOT!

Individual Story Reviews

Cavatina, Cabaletta  by Rachel White
Two opera stars vie for the spotlight and each others' throats, until one learns of a secret that could bring down a royal house. They must work together to prevent the tragedy and perhaps find comfort where before there was only hatred. The characters in this story just felt flat and did not draw me in, despite an interesting plot premise. 2.5 Quills

The Huntress by T.T. Kove
Liv has a secret that she doesn't want anyone at the common inn she has found herself in to know, especially the beautiful huntress, Amala. However, as secrets always do, hers came out at the worst time. Can these two overcome secrets and family pressure to find happiness? I enjoyed this story but the romance between the two seemed out of nowhere and the end seemed too pat. Nevertheless, it did leave me with smile that they were able to find their HEA. 3 Quills

Slaying Dragons by Sasha L. Miller
Devi is...difficult to work with. As a combatant, she has had 4 complaints in the past 2 years. She expects her assignment to pair with Mage Lavoie to defeat a dragon in the borderlands will be her last. Except, Mage Lavoie is nothing like the mages she has paired with before. Perhaps they are just what the other needs. I enjoyed this story very much. The characters had depth and the plot remained interesting. While I expected the very end, the twist it took before the story got there was completely unexpected (to me at least) which is always refreshing. 4 Quills

The Thicket by Liz Lambdin
What if the princess trapped in the tower were not trapped but were there voluntarily, as the lover of the witch? What happens when she decides to go off with the prince who came along to rescue her? Hilde has been locked her tower alone for far too long after her lover left her. Evelyn has never felt like she fit as a proper princess. These two clash and come together and perhaps become something more together than they ever were apart. This was a fun remake on a classic tale and while predictable it was also entertaining and left me with a smile on my face. 3.5 Quills

Weathering the Storm by Julia March
Emily runs away from home expecting to sail with James to Jamaica as his wife but after the first true kiss she realizes that would be a huge mistake. James helps to get her a spot on a ship as cabin boy using the disguise she created to escape her family. She is shocked to learn the Quartermaster she has been drawn to since they met is also hiding a secret. This was shorter than the other stories so far but still entertaining. I would have liked to have a more fleshed out ending to answer some of the hanging questions. However, I still thoroughly enjoyed it. 3.5 Quills

The Mermaid by Megan Derr
Sophia fears her life is over when she is caught in a rather compromising position...with another woman. Until a proposal comes from an unexpected corner. All is not what it seems and Sophia is dropped into a world of magic and mermaids. I really enjoyed this different take on the mermaid mythology. I was a bit skeptical through the beginning of the story as to how it would work out convincingly but, as always, Megan Derr brought it home admirably. 4 Quills

The Masquerade by Ashley Shaw
Lilith has been a part of Isaac's clan for 12 years and she has never doubted his leadership. Until now. He asks her to kill for him but when she inserts herself undercover to complete here mission, she discovers his reasons are flawed and he lacks all the information. The King who is supposedly a murderer lacks the expected cruelty and the Queen who supposedly stole him away from his one true love is anything but interested in the King. In fact, she seems interested only in Lilith. I enjoyed the plotting and machinations of this story but the romance seemed rushed and stilted. Lilith and Vanessa barely ever talk, they never really get to know each other and after barely a few kisses Lilith is ready to declare love. And the Queen who argued so fiercely for her people, just up and leaves at the end. It doesn't seem logical. However, it was a well written espionage short. 3 Quills


Other Books Read Recently:
Nobody's Hero by Katey Hawthorne - 4 Quills
With a Kiss by Kim Dare - 3 Quills
Nothing Ever Happens by Sue Brown - 3 Quills
Devotion by Lissa Kasey - 4 Quills
Jamie by Lissa Kasey - 4 Quills
Pole Star by Josephine Myles - 3 Quills
Alec's Reward by Kim Dare - 2.5 Quills
The Way to Will by Drew Hunt - 2 Quills
The Rebuilding Year by Kaje Harper - 4.5 Quills
Crunch Time by Andrew Grey - 2.5 Quills
Unacceptable Risk by Kaje Harper - 4.5 Quills
Unexpected Demands by Kaje Harper - 3.5 Quills
Sword of the King by Megan Derr - 3.5 Quills
Saving Liam by Sasha L. Miller - 4.5 stars

Monday, April 16, 2012

Love is Always Write Teaser

We have been encouraged to post teasers of our Love is Always Write story over in the Goodreads group so I am going to share the teaser I posted there with you guys as well (although you are prbly mostly the same people). Hope you enjoy! =)

Chapter 1

The gravel scraped on my shoes as I climbed the steps up to the lookout at the top of Mt Bonnell. It was close to sunset and on any other day the small park would have been crowded with picture takers, couples, and outdoors enthusiasts. But as it was about to start raining, the park had pretty much cleared out. When I reached the top I took the trail to the left that would lead me to where I could look out over the lake and not be hemmed in by short stone walls and a wooden pavillon.

As I sat there, I stared out over the corridor of the Colorado river we natives like to call Lake Austin and watched the storm roll in. In the thin sunset light, the sky seemed to turn an odd orange green color that I have only ever seen watching Texas thunderstorms. The air had a static-y ozone feel to it and I could almost taste the rain. Purple clouds roiled in, casting night-like shadows over everything in their path. Lightening shot in all directions within the clouds like it couldn’t figure out which way the earth lay. Occassionally one would get it right and shoot out towards the ground, thunder following immediately as if cheering at its success.

Eventually the clouds swelled and seemed to hover at the tipping point until all at once they exploded with a torrent of water. The fierce rain blinded me to the city beyond and to the lake in front of me. I let it pelt my skin and soak through my clothes. The power, the sheer magnitude of what was barraging me, overtook my senses. Compared to this natural phenomenon I was tiny, a mere fly in relation to the cosmos. The chaoses and pains of my life were overpowered and lost their sharp edges.

The storm lasted only a few minutes. That’s how it is here. Fierce, intense power but over and gone before you can snap your fingers. As the rain eased off and the full dark of night fell, all the things I had been holding back rushed into me and I doubled over in pain.

Finally, I took out my phone and did what I had been trying to build up the courage for all evening. I dialed his number.


Friday, April 13, 2012

Visiting Summer's Point!!!

Guess What!?!?! I am visiting the wonderful blog of author Summer Michaels today as a part of her author spotlight series. Do you want to learn everything you never knew about me? Then go check out the interview here. I'll be checking out the comments occasionally so if you have any other questions feel free to post them and I will do my best to answer. ;) HAPPY FRIDAY!!!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Update and Pretty

Hello All!

Its update time. I am sure you are all wandering helplessly around wondering when you get more True Love's Kiss (if not, let me live in my delusions). Alas, my story for the Love is Always Write event is due on Sunday (!!!) and that is taking up my time and brain energy at the moment. I hope to get another chapter of True Love's Kiss out sometime next week though. In lieu of fun stories, I give you pretty pictures and wish you a happy Thursday. =)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Books I've Read Recently

Hi All!
I haven't done a book review post recently so here it goes. =)

Title: Brook Street #3 - Fortune Hunter
Author: Ava March
Publisher: Carina Press
Length: 44,000 words
Rating: 4 Quills
Tags: historical, series, first time, nobility


London, 1822...Impoverished Julian Parker returns London with one goal: marry an heiress. He'll do whatever it takes, even it means denying his desire for men. After all, with a fortune comes happiness and social acceptance - which have eluded Julian his entire life.

The only things a vast fortune have brought Oscar Woodhaven are greedy relatives and loneliness. At twenty-one years of age, he has everything a man could possibly want - except someone to love him. When he meets devastatingly handsome Julian Parker, he believes his luck has turned.

Between Oscar's lavish gifts and their searing hot nights, Julian is caught between what he thinks he needs and what his heart truly desires. But when a betrayal threatens to tear them apart, Julian discovers he'll do whatever it takes to convince Oscar the greatest fortune of all is love.


First off, I must say that I love historical fiction. I like it with romance and without. I like with men and I like it with women. I just love stuff set in the past. That being said, it makes me a little picky about crappy historicals because I know they can be so awesome. Ava March has never failed to impress with her wonderful historically set stories.

In the second book of her Brook Street Trilogy, Ava creates a wonderful dichotomy in Julian. On the one hand, he is unabashedly gold digging for a rich wife. On the other hand, he is a true and loyal friend to Oscar. He finds himself in too deep when he allows his endeavors to snag a suitably wealthy bride overcome his common sense. In order to come out on top he sells a precious gift which Oscar gave him. When Oscar discovers this betrayal he mistakenly believes that Julian never cared for him, only his money. It takes a massive effort and almost two and half years for Julian to convince Oscar of his heart and for these two to find a way to their happily ever after.

I love how Julian and Oscar are perfect balms for each others' distinct brands of loneliness and isolation. Their love sneaks up on them and Julian, at least, is not able to recognize it until he has lost it. I really appreciated the "come to Jesus" moment Benjamin and Cavin (From Brook Street 1 - Thief) had with Julian, where he realizes he might actually have to work to get what he most desires. My one complaint is that two and half years seems an awfully long time to keep our lovers apart while they figure out their lives. So, overall I loved this book and I am awarding it 4 Quills!

You can pick up a copy of Fortune Hunter from Carina Press for $2.99 - click here

Other Books I have Read recently:

I Love You, Asshole by Amy Lane - 3.5 Quills
Twice the Cowboy by James Buchanan - 3 Quills
**Where the Allegheny Meets the Monongahela by Felicia Watson - 4 Quills**
Riot Boy by Katey Hawthorne - 3.5 Quills
Shane's Fury by Stephani Hecht - 2.5 Quills
By the Moonlight by Jaxx Steele - 1 Quill (I would give it less if possible)
Three Wrong Turns in the Desert by Neil Plakcy - 3 Quills
Rougaroux Social Club: Bayou Dreams by Lynn Lorenz - 3.5 Quills
Unnatural Selection by Ann Somerville - 3 Quills
**The Gladiator's Master by Fae Sutherland and Marguerite Labbe - 4.5 Quills**
**The Luckiest by M.J. O'Shea and Piper Vaughn - 5 Quills**
Call Me Sir, Boy by Kim Dare - 3 Quills
Soft Focus by Reno MacLeod and Jaye Valentine - 1.5 Quills
Broken Memories by Diane Adams - 3 Quills
By Chance Met by Eresse - 4 Quills
**Ruffskin by Megan Derr - 4.5 Quills**
Forever in One Second by Finn Marlowe - 3.5 Quills
Foxe Hunt by Haley Walsh - 3 Quills
**Thief by Ava March - 4 Quills**
The Brass Box by K.M. Mahoney - 3 Quills
Question Mark by S.E. Culpepper - 4 Quills

That hasn't all been this week, just since last update (awhile ago). The ** .... ** indicate my top 5 picks from the list! Hope you enjoy.

If you have read any great books recently, let me know in the comments section. I am always looking for books to add to my To Be Read pile. ;)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Music Monday - Peter Hollens

Hello All,
It's that time again: Music Monday!!! This week I discovered someone awesome on youtube. I am mesmerized by his awesomeness so I am sharing PETER HOLLENS with you. Enjoy! =)

I hope that was as fun for you as it was for me. ;) If you've some kick ass music you want to share add your link to the linky tool below!


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tattoo Tuesday - Cute Cat Edition

Ok, I have been badgered by my beloved sister into doing a Tattoo Tuesday. So here goes:

This is a blog hop, yo. So put your link in the linky tool below so we can all enjoy your awesome Tattoo pics!

PS - Make sure to scroll down and read Part 5 of True Love's Kiss!!!

True Love's Kiss - Part 5

Previous Chapter - Part 4

True Love's Kiss - Part 5

“Focus!” Crespanal barked at me as I failed to duck another one his strikes. I dropped one of my hammers and rubbed my shoulder gently as a dull ache spread from where his practice sword had made impact. It had been two weeks since the shooting and it had taken only a matter of days before I went stark raving stir crazy. Eventually, I had convinced my bodyguard, Crespanal, that teaching me to fight was a better use of time than both of us crawling up the walls doing nothing.

He had me using hammers as my weapon of choice because that is what I was used to dealing with in the smithy. I saw he was in position once more, reached down to grab the hammer I had dropped and moved into position as well.

At his signal I slowly began moving around him, looking for an opening. We circled each other for a moment, until I decided to thrown caution to the wind and just go for it. I held one hammer in front of me, protecting me, ready to parry should he strike low and swung my other hammer in a tight arc towards his head. He blocked with his sword. We traded blows for a few more minutes, my confidence growing with every strike I blocked from his wicked practice sword. Finally, for the first time since we had begun training, I managed to get a hit through his defenses. A thrill of success shot through me but my triumph lasted mere seconds before Crespanal upped his game and had me flat on my back, his wooden sword at my throat.

“Better.” He said, with a crazy grin spreading across his grizzled face. He leaned down and offered one arm to me as I struggled to get upright again. When I had my balance again, I strode over to the side of the sparring room, grabbed up our canteens of water, and returned to where Crespanal was waiting. As I tilted back my head to drink deep of the water, I noticed a small movement out of the corner of my eye.