October 27th, 2015

andrew potter

Blog Tour: Truth and Consequences by Sarah Madison

Truth and Consequences (Sixth Sense 3) by Sarah Madison
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (October 14, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 163476627X
ISBN-13: 978-1634766272
Amazon: Truth and Consequences (Sixth Sense 3)
Amazon Kindle: Truth and Consequences (Sixth Sense 3)

When FBI agent Jerry Lee Parker wakes from a coma after a murderous attack on his life, he has no memory of his immediate past. In the blink of an eye, he has gone from having a nearly photographic memory to recalling nothing of the last six months of his life, including his partner and lover, John Flynn. While Lee tries to reboot his past and reconnect with John, there are events at play around him he doesn’t understand. John is keeping secrets from him, secrets which could get them both killed.
Matters come to a head when Lee is hounded to turn over a mysterious artifact, of which he has no knowledge. The two men wind up in a fight for their lives as they risk everything to keep the powerful relic out of the hands of a ruthless killer. In order to protect those he loves, however, John may be forced to make a deal with the devil.

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Meet the author: Sarah Madison is a veterinarian with a big dog, an even bigger horse, too many cats, and a very patient boyfriend. She is a terrible cook, and concedes that her life would be easier if Purina made People Chow. She writes because it is cheaper than therapy.

"I’m a veterinarian, so I tend to put animals in my stories. I lead a very prosaic and boring life, so I make up for that with a wild imagination. I like to explore “what if?” questions in my stories, which lean toward the unusual and alien. You’ll seldom get a simple contemporary romance from me. I love reading stories where two people simply fall in love, but when it comes to writing stories, I always have to throw a curve ball.

Truth and Consequences is book 3 in the Sixth Sense series. It features FBI Agents Jerry Lee Parker and John Flynn, and the events that occur when Flynn accidentally touches a mysterious artifact and gains unusual powers. As the Sixth Sense series unfolds, we learn there is a set of such boxes, and that Lee and John aren’t the only ones looking for them. They’re in over their head, and the water is just getting deeper…"

1) How do you feel about e-books vs print books?
I am very much aware that the advent of e-books made it possible for publishers to take a chance on an unknown author such as me. If it weren’t for the explosion of e-publishers in the wake of the development of e-readers, I’d probably still be waiting for my first contract.
E-publishing took the reins out of the hand of the Big Six (or Five, depending on who you cite) and put it in the hands of the reader. No longer did you have the Big Five serving as a gatekeeper to the reading public, deciding that all heroines had to fit a specific mold (preferably Barbie-like) and all heroes had to appeal to a certain demographic. For the first time, diversity became possible, and to the surprise of many, readers lapped it up.
That said, until I bought a Kindle Paperwhite, I read very few e-books. I like the feel of a print book in my hands. I own over a thousand hard copies. Someone can walk into my house and know that I’m a reader and what kinds of books I like to read. Prior to the Paperwhite, I found e-readers too heavy and clunky to carry around, and reading on my phone drained the battery. Not to mention the very real problem that reading on an e-reader frequently would keep me awake long past the time when I should have been sleeping.
The Paperwhite changed all that. I can read it outside. I can read in bed and it won’t keep me up until 3 am unless the book is that gripping. It’s lightweight, and the battery lasts longer than my old Nook. It’s perfect for travel. I can download new stories with a single click. Given the prices of paperbacks have become ridiculously high, most of my new purchases are in e-book form now.
But if I love an author’s work, I buy the story in print. I want that print copy. I crave that print copy.

2) What process did you go through to get your first book published?
Oh dear. Well, I’d written a story—in fact, it was the first one in this series—Unspeakable Words—and on a whim, I submitted it to Dreamspinner. Never in a million years did I expect to get a contract! In fact, my initial reaction was to take it back and say it wasn’t ready yet. It wound up on Dreamspinner’s Best Seller list for over a month. I was stunned at its reception. Virtually everything I’ve ever submitted has been accepted for publication, with the exception of one or two short stories I’d submitted for anthologies. I’ll be the first to admit, short stories aren’t my forte. In fact, most of my novels began as short story prompts and grew all out of proportion!

3) How do you find or make time to write?
That is the toughest part of this whole gig. I work in an emotionally and physically demanding profession with long hours and frequent interruptions. Many days I come home too mentally fried to contemplate writing. I try to carve out a little time each day though, but it’s one of the reasons I write more slowly than some.

4) Name one person who you feel supported you outside of your family members?
I am supremely fortunate that my boyfriend is incredibly supportive. He doesn’t just think I’m a good writer, he offers his services as proofreader, formatter, website designer and more. We met online as the result of my accidentally signing up for an internet dating service. Because of his background in IT, he googled the name I used on the dating site and discovered my online fanfiction archives. And he still wanted to go out with me! He confessed to having read some of my stories before we went out on our first date, and it soon became obvious he’d read more than one or two. We’ve been together almost a decade now, and I consider him the most important person in my life.

5) Tell us about a book you’re reading now.
I’m reading a murder mystery I picked up for free on Book Bub. I’m struggling with it because I intensely dislike the heroine. I’m guessing she’s supposed to be independent and assertive, but I think she’s just rude. Her behavior is inconsistent, too. I can’t decide if she really is an unlikeable personality or if perhaps we as readers have been taught to be hypercritical of female protagonists. Huh, I feel a blog post on the subject coming on…

Where to find the author:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/akasarahmadison
Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Sarah-Madison-Author/106445646104338
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SarahMadisonFic
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/sarahmadisontoo/
Other: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B004K9QY5C
Goodreads Link: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4057853.Sarah_Madison

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Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy of 'Unspeakable Words' – Book one in the series
Rafflecopter Code:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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andrew potter

2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: A Hard Ride Home by Emory Vargas

A Hard Ride Home by Emory Vargas
Bisexual Historical Romance
Paperback: 204 pages
Publisher: Less Than Three Press (June 17, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1620045737
ISBN-13: 978-1620045732
Amazon: A Hard Ride Home
Amazon Kindle: A Hard Ride Home

It's hard enough returning to his birthplace to replace a dead man as sheriff. The last thing Emmett needs is to find himself smitten with Jesse, the whore he arrests almost immediately upon arrival. Especially since Jesse works for his half-sister and at her thoroughly disreputable saloon. But being smitten with a whore is only the beginning of Emmett's troubles. Silver Creek is a town full of secrets and people too terrified to talk. Why does Emmett's father, the mayor of Silver Creek, have such a strong hold on the town—and on Jesse?

This story felt like an alternate take on the old West. All the characters, heroes and villains alike were interesting, their faults and aspirations realistic and heartwarming. A great read!

Well, this was a novel that was entertaining, funny, and sexy in a way that was totally refreshing. A less-talented author would've made a mess of a story about a Sheriff and the male sex worker he falls for in the Old West. I also liked how the women were portrayed in a positive light without making them come across as saintly. Finally, I can only begin to imagine that some people might take issue with the fact that there are several shortish M/F (and, in one instance, an M/F with a M as a voyeur) scenes. For which I have to give this author lots of kudos. Given the setting (a very small town) and the fact that one half of the pairing is a sex worker, it only makes sense that there would be those kind of scenes in a book some people would consider an M/M. I liked that those scenes were not degrading to the women or unnecessary. All in all, this is definitely one of my favourite books I've read this year.  This is a book set in the town of Silver Creek sometime in the Old West era. Emmett Grady is the newly appointed Sheriff. He keeps running into Jesse Taggart, one of the sex workers for Ms. Devaux. There's a lot of banter as Jesse flirts with Emmett while keeping himself just out of Emmett's reach. But not everything is OK in the small town and soon Emmett discovers that it all leads back to the town's Mayor: his father. I hadn't expected for this book to be so much of a thrill ride (but it was!). Though just a smidgen short--it would've benefited from one transitional chapter between the final chapter and the epilogue--I really have very little to criticize. The one thing that bugged me was that no one in the book had any problems with men seeking out male company for sex. I'm not sure if this was because the Mayor himself was one of these men or if the author thought that adding a homophobic angle was too much. It's a smallish detail, really, but there we are. There was no question that this story happened in the Old West. I might've not been sure of which state Silver Creek was in (it could've been Colorado or Wisconsin, really), the author did a great job of making this novel an immersive experience. I felt the heat when people rode to and from the city, could feel the grit, and enjoy the naughty chaos of the brothel. A novel like this could only shine because of the wonderful characterization: everyone behaved like real people. For example, Emmett was a good person, but he wasn't perfect. Evelyn, his sister, came across as someone cold and calculating in the beginning, but she was also fair and ready to protect her girls and lend a helping hand when needed. Warren, Emmett and Evely's father, was brilliant in his horribleness. He was a villain through and through. My favourite character was Jesse. He was a flirt as well as stubborn, but he had a lot of heart and the kind of inner strength that can move mountains. I also enjoyed that he was happily bisexual, that he tumbled in bed with women with the same kind of enthusiasm as with men. He didn't apologize for his profession (if anything, he was blunt about it, at least with Emmett--probably to scare him off). The rest of the characters (Josephine, Delia, Christine, Roscoe, etc) had moments to shine as well. I can't quite my finger on what it is, but I really loved the narrative style of this novel. It was conversational without trying too hard, funny without being obnoxious, tender and loving where it needed it, and sharp during the action scenes. This novel is by a new-to-me author and, sometimes, it can take a bit for me to get into the story. But I was front and center before the end of Chapter 1. And a big reason for that was the prose style. Very clean and a joy to read.

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andrew potter

2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Temptations of Desire by Tempeste O’Riley

Temptations of Desire (Desires Entwined Book 3) by Tempeste O’Riley
Bisexual Erotic Romance
Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (September 22, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1627989293
ISBN-13: 978-1627989299
Amazon: Temptations of Desire (Desires Entwined Book 3)
Amazon Kindle: Temptations of Desire (Desires Entwined Book 3)

Desires Entwined: Book Three

Alexander James Noble is a gender fluid gay man who gave up on finding Mister Right a long time ago. He’s not asking for much, though. He just wants a guy who loves all of him and appreciates his feminine form too.

At the local LGBTQ center where Alex regularly volunteers, he meets Dal Sayer, an officer of the Milwaukee PD. Because he’s been rejected one too many times, Alex doesn’t trust the huge cop and the interest he shows in him, but once Dal sets his mind on something, he goes all out. Pushing aside his preconceived notions, Alex opens up just a little and soon caves.

From their first date—while dealing with his father’s failing health and his parents’ demands for him to settle down and have children—Dal never takes his eyes off his goal of making Alex his. But proving to Alex he isn’t like all the men who couldn’t see him for who he truly was and only wanted to hide him away is harder than he thought.

Easy read. Loved Alex, Dal was okay, not what I would see in a cop.  Too much family influence on him.

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andrew potter

2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Sandcastles by Suzie Carr

Sandcastles by Suzie Carr
Lesbian Contemporary General Fiction
Paperback: 252 pages
Publisher: Sunny Bee Books (January 5, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0986388106
ISBN-13: 978-0986388101
Amazon: Sandcastles
Amazon Kindle: Sandcastles

Lia is smart, successful, and best friends with Dean, a gay man who is just as neurotic as she. Life is smooth and flowing, unmarked by much more than a little family jealousy here and there, until she runs into Willow, an exciting enigma from her past. Willow, a psychic, receives a sense that something is off kilter surrounding Lia. Should she tell her, even though Lia, the person she’s never been able to stop thinking about since childhood, might run the other way? It’s a risk she decides to take, and Lia’s curiosity surprises her. As truths about life, love and uncertainties are unearthed, Lia and Willow, two women in love with each other, along with their friend Dean, learn to seek strength from unexpected places and people. Along their journeys, the three learn what a struggle it is to maintain their sandcastles as they embrace the parts of their lives that really matter. This book delves into the empowering world of holistic health, natural medicine, reiki healing, acupuncture, and health and wellness.

Excellent, well-written contemporary general fiction novel with a touch of romance. I loved the relationship between the main character and her co-worker, male best friend. Carr had me laughing out loud in parts and tearing up in parts. Again, excellent job.

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