Hard Wired by Megan Erickson & Santino Hassell

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Hard Wired: by Megan Erickson & Santino Hassell
Series: Cyberlove #3
Release Date: February 13th, 2017
Pages: 260 • Format: eARC
Published By: Megtino Press
Purchase Links: Amazon

My FallenCon agenda is simple: sit on a couple of panels and let people meet the real me. Jesse Garvy—mod of a famous Twitch channel and, if I ever come out of my shell, future vlogger. I definitely didn’t plan to sleep with a moody tattooed fan-artist, but he’s gorgeous and can’t keep his hands off me. There’s a first time for everything, and my first time with a guy turns out to be the hottest experience of my life.

But the next day, I find out my moody fan-artist is Ian Larsen AKA Cherry—someone I’ve known online for years. And he’d known exactly who I was while shoving me up against that wall. Before I figure out whether to be pissed or flattered, the con ends.

Now we’re back online, and he’s acting like nothing happened. But despite the distance between us, and the way he clings to the safety of his online persona, we made a real connection that night. I don’t plan to let him forget.

 

four-stars

 

This book should come with a strong warning that ANGST CENTRAL is coming straight ahead. I had no warning, and if I did I would have prepared myself big time for it. I’m not one for the angst, and can deal with it in small portions. Basically the gist of this rambling is to stay, I needed help and no one was there to hold me.

Now that it’s out of the way, whatever comparisons you are making towards the firs two in the series STOP IT. This book is way more darker, morose, sad, then the other two stories. I do feel like the formula of a broken home/childhood has been done in book one and two. I was hoping for something else. It works for the story, but I’m a little over it. I kinda wanted Ian to be somebody completely different, but I totally get Cerise is him 100%. I’m not going into a lot of detail plot wise, but Ian was a harder character for me to grasp more. I feel in love with Jesse right away. Sure he had his problems, minor that they were dealing with his parents. I guess for me, everything was out in the open with him. I didn’t have to guess or wade through his life as much as I did with Ian’s.

I truly love this duo writing team. I mean, Ilona Andrews is still my favorite, but they are #2 in my book. I always describe their writing as Hassell being the emo, hard living, hard life characters, and Erickson is always the optimism, easy going, kinda being effortless in love. They mesh well together, and it’s been like that since book 1. Not in the same way that I stated above, but its how I perceive their characters and writing style.

I will say their love story was exhausting at time. It felt very Carrie & Big-ish. Not a bad comparison, but we all know how that was. The main thing was Ian being scared to depart with his safety net. It’s something that he created at a young age, and stay with him. It’s his comfort, his first love, and something apart of him. Him letting Jesse in is a huge deal. He wants Jesse to accept him with flaws and all. It was a mental game, that Jesse didn’t even know how to participate in.  I really how Jesse dived heart first when it came to Ian. This was something extremely new to him, but he knew that Ian was someone he can be devoted to. Physically they were off the charts. I don’t think either of these character can write a bad sex scene. It’s just no way possible.

I overall enjoyed the story. Loved the new characters being introduced, and my heart was pumping when Garrett’s little dialogue was included. These authors write from such a passionate place that their work always shows the dedication and strength they put forth into writing these amazing stories. I liked that the epilogue was realistic enough to see them maintaining a relationship. Can’t wait for more in this series!

About Megan Erickson

Megan Erickson is a former journalist who switched to fiction when she decided she liked writing her own endings better. She likes to pretend she has control now, but usually her characters are the ones who hold the reins. Her romance novels have a touch of humor, a dash of nerdy, and always a happily ever after.

She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two kids, and two cats named after John Hughes characters. She’s still waiting for the party she was promised when she grew to five feet… maybe because she never got there.

About Santino Hassell

Santino was raised by a conservative family, but he was anything but traditional. He grew up to be a smart-mouthed grunge kid, then a transient twenty-something, and eventually transformed into a guy who spends his days and nights writing romance with an edge.

Santino is a dedicated gamer, a former fanfic writer, an ASoIaF mega nerd, a Grindr enthusiast, but most of all he is a writer of queer fiction that is heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, his belief that human relationships are complex and flawed, and his own life experiences.

Daring Fate by Megan Erickson

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

daring-fateDaring Fate: by Megan Erickson
Series: Silver Tip Pack #1
Release Date: November 14, 2016
Pages: 232 • Format: eARC
Published By: Amazon Digital Services
Purchase Links:
Amazon

We all have tragic backstories in today’s world.

I wake up chained to the wall of a dark cell aware of two things: I failed my sister, and I smell my enemy.

When I’m taken to meet Dare, the alpha of the Silver Tip pack, I’m sure I’m about to lose my throat. The last thing I expect is for the Alpha to recognize me as his fated mate. No way is he going to let me go now, and I still have to find a way to rescue my sister.

As I plot my escape to save her, I find that if I leave, Dare could be killed by power-hungry members of his pack. And now he’s more to me than my fated mate—my heart is involved. With time ticking by on my sister’s life, I have to make a choice I never thought I’d face—my sister’s life or my mate’s? That’s if I can survive the undead shifters intent on killing me first…

 

three-half-stars

Okay, I’m a shifter aficionado. Before there was M/M for me, there was paranormal romance and shapeshifters. I love all kind of shifters. By fair, the wolf is my most read and most watched. Daring Fate is hawt, and fast paced. The right combination for this genre to me. This book was delightful to read. It checked on some of my boxes for good shifter stories.

√Insta-love
√True Mates
√Copious amounts of dirty talk/sex
√ Possessive and jealous nature
√Slick
√Chessy couples
√Aggression
√Saying Mine

I love all of these traits in my shifter novels. Kudos for the dedication as well. I freaking loved Scott Speedman in Underworld, its one of my favorite vampire/werewolves movies. Underworld Evolution is my favorite in the series, but its only because of that magnificent change at the end. LOL. Now onto Daring Fate, I like the different classes that Megan wrote about when it comes to this world. Its dystonia  since humanity is no longer there. She created a species of wolves that I love reading about. The wolf, the human, and the hybrid which is the transition between wolf and human. I liked Reese and Dare together. I mean, it’s traditional shifter story to me. I enjoyed the normal formula of Alpha finding his mate and getting all possessive toward them. I love the copious amounts of dirty talk and things that happen between the two.These two are seriously HAWT together. You definitely don’t want to skip these scenes. Megan excelled on this portion of the story.

When it comes to the plot, I can go 50/50 with them. By that I mean, I can usually accept the cheesy plot, and just read the book version of porn. This book was more plot to the story. As much as I liked the story, I feel like it was just okay outside of the romance. It was obvious from middle until the end. There wasn’t anything substantial that I can boast about. It was okay. I found myself bored after a while, and that’s not something I would think I’d ever say reading a Megan Erickson book. I’m actually more interested in book two, because I think we are going to see two people reunited as that just makes me happy.

About Megan Erickson

Megan Erickson is a former journalist who switched to fiction when she decided she liked writing her own endings better. She likes to pretend she has control now, but usually her characters are the ones who hold the reins. Her romance novels have a touch of humor, a dash of nerdy, and always a happily ever after.

She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two kids, and two cats named after John Hughes characters. She’s still waiting for the party she was promised when she grew to five feet… maybe because she never got there.

Fast Connection by Megan Erickson & Santino Hassell

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

fast connectionFast Connection by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell
Series: Cyberlove, Book Two
Release Date: July 11, 2016
Pages: 235 • Format: eARC
Published By: Megtino Press
Purchase Links:
Amazon KoboB&N iBooks  ARe

After a decade of serving in the Army, everyone still expects me to be Dominic ‘Nicky’ Costigan–the skirt-chasing player. They don’t know I’ve been spending my days trying to figure out my post-military life. Including how to pick up guys.

When I meet Luke on a hookup app, he makes it clear it’s for one-night only. That’s fine with me, because I’m down to see what this silver fox can do. But after I arrive at his doorstep, it doesn’t take long to realize we have serious chemistry, and we end up meeting again.

He’s got more walls around his heart than a military base, but I think he’s as addicted to me as I am to him. He can’t resist me for long. I mean, who can? Except Luke’s rules exist for a reason, and when I test his limits, things get complicated. Maybe too complicated.

*FAST CONNECTION is a standalone, full-length romance novel with no cliffhanger*

five-stars

Honestly, Erickson & Hassell should be around hear screaming….

This book was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. I loved every second of it. I read it in one sitting. Then I waited a couple of days later to read it again! Man, look it’s super hard for me to top my love from Strong Signal. FFS, I own it in paperback and e-book form. I live for Garrett’s grumpy ass and red panda gifs highlight my day. How were they going to top it? Well for starters they were going to take the asshat from Strong Signal and make him the love interest?

Huh??? Why?? Not only do they take Costigan and make him the lead, but then they make him the filty mouth, vulnerable douche bag who you love. GAH!!!! I loved him in this book. He’s coming to terms with his sexuality, while trying to find some footing in his life. His home life sucks big time. It’s an crazy amount of tension, and after so many years in the military he’s working at a Deli. No that’s not good enough for Costigan. Hell it wasn’t good enough for me. Enters grindr, and then Silver Fox.

Good Lord, the man is so hot. Them together were scorching up the place. Yeah it’s official these two know how to write a scene and pull you under.

Luke is a total DILF!!! If I was single and he was real, we’ll be together somehow. Luke is on the cusp of 40 with two teenage kids, and an ex-wife. He doesn’t want a relationship, he just wants sex. What I loved about his character was that he was such a hard ass. Constantly keeping Costigan away but needing him so much more. I loved to see the internal struggle on realizing that Dominic is what he wants. I think the authors did a fabulous job with the plot. I loved how both guys how their own obligations to their families, but knew how to get what they want. I wish I could spoil everything for you, but I won’t. I really enjoyed this book. I can’t praise it enough. I most likely will read it again before the week is over.

Erickson & Hassell should feel like this…

About Megan Erickson

Megan Erickson is a former journalist who switched to fiction when she decided she liked writing her own endings better. She likes to pretend she has control now, but usually her characters are the ones who hold the reins. Her romance novels have a touch of humor, a dash of nerdy, and always a happily ever after.

She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two kids, and two cats named after John Hughes characters. She’s still waiting for the party she was promised when she grew to five feet… maybe because she never got there.

About Santino Hassell

Santino was raised by a conservative family, but he was anything but traditional. He grew up to be a smart-mouthed grunge kid, then a transient twenty-something, and eventually transformed into a guy who spends his days and nights writing romance with an edge.

Santino is a dedicated gamer, a former fanfic writer, an ASoIaF mega nerd, a Grindr enthusiast, but most of all he is a writer of queer fiction that is heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, his belief that human relationships are complex and flawed, and his own life experiences.

Release Day Blitz – Fast Connection by Megan Erickson & Santino Hassell

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fast connectionFast Connection by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell
Series: Cyberlove, Book Two
Release Date: July 11, 2016
Pages: 235 • Format: eARC
Published By: Megtino Press
Purchase Links:
Amazon •  KoboB&NiBooks  ARe

After a decade of serving in the Army, everyone still expects me to be Dominic ‘Nicky’ Costigan–the skirt-chasing player. They don’t know I’ve been spending my days trying to figure out my post-military life. Including how to pick up guys.

When I meet Luke on a hookup app, he makes it clear it’s for one-night only. That’s fine with me, because I’m down to see what this silver fox can do. But after I arrive at his doorstep, it doesn’t take long to realize we have serious chemistry, and we end up meeting again.

He’s got more walls around his heart than a military base, but I think he’s as addicted to me as I am to him. He can’t resist me for long. I mean, who can? Except Luke’s rules exist for a reason, and when I test his limits, things get complicated. Maybe too complicated.

*FAST CONNECTION is a standalone, full-length romance novel with no cliffhanger*



IMG_1937

About Megan Erickson

Megan Erickson is a former journalist who switched to fiction when she decided she liked writing her own endings better. She likes to pretend she has control now, but usually her characters are the ones who hold the reins. Her romance novels have a touch of humor, a dash of nerdy, and always a happily ever after.

She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two kids, and two cats named after John Hughes characters. She’s still waiting for the party she was promised when she grew to five feet… maybe because she never got there.

About Santino Hassell

Santino was raised by a conservative family, but he was anything but traditional. He grew up to be a smart-mouthed grunge kid, then a transient twenty-something, and eventually transformed into a guy who spends his days and nights writing romance with an edge.

Santino is a dedicated gamer, a former fanfic writer, an ASoIaF mega nerd, a Grindr enthusiast, but most of all he is a writer of queer fiction that is heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, his belief that human relationships are complex and flawed, and his own life experiences.

Out of Frame (In Focus #3) by Megan Erickson

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Out of FrameOut of Frame by Megan Erickson
Series: In Focus
Release Date: March 15, 2016
Pages: 202 • Format: eARC
Published By: InterMix
Purchase Links:
iBooksAmazon Kobo

Romance trades the open road for the high seas in the latest from the author of Focus on Me and Trust the Focus

Perpetually shy, Quinn Mathers is content to remain in the shadow of his brash best friend Jess Hartman. But before their college graduation, he and Jess have planned one last hurrah: a spring break Caribbean cruise.
 
And it won’t be just any cruise. On board are members of the reality show Trip League, which follows young twenty-somethings on adventures around the world. Since the show’s beginning, Quinn has been fascinated by J. R. Butler, with his amazing body, warm eyes, and killer grin. Unfortunately, he’s straight—or so the world thinks.
 
At nineteen, J. R. signed a contract to play straight for the show, and there’s no way to get out of it now. Yet with each passing day, Quinn and J. R. find it harder to keep their hands off each other and to keep out of the camera’s frame. But when the lens finally focuses on them, J. R. must decide if he’s willing to risk his career by admitting his bisexuality, and Quinn must determine if he’s bold enough to stand in the spotlight with the man of his dreams…

four-stars

“Even though I really liked the girls, I felt like I was lying to them. They’d be like, ‘Oh damn, that Idris Elba is fine,’ and I wanted to be like, ‘Fuck yeah, I know, right? I’d hit that.'”

Dude, she totally wrote that for me. Everyone online knows who I swoon for. Gosh I love Idris Elba so much!!!! Thank you for including that.(If you didn’t write that for me, don’t tell anyone you didn’t ;D). Meeting Quinn from book two and reading about his character in this book was a bit of a refreshment for me. I loved the realistic ways Megan writes this series. I need to say this people this isn’t a GFY/OFY. J.R states the entire book that he’s bi-sexual. It isn’t a revelation that he has when he sees Quinn. I think that needs to be said, because I don’t want his sexuality to be taken from him. He was adamant about being who he is, but he couldn’t be out because of his career. It’s not so hard to see that, seeing as men don’t want their sexuality to dictate what job they can get or do. I freaking get, and loved him way much more.

Quinn’s mom giving him those sea bands were one of the most sweetest moments. Looked what the outcome was. I really liked Quinn, I didn’t see him as introverted as he stated to be most of the time, but that could be because he was on a spring break cruise with other college students drunk most of the time. Alcohol does give you liquid courage. I definitely connected with Quinn on the stifling or overprotective parents front. Not at his age maybe in my teens for sure. He couldn’t be himself, or grow to learn or make mistakes. When he opened up, I definitely saw that ginger side come out of him. I really enjoyed how understanding he was with Jay.

“It’s not even just about wanting to be with Quinn, or another guy. This is about me. It’s about being black and queer and compromising because that’s all I’ve ever done in my fucking life, you know?”

It was something about Jay as a character that grabbed at my heart. He’s not a character that I’ve read about before. He acknowledged liking both sexes. I felt so raw when he described his reasons for not coming out. I literally wanted to scream for him, because not once did he think about himself. He made a decision at 18, that unfortunately he hates 4 years later. He can’t just come out because all he thinks about is his brother’s medical bills, helping his parents out, he thinks about the fans & masses who he lied to for all these years. He has been told that his career wouldn’t be what it is, he’s afraid of having nothing. Reading his dialogue, I just got it. I liked what Quinn & Jay were able to mean to each other. Quinn had someone finally noticing him, and Jay had someone who knew the real him. Of course Megan physical scenes were hot, and while the dirty talk was severely lacking. I actually wanted filthy dirty talk, but hopefully we’ll get some in the next book. I’ll leave us with this line from Quinn that I liked.

He noticed me. And I made him feel special.

About Megan Erickson

Megan Erickson is a former journalist who switched to fiction when she decided she liked writing her own endings better. She likes to pretend she has control now, but usually her characters are the ones who hold the reins. Her romance novels have a touch of humor, a dash of nerdy, and always a happily ever after.

She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two kids, and two cats named after John Hughes characters. She’s still waiting for the party she was promised when she grew to five feet… maybe because she never got there.

Trust the Focus (In Focus #1) by Megan Erickson @Tantoraudio

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Trust the Focus (In Focus #1) by Megan Erickson @Tantoraudioon 2015-03-17
Pages: 222
Amazon • (Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)
From the author of Make it Count comes the first novel in the In Focus series… With his college graduation gown expertly pitched into the trash, Justin Akron is ready for the road trip he planned with his best friend Landry— and ready for one last summer of escape from his mother’s controlling grip. Climbing into the Winnebago his father left him, they set out across America in search of the sites his father had captured through the lens of his Nikon. As an aspiring photographer, Justin can think of no better way to honor his father’s memory than to scatter his ashes at the sites he held sacred. And there’s no one Justin would rather share the experience with more than Landry. But Justin knows he can’t escape forever. Eventually he’ll have to return home and join his mother’s Senate campaign. Nor can he escape the truth of who he is, and the fact that he’s in love with his out-and-proud travel companion.Admitting what he wants could hurt his mother’s conservative political career. But with every click of his shutter and every sprinkle of ash, Justin can’t resist Landry’s pull. And when the truth comes into focus, neither is prepared for the secrets the other is hiding.Megan Erickson worked as a journalist covering real-life dramas before she decided she liked writing her own endings better and switched to fiction. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two kids and two cats. When she's not tapping away on her laptop, she's probably listening to the characters in her head who won't stop talking.
three-half-stars

This was my first time listening to the narration of Marc Bachmann and I enjoyed it. His voice was smooth and enjoyable. It added to my enjoyment of this love story.

Justin and Landry have been best friends since elementary school, so who better to join Justin when he took a road trip to scatter his dad’s ashes? Right after their high school graduation, Justin and Landry load up into Justin’s RV and they head off for adventure which was supposed to help Justin gain some healing from the loss of his father. While being confined to such close quarters, Landry struggled with his feeling for his heterosexual best friend. Landry had always been aware of his sexuality and Justin was aware that Landry was gay but it never affected their relationship. But a revelation by Justin on their travels threatened to rip them apart.

I liked this story but I didn’t love it. I just felt that Justin didn’t deserve Landry. Justin wasn’t as honest with Landry and I believe he knew that Landry desired to feel like he wasn’t a freak. I understand some of Justin’s fear but if you can’t tell your best friend, whom can you tell? It took me a while to warm to them as a pair and even longer to fathom Justin’s choices. It bothered me that the breaking of words didn’t keep Justin from letting down Landry time and time again. Each time Landry forgave him and they would be reconciled to each other only to see Justin deny Landon again. It just seemed quite one sided for a while. I had a hard time liking Justin but I will admit that he grew as the story went on. I love stories of self-discovery and maturity by characters. I appreciate the author didn’t weigh the reader down with angst. In the end, I liked Justin and could finally embrace them as a couple. The journey was just as much about self-actualization as much scattering his father’s ashes. It was so cool that his father seemed to have seen it all and gave him comfort through words. Familial support is so vital when one is grappling with inner struggle. The mother was a welcomed surprise as her reaction was a balm to Justin. It added another layer of enjoyment to an already well written story. I have never read this author and I am pleased that it was as entertaining as fellow readers expressed to me.

I look forward to the next audiobook in this series as Justin and Landry continue on grow together.

*Special Thanks to Tantor Audio for the audiobook given in exchange for an honest review.
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About Megan Erickson

Megan Erickson is a former journalist who switched to fiction when she decided she liked writing her own endings better. She likes to pretend she has control now, but usually her characters are the ones who hold the reins. Her romance novels have a touch of humor, a dash of nerdy, and always a happily ever after.

She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two kids, and two cats named after John Hughes characters. She’s still waiting for the party she was promised when she grew to five feet… maybe because she never got there.

Strong Signal: Giveaway and Q&A with Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell

We,  at Oh My Shelves would like to give a warm Valentine’s Day welcome to authors Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell, who have co-written a fun, romantic and smoking hot story about finding love online and moving it into the realness of daily life.

They have gratuitously answered a few of our questions and are offering a wonderful prize for a giveaway. 

******

OMS: How did the two of you “meet” and how did the idea of the book come about?

Megan: I’m not sure exactly how we met. I think we started creeping into each other social circles. He’d read my books, then I read his, and I think we were fans of each other’s work first, which is a great foundation to have if you plan to co-write.

Santino: Wow, I actually don’t remember either. I know for sure it was after last year’s RT Convention, though. The idea for the book came about after Megan mentioned Twitch to me, which she’d been discussing with her husband. It went from her writing a book about female gamers who use Twitch, to me saying “well if you don’t, I will!” to us going “let’s do write it together!”

OMS:  Did you each write a character??? We think we may know who wrote whom but…

Megan: I mostly wrote Kai, and Santino mostly wrote Garrett, but we hopped into each character a lot. And the characterizations were definitely a collaboration.

Santino: Yeah, basically if there is a scene in Garrett POV I was writing both Kai and Garrett (and side characters), and she’d write Garrett if the scene was in Kai POV. It worked out really well, honestly.

OMS: The chat conversations felt so real between Garrett and Kai, they read as if we were online with a friend for the first time getting to know one another. Were those actual chats between the two of you doing a sort of role play as the characters?

Megan: Actually no, we didn’t converse back and forth writing those. I wrote some conversations and Santino wrote others. We’d often go in later and tweak word usage or reaction to fit the characters a bit better.

Santino: Role playing that is my worst nightmare. LOL. But, I think just the fact that we’re people who converse primarily via chat and who have made friends online really allowed for a sort of ease in demonstrating how people can connect.

Strong Signal teaser

OMS: With both MC’s being a level of introvert, the characters read as if you both got it, and not just from a research aspect so we’re curious, which of the characters do you identify with? Kai or Garrett?

Megan: I’m not an introvert. I think I’m more of an ambivert? I get really energized around people, and I enjoy being social, but then I need to hermit up for days afterward. I related to Kai in the sense that he could control his life online more than he could in the “real world.” He could shut off the computer when things got to be too much. His retreat skills are excellent.

Santino: I relate to Garrett in the sense that most people piss me off. They don’t make me uncomfortable, and I don’t have social anxiety, but I’m super grumpy and like my alone time. In other ways, I related to Kai in the way people sometimes latch onto me online or say inappropriate things without necessarily thinking of how Santino the Human Being may think or feel about it because they’re used to Santino the Author who CAN’T always react to certain things because my social media presence is part of my job.

OMS: The insecurity about meeting someone “live” after having a long, intimate online relationship was again, spot on. We’d like to think we wouldn’t react the way Kai did with the first physical meeting, but, you know? ☺ Has that happened to either of you and if so, what resulted when finally meeting face to face?

Megan: Well I first met my husband online. We talked for several months, and we became very close friends. When I finally met him in person, he would barely say three words to me. He was shy, and it’s kind of a head trip to now speak in person when you’ve spoken through a computer for so long. We used to message each other rather than meet in person until gradually we both thawed a little.

Santino: Well, most of my online meetings have stemmed from online dating sites or hookup apps. Yeah, I’m that guy. For the most part, those meetings are pretty straight forward if you catch my drift, although there have been occasions where I wound up befriending a person who was initially just supposed to be a hookup. The guy I’m hanging out with now is one of those people.

OMS:  Megan, how does the experience of co-writing compare to that of going at it solo now that you have done both?

Megan:Well I’m trying to write a book now by myself and I’m having a tough time, haha. I got so used to brainstorming with Santino, I’m so sad I have to do everything on my own again!

OMS: Santino, as you have co-written before with Ais, and the ICoS series, which do you prefer or how does having a co-author benefit or hinder your writing?

Santino: They’re both good experiences, but I think it’s a lot swifter to share characters like Megan and I did instead of writing in shifts/having to be in a Google Doc at the same time like I did with Ais. Whenever me and Ais work on ICoS again, I may suggest we try this out. And honestly, having a co-writer is GREAT. I get so much more work done.

OMS: The blurb for the next book in the Cyberlove series has us ridiculously excited and we can’t wait for that boy to fall head over heels for a guy! Is there a set number of books in the series or will it just continue if y’all have more ideas/stories?

Megan: There isn’t a set number at this time. We have maybe.. one or two more ideas? All around the idea of finding love online. If the ideas keep coming, who knows!

Santino: What she said. 🙂 There’s plenty of room for more and if people are interested, and make that known, we will definitely see what happens in the future.

 

We’d like to thank you both, so much for your time and for giving us a wonderful story. 

******

The authors are generously hosting a giveaway for a Kindle Fire.

Enter below.

 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Strong Signal CoverStrong Signal  by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell
Series: Cyberlove
Release Date: February 15, 2016
Pages: 212 • Format: eARC
Published By: Megtino Press
Purchase Links:
Amazon USAmazon UK • KoboB&N iBooks


 

About Megan Erickson

Megan Erickson is a former journalist who switched to fiction when she decided she liked writing her own endings better. She likes to pretend she has control now, but usually her characters are the ones who hold the reins. Her romance novels have a touch of humor, a dash of nerdy, and always a happily ever after.

She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two kids, and two cats named after John Hughes characters. She’s still waiting for the party she was promised when she grew to five feet… maybe because she never got there.

About Santino Hassell

Santino was raised by a conservative family, but he was anything but traditional. He grew up to be a smart-mouthed grunge kid, then a transient twenty-something, and eventually transformed into a guy who spends his days and nights writing romance with an edge.

Santino is a dedicated gamer, a former fanfic writer, an ASoIaF mega nerd, a Grindr enthusiast, but most of all he is a writer of queer fiction that is heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, his belief that human relationships are complex and flawed, and his own life experiences.

Strong Signal (Cyberlove #1) by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

 

Strong Signal Cover

Strong Signal  by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell
Series: Cyberlove
Release Date: February 15, 2016
Pages: 212 • Format: eARC
Published By: Megtino Press
Purchase Links:
Amazon USAmazon UK • KoboB&N iBooks

I was counting down the months until the end of my deployment. My days were spent working on military vehicles, and I spent my nights playing video games that would distract me until I could leave Staff Sergeant Garrett Reid behind.
 
That was when I met him: Kai Bannon, a fellow gamer with a famous stream channel.
 
I never expected to become fixated on someone who’d initially been a rival. And I’d never expected someone who oozed charm to notice me—a guy known for his brutal honesty and scowl. I hadn’t planned for our online friendship to turn into something that kept me up at night—hours of chatting evolving into filthy webcam sessions.
 
But it did. And now I can’t stop thinking about him. In my mind, our real life meeting is perfect. We kiss, we fall into bed, and it’s love at first sight.
 
Except, like most things in my life, it doesn’t go as planned.
 
*Strong Signal is a standalone, full-length novel with no cliffhanger*

five-stars

Wow. This book kinda kicked my ginger butt. In a good way of course but I should have known that with this author pairing, I would get the fun but I would also get kicked in the nards of feels and boy did I ever.

Let me start by saying, this review will be emotional. So shocking coming from me, eh? But really, my emotions are on overdrive and this book hit really close to home for me in a few ways, some I’ll share but… yeah, you don’t need that much information from the over word usage reviewer. Amirite?

The saying about the tree? If a tree fell, and no one heard it, would it make a sound? I wondered that about myself sometimes, many times over the years. If I was gone, and I wasn’t missed, would I have lived? 

There is so much in this book that sums up a lot about me as an introvert while it accurately highlights the awesomeness of introverts as well as the isolation. Garret and Kai are both introverts, to their own degree and it was a pure pleasure to be among to characters that were so like myself.

How the boys meet was total perfection. Online relationships are my jam. They are the way I can communicate to others who are like me, who get me and who accept me for the oddball that I am. That Kai and Garrett met the way they did, that they formed an instant connection and fell hard for one another is not something of a fairy tale. That for me is real life.

What this book really gets is the relationships that can be formed online and not just romantic ones. While reading the early exchanges between Garrett and Kai it brought me back to the people I have met online and become close friends with. It made me smile thinking of our first emails where we bonded so quickly without walls, borders and the false pretense that can happen meeting face to face. Now, years later the online exchanges are such a comfort to read and have reatined that raw vulnerability that you get from being able to control your side of the situation. It also made me sad thinking of the online relationships I thought were special and sacred but turned out to be lies. It goes both ways with online interactions but this book, the authors obviously get the unique experience of meeting someone online and fostering the special relationship that forms.

But online, I can control my space. I can determine who comes in my space, and if it all becomes too much, I press the power button.

Kai… oh boy I got Kai on a deep level. I don’t think it’s quite understood that you can be introverted online tough you can have a side that seems outgoing, extroverted and secure to the masses, but inside… inside the person is so very different and while I haven’t reached the status Kai has with his degree of social anxiety I really got that being in control of your space is what’s important. Ugh. I mean, when I get time off from work, I forget to go outside of my house for days and it is fine with me. If I wasn’t married with sons, dogs and a job, I’d be so much like Kai and never leave my controlled comfort space. Kai’s anxiety over meeting Garrett… *whistles*, I felt that deep in my soul. You see, I’m good when I can control the situation online, like Kai is but meeting someone outside of that controlled setting where I can’t edit the hell out of myself… someone needs to get me a fan and paper bag so I can breathe… because doing that, even as a friend and feeling that vulnerable… it’s hard. Just really hard. So yeah, I get that.

Garrett, my dear grumbly, scruffy military man with a soft spot for smart assed gamers, how much do I love you? I got you too, dude with the way you grew up and how you had to take care of yourself at such a young age. I got it all down to your favorite “home cooked” meal that is pure crap but for me, though I don’t eat it anymore, would be Minute Rice and canned Cheddar Cheese soup. That right there is pure comfort food. When you grow up poor you find comfort in things you cling to of a happy time or times so yup, I got it.

The gaming was so much fun to read. I am not a full gamer myself but I have friends and my sons who are and this created a fun dialogue with my middle son about Twitch streams and online games. Thank goodness it was all ironed out over vegan smoothies with him and he showed me some of his favorite gamers on Twitch and the games he played. So um, well done authors for providing more chat time with my son.

ANYWAY.

You wanna know how I read this? I read this at work on my computer sitting at my desk surrounded by college students preparing for the spring semester. I read this with such focus and intent that I passed my lunch hour and forgot to eat and when I finally heated up said lunch, I barely touched it because I was so into the damn book. Seriously. This sucked me in and turned me out so fast and hard, I forgot to eat.

Now, I need to take a moment to gush about the cover? Lets’ just stare at it for a moment and think of that being a tangible man in our lives. Now that we’ve done that, *fans self* I love that the cover nailed the blend of the authors and nailed it hard. Natasha Snow combined the raw, gritty sexiness of Hassells work with the conventional marketability Erickson brings with her emotional sensuality. The cover IS the book and the cover, for me IS the authors and the cover IS hawt…AF! You know?

This was such an amazing book. I laughed, I cried, I swooned, I considered the possibility of dry humping stationary objects around my desk… kidding. Or not? The pairing of Erickson and Hassell was flawless. The writing flows effortlessly from the alternating POV’s and there simply is no way you cannot fall in love with Garrett and Kai. The gchats, skype, dogs/honey badgers, care packages, conversations from a hallway, alpha protectiveness and the lengths you go to for the person/people you love, yeah this book was so damn good.

But you know what is even better? The end and the small blurb for the next book. Good lord. I love it when authors can take a surface douche bag of a character and have me jonseing for their story. ACK! I need that boy to fall hard and fast and yeah. All that.

Okay, I am done. Rambling ginger out.

Just go read the book, mmm kay?

Thanks.

 

About Megan Erickson

Megan Erickson is a former journalist who switched to fiction when she decided she liked writing her own endings better. She likes to pretend she has control now, but usually her characters are the ones who hold the reins. Her romance novels have a touch of humor, a dash of nerdy, and always a happily ever after.

She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two kids, and two cats named after John Hughes characters. She’s still waiting for the party she was promised when she grew to five feet… maybe because she never got there.

About Santino Hassell

Santino was raised by a conservative family, but he was anything but traditional. He grew up to be a smart-mouthed grunge kid, then a transient twenty-something, and eventually transformed into a guy who spends his days and nights writing romance with an edge.

Santino is a dedicated gamer, a former fanfic writer, an ASoIaF mega nerd, a Grindr enthusiast, but most of all he is a writer of queer fiction that is heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, his belief that human relationships are complex and flawed, and his own life experiences.

Tied to Trouble (Gamers #3) by Megan Erickson

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Tied to Trouble (Gamers #3) by Megan Ericksonon 2016-01-04
Pages: 175
(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)
A sexy new M/M romance from Entangled's Brazen imprint...Between love and hate, there's a whole lot of trouble...Chad Lake only showed up at his sister's party for the free food, but when he spots an uptight nerd at the edge of the crowd, he can't resist trying to ruffle the guy's perfect bow tie and impeccable hair. The hottie's ready for him, though, and in the end, it's Chad who's left wide-eyed, his ears still ringing with the filthy things Bow Tie whispered in his ear. No one gets the upper hand on Chad. Ever. Owen Hawkins has heard all about the cocky Adonis from Chad's sister—the same sister who holds Owen's career advancement in her hands. He has every intention of steering clear of the other man...until Chad's sexy taunts push him too far. There's something intriguing about Chad, and even though Owen knows that getting tangled up with the infuriating man is trouble, he can't seem to stay away...
three-half-stars

I accept any and all M/M books from Megan Erickson. I feel in love with her Focus series. Those guys were amazing. So when I found out she was releasing a M/M in another series, I jumped on it. I really love her writing style. Reading this I was able to see how consistent I felt with her writing. She is an amazing story teller. Just when I thought I was going to coast through this story with my emotions impact, she gut punches your ass back to reality! ARGH!!!! That statement that Owen made to Chad damn near killed me. I was like Chad trying to figure out why my face was wet with tears. I see the car crash coming, but I didn’t expect that reaction. I freaking loved that moment of vulnerability.

Here’s where I’m not really feeling. Both guys actually annoyed me at times. Chad’s not wanting, and wanting to be wanted was a bit much. Owen’s nerdy, anti-social side didn’t match his abrasive bedroom side to me. Maybe they shouldn’t match, but I kinda felt like Owen’s character could have been confident the entire time and it would have worked. They were magic together and I really liked it. Those bow ties were the best prop EVER!!!! Goodness this lady writes some rocking, hot sex scenes! I can’t wait for more from her! She is a must read author!

About Megan Erickson

Megan Erickson is a former journalist who switched to fiction when she decided she liked writing her own endings better. She likes to pretend she has control now, but usually her characters are the ones who hold the reins. Her romance novels have a touch of humor, a dash of nerdy, and always a happily ever after.

She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two kids, and two cats named after John Hughes characters. She’s still waiting for the party she was promised when she grew to five feet… maybe because she never got there.

This entry was posted in Review.