Blog Tour & Giveaway: Absolutely, Almost Perfect by Lissa Reed

Oh My Shelves welcomes Lissa Reed to the blog today! Asked her some questions and she is nice enough to chat with Oh My Shelves. She comes baring excerpts, giveaways, and a sequel to two wonderful guys! Absolutely Almost Perfect released on August 3rd, 2017 is a 4 star read from our Mika! Please give a big shout out to Lissa, and make sure you follow along the blog tour so you won’t miss out a really good giveaway and a chance to win the e-book! Check it out!

Q&A with Lissa Reed, author of Absolutely, Almost, Perfect.

Hi Lissa, thanks for stopping by! Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.

Hi there! I am a writer, knitter, baker, and cat fancier living in Dallas. I do tech work by day, but my free time is spent engaged in the art of making up entertaining lies, a pastime that’s been close to my heart since I was a small child. Absolutely, Almost, Perfect is my third book.

How do you feel about e-books vs print books?

Honestly, I love both. Owning a Kindle means I can carry dozens of books in my purse and not break the straps. It means I can easily get books in different languages and not have to pay horrible shipping charges. I love the search within a book option.

But you know, there’s something about a print book, about the smell of paper and ink. About the heft of it in your hand, and the way it sounds to ruffle the pages. There are some books I just want in print form, too, like the Harry Potter books or cookbooks or old books from my childhood. Ultimately, the important thing is that I have books of some kind around me at all times.

What process did you go through to get your first book published?

Interlude Press found me through my friend Mimsy Hale, who is also published with them. Up until then, I had only written fanfiction. It was quite an adjustment, mostly in the editing stages – I had some stringent betas in the fanfic world, but our editing team at Interlude is, as you would expect, a whole new level. I had to – am still having to – get a better handle on the grammar things I mostly ignored in school. I was a big coaster in English class, I got through on the strength of my written essays and term papers, and boy, am I feeling it now!

How do you find or make time to write?

I work during the day, so I have to, by default, write at night and on weekends. Right now I am only writing on Sundays, because I am working on a new project that’s pretty intense and I need to just have the one day a week to fully sit down and concentrate on it.

That said, I do constantly take notes on my phone. I have been known to write entire chapters in the Notes app or in the Google Docs app. I saw a thread on Twitter the other day about a writer who was taking a flight and he watched a fellow passenger – a teenage girl – whip out her phone and fly through typing what he estimated to be about four thousand words of solid fiction. And he was just in awe of her, and it was awesome, because so frequently that’s how I work! Not to the tune of 4k in a few hours, I only wish, but yeah, on my phone. People have kind of given me grief sometimes for being on my phone a lot, but honestly, apart from being a lifeline to friends around the world, it is also my main writing tool next to my laptop. Frankly, it’s easier on my wrists, too.

Name one person who you feel supported you outside of your family members?

So many! But I am going to shout out my friend Alana here. She’s been cheering me on with the Sucre Coeur series from day one, from the earliest drafts. I named a restaurant after her in book two and just flat out dedicated this third book to her. She’s been a friend since my fandom days and I am so lucky to have had someone so upbeat and encouraging with me on this little journey.

Tell us about a book you’re reading now.

Oh, man. I am reading The Cartographer by Tamsen Parker. Her Compass series was recommended to me last year, and when I found out she was writing a book focused on the character of Reyes Walter, I flipped. Could not wait for it! Rey is sort of the driving force behind the Compass books, a real BDSM puppet master pulling strings in the name of helping people, so I’ve been very, very eager to see who Tamsen finds for him. I love a good story about a lone wolf meeting their match. I am making this one last, let me tell you. I don’t want it to end!

Absolutely Almost Perfect: by Lissa Reed
Series: Sucre Coeur #3
Release Date: August 3rd, 2017
Pages: • Format: e-book
Published By: Interlude Press
Purchase Links:
Interlude PressAmazonSmashwords

Craig Oliver and Alex Scheff lead a charmed life. Craig is part owner of Sucre Coeur, the bakery he’s loved and managed for years. Alex is an up-and-coming Seattle photographer. Their relationship has been going strong for a year, and everything is absolutely perfect—right up until Craig receives a wedding invitation from his long-estranged brother.

As Craig grows tense over seeing his brother for the first time in years, Alex can’t control his anxiety over meeting Craig’s family. At the wedding in an English hamlet, boisterous Scottish mothers, smirking teenage sisters, and awkward ex-boyfriends complicate the sweet life they lead.

 

Excerpt

Deftly, she ducks out of his arms with a sly grin that doesn’t exactly fill Craig with joy. “Right. Avoiding that topic in the interests of maintaining peace?”
Uh-oh.

“Let’s talk about your wedding plans!” She takes back her towel and tucks it into place, smiling at him all the while. “Hmm?”
No. No, there’s not one thing about that question that he likes, not even a little. “Don’t quite get what you mean,” he lies. Of course, he knows exactly what she means. He’s been tense while waiting for her to find an opportunity to bring it up again and damn if he didn’t just hand it to her himself. Still. Four days, one almost had to admire her restraint.
But he doesn’t want to think about it. The ring has been a pulsing beacon from its new hiding place, fraying his nerves with its very presence as everything goes pear-shaped.

“You do too,” Chloe retorts, her eyes narrowed. “Assuming you find a good time to propose and Alex accepts, you’ll have your own wedding to plan. Any luck figuring out when you’ll pop The Big Question?”
“Ah, well, I had in mind perhaps the thirty-fifth of Septembruary, at the High Noon of Absolutely Never.” This is a conversation Craig wants to have even less than any with or about Duncan. Proposing to Alex seemed like such a no-brainer when he first picked up the ring. Even when he was making sure it was still securely hidden in his bag, he had nothing but confidence in his decision.

Then they came here. And everything went madder than Craig could have expected. He winces. How can he even consider proposing after this?

Craig crosses back to his bowls of ingredients. He rests his full weight on the counter, and the sigh that comes out of him could send a paper boat across a pond. The guilt that propels it could sink the boat. “Chloe.”

“No, no, no,” she says as she scampers over to stand next him. With pursed lips, she sticks a finger in front of his face and waves it around. “No second thoughts. You bought the ring, he’s lovely, no second thoughts.”

Craig laughs in disbelief. “I’m not having second thoughts about him, Cee.” Not even remotely. Almost two years they’ve been inseparable now and Craig loves Alex so much it could steal his breath and he’d count the loss as negligible. “Never about him.”

Chloe manages an entire ten seconds of staring before she raises her hands and asks, “So, what then?”

He snorts and gives her a sidelong glance. “You spent Tuesday night combing buttercream out of your hair and you have to ask?”

Giveaway
Grand Prize $25 IP Gift Card + Multi-format eBook of Hold // Five winners receive Absolutely, Almost, Perfect eBook

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author

Lissa Reed is a writer of fiction, blogs, and bawdy Renaissance song parodies. She traces her early interest in writing back to elementary school, when a teacher gifted her with her first composition book and told her to fill it with words. After experimenting with print journalism, Reed shifted her writing focus to romance and literary fiction and never looked back. She lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Absolutely, Almost, Perfect is the third book in her Sucre Coeur Series.
Get to know Lissa Reed at lissareed.com; on Twitter @lissareedbooks; and on on Instagram at lissa_angeline.

 

Idlewild by Jude Sierra

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.

Idlewild: by Jude Sierra
Release Date: December 1, 2016
Pages: 250 • Format: eARC
Published By: Interlude Press
Purchase Links:
AmazonInterlude Press

Asher Schenck and his husband John opened their downtown gastropub at the start of Detroit’s revival. Now, five years after John’s sudden death, Asher is determined to pull off a revival of his own. In a last ditch attempt to bring Idlewild back to life, he fires everyone and hires a new staff. Among them is Tyler Heyward, a recent college graduate in need of funds to pay for medical school. Tyler is a cheery balm for Asher’s soul, and their relationship quickly shifts from business to friendship. When they fall for each other, it is not the differences of race or class that challenge their love, but the ghosts and expectations of their respective pasts. Will they remain stuck or move toward a life neither of them has allowed himself to dream about?

 

four-stars

“It happens. Love is a constant practice and it’s not always easy”.

A slow burner romance, about friendships, family, forgiveness, second chance love, vulnerability and being true to yourself.

Wow. Didn’t expect this at all.  I initially requested this book to read based off the cover. I hadn’t heard about Jude Sierra or anything, and I’m so happy that I read this book. My thoughts are all over the place seeing as I just finished reading it and wanted to get a review done immediately. The one thought that keeps repeating itself in my mind is vulnerability. I haven’t felt vulnerable from reading a book in a long time. Sierra writes so beautifully, and the best thing about this story was the complete utter focus on Asher & Tyler. It’s like standing in a whirlwind situation, but being laser focused on one specific thing. It’s how I would describe the authors complete devotion to these two.

I’m in awe on how much I love both guys. Tyler is super vulnerable in this story, but he shines so bright, and he’s so sweet that hurts when he hurts. Every description on him being able to change or adapt to someone’s else standard was like a knife in my stomach. From the very beginning, I was compelled by him. I really did like seeing all the different sides to Tyler. He is a sweet guy, and reading about him wanting things to work, or settling because he wanted to be loved just put my emotions in over drive. There were glimpse of the real Tyler. They came out when he passionate about something, and his city was something he was definitely passionate about. Another thing that I feel in love with was the author’s descriptions about Detroit. It’s like a 3rd home for me, seeing as I have family there and drive there quite often. I’ve never seen Detroit how they see it. I don’t know if it’s because I’m a tourist. I see Detroit as something completely different, but reading it from their experience has left me wanting to visit this magical place. Jude has done a really great job of equating daily present events, thoughts, and feelings about this city into something magical. You don’t fall in love with just Asher & Tyler, but being in the city and witnessing from there experience makes you want to almost be there.

Asher, Asher, Asher. He’s grieving in the beginning of this story. He’s a widower at a young age, and the death of his husband is to much to handle. He’s lost focus on important things, and even letting himself go. It takes him a few years to realize that life is moving on around him, and their dream of Idlewild is slowly dying. He decides to take the bull by the horn so to speak and give life back into Idlewild. While doing that he makes himself believe that he hasn’t forgotten John, but he’s over it. This story was extremely character driven. I mean its a really good story where everything you can think of the author covers it. From every little response, reaction, feeling and the initial meeting of Tyler its there.

I didn’t like the tense it was written in at first, but after awhile I couldn’t make myself put it down. I didn’t expect so many emotions to come up while reading this. I have love for both guys, and I would have like to see more even at the end of them. I wanted to see the parents reactions and first meetings!! Argh, I feel a little cheated. Gah, Jude if you read this review, could you write a follow up novella please. I really want to see more of these two, and thank you for writing Asher & Tyler’s story. I think this story will stick with me for the rest of the year.

About Jude Sierra

Jude began her writing career at the age of eight when she immortalized her summer vacation with ten entries in a row that read “pool+tv”.

As a sucker for happy endings and well written emotional arcs and characters, Jude is an unapologetic bookaholic. She finds bookstores and libraries unbearably sexy and, to her husband’s dismay, is attempting to create her own in their living room.

She is a writer of many things that hope to find their way out of the sanctuary of her hard drive, and many that have found a home in a fanfiction community.

She is currently working on her Master of Arts in Writing and Rhetoric and managing a home filled with her husband, two young sons, and two cats. Her first novel, Hush, was published in 2015 by Interlude Press. What it Takes, which received a starred review in Publishers Weekly, is her second novel. Idlewild, a contemporary LGBT romance set in Detroit’s renaissance, was named a Best Book of 2016 by Kirkus reviews and is now available.

Daniel & Erik’s Super Fab Ultimate Wedding Checklist by K.E. Belledonne

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.

Checklist_1600px_Smashwords_AmazonDaniel & Erik’s Super Fab Ultimate Wedding Checklist by K.E. Belledonne
Release Date: June 23, 2016
Pages: 188 • Format: eARC
Published By: Interlude Press
Purchase Links:
Interlude AmazonARe  B&N • iBooks  Indiebound

When Daniel gets caught up in the demands of a cheeky wedding planning app, his fiancé Erik grows frustrated with his preoccupation with adhering to heterosexual traditions. Will Daniel’s groomzilla ways give them the wedding of their dreams, or ultimately lead to their relationship’s demise?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

five-stars

 

“Falling in love is easy. Staying in love is the trick.”

Amen brother!

This was my face after reading this story. I so thought I was going to get a doozy here, but it is a winner!!! This is a low angst, pretty romantic story. I’m a hopeless romantic, and wedding planning with your significant other is hectic and romantic to me. See the cover drew me in first, I love the funny play on the wedding topper. I need to invest in more of Belledonne’s work. She is great. I loved the way her writing flowed. The pacing was good, and even though it’s no sex in the story I still adored it.

Daniel didn’t know what to expect when his best friend forced him to talk to Erik. Erik was the quiet guy at the party reading a book. I loved that part. I honestly had the biggest smile on my face the entire time. The story is told in the past and present tense. We get a look at the couple’s milestones together up until the engagement and once the engagement happens. Then is when Aurora happens. LOL. I love that a wedding app is driving Daniel crazy. I WOULDN’T get once, because those damn checklist will drive people crazy.

In usual form Daniel is wedding crazed. He’s focusing all his energy on planning the wedding and getting lost in it. Reading it we can see when the disconnect or the unhappiness starts to happen. Erik would rather go to city hall. He’s in the middle of his work and planning for the his dig in Sweden. What the author does is great. I love the ability of them communicating. A scene when Erik storms out and of course Daniel assumes the worst had me in giggles. Well not giggles that would look mean. I love the realistic feeling about the story. I love that they compliment each other and I love how they are able to talk and get why each is hurt.

Let’s just say I’m happy without the outcome. Everything happened for a reason.

I won’t give the plot away, but I’m so giddy with excitement for this book. Read the book people. I loved every second of it. I am looking forward to more of her writing, and might need to check her back list out!

About K.E. Belledonne

K. E. Belledonne is a writer and translator based in the French Alps. A native New-Englander, Kat spends her time listening to Glenn Miller records, reading history books and cheering on her beloved Red Sox.

Black Dust by Lynn Charles

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.

Black Dust 900px COVER (web Tumblr)Black Dust by Lynn Charles 
Release Date: April 7, 2016
Pages: 312 • Format: eARC
Published By: Interlude Press
Purchase Links:
InterludeAmazon ARe • Indiebound • Smashwords • Barnes & Noble iBooks • Book Depository

No matter how busy he keeps himself, successful Broadway musician Tobias Spence can’t outrun the memory of a tragic car crash from his past that claimed a friend’s life and permanently injured his former boyfriend, Emmett.

Even after losing Tobias, Emmett Henderson made peace with that awful night, living in his Indiana hometown where he has become a revered choral director. When his students are asked to perform in New York City, he decides to chance reconnecting with his former love, if for no other reason than to get a proper goodbye.

When Emmett and Tobias finally meet 15 years after parting ways, it is clear to both of them that their feelings for each other have not changed. As they explore their renewed relationship, the two men face old hurts and the new challenges of a long-distance romance. Will Tobias lose his second chance at love to the ghosts he can’t seem to put to rest?

three-half-stars

I was on the fence about asking for this book. I went back and forth about 5 times because I decided. I’d never read anything by this author but the cover kept calling for me. I’m glad it did, because I liked it. Do you ever get ragey mad when reading a book? I do all the time. I get so angry at the characters that I want to DNF a book. This book made it to my hulk rage stage. I was so angry at Tobias, and honestly I don’t know if I like him. Black Dust could have been a 5 star read for me. It lacked the emotional response to be that was needed with this second chance love trope. It was really good writing, and I enjoyed the story. But a select few emotional feelings wasn’t good enough to give it 5 stars. Certain areas of the book I could see where people would get emotional and connect with these characters. I felt like the emotional parts weren’t executed well. It’s like the cues were off for reader to book. I didn’t connect emotionally and for an emotional reader like myself it’s needed. Another thing that took away from the story was the music as a main character. I love that it’s the focal point for Emmett and Tobias. It’s where their love started and ends. It was so such a big component and for a person that isn’t musically knowledgeable it took away from the story.

“Without a hurt, the heart is hollow.”

Onto what I loved. Emmett. Emmett, and more Emmett. The man is such a good person. Gah!!! Everything about him worked for me. Here’s where second chance love stories work. Emmett who has forgiven Toby for everything including the accident and walking away was able to try. It was Emmett saying the past is the past, and I’m looking forward to the future. Everything about him as a character was what I love about reading. He is content with his life now, and yes wants Toby in it. I loved that he didn’t give up, even after Toby walked out again. I liked that he was brutal and relentless towards Toby. I love that he owned his despair in his life. He owned up to not being okay after the accident, not living his hopes and dreams. I love that he handled it. It’s not cute, easy, rainbows or sunshine. It was hard work, and he had people in his life to help him through it, but mainly he had himself. Toby has been running away from his self so long. I felt bad for him, to not have any roots down due to his grief was overshadowing everything. I’m writing this and realizing it was an emotional read for me because I was angry most of the time. I was angry at Toby for hurting Emmett, and hurting himself as well. I was angry at Tobias for walking away like that. I was angry for not giving Emmett more of himself, and mostly I was angry at him for not being able to forgive himself. I had to realize, that I can’t dictate a person’s grief. I have to realize that just because I felt like he needed to come to terms with it doesn’t mean that he needs to it. Things happen in people’s life when it’s meant to me. I enjoyed this author’s style of writing. I look forward to more from her.

About Lynn Charles

Lynn Charles earned her degree in music education and for many years performed and directed choral music. When she’s not writing, she can be found strolling through local farmers markets near her home in Central Ohio in search of ingredients for new recipes. Her novel Chef’s Table was published in 2014 by Interlude Press.