Blog Tour & Giveaway: Addict by Matt Doyle

Title:  Addict

Series: The Cassie Tam Files, book 1

Author: Matt Doyle

Publisher:  NineStar Press

Release Date: May 8, 2017

Heat Level: 1 – No Sex

Pairing: Female/Female

Length: 56000

Genre: science fiction, Sci-fi, futuristic, addiction, friends to lovers, private detective, lesbian

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Synopsis

New Hopeland was built to be the centre of the technological age, but like everywhere else, it has its dark side. Assassins, drug dealers and crooked businessmen form a vital part of the city’s make-up, and sometimes, the police are in too deep themselves to be effective. But hey, there are always other options …

For P.I. Cassie Tam, business has been slow. So, when she’s hired to investigate the death of a local VR addict named Eddie Redwood, she thinks it’ll be easy money. All she has to do is prove to the deceased’s sister Lori that the local P.D. were right to call it an accidental overdose. The more she digs though, the more things don’t seem to sit right, and soon, Cassie finds herself knee deep in a murder investigation. But that’s just the start of her problems.

When the case forces Cassie to make contact with her drug dealing ex-girlfriend, Charlie Goldman, she’s left with a whole lot of long buried personal issues to deal with. Then there’s her client. Lori Redwood is a Tech Shifter, someone who uses a metal exoskeleton to roleplay as an animal. Cassie isn’t one to judge, but the Tech Shifting community has always left her a bit nervous. That wouldn’t be a problem if Lori wasn’t fast becoming the first person that she’s been genuinely attracted to since splitting with Charlie. Oh, and then there’s the small matter of the police wanting her to back off the case.

Easy money, huh? Yeah, right.

Excerpt

Addict
Matt Doyle © 2017
All Rights Reserved

I always did like Venetian blinds. There’s something quaint about them in a retro-tacky kinda way. Plus, they’re pretty useful for sneaking a peek out the front of the building if I feel the need. That’s something that you just can’t do with the solid, immovable metal slats that come as a standard in buildings these days. That said, a thick sheet of steel is gonna offer you a damn sight more security than thin, bendable vinyl, so I keep mine installed. Just in case.

Another round of knocking rattles the front door, louder this time than the one that woke me.

The clock says 23:47, and the unfamiliar low-end car out front screams “Don’t notice me, I’m not worth your time,” which makes for the perfect combo to stir up the paranoia that the evening’s beer and horror-film session left behind. This is my own fault. My adverts are pretty descriptive in terms of telling what I do: lost pets, cheating partners, theft, protection, retrieval of people and items, other odds and sods that the city’s finest won’t touch…I’ve got ways to deal with it all. That’s right, I’m a real odd-job gal. The one thing that I don’t put in there are business hours. The way I see it, even the missing pet cases usually leave me wandering the streets at half-past reasonable, so what’s the point in asking people to call between certain hours?

More knocking, followed this time by the squeak of my letter box and a voice. “Hello? Cassandra Tam?”

It’s funny, really. For all the tech advances that the world has made, no one has been able to improve upon the simple open-and-shut letter box. I stumble my way through the dark and wave dismissively at the frosted glass. The light switch and the keypad for the door lock are conveniently placed right next to each other on the wall to the right of the door, so welcoming my apparent guest is a nice, easy affair. The lock clicks a moment after the lights flood the room, and I pull the door open.

“Cassie,” I say, turning and skulking my way back into the room. “Or Caz. Drop the Tam.”

I hear a sniff behind me, and the lady from the letter box asks, “Are you drunk?”

“If I pass out in the next five minutes, then yes,” I reply, turning the kettle on. I’d left it full, ready for the morning, but I guess this is close enough. “Take a seat at the table. Would you prefer tea or coffee? I’d offer beer, but since I reek of it, I guess I must’ve finished it.”

Footsteps creep unapologetically across the room, and a chair squeaks on the floor. Good. If you can’t deal with a snarky response to something, don’t say it all, and if you can deal with it, then as far as I’m concerned you don’t need to apologise.

“Coffee,” the lady says. “So, do you always see potential clients in your underwear, or is it just my lucky day?” Her voice has a slightly playful edge to it, but with a sarcastic kick to round it off.

The business portion of my apartment comprises entirely of a small open-plan room separating my kitchen from my living room. And by open plan, I mean an allotted space that encroaches on both territories but is conveniently large enough to house what I need. Or, in other words, a table, four chairs, and nothing else. Since filing went near entirely digital, filing cabinets have pretty much become obsolete, so the two that I found dumped outside the building when I bought the place currently live in my bedroom, and contain a mix of quick access work stuff and personal files I’d rather not have floating on the net. Most things, though, I store electronically, the same as everything else.

I rarely use the business table to eat, read, or any of that junk, so until this evening it’s been entirely empty for a good few weeks. The lady sitting there now is studying me, I can see, and probably wondering if this was a mistake. Whatever she may have expected, a Chinese-Canadian gal of average height in a cami top and a loose pair of sleep shorts most likely wasn’t it. For what it’s worth, though, I’m studying her just the same. She’s a lithe-looking thing, dressed in a casual pair of jeans and a plain black fitted top under a leather jacket. If the metal plugs running down her shaven head like a shiny, rubber-tipped Mohawk weren’t a giveaway for what she is, the light scarring punctuating the outer edges of her pale blue eyes certainly would be. She’s a Tech Shifter, and like most of her ilk, she looks like a punk rocker gone cyborg.

Interview with author

 

When did you write your first story and what was the inspiration for it?

The first one that I remember writing was a story called ‘Malfunction’, and that was way back when I was about ten or eleven. It was actually a school piece. My teacher had given us creative writing as homework and basically told us all to write a short story. There weren’t really any boundaries as to what we could or couldn’t do, as she said that we could write about whatever we wanted. The story was about a circus comprised entirely of robot clowns, and the title came about because the robots malfunctioned and started wreaking havoc in a small town. I’m not really sure what the inspiration for it was exactly. I was already reading Point Horror novels and I always loved shows like Are You Afraid Of The Dark?, Goosebumps, and the Tales From The Crypt Keeper cartoon, so at a push I’d say that my early love of horror was probably to blame. Given that the rest of the class wrote stories about superheroes and princesses, I’m surprised that my parents didn’t get a call.

Do you have a writing schedule or do you just write when you can find the time?

I’m kinda mixed when it comes to schedules. For the most part, it’s when I can find the time. A lot of the time though, that equates to early evening, as that’s the time that I’m most likely to be free. If I get the chance during the day, or if inspiration hits, then I can usually find some time, but not always.

Briefly describe the writing process. Do you create an outline first? Do you seek out inspirational pictures, videos or music? Do you just let the words flow and then go back and try and make some sense out it?

I should really outline more than I do, but I can get a little impatient with myself at times, and have the habit of just throwing myself into the story. The problem then becomes that I realise part way through that I’m going to struggle without an outline and end up having to pull one together. That inevitably results in me having to go back and make some early changes to the manuscript too, as I know full well that I’ll forget to do it later and probably lose my notes somewhere down the line. It does depend on the project though. I had a full outline in place before I began Addict because I knew that I was going to need it to keep things on track in terms of revealing different snippets of information. On the other hand, when I started The Spark Form Chronicles, I stubbornly refused to outline for most of the first book. Not outlining worked for me there because that whole world is a little chaotic at times, so writing on the fly kinda fit with the feel of it. I do find that music helps though, and have a number of albums and live performances ready to load up.

Where did the desire to write LGBTQIA+ stories come from?

It would be so easy to say that, being openly bi/pan (depending on your definition), it was natural for me to just slip into writing stories about LGBTQIA+ characters, but that simply isn’t true. I do think that having non-heterosexual characters out there is important. I know myself that having more positive role models in the world of fiction would have assisted me when I was still unsure of myself, and it’s always good to see characters that are relatable to people and their lives. It’s not necessarily something that I set out to do in most cases though. My main goal has always been to write stories that people will enjoy, and it’s just happened organically that most of my work features at least one LGBTQIA+ character. Addict was actually the first novel that I’ve written where I planned to have a non-heterosexual lead from the onset.

How much research do you do when writing a story and what are the best sources you’ve found for giving an authentic voice to your characters?

It really depends on the subject matter, especially for world building. As an example, The Spark Form Chronicles is set during a futuristic card tournament. The card battles themselves form an important part of the story, so I had to do a lot of research into different CCGs, not only to get my head around common gaming mechanics outside those that I already played, but to ensure that I wouldn’t be doing anything too similar to something else when I set out the rules of the game in the books. The game itself went through about five different incarnations before I had one that I was happy with. When I wrote my Teller Tales MG horror series, far less research was required because, outside some Egyptian mythology, I was better acquainted with the subject matter. With Addict, my research covered a few more subjects, so that was more varied. Reading up on the Chinese-Canadian population in Vancouver, whether Cantonese or Mandarin was more widely used at different times, Cantonese slang, the common traits of hardboiled detectives, how crime noir fit with the cyberpunk genre … there was a lot to cover there. It did give me a good excuse to chill-out with The Maltese Falcon, Blade Runner and L.A. Confidential on the TV though.

As to ensuring that characters have authentic voices, other than trying to ensure that any cultural points are adhered to, I try not to think about things too deeply in my first drafts. I have an awful habit of second guessing myself and getting far too self-critical, so I find that my best option is usually to just write and write and write, then pick myself up if something feels off during editing. Honestly though, just having an understanding of how your characters are likely to think can be enough to get you on track like that.

What’s harder, naming your characters, creating the title for your book or the cover design process?

Oh, I’m awful at all of the above. The amount of times that I’ve gone through manuscripts and realised that most of my characters have got similar names or initials is ridiculous. And book titles? I have this odd obsession with having single word titles, so I don’t really make it easy for myself to find something suitable that sums up the book. Cover designs have been fine when I have professionals to help me, but when I’ve had to venture into doing the legwork myself, I just end up either over-simplifying or over-complicating things.

How do you answer the question “Oh, you’re an author…what do you write?”

“Words. And sometimes numbers. Mostly though, just … weird things.” It’s a simple answer, but it sums it up nicely. Whether it’s a novel or a story, I tend to avoid sticking to one genre and end up in the ‘hybrid genre’ category instead, so quantifying a general feel is difficult. I don’t think that anyone has ever accused me of writing something ‘normal’ either, so to claim otherwise would be very disingenuous of me.

What does your family think of your writing?

They’re very supportive. I’ve spent most of my life telling stories, whether that be through writing, in the wrestling ring, or in some other way, so they all see it as part of me. Everyone has been really proud of me getting stuff out there, and they usually enjoy my work too, so I’m pretty lucky in that respect.

Tell us about your current work in process and what you’ve got planned for the future.

There are so many! I take on far too many projects at once, so I’m never short of stuff to work on. Currently though, and excluding my blog stuff … I’ve just finished the first draft of the untitled sequel to Addict. That’ll see Cassie Tam take on a new case that spirals out of control pretty quickly, and adds a fair bit of world building to New Hopeland. I’m editing the second, third and fourth books in my MG horror series, Teller Tales. Books two and three are titled Ouela and Stoth respectively and almost ready to go, while the final book, Anubis, needs some work. I’m outlining a number of books too: The fourth Spark Form Chronicles book is a novella that focusses on Fahrn Starchaser, an ex-mercenary and out lesbian who is about to find herself in a whole lot of trouble. There’s a YA horror novella that I’m planning to write in an ergodic style, and a children’s sci-fi novel about a dystopian world full of anthropomorphic animals in the works, as well as a children’s book that features some education about wolves. I also recently found a load of old short stories that I wrote years ago, so I want to start tidying them up and moving them away from being HP Lovecraft pastiches.

Do you have any advice for all the aspiring writers out there?

Keep going! If you really want to write, then do it. Don’t be afraid to get criticism, and don’t expect everyone to like everything that you do, but know that if you like your own stories then someone else is going to too. Just keep learning, keep improving, and be proud of what you accomplish.

 

Purchase

NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Meet the Author

Matt Doyle lives in the South East of England and shares his home with a wide variety of people and animals, as well as a fine selection of teas. He has spent his life chasing dreams, a habit which has seen him gain success in a great number of fields. To date, this has included spending ten years as a professional wrestler, completing a range of cosplay projects, and publishing multiple works of fiction.

These days, Matt can be found working on far too many novels at once, blogging about anime, comics, and games, and plotting and planning what other things he’ll be doing to take up what little free time he has.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | eMail

Tour Schedule

5/8 – Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

5/8 – Queer Sci Fi

5/9 – Oh My Shelves

5/10 – Booklover Sue

5/11 – The Novel Approach

5/12 – love bytes reviews

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Olive Juice by T.J. Klune

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.

Olive Juice: by T.J. Klune
Release Date: April 26th, 2017
Pages: 121 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
Dreamspinner

It begins with a message that David cannot ignore:

I want to see you.

He agrees, and on a cold winter’s night, David and Phillip will come together to sift through the wreckage of the memory of a life no longer lived.

David is burdened, carrying with him the heavy guilt of the past six years upon his shoulders.

Phillip offers redemption.

 

four-stars

 

Olive Juice is as real as any story. It’s about love, forgiveness, and facing the odds with one another.

I don’t know how to categorize this story. Its to be noted that I would not classify this as a Romance. It’s not a romance in the general sense of word. At the ending I felt a little bereaved on their part, and a little aggravated. These are my feelings, and I expected for the content to leave me in a blubbering mess. I expected to be so overwhelmed with grief and agony that i couldn’t do anything but lay in a ball on the bed.

I did not cry. Not one iota of a tear escaped these ducts. I didn’t see the big reveal coming. I liked the twist. What I didn’t like was the one pov, and it felt a little repetitive at times. I’m a Klune fan, and I ride hard for him. With that being said sometimes his books don’t work well with I. In this case, with the punch that it packed it just didn’t move it. I don’t even know if I like it or not. I like the story line, and I liked the outcome, but don’t know if I like the characters that were here.

This is a book that you will have to read on your own. Form your own opinions, because I can see people loving this and crying, and I can also see people liking the writing, but not really the story. My rating is all about the writing, and the plot. Not really the characters or the overall feel of it.

 

signature-fonts

About TJ Klune

When TJ Klune was eight, he picked up a pen and paper and began to write his first story (which turned out to be his own sweeping epic version of the video game Super Metroid—he didn’t think the game ended very well and wanted to offer his own take on it. He never heard back from the video game company, much to his chagrin). Now, two decades later, the cast of characters in his head have only gotten louder, wondering why he has to go to work as a claims examiner for an insurance company during the day when he could just stay home and write.

He lives with a neurotic cat in the middle of the Sonoran Desert. It’s hot there, but he doesn’t mind. He dreams about one day standing at Stonehenge, just so he can say he did.

Long Shadows by Kate Sherwood

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.

Long Shadows: by Kate Sherwood
Series:Common Law, #1
Release Date: January 2, 2017
Pages: 184 • Format: eARC
Published By: Riptide Publishing
Purchase Links:
Riptide

LA cop Jericho Crewe got the hell out of Mosely, Montana, when he was seventeen. Fifteen years later, he’s back, and everything is just as messed up as when he left. He planned a quick visit to deal with his injured father, but of course things are never that simple. Family complications, police complications, social complications—and, as always, Wade Granger complications.

Jericho and Wade had been so close, once upon a time. First friends, then more than friends—and then, after Jericho’s escape, nothing. Wade’s magnetism hasn’t been lessened by a decade and a half apart; even when Jericho learns that Wade is the prime suspect in the death of Jericho’s father, the old connection still sparks.

When Jericho’s newly discovered half siblings are kidnapped, he needs to trust someone to help him find them. Wade’s a terrible choice, but Jericho’s never been known for his good judgment. Anyway, he’d rather make a bad decision with Wade than a good one with anybody else.

three-half-stars

I’ve read a few books by this author, and always felt like her and I don’t get along. I can never mesh well together when I read her books. When I saw the cover for this book on Netgalley, I immediately wanted to click it. I did click it, and was super happy. I had to tell myself it doesn’t matter how I feel about her past books, but only this one. I’m not a fan of the romantic suspense genre. It just doesn’t work for me. I prefer mystery/thriller and the romance doesn’t even have to play a part. I should not have been worried, because I liked this story. There is no romance in this first book, I’m sure book two will probably see something but Jericho and Wade have a lot of soul searching to do by then.

Jericho left Mosely 15 years ago and never looked back. I liked Jericho as a character. He had his little flaws, but he wanted to prove to people and himself that leaving Mosely was the best thing he could do for himself. He’s successful in his own way, but one can never forget their first love. Enter Wade Granger. All around criminal and bad guy. Yet, by the end of the story I’m not so sure about Wade’s character. He seems to good hearted to be a full blown criminal and bad enough to want to hurt Jericho for leaving him behind. I’m still trying to figure them out.

I did enjoy the pacing of the story. I really liked the mystery element to the story. I’m not so sure about everyone’s motives at this point, but it was only book 1 and I’m sure by book 4 everything will be much clearer. I’m proud that I allowed myself to give Kate Sherwood another try. This goes to show you that every book doesn’t have to work for you, but you never know what might be good for someone else. If you like suspenseful stories, and a good love connection/background between two characters then this is your book. Definitely recommend this book.

About Kate Sherwood

Kate Sherwood started writing about the same time she got back on a horse after almost twenty years away from riding. She’d like to think she was too young for it to be a midlife crisis, but apparently she was ready for some changes!

Kate grew up near Toronto, Ontario (Canada) and went to school in Montreal, then Vancouver. But for the last decade or so she’s been a country girl. Sure, she misses some of the conveniences of the city, but living close to nature makes up for those lacks. She’s living in Ontario’s “cottage country”–other people save up their time and come to spend their vacations in her neighborhood, but she gets to live there all year round!

Since her first book was published in 2010, she’s kept herself busy with novels, novellas, and short stories in almost all the sub-genres of m/m romance. Contemporary, suspense, scifi or fantasy–the settings are just the backdrop for her characters to answer the important questions. How much can they share, and what do they need to keep? Can they bring themselves to trust someone, after being disappointed so many times? Are they brave enough to take a chance on love?

Kate’s books balance drama with humor, angst with optimism. They feature strong, damaged men who fight themselves harder than they fight anyone else. And, wherever possible, there are animals: horses, dogs, cats ferrets, squirrels… sometimes it’s easier to bond with a non-human, and most of Kate’s men need all the help they can get.

After five years of writing, Kate is still learning, still stretching herself, and still enjoying what she does. She’s looking forward to sharing a lot more stories in the future.

Infected: Prey by Andrea Speed

o-infected-preyInfected: Prey by Andrea Speed
Series: Infected, Book One
Release Date: October 14, 2014
Pages: 384 • Format: eBook
Published By: DSP Publications
Purchase Links:
DSPAmazonKobo

2nd Edition

In a world where a werecat virus has changed society, Roan McKichan, a born infected and ex-cop, works as a private detective trying to solve crimes involving other infecteds.

The murder of a former cop draws Roan into an odd case where an unidentifiable species of cat appears to be showing an unusual level of intelligence. He juggles that with trying to find a missing teenage boy, who, unbeknownst to his parents, was “cat” obsessed. And when someone is brutally murdering infecteds, Eli Winters, leader of the Church of the Divine Transformation, hires Roan to find the killer before he closes in on Eli.

Working the crimes will lead Roan through a maze of hate, personal grudges, and mortal danger. With help from his tiger-strain infected partner, Paris Lehane, he does his best to survive in a world that hates and fears their kind… and occasionally worships them.

1st Edition published by Dreamspinner Press, June 2010.

three-half-stars

Okay so I’ve had this book for a long time. Thank Bingo for calling the Urban Fantasy shelf. I knew a little bit about the series from other friends. I knew it heartbreak expected in book two, but urban fantasy isn’t my go to genre. I like romance and even paranormal mixed together. So I was very hesitant about reading this. I know book one in alot of fantasy series deals with the world building and some times that can overwhelm a reader. It can be difficult to follow along with the story, the terminology and the rules to the story that before we look up and have finished I don’t know what’s happened to the characters. What Andrea Speed did was good. She split book one into two novels, where there was world building and introductions to the world but we got to see these characters in all their glory so book two wouldn’t seem like an introduction into the series.

Our two main characters, Roan and Paris are cat shifters who inherited the cat virus in two different ways. They were definitely night and day, but I really enjoyed them. I’m still a little off put of the no sex in the book, but once I started reading, I’d realized I didn’t need it and I was good to go. The story holds up on it’s own merit and it’s good. I loved Roan and Paris relationship. Roan is this tough as nails, ex-cop turned private eye who seems so grouchy and grumpy, but it a soft ooey goey marshmallow underneath it all. Parish brings outs the best parts of Roan and this is where I noticed that I didn’t need the sex I was 1000% comfortable with them being together. It doesn’t help that Parish is fine as hell. Clearly he has something about him besides his looks that has everyone nodding yes about him. I really enjoy his charisma and his personality plus he’s super bad ass.

I definitely like the plot surrounding the cat strain virus, the cast of characters. Oh my goodness I loved the diversity alot. So many different colored people in the cast. I especially love Diego, Matt and Kevin!!! I want to wrap Kevin up in a hug. I should definitely talk to Ms. Speed to see if Kevin gets someone down the line or maybe I should wait until I finish the series. This was a good start to an amazing series it seems like. I’ll be back reviewing my journey as I continue to explore this world. I’ll leave you with this quote, it’s my favorite of book one. (SN: Think I’m going to leave a quote after each book read)

“You are so funny. You do know I love you more than I’ve ever loved anyone, right? Well, admittedly, I never really loved anyone before, but saying that blunts the impact. I know you’ve got the whole hard-boiled detective thing going on, but I know what you’re really like. I know that under all that armor you’re the most decent man I’ve ever met. You’re my hero.”

About Andrea Speed

Andrea Speed was born looking for trouble in some hot month without an R in it. While succeeding in finding Trouble, she has also been found by its twin brother, Clean Up, and is now on the run, wanted for the murder of a mop and a really cute, innocent bucket that was only one day away from retirement. (I was framed, I tell you – framed!)
In her spare time, she arms lemurs in preparation for the upcoming war against the Mole Men. Viva la revolution!

To Terminator, With Love by Wes Kennedy

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.

To TerminatorTo Terminator, With Love by Wes Kennedy
Release Date: April 26, 2016
Pages: 152 • Format: eARC
Published By: Less Than Three Press
Purchase Links:
Less Than Three AmazonARe

Dexter Wu’s life is hectic, but he’s managing—mostly. He’s on the verge of finishing grad school, and that means putting the final touches on his number one project: HAL, a social robot and children’s storytelling companion. But his best friend is leaving the country for good, his birthday’s coming up, he’s swamped with studying for finals, and he hasn’t slept in days.

He’s also going to destroy the world.

At least, his robot is, according to the possibly untrustworthy Agency, an organization whose mission is to protect the world at all costs. After his birthday party turns into a fight for his life, Dexter’s simple life of fast food and Netflix binges is replaced by a glitchy oracle, the world’s douchiest secret agents, and an ever-increasing chain of conspiracies.

With the help of Andre, a mysterious and disenchanted young agent turned rogue, Dexter sets out to plead his case to the Director in an effort to get his life back to what counts as normal—but he should know by now nothing is ever so easy.

three-half-stars

“He was Neville Longbottom with a badass gun and he was going to fuck Voldemort’s shit up.”

I laughed alot while reading this. Seriously I loved all the different movie references that the characters threw at each other. I like the super cheesy villain. I thought Dexter Wu was an Asian Stiles. It read like fan fiction mostly to me, it’s not necessarily bad, but that’s how I felt. This was super light comedy with semi sweet romance. I had never heard of the author before, and I kept going back to the book on Netgalley and I’m glad I did. Wes Kennedy did a good with these characters, and the super sweet flirty times between Dexter and Andre. I especially loved Beavis parts. I was laughing so hard.

Dexter is a 21 year engineering major at MIT who loves Chipotle and Five Guys and loves his robot Hal. Unbeknownst to him his best friend is a super secret spy from “The Agency” sent to destroy him and his world destroying robot Hal. Super Agent Andre decided to save Dexter since the plan was never to harm him. I liked Andre and his stuck up ways. He was so agency never stepping out of character or hardly being flawed. I did enjoy when both guys decided to open up and be themselves. I thought the pacing and flow of the story was good and solid, and so many laughable moments. It’s no sex in the book at all, and Dexter admits to being asexual. I will admit, I groaned after reading the book. It’s like my 4th book in the last six months with characters being asexual. I don’t have a problem with it, but I read for the acts of sex and romance. I think I was missing it with these characters, but it was novella length so I didn’t get to perturbed. I just had images in my mind of Dexter being all awkward during it. All in all the OTT moments stole the show with the story. Maybe the author will write a part two so we can know if these two get into anymore shenanigans.

About Wes Kennedy

Wes Kennedy (aka Brooklyn Wallace) is a queer fiction author and starving graduate student from the great state of Texas. She loves libraries, hot wings, Pepsi, Blaxploitation, and comics. An anxious perpetual sleeper with a penchant for self-deprecating humor, Wes has a soft spot for writing comedies, forbidden love, and nerdy queers. When not writing, she enjoys touring various anime and sci-fi conventions across Texas, reading and writing fanfiction, yelling about sports, and watching TV shows religiously.

Withered + Sere by TJ Klune

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.

o-withered-sere (1)Withered + Sere by TJ Klune
Series: Immemorial Year
Release Date: April 19, 2016
Pages: 280 • Format: eARC
Published By: DSP Publications
Purchase Links:
DSP • Amazon • ARe

Once upon a time, humanity could no longer contain the rage that swelled within, and the world ended in a wave of fire.

One hundred years later, in the wasteland formerly known as America, a broken man who goes only by the name of Cavalo survives. Purposefully cutting himself off from what remains of civilization, Cavalo resides in the crumbling ruins of the North Idaho Correctional Institution. A mutt called Bad Dog and a robot on the verge of insanity comprise his only companions. Cavalo himself is deteriorating, his memories rising like ghosts and haunting the prison cells.

It’s not until he makes the dangerous choice of crossing into the irradiated Deadlands that Cavalo comes into contact with a mute psychopath, one who belongs to the murderous group of people known as the Dead Rabbits. Taking the man prisoner, Cavalo is forced not only to face the horrors of his past, but the ramifications of the choices made for his stark present. And it is in the prisoner that he will find a possible future where redemption is but a glimmer that darkly shines.

The world has died.

This is the story of its remains.

three-stars

So here’s the thing, everyone knows I’m a TJ Klune fan. I love his work. How To Be A Normal Person has bumped itself up to my favorite book by him. I don’t even know how that happened. Otter is still one of my favorite people in the world. He exists and I won’t stop searching until I found him. When I saw the blurb and cover for this I was immediately hooked. The cover is so beautiful. I couldn’t quite guess what the title meant. I had to think could T.J. pull off a dark novel? I mean he’s known for taking us apart with his emotional reads, and he’s down right hilarious with the sputtering characters. I didn’t know if he could right my kind of Dark. TO me Dark is the end of despair and humanity. It’s when there’s nothing else to live for, and all you got is yourself and maybe a select person that you care enough about for them not to die. I enjoyed the premise of the story, and Bad Dog and S.I.R.S are good characters. I loved them. I loved the opposite of every Dystopian story I read about the Dead Rabbits.

TJ’s world that he build was destroyed almost hundreds of years ago. I loved the opening sequence on how the world ended. As usual he’s very spot on with his words. He’s able to bring you into the scene like you are there. Years later and the world is a gray land with little to no sun. Everyone is trying to survive. We have our Hero Cavalo. He’s the main focus in the book. Him along with Bad Dog (a dog which only he communicates with) are traipsing through the world at their own pace. So many things happened in the story that I enjoyed and other things that I felt didn’t fit into the world. I will say reading about Cavalo and trying to gauge his lunacy or the past and present was a headache.It made me feel like I was on a tidal wave and couldn’t get off. I never really adapted to him. I understand all his shortcomings and why he was the way he is, but he didn’t work for me. It should be warned that this is not a romance story. I knew it going in and I’m okay with it. I can see how it’s set up for book two. There is definitely a cliffhanger at the end. I liked this book, and it wasn’t what I was expecting but hopefully book two leads into the gory stuff for me.

About TJ Klune

When TJ Klune was eight, he picked up a pen and paper and began to write his first story (which turned out to be his own sweeping epic version of the video game Super Metroid—he didn’t think the game ended very well and wanted to offer his own take on it. He never heard back from the video game company, much to his chagrin). Now, two decades later, the cast of characters in his head have only gotten louder, wondering why he has to go to work as a claims examiner for an insurance company during the day when he could just stay home and write.

He lives with a neurotic cat in the middle of the Sonoran Desert. It’s hot there, but he doesn’t mind. He dreams about one day standing at Stonehenge, just so he can say he did.

Spencer Cohen, Book 1 (The Spencer Cohen Series #1) by N.R. Walker

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.

28436109Spencer Cohen by N.R. Walker
Series: The Spencer Cohen Series
Release Date: February 18, 2016
Pages: • Format: eARC
Published By: Blueheart Press
Purchase Link: Amazon

Spencer Cohen is the guy who gets answers to relationship questions. Playing the role of the new lover, his job is to make his client’s ex realise one of two things: he doesn’t want to break up or he really does. Either way, his client gets answers.

The ex would either apologize and beg, or turn and walk. But in the end, Spencer’s client won. If he wanted his ex back and got him, it was great. If the guy walked away, then as hard it was for the client, he knew it was over. Regardless of the outcome, Spencer’s work was done.

Andrew Landon’s ex left him without so much as an explanation. But his sister can’t stand to see him miserable, so, much to Andrew’s dismay, they hire Spencer to be Andrew’s new boyfriend to get the ex back.

For Spencer, it is never personal. Merely a business transaction. No emotions, no strings, no complications.

Yeah right.

Even a blind man could see how this would end.

five-stars

This is me gushing over this story. I loved this so much. It was the perfect romance story with a cliffhanger. It just felt right to me. I literally was sputtering afterwards(Thank you T.J. Klune for creating Gus). I just wanted more of it. Like 400 pages of Spencer and Andrew. They were so adorable, and my first mindset was to be a little peeved that it wasn’t any sexy time in the story, but I had to remember the words of the resident Ginger stating the difference between Romance & Erotica to me. After reading it you realize that the physical really didn’t matter, because mentally & emotionally they were falling for each other little by little. I don’t want people to get deterred because there isn’t any sex in the book, because the writing, and them coming together was all I needed.

N.R. Walker, you totally spoiled “How To Train A Dragon 2” for me. I didn’t see it, and that part where Spencer cries did me in. I was crying as well. You rocked this book, and cover. I wish I could give you all the stars because I really loved these characters. The supporting cast was great, Andrew was a good guy. The stand out star with the beard, and the man capris, and the amazing Aussie accent was downright great. Spencer comes on the screen and everything gets brighter. He had the best aura about himself. Super down to earth, and his music choices rock. I loved the difference in each guy, but I really liked how their similarities seemed to bring each guy out further then what they let out. Seeing them bond together kept the biggest smile on my face. I loved the concept of the story. It’s definitely like Hitch the movie, and book two needs to hurry up we need to find out if Spencer forgot he had another appointment.

Initially I don’t know what I felt for Andrew, but he grew on me. He took himself way to serious for me, but after a while you can see where his personality shines through. I think he kinda hid himself in his past relationship or maybe in life. He comes off uppity, anti-social, and quiet. When he is around Spencer though, he opens up and it’s really beautiful the way their relationship develops throughout the story. Spencer basically hides his past, but sooner or later it catches up with him, and him not wanting to fall in love just didn’t work out how he wanted. I read this book in one sitting, and just smiled and thought about them for the rest of the night. I am impatiently waiting book 2. Please give it to me. Such a good story, and great writing.

About N.R. Walker

N.R. Walker is an Australian author, who loves her genre of gay romance. She loves writing and spends far too much time doing it, but wouldn’t have it any other way.

She is many things; a mother, a wife, a sister, a writer. She has pretty, pretty boys who live in her head, who don’t let her sleep at night unless she gives them life with words.

She likes it when they do dirty, dirty things…but likes it even more when they fall in love.

She used to think having people in her head talking to her was weird, until one day she happened across other writers who told her it was normal.

She’s been writing ever since…