Saturday, 27 March 2010

Enjoy the Saturday guys…. Make it a good one whatever you do…

 

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Friday, 26 March 2010

Review: You win some – You lose some


The fear of getting caught is half the fun.
Romano and Albright, Book 1
Lowly art gallery assistant Caesar Romano is freely out of the closet. Now he’d just like to get out of his Nana’s guest room. Everything—his reputation and his financial freedom—is riding on the success of tonight’s gallery opening. If only he could shake free of the past so easily.
A mysterious gatecrasher, Dan Green, looks like a promising addition to his pending new life—until Caesar’s ex shows up and suddenly the opening disintegrates into a half-naked dance melee. When the glitter settles, a missing sculpture of Justin Timberlake has Caesar up to his eyebrows in extortion, intrigue and a wild sexual adventure underneath, inside, and on top of a variety of furnishings.
As the cast of suspects piles up, so do the questions. Like who’s really blackmailing whom? And what does a stolen paint-by-numbers clown matter when Dan is so outrageously capable of blowing Caesar’s resistance to smithereens?

My Thoughts
I was one of those reader so eager to get my grubby little mitts on LB Greg’s next production – CATCH ME IF YOU CAN, because after reading her first three books how could I miss this book – they were the bomb.
CATCH ME IF YOU CAN starts with one of the main protag Caesar Romano in the midst of an art gallery promotion party and while there the author takes us through an introduction of all the people in attendance. From the little bits and pieces I learned in those first set of pages I knew they were all going to play a part in the drama in some way shape or form and she didn’t disappoint me.
The first thing that didn’t work for me was Caesar himself, he is such a drama queen, prone to over reaction as well as running off into uncharted territory at the drop of a hat. At this promotion party a whole slew of things goes wrong, from Caesar’s ex turning up to one of the main artist dancing on one of the table shirtless, but the best was still yet to come because by morning one of the headline pieces – A Justin Timberlake bust no less, goes missing.
Did I forget to mention Caesar meets Dan Green who just happen to be investigating Caesar himself for extortion no less..
From there the storyline gets crowded with a host of people doing all matter of god knows what. Not only did I have to keep track of the comings and goings but Dan and Caesar had no chemistry. Yeah I know alot of people love them but I really did not get them – Dan talked down to Caesar alot, got amorous at the most inconvenient time and  I really question his work ethics in how he deals with a suspect under investigation.

I really had to slog my way through this one, which was  a surprise for me but I just didn’t get that feel that any of these people were invested in what was going on, it was like a three ring circus eventually with all the far fetch circumstances being brought into play. It was the art world after all so I maybe did not understand the mindset.
While this book did not work for me – There were a few people who made a little space for themselves in there somehow and that’s Caesar’s Nana and his family and I would not want to meet any of those two set of people on the wrong side of midnight. Not only were they hoodlums but they were the only honest set of people in this book, everyone else was ploting, scheming or just up to some dastardly deed.

I really hope I get more of the "family"  in the next book in this series, and not so much drama.  



Camry MacKeage has absolutely no intention of telling her parents that she left her job as a NASA physicist for the small-town life of a dog-sitter -- which is why she's spending the holidays alone in coastal Maine with her furry friends Tigger and Max. Unfortunately, her irresistibly handsome rival, scientist Luke Pascal, accidentally spilled the beans. Now he's on a mission from her mother to tempt Camry home for the family's annual winter solstice celebration. But Luke is hiding his own secret, and he'll need a little bit of magic to earn Camry's trust...and a whole lot of mistletoe to seduce his way into her heart

My Thoughts
This would be the seventh book in Janet Chapman Highlander series – it is a short story and I rushed to read this one after reading THE WARRIOR which I enjoyed alot.
Camry’s story could have been missed or incorporated into another for me. Camry is the product of a mother who is a rocket scientist no less and a father whose word is feared by those near and far.

She herself is a rocket scientist, however when lack of focus and stress  leads to her losing her job she hides the whole thing from her parent and family. Part of her problem comes in the shape of another scientist Luke Pascal and another part comes from the fact that her family is not a normal family, they are shrouded in magic and that for Camry is the problem, as a scientist her natural instinct is to see it to believe it – let just say she has not yet seen that magic..
With a series of events Ms. Chapmen places Luke and Camry together in a little house with a houseful of dogs and a sizzling attraction.
What I didn’t get with this book was firstly Camry's parent – Her mother a scientist has not been active in the scientific community for twenty years – yet she was watching people watching her creation all without any of the litany of geeky super spy toys out there detecting her, also the fact that as a scientist why dip her fingers into a world that she had walked away from for love and is comfortable sitting on the sidelines seeing all the break through in the field happening when she could have been a part of it.
Camry’s dad is all about security and is home is set up like Fort Knox – yet Luke was able to be just within a few miles of this “highly guarded house of many secrets” and no one knew he was there.
Don’t even let me get onto Luke himself he was just too wanting to please – I knew he cared for Camry but in a strong willed family like hers he will have to carve his own space into that mess.
All Chapman books has some magical scenes in there – of all the books I have read by her, this is the first one where it feels like that scene was just dropped into the plot – when I got to it, I had to back up, flip back to check to see if I was reading the same book – for me the meeting of the generations did not flow well at all.
Lovers of Ms. Chapman work her usual fun style is still there, and it was fun seeing the girls together at any time. I was really disappointed in Camry story but I hope to see a little more of their union in future books to see how they fair out.  
 
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Thursday, 25 March 2010

Excerpt Day - Enlightened © J.P. Barnaby

Excerpt

Being intimate with Jamie didn’t seem so intimidating anymore. He had just made me feel things I’d never before experienced; a high that I had scarcely known existed. His love had shown through in the intimacy that we just shared. It occurred to me that he must have been just as scared about going down on me as I was about doing it to him. But, he had done it. Wanting to show me the depth of his feelings, Jamie had made sure I felt every bit of his affection, his love for me. He would have done anything for me, of that I was sure.

Now, it was my turn, and I was ready.

Without pretense or hesitation, I scooted down on the mattress until my face was at his chest. He looked down at me, and before he could argue, I smiled at him and ran my fingers lightly over his nipples. Any protest that me might have proffered died in his throat and he lay back against the pillows. I nuzzled my face into his stomach, my nerves much too frayed to try to take things slowly. Reaching down, Jamie stroked my damp curls out of my face as I tried to unbutton his jeans. They  were tighter than mine, and I fumbled uselessly with the button fly. It wasn’t going well; I couldn’t even get his pants off. Sighing in frustration, I was surprised when his hands gently moved mine and unbuttoned his fly. Then, when he lifted his hips and pulled his jeans off, I was shocked to find that he wore nothing underneath. The thought that Jamie wore no underwear was beyond hot to me.

His cock stood long and lean and proud as it protruded from his coarse dark blond hair, with his small pink sack just below like a soft shadow. As I had done, he spread his legs wide, giving me room. It was too dark to see anything with much clarity, but I could see enough to set to work.

Only, I couldn’t.

Now that he was naked and laying right in front of me, the fear had returned in earnest. Not wanting to stop, I wrapped my fingers around him instead, stroking him as I would stroke myself. It felt entirely foreign to me, and I dipped my head down and kissed his hip. He moaned, squirming on the mattress as I touched him.

“God, Brian that feels so good.” His voice was barely above a whisper, but there was an electric charge in it, a hunger. I was turning him on. Something stirred in me. I was exciting him, and that made me feel powerful and more in control. Looking up, I noticed that his eyes were closed, and he was gripping the sheets just as I had. It didn’t take much to remember the way he made me feel, the force and the intensity of it.

Taking small steps first, I continued to stroke him as I pressed my lips to his inner thigh. I’m sure he could feel my breath on the sensitive apex between his legs, but I wasn’t quite ready to go further. As I stroked, my hand twisted lightly over the head of his cock and I placed a long wet kiss on his hip, moving down farther between his spread legs. The sounds that he was making encouraged me further. They were almost piteous whimpers, punctuated alternately with each stroke I made. Taking one more baby step, I tentatively kissed his sensitive sack. The sound that came from him then was almost a whine. I grinned, pleased that I could have this kind of effect on him. Emboldened by his response, I gently licked him. The taste was salty, and almost bitter with a harsh bumpy texture. The hairs tickled my lips as I licked him again, and he cried out sharply.

Enlightened © J.P.Barnaby

Read the first five pages HERE

Enlightened

The Little Boy Lost Series

Author: J.P. Barnaby

Publisher:

About the series

Little Boy Lost is the story of Brian McAllister, the boy next door.
Brian goes to school, he does his homework, and he helps his foster parents around the house. Brian also has a secret. He is in love with his best friend. In Crayford, Alabama being in love with another boy is the worst kind of sin.
Book One: Enlightened
"His lips were warm and smooth as they moved over mine. It was everything that a boy's first kiss should be.
Only it wasn't with a girl."
- Brian McAllister
In this first book, Enlightened, Brian and his best friend Jamie discover just how deep their emotional bond runs, and at what cost. From fumbling through their first sexual experiences to shrouding every aspect of their relationship from everyone in their lives, Brian and Jamie battle for the one thing that is truly theirs – love.
What will they do if their secret is discovered?

 

 

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Excerpt Day - A PROPHECY OF DESTINY (Ancient Prophecy Series) © Leiland Dale

Excerpt

It was still dark outside when Eric woke to leave the community. Getting out of bed, he grabbed a shoulder bag, packed the necessities, and headed out to his alpha’s home.

As he approached the front steps, Blake opened the door smiling at him. “Good morning, Eric.”

“Morning, Blake,” he replied, “I need to leave for a while.” Eric looked up at Blake, hesitantly.

“I know my friend. I had some very interesting visitors last night.” Blake said as he walked down the front steps and pulled Eric into an embrace. “Look after yourself brother.” Blake pulled away and looked at him. “You have a lot on your shoulders but I believe in you.”

Eric was surprised at Blake’s response but he should have expected the Ancient Ones to inform his alpha. “Thank you.” Eric said softly almost inaudibly.

Eric wasn’t sure how long his prophetic journey would keep him away from his pack, but he knew he had to leave. He was torn. He loved his pack and had never been separated from them, but knew everyone was at risk from this unknown sickness. If there was any truth to the prophecy and his role in his pack’s survival, he needed to take that chance.

He heard Blake clearing his throat, “It’s time for you to go. The sun is just about to rise.” Blake attempted to smile but Eric knew Blake would miss him just as much as he would miss his pack. Slapping him on the back, Blake turned away and walked back up the steps.

Eric left and headed over to his car. As the rays of the sun cast a reddish hue of color across the land, pack members began to emerge from their homes. He quickly jumped into his car before drawing too much attention and drove away from the community.

He drove for hours passing through small towns and heavily wooded areas, making only essential stops when necessary. As nightfall drew near, Eric passed a sign saying Welcome to Watson. He drove through the town looking for a motel where he could spend the night before continuing his journey the next morning. A flickering red sign ahead with the words Hotel 6 caught his attention. Pulling into the parking lot, Eric then headed into the reception area.

The building was quaint with a homey feeling to it. The brightly lit lobby caught him off guard and he had to blink a few times to adjust his eyes. His senses heightened as the scent of another were hit his nose. Eric scanned his surroundings and found only the young woman standing behind the counter. The rest of the place was completely deserted. Eric walked up to the counter and recognized her distinct scent as a werewolf.

“Good evening. Do you have any rooms available?” Eric asked, cautious of her reaction towards him. It was obvious he had entered into another pack’s territory.

“Yes, we do.” The woman looked up at him and smiled. ”It’s not often that we have one our kind coming in here for a room. How long will you be staying?”

“It will be just for the night.” Eric replied as he pulled out his wallet and handed over some bills.

“What’s your name?” the woman asked as she handed over a key.

“My name’s Eric.”

She stalled him as he was about to leave and go to his room. “I suggest you stay in your room. The vampires have been very restless since late last night.” Eric looked at her over his shoulder. “If you want to go for a run, you can use the woods behind the motel. Just watch your back out there.”

“Thanks.”

Leaving the reception area of the motel, Eric walked over to his car and grabbed his backpack from the back seat. Looking at the numbers written on the key tag, he headed towards his room.

As he approached the door of his room his senses flared and his wolf howled alerting him to danger. Before he had the chance to insert the key in the lock, Eric was flung around and pushed hard against the wall with a hand tight around his throat as his backpack and room key fell to the ground. The distinct smell of sulfur surrounded him and burned his nose. Vampire!

Eric struggled to breathe as the hand clamped tighter around his neck. The vampire with short curly black hair stared at him through ruby colored eyes. “So you are the chosen one?” he sneered as he cocked his head to the side. “And you’re all alone?” The vampire’s breath sickened Eric as he whispered in his ear, “they didn’t choose very wisely now, did they?”

Eric took a deep breath as his anger boiled and his wolf growled. Reaching out, he pulled the vampire by his hair to have the few inches of space he needed to clamp his hand around the vampires’ throat. The vampire started wheezing as he struggled to breathe. His eyes began to bulge out and the fingers around Eric’s neck began to relax their grip. Eric released the vampire’s throat and kicked out, hitting the vampire in the chest and sending it flying through the air.

Shifting quickly into his wolf, Eric ran into the wooded area behind the motel as the vampire followed at lightning speed. As he arrived at a secluded area, he spun to face the vampire.

“So you think you can fight me and still walk away alive, do you?” The vampire snarled at him, unsheathing his talons. “We’ll see about that! You’re precious prophecy will come to an end tonight and so will the existence of your pack!”

The anger and protective instincts rose inside him. Growling and baring his teeth, Eric lunged forward, flying through the air towards his target. Unsheathing his claws, Eric struck out with a fierce blow, scraping his claws across the vampire’s face. A loud cry of pain came from the vampire as Eric landed a few feet away.

The vampire and Eric circled each other waiting to pounce. The blood trickled down his face from the claw marks. A movement at the edge of the trees distracted Eric for a moment. The vampire took advantage of his split second distraction and lunged at him at the speed of light. The vampire jumped into the air aiming for the Eric’s throat. Eric tried to evade the attack, but the vampire’s talons engraved itself into his side. The pain was so intense he nearly passed out. Lying there, his blood seeped out of the injury and coated his silver-grey fur.

“Look at the little mutt,” the vampire mocked with an evil laugh that echoed through the woods. “And you thought you could beat me!”

Eric opened his eyes and looked over at the vampire standing there with a trail of blood running down its face from his claw marks. Slowly Eric got up and was ready to attack when he noticed four wolves approaching the vampire from behind.

A Prophecy of Destiny Excerpt © 2010 Leiland Dale - All rights reserved.

 

A PROPHECY OF DESTINY

Ancient Prophecy Series

Author: Leiland Dale

Publisher: Silver Publishing

Buy Link

Will Stanton leads an ordinary life working with his grandfather in the family bookstore. From the moment he uncovers a trunk full of ancient papers and his grandmother's diaries, his life changes. He is soon thrusted into a world of werewolves and vampires where he uncovers the truth of his heritage and it's more than he ever imagined.
Eric Bryce is a werewolf whose pack members are slowing dying. As the first sign of the prophecy unfolds, the Ancient Ones guide Eric in search of his mate who is to play a key role in the future predicted long ago. He finally finds his mate, Will, working in a bookstore with danger not far behind. Together, they must fight both the vampires and the illness that is spreading across the pack.
Can Eric and Will fulfill their role in the prophecy or will time run out?

 

 

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Excerpt Day – Dirty Sexy Murder © Cathleen Ross

Excerpt

“Take your pants off and lie down,” Marina Henry told her client before turning to leave the room. She had to fight to suppress a laugh. No way did she think she’d get used to saying that, not after the small-town life she used to live.

“You don’t need to leave,” her client, Adele, said. “I don’t care if you see me half naked. I just want that Brazilian. I read on the net that Gwyneth Paltrow reckons it changed her life.”

Marina turned back to Adele, a brunette with a thick blond stripe in the front of her hair. Adele already had her jeans half off in the Darlinghurst Road beauty salon cubicle in Sydney, where Marina had recently started work as a waxer. She smiled. “You want me to leave a landing strip? That’s my most popular wax. I do hundreds of them.”

Adele grinned back. “No wonder locals nickname this place Salon Clitty instead of Salon City.”

Marina laughed. She handed Adele a paper G-string. “Pop this on and park your tush down there.” She indicated to the treatment bed.

“Thanks.” Adele took the paper G-string.

Marina turned a knob next to the light switch so the pulsing rhythm of Brazilian music filled the cubicle. She walked over to her workbench. Adele was older than her, twenty-nine to her twenty-four, and seemed nice. It would be fun to help her take this big step.

When she turned back Adele was lying half naked and totally unselfconscious on the treatment bed. “I’m going on a hot date, so I want to look perfect everywhere.”

“Perfect I can do. How long have you known your guy?”

“Two weeks. I met him through a dating website. I told him I’ve got a Brazilian so now I have to go through with this.”

An image formed at the edge of Marina’s vision. She blinked with disbelief before warning bells went off in her head and she realized that she was about to have another premonition. She couldn’t believe this was happening again. She stopped breathing and scrunched her eyes shut. When she opened them again, the vision had gone. “You don’t think that’s a bit rushed?”

She picked up the talcum powder.

“I have to make myself stand out. I’m turning thirty, Marina. I want a family. I can’t afford to waste time.” Adele looked downward. “Start trimming that hedge. I’m going to use every trick in the book to hook my new man.”

Marina frosted Adele’s vulva and butt with powder to stop the wax sticking to the skin. “You need to be careful who visits Brazil.”

Adele just shrugged.

Was Adele always this reckless with men? She stared at her with concern. She smeared on the hot wax. Tested it with her fingers. When she found the lip formed by the wax, she pulled.

Adele gave a short, sharp scream. “It hurts.” She shuddered.

Marina started at the high-pitched sound. Her head started to throb. Last time she’d developed a major headache, the horrible vision of her wedding disaster had accompanied the pain. The vision had come true in every detail. She hadn’t believed in psychic phenomena then, now she dreaded it. Something was wrong with Adele. She could sense it. “You all right?” Marina asked.

Adele nodded. “I hope my date lives up to his bio.”

“What do you mean? Haven’t you met him?”

“Only by email. He’s into Brazilians. In fact that’s why he said he contacted me. I think my online dating name, Barbie Brazilian, got his attention.”

“That’s a bit out there to admit to a Brazilian online, especially when you didn’t have one.” Rip!

Adele slapped her hand on the massage bench, the sound making a thwack.

“Open your legs more,” Marina said. She smoothed the hot wax close to the delicate center and ripped.

“Argh!”

Marina flinched as Adele’s piercing scream ricocheted off the walls of the cubicle and into her brain. The colours in the room became intense, so that the pale yellow walls of her cubicle burned her eyes. A strange aura, a shimmering light, appeared around Adele’s face. Marina had experienced this only once before, when she’d had her vision. Perspiration broke out on Marina’s brow. She centered her gaze on Adele’s face praying the pain would go away. It didn’t. Instead, the yellow of the walls deepened to ochre. Glancing at Adele, she saw that there was a trickle of blood seeping from her nostrils. “Are you okay?”

“Sure. Don’t stop.”

Marina’s vision cleared. There was no blood on Adele’s face.

“It’s fine to keep going. I can handle pain.” Adele bit her fingernail. “I’m sick of my boring life. I’m going to break out. This Brazilian is going to bring out the animal in me. This guy’s to die for.”

Marina shuddered with fear. “Adele, could online dating be dangerous?”

“Dangerous? Nah...”

She spread a neat strip of wax on either side and mentally prepared herself for the inevitable scream. Rip!

“Argh!”

The scream swept over her. Shrill at first, then blunting to a gurgling sound like the last remnants of water going down a bath tub.

Alarmed, she looked up to see how Adele was doing, but Marina’s vision had clouded. She froze. Adele’s face was contorted in agony. Her eyes bulged and she was turning blue. There was something around her neck. What was it? A rope? She lunged at Adele to save her.

“Marina!”

Her vision cleared. Adele was staring at her, her eyes were wide with alarm but she was fine.

Marina clutched her arm. “Adele. Don’t go on that date. You don’t know this person.”

“I’ll be fine. Don’t worry.” Adele prized her fingers off her arm.

“Please Adele. Listen to me. Don’t go anywhere private with this man.”

When Adele left, Marina shivered, feeling frozen inside. Adele wouldn’t listen to her and she couldn’t make her. She couldn’t get rid of the foreboding sense of danger.

She’d seen Adele die.

Dirty Sexy Murder © Cathleen Ross

 

Dirty Sexy Murder

Author:  Cathleen Ross
Genre: Romance/Contemporary

Publisher: Lyrical Press

Buy link

Can Marina learn to have faith in her powers in time to save the people she loves?

Marina's got it made with a new job giving Brazilian waxes in a fashionable salon in the big city of Sydney. Life seems to be looking up for her, that is, until she starts having visions, which come true. Her clients start dying, one by one. Then her roommate, James becomes a suspect, and suddenly she must fight for the man she cares for. While she tries to harness her powers, people close to her begin to disappear. More victims of the serial killer? This time she can’t see, and in the midst of terror, Marina must save the lives of people she's come to love, but in a twist of fate, save herself.

 

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Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Discussion Point – Book Care & Bad Habits

Growing up in the Caribbean I had a fantastic childhood and I have the most wonderful memories of fun times in my home. However in a houseful of people with different taste and ambitions, I quickly marked off my territory and the only person who was allowed into my inner sanctuary was my Dad.

Why you ask  - because my Dad was the only true reader in the household aside from myself and I shared some fantastic times with him. Two of the core principle in regards to reading that I got  from my father were.

1. If you don't’ read – you don’t know – and if you don’t read – you can’t converse to the best of your ability…

2. Book care – practice it, live it and never forget it.

I have lived up to number one,  I read and I read a hell of alot of different things. I have however added my little bit to that phrase “ Pick your battles, not because it’s there that means you need to jump onto the bandwagon”. So far I am doing well.

Number 2 is what I am talking about today, Book Care. Do you guys practice book care and I know there are still alot of us who still read books not just have the ereader attached to our fingers.

  • Ensure your hands are clean 
  • Do not keep books in a damp area.
  • Keep them accessible, since that's what books are for.
  • Dust regularly and watch for moths or other worms (bookworms) that eat into the glue and pages.
  • Avoid using adhesive and sticky tapes on books.
  • To protect books from wear and tear use plastic dust jackets.
  • Do not use books as coasters.
  • Do not eat or drink while you read.
  • Avoid loaning books out.
  • For left to right reading, hold book in left hand and turn with right hand.
  • Turn pages by top corner of right hand page.
  • Slide right hand under page to turn and bring to left side in one stroke.
  • Do not turn with left thumb on bottom center of right hand page as this can tear the pages accidentally.
  • Do not fold the corner of a page over to mark your spot. Instead use a flat bookmarker.

Those are some of the things my Dad and I went through when I was ten. As the years went by little tips and tricks was taught to me on how to care for my books. Some of it seems common sense, but when you are snuggled down in bed or the corner of the sofa with a much anticipated book – a cup of tea, do you care how you spin the pages or how many dog-ears you place in it when the phone rings…

And this takes me to bad habits in reading .. Kris from Kris  N Good Books told us about three of her bad habits the other day at DIK … They were

The comments of those link are where the meat of that post really take place – I warn you however gird your loins because some of it isn’t pretty.

I do have my bad habits as well, I overstuff my shelves, I have way too many books – more than I will ever possible read even in my lifetime and I get tunnel vision when I see a book that I want… I must get it.

 

My Question..

Do you practice Book Care or are you a fly by the seat of your pants sort of reader.

And secondly share one or two of your book reading bad habits with us.

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Upcoming Events in the UK… see you there

The World Horror Convention 2010 will be held in Brighton, England, March 25-28, 2010

The World Horror Convention is an annual gathering of professionals in the horror industry; publishers, authors, artists, musicians, filmmakers, dealers and, of course, horror fans. WHC serves as both an industry insider's networking event and a chance for fans of the genre to get together, meet some of the creative talents in the field, and generally spend a weekend celebrating All Things Scary.

More about World Horror Convention 2010

 

 

Odyssey 2010 is aiming to be a robust platform on which European fans and professionals, SF societies and groups can present aspects of their nation's SF to the wider European SF community. We are looking to include programme items that showcase European fandom as well as items that allow our European members additional insight into the peculiarities of UK fandom. We are also aiming to give mainland European science fiction a higher profile with UK publishers.

More about Odyssey 2010

 

SCI-FI-LONDON is the UK’s leading genre event and an internationally recognised launch pad for genre movies. At each festival we have at least a dozen UK premieres and in the last few years we had the first public screening (ahead of the USA!) of 28 WEEKS LATER and the world premiere of Bruce (Iron Maiden) Dickinson’s CHEMICAL WEDDING.

The festival is now in its 9th year and will take place Wed 28th April – Mon 3rd May 2010 at The Apollo Piccadilly Circus Cinema, London’s most luxurious cinema.

More about Sci-fi London Festival

 

The London Book Fair is the global marketplace for rights negotiation and the sale and distribution of content across print, audio, TV, film and digital channels. Taking place every spring in the world’s premier publishing and cultural capital, it is a unique opportunity to explore, understand and capitalise on the innovations shaping the publishing world of the future. The London Book Fair brings you direct access to customers, content and emerging markets.
more about The London Book Fair 2010...

 

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Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Review – Only in his Dreams - Shawn Lane

Only In His Dreams
Author: Shawn Lane

Publisher: Amber Allure
Buy link

Shy, conservative Darrell Lincoln has worked hard to get his job as billing manager for the law firm of Anderson, Llewellyn, and Stevens. For a conscientious worker like Darrell, the job is perfect except for one thing. He has a big-time crush on one of the partners, Travis Anderson. Darrell thinks a gorgeous, wealthy, hotshot lawyer like Travis would be interested in a guy like him only in his dreams.

Lonely after the death of his longtime partner, Travis isn’t the dashing, smooth playboy Darrell imagines him to be. In reality he’s just as interested in Darrell.

Both men are after the same thing—each other. Their relationship is the stuff of dreams...until Travis meets Darrell’s not-so-welcoming family.

Can Darrell convince Travis he’s still his dream man?

 

...Darrell couldn’t remember the last time he’d enjoyed an evening like this. They’d watched all the various Die Hard movies, laughing and commenting throughout them. They’d switched to beers and he’d made popcorn. Really he hadn’t wanted the night to end. At least Travis wasn’t going home.

But Darrell had always been a cautious man. Starting anything, even casual sex with Travis, could get complicated. Since the firm was Travis’s, if something bad happened between them it would be Darrell who’d be forced to find new employment.

That didn’t stop him from wanting to bend Travis over the sofa and fucking him deep and slow.

Forcing the tempting thoughts from his mind before it gave him an obvious boner, Darrell stood and glanced at the clock. Nearly one in the morning. “The spare room is all set up. The sheets are clean and I left a pair of pajamas in there for you if you’d like to change. They should fit well enough for you to sleep in them anyway.”

Travis stood and stretched, his rumpled white dress shirt straining across his biceps and abs. His mouth dry, Darrell stared openly. He’d found white guys attractive before, though he hadn’t pursued it, but never like this. Every move Travis made riveted him. Every curve of his sensual, slightly plump lips fascinated him.

“Great,” Travis said. “I’m bushed.”

He let Travis go in front of him down the hall toward the bedrooms, unabashedly gawking at the man’s perfect round ass. Really, his resolve to take things slow with Travis began to waiver. Maybe just a goodnight kiss would satisfy him. After all it had been sort of a date.

Travis turned to him as they reached the spare room, a small smile on his lips, and before he could lose his nerve, Darrell pushed him against the wall and ground his mouth over Travis’s, squelching the man’s gasp of surprise.

As soon as their chests melded together, as soon as his hands slid up Travis’s arms, as soon as his pelvis fitted against Travis’s, Darrell knew the goodnight kiss had been a mistake. Or the idea that it would satiate him had been anyway. His dick was so hard he thought it might tear through both his briefs and his slacks.

Travis moaned low and opened his mouth to allow the intrusion of Darrell’s tongue. For just a minute, second really, Darrell intended to pull away and return to his original plan, but then Travis’s hand crept between their bodies and cupped his erection.

Fuck.

And that’s just what he intended to do. He tore his mouth away with effort and asked the burning question in his feverish mind. “Do you top, bottom or both?”

It sometimes broke the flow of things, Darrell knew, but it was a question that would ultimately need to be asked.

Travis blinked, his sky blue eyes glazed with passion mixed with confusion. “Both,” he finally said.

Thank God.

Only in his Dream © Shawn Lane

Review.

I have been awaiting Shawn Lane’s next production for the past couple of months and once again she has delivered with ONLY IN HIS DREAMS.

ONLY IN HIS DREAMS is the first of what will be a series of four books revolving around a team of solicitors, other professional people and their eventual partners. This first book is Darrell’s and Travis’s story and the blurb more or less sums up a big chunk of the book.

Darrell and Travis works in the same Law offices and while Travis is a partner in the business, Darrell is the billings manager and the two never socialize or even talk to each other in the office. Darrell is secretly in lust with Travis but never thinks that Travis would be interested in him.

When the office busy body sets the wheel in motion for them to meet – they hit it off even in spite of the fact that they are a little reluctant to believe that they are making the first tentative moves toward something special.

As expected things does not go as the guys expected because as much as work is going well and they find time to spend together and  they are finding their own little groove – Darrell’s family is not happy about the relationship.

I have been following  Ms. Lanes blog like a fiend for the release of this book, not only am I a fan of her work but when I found out ONLY IN HIS DREAMS was an interracial as well as set in a solicitors office I was doubly pleased, as these are two areas that I think this author does really well with.

Darrell is a black guy and the only one in his family to have reach his level of education and I will admit I did not warm up to him until later in the book. Not because I didn’t like him, but because I have a hard time handling guys with low self esteem in books. As the book progresses I find myself seeing how perfect he was for Travis however. Travis is the guy who has been through the emotional wringer and is leery of too many things and because of that he stands on the sidelines pondering about his attraction for Darrell.

ONLY IN HIS DREAMS is an easy read with Lanes classic trademark characters and little enough angst to give it a bit of clout. As always the striking thing about Ms. Lane’s work is the wealth of information that she packs into a relatively short book. I could not have asked for more information about any of the protags, just enough was given to catch up on their life’s up to that point. The supports cast filtered in enough scenes to make an impact without being overly intrusive and some timely sarcastic humour was well placed to ensure that I fell in love with at least one of the cast member.

Don’t expect to put this one down as it’s short enough to read in one go and has a nice little pace to it to make sure you enjoy Travis’ and Darrell’s romance. Fans of Lane’s work you will love this and have you chomping at the bit for the second book – new readers ONLY IN HIS DREAMS  was most certainly worth my time. 

 

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Review - Bachelor Cop © Carolyn McSparren

Bachelor Cop

(A book in the Count on a Cop series)
Author: Carolyn McSparren

Publisher: Harlequin (Super Romance)

Buy link

There's a reason his cold case colleagues call him "Randy" Randy Railsback. And he's never been ashamed of his reputation with the ladies. But he is surprised by his intense reaction to Helena Norcross, one of his defense class students. He usually steers clear of women who aren't sending the get-to-know-you-better vibe. So what is it about Helena?
The English professor is clearly bent on revenge against her perpetrator, but Randy's research leads him to believe the guy's crimes are escalating. Not on Randy's watch, buddy. Because for the first time in his life, he's fallen hard. And nobody's going to hurt the woman he loves.

 

Review

For readers of this blog, you would know I read alot of Harlequin and Mills&Boons before bed – I have done this from as long as I can remember and I don’t normally say anything about them here – However Carolyn McSparren is the exception, and BACHELOR COP is a book that just needs talking about.

Ms McSparren starts off BACHELOR COP with an immediate introduction to the hero and the heroine in literally arm to arm combat, yup you heard me right. Why, because Detective Randy Railsback is a Shelby County cop and also a self defence class teacher who just happen to be the immediate  target of one Dr Helena Norcross, who  Randy has cheekily nicknamed Streak.

Streak has a chip on her shoulders a mile wide and Randy knows if there is one thing that will work against her moving on in the class is the amount of rage that she channels in the wrong direction, not only is he concern about her progressing in the class – he is also fascinated by her, she looks like a bag lady, dresses like a bag and for the oddest reason, does not give him a second glance at all.

Randy is a cop through and through and knows just after meeting Streak for one class that something was off with her, not known for his staying power and not upset about the fact, Randy does not want to get involved in Streaks life in any way shape or form – but when duty calls coupled with natural attraction, Randy had to get his priorities right.

Helena is not happy about the name that Randy has labelled her with on her first day of class – Streak is not a big deal, what grates her the most is Randy just being Randy, however Streak has the good sense to have a friend who does not sugar coat the truth and makes her see that any man would be subjected to the same outpouring of anger that Streak laid on Randy.

Streak is trying to get her life together and one of her first step is the self defence class, after that she has a plan A, B, and C but some things are unexpected and one of them is Randy, then there are the new friends that she is making and then there is a killer out for blood that Streak cannot forget.

Randy and Streak are caught in a trap of connecting at a point in their life's when they need each other. Streak is plotting and her first step is knowing how to defend herself and ultimately taking out the man who has cost her so much. Randy  unexpectedly finds himself privy to information about one Helena Norcross that makes him being a cold case detective the best place for him to be – because as much as Streak has her issues, he cares about her and there is a stalker turned killer who has not forgot her and who knows who else might get in his way before he gets to her. Randy is literally in a race against time.

When a book starts off with a group of trigger happy women right within the first three pages, I knew I was going to be in for a great time and BACHELOR COP did not let me.

"Excellent question. I'm not about to teach you how to start fights. I'm going to teach you how to finish them."
"And disable our attackers?" Streak asked.
"If that's what it takes. We have three objectives." He counted on his fingers. "First, get free. Second, get away, and third, get safe." He grinned at her.
"And avoid a right cross while you're about it."
"Why not just shoot his ass?" asked a plump and cheerful lady who looked like Mrs. Santa Claus. "My husband says shoot until the gun goes click, click,
then if you have time, reload and do it again."
There were nods all around.
"What if you don't have a gun handy?" Randy said. "How many of you have gun permits and carry a weapon in your car, or have one in your house?"
Every hand went up.
"How many of you feel comfortable shooting it?"
Everyone except Streak raised her hand. A cross section of female West Tennessee America, and every one of them owned a gun. If he were a perp,
he'd be terrified. But then, if faced with shooting someone for real, so would they. He didn't usually do this until later in the course, but after Streak's little
episode, he decided to move up his demonstration. "'Scuse me a second," he said.
He came back from his gym locker with the .38 Smith & Wesson short-barreled five shot he carried in his ankle holster as backup to his Sig Sauer .45.
He unloaded it, checked it twice, dropped the bullets into his pocket and offered Mrs. Claus the weapon, butt first. "I carry a weapon at all times, even off
duty." He winked at them. "So I can take down your friendly neighborhood ATM bandit at Kroger's. I've never shot anyone and I pray I never have to, and I
definitely hope you never have to, either. Now, Mrs C¦."
"Ellen," she simpered. She held the gun low with her trigger finger safely along the side, even though she had just seen it unloaded. Someone had taught
her well.

Bachelor Cop © Carolyn McSparren

The main theme of the book is quite dark and deals with not only physical abuse although told in hindsight, but also lots of emotional issues that I thought was masterfully crafted into the storyline.

What worked for me.

The protags were a pleasure to be around, they were not chipboard people. McSparren not only gave them their own personalities but they were flawed and everyday enough to really like. Randy was just as randy as his name suggest and he was not shy about the fact “ that he did not do baggage nor commitment” and he has been true to that statement for too many years to change. Helena was just the right balance between neurotic and hard ass bitch to make knowing her an adventure…  

The support cast were the heart and soul of this book – there was a whole slew of them and they all came with their own history and little planet of baggage.

Time was clearly invested in finding out not only about the investigative side of what and how the police deals with cold cases, but also the inner workings of a traumatised victims was well thought out and  well describes.

The humour in BACHELOR COP was  black enough to suit the plot – there was not enough of it in my opinion, but the little snippets every now and then was a nice way to break up some of the more tension filled parts of the book.

"AS A GENERAL RULE, I don't even like children," Randy said. He poured creamer into Jack Samuels's cup and handed it to him. At her desk, Liz
Slaughter stirred bran into her yogurt. She was limiting her caffeine intake for the duration of her pregnancy. She had yet to switch to maternity tops, but
the baby bulge grew more prominent every day.
"Most of the kids we see in here" Jack took a sip of his coffee "are one step short of feral. They'd have been better off if they had been raised by
wolves. Wolves have a moral code."
"Half the kids expect to be dead before they hit twenty-five," Liz interjected.
"Too many of them actually are," Jack added. "My point is that they're anything but normal kids."
"The only kids I know are my cousins," Randy said. "They're loud, spoiled, selfish, have the table manners of warthogs and treat their parents with
contempt."
"So do you," Jack commented.

Bachelor Cop © Carolyn McSparren

I also liked the consistence of the book -  I know it sounds silly but let me explain – this book was more than a love story  - It has a stalker, a woman trying to get her live back together and lots of emotional drama happening. Ms McSparren kept to that angle of the story all the way through – there was no jumping into the stalker mind or little burst of scenes from the stalker point of view – nope none of that. I thought that was really good, while I will admit  I like the balance of victim and stalker POV, but getting caught up in the hunt and the finer details of getting a life and a family back together was worth the read.

The mystery was really well done – not only was the who done it kept until the end but with each new male introduction – the wording was crafted in such a way that any two or three people could have been the killer.

The book takes place over a fairly decent amount of time and this makes Streak growth more believable, as well as other subplot line more realistic. Where the timing worked the best is in the developing attraction between Streak and Randy…

People not happy with really traumatic events being told or even being relived will not have a problem with this book – there is retelling of the tale but from more an investigative stance point, so very clinical and matter of fact about it.

BACHELOR COP is the second is McSparren COUNT ON A COP series – and it can be read as a stand alone book -  I was really impressed with Randy’s colleagues and I will be reading the first book that I missed and looking out for the next book in the series.

Niggles

The ending was tied up too quickly and mostly too conveniently – I do get quite annoyed when after a wonderful detail plotline the ending is wrapped in a page or two and the culprit makes it too easy. That said it was only a niggle, because the emphasis was of the book was on other things – so it was genuinely only a niggle.

While I know what to expect from a Harlequin book- every now and then one jumps out of the mould and does  something magic for me – the name BACHELOR COP so did not suit this book. Hardcore readers of Harlequin might say – it is a reflection of the protag and his lifestyle, and that is what the readers will get – but this book was so much more and I honestly think a pretty decent book is buried by this titled..

 

Bottom Line

If you are looking for a book where from the moment you open the first page you are dragged through a series of emotion and events – coupled with a really strong support cast who are not unwilling to be vocal and demonstrative, BACHELOR COP  is the book for you.

I am a fan of Ms McSparren’s work and with every book I read she only gets better and better, her style is not  sugary, she write about real people and with real emotion, tying in family, kids and all the other challenges that will and can affect anyone trying to live right and do the decent thing.

BACHELOR COP is a nice balance between victim recovery and a police team caught and trapped by time and evidentiary politics. However what I absolutely love about this books is that as much as the plotline was about trying to stop a stalker turned killer – the stalker turned killer was not the story and I got to see the aftermath of what is left and can happen after a live is torn apart.

 

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Monday, 22 March 2010

Another Monday – But an unpredictable week ahead…..

A weekly event hosted by Sheila - Book Journey to discuss your reading week ~ the books you've read and those you plan on reading in the coming week.

Books I completed last week are:

Simple Gifts – Andrew Grey

I Love Rock n Roll– Carol Lynne

Domination Plantation – Destiny Blaine

Her Wolf - Rebecca Royce

This is the cover I fell in love with this week…

Found this while surfing the other day and fell in love with the cover…

The War of the Dwarves

(The second book in the Dwarves series)

Markus Heitz

The dwarves have gone to battle and they have been victorious. But outside the realm, dark forces are working...A secret army of Orcs, made immortal by the hidden powers of the Black Water, now marches towards Girdlegard, set to unleash its fury upon the kingdom. Sooner than they realise, Tungdil and his comrades will need to summon all their courage to do battle against this bloodthirsty horde. The Orcs are not the only threat. An unspeakable new power is growing and threatens the very existence of the dwarves. But both enemies have forgotten one very important truth: a dwarf is never more dangerous than when total obliteration seems inevitable ...

 

Books I am currently reading this week

I am not earmarking anything for this week – My days are too unpredictable to plan for anything…

Hope you guys have some wonderful books ahead of you…

 

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Sunday, 21 March 2010

The Sunday Salon – Just a catch up post…

This post is late today but it is still Sunday – so here goes…

I have had a busy week on all fronts this week – Real life and blog life was so very busy. I did get some reviews out this week, So go me…

Read some really good books this week as well - and some books that were being raved about but for the life of me – I couldn’t get into them… I’ll definitely do a post about books that didn’t grab me this week…

A few books I have been waiting on since forever came out this week as well… so I am hoping to get to them some time this week…

Kate Steele - Transcending Darkness

image

I am having my Discussion Point Post this week, I gave it a miss the last two weeks – so look out on Wednesday for this weeks topic.

Hope your weekend was great  - lets make this coming week the best it can be…

 

Until next week – cheers

From  site –

What is the Sunday Salon? Imagine some university library's vast reading room. It's filled with people--students and faculty and strangers who've wandered in. They're seated at great oaken desks, books piled all around them, and they're all feverishly reading and jotting notes in their leather-bound journals as they go. Later they'll mill around the open dictionaries and compare their thoughts on the afternoon's literary intake....

That's what happens at the Sunday Salon, except it's all virtual. Every Sunday the bloggers participating in that week's Salon get together--at their separate desks, in their own particular time zones--and read. And blog about their reading. And comment on one another's blogs. Think of it as an informal, weekly, mini read-a-thon, an excuse to put aside one's earthly responsibilities and fall into a good book.

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Saturday, 20 March 2010

Weekly Geek – Literary Work as Body Art!!!!

Click me
Many lovers of books and tattoos have combined the two. In my opinion, there is a magic in being able to carry your favorite quote with you wherever you go. I'm far from being the only one who feels this way. LiveJournal has a group called Bookworms with Ink in which people share their literary tattoos and ask for advice before getting one.
And so I ask:

  • Do you have a literary tattoo? Please share it with us and tell us why you chose it.
  • Do you have any ideas for future literary tattoos? Are there any quotes that you might one day want to have printed on you? (No plans on ever getting a tattoo? Just let us know what you would get if you were to ever get a tattoo!)
  • How do you think the author feels about having their work permanently inked on a fan's body?

Want to see more literary tattoos? Feel free to check out or participate in Tattoo Tuesdays!

 

Click me Click me Click me

 

My thoughts

This weeks Weekly Geeks is one I am going with to see what readers of my blog think… But as for me “If we were meant to have tattoos on your bodies , we would have been born with them” – that said  I take my hat off to those brave enough to have it done…

I get cut just looking at a knife – so a needle would just finish me off…

But let me know what you think  - Would you get a Literary tattoo and if so what?.

If no – Why?

 

Click any picture to make them bigger…

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Hey It’s Saturday Morning – I am spending it with Papa Smurf, Gargamel and Lion-O

 

Some of my best memories are of watching the Smurfs every Saturday morning…. Even now I love the odd Saturdays laying in bed watching the Smurf… My son think they are odd….

Poor boy don’t even know hat he’s missing…. But we are watching them this morning…. Whether he likes them or not…

 

 

Where is the fun in watching the Smurfs if Gargamel is not up to his old tricks….

 

 

Hey, This one my son loves just as much as I do – Thunder Thunder Cats….. Ohhh I love this show….

 

Happy Saturday to you guy – Hope it’s starting off great  - I am having a blast…

 

 

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Friday, 19 March 2010

Reviewette - Echoes of the Future – Reversal © A.B. Gayle,

Echoes of the Future

Authors: A.B. Gayle, Aleksandr Voinov, Jude Mason, Kate Cotoner

Publisher: Noble Romance

Genre:Sci-Fi

Buy Link

Reversal - A. B. Gayle

Sebastian is bored. He has another five years of lone duty supervising his family's robots on their space station. The last thing he wants to do is the housework. For Christmas, his mother sends him a Domestic Darling cyborg. True to form, she purchases a factory second and sends one that doesn't quite fit the bill. Instead of being a pert blond with big tits and a cute ass like in the advertisement, this one is six foot tall and built like a Greek god, a very virile Greek God. In an attempt to improve its functioning, Sebastian uses some of his brilliant programming skills. The resulting changes ensure Sebastian will never be bored again.

Intro

I don't read alot of Anthologies but when I do – I go straight for the authors that I know or I am directed to a specific author to read. However when a book is 116 pages long I have no excuse not to read all the stories.

The last story in ECHOES OF THE FUTURE is A.B. Gayle’s REVERSAL and not only was she a new to me author, so a fresh voice and a new style but after two techy story and then an alien /off world story I was now wondering what could she have to offer…

Let me just say that as much as I liked all the other stories in the anthology – this one was like WOW.

Reviewette

REVERSAL starts with Sebastian, the latest son to take up his position on the space station that his family has own since forever into his first year of a six years stay and he is bored... As bored as he is however housework is not his forte and as such his mother decides to send him a Domestic Darling cyborg, to do the cleaning up around the station.

From the moment he spoke to his mother about this gift he had reservation and opening the pack only re-enforce that more, because instead of a cute little woman what Sebastian got is a well built, very developed male cyborg with all the right bits attached…

Sebastian is not too put out however because he has never been into the whole little woman scene anyway, so looking at a well built guy is not too much of a hardship, even if he was a cyborg.

Sebastian is not satisfied with the original programming of the cyborg and as such he sets about to stamp a personality on Cedric, yes – Darling has been rechristened Cedric. Not only has Sebastian given Cedric a new chipboard – but Sebastian and Cedric has more in common that Sebastian mamma even knows.

I really love this story – not that it was a better concept than the other stories – it was just the ickness of it, the braveness of this concept and more over the fact that Ms. Gayle sold me this set up – Cedric took on a life of his own and Sebastian was such an enthusiastic player who within these few pages went through a dramatic change that really made this a story worth reading.    

The simplicity of REVERSAL is another positive of this story for me -  it wasn’t a dramatic tale, there was no bells nor whistles, no hoop to jump through-  it just was and it worked.

 

Q & A

A.B. Gayle

1. Can you divulge anything about the background behind the concept of this, and how long have you been wanting to write this book?

I've wanted to do a book about cyborgs ever since a discussion came up on Galaxy Express almost a year ago about how science fiction romance can gain the same sort of acceptance to the romance reading public that Paranormal and Regency novels do. In those, the typical hero, the vampire, werewolf or rake have strong alpha male qualities that appeal. I commented on the blogged then and I still maintain that cyborgs can fulfil the same role in science fiction.

Interestingly, the current blogs are on just this theme: http://www.thegalaxyexpress.net/2010/03/taming-cyborg.html

My favorite scifi romance author, Linnea Sinclair created a wonderful cyborg hero in Kel-Paten in "Games of Command". Her book is mentioned in this current blog and she has posted some interesting comments to contribute to the debate.

I am firmly in the camp that scifi needs more cyborgs. The variety, skills, abilities and nature are boundless.

2. What kind of research did you do for this book?

Not a lot, other than reading other books which feature cyborgs and information I have gleaned over the years about programming and robots in general. As they don't currently exist, we can, to a certain extent, create what we want. Linnea's Kel-Paten is actually a modified man. Cedric is built from the ground up.

To me, the notion that you would have to program in emotion, logic and memory gives the story an interesting feel.

A lot of cyborgs are purely fighting machines. I thought it would be an interesting twist to make him a sexual being. His function/role will change over time depending on who his "owner" is.

This concept of ownership (because he was designed to be a slave) itself with carry some interesting plot threads.

3. In REVERSAL your protags are not the norm - While Sebastian was easy enough to identify with, Cedric takes some getting uses to - Why did you decide to go with "Darlene/Cedric the Domestic Darling " as a partner for Sebastian.

Cedric is very much in his infancy in "Reversal". That's why he may take some getting used to. He is and always will be very much Sebastian's creation.

Sebastian, I deliberately made young as in that way, the two almost grow up together.

4. The main protags were barely introduced to me before the book was over - would you or will you revisit them in the future...

  • If yes - Where do you see them going from where you left them

From the get go, I had the concept of a number of short stories making up "The Adventures of Cedric the Sex Slave Cyborg."

In a way, Reversal is the prologue. The next short story called "Initiation" will be coming out in May in another Noble Romance anthology. Anyone interested can learn more about this from my website: www.abgayle.com

I have an over-arching plot structure for Cedric, and have already started what I saw as being the last in the series called "Extinction." However, when I wrote that one's synopsis, I realized it should be left open ended so even after this, there may be more.

There could even be another story slotted in between "Reversal" and "Initiation" as a number of years have passed between the two.

Along the way Cedric will learn from each master/mistress and they in turn will gain from meeting him.

I think there is a lot of avenues to explore and due to the nature of the character, lots of variety in the interactions.

I will even be interested in gaining feedback from readers as to possible adventures he may have and may use that feedback to write more. Possibly some may not be long enough to publish, so may only appear as vignettes on my website or as free downloads.

The possibilities are endless.

5. What do you hope the readers of this anthology will feel or experience  from reading REVERSAL?

I hope for a start they get some enjoyment from the story and love the characters as much as I did when writing them. I also hope the story stimulates their imagination as to me that's what reading should be all about. Last but not least, I hope the reader leaves with a desire to know what comes next.

One final point you may be interested in. "Reversal" is my first published story and only the second one I've ever written. So it will always hold a special place in my heart as will its characters.

 

To find out more about A.B. Gayle

Website

Latest and Coming up from Ms. Gayle

Book 1 - REVERSAL

Book 2 – INITIATION

Book 3 - RETRIBUTION
Book 4 - REDEMPTION
Book 5 - EXTINCTION

INITIATION

Life has taken a dramatic turn for Cedric.
Jen was different. She was bred to be different: taller, stronger and faster than the majority of her clan. She accepted those differences because without them she could not fulfil her role as warrior and protector. What she found difficult to accept was her inability to form a loving relationship. Her fellow bounty hunters managed to build meaningful, loving relationships. Why couldn't she?
Cedric was also different, but he was constructed to be different. One of a kind. On a desperate mission to learn from the best - the feared warriors of the Anasazi clan - his decision to join their all female space-faring crew as combat cyborg should mean the secret of his unusual past would be safe. Wouldn't it?

EXCERPT

 

Other books in the Echoes of The Future  Anthology

BURN – Aleksandr Voinov +  Q&A

CONDUIT – Kate Cotoner + Q&A

RESCUE ME – Jude Mason – Q&A

 

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Excerpt Day - Leader of the Pack © Leighann Phoenix

Excerpt

Smoke thickened as the night wore on. Aislinn moved from one person to the next along the crowded bar, filling drink orders. She took the job a month ago, when she arrived in town. Her scummy boss, Derrick, was more than happy to hire her. He recently lost a bar tender, and Aislinn was above average in appearance, even if she didn’t think so. When Aislinn applied to the job Derrick didn’t even asked if she could mix drinks. He figured he could teach that. She wasn’t a super model, but she was attractive in a strange way, and she was better than moving Kelly up. The patrons liked her where they could reach he

Aislinn hated the place. She learned relatively quickly to keep space between herself and Derrick, the ass. He tended to grab her and make lewd comments. He even attacked her once, but she managed to get away. Unfortunately, she needed the job. She needed the money. That was the only reason she kept working after that. One would think that after she decked him he would stay out of her way, but Derrick just kept trying. Aislinn thanked the stars that currently he was at the far end of the bar talking with some regulars. With Luke tending bar between them, that was about the right distance tonight.

The other people she worked with were mostly nice. Kelly was really the only bitch and that was because Aislinn got the job Kelly wanted. In this place, the best spot 5

to be was behind the bar. Then the only person who could grab you was Derrick. Anywhere else and you were fair game for all the jerks who came in the place. Kelly thought that she did her time and deserved the bartender job. When Derrick gave it to Aislinn, he made Kelly a permanent enemy for her.

Aislinn approached the new guy who sat down at the bar near the wall. He was impressive. His presence caused most of the other patrons to make more than enough room for him, resulting in an unnatural amount of space at that end of the bar. Aislinn was perfectly happy to have a short lull in the number of people she had to deal with.

The man was pretty big, even sitting on the stool. He had black hair, brown black eyes, and tanned skin. He looked hard muscled even under the black leather duster he was wearing. But the strangest thing was this ageless appearance to him. At first look she might have said he was in his late twenties/early thirties. Then, at second glance, he looked almost 100. Whether that was normal for him or because he just had the worst day of his life was up for grabs. “What can I get you?”

The guy looked up at her as if he only just realized that he was in a bar. Aislinn waited and when he didn’t respond she asked again. “What can I get you?”

Cullen stared appraisingly at the girl speaking to him. She had an odd scent. It was hard to make out between the rancid smell of the bar, the smoke from the people around him soaking into everything, and some awful perfume she seemed to have bathed in. But there was something to it that caught his attention. She was attractive, but she wasn’t remarkable in any way. She had brown hair, blue eyes, pale skin, and medium build. She wasn’t his type. I would probably break her; he thought and grinned 6

at himself. Besides she wasn’t what he was here for. The last thing he wanted was a woman tonight. No matter how intriguing her scent was.

“If you’re not ready to order I can come back in a couple,” Aislinn offered at his silence and the annoyed, confused look on his face as he stared at her.

“Guinness.”

Aislinn nodded, poured the beer and placed it in front of him. No sooner had she waited on the next person but he was pushing his glass toward her again. She gave him another. Then another. At first she was concerned. He didn’t look very friendly and adding drunk to not very friendly usually didn’t end well. But he kept to himself, paid for each glass as he indicated his need for a refill, and didn’t do anything to bother her or anyone else. He just stared at his glass and drank. Something about him that she couldn’t quite put her finger on kept everyone else away.

Aislinn really wasn’t sure what kept drawing her attention back to him. His smell, for one thing, disturbed her. Since she had escaped her previous life, her sense of smell seemed more pronounced, sharper. After everything she’d been through to this point she kept her own council. That included not telling anyone that she could determine who she was talking to even with her eyes closed if she’d ever met the person before. Smells bothered her very easily. When she got out into the big wide world, she started layering on perfumes to mask the smells around her. But tonight his smell was getting through her defenses. He smelled foul or dead. At least that was the only way she could describe it. She didn’t know what could possibly make that odor. Every time the air shifted she nearly flinched at the awful reek that overpowered even 7

the rancid beer in this place. God why did I decide bartending was a good idea, she thought to herself.

Cullen was still sitting there drinking as the place was getting ready to close. He watched the girl who had been serving him all night walked up to him as she cleared the bar. “Hey, buddy, do you need me to call you a cab or something?”

“Cullen,” he said before he knew that he had said it.

“What?” Aislinn stopped what she was doing and started reaching for a phone.

“Is there someone I can call for you,” she reiterated.

“My name. Cullen. Not ‘buddy’. And no, I don’t need a ride. I’ll walk.” He started to get up only to realize that he drank more than he originally thought. It’s been a long time since I managed to get drunk, he thought with a measure of amusement. Well that’s what I came here to do wasn’t it? He sat back down on the bar stool.

Aislinn sighed and looked over at one of the other girls. Nikki just shrugged.

“Alright, Cullen,” she said haltingly. “Look, we’re closing. You’re too drunk to move. You’ve got to have a friend somewhere who’ll come get you.”

He looked up at her and grinned with wry amusement. “Yeah,” he said, “a whole pack.”

Leader of The Pack © Leighann Phoenix

 

Leader of the Pack

Author: Leighann Phoenix

Publisher: Excessica Publishing

Genre: : Vampires/Werewolves Paranormal,  Erotica

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Running for her life, hiding as a waitress in a sleazy bar, Aislinn never dreamed she would meet her soul mate. Compelled to save her, Cullen finds himself inexorably drawn to this mysterious woman. Aislinn believed her life couldn't get any stranger than it already was, until she happened across Cullen. As Aislinn discovers her lost past and Cullen works to protect his pack, they find themselves stronger together then they ever were apart. Now they just have to convince the pack elders that the alpha werewolf in the pack should be mated to a supposedly human girl.

 

 

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Thursday, 18 March 2010

Reviewette - Echoes of the Future - Rescue Me © Jude Mason

Echoes of the Future

Authors: A.B. Gayle, Aleksandr Voinov, Jude Mason, Kate Cotoner

Publisher: Noble Romance

Genre:Sci-Fi

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Rescue Me by Jude Mason

Assigned to guard Leetchi Ambassador Dar and his family, Lieutenant Thomas Patch finds himself inexplicably drawn to Jad, the diplomat’s son. The tall, slender Leetchi turns out to be as gay as Patch and steals his heart. When Jad is kidnapped, Patch goes undercover to find and rescue him. The rescue takes him to the underbelly of the space port city and a whore house where slaves are bought and sold at will. Finding Jad proves easier than he’d hoped, but the rescue takes an insane twist when their escape attempt is thwarted by the one person they knew was on their side.

Will Jad’s enslavement tear the lovers apart? Will Patch be torn from the love of his life? Find out, in Rescue Me.

 

Intro

Jude Mason is the only voice that I am used to from this anthology and as such I was looking for something different. Ms. Mason has this experimental style to her writing that she does not let out enough in my opinion and as such when I heard sci-fi, I jumped at the chance to read this book. Her style might not work for everyone but it tick all my boxes.

Coming in as the third story in the book, there is moment of pause – because where the first two story were all “tech” related, Jude’s story is alien, off world material and it begins under less than ideal circumstance…

 

Reviewette

Being dragged through the streets on a leash no less and unsure of what the next few minute or even the few hours will hold for him is where Lieutenant Thomas Patch finds himself.

Patch is in the land of the Leetchi looking for his last assignment, Jad, a diplomat’s son. The latest information that is known of his where’s about is within his sights. The whorehouse that Jad is being held in, is not the stuff of overstuffed chairs and seedy old men smoking cigars.

The slaves – because they are slave when they get put into the cells are used and abused and when things get too close for comfort they might just get sold on to some other Alien race needing a sex slave. Patch was in a race against time and he knows that every bit of info he can absorb will come in handy whenever he gets his chance to escape.

Patch does find Jad and a sort of reunion takes but what follows next surprised even me…. But one thing is sure Patch will get Jad out, because he cannot live without him.

Ms. Mason contribution is the only one that feels familiar to me – in that I am used to reading about difference races in romance, she however builds a whole little set up around the Leetchi, and the trade that they have build up.

Holding the best till last is one of the cool things about reading one of Ms. Mason’s books – and she did not  let me down. Not only was the ending surprising but it was coming from so far left field and I love it and wanted more.

What however I really love about this book is it’s edginess – Something's do remain the same in RESCUE ME, the need to protect and serve and of course follow through, but when alien with there own code of conduct and morals get stirred into the mix any game is to be expected and that is what Ms. Mason has put together with RESCUE ME.  Well done.

 

Q & A

Rescue Me ©Jude Mason

1. Can you divulge anything about the background behind the concept of this, and how long have you been wanting to write this story?

-Years ago, and I'm not saying how many, I read a book by Robert Heilein called Citizen of the Galaxy.The story took place in the future and began in a spaceport. The feel of that book has always been with me and I've wanted to explore how I'd create it myself. The citizenry and story line of Rescue Me, were in no way similar to Heilein's book, other than how any port or surroundings would be harsher than the more civilized area of a port city.
How long have I wanted to write this story?  Possibly since I read Citizen of the Galaxy. That's a very long time. I think I'd like to explore the feel of this one some more yet.


2. Can you give me a bit more detailed physical description of what the leetchi are like?

-The Leetchi are nearly human in many respects. They have two arms, two legs, mouth, nose, two eyes and five fingers and toes. They're just slightly altered. Very long slender fingers and toes. Their sex organs are extremely similar, they'd have to be or they couldn't have sex with humans. *G* The normal adult Leetchi is taller than a human, two to three feet taller. They come from a world that has a thinner atmosphere so their chests are larger.

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3. The ending was a huge surprise for me and does take some wrapping my head around - that said there are traits of  JACOB'S PONY in RESCUE ME with not only the hierarchical structure but the need to be saved - Is this a plotline you are comfortable writing or is this how a possible scenario of the future works for you and why?

-Interesting question and it made me really think. Jacob's pony is an alternate future, men enslaving men. Rescue Me, similar in that men are enslaved. I see Rescue me taking place in a future where Humanity is no longer the ruler, but the upstart world that will have to prove itself to more advanced aliens. The Leetchi are one race and they treat Humanity as not quite civilized. The enslaving of their own young is part of their growth, something they must do to learn how to rule the enslaved perhaps.
Patch's need to save Jad, is the need to save a lover. He couldn't bear to have Jad in danger.
Do I see myself writing more of this style of book? Yes. I like the slightly noirish feel of this. Slightly dark, a little scary, with some hot sex and hopefully a story line that keeps a reader interested all sounds good to me.


4. The main protags were barely introduced to me before the book was over - would you or will you revisit them in the future?

-The length or lack of comes from submission guidelines. When a publisher or editor is looking for a story to go into an anthology, we'll have a word count we have to adhere to. So, trying to build a world and introduce more than two or three people and have you get to know them well is incredibly difficult. At least it is for me.

  • If yes - Where do you see them going from where you left them?

-Yes, I like the relationship Jad and Patch's have. Where next? They have  a lot of exploring to do, both as a couple and as slaves. That slavery isn't going to be forever, Jad's future as the ambassador's son could be very interesting and Patch's will need a job, security comes to mind. Also, there's the alien/human dynamics to think about. Will the relationship they have cause issues between the races? I mean, it's not just a master taking pleasure with a lowly Human, these two are in love.

 

5. What do you hope the readers of this anthology will feel or experience  from reading RESCUE ME?

-I think I'd like the readers to get that we're not necessarily at the top of the food chain. Learning to live with other people/animals is pretty damned important to our future. Maybe even, being polite goes a long way.

 

 

image To find out more about Jude Mason

Website

Blog

 

Latest from Ms. Mason/Ms Byrnes

Slippery When Wet
by Jude Mason and Jenna Byrnes
ISBN: ISBN 978-1-60659-533-6
Publisher: Phaze
URL to buy: http://www.king-cart.com/Phaze/product=Slippery+When+Wet/exact_match=exact
Blurb:

Four men, released from Corcoran State Prison, do whatever it takes to keep from going back.

Wanted Dead or Alive by Jenna Byrnes: Dan Radisson stumbles on a homicide and runs from it like he did in the past. Suddenly, he's a wanted man. Dan must solve the crime or risk returning to the prison that changed his life.

Livin’ on a Prayer by Jude Mason: Logan White served eight years for his part in a robbery/homicide. Reverend Shane Grayson helps Logan find a job, with unexpected results. Can the lovers find a way to be together or will the underbelly of society win out?

Never Say Goodbye by Jenna Byrnes: Damien Hall got by with street wiles until he ended up prison. Five years later, he's faced with the same dilemma, do what's easy or do what's right? Only Damien can decide.

I’d Die for You by Jude Mason: Snake Thompson is looking for revenge. He meets lusty blond Abel who tags along for the ride. Can they find the truth and clear Snake's name, or will drugs and money send them to the grave?

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Other books in the Echoes of The Future  Anthology

BURN – Aleksandr Voinov +  Q&A

CONDUIT – Kate Cotoner + Q&A

REVERSAL – A.B Gayle + Q&A

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