Tristant and Elijah – OFFICIALLY RELEASED!

So excited! Tristant and Elijah has officially been released everywhere and so far the reviews are great! Head on over to the reviews section of the page to see more, but here’s a few excerpts!

I truly loved the supportive role that Tristant played for Elijah in his journey. Elijah’s anguish, and Tristant’s empathy and kindness are palpable. These two are really tender boys–and I’m glad that they found each other. – Veronica from V’s Reads

 

I found the story to be relevant and one we can all relate to. Many of us have had the experience of having a crush on someone we cannot have. – Amos Lassen

 

Have you read Tristant and Elijah? Let me know what you think! I’d love to hear from you!

 

Book Review: Slash and Burn by Valerie Bronwen

The Angels and Demons Literary Weekend brings former New Orleans resident Winter Lovelace back to town from her gig as writer-in-residence at a prestigious women’s college in upstate New York. Winter desperately needs a break from the book she is struggling to finish, and hopes that this weekend will inspire her and trigger her creativity.

 But while waiting for a friend in a hotel courtyard, a body lands at her feet, and Winter is dragged into a baffling mystery quite against her will. The victim is a notorious “m/m romance” author who is also a homophobe, and the list of people who wanted her dead is quite extensive. Winter herself is considered a suspect! 

 To make matters worse, Winter’s ex shows up to cover the story for a local news station…an ex Winter had hoped she’d never see again.

Move over Stephanie Plum! (Okay, I probably shouldn’t say that as I’ve never read a Janet Evanovich book, but whatever, still move over) There’s a new detective (sort of, accidentally) in town! In this first novel by Valerie Bronwen, Tracy Norris comes to life on the page as a teacher and mystery writer of a best-selling series about Laura Lassiter. She’s also a best-selling lesbian romance author on the side under the penname Winter Lovelace. When she goes to New Orleans for a writing convention, little does she know she’s about to have a body land at her feet. Literally.

I loved this story. I wish there was another one right now because I wouldn’t even be writing this review now, I’d just immediately dig into it. Tracy is an unforgettable narrator with a sharp sense of humor. I found myself quite frequently either laughing or biting my lip from being too loud. I may have even snorted a few times.

Anyone who has ever been deeply involved in a fandom needs to read this book. There’s always that ONE PERSON who thinks they are the god of that world, and in this book you have Antinous Renault. From the first page I wanted to punch her face, and reading more about her just made me think of all the people I’d encountered in my various fandoms over the years.

Who needs to read this book? Quite frankly, everyone. Like mystery? Read it. Like reading about authors and their struggles? Read it. Like lesbian authors? Read it. Like m/m romance? Read it. Have no idea how crazy some writers can be? Read it. Ever in a fandom with the BNF that everyone loathed? Read it.

I can’t wait for the next Valerie Bronwen book. You can bet it will be preordered the minute there is a release date!

This book can be ordered from Bold Stokes Books right here.

Book Review: Letters from a Murderer by John Matthews

New York, 1891: a rapidly changing city, torn between lamplight and electric light, where the burgeoning steel and railway industries attract a flood of humanity from every corner of the globe, fuelling cut-throat gangs, corruption and vice.

A prostitute is found brutally murdered. Immediately fear starts to spread. The victim bears the same hallmarks as Jack the Ripper’s recent killing spree in England. Could it be that the Ripper has crossed the Atlantic to fresh killing grounds? Or is this simply a copycat murder?

To solve the case, one of the original English Ripper pathologists, Finley Jameson, is teamed up with Joseph Argenti, one of the new ‘untouchable’ detectives, hand-picked by a New York Mayor eager to fight corruption.

But Michael Tierney, the city’s leading gangster, has his own ideas about how the city should be run. And as the body-count rises, and Jameson & Argenti are taunted by the killer in open letters, they find themselves fighting not just to save the next victim, but for the city’s very soul.

To get this book, you need to add the following things in a blender: Sherlock Holmes, New York City, Jack the Ripper, and Gangs of New York. Add a dash of unique and excellent characterization and you have one explosive novel that will not let you put it down until you’re finished, no matter how tired you may be.

Argenti and Jameson are excellent characters that must follow Jack the Ripper as he terrorizes New York City. Jameson, a former investigator of the Ripper murders in London, has moved to New York. The Ripper seems to have followed him there. Argenti, an investigator from NYC, is one of the few cops left who haven’t been corrupted by the crime boss Tierney. Both Argenti and Jameson are excellent characters because they have their flaws which make them all the more human: Argenti is hiding a secret about his sister, Marella, and Jameson is hiding a family secret that could put him in danger.

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, and was kept guessing until the very end. And the last sentence of the book made me gasp. I’m very glad that this appears to be the first in a series, because I loved the characters and want to read more of them. Argenti and Jameson have great chemistry when working together, and they compliment each other much like Holms and Watson do. That’s not to say that they’re a copy of those two famous literary figures, though. No, far from it. They’re unique and perhaps even deeper because of their flaws.

I HIGHLY recommend this book if you like a good mystery or are a fan of either Sherlock Holmes or Jack the Ripper style books. Excellent read.

Book Review: Greg Honey by Russ Gregory

Honey Agency: If we can’t solve your problem, we’re sorry.

Greg Honey has bigger issues than a sketchy tagline for his one-man detective agency. To start with, his mother is pressuring him to date debutantes, his stalker keeps leaving threatening messages, his new boyfriend is at least four levels higher up on the gay boy food chain, and his best friend, Willa, has lost her panties. To top it all off, things keep pointing toward trouble at the family estate. Will Greg figure out what’s going on in time to help Willa find her panties? Lord knows he wants to because Greg is more than a detective… he’s also a Honey.

WARNING: Do not read this book late at night while others around you are sleeping. You will likely cause them to wake up and be angry with you for all the laughing and snorting you will be doing. This is especially important if you live in an apartment building with paper thin walls.

With that out of the way, I must say I LOVED this new book by Russ Gregory. If you’re expecting a romance, just stop. Greg ain’t got time for that. Well, actually he does, with Matt, the guy he’s seriously crushing on, but that’s not the focus of this book. The focus is the mystery and, well, the comedy. Because this book is HILARIOUS.

Greg is a private investigator in his own, mostly new firm. His family is obscenely wealthy, but he’s not. Along with his friend Willa – who talks nonstop and misunderstands everything – he takes on cases and tries not to get shot or tased on the way to his next paycheck.

I think one of the funniest aspects of the book is Greg’s grandmother, Lucille. She has no filter whatsoever and calls it like she sees it. And when she wants to know something, she asks. Even if it’s the mechanics of Greg’s relationship with Matt.

This cast of characters is fun, mostly lovable, sometimes aggravating, and just all around bigger than the hair in Texas, which does make a special appearance.

If you like mysteries, comedies, or the two combined, do not miss this spectacular new book. I am praying that there is more in the works for Greg Honey, because I need to know what his next case load is going to bring!

You can purchase this book directly from Bold Strokes Books. It will be released September 1, 2013.

Book Review: Sometime Yesterday by Yvonne Heidt

About the book: Successful artist Natalie Chambers impulsively buys a Victorian house  overlooking the Pacific Ocean after her divorce. Immediately, her dreams  are haunted by Sarah and Beth, two lovers from the past and the Dark  Man who controlled their lives. When she begins to look for explanations  for the things going bump in the night, the only answer she can get  from the locals is that several previous owners had fled screaming into  the night.

Landscaper Van Easton hasn’t had a serious  relationship since her partner died. Content to let women and alcohol  distract her from her pain, she is surprised at the intensity of emotion  that bubbles to the surface after she meets Natalie. Contracted to  restore the gardens at Natalie’s house, she refuses to believe that the  mansion is haunted. Until the ghostly Dark Man follows her home.

It  appears he will stop at nothing to keep the new lovers apart, and the  violence continues to escalate. Can they solve the mystery that will set  Beth and Sarah free and banish the evil presence in the house? Or will  the evil echoes of the past destroy them as well?

This book has quite the emotional ride and a lot of twists and turns to satisfy just about all readers. It’s a mystery just as much as it is paranormal and horror. I really enjoyed all of the characters, from the two main women – Natalie and Van – to Mary, Natalie’s mother (ESPECIALLY her mother), and Van’s father.

Though the love blossoming between Natalie and Van is beautiful, it is not without its hitches, and I liked that about it. There were moments when I wanted to smack Van upside the head for jumping to conclusions. Likewise, I wanted to do the same to Natalie sometimes! Without the paranormal elements, the story and romance was very believable. I could feel the desire between the women through the pages of the book.

With the paranormal elements, it’s a fantastic read. I was on the edge of my seat, especially towards the end, when the haunting starts to escalate. And when the “key” and other secrets are revealed a literally gasped, “Oh, shit!” because I did not see them coming! I don’t want to say to much because I want readers to have the same reaction.

As a final note, though he is a minor character, I loved Van’s grandfather. It saddened me that he has Alzheimer’s, but his way of describing it moved me to tears and I had to pause. It really puts the disease in another perspective if you think of it as your loved one visiting moments in life that they loved so much they wanted to visit them twice.

You can purchase Sometime Yesterday by Yvonne Heidt from Bold Strokes Books or Amazon.

Book Review: Sara by Greg Herren

Are you one of those people who often can guess the endings of books or solve the mystery before everyone in the book even has all the clues? Because the book is often that predictable?

Fear not. This book will leave you guessing until the end, and when all is revealed, you will be blown away.

Sara by Greg Herren is the story of Tony and his friend, Glenn. When Glenn decides to come out during the summer before school starts, Tony stands by him, but finds it difficult to accept the change. Nevertheless, he remains a friend and when others turn their back on Glenn, he stays by his side. Despite feeling uneasy about his friends newly revealed sexuality. When Sara shows up in town, things start to go very, very wrong. All the students who have tormented Glenn start showing up dead. One after another they die, and Tony starts to wonder what is happening in their small town.

This book was incredible. It is a mystery that will stay with you until the very last page, but it does have supernatural/paranormal elements at times. After all, why do these kids start to die? How is it possible?

I don’t want to ruin anything by saying to much, because the story is just that good. Go read it for yourself. I will, however, say that I loved the characters. Even the teachers are fantastic. When coach gives a speech to Tony about trusting teachers, and the reasons people become a teacher, I felt as if the author had taken my words from my mouth and put them in the book. It is the same thing I have said to my students time and time again. The reason I teach is because I care, and I want to help.

But I see Tony’s view, too. Teachers are often thought of as “untouchable.” I also can’t tell you how many times my students have seen me outside of school and are shocked that I actually emerge from the building to live a life outside of my classroom.

Let’s talk about Tony. He is a fantastic narrator because of how honest he is. And I found his discomfort around Glenn to be realistic. Though there are many people who stand by their friends when they come out, it’s not unreasonable that some of them do feel uncomfortable around them for a while because of the changes and the potential fear that they will have to face whatever prejudices the friend faces. And Glenn’s hurt at Tony’s slight rebuff is also realistic. If Tony is such a good friend, he shouldn’t care, should he?

This is a book that needs to be read. Trust me, you won’t regret it.

This book is available for purchase at Bold Strokes Books and Amazon.

Book Review: The Secret of Othello by Sam Cameron

Okay, so I was approved for a copy on NetGalley… and I was going to wait to read it, really I was… but I had it in my hands and HAD to read it. So I did.

AND I REGRET NOTHING.

First of all, I highly recommend reading the first book, Mystery of the Tempest: A Fisher Key Adventure, before reading this one. There are some situations alluded to in this book that happen in the first that might not make sense to new readers. However, they are few and I believe it COULD stand alone. But why would you want to read this and not the first? It was amazing and I have been waiting for the sequel since the first book was even announced! … if that makes sense…

As for this book, it stands up. The intrigue and mystery is just as good as in the first, and I was literally up all night reading it. I just couldn’t put it down.

Steven and Denny are great characters, and I was so excited to see more of Sean and Brian. Steven gets himself – yet again – into serious trouble with the girls (THREE of them this time), and Denny has trouble in his first relationship with a guy. He’s not sure of himself, and his awkward responses are hilarious but sweet.

I also loved Denny’s melodramatic responses to everything. He quite frequently announces that he’s going to go drown himself, and once even jumps off the boat and starts to swim away. I was laughing out loud quite often.

Irma and Ed are great additions as well. I would love to see more of them in the next book.

Did I mention next book? Yes I did, because there WILL be a third. There is a sample at the end, and the book ends on a cliffhangar that had me ready to throw my Kindle across the room.

If you’re a teen fan of mystery, check out this series. If you like reading about gay teens struggling to accept themselves and come out, Denny is a great character. No matter what, everyone should find something they like in these characters. From the twins’ father to their Aunt Riza, all the characters are fascinating and realistic.

This book will be available for purchase on September 18, 2012 from Bold Strokes Books. You can preorder from them here, or through Amazon.