Book Review: The Probability of Mistletoe by E.J. Russell

Reviewed by Nikyta

Title: The Probability of Mistletoe
Author: E.J. Russell
Series: 2017 Advent Calendar Daily – Stocking Stuffers
Heroes: Keith & Parker
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 43 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: December 1, 2017
Available at: Dreamspinner Press & Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: When software engineer Keith Trainor decides to start his own company, he knows exactly who he wants as his partner: Parker Mulvaney, his best friend from high school. But in the ten years since graduation, their contact has dwindled to nothing, and it’s all Keith’s fault. If he hadn’t tried to kiss Parker under the mistletoe at the winter formal their senior year, Parker wouldn’t have bolted. At their ten-year reunion, Keith intends to do everything in his geeky power to make amends.

Parker should have known that scheduling the reunion the day before Christmas Eve was a recipe for a headache of monster proportions. But when Keith sends a text that he’ll be attending, the evening doesn’t look so bleak. Can an unnecessary makeover, a nostalgic breakfast, an abortive shopping trip, and a whole lot of mistletoe culminate in a long-overdue first kiss? Continue reading

Categories: 4 Star Ratings, Book Review, LGBT, Nikyta's Reviews, Published in 2017 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Protecting His Omega by Giovanna Reaves: Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

Blogger_Exclusive Excerpt

Exclusive Excerpt from Protecting His Omega

by Giovanna Reaves

Phoenix hoped he was changing society’s views when it came to omegas. That was one of the things he loved about Maxwell. Maxwell never saw him as just an omega but as a person. He’d cursed his parents for their close-mindedness when it came to him. He had been on the streets for only a few weeks when he had a bit of luck, in his opinion. He sniggered thinking how silly he was trying to steal someone’s wallet. A pretty wealthy guy’s wallet as a matter of fact.

There was a knock at his office door, pulling him from his thoughts. “Come in,” he answered, turning his chair around.

Joyce entered and walked over to him with a coffee cup in her hand. “You looked like you could use a pick-me-up.”

“Bless you,” he said with a smile, taking the cup from her and swallowing a large sip. “Please tell me I don’t have a packed day.”

She gave him the “are you kidding” look. “When have your days been anything but packed?”

“Just tell me I get to leave in time to pick up Jasmine.”

“Don’t I always take care of you, sir?” Joyce asked. “I’ve been taking care of you since I worked for Max.”

“You know I hate when you call me sir,” he told her. Joyce had started working with Phoenix English a year or two before him. She was Maxwell’s executive assistant before she became his.

“I’m well aware, but it is office etiquette,” she told him with her glasses sitting down by the tip of her nose. “Why must we go through this every day?”

“Because you refuse to call me Phoenix.” She stared at him and made it clear she wasn’t going to change her mind. “Fine, let me hear how my day will go, at least tell me I have time for a lunch break.”

She scanned down her list and then looked back up at him. “I scheduled a lunch break for two minutes around one.”

“Oh wow, a whole two minutes, thank you, Your Majesty,” he said with a smile, and he got her to chuckle. “Okay, lay it on me.”

“At noon, you have a lunch meeting with Brook Shafter from. . . ”

Phoenix leaned back in his chair and sipped his coffee. While he listened to Joyce, his mind started to wander off again. Thinking back, he couldn’t believe how tempted he was to return home and beg his parents to forgive him for being an omega. At least at home he would have been safe from any alpha that caught a whiff of his pheromones. And have had a decent meal, since he’d resorted to begging for change just to get something to eat. Phoenix lived on the streets for two months. It might not have been a long time, but it was enough for him to realize how sheltered his life was when he saw how many omegas were living on the streets. The only thing that kept Phoenix sane were his suppressant pills. Omegas were required to take their suppressant pills weekly to help mask their pheromones to alphas and prevent pregnancies.

He knew what some of the omegas did when they were going through their mating cycles was demoralizing. But he couldn’t fault them. They did what they had to do for survival. They disappeared for days, hiding in abandoned buildings, hoping their heat would pass before they gave in to any alphas that approached them. Some sold their bodies to earn the money they needed to buy their suppressants and to survive. Phoenix couldn’t believe that a society that prided itself on caring for its people would turn a blind eye to omegas suffering in pain.

Phoenix knew sooner or later that if he had stayed out on the streets he would have resorted to the same tricks. Which was why he worked tirelessly to have the laws changed. Until about three years ago, it was illegal for omegas under the age of eighteen to receive their suppressants without parental permission. With his wealth and influence, Phoenix was able to get that, and a few other laws, changed. Thank the gods he didn’t have to sleep with anyone to get what he wanted. No matter what people thought about him, he was not a slut. All he had to do was kiss a few asses and pretend he cared about other minor issues to get his foot in the door. Coughing to suppress a snort over some of the other influences he had employed, Phoenix turned his attention back to Joyce.

“I’m sorry, sir, did you say something?” Joyce asked him.

“Um . . . no,” he said, clearing his throat and sitting up in his chair while pretending that he heard everything she said. “Joyce, can you get me another cup of coffee?”

“Sure,” she said, getting up and taking his empty cup from him. She stopped and looked at him.

“Are you okay?”

“Yeah, why?”

“You seem to be far away today,” she told him.

“It’s the holidays, it always makes me think about Max,” he told her.

“Ah . . .” she said in understanding. “I’ll get you another cup.” Then Joyce turned and walked out of the room, leaving him to his thoughts.

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Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, LGBT, Published in 2017 | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Review: Poison Marked by T.J. Nichols

Reviewed by Nikyta

Title: Poison Marked
Author: T.J. Nichols
Series: 2017 Advent Calendar Daily – Stocking Stuffers
Heroes: Nikko & Rodas
Genre: M/M Fantasy
Length: 56 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: December 1, 2017
Available at: Dreamspinner Press & Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: Kill his lover or disobey his king and instigate civil war?

As the feared court poison master, Nikko is sworn to do as his king bids. As the lover of the king’s nephew, Lord Rodas, Nikko must hide his affection or risk being labeled a traitor and punished. A former thief who clawed his way into the palace from the filthy streets, Nikko longs to be deserving of Rodas’s love.

A respected war hero, Rodas is in a delicate political situation. He is not the kingdom’s natural heir, though many support his claim over the wastrel, Prince Fortin. The last thing Rodas wants is war. His highest ambition is for Nikko to openly wear the jewels he’s bestowed on him as a public declaration of their love.

Neither man is prepared for the king to order Nikko to poison Rodas during the solstice feast or for the deadly intrigue they’re plunged into, which exposes their affair and rocks the foundations of the kingdom. Continue reading

Categories: 4 Star Ratings, Book Review, LGBT, Nikyta's Reviews, Published in 2017 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Masked Heart by Calli Hall: Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

Blogger_Exclusive Excerpt

Exclusive Excerpt from Masked Heart

by Calli Hall

There was no more family, and she had never had true friends. The few people she had thought she could rely on had betrayed her in the worst way one could imagine.

Despite that, she had not been opposed to the beginning of a friendship with the aristocrat, only to then be left once more.

She, or rather he, was simply lonely. Under all of the layers of make-up and clothing the young man behind the masquerade longed for someone.

A person could survive alone, but not really live. He knew that. The reason for his displeasure likely laid with the Duke. Up to now he had constantly been at the side of Madame P.. He was not amicable or even well-disposed, but he was there.

That alone had been enough for her. She had been noticed.

How pathetic! She smiled cynically at herself. She was jealous because the Duke hadn’t offered her a snide remark as usual. Maybe he had been hiding in women’s clothes for too long if he was reacting to Lexerton with such feelings.

This was not only ridiculous, but also dangerous. If the Duke were ever to find out the truth about Madame P., or rather him, the hangman would be redundant— the Duke himself would tie the knots for the noose. Continue reading

Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, LGBT, Published in 2017 | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Book Review: The Storm’s Gift by A.D. Ellis

Reviewed by Nikyta

Title: The Storm’s Gift
Author: A.D. Ellis
Series: 2017 Advent Calendar Daily – Stocking Stuffers
Heroes: Rory & James
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 34 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: December 1, 2017
Available at: Dreamspinner Press & Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: Snowed in together in their college dorm, two men share a quick connection that creates enough heat to spar with the blizzard outside.

Rory Blackwell plans to rejuvenate his mind and repair his battered heart after his world is shaken by an unexpected breakup. James Austin’s freshman-year plans of improving his social life crashed and burned, leaving him feeling as alone and outcast as he did back home.

One man is hurting while the other is eager to provide comfort. One is a virgin, the other experienced with other men. Both are looking forward to Winter Break, but can they take full advantage of their situation—or will the passion ignited between them fizzle out with the storm? Continue reading

Categories: 3 Star Ratings, Book Review, LGBT, Nikyta's Reviews, Published in 2017 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Author Q&A: L.C. Davis + Excerpt & Giveaway!

Interview Banner

Please welcome L.C. Davis to The Blogger Girls!

Tell readers a little about His Taken Omega…. in three sentences or less!

Avery is an omega spokesman for the Futurus matchmaking program and the fiancé of a rising star in shifter politics, and Nicholas is an Alpha who can’t stand to be in the same room with an unmated omega for long. When Avery is sent to Nicholas’ small-town pack to recover from his kidnapping, the rivalry between them turns into an unexpected bond that throws a wrench in…pretty much everything.   

How did you come up with the names for your characters?

The first names just come with the characters, and the surnames are usually nods to classic horror or Sci-Fi, because I’m a total nerd. Avery’s name is a reference to Father Callahan from Stephen King’s “Salem’s Lot” and “Wolves of the Calla.” Nicholas Meyer is a nod to, well, Stephenie Meyer, since he has a fondness for vampire romance. Metcalf comes from a cheesy 90s Sci-Fi parody and so on. 😉  

How would you describe those characters?

Avery and Nicholas are both headstrong perfectionists who spend way too much time worrying about their reputations at the beginning of the story. They differ in the sense that Avery is much more optimistic, but Nicholas comes around…eventually.

Was it hard for you to write this book or did it flow easily for you?

It flowed pretty easily! I knew from the moment Avery showed up in “Alpha, Beta, Omega” that his story would be next, and I’m lucky that he kept talking! Lol

Do you tend to leave little clues in your books that reference other books, movies or shows that are not commonly known except to certain fans (such as TARDIS from Doctor Who, sparkly vampires from Twilight, etc.)? If not, have you ever thought of it?

There is definitely a bit of a nod to “Twilight” and “The Vampire Diaries” with the book Nicholas is reading in “His Taken Omega.” 😉

What do you hope readers will take from His Taken Omega?

I hope they take away the idea that no matter what you’ve been through in the past, and no matter how “less than enough” you feel, everyone is the perfect person for someone.  

And a silly question, what’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?

I’m Native and Appalachian, so I think some of the cultural foods I grew up with would seem unusual to other people. Pickled pig’s feet in a can is a childhood memory that comes to mind.

Awesome, thank you so much for stopping by! Check out below for more info on His Taken Omega!

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Categories: Author Q&A, Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, LGBT, Published in 2017 | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Book Review: The Puzzle Box by C.C. Bridges

Reviewed by Nikyta

Title: The Puzzle Box
Author: C.C. Bridges
Series: 2017 Advent Calendar Daily – Stocking Stuffers
Heroes: James & Cole
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 31 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: December 1, 2017
Available at: Dreamspinner Press & Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: Elementary school art teacher Cole Peters is expecting a lonely Christmas this year while his longtime boyfriend, James Carducci, is on deployment with the Army. However, a box from James contains puzzles that lead Cole on a scavenger hunt through the greatest moments of their relationship. Together with his best friend Liz, Cole works his way through each clue.

The final puzzle could lead Cole to a gift beyond his wildest expectations. Continue reading

Categories: 4 Star Ratings, Book Review, LGBT, Nikyta's Reviews, Published in 2017 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Release Day Blitz: The Mistletoe Kiss by Ruby Moone + Giveaway!

The Mistletoe Kiss by Ruby Moone

By 1816, widowed bookseller Lawrence Fenton has spent a lonely lifetime hiding who he is. He has convinced himself his feelings for his far too young, gorgeous, but troubled assistant Christy Shaw are nothing more than pride in his protégé and concern for his plight.

Christy’s life involves walking fine lines: one between his mother and his abusive stepfather, one where he must keep his needs hidden, and hardest of all, one where he must keep his feelings for his serious employer to himself.

Lame since birth, Lawrence cannot imagine anyone wanting him, least of all Christy. But when Christy’s life threatens to spiral out of control, Lawrence steps in. Then Christy’s emotions spill over into a kiss under the mistletoe at Christmas. Will Lawrence be able to face the long-buried truth about himself and keep Christy by his side?

Available at: Amazon Continue reading

Categories: Book Promo, Giveaways, LGBT, Published in 2017 | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Book Review: Pining for Perfect by Ki Brightly

Reviewed by Nikyta

Title: Pining for Perfect
Author: Ki Brightly
Series: 2017 Advent Calendar Daily – Stocking Stuffers
Heroes: Asher & Stokely
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 61 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: December 1, 2017
Available at: Dreamspinner Press & Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: Stokely leads a solitary life, trying to do all the right things. He has a solid, respectable job, a properly decorated, respectable apartment, and goes to work every single day, no matter what. But it’s Christmas, and he hates Christmas, especially since his one guilty pleasure, listening to Asher Banks on the radio, is ruined with upbeat, holiday garbage.

Asher is the polar opposite—he loves Christmas to a fault and schedules himself into the ground with fundraisers to help the local community. When Asher and Stokely meet during one of the holiday spectacles Asher has thrown together, sparks fly, but neither one of them has ever had a real Christmas—or a real home. Will they be able to make one with each other? Continue reading

Categories: 3.5 Star Ratings, Book Review, LGBT, Nikyta's Reviews, Published in 2017 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Author Q&A: SJ Himes + Excerpt & Giveaway!

Interview Banner

Please welcome SJ Himes to The Blogger Girls!

Tell us a little about yourself. How long have you been writing and what made you start writing?

I have been writing for most of my life, but doing so on a professional basis for the last three years. I love to read, I adore books and storytellers and I can get lost in a fictional world so easily. I made no conscious decision to start writing; I just did, needing a way to expense the daydreams and fantasies that lived in my head. Looking back at my younger years, I was living proof of my favorite saying for authors: Write what you want to read. I started writing and then publishing because I was at the point in my life when my day job was killing my soul, making me a bitter person, and my dreams were nothing but dust. So, I made the choice to try. I took that leap, and I have not regretted it since.

What book of yours would you recommend a new-to-you-reader to start with?

Depends on what the person in question likes. For urban fantasy, The Necromancer’s Dance. Angel is the main character, with a sharp wit and a big heart scarred by tragedy. Vampire, fae, demons, and the supernatural world living side by side with humanity. A werewolf with a smartphone, etc.
For someone fond of shifters, I would suggest my Wolfkin Saga, starting with Wolves of Black Pine. It is aptly named; the books are long, complicated, with ensemble casts supporting the main characters. It remains one of the hardest series I have ever written.
For sweeping, fantasy romance, I would suggest this new book, The Solstice Prince. It is entirely epic fantasy with a main Love Story.  I have an mpreg series, Bred For Love, written as my nom de plume of Revella Hawthorne. That too has princes, and it set in an alternate reality of Earth, slightly futuristic.  

What makes you want to write in the genres you write in?

Easiest question I’ve ever gotten! Simple: I write what I want to read. I write what I love. I don’t write to market or to the expectations of others. My books are solely for myself, and when I know they’re ready, I set them out into the wider world for other people to love them too. I am a huge scifi, fantasy, and paranormal reader, and very few books I read are contemporary. I write and read to escape this world we live in, so writing stories in this world is harder for me. The less grounded in reality a book is, the easier it is to write.

How many half-finished books do you currently have? Or do you prefer to finish one before you start another?

I actually write in a system I call clusters. What is a writing cluster, you may ask?
A writing cluster is a collection of WIPs (Work in Progress, aka manuscripts, titles, etc) that I work on, with no discernible preference or priority. I have learned in the last year, while working through RL and personal issues, that putting pressure on myself makes me shut down. I stop writing. No pressure means more words down on paper.

So, I write in clusters. Between 2-5 titles that I consistently (or not) work on every day or week. To avoid burnout, I’ll jump between titles and add a bit there, here, some little bits or whole word dumps.

Whichever WIP is getting closer to being done is usually the book I focus in on the most and stick with until it is done. Then I switch to the remaining WIPs in the cluster, and repeat the process until another book is done. And so forth. It has been a success so far and saw me finish and release two books in six months.

I have a To Write List a mile long. Working on them a handful at a time may be slower, but each book is seeing steady progress, and once a cluster book is done, I add in a title from the To Write List. To answer your question, I have right now 4 books in the cluster that are all hovering between just started to nearly done, and a list of To Write Books at about 27 titles.

And some fun questions! What would you consider your spirit animal to be?

Two answers to this one. A dragon and a red fox. The dragon to represent my love of the fantastical and my fondness for factual knowledge. The red fox because of its shyness, the quiet way it moves through life, but also for its absolutely frightening ability to go from shy woodland creature to dangerous, formidable hunter with seamless ease. Foxes have evolved in the ultimate survivalist.

Boxers, briefs or boxer-briefs….for your characters!

Most of them either go commando, or wear boxer-briefs. I say only about 25% of them wear any underwear at all.

What was the last thing you googled?

This one is making me laugh. The last thing I googled was “Wow Addon for Rare Hunter Pets NPCscan overlay.” Continue reading

Categories: Author Q&A, Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, LGBT | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment