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Heart owning: our author explains

He Owns My Heart Genres: Book Cover He Owns My Heart Genres:
(Owned Heart, Body, & Soul #1)
Evie Drae
Adult, Contemporary, LGBTQ+, Romance
Clandesdyne
Publication date: August 11th 2020

Only true love can free a captive heart. Landon Jenks, retired four-time Golden Glove-winning shortstop for the Chicago Cubs, is lonely, heartbroken, and in desperate need of simple human contact. Trapped in the sticky fine print of an ironclad contract that forbids him from revealing his very-much-single status until the season finale of his reality show airs, he calls an elite male escort service that caters to the rich and wretched. Accustomed to servicing his often less than savory clients at more upscale locales, twenty-six-year-old Toby Carmichael is surprised when his handler sends him to a run-down motel off I-55. But “surprise” doesn’t come close to describing the shock that rocks his system when a delightful stuttering mess covered in tattoos and nearly ten years his senior stumbles into the room—and right into his heart. For the first time since Toby was forced into the life of prostitution, a kiss sparks a desire that has nothing to do with money and everything to do with genuine chemistry and the faintest beginnings of something so much more. But Toby’s dark past and troubled present make it impossible to see a future with Landon. And when the truth comes to light, a horrified and helpless Landon is determined to save Toby at all costs. Content Warnings: Discussion of childhood verbal abuse by an adult survivor, homophobia from a close family member, discussion of previous self-harm/cutting behaviors by an adult survivor, prostitution with dubious consent (all interactions between the main characters have full consent and there are no on-page depictions of dub-con situations), consensual and experimental Domination/submission play between mostly-novice characters, mild violence between a main character and antagonist, and human trafficking associated with illegal drugs (nothing explicit on-page, only discussions related to and psychological/mental ramifications of addressed in moderate detail).  

Once upon a time, I used to consider myself a pantser. The idea of outlining gave me the writerly heebie jeebies. However, it was this story in particular that turned the tides on my aversion to plotting and planning. When I first set out to write Toby and Landon’s story, it was following a “dare” of sorts from a writing friend of mine who was trying to help me get out of a slump. She had recently discovered the joys of authoring short stories and challenged me to write one of my own. I agreed and decided to use a couple of characters who had been banging around my head for a while at that point. I thought their story could be told in a simple linear fashion without too much diversion into deep emotion or side plots. At the time, neither of them had spoken to me beyond the idea of a hot hotel tryst between a celebrity trying to maintain anonymity and the escort he hired for an evening of company.

The problem came once I really got to know the characters and realized, quite quickly, that their story couldn’t be told in the breadth of a short story. In fact, the deeper I got into their world, the more they had to say. By the time I’d wrapped up the very poorly paced short, I realized—for the first time ever—that I had to start back at the beginning… and actually do an outline. A few months of stress and overthinking later, and my short story had turned into a highly detailed and planned out trilogy, complete with an overarching story arc that I positively cannot wait to share with the world.

Toby and Landon were originally going to have a pretty easy go of it. I was going to follow the prostitute-finds-love-and-quits-his-job trope with minimal tension or conflict. You know, the necessary level of angst associated with novella-length stories. However, their journey has taken a much different path now that it’s been stretched into three books with distinct and involved storylines all their own. Above all else, I’m most excited about depicting Toby and Landon’s voyage into the world of BDSM. As a member of the lifestyle myself, I’m thrilled to portray a relationship where domination and submission plays a role in not only building their bond, but also in providing a place for healing, communication, and personal as well as relationship-based growth.

About the Author

Evie Drae is a registered nurse by day and an award-winning male/male romance writer by night. She has won first place in seven Romance Writers of America® (RWA®) competitions, including the prestigious title “Best of the Best” in the 2018 Golden Opportunity Contest. She is a double finalist in the 2019 Golden Heart®, in both the Contemporary Romance and Romantic Suspense categories, and finished as a second-place runner-up in four additional RWA contests.

One of Evie’s favorite things to do is encourage her fellow writers. To that end, she started the #writeLGBTQ and #promoLGBTQ hashtags on Twitter to support and promote LGBTQ+ authors and allies while providing a safe space to connect and grow as a community. She is married to the love of her life, is the mother of three wonderful fur babies, and runs almost entirely on coffee and good vibes.

Evie loves to link up with fellow writers and readers. You can reach her directly at EvieDrae@gmail.com or find her on her social media accounts listed below. Twitter is where she’s most active but be sure to check out her blog too. She focuses on reviews for LGBTQ+ authors and allies with the occasional quirky advice/recommendation post just to toss things up.

https://www.facebook.com/eviedraeauthor

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Calypso

Calypso’s Heart
(Orion’s Order #1)
M.C. Solaris
Adult, Paranormal, Romance
May 15th 2020

CALYPSO’S HEART is an adult paranormal wolf shifter romance. If you like swoon-worthy males, heroines with feminine strength, an engaging plot, satisfying relationships, steamy love stories, happy ever afters, and getting sucked into a supernatural story, then you’ll want to immerse yourself in the world of species! 

You’ll feel right at home if you’re a JR Ward, Nalini Singh, and Dannika Dark fan.

 

How Was Calypso’s Heart Born?

By M.C. Solaris, paranormal romance author of Calypso’s Heart (Orion’s Order Book 1)

So, I was sitting at my desk with my story outline I’d been working on for years and a brand new, blank Google Doc page and—

*cue the record scratch sound effect*

Although that may be the way many books were born, that is so not how Calypso’s Heart was born… not in the least. You see, I was never “in the closet” about writing. I didn’t write in secret at night after work (and maybe drunkenly get the courage to anonymously post short stories on some blog a time or two). I didn’t harbor my story and character ideas notebook close to my heart (or rather, in the safe at the back of said closet). Hell, writing paranormal romance stories (let alone publishing them) wasn’t even a tiny blip on my radar. Seriously! Sure, I’m an avid reader of PNR and love it but it wasn’t in the realm of my conscious mind to write PNR.

So, how exactly was Calypso’s Heart born then?

This may sound weird but the honest answer is during the January 2019 super blood moon eclipse, I literally woke up and began writing bios for my imaginary friends (AKA the characters that were suddenly in my head introducing themselves and sharing their world with me). And as soon as I started writing, I couldn’t stop. The words and scenes were just in my mind, playing out like a movie and I decided to write them down. This is how Calypso’s Heart was born. This is also how the other books in the series were born (which I’m working on publishing as soon as possible).

So, I wasn’t an “in the closet” writer taking creative writing classes at night (or any kind of writing classes, in fact) and honing my craft for years. I’m just a person who woke up one day, saw a new dream, was over the moon excited about it, and decided to just go for it. And I’m sharing this because if you’re reading this (thank you 🙂 ) and you wake up one day with a new dream or desire, don’t be afraid to see where it takes you. Who knows what you’ll birth into the world.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

M.C. Solaris’s life took an unexpected turn during the super blood moon eclipse on January 20, 2019. She woke up and began writing bios for her imaginary friends that she met that day. As soon as the pen hit the paper (or fingertips to the iPhone), she couldn’t stop. It was kind of like one of those fire hydrants, spewing copious amounts of water all over the place. The characters and their stories just flowed out of her. She is honored to be the scribe, getting to share her friends’ stories. You can read all about her gifted friends in the Orion’s Order series (Book 1 is Calypso’s Heart).

On a personal note, M.C. Solaris is actually the pseudonym of Marina Schroeder, women’s health enthusiast and lover of all things paranormal romance (PNR) and happily ever after (HEA). When she is not curled up on the sofa with her partner’s oversized hoodie, a PNR novel, peppermint tea, and one of her three cats, you will find her either at the ocean with her toes in the sand or in a forest hugging a tree. Well truthfully? There is one more place you might find her: trolling the aisles of Whole Foods for a satisfying combination of salty and sweet while hiding in her partner’s hoodie… like any proper PNR-writing introvert.

Want to get the latest scoop, sneak peeks, and short shares all about her imaginary friends? Go to www.mcsolaris.com and sign up for the newsletter.
Welcome to The Order!

If you enjoy Psy-Changeling and Black Dagger Brotherhood, this new series is right up your alley!

Sexy shifters. Hot vampires. Intriguing immortals. Strong heroine. Sizzling romance. Page-turning plot full of emotion and excitement. Modern and fresh take on fated mates.

Caly

Do you dream of ridiculously hot men? Okay, maybe you do. (And yes, I’m well aware I should lay off the romance books before bed.) But do you actually ever meet those men you dream about in real life? I didn’t think so. That’s probably a good thing though because I have… And these men from my dreams have done nothing but pull the rug of reality out from under me… which was how I fell and ended up in a world that I thought only existed in romance books.

My name is Caly (AKA Callie) and I’m just an ordinary single woman living the LA dream… paycheck to paycheck. Except whose dream is it? I’m not really sure… but it’s not my dream. Especially because I have really weird dreams… like really weird. Then again, everyone has weird dreams, right?

Blake

I am an alpha wolf shifter and leader of Orion’s Order, a pack of… well, not wolves. We’re an unconventional pack of highly skilled specian hunters that do one thing: hunt the evil in our world. And we were hired by SILE (Species Investigative Law Enforcement) to hunt a bloodthirsty criminal who is infamously untraceable. That was until an irresistible female brought an unexpected twist to our hunt and set things in motion… a motion that has left my pack and our world forever changed.

Welcome to The Order and a secret world of magic and mystery, where a pack of unlikely friends find love and fight against an ancient evil force.

Devour this addictive series at your own risk…

+ Happily Ever After

+ Steamy Paranormal Shifter Romance

+ Multiple POV

+ Mature Content

———————————————-

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Tempt me not?!

Midnight Temptation
Ravens Hollow Coven Book 2)
Shari Nichols
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
City Owl Press
jun 30th 2020

What are the stakes for falling in love?

That’s the question tarot card reader Gillian Howe ponders when she hosts a supernatural speed dating event. Making the perfect match is her passion, too bad she can’t find one for herself. A chance encounter with a wealthy vampire provides her an opportunity to attend an exclusive after-party and prove she isn’t opposed to love. But she finds herself plunged into a secret society of trancing, blood bonds and human escort rings. The night ends in a police raid and of all the vampire detectives in Raven’s Hollow, Garrett Mulroney shows up at the scene. Even if he is scorching, hot, he accused her of a crime she didn’t commit and nearly ruined her life.

Fate has thrown them together again…

Garrett has been down this brutal road before and it didn’t end well. His sire tried to force him into a life of debauchery, but he chose to uphold the law instead. The fact    that the one woman he can’t seem to get out of his mind or out of his lust-filled dreams is at the center of his investigation doesn’t bode well. It’s a good thing she hates his guts, because it helps douse his growing desire for her and focus on the case. But when Gillian’s cousin is kidnapped into the Du Sang Brotherhood, she becomes the prime witness. Now they’re forced to put their differences aside and go undercover by pretending to be a couple. The more time Garrett spends with Gillian, the more he wants her in his life—and in his bed.

Knowing who to trust and who to love becomes a matter of survival, and possibly the only way to take down the Brotherhood.

Book Cover

As this was a series, I decided to set the scene with book 1 of the series.This was useful to understand the background if not the characters per se, as they were very minor in book 1.

I also hoped that the writing would have improved as so often happens, as the authors develops the series and setting. And it had.

But only marginally.

I didn’t feel though that this book could stand alone. It needed to be set within a series. And unlike the work of RJ Blain, these vampires were standard. Mostly blood drinkers of unwilling victims. But with our hero fighting against tis sterotype.

I found the witches rather unconvincing in the spellwork – too simplistic in the word usage – and thus too easy to be misapplied. And their potions were made too easily – lack of effort all round really. Which meant that the story line lacked drama. And I found the ending unsatisfactory.

And is it a vile or a vial? What holds a potion in US spelling? Author please let me know.

As you can’t allocate half points, I’m giving this a 4 when for me it was really 3.5.

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Billionaires of the USA

Billionaire’s Girlfriend Bet Book Cover Billionaire’s Girlfriend Bet
Billionaire’s Club #3
Leslie North
General Fiction (Adult) | Romance
Relay Publishing
Pub Date 1 Jul 2020

For all of his life, billionaire Blake Harrison has firmly believed the route to happiness was keeping his heart free. But after seeing two of his best friends fall hard for women, he’s starting to second guess himself. The problem is, if he can’t get past the second date with a woman, how can he possibly consider settling down? Jokingly, his buddies bet him he can’t go out with the same woman five times. When he gets beaned in the head with a baseball at his team’s practice field, trainer Michelle Stewart is the one to patch him up. His buddies immediately set their sights on the beautiful trainer. She’s the one, they agree. And after a few dates, Blake begins to wonder if she really is…


Sure, Michelle is attracted to Blake. He’s sweet and charming and the hottest guy she’s ever dated. But if she’s attracted to him, it’s got to mean he’s wrong for her. For one thing, she works for him. For another, she has a rotten track record when it comes to men, and it’s better if she just steers clear of charming, hot guys. Besides, she has to think about her daughter Mollie and what’s best for her, too. Even though her mind is telling her no, her heart is shouting that Blake is a big yes. The problem is, listening to her heart has always gotten Michelle into trouble. Could it be possible that her heart is finally telling her the truth? Or is Blake just too big a risk?

USA Today Bestseller Leslie North invites you to indulge in a steamy billionaire romance with an unforgettable bad boy billionaire and the smart-talking woman who tames him..

Last in this series about 3 friends who are all billionaires. Lucky them! Each male has had a romance written about them and in this final one we have the biggest playboy – who never spends more than 2 nights with any girlfriend – just in case they think he might get serious. Too wary of his money and influence? So his friends bet him that he can have 5 dates with the same girl just as he was meeting his baseball club’s physiotherapist for the first time. And she is chosen.

Again the story follows the trope with the slight addition of a child to make things difficult for them. A delightful girl who loves ponies. I thought that was a theme that could have been followed up as the billionaire tells her he has ponies. Instead the baseball theme is followed up and she starts learning softball.

This is competent but again not exciting. The characters don’t have a great deal of life on the page. They perform as expected but without a great deal of humour or snark.

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Add the witch and manage the wolf!

Witch & Wolf: The Complete Series

Witch & Wolf snippets:

#1, from Inquisitor:

Autumn had come, and I was powerless to stop it—this time. A yellowed leaf clung to its branch, mocking me with its splash of color. The rest of Central Park clung to the hope of summer. I stood on my toes and snatched at it, but a chilly wind ripped it from my reach.

The leaf landed on the path several steps away. When I reached it, I crushed it beneath my boot.

“Wake up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, Allison?”

I twisted my heel while wrinkling my nose. With light brown hair and creamy skin prone to burning rather than tanning, Mark would never be my tall, dark, and handsome, though he was good looking and aggressive with his money.  With my sort of luck, he’d never account for anything more than an occasional lunch buddy who needed my help with his finances. Then again, maybe it was better for both of us that way.

Some girls had all the luck. Me? I had more money than I knew what to do with, most of it acquired from Mark in management fees like I was some sort of modern-day vampire. Too bad money couldn’t buy me a life.

“Who said I went to bed last night?” Hopefully, he wouldn’t think too long or hard on my delayed quip.

“What’s got your tail in a bunch?”

I shoved my hands in the back pockets of my jeans and swallowed my relieved sigh. No tail. Good. Last thing I needed was to sprout a tail on Halloween at noon. “N-nothing. You’re always ‘blah, blah, blah, something’s wrong.’ Nothing’s going on.”

Mark arched his brow at me. “So what did that poor little leaf do to you?”

“It failed its calculus test twice.”

#2, from Winter Wolf:

I slammed my car’s door, spun on a heel, and swore I would have a perfectly normal visit to the mall. All I needed was one little book. Even I could walk into a bookstore, pick up a novel, and leave without causing any trouble.

This time I wouldn’t blow out the lights. There wouldn’t be a single power surge. I wouldn’t turn on every unplugged device in the electronics store on my way across the mall. In the ten minutes it would take me to get in and out, the only thing anyone would notice about me was the fact that I wore a high-collared sweater in late summer. I had a mission, and I would complete it without fail. The novel my agent insisted I read would be mine.

For a long moment, I considered turning around and getting back into my car. Dominic would forgive me if I didn’t start reading the book until tomorrow. I could call in a favor and ask someone to pick up a copy for me. Then I definitely wouldn’t run any risk of blowing anything up. If I had been smart, I would’ve just ordered the damned thing on the internet, but I had waited too long.

Fishing my cell out of my pocket, I unlocked the screen with a swipe of my finger. The charging icon mocked me. Despite running every battery-draining app I could find, the battery held a full charge. I opened another app, a devilish program capable of killing the battery in ten minutes. It wouldn’t, not with me around, but if I was too busy keeping my phone topped up, maybe my mall shopping trip would prove to be mundane.

I shook my head, laughing at my foolishness.

No one would notice my phone. No one would notice me for more than a second. They’d notice my clothes, and then they’d file me away as yet another weirdo wearing something strange to catch attention. L.A. was full of people like that.

I had no reason to worry. Even if I managed to embarrass myself yet again by losing control of my powers, no one would know I was the cause of unplugged electronics turning on or unusual power surges.

Straightening my shoulders, I fixed my eyes on the line of glass doors and marched my way across the parking lot.

In and out. No blown lights. No power surges. No feeding power to unplugged electrical devices. No charging batteries for strangers. I was in control, and I would charge only my phone.

Making my way to the entry, I paused long enough to hold the door for a little old lady who insisted on making her way through the regular doors despite her walker. I couldn’t blame her. If I lived to be her age, I wouldn’t want to rely on automatic doors either.

She thanked me with a pat on the arm. Flashing her my best smile, I slipped inside.

Nothing happened.

Perfect.

I could handle ten minutes in the crowded corridors. Maybe if I told myself that enough times, I’d believe it.

I stuck to the center of the hallway, dodging kiosks as I worked my way to the bookstore. Despite being so near to closing time, the place was busy, leaving me to navigate a sea of bodies. I considered stopping at one of the jewelry kiosks. There was something appealing about the humble, cheaper baubles, but I didn’t quite dare.

In and out. No stops, not even to admire the gemstones twinkling under the display lamps. This time, I wasn’t going to break anything, not even a single light.

#3, from Blood Diamond:

The world was full of corpses, and I, Dante Jackson Emmett Anderson, knew them by name. Unfortunately for me, my brother knew my secret.

When my brother asked for help, it usually involved unidentified bodies or paperwork. When he had shown up at my door, I hadn’t expected an invitation to join an Inquisition field operation, one dangerous enough to warrant the use of my brother’s armored truck. He had me dead to rights when he told me I’d be driving, and judging by the way he had smirked while spinning the keys around his finger, he had known it.

I doubted the red-painted, tempting seductress of a monstrosity could be eliminated by anything other than a missile or a tank; even if someone wanted to blast their way in, they’d need a ladder to reach the door. I wasn’t small, not at six foot three, and I needed the help of the step rail and roll bar to climb in. The rest of the team needed me to give them a hand.

I drew a deep breath and let it out in a sigh. I should have refused my twin and ignored the lure of driving his absurd, stupid truck. I should have told him I would do a stint at the Inquisition headquarters shuffling papers and naming dead people instead of pretending I was trained for field operations.

Drumming my hands against the leather wheel, probably the only normal thing in the truck, I waited. The manila envelope on the dashboard mocked me, reflecting in the windshield as I watched the darkening forest for any signs of the team’s return. Once I opened it, I’d know more about the operation and its Inquisitors than I wanted. I’d know the names and faces of the dead, and if my bad luck held, I’d get a glimpse of their final moments.

The dead were vindictive like that.

I leaned forward, resting my forehead on my hands. My brother had been in enough of a hurry to get me into his truck and on the road I hadn’t had time to change out of my suit. Combat boots, fatigues, and Kevlar protected the Inquisitors. I wore a silk dress shirt and an equally thin jacket a bullet would ignore before tearing a hole through me.

Clenching my teeth, I bumped my forehead against the wheel as I cursed my idiocy.

A smart man would’ve put the idling engine into gear and left. If I did that, I’d be the target of my very own Inquisition operation. I doubted even the Red Beast could withstand a pack of angry Fenerec armed with more firepower than the military. They had missiles, and I had supplied all six warheads to them. If they launched one at the truck, they’d blow it—and me—into scrap metal and unidentifiable bits.

Purchase:

iBooks: https://books.apple.com/ca/book/witch-wolf-the-complete-series/id1447453395

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/witch-wolf-the-complete-series

AUTHOR BIO:

RJ Blain suffers from a Moleskine journal obsession, a pen fixation, and a terrible tendency to pun without warning.

In her spare time, she daydreams about being a spy. Her contingency plan involves tying her best of enemies to spinning wheels and quoting James Bond villains until satisfied.


Author links:

https://www.thesneakykittycritic.com/

https://www.facebook.com/rjblain.author/

https://www.instagram.com/rj.blain/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7190903.R_J_Blain

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