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Wednesday, 29 November 2017

BLOG TOUR, REVIEW & #GIVEAWAY - Crowned (Beholder #4) by Christina Bauer

Book details:

by Christina Bauer
(Beholder, #4)
Published by: Monster House Books
Publication date: November 28th 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult


Beauty. Romance. Power. It’s all in the eye of the BEHOLDER.

At last, Elea has found the love of her life. Unfortunately, the evil Tsar Viktor is about to unleash an army of twisted mages bent on killing everyone Elea cares about… including the man who’s stolen her heart.

So what’s a powerful witch to do? Why, organize a league of magical warriors, of course!

Elea recruits and trains a fighting force to take down the Tsar. That’s challenge enough, but on the eve of battle, Elea realizes that her true enemies may be far more powerful than even Viktor: The deities Oni and Yuri could be out to destroy her as well. With major battles brewing on two fronts, Elea’s not sure that she’ll win, but with true love to inspire her, she’s certainly ready to fight.

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4 out of 5 (very good)

Crowned is the fourth book in the Beholder series, and it does need to be read in order to get the full enjoyment from the storylines.

Elea and Rowan are true mates, and have shared their magick, creating hybrid magick. When the Casters throw the 'greatest celebration ever', Elea is chosen to speak with two trickster gods. They agree to help her end the tyranny of the Sire and the Lady, but at a cost. Elea doesn't realise the true cost of their help until it is too late.

This is a fast-paced book, with action on more fronts than Elea would like. Not only does she have to fight to find the Sword of Theodora, she learns more about her history, which is a shock in itself. Also, something has happened to Rowan, so she is fighting for their bond too. However, old friends that she thought gone for good show up, and help her along the way. And Jicho is also there, helping however he can.

Well written, this book has smooth pacing, and a storyline that will keep you turning the pages.

* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *

Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!

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Tour-wide giveaway (INTL)

mage locketwitchy braceletskeleton earringscopy of CROWNED

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(this giveaway is set up and managed by author, not Xpresso Book Tours)

Christina Bauer knows how to tell stories about kick-ass women. In her best selling Angelbound series, the heroine is a part-demon girl who loves to fight in Purgatory’s Arena and falls in love with a part-angel prince. This young adult best seller has driven more than 500,000 ebook downloads and 9,000 reviews on Goodreads and retailers.

Bauer has also told the story of the Women’s March on Washington by leading PR efforts for the Massachusetts Chapter. Her pre-event press release—the only one sent out on a major wire service—resulted in more than 19,000 global impressions and redistribution by over 350 different media entities including the Associated Press.

Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.

Web site:

Tour Organised by: Xpresso Book Tours 

VBT, INTERVIEW & #GIVEAWAY - Shadows, Shells, and Spain by John Meyer


Travel Fiction



John Meyer's "Shadows, Shells, and Spain" is a thrilling new adventure where a husband desperately searches for his missing wife along the ancient Camino trail across northern Spain. It’s also a bold, new take on a modern-day pilgrimage that feeds the mind and soul of every character while testing the limits of their bodies... and their comfort zones.

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The only nugget of information I ever received, however, was from her mother during a particularly frustrating phone conversation in early October.

“I’m going to ask you again: where did she go?”

“I haven’t the foggiest.”

“You must know something. She tells you everything.”

“Ha! That’s what you think.”

“Well, maybe she doesn’t automatically tell you everything. But somehow you nag it out of her.”

“I do not nag.”

“Where is she? Her work doesn’t know. Our friends don’t know. Even if you don’t know everything, Pam must have given you a clue at some point; you talked to her every day.”

“As did you—”

“Not since we separated in the summer and she moved into the guest room.”

“Honestly, Jamie; I don’t know a thing.”

“Was it Bora Bora? She always wanted to go to Bora Bora.”

“I don’t know. Stop yelling.”

“Santorini? Was it Santorini?”

“Why take a Spanish class if you’re planning on going to Santorini—”

“Ah haaaa! ‘A Spanish class.’ So it’s Mallorca, then—of course! Wait…when did Pam take a Spanish class?”

“You’ll have to ask her! When you get to Mallorca!”

Her mother hung up. I fought with her for days over the phone and outside the door of her house (she wouldn’t let me in) about Pam’s whereabouts. She had conceded the island of Mallorca but wouldn’t reveal anything more. Pam was on the move and didn’t want to be disturbed.

When did you start writing and when did you finish your first book?
It all started when I was robbed in Rome back in 2004! Leaving my cramped hostel for a better hotel down the street, a thief somehow—magically—unzipped the pocket of my backpack where I had briefly stored my moneybelt. When I reached my hotel, two minutes later, the backpack zipper was wide open and the money belt was missing. My money, my credit card, my debit card, my plane ticket, and my passport were all gone!

Obviously, my trip was ruined. And after reporting the incident to the police, acquiring a temporary passport at my embassy, and receiving a cash advance from my bank, I returned home.

Then, as the weeks and months rolled by, I received something of an epiphany. I realized that my "stranger in a strange land" robbery story would make a great start of a book. I was looking for something more substantial to write beyond my regular TV job and I wanted it to combine my love for writing and travel. So I returned to Italy one year later and spent six glorious weeks researching Rome, the Amalfi Coast, and Siena. Then after a few starts and stops, I completed my first draft of my first book, Bullets, Butterflies, and Italy, three years later.

How did you choose the genre you write in?
I had always liked travel books. However, they were always non-fiction stories about a man or a woman climbing a mountain, or building a country home in Tuscany, or simply wandering through a foreign land. What they often lacked was intense drama and colourful characters and even higher stakes. The narrator either accomplished his or her task—or they didn't. That's it.

So I wanted to combine my favorite elements of a travel book and add a more personal adventure—even if it was a fictional one. That’s when I came up with my concept for something I called a fictional travel memoir. The fun part was that I would travel to these foreign countries and then use the characters I met, the experiences I had, and the challenges I faced to create a fictional story far greater than my own journey.

Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
Well, while I thought I was quite clever in expanding the genre of travel writing, I soon discovered that the book industry wasn't very receptive. When I first tried the traditional route of publishing and submitted my manuscript to several agents in town, the response was great... but ultimately inconclusive. The refrain was always the same, "So it's a fictional story set in a traditional non-fiction genre?" "Exactly!" "Yeah, well, that's going to be difficult to sell." "Why? Isn't it unique and innovative?" "Yeah, probably too innovative for us..."

Now what? Well, instead of trying to convince the establishment, I decided to learn how to self-publish my books. I did my research in the fall and by the winter I had calculated that I needed about ten months to go through all the development and business steps in bringing my first book to market.
The benefits (full control, no middle men, no long wait times between writing and publishing, 100% of the profits) currently outweigh the drawbacks (no marketing help, the need & wherewithal to hire an editor, a designer, and a printer)!

However, new problems arose when it came time to marketing the ebooks. No two ebook websites are identical and certainly no two ebook websites share the same categorization. So I slot them the best I can, often writing numerous emails to the website administrators to ask them to file them under both Fiction and Travel. Some website administrators are accommodating. Some are not. So I file them the best that I can.

What was your favourite book as a child?
J.R.R. Tolkein's The Hobbit. Now, of course, it was an enchanting story starring strange little hobbits and wise old wizards and evil dragons and everything magical and mystical a kid could ever imagine. But as a child I could already appreciate an epic journey with a clear goal and a satisfying ending. And the book contained maps. I could follow along! (Never mind the deadly clash between good and evil, I just liked the travel!)

Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
Well, the main characters are purely imaginary, although Jamie Draper is certainly me to a large degree. I always write in the first person and I want to share my thoughts and conclusions about what I saw and experienced with my readers.

So the traveling parts are completely based on real life experiences.  It's always important to me that the story takes place in real time. So if my Camino trip takes 22 days, Jamie's trip must now take 22 days. Because one theme that always pervades my books is that the adventures are entirely truthful and possible. The story is fictional but the traveling part is authentic. If you stood where I stood at that certain time and place, you would probably see what I saw. Maybe your conclusions would be completely different from mine but that's the wonderful mystery of traveling. However, the only way I can competently express my feelings for the exotic locations that are featured in my books are through my main character.

What was your favourite chapter to write and why?
Oh, the final one! And not just because it was the finale to my epic writing journey—but because it was so gratifying to see all the storylines and themes come together.

Because I outline everything, I know my beginning and my ending and everything in between. Now while the story evolves and I discover things along the way (especially how characters act and react to each other), the basic narrative remains intact....especially the ending.

I think about my ending much more than my beginning. The ending is often the first thing I write. Even if it’s only a paragraph or a few lines of dialogue, it sits there the entire time while I write everything else. Then when I reach that ending, I only have to tweak it. If I don’t have my ending, I don’t start writing! So when I reached the final moments of writing Shadows, Shells, and Spain, I could stare at my ending, and I knew I didn't have to completely change anything in my story structure. (However, of course, there was still a lot of work to be done in the subsequent drafts...)

How important are the names in your book?
Apart from the main character, all the main characters are named after people I met during the research phase of my Camino book. That's true of all my books. None only does the practice make it easier to name my characters but it also serves as a nice reminder of all the wonderful people I've met on the road.

Pamela is named after the woman who helped me come up with the title of the book (see below). Brie is named after a lovely woman I met in a Miami airport bar on my way to Madrid. Ronald is named after a San Francisco man I met on the Camino trail who regaled us with stories during some of our congregative pilgrim dinners. And Jamie is simply a modern modification of St. James whose dead bones inspired the entire ancient pilgrimage in the first place.

How did you come up with the title?
All my books contain an alliteration indicating the book's themes or settings along with the prime location of the story. (Bullets, Butterflies, and Italy: the threat of violence, the first stirrings of new love, and, well, Italy) (Bulls, Bands, and London: the running of the bulls in Pamplona, the love of Britpop music from the main characters, and, well, London).

So in Shadows, Shells, and Spain, I immediately had the prime location and one of the main symbols of the Camino (the shell). But I didn't have that third piece of the puzzle.

On the final morning of my journey, I was following this lone woman and casting long shadows as I walked the remaining miles towards Santiago de Compostela. When I passed her, she sighed, "Thank goodness. I was tired of trying to escape your shadow." A few minutes later, it hit me. I could use the word, "shadow," to encapsulate one of my book's major themes: that your troubled past can often hold you back as you try to advance to a happier future. Shadows and Shells: now there's some perfect alliteration!

Once I wrote that title in my notebook, I waited for that woman down the road and told her, "You just helped me name my book." Once I fully explained myself, she smiled and marched on. "What's your name?" "Pamela. But my friends call me Pam." And that's when I named my main female character.

Do you have a day job as well?
I'm fortunate enough that my day job is also a writing job. I'm the studio writer of Entertainment Tonight Canada (the TV cousin of America's Entertainment Tonight) and have been ever since the show launched back in the summer of 2005.

It compliments my author life. During the day, I have to write quickly about pop culture. At night and on the weekends, I can create my own stories and write to my heart's content in a longer art form.

Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
Whether you read my new book or not, I really encourage everyone to walk the Camino at some point in their lives. It really does inspire you and gives you plenty of time to contemplate your life while you meet many other friendly, likeminded souls marching across Spain—just like you! Sure, you can contemplate your life while sitting on your couch as well but... only by leaving all your distractions behind can you really experience some form of positive growth. Plus you're going to lose a lot of weight! And that's a pretty good deal too...

John Meyer
Shadows, Shells, and Spain
To get your own paperback or ebook copies from the author visit:
(also available at,, Kobo, Nook, Apple, and other ebook providers).
To learn more about the Camino: www.

John Meyer writes fictional travel memoirs—unique adventure stories that combine fun facts of history with present-day drama and humor—always revolving around a fictitious love story and always based on his own thrilling journeys. His previous publication, Bullets, Butterflies, and Italy, was selected as a November Best Book by Chatelaine magazine. Meyer is also the studio writer for Entertainment Tonight Canada and has been ever since the popular daily show launched back in 2005.

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Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found HERE

John Meyer will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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John Meyer writes fictional travel memoirs—unique adventure stories that combine fun facts of history with present-day drama and humor—always revolving around a fictitious love story and always based on his own thrilling journeys. His previous publication, Bullets, Butterflies, and Italy, was selected as a November Best Book by Chatelaine magazine. Meyer is also the studio writer for Entertainment Tonight Canada and has been ever since the popular daily show launched back in 2005.

Tour Organised by: Goddess Fish Promotions 

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

RELEASE BLITZ & REVIEW - Merger (Takeover Duet Book 2) by Chelle Bliss

NOW AVAILABLE from USA Today bestselling author, Chelle Bliss, comes the Takeover Duet.


Merger by Chelle Bliss

Takeover Duet Book #2


Antonio Forte has always put business before pleasure, but ever since he met the gorgeous CEO of Interstellar Corp, he finds himself wanting both. And he's hoping she won't be able to refuse his latest offer.

Lauren Bradley knows how to survive as a woman in a man's world--trust no one. Especially handsome, smooth-talking men who make her panties melt with a single glance like Antonio. But his offer is almost as tempting as he is.

Sometimes to gain it all, you have to give up everything...

Merger by Chelle Bliss


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5 out of 5 (exceptional)

Independent Reviewer for Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!

This is the second book and wow the drama the love and the chemistry that these characters share is amazing.

Antonio has to decide weather he wants to mix business with pleasure after finding Lauren all of his emotions are confusing to him he has never felt this way about anyone, after Antonio suggests a merger Lauren has her doubts about what he’s proposing to her she thinks that she will be out of a job and made to step down until Antonio puts something very interesting to the board.

I have fell in love with all the characters I couldn’t of asked for better read. I will not give anything away but 5/5 for this amazing book

* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and my comments here are my honest opinion. *

Takeover (prequel) - FREE Novella

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Acquisition by Chelle Bliss

Takeover Duet Book #1



Chelle Bliss is the USA Today bestselling author of the Men of Inked and ALFA P.I. series. She hails from the Midwest, but currently lives near the beach even though she hates sand. She's a full-time writer, time-waster extraordinaire, social media addict, coffee fiend, and ex high school history teacher. She loves spending time with her two cats, alpha boyfriend, and chatting with readers.

Friday, 24 November 2017

BLOG TOUR, REVIEW & #GIVEAWAY - Mended with Gold by Lee Welch

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK 

Publisher: MLR Press

Length: 27,000 words approx.

A photographer with post-traumatic stress disorder falls for a comics artist on a wild New Zealand beach, but can he find true love when he feels so wounded by life?

Everything changed when the bomb exploded. Forty-five-year old, Alex Cox worked as an international photographer until a deadly explosion left him with post-traumatic stress disorder. Emotionally wounded, and desperate for a sense of safety, he's run all the way to wild and remote Kahawai Bay, New Zealand.

Under the worst possible circumstances, Alex meets Joe, a shy young comics artist. Joe lets Alex into his playful, gentle world of comics, and soon Alex is falling for him, hard. Alex longs for more. Joe is reticent. But is it shyness? Or does Joe not want a much older lover with 'issues'? Or is something else keeping them apart?

This is a tender and uplifting story about creativity, adversity, true love, and comics.

3 out of 5 (good)

Independent Reviewer for Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!

After witnessing a colleague step on a land mine, and dealing with the aftermath of that, Alex runs to the other side of the world, to to get away from it all and to get back to his photography. Meeting Joe, a comic book artist, shook him more than he thought. But Joe is standoffish. Can Alex break down Joe's walls, as well as his own??

The reviews I find hardest to write are the 3 stars ones. The ones for books that I neither loved, nor hated. That it was just a nice easy read, that didn't blow me away at all. So this, being one of those, is gonna be short and sweet. 

It's well written but only Alex has his say, in the third person. Yes of COURSE I wanted to hear from Joe, I always want more I know I do, but I think I might have enjoyed this one more, had Joe been given a voice too. 

Its not overly explicit, there is no break up/make up. There is talk of drug use, but only in the context of looking to score, it's not described in any detail.

It's a NICE book! It's only short, some 94 pages, took me just under an hour. A perfect lunch break, bath tub, hangover cure book.

Will I read more by this author? Possibly. First I've read of their work. I'll give them another chance.

3 stars

**same worded review will appear elsewhere**

* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *

November 17 - BooksLaidBareBoys, Slashsessed, Valerie Ullmer, Gay Media Reviews, The Geekery Book Review, MM Good Book Reviews

November 18 - Love Bytes

November 20 - BFD Book Blog, Zipper Rippers

November 21 - Gay Book Reviews

November 22 - Dog-Eared Daydreams, Making It Happen

November 23 - Diverse Reader

November 24 - A Book Lover's Dream, Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books, OptimuMM, Jim's Reading Room

November 25 - The Novel Approach

November 27 - Mirrigold: Musings & Mutterings, Hoards Jumble, Hearts On Fire Reviews, Diverse Reader, Au Boidoir Ecarlate

November 28 - Alpha Book Club

Author Bio
Lee Welch wrote her first book aged seven (a pastiche of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe) and first had an idea for an m/m romance aged twelve. She loves books and comics, and when she’s not writing, she’ll probably be reading. Her favourite authors include Ursula Le Guin, Graham Greene, Linda Medley, Dylan Horrocks and KJ Charles. By day, Lee works as an editor and business communications adviser, mainly persuading people not to say ‘utilise’ when they mean ‘use’. Her job has led her to work in areas as diverse as mental health, nursing, accident prevention and the criminal justice sector.

Lee loves to hear from readers. You can find her at:
Twitter: @leewelchwriter

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Tuesday, 21 November 2017

RELEASE BLAST, REVIEW & #GIVEAWAY - Yours For The Holiday by D.J. Jamison

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 50,000 words approx.

Fresh off a break-up, Remy is in no mood to share a room with his brother's best friend during a holiday stay at home. Jason Hendricks has always treated him like a little brother to tease and taunt, all the more embarrassing because Remy has secretly crushed on the jerk since puberty. But when Jason confides he's bisexual, Remy realizes the crush he loves to hate could be the perfect rebound.

Jason has always found Remy appealing. He didn't handle his attraction well when he was younger, but now Remy's a grown man and Jason's no longer afraid of his feelings. Some playful flirtation sounds like a great way to spend Thanksgiving break, but he's not prepared for Remy's newfound sex appeal or his decision to make Jason his rebound fling. Jason doesn't want to risk fallout with a family that's always been there for him, but he's not sure he can resist.

When the two part ways, they don't plan to stay in touch, but soon they're texting, trading sexy pictures and helping each other cope with family drama. Remy agrees to be his for the holiday, continuing their secret fling over Christmas, but Jason knows that won't be enough. He'll have to find the courage to be open and honest with his best friend -- and the whole Wells family -- if he wants a chance at love in the new year.

This approximately 50,000 word novel is a brother's best friend, enemies to lovers romance that comes with a satisfying HEA!

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“Hey,” Jason said quietly. The bed dipped as he sat down on the edge of the mattress. “You okay?”

“Oh, so you’re done avoiding me?” Remy said, hating the bitter edge to his words. He swallowed hard, trying to gain control over his emotions, so he didn’t make a fool of himself yet again.

“I’m sorry,” Jason said. He sounded sorry. Truly regretful.

Remy pushed up, struggling into a seated position against the headboard. If they were going to have this talk, he wanted to look Jason in the eye.

Swallowing hard, Remy forced out words that had been nagging at him all day. “I’m sorry too. I got carried away. I didn’t mean to pressure you—”

“God no, Remy,” Jason interrupted. “No, no. It wasn’t like that.”

Jason’s hand hovered in the air. Remy watched Jason hesitate before resting his big palm over Remy’s thigh. The blankets formed a barrier between them, but the point of contact burned as if he could feel the warmth spilling from Jason’s hand.

“Then I’m confused,” Remy said.

“I, uh, find you very sexy,” Jason said, voice tinged with embarrassment. It would be charming if it weren’t for the heavy topic of conversation. “But I need the Wells family. I don’t talk about my parents much, but—”

“I know it’s not great,” Remy said. “Dad filled me in on what happened last summer with your mom.”

“Yeah,” Jason said. “So, basically, I’m terrified of fucking everything up. If I go there with you, I might hurt you. And if your parents or Derek find out, I’m not sure what they’d do. It’s just … messy.”

“It doesn’t have to be,” Remy said. “It’s just some fun. No strings needed. And as for going there with me, don’t you think the cat’s already out of the bag? You’ve had your hand on my dick.”

Jason glanced at Remy’s crotch, unable to resist teasing him. “Cat’s out of the bag? And here I thought pussy only referred to—”

Remy slapped his hand over Jason’s mouth. “Don’t say it!”

Jason chuckled, his warm breath gusting over Remy’s palm. Remy shivered as their eyes locked and held. When the wet tip of Jason’s tongue licked a stripe over his hand, he couldn’t hold back a small moan.

“Fuck you, JJ,” he muttered, pulling his hand back. “If you’re going to say no, don’t fucking tease me.”

“I’m not saying no,” Jason said roughly. “I probably should, but I can’t say no to you again. Not one more fucking time.”

5 out of 5 (exceptional)

Yours for the Holiday is a seasonal friends (sort of) to enemies story, that is sure to warm you up! JJ is friends with Derek, and Remy is Derek's younger brother. For years, JJ has liked what he has seen, but didn't know how to deal with it. Throw in the fact that he is worried about upsetting the only family he has ever really known, and you can understand his dilemma. Remy, however, thought JJ was only ever teasing him, and learnt to give as good as he got. That didn't stop him from having feelings for JJ, but he resigned himself to the fact that it would never be.

What you get with this book is a seasonal glow (and this from someone who is more the Christmas Grinch than the Christmas Fairy!), a fantastic story, likeable characters, and situations that are completely believable.

This story is excellently written, with no editing or grammatical errors that disrupted my reading flow. The pacing was smooth, and the scenes flowed from one to the next. With sexy times, and plenty of humour, this is a wonderful book to read during the holidays, and definitely recommended by me.

* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *

Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!

DJ Jamison is a contemporary M/M romance author with more than a dozen titles to her name. She writes a variety of queer characters, from gay to bisexual to asexual, with a focus on telling love stories that are more about common ground than lust at first sight. She grew up the literal embodiment of a red-headed stepchild in a working-class family in Kansas. Determined to build a successful career, she earned a degree in journalism and worked in newsrooms for more than ten years before pursuing her dream to write fiction. DJ is married with two sons, two glow-in-the-dark fish, and regrettably, one snake.

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