Friday, April 20, 2018

Release Day Review: Life's A Beach by Poppy Dennison #Review #Giveaway

Author: Poppy Dennison
Title: Life's A Beach 2nd Edition
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
Publication Date: April 20, 2018
Length: 83 pages

Reviewed by Erin


Life’s a beach… and then you meet the guy of your dreams.

Flynn Wright’s role on the upcoming teen drama Coconut Cove means a fresh start in the land of crystal water, palm trees, and gorgeous people. The move to the beautiful beaches of Key West, Florida—and away from LA and his conniving ex—is just what Flynn needs.

Meeting sexy bartender Seth is the cherry on top of Flynn’s colorful frozen drink, and he can’t wait to take a taste. But Seth isn’t impressed by Flynn’s Hollywood good looks, nor is he interested in the complications of dating an actor, no matter how hot.

Can Flynn dodge his scheming ex and the eager paparazzi while showing Seth that he is more than a pretty package?



With a backdrop of white sand beaches, blue water, and palm trees, Life's a Beach seemed like it would be the perfect Saturday afternoon read ... and it definitely was. I really enjoy Poppy Dennison's writing -- it's fast paced, full of flirty, swoony moments, and characters you can't help but really like. This is a re-release and part of the Coconut Cove series, and I can say I'm looking forward to more. The premise is a television series full of gorgeous twenty-somethings that focuses on teen drama. Heck yes and please! 

Flynn Wright needs a break, both for his acting career and from his ex-boyfriend. When his agent lands him a starring role on the upcoming series, Coconut Cove, Flynn jumps at the chance, especially since he needs to move to Key West. The farther away he can get from his ex the better and he's excited about what the television series can do for his career. When he meets sexy local bartender, Seth, well, things are certainly looking up, especially since their chemistry sparks right away. I enjoyed their interactions, they were sexy and flirty and fun. 

There's really not a whole lot of depth or background ... and it's not a bad thing. This is a novella after all, and it's only the first book in the series. Things move quickly as they're apt to do in a book of this length --about 85 pages--so there's not a lot of time and space to explore and develop. For that reason, with exception of a few moments of drama that you'd expect with nefarious exes and stalking paparazzi, Life's a Beach is a lighthearted, fun romp and it's a nice beginning for what I hope is a series full of the cast of characters introduced in the first book. I'm definitely looking forward to more and you will be too once you check this one out. 


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Flashback Friday: Blowing It and Balls Up by Kate Aaron #Review #Giveaway

Author: Kate Aaron
Title: Blowing It
Series: Blowing It #1
Publication Date: February 22, 2018
Length: 317 pages

Reviewed by Meredith


Being famous sucks.

All Owen Barnes wanted to do was write, but with success comes more than just literary award nominations. His new relationship with gruff, gentle Magnus Cassidy is at risk, and Owen isn’t going back into the closet without a fight.

When a photo circulating online threatens his squeaky-clean image, Owen seizes his opportunity to lash out, not realising he’s hurting the man he’s doing it all for.

Can Owen find a way to reconcile his public and private lives, or has he already blown it? 

Contents: passive tops and slutty bottoms, bitchy best friends, bad jokes, sexy underwear, an excess of beards, and a smattering of angst. May contain nuts. 


I am going to do something a little different this Flashback Friday. While, Blowing It is the spotlighted book I am also going to encourage book 2 of this series in this review as well. It follows Owen and Magnus AFTER Blowing It in an explosive and emotional journey that left me with so many feels. I see these more as one whole book split in two. For Blowing It here's that review:

I am a huge fan of Kate Aaron and of course when I heard about this book I HAD to get in on it! I had the great honor of pre-reading this story and was blown away. It's hugely entertaining, wildly fun, and wickedly hot! What more can you ask for in a book? Kate's versatility as a writer makes all her books feel like a reward for the reader. Owen and Magnus are such fabulous characters on their own, when Kate brings them together it's just perfection. This is, without a doubt, one of the most enjoyable books I've read so far in 2015! You want to grab it!

Balls Up Book 2 in this series
Book Info and Review:

Owen Barnes’s life is finally going the way he wants. He’s making a living as an author, and his relationship with building surveyor Magnus Cassidy is going from strength to strength.

When Owen finds a lump, he buries his head in the sand. He’s too busy for doctor appointments and besides, it’s probably nothing. He pushes concern away and is soon swept up in a whirlwind of distractions. His best friend’s husband is falling apart and Owen needs to be strong for them, not burdening them with his fears.

He says he’ll deal with it when the new book is released, when Ryan and Sameer are more stable, when he’s done writing. Owen has a hundred excuses to hide one simple fact: he’s scared.

Eventually Magnus drags him to the doctor, and the news isn’t good. Can Owen cope with the unexpected turn events have taken, or is his perfect life about to go balls up?

CONTENT WARNING: Cancer, hospitals, chemotherapy, backless gowns, hideous scrotal supports, and the complete loss of human dignity from being shaved by a nurse named Alan.


It's not that often I finish a book, sit back and try to relive the experience all over again. I don't even know where to begin with this book to be honest. I'm good with expressing my feelings but this book left me speechless, breathless. It left me grateful. It woke me up. We are not invincible. We are not unstoppable. We are human and we are guilty of thinking, "This can never happen to me."

In Blowing It (book 1) Kate Aaron introduced us to these very same characters. Relationships were born, bonds formed, and the readers fell in love with this amazing ensemble.

Balls Up, brings us back to them and things aren't okay. It's the realism that Kate captures so well in this story. No doubt she did stellar research and that is so very important for this subject matter. It's the emotion of each moment, each trial, each flicker of change that Kate has mastered.

We read books often to escape the every day. Sometimes we need to be reminded why our lives are so valuable to begin with. Balls Up takes those characters you love, the ones you swear would be your family if they were real and tears them from the pages of fiction. They could be your brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, cousins, friends, lovers. As quick as a kiss, life can change.

Start with Blowing It, if you haven't already, then grab this book because it's books like this we need more of!

END NOTE: Purchase these together and read back to back. The impact is outstanding. We often want to know what happens to couples after the book closes. In Blowing It they meet and in Balls Up they live.

Purchase Balls Up Here


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Blog Tour: Blood Bathory: Like The Night by Ari McKay ~Guest Post #Giveaway

Hello! I’m Ari, half of the dynamic duo known as Ari McKay, and I’d like to thank the lovely folks at Diverse Reader for hosting us on the blog today! I’m here to talk about our latest release, or rather re-release, of Blood Bathory: Like the Night, which is the first book of the Guardians of Gaia series.

Of course it’s all been done to death, hasn’t it? Urban fantasy with vampires and shifters… how many of them are out there? Probably hundreds! For a writer, it’s a challenge to try to bring something unique to a genre where writers have thrown millions of words at the trope over the last nine or ten decades. Yet I think we managed it, because our shifters aren’t like any others in M/M urban fantasy (at least, not that we’ve found!) Instead of being born to a clan of shifters, ours are created, their inner animal form manifesting when they enter the service of Gaia, who is the sentient embodiment of all life on earth.

It’s not as heavy as it sounds, not really. One of the things we wanted to bring to the table was a way for shifters of multiple different types to interact and work together. Sure, a werewolf pack is powerful, but what if your wolf could work with an eagle keeping watch overhead, and a ferret who could get into small spaces to spy, or dogs and cats who can go among a human population and barely be noticed? It also opens the door to a wider range of possibilities without having to worry about where a group of wolverine shifters (and yes, we have a shifter who is one!) might make a life and home and be called upon for help. In fact, over the current three books of the series, we don’t have two shifters of the same species other than dogs and cats - and none of them of the same breed! We DO have an arctic wolf, a wolverine, a black panther, a tiger, a warhorse, a ferret, a cat, a golden retriever, a grizzly, a fluffy little poodle, a golden eagle, a parrot, a mountain lion, and several others that I know I’m forgetting at the moment. What that means for us as writers is that it’s a ton of fun to write! The other is that we were able to make the animal form of a shifter match very closely to their personality. Or, as Gaia directs her shifters when she accepts them into her service -- “Be what you are within”.

Our vampires are very different as well, which is the subject of the second book in the series “Blood Bathory: Absence of the Sun”. Our vampires, or, more accurately, nosferatu, aren’t really undead in the traditional sense. And not every vampire can create other vampires, it’s a closely guarded secret known to very few. Gaia calls them “blood cursed”, because they are out of the natural order of things, having found a way to separate themselves from the cycle of life and death. As such, they are the mortal enemies of the shifters, or theriomorphs, as they call themselves, who exist to help deal with threats to the world.

Of course, as is the case in life, opposites can and do attract, which can make things rather complicated for our lovers, and incredibly interesting for us as writers. Hopefully you, as readers, will find it interesting as well! If you like urban fantasy, or friends-to-lovers stories where love triumphs over adversity, you might enjoy our little tale. Thanks for giving us a few minutes of your time, and I do hope you’ll give Blood Bathory: Like the Night a chance to win you over!

Cover Design: Lou Harper

Length: 123,737 words


Evan St. John, a young fashion photographer running from the pain caused by the death of his younger sister, is thrilled when he is offered a job with House of Nadasdy, a leading fashion house in Paris. What he doesn't know is that Elizabeth Nadasdy, the elegant and powerful owner, is a centuries-old vampire with a penchant for collecting beautiful people. To Evan's horror, he is turned into one of her "children."

Unable to bear what he has become, Evan flees to New York and to his best friend, police officer Will Trask. For years, Evan has nursed an unrequited love for Will, but he also knows Will is the one person who might be able to help him. As Evan and Will try to deal with Evan's condition, they are drawn into the world of the theriomorphs: shape-shifters who are guardians of life and the sworn enemies of vampires. Caught in an ancient war between two powerful supernatural forces, Evan and Will find they must choose sides - because if they are to have any chance of a future together, they must destroy Elizabeth Nadasdy before she destroys them.

April 9 - MM Midnight Cafe
April 10 - Love Bytes
April 12 - Alpha Book Club
April 17 - The Novel Approach
April 19 - Diverse Reader

Ari McKay is the professional pseudonym for Arionrhod and McKay, who have been writing together for over a decade. Their collaborations encompass a wide variety of romance genres, including contemporary, fantasy, science fiction, gothic, and action/adventure. Their work includes the Blood Bathory series of paranormal novels, the Herc’s Mercs series, as well as two historical Westerns: Heart of Stone and Finding Forgiveness. When not writing, they can often be found scheming over costume designs or binge watching TV shows together.

Arionrhod is a systems engineer by day who is eagerly looking forward to (hopefully) becoming a full time writer in the not-too-distant future. Now that she is an empty-nester, she has turned her attentions to finding the perfect piece of land to build a fortress in preparation for the zombie apocalypse, and baking (and eating) far too many cakes.

McKay is an English teacher who has been writing for one reason or another most of her life. She also enjoys knitting, reading, cooking, and playing video games. She has been known to knit in public. Given she has the survival skills of a gnat, she’s relying on Arionrhod to help her survive the zombie apocalypse.


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Thursday, April 19, 2018

Release Day Blitz: Hard To Get by Jaclyn Quinn #Excerpt

RELEASE DATE: 04.19.18

COVER DESIGN by Cate Ashwood Designs


Gabe D’Angelo has it all. Designer clothes, luxury cars, a cool confidence most would envy, and a never-ending supply of money—and men. When he arrived in Haven’s Cove to be there for his best friend, he never imagined he’d end up extending his stay indefinitely. Small town living isn’t so bad after all, and the views are magnificent—especially the view of a sexy, rugged blond. But when that mysterious, brooding man refuses all Gabe’s advances, he is forced to take a step back and truly look at the person he’s become.

Nate Black moved from Boston to Haven’s Cove for his family. He’s missed small town living and the simple, tranquil life that comes with it. What he doesn’t bargain for is the pushy, spoiled playboy who’s set his eyes on Nate as his next conquest. Knowing this man has the potential to crack the foundation of his quiet life, Nate will do everything he can to protect his safe, closed-off world.

Is one man worth loving? Is the other worth the sacrifice? Or is the love they’re searching for not just hard to get but completely out of reach?


Gabe sighed again, rolling his eyes. “My God, did the four of you have a Nate Protection Plan meeting I wasn’t invited to? I assure you, I’m harmless. I’m also pretty sure that Nate is a grown man who doesn’t need protection—unless it’s a condom. Then I fully condone it and will even offer my services in the Sheathing Department.” Gabe winked. “He can thank me later.” He held the beer bottle in the crook of his left arm and patted Jonah’s cheek. “Wish me luck.” Then he walked around Jonah and headed for his target.
Nate didn’t disappoint tonight; that was for sure. The guy made a pair of jeans the sexiest material ever to fit on a man’s strong body. Long legs, strong muscled thighs, unmistakable well-endowed bulge covered in denim. It made Gabe want to get down on his knees and find out what hid beneath the denim—with his tongue. Nate’s broad chest was screaming to be released from the tightly stretched black cotton T-shirt. Tell me the man doesn’t know what he’s doing to me in that outfit?
“You’re staring.” Two plump, well-defined lips uttered the words—none too kindly—and Gabe blinked, snapping out of his stupor.
Shit, was there drool on his chin? He’d been undressing the man with his eyes. “Sorry, bad habit. Another beer?” Gabe held up the bottle to Nate, and as he expected, was quickly shot down.
“No, thanks,” Nate said, obviously irritated, not even looking in Gabe’s direction.
“Tell me, Mr. Black, do you have a problem with all tall, dark, and handsome men, or is it just me who ruffles that blond hair of yours?” Gabe asked. His voice was low and seductive as he moved in a little closer to Nate.
Nate turned his face to look at Gabe and snickered. “Tell me, Mr. D’Angelo, do you have a problem with rejection in general, or is it just the fact that I’m not interested that rubs your conceited ego the wrong way?”
Gabe smiled wickedly and moved a little closer, letting his hot breath caress Nate’s ear as he whispered, “Trust me. There isn’t a wrong way to rub me. When you’re ready to admit you want to, we can make this interesting.”
Nate moved in even closer, the heat from his body making Gabe’s cock dance with glee. Nate’s lips and the scruff of his goatee brushed up against Gabe’s ear, sending a delicious chill down his spine. “Why don’t you hold your breath,” Nate pulled back abruptly, “and see where that gets you.” With a look of disgust, he walked away.
“Well, that went well,” Gabe said to no one in particular. He had to laugh at the situation or he’d explode. If he were smart he’d get over it, realize the man was a waste of time, and find someone more willing to tickle his fancy—and other parts of his anatomy. Hell, he could be back in the city with a man filling him so good by the end of the night.
Too bad he wasn’t a smart man.


I have been an artist from a very young age. From drawing cartoon characters and evolving into portraits, making jewelry, photography, and now writing. I have an amazing support system in my family and friends and couldn’t be more grateful.

I live in central New Jersey, love summers at the Jersey Shore, rock music, wine, sexy men, and laughing a lot with my amazing friends and family. Sunday dinners at my parents’ house are crazy, hysterical and you can count on a movie quote…or ten…being thrown out. Insults between siblings is how we show our love for each other!

When I’m not creating, you can find me reading books from my favorite authors. I’m a hopeless romantic, starving for passionate characters and always craving that happy ending, whether in reading or in writing my own books.