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Jun
26

Author Guest Post + Giveaway: Fiona Zedde

Author Guest Post + Giveaway: Fiona Zedde Today I welcome author Fiona Zedde to That’s What I’m Talking About… The Virgin Vampire in the Land of Sex In my new novel, Desire at Dawn, Kylie is a virgin. I didn’t set out to write her that way, a twenty-something virgin in a world of beautiful, hyper-sexed vampires. It seemed even oxymoronic that she isn’t as interested in sex – at least not in having it – as the members of her concupiscent tribe. My intent was something else all together, but I like to think that Kylie appeared on the page in the way she was meant to. In the novel, her desires are large and all consuming. She wants so many things that her small body can barely contain all of these hungers: the hunger for blood, for familial closeness, for the sort of sexual connection that doesn’t come with the complete surrender of self. Her experience is simultaneously erotic and frustrating, a bitter-sweet journey. And I must admit I did take some pleasure in torturing and teasing her through the course of the novel with the things she wants and cannot have, things she can have but thinks she should not want. Writing about Kylie’s frustrated desires also mirrored the path I took while writing the novel. Desire at Dawn is the sequel to Every Dark Desire, a novel whose protagonist is Kylie’s mother, Belle. Belle is a different sort of vampire entirely, and most definitely not a virgin. But in both preparing to write this new book and in the act of actually writing it, I felt I was voyeuristically observing the desires of other people (my readers) for a follow-up to the novel that spawned a wonderful following, some excellent book reviews, and an award nomination. I wanted to satisfy their craving for another vampire novel set in that world. But wasn’t sure I would be able to, or even if I should. In the end, obviously, I gave in to these desires. Just as Kylie does. Take a peek at the novel and see if yours will be sated as well. Thanks for reading! About the books: Every Dark Desire Naomi McElroy’s life in Jamaica has always been about the comforts of family and home. But secretly, she yearns for something more. When she surrenders to seduction in a jasmine-scented garden under a full moon her life is changed forever. In that moment of complete ecstasy, Naomi becomes Belle, one of the undead whose carnal...
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Jun
23

Review: Long Time Gone by SE Jakes

Review: Long Time Gone by SE Jakes Long Time Gone Author: S.E. Jakes Reviewer: Jen Twimom Rating: A- What I’m Talking About: Long Time Gone opens four months after the conclusion of Catch a Ghost, with Tom on assignment with his partner, Cope… the partner Tom chose over his lover, Prophet. During those four months, Prophet has been MIA and Tom has sent him emails daily: each a little more desperate and revealing than the previous. Then there is Prophet. A man close to the edge of utter destruction and ready to leave his life completely behind to take a deep undercover covert operation. However, before he says yes, he decides to finally read the 122 emails Tom sent him, and suddenly, Proph finds himself on the way to New Orleans to take care of Tommy’s aunt. Oh, Long Time Gone is JUST what I needed following my read of Catch a Ghost! The opening is heartbreaking when the reader sees how much Tom misses Prophet – how desperate he feels. It hurt to read, but it is necessary for readers to see how difficult it was for Tom to choose Cope over Proph. And this opening set up their reunion perfectly, allowing for all of the unspent emotion after four months apart to explode in one of the hottest, most passionate scenes I have ever read. I swear, my Kindle caught fire. Tom and Prophet come a long way during the pages of Long Time Gone; however, it is not a smooth journey. Their story is full gritty fervor, with both characters desperate for more yet afraid that there is no future possible. The story of their love hits every emotion—highs and lows, and I have fallen for the pair. With this second story, the reader is privy to more of the detailed backstory of each Tom and Prophet, creating three-dimensional characters and giving real meat to their issues and conflicts. I appreciate Ms. Jake’s sublime world-building and character development, making Long Time Gone a hard-to-put-down read. While Tom and Prophet’s building romance is the core of the story and series, Long Time Gone shares much of Tom’s backstory as he returns home only to find himself with more bad luck. While trying to help out his aunt’s neighbors, Tom comes across the dying body of one of his childhood tormentors. Tom is accused of murder, and soon he finds himself back in a web of deception and lies. The mystery behind this death, as...
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Jun
19

Review: Shadows & Dreams by Alexis Hall

Review: Shadows & Dreams by Alexis Hall Shadows & Dreams Author: Alexis Hall Reviewer: B. Rating: A- What I’m Talking About: Kate’s back! I liked her a great deal while reading the first story in the series, Iron & Velvet, but she’s even better this time around. Having survived (barely) the perils of her last case, during which she did, indeed, get the girl, she’s just been hired to find the missing brother of a former fling. Of course, nothing in Kate’s world is ever simple, and she’s soon embroiled in a war between nearly all the supernatural beings in the city and a crazed vampire queen who wants to kill everything in sight. One thing is for certain: when the odds start stacking up against Kate, they do so quickly—and quite spectacularly. I’m not entirely sure where to start with Kate, except to say that she’s the funniest character I’ve read in a very long time. Now that she’s got a steady girlfriend, she’s plagued with dreams that are connected to the Witch Queen of London (one of her ex-girlfriends), has to track down a murder and thief (who happens to be another of her ex-girlfriends), and gets rescued by a mortal genius named Eve who wields techy gizmos better than Batman (and is—yes—another of her exes). I won’t even get into the alpha wolf and the vengeful unicorn. Things get… complicated. But, Kate handles things as drily as always, and, although they were a little much every now and then, her internal monologues left me cackling regularly throughout the narrative. Shadows & Dreams isn’t a comedy, however, and I found the mystery Kate’s trying to unravel impossible not to get wrapped up in. Less icky than its predecessor (no sewer parts!), this story tosses Kate from one piece of the puzzle to the next and back again, getting more and more convoluted with each step she takes. Adding to the difficult situation, Kate is both hated and liked by various members of each faction, and constantly finds herself walking the line between being saved or killed simultaneously at any moment. Not one to panic, Kate seems to face her trials with plenty of morbid resignation and profanity, and frequently uses her readily modified catchphrase that I loved from the previous story: “Here lies Kate Kane. Executed by vampires underneath a portrait of a hot woman. Beloved daughter. Sorely missed.”  Good thing she still likes to drink a lot, otherwise things might just be fairly...
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Jun
19

Book Spotlight + Giveaway: Shadows & Dreams by Alexis Hall

Book Spotlight + Giveaway: Shadows & Dreams by Alexis Hall Hello, and welcome to my second ever blog tour, celebrating Riptide Publishing’s release of Shadows & Dreams, the sequel to Iron & Velvet. Yay!  Thank you so much to That’s What I’m Talking About for hosting me. And, to you, dear reader, for stopping by. If you’d like to come with me and keep me company on my virtual wanderings, you can find a full listing of when and where I am. There’s also some kind of contest type thing happening.  I had a bit of trouble choosing a prize for this one because most of the things Kate likes (booze, cigarettes, knives, women) are illegal to ship internationally. I thought about a fedora, but then I remembered people had differently shaped heads and there was no point sending somebody an item of clothing they wouldn’t be able to wear. So, basically, that leaves coffee and Bovril and nobody likes Bovril except people from the North East of England. I’m therefore going offer 250g of Jamaican Blue Mountain, the nicest coffee in the known universe, purchased from a wonderful speciality shop, ground or beaned to your specification. If you don’t like coffee, I’ll replace it with an equivalently lovely tea. I’ll also throw in a hard copy of Iron & Velvet (or the other thing I wrote) if that’s the sort of thing you’d like. I can even scribble stuff in it, thus reducing its re-sale value … or,  y’know, not do that. I’ll announce the winner a handful of days after the end of the tour. About the Author: Alexis Hall was born in the early 1980s and still thinks the twenty-first century is the future. To this day, he feels cheated that he lived through a fin de siècle but inexplicably failed to drink a single glass of absinthe, dance with a single courtesan, or stay in a single garret. He can neither cook nor sing, but he can handle a seventeenth century smallsword, punts from the proper end, and knows how to hotwire a car. He lives in southeast England, with no cats and no children, and fully intends to keep it that way. You can also find him all over the internet, on his website, Facebook, Twitter, BookLikes, and Goodreads. About Shadows & Dreams: Second rule in this line of business: be careful who you kill. My name’s Kate Kane. And right now, I don’t know which is more dangerous: my job, or my girlfriend. My...
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Jun
18

Review: Cross & Crown by Abigail Roux

Review: Cross & Crown by Abigail Roux Cross & Crown Author: Abigail Roux Reviewer: B. Rating: A What I’m Talking About: Having thoroughly enjoyed Shock & Awe, I was very excited to see what would happen in the second book in the Sidewinder series, Cross & Crown. The circumstances surrounding the series’ origin are entertaining on their own, but, if the first two books are an indication of what to expect, then the rest of the series will be even more so. As someone who loves mysteries and puzzles, this story was a lot of fun, and led to an inadvertently extensive bit of research of my own. Add to that my love of Nick & Kelly as a couple and Cross & Crown hit quite a few of my buttons. Nick & Kelly are a wonderful pairing, and complement one another extremely well.Although I wasn’t initially a huge supporter of Nick, he steadily grew on me, and by the time Touch & Geaux was released, I was not only a fan, but solidly in his corner when things got rough. Nick is loyal, selfless, determined, and keeps himself under such rigid control that he often serves as the main source of stability for those around him. Of course, when that control begins to fray, the outcome is either somewhat frightening or undeniably sexy. Or some delicious combination of the two. Kelly, on the other hand, I’ve loved from his very first appearance, and it’s a sentiment that has continued to grow ever since. He leads with his heart, has a hilariously limited filter, and is one of the most enjoyable characters I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. Often fearless as well as mischievous, Kelly seems to revel in his relationship with Nick and pushes him in all the right ways, thereby making himself an eager and gleefully demanding recipient of Nick’s sexual attentions. They’re perfect for each other for so many reasons, not the least of which is that Nick hates lies, and Kelly has nothing to hide. Another thing I love about Cross & Crown is that it has so much going on. While the narrative is primarily about the developing relationship between Nick and Kelly, neither of them is able to sit still for long. Aside from Nick’s current case involving an amnesiac witness to a murder, both become wrapped up in a treasure hunt that includes secret societies, hidden messages, cryptic historical references, and the Irish mob. It is truly a...
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Jun
18

Blog Tour + Giveaway: Cross & Crown by Abigail Roux

Blog Tour + Giveaway: Cross & Crown by Abigail Roux Cut Scene: Nick was silent as he looked out on the moonlit fields. They were peaceful now, but it seemed there were echoes of gunfire and cannon blasting, bayonets clashing, men and horses screaming in fear and pain. “It doesn’t really matter why, or how history writes it down,” Nick said. “The only thing that matters is that every man out there believed in what he was doing. He was standing on this ground, willing to take a bullet fired by his brother, to protect something he thought was worth dying for. That country. That king. That ideal. That land back home. That flag. That man leading him. That man standing beside him.” Nick’s voice filled with emotion and he lowered his head. “The burden of death and bravery in places like this is heavy. I’ve always been able to feel it. Someone should feel it.” Even if Kelly hadn’t already felt the power of this place, it came through clearly in Nick’s voice. It was holy ground, in its own way, bearing the gravity of the past up in what were now wild green pastures dotted with stone and tourists. The agony of it. The struggle. And Nick believed the same as those men, felt it down to his bones. Call it patriotism. Heroism. Integrity. Honor. That indefinable something that had driven so many men to die for something they felt more important than life also lived inside Nick. It had lived inside their team. And if what he believed in was threatened, he’d do the same as they had done; die defending it. Kelly’s chest constricted as he looked at Nick’s profile in the moonlight. He had never believed that men like this still existed, not until he’d met Sidewinder. Nick’s breath billowed in front of him in the cold. His eyes were taking in the battlefield, seeing things Kelly couldn’t see, remembering things Kelly had lived with him. Kelly swallowed hard and set one hand lightly on Nick’s shoulder. He couldn’t think of anything to say, so he didn’t speak at all. About the Book: When Nick O’Flaherty arrives at the scene of a double homicide to find he has a witness to the crime, he thinks it’s his lucky day. But when he realizes his witness is suffering from amnesia and can’t even remember his own name, Nick wishes he’d gone with his gut and put in for vacation time. Then Nick’s boyfriend and former...
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Jun
2

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Let It Ride by L.C. Chase

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Let It Ride by L.C. Chase G’day everyone! Welcome to my Let It Ride blog tour and a peek into the world of rodeo cowboys. (The official schedule can be found here.) This wouldn’t be a proper tour without some prezzies, of course. Read on for giveaway details—and one very special prize! Thank you to That’s What I’m Talking About for hosting my cowboys, and to all of you for hopping in the saddle to ride along! The Blurb: Pickup man Bridge Sullivan is the kind of cowboy everyone wants—as a brother, a friend, a lover. People think he’s straight, but Bridge isn’t one for labels, and when a sexy male paramedic jump-starts his heart, he charges in with all guns blazing. New York City transplant Eric Palmer grew up in foster care. While he always had a roof over his head, he never felt love or a sense of belonging . . . until he joined the California rodeo circuit as a paramedic and found a band of brothers who took him in as one of their own. Now, one in particular is making Eric’s pulse race. When things heat up between Bridge and Eric, Bridge has to prove to Eric he’s not just experimenting with the rougher sex, while Eric must overcome his fears of being unwanted and cast aside. He knows that trusting Bridge may be the key to his happy ever after, but getting in the saddle is much, much easier than learning to let it ride. You can read an excerpt and purchase Let It Ride here! About L.C. Chase: Cover artist by day, author by night, L.C. Chase is a hopeless romantic and adventure seeker. After a decade of traveling three continents, she now calls the Canadian West Coast home. When not writing sensual tales of beautiful men falling love, she can be found designing book covers with said beautiful men, drawing, horseback riding, or hiking the trails with her goofy four-legged roommate. L.C. is a 2014 Lambda Literary Award Finalist for Pickup Men; a 2013 EPIC eBook Awards Finalist for Long Tall Drink; and a 2013-2014 Ariana eBook Cover Art Awards Finalist. She also won an honorable mention in the 2012 Rainbow Awards for Riding with Heaven. You can find out more about L.C., story extras, works in progress, and cover designs at her website, on her blog, or on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads. The Big Tour Contest: In celebration and thanks, I’m offering goodies for three lucky...
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May
20

Review: Hostile Ground by Aleksandr Voinov & L.A. Witt

Review: Hostile Ground by Aleksandr Voinov & L.A. Witt Hostile Ground Author: Aleksandr Voinov, L.A. Witt Reviewer: B. Rating: A- What I’m Talking About: Mahir Hussain thought he knew how far he was willing go to bring down the criminal who’d ordered the deaths of three other undercover officers. What he hadn’t counted on was the dangerous attraction he can’t shake for the head of security who might be just as inclined to shoot him as work with him. But, Mahir soon realizes that things aren’t as they seem, and it quickly becomes apparent that solving the case could cost more than he’s prepared to give. I really liked this story, and stayed up way too late for two nights running because I didn’t want to stop reading it. Mahir and Ridley are great characters, and the authors made getting inside Mahir’s head easy. I was genuinely worried for him from the very beginning of the story, each close call he endured creating more and more tension as the action progressed. Mahir’s personality seems to blur as Ridley’s becomes clearer, and with both their lives at stake, the attraction that absolutely crackles between them feels just as precarious as both men claim it to be. Historically, I don’t enjoy non-con novels, and Hostile Ground treads close to it in the very beginning, but the highly believable mutual enthusiasm of the characters keeps these scenes from going over the line. Shortly afterwards, however, the situation between Mahir and Ridley begins to evolve in unexpected, yet highly enjoyable ways, making the rest of their journey somehow even more nerve-wracking (in a good way) in the process. Some stories go well with a drink or two and a retreat from the rest of the world, if you’re ever inclined to indulge and can manage it, and this is definitely one of them. Fast-paced from beginning to end, Hostile Ground doesn’t let up on the main characters for a minute. The authors place both men in an increasingly dangerous situation, with few, if any, ties to anything resembling an anchor or safety net, making it easy to understand how some undercover officers and agents might succumb to the jobs they have to take in their efforts to save others. Mahir and Ridley know how precarious their respective positions are, and the choices they each make during the course of the story were alternately moving and troubling. Hostile Ground is very dark in places, but never gratuitously so, and the action and tension...
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May
12

Review & Giveaway: Daylight Again by SE Jakes

Review & Giveaway: Daylight Again by SE Jakes Daylight Again Author: SE Jakes Reviewer: B. Rating: A What I’m Talking About: The Hell or High Water series is one of those that I liked a lot from the very beginning, but I’ve since become somewhat obsessed with. Prophet and Tommy are incredible characters, both of them tortured, scarred men who’ve never held much hope for themselves, or anything else, really, until they met each other. If Long Time Gone, the previous story in the series, was about Tom dealing with his demons, then Daylight Again is Prophet’s turn. I absolutely love Tommy and Prophet. Watching them evolve from being solitary warriors who always insisted on taking care of themselves, isolated from everyone—even those who are closest to them—into lovers who now depend on each other so completely has been a real pleasure. The way they care for one another is so intuitive and selfless that neither has to ask what the other needs. There’s a genuine sense of completion about their relationship, even though they’re still working on their respective issues. It’s the “work in progress” part of what they have, and their commitment to face whatever comes their way together, that keeps the romantic elements of Daylight Again unpredictable and pleasantly edgy. Often, I avoid talking too much about the erotic elements of a story, in an effort to avoid redundancy and clichés, but I’m going to make an exception in this case. Prophet and Tommy together are magic. Wonderfully sexy magic. Every time they’re together is so filled with purpose and intensity that there’s no mistaking it for anything less than real devotion. Sex between these two is usually demanding and rough, and rather than using it as a means to avoid their troubles, it’s the way in which they work through them. It’s how they understand one another best when words aren’t enough. For all these reasons I loved these moments. Plus, they’re just really, really fun to read (and reread). Although the relationship between Tommy and Prophet is the main focus of Daylight Again, the action is fairly relentless and kept me on edge for the duration of the story. Ms. Jakes doesn’t take it easy on her characters or her readers, carefully weaving one story together, only to turn the scene on its head by revealing the missing pieces at the last minute. In fact, there’s so much going on beneath the surface that wondering about what was really going on kept...
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May
11

Sunday Snippet: The Blush Factor by Gun Brooke

Sunday Snippet: The Blush Factor by Gun Brooke  About the Book The Blush Factor Author:  Gun Brooke Publisher:   Bold Strokes Books Released:  February 18, 2014 Author Contact:   Website, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Live Journal Snippet Something about this young woman made it impossible for Eleanor to merely close her laptop and stop watching.  Eleanor noticed the nearly transparent hazel eyes immediately.  A charming band of freckles danced across her nose, which, together with her full, soft, pink mouth, gave her an aura of innocence.  Her blinding smile, wide and guilelessly open, pulled Eleanor in.  She called herself “Blush”, and this girl seemed to know everything about makeup, hair, and skin products – anything related to beauty.  Blush acted so natural in front of the camera, whether at her vanity or in any other room in her home.  Her voice was melodious and her laughter contagious. Eleanor had found this woman’s channel on YouTube while searching for the beauty gurus that had the most subscribers.  With more than 350,000 subscribers and millions upon millions of hits on her more than five hundred clips, Blush was among the most successful.  Young girls and women couldn’t seem to get enough of her advice, her reviews, or her tutorials.  Eleanor snorted.  She was no different.  This was the third evening in a row she’d sat for hours, thinking she would click on just one more link, watch one more clip of this fresh-faced young woman.  So she did, like an addict. Blush’s intro played and her now-familiar face came into view.  Her hair in a ponytail and with no makeup on, she seemed to be wearing only a bathrobe, which made Eleanor swallow twice.  Frowning, she tried to focus on what Blush was saying. “Hello, you wonderful people,” Blush said, waving.  “It’s been a whole week, I know, and I’m sorry.  Real life entered and I had to…deal with stuff.”  A shadow flickered across her features but was gone so fast Eleanor knew she would be replaying the clip later to see if she’d imagined it. “Today I thought I’d show you how you can look better for less.  I know we all love the expensive brands, but hey, most of us can’t afford them.  I can’t, normally.  Some of the high-end brands send me samples and new products to test, but you know my rule: if I didn’t buy it, it’s not going on my channel.  I usually end up giving those items away to charity.  The sealed ones, that is.”  She...
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