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Currently Browsing: LGBTQ
Dec
1

Blog Tour + Giveaway: Three the Hard Way by Sydney Croft

Blog Tour + Giveaway: Three the Hard Way by Sydney Croft Three the Hard Way Lovers Taggart Brody and Justice McKinney possess special abilities that make them valuable to agencies who employ—or enslave—people with extraordinary talents. When tragedy tears them apart, Justice finds purpose working for the good guys: ACRO, the super-secret Agency for Covert Rare Operatives. But he never forgets Taggart or the past they once shared. Heartbroken, Taggart runs from who he is . . . right into the arms of Ian Bridges. But Ian, battling his own demons, betrays Tag to the terrorist organization Itor. After months of torture, Tag manages to escape, but kills an ACRO agent in the process.   With nowhere left to turn, Tag disappears into the Alaskan wilderness, but it’s only a matter of time before his enemies track him down. He reaches out to Justice, and somehow Ian finds him too, hoping to right his wrongs. With ACRO and Itor both bearing down, the three men must figure out how to forgive, how to work together, and how to love each other—or the coming battle will destroy them all. Share the Love Each year, Riptide Publishing releases a holiday collection in support of an LGBTQ charity. Twenty percent of all proceeds from the  Share the Love collection  will be donated to the  It Gets Better Project. This collection would not be possible without the talent and generosity of its authors, who have brought us the following holiday stories: Three of Hearts  by Kelly Jamieson (releasing November 17) Lucky Strike  by Jane Davitt (releasing November 24) Three the Hard Way  by Sydney Croft (releasing December 1) About Sydney Croft Sydney Croft is the alter-ego of Larissa Ione and Stephanie Tyler, two  New York Times  bestselling authors who blend their very different writing interests into adventurous tales of erotic paranormal fiction. Together, they developed a world where people with extraordinary abilities, like the power to control storms, could live and work with others like them. The series has been described as “Erotica meets the X-Men,” and is unique in its own “erotic super hero romance” niche. Larissa and Stephanie live in different states and communicate almost entirely through email, though they often get together for conferences and book signings. Giveaway Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing for a $25 Riptide Publishing store credit. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on December 7.  Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. This contest is sponsored by the publisher. This contest is open...
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Nov
28

Quickie Review: The Christmas Top by Christi Snow

Quickie Review: The Christmas Top by Christi Snow The Christmas Top Author: Christi Snow Reviewer: B. Rating: A- What I’m Talking About: Not surprisingly, Christi Snow has written yet another wonderfully sweet and sexy story with The Christmas Top. In this addition to the 1Night Stand series we’re introduced to Jason Wieland and Mark Cummins, two men on the edge of a new beginning that could be the answer to their wildest fantasies. Both men are trying to start over with a clean slate, although for very different reasons, and are hoping that Madame Eve can help make their Christmas wishes come true. Of course, all of the 1Night Stand stories I’ve read so far have been erotic in nature, and The Christmas Top delivers on that expectation beautifully. Mark has a very specific idea about what he wants from the arrangement, and it just so happens that Jason is the perfect man to provide it. Jason’s objective at the beginning of their date is more substantive and bittersweet, but, as the evening progresses, his desires are not only met, but end more happily than he could have hoped for. The Christmas Top is just the thing for anyone who enjoys their m/m romance with a little bit of an edge to it. Jason and Mark are interesting, warm-hearted characters, and knowing there would be a happy ending for them made their story a real pleasure to read. There aren’t any big surprises or a lot of angst here; just a nice mix of eroticism and romance that makes this an excellent indulgence for the holidays. My Rating:  A- Enjoyed A Lot About the Book: All he wants for Christmas… It’s time for Mark Cummins to come out of the closet. He’s ready, but he’s never been topped. Asking Madame Eve for the one-night stand of his fantasies, he hopes she can grant his Christmas wish. He’s a less-than-merry gentleman… Jason Wieland’s life partner died in a horrific hate crime two years before and he hasn’t taken a lover since. He knows it’s time, and he reaches out to the 1Night Stand dating service to find the right man to light up his holiday. But when masculine, sexy, and extremely straight Mark shows up, he doesn’t know what to do. Is this 1Night Stand a cruel joke or has Madame Eve truly worked Christmas magic? Release Date: December 6, 2013 Publisher: Decadent Publishing Series: 1 Night Stand ISBN: #978-1613336335 Genre: LBGTQ, m/m romance, novella Format(s): e-book Book...
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Nov
21

Blog Tour Spotlight: Gabriel’s City by Laylah Hunter

Blog Tour Spotlight: Gabriel’s City by Laylah Hunter Hi, everyone, thanks for having me on this tour for Gabriel’s City! Don’t forget to leave a comment at the end of this post to win a chance at the ZOMG Smells giveaway! Spoiled young aristocrat Colin Harwood has always enjoyed flirting with danger, but he’s always been able to retreat to safety—until bad decisions and a chance encounter plunge him into a world far more savage than his own. Gabriel is an urban legend, famous in the underworld for his unpredictability and violence. He’s also a believer fairy tales, and quick to decide to the handsome stranger who came to his aid must be good luck. With few other options remaining, Colin will need to keep his wits about him to learn to survive in Gabriel’s City. Full blurb For spoiled young aristocrat Colin Harwood, the port city of Casmile is a buffet of easy pleasures. But when he steps into a pub brawl to help a dangerously outnumbered young man, he is drawn into the seedy underbelly of the city the young man calls home. Gabriel is a cutpurse and a knife for hire, practically an urban legend. His vision of Casmile is touched by a strange combination of faith and madness, driven by fairytale logic and a capacity for love that he often must suppress to survive. He’s always worked alone, but when a dashing dragon who calls himself Colin saves him in a bar fight, he pulls Colin into his world. Gabriel’s city is nothing like the refined, socialite existence that bored Colin senseless. Colin finds adventure and excitement there—and maybe even love. But with his layers of finery stripped away, nothing remains to protect him from poverty or danger—except Gabriel. So he must choose: go back to the civilized young man he once was, or fly free as Gabriel’s dragon. About Laylah Hunter Laylah Hunter is a third-gendered butch queer who writes true stories about imaginary people in worlds that never were. Most of her work deals with queer characters, erotic themes, and the search for happy endings in unfavorable circumstances. Hir mild-mannered alter ego lives in Seattle, at the mercy of the requisite cats and cultivating the requisite caffeine habit, and dreams of a day when telling stories will pay all the bills. Connect with Laylah: Website:  laylahhunter.com Twitter:  @LaylahHunter Goodreads:  goodreads.com/Laylah_Hunter Laylah is Riptide’s Featured Author for November:  http://riptidepublishing.com/authors/laylah-hunter Giveaway! I have the good fortune to be friends with the charming people...
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Nov
14

Review: No Boundaries by SE Jakes

Review: No Boundaries by SE Jakes No Boundaries Author: SE Jakes Reviewer: B. Rating: A- What I’m Talking About: I’ve become a huge fan of many of Ms. Jakes’ other series, including some written under her other pen names, so I was very eager to read the first of the Phoenix, Inc. stories, as well. No Boundaries introduces us to two intriguing and volatile characters, Cole Jacobs and Marcus Lowry, both of whom have pasts that they’d rather not revisit—ever. Unfortunately, the past is never so acquiescent, and, in Cole’s case, it is sometimes deadly. Ms. Jakes never fails to write relatable, compelling characters, and I immediately liked Cole a great deal. He is young, resilient, and beautiful, but the self-assured exterior he presents to everyone around him masks a vulnerability that defies the image he tries so hard to project. He is wary and more than a little jaded, and although he knows exactly what he is, he has no concept of his own potential. Fortunately, that changes over the course of the story, and Cole eventually realizes that what he wants most is both noble and good, and that even someone “like himself” deserves to be loved. Marcus, on the other hand, needs an entirely different kind of saving. After his last, disastrous operation for the CIA, the snarly, burned-out private investigator has been limiting himself to “boring,” safe cases that aren’t fulfilling, but don’t put anyone at risk, either. Having been betrayed by his ex-boyfriend as well, he’s about as cynical as they come, and his immediate distrust of his new charge reveals more of his own issues than Cole’s. The one thing he can’t deny is that Cole makes him absolutely crazy on several levels, which just might be exactly what they both need after all. No Boundaries is a suspenseful, well-written tale of vengeance and redemption that easily kept me guessing right along with the characters. With such an adept and highly dangerous stalker in play, I couldn’t help but be nervous for all the men involved, and wanted him brought down just as badly as they did. There were quite a few close calls that worried me a great deal, combined with the stress caused by Marcus’ continual attempts at romantic self-sabotage. None of which I could possibly resist. This story moves quickly and hits hard, making the characters’ much deserved moments of intimacy all the more appreciated. The relationship between Cole and Marcus doesn’t begin gently, but rather,...
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Nov
7

Spotlight + Review: Circus of the Damned by Cornelia Grey

Spotlight + Review: Circus of the Damned by Cornelia Grey Circus of the Damned Author: Cornelia Grey Reviewer: B. Rating: A What I’m Talking About: I admit that, having just finished one wonderful Steampunk novel, I was almost afraid of what I might encounter in Circus of the Damned, especially since Ms. Grey is a new author to me. As it turns out, I needn’t have worried at all. What I found was a magical, imaginative, and very well written story that kept me fully captivated from start to finish. From the beginning, Gilbert is an interesting character, but his self-imposed (yet understandable) solitude makes him seem incomplete. While his circumstances necessitate an unhealthy amount of bravado and self-sufficiency, his successfully reckless methods for surviving haven’t exactly made him a sympathetic man. Gilbert soon learns that excessive alcohol consumption and magic are a truly horrible combination, and he finds that the patterns he assumed would dictate the rest of his existence have merely been the prologue for something much bigger. As Farfarello, the most crucial of the remaining characters notes: “You’re an arrogant man, Gilbert Blake, and I will be delighted to watch you learn a little humility.” While Gilbert acts as the narrator, it is the other main character, Jesse, whom I loved from his very first scene. Complicated, troubled, compassionate, and beautiful, Jesse is the glue that holds everything together. The entire circus revolves around him, and Gilbert’s fascination with him is fully understandable. While all of Gilbert’s new companions alter him in various ways, it is Jesse that turns him completely inside out, and rightly so. As much as I liked losing myself in the intricacies of Gilbert and Jesse’s relationship, I enjoyed the narrative as a whole just as much. It is a dark, clever, perilous journey, filled with suspense, and sometimes sorrow, but the hope that keeps the characters going throughout the story is undeniable. From the outset, the pressure began building, quickly and steadily, and my anticipation of what might happen when the turning point came was considerable. Although Circus of the Damned works fine as a standalone, I’m looking forward to reading the first story in the series, Devil at the Crossroads. Ms. Grey is a gifted storyteller, creating richly vivid scenes that played out effortlessly in my mind and stayed with me even after I’d finished the book. Filled with some of the most interesting characters I’ve ever had the pleasure to read, Circus of the Damned is a unique, thought-provoking,...
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Oct
30

Author Interview + Book Tour: LA Witt

Author Interview + Book Tour: LA Witt Authors L.A. Witt, Alexis Hall, and Cornelia Grey come together on a Steampunk book tour to celebrate the releases of Precious Metals, Prosperity, and Circus of the Damned. Join us on adventures through the lawless, untamed, kraken-infested skies! Trek the snowy wilds of the Klondike in the company of a Mountie! Visit a soul-stealing circus where entertainment is at your own risk! Riptide’s Gaslamp Fortnight will tempt you with the steampunk and gaslamp worlds of Cornelia Grey, Alexis Hall, and L.A. Witt. And Gaslamp Fortnight is featuring a fabulous giveaway! Comment on the tour stops for a chance to win a $250 gift certificate to Harlots and Angels Steampunk Corsetry and get your own custom corset or personalized steampunk gear. To celebrate, That’s What I’m Talking About has as its special guest, author L.A. Witt here today. Please help me welcome Ms. Witt to TWITA! TWITA: What drew you to Steampunk to begin with, and what’s your favorite thing about it? Will there be more stories in the Metals series? Any chance for a Steampunk m/m anthology? Steampunk was something I’d never written before, so I wanted to give it a go, and it turned out to be a lot of fun. My favorite thing is creating cool technology, and using it to make the characters’ lives even harder. (Author = sadist)  I don’t have any steampunk stories in the work at the moment, but more Metals series or an anthology are definitely possible in the future. TWITA: Most authors like to torture their characters to varying degrees. Which of your characters have you particularly enjoyed torturing, and why? Pretty much all of them. LOL It’s just fun to take a person, throw them into an awful situation, and see if they have what it takes to get through that situation. And of course, make them fall in love with the worst possible person (their boss, their enemy, etc). It’s fun. As far as my favorites? I’m probably always going to be partial to whichever characters I’m working on at the moment. In this case, I’m rather enjoying tormenting my small town homophobic preacher (Lead Me Not), as well as some particular characters on loan to me from Aleksandr Voinov (Dark Soul 6). TWITA: It seems like you’ve worked on a lot of collaborative projects in the last couple of years. Do you have to alternate working on the collaborations with your other (individually written) stories? Or, are you able to slip...
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Oct
27

Review: Prosperity by Alexis Hall

Review: Prosperity by Alexis Hall Prosperity Author: Alexis Hall Reviewer: B. Rating: A+ What I’m Talking About: I’m beginning to believe that Alexis Hall is incapable of writing anything that isn’t completely wonderful in some way or other. Or in many ways, as is the case in Prosperity. As an ardent fan of most everything Steampunk, as well as having thoroughly enjoyed the author’s other works I’ve read to date, I was excited about this title even before I was offered the chance to review it. That it exceeded all my expectations was an added bonus, and being able to lose myself so fully in the narrative was a rare delight. While the gist of what’s going on in Prosperity can easily be ascertained without any extra work, I do recommend keeping an online dictionary open while reading, particularly if you’re American, as a good bit of what Picadilly says is Victorian era slang (or something close to it). The small effort of doing so will make a difference in connecting with the character, and as remarkable as Picadilly is, he deserves nothing less. Plus, it’s fun. In fact, my ever-increasing list of odd phrases in need of resurrecting (which I’ve renamed “Antiquated Insults, Slang, and Other Questionable Pleasantries”) has doubled in size from reading Prosperity alone. Picadilly, the main character and narrator, is an absolute wonder. Having never been accepted by anyone in his own life before, he accepts everyone else exactly as they are, even if he sort of hates one of them. He feels no compulsion to dissect the experiences and natures of his companions until they fit into tidy little boxes to suit some misguided, and frankly, unfair, order of his own devising. He may not comprehend the others in his company entirely, but, natural curiosity aside, Picadilly doesn’t need or want to. He seems to figure that things are as they are because they are, and that’s good enough. The other characters in Prosperity are no less impressive, each of them providing a distinct voice, at times discordant, depending on which perilous event they find themselves facing, but all utterly irreplaceable. Now that I’ve been introduced to the crew of the aethership Shadowless, I can’t imagine the story unfolding without any of them. Each one is unique in both virtues and vices, except perhaps the excellent Byron Kae, who may be my favorite of them all, Picadilly included. In addition to the characters and the story itself, there are...
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Oct
27

Blog Tour + Giveaway: Prosperity by Alexis Hall

Blog Tour + Giveaway: Prosperity by Alexis Hall From the Author: Hello, and welcome to the Prosperity Blog Tour, celebrating Riptide Publishing’s release of Prosperity. Thank you so much to That’s What I’m Talking About for hosting me. And, to you, dear reader, for stopping by. I’m trying something a little different with this blog tour. I would very much like to invite you to join me over on Facebook at the Steampunk Flashgroup. A flashgroup is sort of a Facebook pop up shop. It’s a short-term group that will be active for the length of the Prosperity blog tour. I’ll be over there all week, and a little bit after, talking about the book, giving away many, many things, posting exclusive excerpts of Prosperity and the upcoming sequels, answering any questions, and generally having a ball. I do hope you will pop along and be part of the conversation. I also have postcards showcasing the absolutely stunning Prosperity artwork. If you would like one, please join the group and drop me a message, and I will be delighted to send one winging your way. About Prosperity A breathtaking tale of passion and adventure in the untamed skies! Prosperity, 1863: a lawless skytown where varlets, chancers, and ne’er-do-wells risk everything to chase a fortune in the clouds, and where a Gaslight guttersnipe named Piccadilly is about to cheat the wrong man. This mistake will endanger his life . . . and his heart. Thrill! As our hero battles dreadful kraken above Prosperity. Gasp! As the miracles of clockwork engineering allow a dead man to wreak his vengeance upon the living. Marvel! At the aerial escapades of the aethership, Shadowlesss. Beware! The licentious and unchristian example set by the opium-addled navigates, Miss Grey. Disapprove Strongly! Of the utter moral iniquity of the dastardly crime prince, Milord. Swoon! At the dashing skycaptain, Byron Kae. Swoon Again! At the tormented clergyman, Ruben Crowe. This volume (available in print, and for the first time on mechanical book-reading devices) contains the complete original text of Piccadilly’s memoirs as first serialised in All the Year Round. Some passages may prove unsettling to unmarried gentlemen of a sensitive disposition. About Alexis Hall Alexis Hall was born in the early 1980s and still thinks the 21st 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...
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Oct
22

Review: Precious Metals by L.A. Witt

Review: Precious Metals by L.A. Witt Precious Metals Author: L.A. Witt Reviewer: B. Rating: A- What I’m Talking About: I was very eager to read this title, having enjoyed the first story in the Metals series a great deal, and I wasn’t disappointed. If Noble Metals succeeded in being imaginative and exciting, then this one was even better. Still set in during the gold rush in the Klondike, Precious Metals is the story of another pair of companions-turned-lovers, an invention worth killing (or dying) over, and a perilous journey through the frozen north. While both stories share certain similarities, there are enough differences between the respective situations of the main characters to allow Precious Metals to successfully stand on its own. Joseph, the younger of the two men, is extremely clever and determined, and more than a little desperate to get back to the gold fields that have drawn so many with the possibility of fortune and a better life. Though the reasons for his initial trip turn out to be less sympathetic than they might have been, the change in his circumstances, along with the likelihood that he could lose much more than wealth, drew me in early on. Paul, the older and more reluctant of the pair, is likewise somewhat difficult to feel sorry for initially. Ordered to accompany Joseph on the first part of his journey, Paul is resentful of being saddled with the young man whose urgent need to return to the mining camp takes them on a treacherous expedition with no guarantee of a happy outcome. Once Paul’s personal history is revealed more fully, however, his earlier reticence becomes overshadowed by his tentative hope for a better future for himself as well as Joseph, and I found his heroism easy to embrace for the duration of the narrative. The obvious desire between Paul and Joseph was present from the moment they met, and the pulse of it only increases as the story goes on. Although there were a few moments where it’s not quite as easy to be swept up in their mounting attraction or to accept Joseph’s convictions regarding the ease of what lies ahead for them, the fantasy of their crossing, both geographical as well as emotional, is a solidly enjoyable experience. Once the perils of their excursion begin to wear down their defenses, these two compliment one another in nearly every respect, and watching them explore their growing connection was a real pleasure. Aside from the Steampunk...
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Sep
25

Review: This Time Now by KT Grant

Review: This Time Now by KT Grant This Time Now Author: KT Grant Reviewer: B. Rating: B+ What I’m Talking About: Regret is never an easy thing to live with, but coming face-to-face with its source when you least expect it can be heartbreaking. Amanda Barkley and Billie Layne had big plans together before tragedy and circumstance tore them apart. Now, six years later, Billie is back and Amanda is still angry and hurting. While forgiveness isn’t a simple thing, second chances don’t happen often, and both women are about to learn that holding on to the past too tightly could cost them the very happiness they’ve been looking for. In This Time Now, Ms. Grant makes good use of the notion that opposites attract when telling Amanda and Billie’s story. From the beginning, I thought Amanda was a very likable character. At a little more than five feet tall, blonde, sweet, and pretty, she’s well liked by those around her. Despite the fact that she seems to be fairly independent, she’s surrounded by some well-meaning people who have her best interests at heart. She has sacrificed a great deal for those who need her, but has managed to build a life for herself that works. It’s not how she imagined things would be; yet she seems content to look ahead from where she is. I couldn’t help but want her to be happy, my reservations over her former girlfriend’s intentions aside. Billie, on the other hand, I didn’t care for at first. Her initial arrogance and presumptuousness did nothing to help me see her as a sympathetic character. Billie returns home after attaining the fame she left to pursue six years ago, as well as having a major health scare, with the notion that she can just reinsert herself into Amanda’s life and that they’ll pick right back up where they left off. Thankfully, it didn’t win Amanda over any more than it did me, and while I felt sorry for what Billie had been through, I was glad that Amanda resisted for as long as she did. It isn’t until Billie realizes she can’t bulldoze past Amanda’s resistance, and experiences a real dose of fear and potential loss over the situation that she begins to be honest with Amanda, as well as herself, making the inevitable ending much easier to accept. This Time Now is a very short tale of regret, forgiveness, love, and new beginnings. While I think Billie should have had to...
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