Sunday, April 30, 2017

Book of the Week: Olive Juice by TJ Klune #Review

Author: TJ Klune
Book: Olive Juice
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publication date: April 26, 2017
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
Length: 121 pages


It begins with a message that David cannot ignore:

I want to see you.

He agrees, and on a cold winter’s night, David and Phillip will come together to sift through the wreckage of the memory of a life no longer lived.

David is burdened, carrying with him the heavy guilt of the past six years upon his shoulders.

Phillip offers redemption.

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As an avid reader who averages reading about 5 books a week across all genres, I have a lot of authors I love, but I only a few are immediate auto-buys that don't even require a blurb, a cover, or hell even a title. TJ Klune is one such author for me. Regardless of genre or subject matter, the man NEVER fails to deliver a story that is brilliantly written, imaginative, emotional, and guaranteed to stick with you long after you finish the last page. His new release, Olive Juice, is all of that. And more. 
If you follow TJ at all on social media or if you're one of those that scrolls through your Goodreads feed you've no doubt seen it mentioned MANY times that Olive Juice is best read without ANY spoilers of any kind. I can't agree with this more strongly ... you absolutely need to read this book without knowing anything about it. Remember what I said up there about not even needing a blurb for TJ's books? I started this book without even an inkling as to what it was going to be about and I can't begin to tell you how much better my experience was for it. Another thing I'd recommend, don't try to figure out where TJ is going while you read or try to guess what comes next. Just sit back and experience what's going on as it happens. Trust me. 
It is impossible to say much at all about Olive Juice (which has one of the most meaningful and compelling titles ever) without giving anything away. I can tell you that in true TJ Klune style, this book will completely enthrall you from the first sentence and keep you hooked until you reach the end. I recently read a blog post of TJ's where he recommends reading the book in one sitting ... DO THIS! It's meant to be read that way and the impact you'll feel at the end will be all the more powerful if you're able to do this. But believe me when I say, once you start you won't want to stop. 
As with any TJ book, the writing is beyond fantastic. There is love and hope and despair and so much pain that it's almost unbearable. There are flawed characters that are so real you'll swear you know someone just like them. Be prepared for an emotional onslaught while reading Olive Juice. Expect for your heart to break and for there to be tears. Expect to be angry and sad. Expect for there to be hope. Most of all, expect that this might be one of TJ Klune's best books yet.

Blog Tour: Angel's Feather by Alina Popescu #Excerpt #Review #Giveaway

Angel’s Feather by Alina Popescu
Recently released gay science fiction novella Angel’s Feather, the first book in the Flyer Chronicles series.

Angel’s Feather Synopsis

How far would you go for the one you love? How much of yourself would you sacrifice?
Trapped on a decaying Earth and cut off from the rest of the Universe, humans are no longer allowed to leave their planet. Break this one law and you die: a penalty enforced by flyers, aliens who look like angels of long-lost religions. Michael, the flyers’ leader, is the Punisher who carries out every public execution.
Adam, a young human with near-perfect memory, is committed to rebuilding Earth and a true believer in the flyers’ dominion. While Adam’s support for flyers isn’t a secret, his deep love for Michael is. Not even Michael knows, for his kind never take human lovers, and to Adam, they are too far above him to reach.
In his broken and unwelcoming world, Adam’s love can only lead to pain, loss, and disaster. Yet there is no force in the huge expanse of stars and galaxies that can stop Adam from following Michael to the end of existence. Not even Adam’s own beliefs.

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Angel's Feather by Alina Popescu



The first book of a series is so vital. Between character development, world building, plot, all of it. It's preparing you for a journey. Angel's Feather is a sci-fi love story that was really constructed beautifully. There is always a nervous energy to the beginning of a series but fortunately, all the nervousness here was angled toward anticipation as the story grew.

Earth is dying. This isn't really a hard thing to believe. Adam is the MC of this story. It's a first person POV. Through this entire book, I was riveted. I don't want to spoil anything about this book. I'll say it's got suspense, emotion, intrigue, and a really amazing plot. It is a cliffhanger and I may or may not have beat my kindle to death. 

I do very much recommend this book. It is a novella but it truly feels longer. But in the good way! Of course, I wanted longer because I needed to know things!!!! But yes, read it!





My enthusiasm at seeing Michael again quickly faded when he arrived. He seemed cold, uncaring. There was no trace of feeling in his eyes, no expression on his beautiful face. He wore his usual leather trousers that I was sure he had to cut off his body to undress. The new addition was a metallic looking… something. It looked like a sleeveless shirt or some sort of body armor, but it kept me from seeing his strong upper body and watch the stray rays of sunshine reflected by his glorious skin.
All in all, he looked like a true warrior, a right enforcer. And did he ever act like one! Michael had never been a man of many words, but he was eerily silent this time. He did not offer a glance or a word to anyone. Even when it came to the other flyers, he only communicated through mysterious nods and gestures. To make it worse, two of the other flyers that had come with him, the ones who had taken over his patrolling duties, were stabbing me with their glares. He’d told them? Or maybe they’d figured out his mood had soured after coming to see me…
Either way, not seeing Michael was a lot easier than having him ignore me like this. With a deep sigh, I turned around and made to leave, but one of the other flyers stopped me.
“Where do you think you’re going? Everyone healthy and able is required to attend the executions.”
I slapped his hand away and then pressed my palm to his naked chest, pushing him back. The crowd around me gasped in unison, then went deadly silent.
“What is the point, angel? I’ll just watch your broadcast later. They never learn, nothing changes. There will be another execution soon enough.”
I left the village square without ever looking back. I heard the flyer calling my name once, but for some reason he did not try to stop me again, nor did he say anything else. I went straight back home, trying to keep myself together until I was safely hidden away in my room. I could not afford to fall apart out in the open, I couldn’t have any of the other villagers see me like that, see how weak I truly was.



Prizes: $10 Amazon Gift Card; 3 x ebook copy of science fiction short story Craving Stains.
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About the author

Author Alina PopescuWriter, traveler, and coffee addict, Alina Popescu has been in love with books all her life. She started writing when she was ten and she has always been drawn to sci-fi, fantasy, and the supernatural realm. Born and raised in Romania, she finds her inspiration in books of all genres, in movies, and the occasional manga comic book. She is a proud geek who needs her fast Internet and gadgets more than she needs air.
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Release Blitz: Laurent and the Beast by K.A. Merikan #Excerpt #Giveaway

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 135,000 words

Cover: Natasha Snow


Nothing can stop true love. Not time. Not even the devil himself. 

1805. Laurent. Indentured servant. Desperate to escape a life that is falling apart.

2017. Beast. Kings of Hell Motorcycle Club vice president. His fists do the talking.

Beast has been disfigured in a fire, but he’s covered his skin with tattoos to make sure no one mistakes his scars for weakness. The accident not only hurt his body, but damaged his soul and self-esteem, so he’s wrapped himself in a tight cocoon of violence and mayhem where no one can reach him.

Until one night, when he finds a young man covered in blood in their clubhouse. Sweet, innocent, and as beautiful as an angel fallen from heaven, Laurent pulls on all of Beast’s heartstrings. Laurent is so lost in the world around him, and is such a tangled mystery, that Beast can’t help but let the man claw his way into the stone that is Beast’s heart.

In 1805, Laurent has no family, no means, and his eyesight is failing. To escape a life of poverty, he uses his beauty, but that only backfires and leads him to a catastrophe that changes his life forever. He takes one step into the abyss and is transported to the future, ready to fight for a life worth living.

What he doesn’t expect in his way is a brutal, gruff wall of tattooed muscle with a tender side that only Laurent is allowed to touch. And yet, if Laurent ever wants to earn his freedom, he might have to tear out the heart of the very man who took care of him when it mattered most.


Hound’s alarmed growling was coming his way, along with whines, when he reached the right door and opened it, only to have the massive Rottweiler’s body rush past him and into the corridor. Beast expected his pet to rush toward the room where the accident happened just minutes ago but Hound looked back at Beast, as if signalling he wanted to be followed, and rushed the other way, stirring the worst of feelings in Beast.

Was there an intruder somewhere in the house? With the sheer size of the former asylum that has served as the Kings of Hell Clubhouse for the last fifteen years, it was easy to overlook things happening in the disused parts of the property. They once had a bunch of teenagers who came over wanting to spy on the orgy. That thankfully didn’t end in blood, and out of the whole mess they got Jake to join their ranks.

Beast wondered whether he shouldn’t go back to the armory and get himself a gun but ultimately decided against it. There would be police and emergency services coming for Davy, and he didn’t want to run around with a firearm, no matter how good their relationship with the local police was.

Hound moved as if he were following a clear trail, but Beast couldn’t smell anything apart from dust and dampness. They were leaving behind the shouting and even the sound of the ambulance approaching, and eventually entered a corridor so disused it had a thick layer of dust on the floor. Now even Beast could see faint footprints in the dust, and next to them, dark droplets that could be blood.

Hound smelled the traces, looked back and broke into a run, which had Beast following him with the worst of expectations as to what he would eventually find. His heart beat faster as they ran down the dark hallway.

The building was a labyrinth, and this far away from where they all lived and worked, it wasn’t even wired anymore, so he breathed in the smell of mildew and followed Hound through the darkness in hope he would not stumble.

Windows in the doorless rooms on both sides of the corridor were the only source of light, now delivering a faint red and blue glow of the approaching ambulance. For all Beast knew, this could have been a gothic castle, something out of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, with bloodthirsty monsters waiting for their next victim in one of the endless hallways, and yet he only ran faster, listening to the steady tap of Hound’s paws.

Without any hesitation whatsoever, Hound rushed inside one of the rooms and gave a growl so vicious something inside Beast mourned his decision not to take a gun with him. But no one shot at him when Hound let out a single bark. Beast pushed past the empty doorway, jumping over a fallen chair, only to see someone hiding in the shadows.

Judging by the long, wavy hair and small stature, Beast at first thought it was a woman, but then the person spoke with a distinctly male voice.

“I… I’m not certain where I am.” The stranger took half a step out of the shadow, and into the flashing light coming from outside. His accent was distinctly foreign. French maybe?

Beast took him in with a scowl. Blood covered the stranger’s face, hair, dripped from his chin, from the tips of his trembling fingers, and stained the outfit that looked as if he’d stolen it from the set of a costume drama. Knee-high boots, fitted pants, a vest worn under a tailcoat.

“What the fuck are you doing on our property, boy?” hissed Beast, watching the soft features of a very young man. “Whose blood is this?” he asked, still cautious. In his experience, a non-threatening presence could hide an adept fighter, so he was not taking any chances as he joined Hound in front of the stranger, who was so short in comparison to Beast’s own six foot five form that his red-stained head only reached Beast’s pecs.

The stranger backed away into the corner, whimpering in fear the moment Hound growled at him again and lowered his head, but Beast wasn’t having any of it and grabbed the boy’s arm. “Is the blood yours then? Someone attacked you? Where?” he asked, not hesitating to pat the intruder down, to make sure there were no weapons hiding under the fancy coat.

The boy tried to weasel out of his grip, but he didn’t seem adept at using force. “N-no. I don’t think it’s mine. I don’t know. Is this hell?”

Beast groaned, staring at the silly-looking young man, whose white shirt was completely drenched in red. Someone must have died to produce this much blood.

“You will explain yourself to King.”

Author Bio

K. A. Merikan is the pen name for Kat and Agnes Merikan, a team of writers, who are taken for sisters with surprising regularity. Kat’s the mean sergeant and survival specialist of the duo, never hesitating to kick Agnes’s ass when she’s slacking off. Her memory works like an easy-access catalogue, which allows her to keep up with both book details and social media. Also works as the emergency GPS. Agnes is the Merikan nitpicker, usually found busy with formatting and research. Her attention tends to be scattered, and despite pushing thirty, she needs to apply makeup to buy alcohol. Self-proclaimed queen of the roads.

They love the weird and wonderful, stepping out of the box, and bending stereotypes both in life and books. When you pick up a Merikan book, there’s one thing you can be sure of – it will be full of surprises.

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Saturday, April 29, 2017

Saturday Author Spotlight: Annabella Michaels #Interview #Giveaway

I am super happy and excited to have Annabella Michaels here as the Saturday Author Spotlight. Not only is she an amazing author of the incredible series Souls Of Chicago, but she's a dear friend. I'm thoroughly proud of her and it's so exciting to be able to interview her today. We will also take a look at her series, and there's a fabulous giveaway for two people at the end. Enjoy!

Giovanni Romero had been dealt his fair share of heartbreak throughout his thirty years, including losing his beloved parents in a horrible car accident. After suffering yet another devastating loss, he decided to chase his dream of opening his own restaurant and was soon the proud owner of Romero’s, a hugely successful and critically acclaimed Italian restaurant, nestled in the heart of Chicago.

Knowing that one more blow to his heart could destroy him, Giovanni had built walls up around his heart to protect himself. He has created strict rules for himself about the men he sleeps with, which include never exchanging names and absolutely no repeat performances. That is until he meets a young man who he finds impossible to forget.

After spending the last few years travelling throughout Europe and The Mediterranean, working as an apprentice to some of the world’s top chefs, 23-year-old Caleb Greene was finally moving back home. While he had enjoyed his studies, he couldn’t wait to reunite with his big, crazy, loving family; especially his twin brother, Carter. Most importantly, he hoped to finally begin his career working as the head chef for Chicago’s most prestigious Italian restaurant, Romero’s.
After a night of celebration with Carter, Caleb finds himself in a rare position, going home with a tall, dark and sexy stranger. Caleb had never had a one night stand before, but there was something about the man that drew him in. Unfortunately, the man insisted they could only be together for one night.

Unable to get the intriguing young man off his mind, but resolved to let him go, Giovanni is shocked to find that Caleb has been hired as his new head chef. Working in such close proximity to each other, could he keep his carefully erect walls in place and protect his heart or would Caleb have the strength to tear those walls down, setting Giovanni free?

Besides his family, music had always been the most important thing in Carter Greene’s life. Having a career in music was everything he had ever dreamed of. That was until the terrible night when he nearly lost everything.
Carter can’t get the image of one particular man out of his mind; the man who found him in his darkest moment. The one who risked everything to save him and the same person who most likely never wants to speak to him again.
Ryan Marshall had led a pretty solitary existence ever since his grandfather had passed away. He spent most of his free time renovating the property he had inherited while avoiding the dating scene. Lately, he found himself longing for someone special; a man he could share his life with.
One fateful night, an emergency call placed Carter in Ryan’s life and the two felt an immediate connection. Unable to stop thinking about him, Ryan decided to reach out, but was disappointed when Carter was not at all what he expected.
Ryan is determined to move on and forget all about the beautiful man he rescued, but he soon realizes that sometimes fate has other plans.
Music of the Soul is book 2 in the Souls of Chicago series and can be read alone or as part of the series. This book contains sexually explicit material and is intended for adults 18 and older

For Landon Greene, managing the band Carter’s Creed is more than just a job. It also means being there to keep his brother safe. When someone begins sending threatening letters to Carter, Landon feels overwhelmed with the need to protect him. He’s relieved when new security is added, until he finds out that the person hired to protect his brother is the same man Landon has spent months trying to forget.

Micah Hamilton recently moved back to Chicago to start his own security firm and to be closer to his best friend, Giovanni. He’s ready to leave his past as a Navy SEAL behind and settle into his new life, but his plans change when a friend calls and asks him for a favor. There’s no way Micah can refuse the request, even though he knows it will require him to face the one man he’s vowed to stay away from.

Can Landon and Micah put their differences aside in time to save Carter or will their pride leave him at the mercy of a madman? Will they continue to resist the undeniable chemistry between them or will they take a chance and possibly find the greatest love they’ve ever known?

Rocko earned and loved his reputation as the wild child of the rock band, Carter’s Creed. His bandmates dubbed him Animal, not only for his skills on the drums, but because he was always looking for the next thrill. Sex, drugs and rock and roll were what he lived for. That was until one night when his wild ways nearly cost him his life.
As the owner of Golden Entertainment Studios, Lachlan Edwards had a vested interest in his newest clients, the members of the band, Carter’s Creed. He wasn’t surprised when they quickly rose to the top of the music charts, given their talent, but he was concerned with how their drummer, Rocko, seemed to be spiraling out of control. When Rocko seemingly hits rock bottom, Lachlan decides to step in and offer him a chance to recover.
Will Rocko accept Lachlan’s offer even if it means facing the past he’s tried so hard to run away from, or will it all prove to be too much and send him spinning out of control once again?


Hello sweet, Annabella, it’s so wonderful to have you here. I think what’s awesome about this is that I’m not just a fan of your work but I’m a friend. And that always makes the interview part fun because I can tease you a little extra. Let’s get this whole thing started.

Hi, Meredith! Thanks for inviting me. I always have fun with you so I’m looking forward to this.

Souls of Chicago is your series. You have four books in that series. Is that a so far or is it complete?

There are definitely more books to come. For now, I plan on having six novels in the series, but I never know when a character will start speaking to me, wanting their story told. I’ll let my guys tell me when the series is complete.

Out of your characters, who’s your favorite couple?

Ugh! How could you do this to me? LOL.  Okay, my answer…After spending so much time with each couple, I love them all for their own individual reasons, but if I had a very mean friend who liked to “Sophie’s Choice me” then I would have to pick Carter and Ryan. They were so much fun to write; very sexy, adventurous and completely crazy about each other.

Which book would you say was the hardest and most emotional to write?

The hardest for me to write so far was Protecting the Soul. Landon and Micah each had so much pain they were carrying around that it was difficult to go through that experience with them. To be honest, though, the most emotional part for me and the one that had me crying ugly tears, was the talk between Landon and his brother, Carter after Landon told him what had happened in his past. Their relationship reminded me of my relationship with my siblings and it hit me very hard.

That being said, I know that the very last book will be the hardest to write overall. I will be inconsolable when I reach the end of this series. It is my heart and soul.

What is after this series? Will you be venturing on to new and awesome things?

I have a lot of ideas for new books, both stand alone and series. Whichever one speaks the loudest will get their story told first.

Is your family like the Greene’s?

My family is definitely like the Greene’s. My brother and sister and I treat each other very much like the Greene siblings do, lots of joking and picking on each other, but always with a ton of love behind it. 

Rick and Kathy Greene are based on me and my husband. If you’ve read the series, you’ll understand what I’m saying here. Haha!

You seem to love to save men with no families and marry them off to the Greene family... Why is that?

The Greene family members have fun, they laugh, they tease and they love HARD! They are the definition of unconditional love and I wish every family could be like that. The men they fall in love with have known loss, heartbreak, and rejection. It’s wonderful for me to see them experiencing that kind of love for the first time and to know that once you become a member of the Greene family, you’re a member for life.

Are all your character’s coffee drinkers?

Great question! No, my characters are very intelligent men and they have excellent taste. They prefer hot chocolate over coffee. *side note from interviewer* Annabella's characters are clearly unstable.

You’re going to RT and GRL this year correct? What are you looking forward to the most?

Yes, I’m going to both and I’m very excited! It’s my first time for either one of these events and I’m really looking forward to FINALLY meeting a lot of the friends I’ve made online, both authors and readers alike. (I wish so badly that you were going, but I have made it my mission to meet you one day!)

How can your readers follow your work: FB, Twitter, Website...

If you could collaborate with any author who would it be?

Aimee Nicole Walker and I have already been plotting a collaboration. We just need our schedules to align, but we WILL make this a reality someday. I’m in awe of Charlie Cochet so that would be amazing if I got to collaborate with her. Although, I think it would end up with her doing the writing and me fangirling in the corner as I watch her work. Haha!

Fast Fire Questions:

Favorite color? Blue
Cat or dog? Cat
Day or night? Night
Favorite alcoholic drink? Whiskey sour
Best smell? Clean laundry
Favorite flower? Fire and Ice roses
Best comfort food? Lasagna
Coffee or coffee? HOT CHOCOLATE FOREVER!!!!! *another side note from interviewer: question your friendship with this crazy lady.
Favorite song? I have 2. John Lennon- Imagine & Louis Armstrong-What a Wonderful World

Okay, Annabella, thank you so much for being here today! I adore you

Thank you for having me. I love you so hard! 😊


Have you wished you could read this whole series? Well, Annabella is going to make 
2 people's dreams come true.
Two people will win ALL FOUR books in this series.
Enter the rafflecopter below.
Contest will end on May 5th.
Thank you to the wild and crazy Annabella for being here today!

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