Review of “Dim Sum Asylum” by Rhys Ford #LGBT #Urban #Fantasy #Romance #NewRelease

Moonbeams over Atlanta welcomes another great new release from Rhys Ford! 🙂

 

The Review:

Rhys provided the story to me for an honest review.  This is the expanded version of short released in the Charmed and Dangerous anthology that I read and was interested in seeing what she did with it. It was a great story originally.

5 Stars

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Rhys returns to mystery and suspense with a longer version of the story with the same name from the Charmed and Dangerous anthology. Reading this version, I started getting déjà vu because I remember parts of the original story. At some point, I will probably re-read the original story because I’m curious as to how they are different.

From the beginning, the action is immediate and the detail to area amazing. I love the details Rhys does and this is no exception. We meet Senior Inspector Roku MacCormick of the San Francisco Chinatown Arcane Crimes Division as he is having a bad day: A Monday no less. Things continue to go sideways and he meets Trent Leonard, a new partner he can’t trust, with secrets of his own. Together, they are to bring down a spell-casting serial killer. They both get into trouble with a capital T, but they come out in the end closer to each other and with what I would say is a happy for now ending leaning to happy every after.  This is where I say this could be the start of a new series. 🙂 Yes, Please.

I really enjoyed the fast past-paced trouble Roku and Trent get into and all for the protection of Chinatown. Roku has to overcome trust issues and Trent has things he must face before his hope can be realized. Both have to lean on each other, and the journey they make is filled with tears, hope, and humor. It will gut you, it will lift you, and it will make you yell out loud, “No! you can’t do that!” I would like to see more in this universe because it’s a very interesting one.

Overall, I give Dim Sum Asylum 5 out of 5 stars.

Eloreen Moon

Book Links:

DreamspinnerAmazon | B&N | Google PlayKoboGoodreads

About the Author:

Rhys Ford is an award-winning author with several long-running LGBT+ mystery, thriller, paranormal, and urban fantasy series, including Murder and Mayhem, a 2016 LAMBDA finalist. She is published by Dreamspinner Press and DSP Publications.

She’s also quite skeptical about bios without a dash of something personal and really, who doesn’t mention their cats, dog and cars in a bio? She shares the house with Yoshi, a grumpy tuxedo cat and Tam, a diabetic black pygmy panther, as well as a ginger cairn terrorist named Gus. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird and enjoys murdering make-believe people.

Rhys’ Blog: www.rhysford.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rhys.ford.author

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Rhys_Ford

Rhys Ford’s books can found at Dreamspinner Press (http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com), DSP Publications (https://www.dsppublications.com/) and all major online book stores.

Review of “There’s This Guy” by Rhys Ford #LGBT #Contemporary #Romance

So, it’s been awhile since Moonbeams over Atlanta did a review. And what better timing than a new release of Rhys Ford! 🙂

 

The Review:

Rhys provided the story to me for an honest review.  Thank you. This is a contemporary instead of her usual mystery and suspense. I liked it. Read on.

5 Stars

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I was intrigued when Rhys said this was a contemporary. She usually does mystery and suspense, and does it very well. Sometimes contemporary romances are generic, sometimes they are fluff, and sometimes they do have some depth to them. There’s This Guy is like other’s Rhys has done and gives you gut punches while making you giddy with laughter almost at the same time.

We meet Jake Moore, a welder by trade during the day and and metal sculpture artist by night. Then we meet Dallas Yates, a developer who sees his eye candy across the street from his newly purchased art deco-era building in serious need of renovation, and wants to get to know the man he drools over. There is angst– Rhys is really good at this– and there is a little bit of a mystery but not nearly so knock-your-teeth-out bordering on dark as her other stories. Don’t get me wrong, you still see blood, gore, and even death, but they are not the focus as with her mysteries and suspense novels. It still has it’s dark moments followed by lighter ones. You will feel warm and fuzzy one minute and then wonder how one of the main characters is going to recover from THAT. It flowed really well, had it’s crying moments– both yourself and the characters–, and most of all a friendship between two characters with depth and breadth that grew to love. I foresee a really good start of a series, and I want to see Celeste’s story. 🙂 Hint. Hint.

Overall, it’s a really great story set in a different genre than normal but Rhys still gives us her style of writing. I can see here doing more in this genre and succeeding.

With this, I give There’s This Guy 5 stars.

Eloreen Moon

Book Links:

Dreamspinner | Amazon | B&N | KoboGoodreads

About the Author:

Rhys Ford is an award-winning author with several long-running LGBT+ mystery, thriller, paranormal, and urban fantasy series and was a 2016 LAMBDA finalist with her novel, Murder and Mayhem. She is published by Dreamspinner Press and DSP Publications.

She’s also quite skeptical about bios without a dash of something personal and really, who doesn’t mention their cats, dog and cars in a bio? She shares the house with Yoshi, a grumpy tuxedo cat and Tam, a diabetic black pygmy panther, as well as a ginger cairn terrorist named Gus. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird and enjoys murdering make-believe people

5 Star Review of “Undercover Boyfriend” (Dreamspun Desires) by Jacob Z. Flores #LGBT #Suspense #Romance

Moonbeams over Atlanta welcomes Jacob Z. Flores  for a review of his June 2016 Dreamspun Desires book Undercover Boyfriend. If you are not a subscriber, you should be one. If you have missed them, pick them up. They are all good.

The Blurb:

A One Fine Day Novel

Two men, one lie, and a whole bunch of trouble.

Marty Valdez is in serious trouble. His sister’s wedding is around the corner, and everyone expects to meet Marty’s super-successful underwear model boyfriend—whom Marty invented. Now Marty has to produce a half-naked hottie or suffer the worst humiliation of his life.

FBI agent Luke Myers is in serious trouble. He’s been working undercover to take down a dangerous drug cartel, but his cover’s blown and he needs to disappear. Luckily, a geeky yet intriguing comic book artist gives him the perfect opportunity. Luke just has to pretend to be his boyfriend, and pretending is what he does best. But between Marty’s mother and his ex, Luke might’ve bitten off more than he can chew, and Marty’s knack for finding trouble might ruin more than just his sister’s wedding.

The Review:

The author provided the story to me for an honest review.  I’m a subscriber of the Dreamspun Desires line so I would have read it anyway. This way I got to read it early. 🙂

5 Stars

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First of all, if you haven’t subscribed to Dreamspun Desires, you should. You get the books each month 2-for-1. Even if you buy them individually, you should get them. I’ve read them all since the beginning of the year, signing up back in November last year. While I didn’t subscribe to the mainstream Harlequin equivalent, I confess that I did read serials like this back in the day. (Still do, technically. *grin*)

Undercover Boyfriend seems this is a start of a new series. Good. I really enjoyed this book as a light suspense novel, a little mystery, and romance rolled into one. As with the others in this line, it does have some serious moments, but it’s not deep, and that’s a good thing. It was perfect for what I wanted to read. I love how Luke and Marty skirt around each other as they are pretending to be boyfriends to Marty’s family. Or are they? You have to read it to find out. It does feature angst that is a perfect setting to the undercover intrigue for Luke and the issues with Marty’s family and ex as they are woven together into a believable story with a budding romance between Marty and Luke. There’s not a lot of sex but it does feature sweetness and growing love between them. While it was predictable in some of the plot, it still had a nice little mystery thrown in there too. Overall, it was a great read and I look forward to more in this series.

With this, I give Undercover Boyfriend 5 stars.

Eloreen Moon

Book Links:

Dreamspinner | Amazon | ARe | B&N | Goodreads

5 Star #Review of “Pib’s Dragon” (Twisted Fairy Tales 1) by Beany Sparks #LGBT #Romance #Fantasy #ReleaseDay

Moonbeams over Atlanta welcomes guest Beany Sparks for insight on and review of her book Pib’s Dragon published by Rainbow Ninja Press with general release today.

Hi Eloreen *waves*

Thanks for having me 🙂

Okay so I’m here for a quick chat about Pib’s Dragon!

The book is the first in a multi-author series called Twisted Fairy Tales. Authors will be taking some well-known (and some not so well-known) fairy tales and twisting them together.

Pib’s Dragon was supposed to be my only contribution to the series but as I was writing it, a couple of other characters started jumping up and down wanting their story. So there will be a sequel, tentatively titled Del’s Wolf, which I’m hoping to get started on this weekend. I have an idea of what I’m going to do with it so now all I need to do is sit down and write (not always easy to do though).  But I’m looking forward to spending some more time with my cheeky serval and his dragon mate because they will definitely be around in the sequel.

After Del’s Wolf is done, I’ll be going back to Arcane Magic. Book 2 was started before Pib pushed his way to the front so I need to finish that one. I might go straight on to Book 3 but we’ll see. PITA (my muse) has a way of helping other characters push their way to the front and demand attention *glares at muse*

Eloreen: How did the idea of the Twisted Fairy Tales get started?

Um, it was a while ago that the series came to mind. It’s been so long that the idea came to me that I can’t even remember what sparked the idea. I do remember talking to Ellen (Cross) at the time and whatever we were talking about had my mind spinning with ideas.

Eloreen: Who inspired you to write?

I always let my mind wander and came up with stories to amuse myself when I was driving or at work but it wasn’t until a couple of friends encouraged me to try that I decided to give it a go. Once PITA was let out, I had no way of getting him back in his box.

Eloreen: Who designed the cover for Pib’s Dragon? 

Um, I did. I got to a point in the story where Arty (my artistic muse) demanded a cover for the story so I had to stop writing and get a cover done before I could continue. Once I had the background for the cover, I had to come up with a title. Pib’s Dragon was initially just a temporary title, but then it fit the story so I kept it. It also made it easier to pick the title for the sequel.

Eloreen: Do you write to an outline or off the cuff (a pantster)?

I’m a total pantser! I’ve tried to plot out the stories but every time I did, PITA would take the story in a completely different direction so I gave up. I might have a basic idea or plan, but nothing else. I also find that sometime as the story progresses, my initial idea doesn’t fit the story. The initial idea I had for Pib’s Dragon was a bit different to how it actually ended up but I’m happy with the end result. Del’s Wolf has a number of things that I need to make sure get resolved, and I’ve got an idea of how the story will go, but there are a lot of unplanned sections. I can’t wait to see what happens!

Eloreen: Thank you Beany. 🙂 I love the cover, btw. Continue on for the review of this great story. I can’t wait for Del’s Wolf. 😉

The Blurb:

A dragon is about to find out what happens when a cat discovers his cave of shiny treasures.

After nine years, Pib is finally free from his contract with the newly wed prince. Slipping out in the middle of the night to avoid getting stuck in another contract, Pib shifts into his cat and makes his way home to the little village he foolishly left, hoping his best friend Wil still lives there.

Dray is bored. His services as a princess-guarding dragon are no longer needed and even his gold and jewels are unable to cheer him up. His mood changes quickly when he catches someone in his treasure cave, and it starts a series of events that change his life forever.

When the two finally meet, sparks fly, but Dray will have to move quickly if he’s to save his cat after Pib gets kidnapped.

Pib's Dragon - 600x900

 

Excerpt:

Prologue

Pib snuck into the darkened room, tiptoeing quietly so as not to wake the newly crowned prince Geraint and his princess. Looking around, he both thanked and cursed his shifter senses. While he was grateful he could see inside the room, the smell of sex throughout the air was something he could have done without.

Reaching the desk on the far side of the room, he paused and glanced at the couple. Once he was satisfied they were still asleep, he eased open the cover and found what he was after—his freedom. After nine long years as the bastard’s slave, the letter freeing him from servitude almost brought tears to his eyes. Carefully folding it and placing it in his inside pocket, Pib gently shut the desk and tiptoed back toward the bedroom door, leaving the room as silently as he’d entered.

He knew there was only a limited window of opportunity for him to make his escape. Even though the pompous bastard had made a production of signing the form and granting him his freedom, Pib knew it was all for show. If he didn’t escape now, Geraint would get him alone and force him to sign another contract and then make some sort of bogus announcement about how Pib wanted to stay.

Pib snorted, unable to help himself. Luckily there was no one else around the castle at this time of the night, though even if there was, Pib didn’t care. He was leaving, and no one was going to stop him. Anyone who tried would have a close encounter with his knife, or his claws, he wasn’t picky.

“Hey, Pib, where are you off to in the middle of the night?” asked the guard at the front door of the castle. Pib never bothered learning their names or getting friendly with them, especially since Geraint could force him to kill any of them at a moment’s notice. He’d learned that it didn’t pay for him to form any attachments with those surrounding Geraint.

“Getting an early start on my retirement,” Pib replied, smirking at the man while he continued to stroll toward the exit.

“Sorry, Pib, but I have to check. Do you have a signed letter from Prince Geraint?” The guard shifted from foot to foot, showing his unease.

Pib stopped in front of him and forced a smile. “Of course,” he said, carefully extracting the letter and handing it over to the guard.

He waited, watching the guard closely as he read the letter. One wrong move and Pib was going to gut him. Nothing could happen to that letter.

“Looks good,” the guard said, handing the letter back to Pib. “It’ll sure be different without you around, but all the best. And, uh, don’t take this the wrong way, but I hope I don’t see you again.”

Returning the letter to his pocket, Pib looked up and smiled a real smile at the man. He wanted to laugh when the guard’s face paled as he caught sight of Pib’s canines, but restrained himself. “Don’t worry, I hope never to see you again either.”

With that, Pib walked out of the castle and made his way through the sleeping village. Pulling his hood up, he used the dark material to blend into the surroundings. He wasn’t taking any chances that Geraint wouldn’t wake up any moment and send guards running after him. After all, Pib was practically friends with all of the skeletons in Geraint’s closet.

Pib reached the edge of the village and paused. After nine long years, he was finally free of Geraint, his orders, and most importantly, his shackle. The magical cuff that had decorated his right ankle for nine years had been removed after Geraint had signed his release. The cuff was the only thing ensuring Pib’s obedience, and finally, it was gone.

Taking a deep breath, Pib stepped over the invisible boundary line and felt the remaining enchantments shatter and disappear, leaving him standing as his true self for the first time in years. Reaching inside, he called out his inner cat to come out and play, and in seconds, his clothes disappeared and he was standing on all fours in his serval form. Stretching, he threw one last glance back at the castle and the village before slinking away into the trees, using the natural camouflage to shield him as he made his way toward the start of his new life.

The Review:

Rainbow Nina Press provided the story to me for an honest review.  I read the blurb above and was intrigued by a story about a dragon and a cat meeting and getting to know each other.

5 Stars

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While this is the start of a new series, this title can be read as a standalone. This is a fun story full of action, humor, a little mystery, and fun interactions between Pib, the serval, and Dray, the dragon. There are plot abound, twists and turn, that made it interesting and fun to read. The secondary characters are fleshed out and stand on their own. I’m glad that Del will get his own story. 😉 While there is not a lot of sex scenes, the story line more than makes up for it and you just want to go “Awwww” several times. I had to finish it once I started. Luckily, I read fast. 🙂 I definitely will like to see what the other authors will do with this series.

With this, I give Pib’s Dragon 5 stars.

Eloreen Moon

Book Links:

Rainbow Ninja Press | Rainbow Ninja Press – EU Customers | All Romance Ebooks | Smashwords | Amazon | Goodreads

Author Bio:

Beany lives in Western Australia. She first started reading romance novels in 2008, but it wasn’t until January 2010 when her Kindle got delivered that the world of erotic romance opened its doors to her, and she hasn’t looked back. With suggestions and support from friends, her muse—”affectionately” known as PITA—was finally able to break free, and in January 2014 her first story was written. Since she can’t put PITA back in his box, Beany has decided to give in and team up with him.

Social Media Links:

FacebookTwitterWebsiteBlogEmail

5 Star Review of “Dirty Heart” (Cole McGinnis 6) by Rhys Ford #LGBT #Suspense #Romance

Moonbeams over Atlanta welcomes Rhys Ford back for a review of the final Cole McGinnis book. See within the review for the links to reviews of the prior books.

 

The Review:

Rhys provided the story to me for an honest review.  Thank you. I’m sad to say goodbye to Cole and Jae, but I wanted to know Ben’s story. As promised, no spoilers. You have to go read the book to know.

5 Stars

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We return to the world of P.I. Cole McGinnis and the love of his life Jae-Min Kim, a Korean-American photographer Cole met on a previous case. If you haven’t read the first five books. Stop right now and Go. Read. Them. I reviewed the series up to Book Three on RGR here, and reviewed the fourth book, Dirty Deeds, on RGR here. Down and Dirty, the fifth book, will be here.

Through out the series there is the pain, both physical and emotional, of Cole’s former partner, best friend, and his then-lover Rick’s killer, Ben Pirelli and why he did what he did. There were not any hints… until now. After reading the book, I didn’t see reason coming. Rhys wove the story very well around a case Cole gets involved in by his brother, Mike, and I cried and laughed throughout. In some cases, I did it at the same time. It’s gritty writing and not for the faint-of-heart. As with most of Rhys’s books, they are… descriptive bordering on the dark. But, if you love a good mystery/suspense MM romance, this is for you. The romance is there: Definitely between Jae and Cole; Between other secondary characters such as Mad Dog and Mike, Cole’s brother; and between Cole’s newly-found younger brother Ichi and Cole’s best friend Bobby. The sex between Jae and Cole is hot, and the romance all around makes you smile at the way it should be in their world despite the everyday horrors and upset they face. This book felt a little lighter than the others, even with the reason Ben killed Rick, tried to kill Cole, and ultimately killing himself. Dirty Heart ended the series very well and the resolution to Ben’s anger is fitting.

With this, I give Dirty Heart 5 stars.

Eloreen Moon

Book Links:

Dreamspinner | Amazon | ARe | B&N

.@Totally_Bound 5 Star #Review of “Then Came Cal” by Lee Barrows #LGBT @PridePublishing

I’ve started reviewing for #TotallyBound and #PridePublishing so you will see my reviews there as well. Here is the first book from them received in exchange for an honest review.

 

The Review:

 

5 Stars

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There were two sorties this week that I thought about reading for review. A MM Suspense or this cute Contemporary. I wasn’t feeling it for a hip-wading mystery/suspense so I choose Then Came Cal by Lee Barrows.  I hadn’t read Lee before and the blurb sounded great, so I went with it.

We meet Sean Hutchins getting laid off from his job in California, the one he had since graduating, only to discover his roommate and sometimes lover that he thought he wanted to go to the next step in their relationship getting it on in their bed– and not with him. He quickly leaves and seeks his best friend, Cassie, and running into Cal, her visiting brother from New York, on the worse day of his life. He’d rather not talk to him as he’s had a suppressed crush on him since meeting the years before, but in his dazed state he discovers he still has feelings for him. Cal discovers more to Sean in his interactions, and his heartstrings are tugged in a direction he didn’t think he wanted past the normal hook-ups and one-night stands.

As I said when I started, this cute little story was just what I was looking for. I was particularly drawn to Cal as he worked out his feelings and possessiveness for someone he only thought about as his little sister’s best friend, helping Sean where he could and getting to know him in the process.  Sean’s heart opens up to the possibility of Cal liking him when Cal continues to help him get his life back together. While I liked Sean’s character, I didn’t really connect to him as much as I connected to Cal. He was a sweet one but somewhat down on himself, yet still was strong in Cal’s eyes. I liked seeing the different points of views between Sean and Cal, with a little bit of Cassie thrown in. It’s a fast, true love, and the happy ending is satisfying. The sex scenes were not numerous but nicely done. It’s a short read, only about a hundred pages (depending upon your eReader) and that was the perfect length for this story. Overall, I enjoyed it immensely and look forward to more stories from Lee.

With this, I give Then Came Cal 5 stars.

Eloreen

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Book Links:

Goodreads | PridePublishing

5 Star #Review of “Sloe Ride” (Sinners 4) by Rhys Ford #ReleaseDay #LGBT

Yes! Moonbeams over Atlanta welcomes Rhys Ford back for another review in the Sinners series: Book 4 – Sloe Ride which releases today! I will be at DragonCon, so I will only be here in spirit (the power of scheduling posts, especially for a one-woman blogger like me). However, I have the app, so go ahead and comment and reblog. I’ll make sure to approve. 😉

 

The Review:

Rhys provided the story to me for an honest review back in late July.  Thank you for the opportunity. True story: I received a couple of Rhys’ stories in advance for review so far. I’ve been a bit behind this last year or so because of a variety of reasons. Figuring I was going to have to read a couple back story books, I was pleasantly surprised that I am in fact, caught up. (I have a database that tells me what I’ve read and not read.) And I was supposed to review Tequila Mockingbird. Crap, did I review it? Shoot. (Goes searching for post. Sure enough, published June 2014.) So I reread Tequila and started in on Sloe Ride.

5 Stars

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As expected, Sloe Ride continues the saga of the rock band started in Sinner’s Gin and it’s re-formation with new band members. And we get Quinn’s story. 🙂 I’ve been looking forward to this all series.

Quinn Morgan is my favorite supporting character through out the series. He’s a little quirky, a lot of fun, and coddled by the Morgan family. As the title implies, it is a slow ride to watch Rafe Andrade return to Quinn after years being a drug addict, general bad-boy bassist, and all around typical reason a lot of rock stars die young. Rafe had a spectacular falling out with his former band due to unusual circumstances and ultimately resulted in him getting off the drugs. There is plenty of angst on both sides but Quinn begins to rely on Rafe and help lead him to his own dreams.

I did end up reading it one sitting. Go figure. I typically do that with Rhys’ books. So, be prepared for that hanky because there are parts that will make you cry (well, they made me cry), and have enough time to read it in one sitting. You won’t want to put it down.

With this, I give Sloe Ride 5 stars.

Eloreen Moon

Book Links:

Goodreads Dreamspinner

5 Star Review of “Starting With the Unexpected” by @defiantandi @dreamspinners #LGBT #Romance

Moonbeams over Atlanta welcomes a new author, Andi Van and the first review of 2015 (I’m behind!) here with  Starting With the Unexpected which releases on May 15, 2015.  Andi contacted me and provided a reader copy for the purpose of the review. I’m so glad to took it on…

 

The Review:

5 Stars

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Andi is a new author in the M/M Romance category to me, but I was intrigued by the blurb (below) and knew I needed to read it. Well, time is a precious commodity right now and has been for several months, but I like music themed stories and a radio personality for a character was different enough that I wanted to read it.

And read I did. I actually couldn’t put it down. I had to read all 200 pages in one sitting. Not unusual normally, but since I’ve had to spread myself thin with that thing called work and family commitments, reading has been a lowly fourth, if not last. It’s a light, uplifting, humorous, and slightly quirky story of Zach Blaise, the local radio personality, and Marcus Edwards, the waiter. “Ollie” and “Marian” interact via the rage-text Marcus sends, and in person, until Marcus breaks down and tells Zach the truth.  From there, you see a glimpse in their lives, very much down to earth with quirky humor. You can’t forget the best friend of Zach, Jordan, dying of laughter a every turn and telling him to “go for it.” I was pleasantly surprise that it was not too intense, as a case of mistaken identity, and gender, could be. The writing style appealed to me, and led you smoothly to a great happy ending. So, a big thank you to Andi, and I will be looking for more of your books.

With this, I give Starting With the Unexpected 5 stars.

Eloreen Moon

Starting With the Unexpected
Andi Van

Zachary Blaise is having a weird week—even by his standards. Though he’s gay, the radio personality has been dumped via text by a girl named Marian—and he’s never even met her. On top of that, he’s developed a massive crush on Marcus, the new waiter at his favorite diner. His best friend thinks the whole thing is hilarious.

Marcus’s week hasn’t been his best either. He’s been betrayed by those closest to him, and although he isn’t the guilty party, Marcus is the one getting harassed.

Impossibly, things are about to get even weirder. Marian has secrets, and those secrets are going to make some serious ripples in Zach’s life. When he discovers that the girl called Marian is actually the man named Marcus, Zach stumbles down a rabbit hole of abusive ex-boyfriends, psychotic relatives, and revelations from his own past. If he can survive the chaos, the journey might prove worth the effort.

Title: Starting With the Unexpected (Book 1 of Beginnings and Endings)
Author: Andi Van
Genre: MM Romance (contemporary)
Length: Approx 60,000 (novel)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: May 15, 2015

978-1-63216-926-6 Paperback
978-1-63216-927-3 eBook
Pages: 200
Retail Price: $14.99 Paperback/$6.99 eBook

Excerpt:

CHAPTER 1
FUCKING CHEATING bastard.
The shit you had here is in boxes next to the dumpster.
If you don’t fucking get it, the garbage men will.
Hope my skanky whore of a sister was worth it, jackass.
Fuck off and die.
I sat there staring at my phone as the text messages flashed up in rapid-fire style, and it’s
safe to say I was feeling somewhat perplexed. I wasn’t dating anyone, let alone anyone at
the number I didn’t recognize, and I certainly wouldn’t have been sleeping with
someone’s sister. Ew.
When the shock wore off, I thought about it for a moment, shrugged, and started a reply.
If nothing else, the poor girl needed to know her ex had no idea his things had been left
by the dumpster. She was far more polite than I would have been in the same
circumstances—I would have left his things in the dumpster and made him crawl in after
them.
Pretty sure you’ve got a wrong number, hon. The last thing I want to do is sleep with
someone’s sister.
Wanted to let you know, so your ex doesn’t give you grief about his shit.
Either that or I’m being dumped by someone I had no idea I was in a relationship with.
I can’t decide whether that would make me awesome or pathetic, to be honest.
I hope the cheating bastard and your skanky whore sister give each other crabs.
“I suppose this means I’ve done my good deed for the day,” I mumbled to myself as I
tucked my phone back in my pocket. It was kind of a weird good deed, but a good deed
nonetheless.
“What’s that?” my housemate and best friend Jordan Walker asked as he joined me in the
living room.
“I just got dumped,” I told him. “By a girl. Apparently I cheated on her with her sister.”
Jordan gave me that indescribable look he always gave me when I said something that
completely confused him. It was hilarious, really. It was also part of his charm, much like
his ability to belch the entire alphabet in one go. “What the fuck?”
Starting With the Unexpected (Andi Van) ‐‐ Excerpt
I tossed my phone to him so he could read the messages for himself. “Wrong number
texts,” I told him. “I feel kind of bad for her, to be completely honest.”
Jordan scanned through the messages, shaking his head as he did. “She handled it better
than I would have. I would have torched his shit in a massive bonfire. I mean, think about
it, it’s perfect timing. A bonfire to start off the new year would be awesome.”
“That’s just because you had so much fun doing it when Tyler dumped me,” I told him
with a grin. Tyler had dumped me nearly six years before, in a painfully public way that
I’d prefer to forget but had never really been able to. That night, while I was sobbing on
Jordan’s shoulder, Tyler was fucking someone Jordan and I had been good friends with.
Obviously we weren’t friends with him anymore. When Jordan and I got home from that
ill-fated weekend, we’d bundled up the few things that Tyler had left in the apartment
Jordan and I shared at the time and had taken them to the beach as bonfire fodder.
Granted, it hadn’t been the middle of winter when we did it, but it was still quite
satisfying.
“Well, her number’s local,” Jeff said as he tapped my phone against his chin. “If she
really does live nearby, we could offer to burn the shit for her.”
“You’re just hoping she’s cute and looking for a rebound,” I shot back and got a grin in
response. I sighed and grabbed my phone from him. “Fine, I’ll at least tell her you said
she ought to burn the stuff. Maybe it’ll make her smile.” Like I said, I felt bad for her. I’d
been in that sort of situation, and the only thing that had kept me sane was Jordan’s weird
sense of humor. “Don’t think this means that I’m going to try and get her to hook up with
you, though. The poor girl’s obviously devastated.”
My roommate says you should just torch your ex’s shit in a massive bonfire, by the way.
He offered to do it for you, but I think he’s just hoping you’re cute and on the rebound.
Or possibly he just wants an excuse to roast marshmallows. I can never tell with him.
“Happy now?” I called after Jordan, who’d headed into the kitchen.
“I’d be happier if I didn’t have to go to work,” he answered. “You still feel like helping
tomorrow night?”
“Sure. You still buying breakfast afterward?”
“Yeah. Looks like I’m also buying pizza right now,” Jordan said as he came back out of
the kitchen, frowning. “Nothing in the fridge. Want to split an order?”
“No olives on my half,” I reminded him, like I did every time we ordered pizza. Maybe I
thought he’d forget between orders or something, despite the fact that we’d basically
Starting With the Unexpected (Andi Van) ‐‐ Excerpt
grown up together. “I’ll pay for the pizza. I’ll even go grocery shopping tonight if you
want.”
Jordan came back into the living room, dropped onto the couch next to me, and rested his
head on my shoulder. When I glanced down at him, he fluttered his eyelashes at me.
“Best housemate ever. Doesn’t steal my girlfriends, keeps me company at work, and does
the grocery shopping. If I were at all interested in men, I’d marry you.”
“Uh, no,” I said, smothering a grin. “Because that would mean I’d have to have sex with
you. Just…. No. Ew.” I already teased him about how he was my mom’s favorite son. It
would’ve been like having sex with a sibling or something.
“Yeah, okay, that’d be a bit too much like incest,” Jordan agreed.
“Right. So order us some pizza like a good boy and quit grossing me out.”
Before he could say something smart back to me, my phone started to chime. Jordan
practically pounced me to get at it, and I ended up with a lap full of roommate. “Is it
her?”
“Good lord,” I sighed, pushing him off me. “Seriously, she just got dumped. Don’t be
such a dog.” I held my phone out of his reach and glared at him. “Pizza. Go. Now.”
“You’re no fun anymore,” Jordan grumbled, heading back to the kitchen where he would
likely dig through the latest specials from our favorite pizza place. When I was sure he
was occupied, I read the messages.
I’d say awesome and not pathetic.
You guys have made me smile for the first time in over 24 hours. Thank you.
So sorry you got blindsided by my rage texts. Thanks for letting me know and for having
a sense of humor.
Tell your roomie I’m flattered but not looking. Roasted marshmallows sound good
though.
We’d made someone with a broken heart smile. Mission accomplished.
By the time Jordan and I had polished off our pizza, written down a shopping list,
watched an extremely bad and unintentionally hilarious movie involving sharks, and said
good night when Jordan left for work, the heartbroken girl was forgotten.
Little did I know that she wouldn’t stay forgotten for long. Those wrong number texts
were about to make some big ripples in my life.

DESPITE THE popular trend to automate radio stations, the tiny one I worked for
couldn’t manage that. Some days I was amazed we were on the air at all. Because we
were so small and underequipped, the morning show had to be recorded live during drive
time, which meant my workday started around three in the morning. This also meant that,
during one broadcast when my cohost was feeling particularly evil, there had been no
way for me to stop our entire audience from hearing her play a recording of me singing
“Material Girl” at the top of my lungs after a night that involved far too much alcohol.
Obviously there was a downside to recording live.
On the plus side, she’d refrained from sharing my rendition of Captain and Tennille’s
“Love Will Keep Us Together” from the same evening, so that was something.
The odd hours made Sunday nights particularly difficult for me, though it helped that
Jordan basically had the same schedule I did. Unfortunately he also had the same
propensity to stay up far too late on my days off, despite the fact that he worked seven
days a week.
When I stumbled into the station carrying two cups of liquid caffeine, my evil bitch
cohost—who I adored, incidentally—was waiting for me.
“You look like shit,” Kat said gleefully as she took the caramel-mocha-whatever she
always made me get her.
“I love you too,” I growled. “Got anything interesting to talk about this morning?”
Research into local news, current events, and interesting bits we thought the listeners
would enjoy took up a good portion of our working hours. As much as I would have liked
to have been able to tell people we made everything up on the fly, it just wasn’t true. We
spent a lot of time throwing ideas back and forth, writing out notes, and scripting funny
bits that we thought we really ought to have scripted. I was just grateful we no longer had
to run the content of the show by our boss.
“A couple of things,” Kat answered. “How was your weekend?”
I started to answer her with my usual “fine” when the brokenhearted girl from the other
night popped into my head. I took a sip of my chai latte to give myself a few moments to
figure out how I wanted to word my answer. “I have a funny but kind of sad story about
my weekend that we might be able to work into the show, but it might cause a bit of a
stir,” I admitted. Discussing the need to burn your ex’s things could potentially be
hilarious, but could also be polarizing if people who’d had their things burned were still
upset about it. But then, really, everything was polarizing. We’d gotten hate mail over an
episode where we joked about rubber duckies, for God’s sake.
“Would the stir be from the boss or from the public?” Kat asked, arching an elegant
eyebrow as she peered over her coffee cup.
“Public,” I told her. “See, it started with these random texts….”
And so, when five o’clock hit and we welcomed everyone to “Kat and Zach in the
Morning,” Kat started off the show by asking me how my weekend had been.
“Well,” I said slowly, “I got a very interesting set of texts from the wrong number. That
leads me into our first question of the morning. If you discovered your lover sleeping
with your sibling, would you feel justified in having a nice little bonfire with the crap
they’d left at your place? We have a poll up on our website, and at the end of the show,
we’ll let you know the results.”
“I’ll admit that cheating is a pretty messed-up thing,” Kat said. “But what if it was an
accident?”
I snorted. “What, like they were both accidentally naked and she tripped and accidentally
impaled herself on his—”
Kat grabbed the bike horn we used to censor each other and cut my words off with a loud
honk. “Point made. Never mind.”
My phone vibrated in my pocket, but I wasn’t about to check it while we were on air.
“Not that I’d know what’s impossible between a man and a woman, of course, but it
seems pretty unlikely to me.”
That was one of the fantastic things about working for the station I worked for. I went
into my interview fresh out of college and announced to them that I was very gay and
very out. My boss had seen that as a draw, and our tiny station had gained a devoted
following of listeners from the LGBT community thanks to the gamble he’d taken in
putting me on the air after telling me to just be myself. The previous year, Kat and I had
even been asked to join the Pride Parade, and we’d already been invited back for the next
year’s events. It was another reason we got hate mail, but our supporters far outnumbered
our adversaries. We were too small a station to cause a huge stir.
The topic shifted, and we followed our notes until the first commercial break, at which
point I pulled out my phone to check my messages.
Oh my fucking God, I rage-texted Zach Blaise??
I laughed. I couldn’t help it. And then I sighed and hoped I wouldn’t have to change my
number. I’d been on the wrong end of “oh my God, you’re a local celebrity” before,
despite the fact that I wasn’t really that well-known, and I didn’t care to deal with it again.
You did. Now that you know my name, can I get yours?
It took a little longer than usual before I got a response, and for a moment I wondered if I
was going to get an answer at all.
When my friends want to piss me off, they call me Marian.
If it pisses you off, why give me that name? I asked. It seemed weird to give someone a
name you didn’t really want to go by.
Like I’m going to give someone I don’t know my real name, even if you are Zach Blaise.
Smart, I told her. In that case, when my friends want to piss me off, they call me Ollie.
Can I call you Mari?
Only if you pronounce it MAHR-ee, and not like Mary. Why Ollie?
Middle name’s Oliver. Commercial break’s almost up. Enjoy the show.
I grinned as I put my phone away. Mari had spirit, and I could see us being friends. Who
couldn’t use more friends? Maybe I’d end up setting her up with Jordan after all, once
she was over her ex. She was definitely our kind of people.
The commercial break came to an end, and I put it out of my head and focused on the
next segment of the show.

Book Links:

Goodreads | Dreamspinner | DSP Paperback | Amazon | ARe | B&N | Google Play

Author Bio:

Andi Van lives near San Diego with a small fluffy thing named Koi, a baseball bat that’s forever being used for things other than baseball, and a fondness for rum and caffeine (though not necessarily together).

Andi is fluent in three languages (English, sarcasm, and profanity), and takes pride in a highly developed—if somewhat bizarre—sense of humor.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr


Praise for ANDI VAN

“I loved Zachary and Marcus and I loved Zachary’s parents and Jordan. It was a nice read and definitely a book I would re-read again if I was in the mood for something sweet.”

—On Top Down Under Reviews, on “Starting With the Unexpected”

“As it is, I find this story a lovely addition for all the fans of paranormal romance.”

—MM Good Book Reviews, on “A Swift Herd for Solstice”

Other titles by this author:

ASHfS

5 Star Review of “Tequila Mockingbird” (Sinners 3) by Rhys Ford

Moonbeams over Atlanta welcomes Rhys Ford back for a guest post AND a review of Tequila Mockingbird which released on June 27, 2014!  They are actually separate posts this time so make sure you check out the guest post from Rhys Ford too.

 

The Review:

Rhys provided the story to me for an honest review along with A Devil’s Brew.  Thank you.  I absolutely love the Sinners series and can’t wait for another installment. 🙂

5 Stars

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As per usual, Rhys continues to keep Sinners’ series flowing well.

We are introduced to Lieutenant Connor Morgan of SFPD’s SWAT division and the return of the Morgan clan with his first scene: A raid on a trailer for drugs that turns out to have a murdered man he tried to save.  Enter the murdered man’s adopted son Forest Ackerman, a drummer who’s trouble with a capitol T.  Connor is the the eldest son in the family who has everything worked out—a career in law enforcement, a nice house, and a typical family. He doesn’t expect to fall in love with a man that started with comforting Forest after that raid. Trouble comes in the form of attacks on his coffee shop intent on killing Forest, and Connor steps in to save him.  Through it all, Connor and Forest circle one another like magnets as they fall in love.

And fall in love they do.  I liked that there were more suspense and a little darker with the scenes.  It provided a realism that brings depth to the series, the characters, and the lives of everyone touched.  We see more of the Morgan clan, including Connor’s parents Donal and Brigid, and all of the sisters and brothers.  It’s great to see more secondary characters get into the action.  I enjoyed it immensely and would love to see more, especially with Quinn. 🙂

With this, I give Tequila Mockingbird 5 stars.

Eloreen Moon

Book Links:

Goodreads | Dreamspinner

5 Star Review of “A Devil’s Brew” (Sinners 2.5) by Rhys Ford, Interview, and a Giveaway!

This is a double post with a review of A Devil’s Brew AND an interview with Rhys Ford!  Pull up your comfy chair, grab your coffee (or tea), and read on…be sure to read the entire post.  There’s a giveaway at the end. 🙂

 

First, The Review:

Rhys provided the story to me for an honest review.  Thank you.  I absolutely love the Sinners series and can’t wait for the next installment. 🙂

5 Stars

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I have to say that when I finished it, I wanted it to be longer. 😉  Then it would defeat the purpose of being a novella, as Rhys so graciously pointed out to me…

We see Miki, the lead singer, and Damien, his best friend and guitarist, looking in a jewelry story for a Valentine’s Day present for Sionn, Damien’s lover.  Much drama ensues while they are there and it kicks off Miki’s angst when it comes to his lover, Kane Morgan, and his feelings on Valentine’s in general, and his lover’s happiness with his own presents in specific.  It it woven well, and I love how it is written.  While it had been a while since I had read Whiskey and Wry, it was easy to pick up the names again without having to pull up a character chart.   The secondary characters are present and makes you fell like they are primary characters.  It was fun, and despite the angst, light and short to give a better understanding of Miki and his character.  And the sex is hot, too. 🙂

Because of the wonderfulness that is A Devil’s Brew, I give it 5 Stars.

Eloreen Moon

The Devils Brew Rhys Ford Cover_small

And now,  The Interview:

Rhys contacted me after I had agreed to review A Devil’s Brew looking to grab some space to promote it’s release this month and Tequila Mockingbird next month.  Be sure to come back for a guest post and review in celebration of Tequila Mockingbird‘s release at the end of June.

Please welcome Rhys Ford to Moonbeams over Atlanta!

Thank you for letting me be here.

Thank you for  participating! So, please provide a summary of Rhys Ford to the readers. 😉

Ah, a summary? I was born and raised in Hawai’i and am now in San Diego. I am owned by three cats, two dogs, a few laptops and a vintage Pontiac Firebird. Oh, and I write. *grins*

What inspired you to write your first book? 

I was actually twelve when I wrote my first book. I remember writing it but don’t recall what it was about. It couldn’t have been any good. Hell, I can’t even tell you the genre. It probably was pretentious and angsty. God only knows. I’ve been writing and daydreaming since as long as I could remember.

On average, how long does it take you to write a book in general and The Devil’s Brew in specific?

The Devil’s Brew is hard to judge because it started off as a short story then increased to a novella. So a couple of months. Some things come very easily and others I fight with. The one I’m writing right now is a fight.

The Devil’s Brew is between Whiskey & Wry and Tequila Mockingbird (set to release at the end of June) in the Sinners series.  Do you plan on more books in the series?

There will be one more band-related book called Sloe Ride then a Miki and Kane focused book which doesn’t have a name yet. That’ll deal with Miki’s issues from his past. And probably how he’s going to deal with Brigid who really does love him—he’s just wary of parental figures in general.

I really like your covers.  What is your process from concept to finished cover?

I have no process. Usually I go with my gut. Some of them I really like and others I am all…what was I thinking? It’s hard to find good stock photo because so many of the really nice guys are taken and used by so many people. I might have to stalk gyms to get pretty guys on my own. Really, that’s the hardest part of it.

How many of your Sinners characters were sparked by real-life examples?

Wow. Um… Brigid and Donal are probably amalgamation of relatives I have. There’s a lot of me in Miki. Damie—no clue. He just fit into Miki’s character so well. And well, who wouldn’t want a Morgan?

How much research did you do for the Sinners series?

Not a lot of research because most of it is emotional stuff. The murdering part is stuff I pick up over the years. Bodies are dismayingly easy to dispose of but evidence is always lingering. San Francisco’s background probably is where I spent the most research. I always want to make sure the city flows well in the stories.

Where there any things you found in research that surprised you?

Oddly enough I found out Cousin Oliver from the Brady Bunch was the bus driver in Sharknado. That surprised me a hell of a lot.

What story, or stories, are you working on at the moment?

I am currently working on Down and Dirty, a side story featuring Cole’s younger brother Ichiro and Bobby Dawson, Cole’s very badly behaved best friend. It’s a bit of a fight because I can’t kill anyone. Really, a well placed bloodbath is never to be discounted. *nods*

What is one random fact about yourself that no one knows about?

God, I think I’m pretty open about everything. One random fact? Um… I don’t like pears? Well people know about that. Wow. Huh. I’ve got nothing. No dark secrets. Or if I do, I’ve conveniently forgotten them. *grins*

Thank you for having me and I hope you enjoy the novella! I am so appreciative of everything you’ve done for me here. Thank you again!

You are very welcome, Rhys.  Come back anytime.

And that concludes our interview with Rhys Ford!

Oh! I promised a giveaway. 🙂

Finally…The Giveaway:

Rhys has graciously agreed to provide one ebook copy of her backlist to one lucky commentator to this post.  This does not include A Devil’s Brew.  Please make sure you leave an email address so she can contact you for your choice of book and format.  Giveaway ends on 5/25/2014 at 11:59 PM.  I will be picking with random.org and will provide the lucky winner’s information to Rhys within 24-48 hours.  I will announce it here as well.

You must be 18+ in order to participate.

Good luck!

Book Links:

Goodreads | Dreamspinner