Moonbeams over Atlanta welcomes another great new release from Rhys Ford! 🙂
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.
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.
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
A 300-word story should be easy, right? Many of our entrants say it’s the hardest thing they’ve ever written.
Queer Sci Fi’s Annual Flash Fiction Contest challenges authors to write a complete LGBTQ speculative fiction micro-story on a specific theme. “Flight” leaves much for the authors to interpret—winged creatures, flight and space vehicles, or fleeing from dire circumstances.
Some astonishing stories were submitted—from horrific, bloodcurdling pieces to sweet, contemplative ones—and all LGBTQ speculative fiction. The stories in this anthology include AI’s and angels, winged lions and wayward aliens. Smart, snappy slice of life pieces written for entertainment or for social commentary. Join us for brief and often surprising trips into 110 speculative fiction authors’ minds.
The book us available in eBook form (4.99), and will soon be available in paperback with b/w illustrations inside (12.99) and in a special collector’s edition with color illustrations (24.99).
We lay on the earth caressed by its illusionary
Comfort, as we recover from love’s flight.
“We have to go back, you know,” I say
Wistfully, wanting things to be different.
“I know,” he says wistful as well.
So, I’m being an official author (as opposed to an unofficial one??? *shrug* dunno) and will be doing an hour-long author chat over at Rainbow Gold Reviews (RGR) Facebook 2nd Anniversary Marathon Author Chat event. I will be online over there with Adan DePiaz (co-author of Coil Me Up) and Annabeth Albert starting at 10 PM CDT (Central) until 11 PM CDT. That’s 11 PM EDT (Eastern) for me. *G* There will be time zone converting on the event page. I think.
Come join us for a celebration of RGR’s 2nd Anniversary (of which I have been a part of since the beginning) where there are more than 50 authors to chat with in the LGBT writing arena (including myself), prizes, giveaways, prizes, chats, prizes… did I mention prizes? *BIG GRIN* It starts at midnight CDT 4/1/2016 and lasts until midnight 4/2/2016.
I’ll be in and out during the day because… work.
So bring your questions about our works. Bring your questions about any authors participating. Who knows? You may get a prize for participating…
Today Moonbeams over Atlanta is very lucky to be interviewing Lilah Suzanne author of Broken Records. In addition, there is a review of the book and a contest at the end of the post.
Hi Lilah, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Write something from your character’s point of view as a child. (Holiday, first kiss, anything.)
On Sunday mornings the barbershop opens later, that way Nico’s dad can check the equipment and order more shampoo and pomade and talc and THOSE little paper cups for coffee, the sandalwood scented shave cream that lingers on his hands, and the barbicide that spills on Nico’s shirt when he drops the scissors and combs into the jars of disinfectant too hard sometimes.
So Sunday mornings mean shopping with Mom. And Lucas.
Who stands in front of the automatic doors with his hand held up flat, as if he’s using The Force to open them. But Nico knows they’re motion sensitive and it has nothing to do with Star Wars. And yet somehow Lucas is the one who gets straight A’s.
Mom hands them each a list of produce items. His has:
Sugar Snap Peas
Red Bell Pepper (two)
Lucas darts off right away, shoving past Nico to get a head start. Lucas’ left shoe is untied and his pants are three inches too short, his T-shirt has a hole in the seam of one sleeve and is for a TV show called Earthworm Jim that isn’t even on TV anymore. Nico glares at him, then moves on to his list.
Sugar Snap Peas is easy. Nico picks crunchy pea pods without any brown spots or broken tops. Makes sure they’re firm and bright green. He gets a plastic bag and uses the tongs to carefully scoop in just enough for four servings.
The Red Bell Pepper (two) is next in the produce section, stuck in with the vegetables even though Nico learned ages ago that bell peppers aren’t vegetables because they have seeds. Like kindergarten ages ago. He finds two bright crisp no mushy-spot peppers. He notices they match his shirt: long-sleeve button down, red. Suspenders, red and black striped. Black pants. He’s also wearing the black and white saddle shoes he requested for his tenth birthday that are still in tiptop shape four months later, even though Mom thought they were too fancy for a boy who plays baseball in the mud sometimes.
As if he would wear saddle shoes to play baseball.
Lucas finishes first, because he picks the very first fruits and vegetables he can get his hands on. Lucas’ list:
Apples (he gets baking apples even though the apples are to be packed for school lunches and not baked into pies. Three of them. Why three? Who knows.)
Spinach (loose) (he gets mixed greens with spinach. Prewashed. Not the same thing. Sigh.)
Bananas (some of them have spots already. They’ll go bad too fast and his mom will make banana bread with walnuts with them. Yuck.)
Sunday morning grocery store visits with Mom means Lucas will brag about winning the grocery-treasure-hunt contest and mom will say, boys! Enough. It doesn’t matter who wins.
But it’s fine, because Nico knows who really won. And it’s the guy who would never choose a mushy brown spotted honey dew melon which is not “basically a cantaloupe,” Lucas, because some people have taste and standards.
It’s him. The real winner. Nico. Just to be clear. Lucas does The Force again on the way out. Nico rolls his eyes. Sigh.
First, I have to say that I like it. I liked it a lot. I’m always a sucker for music stars and Grady Dawson is no exception, even though he’s into country music. Not a large fan of country music, but I do enjoy some artists so it was somewhat believable to me. We meet Nico Takahashi after having a very trying day with a diva starlet and all he wants to do is get away from it all. He “meets” Grady with a magazine photo shoot that provides some eye candy but he doesn’t read the article that goes along with it. He immediately meets Grady not too long after and commences the journey of Nico fighting his attraction to Grady because he thinks he’s a player, while Grady pursues because he thinks Nico is the one he’s looking for. A series of mis-information ensues, hot sex, and journeys from California to Tennessee and back again.
It has a great flow of words. I’m only a little leary of Nico’s almost whining in the beginning about his lot in life, but for the most part it wasn’t terrible. He did grow on you and does realize his love for Grady. Grady stayed mostly constant as his personality and desires were revealed throughout the story. Both have great depth and made them seem real. It does have a happy ending, and I enjoyed it.
With this, I give Broken Records 4 out of 5 stars.
Author Name: Lilah Suzanne
Book Name: Broken Records
Series: Spotlight, Book One
Release Date: December 17, 2015
Pages or Words: 280 pages
Categories: Bisexual, Contemporary, Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance
Publisher: Interlude Press
Cover Artist: Victoria S. with CB Messer
Los Angeles-based stylist Nico Takahashi loves his job—or at least, he used to. Feeling fed up and exhausted from the cutthroat, gossip-fueled business of Hollywood, Nico daydreams about packing it all in and leaving for good. So when Grady Dawson—sexy country music star and rumored playboy—asks Nico to style him, Nico is reluctant. But after styling a career-changing photo-shoot, Nico follows Grady to Nashville where he finds it increasingly difficult to resist Grady’s charms. Can Nico make peace with show business and all its trappings, or will Grady’s public persona get in the way of their private attraction to each other?
Title: Indigo Road
Author: R.J. Jones
Genre: New Adult, Gay Romance, Contemporary
Cover artist: Meredith Russell
Two best friends take a year off to find themselves… and end up finding each other.
Joshua Simpson has just finished four years at Purdue University, but that’s not why he’s buzzing with excitement. Once they’ve said goodbye to their families, Josh and his best friend Alex are taking off to discover America in an old but reliable VW van, planning on not seeing snow for an entire year.
Josh has always considered himself straight—except for that one time in college—so when he and Alex are living in such close proximity on the road, he’s unsure what these new feelings mean. Is it because they’re spending 24/7 together, or is it something deeper? And does it really matter since Josh has only ever seen Alex with women?
While in Oregon, Josh meets Johnno, a sexy but confusing Aussie surfer. While having an impromptu surfing lesson, Johnno helps Josh realize who he is and what he wants—but Alex’s reaction leaves Josh confused.
From a Montana ranch to the bright lights and dangerous streets of Los Angeles to a dark and lonely deserted highway in Alabama, join Josh and Alex as they drive around the US, discovering not only who they are, but who they can be together.
“Johnno kissed me. I didn’t instigate it but I didn’t push him away either, at least not to begin with. And…” I hurried on, needing to tell him everything. “And I’m glad he did. I’m glad he kissed me. He made me realize that kissing a guy wasn’t as weird as I thought it would be. It was right, but wrong at the same time. Kissing a guy was right, but not him. He wasn’t right.”
I searched Alex’s eyes, hoping he understood. He looked drained, emotionally wrung out, but there was a tiny spark of hope in his gaze. I stepped closer, bringing our bodies in line until I could feel his warmth seep into my bones. I stood on tiptoe and leaned forward slightly, our mouths just an inch apart. Alex’s lips parted on a breath, but he didn’t close the gap. If I wanted to kiss him, I had to make the effort. He wasn’t going to meet me halfway.
Closing my eyes, I brushed my lips gently over his. They were softer than I remembered from my fever-induced haze but just as sweet. Our mouths moved together hesitantly, testing. Did Alex still want this? Did he want me to kiss him after I’d just kissed Johnno? God help me if he didn’t, because this was right. Alex’s mouth on mine, my hands on his skin, was right.
I removed my hands from his shirt, intending to break apart so I could see his reaction, but just as I was about to move, Alex brought his arms around me, holding me prisoner. He tilted his head and deepened the kiss. I had no choice but to open for him as he explored my mouth, and I melted against him, my hands circling his waist. Our lips and tongues tangled together as we discovered a side of each other we’d never known before. Alex kissed with a passion I hadn’t suspected he possessed. This kiss wasn’t at all like the one I shared with the strange Australian. This kiss was filled with possibilities, with plans for the future, and it lasted for what seemed like an eternity.
This kiss was right.
The need for oxygen was the only reason we broke apart, albeit reluctantly. Alex rested his forehead against mine as we caught our breath and it mingled in the small space between us.
In the distance I could hear hollering, and I looked toward the dunes, wondering what it was. Johnno was standing on the top of a dune, cheering. I waved, wrapping my other arm around Alex and resting my head against his shoulder.
Johnno gave us a final cheer and a wave before jumping down the other side of the sand, disappearing.
“I should thank him, you think?” Alex asked, nodding in the direction that Johnno had stood.
“I would’ve kissed you eventually, but yeah, he just made me do it sooner.”
Prizes: 1 ecopy of Indigo Road; 1 ecopy of any RJ Jones’ backlist titles, winner’s choice
R.J. Jones started as a reader and eventually made the progression to reviewing. It wasn’t until two men popped into her thoughts, insisting on telling her their story that she started to write.
It started with one scene. A hot and dirty one in the shower…
R.J.’s initial thought was if she could write their scene then they’d shut up and allow her to concentrate on other aspects of her day. Not so. That shower scene ended up being 3000 words long and three hours of work. And still, they didn’t shut up. They told her their entire story and she didn’t sleep for days. Sometimes she couldn’t keep up with what they were telling her and she had to keep a notebook by her bed.
Whilst she was writing their story a side character decided he needed his story told too. Then other characters followed suit.
You see the problem? If she ever wants to sleep again then she needs to write.
R.J. is a wife and a mother to two boys. She is surrounded by males. Even her dog is a boy.
R.J. Jones can be found at:
*taps the microphone*
I’m considering submitting to a publisher a story I had been writing off and on (mostly off) since 2012 as story falls within the Special Submission story request they want for 2016. That’s kind of cool. My story was inspired by a different submission call but I didn’t finish it in time. Maybe they will accept it, maybe the won’t. But it would be fun to try. If I get it in early enough, maybe they will publish in January… nah, I’m not going to be that lucky. 🙂
It just got real. Now I have to research contracts, guidelines, and edit my story so it fits the maximum word count. And maybe email questions, like can it be slightly over the maximum… *head thunk on desk*
Never done this before so this will be a learning experience. I had been waffling on self publishing versus going with a publishing house for awhile now. Then I saw a tweet on this particular publishing house call and it struck a cord in me. Probably will self publish some stories but if it fits, or I get inspired by a submission call, yeah, going to try. The worse that they can do is say no, right? Then it might be polished enough to send to another publishing house. It will be painful if they reject it, but then I can say I tried and then try again. Maybe I can finish a couple of others I’ve got kicking around…
I read the particulars on the special call, and then went back to my story to see if it would fit the theme. Pretty good, I think so. Holy crap, I already had the maximum word count. When did I do that? Oh, last modified date: July 2015… I must have had an inspiration moment because I thought I had last worked on it in Feb. 🙂 Tells you how much I remembered writing an extra 3k words this summer…
So, I started editing it today to try to scrunch it down a bit without loosing the story. Ending had to be redone since it wasn’t really an ending… and then I made it longer. Back to the beginning and go through it with a fine tooth comb. And finish my gift exchange secret santa purchasing…and research a bit. And I have to have a blurb, and a summary, and an editor. That’s probably too many and’s. Ugh. I have some beta readers I’m going to send to. Should be interesting what they say. I’ll keep everyone posted.
I’m going to start back on other works in progress too. Not sure when, or how they will get finished. But my (early) New Year’s resolution will be to write more. If I get published, all the better. If this doesn’t work, I’ll at least have experience. And maybe another story will. 🙂 Wish me luck everyone.
Merry Christmas, Happy Yule, Happy Channakah, and Happy Holidays everyone.
*squeals a bit as she turns off the microphone* Darn things.
**edited note: I love finding random characters because my cat is laying his head on the keyboard AFTER I publish. Sorry about that.*
Title: It’s Not Yule, It’s Me
Author: Michael P. Thomas
Genre: Gay Romance, Holiday themed, Comedy
Length: 15,700 words
Publisher: JMS Books
Shannon hates Christmas. Mostly because Christmas hates him. It sure seems like it, anyway: every crummy thing that’s happened to him since high school has befallen him at the Most Wonderful Time of the Year. Every humiliating break-up, every high-rise hotel fire—heck, a few years back, one guy he had the hots for up and died. Which goes a long way toward explaining why he’s a whimpering mess when he meets Ben the barista one Christmas morning at his neighborhood coffee house. It doesn’t completely excuse his using Ben’s T-shirt as a handkerchief—while Ben’s still in it—but Ben’s nothing if not a good sport. Ben’s such a bright spot that after a while Shannon wonders if maybe his Christmas Curse hasn’t been lifted. And what better place to test this theory than at Ben’s family festivities? It’s not like Christmas is actually cursed.
“I’m Shannon, by the way,” he eventually says. “Have we done that already?”
“I don’t think so. Not officially, anyhow. I’m Ben.”
“You don’t sound French.”
“You should hear me arguing on the phone with my mom.”
“I mean ‘Ben.’ Doesn’t sound like a very French name.”
“Maybe not, but Benoît is more trouble than it’s worth.”
I was born in France, but raised in Colorado; I’ve only been to France a handful of times, none of them recent. My mother was born in this country and raised in Washington, DC, but by French parents. Her mother is ethnically Gujarati, but French by virtue of being from Réunion. We’re still parsing the extent of my French-ness when Seth rolls in, only fifteen minutes late.
“Hiya, Benny-Boy” he warbles, planting a kiss on the top of my head as he swoops by; Seth enjoys flaunting his straight-but-not-narrow status. “What’s goin’ on?”
“What you get is what you see,” I tell him.
“Zis what Santa brought you?” He jerks his chin at Shannon, makes a show of sizing us up as a party of two. “You musta been a pretty good boy this year.”
“Ix-nay on the Anta-Say,” I scold Seth, although we’re all three laughing. I get up from the table and bus it clean by way of making preparations to call it a day.
“Rough trip down the chimney, eh?” Seth says, waggling his eyebrows.
“Pretty much the worst euphemism ever,” I assure him as I shrug into my jacket.
He laughs, offers me a fist bump and a “Peace out,” both of which I return.
“So …” I say to Shannon, sidling up to him. “I’m done here. You wanna get a drink or something?”
“It’s like noon.”
“It’s Christmas Day.”
“Dude, how hard are you gonna make me work for this? What, you never had Chinese food?”
“It’s just, I’m supposed to go to my aunt and uncle’s … it’s not that I don’t want to … maybe another time?”
I shrug. “You know where to find me.”
Michael P. Thomas is a flight attendant whose writing is continually inspired by his work with the flying public, who flatly refuse to be boring. The author of three novel-length gay romances and a number of romantic and erotic shorts, he writes gay fiction because when he was coming out he sure was glad to have it to read. After misspending his youth in San Francisco, he now lives in his native Colorado with his husband.
Please welcome M. LeAnne Phoenix to Moonbeams over Atlanta with a cover reveal for The Covenant! See the end of the post for a Rafflecopter entry to win a $10 Amazon gift card!
Author Name: M. LeAnne Phoenix
Book Name: The Covenant
Series: Covenant Series, Book 1
Release Date: January 15, 2016
Pages or Words: 280 pages, 71,000 words
Categories: Gay fiction, M/M Romance, New Adult, Poetry, Romance
Publisher: CoolDudes Publishing
Cover Artist: Kellie Dennis
When love is forbidden, who can you trust?
Seventeen year old David has been best friends with Jonathan for as long as he can remember, but the day he sees the pastor’s daughter press a soft kiss to Jonathan’s cheek everything changes. Overcome by jealousy, his explosive reaction reveals a deeper connection that sends their relationship spiraling down into dangerous territory.
When their clandestine love is discovered, they have nowhere to turn for help. The brutal circumstances of their parting test David and Jonathan’s covenant to each other in unimaginable ways. Forced to face their fears, it is in their darkest moments that the two young men discover that the courage, hope, and strength they need to to fight for their love, has been the foundation of their covenant all along.
An another Rhys Ford review on release day! This is for Fish Sticks Fridays here on Moonbeams over Atlanta.
Bad boy Deacon Reid fought for his niece, Zig, after his sister passed away, and has settled in Half Moon Bay. Lang Harris grew up a rich kid and actually owns a lot of Half Moon Bay. Together, they dodge people trying to kill them, fires, and things that go boom. In between they discover each other and strive to make their own family.
Deacon and Lang are hot together. They are real and learning to love, in their own ways. They each have their own brand of baggage and angst. Who doesn’t? Zig is cute in her tutus and combat boots with her own issues and nightmares entwined with Deacon and Lang, and tied up with why they are being hunted. I didn’t see the reason until almost to the end. Rhys did a great job of the overall mystery arc. I love the realism, suspense, and mystery in this new series and can’t wait for the next one.
With this, I give Fish Stick Fridays 5 stars.
Deacon Reid was born bad to the bone with no intention of changing. A lifetime of law-bending and living on the edge suits him just fine—until his baby sister dies and he finds himself raising her little girl.
Staring down a family history of bad decisions and reaped consequences, Deacon cashes in everything he owns, purchases an auto shop in Half Moon Bay, and takes his niece, Zig, far away from the drug dens and murderous streets they grew up on. Zig deserves a better life than what he had, and Deacon is determined to give it to her.
Lang Harris is stunned when Zig, a little girl in combat boots and a purple tutu, blows into his bookstore, and then he’s left speechless when her uncle, Deacon Reid, walks in hot on her heels. Lang always played it safe, but Deacon tempts him to step over the line… just a little bit.
More than a little bit. And Lang is willing to be tempted.
Unfortunately, Zig isn’t the only bit of chaos dropped into Half Moon Bay. Violence and death strike, leaving Deacon scrambling to fight off a killer before he loses not only Zig but Lang too.
Buy Link: Dreamspinner Press
Title: Fish Stick Fridays
Author: Rhys Ford
Series: Half Moon Bay, Book 1
Print Length: 204 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Published Date: November 30, 2015
Cover Artist: Reece Notley
Rhys Ford was born and raised in Hawai’i then wandered off to see the world. After chewing through a pile of books, a lot of odd food, and a stray boyfriend or two, Rhys eventually landed in San Diego, which is a very nice place but seriously needs more rain.
Rhys admits to sharing the house with three cats of varying degrees of black fur, and a ginger cairn terrorist. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird, a Toshiba laptop, and a red Hamilton Beach coffee maker.
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