Friday, December 30, 2016

Review: History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund

Blurb from Goodreads:
Linda has an idiosyncratic home life: her parents live in abandoned commune cabins in northern Minnesota and are hanging on to the last vestiges of a faded counter-culture world. The kids at school call her 'Freak', or 'Commie'. She is an outsider in all things. Her understanding of the world comes from her observations at school, where her teacher is accused of possessing child pornography, and from watching the seemingly ordinary life of a family she babysits for. Yet while the accusation against the teacher is perhaps more innocent than it seemed at first, the ordinary family turns out to be more complicated. As Linda insinuates her way into the family's orbit, she realises they are hiding something. If she tells the truth, she will lose the normal family life she is beginning to enjoy with them; but if she doesn't, their son may die. 
Superbly-paced and beautifully written, HISTORY OF WOLVES is an extraordinary debut novel about guilt, innocence, negligence, well-meaning belief and the death of a child. 
My Review:
This book is as much about a place as anything, far northern Minnesota, and growing up on an isolated and frozen lake in the winter only to have it bombarded by fishermen and campers in the summer.  This is all told from Linda's point of view, as a thirteen and fourteen year old describing her childhood growing up in such a place but also providing commentary and a straight shot into her experience when a family of Christian Scientists move into a nearby cabin and tragedy strikes.  The tragedy is danced around a bit for most of the book - we get glimpses into Linda's past and current life (as an adult) but we don't really know what happens until close to the end of the book.  This built up the suspense and whoa, I did not see it coming, really.  This book was written so beautifully and felt so haunting while I was reading it.  Definitely a good winter read although we get to experience all the seasons of northern Minnesota.  My first amazing debut for 2017! 

History of Wolves comes out next week on January 3, 2017 and you can purchase HERE. I definitely recommend this one if you like atmospheric literary fiction that feels a bit like a mystery.
You know how summer goes. You yearn for it and yearn for it, but there's always something wrong. Everywhere you look, there are insects thickening the air, and birds rifling trees, and enormous, heavy leaves dragging down branches. You want to trammel it, wreck it, smash things down. The afternoons are so fat and long. You want to see if anything you do matters. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Mini Joint Reviews: Sex, Love & Stiletto series by Lauren Layne

Today, I'm so excited to be posting mini joint reviews of the Sex, Love and Stilletto series by Lauren Layne, which Jasprit from The Reader's Den and I recently read together!

Blurb from Goodreads:
In the first book of a delightful new series from Lauren Layne, the star columnist of Stiletto magazine will do anything for a story. Anything... except fall in love.

Julie Greene loves flings. Loves steamy first dates, sizzling first kisses, and every now and then, that first sexy romp between the sheets. Comfy pants, sleepy Sundays, movie nights on the couch? Shudder. But when Julie gets assigned the hardest story of her career—a first-person account of that magical shift between dating and "I do"—she'll need a man brave enough to give a total commitment-phobe a chance at more.

Normally, Mitchell Forbes would be exactly that man. A devastatingly hot workaholic who tends to stay in relationships for far too long, he should be the perfect subject for Julie's "research." But what Julie doesn't know is that Mitchell is looking to cut loose for once in his life. And the leggy journalist notorious for avoiding love is exactly the type of no-strings fling he's looking for. In other words, Mitchell is the polar opposite of what Julie needs right now. And, at the same time, he's exactly what she wants. 
Our Review:
The first book in the series and I think it was a good start to this series - we are, more or less, introduced to all the main players and in a fun way.  Before starting this book, I had no idea this series revolved around a magazine, Stiletto, which I imagine is sort of a Cosmopolitan equivalent.  So, Julie and Mitchell are the definitive opposites attract trope.  They start spending time with each other for less than truthful reasons - Mitchell, for a bet and Julie, for a story.  Of course, you can imagine how this truth that they neither tells the other ends.  And yet, this book was probably the most fun because Julie and Mitchell are so different - she is more of a fun-loving party girl and he is a serious nerd.  I liked them together a lot and Mitchell is, even after reading all four books, the guy with the softest spot in my heart from this series. My only serious complaint about this one, really, is how serious Julie and Mitchell got at the end - the end felt a bit over the top, cheesy and unrealistic to me in terms of the characters we've met throughout the rest of the book.  Still, a good, solid and fun start! What did you think, Jasprit?

I kind of knew how things would end for Mitchell and Julie from the very beginning of the book, despite getting with each other because of a bet, the predictability of After the Kiss, really didn’t take any of the fun away from the book at all. When I first came across Mitchell he didn’t seem like my typical guy at all, he seemed a little set in his ways and like a bit of a bore. But they say opposites attract and this couldn’t have been truer for Mitchell and Julie. I loved how their time together, bought out different sides to them and with them actually trying things they wouldn’t usually do (running for Julie and a night out clubbing for Mitchell). Both were such funny situations watching play out, but also went onto show just how deep their feelings had developed for one another.  Again there was a lot of non-communication or “plans to tell each other things” that never happened and so this did bring out a lot of drama and heartache which could have been avoided. But like Eva mentioned earlier, things did go up a whole another notch for their relationship far too quickly for my liking, not that it wasn’t apparent which way things would go for Mitchell and Julie, but I just like my books to leave me with a few things to think about instead of neatly wrapping things up far too quickly. 

Blurb from Goodreads:
As a leading columnist for Stiletto, Grace Brighton has built a career warning women about rotten, cheating liars. She just never suspected her fiancé would be one of them. After Grace takes a heart-mending hiatus, her first assignment is to go on a couple of dates with a counterpart from the men's magazine Oxford and report her impressions. Grace 1.0 may have been instantly smitten with the gorgeous correspondent, but Grace 2.0 has sworn off relationships for six months, and she's not falling for his outstanding bod and trophy-winning kisses... or is she?

Jake Malone wants to get back to the fly-by-night, who-knows-what's-next guy he used to be, and he knows exactly how to do it. Oxford is adding a travel section, and Jake—with no wife and no kids and a willingness to live anywhere, eat anything, do everything—is perfect for the job... except that his playboy reputation makes his new editor nervous. To get the gig, he must agree to a fluffy joint article with Stiletto.

But after just one date with snooty, sumptuous, sensational Grace Brighton, Jake starts taking this assignment a whole lot more seriously...
Our Review:
I had a lot of fun getting to know Julie and Mitchell in After the Kiss, so when I found out the second book would be about Grace I wasn’t so sure as I didn’t know Grace’s character that well, but once again Layne was able to turn things around and Grace quickly become a favourite. Layne so far has had a unusual set up when it comes to our characters getting to know one another, In Love the One You’re With Grace and Jake are told to go on five dates with one another, write an article about said date for their respective magazines and then let the readers decide and vote who was really falling for the other. It was a strange situation for our characters to find themselves in, but Layne really made it believable and work for me. Especially as Jake and Grace got to know each other more and the sexual tension started simmering right through the roof. Whereas in After the Kiss it took me a while to like Mitchell, I was a fan of Jake from the very beginning; he was charming, funny and just oozing sex appeal! Also after everything that Grace had been through she’d deserved a decent guy. And then when the trip to Wisconsin happened, I was utterly convinced Grace and Jake was perfect for one another. Their scenes together were smoking hot! The only thing that bugged me was the little doubts that they allowed to cloud their judgement and each other’s feelings for one another. If only they openly discussed their feelings, a lot of heartache could have been prevented along the way. That being said Jake and Grace quite quickly took top spot for favourite couple for me in this series so far! Over to Eva now to see how she got on with this book...

Jake was a bit too slick for me from the beginning but I will admit that Grace and Jake's meet-cute was fun.  I agree with you Jasprit that I was interested to see how Layne would develop Grace because her character in the first book is hung up on her boyfriend of many years (who just can just tell is going to be bad news).  Without getting into what happened in that regard, the magazine assignment for Grace and Jack was pretty laughable , at first as it turned into a way for each to one-up and embarrass the other on each date.  I agree that the trip to Wisconsin was the highlight of this one for me and the turning point.  I wasn't fully on board with this ship until that moment!  The ending, again, felt way too crazy serious and rushed to me but that's romance for you.

Blurb from Goodreads:
Riley McKenna knows sex—good sex, bad sex, kinky sex…Her articles in Stiletto magazine are consistently the publication’s most scandalous—and the most read. But Riley has a secret…all that sexy talk? Not an ounce of it comes from personal experience. Her own bedroom escapades are more limited than even her best friends know. When her editor requests that all columnists write something more personal for Stiletto’s anniversary issue, Riley turns to the one man she’s always been able to count on and calls in the favor of a lifetime.

Sam Compton would do anything for Riley McKenna. Anything except be her experimental sex toy. He refuses her request. At least until she tells him that it’ll either be him or she’ll go to someone else. And that, Sam can’t accept. Reluctantly he agrees to her terms—one night of completely meaningless sex in the name of research. Riley thinks she’s prepared for what awaits her in Sam’s bed. After ten years of writing about sex, actually doing it shouldn’t be that different, right? So wrong. What starts as “one time only” becomes “just one more time.” And then one more. And before they know it, Riley and Sam learn first-hand that when it comes to love, there’s no such thing as just one night.  
Our Review:
This was the only book I already owned prior to deciding to do this series/buddy read! I had heard it fell into the brother's best friend trope (one of my favorites) so I purchased it earlier this year but hadn't had a chance to get to it. I will say that I'm glad this wasn't the start of the series because it was my least favorite and I'm not sure I would have continued had I read it first. For some reason, I just didn't get Riley. Sam was okay but a huge part of the book was both of them, especially Sam, so focused on keeping whatever they have from Riley's brother. When it's revealed, as it inevitably would be, it was a big let down. Each of these books centers around the MC doing something kind of personal and/or outrageous for a story in the magazine. Without giving anything away, Riley's story and reasoning seemed the least tenable to me - I was just a big put off and bored by this one, especially compared to the fun of the other books in the series. I'm pretty sure this was also Jasprit's least favorite but I'll let her take it away with her thoughts . . .

Like Eva mentioned, the brother’s best friend trope is another favourite of mine too, and with the excessive bickering between Sam and Riley in the previous book and threats of Riley’s brother kicking off if Sam ever made a move on Riley, made the build up to their relationship that much more delightful to see unfold. Sam was such a great guy, always looking out for Riley and her family, things were tough with his own family, so having Riley’s family around made him appreciate them that much more. And I could get why he wasn’t confident enough in his own ability to succeed, he put so much pressure on himself to make Riley’s family proud, that he just wouldn’t allow himself to take the risk and put himself out there. I really liked this vulnerable side of Sam that we got to see, whereas Riley just came across a bit in your face and brash for my liking, and I just didn’t get that connection with her that I did with the previous characters. Their relationship however I was a huge fan of, the build up was great, but the whole nature of it being forbidden and keeping it hidden from Riley’s brother (the part I was most eager to see unravel), ended up being a whole lot of build up for no reason. And then once again we had the whole plot where things were resolved quite easily and wrapped up nicely once more. Unfortunately like Eva this was my least favourite of the series so far. 

Blurb from Goodreads:
As Stiletto magazine’s authority on all things breakup-and-heartache, Emma Sinclair writes from personal experience. Five years ago, Emma was Charlotte, North Carolina’s darling debutante and a blushing bride-to-be. Now she’s the ice queen of the Manhattan dating scene. Emma left her sultry Southern drawl behind, but not even her closest friends know that with it she left her heart. Now Emma’s latest article forces her to face her demons—namely, the devilishly sexy guy who ditched her at the altar. 

After giving up everything for a pro-soccer career, Alex Cassidy watches his dreams crumble as a knee injury sidelines him for good. Now he’s hanging up his cleats and giving journalism a shot. It’s just a coincidence that he happens to pick a job in the same field, and the same city, as his former fiancée . . . right? But when Emma moves in next door, it’s no accident. It’s research. And Alex can’t help wondering what might have been. Unlike the innocent girl he remembers, this Emma is chic, sophisticated, and assertive—and she wants absolutely nothing to do with him. The trouble is, Alex has never wanted her more.
Our Review:
The Trouble with Love actually featured another of my favourite tropes; second chance romances. And although I had started this series not really liking Emma, (that may have been because I liked the original three ladies that worked at Stiletto and didn’t want anyone else jumping on the bandwagon), she really grew on me as the series progressed. Especially when I found out about the curveball that she was hiding, I needed more of her and Alex Cassidy and their back story immediately. What I liked about their previous relationship was that we were just given snippets throughout the series about it and never really knew what the complete truth was either, usually this sort of thing bugs the heck out of me, but I really loved this aspect, that when I finally went to pick up this book, I just couldn’t wait. Alex Cassidy my gosh was smoking hot (I did keep recalling this guy from the show Power which was super annoying when thinking about Alex, but Alex really was all around the much better guy!). The relationship between Cassidy and Emma was one of my favourites, I loved how they could go from being standoffish to having so much heat, the banter was also great and their back story and where they found themselves today really went on to show that their being together was meant to be. Also the ending of this book wasn’t the typical fashion that we’d come to expect with the last couple of books, this I was a huge fan of! Over to Eva and her thoughts...

I agree that this was definitely my favorite of the series and such an awesome slow-build (relatively speaking for this series, HA) second chance romance! This trope is also one of my favorites and was done well here! Although we didn't know what happened completely between Emma and Alex in the past, it was always lurking and hinted at in all of their interactions. It was a bit unbelievable that they would fall into this situation together, working together in a city thousands of miles away from where they met, but it just worked. Alex and Emma were so great together that I was rooting for them so much! My one qualm was Emma's family and, particularly, her father and twin sister that played a big part in her first break from Alex. Not that Alex was not also in the wrong for that, but it's always upsetting when family creates drama and it's unresolved for so many years. I was glad when everything was revealed and worked out. This book also had the best (most realistic) ending of the series! And now, I think it's time to read the spin-off to this series, the Oxford series!

Thanks for reading our series joint review!!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Review: Small Admissions by Amy Poeppel

Blurb from Goodreads:
For fans of The Nanny Diaries and Sophie Kinsella comes a whip-smart and deliciously funny debut novel about Kate, a young woman unexpectedly thrust into the cutthroat world of New York City private school admissions as she attempts to understand city life, human nature, and falling in love.

Despite her innate ambition and Summa Cum Laude smarts, Kate Pearson has turned into a major slacker. After being unceremoniously dumped by her handsome, French “almost fiancé,” she abandons her grad school plans and instead spends her days lolling on the couch, watching reruns of Sex and the City, and leaving her apartment only when a dog-walking gig demands it. Her friends don’t know what to do other than pass tissues and hope for a comeback, while her practical sister, Angela, pushes every remedy she can think of, from trapeze class to therapy to job interviews.

Miraculously, and for reasons no one (least of all Kate) understands, she manages to land a job in the admissions department at the prestigious Hudson Day School. In her new position, Kate learns there’s no time for self-pity or nonsense during the height of the admissions season, or what her colleagues refer to as “the dark time.” As the process revs up, Kate meets smart kids who are unlikable, likeable kids who aren’t very smart, and Park Avenue parents who refuse to take no for an answer.

Meanwhile, Kate’s sister and her closest friends find themselves keeping secrets, hiding boyfriends, dropping bombshells, and fighting each other on how to keep Kate on her feet. On top of it all, her cranky, oddly charming, and irritatingly handsome downstairs neighbor is more than he seems. Through every dishy, page-turning twist, it seems that one person’s happiness leads to another’s misfortune, and suddenly everyone, including Kate, is looking for a way to turn rejection on its head, using any means necessary—including the truly unexpected.
My Review:
This book was everything that I had hoped Vinegar Girl would be earlier this year.  It is laugh-out-loud funny, witty, charming and just fun to read. I really enjoyed this one and seriously empathized with and understood Kate. She is a complex woman with many facets and I think the author did an amazing job with showing her growth. This book also had a few fun elements akin to one of my 2016 favorite, The Boy is Back in that certain parts of the story were told with ads, receipts, emails, etc. I definitely recommend this one if the blurb sounds at all interesting to you - this was so well done and well thought out. Also it was really feel good despite going behind the scenes of admission of an exclusive private school in New York City.  The school came alive in this fun way but didn't detract from the characters outside of their jobs.  Hard to explain, but definitely worth a read!

Small Admissions comes out next week on December 27, 2016, and you can purchase HERE.
Picking Dillon up from school was the last thing Silvia planned on doing that day or was fit to manage. She was sprawled out in bed, watching episode after episode of The Real Housewives of Who-gives-a-fuck, having taken an indeterminate amount time off work to rest her tormented mind. That's what the psychiatrist prescribed, rest and calm. And a cocktail of calming meds to take the edge off.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Review: Walk Into Silence (Detective Jo Larsen #1) by Susan McBride

Blurb from Goodreads:
A woman vanishes from a Texas town. Did she simply run off, or is something darker at play?

When Patrick Dielman shows up at Detective Jo Larsen’s desk insisting that his wife, Jenny, is missing, Jo wonders if it’s a case of a bored housewife running away.

But as she digs deeper into Jenny’s life, Jo learns that Dielman keeps a stranglehold on the family finances, down to the last nickel, and that Jenny’s first marriage dissolved following the death of her young son. By all accounts—including her doctor’s—she never recovered from the loss. Between a controlling husband, a tragic past, and a callous ex-husband, Jo can’t be sure if she should suspect foul play or accept that the woman may have wanted to disappear.

For Jo, whose own demons are shadowing her every step, finding Jenny becomes more than the typical protect-and-serve.
My Review:
I love Susan McBride!  Her Debutante Dropout series is one of my favorite cozy mystery series so I was excited to dive into this one, which is infinitely darker and much more procedural.  One thing Susan McBride excels at is writing complex, strong and surprising heroines.  Walk Into Silence is no exception with the introduction of Detective Jo Larsen. Despite having a seriously messed up childhood, Jo is dogged and determined in her pursuit of justice in this book - she scared me a bit with how cavalier she was toward her own well being in trying to solve the case in this book.  But this was definitely a great start to this new series and I look forward to more books and more Jo.  We are just getting to know her.

Walk Into Silence came out earlier this month and you can purchase HERE. I definitely recommend this one if you like kick-ass heroines and/or police procedurals.  The second book, Walk a Crooked Line, will be released in 2018!
Jo's growing up had been more Kafka than Capra. She wondered if Hank had a inkling of how much of her life she kept bottled up. If he did have questions, he didn't ask them not often, anyway. 

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Review: Every Hidden Thing by Kenneth Oppel

Blurb from Goodreads:
Somewhere in the Badlands, embedded deep in centuries-buried rock and sand, lies the skeleton of a massive dinosaur, larger than anything the late nineteenth-century world has ever seen. Some legends call it the Black Beauty, with its bones as black as ebony, but to seventeen-year-old Samuel Bolt, it’s the “rex,” the king dinosaur that could put him and his struggling, temperamental archaeologist father in the history books (and conveniently make his father forget he’s been kicked out of school), if they can just quarry it out.

But Samuel and his father aren’t the only ones after the rex. For Rachel Cartland this find could be her ticket to a different life, one where her loves of science and adventure aren’t just relegated to books and sitting rooms. And if she can’t prove herself on this expedition with her professor father, the only adventures she may have to look forward to are marriage or spinsterhood.

As their paths cross and the rivalry between their fathers becomes more intense, Samuel and Rachel are pushed closer together. Their flourishing romance is one that will never be allowed. And with both eyeing the same prize, it’s a romance that seems destined for failure. As their attraction deepens, danger looms on the other side of the hills, causing everyone’s secrets to come to light and forcing Samuel and Rachel to make a decision. Can they join forces to find their quarry, and with it a new life together, or will old enmities and prejudices keep them from both the rex and each other?
My Review:
About this book, Maggie Stiefvater wrote: "It was pitched as Indiana Jones meets Romeo & Juliet. The pitch was not wrong."  And honestly, this is why I wanted to read this!  Not only was the pitch not wrong, but this was very charming - a mix of adventure, romance, history and, of course, dinosaurs!  It was slightly rambling at times and maybe a bit too long but still super fun and descriptive.  The romance was slightly more prominent and mature than I expected (I still have a hard time figuring this to be YA and not middle grade given some of the other characterizations) but the action adventure story worked.  I was transported to the Badlands and was rooting for every archaeological find! This one would be a great Christmas gift for tweens, for sure!

Every Hidden Thing came out earlier this year and you can purchase HERE. I definitely recommend this one if you like historical, action filled YA and/or DINOSAURS!

For as long as I could remember, I'd been looking for things. As a boy it might be a warbler egg or the knuckle of an ox or the larva of a monarch butterfly. The thrill of the hunt, something lost now found. I'd kept shelves in my bedroom for my specimen boxes. They made me happy--but almost from the moment of the finding, that hunger rekindled and made me turn to something new, something more I needed to be discovering. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Spotlight: All in Fear | Out 12/1/16

Want something a bit different for the holidays? Horror has never looked this enticing! New release, All in Fear, is a gorgeous collection of horror tales from some of the hottest names in queer fiction. Be prepared to be titillated...and terrified.

All in Fear
By KJ Charles, Roan Parrish, J.A. Rock,
Steve Berman, Avon Gale, and Kris Ripper

Horror wears many faces, and its masks can be tantalizing. Some of the top names in queer fiction come together to spin their own versions of horror. Worlds rife with dark beauty and mystery, the familiar becoming terrible, creatures ethereal and alluring—and all bearing the gleam of love. Does hope lie along these grim passages or only doom? It will become clear. All in time—and all in fear.

Company by Roan Parrish
Nick Levy’s family is falling apart and he has no friends, but at least he can escape into the world of his favorite comic book series, The Face of the Vampire. Naturally, when the vampire in question shows up one day, Nick is enthralled. After all, what could be better than his own personal fantasy made real? Except that Nick isn’t exactly sure whether Michel is real or not. And when the arrival of a new boy in school promises romance, Nick sees a side of Michel he never could have imagined. This Michel is cruel, jealous . . . and he’ll do anything to keep Nick for himself.

Love Me True by Kris Ripper
Palmer's life is as good as it gets. Well, okay, so he hates his mind-numbing office job. But he's found a hot, smart, incredibly kinky guy. The sex is explosive. The power play is off the hook. And if he gets his way, Jon will soon be his husband.

When Palmer asks, Jon says yes. For the first time ever, Palmer thinks things might be really good. Sure, bad things happen in the worldto other people. But this is all he needs: Jon at the end of the day, in their bed, arms around him.

How could he have possibly been so stupid?

The Price of Meat by KJ Charles
Johanna Oakley will do anything to save her beloved Arabella from the cruelty of Mr Fogg’s madhouse—but ‘anything’ turns out to be more than she bargained for when she finds herself working for a man suspected of worse than murder. As Johanna is plunged from the horror of Sawney Reynard’s barber shop into the foul, lawless labyrinth at the heart of London, can she or anyone get out alive?

His Mouth Will Taste of Chernobyl by Steve Berman
Joining Zeta Psi isn’t Steve’s dream, it’s his dad’s. Nevertheless his dad’s gift of the mysterious Bailey flask gets Steve an in to the frat house, and maybe his best shot at being accepted on campus. But the flask’s silver sheen may only be lighting his way into the darkness at the heart of the frat—and the darkness he’s learning is within himself. Steve wants to choose who he is, but choices are dropping like flies as he learns the true mystery of the Bailey flask. How does he give back a gift that’s also a curse?

Legion: A Love Story by Avon Gale




Beauties by J.A. Rock
When Dr. Lester Usole attends an event at AI developer Carnificiality, he’s introduced to Beauties: artificial beings designed to provide tailored sexual experiences for their human owners. Lester isn’t interested in sex—but he is fascinated by Ira, a Beauty too violent to be sold.

Lester convinces Carnificiality to give Ira to him. Lester has always wanted the chance to work with an adult AI, and around Lester, Ira isn’t violent. He’s strangely innocent, uncannily perceptive, and his company does much to ease Lester’s loneliness. Except something’s not quite right: Ira roams at night, even when Lester’s sure he’s locked Ira’s door.

Soon Lester is certain of only one thing: Ira has a secret. Something that will link their pasts and change the course of their future—if Lester is willing to face what’s on the inside.

Learn more on Goodreads.

Order it now: Publisher’s Site  |  Amazon  |  B&N  |  ARe  |   Apple  |  Kobo

“An engaging anthology of queer fiction filled with monsters, mysteries, and menace.”  — Kirkus Reviews

About the Authors:

Steve Berman
Steve Berman loves to tell stories that are both queer and weird. He was a Zeta Psi back in his college days at and remembers being hazed. He survived and graduated and even earned a Masters Degree in Liberal Studies. He has written and sold over a hundred articles, essays, and short stories. His YA novel, Vintage, was a finalist for the Andre Norton Award.

KJ Charles
KJ Charles is a writer and freelance editor. She lives in London with her husband, two kids, and a cat with murder management issues. KJ writes mostly historical romance, mostly queer, often with fantasy or horror in there.

Find her on Twitter @kj_charles, pick up book info and free reads on her website at, get the infrequent newsletter at, or join her Facebook group, KJ Charles Chat, for sneak peeks and exclusives.

Avon Gale
Avon Gale wrote her first story at the age of seven, about a “Space Hat” hanging on a rack and waiting for that special person to come along and purchase it — even if it was a bit weirder than the other, more normal hats. Like all of Avon’s characters, the space hat did get its happily ever after — though she’s pretty sure it was with a unicorn. She likes to think her vocabulary has improved since then, but the theme of quirky people waiting for their perfect match is still one of her favorites.

Avon grew up in the southern United States, and now lives with her very patient husband in a liberal midwestern college town. When she’s not writing, she’s either doing some kind of craft project that makes a huge mess, reading, watching horror movies, listening to music or yelling at her favorite hockey team to get it together, already. Avon is always up for a road trip, adores Kentucky bourbon, thinks nothing is as stress relieving as a good rock concert and will never say no to candy.

At one point, Avon was the mayor of both Jazzercise and Lollicup on Foursquare. This tells you basically all you need to know about her as a person.

Connect with Avon:
Twitter: @avongalewrites
Sign up for Avon’s Newsletter:

Roan Parrish
Roan Parrish lives in Philadelphia where she is gradually attempting to write love stories in every genre.

When not writing, she can usually be found cutting her friends’ hair, meandering through whatever city she’s in while listening to torch songs and melodic death metal, or cooking overly elaborate meals. She loves bonfires, winter beaches, minor chord harmonies, and self-tattooing. One time she may or may not have baked a six-layer chocolate cake and then thrown it out the window in a fit of pique.

Sign up for her Newsletter to receive updates about new releases, works-in-progress, and bonus materials like sneak peeks and extra scenes!
Twitter: @RoanParrish

Kris Ripper
Kris Ripper lives in the great state of California and hails from the San Francisco Bay Area. Kris shares a converted garage with a little kid, can do two pull-ups in a row, and can write backwards. (No, really.) Kris is genderqueer and prefers the z-based pronouns because they’re freaking sweet. Ze has been writing fiction since ze learned how to write, and boring zir stuffed animals with stories long before that.

The site:

The Facebook group: Ripper's Irregulars:

J.A. Rock
J.A. Rock is the author or coauthor of over twenty LGBTQ romance, suspense, and horror novels, as well as an occasional contributor to HuffPo Queer Voices. J.A. has received Lambda Literary and INDIEFAB Award nominations for Minotaur, and The Subs Club received the 2016 National Leather Association-International Pauline Reage Novel Award. J.A. lives in Chicago with an extremely judgmental dog, Professor Anne Studebaker.

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