I’m super excited about this series! The covers were designed by the awesome Natasha Snow for a collaborative project between Jayden Brooks, Nico Jaye, Cate Ashwood, J.H. Knight, and myself. We joined together to create the town of Heartsville, where all of our characters work, live, and love.
We’ll be releasing one story each day during the last week of October. Bookmarked kicks everything off on Monday, October 26th, but if you want to buy it now, I’ll list the pre-order links below. All of the titles are on sale for $0.99 (USD) from now until one week after their respective release dates, after which point they will go to their normal price of $2.99. They can all be read as standalones and in any order, but for the best reading experience, we recommend reading them all, as the characters make cameo appearances in the other books. 😀
To save his bookstore from closing, Mark Werner realizes it’s going to take a miracle—like getting reclusive, best-selling author Shepherd Knight to agree to appear for a signing.
After their disastrous last encounter, Mark doesn’t hold up much hope Shepherd will agree. Shepherd’s never made a single public appearance. In fact, Mark wouldn’t even know what he looks like had he not accidentally discovered the sexy stranger he’d been flirting with for months, aka “Tall-Dark-and-Grumpy,” was also his fanboy obsession.
But desperate times call for desperate measures. If Mark can convince Shepherd, it’ll be a major coup in the book world and might just save Bookmarked from sinking. Too bad Shepherd won’t reply to his e-mails. Yet Mark didn’t earn the reputation of having a “sunshine-and-rainbow-fart” personality for nothing. He’ll do whatever it takes to get his man… and hopefully not make a fool of himself in the process.
Welcome to the gayborhood! In the cozy town of Heartsville, the streets are lined with trees, the shops are full of friendly faces, and happily ever after is just around the corner. Come get to know the boys next door—naughty, nice, and everything in between.
Bookmarked by Piper Vaughn – Oct. 26
Buy links: Amazon, ARe, Kobo (B&N coming soon.)
Unscripted by Nico Jaye – Oct. 27
Buy links: Amazon, ARe
Another Shot by J.H. Knight – Oct. 28
Buy links: Amazon, ARe
Clique by Jayden Brooks – Oct. 29
Buy links: Amazon, Kobo, ARe
Bloom Box by Cate Ashwood – Oct. 30
Buy links: Amazon, ARe
See all the books in the Heartsville series on Goodreads.
Hey, everyone! This time of year you’ll see a bunch of these lists popping up, but I always love to share my favorite reads, so I’m hopping on the bandwagon. 🙂
Note: While these are the books I read and loved in 2014, not all of them were actually published this year. They might just be new-to-me, but I want to show them some love either way. These are all books I rated 5 stars. I’d include my 4-star reads, too, but we’d be here all day. 😉
Now, in no particular order:
Phoenix (Death Rose #1) – Melanie Tushmore
I really can’t praise this story enough. Set in the 80s, in the height of hard rock and glam metal, we have the story of artist, Alex, and his ultimate crush, guitarist Danny Death. We see Alex as a youth when he first encounters the band and follow him into adulthood. I enjoyed every minute of it.
Meatworks – Jordan Castillo Price
I think my quote from earlier this year says it all:
Life in Desmond Poole’s world is dark and messy and full of self-destructive choices. He’s not your traditional romantic hero, and Meatworks is certainly not your conventional, feel-good romance. The characters are damaged and their path to love rocky. Yet that in itself is the appeal. Jordan Castillo Price breaks molds and defies formulas. Her work is always a breath of fresh air for its grittiness and realism. Meatworks is no exception. If you’re anything like me, it’ll dig its hooks in you and refuse to let go, even weeks after you reach the final page.
These characters are flawed. They’re real. And as always, JCP is a master of her craft.
Hell & High Water (THIRDS #1) – Charlie Cochet
If you’re into M/M and you haven’t heard of Charlie’s THIRDS series, where have you been hiding? For the paranormal lovers, these books have it all. Shifters, alpha males, action, humor, smexiness, mystery. Even if you’re not a paranormal fan, you might enjoy this series. It’s definitely worth checking the first one out.
Better Than New – Charley Descoteaux
This was such a gem. It was a free short story, part of the Love’s Landscapes offerings, and dealt with a disabled hero and some hurt/comfort. I loved it from start to finish, and I highly recommend it.
Static – LA Witt
This book meant so much to me for such personal reasons that I left a comment on LA Witt’s Facebook wall to thank her mere moments after finishing it. It’s labeled as a shifter book, but it’s really so much more, and addresses gender identity issues in a way I’d never read before.
The Border – Kim Fielding
It’s no secret that I love Kim Fielding’s writing. She wrote a couple of my favorite books in the entire genre — Brute and Speechless — and her stories are never lacking in emotional depth and the sort of prose I can only hope to aspire to. This little novelette packed so much story into so few pages. It earned a spot on my favorites shelf, and I’m sure I’ll reread it again and again.
Life After Death (Infected #3) – Andrea Speed
Another not-so-secret love of mine is Speed’s Infected series… but it took me a long, long time before I worked up the courage to start this book. If you’ve read the previous books in that series, you might know why. To avoid spoilers, I won’t go into details, but I will say that my emotional journey with this book — and the entire series — will stay with me for a long time to come. Forever, in fact, since I have a tattoo in honor of the main character, Roan.
As He Watches – Finn Marlowe
This is another freebie, part of the Love Has No Boundaries stories offered from the M/M Romance Group in 2013. I have a bit of a fetish about men in lingerie, and this book hits that spot in such a good way. It’s BDSM, there’s some humiliation, and it’s hot as almighty hell. I’ve already read it twice.
Protection – SA Reid/T. Baggins
This book wrecked me. WRECKED. I only downloaded it originally because it was free on Amazon, but boy, am I glad I did. I only had the vaguest idea what it was about before it started, which was both a curse and a blessing. I didn’t know what I was getting into, but if I had, I might not have taken a chance on reading it, and that would be tragedy. This book was amazing, and definitely a standout among the books I’ve read this year.
Tequila Mockingbird – Rhys Ford
What can I say about Rhys Ford? She is amazing in every single way and has a mastery of the language I doubt I’ll ever possess. Her Sinners series is one of my faves. Love, sex, mystery, music, and characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Read her books!
That Last Thing He Needs – JH Knight
This was a great story that reminded me of one of my favorite TV shows, Shameless. This is the story of Tommy O’Shea, who is struggling to raise his seven siblings without any help from his drug and alcohol abusing parents. At its heart, this story was about family — the one you’re born into, and the one you build for yourself. I loved these characters and I’m so happy to have had a chance to be part of their world for a while.
Of Last Resort (Princes of the Blood #1) – Megan Derr
Megan Derr is one of my longtime favorite authors in M/M. I reread her stories constantly. Her Princes of the Blood series started earlier this year with Of Last Resort, which I absolutely loved. We have a plain hero rejected by his fiance when he decides to undergo the “Blooding” to try to become a Prince of the Blood. No one expects him to survive, but of course, Raffé surprises everyone, himself included. If you’re a fantasy fan, definitely check this out. The other books are just as good.
Sixty Five Hours – N.R. Walker
This is yet another free read, and it is fantastic. We have humor, enemies-to-lovers, hot sexy-times, and Walker’s engaging style and strong characters. Really, what more could you ask for?
Mark Cooper versus America – Lisa Henry & JA Rock
Yay for more lingerie! Love, love, love this book. So hilarious, so well-written, so frickin’ hot! Go forth and read it!
The Other Guy – Cary Atwell
This is a book I don’t even remember why I purchased. Something about the cover drew me in, maybe, and it sat on my Kindle for ages until I was on vacation earlier this year. Man, did I regret not reading it sooner. It was amazing. Funny, engaging, friends-to-lovers, which is one of my all-time favorite tropes. I enthusiastically recommend it, especially to those of you who like “fade to black” or non-explicit sex scenes.
(Watch Me) Break You – Avril Ashton
Avril’s stories are often dark and gritty, but man, when her characters fall, they fall hard. The emotions are intense, the sex is always scorching, and you can rely on her for a happy ending despite the odds. Plus, she includes all sorts of interracial/multicultural relationships. This is why she’s one of my faves, and this book did not disappoint. It contained all of my favorite things about Avril’s writing, plus ventured places she hadn’t gone before, which I appreciate.
Then the Stars Fall – Brandon Witt
This was a family-focused story that also deals with grief and the prejudices involved with being an openly gay man in a small, conservative town. There were kids and pets and lots of vivid secondary characters, plus a slow-burn romance, which I tend to adore, as I love sexual tension. It was lovely. I even bought the paperback and asked Brandon to sign it at GRL, I loved it so much. And it’s another one for the readers who prefer non-explicit stories.
Brothers of the Wild North Sea – Harper Fox
Wow. I would probably call this my second favorite read of the year. I can’t describe how much I loved this book. The history, the magic, the enemies-to-lovers romance in the truest sense of the term. Harper Fox is a brilliant author with such immense talent I can’t help but feel awed when I read her stories. They are really a gift. This book was gorgeous, and nothing else I say can do it justice.
Second Skin – Genna Donaghy
This book was fun and different and has gotten a lot less attention than it deserves, in my opinion. I loved everything about it, the characters, the story line. Everything.
Bone Rider – J. Fally
Brilliant! This was easily my favorite book of the year. I loved it so much. Humor, action, romance. Simply awesome. Some people might not be fans of all the different POVs, but I thought it really worked. It couldn’t have been told any other way. I will buy anything else J. Fally releases without question based on my love for this book. It really felt like watching a movie, a la Die Hard. I gushed about it everywhere.
And those were my favorite reads this year! I might add to this list if I read something amazing between now and New Year’s Eve, but for now, these were the books I enjoyed reading most.
What were yours? Any books to recommend?
Hi, peeps! I was tagged to answer five questions by Charlie Cochet, who is indeed fabulous. Check out her books if you haven’t already! ♥
1. What am I working on?
Right now my book, Hook, Line, & Sinker, is in edits. This is a solo spin-off of Wood, Screws, & Nails, which I co-wrote with Kade Boehme. For those who read that book, HL&S is Blake’s story, but they can both be read as standalones.
I’m also working on a Christmas story for Less Than Three Press, which will be available in early December. While I’m doing that, my other active project is temporarily on hold. That one is Ringing True, the second book in the “Wanting” series, which I hope to have out by the end of the year. That book is fully outlined and started already. I’m also tinkering with outlines for a couple of other stories.
2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?
I agree with Charlie’s answer to this—every author has their own unique voice and style. With me, people can expect characters with great chemistry, realistic (and hopefully entertaining) dialog, sex scenes that vary from tender to dirty, and the happiest ending I can manage given the characters’ individual situations. I’ve mostly done contemporary up to this point, but I do have historical, fantasy, and paranormal short stories available. I also have plans for a paranormal series in future, but for the most part, most of my work will be contemporary.
3. Why do I write what I do?
I’ve answered this question several times in the past. Basically, I’ve been a romance fan since childhood (I think I started reading romances at around 10 or 11), and I always wanted to write love stories. Whatever the pairing, gay or straight, I like giving people their happy endings.
In regards to gay romance specifically, I love to see men fall fast and hard. I love to see a man open up emotionally. And, honestly, I relate to men more than I do to women for various reasons I’d rather not get into in this blog post. Suffice it to say, m/m is my happy place at the moment, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. 🙂
4. How does my writing process work?
Sometimes I thrive under a deadline. Sometimes I prefer to not have that weight on my shoulders. Either way, I usually plot out an outline, either something as simple as a list of one-sentence bullet points or as extensive as individual chapter summaries. There’ve been times I started writing with only a vague idea, but I prefer to plot things out. It focuses me and helps me get to know the characters. Typically, I start working on the characters and develop the plot from there. Right now, with my son having started all-day kindergarten, I plan to use his time at school as my workday so as to leave my evenings free to relax with my family and prevent burnout. I think putting myself on a set schedule will help me work more effectively in future and with writer’s block, which I tend to struggle with.
5. Who’s next on the blog hop?