Sunday, December 29, 2013

To review or not to review?


About six months ago, I took a mini-sabbatical from reviewing non-paranormal books on Reviews by Jessewave. I also cut down the number of reviews I did here. It's not because I wasn't reading M/M books; no, the reason was I needed a mental health break because there were some issues when I posted a negative review on Jessewave. I needed to regroup and figure out what I loved about reading and reviewing again. I think my time off has helped me. Which is why you'll be seeing more reviews on this site.

Writing is hard. Any type of writing, whether its writing a book, writing a column or reviewing romance books. Each author puts their heart and soul into their work and hopes their readers enjoys their efforts.

I'm no different. I love the written word and I like to express my love of books through reviewing. Now my tastes may not be your tastes, and your tastes may not be mine...and that's totally cool. If you read through all of my past reviews whether they be here, on Jessewave or at Dark Divas Reviews, I have a few tropes I truly enjoy: mates, bonding, knotting, police officers, Gay For You, mpreg and many, many others.

My pet peeves are just as varied. I don't care for: heavy BDSM, domestic abuse, rape, poor editing and blatant misogyny. Normally, I don't review books with rape and heavy BDSM, so that takes care of those plots I won't read, but sometimes a book doesn't resonate with me...for whatever reason and I write that in reviews.

Which comes to the point of this post. When reviewers write a less than favorable review, how should an author handle it?

Well, since I'm also an author too, I thought I'd go over how to turn a negative review into something positive.

Yeah, I know that might be difficult, after all, your published book is your baby and you're very protective, but always know that any ethical reviewer is not out to get you or your book. I've rarely seen malicious reviews on professional sites. (Now GoodReads and Amazon? It's like the Alamo there, so can't say anything about those places).

But, here's what you do when you get a 'bad' review. (According to me. *g*)


  1. That review is not a reflection of you as a person. You are not your bad review. For whatever reason, the reviewer did not like/understand your book and that's okay. Believe me, someone else will!
  2. Ignore bad reviews. DO NOT RESPOND to them on any level. (i.e. do not leave on comment on GoodReads!) Take the high ground. I'm not saying don't read them, do. But do not comment on them.
  3. Do not allow your friends, family or fans to respond to any negative reviews. It looks petty and turns off potential new readers. And reviewers on large sites do talk, so if your friends harass another reviewer, the likelihood of you getting a new review on that site again? Nil.
  4. Avoid being put on a Authors Behaving Badly shelf by acting like a professional at all times when you have your author cap on. (e.g. conventions, book signings, etc.)
  5.  Learn from the 'bad' review. If the reviewer states you need a professional editor for your next self-published title, you might want to find one. If they talk about point-of-view, characterizations, lack of positive women characters, realism in your story, etc., then take notes. These are all concrete, constructive things you can improve on. However, "you suck," is not a constructive review. Ignore that. But, "I felt the main character was weak and two-dimensional and as a reader I did not understand their motivations enough to draw me into the plot," is constructive criticism. Use that advise when you write your next book and I'm sure that reviewer will see the effort you made and respond accordingly. 
Lastly, no reviewer wants to leave a less than positive review, but if they do your reaction to it will help determine how readers, reviewers and potential new readers judge you and your future works.

Or, don't let a bad review ruin your next best seller. Work your craft and the rewards will be many!





Friday, December 20, 2013

Top Five Paranormal M/M Books of 2013

To celebrate the holiday season, I am posting my top five paranormal picks for 2013 - in no particular order. These books were, in my opinion, some of the most amazing novels I read in the paranormal category. Three of the top five I reviewed on this site.


All of the top five books will be raffled off to one lucky winner!

Many thanks to the authors who donated a free copy. Please use the Rafflecopter option for a chance to win these books.


Lasha’s Top Five Paranormal M/M Books for 2013:  


Honorable Mention: Just Lion Around (Wolves of Stone Ridge #19) by Charlie Richards


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Review: Pretty Poison by Kari Gregg

Title: Pretty Poison
Publisher: Self-Published
Length: 160 pages

Grade: A


BLURB:

Deadly poison…or exquisite cure?

Noah fell from an eighth story balcony as a toddler, cracking open his skull and shattering his body. The accident would’ve killed a human, but even shifter blood can’t heal some damage. After the pack recommended a mercy killing, Noah’s family ran. But there’s no outrunning the mating pact formed before Noah’s birth.

Wade, the new alpha, chooses an adult Noah to fulfill the pact. Wade believes the previous alpha was a fool to reject Noah as a weak and inferior wolf, but Noah’s family was wrong to hide him and starve his wolf, too. Human doctors with human medicines are poison to shifter physiology. Now that Noah is fully grown, halting his shift to retain the pins, plates, and bars holding him together hurts rather than helps him, and for Wade, more than Noah’s recovery is at stake.

Noah’s family sacrificed everything to keep him alive. Noah will do whatever it takes to save them—including mate with the alpha who is determined to correct past mistakes and defeat old prejudices contaminating the shifter community.

Too bad some still believe Noah is the true poison…and should be culled from the pack for good.


MY REVIEW

There are two things I can expect from a Kari Gregg novel: hot sex and various characters who have ulterior motives. That is exactly what you get in Pretty Poison, Gregg’s newest shifter book. The reader is introduced to Noah, a disabled shifter who lives with his family on the outskirts of a pack. Enter Wade, the pack’s Alpha who comes to Noah’s family and demands they honor a contract of marriage made years before. Since Noah’s sister ran off and married a human, Wade picks from the remaining brothers for his “bride.” And to everyone’s surprise he chooses Noah as his mate. Noah’s not happy but goes along with the proposal because if he refuses Wade could have his entire family killed. What ensues is a turbulent and rather sweet love story as Noah and Wade learn to love each other and made changes to their pack.

Since I read about 90% paranormal books these days, it takes a really good shifter book to make me sit up and take notice. What I loved about Pretty Poison was that we finally get a disabled shifter character, whose serious injuries do not automatically heal. Noah walks with crutches and his disability has made him a liability to his old pack, they even suggested a “mercy” killing, which is why the family removed themselves from that pack. Any type of disabilities are rare in M/M books, more especially more rare in paranormal books. I thought the author handled Noah’s limitations and his eventual semi-recovery in a very unique manner.

The second best thing about Pretty Poison is the scorching hot sex scenes. K.A. Mitchell, look out for Ms. Gregg! Wow. Wade and Noah burn up the sheets and cement their bond their many, many sexy scenes. Those readers looking for a “is-it-hot-in-here?” novel will not be disappointed.

The third item I enjoyed were the secondary characters. We have strong female characters, a great beta character and the dynamic of the pack is explored very well in my opinion. My only complaint and why I did not give this 5 stars was I felt there should have been one more extra scene between Noah and Wade — like a date — that didn’t involve sex. There were some very sweet moments between the two men, but I felt more would have rounded out the book.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and recommend it all the paranormal fans out there. It has something different that I think most M/M readers would like.

Originally posted at Reviews by Jessewave


Tara Lain Cover Reveal






The Pack or the Panther
(Tales of the Harker Pack Series)
By
Tara Lain


Blurb:

Cole Harker, son of an alpha werewolf, is bigger and more powerful than most wolves, tongue-tied in groups, and gay. For twenty-four years, he’s lived to please his family and pack—even letting them promise him in marriage to female werewolf Analiese to secure a pack alliance and help save them from a powerful gangster who wants their land. Then Cole meets Analiese’s half-brother, panther shifter Paris Marketo, and for the first time, Cole wants something for himself.

When Analiese runs off to marry a human, Cole finally has a chance with Paris, but the solitary cat rejects him, the pack, and everything it represents. Then Cole discovers the gangster wants Paris too and won’t rest until he has him. What started as a land dispute turns into World War Wolf! But the bigger fight is the battle between cats and dogs.





Release Date: 
January 8, 2013


Available for pre-order now at:




EXCERPT

Cole took hold of a branch a few feet from Paris. “Do you think the alliance will stand?” He shrugged. “Hard to say. I know everyone hopes so, so I hope so too.” Cole pulled his eyebrows together. “But you don’t really care.”

Paris looked up sharply. “Yes, I care. I care about my parents. They’ve been good to me and I owe them a lot. I’m a freak by wolf standards, and my father has never abjured me. I honestly believe he kept me separate for my well-being more than his own. He acknowledges me as his son even though I remind him of his greatest sorrow.”

“Your panther mother.” He nodded. “And Trixie isn’t a brave female. My existence is difficult for her, but she’s been nothing but good to me. She had to stand against the combined disapproval of a lot of other females for me. They didn’t know what I was, but they knew I was Merced’s first wife’s son. They weren’t kind. She was. I value her and want the best.”

 Cole nodded. If there was one thing he understood, it was loyalty.

“And then there’s you.”

Cole glanced up. Look at that mischievous face. He’d switched from deeply serious to court jester in one second flat. “What about me?” He grinned.

The cat danced around his tree, unfastening buttons on his shirt with intricate skill. “You want the alliance and I want you. Isn’t that an Aristotelian principle? If A equals B and B equals C, then Paris wants Cole to have his alliance so Paris can have Cole’s big yummy cock in his ass. An ass, I might add, that’s been throbbing like a voodoo drum since I first looked in your silver eyes, wolfman.” He whipped off the shirt, leaving his upper body bare.

Wow. Even knowing what was coming, that sight was hard to believe. The cat’s skin glowed in the moonlight like so much alabaster formed into a work of art. If you liked bulky, you wouldn’t like Paris. But if the look of a black leopard stealing along a branch stilled your heart, this sight would do it for you down to the ground. Not really slim. More like lean, with muscles just where they should be, but as if they were made of silk rather than stone. Fluid.

Paris reached and grabbed a branch, then pulled himself up one-armed until he leaned over the wood on his belly. Flip. He circled and came up to sitting, his upper body glowing and long legs dangling. He spread his arms out for a second as if balancing on a tightrope. Then he reached in and started to unfasten his belt. Slowly, he slipped it from his trousers, then swung it over his head until it caught on an upper branch.

 He pulled himself to standing and used one hand to slowly lower his fly. White showed in the gap. Oh my. Not white underwear.  White skin. Cole shuddered. He wasn’t used to this kind of sexy. Hell, who was? This cat was one of a kind. 



About the Author

Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in LGBT erotic romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her first novel was published in January of 2011 and she’s now somewhere around book 23. Her best­selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, Best Gay Characters, and Tara has been named Best Writer of the Year in the LRC Awards. In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm. She often does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft. She lives with her soul­mate husband and her soul­mate dog in Laguna Beach, California, a pretty seaside town where she sets a lot of her books. Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says on her tombstone it will say “Yes”!



You can find Tara at

               




Presented By





Thursday, December 12, 2013

Feature Author Spotlight: Eleanor Bruce

Welcome to the Feature Author Spotlight on Lasha's Paranormal M/M Reviews.

In this piece, we are going to highlight one author and their new book. (If you'd like to be featured, please email me privately).

Eleanor Bruce has only been writing professionally for about year. Some of her books include: Doctor, Doctor, The Law of the Jungle, and The Moon's Dirty Light (the last two books are nominated for the GoodReads M/M Romance Member's Choice Awards in Best Free Short and Best Law Enforcement categories).

Her latest release is Beneath the 13th Moon (Werewolves of Baltimore #2).  

To celebrate her new novel, she is offering up a copy of the book. Please leave your name and email in a comment, if you'd like to be entered into the contest.  It ends 12/15 midnight EST.

And to wet your appetite, here's the blurb for Beneath the 13th Moon:

    Is Liam Van Zandt living in The Twilight Zone? It sure looks that way. The victims in the murders he’s investigating seem to have been crushed by a cursed statue.

    In the middle of his investigation Liam is fighting his attraction to the mysterious Dr. Bartek Szala, a police consultant and amateur folklorist. With everything coming to a head and his Captain breathing down his neck, Liam has been denying his attraction to Bartek. But when they are thrust into a supernatural world of witches, vampires and werewolves they have to join forces or they won’t survive.

    Will Liam and Bartek come out alive or will they succumb to the danger that surrounds the Legend of Black Aggie?



Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Winner!





Thanks to everyone who entered. Random.org picked #1 and so Shay is the winner. I will email her with her prize. Come back around Christmas for our annual Best of 2013 M/M Books!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!




Since Halloween is my favorite holiday, I decided to hold a special giveaway for a $10 Amazon gift card. Please leave your name, email address and answer this question: What's your favorite Halloween movie?

Contest ends Friday, November 1, 2013 at midnight EST.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Hiatus

My deepest apologies if I have an outstanding book review for you. Due to some medical issues, I've had to take a break from reviewing for awhile. Hopefully, I'll be back in November. Thank you and sorry again for the delay.

Lasha

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Guest Author Kari Gregg: Marry, Shag, Cliff?

Marry, Shag of Cliff?

The game is Marry, Shag, or Kill/Cliff. If you haven’t heard of it before, you pick a character that you would marry (steady job, handy around the house, doesn’t leave the toilet seat up, etc), a hero you would shag (not talking about carpet, dudes), and the character you would toss over a cliff. Then climb down said cliff to drag the corpse back up and toss him over again. Well, maybe not that last part, but whatever, you get what I mean.

Looking at my backlist, which of my heroes would I marry? That’s hard for me to decide. David in Collared has a nice job. CEO. La dee dah. Any financial woes would be over, right? Except in that world, Connor would’ve been doing most (if not all) of the housework and while I might enjoy cooking...no. Cal in I Omega is a CEO too, but oh hell no. I’m going to have to go with Zachary from In the Red. He’s no CEO, but he’s steady, nurturing, protective and he actually touched a dirty dish in that book. Be still my heart. My hero!

Shag? I guess all of them wouldn’t be a good answer. If I’m not in lust with those heroes, logical that my readers wouldn’t be either so it’s very true that every single one of my characters turn my crank for one reason or another . Or many others. The right hero has to be smexy, of course. RAWR! But also capable. Smart. Adaptable. And for that, it’s got to be Shane from the pornocats. Er...I mean An Unauthorized Field Guide to the Hunt, my new one this week at Loose Id. That man has got it going on, the whole package. He shows great survival skills in the first chapter of that story and if you make it through chapter two without wanting to jump him (or jumping on your Significant Other), you’re a stronger woman than me. Woo boy.

Funnily enough, which of my heroes I’d toss over a cliff is easy – Cal in I Omega. Don’t get me wrong. I love him. I love all my characters, warts and all. I like flawed characters, but some of my characters go above and beyond the call of duty. Cal basically rules that field. He’s strong, confident, a good leader for his pack, and an aggressive lover. But he’s also a jerk. The man does not talk to Gabriel and leaves him to flounder to find his way. JERK. He’s perfect for Gabriel, mind, but I’m about as submissive as a lobbed brick. No, no, no. Off the cliff you go, buh bye.

So...Now it’s YOUR turn! To celebrate the release of An Unauthorized Field Guide to the Hunt (*ahem*...pornocats...*cough*), this contest’s for you. Marry, Shag, and Cliff – which of the heroes from my backlist would you choose for each? 

Leave a comment below with your email and your answers for who you’d marry, shag or cliff to be entered into a random drawing for a $10 Amazon gift card. And thanks for playing along! 

* * *



On Mariket, the strongest competitors win...by losing.

Narone native and former heir of Class II shipbuilder Denbo-West Industries, Shane West surrendered his perilous birthright to compete in the Hunt and tried his luck with the lusty cats of Mariket. Shane's mastery of survival craft in the untamed forest made him an early favorite among gamblers, fans, and arena officials. When he lured a cat into an arousing chase the first night, mating with Lore to become the season's first victor seemed guaranteed.

Then news from Arena 4 slowed to a trickle. Rumors emerged about cats who'd gone feral as well as shocking breaches in security. Unconfirmed reports of assassins and rogue predators circulated before offworld communications screeched to a halt.

In this unprecedented glimpse inside the arena, Shane peels back the veil of secrecy. What does it take to tempt a sexy cat? How does being marked as prey by a feline lover feel? Experience the wanton pleasures of the heat with Shane and his mysterious mate--and discover which of last season's scandalous rumors are true.

Run, pounce, fuck.

Mate?

Welcome to the Hunt.


CONTEST CLOSED.

Friday, August 09, 2013

I Heart Shifters

This was originally posted on Reviews by Jessewave.

When I read Wave's post entitled, "M/M Romances That Resonate," it seemed to me that paranormal books weren't really on the list, except for the Irregulars anthology. And while that is a terrific set of novellas, I was looking for more traditional paranormal types recommendations. So when Wave urged me to write one, I thought why not? I love the genre and probably 80% of my reading list contains vampires, werewolves, ghosts or other such creatures.

Why do I love paranormals?

I love the world building, the potential for great angst, the backstory of many of the characters. I mean, as a history teacher I would have loved to have been around for the American Revolution, the Renaissance or World War II. And if you are a vampire whose lived for centuries you just might have experienced all of those events. Think of all the history you would have witnessed. That fascinates me...and I think it fascinates other readers who love this genre like I do. After all, sexy ghosts, angst-ridden vampires and alpha shifters are hot! Just look at Amazon's Top 100 and you'll see I'm not the only one with a serious love for men who sprout fur during a full moon.

knotting-1Not to mention the many tropes that exist in paranormal books: alpha shifters, omegas, bonding, claiming, instant love, cursed vampires, mpreg, and knotting. (In fact when Googling knotting, I came up with this pic of Derek from Teen Wolf, one truly messed-up shifter...which led me to some Sterek knotting fanfiction...which led me to reading some Sterek mpreg.) The tropes are everywhere!

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

When Sparks Fly Blog Hop: July 4th - 8th!




Welcome to the When Spark Fly Blog Hop! 140+ authors….TONS of goodies to be won and sponsored by The Blog Hop Spot!

STARTS:

July 4, 2013

ENDS:

July 8, 2013 @ midnight

* * *

Lasha's Reviews is offering two prizes. One, for residents of the United States to celebrate our Independence Day and the second prize for everyone.

The first prize package is FOUR paperback M/M books, two which are signed by the authors. Only two of these books are paranormal related. This contest is only open to a winner with a U.S. address, so please don't enter if you live outside the United States. Leave a comment in this post!

The books are:

Letting in the Light by Fae Sutherland 
For the Long Run by Elizabeth Noble (signed)
Overdrive by Ariel Tachna (signed)
Bareback by Chris Owen


The second prize is a $5 Amazon gift card. This contest is open to EVERYONE. Please use the Rafflecopter option below to enter for that!

After cut, a list of the other sites in this blog hop. So, go and check them out. I know I will be!

Happy 4th of July!!!

CLICK AUTHORS NAME TO VISIT THEIR STOP ON THE HOP!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Slight summer hiatus

I'm going to take a slight summer hiatus from reviewing until July 3rd. I'll be back then to participate in the blog tour. Until then, have a safe couple of weeks.

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Review: The Alpha's Ardor by Rebecca Brochu

Title: The Alpha's Ardor (Wolves of Flathead #1)
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Length: 72 pages

Grade: A- 


BLURB:

Declan Adair and his twin brother Lachlan are wolf shifters with no home or pack and a dark past that makes them hated by other weres. Hunted and forced to separate, Declan finds himself chased north and straight into Flathead, a large sprawling territory that is home to a single massive pack.

Unsure and more afraid than he wants to admit, Declan’s situation is only made worse by his undeniable attraction to the Flathead pack’s alpha, Law.

Law is everything an alpha should be: powerful, controlled, and surprisingly enough to Declan—kind. And when Law seems to want Declan just as much as Declan wants Law, it’s unbelievable. With a past full of hurt and the knowledge that the only one he can trust is his twin, Declan is torn between the way he knows the world works and the possibility that the alpha’s ardor might just be real.



MY REVIEW

It takes a lot to surprise me these days, but The Alpha's Ardor was a pleasant surprise. What a lovely treat for this shifter fanatic! Ms. Brochu's take on the werewolf trope is refreshingly new and intriguing. Declan and Lachlan's backstory was different and compelling and completely integral to the plot.

Declan's love interest, Law wasn't your typical gruff, controlling Alpha, but instead caring and sweet to confused and afraid Declan. The hurt-comfort scenes were wonderful between these two characters. I was engaged from beginning to end in their love story. Add in some interesting secondary characters like Declan's twin brother, Lachlan and you have the start of a great series.

This author is definitely one to watch! Really worth your time to pick this book up.


 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Review: The Kayan's Mage by Jess Buffett

Title: The Kayan's Mage (Hunter Clan #1)
Publisher: Siren Publishing
Length: 102 pages

Grade: B


BLURB:


Sawyer McLeod lost his family and his entire Guild, except his twin, seven years ago. Now almost twenty-one, he is coming to the age to receive his abilities as a Mage. Unfortunately there are others who will stop at nothing to see the brothers don’t survive that long.
When Jake Hunter, Kayan for a Clan of Wolf Shifters living in Australia, finally finds his true-mate, he doesn’t expect it to be in the midst of a brutal attack. Through omissions of truth, misunderstandings, and fear, Jake struggles to prove to Sawyer that he can trust him.
When Sawyer is finally willing to give Jake a chance, a ghost from the past returns to destroy everything they have built together. Will they be able to overcome the foe long thought gone, or will it be the end for the Kayan’s Mage?

MY REVIEW


A great start to what looks to be an exciting series from new author Jess Buffett. Twins Sawyer and Riley have been on the run since their entire family was murdered seven years ago by evil vampires. Sawyer is about to come into his Mage powers when he's attacked, then saved by Alpha wolf Jake Hunter. Realizing they are mates, Jake takes Sawyer back to his compound so the two men can learn more about each other. But dark forces are brewing and threaten their new-found happiness.

What I liked about this book was the slow build between Sawyer and Jake. This story wasn't Insta-Love mates, who then have OMG-amazing-sex which segues into a happily ever after. No, Ms. Buffett took her time with the initial get together of the two main characters and allowed the build-up to progress organically, especially after bad guys attacked Sawyer. However, once she does that, then came a rush of happily ever after plot points which seemed to me to unfortunately rush the ending. Up until that happened, this was an A- book, but the "heteronormal" ending didn't seem to fit the previous chapters which were romantic and sweet.

Another great part of this book was that Sawyer was kick-ass. He's no TSTL simpering man waiting for his Alpha to save him, he's a powerful Mage coming into his own. A dynamic character in his own right and when paired with Jake, they make a formidable couple. Plus, his relationship with his twin, Riley was wonderful. (I cannot wait for Riley's story, Riley's Vampire Prince to be released on May 11, 2013!) Add on some interesting world-building and you have a very enjoyable read.

Recommended for all paranormal lovers who like complex characters, intriguing plots, secondary characters who will knock your socks off and leave you panting for more; plus a wonderful love story that brings something fresh and new to the genre. I am looking forward to more from Ms. Buffett in this universe!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Review: Prince Claimed by Amber Kell

Title: Prince Claimed (Thresl Chronicles #2)
Publisher: Total E Bound 
Length: 88 pages

Grade: B


BLURB:

When fate spins two lives into turmoil, rising above their issues may be the only way to find true love.

Prince Bleine always had female mates before. As a Thresl he’d never been given a choice. The animal within chose who it chose. However when his brother-in-law Kreslan mates Bleine to a man in order to save his life, Bleine quickly learns to adapt and that what he’s always thought he wanted isn’t exactly what he needs.

Sarler left his home planet to escape their restrictive ways. Interested in pursuing his interest in men, he had been unsure how to start. When he is inadvertently bonded to Prince Bleine, he is struck by how little he understands about handsome princes or life at court.

Secrets and mysteries surround them. Can they discover everything about each other while keeping their enemies at bay? When Sarler is injured, he realises he has to take a chance if he ever hopes to find love with the prince of his dreams. Can he convince Bleine that he sincerely wants to give their relationship a try, or has he waited until it’s too late?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Review: A Shadow of Wings by Linda Gayle

Title: A Shadow of Wings
Publisher: Self-published
Length: 164 pages

Grade: A+


BLURB

Thrown out on the street by his homophobic stepfather, Dylan struggles to get his life together. Years of being used and abused have left him tough and determined to make it on his own. When he sees a dog getting beaten, his protective instincts drive him to rescue her. But as the attackers turn on Dylan, out of the shadows comes a hero. One with mysterious eyes and a shy sensuality Dylan can’t resist.

Cam Coburn can’t reveal his true identity to the man he rescues. Nor can he reveal that he’s a freak among freaks, a cockatrice shifter with an unwanted gift for seeking out conflict rather than treasure. Newly independent from his mentor, Cam sees in Dylan his first chance to test the limits of his human guise. Defying every rule, Cam succumbs to Dylan’s seduction for just one night. But Cam finds he can’t let his lover go, and Dylan breaks down every barrier. For he is the one human who can gaze in a cockatrice’s eyes without fear.

Yet even as their bond deepens, danger closes in on them from all sides, and Cam’s dark secrets may save them—or lead to their destruction.


MY REVIEW

Quite frequently, I check the Amazon Top 100 Gay Books for paranormal-type novels by new authors. As I’ll explain next month in a post on Jessewave, “Why I Love Shifters," I need to read at least one paranormal book a week or I go into withdrawal. 

So, imagine my surprise when a new shifter book knocks my socks off! A Shadow of Wings starts out as your typical shifter novel but quickly morphs into a deeply emotional against-all-odds love story that touched me on many levels. Dylan has had a rough life. Thrown out of his house for being gay, he turns to selling himself to survive, add in one bad boyfriend, a drug habit and it’s a wonder he’s still alive. However, he’s gotten himself clean and is working at a vet’s office cleaning animal cages when he’s attacked, then saved by the mysterious Cam. Yes, yes, we’ve all read this scenario before in m/m romance books, but the difference is Cam. He’s not just any guy, nor a guy who happens to be a shifter. His whole life has been lived in the shadows, never growing close to anyone and when Dylan breaks down those walls, Cam opens up into this beautiful character, who just happens to be a cockatrice shifter.

Yep, you read that right. A cockatrice shifter. No werewolves to be seen in this book! Enter in some amazing world building; namely a secret order of blind priests who have been procreating this species to fight evil for centuries, bad guys who are weasels, and a very interesting twist to the plot that I saw coming, but still surprised me because it was so cool and you have read it to believe it! The unusual twist fit perfectly into the plot because it explained so much of the history of the cockatrice in the world.

But what I loved most was Cam and Dylan’s relationship. Dylan is no fragile flower and when he finds out Cam’s true nature, he’s grossed out, yet turned on. Dylan is a gem. He’s no damsel who needs saving and I think it is his unrelenting nature that drives the plot and love story.

Since I read so many paranormal books, it takes a lot to surprise me and A Shadow of Wings did just that. It is my favorite paranormal m/m book I’ve read so far this year. Ms. Gayle’s writing style is crisp, original and sensual. I am very excited about this series and cannot wait for book two.


Highly recommended.


Originally posted at Reviews by Jessewave

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Feature Author Spotlight: Kari Gregg

We'd like to welcome Kari Gregg to Lasha's Reviews. Her new novel, Half A Million Dead Cannibals is a unique romance set amongst a post-apocalyptic world that includes my favorite monsters: ZOMBIES!

To celebrate she is offering up TWO gifts for my loyal readers. One, a $10 Amazon gift card and two, the zombie classic movie, Day of the Dead (2008). Please use the Rafflecopter option to enter both.

I hope you all make it. I've got my Twinkies and my gun, so I'm prepared! *g* Now, here's Kari...


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Top 10 Fave and Fabulous Zombies on the Net

Zombie fans are legion and dedicated. Surf the net and you’ll find more zombie fan sites and fun links than there are likely to be undead brain munchers when (not if) the fit hits the shan. Fortunately, you have a long-time zombie fan right here to help you sort the shan from the awesome. What are the most fun and funniest zombie links on the net? Grab our melee weapon of choice, compadres, and exercise your clicker finger with:


To get in shape for the apocalypse, the zombie fitness app: http://www.eatyourcomics.com/2013/01/10/zombies-run-the-gamers-fitness-app/

Don’t let undeath ruin your relationship! Zombie Love Song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=J4_CqPFZP5M

Not dating? Looking for a quality man (or woman) during the apocalypse has never been easier. Zombie Passions, a zombie online dating service: http://www.zombiepassions.com/


Wetted your appetite for m/m zombie apocalyptic romance and my Half a Million Dead Cannibals? Not yet? Dammit.



How likely are YOU to survive the apocalypse? http://zomboid.com/zombie/

Is it time for Dead Cannibals’ Riley and Graham to strut through undead dystopian America now? No? Damn, you guys are tough.

Zombie fandom began with Plato. No shit. The Philosophy of Zombies: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/zombies/

On the bright side, the good news about becoming a zombie: http://science.discovery.com/creatures/10-best-things-about-being-zombie.htm

Zombie prepping isn’t just for crackpots (although embracing your crazy helps): http://www.cracked.com/article_15643_5-scientific-reasons-zombie-apocalypse-could-actually-happen.html

Get your undead on, buddies, because that’s it. Oh, sure, I’ve got more fun links, tons more. Tune into my #DeadCannibals Twitter hashtag for additional fabulous zombie links to play around with, but for now, it’s time for the pimping and commenting to win goodies!

Leave a comment below with your email address and your hand-to-hand combat/melee weapon of choice (crowbar? baseball bat? curtain rod?) for a shot at a Zombie Outbreak Response Team car decal like so:


Use the Rafflecopter to put your chance in for the $10 Amazon gift card and the movie!

Commenters will also receive an entry into my Half a Million Dead Cannibals Zombie Survival Kit Contest (details about the prize and moar chances to win it here: http://www.karigregg.com/?p=1652).

Zombies are coming, guys. Comment, comment, comment! While you still can...

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Blurb:

All that’s keeping Riley from the man he’s falling in love with are the ruins of a city filled with half a million dead cannibals.


Strangers, Riley and Graham sheltered together in a basement storage unit when the zombie outbreak slammed into the world three months ago. They lived through the first blast of the plague, but they may not last much longer among survivors scrambling for dwindling resources. They agree to hike from the city and to the safety of the mountains. They didn’t count on the storm they hoped would cover their exit developing into a Nor’easter, though, and they sure didn’t think their visibility would shrink so badly that they’d hike into the leading edge of a zombie swarm, either. In the chaos of escaping the ravenous horde, they are separated, with Graham racing toward feral dog packs to the east and Riley sprinting to hostile survivors hunting them to the west.

Nobody said finding and keeping a quality guy (alive) during the apocalypse would be easy.
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Author Bio:

Kari Gregg lives in the mountains of Wild and Wonderful West Virginia with her Wonderful husband and three very Wild children. When Kari’s not writing, she enjoys reading, coffee, zombie flicks, coffee, naked mud-wrestling (not really), and . . . coffee!






a Rafflecopter giveaway


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Swept Away Valentine's Blog Hop


Welcome to the Swept Away Blog Hop. Go here for more info. 
 
STARTS:

Friday, Feburary 14, 2013

ENDS:

Sunday, Feburary 17, 2013 @ midnight

 

The prize for Lasha's Reviews is a $5 gift card to Amazon. Use the Rafflecopter option to enter!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

AFTER THE JUMP, CLICK AUTHORS NAME TO VISIT THEIR STOP ON THE HOP!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Guest Author JL Merrow: Don't Ever Change Time

Today we'd like to welcome JL Merrow to the site. She's been a great friend to Lasha's Paranormal M/M Reviews, so we are really excited about her new book, Trick of Time, an amazing time travel love story.

To celebrate her new release, she is offering up any book from her back list as a gift to one lucky winner! Please comment, ANSWER THE QUESTION BELOW and leave your name and email address to be entered.

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Don’t Ever Change...

 ...time, that is.

Ever since authors first started writing about time travel, people have been intrigued by the idea of possibly changing history—and with it, our present. There are various theories of time, of course. I’ve always been fond of Terry Pratchett’s Trousers of Time idea, where a single change can send you scurrying off down a different leg of history and into an alternate (and possibly sock-shaped) universe.

This, of course, is something best avoided by the average chrononaut, for obvious reasons:

“The tiniest little actions can have huge consequences. You might… tread on an ant now and it might entirely prevent someone from being born in the future!”
“Really?” said Ridcully.
“Yes, sir!”
Ridcully brightened up. “That’s not a bad wheeze. There’s one or two people history could do without. Any idea how we can find the right ants?”
Extract from The Last Continent
By Terry Pratchett

Which leads to something of a problem for romance authors. Because to get your heroes from different times to have their happy ever after, either our modern-day man has to relocate to the past, or his old-fashioned lover boy must move to the present. This can’t be done without consequences to the past, either way. It’s not for nothing the Terminator was sent back in time to wipe out John Connor’s mum-to-be. You might argue that a gay man would be less likely to have descendants—but what if he was destined to save a life?

And adding a modern-day man to the historical mix could have just as serious consequences. There would have to be a strong temptation to meddle—could you have stood by and let Franz Ferdinand be assassinated, even though it would cause World War One and untold death and misery, without at least trying to warn him? Even if our man out of time was a model of restraint, his very presence would affect things. Might he take the last seat on the bus, and prevent another man meeting the woman he would have married, leading to children never having been born? The possibilities are endless.

So how did I solve the problem for Trick of Time? Ah, well, you’ll have to read the book to find out! ;) 

And when you’ve done that, have a good long think about the nature of causality when applied to time travel. Because it’s not quite as simple as it at first appears to my narrator, Ted....

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Giveaway question: If you could travel back in time, when would you choose? And would you try and change history while you were there? ;)


I’m offering a free ebook of winner’s choice from my backlist to one lucky commenter on this post. The draw will be open until noonish on Thursday 31st January (GMT).

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A lover from another time

When Ted Ennis steps out the doors of the Criterion Theatre for a cigarette and finds himself in Victorian London, he begins to doubt his sanity. At first he thinks it's all a film set, and is sure that the strikingly handsome young man leaning against a lamppost must be the leading man…

What starts as a sordid transaction with a beautiful rent boy quickly turns into something much deeper, drawing him back again and again as he gets to know Jem and craves meaningful encounters with him.

But Ted doesn't understand the exact conditions necessary for his trips through time—and for Jem, time may actually be running out. Now Ted has one last shot to get back to Jem and save their relationship, before it's too late…



Biography 

JL Merrow is that rare beast, an English person who refuses to drink tea.  She read Natural Sciences at Cambridge, where she learned many things, chief amongst which was that she never wanted to see the inside of a lab ever again.  Her one regret is that she never mastered the ability of punting one-handed whilst holding a glass of champagne.

She writes across genres, with a preference for contemporary gay romance and the paranormal, and is frequently accused of humour.  Her novella Muscling Through is a 2013 EPIC ebook Award finalist. 

JL Merrow is a member of the UK GLBTQ Fiction Meet organising team.

Find JL Merrow online at: www.jlmerrow.com, on Twitter as @jlmerrow, and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/jl.merrow



Friday, January 25, 2013

Review: Something New Under the Sun by LA Witt

Title: Something New Under the Sun (Falling Skies #2)
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Length: 221 pages

Grade: A


BLURB

Liam Lansing is heir to a prominent family of bio-modified vampires. That is, until he chooses the wrong lover and is cast down to the Gutter to scrape for his life.

Daniel Harding is heir to Cybernetix and a prince of the corporate Sky. That is, until his ideology drives his father to put a price on his head, forcing him into the Gutter.

But Daniel and Liam won’t vanish meekly into the smog. Together, they plan to rip open the hidden corruption that runs the Sky—for vengeance, for justice, and for hope. They strike against the corporations in a daring raid. When everything goes wrong, Daniel must betray his core beliefs to save the man he loves and protect his dangerous secret. Only through courage in the face of death—or worse—might he and Liam change the world they live in and create something new under the sun.


MY REVIEW

I absolutely loved LA Witt’s A Chip In His Shoulder, it was my first and only 5 star book review Reviews by Jessewave. So, I was overjoyed when I found out a sequel would be released this year, and LA Witt has not disappointed. As with the first book, Ms. Witt has created a unique world where the elite live in the “Sky,” and the down-trodden live in the “Gutter.” While both protagonists come from the Sky as privledged men of power, vampire Liam Lansing was thrown into the Gutter for falling in love with a mod-hating human, Daniel Harding. Liam did what he had to do to survive, including whoring himself out and finally becoming an assassin. The first book started with Liam taking a contract to kill his former lover, Daniel; but when he sees Daniel again, that plan changes. Now, in this installment, Liam and Daniel are back together and determined to fight the powerful men in the Sky to bring reform to their world, even if it costs them their lives.

As I stated in my review of A Chip In His Shoulder, I adored the world building in these novels. It’s a cross between Cyperpunk and a dystopian society where the have and have-nots are clearly defined. Add in some vampires, reunited lovers, an underground rebellion and you have the makings of a great book. Personally, I think this book would also make a great sci-fi movie too, as the action was like a roller coaster with so many unexpected turns and twists that I was hooked from the get-go.

The only reason I did not give this version 5 stars also was because I found the romance angle to be lacking. Basically, I read romance books for the romance. So, if readers are looking for a M/M romance book with sci-fi elements, then Something New Under the Sun might not be your cup of tea. While the romance between Liam and Daniel is there, it takes a back-seat to the sci-fi plot. But, for readers who like a little paranormal/fantasy twist in their M/M books and are not looking for overt romance, then this will be right up your alley. The action is non-stop – reminded me of the 1930′s serial movies that had jaw-dropping cliffhangers and you waited with baited breath for the next installment – and the writing top-notch.

So, if you love a good science fiction/fantasy novel with a tight plot, great characterizations and a sub-plot that has the main protagonists as gay lovers…then this is your book.

Recommended.


Originally posted at Reviews by Jessewave

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Review: The Little Crow by Caitlin Ricci

Title: The Little Crow (Heart of Darkness #1)
Publisher: Afternoon Delight Publishing
Length: 92 pages

Grade: B-


BLURB

Detective Jamison Landry knew his job was never going to be easy. He’s dealt with the worst criminals imaginable and believes in his work and the community he serves. But he’s never met someone like Mal before. The mysterious man keeps him guessing, both confuses and excites him and Jamison isn’t sure how he feels about him.

Things turn from unusual to downright strange when people start insisting Mal isn’t quite human. And Jamison’s creepy dreams of crows and graveyards don’t make things any better for him. Will Mal stay around long enough for Jamison to figure out his secrets or will this stranger leave him wanting more?


MY REVIEW


Detective Jamison Landry is on what he thinks is a routine drug-bust when he's confronted with a man whose been kidnapped by what looks to be a bunch of crazy cultists. After rescuing the man, Jamison tries to help the victim. But, Mal is exotic, unpredictable and sometimes scary. Some people, including other cops think Mal's a demon; however, Jamison just thinks he's a pain. When his boss orders him to let Mal move in with him, Jamison knows he's in trouble. He's attracted to Mal, but the other man is evasive about his background. And when weird things start to happen in Mal's vicinity, he begins to wonder if his co-workers might be on to something.

The Little Crow starts off with a creepy and unsettling tone which does not let up through the entire novella. I compare it to an episode of Supernatural (first or second season, ya know, when the show was still good. *g*) I was really intrigued by Mal, I couldn't decide if he was an actual demon or just some strange guy. I also liked Jamison, who despite his cop instincts lets Mal get under his skin, ignoring all sorts of red flags that might otherwise have made him suspicious.

The only reason I did not grade The Little Crow higher was the ending was extremely abrupt and didn't make much sense in the context of the rest of the plot. But, I did find out from a blurb at the end of the novella, that this is just the first part of an ongoing series. So, in light of that, I could see why the ending was so sudden. Overall, I think was an interesting start to what I hope is a creepy, eerie love story between Jamison and Mal.

Recommend for readers who like a little twist in their paranormal book.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Review: Pack War by J.C. Holly

Title: Pack War (City Wolves #3)
Publisher: Siren Publishing
Length: 128 pages

Grade: B-


BLURB

Victor Bailey and Farrell Doyle are longtime friends and pack mates. While they were attracted to each other from the moment they met, neither wanted to risk the friendship. That changes one night after an attack from a rival pack leaves Farrell wounded and Victor risking his life to protect him. They decide to try a casual relationship. If it doesn't work, it's no big deal, right?

At the same time a pack war is raging between their pack, ran by the powerful Ethan, and a rival pack ran by the sly Gabriel. Gabriel will stop at nothing to steal Ethan's territory from him, and doesn’t give a damn who he hurts along the way.

Will Victor and Farrell's friendship weather a relationship? And will the war leave anything remaining of their pack?



MY REVIEW

This is the third book in the City Wolves series and in my opinion the best so far. Ms. Holly takes up the action and suspense a notch and leads the reader on a merry chase as the war between Gabriel and Ethan's packs comes to a head.

Readers who love a friends-to-lovers angle will enjoy Victor and Farrell's relationship as they cross that line and go from best friends to lovers. My only pet peeve about that plot point was that Victor and Farrell agreed for a no-strings, friends-with-benefits deal, yet like three days later are telling Ethan they are "boyfriends." I thought the jump was too quick. But readers of Insta-Love will enjoy it.

However, I did the love the dynamics of the pack war. It was refreshing to have some action in a romance novel (you can't read about sex, sex, sex, all the time. *g*). And a few intriguing twists about Farrell's background, leads to a very interesting novel. I am happy to say that as this series progresses, it gets better and better...so looking forward to the next installment.